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This site contains a comprehensive list of U.S. military terms and definitions.

daily intelligence summary — A report prepared in message form at the joint force
headquarters that provides higher, lateral, and subordinate headquarters with a
summary of all significant intelligence produced during the previous 24-hour period.
The “as of” time for information, content, and submission time for the report will be as
specified by the joint force commander. Also called DISUM.
daily movement summary (shipping) — A tabulation of departures and arrivals of all
merchant shipping (including neutrals) arriving or departing ports during a 24-hour
damage area — (*) In naval mine warfare, the plan area around a minesweeper inside
which a mine explosion is likely to interrupt operations.
damage assessment — (*) 1. The determination of the effect of attacks on targets. 2.
(DOD only) A determination of the effect of a compromise of classified information
on national security. See also civil damage assessment; military damage
assessment. (JP 3-60)
damage control — In naval usage, measures necessary aboard ship to preserve and
reestablish watertight integrity, stability, maneuverability, and offensive power; to
control list and trim; to effect rapid repairs of materiel; to limit the spread of and
provide adequate protection from fire; to limit the spread of, remove the contamination
by, and provide adequate protection from chemical, biological, and radiological agents;
and to provide for care of wounded personnel. See also area damage control;
disaster control.
damage criteria — The critical levels of various effects, such as blast pressure and thermal
radiation, required to achieve specified levels of damage.
damage estimation — A preliminary appraisal of the potential effects of an attack. See
also attack assessment.
damage expectancy (nuclear) — The probability that a weapon will arrive, detonate, and
achieve at least a specified level of damage (severe or moderate) against a given target.
Damage expectancy is a function of both probability of arrival and probability of
damage of a weapon.
damage radius — (*) In naval mine warfare, the average distance from a ship within
which a mine containing a given weight and type of explosive must detonate if it is to
inflict a specified amount of damage.
damage threat — (*) The probability that a target ship passing once through a minefield
will explode one or more mines and sustain a specified amount of damage.
danger area — (*) 1. In air traffic control, an airspace of defined dimensions within which
activities dangerous to the flight of aircraft may exist at specified times. 2. (DOD
only) A specified area above, below, or within which there may be potential danger.
See also closed area; prohibited area; restricted area.
danger close — In close air support, artillery, mortar, and naval gunfire support fires, it is
the term included in the method of engagement segment of a call for fire which
indicates that friendly forces are within close proximity of the target. The close
proximity distance is determined by the weapon and munition fired. See also call for
fire; final protective fire.
dangerous cargo — (*) Cargo which, because of its dangerous properties, is subject to
special regulations for its transport.
danger space — That space between the weapon and the target where the trajectory does
not rise 1.8 meters (the average height of a standing human). This includes the area
encompassed by the beaten zone. See also beaten zone.
data — Representation of facts, concepts, or instructions in a formalized manner suitable
for communication, interpretation, or processing by humans or by automatic means.
Any representations such as characters or analog quantities to which meaning is or
might be assigned.
database — Information that is normally structured and indexed for user access and review.
Databases may exist in the form of physical files (folders, documents, etc.) or formatted
automated data processing system data files. (JP 2-0)
data block — Information presented on air imagery relevant to the geographical position,
altitude, attitude, and heading of the aircraft and, in certain cases, administrative
information and information on the sensors employed.
data code — A number, letter, character, or any combination thereof used to represent a
data element or data item.
data element — 1. A basic unit of information built on standard structures having a unique
meaning and distinct units or values. 2. In electronic recordkeeping, a combination of
characters or bytes referring to one separate item of information, such as name, address,
or age.
data item — A subunit of descriptive information or value classified under a data element.
For example, the data element “military personnel grade” contains data items such as
sergeant, captain, and colonel.
data link — (*) The means of connecting one location to another for the purpose of
transmitting and receiving data. See also tactical digital information link.
data link coordination net — A voice coordination net of voice circuits used to coordinate
technical operation of data terminal equipment. One voice circuit is required for each
tactical digital information link (TADIL)-B pair, and one net is required for participants
on each TADIL-A, TADIL-J, or interim Joint Tactical Information Distribution System
message specification net. The net is normally secure or covered. Also called DCN.
data mile — A standard unit of distance
date line — See international date line.
date-time group — The date and time, expressed in digits and time zone suffix, at which
the message was prepared for transmission. (Expressed as six digits followed by the
time zone suffix; first pair of digits denotes the date, second pair the hours, third pair
the minutes, followed by a three-letter month abbreviation and two-digit year
abbreviation.) Also called DTG.
datum — (*) Any numerical or geometrical quantity or set of such quantities which may
serve as reference or base for other quantities. Where the concept is geometric, the
plural form is “datums” in contrast to the normal plural “data.”
datum (antisubmarine warfare) — A datum is the last known position of a submarine, or
suspected submarine, after contact has been lost.
datum error (antisubmarine warfare) — An estimate of the degree of accuracy in the
reported position of datum.
datum (geodetic) — 1. A reference surface consisting of five quantities: the latitude and
longitude of an initial point, the azimuth of a line from that point, and the parameters of
the reference ellipsoid. 2. The mathematical model of the earth used to calculate the
coordinates on any map. Different nations use different datums for printing coordinates
on their maps. The datum is usually referenced in the marginal information of each
datum level — (*) A surface to which elevations, heights, or depths on a map or chart are
related. See also altitude.
datum point — (*) Any reference point of known or assumed coordinates from which
calculation or measurements may be taken. See also pinpoint.
datum time (antisubmarine warfare) — The time when contact with the submarine, or
suspected submarine, was lost.
davit — A small crane on a vessel that is used to raise and lower small boats, such as
lifeboats, side loadable warping tugs, or causeway sections. (JP 4-01.6)
day of supply — See one day’s supply.
dazzle — Temporary loss of vision or a temporary reduction in visual acuity; may also be
applied to effects on optics. See also directed-energy warfare; flash blindness.
D-day — See times.
D-day consumption/production differential assets — As applied to the D-to-P concept,
these assets are required to compensate for the inability of the production base to meet
expenditure (consumption) requirements during the D-to-P period. See also D-to-P
D-day materiel readiness gross capability — As applied to the D-to-P concept, this
capability represents the sum of all assets on hand on D-day and the gross production
capability (funded and unfunded) between D-day and P-day. When this capability
equals the D-to-P materiel readiness gross requirement, requirements and capabilities
are in balance. See also D-to-P concept.
D-day pipeline assets — As applied to the D-to-P concept, these assets represent the sum of
continental United States and overseas operating and safety levels and intransit levels
of supply. See also D-to-P concept.
deadline — To remove a vehicle or piece of equipment from operation or use for one of the
following reasons: a. is inoperative due to damage, malfunctioning, or necessary
repairs (the term does not include items temporarily removed from use by reason of
routine maintenance and repairs that do not affect the combat capability of the item); b.
is unsafe; and c. would be damaged by further use.
dead mine — (*) A mine which has been neutralized, sterilized, or rendered safe. See also
dead space — (*) 1. An area within the maximum range of a weapon, radar, or observer,
which cannot be covered by fire or observation from a particular position because of
intervening obstacles, the nature of the ground, or the characteristics of the trajectory,
or the limitations of the pointing capabilities of the weapon. 2. An area or zone which
is within range of a radio transmitter, but in which a signal is not received. 3. The
volume of space above and around a gun or guided missile system into which it cannot
fire because of mechanical or electronic limitations.
de-arming — An operation in which a weapon is changed from a state of readiness for
initiation to a safe condition. Also called safing. See also arm or de-arm. (JP 3-04)
debarkation — The unloading of troops, equipment, or supplies from a ship or aircraft.
debarkation net — A specially prepared type of cargo net employed for the debarkation of
troops over the side of a ship.
debarkation schedule — (*) A schedule that provides for the timely and orderly
debarkation of troops and equipment and emergency supplies for the waterborne
ship-to-shore movement.
deceased — A casualty status applicable to a person who is either known to have died,
determined to have died on the basis of conclusive evidence, or declared to be dead on
the basis of a presumptive finding of death. The recovery of remains is not a
prerequisite to determining or declaring a person deceased. See also casualty status.
decentralized control — (*) In air defense, the normal mode whereby a higher echelon
monitors unit actions, making direct target assignments to units only when necessary to
ensure proper fire distribution or to prevent engagement of friendly aircraft. See also
centralized control. (JP 3-01)
decentralized execution — Delegation of execution authority to subordinate commanders.
(JP 3-30)
decentralized items — Those items of supply for which appropriate authority has
prescribed local management and procurement.
deception — Those measures designed to mislead the enemy by manipulation, distortion, or
falsification of evidence to induce the enemy to react in a manner prejudicial to the
enemy’s interests. See also counterdeception; military deception. (JP 3-13.4)
deception action — A collection of related deception events that form a major component
of a deception operation. (JP 3-13.4)
deception concept — The deception course of action forwarded to the Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff for review as part of the combatant commander’s strategic
deception course of action — A deception scheme developed during the estimate process
in sufficient detail to permit decisionmaking. At a minimum, a deception course of
action will identify the deception objective, the deception target, the desired perception,
the deception story, and tentative deception means. (JP 3-13.4)
deception event — A deception means executed at a specific time and location in support
of a deception operation. (JP 3-13.4)
deception means — Methods, resources, and techniques that can be used to convey
information to the deception target. There are three categories of deception means: a.
physical means. Activities and resources used to convey or deny selected information
to a foreign power. b. technical means. Military material resources and their
associated operating techniques used to convey or deny selected information to a
foreign power. c. administrative means. Resources, methods, and techniques to
convey or deny oral, pictorial, documentary, or other physical evidence to a foreign
power. (JP 3-13.4)
deception objective — The desired result of a deception operation expressed in terms of
what the adversary is to do or not to do at the critical time and/or location. (JP 3-13.4)
deception story — A scenario that outlines the friendly actions that will be portrayed to
cause the deception target to adopt the desired perception. (JP 3-13.4)
deception target — The adversary decisionmaker with the authority to make the decision
that will achieve the deception objective. (JP 3-13.4)
decision — In an estimate of the situation, a clear and concise statement of the line of action
intended to be followed by the commander as the one most favorable to the successful
accomplishment of the assigned mission.
decision point — A point in space and time when the commander or staff anticipates
making a key decision concerning a specific course of action. See also course of
action; decision support template; target area of interest. (JP 5-0)
decision support template — A graphic record of wargaming. The decision support
template depicts decision points, timelines associated with movement of forces and the
flow of the operation, and other key items of information required to execute a specific
friendly course of action. See also course of action; decision point. (JP 2-01.3)
decisive engagement — In land and naval warfare, an engagement in which a unit is
considered fully committed and cannot maneuver or extricate itself. In the absence of
outside assistance, the action must be fought to a conclusion and either won or lost with
the forces at hand.
decisive point — A geographic place, specific key event, critical factor, or function that,
when acted upon, allows commanders to gain a marked advantage over an adversary or
contribute materially to achieving success. See also center of gravity. (JP 3-0)
deck alert — See ground alert.
deck status light — A three-colored light (red, amber, green) controlled from the primary
flight control. Navy — The light displays the status of the ship to support flight
operations. United States Coast Guard — The light displays clearance for a helicopter
to conduct a given evolution. (JP 3-04)
declared speed — The continuous speed which a master declares the ship can maintain on a
forthcoming voyage under moderate weather conditions having due regard to the ship’s
present condition.
declassification — The determination that, in the interests of national security, classified
information no longer requires any degree of protection against unauthorized
disclosure, coupled with removal or cancellation of the classification designation.
declassify — (*) To cancel the security classification of an item of classified matter. Also
called DECL. See also downgrade.
declination — (*) The angular distance to a body on the celestial sphere measured north or
south through 90 degrees from the celestial equator along the hour circle of the body.
Comparable to latitude on the terrestrial sphere. See also magnetic declination;
magnetic variation.
decompression — In personnel recovery, the process of normalizing psychological and
behavioral reactions that recovered isolated personnel experienced or are currently
experiencing as a result of their isolation and recovery. (JP 3-50)
decompression chamber — See hyperbaric chamber.
decompression sickness — A syndrome, including bends, chokes, neurological
disturbances, and collapse, resulting from exposure to reduced ambient pressure and
caused by gas bubbles in the tissues, fluids, and blood vessels.
decontamination — (*) The process of making any person, object, or area safe by
absorbing, destroying, neutralizing, making harmless, or removing chemical or
biological agents, or by removing radioactive material clinging to or around it.
(JP 3-11)
decontamination station — (*) A building or location suitably equipped and organized
where personnel and materiel are cleansed of chemical, biological, or radiological
decoy — An imitation in any sense of a person, object, or phenomenon which is intended to
deceive enemy surveillance devices or mislead enemy evaluation. Also called dummy.
decoy ship — (*) A ship camouflaged as a noncombatant ship with its armament and other
fighting equipment hidden and with special provisions for unmasking its weapons
quickly. Also called Q-ship.
decrypt — To convert encrypted text into its equivalent plain text by means of a
cryptosystem. (This does not include solution by cryptanalysis.) (Note: The term
“decrypt” covers the meanings of “decipher” and “decode.”) See also cryptosystem.
deep fording capability — (*) The characteristic of a self-propelled gun or ground vehicle
equipped with built-in waterproofing and/or a special waterproofing kit, to negotiate a
water obstacle with its wheels or tracks in contact with the ground.
deep minefield — (*) An antisubmarine minefield which is safe for surface ships to cross.
See also minefield.
de facto boundary — (*) An international or administrative boundary whose existence and
legality is not recognized, but which is a practical division between separate national
and provincial administering authorities.
defended asset list — In defensive counterair operations, a listing of those assets from the
critical asset list prioritized by the joint force commander to be defended with the
resources available. Also called DAL. (JP 3-01)
defense area — (*) For any particular command, the area extending from the forward edge
of the battle area to its rear boundary. It is here that the decisive defensive battle is
Defense Business Operations Fund — A revolving industrial fund concept for a large
number of Defense support functions, including transportation. Utilizes business-like
cost accounting to determine total cost of a business activity. Defense Business
Operations Fund-Transportation is comprised of those Defense Business Operations
Fund accounts assigned by the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Commander in
Chief, United States Transportation Command control. Also called DBOF. (JP 4-01.7)
defense classification — See security classification.
Defense Communications System — Department of Defense long-haul voice, data, and
record traffic system which includes the Defense Data Network, Defense Satellite
Communications System, and Defense Switched Network. Also called DCS. See also
Defense Switched Network. (JP 3-07.4)
defense coordinating element — A staff and military liaison officers who assist the
defense coordinating officer in facilitating coordination and support to activated
emergency support functions. Also called DCE. (JP 3-28)
defense coordinating officer — Department of Defense single point of contact for
domestic emergencies. Assigned to a joint field office to process requirements for
military support, forward mission assignments through proper channels to the
appropriate military organizations, and assign military liaisons, as appropriate, to
activated emergency support functions. Also called DCO. (JP 3-28)
defense critical infrastructure — Department of Defense and non-Department of Defense
networked assets and essential to project, support, and sustain military forces and
operations worldwide. Also called DCI. (JP 3-27)
defense emergency — An emergency condition that exists when: a. a major attack is made
upon US forces overseas or on allied forces in any theater and is confirmed by either
the commander of a command established by the Secretary of Defense or higher
authority; or b. an overt attack of any type is made upon the United States and is
confirmed either by the commander of a command established by the Secretary of
Defense or higher authority.
defense in depth — The siting of mutually supporting defense positions designed to absorb
and progressively weaken attack, prevent initial observations of the whole position by
the enemy, and to allow the commander to maneuver the reserve.
defense industrial base — The Department of Defense, government, and private sector
worldwide industrial complex with capabilities to perform research and development,
design, produce, and maintain military weapon systems, subsystems, components, or
parts to meet military requirements. (JP 3-27)
defense information infrastructure — The shared or interconnected system of computers,
communications, data applications, security, people, training, and other support
structures serving Department of Defense (DOD) local, national, and worldwide
information needs. The defense information infrastructure connects DOD mission
support, command and control, and intelligence computers through voice,
telecommunications, imagery, video, and multimedia services. It provides information
processing and services to subscribers over the Defense Information Systems Network
and includes command and control, tactical, intelligence, and commercial
communications systems used to transmit DOD information. Also called DII. See also
global information infrastructure; information; infrastructure; national
information infrastructure. (JP 3-13)
Defense Information Systems Network — Integrated network, centrally managed and
configured to provide long-haul information transfer services for all Department of
Defense activities. It is an information transfer utility designed to provide dedicated
point-to-point, switched voice and data, imagery, and video teleconferencing services.
Also called DISN. (JP 2-01)
defense message system — Consists of all hardware, software, procedures, standards,
facilities, and personnel used to exchange messages electronically.
Defense Meteorological Satellite Program — Military weather satellite controlled by
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Also called DMSP.
Defense Planning Guidance — This document, issued by the Secretary of Defense,
provides firm guidance in the form of goals, priorities, and objectives, including fiscal
constraints, for the development of the Program Objective Memorandums by the
Military Departments and Defense agencies. Also called DPG.
defense readiness condition — A uniform system of progressive alert postures for use
between the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the commanders of unified and
specified commands and for use by the Services. Defense readiness conditions are
graduated to match situations of varying military severity (status of alert). Defense
readiness conditions are identified by the short title DEFCON (5), (4), (3), (2), and (1),
as appropriate. Also called DEFCON.
Defense Satellite Communications System — Geosynchronous military communications
satellites that provide high data rate communications for military forces, diplomatic
corps, and the White House. The Defense Satellite Communications System provides
long-haul super-high frequency 7/8 gigahertz voice and high data rate communications
for fixed and transportable terminals, and extends mobile service to a limited number of
ships and aircraft. Also called DSCS. (JP 3-14)
defense support of civil authorities — Civil support provided under the auspices of the
National Response Plan. Also called DSCA. (JP 3-28)
Defense Support Program — Satellites that provide early warning of missile launches; the
first line of defense against missile attack against North America. Also called DSP.
(JP 3-14)
defense support to public diplomacy — Those activities and measures taken by the
Department of Defense components to support and facilitate public diplomacy efforts
of the United States Government. Also called DSPD. (JP 3-13)
Defense Switched Network — Component of the Defense Communications System that
handles Department of Defense voice, data, and video communications. Also called
DSN. See also Defense Communications System. (JP 3-07.4)
Defense Transportation System — That portion of the Nation’s transportation
infrastructure that supports Department of Defense common-user transportation needs
across the range of military operations. It consists of those common-user military and
commercial assets, services, and systems organic to, contracted for, or controlled by the
Department of Defense. Also called DTS. See also common-user transportation;
transportation system.
defensive coastal area — (*) A part of a coastal area and of the air, land, and water area
adjacent to the coastline within which defense operations may involve land, sea, and air
defensive counterair — All defensive measures designed to detect, identify, intercept, and
destroy or negate enemy forces attempting to penetrate or attack through friendly
airspace. Also called DCA. See also counterair; offensive counterair. (JP 3-01)
defensive minefield — (*) 1. In naval mine warfare, a minefield laid in international
waters or international straits with the declared intention of controlling shipping in
defense of sea communications. 2. (DOD only) In land mine warfare, a minefield laid
in accordance with an established plan to prevent a penetration between positions and
to strengthen the defense of the positions themselves. See also minefield.
defensive sea area — A sea area, usually including the approaches to and the waters of
important ports, harbors, bays, or sounds, for the control and protection of shipping; for
the safeguarding of defense installations bordering on waters of the areas; and for
provision of other security measures required within the specified areas. It does not
extend seaward beyond the territorial waters. See also maritime control area.
defensive space control — Operations conducted to preserve the ability to exploit space
capabilities via active and passive actions, while protecting friendly space capabilities
from attack, interference, or unintentional hazards. (JP 3-14)
defensive zone — A belt of terrain, generally parallel to the front, that includes two or more
organized, or partially organized, battle positions.
defilade — (*) 1. Protection from hostile observation and fire provided by an obstacle such
as a hill, ridge, or bank. 2. A vertical distance by which a position is concealed from
enemy observation. 3. To shield from enemy fire or observation by using natural or
artificial obstacles.
definitive care — Care rendered to conclusively manage a patient’s condition. It includes
the full range of preventive, curative acute, convalescent, restorative, and rehabilitative
medical care. This normally leads to rehabilitation, return to duty, or discharge from
the Service. (JP 4-02)
defoliant operation — (*) The employment of defoliating agents on vegetated areas in
support of military operations.
defoliating agent — (*) A chemical which causes trees, shrubs, and other plants to shed
their leaves prematurely.
degaussing — The process whereby a ship’s magnetic field is reduced by the use of
electromagnetic coils, permanent magnets, or other means.
degree of risk — As specified by the commander, the risk to which friendly forces may be
subjected from the effects of the detonation of a nuclear weapon used in the attack of a
close-in enemy target; acceptable degrees of risk under differing tactical conditions are
emergency, moderate, and negligible. See also emergency risk (nuclear); negligible
risk (nuclear).
de jure boundary — (*) An international or administrative boundary whose existence and
legality is recognized.
delayed entry program — A program under which an individual may enlist in a Reserve
Component of a military service and specify a future reporting date for entry on active
duty that would coincide with availability of training spaces and with personal plans
such as high school graduation. Also called DEP. See also active duty. (JP 4-05)
delaying action — See delaying operation.
delaying operation — (*) An operation in which a force under pressure trades space for
time by slowing down the enemy’s momentum and inflicting maximum damage on the
enemy without, in principle, becoming decisively engaged. (JP 3-04)
delay release sinker — (*) A sinker which holds a moored mine on the sea-bed for a
predetermined time after laying.
delegation of authority — The action by which a commander assigns part of his or her
authority commensurate with the assigned task to a subordinate commander. While
ultimate responsibility cannot be relinquished, delegation of authority carries with it the
imposition of a measure of responsibility. The extent of the authority delegated must
be clearly stated.
deliberate attack — (*) A type of offensive action characterized by preplanned
coordinated employment of firepower and maneuver to close with and destroy or
capture the enemy.
deliberate breaching — (*) The creation of a lane through a minefield or a clear route
through a barrier or fortification, which is systematically planned and carried out.
deliberate crossing — (*) The crossing of an inland water obstacle that requires extensive
planning and detailed preparations. See also hasty crossing.
deliberate defense — (*) A defense normally organized when out of contact with the
enemy or when contact with the enemy is not imminent and time for organization is
available. It normally includes an extensive fortified zone incorporating pillboxes,
forts, and communications systems. See also hasty defense.
delivering ship — The ship in a replenishment unit that delivers the rig(s).
delivery error — (*) The inaccuracy associated with a given weapon system resulting in a
dispersion of shots about the aiming point. See also circular error probable;
deviation; dispersion; dispersion error; horizontal error.
demilitarized zone — (*) A defined area in which the stationing or concentrating of
military forces, or the retention or establishment of military installations of any
description, is prohibited. (JP 3-07.3)
demobilization — The process of transitioning a conflict or wartime military establishment
and defense-based civilian economy to a peacetime configuration while maintaining
national security and economic vitality. See also mobilization. (JP 4-05)
demolition belt — A selected land area sown with explosive charges, mines, and other
available obstacles to deny use of the land to enemy operations, and as a protection to
friendly troops. There are two types of demolition belts: a. primary. A continuous
series of obstacles across the whole front, selected by the division or higher
commander. The preparation of such a belt is normally a priority engineer task. b.
subsidiary. A supplement to the primary belt to give depth in front or behind or to
protect the flanks.
demolition chamber — (*) Space intentionally provided in a structure for the
emplacement of explosive charges.
demolition firing party — The party at the site that is technically responsible for the
demolition and that actually initiates detonation or fires the demolitions. See also
demolition guard; state of readiness.
demolition guard — A local force positioned to ensure that a target is not captured by an
enemy before orders are given for its demolition and before the demolition has been
successfully fired. The commander of the demolition guard is responsible for the
tactical control of all troops at the demolition site, including the demolition firing party.
The commander of the demolition guard is responsible for transmitting the order to fire
to the demolition firing party.
demolition kit — (*) The demolition tool kit complete with explosives. See also
demolition tool kit.
demolition target — (*) A target of known military interest identified for possible future
demolition. See also charged demolition target; preliminary demolition target;
prewithdrawal demolition target; reserved demolition target; uncharged
demolition target.
demolition tool kit — (*) The tools, materials and accessories of a nonexplosive nature
necessary for preparing demolition charges. See also demolition kit.
demonstration — (*) 1. An attack or show of force on a front where a decision is not
sought, made with the aim of deceiving the enemy. See also amphibious
demonstration; diversion; diversionary attack. 2. (DOD only) In military
deception, a show of force in an area where a decision is not sought that is made to
deceive an adversary. It is similar to a feint but no actual contact with the adversary is
intended. (JP 3-13.4)
denial measure — An action to hinder or deny the enemy the use of territory, personnel, or
facilities. It may include destruction, removal, contamination, or erection of
obstructions. (JP 3-15)
denied area — An area under enemy or unfriendly control in which friendly forces cannot
expect to operate successfully within existing operational constraints and force
capabilities. (JP 3-05)
departmental intelligence — Intelligence that any department or agency of the Federal
Government requires to execute its own mission.
Department of Defense civilian — A Federal civilian employee of the Department of
Defense directly hired and paid from appropriated or nonappropriated funds, under
permanent or temporary appointment. Specifically excluded are contractors and
foreign host nationals as well as third country civilians. (JP 1-0)
Department of Defense components — The Office of the Secretary of Defense, the
Military Departments, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the combatant
commands, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, the
Department of Defense agencies, field activities, and all other organizational entities in
the Department of Defense. (JP 1)
Department of Defense construction agent — The Corps of Engineers, Naval Facilities
Engineering Command, or other such approved Department of Defense activity, that is
assigned design or execution responsibilities associated with military construction
programs, facilities support, or civil engineering support to the combatant commanders
in contingency operations. See also contingency operation. (JP 3-34)
Department of Defense container system — All Department of Defense (DOD)-owned,
leased, and controlled 20- or 40-foot intermodal International Organization for
Standardization containers and flatracks, supporting equipment such as generator sets
and chassis, container handling equipment, information systems, and other
infrastructure that supports DOD transportation and logistic operations, including
commercially provided transportation services. This also includes 463L pallets, nets,
and tie down equipment as integral components of the DOD Intermodal Container
System. Size and configuration of the common-use portion of the DOD container
system controlled by US Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), will be
determined by USTRANSCOM based on established requirements and availability of
commercially owned containers and equipment. USTRANSCOM will lease or procure
additional containers as required to augment the DOD container system. See also
container-handling equipment; containerization; International Organization for
Standardization. (JP 4-01.7)
Department of Defense Intelligence Information System — The combination of
Department of Defense personnel, procedures, equipment, computer programs, and
supporting communications that support the timely and comprehensive preparation and
presentation of intelligence and information to military commanders and national-level
decision makers. Also called DODIIS. (JP 2-0)
Department of Defense Intelligence Information System Enterprise — The global set of
resources (people, facilities, hardware, software and processes) that provide
information technology and information management services to the military
intelligence community through a tightly-integrated, interconnected and geographically
distributed regional service center architecture. (JP 2-0)
Department of Defense intelligence production — The integration, evaluation, analysis,
and interpretation of information from single or multiple sources into finished
intelligence for known or anticipated military and related national security consumer
requirements. (JP 2-0)
Department of Defense internal audit organizations — The Army Audit Agency; Naval
Audit Service; Air Force Audit Agency; and the Office of the Assistant Inspector
General for Auditing, Office of the Inspector General, Department of Defense.
Department of Defense support to counterdrug operations — Support provided by the
Department of Defense to law enforcement agencies to detect, monitor, and counter the
production, trafficking, and use of illegal drugs. See also counterdrug operations.
(JP 3-07.4)
Department of the Air Force — The executive part of the Department of the Air Force at
the seat of government and all field headquarters, forces, Reserve Components,
installations, activities, and functions under the control or supervision of the Secretary
of the Air Force. Also called DAF. See also Military Department.
Department of the Army — The executive part of the Department of the Army at the seat
of government and all field headquarters, forces, Reserve Components, installations,
activities, and functions under the control or supervision of the Secretary of the Army.
Also called DA. See also Military Department.
Department of the Navy — The executive part of the Department of the Navy at the seat of
government; the headquarters, US Marine Corps; the entire operating forces of the
United States Navy and of the US Marine Corps, including the Reserve Components of
such forces; all field activities, headquarters, forces, bases, installations, activities, and
functions under the control or supervision of the Secretary of the Navy; and the US
Coast Guard when operating as a part of the Navy pursuant to law. Also called DON.
See also Military Department.
departure airfield — An airfield on which troops and/or materiel are enplaned for flight.
See also airfield.
departure area — The general area encompassing all base camps, bivouacs, and departure
airfield facilities. (JP 3-17)
departure end — (*) That end of a runway nearest to the direction in which initial
departure is made.
departure point — (*) 1. A navigational check point used by aircraft as a marker for
setting course. 2. In amphibious operations, an air control point at the seaward end of
the helicopter approach lane system from which helicopter waves are dispatched along
the selected helicopter approach lane to the initial point.
dependents/immediate family — An employee’s spouse; children who are unmarried and
under age 21 years or who, regardless of age, are physically or mentally incapable of
self-support; dependent parents, including step and legally adoptive parents of the
employee’s spouse; and dependent brothers and sisters, including step and legally
adoptive brothers and sisters of the employee’s spouse who are unmarried and under 21
years of age or who, regardless of age, are physically or mentally incapable of self
support. (JP 3-68)
deployable joint task force augmentation cell — A combatant commander asset
composed of personnel from the combatant command and components’ staffs. The
members are a joint, multidisciplined group of planners and operators who
operationally report to the combatant commander’s operations directorate until
deployed to a joint task force. Also called DJTFAC. (JP 3-0)
deployed nuclear weapons — 1. When used in connection with the transfer of weapons
between the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense, this term describes
those weapons transferred to and in the custody of the Department of Defense. 2.
Those nuclear weapons specifically authorized by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to be
transferred to the custody of the storage facilities or carrying or delivery units of the
Armed Forces.
deployment — 1. In naval usage, the change from a cruising approach or contact
disposition to a disposition for battle. 2. The movement of forces within operational
areas. 3. The positioning of forces into a formation for battle. 4. The relocation of
forces and materiel to desired operational areas. Deployment encompasses all activities
from origin or home station through destination, specifically including intra-continental
United States, intertheater, and intratheater movement legs, staging, and holding areas.
See also deployment order; deployment planning; prepare to deploy order.
(JP 4-0)
deployment database — The Joint Operation Planning and Execution System database
containing the necessary information on forces, materiel, and filler and replacement
personnel movement requirements to support execution. The database reflects
information contained in the refined time-phased force and deployment data from the
contingency planning process or developed during the various phases of the crisis
action planning process, and the movement schedules or tables developed by the
transportation component commands to support the deployment of required forces,
personnel, and materiel. See also time-phased force and deployment data. (JP 5-0)
deployment diagram — In the assault phase of an amphibious operation, a diagram
showing the formation in which the boat group proceeds from the rendezvous area to
the line of departure and the method of deployment into the landing formation.
deployment health surveillance — The regular or repeated collection, analysis, archiving,
interpretation, and distribution of health-related data used for monitoring the health of a
population or of individuals, and for intervening in a timely manner to prevent, treat, or
control the occurrence of disease or injury. It includes occupational and environmental
health surveillance and medical surveillance subcomponents. (JP 4-02)
deployment order — A planning directive from the Secretary of Defense, issued by the
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that authorizes and directs the transfer of forces
between combatant commands by reassignment or attachment. A deployment order
normally specifies the authority that the gaining combatant commander will exercise
over the transferred forces. Also called DEPORD. See also deployment;
deployment planning; prepare to deploy order. (JP 5-0)
deployment planning — Operational planning directed toward the movement of forces and
sustainment resources from their original locations to a specific operational area for
conducting the joint operations contemplated in a given plan. Encompasses all
activities from origin or home station through destination, specifically including
intra-continental United States, intertheater, and intratheater movement legs, staging
areas, and holding areas. See also deployment; deployment order; prepare to
deploy order. (JP 5-0)
depot — 1. supply — An activity for the receipt, classification, storage, accounting, issue,
maintenance, procurement, manufacture, assembly, research, salvage, or disposal of
material. 2. personnel — An activity for the reception, processing, training,
assignment, and forwarding of personnel replacements. (JP 4-0)
depot maintenance — That maintenance performed on materiel requiring major overhaul
or a complete rebuild of parts, assemblies, subassemblies, and end-items, including the
manufacture of parts, modifications, testing, and reclamation as required. Depot
maintenance serves to support lower categories of maintenance by providing technical
assistance and performing that maintenance beyond their responsibility. Depot
maintenance provides stocks of serviceable equipment by using more extensive
facilities for repair than are available in lower level maintenance activities.
depth — (*) In maritime/hydrographic use, the vertical distance from the plane of the
hydrographic datum to the bed of the sea, lake, or river.
depth contour — (*) A line connecting points of equal depth below the hydrographic
datum. Also called bathymetric contour or depth curve.
depth curve — See depth contour.
descriptive name — (*) Written indication on maps and charts, used to specify the nature
of a feature (natural or artificial) shown by a general symbol.
designated planning agent — The commander responsible for planning, coordinating, and
executing military taskings in civil emergencies for a particular branch or agency of the
Department of Defense. (JP 3-28)
design basis threat — The threat against which an asset must be protected and upon which
the protective system’s design is based. It is the baseline type and size of threat that
buildings or other structures are designed to withstand. The design basis threat includes
the tactics aggressors will use against the asset and the tools, weapons, and explosives
employed in these tactics. Also called DBT. (JP 3-07.2)
desired appreciation — See appreciations.
desired effects — The damage or casualties to the enemy or materiel that a commander
desires to achieve from a nuclear weapon detonation. Damage effects on materiel are
classified as light, moderate, or severe. Casualty effects on personnel may be
immediate, prompt, or delayed.
desired ground zero — (*) The point on the surface of the Earth at, or vertically below or
above, the center of a planned nuclear detonation. Also called DGZ. See also actual
ground zero; ground zero.
desired mean point of impact — A precise point, associated with a target, and assigned as
the center for impact of multiple weapons or area munitions to create a desired effect.
May be defined descriptively, by grid reference, or by geolocation. Also called DMPI.
See also aimpoint; desired point of impact. (JP 3-60)
desired perception — In military deception, what the deception target must believe for it to
make the decision that will achieve the deception objective. (JP 3-13.4)
desired point of impact — A precise point, associated with a target, and assigned as the
impact point for a single unitary weapon to create a desired effect. May be defined
descriptively, by grid preferences, or geolocation. Also called DPI. See also
aimpoint; desired mean point of impact. (JP 3-60)
destroyed — A condition of a target so damaged that it can neither function as intended nor
be restored to a usable condition. In the case of a building, all vertical supports and
spanning members are damaged to such an extent that nothing is salvageable. In the
case of bridges, all spans must have dropped and all piers must require replacement.
destruction — A type of adjustment for destroying a given target.
destruction fire — Fire delivered for the sole purpose of destroying material objects. See
also fire.
destruction fire mission — (*) In artillery, fire delivered for the purpose of destroying a
point target. See also fire.
destruction radius — (*) In mine warfare, the maximum distance from an exploding
charge of stated size and type at which a mine will be destroyed by sympathetic
detonation of the main charge, with a stated probability of destruction, regardless of
detachment — (*) 1. A part of a unit separated from its main organization for duty
elsewhere. 2. A temporary military or naval unit formed from other units or parts of
units. Also called DET.
detailed photographic report — (*) A comprehensive, analytical, intelligence report
written as a result of the interpretation of photography usually covering a single subject,
a target, target complex, and of a detailed nature.
detained — See missing.
detainee — A term used to refer to any person captured or otherwise detained by an armed
force. (JP 3-63)
detainee collecting point — A facility or other location where detainees are assembled for
subsequent movement to a detainee processing station.
detainee processing station — A facility or other location where detainees are
administratively processed and provided custodial care pending disposition and
subsequent release, transfer, or movement to a prisoner-of-war or civilian internee
detecting circuit — (*) The part of a mine firing circuit which responds to the influence of
a target.
detection — 1. In tactical operations, the perception of an object of possible military interest
but unconfirmed by recognition. 2. In surveillance, the determination and transmission
by a surveillance system that an event has occurred. 3. In arms control, the first step in
the process of ascertaining the occurrence of a violation of an arms control agreement.
4. In chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear environments, the act of locating
chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear hazards by use of chemical, biological,
radiological, and nuclear detectors or monitoring and/or survey teams. See also
hazard; monitoring. (JP 3-11)
deterioration limit — (*) A limit placed on a particular product characteristic to define the
minimum acceptable quality requirement for the product to retain its NATO code
deterrence — The prevention from action by fear of the consequences. Deterrence is a
state of mind brought about by the existence of a credible threat of unacceptable
deterrent options — A course of action, developed on the best economic, diplomatic,
political, and military judgment, designed to dissuade an adversary from a current
course of action or contemplated operations. (In constructing an operation plan, a
range of options should be presented to effect deterrence. Each option requiring
deployment of forces should be a separate force module.)
detonating cord — (*) A waterproof, flexible fabric tube containing a high explosive
designed to transmit the detonation wave.
detonator — (*) A device containing a sensitive explosive intended to produce a
detonation wave.
developmental assistance — US Agency for International Development function chartered
under chapter one of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, primarily designed to
promote economic growth and the equitable distribution of its benefits. (JP 3-08)
deviation — (*) 1. The distance by which a point of impact or burst misses the target. See
also circular error probable; delivery error; dispersion error; horizontal error. 2.
The angular difference between magnetic and compass headings.
diaphragm stop — See relative aperture.
diapositive — (*) A positive photograph on a transparent medium.
died of wounds received in action — A casualty category applicable to a hostile casualty,
other than the victim of a terrorist activity, who dies of wounds or other injuries
received in action after having reached a medical treatment facility. Also called
DWRIA. See also casualty category.
differential ballistic wind — (*) In bombing, a hypothetical wind equal to the difference in
velocity between the ballistic wind and the actual wind at a release altitude.
diffraction loading — (*) The total force which is exerted on the sides of a structure by the
advancing shock front of a nuclear explosion.
dip — (*) In naval mine warfare, the amount by which a moored mine is carried beneath its
set depth by a current or tidal stream acting on the mine casing and mooring.
diplomatic authorization — (*) Authority for overflight or landing obtained at
government-to-government level through diplomatic channels.
diplomatic and/or consular facility — Any Foreign Service establishment maintained by
the US Department of State abroad. It may be designated a “mission” or “consular
office,” or given a special designation for particular purposes, such as “United States
Liaison Office.” A “mission” is designated as an embassy and is maintained in order to
conduct normal continuing diplomatic relations between the US Government and other
governments. A “consular office” is any consulate general or consulate that may
participate in most foreign affairs activities, and varies in size and scope.
dip needle circuit — (*) In naval mine warfare, a mechanism which responds to a change
in the magnitude of the vertical component of the total magnetic field.
direct action — Short-duration strikes and other small-scale offensive actions conducted as
a special operation in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments and which
employ specialized military capabilities to seize, destroy, capture, exploit, recover, or
damage designated targets. Direct action differs from conventional offensive actions in
the level of physical and political risk, operational techniques, and the degree of
discriminate and precise use of force to achieve specific objectives. Also called DA.
See also special operations; special operations forces. (JP 3-05)
direct action fuze — See impact action fuze; proximity fuze; self-destroying fuse; time
direct air support center — The principal air control agency of the US Marine air
command and control system responsible for the direction and control of air operations
directly supporting the ground combat element. It processes and coordinates requests
for immediate air support and coordinates air missions requiring integration with
ground forces and other supporting arms. It normally collocates with the senior fire
support coordination center within the ground combat element and is subordinate to the
tactical air command center. Also called DASC. See also Marine air command and
control system; tactical air operations center. (JP 3-09.3)
direct air support center (airborne) — An airborne aircraft equipped with the necessary
staff personnel, communications, and operations facilities to function as a direct air
support center. Also called DASC(A). See also direct air support center.
directed energy — An umbrella term covering technologies that relate to the production of
a beam of concentrated electromagnetic energy or atomic or subatomic particles. Also
called DE. See also directed-energy device; directed-energy weapon.
directed-energy device — A system using directed energy primarily for a purpose other
than as a weapon. Directed-energy devices may produce effects that could allow the
device to be used as a weapon against certain threats; for example, laser rangefinders
and designators used against sensors that are sensitive to light. See also directed
energy; directed-energy weapon.
directed-energy protective measures — That division of directed-energy warfare
involving actions taken to protect friendly equipment, facilities, and personnel to ensure
friendly effective uses of the electromagnetic spectrum that are threatened by hostile
directed-energy weapons and devices.
directed-energy warfare — Military action involving the use of directed-energy weapons,
devices, and countermeasures to either cause direct damage or destruction of enemy
equipment, facilities, and personnel, or to determine, exploit, reduce, or prevent hostile
use of the electromagnetic spectrum through damage, destruction, and disruption. It
also includes actions taken to protect friendly equipment, facilities, and personnel and
retain friendly use of the electromagnetic spectrum. Also called DEW. See also
directed energy; directed-energy device; directed-energy weapon; electromagnetic
spectrum; electronic warfare.
directed-energy weapon — A system using directed energy primarily as a direct means to
damage or destroy enemy equipment, facilities, and personnel. See also directed
energy; directed-energy device.
direct exchange — A supply method of issuing serviceable materiel in exchange for
unserviceable materiel on an item-for-item basis. Also called DX.
direct fire — Fire delivered on a target using the target itself as a point of aim for either the
weapon or the director. (JP 3-09.3)
direct illumination — (*) Illumination provided by direct light from pyrotechnics or
directing staff — See exercise directing staff.
direction — In artillery and naval gunfire support, a term used by a spotter and/or observer
in a call for fire to indicate the bearing of the spotting line. See also bearing; call for
fire; naval gunfire support; spotter; spotting line. (JP 2-0)
directional gyro indicator — An azimuth gyro with a direct display and means for setting
the datum to a specified compass heading.
direction finding — A procedure for obtaining bearings of radio frequency emitters by
using a highly directional antenna and a display unit on an intercept receiver or
ancillary equipment.
direction of attack — A specific direction or route that the main attack or center of mass of
the unit will follow. The unit is restricted, required to attack as indicated, and is not
normally allowed to bypass the enemy. The direction of attack is used primarily in
counterattacks or to ensure that supporting attacks make maximal contribution to the
main attack.
directive — (*) 1. A military communication in which policy is established or a specific
action is ordered. 2. A plan issued with a view to putting it into effect when so
directed, or in the event that a stated contingency arises. 3. Broadly speaking, any
communication which initiates or governs action, conduct, or procedure.
directive authority for logistics — Combatant commander authority to issue directives to
subordinate commanders, including peacetime measures, necessary to ensure the
effective execution of approved operation plans. Essential measures include the
optimized use or reallocation of available resources and prevention or elimination of
redundant facilities and/or overlapping functions among the Service component
commands. Also called DAFL. See also combatant command (command
authority); logistics. (JP 1)
direct laying — Laying in which the sights of weapons are aligned directly on the target.
Normally used in conjunction with mortars and sometimes artillery. See also lay.
direct liaison authorized — That authority granted by a commander (any level) to a
subordinate to directly consult or coordinate an action with a command or agency
within or outside of the granting command. Direct liaison authorized is more
applicable to planning than operations and always carries with it the requirement of
keeping the commander granting direct liaison authorized informed. Direct liaison
authorized is a coordination relationship, not an authority through which command may
be exercised. Also called DIRLAUTH. (JP 1)
director of mobility forces — Normally a senior officer who is familiar with the area of
responsibility or joint operations area and possesses an extensive background in air
mobility operations. When established, the director of mobility forces serves as the
designated agent for all air mobility issues in the area of responsibility or joint
operations area, and for other duties as directed. The director of mobility forces
exercises coordinating authority between the air operations center (or appropriate
theater command and control node), the tanker airlift control center, the air mobility
operations control center (when established and when supporting subordinate command
objectives), and the joint movement center, in order to expedite the resolution of air
mobility issues. The director of mobility forces may be sourced from the theater’s
organizations or US Transportation Command. Additionally, the director of mobility
forces, when designated, will ensure the effective integration of intertheater and
intratheater air mobility operations, and facilitate the conduct of intratheater air
mobility operations. Also called DIRMOBFOR. See also Air Force air and space
operations center; coordinating authority; joint movement center; Tanker Airlift
Control Center. (JP 3-30)
direct support — A mission requiring a force to support another specific force and
authorizing it to answer directly to the supported force’s request for assistance. Also
called DS. See also close support; general support; mission; mutual support;
support. (JP 3-09.1)
direct support artillery — (*) Artillery whose primary task is to provide fire requested by
the supported unit.
direct supporting fire — (*) Fire delivered in support of part of a force, as opposed to
general supporting fire which is delivered in support of the force as a whole. See also
supporting fire.
direct vendor delivery — A materiel acquisition and distribution method that requires
vendor delivery directly to the customer. Also called DVD. See also distribution.
(JP 4-09)
disabling fire — The firing of ordnance by ships or aircraft at the steering or propulsion
system of a vessel. The intent is to disable with minimum injury to personnel or
damage to vessel.
disaffected person — A person who is alienated or estranged from those in authority or
lacks loyalty to the government; a state of mind.
disarmament — The reduction of a military establishment to some level set by
international agreement. See also arms control agreement; arms control measure.
disarmed mine — (*) A mine for which the arming procedure has been reversed,
rendering the mine inoperative. It is safe to handle and transport and can be rearmed by
simple action.
disaster assistance response team — United States Agency for International
Development’s (USAID) Office of United States Foreign Disaster Assistance provides
this rapidly deployable team in response to international disasters. A disaster assistance
response team provides specialists, trained in a variety of disaster relief skills, to assist
US embassies and USAID missions with the management of US Government response
to disasters. Also called DART. See also foreign disaster; foreign disaster relief.
(JP 3-08)
disaster control — Measures taken before, during, or after hostile action or natural or
manmade disasters to reduce the probability of damage, minimize its effects, and
initiate recovery. See also area damage control; damage control.
discriminating circuit — (*) That part of the operating circuit of a sea mine which
distinguishes between the response of the detecting circuit to the passage of a ship and
the response to other disturbances (e.g., influence sweep, countermining, etc.)
disease and nonbattle injury — All illnesses and injuries not resulting from enemy or
terrorist action or caused by conflict. Indigenous disease pathogens, biological warfare
agents, heat and cold, hazardous noise, altitude, environmental, occupational, and
industrial exposures, and other naturally occurring disease agents may cause disease
and nonbattle injury. Disease and nonbattle injuries include injuries and illnesses
resulting from training or from occupational, environmental, or recreational activities,
and may result in short- or long-term, acute, or delayed illness, injury, disability, or
death. Also called DNBI. (JP 4-02)
disease and nonbattle injury casualty — A person who is not a battle casualty but who is
lost to the organization by reason of disease or injury, including persons dying of
disease or injury, by reason of being missing where the absence does not appear to be
voluntary, or due to enemy action or being interned. Also called DNBI casualty.
(JP 4-02)
disembarkation schedule — See debarkation schedule.
disengagement — In arms control, a general term for proposals that would result in the
geographic separation of opposing nonindigenous forces without directly affecting
indigenous military forces.
dislocated civilian — A broad term primarily used by the Department of Defense that
includes a displaced person, an evacuee, an expellee, an internally displaced person, a
migrant, a refugee, or a stateless person. Also called DC. See also displaced person;
evacuee; expellee; internally displaced person; migrant; refugee; stateless person.
(JP 3-29)
dispatch route — (*) In road traffic, a roadway over which full control, both as to priorities
of use and the regulation of movement of traffic in time and space, is exercised.
Movement authorization is required for its use, even by a single vehicle. See also
dispenser — (*) In air armament, a container or device which is used to carry and release
submunitions. See also cluster bomb unit.
dispersal — Relocation of forces for the purpose of increasing survivability. See also
dispersal airfield — An airfield, military or civil, to which aircraft might move before
H-hour on either a temporary duty or permanent change of station basis and be able to
conduct operations. See also airfield.
dispersed movement pattern — (*) A pattern for ship-to-shore movement which provides
additional separation of landing craft both laterally and in depth. This pattern is used
when nuclear weapon threat is a factor.
dispersed site — (*) A site selected to reduce concentration and vulnerability by its
separation from other military targets or a recognized threat area.
dispersion — (*) 1. A scattered pattern of hits around the mean point of impact of bombs
and projectiles dropped or fired under identical conditions. 2. In antiaircraft gunnery,
the scattering of shots in range and deflection about the mean point of explosion. 3.
The spreading or separating of troops, materiel, establishments, or activities which are
usually concentrated in limited areas to reduce vulnerability. 4. In chemical and
biological operations, the dissemination of agents in liquid or aerosol form. 5. In
airdrop operations, the scatter of personnel and/or cargo on the drop zone. 6. In naval
control of shipping, the reberthing of a ship in the periphery of the port area or in the
vicinity of the port for its own protection in order to minimize the risk of damage from
attack. See also circular error probable; convoy dispersal point; delivery error;
deviation; dispersion error; horizontal error. (JP 3-11)
dispersion error — (*) The distance from the point of impact or burst of a round to the
mean point of impact or burst.
dispersion pattern — (*) The distribution of a series of rounds fired from one weapon or a
group of weapons under conditions as nearly identical as possible; the points of burst or
impact being dispersed about a point called the mean point of impact.
displaced person — A broad term used to refer to internally and externally displaced
persons collectively. See also evacuee; refugee. (JP 3-29)
display — In military deception, a static portrayal of an activity, force, or equipment
intended to deceive the adversary’s visual observation. (JP 3-13.4)
disposition — (*) 1. Distribution of the elements of a command within an area; usually the
exact location of each unit headquarters and the deployment of the forces subordinate
to it. 2. A prescribed arrangement of the stations to be occupied by the several
formations and single ships of a fleet, or major subdivisions of a fleet, for any purpose,
such as cruising, approach, maintaining contact, or battle. 3. A prescribed arrangement
of all the tactical units composing a flight or group of aircraft. See also deployment;
dispersion. 4. (DOD only) The removal of a patient from a medical treatment facility
by reason of return to duty, transfer to another treatment facility, death, or other
termination of medical case.
disruptive pattern — (*) In surveillance, an arrangement of suitably colored irregular
shapes which, when applied to the surface of an object, is intended to enhance its
dissemination and integration — In intelligence usage, the delivery of intelligence to users
in a suitable form and the application of the intelligence to appropriate missions, tasks,
and functions. See also intelligence process. (JP 2-01)
distance — 1. The space between adjacent individual ships or boats measured in any
direction between foremasts. 2. The space between adjacent men, animals, vehicles, or
units in a formation measured from front to rear. 3. The space between known
reference points or a ground observer and a target, measured in meters (artillery), in
yards (naval gunfire), or in units specified by the observer. See also interval.
distant retirement area — In amphibious operations, that sea area located to seaward of
the landing area. This area is divided into a number of operating areas to which assault
ships may retire and operate in the event of adverse weather or to prevent concentration
of ships in the landing area. See also amphibious operation; landing area;
retirement. (JP 3-02)
distant support area — In amphibious operations, the area located in the vicinity of the
landing area but at considerable distance seaward of it. These areas are assigned to
distant support forces, such as striking forces, surface action groups, surface action
units, and their logistic groups. See also amphibious operation; landing area.
(JP 3-02)
distressed person — An individual who requires search and rescue assistance to remove he
or she from life-threatening or isolating circumstances in a permissive environment.
(JP 3-50)
distributed fire — (*) Fire so dispersed as to engage most effectively an area target. See
also fire.
distribution — 1. The arrangement of troops for any purpose, such as a battle, march, or
maneuver. 2. A planned pattern of projectiles about a point. 3. A planned spread of
fire to cover a desired frontage or depth. 4. An official delivery of anything, such as
orders or supplies. 5. The operational process of synchronizing all elements of the
logistic system to deliver the “right things” to the “right place” at the “right time” to
support the geographic combatant commander. 6. The process of assigning military
personnel to activities, units, or billets. (JP 4-0)
distribution manager — The executive agent for managing distribution with the combatant
commander’s area of responsibility. See also area of responsibility; distribution.
(JP 4-01.4)
distribution pipeline — Continuum or channel through which the Department of Defense
conducts distribution operations. The distribution pipeline represents the end-to-end
flow of resources from supplier to consumer and, in some cases, back to the supplier in
retrograde activities. See also distribution; pipeline. (JP 4-01.4)
distribution plan — A reporting system comprising reports, updates, and information
systems feeds that articulate the requirements of the theater distribution system to the
strategic and operational resources assigned responsibility for support to the theater. It
portrays the interface of the physical, financial, information and communications
networks for gaining visibility of the theater distribution system and communicates
control activities necessary for optimizing capacity of the system. It depicts, and is
continually updated to reflect changes in, infrastructure, support relationships, and
customer locations to all elements of the distribution system (strategic operational, and
tactical). See also distribution; distribution system; theater distribution; theater
distribution system. (JP 4-01.4)
distribution point — (*) A point at which supplies and/or ammunition, obtained from
supporting supply points by a division or other unit, are broken down for distribution to
subordinate units. Distribution points usually carry no stocks; items drawn are issued
completely as soon as possible.
distribution system — That complex of facilities, installations, methods, and procedures
designed to receive, store, maintain, distribute, and control the flow of military materiel
between the point of receipt into the military system and the point of issue to using
activities and units.
ditching — Controlled landing of a distressed aircraft on water.
diversion — 1. The act of drawing the attention and forces of an enemy from the point of
the principal operation; an attack, alarm, or feint that diverts attention. 2. A change
made in a prescribed route for operational or tactical reasons. A diversion order will
not constitute a change of destination. 3. A rerouting of cargo or passengers to a new
transshipment point or destination or on a different mode of transportation prior to
arrival at ultimate destination. 4. In naval mine warfare, a route or channel bypassing a
dangerous area. A diversion may connect one channel to another or it may branch from
a channel and rejoin it on the other side of the danger. See also demonstration.
diversion airfield — (*) An airfield with at least minimum essential facilities, which may
be used as an emergency airfield or when the main or redeployment airfield is not
usable or as required to facilitate tactical operations. Also called divert field. See also
airfield; departure airfield; main airfield; redeployment airfield.
diversionary attack — (*) An attack wherein a force attacks, or threatens to attack, a target
other than the main target for the purpose of drawing enemy defenses away from the
main effort. See also demonstration.
diversionary landing — An operation in which troops are actually landed for the purpose
of diverting enemy reaction away from the main landing.
divert field — See diversion airfield.
diving chamber — See hyperbaric chamber.
division — (*) 1. A tactical unit/formation as follows: a. A major administrative and
tactical unit/formation which combines in itself the necessary arms and services
required for sustained combat, larger than a regiment/brigade and smaller than a corps.
b. A number of naval vessels of similar type grouped together for operational and
administrative command, or a tactical unit of a naval aircraft squadron, consisting of
two or more sections. c. An air division is an air combat organization normally
consisting of two or more wings with appropriate service units. The combat wings of
an air division will normally contain similar type units. 2. An organizational part of a
headquarters that handles military matters of a particular nature, such as personnel,
intelligence, plans, and training, or supply and evacuation. 3. (DOD only) A number
of personnel of a ship’s complement grouped together for tactical and administrative
division artillery — Artillery that is permanently an integral part of a division. For tactical
purposes, all artillery placed under the command of a division commander is
considered division artillery.
doctrinal template — A model based on known or postulated adversary doctrine.
Doctrinal templates illustrate the disposition and activity of adversary forces and assets
conducting a particular operation unconstrained by the effects of the battlespace. They
represent the application of adversary doctrine under ideal conditions. Ideally, doctrinal
templates depict the threat’s normal organization for combat, frontages, depths,
boundaries and other control measures, assets available from other commands,
objective depths, engagement areas, battle positions, and so forth. Doctrinal templates
are usually scaled to allow ready use with geospatial products. See also doctrine.
(JP 2-01.3)
doctrine — Fundamental principles by which the military forces or elements thereof guide
their actions in support of national objectives. It is authoritative but requires judgment
in application. See also multinational doctrine; joint doctrine; multi-Service
dolly — Airborne data link equipment.
dome — See spray dome.
domestic air traffic — Air traffic within the continental United States.
domestic emergencies — Emergencies affecting the public welfare and occurring within
the 50 states, District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, US possessions and
territories, or any political subdivision thereof, as a result of enemy attack, insurrection,
civil disturbance, earthquake, fire, flood, or other public disasters or equivalent
emergencies that endanger life and property or disrupt the usual process of government.
Domestic emergencies include civil defense emergencies, civil disturbances, major
disasters, and natural disasters. See also civil defense emergency; civil disturbance;
major disaster; natural disaster. (JP 3-27)
domestic intelligence — Intelligence relating to activities or conditions within the United
States that threaten internal security and that might require the employment of troops;
and intelligence relating to activities of individuals or agencies potentially or actually
dangerous to the security of the Department of Defense.
dominant user — The Service or multinational partner who is the principal consumer of a
particular common-user logistic supply or service within a joint or multinational
operation. The dominant user will normally act as the lead Service to provide this
particular common-user logistic supply or service to other Service components,
multinational partners, other governmental agencies, or nongovernmental agencies as
directed by the combatant commander. See also common-user logistics; lead Service
or agency for common-user logistics. (JP 4-07)
dominant user concept — The concept that the Service that is the principal consumer will
have the responsibility for performance of a support workload for all using Services.
doppler effect — (*) The phenomenon evidenced by the change in the observed frequency
of a sound or radio wave caused by a time rate of change in the effective length of the
path of travel between the source and the point of observation.
doppler radar — A radar system that differentiates between fixed and moving targets by
detecting the apparent change in frequency of the reflected wave due to motion of
target or the observer.
dormant — In mine warfare, the state of a mine during which a time delay feature in a
mine prevents it from being actuated.
dose rate contour line — (*) A line on a map, diagram, or overlay joining all points at
which the radiation dose rate at a given time is the same.
dosimetry — (*) The measurement of radiation doses. It applies to both the devices used
(dosimeters) and to the techniques.
double agent — Agent in contact with two opposing intelligence services, only one of
which is aware of the double contact or quasi-intelligence services.
double flow route — (*) A route of at least two lanes allowing two columns of vehicles to
proceed simultaneously, either in the same direction or in opposite directions. See also
single flow route.
downgrade — To determine that classified information requires, in the interests of national
security, a lower degree of protection against unauthorized disclosure than currently
provided, coupled with a changing of the classification designation to reflect such a
lower degree.
downloading — An operation that removes airborne weapons or stores from an aircraft.
(JP 3-04)
draft — 1. The conscription of qualified citizens in military service. 2. The depth of water
that a vessel requires to float freely; the depth of a vessel from the water line to the keel.
See also active duty; Military Service; watercraft. (JP 4-01.6)
draft plan — (*) A plan for which a draft plan has been coordinated and agreed with the
other military headquarters and is ready for coordination with the nations involved, that
is those nations who would be required to take national actions to support the plan. It
may be used for future planning and exercises and may form the basis for an operation
order to be implemented in time of emergency. See also coordinated draft plan; final
plan; initial draft plan; operation plan.
drag — Force of aerodynamic resistance caused by the violent currents behind the shock
drag loading — The force on an object or structure due to transient winds accompanying
the passage of a blast wave. The drag pressure is the product of the dynamic pressure
and the drag coefficient which is dependent upon the shape (or geometry) of the
structure or object.
drift — (*) In ballistics, a shift in projectile direction due to gyroscopic action which results
from gravitational and atmospherically induced torques on the spinning projectile.
drill mine — (*) An inert filled mine or mine-like body, used in loading, laying, or
discharge practice and trials. See also mine.
drone — A land, sea, or air vehicle that is remotely or automatically controlled. See also
remotely piloted vehicle; unmanned aerial vehicle. (JP 4-01.5)
drop altitude — (*) The altitude above mean sea level at which airdrop is executed. See
also altitude; drop height. (JP 3-17)
drop height — (*) The vertical distance between the drop zone and the aircraft. See also
altitude; drop altitude. (JP 3-17)
dropmaster — 1. An individual qualified to prepare, perform acceptance inspection, load,
lash, and eject material for airdrop. 2. An aircrew member who, during parachute
operations, will relay any required information between pilot and jumpmaster.
drop message — (*) A message dropped from an aircraft to a ground or surface unit.
drop zone — (*) A specific area upon which airborne troops, equipment, or supplies are
airdropped. Also called DZ. (JP 3-17)
drug interdiction — A continuum of events focused on interrupting illegal drugs smuggled
by air, sea, or land. Normally consists of several phases – cueing, detection, sorting,
monitoring, interception, handover, disruption, endgame, and apprehension – some
which may occur simultaneously. See also counterdrug operations. (JP 3-07.4)
dry deck shelter — A shelter module that attaches to the hull of a specially configured
submarine to provide the submarine with the capability to launch and recover special
operations personnel, vehicles, and equipment while submerged. The dry deck shelter
provides a working environment at one atmosphere for the special operations element
during transit and has structural integrity to the collapse depth of the host submarine.
Also called DDS. (JP 3-05.1)
D-to-P assets required on D-day — As applied to the D-to-P concept, this asset
requirement represents those stocks that must be physically available on D-day to meet
initial allowance requirements, to fill the wartime pipeline between the producers and
users (even if P-day and D-day occur simultaneously), and to provide any required Dto-
P consumption or production differential stockage. The D-to-P assets required on Dday
are also represented as the difference between the D-to-P materiel readiness gross
requirements and the cumulative sum of all production deliveries during the D-to-P
period. See also D-to-P concept.
D-to-P concept — A logistic planning concept by which the gross materiel readiness
requirement in support of approved forces at planned wartime rates for conflicts of
indefinite duration will be satisfied by a balanced mix of assets on hand on D-day and
assets to be gained from production through P-day when the planned rate of production
deliveries to the users equals the planned wartime rate of expenditure (consumption).
See also D-day consumption/production differential assets; D-day pipeline assets;
D-to-P assets required on D-day; D-to-P materiel readiness gross requirement.
D-to-P materiel readiness gross requirement — As applied to the D-to-P concept, the
gross requirement for all supplies and materiel needed to meet all initial pipeline and
anticipated expenditure (consumption) requirements between D-day and P-day.
Includes initial allowances, continental United States and overseas operating and safety
levels, intransit levels of supply, and the cumulative sum of all items expended
(consumed) during the D-to-P period. See also D-to-P concept.
dual agent — One who is simultaneously and independently employed by two or more
intelligence agencies, covering targets for both.
dual-capable aircraft — Allied and US fighter aircraft tasked and configured to perform
either conventional or theater nuclear missions. Also called DCA.
dual-capable forces — Forces capable of employing dual-capable weapons.
dual capable unit — (*) A nuclear certified delivery unit capable of executing both
conventional and nuclear missions.
dual-firing circuit — (*) An assembly comprising two independent firing systems, both
electric or both non-electric, so that the firing of either system will detonate all charges.
dual (multi)-capable weapons — 1. Weapons, weapon systems, or vehicles capable of
selective equipage with different types or mixes of armament or firepower. 2.
Sometimes restricted to weapons capable of handling either nuclear or non-nuclear
dual (multi)-purpose weapons — Weapons which possess the capability for effective
application in two or more basically different military functions and/or levels of
dual-purpose weapon — A weapon designed for delivering effective fire against air or
surface targets.
dual-role tanker — Dual-role tankers carry support personnel, supplies, and equipment for
the deploying force while escorting and/or refueling combat aircraft to the area of
responsibility. Dual-role tankers can minimize the total lift requirement while
providing critical cargo and personnel at the combat aircraft’s time of arrival. See also
air refueling. (JP 3-17)
dud — (*) Explosive munition which has not been armed as intended or which has failed to
explode after being armed. See also absolute dud; dwarf dud; flare dud; nuclear
dud probability — The expected percentage of failures in a given number of firings.
due in — Quantities of materiel scheduled to be received from vendors, repair facilities,
assembly operation, interdepot transfers, and other sources.
dummy — See decoy.
dummy message — (*) A message sent for some purpose other than its content, which
may consist of dummy groups or may have a meaningless text.
dummy minefield — (*) In naval mine warfare, a minefield containing no live mines and
presenting only a psychological threat.
dummy run — Any simulated firing practice, particularly a dive bombing approach made
without release of a bomb. Also called dry run.
dump — (*) A temporary storage area, usually in the open, for bombs, ammunition,
equipment, or supplies.
duplicate negative — (*) A negative reproduced from a negative or diapositive.
durable materiel — See nonexpendable supplies and materiel.
duty status - whereabouts unknown — A transitory casualty status, applicable only to
military personnel, that is used when the responsible commander suspects the member
may be a casualty whose absence is involuntary, but does not feel sufficient evidence
currently exists to make a definite determination of missing or deceased. Also called
DUSTWUN. See also casualty status.
dwarf dud — A nuclear weapon that, when launched at or emplaced on a target, fails to
provide a yield within a reasonable range of that which could be anticipated with
normal operation of the weapon. This constitutes a dud only in a relative sense.
dwell time — (1) The time cargo remains in a terminal’s in-transit storage area while
awaiting shipment by clearance transportation. (2) The length of time a target is
expected to remain in one location. See also storage. (JP 3-60)
dynamic targeting — Targeting that prosecutes targets identified too late, or not selected
for action in time to be included in deliberate targeting. (JP 3-60)
dynamic threat assessment — An intelligence assessment developed by the Defense
Intelligence Agency that details the threat, capabilities, and intentions of adversaries in
each of the priority plans in the Contingency Planning Guidance. Also called DTA.
(JP 2-0)