Military Operations Charter

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Charter Date

  • 10/30/2013


This compilation of documents is the basis for DOD’s establishment of the MilOps Domain and provides additional key information regarding NIEM.

  • DOD CIO memo “Adoption of the National Information Exchange Model with the Department of Defense”, 28 March 2013
  • Office of Management and Budget, Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People (May 23, 12012), available at­ qovemment-strateqy.pdf.
  • Presidential Memo M-13-13, May 9 2013, Open Data Policy-Managing Information as an Asset.
  • DODI 8320.02, Implementing the Sharing of Data, Information, and Information Technology (IT) Services in the Department of Defense, 5 August 2013.
  • DOD Information Enterprise Architecture (DOD IEA), Version 2.0, 10 August 2012.
  • Establishing Domain Governance: Making Self-Service a Reality, NIEM Business Architecture Committee (NBAC), February 2009, v1.0.
  • NIEM High-Level Version Architecture, NIEM Technical Architecture Committee (NTAC), 31 July 2008, v.1.0, available from­ version-architecture.
  • National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) Naming and Design Rules, NTAC, 31 October 2008, v.1.3, available from


In reference (a), The Department of Defense Chief Information Officer {DOD CIO) identified the National Information Exchange Model {NIEM) as the best suited standards-based approach for enhancing the interoperability and standardization of DOD information exchange content. NIEM offers a proven approach for developing standardized, reusable information exchange packages and has been adopted across international, federal, state, local, and tribal agencies. As one part of the overall DOD NIEM adoption, the DOD CIO requested the Joint Staff JB become the Domain Steward for the Military Operations (MilOps) Domain.

A NIEM domain is an aggregation of stakeholders into a community of interest (COi) that are aligned to the domain’s mission space by affiliation, mission, or function. The MilOps Domain is an operational mission focused venue designed to provide multi­ functional, cross-organizational data elements that DOD and non-DOD information exchange developers may use in creating NIEM-based information exchanges.

Document Scope

This Charter describes the purpose, scope, goals, governance structure, and roles/responsibilities of the MilOps Domain. This Charter is supplemented by the MilOps Domain Operations and Maintenance Plan.

National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) Background

NIEM is a community-driven, government-wide, standards-based approach to exchanging information. The model was originally designed to develop, disseminate and support enterprise-wide information exchange standards and processes to enable cross-jurisdictional information sharing in emergency situations, as well as support the day-to-day operations of agencies nationwide. NIEM has grown into a working and collaborative partnership among governmental agencies, operational practitioners, systems developers, standards bodies, and other stakeholders at all levels of government. Used in all 50 states and internationally, it includes a data model, governance, training, tools, technical support services, and an active community to assist users in adopting a standards-based approach to exchanging data.

NIEM uses the Extensible Markup Language (XML) standard as a foundation to enable improved information sharing. The NIEM data model consists of two sets of closely related vocabularies: NIEM Core and individual NIEM Domains. NIEM Core represents elements commonly understood across all NIEM domains, and is updated and collaboratively maintained by the NIEM Business Architecture Committee (NBAC). The individual NIEM domains contain mission-specific elements that build upon NIEM Core concepts, and are managed through independent stewards.

DOD participation in NIEM complies with reference (b) Office of Management and Budget guidance for U.S. government departments and agencies to merge information exchange standards and build common-sense exchanges that sustain multiple, future information enterprise development and applications. Adoption of NIEM offers potential efficiencies and streamlined governance in delivering improved information sharing across the DOD and with DOD’s mission partners.


In reference (a), the DOD CIO announced the intent for DOD-wide adoption of NIEM and the establishment of a MilOps Domain. Of note, the DOD CIO also specifies that DOD organizations shall first consider NIEM for their information sharing solutions when deciding upon data exchange standards or specifications.

Military Operations Domain Overview

4.1 Domain Purpose

The purpose of the MilOps Domain is to provide and maintain unique military operations and missions data components used to define NIEM Information Exchange Package Documents (IEPDs) that satisfies mission critical information sharing requirements within DOD, and/or with other Federal government agencies, and Mission Partners.

Specific areas of projected improvement include:

  • Intra-DOD data and information sharing conducted for national security missions;
  • DOD’s interagency information sharing ability and support to the national emergency response system during disaster / catastrophic events;
  • Further alignment of Extensible Markup Language (XML) data standards within DOD, aimed at improving the visibility, understandability, accessibility, trust and interoperability of shared data; and,
  • Further development of information exchange development tools as a reusable resource within DOD.
Domain Scope

The NIEM MilOps domain manages those unique military operations and mission data components used to define NIEM Information Exchange Package Documents (IEPDs) that satisfies mission critical information sharing requirements within DOD, and/or with other Federal government agencies, and Mission Partners.

  • The MilOps domain follows the NIEM governance construct: a domain steward, a domain steward agreement, and a domain charter. The domain’s data components are managed by the domain steward through a fair and open process.
  • The MilOps domain is sponsored by the DOD, but it is not a “DOD-unique” organization. It is part of NIEM, with participants from the Federal, state, local, tribal and international organizations.
  • The MilOps domain is not a rebranding of existing standards. It is not a model repository. It is not a universal solution to all military-related information data needs. It is not a security cross-domain solution.
  • The domain’s data components are available for reuse by information exchange designers. The domain steward does not control or approve that reuse.

In general, the domain’s data components will be used to support information exchange requirements from the following DOD functional categories:

  • Force Support: maintenance and management of a mission ready force
  • Battle Space Awareness: dispositions and intentions as well as the characteristics and conditions of the operational environment that bear on national and military decision-making
  • Force Application: maneuver and engagement in all environments to create the effects necessary to achieve mission objectives
  • Logistics: support needed for the projection and sustainment a logistically ready force
  • Command, Control, Communications, and Computers: authority and direction over forces and resources
  • Protection: prevention / mitigation of adverse effects of attacks on personnel and physical assets

Changes to the domain’s data components are requested by the domain stakeholders and approved through the domain management process. Content will not be added when the business need and reuse can be satisfied by data components in NIEM Core or in other NIEM domains. New content will be harmonized with NIEM Core and with the other NIEM domains. New content will be added upon approval by the NIEM MilOps Domain stakeholders.

The data components managed by the NIEM MilOps Domain are not intended to provide comprehensive coverage of the functional categories. Instead, the content contained will be primarily based upon the need for reuse among information exchange developers and users.

The MilOps domain does not approve or contain IEPDs. IEPD designers who reuse MilOps domain data components may participate in the MilOps domain, but are not required to do so. IEPDs are approved by cooperating program developers or by a standards organization.


The NIEM governance, in which the DOD CIO participates on behalf of DOD, uses a federated model, headed by an Executive Steering Council (ESC) that sets the overall vision for the NIEM community and serves as the decision-making body regarding NIEM membership, funding requirements, and program I technical direction. Day-to-day operations are managed by the NIEM Program Management Office (NIEM PMO), which facilitates collaboration between NIEM community and stakeholders in developing NIEM-based information exchange solutions. The NIEM Business Architecture Committee (NBAC) guides the development, harmonization, evolution, and implementation of NIEM Core data components, as well as governs the processes for participating in NIEM domains. The NIEM Technical Architecture Committee (NTAC) is responsible for defining the technical architecture that governs NIEM. The DOD CIO appoints the Domain Stewards for DOD-sponsored domains. The stewards, or their designated representative, participate in the NBAC.

The NIEM governance structure is executed through a consensus-based approach and is depicted in Figure 1. Detailed descriptions of the specific functions of each entity in the NIEM governance structure are posted at the NIEM web site (

MilOps Domain Governance Structure

The MilOps Domain conforms to the NIEM governance construct, with a Domain Steward and supporting working groups to manage Domain activities, produce Domain core content, and facilitate production of information exchange package documents (IEPDs). This structure enables effective management of Domain activities, facilitation of engagement with Domain participants, oversight of the development of information exchange tools, and prioritization of work.