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

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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G :
abbreviation for Gravity (or Gravities), a sea level constant of gravitational force, as represented by increments of earth-surface atmospheric pressure, as experienced during accelerative torque or supersonic flight by aircrews; see BLACKOUT, G-FORCE, G-LOCK, G-SUIT, FLIGHT SUIT, POOPIE SUIT. [nb: 1 G is normal atmospheric pressure; 2 - 6 Gs are pressure levels two to six times normal, at which point people begin to lose consciousness (without permanent damage); although most people will become semiconscious and dysfunctional at 9 Gs, the human body can withstand 18 Gs before incurring permanent injury; 0 G (zero gravity) is weightlessness; -# G are negative pressures that actually reverse the flow of blood in animals and of fluids in machines] Also, abbreviation for gauss, being a unit of magnetic field strength, which increments are convertible to tesla, weber, or maxwell measures; see DEGAUSS. Also, an aircraft prefix under the Joint Service Designation System that represents 'glider'. [v: 'CG' (cargo glider)]

the government or "gubbermint"; known ironically as "Uncle Sugar" and sarcastically as "Big Brother", since everyone knows that THE G is composed of Geeks, Goons, and Goofs who are too inept to function or conspire effectively. THE G really believes that it is in charge ["of the government, by the government, and for the government"], because We The People are too lazy to enforce the "good government" checks and balances. It has been alleged by defense contractors, lobbyists, and other government profiteers that it's really an abbreviation for "golconda"! See REALPOLITIK, MIGHT MAKES RIGHT, CLIENT STATE, THE EAGLE SHITS, THE NATIONAL JOKE FACTORY, ACT OF CONGRESS, POLITICIAN, FOGGY BOTTOM, GREEN ACRES, OLYMPUS, THE HILL, ALPHABET CITY, UNCLE SAM, MANDARIN, MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, WASHINGTON WALTZ, YANKEE, RED TAPE, GSA, GAO, SOG, THE ESTABLISHMENT, BELTWAY CLERK, PORK BARREL, SAND CRAB, BELTWAY BANDIT. [nb: "Thou cam'st out of thy mother's belly without government, thou hast liv'd hitherto without government, and thou may'st be carried to thy long home without government, when it shall please the Lord. How many people in this world live without government, yet do well enough, and are well look'd upon?" by Miguel de Cervantes (1615); "Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one." by Thomas Paine (1776); "In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this; you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself." by James Madison (1788); "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." by Thomas Jefferson (1788); "Government is an evil; it is only the thoughtlessness and vices of men that make it a necessary evil." by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1812); "Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees; and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people." by Henry Clay (1829); "The world is too much governed." by Francis P. Blair (1830); "All government is evil.... The best government is that which governs least." by John L. O'Sullivan (1837); "The less government we have, the better." by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1844); "That government is best which governs least." by Henry David Thoreau (1844); "Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government." by Henry David Thoreau (1849); "The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top, there is no limit to oppression." by H.L. Mencken (1956); "Any form of government will work if authority and responsibility are equal and coordinate. This does not ensure "good" government; it simply ensures that the system will work. But any such governments are rare – too many people want to run things but want no part of the blame." paraphrase of Robert A. Heinlein; "Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man. There has never been a really good one, and even those that are most tolerable are arbitrary, cruel, grasping and unintelligent." by H.L. Mencken (1956); "For the mass of hard-working people, our flawed representative system is all that stands between anarchy and a police state." paraphrase of Robert K. Tanenbaum (2001); "Every explanation of government always exaggerates rationality and conspiracy while underestimating incompetence and fortuity." by Laurence Silberman; "The purpose of government has never been to 'do good' – but simply to refrain from doing evil." paraphrase of Robert A. Heinlein; "A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away." by Barry Goldwater (1964); "Government is like a big baby – an alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other." by Ronald W. Reagan (1966); "Yet as I read the Constitution, one of its essential purposes was to take government off the backs of people and keep it off." by William O. Douglas (1967); "Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." by P.J. O'Rourke (1991); "We do not get all the government we pay for – thank God!" by Milton Friedman (1992); "The people used to have a government, but now the government has a people."]

GA :
morse code shorthand abbreviation for "go ahead" or transmit; compare EOT, II, R; see CW.

Army Gabriel demonstration
Gabriel Det
an SF detachment detailed to demonstrate Special Forces skills to visitors of the Special Warfare Center (SWS/SWC&IMA) on Smoke Bomb Hill, Fort Bragg, NC; also called "Disneyland", as all such performances are now called "theme parks". Like Camp McKall, it was named in honor of a young soldier, SP5 James Gabriel Jr, who was killed-in-action (KIA) on his first combat tour. Gabriel was wounded, captured, and executed by VC on 8 April 1962, but many SFers believe the distinction should've gone to teammate SSG Wayne E. Marchand, who died at the same time, and who was an original member of SF when it was founded in 1952. The GABRIEL DEMONSTRATION would begin with a team arrayed in field gear, each member reciting a spiel about his duties in a foreign language, enacting various techniques (eg: RAPPELLING, field cooking, hand-to-hand combat), presenting various displays and devices (eg: BOHIO, demo, VILLE), and culminating in a precision FREE-FALL (MFF or HALO) parachute landing, or a Fulton Recovery System (SKYHOOK) extraction before the VIP bleachers. Some SF teams were also dispatched to various public events across the nation for GABRIEL DEMONSTRATIONS designed to improve the military image and attract volunteers. Compare VICTORY TASK FORCE; see GREEN BERET, SF, SWS/SWC&IMA, PSYOPS, BRONZE BRUCE. [nb: during WWII, a similar demonstration area in England became a proving-ground for evolving tactics, as the MACV RECONDO School innovated field practices; but the GABRIEL DEMONSTRATION was a scripted play with professional actors in public theater ... static, not dynamic.]

anyone who persistently annoys or provokes others, as with unremitting attention, complaint or criticism; see FIREFLY, HACK, BAD BOY, FRUIT FLY, WAR CORRESPONDENT, FOURTH ESTATE, GAG ORDER, OPSEC, BLACKOUT, DISINFORMATION, PROPAGANDA, BIG LIE, RUMOR. [v: noise, pickthank, newsmonger, rumormonger, gossip, gossipmonger, scandalmonger, busybody, yenta, quidnunc, chinwagger, chin musician, schmoozer, blabbermouth, flibbertigibbet, tittle-tattler, tattler, tattletale, talebearer, bottom-feeder]

slang for an enlisted assistant given a temporary or intermediate promotion to a leadership position of increased responsibility, but without the matching pay-grade RATING increase, being the same as provisional BREVET or FROCKED promotion for officers; also known as ACTING JACK; this informal expression derives from "an ingenious article", and implies a useful device; see BRASSARD, HONCHO, BREAK CHOP, GUNNER, WALLAH. [ety: possibly after one of the three architects (Gadget, Gauhier, & Cie) who built the Statue of Liberty, properly known as "Liberty Enlightening the World" (1886)] Also, those sophisticated devices, mechanical or electronic, that constitute the high-tech advantage for American military defense and offense, being those scientific adjuncts to strategy and tactics that serve as FORCE MULTIPLIERs in conflicts deemed to be in the NATIONAL DEFENSE; see BREADCRUMBING, McNAMARA LINE, STAR WARS, OUTSIDE THE BOX, PARADIGM SHIFT, BLACK SWAN EVENT, LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, DECOY, GAMBIT, DECEPTION, TRICK, RUSE DE GUERRE, WEAPON, DARPA, TECHNOLOGY. [nb: James Webb has aptly called the MEDEVAC a "deus ex machina"] Also, an informal placeholder term used to identify an article, object, tool, part, device, contrivance, mechanism, technique, or process whose proper name is unknown or forgotten; including dingus, gismo / gizmo, doohickey, thingy / thingee, thingamabob / thingumabob, thingamajig / thingumajig, whatsis / whatsit, whachamacallit / whatchamacallit, whuddayacallit / whudyacallit, what-do-you-call-it, what-you-may-call-it, jigger, doojigger / do-jigger, doojiggy, doodad / do-dad, widget. [v: doover in Australia and New Zealand]

a spur or hook, as used for climbing, securing, or landing. Also, a SPAR rising AFT from a mast to support the head of a sail; see STICK, YARDARM. Also, harsh treatment, criticism, or ridicule, as "stand the gaff"; by implication, to make a bad mistake worthy of harsh criticism, "pull a gaff" [cf: gaffe: social blunder, faux pas]. Also, Slang for cheat, swindle, fleece, scam [cf: grift, blackleg].

something cast down in token of a challenge, especially a glove (GAUNTLET, GANTLET) thrown down by a medieval knight as proffer of a challenge to combat; see CARTEL, DUEL, ACT OF TRUTH, ORDEAL, FIELD OF HONOR. Also, to pledge, stake, or wager. Also, to measure or appraise; a means or criterion for such judgement; gauge.

a disorderly or disorganized group, as a ROUTE STEP formation or an uncoordinated unit movement, also known as host, horde, flock, herd, swarm, drove, or throng; see STUTTER-STEP, DITTY-BOP, SEAT OF THE PANTS, CLUSTER FUCK, ROUT, ORDER. Also, Marine slang for a flight of helicopters, being an unspecified number of CHOPPERs flying together on the same mission.

slang for the ban or prohibition restricting the participants or their agents from the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information or classified material to the general public for the protection of lives, military or police operations, and national security, especially by a judicial ruling or legislative decree. This publishing embargo imposes a "cease and desist" censorship restriction upon all parties in the best interests of the country; it's known as a "D[efense]-notice" by British Commonwealth nations. See NEED TO KNOW, OPSEC, BLACKOUT, RUMOR, DISINFORMATION, CONTROLLED INFORMATION, PROPAGANDA, FALSE FLAG, PSYOPS, PIO, BULLETIN, JOURNAL, FRUIT FLY, WAR CORRESPONDENT. [v: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 1966] [nb: at the beginning of WWII, insurance underwriters were openly reporting the contents of cargo, together with shipping schedules and other details, in transatlantic messages, which resulted in many losses from enemy predation because the commercial codes were insecure, but the agents were unresponsive to government censorship until they were finally threatened with prosecution under the Espionage Act]

Global Access List of prearranged addressees, being a preapproved contact roster of essential personnel and unit members together with their telephone numbers and/or e-mail addresses.

Lockheed-Martin C-5 series aircraft, also called FAT ALBERT.

dashing bravery, or noble-minded behavior; see V-DEVICE, IMPACT AWARD, GUTS, MOXIE, ONIONS, DIEHARD, VETERAN, WINTER SOLDIER, NOBLE SAVAGE, COUNT COUP, BRAGGING RIGHTS, QUIET PROFESSIONAL, HERO, MACHO. [nb: "That which valor has joined cannot be parted by death, and that which has been ennobled by courage shall not be diminished by passing, even out of remembrance."; "Uncommon valor was a common virtue."; "The bravest are the tenderest, and the loving are the most daring."]

the kitchen area of a vessel or aircraft; compare MESS, CANTEEN, ANNEX, O CLUB; see BEANS, CHOW, SPUD LOCKER, PIPING HOT, CHARLIE NOBLE, DOG, GI JOE, CHOW LINE, KP, DRO, COOKIE. [v: cuddy; napery, serviette] [aka: greasy spoon, eatery, beanery, hash house, coffee shop, cafeteria, luncheonette, automat, salad bar, snack bar, soda fountain, lunch counter, dining room, lunchroom, tearoom, tea garden, teahouse, sandwich shop, burger joint, fast-food establishment, drive-in, truck stop, pizzeria, diner, restaurant, chophouse, steakhouse, carvery, trattoria, inn, tavern, dinner theater, supper club, brasserie, coffeehouse, bistro, cafe/café, grillroom, bar and grill, rathskeller, nightclub, cabaret, nitery]

a framework from which a condemned person is hanged (also known as gibbet, tree, forks, two-legged man, widow); the place of execution by hanging for convicted criminals (the higher the crime, the higher the platform), which often caused the victim to "dance" on the end of the rope (rope dance or airy trot) while strangling, if the neck was not immediately broken (a too short drop), or if the head was separated from the body (a too long drop) ... this tragic DANCE OF DEATH (danse macabre) is comic to the simpletons and ghouls who are entertained by capital punishment. [nb: the "last mile" is the indeterminate distance that the condemned prisoner walks to his place of execution; the phrase ROOM TO SWING A CAT is an expression for enough space to hang a rogue (the 'cat') who will caper or cavort at the end of the rope (not to flog with a cat-o'-nine-tails WHIP); see FIGHT LIKE KILKENNY CATS] [nb: lynch law is the summary execution of an accused or convicted person by extralegal process, originally from the DRUMHEAD trial of royalists by patriots during the Revolutionary War, eponymously after either Charles Lynch or William Lynch of Pittsylvania, Virginia; cf: Isaac Parker as the "Hanging Judge" at Fort Smith Arkansas]

a vulgar or insensitive humor that treats serious or painful subject matter in a light or satirical manner; see SENSE OF HUMOR, BLACK, MEAT MARKER, TERRORIST, ROMAN HOLIDAY, PAIN. [nb: "War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin, keep out of the way 'til you can." by Winston L.S. Churchill; "Peace begins with a smile." by Mother Teresa (Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu); "He deserves Paradise who makes his companions laugh." Koran (Qur'an); "Life is tough, and if you have the ability to laugh at it you have the ability to enjoy it." by Salma Hayek; "To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity." by William A. Ward; "Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not. A sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is." by Horace Walpole; "One horse-laugh is worth ten thousand syllogisms." by Henry Louis Mencken; "When I lose my power to laugh, my heart will break." attributed to Abraham Lincoln; "When humor goes, there goes civilization." by Erma Bombeck; "Just living in this world is a psychotic pursuit." by Todd Lorentz]

this unofficial designation originally identified former Confederates (GRAYBACK) who enlisted in the military after the American CIVIL WAR so as to regain their citizenship by serving in the Indian Wars of westward expansion; this phrase was later used (sparingly) to designate WWII-era refugees and COLD WAR-era defectors who joined the US military to acquire American citizenship. See DP, EXILE, LODGE-PHILBIN ACT, REFUGEE, HOI CHANH, KIT CARSON SCOUT, EARTH ANGEL, ROADRUNNER.

any PLOY or ruse (RUSE DE GUERRE), scheme or stratagem by which an advantage is sought, with such maneuver always involving a willing sacrifice; being a tactic developed from game theory. See CHECKERS, CHESS, CRAPSHOOT, WILD CARD, PLAY THE GAME, WAR GAMES, TRICK, DECEPTION. [v: fool's mate, quick trick, etc]

the proposition that past results influence the future outcome in an open or infinite system of probabilities (such as the purported "impossibility" of lightning striking twice in the same place); the slang rebuttal to this contention is that "numbers have no memory!" The innumerable schemes to hypothesize valid patterns in random events is a pathetic (albeit understandable) attempt to discern the ultimate truth, and if not to control it, then to benefit from knowing its secret. See CHANCE, FOXHOLE CONVERSION, ARMY CHRISTIAN, MEETING ENGAGEMENT, LAW OF AVERAGES, LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURNS, BLACK SWAN EVENT, ROUTINE, MILITARY MIND. [v: Pascal's Wager]

a carefully planned STRATEGY or COURSE OF ACTION, as derived from the gaming theory practiced by sports teams for winning a contest; see OPLAN, ATO, KNOW YOUR ENEMY, THE PLAN, PLAY THE GAME, WAR GAMES.

skill in manipulating people or events so as to gain an advantage over one's opposition; the ability to outwit others or to influence circumstances so as to benefit oneself; compare BRINKMANSHIP, STATESMANSHIP. [cf: one-upmanship / one-upsmanship, upmanship / upsmanship, lifemanship, showmanship; v: sportsmanship]

a coherent group of propositions that are used to calculate the probabilities for a class of phenomena; that matrix of strategies for maximizing gains and minimizing losses within the prescribed constraints; a particular conception of something to be accomplished that presents the various methods of accomplishing it, arranged as preferred options. See ATTACK TREE, GAMBIT, WILD CARD, CRAPSHOOT, PLAY THE GAME, WAR GAMES. [cf: perfect information, imperfect information]

a special project that operated during the VIETNAM WAR as Detachment B-57, organized under the auspices of Special Operations Augmentation, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne); the Greek letter designation 'gamma' [Γ] represents the third in a series, and signifies a progressive constant or incremental scale. See THE GREEKS, STD, SOG, SPECIAL FORCES, SPECIAL OPERATIONS.

M-561 compound axle, six-wheeled, articulating TRUCK for rough terrain; see JEEP, HUMVEE, FAV, MULE, DUCK/DUKW.

an improvised hand-bomb, and hence somewhat unreliable, used since WWII by partisans and GUERRILLAs; a synthetic, ersatz, faux, or counterfeit GRENADE, as derived from "bosh". The GAMMON GRENADE consists of a quantity of TNT or C-4 packed in a waterproof bag or other frangible container with a detonator and/or percussion device, with or without SHRAPNEL material (eg: stone chips, metal scrap, or other debris), which is then thrown at a target for impact detonation; it's marginally effective against SOFT TARGETs, like people and thin-skinned vehicles. This IED is similar to the MOLOTOV COCKTAIL but slightly more effective. See FRAG, SOUP, EXPLOSIVE.

mass equipment jump of 101st
Airborne Division paratroopers in 1962
mass formation jump
slang for a mass formation parachute jump or full unit AIRBORNE assault; derived from the impressive appearance of a sky crowded by a mass of canopies. See DZ, AIRHEAD, HEAVY DROP, PARACHUTE, ABN, HOLLYWOOD BLAST, STRAP-HANGER, HIT THE SILK, AIRBORNE SHUFFLE; compare CLUSTER FUCK.


a narrow walkway or PASSAGEWAY; see GASOLINE ALLEY, HATCH, BULKHEAD, LADDERWELL, COMPANIONWAY, ACCOMMODATION LADDER, AIR STAIRS, DECK. Also, an opening in the railing or bulwark of a vessel for use as a PASSAGEWAY. Also, a temporary BRIDGE at the opening in the railing or bulwark of a vessel; also known as a "gangplank" [aka: "chicken ladder"]; see BROW; compare FLYING GANGWAY. Also, any temporary path or aisle of planks; see DUCKBOARDS. Also, an injunction or interjection calling for clear passage, as to "make way" for RANK, or to "give way" for urgency.

a heavy protective glove, as of mail for armor or Kevlar for SCUBA; often confused with GAUNTLET, which is a glove with a protective cuff. [nb: to "throw down..." or "take up the gantlet" as representing a challenge is properly known as a "gage"; see CARTEL, DUEL, ORDEAL]

a rope rove through a single BLOCK that's hung from a SPAR, mast, funnel, or other stanchion, used as a means of hoisting workers, tools, flags, or the like; as derived from earlier "girtline", being a line for girding.

Government Accountability Office, renamed by the GAO Human Capital Reform Act (PL108-271 on 7 July 2004) from the General Accounting Office, which was originally established by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 (PL67-13 on 10 June 1921) as a non-partisan investigative and evaluative agency of Congress, and headed by the Comptroller General of the United States. The GAO is tasked with the mission of considering all matters relating to the receipt, disbursement, and application of public funds, and making reports or recommendations on greater economy or efficiency in public expenditures. The topics reported on run the gamut from the federal budget and fiscal issues to financial management, national defense, homeland security, administration of justice, health care, information management and technology, natural resources, environment, international affairs, trade, financial markets, housing, government management and human resources. The GAO establishes the standards for audits of government organizations and programs, activities and operations, resulting in special and annual performance evaluations. By its analyses and audits, legal opinions and other services, the GAO assures accountability of the executive branch to the legislative branch, and accountability of the government to the citizenry. The GAO, which has been referred to as "The Watchdog of Congress" and "The Taxpayers' Best Friend", exposes waste and inefficiency in government, and maintains an anti-fraud reporting system. See PORK BARREL, BELTWAY BANDIT, WONK, WIZARD, WALLAH, RED TAPE, BEAN-COUNTER, MILICRAT, THE G, ORIFICE, MIDNIGHT REQUISITION, WHISTLE-BLOWER, THE EAGLE SHITS, THE NATIONAL JOKE FACTORY, ACT OF CONGRESS. [v: False Claims Act]

a building, originally for the repair and servicing of locomotives and other rolling stock, situated outside Washington D.C., that was acquired by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during WWII as a communications training, storage, and surveillance facility, which was later transferred to the inventory of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), becoming a repository for exotic and untraceable weapons. Compare COUNTRY CLUB, SHANGRI-LA, FINISHING SCHOOL, THE FARM, THE PICKLE FACTORY, HOUSE OF SPOOKS.

a gas-operated, air-cooled, semiautomatic, shoulder-fired weapon that weighed about 9#s, firing .30caliber ammunition fed from a Mannlicher-type 8-round clip; designed by John C. Garand (with a sliding and rotating bolt) and introduced in 1936, it was superior to bolt-action arms that had to be manually reloaded; the M-1 GARAND was the standard Army and Marine service rifle during WWII and the KOREAN WAR, when it was superseded by the M-14 RIFLE, which used replacement box magazines. See RIFLE.


facetious reference to a foreign locale, where amenities are sparse, sanitation is compromised, and blandishments are nonexistent, as cited by diplomatic officials and other privileged representatives who are too refined to utter soldierly vulgarities as accurate descriptors; being a desolate post in a cultural desert; not an idyllic paradise. See BUMFUCK, BACKWASH, MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, HARDSHIP TOUR, JUNKET; compare HAPPY VALLEY. [nb: civilians go 'abroad' while soldiers go 'overseas']

cemetery or graveyard, with plural form as "gardens of stone"; this expression has the implication of being a veterans' cemetery, but its explicit allusion is to a "garden of heroes"; also called "marble garden". See BONEYARD, BOX JOB, NATIONAL CEMETERY, CATAFALQUE, MORTUARY AFFAIRS, GRAVES REGISTRATION; compare TOMB. [nb: "long home" is slang for gravesite; v: graveyard, boneyard, boot hill, God's acre, churchyard, catacomb, necropolis, cist, dolmen, chamber tomb, cenotaph, columbarium, sepulcher; cf: "whited sepulcher" (Matthew 23:27)]

Government Aid and Relief in Occupied Areas, an American foreign aid program administered from 1945-9 through the United Nations to establish democracy and free enterprise in South Korea after Japanese occupation; when the USSR withdrew from North Korea, the USA was impelled to withdraw from South Korea, which setup the reunification civil war known as the KOREAN WAR.


a body of troops stationed or housed in a place so as to fortify or defend it. Also, any military installation, especially a permanent one; see COMPOUND, POST, CAMP, FORT, BASE, RESERVATION, CANTONMENT, NATURAL AREA, SHADOW OF THE FLAGPOLE, LITTLE AMERICA.

U.S. Army garrison cap
garrison cap
a compact wedge-shaped hat that was designed to conveniently replace the helmet for wear in rear areas when coming out of the trenches during WWI; the garrison cap or hat was adapted from the blue FORAGE cap worn by the French Army, and is also known as a "Go To Hell" cap, fore 'n' aft cap, flight cap, boat cap, flat cap, envelope cap, pisscutter, OVERSEAS CAP, or CUNT CAP. The GARRISON CAP fell out of favor during the inter-war period, worn primarily by aircraft and tank crews (who normally wore helmets while performing their duties), but its practicality soon restored its adoption during WWII, thenceforth worn until replaced by the BERET. Most suitable for travel, the GARRISON CAP has been worn by all branches and grades with variations of color, fabric, style, and insignia; the flattened envelope-style version of this cap was introduced during WWII, reserving the pleated version for the women's auxiliary corps, to increase productivity requirements. The cuff or curtain of the GARRISON CAP was edge-trimmed with branch or rank specific CORD (called "edge-cord"); with EMs/NCOs wearing their unit CREST (DI/DUI), and officers wearing their RANK on the left side of the cap. Until the introduction of the red berets, the AIRBORNE wore a "para-glider" PATCH (originally separate patches for paratroops and gliders, infantry and artillery, but merged after WWII) sewn to their caps. 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]

a state in which military matters dominate economic and political life; see MIGHT MAKES RIGHT, THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS, PUPPET, FLAG OF PROTECTION, BETTER THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, REALPOLITIK. [v: stratocracy, autocracy, autarchy, absolutism, totalitarianism, despotism, dictatorship, tyranny, machtpolitik; cf: meritocracy]

a cord or wire device, sometimes with handles or in the form of a noose, used in covert operations to strangle ("scrag") an enemy; being a type of tourniquet that's also spelled "garrotte", and is sometimes called "commando necktie", "Singapore sling", "Spanish windlass", "Thuggee cord", or "mafia rosary", as derived from the throttling collar used in Spanish capital punishment. Compare GAUNTLET, OVER A BARREL, KEELHAUL, DEATH OF A THOUSAND CUTS, TWIST IN THE WIND. [nb: the hereditary Hindu sect of murderers and robbers known as Thug (from Sanskrit "sthaga" meaning scoundrel, and Hindi "thag" meaning thief) or Thuggee, also spelled "tuggee" or "thugi", and who are also called "Phansigars" [stranglers], used a special scarf ("rumaal") for their ritual executions in honor of the goddess Kali]

a person who habitually indulges in meaningless talk, or a session of inconclusive or meaningless conversation, as to guesstimate, surmise, conjecture, or gossip; see TALK TRASH, SHOOT THE SHIT, BLOW SMOKE, WOOF, BRAVO SIERRA, MOTOR MOUTH, VERBAL DIARRHEA, SCUTTLEBUTT, HOT AIR, RUMOR. Also, slang for a balloon or BLIMP; see NACELLE, SKYHOOK. [nb: reconnoitring balloons were first used by the Army of the Potomac at the Battle of Fredericksburg (12 December 1862)] [v: an experimental sealed cabin, called an "air cabin", was lofted by balloon to 53,400' in 1954 by Auguste Piccard; cf: bathyscape/bathyscaphe]

a face-mask with air-filtration that can be worn under a helmet for protection against riot or poison gases; although restrictive, a GAS MASK will not prevent any military job from being performed. See EEBD, OBA, SCUBA, MOPP, JSLIST, CPOG, BUNNY SUIT, MOON SUIT, BLUE SUIT, HAZMAT, CBR.

an aisle, corridor, PASSAGEWAY, or GANGWAY connecting the BULKHEADs of several fuel storage and engine compartments in the bowels of a ship; see HULL, BLACK GANG.

the Zephyr brand of cigarettes
featured the aviator's badge on each pack before and during WWII
WWII-era Zephyr
slang for cigarette; also called cig/cigee, SMOKE, BUTT, FAG, coffin-nail, cancer-stick, factory-made, ready-made, tailor-made, PIGTAIL, hand-made, hand-roll, roll-up or rollie. Sold at subsidized prices in military CONCESSIONs, they were provided at no charge with field RATIONS until 1972; in January 2013, the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) decreed the American military to be a "smoke-free zone", both indoors and outside, and prohibited the sale of tobacco products in CONCESSIONs. Many combat soldiers formed the habit of opening their cigarette packs from the bottom, so a GASPER could be removed with dirty fingers, with the clean or filtered end placed in the mouth without excess contamination. Cigarettes (meaning "small cigar") became popular with MIL-PERS during and after the MEXICAN WAR because they are more convenient to carry and use than either cigars or pipes (predominantly clay); although chew/snuff ("smokeless tobacco") can be indulged when lighting-up is too dangerous. See SOLDIER'S BREAKFAST, DRAG, SMOKING LAMP, FIELD STRIP, LITTER, POLICE CALL, BUTT CAN, STICK, CAN SA, GRASS, HAY, HUBBLE-BUBBLE, SMOKER; compare BRING SMOKE, BLOW SMOKE, POP SMOKE, SCUTTLEBUTT, CHEW, SNUFF. [nb: the Surgeon General's warning first appeared on cigarette packages in 1964 during the VIETNAM WAR, but most soldiers believed that serving in combat was more hazardous to their health than smoking! Cigarettes were also freely distributed, as a patriotic gesture, to combatants during the SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR as a "necessity". General J.J. "Blackjack" Pershing informed the War Department that "tobacco was as indispensable as rations" in 1917; and quartermasters advised troops during WWII to take them, because if they didn't smoke now, they would after being in combat!] [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] [nb: the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company marketed a low-cost mentholated cigarette specifically to working-class urbanites, brand named "Uptown", with the ten or twenty "ready-mades" already arranged upsidedown in their packs, because these blue-collar smokers were accustomed to opening their cigarettes from the bottom to keep the filter-tips clean] [nb: cigarettes have been widely used as money in POW CAMPs due to their limited availability, easy portability, and ready divisibility] [v: Japanese tabako]


an early type of machinegun (MG) consisting of a cluster of barrels revolving around a central axis, each barrel being automatically loaded from a hopper and fired every revolution of the cluster; also called the "coffee grinder" due to its crank operation. It was invented during the American CIVIL WAR by R.J. Gatling, who developed it as "a weapon too terrible to be used", in hopes that it would make war too violent to be practiced. See VULCAN, MINIGUN.

an amphibious vehicle, developed by Sperry Rand and the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in 1970, that could travel on the surface and underwater like a submersible BOAT, or crawl on the seafloor and move inland through the surf; essentially being a lockout submersible with tracks. Utilized as a reconnaissance vehicle by the Marine Corps, in riverine operations by the Army, and a Swimmer Delivery Vehicle (SDV) by the Navy. The USSR simultaneously and independently developed a similar vehicle, that was deployed by submarine, which INTEL was deduced based upon tracks discovered on Sweden's coastal seafloor in 1972. Also, slang for any small 4-6 wheel-drive all terrain vehicle (ATV); see FAV, LSV, MULE. Also, Vietnam-era slang for an 'interroGATOR', being the INTEL specialist who interviews enemy suspects and captives.

Marine slang for any type of LANDING CRAFT used in BEACHHEAD assaults; by adaptation from WWII ALLIGATOR. See ELSIE; compare GATOR.

any glove with protective cuffs (as worn by horse cavalry), or the cuffs themselves; often confused with GANTLET. Also, a severe ORDEAL, or an attack from two or more sides; based upon "run the gauntlet", where a person being tested or punished runs between two ranks of assailants. See HOLD ONE'S FEET TO THE FIRE, SNAKE PIT, CUTTHROAT, BLOOD ALLEY, MARATHON. [nb: the "gauntlet" ordeal is a mispronunciation of "gantlope" or "gantelope", which is Scandinavian for a "running course"; to "run the gantlope" is redundant]

(forthcoming); after GEN James M. Gavin; see APC, TRACK.

Guided Bomb Unit; a so-called SMART BOMB that can be directed onto its target with precision as long as operator control exists, as used since late in the VIETNAM WAR (eg: GBU-37 5000# laser-guided conventional "bunker buster" explosive. See EOGB, LGB, VB, EGBU, PAVEWAY, PGM, LANTIRN, GLD, LASER AIMING DEVICE, PAINT, LASER; compare CBU.

Ground Controlled Approach, being the technique and procedures for "talking down" an aircraft during its approach so as to place it in a position for landing as safely as possible.

Ground Controlled Intercept / Interception, being a base station that directs aircraft onto its target; compare AWACS, see TALLY-HO, JUDY, BOGIE, BANDIT, VISUAL, SCRAM, JOY, SMOOGE, SPLASH.

Groupements Commandos Mixtes Aeroportes; a French INDOCHINA unit similar to Mike Force.

U.S. Army General Command and Staff College; see C&GS.

GD :
General Discharge; see DISCHARGE.

the term used to designate the unnamed day scheduled for the commencement, execution, implementation, or initiation of ground combat operation in a multi-phase campaign; see TIME.

derogatory or dismissive term from the GULF WAR for anyone who adorns his uniform with all the latest and greatest gear, even though he doesn't know how to use it; a "gearhead" or gear freak", "gear queer" or "gear junkie", "hardware junkie" or "tackle weenie", as a combination of 'gear' and 'weirdo', being someone who substitutes objects for acts, form for function.

in NavSpeak, a storeroom for cleaning supplies and repair equipment.

any small, mostly nocturnal tropical lizard having toe pads that can cling to smooth surfaces; derivation alleged to be a Malay word imitative of the lizard's call, hence the popular nickname of "fuck-you lizard" bestowed by Americans.

General Equivalency Diploma, being a secondary level certification for anyone who dropped out of school before completing the course of study mandated by the state. Despite the fact that the curriculum has been watered down, the drop-out rate in America has markedly increased since the end of WWII; however, the education level in the military has increased during the same period, such that graduate degrees are now common among senior NCOs and field-grade officers. See AFEES, MEPS, AFQT, AFGCT, ASVAB, BOOTSTRAP.

(geh-dunk) Navy slang for any candy, sweetmeat, or "junk food", and by association, the place where these snacks can be obtained (eg: ship's store). First usage cited in 1931 "Leatherneck" magazine; also spelled "geedunk"; may be metaphoric, as the place or object of "sweet desire". Compare POGY BAIT, SUGAR PILL, HERSHEY BAR, TRACK PAD, CANDY BAR, RAT BAIT, CLARK BAR, NECCO, CHARMS, JAWBREAKER, HOOAH! BAR, DOG, FISH-EYES, SNIVEL GEAR, CREATURE COMFORTS, GUNS OR BUTTER. Also, in NavSpeak, an easy assignment or preferred station, as "sweet duty". Also, in NavSpeak, an extra benefit or unearned reward, such as extended LIBERTY or a routine GONG (eg: NDSM). [ety: may be a corruption of the German 'ge tunk', meaning to repeatedly dip something, such as stale bread into milk so as to improve its taste, which was carried over to dunking cookies into an ice cream float; reference to ice cream sodas as 'gedunk' was first made in a syndicated comic strip called "Harold Teen", drawn by Carl F.L. Ed from 1919 until 1959; Carl Ed, who also created "The Absent Minded Professor", "Josie", "Big Ben", "Myrtle", and "Luke McGuke" comics, modeled "The Love Life of Harold Teen" after his own high school adventures in Evanston Illinois, where a character like Pop Jenks ran a soda fountain like Ye Sugar Bowl that adolescents patronized after classes, and where the ice cream sundae was eaten by "gedunking" a large oblong cookie in it; the prototypical teenager of the era, "Harold Teen" was probably a spin-off from Booth Tarkington's novel "Seventeen" and was a precursor to "Archie", which featured youthful fashions (eg: bell-bottom pants, yellow slicker, autographed Ford, etc) and slang (eg: Yowsah, pitch a li'l woo, pantywaist, etc) until overtaken by later trends, including the portrayal of "Harold Teen" as a volunteer in the U.S. Navy during World War II]

G8 :
an informal international group, composed of the heads of the leading industrialised countries, who've been invited to discuss world affairs and global economics at annual meetings where unofficial initiatives are cooperatively implemented. Begun on 25 March 1973 when the US Treasury Secretary invited the British, French, and German finance ministers to an informal discussion on the international monetary disorder created by the American decision to drop the gold standard, with their Japanese counterpart subsequently invited to join the ongoing discussion; which conclaves were labeled "the group of five" or G5 in the press coverage. When France hosted the 1975 meeting, Italy was invited to participate with the other nations; then Canada was invited to join in 1976, whereupon the G7 association was formed. At the summit meeting in 1998, Russia formally joined the group, which then became the G8. The European Commission (EC) and the European Union (EU) also send representatives to these conferences, and select countries or regional unions have also been invited. The G8 is neither an institution nor an international organisation, it has no permanent secretariat, and takes no binding measures. The G8 has no set doctrine and is not subsumed by a unitary ideology, although the member nations are united by certain universal values -- democracy, human rights, and the free-market economy -- their socioeconomic models and political sympathies can vary widely; yet they are united by a commitment to international cooperation. Because it is not a legal entity, it does not compete with government agencies or treaty organizations, and its pronouncements only represent voluntary policies, synchronized for political and financial solidarity of commitment made by its members. G8 initiatives include debt reduction, health care, computer access, weapons control and anti-terrorism. The G8 has liaised with other informal bodies, but the annual summits have grown so large that the intimacy of the original gatherings has been lost, so the G8 anticipates a reorganization. See UN, NATO, LEAGUE OF NATIONS, COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS, ARAB LEAGUE, NAM, ASEAN, SEATO, PENTALATERAL AGREEMENT, ANZUS, KANZUS, HAGUE TRIBUNAL, NGO, QUANGO, GOCO, COCO, OGA, BELTWAY BANDIT; compare G10, G15, G20, G24, G77. [nb: the personal representatives of the G8 (ie: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) Heads of State and Government, who arrange the annual summit meeting in a series of pre-/post-meeting sessions, are commonly called "sherpas", and their assistants are known as "sous-sherpas", named after the Nepalese porters who assist Himalayan climbers]

a gelatinized high explosive consisting of nitroglycerine with the addition of cellulose nitrate in a ductile or plastic form; also called "gelatin dynamite", "jellied nitro", or "explosive gelatin". See PLASTIC EXPLOSIVE, SHAPED CHARGE, EXPLOSIVE.

doubled, paired, coupled or twinned; combined or arranged in pairs; see BUDDY SYSTEM. [nb: as with "swim buddy" and "Ranger buddy", the military BUDDY SYSTEM is not a codependency relationship, but a dyadic mutuality of cooperation, such that a pair does not redouble but reinforces; cf: Damon and Pythias (Phintias), Pylades and Orestes, David and Jonathan]

abbreviation for GENeral, being a FLAG OFFICER in military service RATED O-10; this RANK signifies a "generalist" or non-specialist who is knowledgeable and competent in all aspects of combined arms operations.

senior military OFFICER, equivalent to naval ADMIRAL, meaning a "generalist" or non-specialist who is knowledgeable and competent in all aspects of combined arms operations. Also, the group of FLAG OFFICERs in military service RATED from O-7 to O-11 and RANKed from Brigadier General (BG / Brig Gen), Major General (MG / Maj Gen), Lieutenant General (LTG / Lt Gen), General (GEN / Gen), and General of the Army (... Air Force). See CAPTAIN, LDR, OLD MAN, SKIPPER, COMMANDANT, CO, OFFICER, USA, USAF, USMC.

a military court consisting of at least five members and one JAG lawyer who may impose any authorized sentence, including dishonorable discharge or death; see COURT MARTIAL, MCM, UCMJ, MILITARY LAW.

(forthcoming); a WWII-era medium TANK (M-3); see WIDOW MAKER.

the supreme commander, especially of a force drawn from two or more nations, or of a combined military and naval force; this title is said to have been coined by Cardinal Richelieu on taking supreme command of the French armies in Italy in 1629. In the modern era, the title has been borne by Marshal Ferdinand Foch, who commanded the Allied forces in France in 1918, and by Marshal Chiang Kai-Shek, who led the Kuomintang from 1927. See SHANKER JACK, UNCLE JOE, EL SUPREMO, WARLORD, FLAG OFFICER. [nb: GEN Douglas ("Generalissimo") MacArthur, whose arrogance was too great to indulge the slightest humor (except schadenfreude), permitted his intimates (damned few!) to informally address him in private as "sir boss", without any ironic or facetious intent]

a high-silhouette medium TANK (M-3) with "backdoor" access, having four machineguns (MG), a TURRET mounted 37mm (SQUIRREL GUN) auxiliary cannon, and a low-mounted 75mm MAIN-GUN on its hull that could only be aimed by repositioning the vehicle to align with the target. Although its height made it unstable, it was most vulnerable when firing its MAIN-GUN due to its fully exposed profile. Used early in WWII, and sometimes called a "Ronson" (a brand name of cigarette lighter advertised as "Always light the first time.") like its successor the M-4 SHERMAN. See WIDOW MAKER.

see GO.

a small light TANK (M-5) that was used early in WWII; see STUART.

a Chinese-style dish in American cuisine consisting of stir-fried boneless dark-meat chicken with vegetables and whole dried red peppers in a sweet-spicy sauce; also spelled "General Jo", "General Tzo", "General Zhou", "General Zo", and "General Cho"; this dish was named after 'General Zou Zong-Tang', who was responsible for suppressing Muslim uprisings during the Manchu dynasty ... his name was used to frighten children for decades after his death in 1885. Compare CHOP SUEY, CHOW MEIN, LO MEIN, MONGOLIAN HOT POT, DYNAMITED CHICKEN; see CHOW, BEANS, RATIONS. [cf: chicken tetrazzini] [v: Scotland's Sir James "the Black" Douglas] [nb: American cuisine includes chow mein ("noodle pieces") and chop suey ("mixed bits"), a stir-fried combination of shredded meat and diced vegetables over noodles or rice in Chinese style]

any one of a series of international agreements establishing rules for the humane treatment of prisoners of war (POW), of NONCOMBATANTs, of the sick, wounded, and dead in battle; the first such concord was adopted in 1864 in Geneva Switzerland. See HAGUE TRIBUNAL, LAWS OF WAR. [nb: the publication of "Un Souvenir de Solferino" in 1862 by Swiss philanthropist Jean Henri Dunant, regarding the suffering of the wounded at the Battle of Solferino, led to the formulation of the Geneva Convention and to the establishment of the International Committee of the Red Cross] [v: Diplomatic Terms]

slang for the energy or force resulting from nuclear fission, whether controlled (as in an A-BOMB explosion) or accidental (as in a pile SCRAM); also called "dragon", based upon the demonic spirit that's summoned forth to execute man's bidding, as from Islamic myth (jinn); term derived from "genius". See YELLOWCAKE, HEAVY WATER, HOT GREASE, FALLOUT, CONTAINMENT, EMP, NUKE, CBR. [v: Fortuna's wishing-cap / Fortunatus's wishing-cap]

the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group, as coined by H.L. Mencken to describe the Nazi HOLOCAUST. While the conventional definition, being the systematic extermination of a people based upon their perceived collective guilt, focuses on the bearers of such doctrine, the genuine practice of GENOCIDE has actually sought the extirpation of the objectionable culture or opposing creed, regardless of converts or other population remnants. On 24 May 1915, a joint declaration by the WWI Allies (not including the USA) condemned the "crimes against humanity and civilization" in Armenia, based upon the Roman law of "jus gentium" or International Law. The Nuremberg Tribunal listed persecution on racial or religious grounds as a crime for which both the state and the individual would be severally liable, establishing the principle of individual responsibility and accountability for each particular of an executed command. The United Nations defined the crime of GENOCIDE in a 1949 convention, providing for its punishment by competent authority of the affected state or by an international tribunal; however, the US, objecting to its violation of national sovereignty and usurpation of jurisdiction, declined to ratify it until 1986. Although every American president of the 20th century has sworn "never again" in some proclamation responsive to GENOCIDE, the US has never interceded to forestall or interrupt sovereign repression, religious or political persecution, racial or ethnic cleansing; and has only acted in international engagements when treaty obligations could not be ignored or shirked ... always in its own best interest. The UN peacekeeping efforts on behalf of GENOCIDE have done nothing except APPEASE the belligerents while they re-arm, re-align, and maneuver. See CBR, CBW, CW, GERM WARFARE, NUKE, WMD, APOCALYPSE, HOLOCAUST, OVERKILL, KNOCK INTO A COCKED HAT, HEADHUNTING, TRIGGER-HAPPY, MASSACRE, TURKEY SHOOT, KILL 'EM ALL, WARMONGER, RETALIATION, WAR CRIMES TRIAL. [cf: blood feud; v: vernichtungsgedanken, pogrom/pogróm (destructive thunder)] [nb: "Attack them everywhere and shake the ground beneath them." by Abu Muhammad al-Adnani; "Most of the world's ills would be cured with one three-day open season on people." by Ernest M. Hemingway] [eg: Armenia, Bangladesh, Belgian Congo, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Chatham Islands, Czechoslovakia, Herzegovina, Iraq, Peru, Poland, Rwanda, Tibet, Zaire] [v: a "viaticum" is a provision or allowance of the necessary funds and supplies issued to a Roman soldier traveling to his last or final battle; which became the ecclesiastical Eucharist or Communion given to a dying person]

see OFFICER, BRASS HAT, OLD MAN, MUSTANG, UP THE HAWSEPIPE, BLUE BLOOD, MAVERICK, COCKTAIL, RING-KNOCKER, TWEEDLEDUM 'n' TWEEDLEDEE, CADET, SNOTTY, SUBALTERN, MISTER, RAINMAKER, TICKET-PUNCHER, RING-KNOCKER, CASTE, KHAKI MAFIA, THE ESTABLISHMENT, GOOD PEOPLE, GOOD STICK, GOOD OLD BOY, ACETATE COMMANDO, HERO, BUSHIDO, TALLY-HO, RHIP, TACT, OATH, EXPLETIVE, SNOT-RAG, MILITARY BRUSH, ABOVE BOARD, NOB HILL, OFFICER'S COUNTRY. [nb: until recently, an OFFICER was simultaneously designated a "gentleman" when appointed by an ACT OF CONGRESS, which not only inspired further intellectual development but also encouraged cultural sophistication, which refinements were mocked as being 'suave and debonair' (deliberately mispronounced as "soo-wave" and "dee-boner")] [nb: the word "caddie", with the same origin as CADET, and sometimes shortened to "cad" (irresponsible, dishonorable), was the 17th century term for a gentleman who learned the military profession by serving in the army without a commission; henceforth, it was applied to any person seeking employment] [nb: a gentleman, by definition, is someone who need not earn his livlihood, who need not earn his keep, who does not need to work for a living]

a personal understanding or private arrangement based on custom or honor that's not legally binding; an informal oral contract enforced by MORALITY. Although an unspoken form may be implied by interpersonal association, such an obligation is more of a CODE OF CONDUCT than a polite arrangement. Ancient handshake deals, based upon nothing more than the good character of trustworthy parties, have enabled business and professional persons to exchange without the interference of arcane legalisms , since an unwritten contract composed with good faith would always be honored, while a written contract composed with bad faith would never be honored. [v: restrictive covenant, embargo; cf: anti-trust]

the study of the differentiation of the earth's surface, as exhibited by various elements and their interrelationships, including elevation, climate, vegetation, land use, and the like; the topographical features of a given region, as derived from a "description of earth"; see MAP, CHART, COMICS, GRID COORDINATES, GRID LINES, CONTOUR LINES, TOPO, ATLAS. Also, the arrangement of the features of any complex subject or entity. [nb: "War is God's way of teaching geography to Americans." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce; "Boundary: in political geography, an imaginary line between two nations, separating the imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights of the other." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce; "Just as politics exists to teach geography, so combat exists to teach topography."] [v: Ptolemy (Claudius Ptolemaeus)]

a national policy based upon the interrelation of politics and geography, being the combination of physical and sociopolitical factors influencing a delineated region; see FOREIGN POLICY, POLITICS. Also, an analysis of the influence of social, economic, political, and geographic factors on the national identity of a people and the foreign affairs of their state. Also, a Nazi doctrine that a combination of political, geographic, historical, racial, and economic factors substantiated Germany's right to expand its borders and to control the natural resources in various strategic land masses; see LEBENSRAUM, compare IRREDENTISM.


an expression coined during the KOREAN WAR to designate biological warfare [v: CBW, GNR, CBR, ABC, NBC, WMD]; the communists extracted confessions from captured aircraft crewmembers who (falsely) admitted attacking North Korea with pathogens and other toxins, which "evidence" was used as PROPAGANDA. According to historians, the 18th century was a period devoted to advanced mathematics, the 19th century was a period devoted to chemistry, the 20th century was devoted to physics, and the 21st century will be devoted to biology. See VECTOR, GENOCIDE, APOCALYPSE. [v: the ostensibly independent report published by a group of renown scientists that were invited to authenticate the 1953 charge of biochemical warfare waged against North Korea by the United Nations Allies, was later determined to be a hoax perpetrated by the Soviet Union with the cooperation of Red China, a scheme unknown to the North Koreans, who sincerely believed the elaborate pretense]

the name of an Apache Indian chief ['Goyathlay'] that was used as a BATTLE CRY by the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division; this adoption was apparently inspired by a 1939 film about this Apache chief's life that was shown to soldiers at Camp Toccoa, a WWII paratrooper training base in Georgia.

slang name of the UnderWater Telephone (UWT), being a sound-powered wireless telephonic communication system of voice or whistle signals that's used between submerged SUBMARINEs; because sound travels faster in water (52mi/min) than in air (12mi/min; 1mi/5sec), this technique has an insecure but clear utility ranging from 1,000-3,000 yards. See TELEPHONE, compare RADIO, ELF, UQC, SONAR, ASDIC. [v: Mach] [nb: the velocity and distance that sound travels in either air or water depends upon atmospheric pressure, medium temperature, molecular density, and turbulence; such that under equivalent conditions, sound moves faster in salt water than in fresh, faster in fresh water than in air]

this colloquialism probably originated as a 19th century admonition to passengers to lend their effort to the job of poling a flatboat upstream when the current became more powerful, in a manner similar to "put your shoulder to the wheel" when assisting the draft animals pulling a wagon uphill ... a temporary addition (v: COCKHORSE) to the primary motive when circumstances warranted. This Americanism became very popular in the post-WWII era where it evoked (spurious) associations with the airplane's control stick, the vehicle's gearshift stick, and even to canes and the like used as a prod or goad ... it likewise has nothing to do with getting into a LINE nor with a STICK of paratroopers. This slang expression is essentially an injunction to hurry up and get to work, or to stop idling and get into action. Etymologists have found a special application amongst firefighters where it's a command to climb the (wooden) ladder, not unlike their command to "get on the pipe" referring to the nozzle of the fire hose, but this usage is atypical. See HUBBA-HUBBA, GOYA, BALLS TO THE WALL.

a sardonic entreaty to damage the enemy or to lay waste the enemy's infrastructure ... said of massive fire support or airstrikes that are intended to not only kill the enemy but to bring him lasting pain and suffering! ... only a hardened combatant can utter this invocation with impunity.

Gravity Force, in AvnSpeak, being levels of excessive atmospheric pressure (G) that tends to interfere with performance or perception, and may induce unconsciousness (G-LOCK), by forcing blood to the lower extremities of the body and lowering blood pressure in the brain. Pilots of high performance aircraft can increase their resistance to GREYOUT and BLACKOUT by using a G-SUIT to help control the pooling of blood in their lower limbs, but symptoms may be remedied immediately by easing pressure on the flight controls. See SUCK 'n' PUFF.

literally "General Fuck Up", or more euphemistically as "general foul up"; see FUCK-UP, FUCKED-UP, CLUSTER FUCK, WTFO, SOL, BOHICA.

a low-cut, tongueless leather shoe with loops instead of eyelets for the laces, which cross the instep and are sometimes tied around the ankle; an Old World form of moccasin. Also, alternative spelling for the drape or coverall known as a 'gillie' or 'gilly'; as derived from the name of the shoe that was traditionally worn by Scottish hunting guides; see GILLIE SUIT.


to avoid work, do nothing, be absent, get lost on post, hide on base, disappear, to SKATE, coast, take it easy, goofing-off, goofing-up, goofing, larking, or skylarking; shirking or slacking duty, SOLDIERing. Related to "GHOST time" for free or unaccounted OFF-DUTY time, or time taken from duty without release. Since the American CIVIL WAR, GHOSTs have also been called straggler, shirker, skulk, sneak, sluggard, beat, play-off, time-server, and coffee-cooler. See GOLDBRICK, FEATHER MERCHANT, REST ON OARS, SLACKER, BOONDOGGLE, MAGGOT, DODGE THE BULLET, TAP-DANCER; compare SWEAT HOG, HARD-ASS. Also, any presumed or predicted enemy threat or menace, especially those tenuous, insubstantial, immaterial, illusory, superficial, ethereal, or transmundane apparitions; compare BOGIE, SPOOKY, SPECTRE, GREMLIN, SHADOW, SPOOK, SHADOW WALKER.

with reference to the four LSMR boats in country; compare GHOST SHIP.

a thin or weak line of troops and fortifications, usually occupied by understrength or inexperienced units; being more of a symbolic than a combative force; compare GHOST UNIT, see RUSE DE GUERRE. [nb: "Prince John" MaGruder's Army in the CIVIL WAR's Peninsular Campaign permitted the Confederate withdrawal while forestalling McClellan's advance with a ruse: troops marching in circles, wagons ridden in circles, breakfast fires lighted for nonexistent troops, and Quaker cannon] [v: Battle of the Bulge]

a sunken ship that has been recovered, repaired, restored, and returned to service; see WARSHIP, BATTLE WAGON, Q-SHIP.

self-descriptive reference to the forgotten and emaciated prisoners of war (POW) in the Philippines during WWII (eg: ghost soldiers of Bataan).

lightweight lint from clothing or bedding that mysteriously appears at unusual times and places in otherwise clean living QUARTERS or BARRACKs, especially just before inspection; also called "dust ball", "fuzz ball", "fur ball", "dust bunny", "dust mouse", or "dust kitten". See ADY, GIG, TURD, DUTY ROSTER, STRAC, SQUARED AWAY, SHIPSHAPE; compare PET, GIG LINE, ROCKING HORSE APPLES.

phantom 22nd Infantry
22nd Inf Div
phantom 119th Infantry
119th Inf Div
hypothetical units contrived to deceive enemy intelligence by a skeleton staff simulating orders, signals, and movements; some included MOCK-UP installations, silhouette tanks, and Quaker cannon. GHOST UNITs during WWII included: 6th Abn Div, 18th Abn Div, 21st Abn Div, 135th Abn Div, First U.S. Army Group (FUSAG), 9th Fleet, etc. During the GULF WAR, these deception operations were conducted by "Ambiguity Forces" under Task Force Troy, and used a "wheeled camel" symbol to represent their ruses. See PHANTOM OPERATIONS, FALSE FLAG, RED HERRING, DECOY, CAMO, DECEPTION, RUSE DE GUERRE. [nb: under the Double Cross system of Operation Fortitude preliminary to the WWII D-Day INVASION, a procedure similar to CPX was used to create "ghost" and "phantom" units as a deception]

to simulate imaginary actions and fictitious movements by false signals and reports so as to deceive supervisors and superiors about the real state of an operation, usually a surveillance or reconnaissance; also known as a "pretend patrol", "projection patrol", "phony patrol", "radio patrol", "shadow dance", and if enemy contact is fabricated, "shadow boxing". This illegal practice has been defended as "reasonable" when the tactical situation, weather, or some other adversity made execution of the military orders seem "unreasonable" to those assigned. See GHOST UNIT, PHANTOM OPERATION, DECEPTION, OODLES, NIGHTINGALE, RED HERRING, DECOY, GUNDECKING, CAT SKINNER, STATIC, EXERCISE, GHOST, AWOL, MUTINEER. [cf: widow's walk, cock of the walk, DUCK-WALK, CATWALK, CAKEWALK]

one who performs a GHOST WALK, being a shirker who feigns or fabricates an assignment. Also, slang for the "walking dead"; see WALKING GHOST, compare GHOST SOLDIER, SHADOW WALKER, SHADOW WARRIOR. [v: doppelganger / doppelgänger / doubleganger]

slang for the casualty notification officer, casualty assistance or survivor assistance officer, who is often accompanied by a chaplain on his official calls with the family of injured or deceased MIL-PERS; this onerous duty, frequently assigned to convalescing patients held on profile while healing, often provokes morbid curiosity in others, in the same way that passers-by are vicariously titillated by an accident scene ... term is derived from the basic definition of anyone who revels in what others consider revolting. See KINFORMING, HUG SQUAD, NOK, WIA, DOW, KIA, MORTUARY AFFAIRS, GRAVES REGISTRATION; compare CACO, SKY PILOT, GOD SQUAD.

General HeadQuarters, a (re-)organization command insinuated between the General Staff (GS) and Army Group headquarters during WWII, as based upon Pershing's AEF-GHQ; under this rubric, Lesley J. McNair established the desert training area (later NTC) and the corps maneuver area (later JRTC), while George C. Marshall streamlined the Command and General Staff course (C&GS) and eliminated the WAR COLLEGE as wartime necessities.

GI / G.I. :
(gee-eye) standardized Government Issue; denoting both the people and the equipment utilized in military service. A member or former member of the U.S. Armed Forces, being an adherent of military procedures and practices; similar to the G.I. JOE byword, females in uniform are widely known as "G.I. Jane". To distinguish themselves, a unique term is contracted from GI and Marine to designate "GIrine" (jy-reen) [or "gyrene"]. See GI JOE, GI PARTY, SKIRT, SKY PILOT, BOOT, CRUIT, AIRDALE, JET JOCKEY, ROTOR HEAD, GOOD STICK, GRUNT, DOUGHBOY, DOGFACE, BLUELEG, RED HATS, BLACK HATS, GREEN BERET, SNAKE-EATER, SNEAKY PETE, BLANKET HEAD, BULLET HEAD, FAG, CANNON-COCKER, TUBE MONKEY, REDLEG, YELLOWLEG, TOAD, SNUFFY, CHINA MARINE, SEAGOING MARINE, JARHEAD, HORSE MARINE, SWABBY, SQUID, POLLYWOG, NUGGET, FRESH CATCH, SHELLBACK, MOSSBACK, PLANK OWNER, SHIPMATE, OLD SALT, SEA DADDY, RABBI, PATRON SAINT, ATLAS, WARM BODY, KNUCKLE-DRAGGER; compare AUSSIE, KIWI, TOMMY, IVAN, HERMAN THE GERMAN, MARVIN THE ARVN, CHARLIE, GOMER, LUKE THE GOOK, ISAAC THE IRAQ, SCARAB THE ARAB, HAJJI, ALI BABA, MUJ, RAGHEAD, SANDY, BAD GUYS. [nb: "pongo" is Australian slang for a soldier or Marine, probably after its primary meaning of 'monkey']

Guy In Back, being the backseater in two-man fighter aircraft; slang for WSO (WIZZO), RSO, EWO, RIO, TFO, or BEAR; compare FUF.

a gallows with a projecting arm at the top, from which the bodies of criminals were formerly hanged by chains, and left suspended after their execution; as derived from "staff" or "cudgel", and sometimes shortened to "jib". See LYNCH, STRANGE FRUIT, CHRISTMAS TREE, TWIST IN THE WIND. [nb: 'derrick' (ie: arm, boom, tower) derives from the Tyburn gallows used by a hangman whose surname made it well known in Elizabethan England; 'Tyburn' was formerly a place of public execution in London]

(gee-eye bill) the post-WWII assortment of veteran's benefits, ranging from disability compensation and unemployment pension to education allowance and home loan guaranty; commonly called the "GI Bill of Rights", from the original Serviceman's ReAdjustment Act of 1944, and similar subsequent legislation (eg: 1984 Montgomery GI Bill) for veterans with other than a dishonorable discharge ... the most controversial part of the original bill was unemployment insurance, but it was used the least of all the provisions. This legislation was an attempt to avoid the mistakes of the "World War Adjusted Compensation Act", thus preventing economic and social distress. Compare BONUS ACT; see SGLI, LINE OF DUTY, MILLION DOLLAR WOUND, DOUBLE-DIP, THE EAGLE SHITS. [nb: Solon, the Athenian statesman, was the first ruler to decree that the children of warriors killed in battle were to be educated at the expense of the state] [nb: "No capitalists after any war were ever so well paid for money loaned to the nation that carried it on. No class of money-makers ever gained such prosperity by any other war, as our War for the Union brought to the money-getters of America. All this was due in great measure to the rank and file of the Union army. Now let no rich man haggle with a needy veteran of that war about his right to a pension!" by Rutherford Birchard Hayes (diary entry 29 Jan 1890)]

an almost indestructible 30-gallon galvanized steel garbage can that's variously employed in field kitchens on BIVOUAC, and is widely used to hold cold beverages at unit picnics and sports events; also known as a "shit can" for its use in collecting wet or spoiled refuse. See FILE 13, BURN BAG, DUSTBIN, BUTT CAN, SLOP CHUTE.

a report or demerit for a minor infraction of official rules, or punishment for such a minor infraction; also called "black mark", "ding", or TURD [v: dishevel, dishabille, disorderly]; see CALL ON THE CARPET, HAWK, FANG, DR, RIOT ACT, FASHION SHOW, DROP, FRONT LEANING REST, BOX THE COMPASS, AIRMAN ALIGNMENT TOOL, BLANKET PARTY, SQUEEZE, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, GIG LINE, STRAC, SQUARED AWAY, SHIPSHAPE. Also, a small lightweight BOAT propelled by long oars, as a scull or dinghy; compare SKIMMER, LONG-TAIL, TENDER, SCOW, SAMPAN; see BOAT. [v: canoe, dugout, pirogue, kayak / kaiak / kyak, bateau / batteau, coracle, bullboat, wherry, cockleshell, jolly boat, scull, gig, shell, skiff, johnboat, punt, scow, lighter, pontoon, dory, gondola, flatboat, skipjack, rowboat, skimmer, whaleboat, longboat, umiak, banca, pram, launch, faltboat / foldboat, keelboat, pinnace, cockboat, caique / caïque, catboat, yawl, dinghy, bark, tub]

an explosive force equivalent to one billion tons of trinitrotoluene (TNT); compare KILOTON, MEGATON; see CHARGE, BURSTING CHARGE, BLAST, BLAST WAVE, SHOCK WAVE, EXPLOSIVE PRESSURE. [cf: Richter magnitude scale]

slang for the HULL noise, from creaks and groans to thumps and pops, induced by the effects of water forces and temperature during movement, or from high pressure at greater depths on the PRESSURE HULL of submerged vessels; see HULL, COLLAPSE DEPTH, CRASH-DIVE, SUBMARINE.

centerline of a uniform formed by the edge of the shirt placket, the belt buckle, and the seam of the pant's fly, for which misalignment demerits may be imposed. Compare GHOST TURD, PET.



see GI, GI JOE, SKIRT, WAAC, WAC, WAF, WAFS, WASP, WAVES, SPAR, BAM, WM, BOSNIA, "Jane Bond" at SECRET AGENT / BABY 007, CRYPTO, "Acting Jane" at ACTING JACK, "Swinging Dickless" at SWINGING DICK, "Hollow Bunny" at EMPTY SUIT, THE GLASS CLIFF, "Dear Jane" at JODY, ANGEL, COMMO, CRYPER, BAMBOO TELEGRAPH, SQUEAK, RIGGER, QM, OLD GIRL'S CLUB, WARRIOR PRINCESS, WONDER WOMAN, WINNIE THE WAC, QUEEN FOR A YEAR, RUNTS 'n' CUNTS, MOTHER HEN, "bra-less" at HANG LOOSE, PIRATE'S DREAM, LONGHAIR, ROUND EYE, CAMP FOLLOWER, BITCH, BALL BUSTER, BATTLE-AX, FLYING BRAVO, STRANGE, SPLIT, SNATCH, SHACK-JOB, SLEEPING DICTIONARY, CLASS-B DEPENDENT, CAMPAIGN WIFE, DRAG, DISTAFF, DOUGHNUT DOLLY, SALLY, FANY. [v: amazon, virago; cf: vivandière] [nb: Aussie "Shiela"] [nb: in 1996, the ratio of women serving in the U.S. Air Force was 16.3%, in the U.S. Army was 13.8%, in the U.S. Navy was 12.6%, and in the U.S. Marine Corps was 4.9%] [nb: "The She-Goats having obtained a beard by request to Jupiter, the He-Goats were sorely displeased and made complaint that the females equaled them in dignity. 'Allow them,' said Jupiter, 'to enjoy an empty honor and to assume the badge of your nobler sex, so long as they are not your equals in strength or courage.' It matters little if those who are inferior to us in merit should be like us in outside appearances." by Aesop (The She-Goats and Their Beards in Aesop's Fables] [nb: "Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings." Proverbs 31:3 KJV Bible]

(gee-eye joe) slang for any MIL-PERS, including "GI Jane", most often refers to Army and Marine "ground pounders"; see GI, DOUGHBOY, YANKEE, GRAYBACK, TOMMY, CHARLIE. Also, a cartoon series, featuring Willie and Joe characters, as drawn by several artists for STARS AND STRIPES newspaper; compare SAD SACK; see COMICS, FICTIONAL CHARACTER, JOURNAL. [nb: Bill Mauldin's GI Joe caricature was rejected by YANK magazine, was published in the "Star Spangled Banter" feature of the 45th Infantry Division newsletter, and was later shared with STARS AND STRIPES in the "Up Front" feature, but the now-classic Willie and Joe personas didn't materialize until 1943] [nb: Paramount replaced the G.I. Joe toy line in 2007 (for a 2009 film release) with "Action Man", converting the tradename into an acronym for "Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity", an international co-ed force of hi-tech equipped operatives based in Brussels; however the original G.I. Joe "real American hero" doll (1963) depicted Mitchell Paige, a USMC platoon sergeant on Guadalcanal awarded the Medal of Honor, who consented to be the model for the Hasbro Toy Company action figure as long as the figure always remained a "United States Marine"; Colonel Paige died 15 Nov 2003] Also, slang for military coffee, also known as joe, belly-wash, brew, jamoke, java, mocha, espresso, cappuccino, café au lait, café noir, café nature, café brûlot, café royale, pousse-café, nectar of the gods, black gold, black water, brown blood, mud, slumgullion, sludge, washy, boiler acid, and battery acid; ever since Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson replaced the quartermaster's rum (GROG) allotment with a commissariat's coffee ration in 1832, and ever since Josephus Daniels (appointed Secretary of the Navy by Woodrow Wilson) abolished the officer's wine mess in 1913, coffee has become a symbol of hospitality, a token of good will, a signal of informality among ranks, a barter commodity, a nonprescription medicament, and an innocent prop when not otherwise employed as a stimulating decoction or a soothing infusion; see THE DRINK, RANGER COFFEE, JUICE, BUG JUICE, NUOC, BEANS, CHOW, C-RATIONS, IRON RATIONS, SOLDIER'S BREAKFAST, RATIONS, CANTEEN, WATER PURIFICATION TABLET; compare BREW. [cf: ersatz (ersetzen), faux; v: redeye / red-eye gravy] [nb: "The coffee they make here / They say is mighty fine / It's good for cuts and bruises / And tastes like iodine; "I like my coffee just like my women: hot, sweet, white, and weak!"; "My coffee reminds me of my mama: strong, black, and bitter!"; "We prefer our coffee as strong as love, as black as sin, and as hot as Hades." by T. Hale Boggs (1960)] [nb: coffee (as a food: before AD1000, as a beverage: 15th century, introduced to North America: 1668, replaced tea as America's favorite drink after the Boston Tea Party: 16 December 1773), espresso (1822), soluble powder/granulated instant (1890), Hills vacuum-packed (1900), decaffeinated Sanka instant (1903), freeze-dried/sublimated instant (1938); coffee pot (1803), percolator (1865), drip coffee maker (1908), Silex/Pyrex drip coffee pot (1915), Mister Coffee drip coffee maker (1972); Pream powdered non-dairy coffee creamer (1952)]

a drape or coverall, often meticulously detailed, that's used to camouflage and conceal a rifleman hidden in a natural setting; its design is particular to a specific setting and intended to distort the outline of the human form. Introduced to the American military for use by SNIPERs during the VIETNAM WAR from the British military; it derives from clothing worn by poachers in the Scottish hinterlands. The term 'gillie', sometimes spelled "gilly", "ghillie" or "ghilly", refers to a lad or servant acting as gamekeeper. See SHROUD, ANTI-THERMAL CLOAK, HIDE, CAMO, DRESS, DECEPTION, CONCEALMENT. [ety: 'ghillie' or 'ghilly' was originally (ca1590) a type of leather shoe that was traditionally worn by Scottish hunting guides]

a variant of the GILLIE SUIT developed during the GULF WAR as a camouflage accommodation to the stark terrain, being a neutral drape or screen (sized about 5' by 7') with corner pockets on the underside for the user's hands and feet (so that the textured blanket will not uncover during LOW-CRAWL movements); used as a blind or HIDE; see SHROUD, ANTI-THERMAL CLOAK.

an idiomatic expression meaning to rob something of its attraction, to spoil an impression, or to ruin an illusion; to appropriate all the fun and profit while leaving the dull base behind; compare RAIN ON PARADE, KISS OF DEATH, PANIC BUTTON, CHICKEN LITTLE; see SENSE OF HUMOR. [v: kill-joy, spoilsport, worrywart, wet blanket, party-pooper, dog in the manger; cf: schadenfreude]

a contrivance of brackets and pivots designed to permit a mounted object (eg: marine compass, ship's binnacle, radio, monitor) to rotate so as to remain level regardless of the movements of its housing; often expressed as "gimbals". Spill-proof cup-holders were adapted from this ancient Chinese concept, which dates from second century BC braziers, and evolved into the automotive universal joint. Also called "GIMBAL rings"; from the root word for ring (gyro-), a rotating circular construction is similarly represented by gyrostabilizer, gyrocompass, gyromagnetic, gyroscope, and so forth. Development is usually attributed to the Italian mathematician Gerome Cardan (Geronimo Cardano, 1501-1576) for the "cardan suspension", but a differential gear was used on the statuesque south-pointing lodestone mechanism by the Chinese during the third century BC. [v: pelorus]

in NavSpeak, to rotate a suspended anchor (HOOK) to a desired position; see HEAVE, ANCHOR.

work DETAIL or FATIGUE duty, especially BARRACKs clean-up preparatory to inspection; also spelled "G.I. party". Compare SHORE PARTY; see DUTY ROSTER, POLICE CALL, SQUARED AWAY, SHIPSHAPE, HOUSECLEANING.

Glider Infantry Regiment, such as 189th GIR, 193rd GIR, 327th GIR, 401st GIR, etc; see BDE, RCT, RGT, GLIDER, AIRBORNE, PARACHUTE.


any primitive or improvised bathing facility, where the water supply is restricted or the water temperature isn't adjustable; see DOUCHE BAG, PT SHOWER, RAINROOM, WHORE'S BATH, HEAD, LATRINE, COMFORT STATION, MARINE SHOWER, MONKEY BUTT. Also, a method of showering wherein the body is wetted, the water turned off while washing is performed, then rinsed as quickly as possible; often called a "Navy shower" because it was formerly performed aboard ships using filtered seawater and saltwater soap before distillation became commonplace. Also, a punitive bathing that's forcibly administered to an unhygienic SQUAD member or a smelly BARRACKs mate with cleansers and scrub brushes; like the BLANKET PARTY and some other forms of ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, this well-intentioned practice is nonetheless illegal. [cf: kangaroo court, honor court, grievance committee, vigilance committee, tribunal, sanhedrim]

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

the informal pronunciation of GTMO, which is the shortened form of NSGTMO, the abbreviation for Naval Station Guantanamo, and commonly called the "Pearl Harbor of the Atlantic". This U.S. Navy base is situated at Guantánamo city and the adjacent landlocked bay in southeastern Cuba. It was leased in 1903 (renewed 1934) by a treaty that requires the consent of both nations to amend or repeal, however the nominal rent of $5000/yr has been rejected by the Castro regime since 1960, which has pressured for U.S. eviction. A Detention Center (also called Camp or facility) is colocated there for housing foreign pirates and international terrorists; this abbreviation has been facetiously re-interpreted as: "Government Interrogation Teams Multiplying Options". See PINK PALACE, CACTUS CURTAIN, THE ROCK.

an ancient precaution warning about the abuses of license, the extension of tolerance, and the forbearance of exception, since permission is always interpreted as weakness, and therefore an inevitable invitation to violation; this thesis asserts that if someone is permitted a little latitude, then that privilege will eventually be abused, or if someone can be compelled to make concessions then he can probably be coerced further. Most often bandied as: "Give him an inch and he'll take a mile!", but it originated as: "Give them an inch and they'll take an ell." ... with an 'ell' being an antique unit of measure for the normative distance from the fingertips to the elbow (about 18 inches)[cf: cubit]. The ancient Chinese of the late Han dynasty have a similar saying about the aspirations of a conquering general who, having achieved his objective, decides to continue into new territory to attain another (and then another, and another) victory. [nb: "when I gave you an inch, you tooke an ell." by John Heywood; "Give an inch, he'll take an ell." by John Webster]

see FACE. [nb: "One hand washes the other, and both hands wash the face." Corsican proverb]




in the COCKPIT of an airplane, a horizontal extension of the top surface of the instrument panel, which is designed to shade the instruments from sun glare; compare COMBINING GLASS, VD, MFD, SMFD, SIGHT PICTURE.

to scan by use of an optical instrument, such as binoculars (BINOS) or FIELD GLASSES; see PEEPERS, VIPER, NOD, NVD, PERISCOPE. Also, to reflect (light) by a lens or mirror; see MORSE CODE, CW, ALDIS LAMP, HELIOGRAPH, WIGWAG / WIGWAGGER. Also, prescriptive or protective lens, as eyeglasses or eyewear; see BIRTH CONTROL DEVICE, PEEPERS.


a theoretical socioeconomic model of an invisible hazard that awaits the impetuous decision-making of inexperienced leaders who have been too rapidly advanced by quota eligibility, resulting in utter failure during their first crisis; this phrase was coined by Michelle Ryan and Alex Haslam (2004; University of Exeter, UK) to describe the "victimization" of women and other minorities who are "sacrificed" after breaching the invisible barrier of the "glass ceiling" because they lack the judgement and background to anticipate and avoid such a disastrous pitfall. Like the 'glass ceiling', the 'glass cliff' is not discernable until its effect is experienced as a management risk. This hypothesis contends that promotions are more precarious and failure is more frequent among these preferential appointees because they are expected to rescue organizations that are doomed, and are deprived of the resources and support necessary to succeed; by contrast, whenever merit has primacy over social engineering, their counterparts have already suffered an extreme form of selective attrition which only spares the most capable of the selectees for promotion, hence leaders are traditionally advanced only after they've proven their leadership ability ... not their 'potential'. This somewhat ruthless "sink or swim" retention methodology is a way of resisting the mandatory AFFIRMATIVE ACTION imposed by compulsory sociopolitical preferences; but the practice of eliminating ineffective superiors as expendable is in marked contrast with the bureaucratic Peter Principle, wherein deadwood is systematically promoted and retained. See PUKE, CREEP, BOY WONDER, CAKE-EATER, AAA, UNTOUCHABLE, RUNTS 'n' CUNTS, WARRIOR PRINCESS, POWER ELITE, EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, EQUAL PROTECTION, UP OR OUT, TICKET-PUNCHER, RING-KNOCKER, VULCANIZE, FAIRY DUST, BULLETPROOF, MAGIC BULLET, SILVER BULLET, CYA, SYMPATHIZER, USEFUL IDIOTS, NEW AGE HIPPIE, SILVER-TAIL, SOFT TYRANNY, UN-AMERICAN, ANTI-AMERICAN.

slang for a jail or prison, especially one of the panopticon type; see BRIG, STOCKADE, CROSSBAR HOTEL, HOT HOUSE, THE CASTLE, USDB, CHL; compare HOUSE OF SPIES. [nb: not analogous to greenhouse, terrarium or vivarium]

Ground Laser Designator, being a LASER AIMING DEVICE that points a steerable bomb (eg: LGB, GBU, PGM, EGBU, EOGB, VB) onto its target, accurate to 3ft depending upon weather conditions. See LANTIRN, PAINT, LASER, SMART BOMB.

the a-cappella chorus formed to sing unaccompanied songs in three- or four-part harmony; imitative of gospel singing, these groups of mixed voices have been popular among MIL-PERS posted in remote locations since the early 18th century. [v: barbershop quartet, vocal ensemble, choral society]

the proper alignment (HEADING) for a descending approach to a landing or air strike. During aircraft landings, position is confirmed by colored balls. During bomb release, the ordnance has the same velocity as the aircraft, so the pilot must either change speed or direction to avoid damage when his released bomb load explodes. Compare GLIDE SLOPE.

US Army Glider badge
Army Glider
a motorless aircraft, principally the WACO (CG-4, CG-4A, XCG-13, CG-15, CG-19), launched by towing or catapult, used during WWII to deploy American and British troops, supplies and equipment by deliberate crash landings behind enemy lines in Sicily, northwest Europe, Burma, and the Pacific; developed in 1940, some 14,000 of these powerless craft were deployed until made obsolete in 1945; the combat GLIDER was also known as FLAK BAIT, "canvas coffin", "flying coffin", and "puke ship". Although GLIDER elements were assigned to AIRBORNE units, no extra "flight" or "jump" pay was authorized until the specialty was recognized by issuance of a skill badge on 2 June 1944. See GIR, SUICIDE JOCKEY, TOWLINE, UNCOUPLE, SKY TRAIN, AIRHEAD, AVITRUC, BIRD, ROMMEL'S ASPARAGUS. [nb: the 66-passenger XCG-20 became, when powered, the C-23 transport; v: sailplane, sailplaner]

the proper angle of descent from one altitude to another in the appropriate direction, especially when making a landing; it is distinguished from the GLIDE PATH in that the 'slope' is the altitude on the proper 'path', direction or HEADING.

an InfraRed-visible reflective marking tape used for identification; it is more operationally covert in that it only reflects back in a one-half degree cone to interrogation, unlike "glow tape", which reflects at almost all angles of arc. GLINT TAPE has been used since Operation JUST CAUSE (Panama), but despite improvements, battlefield experience indicates that it should be complemented by another identification marker to forestall FRIENDLY FIRE incidents. See CAT'S-EYES, BUD LIGHT, HEADGEAR, AIS, LIGHT STICK, BLINKER.

a small problem or minor malfunction in a techno-mechanical system, as an error or power surge; derived from "slip" or "slide" (glitschen). See BUG, GREMLIN, SNIVITZ, SNARK, NOISE, DISGRONIFICATOR, MURPHY'S LAW.


high-altitude, long-range, unmanned reconnaissance aircraft (RQ4); see UAV.

a worldwide campaign proclaimed 20 Sept 2001 in response to attacks from proxied and sponsored terrorism, including the destruction of Pan-Am charter flight 103 over Lockerbie Scotland (21 Dec 1988), World Trade Center bombing (26 Feb 1993, 11 Sep 2001), Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing (19 Apr 1995), USS Cole incident (12 Oct 2000), and others. See GWOT, JSOTF, GULF WAR, OEF, OIF, TERRORIST, UW, ANTI-TERRORISM, COUNTER-GUERRILLA, COUNTER-TERRORISM, COUNTERINSURGENCY, IRREGULARS, FREEDOM FIGHTER, PATRIOT ACT, CONSTABULARY, YOU CAN RUN BUT ....

awarded to military personnel for active participation in military anti-terrorism operations on or after 11 September 2001 while assigned, attached, mobilized, or deployed to a unit in support of Enduring Freedom, Noble Eagle, Iraqi Freedom, Nomad Shadow, or follow-on operations. Qualifying service is denoted by a bronze service star (BATTLE STAR) on the medal; eligibility for the GWOTEM does not preclude eligibility for the separate Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) or Global War on Terrorism Service Medal (GWOTSM) ... award of the GWOTEM for service in Afghanistan and Iraq was discontinued in June 2005, with such service thereafter being recognized only by the Afghanistan Campaign Medal (ACM) or Iraq Campaign Medal (ICM). Designed by the Institute of Heraldry, the obverse displays a shield adapted from the Great Seal of the United States surmounting two sword hilts enclosed within a wreath of laurel, with a winged eagle grasping a serpent in its claws over all; the reverse depicts the eagle, serpent, and swords from the obverse encircled by the inscription: War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal on a bronze disk. See GWOT, WAR ON TERROR, CAMPAIGN MEDAL.

awarded to non-deployed military personnel for active participation in military ANTI-TERRORISM operations on or after 11 September 2001 while assigned, attached, or mobilized to a unit in CONUS, Iraq, Afghanistan, or elsewhere in the world, including service in support of ENDURING FREEDOM, NOBLE EAGLE, IRAQI FREEDOM, NOMAD SHADOWS, or follow-on operations. Qualifying service is denoted by a bronze service star (BATTLE STAR) on the medal; eligibility for the GWOTSM does not preclude eligibility for the separate Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (GWOTEM), Afghanistan Campaign Medal (ACM) or Iraq Campaign Medal (ICM) ... no servicemember is entitled to more than one medal for the same act, achievement, or period of service. A shield-chested American eagle is poised before the terrestrial globe beneath the inscription "War on Terrorism Service Medal" as the obverse, while the reverse displays a laurel wreath on a plain field. See GWOT, WAR ON TERROR, CAMPAIGN MEDAL.

designation for both Douglas C-124 and McDonnell-Douglas C-17 aircrafts, which are turbo-fan STOL configurations, like the HERCULES. Flying as BASKETBALL, the C-124 served as air-to-air refueling TANKER on YANKEE STATION, and the C-17 was later adapted for TANKER operations by modification into the Advanced Tanker Cargo Aircraft (ATCA).

Gravity Lock, in AvnSpeak, being generally a condition of unresponsiveness (or unconsciousness) induced by an excess of positive gravity force (G-FORCE); that condition when the human body is under so much stress (ie: body lock-up) that it cannot respond to mental instructions or voluntary directions.


the quarters on a ship that are occupied by the stewards or stokers. Also, a small storeroom within the HULL of a ship, usually at the STERN; also called "lazaretto". Also, an enclosed space or locker for stowing loose gear; an untidy room or cupboard used for storage; compare RATHOLE. Also, a place for concealing valuables, a CACHE hideaway or treasure trove; compare SMUGGLER'S TRAP. Also, a hole or aperture cut through the wall of a toilet that's used for voyeuristic observation or prurient interaction between occupants, especially homosexual men; see FAG, INVERT, PREEVERT, DON'T ASK - DON'T TELL, FIRING LINE, CANDY-ASS, POGUE, POGY BAIT, SPUNK, PECKER TRACKS.

slang referent for the symbolic confection, sliced thick or thin, that's dispensed whenever the "powers that be" deem it appropriate; differs from WARM FUZZY by being strictly limited and finite, therefore ostensibly more valuable in the "stroke economy"; see COOKIE, ATTABOY, BRAVO ZULU, A-1, KICK ASS.



in electronics, a vacuum tube containing a gas that is ionized by the electrons, giving a visible glow.


Government-man, being any bureaucratic agent of the government (city, county, state, federal) having the authority and protection of laws to enforce regulations upon the citizenry, especially police agents; see FBI, DEA, REVENUER, DHS, CID, NIS, OSI, DIS, BABY 007, SECRET SQUIRREL, SECRET AGENT, POLICE.

Greenwich Mean Time, set (since 1884) at the 0 meridian of 24 global time zones; being the same as ZULU, and adjusted in "universal time" (UTI/UTC) for deviations from "international atomic time" (IAT). Also known as the "prime meridian"; sometimes mistakenly cited as "Greenwich Meridian Time". See TIME.

Genetic-Nanotechnological-Robotic; see CBR, CBW, GERM WARFARE, CBRNE, WMD, VECTOR, GENOCIDE, APOCALYPSE.

GO :
General Order, being any permanent instruction issued in broadcast form that deals with an administrative policy or procedure affecting all members of a command, as compared with a 'special order', which only affects a small group or specific individuals; see SO, LO, ORDER. Also, a series of permanent orders that govern the duties of a sentry while stationed at his guard post; compare STANDING ORDER. [v: General Orders of a Sentry]

the lowest RANKing man, especially the "bottom of the class" graduate from a military school or training course; known as ANCHORMAN at the Naval Academy (USNA) [nb: What is the West Point GOAT called? Sir!]. Also, the last or final man, as a reluctant participant goaded into conformity. Also, to anger, annoy, or frustrate, as to goad someone; "get his goat". Also, a JUDAS GOAT, which acts like a bellwether leading others to slaughter; see TURNCOAT. Also, a scapegoat, target, or other victim [nb: the slaying of Abel is alleged to be a righteous act because blood must always be spilled before there can be peace]; see FALL GUY, CAT'S-PAW. Also, the mascot of the U.S. Navy; compare MULE; see BLACK KNIGHT, FALCON, THE BIRD, BULLDOG, BLACK DEVIL, MEAT MARKER. Also, a rake, lecher, roué, satyr, debauchee, voluptuary, dissolute, reprobate, corinthian, or libertine.

the Chief Petty Officer's quarters on-board a SUBMARINE; derived from the space where a milch goat was kept aboard sailing ships under the control of the CPO. Also, the Chief Petty Officer's MESS or GALLEY; see BELOW DECK.

a disorganized mess, chaotic situation, or mass confusion; a muddle or pother, bungle or fuddle, and like FLAP, is a more polite expression for a CLUSTER FUCK. Phrase purportedly derives from the condition resulting from the attempt to lasso a spry and agile goat, which is not unlike trying to capture a greased pig; also called a "goat grab", "goat grope", "goat rodeo", "group grope", "Chinese fire drill", "mare's nest", or "dog's breakfast".

Ground Order of Battle; see OB.

a "ready-to-go" bag that's kept packed with all the necessary and essential equipment for rapid deployment to field or combat duty; also called a "ready bag" or WAR BAG, its contents vary according to individual specialty and assignment. See BUG-OUT KIT, BLOW-OUT KIT, FLIGHT BAG, DUFFEL BAG, DUNNAGE, AWOL BAG, MUSETTE, MED BAG, BIVY, DINGLEBERRY, KIT, LOADOUT GEAR, GOOD TO GO, COMBAT LOADED, MISSION READY. [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]


Government Owned Contract[or] Operated, being the "privatized" agencies or companies which fulfill military or governmental functions, especially merchandise and maintenance; also known as "Government Owned Civilian Operated" or "Government Owned Commercially Operated". Compare COCO, NGO, QUANGO, OGA, BELTWAY BANDIT.

a profane, blasphemous, or irreverent exclamation, usually of irritation or disgust; also spelled "goddamn". Also, something of negligible value; any small, minor, niggling, trivial, or unimportant thing, which may be disregarded. Also, the French name for English soldiers from the fifteenth century onward, due to the frequency of use favoring this common oath; Joan of Arc is reported to have used this word when contemptuously referring to her enemies. Compare BULLDOG, BLACK DEVIL; see TALK TRASH, SMACK, CONFETTI, SNOW, BLOW SMOKE, MOTOR MOUTH, SHOOT THE SHIT, WOOF, BAD-MOUTH, OATH, EXPLETIVE, FUCK, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT. [nb: 'gee' and 'gee-whiz', used as an interjection or exclamation, derive as euphemisms for the name "Jesus"; archaic 'zounds' derived as contraction of "God's wounds"; "blimey" or "gorblimey", used as an interjection or exclamation, derive as a reduction of "God blind me"; 'hooey', allegedly an Americanism used as an interjection for nonsense or tripe, is actually a corruption of the Russian vulgarity ("khuy") for penis, and is commonly used alone (eg: dick, dickhead, dick-wad) or in phrases (eg: dumber than dick; he doesn't know dick; don't dick around; don't stir your tea with your dick; don't dip your dick in the soup)] [cf: migration of "putz" from shine through ornament to penis and dolt; as sexual lure] [v: lucky stiff] [Swearing is either juvenile or crass, but MIL-PERS admire talent and respect skill, so creative vulgarity and uncommon scurrility is often appreciated. "The talk of him that sweareth much maketh the hair stand upright." Ecclesiasticus 27:14 Apocrypha; "In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer." by Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens); "Take not God's name in vain; select a time when it will have effect." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce; "Grant me some wild expressions, Heavens, or I shall burst." by George Farquhar; "When angry, count four; when very angry, swear." by Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens); "A whoreson jackanapes must take me up for swearing; as if I borrowed mine oaths of him and might not spend them at my pleasure. ... When a gentleman is disposed to swear, it is not for any standers-by to curtail his oaths, ha?" by William Shakespeare; "A footman may swear; but he cannot swear like a lord. He can swear as often: but can he swear with equal delicacy, propriety, and judgment?" by Jonathan Swift; "'Twas but my tongue, 'twas not my soul that swore." by Euripides; "It comes to pass oft that a terrible oath, with a swaggering accent sharply twanged off, gives manhood more approbation than ever proof itself would have earned him." by William Shakespeare; "When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty. It may not sound nice to some bunch of little old ladies at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember. You can't run an army without profanity; and it has to be eloquent profanity. An army without profanity couldn't fight its way out of a piss-soaked paper bag. As for the types of comments I make, sometimes I just, By God, get carried away with my own eloquence." by George S. Patton Jr; "And when the riflemen heard their commander swear so prodigiously, their minds were filled with amazement to learn how little they knew of profanity!" said of Daniel Morgan during the AMERICAN REVOLUTION] [v: protomartyr Saint Stephen was canonized for blasphemy]

an immortal deity, mythic or legendary, sometimes manifest and sometimes idolized, possessed with the attributes (such as supreme power or superior knowledge) to preside over worldly conflicts and disputes, battles and campaigns; including Ares, Mars, Odin/Woden, Assur/Ashur, Tyr/Tiw, Quirinus, Mithra, Huitzilopochtli, Hachiman, Ninurta, Oro, Vahagn, Ahulane, Ah Chuy Kak, Ah Cun Can, Bellerophon, Kling, Badb, Tuetatesa, Svantevit, Alkyoneus, Kuan Ti, Bellona, Minerva, Athena/Diana, Pallas-Athene, Artemis, Enyo, Durga, Ishtar, Inanna, and others. Also, the idealized aspiration of every young warrior before the implacable reality of war utterly shatters his dreams!

a warehouse or other storage place in SEA or Far East; as derived from a corruption of Malay 'godong'. See DUMP, DEPOT, ELEPHANT HUT, UTILITY BUILDING, MULTIPLE UTILITY BUILDING, STEELDROME, RED BALL, COMBAT LOADED, DX, MSR, LOG, QM, NSN, CLASS SIX, WALLAH.

slang for the "look down" or overlook perspective, either wide area or narrow focus, that's available from an aerial platform, including infrared (IR) and RADAR readouts; also called "bird's eye view" or "eye in the sky". See UMBRELLA, CROW'S NEST, OP, C&C, OVERSIGHT, CAP, ABCCC, ABNCP, ORBIT, HIGH 'n' DRY, SIGHT PICTURE, AWACS, UAV, DRONE, VATLS, SPYPLANE.

the entourage of a chaplain, his assistant and associates, arriving in the field to conduct services for the pagans subsisting beyond a fire base (FSB) or BASE CAMP; also known as the "sin police". See SKY PILOT, RP, HOLY HELO, FOXHOLE CONVERSION, ARMY CHRISTIAN, PRAYER, TS CARD, SYMPATHY; compare HUG SQUAD, GHOUL.

slang for the high-tech running shoes (trainers) that are worn as part of the sweat suit or track suit uniform worn during PT/PFT formations; also called "cross-trainers", "joggers", "sneakers", "tenny-runners" or "tenny-pumps". See PT'S, EXERCISE. [v: talaria : the winged sandals or the wings attached to the ankles of the mythological messenger (Hermes or Mercury); winged feet were also a component of Iris, Eos, Eros, the Furies, and the Harpies; the winged foot is a rebus for speed or swiftness, and a pictograph for track sports]

a menial assistant, factotum, hireling, comprador, horse-holder, shield-bearer, spear-carrier, water-hauler, stamp-licker, flunky, a fetcher or retriever; being a "do-it-all" rather than a "know-it-all". Term derived as a contraction of to "go for", to fetch, to run errands, by similarity of sound to gopher. Also spelled "go-fer", and sometimes misspelled "gofor". See DOGSBODY, ORDERLY, HACK, BREAK CHOP; compare HOUSE MOUSE, RUNNER.

heavily armed ground-support ACH-47 CHINOOK helicopter, also called "Guns a-Go-Go"; derived from the popularity of "Go-Go" dancing at the time. See GUNSHIP.

wild abandon; see BERSERK; compare DINKY DAU.

an expression meaning "to out guerrilla the guerrillas" by using their own tactics against them; used in the same unrestrained manner as "going tropical" or "going bananas", implying wild abandon; see UW, COIN, COUNTER-GUERRILLA, COUNTERINSURGENCY, ANTI-TERRORISM, DIME. Also, sardonic designation for the absence of underpants (drawers, shorts, boxers, briefs, whity-tidy, smalls, codpiece, g-string, loincloth, breechcloth / breechclout), as used after the Vietnam-era; the practice of not wearing underpants during field operations was common during the VIETNAM WAR as an aid to disease prevention. See SKIVVIES, T-SHIRT, SINGLET, DRESS. [aka: "furring", "free balling", or "snaking" by AUSSIE and KIWI troops] [cf: sarong, lavalava, pareu/pareo]

wild abandon; see BERSERK; compare DINKY DAU.

slang for fuel or petroleum; also called JUICE; see POL, CHERRY JUICE, PETROL, JP, MOGAS, HOT-FUELING, TOP-OFF, ENDURANCE, BINGO.

to aggressively attack or assault a target, being a euphemism from the GULF WAR for extreme agitation or perturbation; equivalent to earlier use of "going tropical" or "going bananas" for wild abandon. See BERSERK; compare DINKY DAU.

any fantastic complexity or devious arrangement, as an elaborate scheme or impractical construct, that will [barely] function only after great loss and waste; so-called after the improvisational cartoons (1950s) of Reuben Goldberg, which mocked technology and parodied bureaucracy. Compare OCCAM'S RAZOR.

loafer, shirker, malingerer; derived from a lead brick/loaf thinly plated with gold leaf. See DUD, DEADHEAD, GHOST, SLACKER, MAGGOT, POGUE, FEATHER MERCHANT, SOS, YARDBIRD, FIELD REJECT, REST ON OARS; compare SWEAT HOG.

Golden BB :
a lucky shot that happens to bring down an airplane; see MAGIC BULLET, ACHILLES HEEL, HAMSTRING, CHINK; compare SILVER BULLET, BULLETPROOF, FAIRY DUST, VULCANIZE. [nb: a BULLETPROOF pilot's braggadocio is often expressed as "big sky, little bullet"] [nb: BB, a size of shot, 0.18" (0.46cm) in diameter, as fired from an air rifle or BB gun (1886)]

informal reference to someone favored or preferred, cultivated or groomed, someone who can do no wrong, being a BOOMER or FAST MOVER who's promoted "above the zone", ahead of his peers; also known as "fair-haired boy", "white-haired (or white-headed) boy", "blue-eyed boy", "Greek god", "pet", "darling", "jewel", or "apple of [someone's] eye". This phrase is often epicene or asexual, but "Golden Girl" is also used. See HARD CHARGER, SWEAT HOG, SUPER-TROOPER, HOT SHOT, TOP DOG, EMPTY SUIT, HOT DOG, FIGJAM, BOY WONDER, BALLS TO THE WALL, TICKET-PUNCHER, VULCANIZE, DEEP DIP, UP OR OUT. [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: "Gold is tried in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of adversity." Ecclesiasticus 2:5]

the major illegal drug production area in Central Asia, a region consisting of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan, whose mountainous peripheries define this lucrative crescent. According to the State Department, Afghanistan displaced Burma (Myanmar) in 1991 as the world's primary opium producer, surpassing the 1950s productivity of Southeast Asia during its 1970s development. See STICK, CAN SA, DOPE, STONED, JUNK, SMACK, HOT SHOT, CHINA WHITE, DEA; compare GOLDEN TRIANGLE, SILVER TRIANGLE. Also, the oil and gas producing area in the Near East, a region consisting of Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan, named as a spin-off of the former "Fertile Crescent", which will distribute these resources by interior pipeline to other Asian countries, such as India, China, and Mongolia.

a sailor aboard ship who has crossed the International DATE LINE, at approximately the 180 meridian, and undergone the arcane rites decreed by Neptune's representative for entering the "Realm of the Golden Dragon"; compare LINE CROSSING, see INITIATION. [nb: alternatively, the "Order of the Golden Dragon" is reserved for those crossing the DATE LINE at the equator] [nb: a "golden shellback" is someone who crossed the equator at the international date line]

US Army precision aerobatic PARACHUTE team used for public ceremonies and demonstrations. Compare CHUTING STARS; see PDT. [nb: similar skydiving teams exist for units or regions, including "Silver Wings" for the Army Airborne School]


a nonexistent object that a novice or tyro is required to attend in the same manner as any other SNIPE HUNT objective; compare MERMAID, DRAGON.

an axiom of ethical reciprocity that's a tenet of many religions; typically phrased as: "Do to others what you would want them to do to you."; "What you do not wish upon yourself, extend not to others." (Confucius (K'ung Fu-tzu)); "Do not do to your neighbor what you do not want done to yourself." (Confucius (K'ung Fu-tzu)); "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor." (Tanakh); "Violence and injury enclose in their net all that do such things, and generally return upon him who began." (Titus Lucretius Carus); "His hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him." (Genesis 16:12 Bible); "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 7:12 NIV Bible); "Do to others as you would have them do to you." (Luke 6:31 NIV Bible); "Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee." (Jeremiah 39:12 KJV Bible); "Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law." ('categorical imperative' by Immanuel Kant); "I am convinced we do not only love ourselves in others but hate ourselves in others too." (G.C. Lichtenberg); "As we are, so we do; and as we do, so is it done to us; we are the builders of our fortunes." (Ralph Waldo Emerson); "Do as you would be done by." (unknown); "Behave to others as you would have them behave to you." (unknown); "I and the public know / What all schoolchildren learn, / Those to whom evil is done / Do evil in return." (W.H. Auden); "The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbor as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves." (Eric Hoffer); "Absolutely speaking, do unto others as you would that they should do unto you is by no means a golden rule, but the best of current silver. An honest man would have but little occasion for it. It is golden not to have any rule at all in such a case." (Henry David Thoreau); "No good deed goes unpunished." (Clare Boothe Luce); "If you forgive my faults, I will forgive yours." (unknown); "Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same." (George Bernard Shaw); "Do unto the other feller the way he'd like to do unto you, an' do it fust." (Edward Noyes Westcott); "I do unto others what they do unto me, only worse." (Jimmy Hoffa). See MORALITY, CORE VALUES, MORAL COURAGE, MORAL WATERSHED, ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, DOG-EAT-DOG, TOOTH 'n' NAIL, WHEN IN ROME, RETALIATION, RETRIBUTION, REPRISAL, REVENGE, DAY OF RECKONING, JUST WAR, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), LAWS OF WAR.

a POLLYWOG who has crossed the equator at the international date line, has undergone the arcane rites decreed by Neptune's representative, and has been duly inducted into the "Order of the Golden Dragon". See SHELLBACK, MOSSBACK, OLD SALT, SALTY DOG, INITIATION. [nb: according to legend, a sailor acquired a pierced EARRING when "crossing the line" (equator), which acquisition was alleged to improve his eyesight]

a supplemental appropriation by an ACT OF CONGRESS to urgently solve a problem by "throwing money at it"; large amounts of money that suddenly and mysteriously appear from nowhere to fund a pet project or urgent task force when even basic requirements are unfulfilled or earlier preoccupations remain under-funded; compare CANDY, JUICE, PORK BARREL, STAND SAM, POLITICAL ENGINEERING, SLUSH FUND, BLACK BAG, HONEY POT, THE EAGLE SHITS. Also, an erotic act, generally considered a perversion, involving urination by or upon one's partner as an adjunct to sexual behavior.

nickname of the 17th Airborne Division, based upon the depiction of an eagle's claw on its shoulder patch; this unit was activated 15 April 1943 at Camp Mackall, being deployed on several WWII campaigns (ie: Battle of the Bulge, Operation Varsity, Rhine, occupation duty) before deactivation on 16 September 1945. Principal elements of the 17th Abn Div include: 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 193rd Glider Infantry Regiment, 194th Glider Infantry Regiment, and other supporting units. See THUNDER FROM HEAVEN, XVIII AIRBORNE CORPS, AIRBORNE, PARACHUTE.

the region of northern Thailand, Burma (Myanmar), Laos, and southern China devoted to poppy (Papaver Somniferum) production for opiates, under warlord control; purportedly, Shan and CHINDIT tribesmen cooperated with Chinese "tong" (same name society) organized criminal cartels in narcotics marketing as repayment to Americans for the imposed injustices from the Boxer Rebellion, which payback augmented the communist strategy in SEAsia. See STICK, CAN SA, DOPE, STONED, SMACK, HOT SHOT, CHINA WHITE, DEA; compare SILVER TRIANGLE, TRI-BORDER, GOLDEN CRESCENT. [v: Imperial Japan's state-approved opium operations were conducted by the "China Affairs Board", under the direction of Prince Konoye, which was responsible for the political and economic affairs of occupied Asia] [nb: "triad" is the British designation, meaning 'three closely related things' (ie: heaven, earth, man), of the criminal gang elements within the social group of each Chinese name (tong) society; compare 'trigram'] [nb: the Japanese "yakuza" is a secret society of racketeers, equivalent to the Italian mafia/maffia and Chinese tong/triad, meaning 'good-for-nothing', as derived from the losing hand (ie: 8,9,3) in a card game; cf: "dead man's hand" of aces and eights, held by James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok (2 Aug 1876)]

an unofficial association formed for seafarers saved by their necessary resort to a rubber dinghy or LIFEBOAT. A similar society, called the CATERPILLAR CLUB, comprises aircrew saved by PARACHUTE.

federal designation of a family, especially "Gold Star Mother" or "Gold Star Wife" [sic: widow], that has lost a relative in wartime service; being a plaque or scroll that may be displayed in a window (facing outside), or mounted on a wall as tribute; compare BLUE STAR. [nb: in the event of death while serving in combat, a gold star was overlaid upon the original blue star (instead of replacing it) such that the slightly smaller gold star was outlined by the original blue one, giving the gold star a blue rimmed appearance] Also, a distinguishing device in the U.S. Navy, worn on the right pocket, indicating "command at sea" and designating the SKIPPER of a ship; compare GREEN TAB.

the word assigned to represent the letter "G" in the international phonetic alphabet; at various times in different spelling schemes, it has also been acrophonetically represented as George. See ALPHABET SOUP, PHONETIC ALPHABET. [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags] Also, an outdoor game, originating in Scotland, that uses clubs to hit a small ball into a series of holes (usually 9 or 18) situated at various distances over a golf course (generally 6000yds long, being formerly a sloped scrub or wasteland called "links"), the object being to get the ball into each hole in as few strokes as possible; when not used for play, the golf course on military installations is used for training (eg: bivouac, fire and maneuver, cross-country (X-C/nordic) skiing, etc); see EXERCISE, WAR GAMES. [nb: Scotland banned the playing of golf in 1457 as it interfered with archery practice, considered an essential skill for national defense] [nb: "Golf is a good walk spoiled." attributed to Mark Twain; "(Golf is) A day spent in a round of strenuous idleness." by William Wordsworth; "Golf is like a love affair: if you don't take it seriously, it's no fun; if you do take it seriously, it breaks your heart." by Arnold Daly; "Elderly gentlemen, gentle in all respects, kind to animals, beloved by children, and fond of music, are found in lonely corners of the downs, hacking at sandpits or tussocks of grass, and muttering in a blind, ungovernable fury elaborate maledictions which could not be extracted from them by robbery or murder. Men who would face torture without a word become blasphemous at the short fourteenth. It is clear that the game of golf may well be included in that category of intolerable provocations which may legally excuse or mitigate behaviour not otherwise excusable." by A.P. Herbert; "Half-soused oldsters wearing funny clothes with too much time and money on their hands were about to compromise his newly acquired appreciation of golf by their cussing and throwing of clubs over the most trivial circumstances imaginable during an inherently ridiculous pasttime." paraphrase of Aaron & Charlotte Elkins; "Golf has ruined more good men than whiskey." by Earl Derr Biggers (1926); "It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf." by H.L. Mencken; "If I had my way, no man guilty of golf would be eligible to any office of trust or profit under the United States ...." by H.L. Mencken; "Golf is an ineffectual endeavor to place an insignificant pellet into an obscure hole using contrary body movements and inadequate weapons!"; "Golf is for people who can't escape into a garage or tool shed, a workshop or studio, a kitchen or sewing room, a treehouse or gazebo, a basement or attic to indulge in worthier acts."]

nickname for the BASE CAMP of the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) at An Khe, between Qui Nhon and Pleiku in IICTZ; see FIRST TEAM.

slang for North Vietnamese troops; see LUKE THE GOOK, BO DOI, PAVN, CHARLIE. Also, the pilot of an enemy airplane, especially one engaged in a DOGFIGHT or FUR BALL; a BANDIT or BOGIE after TALLY-HO. Also, any enemy soldier, vehicle or craft; used in the same way as BOGIE or BAD GUYS.

G10 :
it comprises the G7 (ie: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, United States) finance ministers and central bank governors, together with their counterparts in Belgium , the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland ... making a total of eleven (11) nations, although they retain the original title. Its meetings are often coincident with the semiannual International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank conferences, where sovereign debt reduction and other regional financial issues are addressed. See UN, NATO, LEAGUE OF NATIONS, COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS, ARAB LEAGUE, NAM, ASEAN, SEATO, PENTALATERAL AGREEMENT, ANZUS, KANZUS, HAGUE TRIBUNAL, NGO, QUANGO, GOCO, COCO, OGA, BELTWAY BANDIT; compare G8, G15, G20, G24, G77.

G15 :
formed at the behest of the Non-Aligned summit conference in September 1989, being the group that represents the G77 to the Bretton Woods institutions (ie: International Monetary Fund and World Bank, c1944). See UN, NATO, LEAGUE OF NATIONS, COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS, ARAB LEAGUE, NAM, ASEAN, SEATO, PENTALATERAL AGREEMENT, ANZUS, KANZUS, HAGUE TRIBUNAL, NGO, QUANGO, GOCO, COCO, OGA, BELTWAY BANDIT; compare G8, G10, G20, G24, G77.

the adoption of local customs, habits, or conventions by a non-native resident; also known as "gone bush", "gone Asiatic" or "gone bamboo" in the Orient. In its best sense, an outsider assimilates his alien environment from sympathetic affinity, which accommodates his colleagues while complimenting his host. While this is not necessarily a rejection of his own antecedence, his adoption will perforce be selective and produce a hybridized result, which will be distorted and incomplete, if not mistaken. Someone who "goes native" often believes that he's found a substitute for deficiencies that he perceives in his own background, but he cannot escape his past nor absorb the present, so he no longer fits anywhere ... being neither fish nor fowl. In its worst case, such adoption is a travesty that both insults the new culture while offending the old ... most embarrassingly when the occidental dons oriental attire, imitates their art and emulates their cuisine. Such a pathetic wretch is merely another form of WANNABE, except that as a representative of foreign interests, he has power and influence that the local people must cope with. Someone who has GONE NATIVE is often shunned by both sides ... by his own for the presumed abandonment or betrayal, and by the locals for not being an insider or compatible phenotype, no matter how much he tries to insinuate himself. Although others may regard "going native" with trepidation, being as fearful of its corruption as a plague that would destroy their foundations, the person who has actually GONE NATIVE is typically content, often being as satisfied as any other convert, and quite willing to proselytize. See ADVISOR, COUNTERPART, SHEEP-DIPPED, CA, CAP, JUNK FORCE, PHILIPPINE SCOUTS, SPARTAN, TOUR BABY, COMBAT BUM, HOMESTEADER, YELLOW FEVER, PNG, EXILE, DP, INDIG, RICE CHRISTIAN, HOOCH, VILLE, CODE TALKER, PIDGIN, BAMBOO ENGLISH, CREOLE, LINGUA FRANCA, JARGON, VERNACULAR, POLYGLOT, DLI, SLEEPING DICTIONARY, VISUAL LANGUAGE TRANSLATOR, POINTIE TALKIE, BRACELET, JOSS STICK, SPIRIT MONEY, RICE BALL, BUSH HANKY. [cf: "root-digger" geneologist] [nb: AmerIndians who have rejected the dominant Judeo-Christian or Eurocentric culture prevailing outside the reservation by "going back to their roots" are commonly referred to as having "gone back to the blanket", which failed assimilation is a contrapositive of a non-native "wish-um" or "pretendian" who aspires to adopt a new culture when 'going native']

exhibiting an untidy or hirsute appearance, especially the wearing of long hair on the head or face that's arranged in various ethnic or religious styles, which non-compliance with official grooming standards is relaxed as an operational necessity; see RELAXED GROOMING STANDARDS.

an idiomatic expression meaning that a promising pursuit has failed or is about to fail, that an action or endeavor has turned disastrous, or that plans and proposals have gone awry; phrase also expressed as "went South", "turned South", and "headed South". This idiom implies a condition of irretrievability, so has also been applied to situations where an illegality is irremedial, as when bandits escape across a border or into a safe haven. As such, the imputed border has been alleged to be Mexico [v: MEXICAN BORDER CAMPAIGN] but it could just as easily be north or west into Indian Territory or Alaska before statehood. However, the combination of failed militarism and financial corruption lends it more to the southern region of the United States, as a continuing slur on the notorious Confederacy and the ignoble Southern lifestyle as a persistent BUGBEAR of meddling progressives, frustrated by the collapse of Reconstruction. The simplest explanation of the origin of this Americanism is that it's merely a map orientation, with south representing down or downwards as a metaphor of decline. Similar expressions of catastrophe or ruin include: "went sideways", "went belly-up", "went tits-up", "went into the tank", or "went in the toilet". See BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK, A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, ATHWART. [cf: "gone North" (polestar, guide star); "go West" (opportunity); "gone West" (death as sunset); "go East" (tradition); "gone East" (birth as sunrise)]

row of miniature medals for
dress uniform
slang for any pendant medal or flamboyant decoration; also called "clankers" and "trinkets", context and tone of voice will make it a simple substitution or a derogation, as related to TICKET-PUNCHING necessity or inconsistent standards as basis for award. Also used as "was gonged", "got gonged". Term derives from the resemblance of gaudy medallions, and the din or clamor of ostentatious trophies banging together. The tradition of honoring American military heroes began when the Continental Congress commissioned the award of gold and silver medals to the commanders of the Revolutionary War, which Congressionally authorized medals were the forerunners of modern combat decorations. The first such medal, struck in gold, was awarded to Captain John Paul Jones; and which has lately included the Vietnam Veterans National Medal, the Missing in Action Medal, the Persian Gulf National Medal, and commemoratives of the bicentennial anniversaries of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. See LEGEND, DEVICE, V-DEVICE, OLC, BATTLE STAR, IMPACT AWARD, MOH, DSC, NC, AFC, DFC, SS, BSM, AM, PH, SM, DSM, LOM, MSM, GREEN WEENIE, AAM, RED WEENIE, JOCKSTRAP MEDAL, POW MEDAL, BADGE OF COURAGE, CAMPAIGN MEDAL, AFEM, VSM, RVN CAMPAIGN MEDAL, GWTEM, GWTSM, MEDAL OF FREEDOM, PRESIDENTIAL CITIZENS MEDAL, UNIT CITATION, NDSM, FRUIT SALAD, RACK, CORD, TRASH, WINGS, BOLO BADGE, TOP DOG, POWER WALL, BRAGGING RIGHTS, TROPHY, KILL RING, HERO, SCRAP METAL COLLECTOR, 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: 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] [nb: "With enough medals (to award), I can win any battle." by Napoleon Bonaparte; "Everyone in our culture wants to win a prize. Perhaps that is the grand lesson we have taken with us from kindergarten in the age of perversions of Dewey-style education: everyone gets a ribbon, and praise becomes a meaningless narcotic to soothe egoistic distemper." by Gerald Early; "To refuse awards ... is another way of accepting them with more noise than is normal." by Peter Ustinov; "A man won't sell his life for anything as crass as money, but he's willing to give it away for a pretty little piece of colored ribbon."] [nb: Any person convicted of misconduct or a criminal charge by a U.S. military tribunal, or who receives a less than honorable discharge based upon actions while serving on active duty, or whose acts do not accord with the Code of Conduct, and whose actions are documented by U.S. military records is ineligible for the award of medals. Any found or recovered medals (or any other U.S. military items) remain the property of the U.S. government, and should be returned with a letter of explanation to: The Secretary of Defense; The Pentagon (Room 3E880); Washington, DC 20301]

slang for a "capture curtain", being a high-tech version of a seine net or spider web; an extremely strong and adhesive elastic mesh that can be used to immobilize a captive by direct application or by entrapment at a CHOKE POINT. Because GOO is water-soluble, as its release mode, it has limited and specific field utility by trained operatives. Compare BRACELET; see SNATCH, PACKAGE, TONGUE, POW. [cf: birdlime] Also, slang for inclement weather conditions resulting in poor visibility, especially fog or mist, rain or snow; see ZERO-ZERO, WHITEOUT, BROWN-OUT, FLAT LIGHT, MONSOON, STORM WARNING, WIND, MET MESSAGE, WEATHER EYE. [nb: the military perception of weather is that change is only a variant of the discomfort level!]

US Marine Corps Good Conduct
the Good Conduct Medal (GCM) is an individual decoration awarded to enlisted and NCO personnel for satisfactory service, usually one per three-year term of enlistment; commonly known as the "chewing gum wrapper", for its similarity to sticks of gum stacked in a pack, and the RED WEENIE, so-called due to its relative insignificance. The Navy and Marine versions differ in appearance from the Army, but, being predominantly red, share this cognomen; however, the Air Force version was blue and white, so was called the "blue weenie". Marines refer to this award as the "Good Cookie" for not having been caught doing anything wrong; while the Air Force has decided that "good conduct" is 'normal' behavior, and should not be recognized, so its award was discontinued in 2006. See DEVICE, GONG.


the typically careless or hasty attitude toward assignments; haphazard, off-hand, slapdash, or HALF-ASSED. This is a reflection of the distinction between: the right way, the wrong way, and the military way; similarly expressed in popular culture as "good enough for rock 'n' roll". See HALF-ASSED, GUNDECKING, MIL-SPEC, SNUFF, MILITARY GRADE, BOONDOGGLE, PARTY LINE. [nb: the combat zone is, by definition, a destructive area, so whatever exists there is either disposable, replaceable, or made as cheaply as possible to do the required job; 'superiority' is a shifting objective, as 'excellence' is a changeable goal that must be factored by time and resources, which is always competing with 'sufficiency'] [cf: faute de mieux (French: for want of something better)] [nb: "Doing a thing well is often a waste of time." by Robert Byrne] [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]

a metaphor justifying marginality, such that only the poor or inferior are suitable pawns or minion's; utilitarian, pragmatic, commonplace, plebian, functionary, unworthy. Also, a parable justifying the discrimination of class or caste, such that superior materials or resources ought not be wasted on the mundane or mediocre; having a contrapositive that excellence warrants the finest composition and best investment. [nb: this analogy fails to identify essential qualities of employment (eg: instrumental, effectual, serviceable) and necessary conditions of application in the attempt to demean characteristics and disparage militant oppression]

a life lived according to the moral and religious tenets of one's culture. Also, a satisfying life of rewarding work and gratifying relationships. Also, since the WWII-era, a life abounding in material comforts and luxuries. [v: "life of Riley" being an informal reference to a carefree and enjoyable lifestyle, probably by allusion to several mentions in popular songs of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, like "Is That Mister Reilly" (1880), "My Name is Kelly" (1919), and "The Best of the House is None Too Good for Reilly" (1920)] [v: la dolce vita, cakes and ale, primrose path; cf: bon vivant, Sybarite, voluptuary, sensualist, pleasure seeker, freewheeler, playboy, hedonist, libertine, rakehell, profligate, spendthrift, wastrel, reprobate, lothario, roué, debauchee, lotus-eater, prodigal]

a proverbial expression originating in the Old Testament ["The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net." Micah 7:2 KJV Bible] with the espousal of moral insufficiency or scarcity of virtue ... in the realm of hard-earned wisdom amongst professional soldiers, this assertion of rarity is generally accented by the addendum: "... and easy to lose!" This phrase was made popular by a romantic song ["A Good Man Nowadays Is Hard To Find" by Eddie Green 12 Dec 1918] that was adopted by Sophie Tucker (Sophie Kalish) as her signature tune. Having been reduced to a relational axiom wherein women (who are always presumed to be loving and virtuous) cannot locate or keep a worthwhile husband, this expression has most recently morphed into a more explicit sexual allusion ["a hard man is good to find"] which ironically redoubles the original sense of the Bible verse, restating that an honorable person is rare amongst the human dross.

the 1933 policy of nonintervention presented by Franklin Roosevelt to encourage friendly relations among the nations of the Western Hemisphere; this expression was coined by President Herbert C. Hoover, who attempted to demonstrate this policy in numerous goodwill tours of Latin America, which policy was actively perpetuated by Cordell Hull, FDR's secretary of state. See PRESIDENTIAL DOCTRINE, CONTAINMENT, INTERVENTIONISM; compare ISOLATIONISM. [nb: "In the field of world policy, I would dedicate this nation to the policy of the good neighbor – the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of others – the neighbor who respects his obligations and who respects the sanctity of his agreements in and with a world of neighbors." by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address (4 March 1933)]

someone (especially a mature white male) who embodies the good fellowship and generous sociability of the small town lifestyle, most typically indicative of rural and Southern regions; also known as "good ol' boy" or "good ole boy", being someone who belongs to a network (ie: "good old boyism") of friends and associates with close ties of loyalty and mutual support. See GOOD PEOPLE, GOOD STICK, LITTLE PEOPLE, BOY'S CLUB, VETERANS' ASSOCIATION, SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, FRATERNIZATION. [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]

an Australianism introduced to American colleagues in the VIETNAM WAR that expresses a compliment for having done something well; used in the same manner as A-1, BRAVO ZULU, SHIT-HOT and KICK ASS. See AUSSIE, OZZIE, OUC DA LOI, KIWI, TAN TAY LAN, COUNTERPART.

a capable and dutiful servicemember, a worthy MIL-PERS; also known as the "right folks" or "salt of the earth", being an expression used to vouch for another's authenticity or legitimacy (eg: "He's GOOD PEOPLE."). See BTDT, TALK THE TALK, PAY DUES, ESPRIT DE CORPS, STRAIGHT ARROW, BRASS-COLLAR, LITTLE PEOPLE, ZOMBIE. [cf: Chinese "old friend" status; v: "Dudley DoRight", "Mister Cordiality", "Good Joe", "goodman", "good ol' boy", "Mister Goodbar", "Squire Allworthy"; cf: "goody-goody", "goody two shoes", "goodwilly" / "guidwillie"] [nb: "There are only ordinary people; some are no better than they have to be, and some think themselves better without half trying, but a few do extraordinary things that amaze everyone and humble the best of us. Our capacity for kind and generous compassion is our finest trait."; "When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced; so live your life in such a way that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice."]

aviation slang for anyone who is capable, steady, and reliable, as a worthy MIL-PERS; expression is more grammatical than GOOD PEOPLE (eg: "He's a GOOD STICK."). See BTDT, TALK THE TALK, PAY DUES, ESPRIT DE CORPS, SEAT TIME, LITTLE PEOPLE, ZOMBIE.

a positive informal response affirming an individual's or a unit's readiness for action, including healthy, trained, and fully equipped MIL-PERS, who understand their role in the forthcoming operation; see COMBAT LOADED, LOADOUT, MISSION READY, UNLIMBER, LOCK 'n' LOAD, OP TEMPO, CHAMP AT THE BIT, SPIN-UP, FAT, SADDLE-UP, MOVE OUT, HOOPLA, BATTAILOUS. Also, a catch-phrase indicating that individual weapons or equipment are acceptable for use; see WEB GEAR, PISTOL BELT, CLUTCH BELT, DEUCE GEAR, ALICE, LBE, LBV, MOLLE, RUCKSACK, CROSS-CHECK, CROSS-LOADING, CAP-A-PIE.

a person, typically notable or eminent, who's appointed to promote a beneficial program or benevolent mission, as an unofficial emissary between established organizations or a credentialed envoy between sovereign states; an honorific title (usually with a Letter of Presentation or Letter of Credence) for someone designated to promote goodwill or act as intermediary from one entity to another, as in an international friendship mission or humanitarian colloquy, including multilateral and non-profit corporations, governmental and non-governmental agencies.

slang for communist Chinese (CHICOM) in the KOREAN WAR; see GOOK.

slang term brought to Vietnam by KOREAN WAR Veterans, which refers to anyone of Asian origin, but may have originated as "googoo" or "gugu" as disparaging slang for Filipinos (as derived from term for tree bark). During the KOREAN WAR, there was seemingly a distinction between North Korean (NKPA) GOOKs and communist Chinese (CHICOM) "gooeys". See LITTLE PEOPLE, DINK, SLOPE, SLANT-EYE, RICE BALL, ZIP, CHINK, NIP, JAPE, YELLOW PERIL, YELLOW DOG, WOG; compare BUDDHAHEAD, BASKET HEAD, RICE CHRISTIAN, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, INDIG.

dismissive characterization of complex Asian tonal languages as incomprehensible gibberish or indecipherable gobbledygook by monolingual and semiliterate Americans coexisting in a foreign culture; also known as "gook-speak". See DOUBLE DUTCH, BAMBOO ENGLISH, CREOLE, PIDGIN, MONKEY VOICES, VERNACULAR, HOBSON-JOBSON, POLYGLOT, LINGUA FRANCA.

USN R4D aircraft; based upon DC-3 and C-47 DAKOTA. Name refers to anything awkward or ungainly, such as the albatross, and was inspired during WWII by the "Alice the Goon" cartoon about a simpleton. Also spelled "Goony Bird", and also called Night Train and Sky Train; see SACRED COW.

slang from WWII US Naval action for a torpedo attack on surface vessels, as "we goosed them" and "they're goosing us"; see FISH.

(gee-oh-cue) General Officer's Quarters, also known as Visiting General Officer's Quarters (VGOQ) and as General/Flag Officer's Quarters (GFOQ); compare VOQ, see QTRS.


involving much bloodshed and violence, as from the clotted or coagulated blood that's spilled; unpleasantly stained with or covered by the gore resulting from a violent encounter. [v: ensanguine]

T-45 jet TRAINER, adapted for Navy flight from a land-based model; see BIRD.

slang for the enlistment contract, form DD-4, also known as the "bait and switch" or "false promise entrapment", and called "shipping articles" in the U.S. Navy; all recruiting service commitments to the enlistee must be cited in writing, and no verbal agreement is enforceable. See AFEES, CRUIT, BUDDY SYSTEM, RECEPTION STATION, BOOT, YARDBIRD, MAGGOT, SAD SACK, SLICK SLEEVE, RETREAD, PS, RE-UP, FTA, DRAFT, RECYCLE, TOTAL FORCE, RECRUITER.

certainty of approval or confirmation of endorsement; that which is formally approved or officially sanctioned; being an assurance that's "as good as gold", that's reliable enough to "take it to the bank". See CHOP, RUBBER-STAMP, SIGNATURE.

the person, regardless of RANK or RATING, who's best suited to (officially or unofficially) solve a particular problem; also known as a "fixer", this person's talents are usually exploited by their immediate superior for further promotion to his level of incompetence [v: Peter Principle]. See LITTLE PEOPLE, SWINE LOG, CLERKS 'n' JERKS, PENCIL PUSHER, REMF, HONCHO, WALLAH, DINOSAUR, RAINMAKER, THE UNHOLY TRINITY, PROFESSIONAL VETERAN. [nb: 'guy' is neuter or asexual, referring to either a male or female, as "She's the GO TO GUY for getting that requisition approved."]

a pre-designated meeting place for unit members to linkup when the planned defenses can no longer be occupied, are in the process of failing or have been compromised; although this is not part of the defensive strategy, it becomes the place where any surviving teammates make a LAST STAND if they're unable to escape and evade (E&E) beyond the PERIMETER. This locale is shared with FRIENDLIES to make it a "no fire zone" (NFZ) for fire support or a search site for QRF and CSAR respondents; however this locale is never disclosed to foreign allies or COUNTERPARTs. Compare FPL, DAR, see RALLY POINT, RV, STRONGPOINT, SAFE, SERE, DECAMP, BUG-OUT, RETROGRADE, BOLT HOLE, LAST MAN STANDING.


well prepared; see SHIT.

preliminary information or advance warning, as a form of RUMOR or SCUTTLEBUTT, so as to improve performance. See BACK CHANNEL, POOP, HEADS-UP, FYI, DOPE, THE WORD, GREEN GREASE, HOT-SHIT, ROCKING HORSE APPLES, GRIPEVINE, JAWBREAKER, SANTA CLAUS. [nb: at West Point and Annapolis after WWI, the courses on physics and navigation or astronomy were called "skinny" due to the intramural tutoring needed for satisfactory completion; which may be the origin of that slang term for reliably current information]


(goyyah) acronym for Get Off Your Ass, as in work harder, hurry up, move out ("Move out, draw fire!"), do it, finish it; see FOURTH POINT OF CONTACT, BUTT, MONKEY BUTT, GET ON THE STICK, HOOPLA, HAUL-ASS, BUSTER, PULL PITCH, SCRAMBLE, JUICE, BEAT FEET, ASAP, PDQ, STAT, CHOGI, CHOP CHOP, RIKI TIK, FORTHWITH.

GP :
(gee-pee) General Purpose, also abbreviated "G.P."; as in General Purpose net (sling or cargo of nylon mesh), General Purpose tent (large rectangular WALL TENT sleeping 10 to 12 men with a central aisle), or General Purpose bomb (multi-purpose MUNITION used against HARD or SOFT TARGETs); see JEEP. Also, the abbreviation for GrouP (qv), which is sometimes represented as "grp".

gallons per minute, being the rate of liquid transfer or consumption.

Ground Penetrating Radar, or Ground Probing Radar; the instrument producing these cloudy or vague images is sometimes called "Great Pictures of Roots" or "root finder"; see RADAR.

Global Positioning System, being a geostationary SATELLITE navigation system instituted in 1978 using 24 geosynchronous satellites capable of great accuracy, and useful for rapid fixes on land and at sea; a location plot requires triangulation, while fixing altitude necessitates a fourth index. See LORAN, MUGR, UTM, SRTM, MGRS, HOMER, INS, AIS. [nb: as the result of a pro bono publico lawsuit on behalf of taxpayers, civilians were granted access to the government's geostationary satellite navigation system in 1989 with restrictions on accuracy and priority] [nb: the motion of an artificial satellite is controlled by the same laws of celestial mechanics that govern the motions of natural satellites, so a device that has not attained escape velocity (5mi/sec) or is orbiting at a height less than 200mi is subject to the frictional effects of the earth's atmosphere, and as its orbit degrades, it will descend and burn up like a meteor; at heights above 200mi, it will circle the planet (eg: 1 revolution every 90min at 200mi; 1 revolution every 100min at 500mi), remaining indefinitely in an elliptical orbit; a geosynchronous orbit is attained at a height of 22,300mi and the satellite period of revolution is 24hrs, coincident with earth's axial rotation, making the satellite geostatic] [nb: mobile phone (Global System for Mobile Communications, a second-generation open-standard digital-transceiver voice/text wireless system) tracking for accountability and monitoring for security is rendered via repeater triangulation and the GPS satellite network, with an approximate margin of error of 10-50m depending on location] [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]

general purpose strap; informal designation of the BEDROLL STRAP, which is supposed to secure the sleeping bag (FART SACK) to the backpack (RUCK / RUCKSACK), but is widely used for many other functions ... mainly used in Vietnam to replace the SLING on an M-16 rifle for ready-use carry in a muzzle-forward position at the waist (instead of muzzle-up or muzzle-down over-the-shoulder carry). [cf: pigging string]

GQ :
(gee-cue) General Quarters; the damage-control or enemy-action station assigned to MIL-PERS during emergency or combat situations; also called "battle station" during alert or alarm. Compare FIRE QUARTERS, COLLISION QUARTERS; see STAND-TO, TOCSIN.

the free and unmerited love of God, His favor and forgiveness, being an acknowledgement of one's blessings or benefactions when surrounded by misfortune and disaster, as in "There but for the grace of God go I."; this phrase is usually traced back to the Protestant martyr John Bradford.

the specific RATING of an individual servicemember, regardless of current assignment or temporary RANK; also called PAY-GRADE, and expressed as an alphanumeric designation (eg: E-1..., W-1..., O-1...). GRADEs are: enlisted (EM) E-1/E-3; junior NCO E-4/E-6; senior NCO E-7/E-8; SUPER GRADE NCO E-9/E-10; junior warrant officer W-1/W-2; senior warrant officer W-3/W-5; junior officer / company grade officer O-1/O-3 [except USN O-1/O-4]; senior officer / field grade officer O-4/O-6 [except USN O-5/O-6]; FLAG officer O-7/O-11. See BUCK, ACTING JACK, GADGET, FROCKED, BREVET, PULL RANK; compare RANK, RATING, RELATIVE RANK. [cf: first among equals ("primus/prima inter pares")]

Robert Strange McNamara was the principal architect of the GRADUATED RESPONSE strategy, also known as "graduated pressure", "gradual response", and "incrementalism"; which advocated the use of SVN as a "laboratory" for testing limited warfare techniques to be used to counter "brush fire" conflicts and wars of national liberation, as an alternative to the Eisenhower doctrine of "massive response" or "Mutually Assured Destruction" (MAD). Based upon their military experience, the JCS argued that there is no such thing as a "little war" (like being a little bit pregnant), and that "half measures" was a formula for disaster; but every senior officer who disagreed with the statistical management policy was either ignored or dismissed/ cashiered. To test the doctrine of GRADUATED RESPONSE strategy, in 1964 the JCS conducted the "Sigma" WAR GAME exercises set in a hypothetical Vietnam-type scenario, and the results predicted all of the tactical and geopolitical problems which eventually occurred; but Maxwell Taylor and Earl "Bus" Wheeler quashed the reports, so that SECDEF and POTUS never knew about them, and remained ignorant of the military's evaluation. Compare FLEXIBLE RESPONSE; see WHIZ KID, JCS, WARS OF NATIONAL LIBERATION, BRUSH FIRE WAR, PROXY WAR, LIMITED WAR. [nb: the doctrine of gradual escalation or incrementalism for limited warfare missions was later reinvented as "compellence" (re: 'compel' / 'compellent'), which was coined for its similarity to 'deterrence']


informal reference to Archibald Henderson, the fifth Commandant of the Marine Corps, whose tenure in office has been the longest (38 years), acting from 16 September 1818 then appointed 17 October 1820; he was the first to be promoted "Colonel Commandant" (Brevet Brigadier General) in the days before the military awarded medals. Henderson is reputed to have tacked a note to his door stating: "Gone to fight the Indians, be back when the war is over."

(forthcoming); Winfield Scott, Douglass MacArthur


a device consisting of one or more hooks or clamps that's used for holding or grasping; also called a "grapple", "grappling iron", "gang hook", or "creep". Also, a small anchor or anchor-like device with three or more flukes that's used for grappling or DRAGging; as derived from "grape hook".

the clutter at the lowest extreme of RADAR detection, generated by interference and false returns; see MOWING THE LAWN, UNDER THE RADAR. Also, to fly as low as possible, at or below treetop or building level, "down in the grass" so to speak, so as to pass under the surveillance screen of RADAR and avoid detection; see CONTOUR FLYING, NOE. Also, a common metonym for the field or jungle, the hinterlands or outback, being any remote area away from BASE CAMPs or cities, especially represented as the "tall grass"; see BUSH, BOONDOCKS / BOONIES, THULE, TULE, THE J, INDIAN COUNTRY, APACHE COUNTRY, BANJO COUNTRY. Also, the most common cognomen for marijuana; see CAN SA, STICK, THAI STICK, PIGTAIL, STONED, TAR, HAY, HUBBLE-BUBBLE.

the Piper L-4 or Cessna L-13, being a light, propeller-driven, single-engine, high fixed-wing, two-seat monoplane used by USA/USAF/USMC for liaison, observation, and forward air control (FAC) missions; see BIRD DOG. Also, slang for a prostitute who performs SHORT-TIME sex outdoors, laying in a park or field for lack of a room or crib, as used since WWI; see BUTTERFLY, LBFM, LULU THE ZULU, CHOCOLATE BUNNY, CAMP FOLLOWER, CAMPAIGN WIFE, SLEEPING DICTIONARY, HORIZONTAL COLLABORATOR, BOOM-BOOM, CHURNING BUTTER, HOOKUP. [aka: prostitute, hooker, strumpet, fornicatrix, trollop, bawd, doxy, tart, jade, soiled dove, chippy, baggage, fancy woman, joy lady, joy-girl, streetwalker, call girl, woman of ill fame, woman of ill repute, lady of the night, woman of easy virtue, scarlet woman, painted woman, loose woman, kept woman, fallen woman, courtesan, demimondaine, jezebel, harlot, whore, hussy, floozy, bimbo, wench, slut, wanton, hustler, slattern, tramp] [nb: many young women during WWII, enthralled by the wartime drama and excitement, became "uniform groupies" who were sufficiently "khaki wacky" to express their ardor by casual favor or intimacy bestowed upon almost any serviceman for simple companionship; such patriotic chippies or amateur trollops were known as "V-girls" (probably by analogy to B-girl), with the dual implication of "victory" and "venereal"] [nb: the American GI's standard reference for a "woman of easy virtue" during WWI was Miss Laycock and WWII was Mary Quicklay, during Vietnam was Susie Rottencrotch or Mary Meatgrinder, while any Asian was either Madam Butterfly or Suzie Wong] [cf: vivandière] [nb: the "comfort girls" who were employed as contract prostitutes to serve the sexual needs (TRICKs) of Imperial Japanese troops in the field, usually at a COMFORT STATION or SIN CITY, were called "shock absorbers" by the Allied POWs who happened to observe their (mis-)treatment]

a turn of the century expression for the common or ordinary people, especially as contrasted with the elite or privileged class, though they be conspecific; the rank and file of a social organization or political party; compare RICEROOTS, see HATCH ACT. Also, the people inhabiting the agricultural and rural areas of a country, constituting a social, political, or economic group; see THIRD ESTATE, BOOJIE, SILENT MAJORITY. Also, the essential foundation or fundamental basis of something, being a metaphor for the primary or principal part of a concept or its development. [nb: "astroturfing" is a term used in politics and advertising to describe public relations (PR) campaigns that (falsely) seek to create an impression of spontaneous or ingenuous behavior, of unsolicited or independent action, hence is a metaphor for "fake grassroots" support; so-called after the trademarked synthetic product, being a carpetlike covering of vinyl and nylon, that's made to resemble turf ... artificial grass(-roots)]

in cartography, a network of lines representing the earth's parallels of latitude and meridians of longitude; also called GRID LINES. Compare RETICLE; see SCREEN.

in cartography, short lines that indicate where selected meridians and parallels intersect; compare CROSS HAIRS.

see BONEYARD, GARDEN OF STONES, NATIONAL CEMETERY, DAVY JONES'S LOCKER, BOX JOB, LAID BY THE WALL, MORTUARY AFFAIRS, GRAVES REGISTRATION. [nb: the Chinese lifestyle focused on the importance of three dwellings: the home, the temple, and the grave: the home was the place where a person lived with his relatives; the temple was the place where a person lived with the gods; and the grave was the place where a person lived in the future ... each place should be welcoming and suitable (according to feng shui)]

a program that provides for the search, recovery, tentative identification, and evacuation or temporary interment of a corpse, including the disposition of PERSONAL EFFECTS; temporary interment may only be authorized by the geographic combatant commander. See KIA, DOW, NOK, KINFORMING, HUG SQUAD, GHOUL, BODY BAG, RICE KRISPIES, PICNIC, CRISPY CRITTER, FLOATER, CREATURE FEATURE, MORTUARY AFFAIRS, RECOVERY, CIL, JPAC, BODY-SNATCHER, PRP, LAID BY THE WALL, NATIONAL CEMETERY, BOX JOB, BONEYARD, GARDEN OF STONES, TOMB, CATAFALQUE, DAVY JONES'S LOCKER. [v: rigor mortis, algor mortis, autolysis] [nb: funeral (disposal) versus funeral ritual (memorial); about a third of veteran burials in NATIONAL CEMETERYs are unattended, and veteran family burials are stacked in the same gravesite; while graveyards in America are relocated whenever the public requires the space (eminent domain), the gravesites in European cemeteries have long been exchanged for replacement occupancy, sometimes stacked, sometimes vacated; mortuary options include: (burial) decomposition, (immolation) cremation, (predatory) digestion, (transplant/dissection) medical research,(lime) water reduction, in line (ph neutral) composting, or freezedry pulverization] [nb: although the immolation of a corpse on a pyre was used in ancient Europe (eg: Vikings, Greeks) and is a Hindu tradition, cremation was not employed as a method of corpse disposal in America until 1874, but is now the preferred mode, with cremains either scattered or vaulted in a columbarium; the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not regulate crematoria, because the public does not want the reduction of human remains to be treated like the disposal of "solid waste" (incinerators are regulated by the Clean Air Act)]

slang for 'adipocere', being a waxy substance produced by the decomposition of dead animal bodies in moist or submerged burial places; see FLOATER, CREATURE FEATURE, RICE KRISPIES, CRISPY CRITTER, TADPOLE.


the egg or young of a parasitic insect, especially of louse/lice or of CRAB/crabs, often attached to body hair or clothing fibers; also called "nit", COOTIE, vermin, or pest; compare ASSASSIN BUG, DOODLEBUG; see CHESAI DOMO TACHI, COMFORT STATION, BEDBUG, MILITARY ORDER OF THE COOTIES [v: trench fever]. Also, by extension of vermin as a slur upon character, and a derogation of gallantry by an imputation of cowardly flight, any Confederate or Rebel during the American CIVIL WAR, in contrast to "blue belly" for Federals and Union Yankees; see "galvanized Yankees" at HOI CHANH, LILY-LIVERED, FRENCH FLU. Also, a natural camouflage pattern of gray above a white underside, as with whales and sandpipers, which coloration is imitated by airplanes and submarines; see CAMO, COUNTERSHADING, DAZZLE, INTERNATIONAL ORANGE, WAR PAINT, PLIMSOLL MARK, LOAD-LINE MARK.

a person who wields unofficial power, often surreptitiously or privately, especially through another person; as a literal translation of éminence grise from the French. See SECOND BANANA, WISE MEN, WHIZ KID, MANDARIN, BRAIN TRUST, KITCHEN CABINET, BEST AND BRIGHTEST, SILVER-TAIL, CZAR, FLOWER POWER, FIFTH COLUMN, SOFT TYRANNY, DIP CO. [v: graybeard, sage, magus/magi]

designation for any component or nation that is not identified as BLUE FORCE or RED FORCE, such as a neutral, especially when war gaming or during training exercises. See CPX, FTX, JTFEX, JRTC, NTC, GQ, WAR GAMES, GREEN FORCE, ALLY, FRIENDLIES; compare PURPLE FORCE, ORANGE FORCE, OPFOR, BANDIT, BAD GUYS, BELIEVER.

mechanical equipment that's been manufactured without regard for copyright or trade conventions, especially imitated weapons and cloned electronics, being inferior products that are developed by "reverse engineering" a superior product that was developed by empirical research; such counterfeits in wartime are rationalized by the pressure of a national emergency, but many nations justify this conventional practice as an economic necessity imposed at all times by the disparate competition inherent within capitalism ... because suits to restrain infringement must be brought in the country where the fraud was perpetrated, before a judicial system sponsored by the same government that condones such deceptive production, the only alternative to exploitation is embargo. [nb: although the design of the American-made 7.62mm M-60 machinegun was inspired by the WWII-era German MG-42, the weapon that's been copied the most by other nations is the Kalashnikov AK-47, which too was adapted from captured WWII-era German MP-43 and SPG-44 rifles]

a means of preventing prosecution, as for ESPIONAGE or TREASON, by threatening to disclose government secrets during trial to the media in open court; this form of extortion ('blackmail') is one of the justifications for transferring custody of spies and terrorists to the jurisdiction of military tribunals ... in the business world, where intimidation can be bought-off with money, this practice is called "greenmail". Also, slang for unsolicited SPAM and other indeterminate or suspicious e-mail; see HATE MAIL, FLAME-BAIT, NETRUSION. [cf: flame, spam; v: mung, CAPTCHA]

the selling of scarce or rationed goods; compare WHITE MARKET, BLACK MARKET, CONTRABAND. [cf: hole-and-corner business; v: dirty money]

a transient dimming of awareness and a haziness of vision resulting from a temporary lack of oxygen or impaired circulation; this condition of half- or semiconsciousness is also called BROWN-OUT. During a heavy GREYOUT, where vision is severely impaired, pilots can still hear, feel, and speak. Compare BLACKOUT, RED-OUT; see TELESCOPING, DISSOCIATION, G-FORCE, G-LOCK, G-SUIT. [v: visual blackout (amaurosis fugax); hypnopompic]

since the Vietnam-era, the common reference for dirty water from sinks, showers, bathtubs, washing machines, and the like, which is not contaminated or polluted, that can be recycled, as for use in flushing toilets. Compare BLACK WATER; see SLOP CHUTE, WATERWORKS, COMFORT STATION.

low sweeping fire, which has the virtue of striking the enemy whether they're moving up or down; more effective than shooting too high ("headhunting", "sky punching") or shooting too low ("tunneling", "trenching") and wasting AMMO.

a lubricant, originally being the soft fat or rendered oil from animals, but displaced in the modern era by synthesized alternatives; see PETROL, JUICE, CHERRY JUICE, POL, LSU / LSA, CLP, WD-40, COSMOLENE, THE DEVIL'S WATER. Also, slang for influence or leverage, especially corrupt or illicit clout; also called "inveigle" or "soft soap"; see GREEN GREASE, JUICE, MOJO. Also, slang for funds, especially pelf or bribe money; also called "boodle" or "soap"; see LEGAL TENDER.

M-3A1 submachinegun
M-3A1 submachinegun, with collapsible stock, firing .45cal ACP AMMO in automatic mode; developed as a less expensive (from stamped instead of machined parts) replacement for the TOMMY-GUN. Name derives from its resemblance to an applicator for lubricating grease. See SMG.

slang reference for a mechanic (MECH), mechanical engineer, or artificer; see RAMROD, BLACK GANG, SNIPE. [nb: Vietnamese term: Co Khi, Tho May]

special projects, organized under the auspices of Special Operations Augmentation, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), and given Greek letter designations, following the Trojan Horse lineage of USSF; including Project Gamma (DET B-57), Project Delta (DET B-52), Project Sigma (DET B-56), Project Omega (DET B-50). See CAS, CSD, LEAPING LENA, STD, SOG, OVER THE FENCE, SPECIAL OPERATIONS, SPECIAL FORCES. [nb: 'alpha' [Α] represents the first or foremost in a series, and signifies beginning; 'gamma' [Γ] represents the third in a series, and signifies a progressive constant or incremental scale; 'delta' [Δ] represents the fourth in a series, and signifies incremental change; 'sigma' [Σ] represents the eighteenth in a series, and signifies the presence of all necessary components; 'omega' [Ω] represents the last in a series, and signifies final or ultimate, completion or conclusion]

a heavy, calf-length overcoat; known in the naval services as a "bridge coat". See FISH FUR, compare FIELD JACKET, BOAT CLOAK.



an allusion to the United States of America as made by Islamofascists and other hyper-religious TERRORISTs; compare EVIL EMPIRE, see DEVIL. [nb: the state of Israel is known as "Little Satan" among JudeoChristian repressers]

the official armorial badge of the United States of America was adopted by the Continental Congress in 1782, and with only minor changes in design, it has continued to validate formal government documents (eg: foreign treaties, presidential proclamations, and executive commissions) entrusted to the custody of the secretary of state; this heraldic crest consists of an American eagle holding a scroll in its beak that's inscribed "E Pluribus Unum", an olive branch in one talon, a bundle of thirteen arrows in the other talon, covering its breast is a shield with thirteen alternate red and white stripes, and a cloud above its head surrounds a blue field containing thirteen stars.

see WWI.

a submarine-launched unmanned reconnaissance aircraft; so-called after the diving bird of the same name; see UAV.

an incendiary mixture of unknown composition [viscid oil augmented by quicklime (caAD670)], that was used in warfare in medieval times by Byzantine Greeks; later used in the American CIVIL WAR against fortified cities (eg: Charleston, Vicksburg) wherein a tin tube containing an incendiary concoction that was primed with gunpowder and coal tar was borne by cannon shell onto its target for a fiery effect. Compare ROCK FIRE; see NAPALM, FLAMETHROWER, PHOUGAS, MOLOTOV COCKTAIL, ZIPPO, FAE, WP, THERMITE, COCKTAIL. [v: pyromachy]

that highly protected and richly cultivated area in Washington D.C. that contains the executive branch, including the White House and Old Executive Office Building, where workrooms are located for the president (Oval Office), his staff and advisers; by allusion to an idyllic setting or heavenly ideal, this eighteen acre plot is also called "the acres" and "the garden center". See POTUS, VP, MANDARIN, CZAR, NSC, WISE MEN, POLITICIAN, UNCLE SAM, UGLY AMERICAN, YANKEE, BELTWAY BANDIT, CIVILIAN, OLYMPUS, SOG, THE G, FOGGY BOTTOM, THE NATIONAL JOKE FACTORY, THE HILL, ALPHABET CITY, WASHINGTON WALTZ, RED TAPE, MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX.


green beret with Training Group
flash, Special Forces shoulder patch, and F-S dagger
green beret
name of the Special Forces HEADGEAR commonly known as "green beanie" and "head-shrinker", being officially authorized for wear on 21 September 1961 (coincident with the activation of 5th SFGA), and considered by President John F. Kennedy to be "symbolic of one of the highest levels of courage and achievement of the United States military"; see BLANKET HEAD. Beret FLASHes at this time were worn "tombstone fashion" (flat side down) and were made of wool felt. The unique arrowhead shoulder patch worn by Special Forces, designed by CPT John W. Frye, has been called the ELECTRIC BUTTERKNIFE and "Saigon Electric Works". The motto of USSF is: to free the oppressed ("De Oppresso Liber"). Also, nickname for the uniquely qualified MIL-PERS wearing this HEADGEAR, who is properly identified as an "SFer" or "Forceman"; see SF, ELECTRIC BUTTERKNIFE, BLANKET HEAD, SNAKE-EATER, SNEAKY PETE, SFQC, GABRIEL, BRONZE BRUCE; compare RED HATS, BLACK HATS. [nb: the GREEN BERET was designed in 1953 for SF wear by CPT Herb Brucker, an OSS veteran and original member of the 10th SFGA, in imitation of British commandos and European paratroops; USSF is indebted to the British SAS for training and doctrine, as well as the distinctive beret; the SAS motto ("Who Dares, Wins") has been jocularly converted into 'Who Cares Who Wins?!' with the implication that "fight" is what professional soldiers do!]

a tradition of family service in the armed forces, especially an ancestry of military careers (ie: legacy RING-KNOCKER), is expressed as having "green blood" or of "bleeding green". This heritage of a "higher call to duty" transcended race and religion long before civil rights mandates ... if you and yours are born and bred by "Mother Army" or "Holy Mother Army", then you are green all the way through! See BRAT, ARMY SOUP, SUDS ROW, SEPARATE RATS, OFFICER'S WIFE, COW, LADY, DISTAFF, PETTICOAT COMMAND, THE MOTHER-IN-LAW OF THE ARMY, THE DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT, GREEN MACHINE, LONG GREEN LINE, CASTE; compare BLUE BLOOD, RED-BLOODED. [cf: "root-digger" geneologist] [nb: a multi-generational lineage of police service is similarly expressed by "tin in the blood", "tin blood", and "silver blood"] [nb: until the Vietnam-era, the military did not recognize the spouse or other dependents of enlisted personnel below the non-commissioned officer ranks] [nb: "I'm just not in the Army, my family is and it's a very different life. We moved 27 times, and I had a son who was in four different high schools in a four-year experience -- and that's not fair to him. The lifestyle is challenging, and you have to want to do this, and you have to have a spouse who is as committed as you are, and really receives joy and feels her own growth and development is taking place as a result of this lifestyle that she's a part of." by GEN Jack Keane]

slang for the STARLIGHT scope, which is a light amplifying telescope used to see ghostly images at night; derives from the down-range image of a bright green spot projected from the objective lens whenever operated. See NOD, NVG, NVD, I2, PEEPERS. [nb: in The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (1895), the eyes of the subterranean 'Morlocks' (the evolved industrial race who fed on the pastoral 'Eloi') were also photoluminescent]

a green coloration, caused by atmospheric refraction of the upper portion of the sun, that's occasionally seen as the sun rises above or sinks below the horizon; also known as "zodiacal light" for its occurrence in a narrow band called the 'zodiac' or plane of the ecliptic; compare PINK TIME, RED FLASH, LOOM. [cf: half-light, Purkinje shift, crepuscule, eventide, evenfall, gloam, gloaming, sunset, sundown, cockshut, vespers, prime, matin, cockcrow, daybreak, nightfall, dawn, false dawn, dusk, first light, first dark, last light, civil twilight, astronomical twilight, night-sky light, airglow; v: chromosphere, spicule, plage]

designation for any allied component or nation, especially when war gaming or during training exercises. See CPX, FTX, JTFEX, JRTC, NTC, GQ, WAR GAMES, BLUE FORCE, ALLY, FRIENDLIES, GREEN ON GREEN; compare RED FORCE, PURPLE FORCE, ORANGE FORCE, OPFOR, BANDIT, BAD GUYS, BELIEVER.

useful guidance from an authentic source, as to "grease the rails" or "smooth the path" with the "real low-down" or "ins and outs" of the system; also known as POOP, scoop, skinny, THE WORD, GOUGE, DOPE, HOT-SHIT. Phrase is probably a simple alliterative combination of military color and lubrication, but might allude to an exchange of sexual favor for protection.

an untrained or inexperienced person, as a tyro or neophyte; see NEWBEE, CHERRY, FNG, NUGGET, CHUM, FRESH CATCH, SHOWER SHOE. Also, someone who's newly arrived, as a newcomer or in-comer; see TURTLE, SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION. Also, a naive or gullible person; as derived from the immature horns or velvet antlers of herbivores.

USAF 20th Special Operations Squadron; based at Ban Me Thout, flying UH-1F transport and gunship helicopters in support of Project Sigma, Project Omega, and CCS. See PONY. [nb: after the evacuation of HICKORY was compromised by inadequate air assets, the 20th SOS was reassigned to CCN/TF1AE.]

signifies a "safe" or "unopposed" landing zone; not to be confused with "secure". Compare RED LZ.

collectively "the military", as a gigantic and impersonal process; with the "Big Green Killing Machine" specifically referring to anonymous combat troops. The "big green machine" is also called "Mother" (eg: "Mother Army" or "Holy Mother Army") for the total care it provides to its multi-generational legacy adherents. It's also sardonically known as the GREEN WEENIE or the "big green dildo" for the impersonal abuse implied in "bend over - here it comes again" (BOHICA). See WARM BODY, LONG GREEN LINE, GREEN BLOOD, CASTE.


a euphemism to describe air, artillery, or small-arms fire from Allied elements, components, or forces that is accidentally or mistakenly directed at or impacting upon other Allied personnel or positions; also called "misadventure" and FRIENDLY FIRE. These incidents can also be classified, depending upon participants, as "Blue on Green" or "Green on Blue". See SHORT-SHOT, GREEN FORCE; compare BLUE ON BLUE, RED ON RED, FRATRICIDE, FRAGGING, BLANKET PARTY.

the training phase for PILOT applicants undergoing advanced instruction in special operations aviation techniques, as a prerequisite for participation with the NIGHT STALKERS, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR).

informal reference to the Army CLASS-A uniform worn by enlisted (EM), non-commissioned (NCO), and officer personnel. [nb: the human eye can discern more shades of green than any other hue; see AG, OG, OD, compare ASU] [nb: except for rifle regiments separate from infantry and dragoons from before the War of 1812, the U.S. Army wore blue uniforms until the adoption of KHAKIS and FATIGUES, so when the CLASS-A uniform was redesigned in 1954, the color Army Green (AG44) was selected for its historical link to the early riflemen and SHARPSHOOTERs; then in 2008, the traditional Continental Army blue color was restored]

slang for an Army officer wearing the green CLASS-A uniform; see BLUE-SUITER, compare EMPTY SUIT.

combat leaders are distinguished from others of the same rank or unit by the wearing of a green felt backing behind the unit CREST (DI/DUI) and encircling the EPAULET on the CLASS-A uniform. The GREEN TAB may be worn on FATIGUES, centered on each EPAULET, without the CREST. This tab was probably inspired by the "red tab" worn by British staff officers, under the supposition that every military uniform alteration has been inspired by imitation of some more attractive foreign uniform. The GREEN TAB was first authorized in 1943 by Dwight D. Eisenhower to recognize the importance of leadership in combat. Compare CIB, GOLD STAR; see LDR.


seawater that doesn't break up into spray or spume, especially the solid swell or wave that washes aboard a vessel; compare BLUE WATER, WHITE WATER, BROWN WATER, BLACK WATER. [nb: a "green-water navy" is a defensive force operating within its territory, being that margin between the "brown-water navy" and "blue-water navy"]

US Army Commendation medal
slang for the Army Commendation Medal (ARCOM); presented for valor or service rated less than the BRONZE STAR MEDAL. It's so nicknamed because everybody received one if they didn't screw-up! Equivalent to the Air Force, Coast Guard, and Navy-Marine Commendation Medals. The Army attempted to restore the ARCOM's prestige by introducing the Army Achievement Medal (AAM) for recognition of lesser accomplishments, but its award became immediately political when differentiated by RANK instead of deed, reminiscent of the EIB "combat" badge. See GONG, MSM, LOM, DSM, DEVICE, OLC, V-DEVICE. Also, slang for the gigantic and impersonal "Big Green Killing Machine" or "Mother Army" (aka: "Holy Mother Army"), which is also sardonically known as the "big green dildo" for the impersonal abuse implied in "bend over - here it comes again" (BOHICA). See GREEN MACHINE, LONG GREEN LINE, WARM BODY, GREEN BLOOD, CASTE.

an imaginary being believed or alleged to cause mechanical failures in aircraft, technical problems in any complex mechanism, or mischievous disruptions in any activity; a type of pixie or sprite that was tagged with the term for a British Royal Air Force (RAF) subaltern. See FIFINELLA, LOAD TOAD, BUG, NOISE, MURPHY's LAW, DISGRONIFICATOR, SEAT OF THE PANTS, TIGER BALM; compare SNIPE HUNT, BOGIE. [nb: Roald Dahl attempted to collaborate with Walt Disney on an animated film about mischievous gremlins, but plagiarism challenges compelled him to limit himself to publishing only a collection of stories (1943) about gremlins plaguing airplanes during WWII] [cf: bogey / bogy, bete noire, bugaboo, bugbear, goblin, hobgoblin; problem, trouble, irritant, nuisance, aggravation, vexation, annoyance, botheration, threat]

following a military coup, American troops invade (1983) to protect and evacuate residents, and to depose the hard-line Marxist regime; see Operation URGENT FURY.

Mills Bomb
Mills Bomb
pineapple grenade
pineapple grenade
lemon grenade
lemon grenade
baseball grenade
baseball grenade
small shell or MISSILE for conveying smoke, gas, or explosive by hand, rifle, or other launching method; including CS, WP, smoke, rifle, hand delayed fragmentation, each of which was shaped differently and color-coded for quick confirmation. The hand GRENADE is sometimes called a "hand bomb" or "egg". During Vietnam, the old cast "pineapple" hand-grenade, based upon the WWI British Mark 1 Mills Bomb, which was ineffective when wet and would often explode into irregular chunks, was replaced by wire-coil "lemon" and LASER-cut "baseball" styles (ie: M-26, M-33, M-67, M-68) for more consistent dispersions. Because smoke-grenade FUZEs were faster, many BOOBY-TRAPs employing hand-grenades used these shorter FUZEs as replacements. A proposed Frisbee-style hand GRENADE, which could travel farther and deliver more explosive destruction, was experimentally tested during the VIETNAM WAR but was never developed. The enemy used manufactured and improvised stick-grenades, with the FUZE in the handle. See FRAG, GAMMON GRENADE, SHRAPNEL, CONCUSSION GRENADE, BLOOPER, THUMPER, OVER 'n' UNDER, RIFLE GRENADE, LAW, RPG, CS, BANGER, FLASHBANG / FLASH BANG, MCCM, POP SMOKE, SOUP CAN, SPOON, SUMP, MUSETTE. [v: pomegranate] [nb: the frisbee disk was purportedly developed from the concave pie tins of the Frisbie Pie Company in Bridgeport CT, but it's also alleged to be eponymous after William Russel Frisbee]


first propounded (1855) in the financial realm, where an inferior currency drives a stable currency out of circulation by hoarding, this tendency has since been extended throughout commerce, where an inferior product devalues the superior product by scarcity, and later into general administration, where lowered standards become normative; this denigration has occurred in the military where standards are reduced and readiness is slackened, making defense vulnerable. The proliferation of fakes and synthetics, of frauds and imitations, of phonies and simulations devalues whatever is real, genuine, authentic, or true; popularity can't make anything right, great, or worthy; but it can corrupt everything.

USN Grumman C-2 cargo and passenger aircraft, procured for Carrier On-board Delivery (COD) landings instead of the larger HERCULES C-130; see BIRD.

a six- or eight-digit number, derived from reading left-to-right-and-up on the scale of a topographic map, to accurately place a position or target. Land navigation plots were almost never sent in "the clear" (uncoded). Plots were usually given from a prearranged Reference Point (RP), or were KAK (SHACKLE) encrypted. See AZIMUTH, COMPASS, CONTOUR LINES, GRID LINES, DEAD-RECKONING, COMICS, TOPO, MAP, CHART, SLANT DISTANCE; compare UTM, MGRS, GPS, INS, AIS, SRTM, LORAN. [nb: during AD 100, developed "quantitative cartography" with X-Y overlays, such that GRID COORDINATES and graduated scale could be accurately discerned]

to make a grating sound, as by harsh scraping or grinding; see NOISE. Also, to cut or pierce.

the right-angled intersection of two sets of parallel lines, which squared formations of standard scale are superimposed upon maps, charts, and similar representations of the earth's surface, permitting accurate and consistent identification of ground locations, and the determination of direction and the computation of distance relative to other locations; properly called 'graticule', and also known as "grid" and "military grid", which forms the basis of the "Military Grid Reference System" (MGRS). The introduction of navigation satellites has enabled the refinement of cartographic grid references by the addition of adjustments for the curvature of the earth's surface from geodetic surveys, which enabled the position of features on the earth to be more precisely defined in a process that's been ongoing since the North American Datum treaty of 1983 (NAD 83), that was agreed among Canada, Mexico, Denmark, and the United States. See AZIMUTH, COMPASS, CONTOUR LINES, LAT-LONG, GRID COORDINATES, DEAD-RECKONING, COMICS, TOPO, MAP, CHART, SLANT DISTANCE; compare UTM, MGRS, GPS, INS, AIS, SRTM, LORAN. [nb: the idea of grid lines seemingly migrated from ancient Greece to China, and then had to be re-introduced to the West because it had been lost; however, many technologies, from the compass and the seismograph to explosives and sericulture, migrated from China to the West, which developed them so much more, that when they returned, they were far superior]

a nonexistent object that a novice or tyro is required to obtain in the same manner as any other SNIPE HUNT objective; compare MERMAID, DRAGON; see GRID LINES, GRID COORDINATES, CONTOUR LINES.



to endure difficulty with aplomb, to exhibit savoir-faire with equanimity, to demonstrate sang-froid or imperturbability when imperiled; also expressed as "put a bold face on it", as to make the best of a bad or disagreeable situation. See BITE THE BULLET, SLOW MATCH, WINTER SOLDIER, DIEHARD, GUTS, MOXIE, ONIONS. [nb: the Scout's Law (by Robert Baden-Powell) admonishes: "A Scout smiles and whistles under all difficulties."]

in NavSpeak, an assembly area; the area (from a clear deck to a paved lot) designated for formations and drill, inspection and exercise; see PARADE DECK, COMPANY STREET. Also, in NavSpeak, an OBSTACLE COURSE; compare CONFIDENCE COURSE.

rhyming slang for DINING-IN; see BLAST, FEATHERS, WITH BELLS ON; compare SIGG.


slang for a detailed and itemized list of defects and deficiencies that must be corrected before the next operation or pre-operational inspection, especially shortcomings pertaining to vehicles and to air or watercraft. See DEFECT, BUG, NOISE, DX, DRMO, CHARGE SHEET; compare DISGRONIFICATOR, SNIPE HUNT, ZERO DEFECTS.

a MIL-SPEAK corruption combining 'gripe' and 'grapevine', being an interpersonal method of communication, of distributing information, or of spreading gossip, especially in an annoyingly self-serving and repetitive manner; see SCUTTLEBUTT, BAMBOO TELEGRAPH, POOP, GOUGE, THE WORD, GREEN GREASE, FLAME-BAIT, BACK CHANNEL, RUMOR.

a mixture of rum and water, often flavored with lemon, sugar, or spices and is sometimes served hot, that was issued to the military in early America until this allotment was replaced in the 1832 commissariat by the coffee ration [nb the Naval officer's wine mess was abolished in 1913]; this issuance is imitative of British military practice, and the term derives from the nickname ["Old Grog" (referring to his grogram cloak)] for Admiral Edward Vernon, who ordered the dilute mixture to be served from 1740 instead of pure spirits. Also, any alcoholic drink; see HOOCH, BREW, JUICE, IRISH SODA POP, GROUP TIGHTENER, DEAD-SOLDIER, GUSTO, SPLICE THE MAINBRACE, TOAST, HATCH, HOIST, SUNDOWNER, DUTCH COURAGE, WHISKEY WARRIOR, BYOB, CLASS SIX; compare GI JOE. [v: vivandière]

countercultural slang popular during the Vietnam-era for intuitive understanding, which encompasses the ability to communicate such knowledge sympathetically with other enlightened beings; as coined by Robert A. Heinlein in Stranger in a Strange Land (1961). [nb: "I grok mind-meld; do you grok sex-object? ... wanna tweak an' zonk?!"]

any of various rings, eyelets, or washers that are used to seal, insulate, or otherwise protect ... especially against wear by friction or stress. Also, a ring of metal, rope, or wire used to connect a line or secure a peg or pin ... as on tarps, tentage, or sailcloth. See BOLTROPE.

a MIL-PERS who is technically qualified for flight or jump status but has not been assigned to an appropriate BILLET in an active duty unit for any number of reasons (eg: medical profile) or no reason (eg: luck of the draw); a GROUNDED paratrooper is known as a "jump chump", and a GROUNDED pilot is said to be "flying a desk" ... similarly, a sailor stationed ashore is said to be "sailing the cement boat" or "afloat in the concrete battleship".

someone who leads or escorts a vehicle by use of standardized HAND SIGNs, wands (MARSHALING BATON) or signal lights, so as to ensure its safe passage or to direct its parking in a congested area (eg: TANK PARK); when motorized, as at a parking lot, construction site, or airport apron, this functionary is commonly called a "follow me" cart or truck, which vehicle is specially marked. [v: usher, marshaler]

any MIL-PERS who serves in a job (MOS) that has nothing to do with aviation, airlift, airmobility, or aircraft; also spelled "groundhog", and sometimes called "Permanently On the Ground" (POG). This expression is used in the same discriminating way as LEG for anyone not AIRBORNE qualified. Compare PENGUIN, WING WIPER, GROUND POUNDER, GROUNDED.

any (or every) day in a combat zone where being subject to shelling or other enemy fire tends to drive people underground to avoid injury; an informal reference to the SIEGE MENTALITY exhibited by FOBBITs in Iraq and Afghanistan. This term suggests that conditions never change, that each day is long and hot, and that the same events recur; derived from the title of the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day.

the uncontrolled or too tight turn of an airplane during taxiing or rollout, which frequently involves one or another wing touching the ground; due to the S-turns required for clear forward visibility on aircraft with their center of gravity behind their main landing gear, TAILDRAGGER (with tail-wheel) aircraft are more susceptible to this incidence than tricycle gear (with nose-wheel) aircraft. Compare LOOP, TURN TURTLE, AUGER-IN, NOSEDIVE, PANCAKE, ALUMINUM RAIN, BOUNCE; see BIRD.

WWII aircraft spotter card
showing B-17E Flying Fortress
aircraft spotter card
WWII aircraft spotter card
showing Mitsubishi Type 1 Betty bomber
aircraft spotter card
a short-lived program during the 1950s conducted by Civil Defense (CD) under the auspices of the Air Force (USAF) to augment RADAR defenses with ground observers trained to identify enemy aircraft by silhouette or sound SIGNATURE; imitative of similar WWII "Air Raid Warden" and of WWII Allied "Coast Watcher" surveillance systems, which successfully employed noncombatant personnel. Program was disbanded when RADAR surveillance improved. See WEFT, DEW LINE, ARGUS, SPOTTER, WATCHER, WEATHER EYE, TRAIL WATCHER.

an infantryman, being the soldier who walks to and over the battlefield; see GRUNT, BOONIE RAT, CRUNCHY, BUSHMASTER, LEG, BLUELEG, INF, 03, SNUFFY. Also, any MIL-PERS who serves in a job (MOS) that has nothing to do with aviation, airlift, airmobility, or aircraft, especially a member of the Air Force who's not on flight status, but is "Permanently On the Ground" (POG); see GROUND HOG, PENGUIN, WING WIPER, LEG, GROUNDED. Also, slang for the pilots and aircraft providing close air support (CAS) to ground elements; also called "mud pounder" or MUD MOVER.

the basic rules, or that set of governing principles, for proper conduct that should prevail in any situation or in any field of endeavor [cf: code of ethics]; as derived from the special or exceptional rules that are adopted in sports [eg: "ground rule double" in baseball] for dealing with interference and other pertinent circumstances. See ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, EXTRAORDINARY POWERS, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), LAWS OF WAR, CREED, CODE OF CONDUCT, HONOR CODE, DUTY.


the point at, below, or above the center of a planned ("desired ground zero") or actual ("actual ground zero") nuclear detonation; the epicenter, central point, or target area at which a bomb explodes, especially an atomic or hydrogen device; see TOT, ZERO POINT. Also, sardonic reference to the enclosed central court of the Pentagon, presumed to be a prime target impact point; see PUZZLE PALACE, SUICIDE ALLEY, WHITE WAY, MADHOUSE. [nb: this designation was later co-opted by the media and (mis-)applied to the non-nuclear impact areas from the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks] Also, any main or central focus, any significant or principal target. Also, the most elementary stage of something; the beginning, the initial or starting point of anything, being equivalent to "square one"; compare LAUNCH SITE, RV, RALLY POINT, IP, GO TO HELL POINT.

informally, any collection or assemblage of persons or things, as an element, section, or aggregation; see AD HOC, FIELD EXPEDIENT, CORPORAL'S GUARD, DETAIL, DET, POLICE CALL. Also, an administrative and tactical unit of the U.S. Army consisting of two or more battalions (BN) and a headquarters (HQ); equivalent to a brigade (BDE) or regiment (RGT). Also, an administrative and operational unit of the U.S. Air Force subordinate to a WING, usually composed of two or more squadrons (SQDN). Also, the naval equivalent of a FLOTILLA, containing two or more squadrons (SQDN) and subordinate to a FLEET. See AIR GROUP, MAG, ARMY GROUP, CSGP, ASGP, NAG / NAVADVGP, ASYMMETRIC WARFARE GROUP, SFOB, SFG. [nb: Vietnamese term: Lien Doan] [nb: six A TEAMs or ODAs comprise a company (CO), three SF Companies comprise a battalion (BN), and four SF Battalions comprise a group (effective 2007); each active duty SF Group specializes in the languages and cultures of a particular region (ie: 1st SFGA in East Asia; 3rd SFGA in Africa, Mid-East, and Central Asia; 5th SFGA in Mid-East and Central Asia; 7th SFGA in South America; and 10th SFGA in Europe)]

a euphemism for a brawl or hand-to-hand fight; also called "group grope" or "duke it out"; see BATTLE ROYAL, KING OF THE HILL, AT CLOSE QUARTERS, CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE (CQB), SMACK DOWN, UP-CLOSE 'n' PERSONAL, EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF. [cf: barratry]

a nonexistent substance that a novice or tyro is required to obtain or attend in the same manner as any other SNIPE HUNT objective; compare MERMAID, DRAGON. Also, a placatory drop of lubricating oil (LSU / LSA) or cleaning solvent that's placed on the sights of the rifle of a nervous or anxious trainee by a drill sergeant (DI) or marksmanship instructor as a placebo of encouragement so as to imbue the shooter with enough confidence for him to qualify; also known as a "shot group tightener"; see BOLO, MAGGIE'S DRAWERS, SHARPSHOOTER. Also, palliative adult beverages that are imbibed therapeutically so as to "tighten the group" by defusing interpersonal tensions, or are imbibed habilitatively so as to "tighten the shot group" by diminishing distractions and focusing on the proper target; being a liquid interlude that's designed to informally relieve stress, obviating dereliction and precluding intervention, thus hopefully refreshing everyone's professionalism.

slang nickname for the Boeing EA-18G Super Hornet; compare OLD GROWLER, see BIRD. Also, the USS Growler (SS-215), being a Balao Class SUBMARINE that was nicknamed "Kangaroo Express" during WWII. Also, an iceberg large enough to be a navigational hazard. Also, an electromagnetic device consisting of two field poles, used for indicating short-circuited coils in armatures and for magnetizing or demagnetizing objects; see DEVIATION, MAD. Also, a pitcher, pail, or other container brought by a customer for filling with beer; see BREW.

(gee-ar-ess) Graves Registration Service; see GRAVES REGISTRATION, MORTUARY AFFAIRS.


a popular nickname for an infantryman; supposedly derived from the sound one made from hoisting his overburdened backpack or lifting up his overloaded RUCKSACK. Also called GROUND POUNDER, "line-doggie", BLUELEG, BOONIE RAT, BUSHMASTER, "eleven-bravo" (re: 11B MOS), "eleven-bush", "eleven-bang", "eleven body-bag", "eleven bullet-catcher", "trigger-puller", "mud-foot", "dough-foot", "web-foot", "footslogger", "walk-a-heap", "nug" (NUGGET), or CRUNCHY. Compare SNUFFY, 03 (ZERO THREE), PNG, POG, REDLEG, YELLOWLEG; see LEG, AIT, INF, GI, DOUGHBOY, ATLAS. [ety: it can be argued that the guttural sound of discontent might be related to 'disgruntle', except that the word is not "dis-grunt", so 'grunt' must derive from 'gruntle': a contented soldier, a satisfied fighter, a happy warrior!] [nb: in an interview during the KOREAN WAR, author Robert A. Heinlein called them the "PBI": the poor bloody infantry who place their frail bodies between their beloved home and war's desolation] [nb: "pongo" is Australian slang for a soldier or Marine, probably after its primary meaning of 'monkey'] [nb: "dismounted reconnaissance" is MIL-SPEAK for patrolling on foot]

a euphemism for 'idiot-proof' or 'foolproof'; to make resistant or impervious; to make something simpler or easier to operate in a crisis, or to make something tougher or stronger for use in field conditions; any durable but uncomplicated mechanism that resists harsh treatment, so-called like 'child-proof' and 'baby-proof'. Compare BULLETPROOF, BOMB-PROOF. [v: simplify, simplistic; cf: simple tool, simple machine]

slang for work that's repetitious, often physically exhausting, and boring; tedious labor or repetitious work; also known as drudgery, dog work, or donkey work. See FATIGUE, GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK, BOONDOGGLE. [cf: make-work, busywork, hackwork, taskwork, piecework, timework, slopwork, scutwork, dirty work, hatchetwork]

GS / G.S. :
General Staff; compare JCS; see GHQ, STAFF. Also, General Schedule, being the RATING system of gradated PAY-GRADEs for civilian workers employed by the government; the CIVIL SERVICE job classification system; see EUNUCH. [nb: not "Government Service"]

General Services Administration, being the federal agency that procures or purchases, by allocations in the federal budget, all things (from staples and ink to vehicles and buildings) that are used by the federal government and its employees; compare GAO; see THE G, RED TAPE, THE EAGLE SHITS, THE NATIONAL JOKE FACTORY, ACT OF CONGRESS, FOGGY BOTTOM, UNCLE SAM, YANKEE, PORK BARREL, BELTWAY BANDIT. [nb: "Politicians and reporters tend to focus on how much a program costs or how long it will take, rather than on whether or not it will achieve its intended goal. Given the history of ineffectual and wasteful programs enabled by taxpayer's dollars, the federal government should be the last resort, not the first, for solving America's many problems." paraphrase of Donald H. Rumsfeld]

G77 :
established on 15 June 1964 by a joint declaration of seventy-seven developing countries at the end of the first United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, with the "Group of 77" being set up to articulate and promote the common economic interests of its members. As the largest Third World coalition, the G77 provides the means for the developing world to enhance their joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic issues debated in the United Nations (UN). The G77 seeks to promote economic and technical cooperation among developing countries. At its first meeting in 1967, it adopted the Charter of Algiers and began subdividing into chapters (eg: FAO, UNIDO, UNESCO, UNEP, the "Group of 24", and the "Group of 15"). The G77 is now made up of 133 emerging and developing countries, but it prefers to retain its original title for its historic significance. See UN, NATO, LEAGUE OF NATIONS, COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS, ARAB LEAGUE, NAM, ASEAN, SEATO, PENTALATERAL AGREEMENT, ANZUS, KANZUS, HAGUE TRIBUNAL, NGO, QUANGO, GOCO, COCO, OGA, BELTWAY BANDIT; compare G8, G10, G15, G20, G24.

a compartmentalized FLIGHT SUIT which automatically inflates under specific Gravity-Forces, so as to adjust the PILOT's circulation, and prevent unconsciousness, BLACKOUT, visual or mental distortion; see SUCK 'n' PUFF, JET JOCKEY; compare POOPIE SUIT, DRESS.

casualty report term meaning "gunshot wound, through and through"; see WIA, TBI, PH, DUSTOFF, MEDEVAC, MILLION DOLLAR WOUND, PINK, PROFILE, LINE OF DUTY; compare SIW, DOW, KIA.

(gee-tee-eff-oh) common abbreviation for the slang utterance: Get The Fuck Out! ... depending upon tone and volume, this shorthand statement is issued as a serious warning or as a sardonic quip ("We gotta GTFO this place!"). It's often used among friends to express disbelief of a lurid story or flamboyant brag, or to redirect a boring monologue or hackneyed discussion. Compare WTF / WTFO. [nb: 'GTT' (Gone To Texas) was commonly posted in the mid- to late-19th century as a declaration when avoiding the consequences of social change or when evading the ramifications of misconduct]

G20 :
officially created by the G7 Finance Ministers' Meeting in September 1999, and meeting for the first time later that same year, its mandate is to establish a forum for discussion and cooperation on financial globalisation; it comprises the finance ministers and central bank governors of the G7 countries (ie: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, United States) and representatives from 12 emerging countries (ie: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey) as well as the country holding the presidency of the European Union (if not a member of the G7). The European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Managing Director of the IMF, the Chairman of the International Monetary and Financial Committee of the Board of Governors of the IMF, the President of the World Bank, and the Chairman of the Development Committee of the World Bank also sit on the G20. See UN, NATO, LEAGUE OF NATIONS, COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS, ARAB LEAGUE, NAM, ASEAN, SEATO, PENTALATERAL AGREEMENT, ANZUS, KANZUS, HAGUE TRIBUNAL, NGO, QUANGO, GOCO, COCO, OGA, BELTWAY BANDIT; compare G8, G10, G15, G24, G77.

G24 :
established in 1971 to coordinate and articulate the position of the G77 developing countries on international monetary and finance system issues by meeting before the semiannual International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank conferences so as to discuss the points on the agenda at these meetings. G24 member countries include: Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Iran, Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela. See UN, NATO, LEAGUE OF NATIONS, COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS, ARAB LEAGUE, NAM, ASEAN, SEATO, PENTALATERAL AGREEMENT, ANZUS, KANZUS, HAGUE TRIBUNAL, NGO, QUANGO, GOCO, COCO, OGA, BELTWAY BANDIT; compare G8, G10, G15, G20, G77.

emergency radio frequency, continuously monitored for MAYDAY or SOS rescue transmission, by voice or tone signal broadcast at 243.0MHz UHF or 121.5MHz VHF; see RTP, PROWORD, UNICOM, FREQ, PUSH, AIRWAY, RADIO. Also, guard mount, guard post, deck watch, SENTRY; see ROADRUNNER, EARTH ANGEL, TRAIL WATCHER, ARGUS, WATCHER, POST, DETAIL, COIGN OF VANTAGE, WATCH. [v: "watch and ward"]

a building or casern for housing military personnel on guard duty; or a place for temporary confinement of military prisoners. See DETAIL, SENTRY BOX, BARBICAN, YARDBIRD, TANK, DEADLOCK, CROSSBAR HOTEL, MONKEY HOUSE. [nb: used in the same sense as "tolbooth", which was a tollbooth that was utilized as a gaol / jail] [v: dungeon, keep, oubliette, hock (sty or prison as a miserable place to live)]

a fellow inmate of a GUARDHOUSE or STOCKADE, BRIG or other jail, who has acquired a level of legalistic familiarity with military law and regulations by being repeatedly upbraided, and offers controversial advice as an imperfect warrant to anyone who will listen; also called "jailhouse lawyer"; see BARRACKS LAWYER, SEA LAWYER, YARDBIRD; compare JAG.

the proper form of address for any member of the National Guard or the Coast Guard; see NG, ANG, ARNG, WEEKEND WARRIOR, MILITIA, PARAMILITARY, RESERVE, USCG, COASTIES, HOOLIGAN NAVY.

Vietnamese nickname for Cluster Bomb Units (CBU).

partisans and/or soldiers of a subversive or resistance movement who are organized on a military or PARAMILITARY basis; as a combat ratio, one GUERRILLA can effectively monopolize at least seven to ten conventional troops, based upon the political support of the insurgents, rather than their inferior armaments or inadequate ability. See MILITIA, IRREGULARS, CAP, CIDG, MIKE FORCE, RF/PF, STRIKER, JINGPAW RANGERS, CAFE REBEL, CATCH AND GRASP, HUG, UW, COUNTER-GUERRILLA. [nb: originally referred to the Spanish resistance against Napoleon, but the name for the struggle (war) now a force or a fighter as well as tactics; cf: 'maquis' as force and 'maquisard' as fighter, which derive from "bushes that grow along country roads", the scrub or thicket in Corsican] [v: bushranger] [nb: the difference between a TERRORIST and a FREEDOM FIGHTER, a GUERRILLA and an IRREGULAR, a "militiaman" and a "defense warden", a "revolutionary" and a "criminal", a "Death Squad" and a "SWAT Team" has more to do with one's perspective and allegiance than with the il-/legality of the violent acts themselves; synonyms include: rebel, dissident, insurgent, raider, marauder, jayhawker, bushwhacker, scallywag / scalawag, firebrand, fire-eater, redneck, cracker, bummer, reaver / reiver, rascal, ruffian, brigand, outlaw, desperado, villain / villein, freebooter, pirate, buccaneer, privateer] [v: uprising, insurrection, insurgency, revolt, rebellion, takeover, toppling, outbreak, break-out, overthrow, break-through, downfall, mutiny, turning point, putsch, coup, coup d'état, or intifada (der: "shaking off")]

skits or playlets performed on the public streets or in other non-theater locations so as to express social protest or political propaganda to a casual audience; also known as "street theater". See PROTESTOR, PROVOCATEUR, YIPPIE, NEW MOBE, BLACK BLOC, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY, SUMMER OF LOVE, WE SHALL OVERCOME, THEY'LL GIVE A WAR AN' NOBODY'LL COME, STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, CAFE REBEL. [v: agitprop; strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP / SLAPP suit); cf: counter-demonstration]

military and PARAMILITARY operations conducted in enemy-held or hostile territory by irregular, predominantly INDIGenous forces. Meaning "little war", it is also referred to as partisan warfare, subversion, covert aggression, special or unconventional warfare (UW); and is a combined effort of military, PARAMILITARY, and civil action (CA) directed toward tactical offense and strategic defense. See STRUGGLE, CONFLICT, INSURGENCY, LOW-INTENSITY CONFLICT, UW, DIRTY WAR, REBELLION, REVOLUTION, CAP, SF, SEAL, STAY BEHIND, MILITIA, MINUTEMAN. [v: 'Fabian defeat' of Hannibal during the Second Punic War (c218-201BC) by Fabius Maximus; David (I Samuel 17) or Elhanan (II Samuel 21) killed Goliath of Gath] [nb: OSS DETachment 101 was organized on 14 April 1942, under the operational control of Southeast Asia Command (SEAC), and was the first allied military unit formed for sabotage and irregular warfare]

the individual who bears the official unit GUIDON in all FORMATIONs, such as a "platoon guide" or "company guide", and while standing or marching behind the platoon leader (PLT LDR / PL) or company commander (CO), this pennon bearer signals all verbal orders with a visual display so that every unit member is aware of the exact moment for executing a command. The position of platoon guide or company guide is generally bestowed upon the most outstanding enlisted man (EM) in the unit as a mark of distinction, and in preparation for further advancement. In most military organizations, the GUIDE is not in the CHAIN-OF-COMMAND, but in the Marines, the platoon guide is second in command to the platoon sergeant (PLT SGT / PS). Although a unit always forms upon its commander, as a practical matter, units normally FALL-IN upon their GUIDE before the leaders arrive; the GUIDE is the individual upon whom a formation coordinates its direction of march and regulates its cadence. See STANDARD-BEARER, HOUSE MOUSE, GOLDEN BOY, ACTING JACK, GADGET, GO TO GUY; compare COLOR GUARD, COLORBEARER, HORSE GUARD.

a small military flag or pennon [nb: triangular shape symbolic of knighthood], carried as a guide for marking, signaling, or identification. Also, the soldier carrying such a GUIDON, as a "platoon guide" or "company guide". See STARS 'n' STRIPES, COLORS, STANDARD-BEARER, COLOR GUARD, COLORBEARER, STREAMER, BURGEE. [v: pencel / pennoncel / pensil; banner / banneret / bannerette] [v: Flag Terms]

a device for efficiently beheading a person by dropping a heavy blade, guided by framing posts, upon the trapped neck of the condemned; originating during the French Revolution as a more humane form of execution, its use was advocated by Joseph Ignace Guillotin, a physician who was opposed to capital punishment; see DECAPITATION, HEADHUNTING, BLOCK. Also, any similar mechanism used to trim paper, cut metal, or the like, including an instrument for surgically removing the tonsils.


a ship sent into a mined area to determine whether it can be considered safe from influence detonations under certain conditions, or to detonate any pressure mines. Compare FALL GUY, GOAT; see MINESWEEPER.

the system of forced-labor camps in the Soviet Union (USSR), that were immeasurably worse than anything the Czarist regime had imposed, which were made infamous by the revelations of "The Gulag Archipelago" by Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (1973-5); term is an acronym for the "Main Directorate of Corrective Labor Camps". Also, any detention or hard-labor camp for political prisoners or social outcasts who've been exiled from their prevailing culture. Compare LAOGAI, CONCENTRATION CAMP; see REEDUCATION, INTERNAL EXILE, PAIN, DP, POW, KEELHAUL. [cf: scientific experimentation camp (sharashka)] [v: dungeon, keep, oubliette, hock (sty or prison as a miserable place to live)]

NavSpeak slang for the general area of the Persian Gulf, which may include the Arabian Sea, Aegean Sea, Black Sea, Red Sea, Sea of Marmara, and the Suez Canal. See THE MED, FIVE SEAS, POND, FLOAT, THE MOG, ABSURDISTAN, THE STANS, SANDBOX, PERSIAN GULF YACHT CLUB, 72 VIRGINS DATING SERVICE; compare THE ROOT, THE NAM.


see TONKIN GULF RESOLUTION. [nb: officially the 'Southeast Asia Resolution' signed into law on 10 August 1964]

Southwest Asia service medal
Global War on Terrorism
Expeditionary Medal
the Persian Gulf War from 7 Aug 1990 to 28 Feb 1991. On 7 August 1990 the U.S. launched Operation Desert Shield to contain the Iraqi Republican Guard, which had invaded Kuwait on 2 August, and to comply with treaty obligations to protect Saudi Arabia, preventing further annexation; a U.S. declaration on 20 September and a UN resolution on 29 November stipulated the unconditional withdrawal of Iraqi forces and restoration of the legitimate government in Kuwait, including a deadline of 15 January 1991. A U.S.-led coalition launched Operation Desert Storm on 17 January 1991 with air attacks, followed by ground attacks on 24 February, with Kuwait City liberated on 27 February 1991; having obtained all military objectives and fulfilled its mission, the coalition declared a cease-fire on 28 February 1991. See "Black Hole" at TOC, "Ambiguity Forces" at PHANTOM OPERATIONS, "Evening Prayers" at FIVE O'CLOCK FOLLIES, "Gulf War Syndrome" at FUO, FIBUA, MOUT, MOAB, PATRIOT, SAUSAGE SIDE, SPEED BUMP, SMEZ. [nb: Persian Gulf Support (1987-88): 39 battle deaths; Persian Gulf War (1991): 269 battle deaths] Also, "Gulf War II" or "Gulf War Part Two" from 19 Mar 2002 to 1 May 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) [2003-12]; Operation New Dawn (OND) or Operation al-Fajr [2011]; Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) [2002-14]; see HAPPY SUIT, HILLBILLY ARMOR, FIRE FINDER, TANK PLINKING, CONFESSION BOX, PSF, ALLAH'S WAITING ROOM, 72 VIRGINS DATING SERVICE, PERSIAN GULF YACHT CLUB, FIVE SEAS, SANDBOX, CFACC, CFLCC, CFMCC, CFSOCC, ARCENT, CENTAF, CENTCOM, ABU GHRAIB, CAMP BUCCA, YOU CAN RUN BUT ..., GREAT SATAN, ALI BABA, SCARAB THE ARAB, ISAAC THE IRAQ, HAJJI, MUJ, RAGHEAD; compare WAR ON TERROR. [nb: OIF: 4423 battle deaths; OND: 66 battle deaths; OEF: 2289 battle deaths] [v: Gulf War Supplement]

(aka: cherry top) see BUBBLEGUM MACHINE, WIGWAG.

(forthcoming); a type of adhesive or viscid mud that's characteristic of a mire or bog, swamp or marsh, QUAGMIRE; see QUICKSAND, MANGO SHOWER, MONSOON. Also, slang for any "Cajan/Cajun" or "swamp rat"; see COON-ASS, CREOLE, REDBONE, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER.

NavSpeak slang for rectum, being the passage for the process of peristaltic elimination (not a euphemism for a disagreeable person [ie: asshole]); as in "scuttlebutt up the gump stump", and used in the same way as yinyang, wazoo / wahzoo, chocolate channel, fudge factory, poo pipe, poop chute, or SLOP CHUTE; a dysphemism for an abundance or profusion, a surfeit or surplus, a plethora or copiousness, as when denoting an excess of difficulties. [re: "When up to your ass in alligators, it's difficult to recall that your objective was to drain the swamp!"]

any device for shooting or ejecting something under pressure, especially a mechanism that forcefully propels substances or projectiles by high pressure. Also, a WEAPON consisting of one or more metal tubes, with mechanical attachments, from which projectiles are shot by the force of a chemical propellant or some other explosive CHARGE, especially a portable firearm; see PISTOL, SHOTGUN, BLOOPER, THUMPER, MGL, OVER 'n' UNDER, RIFLE, STONER, AR, CAR, BAR, SMG, TOMMY-GUN, LMG, LEWIS GUN, JOHNNY-GUN, BREN, PIG, NUMBER SIXTY, MG, HEAVY MG, FIFTY, MA DEUCE, QUAD 50, AW, GATLING GUN, MINIGUN, VULCAN, BOFORS, DUSTER, DOVER DOG, RPG, GYROJET, UP-GUN, EQUALIZER, WPN. Also, a long-barreled piece of ordnance having a relatively flat trajectory; the term for such a cannon apparently derives from shortening of either the name for an engine of war [Gunilda] or a woman's name [Gunnhildr]; see HOWITZER, ARTY, CREW-SERVED WEAPONS. Also, slang for a professional killer; also called "gunfighter" or GUNSLINGER, as someone who attacks or assails, executes or hunts down his prey, as to gun for an enemy; see HIRED GUN, MERCENARY. [v: shootist, gunsel] See GUNPOWDER, GUNCOTTON, GUNLOCK, GUNSTOCK, GUN TUBE, MAIN-GUN, SQUIRREL GUN, GUN MOUNT, GUN PIT, GUN PLOT, UNDER THE GUN, GUNPOINT, STICK TO ONE'S GUNS, GUN RUN, GUN CONTROL, SPIKE THEIR GUNS, GUN TRUCK, GUNSHIP, GUNNER, GUNSLINGER. [nb: "This is my rifle, this is my gun; this is for fighting, this is for fun!" military ditty]


a small armed WARSHIP of light draft used where the water is shallow, most notably designated River Gun Boat (RGB); see CUTTER, SWIFT BOAT, TANGO BOAT, ZIPPO BOAT, MOSQUITO FLEET, BOAT.

international relations, between powerful and weaker nations, involving the threat or use of military force; compare BIG STICK DIPLOMACY, PING-PONG DIPLOMACY; see BLOODY SHIRT, SABER-RATTLING, GUNPOINT, CROSS THE RUBICON, DECENT INTERVAL, HOT PURSUIT, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), JUST WAR, FAIL-SAFE, PROMISE, TRUCE, LAWS OF WAR.


unlike civilians, who want to ban weapons; the military prefers to educate usage and regulate firepower; also known as "fire discipline", combatants know that good GUN CONTROL is steady, well-aimed, effective fire! See ZERO, BASS, SIGHT PICTURE, PEEP SIGHT, BORESIGHT, KD RANGE, DRY FIRE, DRY RUN, RANGE CARD, FPL, MAGGIE'S DRAWERS, BOLO, BULL'S-EYE, POINT-BLANK, AIMING STAKES, ELEVATION, TRAVERSE, TRAIN, RICOCHET, DEFLECTION, WILD SHOT, BULLETPROOF, GUNSLINGER; compare ARMS CONTROL. [nb: "gun control" is not about 'guns' -- it's about 'control'!; the amateur's rule for discharging a firearm: "If anyone shoots then everyone shoots!"]

a highly explosive nitrocellulose that's used in making smokeless gunpowder, which is made by digesting clean cotton in a mixture of one part nitric acid and three parts sulfuric acid; having about six times the gas generation of an equal volume of black powder, while producing less smoke and heat, GUNCOTTON is also known as "smokeless powder", "Schultze powder", "poudre B", "indurite", and "cordite". Although GUNCOTTON is dangerous to store, this risks can be reduced by storing it wet or in oil.

formerly, any DECK on a WARSHIP (except the main or weather deck) that's laid with cannon from end to end; see TURRET, BARBETTE, SPONSON, CITADEL. Also, NavSpeak slang for misrepresent, falsify, or deceive, as when documenting work or radioing activity without performing same. [v: subreption, obreption]

NavSpeak slang for improper conduct or unprofessional comportment, as unmilitary behavior or infractions of military BEARING; being derived from the ship's "gun deck", where sailors were unobserved and unsupervised by officers (OOD) on the main deck, and where sailors could gather informally; see EYE-BALL, THE BIBLE, MISTER, JODY CALL. Also, to perform a duty in a way that it's not supposed to be done, as when taking shortcuts or falsifying reports; see REST ON OARS, CAPE HORN FEVER, GHOST, GHOST WALK, FEATHER MERCHANT, SKATE, TAP-DANCER, BOONDOGGLE, HALF-ASSED. [nb: in the 19th century Navy, the 'gun deck' was a "safe haven" for sailors, especially drunken ones returned from shore leave or liberty, and who upon reaching that sanctuary, were granted immunity from the ship's strictures on cleanliness, dishevelment, profanity, insubordination, and the like, thus serving as a vital release for restrained emotions]

the loyal Hindu water-carrier ("bhisti") for a British regiment, as celebrated in a five-stanza poem published in Barrack-Room Ballads by Rudyard Kipling (1892), wherein he is killed while tending a wounded English soldier; this fictitious character has become the archetype for all enduring indigenous comrades on the battlefield. See INDIG, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, BUDDHAHEAD, BASKET HEAD, YARD, DINK, GOOK, SLOPE, SLANT-EYE, RICE BALL, ZIP, YELLOW PERIL, YELLOW DOG, CHINDIT, FUZZY-WUZZY, WOG. [nb: "Though I've belted you an' flayed you, / By the livin' Gawd that made you, / You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!"]

very enthusiastic and ardently committed, being a Chinese term (gong he) for "all pull (work) together", which was first used as a military expression by CHINA MARINEs, who brought it to the 2nd Raider Bn during Feb 1942 during WWII. See BY THE NUMBERS, HEP, HOISE, CHANTEY, HOOAH, OORAH, YUT, WETSU, STRAC, GUSTO, BATTLE CRY, MORALE PATCH, BEATERS 'n' BLEATERS, TOOTER. [nb: according to Devious Derivations by Hugh Rawson (1994), the true origin of GUNG-HO is as the abbreviated name for the Chinese Industrial Cooperative Societies formed in 1939]


an artillerist or ARTILLERYMAN (qv). [nb: Vietnamese term: Phao Thu (cannoneer)]

the mechanism of a FIREARM by which the CHARGE is exploded; see BORE, BREECH, HAMMER, TRIGGER, CARTRIDGE, AMMO. Also, a synonym for the safety on a FIREARM. [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; v: FACE]

an alloy, commonly called "government bronze" (composed of 88% copper, 10% tin, and 2% zinc), that's cast or machined for use in valves, gears, and other parts; formerly much used for cannon. Also, any of various alloys or metallic substances, from bronze and Britannia to brass and pewter, having a dark gray color or finish, as used for chains, buckles, and other items. Also, a dark gray color with bluish or purplish tinge; also called "gunmetal gray".

a fortified place for indirect-fire CREW-SERVED WEAPONS; an EMPLACEMENT or BARBETTE. [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

informal designation for a Marine Warrant Officer; compare GUNNY. Also, any Naval Gunner's Mate, regardless of RATING. Also, any member of a gun crew who lays, fires, and maintains a cannon, especially the warrant officer in charge. Also, informal designation of the person who fires a cannon (eg: HOWITZER, MAIN-GUN, etc) or machinegun (MG), such as a MACHINEGUNNER. Also, slang for a grind or drudge, being an overachiever preoccupied with study and toil; see PROFESSOR, WIZARD, PUKE, GADGET, WALLAH, WONK.

any Marine Gunnery Sergeant, grade E-7 and above, also spelled "Gunney"; see SARGE, CHIEF, CPO, TOP DOG. Also, a sack or poke, made from jute or burlap, as a SANDBAG. Also, the strong course fabric (ie: jute, hemp, etc) used for making bags; also called burlap, sackcloth, or hopsacking. [v: gunny, gunnysack, gunny-bag, burlap bag, crocus sack, croker bag, croker sack, grass sack, dilly bag, towsack, barley sack, hopsack, tucker-bag, hessian bag, swag, bluey]

see LSA, LSU / LSA, CLP, WD-40, POL. [nb: due to wartime import constraints on petroleum products, Imperial Germany invented margarine (a glyceride of margaric acid) as a substitute firearm lubricant; which later became, with a coloring agent, a butter substitute.]

a fortified place for indirect-fire CREW-SERVED WEAPONS; an EMPLACEMENT or BARBETTE. [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

the fire control computer room for the guns on-board ship; see MISSILE PLOT.

the point or aim of a gun, as to lay a gun onto its target; see AIMPOINT, POINT-BLANK, RANGE CARD. Also, threat or intimidation by weaponry or military action, as to be "under the gun"; see GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY, BIG STICK DIPLOMACY, COVER, SABER-RATTLING, ARMS RACE, CROSS SWORDS, TRAILING HIS COAT, CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS, HEAD TO HEAD, NEUTRALIZE, ANTEBELLUM.

a combustible mixture of 75% saltpeter, 15% charcoal, and 10% sulfur that was used for detonating (eg: bombs, etc) and non-detonating (eg: propellant, etc) applications, which was invented by the Chinese around AD850 (documented 1044), and was separately reinvented in 1248 by Roger Bacon, an English scholar and scientist; also known as "black powder", it was made granular (corned in 1354, hex-/octahedral in 1875), and was made smokeless (Schultze powder in 1864), being stored in powder kegs and magazines (MAG). Refined gunpowder has been relegated since the SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR to small excavation projects, to FUSE making, and to pyrotechnic FIREWORKS demonstrations ... bringing its evolution back to its novel origin. Compare BLASTING POWDER; see EXPLOSIVE, DEMO, GUNCOTTON, DEFLAGRATION, CHARGE, BLAST, SQUIB, FIRE IN THE HOLE, KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY. [nb: because early gunpowder was impure, the potassium nitrate (niter) often contained calcium nitrate, which absorbed moisture; so exposure to wet usually rendered gunpowder unusable, since it would not ignite when damp] [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; v: FACE] [v: Guy Fawkes, Gunpowder Plot (5 Nov 1605)] [v: the sequestration of gunpowder in North America by the British military, known as the "Gunpowder Alarm", is alleged to be the true precipitate of the AMERICAN REVOLUTION] [nb: "We thought the girls had worked enough in making shirts and kissing, but now you've put the pretty dears to patriotic pissing!" Confederate doggerel; "No wonder that your boys are brave, who couldn't be a fighter, if every time he shot his gun, he used his sweetheart's niter?!" Yankee reply]

informal expression referring to a low-altitude aircraft assaulting a ground target with machineguns (MG) or ROCKETs, whether in Close Air Support (CAS) of ground troops or not; also known as STRAFE. Compare RUNNING FIRE; see SORTIE, PICKLE, AIR STRIKE, LETDOWN, BIRD.




a professional gunfighter, with the implication of being a "killer for hire", instead of a disciplined warrior; also called "gunfighter" and "bullet-thrower". See BUSTING CAPS, DOUBLE TAP, BURST, SHARPSHOOTER, KISS THE MISTRESS, KNOCK THEIR SPOTS OFF, FIREFIGHT, HIRED GUN, MERCENARY. [v: shootist, gunsel] [nb: following the Wild West motif prevalent in LBJ's "little pissant war", numerous allusions to a mythic frontier adventurism were utilized; including COWBOY, DODGE CITY, and INDIAN COUNTRY.]

a catch-phrase politicizing the choice that a state must make between National defense and social welfare; it embodies the personal and economic sacrifices that are entailed by wartime austerity. The GUNS BEFORE BUTTER sentiment was expressed in 1936 by Joseph Goebbels as: "We can do without butter, but, despite all our love of peace, not without arms. One cannot shoot with butter, but with guns."; then re-stated in a 1936 radio broadcast by Hermann Goering as: "Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat." Senator Lyndon Johnson criticized President Harry Truman for not making the sacrifices (GUNS OR BUTTER) required to prosecute the KOREAN WAR, but during the VIETNAM WAR, President Johnson was charged with establishing a policy of GUNS AND BUTTER ... this platform has persisted, with simultaneous expansion of military and welfare expenditures being "paid for" by both higher inflation and increased national debt.


an armed convoy escort vehicle, usually the DEUCE-AND-A-HALF (M-35) fitted with a ring-mounted MG, or electrically fired duo-/QUAD .50 MG. Also, a three-quarter ton truck (M-6) w/37mm gun mounted. See WAR PIG, TRUCK.


the upper edge of the side or bulwark of a vessel; also represented as "gunnel", which originated as 'gun' + 'wall', being a side-plank that had guns set upon it; see HULL, FREEBOARD, STRAKE, TOE RAIL, PLANK, HELL TO PAY. Also, the sheer strake of a wooden vessel; the uppermost strake beneath the plank-sheer; compare BOARD.

a diesel-powered SUBMARINE, sometimes called PIGBOAT, often used for surveillance and special operations missions; see SNORKEL, SNORT, PRESSURE HULL, COLLAPSE DEPTH, CRASH-DIVE, BOOMER, ASW, MAD, DOLPHIN, BUBBLEHEAD, DIPPER.

hearty or keen enjoyment, as a zest for living, especially in eating and drinking; as derived from individual 'taste' (gust, gustatory) or liking. The term undoubtedly attained its popularity among MIL-PERS by its adoption as a commercial slogan for Schlitz beer in its "passionate outburst" sense, and has been indiscriminately admixed with "It doesn't get any better than this!" from Old Milwaukee beer. This word, used alone or in a phrase like "Go for the GUSTO!", or in combination with other slogans, is often used in a wry or sardonic manner to ironically express the terrible situations and miserable conditions that are "normal" for GRUNTs in the field! ... this sarcastic usage is similar to "I'm just happy to be here!" by Marines, "Another fine Navy day!" by SAILORs, and "A dandy day for ducks!" by CIVILIANs. Being hungry, wet, cold, and tired while someone is trying to kill you, and then hearing a comrade whisper "Ahhh, the GUSTO! There's no place I'd rather be!" is a fantastic morale booster! See WETSU, HOOAH, OORAH, GUNG-HO, FIDO, MORALE PATCH, A FINE AND PLEASANT MISERY, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, TOAST, SIGNATURE, BATTLE CRY, BREW, BA MUOI BA, DRAFT, HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, GROUP TIGHTENER, LAAGER, SPLICE THE MAINBRACE, SUNDOWNER, SMOKER. [nb: long before high-tech weapons and sophisticated delivery systems existed, there was wine and beer to comfort the defeated and to enliven the victorious; "Lest they [kings and princes] drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more." Proverbs 31:5-7 KJV Bible] [v: gemütlichkeit/gemuetlichkeit (German: warm cordiality, congeniality); con mucho gusto (Spanish: with pleasure)]

a quantity of food, not particularly appetizing or nutritious, that lays dormant in the consumer's stomach, patiently waiting to explode! See SLOP, WAD, WASH, TURKEY, BEANS, CHOW, RATIONS.


a determined act or elemental response, as intestinal fortitude or "superior determination", grit, sand, gumption, backbone, nerve, daring / derring-do, pluck, vim, mettle, courage, bravery, heroism, valor, intrepidity, dauntlessness, gallantry, fearlessness; see V-DEVICE, BRAGGING RIGHTS, COUNT COUP, WATCH MY SMOKE, DIEHARD, BITE THE BULLET, SCAR, PAIN, BEARING, ONIONS, MOXIE, HERO, MACHO, SPUNK, SLOW MATCH, WINTER SOLDIER. [nb: "We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulations produce perseverance." Romans 5:3; "Grace under pressure." by Ernest M. Hemingway (ca1926)]

the milky juice of various Southeast Asian sapodilla trees, which is processed into a tough gum for use in dentistry, sports, and insulated wire as a natural thermoplastic; derived from Malay "getah perca" ('tree sap' + 'rag'). See PARA RUBBER, INDIA RUBBER. [cf: synthetic rubber; v: wild rubber]

a LINE used to guide or retain; also called a "guy-line", "guy-rope", "gob-line" (or "gaub-line"), and not to be confused with a "guideline". See BELAY, DINGLEBERRY, CORD, PARA-CORD, BOLTROPE, SHROUD, ROPE, SHOCK CORD, HIGHLINE, TYROLEAN TRAVERSE, LANDLINE. Also, the impersonal or universal everyman, anyone, pal, bub, buddy, gink, dude, bloke, cove, CHUM, brother, friend, fellow, Joe Blow, Joe Six-pack, Joe Lunchbox, Joe Lunchbucket, John Doe, Joe Doakes, John Q. Public, Richard Row, Tom Styles, Johna Nokes, Joe Bloggins, Joe Bloggs, Jack Tar, Peter Collins, Tommy Atkins / TOMMY, GI JOE.

Government of (South) Viet Nam; see SVN, RVN, VN, THE NAM.

Guerrilla Warfare Operational Area.

Global War on Terrorism
Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service
(g-w-o-t; sometimes gee-what) initials for the Global War On Terror, also abbreviated "GWT", sometimes mocked as the "Gee WhOT" (combining "gee-whiz" and "so what"), and also known as the "long war" against terrorism, which was authorized on 20 September 2001 following the 9/11 incidents. Critics of this terminology claim that it mischaracterizes the nature of these disparate militant groups and their abilities. Early in Bush's second term, SECDEF Donald H. Rumsfeld promoted a change in wording to "Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism" (GSAVE), but POTUS rejected the shift. On 3 April 2007, the House Armed Services Committee banished these expressions from the defense budget allocations as being too imprecise and colloquial, recommending that "ongoing military operations throughout the world" be used instead of these catch-phrases ... as an extension of political-correctness, and the tradition of never calling the name of the devil, it appears that this is a war that must not be named! In the continuing "war of words" (being the only kind of fighting that politicians ever engage in!), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) mandated on 25 March 2009 that the latest misnomer for GWOT would be "Overseas Contingency Operations", and terrorism dubbed as "man-made disasters". See WAR ON TERROR, JSOTF, GULF WAR, TERRORIST, UW, ANTI-TERRORISM, COUNTER-GUERRILLA, COUNTERINSURGENCY, IRREGULARS, FREEDOM FIGHTER, EURO-WEENIE, CONSTABULARY, PATRIOT ACT.

Global War on Terror[ism]; see GWOT.

altered (blend) spelling of 'GI' + 'Marine' [GIrine (jy-reen)]; the word Marine has been converted into an acronym meaning: Muscles Are Required, Intelligence Not Essential. See GI, SNUFFY, JARHEAD, LEATHERNECK, RAIDER, FORCE RECON, AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT, GUNNY, CHINA MARINE, SEAGOING MARINE, HORSE MARINE, THE CROTCH, TELL IT TO THE MARINES, MAMELUKE SWORD, USMC.

a navigational compass containing a gyroscope rotor, that, when adjusted for the latitude and speed of the vessel or aircraft, indicates the direction of true north along the surface of the earth, or communicates this information to one or more gyro repeaters; also called "gyrostatic compass". See GIMBAL, PELORUS, COMPASS.


an experimental MAGAZINE-fed rocket-firing PISTOL, made of stamped steel and plastic. The 13mm vent-stabilized solid-fuel mini-rocket had a muzzle-velocity of 1300ft/sec. The propulsive spin (gyrostabilized) acted like rifling to achieve accuracy when fired. Gyro derives from ring, circle, round; hence rotate. See SMG, SNIPER, BLOOPER.