DOTMLPF (pronounced "Dot-MiL-P-F") is an acronym for doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, and facilities. It is used by the United States Department of Defense[1] and was defined in the Joint Capabilities Integration Development System, or JCIDS Process as the framework to design what administrative changes and/or acquisition efforts would fill a capability need[2] [3]: 47:00  required to accomplish a mission.[4] Because combatant commanders define requirements in consultation with the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), they are able to consider gaps in the context of strategic direction for the total US military force and influence the direction of requirements earlier in the acquisition process, in particular, materiel.

It also serves as a mnemonic for staff planners to consider certain issues prior to undertaking a new effort.

Here is an example of how DOTMLPF would be interpreted in the military context:

  • Doctrine: the way they fight, e.g., emphasizing maneuver warfare combined air-ground campaigns.
  • Organization: how they organize to fight; divisions, air wings, Marine-Air Ground Task Forces (MAGTFs), etc.
  • Training: how they prepare to fight tactically; basic training to advanced individual training, various types of unit training, joint exercises, etc.
  • Materiel: all the “stuff” necessary to equip our forces that DOES NOT require a new development effort (weapons, spares, test sets, etc that are “off the shelf” both commercially and within the government)[5]
  • Leadership and education: how they prepare their leaders to lead the fight from squad leader to 4-star general/admiral; professional development.
  • Personnel: availability of qualified people for peacetime, wartime, and various contingency operations
  • Facilities: real property; installations and industrial facilities (e.g. government owned ammunition production facilities) that support the forces.

The idea is to fix the capability gap, and CJCSI 3170.01G – Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System, 1 March 2009, is the one governing instruction that encompasses both materiel (requiring new defense acquisition programs) and non-materiel (not requiring new defense acquisition program) solutions. [6]

The Defense Acquisition University Glossary gives the following definitions.

  • Material: Elements, constituents, or substances of which something is composed or can be made. It includes, but is not limited to, raw and processed material, parts, components, assemblies, fuels, and other items that may be worked into a more finished form in performance of a contract.[7]
  • Materiel: Equipment, apparatus, and supplies used by an organization or institution.[7]
  • Material specification: Applicable to raw material (chemical compound), mixtures (cleaning agents, paints), or semi-fabricated material (electrical cable, copper tubing) used in the fabrication of a product. Normally, a material specification applies to production, but may be prepared to control the development of a material.[7]
  • Materiel solution: A new item (including ships, tanks, self-propelled weapons, aircraft, etc., and related spares, repair parts, and support equipment, but excluding real property, installations, and utilities), developed or purchased to satisfy one or more capability requirements (or needs) and reduce or eliminate one or more capability gaps.[7]



During the US Army's process of developing and fielding laser Directed Energy-Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (DE-MSHORAD) on Strykers, the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) has established an "Octagon"— a stakeholder forum for doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, facilities, and policy.[8]

Similar acronyms


NATO uses a similar acronym, DOTMLPF-I, the "I" standing for "Interoperability": the ability to be interoperable with forces throughout the NATO alliance.[9] NATOs AJP-01 Allied Joint Doctrine (2022) describes interoperability as the "ability of NATO, other political departments, agencies and, when appropriate, forces of partner nations to act together coherently, effectively and efficiently to achieve Allied tactical, operational and strategic objectives".[10] Interoperability can be achieved withen the three dimensions of interoperability; the technical, the procedural and the human dimension.

NATOs Cability Development (CAPDEV) is part of the NATO Defence Planning Process (NDPP), where DOTMLPFI is used as a framework to test and develop these concepts and capabilities.[11] While developing a concept, NATO describes two orientations; either to transform or find a solution. NATO CD&E Handbook (2021) describes using the DOTMPLFI framework and the lines of development when trying to find the solution.[12] The Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (NDRE) has established a dedicated innovation center for all the stakeholders within the Norwegian defence sector, called ICE worx. ICE worx's modell for rapid innovation is used when modern technology with a high technical readiness level is available to find new solutions with only some minor needs for development. To ensure operativ effects of the innovation is achieved, the rapid innovation modell uses the DOTMLPFI framework to identify how the development and experimentation of new technology will effect the different factors.[13]


Norwegian Armed Forces (NAF) uses the DOTMLPFI framework to develop a total project plan (TPP) in investment processes. The TPP was formalized in the NAF in 2018. For the procurement of materiel, which is done by the Norwegian Defence Material Agency (NDMA), they use the PRINSIX projectmodell, based on the PRINCE2 method. The TPP is devolped in close coordination with the project plan developed by NDMA, and where the project plan covers how the materiel procurement is managed, the TPP covers all the factors needed for the procurement to reach the business goals and achieve the operativ benefits of the investment. However, to ensure all factors in materiell investments are taken into concideration before NAF are ready to actually start using the materiell and equipment, they added an I for Information systems and an E for Economy. Information systems include communication systems, battle management systems, radios or information security. Often Information systems are not part of the spesific Materiell investment project, but is regarded as Government Furnished Equipment (GFE). Economy was added to the DOTMLPFI-IE because NAF in 2015 (and in 2024) got a rapport from the NDRE stating that "Operating costs are given little weight in investment decisions".[14] Economy as an own factor in the TPP is to ensure the different processes both before, during and after the materiell procurement is done, is planned with in order to mitigate risks relating to operating costs.

  1. ^ Joint Publication 1-02, Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms Archived October 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, 8 November 2010 (As Amended Through 15 March 2015) see Joint Concept
  2. ^ "Untitled Document".
  3. ^ (Sep 16, 2015) Perkins discusses operationalizing the Army Operating Concept
  4. ^ See for example Defense Acquisition University (2014) Scenarios for Capabilities
  5. ^ "Article Details". Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  6. ^ "DOTMLPF Analysis". Archived from the original on June 22, 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  7. ^ a b c d "Defense Acquisition University Glossary" (PDF). US Defense Department. pp. B157–B160. Retrieved June 23, 2021.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  8. ^ Nancy Jones-Bonbrest (21 Dec 2020) Army preps Strykers for laser combat shoot-off
  9. ^ NATO Acronyms & Definitions
  10. ^ NATO (2022). AJP-01 Allied Joint Doctrine (Ed. F Version 1 ed.). Brussels: NATO STANDARDIZATION OFFICE (NSO). pp. 71–72.
  11. ^ Kucukaksoy, Inci (2016). "NATO CAPABILITY DEVELOPMENT & INTEROPERABILITY" (PDF). The Three Swords Magazine (30): 12–15.
  12. ^ NATO (2021). NATO CD&E Handbook (PDF) (2.10 ed.). Norfolk: Allied Command Transformation.
  13. ^ Norwegian Defence Research Establishment. "Hurtig innovasjon". FFI. Retrieved May 13, 2024.
  14. ^ "Materiellinvesteringer i forsvarssektoren – når vi målene?". Norsk (in Norwegian). April 17, 2024. p. 4. Retrieved May 18, 2024.