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Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS)

ARQM 018


Supports the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) and the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) in identifying, assessing, and prioritizing joint military capability requirements.

General Information


  • JCIDS provides the baseline for documentation, review, and validation of capability requirements across the Department. Validated capability requirements documents facilitate DOTmLPF-P changes, guide the Defense Acquisition System (DAS), and inform the Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) process. Additionally, JCIDS is the primary means for the JROC to fulfill its statutory responsibilities to the CJCS. These responsibilities include assessing joint military capabilities, and identifying, approving and prioritizing gaps in these capabilities to meet applicable requirements in the National Defense Strategy (NDS). It provides detailed guidance and procedures for JCIDS to facilitate robust capability requirements portfolio management and timely and cost-effective development of capability solutions for the warfighter. (Source JCIDS Manual)

JCIDS is one of three decision support systems that together form the “Big A” acquisition process (note, “little a” acquisition is just the Defense Acquisition System). JCIDS represents the identification of needed capabilities upon which acquisition programs are built. 

The JCIDS was established in June 2003, replacing the Requirements Generation System that had been in place since 1991. During the 2003 time frame, the terminology associated with interoperability (e.g. interoperability Key Performance Parameter (KPP)) and integrated architectures (a concept that is now beginning to be realized) began to appear. Successive changes have tried to simplify and further explain the system; CJCSI 5123.01H Charter of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) and Implementation of the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System, was re-issued with an accompanying Manual for the Operation of the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System.

When considering a new approach or a new and transformational capability, the sponsoring Service or Agency will enter the JCIDS process with a capabilities based analysis (CBA), DOTmLPF-P analysis, other studies or analysis (Operational Planning, Exercise/Warfighting Joint Lessons Learned, joint capability technology demonstrations (JCTDs), and other experiments) or transition of rapidly fielded capability solutions. A CBA may be initiated by any number of organizations, to include combatant commands, Functional Capabilities Boards (FCBs), Services, and Defense agencies. (Source JCIDS Manual)

The results of the CBA can be the basis for an Initial Capabilities Document (ICD). The purpose of an ICD is to document joint military capability requirements and associated capability gaps in cases where the Sponsor deems the operational risk of unmitigated capability gaps to be unacceptable. The ICD provides traceability to the operational context, threats, and other relevant factors that determine the joint military capability requirements. The ICD should identify key factors that the Sponsor knows of, that may be, or may become, significant cost drivers for potential materiel solutions that may flow from the ICD. This information can help DoD focus science and technology (S&T) and risk reduction efforts. This information will inform lifecycle cost, performance, schedule, and quantity tradeoff discussion in follow-on efforts, such as in the analysis of alternatives (AoA), and subsequent requirements and acquisition decision making. (Source JCIDS Manual)