Rack MC – Capabilities Development

Aisle M — Modernization

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The Military Services, Defense Agencies, and the Joint community assess, validate and prioritize new requirements using JCIDS, a capabilities-based process created in 2002 at the direction of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. JCIDS is founded upon three guiding principles: (1) Describing needs in terms of capabilities, instead of systems or force elements, (2) Deriving needs from a joint perspective, from a new set of joint concepts, and (3) Having a single general or flag officer oversee each DoD functional portfolio.

The rapidly emerging threats of the competitive environment, the rate of technological advancement, and the commercialization of most technological innovations and advancements create many challenges for the requirements and acquisitions processes. To meet these challenges, the Joint Force often requires capability solutions more rapidly than JCIDS can support. Expedited acquisition processes help to satisfy these requirements, but they also can exacerbate the strategic tension between the short-term, immediate needs of the Combatant Commanders and the long-term capability needs of the future force. Several new DoD initiatives are underway to reform the traditional acquisition models in order to maintain pace with the contemporary environment, find better balance between short and long-term requirements, and more effectively leverage innovative advancements.

This rack provides resources associated with the capabilities development process, including the JCIDS (Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System) and respective service systems. Although capabilities and requirements development (rack MR) have become more integrated procedurally, the underlying theoretical frameworks are different and therefore kept on different racks.

Shelf MC.00 — General

This shelf contains general resources on on theories of acquisition and acquisition systems, their development and implementation, and associated transformation efforts. The rack will include shelves for each of the service acquisition strategies.​​​​​​​

Faculty Publications:
  • Arrieta, David. “Working Paper: An Introduction to Defense Capabilities,” synthesis of Chapters 4-7 of the 2010 edition of the Defense Acquisition Guidebook (Carlisle, PA: Department of Command, Leadership, and Management, 2013). Available on request.
  • Army Force Management School, “Capabilities Development and System Acquisition Management: Executive Primer”: Version 17.0 (2012) | Version 18.0 (2013)
  • AcqNotes, “DoD JCIDS Process Overview,” Department of Defense, Washington, DC, November 4, 2012, video, 5:58, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfSCqy-riTQ
Laws, Policies, Memos, and Regulations (sorted by regulation number):
Strategies and Reports:
Commentaries (inclusion does not represent endorsement):

Title image credit:  MSG Michel Sauret, Army Reserve Careers Group, public domain.