Army Supply ARC Codes: What You Should Know

When dealing with equipment and personnel, one of the most difficult jobs for Army Commanders is keeping track of inventory. While the job of supplies does fall on the shoulders of Supply Specialists, the ultimate responsibility always lies on the Company Commander.

As you all probably know, the Army consists of a lot of paperwork. While it may seem unneeded, every piece of paper that is filled out has its importance. Often, Army paperwork is a series of codes. Codes can make things easier. Instead of having to type out a full description, the administrator or personnel filling out the paperwork can simply enter the code that coincides with that certain aspect.

In today’s post, we are going to take a look at Army Supply ARC Codes. I will explain some things you should know. Many officers and soldiers do not realize just how important these ARC codes are, but they are very important, and as a Commander, you will use the ARC codes often.

ARC stands for Accounting Requirements Code. Every single item issued in the Army will have an ARC code. There are only 3 ARC codes used.

The 3 Army Supply ARC codes

  1. Nonexpendable. These are marked N on any inventory forms. These are items that are not consumed in use. These would make the personnel who has that item accountable for that item for its life cycle. Examples of nonexpendable items are all Class VII items such as: vehicles, major weapon systems, missile launchers, aircraft, etc…

  2. Durable. These are marked D on inventory forms. The Property Book Officer is the one who will determine those items that are marked durable. They are items that have a good value and will last, but not for great periods of time. The items are durable, but they will have a certain time period when they will “break down” and will need to be replaced. Some examples of items marked D could be: boots, some tools, and other items that will wear out over time and use.

  3. Expendable. These are marked with an X on inventory forms. These are all those items that when used, they will be gone. MREs, oils and gases, many medical and first aid items fit in the expendable category.

Supply Categories

There are essentially 10 supply categories. In each category, you will find majority ARC codes, but it is important to realize that there may be some items with other ARC codes. These are the supply categories with their primary ARC codes:

  • Class I: These are subsistence items such as rations, fruits, vegetables, etc…The primary ARC code with Class I items would be X.

  • Class II: Equipment such as uniforms, tents, tools, etc… The primary ARC code in this class would be D.

  • Class III: Packaged and bulk petroleum, oils and lubricants fall in this class. These items are normally given an X ARC code.

  • Class IV: Class IV materials are normally all used for construction purposes. The majority of these items would be considered X, but there could also be other codes within this class.

  • Class V: This is the ammunition class. As we all know, ammo is a consumable item and hopefully the enemies of the U.S. are consuming a lot of our ammo. The majority would have an X ARC code.

  • Class VI: These are items that are personal demand such as candy, cigarettes,etc…It is safe to say these would have X codes.

  • Class VII: These are major items like aircraft, tanks, missile launchers, etc…The majority of these items will fall under the N ARC code.

  • Class VIII: These are the majority of medical materials. It could be stretchers, medicine and more. I believe you would have a mix of D and X ARC codes within this class.

  • Class IX: These are the repair parts and supplies to keep vehicles and equipment running. The primary ARC code would be an X.

  • Class X: These are items used to support civil affairs and humanitarian efforts. These could fall into nearly any of the ARC codes.

Why ARC Codes Are So Important

As an incoming or outgoing Commander, you will want to perform an inventory. It is the ARC codes that can guide you along the way. If there is an X next to an item, its importance is not nearly as high as items marked with an N. While there needs to be documentation of expendable items, if they are missing, the item may have been used and not properly documented. Now if an item is marked with an N and it is missing, there is a huge problem.

When you are performing inventory, the N and D items should be first on the priority list.

ARC codes can help you as a Commander keep track of your supply.

Final Thoughts

It is highly important that we hold high levels of accountability for Army supplies. ARC codes are a first line of systems to do so.

The Department of Defense has investigated some who were in Afghanistan who did not maintain accountability of Army items. It had been determined that many items had inaccurate ARC codes. You can read that publication here.

What are your thoughts on ARC codes? Please provide your thoughts, opinions and questions below. Thank you.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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