Military Acronyms, Slang & Terminology Reference Guide

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Military Acronyms,Terminology and Slang Reference

By The ITS Crew

BOHICAWe’ve wanted to put together a reference for many of the acronyms that get tossed around here on ITS, along with some you may have casually heard out there and possibly don’t know the meaning of.

Thanks to a good friend who helped compile the majority of this list, we give you Military Acronyms, Terminology and Slang Reference.

Feel free to add any into the comments below that we may have neglected to put in. If this is well received we’d like to add it as a link on the site for quick reference.

Military Acronyms, Terminology and Slang Reference

100mph Tape: Standard issue Army green duct tape. Called 100mph tape due to the belief it can withstand speeds of up to 100 mph when slapped on holes.

50 cal: M2 Browning .50 caliber machine gun. Alternately known as 50 cal, 50, M2 or Ma Deuce.

550 Cord/Parachute Cord: Nylon cord used to connect a chute to a chute harness. Now used to tie damn near anything down. Used a lot when ‘dummy cording’ things down.

9 mil: M9 Berretta pistol.

AMTRAC: APC used by the Marines AO: Area of Operations.

AOR: Area of Responsibility. The assigned area to any given unit.

ASK kit: Armor Survivability Kit. A kit designed in response to the high number of casualties produced by IEDs hitting unarmored vehicles. The kits consist of armor encapsulating the personnel compartment AT-4: an 84mm anti-tank round. Essentially, a disposable Bazooka.

AWR: (Alpha Whiskey Romeo) Allah’s Waiting Room. When engaged, (insurgents) have a tendency to flee to the same building (the AWR) at which point the troops radio in an air strike.

Acquire (through non-standard means)/Acquire/Requisition: There are some times when one can’t get necessities through the proper channels, so one needs to….sort of borrow things. (Note: This used to be referred to as “Comshaw” in the Navy.)

Ali Baba: Generic Iraqi term for bad guy, be it insurgent or criminal.

Angel: Among American Military Medical personnel in Iraq, a soldier killed in combat.

Ate up: Also said as “11 up and 3 down.” See Charlie Foxtrot.

BAF – Bagram Air Field. The major air hub in A’stan and like KAF a former Soviet air base. At BAF, there’s the ‘metal highway’ – the metal link air strip that is a major landmark on the base.

BFT: Blue Force Tracker. A cool little gizmo that allows a BFT equipped vehicle to link up with a satellite and give the locations of friendly and enemy units, maps, and routes.

BIAP: Baghdad International Airport.

BOLO: pronounced “bolo” 1. Be On the Look Out. Usually a list with descriptions of vehicles or personnel to be on the lookout for. 2. Slang for no good. Can be used as a noun when something goes wrong “That’s a bolo,” or a verb “I bolo’d that task.”

BOHICA: Bend Over Here It Comes Again!

Battlefield Airmen: Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) pararescue, combat control and weather troops. The term battlefield Airmen may be new, though AFSOC troops have been filling those combat jobs for many years.

Beans, Bullets, and Band-Aids: General reference to supply items, i.e. food, ammunition, and medical supplies.

Bird: Anything that flies, be it fixed or rotary wing.

Blue Canoe: a portable (chemical) toilet.

Blue Falcon: One that is willing to screw his buddy. Also known as Bravo Foxtrot and Buddy Fucker.

Brad or Bradley: M2 Bradley Armored Personnel Carrier (APC). Primary mode of transportation for mechanized infantry units.

Bunk: What one sleeps on.

Butter Bar: 2nd Lieutenant/Ensign. Refers to the gold bar of rank.

C-Wire/Concertina Wire: Razor Wire.

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: Check Point. 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.

FRAGO: A change in the OPORD that does not require a wholesale change in the OPORD. A FRAGO determines timely changes to an already existing order. The important point here is that a frag order is issued based on the basic operation order and is not a “stand alone” directive. It will normally state the changes from the basic order such as enemy situation and new taskings.

FST – pronounced “Fast,” as in “Fast team” [sic, red.].  Forward Surgical Team, one of the major medical support innovations since ODS that has resulted in lower DOW rates in the current conflict.

Farmer Armor / Hillbilly Armor: improvised vehicle armor.

FID: Foreign Internal Defense.

Fourth Point of Contact: Derived from the description of a Parachute Landing Fall (PLF), refers to one’s rumpus. As in”you better get yer head outta yer fourth point of contact!”

Frankenstein: A Marine Corps monster truck, bulging and rippling with spot-welded seams of add on armor. As of December 2004, of the 30,000 estimated wheeled vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan, about 8,000 of the older models did not have armor protection. Of those that were protected, about 6,000 had full protection, while about 10,000 vehicles had received add-on kits, many improvised in theater.

Glass House: a mock up of the layout of a target house used to rehearse assaults before a mission.

Goat Trail: dirt or unpaved road.

Green Zone: Heavily guarded area with several former Presidential Palaces in central Bagdad where US coalition and Iraqi authorities live and work. Much of the rest of Iraq is the Red Zone.

Grunt: Infantryman

Gun Truck: Usually a turtle-back Humvee with a weapon system on top (i.e. .50 cal, or Mk-19).

Haji: Service members’ term for indigenous Iraqis or persons of Arabic descent. Derived from the term given to one that has made the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. Used as an adjective to describe anything Iraqi or Afghani (i.e. haji DVD, haji internet, haji cell phone) Also used: jundi.

Haji Armor: improvised armor, installed by troops hiring Iraqis to update the vehicles by welding any available metal to the sides of Humvees.

Haji Detail: overseeing Iraqi work details on FOBs, mainly day laborers.

Haji Mart: convenience store usually found on FOBs. Usually sell various sundries, from DVD’s to candy bars to cigarettes. Also, sometimes sold porn and alcohol.

Hardball: paved road.

Hardened Building: A building with sandbags and a roof, preferably made of concrete.

Hesco: big bins filled with dirt used to absorb explosions.

Hooah: The official word of the Army. Meaning varies dependent upon the circumstances. Origin is apocryphal.

Hooch: Where one sleeps

Hooyah: The official word of tadpoles going through BUD/s and the Navy SEALs (although not used much after BUD/s.) Can be used as an acknowlegement “do you understand? Hooyah.” A greeting “Hooyah Lt. Dan!” or a battle cry “Hooyah!”

Hot-A’s: Hot chow. When mermited, usually arrives cold or lukewarm.

ICDC: Iraqi Civil Defense Corps. Forerunner to the ING, disbanded and reformed as the ING due to alleged corruption, incompetence, and collusion with the insurgent forces.

IED: improvised explosive device. Military jargon for a roadside bomb. Varies is size, and materials

ILO MP: IN LIEU OF MP. One with an MOS of other than MP, but retrained as one.

ING: Iraqi National Guard.

INTSUM: Intelligence summary. pronounced “ent-some” most of the time, given the day after the events were supposed to happen. It’s nice in that it lets you know what was supposed to happen yesterday.

IP: Iraqi Police

Imshi: Arabic for “move along.”

Indirect: indirect fire, usually referring to mortars and rockets.

Insh’allah: Arabic for “will of God.” Along the lines of “so be it.”

Inside The Wire: inside an enemy combatant detention facility. Working “inside the wire” of the enemy combatant detention facility can lead to stress for the US troops working there.

Istah: Derogatory Arabic for “move along.”

Jingle Trucks: (Afghanistan) (transport trucks with colorful stickers and chimes), the military contracted for host nation delivery trucks, known as “jingle trucks” because of the decorative metal tassels hanging from the bottom of the truck frames that jingled when the trucks moved. These trucks are contracted through Afghan Government officials. The NCO responsible for these contracts was known as the “jingle man”. The contract price was based on the destination and the type of truck used. Fuel tankers and trucks that could carry 20-40 foot containers were available. Although serviceable, these trucks would no pass standard US specifications.

KAF: stands for Kandahar Air Field. It is the main base of operations for the Southern part of Afghanistan. It is the main transportation hub-both Helo and Fixed Wing-also Convoys of Humvees going in and out.

KBR: Kellogg, Brown, and Root. Subsidiary of Halliburton, they are the primary contractor in OIF/OEF, running most of the logistical support.

Kevlar/Kpot/ACH: Helmet.

Lima Charlie: Loud and Clear.

M1114 /Up-Armor: Factory armored Humvee. Heavier and more protection than ASK kits, which is after factory armor added to a soft-skin Humvee.

M1: M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank.

M203: 40 mm grenade launcher, usually mounted under the barrel of and M16/M4. Single shot. Usually know as “2-O-3.”

M240: Machine gun. If dismounted, used in pairs with a gunner and assistant gunner (AG).

M249/SAW: Squad automatic weapon. Primary automatic rifle of a team/squad. Fires the same round as the M14/M16, but is belt fed, capable of firing 500-800 rds/minute. Ammo is usually carried in 200 round drums or 100 round bags (also known as “tea bags.”)

M4/M16: Standard rifle. The M4 is distinguished from the M16 by a shorter barrel and a retractable stock. The M4 is usually equipped with a rail system, to which various items can be attached.

MRE: Meal Ready to Eat. Alternately known as meal refused by everyone, meal refusing to exit, meal mysteries, and the 3 lies; they aren’t meals, they aren’t ready, and they certainly aren’t edible.

MSR: Main supply route. Usually a highway with a name designation following it. Largest MSR in Iraq is MSR TAMPA, going from Kuwait to Turkey.

MWR or MWR Tent: Morale, Welfare and Recreation. Usually an area of the FOB set up for various games, books, internet, and television.

Maku: Arabic roughly translated to “I don’t have any,” as in “Maku chocolata.” Usually followed by Iraqi child swearing at you in English.

Mark 19: Automatic 40mm grenade launcher, belt-fed.

Meet the locals – Acronyms and poorly spoken Iraqi Arabic

Mermite: 1. (n.) container used to transport Hot-A’s from the DFAC to service members. 2. (v.) Moving Hot-A’s”We’ll mermite chow out to that OP.”

Midnight Rats/Mid Rats: Late night chow for those that can’t make the DFAC during regular hours.

Mike Mike: Millimeter. Used mainly when referring to the metric caliber of ammunition.

Mike: Minute. As in “I’ll be there in 5 mikes.”

Mortaritaville/Bombaconda: Nickname for LSA Anaconda, a major base near Balad, reflecting the frequent mortar attacks.

Mu Zien: no good.

Muj (pronounced: Mooj): Short for Mujahadeen. Formally a person who wages jihad, informally used for the Iraqi insurgents starting in 2005.

NCO: Non-commissioned officer. A fancy way of saying sergeant.

NCOIC/OIC: Non-commissioned officer in charge/Officer in charge.

NGO: Non-governmental organization. (Red Cross/Crescent, Doctors without Borders, etc.)

Net: Radio network. Usually unit specific.

O’ Dark Thirty: Far too early in the morning.

OGA: Other Government Agency – CIA

OPORD: Operations Order. A five Paragraph format for combat orders. Includes situation, mission, execution, service and support, and command and signal

OPSEC: Operational Security. Prevention of plans, troop numbers and strategy from getting to enemy

OTV: (Outer Tactical Vest)/IBA (Individual Body Armor)/Vest- body armor. Usually consists of a Kevlar vest and ceramic plates. Combined, rated to a threat level IV, meaning it can stop a 7.62mm round.

Ooh-Rah: The official word of the Marine Corps. Meaning varies dependent on the circumstances.

PCC/PCI: Pre-combat check/inspection. Checking of pertinent equipment and knowledge of mission before operation.

POG: Pronounced “pogue.” Usually referred to someone that is a “shammer,” or someone that is no good. Varies in usage. Originally used mainly by infantry personnel, referred to ‘people other than grunts.’ Usage moved throughout the Army, now generally refers to anyone that is a poor excuse for a soldier.

POO Site: Point of origin site. Pronounced “poo” Point of origin for indirect fire

PRT: This stands for Provincial Reconstruction Team. These are military, government departments and civilian aid organizations from our country and many others who come to a town to help rebuild. They coordinate construction projects and provide humanitarian assistance.

PSD: Personal Security Detail-private security contractors.

Plugger: PLGR (Precision Lightweight GPS Receiver); a GPS unit.

Pogey Bait: derived from POG, refers to candy, sweets, or any other food that the Army does not issue but tastes good (any food the Army doesn’t issue.)

Pop Smoke: Leave.

Pucker Factor: not necessarily a number, but generally refers to the intensity of fear felt during any given situation. Derived from the involuntary clenching of the buttocks during high-stress situations.

QRF: Quick Reaction Force. On standby to react to any situation.

ROE: Rules of Engagement. The rules given to every service member on when to engage targets. Changes dependent upon the situation.

RPG: Rocket Propelled grenade. Insurgents like to fire these at coalition forces.

RTO: Radio telephone operator (Army) or RO-radio operator (Marines). The person working the radio, usually either in a combat maneuver element or at the TOC (see below).

Red on Red: Enemy-on-enemy fire. In June 2005, it was reported that Marines patrolling the desert near the Syrian border had, over the previous several months, seen a new trend in the Iraq insurgency. Insurgents were fighting each other in towns along the Euphrates from Husayba to Qaim. This suggested that there had been a split between Islamic militants and local rebels.

Roger, Roger That: From radio parlance, a word for ‘understood.’

S-1: Personnel.

S-2: Intelligence.

S-3: Operations.

S-4: Logistics and supply.

S-Shops: Battalion-level organizations that handle administrative duties. Usually there are only 4, but can be more, dependent upon the level of command. Many times referred to as ‘shops’ as in the ‘3 shop’ (operations)

SAPI: Small arms protective insert, usually pronounced “sappy.” Ceramic plates inserted into the front and back of the IBA/OTV

SINGARS: Radio SP/RP (start point/release point): used to call in departure (SP) and arrival (RP). Almost always used in acronym form, and can be either noun (the SP is at checkpoint 12) or verb (We RP’d about 20 minutes ago.)

Sadiki: Friend.

Salaam Aleikim: A more formal Arabic phrase for hello. Translates to ‘peace be upon you.’ Response: Aleikum salaam; and upon you, peace.

Sandbox: Almost any desert area of operations, or middle eastern country.

Shake and Bake: First used during Vietnam War and revived in Iraq to refer to attacks using a combination of conventional bombs, cluster bombs (CBU), and napalm. In the battle of Fallujah in 2004, it was used in reference to a combination barrage of White Phosphorus and explosive artillery shells.

Sham Shield (Army only): a designation for the rank of specialist, E-4. Refers to one who does not have enough rank to be an NCO, but has enough experience to get out of some of the lousy details.

Sham: To shirk one’s duties. Usually used when referring to one that avoids unpleasant, non-life threatening work. When used as a noun, shammer.

Snivel Gear: Any article of clothing used to prevent troops from sniveling when the conditions get too wet or cold. This category includes Gore-Tex parkas, gloves, balaclavas, neck gaiters, etc.

Soft-Skin: unarmored vehicle. Primary vehicle for OIF/OEF I, many later had armor added on, either as ASK kits, or salvaged metal found by digging through local landfills and welded on (hillbilly/farmer armor).

Spoon: a cook or someone who serves food as their job.

Stryker: 8 wheeled APC.

Sustainer Theater: AAFES’ motion picture team has assembled an opening lineup of movies for the Balad Camp Anaconda theater dubbed “Sustainer.” Before soldiers can view first run shows at the Sustainer Theater, the process of getting movies there takes weeks of time and effort, initially beginning at the Army Air Force Exchange Service headquarters in Dallas.

TCN: Third Country National: A citizen of a neutral country who is in the theatre of operations as a contractor. The Nepalese truck drivers who were killed by Ansar Al Sunnah in the summer of 2004 were TCN’s.

TCP: Traffic Control Point.

TOC: Tactical Operations Center. Usually pronounced ‘tock.’ Where command elements are primarily located.

Tent City: More often seen in Kuwait or in beginning of OIF, essentially a large collection of tents

Terp: Interpreter.

The Joys of Life Downrange: Everyday lingo.

Turtleback: Swimming on your back while watching the direction you came from and typically a compass-board. Usually done with a chest-mounted breathing aparatus like a Draeger.

Turtleback Humvee: a Humvee that does not have an open back. Usually a M1114 or M1025, when viewed from the side, looks like a turtle.

U-1/2/3: Codes given for level of troop protection on the FOB, varies from day to day dependent upon intel. Exact qualifications vary from FOB to FOB, but generally along these lines.

U-1: No body armor or helmet required, must have weapon and magazine of ammo.

U-2: Must have body armor, helmet, weapon and magazine whenever out side a hardened building or trailer. Usually for a specified time period.

U-3: Same as above, but open-ended, without any specific time period ending.

UXO: Unexploded Ordnance. Anything that has the potential to blow up, but hasn’t.

VBIED: vehicle borne IED. Car bomb. Usually either spelled out or stated as “V-bed’

Washington’s Driver: Someone who’s been in the service a very long time. As in the person is old enough to have been Washington’s driver.

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, over?: Alphanumeric abbreviation in the form of a radio communication. Literally translated: What the Fuck, over? Used when things devolve into a Charlie Foxtrot.

Wileys/Wiley-X’s: protective eyewear issued to all soldiers in theater.

XO: Executive Officer. One step below Commanding Officer.

Zulu Time: Greenwich Mean Time.

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  • Albee Marquez

    haha classic!

  • Dave J.

    Awesome, can I get the BOHICA as a bumper sticker?

  • Pepper13

    Awesome list!, how about some of the old school standbys..SNAFU ” Situation Normal, All Fucked Up” and the ever popular FUBAR “Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition.

  • spenceman

    Great article, funny stuff at times, especially love the title photo.
    Insh’allah: arabic phrase for “fuck it”.
    Unofficial, but that’s the inherent meaning my friends and I gathered.

    Also, UXO refers specifically to conventional ordnance that has the potential to blow up, but hasn’t.

    All in all good stuff.

  • MSgt Mattice

    Good Stuff!

  • Brian Green

    One of my favorites not on your list: HMFIC

    • adam

      what does it mean ?

    • A.J. Steiner

      In the context I’ve heard it, “Head Mo-Fo in Charge.” Though there may be other interpretations, like most acronyms in the military. 😉

    • The guys below knew what I meant 🙂

    • or lets be real… HNIC is used more often from my reco lol..

    • Fenix

      Head Mother [email protected]#$er in Charge/Command

      or my fav as well

      Head [email protected]@er in Charge/Command

  • adam

    I.L.H.C.I.M.A. we kept getting screwed over when i was in P.S.A.B. so we got some shirt made up….
    i like hard c?>kin my [email protected]……

  • TacticalTom

    In LE we use one that was new to me, DTR, as in Down The Road, as in get this guy down the road.
    My girl and I use HUA, as in Heard Understood and Acknowledged.

    My favorite from above was the Death Blossom, it reminded me of an incident from the SEAL book “Good to Go” by Harry Constance about the ARVN. He was told anytime they’re shooting at something it’s perfectly safe b/c if any real threat was near the ARVN would be running away as fast as possible.
    Also, I liked Fobbit/Fobgoblin; they have a great Fobbit shirt at Ranger Up.

    I have to disagree with the origin of Haji to refer to a generic ME person. Haji comes from Jonny Quest’s best friend!

  • good list.. see a few missing but good stuff.

    I ‘unofficially’ dropped a BOHICA under my breath to one of my guys in a client meeting a while back and one of them was ex lrrp in vietnam (I found out later)… he kinda knew what that was and the locking of eyes made me have that realization. The fact that he didn’t say anything to his boss was interesting but I’m assuming he agreed with me. Thought I screwed the pooch on that one lol. 🙂

  • Steve

    What about SKATE as in “I was put on some shit detail but i think I will Skate out of it.”
    Seek cover
    Keep a low profile
    Avoid higher ups.
    Take your time
    Enjoy yourself.

  • A.J. Steiner

    Hahaha, Perfect! I’ve never seen so much military slang and jargon in one place. Great compilation!

  • Kenny

    Willy Pete – White Phosphorus.

    Get your sierra in one bravo – Get your shit in 1 bag.

    In Naval Aviation, Pull Chalks means to leave.

  • I don’t know if you intend to update this and have it be a “living” reference (which would be cool), but I noticed that you use the acronym APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) several times in the descriptions but don’t officially list it. Great info to have in one place.

  • painisprogress

    Solid list guys! Here’s a few more.
    BUB-Battle update brief (avoid at all costs)
    SSE-Sensitive site exploitation
    DOCEX-Document Exploitation
    J-LENS-The magical white balloon!
    ISR platform -Intel, Surveillance, Recon platform
    Leg-Non Airborne joes
    Ficki ficki (fricki fricki)- haji nickname for porn
    Z out- Take the crypto fill out of your comms
    We always called the CSH the “Cash”, but maybe that was just us.
    Geardo-The dude with all the store bought combat candy. Normally a fobbit with a clean IBA.

    Ali Baba. Hahahaha.
    Muj-“Mista Mista! No Ali Baba!”
    Us- “Oh Yeah MFer? Than why do you have 4 cell phones and your hands are glowing from x spray?”

  • painisprogress

    Oh man. Almost forgot “Battle Rattle”. Your war gear to include kevlar, armor, ppe, full load out etc.

  • FeNuts

    FAB- Feet, ass, and balls. We always used it as a reference to smell, but I have heard it used in other manners.

    • Drummer

      Hahaha! havent heard that one, we use DAN- dick, ass, nuts to describle the usual “funk” smell you attained from a few wonderful days of free-ballin’ with no showers.

    • FeNuts

      I heard it from my sergeant, it got passed around, now everyone uses it; including all our families haha. I will definatly start using DAN hahaha! that is just amazing! Thanks brother!

  • ZenEngineer

    “AT-4: an 84mm anti-tank round. Essentially, a disposable Bazooka” was at the tail end of the ASK kit definition, and I think it was meant to be it’s own definition.

  • Utini

    Oscar Mike — On the Move, also On Mission, Moving Out, or some other variation on, “Get in the fuckin’ truck, we’re outta here!”

  • TripWire

    I agree that this should be a living list, great idea for civs that don’t have any clue what is said sometimes.
    Not used much but here are a couple more:

    Chalk- Refers to a group of soldiers assigned to a particular bird, mainly used by airborne/air assualt troops. Comes from the practice of numbering helicopter doors with chalk.

    Tockroach- Someone who works mainly in the TOC.

    • Kenny

      Stick – refers to a group of paratroopers in an aircraft on the way to a jump.

    • Charles

      LMAO. As an MP in Security PLt it was my job on dismount point to guard the TOC… That was as far away from the 2 star as I could get & still do my job.

  • hidrotule
    • Kenny

      Semper Fidelis – Always Faithful.
      Semper Erectus – Always Hard

    • Ethan Newlun

      Semper Gumby always flexible

  • knick

    Love the list. For the SAW I always heard the 100 Rounders reffered to as nutsacks the teabag was new to me.

    • teabag = nutsack

      never heard of teabagging? (urban dictionary)

  • Cory Heimark

    great list

    a few more

    SWAG = scientific wild ass guess

    Breakaway = 1/4″ cotton webbing (80lb breaking strength)

    type 3 nylon = another term for 550 cord/ paracord

    FLOT – Forward Line Of Troops


    OBJ = objective

    OPCON = Operational Control

    FRIES = Fast Rope Infiltration, Exfiltration System otherwise known as Fast Roping

    SPIES = Special Purpose Infiltation, Exfiltration System

    Dope on a Rope = Person on a harness conducting SPIES suspended from a Helo

    GOTWA – 5 point contingency plan
    G – where are you going
    O – others you are taking with
    T – Time expected to return
    W – What happens when you don’t return
    A – Actions on Contact/ or Combat

    Wall to Wall counseling – method of dealing with discipline issues (not written or verbal) i.e. Physical correction by force …

  • Eric Morse


  • Reddog245

    PENIS-Platoon Exercise Not Involving Soldiers. Would stick it on the training schedule for the times when the NCOs and officers would do a walk-thru of the training for the enlisted, but without the enlisted. Easier than “All Officers and NCOs,” and generally appropriate on several levels.

  • Phil

    One thing you forgot to include was CO – Commanding Officer, which is odd since you included XO.

    Here’s another one: Say again – Used over the radio instead of repeat for when you want someone to repeat what was just said. Repeat is never used because it’s an artillery term for “Repeat Fire” or “Repeat Fire Mission” and is not used in case an artillery battery accidentally over hears “repeat” and thinks it’s for them and they then proceed to fire again into an area that might now be occupied by friendlies.

    Bingo – Radio brevity code, used by pilots mainly, for low fuel.

    Jester – Very low fuel, pretty much on fumes. Once again used mainly by pilots.

    Winchester – Pilot speak for out of ammo.

    RTB – Return to Base.

    FOD – Foreign Object or Debris. Any small object that might get sucked up by the intake of a jet.

    FOD walk – This is when a runway or airstrip gets cleaned up of any FOD that might be there. This is typically conducted at the beginning of flight ops with a large group of people (typically non-NCO’s) standing next to each other and slowly walking down the runway picking up any little piece of rock, trash, or junk that they see.

    Field day – Marine speak for cleaning of one’s room, barrack, work space, etc. This typically involves sweeping, dusting, general tidying up, mopping, and (sometimes) waxing the floor. Like all other undesirable military duties this is often done by the lower (non-NCO) ranks.

  • mothersmurfer

    MFIC = Mother Fucker In Charge
    TARFU = Things Are Really Fucked Up (condition after SNAFU, but before FUBAR)

  • The Dude

    Hey, you forgot TACP in Battlefield Airmen! Who else is going to call in that strike on AWR?

  • DILLIGAF (dilly-gaf)
    Do I Look Like I Give A Fuck

  • Trenton Hanifin

    Some additions:

    S-6 Signal Shop The guys who fix your radios, computers and set up crazy ass satilite connections

    FSO- Fire Support Officer

    FO- Forward Observer

    Bingo- calling someone out for not properly saying numbers in artillery fashion

    Check or Hold- asking whether or not the action is ok to go forward with

    Artillery has a lot of its own.

  • OCCD

    During Nam a “Shake and Bake” normally referred who completed AIT, went to NCO School, and came out as in E-5.

  • Squad47

    John Wayne Paper
    The wad of toilet paper from MRE’s, because it was rough and tough and wouldn’t take Shit off of anyone!

    • MNsurvivor

      Un-ass the AO – for leave the area
      Water Buffalo – for the trailers that carrried water out to the field areas.

      Don’t forget the basics like;
      KP – Kitchen Patrol for working in the mess hall
      PT – Physical Training
      CQ/CQ Duty – Charge of Quarters, for watching over the barracks

    • tacgirl2000

      Great site! lmao at some. Re: John Wayne TP. Things don’t change much I guess. My dad was 100th/442nd he kept telling me to save paper like they did the stuff they used for TP. Put a hole in it, use your finger and wipe it on the ground over your cathole.

  • MNsurvivor

    I forgot one…….

    LPC – Leather Personnel Carriers, your boots.

  • JaxJohn419

    I was told by an old NCO in 1988, that it was called 100mph tape because “it goes so fast”, which i think all vets and soldiers could verify!

  • david

    In addition to CHU/CHUville, I’ve also heard CLU (container living unit).

  • Flynn

    Couple others and a correction- IBA is for Interceptor Body Armor, a specific model.
    DAGR-Defense Advanced GPS Receiver
    Cable Dogs- (ARMY) 25L, unlucky bastard tasked with replacing cables day in and day out, usually due to the cables being crushed by vehicles etc.
    FUBAR-F*cked up beyond all recognition/recovery
    SOL-Sh*t Outta Luck
    Shamouflage-Appearing to be gainfuly employed to get out of details
    And a more specific definition for
    Hooah-anything other than no, depending on context
    FBCB2-Force 21 Battle Command Brigade and Below-New version of BFT

  • SFC Clarence F Prigmore Ret

    Cheese Eater or Cheese Eat’n Bastard – A guy that sucks up to make him self look good to his immediate supervisor or the chain of command. We all know what I am talking about.
    Your an FS Pvt Jones! Example “Hey You Fuck Stick’s get the hell out of my BARRACKS!
    U’s in referring to BT’s Basic Trainees – U’s = Ewes a Female Sheep Example ” “Hey EWE’s get the FLOCK out of my BARRACKS!
    I was a SDS for a long time and we’d always come up with some funny ass shit.

  • MANY THANKS TO EVERYONE! These made my day and gave me a great ROTFL in the morning!


  • 2pt

    DUD = Deadly unexploded demolitions

    Mae West = Parachute with half turned upside down so looking like a huge bra

    2pt plf = feet then head landing prarchute landing fall

    Deuce and a half = 2 1/2 ton truck (tactical)

    LZ haircut = Infantry OCS style of sort of a an extreme flat top

    Lifer = career soldier

    Yardbird = derogatory term for a trainee

    Follow on Force = second effort, a combat force, but often used in a sexual context

    First Shirt or Top = First Sergeant

    Smadge = Sergeant Major

    Idiot Sticks = Crossed Rifles Infantry Insignia

    Road Guard Badge = National Defense Service Medal – issued in Vietnam era for one active duty day

    In-Country = In Vietnam

    Cigarette Roll = parachute malfunction when chute fails to open, but just flutters in a while column

    Coining = producing a challenge coin with a unit’s insignia challenging another to prove he had been there

    Field Stripped Butt = cigarette butt torn open and remaining tobacco spread

    Police the area = Pick up cigarette butts not field stripped by duds, probably from another unit

    Civvies = Anything not a uniform

    Klicks = Kilometers

    Grease Trap = KP called outside man sorted trash, put grease down hole, Army sold it for pig food

    DRO = KP job of Dining Room Orderly – cleaned the dining area, fetched & spit in NCO/OFF meals

    KP = Kitchen Police – caught shit all day long from frustrated spoons (cooks)

    Silver Bullet = ten gallon coffee machine in the mess hall the cooks would not drink from

    Brown Nose = needed turn signals installed on supervisors hips to prevent broken noses from fast turns

    Chicken Walk = 1st week trainees laughed at 2d week trainees “I’ll never be drunk enough to do that!”

    Master Blaster = Airborne soldier awarded the Master Parachutist Badge, all else are pretenders

    BCGs = Birth Control Glasses – issued glasses so ugly you could never get laid wearing them

    COB = close of business, end of the working day

    AWOL = Absent With Out Leave

    Hollywood Jump – No weapons or field equipment, just air items, duty uniform and steel pot

    STRAC = Strategic Army Command or slang for having it all together and looking good

    BOLO = You failed, mission, marksmanship, didn’t get laid or BOLOed the date

    GO at this station = passed this part of the test, move out to the next station

    4th point of contact = Parachute Landing Fall has 5 points of contact, 4th is your butt

    Battle Rattle = full field gear

    Ruck Up = off your buts and put on your ruck sack, moving out

    Gig Line = lining up the edge of the left side of the shirt, belt buckle and pants zipper

    Hooch = Vietnam era slang for where a soldier slept at night in base camp

    SOS = shit on a shingle or creamed chipped beef on toast

    Real World or Back in the World = Reference to the USA while stationed overseas

    Boot or Crute = a basic trainee or one who acts like one

    Going Downrange = leaving base camp for a patrol or ambush, also “lock and load city”

    Pop-up shoot back = Rifle ranges have targets which pop up after being hit, this refers to enemy soldiers

    RVN = Republic of Vietnam – a domino which fell, followed by the deaths of millions in RVN and the Killing Fields of SE Asia

    ‘Yards = Montagnards, French for Mountain People who call themselves Dega. Malayo-Polynesians who were in SE Asia before Orientals and always considered less human. Pushed into the Central Highlands over centuries, lived in 21 different tribes, RVN not able to effectively employ them against the NVA. US Special Forces recruited, trained, equipped and advised them, then the US pulled out and they were on their own. Google them, their story was tragic.

  • Jer

    TIC – Troops in Contact; i.e.- firefight.

    4th point of contact – Airborne term for ass, since it’s supposed to be the 4th point of contact when you hit the ground. As in: ‘Pull your head out of your 4th point of contact, Numbnuts. ‘

    Booger hook – Trigger finger

    Bang switch – Trigger; used in conjunction with booger picker as in: ‘Keep your booger hook off the bang switch, Numbnuts!’

    Numbnuts – Your name when you’re screwing up and somone is trying to get your attention.

    Wingman – A great pal. He takes the not so hot friend so you can score with the hot one. This is a one for one exchange and if violated, see ‘Blue Falcon’. Punishment varies from humiliation to exclusion from future fun.

    Glow belt/Power Ranger belt – The insane reflective belts that overly coddling safety conscious FOBBITS make Soldiers wear in times of low light. Sometimes in broad daylight as well. The level of idiocy depends on how many years over 20 they have served.

    9 banger- A flash-bang grenade that has nine separate charges that go off in rapid succession. Especially fun to throw on a tin roof.

    Pro Mask – Short for Protective Mask; i.e., Gas Mask.

    • david

      POG person other than grunt

  • Stephen

    RPG’s: Rape Prevention Glasses. The standard issue Army prescription eye glasses everyone wears in basic training. They are hideous.

  • booker

    In the 5-para OPORD, Service & Support is now called Sustainment, IAW FM 5-0.

  • gunbunny

    BCG’s – Birth Control Glasses Basic Combat glasses

  • GaryCoon

    I watched a military show, Inside Combat Rescue. They use the term MIST, what does it mean/stand for.

    • GaryCoon  I think that would have been a MIST report, which can also be ATMIST, standing for the following:

      Time (of injury)

      Mechanism (of injury)
      Injuries Sustained
      Signs (vital signs)
      Treatment Given

  • frodslot

    Pogey Bait refers to M&M’s issued to Marines during WW2.  They used to give some to “Pogeys” (island natives or children) to extract info on where the Japs are…

    • MarkGibson

      The phrase “pogie bait” goes back to the 1800’s. The Irish word for “kiss” is “pog” (pronounced pog).
      Irish & English sailors visiting Polynesian islands would carry treats (often candy) that they would use to trade for -hopefully- kisses. Hence the term “pogie bait” or “kiss bait”. It also came to mean unsavory things with young boys for much the same reason. (Winston Churchill once said “Don’t tell me about Naval tradition…it’s all rum, sodomy. & the lash.)
      The Irish phrase “póg mo thóin” literally translates to “kiss my ass”.
      At some point the phrase entered military lexicology. It’s not known if Irish immigrants brought it, specifically, but that’s a reasonable assumption anyway.

  • CaptML

    I’m a retired airline captain and reading a great book “Viper”.  The guy uses the term “zipper the mike” and, while I understand the context, I’ve never heard the term used.  Any help on exactly what he’s saying?

    • Craig

      CaptML That means to wordlessly acknowledge a transmission by double clicking your transmit button.

    • Stephen1949

      @Craig CaptML Thanks. I’m also reading “Viper” and also recommend it as a great book!

  • 81MM

    here are a few more

    pussy patch – all hair on your head shaved except a little tiny patch on the front 
    low reg – lowest allowable hairline for haircut
    med reg – med style haircut
    high and tight – motto hair cut
    horse shoe – super high and tight with the very top cut to the skin making a horse shoe shape with the opening facing the back
    steel rain – arty or mortar fire for effect
    STEAL – Strategic Transfer of Equipment to Alternate Locations
    Fire watch – guard duty
    go-fasters – running shoes
    4×4’s – everyday combat boots
    ink stick – pen
    head – bathroom
    dog tag chaser – someone who likes screwing military members
    barracks hoe – dog tag chaser but …. more of a permanent fixture
    81’s / 60’s – type of mortar
    salty / salt dog – salty cammies, you have been on the water (salt bleaches out cammies)
    Grunt – ground unit
    hero – someone who wants combat glory at the cost of the people around them
    slide for life – ride a long zipe line into water

  • gi4usa

    a few military vernacular
    When Christ was a Corporal = a long time ago
    Combat nap = downtime
    Dick beaters = hands

  • gi4usa

    FNG = Fucking New Guy

  • alexjones69rules

    what’s up y’all?  I hope someone can help me; my best friend is a Combat Control vetaran from the U.S. A.F. (In case some of you aren’t aware what that is… -Air Force Special Forces)   and I want to construct a very special plaque for him for Christmas.   I’d like to in case a knife inside and I’m wondering  if any one can tell me if C.C.C.  ever issued any  standard issue knives at he alexjones69rules the time he seved, or any other time for that matter..
      which was sometime in the early  70’s to the early 90’s.  Any help would be helpful.  Bless ya!   – a vet.

  • JerryG77

    What is the name/slang for U.S. military to call a South American / Mexican decent Cartel / Bad Guy…

  • dubya

    Does anyone know what bangomen are as used in an Ambrose Bierce poem?

  • Craig

    @Kenny that is “pull chocks”

  • Jarhead35

    SWAG- Silly Wild Ass Guess

  • The standard issue Army prescription eye glasses everyone wears in basic training. They are hideous.

    • LKM

      You mean BCG’s? Aka Birth Control Glasses

  • mk360

    Another great site!

  • armywannabee97

    cant believe they’ve got bohica, but not fubar, f***ed up beyond all repair, or snafu, situation normal: all f***ed up. still a great list, though!

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