Glossary of Military Terms
Radar equipment (type of equipment may be indicated by a
letter as listed in operation orders). May be followed by a
color to indicate state of jamming. Colors will be used as
follows: a. green--Clear of jamming. b. amber--Sector partially
jammed. c. red--Sector completely jammed. d. blue--Completely
An area within a minefield or obstacle belt, free of live
mines or obstacles, whose width and direction will allow a
friendly force to pass through in tactical formation. See also
gap filler radar
A radar used to supplement the coverage of the
principal radar in areas where coverage is inadequate.
Any space where imagery fails to meet minimum coverage
requirements. This might be a space not covered by imagery or a
space where the minimum specified overlap was not obtained.
In landmine warfare, markers used to indicate a
minefield gap. Gap markers at the entrance to, and exit from,
the gap will be referenced to a landmark or intermediate marker.
See also marker.
An error in transmission, reception, encryption, or
decryption that changes the text of a message or any portion
thereof in such a manner that it is incorrect or undecryptable.
In surveillance, natural or artificial material
applied to an object to achieve or assist camouflage.
All units assigned to a base or area for defense,
development, operation, and maintenance of facilities. See also
A general term for a collection of spars, ropes, blocks,
and equipment used for lifting and stowing cargo and ships
general agency agreement
A contract between the Maritime Administration and a
steamship company which, as general agent, exercises
administrative control over a government-owned ship for
employment by the Military Sealift Command. Also called GAA. See
also Military Sealift Command.
general air cargo
Cargo without hazardous or dangerous properties and
not requiring extra precautions for air transport
general and complete disarmament
Reductions of armed forces and armaments by all states to
levels required for internal security and for an international
peace force. Connotation is "total disarmament" by all states.
Cargo that is susceptible for loading in general,
nonspecialized stowage areas or standard shipping containers;
e.g., boxes, barrels, bales, crates, packages, bundles, and
Encompasses the construction and repair of lines of
communications, main supply routes, airfields, and logistic
facilities to support joint military operations and may be
performed in direct support of combat operations, such as battle
damage repair. These operations include both horizontal and
vertical construction, and may include use of both expedient
repair methods and more deliberate construction methods
characterized by the application of design criteria, advanced
planning, and preparation, depending on the mission
requirements. Also called GE.
A map of small scale used for general planning purposes.
See also map.
general military intelligence
Intelligence concerning the (1) military capabilities of
foreign countries or organizations or (2) topics affecting
potential US or multinational military operations, relating to
the following subjects: armed forces capabilities, including
order of battle, organization, training, tactics, doctrine,
strategy, and other factors bearing on military strength and
effectiveness; area and terrain intelligence, including urban
areas, coasts and landing beaches, and meteorological,
oceanographic, and geological intelligence; transportation in
all modes; military materiel production and support industries;
military and civilian command, control, communications,
computers, and intelligence systems; military economics,
including foreign military assistance; insurgency and terrorism;
military-political-sociological intelligence; location,
identification, and description of military-related
installations; government control; escape and evasion; and
threats and forecasts. (Excludes scientific and technical
intelligence.) Also called GMI. See also intelligence; military
1. Permanent instructions, issued in order form, that
apply to all members of a command, as compared with special
orders, which affect only individuals or small groups. General
orders are usually concerned with matters of policy or
administration. 2. A series of permanent guard orders that
govern the duties of a sentry on post.
general purchasing agents
Agents who have been appointed in the principal overseas
areas to supervise, control, coordinate, negotiate, and develop
the local procurement of supplies, services, and facilities by
Armed Forces of the United States, in order that the most
effective utilization may be made of local resources and
A condition of readiness when naval action is imminent.
All battle stations are fully manned and alert; ammunition is
ready for instant loading; guns and guided missile launchers may
A group of officers in the headquarters of Army or Marine
divisions, Marine brigades, and aircraft wings, or similar or
larger units that assist their commanders in planning,
coordinating, and supervising operations. A general staff may
consist of four or more principal functional sections: personnel
(G-1), military intelligence (G-2), operations and training
(G-3), logistics (G-4), and (in Army organizations) civil
affairs and military government (G-5). (A particular section may
be added or eliminated by the commander, dependent upon the need
that has been demonstrated.) The comparable Air Force staff is
found in the wing and larger units, with sections designated
personnel, operations, etc. G-2 Air and G-3 Air are Army
officers assigned to G-2 or G-3 at division, corps, and Army
headquarters level who assist in planning and coordinating joint
operations of ground and air units. Naval staffs ordinarily are
not organized on these lines, but when they are, they are
designated N-1, N-2, etc. Similarly, a joint staff may be
designated J-1, J-2, etc. In Army brigades and smaller units and
in Marine Corps units smaller than a brigade or aircraft wing,
staff sections are designated S-1, S-2, etc., with corresponding
duties; referred to as a unit staff in the Army and as an
executive staff in the Marine Corps. See also staff.
general stopping power
The percentage of a group of vehicles in battle
formation likely to be stopped by mines when attempting to cross
1. That support which is given to the supported
force as a whole and not to any particular subdivision thereof.
See also close support; direct support; mutual support; support.
2. (DOD only) A tactical artillery mission. Also called GS. See
also direct support; general support-reinforcing; reinforcing
general support artillery
Artillery which executes the fire directed by the
commander of the unit to which it organically belongs or is
attached. It fires in support of the operation as a whole rather
than in support of a specific subordinate unit. Also called GSA.
See also direct support artillery; general support-reinforcing;
General support-reinforcing artillery has the mission of
supporting the force as a whole and of providing reinforcing
fires for other artillery units. Also called GSR. See also
direct support artillery; reinforcing.
general unloading period
In amphibious operations, that part of the
ship-to-shore movement in which unloading is primarily logistic
in character, and emphasizes speed and volume of unloading
operations. It encompasses the unloading of units and cargo from
the ships as rapidly as facilities on the beach permit. It
proceeds without regard to class, type, or priority of cargo, as
permitted by cargo handling facilities ashore. See also initial
Armed conflict between major powers in which the total
resources of the belligerents are employed, and the national
survival of a major belligerent is in jeopardy.
The preparation of successive positive and/or negative
reproductions from an original negative and/or positive
(first-generation). For example, the first positive produced
from an original negative is a second-generation product; the
negative made from this positive is a third-generation product;
and the next positive or print from that negative is a
The quantities of latitude and longitude which
define the position of a point on the surface of the Earth with
respect to the reference spheroid. See also coordinates.
geographic reference points
A means of indicating position, usually expressed either
as double letters or as code words that are established in
operation orders or by other means
A worldwide position reference system that may be
applied to any map or chart graduated in latitude and longitude
regardless of projection. It is a method of expressing latitude
and longitude in a form suitable for rapid reporting and
plotting. (This term is derived from the words "The World
Geographic Reference System.")
geospatial information and services
The concept for collection, information extraction,
storage, dissemination, and exploitation of geodetic,
geomagnetic, imagery (both commercial and national source),
gravimetric, aeronautical, topographic, hydrographic, littoral,
cultural, and toponymic data accurately referenced to a precise
location on the earth's surface. These data are used for
military planning, training, and operations including
navigation, mission planning, mission rehearsal, modeling,
simulation and precise targeting. Geospatial information
provides the basic framework for battlespace visualization. It
is information produced by multiple sources to common
interoperable data standards. It may be presented in the form of
printed maps, charts, and publications; in digital simulation
and modeling databases; in photographic form; or in the form of
digitized maps and charts or attributed centerline data.
Geospatial services include tools that enable users to access
and manipulate data, and also includes instruction, training,
laboratory support, and guidance for the use of geospatial data.
Also called GI&S.
geospatial information and services priorities
The priorities defined by the Joint Chiefs of Staff for
indicating the relative importance of geospatial information and
services geographical area as well as weapons systems support
requirements. The priorities are used as one of the factors in
allocating National Imagery and Mapping Agency production
resources. Priority definitions are contained in the joint
strategic planning document.
A bomb fitted with airfoils to provide lift and which is
carried and released in the direction of a target by an
In a flight control system, a control mode in which an
aircraft is automatically positioned to the center of the glide
Global Air Transportation Execution System
The Air Mobility Command's aerial port operations and
management information system designed to support automated
cargo and passenger processing, the reporting of in-transit
visibility data to the Global Transportation Network, and
billing to Air Mobility Command's financial management
directorate. Also called GATES. See also Air Mobility Command;
Global Transportation Network.
Global Combat Support System
A strategy that provides information interoperability
across combat support functions and between combat support and
command and control functions through the Global Command and
Control System. Also called GCSS. See also combat forces; combat
Global Command and Control System
Highly mobile, deployable command and control system
supporting forces for joint and multinational operations across
the range of military operations, any time and anywhere in the
world with compatible, interoperable, and integrated command,
control, communications, computers, and intelligence systems.
Also called GCCS. See also command and control; command and
Global Decision Support System
Command and control system for Air Mobility Command's
mobility airlift and air refueling assets. Provides aircraft
schedules, arrival and/or departure, and aircraft status data to
support in-transit visibility of aircraft and aircrews. Also
called GDSS. See also Air Mobility Command; in-transit
The process that synchronizes and integrates fulfillment
of joint force requirements with employment of the joint force.
It provides national resources (personnel and materiel) to
support execution of joint operations. The ultimate objective of
this process is the effective and efficient accomplishment of
the joint force mission. See also distribution.
global distribution of materiel
The process of providing materiel from the source of
supply to its point of consumption or use on a worldwide basis.
See also global distribution.
An open systems architecture that provides global
connectivity instantaneously on warrior demand. The global grid
can support both vertical and horizontal information flow to
joint and multinational forces. See also common operating
environment; node/command, control, communications, and
Global Information Grid
The globally interconnected, end-to-end set of information
capabilities, associated processes and personnel for
collecting,processing, storing, disseminating and managing
information on demand to warfighters, policy makers, and support
personnel. The Global Information Grid (GIG) includes all owned
and leasedcommunications and computing systems and services,
software (including applications), data, security services
andother associated services necessary to achieve information
superiority. It also includes National Security Systems
asdefined in section 5142 of the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996. The
GIG supports all Department of Defense (DOD), NationalSecurity,
and related intelligence community missions and functions
(strategic, operational, tactical and business), in warand in
peace. The GIG provides capabilities from all operating
locations (bases, posts, camps, stations, facilities, mobile
platforms and deployed sites). The GIG provides interfaces to
coalition, allied, and non-DOD users and systems. Also called
GIG. See also grid; information.
global information infrastructure
The worldwide interconnection of communications networks,
computers, databases, and consumer electronics that make vast
amounts of information available to users. The global
information infrastructure encompasses a wide range of
equipment, including cameras, scanners, keyboards, facsimile
machines, computers, switches, compact disks, video and audio
tape, cable, wire, satellites, fiber-optic transmission lines,
networks of all types, televisions, monitors, printers, and much
more. The friendly and adversary personnel who make decisions
and handle the transmitted information constitute a critical
component of the global information infrastructure. Also called
GII. See also defense information infrastructure; information;
information system; national information infrastructure.
Global Patient Movement Requirements Center
A joint activity reporting directly to the Commander in
Chief, US Transportation Command, the Department of Defense
single manager for the regulation of movement of uniformed
services patients. The Global Patient Movement Requirements
Center authorizes transfers to medical treatment facilities of
the Military Departments or the Department of Veterans Affairs
and coordinates intertheater and inside continental United
States patient movement requirements with the appropriate
transportation component commands of US Transportation Command.
Also called GPMRC. See also medical treatment facility.
global positioning system
A satellite constellation that provides highly accurate
position, velocity, and time navigation information to users.
Also called GPS.
Global Satellite Communications Support Center
United States Strategic Command operational element
responsible for: providing global satellite communications
system status; maintaining global situational awareness to
include each combatant commander's planned and current
operations as well as deliberate plans; supporting radio
frequency interference resolution management; supporting
satellite anomaly resolution and management; facilitating
satellite communications interface to the defense information
infrastructure; and managing the Regional Satellite
Communications Support Centers. Also called GSSC.
global transportation management
The integrated process of satisfying transportation
requirements using the Defense Transportation System to meet
national security objectives. The process begins with planning,
programming, and budgeting for transportation assets, services,
and associated systems and continues through delivery of the
users' transportation movement requirements. Also called GTM.
See also Defense Transportation System; Global Transportation
Global Transportation Network
The automated support necessary to enable USTransportation
Command and its components to provide globaltransportation
management. The Global Transportation Network provides the
integrated transportation data and systemsnecessary to
accomplish global transportation planning, command and control,
and in-transit visibility across the range of military
operations. The designated Department of Defense in-transit
visibility system provides customers with the ability to track
the identity, status, and location of Department of Defense
units and non-unit cargo, passengers, patients,forces, and
military and commercial airlift, sealift, and surface assets
from origin to destination across the range of
militaryoperations. The Global Transportation Network collects,
integrates, and distributes transportation information to
combatant commanders, Services, and other Department of Defense
customers. Global Transportation Network provides
USTransportation Command with the ability to perform command and
control operations, planning and analysis, and
businessoperations in tailoring customer requirements throughout
the requirements process. Also called GTN. See also global
transportation management; in-transit visibility; United States
The condition or state of operability of a component or
system: "go," functioning properly; or "no-go," not functioning
properly. Alternatively, a critical point at which a decision to
proceed or not must be made.
government-owned, contract-operated ships
Those ships to which the US Government holds title and
which the Military Sealift Command operates under a contract
(i.e., nongovernment-manned). These ships are designated United
States Naval Ships and use the prefix "USNS" with the ship name
and the letter "T" as a prefix to the ship classification (e.g.,
T-AKR). See also Military Sealift Command; United States Naval
government-owned, Military Sealift Command-operated ships
Those ships to which the US Government holds title and
which the Military Sealift Command operates with US Government
(civil service) employees. These ships are designated United
States Naval Ships and use the prefix "USNS" with the ship name
and the letter "T" as a prefix to the ship classification (e.g.,
T-AKR). See also Military Sealift Command; United States Naval
The rate of inclination to horizontal expressed as a
ratio, such as 1:25, indicating a one unit rise to 25 units of
In mine warfare, a circuit which is actuated when
the rate of change, with time, of the magnitude of the influence
is within predetermined limits.
See national security strategy; national strategy.
Any and all products of the cartographic and
photogrammetric art. A graphic may be a map, chart, or mosaic or
even a film strip that was produced using cartographic
A graduated line by means of which distances on the
map, chart, or photograph may be measured in terms of ground
distance. See also scale.
In naval mine warfare, a device fitted to a mine
mooring designed to grapple the sweep wire when the mooring is
1. In cartography, a network of lines representing
the Earth's parallels of latitude and meridians of longitude. 2.
In imagery interpretation, see reticle.
In cartography, short lines indicating where
selected meridians and parallels intersect.
graves registration program
A program that provides for search, recovery, tentative
identification, and evacuation or temporary interment. Temporary
interment is only authorized by the geographic combatant
commander. Disposition of personal effects is included in this
program. See also personal effects.
The extraction of cargoes from the aircraft by
influence of their own weight. See also extraction parachute.
Fire approximately parallel to the ground where the
center of the cone of fire does not rise above one meter from
the ground. See also fire.
Greenwich Mean Time
See Universal Time. Also called GMT.
Propaganda that does not specifically identify any source.
See also propaganda.
1. Two sets of parallel lines intersecting at right angles
and forming squares; the grid is superimposed on maps, charts,
and other similar representations of the Earth's surface in an
accurate and consistent manner in order to permit identification
of ground locations with respect to other locations and the
computation of direction and distance to other points. 2. A term
used in giving the location of a geographic point by grid
coordinates. See also military grid; military grid reference
Bearing measured from grid north.
The horizontal angle at a place between true north and
grid north. It is proportional to the longitude difference
between the place and the central meridian. See also
grid convergence factor
The ratio of the grid convergence angle to the
longitude difference. In the Lambert Conical Orthomorphic
projection, this ratio is constant for all charts based on the
same two standard parallels. See also convergence; grid
Coordinates of a grid coordinate system to which
numbers and letters are assigned for use in designating a point
on a gridded map, photograph, or chart. See also coordinates.
grid coordinate system
A plane-rectangular coordinate system usually based
on, and mathematically adjusted to, a map projection in order
that geographic positions (latitudes and longitudes) may be
readily transformed into plane coordinates and the computations
relating to them may be made by the ordinary method of plane
surveying. See also coordinates.
The distance represented between the lines of a
grid magnetic angle
Angular difference in direction between grid north
and magnetic north. It is measured east or west from grid north.
Also called grid variation; grivation.
A method of navigation using a grid overlay for
direction reference. See also navigational grid.
The northerly or zero direction indicated by the
grid datum of directional reference.
Small marks on the neatline of a map or chart
indicating additional grid reference systems included on that
sheet. Grid ticks are sometimes shown on the interior grid lines
of some maps for ease of referencing.
See grid magnetic angle.
See grid magnetic angle.
grossly transportation feasible
A determination made by the supported commander that a
draft operation plan can be supported with the apportioned
transportation assets. This determination is made by using a
transportation feasibility estimator to simulate movement of
personnel and cargo from port of embarkation to port of
debarkation within a specified time frame.
1. Weight of a vehicle, fully equipped and serviced
for operation, including the weight of the fuel, lubricants,
coolant, vehicle tools and spares, crew, personal equipment, and
load. 2. Weight of a container or pallet including freight and
binding. Also called WT. See also net weight.
That status in which aircraft on the ground/deck are
fully serviced and armed, with combat crews in readiness to take
off within a specified short period of time (usually 15 minutes)
after receipt of a mission order. See also airborne alert;
ground combat element
The core element of a Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF)
that is task-organized to conduct ground operations. It is
usually constructed around an infantry organization but can vary
in size from a small ground unit of any type, to one or more
Marine divisions that can be independently maneuvered under the
direction of the MAGTF commander. The ground combat element
itself is not a formal command. Also called GCE. See also
aviation combat element; combat service support element; command
element; Marine air-ground task force; Marine expeditionary
force; Marine expeditionary force (forward); Marine
expeditionary unit; special purpose Marine air-ground task
force; task force.
A system of accurate measurements used to determine
the distances and directions or differences in elevation between
points on the Earth. See also common control (artillery);
control point; traverse.
ground-controlled approach procedure
The technique for talking down, through the use of
both surveillance and precision approach radar, an aircraft
during its approach so as to place it in a position for landing.
See also automatic approach and landing.
A technique which permits control of friendly
aircraft or guided missiles for the purpose of effecting
interception. See also air interception.
Small arms ground-to-air fire directed against aircraft.
ground liaison officer
An officer trained in offensive air support activities.
Ground liaison officers are normally organized into parties
under the control of the appropriate Army commander to provide
liaison to Air Force and naval units engaged in training and
combat operations. Also called GLO.
See bottom mine.
ground observer center
A center to which ground observer teams report and which
in turn will pass information to the appropriate control and/or
The radar reflection from the terrain as displayed
and/or recorded as an image.
The horizontal component of the speed of an aircraft
relative to the Earth's surface. Also called GS.
Prevailing horizontal visibility near the Earth's surface
as reported by an accredited observer.
The point on the surface of the Earth at, or
vertically below or above, the center of a planned or actual
nuclear detonation. See also actual ground zero; desired ground
1. A flexible administrative and tactical unit composed of
either two or more battalions or two or more squadrons. The term
also applies to combat support and combat service support units.
2. A number of ships and/or aircraft, normally a subdivision of
a force, assigned for a specific purpose. Also called GP.
An interment in a common grave of two or more individually
unidentified remains. See also emergency interment; mortuary
affairs; temporary interment; trench interment.
group of targets
Two or more targets on which fire is desired
simultaneously. A group of targets is designated by a
letter/number combination or a nickname.
A check point at which formations of the same type will
join before proceeding. See also force rendezvous.
1. A form of security operation whose primary task is to
protect the main force by fighting to gain time while also
observing and reporting information, and to prevent enemy ground
observation of and direct fire against the main body by
reconnoitering, attacking, defending, and delaying. A guard
force normally operates within the range of the main body's
indirect fire weapons. 2. A radio frequency that is normally
used for emergency transmissions and is continuously monitored.
UHF band: 243.0 MHZ; VHF band: 121.5 MHZ. See also cover; flank
guard; screen. 3. A military or civilian individual assigned to
protect personnel, equipment, or installations, or to oversee a
Enemy frequencies that are currently being exploited for
combat information and intelligence. A guarded frequency is
time-oriented in that the guarded frequency list changes as the
enemy assumes different combat postures. These frequencies may
be jammed after the commander has weighed the potential
operational gain against the loss of the technical
information.See also electronic warfare.
A combat participant in guerrilla warfare. See also
A group of irregular, predominantly indigenous personnel
organized along military lines to conduct military and
paramilitary operations in enemy-held, hostile, or denied
Military and paramilitary operations conducted in
enemy-held or hostile territory by irregular, predominantly
indigenous forces. Also called GW. See also unconventional
guidance station equipment
The ground-based portion of a missile guidance
system necessary to provide guidance during missile flight.
An unmanned vehicle moving above the surface of the Earth
whose trajectory or flight path is capable of being altered by
an external or internal mechanism. See also aerodynamic missile;
Minimum requirements to be used as a basis for the
evaluation of a national specification covering a fuel,
lubricant or associated product proposed for standardization
In naval mine warfare, a ship used to determine
whether an area can be considered safe from influence mines
under certain conditions or, specifically, to detonate pressure
In electronic warfare, a floating radar reflector
used to simulate a surface target at sea for deceptive purposes.
1. A cannon with relatively long barrel, operating with
relatively low angle of fire, and having a high muzzle velocity.
2. A cannon with tube length 30 calibers or more. See also
A mobile or fixed support for a gun. It sometimes
includes the elevating and traversing mechanisms. Also called
An imaginary straight line from gun to target. Also
A device in which two or more pieces of fissionable
material, each less than a critical mass, are brought together
very rapidly so as to form a supercritical mass that can explode
as the result of a rapidly expanding fission chain.
A directional gyroscope whose azimuth scale is
maintained in alignment with the magnetic meridian by a magnetic