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Military Terms and Definitions

gadget — Radar equipment (type of equipment may be indicated by a letter as listed in
operation orders). May be followed by a color to indicate state of jamming. Colors
will be used as follows: a. green — Clear of jamming. b. amber — Sector partially
jammed. c. red — Sector completely jammed. d. blue — Completely jammed.

gap — An area within a minefield or obstacle belt, free of live mines or obstacles, whose
width and direction will allow a friendly force to pass through in tactical formation.
See also phoney minefield.

gap filler radar — (*) A radar used to supplement the coverage of the principal radar in
areas where coverage is inadequate.

gap (imagery) — Any space where imagery fails to meet minimum coverage requirements.
This might be a space not covered by imagery or a space where the minimum specified
overlap was not obtained.

gap marker — (*) In landmine warfare, markers used to indicate a minefield gap. Gap
markers at the entrance to, and exit from, the gap will be referenced to a landmark or
intermediate marker. See also marker.

garble — An error in transmission, reception, encryption, or decryption that changes the
text of a message or any portion thereof in such a manner that it is incorrect or

garnishing — (*) In surveillance, natural or artificial material applied to an object to
achieve or assist camouflage.

garrison force — (*) All units assigned to a base or area for defense, development,
operation, and maintenance of facilities. See also force(s).

gear — A general term for a collection of spars, ropes, blocks, and equipment used for
lifting and stowing cargo and ships stores. (JP 4-01.6)

general agency agreement — A contract between the Maritime Administration and a
steamship company which, as general agent, exercises administrative control over a
government-owned ship for employment by the Military Sealift Command. Also
called GAA. See also Military Sealift Command. (JP 3-02.2)

general air cargo — (*) Cargo without hazardous or dangerous properties and not
requiring extra precautions for air transport.

general and complete disarmament — Reductions of armed forces and armaments by all
states to levels required for internal security and for an international peace force.
Connotation is “total disarmament” by all states.

general cargo — Cargo that is susceptible for loading in general, nonspecialized stowage
areas or standard shipping containers; e.g., boxes, barrels, bales, crates, packages,
bundles, and pallets.

general engineering — Those engineering capabilities and activities, other than combat
engineering, that modify, maintain, or protect the physical environment. Examples
include: the construction, repair, maintenance, and operation of infrastructure,
facilities, lines of communication and bases; terrain modification and repair; and
selected explosive hazard activities. Also called GE. (JP 3-34)

general map — A map of small scale used for general planning purposes. See also map.

general military intelligence — Intelligence concerning the (1) military capabilities of
foreign countries or organizations or (2) topics affecting potential US or multinational
military operations, relating to the following subjects: armed forces capabilities,
including order of battle, organization, training, tactics, doctrine, strategy, and other
factors bearing on military strength and effectiveness; area and terrain intelligence,
including urban areas, coasts and landing beaches, and meteorological, oceanographic,
and geological intelligence; transportation in all modes; military materiel production
and support industries; military and civilian communications systems; military
economics, including foreign military assistance; insurgency and terrorism; militarypolitical-
sociological intelligence; location, identification, and description of militaryrelated
installations; government control; escape and evasion; and threats and forecasts.
(Excludes scientific and technical intelligence.) Also called GMI. See also
intelligence; military intelligence. (JP 2-0)

general orders — 1. Permanent instructions, issued in order form, that apply to all
members of a command, as compared with special orders, which affect only individuals
or small groups. General orders are usually concerned with matters of policy or
administration. 2. A series of permanent guard orders that govern the duties of a sentry
on post.

general purchasing agents — Agents who have been appointed in the principal overseas
areas to supervise, control, coordinate, negotiate, and develop the local procurement of
supplies, services, and facilities by Armed Forces of the United States, in order that the
most effective utilization may be made of local resources and production.

general quarters — A condition of readiness when naval action is imminent. All battle
stations are fully manned and alert; ammunition is ready for instant loading; guns and
guided missile launchers may be loaded.

general staff — A group of officers in the headquarters of Army or Marine divisions,
Marine brigades, and aircraft wings, or similar or larger units that assist their
commanders in planning, coordinating, and supervising operations. A general staff
may consist of four or more principal functional sections: personnel (G-1), military
intelligence (G-2), operations and training (G-3), logistics (G-4), and (in Army
organizations) civil affairs and military government (G-5). (A particular section may
be added or eliminated by the commander, dependent upon the need that has been
demonstrated.) The comparable Air Force staff is found in the wing and larger units,
with sections designated personnel, operations, etc. G-2 Air and G-3 Air are Army
officers assigned to G-2 or G-3 at division, corps, and Army headquarters level who
assist in planning and coordinating joint operations of ground and air units. Naval
staffs ordinarily are not organized on these lines, but when they are, they are designated
N-1, N-2, etc. Similarly, a joint staff may be designated J-1, J-2, etc. In Army brigades
and smaller units and in Marine Corps units smaller than a brigade or aircraft wing,
staff sections are designated S-1, S-2, etc., with corresponding duties; referred to as a
unit staff in the Army and as an executive staff in the Marine Corps. See also staff.

general stopping power — (*) The percentage of a group of vehicles in battle formation
likely to be stopped by mines when attempting to cross a minefield.

general support — (*) 1. That support which is given to the supported force as a whole
and not to any particular subdivision thereof. See also close support; direct support;
mutual support; support. 2. (DOD only) A tactical artillery mission. Also called
GS. See also direct support; general support-reinforcing; reinforcing. (JP 3-09.3)

general support artillery — (*) Artillery which executes the fire directed by the
commander of the unit to which it organically belongs or is attached. It fires in support
of the operation as a whole rather than in support of a specific subordinate unit. Also
called GSA. See also direct support artillery; general support-reinforcing;

general support-reinforcing — General support-reinforcing artillery has the mission of
supporting the force as a whole and of providing reinforcing fires for other artillery
units. Also called GSR. See also direct support artillery; reinforcing.

general unloading period — (*) In amphibious operations, that part of the ship-to-shore
movement in which unloading is primarily logistic in character, and emphasizes speed
and volume of unloading operations. It encompasses the unloading of units and cargo
from the ships as rapidly as facilities on the beach permit. It proceeds without regard to
class, type, or priority of cargo, as permitted by cargo handling facilities ashore. See
also initial unloading period.

general war — Armed conflict between major powers in which the total resources of the
belligerents are employed, and the national survival of a major belligerent is in

generation (photography) — The preparation of successive positive and/or negative
reproductions from an original negative and/or positive (first-generation). For example,
the first positive produced from an original negative is a second-generation product; the
negative made from this positive is a third-generation product; and the next positive or
print from that negative is a fourth-generation product.

geographic coordinates — (*) The quantities of latitude and longitude which define the
position of a point on the surface of the Earth with respect to the reference spheroid.
See also coordinates. (JP 2-03)

geographic reference points — A means of indicating position, usually expressed either as
double letters or as code words that are established in operation orders or by other

georef — (*) A worldwide position reference system that may be applied to any map or
chart graduated in latitude and longitude regardless of projection. It is a method of
expressing latitude and longitude in a form suitable for rapid reporting and plotting.
(This term is derived from the words “The World Geographic Reference System.”)

geospatial engineering — Those engineering capabilities and activities that contribute to a
clear understanding of the physical environment by providing geospatial information
and services to commanders and staffs. Examples include: terrain analyses, terrain
visualization, digitized terrain products, nonstandard tailored map products, precision
survey, geospatial data management, baseline survey data, and force beddown analysis.
See also geospatial information and services. (JP 3-34)

geospatial information — Information that identifies the geographic location and
characteristics of natural or constructed features and boundaries on the Earth, including:
statistical data and information derived from, among other things, remote sensing,
mapping, and surveying technologies; and mapping, charting, geodetic data and related
products. (JP 2-03)

geospatial information and services — The collection, information extraction, storage,
dissemination, and exploitation of geodetic, geomagnetic, imagery (both commercial
and national source), gravimetric, aeronautical, topographic, hydrographic, littoral,
cultural, and toponymic data accurately referenced to a precise location on the Earth’s
surface. Geospatial services include tools that enable users to access and manipulate
data, and also include instruction, training, laboratory support, and guidance for the use
of geospatial data. Also called GI&S. (JP 2-03)

geospatial intelligence — The exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial
information to describe, assess, and visually depict physical features and geographically
referenced activities on the Earth. Geospatial intelligence consists of imagery, imagery
intelligence, and geospatial information. Also called GEOINT. (JP 2-03)

geospatial-intelligence contingency package — Preassembled package of selected maps,
charts, and other geographic materials of various scales to support the planning and
conduct of noncombatant evacuation operations in selected countries or areas. Also
called GCP. NOTE: Geospatial-intelligence contingency packages are replacing
NEOPACKs when updated. See also noncombatant evacuation operations;
noncombatant evacuees. (JP 3-68)

glide bomb — A bomb fitted with airfoils to provide lift and which is carried and released
in the direction of a target by an airplane.

glide mode — In a flight control system, a control mode in which an aircraft is
automatically positioned to the center of the glide slope course.

Global Air Transportation Execution System — The Air Mobility Command’s aerial
port operations and management information system designed to support automated
cargo and passenger processing, the reporting of in-transit visibility data to the Global
Transportation Network, and billing to Air Mobility Command’s financial management
directorate. Also called GATES. See also Air Mobility Command; Global
Transportation Network. (JP 3-17)

Global Combat Support System-Joint — The primary information technology application
used to provide automation support to the joint logistician. Also called GCSS-J. (JP 4-0)

Global Command and Control System — A deployable command and control system
supporting forces for joint and multinational operations across the range of military
operations with compatible, interoperable, and integrated communications systems.
Also called GCCS. See also command and control; command and control system.
(JP 6-0)

Global Decision Support System — Command and control system for Air Mobility
Command’s mobility airlift and air refueling assets. Provides aircraft schedules, arrival
and/or departure, and aircraft status data to support in-transit visibility of aircraft and
aircrews. Also called GDSS. See also Air Mobility Command; in-transit visibility.
(JP 3-17)

global distribution — The process that synchronizes and integrates fulfillment of joint
force requirements with employment of the joint force. It provides national resources
(personnel and materiel) to support execution of joint operations. The ultimate
objective of this process is the effective and efficient accomplishment of the joint force
mission. See also distribution. (JP 4-09)

global distribution of materiel — The process of providing materiel from the source of
supply to its point of consumption or use on a worldwide basis. See also global
distribution. (JP 4-09)

Global Information Grid — The globally interconnected, end-to-end set of information
capabilities, associated processes and personnel for collecting, processing, storing,
disseminating, and managing information on demand to warfighters, policy makers,
and support personnel. The Global Information Grid includes owned and leased
communications and computing systems and services, software (including
applications), data, security services, other associated services and National Security
Systems. Also called GIG. See also grid; information. (JP 6-0)

global information infrastructure — The worldwide interconnection of communications
networks, computers, databases, and consumer electronics that make vast amounts of
information available to users. The global information infrastructure encompasses a
wide range of equipment, including cameras, scanners, keyboards, facsimile machines,
computers, switches, compact disks, video and audio tape, cable, wire, satellites, fiberoptic
transmission lines, networks of all types, televisions, monitors, printers, and much
more. The friendly and adversary personnel who make decisions and handle the
transmitted information constitute a critical component of the global information
infrastructure. Also called GII. See also defense information infrastructure;
information; information system; national information infrastructure. (JP 3-13)

Global Network Operations Center — United States Strategic Command operational
element responsible for: providing global satellite communications system status;
maintaining global situational awareness to include each combatant commander’s
planned and current operations as well as contingency plans; supporting radio
frequency interference resolution management; supporting satellite anomaly resolution
and management; facilitating satellite communications interface to the defense
information infrastructure; and managing the regional satellite communications support
centers. Also called GNC. (JP 6-0)

Global Patient Movement Requirements Center — A joint activity reporting directly to
the Commander, US Transportation Command, the Department of Defense single
manager for the strategic and continental United States regulation and movement of
uniformed services and other authorized patients. The Global Patient Movement
Requirements Center provides medical regulating and aeromedical evacuation
scheduling for the continental United States and intertheater operations and provides
support to the theater patient movement requirements centers. The Global Patient
Movement Requirements Center coordinates with supporting resource providers to
identify available assets and communicates transport to bed plans to the appropriate
transportation agency for execution. Also called GPMRC. See also medical
treatment facility. (JP 4-02)

Global Positioning System — A satellite-based radio navigation system operated by the
Department of Defense to provide all military, civil, and commercial users with precise
positioning, navigation, and timing. Also called GPS. (JP 3-14)

global transportation management — The integrated process of satisfying transportation
requirements using the Defense Transportation System to meet national security
objectives. The process begins with planning, programming, and budgeting for
transportation assets, services, and associated systems and continues through delivery
of the users’ transportation movement requirements. Also called GTM. See also
Defense Transportation System; Global Transportation Network. (JP 4-01)

Global Transportation Network — The automated support necessary to enable US
Transportation Command and its components to provide global transportation
management. The Global Transportation Network provides the integrated
transportation data and systems necessary to accomplish global transportation planning,
command and control, and in-transit visibility across the range of military operations.
The designated Department of Defense in-transit visibility system provides customers
with the ability to track the identity, status, and location of Department of Defense units
and non-unit cargo, passengers, patients, forces, and military and commercial airlift,
sealift, and surface assets from origin to destination across the range of military
operations. The Global Transportation Network collects, integrates, and distributes
transportation information to combatant commanders, Services, and other Department
of Defense customers. Global Transportation Network provides US Transportation
Command with the ability to perform command and control operations, planning and
analysis, and business operations in tailoring customer requirements throughout the
requirements process. Also called GTN. See also global transportation
management; in-transit visibility; United States Transportation Command.
(JP 3-17)

go no-go — The condition or state of operability of a component or system: “go,”
functioning properly; or “no-go,” not functioning properly. Alternatively, a critical
point at which a decision to proceed or not must be made.

governing factors — In the context of joint operation planning, those aspects of the
situation (or externally imposed factors) that the commander deems critical to the
accomplishment of the mission. (JP 5-0)

government-owned, contract-operated ships — Those ships to which the US Government
holds title and which the Military Sealift Command operates under a contract (i.e.,
nongovernment-manned). These ships are designated United States Naval Ships and
use the prefix “USNS” with the ship name and the letter “T” as a prefix to the ship
classification (e.g., T-AKR). See also Military Sealift Command; United States
Naval Ship. (JP 3-02.2)

government-owned, Military Sealift Command-operated ships — Those ships to which
the US Government holds title and which the Military Sealift Command operates with
US Government (civil service) employees. These ships are designated United States
Naval Ships and use the prefix “USNS” with the ship name and the letter “T” as a
prefix to the ship classification (e.g., T-AKR). See also Military Sealift Command;
United States Naval Ship. (JP 3-02.2)

gradient — The rate of inclination to horizontal expressed as a ratio, such as 1:25,
indicating a one unit rise to 25 units of horizontal distance. (JP 4-01.6)

gradient circuit — (*) In mine warfare, a circuit which is actuated when the rate of
change, with time, of the magnitude of the influence is within predetermined limits.

grand strategy — See National Security Strategy.

graphic — (*) Any and all products of the cartographic and photogrammetric art. A
graphic may be a map, chart, or mosaic or even a film strip that was produced using
cartographic techniques.

graphic scale — (*) A graduated line by means of which distances on the map, chart, or
photograph may be measured in terms of ground distance. See also scale.

grapnel — (*) In naval mine warfare, a device fitted to a mine mooring designed to grapple
the sweep wire when the mooring is cut.

graticule — (*) 1. In cartography, a network of lines representing the Earth’s parallels of
latitude and meridians of longitude. 2. In imagery interpretation, see reticle.

graticule ticks — (*) In cartography, short lines indicating where selected meridians and
parallels intersect.

graves registration program — A program that provides for search, recovery, tentative
identification, and evacuation or temporary interment. Temporary interment is only
authorized by the geographic combatant commander. Disposition of personal effects is
included in this program. See also personal effects. (JP 4-06)

gravity extraction — (*) The extraction of cargoes from the aircraft by influence of their
own weight. See also extraction parachute.

grazing fire — (*) Fire approximately parallel to the ground where the center of the cone
of fire does not rise above one meter from the ground. See also fire.

Greenwich Mean Time — See Universal Time. Also called GMT.

grey propaganda — Propaganda that does not specifically identify any source. See also

grid — 1. Two sets of parallel lines intersecting at right angles and forming squares; the
grid is superimposed on maps, charts, and other similar representations of the Earth’s
surface in an accurate and consistent manner in order to permit identification of ground
locations with respect to other locations and the computation of direction and distance
to other points. 2. A term used in giving the location of a geographic point by grid
coordinates. See also military grid; military grid reference system.

grid bearing — Bearing measured from grid north.

grid convergence — The horizontal angle at a place between true north and grid north. It is
proportional to the longitude difference between the place and the central meridian.
See also convergence.

grid convergence factor — (*) The ratio of the grid convergence angle to the longitude
difference. In the Lambert Conical Orthomorphic projection, this ratio is constant for
all charts based on the same two standard parallels. See also convergence; grid

grid coordinates — (*) Coordinates of a grid coordinate system to which numbers and
letters are assigned for use in designating a point on a gridded map, photograph, or
chart. See also coordinates. (JP 3-09.1)

grid coordinate system — (*) A plane-rectangular coordinate system usually based on,
and mathematically adjusted to, a map projection in order that geographic positions
(latitudes and longitudes) may be readily transformed into plane coordinates and the
computations relating to them may be made by the ordinary method of plane surveying.
See also coordinates.

grid interval — (*) The distance represented between the lines of a grid.

grid magnetic angle — (*) Angular difference in direction between grid north and
magnetic north. It is measured east or west from grid north. Also called grid
variation; grivation.

grid navigation — (*) A method of navigation using a grid overlay for direction reference.
See also navigational grid.

grid north — (*) The northerly or zero direction indicated by the grid datum of directional

grid ticks — (*) Small marks on the neatline of a map or chart indicating additional grid
reference systems included on that sheet. Grid ticks are sometimes shown on the
interior grid lines of some maps for ease of referencing.

grid variation — See grid magnetic angle.

grivation — See grid magnetic angle.

grossly transportation feasible — A determination made by the supported commander that
a draft operation plan can be supported with the apportioned transportation assets. This
determination is made by using a transportation feasibility estimator to simulate
movement of personnel and cargo from port of embarkation to port of debarkation
within a specified time frame.

gross weight — (*) 1. Weight of a vehicle, fully equipped and serviced for operation,
including the weight of the fuel, lubricants, coolant, vehicle tools and spares, crew,
personal equipment, and load. 2. Weight of a container or pallet including freight and
binding. Also called WT. See also net weight.

ground alert — (*) That status in which aircraft on the ground/deck are fully serviced and
armed, with combat crews in readiness to take off within a specified short period of
time (usually 15 minutes) after receipt of a mission order. See also airborne alert.

ground combat element — The core element of a Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF)
that is task-organized to conduct ground operations. It is usually constructed around an
infantry organization but can vary in size from a small ground unit of any type, to one
or more Marine divisions that can be independently maneuvered under the direction of
the MAGTF commander. The ground combat element itself is not a formal command.
Also called GCE. See also aviation combat element; combat service support
element; command element; Marine air-ground task force; Marine expeditionary
force; Marine expeditionary force (forward); Marine expeditionary unit; special
purpose Marine air-ground task force; task force.

ground control — (*) A system of accurate measurements used to determine the distances
and directions or differences in elevation between points on the Earth. See also
common control (artillery); control point; traverse.

ground-controlled approach procedure — (*) The technique for talking down, through
the use of both surveillance and precision approach radar, an aircraft during its
approach so as to place it in a position for landing. See also automatic approach and

ground-controlled interception — (*) A technique which permits control of friendly
aircraft or guided missiles for the purpose of effecting interception. See also air

ground fire — Small arms ground-to-air fire directed against aircraft.

ground liaison officer — An officer trained in offensive air support activities. Ground
liaison officers are normally organized into parties under the control of the appropriate
Army commander to provide liaison to Air Force and naval units engaged in training
and combat operations. Also called GLO.

ground mine — See bottom mine.

ground observer center — A center to which ground observer teams report and which in
turn will pass information to the appropriate control and/or reporting agency.

ground return — (*) The radar reflection from the terrain as displayed and/or recorded as
an image.

ground speed — (*) The horizontal component of the speed of an aircraft relative to the
Earth’s surface. Also called GS.

ground visibility — Prevailing horizontal visibility near the Earth’s surface as reported by
an accredited observer.

ground zero — (*) The point on the surface of the Earth at, or vertically below or above,
the center of a planned or actual nuclear detonation. See also actual ground zero;
desired ground zero.

group — 1. A flexible administrative and tactical unit composed of either two or more
battalions or two or more squadrons. The term also applies to combat support and
combat service support units. 2. A number of ships and/or aircraft, normally a
subdivision of a force, assigned for a specific purpose. 3. A long-standing functional
organization that is formed to support a broad function within a joint force
commander’s headquarters. Also called GP. (JP 3-33)

group of targets — (*) Two or more targets on which fire is desired simultaneously. A
group of targets is designated by a letter/number combination or a nickname.

group rendezvous — A check point at which formations of the same type will join before
proceeding. See also force rendezvous.

guard — 1. A form of security operation whose primary task is to protect the main force
by fighting to gain time while also observing and reporting information, and to prevent
enemy ground observation of and direct fire against the main body by reconnoitering,
attacking, defending, and delaying. A guard force normally operates within the range
of the main body’s indirect fire weapons. 2. A radio frequency that is normally used
for emergency transmissions and is continuously monitored. UHF band: 243.0 MHZ;
VHF band: 121.5 MHZ. See also cover; flank guard; screen. 3. A military or
civilian individual assigned to protect personnel, equipment, or installations, or to
oversee a prisoner.

guarded frequencies — Enemy frequencies that are currently being exploited for combat
information and intelligence. A guarded frequency is time-oriented in that the guarded
frequency list changes as the enemy assumes different combat postures. These
frequencies may be jammed after the commander has weighed the potential operational
gain against the loss of the technical information. See also electronic warfare.
(JP 3-13.1)

guerrilla — A combat participant in guerrilla warfare. See also unconventional warfare.

guerrilla force — A group of irregular, predominantly indigenous personnel organized
along military lines to conduct military and paramilitary operations in enemy-held,
hostile, or denied territory. (JP 3-05)

guerrilla warfare — Military and paramilitary operations conducted in enemy-held or
hostile territory by irregular, predominantly indigenous forces. Also called GW. See
also unconventional warfare. (JP 3-05.1)

guidance station equipment — (*) The ground-based portion of a missile guidance system
necessary to provide guidance during missile flight.

guided missile — An unmanned vehicle moving above the surface of the Earth whose
trajectory or flight path is capable of being altered by an external or internal
mechanism. See also aerodynamic missile; ballistic missile.

guide specification — (*) Minimum requirements to be used as a basis for the evaluation
of a national specification covering a fuel, lubricant or associated product proposed for
standardization action.

guinea-pig — (*) In naval mine warfare, a ship used to determine whether an area can be
considered safe from influence mines under certain conditions or, specifically, to
detonate pressure mines.

gull — (*) In electronic warfare, a floating radar reflector used to simulate a surface target
at sea for deceptive purposes.

gun — 1. A cannon with relatively long barrel, operating with relatively low angle of fire,
and having a high muzzle velocity. 2. A cannon with tube length 30 calibers or more.
See also howitzer; mortar.

gun carriage — (*) A mobile or fixed support for a gun. It sometimes includes the
elevating and traversing mechanisms. Also called carriage.

gun-target line — (*) An imaginary straight line from gun to target. Also called GTL.
(JP 3-09.1)

gun-type weapon — (*) A device in which two or more pieces of fissionable material, each
less than a critical mass, are brought together very rapidly so as to form a supercritical
mass that can explode as the result of a rapidly expanding fission chain.

gyromagnetic compass — (*) A directional gyroscope whose azimuth scale is maintained
in alignment with the magnetic meridian by a magnetic detector unit.



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