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

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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F :
an aircraft prefix under the Joint Service Designation System that represents 'fighter'.

FA :
U.S. Army Field Artillery
Center and Fort Sill
USAFACFS
Field Artillery, artillery that's mobile enough to accompany troops in the field; compare AAA; see ARTY. [nb: Vietnamese term: Phao Binh Da Chien] [nb: the marching song of the Field Artillery, "The Caisson Song", or "The Caissons Go Rolling Along", composed by Edmund L. Gruber, was adapted in 1956 by H.W. Arberg, a musical adviser in The Adjutant General's Office, to become the official U.S. Army song: "The Army Goes Rolling Along"]

FAA :
Federal Aviation Administration, being the regulatory agency for aviation (including parachuting) in the United States; formerly the "Federal Aviation Agency" as subordinate to the Department of Transportation.

FAASV :
(forthcoming); Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicle (M-992)

FAC :
(fack) Forward Air Controller, also known as Forward Air Controller Airborne (FACA), and sometimes called "Mack the FAC"; who has the responsibility for calling-in close air support (CAS) and tactical air (TAC-AIR) strikes on enemy movements and positions in support of ground troops or movements. Usually flying a low-level, low-speed spotter plane, the FAC identified VIET CONG or North Vietnamese positions and relayed the information to attack aircraft, helicopter GUNSHIPS, or high-altitude bombers. On the ground, a Forward Air Controller or Forward Observer would call in similar information. See FACP, MISTY FAC, FO, CAS, TAC-AIR, BIRD DOG, SKYMASTER.

FACE :
reputation, dignity, prestige, as countenance or visage; to give FACE or show deference, to lose FACE or suffer humiliation, to save FACE or escape humiliation, FACE to FACE or confront, in one's FACE or direct confrontation, to FACE-off or contend, to FACE up to or show courage, to FACE the music or accept consequences, on the FACE of it or seemingly, to set one's FACE against or oppose, to show one's FACE or be seen, to one's FACE or demonstrated presence. Also, a look or expression; outward appearance, show or pretense, as to put on one's FACE, as to make a mask; see FLINT FACE, QUARTERDECK FACE, DEADPAN, HALF-MAST, WAR FACE, BEARD THE LION, COMMAND PRESENCE. Also, the surFACE, characteristics, or general appearance of something, such as land. Also, either of the two outer sides that form the salient of a bastion, or the exposed projections of a rampart or fortification. Also, the most frequent, important, outer, front, upper, or "right" side of something, for view or utility [v: obverse]. Also, the end or bounds of something. [nb: "One hand washes the other, and both hands wash the face." Corsican proverb] [nb: an adage addressing the unanticipated consequences of "right" or "proper" action: "The breeze from the flutter of a butterfly's wings will create a storm in the next valley."; cf: BLACK SWAN EVENT, BIG PICTURE]

FACE FUZZ :
as in the "cultivation of facial foliage", any military style mustache/mustachio (moustache) or beard. Because a serviceman's appearance had to match his identity photo, NCOs and officers needed authorization to grow FACE FUZZ before a replacement ID card would be approved; and the interpretation of "proper" military appearance varied among unit commanders. With the advent of the SAFETY RAZOR and the necessity to properly fit a GAS MASK for the TRENCH WARFARE of WWI, beards were discouraged when not officially prohibited. In a Vietnam-era "Zgram" message, ADM Elmo Zumwalt endorsed the "tradition" of shipboard beards, as were worn, in marked contrast to shorter haircuts, by sailors and soldiers on various vessels. French officers historically wore a tuft of hair below their lower lip, above the chin, without a goatee or beard but sometimes with a moustache, as an adornment denoting their military status; and although this embellishment has gone out of fashion with soldiers, it remains popular, and is known as a "royale", "impériale", "mouche / mosca" (fly), "small beard", "soul patch", "dab", "barnacle", "tickler", "honey mop", or "flavour-saver". SIDEBURNS (burnsides), muttonchops, lambchops, CAVALRY WHISKERS, and other side whiskers have been restricted to mid-ear length since the end of the 19th century. By regulation, mustaches ('stache) in the modern era could not extend beyond the fullest part of the upper-lip or below the corner of the mouth; so the drooping gunfighter and mandarin styles worn OFF-DUTY were waxed upwards into walrus and kaiser, bull's horn and handlebar style for duty display. A mustache of any style was commonly called a "cookie duster", a "soup strainer", a "snot mop", or a "womb broom". See RELAXED GROOMING STANDARDS, LONGHAIR; compare RAZOR BURN. [v: Zapata-style, Daliesque, Hitlerian toothbrush, etc]

FACE THE MUSIC :
being obliged to encounter the unavoidable, to confront the inevitable, to own up to one's responsibilities, to answer for the consequences of one's actions, to accept the (usually unpleasant) consequences of some act or event, to brave the outcome of an unpleasant situation, or to put on a bold front in a disagreeable circumstance; probably derived from the process of drumming a disgraced soldier out of their regiment (ROGUE'S MARCH) [nb: civilian phrases for 'take what's coming', '...owed', or '...due' are "when the chickens come home to roost" and "pay the piper" (ie: Pied Piper of Hamelin); v: comeuppance; cf: just deserts] Also, to turn troops toward the sounds of battle, as to FACE THE MUSIC of cannon and trumpet, of shots and drums. Also, to turn in the direction of the trumpet and cannon during the flag-raising ceremony known as REVEILLE or the flag-lowering ceremony known as RETREAT, while rendering a respectful SALUTE to the COLORS.

FACE TIME :
an opportunity to confront a person, entity, or concept, as in face-to-face, face-off, face-down or show-down opposition; compare FACE, SHOW THE FLAG. Also, a brief personal and private meeting with someone important or influential. Also, a personal meeting with someone who is normally dealt with remotely or impersonally. Also, the occasion of an appearance of a secondary or supportive subordinate before superiors at a briefing, meeting, or other presentation, as to be seen or become known by the right people; see AIDE, DOG ROBBER, DOGSBODY, MAN FRIDAY, GOFER.

FACP :
Forward Air Control Post; see FAC.

FACT / THE FACTS :
something known to exist or to have actually happened; incontrovertible evidence that's verified by observation or experience; substantiated REALITY or attested TRUTH. See ROCKING HORSE APPLES, JUDGMENT CALL, OPINION, NO EXCUSE, THE ARMY WAY, PARTY LINE, PROPAGANDA. [nb: "Don't confuse anyone with the facts 'cause their minds are already made up."]

FACT CHECK :
see CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, BY THE BOOK, CHAPTER AND VERSE, SCRIPTURES, READ-BACK, TOE THE LINE, PARTY LINE, BRASSBOUND, BOX HEAD, MILITARY MIND, DUE DILIGENCE.

FACTOID :
a false fact; something fictitious or any unsubstantiated datum that is presented as authentic TRUTH. A neologism of the VIETNAM WAR, such data is devised to gain publicity, and becomes widely accepted due to constant repetition. See DISINFORMATION, HOOPLA, ECHO CHAMBER, DIRTY LAUNDRY, FAKE NEWS, BIG LIE, DECEPTION, PROPAGANDA, RUMOR. [nb: this term is widely misunderstood as meaning "small fact" based on a confusion of the suffix, misinterpreted as 'little' (on the model of asteroid, planetoid, or humanoid) instead of 'like' or 'resembling'; aka: squib, snippet, bite, scrap, tidbit, iota, modicum, trifle, bagatelle] [v: subreption, obreption] [nb: the neologism "pollaganda" / "polloganda" (poll + propaganda) has been coined to identify the representation of biased samples, slanted surveys, special pleading arguments, and ex-parte news depicted as authentic or authoritative; cf: "polingo" as a neologism for political lingo] [v: Myths of the Vietnam War]

FAE :
(ef-a-ee) Fuel Air Explosive, using dispersed gas (ie: ethylene oxide) and/or particulate to cause the targeted structure to become the container of the bomb, such that a secondary explosion creates a kinetic force that exceeds MACH 6; also used in the open against troop concentrations and lightly armored vehicles. See CHARGE, SATCHEL CHARGE, IRON BOMB, CBU, GBU, AP, APAM, KEW, SUBATOMIC WEAPONS. [cf: firedamp]

FAG :
slang acronym meaning Field Artillery Guy, an artillerist or ARTILLERYMAN (qv). [nb: Vietnamese term: Phao Thu (cannoneer)] Also, slang acronym meaning Fighter Attack Guy, a JET JOCKEY or FUF; see GOOD STICK, BIRDMAN, PILOT, FLY-BOY, AIRMAN. [nb: Vietnamese term: Phi Cong, Phi Hanh Gia] Also, slang acronym meaning Former Action Guy, being someone who is HOMESTEADING a good assignment, or who has STACKed ARMS in preparation for discharge (ETS) or retirement; see RIP, ROAD, STAND-DOWN, HORS DE COMBAT, UP OR OUT. [v: dog days] Also, slang for a cigarette, especially the unfinished remnant or BUTT; also called "fag-end", as derived from weary or exhausted; see GASPER, PIGTAIL, SOLDIER'S BREAKFAST, BUTT, DRAG, SMOKING LAMP, FIELD STRIP, LITTER, POLICE CALL, BUTT CAN, STICK, SMOKER. [nb: a brand of cigarettes called "Windsor Castle Fags" was first produced in 1918 by the P. Lorillard Company for the British military; they were advertised as "Extra Long Fags", and included a poem about the comfort of smoking when conditions are miserable: "When the cold is making ice cream of the morrow of your bones, / When you're shaking like a jelly and your feet are dead as stones, / When your clothes and boots and blankets, and your rifle and your kit, / Are soaked from Hell to Breakfast, and the dugout where you sit / Is leaking like a basket, and upon the muddy floor / The water lies in filthy pools, six inches deep or more; / Tho' life seems cold and mis'rable and all the world is wet, / You'll always get thro' somehow if you've got a cigarette."] [nb: just as sports cards and redemption coupons were included in select brands of cigarettes during the post-WWII era, a morale card featuring the motto "I shall return" and a picture of General Douglas MacArthur was enclosed in packs of "Lucky Strike" cigarettes during WWII as a reminder of his promise on behalf of America's commitment] [nb: cigarettes have been widely used as money in POW CAMPs due to their limited availability, easy portability, and ready divisibility] [v: Japanese tabako] Also, slang for a homosexual, which activity is prohibited under the UCMJ despite a 1993 DON'T ASK - DON'T TELL recruitment policy, and a 2011 revision on consensual sex; see INVERT, PREEVERT, CAMP, GLORY HOLE, FIRING LINE, CANDY-ASS, POGUE, POGY BAIT, SPUNK, PECKER TRACKS. [aka: faggot, nance, Nancy boy, pantywaist, friend of Dorothy, limp wrist, pansy, swerver, poof / poofster, sissy, swish, queen/queenie, closet queen, drag queen, gay, flit, fairy, fay, fruit, fruit loop, girlyboy, dolly boy, ponce, punter, queer, $3 Bill, cocksucker, flute, baloney smoker, bug-eyed cumsucker, big-lipped cumsucker, brown-tailed cumsucker, spunk monkey, knob jockey, sausage jockey, cock jockey, bone smuggler, fudge packer, chocolate puncher, rump romper, rump rider, rump bumper, rump wrangler, rump rustler, backdoor burglar, cornholer, patootie pirate, rectum ranger, anal assassin, anal astronaut, booty buffer, butt bandit, bum chum, bugger, mandrake, sod, sodomite, pervert, invert, Greek love, Greek way, shirt lifter, chicken hawk, queer bait, boy toy, catamite, gunsel, punk, pederast, homo, homophile; lesbian, lez, lezzie, lezbo, sapphist, sapphomorph, morphodite, morphodyke, tribads/tribades, fricatrice, confricatrice, rubster (frottage), clitty kitty, femme, twisted sister, lipstick, dildo darling, dillydally dolly, dyke, bulldike, bulldagger, butch] [nb: the mutilation of enemy corpses, wherein the excised genitals are lodged in the victim's mouth, is a sexual metaphor more than a symbolic sex act; such placement denigrates the enemy's prowess and disparages him as a "cocksucker", a ponce or nance, not a "real man"; if the victim of torture, such mutilation indicates contempt, declaring that he did not die well, bravely or manfully]

FAIL / FAILED / FAILURE :
see FOUL-UP / FOULED-UP, GLITCH, SNIVITZ, SNARK, BUG, GREMLIN, STANDARD ERROR, PROBABLE ERROR, PLAN B, SEAT OF THE PANTS. [nb: it's a Murphy Law of Combat that: "Everything breaks, breaks-down, or wears-out."]

FAIL-SAFE :
the final control point for a reactive or retaliatory mission, also known as the "point of no return", beyond which military action is sanctioned; a "go / no-go" WAY POINT under the discretion of the supervening command. Compare HOT PURSUIT, see GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY, BIG STICK DIPLOMACY, SABER-RATTLING, GUNPOINT, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), LAWS OF WAR.

FAIR GAME :
a likely or legitimate object of attack, mockery, or the like; being a hunting metaphor derived from the rules of sportsmanship. See TARGET, TARGET OF OPPORTUNITY, FREE FIRE ZONE, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), LAWS OF WAR; compare ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, DIRTY FIGHTER, CHEAP SHOT, OFF THE RESERVATION, OUTSIDE THE WIRE, DOG-EAT-DOG, WHEN IN ROME. [nb: "The mind is an equal opportunity weapon."; "Never fight a man of equal strength on equal ground."; "The mission was not properly planned if it develops into a 'fair fight'."; "When equal forces meet in battle, victory will go to the one that enters with the greatest sorrow." by Lao-tzu]

FAIRING :
an exterior structure that reduces drag or resistance on a boat or aircraft, or deflects wind and weather on any type of vehicle; a shaped area used to smooth out the join between any two structural members on an aircraft, watercraft, or other vehicle, which also serves to streamline its movement and deflect the impact of any adverse weather; see SPINNER, WHEEL PANTS, compare COWLING, PYLON.

FAIRLEAD :
a rigging guide or fitting for pulley, thimble, BLOCK, or CAPSTAN which prevents chafing of the LINE; compare CHOCK, CRAB; see WHIP, TACKLE. [nb: a "sheet" is a thin LINE or CORD used in reeving TACKLE and the rigging of sails; and like a HAWSER, it is never called a ROPE]

FAIR LIST :
see WHITE LIST.

FAIR PLAY :
just and honorable action, conduct, or treatment during wartime, which was derived as a sports metaphor (eg: "fair ball", "fair catch", etc); see FAIR GAME, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), LAWS OF WAR.

FAIR SHAKE :
informal reference to an equitable opportunity or to impartial treatment; see FAIR PLAY, FAIR GAME.

FAIRWATER :
a hydrodynamic structure on a ship designed to direct or deflect the flow of water; being the modern name for the "sail" or CONNING TOWER of a SUBMARINE. Compare CUTWATER, PARAVANE.

FAIRWAY :
an unobstructed passage or area, being the navigable portion of a waterway.

FAIR WEATHER SOLDIER :
on the model of "fair weather friend", being a "summer soldier"; a military servicemember who is impressed by the public display of attractive uniforms and drill formations, who is desirous of the most comfortable and secure posting available, giving more lip-service than actual sweat or blood to their duty assignment; the Armed Forces equivalent of a civilian "sunshine patriot". See PAY DUES, TOY SOLDIER, WHISKEY WARRIOR; compare GOOD PEOPLE, QUIET PROFESSIONAL, WINTER SOLDIER. [nb: "The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW deserves the love and thanks of man and woman." by Thomas Paine in Pennsylvania Journal (19 Dec 1776); read to the Continental Army on the eve of the Battle of Trenton (26 Dec 1776)]

FAIRY DUST :
a magical ingredient that, when sprinkled over reality, has the power to marvelously alter unfavorable conditions; as alleged in fairy tales, this nonexistent ingredient may consist of some rare substances or of a few nonsensical utterings; see PRAYER, WANGLE, CONFETTI, SNOW, SNOWBALL, SMOKE 'n' MIRRORS, MIND CANDY, WET DREAM, CREDIBILITY GAP, ACHILLES HEEL, GOLDEN BB, MAGIC BULLET, SILVER BULLET, DODGE THE BULLET, JOSS STICK, TIGER BALM, TAR BABY, BITTER END, SHIT HIT THE FAN, DEEP SHIT, LAST STAND, DOG'S CHANCE, CHINAMAN'S CHANCE, FOXHOLE CONVERSION, ARMY CHRISTIAN, RUBE GOLDBERG, VULCANIZE, MOJO, VOODOO, HOODOO, ABRACADABRA.

FAIT ACCOMPLI / FAITS ACCOMPLIS :
an accomplished fact, a thing already done ["a single completed action, all in one place, all in one day" by Nicholas Boileau (1674)]; see CARTE BLANCHE, HORS DE COMBAT, QUARTER, MERCY.

FAITH :
nickname for Lai Xa (geo: 21 04 01N 105 43 23E; UTM: 48QWJ75102953), site of major NVN prison camp for captive allied population; also known as Don Hoi. Dates US POWs present: 14 Jun 70 to 24 Nov 70. This was a PAVN radio communications center during the VIETNAM WAR. It is an isolated installation, surrounded by farm land, about 10 miles west of Hanoi, on the north side of National Route 11; which is the main route between Hanoi and Son Tay. PAVN's Enemy Proselyting Department housed a number of American POWs in one section of this installation for a brief period. It is not clear why the PAVN held American POWs here for such a brief time, however one possibility was to protect the PAVN communications center by prisoner hostage, and another is the recognition of the vulnerability of isolated installations in the region west of Hanoi. See POW.

FAKE NEWS :
misinformation that's been created, typically by distortion or narrative interlacement, but sometimes as a deliberate lie, by a publisher or mass media organization, so as to influence their audience, often for the advancement of a sociopolitical agenda; acceptance of this artificial construct is deemed to be an "article of faith" among the coterie of TRUE BELIEVERs and other like-minded converts. See BIG LIE, ECHO CHAMBER, DIRTY LAUNDRY, SPIN, FACTOID, HOOPLA, RUMOR, DISINFORMATION, PROPAGANDA, CHICKEN FEED, CHATTER, FRUIT FLY, WAR CORRESPONDENT, FOURTH ESTATE. [nb: "America is a country of inventors, and the greatest of inventors are the newspapermen." by Alexander Graham Bell]

FAL :
Forces de Armee Laos, the Royal Armed Forces of Laos; see RLA.

FALCON :
see FIGHTING FALCON. Also, the MASCOT of the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA); compare GOAT, MULE.

FALL :
the part of the rope of a tackle to which the power is applied in hoisting, being the "running end"; see ROPE, LINE, BLOCK, TACKLE, FAIRLEAD, CRAB, WHIP, PARBUCKLE, BOOM. Also, the flap opening at the front of some types of men's trousers [eg: breeches]; also called "fall front"; compare FLY, CODPIECE; see BIB, LOINCLOTH. [nb: because the legs of breeches- or kilt-wearing Scottish mercenaries were exposed and bare, not covered by trousers, they were called "red-shanks" from their weathered appearance]

FALLACIES :
see FALLACY OF ARGUMENTUM AD VERECUNDIAM, FALLACY OF ARGUMENTUM BACULINUM, FALLACY OF CONSENSUS GENTIUM, FALLACY OF TU QUOQUE, AD HOMINEM, PATHETIC FALLACY, BY ASSOCIATION, GAMBLER'S FALLACY, ZERO-SUM, LAW OF AVERAGES, OCCAM'S RAZOR, LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, PARADIGM SHIFT, PRINCIPLE OF LEAST FORCE, LEAST RESISTANCE, RUN IT UP THE FLAGPOLE, SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT, WIGGLE ROOM, OFF THE RESERVATION, OUTSIDE THE WIRE, OUTSIDE THE BOX. [v: inferential types of informal, semiformal, or quasi-formal fallacies]

FALLACY OF ARGUMENTUM AD VERECUNDIAM :
an argument that's defective in its logic, positing that an idea is accepted on the basis of an appeal to authority or tradition and/or an appeal to a respected or venerated person; such as "This plan will succeed because our commander is famous." [v: placebo effect]. Derived from "argument to authority or to veneration" (freely translated as an appeal to leaders or institutions, customs or reverence), this is a form of the 'fallacy of ignoratio elenchi', which are arguments that are irrelevant. [v: inferential types of informal, semiformal, or quasi-formal fallacies]

FALLACY OF ARGUMENTUM BACULINUM :
an argument that's defective in its logic, positing that an idea is accepted on the basis of threat or force; such as "You'll accept these terms or we'll overpower you." [v: passive resistance]. Derived from "argument according to the stick" (freely translated as persuaded by means of the rod), this is an irrational proposition, like fallacies of irrelevant emotional appeal (eg: argumentum ad hominem), that elicits equally unreasonable responses, such as fear, anger, and reciprocal hostility, making the situation obdurate or intractable. [v: inferential types of informal, semiformal, or quasi-formal fallacies]

FALLACY OF CONSENSUS GENTIUM :
an argument that's defective in its logic, positing that an idea is true on the basis that it is universally held by all men and/or that the majority of people believe it; such as "History is reasonable because men are rational." [v: cogito ergo sum]. Derived from "unanimity of the nations" (freely translated as "widespread agreement"), this is a form of the 'fallacy of ignoratio elenchi', which, together with the 'fallacy of argumentum ad populum' and the 'pragmatic fallacy', are all arguments that are irrelevant. [v: inferential types of informal, semiformal, or quasi-formal fallacies]

FALLACY OF TU QUOQUE :
an argument that's defective in its logic, positing that an idea is accepted on the basis of commonality; such as "You did it too." [v: original sin]. Derived from "you also", this is a form of the "fallacy of inconsistency", arguing from inconsistent premises or toward inconsistent conclusions, wherein two wrongs do not make a right. See EQUAL PROTECTION, WAR CRIMES TRIAL, IMT, IMTFE, UNWCC, ATROCITY, HOLOCAUST, RETALIATION, SPOILS OF WAR, HAGUE TRIBUNAL, LAWS OF WAR, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE). [v: inferential types of informal, semiformal, or quasi-formal fallacies]

FALLEN SOLDIER'S CROSS / FALLEN SOLDIER'S BATTLE CROSS :
see SOLDIER'S CROSS.

FALL GUY :
the person blamed for a mistake or misdeed, and rightfully or wrongfully designated to accept the punishment; a dupe, gudgeon, or a SCAPEGOAT ["Azazel"], who's also known as a "patsy", chump, "sacrificial lamb", or "whipping boy". See CAT'S-PAW, CAT AND MOUSE, SANDBAG, HIRED GUN, BUBBA EFFECT, HACK, GOAT. [v: Palamedes] [nb: "Unhappy is he whose misfortunes make him infamous." paraphrase of Lucius Accius]

FALL-IN / FALL-OUT :
to fall into or out of FORMATION; the military command for assemble and dismissed. See MUSTER.

FALL ON DEAF EARS / TURN A DEAF EAR :
a catch-phrase signifying something that's being deliberately ignored, as that which meets with no response; To go unheeded or unacknowledged. This expression derives from God's refusal to respond to the pleas of the wicked ["When distress and anguish cometh then shall they call upon Me but I will not answer; then they shall seek Me but they shall not find Me."], where the wicked man is shown praying to deaf ears ["And when he prays, no one hears."] ... it's like an undeliverable DEAD LETTER that goes unread and unacknowledged, regardless of its import. Compare DEADLOCK, BRINKMANSHIP, MEXICAN STANDOFF, SIAMESE INSURANCE; see DEAD HORSE, HIDEBOUND, BRASS EAR, REASSURANCE, ARMY CHRISTIAN, FOXHOLE CONVERSION, PRAYER. [cf: dialogue of the deaf (stalemate, standstill, impasse); v: vox clamantis in deserto (Latin: a voice crying in the wilderness)]

FALLOUT :
the settling to the ground of airborne particles ejected into the atmosphere by explosions or other propulsions, especially from atomic or nuclear blasts; also spelled "fall-out"; compare RAINOUT, DIRTY RAIN; see NUKE, EMP, BOMB, ZERO POINT, GROUND ZERO, WMD, CBR, SCRAM, CONTAINMENT, CHIRPER, BANG READER, NEST. Also, the descending radioactive particles themselves; such ejecta or particulate (eg: strontium-90, potassium-40, carbon-14, and iodine-131) can contaminate food sources, pollute water supplies, and cause disease (eg: radiation sickness, leukemia, skin or bone cancer, and genetic damage); see DRAGON'S BREATH, DRAGON SHIT. Also, a consequence or incidental effect, an outcome, outgrowth, upshot, offshoot, aftereffect, side-effect, aftermath, or by-product; see LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES.

FALLOUT SHELTER :
(forthcoming); HIDE, SAFE ROOM, BOMB SHELTER, ELEPHANT HUT, BUNKER, BLOCKHOUSE [v: Anderson shelter, Morrison shelter; cf: Svalbard "Doomsday" Global Vault in Spitsbergen] [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

FALSE FLAG :
to decoy or deceive, as by misdirection, DISINFORMATION, GHOST UNITs, artificial movements, PHANTOM OPERATIONS, DECEPTION or misrepresentation. See RED HERRING, TROJAN HORSE, STALKING HORSE, DARK HORSE, CAT'S-PAW, CUTOUT, DECOY, CAMO, WHITE FLAG, RED FLAG, BLACK FLAG, SHOW THE FLAG, PROPAGANDA, BIG LIE, HOOPLA, SPIN, RUMOR, CONTROLLED INFORMATION, WHITE PROPAGANDA, TRUTH. [v: subreption, obreption] [nb: the neologism "pollaganda" / "polloganda" (poll + propaganda) has been coined to identify the representation of biased samples, slanted surveys, special pleading arguments, and ex-parte news depicted as authentic or authoritative; cf: "polingo" as a neologism for political lingo] [v: Flag Terms]

FALSE INSERTION :
a heliborne technique for small unit operations of multiple touch-downs to deceive enemy observers on the exact location of the dispatched team. See SHELL GAME, TRAIL WATCHER, FLIP-FLOP, CLZ. [nb: despite conceptual similarity, this should not be confused with "prick teaser" or "coitus interruptus"!]

FALSE LEAD :
see IF THERE'S ONE.

FALSE NEWS :
see FAKE NEWS.

FAM :
Fighting Age Male, being the abbreviation for someone in the indigenous population whose age or infirmity does not disqualify them to perform martial service; given the dedication of devout adherents to authoritative directives, and the exploitation of children or impaired persons to advance their Cause, such a PROFILE may thwart its predictive intent.

FAMILISM :
the subordination of the personal interests and prerogatives of an individual to the values and obligations of the family unit; this minor group of related individuals constitutes the smallest social structure (below the band and tribe, whether patri- or matriarchal), and was the foundation for social order (including religious doctrine and military caste) among pastoral and agrarian peoples, but has since been displaced (if not abrogated) by technological fragmentation in the industrial age. See TEAM, FIRE TEAM, SQUAD, CHALK, STACK, A TEAM, SCOUT TEAM, RT, LRP / LRRP, LRSD, MTT, COMBAT TEAM. [v: kith and kin]

FANATIC :
see TRUE BELIEVER, TERRORIST. [nb: "Fanaticism is described as redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim." by George Santayana; "Fanaticism consists of redoubling your effort when your initial effort was incapable of accomplishing your goal ... it's not unlike insanity, except that you're willing to kill innocent people to prove your point." anonymous; "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." by Winston L.S. Churchill]

FANFARE :
a towed noisemaker, that's capable of simulating a torpedo and other decoys, which is used to distract or confuse an enemy SUBMARINE so it will disclose its position or intention, inviting its own destruction; compare FISH, MINE, MUSIC, NOISE. Also, any ostentatious display or elaborate flourish; see BUGLE CALL, TATTOO, SALUTE, RUFFLES 'n' FLOURISHES, MUSIC.

FANG :
to scold, rebuke, upbraid, censure, reproach, chastise, disparage, denounce, or vehemently criticize; to speak or write ill of someone or something, as "That fanging burst his dream bubble!" or "He got fanged and is still spotted with toothmarks!"; compare CALL ON THE CARPET, VERBUM SAP, BROWBEAT, BLISTER, KICK ASS, NASTY-GRAM, FLAME, HAWK, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, GIG, RIOT ACT; see BAYONET SHEET, BACK CHANNEL. Also, slang for teeth; also called PEARLY WHITES, "chompers", "champers", "choppers", and "snaggles"; see FANG MECHANIC.

FANG MECHANIC :
informal slang for a military dentist, usually ham-handed and slipshod; from the rotation of new graduates who are in service only long enough to repay their educational obligations; also called TOOTH FAIRY. See PEARLY WHITES. [nb: during WWII, dentists not only repaired teeth but also made prosthetic eyes and polished the objective lens on submarine periscopes]

FANION :
a small flag, originally carried by military brigades, used as a positional marker by soldiers. [v: Flag Terms]

FANJET :
see TURBOFAN.

FANK TRAINING COMMAND :
a combined advisory training program for the Forces Armees Nationale Khmer, or Forces Armee Nationes Khmeres, which was inaugurated in April 1970 by DET B-36, 5th SFGA, for the training of a new Cambodian army at three sites in Vietnam. When SPECIAL FORCES departed Vietnam in March 1971, the training cadre was redesignated as the U.S. Army Individual Training Group (FANK-UITG); in May 1972 the program was redesignated FANK TRAINING COMMAND, and finally in December 1972 as the Field Training Command. JUNGLE EXPERTs from Australia and New Zealand also served as instructors. When the program concluded at the end of January 1973, they had trained eighty-six light infantry and marine fusilier battalions for the Khmer Republic.

FANTAIL :
the open area near a vessel's STERN, also called the afterdeck, may have bulwarks; see TAFFRAIL, TRANSOM, DECK.

FAN-TAN :
a Chinese gambling game wherein bets are placed on the sequencing of an unknown quantity, represented by playing cards or other counting tokens (eg: coins, dice, dominoes), into groups factored by a lucky number ... being the number '4' in the Orient and the number '7' in the Occident; because the name of this game literally means "repeated divisions", winning is resolved by the remainders, if any. A card game of the same name (also called "Parliament"), wherein participants play sequences in the same suit as the lucky number ('4' in the Orient and '7' in the Occident), with the winner being the player who first runs out of cards. In each case, bets are placed on what the remainder will be after the counting off. Compare LIAR'S DICE, BRAG; see DICE, DOMINO, PLAYING CARDS, WAR GAMES, PLAY THE GAME.

FANY :
(fannie) First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, a volunteer British women's auxiliary during WWII, which also served as a COVER assignment (LEGEND) for female SOE agents; together with the British Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), these organizations persuaded Americans to adopt similar staffs. See OSS, SKIRT.

FARADAY POUCH :
a mesh-lined bag or similar receptacle used for concealing small articles from disclosure during inspection by electronic scanning; compare BLACK BAG, DIPLOMATIC POUCH, KIT.

FAREWELL ADDRESS :
see VALEDICTION.

FARK :
Royal Cambodian Armed Forces; see KHMER SEREI, KKK.

THE FARM :
the post-WWII training center at Camp Perry Virginia that's used for teaching all essential TRADECRAFT to Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) field operatives; compare COUNTRY CLUB, SHANGRI-LA, FINISHING SCHOOL, THE GARAGE, THE PICKLE FACTORY, HOUSE OF SPOOKS.

FARMGATE :
advisory project of USAF Detachment 2A from the 440th Combat Crew Training Squadron, with the mission to advise, train, and support the Republic of Vietnam Air Force counterinsurgency operations, from 13 October 1961, based at Bien Hoa; also spelled "Farm Gate". See AIR COMMANDO, JUNGLE JIM, INTRUDER, SANDBAG, DIRTY THIRTY, BLOB.

FARNSWORTH :
nickname for Dao Tru, located 18 miles southwest of Hanoi, site of major NVN prison camp for captive allied population; also known as D-1. Dates US POWs present: Aug 68 to Nov 70. This camp was established when 28 US POWs captured outside North Vietnam were moved to this location. In subsequent years, several more groups of POWs captured outside of North Vietnam, were brought to this detention installation. In a reaction to the SON TAY rescue effort, the U.S. POW population at FARNSWORTH was transferred to the CITADEL / PLANTATION camp. See POW.

FARP :
Forward Air/Area Refueling Point, also Forward Arming and Refueling Point; see BLIVET, BLADDER, POD, POL, PETROL, HOT-FUELING, TOP-OFF, AMMO, MOBI-MAT.

FART :
a vulgarity for an accumulation of intestinal gas that's expelled through the anus; also known as "flatus" or "sneaker", to "break wind" or to "pass gas". [nb: sexual excitation aroused by flatus (eproctophilia)]

FART IN THE WIND / FART INTO THE WIND :
see WHISTLE IN THE WIND, TILT AT WINDMILLS.

FART SACK :
slang for a sleeping bag; also called "mummy bag", bedroll, or sougan / soogan (a bedroll improvised from a quilt wrapped in a tarp). See BIVY, HAMMOCK, SHAKEDOWN, FLEABAG, SLOP, RUBBER LADY, RACK, BERTH, BILLET. [v: bolster, futon, pallet, paillasse/palliasse, swag, tick, mat, pad, cushion] [nb: there were rarely enough BODY BAGs when needed, so corpses were often wrapped and tied into ground-sheets, PONCHOs, PONCHO LINERs, sleeping bags (FART SACK), or even TARPs and SHELTER-HALves as improvised winding sheets (ie: SHROUD) for removal from the field]

FARTS 'n' DARTS :
rhyming slang for the clouds and lightning decoration on the visor of service caps worn by U.S. Air Force flag and senior grade officers denoting status, and emblematic of an honorary garland or crown; also known as SCRAMBLED-EGGS or SPAGHETTI. See BRASS HAT, BILLED CAP, BAY, HEADGEAR.

FAS :
U.S. Air Force designation for a Fighter-Attack Squadron.

FASHION SHOW :
a form of harassment or punishment at military training facilities wherein the student dons, in rapid succession as directed for inspection, each of his complete uniforms, fatigue or dress, summer or winter, including field gear. Properly called a 'clothing formation', such a headlong PARADE is often followed by a meticulous inspection of the student's quarters (QTRS), which usually demoralizes and frustrates the trainee further. Although it seems (at the time) to be a circus for bestowing demerits, the objective of this ordeal is to lard the student with petty stress to ascertain the level of his determination and resourcefulness. See ADY, GIG, TURD, SHIT LIST, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, BOX THE COMPASS, DROP, FRONT LEANING REST, AIRMAN ALIGNMENT TOOL, BLANKET PARTY, SQUEEZE.

FASTENER :
to attach or connect, as by a button or snap, clasp or hook, VELCRO or ZIP / ZIPPER, as on clothing or pouches; see CLIP, U-WIRE HOOKS. Also, to fix or seize securely, as by lock or bolt on cabinetry or portals. Also, informal name for the devices that cover the mounting prongs that attach the insignia to the uniform, holding the two parts together, which are variously sized, and are otherwise called "clip fastener", "clutch fastener", "clutch back fastener", "clutch grip fastener", "pinch fastener", "butterfly fastener", or "dammits"; see BADGE, TRASH, WINGS, CREST, GONG, FRUIT SALAD, BLOODING.

FAST MOVER :
any high-speed jet-propelled fighter aircraft, such as the F-4 PHANTOM, by contrast with any propeller or prop-jet attack aircraft known as a SLOW MOVER, or with any multi-engined cargo or bomber airplane known as a HEAVY; see JET JOCKEY, BLOWER, JUICE, BUSTER, AFTERBURNER, SONIC BOOM, MACH. [nb: Vietnamese term: Phi Co Phan Luc] Also, any successfully talented or aggressively ambitious MIL-PERS, who's also called "fast burner"; see BOOMER, HARD CHARGER, SWEAT HOG, SUPER-TROOPER, HOT DOG, HOT SHOT, FIGJAM, GOLDEN BOY, UP OR OUT, BARREL-ASS, BALLS TO THE WALL, DEEP DIP.

FAST PACK :
Fuel Armament Storage Tank Pack, being a smoothly curved conformable tank that is fitted to the upper side(s) of the EAGLE / STRIKE EAGLE (F-15) or FIGHTING FALCON (F-16) FUSELAGE to permit it to carry extra fuel and equipment without incurring a significant aerodynamic drag penalty.

FAST TRACK :
the career modality for ambitious and aggressive TICKET-PUNCHERs and RING-KNOCKERs who are privileged or successful enough to be consistently promoted "above the zone"; see FAST MOVER, HARD CHARGER, SWEAT HOG, SUPER-TROOPER, HOT DOG, HOT SHOT, BOY WONDER, GOLDEN BOY, UP OR OUT, BALLS TO THE WALL, FIRE IN THE BELLY, KHAKI MAFIA, MIL-PERS.

FAT :
Field Advisory Training division; see CA, ADV. Also, a positive informal response confirming status as good, capable, satisfied, ready, replete, needing nothing, that was often expressed as "fat and happy" or "fat, dumb, and happy"; sometimes spelled "phat", which was not an acronym ... later slang was "solid" or "tight"; see GOOD TO GO, COMBAT LOADED, LOADOUT, MISSION READY, SADDLE-UP, HOOPLA, MOVE OUT, BATTAILOUS.

FAT ALBERT :
nickname for the C-5A aircraft.

FATAL FLAW :
a potentially deadly defect, whether an oversight in plans or a deficiency in operations, as derived from the gapped join or overlap in a knight's armor-plate; see ACHILLES HEEL, CHINK; compare BULLETPROOF, VULCANIZE.

FATAL FUNNEL :
being an "area of vulnerability" that constricts movement, maneuver, or fire; also known as "bottleneck"; see CHOKE POINT, PASSAGEWAY, STRONGPOINT, KEY TERRAIN.

FAT 'n' HAPPY :
also represented as "fat, dumb, and happy"; see FAT.

FATE :
that which unavoidably befalls a person, as their lot in life; that universal prescription which ultimately decrees everyone's fortune; the inevitable order or outcome of everything, as by a predetermined destiny; see IN THE MOUTH OF THE CAT, HEAD IN THE LION'S MOUTH, QUICK OR DEAD, UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE, LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, LAW OF AVERAGES, GAMBLER'S FALLACY, JOSS STICK, CHANCE, LUCKY. [v: fortune, destiny, joss, karma, kismet, moira, predestination, weird; che sarà sarà ("what will be, will be"); que sera, sera ("whatever will be, will be"); cf: appointment in Samarra] [v: alea jacta est (Latin: the die is cast)] [nb: "You only live twice -- once when you are born, once when you look death in the face." by Ian Fleming (1964)]

FATHER KNOWS BEST :
a catch-phrase for paternalistic authoritarianism, especially the benign direction of an omnipotent overlord; the proper exercise of unit leadership (LDR) by example (COMMAND PRESENCE) and interpretation (JUDGMENT CALL) of the COMMANDER (OLD MAN or SKIPPER). This catch-phrase evokes the situation comedy series that was broadcast on radio (25 August 1949 until 25 March 1954) and on television (3 October 1954 until 17 September 1960), wherein the father of the dramatized family was tolerated, manipulated, deceived, and ignored in the best American tradition of sabotaging the status quo for the benefit of the underdog ... a theme so hackneyed that it's become commonplace. See CLIENT STATE, PROTECTORATE, FLAG OF PROTECTION, GARRISON STATE, NATION BUILDING, BIG BROTHER, NANNY STATE, RUGGED INDIVIDUALISM, IRON FIST IN A VELVET GLOVE, VIOLENCE. [nb: "Keep It in the Family" (26 May 1954) on Ford Television Theatre was the TV series pilot; select episodes were re-run during 1960-3] [nb: the idealized Anderson house in the "Father Knows Best" series appeared in "I Dream of Jeannie", "Bewitched", "Dennis the Menace", and several other TV programs; it was originally built in 1941 for a sequence of "Blondie" movies]

FATHOM :
a nautical unit of length equal to 6 feet (1.8 m), as derived from "span of arms" or embrace; see DEMONS, CABLE, SHOT, NAUTICAL MILE, KNOT, KLICK. Also, to measure depth by means of a sounding line; to sound. Also, to penetrate to the truth, to comprehend or understand; see TWIG. [nb: 12 inches = 1 foot, 3 feet = 1 yard, 6 feet / 2 yards = 1 fathom, 16.5 feet = 1 rod (aka: pole or perch), 66 feet / 4 rods = 1 chain (90 feet / 15 fathoms = 1 anchor chain), 10 chains / 660 feet (1/8 statute mile) = 1 furlong, 120 fathoms / 720 feet = 1 land cable, 101 fathoms / 606 feet (1/10 nautical mile) = 1 cable, 3 statute miles = 1 land league, 3 nautical miles = 1 sea league / shot] [nb: a "geographic mile" is the length of a minute of longitude on the equator]

FATIGUE :
necessary work that must be performed regularly or frequently, such as KP, POLICE CALL, LATRINE or BARRACKs cleaning, hence is seemingly never finished; also known as "fatigue duty"; see GI PARTY, SWEAT, SCRUB, ASSHOLES 'n' ELBOWS, SQUARED AWAY, SHIPSHAPE, HOUSECLEANING, SOS, OLD HAT. Also, an individual's recurrent work or assignment; see EVOLUTION, DUTY, DUTY ROSTER, WATCH BILL.

FATIGUE JACKET :
the shirt or blouse that was worn with pants or trousers to form the work uniform known as FATIGUES; not to be confused with the lightweight coat worn over this shirt that was known as a FIELD JACKET; both of which bore insignia of RANK, unit PATCHes, name tapes, BOLO badges and Q-TABs.

FATIGUES :
standard two-piece work/combat uniform, green in color; informally known as "battle fatigues", and called UTILITIES by Marines. The Vietnam-era saw many uniform changes, from button-fly to zipper, from side-pockets to none and back to cargo pockets again, from tucked shirt to four-pocket untucked BLOUSE, from rugged herringbone twill to tropical weight plain weave, from solid to pattern cloth. Sometimes called "jungle bags", "fattiguus" or "fatikees"; these were the Army equivalent of Naval DUNGAREES. See DRESS. [nb: the first summer-weight uniform was issued in 1883 as brown canvas FATIGUES, but were changed in 1898 for the SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR to a lighter-weight cotton KHAKI twill, in imitation of earlier British usage]

FAT MAN :
CODENAME of the A-BOMB dropped over Nagasaki (the primary target of Kohara was obscured by clouds) on 9 August 1945; see MANHATTAN PROJECT, BIKINI, ENIWETOK, FALLOUT, NUKE, OVERKILL, BIGGER BANG FOR THE BUCK, CBR.

FAUX AMMO :
see SIM-AMMO.

FAV :
Fast Attack Vehicle, being a small, lightweight, skeletonized vehicle transporting 2-5 soldiers with weapons and gear for surveillance and raids in desert or tundra regions; this is the military version of the All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) as derived from the "dune buggy", and its MULE predecessor, also known as Light Surveillance Vehicle (LSV). Compare CHAPARRAL, GAMMA GOAT. Also, acronym for Fully Armored Vehicle, which gives relative protection against small arms; as distinguished from thin-skinned SOFT TARGET vehicles; see UP-ARMOR, HARDEN.

FAVORITISM :
see SPOILS, SPOILS OF WAR, CASTE, RING-KNOCKER, KHAKI MAFIA, BOY'S CLUB, LEGACY, CAKE-EATER, POWER ELITE, TICKET-PUNCHER, UNTOUCHABLE, MILICRAT.

FBI :
seal of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation
FBI
(f-b-i) Federal Bureau of Investigation; reorganized from the corrupt and incompetent Federal Office of Investigation (1908) into the Division of Investigation (1933), then renamed FBI in 1935 as a subdivision of the Department of Justice; also called "G-Men", "Feds", "Feebs", "Suits", "Gumshoes", "Shoes", "Fumbling Bumbling Incompetents", "Fart Barf and Itch", "Fools Becoming Idiots", "Feeble Bureau of Infestation", "Federal Bureau of Ignorance", "Federal Blackmail Institute", "Fabulously Boring Interlopers", "Foiled By Intelligence", "Flashy Bunch of Idiots", and so forth. The FBI is charged with the enforcement of federal statutes, including espionage, sabotage, kidnapping, extortion, bank robbery, civil rights violations, interstate transportation of stolen property, interstate gambling violations, and fraud against the government. The FBI has jurisdiction on federal installations, and performs background checks for security clearances; although the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center is a separate facility, the FBI Academy (sometimes called CLUB FED) is colocated with the Marine installation at Quantico Virginia. The post-9/11 2001 enlargement of the FBI and its expansion into ANTI-TERRORISM has earned them the designation of the "Grand Army of Northern Virginia" as a deliberate parody of General Lee's confederate troops by operational MIL-PERS who must cooperate with them in the field. The motto of the FBI, taken from its initials, is: Fidelity Bravery Integrity. See POLICE; compare DEA, REVENUER, DIS, DHS, CIA.

FBIS :
Foreign Broadcast Information Service

THE F-BOMB :
alludes to the rude introduction of a solecism into the polite society of mixed company; being a gross impropriety uttered in an inconsiderate manner ... as "When that knuckle-dragger dropped The F-Bomb into his war story, the general's wife aspirated the olive in her martini!" ... being a heedless usage (more aggressive than just the F-word) that's not unlike dropping a turd into the punch bowl! See FUCK, THE FISH CHEER, FUCKED-UP, CLUSTER FUCK. [nb: in his renown 1948 novel, The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer coined the word "fug" as a substitute for the then socially offensive vulgarity which is now commonplace] [nb: according to the CounterCulture: "Fuck is a bad word but not a bad thing; yet war is a bad thing but not a bad word!"; which extends to: "If I can do it then I can say it; so if I shouldn't do it then there shouldn't be a word for it!" ... so by this fungible illogic, anything can be re-defined into or out of existence]

FC :
Forward Controller; being the air or surface officer who has tactical command of all planes and artillery at the scene of an attack against enemy ground forces.

FCSC :
the Fire Control Systems Coordinator in the Combat Information Center (CIC) aboard ship.

FCSL :
Fire Control Support Line, being a hypothetical line beyond the FLOT or FEBA which ostensibly assures no friendly casualties from mortar, artillery, or air support. See FDC, FO, DANGER CLOSE, CAS, TAC-AIR, NO FLY ZONE.

FDC :
Fire Direction Center, or Fire Direction Control Center (FDCC); also known as "Fire Support Control Center" (FSCC) by USMC. The FDC concept was instituted during WWII to prevent a lack of coordination in combined arms, such as during screen or barrage firing, being a lesson learned from WWI. See FCSL, FIRE MISSION, ARTY.

FDCC :
Fire Direction Control Center; see FDC.

FEAF :
Far East Air Forces, subordinated to Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) during WWII.

FEAR :
a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, or some similar provocation, whether the threat is real or imagined; an anxious or apprehensive condition of trepidation, as derived from "ambush" ... some allege it to be an acronym for: "Fuck Everything And Run!", while others assert its meaning to be: "Face Everything And Recover!" See WHITE-KNUCKLE, KEEP A STIFF UPPER LIP, COLD FEET, CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER, DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF, PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, FORTITUDE, FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT, RISKY-SHIFT EFFECT, TELESCOPING, THOUSAND-YARD STARE, PTSD. [nb: those adjustments, especially the mechanical and technical ones, that are intended to make risky situations safer, only result in making them more complicated and, paradoxically, more hazardous; because order and consistency are abnormal, accidents and mistakes are inherently normal, so risk management is an essential constituent of living] [nb: "Every man is afraid before battle, then his battle cry releases his fear so that he can advance and fight, kill or die as an honorable man." paraphrase of Deon Meyer; "The thing about brave men is that you can trust them; but it's not courage that keeps us alive ... it's fear." paraphrase of Peter Bowen; "A person whose courage lies in daring will meet death. A person whose courage lies in not daring will encounter life. Of the two courses, either may be beneficial or harmful." by Lao-Tzu, Tao Te Ching]

FEAR OF FLYING :
slang reference to the symptomatic "gun-shy" or "fear of exposure" that's entailed by combat action, as when aircrew are afraid of flying into a RED LZ; commonly represented as an acronym (TOAD) for the "take-off and die" syndrome.

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

FEATHER :
a propeller adjusted in pitch (TRIM) so that it will neither pull nor push air (if it must be shut down, the prop will be "feathered" so as not to 'windmill'); to rotate the propeller blades of a stopped engine into the wind so as to reduce its drag; see BLADE STRIKE. Also, in NavSpeak, the wake of white water left by the extended PERISCOPE of a submerged SUBMARINE. Also, a token or talisman, actual or symbolic, of courage or cowardice, victory or defeat, that's also represented by laurel leaves ("laurels"); see BAY, CROWN, CROWN OF WILD OLIVES, PLUME, GONG, TRASH, STREAMER, ATTABOY, BRAVO ZULU, COUNT COUP, BRAGGING RIGHTS, POWER WALL, FEATHERS, WHITE FEATHER, LILY-LIVERED, FRENCH FLU. [cf: warrior practice of adding a feather to his hairdo or headdress for each battle honor]

FEATHER MERCHANT :
anyone not carrying their fair share, their full load, or anyone who exaggerates their workload; as derived from a quantity of feathers appearing to be larger and thus heavier than a regular load. See REMF, DUD, GOLDBRICK, GHOST, REST ON OARS, DODGE THE BULLET, TAP-DANCER, SLACKER, BARRACKS/SEA LAWYER; compare SWEAT HOG.

FEATHERS :
the Class-A or dress uniform worn like a peacock in full plumage, whenever it's necessary to "show the colors"; being any gaudy or ostentatious display. See DRESS, MESS DRESS, ICE-CREAM SUIT, DRESS WHITES, PLUME, WITH BELLS ON, FOOFARAW, FLASH, CONTRAFOIL, PARTY SUIT, WAR PAINT, MUFTI, POWER WALL, PINNING, BRAGGING RIGHTS. [v: glad rags, paillette] [cf: warrior practice of adding a feather to his hairdo or headdress for each battle honor] [nb: "Fine feathers don't make fine birds." by Aesop]

FEBA :
Forward Edge of the Battle Area; a standard term from conventional tactics that's sporadically used to mean FRONT LINE or Forward Line of Troops (FLOT) in a counterinsurgency combat zone, which lacks static lines of defense. See MLR, FCSL, PHASE LINE, WAY POINT, TIED-IN, ANCHOR, REFUSE, OBJECTIVE AREA, DOWN RANGE, SANDBOX, UW, COUNTERINSURGENCY.

FECAL ROSTER :
see SHIT LIST, DUTY ROSTER, WATCH BILL.

FEDERAL FRIDAY :
among Civil Service employees and civilian contractors, an informal closure or unofficial discontinuation that renders each Friday shorter (by several minutes or several hours) than a normal workday; this "cheating the clock" is supposedly done to avoid the crushing traffic jam of exiting workers, and to STEAL A MARCH on a slightly longer weekend, but when everyone does it, then there's no advantage. Although this shirking does not exist in the military, the changing labor laws of the 20th century promoted the idea of "a happy worker is a more productive worker" from the socialist doctrine. Such a "worker's paradise" engendered many protections and benefits, including informality of attire with "casual Fridays" and staff parties in the office or on the job site with"Thank God It's Friday" (TGIF) gatherings, which are sometimes transmuted into "Piss On Everything Tomorrow's Saturday" (POETS) grumble sessions. Compare OFF-DUTY; see THE EAGLE SHITS, GOLDEN SHOWER, SIGG, BELTWAY BANDIT, BELTWAY CLERK, DAC, B TEAM, AUGMENTEE, HIRED GUN, MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, SOG, THE G. [v: federal holidays (moved to nearest weekend)]

FEDERAL STOCK NUMBER :
an inventory number of an item of supply that consists of the 4-digit class code, plus a sequentially assigned 7-digit item number, which is arranged as ####-###-####. Federal Stock Numbers were replaced by National Stock Numbers effective 30 September 1974. See NSN, LOG, QM, SUPPLY.

FEEDBACK :
see STATIC, NOISE, MUSIC, CROSS-TALK, CHATTER, SQUELCH; also see AAR, HOT WASH, COLD WASH, DEBRIEF, BACK BRIEF, BRIEF-BACK.

FEEL AWFUL :
intentional mispronunciation of falafel, a small croquette made with fava-bean flour or ground chick peas, due to the digestive upset experienced by non-native consumers of this foodstuff in the Mid-East; see CAMEL BURGER, CRITTER FRITTER, SLOP, GUT BOMB, WASH, WAD, CHOW, BEANS, RATIONS.

FEET DRY :
expression used by carrier-based PILOTs to indicate when over land for target approach (reciprocal of FEET WET announcement on return flight).

FEET WET :
expression used by PILOTs to indicate they are over water (eg: South China Sea or Gulf of Thailand); most common for aircraft returning to base (RTB) on-board FLATTOP (reciprocal of outward bound announcement of FEET DRY when over land for target approach). See POOPIE SUIT, SPLASH, THE DRINK, SPLASH DOWN, HIGH 'n' DRY.

FEINT :
a movement made in order to deceive an adversary; an attack aimed at some point or place in order to distract attention from the real target. Also, a feigned or assumed appearance; a false show; a pretense or simulation.

FEL :
Free Electron Laser, being LASER light that's produced by electrons moving freely through a magnetic field.

FELLOW TRAVELER :
see FIFTH COLUMN, SYMPATHIZER, RUNNING DOG, INVISIBLE.

FEN :
a monetary unit of currency in the People's Republic of China (PRC), being an aluminum coin equal to one-hundredth part of the YUAN, or a "penny"; and being the tenth part of the JIAO, which would be equivalent to a "dime". See RENMINBI, TAEL, SYCEE, LEGAL TENDER.

FENG SHUI :
the art or practice of creating harmonious arrangements that complement the natural surroundings and enhance the balance of yin and yang, as an expression of Chinese geomancy; literally derived from 'wind and water'. [v: Fortuna / Tyche, Lakshmi, Manat]

FERRULE :
a metal ring, sleeve, or cap encircling the shaft of a pole or staff as reinforcement. Also, a bushing or ring adapter that's been inserted into a tube to ensure a tight fit or to reduce the diameter; see SABOT.

FEST :
acronym for Field Epidemiological Survey Team, being an investigative body seeking to detect and analyze the incidence and prevalence of epidemic diseases in Southeast Asia, conducted by US Army Special Forces MEDICs detached from Walter Reed Army Medical Center; see DOC, CORPSMAN, BONE CUTTER, SAWBONES, CRACKER BOX, BAND-AID, CHOP SHOP, SICK CALL, AID STATION, HOSPITAL, WRAIR, USAMRIID, AFIP, USARIEM, SGO. [cf: Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS, 1951), which studied polio, smallpox, malaria, tuberculosis, etc, as part of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)]

FETCH :
an area where ocean waves are being generated by the wind; see CAT'S-PAW. Also, to move or maneuver nautically; to arrive or reach by water.

FFE :
abbreviation for FIRE FOR EFFECT; which is a FIRE MISSION wherein all indirect ordnance is aimed at the enemy target in continuous firing after first adjusting the POINT OF IMPACT.

FFG :
designates a U.S. Navy guided missile frigate; a type of WARSHIP, which has been derisively cited as "Forever Fucking Gone"; compare CA, CL.

FFIR :
Friendly Force Information Requirements; see CCIR, PIR, IR, MI, INTEL.

FFM :
Flight Facilities Mobile

FFV / FFVN :
Field Force Vietnam, also abbreviated "FForceV" or "FForceVN"; designating corps-level commands headquartered at Nha Trang (IFFV) and at Bien Hoa / Long Binh (IIFFV).

FFZ :
Free Fire Zone (qv); compare RFZ, NFZ, WEAPONS FREE ZONE.

F-HOUR :
the term used to designate the unnamed effective time to mobilize Reserve units, as per a decision announced to the military Departments by the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF). See TIME.

FIBUA :
Fighting In Built-Up Areas; also known as "urban combat", "urban warfare", and "house-to-house fighting". See MOUT, MOUSE HOLE, BREACHER, STACK, CORDON AND KNOCK, HOUSE CALL, HOUSEWARMING, KILL HOUSE.

FICTIONAL CHARACTER :
the prototypical or stereotypical creation of an artist or author that's used to represent social, political, or ethical perspectives in an entertaining context, often comedic, bathetic, or satiric; see GI JOE, SAD SACK, BEETLE BAILEY, BILTMORE OSWALD, MICKEY MOUSE, TUNNEL RAT, ROADRUNNER, SECRET SQUIRREL, POPEYE, STEVE CANYON, SGT FURY, SGT ROCK, GUNGA DIN, BAT MAN, BOY WONDER, CAPTAIN MARVEL, CAPTAIN AMERICA, RAMBO, WONDER WOMAN, MARY POPPINS, WINNIE THE WAC, BLONDIE, "Miss Lace" at MALE CALL, "Jane Bond" at BABY 007, CUTHBERT, "Colonel Blimp" at BLIMP / MOSSBACK, "Tony the Tiger" at LLDB / VNSF, "Eugene the Jeep" at JEEP, "Alice the Goon" at GOONEY BIRD, "Puff the Magic Dragon" at PUFF / DRAGON SHIP, MR. CLEAN, DARTH VADER, DOCTOR NO, [Dr.] STRANGELOVE, HAGAR, HUSH-A-BOOM, CHICKENMAN, FREDDIE THE FREELOADER, RUBE GOLDBERG, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, MIND CANDY, IN LIKE FLYNN, WET DREAM, CARICATURE, MOCK-HEROIC, THE NINE WORTHIES, WHITE PROPAGANDA, MURPHY's LAW; compare JOURNAL, YANK, STARS AND STRIPES, OVERSEXED WEEKLY. [cf: fictitious] [v: Colonel Philip G. Cochran, commander of 1st Air Commando Force, was the model for "Flip Corkin" in Milton Caniff's "Terry and the Pirates" comic strip] [nb: "The Yellow Kid" (1896) first comic book] [nb: "The one person who has more illusions than the dreamer is the man of action." by Oscar Wilde (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills)]

FID :
abbreviation for Foreign Internal Defense, being one of the missions of SPECIAL FORCES or SPECIAL OPERATIONS; see UW, DA, PSYOPS, CA, SF, SOF.

FIDDLER'S GREEN :
the site of a legendary afterlife where mirth is perpetual, drink is copious, music is endless, and dancing never tires; an Irish utopia beloved by both sailors and cavalrymen. Sailors regard it as the place where grog and tobacco are ever renewed, "dwelling beyond the realm of his Satanic majesty"; and cavalrymen regard it as the stopover on the road to Hell, where they are free to return as soon as their canteen is emptied. This reference is used to memorialize the deceased as well as to celebrate the attainment of "a true and happy home"; it's been used to identify a Fire Support Base (FSB) of 2/11 ACR in IIICTZ/MR3 during the VIETNAM WAR, a USMC Forward Operations Base (FOB) in the Helmand River Valley of Afghanistan, the U.S. Navy's EM club in Sasebo Japan (1952-1976), a pub of 1/91 CAV in Schweinfurt Germany, the bar at the Leaders Club at Fort Knox Kentucky, and the informal bar at the Officer's Open Mess at Fort Sill Oklahoma. Featured as a sanctuary in several of Robert A. Heinlein's novels, an actual pub called FIDDLER'S GREEN in Wharton New Jersey, owned by veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), was established to offer comrades a place of refuge and solace. See HAPPY VALLEY, VALHALLA, THE BIG PX IN THE SKY.

FIDELITY :
a strict observance of, and steadfast adherence to one's promises or duties; loyalty or faithfulness; see KEEP THE FAITH, SEMPER FI, TRUE BLUE, DUTY, CREED, LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN, ALLEGIANT, BRASS-COLLAR, PATRIOT, TRADITION. Also, adherence to fact or detail; accuracy or exactness in all things.

FIDO :
acronym for Fog Intensive Dispersal Operation, being a network of fuel pipes and petrol burners that was used after 1942 to clear ground fog from fifteen English runways for launching and returning allied aircraft, enabling sorties to continue when weather would otherwise cancel the mission; this system was also installed at select sites in North America, including the Aleutian Islands, until dismantled after WWII (the last in 1959). Also, acronym meaning Fuck It, Drive On; being a GI's sardonic acknowledgement of a problem or mistake, and the requirement to ignore or overcome that delay or defect, so as to continue the mission; also represented as "Fuck It, Shit Happens, Drive On" (FISHDO). Such a situation might entail the accidental injury of some unit members who diminish resources when they must be removed to the rear area as "combat ineffective", or may involve damaged vehicles which reduce effectiveness when they must be abandoned as "battle loss" (DX) property items. Compare XIN LOI, SHIT HAPPENS, ROTS O' RUCK, AMF, HOOAH, OORAH, GUNG-HO, DIEHARD, ROOT HOG OR DIE, WETSU, GUSTO. [nb: various phrases have been used by 20th century combatants for protective disassociation from epiphenomena, including: "There it is.", "It don't mean nuthin'.", "Too damn bad.", "It's all just rock 'n' roll.", "Tough shit.", "It ain't nuthin'.", and "It's just a thing."; the latter appears in "The Rescue" by Joseph Conrad (1920)]

FIE :
Fighter Intercept Exercise, being air combat practice against bombers.

FIELD :
see BUSH, BOONDOCKS / BOONIES, THE J, BACKWASH, INDIAN COUNTRY, DOWN RANGE, SANDBOX, BANJO COUNTRY, THULE, TULE.

FIELD ALLOWANCE :
originally a supplement paid to officers on campaign; later extended to all RANKs serving in the affected area, and variously called "field allotment", "combat pay", "hostile fire pay", "hazardous duty pay", and the like.

FIELD ARMY :
8th Army
8 Army
7th Army
7 Army
an administrative and tactical organization composed of a headquarters, certain organic Army troops, service support troops, a variable number of corps, and a variable number of divisions. See GHQ, DIV, CORPS, ARMY GROUP.

FIELD ARTILLERY / FA :
artillery (ARTY) that's mobile enough to accompany troops in the field. [nb: Vietnamese term: Phao Binh Da Chien] [nb: the marching song of the Field Artillery, "The Caisson Song", or "The Caissons Go Rolling Along", composed by Edmund L. Gruber, was adapted in 1956 by H.W. Arberg, a musical adviser in The Adjutant General's Office, to become the official U.S. Army song: "The Army Goes Rolling Along"]

FIELD BED :
an Americanism for a small bed having an arched canopy erected on short posts; see RACK, SACK, BERTH, HAMMOCK, BIVY, FART SACK, SHAKEDOWN, RUBBER LADY, DUTCH WIFE, SLOP, HOSPITAL CORNER, BILLET. [nb: the word "canopy" originally meant net, as a gauze mosquito barrier; cf: sparver]

FIELD CAP :
flat-topped field cap
field cap
a flat-topped fabric hat, with brim and pull-down back-flap, worn with FATIGUES after WWII, which many early ADVISORs to INDOCHINA wore (even including the protective "pugree" or HAVELOCK associated with the similar French "kepi"); the FIELD CAP was displaced by the baseball-style cap for regular troops during the VIETNAM WAR, and was restored with the change to Battle Dress Uniforms (BDU). It was issued to students in the U.S. Army Ranger School for wear while patrolling before the bush or BOONIE HAT was adopted. The starched and stiffened version worn in GARRISON by PARATROOPERs was sometimes called a "Ridgeway cap", after LTG Matthew Ridgeway, who favored it. The FIELD CAP is also known as a "patrol cap" or "Ranger cap"; see HEADGEAR.

FIELD CARRIER LANDING :
US Navy aviation expression for practice landings on an airstrip that's simulating the size, shape, and markings of an aircraft carrier (CV) RUNWAY, including TAILHOOK arresting wires, as required preparation for an actual qualification landing on a FLATTOP; commonly known as BOUNCE. This exercise is similar to the TOUCH AND GO landing practice of ground-based PILOTs. See TOUCHDOWN, SPLASHDOWN, THRESHOLD, WINDSOCK.

FIELDCRAFT :
a talent or forte, knack or bent, and also known as "repertoire" or "skill-set"; see MIL-CRAFT.

FIELD DAY :
originating as a 18th century phrase for marching in review or mustering for maneuvers, then later designated as a day for military display and exercises, but now widely interpreted as an outdoor occasion for unrestricted amusement or recreational activity, especially sporting contests. See COMPANY PARTY, ARMED FORCES DAY, PARADE. Also, in NavSpeak (including the Marines), a work period devoted to cleaning and tidying; see SHIPSHAPE, SQUARED AWAY, SPIT 'n' POLISH, STRAC.

FIELD EXERCISE / FX :
a military exercise in which mock warfare is staged between two (or more) opposing forces; see EXERCISE.

FIELD EXPEDIENT :
an alternative means or improvised method used to achieve the desired end when the right or proper men or materiel are not available, such as a timely but temporary substitution from available resources; to stopgap, makeshift, jury-rig, ad-lib [ad libitum], postfix, make-do, jerry-build, Afro-engineer. See PLAN B, AD HOC, SCRATCH, BAND-AID, YOU PISS WITH THE DICK YOU GOT, WORK-AROUND, MILITARY MIND, LEAST RESISTANCE, CROSS-DECKING, COMMANDEER, DRUMHEAD. [nb: "Creativity is doing more with less, while invention is doing something with nothing!"; "We've done so much with so little for so long that soon we'll be able to do everything with nothing instantaneously!"]

FIELD EXPEDIENT FACIAL :
euphemism for the physical beating of a captive or the corporal punishment of a prisoner, short of TORTURE; such as "roughing-up" or "third-degree" interrogation. This practice is, of course, illegal but not unknown. See ROPE TRICK, PLAYING THE XYLOPHONE, WATER TORTURE, SQUEEZE, BRAINWASHING, SWEAT, PAIN, TORTURE, CODE OF CONDUCT.

FIELD OF FIRE :
area that a weapon or group of weapons can cover effectively with fire from a given position.

FIELD FIRST :
the "First Sergeant in the Field", or senior NCO out of garrison; usually the senior Drill Sergeant/DI, who directs the unit's training. See COMMAND ELEMENT; compare FIRST SHIRT, TOP KICK.

FIELD GEAR :
that category of clothing and equipment issued to each individual and accounted as unit property by form TA-50; see CANTEEN, FIELD CAP, BUSH HAT, HELMET, HELMET-COVER, PISTOL BELT, LBE, ALICE, LBV, MOLLE, WEB GEAR, DEUCE GEAR, FLAK VEST, PONCHO, PONCHO LINER, FART SACK, SHELTER-HALF, RUCK / RUCKSACK, E-TOOL, BAYONET, COMPRESS, MESS KIT, FULL BATTLE RATTLE, LOADOUT, COMBAT LOADED, BATTLE DRESS. [nb: called "belt order" by AUSSIE and KIWI troops]

FIELD GLASSES :
binoculars designed for use outdoors, usually padded for impact resistance, with a gradated ranging reticle etched in one lens, especially waterproof models; sized from 4X - 10X with a 20mm - 50mm objective lens. Before night vision devices (NVD), lookouts and other observers used "night glasses", which were binoculars with larger lenses at midrange power to increase their light gathering capacity, such that someone could actually see better in low light with binoculars than without them. See PEEPERS, BINOS, GLASS, VIPER, NOD, NVG, CROSS HAIRS, SCREEN, LRSP, HAWKS. [nb: despite terminological similarity, not to be confused with the sturdy tumblers used for imbibing adult beverages in rough terrain during military excursions and campaigns; v: CANTEEN CUP]

FIELD-GRADE :
any intermediate officer RANKed Major (MAJ) to Colonel (LTC, COL), pay-grade ratings O-4 to O-6 in the U.S. Army (USA/AUS), U.S. Air Force (USAF), and U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), or Commander (CDR) to Captain (CAPT), pay-grade ratings O-5 to O-6 in the naval services (USMM, USCG, USN). Compare WO, COMPANY-GRADE, FLAG OFFICER; see RING-KNOCKER, TICKET-PUNCHER, OFFICER, LDR, CHAIN-OF-COMMAND, RATING, GRADE, RANK.

FIELD OF HONOR :
the scene of a battle (combined arms) or of a duel (single combat).

FIELD HOSPITAL / FLD HOSP :
a military organization composed of medical personnel with their medical equipment that establishes a temporary hospital at isolated posts or in the field so as to support ground troops in combat or other military operations; a field hospital operates in support of military actions at Corps level or higher, offering complete acute services. The FIELD HOSPITAL does not normally provide the chronic, convalescent, and rehabilitative care available at a "Medical Center" facility. The FIELD HOSPITAL is known as a "Fleet Hospital" in the Navy and Marines. See SICK CALL, AID STATION, DISPENSARY, MASH, EVAC, CSH, FST, MEDEVAC, CHOP SHOP. [cf: lazaretto]

FIELD HOUSE :
a building housing the dressing and storage facilities for an adjacent athletic field. Also, a building used for indoor athletic events; a sports center, gym or gymnasium. See EXERCISE; compare COCKPIT, BEAR GARDEN. [cf: arena, stadium, amphitheater, circus, hippodrome, velodrome]

FIELD JACKET :
a thigh-length lightweight coat or jacket with four cargo pockets and removable (FISH FUR) liner; introduced during WWII as a practical alternative to the overcoat or greatcoat. Has been re-styled several times since its inception (collar, epaulets, gussets, closures, etc), and is now waterproof; not to be confused with the FATIGUE JACKET. See BATTLE JACKET, DRESS.

FIELD KITCHEN :
the outdoor location where food is prepared for soldiers in the field; a company-sized tented MESS setup near the headquarters (HQ) element of a unit BIVOUACked in the field or on maneuvers. Due to the sanitation requirements for food preparation and garbage disposal, this MESS includes potable water (eg: LISTER BAG, WATER BUFFALO, etc) and LATRINE facilities, with the CHOW LINE typically consisting of MERMITE CONTAINERs filled with prepared foods and insulated dispensers of hot or cold beverages. Compare MESS / MESSHALL, GALLEY, DFAC, CANTEEN, ANNEX.

FIELD MANUAL :
see FM.

FIELD MEDICAL KIT BAG :
see MED BAG; compare FIRST AID KIT, FIELD SURGICAL KIT.

FIELD MEDICAL SCHOOL :
the supplemental training required of Navy medical corpsmen who will serve with Marine Corps units, extending hospital-based medical treatment into field-based first aid practices.

FIELD MESS CHEST :
purportedly a box partitioned for holding a coffee pot and stew pot, frying pan and gridiron, thermoplastic mugs and MESS TRAYs, stainless utensils and CONDIMENTS suitable for serving a squad or section (8-10) of troops in BIVOUAC during WWII; perhaps by adaptation of the OFFICER'S MESS CHEST. It should be noted that the personal two-piece MESS KIT was used in the field, and a FIELD KITCHEN for company-sized or larger units stationed at a fire support base (FSB) or forward operations base (FOB) were equipped like a "chow hall" in GARRISON. Compare CANTEEN, MESS. [cf: chuck box, grub box]

FIELD RATION :
any RATIONS authorized for and issued to troops serving in the field; see BEANS, CHOW.

FIELD REJECT :
any incompetent or malingerer who is returned to a rear area BILLET because they are a liability to themselves and others; a DUD or GOLDBRICK. Contrary to myth, anyone refusing (RING THE BELL) a combat assignment is not rewarded with a safe and secure BOMB-PROOF job; but is either court martialed or discharged for the "good of the service". See GHOST, POGUE, FEATHER MERCHANT, SOS, PUKE, CREEP, YARDBIRD, DUD, TURD, FUCK-UP, DOUCHE BAG, SHIT MAGNET, DODGE THE BULLET, COG, CHAPTER TEN, SECTION EIGHT.

FIELD SANITARY FACILITY :
see LATRINE, HEAD, BLUE CANOE, COMFORT STATION.

FIELD SCARF :
Marine term for a necktie worn with a service uniform; also known as "choke rag", "four-in-hand tie", "windsor tie". Compare NECK SCARF. [v: cravat, ascot, foulard; cf: old school tie]

FIELD STRIP / FIELD-STRIP :
to disassemble a weapon into its major components for general cleaning or maintenance; to take a weapon apart for cleaning or repair, for lubrication or inspection, as to "break it down"; compare DETAIL STRIP. Also, to reduce operational equipment and supplies to their essentials, eliminating all unnecessary parts or elements, accessories or packaging, especially with food and ammunition, as to "break it down"; see LOADOUT ROOM. Also, to tear a cigarette apart and scatter its remains, so as not to leave filters or BUTTs as obvious signs (spoor / pug marks) of passage; this COMBAT ZONE practice was carried into GARRISON, making mandatory POLICE CALLs to cleanup after careless REMFs particularly irksome. [nb: contrary to the torrid imaginations of sex-starved troopers, "field strip" has nothing to do with lascivious exhibitions or lewd dancing in the BOONIES!]

FIELD SURGICAL KIT :
a compact tri-fold canvas pouch containing stainless steel instruments that are used for emergency medical treatment, including a probe, blunt tweezers, needle-nosed tweezers, forceps, hemostat, bent bandage scissors, straight debridement scissors, scalpel handle with replacement blades, suture needles with sterile thread, tourniquet, folding magnifier, and penlight. Compare MED BAG, FIRST AID KIT.

FIELD-TEST :
an Americanism for testing a device or product under various conditions of actual use; the trial of a new product or procedure to determine its efficiency or usefulness in actual performance; also called "field trial".

FIELDWORK :
any temporary FORTIFICATION constructed in the field. [cf: groundwork, spadework] [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

FIFINELLA :
the Fifinella gremlin by Walt
Disney for Women's Air Service Pilots
Fifinella
W.A.S.P.
(forthcoming); the female GREMLIN adopted as a mascot by the Women Air Service Pilots (WASP) from Walt Disney during WWII; see BUG, MURPHY's LAW.

FIFTH COLUMN :
a clandestine group that's organized to a singular purpose, which is not in keeping with the greater interests of the larger society; a group of people (ie: "Fifth Columnists") who act traitorously out of a secret or subversive sympathy with an enemy of their country; also called "fellow traveler". Originally derived from the Spanish CIVIL WAR (1936-9) during which the insurgents had four columns marching on Madrid and a FIFTH COLUMN of supporting SYMPATHIZERs already in the city. See PROTESTOR, NEW MOBE, NCC, BLACK BLOC, BULLSHITVIK, INVISIBLE, YIPPIE, RUNNING DOG, SILVER-TAIL, FRUIT FLY, DISINFORMATION, RUMOR, QUISLING, APOCALYPSE. [v: Myths of the Vietnam War] [v: grievance culture, populism, dual consciousness, relative deprivation theory, J-curve theory, frustration-aggression theory, obstructive dissociative disorder, value-added schema, hooliganism (including lunatic fringe or fanatical riffraff) and other collective aberrant behaviours; cf: scapegoat Atonement]

FIFTH ESTATE :
any well-defined social group or distinct class in society other than the clergy, nobility, middle class (bourgeois), working class (proletariat), or the press; compare FIRST ESTATE, SECOND ESTATE, THIRD ESTATE, FOURTH ESTATE.

5th INF DIV :
see ACE OF DIAMONDS.

5th SFGA :
chrome-plated commemorative 5th
Special Forces Group F-S stiletto from the Vietnam-era
Vietnam-era 5th SFGA stiletto
(forthcoming); see ELECTRIC BUTTERKNIFE, SNEAKY PETE, SNAKE-EATER, BLANKET HEAD, GREEN BERET, SF.

5th SPECIAL FORCES GROUP POLITICAL WARFARE BAND :
see COMBAT BAND.

FIFTY :
informal designation for the 1919 Browning M-2 .5O-caliber machinegun with heavy-barrel (@84#), also known as "Ma Deuce", being a belt-fed, recoil-operated, and air-cooled automatic weapon, 65" long, tripod or pedestal mounted, firing with a "butterfly" TRIGGER from the open-bolt position at a rate of 450-555rpm at a range of 7460 yards. See HEAVY MG, QUAD 50, MG, CREW-SERVED WEAPONS. [nb: the Browning M-3P .5O-caliber machinegun is remotely-controlled and electrically-fired, as designed for use in ground vehicles, watercraft, and aircraft] [nb: in 1983, the MK19-3 40mm grenade machinegun (@72.5#), being a belt-fed, blowback-operated, and air-cooled automatic weapon for delivering decisive firepower against enemy personnel and lightly armored vehicles to an effective range of 2200m, replaced the M-2 heavy machinegun as the primary suppressive weapon in vehicle-mounted combat support operations]

FIFTY-FIRST STATER / 51ST STATER :
facetious reference to any pro-American who verbally defends the policies of the United States, typically being a citizen of a nation (such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Ireland, Puerto Rico, or Israel) whose politics, economics, or culture are compatible, if not aligned, with those practiced in the USA; may be self-deprecatory or malign. See CLIENT STATE, NATION BUILDING, WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS, FOREIGN AFFAIRS, UGLY AMERICAN.

FIGHTER :
see SOLDIER, SAILOR, MARINE, AIRMAN, GI, COMRADE, FUGLEMAN, SUPER-TROOPER, COMBATANT, WARRIOR, WAR FIGHTER, QUIET PROFESSIONAL, STRIKER, MILITIA, IRREGULARS, GUERRILLA, INSURGENT, WEEKEND WARRIOR, VETERAN, WINTER SOLDIER. [cf: barrator; wight] Also, informal reference to interceptor, pursuit, or hunter/killer airplanes; see FAST MOVER, SLOW MOVER, BOMBER, FIE, CHOPPER, TAC-AIR, STRATEGIC BOMBING, BIRD. [v: hunter squadron (jagdstaffel)] [nb: "War is the province of danger, and therefore courage above all things is the first quality of a warrior." by Karl von Clausewitz (1832)]

FIGHTER JOCK :
see JET JOCKEY, PILOT.

U.S. NAVY FIGHTER WEAPONS SCHOOL :
see TOP GUN.

FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE :
(forthcoming); fit to repay danger by danger [Karl von Clausewitz] [nb: "Other methods are, therefore, less costly when they succeed, less dangerous when they fail; but in this is necessarily lodged the condition that they are only opposed to similar ones, that is, that the enemy acts on the same principle; for if the enemy should choose the way of a great decision by arms, our means must on that account be changed against our will, in order to correspond with his. Then all depends on the issue of the act of destruction; but of course it is evident that, ceteris paribus, in this act we must be at a disadvantage in all respects because our views and our means had been directed in part upon other objects, which is not the case with the enemy." by Karl von Clausewitz (1832)]

FIGHTING FALCON :
the General Dynamics/Lockheed F-16 multi-role air defense fighter bomber aircraft; see CRANKED ARROW, FAST PACK, HIGH ALPHA.

FIGHTING HOLE :
see FOXHOLE, DEPUY FOXHOLE, SPIDER HOLE, HASTY TRENCH.

FIGHTING MAD :
used in both the sense of a crazed frenzy or mania and an angry fury or wrath, being either a form of temporary insanity or of calculated rage. In the one sense being a style of brutal combat and in the other being compelled by some transgression to fight savagely; as in a "free-for-all" (without rules or sides), a BATTLE ROYAL (involving two or more combatants), a "donnybrook" (re: Donnybrook Fair), an "amuck" / "amok", a "melee" / "mêlée", a "berserk" / "berserker", a "brawl", a "fracas", a "fray", an "affray", an "imbroglio", a "fight", a RAMPAGE, a CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE or a hard BATTLE. [cf: barratry]

FIGHTING WORDS :
a profane incitement or insulting provocation, as language that arouses rage in an antagonist, adversary, or opponent; see BLOODY SHIRT, TRIGGER TERM, TRAILING HIS COAT, JUST WAR, WAR POWERS ACT, GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY, BIG STICK DIPLOMACY, SABER-RATTLING, HAIR-TRIGGER, HALF-COCKED, GUNPOINT, SILENT INSOLENCE, BATTLE, WAR, ANTEBELLUM, PEACE, APPEASE. [v: casus belli; lese / lèse majesté] [nb: "Mischief begins with words." by Edmund Burke; "A very great part of the mischiefs that vex the world arises from words." by Edmund Burke]

FIGHT LIKE KILKENNY CATS :
to fight until both sides have lost or are destroyed; a PYRRHIC VICTORY. During the Irish rebellion of 1798, Kilkenny was garrisoned by a troop of Hessian soldiers, who amused themselves by tying two cats together by their tails and throwing them across a clothesline to fight. When an officer began approaching, a trooper interrupted the "sport" by cutting off their tails with his sword, allowing the cats to bolt. When the officer noticed the bloody tails, he asked for an explanation, and was told that two cats had been fighting and devoured each other ... all but their tails! See BITTER END, SNOWBALL, BELL THE CAT, TAR BABY, BEARD THE LION.

FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT :
the psycho-physical response of the sympathetic nervous system to a stressful event, preparing the body to fight or flee, to survive injury or exhaustion, associated with the adrenal secretion of epinephrine and characterized by increased heart rate, increased blood flow to the brain and muscles, raised sugar levels, sweaty palms and soles, dilated pupils, and erect hairs; also called "fight-or-flight reaction" or "fight-or-flight response". The primitive reaction of the body to stress is characterized as emotional arousal or the startle reflex, a major component of which is the tensing of the skeletal musculature for FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT. Chronic states of excess tension throughout the skeletal musculature can result in two classes of bodily malfunctions: psychiatric difficulties, such as anxiety states, phobias, and depression; and psychosomatic maladies, such as ulcers, headaches, spastic colon, and elevated blood pressure. See TELESCOPING, DISSOCIATION, OBJECTIFICATION, STRESS OF SOUL, BROKEN-WING SYNDROME, PTSD, BLACKOUT, FLASHBACK, THOUSAND-YARD STARE, FUO, HAPPY FEET, PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, RISKY-SHIFT EFFECT.

FIGJAM :
an Australian acronym meaning Fuck I'm Good – Just Ask Me, which has been borrowed by American COUNTERPARTs associated with ASAS or NZSAS during advisory or SPECIAL OPERATIONS missions; an expression of self-confidence and accomplishment that's typical of highly talented and motivated MIL-PERS. See SWEAT HOG, DEEP DIP, GOLDEN BOY, HARD CHARGER, HOT SHOT, BALLS TO THE WALL, FAST MOVER, BOOMER, SUPER-TROOPER, FUGLEMAN, TOP DOG, BRAGGING RIGHTS.

FIGMO :
acronym literally means "Fuck It, Got My Orders!", or more politely "Finally, I Got My Orders!", being that state of blissful abandon, achieved after receiving transfer orders out of the COMBAT ZONE or away from an unpleasant posting; also known as the "short-timer's disease"; see WAKE-UP, SHORT-TIMER, DEROS, ETS. [nb: when clerks at McGuire AFB went on an escapade of providing counterfeit orders in 1973, the false orders posted on the unit bulletin board were boldly marked with the reverse of the FIGMO acronym: OMGIF ... meaning "Oh My God, I'm Fucked!"] Also, this apocryphal acronym is sometimes used as a dismissive response or retort when implementing unpleasant or unpopular ORDERs, as to brook no resistance when executing one's DUTY; used in a manner to disregard or repudiate inappropriate criticism, and to disassociate the intermediary with the deed; see CQ, SP, CONSTABULARY.

FILE :
in formation, arranged one behind another, front to back; in field operations, also called INDIAN FILE, "Ranger file", or "Conga line". See COLUMN, STACK; compare RANK.

FILE 13 :
slang for the desk or office trash can, with the particular implication of disposing of useless, meaningless, or surplus paperwork; also called "circular file" or "round file". This expression seems to have originated in 1941 with reference to the separation papers assembled for discharging an unsatisfactory soldier (AR 635-200 section 13 Active Duty Enlisted Administrative Separations for Unsatisfactory Performance), with that expulsion filing later extended to the discarding of anything. The USAF has adopted this phrase for the garbage can on-board an aircraft. Compare BURN BAG, DUSTBIN; see GI CAN, BUTT CAN, SNOWFLAKE, PAPER BULLET, RED TAPE. [v: Japanese kuzukago]

FILS :
a monetary unit of currency in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, and Kuwait that's equal to 1/1000 of a DINAR. Also, a monetary unit of currency in the United Arab Emirates that's equal to 1/100 of a DIRHAM. See LEGAL TENDER.

FIN :
any of certain small subsidiary structures on an aircraft that are designed to increase directional stability; also called "vertical stabilizer" and/or "horizontal stabilizer"; see TAB, RUDDER, TAILBOOM, STANCHION. Also, a horizontal winglike appendage to the underwater portion of a HULL, often adjustable, as the planes for controlling the dive of a SUBMARINE, or the fin keel for damping the roll of a surface vessel. Also, slang for one of a pair of paddlelike devices, usually made of rubber, that are worn on the feet as an aid in swimming and underwater diving; imitative of the broad flat limbs or the membranous organs of aquatic animals that are used for steering and propulsion; also called "swim fin" or "flipper". Also, slang for the human hand [ety: phalange]; see DAP, HAND SIGN, HAND, FINGER FOUR. Also, slang for the U.S. five-dollar bill, earlier as "finnup" for a five-pound note, both derived from Yiddish for 'five'; see LEGAL TENDER.

FINAL ENCAMPMENT :
informal reference to the holding area where sick or injured patients who are not expected to survive are given palliative care; also known as the "last bivouac", "terminal ward", or ZERO WARD. Compare ZERO-ZERO WARD, see TRIAGE, MASS CASUALTIES, WALKING GHOST, DOW. [v: lazaretto, hospice, pesthouse, sanatorium, leprosarium]

FINAL SALUTE :
(forthcoming); compare SALUTE, FIRING SQUAD; see NOK, KIA, DOW, PERSONAL EFFECTS, KINFORMING, HUG SQUAD, GHOUL, GRAVES REGISTRATION, BODY-SNATCHER, RECOVERY, LAID BY THE WALL, BODY BAG, MORTUARY AFFAIRS, FUNERAL PACE, PALL, CATAFALQUE, PALLBEARER, NATIONAL CEMETERY, BOX JOB, BONEYARD, GARDEN OF STONES, TOMB.

FINAL SOLUTION :
the extermination of a nation's opposition, especially those racial or ethnic, cultural or religious, disabled or otherwise substandard specimens whose "inferiority" marks them as being incompatible with the homeostatic ideal; as derived from a translation of the Nazi program of annihilation ("endgültige lösung") in the Third Reich, being the ultimate remedy for long-standing sociopolitical conflicts, as has been practiced by every governmental system in the world, at one time or another. See SCHOOL SOLUTION, CONFLICT RESOLUTION, DECENT INTERVAL, ALEXANDRIAN SOLUTION, SHOWDOWN, HOLOCAUST, ATROCITY, GENOCIDE, CULTURE WAR, APOCALYPSE, HOLY WAR, ARMAGEDDON.

FINDING :
a presidential authorization that defines an action, especially covert, which authorizations are not released to the public until declassified. Also, a decision or verdict after judicial inquiry. Compare EXECUTIVE ORDER; see REPORT, WHITE PAPER, ANNEX, PAPER BULLET, RED TAPE, RAPPORTEUR. [v: dossier; cf: bout de papier, aide-memoire] [nb: "If it isn't documented then it doesn't exist!"]

A FINE AND PLEASANT MISERY :
a popular modern expression that's been sardonicly applied to many activities (eg: bicycling in the rain, sailing in a storm, skiing in a blizzard, hunting most of the time) and to some occupations (eg: acting, bartending, pediatrics), but especially to soldiering in the field. Although evocative of "It's a dark and lonely job but somebody has to do it!", this concept implies more than making a virtue out of necessity, but rather espouses the doing of difficult things in the best possible way, as a demonstration of both fortitude and proficiency. However, no matter how inspired or enthusiastic, there comes a time when returning to base is more alluring than the blandishments of continued endurance ... when eating and sleeping well, cleaning up and resupplying become the essential interval for recharging before the next outing. See GUSTO, WATCH MY SMOKE, DIEHARD, ROOT HOG OR DIE, BITE THE BULLET, MANLY ARTS, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, SWEAT HOG, GUNG-HO, WETSU, HARD CHARGER, FIDO, ESPRIT DE CORPS. [nb: "Far better is it to dare to do mighty things, to achieve glorious triumphs, though checkered with failure; than to join the ranks of those poor spirits who neither suffer much nor enjoy much, because they live in that great twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." by Theodore Roosevelt]

FINE PRINT :
the detailed wording of a legal document (eg: contract, lease, sales agreement, insurance policy, or the like) that's often set forth in small type that's densely printed; this catch-phrase from the Vietnam-era describes legalese that typically includes terms and conditions, restrictions and qualifications that could be considered disadvantageous; also called "small print"; see EQUAL PROTECTION, DUE DILIGENCE, DUE PROCESS, ARTICLE 32, UCMJ, MCM, BLUE BOOK, ROCKS 'n' SHOALS, LAWS OF WAR. Also, reference to any excuse or exception that can be discovered in the literature to forgive a failure to comply with the letter of the law, instead of compliance with the spirit of the law; see DOUBLE-O, EYE-CHECK, HAIRY EYEBALL, OUTSIDE THE WIRE, CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, UNODIR, VET, VFR DIRECT, WIGGLE ROOM, MURDER BOARD; compare CACHET, OFF THE RESERVATION, WHEN IN ROME, WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' BADGES, ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR.

FINERY :
fine or showy dress, ornaments, or the like; see MESS DRESS, WITH BELLS ON, CONTRAFOIL, FLASH, FOOFARAW, FEATHERS.

FINESSE :
extreme skill in action; delicacy or subtlety in performance; refinement or discrimination in selection ... that which enables an artifice or stratagem. Also, skill in handling a difficult or highly sensitive situation; adroit and artful management; see JUDGMENT CALL, COMMAND PRESENCE, TACT, GRIN 'n' BEAR IT, SOCIAL GRACES. Also, to avoid or circumvent, as by a subtle compulsion or discreet withdrawal. [v: savoir-faire, circumspection]

THE FINGER :
an obscene gesture of contempt or indignation that's expressed by thrusting the extended middle finger of one's hand toward somebody; a non-verbal HAND SIGN meaning "fuck you", "fuck-off", "to hell with you", "go to hell", "drop dead", and the like. Also known as THE BIRD or the ONE-FINGER SALUTE, "bippie" or "bipper", the "fickle finger of fate" or "the finger of honor" [French: le doigt d'honneur]. Compare A-OK, ITALIAN SALUTE, POLISH SALUTE, HIGH BALL; see CHURNING BUTTER, BOOM-BOOM, SHORT-TIME, SCREW, FUCK, HOOKUP, DIDDLY, ACT OF CONGRESS, TRICK, PASSION RATION.

FINGER FOUR :
an offset-V alignment of aircraft in flight, being a combat formation developed by German aviators and soon adopted by all sides in WWII, wherein the flight leader is at the point of the arrowhead, with each wingman staggered, and the trail making one leg longer; so-called due to its resemblance to the fingertips of the left (or right) hand, also known as "finger-four formation", "fingertip formation", "fingertip" or "parade". Compare V FORMATION, WELDED WING, COMBAT BOX; see MISSING MAN FORMATION, BIRD. [ety: phalanx (soldiers) to phalanges (fingers), not vice versa]

FINGERPRINT :
(forthcoming); an impression (inked or electronic) of the 'friction ridges' on the ventral surface of the terminal joint of each finger, as used for identification or authentication; see BIOMETRICS. Also, identifying trace evidence that enables the enemy to be followed for surveillance or hunting; also called spoor or pug / pug marks; see TRACE, PECKER TRACKS, TRAIL, TRACK, DRAG, BLOOD TRAIL, CASTOFF, BREADCRUMBING, BEAT AROUND THE BUSH, WALK BACK THE CAT.

FINGERSPELLING :
the use of a manual alphabet in silently spelling-out short messages among teammates who are in LINE OF SIGHT with each other; see HAND SIGN.

FINGER WAVE :
a euphemism for the digital rectal examination of the prostate gland, which is a regular part of every adult male's annual physical; see SAILOR'S DISEASE, AGENT ORANGE. Also, slang for the body cavity search for CONTRABAND that's performed on detainees being incarcerated. Also, a euphemism for the ONE-FINGER SALUTE; see THE BIRD, THE FINGER, ITALIAN SALUTE. Also, descriptor for setting waves or curls into hair with fingers dampened by water or lotion. [cf: finger roll, finger-pointing, fingering, fingerfuck]

FINI FLIGHT :
an Air Force pilot's last mission in Vietnam; see WAKE-UP.

FINISHING SCHOOL :
(forthcoming); a perioperational training and replenishment facility near (eg: Tunisia, India, Brazil) the deployment area for the adjustment and acclimation, support and supervision of OSS teams during WWII; compare COUNTRY CLUB, SHANGRI-LA, THE GARAGE, CHARM SCHOOL, COC, ACTA.

FIREARM :
a weapon from which a projectile is discharged by the explosive force of gunpowder; see LOCK 'n' LOAD, BORE, BREECH, GUNLOCK, HAMMER, TRIGGER, BULLET, HARDBALL, DUMDUM, SIM-AMMO, TRACER, CARTRIDGE, CALIBER, AMMO, CLIP, BANDOLEER, MAG, BANANA CLIP, DRUM, LINK AMMO, SIDEARM, PISTOL, TUPPERWARE, JOHN WAYNE RIFLE, GYROJET, SMG, GREASE GUN, TOMMY-GUN, CAR, STONER, RIFLE, BLACK MAGIC, WIDOW MAKER, LONG RIFLE, BAR, LMG, SAW, MG, NUMBER SIXTY, QUAD 50, HEAVY MG, OVER 'n' UNDER, BLOOPER, THUMPER, MGL, SMALL ARMS, CREW-SERVED WEAPONS. [v: Firearms Glossary]

FIREBALLING :
a heavy barrage of artillery (ARTY) fire concentrated upon a single area. Also, the rapid movement of vehicles in CONVOY, with emphasis upon the high speed delivery of transport, as in seige relief or battle reinforcement, rather than safety and security.

FIRE BASE :
see Fire Support Base (FSB), BASE CAMP, BASE; compare Forward Operations Base (FOB), STRONGPOINT.

FIRE BASE HOME :
compare LITTLE AMERICA; see LAND OF THE BIG PX.

FIRE BRIGADE :
a highly mobile light infantry unit employed for rapid response and reinforcement; military application probably analogized from specialized fire departments that are sent to extinguish fires that are getting out of control. See BDE, BCT, STRIKE FORCE, RRF, LIGHT, SMU, SOF. [nb: President Harry S. Truman planned to abolish the Marine Corps after WWII because "the Navy does not need its own army", but the Marines' conduct as a FIRE BRIGADE in the Pusan Perimeter during the KOREAN WAR persuaded him that they should be retained; however, the Supreme Allied Commander Douglas ("El Supremo") MacArthur refused to approve a Presidential Unit Citation for the Marines, saying that "they have enough medals", when every other unit was so recognized]

FIRE CONTROL :
see Weapons Control Status (WCS).

FIRECRACKER :
artillery round (M-449) incorporating many small bomblets which are ejected over a target area, and explode in CBU or BOUNCING BETTY fashion almost simultaneously. The name comes from the fast popping sound (best heard at a distance!). Also, an Americanism for a small explosive charge (such as gunpowder wrapped in paper with a fuse) that's discharged to make noise, especially during a celebration, but also as a (grenade or artillery) SIMULATOR during military training; see PETARD, FIZGIG, FIZZLE.

FIRE DIRECTION CENTER :
see FDC.

FIRE DISCIPLINE :
see GUN CONTROL.

FIREFIGHT :
the exchange of SMALL ARMS fire between opposing elements; a short sharp engagement between small groups of combatants; a skirmish or shootout. See CONTACT, FRONTAL ASSAULT, CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG; compare SPOILING ATTACK, MEETING ENGAGEMENT, BATTLE.

FIRE FINDER :
a counter-mortar and counter-artillery RADAR detection system.

FIREFLY :
an aerial team consisting of one searchlight or arc lamp equipped helicopter operating with two GUNSHIPS, typically flying PERIMETER guard around fire bases (FSB) or BASE CAMPs in Vietnam; also called "Lightning Bug"; see MOONBEAM, MOONSHINE, SMOKY BEAR; compare SNOOPY. Also, a small fixed-wing airplane (BIRD DOG) that could release aerial flares while performing ground observation in the KOREAN WAR; see BASKETBALL, FLARESHIP. Also, operational cover name (CODEWORD) for fighting forest fires throughout the Pacific Northwest that had been caused by incendiary balloons sent from Imperial Japan, a project that was assigned to the TRIPLE NICKEL. Also, slang for a nuisance that attracts attention, so has the potential to get worse if not resolved; as derived from a "lightning bug" or "glowworm" being an irritant or attractant with its own broadcast beacon; see HACK, GADFLY, BAD BOY.

FIRE FOR EFFECT :
after adjusting the POINT OF IMPACT, it's a FIRE MISSION wherein all indirect ordnance is aimed at the enemy target in continuous firing until the mission is accomplished or the firing is shifted to another target; abbreviated "FFE".

FIRE 'n' FORGET :
a technology integrated into many projectiles that enables the munition to track an evading target to its destruction; also called "launch and leave". It's distinguished from projectiles that cannot be adjusted after discharge (eg: BULLET, MORTAR, ARTY), and those that require continuous monitoring (eg: TOW, GLD, LANTIRN) in order to follow the target.

FIREHOUSE :
slang for the boiler room aboard ship; also called "fire room". [nb: not a "fire station" nor a "powerhouse"]

FIRE IN THE BELLY :
an irrepressible desire for success, a burning drive to achieve a goal, an unquenchable thirst for power or glory; this phrase is attributed to Robert Louis Stevenson (1882), and probably derives as a metonymic comparison with stoking a wood- or coal-fired furnace as the source of power for ambition. See FAST TRACK, BALLS TO THE WALL.

FIRE IN THE HOLE :
warning called to comrades when initiating an explosive device, from a breaching shape-charge to a grenade down a tunnel entrance. Originated with the practice of tamping black powder into an auger-hole, and igniting the charge with a lighted spill or spile ... literally, dropping fire in the hole.

FIRE 'n' MANEUVER :
the tactic of one ground element covering the movement of another element with supporting or suppressive SMALL ARMS fire so as to enable an advance on their designated objective; a practice employed by FIRE TEAMs and SQUADs, platoons (PLT) and companies (CO) so as to incur the fewest combat casualties. Also, the practice of relocating after shooting so as to avoid becoming a predictable target when next exposed in observation or fire support; the tactic of changing one's point of discharge so as to advance on the enemy while reducing casualties from return fire; also called HOP 'n' POP or SHOOT 'n' SCOOT. See ZIGZAG, CORKSCREW, SCUTTLE, DASH, BUTTERFLY, CLOVERLEAF, CHECKERBOARD, HOPSCOTCH, BUTTONHOOK, LEAP FROG, WAY POINT, COMBAT SPREAD, STACK. [nb: "if your shooting stance is flawless, then you're not moving fast enough!"]

FIREMAN'S CARRY :
a technique enabling one person to carry another without assistance by placing the carried person across both shoulders of the carrier; also known as "fireman's lift". Commonly used to transport injured or unconscious persons from burning buildings and off the battlefield since before WWII, it has been superseded since the Vietnam-era by various 'drag' techniques in order to reduce further injury (eg: rising heat and smoke, exposure to hostile fire, spinal cord injury, respiratory constriction, etc) and to accommodate smaller and weaker rescuers (eg: RUNTS 'n' CUNTS). This highly efficient technique is suitable for the rapid removal of victims from danger, for long distance (ie: farther than fifty feet) carry of victims, and can be performed without removing other gear (eg: harness, pistol belt, rucksack, helmet, etc), but is too often modified into a body drape over a single shoulder by the carrier, which practice is only suitable for moving corpses. Because the victim is out of the carrier's view, precautions must be taken to protect the victim from further injury and to monitor changes in the victim's well-being (eg: breathing, bleeding, etc); however, any hazard to the carrier is automatically applicable to the totally dependent victim, so speed and strength must be tempered by judgement to avoid compounding the situation. Compare LIFESAVER'S CARRY, DRAG; see LITTER-BEARER, STRETCHER-BEARER, MEDIC, DOC, CORPSMAN, ORDERLY, COOLIE, CHIGGIE BEAR. [cf: dead lift]

FIRE MISSION :
a "call for fire" or "call fire" message containing target specifications and range data so that the gunner, weapon's team, or battery element can lay the gun for effective fire support; also called "fire message". Also, a specific assignment given to a fire unit or battery as part of a defined firing plan. See FDC, SHOT OUT, FFE, TOT, FSB, CREW-SERVED WEAPONS, ARTY, REDLEG, TANK, MORTAR.

FIREPOWER :
the size, degree, or amount of force capable of being brought onto any specific target, as measured by military units or weapons systems; also expressed as stopping power or throw-weight, and sometimes spelled "fire-power". Also, the ability, or potential, of elements or munitions to produce certain actions or deliver probable results. [nb: the effective impact of wound ballistics has been tested since the mid-1800s on dogs, rabbits, goats, pigs, cattle, human cadavers and even condemned criminals in order to obtain the most efficient combination of projectile shape, weight, and composition propelled by the optimum charge; the use of ballistic gelatin, a uniform substance that lends itself to comparative calculations, as a determinant of lethal or non-lethal "stopping power" is not as informative but more humane]

FIRE QUARTERS :
the damage-control station assigned to MIL-PERS during emergency situations, signaled by fire alarm or alert TOCSIN; the most dangerous situation on-board a vessel is fire. Although everyone has an assigned post during "battle stations", not everyone is detailed during FIRE QUARTERS. Compare GQ, COLLISION QUARTERS, STAND-TO.

FIRE SCOUT :
a tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system configured as a helicopter, a vertical take-off and landing DRONE (MQ-8B) manufactured by Northrop-Grumman, that can hover at 20,000 feet over the battlefield for more than eight hours, transmitting infrared (IR) and electro-optical imagery to ground commanders. The FIRE SCOUT, which is based on the manned Schweizer 333 helicopter, will be configured with anti-mine and anti-armor capabilities, as well as its intelligence gathering functions; and the Navy version will include anti-sub and anti-ship capabilities.

FIRE TEAM :
the smallest ground force, consisting of four to six infantrymen under the command of a FIRE TEAM leader (typically a lance corporal or corporal in the CHAIN-OF-COMMAND); two or three FIRE TEAMS normally comprise a SQUAD, which is variously constituted of several riflemen and a machinegunner with loader. See STACK, FIRE 'n' MANEUVER, COMMAND ELEMENT; compare SCOUT TEAM, STACK, RT, LRP / LRRP, LRSD.

FIREWALL / FIRE WALL :
an integrated system designed to prevent unauthorized electronic access to or from a network; also known as a "drawbridge". Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software, or a combination of both, and commonly integrate multi-factor authentication. Firewalls are frequently used to prevent unauthorized internet users from accessing private or restricted networks, especially intranets. All messages passing through the firewall are examined, and those which do not meet the specified security criteria are blocked. There are several types of firewall architecture: screened-host or packet filter, application gateway, circuit-level gateway, dual-host or proxy server. In practice, many firewalls use two or more of these techniques in concert. A firewall is considered to be the initial defense in protecting privileged data or sensitive information; for greater security, data can be encrypted. See PUK, PIC, UUPIC, QUILT, THE AMERICAN WALL, CHINESE WALL, DECEPTION, DISINFORMATION, CONTROLLED INFORMATION, BREADCRUMBING, NETRUSION. [v: trap door, escrow key, password, Clipper] Also, a physical partition made of fireproof material to prevent the spread of a fire from one part of a building or ship to other parts, or to isolate an engine compartment, as on an airplane, automobile, truck, or the like.

FIREWORKS :
slang expression, used since WWII, for the amazing display of indirect and automatic firepower that the modern military can effectively bring to bear upon a target, especially awesome when viewed at night; also called "Fourth of July show", "sound and light show", and SHOCK 'n' AWE, as based upon the decorative pyrotechnic display demonstrated since ancient times. Compare FLOWER WAR; see SHOOTING STAR, WATERWORKS, THUNDERSTRUCK, LOOM, BATTLE, WAR. [cf: girandole / girandola]

FIRING LINE :
the position at which ranked troops or vehicles abreast are stationed to shoot individual (SMALL ARMS) or CREW-SERVED WEAPONS at one or more targets, set at measured distances, upon command ("commence firing"). Also, the troops or vehicles so arrayed in line abreast that are shooting from this fixed position. Also, the forefront of any action or activity, especially a controversy; see FRONT LINE, ELEPHANT DANCE. Also, a perverted or homosexual variant of the proverbial PISSING CONTEST wherein competitors vie for the dubious distinction of ejaculating farthest; see CIRCLE JERK, TURN IN THE BARREL, FUCK-UP, FUCKED-UP, CLUSTER FUCK, POGUE, FAG, SPUNK.

FIRING PIT :
a fortified place for indirect-fire CREW-SERVED WEAPONS; an EMPLACEMENT or BARBETTE.

FIRING POSTURE :
see SHOOTING POSTURE.

FIRING SQUAD :
a military detachment assigned to fire a SALUTE at the burial of an honored person; see SALVO, FACE THE MUSIC; compare FIRING LINE. Also, a military DETAIL or detachment (DET) assigned to execute a condemned person by shooting; the last execution of a MIL-PERS by this method occurred during WWII; see DESERTER, TRAITOR, TREASON, TURNCOAT, UCMJ. [cf: girandole / girandola; v: circular firing squad] [nb: every circle, once described and sustained by lashes or strokes, turns vicious upon itself; not because it's a circle, but because it encircles men]

FIRST AID KIT :
a small amount of essential supplies that are intended to be used for the administration of medical care before expert treatment is available; issued in at least two versions: individual and vehicular; with the individual kit (IFAK or "blow-out kit") being small enough to fit into a COMPASS pouch (mostly occupied by a sterile BATTLE DRESSING) containing bandages and antiseptic, with the larger version (designed to be mounted on a BULKHEAD) containing more of the same and some aspirin (ASA/APC) tablets. Compare MED BAG, FIELD SURGICAL KIT.

1st ALLIED AIRBORNE :
1st Allied Airborne shoulder
sleeve insignia
1st Allied Abn Cmd
(forthcoming); combined WWII organization of American, British, Polish, Canadian, Free French, and other paratroops, together with troop carrier aircraft for Operation Market Garden (Sept 1944) in the Netherlands

FIRST AMENDMENT :
see FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

THE FIRST BLOW IS HALF THE BATTLE :
a catch-phrase meaning whatever is well begun is already half done; not strike quickly or "strike while the iron is hot".

FIRST CASUALTY :
see "first casualty of war" at TRUTH, PERCEPTION.

1st CAV DIV :
see FIRST TEAM, BLANKET DIVISION.

FIRST ESTATE :
the first of the three principal estates, consisting of the spiritual leaders of a society (formerly the ruling orthodoxy in Europe); see SKY PILOT, GOD SQUAD, HUG SQUAD, FOXHOLE CONVERSION, ARMY CHRISTIAN, MORAL COURAGE, MORAL VICTORY, PRAYER; compare SECOND ESTATE, THIRD ESTATE, FOURTH ESTATE, FIFTH ESTATE.

FIRST FLIGHT :
designation given the Civil Air Transport Service (CATS) contingent, detached from Taiwan to Vietnam, before being redesignated the CIA's PROPRIETARY AIRLINE, Air America. The FIRST FLIGHT C-123 STERILE transports were flown in support of CAS and early SOG missions by CHINAT crews. Contract aircrews and support personnel were called "sky people" by the HMONG tribesmen. See CUSTOMER, SHEEP-DIPPED.

1st INF DIV :
see BIG RED ONE.

FIRST LADY :
see FLOTUS, OFFICER'S WIFE, COW, PETTICOAT COMMAND, THE MOTHER-IN-LAW OF THE ARMY, THE DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT, LADY, DRAG, CAMP FOLLOWER, DISTAFF, GOLD STAR.

FIRST LUFF :
Naval slang for the First Officer, by analogy to a noisy flapping sail (alternatively, by analogy with a sail shaking from strain when brought into the wind, an officer who is unsteady or uncertain when confronted with action); also cited as "1st Luff".

FIRST REPORT :
see "the first report is always wrong" at PERCEPTION; compare HOT WASH, COLD WASH, AAR, DEBRIEF, RECENCY EFFECT, BIG STORY, RUMOR, MORNING REPORT.

FIRST RESPONDER :
an inclusive catch-phrase for anyone who's trained to act in an emergency situation, especially nurses and medics, police or firemen, whether civilian or military, as used in the post-Vietnam era; a broad expression encompassing the many specializations that cooperate in a crisis, variously known as Response Team (RT), Emergency Response Team (ERT), Rapid Response Team (RRT), Special Response Team (SRT). Compare QRT, QRF,RRF, SMU; see RESCUE, RECOVERY, BODY-SNATCHER, PATRIOT DAY.

1SG :
abbreviation for First SerGeant, being the non-commissioned officer (NCO) grade (E-8) between Sergeant First Class (E-7) and Sergeant Major or Command Sergeant Major (E-9), and represented by three chevrons above three ROCKERs with a centered diamond (lozenge) as sleeve rank insignia. This rank is rated equal to Master Sergeant (MSG); and as the senior sergeant in a company, is commonly known as TOP, TOP DOG, or FIRST SHIRT. Like team leader and supply sergeant, platoon sergeant and sergeant major, platoon leader and company commander, this rank was formerly a duty assignment before the reorganization at the beginning of the Vietnam-era. See SARGE, BUCK, RIGHT ARM, NCO, SUPER GRADE, RATING, GRADE, RANK. [nb: Vietnamese term: Thuong Si]

FIRST SHIRT :
Army First Sergeant
Army 1SG
Marine First Sergeant
Marine 1SG
First Sergeant (1SG), also known as TOP, TOP DOG, or "Top-Kick", who is the ranking NCO at the COMPANY level. Until the RANK system was reorganized at the beginning of the VIETNAM WAR, a Drill Sergeant, First Sergeant, and Sergeant Major were duty assignments open to anyone with a qualifying RATING ... similar to officer eligibility for command. The "diamond" chevrons worn by the FIRST SHIRT were duty specific, like the commander's GREEN TABs, and were removed when no longer assigned that posting.

1st SIG BDE :
see ELECTRIC SWORD.

FIRST-STRIKE RATION / FIRST STRIKE RATION :
First Strike ration pouch
FSR pouch
an all-in-one concentrated ration, containing about 3000 calories, that's designed for troops on the move, and is intended to replace the multi-component Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) during combat assaults and other high mobility operations. Each FSR will feed an active warfighter for one day, despite being half the size and weight of three MREs. Everything included in the self-contained FIRST-STRIKE RATION enables it to be consumed without halting for preparation, where even the beverage pouches are ergonomically designed so that there is no fumbling with a CANTEEN or CANTEEN CUP. Proposed in 2002 and introduced in 2007, the FSR menu items include: filled French toast, bacon cheddar breakfast sandwich, barbecued beef pocket sandwich, pepperoni pocket sandwich, barbecued chicken pocket sandwich, beef nacho pocket sandwich, lemon pepper tuna tortillas, chicken chunk tortillas, teriyaki beef jerky, barbecued beef jerky, Mexican beef filled wrap, barbecued pork filled wrap, jalapeno cheese spread, corn nuts, pretzels, crackers, nut fruit mix, peanut butter bar, chocolate protein drink, apple cider, lemon tea, strawberry banana dairy shake, chocolate banana nut bar, mocha dessert bar, caffeinated mints, lemon poppyseed pound cake, etc. See ERGO, HOOAH! BAR, RATIONS. [nb: 'Zapplesauce' is the brand name of the FSR applesauce, which has extra maltodextrin, a complex carbohydrate, added to the stewed and spiced pulp for sustained energy release]

FIRST TEAM :
nickname of the 1st Cavalry Division, so-called from its several historical 'firsts', including: first division to land in the Philippines to oust the Imperial Japanese, the first division to occupy Japan after VJ-Day in WWII, the first division to enter the capital (Pyongyang) of North Korea, and the first division to arrive (11 Sep 1965) in Vietnam. The 1st Cav Div was recalled from occupation duty in the Far East to assume the assets of the REFLAGged 11th Air Assault Division for deployment as the first airmobile division. The FIRST TEAM is also known as "Hell for Leather" and BLANKET DIVISION; see FTA, GOLF COURSE.

FIRST WORLD WAR :
see WWI.

FIS :
U.S. Air Force designation for a Fighter Interceptor Squadron.

FISA :
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 has been incorporated into the PATRIOT Act; FISA investigations are authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).

FISC :
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or Federal Intelligence Security Court, is similar to a federal grand jury; see FISA, PATRIOT ACT, SHOW TRIAL. [cf: "Star Chamber"]

FISH :
slang for torpedo, also called "tin fish" or "screamer"; being an underwater MISSILE or MINE using high-explosives against surface vessels; as a safety precaution, all torpedoes incorporate an arming-delay. Torpedo malfunctions include "circle-runner" and "surface-runner". See GOOSE, FANFARE, CAPTOR, INFLUENCE PISTOL; compare ASHCAN, TEARDROP, HEDGEHOG, SKIP BOMBING, DOODLEBUG. Also, a long piece of wood or metal used to reinforce a joint or SPAR.

FISHBOWL :
an interrogation room with third-party observation or monitoring features; compare BUBBLE, ISOFAC, SUB-ROSA.

THE FISH CHEER :
originally a prelude to the song "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag" composed by Joe McDonald (1965) and performed by Country Joe and the Fish (1967) on their eponymous album and in numerous live performances; imitative of a spell-the-word-out fight song used by cheerleaders at sporting events, the "give me an F-I-S-H" lyric soon morphed into an "F-U-C-K", becoming an anthem for the anti-war movement. Joe McDonald was arrested for obscenity in 1970 for singing this song, but was acquitted under a free speech defense. He performed THE FISH CHEER at the Woodstock Festival (Aug 1969), and the lyrics appear in subtitle on the documentary film with a sing along bouncing ball (a common technique in 1950s television shows) ... he taunted his Woodstock audience: "Listen people, I don't know how you expect to ever stop the war if you can't sing any better than that". The song was featured at the Woodstock Reunion (Sept 1979), in films (eg: Woodstock, More American Graffiti, Purple Haze, and Hamburger Hill), and it was revised as "Whoopee! We're All Gonna Die!" by The Passion Killers (1991) as a protest against the GULF WAR.

FISHDO :
an acronym for Fuck It, Shit Happens, Drive On; see FIDO, SHIT HAPPENS, WETSU.

FISH EYE :
see HAIRY EYEBALL; compare STINK EYE.

FISH-EYES :
slang for pearl tapioca pudding, being a dessert prepared from pellet cassava; see DOG, BEANS, CHOW, RATIONS. [v: flummery, snow pudding, hard sauce, blancmange, crème caramel, crème anglaise, crème brûlée, bombe, parfait, floating island, Bavarian cream, trifle, cottage pudding, charlotte, flan, frangipane, duff, Nesselrode]

FISH FUR :
slang for the synthetic pile lining used in winter TROOPER CAPs, FIELD JACKETs, and overcoats that're issued to MIL-PERS; name derives from its somewhat slick feel and shiny look (not unlike fish scales), but mostly from its unnatural origin ... unlike natural fur [v: mouton, melton, felt, etc], synthetic fur does not retain warmth when dampened by perspiration or precipitation.

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

FISH TALE / FISH STORY :
(forthcoming); to obscure with "lip service", "word music", or malarkey (malarky) or bushwa / bushwah; see BLOW SMOKE, CONFETTI, WASHINGTON WALTZ, WOOF, HOT AIR, MOTOR MOUTH, TALK TRASH, VERBAL DIARRHEA, GODDAM, BRAVO SIERRA [nb: not "fish tail"]

FIST :
informal reference to the distinctive telegraphic sending style of a signalman or morse code operator; also called "touch" or HAND; see CW, SOS, EOT, II, GA, RADIO, TAP CODE, TWX. Also, the pronunciation of the abbreviation for Fire Support Team (FST). Also, the tightly closed hand clenched into a metonym for anger or hostility, reluctance or intractability, fracas or altercation; see KNUCKLE SANDWICH, MARTIAL ART, JAP SLAPPER, BOK-BOK, TWO-FISTED, ONE-TWO, BEAT HIM TO THE PUNCH, COUNTERPUNCH, GROUP HUG, BATTLE ROYAL, AT CLOSE QUARTERS, CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE, PULL ONE'S PUNCHES.

FIST BUMP :
see KNUCKLE BUMP, DAP, HAND-JIVE, HAND SIGN, SALUTE.

FISTFIGHT / FISTICUFFS :
see KNUCKLE SANDWICH, SMITE, HAYMAKER, SUNDAY PUNCH, UPPERCUT, MARTIAL ART, JAP SLAPPER, BOK-BOK, TWO-FISTED, ONE-TWO, BEAT HIM TO THE PUNCH, COUNTERPUNCH, GROUP HUG, BATTLE ROYAL, AT CLOSE QUARTERS, CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE, KNUCKLE-DUSTER, FIST-LOAD, PULL ONE'S PUNCHES.

FIST-LOAD / FIST LOAD :
an ancillary or auxiliary handheld weapon that stabilizes and reinforces the closed fist, such that the force of a strike or punch is increased by the mass of the concealed load at the moment of impact when the momentum is transferred. This inert object (eg: stick, rod, roll of coins) is small enough to be completely hidden in the closed hand, but if it (eg: tekko, kubotan, yawara) protrudes beyond the bounds of the fist, it can be used like a stick or baton ... a fountain pen or marking pen can become an improvised FIST-LOAD, whereas a long narrow pencil or disposable pen can only become a substitute stiletto. Compare BATON, WARDER, SANDBAG. [cf: truncheon, billy, night stick, espantoon, cudgel, bludgeon, shillelagh/shillealah, knobkerrie, cosh, bastinado, singlestick, waddy, club, blackjack, sap, slapjack]

FISTV :
Fire Support Team Vehicle, being a modified M-113 armored personnel carrier (APC).

FITREP :
a contraction of FITness REPort, being the Navy and Marine form for the evaluation of personal skills and performance of officers, as required for retention in service; see EER, NCOER, OER.

5 BY 5 :
in an evaluation of RADIO reception, being the highest rating for clarity and strength in a COMMO CHECK. Also, in an assessment of foreign language competency, being the highest rating on fluency in verbal (spoken/heard) and written (read/write) communication; an evaluation of eloquence as a prerequisite classification for selective assignments (eg: INTEL, CIC, SF, etc).

FIVE FINGERS :
a quantity of hashish, measured by scraping a large block of hash with fingernails, and priced according to the number of fingernails used for marketing; see CAN SA, STONED, STICK, TAR, DOPE. Also, slang for stop or halt, as when a policeman regulates traffic, and used to imply that the designated person, act, or thing is unwelcome, is unacceptable, is unaffiliated.

FIVE AND FLY :
an attitude expressive of a military academy (TRADE SCHOOL) graduate who plans to leave the service as soon as his minimal educational obligation is repaid; the intent of a RING-KNOCKER who will not be making a career (CAREER TRACK) of the military.

550-CORD :
(from its mil-spec rated tensile strength) see PARA-CORD.

555th PARACHUTE INFANTRY REGIMENT :
see TRIPLE NICKEL.

FIVE PARAGRAPH OPORD :
see SMEAC.

FIVE O'CLOCK FOLLIES :
daily briefing session at MACV, or any other major command headquarters, characterized by the extreme optimism of LIFERS and TICKET-PUNCHERS; includes both military and civil (ie: USAID, USIA, USIS) activities. During the GULF WAR, this briefing on the current military situation was called "Evening Prayers" by a press corps that had grown more than four times larger than the attendants during Vietnam. See WIEU, TAP-DANCER, DOG 'n' PONY SHOW, SMOKE 'n' MIRRORS, WASHINGTON WALTZ.

FIVE SEAS :
commonly known as the "Land of Five Seas" or the "region of Five Seas", being the juncture of Europe and Asia, including Asia Minor or Anatolia, which also borders the Near or Middle East; variously delimited by the Caspian Sea, Black Sea,Sea of Azov, Sea of Marmara, Aegean Sea, and Aral Sea. Also, commonly known as the "Port of Five Seas", being an informal reference to Moscow, due to the Volga-Don shipping canal project (1952), but indirectly refers to other major ports accessed via the waterways of the Five Seas: Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Caspian Sea, White Sea, and Barents Sea.

5 S's :
the five S's of prisoner handling are a mnemonic for field implementation of proper practice, including: Search, Silence, Segregate, Safeguard, and Speed; in that a prisoner and his intelligence value must be protected against escape, injury, and collusion, which means evacuating the captive(s) while the information is current and while the primary mission continues. See PACKAGE, TONGUE, SNATCH, POW; compare PANTY RAID, GOO, NET, BRACELET.

FIVE-TON :
any tactical TRUCK with a cargo capacity of 5-tons, such as the M-953, M-939, M-52A2; compare DEUCE-AND-A-HALF.

FIX :
to form, place, or set something more or less permanently; as derived from 'fasten'. Also, to repair or restore, to mend or adjust, to solve or resolve, often immediately. Also, to prepare or set-up. Also, to determine the charted position of a vessel or aircraft by taking two or more bearings on landmarks or heavenly bodies. Also, a position from which escape is difficult; a compromised situation or predicament. Also, a person to be compromised by coercion or extortion into performing certain ESPIONAGE acts at the bidding of a SECRET AGENT or HANDLER; also called "fixer", being the object perceived as the solution to a problem. See SPOOK, CREEP, CRYPTO, THROW-AWAY, SWEEPER, PROVOCATEUR, TRADECRAFT.

FIXED GEAR :
the wheels and struts comprising the landing gear that cannot be retracted into the FUSELAGE on an aircraft for improved aerodynamics; compare LANDING SKID, CHASSIS, UNDERCARRIAGE; see WHEEL PANTS, TAILDRAGGER, DIRTY, BASE LEG, TOUCHDOWN, BIRD. [nb: a pilot flying an airplane with retractable landing gear is required to announce "Three down and locked." during preparation for final approach onto a RUNWAY; those with fixed landing gear typically modify this call into "Three down and welded."]

FIXED-WING :
an airfoil that's immovable, such as wings being rigidly and permanently attached to the fuselage, as when supporting a heavier-than-air craft or airplane in flight; compare ROTARY-WING, SWING-WING, TILT-WING; see BIRD.

FIXER :
see GO TO GUY, WALLAH, WONK, WIZARD, GADGET, RAINMAKER.

FIZZ :
slang for champagne, or any other sparkling wine; also called "bubbly", "bubblicious", or "champers", it's the standard celebratory wine that's accrued associations with luxury and superiority, originating as a back-formation from FIZZLE; see AIRBORNE SPIRIT. Also, an iced mixed drink [eg: gin fizz, silver fizz, golden fizz] made of liquor, lemon juice, sugar, and soda water; see BREW, HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK, HOIST, GUSTO. Also, slang for soda water or any other effervescent water [eg: fizzwater], after the hissing or sputtering sound. Also, during the GULF WARS, slang for any carbonated soft drink or soda pop; see BREW, HOOCH, GROG, IRISH SODA POP, TORPEDO JUICE, MOONSHINE, WHITE LIGHTNING, THE DRINK, WASH, JUICE, MOTHER'S MILK, MOCKTAIL, SAIGON TEA. [nb: after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, Dr Pepper produced its soft drink in patriotic cans depicting the Statue of Liberty and the words: One Nation ... Indivisible for a limited period (from November 2001 to February 2002) in an area covering parts of only twelve states; the company was criticized and threatened with boycott for exhibiting its support for national unity; the company was also criticized for quoting the Pledge of Allegiance incompletely] [v: champagne cocktail (a mixed drink made of brandy and champagne, accented with sugar and bitters); French 75 (a cocktail of gin, champagne, sugar, and lemon juice, as named after the artillery gun); black velvet (a mixed drink made with stout and champagne); Chicago cocktail (a mixed drink of champagne, brandy, orange-flavored liqueur [curacao or triple sec], bitters, garnished with a lemon slice and served over ice in a sugar-rimmed glass); Ritz fizz (a cocktail of champagne, amaretto, curacao, lemon or lime Juice, and garnished with a rose petal); kir royal (a mixed drink of crème de cassis [black currant liqueur] combined with champagne); poinsettia (a mixed drink of champagne, vodka [or cointreau or triple sec], and cranberry juice); Prince of Wales (an iced cocktail of champagne, angostura bitters on sugar, rye whiskey [or cognac or brandy], maraschino liqueur, and garnished with a piece of pineapple or lemon peel, as created by Albert Edward, later King Edward VII); flirtini (a cocktail of vodka, champagne, and pineapple juice garnished with a twist of lime)]

FIZGIG :
a type of firework that makes a loud hissing sound; as derived from "to break wind", and related to 'giggle'; see FIRECRACKER, PETARD. Also, a whirling toy that makes a whizzing NOISE; whirligig. Also, a barbed spear or harpoon; a "sishgig" or "gig".

FIZZLE :
slang for an atomic or nuclear explosion that fails to yield its full potential due to an error in construction or a deficiency in composition; to sputter into expiration, as derived from "break wind"; see DUD, MISFIRE, NUKE, FALLOUT, EMP, CONTAINMENT. Also, to fail ignominiously after a good start; to founder or miscarry, as a failure or fiasco that's imitative of sputtering that dies out weakly; see LOOSE CANNON, SHIT MAGNET, FUCKED-UP, FIELD REJECT. [v: fissile; cf: petard, feist/feisty]

FLAG :
a piece of cloth (or other suitable material), generally rectilinear, bearing marks and/or colors in a distinctive design that's used symbolically or as a signal; if representing a nation or organization, it's called a 'flag', when mounted on a building it's called a 'standard', when mounted on a vehicle or vessel it's called an 'ensign', and called the 'colors' when borne by marchers. See BADGE, COLORS, STARS 'n' STRIPES, ENSIGN, STREAMER, GUIDON, COLOR GUARD, COLORBEARER, BLOCK THE COLORS, SHIFT COLORS, FLAG DAY, HALF-MAST, HOIST, FLY, HALYARD, FLAGSTAFF, WIGWAG, BLACK FLAG, RED FLAG, YELLOW JACK, WHITE FLAG, FALSE FLAG, BLOOD CHIT, SHOW THE FLAG, FACE THE MUSIC. [v: Flag Terms] Also, any mark or marker, sign or signal, alert or warning, announcement or notice, as of a position or change; see REFLAG, RECONSTITUTED, ACTIVATE, ORGANIZE, SHEEP-DIPPED.

FLAG DAY :
on 14 June 1777, the Marine Committee of the Continental Congress adopted a resolution: "Resolved that the Flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation." General George Washington explained: "We take the stars from heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing liberty." Then on 30 May 1916, President Woodrow Wilson announced during his Memorial Day address, that 14 June of each year would be celebrated as Flag Day; saying: "This flag, which we honor and under which we serve, is the emblem of our unity, our power, our thought and purpose as a nation. It has no other character than that which we give it from generation to generation .... Though silent, it speaks to us - speaks to us of the past, of the men and women who went before us, and of the records they wrote upon it. Today, our flag is a beacon for liberty, a symbol of hope for all people who 'hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.'" See COLORS, STARS 'n' STRIPES, GUIDON, ENSIGN, STREAMER, HALF-MAST, SHIFT COLORS, BLOCK THE COLORS, HOIST, FLAGSTAFF, HALYARD, COLOR GUARD, COLORBEARER, TAPS, TROPHY, PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE, BUGLE CALL, TOMB OF THE UNKNOWNS, MEMORIAL DAY, POW-MIA DAY, VETERANS' DAY, PATRIOT DAY, PATRIOT'S DAY. [nb: when the American flag is folded into a triangle, representative of the Colonial tricorne, the red and white stripes representing the blood and bones of sacrifice are buried within the blue constellation of heaven; which is the traditional configuration for funeral and retreat ceremonies] Also, the birthday of the U.S. Army is coincident with FLAG DAY on 14 June (1775) when the Continental Congress authorized the formation of the first ten companies of the Continental Army.

FLAG OF DEFIANCE / COLORS OF DEFIANCE :
see BLACK FLAG, RED FLAG.

FLAG OFFICER :
any senior officer RANKed GENERAL or ADMIRAL, pay-grades O-7 to O-11; as derived from their entitlement to display a placard or flag of such RANK on any vehicle or craft, building or post as a representation of their command (ie: flag of command, command pennant, flagship pennant). The highest rank in the Colonial Army from the REVOLUTIONARY WAR was a 2-star Major General (MG), which was elevated to a 3-star Lieutenant General (LTG) for the Federal Army during the CIVIL WAR, raised to 4-star General (GEN) during WWII, with grades O-9/LTG and O-10/GEN formalized in 1958, but General of the Army O-11 has not been utilized since 1980. Except for the Surgeon General of each service, FLAG OFFICERs do not wear branch insignia ... "generalists" have been promoted out of their branch specialty, and are expected to be capable of serving anywhere. It has been said that promotion to FLAG OFFICER is more about politics than skill, more of "Are you one of us?" than "Can you do it?"; and that despite the jealousies and rivalries amongst FLAG OFFICERS, when criticized from outside, the "Flag Protection Circuit" closes to form an impenetrable barrier. See WHITE WAY, FLAGSHIP, LIGHTER, USA (AUS), USAF, USCG, USMC, USN, SKIPPER, OLD MAN, LDR, EMPTY SUIT, ELEPHANT DANCE, OFFICER; compare COMPANY-GRADE, FIELD-GRADE. [v: generalissimo, nabob, nibs] [cf: Jotun, Titan, Antaeus/Antaios, Nephilim, Anak/Anakim, Rephaim, Og (king of Bashan), Ymir/Ymer, ogre (Orcus), Goliath of Gath, Gargantua, Argus, Cyclops] [nb: "My most difficult job (as SAC) is smoothing the blanket that must cover the several prima donnas who are forced to share the same bed!" paraphrase of Dwight D. Eisenhower during WWII ETO; "The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom." by Sun-Tzu (ca490BC)] [nb: not to be confused with the senior COLORBEARER, nor the COLOR GUARD commander]

FLAG OF PROTECTION :
indicative of a protective barrier that's extended by larger, more powerful nations, for the defense of PROTECTORATEs or CLIENT STATEs; this mostly obsolete phrase is also expressed as a "safe conduct flag". See WHITE FLAG, SATELLITE, BUFFER STATE, GARRISON STATE, PROXY WAR, REALPOLITIK, BETTER THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, TREATY; compare FLAG OF TRUCE.

FLAG OF TRUCE :
any banner or flag used as a signal between warring parties, as an interruption of hostilities, as an indication of willingness to negotiate or parley (eg: treaty terms, prisoner exchange, mercy missions, and the like), or as a sign of safe passage for representatives and inspectors through hostile territory; also known as a "parley flag", "safe conduct flag", or FLAG OF PROTECTION. See QUARTER, WHITE FLAG, CEASE-FIRE, TRUCE, ARMISTICE, TREATY, LAWS OF WAR; compare BLACK FLAG, RED FLAG, FALSE FLAG.

FLAG PLOT :
U.S. Navy command center at Washington Navy Yard; see NAVOP.

FLAGSHIP :
the ship carrying the commander of a fleet, flotilla, squadron, or other group of vessels, and therefore privileged to display the commanding officer's flag; a 'flag of command' (ie: "command pennant" or "flagship pennant") replaces the ship's masthead pennant when the FLAG OFFICER is aboard. Also, the main or leading vessel, or the best or superior of the line.

FLAGSTAFF :
a flagpole for the mounting or display of a flag, GUIDON, ENSIGN, jack, STREAMER, pennant, burgee, or other COLORS; also called pole, staff, stave, jackstaff, or mast. See STARS 'n' STRIPES, HALF-MAST, SHIFT COLORS, BLOCK THE COLORS, HOIST, HALYARD, COLOR GUARD, COLORBEARER.

FLAK :
the SHRAPNEL from an exploded antiaircraft (AA) shell; see AIRBURST. Also, the munitions or weapons used in antiaircraft (AA) fire; also known as "archy" / "archie" being WWI British slang that probably derives from the pattern of its trajectory; see ACK-ACK, POM-POM. [nb: term is condensed from the German word (c1935) for an antiaircraft gun: "fliegerabwehrkanone" (FLieger = aircraft + Abwehr = defense plus Kanone = gun)] [nb: another proposed derivation for "archy" / "archie" is the hindrance caused by German antiaircraft fire which supposedly reminded some WWI airmen of the refrain in a popular 1915 music hall song: "Archibald, Certainly Not!"] Also, an informal term for interference with detection, transmission, or other signals; see NOISE, CHAFF, MUSIC. Also, opposition or resistance, such as back-talk; see STATIC.

FLAK BAIT :
slang for GLIDER, also called "canvas coffin", "flying coffin", and "puke ship"; see WACO, SUICIDE JOCKEY, BIRD, PILOT.

FLAK JACKET :
heavy fiberglass-filled vest worn for protection from shrapnel; also spelled "flack jacket", and also called FLAK VEST. Later (1969-70) incorporated pyroceramic plates to protect back and chest from rifle-fire. Compare CHICKEN PLATE, HAPPY SUIT, IBA, OTV, IOTV, ESAPI, SAPI. [nb: during the ninth century, China replaced lacquered leather, cloth bound rattan, and iron body protection with a superior pleated-paper body armor, which could reputedly stop an arrow; during the American CIVIL WAR, some Federal troops privately purchased bulletproof vests (cuirass) made of steel, but most were abandoned due to their excessive weight] [nb: like the plate armor worn by European knights, the privileged Gilbert Islanders (Kiribati) wore impregnable body armor made of twisted coconut husks that was so heavy and inflexible that the wearer was immobilized, having to be carried on and off the battlefield like a statue] [cf: flexible 'mail'; v: doublet]

FLAK VEST :
a high-necked, sleeveless, fiberglass-filled FLAK JACKET with chest-mounted gear pockets that's worn for protection against shrapnel; the GULF WAR version covers the shoulders as well as the torso, and is constructed of Kevlar and Twaron layered in a camouflage-pattern nylon shell that includes pockets for inserting pyroceramic plates. See HAPPY SUIT, CHICKEN PLATE, OTV, IOTV, ESAPI, SAPI, IBA, DRESS. [cf: flexible 'mail'; v: doublet]

FLAME :
the expression of intense ardor, zeal, or passion, as related to combustion, especially derision or scorn conveyed through UseNet or e-mail messages. See NASTY-GRAM, FANG, GRIPEVINE, GRAYMAIL. [v: flame on / off, flame-bait, pain in the net, fry the screen, flame war; cf: poison-pen, screed, diatribe]

FLAME-BAIT :
any electronic message that's been deliberately posted or broadcast so as to provoke a response or to incite a reaction, as to instigate, foment, stimulate, goad, prod, spur, or fillip by rude and insensitive expressions; also known as "troll". See NASTY-GRAM, FANG, GRIPEVINE, GRAYMAIL, HATE MAIL, DANGLE, PROVOCATEUR, STOOGE. [v: flame on / off, flame-bait, pain in the net, fry the screen, flame war; cf: poison-pen, screed, jeremiad, diatribe]

FLAMETHROWER :
a device, either mounted or portable, that sprays ignited incendiary fuel for some distance toward a target; see ZIPPO, NAPALM. [v: pyromachy]

FLAMING ASSHOLE :
dysphemistic slang for full military power or AFTERBURNER due to the "lighting off" appearance of the jet exhaust, especially as seen from behind or in TRAIL position. See JUICE, BUSTER, BLOWER, SONIC BOOM, JET PROPULSION.

FLAMING DART :
designation given to air operations against North Vietnam during February 1965 as reprisal for Camp Holloway (Pleiku) and QuiNhon barracks attacks by PAVN; superseded by ROLLING THUNDER.

FLAMMABLE :
compare NON-FLAMMABLE; see INFLAMMABLE, INCENDIARY. [nb: with the great influx of new recruits during WWII, the military was obliged to change 'inflammable' to "flammable" and to coin 'nonflammable' in order to avoid confusion and ensure safety] [v: phlogiston]

FLANK :
the side of a military element, as a formation or battle array; see REFUSE, ANCHOR, TIED-IN, IN THE AIR. Also, to attack the side of a military element so as to turn or penetrate it; compare PINCER, ENVELOPMENT, DOUBLE ENVELOPMENT, FRONTAL ASSAULT. [nb: "Some goddamn fool once said that flanks have got to be secure. Since then, son-of-a-bitches all over the globe have been guarding their flanks. I don't agree with that. My flanks are something for the enemy to worry about, not me. Before he finds out where my flanks are, I'll be cutting the bastard's throat." by George S. Patton Jr (1 Aug 1944)] Also, to change the direction of march of an entire unit, from forward to the side, such that COLUMNs become LINEs, FILEs become RANKs; and the same (or opposite) march command will restore the original alignment. [nb: not to be confused with 'turn', which pivots on an axis, while 'flank' redirects all at once]

FLANK SPEED :
the maximum possible speed of a ship; in the progression of prescribed standard speeds, an increase faster than full speed. [v: amain]

FLAP :
a moveable surface (often "flaps") on the wings that's used for increasing the lift or drag of an airplane; compare AILERON, ELEVATOR, SPOILER, SPEED BRAKE, DRAG; see AEROBATICS. Also, an informal expression for a chaotic situation or nervous predicament (or "flapdoodle"), as a state of flustered confusion, an excited dither, a disorderly tumult, a commotion, turmoil, ado, swivet, pandemonium, muddle, fuddle, pother, hubbub, hullabaloo, tizzy, mess, mare's nest, or dog's breakfast; see SHIT HIT THE FAN, CLUSTER FUCK, GOAT ROPE, FOOFARAW, HOOPLA, SEAT OF THE PANTS, compare FLAK, NOISE, CONFETTI, LITTER, FUCK-UP, FUCKED-UP.

FLAPS 'n' SEALS :
the course of training that instructs military intelligence (MI) specialists, counter intelligence (CIC) operatives, and criminal investigation (CID) agents in clandestine methods of survey, interception, and penetration of documents and communications, and their undetected resumption, restoration, or replacement, together with surveillance and reproduction, evasion and concealment, safeguards and countermeasures; including secret writing and data tracking, electronic wiretapping and other technical eavesdropping, dead-drop messaging and covert signaling, manual lockpicking and mechanized safecracking (NUTCRACKING), and many other nefarious skills [eg: a frozen envelope can be unsealed and resealed without trace or detection].

FLARE :
a pyrotechnic illumination device composed of phosphorous or magnesium that's typically configured as a projectile, such as one launched by a MORTAR or artillery (ARTY) round, a hand-launched "parachute flare" or PEN FLARE; see SLAP-FLARE, VERY PISTOL, BASKETBALL. [nb: a handheld signal flare, of the type used in highway and railroad emergencies, is also called a "fusee/fuzee"] [nb: in WWII, during the fall of 1944 and the winter of 1945, when the Allies were advancing into Germany, spotlights aimed at the underside of low cloud cover were used to bounce off light beams that created "artificial moonlight", being a diffuse ambient illumination similar to that produced during a full moon, which supplemental light was adequate to sustain night operations without exposing or highlighting the ploy, as does a flare] [cf: snowblink, iceblink] Also, the sudden air-braking of a helicopter in GROUND EFFECT ("on the bounce") preparatory to hover or landing; also called "flare-out"; see LZ, PZ, CLZ, BUTTONHOOK, WAFFLE, AIRMOBILE. Also, a similar air-braking stall of a parachutist preparatory to landing; compare BUTTONHOOK, WAFFLE. [nb: the pirouette-like 'hooking turn' maneuver should not be confused with a 'dynamic stall']

FLAREBACK :
a blast of flame that sometimes issues from the opened breech of a large caliber GUN TUBE after firing.

FLARESHIP :
an aircraft, such as DAKOTA or PROVIDER, that deploys pyrotechnic illumination for night incidents and operations while flying high-cover. See BASKETBALL, UMBRELLA, CAP, HIGH 'n' DRY, RACETRACK, FIREFLY, LAMPLIGHTER, TANKER.

FLASH :
distinctive unit PATCH worn on a beret, often with matching OVAL for the parachutist badge, upon which EM/NCO personnel wear the unit CREST and officers wear their RANK insignia. The distinctive FLASH and OVAL patches are collectively known as "flashing". The FLASH was originally worn on the GREEN BERET as an SF qualification badge (which did not match the SF blue and gold OVAL); it was cut to shape from wool felt in a few basic solid colors (Trng Gp = white, 10th SFGAbn = green, 77/7th SFGAbn = red, 1st SFGAbn = yellow, 5th SFGAbn = black), and was initially worn "tombstone fashion" (flat side down). Trainees wore "half-flashes" or unit Recognition Bars, commonly called CANDY BARs, until becoming "flash qualified". The Air Force PJs avoided confusion on unqualified assignees by only issuing their maroon berets at the end of "pipeline" training. After the GREEN BERET was approved in 1961, embroidered FLASHes began replacing the simple felt ones, including fancy quilted stitching (black / yellow) on the provisional SFVN Gp flash. Later SF Groups (eg: 3rd SFGAbn, 6th SFGAbn, 8th SFGAbn) would be formed from existing units, so would combine older colors into a unique pattern. [nb: the Vietnam-era 5th SFGAbn flash was designed by COL George Morton (1964)] When the RANGER black berets and AIRBORNE red berets were approved, the Institute of Heraldry established FLASHing guidelines on designs, such that only geometric patterns would be approved. The original parachute and glider PATCHes worn on garrison caps during WWII initially bore the unit CREST (DI/DUI) or RANK, like the later FLASH, but this practice was changed to improve visibility. See TRASH, Q-COURSE, Q-TAB, CUNT CAP. [v: Flashing Sampler] Also, the highest priority status for categorizing message traffic; see HOT LINE, TTY, TWX, RADIO, TELECON. Also, slang for the pretentious display of achievement or decorations, for the ostentatious display of wealth or possessions; also known as glitz, sparkle, twinkle, gleam, glisten, glimmer, glitter, bling, scintillate, coruscate, dazzle, radiance, effulgence, adornment, embellishment, ornamentation; see "tricked-out" at TRICK, WITH BELLS ON, FOOFARAW, FEATHERS, CONTRAFOIL.

FLASHBACK :
an abnormally vivid and often recurrent recollection of a disturbing or traumatic past event; the recurrent and abnormally vivid recollection of a traumatic experience. May be called "flashback hallucinosis" in psychiatry when these spontaneous episodes occur with visual or auditory phantasms. The loss or repression of traumatic memories is commonly called BLACKOUT. See PTSD, THOUSAND-YARD STARE, TELESCOPING, WATERWORKS, BROKEN-WING SYNDROME, STRESS OF SOUL, FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT, DISSOCIATION, OBJECTIFICATION, CONVERSION SYMPTOMS. [cf: flash-forward]

FLASHBANG / FLASH BANG :
a short-FUZEd stun GRENADE employing less-than-lethal brilliant light and explosive sound to disorient and disrupt enemy defenders; also called BANGER or "flash crash". Compare WHIZ BANG, WHISTLER, MCCM. [cf: multi-sensory grenade (combining audible sound, flaring light, repellent odor, and other irritants)] [nb: lightning flash ('coup de foudre') is any suddenly amazing incident or event, which is often trivialized as "love at first sight"] [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] Also, slang for a failure that follows a promising start, or a failure after a showy beginning; any startling occurrence that's unlikely to be duplicated; also known as a "flash in the pan" (ie: an allusion to a misfire in a flintlock firearm where the powder in the priming pan fails to ignite the main propellant charge in the gun barrel) [cf: the pan is the depressed part of the lock holding the priming in old guns, so a "deadpan" facial expression derives from a musket's flash-pan being empty, that is, without any primer to set-off the charged barrel when the hammer falls to strike a spark of ignition] or a "nine days' wonder" / "nine days wonder" (ie: a novelty that shortly loses its appeal; a short-lived sensation; a spectacle that soon becomes tawdry) [nb: "This wonder, as wonders last, lasted nine daies." by John Heywood, Witty and Witless (1556); "The brags of life are but a nine days wonder; / And after death the fumes that spring / From private bodies make as big a thunder, / As those which rise for a huge King." by George Herbert, The Temple (1633); "A wonder lasts nine days, and then the puppy's eyes are open." proverbial]

FLASH BURN :
a burn produced by brief exposure to intense, radiant heat, as from an explosion.

FLASH CRASH :
see FLASHBANG / FLASH BANG.

FLASHING :
beret flash for 75th Ranger
Regiment parachute badge background
trimming for 75th Ranger Regiment
75th Rngr flashing
5th Special Forces Group
beret flash parachute badge background
trimming for 5th Special Forces Group
5th SFGAbn flashing
collective term for both the OVAL background WING trimming and the shield-shaped FLASH worn with either RANK or CREST (DUI) insignia on the BERET; it should be noted that some of these distinctive identifiers for a unit do not match each other due to their separate developmental evolution throughout the history of these units. All AIRBORNE, RANGER, and SPECIAL OPERATIONS units are authorized to wear FLASHING; additionally, select aviation, cavalry, signal, medical, and engineer units are authorized to wear distinctive FLASHes on their BERETs in lieu of the standard Army FLASH. [v: Flashing Sampler]

FLASHLIGHT :
angle-head flashlight
angle-head
flashlight
a small, portable, electric lamp powered by dry-cell batteries and fitted with different lenses adapted to specific situations, especially the free-standing angle-head model that is now a military classic; also called "torch" or "light". Both "MagLight" and "SureFire" (LED with 10yr battery) commercial flashlights have been issued to active duty MIL-PERS. See PENLIGHT, LIGHT STICK, BUD LIGHT, NVG, BLINKER. [v: cresset] [nb: flashlight marketed 1897] [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] Also, CODENAME of a MISSILE-delivered electromagnetic pulse (EMP) WAR NOSE; see E-WARHEAD.

FLASH PAPER :
thin paper that burns completely, leaving no ash and no trace of what was written on it for later recovery; nitrocellulose was developed as a form of GUN COTTON for use as a propellant or low-order explosive, as collodion (introduced as a wound dressing during the Crimean War) or pyroxylin (fabrics), as thermoplastic celluloid or (pre-safety) photographic film; nitrocellulose paper is now limited to specialized applications in concealed communications and magic shows. See ONE-TIME PAD, CODE, INTEL, TRADECRAFT. [cf: Bible paper, India paper; Etch-A-Sketch (1959)]

FLASH POINT / FLASHPOINT :
the level at which a situation or an event becomes critical; the crucial stage at which something creates a significant event, or at which someone causes a significant action; as derived by analogy to the chemical reaction wherein a combustible liquid will ignite under specific conditions. Also, a critical situation or crucial moment that has the potential to erupt into sudden violence; also called "flashing point". [v: flashover]

FLASH SUPPRESSOR :
a device attached to the end of a rifle or gun barrel that's designed to disperse the MUZZLE flash during firing so as to avoid blinding the SIGHT PICTURE of the gunner by faster dissipation; this device also dissipates the muzzle flash so that return fire is less accurate; sometimes called "flash hider", "flash guard", or "blast deflector"; compare SUPPRESSOR, MUZZLE-BRAKE.

FLASK :
a portable flat container, typically of glass or metal, that's used for carrying a small quantity of some potable liquid in a pocket or pouch on one's person, especially a pint of emergency water in a plastic flask that's stowed in an air crewmember's flight suit. Also, the armored plates making up the sides of a gun-carriage TRAIL; see TRANSOM, LIMBER, ARTY. Also, the bed of a gun carriage. Also, a container into which sand is rammed around a pattern to form a mold. Also, a container, variously sized and constructed, from a glass laboratory bottle for chemicals to an iron shipping keg for mercury. [v: cask, vat, tun, butt, drum, hogshead, barrel, tank, rundlet, kilderkin, puncheon, keg, carboy, breaker, jug, tub, firkin, salmanazar, pottle, flask, pony, gill, pot, flagon, bottle, demijohn]

FLAT-HATTING / FLATHATTING :
Naval aviation slang for unauthorized low-level flying, which is typically dangerous, sometimes fatal, and generally career-ending; also known as BUZZing; compare ROOF KNOCKING / KNOCKING ON THE ROOF, NOE, CONTOUR FLYING, VICTORY ROLL, SNAP ROLL; see AEROBATICS.

FLATHEAD :
any MILICRAT or "organization man", so named after the close crew-cut or flattopped BUZZ haircut favored by the career MIL-PERS; as distinguished from the long-haired HIPPIE civilian. See WHITE WALLS, HIGH 'n' TIGHT, FLATTOP, MOHAWK, LIFER, HOMESTEADER, BRASS HAT, TICKET-PUNCHER, RING-KNOCKER. [v: glaber/glabrous; cf: roach, hog]

FLAT LIGHT :
(forthcoming); see WHITEOUT, BROWN-OUT, ZERO-ZERO, GOO, WEATHER EYE, MET MESSAGE, CHOPPER, BIRD.

FLAT PASS :
the level parallel flight attitude of an aircraft flown past a fixed position (as during a flyby) or past another aircraft wherein said aircraft displays either its left or right side in profile, without turn or deviation; compare BANANA PASS, KNIFE EDGE PASS; see AEROBATICS. [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon]

FLAT SPIN :
an aerobatic maneuver wherein an aircraft in straight and level flight does rotate, turn, or revolve about its own vertical axis; compare SPIN; see AEROBATICS. [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon]

FLATTOP :
slang for an aircraft carrier (CV), serving as the "eyes of the fleet"; also called "carrier" or "super carrier". The crew of a flight deck includes: "red shirts"= weaponry / ordnance; "white shirts"= safety; "blue shirts"= un-/secure (tie, CHOCK); "purple shirts"= fuel / POL; "green shirts"= launch / catapult; "brown shirts"= plane captain (control); "yellow shirts"= direct movement. A modern aircraft carrier is powered by two nuclear reactors that can maneuver the 100,000 ton displacement at over 30 knots for more than 20 years without refueling, has 2 rudders and 4 propellers, carries over 80 combat aircraft that launch from a flight deck sized approximately 4.5 acres with 4 elevators, rises 20 stories above the waterline, is about as long as the Empire State Building is tall, carries enough food and supplies to operate for 90 days, distills 400,000 gallons of fresh water daily for its crew of about 6000 sailors, is expected to operate for more than 50 years at a cost of $25-million per day when underway. See ROOF, BURBLE, BOLTER, TAILHOOK, NIGHT TRAP, SPUD LOCKER, PADDLES, WAVE OFF, WIGWAG, HAND SIGN, CATAPULT, OPIUM DEN, AIR BOSS, ISLAND, VULTURE'S ROW, LPH, WARSHIP, BOUNCE, FIELD CARRIER LANDING; compare BABY FLATTOP. [nb: aircraft carrier islands are situated on the starboard side of the flight deck because early propeller-driven aircraft turned to the left more easily, as an effect of engine torque, so would turn more readily in that direction whenever waved-off from landing, therefore the island superstructure was more out of the way on the opposite side; once situated on the starboard side for cause, that configuration remains by convention, and even with the angled deck, there is no advantage in changing its location] [nb: a few land-based aircraft have been flown to and from aircraft carriers with minimal modification, notably the Mitchell B-25 light bomber, Lockheed C-130 Hercules, and U-2 Dragon Lady; the presence of an arresting TAILHOOK on US Air Force jets does not make them eligible for FLATTOP landings, since their airframe and landing gear are not designed to withstand the forces involved. These slow-speed and rugged land-based aircraft were successful because they were not launched by catapult nor assisted in landing by an arresting wire. Although the C-130 was modified with anti-skid brakes, it was too large to fit in a carrier's hangar deck, so the smaller Grumman C-2 Greyhound was developed instead; the U-2 already had folding wings, so the landing gear was strengthened and an arresting tailhook was added. Modified U-2s were operationally flown from aircraft carriers during the Vietnam-era (U-2G/U-2J from USS Ranger and USS Kitty Hawk in 1964, U-2R from USS America in 1969)] [nb: when American aircraft carriers are sent to disaster areas around the world, it is because each of them have three hospitals aboard that can simultaneously treat several hundred people, three cafeterias aboard that can simultaneously feed three meals a day to several thousand people, a distillation plant that can produce several thousand gallons of fresh drinking water each day from sea water, a nuclear power plant that can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities, and a helicopter fleet that can transport personnel or supplies from the flight deck to wherever needed] Also, slang for a close crew-cut or flattopped BUZZ haircut as favored by career MIL-PERS; see FLATHEAD, WHITE WALLS, HIGH 'n' TIGHT, MOHAWK. [v: glaber/glabrous; cf: roach, hog]

FLATULENCE / FLATULENT / FLATUS :
see FART.

FLC :
Force Logistics Command; see LOGISTICS.

FLD HOSP :
see FIELD HOSPITAL.

FLEA :
any small, flattened, wingless, bloodsucking insect (siphonaptera) that's noted for its ability to leap; the diminutive flea is parasitic upon lice and ticks as well as birds and mammals (eg: rodents, humans), spreading plague and other diseases. Compare ASSASSIN BUG, DOODLEBUG; see COOTIE, GRAYBACK, CRAB, BEDBUG, COMFORT STATION. [cf: chigoe, chigger, jigger, sand flea, beach flea] [cf: Hawaiian flea (uku), as in ukulele ("jumping flea")]

FLEABAG :
(forthcoming); see COT, BUNK, RACK, SACK, BERTH, HAMMOCK, BIVY, FART SACK, SHAKEDOWN, RUBBER LADY, DUTCH WIFE, SLOP, BILLET.

FLECHETTE :
[fléchette, from flèche (arrow, as "flying arrow")] anti-personnel (AP) SHRAPNEL in the form of 2-inch finned steel darts comprising direct-fire ARTY rounds. See BEEHIVE, NAILS, CANISTER, CASE SHOT.

FLEET :
the largest operational unit of naval ships organized for tactical or other purposes (eg: PACFLT, LANTFLT) and grouped under the command of a single officer; see SQDN, FLOTILLA, FLAGSHIP, CHOP LINE. Also, to change or shift position; as derived from "float". Also, those active duty assignments or stations where Navy and Marine personnel serve after training; being the "real" military.

FLEET ADMIRAL :
a wartime rank given to full Admirals in command of a FLEET; the insignia consists of five silver stars arranged in a circle, it's equivalent to General of the Army. Compare COMMODORE, ADMIRAL; see SKIPPER, FLAG OFFICER, LDR, CO.

FLEET HOSPITAL :
see FIELD HOSPITAL / FLD HOSP.

FLETC :
Federal Law Enforcement Training Center; a facility in Brunswick Georgia that's used for instructing federal police officers, such as the U.S. Marshal service; compare THE FARM, THE PICKLE FACTORY, THE GARAGE, FINISHING SCHOOL, COUNTRY CLUB, CLUB FED, DHS, FBI, DEA, REVENUER, see POLICE.

FLEX-CUFFS :
adjustable self-locking wrist restraints made of nylon or plastic that're used to safely secure a suspect, detainee, or prisoner during transport; these one-time use shackles or temporary fetters must be cut-off to be removed; such disposable handcuffs or manacles are also called wrist-lock, zip-tie, lock-tight, cable-tie, or tie-tight. See BRACELET, SHACKLE, SNATCH, PANTY RAID.

FLEXIBLE RESPONSE :
the capability of a military force to appropriately adapt to and to effectively respond to the circumstances of any enemy threat; a measured or calculated reaction to an existing provocation. Compare GRADUATED RESPONSE; see CONTAINMENT, MAD, LIMITED WAR. [nb: advocates of the flexible response doctrine foresaw a meaningful role for the Army as part of a more credible deterrent (than massive retaliation) and as a means of intervening, when necessary, in limited and small wars ... they wished to strengthen both conventional and unconventional forces; to improve strategic and tactical mobility; and to maintain troops and equipment at forward bases, close to likely areas of conflict. They placed a premium on highly responsive command and control, to allow a close meshing of military actions with political goals. The same reformers were deeply interested in the conduct of brushfire wars, especially among the underdeveloped nations. In the so-called third world, competing cold war ideologies and festering nationalistic, religious, and social conflicts interacted with the disruptive forces of modernization to create the preconditions for open hostilities.]

FLIER / FLYER :
an aviator; see PILOT, BIRDMAN, JET JOCKEY, AIRDALE, ZOOMIE, ROTOR HEAD, PROP JOCKEY, GOOD STICK.

FLIGHT BAG :
a versatile carry-all or utility bag (B4/B-4), made with snap and zip closure, reinforced bottom, and wrap-around strap-handles; used for flight gear or PARACHUTEs. B4 bags were often used as soft suitcases, since they held almost as much as a DUFFEL BAG, and were easier to access. Compare AWOL BAG, MUSETTE, WAR BAG, DUNNAGE, KIT, BIVY, DINGLEBERRY. [nb: unlike AWOL BAG, the FLIGHT BAG does not derive from "flee" or "take flight"] [nb: "rucksack" = back-sack; "knapsack" = bite/snap-up/eat, food sack; "kit-bag" = soldier's small bag/knapsack; "haversack" = single-strapped feed bag worn over one shoulder; musette = single-strapped small bag worn over one shoulder] [cf: bundle, bindle/bindlea, swag, bluey, dilly bag, tucker-bag, bag, pouch, tote, sack, traps, pack, grip, gripsack, overnighter, weekender, holdall, carpetbag, B-4 bag, suitcase, one-suiter, single-suiter, two-suiter, three-suiter, portmanteau, Gladstone bag, traveling case, garment bag, Val-Pack, luggage; v: "scrip" wayfarer's bag or wallet; "viaticum" traveler's money and necessities]

FLIGHT DECK :
the upper deck of an aircraft carrier (FLATTOP, CV), constructed and equipped for the take-off and landing of aircraft; see ISLAND, CATAPULT, PADDLES, BURBLE, TAILHOOK, MOUSETRAP. Also, an elevated compartment in certain aircraft (eg: C-130) that contains the flight instruments and controls used by the pilots and navigators when operating the aircraft; compare COCKPIT.

FLIGHT INDICATOR :
see ARTIFICIAL HORIZON.

FLIGHT JACKET :
a waist-length version of the FIELD JACKET that's issued to aircrew members in branch (eg: USAF, USN, etc) colors for warmth at higher altitudes in an unheated FUSELAGE; this short coat (for motility in cramped quarters) is fur-lined with front pockets; the older shearling-lined leather version was commonly called a "bomber jacket". See TANKER JACKET, BATTLE JACKET, DRESS.

FLIGHTLINE / FLIGHT LINE :
that open portion of an airstrip or airfield that's used for the servicing and maintenance of aircraft; the APRON, HARDSTAND, or RAMP. 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.

FLIGHT OF FANCY :
see SPECULATION.

FLIGHT RECORDER :
see BLACK BOX. [nb: Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR)]

FLIGHT SUIT :
fabric coverall, in branch colors, with numerous zippered pockets and front closure, often of fire-retardant material (eg: Nomex), to be worn with FLIGHT JACKET, FLAK VEST, CVC helmet, gloves, BOONDOCKERS, PARACHUTE, and other flight gear; also called "zoom bags" or "zoot suit". See G-SUIT, POOPIE SUIT, PARTY SUIT, COLORS, DRESS, PATCH, TRASH.

FLIGHTWORTHY :
an aircraft that's equipped and maintained in proper physical and mechanical condition to fly safely; also known as "airworthy". See BLADE STRIKE; compare ACOOC, HANGAR QUEEN.

FLIMSY :
any thin but opaque paper used to save weight and bulk, as for making multiple copies or reducing (airmail) postage; also called "onionskin", and probably derived as a metathetic variation of 'filmy'. See CC, MANIFOLD SET, PAPER BULLET, RED TAPE, SNOWFLAKE, TYPEWRITER, MIMEOGRAPH.

FLINT FACE :
slang for the impassive, impersonal, almost inhuman countenance adopted by every MIL-PERS on guard, on parade, or other duty demanding execution without thought or emotion; being an opaque and unyielding facial expression that's seemingly chiseled from stone and capable of striking sparks. This DEADPAN expression is also called a "wooden face", "official face", or "formal face". Compare HALF-MAST, QUARTERDECK FACE, WAR FACE, FACE. [nb: the pan is the depressed part of the lock holding the priming in old guns, so a "deadpan" facial expression derives from a musket's flash-pan being empty, that is, without any primer to set-off the charged barrel when the hammer falls to strike a spark of ignition]

FLIP :
syncopic slang for a Filipino, civilian or otherwise, being a native or inhabitant of the Philippines, used as an affectionate generalization for convenient description or identification; see LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, INDIG, DESEGREGATION; compare GOOK.

FLIP-FLOP :
slang expression for inserting a team at the same time another team is being extracted, or to INFIL an LRRP element when a platoon or company EXFILs; to swap or shuffle elements (ie: RELIEF IN PLACE); see RECON, FALSE INSERTION, SHELL GAME, SKYHOOK, STAY BEHIND. Also, slang for indecisive or irresolute, changeable or fickle, vacillating or equivocating [v: shilly-shally (der: "Shall I? Shall I?")]. Also, onomatopoeic slang for inexpensive rubber SHOWER-SHOEs, or any backless thong sandal, based upon the Japanese zori, sandaru, huarache, or geta design; probably derived from the distinctive sound made when walking; compare HO CHI MINH SANDALS [aka: jandal]. Also, any bipolar or binary circuit, or any device having two conditions, the change or alteration caused by positive input to either stable state. [v: dichotomy, dualism]

FLIR :
abbreviation for aircraft-mounted Forward-Looking InfraRed (also represented as: Forward Looking Infrared Radar); see IR, RED HAZE; compare LRAS3.

FLOAT :
Naval slang for a tour of duty at sea, a CRUISE; see SQUID, SWABBY, NUGGET, CHUM, FRESH CATCH, POLLYWOG, SHELLBACK, MOSSBACK, OLD SALT. Also, Navy slang for a group of ships operating in mutual support, as a SQDN or flotilla; see FLT, CONVOY. Also, a hollow boat-like object (cf: pontoon) affixed to a structure to make it buoyant in the water; compare HULL.

FLOATER :
slang for a corpse, initially submerged, that's risen by bloat to the surface of a body of water; once gases pass off (usually by venting during predation, but also by decomposition), the corpse again sinks to the seafloor; also known as a "bloater", the recovery of such a corpse is potentially hazardous due to the transmittal of blood-borne (by seepage) or airborne (by "sighing") diseases that were incubated during decomposition. Compare CREATURE FEATURE, RICE KRISPIES, CRISPY CRITTER, PICNIC, TADPOLE; see GRAVES REGISTRATION, MORTUARY AFFAIRS.

FLOATING WORLD :
informal reference to the insular or provincial, sometimes even isolated, realm of seafaring vessels, their officers and crew, moving on an independent schedule, using interior time and separate rules, to fulfill its mission; a situation most characteristic of tactical cruises and long voyages.

FLOAT TEST :
in NavSpeak, the mock designation for disposing of damaged or unwanted equipment by pitching it overboard from a vessel while at sea; see DEEP SIX, SALTY DOG, DX, CASTOFF, FLOTSAM, DODO, WAVESON, JETSAM, LAGAN.

FLOCK SHOOT :
inaccurate fire; being the method used by inexperienced troops to SPRAY or HOSE an enemy formation which produces more misses than hits. Inexperienced soldiers only fire in the general direction of their target, substituting quantity for quality, when aimed fire is most effective. The kill ratio to expended AMMO during the VIETNAM WAR was about 20,000 rounds per enemy kill. See BLIND FIRE, WILD SHOT, MAD MINUTE, BUSTING CAPS, HAPPY FIRE, RECON BY FIRE, ENFILADE; compare DOUBLE TAP.

FLOP HAT / FLOPPY HAT :
olive green boonie hat desert khaki camouflage
boonie hat jungle green camouflage
boonie hat
floppy bush / boonie hat
a wide-brimmed soft hat for wear during field operations in forest or jungle, desert or mountains, also called BOONIE / BOONIE HAT, "bush hat", "crusher", "slouch hat", "field fedora", "tropical topper", or "Saigon stetson", with screened ventilation holes, sewn loops for camouflage, and neck/chin strap, in colors to match the issue FATIGUE uniform; variously styled and personalized, as by shortened brim, grenade pull-pins, safety-pins, and insignia (inside or out, official or not). Preferred to the STEEL POT for field wear, despite the increased risk of head injury, due to improved hearing, decreased noise, and reduced weight. This "soft cover" was worn as a proud distinction from REMFs, who were required to wear the baseball cap or utility COVER. See BLANKET HEAD, GREEN BERET, HEADGEAR, SHORT-TIMER PIN. [v: petasus / petasos : a broad-brimmed hat worn by ancient Greek travelers and hunters, often represented in art as a winged hat worn by Hermes or Mercury]

FLOT :
Forward Line Of Troops; see FEBA, MLR, FCSL, PHASE LINE, LINE OF DEPARTURE, FRONT LINE, LINE OF BATTLE, OBJECTIVE AREA, COMBAT ZONE.

FLOTILLA :
an administrative group or operational unit of naval vessels containing two or more squadrons (SQDN); see FLEET. [nb: Vietnamese term: Hai Doi]

FLOTSAM :
wreckage or refuse found floating on water; as derived from "float". See WAVESON, CASTOFF, DODO; compare JETSAM, LAGAN.

FLOTUS :
specious acronym for First Lady Of The United States, a mocking coinage bestowed by the Secret Service (USSS) during the Clinton Administration as an imitation of 'President Of The United States' (POTUS); see VPOTUS, SCOTUS. [nb: during the Clinton administration, the First Lady acquired the matching designation "FLOTUS" from the Secret Service (USSS), which is perhaps a mocking acknowledgement of the first overtly titular "co-presidency"; subsequent to the Kennedy assassination, Congress passed (1965) the 25th Amendment (Presidential Vacancy or Inability) to the Constitution that provided for rightful succession, which factor became a prevailing concern during Reagan's term of office, due to fears that the spousal surrogateship of the presidency, as prompted by Wilson's disability, might recur without some overriding intervention]

FLOW CHART / FLOWCHART :
a graphic representation of the successive steps in a systematic process or in a sequential procedure, by the use of representative symbols that are interconnected with lines; also called "flow diagram". [cf: block diagram, nomogram / nomograph, phase diagram, Venn diagram]

FLOWER CHILD / FLOWER CHILDREN :
also known as LONGHAIR or HIPPIE; see PACIFIST, HEP, SUMMER OF LOVE, THEY'LL GIVE A WAR AN' NOBODY'LL COME, WE SHALL OVERCOME, KUM BA YAH, STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, LOVE BEADS, THE PILL, PREEVERT, TRIPPIE; compare STRAIGHT ARROW, SILENT MAJORITY.

FLOWER POWER :
nickname of the 9th Infantry Division, from the colors and octafoil shape of its shoulder patch; also called PSYCHEDELIC COOKIE; formally known as "Varsity" or "Old Reliables". Also, a slogan used by the counterculture to represent the moral attributes of non-violence and passive-resistance in its quest for peaceful coexistence, being an ideological tenet of the peace movement, as likened to the "power of prayer" or the "power of positive thinking". This expression was coined in an essay ["How to Make a March/Spectacle"] published November 1965 by Allen Ginsberg, who proposed distributing flowers to opponents and spectators as a means of lessening the confrontation inherent in any protest demonstration ... flowers were soon adopted as a talisman of goodwill and a symbol of amity, giving these demonstrators the appellation of "flower children". Flowers and DAISY CHAINs were used to encroach upon the authoritarian limits of The Establishment, until this environment of social permissiveness led to experimental lifestyles, sexual promiscuity, drug abuse, and other forms of irresponsible misconduct that were classified as crimes. Impatient with the pace of revolution (or its total absence), some protestors sought redress of their grievances through more "direct action", including vandalism and riot. The FLOWER POWER ideology was easily corrupted, becoming a catch-phrase for psychedelic music (eg: hard rock, heavy metal, etc) and stylized art (eg: pop art, op art, etc), until it was so overused as to be meaningless. See HIPPIE, PACIFIST, THEY'LL GIVE A WAR AN' NOBODY'LL COME, SUMMER OF LOVE, KUM BA YAH, WE SHALL OVERCOME, PROTESTOR, YIPPIE, TRIPPIE. [nb: "The cry of 'Flower Power' echoes through the land. We shall not wilt. Let a thousand flowers bloom." by Abbie Hoffman (Workshop in Nonviolence, May 1967)] [nb: "I like to think of my behavior in the Sixties as a 'learning experience'. Then again, I like to think of anything stupid I've done as a 'learning experience'. It makes me feel less stupid." by P.J. O'Rourke (1987); "Infantilism is possibly the hallmark of our generation." by John Wells (1989); "Never before has a civilization reached such a degree of a contempt for life; never before has a generation, drowned in mortification, felt such a rage to live." by Raoul Vaneigem (1967); "My advice to people today is as follows: If you take the game of life seriously, if you take your nervous system seriously, if you take your sense organs seriously, if you take the energy process seriously, You must turn on, tune in, and drop out." by Timothy Leary (1968); "The people in power are not going to disappear; they're not going to voluntarily surrender their hard-won clout ... they aren't going to exchange their gavels and guns for some pretty flowers, but they want the dispossessed and disenfranchised to embrace non-violence . If they foster a climate of love as a potential resolution, then they can use anger as a backlash and hate as a weapon to quash the unruly mob whenever it suits their strategic agenda. The only way The Establishment should be given flowers is at their funeral!" paraphrase of William Burroughs (1969); "People today are still living off the table scraps of the Sixties. They are still being passed around -- the music and the ideas." by Bob Dylan (1992)]

FLOWER WAR :
the ceremonial or ritual display of forces and arms, as practiced by some tribal peoples (eg: New Guinea, MesoAmerica, etc) to avoid the destruction and death toll of actual war, and to enhance status or prestige; featuring exaggerated postures and bellicose slogans, so as to shame or intimidate the adversary, and acquire a negotiating advantage or a (relatively) bloodless victory. See SHOW THE FLAG, PLAY THE GAME, VIETNAM SYNDROME, MACHO, COCKTAIL WARS, MICROAGGRESSION, SOFT REVOLUTION, WAR GAMES, BATTLE, WAR; compare FIREWORKS. [cf: potlatch]

FLT :
abbreviation for FLeeT; see SQDN, FLOAT. Also, abbreviation for FLighT; see WING.

FLUFF 'n' BUFF :
slang reference to the more informal wear and appearance policies adopted for the Battle Dress Uniforms (BDU) worn by TOTAL FORCE volunteers (AVF) during the post-Vietnam era; these relaxed strictures permitted CAMMIES to be washed and fluff dried (without pressing), and FOOTWEAR to be polished and buffed (without spitshining). Criticized for making MIL-PERS look sloppy, it was a well intentioned attempt to eliminate CHICKEN SHIT by reducing SPIT 'n' POLISH, permitting a renewed focus on improved MIL-CRAFTs. Also, an individual so attired, especially for an inspection.

FLUTTER :
slang for a polygraph interrogation, whether investigating, DEBRIEFing, or vetting a subject/suspect. See SWEAT, SQUEEZE, THIRD DEGREE, TRUTH SERUM, LIE DETECTOR, TRADECRAFT.

FLY :
any of numerous pestiferous insects, two-winged and six-legged, that can smell blood from over two miles distant; used metaphorically to represent an inadequacy or imperfection, a deficiency or defect (eg: "the fly in the ointment"); see MAGGOT; compare PET. Also, a flap forming the door of a TENT. Also, a sheet, fabric or otherwise, suspended horizontally about head height, or extended from the ridgepole of a TENT, that serves as an awning to provide shelter from the rain or sun in an encampment. Also, a placket with fasteners (ie: zipper, buttons, snaps, Velcro, etc) that conceals an opening in garments so as to improve their fit or access; compare FALL. Also, the horizontal dimension of a flag as when flown from a vertical staff; the end of the flag farthest from the staff; compare HOIST. [v: Flag Terms] Also, a gadfly or FRUIT FLY; see WAR CORRESPONDENT, FOURTH ESTATE, PRESS, GAG ORDER, OPSEC, BLACKOUT, DISINFORMATION, PROPAGANDA, BIG LIE, RUMOR. Also, used metaphorically for bold conduct, as to act in brazen defiance (eg: to fly in the face of" or "to fly in the teeth of"). Also, flight, especially by air; used metaphorically to represent hope or elation (eg: "flying high"), or hurry without pause (eg: "on the fly").

FLY-BOY :
an aviator, or anyone associated with aircraft or flying; see PILOT, JET JOCKEY, FUF, FAG, AIRDALE, BROWN SHOE / BOOT, ZOOMIE, DOOLIE, AC, IP, ROTOR HEAD, WOBBLY, WOP, PROP JOCKEY, BIRDMAN, AIRMAN, WING MAN, PETER PILOT, WSO (WIZZO), RSO, EWO, RIO, BEAR, GIB, BOMBARDIER, CREW DOG, Q-COURSE, GOOD STICK, HELMET FIRE, SEAT TIME. Also, anyone serving in or associated with aviation, including PENGUIN, GROUND HOG, WING WIPER, or GROUNDED.

FLYBY / FLY-BY / FLY BY :
the low-altitude flight of an aircraft for the benefit of ground observers; also called FLYOVER; see MISSING MAN FORMATION. Also, the flight of an aircraft near another aircraft or near a fixed object; see FLAT PASS, BANANA PASS, KNIFE EDGE PASS. Also, the flight of an aircraft or spacecraft near enough to any object of special interest so as to acquire or exchange data, including images.

FLY CAMP :
also known as "cold harbor" or "harbor site", see BREAKWEATHER, COLD CAMP, HUT, SPIKE, RON, NDP, LAAGER. [cf: line camp, shelter camp]

FLYER :
misspelling of 'flier' (qv); see PILOT, BIRDMAN, JET JOCKEY, AIRDALE, ZOOMIE, ROTOR HEAD, PROP JOCKEY, GOOD STICK.

FLYING AMBULANCE :
see AIR AMBULANCE, MEDEVAC.

FLYING BANANA :
nickname for the Boeing CH-21 SHAWNEE helicopter (qv); compare CHINOOK, see CHOPPER.

FLYING BOAT :
Boeing B-314/-A "Clipper" (ca1938) four-engined, high-winged, and boat-bottomed HULL passenger aircraft, with additional "sea wing" for stability when motoring in water after SPLASHDOWN, flown contractually by Pan American Airlines for the US and British military during WWII; compare SEAPLANE, AMPHIBIAN. Also, Martin PBM-3 twin-engined FLYING BOAT used for patrol; equipped with a bow-mounted BALL TURRET. See DUMBO, CATALINA, PBM, PBY, BIRD.

FLYING BOXCAR :
Fairchild Republic C-119 aircraft, with twin TAILBOOMs and clamshell fuselage; also called "Boxcar". [nb: Fairchild AC-119 gunship has been designated as 'Spectre'] Also, nickname of the Consolidated B-24 LIBERATOR; see SHADOW, STINGER, BIRD.

FLYING BRAVO :
displaying the red burgee signifying the letter "B" in the International Code of Signals; see BRAVO ZULU, BRAVO SIERRA, WIGWAG. Also, displaying the "B" burgee, or any solid RED FLAG, as a warning of combustible or EXPLOSIVE substances, especially during fueling and loading, and on firing ranges and impact areas; see KD RANGE, KILL HOUSE, SMALL ARMS. Also, a dismissive reference to a presumably menstruating woman, especially one exhibiting Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), and sometimes called "flying MAGGIE'S DRAWERS"; it should be noted that the MAGGIE'S DRAWERS firing range signal was white, evocative of the color of women's panties of the era, while the FLYING BRAVO range warning flag is solid red in color; see HELL ON WHEELS, BALL BUSTER, BATTLE-AX, BITCH, SQUEAK, HOLLOW BUNNY, RUNTS 'n' CUNTS, SKIRT, GI JANE, DISTAFF, COMPRESS, TAMPON.

FLYING BRIDGE / FLYBRIDGE / FLY BRIDGE :
a small open DECK, situated above the main cabin or PILOTHOUSE of a vessel, having duplicate navigational equipment and bridge controls; also called BRIDGE DECK, "monkey bridge" or "monkey island". Compare COCKPIT, HELM, CONNING TOWER.

FLYING CIRCUS :
informal reference to a squadron of airplanes operating together; as derived from the several famous squadrons that flew combat missions in the Great War (WWI). Also, a troupe of itinerant aviators, together with their support staff and equipment, who offer public exhibitions of stunt flying at carnivals and fairs; see CIRCUS. [ety: 'circus' derives from "circular region of the sky", "an oval space in which games were held"]

FLYING COLORS :
an idiomatic expression meaning overwhelming victory, indisputable triumph, or untrammeled success; often represented as "with colors flying".

FLYING COLUMN :
formerly used during the period of the American CIVIL WAR to designate a force of ground troops that were equipped and organized to move swiftly and responsively, being independent of its principal or parent unit of attachment; designated in the modern era as "Quick Reaction Force" or "Quick Response Force" (QRF) and "Rapid Reaction Force" or "Rapid Response Force" (RRF). See FIRE BRIGADE, STRIKE FORCE, SOF, SMU.

FLYING COW :
C-123 or C-130 aircraft equipped with a rubberized collapsible drum and 350-GPM (gallons per minute) pumps. Also called "cow" or BLADDER BIRD; compare BLIVET.

FLYING CRANE :
CH-54 heavy cargo helicopter, also called SKYCRANE, and nicknamed "superhook"; see CHOPPER.

FLYING DUTCHMAN :
the Dutch captain of a legendary ghost ship, which is seen at sea (especially near the Cape of Good Hope), who's been condemned to sail the sea, beating against the wind in a crewless vessel, until the Day of Judgment; compare Sisyphus at SISYPHEAN.

FLYING FIELD :
a small landing field with short RUNWAYs and facilities for servicing airplanes on a lesser scale than an airport. [aka: airfield, airstrip, landing strip, airdrome / aerodrome, jetport]

FLYING FORTRESS :
Boeing B-17 / RB-17G / F-9 four-engined bomber, nicknamed "The Big Friend"; famous for flying 40% of precision daylight raids from England over Europe during WWII; compare SUPER FORTRESS, STRATOFORTRESS; see BALL TURRET, BIRD.

FLYING GANGWAY :
a raised fore-and-aft CATWALK permitting safe passage when the weather deck of a ship is washed by heavy seas; also called "monkey bridge". Compare BROW, GANGWAY; see BRIDGE.

FLYING GAS STATION :
see TANKER, ENDURANCE.

FLYING JUICE CAN :
Air Force slang for Bomb Dummy Unit (BDU); see BEER CAN, compare SOUP CAN.

FLYING OSCAR :
nickname for the Boeing CH-47 CHINOOK cargo helicopter (qv), after the Oscar Meyer wiener; compare SHAWNEE, see CHOPPER.

FLYING TIGERS :
nickname of the American Volunteer Group (AVG), organized with three squadrons in 1941 for the air defense of Nationalist forces in China by Claire Lee Chennault, flying escort and TAC-AIR, and was transferred to the U.S. Army Air Corps (23rd Fighter Group, 14th Air Force) on 4 July 1942. The symbol of the AVG was a winged tiger leaping through the letter 'V', representing victory, as designed by Walt Disney. See CNAC, CHINAT, ON A WING AND A PRAYER, POINTIE TALKIE, BLOOD CHIT. [v: blood chit] Also, the squadron nickname of VMF/VMA-542, which operated the F6F Hellcat, F4U Corsair, F7F Tigercat, F3D Skyknight, F4D Skyray, F-4 Phantom II, and AV-8 Harrier II during service in World War II, the KOREAN WAR, and Persian GULF WAR.

FLYING WIENER :
nickname for the Boeing CH-21 SHAWNEE helicopter (qv); compare CHINOOK, see CHOPPER.

FLYING WING :
an airplane whose wings form almost all of the airframe, with the FUSELAGE almost or entirely within this wing structure; a MONOPLANE design dating from before the WWII-era; compare BIPLANE, TRIPLANE, GLIDER, BLIMP.

FLYOVER :
a formation of aircraft arranged and flown for public observation from the ground, such as the MISSING MAN FORMATION; see WELDED WING, BARNSTORMER, AEROBATICS. Also, a flight of assembled aircraft over a specified area. Also, the act of passing or flying overhead, also known as overflight or overpass.

FM :
Field Manual; see FSR, TM, TC, DASH TEN, CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, SCRIPTURES, MANUAL OF ARMS, THE BIBLE. [cf: vade mecum (Latin: handbook, guide (literally: "go with me")] Also, frequency modulation, being a signal method in which the frequency of the radio carrier wave varies; also known phonetically as "Fox Mike"; see RADIO WAVE, RADIO.

FMAW :
Fleet Marine Air Wing

FMF :
abbreviation for Fleet Marine Force (and more crudely as "Fighting MotherFuckers"), being a balanced force of COMBINED ARMS comprising land, air, and service elements of the US Marine Corps; a Fleet Marine Force is an integral part of a US fleet and has the status of a type command.

FMFPAC :
Fleet Marine Force Pacific.

FMI :
Functional Management Inspection.

FMJ :
Full Metal Jacket BULLET with a round or pointed nose, as mandated by the LAWS OF WAR; see HARDBALL, CARTRIDGE.

FN :
Foreign National; later supplanted by local national (LN) and third-country national (TCN) during the GULF WARs; see PNG, FOREIGN DEVIL, LODGE-PHILBIN ACT, NUNG, MONTAGNARD, RF/PF, STRIKER, ROADRUNNER, EARTH ANGEL, HOI CHANH, WOG, INDIG, LITTLE PEOPLE, BUDDHAHEAD, BASKET HEAD, COUNTERPART, NOFORN. [nb: "Join the military, learn useful skills, travel to distant lands, meet interesting people, and kill them!" sardonic recruiting slogan popularized during the Vietnam-era]

FNB :
Food and Nutrition Board; see CMNR, RATIONS.

FNG :
(ef-en-gee) literally a Fuckin' New Guy, which is the same as a CHERRY or NEWBEE; the most common name for a newly arrived novice, tyro, or neophyte in Vietnam, being someone without any theater or combat experience. Sometimes called "rookie", "tenderfoot", "greenhorn", "cheechako", Fuckin' New Kid (FNK), FRESH CATCH, "fresh meat", "new meat", or raw meat". See TURTLE, CHUM, SHOWER SHOE, NUGGET; compare RETREAD. [nb: showing an astonishing sophistication, a new Russian soldier in the USSR during WWII was known as an "ingénu" (masculine form of ingénue), which is both quite accurate and very descriptive] [nb: "One new recruit added to an old unit is worth two added to a new unit." military maxim]

FNK :
(ef-en-kay) literally a Fuckin' New Kid; see FNG, CHERRY, NEWBEE, FRESH CATCH, CHUM, NUGGET.

FNREB :
Food and Nutrition Research and Engineering Board, later redesignated Combat Research and Engineering Board (CFREB).

FNU :
First Name Unknown; see NMI.

FO :
(ef-oh, not "foe") Forward Observer; a detached artillerist who's responsible for calling and adjusting fire missions to supporting mortars, artillery (ARTY), naval gunfire, or airstrikes (TAC-AIR, CAS) to aid ground troops and their movements; see LOST, OP, FAC, FCSL, ANGLICO, SHOT IN, SHOT OUT, SPLASH, SPOTTER, WATCHER. Also, abbreviation for Field Order. Also, abbreviation for Foreign Office (DoS); see USDAO.

FOB :
Forward Operations Base, or Forward Operating Base, being a variously sized command and support facility, ashore or afloat, from which tactical operations in foreign lands are conducted, and so may include an airfield or anchorage together with secure shelters and perimeter defenses; sometimes shortened to "Operations Base" (OB). An FOB is generally established near or within a SPECIAL OPERATIONS area for the control and training of tactical operations; this advanced BASE CAMP or launch site serves as a secure location for rapid insertion/extraction, or reinforcement/recovery from hostile territory. See BIVOUAC, FORT, FSB, AOB, MOB, CP, JUMP CP, STRONGPOINT, ADVANCED BASE, DODGE CITY, CRUSADER FORT, CAMP, BASE CAMP, BASE. [nb: the six SOG Forward Operation Bases were consolidated and reorganized in 1967, and redesignated as differentiations of Command and Control (C&C), with FOB#4 becoming Command and Control North (CCN), FOB#2 becoming Command and Control Central (CCC), FOB#6 becoming Command and Control South (CCS), while FOBs #1,3,5 became launch sites; the "Hatchet Force" and "Recon Team" designations became "Exploitation Force" and "Spike Team"]

FOBBIT :
a derogatory or disparaging description of Coalition support personnel, both military and contract civilians, who never venture outside COMPOUNDs or BASE CAMPs, and exist entirely within the warrens of Iraq or Afghanistan; being a euphemism for REMF, this coinage was obtained by combining FOB (Forward Operations Base) with Hobbit (from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien). See LITTLE AMERICA, DODGE CITY, FOUR CORNERS, GROUNDHOG DAY; compare CLERKS 'n' JERKS, CANDY-ASS, CHAIRBORNE, ACETATE COMMANDO, CHAIR FORCE, POG, TOCROACH.

FOBBITVILLE :
slang for the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) or headquarters (HQ) situated in a Forward Operations Base (FOB) ... the reclusive habitat of the wily FOBbit. See FOBBIT, GROUNDHOG DAY, CHAIRBORNE, ACETATE COMMANDO, CHAIR FORCE, POG, TOCROACH.

FOC :
Flight Operations Center; see AOC, ADOC, TAOC, ASOC, CAOC, OPN.

FOD :
Foreign Object Damage, or Foreign Object Debris, designating the most common cause of aircraft malfunction, necessitating routine cleaning of regularly used airfields, airstrips, landing strips, or flight decks, or employing extreme caution when utilizing unimproved or improvised RUNWAYs. See APRON, RAMP, POLICE CALL; compare RCR.

FOE :
a military enemy, opponent, or adversary, being someone or something that is harmful or destructive, eliciting enmity or malice; foe (and foeman) is derived from enemy or hostile, and is also the basis for the word 'feud', which originally meant 'war'. See BAD GUYS, GUERRILLA, INSURGENT, TERRORIST, BANDIT, OPFOR, ORANGE FORCE, PURPLE FORCE, RED FORCE, BELIEVER; compare BOGIE, DOUBTFULS, SQUIRTER. [nb: the "thin red line" was applied to the British ("Redcoats") in the Crimean War because they did not form into a defensive square when engaged, making their line weak, which impugned their military prowess; likewise, the Scottish bagpipers accompanying British troops in WWI were labeled "ladies from hell" for wearing kilts into battle while playing an instrument instead of carrying a weapon ... each attribution was initially offensive, but both were later adopted as proud distinctions] [nb: the dehumanization of one's enemy is usually a preliminary (if not a prerequisite) to his extermination] [v: vernichtungsgedanken; cf: nemesis, antagonist] [v: Names of Foreigners or Foes]

FOFA :
Follow-On Forces Attack.

FOGGY BOTTOM :
metaphoric allusion, since the KOREAN WAR-era, for the national capitol and its befuddled legerdemain, also called the "seat of government" (SOG); being a federal district ("Federal City"), encompassing a ten mile square on both banks of the Potomac River, that was established by Congress in 1790-1, becoming coextensive with Washington City and merged into a single entity in 1878, and commonly known as "Washington", "DC", "The District", or "Babylon on the Potomac"; see THE G, THE NATIONAL JOKE FACTORY, THE HILL, GREEN ACRES, ALPHABET CITY, OLYMPUS, NGO, QUANGO, GOCO, COCO, OGA, MANDARIN, UNCLE SAM, THE EAGLE SHITS, RED TAPE, PETITION, WASHINGTON WALTZ, YANKEE, POLITICIAN, WISE MEN, UGLY AMERICAN, PORK BARREL, BELTWAY BANDIT, MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, CIVILIAN. Also, facetious reference to the State Department (DoS) and its miasma of diplomatic intrigues; by virtue of its location. Also, a low-lying area bordered by Rock Creek and the Potomac River in Washington D.C., situated between the White House and Georgetown, south of Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capital Mall, housing the Department of State, the Department of the Interior, the Federal Reserve, the World Bank, the Kennedy Center, the Watergate, George Washington University, and is served by the blue, orange, and silver (2011) lines of the Washington Metro; so named because of the haze rising from the swampy land ... being the American paradigm for all future QUAGMIREs. [v: realpolitik, machtpolitik] [nb: "The government is huge, stupid, greedy and makes nosy, officious and dangerous intrusions into the smallest corners of life – this much we can stand. But the real problem is that government is boring. We could cure or mitigate the other ills Washington visits on us if we could only bring ourselves to pay attention to Washington itself. But we cannot." by P.J. O'Rourke (1991)] [v: Diplomatic Terms]

THE FOG OF WAR :
classic allusion to the confusions and misperceptions inherent in the chaos of battle; sometimes identified as "red haze". No one knows what is occurring across the entire battlefield, but only in his vicinity; a leader with his men knows as much or as little as any of them, but a leader who is absent issues commands out of ignorance ... the choice is not between insight or its lack, but in having a little information or in having some misinformation. The new "eye in the sky" OVERSIGHT technology does not mitigate or ameliorate this phenomenon, but exacerbates and compounds it by giving COMMANDERs the semblance of omnipresence and the illusion of omniscience. See ABSTRACTION, COMBAT EFFECTIVE, DON'T DO NOTHING, CAPABILITY, CONFUSION, COMPARTMENTALIZATION, THE PLAN, MICROMANAGEMENT. [nb: "To add to all this, compassion strikes the beating heart with pity at the sight of the maimed and fallen. The young soldier cannot reach any of these different strata of danger without feeling that the light of reason does not move here in the same medium, that it is not refracted in the same manner as in speculative contemplation. Indeed, he must be a very extraordinary man who, under these impressions for the first time, does not lose the power of making any instantaneous decisions. It is true that habit soon blunts such impressions; in half in hour we begin to be more or less indifferent to all that is going on around us: but an ordinary character never attains to complete coolness and the natural elasticity of mind; and so we perceive that here again ordinary qualities will not suffice -- a thing which gains truth, the wider the sphere of activity which is to be filled. Enthusiastic, stoical, natural bravery, great ambition, or also long familiarity with danger -- much of all this there must be if all the effects produced in this resistant medium are not to fall far short of that which in the student's chamber may appear only the ordinary standard." by Karl von Clausewitz]

FOG-M :
Fiber Optic Guided Missile.

FOIA :
(foy-yah) Freedom of Information Act, being a federal law enacted in 1966 requiring that full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased government records be made available within twenty days to the public upon request, for which a processing fee may be charged; many states have similar statutes ensuring public access to local procedures and practices. This Act defines which records are subject to disclosure (ie: only executive branch agencies), outlines mandatory disclosure procedures (together with penalties for hindering), and grants specific compliance exemptions (except those records relating to national security, confidential financial data, and law enforcement) ... this Act attempts to strike a balance between the public's "right to know" as a function of oversight and the government's "need for secrecy" as a matter of operational necessity. FOIA amends the Administrative Procedure Act, and has been amended by the Privacy Act of 1974, Government in the Sunshine Act, Electronic Freedom of Information Act of 1996, The Intelligence Authorization Act of 2002, OPEN Government Act of 2007, and others. Anyone seeking compliance or redress can appeal to their congressional representative, to the federal district courts, or to the Office of Information and Privacy in the Justice Department if obstruction is suspected. See NATIONAL SECURITY, OPSEC, NEED TO KNOW, COMPARTMENTALIZATION, CHINESE WALL, WHISTLE-BLOWER, SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT.

FOLLOW ME :
U.S. Army
Infantry School patch
Inf Sch
infantry motto; Vietnamese term: Theo Toi; see WATCH MY SMOKE, LEAD ON MACDUFF, PIED PIPER, JACKAL, LEAD, LDR; compare CHARGE, STORM, MOVE OUT, SADDLE-UP, CAKEWALK. Also, the infantryman statue at Fort Benning that depicts a leader signaling his troops to advance; compare IRON MIKE, DOUGHBOY. [nb: 'statue' derived from 'status', meaning 'standing', 'position'] Also, by extension of the 'Follow Me' sign mounted on the ground guide vehicle that escorts arriving aircraft from the RUNWAY along the TAXIWAY to their parking station on the RAMP or APRON, the ushering or chaperoning vehicle so marked and emblazoned with checkered warning flags and WIGWAG caution lights.

FOLLOW THE DRUM :
a euphemism for military life, especially a career devoted to going where one is sent and doing what one is directed to do; see LIFER, CAREER TRACK, MILICRAT, DRUM; compare RALLY 'ROUND THE FLAG, CALL TO THE COLORS, MUSTER, BUGLE CALL.

FOMENT :
to instigate or foster, incite or prompt, arouse or agitate, stimulate or goad, prod or spur, impel or compel, provoke or promote a condition or situation, especially discord or discontent, trouble or rebellion; see FLAME-BAIT, PROVOCATEUR. Also, a therapeutic treatment wherein warm liquids or medicated ointments are applied to the surface of the body; as derived from "soothing application" or poultice.

FOMENTER :
see PROVOCATEUR, BAD BOY.

FONECON :
contraction of telephone conversation.

FOOD :
see RATIONS, CHOW, BEANS, IRON RATIONS, STONE SOUP, SOLDIER'S BREAKFAST.

FOOD COMA :
reference to an episode of gluttonous over-indulgence, especially during holiday celebrations or other special occasions, when people's appetites exceed their better judgement, or "their eyes are bigger than their stomachs"; also known as "digestive nap", "carb stupor", "post-prandial lethargy", or "post-prandial somnolence" ... such exceptional indulgence is typically followed by self-contented groans and belt-loosening while napping in semi-supine postures of relaxation. The occurrence of involuntary belches and farts was formerly considered to be a polite signal of satisfied repletion, which was a compliment to the host for providing such a grand feast, but those crude expressions of gratitude are no longer socially acceptable ... nor politically-correct. See LIP SMACKING, COMMISSARY DAY, THANKSGIVING, RATIONS; compare COMBAT NAP, KIP, EYELID MAINTENANCE. [nb: some alleged etymologists claim that "ethnic fatigue" and "niggeritis" are also synonyms for such lassitude, but only in someone's warped imagination!]

FOOD ENGINEERING LABORATORY :
a Quartermaster test facility at the Natick Research and Development Laboratories, later redesignated Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center; see RATIONS.

FOO DOG / FU DOG :
originating during the Han dynasty as a strong and brave guardian against evil for religious buildings and civic centers, it became associated with Buddhist temples during the T'ang dynasty when the representational "Dog of Fo" (Buddha's companion) was made symbolic and artistic; apparently modeled on a canid (probably the Samoyéd breed), it is also known as a temple lion, temple dog, celestial dog, and dragon dog. The FOO DOG is not only the protector of sacred sites (eg: temples, tombs, etc) but a defender of the laws (ie: ecclesiastical and secular), and as an emblem of valor and determination, those indispensable complements of wisdom, it's also embroidered on the court robes of Chinese military officials of the second grade. FOO DOG artwork has varied in size and shape, color an material, sometimes incorporating other symbols of power or tranquility, but the beast is typically displayed as a dyadic ensemble: the pair is usually shown with the male (yang / sinister) resting one front paw on a sphere (symbolizing the temporal realm) while the female (yin / dexter) holds a pup or cub (symbolizing the home), the raised paw of each is situated toward the inside of their arrangement so that the world and the family remain safe. [v: fu / foo: Western form of guardian dog / lion; fó shi: guardian of Buddhism; fú shi: fortuitous guardian; komainu: Japanese guardian (introduced from Korea); shisa: Okinawan guardian; chinthe: Burmese / Thai / Malaysian guardian; tóng shi: bronze guardian; shí shi: stone guardian] [nb: although the spherical shape of the earth was known by members of the Pythagorean School as early as the 5th century BC (deduced by perspective and observed in lunar eclipses), Chinese astronomy did not adopt this interpretation until the 17th century Ming dynasty; so the designation of the ball under the male FOO DOG's guard foot may have originally been representative of the 'precious pearl', which symbolizes sacred knowledge and traditional lore, instead of the globe, since the world was presumed to be a disk (v: yin-yang) before scientific proof dispelled this assumption]

FOOD POISONING :
an acute gastrointestinal condition characterized by such symptoms as headache, fever, chills, abdominal cramps, muscular pain, nausea, diarrhea, and prostration, caused by foods that are naturally toxic (eg: poisonous mushrooms), by contaminated vegetables (eg: insecticide), or by bacteria or their toxins (eg: botulinus); see BOTULISM, SALMONELLA / SALMONELLOSIS, LISTERIA, DIARRHEA. [v: sitotoxin; cf: ptomaine / "ptomaine poisoning"]

FOOFARAW :
a great fuss or disturbance about something very insignificant, such as a flapdoodle, dither, pother, hubbub, hullabaloo, tizzy, mare's nest, or dog's breakfast; see HOOPLA, FLAP. Also, an Americanism used since before the CIVIL WAR for anything excessively ornamented or decorated, as something overly fancy or womanish; see FEATHERS, WITH BELLS ON, FLASH, CONTRAFOIL. [v: glad rags, paillette]

FOO-GAS :
also spelled "fougasse" and "phu-gas"; see PHOUGAS.

FOOL :
with historical antecedence in all cultures, someone who acts-out, sometimes entertainingly, often with caustic wit, as a method of self-promotion and personal fulfillment; such performances have included harlequin costumery and burlesque mannerisms by jokers, jesters, clowns, buffoons, and pranksters ... a powerful role given latitude by patronage. Also, a boor or oaf. [v: Till Eulenspiegel, Robin Goodfellow] [nb: despite all contrary indications, a cadet graduating from one of the several TRADE SCHOOL service academies is not a fool, although often times foolish and foolhardy]

FOOL ALL THE PEOPLE :
see FOOL 'EM.

FOOL 'EM :
the defining element in the catch-phrase: "How can we fool 'em today?", which is a rhetorical question on the chicanery of empowered leaders and the gullibility of everyday working folk; a cruel and ruthless manifestation of elitists seeming to know what's best for everyone else, while attempting to conceal their fumbling manipulations behind a veil of specious "charm" and spurious "public service" ... as if the REDNECKs and KNUCKLE-DRAGGERs were not conspecific with the self-proclaimed BEST AND BRIGHTEST. See SILENT MAJORITY, FORGOTTEN MAN, THIRD ESTATE, BEST AND BRIGHTEST, THE RIGHT TO BE WRONG, WHEN IN ROME, ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR; compare FOOL ME. [nb: "You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can't fool all of the people all the time." attributed to Abraham Lincoln by Alexander K. McClure (1904); "The trouble with this country is that there are too many politicians who believe, with a conviction based on experience, that you can fool all of the people all of the time." by Franklin Pierce Adams (1924); "No one ... has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people." by H.L. Mencken (1926); "You can fool too many of the people too much of the time." by James Thurber (1949); "The people will live on. / The learning and blundering people will live on. / They will be tricked and sold and again sold / And go back to the nourishing earth for rootholds." by Carl Sandburg (1936)]

FOOL ME :
the essential folk wisdom behind the heuristic process of learning from experience, which is commonly represented by the insightful phrase: "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." This concept is also represented by the Italian proverb "He that deceives me Once, it's his Fault; but Twice it is my fault." and the American maxim "Cheat me once, shame on you; cheat me twice, shame on me."; all of which hearken to Geoffrey Chaucer's "once bitten, twice shy" ["The Tale of Chanticleer" in The Canterbury Tales]. This is a polite admonition for some rude misconduct or offensive transgression, wherein tolerance and forgiveness are normative; such forbearance is not tactically viable in a military setting.

FOOL ME ONCE :
see FOOL ME; compare GOLDEN RULE.

FOOL ME TWICE :
see FOOL ME; compare GOLDEN RULE.

FOOL'S ERRAND :
see FOR THE HELL OF IT.

FOOL'S PARADISE :
a state of enjoyment based on false beliefs or hopes; a state of illusory happiness. See DREAM SHEET, MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, GARDEN SPOT, BUMFUCK, THE BIG PX IN THE SKY, FIDDLER'S GREEN, HAPPY VALLEY, VALHALLA, THE WARRIOR'S WAY. [v: millennialism/millenarianism, eschatology]

FOOLS RUSH IN :
the operative portion of the quote: "Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread." by Alexander Pope (1711).

FOOL THEM :
see FOOL 'EM.

FOOTBALL :
designation for the national defense contingency plans and nuclear-weapons release codes carried by a presidential military aide; also called "pigskin" or "ball and chain"; see DEFCON, SACON, FPCON, NEACP, ABNCP, ABCCC, BROKEN ARROW, SCRAM, ALERT. Also, a MOCK-COMBAT game played on a level field between two teams of eleven members each that kick, pass, or carry the oblong ball so as to advance it toward a set of goal posts in an end zone of the field; unlike other forms, time-outs and substitutions are permitted in the American game, including replacement of entire offensive and defensive squads throughout the four quarters of play. Football originated as a sort of melee between hundreds of parish rivals, was periodically outlawed for its brutality, and exists today in several forms, the rules of which differ greatly; seemingly introduced to America as a variant of soccer in 1869, it was modified by rugby rules (from 1823) until after 1884, a distinctive American sport began to emerge. [nb: area of the American football field, including end zones, is 360X160ft or 1.32acre] [v: harpaston, harpastrum, calcio; cf: Canadian football, Gaelic football, Australian football, rugby, soccer (association football)] [nb: "It was hard to say, about football as about games in general, which was more impressive, the violence or the rationality." by Howard Nemerov; "Football combines the two worst features of modern American life: it's violence punctuated by committee meetings." by George Will]

FOOTHOLD :
a secure position for further progress, or a firm basis for further development; see BEACHHEAD, BRIDGEHEAD, AIRHEAD, STRONGPOINT, CHOKE POINT.

FOOTLOCKER :
WWII-era wooden footlocker
WWII-era wooden footlocker
Gulf War-era molded
footlocker
GW-era molded footlocker
a small wooden trunk placed at the end of a bed for holding a soldier's personal effects; formerly issued with a DUFFEL BAG to every recruit, who moved it with emplaced contents from one duty station to another. The wooden FOOTLOCKER, with the interior subdivided by a removeable tray, is derived from the CAMPAIGN CHEST, and has undergone minor modifications in hardware and design over the decades, but remains about the same size (30"-32" wide by 13"-16" deep by 15"-16" high). A new water- and airtight FOOTLOCKER of rotationally molded construction, sized 33"X17"X17", including two polyethylene storage trays with molded hand holds, and configured with locking cable clasp and edge casters, is colored either gray (US Navy) or olive drab (US Army). The FOOTLOCKER and WALL LOCKER have been unit property since the Vietnam-era, with their placement and display regulated by a command specific Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). The Navy version is called a SEA CHEST (qv), and the Marines refer to it as a "locker box".

FOOTPRINT :
the area on the surface of the earth within a satellite's (SAT) transmitter or sensor field of view. Also, the number of personnel or the amount of resources physically present and occupying space at a deployed location, which serves as an indication of force capability; see BOOTS ON THE GROUND. Also, an impression of the sole of a person's shod or unshod foot, or a mark (pug / pug mark) left by the passage of a person or animal, group or vehicle; see PECKER TRACKS, CASTOFF, TRACE, TRAIL, TRACK.

FOOTROPE :
in sailing parlance, a ROPE suspended beneath a yard or spar to give footing to a person handling sails; see RATLINE, SHROUD, STIRRUP, HIGHLINE. Also, the portion of the BOLTROPE to which the lower edge of a sail is sewn.

FOOT SOLDIER :
an infantryman, or any dedicated follower; see BLUELEG, GRUNT, SNUFFY, GI, 03, GROUND POUNDER, BOONIE RAT, BUSHMASTER, CRUNCHY, LEG, DOUGHBOY, DRAGOON, INF. [cf: infantry (infant= child too young to speak)] [nb: "dismounted reconnaissance" is MIL-SPEAK for patrolling on foot]

FOOTSORE :
having sore or tender feet, as from much walking; also called "footworn"; see MARCH FRACTURE.

FOOTWEAR :
regulation foot covering that has been specifically designed to be uncomfortable, unattractive, and slightly lower than the depth of any mud the wearer is expected to walk through! All footwear was interchangeable until 1800, when King George IV ordered that his boots be made specifically to fit his right or left foot; which eccentricity naturally spawned an imitative fashion. During the VIETNAM WAR, special boot procurements had to be contracted because Vietnamese feet were too small and MONTAGNARD feet were too wide for regular American issue. See BROWN SHOE / BOOT, BLACK SHOE / BOOT, LOW-QUARTERS, LPC, PUMP, KICKS, DMS, PANAMA SOLE, LUG, BOONDOCKERS, BUSKINS, JODHPUR, COMBAT BOOTS, JUMP BOOTS, JUNGLE BOOTS, DESERT BOOTS, TANKER BOOTS, JACKBOOT, SHOEPAC, MICKEY MOUSE BOOTS, BUNNY BOOTS, DOESN'T KNOW SHIT FROM SHINOLA, WITH BOOTS ON, DIE WITH ONE'S BOOTS ON, BET YOUR BOOTS, BATA BOOTS, HO CHI MINH SANDALS, FLIP-FLOP, SHOWER SHOE, GO-FASTERS, LEGGING, PUTTEE, ROUGHSHOD, DOGS, DOG TAGS, ARMY SIZE, NAVY SIZE, SLOP CHEST. [cf: discalced/discalceate] [nb: Gaelic for shoe is 'brog', from which comes the English word "brogue" or brogan; the vent holes or decorative perforations that are often punched in the leather represent the piercings for drainage in the traditional deerhide footwear; Gaelic for 'my footwear' is "mo chasan", which usage by Scottish immigrants may have spawned the American name "moccasin" for the one-piece AmerIndian shoe (alternatively: "maxkeseni" in Algonquian)] [nb: "Now, you mummy's darlings, get a rift on them boots. Definitely shine 'em, my little curly-headed lambs, for in our mob, war or no war, you die with clean boots on." by Gerald Kersh (1941)]

FORAGE :
the seeking or obtaining of food, provisions, or provender, as plunder; derived from "fodder". See BEANS, CHOW, C-RATIONS, IRON RATIONS, SLOP, WASH, WAD, SLIDER, PITA, RATIONS, REQUISITION, SPOILS OF WAR, RANSACK, COMMANDEER, SNOWBIRD. [cf: "battels" (probably a corruption of the obsolete 'battle', to feed) meaning the expense of board and provisions, or the board and provisions themselves; housing and meals, shelter and rations]

FOR A SHEEP AS A LAMB :
see AS WELL BE HANGED FOR A SHEEP AS A LAMB.

FORBIDDEN CITY :
referrent for the imperial capital of Vietnam in HUE, its citadel and associated structures; also called the Purple City. Also, a walled section of Peking (Peiping or Beijing) that was built in the 15th century to contain the imperial palace and other structures associated with the imperial government of China.

FORCE :
power or violence, especially the exertion of physical strength, intimidating coercion, or efficacious energy; any influence that changes an object or system, its movement or integrity, size or shape, and the like. Also, military might, as the fighting strength of a nation for defense in war. Also, moral or mental suasion. Also, the binding power of agreement, as by religious code or secular law. [nb: "It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest." by Ronald Wilson Reagan (1984)]

FORCED LABOR CAMP :
see LABOR CAMP.

FORCED MARCH :
see FORCE MARCH.

FORCE MAJEURE :
an overwhelming or irresistible force, as an uncontrollable effect, or an unanticipated event; literally derived from "superior force", with the plural form being "forces majeures". May be exemplified as a FRONTAL ASSAULT; being the principal tactic of every brash and callow officer! [v: "a nigger in the woodpile"] [nb: "Superior thinking has always overcome superior force."]

FORCE MARCH :
an extended ROAD MARCH involving a fully equipped unit; contrary to misrepresentations, it is not a "forced" march. See MARCH, ROUTE STEP, COUNTERMARCH; compare DEATH MARCH. [nb: in the 18th century Prussian Army of Frederick the Great, there may have been "forced marches" (eg: "When we promise ourselves great effects in a campaign from the principle of surprising, we think upon great activity, rapid resolutions, and forced marches, as the means of producing them; ...." by Karl von Clausewitz]

FORCE MULTIPLIER :
any factor that can dramatically alter the relationship between opposing elements without otherwise affecting the ratio of manpower or materiel, such as speed, firepower, technology, shock or surprise, military intelligence, surveillance, morale, terrain (eg: KEY TERRAIN, CHOKE POINT), tactic (eg: AMBUSH), deception, and so forth. Such a "value added" capacity, when employed by a combat unit, significantly increases the combat potential of that force, and thus enhances the probability of successful mission accomplishment.

FORCE RECON :
elite Marine airborne infantry intended for amphibious or waterborne operations, usually SCUBA trained; similar to Army Airborne Rangers. Lineage includes the Marine Raider, Parachute, and Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalions from WWII, the Amphib Recon Co's from the KOREAN WAR, and Marine Corps Test Unit One (MCTU#1) from the pre-VIETNAM WAR era. RECON elements, called STINGRAY, were used in Vietnam to acquire actionable intelligence for Marine units. As with its global counterinsurgency role from the BANANA WARS, the post-VN era saw FORCE RECON dispatched to quell various hot spots, from grenada and Lebanon to Bosnia and Haiti. Although exceptions exist, USN and Marine units, such as FORCE RECON and SEALs, are numbered odd on the West Coast and even on the East Coast. See RAIDER, LRRP, ABN, WINGS, PARACHUTE. [nb: early combat losses in VN compelled USMC FORCE RECON to alter their "broken contact" doctrine inherited from RAIDER practice: instead of individual and separate dispersion after enemy action, the team will remain connected and act concertedly, whether in defense or evasion, adopting the "Ranger buddy" protocol] [v: a Sampling of Reconnaissance and Surveillance Insignia]

FORDO / FOREDO :
an archaism meaning to do away with; kill, destroy. Also, to ruin; undo.

FORE 'n' AFT CAP :
NavSpeak for the GARRISON CAP or garrison hat; also spelled "fore-and-aft cap", and also known as a "Go To Hell" cap, flight cap, boat cap, flat cap, envelope cap, pisscutter, CUNT CAP, or OVERSEAS CAP. Compare BILLED CAP, SAUCER CAP, CRUSHER; see CAMPAIGN HAT, HEADGEAR. [nb: a Balmoral hat, which somewhat resembles a beret, and is traditionally blue (from the campaigning dress of the Blue Bonnets), and is often accented with a surrounding "diced" pattern (called "checky" after an accounting process of the Stewarts or High Stewards, from which "exchequer" derives) that symbolizes guardianship and protection; the boat-shaped Glengarry hats are of 19th century military origin]

FOREARM :
that part of a GUNSTOCK that's used to support and protect the gun barrel, to attach a STACKING SWIVEL or SLING, to mount a PISTOL GRIP or BIPOD, to secure a BAYONET or RAMROD; also known as a forestock, fore-piece, fore-end, or fore-grip; see BARREL SLEEVE, STOCK, FURNITURE, LUG. [v: Firearms Glossary] Also, to prepare beforehand, especially armaments in anticipation of trouble. [nb: "Forewarned, forearmed." by Benjamin Franklin (1736)]

FORECASTLE :
(fohk-suhl) a superstructure at or immediately aft of the BOW, STEM, or PROW of a vessel, used as a shelter for stores and machinery, or as quarters for sailors; sometimes spelled "fo'c'sle" in a phonetic approximation of its pronunciation; see PULPIT. Also, a deckhouse or other quarters for sailors located in the forward part of a vessel; see BRIG. Also, the part of the weather DECK forward of the foremast, which may have bulwarks; compare QUARTERDECK, POOP DECK.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS :
the activities and involvements of a nation that arise from its dealings with another nation, as directed by the head of state and confirmed by the legislature; also called "international relations"; see FOREIGN POLICY. [nb: not to be confused with sexual practices engaged beyond the domestic realm]

FOREIGN AID :
the giving of economic, technical, or military aid by one nation to another for purposes of relief and rehabilitation, for economic stabilization, or for mutual defense; also known as "dollar diplomacy" or simply as 'aid'. [cf: foreign exchange] [nb: "Don't offer me alms when all I need is for you to call off your dogs." Peshawar aphorism; "No help at all is sometimes the best help that can be given." by Peter Bowen]

FOREIGN DEVIL :
any person not of one's own race or culture, especially an Occidental, such as a gaijin/effendi/effemdi or firange/firanji/farang, an outsider or infidel; the reciprocal of WOG. Because Asians are among the most discriminating and status conscious peoples of the world, dismissive characterizations are not restricted to Westerners (eg: Chinese call Japanese "dwarf bandits"). Europeans are generally known as "big nosed hairy monkeys" or "rice-faced baboons", just as the French are "frogs", the Italians are "macaroni" [affect], the Japanese are "nips" [Nipponese], and the Americans are "flowering flag devils". See DINK, GOOK, SLOPE, ZIP, CHINK, LITTLE PEOPLE; compare LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, BUDDHAHEAD, YARD / MONTAGNARD, INDIG, FN, COUNTERPART, WHITE MONKEY, RICE-FACE, WHITE TRASH, YANKEE, UGLY AMERICAN. [nb: the "thin red line" was applied to the British ("Redcoats") in the Crimean War because they did not form into a defensive square when engaged, making their line weak, which impugned their military prowess; likewise, the Scottish bagpipers accompanying British troops in WWI were labeled "ladies from hell" for wearing kilts into battle while playing an instrument instead of carrying a weapon ... each attribution was initially offensive, but both were later adopted as proud distinctions] [v: Names of Foreigners or Foes]

FOREIGN MINISTER :
a cabinet minister (in nations other than the United States of America) who conducts and supervises foreign and diplomatic relations with other states; also called "foreign secretary", especially in Great Britain. Compare SECRETARY OF STATE.

FOREIGN NATIONAL :
see FN.

FOREIGN POLICY :
a policy pursued by a nation that's designed to achieve national objectives when dealing with other nations, as directed by POTUS and confirmed by ACTs OF CONGRESS; during the VIETNAM WAR, Congress attempted to craft foreign policy by its control of funding for the federal budget, and its restrictions upon executive authority. See FOREIGN AFFAIRS, GEOPOLITICS, CLIENT STATE, GARRISON STATE, NATION BUILDING, WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS, NEW WORLD ORDER, REALPOLITIK, MONROE DOCTRINE, MANIFEST DESTINY, INTERVENTIONISM, CONTAINMENT, ISOLATIONISM, MIGHT MAKES RIGHT, THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS, DIME, TONKIN GULF RESOLUTION, COOPER-CHURCH AMENDMENT, CASE-CHURCH AMENDMENT, WAR POWERS ACT, PRESIDENTIAL DOCTRINE.

FOREIGN RELATIONS :
the dealings and relationships between nations; international relations. Also, the character or condition of FOREIGN AFFAIRS as a consequence of FOREIGN POLICY.

FOREIGN SERVICE :
a division of the U.S. Department of State (DoS) that was created in 1924 by the Rogers Act, which combined the diplomatic service and the consular service into a professional corps wherein promotions are based upon merit; at the highest diplomatic levels, appointments to office are still political.

FORESTAFF :
see CROSS-STAFF, JACOB'S STAFF.

FOREST GREEN :
the interservice code phrase for the detection and measurement of nuclear explosions that occur on earth or in the atmosphere; compare BANG READER, CHIRPER; see GENIE, NEST, NUKE.

FOREST OF ASSASSINS :
see Rung Sat Special Zone or Rung Sat Security Zone (RSSZ).

FORGIVE / FORGIVING / FORGIVENESS :
to absolve of offense or to remit an obligation, to grant pardon for a transgression or to cancel a debt; a benign act of charity or grace. See THE GRACE OF GOD, MERCY, QUARTER, SLACK, NOBLESSE OBLIGE, HEAD IN THE LION'S MOUTH, THROW IN THE TOWEL, LAST STAND, LAST MAN STANDING, WALKING GHOST, LAST BIVOUAC, BLOOD CHIT, TRUCE, WHITE FLAG, MAUNDY / MAUNDY MONEY, BEGGING BOWL, CUMSHAW, MEA CULPA, XIN LOI, SORRY ABOUT THAT, sumimasen at ITTY-WA DESKA; compare ACCOUNTABILITY, RESPONSIBILITY, JUDGMENT CALL, DAY OF RECKONING, GOLDEN RULE, FINE PRINT, GIVE AN INCH, LAST STRAW, ZERO TOLERANCE, AUTOTOMY, DOG-EAT-DOG, TOOTH 'n' NAIL, RETALIATION, RETRIBUTION, REPRISAL, REVENGE, NO QUARTER, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, COUP DE PIED DE L'ANE. [nb: "One should forgive one's enemies, but not before they are hanged." by Heinrich Heine (1848); "Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much." by Oscar Wilde (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills)]

FORGOTTEN MAN / FORGOTTEN MEN :
a catch-phrase for the average citizen, who has been marginalized by being so mundane or commonplace, especially the typical wage earner or taxpayer; coined by William Graham Sumner in 1885, it typifies the THIRD ESTATE, who are exploited by opportunistic politicians and journalists; see SILENT MAJORITY, FOOL ME, FOOL 'EM, IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE, THE RIGHT TO BE WRONG. Also, any person who is no longer in the mind of the general public, especially those military servicemembers who were killed or are missing in action; see POW, MIA, KIA.

THE FORGOTTEN WAR :
see KOREAN WAR.

FORK :
originally a cooking implement used to stabilize meat during carving and to aid in serving food in ancient Greek kitchens, it was first used as dinnerware at royal tables in the Middle East from the 7th century, then a Byzantine wife of a Doge of Venice introduced table forks to Italian polite society, then Catherine de Medicis brought table forks to France when she married the future King Henry II in 1533, but Europeans long considered this utensil to be a debased affectation of effete etiquette. Forks were first brought to England by a visitor, Thomas Coryate, touring Italy in 1608, where they were ridiculed as being effeminate and unnecessary ... fashionable sophisticates then adopted two-tine forks for foods that were sticky or would stain the fingers, their use becoming a prized luxury that conferred social status. By the late 17th century, table forks with four curving tines had been developed in France, combining the scoop of the spoon with the stability of additional prongs, making eating less messy and utensil switching more unnecessary; this improvement proliferated throughout Europe, spreading to America by the 19th century. Compare SPOON, PARTISAN'S SECRET WEAPON, KNIFE; see CHOPSTICK, P-38, CHURCH KEY, KFS, MESS KIT, CANTEEN CUP, MESS TRAY, COVER, RATIONS.

FORM :
the bureaucratic concept of efficiency, as represented by Distribution Forms (DF), Requisition Forms (RF), Standard Forms (SF); see RED TAPE, PAPER BULLET, LOG, MORNING REPORT, MANIFOLD SET, MANIFEST, MR, BUCK SLIP, WHITE PAPER, N/A, DREAM SHEET, FILE 13, CYA, HIC, TICKET-PUNCHING, WONK. [nb: multiple-part form 1882] [nb: the military considers the Morning Report to be its most important form, hence it is designated Form 1, while the most common is Form 1049 for requests of all kinds to senior authority; such time-consuming FORMS and REPORTS were derisively called "paper-bullets" during the American CIVIL WAR] [nb: "If it isn't documented then it doesn't exist!"]

FORMAL FACE :
see FLINT FACE, QUARTERDECK FACE, FACE.

FORMATION :
a particular arrangement or distribution of elements into a formal structure, as for accountability or inspection, display or movement. Also, any required assemblage of unit members, as at a specified place and time in a designated uniform or with appropriate weapons and equipment. See FALL-IN / FALL-OUT, POST, CARRY-ON, DISMISS, MARCH, CLOSE ORDER, PARADE, THE BIBLE, DRILL, MANUAL OF ARMS, STAGE, LINE OF DEPARTURE, SERIAL. [cf: complot / complote (conspiracy, as derived from an assembly of troops)]

FORMOSA :
as derived from Portuguese meaning "beautiful country"; see ROC. [nb: refugee Chinese were transported from Thailand to Taiwan to quell cross-border hostilities, and to stabilize the affected governments]

FORSCOM :
(force-kom) U.S. Army Forces Command.

FORT :
any site occupy by troops and surrounded by defenses; as derived from fortify (strong, strengthen). Also, any permanent Army BASE or installation; these locations are often given derisive or derogatory nicknames, including: Fort Beginning, Fort Useless (acronym: "Even Uncle Sam Thinks It Sucks"), Fort Rile-Me, Fort Ordinary, Fort Lost-in-the-Woods, Fort Knocks, Fort Poke, Fort Dicks, Fort Moan Mouth, Fort Lose-Us, Fort De-Trick, Fort What-Juked-Ya, and so forth. See PUZZLE PALACE, MADHOUSE, STRONGPOINT, BLOCKHOUSE, FSB, FOB, AOB, MOB, MCB, BASE CAMP, CAMP, COMPOUND, GARRISON, RESERVATION, NATURAL AREA, CANTONMENT, SHADOW OF THE FLAGPOLE, DODGE CITY, CRUSADER FORT, LITTLE AMERICA. [nb: Vietnamese term: Phao Luy]

FORT FUMBLE :
see PUZZLE PALACE, MADHOUSE, IMPERIAL PALACE, IVORY TOWER, WHITE WAY, HQ.

FOR THE HELL OF IT / FOR THE HECK OF IT :
something said or done for its own sake, done without purpose or intent, done by rote or direction without understanding or expectation (eg: "Why? ... because I said so!"); may be expressed dogmatically or sarcastically, as when representing a predilection or mind-set; also expressed as: "for laughs", "for the fun of it", "for kicks 'n' grins", "for shits 'n' grins", and "for shits 'n' giggles". See THE ARMY WAY, MIL-SPEC, GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK, PARTY LINE, BELL THE CAT, WILD GOOSE CHASE, BURY ONE'S HEAD IN THE SAND, DOESN'T KNOW SHIT FROM SHINOLA, WHITE PROPAGANDA, FAIRY DUST, MIND CANDY, WHITE ELEPHANT, WET DREAM, HIC, BLUE-SKY, RUBE GOLDBERG, CLOUD-CUCKOO-LAND, MAGIC KINGDOM, HOUSE OF CARDS, RATHOLE, RABBIT HOLE. [v: fool's errand, chasing rainbows]

FORT HOME :
compare LITTLE AMERICA; see LAND OF THE BIG PX.

FORTHWITH :
immediately, posthaste, quickly, promptly, pronto; Vietnamese term: Thuong Khan (extremely urgent). See ASAP, PDQ, CHOGI, CHOP CHOP, RIKI TIK, STAT, GOYA, BARREL-ASS, HAUL-ASS, SCRAMBLE, SPEEDY, CAREEN, FIREBALLING, HIGH SPEED, FLANK SPEED, FAST MOVER, BALLS TO THE WALL; compare TOCSIN, KLAXON. [v: tout de suite (French: at once, immediately)] [v: amain]

FORTIFICATION :
see BLOCKHOUSE, BUNKER, PILLBOX, REDOUBT, CASEMATE, STRONGPOINT, STOCKADE, CONCRETE BATTLESHIP, TOMB, BOMB SHELTER, FALLOUT SHELTER, BLACK HOLE, BRIDGEHEAD, BOMB-PROOF, FOXHOLE, DFP, NDP, SPIDER HOLE, DEPUY FOXHOLE, HASTY TRENCH, RANGER GRAVE, SLIT TRENCH, BAILEY, EMPLACEMENT, GUN MOUNT, GUN PIT, TURRET, SPONSON, BARBETTE, BARBICAN, BULWARK, OUTWORK, ZIGZAG, HIDE, TIGER PIT, TIGER TRAP, TROU-DE-LOUP, PITFALL, DUGOUT, GRENADE SUMP, BANQUETTE, BERM, REVETMENT, BLAST WALL, HESCO BARRIER, T-WALL, MAGINOT LINE, SIEGFRIED LINE, MARETH LINE, SMEZ, BERLIN WALL, IRON CURTAIN, CHINESE WALL, BAMBOO CURTAIN, BAR LEV LINE, CACTUS CURTAIN, McNAMARA'S WALL, McNAMARA LINE, DEW LINE, STAR WARS, PHASE LINE, STAND-OFF, SANDBAG, DEAD SPACE, DEFILADE, BUTT, PERIMETER, FACE, FLANK, REFUSE, COVER, CONCEALMENT, EMBRASURE, CITADEL, FORT, FSB, FOB, AOB, MOB, MCB, BASE CAMP, COMPOUND, GARRISON, RESERVATION, LITTLE AMERICA. [nb: "Fixed fortifications are a monument to human stupidity, since anything built by men can be compromised or destroyed by men." attributed to George S. Patton Jr] [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

FORTITUDE :
mental and emotional strength in facing adversity or danger; courage, bravery; see V-DEVICE, IMPACT AWARD, GUTS, MOXIE, ONIONS, WHITE-KNUCKLE, DIEHARD, VETERAN, WINTER SOLDIER, NOBLE SAVAGE, COUNT COUP, BRAGGING RIGHTS, QUIET PROFESSIONAL, HERO, MACHO. Also, the CODENAME for the deception operations conducted under the Double Cross system as a preliminary to the WWII D-Day INVASION, a procedure similar to CPX that was used to create GHOST UNITs and PHANTOM OPERATIONS to obscure the true objectives of the mission.

FORT LEAVENWORTH :
an outpost, in northeastern Kansas on the Missouri River, that was established in 1827 by COL Henry Leavenworth to protect travelers on the Santa Fe Trail; it's the site of the oldest federal prison (USDB), and it hosts the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (C&GS); see THE MOTHER-IN-LAW OF THE ARMY. [nb: although the United States Disciplinary Barracks (1874) is located on Fort Leavenworth, it's under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Justice]

44TH MEDICAL BRIGADE :
the 44th Medical Brigade deployed to Vietnam in April 1966 and remained there until 1970, when it was dissolved into subordinate units. The 44th consisted of the 32nd Medical Depot at Long Binh; the 43rd and 55th Medical Groups in II Corps; the 67th Medical Group in III Corps; and the 68th Medical Group in III and IV Corps. The 44th Medical Brigade was responsible for medical evacuation (see "Medevac"), evacuation hospitals, field hospitals, Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals (MASH), convalescent centers, and ambulance detachments.

FORTY AND EIGHT :
an independent fraternal organization that was organized in 1920 by American Legionnaires as an exclusive "fun and honor society"; originated by veterans of the "war to end all wars" (WWI), who were transported across France in crowded boxcars [voitures] on narrow gauge railroads that could carry only half as much as American rolling stock, with its capacity marked on the side of every freight car ... hence the name: "The Society of Forty Men and Eight Horses" [La Societe des Quarante Hommes at Huit Chevaux]. These boxcars represent the spirit of this fraternity, because if one could laugh at the train ride from the coast of France to the trenches, crowded into these little boxcars only recently vacated by eight horses, then one could surely adapt to the changes in one's life when returning home. Symbolized by a blue triangular emblem bearing the numerals FORTY AND EIGHT, with candidates known as "Poor Goofs" [Prisonniers de Guerre], surveyed by a "Wrecking Crew" before being admitted to membership as "Military Travelers" [Voyageurs Militaire] to parade [Promenade Nationale] under the "First Chief of the Railroad" [Premier Chef de Chemin de Fer]. Open only by invitation to those who perform outstanding service for the American Legion, the FORTY AND EIGHT is composed of veterans of both World Wars, the Korean, Vietnam, and Middle East conflicts. See BOY'S CLUB, VETERANS' ASSOCIATION.

FORTY WINKS :
see EYELID MAINTENANCE, KIP, PAC / PAC TIME, COMBAT NAP; compare NO REST. [v: sleep, shut-eye, snooze, doze, nap, catnap, power nap, drowse, slumber, rest, siesta, hibernate]

FOR WANT OF A NAIL :
an adage predicting that large consequences may follow from inattention to small details, which was collected with other historic proverbs by George Herbert in Jacula Prudentum (1651). This passage on prudence and foresight, contingency and complexity further explicates: "For want of a nail, the shoe is lost; for want of a shoe, the horse is lost; for want of a horse, the rider is lost; for want of a rider, the battle is lost; for want of the battle, the kingdom is lost; and all for the want of a horseshoe nail." It has also been represented as: "... for want of a rider, the message is lost; for want of the message, the battle is lost; for want of the battle, the war is lost; all for the loss of a horseshoe nail."

FORWARD :
directional, being in, at, toward, or near the BOW or front of the craft or vessel; compare AFT.

FORWARD AREA :
the zone in front of the REAR AREA where forward elements engage with the enemy; also called FORWARD ECHELON, OBJECTIVE AREA or COMBAT ZONE.

FORWARD ECHELON :
the troops and officers performing military operations in a combat zone, being those servicemembers who are in a position to engage the enemy; compare REAR ECHELON, see ECHELON.

FOUGASSE :
also spelled "foo-gas" and "phu-gas"; see PHOUGAS.

FOUL BORE :
an unsafe condition wherein the barrel of a gun, especially a cannon or MAIN-GUN tube, is partially or completely obstructed after firing, as by bullet or case fragments, unignited explosive or any other unwanted foreign matter, which is a hazard to further operation; see COOK-OFF, HANG FIRE, FLAREBACK, CLEARING CHARGE, LOADER. Also, sardonic reference to an uninteresting storyteller, being a tedious raconteur or failed anecdotist; see WAR STORY, SEA STORY, TELL IT TO THE MARINES, SNOW, RUMOR.

FOUL-UP / FOULED-UP :
an Americanism from the WWII-era for a condition of confusion or disorder that's been brought about by inefficiency or stupidity; and by extension, a person who habitually makes such mistakes; see SNAFU, FUBAR, FUBB, TARFU, TARFUN, SAPFU, MOAFU, UFFU, UFU, SAFU, GFU, FUMTU, SUSFU, FUBIJAR, FUGAZI, FUCK-UP, FUCKED-UP, CLUSTER FUCK, SOL, BOHICA. Also, a failed system, inaccurate process, or dysfunctional mechanism, especially a mechanical one; see STANDARD ERROR, PROBABLE ERROR. [nb: "When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging." attributed to Will Rogers; "Most people spend their time on the 'urgent' rather than on the 'important'." by Robert Hutchins; "When you make a mistake, take all necessary steps to redeem or remedy it as soon as it's discovered, informing everyone who's affected by it -- do not try to cover it up, because delay will only compound the mistake." paraphrase of Donald H. Rumsfeld; "Knowing that a problem exists doesn't necessarily mean that it needs to be solved -- or that a solution even exists -- some things are simply a fact of life, and how we cope with them distinguishes our character." paraphrase of Shimon Peres; "Each new day presents you with numerous opportunities for failure, for major difficulties, for serious setbacks, but you must persevere." paraphrase of Donald H. Rumsfeld]

FOUNDER :
the wrecking or sinking of a vessel; see ROLL, CAREEN, PITCH, PITCH-POLE, ATHWART, BOW, STERN, HARD-AND-FAST, SCUTTLE, BOAT.

FOUO :
(ef-oh-you-oh) For Official Use Only, a delimiter qualifying duplication and restricting distribution of CLASSIFIED documents; identifies sensitive information that, if disclosed, could adversely affect the privacy or safety of an individual, the conduct or security of an operation, or other unit issues of a nature less than those affecting national security; see NEED TO KNOW, COMPARTMENTALIZATION. Also, alternative diagnostic abbreviation for a Fever Of Unknown/Undetermined Origin; see FUO.

FOUR CORNERS :
specifically refers to the town of Di An where the 1st Infantry Division was stationed, but generally applied to mean any small town near a U.S. military base; compare SIN CITY, HELL ON WHEELS, HELL'S HALF ACRE, BLOOD ALLEY, DODGE CITY, LITTLE AMERICA. [v: "What happens in Sin City stays in Sin City!"]

FOUR DEUCE :
4.2-inch (107mm) rifled MORTAR (M-30), with maximum range of 5,650 meters, used as BASE CAMP or TRACK mounted CREW-SERVED WEAPON.

FOUR HORSEMEN :
short for the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse", being four allegorical agents of destruction, as described in Rev 6:2-8 Bible: symbolic of pestilence (white horse), war (red horse), famine (black horse), and death (pale horse). Compare THE DOGS OF WAR, HOUNDS OF HELL; see APOCALYPSE, HOLOCAUST, ATROCITY, GENOCIDE, OVERKILL. [nb: the "Minotaur", a monster in classical Greek mythology, having the head of a bull on the body of a man and fed on human flesh, is representative of any person or thing that devours or destroys]

FOURRAGERE / FOURRAGÈRE :
an ornamental or ceremonial braid of distinctive color and design that's worn suspended from the shoulder; also called a "rope" or "monkey's swing". Also, such a braid, CORD, CORDON, or LANYARD awarded as a military decoration. Compare AIGUILLETTE; see CONTRAFOIL. [nb: Napoleon supposedly created the "shoulder cord" as a decoration for any aide who made a mistake so as to remind him that any future mistake would result in wearing the "rope" around his neck (to be punished by hanging)]

FOURSQUARE / FOUR-SQUARE :
any squared structure having a solid appearance. Also, by metaphoric extension of this constructive quality, any person or any thing of firm or resolute nature; someone who's or something that's able to provide stolid or steady support; being straightforward, forthright, and direct without equivocation; see SQUARED AWAY. Also, a ball game played on a quadrant where four players bounce-pass a ball among themselves so as to eliminate one or more participants; not to be confused with "four corners", a children's positional game played without a ball. Also, any rectilinear game (eg: hopscotch, tic-tac-toe / tick-tack-toe) played to a consistent and reliable pattern.

FOUR STAR / FOUR-STAR :
metonymic reference to a general (or admiral) based upon their insignia of RANK; see FLAG OFFICER, OLD MAN, GEN / GENERAL, SKIPPER, ADM / ADMIRAL, COMMANDANT, CO, LDR.

FOURTH ESTATE :
members of the journalistic profession, or the "press corps"; see PIO, PAO, FRUIT FLY, WAR CORRESPONDENT, SHUTTERBUG, PROPAGANDA, DISINFORMATION, BIG STORY, BIG LIE, FAKE NEWS, SPIN, ECHO CHAMBER, DIRTY LAUNDRY, FACTOID, HOOPLA, RED INK, WAR STORY, SEA STORY, TELL IT TO THE MARINES, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, RUMOR; compare FIRST ESTATE, SECOND ESTATE, THIRD ESTATE, FIFTH ESTATE. [v: noise, pickthank, newsmonger, rumormonger, gossip, gossipmonger, scandalmonger, busybody, yenta, quidnunc, chinwagger, chin musician, schmoozer, blabbermouth, flibbertigibbet, tittle-tattler, tattler, tattletale, talebearer, bottom-feeder] [v: subreption, obreption] [nb: the neologism "pollaganda" / "polloganda" (poll + propaganda) has been coined to identify the representation of biased samples, slanted surveys, special pleading arguments, and ex-parte news depicted as authentic or authoritative; cf: "polingo" as a neologism for political lingo] [v: Myths of the Vietnam War]

4th INF DIV :
see POISON IVY.

FOURTH POINT OF CONTACT :
an elaborate euphemism for ass, arse, fanny, derriere / derrière, keister, fundament, nates, hindquarters, hind-end, honky-donk, hunky-dunk, haunches, rump, behind, posterior, booty, bum, tootie, patootie, rear, rear end, backside, bottom, buttocks or BUTT, being derived from the parachute landing fall (PLF), as in "Get off your FOURTH POINT OF CONTACT and get to work!" The actual fourth point of contact in a PLF is the meaty flank of the pelvis (so as to avoid injury to the coccyx or spine), but that kind of consequential detail is immaterial to the intent ... similar exaggeration is also used on "first point of contact" when directing subordinates to "Get on your feet!", and the "sixth point of contact" when relating that someone "... fell on his head!" This sentiment is also expressed as "Get Off Your Ass" (GOYA). See MONKEY BUTT. [v: RECOIL]

FOX :
a procedure word (PROWORD) meaning 'do not answer' or 'do not reply' that's used in radio/telephone procedure (RTP) to make voice communications more concise and clear; the letter 'F' originated as the MORSE CODE abbreviation for "no response" that later acquired the 'Fox' (and 'Foxtrot') designation from the PHONETIC ALPHABET.

FOX FOUR :
see PHANTOM II.

FOXHOLE :
formally known as a "fighting hole", and officially known as a "Defensive Fighting Position" (DFP) or a "Night Defensive Position" (NDP); it has also been known as a "shelter hole", "skirmish pit", "picket hole", "fire pit", "rifle pit", "fighting pit", and called a "funk hole" by AUSSIE and KIWI troops from WWI German usage. A FOXHOLE is a one or two person fighting position, dug as a pit with drainage and mound (BERM) along the defensive perimeter, and improved with overhead COVER, GRENADE SUMP, and firing step (BANQUETTE) if a prolonged stay permits the occupants to enhance or embellish this most basic of earthworks. See SPIDER HOLE, DEPUY FOXHOLE, HASTY TRENCH, BUNKER, E-TOOL; compare CAT HOLE, SLIT TRENCH. [nb: typical GRUNT/SNUFFY philosophy: "If dug-in, then harder to be dug-out."] [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

FOXHOLE CONVERSION :
battlefield epiphany, religious salvation or redemption; based upon the philosophy: "There are no atheists in foxholes!". See ARMY CHRISTIAN, BOYDLOOP, LAW OF AVERAGES, GAMBLER'S FALLACY, UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE, GOD SQUAD, SKY PILOT, PRAYER, SYMPATHY. [nb: "God is With Us" (Gott Mit Uns) was the motto of the Prussian Emperor, and was used by German soldiers during WWII; "O Lord, Thou knowest how busy I must be this day. If I forget Thee, do not forget me." by Jacob Astley at the Battle of Edgehill (1642)] [v: the Edict of Milan issued by Emperor Constantine the Great (Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus) caAD313; cf: "whited sepulcher" (Matthew 23:27)] [nb: not MIL-SPEAK for improving fortifications, such that a remodeled FOXHOLE in a bad neighborhood becomes an upscale BUNKER suitable for profitable resale to REMFs]

FOXING :
to be marked by discoloration or scoring, often in a distinctive pattern that lends itself to causal inference or forensic interpretation (eg: angle of strike, force of impact, type of EXPLOSIVE, kind of accelerant); compare SPALL.

FOXTROT :
the word assigned to represent the letter "F" in the international phonetic alphabet; at various times in different spelling schemes, it has also been acrophonetically represented as Fox. See ALPHABET SOUP, PHONETIC ALPHABET. [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags]

FPCON :
Force Protection CONdition, also represented as "force protection configuration", being the enemy threat level perceived for a military installation; formerly known as THREATCON. See DEFCON, SACON, ESP, GQ, ALERT, STAND-TO, STAND-DOWN.

FPF :
Final Protective Fire; see Final Protective Line (FPL).

FPL :
Final Protective Line, also called "Final Protective Fire" (FPF); being an immediately available prearranged barrier of gunfire designed to impede enemy movement across defensive areas or lines, as by paired machineguns firing an interlocked crossing barrier; a planned set defense (with secondary and tertiary fallbacks) that consolidates fire on a projected enemy avenue of approach. See DEPUY FOXHOLE, LINK AMMO, MG, INTERDICTION FIRE, RANGE CARD; compare DEAD GROUND, DEAD SPACE, GO TO HELL POINT, RING OF FIRE, HOSE, MAD MINUTE.

FPO :
Fleet Post Office; compare APO. [nb: 5-digit Zone Improvement Code (ZIP) (invented by Robert A. Moon in 1944) introduced 1963; 9-digit ZIP+4 code introduced 1983]

FPS :
(ef-pee-ess) Federal Protective Service, being the force of security guards that monitor and patrol government installations; also known as "square-badge" or "rent-a-cop"; compare PDS, PSD, USSS, BODYGUARD; see SENTRY, POLICE.

FRAG :
the common term for any anti-personnel GRENADE, primarily referring to the fragmentation GRENADE; also known as pineapple, lemon, baseball, hand-bomb, hand-grenade, or splinter-grenade; see CS, WP, POP SMOKE, compare GAMMON GRENADE, SHRAPNEL, CONCUSSION GRENADE, BLOOPER, RIFLE GRENADE, RPG, CBU, GUAVA BOMBS, SOUP CAN, SPOON. [frag: fragment, fragmentization, fragmentize, frangibility, fractionate, disintegrate, disintegration, smithereen, smither, shard, chip, brickbat, piece, comminute, triturate, particle, atomize, atomization] Also, short for fragmentary order; also known as FRAG ORDER or FRAGO; see WARNING ORDER, OPLAN.

FRAGGING :
slang for the murder of unpopular leaders, strict supervisors, or incompetent commanders by a misfit or vigilante using some surreptitious or anonymous method; also called FRATRICIDE. Compare FRIENDLY FIRE, BLANKET PARTY. [nb: the 19th century expression: "damage his pepper box", meant an attempt to assassinate the master-at-arms by dropping a round shot on his head from aloft or through an open hatchway] [nb: the attempted murder of then-Lieutenant Braxton Bragg by rolling a ignited artillery shell into his tent during the MEXICAN WAR may be the first recorded incidence of FRAGGING in the American military] [cf: regicide]

FRAGMENT :
see BIT, SMITHEREENS, DECONSTRUCT. [v: comminute, triturate]

FRAGO :
a contraction of FRAGmentary Order, being a partial operations order that gives warning for preparation and departure to unit personnel so as to prepare execution of their assignment; also known as a "frag order". See FIELD EXPEDIENT, CROSS-DECKING, AD HOC.

FRAG ORDER :
FRAGmentary Order; an abbreviated operations order providing all essential information and timing for executing an assigned mission; a partial movement or action order, being the most important part(s) of a detailed operations plan (OPLAN). See WARNING ORDER, ORDER, DANCE CARD, THE PLAN, COURSE OF ACTION.

FRAG REPORT :
fragmentary report; a partial status report.

FRAISE :
a defense consisting of pointed stakes, in a horizontal or an inclined position, projecting from the ramparts; see ABATIS, PUNJI STAKE, CALTROP, HEDGEHOG, BOLLARD, DRAGON'S TEETH; compare PALISADE. Also, a ruff or muffler worn around the neck in the 16th century. Also, a woman's embroidered scarf worn with its ends crossed on her chest and pinned with a brooch or the like, which style was first popular in the early 19th century.

FRATERNITY :
(forthcoming); see GOOD PEOPLE, GOOD STICK, GOOD OLD BOY, BOY'S CLUB, LAST MAN CLUB, VETERANS' ASSOCIATION, KHAKI MAFIA, TRADE SCHOOL, CASTE, RING-KNOCKER, BROWNIE / BROWN NOSE, CIRCLE JERK, SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION.

FRATERNIZATION :
to consort or associate cordially with members of a hostile group is strictly prohibited; as between enlisted and commissioned RANKs, between male and female MIL-PERS, between constabulary and civilians in occupied or pacified territory. Usually cited as "non-FRATERNIZATION" or "anti-FRATERNIZATION" regulations; which rules promote authority over common sense, and are absurd in combat areas. See RIGHT ARM, PDA, BOY'S CLUB.

FRATRICIDE :
to intentionally cause the death of an ally in combat; also known as FRAGGING, and distinguished from FRIENDLY FIRE or SHORT-SHOT.

FRED :
Field Ration Eating Device, being a small stamped metal implement that combines a can opener (P-38) and bottle opener together with a short shallow spoon, which device was issued to the Australian military during and after the 1956 Malayan Emergency; also interpreted as "Food Ration Extraction Device" and "Fucking Ridiculous Eating Device"; see KFS.

FREDDIE THE FREELOADER :
a comedic hobo character that was introduced on the CBS television variety show in 1952 by Richard Bernard "Red" Skelton, with the clown makeup reminiscent of his father, who'd been a performer on the vaudeville circuit. An actor and pantomimist who recorded (1969) a best-selling interpretation of "The Pledge of Allegiance", wherein he commented on each word of the oath, Red Skelton believed that his television career was terminated because of his conservative views, bitterly accusing the network of caving-in to the anti-establishment and anti-war factions prevailing throughout the broadcast industry at the height of the VIETNAM WAR. See PARASITE, FICTIONAL CHARACTER. [cf: Reddy Freddy] [nb: losing his deferment when divorced in 1943, Red Skelton was drafted into the U.S. Army in early 1944, suffering a nervous breakdown in training, then discharged as unfit in 1945]

FREE :
the franking mark, printed in lieu of a stamp, indicating that "no postage is required" on letters sent from the combat zone, as used during and after WWII as a privilege extended to MIL-PERS serving overseas; such franking provision defrays individual expense by inclusion in the government budget; see MAIL CALL, V-MAIL, SUGAR REPORT, JODY. Also, authoritatively sanctioned or prescriptively permissive, as 'weapons free' or 'free fire zone'; compare TIGHT.

FREEBOARD :
the portion of the side of a vessel's HULL that's above the water; in particular, the distance between the uppermost fully watertight DECK and the demarcated official load-line. See DRAFT, WATERLINE, LOAD-LINE MARK, PLIMSOLL MARK, GUNWALE, BOARD, STRAKE.

FREE COMPANION :
a member of a band of MERCENARY soldiers during the Middle Ages; see HACK, HIRED GUN, WHITE VC.

FREEDOM :
personal liberty, being the power to determine action without restraint; the autonomous power to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint from within or without. Also, synonymous with civil liberty, being entitled to the privileges of citizenship or of community membership. Also, political self-determination or national independence. Also, general exemption or particular immunity, as the absence of obligations. See LIBERATE, LIBERTY CAP, LIBERTY POLE. [nb: "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." by Edmund Burke; "The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedients, and by parts." by Edmund Burke; "Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe." by Edmund Burke; "All who have ever written on government are unanimous, that among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist." by Edmund Burke; "The effect of liberty to individuals is, that they may do what they please: we ought to see what it will please them to do, before we risk congratulations." by Edmund Burke] [v: independence; cf: liberticide]

FREEDOM BIRD :
any aircraft that transported departing MIL-PERS from Vietnam, returning them to America, especially commercial flights contracted [v: ATS] for this service, but also included AIR AMBULANCE flights to air bases (AFB); compare BUMMER BIRD, see THE WORLD, LAND OF THE BIG PX.

FREEDOM FIGHTER :
Northrop F-5 /-5A /-5B fighter aircraft; compare TIGER II. Also, an appellation for a partisan, GUERRILLA, or other insurgent IRREGULARS resisting tyranny and oppression; coined in the 1956 Hungarian Revolt; see CIVILIAN, compare TERRORIST. [v: 21 Apr 1862 Partisan Ranger Act by Confederate States of America; re: John Hunt Morgan, John S. Mosby, J.H. McNeill, Harry Gilmor, and Elijah V. White]

FREEDOM OF SPEECH :
the civil right to verbally express or symbolically represent one's thoughts or beliefs as long as they are not defamatory or do not jeopardize public safety; this freedom, which also entails the freedom of the press and the freedom of religion under the first amendment to the CONSTITUTION, may be abridged by prior restraint, CENSORSHIP, and other instances of authoritative due process ... military servicemembers waive their right to free speech while on active duty. See CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER, LITMUS TEST, SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER, FIGHTING WORDS, TRIGGER TERM, TRAILING HIS COAT, SABER-RATTLING, RIOT ACT, SEDITION, SILENT INSOLENCE, OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANCE DISORDER, MARTIAL LAW, UCMJ. [nb: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." First Amendment, Constitution of the United States of America] [nb: under the guise of political-correctness, the subjective interpretation of personal offense has been extended to class or categorical offense, and "hate speech" has become a compounding extension of any other crime, making individual culpability subordinate to group membership]

FREE-FALL :
commonly called "skydiving", Military Free Fall (MFF) parachuting is self-deployed (no STATIC LINE), self-regulated (no JUMPMASTER), and extremely varied (including tracking, paraglide, relative work (RW), etc) from different altitudes and aircraft. MFF was used for special operations in Southeast Asia, and includes HALO (High Altitude Low Opening), HAHO (High Altitude High Opening), and LALO (Low Altitude Low Opening). See RIP-CORD, D-RING, PARACHUTE, AMFFPC, HARP, VWT, RIGGER, PJ, GABRIEL, JSD, MISSING MAN FORMATION; compare AIRDROP, LOW-LEVEL EVACUATION DROP. [v: Parachuting Terms, and Parachuting History] [nb: on 14 October 2012, Felix "Fearless Felix" Baumgartner performed a high-altitude jump from a space capsule in the stratosphere (128,100 feet above ground level), achieving a descent speed of 833.9 miles per hour]

FREE FIRE ZONE :
any area in which permission was not required prior to engaging the enemy with direct or indirect fire, including artillery (ARTY) and AIR STRIKEs; officially known as a "specified strike zone", and later called a "kill box". Compare RFZ, NFZ, WEAPONS FREE ZONE; see RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), COLLATERAL DAMAGE.

FREELOADER :
an informal referent for someone who depends on another for support without contributing or reciprocating; compare SANDBAG, BLOB, STRAP-HANGER, SPACE A, DEADHEAD; see FREDDIE THE FREELOADER, PARASITE. [v: sponger, mooch, scrounger, schnorrer, dupe, hanger-on, cadger, panhandler, beggar, debtor, bloodsucker, leech, louse, tick, barnacle, deadbeat, mendicant, dependent]

FREE SPEECH :
see FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

FREEZE-DRY / FREEZE-DRYING / FREEZE-DRIED :
a process for removing moisture from heat-sensitive substances, such as foods and beverages, lyophilized serum and blood plasma, antibiotics and the like, by first rapidly freezing the substance and then subliming the frozen solvent in a high vacuum; developed (1938) during WWII, this preservative technique allows freeze-dried foods to be reconstituted without a loss of nutrition. [v: parch; cf: cryobiology, cryogenics]

FRENCH :
the superordinate for any vulgar, prurient, or obscene depiction or expression; the nominative class that subsumes sexuality. Also, a euphemism for any obscenity or vulgarity, crudity or profanation, such as when apologetically uttering "Excuse my fractured French." after ejaculating some nasty or crude politically-incorrect OATH. Also, an open-mouthed kiss, often with tongues touching. Also, slang for the oral stimulation of the penis (fellatio) or vulva (cunnilingus); see FRENCH WAY, CHOWING DOWN, LOVE HANDLES, BUSH PILOT, MUFF DIVER, HEAD, HUMMER, BIB, HONG KONG HAIRCUT, DIDDLY, STEAM 'n' CREAM, SHORT-TIME. Also, slang for SHORT-SHEETing a bed as a prank. Also, to cut food into thin strips or slivers before cooking. Also, to prepare meat for cooking by slicing it into strips and tenderizing it by pounding; see JERKY. Also, to trim the meat from the end of a chop.

FRENCH BIBLE :
a deck of PLAYING CARDS, especially one featuring images of naked women; also called "California prayer book" or "Devil's calling cards". See PIN-UP, PORN / PORNOGRAPHY, TRENCH ART, SOUVENIR.

FRENCH DESPAIR :
a literary expression meaning surrender, as to give up hope; used by writers in all forms, from poetry and fiction to history and philosophy, since the early 19th century, but in the modern era, its usage is generally an affectation or a slur. [nb: the sense of 'surrender' in this phrase is not exclusively (or even primarily) military, but alludes to yield or relinquish (eg: "When confronted with her recalcitrance, he threw up his hands in French despair.")] [cf: puissant]

FRENCH FIT / FRENCH FITS :
associative slang for the psychosomatic symptoms of drug or alcohol withdrawal, formally known as delirium tremens [D.T.'s], which may include tremors, hallucinations, and autonomic instability. See IRISH FLU, DUTCH COURAGE, HANGOVER, DRUNK; compare LOADED FOR BEAR, NERVOUS IN THE SERVICE, JITTERBUG, JUMPING BEAN, SALUTE. [nb: hysteria is also known as the "screaming-meemies"] [aka: mania, raving, craziness, alienation, lunacy, madness, derangement, phrenitis, insanity, dementia, idee fixe / idée fixe, agitation, jitters, heebie-jeebies, willies, creeps, creepy-crawlies, pink elephants] [nb: known as "dingbats" by AUSSIE and KIWI troops]

FRENCH FLU :
an exhibition or instance of cowardice, sometimes contagious; although nobody in combat is brave all the time, this widely used expression exemplifies the American perception of the character of French forces (and, by extension, any equally timorous army), who are both arrogantly demanding and rudely ungrateful ... while losing every war since the French Revolution, they have entangled their allies and promoted defeatism. See WHITE FLAG, STRIKE THE FLAG, SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT, WHITE FEATHER, LILY-LIVERED; compare MACHO, HERO, MOXIE, GUTS, DIEHARD, WINTER SOLDIER, BATTLE CRY, GUNG-HO, WETSU, GUSTO.

FRENCH INDOCHINA :
the name of the former (1862-1954) French colonial federation, French Indochina (Indo-Chine = Extreme Orient) or "Union Indochinoise", comprising a region in Southeast Asia (SEA) that included Cochin-China, Annam, Cambodia, Laos, Tonkin, and the leased territory of Kwangchowan (Guangzhouwan 1898-1945); Vietnamese term : "Dong Nam A". Compare ANNAM, COCHIN CHINA, TONKIN; see INDOCHINA.

FRENCH LEAVE :
a departure without ceremony, notice, or permission, as to be Absent WithOut Leave (AWOL); distinguished from desertion by one's intent to return to duty.

FRENCH LETTER :
slang for a prophylactic sheath or condom that's worn over the penis; see PRO KIT.

FRENCH POX :
slang for syphilis; see VD, STD, CLAP, ARC, SHORT ARM, PECKER-CHECKER, PRO KIT, ANTIBIOTIC.

FRENCH TOAST :
a dish consisting of bread that's been dipped in a batter of egg and milk, then sautéed until brown, and usually served with syrup, or sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon; compare PANCAKE, DOUGHNUT, SINKER.

FRENCH WAY :
slang for cunnilingus or fellatio; see CHOWING DOWN, HEAD, HUMMER, LOVE HANDLES, BIB, MUFF DIVER, BUSH PILOT, STEAM 'n' CREAM, HONG KONG HAIRCUT, TRICK, SHORT-TIME. [cf: French kiss]

FRESH CATCH / FRESH CAUGHT :
in NavSpeak, being newly assigned or recently promoted; see NUGGET, CHUM, POLLYWOG, DRYBACK, CHERRY, SHOWER SHOE, FNG, NEWBEE.

FRESNEL UNITS :
mobile spotlights for illuminating the base PERIMETER. [nb: in WWII, during the fall of 1944 and the winter of 1945, when the Allies were advancing into Germany, spotlights aimed at the underside of low cloud cover bounced light beams off that were used to create "artificial moonlight", being a diffuse ambient illumination similar to that produced during a full moon, which supplemental light was adequate to sustain night operations without exposing or highlighting the ploy, as does a flare] [cf: snowblink, iceblink]

FREQ :
(freak) radio frequency, as measured in megahertz or megacycles; see AM, FM, HF, VHF, UHF, PUSH, GUARD, UNICOM, SSI, SURF, HITCHHIKE, HOPSCOTCH, AIRWAY, RADIO.

FREQUENT WIND :
(forthcoming); evacuation of Vietnamese during 29-30 April 1975; compare EAGLE PULL, PASSAGE TO FREEDOM, EXILE.

FRIENDLIES :
U.S. troops, allies, or anyone not on the other side (FOE); see ALLY, BLUE FORCE, GREEN FORCE; compare GRAY FORCE, PURPLE FORCE, ORANGE FORCE, RED FORCE, OPFOR, BANDIT, BAD GUYS, BELIEVER.

FRIENDLY AIR ASSETS :
allied air support, especially US.

FRIENDLY FIRE :
a euphemism to describe air, artillery or small-arms fire from Allied forces that is accidentally or mistakenly directed at or impacting upon other Allied personnel or positions; also called "misadventure" and BLUE ON BLUE. See SHORT-SHOT; compare FRATRICIDE, FRAGGING, GREEN ON GREEN, BLANKET PARTY. [nb: comparative casualty rates of FRIENDLY FIRE from WWI @ 3% through VN @ 5% to GW @ 35%; attributed to deadlier weapons, diminished reaction time, and inappropriate training methods]

FRIENDSHIP BRIDGE :
any bridge spanning a river or strait that serves as a sovereign border or international boundary, most commonly between communist or socialist nations; with the most notable specimen being the Yalu River Bridge (renamed "Sino-Korea Friendship Bridge" in 1990) connecting Dandong (in Liaoning Province, China) and Sinuiju (in North P'yongan Province, Korea); others include a link of Bulgaria and Romania over the Danube River, a link of Estonia and Russia over the Narva River, a link of China and Nepal, a link of Thailand and Laos at Savannakhet/Mukdahan and Vientiane/Nongkhai, a link of Tajikistan and Afghanistan, a link of Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, a link of Macau Peninsula and Taipa Island, a link of Paraguay and Brazil, a link of Qatar and Bahrain, and the Suez Canal Bridge. [v: Fraternity Bridge links Brazil and Argentina; Unity Bridge links Tanzania and Mozambique; Peace Bridge links the United States and Canada at New York; Ambassador Bridge links the United States and Canada at Michigan; Sault Sainte Marie International Bridge links the United States and Canada at Michigan; Seaway International Bridge links the United States and Canada at New York; Fort Frances - International Falls International Bridge links the United States and Canada at Minnesota; Laredo International Bridge links the United States and Mexico at Texas; Pharr - Reynosa International Bridge links the United States and Mexico at Texas]

FRIES :
Fast Rope Insertion / Extraction system, which uses 45mm / 1.77" polyester rope with a tensile strength of 35,000# at 60-120' length, having an I-beam attachment on the standing end for hooking to the helicopter and six bridle attachments on the trailing end for STABO-vest hookups, and used by sliding down as on a fireman's pole (which is faster than RAPPELLING), offering less exposure into HOT LZs. In the U.S. Navy, this arrangement is known as "Special Purpose Insertion - Extraction System" (SPIES). See TRAWL.

FRIGATE :
a modern WARSHIP, ranging in size from a destroyer escort (DE) to a light cruiser (CL), as derived from a fast naval vessel of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, generally having a lofty ship rig and being heavily armed on one or two decks.

FRISSON :
a momentary or passing sensation of excitement; a transient shiver or shudder of emotion; a thrill or tingle, a tremor or tremble. See CLOAK-AND-DAGGER, COUNT COUP, IN LIKE FLYNN.

FROCKED :
invested with status or RANK, which may be a temporary appointment or preliminary to permanent promotion; see ACTING JACK, GADGET, BREVET. [nb: while FROCKED is the authorization to wear RANK of higher GRADE, but without benefits and without actual authority, a BREVET bestows the actual authority, but without the pay of a promotion; so a frocked BG cannot legally order a COL but a brevet BG can, however, since a frocked BG will eventually be confirmed in GRADE, any COL who doesn't obey the order of a frocked BG will have problems later; to anyone not privy to these nuances, a FROCKED or BREVET RANK is indistinguishable from the actual permanent GRADE]

FROG :
truncation of FROGMAN / FROGMEN. Also, informal reference among SEALs in their exclusive fraternity to another SEAL-qualified teammate. Also, nickname of the twin-engined CH-46 SEA KNIGHT cargo and transport helicopter; being the amphibious version of the CHINOOK.

FROGGY :
disruptive, crude, or other "extreme" behavior typical of SEALs at "play", whether OFF-DUTY or during regular EVOLUTIONs; such talented exuberance is sometimes (mistakenly) characterized as "misconduct"; also spelled "froggie", as for frog-like conduct or froggish acts.

FROGMAN / FROGMEN :
U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) explosives specialists, originating in WWII with SEABEE (Construction Battalion) engineers, who were trained for underwater demolition, mine warfare, and salvage with the then new SCUBA apparatus; the requirement for PARACHUTE qualification was added later. A FROGMAN trainee is informally called a TADPOLE. [nb: Vietnamese term: Nguoi Nhai]

FROGMARCH :
to force a person to walk in a squatting posture with the arms firmly pinioned behind the back; this is a form of humiliating punishment imposed upon captives and prisoners, inasmuch as the restrained arms, unavailable for balance, tilt the body forward, and impart a staggering or stumbling hop to their gait ... this manner of compulsory locomotion is slow and painful and quite exhausting. Compare DUCK-WALK, LOW-CRAWL, DITTY-BOP; see TAKE A KNEE, SQUAT, PAIN, GAUNTLET, TORTURE.

FRONT :
see FRONT LINE, MLR, FLOT, FEBA, FIRING LINE.

THE FRONT :
see NLF.

FRONTAL ASSAULT :
the direct opposition of massed formations, whether ground, air, or seaborne, with or without combined arms or fire support; used tactically to establish a foothold position or to repulse a STRONGPOINT; also the most common type of initial CONTACT in a skirmish (FIREFIGHT) or MEETING ENGAGEMENT. Although this action theoretically violates the principle of "economy of force", it may be the only way to expel an entrenched opponent from a secure defensive position. Sometimes called "direct assault", it was used at the Battle of Bunker Hill [Breed's Hill] and the Battle of Missionary Ridge, the Battles of Ypres and the Battle at Karelian Isthmus, the Battle of Pork Chop Hill and the Battle of Hamburger Hill; devastatingly at Cold Harbor and Pea Ridge, Fair Oaks and Franklin, and most memorably at Marye's Height in Fredericksburg, Pickett's Charge on Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg, and the Mule Shoe Salient at Spotsylvania Court House. Compare MULTIPRONGED; see SPEARHEAD, FORCE MAJEURE, SUICIDE SQUAD, CANNON FODDER, WASTED, DIDDLY, BITTER END, RAT RACE, BELL THE CAT, SNOWBALL, PITCHED BATTLE, TRENCH WARFARE, ENVELOPMENT, DECEPTION, BATTLE. [v: enfants perdus, forlorn hope] [nb: "This is not war. It is murder." by D.H. Hill at Malvern Hill (1862); "Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread." by Alexander Pope (1711)]

FRONT LEANING REST :
the PUSH-UP position, being a common strength training exercise performed with the prone body held rigidly straight from head to heels, propped on hands and toes, while raising from and lowering to a horizontal plane with the arms; also known as the "press-up" or just plain "leaning rest" position. The PUSH-UP is one of the physical training (PT) exercises performed in the DAILY DOZEN and tested annually by the Physical Competency and Proficiency Test (PCPT), or monthly in the Physical Fitness Test (PFT), but is most commonly utilized as a form of mild harassment or punishment. In elite training centers, such as AIRBORNE and RANGER, when one unit member is singled-out for punishment with the unofficial injunction to DROP, to "Hit it!" or "Push earth!", "Kiss concrete!" or "Beat your face!", all other members of that unit will immediately join the exercise in a voluntary expression of solidarity (v: WETSU). Variants of the standard push-up, whether as intensifiers or torments, include: fingertip, knuckle, elbow-tuck, uneven, one-arm, hand-stand, diamond, bridge or Hindu, creep-dip or Chinese, clap or plyometric, and so forth. See SQUAT, JUMPING JACK, EXERCISE, PAIN.

FRONT LINE / FRONT-LINE :
the advance part of a military operation; the battle line or LINE OF BATTLE for carrying out combat operations within the OBJECTIVE AREA or COMBAT ZONE, also called the "front" or MLR, FLOT or FEBA. Also, the forefront in any field or activity; see FIRING LINE. Also, being highly proficient in the performance of one's duties.

FROST CALL :
Fast Response On Short Transmission call, being a rapid notification system used to send brief messages from a central point to a large audience of military and civilian government employees, who are often widely dispersed. FROST CALLs are sent to persons on a preapproved TELECON list or to addressees on a prearranged network of Global Access List (GAL). Messages typically schedule or cancel important events, disseminate necessary information about a crisis or emergency, or transmit other essential broadcasts to all affected parties. These messages are not used for routine traffic, for material that is not urgent or time critical, for quasi- or unofficial correspondence, and shall not be used for personal or private communication. This is not a secure communications network for classified material, nor a defense alert or emergency notification network. FROST CALLs are approved by or sent in the name of the commander. Compare TELEPHONE TREE.

FROSTING :
by analogy to the often decorative confection used to fill or coat baked goods, that sweetened persuasion that makes the bitterness of battle palatable, as when an appeal to patriotism or justice enables soldiers to endure the sacrifices and privations of war; such blandishments are also known as "icing" or "flummery", and sometimes called bunkum, claptrap, humbuggery, razzle-dazzle, hokum, fustian, turgidity, pomposity, bombast, malarkey, blarney. Also, a coating of ice on the surface of an object.

FROZEN SMOKE :
(forthcoming); AeroGel see DARPA, SOTA.

FRUIT FLY :
a reporter, journalist, photojournalist, stringer, correspondent, or commentator; term probably related to "gadfly", implying meaningless annoyance, and also known as "magpie" or "vulture". With a few notable exceptions, these professional liars and pampered poltroons fed like scavengers on the FIVE O'CLOCK FOLLIES, and feasted like ghouls on perverted WAR STORIES, under the majestic guise of the ex-parte Fourth Estate proving its conclusions! These self-indulgent bullyraggers, writing primarily for their own sycophantic coterie of censors, imagine that their pontifical pronouncements and profound prognostications have anointed them as soothsayers of the realm. Their deliberate distortions and misinformation, designed to pervert the facts and persuade the public, presumes that everyone is too stupid or gullible to detect their transparent falsehoods, since they themselves are unable to distinguish between a "big story" and the BIG LIE. They would rather be first than right, dead than wrong, and will invent a story or source if nothing better exists. See BEST AND BRIGHTEST, RUNNING DOG, FIFTH COLUMN, RUMOR, GAG ORDER, OPSEC, BLACKOUT, DISINFORMATION, CONTROLLED INFORMATION, PROPAGANDA, FAKE NEWS, FALSE FLAG, PSYOPS, RED INK; compare WHITE PROPAGANDA. [v: noise, pickthank, newsmonger, rumormonger, gossip, gossipmonger, scandalmonger, busybody, yenta, quidnunc, chinwagger, chin musician, schmoozer, blabbermouth, flibbertigibbet, tittle-tattler, tattler, tattletale, talebearer, bottom-feeder] [nb: "Reporters here would like to see us lose the war to prove they are right ...." by Marguerite Higgins, p380 in The First Casualty by Philip Knightley (1975); "It has long appeared to me that ... the media on Viet Nam, it has become blatantly obvious, have enjoyed even greater advantages. Even in the most flagrant cases, they have not been blamed. They have, rather, been acclaimed for their errors." by Robert Elegant, "How to Lose A War: The Press And Viet Nam" pp 73-90 in Encounter (vol LVII no 2, August 1981); "Journalists are the semi-literate cretins hired to fill the spaces between the advertisements." by Winston L.S. Churchill; "If ever you see a man put his fingers in his ears and whistle 'Dixie' to keep from hearing the truth, you may assume he's a fool; but if he puts his fingers in your ears and starts whistling, then you know you're dealing with a journalist." by Andrew Klavan] [v: subreption, obreption] [nb: the neologism "pollaganda" / "polloganda" (poll + propaganda) has been coined to identify the representation of biased samples, slanted surveys, special pleading arguments, and ex-parte news depicted as authentic or authoritative; cf: "polingo" as a neologism for political lingo] [v: Myths of the Vietnam War]

FRUIT SALAD :
a display or an array of colorful ribbons, representing their equivalent pendant medals (ie: valor, merit, service, campaign), as worn on CLASS-A / service dress uniforms of all branches; a rectangular section of the distinctive suspension ribbon on a pendant medal, or a ribbon bar so designed without a matching medal, that must be worn in a strictly hierarchical order that is incomprehensible to the uninformed. This arrangement of ribbon bars, also known as "chest candy" or "ribbon candy" and "Necco rows" or "salad bar", often includes select combat or qualification badges (eg: CIB, CMB, CAB, PILOT, PARACHUTE, etc). See OLC, BATTLE STAR, V-DEVICE, DEVICE, GONG, RACK, JOCKSTRAP MEDAL, IMPACT AWARD, BADGE OF COURAGE, TRASH, BOLO BADGE, WINGS, Q-TAB, CORD, SCRAMBLED-EGGS, REVOCATION. [nb: skill qualification badges, which may be sewn or pinned onto the work uniform, are not called 'trash' when mixed with ribbon bars on Class-A uniforms; furthermore, 'fruit salad' ribbons and pendant 'gongs' are never worn on fatigue or battle dress uniforms] [nb: the devices that cover the mounting prongs that attach the insignia to the uniform, holding the two parts together, are variously sized, and are called "fasteners", "clip fastener", "clutch fastener", "clutch back fastener", "clutch grip fastener", "pinch fastener", "butterfly fastener", or "dammits"] [nb: an insignia emblematic of the honors and lineage of a military organization, unlike familial "coats of arms", may be individually enhanced but not personally heritable; v: Heraldry] [nb: pagan Norsemen awarded metallic bracelets in recognition of meritorious or valorous deeds]

FS :
U.S. Air Force designation for a Fighter Squadron. [nb: the WWII-era Army Air Force fighter squadron was designated a Pursuit Squadron (PS)]

F-S / F/S :
Fairbairn-Sykes; see COMMANDO DAGGER, KNIFE.

FSB :
(f-s-b) Fire Support Base, sometimes called "Fire Base" (FB); a semifixed artillery base, established to increase indirect fire coverage of an operational area, often secured by an infantry or armored cavalry unit. These FSBs dotted VN, and usually comprised three or four HOWITZERs with crews. See BIVOUAC, FOB, CAMP, FORT, STRONGPOINT, LITTLE AMERICA.

FSC :
the 4-digit Federal Supply Classification code; see NSN, LOG, QM, SUPPLY.

FSCC :
Fire Support Control Center; see FDC.

FSG :
abbreviation for First SerGeant, being the non-commissioned officer (NCO) grade (E-8) between Sergeant First Class (E-7) and Sergeant Major or Command Sergeant Major (E-9), and represented by three chevrons above three ROCKERs with a centered diamond (lozenge) as sleeve rank insignia. This rank is rated equal to Master Sergeant (MSG); and is commonly known as TOP, TOP DOG, or FIRST SHIRT. See SARGE, BUCK, RIGHT ARM, NCO, SUPER GRADE, RATING, GRADE, RANK. [nb: Vietnamese term: Thuong Si]

FSN :
Federal Stock Number (qv); see NSN, LOG, QM, SUPPLY. Also, abbreviation for Foreign Service National, being an indigenous member of a host country who has been cleared to work in an American embassy; this person is typically an intelligence agent of the host government, which is how their background (LEGEND) was approved; see FN, FOREIGN DEVIL, LITTLE PEOPLE, INDIG, COUNTERPART.

FSO :
abbreviation for Foreign Service Officer, US Dept of State; the Embassy staff members with the most frequent and genuine contact with the host country's people through intermittent field work. See CT, COOKIE PUSHER, USDAO, ADV.

FSR :
Field Service Regulations, being the operational doctrine and instructions for combat arms branches (ie: infantry, artillery, armor, etc) tactics in various terrains (eg: desert, jungle, mountain, urban, etc) under various circumstances (eg: winter, guerrilla, amphibious, etc); see FM, TM, SCRIPTURES, CHECKING THE DICTIONARY. Also, abbreviation for FIRST-STRIKE RATION / FIRST STRIKE RATION.

FSSF :
First Special Service Force; the elite WWII Canadian-American infantry regiment that was nicknamed the "Devil's Brigade" after the unofficial mascot and talisman adopted when their German adversaries called them BLACK DEVILs during the Anzio campaign; the lineage of this WWII AIRBORNE unit (5 July 1942 - 6 Feb 1945) was passed to the U.S. Army Special Forces (USSF / SF). See V-42 STILETTO.

FST :
Forward Surgical Team, which has superseded the MASH as an intermediate medical treatment facility between the AID STATION and the Combat Support Hospital (CSH) in supporting military actions at brigade and higher levels; see SICK CALL, EVAC, FLD HOSP, MEDEVAC, CHOP SHOP. Also, abbreviation for Fire Support Team, which is pronounced "FiST"; see FISTV.

FTA :
abbreviation for Fun - Travel - Adventure, from an Army recruiting advertisement; immediately re-interpreted into the derogatory phrase, "Fuck the Army", as used by frustrated soldiers. It was alternatively translated as "Fool The Authorities", or "Future Targets of America", and was often publically re-interpreted for polite society to mean "Fire The Artillery" or "Farewell To Arms". Also, abbreviation of the 1st Cavalry Division's "First Team Academy", being an introductory program designed to inform newly assigned personnel of unit standard operating procedures (SOP), of immediate action (IA) practices, and of security protocols; the initials of the "First Team Academy" (FTA), widely understood to mean "Fuck The Army", was an ironic example of the unfortunate decisions made by otherwise sane and insightful persons, similar to the badly chosen initials of the political action group named the "Committee to Re-Elect the President" (CREeP) setup on behalf of Richard M. Nixon. See CHARM SCHOOL, compare COC, ACTA.

FTX :
(ef-tee-ecks) Field Training eXercise, or Field eXercise (FX). Repeated rehearsals made it imperative that "This is NOT a drill." be announced when actually signaled for enemy action or real battle stations. See GQ; compare CPX, STX, JTFEX, MILES, OPFOR, ROBIN SAGE.

FUBAR :
short for "Fucked Up Beyond All Repair" or "... Beyond All Recognition", or more euphemistically as "fouled up beyond any restoration", when referring to impossible situations, methods, equipment, or people. Variants of "... all repair" or "... any repair" include "... recognition", "... restoration", "... redemption", "... reality", "... reason", or any other appropriate substitution conveying a similar meaning. See PVT SNAFU, FUCK-UP, FUCKED-UP, CLUSTER FUCK, WTFO, SOL, BOHICA. [nb: The Three Brothers, a 1944 U.S. Army animated short film that was directed by Friz Freleng, portrays a character named Fubar as being the brother of Privates Snafu and Tarfu; computer programmers purportedly used the abbreviation "FBR" (Fucked Beyond Repair) as shorthand to express their frustrations with coding and compiling during the post-VIETNAM WAR era; and according to one imaginative etymologist, FUBAR may have been influenced by the German word "furchtbar", meaning 'terrible', during and after WWII; v: Situation Normal by Arthur Miller (1944)]

FUBB :
literally "Fucked Up Beyond Belief", and also expressed as "FUBBed-up", or more euphemistically as "fouled up ...", with a meaning similar to other scenarios. See FUCK-UP, FUCKED-UP, CLUSTER FUCK, WTFO, SOL, BOHICA.

FUBIJAR :
literally "Fucked Up But I'm Just A Reservist", and also more euphemistically expressed as "fouled up ...", which is either the plaintive excuse offered to military regulars for a substandard or unprofessional performance by a WEEKEND WARRIOR serving on active duty, or a sarcastic retort in response to excessive or unwarranted criticism of MILITIA by regulars. See NO EXCUSE, FUCK-UP, FUCKED-UP, CLUSTER FUCK, WTFO, SOL, BOHICA.

FUCK / FUCKED / FUCKING :
the most notorious dysphemism for sex, sexual relations, sexual intercourse, coitus, coition, venery, copulation, fornication, commerce, congress, seduction, intimate knowledge; also known as ball, bang, bop, boink, bone dancing, buck the tiger, bury the banana, diddle/DIDDLY, dance the horizontal mambo, get ashes hauled, get laid, get a leg over, get stuffed, hide the hotdog, HUMP, sink the salami, shag, screw. Obscenity has been used for every part of speech and rhetorical form, including tmesis (eg: absoFUCKINGlutely), to the dismay of purists, and the enrichment of our mother-tongue! See SMACK, TALK TRASH, GODDAM, CHURNING BUTTER, BOOM-BOOM, SHORT-TIME, SHACK-JOB, BUTTERFLY, SANDWICH, HAT TRICK, DAISY CHAIN, AROUND THE WORLD, SINGAPORE GRIP, TRICK, PASSION RATION, DU, STEAM 'n' CREAM, HOOKUP, HELL ON WHEELS, THE FISH CHEER, ACT OF CONGRESS, CHOWING DOWN, HUMMERR, BUSH PILOT, MUFF DIVER, LOVE HANDLES, TRAINING FILM, STROKE BOOK. [nb: in his renown 1948 novel, The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer coined the word "fug" as a substitute for the then socially offensive vulgarity which is now commonplace] [nb: according to the CounterCulture: "Fuck is a bad word but not a bad thing; yet war is a bad thing but not a bad word!"; which extends to: "If I can do it then I can say it; so if I shouldn't do it then there shouldn't be a word for it!" ... so by this fungible illogic, anything can be re-defined into or out of existence] [nb: some etymologists attribute the phrase "buck the tiger" to faro gambling, but can not explain its usage, however the same phrase is widely associated with lusty gratification, and needs no explanation; v: "They won't drink, they won't buck the tiger, they won't even fight." Roads of Destiny; "Nothing stronger than bouillon, not a chance to buck the tiger even for one moment...." Hagar's Daughter]

FUCK ALL :
vulgar slang for a nothing or negative, naught or NULLITY, neutral or CIPHER, duck or goose egg, being intermediate between positive and NEGATIVE, as "He knows fuck all about navigation!"; see ZERO, ZIP, DIDDLY, SQUAT. [nb: not "fuck 'em all"]

FUCKED-UP :
common description or attribution of disaster, calamity, catastrophe, ruination, misadventure, mishap, or fiasco; as in the classic "A sucking chest wound is God's way of telling you that you've really FUCKED-UP!". Sometimes expressed in rhyming slang as "fucked duck", and by extension to "fuck the duck". See SNAFU, FUBAR, FUBB, TARFU, TARFUN, SAPFU, MOAFU, UFFU, UFU, SAFU, GFU, FUMTU, SUSFU, FUBIJAR, FUGAZI, CLUSTER FUCK, SCREW THE POOCH, SEAT OF THE PANTS, SHIT HIT THE FAN, FLAP, SOL, WTFO, PYHOOYA, BOHICA, PVT SNAFU. [nb: "If things are going really well then the military will find a way to fuck things up!"]

FUCK-UP :
synonymous with DUD, POGUE, PUKE, DEADHEAD, LOOSE CANNON, YARDBIRD, MAGGOT, PYHOOYA, TURD, GOLDBRICK, SOS, SMACK, SHIT MAGNET, DOUCHE BAG, FIELD REJECT. Also, synonymous with FUCKED-UP; see SNAFU, FUBAR, FUBB, TARFU, SAPFU, MOAFU, UFFU, UFU, SAFU, GFU, FUMTU, SUSFU, FUBIJAR, FUGAZI, CLUSTER FUCK, SCREW THE POOCH, SEAT OF THE PANTS, SHIT HIT THE FAN, FLAP, SOL, WTFO, PYHOOYA, BOHICA, PVT SNAFU. [nb: "I'm using the term in its generally accepted sense. A flake is not only a screw-up, but someone who truly excels in making bizarre errors and creating incredibly convoluted disasters. A flake is a 'fool with energy', as the Russian proverb puts it. ("A fool is a terrible thing to have around, but a fool with energy is a nightmare.") The chief characteristic of a flake is that he makes choices that are impossible to either understand or explain. These are not the errors of the poor dope who can't grasp the essentials of a situation, or the neurotic who ruins things out of compulsion, or the man suffering chronic bad luck. The flake has a genius for discovering solutions at perfect right angles to the ordinary world. It's as if he's the product of a totally different evolutionary chain, in a universe where the laws are slightly but distinctly at variance to ours. When given a choice between left and right, the flake goes up – if not through the eighth dimension. And although there's plenty of rationalization, there's never a logical reason for any of it. After awhile, people stop asking." by Hugh Downs (2008)]

FUDGE FACTORY :
see PUZZLE PALACE, MADHOUSE, PURGATORY TOUR, IMPERIAL PALACE, IVORY TOWER, WHITE WAY, HQ.

FUEL LADDER :
a precautionary calculation of the predicted fuel usage, computed to reference (RP) and WAY POINTs, for flying a specific mission; a vital estimate for fixed-wing SORTIEs with few alternatives for landing or diverting. See PETROL, POL, JUICE.

FUF :
Fella Up Front; slang for a PILOT, especially a JET JOCKEY or FAG. Compare GIB. [nb: Vietnamese term: Phi Cong, Phi Hanh Gia] [nb: "The average fighter pilot is one part lover and two parts tiger, with a dash of san-gfroid, a dollop of joie de vivre, and a hunk of weltschmerz thrown in for good measure. He lives with a perpetually irritated bump on the bridge of his nose where his oxygen masks rubs, is slightly deaf from listening to loud engines and radios all his life, has low blood pressure and an even lower pulse rate, is uncomfortable on the ground in anything but a tight fitting phone booth, has trigger reflexes, eyeballs on the back of his helmet, broad peripheral vision, a rock-like bottom, and extremely articulate hands (with which he demonstrates innumerable combat maneuvers every day -- in between cigars). He also has the habit of often looking at his fingernails to see if they are turning blue (the basis of high-altitude oxygen management). He believes passionately that the only degree worth having is a Ph.D. in flyology, and is just as firmly convinced that the world is three drinks behind and that there would be no more wars if people would only catch up. Many think that he is to be replaced by some sort of flying Univac, but to this he replies: "Where else can you find another non-linear servomechanism weighing only 160 pounds, and having such unusual adaptability, that can be produced so cheaply by unskilled labor?" When he eventually spins-in and 'buys the farm', he wants to do it with his boots on (Wellingtons, modified with zippers: $23.50), and live forevermore in a land populated by blondes -- where whiskey flows from telegraph poles, and there's poker every night."]

FUGAZI :
along with all the similar militarized 'FU' acronyms (eg: SNAFU, TARFU, FUBAR, FUMTU, FUBB, etc), this construct essentially means that something is amazingly messed up, or that everything is amazingly fouled up ... it's so completely wrecked, so entirely out of whack that you just want to stand around and gaze at it, as if you'd been stunned by the sight of it!

FUGLEMAN :
model soldier or SUPER-TROOPER, a paradigm or archetype, an exemplar or epitome, a Greek god or white knight; someone who leads by example. Originally derived from the specimen or demonstrator placed before a unit for others to emulate. Compare TOY SOLDIER, WOODEN SOLDIER, MACHO, WANNABE, HOT DOG, BOY WONDER, COWBOY; see HARD CHARGER, BOOMER, DEEP DIP, SWEAT HOG, OLD SWEAT, GOLDEN BOY, FIGJAM, HOT SHOT, TOP DOG, QUIET PROFESSIONAL. [v: ne plus ultra, expert, master, virtuoso, bailiwick; cf: "wight" is a human being, who is defined as such by his ability to fight, hence is someone who's strong and brave in war] [nb: "No one going as a soldier entangles himself with the affairs of life, that he may please him who has enlisted him as a soldier." 2 Timothy 2:4; "Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is." I Corinthians 3:13]

FUJITA SCALE :
a scale indicating the speed or force of cyclonic wind, as that of a tornado or waterspout. The word 'tornado' is a metathetic variant of "tronada", a violent thunderstorm; characterized as a violent funnel-shaped windstorm occurring over localized land. The word 'cyclone', introduced in 1848 by British meteorologist Henry Piddington, confused "wheel" with "revolve", but has since been accepted as the denotation for the large-scale atmospheric wind-and-pressure system that's characterized by low pressure at its center and by circular wind motion (ie: counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere, clockwise in the southern hemisphere). A 'waterspout' is a tornado at sea; and a 'tempest' is a violent windstorm with rain. See BEAUFORT SCALE, SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE, STORM WARNING, WINDSOCK, TELLTALE. [nb: a 'typhoon' is a tropical cyclone or hurricane occurring in the western Pacific ocean area,including the seas of China and India; derived from "great wind" in Chinese dialect that was altered by association with "violent wind" in Greek (Typhoeus / Typhon); cf: "divine wind" (kamikaze) that prevented Kublai Khan's Mongol armada from invading Japan in 1274 and 1281]

FULL BATTLE RATTLE :
rhyming slang meaning fully equipped (ie: body armor, backpack, helmet, gas mask, ammo, weapon, rations, etc) for combat operations; typically being the final preparation before operational departure and mission execution; also known as "play clothes" and "mommy's comforts". See COMBAT LOADED, CROSS-LOADING, LOADOUT, MISSION READY, UNLIMBER, LOCK 'n' LOAD, BATTAILOUS, OP TEMPO, FAT, GOOD TO GO, SADDLE-UP, HOOPLA, MOVE OUT, WEB GEAR, BATTLE DRESS.

FULL BIRD / FULL BULL :
Colonel rank insignia
COL
slang for a Colonel (COL, O-6), equivalent to a Naval Captain (CAPT); also called "bird colonel" and "chicken colonel" since WWII, so-called by metonymic resemblance to the RANK insignia, and to differentiate it from lieutenant colonel (LTC/LtCol, O-5). As with lieutenants and generals, it is customary to address both GRADEs by the same title. This title is derived from the column of troops such a commander would lead in a regiment in ancient times. Compare LIGHT BIRD; see OFFICER, RANK.

FULL-COURT PRESS :
a relentless attack or vigorous offensive against all opposing elements or strongholds, everywhere at once; not a concentrated focus, but simultaneously distributed massive force that's intended to be overwhelming. This phrase, an alleged Americanism, purportedly alludes to defensive pressure on a basketball court, but has antecedence in chess, where pressure for checkmate is brought upon the royalty confined within the castling court ... in Chinese chess, the court is permanently defined as a seige area. Compare BLITZKRIEG, HYPERWAR, SHOCK 'n' AWE.

FULL FATHOM FIVE :
an alliterative allusion to an underwater depth of thirty feet, or approximately one atmosphere of pressure (that is, double the pressure at sea level), which was once a formidable barrier for breath-hold diving. Also, a poetic expression meaning a full change or a complete alteration that's beyond human control or influence, which is a verse from Ariel's song about the striking sea change (total transformation) of Ferdinand's father (Alonso, the king of Naples) in Shakespeare's The Tempest (1611). This catch-phrase has been repeatedly used to represent any full or complete change, especially ones that ensue without interruption or intervention, as in works by James Joyce, John Cheever, John Stewart Carter, George Orwell, Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver, Sylvia Plath, Nadine Gordimer, Martin Amis, May Sinclair, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Laurie Anderson, Sting, Clutch, The Mutton Birds, and others. [cf: 'fathom' as understand or comprehend, to penetrate to the truth]

FULL NINE-YARDS / FULL NINE YARDS :
see NINE-YARDS.

FULL-SLEEVE :
a tattoo representing various idiosyncratic themes (from patriotic or historic to mil-craft or floral) covering both the inner and outer surfaces of an arm from the wrist to the shoulder, being a form of body art adopted by many in-theater veterans, both men and women, of GULF WAR II (ie: GWOT, OIF, OEF, etc) as a non-verbal testament of authenticity; although this portrayal is usually displayed on the veteran's left arm, there are no regulations governing this fashion, but it is not a series of disconnected "spot" tattoos (as was the practice during WWII, KOREAN and VIETNAM WARs). Compare CONTINUATION TATTOO, SAT CONG; see MEAT MARKER, SOUVENIR, TATTOO. [cf: half-sleeve tattoo, quarter-sleeve tattoo]

FULMINATE / FULMINATION :
to explode with a loud noise; to detonate thunderously. Also, to cause to explode; to trigger a powerful detonating agent, such as the mercury salt of fulminic acid or any other unstable explosive compound. Also, to vehemently denounce or condemn; to issue a loud and powerful censure or reproof.

FULRO :
FULRO flag
FULRO flag
Front Unite pour la Liberation des Races Opprimees, or United Front for the Liberation of Oppressed Peoples, being the MONTAGNARD separatist movement; see BAJARHAKO.

FUMTU :
literally "Fucked Up More Than Usual", or more euphemistically as "fouled up ..."; see FUCK-UP, FUCKED-UP, CLUSTER FUCK, WTFO, SOL, BOHICA.

FUNERAL PACE :
the command to march in formation at half the regular tempo, set at the rate of 60 steps per minute; also called "slow time". Compare QUICK TIME, DOUBLE TIME; see CADENCE, PACE, PARADE, COLORBEARER, DEAD MARCH, PALLBEARER.

FUNNY MONEY :
aside from its primary definition of 'counterfeit currency', this is slang for Military Payment Certificate (MPC), a form of color-coded scrip [paper; not "script"] that's also called "play money" or "shinplaster", which was used as LEGAL TENDER by MIL-PERS stationed overseas during the period from WWII through the VIETNAM WAR. Compare SLUSH FUND, CANDY, BAD PAPER, SUPER NOTE, SPIRIT MONEY.

FUN SWITCH :
sardonic slang for the actuator of an explosive, firearm, or some other weapon; see TRIGGER, CLACKER, DETONATOR. [v: plunger, spill / spile]

FUO :
diagnostic abbreviation for Fever of Unknown Origin, usually treated symptomatically, but may be psychosomatic response to combat stress; often an intermittent stage of MALARIA, but may be either Yellow (YELLOW JACK), Dengue (BONE BREAK FEVER), or CHIKUNGUNYA Fever, as vectored by the aedes mosquito. Also interpreted as "Fever of Undetermined Origin", and sometimes abbreviated as FOUO (qv). Compare BLACKWATER, KOREAN HEMORRHAGIC FEVER, CAPE HORN FEVER. [cf: mysterious psychobiomedical maladies, such as identification of "irritable heart disease" during post-CIVIL WAR era, and "Gulf War syndrome" diagnosed after Desert Shield / -Storm operations]

FUR BALL / FURBALL :
slang for any rough-and-tumble physical battle, especially the combative turmoil between warring fighter airplanes; as derived from furious (not hair or pelage), as a roiling "ball of fury"; this close-turning engagement involving a mix of several fighters is also called a "knife fight in a phone booth" or "hairball" (trichobezoar); see DOGFIGHT, TALLY-HO, BOGIE, BANDIT, GOMER, CQB, BATTLE ROYAL, ACM, JINK, YANK 'n' BANK, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT. Also, slang for any vexing problem or disturbing situation, by analogy with the obstructive nature of an actual fur ball or hairball (trichobezoar); synonymous with a confused or difficult predicament, a mix-up or muddle, bungle or fuddle, mess or crisis, fix or strait, dilemma or imbroglio; see CLOSE SHAVE, SQUEAK, FIGHTING MAD. Also, a "fuzz ball", "dust ball", or "dust bunny"; see GHOST TURD.

FURL :
to gather into a roll and bind securely, as a FLAG against its FLAGSTAFF; to encase the COLORS of a military unit when it's being formally DEACTIVATEd, "inactivated", "demobilized", "dissolved", "decommissioned", or "retired"; to respectfully withdraw the national STANDARD of a country when it's been defeated. See RETREAT, TAPS, STRIKE THE FLAG, DEFEAT, CAPITULATION; compare REFLAG, BREAK A FLAG, SHOW THE FLAG. [nb: when the American flag is folded into a triangle, representative of the Colonial tricorne, the red and white stripes representing the blood and bones of sacrifice are buried within the blue constellation of heaven; which is the traditional configuration for funeral and retreat ceremonies]

FURNITURE :
the necessary accessories of a firearm, such as the stock or gunstock (BUTTSTOCK), forearm or fore-piece, grip plates or PISTOL GRIP, SLING or LANYARD, and so forth. Also, the least essential items among supply (QM) priorities, categorized as CLASS SIX, including field desks and camp stools, sleeping cots and mosquito netting, along with reference manuals and spare parts and other "nice to have" luxuries that are not required for combat operations.

FURY :
the North American FJ/FJ-4/F-1 fighter aircraft, being the Navy version of the F-86 SABRE jet.

FUSE :
a tube or cord filled with combustible matter or pyrotechnic composition, which burns at a precise and predictable rate, used for the ignition of explosives; also called "wick" or "fusee/fuzee". See SLOW MATCH, TRAIN; compare FUZE, DETONATOR, EXPLODER, WAR NOSE, TRIGGER.

FUSELAGE :
the complete central structure to which the wing, tail surfaces, landing gear, and engines are attached on an airplane, as derived from "spindle-shaped". Compare NACELLE, ANGLE OF INCIDENCE, ASPECT RATIO; see COCKPIT, TAILBOOM, RAMP, HELL HOLE, HATCH, NOSE, CANARD, COWLING, SPONSON, TURRET, BALL TURRET, FAIRING, PYLON, HARDPOINT, FAST PACK, FLYING WING.

FUSILLADE :
a simultaneous or continuous discharge of firearms; derived from a musket ("fusil"), focus-fire. See SALVO, BROADSIDE, ENFILADE, VOLLEY, STORM, FPL, DRUMFIRE, IN THE AIR, AT CLOSE QUARTERS.

FUZE :
TRIGGERing mechanism attached to the nose of an artillery shell, aerial bomb, or other explosive detonated by proximity, timing, or impact. See PROXIMITY FUZE, WHIZ BANG, WAR NOSE, DETONATOR, EXPLODER, DEACTIVATE; compare FUSE, TRAIN.

FUZZ :
slang for facial growth, especially a mustache or beard; see FACE FUZZ, RELAXED GROOMING STANDARDS; compare RAZOR BURN. Also, light or fluffy fibrous matter; loose amorphous lint; see GHOST TURD. Also, slang for a cop or police officer; see BABY 007, SECRET SQUIRREL, REVENUER, BODYGUARD, CONSTABULARY, MP, SNOWDROP, AP, SP, SHERIFF, CHIMPS, BATS 'n' HATS, KATN, BUBBLEGUM MACHINE, POLICE.

FUZZ BALL :
see GHOST TURD.

FUZZY-WUZZY / FUZZY-BUZZY :
a British referant of the 19th century for any non-white native, especially a South Seas islander, being a term more descriptive than derogatory; see INDIG, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER. [v: "Fuzzy Wuzzy" in Barrack-Room Ballads by Rudyard Kipling (1892); cf: fuzzy-headed]

FUZZY-WUZZY ANGEL :
a native woman or indigenous female who attends sick and injured MIL-PERS in a tropical hospital; an ethnic woman performing as a practical nurse or nurse's aide for patients in a primitive medical facility; this expression originated on Papua New Guinea during WWII, then spread through the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Compare ANGEL; see INDIG.

FWF :
abbreviation for Free World Forces; also known as Free World Military Forces (FWMF) and Free World Military Assistance Forces (FWMAF). Refers to the allied military elements of Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Philippines, and Thailand, cooperating with U.S. forces in support of South Vietnam.

FWMAF :
Free World Military Assistance Forces; see FWF.

FWMF :
Free World Military Forces; see FWF.

FWT :
Fixed-Wing Transport; see BIRD.

FWU :
Fixed-Wing Utility; see BIRD.

FX :
Field Exercise; see EXERCISE.

FY :
Fiscal Year, being the budget period for tax appropriation allocations; compare CY, see TIME.

FYI :
For Your Information; see HEADS-UP, DOPE, POOP, BULLETIN, THE WORD, HOT-SHIT, BOATSWAIN'S PIPE, BUGLE CALL, TANNOY; compare OLD HAT.




MilTerms
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ADMIN
S-2:
INTEL
S-3:
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COMMO
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