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Military

Glossary

The glossary lists acronyms and terms with Army or joint definitions, and other selected terms. Where Army and joint definitions are different, (Army) follows the term. Terms for which FM 3-90 is the proponent manual (the authority) are marked with an asterisk (*). The proponent manual for other terms is listed in parentheses after the definition.

    
A2C2 Army airspace command and control 
AA assembly area 
AATF air assault task force 
AATFC air assault task force commander 
ACA airspace coordination area 
ACM airspace control measure 
ACP air control point 
acq acquisition 
ACR armored cavalry regiment 
*actions on contact a series of combat actions, often conducted simultaneously, taken on contact with the enemy to develop the situation 
active air defense direct defensive action taken to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of hostile air action. It includes such measures as the use of aircraft, air defense weapons, weapons not used primarily in an air defense role, and electronic warfare. (FM 3-01.8) 
AD armored division 
ADA air defense artillery 
ADC area damage control 
administrative movement a movement in which troops and vehicles are arranged to expedite their movement and conserve time and energy when no enemy interference, except by air, is anticipated (JP 1-02) 
AG adjutant general 
AGL above ground level 
AH attack helicopter 
AI air interdiction 
air assault operations those operations in which assault forces (combat, combat support, and combat service support)-using the firepower, mobility, and total integration of helicopter assets-maneuver on the battlefield under the control of the ground or air maneuver commander to engage and destroy enemy forces or to seize and hold key terrain (FM 3-97.4)  
airborne operation an operation involving the air movement into an objective area of combat forces and their logistic support for execution of a tactical, operational, or strategic mission. The means employed may be any combination of airborne units, air transportable units, and various types of transport aircraft, depending on the mission and the overall situation. (JP 3-18) 
air control point an easily identifiable point on the terrain or an electronic navigational aid used to provide necessary control during air movement. ACPs are generally designated at each point where the flight route or air corridor makes a definite change in direction and at any other point deemed necessary for timing or control of the operation. (FM 3-52) 
air corridor a restricted air route of travel specified for use by friendly aircraft and established for the purpose of preventing friendly aircraft from being fired on by friendly forces (JP 1-02) 
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)  
airspace coordination area a three-dimensional block of airspace in a target area, established by the appropriate ground commander, in which friendly aircraft are reasonably safe from friendly surface fires. The airspace coordination area may be formal or informal. (JP 3-09.3) 
alt altitude 
*alternate position a defensive position that the commander assigns to a unit or weapon for occupation when the primary position becomes untenable or unsuitable for carrying out the assigned task 
ambush a form of attack by fire or other destructive means from concealed positions on a moving or temporarily halted enemy (FM 3-0) 
AO area of operations 
APOD aerial port of debarkation 
approach march (Army) the advance of a combat unit when direct contact with the enemy is intended (FM 3-0) 
AR armor 
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 influence a geographical area wherein a commander is directly capable of influencing operations by maneuver or fire support systems normally under the commander's command or control (JP 1-02) 
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 who could jeopardize the accomplishment of the mission. (JP 2-03) 
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 1-02) 
*area reconnaissance a form of reconnaissance that focuses on obtaining detailed information about the terrain or enemy activity within a prescribed area 
*area security a form of security operations conducted to protect friendly forces, installations, routes, and actions within a specific area 
ARFOR 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 air movements operations involving the use of utility and cargo rotary-wing assets for other than air assaults 
Army airspace command and control those actions that ensure the synchronized use of airspace and enhance the command and control of forces using airspace (FM 3-52) 
*art of tactics The art of tactics consists of three interrelated aspects: the creative and flexible array of means to accomplish assigned missions, decision making under conditions of uncertainty when faced with an intelligent enemy, and understanding the human dimension-the effects of combat on soldiers 
ASCC Army service component command 
ASG area support group 
aslt assault 
*assailable flank a flank exposed to attack or envelopment 
assault echelon the element of a force that is scheduled for initial assault on the objective area (JP 4-01.2) [The joint definition includes a sentence relating to amphibious operations that is omitted.] 
*assault position a covered and concealed position short of the objective, from which final preparations are made to assault the objective 
*assault time the moment to attack the initial objectives throughout the geographical scope of the operation 
*assembly area an area a unit occupies to prepare for an operation 
AT antitank 
ATACMS Army Tactical Missile System 
atk attack 
ATS air traffic service 
attack an offensive operation that destroys or defeats enemy forces, seizes and secures terrain, or both (FM 3-0) 
*attack by fire a tactical mission task in which a commander uses direct fires, supported by indirect fires, to engage an enemy without closing with him to destroy, suppress, fix, or deceive him 
*attack-by-fire position the general position from which a unit conducts the tactical mission task of attack by fire 
*attack position the last position an attacking force occupies or passes through before crossing the line of departure 
*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 
avn aviation 
*axis of advance the general area through which the bulk of a unit's combat power must move 
AXP ambulance exchange point 
base a locality from which operations are projected or supported (JP 1-02) 
base cluster in base defense operations, a collection of bases geographically grouped for mutual protection and ease of command and control (JP 3-10) 
base commander In base defense operations, the officer assigned to command a base (JP 1-02) 
*base defense force A base defense force is a security element established to provide local security to a base 
base defense operations center a command and control facility established by the base commander to serve as the focal point for base security and defense. It plans, directs, integrates, coordinates, and controls all base defense efforts, and coordinates and integrates into area security operations with the rear area operations center/rear tactical operations center. (JP 3-10.1) 
*battalion A battalion (or a squadron) is a unit consisting of two or more company-, battery-, or troop-size units and a headquarters 
*battalion task force a combat arms battalion-size unit consisting of a battalion headquarters, at least one assigned company-size element, and at least one attached company-size element from another combat arms or combat support unit 
*battery a company-size unit in a field artillery or air defense artillery organization 
battle a set of related tactical engagements that last longer and involve larger forces than an engagement (FM 3-0) 
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) 
*battle handover line a designated phase line on the ground where responsibility transitions from the stationary force to the moving force and vice versa 
*battle position a defensive location oriented on a likely enemy avenue of approach 
BCD battlefield coordination detachment 
BCOC base cluster operations center 
BCT brigade combat team 
BDAR battle damage assessment and repair 
BDOC base defense operations center 
bde brigade 
BDF base defense force 
BFV Bradley fighting vehicle 
BG brigadier general 
BHL battle handover line 
*block a tactical mission task that denies the enemy access to an area or prevents his advance in a direction or along an avenue of approach. Block is also an engineer obstacle effect that integrates fire planning and obstacle effort to stop an attacker along a specific avenue of approach or prevent him from passing through an engagement area 
bn battalion 
Bn TF battalion task force 
BOS battlefield operating systems 
boundary a line that delineates surface areas for the purpose of facilitating coordination and deconfliction of operations between adjacent units, formations, or areas (JP 0-2) 
BP battle position 
*breach a tactical mission task in which the unit employs all available means to break through or secure a passage through an enemy defense, obstacle, minefield, or fortification 
*brigade combat team a semipermanent combined arms organization, consisting of a brigade headquarters, at least two combat arms battalions, and all necessary supporting combat support and combat service support, formed for the purpose of carrying out a continuing specific task 
*brigade a unit consisting of two or more battalions and a headquarters 
BSA brigade support area 
*bypass 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 
C cover (used on graphics to indicate a security mission. See paragraph 12-13) 
C2 command and control 
CA civil affairs 
calculated risk an exposure to chance of injury or loss when the commander can visualize the outcome in terms of mission accomplishment or damage to the force, and judges the outcome as worth the cost 
*canalize (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 
CAS close air support 
cbt combat 
CCIR commander's critical information requirements 
CD cavalry division
counterdrug
 
CFL coordinated fire line 
CFZ critical friendly zone 
*checkpoint a predetermined point on the ground used to control movement, tactical maneuver, and orientation 
CI counterintelligence 
*clear a tactical mission task that requires the commander to remove all enemy forces and eliminate organized resistance within an assigned area 
close area where forces are in immediate contact with the enemy and the fighting between the committed forces and readily available tac-tical reserves of both combatants is occurring, or where commanders envision close combat taking place. Typically, the close area assigned to a maneuver force extends from its subordinates' rear boundaries to its own forward boundary. (FM 3-0) 
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) 
CNR combat net radio 
co company 
COA course of action 
COL colonel 
COLT combat observation and lasing team 
*combat arms units and soldiers who close with and destroy enemy forces or provide firepower and destructive capabilities on the battlefield 
*combat formation an ordered arrangement of forces for a specific purpose and the general configuration of a unit on the ground 
combat information (Army) unevaluated data gather by or provided to a commander that, due to its highly perishable nature or the critical nature of the tactical situation, cannot be processed into tactical intelligence or other staff products in time to meet the commander's information requirements (FM 6-0) 
*combat outpost a reinforced observation post capable of conducting limited combat operations 
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 1-02) 
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) 
*combat support (Army) critical combat functions provided by units and soldiers in conjunction with combat arms units and soldiers to secure victory 
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) 
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) 
*company a unit consisting of two or more platoons, usually of the same type, with a headquarters and a limited capacity for self-support 
*company team a combined arms organization formed by attaching one or more nonorganic tank, mechanized infantry, or light infantry platoons to a tank, mechanized infantry, or light infantry company, either in exchange for, or in addition to, its organic platoons 
*consolidation the process of organizing and strengthening a newly captured position so that it can be defended 
*contact point an easily identifiable point on the terrain where two or more ground units are required to make physical contact 
*contain (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 
*contiguous area of operations when all of a commander's subordinate forces' areas of operations share one or more common boundaries 
COP common operational picture 
*control 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 
CONUS continental United States 
*convoy security operations a specialized kind of area security operations conducted to protect convoys 
coordinated fire line a line beyond which conventional, direct, and indirect surface fire support means may fire at any time within the boundaries of the establishing headquarters without additional coordination. The purpose of the CFL is to expedite the surface-to-surface attack of targets beyond the CFL without coordination with the ground commander in whose area the targets are located. (JP 3-09) 
*cordon security the security provided between two combat outposts positioned to provide mutual support 
*corps the Army's largest tactical unit and the instrument by which higher echelons of command conduct maneuver at the operational level 
COSCOM corps support command 
co/tm company/team 
counterattack (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) 
*counterreconnaissance (Army) a tactical mission task that encompasses all measures taken by a commander to counter enemy reconnaissance and surveillance efforts. Counterreconnaissance is not a distinct mission, but a component of all forms of security operations 
*cover 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 
*covering force a self-contained force capable of operating independently of the main body, unlike a screening or guard force 
CP checkpoint; command post 
*critical friendly zone an area, usually a friendly unit or location, that the maneuver commander designates as critical to the protection of an asset whose loss would seriously jeopardize the mission 
CS combat support 
CSG corps support group 
CSS combat service support 
*cueing the integration of one or more types of reconnaissance or surveillance systems to provide information that directs follow-on collecting of more detailed information by another system 
DAG division artillery group 
DASB division aviation support battalion 
*decisive terrain key terrain whose seizure and retention is mandatory for successful mission accomplishment 
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) 
deep area an area forward of the close area that commanders use to shape enemy forces before they are encountered or engaged in the close area (FM 3-0) 
*defeat 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. 
*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. 
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) 
delay a form of retrograde [JP 1-02 uses an 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, see delaying operation) 
*delay line a phase line where the date and time before which the enemy is not allowed to cross the phase line is depicted as part of the graphic control measure 
*deliberate operation an operation in which a commander's detailed intelligence concerning the situation allows him to develop and coordinate detailed plans, including multiple branches and sequels. He task- organizes his forces specifically for the operation to provide a fully synchronized combined arms team. He conducts extensive rehearsals while conducting shaping operations to set the conditions for his decisive operation. 
demonstration (Army) a form of the attack designed to deceive the enemy as to the location or time of the decisive operation by a display of force. Forces conducting a demonstration do not seek contact with the enemy. (FM 3-0) 
*denial operations actions to hinder or deny the enemy the use of space, personnel, supplies, or facilities 
*destroy a tactical mission task that physically renders an enemy force combat-ineffective until it is reconstituted. Alternatively, to destroy a combat system is to damage it so badly that it cannot perform any function or be restored to a usable condition without being entirely rebuilt. 
*detachment left in contact an element left in contact as part of the previously designated (usually rear) security force while the main body conducts its withdrawal 
*direction of attack a specific direction or assigned route a force uses and does not deviate from when attacking 
DISCOM division support command 
*disengage a tactical mission task where a commander has his unit break contact with the enemy to allow the conduct of another mission or to avoid decisive engagement 
*disengagement line a phase line located on identifiable terrain that, when crossed by the enemy, signals to defending elements that it is time to displace to their next positions 
*dismounted marches Dismounted marches, also called foot marches, are movements of troops and equipment, mainly by foot, with limited support by vehicles. 
*disrupt 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 pre-maturely, and attack in a piecemeal effort. 
div division 
DIVARTY division artillery 
DIVCAV division cavalry 
*divisions (Army) the largest fixed organizations in the Army that train and fight as tactical teams, and are organized with varying numbers and types of combat, CS, and CSS units 
DLIC detachment left in contact 
DOD Department of Defense 
DS direct support 
DSA division support area 
DZ drop zone 
EA engagement area 
EAC echelon above corps 
eff effective 
*encirclement operations operations where one force loses its freedom of maneuver because an opposing force is able to isolate it by controlling all ground lines of communication and reinforcement 
engagement a small, tactical conflict between opposing maneuver forces, usually conducted at brigade level and below (FM 3-0) 
*engagement area where the commander intends to contain and destroy an enemy force with the massed effects of all available weapons and supporting systems 
*engagement criteria protocols that specify those circumstances for initiating engagement with an enemy force 
*engagement priority the order in which the unit engages enemy systems or functions 
envelopment (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) 
ENY enemy (graphics) 
EOD explosive ordnance disposal 
EPW enemy prisoner of war 
ESB enhanced separate brigade 
evac evacuation 
EW electronic warfare 
*exfiltrate a tactical mission task where a commander removes personnel or units from areas under enemy control by stealth, deception, surprise, or clandestine means 
exploitation a type of offensive operation that usually follows a successful attack and is designed to disorganize the enemy in depth (JP 1-02) 
EZ extraction zone 
FA field artillery 
FARP forward arming and refueling point 
FCL final coordination line 
FEBA forward edge of the battle area 
feint (Army) a form of attack used to deceive the enemy as to the location or time of the actual decisive operation. Forces conducting a feint seek direct fire contact with the enemy but avoid decisive engagement. (FM 3-0) 
FFA free-fire area 
*field of fire the area that a weapon or group of weapons may cover effectively from a given position 
*final coordination line a phase line close to the enemy position used to coordinate the lifting or shifting of supporting fires with the final deployment of maneuver elements 
final protective fires an immediately available preplanned barrier of fires designed to impede enemy movement across defensive lines or areas (JP 3-09) 
*fire strike the massed, synchronized, and nearly simultaneous delivery of precision-guided munitions 
*fire superiority that degree of dominance in the fires of one force over another that permits that force to conduct maneuver at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the enemy 
fire support battlefield operating system 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 coordination line a FSCM that is established and adjusted by appropriate land or amphibious force commanders within their boundaries in consultation with superior, subordinate, supporting, and affected commanders. The FSCL facilitates the expeditious attack of surface targets of opportunity beyond the coordinating measure. A FSCL does not divide an area of operations by defining a boundary between close and deep operations or a distinct area [JP 3-09 uses zone] for close air support. The FSCL applies to all fires of air-, land-, and sea-based weapon systems using any type of ammunition. Forces attacking targets beyond an FSCL must inform all affected commanders in sufficient time to allow necessary reaction to avoid fratricide. Supporting elements attacking targets beyond the FSCL must ensure that the attack will not produce adverse effects on, or to the rear of, the line. Short of an FSCL, all air-to-ground and surface-to-surface attack operations are controlled by the appropriate land or amphibious force commander. The FSCL should follow well-defined terrain features. Coordination of attacks beyond the FSCL is especially critical to commanders of air, land, and special operations forces. In exceptional circumstances, the inability to conduct this coordination will not preclude the attack of targets beyond the FSCL. However, failure to do so may increase the risk of fratricide and could waste limited resources. (JP 3-09) 
fire support target see target 
*fix 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 to 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 
*flanking position a geographical location on the flank of a force from which effective fires can be placed on that flank 
*flanks the right or left limits of a unit 
FLE forward logistics element 
FLOT forward line of own troops 
FM field manual 
FOB forward operating base 
*follow and assume a tactical mission task in which a second committed force follows a force conducting an offensive operation and is prepared to continue the mission if the lead force is fixed, attrited, or unable to continue 
*follow and support a tactical mission task in which a committed force follows and supports a lead force conducting an offensive operation 
*follow-on echelon those additional forces moved into the objective area after the assault echelon 
foot march see dismounted marches 
forward edge of the battle area the foremost limits of a series of areas in which ground combat units are deployed, excluding the areas in which the covering or screening forces are operating, designated to coordinate fire support, the positioning of forces, or the maneuver of units (JP 1-02) 
forward line of own troops a line which indicates the most forward positions of friendly forces in any kind of military operation at a specific time. The forward line of own troops normally identifies the forward location of covering and screening forces. (JP 1-02) 
*forward passage of lines when a unit passes through another unit's positions while moving toward the enemy 
FPF final protective fires 
FRAGO fragmentary order 
free-fire area a specific area into which any weapon system may fire into without additional coordination with the establishing headquarters (JP 3-09) 
front an echelon of the Soviet Army two levels above corps, the equivilent of a US army group 
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) 
FSB forward support battalion 
FSCL fire support coordination line 
FSCM fire support coordinating measure 
FSCOORD fire support coordinator 
G guard (used on graphics to indicate a security mission. See paragraph 12-13) 
G1 assistant chief of staff, personnel 
G2 assistant chief of staff, intelligence 
G3 assistant chief of staff, operations 
G4 assistant chief of staff, logistics 
G5 assistant chief of staff, civil affairs 
G6 assistant chief of staff, communications 
*gap (Army) an area free of armed mines or obstacles whose width and direction allow a friendly force to pass through the area containing obstacles while dispersed in a tactical formation 
GEN general 
GPS global positioning system 
GRC guards rifle corps 
grd ground 
GS general support 
GSR ground surveillance radar 
*guard (Army) a form of security operations 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. Units conducting a guard mission cannot operate independently because they rely upon fires and combat support assets of the main body. 
*hasty operation an operation in which a commander directs his immediately available forces, using fragmentary orders, to perform activities with minimal preparation, trading planning and preparation time for speed of execution 
hel helicopter 
HHC headquarters and headquarters company 
HIMAD high- to medium-altitude air defense 
HQ headquarters 
HUMINT human intelligence 
IBCT initial brigade combat team 
ID infantry division 
IFF identification, friend or foe 
IMINT imagery intelligence 
IN infantry 
infiltration (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) 
*infiltration lane a control measure that coordinates forward and lateral movement of infiltrating units and fixes fire planning responsibilities 
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) 
*interdict a tactical mission task where the commander prevents, disrupts, or delays the enemy's use of an area or route 
IO information operations 
IPB intelligence preparation of the battlefield 
ISB intermediate support base 
*isolate a tactical mission 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 
ISR intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance 
JAAT joint air attack team 
JAG judge adcocate general 
JAOC joint air operations center 
JFACC joint force air component commander 
JFC joint force commander 
JFLCC joint force land component commander 
JP joint publication 
JSOA joint special operations area 
JSTARS joint surveillance target attack radar system 
JTF joint task force 
*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 
*kill zone that part of an ambush site where fires are concentrated to isolate, fix, and destroy the enemy 
LC line of contact 
LD line of departure 
*Level I threat a small enemy force that can be defeated by CS and CSS units operating in the rear area or by the perimeter defenses established by friendly bases and base clusters 
*Level II threat enemy activities that can be defeated by a base or base cluster augmented by a response force 
*Level III threat a threat beyond the defensive capability of both the base and base cluster and any local reserve or response force 
lg long 
*light line a designated phase line, forward of which vehicles are required to use blackout lights during periods of limited visibility 
*limit of advance a phase line used to control forward progress of the attack. The attacking unit does not advance any of its elements or assets beyond the LOA, but the attacking unit can push its security forces to that limit. 
*line of contact a general trace delineating the location where friendly and enemy forces are engaged 
*line of departure a phase line crossed at a prescribed time by troops initiating an offensive operation 
line of communication 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 1-02) 
*linkup point a point where two infiltrating elements in the same or different infiltration lanes are scheduled to meet to consolidate before proceeding on with their missions 
*linkup a meeting of friendly ground forces, which occurs in a variety of circumstances 
LL light line 
LLTR low-level transit route 
LOA limit of advance 
LOC line of communication 
*local security low-level security operations conducted near a unit to prevent surprise by the enemy 
*logistic package a grouping of multiple classes of supply and supply vehicles under the control of a single convoy commander 
LOGPAC logistic package 
LRP logistics release point 
LRSU long-range surveillance unit 
LTC lieutenant colonel 
LU linkup 
LZ landing zone 
M mechanized
meters
 
*main battle area the area where the commander intends to deploy the bulk of his combat power and conduct his decisive operation to defeat an attacking enemy 
maneuver the employment of forces on the battlefield through movement in combination with fires, or fires potential, to achieve a position of advantage with respect to the enemy in order to accomplish the mission (JP 1-02) 
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) 
*march column all elements using the same route for a single movement under control of a single commander 
*march serial a major subdivision of a march column that is organized under one commander who plans, regulates, and controls the serial 
*march unit a subdivision of a march serial. It moves and halts under the control of a single commander who uses voice and visual signals. 
MASINT measurement and signature intelligence 
max maximum 
MBA main battle area 
MCC movement control center 
MD mechanized division 
MDMP military decision making process 
MECH mechanized infantry 
MED medical 
meeting engagement (Army) a combat action that occurs when a moving force engages an enemy at an unexpected time and place (FM 3-0) 
METL mission-essential task list 
METT-TC mission, enemy, terrain and weather, troops and support available, time available, and civil considerations (FM 6-0) 
MG major general 
MI military intelligence 
military gamble a situation in which a commander risks the force without a reasonable level of information about the outcome (FM 6-0) 
min minimum 
*mixing using two or more different assets to collect against the same intelligence requirement 
MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System 
MMC materiel management center 
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/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) 
MOPP mission-oriented protective posture 
mort mortar 
movement control the planning, routing, scheduling, and control of personnel and cargo movement over lines of communication (JP 4-01.3) 
movement to contact a type of offensive operation designed to develop the situation and establish or regain contact (FM 3-0) 
MP military police 
MRB motorized rifle battalion 
MRR minimum risk route 
MRT movement regulating team 
MSR main supply route 
MTC movement to contact 
mutual support support that units render to each other against an enemy because of their assigned tasks, their position relative to each other and to the enemy, and their inherent capabilities (JP 1-02) 
NAI named area of interest 
*named area of interest the geographical area where information that will satisfy a specific information requirement can be collected 
NBC nuclear, biological, and chemical 
*neutralize (Army) a tactical mission task that results in rendering enemy personnel or materiel incapable of interfering with a particular operation 
NFA no-fire area 
NGO nongovernmental organization 
no-fire area a land area designated by the appropriate commander into which fires or their effects are prohibited (jp3-09) 
*noncontiguous area of operations when one or more of a commander's subordinate forces' areas of operation do not share a common boundary 
OAKOC observation and fields of fire, avenues of approach, key terrain, obstacles, and cover and concealment 
O/O on-order 
OBJ objective 
*objective (Army) a location on the ground used to orient operations, phase operations, facilitate changes of direction, and provide for unity of effort 
*objective rally point a rally point established on an easily identifiable point on the ground where all elements of the infiltrating unit assemble and prepare to attack the objective 
obstacle any obstruction designed or employed to disrupt, fix, turn, or block the movement of an opposing force, and to impose additional losses in personnel, time, and equipment on the opposing force. Obstacles can exist naturally or can be manmade, or can be a combination of both. (JP 1-02) 
obstacle belt a brigade-level command and control measure, normally given graphically, to show where within an obstacle zone the ground tactical commander plans to limit friendly obstacle employment and focus the defense (JP 1-02) 
*obstacle control measures specific measures that simplify the granting of obstacle-emplacing authority while providing obstacle control 
obstacle restricted area a command and control measure used to limit the type or number of obstacles within an area (JP 1-02) 
*obstacle groups one or more individual obstacles grouped to provide a specific obstacle effect 
obstacle zone a division-level command and control measure, normally done graphically, to designate specific land areas where lower echelons are allowed to employ tactical obstacles (JP 1-02) 
*occupy a tactical mission task that involves moving into an area so that it can control that entire area. Both the force's movement to and occupation of the area occur without enemy opposition. 
offensive operations Offensive operations aim at destroying or defeating an enemy. Their purpose is to impose US will on the enemy and achieve decisive victory. (fm3-0) 
OH observation helicopter 
OP observation post 
OPCON operational control 
operation a military action or the carrying out of a strategic, operational, tactical, service, training, or administrative military mission (JP 1-02) 
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) 
OPLAN operation plan 
OPNS operations 
OPORD operation order 
OPS operations 
OPSEC operations security 
ORA obstacle restricted area 
ord ordnance 
ORP objective rally point 
 
PAA position area for artillery 
*passage lane a lane through an enemy or friendly obstacle that provides a safe passage for a passing force 
*passage of lines (Army) a tactical enabling operation in which one unit moves through another unit's positions with the intent of moving into or out of enemy contact 
*passage point a specifically designated place where the passing units pass through the stationary unit 
passive air defense all measures, other than active air defense, taken to minimize the effects of hostile air action. They include cover, concealment, camouflage, dummy positions, dispersion, and protective construction. (FM 3-01.8) 
PD point of departure 
*penetration (Army) 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) 
phase line a line utilized for control and coordination of military operations, usually a terrain feature extending across the operational area [JP 1-02 uses zone of action] (JP 1-02) 
*piecemeal commitment the immediate employment of units in combat as they become available instead of waiting for larger aggregations of units to ensure mass, or the unsynchronized employment of available forces so that their combat power is not employed effectively 
PL phase line 
PLD probable line of deployment 
*point of departure the point where the unit crosses the line of departure and begins moving along a direction of attack 
POL petroleum, oils, and lubricants 
*position area for artillery an area assigned to an artillery unit where individual artillery systems can maneuver to increase their survivability. A PAA is not an area of operations for the artillery unit occupying it.  
PP passage point 
*primary position the position that covers the enemy's most likely avenue of approach into the AO 
*probable line of deployment a phase line that a commander designates as the location where he intends to completely deploy his unit into assault formation before beginning the assault 
*procedures standard and detailed courses of action that describe how to perform tasks 
psn position 
PSYOP psychological operations 
pursuit an offensive operation designed to catch or cut off a hostile force attempting to escape, with the aim of destroying it (JP 1-02) 
PZ pickup zone 
PZCO pickup zone control officer 
PzDiv panzer division 
raid a form of attack [JP 1-02 uses operation], usually small scale, involving a swift entry into hostile territory to secure information, confuse the enemy, or destroy installations. It ends with a planned withdrawal from the objective area upon mission completion. (FM 3.0) 
*rally point an easily identifiable point on the ground at which units can reassemble and reorganize if they become dispersed. Alternatively, it is an easily identifiable point on the ground at which aircrews and passengers can assemble and reorganize following an incident requiring a forced landing. 
RAOC rear area operations center 
RC rifle corps 
RD rifle division 
rear area (Army) The rear area for any command extends from its rear boundary forward to the rear boundary of 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 operations occur. (FM 3-0) 
*rearward passage of lines when a unit passes through another unit's positions while moving away from the enemy 
recon reconnaissance 
*reconnaissance in force (Army) a deliberate combat operation designed to discover or test the enemy's strength, dispositions, and reactions or to obtain other information [The Army definition adds dispositions, and reactions to the joint definition.] 
*reconnaissance objective a terrain feature, geographical area, or an enemy force about which the commander wants to obtain additional information 
*reconnaissance operations (Army) those operations undertaken to obtain, by visual observation or other detection methods, information about the activities and resources of an enemy or potential enemy, or to secure data concerning the meteorological, hydrographical or geographical characteristics and the indigenous population of a particular area. [The Army definition adds and the indigenous population to the joint definition.] 
reconstitution those actions that commanders plan and implement to restore units to a desired level of combat effectiveness commensurate with mission requirements and available resources. Reconstitution operations include regeneration and reorganization. (FM 4-100.9) 
*reduce a tactical mission task that involves the destruction of an encircled or bypassed enemy force 
*redundancy using two or more like assets to collect against the same intelligence requirement 
*release point a location on a route where marching elements are released from centralized control 
*relief in place (Army) a tactical enabling operation in which, by the direction of higher authority, all or part of a unit is replaced in an area by the incoming unit 
reorganization action taken to shift internal resources within a degraded unit to increase its level of combat effectiveness (FM 4-100.9) 
response force a mobile force with appropriate fire support designated, usually by the area commander, to deal with Level II threats in the rear area (JP 1-02) 
restrictive fire area an area in which specific restrictions are imposed and into which fires that exceed those restrictions will not be delivered without coordination with the establishing headquarters (JP 3-09) 
restrictive fire line a line established between converging friendly surface forces that prohibits fires or their effects across that line (JP 3-09) 
*retain a tactical mission task in which the commander ensures that a terrain feature already controlled by a friendly force remains free of enemy occupation or use 
retirement a form of retrograde [JP 1-02 uses operation] in which a force out of contact with the enemy moves away from the enemy (JP 1-02) 
retrograde (Army) a type of defensive operation that involves organized movement away from the enemy (FM 3-0) 
RFA restricted fire area 
RFL restricted fire line 
RGR ranger 
RIF reconnaissance in force 
RISTA reconnaissance, intelligence, surveillance, and target acquisition 
rly rally 
ROC rear operations center 
ROE rules of engagement 
ROM refuel on the move 
route the prescribed course to be traveled from a specific point of origin to a specific destination (JP 1-02) 
*route reconnaissance a form of reconnaissance that focuses along a specific line of communication, such as a road, railway, or cross-country mobility corridor 
*route security operations a specialized kind of area security operations conducted to protect lines of communication and friendly forces moving along them 
RP release point 
rte route 
rules of engagement 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 1-02) 
S screen (used on graphics to indicate a security mission. See paragraph 12-13) 
S1 battalion/brigade personnel staff officer 
S2 battalion/brigade intelligence staff officer 
S3 battalion/brigade operations staff officer 
S4 battalion/brigade logistics staff officer 
S5 battalion/brigade civil-military operations staff officer 
S6 battalion/brigade communications staff officer 
SAAFR standard use Army aircraft flight route 
SAW squad automatic weapon 
*science of tactics the understanding of those military aspects of tactics-capabilities, techniques, and procedures-that can be measured and codified 
*screen (Army) a form of security operations that primarily provides early warning to the protected force 
SEAD suppression of enemy air defenses 
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) 
*sector of fire (Army) that area assigned to a unit, a crew-served weapon, or an individual weapon within which it will engage targets as they appear in accordance with established engagement priorities 
*secure a tactical mission task that involves preventing a unit, facility, or geographical location from being damaged or destroyed as a result of enemy action 
*security operations those operations undertaken by a commander to provide early and accurate warning of enemy operations, to provide the force being protected with time and maneuver space within which to react to the enemy, and to develop the situation to allow the commander to effectively use the protected force 
*seize a tactical mission task that involves taking possession of a designated area using overwhelming force 
sep separate 
SF special forces 
SHORAD short-range air defense 
SIGINT signals intelligence 
SOA special operations aviation 
SOCCE special operations command and control element 
SOF special operations forces 
SOI signal operating instruction 
SOP standing operating procedures 
SP start point 
SPF special-purpose forces 
spoiling attack (Army) a form of attack that preempts or seriously impairs an enemy attack while the enemy is in the process of planning or preparing to attack (FM 3-0) 
spt support 
sqd squadron 
*start point a location on the route where the marching elements fall under the control of a designated march commander 
STAVKA acronym for the Soviet high command during World War II 
*stay-behind operation an operation in which the commander leaves a unit in position to conduct a specified mission while the remainder of his forces withdraw or retire from an area 
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 
*subsequent position a position that a unit expects to move to during the course of battle 
*supplementary position a defensive position located within a unit's assigned AO that provides the best sectors of fire and defensive terrain along an avenue of approach that is not the primary avenue along which the enemy is expected to attack 
*support-by-fire position the general position from which a unit conducts the tactical mission task of support by fire 
*support by fire a tactical mission task in which a maneuver force moves to a position where it can engage the enemy by direct fire in support of another maneuvering force 
*supporting distance the distance between two units that can be traveled in time for one to come to the aid of the other. For small units, it is the distance between two units that can be covered effectively by their fires. (FM 3-0) 
*supporting range the distance one unit may be geographically separated from a second unit, yet remain within the maximum range of the second unit's indirect-fire weapon systems (FM 3-0) 
*suppress (Army) a tactical mission task that results in the temporary degradation of the performance of a force or weapon system below the level needed to accomplish its mission 
surveil surveillance 
sys system 
TAA tactical assembly area 
tactical combat force a combat unit, with appropriate combat support and combat service support assets, that is assigned the mission of defeating Level III threats (JP 1-02) 
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 1-02) 
*tactical mobility the ability to move rapidly from one part of the battlefield to another, relative to the enemy 
tactical road march a rapid movement used to relocate units within an area of operations to prepare for combat operations (FM 3-0) 
*tactician an individual devoted to mastering the science and art of tactics 
tactics (Army) the employment of units in combat. It includes the ordered arrangement and maneuver of units in relation to each other, the terrain, and the enemy to translate potential combat power into victorious battles and engagements. (FM 3-0) 
TAI targeted area of interest 
target in the fire support context, an area designated and numbered for future firing (JP 1-02) 
*target reference point an easily recognizable point on the ground, such as a building or a road junction, used in conjunction with engagement areas and sectors of fire to initiate, distribute, and control fires 
*targeted area of interest the geographical area or point along a mobility corridor where successful interdiction will cause the enemy to abandon a particular course of action or require him to use specialized engineer support to continue. It is where he can be acquired and engaged by friendly forces. 
TCF tactical combat force 
TCP traffic control point 
TECHINT technical intelligence 
*techniques the general and detailed methods used by troops and commanders to perform assigned missions and functions, specifically, the methods of using equipment and personnel 
TF task force 
*time of attack the moment the leading elements of the main body cross the line of departure, or in a night attack, the point of departure 
tm team 
TOC tactical operations center 
TOW tube-launched, optically-tracked, wire-guided (refers to the Army's heavy, antitank missile system) 
trans transportation 
*trigger line a phase line used to initiate and mass fires into an engagement area or an objective at a predetermined range for all or like weapon systems 
*troop a company-size organization in a cavalry organization 
*troop movement the movement of troops from one place to another by any available means 
TRP target reference point 
TTP tactics, techniques, and procedures 
*turn a tactical mission task that involves forcing an enemy force from one avenue of approach or movement corridor to another. Turn is also a tactical obstacle effect that integrates fire planning and obstacle effort to divert an enemy formation from one avenue of approach to an adjacent avenue of approach or into an engagement area 
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) 
UAV unmanned aerial vehicle 
UMCP unit maintenance collection point 
US United States 
USAF United States Air Force 
USMC United States Marine Corps 
USN United States Navy 
withdrawal a planned operation in which a force in contact disengages from an enemy force (JP 1-02) [The Army considers it a form of retrograde.] 
WMD weapons of mass destruction 
*zone reconnaissance a form of reconnaissance that involves a directed effort to obtain detailed information on all routes, obstacles, terrain, and enemy forces with a zone defined by boundaries 

 



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