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Glossary

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Term Definition
Mainland

The continental United States, or the United States excluding Alaska and Hawaii. 

Major Commissioned officer commanding a battalion. Ranked below Lieutenant Colonel. Primary tasks include commanding units, providing tactical plans, and making decisions. Also, a field grade officer who is restricted to staff positions until he or she is promoted, with the exception of special operations forces, where a Major may be a company or detachment commander. 
Major General Commissioned officer commanding a division-sized unit. Ranked above a Brigadier General and below a Lieutenant General. A two-star general officer rank.
Martial Law

The law applied in occupied territory by the military authority of the occupying power.  

Mass removal The forced relocation of all persons of Japanese descent from their homes along the West Coast to incarceration centers in early 1942. Also, exclusion. See also evacuation and forced removal.
Master Sergeant

A senior non-commissioned officer in the US Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, and some other military branches, ranking immediately below the most senior non-commissioned rank. 

McCarran-Walter Act The immigration statute passed in 1952 that gave the Issei the right to become naturalized citizens. Also known as the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. 
Medal A piece of metal often resembling a coin and having a stamped design that is issued to commemorate a person or event or awarded for excellence or achievement. 
Medal of Honor The US Military's highest honor awarded by the President in the name of Congress, for conspicuous intrepidity at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty, in action involving actual conflict with an opposing armed force. 
Military Intelligence Service (MIS) A US Army branch in which many Japanese Americans served during World War II, utilizing their language skills in the Pacific War. Japanese American soldiers in the MIS translated enemy documents, interrogated Japanese prisoners of war, intercepted enemy communication, and persuaded enemy units to surrender. 
Mission A duty or task assigned to an individual or unit. 
Mortar A muzzle-loading, indirect fire weapon with either a rifled or smooth bore. It usually has a shorter range than a howitzer, employs a higher angle of fire and has a tube with a length of 10 to 20 calibers. 

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