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US Army Dictionary of Military Terms

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As Amended Through 23 January 2002

organization for combat — In amphibious operations, task organization of landing force units for combat, involving combinations of command, ground and aviation combat, combat support, and combat service support units for accomplishment of missions ashore. See also amphibious operation; task organization. (JP 3-02)

organization for embarkation — In amphibious operations, the organization for embarkation consisting of temporary landing force task organizations established by the commander, landing force and a temporary organization of Navy forces established by the commander, amphibious task force for the purpose of simplifying planning and facilitating the execution of embarkation. See also amphibious operation; embarkation; landing force; task organization. (JP 3-02)

organization for landing — In amphibious operations, the specific tactical grouping of the landing force for the assault. (JP 3-02)

organization of the ground — (*) The development of a defensive position by strengthening the natural defenses of the terrain and by assignment of the occupying troops to specific localities.

Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force — A network of 13 regional organized crime drug enforcement task forces designed to coordinate Federal law enforcement efforts to combat the national and international organizations that cultivate, process, and distribute illicit drugs. Also called OCDETF. (JP 3-07.4)

origin — Beginning point of a deployment where unit or non-unit-related cargo or personnel are located.

original destination — (*) In naval control of shipping, the original final destination

of a convoy or an individual ship (whether in convoy or independent). This is particularly applicable to the original destination of a voyage begun in peacetime.

original negative — See generation


original positive — See generation


originating medical facility — (*) A medical facility that initially transfers a patient to another medical facility.

originator — The command by whose authority a message is sent. The responsibility of the originator includes the responsibility for the functions of the drafter and the releasing officer. See also releasing officer.

oropesa sweep — (*) In naval mine warfare, a form of sweep in which a length of sweep wire is towed by a single ship, lateral displacement being caused by an otter and depth being controlled at the ship end by a kite and at the other end by a float and float wire.

orthomorphic projection — (*) A projection in which the scale, although varying throughout the map, is the same in all directions at any point, so that very small areas are represented by correct shape and bearings are correct.

oscillating mine — (*) A mine, hydrostatically controlled, which maintains a pre-set depth below the surface of the water independently of the rise and fall of the tide. See also mine.

other detainee — Person in the custody of the US Armed Forces who has not been classified as an enemy prisoner of war (article 4, Geneva Convention of 1949 Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of


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As Amended Through 23 January 2002

War (GPW)), retained personnel (article 33, GPW), or civilian internee (article 78, Geneva Convention). Also called OD. See also civilian internee; custody; detainee; prisoner of war; retained personnel.

(JP 1-0)

other war reserve materiel requirement —

War reserve materiel requirement less the pre-positioned war reserve materiel requirement.

other war reserve materiel requirement, balance — That portion of the other war reserve materiel requirement that has not been acquired or funded. This level consists of the other war reserve materiel requirement less the other war reserve materiel requirement protectable.

other war reserve materiel requirement, protectable — The portion of the other war reserve materiel requirement that is protected for purposes of procurement, funding, and inventory management.

other war reserve stock — The quantity of an item acquired and placed in stock against the other war reserve materiel requirement.

otter — (*) In naval mine warfare, a device which, when towed, displaces itself sideways to a predetermined distance.

outbound traffic — Traffic originating in the continental United States destined for overseas or overseas traffic moving in a general direction away from the continental United States.

outer fix — A fix in the destination terminal area, other than the approach fix, to which aircraft are normally cleared by an air route traffic control center or a terminal area traffic control facility, and from which aircraft are cleared to the approach fix or final approach course.

outer landing ship areas — In amphibious operations, areas to which landing ships proceed initially after their arrival in the objective area. They are usually located on the flanks of the outer transport areas. (JP 3-02)

outer transport area — In amphibious operations, an area inside the antisubmarine screen to which assault transports proceed initially after arrival in the objective area. See also inner transport area; transport area.

outline map — (*) A map which represents just sufficient geographic information to permit the correlation of additional data placed upon it.

outline plan — (*) A preliminary plan which outlines the salient features or principles of a course of action prior to the initiation of detailed planning.

outsized cargo — A single item of cargo, too large for palletization or containerization, that exceeds 1090 inches long by 111 inches wide by 105 inches high. Requires transport by sea or use of a C-5 or C-17 aircraft for transport by air. See also oversized cargo. (JP 4-01.6)

overhaul — The restoration of an item to a completely serviceable condition as prescribed by maintenance serviceability standards. See also rebuild; repair.

overhead clearance — The vertical distance between the route surface and any obstruction above it.

overlap — 1. In photography, the amount by which one photograph includes the same area covered by another, customarily expressed as a percentage. The overlap between successive air photographs on a flight line is called “forward overlap.” The


As Amended Through 23 January 2002

overlap between photographs in adjacent parallel flight lines is called “side overlap.” 2. In cartography, that portion of a map or chart that overlaps the area covered by another of the same series. 3. In naval mine warfare, the width of that part of the swept path of a ship or formation that is also swept by an adjacent sweeper or formation or is reswept on the next adjacent lap.

overlay — A printing or drawing on a transparent or semi-transparent medium at the same scale as a map, chart, etc., to show details not appearing or requiring special emphasis on the original.

overpressure — (*) The pressure resulting from the blast wave of an explosion. It is referred to as “positive” when it exceeds atmospheric pressure and “negative” during the passage of the wave when resulting pressures are less than atmospheric pressure.

overprint — (*) Information printed or stamped upon a map or chart, in addition to that originally printed, to show data of importance or special use.

overseas — All locations, including Alaska and Hawaii, outside the continental United States.

Overseas Environmental Baseline Guidance Document — A set of objective criteria and management practices developed by the Department of Defense to protect human health and the environment. Also called OEBGD. (JP 4-04)

overseas search and rescue region —

Overseas unified command areas (or portions thereof not included within the inland region or the maritime region). See also search and rescue region.

oversized cargo — Large items of specific equipment such as a barge, side loadable warping tug, causeway section, powered, or causeway section, nonpowered. Requires transport by sea. See also outsized cargo. (JP 4-01.6)

over the beach operations — See logistics over-the-shore operations.

over-the-horizon amphibious operations

An operational initiative launched from beyond visual and radar range of the shoreline. (JP 3-02)

over-the-horizon radar — A radar system that makes use of the atmospheric reflection and refraction phenomena to extend its range of detection beyond line of sight. Over-the-horizon radars may be either forward scatter or back scatter systems.

overt operation — An operation conducted openly, without concealment. See also clandestine operation; covert operation.

(JP 3-05.3)

overt peacetime psychological operations programs — Those programs developed by combatant commands, in coordination with the chiefs of US diplomatic missions, that plan, support, and provide for the conduct of psychological operations, during military operations other than war, in support of US regional objectives, policies, interests, and theater military missions. Also called OP3. See also consolidation psychological operations; psychological operations. (JP 3-53)


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As Amended Through 23 January 2002


pace — (*) For ground forces, the speed of a column or element regulated to maintain a prescribed average speed.

pace setter — (*) An individual, selected by the column commander, who travels in the lead vehicle or element to regulate the column speed and establish the pace necessary to meet the required movement order.

packaged forces — Forces of varying size and composition preselected for specific missions in order to facilitate planning and training.

packaged petroleum product — A petroleum product (generally a lubricant, oil, grease, or specialty item) normally packaged by a manufacturer and procured, stored, transported, and issued in containers having a fill capacity of 55 United States gallons (or 45 Imperial gallons, or 205 liters) or less.

packup kit — Service-provided maintenance gear including spare parts and consumables most commonly needed by the deployed helicopter detachment. Supplies are sufficient for a short-term deployment but do not include all material needed for every maintenance task. Also called PUK. (JP 3-04.1)

padding — Extraneous text added to a message for the purpose of concealing its beginning, ending, or length.

pallet — (*) 1. A flat base for combining stores or carrying a single item to form a unit load for handling, transportation, and storage by materials handling equipment. 2. (DOD only) 463L pallet – An 88” x 108” aluminum flat base used to facilitate the upload and download of aircraft.

palletized load system — A truck with hydraulic load handling mechanism, trailer, and flatrack system capable of self-loading and -unloading. Truck and companion trailer each have a 16.5 ton payload capacity. Also called PLS. See also flatrack. (JP 4-01.7)

palletized load system flatrack — Topless, sideless container component of palletized load system, some of which conform to International Organization for Standardization specifications. See also palletized load system. (JP 4-01.7)

palletized unit load — (*) Quantity of any item, packaged or unpackaged, which is arranged on a pallet in a specified manner and securely strapped or fastened thereto so that the whole is handled as a unit.

panel code — (*) A prearranged code designed for visual communications, usually between friendly units, by making use of marking panels. See also marking panel.

panoramic camera — (*) 1. In aerial photography, a camera which, through a system of moving optics or mirrors, scans a wide area of the terrain, usually from horizon to horizon. The camera may be mounted vertically or obliquely within the aircraft, to scan across or along the line of flight. 2. In ground photography, a camera which photographs a wide expanse of terrain by rotating horizontally about the vertical axis through the center of the camera lens.

parachute deployment height — (*) The height above the intended impact point at which the parachute or parachutes are fully deployed.


As Amended Through 23 January 2002

paradrop — (*) Delivery by parachute of personnel or cargo from an aircraft in flight.

parallel chains of command — In amphibious operations, a parallel system of command, responding to the interrelationship of Navy, landing force, Air Force, and other major forces assigned, wherein corresponding commanders are established at each subordinate level of all components to facilitate coordinated planning for, and execution of, the amphibious operation. (JP 3-02.2)

parallel sheaf — In artillery and naval gunfire support, a sheaf in which the planes (lines) of fire of all pieces are parallel. See also converged sheaf.

parallel staff — (*) A staff in which one officer from each nation, or Service, working in parallel is appointed to each post. See also multinational staff; integrated staff; joint staff.

paramilitary forces — Forces or groups distinct from the regular armed forces of any country, but resembling them in organization, equipment, training, or mission.

pararescue team — Specially trained personnel qualified to penetrate to the site of an incident by land or parachute, render medical aid, accomplish survival methods, and rescue survivors. Also called PRT.

parlimentaire — An agent employed by a commander of belligerent forces in the field to go in person within the enemy lines for the purpose of communicating or negotiating openly and directly with the enemy commander.

parrot — Identification friend or foe transponder equipment.

partial mission-capable — Material condition of an aircraft or training device indicating that it can perform at least one but not all of its missions. Also called

PMC. See also full mission-capable; mission-capable; partial missioncapable, maintenance; partial missioncapable, supply.

partial mission-capable, maintenance —

Material condition of an aircraft or training device indicating that it can perform at least one but not all of its missions because of maintenance requirements existing on the inoperable subsystem(s). Also called

PMCM. See also full mission-capable; mission-capable; partial missioncapable; partial mission-capable, supply.

partial mission-capable, supply — Material condition of an aircraft or training device indicating it can perform at least one but not all of its missions because maintenance required to clear the discrepancy cannot continue due to a supply shortage. Also called PMCS. See also full missioncapable; mission-capable; partial mission-capable; partial missioncapable, maintenance.

partial mobilization — See mobilization,

Part 2.

partial storage monitoring — A periodic inspection of major assemblies or components for nuclear weapons, consisting mainly of external observation of humidity, temperatures, and visual damage or deterioration during storage. This type of inspection is also conducted prior to and upon completion of a movement.

partisan warfare — Not to be used. See guerrilla warfare.


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As Amended Through 23 January 2002

part number — A combination of numbers, letters, and symbols assigned by a designer, a manufacturer, or vendor to identify a specific part or item of materiel.

pass — 1. A short tactical run or dive by an aircraft at a target. 2. A single sweep through or within firing range of an enemy air formation.

passage of lines — An operation in which a force moves forward or rearward through another force’s combat positions with the intention of moving into or out of contact with the enemy. A passage may be designated as a forward or rearward passage of lines.

passenger mile — One passenger transported one mile. For air and ocean transport, use nautical miles; for rail, highway, and inland waterway transport in the continental United States, use statute miles.

passive — (*) In surveillance, an adjective applied to actions or equipments which emit no energy capable of being detected.

passive air defense — All measures, other than active air defense, taken to minimize the effectiveness of hostile air and missile threats against friendly forces and assets. These measures include camouflage, concealment, deception, dispersion, reconstitution, redundancy, detection and warning systems, and the use of protective construction. See also air defense; concealment, deception, dispersion.

(JP 3-01)

passive defense — Measures taken to reduce the probability of and to minimize the effects of damage caused by hostile action without the intention of taking the initiative. See also active defense.

passive homing guidance — (*) A system of homing guidance wherein the receiver

in the missile utilizes radiation from the target.

passive mine — (*) 1. A mine whose anticountermining device has been operated preventing the firing mechanism from being actuated. The mine will usually remain passive for a comparatively short time. 2. A mine which does not emit a signal to detect the presence of a target. See also active mine.

passive or responsive public affairs policy

A responsive posture by which no direct effort is made to initiate, or participate in, the public discussion about an issue or activity. When a passive policy is in effect, authorities must be prepared to respond to news media inquiries about the issue or activity — to make brief statements to avoid confusion, speculation, misunderstanding, or false information that may prevail if news media queries go unanswered. See also public affairs. (JP 3-61)

pass time — (*) In road transport, the time that elapses between the moment when the leading vehicle of a column passes a given point and the moment when the last vehicle passes the same point.

password — (*) A secret word or distinctive sound used to reply to a challenge. See also challenge; countersign.

pathfinder drop zone control — The communication and operation center from which pathfinders exercise aircraft guidance.

pathfinder landing zone control — See pathfinder drop zone control.

pathfinders — 1. Experienced aircraft crews who lead a formation to the drop zone, release point, or target. 2. Teams dropped or air landed at an objective to establish and operate navigational aids for the purpose


As Amended Through 23 January 2002

of guiding aircraft to drop and landing zones. 3. A radar device used for navigating or homing to an objective when visibility precludes accurate visual navigation. 4. Teams air delivered into enemy territory for the purpose of determining the best approach and withdrawal lanes, landing zones, and sites for helicopterborne forces.

pathogen — A disease-producing microorganism. (JP 3-11)

patient — A sick, injured, wounded, or other person requiring medical and/or dental care or treatment.

patient movement — The act or process of moving a sick, injured, wounded, or other person to obtain medical and/or dental care or treatment. Functions include medical regulating, patient evacuation, and en route medical care. See also patient; patient movement items; patient movement requirements center. (JP 4-02)

patient movement items — The medical equipment and supplies required to support patients during aeromedical evacuation. Also called PMIs.

patient movement requirements center —

A joint activity that coordinates patient movement. It is the functional merging of joint medical regulating processes, Services’ medical regulating processes, and coordination with movement components for patient evacuation. This may be joint, reporting to the joint task force surgeon; theater, reporting to the theater surgeon; or global, reporting to the United States Transportation Command surgeon. Also called PMRC. See also patient. (JP 4-02)

patrol — (*) A detachment of ground, sea, or air forces sent out for the purpose of gathering information or carrying out a destructive, harassing, mopping-up, or

security mission. See also combat air patrol.

pattern bombing — The systematic covering of a target area with bombs uniformly distributed according to a plan.

pattern laying — (*) In land mine warfare, the laying of mines in a fixed relationship to each other.

payload — (*) 1. The sum of the weight of passengers and cargo that an aircraft can carry. See also load. 2. The warhead, its container, and activating devices in a military missile. 3. The satellite or research vehicle of a space probe or research missile. 4. The load (expressed in tons of cargo or equipment, gallons of liquid, or number of passengers) which the vehicle is designed to transport under specified conditions of operation, in addition to its unladen weight.

payload build-up (missile and space) — The process by which the scientific instrumentation (sensors, detectors, etc.) and necessary mechanical and electronic subassemblies are assembled into a complete operational package capable of achieving the scientific objectives of the mission.

payload integration (missile and space) —

The compatible installation of a complete payload package into the spacecraft and space vehicle.

payload (missile) — See payload, Part 2.

P-dayThat point in time at which the rate of production of an item available for military consumption equals the rate at which the item is required by the Armed Forces.

peace building — Post-conflict actions, predominately diplomatic and economic, that strengthen and rebuild governmental


JP 1-02

As Amended Through 23 January 2002

infrastructure and institutions in order to avoid a relapse into conflict. See also peace enforcement; peacekeeping; peacemaking; peace operations. (JP 3-07)

peace enforcement — Application of military force, or the threat of its use, normally pursuant to international authorization, to compel compliance with resolutions or sanctions designed to maintain or restore peace and order. See also peace building; peacekeeping; peacemaking; peace operations. (JP 3-07)

peacekeeping — Military operations undertaken with the consent of all major parties to a dispute, designed to monitor and facilitate implementation of an agreement (ceasefire, truce, or other such agreement) and support diplomatic efforts to reach a long-term political settlement. See also peace building; peace enforcement; peacemaking; peace operations. (JP 3-07)

peacemaking — The process of diplomacy, mediation, negotiation, or other forms of peaceful settlements that arranges an end to a dispute and resolves issues that led to it. See also peace building; peace enforcement; peacekeeping; peace operations. (JP 3-07)

peace operations — A broad term that encompasses peacekeeping operations and peace enforcement operations conducted in support of diplomatic efforts to establish and maintain peace. Also called PO. See also peace building; peace enforcement; peacekeeping; and peacemaking. (JP 3-07)

peacetime force materiel assets — That portion of total materiel assets that is designated to meet the peacetime force materiel requirement. See also war reserves.

peacetime force materiel requirement —

The quantity of an item required to equip,

provide a materiel pipeline, and sustain the United States force structure (active and reserve) and those allied forces designated for United States peacetime support in current Secretary of Defense guidance (including approved supply support arrangements with foreign military sales countries) and to support the scheduled establishment through normal appropriation and procurement leadtime periods.

peacetime materiel consumption and losses

The quantity of an item consumed, lost, or worn out beyond economical repair through normal appropriation and procurement leadtime periods.

peak overpressure — (*) The maximum value of overpressure at a given location which is generally experienced at the instant the shock (or blast) wave reaches that location.

pecuniary liability — A personal, joint, or corporate monetary obligation to make good any lost, damaged, or destroyed property resulting from fault or neglect. It may also result under conditions stipulated in a contract or bond.

pencil beam — (*) A searchlight beam reduced to, or set at, its minimum width.

penetration — (*) In land operations, a form of offensive which seeks to break through the enemy’s defense and disrupt the defensive system.

penetration aids — Techniques and/or devices employed by offensive aerospace weapon systems to increase the probability of penetration of enemy defenses.

penetration (air traffic control) — That portion of a published high altitude instrument approach procedure that prescribes a descent path from the fix on


As Amended Through 23 January 2002

which the procedure is based to a fix or altitude from which an approach to the airport is made.

penetration (intelligence) — The recruitment of agents within or the infiltration of agents or technical monitoring devices in an organization or group for the purpose of acquiring information or of influencing its activities.

percentage clearance — (*) In mine warfare, the estimated percentage of mines of specified characteristics which have been cleared from an area or channel.

perception management — Actions to convey and/or deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning as well as to intelligence systems and leaders at all levels to influence official estimates, ultimately resulting in foreign behaviors and official actions favorable to the originator’s objectives. In various ways, perception management combines truth projection, operations security, cover and deception, and psychological operations. See also psychological operations.

perils of the sea — Accidents and dangers peculiar to maritime activities, such as storms, waves, and wind; collision; grounding; fire, smoke and noxious fumes; flooding, sinking and capsizing; loss of propulsion or steering; and any other hazards resulting from the unique environment of the sea.

perimeter defense — A defense without an exposed flank, consisting of forces deployed along the perimeter of the defended area.

periodic intelligence summary — A report of the intelligence situation in a tactical operation (normally produced at corps level

or its equivalent and higher) usually at intervals of 24 hours, or as directed by the commander. Also called PERINTSUM.

period — The time it takes for a satellite to complete one orbit around the earth. As a rule of thumb, satellites with periods of 87.5 minutes are on the verge of reentry.

period of interest — A period of time in which a launch of a missile is expected. Also called POI.

perishable cargo — Cargo requiring refrigeration, such as meat, fruit, fresh vegetables, and medical department biologicals.

perishable target — A force or activity at a specific location whose value as a target can decrease substantially during a specified time. A significant decrease in value occurs when the target moves or the operational circumstances change to the extent that the target is no longer lucrative. See also target. (JP 3-05.3)

permafrost — Permanently frozen subsoil.

permanent echo — Any dense and fixed radar return caused by reflection of energy from the Earth’s surface or manmade structure. Distinguished from “ground clutter” by being from definable locations rather than large areas.

permissive action link — A device included in or attached to a nuclear weapon system to preclude arming and/or launching until the insertion of a prescribed discrete code or combination. It may include equipment and cabling external to the weapon or weapon system to activate components within the weapon or weapon system.

permissive environment — See operational environment.


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As Amended Through 23 January 2002

persistency — (*) In biological or chemical warfare, the characteristic of an agent which pertains to the duration of its effectiveness under determined conditions after its dispersal.

persistent agent — A chemical agent that, when released, remains able to cause casualties for more than 24 hours to several days or weeks. (JP 3-11)

personal effects — All privately owned moveable, personal property of an individual. Also called PE. See also mortuary affairs; personal property.

(JP 4-06)

personal locator beacon — (*) An emergency radio locator beacon with a two-way speech facility carried by crew members, either on their person or in their survival equipment, and capable of providing homing signals to assist search and rescue operations. Also called PLB.

See also crash locator beacon; emergency locator beacon.

personal property — Property of any kind or any interest therein, except real property, records of the Federal Government, and naval vessels of the following categories: surface combatants, support ships, and submarines.

person authorized to direct disposition of remains — A person, usually primary next of kin, who is authorized to direct disposition of remains. Also called PADD.

See also mortuary affairs. (JP 4-06)

person eligible to receive effects — The person authorized by law to receive the personal effects of a deceased military member. Receipt of personal effects does not constitute ownership. Also called

PERE. See also mortuary affairs; personal effects. (JP 4-06)

person in custody — Any person under the direct control and protection of US forces.

personnel — Those individuals required in either a military or civilian capacity to accomplish the assigned mission.

personnel increment number — A seven-character, alphanumeric field that uniquely describes a non-unit-related personnel entry (line) in a Joint Operation Planning and Execution System time-phased force and deployment data. Also called PIN.

personnel reaction time (nuclear) — (*)

The time required by personnel to take prescribed protective measures after receipt of a nuclear strike warning.

personnel recovery — The aggregation of military, civil, and political efforts to obtain the release or recovery of personnel from uncertain or hostile environments and denied areas whether they are captured, missing, or isolated. That includes US, allied, coalition, friendly military, or paramilitary, and others as designated by the National Command Authorities. Personnel recovery (PR) is the umbrella term for operations that are focused on the task of recovering captured, missing, or isolated personnel from harm’s way. PR includes but is not limited to theater search and rescue; combat search and rescue; search and rescue; survival, evasion, resistance, and escape; evasion and escape; and the coordination of negotiated as well as forcible recovery options. PR can occur through military action, action by nongovernmental organizations, other US Government-approved action, and/or diplomatic initiatives, or through any of these. Also called PR. See also combat search and rescue; evasion; evasion and escape; personnel; recovery; search and rescue. (JP 3-50.21)


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