We present the characteristics, operations history, performance, and calibration of the Grazing Incidence Spectrometer (GIS) of the Coronal Diagnostic Spectrometer onboard SOHO. The GIS sensitivity has been monitored in a direct manner by examining the quiet Sun count rates during 1996 2006, nearly a whole solar cycle of observations. Overall, the instrument, with its grazing-incidence optics and microchannel plates, has performed exceptionally well. For most spectral regions, changes in the instrument sensitivity have been very small over a 10-year period. The trends in sensitivities support the use of the radiometric calibration of Del Zanna et al. ( Astron. Astrophys. 379, 708, 2001) throughout the mission. The verification of the detector performance over such a long period allows us to point out the spectral lines that can reliably be used for scientific analysis.