AntiAircraft, referring to fire, devices, or weapons; also known
as "archy" / "archie" being WWI British slang that probably
derives from the pattern of its trajectory; see FLAK, ACK-ACK,
POM-POM, SAM, MISSILE, ROCKET [nb: another proposed derivation
for "archy" / "archie" is the hindrance caused by German
antiaircraft fire which supposedly reminded some WWI airmen of
the refrain in a popular 1915 music hall song: "Archibald,
Certainly Not!"]. Also, abbreviation for Assembly Area; see TAA,
RV, RP, RALLY POINT, LINE OF DEPARTURE, POD, IP, WAY POINT, RON.
Also, abbreviation for AIR ASSAULT, meaning AIRMOBILE or AIR CAV;
see YELLOWLEG. Also, the "double A" signifier of the 82nd
Airborne Division representing All American; see ALMOST AIRBORNE.
AntiAircraft Artillery, often called "triple-A"; see ARTY. Also,
slang for Affirmative Action Asshole, when referring to marginal
MIL-PERS who are advanced more by preferential quota than by
skill; see RUNTS 'n' CUNTS, PUKE, CREEP, UP OR OUT, VOLUNTEER,
AVF, RETREAD, TOTAL FORCE, COMBAT EFFECTIVE.
Army Advisory Detachment. See MAAG.
Army and Air Force Exchange Service, being the PX/BX
concessionaire; the modern sutler's store of general merchandise
for military personnel and their dependents; compare NEX,
COMMISSARY. [cf: vivandière]
Army Advisory Group; see MAAG.
Air-to-Air MISSILE; see AMRAAM, PHOENIX, SCORPION, SPARROW,
Also, the Army Achievement Medal, introduced in 1969 and
equivalent to the Air Force, Coast Guard, and Navy-Marine
versions, rated below the Commendation Medals, for recognition of
lesser accomplishments, but its award became immediately
political when differentiated by RANK instead of deed. The Army
Achievement Medal attempted to restore the ARCOM's prestige,
similar to the Meritorious Service Medal restoring the Bronze
Star Medal (BSM). See DSM, LOM, MSM, GREEN WEENIE, GONG.
After Action Report; sometimes "CAAR" or "COAAR" for Combat
Operations After Action Report, formerly known as "postmortem" or
"battle summary"; known as "After Action Incident Report" in the
US Navy, and "Final Action Report" in the Marine Corps. The warm
and fuzzy post-VN military changed the abbreviation to mean
"After Action Review", simulating a collegiate atmosphere of peer
discussion, but actually replicating the communist "struggle"
sessions in RE-EDUCATION. See DEBRIEF.
[nb: for American CIVIL WAR engagements, the battle summaries
were compiled and submitted as much as fifteen years following
the event; making their intelligence value nil, and making their
historic authenticity dubious at best!]
General Dynamics F-111 twin-engine, supersonic, turbofan,
all-weather tactical fighter aircraft, suitable for Short
Take-Off and Landing (STOL) from unimproved airstrips, as
employed in the VIETNAM WAR and Persian GULF WAR. See BIRD,
WSO, TANK PLINKING.
Australian Army Training Team Iraq; the contingent of rotating
advisory teams sent since May 2004 as part of the GULF WAR
coalition to teach military tactics and skillcrafts, renamed in
honor of the AATTV from the earlier element named the Australian
Army Training Team Middle East (AATTME).
Australian Army Training Team Vietnam, being a detachment from
the Australian Defence Forces (ADF); the contingent of ADVISORs,
many with experience in Malaysia, sent to Vietnam as part of the
SEATO coalition of Free World Forces (FWF) from 1962 to 1972. The
AATTV "Team" shoulder patch shows a MONTAGNARD crossbow, a
boomerang and scroll centered on a green shield with the legend
"Persevere". See ATFV, ASAS, ANZAC, NZATTV, NZV FORCE, ASEAN,
ANZUS, KANZUS, RAAF, FANK TRAINING COMMAND.
[v: Down Under Military Glossary]
Amphibious Assault Vehicle, or Assault Amphibious Vehicle,
carrying 18-20 troops from ship to shore, serving as ground
transport equipped with heavy machinegun and automatic grenade
launcher; formerly AMTRACK (LVTP-7), and redesignated AAVP-7
"Tuna Boat"; see TANGO BOAT, APC, LAV, TRACK, LANDING CRAFT.
an inconsistent abbreviation that sometimes represents Airborne
Brigade and other times represents Airborne Battalion (also cited
as "IAB"), such as 550th AB, 88th AB, 17th AB, etc; not to be
confused with ABN.
a defensive obstacle formed from rows of sharpened tree
branches projecting outward toward the enemy; during WWII, they
were nicknamed "Rommel's Asparagus". See PUNJI STAKE, FRAISE,
CALTROP, HEDGEHOG, BOLLARD, DRAGON'S TEETH. [cf: palisade]
an abridgement or contraction of a word or phrase, often
consisting of initial letters, used for concision in written
communication or documentation; compare ACRONYM, BREVITY CODE,
PROWORD, INTERCO, CODENAME, CODEWORD, NICKNAME, CIPHER, CODE.
Atomic-Bacterial-Chemical, or Atomic-Biological-Chemical warfare
agents; see CBR, CBRNE, GERM WARFARE, CBW, GNR, WMD, NUKE, BOMB,
Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center, or simply
AirBorne Command and Control Center; aerial supervision orbit
designated Alley Cat, CRICKET, HILLSBORO, and MOONBEAM. See
ABNCP, NEACP, LOOKING GLASS, C&C, C2, C3, C4, COMMAND
ELEMENT. [nb: "airborne" in the sense of aloft, not parachute]
alliance of American, British, Chinese, and Dutch forces in the
Pacific Theater of Operations during WWII; compare BIG FIVE, see
Army Board for Correction of Military Records; see NPRC.
ABC POWERS :
referring to Argentina, Brazil, and Chile as mediators between
the U.S. and Mexico in the 1914 MEXICAN BORDER CAMPAIGN.
abbreviation for AirBorNe, a paratrooper or parachute-qualified
MIL-PERS; see TAB, HANG TOUGH, BLAST, PROP BLAST. Also, vertical
delivery of troops or equipment, and aerial supervision; see AB,
AIRBORNE, PARATROOPER, PIR, PIB, PRCT, FREE-FALL, AMFFPC, VWT,
MFF, AIRHEAD, AIRDROP, BLAST, HOLLYWOOD BLAST, HIT THE SILK,
GANG-BANG, DZ, JSD, JUMPMASTER, AIRBORNE SHUFFLE, SQUAT, JUMP
TOWER, JUMP SCHOOL, BLACK HATS, RED HATS, JUMPER, JUMPIN' JUNKIE,
GOLDEN KNIGHTS, CHUTING STARS, LEAP FROGS, ANGELS, ALL AMERICAN,
SCREAMING EAGLES, SKY SOLDIERS, RAKKASAN, TRIPLE NICKEL, THUNDER
FROM HEAVEN, PARADICE, IRON MIKE, CATERPILLAR CLUB, FLIGHT BAG,
DINGLEBERRY, ROMMEL'S ASPARAGUS, OVAL, FLASH, WINGS, CENTURY
WINGS, BLACK WINGS, TRASH;
compare PATHFINDER, RIGGER, GLIDER, AIR ASSAULT.
[nb: Vietnamese term: Nhay Du] [v: Parachuting Terms,
and Parachuting History]
AirBorNe Command Post; compare ABCCC, NEACP, LOOKING GLASS,
C&C, CAP, UMBRELLA, HIGH 'n' DRY, RACETRACK, CROW'S NEST,
AWACS, VATLS. [nb: "airborne" in the sense of aloft, not
(aa-bee-oh) a classification (ABO system) of human blood into
four major groups (A, B, AB, O) that's based upon the presence (A
or B) or absence (O) of red blood cell antigens, as used since
WWII as an immunological classification when determining
compatibility for transfusions; see DOG TAGS, BLOOD EXPANDER,
BANK, CASTOFF, SYRETTE, MED BAG.
[nb: people with blood types B and O are more naturally resistant
to smallpox than those with blood type A] [cf: Rh factor; v:
American Association of Blood Banks (AABB)]
a bomb whose explosive force derives from a chain reaction of
fissile/fissionable materials, such as radioactive uranium or
plutonium, with the consequent conversion of part of their mass
into energy; also known as "atom bomb" or "atomic bomb". Compare
H-BOMB, N-BOMB; see ZERO POINT, GROUND ZERO, OVERKILL, CBR,
FOOTBALL, PENTAGONAL, DARPA, BIGGER BANG FOR THE BUCK, NUKE,
BIKINI, ENIWETOK, MANHATTAN PROJECT, YELLOWCAKE, HEAVY WATER, HOT
GREASE, SCRAM, CONTAINMENT, BROKEN ARROW.
[cf: radium, argon] [nb: due to a tactical scarcity of resources
and a strategic urgency of the war, only one nuclear test
explosion of a plutonium device, CODENAMEd "Trinity", was
conducted on 16 July 1945 near Alamogordo, NM; v: "Little Boy"
(uranium bomb) at Hiroshima on 6 August 1945, "Fat Man"
(plutonium bomb) at Nagasaki On 9 August 1945; the Soviet Union
detonated its first atomic bomb in August 1949]
[nb: the Yasukuni [meaning "peaceful country"] shrine, dedicated
in 1869 to the remembrance of Japan's honorable military dead in
battle and in recognition of their dutiful loyalty, has become a
national "peace" monument since the atomic bombings that
to interrupt or terminate the progress of any military operation,
also called "abortion"; failure to accomplish a military
objective for reasons other than enemy action.
ABOVE BOARD :
a nautical expression for "utterly fair" or "nothing hidden" that
was excerpted from the longer phrase: "all fair and above board";
refers to things situated on or above the main deck, the weather
or upper DECK, which were fully exposed to view and open for
everyone to see, hence without subterfuge or deception. See
TOPSIDE, OFFICER'S COUNTRY, CODE OF CONDUCT, HONOR CODE, PROMISE.
a magical invocation that seemingly conjures something from
nothing; a mystical word that will evoke one's desire when used
as an incantation. See SMOKE 'n' MIRRORS, FAIRY DUST, the magic
words "open sesame" at ALI BABA, PASSWORD, JOSS STICK, MOJO,
HOODOO, VOODOO, WIZARD, RAINMAKER, TECHNOLOGY.
the 70ton low-profile M1A1 Main Battle Tank (MBT); see TANK,
ABSOLUTE ALTITUDE :
the vertical distance between a flying aircraft, rocket, missile,
satellite, or the like, and the point on the earth's surface
directly below it, as measured by an electronic altimeter.
the intellectual consideration of the characteristics of
something in general terms, apart from concrete realities,
specific objects, or actual instances; the acts or events,
authentic or manifest, threatened or potential, that occur
elsewhere in time or place, involving strangers or other
insignificant people, and hence, by their remoteness, may be
judged dispassionately or ignored entirely, ostensibly without
any repercussions ... as civilians regard foreign wars in distant
lands; compare OBJECTIFICATION, see MILITARY MIND. Also, the act
of taking away or separating; withdrawal; secret removal.
sardonic slang reference to Afghanistan, its tribalism and
religious zealotry, as adopted by MIL-PERS from the title of a
bestselling novel [Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart (2006)];
see THE STANS, JAWBREAKER, ALPHABET SOUP, MUJ, HAJJI, RAGHEAD.
the Airman Battle Uniform in a digitized TIGER STRIPE pattern,
which replaced the BDUs worn in common with the Army and Marines
(except for flight suits worn by aircrews) in 2007; with this
uniform, nametapes and t-shirts were changed to tan, and the "no
polish" green-and-gray sueded boot is prescribed. See DIGITALS,
CAMMIES, CAMO, DRESS.
ABU GHRAIB :
a military detention facility located 32km west of Baghdad in
Iraq, used for Islamic TERRORISTs; made notorious by the high
jinks and misconduct of some Military Police (MP) prison guards.
See CLUB FED, GULF WAR.
abbreviation for Aircraft Commander, also spelled "A/C". [nb: the
Aircraft Commander sits in the left or port-side seat; the
Aircraft Commander may not be the highest ranking member of the
crew, but is the most qualified] Also, aircraft; see BIRD,
CHOPPER. Also, USAF Air Commando (qv). Also, air conditioning,
such as in an AID STATION or COMM SHACK; first used in India
during WWII, and having become ubiquitous (even in tents!) in
Iraq during the GULF WARs.
a school or college devoted to specialized instruction or
training in a specific subject; an institution dedicated to the
advancement of specialized knowledge in a particular field; as
derived from the Socratic or Platonic disciplines. See CADET,
TRADE SCHOOL, RING-KNOCKER, OCS, ROTC. [v: Military Schools] [v:
Siwash ("At Good Old Siwash" by George Helgeson Fitch (1911)] [v:
kriegsakademie, kriegsschule] [v: "What happens in school stays
Army Civilian Acquired Skills Program; offering enlistment at
higher GRADEs or RATINGs with compressed training in exchange for
military service. See MOS, CONAP, DEP, NESEP, BOOTSTRAP, USAFI,
Armored Cavalry Assault Vehicle; see ACR.
U.S. Air Force designation for the Air Combat Command, which
replaced the Strategic Air Command and Tactical Air Command
(1992); see SAC.
ACCESS CONTROL POINT :
ACCIDENTAL ATTACK :
an unintended attack which occurs without deliberate national
design as a direct result of a random event, such as a mechanical
failure, a simple human error, or an unauthorized action by a
subordinate; see ATTACK. [nb: there is no such thing as an
ACCOMMODATION LADDER :
a portable flight of steps suspended from the side of a vessel to
give crew and/or passenger ingress and egress access from smaller
boats alongside; also known as "boarding ladder". Compare AIR
STAIRS, LADDERWELL; see RAMP, GANGWAY.
to agree or reconcile; an agreement or concurrence of opinion, as
an "entente cordiale" (eg: the 1978 Camp David Accords led to the
1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty). See RAPPROCHEMENT, TREATY,
ENTENTE, DETENTE, RAISON D'ETAT, DIKTAT, APPEASE, TRUCE, PEACE.
[v: Diplomatic Terms]
improper interval for line of march consisting of bunching and
stretching of the FILE or COLUMN; a typical pattern for
inexperienced troops or a CONVOY of mixed military and civilian
vehicles. See CATERPILLAR, INDIAN FILE, COMBAT SPREAD, HEADWAY.
ACCORDION WAR :
the back-and-forth movement of contesting ground forces in a
dynamic situation or a fluid environment, as coined by Douglas
MacArthur when criticizing Matthew Ridgeway's command in the
KOREAN WAR; also known as ebb-and-flow, to-and-fro, and
backwards-and-forwards, this expression (without its pejorative
sense) could easily apply to many other theaters in different
wars, such as the Shenandoah Valley campaign during the American
CIVIL WAR or the north African campaign during WWII.
the obligation imposed by law, lawful order, or regulation on an
officer (or other responsible person) for keeping accurate record
of property, documents, or funds; the person so obligated need
not have actual possession of the property, documents, or funds.
ACCOUNTABILITY is concerned primarily with records, while
RESPONSIBILITY is concerned primarily with custody, care, and
a combat PILOT with at least five contact victories over
enemy aircraft; see BANDIT, BOGIE. [nb: aerial combat statistics
from all twentieth century wars show that 40% of kills were made
by only 5% of pilots]
ACE OF DIAMONDS :
nickname of the 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized), as derived
from the red diamond transport mark on unit equipment shipped
overseas during WWI deployment; also known as 5th Mech Infantry,
and formally known by its motto "Never Runs".
ACETATE COMMANDO :
the staff officer version of REMFs and CLERKS 'n' JERKS; being
daring with plans and aggressive in dispatches, being manly
enough to sweat in the air-conditioned BUNKER and courageous
enough to grapple at the O CLUB bar! See CANDY-ASS, PENCIL
PUSHER, MOAN 'n' GROAN, CHAIRBORNE, FOBBIT, TOCROACH, CHAIR
FORCE, MILICRAT, PUKE, ORIFICE, STAFF, HEADQUARTERISM.
[cf: apparatchik, nomenklatura, eunuch, nabob, nibs; placeholder,
chair warmer; checkbook gardener, gentleman farmer, patron of the
arts, white knight, fairy godmother, benefactor]
ACEY-DEUCY / ACEY-DEUCEY :
a variant form of backgammon popularly played aboard ships by
naval services from WWI, being faster paced with different rules
(eg: no doubling cube) and moves (eg: defensive "Oscar") than
standard backgammon (a roll of acey-deucy counts as 1-2, and as
doubles of the player's choice, then takes another turn) [v: Nine
Men's Morris]. Also, a card game among several players wherein
bets are laid on the probability of bracketing a third card
between an initial two, with the first ace selectively high or
low but the second ace always high; originating in China, this
positional card game is also known as "In-Between" or "Sheets";
see PLAYING CARDS, WAR GAMES, PLAY THE GAME. Also, a naval social
club or lounge reserved for the exclusive use of first ("aces",
E-6) and second ("deuces", E-5) class petty officers (PO/CPO),
being the most junior non-commissioned RATINGs. Also, slang for
safe or reliable, alright or acceptable, satisfactory or good;
Air Commando Group. See SOW.
ACHILLES HEEL :
any vulnerability or weakness, as an exposed or susceptible
position; also called "shatterpoint", and may be spelled
"Achilles' heel". This condition is subject to position and
timing. Achilles, the hero of the "Iliad", despite having been
bathed as an infant in the River Styx to render him invulnerable,
was mortally wounded by Paris in the Trojan War. See CHINK,
GOLDEN BB, MAGIC BULLET, REFUSE; compare BULLETPROOF, FAIRY DUST,
antiaircraft (AA) fire or weaponry; also known as "archy" /
"archie" being WWI British slang that probably derives from the
pattern of its trajectory. See FLAK, POM-POM.
[nb: another proposed derivation for "archy" / "archie" is the
hindrance caused by German antiaircraft fire which supposedly
reminded some WWI airmen of the refrain in a popular 1915 music
hall song: "Archibald, Certainly Not!"]
the Afghanistan Campaign Medal; participants are authorized to
wear a bronze campaign star (BATTLE STAR) on the pendant medal
and ribbon for each of three phases: Liberation of Afghanistan
(11 Sep 2001 - 30 Nov 2001); Consolidation I (1 Dec 2001 - 30 Sep
2006); Consolidation II (from 1 Oct 2006). See CAMPAIGN MEDAL,
FRUIT SALAD, GONG.
Also, the abbreviation for Aerial Combat Maneuvers or Air Combat
Maneuvering, being a confused aerial engagement with several
combatants; commonly called a DOGFIGHT or FUR BALL. See JINK,
YANK 'n' BANK, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT.
(aa-kogg) Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight, being a sturdy
telescope that conveniently mounts onto the carrying handle of
the M-16A4 RIFLE. [nb: M-4 Scout mounts the small non-telescopic
M-68 gunsight incorporating a "red aiming dot"]
(aa-cock) Aircraft Chronically Out Of Commission, informally
known as a HANGAR QUEEN; compare FLIGHTWORTHY.
ACOUSTIC SHADOW :
a phenomenon in which sound is deflected, obstructed, or
otherwise distorted, as by landscape, by intervening obstacles,
by atmospheric conditions, by air temperature or wind direction,
such that nearby sounds , which would be otherwise perceptible,
are inaudible, but presumptive evidence for their existence is
detectible by other means (eg: explosions, smoke, injuries, etc).
The occurrence of so-called "silent battles" was noted during the
American CIVIL WAR, affecting the outcome of the battle in some
cases ... in a few instances, the nearby "silent battle" was
clearly audible (by reflection) at great distances. Compare BLAST
SHADOW; see LOOM.
Access Control Point, being MIL-SPEAK for a checkpoint or
artificial CHOKE POINT, such as a doorway or gateway, receiving
station or inspection station; a place where the transit of
people or vehicles is monitored for security and interrupted for
inspection; a KEY TERRAIN feature that's tactically known as
CHECKMATE. See CHECKPOINT IN A BOX, BARBED WIRE, compare WAY
POINT. [cf: BARBICAN, sally port] Also, abbreviation for Assault
Command Post during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
Armored Cavalry Regiment; see CAV, HHT, TRP, SQDN,
LAAGER, ACAV, YELLOWLEG, CAVALRY WHISKERS, SPUR RIDE, ORDER OF
THE SPUR, YELLOW RIBBON.
a word formed from the initial letters, or groups of letters, of
the words in a name or phrase; as derived from "end" or
"extremity" and "word"; see CIPHER, compare ABBREVIATION, BREVITY
CODE, PROWORD, INTERCO, CODENAME, CODEWORD, NICKNAME, CODE. Also,
Air Commando Squadron. See SOW.
USAF abbreviation for Air Combat Tactics. Also, abbreviation for
Advanced Combat Training; see BCT, AIT, OSUT.
Advanced Combat Training Academy; see IMJIN SCOUT, compare
Q-COURSE, FINISHING SCHOOL, RECONDO, CHARM SCHOOL, COC.
ACTING JACK :
a temporary or intermediate promotion to a leadership position of
increased responsibility, but without the matching pay-grade
RATING increase, being the same as provisional BREVET or FROCKED
promotion for officers; also known as GADGET. The word "jack" in
this phrase probably means "amateur", as in 'jackleg'. See
BRASSARD, HONCHO, BREAK CHOP, WALLAH.
[nb: in the modern co-ed military, this phrase applies to both
sexes, in the same way a mixed group is asexually addressed as
"guys"; but this term has sometimes been converted to "Acting
Jane" or "Acting Jackless" when restricted to females (see GI
JOE, SWINGING DICK, SKIRT)]
ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS :
a proverbial expression meaning that speech is overshadowed by
deeds, that performance is better than a promise; also cited as
"actions speak louder than words", as in the phrase: "Talk is
cheap – actions speak louder than words!" ... which is
qualified by the phrase: "Actions speak louder than words, but
words of action speak proudly." Also represented as "Don't just
say it, do it!" or "Most people just talk shit, but some people
do shit!", "Practice what you preach!" or "Walk it like you talk
it!", "Talks the talk, and walks the walk!" or "Handsome is as
handsome does!". See TALK THE TALK, WATCH MY SMOKE, WALKS THE
WALK, BRING SMOKE, ROOT HOG OR DIE, RISKY-SHIFT EFFECT. [v: "Well
done is better than well said." attributed to Benjamin Franklin
(June 1921); "Fear not, my lord, we will not stand to prate;
Talkers are no good doers: be assured We come to use our hands
and not our tongues." by William Shakespeare in Richard
III (1594)] [cf: "talk a good game", "all talk and no
action", "all blow and no go", "much smoke and little fire", "all
mouth and no trousers"; v: BLOW SMOKE, LIP SERVICE, SMOKE 'n'
Army Concept Team In Vietnam; formed to evaluate the
CAR-15/XM-177E2 carbine, nicknamed "Shorty-16", which was a
compact and collapsed-stock M-16 rifle. See CAT, CMEC, BLACK
MAGIC, WIDOW MAKER, POODLE SHOOTER, TUPPERWARE.
to put a unit into existence, that has been previously
constituted or commissioned by name and number, so it can be
ORGANIZEd to function in its assigned capacity. When a unit is
disbanded (its colors furled, its assets redistributed, and its
personnel reassigned), it is formally DEACTIVATEd, "inactivated",
"demobilized", "dissolved", "decommissioned", or "retired". See
STAND-UP; compare ORGANIZE, REFLAG, RECONSTITUTED.
[nb: the term "composite" (put together) indicates a compound of
disparate elements forming a whole, while the term "component"
(put together) indicates constituent elements of a greater whole]
ACTIVE DEFENSE :
the employment of limited offensive action and counterattacks to
deny a contested area or position to the enemy; compare PASSIVE
ACTIVE DUTY :
full-time assignment in the regular military services of the
United States, including reserve components serving in the same
capacity, but excludes full-time National Guard duty; sometimes
qualified as "active duty for training". See MILITIA,
PARAMILITARY, WEEKEND WARRIOR, NG, RESERVE.
ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING :
(forthcoming); compare INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING; see SELECTED
ACT OF CONGRESS :
the writs, commissions, statutes, and other enactments uttered by
the ostensibly deliberative body vested by and for the people in
a locus of power comprising the Senate and the House of
Representatives; which meretricious acts, by some arcane process
of inscrutable legerdemain, acquire magical infallibility and
mystical sanctity, such that their transmutation of public trust
into legal tender, or gross profiteering into a fiscally balanced
budget, or influence peddling into unimpeachable leadership, or
flagrant cronyism into equal opportunity, or unethical compromise
into "liberty and justice for all" is nothing short of awesome!
That this productive process is a metaphor for mechanistic
reductionism, with the nourishment provided by citizen input
retained by the legislature for its own development, and its
enactments passed as byproducts defecated back onto society
merely bespeaks our extreme (but not inexhaustible!) tolerance
for self-abuse ... we, the people, should have long since
slaughtered the Fatted Calf and consumed it entire! See THE G,
THE NATIONAL JOKE FACTORY, FOGGY BOTTOM, UNCLE SAM, YANKEE, THE
EAGLE SHITS, NGO, QUANGO, GOCO, COCO, OGA, DECENT INTERVAL, WISE
MEN, POLITICIAN, GSA, GAO, PORK BARREL, BELTWAY BANDIT.
[v: realpolitik, machtpolitik]
Also, a euphemism for sex, sexual relations, sexual intercourse,
coitus, coition, venery, copulation, fornication, commerce,
congress, seduction, intimate knowledge; see CHURNING BUTTER,
BOOM-BOOM, SHORT-TIME, FUCK, HOOKUP, DIDDLY, BUTTERFLY, HAT
TRICK, DAISY CHAIN, TRICK, PASSION RATION, LOVE HANDLES; compare
STEAM 'n' CREAM, SHACK-JOB, HELL ON WHEELS, CHOWING DOWN,
HUMMERR, BUSH PILOT, MUFF DIVER, TRAINING FILM, STROKE BOOK.
ACT OF TRUTH :
an event which, following a solemn OATH, was held to prove or
disprove its validity, authenticity, integrity, or TRUTH, as in a
"trial by ORDEAL".
ACT OF WAR :
a CASUS BELLI or BLOODY SHIRT; see SABER-RATTLING, GUNPOINT,
ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, WARNING SHOT, CROSS THE RUBICON, CAT
AMONG THE PIGEONS, HAIR-TRIGGER, HALF-COCKED, HEAD TO HEAD,
FIGHTING WORDS, TRAILING HIS COAT, JUST WAR, LAWS OF WAR, RULES
OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), BATTLE, WAR.
ACcelerated Turn-Over to Vietnamese; from March 1969 through
March 1973. see VIETNAMIZATION, PROVN, CRIMP, CSMO, KEYSTONE.
Army Combat Uniform, or Advanced Combat Uniform, replacing the
camouflage-patterned Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) in 2004 with a
utility work uniform distinguished by the removal of
(inaccessible) lower shirt pockets, the addition of (accessible)
sleeve pockets, a change to an upright collar, an integrated
dispersion pattern, and the addition of Identification Friend or
Foe (IFF) indicators. See DIGITALS, CAMMIES, CAMO, DRESS.
Armored Command Vehicle, being the M-577 APC that functions as a
mobile Tactical Operations Center (TOC); includes Command and
Control (C&C) equipment and long-range communications through
a hand-cranked extendible antenna system.
Air Commando Wing; see SOW. Also, Aircraft Control Warning.
Active Duty. Also, Air Division. Also, Armor(-ed) Division.
Air Defense Artillery, commonly called "missile artillery"; see
AAA, ARTY. Also, Air Defense Area.
the term used to designate the unnamed day scheduled for the
commencement, execution, implementation, or initiation of air
combat operation in a multi-phase campaign; see TIME.
an Aide-De-Camp or AIDE, being the OFFICER equivalent of HOUSE
MOUSE; see DOG ROBBER, DUTY DOG, DOGSBODY, MAN FRIDAY, GOFER,
BROWN NOSER, FACE TIME. [cf: equerry, page; White House
Also, abbreviation for Air Defense Command, being one of three
USAF commands, including Tactical Air Command (TAC) and Strategic
Air Command (SAC).
AD HOC :
informal U.S. Army usage since WWII designating a temporary
DETAIL or assemblage, composed of immediately available manpower,
which is disbanded upon completion; such as POLICE CALL, loading
GEAR, transferring materiel, escort DUTY, and so forth. Such an
agglomeration of "warm bodies" could be formalized, but usually
was not, owing to the short period involved with the task. An AD
HOC (literally "for this") is created for the special purpose or
specific end presently under consideration: but a reliance upon
"ad hockery" (ad hocery) or "ad hocism" is self-defeating, and
exemplifies poor management by supervisors. See CORPORAL'S GUARD,
PRESS-GANG, DETAIL, DET, COMMANDEER, CROSS-DECKING, FIELD
[v: from Ranger history in
Somalia: "At approximately 031945C OCT 93 LTC David was
placed in command of an ad hoc task force consisting of two of
his rifle companies, two Malaysian mechanized companies (drivers
and gunners with APC's no dismounted troops), a composite platoon
from TF Ranger, one Pakistani tank platoon and supported by an
aerial TF consisting of elements of TF 2-25 Avn and Special
Operations aircraft and given what seemed to everyone to be a
mission that could not be accomplished."] [v: on Tiny Vital Blog
Archives, the conglomerated terrorist cells are referred to
as "Ad Hoc Terrorists"] [v: WWII war games "Close Combat 1" and
"Close Combat 2" use this phrase for augmentation and specialty
Air Defense Identification Zone, being Air-Traffic Control (ATC)
areas that restrict flight access to the continental United
States (CONUS) by aircraft from OVERSEAS.
ADJutant, being a STAFF officer who assists the commander (CO).
Air Defense Missile, such as Quail (ADM-20); see MISSILE. Also,
abbreviation for ADMiral (qv), being a FLAG OFFICER in naval
service; this RANK for "commander at sea" derives from an Arabic
phrase for "leader of the faithful".
administration and personnel processing; being the proverbial
"1 shop", as S-1/G-1/J-1 (v: J-CODES). See MILICRAT, RED TAPE.
senior Naval OFFICER, equivalent to military GENERAL, as derived
from an Arabic phrase for "leader of the faithful". Also, the
group of FLAG OFFICERs in Naval service RATED from O-7 to O-11
and RANKed from COMMODORE or Rear Admiral Lower-Half (RADML),
Rear Admiral [or Rear Admiral Upper-Half] (RADM), Vice Admiral
(VADM), Admiral (ADM), and Fleet Admiral. See CAPTAIN, LDR, CO,
SKIPPER, USN, USCG, MERCHANT MARINE.
ADMIRAL'S GESTAPO :
Naval Investigative Service (NIS); Navy equivalent of Air Force
OSI and Army CID. See FBI, SP.
(a-dock) Air Defense Operations Center; see AOC, FOC, ASOC, TAOC,
Army Discharge Review Board; see DISCHARGE.
anything unsecured, or that has slipped its mooring or fast, as
being out of control, including items improperly stowed, or
things lost overboard; an informal Navy and Marine term for
anything unaccountably missing or destroyed. See SALTY DOG;
ADVisor, ADVisory; see AAD, AAG, AATTV, BRACELET, CA, CAAT, CAP,
CAT, CMAC, CORDS, COUNTERPART, CO VAN MY, CT, DLI, FANK TRAINING
COMMAND, FAT, FWF, IVS, JACK, JUNK FORCE, JUSMAG, JUSMAPG,
KANZUS, KATUSA, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, LITTLE PEOPLE, MAAG, MACV,
MAP, MAT, MATA, MATS, MGF, MIKE FORCE, MSF, MTT, NAD, NAG, ONE
HAND CLAPPING, OOTW, OUC DA LOI, PIR, PRT, SF, SHEEP-DIPPED, TAN
TAY LAN, TDY, TEAMHOUSE, UNPFK, USDAO, UW, YELLOW DOG.
[nb: "A good scare is worth more than good advice." by Horace
(Quintus Horatius Flaccus)] [nb: "adviser" refers to the civil or
civilian function similar to a military ADVISOR]
ADVANCED BASE :
a base located in or near an operational area whose primary
mission is to support military operations; see AO, OPN, CP, AOB,
ADVANCE FORCE :
a temporary organization within the amphibious task force (ATF)
which precedes the main body to the objective area; its function
is to participate in preparing the objective for the main assault
by conducting such operations as reconnaissance, seizure of
supporting positions, minesweeping, preliminary bombardment,
underwater demolitions, and air support.
ADVANCE GUARD :
the detachment sent ahead of the main force to ensure its
uninterrupted advance, to protect the main body against surprise,
to facilitate the advance by removing obstacles and repairing
roads and bridges, and to cover the deployment of the main body
if it is committed to action; the ADVANCE GUARD may include
"advance guard reserve" and "advance guard support" elements.
ADVANCE PARTY :
(forthcoming); also known as "advanced echelon", see LAND TAIL
not to be confused with ADVANCE FORCE or ADVANCE GUARD
military personnel who are sufficiently well trained and
experienced that they can teach and counsel foreign COUNTERPARTs
in MIL-CRAFTs and operations (OPN) with limited supervision in
remote locations, often using improvised and out-dated materiel;
required to "do more with less", ADVISORs are more cost effective
than conventional troops, and serve as "ambassadors in uniform".
See ADV, SHEEP-DIPPED, MATA, MATS, CO VAN MY, GONE NATIVE, ONE
HAND CLAPPING, INDIG, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, LITTLE PEOPLE,
NOFORN, UGLY AMERICAN.
[nb: a civil servant or civilian who performs a similar function
is properly known as an "adviser"] [nb: civilians pronounce
'covert' as "kuv-uhrt", while the MIL-SPEAK pronunciation is
"ko-vuhrt", by analogy with 'overt'; v: PINTLE]
Additional DutY; such punitive extra-duty is intended to improve
the individual's military knowledge and/or skill; this practice
is known as Extra Military Instruction (EMI) in the U.S. Navy.
Compare ARTICLE 15, OFFICE HOURS, ROCKS 'n' SHOALS, CAPTAIN'S
MAST, UCMJ; see GIG, TURD, SHIT LIST, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT,
FASHION SHOW, DROP, FRONT LEANING REST, BOX THE COMPASS, AIRMAN
ALIGNMENT TOOL, BLANKET PARTY, SQUEEZE.
American Expeditionary Force, being the US military contingent
sent in June 1917 to support the Allied campaign in WWI;
sardonically re-interpreted as "After England Fails". Compare
SHAEF, III MAF; see GHQ. [nb: 75% of the WWI American
Expeditionary Force (AEF) were armed with the Model 1917 Enfield
.306cal, not the 1903 Springfield .308cal rifle]
skilled aerial maneuvers, combat gambits, and other stunts
performed by aircraft in flight; most of these precision aerial
maneuvers originated as combat tactics, and form part of the
essential training of military PILOTs, but they are now defined
[FAAR 91.303] as "any intentional manoeuvre involving an abrupt
change in an aircraft's attitude, an abnormal attitude, or
abnormal acceleration, not necessary for normal flight." See
CHANDELLE, IMMELMANN, SNAP ROLL, BARREL ROLL, SPLIT-S,
HAMMERHEAD, SPIN, STALL, VICTORY ROLL, WINGOVER, JINK, BANK, YANK
'n' BANK, SIDESLIP, SCISSORS, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, WELDED WING,
WING, DIRTY, BUZZ, AUGER-IN, PANCAKE, STRIP ALERT, TOUCHDOWN,
SPLASHDOWN, BIRD, DREAMLAND, HAWC, TOP GUN, RED FLAG, BLUE
ANGELS, THUNDERBIRDS, SKYBLAZERS, SILVER EAGLES, BARNSTORMER.
[v: Plane Language]
U.S. Air Force designation for an Air Evacuation Squadron.
(aysuh) Active Electronically Scanned Array, being a solid-state
form of actively-seeking phased-distribution RADAR. See AVIONICS.
Airborne Early Warning and Control Wing.
Air Force; see USAF, VNAF.
Air Force Base; sometimes referred to as Air Base (AB).
Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records; see
Air Force Communications Agency.
Air Force Command Center (eg: 7th AFCC). Also, Air Force
Component Commander. Also, Air Force Communications Command.
Air Force Discharge Review Board; see DISCHARGE.
Armed Forces Examination and Entrance Station, where mental and
physical examinations of recruits are conducted; which is
commonly called a RECEPTION STATION or "Reception Center", but
has now been redesignated as the Military Enlistment Processing
Station (MEPS). Compare REPL' DEPOT; see ASVAB, AFQT, AFGCT,
[nb: the Armed Forces of the United States (AFUS) was renamed:
United States Uniformed Services (USUS), but is now called:
United States Armed Services (USAS)]
AFFIRM / AFFIRMATIVE :
MIL-SPEAK for yes, okay, alright, agree, correct, approved, and
sometimes converted into slang as "positron"; not to be confused
with PROWORDs "roger" or "wilco" in RTP. See JOY, compare
NEGATIVE. [v: "aye"/"ay", "yea", "yo"; cf: AHOY]
the Armed Forces General Classification Test, being the battery
of exams that determine a servicemember's qualification for a
Military Occupational Specialty (MOS); otherwise known as the
Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) and the Armed Services
Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). See PMOS, DRAFT, McNAMARA'S
HUNDRED THOUSAND, AIT, AFEES, MEPS, RECEPTION STATION, Q-COURSE,
OJT, CROSS-TRAINING, BILLET, BERTH.
Armed Forces Institute of Pathology; see FEST, USAMRIID, USARIEM,
U.S. Air Force designation for Air Force Material Command.
Armed Forces Network, successor to Armed Forces Radio (AFR) and
predecessor of Armed Forces Radio and Television Network (AFRTN).
the Armed Forces Qualification Test, being the battery of exams
that determine a servicemember's qualification for a Military
Occupational Specialty (MOS); otherwise known as the Armed Forces
General Classification Test (AFGCT), and the Armed Services
Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). See PMOS, DRAFT, McNAMARA'S
HUNDRED THOUSAND, AIT, AFEES, MEPS, RECEPTION STATION, Q-COURSE,
OJT, CROSS-TRAINING, BILLET, BERTH.
Armed Forces Radio, established 1943 for morale and
counter-propaganda broadcasts, later becoming Armed Forces Radio
and Television Network (AFRTN).
[nb: according to a 1944 Census Bureau survey, almost 90% of
Americans owned their own radio, and 70% would forgo movies,
newspapers and magazines to retain radio broadcasts]
(a-fartin') Armed Forces Radio and Television Network, later the
"American Forces Radio and Television Service" (AFRTS); being the
interservice broadcast media equivalent to the State Department's
"Voice of America" and "Radio Free Europe" / "...Asia". Such
networks were created to counteract the Fascist and Communist
broadcasts featuring Lord Haw-Haw, Axis Sally, Arnhem Annie (aka:
"Dirty Gertie"), Tokyo Rose (originally "Orphan Annie", being an
American stranded in Japan by the war), Hanoi Hannah, and Baghdad
Betty (which most MIL-PERS have found most amusing and very
unthreatening). The "Voice of the Gulf" was established to
broadcast during the GULF WAR.
(a-farts) American Forces Radio and Television Service, being the
interservice broadcast media.
Armed Forces Security Agency, founded 1949 and succeeded by the
National Security Agency (NSA).
Armed Forces Service Number. Also, Air Force Security Number. See
SERVICE NUMBER, SSN. Social Security
indicating direction in, at, toward, or close to the back or
STERN of a vessel, tail of an airplane, or rear of a vehicle;
derived from "AFTer". Compare FORWARD. [v: Puppis]
the auxiliary combustion chamber in the aft section of the jet
engine, into which raw fuel is sprayed, resulting in increased
thrust; see JET PROPULSION, FAST MOVER, JUICE, BLOWER, BUSTER,
SONIC BOOM. Also, the throttle setting on a high-performance jet
engine under PILOT control that regulates this thrust in an
airplane, which can double the speed while consuming 500% more
Armed Forces of Viet Nam, sometimes called Republic of Viet
Nam Armed Forces (RVNAF); including Air Force (VNAF), Army
(ARVN), Marines (VNMC), and Navy (VNN). The South Vietnamese
Armed Forces deployed eleven infantry divisions (ie: 1st, 2nd,
3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 10th/18th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, and 25th Inf
Div) and one division each of Air, Airborne and Marine elements.
[v: Viet-Nam Military Terms]
Adjutant General; see AGO, AIDE, STAFF, MILICRAT. [nb: the Adj
Gen insignia is a small shield (taken from the eagle's chest in
the US seal) to which this ditty refers: "Twinkle twinkle little
shield / Save me from the field!"] Also, abbreviation for Army
Group (qv). Also, abbreviation for Army Green (eg: AG44); compare
OG, OD; see CLASS-A, DRESS. [nb: the human eye can discern more
shades of green than any other hue] [nb: except for rifle
regiments separate from infantry and dragoons from before the War
of 1812, the U.S. Army wore blue uniforms until the adoption of
KHAKIS and FATIGUES, so when the CLASS-A uniform was redesigned
in 1954, the color Army Green (AG44) was selected for its
historical link to the early riflemen and SHARPSHOOTERs; then in
2008, the traditional Continental Army blue color was restored]
AGENT BLUE :
a water-based herbicide; being a non-systematic desiccant that's
used primarily against grasses, taking effect in 24-48 hours and
killing leaves in 2-4 days; see AGENT ORANGE, RANCH HAND, CBR,
[v: paraquat, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT)]
AGENT ORANGE :
a chemical (2378TCBD) defoliant and herbicide containing Dioxin,
widely used in Vietnam from 1965 around BASE CAMPs and
infiltration routes to deny enemy CONCEALMENT; an oil-based
herbicide, being a systematic defoliant that's effective against
broadleaf vegetation, achieving maximum effect in 4-6 weeks, with
a duration of approximately 12 months per application. Other
formulas were designated Agent White, Agent Pink, Agent Yellow,
Agent Blue, etc., with the names derived from color coding for
formula identification. Extensive or prolonged exposure to
herbicides can induce chloracne, sarcoma, lymphoma, non-Hodgkin's
lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, multiple myeloma, respiratory
cancer, porphyria cutanea tarda, parkinson's disease (paralysis
agitans), prostate cancer, neuropathy, spina bifida, ischemic
heart disease, and adult-onset diabetes mellitus. See RANCH HAND,
CBR, BOONIES. [v: paraquat, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane
AGENT PROVOCATEUR :
AGENT WHITE :
a water-based herbicide; being a systematic defoliant that's
effective against broadleaf vegetation, achieves its maximum
effect in 6-8 weeks, with a duration of approximately 12 months
per application; see AGENT ORANGE, RANCH HAND, CBR, BOONIES.
[v: paraquat, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT)]
the entity which initiates hostilities; an assailant or invader
that attacks first; compare DEFENDER, see LAWS OF WAR, RULES OF
ENGAGEMENT (ROE), WAR POWERS ACT, BLOODY SHIRT, JUST WAR, CROSS
THE RUBICON, WARNING SHOT, SABER-RATTLING, GUNPOINT, ALL'S FAIR
IN LOVE AND WAR, RETALIATION, NEUTRALIZE. [nb: "The aggressor
sets the rules in any conflict."]
AGGRESSOR FORCES :
the "enemy" elements that are engaged in military maneuvers and
training exercises to aggressively add realism; a counterforce
established to create fictitious challenges; see OPFOR, RED TEAM,
RED FORCE, ORANGE FORCE, PURPLE FORCE, GRAY FORCE; compare BLUE
FORCE, GREEN FORCE, FRIENDLIES, ALLY.
Above Ground Level, being the actual altitude of an aircraft
moving in the air above the ground (ie: a dense resistant medium
that's impassable and unforgiving to random flying objects),
despite the fact that PILOTs of aircraft tend to use Mean Sea
Level when referring to their altitude; typically measured by a
RADAR altimeter. Compare MSL; see ANGEL, CUPID, G [gravity]. [cf:
Air-to-Ground MISSILE, also known as "air-to-surface missile"
(ASM); such as Hound Dog (AGM-28), Harpoon or Standoff Land
Attack Missile (AGM-84), Air Launched Cruise Missile (AGM-86),
High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (AGM-88), Advanced Cruise
Missile (AGM-129), Striker rocket-boosted glide bomb (AGM-130),
Tacit Rainbow (AGM-136) anti-RADAR Cruise Missile. See MAVERICK,
HARM, SHRIKE, HELLFIRE, STRIKER, CRUISE.
[nb: at the end of WWII, the Imperial Japanese developed the
"exploding cherry blossom" from designs for the German V-2 rocket
as a successor to kamikaze and floating chrysanthemum suicide
aircraft, being a flying bomb, piloted by a volunteer "thunder
god", that carried a 2640# payload in the nose of a winged 20ft
missile that was launched from a high-altitude bomber to plunge
at over 600mph toward its sea level target; ridiculed by
Americans as an "idiot bomb"]
abbreviation for Adjutant General's Office, with particular
reference to the use of authorized forms (such as the "AGO card"
for military identification card). See SERVICE NUMBER, ID CARD,
DOG TAGS. [v: Index of Social Security Numbers
(eg: AFSN, ASSN, SSAN)]
AGONY WAGON :
the portable cart of medical supplies and instruments that's
wheeled to the bedside of each patient in a hospital ward so that
the medical staff can inspect his condition and perform any
necessary daily care; see CORPSMEN, MEDIC, DOC, BAND-AID, BAC SI,
Y SI, BONE CUTTER, SAWBONES, BABY DOC, ANGEL, FUZZY-WUZZY ANGEL,
RAMP TRAMP, ORDERLY, MED BAG, SICK CALL, AID STATION, DISPENSARY,
CHOP SHOP, SCAR, BITE THE BULLET, PAIN.
see STRATEGIC HAMLET.
AHAB THE ARAB :
(ai-hab the ai-rab) dismissive reference by rhyming to any enemy
soldier in the Mid-East Theater of Operations ("Gulf War Part
Two"), as word play that denigrates or dismisses the Islamic
TERRORISTs; see ISAAC THE IRAQ, SCARAB THE ARAB, HAJJI, ALI BABA,
SANDY, MUJ, RAGHEAD, SKINNY, STREET ARAB, ALLAH'S WAITING ROOM,
INSURGENT, BAD GUYS. [v: Abdullah; cf: palmer (Christian)]
assault helicopter company. (HUEYs and gunships)
call used by seafarers to hail or alert others; derived "hoy", as
to HOIST. See HOISE, HEAVE-HO, CHANTEY, HOOAH, OORAH, TOCSIN,
BATTLE CRY, GUNG-HO, JODY CALL. [v: halloo/hallo/hollo;
cf: "aye"/"ay", "yea", "yo"] [nb: although Alexander Graham Bell
proposed 'ahoy' to be the hail that signaled that a user desired
to talk over the permanently open telephone line, Thomas Alva
Edison recommended in 1877 that 'hello' be employed instead
because it was clearer at a greater distance and more readily
understood than 'ahoy']
abbreviation for Attack Helicopter Regiment during Operation
Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
Air Intercept Control / Controller, being the senior enlisted
SCOPE DOPE who directs Navy fighter aircraft.
Agency for International Development (USAID).
aide-de-camp (ADC), being an assistant given the opportunity to
understudy a senior commander; also called "braider" as a result
of the distinctive aiguillette or shoulder CORD worn by such
AIDEs, being the OFFICER equivalent of HOUSE MOUSE. See DOG
ROBBER, DUTY DOG, DOGSBODY, MAN FRIDAY, GOFER, BROWN NOSER, FACE
TIME. [cf: equerry, page, assistant (eg: powder monkey, drummer
boy), apprentice (eg: plebe, midshipman, CADET); White House
AID STATION :
a field medical installation providing both routine and emergency
treatment to MIL-PERS, being the lowest level medical facility;
also called "dressing station", "battle dressing station",
"medical clinic", or DISPENSARY. See SICK CALL, AGONY WAGON,
MASH, EVAC, CSH, FST, FIELD HOSP, MEDEVAC, DUSTOFF, CHOP SHOP,
BAND-AID, COMFORT STATION. [v: polyclinic]
refers to all elements relating to functions of maritime
navigation, such as buoys, range markers, wreck markers, signal
or identification lights, and lighthouses, including maintenance.
a decoratively tagged braid or ornamentally tipped CORD worn on
the shoulder of a military uniform; sometimes called a "rope",
that's also spelled "aiguelet" or "aguelette", and is derived
from "aglet" (needle), as a metal capped lace, which term is
applied to any pendant object or pendulous spangle. See CORDON,
Assistance In Kind, or Aid In Kind; being the direct contribution
of goods and services, instead of indirect monetary aid.
Air Intercept Missile, such as SIDEWINDER, PHOENIX, SPARROW,
SCORPION, and ASRAAM; see AAM.
AIMING STAKES :
in gunnery, a vertical rod, bar, or similar post used for
directional alignment or aiming position; may be striped or
sleeved (ie: a tubular bag called an "aiming post sleeve"), with
or without a nighttime signal light (ie: "aiming light" or
"aiming post light"), for improved visibility, and now called an
"aiming post". Also, any vertical posts positioned to assist
firearm alignment with known terrain features and distances for
improved distribution and accuracy during nighttime engagements;
see FPL, RANGE CARD, AIMPOINT.
[nb: tripod-mounted MGs have an integral target alignment device,
and TURRET-mounted guns use clock or compass positioning]
Also, slang for the conspicuous display of junior / company-grade
OFFICER RANK insignia worn on operations in the field; making the
RANK bars of Lieutenants and Captains, which are sometimes called
LOOEY, BUTTER BAR, BROWN BAR, RAILROAD TRACKS, and "First
Lieutenant, Second Award" into targets for snipers. [nb: a
peculiarity unique to the USMC rank insignia for captains is that
the connections between the bars are traditionally set at the
outer ends, not inset like Army and Air Force RAILROAD TRACKS]
an object or point on which the sight of a weapon is laid for
direction, or on which an observer orients his sighting
instrument, as for firing, release, or execution; also called
"aiming point"; see KILL ZONE. Also, a precise point on or
associated with a target, and assigned for a specific weapon
impact to achieve the intended objective and level of
destruction, which may be defined descriptively (eg: SNIPER'S
TRIANGLE, vent in center of roof), by grid reference, or
geolocation, but constitutes the "desired POINT OF IMPACT" or the
"desired mean POINT OF IMPACT"; see DEADEYE, BULL'S-EYE, KISS THE
MISTRESS, KNOCK THEIR SPOTS OFF, SHARPSHOOTER, LOCK-ON, DANGER
CLOSE, DELIVERY ERROR, DEVIATION, DEFLECTION, LEAD, TARGET. Also,
any distinctive terrain feature or RADAR-significant feature,
such as a promontory or bridge, used to assist ground navigation
or air orientation in timely rendezvous, weapons delivery, or
other mission specific assignment despite rough terrain, bad
weather, or nighttime darkness; also called an "offset aimpoint"
(OAP); see SLANT DISTANCE, DEAD-RECKONING, IP, POD, RV, PHASE
LINE, WAY POINT, AIMING STAKES. [nb: an apt MURPHY LAW of Combat
says: "If you can see, then you can be seen; and if you can be
seen, then you can be hit; and if you can be hit, then you can be
AIR AMBULANCE :
a specially equipped aircraft used for transporting sick or
injured persons to a medical facility; may be a hospital
evacuation by airlift, or a combat zone evacuation by helicopter.
See MEDEVAC, DUSTOFF, CRACKER BOX, BAND-AID, NIGHTINGALE, DAKOTA,
EVAC. [nb: Vietnamese term: Phi Co Tai Thuong] [cf: ambulette]
[nb: the air mail contract for Alaska Territory in 1924 included
tasking of DeHavilland cargo aircraft as air ambulances for
emergency evacuations; Germans operating in the USSR during WWII
found the terrain of The Steppes in Russia suitable for airborne
evacuation of their wounded]
AIR AMERICA :
see PROPRIETARY AIRLINE, FIRST FLIGHT, CUSTOMER, SHEEP-DIPPED.
[nb: sorties were purportedly flown against Lima Site 85 on 12
January 1968 by the NVAF piloting four Soviet-made Anotov An-2
biplanes, which fired 57mm rockets and dropped 120mm mortar bombs
by hand in an attempt to destroy the RADAR installation, but two
biplanes were shot down and the other two were driven off by an
Air America UH-1D helicopter]
AIR ASSAULT :
combat operation by AIRMOBILE or HELIBORNE troops; it is
considered the "vertical envelopment" tactic succeeding GLIDER
and PARACHUTE methods; see AIR CAV, SKY CAV, MECH, LZ, CLZ, PZ,
CHOPPER, CHALK, SLC, YELLOWLEG.
Also, a winged skill badge, without gradations, for proficiency
in helicopter-borne combat assault techniques earned after
completion of a ten-day course (administratively two-weeks) of
instruction. Initially awarded as the "Airmobile Badge" by the
101st Airborne Division (AMBL), and formally approved since 1
April 1974 (but not retroactive for Vietnam service); its design
is based upon the WWII GLIDER badge, replacing the Waco glider
with a HUEY helicopter. The AIR ASSAULT school teaches skills
relative to HELIBORNE operations, including Landing Zone (LZ)
practices, sling loading, scaling and rappelling, which
culminates in a 12-mile FORCE MARCH. See BOLO BADGE, TRASH,
WINGS; compare AIRBORNE.
[nb: during the development of AIRMOBILITY doctrine and the
experimental training of HELIBORNE troops, an unofficial
"airmobility" qualification badge was created by the 11th Air
Assault (Test) Division to build morale and esprit before
deployment to Vietnam; this unofficial badge has never been
approved, so the VETERANs who actually established AIR ASSAULT
procedures in combat operations are not authorized to wear either
the old or the new insignia]
[nb: in a post-VN effort to maintain esprit and standards, the
101st Abn Div (AA) has imitated the WWII 11th AIRBORNE Div ("The
Angels") policy of requiring all division members to be dual
qualified (then glider/airborne, now air assault/airborne), which
ensures that any mission assignment is feasible]
a military force carried to the battlefield in aircraft (eg:
airfoil, glider, or helicopter) or by PARACHUTE from air
transport in execution of the "vertical envelopment" assault
technique; abbreviated ABN. Proficiency acquired in a three-week
Basic Airborne Course (BAC) administered by the U.S. Army
Infantry School at various times in various locations. A 50-man
U.S. Army Test Platoon was established 25 Jun 1940 to develop
doctrine and techniques for airborne operations, based upon
Russian and German models, resulting in five (ie: 11, 13, 17, 82,
101) divisions and six (ie: 503, 509, 517, 550, 551, 555)
separate ABN units for WWII. The Marine Corps established
AIRBORNE training in Oct 1940, forming two parachute battalions,
later expanded to a regiment authorized four battalions, but
never jumped in combat; used as elite infantry until reduced
ranks compelled disbandment; remainder assigned with RAIDER
remnants as replacements to 5th Mar Div. After completing the
Army's jump school, Marines attend further parachute training in
their own specialized center, completing five more jumps to earn
the USN/USMC gold WINGS.
[v: Parachuting Terms, and Parachuting
AIRBORNE ALBUM :
an unofficial commemorative account of an AIRBORNE unit and its
personnel during a specified period or campaign, often including
some historical perspective and anecdotal material; resembling a
school classbook or yearbook. Compare SEA BOOK, WAR DIARY,
AIRBORNE COMMAND :
(forthcoming); the senior headquarters for subordinate PARACHUTE
and GLIDER units, from corps to separate regiments, including
SPECIAL FORCES; see PIR, RCT, BCT, BLACK DEVIL, ALMOST AIRBORNE,
PUKING BUZZARDS, 1st ALLIED AIRBORNE, AIRBORNE TROOP CARRIER
AIRBORNE RANGER :
elite parachute infantry; first formed as 15 separate companies
in the KOREAN WAR. [nb: Vietnamese term: Biet Cach Nhay Du
(BCND)] Compare MIKE FORCE, CIDG, BDQ, BORDER DEFENSE RANGER,
RF/PF, LRRP, FORCE RECON, RANGER.
AIRBORNE SHUFFLE :
a gliding walk, without lifting the feet, toward the exit of an
aircraft in flight, when the JUMPMASTER directs the PARATROOPERs
to jump above the DZ; this sliding gait is used to improve
security and sustain balance on an unstable cargo DECK, and to
avoid tripping or stumbling during the crucial interval between
HOOKUP and jumping; see GANG BANG, HANG TOUGH, ABN, PARACHUTE.
Also, slang for the moderately paced jog of several miles
duration that AIRBORNE units perform as a routine part of daily
EXERCISE; see TRUSCOTT TROT, PT, PFT, DAILY DOZEN, FRONT LEANING
REST, OBSTACLE COURSE, MARATHON, BIATHLON, TRIATHLON, PENTATHLON,
DECATHLON. Also, informal expression, by extension of the jogging
formation, for the tempo when an individual hurries his walking
pace or slows from a running pace; to scuff, shamble, or
AIRBORNE TROOP CARRIER COMMAND :
(forthcoming); the cargo aircraft designated to transport
AIRBORNE units during WWII; PARATROOPERs together with their
weapons and equipment
explosion or detonation of a munition above the ground or IN THE
AIR, generating a wider (omnidirectional) dispersion; see
PROXIMITY FUZE, FLAK; compare BURST.
AIR CAV :
Air Cavalry, referring to helicopter-borne (HELIBORNE) or
AIRMOBILE infantry; also known as "Sky Cavalry" (SKY CAV). See
AIR ASSAULT, CHOPPER, CHALK, MECH, LAAGER, YELLOWLEG, CAVALRY
WHISKERS, SPUR RIDE, ORDER OF THE SPUR, YELLOW RIBBON.
AIR COMMANDO :
USAF special operations personnel trained at the Special Air
Warfare Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; who originally
wore ANZAC-style campaign hats, but are authorized to wear black
BERETs. The 1st Air Commando Force, under the command of Colonel
Philip G. Cochran (who was the model for "Flip Corkin" in Milton
Caniff's "Terry and the Pirates" comic strip), flew P-52s, B-25s,
and C-47s across Burma in 1944 in support of British General Orde
Wingate's Chindits. The 1st Air Commando Force was disbanded
shortly after WWII, but as a result of President John F.
Kennedy's defense policy of waging limited war by fortifying U.S.
allies, the all-volunteer 1st Air Commando Group was established
to train COUNTERPARTS for rough terrain operations under
primitive conditions in Africa, South America, and Southeast
Asia, using C-46 and C-47 transports, stub-nosed B-26 light
bombers, and single-engined prop-driven T-28 TRAINERs. See
FARMGATE, JUNGLE JIM, DIRTY THIRTY, CHAPAKAO, ACG, ACSQ, ACW,
SOW, USAFSOC, USSOC, SPECIAL OPERATIONS; compare PJ.
any Naval aviator or aircrewman; also spelled "Airedale". See
PILOT, BROWN SHOE / BOOT, BIRDMAN, GOOD STICK.
[nb: a BULLETPROOF pilot's braggadocio is often expressed as "big
sky, little bullet"; v: GOLDEN BB, MAGIC BULLET]
to deliver personnel and/or equipment by PARACHUTE onto a DZ from
an aircraft in flight, as in AIRBORNE transport or reinforcement,
or in aerial supply or resupply; also called "para-drop" or
simply DROP. See JUMPMASTER, DROPMASTER, LOADMASTER, CREW CHIEF,
COMBAT LOADED, PAYLOAD, LOW-LEVEL EVACUATION DROP, HEAVY DROP,
HOLLYWOOD BLAST, JPADS, DROP-TANK, LOG BIRD, ASH 'n' TRASH,
HATCH, RAMP, TAILGATE.
[nb: it has been reported in several oral and unit histories on
WWII, especially Operation Comet/Market Garden and the Battle of
the Bulge, that the PARACHUTE canopies used in aerial resupply
AIRDROPs were color coded: red canopy = ammo/explosive, yellow
canopy = food/clothing, blue (or white) canopy = medical; others
have also noted that camo canopy = paratroopers, white canopy =
aircrew. This arrangement seems to have been experimental, used
only in Europe, since there is no mention of this practice in
either North Africa (Torch) or Sicily (Husky), or the Pacific;
furthermore, no such scheme was followed in either Korea or
Vietnam. Although camouflage canopies were used (especially by
special operations parachutists), the normal operational canopy
was (and remains) green; white canopies are used in training.
Aside from these several books mentioning color coded AIRDROPs, I
am unable to authenticate this phenomenon by interview, personal
experience, or other diligent inquiry]
[nb: technically, an 'airstrip' is a small airfield with only one
RUNWAY, but the term is widely used as a synonym for a landing
strip; the Eisenhower interstate highway system mandates that one
mile in every five be straight so it can be used to land aircraft
during an emergency or wartime] [nb: RUNWAY designations are by
compass heading and its reciprocal, which designation alone
informs the PILOT by which direction to approach or depart]
AIR FORCE CROSS / AFC :
the nation's second highest award for valor; equivalent to the
Navy Cross (NC) or Distinguished Service Cross (DSC). See
V-DEVICE, IMPACT AWARD, GONG.
AIR FORCE GLOVES :
slang for someone having their hands in the pockets of their
uniform; some purists argue, based upon the distinction between
gloves and mittens, that pockets are more like mittens than
gloves, so the phrase should properly be "Air Force mittens". If
pockets aren't supposed to be used, then either sew them shut or
take them out; but if pockets are actually functional, then
supervisors need to find something better to do with their
excessive "attention to details" MICROMANAGEMENT. See CHICKEN
THE AIR FORCE WAY :
see THE ARMY WAY, FOR THE HELL OF IT, MIL-SPEC, GOOD ENOUGH FOR
GOVERNMENT WORK, PARTY LINE.
the framework and external covering of an aircraft, including the
FUSELAGE, booms, NACELLEs, COWLINGs, FAIRINGs, airfoils (except
engines), and the landing gear, their accessories and controls;
see ASPECT RATIO, ANGLE OF INCIDENCE.
AIR GROUP :
administrative and tactical unit of the Air Force,
containing two or more squadrons. Compare WING.
the secure initial position of an airborne assault, used
for further advancement and resupply, a foothold or WAY POINT;
see AIRBORNE, DZ, HEAVY DROP, GANG-BANG, GLIDER, PHASE LINE,
AIMPOINT, DROP-TANK; compare BEACHHEAD, BRIDGEHEAD. Also, name of
the USAF theoretical "air power" think tank.
[nb: MIL-PERS do not use this term in the context of civilian
slang with the meaning of "empty headed", preferring more
explicit or specific terms; see DOPE, DUD, YARDBIRD, MAGGOT,
PUKE, DEADHEAD, LOOSE CANNON, TURD, SOS, SMACK, SHIT MAGNET,
PYHOOYA, FIELD REJECT, HORSE MARINE.
AIR LANE :
a route regularly used by airplanes; also known as an AIRWAY or
the air transport of persons and/or cargo, especially during an
emergency; see BERLIN AIRLIFT, compare BOATLIFT.
an enlisted man (EM) serving in the Air Force (USAF). Also,
anyone serving in or associated with aircraft or aviation; see
PILOT, JET JOCKEY, FUF, FAG, AIRDALE, BROWN SHOE / BOOT, ZOOMIE,
DOOLIE, AC, IP, ROTOR HEAD, WOBBLY, WOP, PROP JOCKEY, FLY-BOY,
BIRDMAN, WING MAN, PETER PILOT, WSO (WIZZO), RSO, EWO, RIO, BEAR,
GIB, BOMBARDIER, CREW DOG, Q-COURSE, GOOD STICK, HELMET FIRE,
SEAT TIME, PENGUIN, WING WIPER, GROUND HOG, GROUNDED.
AIRMAN ALIGNMENT TOOL :
sardonic reference to any tool or device that can be used to hit,
beat, pound, or otherwise assault another servicemember so as to
properly align them with the other members of the unit, or bring
them into alignment with the military system; this is a quite
illegal act of corporal punishment that is sometimes necessary;
also known as "soldier alignment tool", "sailor alignment tool",
and so forth. See ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, SWEAT, SQUEEZE, BLANKET
PARTY. [cf: kangaroo court, honor court, grievance committee,
vigilance committee, tribunal, sanhedrim]
AIR MEDAL / AM :
awarded for heroic or meritorious service during aerial flight,
with multiple awards numbered (instead of being increased by star
or leaf). Compare DFC; see DEVICE, V-DEVICE, GONG. [nb: in 2009,
the UAV operators were granted "flight status" for their remote
guidance (ie: "piloting") of these drones while positioned a
continent away from the target area, making them eligible for
both Air Medals (AM) and supplemental flight proficiency pay]
people or material delivered by helicopter; also called AIR
ASSAULT, AIR CAV, SKY CAV, HELIBORNE, and abbreviated AMBL or AM;
see CHALK, CHOPPER, MECH, YELLOWLEG, CAVALRY WHISKERS, ORDER OF
THE SPUR, YELLOW
AIR POWER :
the doctrine of supremacy of the skies pertinent to BATTLEFIELDs
that's endorsed and manifested by the U.S. Air Force; see BOMB
'EM BACK TO THE STONE AGE, STRATEGIC BOMBING, ARC LIGHT, CARPET
BOMBING, BIGGER BANG FOR THE BUCK, BOUNCE THE RUBBLE, FAST MOVER,
SLOW MOVER, FCSL, TAC-AIR; compare SEA POWER, LAND POWER.
AIR RAID SHELTER :
see BOMB SHELTER, ELEPHANT HUT.
AIR STAIRS :
the portable or stowable stairway for aircraft crew and/or
passenger ingress and egress; also known as "boarding ladder",
and sometimes spelled "airstairs" or "air-stairs". Compare
LADDERWELL, ACCOMMODATION LADDER; see RAMP, GANGWAY.
AIR STRIKE :
the bombing and/or strafing of enemy targets, personnel or
strongholds, by military aircraft; sometimes spelled "airstrike".
See SORTIE, PICKLE, CAS, LETDOWN, STRAFE, GUN RUN, ALPHA STRIKE,
DANGER CLOSE, CAP. [nb: Vietnamese term: Khong Tap]
[nb: technically, an 'airstrip' is a small airfield with only one
RUNWAY, but the term is widely used as a synonym for a landing
strip; the Eisenhower interstate highway system mandates that one
mile in every five be straight so it can be used to land aircraft
during an emergency or wartime] [nb: RUNWAY designations are by
compass heading and its reciprocal, which designation alone
informs the PILOT by which direction to approach or depart]
(forthcoming); impregnable, impermeable, inescapable,
irresistible [nb: "If your perimeter is fortified enough to keep
the enemy outside, then it will also keep you inside!" a Murphy
Law of Combat]
AIR TRAIN :
an airplane (called the "tow plane") towing one or more GLIDERs;
also called SKY TRAIN. See TOWLINE, UNCOUPLE, AIRHEAD.
a pre-planned air route that's utilized by passenger and cargo
aircraft under the positive control of a PILOT, which is equipped
with beacon lights or radio beams, and has provisions for
emergency landings in the continental United States (CONUS); also
called AIR LANE; see ORBIT, VECTOR, PRIMROSE PATH. Also, the
RADIO frequency band (FREQ), or set of bands, used for
broadcasting; see GUARD, UNICOM. Also, any mode or method,
technique or device used for ventilation, as in a tracheotomy;
Automatic Identification System; see LOCATOR BEACON.
Advanced Individual Training, the specialized schooling following
Basic Training (BCT). This specialized training given to each
soldier is based on his aptitude testing (eg: ASVAB, AFQT, AFGCT)
and the needs of military requirements, resulting in a Military
Occupational Specialty (MOS) designation (ie: MOS 11B10 / 11B20
received infantry training; 13E20 received artillery training;
etc). See ACT, OSUT, TRNG, TRAIN. [nb: sometimes erroneously
interpreted as "Advanced Infantry Training"] [nb: Vietnamese
term: Huan Luyen Cao Cap]
Avtomat (automatic) Kalashnikov (designer); see KALASHNIKOV /
KALISHNIKOV, 7.62 MINIS; compare SKS, RPD.
ALAMO SCOUTS :
reconnaissance unit, composed of Texas National Guardsmen and
Filipino militia, integral to the Sixth Army in the Southwest
Pacific theater during WWII; see RECON, RECONSTITUTED, BASTARD.
[nb: on 26 Dec 1943, the Sixth Army also transformed the 98th
Field Artillery Battalion, by refitment and retraining, into the
6th Ranger Battalion, which had the lowest casualties of any
RANGER unit during WWII due to its intelligent applications]
nickname for 4 Pho Ly Nam De (geo: 21 02 16N 105 51
00E; UTM: 48QWJ88302637), site of major NVN prison camp for
captive allied population; also known as [nb: some names only
refer to sections within this prison] Country Club Annex,
Plantation West. Dates US POWs present: 25 Oct 67 to 09 Dec 69,
and 01 Jul 70 to 17 Aug 70. Annex to 17 Pho Ly Nam De / CITADEL.
This facility was a small jail that the French built prior to
1954. It was located on the grounds of the Ministry of Defense
Headquarters Compound, behind the offices of the Military Arts
and Literature Magazine (Van Nghe Quan Doi). According to
Vietnamese sources, the Enemy Proselyting Department used this
old jail to house American POWs it considered to be disciplinary
problems. This jail was torn down sometime prior to 1991 and
replaced by a multi-story apartment building that now houses PAVN
officers and their families. See POW.
AirLift Control Element; a regional Tactical Airlift
Command Post (eg: Sand Box ALCE was at Cam Ranh Bay, Rocket Alley
ALCE was at Bien Hoa).
Air-Launched Cruise Missile (AGM-86), being a winged, jet-powered
MISSILE designed to be launched from an aircraft to fly on
automatic guidance toward the target at low altitude, with a
range of almost 2500 miles.
ALDIS LAMP :
a hand-held or portable signal lamp that's used to flash messages
in Morse code (using red for dots and white for dashes);
eponymously after the British inventor, A.C.W. Aldis.
ALEXANDRIAN SOLUTION :
to resolve an intricate problem in a bold and decisive manner;
also known as "slash..." or "cut the Gordian knot". Although this
ascription derives from the legendary account of Alexander the
Great severing the Gordian knot, an act portending his rule of
Asia, this prophetic feat is disputed by Herodotus.
the word assigned to represent the letter "A" in the
international phonetic alphabet; commonly mistaken to be "alpha";
the "ph" ligature does not represent the "f" sound in other
languages. At various times in different spelling schemes, it has
also been acrophonetically represented as Able and Afirm. This is
a "governing flag" in US Navy signals that also represents
"affirmative". Compare JULIETT, ZERO, WILLIE PETE; see ALPHABET
SOUP, PHONETIC ALPHABET. [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags]
ALI BABA :
USMC slang for Arabic hoodlums and looters in urban rubble during
Operation Iraqi Freedom (Gulf War II); from the story of the poor
woodcutter who uses the magic words "open sesame" to gain access
to the treasure of the forty thieves in The Arabian Nights'
Entertainments. See RAGHEAD, ISAAC THE IRAQ, SCARAB THE ARAB,
SANDY, HAJJI, MUJ, SKINNY, STREET ARAB, BAD GUYS, INSURGENT,
TERRORIST, ALLAH'S WAITING ROOM.
[aka: camel jockey, camel cowboy, goat roper, snake charmer,
carpet pilot, rug rider, sand flea, sand monkey, sand nigger,
desert darky, dune coon, tarsh, ali baba, ahab, aladdin, habib,
zalama, zol] [v: Abdullah; cf: palmer (Christian)]
acronym for All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying
Equipment, or All-Purpose Lightweight Carrying Equipment; see
RUCK, MOLLE, LBE, LBV, WEB GEAR, STABO.
ALLAH'S WAITING ROOM :
during the GULF WAR, slang reference to any dwelling or building
that shelters Islamic rebels or TERRORISTs during a shooting bout
in which they hope to provoke an Alamo-like "last stand" of
glorious martyrdom that will cost more Allied lives to clear or
secure, also called "AWR" or "Alfa Whiskey Romeo" ... the assault
force typically takes fire from such a structure, falls back, and
calls ARTY or TAC-AIR onto the target, which is shortly
obliterated, sending the defenders to meet their personal host of
virgins in paradise. Compare SHADOW HOUSE; see RAGHEAD, ALI BABA,
ISAAC THE IRAQ, SCARAB THE ARAB, MUJ, BAD GUYS, INSURGENT,
ALL AMERICAN :
another name for the automatic AMBUSH, as in the parlance of ACR
elements in Vietnam during 1970; see MA, ALPHA-ALPHA. Also,
nickname of the 82nd Airborne Division, which deployed its 3rd
Brigade as part of the 1968 Tet Counter Offensive; as derived
from the "double A" motif on the shoulder PATCH; see ALMOST
ALL AMERICAN DECOY :
slang for a guard posted out in the open, being an overt and
demonstrable representation of the presence of the American
military; see SHOW THE FLAG.
loyalty or fidelity to a cause (eg: liberation, democracy) or
country (eg: "Land of the Free", "Home of the Brave"),
faithfulness or devotion to a group (eg: religious sect, military
service) or person (eg: bodhisattva, sovereign); especially the
fealty of citizens to their government; see PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE,
LOYALTY OATH, TRUE BLUE, KEEP THE FAITH, SEMPER FI, PATRIOT,
someone who is loyal or faithful, committed or devoted; as
derived from "adherent". See PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE, LOYALTY OATH,
TRUE BLUE, KEEP THE FAITH, SEMPER FI, BRASS-COLLAR, PATRIOT,
ALL HANDS :
in naval parlance, the entire crew; all souls, everyone or
everybody. See BLUE JACKET, SHIPMATE, SAILOR.
informal Marine designation for WWII-era track-driven LANDING
CRAFT, such as the LVT and LVTA as designed by Donald Robling,
also known as "amph-track", "swamp 'gator" or GATOR-FREIGHTER;
compare GATOR, DUCK; see AMTRACK, AAV, TANGO BOAT, ELSIE, APC,
ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR :
a proverb by John Lyly in "Euphues" (1578), and later in
"Horse-Shoe Robinson" (1835), meaning that rules don't apply when
winning is paramount; often used as a defense of cheating. The
"level playing field" and "fair play" are sports metaphors
dealing with competition, while the process of war is to seek an
advantage over an opponent, and then ruthlessly exploit it to
utterly defeat or destroy them. A similar catch-phrase attributed
to both Edward Francis Albee and W.C. Fields is "Never give a
sucker an even break!". Another apt phrase meaning without
limits, rules, or restraints is: "no holds barred". See KNOCK IT
OFF, UPHILL BATTLE, TOOTH 'n' NAIL, WHEN IN ROME, WIGGLE ROOM,
OFF THE RESERVATION, DOG-EAT-DOG, WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN'
BADGES, WARNING SHOT, BLOODY SHIRT, JUST WAR, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
(ROE), LAWS OF WAR.
[nb: "Love and war are the same thing, and stratagems and policy
are as allowable in the one as in the other." by Miguel de
Cervantes (pt 2, bk 5, ch 21 Don Quixote 1615)]
a nation, organization, or group formally associated or connected
in a mutual relationship for some common cause or purpose, as to
unite by treaty, covenant, or compact; derived from "bind". Also,
the member peoples of such a league, confederation, bloc, union,
cartel, or syndicate. See BLUE FORCE, GREEN FORCE, UN, NATO, BIG
FIVE, ABCD, NINE-POWER TREATY, LEAGUE OF NATIONS.
[nb: purportedly, the military uses the term "joint" (to join) to
indicate two or more elements from the same service or nation,
and the term "combined" (by twos) to indicate two or more
interservice or international elements, hence a "joint action"
might involve the Army and Navy, while a "combined action" might
involve the US and UK; additionally, the term "composite" (put
together) indicates a compound of disparate elements forming a
whole, while the term "component" (put together) indicates
constituent elements of a greater whole] [nb: "There can be no
greater error than to expect, or calculate, upon real favors from
nation to nation. It is an illusion which experience must cure,
which a just pride ought to discard." by George Washington (17
Sept 1796); "'Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent
alliances with any portion of the foreign world." by George
Washington (17 Sept 1796); "Peace, commerce and honest friendship
with all nations; entangling alliances with none." by Thomas
Jefferson (4 March 1801); "An alliance is like a chain. It is not
made stronger by adding weak links to it. A great power like the
United States gains no advantage and it loses prestige by
offering, indeed peddling, its alliances to all and sundry. An
alliance should be hard diplomatic currency, valuable and hard to
get, and not inflationary paper from the mimeograph machine in
the State Department." by Walter Lippmann (5 Aug. 1952); "I sit
on a man's back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet
assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to
ease his lot by all possible means – except by getting off
his back." by Leo Tolstoy (1886); "Alliance: In international
politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply
inserted in each other's pockets that they cannot separately
plunder a third." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (1906)] [v:
ALMA MATER :
a school, typically college or university, at which one has
studied and, usually, from which one has graduated; as derived
from "nourishing (dear) mother"; see ROTC, TRADE SCHOOL, WAR
COLLEGE, C&GS, JEDI KNIGHT, RING-KNOCKER, BOY'S CLUB. Also,
the official anthem of a school, college, or university; also
known as "fight song"; see STARS 'n' STRIPES, WHISTLIN' DIXIE.
ALMOST AIRBORNE :
slang designation for the 82nd Airborne Division, made famous
during WWII, and conventionally known as ALL AMERICAN (AA).
During the VIETNAM WAR, the 3d Bde of the 82nd Abn Div was so
nicknamed by wordplay, along with "All Assholes", "All Afros",
and "Air Mattress" from their comfortable duty assignment.
Although the Joint Chiefs of Staff considered deploying the
entire 82nd Airborne Division in response to the Tet Offensive,
only the 3rd Brigade ever received such orders, serving in
Vietnam between 18 February 1968 and 11 December 1969. Attached
to the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile), the 3rd Brigade
fought in I Corps, primarily in Hue. Late in 1968, the 3rd
Brigade was moved south to Saigon to defend Tan Son Nhut Air
Base. The ALMOST AIRBORNE appellation also refers to the fact
that both the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions have, throughout
their combat history, accepted replacements who are less than
fully qualified (eg: WWII three-jumps-in-one-day ("3-in-1")
paratroopers) and unqualified (eg: air assault substituted for
airborne in division training) infantrymen.
Air Liaison Officer, being an Air Force pilot assigned to an Army
brigade (or higher unit) so as to facilitate close air support
civilian (mis-)spelling of the international phonetic letter "A";
see ALFA. Also, the first, beginning, or foremost in a series, as
from alpha to omega [cf: aleph, alif]. Also, the highest ranking
in a dominance hierarchy, as the "alpha female" is superior or
preeminent in the band or pack. Also, AvnSpeak for 'angle of
attack', being the difference (measured in degrees) between the
angle of the wing and the direction of the wind striking that
wing; an aircraft that exceeds its angle of attack ("angle of
maximum lift" or "critical angle") during certain maneuvers will
reduce its lift and increase its drag, which may cause it to
cease to fly (ie: STALL). [v: Plane Language]
Automatic AMBUSH, a combination of CLAYMORE mines configured to
detonate simultaneously when triggered by a TRIPWIRE or battery
mechanism; also called ALL AMERICAN, and properly designated as a
Mechanical AMBUSH (MA).
ALPHABET CITY :
catch-phrase for the district of the national capital, wherein a
plethora of ALPHABET SOUP agencies and bureaus are centrally
located to do the endless labor of the federal government (THE
G); also known as the "seat of government" (SOG), "The District",
or "Babylon on the Potomac". See FOGGY BOTTOM, GREEN ACRES, THE
HILL, OLYMPUS, THE NATIONAL JOKE FACTORY, PORK BARREL,
MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, WASHINGTON WALTZ.
ALPHABET SOUP :
slang for the complex mixture of abbreviations and acronyms that
comprises MIL-SPEAK and bureaucratic organization; first applied
metaphorically to the "alphabet agencies" of FDR's pre-WWII "New
Deal" government expansion, which has since metastasized
malignantly. Also, slang for the message codes used to verify or
authenticate COMMO traffic; see KAK, KEK, KEY, SHACKLE, CIPHER,
ENCRYPT, DECRYPT, CODEWORD, CODENAME, PROWORD, INTERCO, CODE
TALKER, TAP CODE, BREVITY CODE, ACRONYM, ABBREVIATION.
[v: Alphabet Codes &
Signal Flags] [v: cuneiform, Linear-A / Linear-B, Runic,
Ogham (Ogam/Ogum), Gaelic, Devanagari, Hangul, Wade-Giles,
pinyin, wen-yen, pai-hua, orthography, lexicology; cf: kanji,
seal script, logographic radical, logogram, ideogram, glyph,
hieroglyph, pictograph, rebus, semiotics]
ALPHA BOAT :
Assault Support Patrol Boat (ASPB). A light, fast
shallow draft boat designed specifically to provide close support
to riverine infantry. Armament consisted of machineguns (M-60 and
M-2), plus whatever else the crew could scrounge, including M-79
BLOOPER and M-72 LAW. See MRF, PCF, PBR, TAB, LANDING CRAFT.
ALPHA BRAVO :
slang expression for an AMBUSH.
ALPHA STRIKE :
AvnSpeak for a large AIR STRIKE involving most (if not all) of
the unit's aircraft, of all types, in its execution.
AL-QAIDA COCKTAIL :
a foul slurry of spit, urine, feces, food, and other waste that's
thrown at Military Police guards at refugee camps and detainment
centers, as derived from the name of the most renown Islamic
TERRORIST organization, whether or not the radical demonstrator
is a member.
Automatic Landing System, an automated control mode for aircraft
recovery; compare ILS, see TOUCHDOWN, THRESHOLD, BOUNCE, PANCAKE,
AUGER-IN. Also, U.S. Air Force designation for an Air Lift
AL'S GARAGE :
deliberate mispronunciation of 'Al Kharj', being that patch of
empty desert in Saudi Arabia, southeast of Riyadh, where a major
airport [ie: Prince Sultan Air Base (PSAB)] was built during and
after Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM.
ALUMINUM OVERCAST :
slang for the Boeing B-52 heavy strategic bomber that's
designated STRATOFORTRESS; also called BUF / BUFF, Aluminum
Eclipse, and Monkey-Killer.
ALUMINUM RAIN :
the aircraft parts, along with other debris or detritus, that
falls to earth after a midair collision or explosion; such as the
"aluminum trail" along the LEDO ROAD or the HUMP. See PANCAKE,
GROUND LOOP, NOSEDIVE, AUGER-IN, TURN TURTLE, BLACK BOX; compare
SHRAPNEL, DIRTY RAIN.
Amplitude Modulation, sometimes called "midwave" (MW); signal
method in which the amplitude of the radio carrier wave varies;
see RADIO WAVE, RADIO. Also, abbreviation for AIRMOBILE; see
YELLOWLEG. Also, abbreviation for AIR MEDAL.
an archaism variously meaning (from context) with full force; at
full speed; suddenly, or hastily; exceedingly, or greatly.
Aerospace Maintenance And Regeneration Group, being an Air Force
facility that stores, dismantles, and recovers parts from out of
service aircraft; commonly called the BONEYARD; see MOTHBALL,
see LUGGAGE TAG, STRETCHER, LITTER, DOOLIE, BASKET, CRACKER BOX,
BAND-AID, DUSTOFF, AIR AMBULANCE, CASEVAC, MEDEVAC.
a sudden or unexpected attack from a concealed position,
or the concealed position for such an attack; also called
ambuscade, ALPHA BRAVO, HARDSPOT, MA, WIDOW MAKER, ALPHA-ALPHA,
ALL AMERICAN, bushwhack, BOOBY-TRAP, STALKING HORSE, RECON BY
FIRE, STAY BEHIND. Depending upon terrain and unit size, an
AMBUSH is usually configured in an I, L/J, C/U, T, V, or X
pattern, TRIGGERed with either an automatic TRIPWIRE or a command
detonation, and the KILL ZONE lacks COVER and CONCEALMENT. The
only "proper" reaction to an AMBUSH is to break through it, but
that's more a matter of luck and instinct than skill and
assessment. See PUNJI STAKE, LAW OF AVERAGES, GAMBLER'S FALLACY,
FORCE MULTIPLIER; compare CONTACT, FIREFIGHT, SPOILING ATTACK,
PITCHED BATTLE, MEETING ENGAGEMENT, BATTLEFIELD. [nb: Vietnamese
term: phuc kich]
USAF Air Mobility Command, which replaced the Military Air
Command and the Strategic Air Command; compare ATC, ATS, MAC,
MATS, SPACE A, MASQ, DEADHEAD, SAC. Also, U.S. Air Force
designation for the Air Material Command.
name of the 23rd Infantry Division, being a contraction
of "America" and "New Caledonia" in the phrase "Americans in New
Caledonia", this unit was formed on the battlefield (Oct 1942) in
WWII; also called SOUTHERN CROSS from the constellation on its
shoulder PATCH. Operating as Task Force Oregon, composed of
disparate elements to reinforce the Marines in ICTZ from February
to September 1967, it was again formed on the battlefield from
the 11th, 196th, and 198th Light Infantry Brigades, together with
artillery, aviation, and armored cavalry assets. After the My Lai
MASSACRE and its abortive cover-up, as the parent unit for the
11th Inf Bde, it then became known as "the unit that couldn't
even do wrong right!". The AMERICAL division was deactivated in
December 1971, except for the 196th Brigade, which remained IN
COUNTRY until June 1972, becoming the last U.S. combat brigade to
depart Vietnam. See BUTCHER BRIGADE, HOT KNIFE, BURNING WORM,
AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE :
a religious affiliate organization of the American Society of
Friends (Quaker), founded in April 1917, which works for social
justice and human rights, peace and reconciliation, and provides
humanitarian relief. Because Quakers traditionally oppose
violence in all of its forms and therefore refuse to serve in the
military, the original mission of the American Friends Service
Committee (AFSC) was to provide conscientious objectors (COs) to
war with a constructive alternative to military service. Members
of pacifist churches (eg: Quaker, Mennonite, Brethren, Amish, and
Jehovah's Witness) were legally exempt from the draft, but since
individual state draft boards interpreted the law in a variety of
ways, there was inconsistent application. During WWI, AFSC
provided food and workers in France for relief and medical care
of refugees, repair and rebuilding of houses, and founding of a
maternity hospital. After the war, the AFSC began working in
Russia, Serbia, and Poland with orphans and with the victims of
famine and disease; and in Germany and Austria, where they set up
kitchens to feed hungry children. During the rise of Nazism, AFSC
helped refugees escape from Europe, provided relief for children
on both sides of the Spanish CIVIL WAR, and provided relief to
refugees in Vichy France. After WWII ended, they did relief and
reconstruction work in Europe, Japan, India, and China. In 1947,
they worked to resettle refugees from the partition of India, and
in the Gaza Strip. As the Cold War escalated, the AFSC was
involved in relief and service efforts around the world in
conflicts including the Korean War, the 1956 Hungarian
Revolution, and the 1962 Algerian war of independence. Beginning
in 1966, the AFSC developed programs to help children and
provided medical supplies and artificial limbs to civilians in
both North Vietnam and South Vietnam. During the Nigerian-Biafran
War, the AFSC provided relief to civilians on both sides of the
conflict. The AFSC supported the rights of the Japanese-Americans
during their WWII internment, and has worked to halt the
proliferation of nuclear weapons as part of the peace movement.
Since the commencement of the Iraq War in 2003, the AFSC has
circulated an exhibit, entitled "Eyes Wide Open", that
purportedly displays one pair of combat boots for every American
killed and one pair of shoes for every civilian casualty, a
gambit alleged to be a "reminder of the human costs of war". The
AFSC has been criticized, both within and without its spiritual
community, for deemphasizing volunteerism, for eliminating youth
programs, and for politicizing its religious foundation,
especially when lending "aid and comfort" to America's enemies in
time of war, which has drawn the attention of FBI investigators.
See CO, Corb, PACIFIST, protestor; compare IVS, IRC, PEACE CORPS,
AMERICANIZE / AMERICANIZATION :
to induce someone (especially a resident alien) to become
American in character, by the adoption of Western values and the
assimilation of native customs, which are inherent in the
institutions and traditions of the United States; the naive
promotion of the "American way of life" as an untrammeled good
that would be of benefit to the entire world; see RIGHT STUFF,
LODGE-PHILBIN ACT, ISOLATIONISM, STRESS OF SOUL.
Also, the conversion or corruption of foreign practices and
folkways by a well-intentioned proselytization of American
methods and values, such that a hybridization occurs, resulting
in an establishment exhibiting the worst of both cultures; see
DODGE CITY, CRUSADER FORT, LITTLE AMERICA, SIN CITY,
SHEEP-DIPPED, GONE NATIVE, YELLOW FEVER, RICE CHRISTIAN, EXILE;
compare VIETNAMIZATION, VIETNAM SYNDROME. [cf: deAmericanization]
AMERICAN REVOLUTION :
the American colonial war (1775-83) for independence from Great
Britain was caused by the "Intolerable Acts" subsequent to the
1763 Treaty of Paris ending the French and Indian Wars. The
grievances submitted to the King of England by the Continental
Congress in 1774 were overtaken by events before they could be
remedied when the Battles of Lexington and Concord fired the
"shot heard round the world" on 19 April 1775. Fort Ticonderoga
was taken from the British on the same day that the Second
Continental Congress met, appointing George Washington commander
of colonial forces. The Declaration of Independence was
conventionally dated 4 July 1776, and the British finally
capitulated at Yorktown on 19 October 1781, which conclusion was
recognized by the 3 September 1783 Treaty of Paris. Also known as
the "American War of Independence", the "War of American
Independence", or the "Revolutionary War". See PURPLE HEART,
MINUTEMAN, DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, ARTICLES OF
CONFEDERATION, THE CONSTITUTION, PATRIOT'S DAY. [nb: War of
Independence (1775-83): 25,000 battle deaths] [v: the
sequestration of gunpowder in North America by the British
military, known as the "Gunpowder Alarm", is alleged to be the
true precipitate of the AMERICAN REVOLUTION]
THE AMERICAN WAY :
see AMERICANIZE, TRADITION, LAST BEST HOPE, PATRIOTISM; compare
UN-AMERICAN, ANTI-AMERICAN, AMERIKA.
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL :
this celebratory poem, inspired by her 1893 visit to Pike's Peak
near Colorado Springs, was written by Katharine Lee Bates, who
was then an English professor at Wellseley College, and is
considered to be America's unofficial second national anthem; it
was published on 4 July 1895 in The Congregationalist
journal, and was later set to music under the title "Materna" by
Samuel A. Ward. Compare STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER, STAR SPANGLED
a characterization of the United States of America as fascist; a
deliberate misspelling of America that's used to construe an
oppressive and repressive society, variously inequitable and
discriminatory, intolerant and prejudiced, and to convey that
conclusion as a political agenda without the necessity of
presenting a defensible argument; as derived from its German
spelling. An unfinished 1927 novel, given this title by his
editor, takes the typical Kafkaesque theme of oppression and
turns it into opportunity, unlike Kafka's other works; although
unfinished, this was Kafka's favorite composition, hence the
literati have produced plays and films from this book, as well as
(mis-)applied it to many other works. Amerika is sometimes
misspelled as AmeriKKKa to emphasize our nation's "original sin"
of racism. See COUNTERCULTURE, PROTESTOR, BEST AND BRIGHTEST,
FIFTH COLUMN, SYMPATHIZER, UN-AMERICAN, ANTI-AMERICAN, RUNNING
DOG, SILENT MAJORITY, TRADITION. [v: kultur; cf: Union of
Socialist States of America (USSA)]
dysphemistic abbreviation, based upon the then popular brand of
recreation and sports equipment (which corporate advertising
re-interpreted its initials to mean "America's Manufacturer of
Fun"), for the false benediction "Adios, MotherFucker", which
was the GRUNT's typical blessing for a dead enemy; see XIN LOI,
SHIT HAPPENS, ROTS O' RUCK, FIDO, ZIP. Also, abbreviation for
'Arbeit Macht Frei' from Nazi CONCENTRATION CAMPs as a derogation
of Jews or Jewish culture.
Advanced Military Free Fall Parachutist Course, being a ten-week
program of instruction and practice, using a free-fall simulator
and other parachuting modalities, that's divided between Ft Bragg
and Yuma Proving Ground for the interservice training of
free-fall instructor candidates from Special Operations Forces
(SOF) and other Department of Defense (DoD) elements. See VWT,
HARP, HAHO, HALO, LALO, MFF, FREE-FALL.
AMMunitiOn; see LINK AMMO, TRACER, BULLET, HARDBALL, DUMDUM,
CARTRIDGE, SHELL, BEEHIVE, HOT SHOT, CANISTER, COFRAM, WP, HE,
HEDP, HEAT, SABOT, SLAP, SRTA, HANG FIRE, COOK-OFF, CALIBER,
MUNITIONS, WARHEAD, BLANK, DUMMY, SIM-AMMO, SILENCER, MAG, DRUM,
C-CLIP, CLIP, BANDOLEER, BANANA CLIP, AMMO CAN, ASP, PRE-POS,
DUMP, EOD, UXO, DEACTIVATE.
[nb: long barreled weapons (including RIFLE, BAR, CAR, MG) fire
the same type of AMMO, and short barreled weapons (including SMG,
PISTOL) shoot the same kind of AMMO.]
[nb: RIFLEd guns are denoted "inch" (eg: 3" Field Gun called
"three incher"), which is the diameter of the projectile, while
SMOOTHBORE cannons are denoted "pound" (eg: 12# Mountain HOWITZER
called "twelve pounder"), which is the weight of the projectile]
[nb: although "gauge" is actually a measure of weight (not size),
representing the bore diameter sized to equal the number of lead
balls of that diameter to weigh one pound avoirdupois (12ga
converts to .69cal), but the so-called ".410ga" SMOOTHBORE barrel
is actually a caliber]
[v: Firearms Glossary]
AMMO CAN :
AMMunitiOn ContAiNer; a stackable air-tight and waterproof
container, with a latch closure and a recessed handle, sized by
the CALIBER of its contents. See AMMO, LINK AMMO, CARTRIDGE,
AMOK / AMUCK :
to engage in a murderous frenzy; especially among members of
certain southeast Asian cultures, a psychic disturbance ['amuk']
characterized by depression that's followed by a manic urge to
murder. Also, to rush about wildly, as in the loss of
self-control during a mad frenzy. See BERSERK, FIGHTING MAD, SEE
RED, BLOOD IN THE EYE, GO KINETIC. [cf: Sudden Mass Attack by a
Single Individual (SMASI); cf: workplace violence ("going
AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT :
a waterborne attack intended to secure a BEACHHEAD by personnel
and equipment off-loaded from ASSAULT BOATs or LANDING CRAFT; a
doctrine developed after WWI by the U.S. Marine Corps.
[nb: the doctrine of amphibious assault by waterborne forces was
developed by John Archer Lejeune (LTG USMC) after studying the
Gallipoli Peninsula landing in WWI, and this specialization
prevented the Marine Corps from being disbanded between the World
Wars; Marines then taught amphibious doctrine during 1941-2 to
soldiers of the Army's 1st and 3rd Infantry Divisions at both New
River NC and Cape Henry VA in preparation for the North African
landing] [nb: Winfield Scott commanded the first amphibious
landing of an invading army (12,000 troops), supported by a naval
task force under David Conner and Matthew Perry, in March 1847
at Veracruz during the MEXICAN WAR]
see ALLIGATOR, AMTRACK, AAV.
designation for the AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air
MISSILE (AAM) built by Hughes Aircraft, as a "fire and forget"
technology, it uses active RADAR guidance on its integral seeker,
and travels at MACH four; commonly called "Slammer".
informal designation for an AMphibious TRAC[K]tor (LVTP-7), being
a propeller-driven LANDING CRAFT that's also equipped with TRACKs
so the cargo of 20 men and materiel can be driven inland from the
BEACHHEAD, used like an amphibious armored personnel carrier
(APC) by Marines; also called "amph-track", it's been succeeded
by the Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV), commonly called "Tuna
Boat". See ALLIGATOR, TANGO BOAT, ELSIE, APC, LAV, TRACK; compare
see AMOK, BERSERK, FIGHTING MAD, GO KINETIC.
Advanced Missile Warning System, being a RADAR and LASER
detection technology that warns the aircrew of incoming
abbreviation for Army Nurse Corps; established 2 February 1901,
granted full military standing 1943, transferred from relative to
regular rank status 1947, and integrated into the Armed Forces
1978; nurses are commonly known as ANGELs. Approximately 1100
Army nurses volunteered for service in the SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR,
and 59,000 volunteered during WWII, with 16 dying as a result of
enemy action in WWII and 1 KIA in Vietnam (LT Sharon A. Lanz at
Chu Lai on 8 June 1969). Despite the fact that civilian male
nurses had been licensed for decades, the military nurse corps
were exclusively female until 9 August 1955.
[nb: Navy Nurse Corps established 1908]
a device or other item, typically including arms, crown, shank,
fluke, capstan, and similar esoterica, attached by chain or
cable, that's dropped into the water to restrain a vessel or
other floating object, so as to control motion or hold fast; due
to its configuration, it's commonly called a HOOK; see DROGUE,
BOWER, DAVIT, MAINSTAY, GIMLET, HEAVE-HO. [nb: the phrase
"anchor's aweigh" means that the anchor is free of the bottom,
that the anchor is no longer holding the vessel in place; the
official song of the U.S. Navy is "Anchors Aweigh" composed by
Charles A. Zimmerman]
Also, to secure or attach, tether or retain, as to "anchor a
LINE" (see CLEAT, BOLLARD, PAD EYE, DEADEYE, BLOCK, TACKLE, FALL,
FAIRLEAD, CRAB, WHIP, BOOM, LUFF, CHOCK, BELAY, RAPPEL,
HARD-AND-FAST, LET-DOWN ROPE) or to "anchor the FLANK" (compare
TIED-IN, IN THE AIR).
ANCHOR CLANKER :
rhyming slang referring to a sailor, seaman, seafarer, gob, deck
ape, SWABBY, SQUID, WHITE CAP, BLUE JACKET, or OLD SALT.
the person who can be relied upon for support, stability, or
security; a MAINSTAY. Also, in NavSpeak, the lowest RANKing man,
especially the "bottom of the class" graduate from a military
school or training course; see GOAT. Also, the final competitor
or last participant on a sports team, as in a relay race, or
farthest to the rear on a TUG OF WAR team.
AN CUT :
Vietnamese term for "eat shit".
Air National Guard, or more formally "Air National Guard of the
United States". Also, Army National Guard; properly as "ARNG".
See NG, WEEKEND WARRIOR, MILITIA, PARAMILITARY, RESERVE.
slang for a vagrant image on a RADAR screen, such as the track of
a low-flying bird. Also, altitude expressed in thousands of feet
above ground level (AGL); compare CUPID. Also, common expression
for a female nurse; see ANC, SKIRT, QUEEN FOR A YEAR, ROUND EYE,
FUZZY-WUZZY ANGEL; compare MEDIC, CORPSMEN, DOC, BABY DOC, RAMP
TRAMP, BONE CUTTER, ORDERLY, BAND-AID.
[nb: Aside from nursing sisters performing their religious
vocation in hospices and hostels, women began volunteering for
nursing service during the Crimean War (1853-6) and the American
CIVIL WAR (1861-5). When neither Union nor Confederate
governments could agree on the status and disposition of
noncombatants, a CSA surgeon named Hunter Holmes McGuire
established a policy of unilateral repatriation of medical staff,
which was codified two years later by federal regulations,
protecting physicians, nurses, sutlers, and civilians in the
combat zone. Dorothea Lynde Dix, a hospital reformer, was
appointed (10 June 1861) Superintendent of Women Nurses for the
Federal government, where she established staffing policies and
procedures without precedents, and arranged for training and
supplies within and without the military. Clara Barton, who later
(1881) established the American Red Cross, was known by Federal
troops as the "Angel of Mercy" during the war. More than 1100
women worked as contract nurses during the SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR
due to epidemic diseases, which caused ten times more casualties
than combat. Although a separate medical department was
established in the U.S. Army in 1818, and in the U.S. Navy
(BuMed) in 1842, the Army did not establish a corps for nurses
(ANC) until 1901, and the Navy only accepted nurses in 1908.
Women also served as contract workers in service jobs, including
dietetics and nursing, during WWI, but still didn't qualify for
protected military status under the conventions of war, and were
ineligible for veteran's benefits after the war. On 3 July 1943,
the Army Nurse Corps (ANC) and the Women's Army Corps (WAC) were
admitted to full military status by Congress. All separate
women's military service corps were dissolved in 1978 when female
servicemembers were integrated into the RANKS; and their roles
were further expanded in 1994.]
[nb: despite the fact that civilian male nurses had been licensed
for decades, the military nurse corps were exclusively female
[nb: responding to a public appeal to care for the wounded at the
outbreak of the CIVIL WAR, Sally Louisa Tompkins opened and
operated a private hospital at personal expense in the Judge John
Robertson house, Richmond Virginia, where 1333 soldiers were
treated, with only 73 of them dying, throughout the war. She was
commissioned (9 Sept 1861) a CSA Captain of cavalry to circumvent
the regulation requiring all hospitals to be managed by the
military, and to enable her to draw medical supplies from scarce
stores. "Captain Sally" was the first nurse and the only woman
commissioned into the military for a century. Her charity work on
behalf of veterans eventually exhausted her fortune, compelling
her to move into the Confederate Women's Home in 1905, where she
died in 1916, and was buried with full military honors.]
[nb: named in honor of their leader, Florence Nightingale,
British troops called volunteer nurses "Nightingales" (also a
melodious European thrush) from the Crimean War to WWII]
[nb: contrary to popular opinion, a "wet nurse" is not a Navy
nurse serving aboard ship; and an Army nurse cannot be described
as a "dry nurse"!]
Also, informal usage by Coalition troops during Operations
Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Iraqi Freedom (OIF) for mortally
wounded combatants who later die of their wounds (DOW) in a
military hospital, as in "He's become an angel." or "He's gone to
join the angels.".
nickname of 11th Airborne Division; the first to be both GLIDER
and AIRBORNE qualified, and later to be the test organization for
AIR ASSAULT tactics.
ANGEL'S WING :
distinctive Cambodia/SVN border feature near Tay Ninh; see
PARROT'S BEAK, FISHHOOK, DOG'S FACE, ELEPHANT'S FOOT, BLACK LADY
a motivating emotion of varying intensity that inspires some
people to disregard logic and endure suffering in order to attain
a personal goal or to accomplish a worthwhile task; not to be
confused with hate or rage, this short-term passion tends to
obscure cognition and overwhelm finer motor skills ... in other
words, while it promotes enterprise and aggressivity, it also
impairs deliberation and marksmanship. See CHOGI, CHOP CHOP, RIKI
TIK, HUBBA-HUBBA, HARD CHARGER, BALLS TO THE WALL, WATCH MY
SMOKE, CHARGE, STORM, ASSAULT, ATTACK, RETALIATION, REPRISAL,
RETRIBUTION, RIPOSTE / RIPOST, COUNTERATTACK, FIGHTING MAD, RED
ASS, HEAD IN THE LION'S MOUTH, HOT, WETSU, FIDO, DIEHARD, ROOT
HOG OR DIE, BITE THE BULLET, A FINE AND PLEASANT MISERY, FALLACY
OF ARGUMENTUM BACULINUM, COMFORT ZONE, FEAR, COURAGE, FORTITUDE,
PAIN. [v: epinephrin/adrenalin; cf: intermittent explosive
disorder] [nb: "Temper gets you into trouble; pride keeps you
there." anonymous adage]
ANGKOR WAT :
the national and spiritual symbol of Cambodia, as the
largest and best preserved Khmer temple in the vast Angkor
complex of carved statues, gateways, towers, and temple ruins;
also known as "Anghkor Vat" or "Norkor Temple", it is located in
northwest Cambodia, near the modern city of Siem Reap. In the
khmer cosmogony, the pedestal of the temple represents the Mount
Meru, structure of the Universe, the top being the central
sanctuary of Cambhu, the kind lord creator of the world, divinity
of predilection of the King founder. The King was the intercessor
between the sky and the land, between the gods and men.
[cf: a ruined city named Pagan, located in central Burma
(Myanmar) on the Irrawaddy River, is one of the great
archaeological treasures of Southeast Asia and is a holy place of
pilgrimage; founded around 849, it was adorned by thousands of
Buddhist shrines and temples during the 11th century, then
occupied by the Mongols in 1287, and was finally sacked and
burned by the Shans in 1299; a 1975 earthquake damaged much of
the remaining architecture]
Also, one of the primary ossuaries of the Cambodian HOLOCAUST by
the KHMER ROUGE implementing their genocidal YEAR ZERO program.
[nb: despite Congressional junkets (including Bella Abzug in
1973) and notable VIP visits (including Jacqueline Kennedy in
1967), the U.S. refused to intervene in "the killing fields", and
declined refugee assistance ... another shameful episode in
America's moral decline! Ironically, Vice-President Spiro T.
Agnew gave Lon Nol a WHITE ELEPHANT as a token of American
commitment. When US Ambassador John Gunther Dean offered to
evacuate Cambodia's leadership, he was mystified by their almost
unanimous refusal ... Sirik Matak, a former Cambodian prime
minister, sent his refusal in a note, handwritten in elegant
French: "Dear Excellency and Friend, I thank you very sincerely
for your letter and for your offer to transport me towards
freedom. I cannot, alas, leave in such a cowardly fashion. As for
you, and in particular for your great country, I never believed
for a moment that you would have this sentiment of abandoning a
people which has chosen liberty. You have refused us your
protection, and we can do nothing about it. You leave, and my
wish is that you and your country will find happiness under this
sky. But, mark it well, that if I shall die here on this spot and
in my country that I love, it is no matter, because we all are
born and must die. I have only committed this mistake of
believing in you. Please accept, Excellency and dear friend, my
faithful and friendly sentiments." It took Sirik Matak, after
being shot in the abdomen and denied all medical care, three days
ANGLE OF ATTACK :
sometimes abbreviated AOA in AvnSpeak; see ALPHA.
ANGLE OF INCIDENCE :
on an airplane, the angle (usually fixed) between a wing or tail
root chord and the axis of the FUSELAGE. [v: Plane Language]
ANGLES 'n' DANGLES :
NavSpeak slang for the steep and rapid operation of a SUBMARINE
through changes in direction and depth, as if maneuvering like an
aircraft underwater; compare YANK 'n' BANK.
Air and Naval Gunfire LIaison COmpany, which deploys joint Navy
and Marine teams as forward observers (FO) to ground elements;
slang for class of radios designated "AN/GRC-", with
numeric identification appended, such as AN/GRC-87, AN/GRC-109;
see RADIO, RTO.
Vietnamese term for brother, as in the greeting: "Chao anh." See
BRO, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER; compare ONG, PAPA-SAN.
AN KHE PASS :
a dramatic mountain pass west of An Khe on Highway 19, and east
of MANG YANG PASS; see STREET WITHOUT JOY, THUNDER ROAD, HAI VAN
name for the central section of Vietnam under the French
INDOCHINA Protectorate, meaning "Peace of the South"; compare
COCHIN CHINA, TONKIN.
common designation for the United States Naval Academy (USNA)
located at Annapolis, MD; also called BOAT SCHOOL, "Canoe U", or
"Small Boat and Barge School"; see CADET, TRADE SCHOOL,
an addition, appendix, addendum, codicil, or supplement to
a document; see RAPPORTEUR, WHITE PAPER, FINDING, MR, MANIFOLD
SET, PAPER BULLET, RED TAPE, SNOWFLAKE, FILE 13 [v: dossier; cf:
bout de papier, aide-memoire]. Also, a subsidiary building, an
extension or an addition to a structure; derived from "attach,
bind"; see POW. Also, an outlet or other concession, often remote
and with limited resources or inventory, typically having relaxed
dress codes, as a regional PX or lakeside club; see PARTY SUIT,
DIRTY SHIRT, SLOP CHUTE, CANTEEN, SHADOW OF THE FLAGPOLE, HOT
[cf: barrelhouse, cocktail lounge, saloon, roadhouse, speakeasy,
blind pig / blind tiger, pub, ginmill, public house, tavern,
cantina, bar, barroom, bar-and-grill, grogshop, watering hole,
11th Frame, 19th Hole, honky-tonk, dive, brasserie, bistro,
taproom, beer joint, beer parlor, brewpub, alehouse, rathskeller,
cabaret, nightclub, drinkery]
to reduce to utter ruin or destruction; to obliterate or
demolish; to ravage or devastate; as derived from "brought to
nothing". Also, to destroy or defeat completely; to wipe out or
vanquish entirely; to make extinct. Also, to make void or
nonexistent; to cancel the effect of; to annul or nullify. Also,
to adversely affect with any pernicious influence; ruined or
blasted. [nb: classic examples of utter destruction and
promiscuous slaughter include: Cannae, Adrianoplis (Adrianople /
literally "before the war"; anything existing or occurring before
a specific war, especially the American CIVIL WAR. Often
portrayed as a period of idyllic innocence and prosperity [v:
belle époque ("beautiful epoch")], it is typically
quarrelsome and contentious, as factions vie for power and
maneuver for advantage. Compare INTERWAR; see CONFLICT, STRUGGLE,
FIGHTING WORDS, SABER-RATTLING, HAIR-TRIGGER, HALF-COCKED,
GUNPOINT, CROSS THE RUBICON, CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS, BLOODY SHIRT,
ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, JUST WAR, DODGE THE BULLET, DETENTE,
RAPPROCHEMENT, PEACE, HAPPY VALLEY, THE WORLD.
see WHIP, STACK, TROPO, RADOME, TACAN, ANTENNA FARM, DONKEY DICK,
COMM SHACK, RADIO, COMMO.
ANTENNA FARM :
major communications center, also called "ant farm", or "bull
pen" in the Navy; an assemblage featuring many types and sizes of
broadcast and reception antennas, that's usually maintained by a
Signal Company for a separate Brigade or larger unit. See STACK,
TACAN, WHIP, DONKEY DICK, EARS, COMM SHACK, RRD, DITTY-BOP,
COMSAT, RADIO, COMMO.
a song of patriotism, of praise or devotion; as derived from
"responsive singing" (antiphon), being a piece of sacred vocal
music from the Scriptures. Compare ALMA MATER; see STARS 'n'
STRIPES, WHISTLIN' DIXIE, WE SHALL OVERCOME.
[nb: "The Star Spangled Banner" by Francis Scott Key was composed
during the defense of Fort McHenry, 13-14 September 1814; then
made National Anthem of the United States of America by a 1916
Executive Order and a 3 March 1931 Act of Congress]
the ascription of human attributes to an inhuman being or thing,
such as gods or animals, machines or objects, especially in their
(alleged) resemblance to the human form; this phenomenological
subset of animism represents the possession of human abilities
and qualities (to a greater or lesser extent) by other beings and
things. This projected concept is the basis for the naming of
vehicles (after its exhibited personality) by its crew, and for
relating mechanical performance to the arcane propitiations (eg:
stroking, petting, dire imprecations, impotent threats, desperate
prayers, lighted incense, abject groveling, virgin sacrifices,
etc, etc) of its operator! Compare PATHETIC FALLACY; see JOSS
STICK, VOODOO, HOODOO, MOJO, WIZARD, RAINMAKER, MASCOT. [v:
"ghost in the machine"; cf: ergonomics]
ANTI-AMERICAN / ANTI-AMERICANISM :
opposed or hostile to the United States of America, its values
and standards, its goals and other endemic characteristics; being
in favor of foreign nations and peoples, foreign principles and
policies ... a pretty distinction without much difference is that
un-Americanism rejects this freedom-loving society which is
permissive enough to tolerate disloyalty and dissent, while
anti-Americanism seeks to overthrow this freedom-loving society
and replace it with some repressive rule disguised as "heaven on
earth" [v: HAPPY VALLEY]. It has been noted, not as a final act
of desperation but as a moral victory, that "America is the last
best hope for mankind" or "America is the last best hope of the
world", which has also been expressed as "children are mankind's
last best hope for a better world" [v: BABY BRIGADE]. See
AMERIKA, PROTESTOR, SILVER-TAIL, COUNTERCULTURE, REBELLION,
REVOLUTION, SOFT TYRANNY, HUAC, McCARTHYISM; compare PATRIOTISM,
LAST BEST HOPE, SILENT MAJORITY. [v: spite fence; cf:
liberticide] [v: kultur, anomie; cf: loyal opposition] [v:
malcontent, undesirable, objectionable, defiant, acrimonious,
grudge, malice, malignity, rancor, splenetic, venomous,
any of a large group of anti-infectant or bacteriostatic chemical
substances, from sulfa drugs (sulfanilamide) to streptomycin,
used to treat wounds, burns, inflammations, infections, and
infectious diseases; also spelled "anti-biotic". MIL-PERS often
deliberately mispronounce 'penicillin' as "penis-cillin" due to
its common treatment for venereal disease (VD/STD); a familiar
ditty from end-of-tour exams was: "If you're dripping, you're not
shipping!". See CLAP, ARC, SHORT ARM, PECKER-CHECKER, PRO KIT.
[nb: When STAY BEHIND troops formed GUERRILLA forces in the
Philippines during WWII, they asked "Bug-Out Doug" for medicine
and materiel in support of their efforts, but were told that
resistance was both impossible and illegal ... to which LTC
Wendell W. Fertig replied: As per your last Valentine, send drugs
to treat toxic VD contracted from leaders!]
the use of guerrilla tactics against GUERRILLA forces; also known
as COUNTER-GUERRILLA. See GUERRILLA WARFARE, LOW-INTENSITY
CONFLICT, UW, CAP, MIKE FORCE, CIDG, RF/PF, STRIKER, SEA
SWALLOWS, MILITIA, IRREGULARS, ASYMMETRIC WARFARE.
the use of offensive and defensive stratagems, including terror
tactics against TERRORISTs, revolutionaries, religious fanatics,
and other sociopolitical radicals; also known as
COUNTER-TERRORISM. See UW, COUNTER-GUERRILLA, COUNTERINSURGENCY,
ICEX, PRU, PHOENIX, ASYMMETRIC WARFARE GROUP, CONSTABULARY,
IRREGULARS, OPLAN 7500, TIWG, DHS, NIMS, NRP, NCTC, DOOR KICKING,
KILL HOUSE, GWOT, WAR ON TERROR, PATRIOT ACT.
[v: uprising, insurrection, insurgency, revolt, rebellion,
takeover, toppling, outbreak, break-out, overthrow,
break-through, downfall, mutiny, turning point, putsch, coup,
coup d'état, or intifada (der: "shaking off")] [nb:
"Everyday that nothing happens is a good day." AT mantra]
Australian and New Zealand Armed Corps, used in the sense of both
the force and any individual member thereof; see AATTV, ATFV,
AUSSIE, NZATTV, NZV FORCE, KIWI, ANZUS, KANZUS, FWF, ASEAN,
[nb: ANZAC MEMORIAL DAY, observed on April 25th of each year,
commemorates the devastating losses which Australian and New
Zealand forces suffered at Gallipoli in 1915]
[v: Down Under Military Glossary]
a 1951 defense agreement between Australia, New Zealand, and the
U.S. as a result of new relations with Japan, being a mutual
assistance pact to its signatories; also called "ANZUS Treaty".
New Zealand suspended its membership in 1986 when it refused to
permit nuclear-powered ships to enter its ports. See SEATO,
ASEAN, KANZUS, FWF.
Area of Operations, which may also be represented as "A/O" or
"A-O"; and is called "Theater of Operations" (TO) by USN / USMC,
and "Area Of Responsibility" (AOR) by USCG; and has been lately
redesignated "Military Operational Area" (MOA). Compare TAOR,
CHOP LINE, OA, UA.
(a-o-b) Advanced Operations Base; being a small temporary base,
ashore or afloat, with minimal facilities that may include an
airfield or anchorage, that's established near or within a
SPECIAL OPERATIONS area for command and control, support and
training of tactical operations. Compare FOB, CP, ADVANCED BASE,
MOB, FSB, BASE CAMP, BASE.
AO BA BA :
traditional Vietnamese black pajamas, worn by men and women for
work and leisure; compare AO DAI.
Air Operations Center; see COMMANDO INDIAN, OPIUM DEN, FOC, TAOC,
ADOC, ASOC, CAOC; compare TOC, CTOC, JOC, CMOC, WAR ROOM, OPN.
USAF Air... or Aerodrome Officer of the Day; see OOD.
AO DAI :
traditional slit-skirted dress and trousers worn by Vietnamese
women, adopted from similar Chinese dress. Compare CHEONGSAM,
Area Of Interest; compare AO, TO, OA, MOA, TAOR, CHOP LINE, UA.
informal verbal response, equivalent to affirmation or
confirmation; usage apparently derived from a shortening of the
facetious misspelling (ol' korreckt) of "all correct". This usage
seemingly originated with the need for verbal clarity among
aviators when communicating by voice during the pre-WWII era,
with the addition of an extra letter (A-OKay) to increase
emphasis or improve clarity in RTP, in the same way "niner" is
used to prevent misunderstandings. The general public became
aware of this usage during NASA's broadcast of manned satellite
orbits [eg: Freedom 7 (1961)]. See ACEY-DEUCY, CHARLIE, PROWORD,
Also, a hand signal used by aviators and SCUBA divers to indicate
safe and sound, correct or satisfactory, approval or agreement,
being a gesture that forms an open circle with the thumb and
forefinger, with the other three fingers spread and extended;
also known as OK or Okay, this acknowledgement should not be
confused with a "thumbs-up" sign, which means ascend; see HAND
Also, a rude non-verbal HAND SIGN representing anus or asshole,
with the imputation of homosexuality or cowardice; see THE
FINGER, ITALIAN SALUTE.
A-1 / A-ONE :
excellent, best, or first class; from the initial or top RANK in
both letters and numbers; as derived from the best possible
rating for insurance coverage. See BRAVO ZULU, ATTABOY, YOUNG
LIONS, GONG, GREEN WEENIE, STREAMER, UP CHECK, BRAGGING RIGHTS,
TOP DOG, POWER WALL. [v: fanfaronade]
Area Of Responsibility, being the area of operations as
designated by the US Air Force (USAF) and U.S. Coast Guard
(USCG); compare AO, TO, OA, MOA, TAOR, CHOP LINE, UA.
Air Police, being USAF Security Police (SP) or Combat Security
Police (CSP), commonly known as "APes"; see POLICE. Also,
Anti-Personnel, such as CLAYMORE, TOE-POPPER, and IED mine [nb:
attitudes about the utility and brutality of AP mines changed
during the American CIVIL WAR]. Also, Armor Piercing, as kinetic
energy munitions, including Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot
(APDS) or Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munition (DPICM)
armor piercing HOWITZER round. Also, USN abbreviation for a
non-landing troop ship; a transport. Also, Vietnamese term for
hamlet; compare XOM, XA; see STRATEGIC HAMLET.
US Navy abbreviation for an attack transport ship; a non-landing
US Army AH-64 series (eg: AH-64D = Long Bow APACHE) of attack
helicopters that succeeded the COBRA for Close Air Support (CAS)
of ground troops; see GUNSHIP, CHOPPER.
Anti-Personnel Anti-Materiel, being a type of bomblet
(SUBMUNITION) distributed by cluster (CBU) munitions.
in naval parlance, an enclosed compartment or separate room on a
DECK, as opposed to a recessed alcove (BAY).
Armored Personnel Carrier, typically M-113, used to transport
infantrymen to the combat zone as swiftly and securely as
possible, being a "battlefield taxicab" or "battle taxi" [nb:
automobile taxis were actually used during WWI]; informally known
as "box" for their appearance, or "can" for their construction.
APCs include the Infantry Fighting Vehicles and armored cavalry
scout vehicles (such as M-114 recon APC, M-125 w/81mm mortar APC,
M-106 w/4.2" mortar APC, M-132 flamethrower APC, M-548 cargo APC,
M-577 command APC), and were driven by either the Chrysler 209HP
gasoline engine or General Motors 215HP diesel engine. See GAVIN,
BRADLEY, STRYKER, FISTV, LAV, HALF-TRACK, ARMORED CAR, TANK,
TRACK, AAV, TANGO BOAT, ZIPPO, SPONSON, CUPOLA, SPLINTER SHIELD,
Also, an Aspirin Phenacetin Caffeine compound, or a generic
extra-strength aspirin, being a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
drug (NSAID) that's used chiefly as an antipyretic and analgesic;
compare ASA, RANGER CANDY, CHEERIOS, BISCUIT; see MED BAG, SICK
a high-speed troop transport vessel converted from a WWII
destroyer; see TIN CAN.
Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot ammunition, which enables the
smaller penetrator to be driven more forcefully by a larger
CHARGE; see AP, SABOT.
slang for U.S. Air Force Security Police (SP) or Air Police (AP),
which is the most common duty assignment in the USAF.
Armor Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot ammunition, which
enables the smaller penetrator to be driven more forcefully by a
larger CHARGE when fired from a SMOOTHBORE gun; see AP, SABOT.
Army Physical Fitness Test, being the monthly exam that replaced
the annual Physical Competency and Proficiency Test (PCPT); also
known simply as Physical Fitness Test (PFT). See PT, DAILY DOZEN,
EXERCISE, AIRBORNE SHUFFLE, TRUSCOTT TROT, FRONT LEANING REST,
JUMPING JACK, SQUAT, BIATHLON, TRIATHLON, PENTATHLON, DECATHLON,
MARATHON, BY THE NUMBERS, FIELD HOUSE, WAR GAMES.
Armor Piercing High Explosive ammunition; see AP, HE.
Armor Piercing Incendiary ammunition; see AP.
Army and Air Force Post Office; compare FPO. Personal
letters sent from Vietnam were delivered without postage if
marked "FREE" in place of the stamp. [nb: 5-digit Zone
Improvement Code (ZIP) (invented by Robert A. Moon in 1944)
introduced 1963; 9-digit ZIP+4 code introduced 1983]
the Second Indochina War, characterized by PROTESTORs as the
locus for widespread destruction, or the paradigm for universal
disaster. Term actually designates a prophetic revelation of
divine intent, especially concerning a cataclysmic confrontation
between the forces of good and the forces of evil. Staging this
war as a morality play, entitled armageddon, that was
hysterically produced in the SEA theater for a global audience by
pathetic incompetents, effectively trivialized a tragedy into a
catastrophe (ie: a fiasco with a disastrous end). See BEST AND
BRIGHTEST, WAR POWERS ACT, POSSE COMITATUS, DECENT INTERVAL,
HOLOCAUST, ATROCITY, RUMOR, DISINFORMATION, FRUIT FLY, RUNNING
DOG, FIFTH COLUMN, NEW MOBE, YIPPIE. [v: Myths of the
Also, any widespread destruction or universal disaster; see CBR,
WMD, NUKE, GENOCIDE, OVERKILL, KNOCK INTO A COCKED HAT,
HEADHUNTING, TRIGGER-HAPPY, KILL 'EM ALL, WARMONGER, MASSACRE,
TURKEY SHOOT, HOLOCAUST, RETALIATION.
[nb: the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse", or simply the FOUR
HORSEMEN, being four allegorical agents of destruction, as
described in Rev 6:2-8 Bible: symbolic of pestilence (white
horse), war (red horse), famine (black horse), and death (pale
horse)] [nb: the "Minotaur", a monster in classical Greek
mythology, having the head of a bull on the body of a man and fed
on human flesh, is representative of any person or thing that
devours or destroys]
[v: a "viaticum" is a provision or allowance of the necessary
funds and supplies issued to a Roman soldier traveling to his
last or final battle; which became the ecclesiastical Eucharist
or Communion given to a dying person]
to yield or concede, as to satisfy the belligerent demands of a
nation, group, or person, in a conciliatory or propitiatory
effort, sometimes at the expense of justice or other principles;
as derived from PEACE. Also, to bring to a state of peace, quiet,
ease, calm, or contentment, as to pacify, soothe, assuage, allay,
placate, or relieve. See RAISON D'ETAT, TRUCE, COUP D'ETAT, JUST
WAR, DIKTAT, ENTENTE, DETENTE, RAPPROCHEMENT, PACIFIST, NEUTRAL,
PEACE; compare HARD-AND-FAST. [v: Diplomatic Terms] [v: 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact
(General Treaty for the Renunciation of War)] [nb: after WWI,
many of the Lost Generation took the Oxford oath, which many
fascists and communists viewed as implicit appeasement, if not an
explicit warrant, for political hegemony leading to WWII; this
pacifistic pledge declared: "We solemnly swear that we will never
take up arms in defense of our country. We will never take up
arms, even in defense of our country."; a more extensive pledge
was promulgated by 1935: "If war comes, I will not fight; if war
comes, I will not enlist; if war comes, I will not be
conscripted; if war comes, I will do nothing to support it; if
war comes, I will do everything to oppose it, so help me God."]
the outer border or boundary area of an airstrip, especially the
clear area (usually paved) near airfield buildings and HANGARs
that's used for un-/loading, refueling, inspection, and parking
aircraft; also called HARDSTAND or RAMP. See TAXIWAY,
THRESHOLD, TOUCHDOWN, BOUNCE, RUNWAY, STRIP ALERT, FOLLOW ME,
REVETMENT, HOT-FUELING, FOD. [cf: esplanade]
Auxiliary Power Unit, the external energy source used to check
aircraft systems before ignition; also known as "accumulator".
This designation is also given to auxiliary generators on
vehicles or watercraft that are used to drive accessory or
supplemental machinery, such as conveyor belts or cranes, so as
to avoid the necessity of coupling to a power take-off (PTO) from
the primary engine.
slang for the U.S. Navy's digitized multicolor camouflage
uniform, developed in 2006 as a replacement for the traditional
DUNGAREES; see BELLS, CAMMIES, DIGITALS, DRESS.
[nb: sailors used to also have "undress blues" (and "undress
whites") as a semi-work uniform without neckerchief or piping;
but in 2006 the Navy exchanged its service dress blues and whites
for a year around tan, and its DUNGAREES for digitized multicolor
work utilities with an 8-point COVER, abolishing their
traditional bell-bottoms and DIXIE CUPs]
automatic rifle, or assault rifle; see AR-15, WIDOW MAKER, BLACK
MAGIC, RIFLE, SMALL ARMS. Also, Army Reserve; see WEEKEND
WARRIOR, MILITIA. Also, Army Regulation, often shortened to REG;
see SCRIPTURES, ORDER.
Aerial Rocket Artillery; an AH-1G COBRA attack helicopter
equipped with four XM159C 19-rocket pods of 2.75" ROCKETs. See
GUNSHIP; compare ARTY.
an appellation originally applied to the Semitic peoples of the
Arabian Peninsula; it now refers to those persons whose primary
language is Arabic. The derivation of this term is unclear, and
the meaning of the word has changed several times throughout
history. The term does not usually include Arabic-speaking Jews
(found chiefly in North Africa and formerly in Yemen and Iraq),
Kurds, Berbers, Copts, and Druze, but it does include
Arabic-speaking Christians (chiefly found in Syria, Lebanon,
Israel, and Jordan). Socially, the Arabs are divided into two
groups: the settled Arab [villagers="fellahin" or
townspeople="hadar"] and the nomadic Bedouin. Some Arab scholars
have equated Joktan (Gen. 10.25) with the ancient Arab patriarch
Qahtan whose tribe is thought to have originated in southern
Arabia. The Assyrian inscriptions (9th century BC) referred to
nomadic peoples inhabiting the far north of the Arabian
Peninsula; the sedentary population in the south of the peninsula
was not called Arab. In classical times, the term was extended to
the whole of the Arabian Peninsula, and to all the desert areas
of the Middle East; and in the Middle Ages, the Arabs came to be
called Saracens, the Muslim opponents of the Crusaders. See MUJ,
ISAAC THE IRAQ, SCARAB THE ARAB, SANDY, HAJJI, ALI BABA, SKINNY,
STREET ARAB, RAGHEAD.
ARAB LEAGUE :
popular name for the "League of Arab States", an association that
was formed in 1945 so as to give political expression to the Arab
nations; it was originally chartered by Egypt, Syria, Lebanon,
Trans-Jordan (later Jordan), Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, these
members were later joined by Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Kuwait,
Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, the Palestine Liberation
Organization, Qatar, Somalia, Southern Yemen (now merged with
Yemen), Sudan, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates. The League
is organized into a council, special committees, and a permanent
secretariat headquartered in Cairo, under a constitution that
provides for coordination among the signatory nations on
education, finance, law, trade, and foreign policy, and that
forbids the use of force to settle disputes among its members.
The League advocated independence for Libya, and is opposed to
the formation of a Jewish state in Palestine; although it has
signed a joint defense treaty, it is typically divided in its
allegiances. It has attempted to coordinate Arab economic life;
efforts toward this aim include the Arab Telecommunications Union
(1953), the organization of the Arab Postal Union (1954), and the
Arab Development Bank (1959, later known as the Arab Financial
Organization). The Arab Common Market was established in 1965 and
is open to all Arab League members; the common market agreement
provides for the eventual abolition of custom duties on natural
resources and agricultural products, free movement of capital and
labor between member countries, and coordination of economic
development. See COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS, LEAGUE OF NATIONS,
NATO, SEATO, ASEAN, G8, G10, G15, G20, G24, G77, UN.
any unbroken curve or arch; see TAB, Q-TAB, TRIPLE CANOPY. Also,
abbreviation for AIDS-Related Complex; see CLAP, VD, STD, SHORT
ARM, PECKER-CHECKER, PRO KIT, ANTIBIOTIC. Also, abbreviation for
American Red Cross; see DOUGHNUT DOLLY, compare SALLY. [nb: the
publication of "Un Souvenir de Solferino" in 1862 by Swiss
philanthropist Jean Henri Dunant, regarding the suffering of the
wounded at the Battle of Solferino, led to the formulation of the
Geneva Convention and to the establishment of the International
Committee of the Red Cross; the parent organization of the
American Red Cross, being the International Red Cross based in
Geneva Switzerland, should not be confused with the International
Rescue Committee (IRC), despite their mutual cooperation]
(ar-cent) Army Forces Central Command; see CENTCOM. Also, U.S.
ARC LIGHT :
CODENAME for the B-52 aerial bombardments, a tactic known as
"saturation" or CARPET BOMBING, typically flown by sets of three
B-52s against enemy positions in Southeast Asia; beginning on 18
June 1965 targeting a suspected Viet Cong base north of Saigon.
In November 1965, B-52s directly supported American ground forces
for the first time, and were used regularly for that purpose
thereafter. Because these AIR STRIKEs were invisible and
inaudible to ground troops, the Vietnamese called them
"whispering death". See BDA, BOUNCE THE RUBBLE, BOMB 'EM BACK TO
THE STONE AGE, STRATEGIC BOMBING.
(ar-kom) ARmy COMmendation Medal, presented for valor or service,
and commonly known as the GREEN WEENIE; see V-DEVICE, GONG.
AREA 51 :
an off-limits portion of Nellis AFB, near the salt flats known as
Groom Lake, about 80 miles northwest of Las Vegas, that's used as
a range and test site. This is ostensibly, according to
conspiracy theorists, the secure storage facility for
Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO) and the remains of
extraterrestrial aliens ... the state of Nevada has formally
designated the 98 mile portion of Route 375 that passes beside
Groom Lake as the Extraterrestrial Highway. See DREAMLAND, HAWC;
compare TOP GUN, RED FLAG.
U.S. Air Force designation for an Air Refueling Squadron.
SENTRY or security guard; derived from mythic Greek giant
with a hundred eyes. See ROADRUNNER, EARTH ANGEL, TRAIL WATCHER,
SPOTTER, WATCHER, GROUND OBSERVER CORPS, WEFT, COIGN OF VANTAGE,
WATCH. [v: "watch and ward"]
any WEAPON (eg: SIDEARM, SMALL ARMS, FIREARM). Also, abbreviation
for ARMor branch; the shock value of the armor doctrine, where
heavy gunfire issues from a rapidly moving platform that's
fortified against general defense, acts aing a FORCE MULTIPLIER;
see HHC, USATC, LAAGER, YELLOWLEG, CAVALRY WHISKERS, ORDER OF THE
SPUR, YELLOW RIBBON; compare ACR, CAV. [nb: Vietnamese term:
THE ARM / THE ARM OF HONOR :
see ITALIAN SALUTE.
a final battle of complete destruction, or the place where the
ultimate battle between good and evil will be fought, such as
Megiddo (Rev 16:16) or Ragnarok; see HOLY WAR. Also, any decisive
conflict of immense involvement or large-scale proliferation.
ARMCHAIR GENERAL :
someone who speculates or theorizes on military affairs without
the benefit of practical experience, including "armchair
admiral", "barroom brigadier", "kaffeeklatsch commando"; such an
opinionated critic is usually a self-appointed master of
hindsight. Also, someone who participates indirectly or
experiences vicariously, as an "armchair expert" or "Monday
morning quarterback". See WAR GAMES, IVORY TOWER, DEAD HORSE, TOY
SOLDIER, WANNABE; compare FUGLEMAN, BOOMER, GUNSLINGER, QUIET
PROFESSIONAL, WIZARD, OLD BREED, OLD SWEAT, DINOSAUR, OLD SALT,
SHELLBACK, MOSSBACK, VET, VETERAN, WINTER SOLDIER. [nb: "An army
can lose its best leaders, but the lowest soldiers will never
lose their opinions." ancient Chinese proverb] [v: expert,
master, virtuoso, bailiwick; cf: "wight" is a human being, who is
defined as such by his ability to fight, hence is someone who's
strong and brave in war]
ARMCO HUT :
see ELEPHANT HUT.
as being "under arms"; also called "packing" or "strapped"; see
ARM, FIREARM, WEAPON, SMALL ARMS, SIDEARM, ARMED TO THE TEETH.
ARMED FORCES :
the military collectively; also designated "Armed Services" and
"Uniform Services" ... being a national organization that exists
primarily, despite all the grandiloquent phrases and noble
sentiments, to kill people and break things! See MIL-PERS,
SOLDIER, SAILOR, MILITIA, WEEKEND WARRIOR, PARAMILITARY, STRIKER,
[nb: as a euphemism for military or naval forces, "Uniformed
Services" is particularly egregious for its deliberate omission
of weaponry and its implications of servile servitude ...
doormen, waitresses, repairmen, gardeners, and dog-catchers are
in "uniformed service" ... uniformed airmen are members of the
U.S. Air Force, and not some low-budget global air charter
ARMED FORCES DAY :
established 31 August 1949 by Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson
to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force Days
with this single-day celebration, stemming from the unification
of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense. Confirmed on
20 February 1950 by Truman's presidential proclamation, honoring
all servicemembers ready and able to defend America, this holiday
is scheduled each year for the third Saturday in May. Compare
MEMORIAL DAY, VETERANS' DAY, PATRIOT'S DAY, FLAG DAY, POW-MIA
DAY. [nb: "This is the day on which we have the welcome
opportunity to pay special tribute to the men and women of the
Armed Forces ... to all the individuals who are in the service of
their country all over the world. Armed Forces Day won't be a
matter of parades and receptions for a good many of them. They
will all be in line of duty and some of them may give their lives
in that duty." New York Times (14 May 1952)] [nb: in May 1967,
New York's "Workshop in Nonviolence" declared 'flower power day'
to be coincident with Armed Forces Day] [nb: many civilians
confuse the meaning of the principal national holidays, combining
each and commemorating all together at each date; instead of
according honors to military servicemembers on Armed Forces Day,
honors to veterans on Veterans' Day, and honors to the war dead
on Memorial Day]
ARMED FORCES EXPEDITIONARY MEDAL / AFEM :
awarded to military ADVISORs who served in Vietnam between 1 July
1958 and 14 March 1962; also known as "Armed Forces Expeditionary
Service Medal" (AFESM). Se VSM, CAMPAIGN MEDAL, FRUIT SALAD,
ARMED TO THE TEETH :
a catch-phrase meaning heavily or fully armed; being armed with a
variety of weapons so as to be prepared for any kind of attack;
being so thoroughly armed that one is even carrying a weapon in
one's teeth. This expression seemingly originated in Port Royal
Jamaica as a description of pirates in the 1600's, where they
would carry several of the single-shot black powder weapons and a
couple of cutlasses to help them sustain the fight, including a
knife clenched between their teeth. Also, a metaphor for
dangerous or deadly, as of someone even being possessed of lethal
teeth; compare TOOTH 'n' NAIL.
a temporary suspension of hostilities by agreement of the warring
parties; a TRUCE or CEASE-FIRE, as derived from "stop + arms".
See ENTENTE, DETENTE, RAPPROCHEMENT, NEUTRALIZE, EXIT STRATEGY,
APPEASE, PEACE, DIKTAT, CARTE BLANCHE, RAISON D'ETAT, COUP
D'ETAT, WAR. [v: Diplomatic Terms]
a protective covering, especially metal plate, used as a defense
against weapons by vehicles, craft, and people; see FLAK JACKET,
HAPPY SUIT, OTV, IOTV, ESAPI, SAPI, FLAK VEST, CHICKEN PLATE,
SKIN, HARDEN, UP-ARMOR, HILLBILLY ARMOR, IRONCLAD, SPLINTER
SHIELD, SPACED ARMOR, REACTIVE ARMOR, SPALL, HEAT, SLAP, SABOT,
AT, SPONSON, CUPOLA, BARBETTE, TURRET, APC, GAVIN, BRADLEY,
STRYKER, LAV, HALF-TRACK, ARMORED CAR, TANK, TRACK.
Also, the branch (ARM) dealing with the strategy and tactics of
tank warfare; see HHC, USATC, LAAGER, YELLOWLEG; compare ACR,
CAV. [nb: Vietnamese term: Thiet Giap]
ARMORED CAR :
(forthcoming); including T-17E1 "Staghound" Arm Car w/37mm gun,
T-17E2 Arm Car w/.50cal MG, M-20 Arm Car w/.50cal MG, M-8 Arm Car
w/37mm gun, M-706 Cadillac Gage "Commando" Arm Car; also called
"battle taxi". See TRACK, HALF-TRACK, STRYKER, APC, LAV, SQUIRREL
GUN. [nb: heavily armoured cars, known as "tanks" to disguise
their function, were introduced during the First Battle of the
Somme (15 September 1916)]
a person who makes or maintains weapons; formerly
included the manufacture and repair of arms and armor, but in
modern times has become synonymous with the servicing of
firearms, a "gunsmith" or artificer.
a storage place for weapons and other war equipment; compare
MAGAZINE. Also, an armorer's shop; a place where arms and armor
are fabricated or repaired. Also, a building that is the
headquarters and drill center of a National Guard (NG) unit.
Also, heraldic bearings and arms, or the art of blazoning
heraldic arms. [v: Heraldry]
the military forces of a nation, exclusive of the navy and (in
some countries) the air force; a large body of persons who have
been trained and equipped for war, such as the U.S. Army; see
AUS, USA. Also, a large unit among land forces that typically
consists of two or more corps and a headquarters; a Field Army
(qv). Also, any large body of persons, as one organized for a
particular purpose; a large group, multitude, or host; as related
ARMY ACHIEVEMENT MEDAL / AAM :
(forthcoming); this award ranks below the Meritorious Service
Medal (MSM) and Army Commendation Medal (ARCOM) for achievement;
compare GREEN WEENIE; see DEVICE, GONG.
ARMY CHRISTIAN :
a battlefield convert to religious salvation; someone who adopts
the blessings and redemption of religion during a crisis of faith
in his "baptism by fire". Due to the violent and stressful nature
of combat, the proclamation that "there are no atheists in
foxholes" is almost axiomatic, but some egregious conversions,
notable for their overt hypocrisy, are shameless attempts to
curry favor out of abject fear or blatant uncertainty. This
designation may conjure allusions to "Christian soldiers", as in
the 19th century song "Onward Christian Soldiers" by Arthur
Seymour Sullivan, or in the 1503 book "Manual of the Christian
Knight" (also translated as "Handbook of the Christian soldier")
by Desiderius Erasmus, but the American military is secular and
non-sectarian, so the ARMY CHRISTIAN derives no socioeconomic
benefit from his conversion, and any sociopolitical advantage
obtained must be sustained by continued MIL-CRAFT performance.
Compare RICE CHRISTIAN; see FOXHOLE CONVERSION, YELLOW DOG,
TURNCOAT, BOYDLOOP, LAW OF AVERAGES, GAMBLER'S FALLACY,
UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE, GOD SQUAD, SKY PILOT, PRAYER, SYMPATHY.
[nb: "God is With Us" (Gott Mit Uns) was the motto of the
Prussian Emperor, and was used by German soldiers during WWII;
"O Lord, Thou knowest how busy I must be this day. If I forget
Thee, do not forget me." by Jacob Astley at the Battle of
Edgehill (1642)] [v: the Edict of Milan issued by Emperor
Constantine the Great (Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus)
caAD313; cf: "whited sepulcher" (Matthew 23:27)]
ARMY COMMENDATION MEDAL / ARCOM :
commonly known as the GREEN WEENIE; this award ranks below the
Bronze Star (BSM) for valor, and between the Army Achievement
Medal (AAM) and Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) for achievement.
See DEVICE, V-DEVICE, IMPACT AWARD, GONG.
ARMY DAY :
(forthcoming); superseded by ARMED FORCES DAY; the birthday of
the Army of the United States (AUS) is coincident with FLAG DAY
ARMY GROUP :
several field armies united under a single designated commander;
abbreviated "AG". See GHQ, FIELD ARMY.
ARMY RESERVE COMPONENT ACHIEVEMENT MEDAL / ARCAM :
(forthcoming); see ARCOM, DEVICE, GONG.
ARMY SOUP :
the dependent children of PHILIPPINE SCOUTS; compare BRAT; see
GREEN BLOOD, DRAG, OFFICER'S WIFE, SEPARATE RATS, CAMP FOLLOWER.
[nb: until the Vietnam-era, the military did not recognize the
spouse or other dependents of enlisted personnel below the
non-commissioned officer ranks]
ARMY TIMES :
a weekly newspaper, first published 17 August 1940, issued to
inform servicemembers and their families of events and trends
affecting their careers. Army Times Publishing Company (ATPCO)
also distributes "Armed Forces Journal" (1863), "Air Force Times"
(1947), "Navy Times" (1951), "Federal Times" (1965), "Defense
News" (1986), "Marine Corps Times" (1999), and "Military Times
EDGE" (2009); it became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Gannett
corporation on 1 August 1997, joining 75 daily newspapers
(including "USA Today" and "USA Weekend") and 21 television
stations nationwide. Compare JOURNAL, STARS AND STRIPES, YANK.
[nb: "Army Times", "Navy Times", "Air Force Times", "Marine
Gazette", "Early Bird Brief", "Daily News Roundup", and other
service-oriented newspapers are proprietary publications, just as
"Army", "Leatherneck", "Sea Power", "Air Power", "National
Guard", "Legion", "VFW", and other quasi-military magazines are
proprietary publications of their respective professional or
veteran associations, which are neither endorsed nor sponsored by
THE ARMY WAY :
terminal phrase in the cardinal expression: "There are only three
ways to do something: the right way, the wrong way, and the Army
way."; this represents a pattern of doctrinaire conduct that is
inexplicable to the uninitiated, and is nonsensical to civilians.
See FOR THE HELL OF IT, MIL-SPEC, GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT
WORK, PARTY LINE.
ARmy National Guard, or more formally as "Army National Guard of
the United States"; sometimes improperly abbreviated as "ANG"
(Air National Guard). See NG, WEEKEND WARRIOR, MILITIA,
Eugene Stoner designed predecessor of the M-16 assault
RIFLE; see BLACK MAGIC, WIDOW MAKER, STONER.
AROUND THE WORLD :
to copulate with every part of one's partner during a single
extended spree, including her mouth, armpits, between her
breasts, hands, vagina, rectum ... some even include the bent
knee or clasped feet! Some allege that this phrase alludes to an
episode of kissing the entire body, from one end to the other, as
a prelude to other sexual activity, but it's widely offered in
overseas markets as a MACHO indulgence beyond the HAT TRICK or
DAISY CHAIN. [nb: contrary to popular opinion, this expression is
not synonymous with "globetrotter" or "world traveler"]
Advanced Research Projects Agency; a separately organized
research and development agency, under the direction and
supervision of Defense Research and Engineering, Department of
Defense. See DARPA.
U.S. ARmy PACific command, properly known as USARPAC; see PACOM.
USAF Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service; also known as Air
Rescue Service (ARS), both of which disappeared in the 1993 force
restructuring. See PJ.
U.S. Air Force designation for an Air Refueling Squadron (1992).
(are-sock) Army Special Operations Command, redesignated as
"USARSOC" and USASOC (qv); official motto: "without equal" [sine
pari]; insignia approved 1 Dec 1989. See SOCOM, USSOC, SPECIAL
ARTICLE OF FAITH :
any fundamental tenet or conviction; also known as an "article of
belief"; compare ACT OF TRUTH, see TRUTH. [v: axiom, apriori,
ARTICLE 15 :
summary disciplinary judgment of a soldier by his immediate
commander, may result in fines[mulct], extra duty (ADY), or
confinement in the STOCKADE/BRIG; but ARTICLE 15s do not become a
permanent part of a serviceman's record. If an officer is given
an ARTICLE 15, his next OER will show his inability, and he will
be compelled to resign from the military. See YELLOW SHEET,
DRUMHEAD, OFFICE HOURS, ROCKS 'n' SHOALS, CAPTAIN'S MAST, UCMJ.
ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION :
the first constitution of the original thirteen states, adopted
during the AMERICAN REVOLUTION in 1781 and replaced in 1789 by
the Constitution of the United States of America (qv); see
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
ARTICLES OF WAR :
the body of laws and legal procedures that regulated the U.S.
Army and Air Force until replaced in 1951 by the Uniform Code of
Military Justice (UCMJ); see LAWS OF WAR.
ARTICLE 31 :
provision in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) for the
protection of servicemembers against undue influence or coercion,
establishing their right to legal representation and silence
during formal questioning, such that statements may not be
misconstrued; it states:
[v: UCMJ Punitive
- No person subject to this chapter may compel any person to
incriminate himself or to answer any questions the answer to
which may tend to incriminate him.
- No person subject to this chapter may interrogate or request
any statement from an accused or a person suspected of an offense
without first informing him of the nature of the accusation and
advising him that he does not have to make any statement
regarding the offense of which he is accused or suspected, and
that any statement made by him may be used as evidence against
him in a trial by court martial.
- No person subject to this chapter may compel any person to
make a statement or produce evidence before any military tribunal
if the statement or evidence is not material to the issue and may
tend to degrade him.
- No statement obtained from any person in violation of this
article, or through the use of coercion, unlawful influence, or
unlawful inducement, may be received in evidence against him in a
trial by court martial.
ARTICLE 32 :
mandatory investigation under the Uniform Code of Military
Justice (UCMJ); see DUE DILIGENCE, BOARD OF INQUIRY.
ARTILLERY FAN :
the scope and range of coverage by any artillery
gun or integrated unit; being the area where artillery fire
support is available.
an artillerist, cannoneer, REDLEG, CANNON-COCKER, FAG, TUBE
MONKEY, gun bunny, BULLET HEAD, lanyard-puller; see ARTY,
abbreviation for ARTillerY, being the "King of Battle", shooting
air-burst, impact, and delay rounds, mines and missiles, against
personnel, vehicles, routes, and fortifications; the primary role
of artillery is to enable the infantry to close with the enemy.
See AAA, AIMING STAKES, AIMPOINT, ARA, BARBETTE, BARREL SLEEVE,
BASE PIECE, BATTERY/BTY, BEEHIVE, BIG STUFF, BORE, BORESIGHT,
BREECH, BREECHBLOCK, BULL'S-EYE, CAISSON, CEP, CHOKE POINT,
CONCRETE BATTLESHIP, COUNTERBATTERY FIRE, DANGER CLOSE,
DEFLECTION, DEVIATION, DELIVERY ERROR, DIME-NICKEL, DISPERSION
ERROR, DUD, DUFFEL BAG, ELEVATION, EMPLACEMENT, FA, FAASV, FDC,
FFE, FIREBALLING, FIRECRACKER, FIRE FINDER, FIRE MISSION,
FIREPOWER, FLAREBACK, FO, FSB/FB, FUZE, GUNLOCK, GUN TUBE, HANG
FIRE, HEAVY STUFF, HHB, H&I, HIGH ANGLE HELL, HORIZONTAL
ERROR, HOT SHOT, HOUSEWARMING, HOWITZER, IN-COMING, I&I,
IN-BATTERY, KICK, KILLER JUNIOR, KILLER SENIOR, LAAGER, LIFT,
LIMBER, LOADER, LONG TOM, LOST, MAIN-GUN, MARCHING FIRE, MONEY
SHOT, NLOS-C, ONE-OH-DEUCE, ONE-SEVENTY-FIVE,
PENNY-NICKEL-NICKEL, PLUNGING FIRE, POINT-BLANK, POINT OF IMPACT,
PREP, PROJOS, PROLONGE, PROXIMITY FUZE, RECOIL, REGISTRATION,
SALVO, SCREEN, SHELL, SHORT SHOT, SHOT IN, SHOT OUT, SP, SPONSON,
TOWED, TOT, TRACK, TRAIL, TRAIN, TRANSOM, TRAVERSE, TRUNNION,
TUBE, UNLIMBER, VOLLEY, VT, WHIZ BANG, WILD SHOT, ZERO, ZONE AND
compare MORTAR, SMOOTHBORE, UP-GUN.
[nb: RIFLEd guns are denoted "inch" (eg: 3" Field Gun called
"three incher"), which is the diameter of the projectile, while
SMOOTHBORE cannons are denoted "pound" (eg: 12# Mountain HOWITZER
called "twelve pounder"), which is the weight of the projectile]
[nb: the term "field gun" was limited to the 18-pounder until the
Boer War, when heavy guns were used as mobile artillery. In the
Great War, mechanical transport brought guns of the largest
caliber into the field of battle. Quick-firing field guns were
first used by the Abyssinians against the Italians at the Battle
of Adowa (29 February 1896)]
[nb: the Chinese first used bronze catapults and crew-served
crossbows as seige engines or "cannons" against fortifications
during the 4th century BC; the first Chinese cannons were
hollowed-out bamboo tubes which could withstand an explosive
pressure of 6 atmospheres; and launched explosive "thunder" bombs
with iron cases from AD 1231. Cannon was first used in European
warfare in ca1346.]
[cf: bombard as the earliest type of indirect cannon launching
stones, from "noise" (bomb) and "stone-throwing engine"
(bombarda)] [nb: Vietnamese term: Phao Binh, Sung Phong Phao]
[nb: the surplus propellant used for mortar and artillery fire
can be ignited to sterilize the contents of a cesspool [eg: SLIT
TRENCH, CAT HOLE], and thus maintain local sanitation]
[nb: "The King's Final Argument" is a phrase that was routinely
incised into European cannon barrels from the Renaissance until
World War I; typically inscribed in Latin ("Ultima Ratio Regis";
"Utema Rasio Regum"), it means that the greatest weaponry
ultimately settles any dispute (ie: MIGHT MAKES RIGHT)]
Armored Recovery Vehicle, including M-88 Light ARV, M-578
Heavy ARV, M-32 ARV; see VTR, LOW BOY.
Army of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnamese Army),
Vietnamese term: Quan Luc Viet Nam Cong Hoa; established 11
May 1950. VIETNAM WAR Era ranks with US Army equivalents: TRUNG
DINH, able bodied man (conscript); BINH NHI, Private 2nd Class
(recruit); BINH NHAT, Private First Class (PVT); HA SI, Low Grade
NCO (PFC); HA SI NHAT, Junior Grade NCO (CPL); TRUNG SI,
Intermediate Grade NCO (SGT); TRUNG SI NHAT, Senior Grade NCO
(SFC); THUONG SI, Superior Grade NCO (1sg); THUONG SI NHAT,
Senior Superior Grade NCO (SGM); SINH VIEN SI QUAN, officer
candidate (OC); CHUAN UY, student officer (cadet); THIEU UY, Jr
Gr Jr Officer (2LT); TRUNG UY, Intermed Gr Jr Off (1LT); DAI UY,
Sr Gr Jr Off (CPT); THIEU TA, Jr Gr Superior Off (MAJ); TRUNG TA,
Intermed Super Off (LTC); DAI TA, Sr Gr Super Off (COL); CHUAN
TUONG, Sub Gen (BG); THIEU TUONG, Jr Gr Gen (MG); TRUNG TUONG,
Intermed Gr Gen (LTG); DAI TUONG, Sr Gr Gen (GEN); THUONG TUONG,
Superior Gr Gen (GA). See AFVN; compare VNAF, VNN, VNMC. [v: Viet-Nam Military Terms]
U.S. Air Force designation for an Attack Squadron. Also, U.S. Air
Force designation for an Airlift Squadron (1992).
Army Security Agency, or U.S. Army Security Agency (USASA),
called SENTINELS; the commo-crypto experts. Army Security was
created 15 December 1952, and was merged to form Army
Intelligence and Security on 1 July 1962, which was redesignated
Military Intelligence (MI) on 1 July 1967. See INTEL, CIC.
Also, AcetylSalicylic Acid, or generic aspirin, being a
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that's used chiefly
as an antipyretic and analgesic; compare APC, RANGER CANDY,
CHEERIOS, BISCUIT; see MED BAG, SICK CALL.
(a-sap or a-s-a-p) acronym for As Soon As Possible; a request for
urgency, a demand for expeditiousness; Vietnamese term: Thuong
Khan (extremely urgent). Compare PDQ, FORTHWITH, CHOGI, GOYA,
SCRAMBLE, STAT, HAUL-ASS, JUICE, CHOP CHOP, RIKI TIK; see TOCSIN,
(a-essay-ess) [Royal] Australian Special Air Service, established
4 Sept 1964 from its 1957 predecessor, the 1st Special Air
Service Company; as part of the Australian Defence Forces (ADF),
it's the AUSSIE branch of the British Special Air Service (SAS),
which has served in combined operations with American SPECIAL
FORCES in Vietnam, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere. See
ATFV, AATTV, FWF, NZSAS, OUC DA LOI.
Anti-SATellite, technology designed and weapons directed against
Army Service COMmand; nicknamed "Ashcan City".
(az-dick) a form of echolocating SONAR, which is an acoustic
pulse sent in water with its return measured as a distance and
response angle, that's used to detect SUBMARINEs, as developed by
the British in 1917; being an acronym for Anti-Submarine
Detection Investigation Committee, but also represented as the
"Allied Submarine Detection Investigation Committee". This
acronym was not abandoned in favor of SONAR until the NATO
standardization of terms began in 1948. See SOSUS; compare UWT.
(ah-see-ahn) Association of SouthEast Asian Nations, established
in 1967; including Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brunei,
Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines. See SEATO, ANZUS,
KANZUS, PENTALATERAL AGREEMENT, UN.
Air Support Group.
ASH 'n' TRASH :
routine work or FATIGUE DUTY, especially administrative or
logistic distribution DETAILs for headquarters (HQ, HHC, HHT).
Also, distribution or ferry service assignments flown by unarmed
helicopters (SLICK) and rated as "non-combat" (even though they
were not always "safe" or BULLETPROOF!), such as transporting men
from field to rear BASE CAMP, carrying resupply to forward areas,
taking hot CHOW or mail out to the field, evacuating sick or
injured men, and so forth; also called "pigs 'n' rice", "trash
hauler", "log hel'o", or MILK RUN, but was commonly perverted
into "ass and trash" by many IN COUNTRY aircrews. See CA, VR,
CHOPPER, LOG BIRD, NO SWEAT.
A SHAU VALLEY :
the A Shau Valley is located in Thua Thien
Province of I Corps near the Laotian border. Actually several
valleys and mountains, the A Shau Valley was one of the
principal entry points to South Vietnam of the HO CHI MINH TRAIL.
It was an area that was critical to the North Vietnamese since it
was the conduit for supplies, additional troops, and
communications for units of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and
VIET CONG (VC) operating in I Corps. Because of its importance to
the NVA and VC, it was the target of repeated major operations
by allied forces, especially the U.S. 101st Airborne Division.
Likewise, it was defended vigorously by the NVA and VC.
Consequently, the A Shau Valley was the scene of much fighting
throughout the war, and it acquired a fearsome reputation for
soldiers on both sides. Being a Veteran of A Shau Valley
operations became a mark of distinction among combat Veterans.
The most famous battle of the A Shau Valley was Operation Apache
Snow, also known as Hamburger Hill. See PURPLE HEART VALLEY,
Assault Support Helicopter Company.
slang for a depth charge; compare HEDGEHOG, see ASW.
ASHES TO ASHES :
an expression representative of death or decay, and symbolic of
remorse, as inspired by the Bible; ash, a light silvery gray
color, represents the residue, remnant, or remains of life, and
denotes total finality. The phrase "ashes to ashes, dust to dust"
is from the English burial service, and is similarly expressed as
"earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust" in the Book of
Common Prayer; both of which are related to "Dust thou art, and
unto dust thou shalt return" [Genesis 3:19], and "I will bring
thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold
thee" [Ezekiel 27:18]. Phrase has often been irreverently
expressed in doggerel as: "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, if the
Lord won't take him, then the Devil must!" and "Ashes to ashes,
dust to dust, let's dump this fucker, and do what we must!".
Additional Skill Identifier, being a prefix or suffix appended to
an individual's MOS indicating their skill level; also known as
Skill Qualification Identifier (SQI), examples include: 7 prefix
for AIRBORNE officers, 3 prefix for SPECIAL FORCES officers, V
suffix for AIRBORNE RANGER, S suffix for SPECIAL FORCES, F suffix
for PATHFINDER, W suffix for JUMPMASTER, and so forth. See MOS,
PMOS, AIT, AFEES, RECEPTION STATION, MEPS, ASVAB, AFQT, AFGCT,
Q-COURSE, OJT, CROSS-TRAINING, MIL-CRAFT, PRO PAY, DOG TAG,
Air-to-Surface MISSILE, also known as "air-to-ground missile"
Ammunition Supply Point.
ASPECT RATIO :
in AvnSpeak, the ratio between the length (span) and width
(chord) of a wing (airfoil), with a higher aspect ratio being
generally more efficient than a wing with a smaller ratio; see
CANARD, ANGLE OF INCIDENCE, ALPHA / ANGLE OF ATTACK.
Air Support Operations Center; see AOC, ADOC, FOC, TAOC, OPN.
AS PLEASED AS PUNCH :
see PLEASED AS PUNCH.
abbreviation for Alternate Supply Route during Operation Iraqi
Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AIM-132), being the
European-built successor to the SIDEWINDER.
to attack vigorously or violently and repeatedly; being beset by
a relentless assault.
a short, violent, well-ordered attack against a local objective
or specific target, being the climax of an attack where troops
close with the enemy to accomplish their mission; the action of
combatants from their arrival in the objective area (as by
amphibious or airborne delivery) until the accomplishment of
ASSAULT BOAT :
a beach-landing craft used to transport troops; also called
"storm boat". See LANDING CRAFT, GATOR-FREIGHTER.
ASSEMBLY AREA :
area designated for personnel and units to form for coordinated
launch or crossing of Initial Point (IP). See STAGE, RALLY POINT,
POD, LINE OF DEPARTURE, LAUNCH SITE, STACK; compare PARADE
ASSHOLE BUDDY :
a typical military dysphemism used to designate a close friend or
trusted associate; a confidant, intimate friend, trusty
companion, bosom buddy, or best pal. See COMRADE, SHIPMATE,
MESSMATE, BAND OF BROTHERS, BUDDY SYSTEM, RABBI, PATRON SAINT,
SEA DADDY. [nb: 'compadre' derived from "godfather"] [nb: as with
"swim buddy" and "Ranger buddy", the military BUDDY SYSTEM is not
a codependency relationship, but a dyadic mutuality of
cooperation, such that a pair does not redouble but reinforces;
cf: Damon and Pythias (Phintias), Pylades and Orestes, David and
ASSHOLES 'n' ELBOWS :
dysphemistic slang for ELBOW GREASE or hard work, as when
accomplishing something (especially cleaning) by dint of physical
exertion. See SWEAT, SCRUB, GI PARTY, KP, FATIGUE, HOUSECLEANING,
Armed Services Service Number, or Armed Services Security Number.
See SERVICE NUMBER, SSN. Social Security
to adopt, undertake, or take over the duties and responsibilities
of a position or office; as to "assume command" ... in a slightly
different sense, to seize or usurp. Also, to postulate or posit
without proof, to suppose or take for granted; such a lack of
substantiation or verification makes an ASS of U and ME!
Army Service Uniform, being the CLASS-A duty uniform that
restored the traditional Continental Army blue color to the
everyday working uniform of the U.S. Army in 2008, after decades
of "Army green" (AG, OG, OD), KHAKI, and other color combinations
or variants; a white shirt, with permanent MILITARY PRESS creases
and SHOULDER LOOPs, is worn beneath the blue BLOUSE. See DRESS.
the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, being the exam
that determines a servicemember's qualification for a Military
Occupational Specialty (MOS); formerly called Armed Forces
Qualification Test (AFQT) and Armed Forces General Classification
Test (AFGCT). See PMOS, DRAFT, McNAMARA'S HUNDRED THOUSAND, AIT,
AFEES, MEPS, RECEPTION STATION, Q-COURSE, OJT, CROSS-TRAINING,
Anti-Submarine Warfare, that has been informally reinterpreted as
"Awfully Slow Warfare"; see ASHCAN, HEDGEHOG, MAD, DASH, CAPTOR,
ORION, LIGHTNING, SEA KING, SEA SPRITE. Also, the USAF Aircrew
Survival Weapon, being a folding double-barreled combination gun
(.22LR rifle /.410 shotgun) that's stowed with other emergency
gear in case of crash landing; also known as M-6 SCOUT, as made
by Springfield Armory.
Aircrew Survival Weapon|
ASYMMETRIC WARFARE :
the ways and means of fighting IRREGULARS with conventional
forces; as countering improvised weapons, GUERRILLA and TERRORISM
tactics in the same way that the police must fight crime without
becoming criminals themselves. Although a revolutionary may
resist an unjust overlord and "move among the people like a fish
in water", a TERRORIST exploits and injures the people around
him, so the other "fish" must assist the "fishermen" in his
efforts to remove the threat to their security. See UW,
COUNTERINSURGENCY, COUNTER-GUERRILLA, ANTI-TERRORISM, SPECIAL
OPERATIONS. [v: David and Goliath]
ASYMMETRIC WARFARE GROUP :
a COUNTERINSURGENCY unit, activated 8 March 2006 at Fort Meade,
has been designed to fight asymmetric weapons (like Improvised
Explosive Devices) and insurgent tactics (like suicide bombing
and kidnapping); established with soldiers comprising more than
twelve Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) for the purpose of
assessing battle incidents, developing countermeasures, and
training foreign and domestic personnel in their implementation.
See UW, ANTI-TERRORISM, IRREGULARS, OPLAN 7500, SPECIAL
AS YOU WERE :
command responding to military protocol which restores previous
posture or resumes prior proceedings; not to be confused with
RECOVER. See CARRY-ON; compare BELAY.
Anti-Tank; see HEAT, APHE, API, SLAP, SABOT, LAW, RR, SMAW, RPG,
TOW, DRAGON'S TEETH. [v: panzerfaust]
Also, abbreviation for ANTI-TERRORISM.
Actual Time of Arrival; compare ATD, ETA.
(attack-ums) Army TACtical Missile System.
Air-Traffic Control, being a government service that facilitates
the safe and orderly movement of aircraft within and between
airports by maintaining radio contact with PILOTs, and by
receiving and processing data from RADAR and other devices that
monitor local weather conditions; see ATRC, ADIZ. Also,
Air-Traffic Controller; see SCOPE DOPE. Also, Air Training
Command. Also, Air Transport Command, the WWII ferry shuttle of
the U.S. Army Air Force, which was sardonically known as
"Allergic To Combat"; see ATS, MAC, MATS, AMC, MASQ, SPACE A,
Advanced Tanker Cargo Aircraft; modified version of C-17A
GLOBEMASTER transport, which is itself able to be refueled during
flight. See TANKER, BIRD.
Actual Time of Departure; compare ATA, ETA.
A TEAM :
the basic 12-man SPECIAL FORCES unit, also known as "Operational
Detachment Alpha" (ODA) and sometimes spelled A-Team; consisting
of specialists in weapons, demolitions, communications, medicine,
intelligence, administration, and lately augmented by combat air
controllers. With the CROSS-TRAINING and language skills of
area-specific A TEAM members, it can train and advise a battalion
sized partisan unit in combat operations. The A TEAM is
subordinate to B TEAM and C TEAM detachments.
[nb: The Rangers of World War II and Korea had been designed as
light-infantry shock troops; their mission was to hit hard, hit
fast, then get out so larger and more heavily armed units could
follow through. Special Forces, on the other hand, were designed
to spend months, even years, deep within hostile territory. They
would have to be self-sustaining, without extensive resupply from
the outside. They would have to speak the language and know the
customs of their target area.]
[nb: six A TEAMs or ODAs comprise a company (CO), three SF
Companies comprise a battalion (BN), and four SF Battalions
comprise a group (effective 2007); each active duty SF Group
specializes in the languages and cultures of a particular region
(ie: 1st SFGA in East Asia; 3rd SFGA in Africa, Mid-East, and
Central Asia; 5th SFGA in Mid-East and Central Asia; 7th SFGA in
South America; and 10th SFGA in Europe)]
AT EASE :
a relaxed military posture in which the feet are spread
shoulder width apart and the hands are loosely clasped behind the
back, during which all positions in formation are maintained.
Also, the command for interrupting talk or work, as when an
officer enters the MESSHALL or DAYROOM. See THE BIBLE, ATTENTION,
ATE UP :
slang for beaten or bested, as when referring to a substandard or
defeated person or group; usually expressed ungrammatically as
"We done ate up them boys!" when bragging or boasting. See ATFU.
Amphibious Task Force; see ADVANCE FORCE; compare MAGTF.
literally "Ate The/Those/Them Fuckers Up", as a brag or boast;
compare PISSING CONTEST, SEA STORY, WAR STORY, COUNT COUP, SHOOT
THE SHIT, TALK TRASH, BRAVO SIERRA, CHICKEN SHIT, RUMOR,
Australian Task Force Vietnam, also called "ATFG", being a
detachment of the Australian Defence Forces (ADF); see AATTV,
ASAS, ANZAC, KANZUS, FWF.
Anti-Tank Guided Missile; see TOW, DRAGON, LOSAT, JAVELIN, CAAT.
from side to side, across, crosswise; not aligned or
adjacent; see BEAM, PITCH, YAW, ROLL, HEAVE, CAREEN, CRAB. Also,
awry, perverse, contrary.
the foci or métier of the inverted organizational pyramid,
being the "poor bloody infantryman" who carries all the missions
and support on his back in every operation; by analogy to the
Titan (son of Iapetus and brother of Prometheus and Epimetheus)
who was condemned by Zeus in Greek mythology to bear the heavens
on his shoulders ... consequently, any person who supports a
heavy burden, someone who's a mainstay. See GRUNT, SNUFFY, GI.
[v: atlantes] [nb: in an interview during the KOREAN WAR, author
Robert Heinlein called them the "PBI": the poor bloody infantry
who place their frail bodies between their beloved home and war's
desolation] [nb: "An army is like an inverted pyramid with the
whole balanced on a single fine point: the will, skill, and
discipline of the individual soldier." by John Masters, Brigadier
in the British Army of India]
Also, a liquid-propellant booster rocket, originally developed as
the first U.S. ICBM, used with Agena or Centaur upper stages to
launch satellites into orbit around the earth and send probes to
the moon and planets; also used to launch the Mercury spacecraft
into orbit around the earth.
Also, a bound collection of maps; or a bound volume of charts,
plates, or tables illustrating any subject; as derived from the
figure of Atlas, with the world on his back, which was used to
illustrate the title page of the maps collected by Mercator for
publication beginning in 1595. [nb: "War is God's way of teaching
geography to Americans." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce; "Boundary:
in political geography, an imaginary line between two nations,
separating the imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights
of the other." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce]
Air Tasking Order, or Air Tasking Operation, including
programmable target strike data; being the Air Force version of
an operations plan (OPLAN) wherein each element is assigned its
function and responsibility, including targets and contingencies.
ATOMIC BOMB :
see A-BOMB, NUKE; compare SUBATOMIC WEAPONS.
Air Traffic Regulation Center; see ATC, ADIZ, SCOPE DOPE.
any extremely cruel or shockingly brutal act; something
repugnant, detestable, abominable, or hateful. See NECKLACE,
HAIRCUT AND MANICURE, DECAPITATION, MASSACRE, OVERKILL, KNOCK
INTO A COCKED HAT, KILL 'EM ALL, HOLOCAUST, APOCALYPSE, BODY
COUNT, BUTCHER'S BILL, TURKEY SHOOT, TERRORIST, RETALIATION,
FALLACY OF TU QUOQUE, WAR CRIMES TRIAL.
[v: Myths of the Vietnam War]
[v: Atropos; cf: Moirai, Parca, Fates] [nb: "No apology can ever
atone for an atrocity."; "He who commits the last atrocity is the
one put on trial."; "Most of the world's ills would be cured with
one three-day open season on people." by Ernest M. Hemingway]
Air Transport Service, the commercial aircraft contracted to fly
military cargo and personnel to international airports employing
civilian crews; compare MATS, MAC, ATC, AMC, MASQ, SPACE A,
DEADHEAD; see FREEDOM BIRD, BUMMER BIRD. Also, U.S. Air Force
Designation for an Air Training Squadron. Also, U.S. Navy
designation for a Salvage and Rescue Ship.
slang expression for "well done" or "good job", derived from
"that's the boy" (meaning "you the man"); as the proverbial "pat
on the head/back/ass", being the necessary kudo or compliment to
keep morale high so the mission can continue. Sometimes known as
"stroking the troops", which means both "pet the animals" and
"jerk 'em off", so as to satisfy their needs so as to satisfy
command objectives. This process often involves rewards or treats
for achievement, such as IN-COUNTRY R&R, beer or ice-cream
delivered to the field, or early rotation to BASE CAMP. In the
hierarchical 'stroke economy' that's based upon the principle of
"What have you done for me lately?", one incidental AW-SHIT wipes
out ten-thousand ATTABOYs! See WARM FUZZY, BRAVO ZULU, A-1, TOP
DOG, YOUNG LIONS, BROWN NOSER, GONG, GREEN WEENIE, STREAMER,
BRAGGING RIGHTS, POWER WALL. [v: fanfaronade]
the commencement or onslaught of hostilities, as a military
offensive against an enemy; to set upon the opposition in a
forceful, aggressive, hostile, or violent way, so as to cause the
enemy damage or destruction; abbreviated 'atk', and also known as
"active defense". An unintentional attack that results from an
inadvertent accident or error, mistake or failure, and occurs
without deliberate national design, is called an "accidental
attack" [nb: there is no such thing as an "accidental war"].
ATTACK TREE :
a construct that provides a visually diagrammatic or graphically
representational display of actual, potential, and developmental
alternatives or counters that would anticipate or prevent a
projected enemy attack from succeeding; it is a useful tool for
evaluating tenable executions; probably derived by association
with decision tree, directory tree, phrase structure tree, family
or genealogical tree, and other tree diagrams.
the female equivalent of ATTABOY (qv).
a rigid military posture in which the feet are angled
from touching heels, the chin is tucked, and the unarmed hand(s)
is curled along the trouser seam(s); may be conversationally
expressed as "Lock your heels!" or "Lock his heels!", which is
nonetheless an order for being informally rendered. See THE
BIBLE, BRACE, PARADE REST, EYE-BALL, AT EASE, DISMISS.
AT THE SHARP END :
see SHARP END.
ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT :
control by PILOT to affect the craft's or vessel's PITCH, YAW, or
ROLL; see TRIM, CRAB, JINK, BANK, YANK 'n' BANK, ACM, FUR BALL,
Also, the motivation of performance directed MIL-PERS by command
guidance or peer pressure, also called "wall-to-wall counseling";
see AIRMAN ALIGNMENT TOOL, BLANKET PARTY, GI SHOWER, SQUEEZE,
GIG, CALL ON THE CARPET, VERBUM SAP, HAWK, FANG, NASTY-GRAM,
DRUMHEAD, RIOT ACT, GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK, PAIN. [cf:
kangaroo court, honor court, grievance committee, vigilance
committee, tribunal, sanhedrim]
abbreviation for All Terrain Vehicle; see LSV, FAV, MULE, GAMMA
a crash or crash landing of an aircraft, especially a NOSEDIVE;
see PANCAKE, ALUMINUM RAIN, BOUNCE, GROUND LOOP, TOUCHDOWN, ALS,
AUTO-ROTATE, CHOPPER, BIRD.
[nb: during the period of aeronautical experimentation, before
powered flight was successful, headfirst or nose-down crashes
were so common that the Wright brothers characterized their
efforts as "well drilling"]
a civilian worker who is under contract for a limited period to
the Department of Defense for the satisfactory performance of a
specific job or professional specialty, from food service and
translation to construction and security, without the benefits
and protections of governmental (Civil Service) employment; also
called "augmenter", as derived from "enlarge". See B TEAM,
BELTWAY BANDIT, BELTWAY CLERK.
abbreviation for Army of the United States, which is commonly
known as the United States Army (USA), a distinction that was
codified by the 1920 National Defense Act. The AUS includes the
Regular Army (RA), the National Guard (NG), and the Organized
Reserve, entailing the ground, air, and amphibious forces of the
Army. [nb: the marching song of the Field Artillery, "The Caisson
Song", or "The Caissons Go Rolling Along", composed by Edmund L.
Gruber, was adapted in 1956 by H.W. Arberg, a musical adviser in
The Adjutant General's Office, to become the official U.S. Army
song: "The Army Goes Rolling Along"]
(ozzie) nickname for Australian ADVISORs and servicemen,
also known as "Digger" or "Roo", from "Down Under" (antipodes) or
the "Land of Oz"; see ANZAC, AATTV, ATFV, ASAS, FWF, FANK
TRAINING COMMAND, OUC DA LOI, ASAS, RAAF, ANZUS, KANZUS, ASEAN,
SEATO; compare KIWI, TOMMY, GI JOE, GI. [nb: an AUSSIE task force
fighting in the Pacific during WWII was called "Kanga Force"; and
the kangaroo is a prominent national symbol] [v: Down Under Military Glossary]
Automatic Digital Network.
an unpowered controlled descent of a disabled helicopter, or to
decelerate an unpowered helicopter by dissipating gravity through
the turbine to slow descent; also called "hover auto-rotation".
Similar to "engine breaking" a vehicle on a decline, it's a
nonaerodynamic version of the fixed-wing "glide path" (VOLPLANE)
by prop free rotation. Compare AUGER-IN; see CHOPPER.
Automatic Secure Voice Communications.
to deliberately sacrifice a part in order to preserve the
remaining whole, as in a feint or retreat; to cutoff a portion to
improve the potential for survival of the balance;
as literally derived from "self excision". See SUICIDE SQUAD,
JUDAS GOAT, RAT RACE, SNOWBALL, DOG'S CHANCE, CANNON FODDER,
WASTED, PYRRHIC VICTORY, BITTER END, BELL THE CAT, LAST STAND,
[v: enfants perdus, forlorn hope; cf: picket, vedette] [nb:
"Whenever there is fighting to be done, the keenest spirits
should be appointed to serve in the front ranks, both in order to
strengthen the resolution of our own men and to demoralize the
enemy." by Chang Yu]
AUTOmatic VOice Network; see TELEPHONE.
Automated Underwater Vehicle, or Autonomous Underwater Vehicle,
being an unmanned submersible that is pre-programmed to perform a
set or sequence of activities, and to respond to difficulties in
a limited number of ways; it is not piloted by remote control.
Compare ROV, SDV, MINISUB. [cf: bathyscape/bathyscaphe]
a Surface-to-Air MISSILE, which superseded RED EYE.
All Volunteer Force; see VOLUNTEER, TOTAL FORCE, VOLAR, MUSTER,
RA, CALL TO THE COLORS, COMBAT EFFECTIVE. [nb: "One volunteer is
worth a score of [im]pressed men." anonymous proverb]
[nb: the military has an involuntary "stop-loss" authority, which
allows each branch to compel soldiers who reach the end of their
enlistment to remain in uniform for "the good of the service"]
the American Volunteer Group, commonly known as FLYING TIGERS,
and later incorporated into the 23rd Fighter Group, 14th Air
Force; it was organized with three squadrons in 1941 for the air
defense of Nationalist forces in China by Claire Lee Chennault,
flying escort and TAC-AIR, and was transferred to the U.S. Army
Air Corps on 4 July 1942. See CNAC, CHINAT, POINTIE TALKIE, BLOOD
[v: blood chit]
(av-gas) a contraction of AViation GASoline, as used since WWII
as a feul in piston-engined aircraft; see BINGO, JOKER, PETROL,
JP, JUICE, POL, TOP-OFF, HOT-FUELING.
the scientific development and technological use of electrical
and electronic devices in aviation, such as RADAR and ECM, HUD
and ALS, IRST and AESA; see BIRD.
Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge, later changed to Assault Vehicle
Launched Bridge, being a high-strength temporary "humpbacked"
bridge laid hydraulically from a TANK body, typically a Main
Battle Tank (MBT) chassis; see BAILEY BRIDGE, PONTOON BRIDGE,
BRIDGE RATING, ROUTE STEP, TREADWAY BRIDGE.
a magazine or belt-fed Automatic Weapon; more properly known
as an "automatic loading weapon" or "autoloader", which firearms
have a selector switch for "semi-automatic" (one shot for each
trigger pull) and "fully-automatic" (multiple shots for each
(a-wax) Airborne Warning And Control System, being a USAF
aircraft-mounted RADAR that can scan for aircraft at any altitude
for hundreds of miles, and can control air-to-air intercepts or
engagements with enemy forces with a wide array of communications
equipment; compare GCI; see SENTRY, HAWKEYE, UMBRELLA, CAP,
ABCCC, ABNCP, ORBIT, RACETRACK, STACK, VATLS, SIGHT PICTURE,
JUDY, JTIDS, SPYPLANE.
see BADGE, CORD, Q-TAB, TRASH, WINGS, GONG, IMPACT AWARD, FRUIT
SALAD, DEVICE, UNIT CITATION, STREAMER, I WAS THERE, BTDT,
TROPHY, PRECONIZE, PARADE, SALUTE.
AWARD CEREMONY :
see PRECONIZE, PARADE, SALUTE, BADGE, CORD, Q-TAB, TRASH, WINGS,
GONG, DEVICE, TROPHY.
(a-woll) Absent WithOut Leave; also called FRENCH LEAVE, being
absent from one's assigned DUTY station without permission. A
charge more serious and difficult to prove than "Unauthorized
Absence" (UA), and distinguished from desertion by one's intent
to return. AWOL in a combat zone, especially during enemy
contact, may be interpreted as desertion; but should not be
confused with flight or ROUT during retreat. Compare DESERTER,
TRAITOR, TURNCOAT. [nb: sometimes misrepresented as "absent
without official leave"]
AWOL BAG :
a small tote, over-night, or gym bag, so-called since it could
carry enough possessions to go OVER THE HILL [nb: unlike AWOL
BAG, the FLIGHT BAG does not derive from "flee" or "take
flight"]; compare FLIGHT BAG, MUSETTE, DUFFEL BAG, WAR BAG, BIVY.
[nb: "rucksack" = back-sack; "knapsack" = bite/snap-up/eat, food
sack; "kit-bag" = soldier's small bag/knapsack; "haversack" =
single-strapped feed bag worn over one shoulder; musette =
single-strapped small bag worn over one shoulder] [cf: bundle,
bindle/bindlea, swag, bluey, dilly bag, tucker-bag, bag, pouch,
tote, sack, traps, pack, grip, gripsack, overnighter, weekender,
holdall, carpetbag, B-4 bag, suitcase, portmanteau, Gladstone
bag, traveling case, garment bag, Val-Pack, luggage; v: "scrip"
wayfarer's bag or wallet; "viaticum" traveler's money and
any inadvertent mistake or incidental error, a wrong or fault,
slipup or oversight, gaffe or faux pas; in the hierarchical
'stroke economy' that's based upon the principle of "What have
you done for me lately?", one accidental AW-SHIT wipes out
ten-thousand ATTABOYs! See FLAP, SOL, WTFO, SCREW THE POOCH, SEAT
OF THE PANTS, BLISTER, FANG, VERBUM SAP, HAWK, PYHOOYA, BOHICA,
GIG, DR, TURD, SHIT HIT THE FAN, FUCKED-UP, CLUSTER FUCK; compare
WARM FUZZY, BRAVO ZULU, BRAGGING RIGHTS.
AXIS OF EVIL :
the designation of Iran (Islamic Republic of Iran), Iraq
(Republic of Iraq), and North Korea (Democratic People's Republic
of Korea) as fomenters of terrorism; these sanctuaries were
proclaimed a threat to American security by George W. Bush during
his 2002 state of the union address.
the horizontal deviation of a BEARING (usually in "degrees")
measured from a standard reference (usually "magnetic north").
Navigation is a sophisticated military subject, involving
trigonometry on land and calculus in air or at sea; and
includes back-bearing, declination, foresight, latitude,
longitude, mercator projection, meridian, minutes, rhumb,
vernier, lubber line, pelorus, marching lines, cardinal points,
compass points, binnacle, etc. See CONTOUR LINES, GRID LINES,
GRID COORDINATES, UTM, GPS, INS, LORAN, DEAD-RECKONING, SLANT
[nb: the 4 cardinal points are subtended by 32 compass points,
which are equivalent to 360 degrees or 6400 mils; as a rule of
thumb: 1 mil subtends 1 meter at 1 kilometer] [nb: the
south-pointing compass, including the recognition of magnetic
declination, was devised for military navigation during the third
century BC as an application of Chinese astrology and geomancy]