Military Dictionary – Letter H

Military Dictionary Letter HHere are the DOD Dictionary terms beginning with the letter H and organized alphabetically. Browse terms from the official DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms that start with H and view definitions. Read on for military definitions that begin with H such as homeland security, hostile act, hung ordnance and more.

Military Dictionary A to Z


See also Official DOD Shortened Word Forms.


half-life — The time required for the activity of a given radioactive species to decrease to half of its initial value due to radioactive decay.

hasty breach — The creation of lanes through enemy minefields by expedient methods such as blasting with demolitions, pushing rollers or disabled vehicles through the minefields when the time factor does not permit detailed reconnaissance, deliberate breaching, or bypassing the obstacle.

hazard — A condition with the potential to cause injury, illness, or death of personnel; damage to or loss of equipment or property; or mission degradation. See also injury.

hazardous cargo — Cargo that includes not only large bulk-type categories, such as explosives; pyrotechnics; petroleum, oils, and lubricants; compressed gases; and corrosives and batteries, but lesser-quantity materials like super-tropical bleach (oxiderizer), pesticides, poisons, medicines, and specialized medical chemicals and medical waste that can be loaded as cargo.

hazards of electromagnetic radiation to fuels — The potential hazard that is created when volatile combustibles, such as fuel, are exposed to electromagnetic fields of sufficient energy to cause ignition. Also called HERF.

hazards of electromagnetic radiation to ordnance — The danger of accidental actuation of electro-explosive devices or otherwise electrically activating ordnance because of radio frequency electromagnetic fields. Also called HERO. See also electromagnetic radiation;  HERO  SAFE  ordnance;  HERO  UNSAFE  ordnance;  ordnance.

hazards of electromagnetic radiation to personnel — The potential hazard that exists when personnel are exposed to an electromagnetic field of sufficient intensity to heat the human body. Also called HERP.

head of contracting activity — The official who has overall responsibility for managing the contracting activity. Also called HCA.

head-up display — A display of flight, navigation, attack, or other information superimposed upon the pilot’s forward field of view. See also flight.

health care provider — Any member of the Armed Forces, civilian employee of the Department of Defense, or personal services contract employee under Title 10, United States Code, Section 1091 authorized by the Department of Defense to perform health care functions. Also called DOD health care provider.

health service support — All services performed, provided, or arranged to promote, improve, conserve, or restore the mental or physical well-being of personnel. Also called HSS.

health surveillance — The regular or repeated collection, analysis, and interpretation of health-related data and the dissemination of information to monitor the health of a population and to identify potential health risks, thereby enabling timely interventions to prevent, treat, reduce, or control disease and injury, which includes occupational and environmental health surveillance and medical surveillance subcomponents.

health threat — A composite of ongoing or potential enemy actions; adverse environmental, occupational, and geographic and meteorological conditions; endemic diseases; and employment of chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapons (to include weapons of mass destruction) that have the potential to affect the short- or long-term health (including psychological impact) of personnel.

heavy-lift cargo — 1. Any single cargo lift, weighing over 5 long tons, and to be handled aboard ship. 2. In Marine Corps usage, individual units of cargo that exceed 800 pounds in weight or 100 cubic feet in volume.

heavy-lift ship — A ship specially designed and capable of loading and unloading heavy and bulky items and has booms of sufficient capacity to accommodate a single lift of 100 tons.

height of burst — The vertical distance from the Earth’s surface or target to the point of burst. Also called HOB.

HERO SAFE ordnance — Any ordnance item that is percussion initiated, sufficiently shielded or otherwise so protected that all electro-explosive devices contained by the item are immune to adverse effects (safety or reliability) when the item is employed in its expected radio frequency environments, provided that the general hazards of electromagnetic radiation to ordnance requirements defined in the hazards from electromagnetic radiation manual are observed. See also electromagnetic radiation; hazards of electromagnetic radiation to ordnance; HERO SUSCEPTIBLE ordnance; HERO UNSAFE ordnance; ordnance.

HERO SUSCEPTIBLE ordnance — Any ordnance item containing electro-explosive devices proven by test or analysis to be adversely affected by radio frequency energy to the point that the safety and/or reliability of the system is in jeopardy when the system is employed in its expected radio frequency environment. See also electromagnetic radiation; hazards of electromagnetic radiation to ordnance; HERO SAFE ordnance; HERO UNSAFE ordnance; ordnance.

HERO UNSAFE ordnance — Any ordnance item containing electro-explosive devices that has not been classified as HERO SAFE or HERO SUSCEPTIBLE ordnance as a result of a hazards of electromagnetic radiation to ordnance (HERO) analysis or test is considered HERO UNSAFE ordnance. Additionally, any ordnance item containing electro-explosive devices (including those previously classified as HERO SAFE or HERO SUSCEPTIBLE ordnance) that has its internal wiring exposed; when tests are being conducted on that item that result in additional electrical connections to the item; when electro-explosive devices having exposed wire leads are present and handled or loaded in any but the tested condition; when the item is being assembled or disassembled; or when such ordnance items are damaged causing exposure of internal wiring or components or destroying engineered HERO protective devices. See also electromagnetic radiation; hazards of electromagnetic radiation to ordnance; HERO SAFE ordnance; HERO SUSCEPTIBLE ordnance; ordnance.

H-hour — 1. The specific  hour on D-day at which a particular operation commences. 2. In amphibious operations, the time the first landing craft or amphibious vehicle of the waterborne wave lands or is scheduled to land on the beach and, in some cases, the commencement of countermine breaching operations.

high altitude bombing — Horizontal bombing with the height of release over 15,000 feet.

high-altitude missile engagement zone — In air and missile defense, that airspace of defined dimensions within which the responsibility for engagement of air and missile threats normally rests with high-altitude surface-to-air missiles. Also called HIMEZ.

high-density airspace control zone — Airspace designated in an airspace control plan or airspace control order in which there is a concentrated employment of numerous and varied weapons and airspace users. Also called HIDACZ.

high-payoff target A target whose loss to the enemy will significantly contribute to the success of the friendly course of action. Also called HPT. See also high-value target; target.

high-risk personnel — Personnel who, by their grade, assignment, symbolic value, or relative isolation, are likely to be attractive or accessible terrorist targets. Also called HRP. See also antiterrorism.

high seas — The open ocean area that is over 200 nautical miles from shore.

high-value airborne asset protection — A defensive counterair mission using fighter escorts that defend airborne national assets which are so important that the loss of even one could seriously impact United States warfighting capabilities or provide the enemy with significant propaganda value. Also called HVAA protection. See also defensive counterair.

high-value target A target the enemy commander requires for the successful completion of the mission. Also called HVT. See also high-payoff target; target.

high velocity drop — A drop procedure in which the drop velocity is greater than 30 feet per second and lower than free drop velocity. See also airdrop.

homeland — The physical region that includes the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, United States territories, and surrounding  territorial  waters  and  airspace.

homeland defense — The protection of United States sovereignty, territory, domestic population, and critical infrastructure against external threats and aggression or other threats as directed by the President. Also called HD.

homeland security — A concerted national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States; reduce America’s vulnerability to terrorism, major disasters, and other emergencies; and minimize the damage and recover from attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies that occur. Also called HS.

home station — The permanent location of active duty units and Reserve Component units. See also active duty; Reserve Component.

homing — The technique whereby a mobile station directs itself, or is directed, towards a source of primary or reflected energy, or to a specified point.

homing adaptor — A device, when used with an aircraft radio receiver, that produces aural and/or visual signals indicating the direction of a transmitting radio station with respect to the heading of the aircraft.

horizontal stowage — The lateral distribution of unit equipment or categories of supplies so they can be unloaded simultaneously from two or more holds.

hostage rescue — A personnel recovery method used to recover isolated personnel who are specifically designated as hostages. Also called HR.

hostile act — An attack or other use of force against the United States, United States forces, or other designated persons or property to preclude or impede the mission and/or duties of United States forces, including the recovery of United States personnel or vital United States Government property.

hostile environment — Operational environment in which host government forces, whether opposed to or receptive to operations that a unit intends to conduct, do not have control of the territory and population in the intended operational area.

hostile intent — The threat of imminent use of force against the United States, United States forces, or other designated persons or property.

host nation — A nation which receives forces and/or supplies from allied nations and/or North Atlantic Treaty Organization to be located on, to operate in, or to transit through its territory. Also called HN.

host-nation support — Civil and/or military assistance rendered by a nation to foreign forces within its territory during peacetime, crises or emergencies, or war based on agreements mutually concluded between nations. Also called HNS. See also host nation.

hub — An organization that sorts and distributes inbound cargo from wholesale supply sources (airlifted, sealifted, and ground transportable) and/or from within the theater. See also hub and spoke distribution; spoke.

hub and spoke distribution — A physical distribution system, in which a major port serves as a central point from which cargo is moved to and from several radiating points to increase transportation efficiencies and in-transit visibility. See also distribution; distribution system; hub; in-transit visibility; spoke.

human factors — The physical, cultural, psychological, and behavioral attributes of an individual or  group  that  influence  perceptions,  understanding,  and  interactions.

human intelligence — A category of intelligence derived from information collected and provided by human sources. Also called HUMINT.

humanitarian and civic assistance — Assistance to the local populace, specifically authorized by Title 10, United States Code, Section 401, and funded under separate authorities, provided by predominantly United States forces in conjunction with military operations. Also called HCA. See also foreign humanitarian assistance.

humanitarian assistance coordination center — A temporary center established by a geographic combatant commander to assist with interagency coordination and planning during the early planning and coordination stages of foreign humanitarian assistance operations. Also called HACC. See also foreign humanitarian assistance; interagency coordination.

humanitarian demining assistance — The activities related to the furnishing of education, training, and technical assistance with respect to the detection and clearance of land mines and other explosive remnants of war.

humanitarian mine action — Activities that strive to reduce the social, economic, and environmental impact of land mines, unexploded ordnance, and small arms ammunition. Also called HMA.

humanitarian operations center — An international and interagency body that coordinates the overall relief strategy and unity of effort among all participants in a large foreign humanitarian assistance operation. Also called HOC. See also operation.

hung ordnance — Those weapons or stores on an aircraft that the pilot has attempted to drop or fire but could not because of a malfunction of the weapon, rack or launcher, or aircraft release and control system.

hydrographic reconnaissance — Reconnaissance of an area of water to determine depths; beach gradients; the nature of the bottom; and the location of coral reefs, rocks, shoals, and man-made obstacles.

hygiene services — The provision of personal hygiene facilities and waste collection, and the cleaning, repair, replacement, and return of individual clothing and equipment items in a deployed environment.

hyperspectral imagery — Term used to describe the imagery derived from subdividing the electromagnetic spectrum into very narrow bandwidths allowing images useful in precise terrain or target analysis to be formed. Also called HSI.

Military Dictionary A to Z


See also Official DOD Shortened Word Forms.

Source: Official DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms.