Glossary of Terms

Created by Lieutenant Commander Reginald Hawthorn Jr on 15 Sep 2021 @ 1:53pm


0600 – 6AM.
16th Watch – A colloquial term to refer to any military duty anywhere in space. It refers to the 16 sunrises seen on the old International Space Station (ISS) in a single Earth day.
72 COLREGS – 1972 International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
Actual – Radio argot indicating the commander of a given unit is speaking.
Acceleration Gravity – Artificial gravity induced by rapid acceleration.
Abaft – In or behind the stern of a ship.
Aft – The rear of a vessel.
AIS – Automatic Identification System.
Anti-Materiel Gun – A large gun designed to penetrate vehicle armor.
ASAP – As soon as possible.
ATF – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
Autocannon – A large, fully automatic, rapid-fire projectile weapon that fires armor-piercing or explosive shells.
Binnacle – Standing panel for nautical instruments such as the radar and plotter.
BIV – Body in Vacuum.
BO – Boarding Officer.
BMF – Boat Maintenance Facility.
Beam – The widest part of a vessel, usually the direct center.
Bow – The front of a vessel.
Bridge – The elevated, enclosed platform on a ship from which the captain and officers direct operations.
Bulkhead – A dividing wall or barrier between compartments in a vessel.
Bunny Suit – The second layer of American spacesuits, worn under the hardshell. The bunny suit is a soft, insulated layer much like a snowsuit.
CBDR – Constant Bearing Decreasing Range. Indicates that a vessel or object is on a collision course with the speaker.
Cert – Certification.
CGMS – Coast Guard Messaging System.
Charlie Status – Indicates a vessel is undergoing significant maintenance and is not available for operations.
Cleared Hot – Authorized to open fire at your own discretion.
Coastie – A member of the United States Coast Guard.
Crew Served Weapon – A gun large enough that it takes multiple people to operate it.
Coords – Coordinates.
Conn – The act of controlling a vessel’s movements at sea or in space. The person said to “have the conn” is also known as the “conning officer.” Conning officers are usually not physically steering, a job reserved for the helmsman, to whom the conning officer gives orders.
Coxs’un – Colloquial pronunciation of coxswain.
COTP – Captain of the Port.
Cover – Military parlance for a hat.
Cutter – Any United States Coast Guard vessel over 65 feet in length.
DHS – Department of Homeland Security.
DIPSEC – Diplomatic Security.
DIW – Dead in the Water. A vessel that is not moving. On the 16th Watch, this term is also used for vessels that are not moving in space.
DOA – Dead on Arrival.
Dust – Metal dust packed into a shotgun shell. In lunar or micro gravity, the particles are lethal at close range, but disperse quickly enough so as not to compromise a ship’s hull.
Duster – A large bore shotgun design to fire dust, primarily in boarding actions.
EEZ – Exclusive Economic Zone. An area in which a single nation has exclusive rights for economic exploitation.
ENDEX – End of Exercise.
EVA – Extravehicular Activity. Any action taken in space outside the confines of a vessel.
FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation.
FITREP – Fitness Report.
FO – Forward Observer.
GAR – Green, Amber, Red. A vessel’s fitness score for launch.
Gardener – A tracked, robotic 3D-printer. It uses the lunar regolith to autonomously 3D print structures on the Moons’ surface.
Guns Up – Command to raise weapons to the ready and prepare to fire.
H3 – Helium-3
Hab – Short for “habitat.” A dome shaped structure built for human residency on the Moon. Older models are constructed on the surface and use a series of heat exchange piping for heating and cooling. Newer models are built mostly below the surface.
Hard Dock – Describes the suction process after the nipple is engaged with a vessel in soft dock. Hard dock locks the vessels together and creates a stable connection between the two. Hardpoint – A location on a vessel designed to carry a load, usually a fixed weapon.
Hardshell – A rigid, articulated spacesuit worn by American service members and civilians alike. The hardshell is the outermost of three layers worn.
Hatch – Any door on a vessel. In maritime service, all doors, even those on fixed buildings, are referred to as hatches.
Helium-3 – A non-radioactive isotope of Helium found in lunar regolith. During fusion, the isotope can be used as a source of electricity, making it a potential clean source of energy.
Helm – A vessel’s steering apparatus.
Helmsman – The person physically steering a vessel.
HUD – Heads Up Display.
JAG – Judge Advocate General. Military lawyers.
Jaw Jacking – Engaging in useless talk.
KIA – Killed in Action.
Klick – Kilometer.
Knot – A maritime unit of speed equivalent to approximately 1.15 miles per hour.
LADAR – A portmanteau of “light” and “radar.” LADAR measures distance to a target by illuminating the target with a pulsing laser and then measures their reflection.
Lagrange Point – The points near two large bodies in orbit where a smaller object will maintain its position relative to the large orbiting bodies.
LED – Light Emitting Diode.
Longhorn – An older model of spacegoing small response boat.
LDPD – Lacus Doloris Police Department.
Lift-Point – Portion of a vessel where a tow cable or crane hook attaches.
LMGRS – Lunar Military Grid Reference System.
Logs – Logistics.
LSST – Lunar Safety and Security Team.
MARSOC – Marine Special Operations Command.
MARSOC16 – Marine Special Operations Command, 16th Watch.
MASAR – Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Sometimes colloquially called a “microwave laser.”
MGRS – Military Grid Reference System.
Micro-g – Micro gravity. Used interchangeably with zero gravity.
MPPD – Mons Pico Police Department.
MWR – Morale, Welfare, and Recreation center.
NASCAR – The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.
Nautical Mile – A unit of distance measurement used by maritime services. Equal to 1.151 miles.
Naval Infantry – A term used by China and Russia to describe marines.
NCD/0G – Non-Cooperative Docking/Zero-Gravity training. The basic school all spacegoing boarding teams must graduate to qualify in their discipline.
NCO – Non-Commissioned Officer.
Nipple – A grasping device, the size and shape of a man-sized hatch, mounted to the end of a flexible, extendible gangway. The nipple extends from a vessel’s belly and attaches to the tow fender of another vessel, creating a connection between the two vessels to facilitate boarding.
NJP – Non Judicial Punishment.
Non-Cooperative Docking – A contested boarding of a vessel against hostile crew.
PAX – Passenger.
Perp – Perpetrator.
PIV – Person in Vacuum.
PQS – Personnel Qualification Standard.
PLAN – The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy.
Port – The left side of a vessel.
PT – Physical Training.
PTs – Colloquial term for the clothing worn to engage in PT.
Regolith – The layer of loose rocky soil over bedrock.
Rhino – A newer model of spacegoing small response boat.
RTB – Return to Base.
SAR – Search and Rescue.
SASC – Senate Armed Service Committee.
SEALs – Sea, Air, and Land Teams. The US Navy’s primary special operations force.
Skipper – Technically the person in charge of a ship, but in maritime service the colloquial term used for anyone in charge of anything. The equivalent of “boss.”
SITREP – Situation Report.
Six-Pack – A vessel rated for a maximum of six passengers and crew.
SMPD – Sinus Medii Police Department.
Small Boat – A colloquial term used by the Coast Guard to refer to vessels less than 65 feet in length.
SNO – Statement of No Objection.
Soft Dock – Describes the initial stable contact between two vessels in preparation for boarding.
Solar Sail – Devices that propel spacecraft using radiation pressure exerted by sunlight on large mirrored surfaces. In this book, smaller sails have been developed that use a coating that provides propulsion as it ablates.
Space Elevator – A planet-to-space transportation system consisting of a cable anchored to the surface and extending into space. A car transports passengers and cargo directly to low-Earth orbit.
SPACETACLET – Space Tactical Law Enforcement Detachment.
Spin Gravity – Artificial gravity generated by a rotating toroidal chamber on ship, station or other structure.
Starboard – The right side of a vessel.
STARTEX – Start of Exercise.
Station Keeping – Holding position in any vessel.
Stem to Stern – The entirety of a matter.
Stern – The rear of a vessel.
Tow Fender – The exterior fender on a spacegoing vessel where rescue vessels may attach for purposes of towing, or to board. The tow fender leads to the vessel’s airlock.
TTPs – Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures.
Twelve-Pack – A vessel rated for a maximum of twelve passengers and crew.
The Two – The designation for the intelligence shop in any military organization.
USAF – United States Air Force.
USMC – United States Marine Corps.
USN – United States Navy.
VBSS – Vessel Boarding Search and Seizure.
Voluntold – When a subordinate is asked to volunteer to perform a task or attend a function by their superior. The implication is that, even though compliance is technically voluntary, they are expected to comply.
Watchstander – A person on a ship who is standing watch. Watches come in many forms and may include lookout duty, manning a radio station, or serving as a guard to a restricted area.
Zoomie/Chair Force – A member of the United States Air Force.


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