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M I L T E R M S : fingerspelled letter A semaphor letter A signal flag letter A A : ALFA

The emphasis of this educational reference is on words and phrases that appear in published works about war and military service; and amongst this jargon and slang, there is no pretense of objectivity or completeness, which may be readily found in official documents or government resources. This fragmentary opus is a work in progress ....

Caveat Lector: Vulgar, profane, and obscene dysphemisms, which have been used for every part of speech and rhetorical form, have not been Bowdlerized nor expurgated from this glossary, to the undoubted dismay of purists and the evident enrichment of our mother-tongue; so immature or hypersensitive persons should refrain from perusing this indubitably eclectic and contingently egregious compendium. Swearing is usually either juvenile or crass, but military personnel admire talent and respect skill, so the ability to create imaginative expletives and to craft uncommon scurrility is often appreciated.


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A :
an aircraft prefix under the Joint Service Designation System that represents 'attack'. [v: 'AC' (armed cargo)]

AA :
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. Also, abbreviation for Affirmative Action (qv); see AAA, RUNTS 'n' CUNTS, SMACK, EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, EQUAL PROTECTION, THE GLASS CLIFF, UNTOUCHABLE, UP OR OUT. [nb: 'affirmative action' was referred to by John F. Kennedy as "affirmative steps" in a 1961 executive order]

AAA :
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, UNTOUCHABLE, THE GLASS CLIFF, UP OR OUT, VOLUNTEER, AVF, RETREAD, TOTAL FORCE, COMBAT EFFECTIVE.

AAAAAAA :
facetious organization ostensibly created to ridicule MIL-SPEAK, to wit, the American Association for the Abolition of Abused Abbreviations and Asinine Acronyms!

AAD :
Army Advisory Detachment. See MAAG.

AAFES :
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]

AAG :
Army Advisory Group; see MAAG.

AAM :
Air-to-Air MISSILE; see AMRAAM, PHOENIX, SCORPION, SPARROW, SIDEWINDER, AIM. 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.

AAR :
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, HOT WASH, BACK BRIEF, COLD WASH. [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!]

AARDVARK :
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; as derived from "earth pig". Compare SUPER VARK; see TANK PLINKING, WSO, BIRD.

AATTI :
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).

AATTV :
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]

AAV :
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.

AB :
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. Also, improper abbreviation for an Air Base; see AFB, ARB, BASE.

ABATIS :
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; compare PALISADE.

ABBREVIATION :
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, AAAAAAA.

ABC :
Atomic-Bacterial-Chemical, or Atomic-Biological-Chemical warfare agents; see CBR, CBRNE, GERM WARFARE, CBW, GNR, WMD, VECTOR, NUKE, BOMB, GENOCIDE, APOCALYPSE. Also, abbreviation for American Born Chinese; see RICE CHRISTIAN, CHINK, GOOEY, CHICOM, CHINAT, NUNG, DINK, GOOK, SLOPE, SLANT-EYE, RICE BALL, ZIP, BUDDHAHEAD, BASKET HEAD, YELLOW DOG, YELLOW PERIL.

ABCCC :
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]

ABCD :
alliance of American, British, Chinese, and Dutch forces in the Pacific Theater of Operations during WWII; compare BIG FIVE, see ALLY.

ABCMR :
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.

ABM :
Anti-Ballistic Missile.

ABN :
ARVN Airborne Brigade patch
ARVN Abn Bde
ARVN Airborne Division patch
ARVN Abn Div
abbreviation for AirBorNe (qv), a PARATROOPER or PARACHUTE-qualified MIL-PERS. Also, the vertical delivery of troops or equipment, and the aerial supervision of operations. [nb: "To tell you the truth, I don't like jumping out of airplanes. But I sure do enjoy the company of those who do." by GEN James M. Gavin] [nb: Vietnamese term: Nhay Du] [v: Parachuting Terms, and Parachuting History]

ABNCP :
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 parachute]

ABO :
(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. [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 :
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 concluded WWII]

ABORT :
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.

ABOVE MY PAY-GRADE :
also known as "out of my league" or "beyond my skill level"; see PECKING ORDER, HIGHER, PAY-GRADE. [cf: food chain; v: hierarchy, meritocracy]

ABRACADABRA :
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.

ABRAMS :
the 70ton low-profile M1A1 Main Battle Tank (MBT); see TANK, TRACK.

ABRAZO / EMBRACE :
see HUG, KISS; compare PAX, CATCH AND GRASP.

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.

ABSTRACTION :
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, COLLATERAL DAMAGE; see MILITARY MIND, SPECULATION. Also, the act of taking away or separating; withdrawal; secret removal.

ABSURDISTAN :
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)]; also called "Afgoonistan" and "Afdoomistan"; compare JACKASSISTAN; see THE STANS, JAWBREAKER, ALPHABET SOUP, MUJ, HAJJI, RAGHEAD.

ABU :
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.

AC :
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.

ACADEMY :
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 in school!"]

ACASP :
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, SOC, ROTC.

ACAV :
Armored Cavalry Assault Vehicle; see ACR.

ACC :
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 :
see ACP.

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 "accidental war"]

ACCIDENTAL WAR :
a misnomer or misusage; solecism.

ACCLIMATE :
to become accustomed to a different environment, especially adaptation to intangibles (eg: temperature, humidity, altitude, odors, noise level, etc); also known as "acclimatize", being that necessary period of physical and mental adjustment that MIL-PERS must undergo when deployed to a foreign country before again becoming fully functional in the new setting. Those COMPOUNDs and BASE CAMPs that attempt to replicate stateside facilities (eg: LITTLE AMERICA, DODGE CITY, CRUSADER FORT, etc) actually inhibit the servicemember's adjustment to his foreign posting by creating an artificial alternative amidst the alien reality. See REPLACEMENT CENTER / REPL' DEPOT, CHARM SCHOOL, COC, FINISHING SCHOOL, SEA LEGS. [v: sensitize / desensitize] [nb: no one ever fully adjusts to the sight and stench of blood that's been violently and indiscriminantly spilled]

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, COMPANIONWAY; see RAMP, GANGWAY.

ACCORD :
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]

ACCORDING TO HOYLE :
a catch-phrase denoting adherence to the correct rules or compliance with the proper authority; eponymously after Edmond Hoyle, the English expert on PLAYING CARDS. See PLAY THE GAME, BY THE BOOK, KNOW THE ROPES, TOE THE LINE, CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, CHAPTER AND VERSE, SCRIPTURES, GAME THEORY, GAME PLAN, GAMBIT, WAR GAMES, DUE DILIGENCE, DUE PROCESS / DUE PROCESS OF LAW, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), LAWS OF WAR.

ACCORDION :
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.

ACCOUNTABILITY :
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 safekeeping.

ACCULTURATION :
see ASSIMILATION.

ACE :
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 IN THE HOLE :
a colloquialism from the era of the First World War (WWI) that refers to an advantage or a resource kept back until the proper opportunity presents itself; a ploy or stratagem held in reserve for implementation at the most opportune moment so as to gain a decisive advantage; an expression for a "one-up" or "clincher", as derived from an ace (high card) that's dealt and held face down in stud poker. See PLAYING CARDS, PLAY THE GAME, WAR GAMES. [cf: trump/trumps (triumph)]

ACE OF DIAMONDS :
5th Mechanized Infantry
Division patch
5th Inf Div
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; compare SLOP CHUTE, NCO CLUB. Also, slang for safe or reliable, alright or acceptable, satisfactory or good; see A-OK.

ACG :
Air Commando Group. See SOW.

ACHILLES HEEL :
any vulnerability or weakness, as an exposed or susceptible position; also called "weak spot" or "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, HAMSTRING, GOLDEN BB, MAGIC BULLET, SILVER BULLET, REFUSE; compare BULLETPROOF, FAIRY DUST, VULCANIZE.

ACHOO :
an interjection used to onomatopoeically represent the sound of a person sneezing, as stimulated by odors and irritants, bright light and minor pain (eg: plucking hair); such an outburst in a tactical situation is a potential death knell; also spelled ahchoo, hachoo, kerchoo. Also, an inherited disorder affecting upwards of 23% of the population that provokes paroxysmal sneezing (ie: photic sneeze reflex) when the subject is suddenly exposed to bright light, especially sunlight [nb: even affecting totally blind persons]; this condition is known as Autosomal Dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst syndrome (ADCHOO) or helicociliosternutatogenic reflex. [cf: dazzle reflex; v: light adaptation]

ACK-ACK :
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!"]

ACM :
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.

ACOG :
AR-18 assault rifle mounting
the Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight
AR-18 w/ACOG
(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"]

ACOOC :
(aa-cock) Aircraft Chronically Out Of Commission, informally known as a HANGAR QUEEN; compare FLIGHTWORTHY.

ACOUSTIC-ENERGY WEAPONS :
for a non-lethal acoustic weapon to be effective, it must be disruptive to the neural pathways of the brain; these devices, firing "sonic bullets" in the range of 125-150 decibels (or very high amplitude sounds with sharp pressure rises), are difficult to propagate and broadcast farther than five meters in open air (doubled underwater) with reliably consistent and repeatable bio-effects, including disorientation and incapacitation, because of mechanical restrictions and physiological limitations, not the least of which is that the influence of pain aversion is related to someone's motivation. Although offering the potential for some security applications, the best use of a non-lethal acoustic-energy weapon is probably provocative, so as to assess the speculative intent of individuals or groups who are poised for aggression or transgression. Given its problematic outburst, technology has been unable to devise an acoustic weapon that is not as harmful to its operator as to its target, despite the desire to produce non-lethal stand-off devices that enable alternative modes of conflict resolution. [cf: infrasound (below 20 hertz)]

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.

ACP :
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, VCP, BARBED WIRE, compare WAY POINT. [cf: BARBICAN, sally port] Also, abbreviation for Assault Command Post during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Also, abbreviation for Air Control Point, being the formal referent for assembly, patrol, surveillance, or interception flying on a RACETRACK station. Also, the designation for Automatic Colt Pistol, a proprietary characterization that identifies certain cartridges (eg: .45ACP) that are used in semiautomatic pistols and submachineguns that are magazine-fed.

ACR :
Armored Cavalry Regiment; see CAV, HHT, TRP, SQDN, LAAGER, ACAV, SCOUT TEAM, YELLOWLEG, BOOTS AND SADDLES, CAVALRY WHISKERS, SPUR RIDE, ORDER OF THE SPUR, YELLOW RIBBON.

ACRONYM :
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, AAAAAAA. Also, an acrostic.

ACSQ :
Air Commando Squadron. See SOW.

ACT :
USAF abbreviation for Air Combat Tactics. Also, abbreviation for Advanced Combat Training; see BCT, AIT, OSUT.

ACTA :
ACTA / Imjin Scout pocket patch
ACTA
(forthcoming); Advanced Combat Training Academy; see IMJIN SCOUT, compare Q-COURSE, FINISHING SCHOOL, RECONDO, CHARM SCHOOL, COC.

ACTE GRATUIT :
a gratuitous act, being anything done without apparent cause or justification; any event that generates no return value, receiving neither positive nor negative feedback. By definition, an 'acte gratuit' is a disinterested act, pure of any motivation. Compare ZERO-SUM. [v: Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair, 1949)]

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' MIRRORS]

ACTIV :
CAR-15/XM-177E2
carbine
CAR-15/XM-177E2 carbine
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.

ACTIVATE :
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 DEFENSE, ATTACK.

ACTIVE DUTY :
full-time assignment in the regular military services of the United States, including reserve components serving in the same capacity; a qualification that formerly excluded full-time National Guard service, whether for duty (activated) or training (assigned school). See MILITIA, PARAMILITARY, WEEKEND WARRIOR, NG, RESERVE.

ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING :
(forthcoming); compare INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING; see SELECTED RESERVE, RESERVE.

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.

ACTOV :
ACcelerated Turn-Over to Vietnamese; from March 1969 through March 1973. see VIETNAMIZATION, PROVN, CRIMP, CSMO, KEYSTONE.

ACU :
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; the ACU includes a drawstring waist and cuffs, Velcro placket closures, a reinforced crotch and yoke, and pockets at knees and elbows to accept pads. An additional sixteen sizes were added to the uniform inventory in 2013 as an "alternative ACU" with narrower shoulders and broader seat, elastic waistband and shorter crotch rise, with sleeves and legs tapered, and buttons replacing Velcro closures so that the more diminutive RUNTS 'n' CUNTS will be more comfortable and present a better military appearance. See DIGITALS, CAMMIES, CAMO, DRESS.

ACV :
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.

ACW :
Air Commando Wing; see SOW. Also, Aircraft Control Warning.

AD :
Active Duty. Also, Air Division. Also, Armor(-ed) Division.

ADA :
missile and crossed-cannons branch
insignia for Air Defense Artillery missile and crossed-cannons
branch insignia for Air Defense Artillery
Air Defense Artillery
Air Defense Artillery, commonly called "missile artillery"; see AAA, ARTY. Also, Air Defense Area.

ADAPT / ADAPTABILITY :
to make suitable, as when fittingly modified or adjusted to requirements or conditions; able to readily adjust oneself to different conditions, environments, or the like. [nb: "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent that survive; it is the one that is the most adaptable to change." by Charles Darwin (1859)]

A-DAY :
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.

ADC :
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 fellowship (1964)] Also, abbreviation for Air Defense Command, being one of three USAF commands, including Tactical Air Command (TAC) and Strategic Air Command (SAC).

ADCOCK RANGE :
the national radio navigation system for aircraft that was replaced after WWII by the VHF omnirange (VOR) system; it consisted of segmented quadrants each broadcasting MORSE CODE letter signals in opposition [eg: 'A' (dot-dash) and 'N' (dash-dot)], each station being uniquely identified so that pilots could orient their position relative to a known "beam" broadcasting a steady tone, and pinpoint his location by the strength or weakness of a signal by using a "build-and-fade" technique.

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, SHANGHAI, DETAIL, DET, COMMANDEER, CROSS-DECKING, FIELD EXPEDIENT, SCRATCH, WORK-AROUND. [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 elements]

AD HOMINEM :
diverting a challenge or criticism by attacking the person who raised the issue, his character or traits, rather than addressing the substance of the issue; assailing an opponent (as a bigot, reactionary, racist, misogynist, atavist, or the like) rather than knowledgeably answering a logical argument. Also, appealing to someone's prejudice, emotions, or special interests instead of engaging their intellect or reason; also known as "argumentum ad hominem".

ADIZ :
Air Defense Identification Zone, being Air-Traffic Control (ATC) areas that restrict flight access to the continental United States (CONUS) by aircraft from OVERSEAS.

ADJ :
ADJutant, being a STAFF officer who assists the commander (CO).

ADM :
Air Defense Missile, such as Quail (ADM-20); see MISSILE. Also, abbreviation for ADMiral (qv), being a FLAG OFFICER in naval service RATED O-10; this RANK for "commander at sea" derives from an Arabic phrase for "leader of the faithful".

ADMIN :
administration and personnel processing; being the proverbial "1 shop", as S-1/G-1/J-1 (v: J-CODES, STAFF). See MILICRAT, RED TAPE.

ADMIRAL :
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.

ADOBO :
a slightly sour dish of pork or chicken seasoned with garlic, ginger, vinegar, oil, and soy sauce that's very popular in the Philippines.

ADOC :
(a-dock) Air Defense Operations Center; see AOC, FOC, ASOC, TAOC, OPN.

ADRB :
Army Discharge Review Board; see DISCHARGE.

ADRIFT :
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; compare DX.

ADS :
Active Defensive System, an aircraft-mounted LASER targeting device that uses rapid bursts of energy to defeat an attack by enemy aircraft or anti-aircraft missiles.

ADULT DAY CARE CENTER / ADULT DAYCARE CENTER :
sardonic reference to any minimum security federal prison, including military detention or disciplinary barracks, whether setup domestically or overseas; so-called after the day care centers established for the supervised daytime care and treatment of children and adults (ie: elderly and disabled) in facilities outside of their homes; also called CLUB FED. See BRIG, STOCKADE, GUARDHOUSE, THE CASTLE, CROSSBAR HOTEL, HOT HOUSE, USDB, MONKEY HOUSE, DEADLOCK, DEADLINE.

ADULTERY :
consensual fornication outside the bonds of matrimony; voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her lawful spouse; a violation of punitive article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), regardless of the sexual mores of women's liberation, anti-intellectualism, and the counterculture. See TERRITORIAL BACHELOR, STRAIGHT ARROW, SILENT MAJORITY. [nb: "If you violate your principles at home, then you can only pretend to be honorable away from home."] [v: UCMJ Punitive Articles]

ADV :
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, FOB, BASE.

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 [nb: "If you want to travel faster, then go alone; but if you want to travel farther, then travel together." African proverb]

ADVENTURE STORY :
a form of popular literature that focuses on exciting action and thrilling danger, heroic derring-do and triumphal endings, often to the detriment of solid characterization and realistic plots when creating color and drama; as exemplified by Richard E. Connell's short story "The Most Dangerous Game" [aka: "The Hounds of Zaroff"] (1924) and parodied by James Thurber's short story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (1939). See DESERTS / JUST DESERTS, FACE THE MUSIC, DAY OF RECKONING, CLOAK-AND-DAGGER, BRAGGING RIGHTS, COUNT COUP, FRISSON, IN LIKE FLYNN, TELL IT TO THE MARINES, WAR STORY, SEA STORY, FICTIONAL CHARACTER. [v: swashbuckler, swasher, daredevil]

ADVERSARY :
see FOE, BAD GUYS, OPFOR, BANDIT, TERRORIST, BELIEVER. [v: Names of Foreigners or Foes]

ADVICE :
a suggestion or recommendation, based upon study and experience, that's offered to someone as a guide to their decision-making and action; an opinion on the conduct of others, as derived from "it seems to me" or "that is my impression". [nb: "A good scare is worth more to a man than good advice." by Edgar Watdon Howe; "There is hardly a man on earth who will take advice unless he is certain that it is positively bad." by Edward Dahlberg; "It is always a silly thing to give advice, but to give good advice is fatal." by Oscar Wilde (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills); "We hate those who will not take our advice, and despise them who do." by Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw); "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow-traveller of whom you asked the way. By glancing back over my shoulder, I pointed ahead -- ahead of myself as well as you." paraphrase of George Bernard Shaw; "Advice is what we ask for when the answer we think we already know is unappealing, in hopes that someone else knows differently." anonymous; "Never trust the advice of a man in difficulties." by Aesop; "I have lived some thirty-odd years on this planet, and I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable advice from my seniors." paraphrase of Henry David Thoreau; "The advice of their elders to young men is very apt to be as unreal as a list of the hundred best flavors or sights or melodies." paraphrase of Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr; "The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself." by Oscar Wilde (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills); "Consult: to seek another's approval of a course already decided on." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce; "Advice: the smallest current coin." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce]

ADVISOR :
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 often 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]

ADVON :
ADVanced echelON.

ADY :
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.

AEF :
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]

AEGIS :
Airborne Early-warning / Ground-environment Integration System, being an advanced anti-missile and anti-aircraft system fitted to a number of USN ships; a totally integrated shipboard weapon system that combines computers, radars, and missiles to provide a defensive umbrella for surface shipping. This system is capable of automatically detecting, tracking, and destroying airborne, seaborne, and land-launched weapons.

AEROBATICS :
skilled aerial maneuvers, combat gambits, and other stunts consisting of lines, banks, spins, rolls, loops, stalls, and combinations thereof that are 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, LOOP, SNAP ROLL, BARREL ROLL, SPLIT-S, HAMMERHEAD, CUBAN EIGHT, SAM WEAVE, HALF CUBAN EIGHT, SPIN, FLAT SPIN, LOMCEVAK, HERBST MANEUVER, COBRA TURN, THACH WEAVE, VIFF, STALL, LUFBERY CIRCLE, VICTORY ROLL, WINGOVER, KNIFE EDGE PASS, FLAT PASS, BANANA PASS, JINK, BANK, YANK 'n' BANK, SIDESLIP, CRAB, SCISSORS, REVERSMON, POWER DIVE, HIGH ALPHA, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, AILERON, FLAP, ELEVATOR, ELEVON, WING, WELDED WING, FINGER FOUR, V FORMATION, COMBAT BOX, DIRTY, BUZZ, WHIFFERDIL, AUGER-IN, PANCAKE, STRIP ALERT, TOUCHDOWN, SPLASHDOWN, BIRD, DREAMLAND, HAWC, TOP GUN, RED FLAG, BLUE ANGELS, THUNDERBIRDS, SKYBLAZERS, SILVER EAGLES, BARNSTORMER. [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon]

AEROMEDICAL :
medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) of casualties by fixed-wing transport aircraft (eg: DAKOTA, HERKY BIRD, etc); see CASEVAC, EVAC.

AEROTOW / AERO-TOW :
the towing of a GLIDER (sailplane or hang glider) by a powered aircraft or wind-driven balloon to a height suitable for disconnect launching from the TOWLINE; as distinguished from CATAPULT, winch, or ground vehicle assisted launching. GLIDER tow positions are either below ("low-tow") or above ("high-tow") the wake of the TOW PLANE.

AES :
U.S. Air Force designation for an Air Evacuation Squadron.

AESA :
(aysuh) Active Electronically Scanned Array, being a solid-state form of actively-seeking, phased-distribution, pulsed RADAR. See AVIONICS.

AEWCW :
Airborne Early Warning and Control Wing.

AF :
Air Force; see USAF, VNAF.

AFB :
Air Force Base; sometimes referred to as Air Base (AB).

AFBCMR :
Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records; see NPRC.

AFCA :
Air Force Communications Agency.

AFCC :
Air Force Command Center (eg: 7th AFCC). Also, Air Force Component Commander. Also, Air Force Communications Command.

AFDRB :
Air Force Discharge Review Board; see DISCHARGE.

AFEES :
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, GOTCHA. [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 informally represented as "affirmatory" or converted into slang as "positron"; not to be confused with the PROWORDs "roger" or "wilco" in RTP. In the International Code of Signals, the "affirmative flag" is the letter 'C', which is alternately striped in five blue or white horizontal bands from top to bottom. See JOY, CORRIGHT, A-OK; compare NEGATIVE. [v: "aye"/"ay", "yea", "yo"; cf: AHOY]

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION :
a federal mandate allocating quotas and set-asides for the preferential admission, employment, retention, and promotion of designated "minority" groups, such as the disabled and disadvantaged together with women and other racial or ethnic populations, who are perceived to be under-represented in select occupations and professions; these programs stem from the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Fair Housing Act of 1968, and the Equal Employment Opportunities Act of 1972, and they apply to any organization or institution receiving federal funds. Governmental or private programs, the specific guidelines of which vary from one regulation to another (which imprecision has contributed to its inconsistent application and enforcement), as related to employment or education, which have been designed to eliminate discrimination and to overcome the continuing effects of past discrimination on targeted populations; these accommodations are purportedly a remedy, not a punishment. See AAA, RUNTS 'n' CUNTS, SMACK, EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, EQUAL PROTECTION, THE GLASS CLIFF, UNTOUCHABLE, UP OR OUT. [cf: reverse discrimination; v: meritocracy] [nb: 'affirmative action' was referred to by John F. Kennedy as "affirmative steps" in a 1961 executive order] [nb: "When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty." by Thomas Jefferson]

AFFRONT / AFFRONTERY :
an offensive word or insulting act, usually personal, that deliberately displays or intentionally conveys disrespect; a slight or offense to one's person or dignity; such insolence derives from a face-to-face encounter, a strike in the face, where the forehead is presumed to be the seat of human feelings. [v: impertinence, contumely, scorn, indignity, abuse, outrage] See BEARD THE LION, EYE-FIGHTING, SNUB, UP-CLOSE 'n' PERSONAL, AT CLOSE QUARTERS, DUEL, GAGE, ORDEAL, ACT OF TRUTH, SILENT INSOLENCE, BEARING.

AFGCT :
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.

AFGHANISTAN CAMPAIGN MEDAL / ACM :
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
ACM
awarded to military personnel for service in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) for which participants are authorized to wear a bronze service star (BATTLE STAR) on the pendant medal and ribbon for each of three phases: Liberation of Afghanistan (11 Sep - 30 Nov 2001); Consolidation I (1 Dec 2001 - 30 Sep 2006); Consolidation II (from 1 Oct 2006); and may be further distinguished by a bronze arrowhead for a combat parachute assault. The obverse displays the legend "Afghanistan Campaign" above a range of mountains, with a map of Afghanistan centered; the reverse displays an eagle's head surmounted by a radiating demi-sun with the inscription: "For Service In Afghanistan", the whole surrounded by a laurel wreath symbolizing victory. See GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM EXPEDITIONARY MEDAL, CAMPAIGN MEDAL.

AFIP :
Armed Forces Institute of Pathology; see FEST, USAMRIID, USARIEM, SGO, BONE CUTTER, SAWBONES, CANOEMAKER.

AFMC :
U.S. Air Force designation for Air Force Material Command.

AFME :
Armed Forces Medical Examiner; a forensic pathologist; see CANOEMAKER; compare SAWBONES, BONE CUTTER, PECKER-CHECKER, BABY DOC. [cf: coroner]

AFN :
Armed Forces Network, successor to Armed Forces Radio (AFR) and predecessor of Armed Forces Radio and Television Network (AFRTN).

AFPAK :
informal reference to the region of AFghanistan-PAKistan; see THE STANS.

AFQT :
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.

AFR :
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-FRAME :
see DUMMY STICK, YO-HO POLE, LITTER.

AFRTN :
American Forces Radio and
Television Service insignia
AFRTS
(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.

AFRTS :
(a-farts) American Forces Radio and Television Service, being the interservice broadcast media.

AFSA :
Armed Forces Security Agency, founded 1949 and succeeded by the National Security Agency (NSA).

AFSC :
see AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE.

AFSN :
Armed Forces Service Number. Also, Air Force Security Number. See SERVICE NUMBER, SSN. Social Security Number

AFT :
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]

AFTERBURNER :
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, BURNER, 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 fuel.

AFTER FLIGHT INSPECTION :
see POST-FLIGHT, WALK AROUND; compare PRE-FLIGHT.

AFVN :
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]

AG :
branch insignia of the U.S. Army
Adjutant General corps branch insignia of the U.S.
Army Adjutant General corps
Adjutant General
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]

THE AGENCY :
nickname of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which is also called "The Company"; see CIA, HOUSE OF SPOOKS, THE FARM, THE GARAGE, THE PICKLE FACTORY, TRADECRAFT. [nb: an informal reference for the counterpart foreign intelligence organization of England (SIS / MI6) is known as "The Firm", and of Israel (Mossad) is known as "The Office"]

AGENT BLUE :
a water-based herbicide; being a non-systematic atomized 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, BOONIES. [v: paraquat, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT)]

AGENT ORANGE :
Agent Orange patch
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 atomized 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 (DDT)]

AGENT PROVOCATEUR :
see PROVOCATEUR. [cf: agent of influence]

AGENT WHITE :
a water-based herbicide; being a systematic atomized 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)]

AGGRESSOR :
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.

AGITATOR :
see PROVOCATEUR.

AGL :
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: geoid]

AGM :
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, Sky Streak hypersonic scramjet tactical missile (XAGM-279A). 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"]

AGO :
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.

(A) GOOD PIECE OF GEAR :
see GOOD PEOPLE, GOOD STICK.

AGROVILLE :
see STRATEGIC HAMLET.

AGUE :
a malarial fever that's characterized by regularly returning paroxysms, which fits are marked by successive cold, hot, and sweating; a fitful fever or shivering chills that're accompanied by malaise, bone pains, and the like; term is short for "acute fever" (French: 'fievre ague'). See FUO, MALARIA.

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)]

AHC :
assault helicopter company. (HUEYs and gunships)

AHOY :
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']

AHR :
abbreviation for Attack Helicopter Regiment during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).

AIC :
Air Intercept Control / Controller, being the senior enlisted SCOPE DOPE who directs Navy fighter aircraft.

AID :
Agency for International Development (USAID).

AID AND ABET :
a redundancy for deliberately helping or intentionally encouraging another person to commit a crime (or regulatory violation), including incitement or inducement (sedition), concealment of the facts and details (misprision), and escape of the consequences of their transgression; as when an accomplice lends "aid and comfort" (moral support) to the declared enemy. See SEDITION, TREASON. [nb: 'aid and abet' and 'aid and comfort' cannot be prosecuted if the "crime" is not statutory, as during an "undeclared war"]

AID AND COMFORT :
see AID AND ABET, SEDITION, TREASON.

AIDE :
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 fellowship (1964)] [nb: "The price of being close to the commander is delivering bad news to him -- he needs to know the truth about what's known, and what's unknown, in order to make the best possible decision, and that's an irreplaceable position of trust." paraphrase of Donald H. Rumsfeld]

AIDE-MEMOIRE / AIDE-MÉMOIRE :
a memorandum summarizing a discussion or agreement, a decision or action; as literally translated from the French: 'that which aids the memory'; see PAPER BULLET, RED TAPE, SNOWFLAKE, MEMO PAD, PORTABLE BRAINS, POCKET BRAINS, WHEEL BOOK, BUCK SLIP, TICKLER, MR, ANNEX, REPORT, WHITE PAPER, PENCIL PUSHER, RAPPORTEUR. [v: mnemonic; cf: bout de papier]

AIDMAN :
a military medical corpsman or pharmacist's mate who's been trained to provide initial emergency treatment; see CORPSMAN, MEDIC, DOC, ORDERLY, BABY DOC. [nb: not "aide-man"]

AID STATION :
a field medical installation situated in an isolated area or forward position 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, BAS, AGONY WAGON, MASH, EVAC, CSH, FST, FLD HOSP, MEDEVAC, DUSTOFF, CHOP SHOP, BAND-AID, COMFORT STATION. [v: polyclinic]

AIDS-TO-NAVIGATION :
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.

AIGUILLETTE :
a decoratively tagged braid or ornamentally tipped CORD worn suspended from the shoulder of a military uniform; sometimes called a "rope" or "monkey's swing", 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, LANYARD, FOURRAGERE. [nb: Napoleon supposedly created the "shoulder cord" as a decoration for any aide who made a mistake so as to remind him that any future mistake would result in wearing the "rope" around his neck (to be punished by hanging)]

AIK :
Assistance In Kind, or Aid In Kind; being the direct contribution of goods and services, instead of indirect monetary aid.

AILERON :
a movable surface near the trailing edge of an aircraft's wing that's used to perform banks and to control roll; the control surfaces that're usually located on an aircraft's wings, often near the tip, which act in opposition so as to bank or roll the aircraft about its axis. Compare FLAP, ELEVATOR, ELEVON, SPOILER, SPEED BRAKE; see AEROBATICS.

AIM :
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]

AIMPOINT :
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, TEE, 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 killed."]

AIR AMBULANCE :
a specially equipped aircraft used for transporting sick or injured persons to a medical facility, including re-purposed gliders snatched from landing zones in Europe and Asia during WWII; also called "flying ambulance", which may be a hospital evacuation by airlift ("aeromedical transport"), 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; the 1st Air Commando Force snatched GLIDERs from enemy territory in Burma during 1944 to rescue sick and wounded Chindits from certain death if left behind in the field; 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, CAS, SHEEP-DIPPED, CUSTOMER. [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 :
unofficial airmobility badge
worn by 11th Air Assault Test Division before deploying to
Vietnam
11th AA Div airmobile
U.S. Army Air Assault badge
Army Air Assault
combat operation by AIRMOBILE or HELIBORNE troops; it is considered the "vertical envelopment" tactic succeeding GLIDER and PARACHUTE methods, which designation officially changed from 'airmobile' (AMBL) to AIR ASSAULT in October 1974; see AIR CAV, SKY CAV, MECH, LZ, CLZ, PZ, CHOPPER, CHALK, SLC, YELLOWLEG. Also, a winged skill badge, established in January 1978 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 (UH-1D) helicopter. The AIR ASSAULT school teaches skills relative to HELIBORNE operations, including Landing Zone (LZ) practices, sling loading, scaling and rappelling, which course culminates in a 12-mile FORCE MARCH under a full load. See BOLO BADGE, Q-COURSE, 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]

AIR BRAKE :
a device for reducing the air speed of an aircraft by increasing its DRAG; also called "speed brake"; compare FLAP, AILERON, ELEVATOR, ELEVON, DIRTY. Also, a braking system that uses compressed air to reduce rotational operation.

AIRBORNE :
U.S. Army basic
Parachutist badge
Army basic para
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: 11th, 13th, 17th, 82nd, 101st) airborne divisions and six (ie: 503rd, 509th, 517th, 550th, 551th, 555th) separate airborne 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; they were used as elite infantry until reduced ranks compelled their disbandment; the remainder was 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. See AB, ABN, PARACHUTE, PARATROOPER, PIR, PIB, PRCT, FREE-FALL, D-RING, RIP-CORD, AMFFPC, VWT, MFF, AIRHEAD, AIRDROP, BLAST, HOLLYWOOD BLAST, HIT THE SILK, GANG-BANG, DZ, JUMPMASTER, AIRBORNE SHUFFLE, SQUAT, JUMP TOWER, ALMOST AIRBORNE, THREE-IN-ONE, JUMP SCHOOL, BLACK HATS, RED HATS, JUMPER, HANG TOUGH, JUMPIN' JUNKIE, GOLDEN KNIGHTS, CHUTING STARS, LEAP FROGS, 1st ALLIED AIRBORNE, XVIII AIRBORNE CORPS, ANGELS, ALL AMERICAN, SCREAMING EAGLES, GERONIMO, CURRAHEE, RAKKASAN, PARADICE, THE GOLDEN TALON, THUNDER FROM HEAVEN, SKY SOLDIERS, TRIPLE NICKEL, LUCKY THIRTEENTH, ROMMEL'S ASPARAGUS, DEVILS IN BAGGY PANTS, IRON MIKE, CATERPILLAR CLUB, FLIGHT BAG, DINGLEBERRY, JUMP POCKETS, JUMP BOOTS, OVAL, JSD, TAB, FLASH, WINGS, CENTURY WINGS, BLACK WINGS, TRASH, PROP BLAST, AIRBORNE SPIRIT; compare PATHFINDER, RIGGER, GLIDER, AIR ASSAULT. [v: Parachuting Terms, and Parachuting History]

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, JOURNAL.

AIRBORNE COMMAND :
1943 shoulder sleeve insignia
of Airborne Command
Abn Cmd
(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 COMMAND.

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 SCHOOL :
see JUMP SCHOOL.

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, DOGTROT, 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 scramble in a 'jog trot'.

AIRBORNE SPIRIT :
an alcoholic concoction that's ritually imbibed by inductees at the PROP BLAST ceremony; although the mixture varies by tradition from unit to unit, it's typically based upon champagne (FIZZ), which symbolizes "the best". The original WWII "Airborne Spirit", a mixture of champagne and vodka with lemon juice, was created by (then) CPT William P. Yarborough. See BREW, HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK, HOIST, GUSTO, INITIATION.

AIRBORNE TROOP CARRIER COMMAND :
Airborne Troop Carrier
Command shoulder sleeve insignia
Trp Carrier Cmd
(forthcoming); the cargo aircraft designated to transport AIRBORNE units during WWII; PARATROOPERs together with their weapons and equipment

AIR BOSS / AIRBOSS :
informal reference to the head of the aviation department aboard an aircraft carrier, especially the schedule of take-offs and landings, pilot briefings and post-flight evaluations, maintenance and accountability; the officer in charge of the flight deck and its associated airspace.

AIRBURST :
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, BOOTS AND SADDLES, CAVALRY WHISKERS, SPUR RIDE, ORDER OF THE SPUR, YELLOW RIBBON.

AIR COMMANDO :
Air Transport Commando
shoulder patch from WWII
Air Transport Commando
1st Air Commando
1st 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 have since been 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.

AIRCRAFT :
any machine supported for flight in the air by buoyancy or by the dynamic action of air on its surfaces; see BLIMP, GLIDER, BIRD, CHOPPER. [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon]

AIRCREW :
see CREW DOG, CREW CHIEF, CREW PUPPY, BIRDMAN, AIRDALE, LOADMASTER, DROPMASTER, KICKER, JUMPMASTER; compare PENGUIN, WING WIPER, GROUND HOG, GROUNDED.

AIRDALE :
U.S. Navy aviator's
qualification badge
U.S. Navy pilot's wings
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]

AIRDROP :
577th Quartermaster Aerial
Supply Company pocket patch
Aerial Supply
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, LAPES, HOLLYWOOD BLAST, JPADS, DROP-TANK, LOG BIRD, ASH 'n' TRASH, HATCH, RAMP, TAILGATE. [nb: during the 82nd Airborne Division's combat assault onto Panama's Torrijos Airport in Operation JUST CAUSE (20 December 1989), armored vehicles (ie: M-551 Sheridan light reconnaissance tank) were parachuted into combat for the first time] [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]

AIRFIELD :
see RUNWAY. [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] [v: flying field, landing field, airport, airdrome / aerodrome, jetport] [nb: RUNWAY designations are by compass heading and its reciprocal, which designation alone informs the PILOT by which direction to approach or depart]

AIRFOIL :
Any surface, as a wing or stabilizer, designed to aid in lifting or thrusting, controlling or stabilizing an airborne body or craft, by making use of the air currents through which it moves; the optimum shape of such a wing is typically elliptical, a tapered globule (eg: raindrop or teardrop), a conic section.

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 SHIT.

THE AIR FORCE WAY :
see THE ARMY WAY, FOR THE HELL OF IT, MIL-SPEC, GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK, PARTY LINE. [nb: "They know what they know, and what they don't know, they don't want to know." by Peter Bowen]

AIRFRAME / AIR FRAME :
the framework and external covering of an aircraft, including the FUSELAGE, WINGs, TAILBOOM, RUDDER, FIN, NACELLEs, COWLINGs, FAIRINGs, airfoils (except engines), and the landing gear (except tires), their accessories and controls; see ASPECT RATIO, ANGLE OF INCIDENCE. Also, the framework, envelope, and cabin of an airship; see BLIMP. Also, the principal structural components of a MISSILE, fully assembled but less its propulsion system and PAYLOAD.

AIR GROUP :
administrative and tactical unit of the Air Force, containing two or more squadrons. Compare WING.

AIRHEAD :
a contested area in enemy territory, or in threatened friendly territory, that has been seized by airborne troops for bringing in weapons and equipment, supplies and additional troops by AIRDROP or airmobile landing, especially the secure initial position of an airborne assault into enemy territory, used for farther advancement and resupply, being 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 Air Force (USAF) theoretical "air power" THINK TANK. [nb: unlike civilians, MIL-PERS do not use this slang term in the context of "empty headed", "scatterbrained" or "simple-minded", 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 "skyway".

AIRLIFT :
the air transport of persons and/or cargo, especially for resupply or deployment during an emergency. See BERLIN AIRLIFT, PRE-POS; compare BOATLIFT.

AIRMAIL / AIR-MAIL / AIR MAIL :
the cards, letters, and packages sent by aerial transport in the government postal system; see MAIL. [v: airgram / aerogram]

AIRMAN :
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 :
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; and in 2012, the US Air Force presented the first Medal of Honor awarded since the Vietnam War to the remote pilot of an unmanned aerial vehicle supporting ground combat operations in Afghanistan]

AIRMOBILE :
11th Air Assault Division
patch
11th Air Assault Div
people or materials delivered or withdrawn by helicopter; the airmobility doctrine (abbreviated AMBL or AM) was officially redesignated AIR ASSAULT in October 1974; this HELIBORNE methodology is also called AIR CAV, SKY CAV. See CHALK, CHOPPER, MECH, YELLOWLEG, BOOTS AND SADDLES, CAVALRY WHISKERS, ORDER OF THE SPUR, YELLOW RIBBON.

AIRPLANE :
a heavier-than-air vehicle that's variously propelled into aerodynamic flight; see BIRD, MONOPLANE, BIPLANE, TRIPLANE, FLYING WING, CHOPPER, GLIDER. [nb: first successful flight of prop-driven fixed-wing airplane by Orville and Wilbur Wright (1903); first successful flight of rotary winged aircraft by Igor Sikorsky (1909); first successful flight of multimotored aircraft by Igor Sikorsky (1913); first successful flight across the Atlantic Ocean was made by Albert Cushing Read in a Glenn Curtiss seaplane NC-4 (1919); first successful jet-powered flight by Ernst Heinkel HE-178 (1939); although three Douglas "World Cruiser" airplanes (sponsored by the US Army Air Corps) flew around the world in 175 days (1924) by landing numerous times, the first non-stop circumnavigation orbit was made by satellite (1957), then by the Rutan "Voyager" airplane (1986); first supersonic (Mach 1.06) flight by Chuck Yeager in Bell X-1 "Glamorous Glennis" that was launched from B-29 bomber at 29,000 foot altitude (1947); first successful carbon-fiber jet wing flight by Yves Rossy/Rossi (2004)] [nb: although Russia designed a passenger airplane in 1913, and regular passenger routes were established between London and Paris in 1919, the Guggenheim Foundation was the first to sponsor an experimental American airline ('Western Air Express') in May 1928, which could transport eight to twelve passengers per flight between San Francisco and Los Angeles ... furthermore, the Guggenheim Foundation sponsored development of the precision Collsman altimeter, the Sperry artificial horizon, the Sperry radio directional gyrocompass, point-to-point instrument navigation, plane to ground communication, and standardized weather reporting] [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon]

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, BOMBER, CHOPPER, FCSL, TAC-AIR; compare SEA POWER, LAND POWER.

AIR RAID SHELTER :
see BOMB SHELTER, ELEPHANT HUT.

AIRSPACE :
the atmospheric region above a territorial land area, especially the region claimed by a nation as part of its sovereignty and over which it claims jurisdiction; a concept necessitated by aerial flight, which was introduced before WWI.

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, COMPANIONWAY, ACCOMMODATION LADDER; see RAMP, GANGWAY.

AIR STRIKE :
the bombing and/or strafing of enemy targets, personnel or strongholds, by military aircraft in support of ground operations; sometimes spelled "airstrike", being the aerial delivery of ordnance upon selected enemy ground targets. See CAS, XCAS, SORTIE, STRAFE, GUN RUN, ALPHA STRIKE, PICKLE, LETDOWN, DANGER CLOSE, CAP. [nb: Vietnamese term: Khong Tap]

AIRSTRIP :
see RUNWAY. [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] [v: flying field, landing field, airport, airdrome / aerodrome, jetport] [nb: RUNWAY designations are by compass heading and its reciprocal, which designation alone informs the PILOT by which direction to approach or depart]

AIRTIGHT :
(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", "tug ship", or SKY TRAIN) towing one or more GLIDERs; GLIDER tow positions are either below ("low-tow") or above ("high-tow") the wake of the tow plane. See TOWLINE, UNCOUPLE, AIRHEAD.

AIRWAY :
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; see SNORKEL.

AIS :
(forthcoming); Automatic Identification System; see GPS, LOCATOR BEACON.

AISRA :
Air Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Agency; formerly the Air Intelligence Agency at Kelly Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

AIT :
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]

AIWC :
Army Irregular Warfare Center; see IRREGULARS, PARAMILITARY, GUERRILLA WARFARE, COUNTERINSURGENCY.

AK-47 :
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]

ALCATRAZ :
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.

ALCE :
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).

ALCM :
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 handheld 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.

ALERT :
a warning or alarm of an impending military attack; as derived from "on the lookout". Also, the period that such a warning or alarm is in effect, as marked by an increased state of vigilance or readiness; see DEFCON, SACON, FPCON, ESP, GQ, STAND-TO, RED ALERT, BLUE ALERT, YELLOW ALERT, WHITE ALERT, ANNUNCIATOR, WCA, HEADS-UP, WARNING ORDER, FRAG ORDER, DANCE CARD, TOCSIN.

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. [nb: "Murphy's comment on Alexander's solution to the classic Gordian knot dilemma is to never destroy whatever can be remedied in time ... unless the confounded tangle is a messy result, instead of a puzzled cause ... and then punish it with a will!"]

ALFA :
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)]

ALICE :
acronym for All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment, being an arrangement of small detachable pouches secured to H-harness straps and PISTOL BELTs by tension latches and/or U-WIRE HOOKS for carrying ammunition, canteens, medical supplies, and other assorted items into battle; this Vietnam-era setup has been succeeded by the PALS grid-work on MOLLE gear. See STABO, LBE, LBV, ILBE, CLIP, WEB GEAR.

ALIGNMENT :
any straight line in DRILL upon which several elements are formed; see RANK, FILE, FORMATION.

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, TERRORIST.

ALL AMERICAN :
another name for the automatic AMBUSH, as in the parlance of armored cavalry (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 AIRBORNE.

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.

ALLEGIANCE :
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, TRADITION.

ALLEGIANT :
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, TRADITION.

ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL :
a maxim ("Tous pour un et un pour tous!") made famous in The Three Musketeers (1844) by Alexandre Dumas (aka: Dumas Père), who was an enormously successful writer of historical novels and period travelogues, aided by numerous collaborators (his "factory"), and who later took part in Garibaldi's Italian unification expedition in 1860; this expression has been adopted as the motto of the U.S. Army's 15th Cavalry Regiment, and has also been represented as "One for all and all for one!" ("Un pour tous et tous pour un!").

ALL HANDS :
in naval parlance, the entire crew; all souls, everyone or everybody. See BLUE JACKET, SHIPMATE, SAILOR.

ALLIED FORCE :
operational name of the NATO bombing campaign against Serbian forces in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Kosovo (24 Mar - 10 Jun 1999); augmented by forward deployed ground elements (eg: 2/505th PIR, 3/504th PIR, 1/325th Abn Inf Rgt) crossing from Albania that encountered Serbian guerrillas and partisans of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), where the mission was directed at suppressing insurgent raids and stabilizing the legitimate government.

ALLIED HARBOR / ALLIED HARBOUR :
operational name of the NATO campaign in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Kosovo (4 Apr - 1 Sep 1999).

ALLIGATOR :
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, LAV, TRACK.

ALLOTMENT :
an apportionment of a servicemember's salary that's deposited into savings or distributed to a dependent. Also, a portion distributed to each member of a unit, especially a servicemember's basic issue of essential clothing and equipment. [nb: "We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities." by Oscar Wilde (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills); "There are many things that we would throw away, if we were not afraid that others might pick them up." by Oscar Wilde (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills)]

ALL RANKS CLUB :
with the establishment of the all volunteer force (AVF) and the reduced defense (DoD) budget, including the consolidation onto combined bases mandated by the closing of many military installations, the so-called "all services club" or "unified service club" has been sporadically instituted since the GULF WAR-era so as to colocate recreational facilities for better support and services to military members, which are approximately equivalent to off-base civilian facilities, and are self-supporting without the subsidy from non-appropriated funds. This social desegregation of ranks and grades in shared informality flouts the class and caste systems that are traditional in military service, but promotes cooperation and comradeship in a shrinking profession ... one that's both more egalitarian and more exclusive. The military program on de-glamorizing the consumption of alcohol and drugs, together with the anti-smoking campaign for healthier living, contributed to the "your family is our family" military lifestyle that promotes the morale and welfare (MWR) of MIL-PERS as a better way to accomplish the military mission. Compare ANNEX, CANTEEN, SLOP CHUTE, ACEY-DEUCY, NCO CLUB, O CLUB. [v: Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS)] [v: "What happens in the club stays in the club!"]

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, OUTSIDE THE WIRE, DOG-EAT-DOG, WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' BADGES, COUP DE PIED DE L'ANE, 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)] [v: omo lupus homini (Latin: man is a wolf to man)]

ALL THE TEA IN CHINA :
an hyperbolic phrase expressing an unparalleled comparison, such that the designated superlative preference has subsumed everything else of value, which is sometimes represented as "all the gold in Fort Knox". Also, a phrase expressing total resistance and complete objection, being beyond inducement (priceless) or beyond consideration (unthinkable), such as "... not at any price!"

ALLY :
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: symmachy]

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 :
82 Abn Div patch
82nd Abn Div
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 as POLITROOPERs near the capitol. 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. Elements of the 82nd Airborne Division include: 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1/551st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, 319th Glider Field Artillery Battalion, 320th Glider Field Artillery Battalion, 376th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion, 456th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion, 80th Airborne Antiaircraft Battalion, 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion, and other supporting units. Originating as the 82nd Infantry Division during the CIVIL WAR, it has been deployed on expeditions in WWI, WWII, Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

ALMS :
anything given to the poor or needy as charity, such as donated food or clothing, money or shelter; as derived from pity or compassion (v: eleemosynary); compare MAUNDY / MAUNDY MONEY, BEGGING BOWL, SCROUNGE, CUMSHAW; see REFUGEE, DP, EXILE, BOAT PEOPLE, YELLOW BIRD, CARE, IRC, IVS, AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE, ARC / RED CROSS, DOUGHNUT DOLLY, SALLY.

ALO :
Air Liaison Officer, being an Air Force pilot assigned to an Army brigade (or higher unit) so as to facilitate close air support (CAS).

ALPHA :
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: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon]

ALPHA-ALPHA :
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 CODE :
a list of easily distinguishable words that are used in radio and telephonic communications, each representing and corresponding to a letter of the alphabet; an acrophonetic spelling alphabet; see PHONETIC ALPHABET. Also, a method of encryption by letter substitution, being one of the oldest and simplest forms of encoding, which disguise is revealed by frequency analysis and empirical replacement; see CRYPTOGRAPHY.

ALPHABET SOUP :
slang for the complex mixture of abbreviations and acronyms that comprise 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, REVERSEDICTIONARY, BREVITY CODE, ACRONYM, ABBREVIATION. [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags] Also, unfamiliar words and phrases, as derived from science or medicine, foreign or alien concepts, which have been introduced to the American-English lexicon, including surnames, place names, and other expressions that are difficult to pronounce; see JAWBREAKER, DOUBLE-BARRELED NAME, THE STANS. [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.

ALS :
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 Squadron.

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.

ALUMINUM U :
slang reference to the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) at Colorado Springs, Colorado; also called the ZOO; see CADET, DOOLIE, ZOOMIE, RING-KNOCKER, TRADE SCHOOL. [v: Military Schools]

AM :
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.

AMAIN :
an archaism variously meaning (from context) with full force; at full speed; suddenly, or hastily; exceedingly, or greatly.

AMARG :
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, CANNIBALIZE.

AMAZON :
(forthcoming); see DISTAFF, SKIRT, GI JANE, HOLLOW BUNNY, BALL BUSTER, FLYING BRAVO, SQUEAK, RUNTS 'n' CUNTS, LABORS OF HERACLES.

AMBULANCE :
see LUGGAGE TAG, STRETCHER, LITTER, DOOLIE, BASKET, CRACKER BOX, BAND-AID, DUSTOFF, AIR AMBULANCE, CASEVAC, MEDEVAC.

AMBUSH :
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, RAID, HIT AND RUN, BATTLEFIELD. [nb: Vietnamese term: phuc kich]

AMC :
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. Also, designation for the Army Materiel Command, including Operations Support Command and Army Field Support Command.

AMERICAL :
23rd Infantry Division patch
23rd Inf Div
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, SLOW MATCH.

AMERICAN BREAKFAST :
see ENGLISH BREAKFAST; compare CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST, SOLDIER'S BREAKFAST.

AMERICAN CAMPAIGN MEDAL / ACM :
American Campaign Medal
ACM
American Defense Service
Medal
ADSM
awarded to MIL-PERS for honorable active federal service in the Armed Forces during WWII, from 7 Dec 1941 to 2 Mar 1946; this medal may be distinguished by a service star (BATTLE STAR) or an arrowhead DEVICE. The AMERICAN CAMPAIGN MEDAL depicts a B-24 flying above a Navy cruiser under full steam with buildings (Arsenal of Democracy) in the background, an enemy submarine sinking beneath three waves in the foreground, and the legend "American Campaign" on the obverse (designed by Thomas Hudson Jones); while the reverse (designed by A.A. Weinman) displays an American eagle situated between the dates "1941 - 1945" and the legend "United States of America" ... the reverse of the ACM is the same as that used for the European-African-Middle Eastern and Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medals. Compare AMERICAN DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL, NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL; see CAMPAIGN MEDAL.

AMERICAN DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL / ADSM :
awarded to MIL-PERS for honorable active federal duty outside the continental United States during the limited period of emergency service from 8 Sep 1939 to 7 Dec 1941; displayed with a "Foreign Service" bar clasping the suspension ribbon of the pendant medal, or designated by a bronze service star (BATTLE STAR) on the ribbon bar. The obverse of the AMERICAN DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL (designed by Lee Lawrie) depicts a feminine Grecian figure representing 'defense' by holding an ancient war shield while brandishing a sword above her head, and standing upon a conventionalized oak branch with four leaves, all beneath the legend "American Defense"; the reverse cites the award's specifics above a seven-leafed spray of laurel. Compare AMERICAN CAMPAIGN MEDAL, NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL; see CAMPAIGN MEDAL.

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, SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER; compare IVS, IRC, PEACE CORPS, VOLUNTOLD, CA, ADV.

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"; with the American colonies aided by France, Spain, and Holland against Great Britain. See PURPLE HEART, MINUTEMAN, DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION, THE CONSTITUTION, PATRIOT'S DAY. [nb: War of Independence (1775-83): 180-250,000 served; 4,435-25,000 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]

AMERICAN SERVICE MEDAL :
see AMERICAN CAMPAIGN MEDAL, AMERICAN DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL.

THE AMERICAN WALL :
informal reference to the electronic defenses used to safeguard the network of corporate and governmental databases against unauthorized intrusion, and the subsequent extraction, corruption, or destruction of this sensitive data; so-called by analogy with the CHINESE WALL or BERLIN WALL, the MAGINOT LINE or SIEGFRIED LINE. See INFORMATION WARFARE, CONTROLLED INFORMATION, NETRUSION, QUILT, FIREWALL.

AMERICAN WAR :
a referent for the SECOND INDOCHINA WAR (1945-75), or just the VIETNAM WAR (Aug 1964-May 1975), as used by the Vietnamese communists for the period of post-WWII "colonialism" when the United States was involved in the NVN/DRV war of liberation, or war of independence.

AMERICAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE :
also known as the "War of American Independence" and the "Revolutionary War"; see AMERICAN REVOLUTION.

THE AMERICAN WAY :
see AMERICANIZE, TRADITION, RUGGED INDIVIDUALISM, 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 BANNER.

AMERIKA :
a characterization of the United States of America as exultantly 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, NIHILISM, UN-AMERICAN, ANTI-AMERICAN, RUNNING DOG, SILENT MAJORITY, TRADITION. [v: kultur; cf: Union of Socialist States of America (USSA)]

AMF :
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; it's been more politely rendered as "Adios, My Friend" and proffered in a corrupt polyglot as "Adieu, Mein Freund"; 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.

AMFFPC :
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, D-RING, FREE-FALL.

AMMO :
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, KEYHOLE, YAW, 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 :
.50cal MG ammo can
.50cal MG 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, CLIP, BANDOLEER.

AMMO POUCH :
a small cloth container with a latching cover used for carrying PISTOL or RIFLE magazines (MAG) in various configurations on WEB GEAR; also called "magazine pouch".

AMOK / AMOK TREI :
in Cambodian cuisine, a piece of fresh-water fish that's baked or steamed in a banana leaf with a paste coating of mixed herbs (kroeung), such as lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, turmeric, garlic, shallots, dried red chillies, and other ingredients; this coconut infused "fish cake" is very popular as street fare.

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, WILD-EYED, GO KINETIC. [cf: Sudden Mass Attack by a Single Individual (SMASI); cf: workplace violence ("going postal")]

AMPHETAMINE :
see BATH SALTS.

AMPHIBIAN :
an airplane designed for taking-off from and landing on either land or water; depending upon the particular model, retractable wheels can be extended from FLOATs or the HULL, permitting the aircraft to park out of the water on a dry land APRON; compare SEAPLANE, FLYING BOAT; see BIRD. Also, a flat-bottomed military vehicle that's equipped with both tracks and a rudder for traveling both on land or in water; see DUKW, GAMMA GOAT, AMTRACK, ELSIE.

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]

AMPHIBIOUS RECONNAISSANCE SCHOOL :
either of two training centers located at Coronado CA or Little Creek VA, where Marines were screened and prepared to conduct long-distance swims in open-water from small boats, submarines, or helo insertion for beach reconnaissance (including gradient), off-beach recon, and hydrographic surveys so as to enable the suitability of particular beaches to be evaluated for potential LANDING CRAFT operational sites.

AMPHIBIOUS WARFARE SCHOOL :
a six-month training course at Quantico Va that prepares Marine officers to plan, organize, and conduct amphibious and related infantry operations.

AMPH-TRACK :
see ALLIGATOR, AMTRACK, AAV.

AMPUTEE :
see WHOLE MAN, PHANTOM LIMB, REFERRED PAIN, BROKEN-WING SYNDROME. [nb: WD-40 is an effective lubricant for hinged prosthetic limbs]

AMRAAM :
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".

AMSC :
Army Management Staff College, an interagency school.

AMTRACK :
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 GATOR, DUCK.

AMUCK :
see AMOK, BERSERK, FIGHTING MAD, GO KINETIC.

AMULET :
a small object that's worn to ward off evil (harm or illness) or to bring good fortune (luck or well being); a protective charm or guardian talisman. See MOJO, HOODOO, VOODOO, JINX, BUGBEAR, JOSS.

AMWS :
Advanced Missile Warning System, being a RADAR and LASER detection technology that warns the aircrew of incoming antiaircraft MISSILEs.

AN ARM AND A LEG :
see (AN) ARM AND A LEG.

ANC :
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. Compare WAAC, WAC, WASP, WAFS, WAF, WAVES, SPAR; see ANGEL, FUZZY-WUZZY ANGEL, RAMP TRAMP, SKIRT. [nb: Navy Nurse Corps established 1908]

ANCHOR :
a device or other item, typically including arms, crown, shank, fluke, capstan, and similar esoterica, attached by chain or cable through a ring, 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, GRAPNEL, 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, D-RING, 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.

ANCHORMAN :
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.

ANCHOR'S AWEIGH :
see ANCHOR. [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]

AN CUT :
Vietnamese term for "eat shit".

ANG :
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.

ANGEL :
Army Nurse Merit
badge
Nurse Merit
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, SSTP, 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 in 1994, the role of qualified women was expanded from service support occupations to "combat support", including police, pilots, and other assignments, including service aboard warships; then in 2016, qualified women were made eligible to compete for equal admission to all combat arms occupations] [nb: despite the fact that civilian male nurses had been licensed for decades, the military nurse corps were exclusively female until 1955] [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.".

ANGEL DUST :
an illicit hallucinogen of the Vietnam-era that's widely used in several forms, and is commonly called "magic dust" or "monkey dust"; originating as an anesthetic drug [phencyclidine / phencyclidine hydrochloride (PCP)] that's used by veterinarians as an animal tranquilizer. See DOPE, JUNK, STONED, WASTED, SPICE, BATH SALTS, LSD, COLORS, SMACK, FIVE FINGERS, TAR, STICK, CAN SA, HAY, GRASS, HUBBLE-BUBBLE, PIGTAIL.

ANGELS / THE ANGELS :
nickname of the 11th Airborne Division; the first unit to be both GLIDER and AIRBORNE qualified, and later to be the test organization for AIR ASSAULT tactics. See CROSS-TRAINING, RAKKASAN, AIRBORNE, PARACHUTE.

ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD :
see FOOLS RUSH IN (where Angels fear to tread).

ANGEL'S WING :
distinctive Cambodia/SVN border feature near Tay Ninh; see PARROT'S BEAK, FISHHOOK, DOG'S FACE, ELEPHANT'S FOOT, BLACK LADY MOUNTAIN. [cf: dog-ear / dog's-ear (crossette / croisette)]

ANGER :
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 to die.]

ANGLE OF ATTACK :
the angle between the chord of an airfoil and the wind; 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: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon]

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.

ANGLICO :
Air and Naval Gunfire LIaison COmpany, which deploys joint Navy and Marine teams as forward observers (FO) to ground elements; formed 1949.

ANGRY :
slang for class of radios designated "AN/GRC-", with numeric identification appended, such as AN/GRC-87, AN/GRC-109; see RADIO, RTO.

ANH :
Vietnamese term for brother, as in the greeting: "Chao anh." See BRO, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER; compare ONG, PAPA-SAN. [v: consanguinity]

ANIMATE / ANIMATION :
see ANTHROPOMORPHISM, PATHETIC FALLACY, WEAPON SALVE. [v: "ghost in the machine"; cf: ergonomics]

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 PASS.

ANNAM :
name for the central section of Vietnam under the French INDOCHINA Protectorate, meaning "Peace of the South"; see HUE, PLAIN OF TOMBS; compare COCHIN CHINA, TONKIN.

ANNAPOLIS :
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, RING-KNOCKER, GOAT.

ANNEX :
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 SPOT, SATELLITE. [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, tippling house, 11th Frame, 19th Hole, honky-tonk, dive, brasserie, bistro, taproom, beer joint, beer parlor, brewpub, alehouse, rathskeller, cabaret, nightclub, drinkery]

ANNIHILATE :
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 / Edirne), Carthage] [nb: "The passion for destruction is also a creative passion." by Mikhail Aleksandrovich Bakunin (1842); "Destruction, hence, like creation, is one of Nature's mandates." by Donatien Alphonse François Sade (1795)]

ANNUNCIATOR :
a signaling apparatus, generally used in conjunction with a buzzer, that displays a visual indication when energized by electric current; being an alert signal for Warning, Caution, Advisory (WCA) notices, as derived from "announce" or to make known. See SQUAWK BOX, BITCH BOX, BLOWER, HORN, 1-MC, KLAXON, TOCSIN, TANNOY, BOATSWAIN'S PIPE, BUGLE CALL, POOP, HEADS-UP, FYI, STAND-TO, DEFCON, SACON, FPCON, ESP, GQ, ALERT, AHOY, HOISE.

THE ANOINTED :
those ostensibly "elite" persons who are presumptively entitled to privilege or preferment in the function or direction of their society, as coined by Thomas Sowell; see RING-KNOCKER, CAKE-EATER, OFFICER, BLUE BLOOD, BRASS HAT, CASTE, BEST AND BRIGHTEST, POWER ELITE, MANDARIN, WHIZ KID,WISE MEN, BRAIN TRUST, SECOND ESTATE, RUNNING DOG, BOY'S CLUB, KHAKI MAFIA, VULCANIZE, FRUIT FLY, WAR CORRESPONDENT.

AN OPPORTUNITY TO SUCCEED :
see (AN) OPPORTUNITY TO SUCCEED.

ANTEBELLUM :
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.

ANTECHAMBER :
see VESTIBULE, BAFFLE, MAN-TRAP; compare PNEUMONIA HOLE.

ANTENNA :
see WHIP, STACK, TROPO, RADOME, TACAN, ANTENNA FARM, DONKEY DICK, MAST, 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, MAST, EARS, COMM SHACK, RRD, DITTY-BOP, COMSAT, RADIO, COMMO.

ANTHEM :
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]

ANTHROPOMORPHISM :
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, WEAPON SALVE; see JOSS STICK, VOODOO, HOODOO, MOJO, WIZARD, RAINMAKER, MASCOT. [v: "ghost in the machine"; cf: prosopopoeia / prosopopeia, 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]. Despite this anti-triumphal disestablishmentarianism, 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, NIHILISM, REBELLION, REVOLUTION, SOFT TYRANNY, HUAC, McCARTHYISM; compare PATRIOTISM, LAST BEST HOPE, SILENT MAJORITY. [v: spite fence; cf: liberticide] [v: kultur, nativism, irredentism, nationalism, anomie; cf: loyal opposition] [v: malcontent, undesirable, objectionable, defiant, acrimonious, grudge, malice, malignity, rancor, splenetic, venomous, vituperous] [nb: "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between." by Oscar Wilde (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills)]

ANTIBIOTIC :
any of a large group of anti-infectant or bacteriostatic chemical substances, from sulfanilamide (sulfa drugs) to streptomyces (streptomycin, tetracycline), 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. [v: Gram's Method (Gram-positive, Gram-negative)] [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!]

ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT :
see UN-AMERICAN, ANTI-AMERICAN, YIPPIE, BLACK BLOC, FIFTH COLUMN, RUNNING DOG, NIGHTCRAWLER, NCC, NEW MOBE, BULLSHITVIK, GUERRILLA THEATER, CULTURE WAR, RESSENTIMENT, SOFT TYRANNY, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY, BURN BABY BURN, DAYS OF RAGE, AMERIKA, POWER TO THE PEOPLE, PROVOCATEUR, PROTESTOR, THEY'LL GIVE A WAR AN' NOBODY'LL COME, THE LITTLE RED BOOK, DECONSTRUCTIONISM, COUNTERCULTURE, HIPPIE, KUM BA YAH, WE SHALL OVERCOME, PACIFIST, FLOWER POWER, SUMMER OF LOVE, BEST AND BRIGHTEST, SILVER-TAIL; compare THE ESTABLISHMENT, THE G, FIRST ESTATE, SOG, MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, ALPHABET CITY, NATIONAL JOKE FACTORY, ACT OF CONGRESS, NANNY STATE, NEW WORLD ORDER, BREAD AND CIRCUSES, SILENT MAJORITY, REALPOLITIK. [nb: "There's nothing essentially wrong with the system that isn't directly attributable to the corrupt officials who operate it." anonymous]

ANTI-FEDERALIST :
in American history, those founders who opposed ratification of the Constitution (which replaced the Articles of Confederation) because it favored a central government over state sovereignty; however, in modern usage, it defines a class of individualistic domestic TERRORIST, mostly loyal libertarian or right-wing conservative, who are independent and self-reliant, who believe in the principles of a Judeo-Christian religion and the provisions of the American constitution, and who are wholly resistant to the further encroachment of a relentlessly ubiquitous government. See PATRIOTISM, LAST BEST HOPE, BUBBA EFFECT, CONSERVATIVE, REACTIONARY, CULTURE WAR, SIEGE MENTALITY, BREAD AND CIRCUSES, SOFT TYRANNY, NANNY STATE, NEW WORLD ORDER, THE G, UNCLE SAM, FIRST ESTATE, SOG, THE ESTABLISHMENT, MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, ALPHABET CITY, NATIONAL JOKE FACTORY, ACT OF CONGRESS, REALPOLITIK, REVOLT, TYRANNY.

ANTI-GUERRILLA :
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. [nb: "A Gnat came and said to a Lion, 'I do not in the least fear you, nor are you stronger than I am. For in what does your strength consist? You can scratch with your claws and bite with your teeth like a woman in her quarrels. I repeat that I am altogether more powerful than you; and if you doubt it, let us fight and see who will conquer.' The Gnat, having sounded his horn, fastened himself upon the Lion and stung him on the nostrils and the parts of the face devoid of hair. While trying to crush him, the Lion tore himself with his claws, until he punished himself severely. The Gnat thus prevailed over the Lion, and, buzzing about in a song of triumph, flew away. But shortly afterwards he became entangled in the meshes of a cobweb and was eaten by a spider. He greatly lamented his fate, saying, 'Woe is me! that I, who can wage war successfully with the hugest beasts, should perish myself from this spider, the most inconsiderable of insects!'" by Aesop (The Gnat and the Lion in Aesop's Fables]

ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM :
the belief that intellect and reason are less important than actions and emotions in solving practical problems and in understanding reality; that intuition and irrationality are preferable to sensibility and rationality, that spontaneity and subjectivity trump judiciousness and objectivity ... the "touchy-feely" lifestyle mandating emotional openness and enthusiastic physicality. [v: free love; cf: sober-minded] [cf: neural network / neural net]

ANTI-SURVEILLANCE :
see COUNTERSURVEILLANCE, COUNTERRECONNAISSANCE, COUNTERMEASURES, SDR (Surveillance Detection Route). [cf: sousveillance]

ANTI-THERMAL :
anything that temporarily covers or conceals, blocks or obscures, masks or screens a heat source before it can intensify, transfer or disperse; see THERMAL, THERMAL CROSSOVER.

ANTI-THERMAL CLOAK :
an opaque drape or screen used to mask an infrared (IR) heat signature; compare GILLIE BLANKET, GILLIE SUIT, MASK, SHROUD, HIDE, BLIND. [nb: a cover that turns a "hot spot" into a "cold spot" or into a "radiant halo" is just as revealing as no protection at all!]

ANTI-TERRORISM :
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]

ANTI-WAR :
see PROTESTOR, HIPPIE, SILVER-TAIL, PACIFIST, FLOWER POWER, KUM BA YAH, WE SHALL OVERCOME, SUMMER OF LOVE, THEY'LL GIVE A WAR AN' NOBODY'LL COME, PROVOCATEUR, YIPPIE, BLACK BLOC, NCC, NEW MOBE, BULLSHITVIK, CULTURE WAR, COUNTERCULTURE, THE LITTLE RED BOOK; compare WAR, BATTLE, COMBAT, ARMED FORCES, MIL-PERS, MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, SILENT MAJORITY, REALPOLITIK.

ANT LION / ANTLION :
see DOODLEBUG; compare ASSASSIN BUG. [cf: mantis (praying mantis)]

ANTONINE WALL / WALL OF ANTONINUS :
an ancient earthen wall that's fronted by a deep ditch with 19 forts situated at intervals along its 37 mile length across southern Scotland, from Carriden on the Firth of Forth to Old Kilpatrick on the Firth of Clyde; building of the wall was commenced in AD140 by Lollius Urbicus, governor of Britain in the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius, for whom it was named, but it was abandoned (caAD185) when the Romans retreated to HADRIAN'S WALL (qv).

ANZAC :
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, SEATO. [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]

ANZUS :
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.

AO :
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.

AOB :
(ay-oh-bee) 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, CAMP, BASE CAMP, BASE. Also, Air Order of Battle; see OB.

AO BA BA :
traditional Vietnamese black pajamas, worn by men and women for work and leisure; compare AO DAI.

AOC :
Air Operations Center; see COMMANDO INDIAN, OPIUM DEN, FOC, TAOC, ADOC, ASOC, CAOC; compare TOC, CTOC, JOC, CMOC, WAR ROOM, OPN.

AOD :
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, KIMONO, HANBOK, PAJAMAS. [cf: sarong, lavalava, pareu/pareo]

AOI :
Area Of Interest; compare AO, TO, OA, MOA, TAOR, CHOP LINE, UA.

A-OK :
A-Okay hand sign
A-Okay hand sign
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, RADIO. 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 SIGN, WIGWAG. Also, a rude non-verbal HAND SIGN representing anus or asshole, with the imputation of homosexuality or cowardice; see THE FINGER, STINK EYE, 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, KICK ASS, YOUNG LIONS, GLORY PIE, GONG, GREEN WEENIE, STREAMER, UP CHECK, BRAGGING RIGHTS, TOP DOG, POWER WALL. [v: fanfaronade]

AOR :
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.

AP :
Air Police, being USAF Security Police (SP) or Combat Security Police (CSP), commonly known as "APes"; see CHIMPS, KATN, BATS 'n' HATS, 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.

APA :
US Navy abbreviation for an attack transport ship; a non-landing troop transport.

APACHE :
US Army AH-64 series (eg: AH-64D = Long Bow APACHE) of attack helicopters with tandem COCKPITs that succeeded the COBRA for Close Air Support (CAS) of ground troops; see GUNSHIP, CHOPPER.

APACHE COUNTRY :
see INDIAN COUNTRY, BOONDOCKS / BOONIES, DOWN RANGE. [nb: following the Wild West motif prevalent in LBJ's "little pissant war", numerous allusions to a mythic frontier adventurism were utilized; including COWBOY, DODGE CITY, and GUNSLINGER.]

APAM :
Anti-Personnel Anti-Materiel, being a type of bomblet (SUBMUNITION) distributed by cluster (CBU) munitions.

APARTMENT :
in naval parlance, an enclosed compartment or separate room on a DECK, as opposed to a recessed alcove (BAY).

APC :
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, SPALL, PINTLE, PAVIS. 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 CALL. [v: acetaminophen / paracetamol (para-acetamidophenol)]

APD :
a high-speed troop transport vessel converted from a WWII destroyer; see TIN CAN.

APDS :
Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot ammunition, which enables the smaller penetrator to be driven more forcefully by a larger CHARGE; see AP, SABOT.

APE :
slang for U.S. Air Force Security Police (SP) or Air Police (AP), which is the most common duty assignment in the USAF.

APFSDS :
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, DU, SABOT.

APFT :
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.

APHE :
Armor Piercing High Explosive ammunition; see AP, HE.

API :
Armor Piercing Incendiary ammunition; see AP.

APNC :
a high explosive compound formed by dissolving nitrocellulose in acetone, then combining with acetone peroxide, and then drying to obtain a more stable and more powerful mixture than tri-cyclic acetone peroxide (TCAP) or triacetone triperoxide (TATP) for use as the primary propellant in improvised explosive devices (IED).

APO :
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]

APOCALYPSE :
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 Vietnam War] 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]

APOPEMPTIC :
see VALEDICTION.

APPEASE :
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, KEEP YOUR SHIRT ON, SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER, 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."]

APPETIZER :
see COCKTAIL.

APPLEGATE-FAIRBAIRN DAGGER :
modernized high-tech version
of Applegate-Fairbairn dagger by Boker
Applegate-Fairbairn dagger
a slightly shorter but broader modification of the F-S stiletto that was revised by Rex Applegate and William E. Fairbairn at the OSS hand-to-hand training facility during WWII; the A-F fighting knife has a double-edged blade in diamond cross-section, a sweat grooved haft, and a crossguard of forward-curving quillions. Applegate convinced "Bo" Randall to make a few prototypes during WWII, but after field testing proved the A-F to be unpopular, Randall declined to continue production. Despite having been designed during the war, the A-F knife [in its several custom (Bill Harsey) and commercial (eg: Al Mar, Blackjack, Gerber, Boker) versions] was not actually produced until the mid-1980s using modern materials ... the original wood handle being later executed in Lexan (polycarbonate resin), which is too lightweight and noisy, and slippery when wet. The A-F uses a stub tang (instead of the F-S narrow tang, or the Ek full tang with extension) so lead weights are added to compensate for the imbalance. The shorter but broader A-F blade is supposedly "more scientific" (6" long by 1" wide will theoretically reach any vital area), but the longer F-S and Ek take clothing and gear into account, understanding that a knife fight is anything but scientific! ... that's why the BOWIE and SMATCHET have much longer blades. The modern private-purchase versions of the A-F are worthy combat knives, even if they aren't as good as others in the same price range ... the details matter when soldiers trust their lives to a set of design compromises. Compare DIRK, EK COMMANDO KNIFE; see COMMANDO DAGGER, KNIFE.

APPLIQUE ARMOR / APPLIQUÉ ARMOR :
during WWII, some TANKs (eg: SHERMAN and STUART) were reinforced by the welding of worn TRACK blocks or used tread shoes onto their outer HULLs; although some "improved" specimens ("Jumbo Sherman") were made too heavy and unwieldy to be effective in varied terrain, this cannibalizing practice of adding selective reinforcement evolved into SPACED ARMOR, and later into REACTIVE ARMOR. See CANNIBALIZE, HILLBILLY ARMOR, SPLINTER SHIELD.

APPROVED BY ASSOCIATION :
see BY ASSOCIATION.

APRON :
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]

APS :
Army Pre-positioned Stocks, being the redesignation of Pre-positioned Organizational Materiel Configured to Unit Sets (POMCUS) after the downsizing from the end of the COLD WAR; disassembled and excess inventories were upgraded to like-new condition for redistribution to holding sites worldwide.

APU :
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.

AQUA :
see WATER, NUOC, NUOC DA, CANTEEN, EVAP / EVAPORATOR, GRAY WATER, BLACK WATER, WHITE WATER, BLUE WATER, GREEN WATER, BROWN WATER, WATERWORKS. [aka: hobo soda, Adam's ale, snow float, Nature's own elixir] [nb: Have a drink of pure sweet water? It's filtered by dirt. It lays low and grows scum. It erodes solid stone. It rots wood. It rusts metal. Fish have sex in it. Little boys pee in it. Bugs and such drown in it. And I'm expected to drink it?! NO thanks!] [nb: 1 liter (1000cc/1.0567qt) of pure water weighs 1 kilogram (1000g/2.2046#)]

AQUAFLAGE :
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]

AQUA-LUNG / AQUALUNG :
a trademarked brand of SCUBA apparatus.

AQUAVIT / AKVAVIT :
a dry spirit that's made from redistilled grain or potato alcohol and typically flavored with caraway seeds; this Scandinavian drink translates as "water of life". See BREW, HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK, HOIST, GUSTO.

AR :
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.

ARA :
Aerial Rocket Artillery; an AH-1G COBRA attack helicopter equipped with four XM159C 19-rocket pods of 2.75" ROCKETs. See GUNSHIP; compare ARTY.

ARAB :
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.

ARABIAN TUMBLEWEEDS :
GULF WAR slang for the trash or rubbish driven across an arid landscape by the relentless wind; see LITTER, CLUTTER.

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.

ARAB STREET :
slang reference to the cultural accommodation and linguistic facility that's necessary for a non-native to function in the Mid-Eastern milieu; a sensitivity to foreign customs and folkways that permits an alien to pass without undue notice.

ARB :
USAF abbreviation for Air Reserve Base.

ARC :
Army airborne tab
airborne tab
any unbroken curve or arch; see TAB, Q-TAB, TRIPLE CANOPY. Also, abbreviation for AIDS-Related Complex; see CLAP, VD, STD, ORIENTAL CRUD, TROPICAL BUBO, SHORT ARM, PECKER-CHECKER, PRO KIT, ANTIBIOTIC. Also, abbreviation for American Red Cross; see DOUGHNUT DOLLY, compare SALLY. [nb: mission statement of the worldwide Red Cross organization is "to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity"; the slogan of the International Committee of the Red Cross is "The Power of Humanity", and its motto is "In War, Charity" (Inter Arma Caritas), while the slogan of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is "Protecting Human Dignity", and its motto is "With Humanity, Towards Peace" (Per Humanitatem ad Pacem)] [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 in 1863; the parent organization of the American Red Cross, being the International Red Cross and Red Crescent (IRC) based in Geneva Switzerland, should not be confused with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), despite their mutual cooperation]

ARCENT :
(ar-cent) Army Forces Central Command; see CENTCOM. Also, U.S. Third Army.

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. Also, a lamp in which the source of illumination is a high-intensity electric arc, either between carbon rods in air, or between metal electrodes in a xenon gas atmosphere enclosed in a quartz bulb; also known as "arc lamp". [v: xenon lamp, halogen lamp, mercury-vapor lamp, neon lamp, quartz lamp, sodium-vapor lamp, tungsten lamp; cf: carbon arc, xenon arc]

ARCOM :
(ar-kom) ARmy COMmendation Medal, presented for valor or service, and commonly known as the GREEN WEENIE; see V-DEVICE, GONG.

ARCP :
Air Refueling Control Point, being the mid-air location where aircraft rendezvous with a TANKER for refueling; see DROGUE, BREAKAWAY, ATCA.

ARCTIC ENTRY :
see VESTIBULE, BAFFLE; compare PNEUMONIA HOLE. [v: antechamber, anteroom, foyer, lobby]

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.

AREFS :
U.S. Air Force designation for an Air Refueling Squadron.

ARGUMENTUM AD HOMINEM :
see AD HOMINEM.

ARGUS :
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"]

ARM :
U.S. Army Armor School
Armor School
any WEAPON (eg: SIDEARM, SMALL ARMS, FIREARM). [v: arma virumque cano (Latin: I sing of arms and the man [Virgil])] 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, acting as a FORCE MULTIPLIER; see HHC, USATC, LAAGER, YELLOWLEG, BOOTS AND SADDLES, TANKER TECH, CAVALRY WHISKERS, ORDER OF THE SPUR, YELLOW RIBBON; compare ACR, CAV. [nb: Vietnamese term: Thiet Giap]

THE ARM / THE ARM OF HONOR :
see ITALIAN SALUTE.

ARMAGEDDON :
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, JUDGMENT CALL, PEANUT GALLERY, THE CHATTERING CLASS, 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.

ARMED :
as being "under arms"; also called "packing" ("packing heat") or "strapped" ("packed 'n' 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, RETREAD, DRAFTEE. [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 service!]

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 :
Armed Forces Expeditionary
medal
AFEM
awarded to MIL-PERS for honorable active federal service in military operations to assist friendly foreign nations where no other CAMPAIGN MEDAL is authorized; also known as "Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal" (AFESM). First awarded to military ADVISORs who served in Vietnam (1 Jul 1958 - 14 Mar 1962) and Laos (19 Apr 1961 - 7 Oct 1962), before the VIETNAM SERVICE MEDAL was created; it was also awarded to post-war ADVISORs in Vietnam (29 Mar 1973 - 30 Apr 1975, including Operation Frequent Wind during 29-30 Apr 1975), Cambodia (29 Mar - 15 Aug 1973, including Operation Eagle Pull during 11-13 Apr 1975 and the Mayaquez Operation on 15 May 1975), and Thailand (29 Mar - 15 Aug 1973). Separate campaigns are denoted by a bronze or silver star (BATTLE STAR), including: Lebanon (1Jul - 1 Nov 1958); Taiwan Straits (23 Aug 1958 - 1 Jan 1959); Quemoy & Matsu Islands (23 Aug 1958 - 1 Jun 1963); Congo (14 Jul 1960 - 1 Sep 1962); Berlin (14 Aug 1961 - 1 Jun 1963); Cuba (24 Oct 1962 - 1 Jun 1963); Congo (23-27 Nov 1964); Dominican Republic (23 Apr 1965 - 21 Sep 1966); Korea (1 Oct 1966 - 30 Jun 1974); El Salvador (1 Jan 1981 - 1 Feb 1992); Lebanon (1 Jun 1983 - 1 Dec 1987); Grenada (23 Oct - 21 Nov 1983); Libya (12-17 Apr 1986); Panama (20 Dec 1989 - 31 Jan 1990); Somalia, (5 Dec 1992 - 31 Mar 1995); Haiti (Sep 1994 - Mar 1995); Bosnia (Dec 1995); Croatia and the Adriatic Sea (20 Nov 1995 - 19 Dec 1996); and Persian Gulf operations preceding the service medals for the Mid-East. The obverse of the AFEM depicts an American eagle perched upon a sword with its wings raised and a radiant 'compass rose' in the background, surrounded by the legend "Armed Forces Expeditionary Service"; the reverse depicts the presidential shield with laurel branches beneath and the "United States of America" inscribed. Se FRUIT SALAD, GONG. [nb: a bronze arrowhead device is authorized on the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for those participants who parachuted into Grenada (Operation Urgent Fury: 23 Oct - 21 Nov 1983) and Panama (Operation Just Cause: 20 Dec 1989 - 31 Jan 1990)]

ARMED FORCES SERVICE MEDAL / AFSM :
Armed Forces Service Medal
AFSM
awarded to MIL-PERS for honorable participation in military operations (on or after 1 June 1992) that are not covered by any other specific medal, and for such activities that are deemed to be sufficiently significant to warrant its issue, wherein no foreign armed opposition or imminent hostile action was encountered; the ARMED FORCES SERVICE MEDAL may be awarded for direct support of the United Nations (UN) or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), for domestic assistance operations and for assistance operations to friendly nations (eg: Balkans) ... qualifying operations have included: Provide Promise, Joint Endeavor, Able Sentry, Deny Flight, Maritime Monitor, Sharp Guard, hurricane Katrina relief, and hurricane Rita relief. Separate campaigns are denoted by a bronze or silver service star (BATTLE STAR). The obverse depicts the torch of liberty with the legend "Armed Forces Service Medal"; while the reverse displays an American eagle in flight, clutching three arrows with the U.S. shield on its chest, encircled by a laurel wreath and the legend "In Pursuit of Democracy". See ARMED FORCES EXPEDITIONARY MEDAL, HUMANITARIAN SERVICE MEDAL, CAMPAIGN MEDAL.

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.

ARMING CHEST :
a container holding armor and weapons; compare ARMORY, ARSENAL.

ARMISTICE :
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]

AN ARM AND A LEG :
metaphorically expensive; very costly or unduly pricey, exorbitant or extortionate, as in "It's not worth an arm and a leg!". Compare RIGHT ARM, RIGHT FOOT, WRONG-FOOTED, YOUR RIGHT FOOT FORWARD.

ARMLOCK / ARM-LOCK :
a tension hold used in wrestling and other MARTIAL ARTs that serves to intimidate or control someone without permanently injuring them, as by a wrist-lock, arm-bar, HAMMERLOCK, or the like; sometimes called a "come-along". [v: half nelson, full nelson]

ARMOR :
U.S. Army Armor branch insignia U.S. Army Armor branch
insignia
Armor
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, TANKER TECH; 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, PAVIS. [nb: heavily armoured cars, known as "tanks" to disguise their function, were introduced during the First Battle of the Somme (15 September 1916)]

ARMORER :
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.

ARMORY :
a storage place for weapons and other war equipment; compare ARMS ROOM, ARSENAL, MAGAZINE. [v: arming chest] Also, an armorer's shop; a place where arms and armor are fabricated or repaired; also called "toy shop" or "magic shop". 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]

ARMPIT SAUCE :
see NUOC MAM.

ARMS :
see ARM, SIDEARM, SMALL ARMS, FIREARM, WEAPON.

ARMS CHEST :
see ARMS ROOM; compare MAGAZINE. [v: arming chest]

ARMS CONTROL :
any plan or agreement, treaty or other measures taken by participating nations to limit weapons and armed forces, their number, size, or type; compare GUN CONTROL.

ARMS RACE :
an international rivalry for military superiority that's exemplified by the acquisition of more and better weapons, together with the personnel trained to maintain and implement them; the competition between countries for superiority in the quantity and quality of armaments. See SABER-RATTLING, GUNPOINT, HEAD TO HEAD, BIGGER BANG FOR THE BUCK, OUTGUN, COLD WAR.

ARMS ROOM :
an impregnable area within a unit's (S-4) supply annex where SMALL ARMS, together with their magazines and ammunition, are secured for issue to unit members whenever necessary (eg: guard duty, training, deployment, etc); where such individual weapons are minimal (eg: aboard ship, hospital, artillery or armor unit, etc), such SMALL ARMS are enclosed in a lockable 'arms chest' to ensure accountability. Compare ARMORY, ARSENAL, MAGAZINE. [v: arming chest]

ARMY :
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 on land, 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 to "armada".

ARMY ACHIEVEMENT MEDAL / AAM :
Army Achievement medal
AAM
(forthcoming); presented for achievement or valor, this award ranks below the Army Commendation Medal (ARCOM), the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) and Bronze Star (BSM); equivalent to the Navy Achievement Medal (NAM). Compare GREEN WEENIE; see DEVICE, GONG.

ARMY BUG :
slang for a parasitic insect, especially louse/lice or CRAB/crabs, often attached to body hair or clothing fibers; see COOTIE, GRAYBACK, FLEA, BEDBUG, COMFORT STATION.
    [eg: (to the tune of "Sweet By and By")
    Soldiers sing of their beans and canteens,
    Of the coffee in an old army cup,
    Why not mention the small friends we've seen
    Always trying to chew armies up?

    Those firm friends, tireless friends,
    Hardly ever neglecting their hugs,
    Their loyal regard never ends,
    How they loved us, those old army bugs.]


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 :
1st Army Group
1 Army Gp
6th Army Group
6 Army Gp
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 SIZE / ARMY SIZED :
informal referent for "either too big or too small"; except by some extraordinary cosmic coincidence, nothing issued by the military will ever fit a normal person. Compare NAVY SIZE; see FOOTWEAR, DRESS, CAP-A-PIE. [v: tailored, bespoke, couture]

ARMY SOUP :
the dependent children of PHILIPPINE SCOUTS; compare BRAT; see GREEN BLOOD, DRAG, OFFICER'S WIFE, LADY, 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 military] [aka: rag, fish wrap, dead tree, funny papers, newsletter, house organ, gazette, tabloid, pauper press, penny dreadful, zine] [nb: when Gaius Julius Caesar was consul of Rome in 59BC, he directed messengers to inscribe the "Daily Actions" of the senate and government onto walls, in the fashion of graffiti, thus publishing the first "newspaper"] [nb: during the 1863 siege of Vicksburg in the American Civil War, local newspapers were printed on the plain side of wallpaper]

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. [nb: "They know what they know, and what they don't know, they don't want to know." by Peter Bowen (1995); "No delusion is greater than the notion that method and industry can make up for lack of mother-wit, either in science or in practical life." by Thomas Henry Huxley (1866); "There is no method but to be very intelligent." by T.S. Eliot (1920); "There's a way to do it better -- find it." by Thomas Alva Edison (1919); "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness is the true method." by Herman Melville (1851); "Chaos often breeds life, when order merely breeds habit." paraphrase of Henry Adams (1907); "There are always different ways of doing things: the most elaborate way is called 'politics', the most attractive way is called 'art', the most economical way is called 'business', the experimental way is called the 'scientific method', and the most forceful way is called 'militarism' ... each will achieve its end, but with what consequences?"; "There's always something to be said against any plan. A good leader is not confused by the variety or possibility of change. He's steady and reassuring. He makes the best of a good plan ... not regretting a better one, not waiting for the perfect one, not changing back and forth." by Donald Hamilton; "A good plan violently executed 'NOW' is better than a perfect plan next week." by George S. Patton Jr (1947); "There is a point at which methods devour themselves." by Frantz Fanon (1952)]

ARNG :
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, PARAMILITARY, RESERVE.

A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE :
see (A) ROCK AND A HARD PLACE.

AR-15 :
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"]

ARPA :
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.

ARPAC :
U.S. ARmy PACific command, properly known as USARPAC; see PACOM.

ARROW :
indigenous characterization of a Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) that's shoulder-fired by an "archer" or "bowman" (ie: missileer).

ARROWHEAD :
a bronze DEVICE worn on a CAMPAIGN ribbon and pendant medal that represents an airborne assault or combat parachute jump during a military operation.

ARRS :
USAF Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service; also known as Air Rescue Service (ARS), both of which disappeared in the 1993 force restructuring. See PJ.

ARS :
U.S. Air Force designation for an Air Refueling Squadron (1992).

ARSENAL :
a place of storage containing military arms and equipment for land or naval service; a magazine. [v: arming chest] Also, a government establishment where military equipment or munitions are manufactured; derived from "house of handwork". See COMBAT LOADED, DUMP, GODOWN, DEPOT, PRE-POS, CACHE, BOMB FARM, TOMB; compare ARMS ROOM, ARMORY.

ARSENAL OF DEMOCRACY :
a repository established for the defense of democratic principles, especially the material support of allies; as made famous in proclamations before wholesale engagement in WWII put an end to American isolation and neutrality. See CLIENT STATE, GARRISON STATE, BUFFER STATE, PUPPET, PROXY WAR, FLAG OF PROTECTION, CONTAINMENT, INTERVENTIONISM, REALPOLITIK; compare ISOLATIONISM. [v: 1941 Lend Lease Act] [nb: "We must be the great arsenal of democracy." by Franklin D. Roosevelt (29 Dec 1940); "We enter parliament in order to supply ourselves, in the arsenal of democracy, with its own weapons. ... If democracy is so stupid as to give us free tickets and salaries for this bear's work, that is its affair. ... We do not come as friends, nor even as neutrals. We come as enemies. As the wolf bursts into the flock, so we come." by Joseph Goebbels (30 April 1928)]

ARSOC :
U.S. Army Special Operations
Command patch
ARSOC
(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 OPERATIONS.

ARTICLE OF FAITH :
any fundamental tenet or conviction; also known as an "article of belief"; compare ACT OF TRUTH, see CREED, CORE VALUES, SUMMUM BONUM, TRUTH. [v: axiom, apriori, precept, dictum]

ARTICLE 15 :
summary disciplinary judgment or NON-JUDICIAL PUNISHMENT of a soldier by his immediate commander, which may result in fines [mulct], extra duty (ADY), or confinement to quarters (QTRS) or 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 efficiency report (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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
[v: UCMJ Punitive Articles]

ARTICLE 32 :
mandatory investigation under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) into the validity of the charges to be brought against a suspected servicemember; this formal inquiry is the military equivalent of the civilian grand jury investigation, except that the accused is present with his legal representation, and the defense may cross-examine the prosecution witnesses. This hearing is conducted to discover the truth of a circumstance, and may conclude with no charges being preferred. See DUE DILIGENCE, BOARD OF INQUIRY.

ARTIFICIAL HORIZON :
an instrument that indicates the pitch of a banking aircraft with respect to the horizon; also called "flight indicator" or "gyro horizon". Also, the bubble in a sextant or octant for aerial use. Also, a level, as a surface of mercury, used in determining the altitude of stars.

ARTIFICIAL LANGUAGE :
(eg: Interlingua, Esperanto, Ido, etc) see LINGUA FRANCA, PIDGIN, BAMBOO ENGLISH, GOOKANESE, DOUBLE DUTCH, POLYGLOT, CREOLE, MONKEY VOICES, VERNACULAR, TALK THE TALK, MIL-SPEAK.

ARTIFICIAL LIMB :
see WHOLE MAN, PHANTOM LIMB, REFERRED PAIN, CRUTCH, BROKEN-WING SYNDROME. [nb: WD-40 is an effective lubricant for hinged prosthetic limbs]

ARTILLERIST :
see ARTILLERYMAN. [nb: Vietnamese term: Phao Thu (cannoneer)]

ARTILLERY :
see ARTY.

ARTILLERY FAN :
the scope and range of coverage by any artillery gun or integrated unit; being the area where artillery fire support is available.

ARTILLERYMAN :
an artillerist, cannoneer, REDLEG, CANNON-COCKER, lanyard-puller, FAG, TUBE MONKEY, gun bunny, DAGBY, gun jockey, BULLET HEAD, or blast-ass; see FO, ARTY, CREW-SERVED WEAPONS.

ARTY :
crossed-cannons branch insignia for
U.S. Army field artillery crossed-cannons branch
insignia for U.S. Army field artillery
Field Artillery
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 by supporting ground elements and denying sanctuary to enemy forces. See AAA, AIMING STAKES, AIMPOINT, ARA, BARBETTE, BARREL SLEEVE, BASE PIECE, BARRAGE, BATTERY/BTY, BEEHIVE, BIG STUFF, BORE, BORESIGHT, BREECH, BREECHBLOCK, BULL'S-EYE, CAISSON, CEP, CHASSIS, CHOKE POINT, CIRCULAR ERROR, CLEARING CHARGE, CREW-SERVED WEAPONS, CONCRETE BATTLESHIP, COUNTERBATTERY FIRE, DANGER CLOSE, DEFLECTION, DEVIATION, DELIVERY ERROR, DIME-NICKEL, DISPERSION ERROR, DRUMFIRE, DUD, DUFFEL BAG, ELEVATION, EMPLACEMENT, FA, FAASV, FDC, FFE, FIREBALLING, FIRECRACKER, FIRE FINDER, FIRE MISSION, FIREPOWER, FLAREBACK, FLASK, FO, FOUL BORE, 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, KILL RING, 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, POLISHING THE CANNONBALL, PREP, PROJOS, PROLONGE, PROXIMITY FUZE, RECOIL, REGISTRATION, SALVO, SCREEN, SHELL, SHELLFIRE, SHORT SHOT, SHOT IN, SHOT OUT, SIEGE ENGINE, SMOOTHBORE, SP, SPONSON, STANDARD DEVIATION, STANDARD ERROR, STAND FAST, TOWED, TOT, TRACK, TRAIL, TRAIN, TRAJECTORY, TRANSOM, TRAVERSE, TRUNNION, TUBE, UNLIMBER, VOLLEY, VT, WHIZ BANG, WILD SHOT, ZERO, ZONE AND SWEEP; compare MORTAR, SMOOTHBORE, UP-GUN, REDLEG REFORMATORY. [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)]

ARV :
Armored Recovery Vehicle, including M-88 Light ARV, M-578 Heavy ARV, M-32 ARV; see VTR, LOW BOY.

ARVN :
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]

AS :
U.S. Air Force designation for an Attack Squadron. Also, U.S. Air Force designation for an Airlift Squadron (1992).

ASA :
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. [v: acetaminophen / paracetamol (para-acetamidophenol)]

ASAP :
(ay-sap or ay-ess-ay-pee) 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, BARREL-ASS, HAUL-ASS, JUICE, CHOP CHOP, RIKI TIK; see TOCSIN, KLAXON. [v: tout de suite (French: at once, immediately)] [v: amain]

ASAS :
(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.

ASAT :
Anti-SATellite, being technology designed and weapons directed against enemy SATELLITEs; also called DAZZLE or "dazzling"; see DSP, SBIRS, STAR WARS.

ASCOM :
Army Service COMmand; nicknamed "Ashcan City".

ASDIC :
(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.

ASEAN :
(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.

ASGP :
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 routine resupply to forward areas, taking hot CHOW or mail out to the field, evacuating (non-emergency) 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. Compare BLUE BALL; 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, DELAWARE.

ASHC :
Assault Support Helicopter Company.

ASHCAN :
naval slang for a cylindrical depth charge; compare TEARDROP, 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!".

ASI :
Additional Skill Identifier, being a prefix or suffix appended to an individual's military occupational specialty (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, BILLET, BERTH.

ASM :
Air-to-Surface MISSILE, also known as "air-to-ground missile" (AGM).

A SNAKE IN THE GRASS :
see SNAKE IN THE GRASS.

ASOC :
Air Support Operations Center; see AOC, ADOC, FOC, TAOC, OPN.

ASP :
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; a formula (ie: the wingspan divided by the chord) that helps to determine the most efficient configuration for the best application of airfoil design to specific purposes; an airplane with shorter wings (short-aspect ratio) maneuvers better since it allows a higher roll rate with stronger wings, while an airplane with longer wings (high-aspect ratio) soars and glides better. See CANARD, ANGLE OF INCIDENCE, ALPHA / ANGLE OF ATTACK.

ASPHALT COMPASS :
an allusion to aerial orientation by distinctive topographic features and ground references (highway network) whenever a pilot is confused about his proper direction or heading, as used since the earliest days of flight; also known as "iron compass" (railroad network). See DEAD-RECKONING, DOUBLE DRIFT, LEEWAY, AIMPOINT, HEADING, SWAG, SEAT OF THE PANTS. [v: vertigo]

ASPIRIN :
see ASA, APC, NSAID; compare CANDY, BISCUIT, RANGER CANDY, CHEERIOS. [v: acetaminophen / paracetamol (para-acetamidophenol)]

AS PLEASED AS PUNCH :
see (AS) PLEASED AS PUNCH.

ASR :
abbreviation for Alternate Supply Route during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).

ASRAAM :
Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AIM-132), being the European-built successor to the SIDEWINDER.

ASSAIL :
to attack vigorously or violently and repeatedly; being beset by a relentless assault.

ASSASSINATE / ASSASSINATION :
to suddenly kill a prominent person in a secretive or treacherous manner; also called "executive action"; see DECAPITATION, HEADHUNTING, COUP D'ETAT, WET WORK, TWEP, STROLLER, KILLER KANE, SHADOW WARRIOR, COUNTERINTELLIGENCE, YOUR WISH IS MY COMMAND, SNIPER'S TRIANGLE, BEAUTY MARK, DOUBLE TAP, BULL'S-EYE, FRAGGING, ZIP GUN, DEER GUN, LIBERATOR.

ASSASSIN BUG :
the common name for members of a large family of medium-sized insects, generally colored brownish to black, with raptorial front legs that are used for grasping prey, and heads that are elongate and narrow compared to the thorax; the majority of species, found on foliage, are predaceous on other insects, but a few are bloodsucking, occasionally enter houses, and will bite humans, which bite (eg: "wheel bug" / arilus cristatus) can be painful and long lasting. The "masked hunter" (reduvius personatus) preys on bedbugs and other insects, biting humans around the mouth ... hence its nickname: "kissing bug". Some other species are parasitic or are vectors for fatal contagions (eg: Chagas' disease). Compare DOODLEBUG; see COOTIE, GRAYBACK, CRAB, BEDBUG, COMFORT STATION. [cf: mantis (praying mantis)]

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 their mission.

ASSAULT BOAT :
a beach-landing craft used to transport troops; also called "storm boat". See LANDING CRAFT, GATOR-FREIGHTER.

ASSAULT COURSE :
see OBSTACLE COURSE.

ASS-CHEWING :
see CHEW-OUT.

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 GROUND.

ASS HAIR :
see HAIRSBREADTH.

ASSHOLE :
see STINK EYE, SHITHOLE, A-OK, ORIFICE, DUD, SHIT MAGNET, TURD, DOUCHE BAG, FIELD REJECT, ASSHOLE BUDDY, ASSHOLES 'n' ELBOWS, OPINION; compare SLOP CHUTE, GUMP STUMP. Also, disparaging slang for the MEATBALL symbol of Imperial Japan during WWII; variously extended to "burning asshole", "fiery asshole", "flaming asshole", "shining asshole", "radiant-" or "radiating asshole" (with the latter pertaining to the wartime flag); see NIP, JAPE, BAD GUYS.

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; also known as "butt buddy", "butt hole buddy", or "bunghole buddy" ... this overtly homosexual allusion is so obvious precisely because it is not sexual (re: "smile when you say that"). 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 Jonathan]

ASSHOLE FACTORY :
disparaging slang for any college or university that does not include a Reserve Officer's Training Corps (ROTC) program in its curriculum, especially Ivy League institutions, which schools are devoted to promoting the inflated self-esteem of their pretentious graduates; while these "party schools" are practically indistinguishable in their efforts to overextend the adolescence of their precocious charges, some claim the distinction of superior scholarship, or of religious and social objection to military service while accepting their securely protected status. Compare TRADE SCHOOL; see PROFESSOR, WONK, WIZARD, RING-KNOCKER, BOY SCOUT, BOY'S CLUB.

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, DUTY ROSTER. [v: apocrine, eccrine; cf: endocrine, exocrine]

ASSIMILATION :
in the sociological parlance of human ecology and human geography, a term synonymous with 'acculturation', which describes the process whereby an outside element or subordinate faction is indistinguishably integrated into the dominant group or host society; this process has been contrasted with 'accommodation' (whereby the subordinate group simply conforms to the expectations of the dominant group), 'competition' (wherein it sets up its own values in opposition to the mainstream), and 'exclusion' or 'extermination' (which sees no need for or room for interaction between the subordinate and dominant groups). Assimilation implies that acceptance is transformed by internalization into an extension of the values of the unanimous culture. See DESEGREGATION, MIL-SPEC, GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK, PARTY LINE, THE ARMY WAY, GREEN BLOOD. [v: melting pot; cf: multiculturalism]

ASSN :
Armed Services Service Number, or Armed Services Security Number. See SERVICE NUMBER, SSN. Social Security Number

ASSUME :
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 (takeover). 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!

AST :
Aviation Survival Technician; designation for a U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmer; to enhance rescue and recovery modalities, the USCG developed the "rescue swimmer" program in the post-VN era, but, unlike USAF PJs and other search and rescue team members (eg: TRAP, RIT), these survival tech's are not PARACHUTE or SCUBA qualified. See COASTIES, HOOLIGAN NAVY, MUD DUCK, BROWN WATER SAILOR, SAR, CSAR, SWIMMER, DIVER.

ASTRO :
tradename of the model #17 "Astronaut Special" by RANDALL MADE KNIVES; astronaut Gordon Cooper collaborated with W.D. "Bo" Randall on modifying the #15 Airman into the stainless steel #17 Astro with removable tan Micarta grip plates over the full-length slotted tang; in addition to land and sea survival, this knife had to be strong enough to pry open the space capsule's escape hatch in case of an accident. Randall donated these knives to the Mercury and Gemini astronauts as a patriotic gesture, however NASA ordered additional knives for new projects, and historic specimens of the RMK #17 Astro are displayed in the Smithsonian Institution. Compare ASTRONAUT SURVIVAL KNIFE, PILOT'S SURVIVAL KNIFE; see SURVIVAL KNIFE, KNIFE. [nb: after being submerged for 38 years, the RMK #17 Astro issued to astronaut Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom was recovered in serviceable condition when the "Liberty Bell 7" space capsule that sank in 1961 was retrieved from a depth of 15,000ft in 1999 ... this historic knife was donated to the Smithsonian Institution]

ASTRONAUT SURVIVAL KNIFE / ASTRONAUT'S SURVIVAL KNIFE :
commemorative Astronaut
Survival Knife produced in 1983 by W.R. Case and Sons to
celebrate the 25th anniversary of NASA
1983 commemorative NASA knife
because an orbiting space capsule might not land where it was intended, NASA included a compact machete in the astronaut's survival kit for the Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab programs; this 17" stainless steel knife, made from 1965 to 1972 by the W.R. Case and Sons Cutlery Company, known as the "M-1 Astronaut Survival Knife" or "MC-1 NASA Knife", featuring a beveled edge, upswept tip, straight double-sawtoothed blade back, textured white polypropylene grips, and a protruding slip-stop pry that's drilled to accept a lanyard. An historic specimen of the Astronaut Survival Knife is displayed in the Smithsonian Institution, but a commemorative version, set in a shadowbox against a background showing the Molly Brown capsule (John Young and Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom on 23 March 1965) orbiting in space, was reproduced in 1983 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of NASA. Compare ASTRO, SURVIVAL KNIFE; see MACHETE, BOLO, KNIFE.

ASU :
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.

ASVAB :
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, BILLET, BERTH.

ASW :
folding double-barreled
Aircrew Survival Weapon or M-6 Scout
Aircrew Survival Weapon
(M-6 Scout)
Anti-Submarine Warfare, that has been informally reinterpreted as "Awfully Slow Warfare"; see ASHCAN, HEDGEHOG, MOUSETRAP, MAD, DASH, CAPTOR, ORION, LIGHTNING, SEA KING, SEA SPRITE, SUBCHASER, Q-SHIP. 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.

AS WELL BE HANGED FOR A SHEEP AS A LAMB :
a proverbial expression meaning that one should not stop at half measures; in weighing the relative liabilities and rewards of a calculated risk, when opting for either the major or minor benefit, it's the better choice to go large (instead of small) if the consequences are the same. Such relativity ("It's better to be hanged for a sheep as a lamb.") is also represented as: "In for a penny, in for a pound.", wherein once the matter is undertaken, it must be carried through, and there can be no drawing back from whatever obstacles or difficulties may arise.

ASYLUM :
see RETREAT, DEFECT; compare HIDE, BOLT HOLE, SAFE HOUSE, BOMB SHELTER. [nb: according to international law, an 'asylum' is internal or interior, and may be only temporary, but a 'refuge' is external or exterior, and is permanent]

ASYLUM SEEKER :
see REFUGEE.

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, SOFT REVOLUTION, SPECIAL OPERATIONS. [v: David and Goliath]

ASYMMETRIC WARFARE GROUP :
Asymmetric Warfare Group patch
AWG
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 OPERATIONS.

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, COUNTERMAND.

AT :
Anti-Tank; see HEAT, APHE, API, SLAP, SABOT, LAW, RR, SMAW, RPG, TOW, DRAGON'S TEETH. [v: panzerfaust] Also, abbreviation for ANTI-TERRORISM.

ATA :
Actual Time of Arrival; compare ATD, ETA.

ATACMS :
(attack-ums) Army TACtical Missile System.

AT ALL COSTS :
see DO OR DIE.

ATC :
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, DEADHEAD.

ATCA :
Advanced Tanker Cargo Aircraft; modified version of C-17A GLOBEMASTER transport, which is itself able to be refueled during flight. See TANKER, BIRD.

ATD :
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 PIPE DOWN, THE BIBLE, ATTENTION, PARADE REST.

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.

ATF :
Amphibious Task Force; see ADVANCE FORCE; compare MAGTF.

ATFU :
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, MIL-SPEAK.

ATFV :
Australian Task Force Vietnam, also called "ATFG", being a detachment of the Australian Defence Forces (ADF); see AATTV, ASAS, ANZAC, KANZUS, FWF.

ATGM :
Anti-Tank Guided Missile; see TOW, DRAGON, LOSAT, JAVELIN, CAAT.

ATHWART :
from side to side, across, crosswise; not aligned or adjacent; see BEAM, PITCH, YAW, ROLL, HEAVE, CAREEN, CRAB. Also, awry, perverse, contrary; see GONE SOUTH, BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK.

ATIS :
Automated [Air] Traffic Information System, being a prerecorded flight information report that an airport posts (and updates hourly) to a radio and/or telephone network for the convenience of airmen, including the current weather conditions (temperature, dew point, barometric reading, winds, cloud levels), active runways, and alert notices.

ATK :
abbreviation for ATtacK (qv).

ATLAS :
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; "Just as politics exists to teach geography, so combat exists to teach topography."]

ATO :
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.

ATRC :
Air Traffic Regulation Center; see ATC, ADIZ, SCOPE DOPE.

ATROCITY :
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."]

ATS :
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.

ATSC :
Army Training Support Center.

AT SIXES AND SEVENS :
see (AT) SIXES AND SEVENS.

ATTABOY :
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, GLORY PIE, A-1, KICK ASS, TOUGH LOVE, TOP DOG, YOUNG LIONS, BROWN NOSER, GONG, GREEN WEENIE, STREAMER, BRAGGING RIGHTS, POWER WALL. [v: fanfaronade]

ATTACHE / ATTACHÉ :
a diplomatic official having a technical specialization or a professional qualification (eg: commerce, culture, labor, defense, etc) who's assigned to an embassy or legation in a foreign country; as derived from "attached". See USDAO, USMILAT, L&L, LO.

ATTACK :
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.

ATTAGIRL :
the female equivalent of ATTABOY (qv).

ATTENTION :
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. Also, the condition of being mentally alert and physically poised; being an attitude of awareness and readiness; to notice, observe, or overwatch; see LO AND BEHOLD. [nb: often mocked as "I'm too poor to pay attention!"]

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, DOGFIGHT, AEROBATICS. 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, KICK ASS, FANG, NASTY-GRAM, DRUMHEAD, RIOT ACT, GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK, PAIN. [cf: kangaroo court, honor court, grievance committee, vigilance committee, tribunal, sanhedrim]

ATV :
abbreviation for All Terrain Vehicle; also represented as eXtreme Terrain Vehicle (XTV); see LSV, FAV, MULE, M-ATV, GAMMA GOAT; compare OSV, IRON DOG.

AUGER-IN :
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: the distinction between a head-first AUGER-IN (or NOSEDIVE) and a belly-flopping PANCAKE is less about aircraft orientation than the potential survivability of passengers and crew] [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"]

AUGMENTEE :
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, SAND CRAB, BELTWAY BANDIT, BELTWAY CLERK, HIRED GUN, WAR TOURIST, DAC, GREEN BADGER, DOUBLE-DIP, RELATIVE RANK; compare IA. [nb: this reference originally designated members of the Philippine Army who served under the U.S. Army (issued SERVICE NUMBERs in the range of 90-99million) from the end of the SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR until the end of WWII]

AUS :
U.S. Army logo
U.S. Army
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"] [cf: Army of the Confederate States of America (ACSA) was informally known as the 'Confederate Army']

AUSSIE :
Commonwealth of Australia
flag
Australia
(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]

AUTODIN :
Automatic Digital Network.

AUTO-DOG :
Navy slang for the soft serve ice cream that's dispensed from a refrigerated container in a CANTEEN or GALLEY; see DOG.

AUTOMOBILE :
a passenger vehicle powered by an internal-combustion engine (gasoline or diesel) that's typically mounted on a four-wheeled chassis, and intended for operation on improved road surfaces; a governmental conveyance reserved for high ranking officers and officials. See RHIP, BODYGUARD, MOTOR POOL, JOHN WAYNE DRIVING SCHOOL, POV. [nb: first steam-driven car 1789, first internal-combustion car 1885, first gas-powered car in America 1892; cf: Wankel rotary engine] [nb: unlike other military vehicles, automobiles have access and operating keys ... just like civilian models]

AUTO-ROTATE :
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" or "spin-in". Similar to "engine breaking" a vehicle on a decline, it's a nonaerodynamic version of the fixed-wing "glide path" (VOLPLANE) by horizontal prop free rotation. Compare AUGER-IN; see CHOPPER.

AUTOSEVOCOM :
Automatic Secure Voice Communications.

AUTOTOMY :
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 MAIM, MUTILATE, SUICIDE SQUAD, JUDAS GOAT, RAT RACE, SNOWBALL, DOG'S CHANCE, CANNON FODDER, WASTED, PYRRHIC VICTORY, BITTER END, CAT'S-PAW, BELL THE CAT, LAST STAND, DECOY, DECEPTION. [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]

AUTOVON :
AUTOmatic VOice Network; see TELEPHONE.

AUV :
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]

AVENGER :
a Surface-to-Air MISSILE, which superseded RED EYE.

AVENUE :
see ROAD.

AVF :
All Volunteer Force; see VOLUNTEER, TOTAL FORCE, VOLAR, MUSTER, RA, CALL TO THE COLORS, ENLIST, 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"]

AVG :
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, ON A WING AND A PRAYER, POINTIE TALKIE, BLOOD CHIT. [v: blood chit]

AVGAS :
(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.

AVIATION :
abbreviated AVN; see BIRD, CHOPPER. [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon]

AVIATOR :
see PILOT, FLY-BOY, AIRDALE, BIRDMAN, WING MAN, BARNSTORMER, IP, AC, FUF, JET JOCKEY, FAG, PETER PILOT, PROP JOCKEY, WOBBLY, WOP, ROTOR HEAD, ACE, CHOCOLATE BOMBARDIER, GOOD STICK.

AVIONICS :
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.

AVITRUC :
the tactical Chase YC-122, a twin-engined turboprop, light transport aircraft that was developed as a STOL prototype in the immediate post-WWII era from the aluminum-skinned XCG-18 30-passenger GLIDER; this was the first airplane specifically designed for short take-off and landing environments.

AVLB :
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.

AVN :
abbreviation for AViatioN. [nb: first successful flight of prop-driven fixed-wing airplane by Orville and Wilbur Wright (1903); first successful flight of rotary winged aircraft by Igor Sikorsky (1909); first successful flight of multimotored aircraft by Igor Sikorsky (1913); first successful flight across the Atlantic Ocean was made by Albert Cushing Read in a Glenn Curtiss seaplane NC-4 (1919); first successful jet-powered flight by Ernst Heinkel HE-178 (1939); although three Douglas "World Cruiser" airplanes (sponsored by the US Army Air Corps) flew around the world in 175 days (1924) by landing numerous times, the first non-stop circumnavigation orbit was made by satellite (1957), then by the Rutan "Voyager" airplane (1986); first supersonic (Mach 1.06) flight by Chuck Yeager in Bell X-1 "Glamorous Glennis" that was launched from B-29 bomber at 29,000 foot altitude (1947); first successful carbon-fiber jet wing flight by Yves Rossy/Rossi (2004)] [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon]

AW :
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), for BURST fire (multiple shots for each trigger pull), and for "fully-automatic" (continuous shooting for each trigger pull).

AWACS :
(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.

A WALK IN THE PARK :
see (A) WALK IN THE PARK.

AWARD :
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.

AWOL :
(a-woll) Absent WithOut Leave; also called FRENCH LEAVE, being absent from one's assigned DUTY station without permission, as denoted by Article 86 of the UCMJ. A charge more serious and difficult to prove than "Unauthorized Absence" (UA), and distinguished from desertion (Art 85 UCMJ) 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, one-suiter, single-suiter, two-suiter, three-suiter, portmanteau, Gladstone bag, traveling case, garment bag, Val-Pack, luggage; v: "scrip" wayfarer's bag or wallet; "viaticum" traveler's money and necessities]

AW-SHIT :
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.

AYE / AYE AYE :
in NavSpeak (including Marines), a traditional response meaning 'yes' or AFFIRMATIVE, as in "Aye aye, sir!" when verbally acknowledging an official order or directive.

AZIMUTH :
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, MGRS, UTM, GPS, INS, LORAN, DEAD-RECKONING, SLANT DISTANCE, HEADING. [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]




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