Insider’s Tips on Clearing CIF

Part III

In this article I will discuss how to read and understand your clothing records.  I will confess up front that this aspect of clearing CIF is not my strongest attribute.  I have more knowledge about military gear, CIF’s standards and tips on cleaning equipment.  Over the years I have muddled through the process of helping my customers read their clothing records.  By reading equipment descriptions, asking my customers questions and comparing NSN numbers, I have been able to guide people in the right direction.  In some respects I have figured out clothing record information through a process of elimination.  If you want expert information in this area you can find it in official military sources such as “Common Table of Allowances 50-900.”  The information in this source is extensive, but it’s also time consuming to read.  For most soldiers, the information you can find at NCO Support.Com will be more useful.  Although I’m far from being an expert on this matter, I’ll provide you with some succinct tips.  Hopefully, this information will make it easier for you to understand your clothing record.

Clothing Record Information:

Your clothing record contains several columns labeled as the following:  Issuing CIF, Menu, LIN, Size, CIC, Nomenclature, Partial NSN, AU QTY, PCS Trans and ETS Trans.  Information such as the CIF issuing facility and the sizing of your clothing or equipment should be easy for you to understand without going into further detail.  So let’s take a closer look at the other info.


Your unit determines what TA-50 items you will receive rather than CIF.  The information located in the menu column indicates what items your unit wants you to receive.    


The abbreviation Lin means “Line Item Number.”  Line item numbers help CIF workers identify military clothing and equipment.  It can help you as well.


CIC represents the TA-50 item’s “Catalog Item Code.”  CIF workers have a list explaining CIC information.  The code may have letters or numbers such as D, 3, G, U and A.  This information is intended for CIF workers rather than the average soldier.


This information provides you with titles, descriptions or the official terminology of TA-50 items.  The official military language of various equipment can be a bit confusing because soldiers often use different terminology, acronyms and slang on a daily basis.  Despite this fact, this information is very helpful.  If you have difficulty understanding the official nomenclature Goggle the description on-line, or go to NCO Support.Com.  This is a great source of information for reading clothing record information.  You can also ask for help from your immediate supervisor.    

Partial NSN:

NSN is an acronym that means “National Stock Number.”  The Partial NSN will help you identify your equipment by comparing the last numbers on your equipment labels.  Worded differently, you can find NSN numbers on the labels sewn into your equipment.  Perhaps this is the best piece of information for identifying TA-50, and it will be of great assistance to you for accountability purposes.


AU means “Army Uniforms, Weapons and Accoutrements.”  QTY means quantity.  In other words, AU QTY means the quantity of each TA-50 item that was issued to you.   

PCS Trans:

This information is intended for soldiers who are in the process of PCSing.  If the PCS Trans Column has a “Y” it means “Yes,” and it’s a Retained Issue Item that you must keep until you ETS.

If the PCS Trans Column has an “N” it means “No,” and it’s not a Retained Issue Item.  In other words, you will be required to turn in these TA-50 items.

*Note:  Retained issue can be shipped through CIF.  To do this it requires two copies of your orders, and one padlock per bag that you want to ship.  CIF will require you clean your OCIE before they will ship it to your next duty station.

ETS Trans:

This information is intended for soldiers who are in the process of ETSing.  If an ETS Trans Column has a “Y” you can keep the item.

If an ETS Trans Column has an “N” you will be required to turn in the TA-50 item.

Relevant Information:

                As a soldier you need know the TA-50 item’s description, size, NSN information, and quantity. You also need to know what you will be required to turn into CIF.  Therefore, the LIN, Size, Nomenclature, Partial NSN, AU QTY and PCS & ETS Trans information are the most relevant to you.  With this information you have all the facts you need to maintain accountability and clear CIF.  An Outstanding Information Source:

                I found an excellent source of information for understanding your clothing record at NCO Support.Com.  You can view this information at  At this website you will find photos of your TA-50 items combined with what soldiers commonly call their equipment.  This source also includes line item numbers and the characteristics of the clothing and equipment.  NCO Support makes reading your clothing records an easy process, and they take guessing out of the game.  Their site provides 41 pages of succinct information and over 280 photos of various TA-50 items.  This is a must see for anyone who needs to clear CIF.



Hopefully the information I have provided to you about reading your clothing records is of good use for you.  If this article still leaves you with some questions read my last 2 articles on “Insider’s Tips on Clearing CIF.”  I also recommend visiting NCO Support.Com.  In my next, and final article on this subject, I will provide you some tips on cleaning your TA-50.  All of this information should be helpful to you when it comes time to clear CIF.  Until then, I wish you the best in your military career! 



William G. McKinney

Bradley’s Military Enterprises




-          Tips on forming a CIF clearing strategy.

-          Tips on understanding CIF’s standards.

-          Tips on understanding your clothing records.          (Click here to go to the top of the article)

-          Tips on cleaning your TA-50