What does S&D mean in Military?

This page is about the meanings of the acronym/abbreviation/shorthand S&D in the Governmental field in general and in the Military terminology in particular.

Search and Destroy

Governmental » Military


Find a translation for S&D in other languages:

Select another language:


What does S&D mean?

Search and destroy
Search and Destroy, Seek and Destroy, or even simply S&D, refers to a military strategy that became a large component of the Vietnam War. The idea was to insert ground forces into hostile territory, search out the enemy, destroy them, and withdraw immediately afterward. The strategy was the result of a new technology, the helicopter, which resulted in a new form of warfare, the fielding of air cavalry, and was thought to be ideally jumped to counter-guerrilla jungle warfare. The complementary conventional strategy, which entailed attacking and conquering an enemy position, then fortifying and holding it indefinitely, was known as "clear and hold" or "clear and secure." In theory, since the traditional methods of "taking ground" could not be used in this war, a war of attrition would be used, eliminating the enemy by the use of "searching" for them, then "destroying" them, and the "body count" would be the measuring tool to determine the success of the strategy of "search and destroy." It is common practice among military forces to enforce strict rules on a search and destroy mission. It became an offensive tool, crucial to General William Westmoreland’s second phase. In his three phase strategy, the first consisted of slowing down the Viet Cong Forces; the second was to resume the offensive and destroy the enemy; the third was to restore the area under South Vietnamese government control. The Zippo missions were mainly assigned to the second phase around 1966 and 1967, along with operations “Clear and Secure.”

see more »


Discuss this S&D abbreviation with the community:


Use the citation below to add this abbreviation to your bibliography:


"S&D." Abbreviations.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 22 Apr. 2018. <https://www.abbreviations.com/term/385976>.

Free, no signup required:

Add to Chrome

Get instant explanation for any acronym or abbreviation that hits you anywhere on the web!

Free, no signup required:

Add to Firefox

Get instant explanation for any acronym or abbreviation that hits you anywhere on the web!