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Armed Forces

A nation's combined military forces.

For the United States, the Armed Forces are comprised of the...

o Air Force
o Army
o Coast Guard
o Marine Corps
o Navy
o Space Force

Coast Guard

Branch of the military responsible for protecting coasts, vessels, ports, and facilities at U.S. waters.

Cold War


Referenced by...
Government can't account for nuclear weapons material (2018-Jul-27)

Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)


Referenced by...
Issue: Transgender Military Service


Movement of troops into position to take military actions.

Referenced by...
New policy would ban most transgender troops (2018-Mar-23)
Issue: Transgender Military Service

Executive Order 13224


Gold Star Family

Families of those who died in service to the Armed Forces.

Martial Law

When the military assumes authority over civilian institutions such as law enforcement.

Material Unaccounted For (MUF)

The U.S. military keeps track of how much plutonium nuclear weapons companies produce, and how much of it the government knows the location of.

The difference is referred to as MUF.

Referenced by...
Government can't account for nuclear weapons material (2018-Jul-27)

National Security Adviser

The senior advisor to the President on issues regarding national security.

The formal title of the position is Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.

National Security Agency (NSA)


National Security Council

The President's primary forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters.

It is chaired by the President. Attendees include the...

o Vice President
o Secretary of State
o Secretary of Defense
o Secretary of the Treasury
o Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
o Director of National Intelligence
o National Security Advisor

No-Fly List

List maintained by the Terrorist Screening Center of people who are not allowed to fly on commercial airlines in U.S. airspace.



President's Daily Brief (PDB)

An intelligence and analysis report the President receives each day from the Director of National Intelligence.


A building (or part of a building) designated for working with secure compartmented information.

SCIFs are protected from electronic and other surveillance, Access to one is extremely restricted and controlled.

Security Clearance

A security clearance (or just clearance) is a certification by the government that a person is allowed access to information considered potentially damaging to national security.

Potential damage can take many forms, such as...

o Revealing the capability of a weapon or a system that gathers intelligence

o Exposing the identity of an undercover agent

o Revealing operational plans

Security Clearance Level

Sensitive government information is classified according to the amount of damage exposure might cause. A person must have a security clearance of at least that classification in order to be allowed to access it.

There are 3 main levels of security clearances...

Confidential: The least restrictive clearance, but information classified as Confidential still could cause damage if revealed.

Secret: Access to information that could cause serious harm to national interests if revealed.

Top-Secret: The most restrictive clearance - with access to information that could cause grave damage. Access to Top-Secret information is further restricted to only those with a "need to know". This information may be further classified as Special Access Program or Secure Compartmented Information(SCI). The use of secure compartment information is almost always restricted to a Secure Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF).

Situation Room

The White House Situation Room is a 5,000 square-foot complex that serves as the central point for handling intelligence for the president.

Its official name is the John F. Kennedy Conference Room. It's located on the first floor of the West Wing, and sometimes is referred to as the woodshed.

Terrorist Screening Center (TSC)

Organization under the FBI that identifies potential or suspected terrorists


Health care program for members of the United States military.


The standard definition of a veteran is someone who has a long experience in any particular field.

However, we typically use the term to refer to someone who has served in the U.S. military (including those still serving).

Weapon of Mass Destruction

A term used to describe a weapon capable of killing many people at once and causing widespread destruction.

Examples would be nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.

Referenced by...
Government can't account for nuclear weapons material (2018-Jul-27)
Live nukes mistakenly flown over U.S. (2007-Sep-05)

Wounded Warrior

A term used to describe a veteran who was severely wounded, injured, or made ill while serving after Sept. 10, 2001.

Referenced by...
CA: Rep. Duncan Hunter indicted (2018-Aug-21)

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