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What is DSN Number in Military? – All Explained

Written by Everett Bledsoe / Fact checked by Brain Bartell

What is DSN Number in Military

Have you ever wondered how soldiers communicate with their comrades and officers during missions? Are you familiar with what is DSN number in military?

The DSN number is crucial for effective military operations, serving as their dedicated telecommunication network. It is their prime way of communication at all times.

DSN stands for Defense Switched Network. It provides secure and efficient military communication.

It’s essential to note that every location is assigned a specific DSN number, guaranteeing uninterrupted connectivity regardless of the soldiers’ whereabouts.

Understanding DSN Numbers


To broaden our understanding, we will explore its meaning, functioning, purpose, and the process employed by soldiers when dialing it.

1. Definition Of DSN Numbers and How DSN Works


The DSN definition pertains to the exclusive telecommunication system of the military. Soldiers can employ this communication system at any time, whether during peacetime, preattack, or in times of crisis.

The army DSN numbers oversee communications encompassing information, sound, and vision within the Department of Defense.

It’s worth noting that dialing a DSN number from a cell phone is incompatible as they exclusively function with military phones located solely within military bases.

With the aid of this technology, users can easily make calls between various military posts or branches within the Department of Defense (DOD).

This communication technology mainly supports long-distance talks, creating nonsecure straight dialing service internationally via a network of bureaucratic-owned and leased automated switching amenities.

This system plays a crucial role in managing and overseeing a wide range of essential operations within the military.

Its mission spans vital areas such as leadership and authority, information, operations, management, shipping process, and diplomacy, ensuring a smooth and efficient flow of information and activities.

2. Purpose And Functionality


The primary objective of the DSN is to prioritize the reception and transmission of messages.

It guarantees non-blocking service, giving immediate precedence to critical messages.

To gain a deeper understanding, let’s go through the five distinct types of call treatment.

1. Flash

(F). The intention is for initial enemy contact or operational combat messages of utmost urgency. In the face of an attack or an imminent threat, it holds immense significance and poses a fundamental question regarding our nation’s existence.

2. Flash Override

(FO). grants the essential authority and means to override all other traffic, including FLASH precedence messages generally provided to Emergency Action Messages (EAM).

3. Immediate

(I). Exclusively reserved for calls addressing crises that directly impact the security of the United States.

4. Priority

(P). For critical data dissemination pertaining to administrative military support responsibilities.

5. Routine

(R). Prioritization is for official state messages that demand speedy telephone transmission.

Troops have the exclusive option of utilizing the DSN based solely on the level of urgency, with an indicator attached to a message to determine this.

Dialing Procedures for DSN Numbers


When making a call to a military DSN number, it is relevant to keep the following guidelines in mind:

Step 1: Before phoning, double-check the obligatory DSN number. Confirm the access numbers necessary to connect to the DSN network on your phone. These DSN prefixes are usually one or two digits long. For instance: 94, 98, 99.

Step 2: Before dialing, perform a DSN number lookup to determine the DSN area code for the precise geographic territory you intend to call.

Once you have obtained the DSN number, proceed to dial it. It’s important to consider that if you are calling from one station to another within the United States, you do not need to dial the area code.

However, if your location is outside the United States (OCONUS or overseas), it is essential to include the area code when making the call.

Step 3: Dial the seven-digit DSN phone number, which you can verify from a list of DSN phone number acronyms. Once connected, proceed with the phone call.

Step 4: Follow the protocols given by the commanding officer or institution when commencing an encrypted phone discussion.

Once the recipient answers the phone, these processes will guide you through the necessary steps to initiate a confidential call.


In conclusion, this article has provided valuable insights into what is DSN number in military.

We have obtained a clear and concise understanding of the exclusive telecommunication system it offers, its compatibility with military phones, its role in overseeing communication within the Department of Defense, and its importance in supporting critical military operations.

Furthermore, we have learned about the soldier’s protocol that they must follow when utilizing the DSN, the various call treatments that need consideration, and the step-by-step process for making a DSN call.

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