Clouds play a large role in the Earth’s global energy budget, but the impact of cirrus clouds is still widely questioned and researched. Cirrus clouds reside high in the atmosphere and due to cold temperatures are comprised of ice crystals. Gaining a better understanding of ice cloud optical properties and the distribution of cirrus clouds provides an explanation for the contribution of cirrus clouds to the global energy budget. Using radiative transfer models (RTMs), accurate simulations of cirrus clouds can enhance the understanding of the global energy budget as well as improve the use of global climate models. A newer, faster RTM such as the visible infrared imaging radiometer suite (VIIRS) fast radiative transfer model (VFRTM) is compared to a rigorous RTM such as the line-by-line radiative transfer model plus the discrete ordinates radiative transfer program. By comparing brightness temperature (BT) simulations from both models, the accuracy of the VFRTM can be obtained. This study shows root-mean-square error <0.2 K for BT difference using reanalysis data for atmospheric profiles and updated ice particle habit information from the moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer collection 6. At a higher resolution, the simulated results of the VFRTM are compared to the observations of VIIRS resulting in a <1.5 % error from the VFRTM for all cases. The VFRTM is validated and is an appropriate RTM to use for global cloud retrievals.