NSS, NDS, NOC, NMS, MS – there is a veritable alpha-bit soup of documents out there and trying to make heads or tails of them individually or their relationship to one another.  In trying to make sense of this morass, some few years ago we carved out substantive portions of our day to develop a document map that displayed the (then) “As Is” environment (ca. 2002) and the presumed “To Be” based on various reform directives issued from OSD and the JS (yeah, yeah — Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff).  The purpose was to aid our then newly arrive flag understand this array as well as to serve as a road map for the rest of our directorate.  The result was what we charitably called the “PowerPoint from Hell” that had over a hundred hyperlinks (each document displayed had it’s own slide showing purpose, relationships, status and organizational responsibilities (primarily geared to the Navy Staff and meant to show the real assignments vice the booger-flicking responsibility shucking task avoidance exercised by some of our fellow directorates on the staff.

OK, so what did this modern day Sisyphean accomplishment look like?  Ecce:

Strategic Documents Map

Individual Documents Explained:

Strategy Documents1a

Note: There are a couple of documents missing from the above – it was done in 2002-03 afterall and at that time, one, a maritime strategy, was determined by the then-CNO as not required – Seapower 21 was to be the 21st century substitute for a maritime strategy.  Which we now know – it wasn’t.


  1. I ran the hallways of the Pentagon for 8 years… four on the Air Staff and four on the Joint staff.

    I understand your charts and find them interesting. Hello? Anybody else out there? Hello? (hollow scratch scratch on the screen)

    Mebbe it’s just me…

  2. Steeljawscribe


    Thanks for stopping by…and the others? Oh, they’re out there all right, just shy about letting folks know about it… 😉
    – SJS

  3. Josephine Miller

    Anyother terrist attack on home soil! What are you really doing to protect yourselfs?. Your site is very interesting and well meaning but you are just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

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