8 military terms civilians always get wrong


We know it’s hard to keep track of military lingo and technical terms, that’s why we’ve published so many guides (Air ForceMarine CorpsArmyNavy). But there are some terms that the media — especially Hollywood — just can’t stop getting wrong when referring to the military.

1. Bazooka

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Photo by Army

Bazooka refers specifically to a series of anti-tank rocket launchers used from World War II through the Vietnam War. American troops today do not fire bazookas. There are modern rocket launchers that do the job the bazooka was once used for, but they have their own names, like the “AT-4” and the “SMAW.”

2. Missile/Rocket/bomb

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US Navy

Bombs are explosive devices that are not propelled. They can be placed somewhere, they can be launched, or they can be dropped, but they are not propelled along their route. They may be guided. Rockets are like bombs, except they are propelled along their route without any type of guidance. The fins don’t move and the projectile can’t turn. Missiles are like rockets except they can turn, either under the instructions of an operator or according to an automated targeting system. One of the most common errors is referring to the Hellfire Missile as a Hellfire Bomb.

3. Soldier

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US Army

Marines are not soldiers, though they have been referred to as “soldiers of the sea” in past recruiting posters. In the U.S., people not in the Army are not soldiers, especially so for Marines — who will strongly protest being painted with that brush. “Troops” or “service members” are the umbrella terms that refer to all the members of the military.

For the rest of the list, link to We are the Mighty.

#Stop22ADay ⚓

The Way It Goes Sometimes… Murphy’s Laws


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Murphy's Military Law 15

NSFW

With the popularity of my Murphy’s Military Law posts, I thought I’d add these to the collection. I’ve also left the link where you can find a lot more from Murphy. Enjoy!

Murphy’s Original Law If there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can result in a catastrophe, then someone will do it.

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Quiz: What Color Flight Deck Jersey Are You?


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On the flight deck of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, different colored jerseys mean different responsibilities. Certain personality types are best suited for certain jobs. What color best matches yours? Take this quiz and find out!

TAKE THE QUIZ HERE!

6 Weird Laws Unique To The US Military


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Duel

U.S. troops obey a different set of legal guidelines called the Uniform Code of Military Justice. While the UCMJ mirrors civilian law in many ways, there are some laws on the military books that are unique, and somewhat bizarre. We checked out the Manual for Courts-Martial and picked out six such laws here:

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Monday MILspeak


cropped-cupcakes-post-phonetic-alphabet2

Here’s another list of lingo used by our military. Some of the words/phrases have endured  history but the post 911 veterans have made their mark on the language by adding a few more while revising some that were a little outdated.  I  never get tired of these, 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.  

Funny Military Pictures (10)  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.

 NSFW

  1. COP: Combat Outpost. A small base, usually housing between 40 and 150 soldiers, often in a particularly hostile area. Life at a COP is often austere and demanding, with every soldier responsible for both guard duty and patrolling.

  2. DFAC: (pronounced dee-fack) Dining Facility, aka Chow Hall. Where soldiers eat. At larger bases the meals are served by contracted employees, often from Bangladesh or India. These employees are called TCNs, or Third-Country Nationals. Read more

Military Mumbo Jumbo: MILspeak-10 October 2014


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.

NSFW

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 Read more

Midweek MIL-speak: 19 August 2014


Language NSFW

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. Read more

Midweek MIL-speak: 3 July 2014


 

NOTE: NSFW; language may be offensive to some. 

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.

**
Vandoo or Van Doo
(Canada) Nickname for the Royal 22e Régiment, based on the English perception of the French pronunciation for “22” (Vingt-deux); said to have lead the Germans to believe the regiment was named Voodoo Regiment during WWI or WWII. Read more

Monday MIL-speak: 9 June 2014


NOTE: NSFW; language may be offensive to some. 

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.

/
Tooth Fairy
(U.S. Navy) a.k.a. “Fang Fairy”. Slang for a Sailor in the DT (Dental Technician) rating. Self-explanatory.
Top
(U.S. Army and Marines) The First Sergeant or Master Sergeant (U.S. Marine Corps), senior enlisted man at company level.
Tore Up
(U.S. Army) A person, object or situation in disarray. Also, used as “Tore up from the floor up.”
Track Pad
1. (Canada) boil-in-the-bag omelet from ration pack. Similar in size and (reputedly) texture to the rubber pads fitted to AV tracks 2. (Canada) the rubber pad insert fitted to steel armored vehicle tracks to prevent damage to asphalt or concrete road surfaces.
Travelling Around Drunk
(U.S. Navy) On detached duty, officially termed “Temporary Additional Duty”.
Tread
(U.S. Army) An officer or NCO, especially one seen as oppressing enlisted personnel.

Trench monkey
(U.S.) A member of the Army infantry. Mostly used in a derogatory way by members of other services.
trigger puller
(U.S.) A Soldier or Marine who is regularly involved in actual combat. I wouldn’t want to be out in the shit without the trigger pullers with U.S..
Triple Threat
(U.S. Army) A Soldier who has the Special Forces Tab, Ranger School Tab, and Airborne Tab (worn as an integral part of the SSI) and wears all three tabs on his uniform. Also known as the “Tower of Power” due to the extreme difficulty involved in the military schools, and the “Triple Canopy” as a reference to parachuting.
TROBA
(U.S. Air Force) When ABORT is improbable, but desired. Sometimes TROBA dances are initiated, to increase the chance of an aircraft RTB.
Tube stroker
A common nickname given to mortar-men by rival units to playfully mock the mortar-man job.
Turd Chaser
(U.S. Navy) Slang for a Sailor in the HT (Hull Technician) rating. So named because most of their job aboard ship consists of fixing sewage pipe blockages.
Turd Herder
(U.S. Navy) Slang for a Seabee in the UT (Utilitiesman) rating, tasked with building and maintaining camp water supply and sanitation systems. Turd herders only need to know three things – hot on the left, shit flows downhill, and quittin’ time is 1500.

Turtle fuck(ing)
(U.S. Marine Corps) Striking a Marine on his helmet with another helmet. The clunking of the two Kevlar helmets sounds like two empty shells hitting. Sometimes done deliberately among friends, but often as a joke to an unsuspecting trooper.
Twenty-nine Stumps
(U.S. Marine Corps) Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twenty-nine Palms, California. Often simply referred to as “the Stumps.”
Two beer queer
(U.S.) A man who can’t handle his liquor. Implies that he’s ready to perform homosexual favors after his second beer.
Two digit midget
(U.S.) A G.I. who has less than 100 days ‘in country’ left before they rotate back to the U.S.A and/or before discharge. Coined during Vietnam War. See “short”.

Uniform
(U.S.) NATO phonetic alphabet for the letter ‘U’. Stands for “Unidentified”. Can be an unidentified object, person, vehicle, etc. Example: “We have a Uniform dead ahead, someone move in and check it.”
(U.K.) Means “Undercover”, usually means a camouflaged object, vehicle or person, or a covert operative behind enemy lines. Can jokingly refer to an enemy mistakenly firing at his own people. Example: “We gotta’ retrieve that Uniform without them noticing.”, or “Look at that Uniform there, is he blind?!”
Un-ass
(U.S. Army) Meaning to get out of an area. As in, “Un-ass my AO.” Originally Used to mean simply, “Get off your butt.” Also, to dismount rapidly from a vehicle, “We un-assed the APC.”
Uncle Sam’s Canoe Club
(U.S.) The United States Navy.
Uncle Sam’s Confused Group
(U.S.) The United States U.S. Coast Guard.
Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children
(U.S.) Ironic term for the United States Marine Corps. Sometimes also the “University of Science, Music, and Culture”, “U Suckers Missed Christmas”, and “U Signed the Motherfuckin’ Contract”.
Unfuck
(U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps) To bring something or someone into proper order and accord with SOP.
Unsat
(U.S.) Unsatisfactory.
US
(U.K., WWII, until 1944) Un Serviceable. Since this acronym was also used to identify a major ally, this particular usage became politically unacceptable but unofficially continued in use.

Ω Source

Monday MIL-speak: 5 May, 2014


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.

TA-50
(U.S. Army) Issued “Go to War” gear used by Soldiers during training or actual combat.
TA-100
(U.S. Army) Refers to overwhelming amount of TA-50. For example, “At Ft. Stewart, we got issued TA-100. It’s twice as much.” Read more

Monday MIL-speak: 4/21/14


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.

NOTE: There may be language used here that may be offensive to some.


Shut up and Color
Often told to someone of equal or lower rank, telling them to quit complaining. See also ‘Suck Thumb’. Read more

Monday MIL-speak: 4/13/14


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. Go to list!

Midweek MILspeak


This week’s lingo is brought to you by  Wiktionary 

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.

 **NOTE: There are terms in these lists that could be considered NSFW.  

 

jacked up (U.S.) Screwed up, ruined, in trouble. “Jackness” is the quality of being in a jacked-up state; can also refer to a hapless individual: “Get over here, Jackness. (Canada) – used as a verb – to “jack someone up” refers to the process of re-motivating an individual with often humorous content. Read more

Midweek MILspeak 1/29/14


This week’s lingo is brought to you by  Blackhawk Down

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.

 **NOTE: There are terms in these lists that could be considered NSFW.  

 

  1.  AK-47 – A Russian-designed assault rifle, used by the Somalis throughout the fight.

  2. APC – Armored personnel carrier, a tank like vehicle that carries troops.
  3. BDUs – Battle Dress Uniforms, in this case, desert tan camouflage fatigues. Read more

Monday’s MILspeak 1/28/14


This week’s lingo is brought to you by  Military Lingo

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.

 **NOTE: There are terms in these lists that could be considered NSFW.  

 

  1. Secret Squirrel: Highly classified, top secret. Secrecy confers tremendous status upon soldiers — the most classified missions are often the most prestigious in soldiers’ eyes.

  2. Self-Licking Ice Cream Cone: A military doctrine or political process that appears to exist in order to justify its own existence, often producing irrelevant indicators of its own success. For example, continually releasing figures on the amount of Taliban weapons seized, as if there were a finite supply of such weapons. While seizing the weapons, soldiers raid Afghan villages, enraging the residents and legitimizing the Taliban’s cause. Read more