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Knowledge Base

Learning and Leadership with Navy LCDR Brian Harrington

Terms You May Have Heard:

Adversary: an opponent in a conflict.

Auxiliary volunteers: volunteers who assist and support the military on a part-time basis. These volunteers are not subject to the same training as other soldiers.

Command and control: the exercise of authority and direction by a properly designated commander over assigned and attached forces in the accomplishment of the mission. Command and control functions are performed through an arrangement of personnel, equipment, communications, facilities, and procedures employed by a commander in planning, directing, coordinating, and controlling forces and operations in the accomplishment of the mission. (source: National Institute of Standards and Technology)

Counterinsurgency: military efforts to defeat a group attempting to bring about political change through coercion or force. 

Deterrence: the ability to prevent an unwanted military action through the threat of consequences, thereby avoiding a larger conflict that would put American lives at risk. Effective deterrence uses clearly communicated consequences backed up by a perceived willingness to follow through on them.

Diplomacy: a country’s practice of maintaining foreign relationships and conducting negotiations between nations through representatives abroad.

Global strike: representing a significant portion of America’s deterrence capability, the ability to strike any target on the planet with nuclear and conventional precision forces, and thereby project military power more rapidly, more flexibly, and with a lighter footprint than other military options. (Source: Air Force)

Hybrid warfare: a military strategy that combines various types of warfare (including political, conventional, irregular, and cyber) with disruptive influencing measures, like disinformation (fake news).

Interdict: intercept the movement of something, particularly if illegal.

Maritime: related to the sea.

Near-peer competitors: nations with both the will and capability to oppose US interests and constrict US military freedom of action. They also have strategic, often nuclear, capabilities that create options to escalate beyond conventional combat in the event of armed conflict. (Source: Defense Technical Information Center)

Reconnaissance: observation of a place by the military to gather information or pinpoint the location of an enemy.

Rule of law: the principle that laws, as they are written, apply equally to everyone regardless of wealth, political power, or status. If an individual or company breaks the law, they face the consequences. 

Tour of duty: in a military context, a period in which military personnel spend in a combat environment.