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DOD Defense Standardization Program Video Highlights How Standards Benefit Society and the Agency’s Capabilities


The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Defense Standardization Program (DSP) has released a new video on the application of standards and the importance of standardization. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) encourages its community to view and share this highly informative video to help spread the word about the impact of standards on nearly every aspect of modern life.

“The Application of Standards” features Gregory E. Saunders, director (retired) of the DSP Office; Stephen Welby, executive director and COO of IEEE; and Stephanie Possehl, acting deputy director for engineering and director for engineering policy and systems for the DOD, sharing their views on how specifications and standards benefit our society, and help the DOD deliver advanced capabilities to warfighters.

“The examples of the importance of standardization and how it benefits our society are all around us,” Saunders said, citing how standards support compatibility between products and across borders for everything from garden hoses to WiFi.

“As director, and particularly with my work with NATO, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to a bunch of different countries, and it always seemed like magic to me that I could take out my debit card and stick it in an ATM machine, whether I was in Paris or Beijing or Split, Croatia, and magically by putting in a few numbers, money would come out in the local currency,” Saunders commented. “What an incredible achievement of all kinds of standardization to make that possible.”

Welby spoke on the value of standards and specifications in supporting Modular Open System Architectures that allow the government to improve the way it designs and delivers systems.

“I think that all the design practices that we conduct, thinking about systems with an intent to be able to upgrade them over time, to be able to insert new technology, to be able to think about new applications of our systems, to think about the ability to plug and play new capabilities that both can challenge adversaries and can deliver new opportunities to warfighters, [… is] a critical way to be thinking about design in the 2020s,” said Welby. “And I think specification standards, whether formal, informal, whether defined in an open source environment or through military specification documentation, […] are critical to being able to deliver the kind of products that our warfighters expect the department to be developing today.”

“Whether we’re addressing weapon system sustainment or incorporating emerging and disruptive technologies into new capabilities, we standardize to improve operational performance and reduce cost, taking into account form, fit, function, and mission needs,” noted Possehl.

View the video on the Defense Standardization Program’s YouTube page: The Application of Standards.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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