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The glossary lists acronyms and terms with Army or joint definitions. Where Army and joint definitions are different, (Army) follows the term. Definitions for which FM 3-06 is the proponent manual (the authority) are marked with an asterisk (*). The proponent or amplifying manual for other terms is listed in parentheses after the definition.


anno Domini (in the year of the Lord)


Air Force


Air Force Base (graphics only)


the ability to move and adjust quickly and easily (FM 3-0)


air interdiction


acquired immune deficiency syndrome

air defense battlefield operating system

the employment of all active measures designed to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of attack by hostile aircraft and missiles after they are airborne (FM 7-15)


Air Mobility Command


area of operations

area defense

a type of defensive operation that concentrates on denying enemy forces access to designated terrain for a specific time rather than destroying the enemy outright (FM 3-0)

area of interest

that area of concern to the commander, including the area of influence, areas adjacent thereto, and extending into enemy territory to the objectives of current or planned operations. This area also includes areas occupied by enemy forces that could jeopardize the accomplishment of the mission. (JP 3-0)

area of operations

an operational area defined by the joint force commander for land and naval forces. Areas of operations do not typically encompass the entire operational area of the joint force commander, but should be large enough for component commanders to accomplish their missions and protect their forces. (JP 3-0)


the senior Army headquarters and all Army forces assigned or attached to a combatant command, subordinate joint force command, joint functional command, or multinational command (FM 3-0)


Army of the Republic of Vietnam


(Army) the continuous monitoring-throughout planning preparation, and execution-of the current situation and progress of an operation, and the evaluation of it against criteria of success to make decisions and adjustments (FM 3-0)


dissimilarities in organization, equipment, doctrine, capabilities, and values between other armed forces (formally organized or not) and US forces. Engagements are symmetric if forces, technologies, and weapons are similar; they are asymmetric if forces, technologies, and weapons are different, or if a resort to terrorism and rejection of more conventional rules of engagement are the norm. (FM 3-0)


an offensive operation that destroys or defeats enemy forces, seizes and secures terrain, or both (FM 3-0)


one of the eight characteristics of combat service support: generating the minimum essential supplies and services necessary to begin operations (FM 100-10)


the reduction of the effectiveness of a force caused by loss of personnel and materiel (JP 1-02)

avenue of approach

(Army) the air or ground route leading to an objective (or key terrain in its path) that an attacking force can use (FM 3-90)

axis of advance

the general area through which the bulk of a unit's combat power must move (FM 3-90)


a set of related tactical engagements that last longer and involve larger forces than an engagement (FM 3-0)

battlefield operating systems

the physical means that tactical commanders use to execute operations and accomplish missions assigned by superior tactical- and operational-level commanders. The seven battlefield operating systems are: the intelligence system, maneuver system, fire support system, air defense system, mobility/countermobility/ survivability system, combat service support system, and command and control system. (FM 7-15)

battlefield organization

the allocation of forces in the area of operations by purpose. It consists of three all-encompassing categories of operations: decisive, shaping, and sustaining. (FM 3-0)


the environment, factors, and conditions that must be understood to successfully apply combat power, protect the force, or complete the mission. This includes air, land, sea, space, and the included enemy and friendly forces; facilities; weather; terrain; the electromagnetic spectrum; and the information environment within the operational areas and areas of interest. (JP 3-0)


before Christ


battle damage assessment and repair


brigade (graphics only)


an area of Europe comprised of three countries: Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg


battalions (graphics only)


battlefield operating systems


a contingency plan or course of action (an option built into the basic plan or course of action) for changing the mission, disposition, orientation, or direction of movement of the force to aid success of the current operation, based on anticipated events, opportunities, or disruptions caused by enemy actions. Army forces prepare branches to exploit success and opportunities, or to counter disruptions caused by enemy actions. (FM 3-0)


an operation conducted by an encircled force to regain freedom of movement or contact with friendly units. It differs from other attacks only in that a simultaneous defense in other areas of the perimeter must be maintained. (FM 3-90)

buffer zone

a defined area controlled by a peace operations force from which disputing or belligerent forces have been excluded. A buffer zone is formed to create an area of separation between disputing or belligerent forces and reduce the risk of renewed conflict. Also called area of separation in some United Nations operations. (JP 3-07.3)


a tactical mission task in which the commander directs his unit to maneuver around an obstacle, position, or enemy force to maintain the momentum of the operation while deliberately avoiding combat with an enemy force (FM 3-90)


command and control


civil affairs


a series of related military operations aimed at accomplishing a strategic or operational objective within a given time and space (JP 3-0)


(Army) a tactical mission task in which the commander restricts enemy movement to a narrow zone by exploiting terrain coupled with the use of obstacles, fires, or friendly maneuver (FM 3-90)


the ability to execute a specified course of action (a capability may or may not be accompanied by an intention) (JP 1-02)

casualty evacuation

a term used by nonmedical units to refer to the movement of casualties aboard nonmedical vehicles or aircraft (FM 8-10-6)


Cavalry (graphics only)


chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosive


commander's critical information requirements


commanders (graphics only)


US Central Command

center of gravity

those characteristics, capabilities, or sources of power from which a military force derives its freedom of action, physical strength, or will to fight (JP 3-0)


combat health support




commander in chief

civil affairs

designated Active and Reserve component forces and units organized, trained, and equipped specifically to conduct civil affairs activities and to support civil-military operations (JP 3-57.1)

civil considerations

how the attitudes and activities of the civilian leaders, populations, and organizations within an area of operations will influence the conduct of military operations (FM 6-0)

civil disturbances

riots, acts of violence, insurrections, unlawful obstructions or assemblages, or other disorders prejudicial to public law and order. The term civil disturbance includes all domestic conditions requiring or likely to require the use of Federal Armed Forces pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 15 of Title 10, United States Code. (JP 3-07.3)

civil-military operations

the activities of a commander that establish, maintain, influence, or exploit relations between military forces, governmental and nongovernmental civilian organizations and authorities, and the civilian populace in a friendly, neutral, or hostile operational area in order to facilitate military operations, to consolidate and achieve US objectives. Civil-military operations may include performance by military forces of activities and functions normally the responsibility of the local, regional, or national government. These activities may occur prior to, during, or subsequent to other military actions. They may also occur, if directed, in the absence of other military operations. Civil-military operations may be performed by designated civil affairs, by other military forces, or by a combination of civil affairs and other forces. (JP 3-57)

civil-military operations center

an ad hoc organization, normally established by the geographic combatant commander or subordinate joint force commander, to assist in the coordination of activities of engaged military forces, and other United States Government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and regional and international organizations. There is no established structure, and its size and composition are situation dependent. (FM 41-10).


(Army) 1. A tactical mission task that requires the commander to remove all enemy forces and eliminate organized resistance within an assigned area. (FM 3-90) 2. The total elimination or neutralization of an obstacle that is usually performed by follow-on engineers and is not done under fire. (FM 3-34.2)

close air support

air action by fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft against hostile targets which are in close proximity to friendly forces and which require detailed integration of each air mission with the fire and movement of those forces (JP 3-09.3)

close combat

combat carried out with direct-fire weapons, supported by indirect fires, air-delivered fires, and nonlethal engagement means. Close combat defeats or destroys enemy forces or seizes and retains ground. (FM 3-0)


civil-military operations


civil-military operations center


computer network attack


computer network defense


computer network exploitation


computer network operations


course of action


an ad hoc arrangement between two or more nations for common action (JP 3-16)


center of gravity

collateral damage

unintended and undesirable civilian personnel injuries or materiel damage adjacent to a target produced by the effects of friendly weapons (FM 6-30)

combatant command

a unified or specified command with a broad continuing mission under a single commander established and so designated by the President, through the Secretary of Defense and with the advice and assistance of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Combatant commands typically have geographic or functional responsibilities. (JP 0-2)

combat configured load

a planned package of ammunition or other supplies that are transported as a single load to support a type unit or weapon system (FM 4-30.13)

combat power

the total means of destructive and/or disruptive force which a military unit/formation can apply against the opponent at a given time (JP 3-0)

combat service support battlefield operating system

the support and services provided to sustain forces during war and military operations other than war (FM 7-15)

combatting terrorism

actions, including antiterrorism (defensive measures taken to reduce vulnerability to terrorist acts) and counterterrorism (offensive measures taken to prevent, deter, and respond to terrorism), taken to oppose terrorism throughout the entire threat spectrum (JP 3-07.2)

combined arms

the synchronized or simultaneous application of several arms-such as infantry, armor, artillery, engineers, air defense, and aviation-to achieve an effect on the enemy that is greater than if each arm was used against the enemy separately or in sequence (FM 3-0)

combined arms team

two or more arms mutually supporting one another, usually consisting of infantry, armor, cavalry, aviation, field artillery, air defense artillery, and engineers (FM 3-90)

command and control battlefield operating system

all tasks associated with the exercise of authority and direction by a properly designated commander over assigned and available forces in the accomplishment of the mission (FM 7-15)

command and control system

(Army) the arrangement of personnel, information management, procedures, and equipment and facilities essential to the commander to plan, prepare for, execute, and assess operations (FM 6-0)

commander's critical information requirements

(Army) elements of information required by commanders that directly affect decision making and dictate the successful execution of military operations (FM 3-0)

commander's intent

a clear, concise statement of what the force must do and the conditions the force must meet to succeed with respect to the enemy, terrain, and the desired end state (FM 3-0)

commander's visualization

the process of developing a clear understanding of the current state with relation to the enemy and environment, envisioning a desired end state which represents mission accomplishment, and then subsequently visualizing the sequence of activity that moves the force from its current state to the end state (FM 6-0)

common operational picture

an operational picture tailored to the user's requirements, based on common data and information shared by more than one command (FM 3-0)

computer network attack

operations to disrupt, deny, degrade, or destroy information resident in computers and computer networks, or the computers and networks themselves (JP 3-13)

computer network defense

defensive measures to protect and defend information, computers, and networks from disruption, denial, degradation, or destruction (JP 3-13)

concept of operations

(Army) describes how commanders see the actions of subordinate units fitting together to accomplish the mission. As a minimum, the description includes the scheme of maneuver and concept of fires. It expands the commander's selected course of action and expresses how each element of the force will cooperate to accomplish the mission. (FM 3-0)


restrictions placed on the command by a higher command to dictate an action or inaction, thus restricting the freedom of action the subordinate commander has for planning a mission by stating things that must or must not be done (FM 101-5)


(Army) a tactical mission task that requires the commander to stop, hold, or surround enemy forces or to cause them to center their activity on a given front and prevent them from withdrawing any part of their forces for use elsewhere (FM 3-90)


(Army) 1. The regulation of forces and operating systems to accomplish the mission in accordance with the commander's intent. It includes collecting, processing, displaying, storing, and disseminating information for creating the common operational picture (COP) and using information, primarily by the staff, during planning, preparing for, and executing operations. (FM 6-0). 2. A tactical mission task that requires the commander to maintain physical influence over a specified area to prevent its use by an enemy or to create conditions necessary for successful friendly operations (FM 3-90)

controlled exchange

the removal of serviceable parts, components, or assemblies from unserviceable, economically reparable equipment and their immediate reuse in restoring a like item of equipment to a combat operable or serviceable condition (FM 4-30.3)

control measures

directives given graphically or orally by a commander to subordinate commands to assign responsibilities, coordinate fires and maneuver, and control combat operations. Each control measure can be portrayed graphically. In general, all control measures should be easily identifiable on the ground. Examples of control measures include boundaries, objectives, coordinating points, contact point, and direction of attack. (FM 101-5)


common operational picture


(Army) a form of attack by part or all of a defending force against an enemy attacking force, with the general objective of denying the enemy his goal in attacking (FM 3-0)


efforts to negate, neutralize, diminish the effects of, or gain advantage from a foreign deception operation. Counterdeception does not include the intelligence function of identifying foreign deception operations. (JP 3-58)


those active measures taken to detect, monitor, and counter the production, trafficking, and use of illegal drugs (JP 3-07.4)


those military, paramilitary, political, economic, psychological, and civic actions taken by a government to defeat insurgency (JP 3-07)


information gathered and activities conducted to protect against espionage, other intelligence activities, sabotage, or assassinations conducted by or on behalf of foreign governments or elements thereof, foreign organizations, or foreign persons, or international terrorist activities (JP 2-01.2)

countermobility operations

the construction of obstacles and emplacement of minefields to delay, disrupt, and destroy the enemy by reinforcement of the terrain. The primary purpose of countermobility operations is to slow or divert the enemy, to increase time for target acquisition, and to increase weapon effectiveness. (JP 3-34)


activities that identify and counter adversary propaganda by exposing adversary attempts to influence friendly populations and military forces situational understanding by providing friendly truth (FM 100-6)


offensive measures taken to prevent, deter, and respond to terrorism (JP 3-07.2)

course of action

(Army) a feasible way to accomplish a task or mission that follows the guidance given, will not result in undue damage or risk to the command, and is noticeably different from other actions being considered (FM 101-5)


(Army) 1. Protection from the effects of enemy fire. 2. A form of security operation whose primary task is to protect the main body by fighting to gain time while also observing and reporting information and preventing enemy ground observation of and direct fire against the main body. (FM 3-90)

criteria of success

information requirements developed during the operations process that measure the degree of success in accomplishing the unit's mission. They are normally expressed as either an explicit evaluation of the present situation or forecast of the degree of mission accomplishment. (FM 6-0)


combat service support

cultural resource

monuments, nationally identifiable or distinctive buildings and structures, archives and libraries, ancient artifacts and structures, archaeologically important sites, historically important sites or structures, mosques, cathedrals, temples, other churches or sacred structures, sacred sites or areas, museums, and works of art (FM 41-10)


direct action; Department of the Army


the unnamed day on which a particular operation commences or is to commence (JP 5-00.1)

dead space

1. An area within the range of a weapon, radar, or observer, which cannot be covered by fire or observation from a particular position because of intervening obstacles, the nature of the ground, the characteristics of the trajectory, or the limitations of the pointing capabilities of the weapon. 2. An area or zone which is within range of a radio transmitter, but in which a signal is not received. 3. The volume of space above and around a gun or guided missile system into which it cannot fire because of mechanical or electronic limitations. (JP 1-02)


the unloading of troops, equipment, or supplies from a ship or aircraft (JP 3-35)


those measures designed to mislead the enemy by manipulation, distortion, or falsification of evidence to induce the enemy to react in a manner prejudicial to the enemy's interests (JP 3-58)

decision support template

a graphic record of wargaming. The decision support template depicts decision points, timelines associated with movement of forces and the flow of the operation, and other key items of information required to execute a specific friendly course of action. (JP 2-01.3)

decisive engagement

in land and naval warfare, an engagement in which a unit is considered fully committed and cannot maneuver or extricate itself. In the absence of outside assistance, the action must be fought to a conclusion and either won or lost with the forces at hand. (JP 1-02)

decisive operations

those operations that directly accomplish the task assigned by the higher headquarters. They conclusively determine the outcome of major operations, battles, and engagements. (FM 3-0)

decisive point

a geographic place, specific key event, or enabling system that allows commanders to gain a marked advantage over an enemy and greatly influences the outcome of an operation (FM 3-0)


a tactical mission task that occurs when an enemy force has temporarily or permanently lost the physical means or the will to fight. The defeated force's commander is unwilling or unable to pursue his adopted course of action, thereby yielding to the friendly commander's will and can no longer interfere to a significant degree with the actions of friendly forces. Defeat can result from the use of force or the threat of its use. (FM 3-90)

defeat in detail

defeat in detail is achieved by concentrating overwhelming combat power against separate parts of a force rather than defeating the entire force at once (FM 3-90)

defense in depth

the siting of mutually supporting defense positions designed to absorb and progressively weaken attack, prevent initial observations of the whole position by the enemy, and to allow the commander to maneuver the reserve (JP 1-02)

defensive information operations

(Army) the integration and coordination of policies and procedures, operations, personnel, and technology to protect and defend friendly information and information systems. Defensive information operations ensure timely, accurate, and relevant information access while denying adversaries the opportunity to exploit friendly information and information systems for their own purposes. (FM 3-0)

defensive operations

operations to defeat an enemy attack, buy time, economize forces, or develop conditions favorable for offensive operations. Defensive operations alone normally cannot achieve a decision. Their purpose is to create conditions for a counteroffensive that allows Army forces to regain the initiative. (FM 3-0)


a form of retrograde operation in which a force under pressure trades space for time by slowing down the enemy's momentum and inflicting maximum damage on the enemy without, in principle, becoming decisively engaged (JP 1-02)


(Army) In stability operations and support operations, an operation by military forces in sight of an actual or potential enemy to show military capabilities. (FM 3-07)


the extension of operations in time, space, and resources (FM 3-0)


1. A tactical mission task that physically renders an enemy force combat-ineffective until it is reconstituted. 2. To damage a combat system so badly that it cannot perform any function or be restored to a usable condition without being entirely rebuilt. (FM 3-90)

direct action

short-duration strikes and other small-scale offensive actions by special operations forces or special operations-capable units to seize, destroy, capture, recover, or inflict damage on designated personnel or materiel. In the conduct of these operations, special operations forces or special operations-capable units may employ raid, ambush, or direct assault tactics; emplace mines and other munitions; conduct standoff attacks by fire from air, ground, or maritime platforms; provide terminal guidance for precision-guided munitions; conduct independent sabotage; and conduct anti-ship operations. (JP 3-05)

direct approach

to apply combat power directly against the enemy center of gravity or the enemy's principal strength (FM 3-0)

direct fire

gunfire delivered on a target, using the target itself as a point of aim for either the gun or the director (FM 7-20)


information disseminated primarily by intelligence organizations or other covert agencies designed to distort information or deceive or influence US decision makers, US forces, coalition allies, key actors or individuals via indirect or unconventional means (FM 100-6)

dislocated civilian

(Army) a generic term that describes a civilian who has been forced to move by war, revolution, or natural or man-made disaster from his or her home to some other location. Dislocated citizens include displaced persons, refugees, evacuees, stateless persons, or war victims. Legal and political considerations define the subcategories of a dislocated civilian. (FM 3-07)

displaced person

a civilian who is involuntarily outside the boundaries of his or her country or as an internally displaced person is a civilian involuntarily outside their area or region within their country (FM 34-1)


(Army) representing relevant information in a usable, easily understood audio or visual form tailored to the needs of the user that conveys the common operational picture for decision making and exercising command and control functions (FM 6-0)


distribution of the elements of a command within an area, usually the exact location of each unit headquarters and the deployment of the forces subordinate to it (JP 2-01.3)


a tactical mission task in which a commander integrates direct and indirect fires, terrain, and obstacles to upset an enemy's formation or tempo, interrupt his timetable, or cause his forces to commit prematurely or attack in a piecemeal fashion. Disrupt is also an engineer obstacle effect that focuses fire planning and obstacle effort to cause the enemy to break up his formation and tempo, interrupt his timetable, commit breaching assets prematurely, and attack in a piecemeal effort. (FM 3-90)

distribution system

that complex of facilities, installations, methods, and procedures designed to receive, store, maintain, distribute, and control the flow of military materiel between the point of receipt into the military system and the point of issue to using activities and units (JP 4-0)


disease and nonbattle injury


fundamental principles by which the military forces or elements thereof guide their actions in support of national objectives. It is authoritative but requires judgment in application. (JP 1-01)

doctrinal template

a model based on known or postulated adversary doctrine. Doctrinal templates illustrate the disposition and activity of adversary forces and assets conducting a particular operation unconstrained by the effects of the battlespace. They represent the application of adversary doctrine under ideal conditions. Ideally, doctrinal templates depict the threat's normal organization for combat, frontages, depths, boundaries and other control measures, assets available from other commands, objective depths, engagement areas, battle positions, and so forth. Doctrinal templates are usually scaled to allow ready use with geospatial products. (JP 2-01.3)


Department of Defense

domestic support operations

those activities and measures taken by the Department of Defense to foster mutual assistance and support between the Department of Defense and any civil government agency in planning or preparedness for, or in the application of resources for response to, the consequences of civil emergencies or attacks, including national security emergencies (JP 3-07.7)


echelons above corps


one of the eight characteristics of combat service support: providing the most efficient support at the least cost to accomplish the mission (FM 100-10)

economy of force

one of the nine principles of war: allocate minimum essential combat power to secondary efforts (FM 3-0)


essential elements of friendly information

electromagnetic spectrum

the range of frequencies of electromagnetic radiation from zero to infinity; it is divided into 26 alphabetically designated bands (JP 3-51)

electronic attack

that division of electronic warfare involving the use of electromagnetic energy, directed energy, or antiradiation weapons to attack personnel, facilities, or equipment with the intent of degrading, neutralizing, or destroying enemy combat capability and is considered a form of fires. EA includes: 1. actions taken to prevent or reduce an enemy's effective use of the electromagnetic spectrum, such as jamming and electromagnetic deception, and 2. employment of weapons that use either electromagnetic or directed energy as their primary destructive mechanism (lasers, radio frequency weapons, particle beams), or antiradiation weapons. (JP 3-51)

electronic warfare

any military action involving the use of electromagnetic and directed energy to control the electromagnetic spectrum or to attack the enemy. The three major subdivisions within electronic warfare are: electronic attack, electronic protection, and electronic warfare support. (JP 3-51)

electronic warfare support

that division of electronic warfare involving actions tasked by, or under direct control of, an operational commander to search for, intercept, identify, and locate or localize sources of intentional and unintentional radiated electromagnetic energy for the purpose of immediate threat recognition, targeting, planning, and conduct of future operations. Thus, electronic warfare support provides information required for immediate decisions involving electronic warfare operations and other tactical actions such as threat avoidance, targeting, and homing. Electronic warfare support data can be used to produce signals intelligence, provide targeting for electronic or destructive attack, and produce measurement and signature intelligence. (JP 3-51)


the process of putting personnel and/or vehicles and their associated stores and equipment into ships and/or aircraft (JP 3-35)


an operation where one force loses it freedom of maneuver because an opposing force is able to isolate it by controlling all ground lines of communication (FM 3-0)

end state

(Army) a set of required conditions that, when achieved, attain the aims set for the campaign or operation (FM 3-0)


a small, tactical conflict between opposing maneuver forces, usually conducted at brigade level and below (FM 3-0)


(Army) a form of maneuver in which an attacking force seeks to avoid the principal enemy defenses by seizing objectives to the enemy rear to destroy the enemy in his current positions. At the tactical level, envelopments focus on seizing terrain, destroying specific enemy forces, and interdicting enemy withdrawal routes. (FM 3-0)


enemy (graphics only)


explosive ordnance disposal

essential elements of friendly information

(Army) the critical aspects of a friendly operation that, if known by the enemy, would subsequently compromise, lead to failure, or limit success of the operation, and therefore must be protected from enemy detection (FM 6-0)

event template

a guide for collection planning. The event template depicts the named areas of interest where activity, or its lack of activity, will indicate which course of action the adversary has adopted. (JP 2-03.1)


electronic warfare


a tactical mission task where a commander removes personnel or units from areas under enemy control by stealth, deception, surprise, or clandestine means (FM 3-90)


1. Taking full advantage of success in military operations, and following up initial gains, and making permanent the temporary effects already achieved 2. A type of offensive operation that usually follows a successful attack and is designed to disorganize the enemy in depth. (JP 1-02)

explosive ordnance disposal

the detection, identification, on-site evaluation, rendering safe, recovery, and final disposal of unexploded explosive ordnance. It may also include explosive ordnance which has become hazardous by damage or deterioration. (JP 4-04)


Far East (graphics only)


(Army) the potential capacity (product) of all weapons and attack systems available to the force commander (FM 3-0)


(Army) the delivery of all types of ordnance through both direct and indirect means, as well as nonlethal means, that contribute to the destruction, disruption, or suppression of the enemy; facilitate tactical movement; and achieve a decisive impact (FM 6-20)

fire support battlefield operating system

encompasses the collective and coordinated use of target-acquisition data, indirect-fire weapons, fixed-wing aircraft, offensive information operations, and other lethal and nonlethal means against targets located throughout an area of operations (FM 7-15)

fire support coordinating measure

a measure employed by land or amphibious commanders to facilitate the rapid engagement of targets and simultaneously provide safeguards for friendly forces (JP 3-09)


(Army) a tactical mission task where a commander prevents the enemy from moving any part of his force from a specific location for a specific period of time. Fix is also an engineer obstacle effect that focuses fire planning and obstacle effort to slow an attacker's movement within a specified area, normally an engagement area (FM 3-90)


one of the eight characteristics of combat service support: being able to adapt combat service support structures and procedures to changing situations, missions, and concepts of operations. (FM 100-10)


field manual; frequency modulation

force projection

the ability to project the military element of national power from the continental United States (CONUS) or another theater in response to requirements for military operations. Force-projection operations extend from mobilization and deployment of forces, to redeployment to CONUS or home theater. (JP 1)

force protection

(Army) those actions taken to prevent or mitigate hostile actions against Department of Defense personnel (to include family members), resources, facilities, and critical information. These actions conserve the force's fighting potential so it can be applied at the decisive time and place and incorporates the coordinated and synchronized offensive and defensive measures to enable the effective employment of the joint force while degrading opportunities for the enemy. Force protection does not include actions to defeat the enemy or protect against accidents, weather, or disease. (FM 3-0)

force tailoring

the process of determining the right mix and sequence of units for a mission (FM 3-0)

foreign internal defense

participation by civilian and military agencies of a government in any of the action programs taken by another government to free and protect its society from subversion, lawlessness, and insurgency (JP 3-07.1)

forms of maneuver

distinct tactical combinations of fire and movement with a unique set of doctrinal characteristics that differ primarily in the relationship between the maneuvering force and the enemy. The choices of offensive maneuver are envelopment, turning movement, infiltration, penetration, and frontal attack. The choices of defensive maneuver are forward and in-depth. Commanders use these to orient on the enemy, not terrain. More than one may be applied during an operation and may be used in conjunction with a form of tactical operation. (FM 3-0)


the unintentional killing or wounding of friendly personnel by friendly firepower (FM 3-0)

frontal attack

(Army) a form of maneuver in which an attacking force seeks to destroy a weaker enemy force or fix a larger enemy force in place over a broad front (FM 3-0)

full spectrum operations

the range of operations Army forces conduct in war and military operations other than war (FM 3-0)


geographic information system


gun-target line

guerrilla warfare

military and paramilitary operations conducted in enemy-held or hostile territory by irregular, predominantly indigenous forces (JP 3-05)

gun-target line

an imaginary straight line from gun to target (JP 3-09)

hazardous material

any substance which has a human health hazard associated with it. Special storage, use, handling, and shipment safety procedures and protocols must be followed to help protect against accidental human exposure. Hazardous materials are specifically identified under federal law. (FM 3-100.4)

health threat

a composite of ongoing or potential enemy actions; environmental, occupational, and geographic and meteorological conditions; endemic diseases; and employment of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons (to include weapons of mass destruction) that can reduce the effectiveness of joint forces through wounds, injuries, illness, and psychological stressors (JP 4-02)

high-angle fire

(Army) fire delivered to clear an obstacle (such as a hill) that low-angle fire cannot, or fire delivered to attack targets on the reverse side of an obstacle (such as a hill) that cannot be attacked with low-angle or direct fire (FM 6-30)

host nation

a nation that receives the forces and/or supplies of allied nations, coalition partners, and/or NATO organizations to be located on, to operate in, or to transit through its territory (JP 3-16)

host-nation support

civil and/or military assistance rendered by a nation to foreign forces within its territory during peacetime, crises or emergencies, or war based on agreements mutually concluded between nations (JP 3-16)




human resources support

human intelligence

a category of intelligence derived from information collected and provided by human sources (JP 2-0)

humanitarian and civic assistance

assistance to the local populace provided by predominantly US forces in conjunction with military operations and exercises. This assistance is specifically authorized by Title 10, United States Code, section 401, and funded under separate authorities. Assistance provided under these provisions is limited to (1) medical, dental, and veterinary care provided in rural areas of a country; (2) construction of rudimentary surface transportation systems; (3) well drilling and construction of basic sanitation facilities; and (4) rudimentary construction and repair of public facilities. Assistance must fulfill unit training requirements that incidentally create humanitarian benefit to the local populace. (JP 3-07)

humanitarian assistance

programs conducted to relieve or reduce the results of natural or manmade disasters or other endemic conditions such as human pain, disease, hunger, or privation that might present a serious threat to life or that can result in great damage to or loss of property. Humanitarian assistance provided by US forces is limited in scope and duration. The assistance provided is designed to supplement or complement the efforts of the host nation civil authorities or agencies that may have the primary responsibility for providing humanitarian assistance. (JP 3-07.6)


human intelligence


highway (graphics only)


Israeli Defense Forces


improvised explosive device

imagery intelligence

intelligence derived from the exploitation of collection by visual photography, infrared sensors, lasers, electro-optics, and radar sensors, such as synthetic aperture radar, wherein images of objects are reproduced optically or electronically on film, electronic display devices, or other media (JP 2-0)


imagery intelligence

imitative electromagnetic deception

(Army) imitating enemy electromagnetic radiation (predominately communications) through his electromagnetic channels to deceive him or to disrupt his operations (FM 100-6)

indirect fire

fire delivered on a target that is not itself used as a point of aim for the weapons or the director (JP 3-09)


(Army) a form of maneuver in which an attacking force conducts undetected movement through or into an area occupied by enemy forces to occupy a position of advantage in the enemy rear while exposing only small elements to enemy defensive fires (FM 3-0)


(Army) 1. The meaning assigned to sensing from the environment. 2. On the cognitive hierarchy consists of processed data that provides further meaning with further transformation. Processing activities include filtering, formatting, organizing, collating, correlating, plotting, translating, categorizing, and arranging, among others. (FM 6-0)

information management

the provision of relevant information to the right person at the right time in a usable form to facilitate situational understanding and decision making. It uses procedures and information systems to collect, process, store, display, and disseminate information. (FM 3-0)

information operations

(Army) the actions taken to affect adversary and influence others' decision-making processes, information, and information systems while protecting one's own information and information systems (FM 3-0)

information requirements

(Army) all of the information elements required by the commander and his staff for the successful execution of operations, that is, all elements necessary to address the factors of METT-TC. (FM 6-0)

information superiority

(Army) the operational advantage derived from the ability to collect, process, and disseminate an uninterrupted flow of information while exploiting or denying an adversary's ability to do the same (FM 3-0)

information system

(Army) the equipment and facilities that collect, process, store, display and disseminate information. This includes computers-hardware and software-and communications, as well as policies and procedures for their use. (FM 3-0)


information systems

initiative (operational)

setting or dictating the terms of action throughout the battle or operation (FM 3-0)


an organized movement aimed at the overthrow of a constituted government through the use of subversion and armed conflict (JP 3-05)


one of the eight characteristics of combat service support: the total inclusion of Army combat service support into the operations process (plan, prepare, execute, assess) as well as into other logistic components of the unified force (FM 100-10)


(Army) the product resulting from the processing and analysis of information collected by any means concerning enemies, potential enemies, or current and potential operational environments (FM 34-1)

intelligence battlefield operating system

the activity to generate knowledge of and products portraying the enemy and environmental features required by a commander in planning, preparing, executing, and assessing operations (FM 7-15)

intelligence preparation of the battlefield

an analytical methodology employed as part of intelligence planning, to reduce uncertainties concerning the enemy, environment, and terrain for all types of operations. Intelligence preparation of the battlefield is conducted during mission planning to support the commander's decision making and to form the basis for the direction of intelligence operations in support of current and future missions. It utilizes existing databases and identifies gaps in intelligence needed to determine the impact of the enemy, environment, and terrain on operations and presents this in an appropriate form to facilitate operational planning. It forms the basis for situation development. (FM 34-130)

intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance

the integration and synchronization of all battlefield operating systems to collect and process information about the enemy and environment that produces relevant information to facilitate decision making (FM 3-55)

intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance plan

an integrated plan for collection of information from all available sources and analysis of that information to produce intelligence to meet requirements. Specifically, a logical plan for transforming priority intelligence requirements (PIR) into orders or requests to reconnaissance and surveillance assets to collect pertinent information within a required time limit. (FM 34-3)


an aim or design (as distinct from capability) to execute a specified course of action (JP 1-02)


activities or operations conducted by or through coordination with two or more agencies or an agency and one or more services of the same nation (FM 3-07)


a tactical mission task where the commander prevents, disrupts, or delays the enemy's use of an area or route (FM 3-90)

interior lines

a force operates on interior lines when its operations diverge from a central point (FM 3-0)


information operations


intelligence preparation of the battlefield


Irish Republican Army


a mission tactical task that requires a unit to seal off-both physically and psychologically-an enemy from his sources of support, deny an enemy freedom of movement, and prevent an enemy unit from having contact with other enemy forces (FM 3-90)


intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance


joint force commander


joint operations area

joint force

a general term applied to a force composed of significant elements, assigned or attached, of two or more Military Departments, operating under a single joint force commander (JP 3-0)

joint force commander

a general term applied to a combatant commander, subunified commander, or joint task force commander authorized to exercise combatant command (command authority) or operational control over a joint force (JP 3-0)

joint operations

a general term to describe military actions conducted by joint forces, or by Service forces in relationships (e.g., support, coordinating authority), which, of themselves, do not create joint forces (JP 3-0)

joint task force

a joint force that is constituted and so designated by the Secretary of Defense, a combatant commander, a subunified commander, or an existing joint task force commander (JP 3-0)


joint publication


joint special operations task force


Joint Surveillance, Target Attack Radar System


joint task force


joint urban operation

key terrain

any locality or area, the seizure or retention of which affords a marked advantage to either combatant in a given course of action (JP 2-01.3)


kilometers (graphics only)


local area network

law of war

that part of international law that regulates the conduct of armed hostilities. Also called the law of armed conflict. (JP 1-04)


that contact or intercommunication maintained between elements of military forces or other agencies to ensure mutual understanding and unity of purpose and action (JP 3-08)

line of communications

a route, either land, water, and/or air, which connects an operating military force with a base of operations and along which supplies and military forces move (JP 4-0)


liaison officer


line of communications


logistics civilian augmentation program


the science of planning and carrying out the movement and maintenance of forces. In its most comprehensive sense, those aspects of military operations which deal with: a. design and development, acquisition, storage, movement, distribution, maintenance, evacuation, and disposition of materiel; b. movement, evacuation, and hospitalization of personnel; c. acquisition or construction, maintenance, operation, and disposition of facilities; and d. acquisition or furnishing of services. (JP 4-0)

logistics over-the-shore operations

the loading and unloading of ships without the benefit of deep draft-capable, fixed port facilities, in friendly or nondefended territory, and, in time of war, during phases of theater development in which there is no opposition by the enemy; or as a means of moving forces closer to tactical assembly areas dependent on threat force capabilities. (JP 4-01.6)

logistics preparation of the theater

all actions taken by combat service support to maximize the means of supporting commander's plans (FM 100-10)


line of sight


logistics preparation of the theater


Military Assistance Command-Vietnam


Marine air-ground task force

major operation

a series of tactical actions (battles, engagements, strikes) conducted by various combat forces of a single or several services, coordinated in time and place, to accomplish operational, and sometimes strategic objectives in an operational area (FM 3-0)


(Army) one of the nine principles of war: place the enemy in a disadvantageous position through the flexible application of combat power (FM 3-0)

maneuver battlefield operating system

the movement of forces to achieve a position of advantage with respect to enemy forces. This system includes the employment of forces on the battlefield in combination with direct fire or fire potential. This system also includes the conduct of tactical tasks associated with force projection. (FM 7-15)


man-portable air defense system

Marine air-ground task force

the Marine Corps principal organization for all missions across the range of military operations, composed of forces task-organized under a single commander capable of responding rapidly to a contingency anywhere in the world. The types of forces in the Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF) are functionally grouped into four core elements: a command element, an aviation combat element, a ground combat element, and a combat service support element. The four core elements are categories of forces, not formal commands. The basic structure of the MAGTF never varies, though the number, size, and type of Marine Corps units comprising each of its four elements will always be mission dependent. The flexibility of the organizational structure allows for one or more subordinate MAGTFs to be assigned. (JP 3-02.1)

Marine expeditionary force

the largest Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF) and the Marine Corps' principal warfighting organization, particularly for larger crises or contingencies. It is task-organized around a permanent command element and normally contains one or more Marine divisions, Marine aircraft wings, and Marine force service support groups. The Marine expeditionary force is capable of missions across the range of military operations, including amphibious assault and sustained operations ashore in any environment. It can operate from a sea base, a land base, or both. (JP 3-02.1)

Marine expeditionary unit

a Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF) that is constructed around an infantry battalion reinforced, a helicopter squadron reinforced, and a task-organized combat service support element. It normally fulfills Marine Corps forward sea-based deployment requirements. The Marine expeditionary unit provides an immediate reaction capability for crisis response and is capable of limited combat operations. (JP 3-02.1)


(Army) one of the nine principles of war: concentrate the effects of combat power at the decisive place and time (FM 3-0)

mass casualty

any large number of casualties produced in a relatively short period of time, usually as the result of a single incident such as a military aircraft accident, hurricane, flood, earthquake, or armed attack that exceeds local logistical support capabilities (JP 4-02.2)

medical evacuation

the timely and efficient movement of patients while providing en route medical care to and between medical treatment facilities (FM 4-02)

meeting engagement

(Army) a combat action that occurs when a moving force engages an enemy at an unexpected time and place (FM 3-0)


Marine expeditionary force


1) in the context of information management, the major subject categories into which relevant information is grouped for military operations: mission, enemy, terrain and weather, troops and support available, time available, civil considerations (2) in the context of tactics, the major factors considered during mission analysis (FM 6-0)


Marine expeditionary unit


Marine expeditionary unit (special operations capable)


major general


materials handling equipment

military deception

actions executed to deliberately mislead adversary military decision makers as to friendly military capabilities, intentions, and operations, thereby causing the adversary to take specific actions (or inactions) that will contribute to the accomplishment of the friendly mission (JP 3-58)


unintentionally incorrect information emanating from virtually anyone, for reasons unknown or to solicit a response or interest that is not political or military in origin (FM 100-6)


1. The task, together with the purpose, that clearly indicates the action to be taken and the reason therefore. 2. In common usage, especially when applied to lower military units, a duty assigned to an individual or unit; a task. (JP 1-02)

mission command

the conduct of military operations through decentralized execution based upon mission orders for effective mission accomplishment. Successful mission command results from subordinate leaders at all echelons exercising disciplined initiative within the commander's intent to accomplish missions. It requires an environment of trust and mutual understanding. (FM 6-0)

mission orders

a technique for completing combat orders to allow subordinates maximum freedom of planning and action to accomplish missions that leave the "how" of mission accomplishment to the subordinate (FM 6-0)


Multiple Launch Rocket System

mobile defense

(Army) a type of defensive operation that concentrates on the destruction or defeat of the enemy through a decisive attack by a striking force (FM 3-0)

mobility operations

(Army) those activities that enable a force to move personnel and equipment on the battlefield without delays due to terrain or obstacles (FM 3-34)

mobility corridors

areas where a force will be canalized due to terrain constructions. They allow military forces to capitalize on the principles of mass and speed and are therefore relatively free of obstacles. (JP 2-01.3)

mobility/countermobility/survivability battlefield operating system

mobility operations preserve the freedom of maneuver of friendly forces. Countermobility operations deny mobility to enemy forces. Survivability operations protect friendly forces from the effects of enemy weapon systems. (FM 7-15)

modified combined obstacle overlay

a joint intelligence preparation of the battlespace product used to portray the effects of each battlespace dimension on military operations. It normally depicts militarily significant aspects of the battlespace environment, such as obstacles restricting military movement, key geography, and military objectives. (JP 2-03.1)

movement to contact

a type of offensive operation designed to develop the situation and establish or regain contact (FM 3-0)


Military Sealift Command


maintenance support team


Military Traffic Management Command


major theater war

multinational operations

a collective term to describe military actions conducted by forces of two or more nations, usually undertaken within the structure of a coalition or alliance (JP 3-16)


north (graphics only)


North Atlantic Treaty Organization

naval coastal warfare

coastal sea control, harbor defense, and port security, executed both in coastal areas outside the United States in support of national policy and in the United States as part of this Nation's defense (JP 3-33)

naval gunfire support

fire provided by Navy surface gun systems in support of a unit or units tasked with achieving the commander's objectives. A subset of naval surface fire support. (JP 3-33)

naval surface fire support

fire provided by Navy surface gun, missile, and electronic warfare systems in support of a unit or units tasked with achieving the commander's objectives (JP 3-33)


nuclear, biological, and chemical


naval coastal warfare


(Army) an individual, a group of individuals, an organization, or a nation which is not hostile or in any way supportive of only one belligerent force in a hostile environment (FM 3-07)


nongovernmental organization


National Imagery and Mapping Agency


North Korean People's Army

no-fire area

a land area designated by the appropriate commander into which fires or their effects are prohibited (JP 3-09)


1. An individual, in an area of combat operations, who is not armed and is not participating in any activity in support of any of the factions or forces involved in combat. 2. An individual, such as a chaplain or medical personnel, whose duties do not involve combat. (FM 3-07)

noncombatant evacuation operation

an operation directed by the Department of State, the Department of Defense, or other appropriate authority whereby noncombatants are evacuated from foreign countries when their lives are endangered by war, civil unrest, or natural disaster to safe havens or to the United States (JP 3-07.5)

noncontiguous area of operations

when one or more of a commander's subordinate forces' areas of operation do not share a common boundary (FM 3-90)

nongovernmental organization

a transnational organization of private citizens that maintain a consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Nongovernmental organizations may be professional associations, foundations, multinational businesses, or simply groups with a common interest in humanitarian assistance activities (development and relief). "Nongovernmental organizations" is a term normally used by non-US organizations. (JP 3-07)

nonlethal fires

any fires that do not directly seek the physical destruction of the intended target and are designed to impair, disrupt, or delay the performance of enemy operational forces, functions, and facilities. Psychological operations, special operations forces, electronic warfare (jamming), and other command and control countermeasures are all nonlethal fire options. (FM 6-20)

nonlethal weapons

weapons that are explicitly designed and primarily employed so as to incapacitate personnel or material, while minimizing fatalities, permanent injury to personnel, and undesired damage to property and the environment. Unlike conventional lethal weapons that destroy their targets through blast, penetration, and fragmentation, nonlethal weapons employ means other than gross physical destruction to prevent the target from functioning. Nonlethal weapons are intended to have one, or both, of the following characteristics: (1) They have relatively reversible effects on personnel and material. (2) They affect objects differently within their area of influence. (JP 1-02)


North Vietnamese Army


observation and fields of fire, avenues of approach, key terrain, obstacles, and cover and concealment


objective (graphics only)


(Army) 1. A location on the ground used to orient operations, phase operations, facilitate changes of direction, and provide for unity of effort. (FM 3-90) 2. One of the nine principles of war: direct every military operation toward a clearly defined, decisive and attainable objective. (FM 3-0) 3. The most important decisive point. (FM 3-0)


one of the nine principles of war: seize, retain, and exploit the initiative (FM 3-0)

offensive information operations

(Army) the integrated use of assigned and supporting capabilities and activities, mutually supported by intelligence, to affect enemy decision makers or to influence others to achieve or promote specific objectives (FM 3-0)

offensive operations

operations aimed at destroying or defeating an enemy. Their purpose is to impose US will on the enemy and achieve decisive victory. (FM 3-0)


1. A military action or the carrying out of a strategic, operational tactical, service, training, or administrative military mission. 2. The process of carrying on combat, including movement, supply, attack, defense, and maneuvers needed to gain the objectives of any battle or campaign. (JP 5-0)

operational control

transferable command authority that may be exercised by commanders at any echelon at or below the level of combatant command. Operational control is inherent in combatant command (command authority). Operational control may be delegated and is the authority to perform those functions of command over subordinate forces involving organizing and employing commands and forces, assigning tasks, designating objectives, and giving authoritative direction necessary to accomplish the mission. Operational control includes authoritative direction over all aspects of military operations and joint training necessary to accomplish missions assigned to the command. Operational control should be exercised through the commanders of subordinate organizations. Normally this authority is exercised through subordinate joint force commanders and Service and/or functional component commanders. Operational control normally provides full authority to organize commands and forces and to employ those forces as the commander in operational control considers necessary to accomplish assigned missions. Operational control does not, in and of itself, include authoritative direction for logistics or matters of administration, discipline, internal organization, or unit training. (JP 3-0)

operational framework

the arrangement of friendly forces and resources in time, space, and purpose with respect to each other and the enemy or situation. It consists of the area of operations, battlespace, and the battlefield organization. (FM 3-0)

operational level of war

the level of war at which campaigns and major operations are planned, conducted, and sustained to accomplish strategic objectives within theaters or operational areas. Activities at this level link tactics and strategy by establishing operational objectives needed to accomplish the strategic objectives, sequencing events to achieve the operational objectives, initiating actions, and applying resources to bring about and sustain these events. These activities imply a broader dimension of time or space than do tactics; they ensure the logistic and administrative support of tactical forces, and provide the means by which tactical successes are exploited to achieve strategic objectives. (JP 3-0)

operations process

plan, prepare, and execute with continuous assessment. (FM 6-0)

operations security

a process of identifying critical information and subsequently analyzing friendly actions attendant to military operations and other activities to: a. identify those actions that can be observed by adversary intelligence systems; b. Determine indicators hostile intelligence systems might obtain that could be interpreted or pieced together to derive critical information in time to be useful to adversaries; and c. Select and execute measures that eliminate or reduce to an acceptable level the vulnerabilities of friendly actions to adversary exploitation. (JP 3-54)


operations security


(Army) a written or oral communication directing actions. Orders are based on plans or the receipt of a new mission. (FM 101-5)


public affairs

paramilitary force

forces or groups distinct from the regular armed forces of any country, but resembling them in organization, equipment, training, or mission (JP 3-05)


a detachment of ground, sea, or air forces sent out for the purpose of gathering information or carrying out a destructive, harassing, mopping-up, or security mission (JP 1-02)


Panamanian Defense Force

peace enforcement

application of military force, or the threat of its use, normally pursuant to international authorization, to compel compliance with resolutions or sanctions designed to maintain or restore peace and order (JP 3-07.3)


military operations undertaken with the consent of all major parties to a dispute, designed to monitor and facilitate implementation of an agreement (ceasefire, truce, or other such agreement) and support diplomatic efforts to reach a long-term political settlement (JP 3-07.3)

peace operations

a broad term that encompasses peacekeeping operations and peace enforcement operations conducted in support of diplomatic efforts to establish and maintain peace (JP 3-07.3)

peacetime military engagement

all military activities that involve other nations and are intended to shape the security environment in peacetime. It includes programs and exercises that the US military conducts with other nations to shape the international environment, improve mutual understanding with other countries, and improve interoperability with treaty partners or potential coalition partners. Peacetime military engagement activities are designed to support a combatant commander's objectives as articulated in the theater engagement plan. (FM 3-0)


a form of maneuver in which an attacking force seeks to rupture enemy defenses on a narrow front to disrupt the defensive system (FM 3-0)


precision-guided munitions

phase line

a line utilized for control and coordination of military operations, usually an easily identified feature in the operational area (JP 1-02)

physical destruction

the application of combat power to destroy or degrade adversary forces, sources of information and command and control systems, and installations. It includes direct and indirect forces from ground, sea, and air forces. Also included are direct actions by special operations forces. (FM 100-6)

physical security

that part of security concerned with physical measures designed to safeguard personnel; to prevent unauthorized access to equipment, installations, material, and documents; and to safeguard them against espionage, sabotage, damage, and theft (JP 3-13)


priority information requirements


phase line (graphics only)


Palestine Liberation Organization


preventive maintenance checks and services


peacetime military engagement

port of debarkation

the geographic point at which cargo or personnel are discharged. May be a seaport or aerial port of debarkation; for unit requirements, it may or may not coincide with the destination (JP 3-35)

port of embarkation

the geographic point in a routing scheme from which cargo or personnel depart. This may be a seaport or aerial port from which personnel and equipment flow to port of debarkation; for unit and nonunit requirements, it may or may not coincide with the origin. (JP 3-35)


prisoner of war

principles of war

principles that provide general guidance for conducting war and military operations other than war at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels. The principles are the enduring bedrock of US military doctrine. The nine principles of war are: objective, offensive, mass, economy of force, maneuver, unity of command, security, surprise, and simplicity. (FM 3-0)

priority information requirements

those intelligence requirements for which a commander has an anticipated and stated priority in his task of planning and decision-making (JP 2-0)


any form of communication in support of national objectives designed to influence the opinions, emotions, attitudes, or behavior of any group in order to benefit the sponsor, either directly or indirectly (JP 3-53)

psychological operations

planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. The purpose of psychological operations is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the originator's objectives. (JP 3-53)


psychological operations

public affairs

those public information, command information, and community relations activities directed toward both the external and internal with interest in the Department of Defense (JP 3-61)


an offensive operation designed to catch or cut off a hostile force attempting to escape, with the aim of destroying it (JP 1-02)


in logistics, the delivery of a predetermined amount of supplies to a user on a scheduled basis without the user requesting them. (FM 100-10)


Panzer (graphics only)


quick reaction force


River (graphics only)


a point on a railway where loads are transferred between trains and other means of transport (JP 4-01.5)

rear area

for any particular command, the area extending forward from its rear boundary to the rear of the area assigned to the next lower level of command. This area is provided primarily for the performance of support functions and is where the majority of the echelon's sustaining functions occur. (JP 3-10)


a civilian who, by reason of real or imagined danger, has left home to seek safety elsewhere (JP 3-07.6)

relevant information

all information of importance to commanders and staffs in the exercise of command and control (FM 3-0)

relief in place

(Army) a tactical enabling operation in which, by direction of higher authority, all or part of a unit is replaced in an area by the incoming unit (FM 3-90)


action taken to shift internal resources within a degraded unit to increase its level of combat effectiveness (FM 100-9)


one of the eight characteristics of combat service support: providing the right support at the right place at the right time (FM 100-10)


that portion of a force withheld from action or uncommitted to a specific course of action, so as to be available for commitment at the decisive moment. Its primary purpose is to retain flexibility through offensive action. (JP 1-02)


a type of defensive operations that involves organized movement away from the enemy (FM 3-0)

riot control agent

any chemical that is not listed in the Chemical Weapons Convention, which can produce rapidly in humans sensory irritate or disabling physical effects which disappear within a short time following termination of exposure (JP 1-02)


(Army) chance of hazard or bad consequences; exposure to chance of injury or loss. Risk level is expressed in terms of hazard probability or severity. (FM 100-14)

risk assessment

the identification and assessment of hazards (first two steps of risk management process) (JP 1-02)

risk management

(Army) the process of identifying, assessing, and controlling risk arising from operational factors, and making an informed decision that balances cost with mission benefits (FM 3-0)


rules of engagement


Republic of Korea


Romanian Army (graphics only)


rocket-propelled grenade

rules of engagement

(Joint) directives issued by competent military authority which delineate the circumstances and limitations under which United States forces will initiate and/or continue combat engagement with other forces encountered (JP 3-0)


supporting arms liaison team


special boat unit


sea-air-land team

search and attack

a technique for conducting a movement to contact that shares many of the characteristics of an area security mission (FM 3-0)


(Army) a tactical mission task that involves preventing a unit, facility, or geographical location from being damaged or destroyed as a result of enemy action. (FM 3-90)


(Army) one of the nine principles of war: never permit the enemy to acquire an unexpected advantage (FM 3-0)


a tactical mission task that involves taking possession of a designated area using overwhelming force (FM 3-90)


an operation that follows the current operation. It is a future operation that anticipates the possible outcome-success, failure, or stalemate-of the current operation. (FM 3-0)


Army Special Forces

shaping operations

operations at any echelon that create and preserve conditions for success of the decisive operation (FM 3-0)

show of force

an operation, designed to demonstrate US resolve that involves increased visibility of US deployed forces in an attempt to defuse a specific situation, that, if allowed to continue, may be detrimental to US interests or national objectives (JP 3-07)


signals intelligence

signals intelligence

1. A category of intelligence comprising either individually or in combination all communications intelligence, electronic intelligence, and foreign instrumentation signals intelligence, however transmitted. 2. Intelligence derived from communications, electronic, and foreign instrumentation signals. (JP 2-0)


one of the nine principles of war and one of the eight characteristics of combat service support: prepare clear, uncomplicated plans, and clear, concise orders to ensure thorough understanding. (FM 3-0)

situational understanding

the product of applying analysis and judgment to the common operational picture to determine the relationships among the factors of METT-TC (FM 3-0)

situation template

a depiction of assumed adversary dispositions, based on adversary doctrine and the effects of the battlespace if the adversary should adopt a particular course of action. In effect, situation templates are the doctrinal templates depicting a particular operation modified to account for the effects of the battlespace environment and the adversary's current situation (training and experience levels, logistic status, losses, dispositions). Normally, the situation template depicts adversary units two levels of command below the friendly force, as well as the expected locations of high-value targets. Situation templates use time-phase lines to indicate movement of forces and the expected flow of the operation. Usually, the situation template depicts a critical point in the course of action. Situation templates are one part of an adversary course of action model. Models may contain more than one situation template. (JP 2-03.1)


Staff Judge Advocate


special operations


special operations command and control element


special operations coordination element


special operations forces


status-of-forces agreement


standing operating procedure


special operations weather team


seaport of debarkation


seaport of embarkation

space operations

the employment of space system capabilities that provide the means to enhance command and control, facilitate the maneuver of forces, reduce the commander's uncertainty, and improve fire support, air defense, intelligence collection, and combat service support operations which will support strategic, operational, and tactical missions across the operational continuum in the near, mid, and far term (FM 3-14)

special operations

(Joint) operations conducted by specially organized, trained, and equipped military and paramilitary forces to achieve military, political, economic, or informational objectives by unconventional military means in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive areas. These operations are conducted across the full range of military operations, independently or in coordination with operations of conventional, nonspecial operations forces. Political-military considerations frequently shape special operations, requiring clandestine, covert, or low visibility techniques and oversight at the national level. Special operations differ from conventional operations in degree of physical and political risk, operational techniques, mode of employment, independence from friendly support, and dependence on detailed operational intelligence and indigenous assets. (JP 3-05)

special operations forces

those Active and Reserve Component forces of the Military Services designated by the Secretary of Defense and specifically organized, trained, and equipped to conduct and support special operations (JP 3-05)

special reconnaissance

(Army) complementing of national and theater intelligence collection assets and systems by obtaining specific, well-defined, and time-sensitive information of strategic or operational significance. It may complement other collection methods where there are constraints of weather, terrain-masking, hostile countermeasures, and/or other systems availability. Special reconnaissance is a human intelligence function that places US or US-controlled "eyes on target" in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive territory when authorized. SOF may conduct these missions unilaterally or in support of conventional operations (FM 100-25)


special reconnaissance


smaller-scale contingency

stability operations

operations that promote and protect US national interests by influencing the threat, political, and information dimensions of the operational environment through a combination of peacetime developmental, cooperative activities and coercive actions in response to crisis (FM 3-0)

status-of-forces agreement

an agreement that defines the legal position of a visiting military force deployed in the territory of a friendly state. Agreements delineating the status of visiting military forces may be bilateral or multilateral. Provisions pertaining to the status of visiting forces may be set forth in a separate agreement, or they may form a part of a more comprehensive agreement. These provisions describe how the authorities of a visiting force may control members of that force and the amenability of the force or its members to the local law or to the authority of local officials. To the extent that agreements delineate matters affecting the relations between a military force and civilian authorities and population, they may be considered as civil affairs agreements. (JP 3-57)

strategic level of war

the level of war at which a nation, often as a member of a group of nations, determines national or multinational (alliance or coalition) strategic security objectives and guidance, and develops and uses national resources to accomplish these objectives. Activities at this level establish national and multinational military objectives; sequence initiatives; define limits and assess risks for the use of military and other instruments of national power; develop global plans or theater war plans to achieve these objectives; and provide military forces and other capabilities in accordance with strategic plans. (JP 3-0)


the art and science of developing and employing armed forces and other instruments of national power in a synchronized fashion to secure national or multinational objectives (FM 3-0)

striking force

a committed force organized to conduct the decisive attack in a mobile defense. It normally comprises the maximum combat power available to the commander at the time of the attack. (FM 3-0)

strong point

(Army) a heavily fortified battle position tied to a natural or reinforcing obstacle to create an anchor for the defense or to deny the enemy decisive or key terrain (FM 3-90)


special tactics team

support operations

operations that employ Army forces to assist civil authorities, foreign or domestic, as they prepare for or respond to crisis and relieve suffering (FM 3-0)


one of the nine principles of war: strike the enemy at a time or place or in a manner for which he is unprepared (FM 3-0)


(Joint) 1. Concept which includes all aspects of protecting personnel, weapons, and supplies while simultaneously deceiving the enemy. Survivability tactics include building a good defense; employing frequent movement; using concealment, deception, and camouflage; and constructing fighting and protective positions for both individuals and equipment. Encompasses planning and locating position sites, designing adequate overhead cover, analyzing terrain conditions and construction materials, selecting excavation methods, and countering the effects of direct and indirect fire weapons. (JP 3-34) (Army) 2. One of the eight characteristics of combat service support: being able to shield support functions from destruction of degradation (FM 100-10)


one of the eight characteristics of combat service support: the ability to maintain continuous support throughout all phases of the operations (FM 100-10)

sustaining operations

operations at any echelon that enable shaping and decisive operations by providing combat service support, rear area and base security, movement control, terrain management, and infrastructure development (FM 3-0)


the provision of personnel, logistic, and other support required to maintain and prolong operations or combat until successful accomplishment or revision of the mission or of the national objective (JP 4-0)


1. The arrangement of military actions in time, space, and purpose to produce maximum relative combat power at a decisive place and time. 2. In the intelligence context, application of intelligence sources and methods in concert with the operational plan. (JP 3-0)


tactical (graphics only)


tactical control

tactical combat force

a combat unit, with appropriate combat support and combat service support assets, that is assigned the mission of defeating Level II threats (JP 3-10.1)

tactical control

command authority over assigned or attached forces or commands, or military capability or forces made available for tasking, that is limited to the detailed and, usually, local direction and control of movements or maneuvers necessary to accomplish missions or tasks assigned. Tactical control is inherent in operational control. Tactical control may be delegated to, and exercised at any level at or below the level of combatant command. (JP 3-0)

tactical level of war

the level of war at which battles and engagements are planned and executed to accomplish military objectives assigned to tactical units or task forces. Activities at this level focus on the ordered arrangement and maneuver of combat elements in relation to each other and to the enemy to achieve combat objectives. (JP 3-0)

target acquisition

the detection, identification, and location of a target in sufficient detail to permit the effective employment of weapons (JP 3-55)


1. The process of selecting targets and matching the appropriate response to them, taking account of operational requirements and capabilities. 2. The analysis of enemy situations relative to the commander's mission, objectives, and capabilities at the commander's disposal, to identify and nominate specific vulnerabilities that, if exploited, will accomplish the commander's purpose through delaying, disrupting, disabling, or destroying enemy forces or resources critical to the enemy. (JP 3-60)

task organization

(Army) a temporary grouping of forces designed to accomplish a particular mission (FM 3-0)

task organizing

(Army) the process of allocating available assets to subordinate commanders and establishing their command and support relationships (FM 3-0)


training circular


transportation component command


the rate of military action (FM 3-0)


the calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological. (JP 3-07.2)


an individual who uses violence, terror, and intimidation to achieve a result (JP 3-07.2)

terminal control

1. The authority to direct the maneuver of aircraft which are delivering ordnance, passengers, or cargo to a specific location or target. Terminal control is a type of air control. 2. Any electronic, mechanical, or visual control given to aircraft to facilitate target acquisition and resolution. (JP 1-02)


task force

throughput distribution

the bypassing of one or more intermediate supply echelons in the supply system to avoid multiple handling (FM 100-10)


toxic industrial materials

time-phased force and deployment data

a Joint Operation Planning and Execution System database located at Appendix 1 to Annex A of deliberate plans. It identifies types and/or actual units required to support the operation plan and indicates origin and ports of debarkation or ocean area. This listing is to include both a. In-place units; and b. Units to be deployed to support the deliberate plan. (JP 4-0)


1. To display or record the successive positions of a moving object. 2. To keep a gun properly aimed, or to point continuously a target-locating instrument at a moving target (JP 1-02)


Training and Doctrine Command


tactics, techniques, and procedures

turning movement

(Army) a form of maneuver in which the attacking force seeks to avoid the enemy's principal defensive positions by seizing objectives to the enemy rear and causing the enemy to move out of his current positions or divert major forces to meet the threat (FM 3-0)


unmanned aerial vehicle


United Nations

unconventional warfare

a broad spectrum of military and paramilitary operations, normally of long duration, predominantly conducted by indigenous or surrogate forces who are organized, trained, equipped, supported, and directed in varying degrees by an external source. It includes guerrilla warfare and other direct offensive, low visibility, covert, or clandestine operations, as well as the indirect activities of subversion, sabotage, intelligence activities, and evasion and escape. (JP 3-05)

unexploded ordnance

explosive ordnance which has been primed, fused, armed, or otherwise prepared for action, and which has been fired, dropped, launched, projected, or placed in such a manner as to constitute a hazard to operations, installations, personnel, or material, and remains unexploded either by malfunction or design or for any other cause (JP 1-02)


Unified Task Force

unity of command

one of the nine principles of war: for every objective, ensure unity of effort under one responsible commander (FM 3-0)

unity of effort

coordination and cooperation among all forces toward a commonly recognized objective, even if the forces are not necessarily part of the same command structure (FM 6-0)


UN Operations in Somalia


UN Security Council Resolution


urban operations

*urban area

a topographical complex where man-made construction or high population density is the dominant feature

*urban environment

includes the physical urban area as well as the complex and dynamic interaction and relationships between its key components-the terrain (natural and man-made), the population, and the supporting infrastructure-as an overlapping and interdependent system of systems.

urban operations

(Army) offense, defense, stability, and support operations conducted in a topographical complex and adjacent natural terrain where manmade construction and high population density are the dominant features (FM 3-0)


United States


United States Air Force


US Agency for International Development


US Coast Guard


Commander in Chief, United States Central Command


US Forces, Somalia


United States Navy


US ship


US Special Operations Command


US Space Command


US Transportation Command


unexploded ordnance




the ability of Army forces to meet the global, diverse mission requirements of full spectrum operations (FM 3-0)


creating and thinking in mental images. See also commander's visualization. (FM 6-0)


1. The susceptibility of a nation or military force to any action by any means through which its war potential or combat effectiveness may be reduced or its will to fight diminished. 2. The characteristics of a system that cause it to suffer a definite degradation (incapability to perform the designated mission) as a result of having been subjected to a certain level of effects in an unnatural (manmade) hostile environment. 3. In information operations, a weakness in information system security design, procedures, implementation, or internal controls that could be exploited to gain unauthorized access to information or an information system. (JP 1-02)

weapons of mass destruction

weapons that are capable of a high order of destruction and/or of being used in such a manner as to destroy large numbers of people. Weapons of mass destruction can be high explosives or nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological weapons, but excludes the means of transporting or propelling the weapon where such means is a separable and divisible part of the weapon. (JP 3-11)

withdrawal operation

a planned retrograde operation in which a force in contact disengages from an enemy force and moves in a direction away from the enemy (Joint)


weapons of mass destruction

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One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias