Sunday, June 8, 2008

Galactica Actual

Now, if that isn't a cool-sounding title! On the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, Admiral Adama refers to himself on the wireless as "Galactica Actual." After failing to find any reference to this being an actual bit of military protocol -- referring to a vessel's commander as its "Actual" -- I asked my friend Kirstin Morrell, who knows all things about the military, to see if it's a real term. And she found this reference, that says "Actual" was a radio-talk term used by Marines in Vietnam for Unit Commander. Here's the link.

Just don't be surprised if next time you phone me, I answer the phone by saying, "SFWRITER.COM Actual." :)

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


At June 08, 2008 11:45 AM , Blogger bowietrek said...

Thank you for this definition. I have been thinking about looking it up, but haven't done anything about it yet. Good job! I shouldn't be so lazy.

At June 08, 2008 3:47 PM , Blogger zafri said...

i've always wondered how much of the show's military styled action was based on reality and how much was made up. thanks!

At June 08, 2008 9:54 PM , Blogger Andrew said...

Hmmm... I always assumed it meant that the pilot was talking to Galactica in real-time with no delay or lag or whatever.

At June 09, 2008 7:07 AM , Blogger John said...

I see that "rack" is on the same list. Interesting.

At November 01, 2008 9:34 PM , OpenID fknight156 said...

Thanks for the info!

At January 13, 2010 9:29 PM , Blogger Jason Nobody said...

I believe the reference is correct, kinda.

Similarly to how any USAF aircraft carrying the president is considered "Air Force One," the designation of "Galactica actual" is used to define a ship that isn't literally Galactia, but is carrying the commander.

IE, shorthand for "This is the commander speaking but from a different ship for which I hold command."

I could be wrong. The best way to know, I suppose, is to find an example of the term being used by Adama while actually ON Galactica (in which case my interpretation would make no sense).

At January 13, 2010 9:40 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Sorry, Jason, but Adama uses the term "Galactica Actual" for himself frequently while on board Galactica -- dozens of times in the series.

At February 03, 2010 3:10 PM , Blogger tomeboy said...

Thanks very much for tracking this down. It's been bugging me for a long time, but like bowietrek I never did anything about it. It sounded like the sort of thing that would have had some legitimate derivation somewhere.


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