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

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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E :
an aircraft prefix under the Joint Service Designation System that represents 'electronic'. [v: 'EW' (electronic warfare)] Also, an abbreviation for English, east/eastern, electron, energy, engineer/engineering, electric/electrical, entrance, error, and the symbol for 'universal negative'. Also, in a world where results are the only thing that truly matters, the process-oriented "E is for effort" catch-phrase is an attempt to sabotage performance criteria with good intentions ... which have paved the way to Hell! ... there is no second place in war!

EA :
in the Navy and Marines, an Executive Assistant, who's also called "braider" due to the distinctive aiguillette or shoulder CORD worn in this capacity; see AIDE, ADC, DOG ROBBER, HOUSE MOUSE, MAN FRIDAY, GOFER, BROWN NOSER, FACE TIME. Also, in all branches, the standard abbreviation for 'EAch' that is used for accountability, as in "1ea M1A1 Attitude Adjustment Tool".

seal of the United States of
seal of the USA
McDonnell-Douglas F-15B/-C jet aircraft; compare STRIKE EAGLE, see FAST PACK, BIRD. Also, American symbol on United States seal; according to Benjamin Franklin, "a bird of low morals", since he much preferred the wild turkey and rattlesnake as icons. Also, the symbol of America, the federal government, or the Armed Forces, as represented on various BADGEs and other INSIGNIA; sometimes mockingly renamed the chicken, crow, or BUZZARD; see THE BIRD.

the abortive mission on 24 April 1980 that was intended to rescue 53 hostages from the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran, originally designated "Operation Rice Bowl", and also known as "Operation Evening Light"; the hostages were released by diplomatic negotiations after 444 days of captivity on 20 January 1981. The too-complex plan was plagued by interservice jealousy, and even after simplification, its execution was compromised by gross incompetence, including the abandonment of five intact MH-53 SEA STALLION helicopters, and a classified copy of the OPLAN that disclosed the names of covert operatives in Iran. A second rescue mission was planned under the name "Operation Credible Sport", also known as "Operation Honey Badger", but was never implemented. The Tower Commission Report focused on the defects in planning and execution, especially the equipment failures and the aircraft collision at Desert One FOB, which led to the remedial formation of the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and the Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR).

a remotely piloted unmanned reconnaissance aircraft; see UAV.

a large helicopter assault force used to temporarily secure a key piece of terrain so an operation can proceed; also refers to such a force on air or ground standby alert to perform rapid reaction missions. See COMPANY LIFT, LZ, CLZ, PZ.


(forthcoming); evacuation of Cambodians during 11-13 Apr 1975; compare PASSAGE TO FREEDOM, FREQUENT WIND, EXILE.

a dysphemism for the government payday; see SALARY, BP, PRO PAY, FIELD ALLOWANCE, UA, BAQ, BAH, SEPARATE RATS, BREAD AND CIRCUSES, DEAD HORSE, NIGGER RICH, SDP, TSP, SAVINGS BOND, PENSION, BLOOD MONEY, COMPENSATION, DOUBLE-DIP, COLA, MISERY INDEX, INCOME TAX, LES, GI BILL, THE G, THE NATIONAL JOKE FACTORY, ACT OF CONGRESS; compare SLUSH FUND, CANDY, GOLDEN SHOWER, PORK BARREL, STAND SAM, POLITICAL ENGINEERING, BELTWAY BANDIT, GAO, GSA. [nb: 'stipend', as a tax-exempt allowance or honorary salary, usually a pittance, derives from "soldier's pay"] [cf: 'wages' are compensation or recompense, from carry on, struggle, pledge]

slang for a mandatory speech or address, obligatory oration or sermon, compulsory lecture or conference. See OFFICER'S CALL, BRIEFING, CONFAB, HALF-MAST, CHIN CHIN, POWWOW, CHATTER, SUMMIT. [cf: consistory, gabfest]

servicemember released before contractual ETS date, usually as a reward for combat service or hardship duty.

to achieve standing or status on the basis of hard work and experience, as a meritorious promotion; to give credit where credit is due, in contrast to unearned familial or political appointments. See MERITOCRACY.


a soft plug of pliable material that's inserted into the opening of the outer ear, especially to keep out water or noise; see CEP, CEPS, WIRE WORM, EARS.

an ornament mounted on or suspended from the earlobe, as common to many tribal peoples, from Chinese and Persian to African and AmerIndian; they originated as emblems of status or RANK (both high and low), and as marks of affiliation or membership (both adoptive and outcast). Their ornamental (adornment or decorative) use, divorced from their signal function in caste or confraternity, is wholly a modern phenomenon of (mis-)appropriated meaning(-lessness) and fickle fashion. Custom-made EARRINGs were "awarded" to RECON teammates on SF projects before 1966, and thereafter spread by imitation to other LRRP units during the VIETNAM WAR. It is possible that the practice was inspired by the "skull and crossed-bones" combat-EARRINGs featured in Robert A. Heinlein's book "Starship Troopers". Indiscriminate conferral has caused military EARRINGs to become so ubiquitous that they are now decoratively commonplace and symbolically meaningless. Compare TATTOO, MEAT MARKER, COINING, BRACELET, BANGLE; see INITIATION. [nb: according to legend, a sailor acquired a pierced EARRING when "crossing the line" (equator), which acquisition was alleged to improve his eyesight] [nb: "For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites (outcasts)." Judges 8:24 Bible]

any listening device or sound development system, especially one involving earphones or headphones (as "let me put on my EARS and CHECK IT OUT"), also called "cans" in NavSpeak; see WIRE WORM, CEP, CEPS, RADIO, ANTENNA FARM, TROPO, LISTENING WATCH, COMM OP, KNOB-TURNER, DITTY-DOT, RTO, COMMO, TELEPHONE, NET, CW, HAND, TWX, BUG, RADAR, MSQ, ECM, MUSIC, GRASS, UWT, SONAR, SOSUS. Also, slang for the oversized head-mounted circumaural earplugs worn by aviation support personnel (ie: PENGUIN, GROUND HOG, WING WIPER, LEG or POG) who work around idling aircraft on the APRON or RUNWAY; this type of hearing protection is also called "mouse ears". Also, during the VIETNAM WAR, the body parts that were (illegally) collected from corpses as a symbolic token of victory, that were dried by salting and worn on a necklace, being similar to SCALPING and the collection of other body parts (eg: headhunting, endocannibalism), including teeth, fingers, and genitals as taken during other wars; see TROPHY, SOUVENIR, KILL CREDIT, HAIRCUT AND MANICURE, BRAGGING RIGHTS, PISSING CONTEST. [nb: during the Mongolian campaign against Russia, Poland, and Hungary in 1223 under Subutai (and again later in 1242 under Batu Khan), a chronicle of the battle at the Kalka River noted that an ear from each Knight Templar corpse was taken as proof of their utter destruction, with the collection sent in bagfuls to Genghis Khan; also, during WWII, the partisan Bulgars and Uzbeks operating with the OSS took an ear from each Nazi corpse] [nb: Zulu warriors took the jawbone (mandible) of their slain enemy and presented it to their chief, who made a 'trophy' of them]

the variable range within which a sound (voice or other noise) can be heard by the unaided human ear; audible, audibility. Also, that variable distance from which a person can detect ("within earshot") or cannot detect ("beyond earshot") a particular sound. See SILENCER, ACOUSTIC SHADOW; compare EYESHOT.

an INDIGenous HOI CHANH dressed in NVA/PAVN uniform and GEAR (replicated by CISO) so as to surveil enemy troops and to ask local civilians for INTEL; similar to ROADRUNNER except operated "behind-the-lines" in Cambodia and Laos. See KIT CARSON SCOUT, SOG. [nb: a similar program during WWII in the ETO operated by OSS was called "Sauerkraut" (word play: 'sour' + 'German')]

as late as the medieval-era, it was a popular belief that 'paradise', a corporeal land, where death and decay were unknown, still existed somewhere on earth, and that this place, where everything was beautiful and restful, could still be found; its location was vague, but probably situated far away to the East, and it is shown in China on 9th century maps. The fictitious letter of Prester John, a legendary Christian potentate, to the Emperor Emmanuel Comnenus states that it was within three days' journey of his own territory, a "fact" that's corroborated by Sir John Mandeville, a pseudonymous English travel writer. The 13th century Hereford Mappa Mundi shows it as a circular island near India. The William Morris poem, The Earthly Paradise (1868-70), tells how a band of Norsemen vainly seek this utopia, only to return home in old age to find the gods of ancient Greece are still worshipped. See THE BIG PX IN THE SKY, FIDDLER'S GREEN, HAPPY VALLEY, VALHALLA.

any type of excavation that's used militarily; the simplest being a FOXHOLE, wherein the dirt (or spoil) removed from the pit is formed into a defensive mound (or parapet) on the side facing the enemy. See FORTIFICATION. [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

see BRAIN WORM; compare WIRE WORM.

to influence with ideas and practices, customs and folkways endemic to the East, the Orient, or Asia; see GONE NATIVE, YELLOW FEVER, ORIENTAL FAN, RICE CHRISTIAN, LEX LOCI, YELLOW PERIL, STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, EXILE. [cf: foreignism, tribalism, regionalize, localize, habitude]

Navy and Coast Guard term for Eastern Pacific operations, which extended from the homewaters off the coast of North America; part of Pacific Fleet (PACFLT).


[ety: collectively, useful things] eating utensils are manifestations of culture, and as such, these objects were shaped by and continue to shape our preferences for etiquette, our impression of sociability, our desire for civilization; before the modern era, travelers carried their own utensils (sometimes nesting, sometimes folding), in the same way that hunters and explorers always carry their own cooking implements, because taverns and inns did not provide them; see KFS, COVER, PARTISAN'S SECRET WEAPON, SPOON, FORK, KNIFE, CHOPSTICK, MESS KIT, CANTEEN CUP, MESS TRAY, P-38, CHURCH KEY.

a colloquialism used throughout Asia to disparage someone who's pretending refinement or acting uppity by imitating Western traits; probably derived by contrasting this alien foodstuff with the native rice and barley, but also alleged to represent the "mushy" sound of Occidental speech, as if talking through a mouthful of potatoes. Other descriptive metaphors include "eat grass" for someone who is destitute or indigent (too poor to buy food), and "eat snake" for someone who shirks their responsibilities (wiggles out of work) ... such figurative criticism is directed more at disloyal Orientals than at intrusive foreigners.


catch-phrase describing the protective posture (mouth open, eyes closed, and ears covered) that equalizes the pressure from explosive detonation so as to inhibit head trauma. See BLAST SYNDROME, OVERPRESSURE, EXPLOSIVE PRESSURE. [v: Valsalva maneuver; cf: concussion]


an electromagnetic energy bomb that's designed to disable the electrical and telecommunications infrastructure; see E-WARHEAD, EW, EMP. [v: Compton effect, Planck's constant, Faraday-Maxwell cage, quantum theory; cf: induction, sunspot]

Evacuation Control Center.

Electronic Counter-CounterMeasures; being those actions Taken to ensure friendly effective use of the electromagnetic spectrum despite the enemy's use of electronic Warfare (EW).

a level or subdivision of command, authority, or rank; as derived from the "rung of a ladder"; see FORWARD ECHELON, REAR ECHELON. Also, a stepped formation (as of troops, vehicles, ships, or airplanes) wherein parallel elements are offset laterally from one another; compare OBLIQUE. Also, a progressive type of attack wherein the line of advance is incremental and the flank is refused; this ancient formation is generally unsuccessful when the defenders can maneuver. Also, CODENAME for the DATA MINING and storage of telecommunication intercepts performed by the National Security Agency (NSA).


the word assigned to represent the letter "E" in the international phonetic alphabet; at various times in different spelling schemes, it has also been acrophonetically represented as Easy. See ALPHABET SOUP, PHONETIC ALPHABET. [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags] Also, common designation for the heavy-lift single-rotor Sikorsky CH-/HH-53 SEA STALLION cargo helicopter; also called the "shitter" for the profusion of smoke expelled from its exhaust.

sardonic reference to the collective (if not collaborative) reportage on any sociopolitical stories published by the press corps since the Vietnam-era; so-called due to the selectivity, distortion, and misrepresentation of pertinent facts and/or material events. See FRUIT FLY, WAR CORRESPONDENT, FOURTH ESTATE, PSYWAR, DISINFORMATION, GUERRILLA THEATER, LOW-INFORMATION VOTER, FACTOID, SPIN, SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER, SLURPER, BIG STORY, BIG LIE, RED INK, FAKE NEWS, DIRTY LAUNDRY. [v: culture jamming]

Electronic CounterMeasures, being one of the elements of electronic warfare (EW), including jamming, deception, and misdirect detection; see ECTAR, MUSIC, MIJI, NOISE, MEACONING, PAINT, CHAFF, LITTLE BUDDY, RUBBER DUCK, TWIDGET, "Green Flag" at RED FLAG, COUNTERMEASURES; compare ESM / EWSM. Also, Electric Coding Machine, an automatic encryption device.

a principle of conservation wherein the least amount of effort, force or expenditure, is employed to accomplish the mission or task; a reduction in particulars while emphasizing the general ... the projection of influence (power or strength) while "making do" with fewer resources, while attempting to not overlook any vulnerabilities or exposures.

abbreviation for Excessive Cross-Posting; see GRAYMAIL, SPAM, HATE MAIL, NETRUSION. Also, the abbreviation for Entry Control Point, being a tactical entrance regulating access to a camp or base.

Electronic Countermeasures Tactical Action Report, being an event incident report that typically catalogues the details (ie: time, date, location, type, etc) of an enemy contact, blockage or avoidance; see ECM, EW.

informal reference to any fighting or combat advantage, being more than just weapons or tactics, intelligence or terrain, but extending to food and water, rest and shelter, including morale and esprit, and even sunlight glare and planted DISINFORMATION ... in fact, anything that will shift the balance in a fight; see FORCE MULTIPLIER, ESPRIT DE CORPS. Also, a line, border, verge, or brink; see FRONT LINE, FEBA, FLOT, MLR, FCSL, LINE OF DEPARTURE, PHASE LINE, WAY POINT. Also, the sharp side, thin face, or leading element; see SHARP END, BLEEDING EDGE. Also, to shift or force a lateral or sideways movement; see FLANK, REFUSE. Also, to proceed or advance gradually or cautiously.

EveryDay Carry, being those first line LOADOUT items that are always borne on one's person, and are therefore the only items consistently available in an emergency; a limited stock of tools, equipment, and supplies that are carried on a daily basis to assist in tackling situations ranging from the mundane to the disastrous.

a branch- or rank-specific piping that trims the edge of the cuff or curtain on a GARRISON CAP; see CORD.

Electronic Data Interchange, a computerized LOGISTICS system; compare CEIP, ECM.

Expeditious Discharge Program.


E&E / E & E / E-and-E :
Escape and Evasion (or Evasion and Escape); the procedures and operations whereby personnel in enemy-held or hostile areas are able to emerge into areas under friendly control. Survival factors: fear, pain, weather, terrain, thirst, hunger, fatigue, isolation, haste. Based upon POW experiences during the Second INDOCHINA War, the military CODE OF CONDUCT would be revised, and the E&E training would be expanded into "Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape" (SERE). See BUG-OUT KIT, ENVIS, SAFE, DAR, BRIGHT LIGHT, BLOOD CHIT, POINTIE TALKIE, VISUAL LANGUAGE TRANSLATOR, IRC, DP, BOAT PEOPLE, YELLOW BIRD. [nb: USAF Combat Survival Training, a twenty-day course of instruction, teaches survival and evasion techniques for any terrain or climate with the objective of returning to friendly lines without the intervention of rescue and recovery (SAR/CSAR, RIT/TRAP) assets] [nb: the "human railway" was an escape network established by the Resistance (French, Belgian, Czech, and others) to rescue or conceal downed Allied aircrewmen so as to escort them to neutral nations (Switzerland, Spain, Turkey, or Sweden) for repatriation during WWII; also known as the "underground railroad"]

Electronic Elastomeric Activity Suit.

Emergency Escape Breathing Device; being a clear plastic hood with a small air cylinder that's designed to enable people to vacate a smoke-filled compartment to exit outdoors within 5-8 minutes; compare OBA, SCUBA, GAS MASK.

Essential Elements of Friendly Information; see CCIR, PIR, IR, MI, INTEL.

Essential Elements of Information Report

Enlisted Efficiency Report, based on character and efficiency (C&E) rating; see ER, FITREP, BAYONET SHEET.

Expert Field Medical badge
Expert Field Medical Badge, sometimes called Expert Field Medic's Badge or simply "Field Medic's Badge" (FMB); a technical skill badge for Army corpsmen assigned to line units for non-combat proficiency, as authorized on 18 June 1965; consisting of a caduceus, surmounted by a Greek Cross, overlaid upon a stretcher. See CMB.

Explosive Formed Projectile, or Explosively Formed Penetrator; being a roadside bomb that detonates an explosive charge within a steel tube that causes a copper disk to deform into a fist-sized chunk of supersonic molten metal, launched at a target, that can pierce armoured vehicles. Compare SABOT; see IED, GAMMON GRENADE, MOLOTOV COCKTAIL, SOUP, COCKTAIL, BOOBY-TRAP, TOE-POPPER, C-4, EXPLOSIVE, MINE, SYMPHONY, DEACTIVATE, EOD, UXO, SABOTAGE.

rocketry slang for the control switch that triggers the in-flight destruction of a malfunctioning MISSILE; also called "kill switch" or "destruct button"; compare PANIC BUTTON. [nb: 'egad' / 'egads', as an interjectory expletive, is a euphemistic alteration of the mild oath: "Oh God!"; cf: SAM HILL]

Enhanced Guided Bomb Unit; a highly accurate programmable SMART BOMB of the "bunker buster" type. See GBU.

slang for hand bomb; see GRENADE. Also, euphemism for testis or testicle; see ONIONS. [nb: "Eggs should be 'over easy', like wars and women."]

affectionate name for any helicopter; also known as WHIRLY BIRD, and called "fling-wing" in the Navy. See CHOPPER. [nb: Vietnamese term: Phi Co Len Thang, Phi Co Tuc Thang]

see PROFESSOR, BRAINIAC, WONK, WIZARD; compare OUTSIDE THE BOX, ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM. [nb: "Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do, doesn't mean it's useless." by Thomas Alva Edison; "Science seldom proceeds in the straightforward logical manner imagined by outsiders." by James Dewey Watson; "If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then is an empty desk a sign?" by Albert Einstein; "Science may be described as the art of systematic oversimplification -- the art of discerning what we may, with advantage, omit." by Karl R. Popper; "Only when they must choose between competing theories do scientists behave like philosophers." by Thomas S. Kuhn; "Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve." by Karl R. Popper; "At the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes: an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new. This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense." by Carl Edward Sagan; "The history of science, like the history of all human ideas, is a history of irresponsible dreams." by Karl R. Popper; "We often miss opportunity because it's dressed in overalls and looks like work." by Thomas Alva Edison; "Contrary to popular myth, technology does not result from a series of searches for the one best solution to a problem; instead, practitioners of technology confront insolvable issues, make mistakes, and cause controversies and failures -- they create new problems as they solve old ones." by Thomas Hughes; "We are called to be the architects of the future, not its victims." by R. Buckminster Fuller; "You can't connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backward, so you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future; you have to trust in something -- your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever -- this approach has never let me down." by Steve Jobs; "I think if we ever reach the point where we think we thoroughly understand who we are and where we come from, we will have failed." by Carl Edward Sagan; "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." by Thomas Alva Edison; "I believe it is worthwhile trying to discover more about the world, even if this only teaches us how little we know; it might do us good to remember from time to time that while differing widely in the various little bits we know, in our infinite ignorance, we are all equal." by Karl R. Popper; "One cannot be a successful scientist without realizing that, in contrast to the popular conceptions supported by newspapers and mothers of scientists, a goodly number of scientists are not only narrow-minded and dull, but also just stupid." by James Dewey Watson]

a dish consisting of toast or toasted halves of English muffin covered with a thin slice of fried or broiled ham or Canadian bacon (pork loin), poached eggs, and a topping of hollandaise sauce; originated at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York city (1925); compare SCOTCH WOODCOCK, TOAD-IN-A-HOLE.

(forthcoming); made or served with spinach


Extremely High Frequency; a radio signal spectrum between 30 and 300 gigahertz (GHz). See RADIO WAVE, RADIO.

Expert Infantryman's Badge, a skill badge for Army infantry specialists. The EIB originated as a "badge of excellence" for combat infantrymen during WWII who did not deserve the Combat Infantryman's Badge (CIB), but the award was ignored as a "second-class CIB", so was converted into a non-combat proficiency badge with rigorous standards. [nb: the first Expert Infantryman's Badge (EIB) was earned by Technical Sergeant Walter L. Bull, 399th Inf Rgt, 100th Inf Div while training for deployment at Fort Bragg (1943)]

organized in 1944 and commanded by LTG Matthew B. Ridgway, it was initially composed of the 17th, 82nd, and 101st Airborne Divisions; see 1st ALLIED AIRBORNE.

the UTILITY COVER that's worn with the utility uniform in matching fabric, as worn by most Marines on a daily basis; the crown has an octagonal top piece with panels sewn in a way to form an eight-pointed hat, with a visor similar to a BASEBALL or PATROL CAP, but it's creases and peaks are worn "blocked", such that it rests higher on the wearer's head than a baseball or FIELD CAP. The eight-pointed cover originated (1943) as the Marine RAIDER or GUNG-HO cap in herringbone twill with a slightly longer visor and without the "points" on its crown, which accompanied the new (1941) green herringbone uniform; this hat was later revised (1953) in cotton sateen with a shorter brim and the addition of the "points" on the crown. The folklore associated with the eight-pointed cover is extensive, including improper association with the cardinal points on a compass, but its history simply relates to the enlisted Marine's hat worn with his 1812 uniform. Due to the way the eight-pointed cover is folded and stitched, there are two little angled "pockets" on the inside that are formed behind the front panel above the bill, where the USMC emblem (BIRD BALL 'n' HOOK) is stitched into place, consequently some Marines will tuck small totems (eg: rank insignia, religious icons, etc) into these places as good luck charms or goals toward which to aspire. This hat has lately been worn by BEACHMASTERs and SEABEES, and with modern USN work uniforms in appropriate CAMO pattern; it's also called "the 8-point", "utility cap", and "Raider cap" or "gung-ho cap".

82nd ABN DIV :




an airplane seat that can be ejected from a damaged aircraft during an in-flight emergency; used since WWII, and also called "hot seat" or "panic rack", it typically contains survival gear and medical supplies, lowering the occupant by one or more parachutes that are automatically deployed.

a spring-loaded EXTRACTOR that expels a spent shell or casing with force; most often used on single shot weapons (eg: M-79 BLOOPER) with a break-open action.

Ek Commando Knife with
Ek Commando Knife
any one of several fighting knife designs developed and distributed by John Ek during WWII, the Korean and Vietnam wars; these rough knives featured integral guards and handle chamfers, and included lead rivets for simple haft adjustment and a piece of sandpaper so the purchaser could smooth the finish. The Ek brand was continued during the GULF WARs with a smaller selection and finer finish; then was sold to KaBar in 2014. Compare COMMANDO DAGGER, APPLEGATE-FAIRBAIRN DAGGER; see SILENT PARTNER, KNIFE.

(ee-kay-eye-ay) abbreviation for Enemy Killed In Action; compare KIA, KBA, KHA, EWIA, EPW. [nb: allegedly, due to the undeclared status of the VIETNAM WAR, allied combat deaths were officially classified as "Killed in Hostile Action" (KHA), and enemy combat deaths were formally designated as "Killed In Action" (KIA); but such a legalistic distinction is supposed to regulate the award of "combat only" decorations]

accomplishing something by dint of physical exertion or hard work, especially cleaning; an oft repeated admonition by a drill instructor (DI) or platoon sergeant (PLT SGT) was: "All I want to see is assholes and elbows!". See SWEAT, SCRUB, GI PARTY, KP, FATIGUE, HOUSECLEANING, DUTY ROSTER. Also, a nonexistent substance that a novice or tyro is required to obtain in the same manner as any other SNIPE HUNT objective; compare MERMAID, DRAGON.

USCG Explosive Loading Detachment. There were four ELDs assigned to the Army in VN. They supervised the off loading of all the ammo in VN.

CODENAME for the clandestine introduction of defective rifle and mortar ammunition into PAVN caches, as conceived by Singlaub; also known as "Pole Bean" or "Italian Green". This project required the support of DISINFORMATION broadcasts about "quality control problems" attributable to Red China, to allay enemy suspicions, to exacerbate ancient animosities, and to increase demoralization. See KALASHNIKOV, 7.62 MINIS, BOOBY-TRAP. [nb: the OSS introduced "exploding mule turds" along roads in northern Africa during Operation Torch, and "exploding coal" into railroad depots throughout the CBI and SEAC theaters during WWII]

Extinction Level Event, being a natural or man-made occurrence that either outright destroys a significant portion of the population, or wrecks the environment so that a significant portion of the population perishes; except in the rarest of circumstances, this phenomenon is properly identified as a "near extinction level event" because some portion of the population almost always survives, even if damaged or impaired. See CBR, CBRNE, CBW, GNR, GERM WARFARE, WMD, NBC, ABC, NUKE, DIRTY BOMB, E-BOMB, OVERKILL, SURPLUS KILL, KILL 'EM ALL, GENOCIDE, HOLOCAUST, ATROCITY, MASSACRE, APOCALYPSE. [v: Report from Iron Mountain by Leonard C. Lewin (1967)] [nb: a U.S. government study conducted in the early 21st century estimated a 90% death toll within one year after the destruction of electricity, electronic communications, mass transit, and rapid distribution networks, as by solar flares or E-warheads, rendering the survivors a primitive (labor-intensive) existence and shortened life spans (due to an absence of pharmaceuticals and medical care); in order to obtain protective security and good nutrition, surviving small societies would revert to either tribalism or feudalism, and all economics would be based on substantial worth and barter exchange, which collapses wouldn't engender a post-climacteric paradise, but would postulate the conditions for perpetual conflict, or the commencement of World War IV (WWIV)]

U.S. Army Special Forces
shoulder patch
Army SF
nickname for the unique arrowhead PATCH with AIRBORNE tab worn by U.S. Army Special Forces personnel; which was designed by CPT John W. Frye; and incorporates the background color of teal blue signifying "branch unassigned", meaning that MIL-PERS were drawn from other branch specialties for SF training and service (Q-TAB authorized 1984), until the separate SF branch was created in 1987. When SF detachments (DET) rotated through Saigon for command and control on classified missions IN-COUNTRY, before the SFOB was established at NhaTrang, this PATCH was also called "Saigon Electric Works" as a humorous diversion. See SF, SNEAKY PETE, SNAKE-EATER, BLANKET HEAD, GREEN BERET, GABRIEL, BRONZE BRUCE.

patented by COL Jacob Schick, a veteran of WWI, and marketed as the "electric dry shaver" from 1931; see SAFETY RAZOR, RAZOR BURN, LADY'S BEST FRIEND, FACE FUZZ.

1st Signal Brigade
1 Sig Bde
sardonic reference to the symbolism of the 1st Signal Brigade; also known as "electric sword and shield". The 1st Signal Brigade served in Vietnam from April 1966 through November 1972, occupying more than 200 telecommunications sites throughout the region, it became the largest combat communications unit in American history. The 1st Sig Bde provided a comprehensive electronics system through subordinate groups (12th Sig Gp for I CTZ, 2nd Sig Gp for II and IV CTZ, 21st Sig Gp for III CTZ, 160th Sig Gp for HQ Saigon), and assumed the theater functions of STRATCOM. See WIGWAG.

25th Infantry Division patch
25th Inf Div
a nickname for the 25th Infantry Division as derived from the "Tropic Lightning" on a red leaf motif, and the protest "Strawberry Statement" declaration; the division was also called the "Cu Chi National Guard" for its HOMESTEADING of that sector of Vietnam.

radiation consisting of electromagnetic waves, including visible light, infrared, ultraviolet, radio waves, x-rays, and gamma rays; see EMP.

slang phrase for the eerie glow of an illuminated cathode-ray tube (CRT) or video display terminal (VDT) monitor which draws visitors, like a flickering flame, to gather around to view its contents, especially when scrolling new data with automatic updates or when depicting animated images; also called the "electronic hearth". See CRT, SCREEN, SCOPE DOPE, BOOB TUBE, IMAGE-CONVERTER TUBE. [v: metascope, optoelectronics]

informal reference to the man-portable sensor that has been used in Iraq and Afghanistan to detect cellphone broadcasts in a manner not unlike Radio Direction Finding (RDF) so as to attack the unit or to silence the equipment. See CUT, DITTY-DOT, HOT STUFF, HUFF DUFF, COMSEC, SIGINT; compare TACAN. [v: goniometry]

slang for a mobile or CELLULAR TELEPHONE, which is so-called due to the comfortable sense of calm well-being imparted by its propinquity ... enabling the possessor to pretend that he is not naked and alone in a dangerous world! Compare BLOWER, HORN, LANDLINE; see BURNER, TAC-CHAT, TELEPHONE, MEME. [nb: '911' is the government's version of "dial-a-prayer"] [nb: mobile phone (Global System for Mobile Communications, a second-generation open-standard digital-transceiver voice/text wireless system) tracking for accountability and monitoring for security is rendered via repeater triangulation and the GPS satellite network, with an approximate margin of error of 10-50m depending on location] [v: Subscriber Identity Module / Subscriber Identification Module (SIM; 1991); Embedded Subscriber Identity Module / Embedded Subscriber Identification Module (eSIM); Integrated Circuit Card IDentifier (ICCID); International Mobile Subscriber Identity / International Mobile Subscriber Identification (IMSI); Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC); Embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card (eUICC); International Mobile Equipment Identity / International Mobile Equipment Identification (IMEI); Short Message Service (SMS) / Short Message Service Center (SMSC) number; Service Provider Name (SPN); Service Dialing Numbers (SDN); Mobile Network Code (MNC)]

the Asian ELEPHANT (Elephas Maximus), a five-toed mammal with prehensile trunk, is a beast of burden and "work horse" throughout the SEA region; being a smaller variant of the African (Loxodonta Africana). Etymology is disputed, but appears as large in elephantine, and enlarged in elephantiasis. Used metaphorically in: "see the elephant" for anticipation or prospect of combat; "seen the elephant" / "seen the elephant and heard the owl hoot" for viewed battle or carnage of battle UP-CLOSE 'n' PERSONAL; "eat the elephant" for accomplish enormous task incrementally, as "eat the elephant one bite at a time" (a MURPHY LAW of Combat states: "If you don't sweat the small stuff, then the big stuff will take care of itself ... but it's all small stuff."). These analogies from the American era of western expansion, when a traveling circus was major entertainment ... idea of elephant exciting and enchanting, distant elephant mighty and magnificent, near elephant fetid and disgusting ... have been used in military conversation since the American CIVIL WAR. Compare WHITE ELEPHANT; see HOWDAH, ELEPHANT GRASS, DUMBO, three-headed elephant ("Erawan") symbol at RLA. [v: mammoth, mastodon] [nb: "The world is in awe of the elephant, but tramples the ant." ancient Indian proverb] Also, slang for a high-ranking or important personage, as a powerful person or someone invested with authority; also known as a "gorilla" (the proverbial "800 pound gorilla") or "silverback", a "big shot" or "big gun", a "big cheese" or "big enchilada", a "bigwig" or "big wheel", a "big dog" or TOP DOG, a GOLDEN BOY or RAINMAKER, a BRASS HAT or OIC; see WHITE WAY, THE UNHOLY TRINITY; compare SWINE LOG, LITTLE PEOPLE. [cf: Jotun, Titan, Gigantes, Antaeus/Antaios, Nephilim, Anak/Anakim, Rephaim, Og (king of Bashan), Ymir/Ymer, ogre (Orcus), Goliath of Gath, Gargantua, Argus, Cyclops]

negotiations made by the powerful and influential preliminary to the establishment of an operation's final plan (OPLAN), so as to garner the maximum authority or credit, either by the most favored person or the preferred branch; such contending rivalry or vying competition is also known as a "shadow dance", "hippo ballet", or "behemoth ball" ... "the mice and rabbits watched and waited out of the way while the elephants danced" ... "We'll know what the plan is as soon as the elephants stop dancing." See ELEPHANT, WHITE WAY, PUZZLE PALACE, PURGATORY TOUR, PENTAGONITIS, FIRING LINE, PISSING CONTEST; compare SWINE LOG, LITTLE PEOPLE, HOUSE MOUSE, DOGSBODY, DOG ROBBER, STRIKER, ORDERLY, MAN FRIDAY, GOFER, WHITE MOUSE, AIDE, DUCK-WALK, GHOST WALK, CAKEWALK, TAP-DANCER. [v: pas de deux, galliard, seguidilla; cf: Jotun, Titan, Gigantes, Antaeus/Antaios, Nephilim, Anak/Anakim, Rephaim, Og (king of Bashan), Ymir/Ymer, ogre (Orcus), Goliath of Gath, Gargantua, Argus, Cyclops]

a tall cattail (Typha Elephantina) of southern Asia, used for making rope and baskets; see BOONIES, TULE, SAW GRASS, KUNAI, NIPA PALM, PITA.


slang for an Armco hut, manufactured by Armco International Corporation of Middletown Ohio; being an arched heavy-steel construction, variously sized, used as bunkers, ammunition magazines, and personnel shelters during and after WWII. "Armcos" are a heavy-duty corrugated ingot-iron (8- to 14-gauge) building that was modeled on earth-retaining structures, such as culverts and storm sewers, so did not require supporting ribs. "Armcos" were curved and corrugated much like a QUONSET HUT, and were strong enough to be completely buried in up to six feet of dirt. Also known as UTILITY BUILDING. See DEPOT, GODOWN, MULTIPLE UTILITY BUILDING, DUMP, TOMB, BUNKER, BOMB SHELTER, FALLOUT SHELTER, BLDG, BILLET. [v: British Nissen hut]


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

an extraordinary amount of CHICKEN SHIT (qv), copious and relentless harassment.


a line-cutter securely mounted on the front bumper of JEEPs, from WWII through Vietnam, as a FIELD EXPEDIENT adaptation to prevent injury (especially DECAPITATION) to the driver and passengers from BOOBY-TRAPs and TRIPWIREs; the term for this device is a rebus derived from a raised elephant's trunk, although it also has the appearance of an erect King Cobra. See RHINO; compare PARAVANE.

a WART SNAKE that has a stout body resembling the trunk of an elephant.

the vertical movement of the barrel of a cannon or GUN TUBE, especially when raised; when the MAIN-GUN is lowered to acquire a target, that reverse elevation is called "depress". Compare TRAVERSE, TRAIN, DEFLECTION; see PLUNGING FIRE, ARTY.

a hinged horizontal surface used on the wing of an aircraft to control its longitudinal inclination; compare AILERON, ELEVON, FLAP, SPOILER, SPEED BRAKE; see AEROBATICS.

11B :
the military occupational specialty (MOS) for 'infantryman'; also called "eleven-bravo", "eleven-bush", "eleven-bang", "eleven body-bag", "eleven bullet-catcher", "line-doggie", "trigger-puller", "mud-foot", "dough-foot", "web-foot", "footslogger", "walk-a-heap"; see GRUNT, GROUND POUNDER, BLUELEG, BOONIE RAT, BUSHMASTER, CRUNCHY, SNUFFY, 03 (ZERO THREE), POG, LEG, CIB, INF, DOUGHBOY, ATLAS.

11th ABN DIV :
see (the) ANGELS.

11th ACR :
11th Armored Cavalry Regiment; see DANCING PONY, SCARED HORSE.

a sardonic admonition invoking mankind's greatest injunction: "Don't get caught!"; sometimes couched in mock-religious phraseology: "Thou shalt not be found out! ... and if thou dost, then thou art unknown to all the gods on high!" [v: plausible deniability] See WHEN IN ROME, ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, OUTSIDE THE WIRE, OFF THE RESERVATION, WIGGLE ROOM, OVERSIGHT, RED-HANDED, STERILE, CLEAN, SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT, CYA, VULCANIZE, DODGE THE BULLET; compare COMMANDMENT, CREED, OATH, HONOR CODE, CORE VALUES, MORALITY, LOYALTY, TRUE BLUE, LAW, ACCOUNTABILITY, RESPONSIBILITY, SUMMUM BONUM, TRADITION. [nb: an alternative version, created by Gaylord Parkinson in 1966 and made popular by Ronald Reagan, postulates: "Thou shalt not speak ill of thy competitors!", which admonition sought to avoid a repetition of the attacks on Barry Goldwater in 1964, causing him to lose the presidential election]

this Biblical allusion refers to the last crucial hour before a crisis is manifest; see LEANING SHITHOUSE.

11th INF BDE :
11th Light Infantry Brigade , see BUTCHER BRIGADE.

11th LIB :
11th Light Infantry Brigade , see BUTCHER BRIGADE.

a control surface on the wing of an aircraft that functions as both an ELEVATOR and an AILERON; derived as a blend; compare FLAP, see AEROBATICS.

Extremely Low Frequency, a slow pulse radio signal spectrum between 30 and 300 hertz (Hz) that's transmitted to submerged vessels and received by a long trailing wire antenna; although these transmissions can pass through ice and stone, the complex nature of the ground antenna requires its base to be permanently fixed, such that the receiver cannot reply. See RADIO WAVE, RADIO, SUBMARINE, compare VLF, UWT.

ELectronic INTelligence, information developed from technical surveillance; usually low-grade or inconclusive, and often acquired at great inconvenience and expense. See EW.

(forthcoming); operations from 1 Jan 1981 to 1 Feb 1992; see BANANA WARS.

onomatopoeic name representative of the initials "LC" meaning LANDING CRAFT; name includes all manned modules deployed from a larger craft or vessel on, under, or above the surface. See AMTRACK, AAV, GATOR, SDV, WELL DECK.

sardonic reference to Douglas A. MacArthur, from his title as Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP); also known as "Generalissimo"; see BONUS MARCH, USAFFE, IMTFE, PACOM, BUG-OUT, YOUR WISH IS MY COMMAND, BOSS, MEGALOMANIA, FLAG OFFICER, MEDAL OF HONOR / MOH, THE GRAND OLD MAN OF THE ARMY, PETTICOAT COMMAND. [nb: "I fired him because he wouldn't respect the authority of the President. That's the answer to that. I didn't fire him because he was a dumb son-of-a-bitch, although he was, but that's not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail." by Harry S. Truman]

Electronic Locator Transmitter, also represented as "Emergency Locator Transmitter"; this radio automatically signals location information on search frequencies when triggered by the impact of a downed aircraft, facilitating rescue. See LOCATOR BEACON, SAR.

EM :
Enlisted Man, later refined into the ambisexual Enlisted Member (to augment 'servicemember'). Used in two ways: to identify the personnel below the NCO ranks (E-1 - E-3); and to distinguish between officers and all other ranks (eg: officers and men). In both senses, enlisted has the meaning of "serving", and does not indicate DRAFTEE or volunteer status. During the Vietnam Era, some EM and NCO rank designations were changed, adding stripes at lower grades and rating at SUPER GRADEs. See SLICK SLEEVE, CRUIT, YARDBIRD, BOOT, MOSQUITO WING, MOSQUITO SMILE, MATING MOSQUITOES, BIRD UMBRELLA, SPEC, BUCK, RATING, SWINE LOG, SHAKE 'n' BAKE, NCO, MIL-PERS. Also, Vietnamese term for a child, kid, stripling, youth, youngster, juvenile, adolescent, springald, fledgling, sprout, shaver, minor, salad days, halcyon days, heyday; compare BABY-SAN; see MAMA-SAN, PAPA-SAN, STREET ARAB, CHILDREN'S BRIGADE, KALASHNIKOV KIDS.

abbreviation of Electronic MAIL; see HATE MAIL; compare MAIL, TELECON, VOIP, SKYPE, MWR LINE.

to board a ship, aircraft, or other vehicle, as when being transported; compare DEBARK. Also, to begin or commence, apportion or partake, as when implementing a program or executing an order.

an object symbolic of a state or nation, unit or organization; a symbol embodying the traits or characteristics of such an entity (eg: the emblematic eagle on the United States seal); see BADGE, DI, DUI, CREST, DEVICE, INSIGNIA.


a sardonic expression prevalent during the period of the GULF WARs and the Global War on Terror (GWOT) that's used to cope with a bad situation or to deal with difficult circumstances ("It sucks!", "That sucks!"); also expressed as "love the suck" and SUCK IT UP, this expression represents a willingness to accept a challenge, a love of adversity, a commitment to DUTY by honorable servicemembers. An admonition to cope with the frustrations and confusions of combat by confronting the reality of war's difficulties, and proceeding with the assigned mission; an encyclopedic experience of hardship rendered as a gritty epigram during the GULF WARs. Compare WETSU, HOOAH, OORAH, GUNG-HO, FIDO, A FINE AND PLEASANT MISERY.

an opening in a fortification through which observations may be made and weapons engaged; an opening in a fortification, as a loophole or crenel, through which MISSILEs may be launched or discharged; see PORTHOLE. Also, an opening, as a door (v: POSTERN) or window, aperture or HATCH, having a splayed enlargement toward the inner face of a wall, as the firing port in a BUNKER or CASEMATE.

see SLOP CHUTE, ALL RANKS CLUB; compare ANNEX, ACEY-DEUCY, NCO CLUB, O CLUB. [v: "What happens in the club stays in the club!"]

a generic term for all radio beacons used for emergency locating purposes; see EPIRB, LOCATOR BEACON, HOMER, RADIO. [cf: Selective Identification Feature (SIF); Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)]


a shelter designed in 1943 by G.D. Paxson of the Morrison-Knudsen (M-K) Company for the crews of their large and remote military construction contracts; it was ostensibly inspired by a chicken shed, but its similarity to the QUONSET HUT and PACIFIC HUT is undeniable. Built in Boise Idaho, the EMKAY HUT had laminated wood ribs, and its distinctively gothic "two-centered arch" appears pointed in profile. All styles were built entirely of wood and wallboard, could be built to any length (in multiples of twelve feet), and could accommodate different climates. See BLDG, BILLET. [v: British Nissen hut, Canadian Portaseal hut]

any of various small images or iconic symbols used to concisely and non-verbally represent an attitude, emotion, expression, idea, or concept within an electronic communication (eg: SMS, e-mail, social media, webpage, etc) as selected from a (eg: ISO, UniCode, Etc) resource library; being a collection of succinct pictograms that were initially extensions of ideographic fonts (eg: WebDing, WingDing, etc) sets, which range from road signs and map directions to weather representations and facial expressions, from signs of the zodiac and national flags to food items and sports equipment, which glyphic image sets have since been added to several mobile operating systems after being introduced to cellular telecommunications in 1997. Used as either singular or plural pictograms, emoji do not include explanatory alt tags, so remain subject to (mis-)interpretation, sometimes resulting in criminal charges; despite their similarity, emoji are compact images, as derived from Japanese for "picture" + "character" ('e' + 'moji'), while emoticons are typographic characters.

a sequence of keyboard characters that serve to convey the writer's mood or to clarify the writer's intent when used in an electronic message; a typographic signifier representing an attitudinal or emotional expression as an adjunct to the digital text message ... seemingly derived as a blend of "emotion" and "icon".

ElectroMagnetic Pulse, being a burst of electromagnetic energy produced by a nuclear explosion in the atmosphere, considered capable of widespread damage to power transmissions, telecommunications, and electronic equipment unless HARDENed; also known as "doomsday pulse". See GENIE, NUKE, FALLOUT; compare E-WARHEAD. [v: Compton effect, Planck's constant, Faraday-Maxwell cage, quantum theory; cf: induction, sunspot] Also, abbreviation for Excessive Multi-Posting; see GRAYMAIL, SPAM, HATE MAIL, NETRUSION.

an aircraft's tail assembly, being the vertical and horizontal tail surfaces of an airplane, which includes RUDDER and FIN (vertical stabilizer and/or horizontal stabilizer), elevator, and tail skid or wheel; as derived from "to feather an arrow", and is related to panache, pen, pin, pinnacle, and pennant. Compare FUSELAGE, AIRFRAME; see TAILBOOM, BOOM, TAILGATE, MAD.

a place prepared for, or the positioning of, a heavy weapon, such as an artillery piece; see BARBETTE, BUNKER, COVER, DEFILADE, REDOUBT, REVETMENT. [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

an adventurous enterprise, especially one exhibiting knightly daring or prowess; as derived from "undertaking (the acquisition of) a prize". See DERRING-DO, IN LIKE FLYNN, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, RED INK, WAR STORY, SEA STORY.

a leader, especially an upper management executive, who lacks the knowledge or experience, skills or intellect to function fully in the appointed or assigned position; typically being a promising candidate who is too often given the benefit of the doubt and promoted too quickly ... notable examples (eg: George B. McClellan, Joseph E. Johnston) are FLAG OFFICERs without genuine combat experience. In a military where "professional" once entailed the capability of a leader to adequately perform the specialty of each and every subordinate (as a proficient replacement), this stereotypic leader has since become so ubiquitous that a coping dictum has been spawned: salute the uniform, not the man. A convertible expression, like "buroid" (as a contraction of bureaucratic android) and "militute" (as a contraction of military prostitute), is equivalent to the unisexual term "stuffed-shirt". Since the integration of women throughout the military in the post-Vietnam era, an incompetent female leader of the EMPTY SUIT stereotype is commonly known as an "empty dress" or a "hollow bunny"; the masculine rendering of this concept is DRONE. See LDR, DELEGATOR, PIG LOOKING AT A WRISTWATCH, TAP-DANCER, BRASS EAR, ACETATE COMMANDO, PENCIL PUSHER, BEAN-COUNTER, MILICRAT, GOLDEN BOY, RAINMAKER. [nb: a female unit commander is not called the OLD MAN nor "old lady", not "chieftain" nor "chieftess", not the HONCHO nor "honchette", not TOP DOG nor "top bitch", but is rather antonomastically identified by the generic "boss" or "boss lady", or by her designated NICKNAME or CODENAME; also see "GI Jane", "Jane Bond", "Acting Jane", "Swinging Dickless", "Dear Jane", SKIRT, ANGEL] [nb: "The grandiose delusions of the typically ambitious 'empty suit' are not only personally frustrating for the lack of appreciation engendered by such aspirations, but privately humiliating due to the need to subtly toot his own horn as well as secretly build his own pedestal ... the magnificent maneuverings of such an awesome strategist are like pearls before swine." paraphrase of Allen Eskens]


a wall or enclosure, as of a fortified place; as derived from belt, gird, or surround. Also, the place so enclosed by a girding fence, rampart or bulwark. See PERIMETER, PALISADE, STOCKADE, COMPOUND, BASE CAMP, FOB, FSB, CAMP, BIVOUAC, GARRISON. [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

any undeveloped landscape or remote wilderness, being a trackless country that both frightens and fascinates the inexperienced soldier, who is typically unexposed to "real life" outdoor adventures; such an alien environment is both threatening and confusing, evoking fear and disorientation. Also known as "enchanted woods", this is a traditional setting for myths and legends, such as where the great wizard Merlin was enslaved by love. See BOONDOCKS / BOONIES, BUSH, THE J, backwater, INDIAN COUNTRY, UPCOUNTRY, THULE, TULE, DOWN RANGE. [nb: since WWII, Americans are becoming more domesticated with 98% being urban or suburban, while only about 40% - 60% is urbanized in the developing world] [nb: as a tactical element, the jungle is neutral, offering the same advantage or disadvantage to both sides; so it only becomes a factor when troops are exploited by their ignorance of it, or strategy does not exploit its latent opportunities] [aka: the field, bush, sticks, woods, barrens, brush, weeds, scrub, veg, rough, THULE, hinterlands, INDIAN COUNTRY, bad lands, bandit country]

see ENCRYPT, ENCODE. [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]

enclosure, enclosed, enclose.

the political commitment of American forces to southeast Asia that was intended to APPEASE the Vietnamese while limiting the risk to military personnel by restricting their exposure to defined base areas IN COUNTRY; a LIMITED WAR liability of half measures, being not unlike the French Indochina strategy, as conceived by Maxwell D. Taylor.

to translate or convert plain text into unintelligible forms by means of a cryptographic system; to CIPHER or CODE; see ALPHABET SOUP, ENCRYPT, KAK, KEK, KEY, SHACKLE, SCRAMBLE, ONE-TIME PAD, FLASH PAPER, NULLITY, BURST, TAP CODE, DUNGEON, CRYPER, INTEL, ASA, MI, CIC, ICAP, IR, COMICS, RTO, RADIO. [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] [nb: Kerckhoffs' Principle of Secure Cryptography states that a cryptosystem should be secure even if everything about the system, except the key, is public knowledge; Schneier's Law states that "Any person can invent a security system so clever that s/he can't think of how to break it."]


to translate or convert plain text into unintelligible forms by means of a cryptographic system; to encipher or ENCODE, for which reciprocal DECRYPT, decipher, or DECODE is required. See ALPHABET SOUP, CODE TALKER, CIPHER, KAK, KEK, KEY, SHACKLE, SCRAMBLE, NULLITY, BURST, TAP CODE, DUNGEON, CRYPER, INTEL, ASA, MI, CIC, ICAP, IR, COMICS, RTO, RADIO. [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] [nb: Kerckhoffs' Principle of Secure Cryptography states that a cryptosystem should be secure even if everything about the system, except the key, is public knowledge; Schneier's Law states that "Any person can invent a security system so clever that s/he can't think of how to break it."]


a catch-phrase expressing the rationale of Ignatius of Loyola and the Jesuits, which has been credited to Niccol di Bernardo Machiavelli as "One must consider the final result."; it's also stated as "the end justifies the means". See MEANS, MIGHT MAKES RIGHT, BRUTE FORCE, BLOOD AND IRON, GARRISON STATE, THE LESSER OF EVILS, REALPOLITIK, MISSION. [nb: "The first sign of corruption in a society that is still alive is that the end justifies the means." by Georges Bernanos; "The end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end." by Leon Trotsky; "Politics can be relatively fair in the breathing spaces of history; at its critical turning points there is no other rule possible than the old one, that the end justifies the means." by Arthur Koestler; "The attainment of pure goals may be served by impure methods."; "Our highest ideals can also be advanced by our lowest instincts and most degraded drives."; "What if to Spells I had Recourse? 'Tis but to hinder something Worse. The End must justify the Means: He only Sins who Ill intends: Since therefore 'tis to Combat Evil; 'Tis lawful to employ the Devil." by Mark Prior]

the period of time that an aircraft, vessel, or vehicle can continuously operate without being refueled, resupplied, or refitted. Also, the distance an aircraft, vessel, or vehicle can continue to operate under specific conditions. See PETROL, JUICE, HOT-FUELING, TOP-OFF, POD, DROP-TANK, TANKER, JOKER, BINGO.

the stock or store of operational items sufficient to sustain the CREW in its assigned aircraft, vessel, or vehicle over its ENDURANCE time or distance during a specific mission, with respect to item size, weight, durability, and consumption rate; also called "endurance loaded" or "endurance loading". [nb: there is a variable point of diminishing returns, factored by mission and material, unit and environment, where it takes more time and effort to move all necessary elements forward than resupplying a faster and trimmer component]

Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF); compare Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), see GULF WAR, WAR ON TERROR. [v: Gulf War Supplement]

see FOE, BAD GUYS, OPFOR, BANDIT, TERRORIST, BELIEVER. [nb: "A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies." by Oscar Wilde (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills)] [v: Names of Foreigners or Foes]


gunfire that sweeps a line of troops, vehicles, emplacements, and the like; lengthwise or longitudinal fire that aligns with the longest axis of the TARGET. See FUSILLADE; compare FPL, RING OF FIRE, SALVO, BROADSIDE, VOLLEY, STORM, DRUMFIRE, AT CLOSE QUARTERS.

18th Engineer Brigade
18 Engr Bde
20th Engineer Brigade
20 Engr Bde
abbreviation for ENGineeR branch, sometimes called PIONEERs, as derived from "engine[er] of war"; the traditional branch color is green. The 18th Engineer Brigade served in Vietnam from September 1965 through September 1971. The 20th Engineer Brigade was formed in May 1967, and served in Vietnam from August 1967 through September 1971. See CE, SAPPER, BREACHER, RCT, SEABEES, SNIPE, HHC, JERRV, CEV. [nb: Vietnamese term: Cong Binh] [nb: the Army Corps of Engineers was assigned the responsibility for surveying America's borders and features in 1831, resulting in a separate Topographic Corps in 1838] [nb: "Engineering developed in ancient times as a skill-set to improve tribal fortifications ... not to build artistic bridges and luxurious homes."]

any contrivance used in hostile pursuit or conflict resolution, such as Mangonel or trebuchet, gun (gunne / gonne) or ballista, petard or bombard, stink bomb or fire pot; any devices constituting the ways and means of battle. See SIEGE ENGINE, ARTY, BOMB, ROCKET, MISSILE, CBR, GERM WARFARE. [nb: James Webb has aptly called the MEDEVAC a "deus ex machina"]

a hearty breakfast typically including eggs, bacon or ham, toast or pancakes, fruit or fruit juice, and tea or coffee; compare CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST, SOLDIER'S BREAKFAST.

a clearly delineated set of stress and deprivation related inducements, authorized by competent authority, to encourage a "high value" captive to cooperate with intelligence gathering procedures during combat operations with the objective of saving lives, reducing damage or destruction, and accomplishing the military mission; also known as "intensified interrogation" or "sharpened interrogation" [v: verschärfte vernehmung], these practices include debasement or mortification, debilitation or coercion, such as the compulsory exercise and sensory overload of the prisoner. Although commonly misinterpreted to represent a euphemism for torture, this expression encapsulates those techniques which may be employed to develop and validate useful information; said techniques change from time to time, such as 'water boarding', depending upon command authority and political necessity. Conventional wisdom argues that torture is useless because it does not render reliable INTEL, but this is not accurate ... information must always be drawn from many sources and verified by cross-checking before it's deemed worthwhile or "actionable". But that is not the problem in an environment complicated by linguistic and cultural obstacles; neither is it the problem in a data rich environment where the meaningful must be winnowed from the meaningless. The fact of the matter is that captives are so entirely under the control of their captors that any maltreatment is morally degenerative, making its use, no matter how thoroughly rationalized against an implacable enemy, a detriment to troop morale and mission accomplishment. To fail to "properly" interrogate captives is militarily irresponsible, and cedes the disputed battlefield to the enemy; the determination of what constitutes "proper" interrogation is regulated by the civil oversight of military organizations and other government agencies (OGA) that are responsible for implementing policy, no matter how often that policy may change. The so-called severe and degrading methods of questioning prisoners that are the current focus of human right's groups have been used throughout history, often against innocents but lately against Americans by Germans and Russians, Chinese and Koreans, Vietnamese and Cubans, especially when extracting false confessions of GERM WARFARE and related WAR CRIMEs. See TERRORIST, FIELD EXPEDIENT FACIAL, ROPE TRICK, PLAYING THE XYLOPHONE, NECKLACE, HAIRCUT AND MANICURE, WATER TORTURE, BRAINWASHING, SQUEEZE, SWEAT, THIRD DEGREE, HOLD ONE'S FEET TO THE FIRE, TORTURE, WALKING GHOST, RENDITION, MARTIAL LAW. [nb: "Human Intelligence Collector Operations" (FM 2-22.3, rev 6 Sep 2006; replacing FM 34-52 dtd 1992) prohibits 'enhanced interrogation techniques' and other euphemisms for torture; the "threat of imminent death" is one of the definitions of torture (18USC2340), and the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984; ratified 1994 by USA) prohibits the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering, such that "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture" (Article 2)]

an atoll situated in the northwestern Marshall Islands that was the site of A-BOMB and H-BOMB tests from 1947 to 1952; compare BIKINI, see ZERO POINT, GROUND ZERO, OVERKILL, CBR, PAPER TIGER, DARPA, BIGGER BANG FOR THE BUCK, NUKE, HEAVY WATER, YELLOWCAKE, HOT GREASE, SCRAM, CONTAINMENT, BROKEN ARROW.

to enroll or engage someone for military service; to secure the service or assistance of a volunteer 'enlistee' for some worthy cause or necessary enterprise, as when adding their name to a list. Compare INDUCTION; see MANIFEST, LOG, MUSTER, DUTY ROSTER, CALL TO THE COLORS, TOTAL FORCE, VOLAR, AVF, RECRUIT, RETREAD, VOLUNTEER.

see EM.



National Jack
National Jack
Union Jack
Union Jack
name for the small national standard or flag mounted on a Naval craft or vessel, often differing in design from the larger national flag due to a variant historic evolution; compare GUIDON, COLORS, STREAMER, BLOOD CHIT; see STARS 'n' STRIPES, HOIST, HALYARD, JACKSTAFF, FLAGSTAFF, BLOCK THE COLORS, HALF-MAST, SHIFT COLORS, COLORBEARER, COLOR GUARD, FLAG DAY, CALL TO THE COLORS, STAR SPANGLED BANNER, STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER, SHOW THE FLAG. [nb: a small ENSIGN positioned at the bow of a boat or ship is called a "jack", hence "Union Jack" or "National Jack"] [v: Flag Terms] Also, the lowest RANKing commissioned officer (ENS O-1) in the naval services (ie: USN, USCG), equivalent to Second Lieutenant (2LT); formerly designated the flag bearer in the Army, but when SUBALTERN ranks were dropped in 1840, the Navy adopted this referent as the RATING of the SAILOR assigned to attend the flag; see AIMING STAKES, OFFICER, RANK. Also, an emblem, badge, or token of RANK or office; see PIP, CHOP. [nb: The Second Continental Congress authorized the formation of the Continental Navy in 1775 to seize British arms and materiel for the revolution. At the same time, five companies of Marines were mustered for this mission, and they bore drums painted yellow with a coiled rattlesnake and the motto: "Don't Tread On Me". Commodore Esek Hopkins directed the first ships of the Continental Navy, readied in the Delaware River for their initial foray in the fall of 1775, to fly "a striped Navy jack and ensign". The design of this "First Navy Jack", since no representation or example survives, has been inferred from this signal, and was first depicted by historians more than a century later. The themes represented by the earlier Franklin cartoon, Gadsden and Culpeper flags, undoubtedly influenced this ensign. In 1980, the Secretary of the Navy directed that the ship with the longest active status shall display the "First Navy Jack" until deactivated or decommissioned, thence the flag would be passed to the next ship in line. On 31 May 2002, the Secretary of the Navy directed all United States Navy ships to fly this ensign in honor of those killed in the 11 September 2001 attacks, and to continue its flight for the duration of the War on Terrorism.]

in NavSpeak, BERTHing quarters for junior officers; see BILLET, STATEROOM, COMPARTMENT. [nb: not the place where flags and pennants are stowed]

Expediting Non-Standard Urgent REquirements, formed 1962.

deliberate mispronunciation of 'ensign', being a derogatory sign of disrespect for inexperienced junior officers in naval service.

wire laid on or near the ground to serve as an impediment or barrier to passage; a tactical device used to channel, inhibit, or delay troop movements, used in combination with anti-personnel (AP) or anti-tank (AT) mines. See BARBED WIRE, RAZOR WIRE, CONCERTINA, BANGALORE TORPEDO.

an informal understanding between countries agreeing to follow a particular policy in international affairs; as derived from 'intent', an understanding. Also, an alliance of political powers that agree to informally adhere to such a friendly arrangement ("entente cordiale"). Compare TRUCE, RAISON D'ETAT, DETENTE; see RAPPROCHEMENT, DEMARCHE, COUP D'ETAT, CARTE BLANCHE, CAPITULATION, DIKTAT, PEACE, APPEASE. [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]

an alliance of political powers agreeing to informally adhere to a particular policy in international affairs; being a friendly understanding between nations.


to surround or fortify a military position with excavations; see TRENCH, TRENCH WARFARE. [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

to attack an enemy's FLANK, as by surrounding them entirely; see ENVELOPMENT.

the performance bounds or the outer environmental limits, as "push the ENVELOPE" or "outside the ENVELOPE"; by extension from a surrounding integument or enclosing membrane, or a surface tangent to each member of a set of surfaces. Derived from (verb) envelop. Also, the flat GARRISON or OVERSEAS CAP, FORE 'n' AFT or CUNT CAP, as worn by all branches and grades with variations of color, fabric, style, trim and insignia; so-called from the flat-fell pleat at the crown, which permitted expansion for an improved fit. During WWII, the envelope-style GARRISON CAP was introduced due to productivity requirements, reserving the pleated version for the various womens' auxiliary corps (eg: WAAC / WAC, WAF, WAVES). The cuff or curtain of the GARRISON CAP was edge-trimmed with branch or rank specific CORD (called "edge-cord"); with EMs/NCOs wearing their unit CREST (DI/DUI), and officers wearing their RANK on the left side of the cap, near the front.


an offensive maneuver in which the main attacking force passes around (FLANK) or over (FRONTAL ASSAULT) the enemy's principal defensive positions to secure objectives to the enemy's rear; a "turning movement" is a variation of this maneuver with the intention of causing the enemy to abandon its defenses or to divert elements as reinforcement. See PINCER, DOUBLE ENVELOPMENT, BATTLE.

see UMWELT. [v: milieu, habitat]

Evader's Night VISion system; a commercial image intensifier introduced into military inventory for inclusion in survival vests. This small (2"X3"X6"), lightweight (14.5oz), monocular pocket scope serves as an emergency Night Vision Device (NVD) to be used during escape and evasion (E&E). [nb: in an effort to control costs and reduce waste, the DoD has instituted a policy of "non-duplication" in military procurement (Military Adaptable Commercial Item {MACI}), such that a mil-spec contract will NOT be let whenever a commercial "off the shelf" (COTS) product is "close enough for government work" and does not require special features; so some name brand items are now in logistical inventory]

EO :
Electro-Optical, being sensors that can electronically distribute or enhance optical images.

Enemy Order of Battle; see OB.

basic Explosive Ordnance
Disposal badge
basic EOD
(ee-oh-dee) Explosive Ordnance Disposal, being responsible for the tactical clearance of mines and other munitions; sometimes mistakenly called "Explosive Ordnance Demolition". The EOD skill badge is derived from the 1942 Bomb Disposal School insignia, approved for Specialist and Supervisor ratings on 31 July 1957, and redesignated as Basic, Senior, and Master gradations in June 1969. See BUDS, UDT, DIVER, SAPPER, CE, BREACHER, CHARGE, JERRV, FAE, MUNITIONS, BB STACKER, UXO, DUD, FIZZLE, MISFIRE, SYMPHONY, DEACTIVATE, DECONSTRUCT, Q-COURSE. [nb: Vietnamese term: Chuyen Vien Pha Huy (demolition specialist)] [nb: it is a universal military axiom that no demo expert has ever used too little explosive on a job!]

(ee-oh-eff) Escalation Of Force, being the incremental progression of violence permitted in a developing situation by the RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE) established during the GULF WAR; the gradual level of force legally authorized by tactical discretion. A doctrine developed by bureaucratic micromanagers that puts the MIL-PERS who are obligated to practice it at greater risk of injury or engagement when in the field, despite its intention to reduce hostility and forestall conflicts, to pacify threats and convert resistance. See WARNING SHOT, CLEARED HOT, ROOF KNOCKING / KNOCKING ON THE ROOF.

Electro-Optical Guided Bomb; see SMART BOMB.

shorthand abbreviation for End Of Transmission, sent as conclusion to any TWX or morse code message; compare II, GA, R; see CW, BREAK, SQUELCH.

End of Tour Report

a fabric strip attached to the shoulders of a military BLOUSE, shirt, tunic, jacket, or coat for various purposes, including security of carrying straps, display of insignia, etc; also spelled "epaulette", as derived from shoulder. Originating as an ornamental shoulder piece for dress uniforms, which became a symbol of RANK, then later bore insignia of rank; also called "shoulder loop", and which should be compared with spaulder (spatula [flat piece]), monnion, pauldron, epaulière, épaulière. Compare SHOULDER BOARD, SHOULDER KNOT, SHOULDER STRAP; see GREEN TAB, CREST, CORD, LANYARD, BRASSARD, SAM BROWNE BELT, DRESS.

Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, being a transmitter that sends identification and location information by satellite to rescuers; see PERSONAL LOCATOR BEACON / PLB, EMERGENCY LOCATOR BEACON, LOCATOR BEACON.

a commemorative inscription marking a private mortuary monument with regard to the person buried at that site. Also, a brief composition published in commemoration or praise of a deceased person; compare OBITUARY, NECROLOGY. [nb: "I give the fight up: let there be an end, / A privacy, an obscure nook for me. / I want to be forgotten even by God." by Robert Browning]

Latin motto of the United States of America (1795), meaning: "out of many, one"; see GREAT SEAL OF THE UNITED STATES. [nb: "All things one, and from one, all things." by Heraclitus of Ephesus, or variant translation: "From out of all the many particulars comes oneness, and out of oneness come all the many particulars." by Heraclitus of Ephesus] [nb: "In all necessary things: unity, in all doubtful things: liberty, but most of all, in all things: compassion." by Marco Antonio de Dominis, the Archbishop of Split (Spalato) (1617), which has also been represented as: "Unity in necessary things, liberty in unnecessary things, but compassion in all things." and "In necessary things, unity; in uncertain things, freedom; in everything, charity." ... although misattributed to Saint Augustine of Hippo and Peter Meiderlin (Rupertus Meldenius), this tripartite maxim was used in the 1959 encyclical by Pope John XXIII]

(ee-pee-dubyu) abbreviation for Enemy Prisoner of War, also represented as Prisoner of War (PW); see DETAINEE, THIRD DEGREE, BASHING, TORTURE, TONGUE, PACKAGE, POW CAMP, LAWS OF WAR, GENEVA CONVENTION, HAGUE TRIBUNAL; compare POW.

slang for a weapon (ie: pistol, knife, blackjack) that's supposed to offset the advantages of size and strength, fitness and training, especially in self defense; see MARTIAL ART, LADY'S BEST FRIEND, SANDBAG, WPN. [nb: a weapon wielded by an unskilled user is not protection; this weapon does not neutralize the confrontation, but complicates it by multiplying the potential harm that may be inflicted] [nb: "Men come in sizes, big and small, And stations low and regal, The Lord, He made them short and tall, Sam Colt makes them equal."] Also, any distribution of resistance or attenuation of force, so as to attain a constant relativity or consistent relationship (eg: pressure reduction device); see RING THE BELL, KNOCK IT OFF, POOP, TS CARD, BELAY, CEASE-FIRE, WAVE OFF, BREAKAWAY, SCRUB, STRESSOR.

the policies and practices, especially in employment and promotion, that bar discrimination based on race, religion, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, mental or physical handicap. [v: Equal Opportunity Act (1964)] [v: meritocracy; cf: quota, veteran's preference, affirmative action]

the rights, privileges, and immunities of citizenship guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; passed on 13 June 1866 by Congress, and ratified on 9 July 1868 by the states. See ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, UPHILL BATTLE, TOOTH 'n' NAIL, WARNING SHOT, JUST WAR, FINE PRINT, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), LAWS OF WAR. [v: equal rights, due process of law; cf: level playing field, fair play] [nb: Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.] [der: Magna Carta (15 June 1215)]

the equipment necessary to outfit a soldier or sailor, an army or ship; see WEB GEAR, DEUCE GEAR, PISTOL BELT, CLUTCH BELT, POUCH, RUCKSACK, ALICE, LBV, MOLLE, COMBAT LOADED, FULL BATTLE RATTLE, BATTLE DRESS, CAMMIES, DIGITALS, CAP-A-PIE. [nb: called "belt order" by AUSSIE and KIWI troops] [v: tire, bedight; cf: de haut en bas] Also, that collection of articles and other small items intended for personal use or ornament. Also, a carriage; see HACK, RICE-BURNER, RICKSHA, CYCLO, PEDICAB.

ER :
(ee-ar) Efficiency Report; see EER, NCOER, OER, FITREP, C&E, BAYONET SHEET.

Emergency Rescue Committee; see International Rescue Committee (IRC).

Engineer Research Development Laboratory, being the designation for the woodland or green-dominant leaf pattern camouflage uniform issued after 1968 for field utility wear in Vietnam, replacing the tropical-weight green jungle uniform that had displaced FATIGUES, and would themselves be later displaced by Battle Dress Uniforms (BDU). This mottled all-cotton ripstop uniform, with its infrared (IR) dispersion dyes, was less of an improvement on the regularly issued JUNGLE BAGS than an effort to standardize the mix of various monochrome and patterned uniforms that proliferated in the VIETNAM WAR, where the possession of CAMMIES became a mark of distinction. The polychromatic dyes used to tone the fabric of CAMO uniforms makes them both heavier and hotter than the plain green jungle uniform, which at least had the virtue of drying more quickly after being soaked by perspiration or precipitation. See CAMO, DRESS.

Energy Rich Glucose Optimized supplemental flavored drink that was developed by the Nutrition Task Force (NTF), in collaboration with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, so as to enhance the performance of healthy individuals performing military functions in extreme environments. See BUG JUICE, HOOAH! BAR, BRAGI'S APPLES, RATIONS. [cf: GatorAde] [nb: the ERGO drink mix, which tastes like a sports drink that's used to balance an athlete's electrolytes, contains maltodextrin as its key ingredient. ERGO is intended to increase endurance by conserving glycogen, which is energy stored in the liver and muscles. Because the use of straws is not feasible, the drink pouch was redesigned so as to be easier to grip and drink from, having an obvious "fill-to" line that enables the user to readily pour-in the right amount of water]


(air-zahts) serving as a substitute; a synthetic substance or artificial article that's used to replace something natural or genuine (eg: ersatz coffee made from grain, ersatz cigarette made from foliage, margarine as ersatz butter); a loanword derived in the 19th century from replace [ersetzen]. [cf: German 'muckefuck' (actually derived 'duden', not corruption of "mocca faux") as term for poorly made or inauthentic coffee]

Enhanced Small Arms Protective Inserts, pyroceramic plates added to FLAK VESTs to make them bulletproof; see SAPI, OTV, IOTV, HAPPY SUIT, CHICKEN PLATE, IBA, FLAK JACKET. [cf: flexible 'mail'; v: doublet]


Electronic Support Measures; also known as Electronic Warfare Support Measures (EWSM). Compare ECM.

Expanded Security Posture; see SACON, DEFCON, FPCON, GQ, ALERT, STAND-TO, STAND-DOWN.

the act or practice of spying upon a government or military by individuals for personal or institutional benefit, private or public advantage, which crime is explicated in Article 106 of the UCMJ, and Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 37 of the USCode; this term derives from "to watch for". See CE, CI, MI, SECRET AGENT, SPOOK, CRYPTO, FIX, MOLE, GRAYMAIL, PROVOCATEUR, HOUSE OF SPIES, HOUSE OF SPOOKS, ESPIONAGE SWAMP, MICE. [nb: at the beginning of WWII, insurance underwriters were openly reporting the contents of cargo, together with shipping schedules and other details, in transatlantic messages, which resulted in many losses from enemy predation because the commercial codes were insecure, but the agents were unresponsive to government censorship until they were finally threatened with prosecution under the Espionage Act]

slang for any locale mired in deception or intrigue, treachery or double-dealing, such as Berlin or Cairo, Lisbon or Madrid, Hong Kong or Buenos Aires, where different spies are constantly looking over each other's shoulders and getting in everybody's way. See CLOWN COLLEGE, HOUSE OF SPIES, HOUSE OF SPOOKS, ESPIONAGE, TRADECRAFT.

any open, level space, especially one serving for public walks; also known as "mall", "greenbelt", "greensward", or "promenade", originating as the cleared plain, beyond the moat surrounding the rampart of a town or castle, where medieval armies would fight their battles. See ASSEMBLY AREA, COMPANY STREET, PARADE GROUND, GRINDER, APRON, RAMP, HARDSTAND, BEACHHEAD, BATTLEFIELD.

a sense of common interests and shared responsibilities developed among the members of a group, as unit affinity and solidarity, or loyalty and pride; often shortened to "esprit" (spirit). Many units have unofficially adopted the concept of "band of brothers" as their informal motif. See CREST, PATCH, MORALE PATCH, HEADGEAR, CORD, TRASH, EARRING, PROP BLAST, SHELLBACK, WINGING, SALTING, BLOOD STRIPE, SLICK SLEEVE, KEEP THE FAITH, SEMPER FI, UCGC, BATTLE CRY, THE EDGE, GUSTO, HOOAH, OORAH, YUT, GUNG-HO, WETSU, DIEHARD, VIETNAM IS FOREVER, WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS, STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, THEY'LL GIVE A WAR AN' NOBODY'LL COME, PECKER CHECK, GOOD PEOPLE, GOOD STICK, PAY DUES, OATH. [cf: the idiomatic French phrase for the indefinable essence or elusive quality of a thing, 'that certain something' ("je ne sais quoi"), literally means 'I don't know what']

to observe, watch, spy; see LRSP, TRAIL WATCHER, BINH TRAM, COIGN OF VANTAGE, WEATHER EYE. [v: intelligencer] [nb: a stroke of the eye ('coup d'oeil') is a brief first look or quick glance]

the existing power structure in society, inclusive of the dominant social groups together with their customs or institutions; a duly constituted order or system of institutional authority; see THE G, SOG, COG, MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, CASTE; compare DEEP STATE, COUNTERCULTURE. Also, the dominant group in a field of endeavor, organization or profession; an authoritative subset in society; see KHAKI MAFIA, FIFTH ESTATE, RING-KNOCKER, BOY'S CLUB. [v: establishmentarianism, antidisestablishment, disestablishment; cf: Gosplan (USSR State Planning Commission)]


that area where women have gathered, either in social solidarity or professional reinforcement, so as to criticize and censure men without the fear of repercussion or retaliation from their adversary, whom they will plot to entrap or scheme to kill with kindness in the perpetual "war between the sexes"; a homosocial venue for excoriating the opposite sex in a manner similar to "running the gauntlet". See ORDEAL, SQUEAK, BALL BUSTER, WHITE SERGEANT, FLYING BRAVO, BITCH, SPLIT, COCK BAIT, GOLDEN VAGINA SYNDROME, SKIRT, DISTAFF; compare TESTOSTERONE ZONE. [v: LH (Luteinizing Hormone), progesterone, estrogen, PMS (PreMenstrual Syndrome)] [nb: the carbon-based synthetic compound, bisphenol A (BPA) and bisphenol S (BPS), used widely in many products (from shatter-resistant polycarbonate plastic water bottles and food storage containers to epoxy resin canned food and drink liners, including condiment lids and PVC pipes, coffee cans and beer kegs), is a hormone-disrupting chemical causing widespread damage throughout human physiology, with its toxic effects capable of extending into subsequent generations, serving as a risk factor for male reproductive dysfunction, feminization of male fetuses, atrophy of the testes and epididymides, increased prostate size, reduction of adult sperm count, alteration of sperm motility and density parameters, reduced libido, erectile ejaculatory difficulties, vaginal and uterine deformation, oocyte interference, endocrine disruption, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, vitamin D deficiency, tooth enamel erosion, obesity, diabetes, asthma, insomnia, arthritis, arrhythmia (sudden cardiac death), heart disease, cancer, and other health problems]

ET :
Electronics Technician; see TWIDGET.

(ee-tee-ay) Estimated Time of Arrival; compare ATA, ETE.

(ee-tee-dee) Estimated Time of Departure of transport flights and convoys; compare ATD.

(ee-tee-ee) Estimated (Expected) Time Enroute; compare ETA.


(forthcoming); see TACT, FINESSE, MANNERS, SOCIAL GRACES. [v: beseem, nicety; cf: mauvais ton] [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")]

European Theater of Operations, being the WWII designation for the area encompassing France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the netherlands; redesignated Headquarters United States Forces European Theater (HQUSFET) on 1 July 1945, then redesignated Headquarters European Command (HQEUCOM) on 15 March 1947; see SHAEF, MTO, NATO.

entrenching tool with both
shovel and pick
entrenching tool, a folding shovel; one version included a folding pick opposite the shovel head, and later versions were tri-fold serrated shovels with D-handles. The E-TOOL was intended for digging and chopping, could be a close combat weapon, but was mostly used for digging FOX HOLES and CAT HOLES. [nb: weapons evolved from tools, so a reversion in modern times is noteworthy: E-TOOLs were used in close combat during the 1942-3 battle of Stalingrad, 1945 battle for Berlin, and 1950-3 KOREAN WAR]

Estimated Termination of Service, or Expiration of Term of Service; the scheduled date of separation from Active Duty. The release date is only "estimated" because the military can discharge personnel earlier or later, depending upon need. During the Vietnam-era, the date of release from Active Duty status was often advanced (EARLY OUT) by completing a combat tour (eg: Vietnam, Laos) or HARDSHIP assignment (eg: Korea, Alaska). Compare DOE, DEROS; see DISCHARGE. [nb: the military has an involuntary "stop-loss" authority, which allows each branch to compel MIL-PERS who reach the end of their assignment or enlistment to remain attached or in uniform for "the good of the service"]

a derogation of civilians employed by the government in the General Schedule classification system of the CIVIL SERVICE; also denigrated as "Girl Scouts" (GS) so as to mock and belittle their bureaucratic efforts as less worthy than military service ... historically derived from the CASTEs of castrated men who were formerly employed as palace guards and officials by Oriental rulers. See SUIT, EMPTY SUIT, DRONE, HOLLOW BUNNY, PIG LOOKING AT A WRISTWATCH, PENCIL PUSHER, WALLAH, WONK, BEAN-COUNTER, CLUB FED, CARPETBAGGERS, MANDARIN, POOH BAH, PANJANDRUM, PALACE GUARD, MILICRAT, TAP-DANCER, DOUBLE-DIP. [v: slave castes of warriors include Mamluk/Mameluke (cavalry) and Janissary (infantry)]

a plan for aiding the European nations in economic recovery after WWII, as proposed by U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall in 1947; abbreviated ERP / E.R.P., and commonly called the MARSHALL PLAN, this program was implemented under the Economic Cooperation Administration in 1948.

an ungrateful member of a European nation that's under the protection of the US-sponsored North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), who is indifferent to cultural dilution and foreign encroachment, is opposed to cooperative reliance and national defense, and is reluctant to fund ANTI-TERRORISM and other self-protective interventions; so named by comparison with "Euro-trash", this privileged and pampered poltroon is an unreliable ally and weak associate, which jeopardizes American lives and interests in any region where mutual support is a contingency factor bearing upon mission success. See B TEAM, JV, WAR TOURIST, WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS, NANNY STATE, NATION BUILDING, NEW WORLD ORDER, ISOLATIONISM.

Extra Vehicular Activity, being the mission-oriented maneuvering by an astronaut outside the spacecraft, as when making repairs or transfers between platforms.

(ee-vak) a medical EVACuation station for stabilized patients requiring further treatment or surgery; compare SICK CALL, AID STATION. Also, an EVACuation hospital supporting military actions at division and higher levels; compare MASH, FST, CSH, FLD HOSP, MEDEVAC, CHOP SHOP. Also, truncation of medical EVACuation, being the transport and treatment of any injured person from training or combat by any means; see BAND-AID, CRACKER BOX, MEDEVAC, DUSTOFF, HELEVAC, AIR AMBULANCE, CASEVAC, CIVCAS, NEO, LUGGAGE TAG, TRIAGE.

a continuous distillation plant aboard ships that converts sea water to vapor, removing salt and impurities, which is then condensed to obtain potable water; informally called "the still", this process imitates the natural cycle (from sunshine evaporation to raindrop condensation), which can be improvised with the construction of a solar still; compare WATER PURIFICATION TABLET [cf: osmotic (or reverse osmosis) filtration]. Also, any heating element (including an oven) used to dehydrate food for preservation and storage; see BEANS, CHOW, RATIONS.

unsweetened milk that's been thickened and concentrated by the evaporation of its water content to approximately half of its original weight, then sterilized and canned for preservation; also called "unsweetened condensed milk", this homogenized and heat-sterilized canned milk is a shelf-stable product requiring no refridgeration that can be reconstituted as "fresh milk" by adding 40% water. compare CONDENSED MILK, CREME FRAICHE.


a point at which a decisive change takes place; the occurrence, often projected, of something significant or momentous; also known as a turning point, critical point, or crisis point.


an ordinary person, such as the typical or average person, being the character from the 15th century morality play; see WARM BODY, CASUAL, JACK, GI JOE, JOE SCHMOE, REPLACEMENT, KNUCKLE-DRAGGER, TOY SOLDIER, MIL-PERS, LONG GREEN LINE, CAT'S-PAW, JUDAS GOAT, CANNON FODDER, SUICIDE SQUAD.

the sense of isolation or alienation that most people experience when engaged in a disorganized or chaotic situation, especially a sudden MEETING ENGAGEMENT or startling AMBUSH; see SHIT HIT THE FAN, SEAT OF THE PANTS, HELMET FIRE, CONFUSION. Also, the perilous condition, as in a disaster or emergency, a fight or other risky circumstance, when one is in competition with anyone else's presence or success; as being without allies or allegiance ... a situation that the military attempts to expunge from its civilian inductees! ... also expressed as "every man for his own hand", as Henry Wynd fought in the feud between clans Chattan and Kay, meaning that every man seeks his own advantage, being a proverbial saying recorded in the writings of Walter Scott. Compare STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, KING OF THE HILL, FIGHTING MAD, BATTLE ROYAL, DOGFIGHT, CATCH AND GRASP, HUG, CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE, FIREFIGHT, BATTLE; see CUTTHROAT. [v: anomie] [nb: "Every man for himselfe and God for us all." by John Heywood; "Every man for himself, his own ends, the devil for all." by Robert Burton]

inclusive of everyone, of every single person; see JACK.

a catch-phrase expressive of the Buddhist tenet that the end of a person's life only ends one phase of existence, and that a person is not entirely dead until the memory of their personhood has been forgotten by everyone who knew, respected, or loved them; that we all live on in the hearts and minds of those who cared about us until they too have passed away. [cf: "you only live once"]

a natural force that gives rise to wickedness or wrongdoing, creating misfortune and suffering; pernicious immorality imputed to bad character or dreadful misconduct. [nb: "There's no rest for the wicked – and virtue needs none." proverbial; "Evil is the manifestation of perverse appetites that are unrestrained by intellect or empathy." anonymous]

an allusion to communist Russia, the SOVIET UNION or USSR; compare GREAT SATAN, see DEVIL. [nb: when President Ronald W. Reagan characterized the Soviet Union as the "Evil Empire" in 1983, journalists immediately associated it with the fictitious galactic power in the 1977 film "Star Wars", but it was actually a reference to biblical prophecies in Ezekiel; v: Gog and Magog]


a pattern formed by or as if by a series of movements; derived from unroll or open. Also, a movement, or one of a series of movements (SERIAL), of troops, ships, or the like, as for disposition in order of battle or in line of march. Also, any similar movement, especially in close order drill. Also, an individual's recurring work or assignment; see FATIGUE, DRILL, DUTY, DUTY ROSTER, WATCH BILL.

EW :
Electronic Warfare; being the use of electromagnetic energy in military actions to determine, exploit, reduce, or prevent hostile use of the electromagnetic spectrum, while sustaining friendly uses. Compare ECM, ECTAR, ESM / EWSM, ELINT, MASKING, SLIPSTREAMING, COUNTERMEASURES.

an electronic or electromagnetic pulse (EMP) WAR NOSE, alone or combined with an explosive WARHEAD, that's designed to disable the electrical and telecommunications infrastructure. [v: Compton effect, Planck's constant, Faraday-Maxwell cage, quantum theory; cf: induction, sunspot]

Electronic Warfare Center.

(ee-w-eye-ay) abbreviation for Enemy Wounded In Action; compare WIA, EKIA, EPW.

Electronic Warfare Officer, informally known as BEAR, or backseater in fighter aircraft; see GIB, RIO, RSO, WSO (WIZZO); compare FUF.

Electronic Warfare Support Measures, also known as Electronic Support Measures (ESM); actions taken to search for, intercept, identify, and locate sources of radiated electromagnetic energy for the purpose of immediate threat recognition, and the appropriate tactical response of countering, avoidance, targeting, and other employments to each. Such EWSM data can be used to produce signals intelligence (SIGINT), both communications intelligence (COMINT) & electronics intelligence (ELINT).

refurbished XB-1F LANCER bomber aircraft; so-called after King Arthur's magic sword. Also, the central motif in the British [Royal] Special Air Service crest wherein this legendary Arthurian sword is surrounded by flames while surmounted on a Crusader's shield, bearing the motto "Who Dares, Wins"; see SAS, SACRED SWORD PATRIOT'S LEAGUE.


also known as "devil's alibi"; see WIGGLE ROOM, FAIRY DUST, SMOKE 'n' MIRRORS, WANGLE, SOB STORY, MEA CULPA; compare NO EXCUSE, CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, UNODIR, ZERO TOLERANCE, ACCOUNTABILITY, RESPONSIBILITY. [nb: "The toe you step on today is connected to the ass you'll have to kiss tomorrow." proverbial maxim; "The critic always has an excuse for why nothing ever gets fixed, why changes never solve the problem, why everything stays the same." anonymous]

(ig-zek) truncation of EXECutive officer; also called "the exec"; see XO.

a euphemism for assassinate / assassination; see DECAPITATION, HEADHUNTING, COUP D'ETAT.

a document, similar to a TREATY, that is signed by the U.S. president (POTUS), but does not require approval by the Senate.

see NSPD-51.

see XO.

a declaration by the chief executive of a state or nation that has the force of law and requires no action by the legislature; compare FINDING; see PEO, POTUS.

the discretionary right claimed by certain U.S. chief executives or their staffs, at the state or federal level, to withhold information from public disclosure, or other legislative or judicial inquirey, on the ground that such revelations would hamper effective governmental operations and decision-making; this rationale contends a violation of the constitutional separation of the branches of government. OVERSIGHT is endemic to the CHAIN-OF-COMMAND, with the sole and limited exception of a NEED TO KNOW restriction on security matters. [v: checks and balances]

a meeting or proceeding, generally closed to the public, of a deliberative body or its leaders, such as a commander's briefing or courts martial determination; also called "closed-door session", "in chambers discussion", and "in camera hearing". See BRIEFING, CONFAB, OFFICER'S CALL, CHIN CHIN, POWWOW; compare SUB-ROSA, BUBBLE, ISOFAC, SCIF, FISHBOWL, SAFE SITE.

Army Physical Fitness Test
excellence badge
a methodology used to practice training and test capabilities, to tryout policies and procedures, to clarify roles and responsibilities, so as to improve familiarization, integration, and performance in the relatively controlled environment of limited risk, under the supervision of monitors and observers, concluding with validating assessments, reviews, and evaluations; a form of practice or rehearsal for the improvement of technique. See DRY RUN, FTX, MTX, CPX, STX, TTX, SAREX, FLT-EX / FLT-X, JTFEX, JRX, JOPE, NTC, REFORGER, ROBIN SAGE, MOCK-COMBAT, PAINTBALL, WAR GAMES, OPFOR, FIE, OC, UMPIRE, SITMAN, EXPLAN, SMART, THE PLAN, BOREX, LEAPEX, FIELD EXPEDIENT, PLAN B, WIGGLE ROOM, HOT WASH, COLD WASH, DEBRIEF, BACK BRIEF, BRIEF-BACK, GQ, TRAIN HARD - FIGHT EASY, DRUNKEX, GHOST WALK. Also, bodily exertion or physical training for the sake of improvement; see DAILY DOZEN, PT, PCPT, PFT, APFT, FRONT LEANING REST, PUSH-UP, PLANK, JUMPING JACK, SQUAT, PULL-UP, AIRBORNE SHUFFLE, TRUSCOTT TROT, BY THE NUMBERS, PT'S, IPFU, RAINBOW PT, GO-FASTERS, PT SHOWER, MONKEY BUTT, FIELD HOUSE, PARCOURSE, RUCKING, PARKOUR, STEEPLECHASE, IOCT, OBSTACLE COURSE, MARATHON, BIATHLON, TRIATHLON, PENTATHLON, DECATHLON, FOOTBALL, BASKETBALL, BASEBALL, GOLF, BOXING, MMA, MARTIAL ART, ARM WRESTLING, PIGGYBACK, UGLY AMERICAN OLYMPICS, PAIN, PROFILE. [v: round robin / round-robin]

EXFILtrate, EXFILtration; a stealthy exit or inconspicuous departure from an operational area. Compare INFIL; see FLIP-FLOP, FALSE INSERTION, SHELL GAME, SKYHOOK, TRAWL, DAR. [nb: unlike sex, getting into an operational area is the easy part; getting back out with the INTEL after the mission is much more difficult, and sometimes impossible]

a person expelled from his native homeland or country by authoritative decree; ejecta, expatriate, as derived from "banishment"; see PNG, GONE NATIVE. Also, to withdraw allegiance from one's native land in response to war or repression; compare DP, PASSAGE TO FREEDOM, FREQUENT WIND, BOAT PEOPLE.

the plan or mode, method or technique for withdrawal from a deteriorating condition, for extraction from an unsatisfactory circumstance, or for opting out of an untenable situation; this rectification of poor planning or misjudgment is used as readily by politicians and businessmen as well as by military leaders. The purpose of such schemes is to avoid further entanglement in the mire, often of one's own making. See THROW IN THE TOWEL, DEFEAT, DEFEAT IN DETAIL, WATERLOO, ROUT, WHITE FLAG, STRIKE THE FLAG, CHANGING TUNE, BUG-OUT, CUT AND RUN, RETROGRADE, BEAT FEET, HAUL-ASS, RETREAT, TRUCE, ARMISTICE, CEASE-FIRE, NEUTRALIZE, OCCUPATION, POWELL DOCTRINE, PYRRHIC VICTORY, VICTORY.

informal reference to a person who served in the military, especially someone with an honorable discharge; see DINOSAUR, MOSSBACK, OLD BREED, OLD SALT, SWALLOW THE HOOK, ON THE BEACH, CIVLANT, CIVPAC, OUTSIDE THE WIRE, KICKSTANDED, STACK ARMS, DOUBLE-DIP, PROFESSIONAL VETERAN, VET / VETERAN; compare CIVILIAN, CITIZEN, RETIREE. [nb: Marines object to being designated "ex-Marine", preferring to be identified as 'former Marine', which is a distinction without a difference!]

C-45 / RC-45 / UC-45 / F-2 aircraft; see BIRD.

to undergo or undertake something, as when encountering things as they occur in the general course of time; practical knowledge or wisdom gained from what one has personally lived through or observed. [nb: "Experience is what you would like to acquire without having to incur any risk of jeopardy or harm, but it can only be acquired by taking risks."; "Experience is something you acquire shortly after you needed it."; "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted."; "Experience is what you get while you're trying to do something else."; "Experience is considered mystical or magical by the uninformed."; "Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes."; "Experience is a wonderful thing, because it enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again."]

see BOLO BADGE, Q-TAB, PRO PAY, SHARPSHOOTER, JUNGLE EXPERT, BUSHMASTER, MOUNTAINEER, WINTER WARRIOR, PROFESSOR, WIZARD, WONK, WALLAH, MANDARIN, 90-PAGE WONDER, FUGLEMAN, SUPER-TROOPER, HANDY, SALTY, DINOSAUR, OLD SALT, SHELLBACK, MOSSBACK, VET, VETERAN, WINTER SOLDIER, QUIET PROFESSIONAL, RIGHT STUFF, SUMMUM BONUM. [ety: ex (ie: former, previous, defunct, omitted, detached) + (x)pert (ie: droplet, globule, dollop, squirt, wad) = any sudden spurt expelled during a short time over a minor distance while under great pressure!] [nb: "We have not overthrown the divine right of kings to fall down for the divine right of experts." by Harold MacMillan in speech at Strasbourg, France (16 August 1950); "An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less." by Nicholas Murray Butler, commencement address at Columbia University (1931)]

the EXercise Plan is the general information document that's distributed to participants and other appropriate personnel prior to the commencement of activities, providing the preliminary background and a synopsis of the EXERCISE, defining the scope and objectives, assigning roles and responsibilities, delimiting rules and boundaries, outlining timely execution, but it excludes details that would reduce the realism of the tasks to be performed. Compare SITMAN, see SMART.

an interjectory or emphatic expression, sometimes objectionable, such as an exclamatory OATH or an odious profanation. Also, a syllable, word, or phrase serving as ("expletory") filler or emphasis. See TALK TRASH, SMACK, CONFETTI, SNOW, BLOW SMOKE, SHOOT THE SHIT, BAD-MOUTH, OATH, BLUE STREAK, GODDAM, SWEAR, VULGAR, FUCK, GUNDECKING, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT. [nb: 'gee' and 'gee-whiz', used as an interjection or exclamation, derive as euphemisms for the name "Jesus"; archaic 'zounds' derived as contraction of "God's wounds"; "blimey" or "gorblimey", used as an interjection or exclamation, derive as a reduction of "God blind me"; 'hooey', allegedly an Americanism used as an interjection for nonsense or tripe, is actually a corruption of the Russian vulgarity ("khuy") for penis, and is commonly used alone (eg: dick, dickhead, dick-wad) or in phrases (eg: dumber than dick; he doesn't know dick; don't dick around; don't stir your tea with your dick; don't dip your dick in the soup)] [cf: migration of "putz" from shine through ornament to penis and dolt; as sexual lure] [v: lucky stiff] [Swearing is either juvenile or crass, but MIL-PERS admire talent and respect skill, so creative vulgarity and uncommon scurrility is often appreciated. "The talk of him that sweareth much maketh the hair stand upright." Ecclesiasticus 27:14 Apocrypha; "In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer." by Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens); "Take not God's name in vain; select a time when it will have effect." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce; "Grant me some wild expressions, Heavens, or I shall burst." by George Farquhar; "When angry, count four; when very angry, swear." by Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens); "A whoreson jackanapes must take me up for swearing; as if I borrowed mine oaths of him and might not spend them at my pleasure. ... When a gentleman is disposed to swear, it is not for any standers-by to curtail his oaths, ha?" by William Shakespeare; "A footman may swear; but he cannot swear like a lord. He can swear as often: but can he swear with equal delicacy, propriety, and judgment?" by Jonathan Swift; "Yes sir, he swore on that day till the leaves shook on the trees – charming, delightful – never have I enjoyed such swearing before or since! Sir, on that memorable day he swore like an angel from heaven!" reported by an unknown eyewitness to George Washington upbraiding Charles Lee during the 28 June 1778 battle of Monmouth; "'Twas but my tongue, 'twas not my soul that swore." by Euripides; "It comes to pass oft that a terrible oath, with a swaggering accent sharply twanged off, gives manhood more approbation than ever proof itself would have earned him." by William Shakespeare; "When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty. It may not sound nice to some bunch of little old ladies at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember. You can't run an army without profanity; and it has to be eloquent profanity. An army without profanity couldn't fight its way out of a piss-soaked paper bag. As for the types of comments I make, sometimes I just, By God, get carried away with my own eloquence." by George S. Patton Jr; "And when the riflemen heard their commander swear so prodigiously, their minds were filled with amazement to learn how little they knew of profanity!" said of Daniel Morgan during the AMERICAN REVOLUTION] [v: protomartyr Saint Stephen was canonized for blasphemy]

a device designed to generate an electric current in a firing circuit after deliberate (or intentional) action by the user in order to initiate one or more explosive charges; see DETONATOR FUZE, WAR NOSE, WARHEAD, E-WARHEAD, TRIGGER, INFLUENCE PISTOL, EXPLOSIVE.

taking full advantage of temporary tactical advancements with follow-up military operations that seek to consolidate initial gains by making them permanent. Also, an offensive operation that usually follows a successful attack, and is designed to disorganize the enemy in depth.

(forthcoming); aka: Hatchet Force; see SOG. [nb: following the consolidation and reorganization of SOG in 1967, the "Hatchet Force" and "Recon Team" designations bestowed upon elements of the FOBs were altered to "Exploitation Force" and "Spike Team" under the new Command and Control (CCN, CCC, CCS) differentiations, which added confusion, such that many references of the era are mixed]

explosives warning sign
warning sign
a substance that undergoes decomposition or combustion with great rapidity, evolving much heat and producing a large volume of gas. The reaction products fill a much greater volume than that occupied by the original material and exert an enormous pressure, which can be used for blasting and for propelling. Classified as either a low (deflagrating) explosive, which undergoes rapid combustion and is used for propelling, or a high (detonating) explosive, which undergoes decomposition without any external source of oxygen, and is used for shattering by shock waves. Important explosives include: nitroglycerin, dynamite, ammonium nitrate, trinitrotoluene (TNT), nitrocellulose, fulminic acid, picric acid, lyddite, carbazotic acid, picronitric acid, phenol trinitrate, hexanitrostilbene (HNS), trinitrophenol (TNP), pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), triacetone triperoxide (TATP), trinitrobenzene, Cyclonite, and others. See EOD, DEMO, BUDS, UDT, SAPPER, CE, BREACHER, CHARGE, PETARD, BURSTING CHARGE, BRISANCE, KILOTON, MEGATON, GIGATON, RE FACTOR, BLAST, BLAST WAVE, SHOCK WAVE, EXPLOSIVE PRESSURE, FAE, CONCUSSION GRENADE, SHAPED CHARGE, TORPEX, RDX, COMPOSITION C, C-4, HEP, SEMTEX, GELIGNITE, BLASTING GELATIN, PLASTIC EXPLOSIVE, COMPOSITION H6, PBX, HMX, TRITONAL, MINOL, DET CORD, DEFLAGRATION, SLOW MATCH, FUSE, FUZE, EXPLODER, DETONATOR, BLASTING CAP, PERCUSSION CAP, GUNPOWDER, BLASTING POWDER, SATCHEL CHARGE, COCKTAIL, MOLOTOV COCKTAIL, SOUP, SQUIB, FOXING, FLASH BURN, TRIGGER, WAR NOSE, BOMB, ICM, EFP, IED, MOTHER OF SATAN, HME, VBIED, BOOBY-TRAP, TOE-POPPER, GAMMON GRENADE, GRENADE, CLAYMORE, MINE, CBRNE, BIGGER BANG FOR THE BUCK, SECONDARY EXPLOSION, BLAST SHADOW, CAMOUFLET, BLOWN, FIRE IN THE HOLE, SHOTHOLE, RED FLAG, FLYING BRAVO, BB STACKER, JIEDDO, UXO, SYMPHONY, DUD, FIZZLE, MISFIRE, DEACTIVATE; compare HUSH-A-BOOM. [nb: Vietnamese term: Pha Huy] [nb: Alfred B. Nobel invented dynamite [initially nitroglycerin (C3H5N3O9) stabilized by a diatomaceous absorbent, later replaced by ammonium nitrate, blasting gelatin (gelignite), blasting-cap detonator, Ballistite smokeless gunpowder, and explosive gelatin. Gunpowder was invented by the Chinese around AD850 (documented 1044), and was separately reinvented in 1248 by Roger Bacon, an English scholar and scientist.]

the result of the rapid ignition of volatile substances, flammable gases, or combustible mists of suspended materials, within either confined or unconfined spaces; which transference extends the effective force of detonation beyond its point of origin or impact. See CONCUSSION GRENADE, BLAST SYNDROME, KILOTON, MEGATON, GIGATON; compare OVERPRESSURE. [nb: 'thunder' (a loud resounding noise) results from the rapid expansion of air that's suddenly released from the heat created during a lightning discharge]


McDonnell-Douglas KC-10 refueling TANKER aircraft, which is a third-generation militarized version of the DC-10 airliner; able to deploy and support an entire fighter squadron for over 5000 miles. See BIRD.

to attempt to make less serious or more inconsequential by offering excuses and explanations; compare NO EXCUSE; see COURT MARTIAL.

to be withdrawn from any operation or operational area, usually by airlift; see JACOB'S LADDER, DEBARKATION NET, SKYHOOK, McGUIRE RIG, STABO, SPY RIGGING.

a device on the bolt of a firearm that engages the rim or extraction groove on a cartridge case and pulls it (discharged or not) from the firing chamber; compare EJECTOR.

the discretionary authority granted to a leader (LDR), or to a designated group of executives, to temporarily exceed legal strictures under exceptional circumstances, which decision is subject to review after the fact; sometimes called "emergency powers". See HOT PURSUIT, WARNING SHOT, JUDGMENT CALL, EXECUTIVE ORDER, SIDE DOOR. [nb: "And if also any one contend (in the fight), he is not crowned (for victory) unless he contend lawfully." 2 Timothy 2:5]

(ie: exceptional transfer, not routine extradition) see RENDITION.

a restraint from prosecution by a host nation to a guest nation, as a result of formal agreements, typically reciprocal, so as to facilitate diplomatic exchanges; the permission of certain sovereign functions by a guest state within the territory of the host state, being a curtailment of the jurisdiction of the latter state in certain specified areas and in certain specified respects, including DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY.

exceeding normative bounds, being well beyond the ordinary limits or average standards; that which is immoderate or utmost; see X-GAMES.

see RADICAL, REACTIONARY, TERRORIST. [nb: extremists or radicals in French politics are also called "Montagnards" by association with those who occupied the upper tiers in the assembly during the French Revolution]

a noose or loop at the end of a ROPE or LINE, often woven or "eye-spliced" and WHIPped for strength as a permanent feature, in a towline, prolonge-knot join, or other toggle linkage. Also used to form a stirrup line. A knotted EYE may be formed, by bowline or other non-slipping knot, as an improvised sling or stirrup. An EYE is called a "hondo" when used to form a lasso. See PAD EYE, BELAY, McGUIRE RIG, STABO, DEADEYE.

to look or watch attentively with the official M1A1 eyeball, especially to see what's being looked at (instead of looking without seeing), often used as an injunction or directive; see EYESHOT, HAIRY EYEBALL, compare CHECK IT OUT, VR, EYE-CHECK, DOUBLE-O, STACKING SWIVEL, OCULAR PINBALL. Also, to roll one's eyes or to let one's vision wander while standing at PARADE REST or ATTENTION, which is an infraction of military bearing; in the Army, soldiers are enjoined to keep their "eyes front", in the Navy, sailors are enjoined to keep their eyes "in the boat", and in the Air Force, airmen are enjoined to "cage" their eyes; see GUNDECKING, THE BIBLE. [v: "custody of the eyes"]

a visual inspection or scrutiny; see EYE-BALL, DOUBLE-O, STACKING SWIVEL, VR. Also, a look that halts or blocks movement, inhibits or forestalls action, as a glance that obstructs or impedes; see HAIRY EYEBALL, BROWBEAT, MICROAGGRESSION, EYE-FIGHTING. Also, a movement of the eyes to survey or inquire among colleagues; see RUN IT UP THE FLAGPOLE, NOSE COUNT, BULLFROG CHORUS, RUNNING DOG, POPULARITY CONTEST, REASSURANCE. Also, a non-verbal conclusion or agreement performed entirely by visual reading among group members; a mute concensus. [v: "custody of the eyes"]

a stare or glare that conveys hostility or resentment, contempt or disrespect, that is not disclosed by any other gesture, facial expression or body language; a non-verbal insult; see SILENT INSOLENCE, HAIR-TRIGGER, HALF-COCKED, SABER-RATTLING, TRAILING HIS COAT, HEAD TO HEAD, FIGHTING WORDS, BROWBEAT, EYE-CHECK, EYE-BALL, HAIRY EYEBALL, OCULAR PINBALL. [cf: impertinent, impudent, "custody of the eyes"]


a circumlocution for sleep, especially when facetiously referring to sleeping in a military manner (eg: off-duty rearmament, dreaming by the numbers, snoring in cadence, etc); also represented as "checking eyelids for leaks"; see KIP, PAC / PAC TIME, COMBAT NAP; compare NO REST. [v: shut-eye, snooze, doze, nap, catnap, power nap, forty winks, drowse, slumber, rest, siesta, hibernate; cf: the Land of Nod (re: Jonathan Swift, not Genesis)]

a metonym for goggles and earplugs, for vision and hearing protection, as used both tactically and in training during the GULF WAR-era; see PEEPERS, BIRTH CONTROL DEVICE, BINOS, GLASS, NVG, DOUBLE-O, EYE-BALL, EARS, MOUSE EARS.

reluctant or begrudging, disinclined or laggardly, unwilling or fitful performance, of the sort done only under the scrutiny of one's supervisor; work done only while being watched; see LIP SERVICE / LIP-SERVICE, BLOW SMOKE, TAP-DANCER, HOT AIR, WASHINGTON WALTZ, WOOF, PULL ONE'S PUNCHES, SMOKE 'n' MIRRORS, CREDIBILITY GAP, SUMMER SOLDIER, SUNSHINE PATRIOT.

an admonition reminding a formation that while it is standing at PARADE REST or ATTENTION, everyone's eyes are supposed to be looking straight ahead, not glancing around (like a gaggle of undisciplined civilians!); see EYE-BALL / EYE-BALLING. [v: "custody of the eyes"]

an injunction or admonition to direct one's attention inside, or outside, the vehicle or craft for optimum coverage of one's surroundings, as "Eyes in the boat."; also represented as "head-in" / "head-out" ... flight policy is that the pilot watches the instruments while the co-pilot or weapons officer scans the exterior, and vice versa. See KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED, EYE-BALL / EYE-BALLING, STACKING SWIVEL, DOUBLE-O; compare EYES FRONT. [v: "custody of the eyes"]

the variable range within which a sight or sighting (glimpse or other view) can be seen by the unaided human eye; visible, visibility. Also, that variable distance from which a person can detect ("within eyeshot") or cannot detect ("beyond eyeshot") a particular sight or view. See DOUBLE-O, HAIRY EYEBALL, CHECK IT OUT, EYE-BALL, BIRTH CONTROL DEVICE, PEEPERS, BINOS, GLASS, NVG, NVD, STARLIGHT, GREEN-EYE; compare EARSHOT.

a delimiter qualifying duplication and restricting distribution of CLASSIFIED documents; also called "Close Hold". In the realm of verbal reports that eschew documentation of any kind, this restriction is expressed as "for your ears only". See NEED TO KNOW, COMPARTMENTALIZATION.


a military command to troops in formation to look to the right, especially as a form of SALUTE when marching, coincident with dipping the GUIDON; see PASS IN REVIEW, PARADE.

a colloquialism for rubbish or nonsense, alluding to something that blinds someone to the real state of affairs; also called "wash" or "hogwash". Also, weak or watered liquor, also called "wash" or "wish-wash"; see SAIGON TEA, MOCKTAIL, THE DRINK, BREW, GROG, HOOCH, MOONSHINE.