Military Specifications

The United States Defense Standards, often called Military Standard, (MIL-STD), or Military Specification (MIL-SPEC), are used to help achieve standardization objectives by the U.S. Department of Defense. Defense Standards are also used by other non-Defense government organizations, technical organizations, and industry.

This article discusses definitions, history, and usage of Defense Standards. Related documents, such as Defense Handbooks and Defense Specifications are also addressed.

Locating Defense Standardization Program Documents

Defense Standardization Program (DSP) Documents include defense or federal specifications or standards, military handbooks, commercial item descriptions, qualified product and manufacturers lists, guide specifications, data item descriptions, international standardization agreements and DoD notices of adoption of non-Government standards. Most DSP documents are available from one of the applications listed below, each of which is updated each workday and accesses data from the ASSIST database, the official source for the latest DSP documents.

Defense Standardization Program (DSP) documents not available in PDF format may be ordered using the following resources:

ASSIST Shopping Wizard ( lets users search for documents similar to the ASSIST Quick Search. Rather than download documents directly, however, Shopping Wizard generates orders to be filled by the DoD Single Stock Point (DODSSP). The DODSSP will ship users CD-ROM collections of documents in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) or single copies of documents that are only available in paper format. There is no charge to use the Shopping Wizard; however, users must register for a separate customer account by completing the Shopping Wizard registration form. Users needing specialized collections or having other unique requirements should contact the DODSSP directly, as described below.

The DODSSP ( maintains the ASSIST database and offers document collections in a variety of media, to include copies of DSP documents not available in digital format. Although most products are free to DoD customers, and others products are free to all customers, some services may require payment of a fee. Although we suggest ordering with the ASSIST Shopping Wizard, you may also order documents by phoning the DODSSP Customer Service Desk, 215-697-2179, Mon-Fri, 0730 to 1600 EST.

Caution regarding DoD Specifications and Standards on some Web sites:

If you search the Web for military specifications and standards using one of the many Web search engines, you may find many websites that post DSP documents. Often these are industry or other DoD sites where copies of documents may have been posted to serve the interests of a specific group of users. Since not all Web pages are regularly maintained, please be aware that DSP documents downloaded from some sites may not be current. Unless you specifically want a historical document, you should consult an official index (such as the ASSIST applications listed above), to ensure the document you've downloaded is current.


Defense Acquisition and Logistics Support

Defense Acquisition Policy Center 
Defense Procurement, Acquisition Policy, and Strategic Sourcing
Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS) Knowledge Sharing Portal 
DoD Information Technology Standards Registry (DISRonline)  (CAC card required for access)
Government-Industry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP)

Defense Standardization Related

Army Standardization Program 
Monmouth Team C4IEWS Specifications and Standards 
Department of Defense Single Stock Point (DODSSP) 
DSCC Document Standardization Unit  (has DSCC Standard Drawings)
DSCC Sourcing and Qualification Unit  (has information on qualification and Value Engineering)
Navy Lakehurst Systems Standardization and Parts Management 
Parts Standardization and Management Committee 

Other Government Standards Organizations

Department of Energy (DOE) Technical Standards Program 
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Standards 
NASA Technical Standards Program 
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 

Non-Government Standards (NGS) Bodies and Industry Associations





Government Contracts

Military Specification Packaging

Find Military Specifications And Standards Using ASSIST

Military Packing Requirement Codes

Military Specification Packaging

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