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A department is an administrative sector of the government. It designates administrative areas of (a priori) centralized countries, e.g. the départements of France or the departamentos[?] of Bolivia.

In some countries (e.g. United States, Switzerland), department is a term used instead of ministry to define a specific sector of the federal government, for example the Department of Justice or Department of Defense. Government departments are usually led by a secretary, administrator[?] or director.

Department, is a term used, by the US Army, mostly prior to World War I. In 1920, most of the departments were redesignated as corps areas. However, the Hawaiian[?], Panama Canal[?], and Philippine Departments retained their old names. In 1939, the Puerto Rican Department[?] was created and in May of 1941 the Panama Canal and Puerto Rican Departments were combined as the Caribbean Defense Command[?], although each was still referred to as a department.

See also: military science, Military History of the United States

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