If you are on this post, you have either heard of the ‘click’ word in a movie or seen it on a book page. Before answering the question of how far is a click, we will have to do a background check on it first, let’s go!
This word might not be strange to you whereas, some other people might be hearing it for the first time ever. ‘Click’ in this sense is interchangeably spelled as ‘klick‘ too.
Whatever be the case, click in this context is different from the contemporary verb of turning on; make selections on a computer; changing channels on a TV; produce a move, etc as seen in the Merriam-Webster dictionary
The word is unique among armies, in fact, it is one of the common-coded words used by armies all around the world during radio communication. Such that it is only understood by themselves.
Definition of a Klick
As earlier said, Klick is the same thing as a click. It is a military term for measuring distance. It is used in the measurement of ground infantry distance (both hostile or allied).
It refers to both the and target distance of any other point of interest. There is a popular notion that a klick regards entirely to a walking distance but this is really not true and should be discarded.
The question of; how far is a click takes us directly to the question of what a click is. One klick or click is one kilometer in lengths which is exactly 1000 meters.
It gives a coded measurement from the point where allies are to the point of interest or a certain goal of the allied soldiers.
For a better understanding, it is necessary to be familiar with the metric system as the United States Army adopted the use of the metric units due to a large number of joint operations that exist between them and other countries which also uses a metric system.
Note that in the imperial system of measuring distance, feet and miles are the most important measurements, and a mile comprises of a large feet count. Therefore, one kilometer is approximately 0.62 miles while a feet count marks up to 3280.8 in one kilometer.
Other Uses of Klick
In the military, “click” which is spelled with a “c” instead of a “k” is used when making reference to a weapon; a rifle for example.
A”click” on some weapons denotes one minute of arc, this, therefore, implies one inch of distance at one hundred yards.
So, moving the site adjustments of the rifle “one-click” will change the point of impact one inch for a target 100 yards away, two inches for a target 200 yards away, and so forth.
For the detailed oriented, one Minute of Angle (MOA) at 100 yards is actually a tad over one inch (There are 360 degrees in a circle and each degree is divided into 60 minutes.
If we round to the nearest 1/100 of an inch, at 100 yards one-degree measures 62.83 inches. One MOA, 1/60 of that, measures 1.047 inches), but rounding it works for quick calculations.
The term, therefore, comes from the clicking sound made by the sight adjustment knobs as they are turned.
The History of Click in the Army
There is a belief by some military historians that click originated in Vietnam with the Australian Infantry.
The tale has that the infantry soldiers did navigate by bearing i.e by the use of compass direction, and prior to GPS devices of the present time, distances were measure distanced by pacing.
As of then, about one or two soldiers were assigned to count their paces which were a means of keeping a record of the distance covered.
The assigned soldiers took stock of every 100 meters they had covered by moving the gas regulator on the Australian L1A1 rifle, one mark.
Having moved 10 marks which are 1000 meters, the soldiers that were taking stock of the distance would quickly send hand signals to the section commander.
They further indicated the movement of 1000 meters by lifting the rifle and rewinding the gas regulator with a movement of the thumb, resulting in an audible “click.”
The following were records of paces on different regions;
- Flatland; about 110 paces
- Downhill; about 100 paces
- Uphill; 120 paces (which would make up 100 meters).
The Essence of Coded words in the Army
Coded words used in the army or any other bodies in charge of enhancing the safety of citizens of a nation which includes the police and the military etc.
One unique thing that should be noted is that each agency as mentioned in the last paragraph above has different codes on radio communication.
In the army, coded words for radio communication could be in a form of abbreviation or a word blend which are all a means of providing the most helpful information in the least said words.
Whether the word is an abbreviation or a word blend, a new word is usually formed in the use of codes in radio communication. E.g are AA and Sitrep.
AA is an abbreviation of Anti-Air while Sitrep is a word blend for the situational reports per time. So you see, if members of the army were to go the long miles of saying words as they are, a lot of damage would be caused in most situations.
Whereas the shortened words foster the spread of information through which each member knows the next steps to take per time to ensure that things go the way it should and as well, peace and co-ordination are enhanced in the nation.
Finally, “klick” might not be known by civilians in countries where the imperial system is employed. This is due to the fact that it is a code confined only to the walls of the military.
Also, be rest assured that “klick” and “click” can be used interchangeably to mean the same thing. And it simply means a kilometer in length i.e 1000 meters.