IN RECOGNITION of the extreme importance of standardization within the Federal Government, Congress passed the Federal Cataloging and Standardization Act in 1952. Immediately thereafter, the Department of Defense (DoD) established the Defense Standardization Program, with the purpose of meeting the intent of Congress within the Department of Defense. This article briefly describes the aims, policy issues, problems, and philosophy of the Defense Standardization Program, and then elaborates on the workings of the Program with respect to communications standards. The article then goes on to describe the development and methods of coordination for long-haul, tactical, and common communications standards. Following this, brief descriptions of the DoD Operation and Maintenance Standards are provided. The article then continues with a treatment of the DoD Data Protocol Standards Program. In order for data networks to be efficient and reliable, a viable set of protocol standards must be developed for their use. This portion of the article describes the DoD needs in protocol standards, how it has organized to meet these needs, and concludes with a description of future DoD efforts in this area. The article then concludes with a summary of other standardization activities which impact the DoD's standardization programs and activities.