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This paper defines value engineering, shows why it is necessary, and emphasizes the engineer's responsibility for using engineering disciplines in the design of a product. Recognizing that value engineering is a duty of the professional engineer, the paper stresses application of value engineering to attain Armed Services goals, and reduce costs while speeding up delivery of the weapon system. Many engineers, designing complex military equipment, become so engrossed with the input and output performance of a "black box" that they overlook the need for understanding the operational end-use of the equipment. This human tendency results at times in the engineer over-designing the equipment and, in some cases, creating inadequate designs. The required engineering disciplines to increase product-design effectiveness are described. Trade-off decisions which influence the total cost of a weapon system are Suggested, and a general method given for quantitatively documenting the cost.