Where does the use of the term G2 to mean intellegence data come from? The term is used a lot in my industry, but no one seems to know the origin.
The term is standard in military staff organization: see here for an example. I don’t know where the military got the idea from, though!
It’s from the USAF. The G is for Ground intelligence. Naval intelligence is N2. The 2 is from when the french had two intelligence bureaus, the first for information about friendly forces, and the second for enemy intelligence.
G2 was around before the USAF existed. G stands for “General” staff. The 2 designates the unit’s intelligence office. So G-2 is the intelligence office for a headquarters commanded by a General. (Division, Corp, etc)
S-2 is the intelligence office for a headquarters commanded by a colonel. There are other staff offices as well. S-1, personnel; S-2, intelligence; S-3, Operations; S-4, Supply, etc. For a brigade or battalion, they are “S” shops. For Divisions, they are “G” shops but the numbers are the same.
So it’s common military slang to refer to intelligence or any kind of secret info, G-2. They way people say “What’s the 411,” is the same way military personnel might say “Give me the G-2”.
Sorry, i meant United States Armed Forces, even though I (normally) know USAF is the United States Air Force :smack: . Thanks for dispelling the urban legend i apparently was spreading. In this myth A2 is air intelligence, N2 is naval, G2 is ground, and J2 is joint intelligence. Is any of these correct?
Possibly within the military intelligence community. But I’ve personally never heard those before. I just asked a couple people in this tent with me, and they’ve never heard that either.
I just talked with the local intel guy. He confirms what you’re saying. He is familiar with all those terms. He says they are taught, and they’re on the test. But they never really use any of them.
So… there is such a thing as G2/N2/A2, but they’re not terms commonly used outside of the intel community. But the reason people call intel (G2) is because of the Headquarters Intelligence Office being called the “G2 Shop” and anything coming out of it as “G2”.
Thanks for the G2 (No, I really couldn’t resist.)
Does anyone have info on when G2, S2 … started being used? WW2, WW1, ealier?