Virtually, all military land vehicle systems use a lead-acid battery to initiate an engine start. The maintainability of these batteries and as a consequence, system readiness, has suffered from a lack of understanding of the reasons for battery failure. Often, the term most commonly heard for explaining the performance degradation of lead-acid batteries is the word, sulfation. Sulfation is a residual term that came into existence during the early days of lead-acid battery development. The usage is part of the legend that persists as a means for interpreting and justifying the eventual performance deterioration and failure of lead-acid batteries. The usage of this term is confined to the greater user community and, over time, has encouraged a myriad of remedies for solving sulfation problems. One can avoid the connotations associated with the all-inclusive word, sulfation by visualizing the general "sulfation" effect in terms of specific mechanistic models. Also, the mechanistic models are essential for properly understanding the operation and making proper use this battery system. It is evident that the better the model, the better the level of understanding.