general quarters

noun (used with a singular verb) Military.

a condition of readiness for combat on a warship, during which crew members remain at their battle stations and have guns and ammunition ready for immediate loading. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for general quarters

  • When the general-quarters call was sounded, all took their stations at the guns for fighting the ship.

  • These drills were collision, fire-quarters, general-quarters, and clearing ship for action.