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Common item

Definition In military operations, a “Common Item” refers to a piece of equipment or a supply that can be used across multiple military services or units. These items are typically not unique to a specific branch or function of the military. Examples may include basic supplies, generic vehicles, or standard weaponry. Key Takeaways ‘Common item’ […]


In military operations, a “Common Item” refers to a piece of equipment or a supply that can be used across multiple military services or units. These items are typically not unique to a specific branch or function of the military. Examples may include basic supplies, generic vehicles, or standard weaponry.

Key Takeaways

  1. ‘Common item’ in military operations refers to the type of supplies or equipment that are used throughout different branches of military forces. For example, items like boots, tents, or standard medical kits would be considered ‘common items’.
  2. ‘Common items’ are standardized items that promote uniformity and interoperability within different military units. They enhance coordination and efficiency since familiar tools, materials, and equipment are used across multiple operation levels and military branches.
  3. Procurement and management of ‘common items’ plays a key role in military logistics, supporting cost-effectiveness and resource optimization. It reduces the redundancy of stock and simplifies supply chain management.


In military operations, the term “common item” is crucial as it refers to the generic or standard equipment, materials, supplies, or services which are not specific to one particular mission but are universally employed across all military operations.

These could include things like ammunition, communication devices, transportation vehicles, food supplies, and medical services among others.

Understanding and managing these common items are important as they form the core operational elements for military forces, providing the necessary sustenance and support to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in their mission operations.

Efficient use and management of these common items can significantly impact the success of a mission and overall military operational readiness.


In military operations, the term “Common Item” is typically designated for equipment, gear, or supplies that have multiple use cases across different branches or units. The purpose of having common items is to streamline the logistics, acquisition, maintenance, and replenishment processes within the military operation framework.

By having standardized or common resources, the military can incorporate measures to improve efficiencies, provide consistent quality and functionality, and reduce the potential for confusion or errors in communication regarding specific equipment or supplies among different units. The use of “Common Items” serves as a significant component in resource management and operational planning.

Given the diversity in functions and specialized responsibilities of different units within the military, common items facilitate the easy exchange, trade, or redistribution of resources. This can be particularly apparent in the context of joint or coordinated operations, where different military branches or units may be collaborating or sharing resources.

In such instances, common items can reduce the complexities or difficulties associated with supply chain management and logistics. This leads to cost savings, increased readiness, and operational efficiency.

Examples of Common item

The military term ‘common item’ refers to equipment, materials, or supplies that are standard-issue or shared across different military branches or units for routine operational use. Here are three real-world examples:

Clothing and Individual Equipment: Standard-issue military uniforms, combat boots, protective gear, and field equipment like backpacks and canteens are considered common items as they are used by various military branches and units.

Communications Equipment: Radios, headsets, and other communication devices are shared across different military branches for coordinating and conducting operations.

Ammunitions: Arms and ammunitions, such as standard-issue rifles and bullets, are common items used by Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guards. These items are typically produced on a large scale and distributed across the different branches as needed.

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Frequently Asked Questions for Common Item

What does Common Item mean in the military operation context?

Common Item in the context of military operations refers to an equipment or resource that is widely used across different units or branches of the military. These items could include things like apparel, vehicles, or certain weapons.

What are some examples of Common Items?

Examples of Common Items could include utility uniforms, tactical boots, combat helmets, M-16 rifles, or Humvees. However, the specific items classified as “Common” can vary depending on the military organization or country.

How are Common Items distributed in the military?

Common Items are usually distributed through a centralized logistical system. This system is tasked with procuring, storing, and delivering these items to military personnel as needed.

Are Common Items standard issue?

Yes, Common Items are typically standard issue meaning they are provided to all soldiers irrespective of their specific assignments or roles. However, there may be certain items that are specialized and only issued to personnel with the appropriate training or assignment.


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Sources for More Information

  • Military Factory: This website provides an overview of various military terms, including “Common item”. It uses context to help explain the application.
  • Military Quotes: In addition to quotes, this source provides a glossary of military terms where you can find more about the term “Common Item”.
  • U.S. Department of Defense: This is the official website for the U.S. Department of Defense. It provides comprehensive definitions and context for military terms.
  • Federation of American Scientists (FAS): This site provides a broad view on American global security and covers many military terminologies including ‘Common item’.

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