Military Dictionary – Letter I

Military Dictionary Letter IHere are the DOD Dictionary terms beginning with the letter I and organized alphabetically. Browse terms from the official DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms that start with I and view definitions. Read on for military definitions that begin with I such as imprest fund, improvised explosive device, influence sweep, irregular warfare and more.

Military Dictionary A to Z


See also Official DOD Shortened Word Forms.


identification — 1. The process of determining the friendly or hostile character of an unknown detected contact. 2. In arms control, the process of determining which nation is responsible for the detected violations of any arms control measure. 3. In ground combat operations, discrimination between recognizable objects as being friendly or enemy, or the name that belongs to the object as a member of a class. Also called ID.

identification, friend or foe — A device that emits a signal positively identifying it as a friendly. Also called IFF. See also air defense.

identification maneuver — A maneuver performed for identification purposes.

identity intelligence — The intelligence resulting from the processing of identity attributes concerning individuals, groups, networks, or populations of interest. Also called I2.

imagery — A likeness or presentation of any natural or man-made feature or related object or activity, and the positional data acquired at the same time the likeness or representation was acquired, including: products produced by space-based national intelligence reconnaissance systems; and likeness and presentations produced by satellites, airborne platforms, unmanned aerial vehicles, or other similar means (except that such term does not include handheld or clandestine photography taken by or on behalf of human intelligence collection organizations).

imagery exploitation — The cycle of processing, using, interpreting, mensuration and/or manipulating imagery, and any assembly or consolidation of the results for dissemination.

imagery intelligence — The technical, geographic, and intelligence information derived through the interpretation or analysis of imagery and collateral materials. Also called IMINT. See also intelligence.

immediate air support — Air support to meet specific requests which arise during the course of a battle and which by their nature cannot be planned in advance.

immediate decontamination Decontamination carried out by individuals immediately upon becoming contaminated to save lives, minimize casualties, and limit the spread of contamination. Also called emergency decontamination. See also contamination; decontamination.

immediate response — Any form of immediate action taken in the United States and territories to save lives, prevent human suffering, or mitigate great property damage in response to a request for assistance from a civil authority, under imminently serious conditions when time does not permit approval from a higher authority.

implementation — Procedures governing the mobilization of the force and the deployment, employment, and sustainment of military operations in response to execution orders issued by the Secretary of Defense.

implied task — In the context of planning, a task derived during mission analysis that an organization must perform or prepare to perform to accomplish a specified task or the mission, but which is not stated in the higher headquarters order. See also essential task; specified task. 

imprest fund — A cash fund of a fixed amount established through an advance of funds, without appropriation change, to an authorized imprest fund cashier to effect immediate cash payments of relatively small amounts for authorized purchases of supplies and nonpersonal services.

improvised explosive device — A weapon that is fabricated or emplaced in an unconventional manner incorporating destructive, lethal, noxious, pyrotechnic, or incendiary chemicals. Also called IED.

improvised nuclear device — A device incorporating fissile materials designed or constructed outside of an official government agency that has, appears to have, or is claimed to be a nuclear weapon that is no longer in the control of a competent authority or custodian or has been modified from its designated firing sequence. Also call IND.

inactive duty training — Authorized training performed by a member of a Reserve Component not on active duty or active duty for training and consisting of regularly scheduled unit training assemblies, additional training assemblies, periods of appropriate duty or equivalent training, and any special additional duties authorized for Reserve Component personnel by the Secretary concerned, and performed by them in connection with the prescribed activities of the organization in which they are assigned with or without pay. See also active duty for training.

incapacitating agent — A chemical agent, which produces temporary disabling conditions that can be physical or mental and persist for hours or days after exposure to the agent has ceased.

incident — An occurrence, caused by either human action or natural phenomena, that requires action to prevent or minimize loss of life or damage to, loss of, or other risks to property, information, and/or natural resources. See also  information  operations.

incident awareness and assessment — The processing, analysis, and dissemination of information collected or acquired through the authorized use of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and other intelligence, intelligence-related, and/or non-intelligence capabilities, during defense support of civil authorities and National Guard domestic operations. Also called IAA.

incident command system — A standardized on-scene emergency management construct designed to aid in the management of resources during incidents. Also called  ICS.

incident management — A national comprehensive approach to preventing, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies.

incremental costs Costs additional to the Service appropriations that would not have been incurred absent support of the contingency operation. See also financial management.

indications — In intelligence usage, information in various degrees of evaluation, all of which bear on the intention of a potential enemy to adopt or reject a course of action.

indicator — 1. In intelligence usage, an item of information which reflects the intention or capability of an adversary to adopt or reject a course of action. 2. In operations security usage, data derived from friendly detectable actions and open-source information that an adversary can interpret and piece together to reach conclusions or estimates of friendly intentions, capabilities, or activities. 3. In the context of assessment, a specific piece of information that infers the condition, state, or existence of something, and provides a reliable means to ascertain performance or effectiveness.

indigenous populations and institutions — The societal framework of an operational environment including citizens; legal and illegal immigrants; dislocated civilians; and governmental, tribal, ethnic, religious, commercial, and private organizations and entities. Also called IPI.

individual mobilization augmentee — An individual reservist attending drills who receives training and is preassigned to an Active Component organization, a Selective Service System, or a Federal Emergency Management Agency billet that must be filled on, or shortly after, mobilization. Also called IMA.

individual protective equipment — The personal clothing and equipment provided to all military, government civilians, and contractors authorized to accompany the force required to protect an individual from chemical, biological, and radiological hazards and some nuclear hazards. Also called IPE.

Individual Ready Reserve — A manpower pool consisting of individuals who have had some training or who have served previously in the Active Component or in the Selected Reserve and may have some period of their military service obligation remaining. Also called IRR. See also Selected Reserve.

industrial mobilization The transformation of industry from its peacetime activity to the industrial program necessary to support the national military objectives. See also mobilization.

industrial preparedness — The state of preparedness of industry to produce essential materiel to support the national military objectives.

industrial preparedness program — Plans, actions, or measures for the transformation of the industrial base, both government-owned and civilian-owned, from its peacetime activity to the emergency program necessary to support the national military objectives.

inertial navigation system — A self-contained navigation system using inertial detectors, which automatically provides vehicle position, heading, and velocity. Also called INS.

influence mine — A mine actuated by the effect of a target on some physical condition in the vicinity of the mine  or on radiations emanating from the mine.  See also mine.

influence sweep — A sweep designed to produce an influence similar to that produced by a ship and thus actuate mines.

information environment — The aggregate of individuals, organizations, and systems that collect, process, disseminate, or act on information.

information exchange requirement — An exchange of information that is essential to command and control, enabling the situational needs of the joint task force and component commanders’ to support force employment and decision making. Also called IER.

information management — The function of managing an organization’s information resources for the handling of data and information acquired by one or many different systems, individuals, and organizations in a way that optimizes access by all who have a share in that data or a right to that information. Also called IM.

information operations The integrated employment, during military operations, of information-related capabilities in concert with other lines of operation to influence, disrupt, corrupt, or usurp the decision-making of adversaries and potential adversaries while protecting our own. Also called IO. See also electronic warfare; military deception; operations security; military information support operations.

information operations force — A force consisting of units, staff elements, individual military professionals in the Active and Reserve Components, and DOD civilian employees who conduct or directly support the integration of information-related capabilities against adversaries and potential adversaries during military operations as well as those who train these professionals. Also called IO force.

information operations intelligence integration — The integration of intelligence disciplines and analytic methods to characterize and forecast, identify vulnerabilities, determine effects, and assess the information environment. Also called IOII.

information-related capability — A tool, technique, or activity employed within a dimension of the information environment that can be used to create effects and operationally desirable conditions. Also called IRC.

information report — A report used to forward raw information collected to fulfill intelligence requirements.

information requirements — In intelligence usage, those items of information regarding the adversary and other relevant aspects of the operational environment that need to be collected and processed in order to meet the intelligence requirements of a commander. Also called IR. See also priority intelligence requirement.

information superiority — The operational advantage derived from the ability to collect, process, and disseminate an uninterrupted flow of information while exploiting or denying an adversary’s  ability to do the same.  See also information  operations.

infrared imagery — That imagery produced as a result of sensing electromagnetic radiations emitted or reflected from a given target surface in the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum (approximately 0.72 to 1,000 microns).

infrared pointer — A low power laser device operating in the near infrared light spectrum that is visible with light amplifying night vision devices.  Also called  IR pointer.

initial contingency location — A locale occupied by a force in immediate response to a contingency operation and characterized by austere infrastructure and limited services with little or no external support except through Service-organic capabilities.

initial reception point — In personnel recovery, a secure area or facility under friendly control where initial reception of recovered isolated personnel can safely take place.

initial response force — The first unit, usually military police, on the scene of a terrorist incident. See also antiterrorism.

initial unloading period — In amphibious operations, that part of the ship-to-shore movement in which unloading is primarily tactical in character and must be instantly responsive to  landing  force  requirements.  See  also  general  unloading  period.

initiating directive An order to a subordinate commander to conduct military operations as directed. Also called ID.

injury — 1. A term comprising such conditions as fractures, wounds, sprains, strains, dislocations, concussions, and compressions. 2. Conditions resulting from extremes of temperature or prolonged exposure. 3. Acute poisonings (except those due to contaminated food) resulting from exposure to a toxic or poisonous substance. See also casualty.

inland petroleum distribution system — A multi-product system consisting of both commercially available and military standard petroleum equipment that can be assembled by military personnel and, when assembled into an integrated petroleum distribution system, provides the military with the capability required to support an operational force with bulk fuels. Also called IPDS.

inner transport area — In amphibious operations, an area as close to the landing beach as depth of water, navigational hazards, boat traffic, and enemy action permit, to which transports may move to expedite unloading. See also outer transport area; transport area.

instrument approach procedure — A series of predetermined maneuvers for the orderly transfer of an aircraft under instrument flight conditions from the beginning of the initial approach to a landing or to a point from which a landing may be made visually or the missed approach procedure is initiated.

instrument meteorological conditions Meteorological conditions expressed in terms of visibility, distance from cloud, and ceiling, less than minimums specified for visual meteorological conditions. Also called IMC. See also visual meteorological conditions.

instruments of national power — All of the means available to the government in its pursuit of national objectives. They are expressed as diplomatic, economic, informational and military.

in support of — Assisting or protecting another formation, unit, or organization while remaining under original control.

insurgency — The organized use of subversion and violence to seize, nullify, or challenge political control of a region. Insurgency can also refer to the group itself.

integrated air and missile defense — The integration of capabilities and overlapping operations to defend the homeland and United States national interests, protect the joint force, and enable freedom of action by negating an enemy’s ability to create adverse effects from their air and missile capabilities. Also called IAMD.

integrated consumable item support — A decision support system that takes time-phased force and deployment data and calculates the ability of the Defense Logistics Agency to support those plans. Also called ICIS.

Integrated Data Environment/Global Transportation Network Convergence — The in- transit visibility system of record providing expanded common integrated data and application services enabling a common logistics picture, distribution visibility, and materiel asset/in-transit visibility for distribution solutions. Also called IGC.

integrated financial operations — The integration, synchronization, prioritization, and targeting of fiscal resources and capabilities across United States departments and agencies, multinational partners, and nongovernmental organizations against an adversary and in support of the population. Also called IFO.

integrated logistic support — A composite of all the support considerations necessary to assure the effective and economical support of a system for its life cycle. Also called ILS.

integrated materiel management — The exercise of total Department of Defense-level management responsibility for a federal supply group or class, commodity, or item for a single agency, which normally includes computation of requirements, funding, budgeting, storing, issuing, cataloging, standardizing, and procuring functions. Also called IMM.

integrated staff — A staff in which one officer only is appointed to each post on the establishment of the headquarters, irrespective of nationality and Service. See also multinational staff; joint staff.

integration — 1. In force protection, the synchronized transfer of units into an operational commander’s force prior to mission execution. 2. The arrangement of military forces and their actions to create a force that operates by engaging as a whole. 3. In photography, a process by which the average radar picture seen on several scans of the time base may be obtained on a print, or the process by which several photographic images are combined into a single image. 4. In intelligence usage, the application of the intelligence to appropriate missions, tasks, and functions. See also force protection.

intelligence — 1. The product resulting from the collection, processing, integration, evaluation, analysis, and interpretation of available information concerning foreign nations, hostile or potentially hostile forces or elements, or areas of actual or potential operations. 2. The activities that result in the product. 3. The organizations engaged in such activities. See also acoustic intelligence; all-source intelligence; communications intelligence; critical intelligence; domestic intelligence; electronic intelligence; foreign intelligence; foreign instrumentation signals intelligence; general military intelligence; imagery intelligence; joint intelligence; measurement and signature intelligence; medical intelligence; national intelligence; open-source intelligence; operational intelligence; scientific and technical intelligence; strategic intelligence;  tactical  intelligence;  target  intelligence;  technical   intelligence.

intelligence asset — Any resource utilized by an intelligence organization for an operational support role.

intelligence community — All departments or agencies of a government that are concerned with intelligence activity, either in an oversight, managerial, support, or participatory role. Also called IC.

intelligence discipline A well-defined area of intelligence planning, collection, processing, exploitation, analysis, and reporting using a specific category of technical or human resources. See also counterintelligence; human intelligence; imagery intelligence; intelligence; measurement and signature intelligence; open-source intelligence; signals intelligence; technical intelligence.

intelligence estimate — The appraisal, expressed in writing or orally, of available intelligence relating to a specific situation or condition with a view to determining the courses of action open to the enemy or adversary and the order of probability of their adoption.

intelligence federation — An agreement in which a combatant command joint intelligence operations center receives intelligence support from other joint intelligence centers, Service intelligence organizations, reserve organizations, and national agencies.

intelligence information report — A formatted message utilized as the primary vehicle for providing human intelligence information to the customer via automated intelligence community databases. Also called IIR.

intelligence interrogation — The systematic process of using approved interrogation approaches to question a captured or detained person to obtain reliable information to satisfy intelligence requirements, consistent with applicable law.

intelligence mission management — A systematic process by an intelligence staff to proactively and continuously formulate and revise command intelligence requirements and track the resulting information through the processing, exploitation, and dissemination process to satisfy user requirements. Also called IMM.

intelligence operations The variety of intelligence and counterintelligence tasks that are carried out by various intelligence organizations and activities within the intelligence process. See also analysis and production; collection; dissemination; evaluation and feedback; planning and direction; processing and exploitation.

intelligence planning — The intelligence component of the Adaptive Planning and Execution system, which coordinates and integrates all available Defense Intelligence Enterprise capabilities to meet combatant commander intelligence requirements. Also called IP.

intelligence preparation of the battlespace — The analytical methodologies employed by the Services or joint force component commands to reduce uncertainties concerning the enemy, environment, time, and terrain. Also called IPB. See also joint intelligence preparation of the operational environment.

intelligence process The process by which information is converted into intelligence and made available to users, consisting of the six interrelated intelligence operations: planning and direction, collection, processing and exploitation, analysis and production, dissemination and integration, and evaluation and feedback. See also analysis and production; collection; dissemination; evaluation and feedback; intelligence; planning and direction; processing and exploitation.

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.

intelligence report — A specific report of information, usually on a single item, made at any level of command in tactical operations and disseminated as rapidly as possible in keeping with the timeliness of the information.

intelligence reporting — Intelligence information prepared by the collector and transmitted to one or more intelligence-producing components.

intelligence requirement 1. Any subject, general or specific, upon which there is a need for the collection of information, or the production of intelligence. 2. A requirement for intelligence to fill a gap in the command’s knowledge or understanding of the operational environment or threat forces. Also called IR. See also intelligence; priority intelligence requirement.

intelligence source — The means or system that can be used to observe and record information relating to the condition, situation, or activities of a targeted location, organization, or individual. See also intelligence; source.

intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance — 1. An integrated operations and intelligence activity that synchronizes and integrates the planning and operation of sensors, assets, and processing, exploitation, and dissemination systems in direct support of current and future operations. 2. The organizations or assets conducting such activities. Also called ISR. See also intelligence; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance visualization; reconnaissance; surveillance.

intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance visualization — The capability to graphically display the current and future locations of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance sensors, their projected platform tracks, vulnerability to threat capabilities and meteorological and oceanographic phenomena, fields of regard, tasked collection targets, and products to provide a basis for dynamic retasking and time- sensitive decision making. Also called ISR visualization. See also intelligence; intelligence,  surveillance,  and  reconnaissance;  reconnaissance;  surveillance.

intelligence system — Any formal or informal system to manage data gathering, to obtain and process the data, to interpret the data, and to provide reasoned judgments to decision makers as a basis for action.

interagency — Of or pertaining to United States Government agencies and departments, including the Department of Defense. See also interagency coordination.

interagency coordination — Within the context of Department of Defense involvement, the coordination that occurs between elements of Department of Defense and participating United States Government departments and agencies for the purpose of achieving an objective.

intercontinental ballistic missile — A long-range ballistic missile with a range capability greater than 3,000 nautical miles. Also called ICBM.

interdiction — 1. An action to divert, disrupt, delay, or destroy the enemy’s military surface capability before it can be used effectively against friendly forces, or to achieve enemy objectives. 2. In support of law enforcement, activities conducted to divert, disrupt, delay, intercept, board, detain, or destroy, under lawful authority, vessels, vehicles, aircraft, people, cargo, and money. See also air interdiction.

intermediate-range ballistic missile — A ballistic missile with a range capability from 1,500 to 3,000 nautical miles. Also called IRBM.

intermediate staging base — A tailorable, temporary location used for staging forces, sustainment, and/or extraction into and out of an operational area. Also called ISB. See also base; staging base.

intermodal — Type of international freight system that permits transshipping among sea, highway, rail, and air modes of transportation through use of American National Standards Institute and International Organization for Standardization containers, line- haul assets, and handling equipment.

internal audience In public affairs, United States military members and Department of Defense civilian employees and their immediate families. See also external audience; public.

internal defense and development — The full range of measures taken by a nation to promote its growth and to protect itself from subversion, lawlessness, insurgency, terrorism, and other threats to its security. Also called IDAD. See also foreign internal defense.

internally displaced person — Any person who has been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their home or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized state border. Also called IDP.

internal security — The state of law and order prevailing within a nation.

international chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear response — United States Government activity that assists foreign governments in responding to the effects from an intentional or accidental chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear incident on foreign territory. Also called ICBRN-R.

International Convention for Safe Containers — A convention held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 2 Dec 1972, which resulted in setting standard safety requirements for containers moving in international transport. These requirements were ratified by the United States on 3 January 1978. Also called CSC.

international military education and training — Formal or informal instruction provided to foreign military students, units, and forces on a nonreimbursable (grant) basis by offices or employees of the United States, contract technicians, and contractors, and the instruction may include correspondence courses; technical, educational, or informational publications; and media of all kinds. Also called IMET. See also United States Military Service funded foreign training.

interoperability — 1. The ability to act together coherently, effectively, and efficiently to achieve tactical, operational, and strategic objectives. 2. The condition achieved among communications-electronics systems or items of communications- electronics equipment when information or services can be exchanged directly and satisfactorily between them and/or their users.

interorganizational cooperation — The interaction that occurs among elements of the Department of Defense; participating United States Government departments and agencies; state, territorial, local, and tribal agencies; foreign military forces and government agencies; international organizations; nongovernmental organizations; and the private sector.

interpretation — A part of the analysis and production phase in the intelligence process in which the significance of information is judged in relation to the current body of knowledge. See also intelligence process.

inter-Service support — Action by one Service or element thereof to provide logistics and/or administrative support to another Service or element thereof. See also support.

intertheater airlift — The common-user airlift linking theaters to the continental United States and to other theaters, as well as the airlift within the continental United States. See also intratheater airlift.

intertheater patient movement — Moving patients between, into, and out of the different theaters of the geographic combatant commands and into the continental United States or another supporting theater. See also en route care; evacuation; intratheater patient movement.

in-transit visibility — The ability to track the identity, status, and location of Department of Defense units, and non-unit cargo (excluding bulk petroleum, oils, and lubricants) and passengers; patients; and personal property from origin to consignee or destination across the range of military operations. Also called ITV.

intratheater airlift — Airlift conducted within a theater with assets assigned to a geographic combatant commander or attached to a subordinate joint force commander. See also intertheater airlift.

intratheater patient movement Moving patients within the theater of a combatant command or within the continental United States. See also en route care; evacuation; intertheater patient movement.

inventory control That phase of military logistics that includes managing, cataloging, requirements determinations, procurement, distribution, overhaul, and disposal of materiel. Also called inventory management; materiel control; materiel management; supply management.

inventory control point — An organizational unit or activity within a Department of Defense supply system that is assigned the primary responsibility for the materiel inventory management of a group of items either for a particular Service or for the Defense Department as a whole. Also called ICP.

ionizing radiation — Particulate (alpha, beta, and neutron) and electromagnetic (X-ray and gamma) radiation of sufficient energy to displace electrons from atoms, producing ions.

irregular warfare — A violent struggle among state and non-state actors for legitimacy and influence over the relevant population(s). Also called IW.

isolated personnel — United States military, Department of Defense civilians and contractor personnel (and others designated by the President or Secretary of Defense) who are separated from their unit (as an individual or a group) while participating in a United States sponsored military activity or mission and are, or may be, in a situation where they must survive, evade, resist, or escape. See also combat search and rescue; search and rescue.

isolated personnel report — A Department of Defense form containing information designed to facilitate the identification and authentication of an isolated person by a recovery force. Also called ISOPREP. See also authentication; evader.

item manager — An individual within the organization of an inventory control point or other such organization assigned management responsibility for one or more specific items of materiel.

Military Dictionary A to Z


See also Official DOD Shortened Word Forms.

Source: Official DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms.