The following are definitions of terms used in Mil-Std-129R and this guide. Those marked [III] are excerpted from Revision R, Table III, to provide more specific information about labeling requirements.  Refer to contracting terms for for other contracting terms and definitions.

The intent of this information is not necessarily to provide the full military standard language or context. Always refer to the appropriate military standards for contractual purposes.  The use of [Ed]  indicate comments by Mil-Pac.  

Bar Code, Linear [III] – An array of rectangular bars and spaces in a predetermined pattern representing coded elements of data that can be automatically read and interpreted by automatic bar code reading devices.   [Ed: Mil-Std-129 requires the use of the Code39 symbology for linear bar codes.]

Bar Code, machine-readable – is not specifically defined by the standard, but its usage suggests it to be a generalization indicating the use of either linear or two-dimensional bar codes. [Ed]

Barcode Requirements for Unit and Intermediate Containers [¶] – When an item is assigned a serial number, that number shall be encoded and applied using machine-readable bar codes (2D (PDF417) and/or linear (Code 39)). The in-the-clear serial number shall be preceded by the abbreviation “SER NO”. The letters “SER NO” are not encoded in the bar code. A 2D (PDF417) bar code, if used in lieu of the linear (Code 39) bar codes for package marking and serial number lists, shall include the serial number(s) and other identification information (see and be preceded by a data area title for the encoded information, for example “ID DATA”. When more than five serial-numbered items are in an intermediate container, the requirements for encoded serial numbers on an exterior shipping container apply, as specified in

Mil-Std-130 UII

Data Matrix Symbol – is a two-dimensional (2D) bar code used to mark the UII directly on the parts and is to remain on the part for the entire life of the part. These barcodes contain exactly one UII each. [Ed]

Data Matrix Symbol – is a two-dimensional (2D) bar code used to mark the UII directly on the parts and is to remain on the part for the entire life of the part.  These barcodes contain exactly one UII each. [Ed]

Exterior Container [III] – A container, bundle, or assembly that is sufficient by reason of material, design, and construction to protect unit packs and intermediate containers and their contents during shipment and storage. It can be a unit pack or a container with a combination of unit packs or intermediate containers. An exterior container may or may not be used as a shipping container.

Customer Direct [III] – (formerly Direct Vendor Delivery (DVD)) is a streamlined distribution method that requires vendor delivery directly to a customer or Defense Transportation System (DTS) transshipment point. Many customer direct efforts include a customer-transparent interface with military standard requisitioning and issue procedures (MILSTRIP).

Direct Vendor Delivery (DVD) [III] – See Customer Direct.

Intermediate Container [III] – A wrap, box, or bundle containing two or more unit packs of identical items. Normally one or more intermediate packages will be bundled to make a shipping container.

Palletized Unit Load [III] – A quantity of items, packed or unpacked, arranged on a pallet in a specified manner and secured, strapped, or fastened on the pallet so that the whole palletized load is handled as a single unit. A palletized or skidded load is not considered to be a shipping container. A loaded 463L System pallet is not considered to be a palletized unit load for marking of identification information in accordance with this standard.

Mil-Std-129R PDF417

PDF417 (2D) Symbol – is a two-dimensional (2D) bar code used on the Military Shipment Label(MSL), and now on container labels under Mil-Std-129R. For the later, the symbol contains much of the container label data (NSN, contract, etc.) and up to five UIIs and/or serial numbers. The PDF417 is a different symbology than used to mark parts with UII.

PDF417 (2D) Symbol Preference – The 2D PDF417 symbol may be used in place of linear bar codes, not just for UID containers. A preference for its use is stated several times in the Mil-Std-129R, notably in it’s Figure 1 illustration of container labeling.

The 2D (PDF417) bar code is recommended for use in all packaging identification marking. [Forward ¶4e]

For identification marking of other than UII information, a 2D (PDF417) bar code(s) and/or linear (Code 39) bar codes shall be used on unpacked items, unit packs, intermediate and exterior containers, and palletized unit loads. Use of the 2D (PDF417) bar code is preferred.[¶5.4a][Ed: Use of PDF417 symbols are required for IUID containers.] [Mil-Std-129R]

Unique Identification (UID) – an international standard for generating globally unique identifiers.

a. Item Unique Identification (IUID) – A system of establishing unique item identifiers within the DoD by assigning a machine-readable character string or number to a discrete item, which serves to distinguish it from other like and unlike items. [III]

b. Unique Item Identifier (UII) – A globally unique and unambiguous identifier that distinguishes an item from all other like and unlike items. The UII is derived from a UII data set of one or more data elements. [III]

Unit Pack [III] – A unit pack is the first tie, wrap, or container applied to a single item, or a quantity thereof, or to a group of items of a single stock number, preserved or unpreserved, which constitutes a complete or identifiable package.

Unpacked Item [III] – An identifiable item that is unencumbered by a tie, wrap, container.