The Defense Attaché is the primary military advisor to the Ambassador and Country Team on military issues and developments within Switzerland. Additionally he represents the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and greater Department of Defense (DoD) elements; plans and coordinates U.S. military activities with the Swiss Armed Forces throughout Switzerland (including coordination with DoD, Joint Staff, and USEUCOM); observes and reports on Swiss military developments; oversees U.S. military training programs (including Foreign Area Officer in-country training and the Personnel Exchange Programs); and supports DoD and other VIP visits. In addition to the Defense Attaché, this office has an Air Force Colonel who represents their respective service secretary and chief. DAO Bern has two military attachés and 3 support staff, with two locally Employed Staff members. The Defense Attaché is a member of the Country Team.
The Combatant Commander, U.S. European Command has appointed the Defense Attaché to be the U.S. Senior Defense Official (US SDO) in Switzerland.