The Ultimate Glossary of Common Military Terminology

Lieutenant

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 25, 2014
Messages
1,449
Reactions
1,454 11
All that you need to know about currently used military terms.



  • ADDRESSEE— The activity or individual to whom a message is to be delivered.

  • ADJUST— A command to the spotter or observer to initiate an adjustment on a designated target.

  • ADJUSTMENT— Process used to obtain correct line, range, and connect height of burst (if time fuzes are used) in engaging a target by observed fire.

  • ADMINISTRATIVE PLAN OR ORDER— A combat plan or order relating to the operation plan or order for a tactical operation, that is issued as its paragraph 4. It sets forth information and instructions governing the logistical and administrative support of the operation.

  • ADVANCE— The forward movement of a unit toward the enemy.

  • ADVANCE BY BOUNDS— An advance controlled by the assignment of successive objectives, usually from one terrain feature to the next.

  • ADVANCE GUARDS— A security element that precedes and protects the main body of a force, whatever its formation, and covers its deployment for action if enemy contact is made.

  • ADVANCE PARTY— A security element organic to the advance guard that precedes and protects the support.

  • ALIGNMENT— The formation in a straight line of several elements.

  • ALTERNATE POSITION— The position designated to serve as the primary position under certain conditions.

  • AMPLIFIER— A device that increases signal power.

  • ANGLE OF ELEVATION— The vertical angle between the line from the muzzle of a weapon to the target and the axis of the bore when the weapon is laid for range.

  • ANNEX— A document appended to and forming a part of a complete plan, order, or other document.

  • ANTENNA— An electrical conductor, or system of conductors, used to transmit or receive radio waves.

  • ANTIGUERRILLA OPERATIONS— Operations conducted by conventional forces against guerrilla forces in rear areas at the same time the conventional force is engaged in conventional combat operations in the forward areas.

  • APERTURE SIGHT— A lensless sight by which the target is viewed through a hole, or aperture (as contrasted with an open sight having only a V-cut notch).

  • APPROACH MARCH— The advance toward the enemy from the point where the zone of hostile artillery or other distant fire is entered.

  • AREA DEFENSE— A form of defense oriented toward the retention of specific terrain; area defense relies mainly on deployed forces that fire to stop and repulse the attacker.

  • AREA OF CONCENTRATION— A limited area on which a volume of fire is placed within a limited time.

  • ASSAULT— The final step of the attack phase; the rush to close combat with the enemy and to drive him out in hand-to-hand combat with the extensive use of bayonets and hand grenades.

  • ASSAULT POSITION— A position located between the line of departure and the object.

  • ASSEMBLY— Two or more parts fastened together and not usually disassembled except for replacement.

  • ASSEMBLY AREA— The area where a command assembles preparatory to making a move.

  • ATTACHED— A unit is attached to another when command, operational, and administrative control of the attached unit passes from its parent unit to the commander of the unit to which attachment is made.

  • ATTACK— A phase of offensive combat; offensive action directed against the enemy with the intent to kill, capture, or drive him from his position.

  • ATTACK POSITION— The most forward covered and concealed position in rear of the line of departure occupied by assault units for the minimum amount of time necessary to coordinate final details and preparations for the attack.

  • AI-1 AUTOMATIC— The self-powered action of a weapon, using recoil, gas, or blowback operation, that produces a rapid and continuous burst of shots while the trigger is depressed.

  • AXIS OF THE BORE— An imaginary centerline of the bore of a gun.

  • AZIMUTH— A direction in a horizontal plane.

  • BARRAGE— Final protective fires of indirect fire weapons.

  • BARREL— A metal tube used to direct the bulletin its line of flight.

  • BASE (BASE UNIT)— The element or unit in a tactical operation around which a movement or maneuver is planned and performed.

  • BASE OF FIRE— One or more units that give supporting fire to an attacking unit and serve as the base around which attack operations are carried out.

  • BATTALION FORWARD DEFENSE AREA— Portion of a battle area defended by front-line companies; it extends to the limit of the rearward extension of lateral boundaries of the front-line companies.

  • BATTERY— The position of a weapon when cocked and its recoiling parts are forwarded.

  • BATTLE AREA— The area in which the forward forces and their reserves are located; it is described by coordinating points, flank boundaries, and sometimes a rear boundary.

  • BATTLE POSITION— The position on which the main effort of defense is, or is to be made.

  • BEACHHEAD— A designated area on a hostile shore or territory which, when seized and held, ensures the continuous landing of troops and material, and provides maneuvering space for subsequent projected operations into enemy territory; the physical objective of an amphibious or airborne operation.

  • BEATEN ZONE— The area on the ground or target on which the shots forming the cone of dispersion strike.

  • BLADE— The front sight; usually a small piece of metal used in conjunction with the rear sight for sighting the target.

  • BLOWBACK— The energy produced in a weapon by expanding gases and powder; it forces the cartridge case rearward out of the chamber.

  • BOLT— A mechanical device for blocking the breech and holding the cartridge in the chamber during firing to prevent rearward escape of gases.

  • BORESIGHTING— A process by which the axis of a gun bore and the line of a gunsight are made parallel or are made to converge on a point.

  • BOUNDARIES— The battalion and company defense areas that are limited because of terrain features and avenues of approach. Company boundaries immediately forward of the FEBA assign responsibility for an avenue of approach to a company, preferably the company most threatened by the avenue. Boundaries between companies extend forward of the FEBA, but stop short of the combat outpost line (COPL). They extend to the rear far enough to provide sufficient area for the companies to organize their defense in depth. Establishing rear boundaries may become necessary during fluid operations when infilltration and guerrilla activities are possible. Rear boundaries help the company coordinate and control its maneuvers and fires.

  • BREECH— The rear end of the barrel.

  • BREECHBLOCK or BREECH MECHANISM— The metal block used to seal the rear end of the bore against the force of the charge; in small arms, the breech mechanism is the bolt.

  • BRIDGEHEAD— An area of ground taken and held in enemy territory.

  • BULLET— The projectile of a small-arms cartridge that is discharged from a weapon toward a target.

  • BURST OF FIRE— A number of shots fired automatically with a single squeeze of the trigger.

  • BURSTING CHARGE— The force of an explosive that breaks the casing of a projectile to produce a demolition, fragmentation, or chemical action.

  • CADENCE— A rhythmic rate of march at uniform step.

  • CALIBER— The diameter of the bore measured from land to land; usually expressed in decimal fractions of an inch.

  • CAM— An inclined surface that imparts a desired motion to a sliding piece.

  • CANNIBALIZATION— The act of taking apart or parts from an unserviceable piece of equipment to make another piece of equipment serviceable.

  • AI-2 CARTRIDGE— A small-arms round ready for firing; its components are the cartridge case, primer, propellant, and bullet.

  • CARTRIDGE CASE— A metal case that houses the primer and propellant and holds the bullet.

  • CHAMBER— The enlarged part of the bore at the breech that holds the cartridge.

  • CHAMBERING— The process of placing a round into the chamber of a weapon after it has been fed into the weapon.

  • CHANNEL— An electrical path over which transmissions can be made from one station (unit) to another.

  • CHARGE— A part of the fire command that established the amount of propellant to be used with a shell.

  • CHECKPOINT— An easily identifiable point on the terrain that is used in controlling movement or reporting locations of friendly units.

  • CIRCUIT— A communications link between two or more points.

  • CIVIC ACTION— The use of military forces on projects that contribute to the economic development of the local population. The projects concern education, training, public works, agriculture, transportation, communications, health, sanitation, and others.

  • CLANDESTINE (SECRET) OPERATION— intelligence, counterintelligence, and other similar activities sponsored or conducted by governmental departments or agencies using secretor illicit means against another nation. CLIP— A device that holds cartridges so they can be loaded into a weapon.

  • CLOSE AIR SUPPORT— Air operations against the enemy executed at very close range to friendly front lines.

  • CLOSE COMBAT— Hand-to-hand fighting with weapons, such as bayonets, hand grenades, service rifles, or pistols.

  • COCKING— The phase of operation that pertains to the locking of the hammer or firing assembly, slide assembly, or bolt group in a fixed (or held) position under spring tension and with all parts in position. Depressing the trigger allows the firing pin to strike the primer.

  • COLUMN— A formation in which the elements are placed one behind the other; a section or platoon is in column when its squads are in column and abreast.

  • COMBAT ORDER— An order issued by a commander for a combat operation specifying time and date of execution.

  • COMBAT OUTPOST— A security element for a battalion defensive position located approximately 1,000 to 2,500 yards forward of the main line of resistance; its primary purpose is to engage the enemy.

  • COMBAT PATROL— A patrol whose primary mission is to engage actively in combat with the enemy and whose secondary mission is to gain information about the enemy and the terrain.

  • COMBAT PLAN— A plan issued for a combat operation that may be effective immediately for planning purposes or for specified preparatory action. It is not put into execution until directed by the commander in a separate order of execution or until certain specified conditions are determined to exist. When its execution is directed, a combat plan becomes, in effect, a combat order.

  • COMMAND POST (CP)— The location of a unit’s headquarters from which the commander and the staff operate.

  • COMMUNICATIONS CENTER— An agency that is responsible for the receipt, transmission, and delivery of messages.

  • COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK— A system consisting of a number of designated stations connected with one another by any means of communications.

  • COMMUNICATIONS SECURITY— The protection by all measures to deny unauthorized persons information of value that might be derived from a study or receipt of communications.

  • COMPANY FORWARD DEFENSE AREA— Portion of a battle area defended by front-line platoons; it extends laterally to the company boundaries, forward to the FEBA, and rearward to the supplementary positions required by the front-line platoons.

  • CONCEALMENT— The protection from observation Only.

  • CONNECTING ELEMENT— A file or group of personnel whose mission is to maintain contact between elements of a command.

  • AI-3 CONSOLIDATION— A phase of offensive combat consisting of the hasty assumption of the defense and reorganization on the seized objective.

  • COOK OFF— A cook off is a functioning of any or all of the explosive components of a cartridge or shell caused by a weapon that has become very hot from continuous firing.

  • CORRIDOR— A strip of land forming a passageway between two opposing forces; in battle, no man’s land.

  • COUNTERATTACK— An attack by a part or all of a defending force against an enemy attacking force. The specific purpose of the attack is to regain ground lost or to cut off or destroy enemy advance units. The general objective of the attack is to deny friendly territory to the enemy.

  • COUNTERRECOIL— The return of a breech mechanism to battery position after it has reached recoil limit. In small-arms weapons, it is usually accomplished by the release of compressed springs.

  • COUNTERSLOPE— Aposition located on the forward slope of the next elevation to the rear of the main line of resistance.

  • COVER— Any object that gives protection from enemy fire.

  • COVERT OPERATIONS— Operations that are so planned and executed as to conceal the identity of the sponsor.

  • CRITICAL TERRAIN— Terrain-the possession of which is vital to the accomplishment of the mission.

  • CRYSTAL— A natural substance, such as quartz or tourmaline, that is used to control the frequency of radio transmitters.

  • CYCLIC RATE OF FIRE— The theoretical number of rounds a weapon can fire in 1 minute, disregarding the limits of overheating and the capacity of the magazine.

  • CYLINDER— The chamber in which the piston moves in gas-operated weapons.

  • DANGER SPACE— The area between the muzzle of a direct fire weapon and the point of impact of its projectile (not to exceed the height of an average standing man).

  • DATE-TIME GROUP (DTG)— The date and time that identifies when a message is prepared for transmission.

  • The DTG is expressed in six digits followed by a zone suffix-the first pair of digits denotes the date, the second pair the hours, and the third pair the minutes.

  • D-DAY— The day on which an operation commences or is to commence.

  • DEAD SPACE— The area within the maximum range of a weapon that cannot be covered by fire from a particular position because of intervening obstacles or because of the nature of the ground.

  • DEBARKATION— The unloading of troops, equipment, or supplies from a ship or aircraft.

  • DEFENSIVE POSITION— A portion of a defense area physically occupied by troops and weapons.

  • DEFILADE— A position protected from hostile ground observation and fire by a mask.

  • DEFILE— A narrow place or space, such as a mountain pass, a ford, or a bridge, that restricts the advance of a force on a wide front or its movement to the sides.

  • DEFLECTIONS— The setting on the scale of a gunsight to place the line of fire in the direction desired; the horizontal clockwise angle between the axis of the bore and the line of sighting.

  • DELAYING ACTION— A form of defensive action used to slow up the enemy’s advance (without becoming decisively engaged) to gain time.

  • DEPLOYMENT— An extension of width or depth of a unit or both; how a unit is organized for combat.

  • DEPTH— The distance from front to rear of an element, formation, or position.

  • DIRECT FIRE— Fire delivered by a weapon sighted directly at the target.

  • DIRECT SUPPORT— The support given directly to a specific force in response to its request for assistance.

  • DISPERSION— The spreading of troops and material over a wide area to avoid offering the enemy a concentrated target; a scattered pattern of hits of bombs dropped under identical conditions or of shots fired from the same gun with the same firing data.

  • DISPLACEMENT— The movement of supporting weapons or elements from one position to another.

  • DISTANCE— Space between elements in the direction of depth. Between individuals, it is the space between your chest and the person to your front.

  • AI-4 DOUBLE ACTION— An action of depressing the trigger, as in revolvers, that cocks the hammer and then releases it to fire the weapon. Both occur on one pull of the hammer.

  • DOUBLE TIME— Cadence at 180 steps (36 inches in length) per minute.

  • DUMP— An area used for the temporary storage and disbursing of military supplies.

  • ECHELON— A subdivision of a headquarters, such as forward echelon or rear echelon; a separate level of command; a fraction of a command in the direction of depth to which a principal combat mission is assigned, such as attack echelon, support echelon, or reserve echelon; a formation in which the elements are placed one behind another, extending beyond and unmasking one another wholly or in part.

  • EJECTION— The process of expelling the empty cartridge case from a weapon through the use of an ejector.

  • EJECTOR— The part that expels the empty cartridge case from the receiver of a weapon; it maybe fixed, spring-loaded, or movable.

  • ELEMENT— An individual squad, section, platoon, company, or another unit that is part of a larger unit.

  • EMBARKATION— The loading of troops, equipment, or supplies into a ship or aircraft.

  • EMPLACEMENT— A prepared position from which a weapon executes its fire mission.

  • ENFILADE FIRE— Fire delivered so the long axis of the beaten zone coincides with the long axis of the target.

  • ENVELOPMENT— An attack made on one or both of the enemy’s flanks or rear; usually accompanied by an attack on his front.

  • EROSION— The wearing away of the inner surface of a gun barrel as a result of mechanical wear and the chemical action of powder gases.

  • EVACUATION— The process of moving casualties from a battlefield and subsequently of moving them along the chain of evacuation, as necessary; the clearance of personnel or material or both from a given locality.

  • EVASION AND ESCAPE (E&E)— The procedures and operations whereby military personnel and other selected individuals are enabled to emerge from an enemy-held or hostile area to areas under friendly control.

  • EXPLOITATION— The last phase of offensive combat that follows the reorganization of the attacking unit on the objective. In this phase of combat, the attacking unit may be directed to continue the attack, to pursue the enemy, or to mop up.

  • EXTRACTION— The phase of operation that deals with the removal of the empty cartridge case from the chamber of an extracting device before ejection.

  • EXTRACTOR— The part that withdraws the empty cartridge case from the chamber of a weapon.

  • FEBA (FORWARD EDGE OF THE BATTLE AREA)— An imaginary line joining the forward edges of the most advanced defensive positions of the battle area.

  • FEEDING— The mechanical positioning of an individual round for subsequent insertion into the chamber of a weapon during the cycle or operation.

  • FIELD FORTIFICATION— Entrenchments, emplacements, and obstacles constructed in the field to increase the natural defensive strength of the terrain.

  • FIELD OF FIRE— The area that a weapon or group of weapons covers effectively with fire.

  • FIELD STRIPPING— Removal of the groups from a weapon; does not include disassembly of groups.

  • FILE— A single column of men or vehicles, one behind the other.

  • FINAL PROTECTIVE FIRES— The “all-out” fires of the defending unit fired as the enemy approaches close to the front-line positions.

  • FINAL PROTECTIVE LINE— A line along which interlocking bands of grazing fire are placed to stop enemy assaults. The line is placed at a predetermined distance from all available weapons fixed in direction and elevation that are capable of delivery under conditions of visibility.

  • FIRE AND MANEUVER— The close coordination of the movement of a unit with its own fire or the fire of supporting weapons. This coordination enables a portion of the unit to move forward, while the remaining portion covers the forward movement by fire.

  • FIRE CONTROL— All operations connected with the preparation and application of fire to a target.

  • AI-5 FIRE DIRECTION CENTER— The element of a command post, consisting of gunnery and communication personnel and equipment, by means of which the commander exercises fire direction and fire control.

  • FIRE MISSION— A target assigned to a unit or personnel manning a certain weapon or weapons with instructions as to the time and method of firing and placing fire on the target. FIRE UNIT— A unit whose fire is under the immediate and effective control of one leader.

  • FIRING MECHANISM— The parts of a weapon that move together to cause the cartridge primer to be struck when the trigger is depressed.

  • FIRING POSITIONS— Defensive positions from which fire missions are carried out; they are designated primary, alternate, or supplemental

  • FIXED FIRE— Fire delivered on a point target.

  • FLANK— The right or left extremity of a unit; the element on the extreme right or left of the line; a direction at right angles to the direction a unit is facing.

  • FLANK GUARD— A security detachment that protects the flank of a body of troops on the march.

  • FLANKING FIRE— Fire delivered at right angles to the enemy flank. FLAT TRAJECTORY— A trajectory having little or no curvature.

  • FORMATION— Arrangement of the elements of a unit in line, in column, or in any other prescribed manner.

  • FORWARD DEFENSE AREA— Portion of a battle area defended by front-line companies or platoons.

  • FORWARD SLOPE— The slope of elevated terrain in the direction of the enemy.

  • FREQUENCY— The band on which a unit is to operate its radio communications.

  • FRONT— The line of contact of two opposing forces; the length of space of an element or formation measured from one flank to the other; the direction of the enemy. FRONTAL FIRE— Fire delivered perpendicular to the enemy (across his front).

  • FUZE— A device for setting off an explosive charge; a command or request to indicate the type of fuze action desired, such as delay, quick or time for the 60-mm mortar.

  • GAS OPERATED— The small-arms principle by which gas pressure from a fired cartridge activates the operating parts of a weapon using a piston and cylinder arrangement.

  • GAS PORT— A small hole drilled in the barrel to allow the expanding gases to strike the piston in the cylinder of a gas-operated weapon; sometimes called a vent.

  • GENERAL SUPPORT— The support given to a force as a whole and not to any particular subdivision thereof.

  • GRAZING FIRE— Fire in which the trajectory does not rise higher than the height of a man standing.

  • GRENADE SUMP— A circular hole large enough to accept the largest known enemy grenade; it slopes downward under the fire step in the fighting hole. Hand grenades thrown into the fighting hole are exploded in this sump; their fragmentation is restricted to the unoccupied end of the fighting hole.

  • GROOVES— The depressed areas between the lands (raised surfaces) in the bore; the cutaway portion of the rifling into which the jacket or rotating band of a bullet fits to impart rotation to the bulletin its line of flight.

  • GROUND ZERO— The point on the ground or directly above at which a nuclear weapon has exploded.

  • GROUP— Two or more parts or assemblies that either function together in a gun or are so closely related to one another that they should be considered as a unit.

  • GUERRILLAS— Combatants that are members of an organized and recognized military force whose activities normally are directed to harassing, delaying, or disrupting opposing forces; they normally wear civilian clothes.

  • GUIDE— The individual (base) upon which a formation, or an element thereof, regulates its march.

  • HAMMER— A lever that is swung around by spring pressure to strike the firing pin of a weapon.

  • HANGFIRE— A delay in the functioning of a propelling charge explosive train at the time of firing. In most cases the delay, though unpredictable, ranges from a split second to several minutes.

  • HEAD— The leading element of a column.

  • AI-6 HEADSPACE— In small-arms weapons, the distance between the face of the bolt and the base of the cartridge when it is fully chambered and the bolt is locked. H-HOUR— The hour an attack is to be launched, an assault wave is to land, or a movement is to begin.

  • INDIRECT FIRE— Fire delivered at a target that cannot be seen from the gun position.

  • INFILTRATE— To pass troops in relatively small numbers through an opening in the enemy’s position or his field of fire or through territory occupied by other troops or organizations.

  • INITIAL POINT— A place at which various subdivisions of a command are required to arrive at the proper time to join a marching column.

  • INSURGENCY— Subversive political activity, civil rebellion, revolt, or insurrection designed to weaken and overthrow a duly constituted authority by its own people. INSURRECTION— A rising up against an established authority by its own people.

  • INTERFERENCE— Natural or man-made radiation of electrical energy that causes difficulty in reception of radio signals.

  • INTERVAL— The lateral space between elements on the same line.

  • JAMMING— Deliberate interference intended to prevent reception of radio signals in a specific frequency band.

  • KEY TERRAIN— Land, the possession of which could prove decisive in combat.

  • LANDS— The spiral raised surface in the bore of a weapon.

  • LEAF SIGHT— A type of metallic sight in which the aperture is raised to operating position by being swung upward on a hinged leaf.

  • LEFT (RIGHT) FLANK— The extreme left (right) element or edge of a body of troops in relation to the enemy, regardless of the direction in which the body of troops is facing.

  • LIMITING POINT— The point along a line of resistance where the responsibility of one unit stops and that of another begins. Limiting points are placed on the boundaries between companies to indicate specific localities on the ground where the battalion command wishes the company commanders to coordinate their defense.

  • LINE— A formation in which the elements are abreast, except that a section or platoon is in line one behind the other when its squads are in line.

  • LINE OF DEPARTURE— A line designated to coordinate the departure of attack elements.

  • LISTENING POST— A one- or two-man post located forward of the battle position for the purpose of listening for enemy activity.

  • LOADING— The manual procedure of inserting a magazine, clip, belt, or single round into a weapon or its feeding mechanism and the subsequent action for feeding, cambering, or cocking; the physical placing of personnel, equipment, or supplies aboard their carriers.

  • LOCAL SECURITY— A security element, independent of any outpost, established by a commander to protect his unit against surprise and to ensure its readiness for action.

  • LOCKING LUGS— Metal projections on the bolt that cam into recesses cut in the sides of the receiver to lock a weapon before firing.

  • LOCKING RECESSES— Spaces cut in the side of the receiver into which the locking lugs of the bolt are rotated into locking position.

  • MACHINE GUN— An automatic, rapid-fire weapon that is fired from a mount.

  • MAGAZINE— A device that stores and supplies ammunition and feeds the ammunition by means of its own spring and follower.

  • MAIN ATTACK— The part of an attack where the commander concentrates the greater portion of offensive power.

  • MAIN LINE OF RESISTANCE— An imaginary line along the forward edge of the battle position designed to coordinate the fires of all units and supporting weapons.

  • MALFUNCTION— The failure of a weapon to function satisfactorily.

  • MARCH OUTPOST— A security echelon established by a unit on a march during short halts.

  • MARK— Call for fire on a specified location to orient the spotter or observer or to indicate targets.

  • MASK— A natural or artificial obstruction that gives shelter form or interferes with observation or fire.

  • AI-7 MAXIMUM ORDINATE— The highest point of trajectory.

  • MEANS OF SIGNAL COMMUNICATION— The means by which a message is conveyed from one person or place to another.

  • MESSAGE— Any thought or idea expressed in brief form or in plain or secret language; prepared in a form suitable for transmission by any means of communication.

  • MILITARY CREST— The highest point near the top of a slope from which the entire valley below is visible.

  • MISSION— The specific task or duty assigned to an individual, weapon, or unit.

  • MOUNT— The stand on which a weapon is secured to hold it in position for rapid fire. A mount is either fixed (immovable) or flexible (movable). A flexible mount permits the weapon to move in azimuth and elevation.

  • MUZZLE— The front or forward end of the barrel; the mouth of the barrel.

  • MUZZLE VELOCITY— The speed at which a bullet travels when it leaves the muzzle of the barrel.

  • NAVAL LANDING PARTY— A force of naval personnel organized from a ship’s complement for the conduct of ground-force operations ashore.

  • OBJECTIVE— The physical object of the action taken or the effect desired.

  • OBLIQUE FIRE— Fire delivered from a direction that is diagonal to the long axis of the target; or fire delivered on an enemy from a direction that is between his front and flank.

  • OBSERVATION POST (OP)— A vantage point from which enemy activity in front of the FEBA is observed.

  • OBSTACLE— Any barrier-natural or artificial-that stops or impedes the movement of a unit.

  • OPERATION PLAN OR ORDER— A combat plan or order dealing with tactical operations and setting forth the mission of the unit; it deals with the commander’s decision, plan of action, and such details as to the method of execution as will ensure coordinated action by the whole command.

  • OPTICAL SIGHT— A sight having lenses as contrasted with one having an aperture or open sight.

  • AI-8 ORGANIC— Assigned to and forming an essential part of a military organization.

  • ORIGINATOR— The command by whose authority a message is sent.

  • OUTGUARD— The principal security element of a combat outpost.

  • OUTPOST— A stationary body of troops placed at some distance from the main body while at a halt or in a defensive position. These troops protect the main body from surprise, observation, or annoyance by enemy ground forces.

  • OUTPOST LINE OF RESISTANCE— A line passing through the forward edge of the outpost positions and designed to coordinate the fires of the elements of the outpost and its supporting fires.

  • OVERHEAD FIRE— Fire delivered over the heads of friendly troops.

  • OVERLAY— A transparent or translucent medium upon which special military information has been plotted at the same scale of a map, photograph, or other graphic.

  • PACE— The length of a full step in quick time; 30 inches.

  • PARTISAN— A devoted adherent to a cause generally nationalistic in nature; the adherent mayor may not be an armed combatant and is not normally a member of an organized military force.

  • PASSAGE OF LINES— A rearrangement of units in which the rear unit moves forward through the already established line, while the replaced unit remains in position or moves to the rear.

  • PATROL— A detachment sent out by a larger unit for the purpose of gathering information or carrying out a destructive, harassing, mop up, or security mission.

  • PA— A part of the feeding device on a machine gun that permits feeding of the ammunition belt into the weapon; it holds the belt securely so it does not move in reverse direction.

  • PENETRATION— An attack that puts the main attacking force through the enemy’s principal defensive position.

  • PHASE LINE— A line used for control and coordination of military operations; it is usually a terrain feature extending across the zone of action.

  • PIECE— Any firearm.

  • PLUNGING FIRE— Fire that strikes the ground at a sharp angle.

  • POINT— The security element that forms the leading element of an advance guard or the rear element of an advance guard or the rear element of the rear guard.

  • POINT OF DEPARTURE— The point on the line of departure at which an attacking force in column crosses.

  • POINT OF DRESS— The point toward which all elements of a unit establish their alignment.

  • POLITICAL WARFARE— Aggressive use of political means to achieve national objectives.

  • POSITION— The location of a gun, unit, or individual from which fire can be delivered upon a given target.

  • POST— The prescribed limits of a sentry’s responsibility.

  • PREARRANGED FIRE— Supporting fire for which the fire data is prepared in advance. It is delivered on a time schedule or on call from the support troops.

  • PRINCIPAL DIRECTION OF FIRE (PDF)— A specific direction within the sector of fire of a flat-trajectory weapon, which is designated as its primary fire mission. Within a rifle platoon, automatic weapons are assigned a PDF. Units are not assigned PDFs nor can a weapon be assigned more than one PDF.

  • PROBABLE LINE OF DEPLOYMENT— The location on the ground where the commander of a force plans to complete final deployment before moving out with squads as skirmishers.

  • PROPAGANDA— Any information, ideas, doctrines, or special appeals spread to influence the opinions, emotions, attitudes, or behavior of any specified group to benefit the sponsor, either directly or indirectly. PROPELLING CHARGE— An explosive that throws the projectile from a gun.

  • PROTECTIVE FIRE— Fire delivered by supporting weapons and directed against the enemy for the purpose of hindering his fire or movement against friendly attacking units.

  • QUICK TIME— Cadence at 120 steps (12, 15, or 30 inches in length) per minute.

  • RADIO CHANNEL— A band of adjacent frequencies having sufficient width to permit its use for radio communications.

  • RAID— An operation, usually small scale, involving a swift penetration of hostile territory to secure information, confuse the enemy, or destroy his installations. The operation ends with a planned withdrawal upon completion of the assigned mission.

  • RANK— A line of men or vehicles placed side by side; officer’s grade or position.

  • REAR— The direction away from the enemy.

  • REAR AREA— The area in the rear of the combat and forward areas.

  • REAR GUARD— The security element that follows and protects the rear of a marching force.

  • REBELLION— Organized, armed, open resistance to the authority or government in power.

  • RECONNAISSANCE PATROL— A patrol whose mission is to gain information about the enemy and the terrain.

  • REGISTRATION— The adjustment of fire to determine firing corrections. RELAY— A transmission forwarded through an intermediate station.

  • RELEASE POINT— A point at which a higher command releases control of a unit to its commander.

  • RELIEF OF FRONT-LINE UNITS— A rearrangement of units in which the rear unit moves forward to the battle position and occupies the defensive positions there; at the same time the forward unit in the battle position relinquishes these positions and moves to the rear.

  • REPEAT— A command or request to fire again the same number of rounds with the same method of fire.

  • RESERVE— An element of the battalion or higher unit held initially under the control of the commander as a maneuvering element to influence future action.

  • RESERVE AREA— The area that extends from the rear of the forward defense area to the rear of the battle area. The RESERVE FORCE is located in the reserve area.

  • RETIREMENT— An operation in which a force withdraws without enemy pressure to avoid combat under the existing situation.

  • RETROGRADE MOVEMENT— Any movement of a command to the rear, or away from the enemy, AI-9 whether forced by the enemy or voluntary, including a withdrawal, retirement, or delaying action.

  • REVERSE SLOPE— Any slope that descends away from the enemy.

  • REVOLT— A casting off of allegiance or a refusal to submit to established authority.

  • REVOLUTION— A rebellion that succeeds in overthrowing an old government and establishing a new one.

  • RIGHT (LEFT) FLANK— The extreme right (left) element or edge of a body of troops in relation to the enemy, regardless of the direction in which the body of troops is facing.

  • ROADBLOCK— A barrier or obstacle to block or limit the movement of hostile vehicles along a road.

  • ROUTE MARCH— The advance in column on roads.

  • SCREEN FIRE— A curtain of smoke that protects a force from enemy ground observation.

  • SEARCHING FIRE— Fire distributed in depth by successive changes in elevation of a weapon.

  • SECTION— A military unit that is smaller than a platoon and larger than a squad; the basic tactical unit in the weapons platoon of the rifle company.

  • SECTOR— A clearly defined area that a given unit protects or covers with fire.

  • SECTOR OF FIRE— A section of terrain designated by boundaries that is assigned to a unit or to a weapon to cover by fire.

  • SECURITY— Measures taken by a command to protect itself from espionage, observation, sabotage, annoyance, or surprise.

  • SECURITY AREA— The area forward of the FEBA assigned to a battalion or company. A battalion’s security area extends to whatever distance security forces, uncontrolled by the battalion, are employed. A company’s security area extends 400 to 500 yards (maximum effective range of small-arms fire) to the most forward extension of the company’s lateral boundary.

  • SHOCK ACTION— Actual hand-to-hand combat between opposing troops; an offensive movement by fast-moving forces in which they tend to overrun the enemy by the force of their own momentum.

  • SHORT— A spotting or an observation used by a spotter or an observer to indicate that a burst fell SHORT of the TARGET in relation to a line perpendicular to the spotting line.

  • SITREP— A situation report.

  • SKETCH— A hasty, pictorial drawing showing only desired map features and objects in relative position; usually for a specific use.

  • SKIRMISHERS— A line of troops in extended order during a tactical exercise or attack.

  • SNAP— In commands or signals, the quality that inspires immediate response.

  • STATIC— Any electrical disturbance caused by atmospheric conditions. Interferes with radio communications.

  • STEP— The distance from heel to heel between the feet of a marching man; normally 30 inches.

  • SUPPLEMENTARY POSITION— An extra position other than the designated primary or alternate position.

  • SUPPLY POINT— A point where supplies are issued (for example, depot, railhead, truckhead, airhead, or navigation-head).

  • SUPPORT— The action of a force that aids, protects, complements, or sustains another force according to a directive requiring such actions; a unit that helps another unit in battle; the reserve of a rifle company or platoon in the attack or defense; an element of a command that assists, protects, or supplies other forces in combat.

  • SUPPORTING FIRE— Fire delivered by weapons of supporting units to assist or protect a unit in combat.

  • SUPPORTING WEAPONS— Weapons other than those with which a rifle unit is normally equipped.

  • TERRAIN— An area of ground, considered as to its extent and natural features, in relation to its use in a particular operation.

  • TOPOGRAPHICAL CREST— The highest point on elevated terrain.

  • TRAJECTORY— The path described by a projectile in flight.

  • TRAVERSING FIRE— Fire distributed in width by successive changes in direction of a weapon.

  • UNDERGROUND— A civilian organization that supports the resistance movement through covert (secret) actions. Such actions include intelligence collection, subversion, sabotage, AI-10 terror, assassination, and dissemination of formation with elements in echelon to the right and propaganda in areas denied to the guerrilla left rear. Also called a V-formation. force.

  • WITHDRAWAL— A movement whereby a force disUNIT— Any military force having a prescribed engages from an enemy force according to the will organization. of the commander.

  • UNIT OF FIRE— A unit of measure for ammunition

  • ZONE OF ACTION— Ageographical area within which supply. It represents a specific number of rounds of a military unit is to act, and for which it is ammunition per weapon. responsible.

  • WEDGE FORMATION— A tactical formation in the

  • ZONE OF FIRE— An area into which a particular unit form of a V with the point toward the enemy; a delivers, or is prepared to deliver, fire.
 
Top