The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) is the primary office of responsibility for the management of the Department of Defense (DOD) Terminology Program which includes the DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, also known as the DOD Dictionary. Its purpose is to improve communications and mutual understanding within DOD, with other federal agencies, and between the US and its international partners through standardization of military and associated terminology. When drafting policy, strategy, or plans, authors must always be cognizant to couple terms and definitions of their expertise with joint doctrine. The program includes US participation in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Terminology Programme as well as other terminology forums.
Strategic Policy Documents

Department of Defense Instruction 5025.12 - establishes overarching policy for DOD usage of the DOD Dictionary.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction 5705.01 - establishes policy and procedures for implementing the DOD Terminology program which includes the DOD Dictionary and the Terminology Repository for DOD (OSD/JS) Issuances, also known as the Repository.


DOD Dictionary and Terminology Repository

DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms - reflects general and universal terms in joint publication glossaries. Methods to change to the DOD Dictionary are listed in the instructions above. Those who develop policies, strategies, plans, rules, doctrine, and assessments etc. should first access this official resource to determine if terms exist prior to pre-coordination of terms and glossary refinement. Upon accessing the DOD Dictionary authors are advised to next access the Repository to view terms that exist throughout DOD in official senior leadership documents.To search or browse for DOD Dictionary terms or other glossary content, use the DOD Dictionary Search and DOD Dictionary Browse functions at the bottom of this webpage.

Terminology Repository for DOD (OSD/JS) Issuances - was established to provide awareness on specific and technical terms and definitions that reside outside the DOD Dictionary (universal and general terms). The Repository supports the foundation that the DOD Dictionary is the primary military terminology source. Made up of two databases, the Repository reflects terms in unclassified and correctly marked issuances and glossaries. The primary database is unclassified with a second smaller database of terms from documents marked for official use only. It is recommended that when accessing joint publications or organizational policy documents to review both the DOD Dictionary and Repository to develop a full understanding of term definitions, descriptions, or usage, and to proceed accordingly. It is recommended that all glossary developers use the CJCSI criteria in maintaining terms and definitions. Databases are sorted by term in alphabetical order and date of publication, then followed by the definition, the issuance and number (e.g., DODD 3000.05), reference if applicable, and date. Databases will be automatically updated per existing policy, but not meant to capture or track abbreviations, acronyms, or initialisms.

(U) Primary Database (Available to CAC users only through JEL+.)

(U/FOUO) Secondary Database (Available to CAC users only through JEL+.)


NATO Terminology Program

NATOTerm - contains non-classified military terminology, as well as non-military terminology relevant to NATO.


USG Terminology Guide

Interorganizational stakeholders are involved in an on-going effort to identify terms and definitions that impact multiple organizations. End state is a product for organizational planners, authors, subject matter expert developers, strategists, policy-makers, attorneys, and doctrinaires to use in the development of organizational products. Final results to be posted here with notification released on the JEL homepage.



DOD Dictionary Browse