The determinations of cloud presence, properties, and radiative influence are high priority requirements for both defense related operations and in the pursuit of research goals for the U.S. Global Change Research Program. A number of current programs address aspects of the remote sensing of clouds; this paper provides an overview of these programs, their objectives, requirements, and interrelationship. Requirements are divided into three categories: (1) impacts on defense operations and systems, (2) numerical weather prediction (NWP), and (3) climate study objectives, both prognostic and diagnostic. Additionally, current satellite sensor data resources and applicable cloud property retrieval algorithm approaches are described.