Thursday, January 01, 2004

Do you want to speak like a professional from the military? I posted before about how amateurs talk tactics and professionals talk logistics, well here is lesson one.

All types of supplies categorized into 10 classes and they have their own symbols for use on maps:

Class I - Subsistence (food and water)
Class II - Clothing and individual equipment
Class III - POL (Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants-diesel and aviation fuel)
Class IV - Construction materials
Class V - Ammunition
Class VI - Personal demand items
Class VII - Major end items (weapons, radios, etc.)
Class VIII - Medical items
Class IX - Repair parts
Class X - Agriculture/economic development items

Then there are colors:
Green: 85% or better, combat capable
Amber: 70 to 84% strength, combat capable with minor deficiencies
Red: 50% to 69 % strength or combat ineffective, unit has major losses or deficiencies.
Black: less than 50% strength or requires reconstitution before next mission

Colors can describe the overall status of a unit, type of critical equipment (tanks, helos, artillery) or amount of personnel.

FM-101-5-1 is the reference for the above.

So if you want to impress everybody, just say “it was so bad my unit went black on class V.” Translation: you shot all your ammo and you started to fix bayonets.

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