Military Dictionary – Letter T

Military Dictionary Letter THere are the DOD Dictionary terms beginning with the letter T and organized alphabetically. Browse terms from the official DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms that start with T and view definitions. Read on for military definitions that begin with T such as tactical intelligence, theater of operations, time to target and more.

Military Dictionary A to Z


See also Official DOD Shortened Word Forms.


table of allowance — An equipment allowance document that prescribes basic allowances of organizational equipment, and provides the control to develop, revise, or change equipment authorization inventory data. Also called TOA.

TABOO frequencies — Any friendly frequency of such importance that it must never be deliberately jammed or interfered with by friendly forces including international distress, safety, and controller frequencies. See also electronic warfare.

tactical air command center — The principal US Marine Corps air command and control agency from which air operations and air defense warning functions are directed. Also called Marine TACC.

tactical air control center — The principal air operations installation (ship-based) from which all aircraft and air warning functions of tactical air operations are controlled. Also called Navy TACC.

tactical air control party — A subordinate operational component of a tactical air control system designed to provide air liaison to land forces and for the control of aircraft. Also called TACP.

tactical air coordinator (airborne) — An officer who coordinates, from an aircraft, the actions of other aircraft engaged in air support of ground or sea forces. Also called TAC(A). See also forward observer.

tactical air direction center — An air operations installation under the overall control of the Navy tactical air control center or the Marine Corps tactical air command center, from which aircraft and air warning service functions of tactical air operations in support of amphibious operations are directed. Also called TADC.

tactical air operations center — The principal air control agency of the United States Marine Corps air command and control system responsible for airspace control and management. Also called TAOC.

tactical assembly area — An area that is generally out of the reach of light artillery and the location where units make final preparations (pre-combat checks and inspections) and rest, prior to moving to the line of departure. See also line of departure.

tactical combat casualty care — A set of trauma management guidelines focused on the most common causes of preventable deaths resulting from hostile action or terrorist activity. Also called TCCC.

tactical combat force — A rapidly deployable, air-ground mobile combat unit, with appropriate combat support and combat service support assets assigned to and capable of defeating Level III threats including combined arms. Also called TCF.

tactical control The authority over forces that is limited to the detailed direction and control of movements or maneuvers within the operational area necessary to accomplish missions or tasks assigned. Also called TACON. See also combatant command; combatant command (command authority); operational control. 

tactical data link — A Joint Staff-approved, standardized communication link suitable for transmission of digital information, which interfaces two or more command and control or weapons systems via a single or multiple network architecture and multiple communication media for exchange of tactical information. Also called TDL.

tactical exploitation of national capabilities — Congressionally mandated program to improve the combat effectiveness of the Services through more effective military use of national programs. Also called TENCAP.

tactical intelligence — Intelligence required for the planning and conduct of tactical operations. See also intelligence.

tactical level of warfare — The level of warfare at which battles and engagements are planned and executed to achieve military objectives assigned to tactical units or task forces. See also operational level of warfare; strategic level of warfare.

tactical-logistical group — Representatives designated by troop commanders to assist Navy control officers aboard control ships in the ship-to-shore movement of troops, equipment, and supplies. Also called TACLOG group.

tactical minefield — A minefield that is employed to directly attack enemy maneuver as part of a formation obstacle plan and is laid to delay, channel, or break up an enemy advance, giving the defending element  a  positional  advantage  over  the  attacker.

tactical obstacle — An obstacle employed to disrupt enemy formations, to turn them into a desired area, to fix them in position under direct and indirect fires, or to block enemy penetrations.

tactical questioning — The field-expedient initial questioning for information of immediate tactical value of a captured or detained person at or near the point of capture and before the individual is placed in a detention facility. Also called TQ.

tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel — A Marine Corps mission performed by an assigned and briefed aircrew for the specific purpose of the recovery of personnel, equipment, and/or aircraft when the tactical situation precludes search and rescue assets from responding and when survivors and their location have been confirmed. Also called TRAP. 

tactical reserve — A part of a force held under the control of the commander as a maneuvering force to influence future action.

tactics The employment and ordered arrangement of forces in relation to each other. See also procedures; techniques.

target — An entity or object that performs a function for the threat considered for possible engagement or other action. See also objective area.

target acquisition — The detection, identification, and location of a target in sufficient detail to permit the effective employment of capabilities that create the required effects. Also called TA. See also target analysis.

target analysis — An examination of potential targets to determine military importance, priority of engagement, and capabilities required to create a desired effect. See also target acquisition.

target area of interest — The geographical area where high-value targets can be acquired and engaged by friendly forces. Also called TAI. See also area of interest; high-value target; target.

target  audience  —  An  individual  or  group  selected  for  influence.    Also called TA.

target component — A set of targets within a target system performing a similar function. See also target.

target development — The systematic examination of potential target systems—and their components, individual targets, and even elements of targets—to determine the necessary type and duration of the action that must be exerted on each target to create an effect that is consistent with the commander’s specific objectives.

targeteer — An individual who has completed requisite training and guides the joint targeting cycle in their current duties.

target element — A specific feature or part of a target that enables it to function and, which if engaged, may create specific effects on that target.

target folder — A folder, hardcopy or electronic, containing target intelligence and related materials prepared for planning and executing action against a specific target. See also target.

target information center — The agency or activity responsible for collecting, displaying, evaluating, and disseminating information pertaining to potential targets. Also called TIC. See also target.

targeting The process of selecting and prioritizing targets and matching the appropriate response to them, considering operational requirements and capabilities. See also joint targeting coordination board; target.

target intelligence — Intelligence that portrays and locates the components of a target or target complex and indicates its vulnerability and relative importance. See also target.

target location error — The difference between the coordinates generated for a target and the actual location of the target. Also called TLE.

target materials — Graphic, textual, tabular, digital, video, or other presentations of target intelligence, primarily designed to support operations against designated targets by one or more weapon(s) systems. See also Air Target Materials Program.

target nomination list — A prioritized list of targets drawn from the joint target list, or restricted target list, and nominated by component commanders, appropriate agencies, or the joint force commander’s staff for inclusion on the joint integrated prioritized target list. Also called TNL. See also candidate target list; joint integrated prioritized target list; target.

target of opportunity — 1. A target identified too late, or not selected for action in time, to be included in deliberate targeting that, when detected or located, meets criteria specific to achieving objectives and is processed using dynamic targeting. 2. A target visible to a surface or air sensor or observer, which is within range of available weapons and against which fire has not been scheduled or requested. See also dynamic targeting; target; unanticipated target; unscheduled target.

target reference point — A predetermined point of reference, normally a permanent structure or terrain feature that can be used when describing a target location. Also called TRP.

target system — All the targets situated in a particular geographic area and functionally related or a group of targets that are so related that their destruction will produce some particular effect desired by the attacker. See also target.

target system analysis — An all-source examination of potential target systems to determine relevance to stated objectives, military importance, and priority of attack. Also called TSA.

target system assessment — The broad assessment of the overall impact and effectiveness of military force applied against the operation of an enemy target system, significant subdivisions of the system, or total combat effectiveness relative to the operational objectives established. See also target system. 

target system component — A related group of entities within a target system that perform or contribute toward a similar function.

task — A clearly defined action or activity specifically assigned to an individual or organization that must be done as it is imposed by an appropriate authority.

task element — A component of a naval task unit organized by the commander of a task unit or higher authority.

task force — A component of a fleet organized by the commander of a task fleet or higher authority for the accomplishment of a specific task or tasks. Also called TF.

task force counterintelligence coordinating authority —An individual in a joint force intelligence directorate, counterintelligence and human intelligence staff element, joint task force configuration that coordinates counterintelligence activities with other supporting counterintelligence organizations and agencies to ensure full counterintelligence coverage of the task force operational area. Also called TFCICA. See also  counterintelligence;  counterintelligence  activities;  joint  task  force.

task group — A component of a naval task force organized by the commander of a task force or higher authority. Also called TG.

tasking order — A method used to task and to disseminate to components, subordinate units, and command and control agencies projected targets and specific missions as well as general and specific instructions for accomplishment of the mission. Also called TASKORD. See also mission; target.

task order — Order for services placed against an established contract. See also civil augmentation program.

task organization — An organization that assigns to responsible commanders the means with which to accomplish their assigned tasks in any planned action.

task unit — A component of a naval task group organized by the commander of a task group or higher authority. Also called TU.

tear line — A physical line on an intelligence message or document separating categories of information that have been approved for foreign disclosure and release.

technical analysis — In imagery interpretation, the precise description of details appearing on imagery.

technical assistance — The providing of advice, assistance, and training pertaining to the installation, operation, and maintenance of equipment.

technical intelligence — Intelligence derived from the collection, processing, analysis, and exploitation of data and information pertaining to foreign equipment and materiel for the purposes of preventing technological surprise, assessing foreign scientific and technical capabilities, and developing countermeasures designed to neutralize an adversary’s technological advantages. Also called TECHINT. See also exploitation; intelligence.

technical nuclear forensics — The collection, analysis and evaluation of pre-detonation (intact) and post-detonation (exploded) radiological or nuclear materials, devices, and debris, as well as the immediate effects created by a nuclear detonation.

technical review authority — The organization tasked to provide specialized technical or administrative expertise to the lead agent, primary review authority, Joint Staff doctrine sponsor, or coordinating review authority for joint publications. Also called TRA. See also coordinating review authority; joint publication; primary review authority.

technical surveillance countermeasures Techniques to detect, neutralize, and exploit technical surveillance technologies and hazards that permit the unauthorized access to or  removal  of  information.  Also  called  TSCM.   See  also  counterintelligence.

techniques — Non-prescriptive ways or methods used to perform missions, functions, or tasks. See also procedures; tactics.

telecommunications — Any transmission, emission, or reception of signs, signals, writings, images, sounds, or information of any nature by wire, radio, visual, or other electromagnetic systems.

telemedicine — Rapid access to shared and remote medical expertise by means of telecommunications and information technologies to deliver health services and exchange health information for the purpose of improving patient care.

temporary contingency location — A locale that provides near-term support for a contingency operation and characterized by expedient infrastructure and support services that have been expanded beyond Service-organic capabilities.

temporary interment — A site for the purpose of: a. the interment of the human remains if the circumstances permit or b. the reburial of human remains exhumed from an emergency interment. See also mortuary affairs.

terminal — A facility designed to transfer cargo from one means of conveyance to another. See also facility.

terminal attack control — The authority to control the maneuver of and grant weapons release clearance  to attacking aircraft. See also joint terminal attack controller.

terminal control — 1. A type of air control with the authority to direct aircraft to maneuver into a position to deliver ordnance, passengers, or cargo to a specific location or target. 2. Any electronic, mechanical, or visual control given to aircraft to facilitate target acquisition and resolution. See also terminal guidance.

terminal guidance — 1. The guidance applied to a guided missile between midcourse guidance and arrival in the vicinity of the target. 2. Electronic, mechanical, visual, or other assistance given an aircraft pilot to facilitate arrival at, operation within or over, landing upon, or departure from an air landing or airdrop facility. See also terminal control.

terminal guidance operations — Actions using electronic, mechanical, voice, or visual communications that provide approaching aircraft and/or weapons additional information regarding a specific target location. Also called TGO.

terminal operations — The reception, processing, and staging of passengers; the receipt, transit, storage, and marshalling of cargo; the loading and unloading of modes of transport conveyances; and the manifesting and forwarding of cargo and passengers to destination. See also operation; terminal.

terminal phase — That portion of the flight of a ballistic missile that begins when the warhead or payload reenters the atmosphere and ends when the warhead or payload detonates, releases its submunitions, or impacts. See also boost phase; midcourse phase.

termination criteria — The specified standards approved by the President and/or the Secretary of Defense that must be met before a military operation can be concluded.

terrain analysis — The collection, analysis, evaluation, and interpretation of geographic information on the natural and man-made features of the terrain, combined with other relevant factors, to predict the effect of the terrain on military operations.

terrain avoidance system — A system that provides the pilot or navigator of an aircraft with a situation display of the ground or obstacles so that the pilot can maneuver the aircraft to avoid the obstruction.

terrain flight — Flight close to the Earth’s surface during which airspeed, height, and/or altitude are adapted to the contours and cover of the ground in order to avoid enemy detection and fire. Also called contour flight; low-level flight; nap-of-the-earth flight.

territorial airspace — Airspace above land territory and internal, archipelagic, and territorial waters.

territorial waters — A belt of ocean space adjacent to and measured from the coastal states baseline to a maximum width of 12 nautical miles.

terrorism The unlawful use of violence or threat of violence, often motivated by religious, political, or other ideological beliefs, to instill fear and coerce governments or societies in pursuit of goals that are usually political. See also antiterrorism; combating terrorism; counterterrorism; force protection condition.

terrorist threat level — A Department of Defense intelligence threat assessment of the level of terrorist threat faced by United States personnel and interests in a foreign country; the levels are expressed as LOW, MODERATE, SIGNIFICANT, and HIGH.

theater — The geographical area for which a commander of a geographic combatant command has been assigned responsibility.

theater antisubmarine warfare commander A Navy commander assigned to develop plans and direct assigned and attached assets for the conduct of antisubmarine warfare within an operational area. Also called TASWC.

theater-assigned transportation assets — Transportation assets that are assigned under the combatant command (command authority) of a geographic combatant commander. See also combatant command (command authority).

theater detainee reporting center — The field operating agency of the National Detainee Reporting Center responsible for maintaining information on all detainees and their personal property within a theater of operations or assigned area of operations. Also called TDRC.

theater distribution The flow of personnel, equipment, and materiel within theater to meet the geographic combatant commander’s missions. See also distribution; theater; theater distribution system.

theater distribution system — The four independent and mutually supported networks within an area of responsibility to meet the geographic combatant commander’s requirements: the physical network, the financial network, the information network, and the communications network. See also distribution; distribution plan; distribution system; theater; theater distribution.

theater hospitalization capability — Essential care and health service support capabilities to either return the patient to duty and/or stabilization to ensure the patient can tolerate evacuation to a definitive care facility outside the theater, which is known as Role 3 in North Atlantic Treaty Organization doctrine.

theater of operations — An operational area defined by the geographic combatant commander for the conduct or support of specific military operations. Also called TO. See also theater of war.

theater of war — Defined by the President, Secretary of Defense, or the geographic combatant commander as the area of air, land, and water that is, or may become, directly involved in the conduct of major operations and campaigns involving combat. See also area of responsibility; theater of operations.

theater special operations command — A subordinate unified command established by a combatant commander to plan, coordinate, conduct, and support joint special operations. Also called TSOC. See also special operations. 

theater strategy — An overarching construct outlining a combatant commander’s vision for integrating and synchronizing military activities and operations with the other instruments of national power to achieve national strategic objectives. See also national military strategy; national security strategy; strategy.

theater support contract A type of contingency contract awarded by contracting officers in the operational area serving under the direct contracting authority of the Service component or designated joint head of contracting activity for the designated contingency operation. See also external support contract; systems support contract.

thermal crossover — The natural phenomenon that normally occurs twice daily when temperature conditions are such that there is a loss of contrast between two adjacent objects on infrared imagery.

thermal radiation — 1. The heat and light produced by a nuclear explosion. 2. Electromagnetic radiations emitted from a heat or light source as a consequence of its temperature.

thorough decontamination — Decontamination carried out by a unit to reduce contamination on personnel, equipment, materiel, and/or working areas equal to natural background or to the lowest possible levels, to permit the partial or total removal of individual protective equipment and to maintain operations with minimum degradation. See also immediate decontamination; operational decontamination.

threat analysis — In antiterrorism, a continual process of compiling and examining all available information concerning potential terrorist activities by terrorist groups which could target a facility. See also antiterrorism.

threat assessment — In antiterrorism, examining the capabilities, intentions, and activities, past and present, of terrorist organizations as well as the security environment within which friendly forces operate to determine the level of threat. Also called TA.

threat warning — The urgent communication and acknowledgement of time-critical information essential for the preservation of life and/or vital resources.

throughput — 1. In transportation, the average quantity of cargo and passengers that can pass through a port on a daily basis from arrival at the port to loading onto a ship or plane, or from the discharge from a ship or plane to the exit (clearance) from the port complex. 2. In patient movement and care, the maximum number of patients (stable or stabilized) by category, that can be received at the airport, staged, transported, and received at the proper hospital within any 24-hour period.

throughput capacity — The estimated capacity of a port or an anchorage to clear cargo and/or passengers in 24 hours usually expressed in tons for cargo, but may be expressed in any agreed upon unit of measurement. See also clearance capacity.

time-definite delivery — The consistent delivery of requested logistic support at a time and destination specified by the receiving activity. Also called TDD.

time of flight — In artillery, mortar, and naval gunfire support, the time in seconds from the instant a weapon is fired, launched, or released from the delivery vehicle or weapons system to the instant it strikes or detonates. Also called TOF.

time on target — The actual time at which munitions impact the target. Also called TOT.

time-phased force and deployment data — The time-phased force, non-unit cargo, and personnel data combined with movement data for the operation plan, operation order, or ongoing rotation of forces. Also called TPFDD.

times — The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff coordinates the proposed dates and times with the commanders of the appropriate unified and specified commands, as well as any recommended changes to when specified operations are to occur (C-, D-, M-days end at 2400 hours Universal Time [Zulu time] and are assumed to be 24 hours long for planning).

time-sensitive target — A joint force commander-validated target or set of targets requiring immediate response because it is a highly lucrative, fleeting target of opportunity or it poses (or will soon pose) a danger to friendly forces. Also called TST.

time to target — The number of minutes and seconds to elapse before aircraft ordnance impacts on target. Also called TTT.

tophandler — A device specially designed to permit the lifting and handling of containers from the top with rough terrain container handlers. See also container.

topographic map — A map that presents the vertical position of features in measurable form as well as their horizontal positions.

total mobilization — Expansion of the active Armed Forces of the United States resulting from action by Congress and the President to organize and/or generate additional units or personnel beyond the existing force structure, and the resources needed for their support, to meet the total requirements of a war or other national emergency involving an external threat to the national security.

toxic industrial biological — Any biological material manufactured, used, transported, or stored by industrial, medical, or commercial processes which could pose an infectious or toxic threat. Also called TIB.

toxic industrial chemical — A chemical developed or manufactured for use in industrial operations or research by industry, government, or academia that poses a hazard. Also called TIC.

toxic industrial material — A generic term for toxic, chemical, biological, or radioactive substances in solid, liquid, aerosolized, or gaseous form that may be used, or stored for use, for industrial, commercial, medical, military, or domestic purposes. Also called TIM. 

toxic industrial radiological — Any radiological material manufactured, used, transported, or stored by industrial, medical, or commercial processes. Also called TIR.

track — 1. A series of related contacts displayed on a data display console or other display device. 2. To display or record the successive positions of a moving object. 3. To lock onto a point of radiation and obtain guidance therefrom. 4. To keep a gun properly aimed, or to point continuously a target-locating instrument at a moving target. 5. The actual path of an aircraft above or a ship on the surface of the Earth. 6. One of the two endless belts on which a full-track or half-track vehicle runs. 7. A metal part forming a path for a moving object such as the track around the inside of a vehicle for moving a mounted machine gun.

track correlation — Correlating track information for identification purposes using all available data.

tracking — Precise and continuous position-finding of targets by radar, optical, or other means.

track management — Defined set of procedures whereby the commander ensures accurate friendly and enemy unit and/or platform locations and a dissemination procedure for filtering, combining, and passing that information to higher, adjacent, and subordinate commanders.

track of interest — In counterdrug operations, contacts that meet the initial identification criteria applicable in the area where the contacts are detected. Also called TOI. See also suspect.

tradecraft — 1. Specialized methods and equipment used in the organization and activity of intelligence organizations, especially techniques and methods for handling communications with agents. 2. Operational practices and skills used in the performance of intelligence related duties.

traffic management — The direction, control, and supervision of all functions incident to the procurement and use of freight and passenger transportation services.

training aid — Any item developed or procured with the primary intent that it shall assist in training and the process of learning.

training and readiness oversight — The authority that combatant commanders may exercise over assigned Reserve Component forces when not on active duty or when on active duty for training. Also called TRO. See also combatant commander.

transient forces — Forces that pass or stage through, or base temporarily within, the operational area of another command but are not under its operational control. See also force.

transitional military authority — Temporary military government exercising the functions of civil administration in the absence of a legitimate civil authority.

transit zone —In illicit trafficking, the path taken by smugglers between the source and the arrival zones, and does not include distribution. See also arrival zone.

transmission security The component of communications security that results from all measures designed to protect communications from interception and exploitation by means other than cryptanalysis. Also called TRANSEC. See also communications security.

transnational threat — Any activity, individual, or group not tied to a particular country or region that operates across international boundaries and threatens United States national security or interests.

transport area — In amphibious operations, an area assigned to a transport organization for the purpose of debarking troops and equipment. See also inner transport area; outer transport area.

transportation component command — A major command of its parent Service under United States Transportation Command, which includes Air Force Air Mobility Command, Navy Military Sealift Command, and Army Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command. Also called TCC.

transportation feasibility — A determination that the capability exists to move forces, equipment, and supplies from the point of origin to the final destination within the time required. See also operation plan.

transportation feasible — A determination made by the supported commander that a draft operation plan can be supported with the identified or assumed transportation assets.

transportation priorities — Indicators assigned to eligible traffic that establish its movement precedence.

transportation system — All the land, water, and air routes and transportation assets conducting movement of United States forces and their supplies during military operations.

transport group — An element that directly deploys and supports the landing of the landing force and is functionally designated as a transport group in the amphibious task force organization.

transshipment point A  location  where  material  is  transferred  between  vehicles.

troop space cargo — Cargo, such as sea or barracks bags, bedding rolls or hammocks, locker trunks, and office equipment, normally stowed in an accessible place, as well as normal hand-carried combat equipment and weapons to be carried ashore by the assault troops.

turnaround — The length of time between arriving at a point and being ready to depart from that point.

turning movement — A variation of the envelopment in which the attacking force passes around or over the enemy’s principal defensive positions to secure objectives deep in the enemy’s rear to force the enemy to abandon his position or divert major forces to meet the threat.

Military Dictionary A to Z


See also Official DOD Shortened Word Forms.

Source: Official DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms.