We present the CODEX sounding rocket payload, a soft x-ray (0.1-1.0 keV) spectrometer designed to observe diffuse high-surface brightness astronomical sources. The payload is composed of two modules, each with a 3.25° x 3.25° field of view defined by a stack of wire grids that block light not coming to a 3.0 m focus and admit only nearly-collimated light onto an array of 67 diffraction gratings in an off-plane mount. After a 2.0 m throw, the spectrum is detected by offset large-format gaseous electron multiplier (GEM) detectors. CODEX will target the Vela supernova remnant later this year to measure the temperature and abundances and to determine the contributions of various soft x-ray emission mechanisms to the remnant's energy budget; resulting spectra will have resolution (E/ΔE) ranging from 50 to 100 across the band. CODEX is the third-generation of similar payloads from the University of Colorado, with an increased bandpass, higher throughput, and a more robust mechanical structure than its predecessors.