It’s been awhile…

Waging war is a risky, all-encompassing endeavor physically, emotionally, and psychologically. It displays humankind at its best and at its worst, and the war fighter’s slang reflects the bitter, terrible, and inspiring all of it. A quick scan of these phrases illustrates the spectrum: disciplined bravado provides the glitz and glamour; earned camaraderie, the sincerity and warmth; irony, the realist’s edge; scorn, the punishing barb; and insistent vulgarity, a rowdy,leveling earthiness. A little verbal bravado and swagger has genuine utility. Hollywood bravado is little more than chest thumping bluster, but seasoned vets know that disciplined bravado indicates confidence and courage.


CAB: Combat Action Badge (ARMY). Developed in response to number of soldiers performing in a infantry or infantry-like position under the same conditions as the infantry, but do not hold an infantry MOS

CC: Coalition Country: the coalition of the willing allies.

CCP: Casualty collection point. Area closest to immediate action where casualties are triaged.

CHU: Containerized housing unit. – Aluminum boxes slightly larger (22′X8′) than a commercial shipping container, with linoleum floors and cots or beds inside. This insulated CONEX shipping container has a door, window, top vent, power cabling and an air conditioner. One version houses four people, while another is split in two, two-person rooms. The version with a shower and toilet shared between two rooms is called a “wet chu,” which provides less crowded latrine and shower conditions than tents. The CHU gives soldiers a lot more living space than tents.

CHUville: A base consisting of a large number of CHU’s.

CIB: Combat infantryman’s badge (ARMY). Awarded to holders of an infantry MOS provided the soldier is under fire, and holds an infantry duty slot.

CP: Checkpoint. Usually numbered.

CSH: Combat Support Hospital.

Camelback: water bladder usually carried on the back, holds up to 3 liters.

Cannon-Cocker/Gun Bunny: Artilleryman Case of the Ass: In a really foul mood.

Charlie Foxtrot: The alphanumeric of the letters C and F. A more polite way of saying Cluster Fuck.

Charlie Mike: Continue mission. Keep doing what you were doing.

Chocolata: Chocolate. Mainly used by children in conjunction with‚”Mista, mista, gimme.”

Clearing barrel: A barrel filled with dirt around the entrances of the FOB. Used when clearing a weapon upon entry to the FOB.

Cluster Fuck: Essentially when someone or some situation is completely messed up.

Crypto: encryption keys for the radio. Computer code that scrambles the signal to prevent unauthorized listening.

DAP: Deltoid auxiliary protection. Shoulder armor primarily issued to gunners following increased numbers of gunner shrapnel injuries to shoulders. DAP kits also included side armor made of Kevlar, with no plates.

DFAC: Dining Facility. Pronounced ‚”d-fack” Others used: mess hall, chow hall. Place where service members eat. DFAC’s are modern looking cafeterias, some decorated with sports memorabilia, movie posters, and televisions with ESPN on.

Death Blossom: The tendency of Iraqi security forces, in response to receiving a little fire from the enemy, to either run away or do the ‚”death blossom” spraying fire indiscriminately in all directions.

Detail: A group of service members sent to do a job.

Dirka Dirka: A phrase used to parody the sound of Arabic. First used in a South Park episode, later gained more widespread use through the movie Team America.

Dirt Sailor: A member of the Navy’s Construction Battalions (Seabees). In Iraq, a sailor playing a part that is not a normal Navy role.

Double Digit Midget: Less than 100 days left down range.

Double Gates: They always cover their nametapes and never call each other by their real names while they’re near detainees.

Down Range: Derived from the term to check on targets on shooting ranges. Refers to anyplace where there’s shooting.

Drager: Rebreather. Closed-Circut Dive Rig.

Drive On: The ethos of the soldier/Marine. Just keep on goin’. Usually used in the phrase ‚”Suck it up and drive on.”

Dummy Cord: (noun or verb) Term denotes the tying down of sensitive items (nvg’s, aimpoints) or not so sensitive items (i.e. canteens) to a service member’s body. So called to prevent being called a “dummy” for losing something.

FOB: Forward Operating Base. Usually just known as Fob. Most times followed by a name, i.e. FOB Warrior. Where troops primarily stay. Also populated by FOBBERS, FOBBITS, and FOBGOBLINS.

FOBBERS, FOBBITS, FOBGOBLINS: Three of the derisive terms used to describe someone who never leaves the FOB. Akin to the Vietnam era “REMF.” REMFland, the rear-echelon areas where support personnel live and work in relative safety – the paradox being that in the Sandbox, unlike Vietnam, REMFland is more a state of mind than a physical location.


2 thoughts on “Military Mumbo Jumbo: MILspeak-10 October 2014

  1. Boy! I couldn’t have said it better myself. I think because our military is made up of 100% volunteers, they’re looked at differently. The government doesn’t “feel guilty” because of some lottery in the draft. (NOT that they know what that guilt or remorse for the loss of life is, they’ve put a nifty little label on it: COLLATERAL DAMAGE). grr
    This is only my opinion.


  2. The jargon is incredible. Is Congress AWOL when they are in session? Are the dummy cords in Congress the bills that they did not pass and are gone into the Sea of Could Have Been? Are Congressmen and women in camouflage because I never see them when the Congress is in session. Stealth suits I imagine. Are the words out of their mouths heat seeking and therefore fly to the stratosphere. Just a few thoughts of people who send our boys and girls in harms way as if life were a video game.

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