Mil Spec also known as military specifications is used to attain uniformity goals by the U.S. Department of Defense. Wikipedia defines Mil Spec as “a formal specification that defines the characteristics of common military equipment made by the U.S. Military. Mil Spec sheets are standard forms that provide the performance requirements for items or products used by members of the armed force. They can be useful in determining compatibility and suitability of equipment for use in the field. Mil Spec also helps determine what equipment is compatible with various budgets. It allows the customer and manufacturer to determine common problems and common solutions.
Mil Spec handbooks are extremely important and valuable to both manufacturers and customers. They provide clear guidelines on how to prepare, test, and specify equipment. The handbooks include data illustrations, photos, and diagrams for components or assemblies. To ensure that they are in line with military standards users must adhere to all guidelines exactly as they are written. Mil Spec handbooks are a source of information and not merely an outline of rules, consequently, the adherence of the user to the handbook is essential.
The first national laboratories were created under Secretary of War James M. Garfield on 3 July 1913. The initial goal was to establish uniform criteria that would apply to every branch of the armed services for the acquisition of essential material.
Mil Spec Progress
However as we’ve moved on with time and technological advancements the original goal has changed into a more extensive one. Nowadays, Mil Spec standards apply to the procurement of ammunition, uniforms as well as protection equipment, personal protective equipment and medical equipment. In addition, they include non-military specifications for protective clothing furniture, hygiene equipment and other emergency preparedness equipment. For instance, military standards are used in cases of anthrax and other security cabinets for biological threats to ensure that federal agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can prevent the spread of deadly pathogens during an emergency.
In today’s unpredictable and complex world handbooks are an invaluable resource. You can find an array of handbooks on military specifications through the internet. In fact the internet, with its massive database, has even contributed to the improvement of standards. Effective communication between organizations and agencies via handbooks and other means has helped keep the mil Spec handbooks up-to-date and improved their effectiveness.
There are numerous organizations and departments that haven’t embraced the use of Mil Spec. The United States Department of Defense is the only one who can define mil-spec. The United States Navy can include the flammable liquids they use in their Mil Spec definition. They should amend their manuals to state that liquids that ignite and contain combustible substances are covered in the Mil Spec definition. It is crucial to remember that the definition of Mil Spec or Military Standard is a compromise between governmental organisations and their staff. It defines the standards all organizations must adhere to but are not able to depart from. This undermines credibility and security for the United States military.