Throughout its history, the Department of Defense DOD has relied on contractors. A defense contractor, as defined by the Code of Federal Regulations, is any individual, firm, corporation, partnership, association, or other legal non-Federal entity that enters into a contract directly with the DOD to furnish services, supplies, or construction see 32 C.F.R. 158.3, Definitions. Within the defense policy community, the term contractor is commonly used in two different contexts. The word can describe the private companies with which DOD contracts to provide goods and services. It can also describe individuals hired by DODusually through private companies, which are also considered contractors in the previous contextto perform specific tasks. The term contractor does not refer to military service members, DOD career employees, or political appointees.