A National Stock Number is a unique number assigned to an item that is stocked, procured, used, issued or stored in the federal supply system. NSNs are used by the military to manage, move, store and dispose of material. They are used to identify everything from light bulbs to engine parts and helps to avoid duplicate items in the supply chain. The federal government makes an online database available to search for NSNs.

Step 1.

Click the Defense Logistic Agency's WebFLIS link (see Resources).

Step 2.

Type the item name into the "Item Name Keyword(s)" text box. For example, type "light bulb."

Step 3.

Click "Go."

Step 4.

Click on the specific list item. For example, click on "Light bulb, laryngoscope." The next page will display the item's NSN.

Tip

If you don't know the name of the part, you can enter the manufacturer's name and the part number in the text boxes at the bottom of the search box.