The Software Engineering Group of the National Research Council (NRC) is currently undertaking a research project into the implications of using off-the-shelf (OTS) software to build long-lived military systems. The purpose of this project is to 1) Determine qualitatively the advantages and disadvantages of using OTS software in the construction of systems. 2) Identify the types of systems that can benefit from the use of OTS components and the types of OTS components that can be used within these systems. 3) Develop criteria for evaluating OTS components. 4) Identify problems with the existing software and system development and procurement process that inhibit the effective use of OTS software. 5) Investigate technologies and architectures that enable the use of OTS software. This paper presents some initial results and observations regarding the OTS software usage.