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M I L T E R M S : fingerspelled letter D semaphor letter D signal flag letter D D : DELTA

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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D :
an aircraft prefix under the Joint Service Designation System that represents 'drone'.

DA :
Department of the Army; see USA, AUS. Also, Defense Attaché, being the senior military officer assigned to an American embassy in a foreign country, superior to the Army attaché, Navy attaché, and Air Force attaché; responsible for liaison activities with local military authorities, keeping informed on the order of battle for the host country, and any other diplomatic affairs; see USDAO, USMILAT, L&L, LO. Also, abbreviation for Direct Action in SPECIAL FORCES and SPECIAL OPERATIONS; see DOOR KICKING, SLAM, SPIN DOWN, PRU, UW, FID, PSYOPS, CA, SF, SOF.

Department of the Army Civilian, who may be a foreign national (FN) employed for language proficiency in translation, interpretation, or propaganda.

Oliver 'Daddy' Warbucks of
the Little Orphan Annie series
Daddy Warbucks
Oliver 'Daddy' Warbucks in the "Little Orphan Annie" cartoon strip, being a paradigm of the WAR PROFITEER, having made his money as a munitions dealer in the Great War (WWI) acted as a philanthropic plutocrat. The "Daddy Warbucks" character, as drawn by Harold Gray since 27 September 1924, represented unbridled capitalism, appropriate philanthropy, and social Darwinism in that he had become wealthy despite his humble background, and successful despite his lack of formal education; unlike other caricatures of WAR PROFITEERs, especially those depicted by communists and fascists, "Daddy Warbucks" was neither avaricious and rapacious nor unscrupulous and anti-American. See GSA, GAO, MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, BELTWAY BANDIT, SAND CRAB, PORK BARREL, YANKEE, SLICKY BOY, CHEAP CHARLIE, KHAKI MAFIA, CARPETBAGGERS, SCROUNGE, MIDNIGHT REQUISITION.

abbreviation for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", being a recruitment policy of the All Volunteer Force (AVF), that was instituted in 1993 and repealed in 2011, which permitted the enlistment and service of homosexuals, without abrogating the regulations on sexual harassment nor the UCMJ articles on sexual misconduct (eg: sodomy, rape, public displays of affection). See FAG, INVERT, PREEVERT, CAMP, GLORY HOLE, FIRING LINE, CIRCLE JERK, CANDY-ASS, POGUE, POGY BAIT, SPUNK, PECKER TRACKS.

(dag-bee) slang acronym meaning "Dumb Assed Gun Bunny", being an artillerist or ARTILLERYMAN (qv). [nb: Vietnamese term: Phao Thu (cannoneer)]

also known as "at daggers' points"; see AT SWORDS' POINTS, compare CROSS SWORDS, SABER-RATTLING.

joint USN/USMC landing force assaults on coastal enemy redoubts and sanctuaries, being brief SEARCH AND DESTROY INCURSIONs as part of MARKET TIME from 1965.

see DUTY ROSTER, FATIGUE, SENTRY, GUARD, WATCH, MORNING REPORT, OFFICER'S CALL, SICK CALL, LOG, JOURNAL, WAR DIARY. [der: Latin daily (diurnalis), French day (jour)] [v: quotidian, diurnal (daily, everyday), matutinal]

twelve standard Physical Training (PT) exercises performed each day in a PT formation by everyone not on PROFILE or SICK CALL. Exercise has evolved with the modern military, changing the emphasis from strength to endurance, by replacing exertion with kinetics, and isotonics with aerobics (cf: jazzercise, dancercise). Physical fitness training is sometimes demotically expressed as "kalleyhoops" or "kalleyhooptics" for calisthenics. The DAILY DOZEN series of exercises were originally devised by Walter C. Camp for the U.S. Navy after WWI. See EXERCISE.

a raised platform, as derived from "discus"; see ROSTRUM.

a sequence of explosives designed to fire in series; used most often to create or expose a defense. Also, any series of interconnected things or events, such as a garland of flowers or a sex orgy. [v: séance à trois ("session of three"), ménage à trois ("household of three")]

indirect or aerial munitions which detonate prior to impact, exploding above ground level, and which may also be used for clearing an LZ; was later called "Blue Lady II" during the second GULF WAR. See LZ CUT, PROXIMITY FUZE, VT.

USAF C-47 twin-engine, piston-driven, fixed-wing light transport based on the Douglas DC-3, which revolutionized air travel in the late 1930s; also called GOONEY BIRD, Night Train, Sky Train, and Vomit Comet. The C-47 flew AIRDROP, medical evacuation, and transport-type missions in the VIETNAM WAR. It also served as a FLARESHIP, and was modified into the AC-47 GUNSHIP. See SPOOKY, PUFF, PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON, DRAGON, DRAGON SHIP, JOLLY GREEN GIANT, SMOKY BEAR, LIGHTNING BUG, DIRTY THIRTY, SACRED COW. [nb: 'DC-#" represents Douglas Commercial]

Defense Against Methods of Entry, methods and techniques practiced by MI and CIC agents.

an abridged mission schedule posted by Operations (S-/G-/J-3) giving DTG, AO, and CODENAME of activities; allusion is probably due to the limited number of missions that can be supported at any particular time without interference (ie: make music and serve refreshments while X-number dance with the enemy on the ballroom floor). See WARNING ORDER, FRAG ORDER, OPLAN, COURSE OF ACTION, CAPABILITY, STAND-TO.

literary allusion to a procession of the condemned being led to their grave by a skeleton; see DEATH MARCH. Also, the grotesque antics exhibited by someone in the flexions and spasms of terminal suffocation (anoxia) due to lynching; see ROOM TO SWING A CAT, STRANGE FRUIT, CHRISTMAS TREE, LYNCH, GALLOWS, TWIST IN THE WIND, LET THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG.


11th Armored Cavalry Regiment
11th ACR
nickname for the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR), as derived from the "rearing horse" design of its shoulder PATCH; also called "Frightened Pony" and SCARED HORSE. See DARK HORSE.

a civilian laborer drafted by the Vietnamese to serve as a porter of military materiel, or as a LITTER-BEARER for the wounded; although Asian peasants have traditionally used DUMMY STICK yokes to transport goods, the DAN CONG porters used reinforced bicycles to push loads averaging 600# over rough terrain on concealed narrow trails (eg: 1954 Dien Bien Phu). The corps of DAN CONG porters worked for the VC/NVA/PAVN, and included female (aka: LONGHAIR) laborers. In China, a casual or piecework porter is called a "bon-bon man". Compare CHIGGIE BEAR, COOLIE; see LITTER. [nb: according to the international LAWS OF WAR, a civilian compelled to act as a military porter by transporting weapons or munitions and materiel becomes a bona-fide combatant, subject to treatment as a de-facto soldier, and forfeits the protection of civilian noncombatant status; international law includes rules on the treatment of prisoners of war, but only extends protection to combatants, excluding any civilians who engage in hostilities, and those unconventional forces that do not observe restrictions for combatants]

the expression used in a message when calling for supporting fire from mortar, artillery, naval gunfire, and tactical air delivered munitions if the dispersion pattern or probable error may impact friendly forces as well as the enemy; the close proximity distance to a target is determined by the weapon and munition fired. See AIMPOINT, DELIVERY ERROR, CEP, DISPERSION ERROR, HORIZONTAL ERROR, ZONE OF FIRE, CAS, TAC-AIR, AIR STRIKE, FCSL, MLR, FLOT, FEBA, FRONT LINE, LINE OF BATTLE.

an operative or intelligence datum ("bait") used to entice or entrap the opposition, such as a "honey pot" or "honey trap". See CAMPAIGN WIFE, PROVOCATEUR, DECOY, THROW-AWAY, LEGEND, NOC, CLEAN, LIFTED SKIRT, FLAME-BAIT, TRADECRAFT. [v: WWII deception Operation Mincemeat, "the man who never was"]




Defense Attaché Office, convenient shortening of USDAO (qv); formerly known as the Office of the Defense Attaché (ODA) before the Vietnam-era. See USMILAT, L&L, LO, DA, DIP CO.

a Department of the Army Pamphlet, or DA Pam. Also, a stylized, ritualized manner of shaking hands that was started by African-American troops, which is sometimes called "hand-jive" or "handshake dance"; see HAND SIGN; compare WIGWAG, DITTY-BOP. [nb: the slapping of hands above the head in celebration, called "high five", is falsely credited to Derek Smith, a 1979 University of Louisville basketball player; it actually derives from the ritualized "give me five" DAP that Black Power "brothers" would exchange when greeting in Vietnam from 1965 onward, including hand slides, thumb pivots, knuckle bumps, "high five" and "low five" slaps, often so elaborately choreographed that it formed a brief dance, then a strutting departure] [cf: "chest bump", being a short-lived fad between the Vietnam-era and the Gulf-era where MACHO males expressed their solidarity and camaraderie by jumping at each other so as to slam their chests together ... requiring a modicum of coordination and strength, this theatrical gesture probably dissipated with the occurrence of 'nose bumps' and the onset of potbellies; nb: not to be confused with the MACHO contest commonly known as "Texas Chest Slapping", wherein two men (typically drunk) stand facing within arm's length of one another, alternately exchanging open-handed slaps to each other's chest in a DUEL to determine who will forfeit primacy (alpha male) by being made to stagger or fall from his position]

a small pill taken periodically by U.S. troops, ostensibly to prevent MALARIA or JUNGLE ROT, but actually to prevent leprosy; compare HORSE PILL, "acedapsone" at MALARIA. [cf: lazaretto]

Designated Area of Recovery, or Designated Area for Recovery, being a specified geographical location from which surveillance, reconnaissance, or other special operations teams may be extracted (EXFIL) by air, boat, or other means as a result of enemy contact or mission failure. Designated during the planning phase of an operation as part of the Escape and Evasion (E&E) protocol, and coordinated with rescue and personnel recovery teams prior to insertion (INFIL). Such a pre-designated position for assembly or a fallback designation was formerly known as a RALLY POINT or rendezvous (RV).

possessed of sufficient courage or audacity; to encounter defiantly; bold enough to venture an attempt or to hazard a try; to challenge danger or provoke risk; see DERRING-DO, GUTS, SPUNK, MOXIE, ONIONS, RISKY-SHIFT EFFECT. [v: swashbuckler, swasher, daredevil]

bold or audacious, dauntless or venturesome, fearless or intrepid, brave or courageous; see DERRING-DO.


the reflex adaptation of the human eye to dim light, which consists of the dilatation of the pupil, together with a shift that increases the number of functioning rods (gray scale) while decreasing the number of functioning cones (color scale), being an accommodation that normally takes about twenty minutes so as to achieve optimal night vision ... such a dark-adapted condition (Purkinje effect) can be instantaneously lost by any sudden flash of intense illumination. See NVD, NVG, MNVD, ENVIS, I2, VIPER, NOD, GREEN-EYE, STARLIGHT. [cf: light adaptation; night blindness (nyctalopia)]

a poetic allusion to an alien battleground that seems to have originated with an AmerIndian attempt to discourage pioneers from settling wilderness Kentucky, wherein Dragging Canoe, a Cherokee chief, advertised the territory in 1775 to the Transylvania Land Company as a bloody ground that is dark and would be hard to settle, which was a warning about contending tribal claims. [nb: although this phrase refers to Kentucky, the word itself probably derives from Iroquoian 'meadow land' ("kentake"), but another etymology alleges its derivation from Wyandot 'land of tomorrow' ("ken-ta-teh")] [nb: "Sons of the Dark and Bloody Ground, Ye must not slumber there, ... Your own proud land's heroic soil Shall be your fitter grave" by Theodore O'Hara in The Bivouac of the Dead (1847)]

any unknown or unsuspected entity that performs unexpectedly well or is surprisingly successful, as inexperienced troops winning a victory; also cited as "dark-horse". Compare STALKING HORSE, TROJAN HORSE, CAT'S-PAW.

a lantern having an opening with a shutter that can be slid across the opening to obscure the light; a lamp with a variable shade for controlling the illumination; compare ALDIS LAMP.

a series of overlay or underground networks contained within the public internet that require specific configurations or authorizations so as to access the prohibited information or illicit exchanges readily solicited; electronic payment for the CONTRABAND entailed by this "black economy" is transacted by "bitcoin" or credit card. The DEEP WEB, which has legitimate covert applications, differs contextually from the DARK WEB, which is a similar network arranged for illegal transactions; by analogy to an iceberg, it's estimated that together these underground databases constitute resources five times larger than the standard "clear net" surface databases. [nb: surveys postulate that the most frequent DARK WEB offerings include: pornography, animal battles, drugs, gambling, weapons, mercenary or terrorist recruitment, and (allegedly) hacking, counterfeiting, or assassination services ... almost all of the latter seem to be hoaxes or scams, phishing or other cybercrimes]

abbreviation for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, being an agency of the Department of Defense (DOD) responsible for the research and development of new technologies for military and national security applications. Established in February 1958 in response to the Soviet launching of the Sputnik satellite, it revived the WWI National Research Council and the WWII Office of Scientific Research and Development, was originally named ARPA, was renamed DARPA in 1972, reverting to ARPA in 1993, and again reverting to DARPA on 11 March 1996. It was responsible for establishing the ARPANET, which developed into the InterNet, as well as engendering the Berkeley version of Unix (BSD) operating system and the TCP/IP messaging protocol. DARPA is responsible for transformative innovation beyond any proposed doctrinal requirement or anticipated military need; thus the Twentieth century inventions of the airplane, tank, jet engine, RADAR, helicopter, electronic computer, and atomic energy would be augmented by hypertext (NLS), hypermedia (Aspen Movie Media), BURST communication, sensor detection, stealth technology, global positioning system (GPS), and unmanned systems. Other DARPA programs have included Project Defender (defense against ballistic missiles), Project Vela (nuclear test detection), and Project Agile (counterinsurgency R&D). DARPA continues to work on STAND-OFF weapons, high-energy LASER technology, space-based surveillance, automatic target recognition, integrated circuit and submicron electronic research, artificial intelligence (AI), and other behavioral or material science projects. DARPA comprises eight program offices, including the Advanced Technology Office, Defense Sciences Office, Tactical Technology Office, Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems, Information Processing Technology Office, Information Exploitation Office, Microsystems Technology Office, and Special Projects Office. Although some programs are considered too radical (eg: "Combat Zones That See"), most of these technologies have civilian applications (eg: NVG used to aid night blindness) resulting in greater efficiency and improved lifestyle. See SOTA, PEACE DIVIDEND. [nb: adaptations or extensions of technological invention have traditionally passed through three phases: gadget creation, improved accommodation, and streamlined production; or, in other words, from the simple to the complex and on to the simplified] [nb: "Engines of war have long since reached their limits, and I see no further hope of any improvement in the art." by Frontinus (AD90); "Everything that can be invented has been invented." by Charles H. Duell (Commissioner of US Office of Patents, 1899)]


Direct Air Support Center, providing a direct link between ground and air units; see HORN.

Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter; a remote-controlled miniature helicopter used to detect and track submarines at a distance during the Vietnam-era; this experimental program was canceled for numerous reasons, not the least being the drone's tendency to attack its mother ship shortly after being launched; see ASW. Also, a short sudden scurrying movement, as a swift rush along a direct line or course; compare ZIGZAG, SCUTTLE; see FIRE 'n' MANEUVER, BUTTERFLY, CLOVERLEAF, CHECKERBOARD, HOPSCOTCH, LEAP FROG, BUTTONHOOK, STACK, WAY POINT, COMBAT SPREAD. Also, to violently strike, smash, throw, thrust, splash, spatter or splatter.

DASH TEN / -10 :
designation for the operator's manual for any piece of military equipment, military vehicle or aircraft; as derived from the suffix appended to these Technical Manuals (TM).

the use of programmatic algorithms and other applicable index techniques that identify (profile) suspicious individuals and analyze (investigate) their relationships from the vast array of statistics accumulated on random subjects and situations so as to discern connections and cross-connections, of which facts and patterns a person may not be consciously aware of about themselves; such indepth queries have been used for background investigations, security clearances, criminal and subversive detections, as well as determining credit worthiness. [nb: data aggregated by third parties is generally not subject to Fourth Amendment warrant requirements (United States v. Miller 1976)]

see TIME.

a theoretical line at approximately the 180 meridian, with the calendar date of the regions to its east counting as one day earlier than regions to its west; formally identified as the International Date Line. For seafarers, the part of the ocean across this 180 meridian is called the "Realm of the Golden Dragon". See SAILING INTO YESTERDAY, TIME.

an expression dating from the earliest days of the U.S. Army, when posts were smaller and more remote, when army life was more intimate than present days, and when the children of NCOs and officers were more or less adopted by all the soldiers with a familial bent, watching them grow and helping them mature; in this bygone environment, the senior officer's eldest daughter embodied all the aspirations of the soldiery for a safe and healthy rearing, for a good courtship and a true marriage ... like it or not, this privileged "princess" had scores of chaperones, and her conduct personified the honor of the unit. She either rebelled against the strictures of the military or she exemplified its ideals, marrying within its ranks and raising her children in the fortress of comradeship wrought by national defense. In modern times, THE DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT is too often a spoiled and aloof BRAT who's overprotected and scheduled for greater success, courtesy of her BRASS HATted father. See OFFICER'S WIFE, COW, DRAG, PETTICOAT COMMAND, RING THE BELL, THE MOTHER-IN-LAW OF THE ARMY, DISTAFF, GREEN BLOOD, ARMY SOUP. [nb: "You promised me my answer to-night." "Well, you can't have it, Ben," Helen said, "until you have fought the Yankees." "What heart will I have for fighting," he said, "if you give me no promise?" "I'll not be engaged to any man," she said, "until he has fought the Yankees. You distinguish yourself in the war, and then see what I'll have to say to you." "But suppose I don't come back at all!" exclaimed Ben. "Oh, then I'll acknowledge an engagement and be good to your mother – and wear mourning all the same – provided – your wounds are all in the front." Later, when Ben leaned out the window of his departing train, he whispered as she gazed up at him, "Can't I have the promise now, Helen?" "Yes!" Helen exclaimed. "Yes, Ben – dear Ben, I promise!" As the train cars gathered speed and rolled away, Helen turned an calmly announced to the others, "Girls, I'm engaged to Ben Shepard." "I'm engaged to half a dozen of them," said one. "That's nothing," said another, "I'm engaged to the whole regiment."]

the Vietnamese term for "struggle", being the key concept of "people's war" or "wars of liberation"; see INSURGENCY, GUERRILLA WARFARE; compare CHINH HUA.

any of various crane-like devices used on ships for moving or supporting boats, anchors, and other objects; see BOOM.

the seafloor beneath the waters; the bottom of the ocean, which is regarded as the grave for all who perish at sea; also called "iron bottom sound". Compare BOX JOB, BONEYARD; see FLOATER, CREATURE FEATURE, MORTUARY AFFAIRS, GRAVES REGISTRATION.

that time when one is called to account for one's actions, when one must pay one's debts, to fulfill one's promises or obligations; also called "settlement day", such payback, comeuppance, or just deserts is also expressed as "when the chickens come home to roost" or "pay the piper". See FACE THE MUSIC, COME TO JESUS, RETRIBUTION. [v: Judgment Day]

a separate room or building with facilities for leisure activities; often used by troops as a semi-private "living room" when meeting guests, since the ORDERLY ROOM is not an appropriate place for visiting. [cf: lounge, den, game room, man cave]

a series of demonstrations orchestrated by the Weatherman faction of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) commencing in October 1969, which protests were subsequent to an October 1968 resolution proposed by John Jacobs advocating "Bring the war home!" as a method of emulating the actions ("Elections Don't Mean Shit -- Our Power Is In The Street") that successfully disrupted the August 1968 Democrat National Convention in Chicago. After exploding the statue commemorating the policemen killed in the 1886 Haymarket Affair on 5 October 1969, about 800 protestors gathered in Lincoln Park to listen to speeches and demonstrate against "imperialist America"; then after brief appearances by Tom Hayden, Abbie Hoffman, John Froines, and some Chicago Eight defendants, the crowd had dwindled to less than 350 by 11 October, who were supposedly representative of a nationwide dissatisfaction among young Americans with their cultural norms, mores and folkways. The Weatherman leaders directed the crowd to riot on 8 October, perpetrating vandalism on cars and businesses as they surged toward the Drake Hotel and other Gold Coast properties, resulting in a score of injuries and almost 70 arrests. Before he was arrested, Jacobs told the demonstrators that resisting the police was equivalent to fighting fascism during World War II ... "the fact that we are willing to fight the police is a political victory". On the following day, Bernardine Dohrn intended to lead approximately 70 militant feminists on a raid against a draft board, but they were stopped before they left Grant Park. The governor of Illinois then decided to activate the National Guard to protect the city, and after a brief riot in Chicago's Loop, the Weatherman cancelled further activities. Both the Black Panther Party and the Revolutionary Youth Movement (RYM II) disassociated themselves from the anarchism of SDS, holding peaceful rallies at several public buildings (eg: federal courthouse, Cook County hospital, etc) and an interracial march of more than 2000 participants through a Spanish-speaking district. This failed revolution alienated the Weatherman from other groups, driving it to become the Weather Underground. See BURN BABY BURN, AMERIKA, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY, PROVOCATEUR, SYMPATHIZER, PROTESTOR, YIPPIE, WE SHALL OVERCOME.

slang for the targeting and attack of enemy SATELLITEs, especially by electronic or radiation weapons; see ASAT, DSP, SBIRS, STAR WARS. Also, a harlequin patterned camouflage introduced in 1916 for large objects that could not be hidden, such as WARSHIPs and TANKs; this interruption pattern was purportedly the brainchild of Thomas Alva Edison, who served as a volunteer technical adviser on the U.S. Navy Consultation Board. Composed of brilliant colors (ie: orange, blue, yellow, etc) in both irregular and lozenge patterns, the camouflage effect of DAZZLE was intended to distort the object's shape, size, and movement ... disrupting perception and perspective. DAZZLE was so effective (receiving less than one-tenth as many strikes as normal) that it promoted a survivor's superstition, making crews unwilling to serve in vehicles or vessels without a DAZZLE treatment. See CAMO, JUDAS GOAT; compare COUNTERSHADING, GRAYBACK, INTERNATIONAL ORANGE. [cf: parti-colored, mottle/motley, variegate, pied/piebald]

DB :
Daily Bulletin, being the post/base newsletter; see CIRCULAR. Also, Disciplinary Barracks; Vietnamese term: Trai Giam; see USDB.

Defense Communications Agency; see DCS.

Damage Control Central processing point aboard ship.

abbreviation for the Director of Central Intelligence, being the senior administrator and coordinator of America's foreign intelligence programs; see CIA.

Defense Criminal Investigative Service, or Defense Criminal Investigation Service, being the DoD section subordinate to DIS that specializes in criminal investigations and prosecutions; see CID, NIS, OSI, FBI, BUTTON, POLICE.

Deputy Commanding Officer; compare XO; see SECOND BANANA, COMMAND ELEMENT, CHAIN-OF-COMMAND. [v: locum tenens, vicar, heir apparent, tanist, substitute, surrogate, successor; cf: lieutenant (LT)]

Defense Communications System; see DCA. Also, Deputy Chief of Staff; see JCS.

informal designation of the Desert Camouflage Uniform in its various patterns and configurations; see DESERT, CAMO, DRESS.

DD :
destroyer armed with guns; see TIN CAN. [nb: Vietnamese term: Khu Truc Ham] Also, abbreviated designator for Department of Defense (DoD), as form "DD-214"; compare AGO. Also, abbreviation for Dishonorable Discharge; see DISCHARGE. [nb: during the 19th century, a "bobtail" discharge was slang for both a curtailed term of service, and for a certificate with its character cutoff so as to obscure or conceal the type of discharge ... always "other than honorable"]

the term used to designate the unnamed day scheduled for the commencement, execution, implementation, or initiation of a particular operation; designation originally created by repetition, but since re-defined as "deployment-day"; also expressed as "go day" or "game day". See H-HOUR, TIME. [nb: a "national day of prayer" was proclaimed on 6 June 1944 wherein all entertainment facilities and non-essential businesses were closed so the American people could spiritually support our military personnel during the Normandy invasion]

destroyer armed with guns and guided MISSILES; see TIN CAN.

Deputy Director of Intelligence for the Central Intelligence Agency; subordinate to the Director of Intelligence (DI). See CIA.

Department of Defense Intelligence Information Report.

Deputy Director of Operations for the Central Intelligence Agency; subordinate to the Director of Operations (DO). See CIA.

DD-214 / DD214 :
a Department of Defense document that summarizes and characterizes the service of anyone who's completed a tour of duty in the military; entitled the "Armed Forces of the United States Report of Transfer or Separation" after WWII (AGO 53-55), it was renamed the "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty" after the VIETNAM WAR. A preliminary worksheet (DD214WS) is prepared for approval; and if substantive omissions or errors (not typographical) are discovered, an application (DD-149) for correction of military record (under the provisions of Title 10 US Code, section 1552) is submitted, and a supplemental DD-215 ("Correction to DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty") is issued. Both the DD-214 and DD-215 are not "letter sized" to help prevent forgeries. See DISCHARGE. [nb: because a separate DD-214 is issued for each period of service, the DD-149 is used by active duty personnel and the SF-180 is used by retirees and veterans when requesting a corrected DD-215]

DE :
destroyer escort; see DESOTO; compare FRIGATE.

(dee-ee-ay) Drug Enforcement Administration [not "Agency"], which has jurisdiction on federal installations, also shares concurrent jurisdiction with the FBI for domestic enforcement of controlled substance laws, and bears sole responsibility for investigating illegal drugs abroad. The Drug Enforcement Administration was reorganized in the Department of Justice on 1 July 1973 from its predecessor, the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, which had been formed as a subsidiary agency of the Department of Justice in 1968 by merging the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, an agency of the Treasury Department, with the Bureau of Drug Abuse Control, an agency of the Food and Drug Administration under the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics had been established in June 1930, and maintained foreign offices in France, Italy, Turkey, Lebanon, and Thailand. The DEA has grown to encompass 21 domestic Field Divisions and 80 Foreign Offices in 58 countries. Although the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center is a separate facility, the DEA Academy is colocated with the Marine installation at Quantico Virginia. See POLICE, CID, BABY 007, STICK, CAN SA, DOPE, STONED, SMACK, HOT SHOT, CHINA WHITE, GOLDEN TRIANGLE, SILVER TRIANGLE, GOLDEN CRESCENT; compare FBI, REVENUER, DIS, DHS.

to withdraw all personnel and transfer all assets of a duly constituted or commissioned unit, and retire it to the inactive list; also called "inactivate", "disband", "demobilize", "dissolve", "decommission", or "retire"; compare ACTIVATE, ORGANIZE, REFLAG, RECONSTITUTED; see STAND-DOWN, ACTOV, VIETNAMIZATION, PROVN, CRIMP, CSMO, KEYSTONE [nb: the U.S. Navy, established 1775, was disbanded from 1786 to 1794]. Also, to render a bomb, shell, or other EXPLOSIVE inoperative, especially by disconnecting, removing, or otherwise interfering with the action of its FUZE or trigger mechanism, as when interrupting a catalytic process; see SYMPHONY, EOD, DUD, FIZZLE, MISFIRE, UXO.

the interruption, suspension,or loss of an audio or video broadcast, leaving the recipient without content. Also, the absence of speech during a meeting or gathering, which may be either a pause for thought or a shocked silence; this phrase never refers to a meditative or companionable quiescence; compare HOT AIR.

(forthcoming); DEAD LETTER, LETTER BOX, FLAPS 'n' SEALS, BLIND DATE. [v: accommodation address]

two-holed disk rove with LINE or LANYARD, used for tightening YARDARM, SPAR, or other attachment; compare EYE, PAD EYE; see BELAY [cf: turnbuckle]. Also, an expert marksman, an "eagle eye" or "hawkeye"; see SHARPSHOOTER, KISS THE MISTRESS, KNOCK THEIR SPOTS OFF, SNIPER, AIMPOINT, BULL'S-EYE, POINT-BLANK. Also, in AvnSpeak, an advisory message indicating that the airborne laser/IR designation system is inoperative.


area which cannot be covered by observation or fire due to the nature of the terrain; also known as DEAD SPACE; compare KILL ZONE, ZONE OF FIRE, DEFILADE.

a vehicle, craft, or vessel returning without cargo [v: dead freight] or passengers; see POB, SPACE A; compare RUNNING LIGHT. Also, a sunken, semisubmerged, or floating object that's a hazard to navigation; see DODO, FLOTSAM, JETSAM. Also, a person using a free PASS or complimentary ticket; compare STRAP-HANGER, BLOB. Also, in NavSpeak, the "needle" of a magnetic COMPASS that resists excessive oscillation; a compass pointer or course indicator that's dampened so as to maintain its direction despite the constant movement of the ship or aircraft or other vehicle; see GIMBAL, GYROCOMPASS. [v: pelorus] Also, a dull or stupid person, a dumbbell or dummkopf, doofus or flubadub, dolt or nitwit, harebrain or lamebrain, blockhead or bonehead, meathead or chowderhead, dunderhead or lunkhead, chucklehead or knucklehead, nincompoop or numskull, numb nuts or scrot (shortening of 'scrotum'); see DOPE, PUKE, DUD, SOS, YARDBIRD, MAGGOT, SMACK, FIELD REJECT, POGUE, SHIT MAGNET, TURD, FUCK-UP. Also, by analogy to horticultural pruning, the removal by transfer or termination of marginal and dysfunctional personnel, so as to revitalize an operation or to reform an organization; also called HOUSECLEANING.

an issue or question already settled, resolved, or made moot, which is being raised, broached, or revived for further discussion or examination, as to "beat a dead horse" or to "flog a dead horse", and is also called "flogged to death" and "Monday morning quarterbacking" or "second-guessing" ... which are favorite pursuits of "armchair experts" and other know-it-all theoreticians, which is a waste of time and energy, except for the education or edification of students. Also, in the U.S. Navy, the period of time that was required for a sailor to pay-off, to payback, or to recoup an advance payment; being that span when a sailor does not receive money, but credit toward his indebtedness; also called "beating a dead horse" with regard to the work, labor, or effort involved in the repayment schedule. Compare CHARGE, CHARGE SHEET, CHIT. [nb: the "horse latitudes", a calm region situated about thirty degrees north and south of the equator (also called the "doldrums"), may derive from the "beating a dead horse" repayment schedule, since sailors on sailing ships were usually out of debt when the vessel arrived in this region; an alternative explanation of this ascription has livestock being cast overboard in this becalmed area due to an inadequate supply of drinking water]

adrift without motive, power or propulsion; also called HULL.

a moot point, or an unenforced regulation; being an issue not worth pursuing, as derived from "undeliverable mail". Compare DEAD DROP, LETTER BOX, FALL ON DEAF EARS; compare FLAPS 'n' SEALS.

a line or limit that must not be passed or yielded, as a battle line; compare FRONT LINE, LINE OF BATTLE, FEBA, FLOT, HARD-AND-FAST. Also, at one time, the boundary outside a military prison beyond which a prisoner could not venture without risk of being shot by the guards; see STOCKADE, GUARDHOUSE, CROSSBAR HOTEL, HOT HOUSE, LBJ, DEADLOCK, CHL, BRIG, THE CASTLE. Also, the latest time by which something must be finished or submitted; see NLT, SUSPENSE DATE, UNDER THE GUN.

a strong shutter able to be screwed against the interior of a PORTHOLE in heavy weather. Also, a thick pane of glass set in the HULL or DECK to admit light; sometimes called BULL'S-EYE.

a state in which progress halts due to intransigent or inexorable opposition; as a stalemate or impasse, standstill or dead-end, at loggerheads or discontinuance; see MEXICAN STANDOFF, SIAMESE INSURANCE; compare FALL ON DEAF EARS, BRINKMANSHIP. Also, a maximum-security cell for the solitary confinement of a prisoner; also called "the hole"; see PEEPHOLE, GRILLE, STOCKADE, GUARDHOUSE, CROSSBAR HOTEL, HOT HOUSE, LBJ, CHL, BRIG, THE CASTLE, TANK. [v: dungeon, keep, oubliette, hock (sty or prison as a miserable place to live)]

a control or switch that stops a machine, disengages the operating mechanism, or disconnects the processing sequence when positive pressure fails; a safety serving as an automatic interrupt or shutoff. Also, a control or switch that triggers activation of an illegally planted subroutine designed to damage computer data or processing whenever a safety or inhibition is interrupted, released, or removed; usually fabricated as the secondary element in serious computer SABOTAGE; see TROJAN HORSE, NETRUSION, FALSE FLAG.

a 17th century piece of solemn music for a procession at a military funeral; a requiem, dirge, hymn, or musical service for the repose of the dead. See TAPS, KNELL, TATTOO, FUNERAL PACE, PALLBEARER, PARADE; compare DEATH MARCH.

an Americanism coined to represent the deadpan facial expression, being marked by a fixed air of seriousness or calm detachment; see FLINT FACE, HALF-MAST, QUARTERDECK FACE, WAR FACE, FACE. [nb: the pan is the depressed part of the lock holding the priming in old guns, so a "deadpan" facial expression derives from a musket's flash-pan being empty, that is, without any primer to set-off the charged barrel when the hammer falls to strike a spark of ignition]

estimated calculation of one's present position based upon compass readings, speed, and distance traveled from the last known point, with allowances for drift (LEEWAY) from terrain, wind, or currents; also known as "guesstimate" or "by guess and by God". See AZIMUTH, COMPASS, GRID COORDINATES, GRID LINES, CONTOUR LINES, SLANT DISTANCE, PLOT, AIMPOINT, HEADING, LORAN, MGRS, GPS, UTM, DOUBLE DRIFT, ASPHALT COMPASS, WAG, MAP, COMICS, RANGER BEADS, SLACK. [nb: an analog wrist-/pocket-watch (or simulated clock face) may serve as an improvised compass; when the hour hand is pointed at the sun, south is between the hour hand and 12 o'clock] [nb: the moon can provide a rough east-west reference during the night because during its 28-day orbital circuit, the shape of the reflected light varies according to its position; as the moon moves away from the earth's shadow, it begins to reflect light from its right side, and waxes to become a full moon before waning, to appear as a sliver on the left side. If the moon rises before the sun has set, the illuminated side will be the west. If the moon rises after midnight, the illuminated side will be the east.]

slang since WWI for an empty wine or liquor bottle; see STONED, BREW, HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, GROUP TIGHTENER, SPLICE THE MAINBRACE, HOIST, HATCH, BYOB, CLASS SIX, THE DRINK, TOAST, WASH, SAIGON TEA; compare DUTCH COURAGE, WHISKEY WARRIOR. Also, a euphemism for a penis which is either temporarily or permanently incapable of achieving an erection, being flaccid or impotent, as 'penis promissus'; also called DEAD STICK, especially among aviators and aircrew; see HORS DE COMBAT.

area which cannot be covered by observation or fire due to the nature of the terrain; also known as "dead ground"; compare KILL ZONE, ZONE OF FIRE, DEFILADE. [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

slang for descending flight (LETDOWN) and landing in an airplane without engine power; formally known as VOLPLANE; compare AUTO-ROTATE; see CONTROL STICK, JOYSTICK, STICK. Also, a euphemism for a penis which is either temporarily or permanently incapable of achieving an erection, being flaccid or impotent, as 'penis promissus'; also called DEAD-SOLDIER; see HORS DE COMBAT.

extended active duty service period in repayment for time spent in jail; also called BAD TIME. See CHL, PAIN, STOCKADE, BRIG, THE CASTLE, GUARDHOUSE, UCMJ.

useless things or burdensome persons, as from figurative meaning of dead branches or trees; see FILE 13, MOCK-UP, WHITE ELEPHANT, DEADHEAD, LOOSE CANNON, SHIT MAGNET, FUCK-UP, DOUCHE BAG, FIELD REJECT, STACK ARMS, HORS DE COMBAT.

the exposed area of saturated fire where most casualties will occur; also called "killing ground", "killing field", "beaten zone", or KILL ZONE. Also, that region, both above and below sea level, where existence cannot naturally persist nor be temporarily sustained without life-support supplement or augmentation. [v: abyssal, hadal, tropopause; cf: primordial soup, panspermia]



a sentiment often misattributed to Napoleon that's properly dated to Julius Caesar's dispatch of the Roman Legion, and widely used in the modern era to signify the willingness of combatants or their units to make the ultimate sacrifice for their cause; this slogan, now variously translated, has become international, and represents the spirit of passionate devotion to an ideal. [v: potius mori quam foedar (Latin: death before dishonor); mors ante infamiam (Latin: death before disgrace); cf: a fate worse than death] [nb: "But a real man will never let his fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to his country, and his innate manhood." by George S. Patton Jr (5 June 1944); "We didn't come here to die for our country, but to make our enemy die for his!" attributed to George S. Patton Jr]

an idiom for ringing in the ears (tinnitus), which, according to ancient Celtic lore, is supposed to announce the death of a friend; compare HELL'S BELLS. [cf: death knell / knell]

novelty calling card, often depicting a unit's motto or insignia, and making some sardonic or wry announcement in English or English/Vietnamese (such as"This BELIEVER converted courtesy of ..."); as derived from the earlier practice of leaving a unit PATCH (either official shoulder or unofficial pocket insignia) on the corpse. The PSYOPS and INTEL sections developed this concept, in conjunction with the CHIEU HOI program, by printing "skull and crossed bones" Ace of Spades cards, which is purportedly an evil omen in Asia, with a Vietnamese message stating that PAVN troops should surrender or be killed. A wide variety of novelty DEATH CARDs were produced during the VIETNAM WAR. This practice probably originated during WWII beginning with the Anzio campaign (Feb 1944), when the BLACK DEVILs left German-text "The worst is yet to come." DEATH CARDs on corpses to enhance the mystique of the FSSF. After the 9/11 2001 TERRORIST attack, the U.S. Army Counter-Terrorist Task Force made an arrangement with the New York city Police Department to supply the JSOTF operatives with NYPD shoulder patches to leave on Taliban or al-Qaida corpses and HARD TARGET wreckage as retributive DEATH CARDs. Specially minted unit coins, including novelty coins (eg: hunting club, varmint license, 72 virgins dating service, etc), have also been left as macabre calling cards during Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Global War On Terror (GWOT) campaign, despite the official prohibitions against such "insults". Compare TS CARD, COINING; see KISS THE MISTRESS, TURN THE JACK, KNOCK THEIR SPOTS OFF, WAR GAMES. [nb: the deuce of clubs, from underworld lingo, was popularized as a DEATH CARD by the publication of hard-boiled stories in pulp media]

in its simplest form, a page of outlined directives that concisely provides surviving relatives or friends with all instructions required to settle someone's estate, specifying one's preferences [ie: life support, resuscitation, organ donation, burial, cremation, cemetery, funeral, memorial, etc] "in the event of my death", together with an itemized inventory of formal or official documents [eg: will, insurance, bank accounts, investments (stocks, bonds, savings), possessions (titles, deeds, collectibles), etc] with their locations [eg: safe, coffer, safety deposit box, etc]; some DEATH FILEs include the actual documents, keys and other access codes. Aged or ill persons should prepare this file and prominently post a notice of its location to assist others in handling their affairs. Furthermore, veterans and retirees should include all pertinent military forms that will be needed to prove eligibility for benefits. [nb: because the 'last will and testament' is not opened (as part of probate) until after the funeral, this is not the proper document for stipulating one's burial preferences]

sardonic catch-phrase for the AIRBORNE doctrine of vertical envelopment.

in a parody of the AIRBORNE catch-phrase, a description of the fatal effects from food prepared and served in military facilities; see BEANS, CHOW, RATIONS.

a countervailing thesis that seeks to limit or reduce combat casualties whenever engaged by employing innovations or alternatives to the accomplishment of mission directives; this conservative philosophy is opposed to making the ultimate sacrifice for one's cause or mission, especially when such BLOOD 'n' GUTS heroics is wasteful or pointless, preferring to husband resources and reserve assets so as to be able to continue the fight for another day, in another time and place ... "where there's life, there's hope". Compare BERSERK, AMOK, FIGHTING MAD, BLOOD IN THE EYE, SEE RED, WILD-EYED, GO KINETIC, BLOODTHIRSTY, BLOODY-MINDED; see BALL GAME, MISSION, DUTY. [v: Bernard Law "Monty" Montgomery, George B. "Young Napoleon" McClellan; cf: suicide, genicide, annihilation] [nb: "Life is real! Life is earnest! / And the grave is not its goal; / Dust thou are, to dust thou returnest, / Was not spoken of the soul." by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; "The sky, not the grave, is our goal; / Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord! / Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!" by Horatio G. Stafford; "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived." by George S. Patton Jr (20 Nov 1917); "We didn't come here to die for our country, but to make our enemy die for his!" attributed to George S. Patton Jr]

see KNELL.

any compulsory march, as of prisoners or refugees, wherein the pace (ie: without rest stops) or treatment (ie: without water, food, or medical care) causes participants to FALL-OUT of ranks, which inability to keep up with the group is punished by execution; a forced march under guard with dire consequences for failure to continue ... one of the most notorious is the 1942 Bataan Death March of thousands of Allied prisoners of war (POW). Compare FORCE MARCH, DANCE OF DEATH, DEAD MARCH; see MARCH. [nb: the forgotten and emaciated POWs in the Philippines during WWII referred to themselves as "ghost soldiers" (eg: ghost soldiers of Bataan)]

a catch-phrase for the slow death of the condemned by the torture of many small wounds, none lethal in itself, but fatal in their cumulative effect; also expressed as "death by a thousand cuts", "lingering death", and "slow slicing", from a classical allusion to the slow ascent of a mountain. This traditional form of execution in China, employed from 900 to 1905 (when it was abolished), was reserved for the most heinous crimes; transliterated as "one thousand knives and ten thousand pieces", which gruesomeness was believed to serve as a deterrence against villainy. This agonizing practice has captured the imagination of many sensationalists over the years until its precise methodology is too confused by fantasy and legend to be accurately revealed. Despite its mythic reputation, this form of torture was probably no "worse" than Occidental forms, as eviscerate, impale, press, rack, draw and quarter. Compare GARROTE, KEELHAUL, GAUNTLET, OVER A BARREL, PAIN, TWIST IN THE WIND, TORTURE, COUP DE GRACE. Also, metaphorically representative of excruciating suspense, agonized delay, or exaggerated prolongation; describing the gradual destruction of an idea or procedure, program or institution by a multitude of minor changes; see TWIST IN THE WIND, HANG TOUGH, BACK CHANNEL, RED TAPE, BAYONET SHEET, MILICRAT.

informal designation for the 200km railroad built across Burma (Myanmar) and Siam (Thailand), including 688 bridges spanning the Kwai and Mekong rivers and their tributaries, during 1942-3 by the slave labor of Allied POWs, with an attrition rate of 20% to 35% due to starvation, maltreatment, accidents and executions. The construction of this railroad, intended to move PETROL for Imperial Japan, was supervised by Japanese and Korean guards who practiced draconian BASHING and group punishments for individual transgressions in order to elicit work force cooperation; but despite promised inducements and threats of punishment, sabotage of the project was relentless and ubiquitous ... due to a misreading of Pierre Boulle's book, The Bridge Over the River Kwai, and popularization of the book in film, the post-war era was rife with recriminations over "excessive collaboration", primarily leveled by critics who were not there and who had not been prisoners anywhere. The POWs were transferred to other labor camps after this DEATH RAILWAY was completed, so could never obtain a satisfactory accounting of this episode. The surviving veterans, from Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, America, Belgium, and the Netherlands, erected a memorial to their ordeal and in remembrance of the dead twenty years after WWII. The film based on Boulle's book remains popular, and a section of the DEATH RAILWAY has been preserved as a tourist attraction. See LEDO ROAD.

the image of a grinning skull that's used as a symbol of mortality, such as the central motif in the insignia of the Marine RAIDERs or the interservice Special Operations Group (SOG / MACV-SOG). [v: death's-head moth] [nb: in the time of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603), prostitutes and procuresses could be identified by their wearing of a ring bearing the impression of a death's head; see BUTTERFLY, LBFM, GRASSHOPPER, LULU THE ZULU, CHOCOLATE BUNNY, CAMP FOLLOWER, CAMPAIGN WIFE, SLEEPING DICTIONARY]

slang for the surreal imagery displayed when downlink targeting remotely exhibits death and distruction to the AWACS or UAV operators; a form of abstract broadcast from GOD'S EYE VIEW that makes the grotesque images of death and destruction seem unreal, artificial or fictitious. [cf: splatter film, snuff film; v: voyeurism]

the official authorization for an execution to be carried out; however, for someone to "sign one's own death warrant" is when that person performs some act that has the probability of causing their own destruction. See SUICIDE SQUAD, SPEARHEAD, SNOWBALL, WASTED, AUTOTOMY, BITTER END, BELL THE CAT, CAM TU, LAST MAN STANDING. [v: enfants perdus, forlorn hope; cf: picket, vedette]

a sense of fatalism that disregards the consequences of irrational or irresponsible acts, especially one's own suffering and demise. In psychiatry, an aberrant absorption with death and dying, suicide and nihilism, which is often manifested by passivity or withdrawal toward terminal ideation ... a notion first documented during the "War to End All Wars" (WWI). See BLOOD IN THE EYE, SEE RED, WILD-EYED, GO KINETIC, AMOK, FIGHTING MAD, BLOODTHIRSTY, BLOODY-MINDED, CANNON FODDER, SPEARHEAD, SUICIDE SQUAD, ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH, LAST STAND, GO TO HELL POINT, DOG'S CHANCE, SNOWBALL, DEATH IS NOT THE GOAL. [v: enfants perdus, forlorn hope]

to disembark a vehicle or vessel; to depart or exit a conveyance, as derived from "leave the boat" (débarque).

a specially prepared type of General Purpose net, CARGO NET, or other similar mesh employed when scaling, as during INSERTION or EXTRACTION, but especially during debarkation from or embarkation of a transport ship; see JACOB'S LADDER, RATLINE, GP, NET, SNAKING, SKYHOOK, STABO, RAPPEL, SPY RIGGING. [v: escalade] [v: Climbing Terms]

see ETIQUETTE, MANNERS, SOCIAL GRACES, CHARISMA, BEARING, TACT. [v: beseem; cf: nicety] [nb: until recently, an OFFICER was simultaneously designated a "gentleman" when appointed by an ACT OF CONGRESS, which not only inspired further intellectual development but also encouraged cultural sophistication, which refinements were mocked as being 'suave and debonair' (deliberately mispronounced as "soo-wave" and "dee-boner")]

to come forth or emerge, as when a body of troops march out from a narrow or confined place into open country; as derived from "mouth", as a defile that flows onto a plain. Compare SALLY.

an outlet or exit, a passage or opening through which troops may come forth or emerge (debouch); compare SALLY PORT, HATCH, POSTERN.

an after-action interrogation, often conversational, of operational leaders and select participants, in order to assess the conduct and results of a mission; to systematically inquire in order to obtain useful information or intelligence; see AAR, HOT WASH, COLD WASH, RECENCY EFFECT, FLUTTER, SWEAT; compare BRIEF-BACK, BRIEFING. Also, to subject a former participant to precautions and prohibitions against disclosing or discussing classified information, as upon separation from a position of military sensitivity; see VERBUM SAP, compare BRIEFING. [nb: a so-called "back brief" must be rendered when an intermediate-level officer or NCO, acting on his own initiative, launches an operation or commences a series of events which develop in unpredicted ways or expand beyond their original scope, necessitating a combined BRIEFING and DEBRIEFing to the next higher echelon]

any catalogue of ten precepts, especially the Ten Commandments (or Ten Utterances) of the Judeo-Christian faith; see CREED, PROMISE, OATH, CODE OF CONDUCT, DUTY, HONOR CODE. [v: Exodus 20:2-17, Deuteronomy 5:6-21; cf: Shema Yisrael / Sh'ma Yisrael]

to pack up equipment and leave a campground, to disassemble, dismantle, break-down, take-down and remove; being the opposite of "encamp". Also, to depart hastily and often secretly, as to escape or evacuate, to flee or skip, to scarper or SPLIT; see BEAT FEET, CUT AND RUN, BAILOUT, HAUL-ASS, BUSTER, PULL PITCH, SCRAMBLE, JUICE, GOYA, ASAP, PDQ, STAT, CHOGI, FORTHWITH.

the tactic of targeting political leaders, military commanders, and/or their headquarters (HQ) in an attempt to effect a strategic result. Although it is considered immoral to assassinate the head of state or national leaders of the opposing or enemy forces, it is not illegal to target the director(s) of INSURGENT, GUERRILLA, or TERRORIST groups. This concept probably derives from WAR GAMES theory, such as winning chess by checkmating the king, but it is impractical in any hierarchical organization with a CHAIN-OF-COMMAND, and may inspire even greater resistance, as with STRATEGIC BOMBING. In the cases where it has the greatest potential to be most effective, such as a "cult of personality" dictatorship, the tactic has been declared illegal, so a surrogate must be induced to execute what a purportedly law-abiding nation will not do for itself! ... the moral contradiction in deniably abetting a criminal conspiracy is reprehensibly fraudulent and cowardly. It is always better to intelligently attack the structure of the opposition in order to effect permanent change, than the DECAPITATION of its figurehead, a practice also known as HEADHUNTING or "executive action". See SNIPER'S TRIANGLE, BEAUTY MARK; compare COUP D'ETAT, HAIRCUT AND MANICURE. [cf: malum prohibitum, malum in se; v: bounty, reward, head price, recompense, premium] [v: Executive Orders prohibiting assassination include: EO11905(5g) Gerald R. Ford (18 Feb 1976), EO12036(2-305) James E. Carter (24 Jan 1978), EO12333(2.11) Ronald W. Reagan (4 Dec 1981); cf: Barbary pirates (1804-1805), Pancho Villa (1916), Augusto Cesar Sandino (1928-1932), Ernesto "Che" Guevara (1967), Achille Lauro hijackers (1985), Muammar al-Qaddafi / Kaddafi (1986), Osama Bin Laden (2001)] [v: Operation Gaff attempted the assassination of Erwin Rommel; Operation Valkyrie attempted the assassination of Adolf Hitler (20 July 1944); Operation Mongoose attempted the assassination of Fidel Castro (1962)] [nb: Salome, the daughter of Herod Antipas, was granted the head of John the Baptist; Abraham Lincoln declared that the CIVIL WAR could not be won until Longstreet was killed, and pleaded for someone to bring him Longstreet's head on a platter; and the CIA director in Afghanistan during 2001 declared that his primary goal was to place a burlap bag containing Osama Bin Laden's head on Rumsfeld's desk] [nb: Mozart's Idomeneo opera, first performed in 1781, tells the story of this Cretan king, but the 2006 rendition by Hans Neuenfels adds a scene depicting the severed heads of the prophets Mohammad, Buddha, and Jesus]

a strategy for quickly ending a war against a strongman or other dictatorial leader by isolating or removing the regime's superstructure, disorganizing opposition by eliminating command; the U.S. military employed this technique to rapidly curtail resistance at the outset in Grenada (URGENT FURY), Haiti, Panama (JUST CAUSE), and Iraq (DESERT STORM).

an athletic competition comprising ten consecutive events, primarily track and field, whether organized as sprint, intermediate, or endurance; compare BIATHLON, TRIATHLON, PENTATHLON; see PT, PFT, EXERCISE, AIRBORNE SHUFFLE, TRUSCOTT TROT, MARATHON, FIELD HOUSE, WAR GAMES. [v: Pheidippides was the Athenian runner sent to request aid from Sparta before the battle at Marathon plain (490BC) against the Persians; which inaugurated the long-distance footrace and other endurance events] [nb: "With all our technology, we should never forget that soldiering is first and foremost an outdoor sport." by David Petraeus (2009)]

low-level radio navigational aid chain installed and maintained by the Army, but rarely used due to mistrust by senior Army officers, and due to nonacceptance by the Air Force.

the period between US/SEATO abandonment of RVN and the eventual collapse of RVN, together with the Cambodian HOLOCAUST and the Laotian usurpation. The POLITICIANs who betrayed the trust of all participants by arranging this "indecent interval" were awarded Nobel Peace Prizes. Compare the US commitment to Korea. See WHITE ELEPHANT, DOMINO THEORY, SIDESHOW, BOAT PEOPLE, REEDUCATION, APOCALYPSE, WISE MEN, PEACE WITH HONOR, VIETNAM SYNDROME.

those single, serial, or collective measures designed to mislead the enemy by manipulation, distortion, or falsification of evidence so as to induce the enemy to act or react in a manner prejudicial to its own interests; also called ruse (RUSE DE GUERRE), PLOY, feint, artifice, stratagem, subterfuge, wile, GAMBIT, chicane/chicanery, imposture, machination. A deception course of action will identify the deception objective, the deception target, the desired perception, the deception story, and the tentative deception means. The deception target may be influenced or affected by physical, technical, or administrative methods and means, resources and techniques, including the use of dummy equipment and devices, notional assets and organizations, and the emission, suppression, alteration, absorption, or reflection of data, radiation, sound, odor (chemical or biological), or other energy sources. A deception event or operation must be coordinated and integrated with conventional actions or operations so as to effectively concentrate available resources on the objective, and not to confuse allied assets with misleading information. Military deceptions are tactical and strategic actions executed to deliberately mislead adversaries as to allied capabilities, intentions, and operations, thereby causing the adversary to take specific actions (or inactions) that will contribute to the accomplishment of the allied mission. See CONTROLLED INFORMATION, COUNTERDECEPTION, INTEL, PSYOPS, CONCEALMENT, CAMO, HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT, GHOST UNIT, PHANTOM OPERATIONS, TRICK, MIJI, FALSE FLAG, HINKY, DECOY, MEACONING, RED HERRING, TROJAN HORSE, STALKING HORSE, DARK HORSE, CAT SKINNER, CAT'S-PAW, NIGHTINGALE, PROPAGANDA, OODLES, BIG LIE, FACTOID, DISINFORMATION, HOOPLA, RUMOR, GHOST WALK, Q-SHIP, CLOAK-AND-DAGGER, TRADECRAFT, WHITE PROPAGANDA, TRUTH. [nb: artists and technicians served in special units during WWI (ie: Camouflage Corps) and WWII (ie: 603rd Engr Camo Bn, 3132nd Sonic Sig Co, 23rd HQ Special Troops, Beach Jumpers, 12th Army Gp Special Plans Branch) which were responsible for creating and implementing deception operations by use of camouflage, spoof transmissions, false movements, fake organizations, decoy constructions, dummy vehicles, imitation troops, simulated weapon discharges, artificial representations, illusions and other special effects; then during the GULF WAR, these deception operations were conducted by "Ambiguity Forces" under Task Force Troy, and used a "wheeled camel" symbol] [nb: under the Double Cross system of Operation Fortitude preliminary to the WWII D-Day INVASION, a procedure similar to CPX was used to create "ghost" and "phantom" units as a deception] [nb: CSA Fort Humbug near Shreveport was defended against MG Nathaniel P. Banks with faux cannons; likewise Quaker cannon were used on the Peninsula campaign to resist MG George B. McClellan's invasion ... also used false cookfires, bugle calls to missing troops, marching remaining soldiers in a circle to multiply their apparent strength] [nb: "All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him. If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected. These military devices, leading to victory, must not be divulged beforehand. In war, practice dissimulation, and you will succeed." by Sun-Tzu (ca490BC); "Force, and fraud, are in war the two cardinal virtues." by Thomas Hobbes (1651)]

see DECRYPT, DECODE. [nb: according to DoD JP1, the term 'encrypt' covers the meanings of encipher and encode; as the term 'decrypt' covers the meanings of decipher and decode]

a floor-like surface occupying all or most of one level in a superstructure or HULL; see BELOW DECK, TOPSIDE, FANTAIL, QUARTERDECK, POOP DECK, BOAT DECK, HURRICANE DECK, CIGARETTE DECK, WELL DECK, ORLOP, GUNDECK, BRIDGE, PLANK, CAMBER, SCUPPER, LADDERWELL, COMPANIONWAY, GANGWAY, HATCH, BULL'S-EYE, DEADLIGHT, BULKHEAD, OVERHEAD, SPONSON, BARBETTE, BOARD, ABOVE BOARD. [nb: the deck of a ship is slightly convex or cambered so as to shed water] Also, informal term for a full or sealed pack of cigarettes; not as much by its resemblance to a deck of PLAYING CARDS as by its completeness; see GASPER, BUTT, FAG.

the public act, and the document embodying it on 4 July 1776, by which the Second Continental Congress declared the American colonies to be free, sovereign, and independent of England; compare ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION, THE CONSTITUTION, see AMERICAN REVOLUTION.

a proclamation issued by the governing authority (typically a legislature but sometimes a chief executive officer) of one state to the diplomatic representative of another state that explicates the (extant) condition of hostile conflict, which often includes some justification and specific terms for its conclusion; a mandate reserved to Congress by the Constitution of the United States (Article I, Section 8) ... the AMERICAN REVOLUTION, TRIPOLITAN WAR, CIVIL WAR, INDIAN WARS, COLD WAR, KOREAN WAR, and the VIETNAM WAR, among others, were conducted by presidential authority (Article II, Section 2) without formal DECLARATIONs OF WAR. See WAR POWERS ACT, LAWS OF WAR, WAR; compare EXIT STRATEGY, UNDECLARED WAR. Also, any sociopolitical or socioeconomic act by one nation that threatens the security or stability of another nation, such that this sanction is deemed to be tantamount to a formal proclamation of hostility; see BUFFER STATE, CLIENT STATE, SATELLITE, PUPPET, FLAG OF PROTECTION, IRREDENTISM. [v: Neutrality Act] [nb: censorship may not be imposed upon the press or mass media without a DECLARATION OF WAR, although journalists may be constrained (by threatening a revocation of their credentials) within privacy and security guidelines so as to protect operational autonomy and personal identity] [nb: in settling the issue of seizures from those violating the CIVIL WAR blockade, the Supreme Court established (1863) that a genuine state of WAR could exist without a formal DECLARATION OF WAR; furthermore, the Supreme Court declared (Miller v. U.S.) that the rebellious Confederacy (CSA) enjoyed the rights of a belligerent and a sovereign, even without a formal DECLARATION OF WAR, and could not be characterized as "traitorous"]

to translate or convert unintelligible forms into plain text by means of a cryptographic system; to decipher or DECRYPT. See ALPHABET SOUP, ENCRYPT, CIPHER, KAK, KEK, KEY, SHACKLE, SCRAMBLE, ONE-TIME PAD, FLASH PAPER, NULLITY, BURST, RTO, RADIO, TAP CODE, DUNGEON, CRYPER, INTEL, ASA, MI, CIC, ICAP, IR, COMICS. [nb: according to DoD JP1, the term 'encrypt' covers the meanings of encipher and encode; as the term 'decrypt' covers the meanings of decipher and decode]

to remove from active service, as an OFFICER, WARSHIP, or BASE; also known as "inactivate", "demobilize", "dissolve", or "retire". See DEACTIVATE.

to break something down into its constituent parts; to utterly and entirely dismantle something, as being an apparent back-formation of DECONSTRUCTION ... an EOD grandiloquence for "smashed to smithereens".

a philosophical movement that was introduced into academe as a pseudosophisticated doctrine by the defeated and demoralized French [Jacques Derrida (1967ff)] as an insidious form of anti-intellectualism during the Vietnam-era; by challenging all traditional assumptions, it urges value-free references and representations in literature, art criticism, and other creative realms, extending its identifications and analyses into sociopolitical affairs, purging all ethnocentric or metaphysical ideations ... this post-structuralist methodology (being both anti-triumphal and anti-establishment) has been applied to architecture and fashion design, to phenomenology and philology. See CULTURE WAR, POST-MODERN, NIHILISM. [cf: skepticism, empiricism, epistemology] [nb: the doctrine of "cultural diversity" was introduced into American institutions during the post-Vietnam era by Islamists (and their sympathizers) who sought to corrupt the Western ideal of pluralistic tolerance with diffuse multiculturalism as a strategy ("a house divided...") for defeat]


the solemn decoration of the gravesites of the CIVIL WAR dead, as informally observed around the country from the end of hostilities until officially inaugurated in 1868, later becoming a day to commemorate all war dead, and renamed MEMORIAL DAY; a national holiday honoring the service and sacrifice of those killed in battle, it's celebrated on 30 May each year ... it's observed as "Confederate Memorial Day" on various dates in many Southern states. It's known as "Remembrance Day" (or "Poppy Day") by AUSSIE, KIWI, and other United Kingdom veterans.

an imitation of people or objects, or simulated occurrences or phenomena, which are intended to deceive enemy surveillance or to mislead enemy evaluations; also called "dummy"; see Q-SHIP, MOSS, LITTLE BUDDY, RUBBER DUCK, RED HERRING, TROJAN HORSE, STALKING HORSE, DARK HORSE, CAT'S-PAW, CAMO, DECEPTION, JUDAS GOAT, AUTOTOMY. Also, someone, usually a military intelligence or political officer, disguised as an ordinary soldier and inserted into a combat unit for the purpose of being captured, so as to surrender false information. These DECOYs, also called "plant" or "dispatched agent", are specially trained to render 'false positives' while misdirecting their captors. DECOYs are often older, better educated, and more physically fit than other troops, and may exhibit better medical or dental care than their alleged peers; which battlefield assessments may avert a disasterous trap. A military (eg: HOI CHANH) or political defector may also be a DECOY agent. See SECRET AGENT, SPOOK, CRYPTO, PROVOCATEUR, CUTOUT, THROW-AWAY, DANGLE, RABBIT, SWEEPER, STOOGE, CLEAN, LIFTED SKIRT, TRADECRAFT; compare BORDEN. [v: WWII deception Operation Mincemeat, "the man who never was"]

to translate or convert unintelligible forms into plain text by means of a cryptographic system; to decipher or DECODE. See ALPHABET SOUP, CODE TALKER, ENCRYPT, CIPHER, KAK, KEK, KEY, SHACKLE, SCRAMBLE, NULLITY, BURST, RTO, RADIO, TAP CODE, DUNGEON, CRYPER, INTEL, ASA, MI, CIC, ICAP, IR, COMICS. [nb: according to DoD JP1, the term 'encrypt' covers the meanings of encipher and encode; as the term 'decrypt' covers the meanings of decipher and decode]

the main entrance to a Roman camp, sited on the farthest side from the enemy; so-called from it being guarded by the tenth ("decimus" Latin) cohort of each legion.

slang meaning to be promoted before becoming regularly eligible due to excellence of merit or performance, being advanced ahead of the "above the zone" FAST MOVERs for cause; the modern equivalent of a BREVET for achievement or valor. See HARD CHARGER, SWEAT HOG, SUPER-TROOPER, BOOMER, HOT DOG, HOT SHOT, FIGJAM, GOLDEN BOY, BALLS TO THE WALL, VULCANIZE; compare BRASS HAT, UP OR OUT.

a cooperative operation to establish (1955) a research base (ie: LITTLE AMERICA) for military and civilian scientists on Antarctica, the "white continent"; this project was preceded by operations "High Jump" and "Window" at the end of WWII. See ICE STATION, RED NOSE. [v: Antarctic Treaty 1 December 1959]

the worst possible position, such as being nearly overrun, being a crisis on the verge of disaster; sometimes called "deep doo-doo", "deep serious", or a "shit storm". See TAR BABY, BITTER END, SNOWBALL, DOG'S CHANCE, SHIT HIT THE FAN, SHIT, LAST STAND.

the rejection or abandonment, suppression or concealment of something; derived from soundings by FATHOM (6feet), expressed as "by the deep six" (36feet), and not from a "six feet under" grave or gravesite. Also, to cast an object over the side, or to jettison something from a vessel or vehicle; also called "splash" or DX, especially when discarding unwanted articles or useless debris. Also, a euphemism for burial at sea. [nb: refers only to objects; living people fall "overboard"]


the part of the world wide web (www) that's not indexed by conventional search engines, which is also known as the "hidden web", "invisible web" [Jill Ellsworth (1994)], and "deep net" [Michael K. Bergman (2000)]. The DEEP WEB, which has legitimate covert applications, differs contextually from the DARK WEB, which is a similar network arranged for illegal transactions; by analogy to an iceberg, it's estimated that together these underground databases constitute resources five times larger than the standard "clear net" surface databases. The DEEP WEB was originally conceived by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as a concealed medium that could be accessed through innocent portals by simple password (instead of by elaborate encryption) for ready use by overseas agents and foreign operatives, where the mere existence of clandestine devices or methodologies would be instantly alarming to enemy surveillance. The DEEP WEB exists at one or more layers beneath an ordinary website so that reports and instructions can be posted for a limited period of time; access through such a conventional portal may be an image map or other link that will trigger a security sequence, but the website otherwise functions normally within its genre (eg: recreation, travelogue, financial blog, cooking lessons, etc). The DEEP WEB is also iconoclastic in seeking a forum that's not regulated by the MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX so as to freely publish unauthorized "subversive" material (eg: samizdat) without fear of CENSORSHIP. Although research continues on refining the access protocols for search engines, the contents of the DEEP WEB / DARK WEB can be protected from surveillance by registering log-in access, by delimiting password security, by coding technical prohibitions against caching, by publishing only in script languages, by producing only in dynamic multimedia, by mandating specific software, and by excluding forward and back link navigations.

clandestine 9mm single-shot
Deer Gun from early Vietnam-era
Deer Gun
(forthcoming); see LIBERATOR, ZIP GUN, PISTOL.

Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, the database of servicemembers, retirees, and their dependents.

a functional government that is in physical and operational control of a state, as by revolution, but is unrecognized by other states as being legitimate; see REALPOLITIK.

DEFense CONdition, also represented as "defense configuration"; a graduated security alert system denoting the worldwide readiness of U.S. military forces, ranging from 5 (no advanced readiness) to 1 (all-out war). See SACON, FPCON, ESP, GQ, ALERT, FOOTBALL, TOCSIN, STAND-TO, STAND-DOWN.

a downfall or setback, a destruction or ruin; to conquer, foil, beat, subdue, check, repulse, quell, crush, trounce, vanquish, overpower, overwhelm, overthrow, overturn, overcome, thwart, deprive, or ROUT. See THROW IN THE TOWEL, WATERLOO, EXIT STRATEGY, WHITE FLAG, STRIKE THE FLAG, FURL, CAPITULATION, CHANGING TUNE, RETROGRADE, BEAT FEET, HAUL-ASS, RETREAT. [nb: "You may be always victorious if you never enter into any contest where the issue does not wholly depend upon yourself." by Epictetus (ca100); "Therefore the skilful leader subdues the enemy's troops without any fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field." by Sun-Tzu (ca490BC); "As always, victory finds a hundred fathers, but defeat is an orphan." by Galeazzo Ciano (9 September 1942); "You can't win them all." by Raymond Chandler (1954); "We will get everything out of her that you can squeeze out of a lemon and a bit more. ... I will squeeze her until you can hear the pips squeak. My only doubt is not whether we can squeeze hard enough, but whether there is enough juice." by Sir Eric Geddes (9 Dec 1918 speech on German war reparations); "The gain to the winner is somehow always less than the loss to the loser." by Ian Fleming (1955); "In war there is no second prize for the runner-up." by Omar Bradley (Feb 1950); "Losing is the only American sin." by John R. Tunis (19 Mar 1992)]

the defeat of the separate parts of a force in turn, singly and sequentially, as a piecemeal destruction; not a total annihilation or an utter extermination.

a fault or shortcoming, a deficiency or lack of something essential, as any flaw or imperfection; see CHINK, GIG, TURD, DR, DEMERIT, GRIPE SHEET. Also, to desert a cause or country, to "skip" or "fade-out"; as derived from a failure or shortcoming that's due to weakness; see TREASON, TURNCOAT, QUISLING, TRAITOR, DESERTER, WHITE VC, JUDAS GOAT, EXILE, PNG, REFUGEE.

the entity that wards off attack; those that guard against assault or injury; compare AGGRESSOR, 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."]

see DA.


see Department of Defense (DOD), PENTAGON.

an automatic response to a perceived threat or an offensive provocation, typically a pre-planned reaction to hostility directed toward personal integrity or group identity; culturally approved aggressivity warranted by self preservation or group survival; see FIGHTING WORDS, BLOODY SHIRT, TRIGGER TERM, TRAILING HIS COAT, FIGHTING MAD, RAMPAGE, BATTLE ROYAL, SABER-RATTLING, HAIR-TRIGGER, HALF-COCKED, SCAPEGOAT, PARANOIA, FIGHT OR FLIGHT, JUST WAR, SIEGE MENTALITY, RISKY-SHIFT EFFECT. Also, an unconscious psychological process that protects an individual from unacceptable ideas or painful impulses; a form of denial. Also, the body's automatic physiological reaction as an organism, generated for self-protective survival, such as against an invasive pathogen.

an ex-officio panel of experts, appointed by the president (POTUS), who volunteer to consult with the Secretary of Defense (SecDef) on global strategy, and advise on the social, political, and economic ramifications of military interventions. See WISE MEN, KITCHEN CABINET, BRAIN TRUST.

a temporary exemption from induction into military service, as based upon educational enrollment, marital status, and the like, until the status changes, the regulations change, or manpower needs change; not a total and permanent exemption; see MILITIA, STRIKER, WEEKEND WARRIOR, PARAMILITARY. Also, a temporary postponement of obligation, such as the payment of taxes while serving in a combat zone; see TOUR BABY, COMBAT BUM, HOMESTEADER, LIFER.

protection from frontal fire or ground observation, as provided by any natural or artificial barrier; including rampart, parapet, bulwark, bastion, redan/redent, battlement, lunette/lunet, barbette, salient, countergarde. Compare HULL DOWN; see REVETMENT, EMPLACEMENT, DEAD SPACE, BERM, REDOUBT, CATWALK, BANQUETTE, COVER, CONCEALMENT, FACE. [cf: escarp, scarp/escarpment, counterscarp] [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

a narrow passage; also, to march in line of file(s).

to burn, especially in a sudden and violent manner; see DET CORD, EXPLOSIVE.

the amount of lateral deviation between the point of aim (AIMPOINT) and the POINT OF IMPACT on the target, or the mean error of a SALVO. Making a DEFLECTION shot entails adjustments for distance and movement, so the round launched by empirical calculus will coincide with the arrival of the target; also called "Kentucky windage". See SIGHT PICTURE, PEEP SIGHT, OPEN SIGHT, ZERO, BORESIGHT, BULL'S-EYE, POINT-BLANK, ELEVATION, TRAVERSE, LEAD, TRAIN, DISPERSION; compare RICOCHET, WILD SHOT, DEAD-RECKONING.

to remove the ignigter from a pyrotechnic or explosive device; see FUSE.

to remove the triggering mechanism from a bomb, shell, or other explosive; see FUZE.


(forthcoming) eponymous derivation from Karl Friedrich Gauss.

anyone or anything that declines, diminishes, or deteriorates in mental, moral, or physical qualities, as compared to a higher or normal ancestral standard; a person or thing that reverts to an earlier phase or stage of development. Also, the loss of function or structure among species or their traits in the course of evolution; that which has lost the qualities proper to a particular race or kind. [v: vestige; cf: atavism] Also, a degraded or depraved sexual deviate; an immoral or craven pervert; see PREEVERT, INVERT, FAG, CREDIBILITY GAP, HUAC, McCARTHYISM, COMMIE, RED, PINKO, INVISIBLE, FIFTH COLUMN, RUNNING DOG, SYMPATHIZER, USEFUL IDIOTS.

combined US/SVN operation in A SHAU VALLEY during 1968.

the commitment of powers and functions to someone, as being deputed to act on another's behalf, as an agent or representative; term derives from "assign as envoy", an emissary or legate; see RESPONSIBILITY, ACCOUNTABILITY, MICROMANAGEMENT, CYA. [nb: only authority can be delegated to subordinates, while responsibility and accountability cannot be transferred] [nb: "Don't bottleneck the decision-making process -- delegate down and out to competent subordinates. When problems are found, reinforce the decentralized structure by forcing others to assume responsibility and accountability -- the pressure is to 'pass the buck', but if the policy is clear, then resist this tendency and delegate." paraphrase of Donald H. Rumsfeld]

someone who commits his power or transfers his function to an agent or deputy as representative, being a reptilian life form that practices the fine art of 'remote' or 'indirect' leadership by a scrupulous insistence upon "hand's off" command modalities while tirelessly garnering all credit and avoiding all blame; a cold-blooded leader devoted to his own welfare and preferment; see RHIP, CYA, BRASS EAR, EMPTY SUIT, PIG LOOKING AT A WRISTWATCH, HOLLOW BUNNY, DRONE, MILICRAT, HEADQUARTERISM; compare CASTRATION ANXIETY, MICROMANAGEMENT.

the inaccuracy associated with a given weapon system resulting in a dispersion of shots about the aiming point. See AIMPOINT, POINT OF IMPACT, CEP, HORIZONTAL ERROR, DISPERSION ERROR.


South Vietnamese 81st Airborne
Ranger Battalion patch
ARVN 81 Abn Rngr
a special project that operated during the VIETNAM WAR as Detachment B-52, organized under the auspices of Special Operations Augmentation, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne); the supplemental training in reconnaissance and surveillance, patrolling and airmobility techniques taught to unit members became the basis for the MACV Recondo School. The Greek letter designation 'delta' [Δ] represents the fourth in a series, and signifies incremental change. See LEAPING LENA, THE GREEKS, STD, SOG, SPECIAL FORCES, SPECIAL OPERATIONS. Also, shortened form of DELTA FORCE (1SFOD-D), and also called "The Unit"; see BEHIND THE FENCE, KILL HOUSE, DOUBLE TAP, AT CLOSE QUARTERS, JSOC, USSOC, SPECIAL OPERATIONS. Also, the word assigned to represent the letter "D" in the international phonetic alphabet; at various times in different spelling schemes, it has also been acrophonetically represented as Dog and Dock. See ALPHABET SOUP, PHONETIC ALPHABET. [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags]

Convair / General Dynamics F-102 supersonic, all-weather, delta-wing, single-place, interceptor aircraft, powered by a turbojet engine. See BIRD.

F-106A aircraft; see SHARPSHOOTER, BIRD.

informal name of the U.S. Army's 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment - Delta (1SFOD-D), being a Direct Action (DA) component of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC); it was activated in November 1977 by COL Charles Beckwith, who was also the first commander of its namesake entity Project Delta (DET B-52, 5th SFGA). DELTA FORCE is also called "The Unit", and its operatives are sometimes called "D-boys". See LEAPING LENA, THE GREEKS, BEHIND THE FENCE, KILL HOUSE, DOUBLE TAP, AT CLOSE QUARTERS, USSOC, SPECIAL OPERATIONS.

determining and marking off the boundaries of something; to mark the separate and distinct limits of something; being a Latinization of the line of demarcation that divided the world between Spain and Portugal. Also, a standard of attainment, a level of measure, a qualifying line of demarcation; a delimiter or BAR; see CUT THE MUSTARD.

the making of an official approach about a plan or procedure that requires some sort of response; a diplomatic representation for raising a matter that requests that the host country make a decision, especially involving a change of course or direction; as literally derived from 'gate'.


[v: chukka, bootee] see BOONDOCKERS, JODHPUR.

to denature or render safe, as when made inert, inactive, inoperable, non-lethal, non-toxic, or otherwise harmless (eg: removal of explosives from munitions), including neutralization of HAZMAT, disposal of CBR ingredients, and destruction of classified design components. Also, to prohibit a military presence; to banish military organizations or operations, armaments or munitions from a designated area. Also, to deprive of military influence by placing under civil authority and control.

see DMZ.

contraction of DEMOlition, referring to the specialist, the techniques, and/or the munitions, being an artful MIL-CRAFT of inverse architecture or reverse engineering; see EXPLOSIVE, CHARGE, SHAPED CHARGE, BOOBY-TRAP, IED, COCKTAIL, SOUP, TRIGGER, FIRE IN THE HOLE. [nb: Vietnamese term: Pha Huy]

short for DEMOBilize or DEMOBilization, meaning to disband troops or units from active service; to DISCHARGE a person from military service, as used since the CIVIL WAR by Americans, and since WWI by British / UK personnel. See RIF, SERB, ETS, KICKSTANDED, DUMP, PEACE DIVIDEND.

NavSpeak for depth in meters; see FATHOM, CABLE, SHOT, NAUTICAL MILE, KNOT, KLICK.

someone who assists the instructor in teaching by an exhibition of what is being taught; a prime example or specimen, superlative model or exemplar, paradigm or prototype; see SUPER-TROOPER, FUGLEMAN. Also, someone who exhibits their disagreement with or disapproval of government policies, especially international relations, being a privilege of citizenship forsaken by MIL-PERS; see PROTESTOR, SYMPATHIZER, SILVER-TAIL, PROVOCATEUR, BULLSHITVIK, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY, POWER TO THE PEOPLE, WE SHALL OVERCOME, SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER.

an infectious, usually epidemic, eruptive fever of warm climates that's characterized by severe pains in the joints and muscles, as caused by a togavirus.

Dental Civic Action Program; military dentists and dental assistants provided oral hygiene treatment in many remote VILLEs. See CA, CAP, MEDCAP, ICAP, WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS.

Delayed Entry Program, which allows a delay of one year from enlistment before reporting for duty. The Reserve component calls this the Delayed Training Program (DTP), and assigns participants to a Troop Program Unit (TPU) for accountability. See CONAP, ACASP, NESEP, BOOTSTRAP, USAFI, SOC, ROTC.

military designation of a spouse or minor child, being the legal family member(s) of a sponsoring servicemember; see DISTAFF, BRAT.

to deprive of personality or individuality, as to behave impersonally toward someone or something; see OBJECTIFICATION, DISSOCIATION, STRESS OF SOUL, TELESCOPING. [v: double-blind, impartiality, unprejudiced or unbiased]

a determination of the eligibility of a servicemember, who is without pending CHARGEs or restrictive PROFILEs, to be positioned (individually or as part of a unit) to a location outside of the continental United States (CONUS) for an unspecified period of time, with or without prior notification, at the convenience of the government; a basic warrant of good health and general qualification for reassignment OVERSEAS.



defensive positions set so as to ensure interlocking fields of fire; as advocated by MG William E. DePuy, 1966 CG of 1st Inf Div. See FOXHOLE, SPIDER HOLE, HASTY TRENCH, BUNKER. [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

Date Eligible [for] Return [from] OverSeas; the estimated date a person's tour in Vietnam was scheduled to end. See WAKE-UP, WHEN IN ROME. [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"] [nb: civilians go 'abroad' while soldiers go 'overseas']

see BOOM; also, GIBBET.


(forthcoming); Executive Order 9981 (1948); OCS during WWII was the first training course to be racially desegregated. see BEANER, BLACK, CHINK, RICE BALL, BASKET HEAD, BUDDHAHEAD, PURPLE HEART BATTALION, NIP, FLIP, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, WOG, WOP, GREEN BLOOD, POSSE COMITATUS. [nb: the Enforcement Act, among other powers, allows the president to activate and assign military forces whenever state authorities are either unable or unwilling to suppress violence that's in opposition to the constitutional rights of the people; which allowed President Eisenhower to send federal troops into Little Rock, Arkansas, during the 1958 school desegregation crisis]

desert pattern camouflage
desert camo
a three-/six-tone camouflage patterned uniform worn for concealment in an arid region; originating as a subdued KHAKI tan uniform in the British Army, the artificial mottling (often called "coffee-stain") of such clothing has extended to CHOCOLATE CHIP and TIGER STRIPE versions, and has since been extended to pixelated DIGITALS with infrared (IR) protection. See CAMMIES, CAMO, DRESS.


mil-spec desert boot
desert boot
a combat boot featuring a direct molded-sole (DMS) of lug cleats, leather vamp with drain vents, leather heel counter, anti-penetration insole, and reinforced muted tan fabric legging. Developed from JUNGLE BOOTS, it is designed to dry more quickly than all leather boots; although the insole and air vents aided in wicking moisture from the wearer's foot, their lightweight construction made them unsuitable for the extremely cold conditions of the desert uplands. After 30 April 2008, the wear of all-leather boots as well as the green-and-black JUNGLE BOOTS is no longer authorized. See FOOTWEAR. [nb: not to be confused with the classic suede or rough-out tan leather demiboot that was worn casually by outdoor recreationalists after WWII, which has since been replaced by high-tech trainers and hikers; cf: BOONDOCKERS, BUSKINS]

to leave military service, or to abandon one's oath and duty, without authorization, and with the intention of never returning; being grounds for punishment and dishonorable discharge, as denoted by Article 85 of the UCMJ; see FIRING SQUAD. Also, to fail one's associates, or to forsake one's obligations. Also, to abandon the responsibilities of the law, as a renegade outlier or recreant outlaw, rogue, fugitive, rebel, apostate, reaver / reiver. See MERCENARY, TERRORIST, MUTINEER, RIOT ACT, UCMJ; compare AWOL, UA, DRAFT DODGER, TRAITOR, DEFECT, TURNCOAT, WHITE VC. [v: Riley and other USArmy deserters who fought against their former units during the Mexican War (1846-8)] [nb: during the 19th century, those deserters who were recaptured were marked on the face with the letter 'D' branded into both cheeks]

(forthcoming); operation in the Mid-East during 16-22 Dec 1998. Also, informal reference to a female MIL-PERS stationed in the Mid-East during the GULF WAR-era; also called "desert diamond" or QUEEN FOR A YEAR; see SKIRT, GI JANE, WARRIOR PRINCESS, ANGEL.

the British Long Range Desert Group (LRDG), operating in North Africa during WWII, which was also called the "mosquito army" and the "desert taxi service"; it was later reorganized as a Special Air Service (SAS) unit.


an operation launched by U.S. and coalition forces on 7 August 1990 to contain the Iraqi Republican Guard, which had invaded Kuwait on 2 August, and to comply with treaty obligations to protect Saudi Arabia, preventing further annexation; a U.S. declaration on 20 September and a UN resolution on 29 November stipulated the unconditional withdrawal of Iraqi forces and restoration of the legitimate government in Kuwait, including a deadline of 15 January 1991. The Persian Gulf War (7 Aug 1990 - 28 Feb 1991) is also known as the GULF WAR or "Gulf War I".

operation in southwest Asia from 31 Dec 1998 to 18 Mar 2003.

an operation launched by a U.S.-led coalition on 17 January 1991 with air attacks, followed by ground attacks on 24 February, with Kuwait City liberated on 27 February 1991; having obtained all military objectives and fulfilled its mission, the coalition declared a cease-fire on 28 February 1991. The Persian Gulf War (7 Aug 1990 - 28 Feb 1991) is also known as the GULF WAR or "Gulf War I".

operation in the Mid-East (ie: Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Oman, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, and Red Sea) during 11 Nov - 22 Dec 1998.

see REMF.

the process of securing, in proper order and placement, all documents and effects on the desk of a senior official by his AIDE or Executive Assistant (EA), in accordance with regulations requiring that all sensitive materials be protected when not in actual use; in effect, the complete clearing and later complete restoration of the contents of a superior's desk top by his trusted DOG ROBBER; see LMD, BUCK SLIP, CHAIRBORNE, ORIFICE, HEADQUARTERISM. Also, to surveil a cluttered desk or working surface so as to glean useful information without disturbing the layout or leaving detectable clues of intrusion; see TRADECRAFT, INTEL.

US Navy patrols by destroyers and escorts in the Gulf of Tonkin. See TONKIN GULF INCIDENT.



the state of being no longer used or practiced, as to rescind or discontinue; as derived from "unlearn", to become "disaccustomed" to, to cease to become accustomed to; see DX, SALTY DOG, LIFT, IN THE AIR, BELAY, SCRUB, WAVE OFF, STAND-DOWN.

DETachment; any organic unit separated for operational independence, or any integral element assigned to a separate duty or mission; see HHD, AAD, NAD, MID, TDY, DETAIL, FIRING SQUAD, CORPORAL'S GUARD, AD HOC.

an assignment, to be assigned a DUTY. Also, a temporary or special duty, such as CQ, KP, POLICE CALL, guard mount, as a provisional detachment; see DET, TDY, FIRING SQUAD, CORPORAL'S GUARD, SCRATCH, AD HOC. Also, a work party, which, in the case of an onerous or unpleasant assignment, was sometimes characterized as a "shit detail" or "lifer's revenge"; see GI PARTY, SHORE PARTY, FATIGUE, BITCH.

to disassemble a weapon beyond its major components or housings for maintenance or repair, as performed by ARMORERS; compare FIELD STRIP. [nb: despite the allusive sexual metaphor, there is no "quick and easy solution" to total exposure; it must be done slowly and painfully, one incremental part at a time ... and reassembled in the same exacting manner]

any person, usually an INDIGenous civilian, held in custody for questioning, especially for a political transgression or a violation of MARTIAL LAW; see THIRD DEGREE, RENDITION, CURFEW, METAL TEST, VCS, DOUBTFULS.

detonating cord; being an "instantaneous fuse" in the form of a long, thin, waterproof, flexible fabricated tube loaded with explosive (PETN) designed to carry a detonation wave, with an explosive transmission chain rate of 25,000 feet per second. Used to obtain the (nearly) simultaneous explosion from widely spaced demolitions, such as multiple CLAYMOREs. Also used to "cut" objects and obstacles, as when constructing tank-traps (ABATIS, FRAISE, BOLLARD) by felling trees, with the formula of wrapping three turns per foot of trunk diameter around the tree, and then igniting. [aka: "Primacord" trademark]

a relaxing of tension [v: detent], especially between nations, as by negotiations or agreements; see TRUCE, CARTE BLANCHE, RAPPROCHEMENT, RAISON D'ETAT, DEMARCHE, COUP D'ETAT, DIKTAT, APPEASE, PEACE; compare ENTENTE. [nb: the phrase "peaceful co-existence" seems to have originated as the expression "peaceful and friendly co-existence" at the Ninth All-Russian Congress of the Soviets, then was used in a 30 June 1954 press conference by Dwight D. Eisenhower, but was made famous when uttered by Nikita Khrushchev in a 6 January 1961 speech] [v: Diplomatic Terms]

see RESILIENT / RESILIENCE. [v: persistent / persistence, perseverant / perseverance, tenacious / tenacity, unbent / unbowed / unbroken / undefeated]


a mechanism, such as a switch or TRIGGER, or a device, such as a percussion cap or blasting cap, that's used to make another substance explode; compare SECONDARY EXPLOSION, CLACKER, FUSE, FUZE, EXPLODER, WAR NOSE; see EXPLOSIVE.

two. Also, a mild oath meaning devil or dickens. [v: deuce of clubs note at DEATH CARD]

M-35 2.5-ton truck; Marines call this vehicle a "six-by". See GUN TRUCK, WAR PIG, DUCK, TRUCK.

Marine term for the WEB GEAR or LBE issued to each individual infantryman; named for the gear's Requisition Form 782, or "Seven-Eighty-Deuce". [nb: called "belt order" by AUSSIE and KIWI troops]

the angle of error of a magnetic compass on a given heading as a result of local magnetism; the declination from true north; see AZIMUTH, BEARING, AIMPOINT, HEADING, COMPASS, DEAD-RECKONING. Also, the distance by which a point of impact or burst misses the target; see DELIVERY ERROR, CEP, DISPERSION ERROR, HORIZONTAL ERROR, DANGER CLOSE.

an emblematic representation or heraldic charge; also known as "ribbon devices". Such distinctive ornaments include stars (eg: bronze, silver), leaves (eg: oak, palmette), letters (eg: E, V), numerals, date bars, campaign bars, and other representative symbols. Common DEVICEs on medals include stars for service, leaves and numerals for multiple awards, a capital letter for achievement or valor, and an arrowhead for a combat parachute jump. Common DEVICEs on skill badges include pendant skill bars, silver stars for multiple awards, and a bronze star for each combat parachute jump. The proper placement of authorized DEVICEs is strictly regulated by each separate branch of service (eg: 'V' device centered between multiple award indicators for the Army, but positioned at the far left for the Navy). See GONG, FRUIT SALAD, CAMPAIGN MEDAL, I WAS THERE, BATTLE STAR, OLC, V-DEVICE, WINGS, BRASS, TRASH, CONTRAFOIL, GREEN TAB. [nb: an insignia emblematic of the honors and lineage of a military organization, unlike familial "coats of arms", may be individually enhanced but not personally heritable; v: Heraldry] Also, anything made for a particular purpose; an invention or contrivance, mechanical or electronic; see GADGET, WEAPON, TECHNOLOGY.

a supreme or subordinate evil spirit at enmity with God; also known as Satan, Prince of Darkness, Evil One, Foul Fiend, Old Tempter, Old Scratch, Old Nick, Old Harry, Old Serpent, Lucifer ("Light Bringer"), Beelzebub ("Lord of the Flies"), Apollyon / Abaddon ("the Destroyer"), Belial, Cloot / Cloots, Moloch / Molech, Mephistopheles, Dickens, M'ra, Skin-walker, Shape-shifter, and the like; see GREAT SATAN, EVIL EMPIRE, HELL ON WHEELS, HOLY WAR, ROMAN HOLIDAY, ARMAGEDDON, VALHALLA, WARLOCK. [v: Tartarus, Erebus, Pluto, Stygian, Orcus, Avernus, Tophet, Satan's kingdom, Devil's house, underworld, lower world, netherworld, nether regions, the bad place, hell, hades, inferno, infernal regions, perdition, purgatory, limbo, oblivion, pit, bottomless pit, abyss, lake of fire and brimstone, lake of fire, fiery furnace, abode of the damned, home of lost souls, place of departed spirits, shades below, hellhole] Also, to maliciously annoy or harass, to diabolically torment or beset; to besiege or bedevil; see SQUEEZE, CHICKEN SHIT, ELEPHANT SHIT, SNIPE HUNT, SHORT-SHEET, SQUARE MEAL, BRACE, FASHION SHOW, BOX THE COMPASS, SQUAT, FRONT LEANING REST, WHISTLE DRILL, SUGAR COOKIE, ROCK PORTAGE, SURF TORTURE, HELL WEEK, MICKEY MOUSE, FANG, NASTY-GRAM, SALTING, READ-BACK, CALL ON THE CARPET, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, PRESTRESS. Also, to prepare food with hot or savory seasonings; see CONDIMENTS.

[teufelhunden] a nickname for Marines, meaning "hell hounds", as derived from their fighting prowess at Belleau Wood (France) in WWI. Also, a nickname for the Marine Corps mascot: BULLDOG (qv). See USMC, LEATHERNECK, MILITARY ORDER OF THE DEVIL DOGS.


characterization in the diary of a German officer that's attributed (Jan 1944) to members of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Anzio; see ALL AMERICAN, JUMP POCKETS.



slang for a MINEFIELD; see BOOBY-TRAP, MINE, COCKTAIL, BOMB, FISH, EXPLOSIVE. Also, slang reference to the inhospitable desert; also called "sand land" and "camel land"; see SANDBOX.


a colloquialism for dirty or unsafe water, especially a brackish or poisoned source; see NUOC, EVAPORATOR, SOLAR STILL, WATER PURIFICATION TABLET. Also, an allusion to any alcoholic beverage, especially as a temptation to dissolute turpitude; see HOOCH, GROG, TORPEDO JUICE, MOONSHINE, IRISH SODA POP, DUTCH COURAGE, THE DRINK. Also, during the GULF WARs, an allusion to petroleum in any of its forms (eg: gasoline, naphtha, benzene, kerosene, paraffin, etc), especially as an anti-war catch-phrase (ie: "No blood for oil!"); see PETROL, POL, AVGAS, MOGAS, JUICE, CHERRY JUICE, REDNECK CREDIT CARD.

Directed Energy Weapon.

see LAM SON 719.

Distant Early Warning Line of RADAR stations forming a 3,000 mile surveillance network positioned north of the Artic Circle that's been jointly maintained since 1955 by the USA and Canada to provide advance warning of the approach of hostile planes or missiles. See GROUND OBSERVER CORPS, OUTPOST; compare STAR WARS, MAGINOT LINE, SIEGFRIED LINE, MARETH LINE, SMEZ, IRON CURTAIN, BAMBOO CURTAIN, BAR LEV LINE, CACTUS CURTAIN, McNAMARA'S WALL, McNAMARA LINE, CHINESE WALL, PHASE LINE. [cf: Hadrian's Wall, Antonine Wall, Great Wall of China] [nb: the Dutch built Wall Street (1652-98) as a defense against the British in New York] [nb: "The strength of a wall is neither greater nor less than the men who defend it." by Genghis Khan; "Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin; whoever builds a high gate invites destruction." Proverbs 17:19 NIV Bible]

in heraldry, being of or on the right side, or pertaining to the right side of a shield from the bearer's position or point of view; representative of good, skillful, clever, adroit, deft, fortunate, favored. Compare SINISTER. [nb: the left-hand side of an illustration] [cf: like heraldic "dexter" and "sinister", "port" and "starboard", "stage left" and "stage right", "proper left" and "proper right" are clarifications of direction for orientation or perspective so as to avoid confusion]

DF :
Disposition Form, the military format (essentially a blank sheet of paper) for a narrative to be composed and distributed; see FORM. Also, Distribution Form, a cover slip specifying the identification of recipients for circulation; see BUCK SLIP. Also, Direction Finding, as in RDF.

(dee-fak) Dining FACility, being the modern military designation for a place to eat, often provided with radio or television, and generally displaying sports or combat MEMORABILIA; a refectory that was formerly known as a CHOW HALL or MESS / MESSHALL. The DFAC is staffed by civilian contract employees; when overseas, the staffing employees are either vetted locals (LN) or third-country nationals (TCN). See CANTEEN, ANNEX, GALLEY, FIELD KITCHEN, CHOW LINE.

(dee-fass) Defense Finance and Accounting Service; see THE EAGLE SHITS, BP, SALARY, DEAD HORSE, SEPARATE RATS, DOUBLE-DIP, COLA, MISERY INDEX.


Defense Forces Support; see SDF, SSDF, PSDF.

a wild Asian dog (cuon alpinus) that hunts in packs; alleged to be the indigenous name of this animal, though apparently not attested in Indo-Aryan or Dravidian languages. [cf: lupine, vulpine, canid, dog-like, mongrel, feral dog, wild dog, dingo, jackal, warrigal, maned wolf, raccoon dog (tanuki); v: ravenous, Anubis (Great Collector of Souls)]

Department of Homeland Security, organized after the 9/11 2001 TERRORIST attack from the Terrorist Incident Working Group (TIWG) as an interagency organization with ANTI-TERRORISM being its primary mission; commonly known as OCTOPUS, it is the supervening agency for federal law enforcement, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Secret Service, U.S. Border Patrol, Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Coast Guard (USCG); DHS coordinates with other federal departments and agencies, as well as state, local, and tribal governments to establish the National Response Plan (NRP) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS). See CIA, FBI, DEA, REVENUER, DIS, NSC, NSPG, CBP, USCIS, ICE, ANTI-TERRORISM, COUNTER-TERRORISM, TERRORIST.

DI :
Drill Sergeant pocket badge
Drill Sgt
(dee-eye) Drill Instructor, formerly called "drill master", and also known as "drill major" [nb: not "drum major"]; synonymous with "Drill Sergeant" as a duty assignment, not a RANK [cf: FIRST SHIRT, CHIEF] being the specially trained NCO who is responsible for the initial instruction of new recruits so as to ensure their military knowledge and discipline before being assigned to a duty station. [nb: it's a well established fact that a good Drill Sergeant will take the raw material of a civilian and turn him into a soldier in the same way that he would take a tangled mess of steel wool and knit it into a tank!] Also, abbreviation for "distinctive insignia", properly known as Distinctive Unit Insignia (DUI); see CREST, BEERCAN, GREEN TAB, EMBLEM, INSIGNIA. Also, abbreviation for the Director of Intelligence of the Central Intelligence Agency; see DDI, CIA.

Defense Intelligence Agency
(dee-eye-ay) Defense Intelligence Agency; an intelligence gathering organization that was established (1962) by the Department of Defense to compensate for the weaknesses exhibited by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in providing reliably actionable information for the conduct of military operations; compare DNI; see DIME, MI, INTEL.

an intestinal disorder characterized by frequent and fluid fecal evacuations; contrary to popular fiction, enemy contact would temporarily cure (not cause) this condition. See TROTS, SQUIRTS, DUMP, SHIT, HEAD CALL, SLOP CHUTE, CAT HOLE, BLUE CANOE, SLIT TRENCH, HEAD, LATRINE, HONEY BUCKET, TRA CA, COMFORT STATION, SALMONELLA / SALMONELLOSIS, COCHIN CHINA DIARRHEA, SPRUE, CORK. [nb: diarrhea, with its associated dehydration, is the condition most responsible for human death worldwide]

small cubes, made of bone or ivory, wood or metal, ceramic or plastic, that are marked on each side with a symbol or PIP, as used by shaking two or more in the hand and tossing onto a flat surface for reading in divination or games of chance; also known as "bones" or "galloping dominoes". [nb: "bust-outs": slang for loaded, shaved, or mismarked dice] [nb: "Don't roll the dice if you can't pay the price."] [v: alea jacta est (Latin: the die is cast)]

shoulder patch of the 11th
Corps represented by a pair of dice showing 5 and 6 pips
11th Corps

being caught-up in one's own intrigue, blamed for or betrayed by another, or simply out of resources or options; see SHIT HIT THE FAN, FLAP, SOL, FUCKED-UP, SCREW THE POOCH, PYHOOYA, BOHICA. [nb: undoubtedly originating with victimization from sodomy or rape, this term (like 'sucks' and 'fucked') has lost its original meaning by acquiring its metaphorical applications]

Defense Intelligence Digest.



the least amount or degree, next to nothing, being of little import or value; sometimes called "diddly-squat" or "doodly-squat", which are euphemistic variants of diddleshit or diddlyshit; see WASTED, ZAP, CANNON FODDER, SNOWBALL, compare SHIT LOAD, DOOLIE. Also, being of no import or value, worthless, naught, CIPHER, nil, aught, rush, zilch; see ZERO, ZIP, NULLITY, SQUAT. Also, a flaw or malfunction, as from cheat, swindle, or hoax, as to "diddle a mark". Also, to squander or dawdle; as from toy, fiddle, manipulate, or maneuver, as to "diddle a scam". Also, to copulate or masturbate with, as to "diddle a partner"; see FUCK, CHURNING BUTTER, TRICK, BOOM-BOOM, SHORT-TIME, DU, STEAM 'n' CREAM, HOOKUP, HELL ON WHEELS, ACT OF CONGRESS, CHOWING DOWN, HEAD, HUMMER, BUSH PILOT, MUFF DIVER.



(dee dee mau) Vietnamese phrase for move quickly, move out, go away, get out of here; also emphasized as "di di mau len", and often shortened to "di di".

a fiercely tenacious and resilient person, as derived from the British BATTLE CRY of "Die hard, my lads, die hard!" by Colonel Inglis at the Battle of Albuera in 1811 against the French; see V-DEVICE, BRAGGING RIGHTS, COUNT COUP, WATCH MY SMOKE, ROOT HOG OR DIE, TAKE IT ON THE CHIN, ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH, LAST STAND, STAND ONE'S GROUND, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, RISKY-SHIFT EFFECT, BITE THE BULLET, BEARING, ONIONS, MOXIE, GUTS, SCAR, PAIN. Also, to be stubborn, resistant, reluctant, obdurate, unyielding, rock-ribbed, or uncompromising, as unwilling to change, being more inflexible than immobile; also spelled "die-hard"; compare HARD-AND-FAST, see HARD-SET, HARD-NOSE, HARD-ASS.


any of the traditional practices regulating the preparation of permitted foods or food combinations, and the utensils or dishes used in serving them, especially those customary prohibitions imposed by strict adherents of Judaism and Islamism, Manicheanism and Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism; a food may be classified as blessed, sacrificed, transubstantiated, or forbidden. See MESS, DFAC, GALLEY, CHOW, BEANS, FORAGE, RATIONS. [v: kosher, kashruth, halal] [nb: American MIL-PERS serving on active duty are explicitly excused from the constraint of dietary laws regardless of their religion] [nb: "It is what comes out of a man that defiles him, not what goes into him." Mark 7:19; "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." Acts 10:15; "Everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer." I Timothy 4:4-5]

to die while fighting, as in battle, or in some worthy cause. Also, to die while actively engaged in one's work or profession; sometimes expressed as to "die in harness". [nb: represented by Brits as: "die in one's boots"]


digital camouflage
informal designation of the high-tech field uniform or work UTILITIES that has an integrated dispersion pattern, incorporated Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) indicators, and even includes tracking or locator sensors for the recovery of wounded or dead servicemembers. These rugged and sophisticated uniforms replace the earlier FATIGUES, DUNGAREES, and BDUs. Originating with a camouflage pattern for Canadian uniforms (CADPAT), the USMC then developed a design (MARPAT) using the same technique, and other services followed with different patterns. Although DIGITALS are also known as "pixels", this refers to the stippling technique more than the actual pattern, such that WOODLAND and TIGER STRIPE are both pixelated. See ACU, ABU, AQUAFLAGE, CAMMIES, CAMO, DRESS.

a harsh settlement or decree imposed unilaterally, especially on a defeated nation; literally "something dictated". See CARTE BLANCHE, CAPITULATION, NEUTRALIZE, TREATY, TRUCE, RAPPROCHEMENT, DETENTE, ENTENTE. [v: Diplomatic Terms]

sardonic abbreviation for "Does It Look Like I Give A Flying Fuck?"; compare XIN-LOI, WTFO, FIGMO, SOL, BOHICA, PYHOOYA, SHIT MAGNET.

interagency acronym for Diplomacy, Information, Military, and Economics, which are considered to be the most effective elements of modern COUNTERINSURGENCY, which de-emphasizes the function of military intervention, as currently taught in all advanced coursework. This is the latest buzzword in the new vocabulary promoting the Army's most profound restructuring in half a century, but is an unproven theoretical stopgap to the shrinking military budget and downsized Armed Forces. See WAR COLLEGE, NEW WORLD ORDER, FOREIGN POLICY; compare GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY, BIG STICK DIPLOMACY. Also, a small silvery white coin of the United States, being equal to ten cents (PENNY), or one tenth of a DOLLAR; originally spelled 'disme', as derived from "tenth part" [decima]; see LEGAL TENDER. Also, slang for something costing ten dollars, especially drugs (ie: "dime bag"); also known as sawbuck, tenner, or ten-spot. [nb: each dime has 118 ridges around the outside edge] [v: decimal, tithe]

a 105mm HOWITZER; may be spelled "dime nickel", and is also called "penny nickel" and ONE-OH-DEUCE. See TOWED, SP, KILLER JUNIOR, ARTY.

the basic monetary unit of currency in Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Tunisia, and Yugoslavia. Also, a monetary unit of currency in Iran that's equal to one-hundredth part of a RIAL. See LEGAL TENDER.

full-equipment jump
equipment jump
a gear bag or equipment pack that's released for suspension by a tether or GUY rope, called a "lowering line", from the harness of a PARATROOPER after the canopy has properly deployed; also called "dangleberry" or "dillberry". Just as the retaining straps on scabbarded weapons are released from the jumper's leg, likewise this KIT BAG is let down so as not to injure or interfere with the PARATROOPER executing a parachute landing fall (PLF). See FLIGHT BAG, STABO, LBE, WEB GEAR, LET-DOWN ROPE, ABN, PARACHUTE. Also, naval slang for the discharged waste matter that's expelled from a pressurized toilet aboard ship when it's improperly operated; due to the complicated mechanics of flushing a water-/airtight toilet, this accident is not rare, and the sewage usually spatters the user, clinging to his face and chest! ... requiring that not only the person but the compartment be thoroughly cleaned after the incident.

an informal placeholder term used to identify an article, object, tool, part, gadget, device, contrivance, mechanism, technique, or process whose proper name is unknown or forgotten; including gismo / gizmo, doohickey, thingy / thingee, thingamabob / thingumabob, thingamajig / thingumajig, whatsis / whatsit, whachamacallit / whatchamacallit, whuddayacallit / whudyacallit, what-do-you-call-it, what-you-may-call-it, jigger, doojigger / do-jigger, doojiggy, doodad / do-dad, widget. [v: doover in Australia and New Zealand] Also, one of the many euphemisms for 'penis'; see PRICK, CU.

a unit banquet or ceremonial feast, which included officers, men, and their spouses dressed in formal MESS DRESS attire, often held at the unit MESS / GALLEY, FIELD HOUSE, HANGAR, or some other suitably sized facility (as opposed to "dining-out" at a restaurant or hall). A DINING-IN, as distinguished from holiday gatherings or promotion parties, often celebrated a reunion of elements, mission accomplishment, unit achievement, or personnel rotation; also called "grip 'n' grin", "meet 'n' greet", "hail 'n' farewell", and "mugs 'n' hugs". According to some OLD BREED elders, the original DINING-IN was a formal stag affair wherein the senior officers conveyed the traditions of the unit, its legends and lore, to the junior officers in a convivial setting that was sequestered from all concerns and interruptions; a practice that was discontinued during the Vietnam-era, and afterwards admitted couples. Compare COMPANY PARTY, SIGG; see ANNEX, CANTEEN, DIRTY SHIRT, SLOP CHUTE, O CLUB, BLAST, FEATHERS, WITH BELLS ON. [aka: occasion, gathering, get-together, celebration, festivity, fiesta, gala, shindig, reception, banquet, soirée, festal, mixer, fete, fête champêtre, garden party, open house, house party, housewarming, splore, potlatch, frolic, gaiety, frisk, gambol, revel, funfest, wingding, charivari, shivaree, corroboree, bash, blast, blowout, orgy] [v: napery, serviette]

derogatory term for an Asian; allegedly derived by rhyming 'dinky' (small, unimpressive) with 'chink' (slur for Chinese); see SLOPE, GOOK, RICE BALL, ZIP, SLANT-EYE, SMALL-EYED, NIP, JAPE, CHINK, YELLOW PERIL, YELLOW DOG, WOG, LITTLE PEOPLE; compare BUDDHAHEAD, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, INDIG.

Americanized version of Vietnamese phrase ("dien cai dau" / "diên cái đEA7;u") for "crazy (in the head)" or "acting crazy". Compare GO KINETIC, GOING COMMANDO. [cf: wahnsinnig, verrückt / verrückter, meschugge (German); meshuga / meshugga (Yiddish); gek, krankzinnig, waanzinnig (Dutch); mal (Afrikaans); galen, konstig, tokig, vansinnig (Swedish); hullu (Finnish); vanvittig, afsindig (Danish); gek, dwaas (Flemish); gwallgof, gorffwyll (Welsh); fou, dingue, barjo (French); sot, foll, trelatet, diod, diskiant, pitilh (Breton); scema (Italian); loco, demente, orate, chiflado, chalado, colifato (Spanish); louco (Portugese); louco, maluco, demente, doido, tonto (Brazilian Portuguese); loko, ulol (Tagalog); lud, mahnit (Croatian); waali (Somali); tidak waras, gila (Indonesian); pupule, hehena, hewahewa, lolo (Hawaiian); baka, toppyoushimonai, kichigai (Japanese)] [aka: absurd, afflicted, amok / amuck, around the bend, balmy, bananas, bats in the belfry, batty, bizarre, bonkers, brainsick, buggy, cockamamie, cockeyed, crack-brained, cracked, crackers, crackpot, crank, crazed / crazy, crazy as a loon, cuckoo, daft / daffy, demented, deranged, ding-a-ling, dingbat, dippy, disordered, distraught, dopey, dotty, eccentric, erratic, flaky, foolish, fruity, gaga, go amuck, goofy, half-cooked, harebrained, haywire, insane, irrational, kook, loco, loon / loony, loopy, lunatic, mad, mad as a hatter, maniacal / mania / maniac, mentally ill, mentally unsound, moonstruck, non compos mentis, nonsensical, not all there, not playing with a full deck, nut / nutso, nuts / nutty, nutty as a fruitcake, odd, off one's gourd, off one's head, off one's rocker, off the rails, off track, of unsound mind, one sandwich short of a picnic, out of one's gourd, out of one's head, out of one's mind, preposterous, psycho, run amuck, screwball / screwy, short-circuit, short-circuit in the head, sick in the head, softheaded, so senseless as to be laughable, stark raving mad, strange, tetched / teched, tomfool / tomfoolery, touched, unbalanced, unsound, wacko, wacky, weirdie / weirdo, wrongheaded, zany]

the blue or white cutaway-style uniform worn at formal occasions, being the military version of "top hat and tails" (ie: tail coat or swallowtail coat), which attire is required of senior officers; see MESS DRESS, DRESS WHITES, ICE-CREAM SUIT, SPANKERS AND CLANKERS, WITH BELLS ON, FEATHERS, CUMMERBUND, BLACK TIE, WHITE TIE, DRESS.

challenge coin showing a
parachuting Green Beret dinosaur
fossils from above
an experienced senior sergeant (NCO) or warrant officer (WO), principally soldiers and PARATROOPERs; tone of voice and attitude will convey approbation or derogation, as of an "old timer" with valuable knowledge and skills, or an anachronistic behemoth that's unable to adapt. In the best sense, these remarkable specimens are excellent role models, leaving deep footprints that others may follow. These DINOSAURs have more dedication than ambition or aspiration; they care more about the job than about promotion or reward ... they always spread the credit and take the blame. They are sometimes humorously depicted as "Fossils From Above" when AIRBORNE. See OLD BREED, BROWN SHOE / BOOT, OLD SWEAT, OLD SALT, MOSSBACK, MAVERICK, GO TO GUY, PROFESSIONAL VETERAN, RAINMAKER, SILENT MAJORITY. [nb: The Iguanodon, discovered in 1822 by the English geologist Gideon Mantell, was the first dinosaur species to be identified, and dinosaur fossils were first found in the western hemisphere in 1855, which spawned an exploratory craze of competitive expeditions and scientific hucksterism lasting decades ... dinosaur tracks in the Connecticut Valley were alleged to belong to enormous ravens, freed from Noah's Ark after the Great Flood. The genus 'dinosauria', meaning "terrible lizard", was named by British scientist Richard Owen in 1841; this class of land animals and aquatic birds specifically excludes flying reptiles (pterosaurs) and marine reptiles (ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, and mosasaurs), which lived separately in the same geologic period ... in other words, DINOSAURs are not aviators or sailors]

the cup-like hollow that's formed by the palm of the hand with the closed fingers bent upward; to drink by using one's hollowed hand as a cup; being an allusion to the simple mode of life practiced and promoted by Diogenes ["born of god"], the ancient Greek philosopher. See CANTEEN CUP, BLACKJACK. [nb: founder of the cynic sect at Athens, Diogenes lived in a tub (according to Seneca) in order to show his contempt for the amenities of life; Alexander the Great so admired him that he said: "If I were not Alexander, I would wish to be Diogenes."]

shortening of DIPlomat, a member of the striped-pants set who are working hard to make the world safe for cocktail parties; see COOKIE PUSHER, FSO, DAO, SIGG, COCKTAIL WARS, DIP CO.

contraction of DIPlomatic COrps, being those Foreign Service personnel from the Department of State (DOS) who comprise the staff of an embassy, including ambassador, attaché, envoy (minister plenipotentiary), gray eminence (éminence grise), consul, and liaison; also sardonically called "diplo corpse". See CT, FSO, COOKIE PUSHER, L/FE, LO, L&L, DA, USMILAT, USDAO, EXTRATERRITORIALITY. [nb: "Diplomacy is to do and say / The nastiest things in the nicest way." by Isaac Goldberg; "Diplomacy is the art of getting along with the very people that you dislike the most." paraphrase of Robert A. Heinlein; "In statesmanship, get the formalities right, never mind about the moralities." by Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens); "A diplomat is never accidentally rude to someone."; "A diplomat is a national representative who praises other dignitaries by telling them how open-minded they are, instead of pointing out that they have holes in their heads!"; "Diplomacy is the art of saying nothing while talking constantly." by Theodore Roosevelt; "Diplomacy: the patriotic art of lying for one's country." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce; "Diplomats make it their business to conceal the facts." by Margaret Sanger; "Diplomacy is the act of concealing or ignoring, distorting or lying about something in the best interests of your country."; "Minister: an agent of a higher power with a lower responsibility. In diplomacy, an officer sent into a foreign country as the visible embodiment of his sovereign's hostility. His principal qualification is a degree of plausible inveracity next below that of an ambassador." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce; "Plenipotentiary: having full power. A Minister Plenipotentiary is a diplomatist possessing absolute authority on condition that he never exert it." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce; "An ambassador is a politician who is given a job abroad in order to get him out of the country."; "Ultimatum: in diplomacy, a last demand before resorting to concessions." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce; "Diplomacy without arms is like music without instruments." by Frederick the Great, King of Prussia; "Diplomacy is utterly useless where there is no force behind it." by Theodore Roosevelt; "Diplomacy has rarely been able to gain at the conference table what cannot be gained or held on the battlefield." by Walter Bedell Smith; "Diplomatic meetings are where peace and justice go to die."; "Diplomats don't mind starting a war because it's a custom that they are to be brought safely home before the trouble starts." by Will Rogers; "During a crisis, soldiers are the ones who stand in the line of fire while civilians run for cover ... and politicians are the ones who thrust others into harm's way while diplomats pretend that nothing is happening."] [v: Diplomatic Terms]

see COOKIE PUSHER, FSO, DIP CO, CT, L/FE, LO, L&L, DOS, DA, USMILAT, USDAO, SIGG, COCKTAIL WARS. [ety: the word 'diploma' derives from a folded-over letter, and is the basis of the designation of 'diplomat', the person who carried such a folded document]

the exemption of diplomatic agents, officials, representatives, and their dependents from taxation, searches, criminal arrest or civil procedures in local jurisdictions, so that their pursuit of official duties will not be unnecessarily impeded, as a reciprocal privilege enjoined by international law; also known as "Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities". Compare SOFA, CIVIL AFFAIRS AGREEMENT, EXTRATERRITORIALITY.

a sealed mailbag containing non-telegraphic correspondence that is sent free of inspection between a foreign office and its diplomatic or consular post abroad, or from one such post to another; this specially marked container may be variously sized so as to include sensitive objects or classified equipment; it's dispatched on "bag day", and is also known as "the pouch" or "the bag". Compare FARADAY POUCH, BLACK BAG; see COURIER.

slang for a submariner, for behavioral similarity to the small diving bird (water ouzel) that frequents rapid streams to feed underwater; also known as BOOMER, DOLPHIN, BUBBLEHEAD. Compare SKIMMER, AIRDALE, SHELLBACK; see GUPPY, SUBMARINE. Also, slang for penis, phallus, PRICK / CU, SHORT ARM, JOYSTICK, STICK, SPAR, YARDARM, HOT DOG, HOSE, BAYONET, BIRD, POGY BAIT, POGUE, and the like; compare LITTLE PRICK, DEAD-SOLDIER, ONIONS.

the fire control RADAR station for guns on-board ship, sometimes enumerated (eg: Director 1).

the basic monetary unit of currency in Morocco and the United Arab Emirates; having the same root as the Greek drachma, meaning "handful". Also, a monetary unit of currency in Libya that's equal to 1/100 of the DINAR. Also, a monetary unit of currency in Qatar that's equal to 1/100 of the RIYAL. See LEGAL TENDER.

a knife with a spear-pointed blade having the profile of a (double-edged) 'dagger' but sharpened only along a single-edge (eg: skean / sgian-dubh), or sharpened partly from the tip along the blade back in an "edge-and-a-half" configuration [eg: M-3 trench knife, M-7 bayonet, Gerber Command II (Force II)]; compare COMMANDO DAGGER. [cf: boot knife]

slang reference to the Navy's engineers serving in mobile Construction Battalions (CB); see SEABEES. Also, slang for any NavPers serving in a non-traditional role.

aviation slang for operating or maneuvering an aircraft in its least aerodynamic configuration, as with FLAPs down, SPEED BRAKEs activated, landing gear deployed, arresting TAILHOOK extended, and so forth; usually done for dramatic effect in air shows or other demonstrations of "trick flying", but also done as a signal when surrendering the aircraft. Compare CHRISTMAS TREE; see SCISSORS, AEROBATICS. [nb: the lowering of landing gear while in flight is a visual confirmation, along with illuminating all navigation and anti-collision lights (CHRISTMAS TREE), that the airplane, its passengers and crew, is subordinate to and will comply with the instructions of its military or law enforcement escort; although the lowered landing gear generates drag, inhibiting escape or aerial combat, this feature in modern military aircraft also engages a safety mechanism that prevents weapons from being discharged]

based upon a FOUL BORE or an unclean gun barrel, a euphemism for an infected penis or vagina; see CLAP, ARC, VD, STD.

nickname for Nha May Dien Yen Phu (the Yen Phu Electric Plant) (geo: 21 02 33N 105 50 53E; UTM: 48QWJ88102689), site of major NVN prison camp for captive allied population; also known as Hanoi Thermal Power Plant, TPP. Dates US POWs present: 25 Jun 67 to 25 Oct 67. According to a mural on the wall outside the main entrance, an AAA gun crew defending the Yen Phu power plant shot down Senator McCain. A separate monument on the shore of Truc Bach Lake, a short distance west of the power plant, commemorates the persons who pulled him from the lake and captured him. In 1992, a former deputy director of the Enemy Proselyting Department told American interviewers that after the U.S. announced plans to bomb the Yen Phu power plant and the nearby Doumier Bridge, PAVN decided to place American POWs in the power plant and publicize the fact to prevent the U.S. from bombing the plant. Two American POWs escaped from the camp, but were recaptured as they tried to make their way down the Red River to the coast. The power plant stopped generating power sometime before 1991. See POW.

(forthcoming); radiological dispersion device (RDD)

the title of a popular book [by E.M. Nathanson (1965)] and film [directed by Robert Aldrich (1967)] that represents the training and performance of a fictitious American unit that was composed of incorrigibles who were patriotically recruited for a special operation; this story line is based upon an actual British force [Assault Unit 30] that was organized from convicted criminals and other undesirables by Ian Fleming under MI6, which performed several daring raids and rescues throughout Europe during WWII. [nb: because the book author was unable to substantiate the rumors concerning the wartime exploits of some unidentified American unit, the origin of this commando unit has been falsely attributed by others to a demolitions squad called "the filthy thirteen" within the headquarters section of the 101st Airborne Division, a rowdy group that painted themselves as AmerIndians] [nb: Ian Fleming (agent 17F) conceived and perpetrated many clandestine operations while a British officer assigned to NID / MI5, later writing novels with plots extrapolated from his wartime experience, including reference to the department head as 'M' (Maxwell Knight); Fleming repeatedly denied that his 'James Bond' character was autobiographical] [nb: film sequels include: "Play Dirty" (1969), "Too Late the Hero" (1970), "The Dirty Dozen, The Next Mission" (1985), "The Dirty Dozen, The Deadly Mission" (1987), "The Dirty Dozen, The Fatal Mission" (1988)]


slang for the unsubstantiated gossip and distorted half-truths that are propounded as "legitimate" and "authentic" news in the co-opted media by biased reporters, bigoted journalists, and other sycophantic HACKs; as expressed in the phrase: "airing the dirty laundry". See BLACKOUT, DISINFORMATION, PROPAGANDA, FIVE O'CLOCK FOLLIES, BIG LIE, FAKE NEWS, RED INK, WAR STORY, SEA STORY, RUMOR, FOURTH ESTATE, FRUIT FLY, WAR CORRESPONDENT, SHUTTERBUG.

slang for the friable earth, clastic tuff, and other debris thrown into the air by an explosion, which then falls like an irregular nuisance after the SHRAPNEL has passed; also called "solid rain", "heavy rain", and "dirty hail". Compare ALUMINUM RAIN, FALLOUT.

slang for a work uniform, such as FLIGHT SUIT or FATIGUES; see DRESS. Also, a specific area, such as a club ANNEX or CANTEEN, where informal attire is appropriate; the Navy/Marine version of this refuge was SLOP CHUTE (qv); compare CAMMIES, DIGITALS, MUFTI, CIVVIES, PARTY SUIT.

C-47 copilots to Viet fliers out of Tan San Nhut; see FARMGATE, SANDBAG.

those actions that are malicious and underhanded, as performed by the putative "Department of Dirty Tricks", being the ostensible covert intelligence operations of the plans division of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); see BLACK BAG, CANDY, HONEY POT, PROPRIETARY AIRLINE, DECOY, PROVOCATEUR, SQUEEZE, TWEP, WET WORK, FLAPS 'n' SEALS, DOUBLE DUTCH, TRADECRAFT.

a war conducted by the military or secret police of a regime against revolutionary insurgents (including terrorists), which is marked by the use of kidnapping, torture, and murder on both sides, with members of the civilian population often becoming the greatest victims of both sides; see REBELLION, INSURGENCY, COUP D'ETAT, GUERRILLA WARFARE, CIVIL WAR.

Defense Investigative Service, or Defense Investigation Service, being the DoD headquarters for administrative and criminal investigations and prosecutions; see DCIS, CID, NIS, OSI, FBI, POLICE.

a medical condition in the military that prevents a servicemember from performing the duties of his office, rank, grade, or rating, which may be temporary or permanent after treatment and rehabilitation; if permanent, the impairment resulting from or incident to military service will be assigned a rating (by intervals of ten percentage points) based upon a loss of earning capacity in equivalent civilian occupations. See PROFILE, LINE OF DUTY, PEB.


to relieve of a charge. Also, to perform a duty or execute a charge. Also, to remove, unload, or send forth. Also, to shoot a firearm or MISSILE. Also, to eject or emit something. Also, to release from position or dismiss from service [nb: five types of military discharge: Honorable, General (incl COG), Other Than Honorable (incl UD), Bad Conduct, and Dishonorable Discharge]; see GD, COG, BCD, UD, DD, CHL, ADRB, ABCMR, AFBCMR, AFDRB, CORB, DRB, EDP, OCB, DEMOB, RUPTURED DUCK, RIF, KICKSTANDED, DUMP, FIELD REJECT, CASHIER, CHAPTER TEN, SECTION EIGHT, BAD PAPER, FACE THE MUSIC. [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"] Also, a certificate documenting the release or separation of a MIL-PERS from military service [nb: the DD-214 was formally known as the "Armed Forces of the United States Report of Transfer or Separation" until after the VIETNAM WAR, when it was renamed the "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty"]. [nb: just as the actual DD-214/-5 is not "letter sized" to help prevent forgeries, so the various DISCHARGE certificates are colored, textured, or watermarked to help prevent counterfeiting; during the WWII-era, the only "white discharge" was Honorable, a "blue discharge" was medically unfit, and a "yellow discharge" was Dishonorable] [nb: during the 19th century, a "bobtail" discharge was slang for both a curtailed term of service, and for a certificate with its character cutoff so as to obscure or conceal the type of discharge ... always "other than honorable"]

training to act in accordance with rules of conduct; behavior instilled by DRILL. Also, an activity or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; to train by instruction and exercise. Also, a set or system of rules and regulations; a branch of instruction or learning. Also, to bring to a state of order and obedience by training and control; the training effect of experience, adversity, or the like. Also, to punish, penalize, or chastise by training and correction. [v: thew/thews] [nb: "He who would command others must first command himself."]

the making of distinctions; to distinguish or differentiate. Also, a distinction made on any basis, as in setting preferences (eg: most favored nation status, exclusionary tariffs, etc) and in making inequitable differentiations with injurious consequences; 'reverse discrimination' is classified as permissible discrimination against those persons who are not included in the group that the law is designed to benefit. See EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, EQUAL PROTECTION.


to leave an aircraft or other vehicle, especially a boat when going ashore. Also, to remove passengers or unload cargo from a ship, aircraft, or other vehicle.

a contrived term that's intended to sound technical when attempting to explain why something doesn't work ("There's probably a glitch in the disgronificator."), or how to diagnose the malfunction ("Run a test with the disgronificator."); this neologism has probably been coined on the model of 'denitrificator'. See BUG, GREMLIN, SNIVITZ, SNARK, PLAN B, SEAT OF THE PANTS, MURPHY'S LAW; compare SNIPE HUNT. [nb: it's a Murphy Law of Combat that: "Nothing ever works as advertised."]

the lack or loss of honor; disgraceful conduct or dishonest character; exhibiting shameful or discreditable behavior; a cause of reproach or insult. A person or act that brings or reflects a loss of respect or esteem; to be excluded from confidence or trust; to incite taint or disapprobation. Compare HONOR, OATH, CREED, CORE VALUES, CODE OF CONDUCT, ABOVE BOARD, PROMISE, HONOR CODE, SUMMUM BONUM, TRADITION, MORAL COURAGE.

abbreviated 'DD'; see DISCHARGE. Also, a euphemism for the semen or seminal fluid ejaculated by the aroused penis, as from masturbation or nocturnal emission (ie: WET DREAM), whenever sexual intercourse does not or will not occur; being a putatively immoral effect with a pretty point of causal distinction, especially for the unwed; see SPUNK, PECKER TRACKS, FIRING LINE.

false and misleading information that's released by a government, publicly or secretly, to rival intelligence agencies or the news media; a counterintelligence technique conceived by the Soviet Union (USSR) in the post-WWII era, which practice has become widespread; from the Russian word for misinformation. See BORDEN, ELDEST SON, PARADISE ISLAND, THE EDGE, FALSE FLAG, DECEPTION, FAKE NEWS, SPIN, RUMOR, BIG LIE, FACTOID, HOOPLA, CHATTER, CONTROLLED INFORMATION, PROPAGANDA, PSYOPS; compare ROCKING HORSE APPLES, WHITE PROPAGANDA. [v: subreption, obreption] [nb: the neologism "pollaganda" / "polloganda" (poll + propaganda) has been coined to identify the representation of biased samples, slanted surveys, special pleading arguments, and ex-parte news depicted as authentic or authoritative; cf: "polingo" as a neologism for political lingo] [v: Myths of the Vietnam War]

the command directing any collected individuals or assembled units to depart; may be conversationally expressed as "That's all." or "That'll be all.", which is nonetheless an order for being politely rendered. Also, to discharge someone from office or service, as when relieved or replaced. Also, to reject or remove from consideration; as derived from "send away". Also, to expel someone from service for misconduct; see CASHIER, FACE THE MUSIC, ROGUE'S MARCH.

to alight from a vehicle or other conveyance, as when AIR ASSAULT and MECH infantry perform as regular ground-pounding GRUNTs; a foot soldier who is otherwise transported to battle; see DRAGOON, MARINE. [nb: "dismounted reconnaissance" is MIL-SPEAK for patrolling on foot] Also, to bring down or take down something, as the removal of a weapon from its support or setting, as when being otherwise employed or for periodic maintenance; compare LOOSE CANNON. Also, to disassemble something, as to take a mechanism to pieces or break it down.

also called "plant"; see DECOY.

the place where minor medical care is practiced and medicines are dispensed to ambulatory patients; a medical clinic or AID STATION. See ASA, APC, BAND-AID, SICK CALL, AGONY WAGON, COMFORT STATION. [nb: Vietnamese term: Benh Xa] [v: polyclinic]

the scattered pattern of hits around the mean point of impact of bombs and projectiles dropped or fired under identical conditions; also known as "dispersion pattern". Also, in antiaircraft gunnery, the scattering of shots in range and DEFLECTION about their mean point of explosion. Also, in chemical and biological operations, the dissemination of agents in liquid or aerosol form. Also, in airdrop operations, the scatter of personnel and/ or cargo on the drop zone (DZ). Also, the spreading or separating of troops, materiel, fortifications, vessels or vehicles, encampments or establishments, or activities which are usually concentrated in limited areas to reduce their vulnerability; also called "dispersion site".

the distance from the POINT OF IMPACT or burst of a round to the mean point of impact or burst; this distance is a factor in calculating probable damage or casualty as a projection or preventive. Compare DELIVERY ERROR, CEP, HORIZONTAL ERROR, AIMPOINT.


to give a false or misleading appearance; to put on the appearance of; to feign or dissimulate. Also, to conceal the real nature of someone or something; to mask or obscure one's true motives or intentions, thoughts or feelings, as by some pretense or pretext ... the hypocritical disguise of a politician. [cf: resemble, dissimilation] [nb: not 'disassemble']

to disguise or conceal under a false appearance, as to feign or simulate; to conceal one's true motives, intentions, or thoughts by some pretense. See DISSEMBLE.

a disintegrated condition (either process or result) in which a set of thoughts, attitudes, emotions, or activities becomes separated from the rest of the person's personality and functions independently, wherein such disjunctive separation may be unconscious or hysterical; a form of neurotic depersonalization or psychotic compartmentalization. See THOUSAND-YARD STARE, ZOMBIE, BLACKOUT, FLASHBACK, WATERWORKS, CONVERSION SYMPTOMS, PTSD, TELESCOPING, OBJECTIFICATION, BROKEN-WING SYNDROME, STRESS OF SOUL, FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT, COMBAT BUM, TOUR BABY, TWO-FISTED, HOMESTEADER. [v: dementia praecox]

"woman's work" or the female perspective, as the female side of the family; also called "distaff side" or "spindle side", and contrasted with the masculine "spear side". The military spouse or dependent is at best an asset, and at worst a deterrent to the career of a MIL-PERS: "They also serve who only stand and wait" (John Milton). See SKIRT, SQUEAK, DRAG, COW, LADY, OFFICER'S WIFE, PETTICOAT COMMAND, THE DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT, RING THE BELL, THE MOTHER-IN-LAW OF THE ARMY, SHACK-JOB, CLASS-B DEPENDENT, CAMPAIGN WIFE, CAMP FOLLOWER, SLEEPING DICTIONARY, BITCH, BALL BUSTER, FLYING BRAVO, BRAT, ARMY SOUP, GOLD STAR. [nb: "If the military wanted you to have a wife, they'd have issued you one." serviceman's adage] [nb: until the Vietnam-era, the military did not recognize the spouse or other dependents of enlisted personnel below the non-commissioned officer ranks]


awarded for exceptional achievement or valor in aerial flight. See DEVICE, V-DEVICE, IMPACT AWARD, GONG.
Distinguished Flying Cross
Distinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Service Medal

the nation's second highest award for valor; instituted during WWI, and equivalent to the Air Force Cross or Navy Cross. Due to its resemblance to the Boy Scouts of America award, a recipient of the DSC is sarcastically called an "Eagle Scout", and mockingly given the three-finger Boy Scout salute. See V-DEVICE, IMPACT AWARD, GONG.

the highest award for non-combat service, including command or staff positions in a combat zone, and regarded as the FLAG OFFICER's version of the "Good Conduct" medal (ie: the "General's Weenie"), since withholding it would imply censure. See GONG, TICKET-PUNCHER, LOM, MSM, AAM, GREEN WEENIE. [nb: in the U.S. Maritime Service (USMS), commonly known as the MERCHANT MARINEs, the medal bearing this title is a valor medal for "service above and beyond the call of duty", equivalent to the MEDAL OF HONOR (MOH) for the Armed Forces; the fact that seven cadets of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy earned this award while serving aboard transports during WWII entitles the USMMA to display a battle streamer from the school colors ... the only federal facility so distinguished]

Daily Intelligence Summary.

to crash-land an airplane and abandon it, especially when it's sinking on water; see BAILOUT, POOPIE SUIT. Also, slang for escape; to be rid of (someone or something); to be absent from (someplace). Also, to cause a vehicle to veer off its course of travel, such as when derailing a train. Also, an open narrow channel that's used for irrigation or drainage; compare TRENCH.

to act irresolutely; to vacillate or equivocate; to be in a state of flustered excitement or fear; as derived from 'tremble', 'totter', or 'dodder'. See FLIP-FLOP, PING-PONG, TERGIVERSATE, WOBBLY. [v: shilly-shally (der: "Shall I? Shall I?")]

top-zippered bag of treated
cloth issued for the stowage of sundries
top-zippered ditty bag of treated cloth
a small container, variously configured, usually a cloth bag with a drawstring closure, used for stowing personal sundries or toiletries, as carried by travelers; originating as a sailor's sewing kit that was to be made from scraps as a test of craftsmanship by the sailmaker, it was also known as a "ditty box". See HOUSEWIFE, STRING BAG, DOPP KIT, DUNNAGE. [cf: masterpiece, masterwork] [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]

slang for the communications specialist (COMM OP) who monitors RADIO transmissions for COMSEC and SIGINT, typically situated in a COMM SHACK (eg: RRD) at some headquarters (HQ) COMPOUND; compare RTO, RUNNER; see EARS, KNOB-TURNER, RDF, COMMO. Also, an unmilitary style of walking wherein the head bounces and the torso sways, being a gait indicative of an untrained individual desirous of "standing out in a crowd"; a civilian trait abjured by all MIL-PERS, who automatically walk in step with each other, moving forward in a gliding motion by swiveling their hips; see WALK LIKE A PUSSY, MARCH, QUICK TIME, DOUBLE TIME, FUNERAL PACE, PARADE, MARCH, MARK TIME, HEP, CADENCE, ROUTE STEP, STUTTER-STEP, DUCK-WALK, FROGMARCH, GAGGLE.

the abbreviation for a division; which is a nearly universal military organization consisting of about 10-20,000 troops commanded by a major general (MG); including Armored Division (AD), Cavalry Division (CD), Infantry Division (ID), and so forth. The division is the basic COMBINED ARMS organization for waging war, consisting of two or more brigades (or regiments) together with supporting elements (eg: armor, artillery, engineer, signal, medical, ordnance, quartermaster, etc). The following U.S. divisions or elements thereof participated in the VIETNAM WAR: 1st Cavalry; 1st, 4th, 5th, 9th, 23rd, and 25th Infantry; 82nd and 101st Airborne; 1st, 3rd, and 5th Marine; 2nd, 7th, and 834th Air. The so-called "square division" organizational structure, consisting of two brigades with two regiments and supporting elements each, was changed in 1942 during WWII to a "triangular" arrangement, consisting of three regiments with supporting elements each, which eliminated an intervening command echelon, thus reducing the number of officers while keeping an equivalent number of operational soldiers, making the divisions more responsive and effective in combat. After WWII, in the transition to the "atomic military", divisions were restructured as PENTAGONAL; but during the reorganization of the counterinsurgency era of the VIETNAM WAR, the military reverted to its traditional "square" divisional setup. Regular Army (RA) divisions are numbered 1-9, National Guard (NG) divisions are numbered 26-59, and all other numbers denote the Organized Reserve divisions, except divisions numbered 10-22, which are reserved for specialty units (ie: odd numbers indicate AIRBORNE, and 10th Mountain Division), and the 82nd / 101st Airborne Divisions, which were converted from extant units, and the 23rd Infantry Division, which was constituted on the battlefield from separate elements, and the 24th / 25th Infantry Divisions, which were organized from the 100th Hawaiian National Guard Division. See TO&E, OB, CARS. [nb: Vietnamese term: Su Doan] [cf: dimi-division]

McNett Saturna blunt-tip dive
Saturna dive knife
Wenoka underwater diving knife
Wenoka underwater knife
a survival-style utility knife of various designs that is specifically engineered to resist salt water corrosion; although generally designed for high-visibility and secure grip with gloved or benumbed hands, underwater knives typically include serrations or sawteeth, a retention lanyard, a waterproof sheath, and easy post-dive maintenance. In the early aqua-lung era before Vietnam, underwater knives were large and aggressive, as if to be used for fighting sharks and barracudas, squids and octopi! The knife issued to UDT and SEAL divers at that time was the M-2 fighting utility knife (or KABAR), despite the availability of a non-magnetic Haynes Alloy (nickel-titanium) demolition knife specifically designed for underwater use. The private-purchase commercial alternatives during the Vietnam-era included the Randall #16 Dive Knife (7" 440B stainless with brass single guard and black Micarta finger-grip haft), the Gerber Neptune (5.5" 440C stainless with single guard and orange or yellow "Armorhide" grip), and Gerber's Mark II and Command II underwater versions (7" L6 tool steel with crossguard and international orange or bright yellow crinkle-finished "Armorhide" handle) ... each of which used a waxed or oiled leather sheath. Wenoka was probably the first manufacturer to design smaller, more practical, utility knives for SCUBA and skin divers using 300-series high-chromium stainless that snapped into a wide-throated plastic sheath, both of which could be disassembled for post-dive cleaning. A variety of skeletonized knives have also been offered as a low-profile alternative, but most are too small to use with confidence in a cold, dark, wet world of alien threats. Compare SURVIVAL KNIFE; see KNIFE. [nb: author James Jones (From Here to Eternity and Some Came Running) collaborated with "Bo" Randall on modifying the #14 Attack into the #16 Dive Knife] [nb: Gerber's 'Armorhide' handle treatment is a textured coating of vinyl dispersion resins, being a plasticizer that resists abrasion and improves slip-resistance better than paint, which treatment was later changed to an electrostatic dry-powder baked-on coating; 'Armorhide' exists in gray, black, yellow, and orange] [nb: because epoxy will lose strength and adhesion when exposed to salt water, high humidity, extreme temperature (high or low), and atmospheric pressure (excessive or reduced), knives that must perform under extreme conditions (such as underwater demolition or high altitude aircrew escape) should either be mechanically constructed on a full-length tang or their parts bonded together with silver solder]

a skill qualification of progressive proficiency gradated into SCUBA, Salvage, Second Class, First Class, and Master; originally differentiated by regulations dated 15 February 1944, the SCUBA rating was authorized on 1 May 1969. All classes of DIVERs work with explosives, especially Salvage to Master, but UDT and EOD training are separate qualifications. See HARD HAT, HARD SUIT, DRY SUIT, WET SUIT, SNORKEL, SCUBA, BUDWEISER, Q-COURSE, TRASH, BLOODING. [v: Diving Terms]

(dive-toss) the computerized bomb-release aiming device used by F-4 PHANTOM aircraft; see BOMBSIGHT, compare SKIP BOMBING. Also, the technique of delivering a bomb load onto a target by releasing at the point of steep vertical climb so as not to fly over the designated impact area; compare SKIP BOMBING.

the military and political strategy of forestalling or disintegrating opposition alliances so as to inhibit the acquisition of superior power, or the formation of overwhelming force. Also known as "divide and rule", this strategy is attributed to Philip II of Macedon in his management of relations with the Greek city-states, which strategy enables a nation to exist as long as the balance of power is not collectively and concertedly united against it. See BALKANIZATION, BRUTE FORCE, BLOOD AND IRON, CONTAINMENT. [nb: "Don't divide the world into 'them' and 'us', into opponents and supporters, into rivals and allies -- avoid infatuation or resentment, identification or antipathy. Beyond all the obstacles, aside from all the static, accept the facts -- they have their agenda and you have yours, they have their job and you have yours. Put your head down, do the best job possible, let the flak pass, and work toward your goals." paraphrase of Donald H. Rumsfeld]

slang reference to a sailor's traditional cap, also called a WHITE CAP or "white hat"; this so-called "dog dish" serves as a flotation device and improvised bucket, worn brim down in tropics as sun shield, and Jones-style for visor, both unauthorized. See JARHEAD, BLUE JACKET, SQUID, SWABBY, DOGFACE, ZOOMIE, GI. [nb: members of the ship's engine room crew (SNIPE or BLACK GANG) were issued black DIXIE CUPs during WWII, so were sometimes called 'black hats'] [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] [nb: Dixie Cup (c1906), a waxed paper container used for individual drinks of water or other liquids]

the designated patrol area situated south of the DMZ off-shore in the South China Sea for Naval ships supporting air and ground operations in southeast Asia. Also, the southern off-shore staging area for Naval air operations. Compare YANKEE STATION.

abbreviation for Do It Yourself, being a job of work or duty assignment that cannot be delegated; as in "Checking guard posts is a DIY responsibility."

Defense Logistics Agency, formerly designated the Defense Supply Agency (DSA); see CFREB, LOGISTICS.

(dee-lab) Defense Language Aptitude Battery, the placement test for admission to one of the 25 foreign language courses taught at the Defense Language Institute (DLI).

Duty Limiting Condition; see PROFILE.

a large destroyer armed with guns and guided MISSILES; see TIN CAN.

Defense Language Institute
Defense Language Institute, established at the Presidio of Monterey in 1963 to teach 25 foreign languages for military applications by a thousand instructors using accelerated methods. Originated during WWII as the Defense Language School in San Francisco to instruct Japanese translators in military subjects; later moved to Fort Snelling MN, and redesignated the Military Intelligence Language School under MIS and CIC. DLI remedies the inconsistency of foreign language instruction in military schools. During the Second Indochina War, the South Vietnamese regime prevented the US from including ethnic dialects in DLI's course offerings; thus ADVISORs had to use translators for languages other than VN, Thai, French, and Chinese, or learn to speak them on the job (OJT). The ten core foreign languages of strategic significance are Spanish (8 wks), French (8 wks), German (8 wks), Indonesian (8 wks), Persian-Farsi (12 wks), Russian (12 wks), Tagalog (12 wks), Arabic (12 wks), Korean (12 wks), and Mandarin Chinese (12 wks). See SEATIC, POINTIE TALKIE, VISUAL LANGUAGE TRANSLATOR. [nb: Vietnamese term: Truong Sinh Ngu Qhan Doi (Armed Forces Language School)]

abbreviation for Direct Molded Sole, being the unitary construction used to manufacture JUNGLE BOOTS, wherein a sole of lug cleats was bonded to a leather vamp with drain vents, leather heel counter, anti-penetration insole, and reinforced green fabric legging with grommeted eyelets for lacing; also called "compression molding". [v: injection molding; cf: slip lasting, board lasting]

DeMilitarized Zone, being a border, boundary, or ambit that shall be free of all military forces and equipment, such as the band established by the Geneva Accords dividing North and South Korea at the 38th Parallel, or North and South Vietnam at the 17th Parallel; a de facto barrier to further hostilities that becomes codified by international agreement, being a separation that's also known as NO MAN'S LAND or BUFFER ZONE; see McNAMARA'S WALL, OVER THE FENCE, DEMILITARIZE, compare HOT PURSUIT, JUDY, TALLY-HO. Also, a DeMarcation Zone or line, that's also spelled "demarkation"; see CHOP LINE; compare CORDON SANITAIRE.

Director [of] Naval Intelligence; see CNO, NIS. Also, Director [of] National Intelligence; see NIC, CIA, DIA, NSA, DIME.

an official request by British Commonwealth governments that's sent to publishers and publications inviting them to withhold sensitive information for reasons of state security; also represented as "D notice" as a truncation of D(efense) notice. See BLACKOUT, GAG ORDER, NEED TO KNOW, OPSEC.

DO :
abbreviation for the Director of Operations of the Central Intelligence Agency; see DDO, CIA. Also, abbreviation for the Directorate of Operations for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), later redesignated the National Clandestine Service.

Date of Birth; see POB.


affectionate title for enlisted medical aidman and CORPSMEN; also called MEDIC. See BAND-AID, BABY DOC, BAC SI, Y SI, SAWBONES, BONE CUTTER, CANOEMAKER, ANGEL, FUZZY-WUZZY ANGEL, RAMP TRAMP, SSTP, ORDERLY, HOSPITAL, LUGGAGE TAG, STRETCHER, COMPRESS, DOG BITE, MED BAG, AGONY WAGON, ASA, APC, SYRETTE, ABO, BLOOD EXPANDER, TRIAGE. [nb: a separate medical department was established in the U.S. Army in 1818, and in the U.S. Navy (BuMed) in 1842; the Army established a corps for nurses (ANC) in 1901, and the Navy accepted nurses in 1908; the medical branch also includes dentists, veterinarians, pharmacists, and other specialists] [nb: the field occupations most often targeted in combat, because their loss so immediately influences unit effectiveness and morale, are the leader, pointman, signalman, machinegunner, and medic]

DOCument EXploitation, being the collection and examination of enemy papers, files, books, manuals, and other recorded material.

a Scottish term for a final drink at the door before departing; being Gaelic for a 'drink at the door' ("deoch-an-dorius"). Popularized in an English song by Sir Harry Lauder, and Bride of Lammermoor [ch xviii (1819)] by Sir Walter Scott: "After the lord keeper, the Master, and the domestics, had drunk doch-an-dorroch, or the stirrup cup ... the cavalcade resumed its progress." See STIRRUP CUP, TOAST, VALEDICTION. [nb: it is considered bad luck or evil omen to TOAST with non-alcoholic (ie: catlap) beverages; military toasts are most often tributes to fortitude and loyalty, while civilian toasts (grace cup) are tributes to benefaction or longevity, such as: l'chaim, prosit / prost, skoal, slàin te mhath, wassail, cheers] [v: gemütlichkeit/gemuetlichkeit] [cf: apéritif]

Vietnamese slogan attributed to HO CHI MINH, expressing the wartime goals of both sides in Vietnam, meaning "independence and freedom".

the title of a 1958 James Bond novel by Ian Fleming, featuring the Doctor Julius No character as the antagonist; see COINCIDENCE, FICTIONAL CHARACTER.

see PAPER BULLET, FORM, REPORT, WHITE PAPER, ANNEX, RED TAPE, PAPER TRAIL, PENCIL PUSHER, BEAN-COUNTER, MILICRAT. [nb: the ultimate view of the bureaucratic world is that it's "documents all the way down" to the unspecified alpha point, which echoes the ancient cosmology of primeval mankind, who believed that the earth rides on the back of a turtle, and when asked what the turtle stood on, replied: "It's turtles all the way down!"]

seal of the Department of
(dee-oh-dee) Department of Defense, subsuming all branches of the military, and commonly called the PENTAGON; it was renamed from the "War Department" (WD) after the unconditional victories of WWII, and America hasn't won a real war since! ... this mind-set is probably symptomatic of later limited wars. [nb: there is a persistent but unrealized (to date) advocacy for creating a Cabinet-level "Department of Peace" by some effete poltroons; see DOS] [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]

any secure military installation or Americanized urban area, offering modern blandishments and convenient amenities; see BASE CAMP, FOB, FSB, CP, JUMP CP, BIVOUAC, CRUSADER FORT, LITTLE AMERICA. [nb: following the Wild West motif prevalent in LBJ's "little pissant war", numerous allusions to a mythic frontier adventurism were utilized; including COWBOY, INDIAN COUNTRY, and GUNSLINGER.] Also, a metaphor representing any potentially dangerous place (especially a built-up urban area), where violence may erupt at any time; a rough plexus that's being developed or expanded, and is barely under control, as expressed in "Get outta Dodge!" when referring to the collection points (eg: Abilene, Omaha, Ogallala, Schuyler, etc) of westward expansion. [v: Tombstone] Also, slang designation for the USN base on Diego Garcia Island, a British possession in the Indian Ocean, used for Allied military resupply, staging, and surveillance.

to miss contact or avoid notice, as escaped by luck rather than skill. Partly shirking and malingering, as working hard at not working, and never being tested. Includes "hedging your bets" and "cutting your losses" as self-protection. Ultimately unable to evade or elude ("in the hot seat") is worse than win or lose. See HOT, GHOST, SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT, CYA, PING-PONG, SMOKE 'n' MIRRORS, FAIRY DUST, LOOSE CANNON, FIELD REJECT, BOLT HOLE, KICKSTANDED, STACK ARMS, SHOOTING WAR.

acronym for Dead Object Drifting Obstacle (or "Dead Or Drifting Object") indicating inert debris or incidental hazards to navigation; since such FLOTSAM is not underway, the craft or vessel must maneuver to avoid damage from such DEADHEADs. This acronym is a play on words referring to the extinct flightless bird, and the class includes unidentified aerial objects that may collide with aloft aircraft. See WAVESON, PAN, SECURITE, INTERCO.

Date Of Enlistment; compare DRAFTEE, ETS.

a can of Shinola shoe polish
a colloquialism that was popularized during the military expansion for WWII as a barracks vulgarity that illustrated the ignorance of so many civilians in uniform; this was the era of the BROWN SHOE / BOOT Army, so the OLD BREED reckoned that brown polishing wax was a good comparison for fecal matter. SHINOLA was an inexpensive shoe polish that was introduced in 1929, however this expression has outlasted the product itself. Although this phrase means that the subject person is possessed of poor judgment or limited knowledge, the word "Shinola" alone implies nonsense or foolishness, flummery or humbuggery, not 'shit' or waste. This sentiment has also been expressed as "doesn't know his ass from his elbow", "doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground", "doesn't know his ass from a hot rock", "doesn't know whether to scratch his watch or wind his ass", and "can't even get out of his own way". See PYHOOYA, HIC, BURY ONE'S HEAD IN THE SAND, SAD SACK, SOS, CREEP, POGUE, YARDBIRD, FIELD REJECT, DRONE, PIG LOOKING AT A WRISTWATCH.

slang for a foot soldier or infantryman (INF); also called GROUND POUNDER, GRUNT, DOGFACE, DOGGIE, BOONIE RAT, CRUNCHY, BUSHMASTER, LEG, BLUELEG, DOUGHBOY, MECH, DRAGOON, PONY SOLDIER, DOZER INFANTRY, JARHEAD, HORSE MARINE, 03, SNUFFY, GI. Also, nickname for the Sikorsky CH-34 KINGBEE cargo and troop-transport helicopter, which had a large loading aperture on its starboard side, and was used for AIR ASSAULT, MEDEVAC, and resupply missions; also known as "ugly"; see CHOPPER. Also, Navy slang for the soft serve ice cream that's dispensed from a refrigerated container in a CANTEEN or GALLEY, being a shortened form of "auto-dog" or "dog shit", due to its similarity of resemblance to excretion, regardless of the color or flavor of the ice cream; the idea of eating feces for dessert is very amusing to some SHELLBACKs and OLD SALTs! See FISH-EYES, GEDUNK, SUGAR PILL, POGY BAIT, BEANS, CHOW, RATIONS. Also, any of various breeds of "man's best friend" that's trained to assist servicemembers in their specialized duties; these working dogs are commonly called "police dogs" and "guarddogs", "four-legged soldiers" and "fuzzy-faced fighters", "war dogs" and "infantry scout dogs", "boonie pups" and "combat tracker team" (with handler); see K-9, SCOUT DOG, WAR DOGS, STILL TRAILER, OPEN TRAILER, LEND-LEASH, A DOG IN A DOUBLET, SAPPER, HAPPINESS IS A WARM PUPPY; compare WEASEL, IRON DOG. [cf: lupine, vulpine, canid, dog-like, mongrel, feral dog, wild dog, dhole, dingo, jackal, warrigal, maned wolf, raccoon dog (tanuki); v: ravenous, Anubis (Great Collector of Souls)]

a contranym [v: soldier] meaning both to shirk one's responsibility, as to loaf on the job, and to be persistent in effort, as being stubbornly tenacious; both from having the nature or character of a dog (canid) ... being either a despicable man or a fine fellow, being either something worthless or a useful device. [cf: "lead a dog's life" (easy vs harassed)]

see BISCUIT; compare COOKIE.

slang for the characteristic appearance of wire stitches or metal clamps used to suture a large or severe wound for better edge apposition; see MEDIC, DOC, BONE CUTTER, ANGEL, HOSPITAL, LUGGAGE TAG, STRETCHER, COMPRESS, MED BAG, NEEDLE, SYRETTE, ABO, BLOOD EXPANDER, SPILL THE GROCERIES, TRIAGE.

a catch-phrase for the situation or circumstance marked by ruthless competition or unrestrained destructiveness; action based on utter cynicism and complete egocentrism. See TOOTH 'n' NAIL, HARDBALL, CUTTHROAT, ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, UPHILL BATTLE, ROMAN HOLIDAY, WHEN IN ROME, WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' BADGES, COUP DE PIED DE L'ANE, OFF THE RESERVATION. [v: omo lupus homini (Latin: man is a wolf to man)]

derogatory reference to any soldier; see LEG, CRUNCHY, GI, JARHEAD, HORSE MARINE, SQUID, SWABBY, ZOOMIE; compare DOG'S FACE.

any rough-and-tumble fight or battle of great turmoil, especially close-turning aerial combat; also called a "knife fight in a phone booth" or FUR BALL; see KNOCK IT OFF, TALLY-HO, BOGIE, BANDIT, GOMER, JINK, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, YANK 'n' BANK, ACM, SMACK DOWN, CQB, BATTLE ROYAL, RAMPAGE, CUTTHROAT, EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF.

an infantryman; also spelled "doggy", and also called "line-doggie". See GRUNT, CRUNCHY, BOONIE RAT, BUSHMASTER, LEG, BLUELEG, INF, DOZER INFANTRY; compare TOP DOG, 03, SNUFFY. [cf: lupine, vulpine, canid, dog-like, mongrel, feral dog, wild dog, dhole, dingo, jackal, warrigal, maned wolf, raccoon dog (tanuki); v: ravenous, Anubis (Great Collector of Souls)] Also, slang for feet, being the infantryman's primary mode of transportation; also called DOGS. [nb: "dismounted reconnaissance" is MIL-SPEAK for patrolling on foot]



rocketry slang for a bulge on the surface of a rocket or missile used for housing scientific instruments; see BLISTER, BUBBLE, SPONSON, PAYLOAD.

being in disfavor or disgrace, trouble or discredit, odium or disregard, reproach or embarrassment; a place of sequestration or punishment, as derived from the small rude structure erected apart from the home for the housing of a domesticated canid, especially an animal unworthy to share the comforts and privileges of the master's dwelling. [v: predicament, crisis, obloquy, ignominy, mess, snagged / by a snag, in a fix, in a pinch, in deep water, in hot water, in dire straits, in durance vile]

a colloquialism for a bold or resolute person, by comparison with the fierce hunting dogs used to assail wild boar in Germany and Flanders during the Renaissance, which wore protective vests of tanned leather; see K-9, SCOUT DOG, LEND-LEASH. [nb: the military working dogs employed in GWOT operations wear Kevlar protective vests]

a colloquial allusion to a false friend; like the imagery of A DOG IN THE MANGER, this expression refers to something out of place or in the wrong place ... to wit, a cur passing as respectable by donning your own attire ("I'm just like you!"). [v: "a nigger in the woodpile", in the sense of 'someone in the wrong place' or 'not where he should be'] [nb: "Character, not circumstances, makes the man." by Booker T. Washington (31 Jan 1896)]

a colloquialism for a mean-spirited person who either cannot or will not use what is wanted by someone else, but will not let the other make use of it; a person who prevents another enjoying something without enjoying it himself ... as derived from the old fable where the dog makes a bed in the hay, preventing the ox from eating, while incapable of eating the hay himself. See AS PLEASED AS PUNCH, GALLOW'S HUMOR, SENSE OF HUMOR, BLACK, ROMAN HOLIDAY, PAIN. [v: "a nigger in the woodpile", in the sense of 'something out of place' or 'not where it should be']

spurious or 'mongrel' Latin, in which English words are treated like Latin, and Latin words like English, with sometimes humorous or embarrassing results [eg: 'Nescio quid est materia cum me' = "I don't know what is the matter with me" by Laurence Sterne]. See PIG LATIN, PIDGIN, BAMBOO ENGLISH, DOUBLE DUTCH, CREOLE, VERNACULAR.

nickname for Bo Giuong and Dong Khe (geo: 22 28 27N 106 24 40E; UTM: 48QXK45168581), site of major NVN prison camp reserved for technical experts culled from captive allied populations; also known as Luong Lang, That Khe. Dates US POWs present: 14 May 72 to 31 Jan 73. More than 200 American POWs were moved to this site in Cao Bang Province, about 190 kilometers north of Hanoi, after Group 875 assumed responsibility for the increased numbers of American and Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces (RVNAF) POWs in North Vietnam, around April 1972. Office 22, Group 875 was responsible for American POWs, and Office 23, Group 875 was responsible for RVNAF POWs. American POWs were relocated to this remote buffer zone near the China (PRC) border, because foreign policy prohibited US operations in that sensitive area. see POW.


any elaborate or grandiose presentation that's intended to impress its audience, such as the precisely stage-managed FIVE O'CLOCK FOLLIES; also known as "canine 'n' equine extravaganza", "canine 'n' equine theater", or "canine 'n' equestrian theater". This catch-phrase ostensibly originated with the mediocre or tawdry acts of a middling or substandard circus, but is actually derived from some sexually-explicit burlesque performances that featured women copulating with animals on stage, then later in pornographic films. See UP-CLOSE 'n' PERSONAL, SMOKE 'n' MIRRORS, WASHINGTON WALTZ, TAP-DANCER, BLIVET.

any AIDE or other HEADSHED REMF, so-called for their practice of taking from the field soldier to provide for the COMMANDER and STAFF, also called "braider" as a result of the distinctive aiguillette or shoulder CORD worn by such AIDEs [cf: British "bulldog" assistant to proctor]; see HEADQUARTERISM. Also, a Naval officer in CIVVIES while ashore on leave; compare MUFTI.

(dawgs) slang for feet, which are the infantryman's Cadillac; also called "doggies". See BOOT, FOOTWEAR, LINE-DOGGIE. [nb: "dismounted reconnaissance" is MIL-SPEAK for patrolling on foot] Also, any of various breeds of "man's best friend" that's trained to assist servicemembers in their specialized duties; these working dogs are commonly called "police dogs" and "guarddogs", "four-legged soldiers" and "fuzzy-faced fighters", "war dogs" and "infantry scout dogs", "boonie pups" and "combat tracker team" (with handler); see K-9, SCOUT DOG, WAR DOGS, STILL TRAILER, OPEN TRAILER, LEND-LEASH, A DOG IN A DOUBLET, SAPPER, HAPPINESS IS A WARM PUPPY; compare WEASEL, IRON DOG. [cf: lupine, vulpine, canid, dog-like, mongrel, feral dog, wild dog, dhole, dingo, jackal, warrigal, maned wolf, raccoon dog (tanuki); v: ravenous, Anubis (Great Collector of Souls)]

any menial worker, derived from sailor's term for soaked sea biscuits or pease pudding; as a functionary, ORDERLY, factotum, AIDE, assistant, comprador, MAN FRIDAY, horse-holder, shield-bearer, spear-carrier, water-hauler, stamp-licker, DUMMY, jack-of-all-trades, drudge, foil, pawn, surrogate, substitute, second, dupe/doupe; see GOFER, FACE TIME. [cf: origin of SLUSH FUND] Also, originally a junior Naval officer, but later became a disparaging term for an officer trainee; see CADET, SNOTTY, CRAB, SQUID, MIDDIE, COASTIES.

little likelihood or small chance, as a predictor of negative results; also known as "Chinaman's chance" or "a cat in hell's chance". See SNOWBALL, PRAYER. [v: enfants perdus, forlorn hope; cf: "when hell freezes over", "when pigs fly", "when frogs grow hair", "when pigs whistle", "when fish climb trees", "when chickens have teeth", "when the sun rises in the west", "in a month of Sundays", "in a blue moon", "when there're three Saturdays in every week", "not in this lifetime", "not a chance"]

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


a 19th century colloquialism for a cavalryman, either a mounted American soldier or a mounted AmerIndian warrior, who rode to battle and fought from horseback; this reference seems to derive from the original introduction of Spanish horses into North America where the denizens believed them to be very large dogs. Among AmerIndian tribes, such armed "dog men" (ie: horsemen) constituted either a separate militaristic band of guardians (as among Cheyenne, Arapaho, and other tribes) or a renegade band of raiders (as among Sioux, Kiowa, and other tribes), with the former defenders dispatched by the chief and the latter outlaws unresponsive to authority. See YELLOWLEG, PONY SOLDIER, CAV; compare DRAGOON, LONG KNIFE, MECH.

this expression originally referred to the horrors of warfare (to wit, famine and atrocities, or fire and the sword, pestilence and famine), but has become a term of opprobrium for WARMONGERs and WAR PROFITEERs; it's commonly associated with the passage: "Cry 'Havoc!' and let slip the dogs of war." by William Shakespeare [III i Julius Caesar (1599)]. Compare FOUR HORSEMEN, HOUNDS OF HELL; see APOCALYPSE.

a reference that gained currency during the GULF WAR-era wherein a tour of duty spent in a COMBAT ZONE is perceived as lasting at least seven times as long as the normal passage of calendar time, thus aging and exhausting the combatant much more than his peers serving in safer stateside BILLETs; based upon the proposition that dogs age at a seven to one (7::1) ratio of human years, with this analogy compounded by the comparison of a combatant to a DOGGIE or DOGFACE. See TIME, COMBAT TOUR, MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, HARDSHIP TOUR, TOUR BABY, COMBAT BUM, GRUNT, BOONIE RAT, SNUFFY; compare DONKEY'S YEARS.

notched dog tags on beaded
notched dog tags
on beaded chain
slang for the 'identity disk' worn by MIL-PERS; an armed and uniformed individual captured on the battlefield without such may be summarily executed as a spy. Available as a private purchase identification plate engraved with personal particulars since the American CIVIL WAR, they originated as a mandatory item of issue after the SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR as an identity disc for both proof of status and recognition of casualties [GO#24 dtd 20 Dec 1906, being "an aluminum Identification Tag, the size of a silver Half Dollar, stamped with the name, rank, company, regiment, or corps of the wearer; it will be worn by each officer and enlisted man of the Army whenever the field kit is worn; it will be suspended from the neck, underneath the clothing by means of a cord or thong passed through a small hole in the tag ... this tag will be issued by the Quartermaster Corps gratuitously to enlisted men and at cost price to the officers"]. The soldier's individual identification tag, changed from single to duplicate pair on 6 July 1916, was embossed with his personal specifics, which initially included immunization and Next of Kin but was later altered to religion and blood type. The SERVICE NUMBER was added on 12 Feb 1918. The necklace was initially cotton or synthetic (nylon, rayon, or plastic), was replaced by "hook-and-catch" type metal in 1943, and the "bead" type in 1944, with sterling silver available for private purchase. During WWII, the M-1940 oblong tag, made of brass or stainless steel, was augmented by photo / finger-print identification cards [v: AGO] after the attack on Pearl Harbor due to the counterfeiting of DOG TAGS. Several specialized groups had specific prefixes on their identification tags, such as 1 or RA for Regular Army, 20 or NG for National Guard, and 3 or US for draftees. The so-called "tooth notch" that was set in the edge of the oblong identification tag, opposite the thong hole, existed solely for embossing stability. During Vietnam, clear plastic covers and rubber-bumper "silencers" were added to the tags, and many troops separated the pair (lacing one onto a boot) for positive identification of body parts [cf: MEAT MARKER]. The protocol for authenticating a reported KIA, whose body could not be immediately recovered during an operation, was to remove one DOG TAG and leave the other with the corpse. Although license tags for domestic animals had existed since 1824, the term DOG TAG derives from the same source as "dog-soldier" and "dogface". See STERILE, ID CARD. [v: Index of Social Security Numbers (eg: AFSN, ASSN, SSAN)]

a slow regular pace, like that of a dog, as used by long-distance runners; also known as "jog" or "jog trot"; see TRUSCOTT TROT, AIRBORNE SHUFFLE, MARATHON, GO-FASTERS. Also, a slow-paced, humdrum way of proceeding with uneventful activities. Also, slang for a 'breezeway' (being a covered walkway between buildings), as derived from Southern usage.

the evening or night shift, usually extending until midnight; also known as "dog shift", "lobster shift", or "lobster trick". In the Navy, the DOGWATCH is a shortened shift that enables rotating crewmembers to avoid standing the same watch schedule, and allows all crewmembers to eat the evening meal. Compare MIDWATCH, see WATCH, TIME, O-DARK-THIRTY, WHITE NIGHT.

renovation; Vietnamese "New Life Hamlet" as Ap Doi Moi.

the basic monetary unit of the United States of America, and various other countries (eg: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, etc); as derived from 'daler' [thaler], the short form of Joachimsthaler, a large coin minted in Joachimsthal, Bohemia. See STANDARD MONEY, HARD TIMES TOKEN, MPC, BAD PAPER, LEGAL TENDER. [cf: peso; v: hard currency, cash, fiat money]

so called during the William Howard Taft administration to characterize the policies of Secretary of State Philander C. Knox; see FOREIGN AID.

qualification BADGE for submariners, showing a WWII "diesel boat" flanked by a pair of DOLPHINS (marine mammals, related to porpoise, whale, and other cetaceans; compare "dolphin fish"); issued in silver for enlisted and gold for officers, this qualification badge is also known as "twin tunas", "tin fish", "puking fish", and "Flipper's friend"; see DOLPHIN DIVE, Q-COURSE, TRASH, BOLO BADGE, WINGS. Also, a submariner, especially one qualified on a PIGBOAT, as opposed to a BOOMER; see BUBBLEHEAD, DIPPER, compare SKIMMER, AIRDALE, SHELLBACK. Also, Coast Guard (USCG) heavy helicopter (HH-65) used for cargo, rescue, and transport operations. Also, a buoy, pile, or cluster of piles used as a fender or mooring; see BOLLARD. Also, a rope or strap round a mast to support the puddening, where the lower yards rest in the slings.

the induction ceremony for newly qualified submariners on their first assignment; "diving for the DOLPHIN" derives from the obligation to dive to the bottom of an alcoholic beverage to retrieve the DOLPHIN badge lying there (frequently stuck fast to ensure that the whole drink is consumed!). See GUPPY, BOOMER, SUBMARINE; compare INITIATION.

a small rectilinear tile bearing a bisected face, each half of which is either blank or displays PIPs, as used in various games, including substitutes for PLAYING CARDS; the standard set contains 28 tiles bearing many combinations of 0 to 6 PIPs. See PLAY THE GAME, war games. [v: muggins]

the theory that a particular TRIGGER event will precipitate similar ones elsewhere, as when one falling domino causes other nearby dominos to fall; also called "domino reaction"; see RIPPLE EFFECT, LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES.

the idea that if one country fell to Communist hegemony then the other countries in Southeast Asia would follow in turn, which originated in Truman's State Department, was promulgated by the Eisenhower Administration, disregarded by the WISE MEN and brain-trust advisers, ridiculed by anti-war PROTESTORs and counterculture activists, and was finally proven to be correct after the Second and Third Indochina Wars ended. See WHIZ KID, BEST AND BRIGHTEST, PING-PONG DIPLOMACY, SIDESHOW, DECENT INTERVAL.

(d-aw-ng) basic monetary unit of currency in Vietnam, subdivided into tenth and hundredth parts, and introduced after the French INDOCHINA piastre, with North Vietnam and South Vietnam each producing a distinct form; derived from the term for copper or bronze. On 2 September 1975, after the fall of Saigon, a "Liberation DONG" was circulated in the South until conversions could be completed [cf: North and South Korea "won"]. The North Vietnamese currency was a common SOUVENIR from enemy corpses. See XU, HAO, BENSON SILK, PIASTER, MPC, LEGAL TENDER.

the diminutive for a long-eared, surefooted, domesticated ass; see MULE. [v: dickey, jack, jackass; jennet, jenny, hinny] Also, informal referent for an auxiliary device, such as a pump or engine. Also, a stupid, silly, or obstinate person; a dolt or fool; see HIDEBOUND, BRASSBOUND, BRASS EAR, HARD-SET.

slang for a large thick bristle brush that's used to scour a MORTAR tube; any large aperture BORE brush. Also, slang for a radio antenna; see WHIP, ANTENNA FARM. Also, slang for the flexible hose nozzle (with or without fill funnel) that's attached to fuel storage containers for use in refueling vehicles; see BLADDER, BLIVET, JERRY CAN, TOP-OFF. Also, slang for the decorative plume on the dress hat worn by CADETs during parades at West Point (HUDSON HIGH).

a non-SI unit of energy equivalent to 183 foot-pounds per second, or 248.6 watts; see HORSEPOWER.

an indefinitely long time, or any (unspecified) distant period; derived as rhyming slang from the extraordinary length of a donkey's ears. Compare DOG'S YEAR; see TIME. [nb: "Now for my first bath for what the men call Donkey's ears, meaning years and years." by E.V. Lucas in Vermilion Box (1916)] [nb: an alternate etymology contends that this phrase refers to the unusually protracted lifespan of the donkey, being approximately sixty years ... so why not "elephant's years" or "parrot's years"?!]

a poetic phrase that urges people to resist the inevitable, most poignantly to cling to life, but allegorically advocates an heroic defense against the encroachments of evil. [nb: "Do not go gentle into that good night, / Old age should burn and rage at close of day; / Rage, rage, against the dying of the light." by Dylan Thomas] [v: "I will be conquered; I will not capitulate." by Samuel Johnson; "I would not that death should take me asleep. I would not have him meerly seise me, and onely declare me to be dead, but win me, and overcome me. When I must shipwrack, I would do it in a sea, where mine impotencie might have some excuse; not in a sullen weedy lake, where I could not have so much as exercise for my swimming." by John Donne; "Men are never really willing to die except for the sake of freedom: therefore they do not believe in dying completely." by Albert Camus; "When it comes to my own turn to lay my weapons down, I shall do so with thankfulness and fatigue, and whatever be my destiny afterward, I shall be glad to lie down with my fathers in honour. It is human at least, if not divine." by Robert Louis Stevenson; "Death is a Dialogue between, / The Spirit and the Dust." by Emily Dickinson; "Death is an endless night so awful to contemplate that it can make us love life and value it with such passion that it may be the ultimate cause of all joy and all art." by Paul Theroux; "We are all of us resigned to death: it's life we aren't resigned to." by Graham Greene; "In the twentieth century, death terrifies men less than the absence of real life. All these dead, mechanized, specialized actions, stealing a little bit of life a thousand times a day until the mind and body are exhausted, until that death which is not the end of life but the final saturation with absence." by Raoul Vaneigem; "In any man's death / His body is only the most obvious void / His first love, his cherished dream, his worst fight / The known world passes away / Forever lost to all comers" paraphrase of Yevgeny Yevtushenko]

see DADT.

an ungrammatical and ambiguous dictum of the U.S. Army's Infantry School, which means "do something" ... "don't just sit there" ... when in the field, either act or react, even if its wrong! Because every leader fears making mistakes, not just because he'll look stupid but because he'll get good men killed, it is essential that he be forced out of the contemplative mode and into the active mobility that will enable training to overcome fear of failure. Furthermore, every leader must learn that "right action" depends on "right timing" and "right opportunity", which are not intellectual, but instinctual acquisitions, and are extremely difficult to learn. Finally, every leader must understand that failure is a better teacher than success, so it's always better to get bruised in training than killed in combat. Although this dictum has been ridiculed as "good initiative, bad judgement", overcoming hesitation and focusing the inner "mastermind" upon the most crucial aspects of the scenario is the only way to "develop" the instinctual leader ... if, in fact, the hidden "leader" actually exists, and can truly be drawn out ... which proposition is better confronted in the rough and tumble of "play acting" than in the harsh and unrelenting battlefield. See TRAIN HARD - FIGHT EASY, DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF, CLUTCH-UP, HAPPY FEET, PIG LOOKING AT A WRISTWATCH, PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, CUT THE GORDIAN KNOT, MOVE OUT 'n' DRAW FIRE, RISKY-SHIFT EFFECT, PING-PONG, BEAT AROUND THE BUSH, OODALOOP, BOYDLOOP, WAR GAMES, OPTEMPO, OP 'TIL YOU DROP, COMBAT EFFECTIVE. [nb: the dilemma of the centipede is that it walks perfectly until it's required to explain how it walks; v: Zen mind]


a misquotation of "Don't fire till you see the whites of their eyes; then, fire low." by Israel Putnam at the 17 June 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill that was fought on Breed's Hill, being the first major battle of the AMERICAN REVOLUTION; this delay in firing, especially against an opponent that's been exhausted by climbing uphill before engaging, makes every shot more effective, with a greater psychological impact upon morale. [nb: this expression has often been erroneously attributed to Andrew Jackson at the 8 January 1815 Battle of New Orleans]

a proverbial military catch-phrase, more fully expressed as a Murphy Law of Combat: "If you don't sweat the small stuff, then the big stuff will take care of itself ... but it's all small stuff!", which is related to another Murphy Law of Combat: "The important things are always simple; and the simple things are always hard!". These dicta admonish troops to be nitpickingly "detail oriented" because inattention in the combat zone will get people killed. See COMBAT EFFECTIVE, LDR, TRAIN HARD - FIGHT EASY, CLUTCH-UP, WAR GAMES, DON'T DO NOTHING, TAKE CARE OF THE PENNIES, MOVE OUT 'n' DRAW FIRE, OPTEMPO, OP 'TIL YOU DROP. [nb: "Life by the yard is hard, but by the inch is a cinch." folk adage; "The events of life are mainly small events – they only seem large when we are close to them." by Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens); "Headlines are usually misleading, because bad news is a headline, while gradual or incremental improvement is unworthy of any attention at all." paraphrase of Bill Gates]

nickname for the V-1 pilotless aircraft (DRONE) bomb or rocket bomb; also called "buzz bomb", "bumble bomb", and "robot bomb" being an "aerial torpedo" used during WWII; derived from 'foolish' + 'small'; see MISSILE, ROCKET. Also, any of various small squat vehicles; so-called by a fancied resemblance to the ant lion / antlion (myrmeleontidae), resembling the damselfly. Also, slang for the larva of an ant lion / antlion, which dig a pit in sand where they lay in wait to prey upon ants (or any other insects) that lose their footing on the slope of the trap; compare ASSASSIN BUG. [cf: mantis (praying mantis)]


an informal placeholder term used to identify an article, object, tool, part, gadget, device, contrivance, mechanism, technique, or process whose proper name is unknown or forgotten; including dingus, gismo / gizmo, thingy / thingee, thingamabob / thingumabob, thingamajig / thingumajig, whatsis / whatsit, whachamacallit / whatchamacallit, whuddayacallit / whudyacallit, what-do-you-call-it, what-you-may-call-it, jigger, doojigger / do-jigger, doojiggy, doodad / do-dad, widget. [v: doover in Australia and New Zealand]

a first-year CADET in the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA, ZOO or ALUMINUM U); as derived from residence in Doolittle Hall, named after LTG James Harold Doolittle (v: DOOLITTLE RAID), and by association with the slang term (doodly-squat, a euphemistic variant of diddleshit or diddlyshit) for something of little value or of the least amount; see DIDDLY, ZOOMIE, JUNIOR BIRDMAN, TRADE SCHOOL. [ety: an alternative origin attributes "doolie" to a corruption of the Greek word 'doulos' meaning slave or servant] [nb: USAFA designations: freshmen = fourth degree / doolie; sophomore = third degree; junior = second degree; senior = first degree / firstie] Also, a simple litter, typically used to transport sick or wounded persons; also spelled "dooly" or "dhooly"; see LITTER, BASKET, STRETCHER, SKEDCO, DUMMY STICK, YO-HO POLE, LITTER-BEARER, STRETCHER-BEARER. [v: palanquin/palankeen, palki/palkee, jiao, gama, sedan chair, hand truck, pushcart, tug-truck, pull-truck]

the first retaliatory incursion of Imperial Japan after their attack on Pearl Harbor; sixteen B-25 MITCHELL light bombers under the command of James Harold Doolittle launched on 18 April 1942 from the aircraft carrier (CV) USS Hornet against Tokyo and other sites on Honshu island, having little tactical effect but significant moral and strategic influence. Dr Doolittle, who'd been a WWI aviator and speed flier (1932 world record), commanded the North African Strategic Air Forces and then the 8th Air Force over Germany after returning from this raid; LTG Doolittle left active duty in 1945 and retired from the USAF in 1959.

a metaphor for the nuclear destruction of the world, based upon the day at the end of the world, foretold in the Bible, of the Last Judgment. See MAD, NEACP, WMD, BRINKMANSHIP, OVERKILL, KNOCK INTO A COCKED HAT, ROMAN HOLIDAY, BOUNCE THE RUBBLE, KILL 'EM ALL, GENOCIDE.

ElectroMagnetic Pulse (EMP); see HARDEN, GENIE, NUKE, E-WARHEAD. [v: Compton effect, Planck's constant, Faraday-Maxwell cage, quantum theory; cf: induction, sunspot]

that which must be attained or accomplished at all costs, making the final supreme effort that will result in either victory or defeat; also expressed as "do and die", this phrase seemingly originated as a BATTLE CRY from Hannibal during the Second Punic War, and was later invoked by Robert Bruce in Scotland's war for independence. See A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, HARD-AND-FAST, BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK, AUTOTOMY, SUICIDE SQUAD, SNOWBALL, DOG'S CHANCE, CANNON FODDER, DIEHARD, LAST STAND, PYRRHIC VICTORY, BITTER END, BY THE BOOK, MILITARY MIND, ZERO TOLERANCE. [v: enfants perdus, forlorn hope; cf: picket, vedette] [nb: "Yours is not to reason why, yours is but to do and die." by J. Rudyard Kipling; "Theirs not to make reply, / Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do and die." by Alfred Lord Tennyson]




slang for the aggressively active and overt role called Direct Action (DA), practiced by Special Forces (SF) and Special Operations Forces (SOF) in particular situations, also known as "door bashing", "ass-kicking", and SHOCK 'n' AWE. Direct Action engagements, such as intervention, hostage rescue, sabotage, prisoner snatch, and manhunting, constitute only a small proportion of the principal missions of SF/SOF, including Unconventional Warfare (UW), Foreign Internal Defense (FID), Psychological Operations (PSYOPS), and Civil Affairs (CA), and should therefore not be over-emphasized.

Marine term for the windage/elevation adjustments made to weapon sights. Also, information, facts, news, a true account; aka: POOP, scoop, skinny, GOUGE, THE WORD, GREEN GREASE, HOT-SHIT, WRITING ON THE WALL, BULLETIN. Also, any liquid coating or paste preparation, as for sealing or reinforcing. Also, a stupid person, as a dolt, dummkopf, or fool; see DUD, PUKE, POGUE, YARDBIRD, FIELD REJECT, SHIT MAGNET, TURD, FUCK-UP, HORSE MARINE. Also, any narcotic taken to induce euphoria or satisfy addiction, as a term for marijuana and other illicit drugs; see COLORS, LSD, ANGEL DUST, SPICE, BATH SALTS, JUNK, CAN SA, GRASS, HAY, SMACK, HOT SHOT, CHINA WHITE, STICK, STONED, WASTED, TAR, HUBBLE-BUBBLE, BAD MEDICINE. [v: gateway drug, hard drug, soft drug, designer drug, prodrug; cf: miracle drug, wonder drug] [nb: it has been widely alleged (without documentation to date) that test subjects, including servicemembers and other government employees, were involuntarily administered LSD and other experimental psychotropic / psychotomimetic drugs without their informed consent, resulting in many notorious incidents, including at least one (now infamous) suicide (Frank Olson in 1953)] [cf: "The Army admitted today that it conducted secret experiments of mind-altering drugs on many unsuspecting soldiers without their consent during the 1960s, but the spokesman reported that none of the test subjects was promoted above the rank of lieutenant colonel." by George Carlin] [nb: a widely circulated but spurious WAR STORY alleges that post-war criminal violence and other antisocial nonconformity by crazed veterans is the direct result of unauthorized drug experimentation that was secretly conducted by medical personnel, many of whom were ignorant of this classified test, which was designed to increase combat aggressivity in soldiers, hence the fictitious "Rambo" account that allegedly attempted to disclose the purported "truth" behind the CODENAME of the program; actually, LRRP teams were only issued amphetamines, and Special Forces teams were also issued kits containing: 12 Darvon, 24 codeine, 6 dextroamphetamines, and 4 SYRETTEs of morphine sulfate.]

a play on words from the fashionable "soap on a rope" product that sarcastically refers to regular PARATROOPERs using a conventional STATIC LINE deployment (HOOKUP) for their PARACHUTE; see JUMPIN' JUNKIE, HIT THE SILK, PARACHUTE, AIRBORNE; compare D-RING, MFF, FREE-FALL. Also, Marine slang for the warm bodies dangling from SPY RIGGING that's suspended from helicopters; see SPIES.

a small portable container of personal toiletries ("toilet set") and sundries, especially shaving articles and grooming supplies; also called "shaving kit" or "sponge bag", but not "dop", "dob", "dobs", or "daub" kit. See DITTY BAG, KIT, DUNNAGE, HOUSEWIFE. [nb: Dopp, a registered trademark of the Charles Doppelt Company, a Chicago leather goods manufacturer before WWI; with rights to the name and design procured by Samsonite at the end of the VIETNAM WAR, and later acquired by Buxton. This man's toiletry kit, designed by Jerome Harris, achieved renown as an issue item during WWII, and thereafter became a generic reference for all similar cases. (courtesy of American Dialect Society)] [cf: etui]

Date Of Rank, which determines primacy and succession for command authority in any temporary (eg: training class) or unstructured (eg: POW) assemblage; see CHAIN-OF-COMMAND, COMMAND ELEMENT, TOP DOG, BLUE BOOK. [cf: first among equals ("primus/prima inter pares")] Also, Navy abbreviation for Dropped On Request", wherein a trainee refuses to participate, resigning from the training cycle or evolution, which makes the quitter subject to military discipline or dismissal from the service.

designation given to Phitsanulik Control and Reporting Post (CRP).

U.S. Department of State; see AID, USAID, CORDS, USIS, CT, DIP CO, FSO, COOKIE PUSHER, USDAO, FOREIGN SERVICE, DSS, SDI, PEACE CORPS, ADV, CSVN, L/FE, PRT, PNG, ICCS, RIG, DIME, FOREIGN POLICY, FOREIGN AID, FOREIGN RELATIONS, SECRETARY OF STATE, BIG STICK DIPLOMACY, PING-PONG DIPLOMACY, GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY, CONTAINMENT, HOT PURSUIT, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), LAWS OF WAR, VIETNAM SYNDROME, SIGG, FOGGY BOTTOM. [nb: "On the whole our armed services have been doing pretty well in the way of keeping us defended, but I hope our State Department will remember that it is really the department of achieving peace." by Eleanor Roosevelt] [v: Diplomatic Terms]

informal reference to a hyphenated surname, as is fashionable among feminists and other liberals, who believe that this compounding more fully credits their ancestry; an affectation that's almost always truncated as a practical matter of convenience and efficiency. Also, any complex or confusing expression, especially an unpronounceable word or phrase; see ALPHABET SOUP, JAWBREAKER. Also, any label or appellation that can be misinterpreted or misunderstood, as if implying or entailing two meanings; see NON-FLAMMABLE, INFLAMMABLE, INCENDIARY.

to check again, or recheck; to check twice, or CROSS-CHECK; a second examination or verification to assure accuracy, proper functioning, or the like; being an Americanism coined during the period of the KOREAN WAR. See CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, BY THE BOOK, CHAPTER AND VERSE, SCRIPTURES, READ-BACK, TOE THE LINE, PARTY LINE, BRASSBOUND, BOX HEAD, MILITARY MIND, DUE DILIGENCE, TRACK, DRAG, TRAIL.

the practice of "rolling-over" the skills and experience acquired on military service into civilian employment with the government, as the transference of Armed Forces expertise into Civil Service (eg: MP to FBI, INTEL to CIA, COMMO to NSA, MEDIC to PHS, ADVISOR to USDAO, etc); see LIFER, CAREER TRACK, MILICRAT, TICKET-PUNCHER, HOMESTEADER, TOUR BABY. [cf: apparatchik, nomenklatura, eunuch, nabob, nibs] Also, to earn a government salary while also receiving military retirement pay or veteran's disability compensation, being a usage coined during the Vietnam-era from WWII pension practices; see GI BILL, COLA, MISERY INDEX, SALARY, PENSION, BLOOD MONEY, COMPENSATION, THE EAGLE SHITS. Also, to receive a double measure; a complement equal to the original; fulfilled by twice as much. Also, anything that occurs twice in a series; something that cycles twice, as a recurrent happening.

in aerial navigation, a method of calculating wind direction and velocity by observing the direction of drift of an aircraft on two or more HEADINGs; compare DEAD-RECKONING, see LEEWAY.

slang for garbled speech or unintelligible language, incomprehensible gibberish or indecipherable gobbledygook; see GOOKANESE, BAMBOO ENGLISH, CREOLE, PIDGIN, PIG LATIN, DOG LATIN, MONKEY VOICES, VERNACULAR, HOBSON-JOBSON, POLYGLOT, LINGUA FRANCA. Also, any process or procedure that's been deliberately made more complicated than necessary (eg: security codes, encryption systems, contests, games, etc) in order to actually accomplish the desired result, or to achieve the intended goal; see EXERCISE, MOCK-COMBAT, WAR GAMES, PLAY THE GAME, GAME THEORY, GAMBIT, WILD CARD, CRAPSHOOT, DIRTY TRICKS, BRAGGING RIGHTS, PISSING CONTEST, TRADECRAFT.

something that's designed to fill two functions; someone who's intended to fulfill two assignments.

a simultaneous attack on both FLANKs of the enemy; also known as a "double FLANK engagement". See PINCER.

designation for combined American and Vietnamese (US/ARVN) operations; compare KATUSA, OMLT, BUDDY SYSTEM.

(double-oh) slang for closely examine, carefully scrutinize, intently inspect, look it over, CHECK IT OUT, as "give it the ol' double-o"; ostensibly from the leading letters in once-over, but more probably derived as a metonym for eyes or spectacles. See HAIRY EYEBALL, EYE-BALL, EYE-CHECK, STACKING SWIVEL, VR, BIRTH CONTROL DEVICE. [v: "custody of the eyes"]


any rule applied differently to individuals, or any set of principles interpreted differently among groups; inequitable discrimination or anti-social bias; prejudice or bigotry. Compare UNIFORM, EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, EQUAL PROTECTION. [nb: contrary to the allegations of special interest groups, from RUNTS 'n' CUNTS to RING-KNOCKERs and other KHAKI MAFIA, a 'double standard' is not twice as good as a single standard!]

informal reference to the tactical firing technique wherein the shooter quickly discharges his weapon twice at the same AIMPOINT so as to strike the target more effectively; this method of controlled rapid-fire is used with SMALL ARMS in semi-automatic mode (instead of full-auto fire) principally by ANTI-TERRORISM and hostage rescue teams operating AT CLOSE QUARTERS. Originally taught by W.E. Fairbairn at Special Operations Executive (SOE) training from 1944, it was then incorporated into the Special Air Service (SAS) curriculum, and was later introduced to DELTA FORCE by its first commander, COL Charles Beckwith, who'd once toured with the British SAS. Extensive testing of auto-fire accuracy after the VIETNAM WAR has shown that the point of aim and target impact diverge sharply after the third round of sustained fire due to recoil effect; which research prompted a redesign in the primary assault rifle (m-16A2), and inspired wider adoption of the DOUBLE TAP firing method. By quickly triggering his weapon twice on the same target, the shooter maintains fire discipline while ensuring a terminal impact, through kinetic energy or hydrostatic shock; which method speeds the assault, advances the objective, and saves time on clearing or securing the area, including use against soft or hard body armor, where the follow-on shot will probably penetrate what the initial shot could not. This technique has been falsely attributed to SNIPERs ("one shot, one kill"), and also misapplied to a "through-and-through" shooting that has both an entry and exit wound. When this concept is used by regular combat elements, who lack such specialized training, the expression usually means "killing the corpse" with a "dead check" or "sure shot" (COUP DE GRACE) to the enemy's head; which was a practice employed during both WWII and GULF WAR II to prevent surprise attacks from the rear by the fanatical "dead" coming back to life [v: PLAY DEAD] or by suicide assassins faining death so as to murderously martyr themselves. Compare TRIPLE TAP, BURST, HAMMER, BEAUTY MARK, SNIPER'S TRIANGLE, ROCK 'n' ROLL, SPRAY, HOSE, FLOCK SHOOT, BLIND FIRE, WILD SHOT, BUSTING CAPS, KICK; see OVERKILL, BOUNCE THE RUBBLE, JAPE. [nb: "Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice; ammo is cheap, life is valuable."]


the command to increase the march tempo of a formation, set at the rate of 180 steps per minute; formerly "double quick". Compare QUICK TIME, FUNERAL PACE; see HUBBA-HUBBA, CADENCE, PARADE.

alleged by anti-war historians, and other self-annointed experts with a countercultural sociopolitical agenda, to be an expression from the VIETNAM WAR representing a criminal who not only rapes a civilian but murders her afterwards; this apocryphal attribution is a perverse fantasy! ... at best, this phrase represents a VETERAN of two or more wars, and at worst, would represent a VETERAN with multiple tours in the same conflict. Compare COMBAT BUM, TOUR BABY, TWO-FISTED, PROFESSIONAL VETERAN, DOUBLE-DIP.

INDIGenous personnel whose allegiance cannot be ascertained or whose affiliation cannot be ensured even after civil offender and enemy screening, and who are therefore categorized as 'unknown' personnel. This attribution by field troops or aircrew surveillance also designates 'suspect' personnel, who are neither hostile nor friendly. See VCS, SQUIRTER.

slang for an improvised outdoor shower using either a LISTER BAG or 55-gallon drum, as derived from an "hygienic jet of cleansing water"; see RAINROOM, PT SHOWER, GI SHOWER, WHORE'S BATH, COMFORT STATION, LATRINE, HEAD, MONKEY BUTT. Also, slang for a stupid or worthless person, a doofus or flubadub, dolt or nitwit, slug or eightball, harebrain or lamebrain, blockhead or bonehead, meathead or chowderhead, dunderhead or lunkhead, chucklehead or knucklehead, nincompoop or numskull, numb nuts or scrot (shortening of 'scrotum'); see DUD, DOPE, PUKE, POGUE, YARDBIRD, MAGGOT, SMACK, FIELD REJECT, DEADHEAD, SHIT MAGNET, TURD, FUCK-UP.

an American infantryman, used since the 1846-8 Mexican-American War; derived from "adobe boy" for both the type of soldier housing and the color of his uniform, and sometimes called "dough-foot" or "dough-belly". See GI JOE, GRUNT, YANKEE, RECONDO. [nb: an alternative origin alleges that it's a contraction of "doughnut-boy" from the similarity of uniform buttons to the shape of a doughnut] [cf: derivation of "gringo" as foreign-speaking vs song lyric; v: NINE-YARDS] [nb: a doughboy statue, depicting a WWI-era soldier advancing through a field of shattered tree stumps strung with barbed wire while carrying his rifle in one hand and a grenade poised for throwing in the other, has been emplaced in hundreds of municipal parks and veteran cemeteries since the 1920s; this design, entitled "Spirit of the American Doughboy" by E.M. Viquesney (1921), a pressed-copper sculpture symbolizing the service and sacrifice of WWI veterans, is sometimes coupled with the statue of a sailor ("Spirit of the American Navy"); although variations exist, it's said to be the most-viewed example of outdoor statuary in the United States (after the Statue of Liberty), the doughboy statue is sometimes nicknamed IRON MIKE] [nb: 'statue' derived from 'status', meaning 'standing', 'position']

slang for infantryman; see GRUNT, SNUFFY, CRUNCHY, BOONIE RAT, DOUGHBOY, GI JOE.

slang for the ring-like (toroid) operational military formation formed when establishing either a defensive or offensive PERIMETER around a central objective, as a surround or encirclement; see CORDON, LAAGER, PERIMETER. [cf: annulus, halo] Also, a small circlet of (baked) cake or deep-fried dough that's usually sweetened and is typically served with coffee (GI JOE); this perishable comestible, generally ring-shaped but sometimes filled with custard or jelly, constitutes one of the essential food groups necessary for the sustenance of energetic MIL-PERS; also spelled "donut"; see SINKER, HARDTACK. [aka: beignet, bismarck, olykoek / olykoeck / olicook, simball, fasnacht, cruller, brioche, bath bun, honey bun, yum-yum, soul cake, marlboro, Johnnycake, friedcake, dunker, clogger, kolacky / kolache, berliner, brown Bobby, long John, Persian cinnamon sweetbread, comfit, vanity, Boston cream, jelly doughnut, frying saucer, elephant ear, beaver tail, bear sign, bear paw, bear claw, etc)]

female American Red Cross volunteer; also spelled "donut dollie", and sometimes called "doughnut hole". Namesake of World War I volunteer; who helped the morale of the troops by dispensing food, organizing games, and visiting clinics or wards. Headed by "Doughnut Six"! See SALLY, ROUND EYE; compare CAMP FOLLOWER, SKIRT. [cf: Candy Striper, Gray Lady] [nb: before the parameters of nursing were well defined, the civilian women who volunteered to serve as nurses on battlefields in various 19th century wars were expected to function as physician assistants and midwives, dieticians and pharmacists, handmaidens and charwomen; the Red Cross (and other organizations) was established to enable workers to provide food and supplies (especially medical) to people who were injured or displaced by wars and natural disasters ... only in the mid-20th century did professional altruism become banal and insipid] [nb: "There's a rose that grows on no man's land, / And it's wonderful to see. / Tho‘ it's spray‘d with tears, it will live for years, / In my garden of memories. / It's the one red rose the soldier knows. / It's the work of the master hand. / 'Mid the war's great curse, stands the Red Cross nurse. / She's the rose of no man's land." by Jack Caddigan & James Brennan, The Rose of No Man’s Land]

the Mk-19 40mm grenade-launching blowback-operated machinegun used by ground forces; compare MK19-3, see CREW-SERVED WEAPONS.

the people who collectively advocate peace and a conciliatory national attitude, in contradistinction to HAWKS; being a metonymic symbol of innocence, gentleness, and holiness ... such dovishness should not be confused with pigeon-livered! See CO, PACIFIST, BEST AND BRIGHTEST, SYMPATHIZER, PINKO, PROTESTOR, THEY'LL GIVE A WAR AN' NOBODY'LL COME, DECENT INTERVAL, APPEASE, PEACE.

Died Of Wounds, being the administrative classification for a battle casualty who expires after medical evacuation; compare KIA, WIA, GSW, GSW-TTH, TBI, PH, DUSTOFF, MEDEVAC, MILLION DOLLAR WOUND, PROFILE, LINE OF DUTY, SIW, WALKING GHOST, TRIAGE, ZERO WARD, LAST BIVOUAC, ZERO-ZERO WARD, LAID BY THE WALL, BODY BAG, BODY COUNT, ZULU, RINGS OF SORROW, NOK. Also, in NavSpeak, the Diving Officer (of the) Watch; sometimes represented as 'DOOW'.

the formal disapproval or disqualification by an Instructor Pilot (IP) or flight supervisor for a student or PETER PILOT to continue a course lesson or performance procedure, or to advance to the next stage or sequence of training difficulty or aircraft complexity, usually written as a RATING into a log or record book; a deficiency that must be corrected. See CHECK RIDE; compare UP CHECK.


see GRASS.

see GRASS.

to be assigned or directed, to advance or deploy to a combat zone, especially to move from a secure base area to an insecure or hazardous field area, as derived by extension from the impact area on a firing range; also called "the bush", "the sticks", "the woods", "the barrens", "the brush", "the weeds", "the veg", "the rough", "the dirt", "the field", SANDBOX, BOONDOCKS / BOONIES, BACKWASH, BANJO COUNTRY, THULE, INDIAN COUNTRY, IN-COUNTRY, "the bad lands", "bandit country", "the front", FEBA, MLR, FLOT, FRONT LINE, and the like. [v: "What happens down range stays down range!"]

(aka: cutback, drawdown) see RIF, DEMOB, SERB, KICKSTANDED, DISCHARGE, DUMP, ETS.


informal reference by aviators to an urban target that's scheduled to be attacked; made popular during the VIETNAM WAR by aircraft "going downtown" (as to Hanoi or Haiphong) instead of Close Air Support (CAS) on a rice paddy or hillside; see AIR STRIKE, TAC-AIR, STRAFE, GUN RUN, DANGER CLOSE, BOMB 'EM BACK TO THE STONE AGE, SORTIE. Also, the business district of a city, typically offering diverse amusements and varied entertainments; see SIN CITY, FOUR CORNERS, HELL'S HALF ACRE, HELL ON WHEELS.

the position of an airplane that is parallel to the RUNWAY but is against the direction of landing; compare BASE LEG, see TOUCHDOWN.

an operations team or task force (TF) of tank-dozers, ROME PLOWs, and infantry, which used jungle-busting techniques to advance into difficult terrain; see MECH, TRACK, INF, GRUNT, BOONIE RAT, BUSHMASTER, CRUNCHY, LEG, 03, SNUFFY.

DP :
Displaced Person; being a civilian involuntarily made homeless (or stateless) by the vicissitudes of war, or a refugee (now called "asylum seeker") dislocated by the violence of battle; also designated as "dislocated civilian". Responsibility for the shelter and humane treatment of these civilians, after passing one or more security checks, falls upon the Civil Affairs (CA / S-5) section of the allied military, with the assistance of NGO relief agencies and the host government, as long as martial law prevails. See SAFE, E&E, BLOOD CHIT, IRC, CARE, LODGE-PHILBIN ACT, REFUGEE, EXILE, BOAT PEOPLE, YELLOW BIRD, INTERNAL EXILE. [nb: "The gratitude of the dispossessed is a worthless currency, but a treasure to be prized above all others." paraphrase of F. Thomas Russell]

Deployable Pursuit Boat; a high-speed 38ft patrol craft used by USN and USCG. See BOAT.

Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munition, an armor piercing artillery round for a HOWITZER; see DU, AP.


Dispersion Pattern Material, being the British/UK phrase for a camouflage design on fabric or other materials; see CAMO, CAMMIES, DIGITALS, DAZZLE, COUNTERSHADING, WAR PAINT. [cf: parti-colored, mottle/motley, variegate, pied/piebald]

1948 flag of the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea or North Korea
North Korea
Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or "North Korea", being the enemy during the KOREAN WAR, along with the Chinese communists (CHICOM).

the Defense Personnel Support Center, a consolidation of Subsistence, Textile, and Medical supply procurements was centralized in 1965, and was renamed the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia in 1998; see LOGISTICS.

DR :
Delinquency Report, being an official notice of deficiency or dereliction, which may involve remedial action or summary punishment; whenever a servicemember's dependent is involved, the DR is sent to the servicemember's commander; see CALL ON THE CARPET, GIG. Also, abbreviation for DEAD-RECKONING (qv).

Direct Range Air Consuming Ordnance, a thermobaric 40mm round of grenade AMMO developed by Martin Electronics, and fired from an M-79, M-203, or M-32 grenade launcher.

an early (and simplified) version of the closed-circuit oxygen re-breather, which was invented (together with other rescue equipment) by Alexander B. Dräger, an early 20th century German scientist; see RE-BREATHER, DIVER, SCUBA.

an older method of sampling the atmosphere in which a handheld pump is used to draw samples into the test system; after Alexander B. Dräger, an early 20th century German scientist.

a selection, as by lot, of persons for military service; see DRAFTEE, DRAFT LOTTERY, PRESS-GANG, SHANGHAI, DRAGOON, McNAMARA'S HUNDRED THOUSAND, DRAFT DODGER, AFEES, MUSTER, CALL TO THE COLORS, TOTAL FORCE. [nb: "The draft is just a white man telling a black man to kill a brown man to protect the riches they stole from the yellow man and the land they stole from the red man!" political maxim popularized by Black Panthers during the VIETNAM WAR] Also, the preliminary form of a writing or drawing. Also, the taking of supplies, money, or the like from a given source; REQUISITION, FORAGE, COMMANDEER, SPOILS OF WAR. Also, the depth to which a vessel is immersed when bearing a given load; see LOAD-LINE MARK, PLIMSOLL MARK, FREEBOARD. Also, beer or ale drawn from a cask or keg; see BREW, BA MUOI BA, THE DRINK, JUICE, GUSTO, LAAGER.

conscript; a man drafted into the Armed Forces under the authority of the 1948 Selective Service Act (Congress rejected the Universal Military Training Bill in 1946, and again in 2004). The first national conscription act was passed 3 Mar 1863 providing only 6% of military manpower despite all the resistance and exemptions; and the first peacetime draft in American history was authorized by the 1940 Selective Service Act as preparation for U.S. involvement in WWII. Compare VOLUNTEER; see DRAFT, DRAFT LOTTERY, McNAMARA'S HUNDRED THOUSAND, MUSTER, COMMANDEER, SHANGHAI, PRESS-GANG, DRAGOON, VOLUNTOLD, DRAFT DODGER. [nb: Vietnamese term: Nguoi Di Quan Dich] [nb: One of the many myths about the VIETNAM WAR is the profile of the servicemen sent into combat: 66% serving in military during VIETNAM WAR were volunteers, and 73% of VIETNAM WAR KIA were volunteers (balance draftees); 12.6% of US military population during VIETNAM WAR was Afro-American from 13.1% of Afro-American age-eligible for draft in the total US population, and 12.2% of casualties were Afro-American. According to 1980 Harris survey of VIETNAM WAR combat vets: 91% were "glad they served their country", 74% "enjoyed their time in the military", 89% agreed that "our troops were asked to fight in a war which our political leaders in Washington would not let them win". Men who enlist before age 18 are still required to register for the draft after being discharged from military service; and combat disabled vets were insulted when Selective Service classified them as "unfit", instead of "prior service". See JODY, AFEES, HORS DE COMBAT] [v: Myths of the Vietnam War] [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"]

someone who evades or rejects the responsibility of compulsory military service, especially during wartime, usually by DEFERMENT but may involve reclusion, expatriation, self-mutilation, falsification, or alternative service; see DRAFT, DRAFT LOTTERY, McNAMARA'S HUNDRED THOUSAND, MUSTER, VOLUNTEER, MILITIA, WEEKEND WARRIOR, SHANGHAI, PRESS-GANG, DRAGOON, LOYALTY OATH, THEY'LL GIVE A WAR AN' NOBODY'LL COME, SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT, WHITE FEATHER, PROTESTOR, PACIFIST, BEST AND BRIGHTEST, JODY; compare DESERTER, TRAITOR, TURNCOAT. [cf: the rabbit-like character called "Cuthbert" was invented by Poy, the cartoonist for the "Evening News", to represent all the eligible DRAFT DODGERs avoiding combat during WWI with sinecures and deferments; not to be confused with Saint Cuthbert] [nb: during the World Wars, earnest and ardent patriots, as an expression of contempt, presented a WHITE FEATHER to seemingly fit men who were suspected of avoiding military service; the police also checked the draft status of such men as a further inducement to social conformity] [nb: "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong. No Viet Cong never called me nigger!" 1967 restatement of a Stokely Carmichael pronouncement by Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr (Muhammad Ali)] [nb: on 16 September 1974, President Gerald R. Ford offered amnesty to Vietnam draft evaders and military deserters in exchange for an oath of allegiance and a period of alternate service; then on 21 January 1977, President James Earl Carter pardoned certain civilians convicted of Selective Service Act omissions and crimes committed during the period of the VIETNAM WAR (4 Aug 1964 - 28 March 1973), but military and government persons were exempt from this proclamation] [v: Knights of the Golden Circle, Order of American Knights, Order of the Sons of Liberty, and other anti-federal "copperheads" during the CIVIL WAR]

a practice instituted by the Selective Service System based upon randomly selected birth dates, which replaced the supposedly unfair or discriminatory Draft Board system whereby local community leaders, based upon personal knowledge, chose eligible young men to fill a mandated quota. The Draft Lottery made government more impersonal without altering the draft exemptions, so it embodied the worst of both options. America instituted its first wartime draft in 1863 ("Enrollment Act"), which provided for substitutes, and generated riots; then instituted its first peacetime draft in 1940, and resumed it after WWII, through both the Korean and VIETNAM WARs, as a public expression of "compulsory national service". Both the PEACE CORPS and Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) were created as popular alternatives to military service for loyal citizens. See McNAMARA'S HUNDRED THOUSAND, AFEES, IVS, AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE, COMMANDEER, PRESS-GANG, SHANGHAI, DRAFT DODGER.

informal term for the tail man, trail element, or rear guard behind the main maneuver force to ensure rear security, as a SQUAD following a COMPANY; also called "sweep" or TRAIL; compare POINT, SLACK, TAIL-END CHARLIE; see ZERO, BUTTONHOOK. [nb: the follow-up TRAIL or DRAG element is not only responsible for guarding the back of the unit (ie: tailgunner), but in obscuring its passage (eg: scrub, scour, "dry clean", "Hoover") and detecting pursuit (eg: double-check, double-back, back-check) so as to preserve unit integrity and enable accomplishment of its mission] [nb: Vietnamese term: Hau Ve Quan] Also, a rescue technique for moving an injured or unconscious person to safety when the ground or floor is not stable, when hostile fire ranges the area, when fire and smoke prevent breathing and visibility above ground level, when the casualty has internal or skeletal injuries, or when the casualty is significantly larger and heavier than the rescuer, and when the critical victim cannot remain in place until a rescue team can properly evacuate the casualty. After assessing the victim's injury/injuries, rendering first aid to save the victim's life, and determining that the victim cannot await proper rescue by a team with specialized equipment, the rescuer will drag the casualty by a modified form of CREEP or LOW-CRAWL using a cross-body carry to advance the victim, or by a seated rowing motion to pull the supine victim by his wrists/armpits or ankles/knees to advance the victim. This emergency technique is only performed when better casualty evacuation methods are impossible. Compare FIREMAN'S CARRY, LIFESAVER'S CARRY; see LITTER-BEARER, STRETCHER-BEARER, MEDIC, DOC, CORPSMAN, ORDERLY, COOLIE, CHIGGIE BEAR. Also, to haul, draw, or pull, as when trailing something behind on the ground. [cf: dead lift] Also, The aerodynamic force exerted upon an airfoil, wing, or other aerodynamic body that tends to reduce its forward motion; a mechanism that permits greater vertical maneuvering without increasing the flight's rate of speed; see FLAP, SPOILER, SPEED BRAKE. Also, in nautical parlance, a HULL designed to increase in draft toward the stern of a vessel, causing resistance to movement through the water. Also, in nautical usage, an object drawn through the water, causing resistance of the HULL to movement, such as a sea anchor or DROGUE; any of a number of buoys or weights dragged cumulatively by a vessel sliding down ways to check its speed and stability. Also, any device for dragging the bottom of a body of water to recover or detect objects, as a dragnet, dredge, or GRAPNEL. Also, the scent left by an animal, quarry or prey; to hunt by tracking scent and spoor; see TRACE, PECKER TRACKS, TRAIL, TRACK, BLOOD TRAIL, CASTOFF, BREADCRUMBING, BEAT AROUND THE BUSH, WALK BACK THE CAT. Also, slang for girlfriend, fiancée, or wife who is literally "dragged" around after her sweetheart or husband from assignment to assignment, post to post, base to base; see COW, OFFICER'S WIFE, LADY, THE DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT, RING THE BELL, THE MOTHER-IN-LAW OF THE ARMY, DISTAFF, PETTICOAT COMMAND, CAMPAIGN WIFE, CLASS-B DEPENDENT, SHACK-JOB, CAMP FOLLOWER, SKIRT, BITCH, BRAT, ARMY SOUP, GOLD STAR. [nb: until the Vietnam-era, the military did not recognize the spouse or other dependents of enlisted personnel below the non-commissioned officer ranks] Also, slang for inhale, often deeply, as to puff on a cigarette; see GASPER, PIGTAIL, BUTT, FAG, SMOKE, SOLDIER'S BREAKFAST. Also, clothing characteristic of a particular occupation or milieu, especially when worn as a costume; such cross-dressing includes clothing characteristically associated with one sex when worn by a member of the opposite sex; compare PARTY SUIT, MUFTI, CIVVIES. Also, slang for influence; as sway or pull, leverage or clout; see GREASE, JUICE, POWER PLAY, SOFT SOAP. Also, a stout sled or sledge used for transporting heavy loads in the field; see IRON DOG, CAT-TRAIN, TRUCK. Also, slow, laborious movement or tedious progress; to move heavily or with great effort, reluctantly or apathetically, as to lag behind or to painfully protract a process or procedure. Also, anything that retards progress, as a metal shoe fitting a wheel on heavy wagons that serves as a brake on steep grades.

a man-portable wire-guided ROCKET (M-47); see JAVELIN, LOSAT, TOW. Also, short form of DRAGON SHIP or PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON, being the AC-47 DAKOTA; also called SPOOKY. Also, designation of the B-52 STRATOFORTRESS bomber that's been modified (AL-52) to carry an anti-ballistic laser weapons system. Also, slang for the energy or force resulting from nuclear fission, whether controlled (as in an A-BOMB explosion) or accidental (as in a pile SCRAM); also called GENIE; see DRAGON'S BREATH, DRAGON SHIT, HEAVY WATER, YELLOWCAKE, HOT GREASE, FALLOUT, CONTAINMENT, EMP, NUKE, CBR. Also, folkloric allusion to the alligator, indigenous to east Asia and the southeastern United States, being a crocodile (deriv: pebbled worm/textured penis) with a broad snout, and formerly classified as a saurian [cf: dinosaur] along with the flying lizard, caiman lizard, monitor lizard, and Komodo dragon. Also, a folkloric creature of the sky or forest or mountains, a fire-breathing winged-serpent, that's representative of the class of nonexistent monsters, of mythic animals or legendary beasts; including glacier snake, sea serpent, sea monster, triton, kraken, siren, centaur, hydra, cerberus, typhoeus / typhon, echidna, orthos, Nemean lion, firedrake, wyvern, griffin, chimera, cockatrice, basilisk, manticore, ogre, afreet, satyr, lamia, sphinx, unicorn, werewolf, whangdoodle, sasquatch/yeti, or other teratoid. Compare MERMAID, PROP WASH, and other SNIPE HUNT objectives.

Cessna A-37 light attack aircraft; modified version of two-engine T-37 TRAINER used for counterinsurgency Close Air Support (CAS), as flown by South Vietnamese (VNAF) pilots.

designation for U-2 / TR-1 surveillance aircraft, which began USSR flight operations on 4 July 1956; see DREAMLAND, SPYPLANE. [v: U-2 Incident 6-11 May 1960] [nb: because the U-2 already had folding wings, the landing gear was strengthened and an arresting tailhook was added to enable aircraft carrier take-offs and landings; modified U-2s were operationally flown from aircraft carriers during the Vietnam-era (U-2G/U-2J from USS Ranger and USS Kitty Hawk in 1964, U-2R from USS America in 1969)] Also, pejorative sobriquet of Soong May-ling (or Soong Mei-ling), educated at Wellesley College, was the wife (Madame Chiang Kai-shek) of the commander of the Kuomintang army, which fought the Imperial Japanese and communist Chinese until exiled to the island of Formosa/Taiwan (LITTLE TIGER); together with other Soong family members, she attempted to direct China's affairs throughout the 20th century, for which arrogance she was also known as "Cleopatra". Also, pejorative sobriquet of Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu, born (1924) Tran Le Xuan in Hanoi. Her husband was South Vietnam's chief political officer and head of the secret police, and she acted as official hostess for her bachelor brother-in-law, President Ngo Dinh Diem, from 1955 to 1963. Outspoken and disdainful, Madame Nhu's vitriolic characterization of Buddhist immolations as a "barbeque" helped turn American public opinion against the ruling regime in the Republic of Vietnam. After the assassination of her husband and her brother-in-law on 2 November 1963, Madame Nhu went into exile in Europe. Madam Nhu's sobriquet was probably acquired by a fancied association with the comic strip character Lai Choi-San (a Cantonese transliteration of "queen of the pirates") in Milton Caniff's "Terry and the Pirates" series. Also, by association with historical figures, any seemingly ruthless and powerful Asian woman [eg: Tz'u Hsi, the empress dowager of the Ta Ch'ing dynasty (1862-1908)]; also called a CHINESE BOX for her complex inscrutability. [ety: "The Daughter of Fu Manchu" by Sax Rohmer generated 1931 film entitled "Daughter of the Dragon"; v: Xiaolongnü (Little Dragon Maiden) is the female main character in "The Return of the Condor Heroes", Long Nu (Dragon Lady) as a disciple of the Bodhisattva Guanyin]

the radioactive steam that turns the turbine in a nuclear engine or power plant; in this closed re-circulation system, the condensed steam is collected and reheated for the next cycle; see DRAGON, GENIE, HEAVY WATER, YELLOWCAKE, HOT GREASE, SCRAM, FALLOUT, CONTAINMENT, NUKE. Also, slang for an exotic shotgun shell loaded with some pyrotechnic ingredients (eg: phosphorous, magnesium, etc) so as to fire a flame outwards about fifty feet from the muzzle in imitation of a flamethrower; this exotic cartridge is useful for its psychological effect upon the enemy.

AC-47 gunship outfitted with electrically-fired machineguns and illumination, also called "dragon" or "magic dragon"; see PUFF (THE MAGIC DRAGON), SPOOKY; compare DAKOTA.

slang for the depleted nuclear pile, expended radioactive rods, or spent reactor fuel rods from a nuclear power plant that're collected and housed in secure storage; see DRAGON, GENIE, HEAVY WATER, HEU, SCRAM, FALLOUT, CHIRPER, BANG READER, CONTAINMENT, NUKE, COFFIN, TOMB. [v: Cherenkov radiation]

slang for an anti-tank (AT) barrier consisting of short trapezoidal or wedge-shaped concrete posts implanted in the ground as obstacles to predicted avenues of assault by TRACKed vehicles, as used since WWII; phrase originated in the Greek mythology of Cadmus and Jason, where they produced fully armed warriors whenever they were sown in the ground. See CALTROP, PUNJI STAKE, FRAISE, ABATIS, HEDGEHOG, BOLLARD.

homophonic "draggin' wagon"; see LOW BOY.

a member of a unit of cavalry, originating as mounted infantry (or mounted rifles) armed with short muskets, of a type common in Western armies from about 1600 through the early 1900s, where they'd traditionally ride to battle, then fight dismounted with SMALL ARMS. The word 'dragoon' originally identified the curved shape of the hammer of a pistol, was then applied to the pistol as a whole, then to the pistoleer using these saddle-mounted guns, and finally to the oppression or persecution effected by such an armed force. [re: CARBINE, cf: derivation of carabiner at SNAP-LINK] See CAV, ACR, AIR ASSAULT, AIRMOBILE, HELIBORNE, AIR CAV, YELLOWLEG, PONY SOLDIER, LONG KNIFE, MECH, BOOTS AND SADDLES. [nb: "dismounted reconnaissance" is MIL-SPEAK for patrolling on foot] Also, to persecute or oppress by armed force. Also, to coerce or force by oppressive measures; see COMMANDEER, PRESS-GANG, SHANGHAI.

see TRAWL.

the individually wrapped, specially formulated chocolate bar that was first issued (1937) as an energy supplement for combatants, and then as a nutritional supplement in field rations [K-RATIONS (1943)]; also called "Ration D", "D-bar", and "Logan bar", its production was discontinued at the end of WWII (1945). See HERSHEY BAR, compare HOOAH! BAR.

(aka: cutback, downsize) see RIF, DEMOB, SERB, KICKSTANDED, DISCHARGE, DUMP, ETS.

Discharge Review Board; see DISCHARGE.

an American battleship [USS Dreadnaught (YT-34)] based upon the British DREADNOUGHT design. [cf: USS Dreadnought (SP-584); v: HMS Dreadnought (41-gun ship; 1573), HMS Dreadnought (52-gun ship; 1654), HMS Dreadnought (60-gun ship; 1691), HMS Dreadnought (60-gun ship; 1742), HMS Dreadnought (98-gun ship; 1801), HMS Dreadnought (battleship; 1875), HMS Dreadnought (battleship; 1906), HMS Dreadnought (S101 submarine; 1960)]

a type of battleship with its primary armament consisting entirely of heavy-caliber guns, being the predominant type of battleship in the early 20th century; this type of WARSHIP (based upon British models) is heavier in armor or armament than a typical battleship, especially being one that's the largest or the most powerful of its kind. [v: super dreadnought] Also, a garment made of thick woollen cloth that can protect the wearer against stormy weather and cold temperatures; the cloth itself (fearnaught).

the unclassified designation for AREA 51 (qv), as the USAF experimental test flight region near Roswell Nevada used for classified aircraft, such as the U-2 DRAGON LADY and the SR-71 BLACKBIRD, which was implemented during the Vietnam-era. It is alleged that these classified test flights account for the reported UFO sightings. Compare HAWC, TOP GUN, RED FLAG.

assignment preference declaration form filed routinely every PCS, also called "wish list" or "fantasy form"; considered by most to be a waste of time at best, and a cruel torment at worst, since preferences are almost always ignored. MIL-PERS have the most success with assignments and transfers by BACK CHANNEL traffic to their RABBI, PATRON SAINT, or SEA DADDY. See PDS, RED TAPE, FORM, REPORT.

military attire or apparel, raiment or array/arrayment; regalia, regimentals, or uniforms; see HBT, FATIGUES, UTILITIES, CAMMIES, LEOPARD, TIGER STRIPE, ERDL, WOODLAND, GILLIE SUIT, BATTLE DRESS, BDU, DESERT, CHOCOLATE CHIP, ACU, MARPAT, ABU, OCP, DIGITALS, DUNGAREES, AQUAFLAGE, BELLS, CRACKERJACK, SALT AND PEPPER, BLUE JACKET, JUMPER, MONKEY JACKET, DIRTY SHIRT, SLOP, SHODDY, PONCHO, RAINCOAT, OILSKINS, WINDBREAKER, GREATCOAT, OVERCOAT, FIELD JACKET, REEFER, PEA JACKET, BATTLE JACKET, TANKER JACKET, FLIGHT JACKET, FLIGHT SUIT, G-SUIT, POOPIE SUIT, KHAKIS, BLOUSE, CLASS-A, BLUE SUIT, ASU, CHOKER, DRESS WHITES, ICE-CREAM SUIT, SPANKERS AND CLANKERS, MESS DRESS, PUMP, CUMMERBUND, BLACK TIE, WHITE TIE, PLUME, WITH BELLS ON, BOAT CLOAK, PARTY SUIT, BUSH JACKET, SAFARI SUIT, COMBAT CASUAL, FEATHERS, COLORS, MOURNING BAND, SAM BROWNE BELT, WEB BELT, FLUFF 'n' BUFF, MILITARY TUCK, GIG LINE, MILITARY PRESS, STRAC, SPIT 'n' POLISH, CONTRAFOIL, BRASS, TOY SOLDIER, WAR PAINT, HAPPY SUIT, FLAK VEST, FLAK JACKET, FISH FUR, T-SHIRT, SINGLET, SKIVVIES, BOXERS, BRIEFS, GOING COMMANDO, PATCH, CREST, PIP, ENSIGN, CHOP, BRASS, GONG, RACK, FRUIT SALAD, HERSHEY BAR, SHOULDER BOARD, SHOULDER KNOT, SHOULDER LOOP, SHOULDER STRAP, EPAULET, CORD, LANYARD, SASH, BRASSARD, GREEN TAB, HEADGEAR, FOOTWEAR, ARMY SIZE, NAVY SIZE, CAP-A-PIE; compare MUFTI, CIVVIES, DRAG, PAJAMAS, CHEONGSAM, AO DAI, KIMONO, HANBOK, LOINCLOTH. [v: tire, bedight; cf: de haut en bas] [v: tailored, bespoke, couture] [nb: skill qualification badges, which may be sewn or pinned onto the work uniform, are not called 'trash' when mixed with ribbon bars on Class-A uniforms; furthermore, 'fruit salad' ribbons and pendant 'gongs' are never worn on fatigue or battle dress uniforms] [nb: "Beware, so long as you live, of judging men by their outward appearance." by Jean de La Fontaine; "The old saying of Buffon's that style is the man himself is as near the truth as we can get – but then most men mistake grammar for style, as they mistake correct spelling for words or schooling for education." by Samuel Butler; "Never judge a book by its cover." / "Don't judge a book by its cover." anonymous; "Even a stupid man looks good in a uniform." by Isabella I; "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society." by Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens)]


informal reference to reprimand, reproach, rebuke, upbraid, admonish, berate, scold, reprove, chastise, castigate, fustigate, revile, vilify, chide, censure, punish, discipline, correct, tongue-lash, chew-out, take to task, give what-for, bawl-out, sail-into, rap-on-the knuckles, slag-off, or carpet dance; see FANG, BLISTER, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, HAWK, GIG, DR, DRUMHEAD, SMACK, CALL ON THE CARPET, PULL RANK, OFFICE HOURS, VERBUM SAP, ARTICLE 15, RIOT ACT, UCMJ. [v: comeuppance]


the directive to align RANKS at proper interval. It is a two part command performed from the position of "attention", commencing to line abreast at set distance upon "Dress Right, Dress", which is held until returned to "attention" by "ready, front". [nb: civilians have perpetrated a fiendish canard that this is the military order for adjusting one's genitals, which is absolutely untrue! The proper command for the coordinated maneuver of genitals is, of course, LOCK 'n' LOAD!]

a light-weight summer uniform worn by USN and USCG, and formerly worn by US Army (Tropic Whites), as the "Service Dress Whites" or CLASS-A uniform. Also identifies the formal attire worn by all service branches as being the military equivalent of a white dinner jacket or tuxedo, commonly called a "blizzard blazer" or ICE-CREAM SUIT; see MESS DRESS, SPANKERS AND CLANKERS, WITH BELLS ON, FEATHERS, DINING-IN, DRESS. [nb: when the Navy specifies a sidearm and cape ("boat cloak") with formal evening wear, officers wear swords and petty officers wear cutlasses; v: Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist and Surface Warfare Officer (aka: WATER WINGS)]

designation given to Green Hill Control and Reporting Center (CRC).

the training, exercise, or rehearsal of MIL-PERS in the postures and movements for the proper execution of military or naval skills (MIL-CRAFT), such as formal ceremonies, marching, guard mount, combat maneuver, weapons handling, and other precisely coordinated practices. Also, any strict, methodical, repetitive, or mechanical training, instruction, or exercise, such as formation marching or gun drill. Also, the correct or customary manner of proceeding; see THE BIBLE, MANUAL OF ARMS, ORDER, AR, SCHOOL OF THE SOLDIER, SCHOOL OF THE SQUAD, SCRIPTURES, SOP, EVOLUTION, BY THE NUMBERS, PREPARATORY COMMAND, COMMAND OF EXECUTION, BY THE BOOK, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), LAWS OF WAR, CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, CUSTOMS AND COURTESIES OF THE SERVICE. [nb: "Any part of drill that does not contribute to a soldier's effectiveness in combat is a waste of time and resources." paraphrase of Colonel William Duane (ca1820)]

an open expanse or other unobstructed area, indoors or out, that may be used for assembly or practice, EVOLUTIONs of physical exercise (PT) or CLOSE ORDER drill, including weapons or vehicle maintenance and the MANUAL OF ARMS; see GRINDER, COMPANY STREET, PARADE DECK, PARADE GROUND, ASSEMBLY AREA, SCRIPTURES.

see DI.

see DI.

Pershing Rifles patch
Pershing Rifles
a select squad of MIL-PERS, usually specially trained and similarly sized, who perform high-visibility marching or escort duty during public ceremonies, from funeral interments to holiday demonstrations. See FUGLEMAN, COLORBEARER, COLOR GUARD, FUNERAL PACE, BOX JOB, TOY SOLDIER, BOY'S CLUB, CAMPAIGN HAT, CHROME-DOME, MILITARY PRESS, SAM BROWNE BELT, MILITARY TUCK, SPIT 'n' POLISH, THE BIBLE, MANUAL OF ARMS, DRILL, CLOSE ORDER, PARADE.

the handle used to manually release the RIP-CORD when deploying a PARACHUTE for descent; see MFF, FREE-FALL; compare STATIC LINE, HOOKUP, DOPE ON A ROPE. Also, a metal ring in the shape of a capital letter 'D' that's used on a belt or harness for attaching items by clipping onto them; see ANCHOR, DEADEYE, PAD EYE; compare SNAP-LINK.

any large body of water, as a lake, sea, or ocean, also called the POND or BLUE WATER; see SPLASH, FEET WET. Also, a swallow of liquid or a draft of potion; see GI JOE, TOAST, WASH, BUG JUICE, SAIGON TEA. Also, any liquoror alcoholic beverage, especially excessive indulgence in same; see MOONSHINE, HOOCH, BREW, GROG, JUICE, GROUP TIGHTENER, SPLICE THE MAINBRACE, IRISH SODA POP, DEAD-SOLDIER, MOJO, GUSTO, SUNDOWNER, HOIST, HATCH, DUTCH COURAGE, WHISKEY WARRIOR, BYOB, CLASS SIX, STONED. Also, any liquid that is swallowed for nourishment or to quench thirst, as a beverage; see JUICE, BUG JUICE, GI JOE, BULLY SOUP, SOUP, WASH, NUOC, EVAPORATOR, SOLAR STILL, WATER PURIFICATION TABLET, CANTEEN, BLADDER BAG, LISTER BAG.

U.S. Army skill qualification
badge for driver, machine operator, and mechanic
the operator of a wheeled (eg: JEEP, HUMVEE / HMMWV, TRUCK, etc) or TRACKed (eg: APC, TANK, etc) vehicle, who's responsible for minor maintenance and liable for its safe return to the MOTOR POOL; see WHEEL JOCKEY, MECH.


Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office, a department in the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) that serves as a DEPOT for surplus, defective, and obsolete items or parts that are either recycled (to other agencies or organizations), or are auctioned to the public for disposal after DEMILITARIZation (made inert or inoperable) of potentially harmful materials or products. See DX, LOGISTICS

DR. NO :

abbreviation for Dining Room Orderly, being an enlisted KP detailed as a waiter or servant for senior NCOs and OFFICERs eating in the MESSHALL; equivalent to a Navy steward. Although OFFICERs are required to pay for their meals, "rank has its privileges" (RHIP) table service is not normally practiced by junior OFFICERs who are closer in age and have more direct contact with troops, especially in combat arms units ("Leaders eat last.").

a bucket or canvas bag used as a vessel's "sea anchor", causing resistance to movement of the hull through the water, so as to decrease speed and/or increase stability. Also, a "pilot parachute" used to extract the main parachute from its container after the STATIC LINE or rip-cord has opened the pack; see AIRDROP, LAPES, JPADS, LOW-LEVEL EVACUATION DROP. Also, a cone or funnel-shaped device on the end of a TANKER's hose to assist engagement for mid-air refueling. [ety: drag]

a remotely controlled or programmed guidance vehicle, vessel, or craft, such as a pilotless airplane; see UAV, DASH, PIONEER, RPV, PREDATOR, REAPER, FIRE SCOUT, DOODLEBUG, UUV; compare MISSILE, MIL-CRAFT. [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] Also, any "noncombatant" MIL-PERS who's essentially functioning as a "civilian in uniform" (who dons CLASS-As instead of a three-piece suit, but acts indistinguishably from his unmilitary peer) when performing administrative, support, medical, or humanitarian work (eg: disaster relief or peacekeeping); as derived from the male bumblebee, which does not make honey and lacks a stinger; see CA, CAP, NEUTRAL, CO, PACIFIST, PIG LOOKING AT A WRISTWATCH, EMPTY SUIT, BRASS EAR, DELEGATOR, MILICRAT. Also, a drudge or parasite; see PUKE, DEADHEAD, POGUE, FIELD REJECT, YARDBIRD, GOLDBRICK, FEATHER MERCHANT.

air delivery of men or materiel, usually by PARACHUTE, onto a designated location; also called AIRDROP or HEAVY DROP; see DZ, LZ, CLZ, AIRHEAD. Also, the unofficial injunction to assume the FRONT LEANING REST position preparatory to doing PUSH-UPs, especially for punishment; also expressed as "hit it" or "beat your face", "kiss concrete" or "push earth"; see SQUAT, JUMPING JACK, PAIN. [nb: another common but unofficial order used to motivate MIL-PERS is "Drop yer cocks 'n' grab yer socks!".]

an individual qualified to prepare, perform acceptance inspection, load, lash, and eject material for AIRDROP; also known as KICKER; compare LOADMASTER. Also, an aircrew member who, during parachute operations, will relay any required information between PILOT and JUMPMASTER; compare CREW CHIEF, CREW DOG, see BAILOUT.

slang for the emptied or expended CARTRIDGE cases that house the propellant and primer, and to which the BULLET is attached; also called BRASS or CASING.

a wing- or belly-mounted auxiliary PETROL container, made of metal or plastic or papier-mâché, which dispenses additional fuel so as to extend the attack or search range of RACK equipped aircraft, which temporary containers are jettisoned when no longer needed; see POD, compare DROGUE, TANKER, BINGO, JOKER, ENDURANCE. Also, an enclosed housing or container, usually streamlined and detachable, for use on an aircraft, on watercraft or other vehicle, for the resupply of food, equipment, munitions, or materiel to troops in the field; see POD, DROP, HEAVY DROP, PAYLOAD, AIMPOINT.



Thompson 1927
with drum
Thompson 1927 with drum
a cylindrical magazine (MAG) that holds CARTRIDGEs until ready to mount on the weapon and "feed" the AMMO; see CLIP, BANANA CLIP, C-CLIP, BANDOLEER; compare LINK AMMO, SPONSON. Also, any cylindrical container for storage or transporting of contents, especially a 55-gallon metal receptacle for fuel; see POL, POD, WATER BUFFALO, BLIVET, BLADDER. [v: cask, vat, tun, butt, drum, hogshead, barrel, tank, rundlet, kilderkin, puncheon, keg, carboy, breaker, jug, tub, firkin, salmanazar, pottle, flask, pony, gill, pot, flagon, bottle, demijohn] Also, a percussion musical instrument played by hand or stick, symbolic of public announcements, including bass, kettledrum/timpani, snare/side, and tambourine; also called "trap" or "traps"; see TAMPON, FOLLOW THE DRUM, TAPS, RUFFLES 'n' FLOURISHES, BEATERS 'n' BLEATERS, ROGUE'S MARCH, TOOTER. [v: paradiddle]

gunfire so heavy and continuous as to resemble the sound of incessantly beating drums; compare SALVO, FUSILLADE, BROADSIDE, SHELLFIRE, ENFILADE, VOLLEY, BARRAGE, AT CLOSE QUARTERS.

slang for impromptu or expedient, as summary justice [nb: image is to abruptly mete out or to readily beat out decisions, but is more likely to be from the flat surface employed as a field desk]; see BLANKET PARTY, GIG, ARTICLE 31, ARTICLE 15, RIOT ACT, SHOW TRIAL, PISO'S JUSTICE, ONE SIZE FITS ALL, CAPTAIN'S MAST, ROCKS 'n' SHOALS, UCMJ, TREASON. [cf: kangaroo court, honor court, grievance committee, vigilance committee, tribunal, sanhedrim] [nb: lynch law is the summary execution of an accused or convicted person by extralegal process, originally from the DRUMHEAD trial of royalists by patriots during the Revolutionary War, eponymously after either Charles Lynch or William Lynch of Pittsylvania, Virginia; cf: Isaac Parker as the "Hanging Judge" at Fort Smith Arkansas] Also, the reverberant membrane stretched upon a drum. Also, the top of a capstan; see HOOK.

see DUI, DWI, OWI, THIRD DEGREE, LOADED FOR BEAR, DUTCH COURAGE, STONED, WASTED, ZAP, HOOCH, GROG, BREW, JUICE, THE DRINK, COLORS, LSD, DOPE, JUNK, GRASS, HAY, SMACK, STICK, IRISH FLU, FRENCH FIT, HANGOVER. [aka: drunk / drunken, priest of Bacchus, son of Bacchus, goliard, sot, besot, tope, toper, non-compos-mentis, bibulous / bibulated, spiflacated, dipsomated, intoxicated, inebriated, high, lit / lit-up, mellow, numb / benumbed, feeling no pain, tipsy, bumpsy, tiddly, wigged, buzzed, ginned, wet, tippler, bibber, in one's cups, oiled, boiled, sauced, juiced, pickled, squiffed, ripped, wrecked, smashed, potted, sodden, loaded, wired, plastered, stewed, boozed-up, soused, pissed, snockered, plotzed, awash, half-seas over, three sheets to the wind, cockeyed, pie-eyed, glassy-eyed, snarked, shickered, looped, sozzled, zonked, trashed, shit-faced, fried, blasted, zapped, bombed, stoked, wiped-out, huff (glue), wankered / whankered, stoned] [v: musth] [v: Punitive Article 111 (operation of a vehicle, aircraft, or vessel while impaired by alcohol or drugs); Article 112 (intoxicated on duty); Article 134 (drunk and disorderly or drunk and incapacitated)] [v: UCMJ Punitive Articles]

any EXERCISE, including survey and inspection tours, that's characterized more by the amount of alcohol consumed than by the accomplishment of any other meaningful goals; compare JUNKET, GARDEN SPOT, MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, GHOST WALK.

1945 flag of the Democratic
Republic of Vietnam (DRV) or North Vietnam (NVN)
Democratic Republic of Vietnam, but commonly known as North Vietnam (NVN); declared 29 September 1945, and established by the Geneva Accords of July 1954. After the end of the Second INDOCHINA War on 7 May 1975, the country was reunified in November 1975 with the capitol at Hanoi, and renamed the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) under a newly ratified constitution on 2 July 1976. The national flag was adopted on 30 Nov 1955, and the state crest on 21 July 1956. The northern half of the NVN flag was blue for "peace", the southern half was red for "sacrifice", and the halves were joined by a yellow star symbolic of the Oriental people (each point of the star representing the farmers, workers, scholars, youths, and fighters).

slang for a sailor who has not served aboard a ship at sea, especially someone who has not experienced naval warfare; also spelled "dry back", being someone who has not gotten "wet" or been "wetted down". See NUGGET, CHUM, FRESH CATCH, POLLYWOG.

to practice shooting a SMALL ARMS weapon at a target but without firing any ammunition, being a DRY RUN familiarization process preliminary to actual live-fire shooting on a KD RANGE; called "snap-in" or "snapping-in" by Marines. See BASS, SIGHT PICTURE, DUMMY, TRAIN. [v: Firearms Glossary]

a practice, rehearsal, or preparation session, as a "walk through" before the "wet work" begins on the actual "wet run". Also, operational practice, as to DRY FIRE or "snap shoot" a weapon at a target without using live AMMO. [nb: not to confused with "dry humping"]

a close-fitting, double-layered synthetic garment worn by a deep sea diver in very cold environments, that's designed to protect the diver's body from the water or pressure by circulating a warming layer of air internally, which also serves to equalize descent pressures. Compare WET SUIT, HARD SUIT; see HARD HAT, DIVER. [v: Diving Terms]

Defense Supply Agency, later renamed Defense Logistics Agency (DLA); see LOGISTICS.

Defense Satellite Communications System, being a global network of voice and data satellites that connect military organizations and government agencies; see IDCSS.

Digital Switch Network or Digitally Switched Network; being a completely digital version of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), which supersedes AUTOVON and WATTS. Also, a Data Source Name which encodes identifiers for database connectivity. Also, a Digital Subscriber Network for broadband access.

Defense Support Office, or more fully Defense Manpower Data Center Support Office. Also, Defense Systems Officer, being the equivalent of the Weapons Systems Officer (WSO) on an Air Force strategic bomber (eg: B-52, B-1, etc); sometimes nicknamed "guns" or "gunner" by allusion to the old WWII duty; compare OSO.

Defense Satellite Program, agency operation of all military intelligence and reconnaissance SATELLITEs. Also, Defense Support Program, a system of geosynchronous infrared (IR) SATELLITEs that can detect and track missile launches anywhere on earth; compare SBIRS.

Diplomatic Security Service, being a protective branch of the State Department that provides physical and electronic security at American embassies, and BODYGUARD protection for Foreign Service employees.

Digital Subscriber Terminal Equipment; see DSN, PSTN.

Division Tactical Area, being that region in South Vietnam, comprising two or more provinces, designated by GVN for an ARVN division to regularly operate; the best Vietnamese units were responsible for pacifying the worst areas. Compare AO, TO, AOR, MOA, OA, TAOR, UA.

Date Time Group, arranged hour/day/month/year/zone (eg: 240001JAN1969Z); see TIME. [nb: military time is expressed in four-digits, from 0001 to 2400, representing each minute in all 24-hours of the day, without designating ante- or post-meridiem; there is no 0000 hour]

DU :
Depleted Uranium, being a non-explosive inertial projectile (eg: MORTAR round, hypervelocity ROCKET warhead, MINIGUN or VULCAN bullet) used to penetrate vehicles and structures, including TRACKs and BUNKERs; DU is a very slightly radioactive (equivalent to cigarette smoke) compound that's 1.7 times denser than lead (increasing its kinetic energy) and is pyrophoric (igniting all combustable targets); see KEW, APFSDS, DPICM, SABOT, STABALLOY. [cf: molybdenum, tungsten (wolframium), iridium, osmium] Also, Vietnamese for "fuck"; "Du Me" = motherfucker, "Du Ma Nhieu" = go fuck yourself, "Du Ong My" = fuck the American; see FUCK, CHURNING BUTTER, TRICK, BOOM-BOOM, SHORT-TIME, HOOKUP, ACT OF CONGRESS.

see LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN. [cf: divided loyalty]

Distinguished Unit Citation, authorized and explicated in War Department Circular 333.4 dated 22 Dec 1943; being a laurel wreath, which CROWN or garland is a symbol of victory and distinction, worn on the right sleeve of the CLASS-A uniform above the HERSHEY BARs, on the same side as the combat shoulder PATCH (SSI). The Distinguished Unit Citation may be presented as an emblematic BAY to any unit that performs better than other units in the same combat action, exhibiting esprit when accomplishing its challenges, and valor when executing its hazardous duties. See UNIT CITATION, GONG.

nickname for the DUKW, introduced in 1942 as a 2.5-ton amphibious utility TRUCK having all-wheel-drive and dual rear axles; which was later replaced by the GAMMA GOAT, both of which were prone to mechanical failure, so were operationally unreliable. Compare AMTRACK, ELSIE. Also, a heavy, cotton, plain-weave fabric, in various weights and widths, that was used for making tents, clothing, bags, and the like; especially the slacks or trousers ("ducks") made of this material.

boards forming a track or floor over wet or muddy ground; as plank sidewalks (BANQUETTE) or palletized BUNKER floors. See GANGWAY, PASSAGEWAY.

a children's game in which one player stands guard over a stone on a rock while the other players attempt to knock the stone off by throwing another stone in turn; if the thrower is tagged by the guard while trying to recover the throwing stone, the two players then exchange positions; also called "duck on a rock" and "duck on the rock". Compare DUCKS AND DRAKES, KING OF THE HILL, CAPTURE THE FLAG, HIDE-AND-SEEK, TUG OF WAR, RED ROVER, PRISONER'S BASE, WAR GAMES.

a pastime in which flat stones or shells are thrown across water so as to scale or skip over the surface several times before sinking, in a fancied likeness to a waterfowl's movements; also called "duck and drake" or "sinkers and skimmers". Also, used metaphorically to imply recklessness or heedlessness, carelessness or irresponsibility, as being rash or imprudent by "playing DUCKS AND DRAKES" with military assets; to squander lives and dissipate resources. Compare DUCK ON DRAKE, KING OF THE HILL, CAPTURE THE FLAG, HIDE-AND-SEEK, TUG OF WAR, RED ROVER, PRISONER'S BASE, WAR GAMES.

something that's easily accomplished, as military slang since WWI; see CAKEWALK, PIECE OF CAKE, LAUGH A MINUTE, WALK IN THE PARK, NO SWEAT, MILK RUN, TURKEY SHOOT, compare STONE SOUP.

to walk like a duck, as to scurry, scuttle, or waddle when squatting with legs apart and feet turned outward, which posture and gait is quite appropriate for some movements while under fire on the battlefield; also called "crab-walk". See FIRE 'n' MANEUVER, SQUAT, TAKE A KNEE; compare FROGMARCH, LOW-CRAWL, CREEP, DITTY-BOP. [cf: widow's walk, cock of the walk, CATWALK, GHOST WALK, CAKEWALK]

a strongly adhesive cloth tape, protected by a repellent silver-gray coating, that's used to seal the junctures in ductwork, to reinforce joins, to make household repairs, and similar applications; 'duct tape' originated (1942) as "duck tape". See 100 MPH TAPE, 1000 MPH TAPE.

see DUCK.

unexploded ordnance due to mishap or malfunction. Physical duds are a liability to both friend and foe, hence metaphoric use applied to incompetent, inept, or incapable soldiers who may get good men killed and cause missions to fail; also called "slug", "short round", "eightball", "flubadub", "doofus", "dolt", "nitwit", "harebrain", "lamebrain", "blockhead", "bonehead", "meathead", "chowderhead", "dunderhead", "lunkhead", "chucklehead", "knucklehead", "nincompoop", "numskull", "numb nuts", "scrot" (shortening of 'scrotum'), or FUCK-UP. See PUKE, DEADHEAD, TRIGGER-HAPPY, LOOSE CANNON, FIZZLE, MISFIRE, CREEP, YARDBIRD, MAGGOT, PYHOOYA, TURD, SOS, SMACK, SHIT MAGNET, DOUCHE BAG, FIELD REJECT. [v: stumer]


the timely exercise of enough care and effort to fulfill a DUTY or obligation, so as such prudence will avoid a charge of negligence; a legalistic redundency for 'diligence'. [cf: fact check, double-check, due notice, due process of law]

a form of ritual combat between two persons that's fought with deadly weapons, as arranged and supervised in accordance with a code of accepted procedures, which has been declared illegal (eg: Article 114 UCMJ) in all civilized societies of the modern era. Before its degeneration into a contest to settle a private quarrel, the DUEL was a consecrated ORDEAL representing the spiritual embodiment of metaethical forces engaged in "trial by combat", wherein divine judgment would decide the "single combat" issue, and "God's Will" would be represented by victory. In ancient times, the weapon of the victor in a duel acquired respect as having been imbued with the power of God so as to attain success over the disfavored adversary and his disenchanted weapon ... such mysticism became the basis of venerable legends. Term derived from 'duellum' ('duo' + 'bellum' = 'two' + 'war'). See GANTLET, CARTEL, CROSS SWORDS, MEASURE SWORDS, SNAKE PIT, FIELD OF HONOR, KEEP YOUR SHIRT ON. [cf: monomachy, duomachy] [nb: a "gage" is something, such as a glove, that was thrown down by a medieval knight in token of his challenge to personal combat] [nb: a 'stickler' was the second in single combat, and so was very punctilious about the minutest points of etiquette, then later becoming an umpire or referee in competitive tournaments, and finally being any person who persistently demands absolute adherence or unyielding conformity] [nb: Confederate BG James Dearing engaged in a pistol duel at High Bridge over the Appomattox River on 9 April 1865 and was mortally wounded when he killed Union LTC Theodore Read]


the regular administration of a system of fundamental laws, conforming to generally accepted legal principles, which are uniformly applied without favor or prejudice to all citizens; the principle that any legal proceeding must respect all of the rights and protections that are accorded to a person under the law; see BY THE BOOK, ACCORDING TO HOYLE, EQUAL PROTECTION, DUE DILIGENCE, FINE PRINT, UCMJ, MCM, BLUE BOOK, ROCKS 'n' SHOALS, JUST WAR, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), LAWS OF WAR, MARTIAL LAW. [der: Magna Carta (15 June 1215)]


slang for Double Ugly Fat Fucker, being the F-4 Phantom II; an obvious imitation of BUFF (B-52D), probably out of envy or jealousy. See BIRD.

outdoor clothing and equipment, especially for BIVOUAC or camping; see KIT, WEB GEAR, LBE, ALICE, LBV, MOLLE, DEUCE GEAR. Also, a DUFFEL BAG (qv). Also, a coarse woolen cloth with a thick nap used for making blankets and coats ("duffel coat"); a toponym derived from its namesake town near Antwerp in Belgium.

the unwieldy, oblong, cylindrical bag in which troops stored all their gear, usually shortened to DUFFEL, but also called BARRACK's BAG or "sea bag"; compare DUNNAGE, AWOL BAG, FLIGHT BAG, WAR BAG, MUSETTE 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] Also, an artillery term for motion/sound/seismic sensors placed along suspected enemy trails or areas. These "duffelbag" sensors contained small radio transmitters which sent a signal to a monitoring intelligence unit when triggered. An artillery fire mission was then called on the "duffelbag" target to intercept or interdict the enemy.

the final departure at Ton Son Nhut Air Force Base prior to boarding the FREEDOM BIRD for return to THE WORLD or the LAND OF THE BIG PX; see WAKE-UP.

a rough shelter formed by an excavation in the ground, or in the side of a hill; also spelled "dug-out"; see HIDE, BOLT HOLE, SHROUD, HUT, BOHIO, SHEBANG, BUNKER, REDOUBT, FOXHOLE, SPIDER HOLE. [v: Military Earthworks Terms] Also, a primitive BOAT made from a hollowed-out log; compare GIG, SKIMMER, SCOW, SAMPAN. [v: canoe, dugout, pirogue, kayak / kaiak / kyak, bateau / batteau, coracle, bullboat, wherry, cockleshell, jolly boat, scull, gig, shell, skiff, johnboat, punt, scow, lighter, pontoon, dory, gondola, flatboat, skipjack, rowboat, skimmer, whaleboat, longboat, umiak, banca, pram, launch, faltboat / foldboat, keelboat, pinnace, cockboat, caique / caïque, catboat, yawl, dinghy, bark, tub] Also, to flee into sanctuary, by alliterative allusion (dug-out Doug) to General MacArthur's flight from the Philippines to Australia, a safe and secure locale; see BUG-OUT.

U.S. Army Special Forces
regimental crest
Distinctive Unit Insignia, being the formal designation for a unit CREST; also called "distinctive insignia" (DI), DADGE, or blazon. These heraldic "coats of arms", approved for wear on 18 March 1922, are metallic badges denoting each Brigade/Regimental sized unit or larger, and worn on the EPAULETs of the CLASS-A uniform; also worn on some HEADGEAR in lieu of RANK by EMs and NCOs. See GREEN TAB, BRASS, BEERCAN, TRASH, EMBLEM, BATTLE CRY, TOAST, SIGNATURE; compare BRANCH. [nb: an insignia emblematic of the honors and lineage of a military organization, unlike familial "coats of arms", may be individually enhanced but not personally heritable; v: Heraldry] Also, abbreviation for the charge of Driving (a motor vehicle) Under the Influence (of alcohol or drugs); also known as "Driving (a motor vehicle) While Intoxicated" /"... Impaired" (DWI) or "Operating (a motor vehicle) While Intoxicated" /"... Impaired" (OWI); see BREW, HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, THE DRINK, DOPE, CAN SA, GRASS, HAY, JUNK, COLORS, SMACK, HOT SHOT, CHINA WHITE, STICK, STONED, TAR, HUBBLE-BUBBLE. [v: Punitive Article 111 (operation of a vehicle, aircraft, or vessel while impaired by alcohol or drugs)]


nickname of Boeing CATALINA PBY seaplane, used for observation and transport; from its resemblance to the 1942 Walt Disney animated film caricature of a flying elephant; see FLYING BOAT, BIRD. Also, nickname for Curtis-Wright COMMANDO C-46 heavy transport aircraft.

originally a soft-nosed, and later including the hollow-point BULLET that expands on impact, inflicting a wound more severe than fully jacketed AMMO; which BULLETs have been prohibited for military use by both The Hague and Geneva Conventions. A round nosed BULLET scored with a cross or an X is often mistakenly called a DUMDUM BULLET. It is toponymously named after Dum-Dum, a suburb of Calcutta India, where the bullets were first made [nb: term is unrelated to "dum-dum" for silly or stupid from 'dumb', and is likewise unrelated to silent, mute or deaf]. As with the .45 (11.25mm) caliber CARTRIDGE, the DUMDUM design was developed to improve the "stopping power" of ammunition; but the deterrent effect of such martial efficiency did not cause wars to end more quickly. [nb: during WWII, the Imperial Japanese used wooden bullets for marksmanship training and practice SMALL ARMS shooting, but a shortage of metals necessitated their wider issue to field forces, which caused more severe wounds and increased infection; by the end of WWII, Nazi Germany was also issuing wooden bullets]

an inert replica or inactive simulator, especially a non-explosive munition, that's used for instruction or demonstration, training or practice; a dummy CARTRIDGE, which contains no propellant or primer, includes a cavity to prevent damage to the firing pin during DRY FIRE exercises; compare BLANK, see AMMO, BASS, TRAIN. Also, noting or pertaining to an imitation, representation, or copy, as a tailor's model or a printer's sample; see MOCK-UP. Also, counterfeit, sham, or fictitious; including false or artificial data designed to test a program or system. Also, a surrogate or dupe/doupe who is put forward to act for others while ostensibly acting for himself; see DOGSBODY, HACK, DECOY, CAT'S-PAW, RED HERRING, STOOGE, SANDBAG, USEFUL IDIOTS, STALKING HORSE, SPEAR-CHUCKER, COUSIN, FALL GUY, SCAPEGOAT. Also, the extra hand or place that forms part of some card games, such as CRIBBAGE or POKER; see PLAYING CARDS, WAR GAMES, PLAY THE GAME.

slang for a yoke, balancing rod, shoulder pole, or carrying pole, as widely used in Asia (and pre-industrial Europe) to transport large or heavy loads. Although most often used by civilians, the VC/NVA/PAVN adapted bicycles to mount these loaded poles for munition and materiel transport along concealed trails by drafted laborers (DAN CONG"). In the formidable terrain of the KOREAN WAR, porters (CHIGGIE BEARs) were employed to deliver resupplied materiel to UN forces by using DUMMY STICK yokes and A-frames. See YO-HO POLE; compare LITTER. [nb: according to the international LAWS OF WAR, a civilian compelled to act as a military porter by transporting weapons or munitions and materiel becomes a bona-fide combatant, subject to treatment as a de-facto soldier, and forfeits the protection of civilian noncombatant status; international law includes rules on the treatment of prisoners of war, but only extends protection to combatants, excluding any civilians who engage in hostilities, and those unconventional forces that do not observe restrictions for combatants] [v: syzygy]

a repository or argosy, as a Supply Dump; an accumulation of unloaded or off-loaded military stores located near a battlefield for better distribution; see RED BALL, COMBAT LOADED, BB STACKER, BONEYARD, DEPOT, ASP, DRMO, PRE-POS, GODOWN, ELEPHANT HUT, STEELDROME, MOTHBALL, LOG, QM. Also, a depository, as an Ammo Dump, BOMB FARM or TOMB; a dump site or dumping ground for the safekeeping of munitions. Also, to discharge, dismiss, eject, rid, or dispose of; see DISCHARGE, DISMISS, RIF, KICKSTANDED. Also, slang for taking a SHIT, bowel movement, defecation; see TROTS, SQUIRTS, CORK, HEAD CALL, CAT HOLE, SLIT TRENCH, BLUE CANOE, LATRINE, HONEY BUCKET, COUGH DROP, BLACK WATER, TRA CA, SLOP CHUTE, COMFORT STATION. [nb: the cellar or cache known as "The Douglas Larder" derives from the incident, on Palm Sunday 1307, when Sir James Douglas regained his castle by a ruse and, knowing that he could not hold it, caused all the provisions to be heaped together, along with the bodies of the slain prisoners and dead horses, pouring drink and casting salt over all, then the castle entire was fired so as to deny the spoils to his enemy; cf: wolverine]

U.S. Navy version of a work or utility uniform, which, unlike green FATIGUES and patterned BDU / ACU uniforms, are blue denim; derived from "rough cloth(-ing)". See BELLS, AQUAFLAGE, 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]

the secure cryptographic chamber, being a stronghold reminiscent of a bullpen or prison cell, within (or beneath) an operational HQ or TOC; also called "sanctum", "inner sanctum", "holy of holies", or "sanctum sanctorum". See ALPHABET SOUP, ENCRYPT, KAK, KEK, KEY, SHACKLE, SCRAMBLE, CRYPER, INTEL, ASA, MI; compare BUBBLE. [v: keep, oubliette, hock (sty or prison as a miserable place to live)]

Vietnamese phrase for "STOP!" or "HALT!"; sometimes spelled "doung loi". [v: Japanese tomaru (come to a stop, halt)]

slang for a simulated helicopter cockpit that can be tilted, angled, or inverted and submerged in a water tank so that aircrew can practice underwater cabin evacuation methods.

baggage or personal effects; see KIT BAG, MUSETTE, FLIGHT BAG, WAR BAG, LOADOUT GEAR, DUFFEL, AWOL BAG, BUG-OUT KIT, DOPP KIT, STRING BAG, DITTY BAG, KIT; compare FOOTLOCKER, CAMPAIGN CHEST, WALL LOCKER. [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] Also, loose material laid beneath or wedged among objects carried by ship or rail that's used to prevent injury from chafing or moisture, or to provide ventilation; also called "cargo batten"; compare BATTEN.



slang for a gun turret (eg: BALL TURRET) on the underside of an airplane; not from a fancied resemblance, but because every unattached thing falls to the lowest level in the fuselage ... so eventually ending up there; see TURRET, BLISTER, SPONSON. Also, a container for worthless material, trash or rubbish, as a wastepaper basket or wastebasket; see FILE 13, LITTER, BUTT CAN, GI CAN, BURN BAG. [v: Japanese kuzukago]


a self-propelled medium-sized TANK body equipped with twin 40mm automatic antiaircraft guns (POMPOM) and a pivoting M-60 machinegun (MG) in an open TURRET, designated M-42. It was used for fire base and convoy security, as well as direct ground support. An earlier M-19 anti-aircraft tank version was used in the KOREAN WAR. See BOFORS, SPONSON, SCORPION, ONTOS, SPAT, CHAFFEE, WALKER-BULLDOG, TRACK.

the nickname for a medical evacuation from a battlefield by helicopter, and also spelled "dust-off"; originating as the radio CALL-SIGN of LT Paul B. Kelley, who was KIA while flying a MEDEVAC mission in 1964. The term DUSTOFF (for "dusty take-off") refers to both the MEDEVAC mission and the transport vehicle, with any capable aircraft (from CH-34 Kingbee or HH-43 Husky to HH-53 Jolly Green Giant or CH-47 Chinook) without a higher priority serving the role whenever necessary. The UH-1 HUEY utility helicopter, with its wide doors, excelled at this mission, but transport by any type of AIR AMBULANCE improved a soldier's chance of survival. See BAND-AID, CRACKER BOX, CASEVAC, CIVCAS, NEO, EVAC. [nb: James Webb has aptly called the MEDEVAC a "deus ex machina"] [nb: during the Vietnam War, the Marine Corps did not have discrete helicopters assigned for medical evacuation]

the smallest size of ball or pellet for use in a SHOTGUN; see SHOT, BUCK, BUCKSHOT, CANISTER, CASE SHOT.


a disparaging slur describing a great noise and uproar, like that made by a tumultuous party of drunken Dutchmen, with singing, quarreling, fighting, and the like; see STORM, BEAR GARDEN, STURM UND DRANG, ROUT, FLAP, HOOPLA.

false courage, or bravado inspired by drugs or booze; also known as "Geneva courage" or the "Irish mistress", and formally known as "pot-valor" or "pot-valiant"; originally referred to gin, introduced by the Dutch when William of Orange ruled England (1689). See STONED, HOOCH, GROG, BREW, JUICE, GROUP TIGHTENER, DEAD-SOLDIER, TOY SOLDIER, WHISKEY WARRIOR, MACHO, LOADED FOR BEAR, IRISH FLU, FRENCH FIT, SPLICE THE MAINBRACE, BYOB, THE DRINK. [nb: "I told you, Sir, they were red-hot with drinking; So full of valour that they smote the air, For breathing in their faces, beat the ground For kissing of their feet." by William Shakespeare in The Tempest (1611)]

an Americanism from the turn of the 20th century for an individual portion or serving of cold cuts; see PITA, RICE BALL, HORSE COCK, BANH MI, SANDWICH, BOXED NASTY, SPAM, JERKY, RATIONS.

an Americanism from the post-CIVIL WAR era for a meal or entertainment wherein each person pays their own expenses; as with other 'Dutch' allusions, this is a stereotypic slur on the selfish or stingy character of Germanic peoples.

an open framework used in bed as an airy rest for someone's limbs when resident in tropical climes; see RACK, SACK, FLEABAG, BERTH, BILLET.

something that is legally required or morally binding, as an obligation or PROMISE; see OATH, HONOR CODE, LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN, BRASS-COLLAR, DUE DILIGENCE, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, HOLD ONE'S FEET TO THE FIRE. Also, respectful obedience to a code or CREED, as actions required by a person's position or profession; see LITMUS TEST, WINTER SOLDIER, DELEGATE, CODE OF CONDUCT, BEARING, SUMMUM BONUM, CUSTOMS AND COURTESIES OF THE SERVICE. Also, an assigned military task, occupation, or place of service; see BILLET, BERTH, ON STATION, OJT, MOS, PCS, TDY / TAD, POST, WATCH, SHEEP-DIPPED, HARDSHIP TOUR, BUMFUCK. [v: numinous, deontology, eudemonism; cf: meliorism, Solomonic compromise] [nb: "Theirs not to make reply, / Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do and die." by Alfred Lord Tennyson; "Yours is not to reason why, yours is but to do and die." by J. Rudyard Kipling; "When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty." by George Bernard Shaw; "If some great Power would agree to make me always think what is true and do what is right, on condition of being turned into a sort of clock and wound up every morning before I got out of bed, I should instantly close with the offer." by Thomas Henry Huxley; "I came to the South because I feared that it might not be able to do well without me. I had more experience in battle, or thought that I had, than any other man North or South and was appreciative that our people could not get along without me. I had no ambition to gratify nor have I any now more than to discharge my duties .... If I had confidence in our success without me I would go home to my dear little family inspite of authority and the Service." by James Longstreet]

slang for the officer assigned to a particular supervisory shift, such as Officer of the Day (OOD) or Staff Duty Officer (SDO), including aides and assistants required to cover the office of an agency (eg: DAO) or headquarters (HQ); see AIDE, ADC, CDO, SOPA, OOW, OOG, DOG ROBBER, DOGSBODY.

posted schedule of duty or FATIGUE assignments performed at unit level or detailed to next higher command on a rotating basis, with the addition of punishment tours. See GI PARTY, SHIT LIST, PYHOOYA, ADY; compare WATCH BILL.

abbreviation for the charge of Driving (a motor vehicle) While Intoxicated /... Impaired; see DUI. [v: Punitive Article 111 (operation of a vehicle, aircraft, or vessel while impaired by alcohol or drugs)]

DX :
(dee-ecks) Direct eXchange, for replacement of dysfunctional, damaged, or discontinued equipment; known as SALTY DOG in NavSpeak; compare ADRIFT; see SCROUNGE, CHARGE SHEET, GRIPE SHEET, PDO, DRMO, SOUVENIR, MIDNIGHT REQUISITION.

an EXPLOSIVE made of nitroglycerin together with an inert filler (any of various absorbent materials, such as wood pulp, sawdust, kieselguhr, or some other porous substance), with the proportions varying in different formulations, where ammonium nitrate or sodium nitrate may replace nitroglycerin; the mass is then usually pressed into cylindrical forms and wrapped with paper, plastic, or some other appropriate material, whence the CHARGE may be set off by a DETONATOR. Originally formulated by Alfred B. Nobel in 1866, such an explosive is used to mine or crater, destroy or shatter, blast or blow up things. Also, used figuratively to represent someone or something having a spectacular effect; that which is optimum or topnotch.

slang for chicken à la king, which is a dish of diced chicken accented with mushroom, pimento, and green pepper that's served in a cream sauce; as derived from French for "in the manner of the king" or "according to the style of the king". See BEANS, CHOW, RATIONS. [cf: chicken tetrazzini; beef à la mode] [nb: American cuisine includes chow mein ("noodle pieces") and chop suey ("mixed bits"), a stir-fried combination of shredded meat and diced vegetables over noodles or rice in Chinese style]

an infectious disease of the large intestine that's marked by hemorrhagic diarrhea; a disease marked by frequent watery stools, often with blood and mucus, which is clinically characterized by pain, tenesmus, fever, and dehydration; etymologically derived from 'bad bowels', it's commonly known as BLOODY FLUX. See TROTS, SQUIRTS, DUMP, SHIT, HEAD CALL, SLOP CHUTE, CAT HOLE, BLUE CANOE, SLIT TRENCH, HEAD, LATRINE, HONEY BUCKET, TRA CA, COMFORT STATION, SALMONELLA / SALMONELLOSIS, CORK.

DZ :

Drop Zone Safety Officer, who is the military equivalent of the civilian Safety and Training Adviser (S&TA), a certified examiner and JUMPMASTER.