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Special Forces Berlin
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Special Operations Glossary

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The Special Forces community and the military services in general use a multitude of words, phrases, and acronyms in its vocabulary, documentation, correspondence, and publications.  This glossary is intended to aid those unfamiliar with specific special operations terminology.

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OA.  Objective Area.

OAKOC.  Observation and fields of fire, Avenues of approach, Key terrain, Obstacles, and Cover and concealment.

OB.  Order of Battle.

OCI. Office of the Coordinator of Information. A WWII era U.S. intelligence organization.

OCONUS.  Outside the Continential United States.

ODA.  Operational Detachment Alpha.  The basic unit of Special Forces.  A twelve man element consisting of two officers and ten senior enlisted.

OEF.  Operation Enduring Freedom.  The current conflict in Afghanistan and a few other places.

OER.  Officer Evaluation Report.

OG. Operational Groups. A WWII era organization that conducted special operations.

OGA.  Other Governmental Agency.

OFCO. This is the acronym for "Offensive Counterintelligence Operations (OFCO)". You can learn more from DoD Instruction S-5240.09, February 2, 2015 posted on classified media.

OIC.  Officer in Charge.

OIF.  Operation Iraqi Freedom.  OIF has now ended and the operation in Iraq is now called Operation New Dawn (OND).

ONC.  Operational Navigation Chart.

Onetime Pad.  A form of message encryption that is highly secure.  It relies on a random key.

OP.  Observation Post.

OPCEN.  Operations Center. Where the battle is monitored on maps and radios.

OPCON. Operational Control.  Command authority that may be exercised by commanders at any echelon at or below the level of combatant command.  Operational Control is inherent in combatant command (command authority) and may be delegated within the command.

Operational Environment.  A composite of the conditions, cirucumstances, and influences that affect the employment of military forces and bear on the decisions of the unit commander.  Examples include permissive environment, uncertain environment, and hostile environment.

OPLAN.  Operation Plan.

OPORD.  Operation Order.

OPSEC.  Operations Security.

OPSUM.  Operation Summary.

OPTEMPO.  Operating Tempo.

OSD.  Office of the Secretary of Defense.

OSINT.  Open-Source Intelligence.

OSS.  Office of Strategic Services.  An intelligence and paramilitary organization during World War II.  One of the earliar units upon which Special Forces draws its history.  See OSS Society. See the OSS Primer found on the USASOC portal here http://www.soc.mil/OSS/primer.html.


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