advance guard(redirected from advance guards)
A detachment of troops sent ahead of a main force to reconnoiter and provide protection.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. (Military) a military unit sent ahead of a main body to find gaps in enemy defences, clear away minor opposition, and prevent unexpected contact
2. (Military) a temporary military detachment sent ahead of a force to prepare for a landing or other operation, esp by making reconnaissance
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
Detachment sent ahead of the main force to ensure its uninterrupted advance; to protect the main body against surprise; to facilitate the advance by removing obstacles and repairing roads and bridges; and to cover the deployment of the main body if it is committed to action.
Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. US Department of Defense 2005.