• point man


    the leader or spokesperson of a campaign

Translation


point man = Vorreiter; Späher

Statistics


In the press


The new POINT MAN for the Trump administration’s counter-jihadist team is Sebastian Gorka, an itinerant instructor in the doctrine of irregular warfare and former national security editor at Breitbart.

The New York Times

Did you know?


point man
noun phrase

- a soldier who walks at the front of an infantry patrol in combat

- the leader or spokesperson of a campaign or organization

- the lead soldier of an infantry patrol on combat operations.

Collins English Dictionary



ORIGIN

The term might be related to the Middle English phrase "in point", which meant "in immediate danger or peril". The modern use of the term derives from military tactics.

During a military patrol or infantry operation, the POINT MAN is a navigator who walks several meters out in front of everyone else and is likely to be the first one to encounter enemy soldiers.

The term was used in the 19th century American Old West when the lead cowboy at the front of a herd of cattle was known as the pointer or POINT MAN. It may have come into common use because many of the cowboys in the late 1800s were veterans of the American Civil War. In cavalry terminology, the men scouting ahead of the main force were said to be "riding point". This use was first recorded in 1903.



TALKING POINT

In modern military parlance, to take point, walk point, be on point, or be a POINT MAN means to assume the first and most exposed position in a combat military formation, that is, the leading soldier or unit advancing through hostile or unsecured territory.

It is a hazardous position that requires alertness and ability to deal with unexpected attacks.

The term can be applied to infantry or mechanised columns. The soldier, vehicle, or unit on point is frequently the first to take hostile fire. The inherent risks of taking point create a need for constant and extreme operational alertness. However, ambushes often intend to let the point element past the prime killing zone in order to be maximally effective.

Point position is often rotated periodically so as not to overtax the individual soldier/unit.


SYNONYMS

explorer, guide, pathfinder, leader, point person, scout, trailblazer, trailbreaker

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