We are privately owned and not affiliated or endorsed by any government agency.

Take the Benefits Quiz

Common-user item

Definition A common-user item in military operations refers to an item of supply or equipment that is common to, and shared among, different services, agencies, or nations. It is typically managed or controlled through a unified or central authority. This can include items like communication devices, vehicles, weapons, and other standard military equipment. Key Takeaways […]


A common-user item in military operations refers to an item of supply or equipment that is common to, and shared among, different services, agencies, or nations. It is typically managed or controlled through a unified or central authority. This can include items like communication devices, vehicles, weapons, and other standard military equipment.

Key Takeaways

  1. Common-user item in military operations is an item of supply that is commonly used across multiple service branches such as the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marine Corps.
  2. The term also denotes that these items are not unique to a specific service branch and they are managed on a collective basis. This makes these items more efficient and cost-effective.
  3. The use of Common-user items promotes consistency, interoperability, and standardization amongst the different service branches in military operations.


The military operations term, “common-user item” is important because it optimizes resource utilization and ensures efficiency across different units. Common-user items are any materials, equipment, or supplies that can be readily used by multiple military services and agencies.

It includes items like fuel, food supplies, medical resources, construction materials, etc. The concept encourages sharing and exchanging resources whenever possible, helping to avoid unnecessary redundancy, improve operational flexibility, and potentially save on costs.

Moreover, this inclusivity enhances the coordination and interoperability among different military branches, leading to a more effective and productive military operation. Therefore, the term ‘common-user item’ is a crucial part of military logistics and operational planning.


Common-user items are logistical materials or services that are used universally throughout different parts of the military, making them eligible for shared support in joint operations. The purpose of categorizing certain resources as common-user items is to optimize the efficiency of military logistics by enabling the shared usage and pooled procurement of resources.

This system reduces duplication of effort and streamlines inventory and supply chain management, ultimately leading to a more cost-effective and functional operation process. For instance, a certain type of ammunition could be designated as a common-user item if it’s used by both the Army and the Navy, meaning that a joint purchasing and distribution strategy could be used rather than each branch independently managing their supplies.

This universal use transcends service boundaries, further implying that they’re not exclusive to a particular operation or function but cuts across various operations. Therefore, the use of common-user items can foster coordination, synergy, and jointness in what would otherwise be separately managed military domains.

Examples of Common-user item

A common-user item in military operations is a term used to describe a supply or item that is usable or serviceable by different branches of the military.

Ammunition: Different types of ammunition can be considered a common-user item. For instance,

56mm rounds are used in many different rifles utilized by various service branches. Therefore, these rounds would fall under the common-user item category.

Military Uniforms: Whilst there are branch-specific uniforms, some attire is common to all branches. The physical training (PT) uniform, for instance, is pretty similar across all branches of the military. Therefore, it could be considered a common-user item.

Communications Equipment: In many cases, communication or radio devices are designed to be interoperable among different military branches. This allows for effective communication during joint operations. Because they’re usable by all, pieces of communication equipment are common-user items.

Frequently Asked Questions for Common-user Item

What Is a Common-user Item in Military Terms?

A Common-user Item in military context often refers to equipment, resources, or services that are utilized by more than one unit or other user. Examples can range from general-purpose vehicles, communication devices, to joint operation services or infrastructures.

Who Manages the Distribution of Common-user Items?

The distribution of common-user items is usually managed by logistic units within the military. Their role is to ensure that these items are properly distributed, used effectively, and maintained appropriately.

What Are Some Examples of Common-user Items?

Common-user items may include general purpose vehicles, military uniforms, communication devices, or any shared infrastructures such as barracks, training facilities, etc. It’s essentially anything that is not specially designed or intended for use by a particular unit or operation.

Are Common-user Items Shared Among Different Military Branches?

Often, yes. A common-user item is such that it is used by more than one branch of the military. Such items might be joint operation infrastructures that are utilized by land, air, and naval forces alike.

How Are Common-user Items Accounted For?

The military has specific protocols and systems in place to keep track of common-user items. This may involve military logistics, inventory tracking systems, as well as check-in and check-out procedures for certain items.

Related Military Operation Terms

  • Depot Level Reparables (DLR): These are items that can be repaired at depot maintenance centers and are often included in common-user items.
  • Veterans Health Administration (VHA): Responsible for implementing and managing VA benefits, including those related to common-user items.
  • Federal Supply Schedule: A system for the procurement of goods, such as common-user items, by the federal government.
  • Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy (CMOP): A program that provides mail-order pharmaceutical services, sometimes involving common-user items.
  • Property Accountability: The process of tracking and managing common-user items that are the property of the VA.

Sources for More Information

Sure, here are four reliable sources that provide information on the military operations term ‘Common-user item’:

  • Joint Chiefs of Staff: Official site of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which includes a variety of resources concerning military operations and terminologies.
  • U.S. Department of Defense: The official website of the U.S. Department of Defense, offering news and information on various military terms and operations.
  • GlobalSecurity.org: An independent source of background information on many military matters, including terms and definitions.
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO): Official site of NATO providing resources on military operations, terminologies, and common standardizations among member countries.

Benefits.com Advisors

With expertise spanning local, state, and federal benefit programs, our team is dedicated to guiding individuals towards the perfect program tailored to their unique circumstances.

Rise to the top with Peak Benefits!

Join our Peak Benefits Newsletter for the latest news, resources, and offers on all things government benefits.

Related Articles