Glossary of Military Injury Terms

Below we have explained some of the key terms and phrases you are likely to hear when diagnosed with a military injury. To speak to a solicitor if you have sustained an injury through no fault of your own, get in touch by calling 0345 450 9547. Alternatively, complete our online contact form and we will call back at a time that suits you.

Climatic injury

A hot or cold injury

Cold injury

This is caused as a result of the effects of cold on the body, in either wet or dry conditions. The cold may affect the whole body by reducing the body’s core temperature, or it may affect a specific body part, for example, the hands or feet.

Freezing cold injury

This occurs when parts of the body freeze as a result of exposure to the cold. The face, fingers, toes, heels and soles of the feet are the most prone to a freezing cold injury.

There are two types of freezing cold injury:

  • Frostnip - a superficial tissue injury that can be recovered from by warming the injured part for up to 30 minutes.
  • Frostbite - a deeper tissue injury that may result in lasting damage.

Heat injury

This is caused when the body’s core temperature rises above normal.


This is when the body’s core temperature falls below 37℃.

JSP 539

The Ministry of Defence’s guidance on the prevention and management of climatic injuries, which can be found here.

Non-freezing cold injury (NFCI)

This is caused by allowing a body part - usually the feet and hands - to remain cold and/or wet for long periods of time. NCFI can occur in conditions that are not particularly cold. For more information on NCFI, visit our dedicated page.

Wet bulb globe thermometer

This is used to measure the wet bulb globe temperature.

Wet bulb globe temperature

This is the temperature equivalent perceived by humans (i.e. how hot it feels), which is caused by the combined effects of air temperature, relative humidity and wind speed.


To start a military claim for compensation, speak to a specialist here today by calling 0345 450 9547. Alternatively, complete our online contact form and we will call back at a time that suits you.

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