Useful items need adequate protection from padding and sturdy containers. The DoD lays out their compiled packaging categories in their official documents, but the following summary can guide you through many factors in MIL-SPEC packaging. From the level of toughness to protective coating, the divisions and subdivisions of military packaging cover many aspects.


Interior packaging includes bags, sleeves and tubing. These range in sizes, but all the corresponding materials should have uniform shape, sizes and quantities. The DoD makes the following bag specifications:

  • Bags, Heat-Sealable (MIL-DTL-117)
  • Bags, Watervaporproof, Heat-Sealable, Complex (MIL-DTL-6060)
  • Bags, Transparent, Flexible, Sealable, Volatile Corrosion Inhibitor Treated (MIL-DTL-22020)

Exterior packaging involves containers like boxes, drums and cans for additional shielding. Boxes are constructed from a range of materials, including wood, paperboard and metal. Dunnage, wraps and cushioning also can support transported material.


Depending on the contents of the packaging, the type of bags can be heavy-duty, medium-duty, light-duty or extra-heavy-duty. Bags and wrapping can be rigid or flexible, too.


Each bag has a specific class assigned to it, representing the protective properties they hold. They can have one or many of the following qualities:

  • Waterproof
  • Watervaporproof
  • Greaseproof
  • Electrostatic protective
  • Electrostatic and electromagnetic shielding

For instance, aircraft parts should have greaseproof bags because they should be guarded against residue.

The classes go from B to H, excluding G, and certain bag types must fall within the designated classes. Each class preserves its contents in a particular way. Some barrier classes include:

  • Barrier Materials, Greaseproof, Waterproof, Flexible, Heat-Sealable (MIL-PRF-121)
  • Barrier Materials, Watervaporproof, Greaseproof, Flexible, Heat-Sealable (MIL-PRF-131)
  • Barrier Materials, Transparent, Flexible, Sealable, Volatile Corrosion Inhibitor Treated (MIL-PRF-22019)
  • Barrier Materials, Transparent, Flexible, Heat-Sealable (MIL-PRF-22191)
  • Barrier Materials, Flexible, Electrostatic Protective, Heat-Sealable (MIL-PRF-81705)

Desiccants and other preservative elements in packaging also have detailed specifications:

  • Packaging Materials, Volatile Corrosion Inhibitor, Treated, Opaque (MIL-PRF-3420)
  • Desiccants, Activated, Bagged, Packaging Use and Static Dehumidification (MIL-D-3464)
  • Inhibitors, Corrosion, Volatile, Utilization of (MIL-I-8574)
  • Corrosion Preventive Compound, Solvent Cutback, Cold-Application (MIL-PRF-16173)


The styles of the packaging bags have three kinds — opaque, transparent or a blend with one side opaque and the other transparent. The various visibility levels help the military limit how many eyes see sensitive material.