Military Dictionary – Letter N

Military Dictionary Letter NHere are the DOD Dictionary terms beginning with the letter N and organized alphabetically. Browse terms from the official DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms that start with N and view definitions. Read on for military definitions that begin with N such as nerve agent, neutrality, nonlethal weapon, no-strike list, and more.

Military Dictionary A to Z


See also Official DOD Shortened Word Forms.


named area of interest — The geospatial area or systems node or link against which information that will satisfy a specific information requirement can be collected, usually to capture indications of adversary courses of action. Also called NAI. See also area of interest.

narcoterrorism — Terrorism that is linked to illicit drug trafficking.

National Capital Region — A geographic area encompassing the District of Columbia and 11 local jurisdictions in the State of Maryland and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Also called NCR.

National Communications System — The telecommunications system that results from the technical and operational integration of the separate telecommunications systems of the several executive branch departments and agencies having a significant telecommunications capability. Also called NCS.

National Defense Reserve Fleet — 1. Including the Maritime Administration Ready Reserve Force, a fleet composed of ships acquired and maintained by the Maritime Administration for use in mobilization or emergency. 2. Less the Maritime Administration Ready Reserve Force, a fleet composed of the older dry cargo ships, tankers, troop transports, and other assets in Maritime Administration’s custody that are maintained at a relatively low level of readiness. Also called NDRF. See also Maritime Administration Ready Reserve Force.

National Detainee Reporting Center — The national-level center that accounts for all persons who pass through the care, custody, and control of the Department of Defense and that obtains and stores information concerning detainees and their confiscated personal property. Also called NDRC.

National Disaster Medical System — A federally coordinated medical system, augmenting the United States’ medical response capability to assist state, local, and tribal authorities in dealing with medical impacts during major peacetime disasters. Also called NDMS.

national emergency — A condition declared by the President or Congress by virtue of powers previously vested in them that authorize certain emergency actions to be undertaken in the national interest. See also mobilization.

National Incident Management System — A national crisis response system that provides a consistent, nationwide approach for federal, state, local, and tribal governments; the private sector; and nongovernmental organizations to work effectively and efficiently together to prepare for, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity. Also called NIMS.

national intelligence — All intelligence that pertains to more than one agency and involves threats to the United States, its people, property, or interests; the development, proliferation, or use of weapons of mass destruction; or any other matter bearing on United States national or homeland security.

National Military Command System — The priority component of the Global Command and Control System designed to support the President, Secretary of Defense, and Joint Chiefs of Staff in the exercise of their responsibilities. Also called NMCS.

national military strategy — A document approved by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for distributing and applying military power to attain national security strategy and Defense Strategic Guidance objectives. Also called NMS. See also national security strategy; strategy; theater strategy.

national operations center — The primary national hub for domestic incident management operational coordination and shared situational awareness. Also called NOC.

national policy — A broad course of action or statements of guidance adopted by the government at the national level in pursuit of national objectives.

national preparedness — Actions taken to plan, organize, equip, train, and exercise to build and sustain the capabilities necessary to prevent, protect against, mitigate the effects of, respond to, and recover from those threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the nation.

national security — A collective term encompassing both national defense and foreign relations of the United States with the purpose of gaining: a. A military or defense advantage over any foreign nation or group of nations; b. A favorable foreign relations position; or c. A defense posture capable of successfully resisting hostile or destructive action from within or without, overt or covert. See also security.

National Security Council — A governmental body specifically designed to assist the President in integrating all spheres of national security policy. Also called NSC.

national security interests — The foundation for the development of valid national objectives that define United States goals or purposes.

national security space — The space-related systems, services, capabilities, and associated information networks of the Department of Defense and the national intelligence community, or other space-related systems that the Secretary of Defense may designate as national security space systems in coordination with the system owner, that support United States national security and enable defense and intelligence operations during times of peace, crisis, or conflict.

national security strategy — A document approved by the President of the United States for developing, applying, and coordinating the instruments of national power to achieve objectives that contribute to national security. Also called NSS. See also national military strategy; strategy; theater strategy.

national shipping authority — The organization within each Allied government responsible in time of war for the direction of its own merchant shipping. Also called NSA.

national special security event — A designated event that, by virtue of its political, economic, social, or religious significance, may be the target of terrorism or other criminal activity. Also called NSSE.

national stock number — The 13-digit number that identifies a stock item consisting of the 4-digit federal supply classification code plus the 9-digit national item identification number and arranged as follows: 9999-00-999-9999. Also called NSN.

national support element — Any national organization or activity that supports national forces that are a part of a multinational force. See also multinational force; support.

National System for Geospatial Intelligence — The combination of technology, policies, capabilities, doctrine, activities, people, data, and organizations necessary to produce geospatial intelligence in an integrated, multi-intelligence environment. Also called NSG.

natural disaster An emergency situation posing significant danger to life and property that results from a natural cause. See also domestic emergencies.

naval advanced logistic support site — An overseas location used as the primary transshipment point in the theater of operations for logistic support. Also called NALSS. See also naval forward logistic site; support; theater of operations.

Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization manual — Series of general and specific aircraft procedural manuals that govern the operations of naval aircraft. Also called NATOPS manual.

naval beach group — A permanently organized naval command within an amphibious force, composed of a commander and staff, a beachmaster unit, an amphibious construction battalion, and assault craft units, designed to provide an administrative group from which required naval tactical components may be made available to the amphibious task force commander and to the amphibious landing force commander. Also called NBG. See also shore party.

naval construction force — The combined construction units of the Navy that are part of the operating forces and represent the Navy’s capability for advanced base construction. Also called NCF.

naval forward logistic site — An overseas location, with port and airfield facilities nearby, which provides logistic support to naval forces within the theater of operations during major contingency and wartime periods. Also called NFLS. See also naval advanced logistic support site; staging.

naval gunfire support Fire provided by Navy surface gun systems in support of a unit or units tasked with achieving the commander’s objectives. Also called NGFS. See also naval surface fire support.

naval operation — 1. A naval action (or the performance of a naval mission) that may be strategic, operational, tactical, logistic, or training. 2. The process of carrying on or training  for  naval  combat  to  gain  the  objectives  of  any  battle   or  campaign.

naval special warfare — A naval warfare specialty that conducts special operations with an emphasis on maritime, coastal, and riverine environments using small, flexible, mobile units operating under, on, and from the sea. Also called NSW.

naval special warfare group — A permanent Navy echelon III major command to which most naval special warfare forces are assigned for some operational and all administrative purposes.

naval special warfare task group — A provisional naval special warfare organization that plans, conducts, and supports special operations in support of fleet commanders and joint  force  special  operations  component  commanders.   Also  called   NSWTG.

naval special warfare task unit — A provisional subordinate unit of a naval special warfare task group. Also called  NSWTU.  See  also  naval  special  warfare  task group.

naval surface fire support — Fire provided by Navy surface gun and missile systems in support of a unit or units. Also called NSFS. See also fire support.

navigation warfare — Deliberate defensive and offensive action to assure and prevent positioning, navigation, and timing information through coordinated employment of space, cyberspace, and electronic warfare operations. Also called NAVWAR.

Navy cargo-handling battalion — A mobile logistic support unit that is organized, trained, and equipped to: a. load and off-load Navy and Marine Corps cargo carried in maritime pre-positioning ships and merchant breakbulk or container ships in all environments, b. operate an associated temporary ocean cargo terminal, c. load and off-load Navy and Marine Corps cargo carried in military-controlled aircraft, and d. operate an associated expeditionary air cargo terminal. Also called NCHB. See also maritime pre- positioning ships.

Navy expeditionary logistics support group — A Navy Reserve command organized and staffed to provide a wide range of supply and transportation support critical for peacetime support, crisis response, humanitarian, and combat service support missions. Also called NAVELSG.

Navy special operations forces — Those Active and Reserve Component Navy forces designated by the Secretary of Defense that are specifically organized, trained, and equipped to conduct and support special operations. Also called NAVSOF.

Navy support element — The maritime pre-positioning force element that is tasked to conduct the off-load and ship-to-shore movement of maritime pre-positioned equipment and/or supplies. Also called NSE.

Navy-unique fleet essential aircraft — Combatant commander-controlled airlift assets deemed essential for providing air transportation in support of naval operations’ transportation requirements. Also called NUFEA.

need to know — A criterion used in security procedures that requires the custodians of classified information to establish, prior to disclosure, that the intended recipient must have access to the information to perform his or her official duties.

negation — In space operations, measures to deceive, disrupt, degrade, deny, or destroy space systems. See also space control.

nerve agent — A potentially lethal chemical agent that interferes with the transmission of nerve impulses.

net explosive weight — The actual weight in pounds of explosive mixtures or compounds, including the trinitrotoluene equivalent of energetic material, that is used in determination of explosive limits and explosive quantity data arcs. Also called NEW.

networked munitions — Remotely controlled, interconnected, weapons systems designed to provide rapidly emplaced ground-based countermobility and protection capability through scalable application of lethal and nonlethal means.

network engagement — Interactions with friendly, neutral, and threat networks, conducted continuously and simultaneously at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels, to help achieve the commander’s objectives within an operational area.

neutral — In combat and combat support operations, an identity applied to a track whose characteristics, behavior, origin, or nationality indicate that it is neither supporting nor opposing friendly forces. See also suspect; unknown.

neutrality — In international law, the attitude of impartiality during periods of war adopted by third states toward a belligerent and subsequently recognized by the belligerent, which creates rights and duties between the impartial states and the belligerent.

neutralize — 1. As pertains to military operations, to render ineffective or unusable. 2. To render enemy personnel or materiel incapable of interfering with a particular operation. 3. To render safe mines, bombs, missiles, and booby 4. To make harmless anything contaminated with a chemical agent.

night vision device Any electro-optical device that is used to detect visible and infrared energy and provide a visible image. Also called NVD. See also forward-looking infrared; night vision goggle.

night vision goggle — An electro-optical image intensifying device that detects visible and near-infrared energy, intensifies the energy, and provides a visible image for night viewing. Also called NVG. See also night vision device.

node — 1. A location in a mobility system where a movement requirement is originated, processed for onward movement, or terminated. 2. In communications and computer systems, the physical location that provides terminating, switching, and gateway access services to support information exchange. 3. An element of a system that represents a person, place, or physical thing.

no-fire area — An area designated by the appropriate commander into which fires or their effects are prohibited. Also called NFA. See also fires.

nonappropriated funds — Funds generated by Department of Defense personnel and their dependents used to augment funds appropriated by the Congress to provide a comprehensive, morale-building welfare, religious, educational, and recreational programs. Also called NAF.

nonbattle injury — A person who becomes a casualty due to circumstances not directly attributable to hostile action or terrorist activity. Also called NBI.

noncombatant evacuation operation An operation whereby noncombatant evacuees are evacuated from a threatened area abroad, which includes areas facing actual or potential danger from natural or manmade disaster, civil unrest, imminent or actual terrorist activities, hostilities, and similar circumstances, that is carried out with the assistance of the Department of Defense. Also called NEO. See also evacuation; noncombatant evacuees; operation; safe haven.

noncombatant evacuation operation tracking system — An automated data processing hardware and software package that has the capability to provide evacuee in-transit visibility to combatant commanders and senior leadership during the conduct of a noncombatant evacuation operation. Also called NTS.

noncombatant evacuees — 1. United States citizens who may be ordered to evacuate by competent authority, and who are civilian employees of all agencies of the United States Government and their dependents, excepting dependents who are residents in the country concerned of their own volition; military personnel of the Armed Forces of the United States specifically designated for evacuation as noncombatants; and dependents of members of the Armed Forces of the United States. 2. United States citizens and non-United States citizens who may be authorized or assisted to evacuate by competent authority, and who are civilian employees of United States Government agencies and their dependents who are residents in the country concerned of their own volition, but express the willingness to be evacuated; private United States citizens and their dependents; military personnel of the Armed Forces of the United States and their dependents; and designated personnel, including dependents of persons ordered to evacuate, as prescribed by the Department of State. See also noncombatant evacuation operation.

nonconventional assisted recovery — Personnel recovery conducted by indigenous/surrogate personnel that are trained, supported, and led by special operations forces, unconventional warfare ground and maritime forces, or other government agencies’ personnel that have been specifically trained and directed to establish and operate indigenous or surrogate infrastructures. Also called NAR.

nondestructive electronic warfare — Those electronic warfare actions, not including employment of wartime reserve modes, that deny, disrupt, or deceive rather than damage or destroy. See also electronic warfare.

nongovernmental organization — A private, self-governing, not-for-profit organization dedicated to alleviating human suffering; and/or promoting education, health care, economic development, environmental protection, human rights, and conflict resolution; and/or encouraging the establishment of democratic institutions and civil society. Also called NGO.

nonlethal reference point — A point that designates the intended target for creating nonlethal effects, which may not be a precise physical location and is considered an aimpoint for databasing. Also called NLRP.

nonlethal weapon — Weapon, device, or munition that is explicitly designed and primarily employed to incapacitate personnel or materiel immediately, while minimizing fatalities, permanent injury to personnel, and undesired damage to property in the target area or environment. Also called NLW.

nonpersistent agent — A chemical agent that, when released, dissipates and/or loses its ability to cause casualties after 10 to 15 minutes.

nonpersistent mine — Mine that remains active for a predetermined period of time until self-destruction, self-neutralization, or self-deactivation renders the  mine  inactive.

nonproliferation — Actions to prevent the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by dissuading or impeding access to, or distribution of, sensitive technologies, material, and expertise. See also counterproliferation.

nonscheduled units — Units of the landing force held in readiness for landing during the initial unloading period but  not  included  in  either  scheduled  or  on-call  waves.

non-unit cargo — All equipment and supplies requiring transportation to an operational area, other than those identified as the equipment or accompanying supplies of a specific unit.

non-unit-related personnel — All personnel requiring transportation to or from an operational area, other than those  assigned  to  a  specific  unit.  Also  called  NRP.

no-strike list — A list of objects or entities characterized as protected from the effects of military operations under international law and/or rules of engagement. Also called NSL. See also law of armed conflict.

not mission capable, supply — Material condition indicating that systems and equipment are not capable of performing any of their assigned missions because of maintenance work stoppage due to a supply shortage. Also called NMCS.

nuclear hazard — Dangers associated with the blast, thermal, and radiation effects from nuclear explosion.

nuclear incident — An unexpected incident involving a nuclear weapon, facility, or component, but not constituting a nuclear weapon(s) accident, resulting in any of the following: a. an increase in the possibility of explosion or radioactive contamination; b. errors committed in the assembly, testing, loading, or transportation of equipment, and/or the malfunctioning of equipment and materiel which could lead to an unintentional operation of all or part of the weapon arming and/or firing sequence, or which could lead to a substantial change in yield, or increased dud probability; and c. any act of God, unfavorable environment, or condition resulting in damage to the weapon, facility, or component.

nuisance minefield — A minefield laid to delay and disorganize the enemy and to hinder the use of an area or route. See also minefield.

numbered beach — In amphibious operations, a subdivision of a colored beach designated for the assault landing of a battalion landing team, or similar-sized unit, when landed as part of a larger force.

numbered fleet — A major tactical unit of the Navy immediately subordinate to a major fleet command and comprising various task forces, elements, groups, and units for the purpose of prosecuting specific naval operations. See also fleet.

Military Dictionary A to Z


See also Official DOD Shortened Word Forms.

Source: Official DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms.