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What are the DoD Issuances?

A DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD) DIRECTIVE is a broad policy document containing what is required by legislation, the President, or the Secretary of Defense to initiate, govern, or regulate actions or conduct by the DoD Components within their specific areas of responsibilities. DoD Directives establish or describe policy, programs, and organizations; define missions; provide authority; and assign responsibilities. One-time tasking and assignments are not appropriate in DoD Directives.

A DOD DIRECTIVE-TYPE MEMORANDUM is a memorandum issued by the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense, or Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Principal Staff Assistants (PSAs) that, because of time constraints, cannot be published in the DoD Directives System. Directive-type memoranda signed by PSAs are procedural in nature. They implement policy documents, such as DoD Directives, Federal laws, and Executive orders. Directive-type memoranda signed by the Secretary or Deputy Secretary of Defense are policy-making documents. A directive-type memorandum shall be converted into a DoD Directive or DoD Instruction within 180 days, unless the subject is classified with limited distribution or is material of limited or temporary relevance.  A copy of the signed memorandum shall be forwarded to the Director, Executive Services and Communications Directorate, Washington Headquarters Services (WHS).

A DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD) INSTRUCTION is a DoD issuance that implements the policy, or prescribes the manner or a specific plan or action for carrying out the policy, operating a program or activity, and assigning responsibilities.

An ADMINISTRATIVE INSTRUCTION is the instrument that supplements DoD Directives and DoD Instructions that apply to the OSD/WHS Components and the DoD Field Activities. They also disseminate policy, procedures, and continuing informational guidance to the DoD Components in the National Capital Region serviced by Washington Headquarters Services.

A DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD) PUBLICATION is a DoD issuance that implements or supplements a DoD Directive or a DoD Instruction by providing uniform procedures for management or operational systems and disseminating administrative information. DoD Publications include: Catalogs, Directories, Guides, Handbooks, Indexes, Inventories, Lists, Manuals, Modules, Pamphlets, Plans, Regulations, and Standards.

A Catalog is a detailed listing that describes or indexes a collection of information according to some definite plan.

A Directory is a compilation serving to direct, that is systematically arranged in alphabetical or classed order, such as a listing of addresses, affiliations, functions, and similar data.

A Guide is a handbook that provides information on a specific subject.

A Handbook is a concise reference book on the technical aspect of a particular subject or a compilation of factual data and instructional material not subject to frequent change.

An Index is a guide to material arranged by a different scheme from that used for the material itself.

An Inventory is a listing of material in a group arranged in the same order in which the actual material is arranged.

A List is an itemized record or catalog of information.

A Manual is a guidance document consisting of procedures that usually contains examples for performing specific tasks.

A Module is a Publication that includes specific learning objectives and activities that are designed to be self-instructional and self-paced. A Module is usually part of a series of documents. It may contain charts, graphs, fill-in blanks, and examples to aid the learning process.

A Pamphlet is a Publication of 64 pages or less that is complete in itself, but issued in a series, usually numbered consecutively.

A Plan is a presentation of military details in preparing for operations well in advance.

A Regulation is a document of general application designed to implement, interpret, or prescribe procedural requirements.

A Standard is a Publication of technical directions and regulatory material.

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