Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Galactica Actual

by Rob - June 8th, 2008.
Filed under: Uncategorized.

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.” :)

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3 Responses to Galactica Actual

  1. 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).

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

  3. 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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