Today is #ThrowbackThursday and I thought I’d share posts that I’ve previously published. My Military Milspeak always went over well, so I thought I’d start off with this! Enjoy!
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.
Physical and moral courage and the confidence they create are essential warrior virtues. But God—or the first sergeant—help the fake macho and especially the “REMF,” “fobbit,” or “suit” who talks the talk but hasn’t walked the walk.
- Habeeb (U.S.) A general term for Iraqis during the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. From Arabic for ‘friend.’ Somewhat pejorative or dismissive.
- Habeebatee (U.S.) A term for an attractive Arab female. Somewhat pejorative or dismissive and frowned upon given current events.
- Hadji/Haji (U.S.) A general term used to describe Middle Easterners during the first Gulf War and subsequently during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (Usually describing a friendly Iraqi/Afghan). Same as Habib–refers to people native to the Middle Eastern countries, India, and Egypt. Somewhat pejorative or dismissive. Considered by some as a racist remark, and has thus. fallen under scrutiny. Also used to refer to local markets where servicemen can acquire cheap goods, possibly of dubious. authenticity. Originates from an Arabic term of honor for a Muslim who has completed the Hajj to Mecca. Possibly from the Indian character Hadji in the 60s adventure cartoon “The Adventures of Jonny Quest“.
- hairy bag (Canada) Naval personnel in a sea-going trade. used as a familiar or jocular term, not pejorative. (U.S.), a.k.a. nut sack.
- half left down (Singapore) see Knock it down.
- ham and claymores (U.S. Army, Vietnam-era). Term used to describe C-ration meal, Ham and Lima Beans.
- HANO (U.S.) “High Altitude No Opening”, a parachute jump in which the parachute fails to open, Usually with fatal results. Play on “HAHO” and “HALO”.
- hardball (U.S.) Any hard-surfaced road.
- hatch (U.S. Navy, Marines) A door. From the shipboard terminology for the means of entering or exiting the compartment of a ship.
- hatless dance (Canada) A charge parade, referring to the fact that the accused is marched in at double time in front of the presiding officer without a beret (“My last hatless dance cost me two days’ pay!”)
- hawk (U.S.) Winter or extreme cold weather; e.g., “the hawk” or “don’t let the hawk get you.”
- head 1. (U.S.) A slightly less offensive term short for dickhead or other similar heads.
- 2. (Naval services) Toilet or latrine.
- Head Shed Headquarters
- health and comfort (U.S.) From “Health and Comfort Inspection”, a euphemistic term for a search of quarters for contraband. Also called “Health and Welfare.”
- helmet fire (U.S. Air Force) Task saturation, especially in the context of flying instrument procedures.
- Helo (U.S. Navy) Helicopter.
- Herc Doc (U.S. Air Force) a C-130 maintainer.
- high speed, low drag (U.S.) Excellent, particularly of equipment.
- Hillbilly armor (U.S.) Improvised, sometimes crappy vehicle armor.
- hindquarters Any headquarters.
- hit the silk (U.S.) To abandon an aircraft mid-flight by means of a parachute. For example, “Johnson’s plane took a lot of flak, but he hit the silk just in time!” Also, punch Elvis.
- HMFIC Head Mother Fucker in Charge.
- Holland (Singapore) To be lost or get lost without a clue where you are. Etymology is disputed but it is pronounced as “ho-lan”.
- holiday flag (U.S.) over-sized flag flown over Posts and Major Commands during holidays.
- Hollywood Marine (U.S.) Enlisted Marine who underwent their recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.
Source: Glossary of military slang
Definition of Zulu Time or GMT
The Department of the Navy serves as the country’s official timekeeper, with the Master Clock facility at the U.S. Naval Observatory, Washington, D.C.
“Zulu” time is that which you might know as “GMT” (Greenwich Mean Time). Our natural concept of time is linked to the rotation of the earth and we define the length of the day as the 24 hours it takes the earth to spin once on its axis.
As time pieces became more accurate and communication became global, there needed to be a point from which all other world times were based. Since Great Britain was the world’s foremost maritime power when the concept of latitude and longitude came to be, the starting point for designating longitude was the “prime meridian” which is zero degrees and runs through the Royal Greenwich Observatory, in Greenwich, England, southeast of central London. As a result, when the concept of time zones was introduced, the “starting” point for calculating the different time zones was/is at the Royal Greenwich Observatory. When it is noon at the observatory, it is five hours earlier (under Standard Time) in Washington, D.C.; six hours earlier in Chicago; seven hours earlier in Denver; and, eight hours earlier in Los Angeles.