NEWS | March 9, 2020

SMR Codes Give the Clues

Having trouble finding or getting a part? You may be surprised to find the reason why is right at your fingertips.

That’s because many TMs give clues about items in the form of source, maintenance and recoverability (SMR) codes.

In the Army, SMR codes are explained in AR 700-82, Joint Regulation Governing the Use and Application of Uniform Source Maintenance and Recoverability Codes (Aug 14).

Now’s the perfect chance to take an SMR code refresher course, PS style. New Soldiers and old hands who feel a little rusty on the topic can benefit from this helpful info. 
Breaking Down SMR Codes

You can find SMR codes at the beginning of every Repair Parts and Special Tools List (RPSTL) section in TMs ending with a “P” or “&P.” The code format has four parts:
  •  a two-position source code
  •  a two-position maintenance code
  •  a recoverability code
  •  an optional service-specific code

The first and second positions of the code refer to an item’s source.

First Position

The first position gives a general category and is always one of five letters...P, K, M, A or X:
  • P - Procured. Items with a P are centrally procured.
  • K - Kit. Sometimes items in kits don’t have NSNs. In cases where an item is part of a kit and is also an item outside the kit, the P series source code is used.
  • M - Manufactured. The item is manufactured or fabricated at specified maintenance activities.
  • A - Assembled. The item is assembled at a maintenance activity.
  • X - Not stocked. (See “Key to X Codes” below for descriptions).
Key to X Codes
X series source codes are items for which little or no demand is expected.
  • XA - Item is not procured or stocked because this item requires you to replace the next higher assembly.
  • XB - A support item not expected to fail and not stocked. In some cases, it may be available through salvage. If not available or authorized through salvage, order the item through normal supply channels using its CAGE code and part number.
  • XC - An installation drawing, diagram, instruction sheet or field service drawing identified by a manufacturer’s part number.
  • XD - A support item that is not expected to fail but cannot be replaced by salvage/cannibalization. Local purchase or requisition this item through normal supply channels using its CAGE code and part number.
Second Position

The second position adds specific info to the general source code of the first position. For example, PA is a procured and stocked item. PH is a stocked and procured item but contains HAZMAT, so it has special reporting requirements. PZ means an item was once procured but is now terminal or obsolete with no replacement, so you can’t order it.


The third and fourth positions define what level of maintenance is assigned to an item.

Third Position

The lowest level authorized to remove, replace or use the item is defined by the following code:
  • C – Operator/crew
  • O - Organization/unit
  • F - Installation/field/intermediate level or aviation support battalion (ASB) 
  • H - Installation/field/sustainment 
  • K - Contractor facility
  • L - Specialized repair activity or Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group (TASMG) 
  • D - Depot
Fourth Position

The fourth position uses the same codes as position three, but tells you the lowest maintenance level that has the capability and the resources to perform a complete repair.

A “complete repair” means the item will return to service when repaired. A “complete repair action” means that all maintenance (remove, replace, repair, assemble and test) for the item must be performed at that level.

In Army programs, Code L means a specialized repair activity or TASMG. Code O is field level maintenance performed at aviation maintenance companies.

Code Z, meaning non-repairable, may be used in the fourth or fifth positions. Z-coded parts need to be replaced when they go bad.


Fifth Position

Recoverability is defined by the fifth position. The code tells you what maintenance level can determine when an item is unserviceable or too expensive to repair, and who can condemn or dispose of the item. The fifth position generally uses the same codes as the third and fourth positions.

Optional/Service Specific

Sixth Position

A sixth position is optional and service-specific. For example, Code A in the Army’s sixth position means the item is non-repairable but requires special handling. Code Z is a non-repairable item where no repair is authorized. Code G applies to ammunition, explosives or dangerous articles that must be demilitarized before they go to DLA Disposition Services.
For more information and a complete list of codes and definitions, get AR 700-82. To view it, go to:
  Choose Publications, Administrative, then AR-Army Regulations. Select AR 700-82.

You can also download a handy PS chart to keep SMR codes at your fingertips.