Specifications and Standards


Standardization documents are developed and used for products, materials, and processes that have multiple applications to promote commonality and interoperability among the Military Departments and the Defense Agencies and between the United States and its allies, and to limit the variety of items in the military supply system. The Acquisition Streamlining and Standardization Information System (ASSIST) database identifies approved defense and federal standardization documents, adopted non-government standards (NGS), and U.S. ratified materiel International Standardization Agreements (ISAs). Standardization documents include:

  1. NGS developed under the consensus procedures of private sector standards organizations.
  2. Materiel ISAs developed within NATO and other multinational security bodies and ratified by the United States.
  3. Commercial item descriptions (CIDs) and federal specifications and standards developed in accordance with the consensus procedures of the Federal Standardization Manual.
  4. Defense specifications, standards, and handbooks developed in accordance with the consensus procedures established in the DSP Procedures, DOD Manual 4120.24.

Preparing Defense Standards and Specifications

Only Standardization Management Activities (SMA) that have been authorized by their Military Department or Defense Agency can develop a defense specification or standard. To identify the authorized SMA in your organization, log onto the ASSIST database at https://assist.dla.mil, click on DoD Contacts in the left menu bar, select your Military Department or Defense Agency from the Preparing Service drop down menu, and then select your organization from the Preparing Activity drop down menu. This will provide you with the SMA point of contact within your organization who knows how to develop a standardization document following the procedures in DoD Manual 4120.24, Defense Standardization Program Procedures. If you are unable to identify your organization from the drop down menu list, you can request help using the ASSIST Feedback link found on every page in ASSIST.