ASA, SIT, & Other Strange ACRONYMS/Definitions Used On This Site

1st Sergeant (also First Sergeant, 1st Shirt, Top): The senior NCO (Non-commissioned Officer) in a Company, Battery or Troop. Originally just a position, but in latter years an actual rank also. A diamond shape in the center of Master Sergeant Rank Insignia designated/s the position and rank. Works directly for the unit commander. In charge of the unit orderly room and unit administration, oversees much of the unit's day to day operations, conduct and procedures.

AFSS (USAFSS): Air Force Security Service (now Air Intelligence Agency). Air Force Cryptologic and SIGINT operating element.

ASA (USASA): Army Security Agency (United States Army Security Agency). 1945 - 1976.

Bearing/Shot: See LOB.

CMA: Collection Management Authority.

CO/XO: Commanding Officer/Executive Officer.

COMINT: Communications Intelligence. Technical (such as Traffic Analysis) and intelligence information derived from foreign communications by other than the intended recipients.

CQ: Charge of Quarters. In Army Companies/Batteries/Troops the CQ is a rotating roster duty to maintain the unit's Orderly Room (Company Headquarters) during non normal duty hours. Phone contact, fire watch, sign-in/out book and similar duties that are ongoing in the military. The other services have similar duty positions but may call it by a different title/designation.

Det: Detachment. Most often used terminology to organizationally describe and designate the small military organization performing remote site radio direction finding operations in the ASA. Size depended on the circumstances, equipment used, and mission. Could range anywhere from 8/10 to 25 people or so.

DF/RDF/HFDF/ARDF: Direction Finding/Radio Direction Finding/High Frequency (Radio) Direction Finding/Airborne Radio Direction Finding.

Duffy: Slang expression for Direction Finding Operators/MOS. Use seems to have sprung from G Division at USASATC&S and the Far East. (I was a 056/4/D for ten/fifteen years before I can recall hearing the term.)

Fix/Plot: Determining the location of a radio emitter by triangulation and evaluation of LOB (on appropriate maps/charts) received from several radio direction finding sties.


GCHQ: Government Communications Headquarters. United Kingdom organization with similar responsibilities as the NSA.

INSCOM (USINSCOM): Intelligence & Security Command (United States Army Intelligence & Security Command). Replacement organization of the ASA. Formed 1977 using ASA elements and other intelligence elements of the US Army.

LOB: Line of Bearing. Azimuth bearing from a direction finding site to a distant target radio signal emitter. (Example: 048 degrees from True North)

MOS: Military Occupational Specialty. Some of the MOS applied solely in the ASA:

  • 054/05D - SIT/AIT Operations Specialty Field
  • 055/05G - COMSEC (Communications Security) Field
  • 056/05D - DF Operator
  • 057/05D - RFP Operator/Analyst - Later folded into 05D MOS
  • 058/05H - Manual Morse Intercept Operator
  • 059/05K - Radio Teletype Intercept Operator
  • 982/98C - SIGINT Traffic Analyst
  • 986 -
  • 98Z -

Morning Report: The Army's daily head count of all present for duty, away from duty for various reasons such as; leave (vacation), TDY (temporary duty elsewhere), in hospitable and so forth. Report also assigned strength counts by Officer, Enlisted. Use to be a paper report from the Company level. Probably electronic now. The other services have similar reporting but may be named differently. Hell, the Army may call it something different by now.

NCOIC: Non-Commissioned Officer In-Charge.

NCS: Net Control Station. The control or senior station in a radio communications net or network. In the same vein "Out Stations" were/are the subordinate station in the radio communications network. Also, in ASA DF Operations the NCS was the senior controlling "Flash" station in the DF Net.

NSA (NSA/CSS): National Security Agency (US Department of Defense-DOD). NSA/CSS - National Security Agency/Central Sercurity Service (siginifying NSA operational control of much of the SCAs SIGINT operations.)

NSG/NSGA: Naval Security Group/Naval Security Group Activity. US Navy Cryptologic operating element/unit. 1935 - 2005

OPSCOM: Operator/Operations Communication/s. Usually time-sensitive comms to maintain or facilitate mission operations.

Orderly Room: In the Army it is the Company/Battery/Troop administrative office overseen by the First Sergeant and mostly referred to as the Orderly Room when the unit is in garrison. The Orderly Room also includes the Commanding Officer's office and usually also the XO's office. In addition the Supply Room is often located in the same area or building. In the field it "Orderly Room" (or the function may be a better term) is most often referred to as the CP or Company Command Post.

PX: Post Exchange (Army & Air Force Exchange Service - AAFES) General merchandise stores operated by AAFES, a Department of Defense element.

RFP/AIT: Radio Fingerprinting/Advanced Identification Techniques. The technique of identifying specific radio emitters by their unique signal characteristics. Very similar in concept to fingerprinting individuals.

RRC/G/FS: Radio Research. Cover designation for Army Security Agency units during the Vietnam conflict. Such as: 509th Radio Research Group (509th RRG); 330th RRC (330th ASA Company); 303rd RRBN (303rd Army Security Agency Battalion); 8th RRFS (8th ASA Field Station).

SCA: Service Cryptologic Agency(Activity). Army Security Agency, Naval Security Groups, Air Force Security Service.

SIT/AIT: Special Identification Techniques/Advanced Identification Techniques. ASA/INSCOM usage. Within the Army, consisted of the disciplines of Radio Direction Finding, Radio Fingerprinting (RFP) later referred to as Wave Form Analysis. Discipline included the collection of the data, plotting or analyzing and reporting results to requesting section/department and/or supported command and national authority levels.

SIGINT: Signals Intelligence. NSA/CSS: "SIGINT is a category of intelligence that includes transmissions associated with communications, radars, and weapons systems used by our adversaries. It complements other forms of intelligence that are the responsibility of other U.S. agencies in the Intelligence Community. For example, Human Intelligence (HUMINT) is primarily the responsibility of the Central Intelligence Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency, and Imagery Intelligence (IMINT) belongs to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Together, all of these different - yet complementary - disciplines give our Nation's leaders a greater understanding of the intentions of our enemies."

Site: Has the common dictionary meaning - location of the equipment and facilities - but also is used often to refer to the military organizational section performing the particular DF mission. The word "Det" often used interchangeability in the same way.