FM 101-5-1
Operational Terms and Graphics

Chapter 1


packaged petroleum product (JP 1-02) - A petroleum product (generally a lubricant, oil, grease, or specialty item) normally packaged by a manufacturer and procured, stored, transported, and issued in containers having a fill capacity of 55 United States gallons (or 45 Imperial gallons, or 205 liters) or less.

palletized unit load (JP 1-02, NATO) - Quantity of any item, packaged or unpackaged, which is arranged on a pallet in a specified manner and securely strapped or fastened thereto so that the whole is handled as a unit.

paramilitary forces (JP 1-02) - Forces or groups which are distinct from the regular armed forces of any country, but resembling them in organization, equipment, training, or mission.

partial mobilization - See mobilization.

passage of command - The exchange of responsibility for a sector or zone between the commanders of two units. The time when the command is to pass is determined by mutual agreement between the two unit commanders unless directed by higher headquarters. (See also passage of lines, battle handover, and relief in place (RIP).) See FMs 1-111, 6-20, 7-20, 7-30, 17-95, 71-100, 71-123, 100-15, and 101-5.

passage of lines (JP 1-02, NATO) - An operation in which a force moves forward or rearward through another force's combat positions with the intention of moving into or out of contact with the enemy. (Army) - Passing one unit through the positions of another, as when elements of a covering force withdraw through the forward edge of the main battle area, or when an exploiting force moves through the elements of the force that conducted the initial attack. A passage may be designated as a forward or rearward passage of lines. See FMs 1-111, 6-20, 7-20, 7-30, 17-95, 71-100, 71-123, 100-15, 100-40, and 101-5.

passage point (PP) - A specifically designated place where units will pass through one another either in an advance or a withdrawal. It is located where the commander desires subordinate units to physically execute a passage of lines. See FMs 1-111, 6-20, 7-20, 7-30, 17-95, 71-100, 71-123, 100-15, 100-40, and 101-5.

passive air defense (JP 1-02, NATO) - All measures, other than active air defense, taken to minimize the effectiveness of hostile air action. These measures include deception, dispersion, and the use of protective construction. (See also active air defense and air defense.) See FMs 44-63 and 44-100.

passive defense (Army) - Applies to measures initiated to reduce vulnerability and to minimize damage caused by theater missile (TM) attacks. Passive defense includes TM counterproliferation and deterrence; TM early warning and nuclear, biological, and chemical protection; countersurveillance; deception; camouflage and concealment; hardening; electronic warfare; mobility; dispersal; redundancy; recovery, and reconstitution.

passive defense measures - Measures taken to reduce the possibilities or effects of nuclear, biological, and chemical attack. See FM 3-3.

pass time (JP 1-02, NATO) - In road transport, the time that elapses between the moment when the leading vehicle of a column passes a given point and the moment when the last vehicle passes the same point.

password (JP 1-02, NATO) - A secret word or distinctive sound used to reply to a challenge. (See also challenge.)

pathfinders (JP 1-02) - 1. Experienced aircraft crews who lead a formation to the drop zone (DZ), release point, or target. 2. Teams dropped or airlanded at an objective to establish and operate navigational aids for the purpose of guiding aircraft to drop and landing zones. 3. A radar device used for navigating or homing to an objective when visibility precludes accurate visual navigation. 4. Teams air delivered into enemy territory for the purpose of determining the best approach and withdrawal lanes, landing zones, and sites for heliborne forces. (See also landing zone control party.) See FMs 90-4 and 90-26.

pathogen(s) - Disease-producing microorganisms such as bacteria, mycoplasma, rickettsia, fungi, or viruses. See FMs 3-9, 8-10-7, and 8-33.

patient (JP 1-02) - A sick, injured, wounded, or other person requiring medical/dental care or treatment. See FMs 8-10, 8-10-1 and 8-10-6.

patient decontamination - The process of decontaminating contaminated patients using nonmedical personnel as patient decontamination teams working under the supervision of medical personnel. The patient decontamination process is performed at a location adjacent to the supporting medical treatment facility. See FMs 8-10-1, 8-10-4, and 8-10-7. (See also patient decontamination team.)

patient decontamination team - A team composed of nonmedical personnel designated by the echelon commander to perform patient decontamination under supervision of medical personnel. See FMs 8-10-1, 8-10-4, and 8-10-7.

patrol (JP 1-02, NATO) - A detachment of ground, sea, or air forces sent out for the purpose of gathering information or carrying out a destructive, harassing, mopping-up, or security mission. See FMs 7-7, 7-8, and 7-10.

patrol base - The point of origin of a patrol where all equipment not required for the patrol is left. All supplies necessary for resupplying the patrol and additional medical supplies and assistance are staged at this location. See FMs 7-7, 7-8, and 7-10.

payload (JP 1-02, NATO) - 1. The sum of the weight of passengers and cargo that an aircraft can carry. 2. The warhead, its container, and activating devices in a military missile. 3. The satellite or research vehicle of a space probe or research missile. 4. The load (expressed in tons of cargo or equipment, gallons of liquid, or number of passengers) which the vehicle is designed to transport under specified conditions of operation, in addition to its unladen weight. See FM 55-30.

peace building (JP 1-02) - Postconflict actions, predominately diplomatic and economic, that strengthen and rebuild governmental infrastructure and institutions in order to avoid a relapse into conflict. See FM 100-23 and JP 3-07.

peace enforcement (JP 1-02) - Application of military force, or the threat of its use, normally pursuant to international authorization, to compel compliance with resolutions or sanctions designed to maintain or restore peace and order. See FMs 100-20, 100-23, and JP 3-07.

peacekeeping (JP 1-02) - Military operations undertaken with the consent of all major parties to a dispute, designed to monitor and facilitate implementation of an agreement (cease fire, truce, or other such agreement) and support diplomatic efforts to reach a long-term political settlement. See FMs 100-20, 100-23, and JP 3-07.

peacemaking (JP 1-02) - The process of diplomacy, mediation, negotiation, or other forms of peaceful settlements that arranges an end to a dispute, and resolves issues that led to conflict. See FMs 100-20, 100-23, and JP 3-07.

peace operations (JP 1-02) - Encompasses peacekeeping operations and peace enforcement operations conducted in support of diplomatic efforts to establish and maintain peace. See FMs 100-20, 100-23, and JP 3-07.

pecuniary liability (JP 1-02) - A personal, joint, or corporate monetary obligation to make good any lost, damaged, or destroyed property resulting from fault or neglect. It may also result under conditions stipulated in a contract or bond.

penetration (JP 1-02, NATO) - In land operations, a form of offensive which seeks to break through the enemy's defense and disrupt the defensive system. (Army) - A choice of maneuver. (See also choices of maneuver.) See FMs 1-111, 6-20, 7-20, 7-30, 17-95, 71-100, 71-123, 100-15, and 101-5.

perimeter defense (JP 1-02) - A defense without an exposed flank, consisting of forces deployed along the perimeter of the defended area. (See also defensive operations and strongpoint (SP).) See FMs 1-111, 6-20, 7-20, 7-30, 17-95, 71-100, 71-123, 100-15, and 101-5.

periodic intelligence summary (PERINTSUM) (JP 1-02) - A report of the intelligence situation in a tactical operation, normally produced at corps level or its equivalent, and higher, usually at intervals of 24 hours, or as directed by the commander. See FMs 34-1, 34-2, 34-3, and 34-8.

periodic monitoring - The periodic check of the unit area for presence of beta or gamma radiation. It is performed when intelligence indicates threat use of nuclear weapons, nuclear warfare has been initiated, the dose rate falls below 1 centigray per hour, or when ordered by the unit commander. See FM 3-100.

permissive environment - See operational environment.

persistency (JP 1-02, NATO) - In biological or chemical warfare, the characteristics of an agent which pertains to the duration of its effectiveness under determined conditions after its dispersal. See FM 3-9.

persistent chemical agent - A liquid or dust-like compound that remains hazardous for hours, days or, in exceptional cases, weeks or more. It can be both a surface contact hazard or an airborne (vapor or particle) hazard. It can be picked up on a surface and might not be removed through decontamination; it can be spread to noncontaminated areas retaining its original lethality.

personal wipedown - Process of removing or neutralizing contamination from the individual's equipment including the protective mask, hood, gloves, weapon, and helmet. It is performed to stop the spread, transfer, and penetration of contamination. See FM 3-5.

petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) (JP 1-02, NATO) - A broad term which includes all petroleum and associated products used by the Armed Forces. (Army) - Also known as class III supplies. See FM 100-10.

phase - A specific part of an operation that is different from those that precede or follow. A change in phase usually involves a change of task. Phasing assists in planning and controlling and may be indicated by time (preparatory fire phase), by distance (intermediate objective or report line), by terrain (crossing of an obstacle), or by occurrence of an event (commitment of a reserve). It is not to be confused with a phase line (PL). It normally is associated in campaign planning with operations of larger units and with special operations (such as river crossing and airborne operations). Each phase may be defined by a change in task organization or a distinct end state. See FM 101-5.

phase line (PL) (JP 1-02, NATO) - A line used for control and coordination of military operations, usually a terrain feature extending across the zone of action. (Army) - It is usually along a recognizable terrain feature extending across the sector or zone of action. Units normally report crossing PLs, but do not halt unless specifically directed. See FMs 7-10, 7-20, 7-30, 17-1, 17-2, 17-3, 71-100, 100-15, and 101-5.

physical security (JP 1-02, NATO) - That part of security concerned with physical measures designed to safeguard personnel; to prevent unauthorized access to equipment, installations, material, and documents; and to safeguard them against espionage, sabotage, damage, and theft. (See also operations security (OPSEC) and communications security (COMSEC).) See FMs 19-1 and 34-1.

pickup zone (PZ) - A geographic area used to pick up troops or equipment by helicopter.

pickup zone control officer (PZCO) - The officer designated by the commander with the responsibility for establishing, organizing, setting up, and controlling the pickup zone during air assault PZ operations. See FMs 1-111, 71-100-3, and 90-4.

pickup zone control party - The personnel designated to assist the pickup zone control officer with the establishment, setting up, and controlling of the PZ. See FMs 1-111, 71-100-3, and 90-4.

pilot report (PIREP) - A report rendered by a pilot during a mission containing the specified information. A PIREP could be for reconnaissance, enemy contact, weather, battle damage assessment, or any number of other requirements. See FM 71-100-3.

planned target (JP 1-02, NATO) - In artillery and naval gunfire support, a target on which fire is prearranged. (Army) - A target is planned on an area or a point in which a need is anticipated. A planned target may be scheduled or on call. Firing data for a planned target is normally calculated in advance. Coordination with friendly troops and aircraft is mandatory. (See also scheduled target, on-call target, and priority target.) See FMs 6-series and 7-90.

planning factor (JP 1-02, NATO) - A multiplier used in planning to estimate the amount and type of effort involved in a contemplated operation. Planning factors are often expressed as rates, ratios, or lengths of time. See FMs 101-5, 101-10-1, and 101-10-2.

point defense (JP 1-02) - The defense or protection of special vital elements and installations; e.g., command and control facilities, air bases. See FMs 1-111, 6-20, 7-20, 7-30, 17-95, 44-100, 71-100, 71-123, 100-15, 100-40, and 101-5.

point of departure (PD) - In night or limited visibility attacks, a specific place on the line of departure where a unit will cross.

point obstacle - Any obstruction designed or employed to deny ease of movement on a road, lane, or bridge that is normally part of or completes a larger man-made or natural obstacle that has a designed effect on the attacking enemy force. (See also abatis, cratering charge, log crib, log hurdle, log posts, and road block.)

point target (JP 1-02) - 1. A target of such small dimension that it requires the accurate placement of ordnance in order to neutralize or destroy it. 2. nuclear - A target in which the ratio of radius of damage to target radius is equal to or greater than 5. See FMs 6-series and 7-90.

pop-up point (PUP) - The location at which aircraft quickly gain altitude for target acquisition and engagement. (See also target box.)

port (JP 1-02) - A place at which ships may discharge or receive their cargoes. It includes any port accessible to ships on the seacoast, navigable rivers, or inland waterways. The term "ports" should not be used in conjunction with air facilities which are designated as aerial ports, airports, etc.

port of debarkation (POD) (JP 1-02) - The geographic point at which cargo or personnel are discharged. May be a seaport or aerial port of debarkation. For unit requirements, it may or may not coincide with the destination. (See also port of embarkation (POE).) See FM 55-10.

port of embarkation (POE) (JP 1-02) - The geographic point in a routing scheme from which cargo or personnel depart. May be a seaport or aerial port from which personnel and equipment flow to port of debarkation. For unit and nonunit requirements, it may or may not coincide with the origin. (See also port of debarkation (POD).) See FM 55-10.

position - 1. A location or area occupied by a military unit. 2. The location of a weapon, unit, or individual from which fire is delivered upon a target. Positions may be classified as primary, alternate, subsequent, and supplementary positions. (See also alternate position, battle position (BP), primary position, subsequent position, and supplementary position.)

position area for artillery (PAA) - An area assigned to an M109A6 Paladin platoon and other artillery units for terrain management purposes in which the artillery can maneuver. See FM 6-20-60.

postconflict activity - Those stability and support operations which are conducted in the period following conflict termination.

power projection - The ability of the nation to apply all or some of the instruments of national power (diplomatic, economic, informational, or military) to respond to crisis, to contribute to deterrence, and to enhance regional stability. See FM 100-5.

precedence (JP 1-02) - 1. communications--A designation assigned to a message by the originator to indicate to communications personnel the relative order of handling and to the addressee the order in which the message is to be noted. 2. reconnaissance - A letter designation, assigned by a unit requesting several reconnaissance missions, to indicate the relative order of importance, within an established priority, of the mission requested. (Army) - Examples of communication precedence from most immediate to least are flash, immediate, priority, and routine.

preclusion of damage - A nuclear planning restriction used in conjunction with least separation distance to avoid damage to important structures. If appropriate, it is included in the commander's guidance. (See also least separation distance (LSD) and preclusion of obstacles.) See FM 100-30, JPs 3-12.2, and 3-12.3.

preclusion of obstacles - A nuclear planning restriction used in conjunction with least separation distance which, if appropriate, is included in the commander's guidance. It can include preclusion of fallout and tree blowdown. (See also least separation distance (LSD) and preclusion of damage.) See FM 100-30.

preclusion-oriented method analysis - A method of analyzing nuclear targets used when detailed information about size, composition, disposition, location, and movement is not available. See FM 100-30, JPs 3-12.2, and 3-12.3.

preemptive attack (JP 1-02) - An attack initiated on the basis of incontrovertible evidence that an enemy attack is imminent. See FMs 100-5 and 100-40.

preparation fire (JP 1-02, NATO) - Fire delivered on a target preparatory to an assault. (Army) - Normally the preparation fires include (if available) artillery, mortar, naval gunfire, and close air support to destroy, neutralize, or suppress the enemy's defense and to disrupt communications and disorganize the enemy's defense. (See also artillery preparation.) See FMs 1-111, 6-20, 7-20, 7-30, 17-95, 71-100, 71-123, 100-15, 100-40, and 101-5.

preplanned air support (JP 1-02, NATO) - Air support in accordance with a program, planned in advance of operations.

preposition (JP 1-02, NATO) - To place military units, equipment, or supplies at or near the point of planned use or at a designated location to reduce reaction time, and to ensure timely support of a specific force during initial phases of an operation. See FM 100-5.

prepositioned supplies - Supplies located at or near the point of planned use or at other designated locations to reduce reaction time and to ensure resupply.

prescribed load - The quantity of combat essential supplies and repair parts (other than ammunition) authorized by major commanders to be on hand in units and which is carried by individuals or on unit vehicles. The prescribed load is continuously reconstituted as used.

preventive maintenance (PM) (JP 1-02) - The care and servicing by personnel for the purpose of maintaining equipment and facilities in satisfactory operating condition by providing for systematic inspection, detection, and correction of incipient failures either before they occur or before they develop into major defects. (See also preventive maintenance, checks, and services (PMCS).)

preventive maintenance checks and services (PMCS) - Operator-level maintenance conducted before, during, and after equipment operations to identify actual and potential problems and to make repairs in a timely manner to minimize equipment downtime. See FMs 1-111, 7-90, 7-91, 17-12, 23-1, and 63-20.

preventive medicine (PVNTMED) - Measures to counter the medical threat and prevent disease and injury.

primary position - A place for a weapon, a unit, or an individual to fight that provides the best means to accomplish the assigned mission. (See also alternate position, battle position (BP), position, subsequent position, successive positions, and supplementary position.) See FMs 1-111, 6-20, 7-20, 7-30, 17-95, 71-100, 71-123, 100-15, 100-40, and 101-5.

prime mover (JP 1-02) - A vehicle, including heavy construction equipment, possessing military characteristics, designed primarily for towing heavy wheeled weapons and frequently providing facilities for the transportation of the crew of, and ammunition for, the weapon.

principal direction of fire (PDF) - The direction of fire assigned or designated as the main direction in which a weapon will be oriented. It is selected based on the enemy, mission, terrain, and weapons capability.

principles of war - Principles that guide warfighting at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels. They are the enduring bedrock of US military doctrine. See FM 100-5.

priority of effort - The element designated by the commander to receive a higher concentration of support assets for the duration that it remains the priority of effort. See FM 101-5.

priority of fires - The organization and employment of fire support means according to the importance of the supported unit's missions.See FM 6-series.

priority intelligence requirements (PIR) (JP 1-02, NATO) - Those intelligence requirements for which a commander has an anticipated and stated priority in his task of planning and decision making. (See also information requirements (IR) and commander's critical information requirements (CCIR).)

priority message (JP 1-02) - A category of precedence reserved for messages that require expeditious action by the addressee(s) and/or furnish essential information for the conduct of operations in progress when routine precedence will not suffice. (See also precedence.)

priority of support - Priorities set by the commander in his concept of operations and during execution to ensure that combat support and combat service support are provided to subordinate elements in accordance with their relative importance to accomplishing the mission. See FM 100-10.

priority target - A target on which the delivery of fires takes precedence over all the fires for the designated firing unit or element. The firing unit or element will prepare, to the extent possible, for the engagement of such targets. A firing unit or element may be assigned only one priority target. The designation may be based on either time or importance. See FM 6-series.

prisoner of war (PW) (JP 1-02) - A detained person as defined in Articles 4 and 5 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of August 12, 1949. In particular, one who, while engaged in combat under orders of his or her government, is captured by the armed forces of the enemy. As such, he or she is entitled to the combatant's privilege of immunity from the municipal law of the capturing state for warlike acts which do not amount to breaches of the law of armed conflict. For example, a prisoner of war may be, but is not limited to, any person belonging to one of the following categories who has fallen into the power of the enemy: a member of the armed forces, organized militia or volunteer corps; a person who accompanies the armed forces without actually being a member thereof; a member of a merchant marine or civilian aircraft crew not qualifying for more favorable treatment; or individuals who, on the approach of the enemy, spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces. See FM 19-1.

private voluntary organization (PVO) (JP 1-02) - Private nonprofit humanitarian assistance organization of the United States involved in development and relief activities. PVOs are normally US-based. "Private voluntary organization" is often used synonymously with the term "nongovernmental organization." (See also nongovernmental organization (NGO).) See FM 100-20 and JP 3-07.

probability - The likelihood that an event will occur.

probable line of deployment (PLD) - A line selected on the ground, usually the last covered and concealed position prior to the objective and forward of the line of departure, where attacking units deploy prior to beginning an assault; it is generally used under conditions of limited visibility. See FMs 1-111, 6-20, 7-20, 7-30, 17-95, 71-100, 71-123, 100-15, and 101-5.

program of targets - A number of planned targets of a similar nature. A program of targets identified by a code name may be initiated on call, at a specified time, or when a particular event occurs. Targets are fired in a predetermined sequence.

proliferation (nuclear weapons) (JP 1-02) - The process by which one nation after another comes into possession of, or into the right to determine the use of nuclear weapons, each potentially able to launch a nuclear attack upon another nation. See FM 100-30.

propaganda (JP 1-02) - Any form of communication in support of national objectives designed to influence the opinions, emotions, attitudes, or behavior of any group in order to benefit the sponsor, either directly or indirectly.

protect - 1. A tactical task to prevent observation of or engagement or interference with, a force or location. 2. All actions taken to guard against espionage or capture of sensitive equipment and information. (See also guard.) See FM 17-95.

protecting smoke - Smoke produced to defeat or degrade target acquisition, guidance systems, or directed-energy weapons. It includes the smoke blanket and smoke curtain. See FM 3-50.

protective obstacles - Obstacles employed to assist a unit in its local, close-in protection. (See also obstacle.) See FM 90-7.

psychological operations (PSYOP) (JP 1-02) - Planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. The purpose of psychological operations is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the originator's objectives.

psychological warfare (JP 1-02) - The planned use of propaganda and other psychological actions having the primary purpose of influencing the opinions, emotions, attitudes, and behavior of hostile foreign groups in such a way as to support the achievement of national objectives.

public affairs (JP 1-02) - Those public information and community relations activities directed toward the general public by the various elements of the Department of Defense.

pull - The need for a user of information or supplies to request each item individually and wait for the higher unit to furnish the items or fill the request.

purpose (Army) - The desired or intended result of the tactical operation stated in terms relating to the enemy or to the desired situation (for example, to allow passage of follow-on forces or to set the conditions for the counterattack). (See also commander's intent and mission statement.) See FM 101-5.

pursuit (JP 1-02, NATO) - An offensive operation designed to catch or cut off a hostile force attempting to escape, with the aim of destroying it. (See also offensive operations.)

push - 1. In intelligence and communications, the broadcasting of information to multiple stations simultaneously without the need for them to request or interrogate the host system. 2. In logistics, the delivery of a predetermined amount of supplies to a user on a scheduled basis without the user requesting them.


quadrant elevation (JP 1-02, NATO) - The angle between the horizontal plane and the axis of the bore when the weapon is laid. (DOD) It is the algebraic sum of the elevation, angle of site, and complementary angle of site.

quartering party - A group of unit representatives dispatched to a probable new site of operations in advance of the main body to secure, reconnoiter, and organize an area prior to the main body's arrival and occupation. ( See also advance party.)

quay (JP 1-02) - A structure of solid construction along a shore or bank which provides berthing and which generally provides cargo-handling facilities. A similar facility of open construction is called a wharf.

Updated 27 July 1997.

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