Military Dictionary – Letter L

Military Dictionary Letter LHere are the DOD Dictionary terms beginning with the letter L and organized alphabetically. Browse terms from the official DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms that start with L and view definitions. Read on for military definitions that begin with L such as laser-guided weapon, launch area denied, lighterage, line of demarcation and more.

Military Dictionary A to Z


See also Official DOD Shortened Word Forms.


land control operations — The employment of land forces, supported by maritime and air forces (as appropriate) to control vital land areas. See also sea control operations.

land domain — The area of the Earth’s surface ending at the high water mark and overlapping with the maritime domain  in  the  landward  segment  of  the  littorals.

land forces — Personnel, weapon systems, vehicles, and support elements operating on land to accomplish assigned missions and tasks.

landing aid — Any illuminating light, radio beacon, radar device, communicating device, or any system of such devices for aiding aircraft in an approach and landing.

landing area — 1. That part of the operational area within which are conducted the landing operations of an amphibious force. 2. In airborne operations, the general area used for landing troops and materiel either by airdrop or air landing. 3. Any specially prepared or selected surface of land, water, or deck designated or used for takeoff and landing of aircraft. See  also  airfield;  amphibious  force;  landing  beach;  landing  force.

landing area diagram — A graphic means of showing the beach designations, boat lanes, organization of the line of departure, scheduled waves, landing ship area, transport areas, and the fire support areas in the immediate vicinity of the boat lanes.

landing beach — That portion of a shoreline required for the landing of an amphibious force.

landing craft — A craft employed in amphibious operations specifically designed for carrying troops and their equipment and for beaching, unloading, retracting, and resupply operations.

landing craft and amphibious vehicle assignment table — A table showing the assignment of personnel and materiel to each landing craft and amphibious vehicle and the assignment of the landing craft and amphibious vehicles to waves for the ship-to- shore movement.

landing craft availability table — A tabulation of the type and number of landing craft that will be available from each ship of the transport group.

landing diagram — A graphic means of illustrating the plan for the ship-to-shore movement.

landing force — A Marine Corps or Army task organization, which is part of the amphibious force, formed to conduct amphibious operations. Also called LF. See also amphibious force; amphibious operation; amphibious task force; task organization.

landing force operational reserve material — Package of contingency supplies pre- positioned and maintained onboard selected amphibious warfare ships to enhance reaction time and provide support for the embarked landing force in contingencies. Also called LFORM.

landing force support party — A temporary landing force organization composed of Navy and landing force elements that facilitates the ship-to-shore movement and provides initial combat support and combat service support to the landing force. Also called LFSP. See also combat service support; combat support; landing force; ship-to- shore movement.

landing group — In amphibious operations, a subordinate task organization of the landing force capable of conducting landing operations, under a single tactical command, against a position or group of positions.

landing plan — In amphibious operations, a collective term referring to all individually prepared amphibious task force and landing force documents that, taken together, present, in detail, all instructions for execution of the ship-to-shore movement.

landing sequence table — A document that incorporates the detailed plans for ship-to-shore movement of nonscheduled units.

landing signalman enlisted — Enlisted man responsible for ensuring that helicopters/tiltrotor aircraft, on signal, are safely started, engaged, launched, recovered, and shut down. Also called LSE.

landing signals officer — Officer responsible for the visual control of aircraft in the terminal phase of the approach immediately prior to landing. Also called LSO. See also terminal phase.

landing site — 1. A site within a landing zone containing one or more landing points. See also airfield. 2. In amphibious operations, a continuous segment of coastline over which troops, equipment, and supplies can be landed by surface means.

landing zone — Any specified zone used for the landing of aircraft. Also called LZ. See also airfield.

laser-guided weapon — A weapon that uses a seeker to detect laser energy reflected from a laser marked/designated target and through signal processing provides guidance commands to a control system, which guides the weapon to the point from which the laser energy is being reflected. Also called LGW.

laser rangefinder — A device that uses laser energy for determining the distance from the device to a place or object.

laser seeker — A device based on a direction-sensitive receiver that detects the energy reflected from a laser designated target and defines the direction of the target relative to the receiver. See also laser-guided weapon.

laser spot — The area on a surface illuminated by a laser. See also spot.

laser spot tracker — A device that locks on to the reflected energy from a laser-marked or designated target and defines the direction of the target relative to itself. Also called LST.

laser target designator — A device that emits a beam of laser energy which is used to mark a specific place or object. Also called LTD. See also target.

latest arrival date — A day, relative to C-Day, that is specified by the supported combatant commander as the latest date when a unit, resupply shipment, or replacement personnel can arrive at the port of debarkation and support the concept of operations. Also called LAD.

launch area denied — The geographic area from which an enemy targeting a designated defended area cannot launch a ballistic missile without it being engaged by the ballistic missile defenses. Also called LAD.

launch on remote — Use of nonorganic sensor data or ballistic missile defense system track to launch a weapon, with additional data provided by a different sensor(s) to complete the engagement. Also called LOR.

law enforcement agency — Any of a number of agencies (outside the Department of Defense) chartered and empowered to enforce United States laws in a state or territory (or political subdivision) of the United States, a federally recognized Native American tribe or Alaskan Native Village, or within the borders of a host nation. Also called LEA.

law of armed conflict — See law of war.

law of war — That part of international law that regulates the conduct of armed hostilities. Also called the law of armed conflict. See also rules of engagement.

lead — In intelligence usage, a person with potential for exploitation, warranting additional assessment, contact, and/or development.

lead agency — The United States Government agency designated to coordinate the interagency oversight of the day-to-day conduct of an ongoing operation.

lead agent — 1. An individual Service, combatant command, or Joint Staff directorate assigned to develop and maintain a joint publication. (CJCSM 5120.01) 2. In medical materiel management, the designated unit or organization to coordinate or execute day- to-day conduct of an ongoing operation or function. Also called LA.

lead aircraft — 1. The airborne aircraft designated to exercise command of other aircraft within the flight. 2. An aircraft in the van of two or more aircraft.

lead federal agency — The federal agency that leads and coordinates the overall federal response to an emergency. Also called LFA.

lead nation — The nation with the will, capability, competence, and influence to provide the essential elements of political consultation and military leadership to coordinate the planning, mounting, and execution of a multinational operation. See also multinational force.

lead Service or agency for common-user logistics — A Service component or Department of Defense agency that is responsible for execution of common-user item or service support in a specific combatant command or multinational operation as defined in the combatant or subordinate joint force commander’s operation plan, operation order, and/or directives. See also common-user logistics.

letter of assist — A contractual document issued by the United Nations to a government authorizing it to provide goods or services to a peacekeeping operation. Also called LOA. See also peacekeeping.

letter of authorization — A document issued by the procuring contracting officer or designee that authorizes contractor personnel authorized to accompany the force to travel to, from, and within the operational area; and, outlines government furnished support authorizations within the operational area. Also called LOA.

letter of offer and acceptance — Standard Department of Defense form on which the United States Government documents its offer to transfer to a foreign government or international organization United States defense articles and services via foreign military sales pursuant to the Arms Export Control Act. Also called LOA. See also foreign military sales.

level of detail — Within the current joint planning and execution system, movement characteristics for both personnel and cargo are described at six distinct levels of detail. Levels I, V, and VI describe personnel and Levels I through IV and VI for cargo. Levels I through IV are coded and visible in the Joint Operation Planning and Execution System automated data processing. Levels V and VI are used by Joint Operation Planning and Execution System automated data processing feeder systems. a. level I – personnel: expressed as total number of passengers by unit line number. Cargo: expressed in total short tons, total measurement tons, total square feet, and total thousands of barrels by unit line number. Petroleum, oils, and lubricants is expressed by thousands of barrels by unit line number. b. level II – cargo: expressed by short tons and measurement tons of bulk, oversize, outsize, and non-air transportable cargo by unit line number. Also square feet for vehicles and non self-deployable aircraft and boats by unit line number. level III – cargo: detail by cargo category code expressed as short tons and measurement tons as well as square feet associated to that cargo category code for an individual unit line number. d. level IV – cargo: detail for individual dimensional data expressed in length, width, and height in number of inches, and weight/volume in short tons/measurement tons, along with a cargo description. Each cargo item is associated with a cargo category code and a unit line number). e. level V – personnel: any general summarization/aggregation of level VI detail in distribution and deployment. f. level VI – personnel: detail expressed by name, Service, military occupational specialty and unique identification number. Cargo: detail expressed by association to a transportation control number or single tracking number or item of equipment to include federal stock number/national stock number and/or requisition number. Nested cargo, cargo that is contained within another equipment item, may similarly be identified. Also called JOPES level of detail.

leverage — In the context of planning, a relative advantage in combat power and/or other circumstances against the enemy or adversary across any variable within or impacting the operational environment sufficient to exploit that advantage. See also operational art; operational design.

L-hour — 1. The specific hour on C-day at which a deployment operation commences or is to commence. 2. In amphibious operations, the time at which the first helicopter or tiltrotor aircraft of the airborne ship-to-shore movement wave touches down or is scheduled to touch down in a landing zone.

life cycle — The total phases through which an item passes from the time it is initially developed until the time it is either consumed in use or disposed of as being excess to all known materiel requirements.

lighterage — The process in which small craft are used to transport cargo or personnel from ship-to-shore using amphibians, landing craft, discharge lighters, causeways, and barges.

limitation — An action required or prohibited by higher authority, such as a constraint or a restraint, and other restrictions that limit the commander’s freedom of action, such as diplomatic agreements, rules of engagement, political and economic conditions in affected countries, and host nation issues. See also constraint; restraint.

limiting factor — A factor or condition that, either temporarily or permanently, impedes mission accomplishment.

line of communications — A route, either land, water, and/or air, that connects an operating military force with a base of operations and along which supplies and military forces move. Also called LOC.

line of demarcation — A line defining the boundary of a buffer zone used to establish the forward limits of disputing or belligerent forces after each phase of disengagement or withdrawal has been completed. See also buffer zone; peace operations.

line of departure — 1. In land warfare, a line designated to coordinate the departure of attack elements. Also called LD. 2. In amphibious operations, a suitably marked offshore coordinating line, which is located at the seaward end of a boat lane, to assist in the landing of landing craft and amphibious vehicles on designated beaches at the scheduled times. Also called LOD.

line of effort — In the context of planning, using the purpose (cause and effect) to focus efforts toward establishing operational and strategic conditions by linking multiple tasks and missions. Also called LOE.

line of operation — A line that defines the interior or exterior orientation of the force in relation to the enemy or that connects actions on nodes and/or decisive points related in time and space to an objective(s). Also called LOO.

link — 1. A behavioral, physical, or functional relationship between nodes. 2. In communications, a general term used to indicate the existence of communications facilities between two points. 3. A maritime route, other than a coastal or transit route, that connects any two or more routes together. See also node.

listening watch — A continuous receiver watch established for the reception of communication addressed to, or of interest to, the unit maintaining the watch, with complete log optional.

littoral — The littoral comprises two segments of operational environment: 1. Seaward: the area from the open ocean to the shore, which must be controlled to support operations ashore. 2. Landward: the area inland from the shore that can be supported and defended directly from the sea.

loading plan — All of the individually prepared documents which, taken together, present, in detail, all instructions for the arrangement of personnel and the loading of equipment for one or more units or other special grouping of personnel or material moving by highway, water, rail, or air transportation.

load signal — In personnel recovery, a visual signal displayed in a covert manner to indicate the presence of an individual or object at a given location. See also evasion; recovery operations.

locate — In personnel recovery, the task where actions are taken to precisely find and authenticate the identity of isolated personnel.

lodgment — A designated area in a hostile or potentially hostile operational area that, when seized and held, makes the continuous landing of troops and materiel possible and provides maneuver space for subsequent operations.

logistics — Planning and executing the movement and support of forces.

logistics over-the-shore operation area That geographic area required to conduct a logistics over-the-shore operation. Also called LOA. See also logistics over-the-shore operations.

logistics over-the-shore operations The loading and unloading of ships without the benefit of deep draft-capable, fixed port facilities; or as a means of moving forces closer to tactical assembly areas dependent on threat force capabilities. Also called LOTS operations. See also joint logistics over-the-shore operations.

logistics supportability analysis — Combatant command internal assessment for the Joint Strategic Campaign Plan on capabilities and shortfalls of key logistic capabilities required to execute and sustain the concept of support conducted on all level three and four plans with the time phased force deployment data. Also called LSA.

low-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 low- to medium-altitude surface-to-air missiles. Also called LOMEZ.

low-level transit route — A temporary corridor of defined dimensions established in the forward area to minimize the risk to friendly aircraft from friendly air defenses or surface forces. Also called LLTR.

low velocity drop — A drop procedure in which the drop velocity does not exceed 30 feet per second.

low-visibility operations — Sensitive operations wherein the diplomatic-military restrictions inherent in covert and clandestine operations are either not necessary or not feasible; actions are taken as required to limit exposure of those involved and/or their activities and with the knowledge that the action and/or sponsorship of the operation may preclude plausible denial by the initiating power.

Military Dictionary A to Z


See also Official DOD Shortened Word Forms.

Source: Official DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms.