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Home : Library : FAQs
CJCS Authority to Issue Directives
 Q: What authority does the Chairman have to issue Directives?
The authority to issue directives is derived from the Chairman's Title 10 responsibility to communicate President and SecDef policy to the joint force, specifically in accordance with Section 153. Additionally, Title 10, Section 155 specifically states that the Joint Staff will assist the Chairman in providing the unified strategic direction of the combatant forces. In DoDD 5100.1, "Functions of the Department of Defense and its Major Components," the Secretary of Defense charges the Chairman, (specifically in paragraphs 4.1.41 and 4.1.43) to "promulgate publications" and to "provide military guidance". SECDEF has delegated authority to the Chairman in a number of other directives and memorandums, including taskings, to publish guidance. Any CJCS directive that applies to the Services, combatant commands, or defense agencies outside the Joint Staff must include a reference to the applicable authority. Appropriate references for CJCS authority include statutory citations to the US Code or citations to the delegation of authority by the SecDef or DepSecDef.
 Q: Why does the Chairman issue instructions?
The Chairman uses Instructions, Notices, Manuals and Guides -- collectively called "directives" -- to clarify National and DOD policy and provide guidance to the Services, combatant commands, and defense agencies in accomplishing certain missions. Chairman's instructions, manuals, and notices convey CJCS policy that does not contain joint doctrine or concern employment of the forces in joint operations.
Finding CJCS & JS Directives
 Q: Where are CJCS/JS Directives located on NIPRNET and SIPRNET?

Currently, CJCS/JS Directives are located in two places on SIPRNET.  Joint Staff Personnel can access them from the JS SharePoint Portal.

All other users outside of the Joint Staff, including combatant commands and other DoD agencies, must use Intelink to obtain access to the CJCS/JS Directives library.  The link is: <>  Both sites are updated simultaneously.

On the NIPRNET, Unclassified CJCS/JS Directives that have an unrestricted releasability (available to the public) can be found at: <>.   CJCS/JS Directives are also available in the Electronic Directives Library on the Joint Staff SharePoint portal (CAC-access Required).  In addition to "unrestricted" directives, this portal also houses a .mil/.gov controlled-access library for directives with "limited" releasability.

 Q: Where can I find DoD Issuances?
DoD Issuances, which include directives, instructions, pubs/manuals, and directive-type memorandums, can be accessed at this link.
 Q: What types of releasability are available for CJCS/JS Directives?

Per JSM 5701.01E, CJCS/JS Directives can have one of the following releasabilities:

Unrestricted (Unlimited) – Directives with this releasability reside on both the NIPR and SIPR sites based on classification. NIPR access includes the WWW, and SIPR directives are available to the entire SIPR community.

.Mil/.Gov Access – A subset of Unrestricted releasability, Directives that have this are placed in a controlled-access (.mil/.gov only) library in the NIPR SharePoint site. They are not releasable to the public, and are usually classified FOUO. Access on SIPR, however, is open to the entire SIPR community.

Restricted – Directives with this releasability are not accessible via the NIPR directives site. On SIPR, electronic release is restricted to the controlled access portion of the CJCS/JS Directives library, which is accessible to Joint Staff personnel only. Outside users who require access must contact either IMD or the OPR.
Included under restricted releasability are all Joint Staff (JS) Instructions, Manuals, Notices, and Guides unless an exception is made by the OPR. These directives are generally applicable only to the Joint Staff.

Not Releasable – Directives with this releasability are not approved for electronic release. Access can only be granted by the Office of Primary Responsibility. An index of these directives is available in list form only (no documents) on the SIPR CJCS/JS Directives SharePoint site.

PLEASE NOTE: All CJCS/JS Directives with a /CLASSIFICATION//REL TO/ marking, e.g. SECRET//REL TO USA, ACGU, have been placed under restricted releasability in order to facilitate proper security measures IAW JSSO guidance.

Instruction, Manual, Notice, or Guide?
 Q: What is the difference between instruction/manuals/notices/guides?
Per the CJCS/JS 5701.01 series:

Instructions - Primarily contain CJCS/JS policy, but can also include procedures. They may implement or supplement DoD Issuances, and/or establish and prescribe JS Forms. Signature level depends on subject matter and current practice.

Manuals – Primarily contain CJCS/JS procedure, but can also establish policy. May supplement CJCS/JS instructions or stand alone. Signature level depends on subject matter and current practice.

Notices – Primarily contain policy, guidance, or information of a one-time or brief nature, and may include a specific effective period. Signature level depends on subject matter and current practice. In addition, there are also -
• Cancellation Notices, which are used to cancel CJCS/JS Instructions, Manuals, Notices, and Guides, and expire 1 year after being published and;
• Change Notices, which are used to employ small changes to CJCS/JS Directives.

Guides – Primarily contain detailed information, emphasis, and guidance from the Chairman on a specific topic, and carry a CJCS-level signature as well.

CJCS/JS Directives do not contain joint doctrine or concern employment of forces in joint operations. Please see the JSM 5701.01 series for more information.
CJCS & JS Directives and Joint Doctrine Differences
 Q: What are the differences between Joint Doctrine and CJCS/JS Instructions, Manuals, Notices, and Guides?

The following description is from the CJCSI 5120.02 series on the Joint Doctrine Development System and discusses the differences between doctrine and policy (Policy = CJCS/JS instructions, manuals, notices, and guides):

“Doctrine and Policy. Policy and doctrine are closely related, but they fundamentally fill separate requirements. Policy can direct, assign tasks, prescribe desired capabilities, and provide guidance for ensuring the Armed Forces of the United States are prepared to perform their assigned roles; implicitly, policy can therefore create new roles and a requirement for new capabilities. Conversely, doctrine enhances the operational effectiveness of the Armed Forces by providing authoritative guidance and standardized terminology on topics relevant to the employment of military forces.

Most often, policy drives doctrine; however, on occasion, an extant capability will require the creation of policy. Policy makers and doctrine developers should work interactively and in full understanding of the other arena, striving to issue harmonized policy and doctrine. It is not always clear when a void is identified whether filling it will require new (or revised) doctrine or policy (or perhaps both). As a general rule, if the need can only be adequately addressed by using such prescriptive words as “shall” and “must,” then the void is in policy, and policy development should precede doctrine development.”

Items to remember:

CJCS/JS Directives – Policy and Guidance contained within do not involve the employment of forces.

Joint Doctrine – Does not establish policy.

CJCS/JS Directives – The Directives Program is maintained by the Joint Secretariat, Information Management Division, Records and Research Branch (SJS/IMD/RRB).

Joint Doctrine – Program maintained by the Joint Education and Doctrine Division (JEDD – J-7)

CJCS/JS Directives – Access on NIPR here.

Joint Doctrine – Joint Publications (doctrine) can be accessed via the Joint Doctrine Electronic Information System (JDEIS) on NIPR SharePoint at this link.

Updates to CJCS & JS Directives
 Q: How do I find out which CJCS/JS Directives updates have been posted in the last month?
IMD has made available a Directives Transit List that will be posted on the NIPR and SIPR websites on or around the 1st of each month. They will list the CJCS/JS directives that are new, revised, re-issued with currency, or cancelled.
 Q: When are CJCS/JS Directives published to the NIPR and SIPR Websites?
CJCS/JS Directives are published to the NIPR and SIPR websites on or before the 15th of every month. For example, a directive that was signed in January 2016, will be published to the directives websites on or before 15 February 2016. OPRs that require a directive to be published more quickly may contact IMD for assistance.
Directives Process Questions
 Q: Are changes to CJCS/JS Directives allowed to be issued via message?
When there is an urgent need to issue a change to a CJCS/JS Directive, an interim change may be issued by message. However, a firm update to the directive itself must follow within 90 days. Contact the IMD directive team should this option become necessary.
 Q: Are pen & ink changes to CJCS/JS Directives permitted?
No, pen & ink changes to CJCS/JS Directives are not permitted.
 Q: How do I get a new directive number?
Directive numbers are assigned by the IMD Directives Team. Just contact IMD to have one assigned. See the category index in JSM 5701.01 series for a numerical breakdown. Revisions to existing directives receive an alphabetical letter following the document number, which is based on the revision.
 Q: What is the best way to reference a CJCS/JS Directive?
When listing CJCS/JS Directives as references, do not list the full number and date of the directive, since they change frequently. Example: “CJCSI 1310.01D, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF IDENTIFICATION BADGE, 14 Dec 2007” should be listed instead as, “CJCSI 1310.01 Series, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF IDENTIFICATION BADGE.”
 Q: What is the process for making a change to a CJCS/JS Directive and How do I create a Change Notice?
The standard process for making a change to a CJCS/JS Directive is to issue a Change Notice. Per JSM 5701.01 series: The Ten-Percent Rule states that if 10% or less of the document requires changes, then a Change Notice must be used. Anything higher than that and a new revision must be issued.

Appendix C to Enclosure C in the JSM 5701.01 series provides step by step instructions on how to create the change notice. Templates are found using the JS Forms button in MS Word.
 Q: When do I need to use a JS Form 48?
Per JSM 5701.01 series, a JS Form 48 is needed when special circumstances require hard-copy distribution to specific JS directorates and offices or other DoD or interagency components that are not covered in the standard A, B, or C distribution lists. For more information, including instructions on how to fill out the JS Form 48, please check the JSM 5701.01 series, enclosure F.
Contact Information
 Q: How do I contact the IMD Directives Team?

The JEL is managed by the Records and Research Branch of the Information Management Division, Joint Secretariat 703-697-6906 or DSN 227-6906. Directives questions can also be emailed to

 Q: JFCOM Issuances – Are they still in effect?
All Former Joint Forces Command Issuances have been rescinded IAW CJCS Notice 5770.01, 10 May 2016.

Joint Forces Command was disestablished in August 2011 with the majority of the organization having been absorbed by the Joint Staff. All JFCOM issuances have either been superseded, canceled, or merged with CJCS Directives.

Please contact the JS Directives team at 703-697-6906 with any questions.