The Need for Standards
Uniformity is often used to describe the U.S. military. The very word uniform is an integral part of our armed forces, each branch assigned appropriate garments (uniforms). If there’s consistency, there’s efficiency, which is why uniformity became the backbone for Military Specifications Packaging (MIL-SPEC).
During World War II, the military quickly learned from its packaging misfortunes, however, it slowly streamlined standards after decades of debate and recommendations. In 1994, the U.S. Department of Defense took the challenge head-on and started a program to reform MIL-SPEC Packaging in order to reach a level of quality conducive to successful missions.
Not all military equipment must be shipped following MIL-SPEC Packaging standards. If the military plans to use the items immediately, standard commercial packaging options can be applied. If the items enter the military distribution system, Military Standard 2073 is applied. MIL-STD-2073 defines how a product is shipped and protected during the delivery and distribution process. Below are some important steps:
• Selecting exterior containers
• Assembling items into containers
• Blocking, bracing or cushioning
United in Uniformity
When the DOD decided to standardize military packaging requirements, it created an avenue for the military and commercial industries to work together to deliver supplies to our troops more efficiently, and at a cheaper cost, according to the U.S. General Accounting Office. Any time a shipment is sent to the military, the contractor must make sure the product is precisely packed and labeled either with MIL-SPEC Packaging or standard commercial packaging requirements. Shipping to the military can be a complex process. To review the list of standards, visit MAC Packaging’s online MIL-SPEC library.