Glossary of Military Terms
Rear part of a theater of war or theater of operations
(behind but contiguous to the combat zone) which contains the
lines of communications, establishments for supply and
evacuation, and other agencies required for the immediate
support and maintenance of the field forces. Also called COMMZ.
See also combat zone; line of communications; rear area; theater
of operations; theater of war.
1. The relationship between military and civilian
communities. 2. Those public affairs programs that address
issues of interest to the general public, business, academia,
veterans, Service organizations, military-related associations,
and other non-news media entities. These programs are usually
associated with the interaction between US military
installations and their surrounding or nearby civilian
communities. Interaction with overseas non-news media civilians
in an operational area is handled by civil-military operations
with public affairs support as required. See also public
community relations program
That command function that evaluates public attitudes,
identifies the mission of a military organization with the
public interest, and executes a program of action to earn public
understanding and acceptance.
Coverage of the same area or object taken at
different times, to show any changes in details. See also cover.
1. Establishment and management of an organization so that
information about the personnel, internal organization, or
activities of one component is made available to any other
component only to the extent required for the performance of
assigned duties. 2. Effects of relief and drainage upon avenues
of approach so as to produce areas bounded on at least two sides
by terrain features such as woods, ridges, or ravines that limit
observation or observed fire into the area from points outside
A graduated circle, usually marked in degrees,
indicating directions and printed or inscribed on an appropriate
A counterintelligence investigation in which sabotage,
espionage, treason, sedition, subversive activity, or
disaffection is suspected.
A term applied to an assemblage of explosive and
nonexplosive components designed to perform a specific function
at the time and under the conditions desired. Examples of
complete rounds of ammunition are: a. separate loading,
consisting of a primer, propelling charge and, except for blank
ammunition, a projectile and a fuze; b. fixed or semifixed,
consisting of a primer, propelling charge, cartridge case, a
projectile and, except when solid projectiles are used, a fuze;
c. bomb, consisting of all component parts required to drop and
function the bomb once; d. missile, consisting of a complete
warhead section and a missile body with its associated
components and propellants; and e. rocket, consisting of all
components necessary to function.
complex contingency operations
Large-scale peace operations (or elements thereof)
conducted by a combination of military forces and nonmilitary
organizations that combine one or more of the elements of peace
operations which include one or more elements of other types of
operations such as foreign humanitarian assistance, nation
assistance, support to insurgency, or support to
counterinsurgency. See also operation; peace operations.
1. One of the subordinate organizations that constitute a
joint force. Normally a joint force is organized with a
combination of Service and functional components. 2. In
logistics, a part or combination of parts having a specific
function, which can be installed or replaced only as an entity.
Also called COMP. See also functional component command; Service
An assembly or any combination of parts, subassemblies,
and assemblies mounted together in manufacture, assembly,
maintenance, or rebuild.
A 20- or 40-foot International Organization for
Standardization container procured and owned by a single
Department of Defense component. May be either on an individual
unit property book or contained within a component pool (e.g.,
Marine Corps maritime pre-positioning force containers). May be
temporarily assigned to the Department of Defense common-use
container system. Also called Service-unique container. See also
component search and rescue controller
The designated search and rescue representative of a
component commander of a joint force who is responsible for
coordinating and controlling that component's search and rescue
forces. See also combat search and rescue; combat search and
rescue mission coordinator; search and rescue; search and rescue
composite air photography
Air photographs made with a camera having one principal
lens and two or more surrounding and oblique lenses. The several
resulting photographs are corrected or transformed in printing
to permit assembly as verticals with the same scale.
composite warfare commander
The officer in tactical command is normally the composite
warfare commander. However the composite warfare commander
concept allows an officer in tactical command to delegate
tactical command to the composite warfare commander. The
composite warfare commander wages combat operations to counter
threats to the force and to maintain tactical sea control with
assets assigned; while the officer in tactical command retains
close control of power projection and strategic sea control
An Air Force wing that operates more than one type of
weapon system. Some composite wings are built from the ground up
and designed to put all resources required to meet a specific
warfighting objective in a single wing under one commander at
one location. Other composite wings need not be built from the
ground up but combine different weapon systems operating at the
same base into a single wing.
See hyperbaric chamber.
The known or suspected exposure of clandestine personnel,
installations, or other assets or of classified information or
material, to an unauthorized person.
A term applied to classified matter, knowledge of
which has, in whole or in part, passed to an unauthorized person
or persons, or which has been subject to risk of such passing.
See also classified matter.
computed air release point
A computed air position where the first paratroop or
cargo item is released to land on a specified impact point.
An incident of unauthorized access to data or an automated
computer intrusion detection
The process of identifying that a computer intrusion has
been attempted, is occurring, or has occurred.
See configuration management; independent review; validation;
computer network attack
Operations to disrupt, deny, degrade, or destroy
information resident in computers and computer networks, or the
computers and networks themselves. Electronic attack (EA) can be
used against a computer, but it is not computer network attack
(CNA). CNA relies on the data stream to execute the attack while
EA relies on the electromagnetic spectrum. An example of the two
operations is the following: sending a code or instruction to a
central processing unit that causes the computer to short out
the power supply is CNA. Using an electromagnetic pulse device
to destroy a computer's electronics and causing the same result
is EA. Also called CNA. See also computer network defense;
electronic attack; offensive information operations.
computer network defense
Defensive measures to protect and defend information,
computers, and networks from disruption, denial, degradation, or
destruction. Also called CND. See also computer network attack.
The protection resulting from all measures to deny
unauthorized access and exploitation of friendly computer
systems. Also called COMPUSEC. See also communications security.
See configuration management; independent review; validation;
The protection from observation or surveillance. See
also camouflage; cover; screen.
1. An area, usually in the theater of operations,
where troops are assembled before beginning active operations.
2. A limited area on which a volume of gunfire is placed within
a limited time.
concept of intelligence operations
A verbal or graphic statement, in broad outline, of an
intelligence directorate's assumptions or intent in regard to
intelligence support of an operation or series of operations.
The concept of intelligence operations, which complements the
commander's concept of operations, is contained in the
intelligence annex of operation plans. The concept of
intelligence operations is designed to give an overall picture
of intelligence support for joint operations. It is included
primarily for additional clarity of purpose. See also concept of
concept of logistic support
A verbal or graphic statement, in a broad outline, of how
a commander intends to support and integrate with a concept of
operations in an operation or campaign.
concept of operations
A verbal or graphic statement, in broad outline, of a
commander's assumptions or intent in regard to an operation or
series of operations. The concept of operations frequently is
embodied in campaign plans and operation plans; in the latter
case, particularly when the plans cover a series of connected
operations to be carried out simultaneously or in succession.
The concept is designed to give an overall picture of the
operation. It is included primarily for additional clarity of
purpose. Also called commander's concept or CONOPS.
An operation plan in concept format. Also called CONPLAN.
See also operation plan.
A mist or fog of minute water droplets that temporarily
surrounds the fireball following a nuclear (or atomic)
detonation in a comparatively humid atmosphere. The expansion of
the air inthe negative phase of the blast wave from the
explosion results in a lowering of the temperature, so that
condensation of water vapor present in the air occurs and a
cloud forms. The cloud is soon dispelled when the pressure
returns to normal and the air warms up again. The phenomenon is
similar to that used by physicists in the Wilson cloud chamber
and is sometimes called the cloud chamber effect.
A visible cloud streak, usually brilliantly white in
color, which trails behind a missile or other vehicle in flight
under certain conditions. Also called CONTRAIL.
Those variables of an operational environment or situation
in which a unit, system, or individual is expected to operate
and may affect performance. See also joint mission-essential
See exercise directing staff.
A discipline applying technical and administrative
direction and surveillance to: (1) identify and document the
functional and physical characteristics of a configuration item;
(2) control changes to those characteristics; and (3) record and
report changes to processing and implementation status.
confirmation of information (intelligence)
An information item is said to be confirmed when it is
reported for the second time, preferably by another independent
source whose reliability is considered when confirming
An armed struggle or clash between organized groups within
a nation or between nations in order to achieve limited
political or military objectives. Although regular forces are
often involved, irregular forces frequently predominate.
Conflict often is protracted, confined to a restricted
geographic area, and constrained in weaponry and level of
violence. Within this state, military power in response to
threats may be exercised in an indirect manner while supportive
of other instruments of national power. Limited objectives may
be achieved by the short, focused, and direct application of
An individual who is dispatched by the sponsor for the
primary purpose of confounding the intelligence or
counterintelligence apparatus of another country rather than for
the purpose of collecting and transmitting information.
A reflector of electromagnetic radiations used to
create echoes for confusion purposes. Radar confusion reflectors
include such devices as chaff, rope, and corner reflectors.
A route connecting axial and/or lateral routes. See
The ability to exchange information by electronic means.
consecutive voyage charter
A contract by which a commercial ship is chartered by the
Military Sealift Command for a series of specified voyages.
Those measures taken to protect public health and safety,
restore essential government services, and provide emergency
relief to governments, businesses, and individuals affected by
the consequences of a chemical, biological, nuclear, and/or
high-yield explosive situation. For domestic consequence
management, the primary authority rests with the States to
respond and the Federal Government to provide assistance as
required. Also called CM. See also nuclear, biological, and
A grouping of controls, indicators, and similar
electronic or mechanical equipment, used to monitor readiness
of, and/or control specific functions of, a system, such as
missile checkout, countdown, or launch operations.
consolidated vehicle table
A summary of all vehicles loaded on a ship, listed by
types and showing the units to which they belong.
The combining or merging of elements to perform a common
or related function.
consolidation of position
Organizing and strengthening a newly captured
position so that it can be used against the enemy.
A number of like satellites that are part of a system.
Satellites in a constellation generally have a similar orbit.
For example, the Global Positioning System constellation
consists of 24 satellites distributed in six orbital planes with
similar eccentricities, altitudes, and inclinations. See also
global positioning system.
To provide the legal authority for the existence of a new
unit of the Armed Services. The new unit is designated and
listed, but it has no specific existence until it is activated.
See also commission.
Doctrine of constructive presence allows a coastal State
to exercise jurisdiction over a foreign flag vessel that remains
seaward of coastal State waters but acts in concert with another
vessel (contact vessel) or aircraft that violates coastal State
laws in waters over which the coastal State may exercise
jurisdiction. In order to exercise jurisdiction over a
"mothership" located seaward of coastal State waters, the
contact vessel must be physically present in coastal State
waters or be subject to coastal State jurisdiction under the
doctrine of hot pursuit. Once pursuit of the mothership has
legitimately commenced, it may proceed until it ceases to be
continuous or until the mothership enters foreign territorial
waters. Cases potentially involving the doctrine of constructive
presence can be complex and should be quickly referred to higher
consumable supplies and materiel
See expendable supplies and materiel.
Person or agency that uses information or intelligence
produced by either its own staff or other agencies.
That part of logistics concerning reception of the initial
product, storage, inspection, distribution, transport,
maintenance (including repair and serviceability), and disposal
of materiel as well as the provision of support and services. In
consequence, consumer logistics includes materiel requirements
determination, follow-on support, stock control, provision or
construction of facilities (excluding any materiel element and
those facilities needed to support production logistic
activities), movement control, codification, reliability and
defect reporting, storage, transport and handling safety
standards, and related training.
The average quantity of an item consumed or expended
during a given time interval, expressed in quantities by the
most appropriate unit of measurement per applicable stated
1. In air intercept, a term meaning, "Unit has an
unevaluated target." 2. In health services, an unevaluated
individual who is known to have been sufficiently near an
infected individual to have been exposed to the transfer of
contact burst preclusion
A fuzing arrangement that prevents an unwanted surface
burst in the event of failure of the air burst fuze.
A mine detonated by physical contact. See also mine.
1. In land warfare, a point on the terrain, easily
identifiable, where two or more units are required to make
contact. 2. In air operations, the position at which a mission
leader makes radio contact with an air control agency. 3. (DOD
only) In evasion and recovery operations, a location where an
evader can establish contact with friendly forces. Also called
CP. See also checkpoint; control point; coordinating point.
A print made from a negative or a diapositive in
direct contact with sensitized material.
Those predesignated actions taken by evaders and recovery
forces that permit link-up between the two parties in hostile
territory and facilitate the return of evaders to friendly
control. See also evader; hostile; recovery force.
Locating isolated units out of contact with the main
A report indicating any detection of the enemy.
To stop, hold, or surround the forces of the enemy or to
cause the enemy to center activity on a given front and to
prevent the withdrawal of any part of the enemy's forces for use
An article of transport equipment that meets American
National Standards Institute/International Organization for
Standardization standards that is designed to be transported by
various modes of transportation. These containers are also
designed to facilitate and optimize the carriage of goods by one
or more modes of transportation without intermediate handling of
the contents and equipped with features permitting ready
handling and transfer from one mode to another. Containers may
be fully enclosed with one or more doors, open top,
refrigerated, tank, open rack, gondola, flatrack, and other
designs. See also containerization
container anchorage terminal
A sheltered anchorage (not a port) with the
appropriate facilities for the transshipment of containerized
cargo from containerships to other vessels
container control officer
A designated official (E6 or above or civilian equivalent)
within a command, installation, or activity who is responsible
for control, reporting, use, and maintenance of all Department
of Defense-owned and controlled intermodal containers and
equipment. This officer has custodial responsibility for
containers from time received until dispatched.
Items of materials-handling equipment required to
specifically receive, maneuver, and dispatch International
Organization for Standardization containers. Also called CHE.
See also materials handling equipment.
The use of containers to unitize cargo for transportation,
supply, and storage. Containerization incorporates supply,
transportation, packaging, storage, and security together with
visibility of container and its contents into a distribution
system from source to user. See also container.
A ship specially constructed and equipped to carry only
containers without associated equipment, in all available cargo
spaces, either below or above deck. Containerships are usually
non-self-sustaining, do not have built-in capability to load or
off-load containers, and require port crane service. A
containership with shipboard-installed cranes capable of loading
and off-loading containers without assistance of port crane
service is considered self-sustaining. See also
non-self-sustaining containership; self-sustaining
container ship cargo stowage adapter
Serves as the bottom-most SEASHED and precludes the
necessity of strengthening of tank tops or the installation of
hard points on decks, thereby accelerating container ship
readiness. See also container ship; SEASHED; stowage.
Remains of personnel which have absorbed or upon which
have been deposited radioactive material, or biological or
chemical agents. See also mortuary affairs.
1. The deposit, absorption, or adsorption of
radioactive material, or of biological or chemical agents on or
by structures, areas, personnel, or objects. See also fallout;
induced radiation; residual radiation. 2. (DOD only) Food and/or
water made unfit for consumption by humans or animals because of
the presence of environmental chemicals, radioactive elements,
bacteria or organisms, the byproduct of the growth of bacteria
or organisms, the decomposing material (to include the food
substance itself), or waste in the food or water.
Procedures to avoid, reduce, remove, or render harmless
(temporarily or permanently) nuclear, biological, and chemical
contamination for the purpose of maintaining or enhancing the
efficient conduct of military operations. See also biological
agent; biological ammunition; biological defense; biological
environment; biological threat; chemical agent; chemical
ammunition; chemical, biological, and radiological operation;
chemical defense; chemical environment; contamination.
1. A maritime zone adjacent to the territorial sea that
may not extend beyond 24 nautical miles (nms) from the baselines
from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.
Within the contiguous zone the coastal state may exercise the
control necessary to prevent and punish infringement of its
customs, fiscal, immigration, or sanitary laws and regulations
within its territory or territorial sea. In all other respects
the contiguous zone is an area subject to high seas freedom of
navigation, overflight, and related freedoms, such as the
conduct of military exercises. 2. The zone of the ocean
extending 3-12 nms from the US coastline.
continental United States
United States territory, including the adjacent
territorial waters, located within North America between Canada
and Mexico. Also called CONUS.
continental United States replacement center
The processing centers at selected Army installations
through which individual personnel will be processed to ensure
that soldier readiness processing actions have been completed
prior to reporting to the aerial port of embarkation for
deployment to a theater of operations. See also continental
United States; deployment.
An emergency involving military forces caused by natural
disasters, terrorists, subversives, or by required military
operations. Due to the uncertainty of the situation,
contingencies require plans, rapid response, and special
procedures to ensure the safety and readiness of personnel,
installations, and equipment. See also contingency contracting.
Contracting performed in support of a peacetime
contingency in an overseas location pursuant to the policies and
procedures of the Federal Acquisition Regulatory System. See
contingency engineering management organization
An organization that may be formed by the combatant
commander, or subordinate joint force commander to augment the
combatant command, or subordinate joint force staffs to provide
additional Service engineering expertise to support both
deliberate and crisis action planning and to provide
construction management in contingency and wartime operations.
The combatant commander may form a theater contingency
engineering management cell, and similar organizations may be
formed at subordinate levels of command (e.g., regional
contingency engineering management cell and/or joint task force
contingency engineering management cell). These organizations
should be staffed with expertise in combat engineering, general
engineering, and topographic engineering. See also combat
engineering; contingency; crisis action planning; topographic
A military operation that is either designated by the
Secretary of Defense as a contingency operation or becomes a
contingency operation as a matter of law (10 United States code
(USC) 101[a]). It is a military operation that: a. is
designated by the Secretary of Defense as an operation in which
members of the Armed Forces are or may become involved in
military actions, operations, or hostilities against an enemy of
the United States or against an opposing force; or b. is created
by definition of law. Under 10 USC 101 (a)(13)(B), a contingency
operation exists if a military operation results in the (1)
callup to (or retention on) active duty of members of the
uniformed Services under certain enumerated statutes (10 USC
Sections 688, 12301(a), 12302, 12304, 12305, 12406, or 331-335);
and (2) the callup to (or retention on) active duty of members
of the uniformed Services under other (non-enumerated) statutes
during war or national emergency declared by the President or
Congress. See also contingency; operation.
A plan for major contingencies that can reasonably be
anticipated in the principal geographic subareas of the command.
See also joint operation planning.
contingency planning facilities list program
A joint Defense Intelligence Agency and unified and
specified command program for the production and maintenance of
current target documentation of all countries of contingency
planning interest to US military planners.
Contingency Planning Guidance
The Contingency Planning Guidance (CPG) fulfills the
statutory duty of the Secretary of Defense to furnish written
policy guidance annually to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff for contingency planning. The Secretary issues this
guidance with the approval of the President after consultation
with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The CPG focuses
the guidance given in the National Security Strategy and Defense
Planning Guidance, and is the principal source document for the
Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan. Also called CPG.
contingency response program
Fast reaction transportation procedures intended to
provide for priority use of land transportation assets by
Department of Defense when required. Also called CORE.
contingency retention stock
That portion of the quantity of an item excess to the
approved force retention level for which there is no predictable
demand or quantifiable requirement, and which normally would be
allocated as potential DOD excess stock, except for a
determination that the quantity will be retained for possible
contingencies for United States forces. (Category C ships,
aircraft, and other items being retained as contingency reserve
are included in this stratum.)
contingency ZIP Code
A ZIP Code assigned by Military Postal Service Agency to a
contingency post office for the tactical use of the Armed Forces
on a temporary basis. The number consists of a five-digit base
with a four-digit add-on to assist in routing and sorting.
The effects, both desirable and undesirable, that are in
addition to the primary effects associated with a nuclear
continuity of command
The degree or state of being continuous in the exercise of
the authority vested in an individual of the Armed Forces for
the direction, coordination, and control of military forces.
continuity of operations
The degree or state of being continuous in the conduct of
functions, tasks, or duties necessary to accomplish a military
action or mission in carrying out the national military
strategy. It includes the functions and duties of the commander,
as well as the supporting functions and duties performed by the
staff and others acting under the authority and direction of the
commander. Also called COOP.
1. Fire conducted at a normal rate without
interruption for application of adjustment corrections or for
other causes. 2. In field artillery and naval gunfire support,
loading and firing at a specified rate or as rapidly as possible
consistent with accuracy within the prescribed rate of fire for
the weapon. Firing will continue until terminated by the command
"end of mission" or temporarily suspended by the command "cease
loading" or "check firing."
continuous illumination fire
A type of fire in which illuminating projectiles are
fired at specified time intervals to provide uninterrupted
lighting on the target or specified area.
continuous strip camera
A camera in which the film moves continuously past a
slit in the focal plane, producing a photograph in one unbroken
length by virtue of the continuous forward motion of the
continuous strip imagery
Imagery of a strip of terrain in which the image
remains unbroken throughout its length, along the line of
See terrain flight.
Difference in elevation between two adjacent contour
A line on a map or chart connecting points of equal
contracted logistic support
Support in which maintenance operations for a particular
military system are performed exclusively by contract support
personnel. Also called CLS. See also logistic support; support.
A US military officer or civilian employee who has a valid
appointment as a contracting officer under the provisions of the
Federal Acquisition Regulation. The individual has the authority
to enter into and administer contracts and determinations as
well as findings about such contracts.
The maintenance of materiel performed under contract by
commercial organizations (including prime contractors) on a
one-time or continuing basis, without distinction as to the
levelof maintenance accomplished.
Defense procurement: the cessation or cancellation, in
whole or in part, of work under a prime contract or a
subcontract thereunder for the convenience of, or at the option
of, the government, or due to failure of the contractor to
perform in accordance with the terms of the contract (default).
1. Authority that may be less than full command exercised
by a commander over part of the activities of subordinate or
other organizations. 2. In mapping, charting, and
photogrammetry, a collective term for a system of marks or
objects on the Earth or on a map or a photograph, whose
positions or elevations (or both) have been or will be
determined. 3. Physical or psychological pressures exerted with
the intent to assure that an agent or group will respond as
directed. 4. An indicator governing the distribution and use of
documents, information, or material. Such indicators are the
subject of intelligence community agreement and are specifically
defined in appropriate regulations. See also administrative
control; operational control; tactical control.
A controlled airspace extending upwards from a
specified limit above the Earth. See also airway; controlled
airspace; control zone; terminal control area.
Personnel, ships, and craft designated to control the
waterborne ship-to-shore movement.
See control, Parts 3 and 4.
A mine which after laying can be controlled by the
user, to the extent of making the mine safe or live, or to fire
the mine. See also mine.
An airspace of defined dimensions within which air
traffic control service is provided to controlled flights.
controlled dangerous air cargo
Cargo which is regarded as highly dangerous and
which may only be carried by cargo aircraft operating within
specific safety regulations.
controlled effects nuclear weapons
Nuclear weapons designed to achieve variation in the
intensity of specific effects other than normal blast effect.
An exercise characterized by the imposition of
constraints on some or all of the participating units by
planning authorities with the principal intention of provoking
types of interaction. See also free play exercise.
controlled firing area
An area in which ordnance firing is conducted under
controlled conditions so as to eliminate hazard to aircraft in
flight. See also restricted area.
Military or paramilitary forces under effective and
sustained political and military direction.
1. Information conveyed to an adversary in a deception
operation to evoke desired appreciations. 2. Information and
indicators deliberately conveyed or denied to foreign targets to
evoke invalid official estimates that result in foreign official
actions advantageous to US interests and objectives.
See regulated item.
A map with precise horizontal and vertical ground control
as a basis. Scale, azimuth, and elevation are accurate. See also
A map with precise horizontal and vertical ground control
as a basis. Scale, azimuth, and elevation are accurate. See also
A traffic movement procedure whereby two lines of
traffic travelling in opposite directions are enabled to
traverse alternately a point or section of route which can take
only one line of traffic at a time.
A harbor or anchorage at which entry and departure,
assignment of berths, and traffic within the harbor or anchorage
are controlled by military authorities.
Not to be used. See controlled response.
The selection from a wide variety of feasible options one
of which will provide the specific military response most
advantageous in the circumstances.
A route, the use of which is subject to traffic or
movement restrictions which may be supervised. See also route.
Shipping that is controlled by the Military Sealift
Command. Included in this category are Military Sealift Command
ships (United States Naval Ships), government-owned ships
operated under a general agency agreement, and commercial ships
under charter to the Military Sealift Command. See also Military
Sealift Command; United States Naval Ship.
A drug or other substance, or immediate precursor included
in Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V of the Controlled Substances
Not to be used. See limited war.
control of electromagnetic radiation
A national operation plan to minimize the use of
electromagnetic radiation in the United States and its
possessions and the Panama Canal Zone in the event of attack or
imminent threat thereof, as an aid to the navigation of hostile
aircraft, guided missiles, or other devices. See also emission
1. A position along a route of march at which men
are stationed to give information and instructions for the
regulation of supply or traffic. 2. A position marked by a buoy,
boat, aircraft, electronic device, conspicuous terrain feature,
or other identifiable object which is given a name or number and
used as an aid to navigation or control of ships, boats, or
aircraft. 3. In marking mosaics, a point located by ground
survey with which a corresponding point on a photograph is
matched as a check.
A controlled airspace extending upwards from the
surface of the Earth to a specified upper limit. See also
airway; control area; controlled airspace; terminal control
1. Those forces capable of conducting operations using
nonnuclear weapons. 2. Those forces other than designated
special operations forces.
Land mines, other than nuclear or chemical, that are not
designed to self-destruct. They are designed to be emplaced by
hand or mechanical means. Conventional mines can be buried or
surface laid and are normally emplaced in a pattern to aid in
recording. See also mine.
conventional recovery operation
Evader recovery operations conducted by conventional
forces. See also conventional forces; evader; recovery; recovery
A weapon which is neither nuclear, biological, nor
A request or command used in a call for fire to indicate
that the observer or spotter desires a sheaf in which the planes
of fire intersect at a point.
The lateral distribution of fire of two or more pieces so
that the planes of fire intersect at a given point. See also
See convergence factor; grid convergence; grid convergence
factor; map convergence; true convergence.
The ratio of the angle between any two meridians on
the chart to their actual change of longitude. See also
That region in the deep ocean where sound rays,
refractured from the depths, return to the surface.
The angle between a great circle (orthodromic)
bearing and a rhumb line (loxodromic) bearing of a point,
measured at a common origin.
A scale indicating the relationship between two
different units of measurement. See also scale.
1. A number of merchant ships and/or naval auxiliaries
usually escorted by warships and/or aircraft-or a single
merchant ship or naval auxiliary under surface escort-assembled
and organized for the purpose of passage together. 2. A group of
vehicles organized for the purpose of control and orderly
movement with or without escort protection that moves over the
same route at the same time and under one commander. See also
coastal convoy; evacuation convoy; ocean convoy.
A naval officer, or master of one of the ships in a
convoy, designated to command the convoy, subject to the orders
of the officer in tactical command. If no surface escort is
present, the convoy commodore takes entire command.
convoy dispersal point
The position at sea where a convoy breaks up, each
ship proceeding independently thereafter.
1. A naval ship(s) or aircraft in company with a
convoy and responsible for its protection. 2. An escort to
protect a convoy of vehicles from being scattered, destroyed, or
captured. See also escort
See joiner. See also joiner convoy; joiner section.
See leaver. See also leaver convoy; leaver section.
The loading of troop units with their equipment and
supplies in vessels of the same movement group, but not
necessarily in the same vessel. See also loading.
The specific route assigned to each convoy by the
appropriate routing authority.
Planned convoy sailings showing the shipping lanes,
assembly and terminal areas, scheduled speed, and sailing
For ships, the speed which the convoy commodore
orders the guide of the convoy to make good through the water.
convoy terminal area
A geographical area, designated by the name of a
port or anchorage on which it is centered, at which convoys or
sections of convoys arrive and from which they will be dispersed
to coastal convoy systems or as independents to their final
convoy through escort
Those ships of the close escort which normally
remain with the convoy from its port of assembly to its port of
A combination of letters and numbers that gives the
port of departure and arrival, speed, and serial number of each
The logistic support provided a foreign government or
agency through its participation in the US Department of Defense
logistic system, with reimbursement to the United States for
cooperative logistic support arrangements
The combining term for procedural arrangements
(cooperative logistic arrangements) and implementing procedures
(supplementary procedures) that together support, define, or
implement cooperative logistic understandings between the United
States and a friendly foreign government under peacetime
coordinated draft plan
A plan for which a draft plan has been coordinated
with the nations involved. It may be used for future planning
and exercises and may be implemented during an emergency. See
also draft plan; final plan; initial draft plan; operation plan.
coordinated fire line
The coordinated fire line (CFL) is 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. Also called CFL. See also
coordinated procurement assignee
The agency or Military Service assigned purchase
responsibility for all Department of Defense requirements of a
particular Federal Supply Group/class, commodity, or item.
Coordinated Universal Time
An atomic time scale that is the basis for broadcast time
signals. Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) differs from
International Atomic Time by an integral number of seconds; it
is maintained within 0.9 seconds of UT1 (see Universal Time) by
introduction of Leap Seconds. The rotational orientation of the
Earth, specified by UT1, may be obtained to an accuracy of a
tenth of a second by applying the UTC to the increment DUT1
(where DUT1 = UT1 - UTC) that is broadcast in code with the time
signals. Also called UTC. See also International Atomic Time;
Universal Time; ZULU Time.
Linear or angular quantities which designate the
position that a point occupies in a given reference frame or
system. Also used as a general term to designate the particular
kind of reference frame or system such as plane rectangular
coordinates or spherical coordinates. See also geographic
coordinates; georef; grid coordinates.
A procedural airspace control method to separate fixed-
and rotary-wing aircraft by determining an altitude below which
fixed-wing aircraft will normally not fly and above which
rotary-wing aircraft normally will not fly. The coordinating
altitude is normally specified in the airspace control plan and
may include a buffer zone for small altitude deviations.
A commander or individual assigned responsibility
forcoordinating specific functions or activities involving
forces oftwo or more Military Departments, two or more joint
force components, or two or more forces of the same Service. The
commander or individual has the authority to require
consultation between the agencies involved, but does not have
the authority to compel agreement. In the event that essential
agreement cannot be obtained, the matter shall be referred to
the appointing authority. Coordinating authority is a
consultation relationship, not an authority through which
command may be exercised. Coordinating authority is more
applicable to planning and similar activities than to operations
Designated point at which, in all types of combat,
adjacent units/formations must make contact for purposes of
control and coordination.
coordinating review authority
An agency appointed by a Service or combatant command to
coordinate with and assist the primary review authority in joint
doctrine development and maintenance. Each Service or combatant
command must assign a coordinating review authority. When
authorized by the appointing Service or combatant command,
coordinating review authority comments provided to designated
primary review authorities will represent the position of the
appointing Service or combatant command with regard to the
publication under development. Also called CRA. See also joint
doctrine; joint publication; lead agent; primary review
1. With respect to exports, a cooperative manufacturing
arrangement (e.g., US Government or company with foreign
government or company) providing for the transfer of production
information that enables an eligible foreign government,
international organization, or commercial producer to
manufacture, in whole or in part, an item of US defense
equipment. Such an arrangement would include the functions of
production engineering, controlling, quality assurance, and
determination of resource requirements. This is normally
accomplished under the provisions of a manufacturing license
agreement per the US International Traffic in Arms Regulation
and could involve the implementation of a
government-to-government memorandum of understanding. 2. A
cooperative manufacturing arrangement (US Government or company
with foreign government or company) providing for the transfer
of production information which enables the receiving
government, international organization, or commercial producer
to manufacture, in whole or in part, an item of defense
equipment. The receiving party could be an eligible foreign
government, international organization, or foreign producer; or
the US Government or a US producer, depending on which direction
the information is to flow. A typical coproduction arrangement
would include the functions of production engineering,
controlling, quality assurance, and determining of resource
requirements. It may or may not include design engineering
information and critical materials production and design
A negative produced from an original not necessarily
at the same scale.
1. A device, normally consisting of three metallic
surfaces or screens perpendicular to one another, designed to
act as a radar target or marker. 2. In radar interpretation, an
object which, by means of multiple reflections from smooth
surfaces, produces a radar return of greater magnitude than
might be expected from the physical size of the object.
ccorps support command
Provides corps logistic support and command and control of
water supply battalions.
Troops assigned or attached to a corps, but not a
part of one of the divisions that make up the corps.
The ratio of a ground dose rate reading to a reading
taken at approximately the same time at survey height over the
same point on the ground.
1. A contract that provides for payment to the contractor
of allowable costs, to the extent prescribed in the contract,
incurred in performance of the contract. 2. A cost-reimbursement
type contract under which the contractor receives no fee.
cost-plus a fixed-fee contract
A cost-reimbursement type contract that provides for the
payment of a fixed fee to the contractor. The fixed fee, once
negotiated, does not vary with actual cost but may be adjusted
as a result of any subsequent changes in the scope of work or
services to be performed under the contract.
cost sharing contract
A cost-reimbursement type contract under which the
contractor receives no fee but is reimbursed only for an agreed
portion of its allowable costs
A mission that integrates offensive and defensive
operations to attain and maintain a desired degree of air
superiority. Counterair missions are designed to destroy or
negate enemy aircraft and missiles, both before and after
launch. See also air superiority; mission; offensive counterair.
Attack by part or all of a defending force against an
enemy attacking force, for such specific purposes as regaining
ground lost or cutting off or destroying enemy advance units,
and with the general objective of denying to the enemy the
attainment of the enemy's purpose in attacking. In sustained
defensive operations, it is undertaken to restore the battle
position and is directed at limited objectives. See also
Fire delivered for the purpose of destroying or
neutralizing indirect fire weapon systems.
Efforts to negate, neutralize, diminish the effects of, or
gain advantage from a foreign deception operation.
Counterdeception does not include the intelligence function of
identifying foreign deception operations. See also deception.
Those active measures taken to detect, monitor, and
counter the production, trafficking, and use of illegal drugs.
Also called CD.
counterdrug nonoperational support
Support provided to law enforcement agencies or host
nations that includes loan or lease of equipment without
operators, use of facilities (such as buildings, training areas,
and ranges), training conducted in formal schools, transfer of
excess equipment, or other support provided by the Services from
forces not assigned or made available to the combatant
commanders. See also counterdrug operational support;
counterdrug operational support
Support to host nations and drug law enforcement agencies
involving military personnel and their associated equipment, and
provided by the geographic combatant commanders from forces
assigned to them or made available to them by the Services for
this purpose. Operational support does not include support in
the form of equipment alone, nor the conduct of joint law
enforcement investigations with cooperating civilian law
enforcement agencies. See also counterdrug nonoperational
support; counterdrug operations.
Civil or military actions taken to reduce or eliminate
illicit drug trafficking. See also counterdrug; counterdrug
nonoperational support; counterdrug operational support.
counterdrug support office
In counterdrug operations, offices under the office of the
Department of Defense Coordinator for Drug Enforcement Policy
and Support, responsible for processing, tracking, and
coordinating all nonoperational support requests from drug law
enforcement officials. Also called CDSO. See also counterdrug;
That aspect of counterintelligence designed to detect,
destroy, neutralize, exploit, or prevent espionage activities
through identification, penetration, manipulation, deception,
and repression of individuals, groups, or organizations
conducting or suspected of conducting espionage activities.
Fire intended to destroy or neutralize enemy
weapons. (DOD only) Includes counterbattery, counterbombardment,
and countermortar fire. See also fire.
The employment of strategic air and missile forces in an
effort to destroy, or render impotent, selected military
capabilities of an enemy force under any of the circumstances by
which hostilities may be initiated.
Operations and activities conducted by armed forces,
paramilitary forces, or nonmilitary agencies against guerrillas.
Those military, paramilitary, political, economic,
psychological, and civic actions taken by a government to defeat
insurgency. Also called COIN.
Information gathered and activities conducted to protect
against espionage, other intelligence activities, sabotage, or
assassinations conducted by or on behalf of foreign governments
or elements thereof, foreign organizations, or foreign persons,
or international terrorist activities. Also called CI. See also
counterespionage; countersabotage; countersubversion; security;
The four functions of counterintelligence: operations;
investigations; collection; and analysis and production. See
also analysis and production; collection; counterintelligence;
The systematic acquisition of information (through
investigations, operations, or liaison) concerning espionage,
sabotage, terrorism, other intelligence activities or
assassinations conducted by or on behalf of foreign governments
or elements thereof, foreign organizations, or foreign persons
that are directed against or threaten Department of Defense
interests. See also counterintelligence.
Counterintelligence (CI) investigations are conducted to
prove or disprove an allegation of espionage or
otherintelligence activities, such as sabotage, assassination,
or other national security crimes conducted by or on behalf of
aforeign government, organization, or person or international
terrorists. CI investigations may establish the elementsof proof
for prosecution or administrative actions, provide a basis for
CI operations, or validate the suitability of personnel for
access to classified information. CI investigations are
conducted against individuals or groups for committing
majorsecurity violations, as well as failure to follow Defense
agency and Military Service directives governing reporting
contacts with foreign citizens and out-of-channel requests for
defense information. CI investigations provide military
commanders and policymakers with information used to eliminate
securityvulnerabilities and otherwise improve the security
posture of threatened interests. See also counterintelligence;
counterintelligence operational tasking authority
The levying of counterintelligence requirements specificto
joint military activities and operations. Counterintelligence
operational tasking authority is exercised through
supportingcomponents. Also called CIOTA. See also
Proactive activities designed to identify,
exploit,neutralize, or deter foreign intelligence collection and
terrorist activities directed against the Department of Defense
(DOD). Operations are conducted to: manipulate, disrupt,
neutralize, and/or destroy the effectiveness of foreign
intelligence activities; recruit or induce defection offoreign
intelligence officers and personnel; collect threat information
on foreign intelligence operations, modusoperandi, intelligence
requirements, targeting, objectives, personalities,
communications, capabilities, limitations,and vulnerabilities;
provide information and operations databases to support decision
makers; provide counterintelligence (CI) support to clandestine
human intelligence operations; identify post, ongoing, or
planned espionage; support force protection, operations other
than war, and peacekeeping; acquire foreign intelligence
espionage equipment for analysis and countermeasures
development; develop operational data, threat data, and
espionage leads for future CI operations, investigations, and
projects and develop the potential of these leads to enhance DOD
security overall; and support specific Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs ofStaff, DOD, and national plans. See also
The process of analyzing all-source information concerning
espionage or other multidiscipline intelligence collection
threats, sabotage, terrorism, and other related threats to US
military commanders, the Department of Defense, and the US
Intelligence Community and developing it into a final product
that is disseminated. Counterintelligence production is used in
formulating security policy, plans, and operations. See also
Conducting counterintelligence activities to protect
against espionage and other foreign intelligence activities,
sabotage, international terrorist activities, or assassinations
conducted for or on behalf of foreign powers, organizations, or
persons. See also counterintelligence.
That form of military science that, by the employment of
devices and/or techniques, has as its objective the impairment
of the operational effectiveness of enemy activity. See also
To explode the main charge in a mine by the shock of
a nearby explosion of another mine or independent explosive
charge. The explosion of the main charge may be caused either by
sympathetic detonation or through the explosive train and/or
firing mechanism of the mine.
In land mine warfare, an operation to reduce or
eliminate the effects of mines or minefields. See also
countermine; countermining; mine warfare.
1. Land mine warfare--Tactics and techniques used to
detect, avoid, breach, and/or neutralize enemy mines and the use
of available resources to deny the enemy the opportunity to
employ mines. 2. Naval mine warfare--The detonation of mines by
nearby explosions, either accidental or deliberate.
The construction of obstacles and emplacement of
minefields to delay, disrupt, and destroy the enemy by
reinforcement of the terrain. The primary purpose of
countermobility operations is to slow or divert the enemy, to
increase time for target acquisition, and to increase weapons
effectiveness. See also minefield; operation; target
An operation undertaken in reaction to or in
anticipation of a move by the enemy. See also counterattack.
A large scale offensive undertaken by a defending force to
seize the initiative from the attacking force. See also
Intensive prearranged fire delivered when the
imminence of the enemy attack is discovered. (DOD only) It is
designed to: break up enemy formations; disorganize the enemy's
systems of command, communications, and observation; decrease
the effectiveness of artillery preparation; and impair the
enemy's offensive spirit. See also fire.
Those actions (e.g., detect and monitor, prepare to
conduct counterproliferation operations, offensive operations,
weapons of mass destruction, active defense, and passive
defense) taken to defeat the threat and/or use of weapons of
mass destruction against the United States, our military forces,
friends, and allies. Also called CP. See also nonproliferation.
Those psychological operations activities that identify
adversary propaganda, contribute to situational awareness, and
serve to expose adversary attempts to influence friendly
populations and military forces.
All measures taken to prevent hostile observation of a
force, area, or place.
That aspect of counterintelligence designed to detect,
destroy, neutralize, or prevent sabotage activities through
identification, penetration, manipulation, deception, and
repression of individuals, groups, or organizations conducting
or suspected of conducting sabotage activities.
A secret challenge and its reply. See also
That aspect of counterintelligence designed to detect,
destroy, neutralize, or prevent subversive activities through
the identification, exploitation, penetration, manipulation,
deception, and repression of individuals, groups, or
organizations conducting or suspected of conducting subversive
All measures, active or passive, taken to counteract
hostile surveillance. See also surveillance.
Operations that include the offensive measures taken to
prevent, deter, preempt, and respond to terrorism. Also called
CT. See also antiterrorism; combating terrorism; terrorism.
country cover diagram
A small scale index, by country, depicting the
existence of air photography for planning purposes only.
The senior, in-country, US coordinating and supervising
body, headed by the chief of the US diplomatic mission, and
composed of the senior member of each represented US department
or agency, as desired by the chief of the US diplomatic mission.
coup de main
An offensive operation that capitalizes on surprise and
simultaneous execution of supporting operations to achieve
success in one swift stroke.
A messenger (usually a commissioned or warrant officer)
responsible for the secure physical transmission and delivery of
documents and material. Generally referred to as a command
orlocal courier. See also armed forces courier.
The intended direction of movement in the horizontal
course of action
1. Any sequence of activities that an individual or unit
may follow. 2. A possible plan open to an individual or
commander that would accomplish, or is related to the
accomplishment of the mission. 3. The scheme adopted to
accomplish a job or mission. 4. A line of conduct in an
engagement. 5. A product of the Joint Operation Planning and
Execution System concept development phase. Also called COA.
course of action development
The phase of the Joint Operation Planning and Execution
System within the crisis action planning process that provides
for the development of military responses and includes, within
the limits of the time allowed: establishing force and
sustainment requirements with actual units; evaluating force,
logistic, and transportation feasibility; identifying and
resolving resource shortfalls; recommending resource
allocations; and producing a course of action via a commander's
estimate that contains a concept of operations, employment
concept, risk assessments, prioritized courses of action, and
supporting databases. See also course of action; crisis action
1. The action by land, air, or sea forces to protect
by offense, defense, or threat of either or both. 2. Those
measures necessary to give protection to a person, plan,
operation, formation, or installation from the enemy
intelligence effort and leakage of information. 3. The act of
maintaining a continuous receiver watch with transmitter
calibrated and available, but not necessarily available for
immediate use. 4. Shelter or protection, either natural or
artificial. 5. (DOD only) Photographs or other recorded images
which show a particular area of ground. 6. (DOD only) A code
meaning, "Keep fighters between force/base and contact
designated at distance stated from force/base" (e.g., "cover
bogey twenty-seven to thirty miles").
1. The ground area represented on imagery,
photomaps, mosaics, maps, and other geographical presentation
systems. 2. (DOD only) Cover or protection, as the coverage of
troops by supporting fire. 3. (DOD only) The extent to which
intelligence information is available in respect to any
specified area of interest. 4. (DOD only) The summation of the
geographical areas and volumes of aerospace under surveillance.
See also comparative cover.
1. Fire used to protect troops when they are within
range of enemy small arms. 2. In amphibious usage, fire
delivered prior to the landing to cover preparatory operations
such as underwater demolition or minesweeping. See also fire.
1. A force operating apart from the main force for
the purpose of intercepting, engaging, delaying, disorganizing,
and deceiving the enemy before the enemy can attack the force
covered. 2. Any body or detachment of troops which provides
security for a larger force by observation, reconnaissance,
attack, or defense, or by any combination of these methods. See
covering force area
The area forward of the forward edge of the battle
area out to the forward positions initially assigned to the
covering forces. It is here that the covering forces execute
Actions to conceal actual friendly intentions,
capabilities, operations, and other activities by providing a
plausible yet erroneous explanation of the observable.
In air photographic reconnaissance, the process of
selection of the most suitable existing cover for a specific
An operation that is so planned and executed as to conceal
the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor. A
covert operation differs from a clandestine operation in that
emphasis is placed on concealment of identity of sponsor rather
than on concealment of the operation. See also clandestine
operation; overt operation.
A person in charge of a small craft (in the Army, a Class
B or smaller craft) who often functions as the helmsman. For a
causeway ferry, the pilot is in charge with the coxswain
performing helmsman functions. See causeway.
crash locator beacon
An automatic emergency radio locator beacon to help
searching forces locate a crashed aircraft. See also emergency
locator beacon; personal locator beacon.
crash position indicator
See crash locator beacon.
crash rescue and fire suppression
Extraction of aircrew members from crashed or burning
aircraft and the control and extinguishing of aircraft and
The pit, depression, or cavity formed in the surface of
the Earth by an explosion. It may range from saucer shaped to
conical, depending largely on the depth of burst. In the case of
a deep underground burst, no rupture of the surface may occur.
The resulting cavity is termed a "camouflet."
The maximum depth of the crater measured from the deepest
point of the pit to the original ground level.
A charge placed at an adequate depth to produce a
The average radius of the crater measured at the level
corresponding to the original surface of the ground.
A barrage in which the fire of all units
participating remains in the same relative position throughout
and which advances in steps of one line at a time.
In naval mine warfare, a buoyant mine held below the
surface by a weight, usually in the form of a chain, which is
free to creep along the seabed under the influence of stream or
A terrain feature of such altitude that it restricts
fire or observation in an area beyond, resulting in dead space,
or limiting the minimum elevation, or both.
A report that indicates that engagement of a target or
observation of an area is not possible because of an obstacle or
An incident or situation involving a threat to the United
States, its territories, citizens, military forces, possessions,
or vital interests that develops rapidly and creates a condition
of such diplomatic, economic, political, or military importance
that commitment of US military forces and resources is
contemplated in order to achieve national objectives.
crisis action planning
1. The Joint Operation Planning and Execution System
process involving the time-sensitive development of joint
operation plans and orders in response to an imminent crisis.
Crisis action planning follows prescribed crisis action
procedures to formulate and implement an effective response
within the time frame permitted by the crisis. 2. The
time-sensitive planning for the deployment, employment, and
sustainment of assigned and allocated forces and resources that
occurs in response to a situation that may result in actual
military operations. Crisis action planners base their plan on
the circumstances that exist at the time planning occurs. Also
called CAP. See also Joint Operation Planning and Execution
Measure to resolve a hostile situation and investigate and
prepare a criminal case for prosecution under federal law.
Crisis management will include a response to an incident
involving a weapon of mass destruction, special improvised
explosive device, or a hostage crisis that is beyond the
capability of the lead federal agency. See also crisis; hostage;
Specific facts about friendly intentions, capabilities,
and activities vitally needed by adversaries for them to plan
and act effectively so as to guarantee failure or unacceptable
consequences for friendly mission accomplishment.
Critical Infrastructure Protection
Department of Defense program to identify and
protect assets critical to the Defense Transportation System.
Loss of a critical asset would result in failure to support the
mission of a combatant commander. Assets include worldwide DOD,
commercial, and civil physical and command, control,
communications, computers, and intelligence infrastructures. See
also Defense Transportation System.
Intelligence that is crucial and requires the immediate
attention of the commander. It is required to enable the
commander to make decisions that will provide a timely and
appropriate response to actions by the potential or actual
enemy. It includes but is not limited to the following: a.
strong indications of the imminent outbreak of hostilities of
any type (warning of attack); b. aggression of any nature
against a friendly country; c. indications or use of nuclear,
biological, and chemical weapons; and d. significant events
within potential enemy countries that may lead to modification
of nuclear strike plans.
An essential item which is in short supply or expected to
be in short supply for an extended period. See also critical
supplies and materiel; regulated item
critical item list
Prioritized list, compiled from a subordinate
commander'scomposite critical item lists, identifying supply
items andweapon systems that assist Service and Defense
Logistics Agency'sselection of supply items and systems for
production surgeplanning. Also may be used in operational
situations by thecombatant commander and/or subordinate joint
force commander(within combatant commander directives) to
cross-level criticalsupply items between Service components.
Also called CIL. See also critical item.
critical joint duty assignment billet
A joint duty assignment position for which, considering
the duties and responsibilities of the position, it is highly
important that the assigned officer be particularly trained in,
and oriented toward, joint matters. Critical billets are
selected by heads of joint organizations, approved by the
Secretary of Defense and documented in the Joint Duty Assignment
The minimum amount of fissionable material capable of
supporting a chain reaction under precisely specified
An element, position, or command and control entity whose
disruption or destruction immediately degrades the ability of a
force to command, control, or effectively conduct combat
operations. Also called target critical damage point.
critical occupational specialty
A military occupational specialty selected from among the
combat arms in the Army or equivalent military specialties in
the Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps. Equivalent military
specialties are those engaged in operational art in order to
attain strategic goals in an operational area through the
design, organization, and conduct of campaigns and major
operations. Critical occupational specialties are designated by
the Secretary of Defense. Also called COS.
1. A key geographical point or position important to the
success of an operation. 2. In point of time, a crisis or a
turning point in an operation. 3. A selected point along a line
of march used for reference in giving instructions. 4. A point
where there is a change of direction or change in slope in a
ridge or stream. 5. Any point along a route of march where
interference with a troop movement may occur.
critical safety item
A part, assembly, installation, or production system with
one or more essential characteristics that, if not conforming to
the design data or quality requirements, would result in an
unsafe condition that could cause loss or serious damage to the
end item or major components, loss of control, or serious injury
to personnel. Also called CSI.
A speed or range of speeds which a ship cannot
sustain due to vibration or other similar phenomena.
critical supplies and materiel
Those supplies vital to the support of operations,
which owing to various causes are in short supply or are
expected to be in short supply. See also critical item;
critical sustainability item
Any item described at National Stock Number level of
detail, by federal supply class, as part of the logistic factors
file, that significantly affect the commander's ability to
execute an operation plan. Also called CSI.
See critical intelligence.
1. A number of adjacent crossing sites under the
control of one commander. 2. (DOD only) A controlled access area
for a river crossing operation used to decrease traffic
congestion at the river. It is normally a brigade-sized area
defined by lateral boundaries and release lines 3 to 4
kilometers (based on mission, enemy, terrain and weather, troops
and support available-time available) from each side of the
The authority and ability to shift materiel inventory from
one owner to meet the requirement of another. At the theater
strategic level and operational level, it is the process of
diverting en route or in-theater materiel from one military
element to meet the higher priority of another within the
combatant commander's directive authority for logistics.
Cross-leveling plans must include specific reimbursement
The distribution of leaders, key weapons, personnel, and
key equipment among the aircraft, vessels, or vehicles of a
formation to preclude the total loss of command and control or
unit effectiveness if an aircraft, vessel, or vehicle is lost.
It is also an important factor in aiding rapid assembly of units
at the drop zone or landing zone. See also loading.
A subset of common-user logistics in which a function
isperformed by one Military Service in support of another
MilitaryService and for which reimbursement is required from the
Servicereceiving support. See also acquisition and
cross-servicing agreement; common-user logistics; servicing.
The layering of weapons from different delivery platforms
to increase the probability of target damage or destruction.
The transfer of information between facilities at
the same operational level. See also track telling.
Guided missile, the major portion of whose flight path to
its target is conducted at approximately constant velocity;
depends on the dynamic reaction of air for lift and upon
propulsion forces to balance drag.
A level determined by vertical measurement from mean
sea level, maintained during a flight or portion thereof.
A level maintained during a significant portion of a
flight. See also altitude.
See collapse depth.
Liquefied gas at very low temperature, such as liquid
oxygen, nitrogen, or argon.
The steps and operations performed in converting encrypted
messages into plain text without initial knowledge of the key
employed in the encryption.
1. A complete system of crypto-communications between two
or more holders. 2. The basic unit for naval cryptographic
communication. It includes: a. the cryptographic aids
prescribed; b. the holders thereof; c. the indicators or other
means of identification; d. the area or areas in which
effective; e. the special purpose, if any, for which provided;
and f. pertinent notes as to distribution, usage, etc. A
cryptochannel is analogous to a radio circuit.
All information significantly descriptive of cryptographic
techniques and processes or of cryptographic systems and
equipment (or their functions and capabilities) and all
Of or pertaining to cryptology.
The science that deals with hidden, disguised, or
encrypted communications. It includes communications security
and communications intelligence.
The science that deals with hidden, disguised, or
encrypted communications. It includes communications security
and communications intelligence.
A division of a message as prescribed for security
reasons. The operating instructions for certain cryptosystems
prescribe the number of groups which may be encrypted in the
systems, using a single message indicator. Cryptoparts are
identified in plain language. They are not to be confused with
See communications security.
The associated items of cryptomaterial that are used as a
unit and provide a single means of encryption and decryption.
See also cipher; code; decrypt; encipher.
Those aircraft, vehicles, maritime craft, and assigned
personnel possessing inherent capabilities to recover isolated
personnel, but whose primary designed operational capability or
mission is other than combat search and rescue (CSAR).
CSAR-capable assets are mobile, responsive, and capable of
physically recovering and/or returning isolated personnel to
Those aircraft, vehicles, maritime craft, and assigned
personnel with a primary designed operational capability and
Service- or component-designated mission of conducting or
directly supporting combat search and rescue (CSAR) operations.
Dedicated assets and assigned personnel are specifically
trained, equipped, and employed to recover isolated personnel or
provide direct support to assets conducting CSAR operations.
"CSAR-capable" assets specifically tasked to conduct CSAR
operations by a joint force commander or other appropriate
authority are included in this category.
The point at which a force no longer has the capability to
continue its form of operations, offense or defense. a. In the
offense, the point at which continuing the attack is no longer
possible and the force must consider reverting to a defensive
posture or attempting an operational pause. b. In the defense,
the point at which counteroffensive action is no longer
A deliberate and calculated association with a person for
the purpose of recruitment, obtaining information, or gaining
control for these or other purposes.
A feature of the terrain that has been constructed
by man. Included are such items as roads, buildings, and canals;
boundary lines; and, in a broad sense, all names and legends on
Weight of a ground vehicle including fuel, lubricants,
coolant, and on-vehicle materiel, excluding cargo and operating
A body of water moving in a certain direction and caused
by wind and density differences in water. The effects of a
current are modified by water depth, underwater topography,
basin shape, land masses, and deflection from the earth's
The force that exists today. The current force represents
actual force structure and/or manning available to meet present
contingencies. It is the basis for operations and contingency
plans and orders. See also force; Intermediate Force Planning
Level; Programmed Forces.
One of two categories of descriptive intelligence that is
concerned with describing the existing situation.
Deep water movements caused by tides or seasonal changes
in ocean water level.
A water movement that flows from the beach through the
surf zone in swiftly moving narrow channels. See also surf zone.
curve of pursuit
The curved path described by a fighter plane making
an attack on a moving target while holding the proper aiming
Ridges of beach material extending seaward from the beach
face with intervening troughs.
custodian of postal effects
Members of the US Armed Forces or Department of Defense
civilian employees accountable for administration of the postal
effects entrusted to them by the United States Postal Service.
Civilian custodians of postal effects are supervised by the
members of the US Armed Forces. Also called COPE.
1. The responsibility for the control of, transfer and
movement of, and access to, weapons and components. Custody also
includes the maintenance of accountability for weapons and
components. 2. Temporary restraint of a person.
The ship in a replenishment unit that receives the
transferred personnel and/or supplies.
customer wait time
The total elapsed time between issuance of a customer
order and satisfaction of that order. Also called CWT.
Customs Over-The-Horizon Enforcement Network
US Customs Service long-range voice communications system.
Also called COTHEN.
The deliberate shutting off of a reaction engine.
An attack that provides a direct vector from the
interceptor's position to an intercept point with the target
The velocity attained by a missile at the point of
An intermediary or device used to obviate direct contact
between members of a clandestine organization.
1. In naval mine warfare, a device fitted to a sweep
wire to cut or part the moorings of mines or obstructors; it may
also be fitted in the mooring of a mine or obstructor to part a
sweep. 2. (DOD only) Coast Guard watercraft 65 feet long or
larger. See also mine warfare; watercraft.
A charge which produces a cutting effect in line
with its plane of symmetry
Measures to identify, penetrate, or neutralize
foreignoperations that use cyber means as the primary tradecraft
methodology, as well as foreign intelligence service
collectionefforts that use traditional methods to gauge cyber
capabilities and intentions. See also counterintelligence.
The notional environment in which digitized information is
communicated over computer networks.
The notional environment in which digitized information is
communicated over computer networks.