U.S. military specifications, also Mil-Specs, were originally created by the Department of Defense
(DoD) to ensure the standardization of products and services to be produced and used by the U.S.
Despite efforts by the DoD in recent years to reduce the reliance on military standards in favor of
commercial standards, the fact remains that thousands of companies still use military standards
produced by the DoD for everything from design to manufacturing, and quality control to
maintenance of military and non-military-related equipment and services.
Although the terms "military standard" and "military specification" are often used interchangeably,
according to The Government Accountability Office there is a distinct difference between the two:
military specifications "describe the physical and/or operational characteristics of a product"; military
standards "detail the processes and materials to be used to make the product."
NASM: National Aerospace Standard, Metric
MIL-SPEC (Defense Specification): A document that describes the essential technical requirements
for purchased material that is unique to the military or commercial items that have been modified