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

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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H :
an aircraft prefix under the Joint Service Designation System that represents 'helicopter'. [nb: formerly designated 'R' (rotor / rotary)]

HA :
Humanitarian Assistance, being one of the operational missions assigned to conventional and/or SPECIAL FORCES.


Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
surveillance aircraft
SR-71 Blackbird
(forthcoming); Lockheed SR-71 surveillance aircraft, designated BLACKBIRD; representative of a snake aloft as well as an acronym for "Hellsfire All Balls Up"; see DREAMLAND, SPYPLANE.

the coordination and synchronization of wristwatches or other timers for the accurate commencement of a mission or operation; also called CHOP; see TIME. Also, in the Navy, informal term for confinement to quarters or restriction to section spaces as punishment for minor infractions. Also, to endure or tolerate something, especially an irritant or annoyance (ie: FIREFLY, GADFLY, BAD BOY). Also, a techie or electronics enthusiast (also called "hacker") who is especially adept or proficient in programming computers [nb: often confused with "cracksman" or "cracker", who uses computers to gain unauthorized access to databases and depositories]; see WIZARD, WONK, WALLAH, GADGET, PROFESSOR. Also, a professional person who surrenders independence and integrity for some reward, as a hireling for ordinary hack work; see WHITE VC, MERCENARY, LETTER OF MARQUE. Also, a mediocre or incapable person; someone who is crude, harsh, insensitive, ineffective, or awkward in performance, as by maltreatment or mistreatment; see BROWN NOSER, MAN FRIDAY, GOFER, COOLIE, CAT'S-PAW, FALL GUY. Also, a general purpose vehicle, vessel, or craft used for miscellaneous functions, as a runabout or hackney [v: chariot, hansom, drag, jitney, jingle, gharry, fiacre, tonga, gig, trap, dogcart, calash, growler, palanquin/palankeen, palki/palkee, jiao, gama, sedan chair, hand truck, pushcart, tug-truck, pull-truck]; compare CYCLO, RICKSHA, RICE ROCKET, LITTER, PEDICAB, RICE-BURNER, KIMCHI CAB, JINGLE TRUCK. [v: Japanese takushii (taxi)]

an ancient wall of defense for the Roman province of Britain, constructed across the narrowest part of the island, between Solway Firth and the mouth of the Tyne, measuring sixteen feet high and eight feet thick, with blockhouses situated every Roman mile along its 73.5 mile length, and was augmented by a parallel ditch (ten feet deep and thirty feet wide) along its north side; its building commenced in AD122 under the direction of Emperor Publius Aelius Hadrianus, and was continued in the following century by Emperor Lucius Septimius Severus, but the Picts overran it, and it was abandoned two centuries after it was erected. See STAR WARS, MAGINOT LINE, SIEGFRIED LINE, MARETH LINE, SMEZ, BERLIN WALL, IRON CURTAIN, BAMBOO CURTAIN, BAR LEV LINE, CACTUS CURTAIN, McNAMARA'S WALL, McNAMARA LINE, CHINESE WALL, DEW LINE, PHASE LINE. [cf: Antonine Wall, Great Wall of China] [nb: the Dutch built Wall Street (1652-98) as a defense against the British in New York] [nb: "The strength of a wall is neither greater nor less than the men who defend it." by Genghis Khan; "Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin; whoever builds a high gate invites destruction." Proverbs 17:19 NIV Bible]

(hay-ghar) the main character of the American comic strip "Hägar the Horrible" that was created by Dik Browne (4 February 1973) and perpetuated (1989) by his son, Chris Browne, under the new title "Dik Browne's Hägar the Horrible" in tribute; this comic strip is distributed by King Features Syndicate to fifty-eight countries and translated into thirteen languages. The "Hägar the Horrible" comic strip is a caricature of Scandinavian life in the medieval era, featuring a parody of Viking raiders who return from battle to become embroiled in the domestic trials of their Norwegian coastal village. Anachronisms are not mainstays of the strip, since its humor centers on the interactions of the characters, especially the longship crew while sacking and looting or refreshing themselves at the tavern. Hagar / Hägar, a shaggy and scruffy warrior, who somewhat resembles the archetypal caveman, is somehow endearing in his tattered tunic and horned helmet ... although a fierce fighter, he's plagued by domestic obligations. Supporting characters include: his lieutenant and best friend Lucky Eddie (Fortuitous Eduardo), his overbearing wife Helga, their sensitive son Hamlet, their inept daughter Honi, Hamlet's would-be tomboyish girlfriend Hernia, Honi's untalented boyfriend Lute the balladeer, Helga's pet duck Kvack, Hagar's / Hägar's clever dog Snert; additional characters include: Helga's shrewish mother, Helga's lecherous father, an unpleasant lawyer named Koya, a ministering monk named Brother Olaf, a druid-like physician named Dr. Zook, an unidentified soothsayer, a torturer named Mr Giggles, the Tax Collector as officious emissary of the king, the Executioner as enforcer, Dirty Dirk and Mean Max and various other Anglo-Saxon raiders. A recurrent theme is Hagar's / Hägar's unsanitary habits, like failing to wash his hands after a murderous foray or failing to wipe his feet before entering their hovel; his annual bath (scheduled 14 July) has become a time of national rejoicing and celebrations! Prior to the creation of "Hägar the Horrible", Dik Browne was the inspiration for the intellectual 'Plato' character in "Beetle Bailey", and he later (1954) partnered with Mort Walker in the creation of the "Hi and Lois" cartoon.

a world court (officially named: Permanent Court of Arbitration) established at The Hague in 1899 for the arbitration of international disputes; its jurists now nominate a list of persons from which members of the International Court of Justice (created in 1993 by the UN Security Council) are elected. See ICC, IMT, IMTFE, UNWCC, WAR CRIMES TRIAL, LAWS OF WAR, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), GENEVA CONVENTION; compare UCMJ. [v: mittimus] [v: Diplomatic Terms]

High-Altitude High-Opening vertical deployment; see HARP, JUMPMASTER, JSD, MFF, FREE-FALL, PARACHUTE.


rhyming slang for a formal "meet 'n' greet" or "mugs 'n' hugs" DINING-IN; see BLAST, FEATHERS, WITH BELLS ON; compare COMPANY PARTY, SIGG. [v: ave atque vale (Latin: hail and farewell)]


the practice of removing the head and fingers of a corpse, as performed by Salvadoran "death squads" or other TERRORISTs, to prevent identification of "the disappeared" victims. See EARS, NECKLACE, DECAPITATION, ATROCITY. [nb: during the period of Imperial Japanese colonization and WWII, local peoples would be intimidated and coerced into cooperation by the implied threat of TORTURE when a soldier asked: "Do you want a manicure?"]

terrifying or horrifying; see HAIRSBREADTH.

a very small space or distance; literally the "width of a hair". Also, extremely narrow or close; see CLOSE SHAVE, CLOSE CALL, NEAR MISS, SQUEAK; compare WITHOUT TURNING A HAIR. [nb: dysphemistically represented as a 'cunt hair' or 'ass hair': "That was near enough to trim my ass hair!" or "That only missed by a thin red cunt hair!"]

a trigger that has been adjusted so that the slightest pressure will actuate its firing mechanism; compare CREEP, see DETONATOR, TRIGGER. Also, to be put into operation by the slightest impulse, as being easily activated or set off; to immediately react or respond to the slightest pressure or the least provocation; compare HALF-COCKED, SABER-RATTLING, TRAILING HIS COAT, HEAD TO HEAD, FIGHTING WORDS, BLOODY SHIRT. [v: Firearms Glossary]

slang for scrutiny, as to get an "eye-full" when intently looking someone or something over; an exacting search or severe examination for compliance, as "give it the hairy eyeball". Also, a hard look or withering stare, as from a Basilisk, also called "dead eye" or "fish eye"; used to chide or chivvy anyone suspected of infraction or insubordination. Origin probably related to experience (old enough to grow hair) and difficulty (wild or dangerous hirsute beast), but not related to "harry/harrier", despite similarity of sound. See EYE-BALL, CHECK IT OUT, DOUBLE-O, STACKING SWIVEL, VR, EYE-CHECK, BROWBEAT, EYE-FIGHTING; compare STINK EYE. [v: "custody of the eyes"; cf: bloodshot] [nb: some lexicographers allege the etymology for 'hairy eyeball' is derived from squinting through the dense fringe of eyelashes]

located in I CTZ (MR1) on the boundary between Thua Tien and Quang Nam provinces, with Highway 1 running through it; which was the main north-south highway in Vietnam, and the principal supply route from Chu Lai and Da Nang, south of the pass, to Hue, Quang Tri, and the DMZ, north of the pass. It was a particularly treacherous pass through the mountains south of Phu Bai, just before coming into Da Nang on Highway 5. Compare MANG YANG PASS, AN KHE PASS, STREET WITHOUT JOY, THUNDER ROAD.

(had-gee) informal reference to any Mid-Eastern Muslim male, regardless of whether he has or has not made a pilgrimage to Mecca; also spelled "hadji" or "haji", being a generalized referent that's a little more polite than RAGHEAD. See ISAAC THE IRAQ, SCARAB THE ARAB, SANDY, ALI BABA, MUJ, SKINNY, STREET ARAB, BAD GUYS, INSURGENT, TERRORIST, ALLAH'S WAITING ROOM. [aka: camel jockey, camel cowboy, goat roper, snake charmer, carpet pilot, rug rider, sand flea, sand monkey, sand nigger, desert darky, dune coon, tarsh, ali baba, ahab, aladdin, habib, zalama, zol] [v: Abdullah; cf: palmer (Christian)] [cf: Hagiographa in the Jewish Tanach] Also, a convenient qualifier for any indigenous item or domestic product (eg: hajji DVD, hajji cigarettes, etc).

the enterprising Mid-Eastern merchant, being a vendor of everything from food and fine art to gimcrack and gewgaw; most often a peddler, packman, chapman, duffer, or cheap-jack but also a hawker, hustler, huckster, or COWBOY. Because markets, fairs, and shops are political extensions, most dispossessed or disenfranchised traders operate portable businesses. Compare CHEAP CHARLIE, SLICKY BOY, JINGLE TRUCK, BANDIT; see CYCLO, SLOP CHEST. [cf: comprador/compradore] [nb: unlike the agora, the marketplace originated as a secure location for the sale of particular goods or produce at specified times and prices under governmental regulation]

a monetary unit of currency in Saudi Arabia, equal to 1/100th part of the RIYAL; compare DIRHAM, see LEGAL TENDER.

slang for doing something incompletely or improperly; with the implication of only giving partial effort. This expression is related to GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK, since many believe a job not worth doing is not worth doing well. See MICKEY MOUSE, TAP-DANCER, SKATE, GHOST, BLOW SMOKE, GUNDECKING, BOONDOGGLE, MIL-SPEC, "SHAME" at PRIDE; compare HARD-ASS. [nb: obfuscation and obscurantism are widely represented by the military maxim: "Bullshit baffles brains!", sometimes called a "Well sir,..." excuse]

a condition when the hammer of a firearm is set at half-cock, being a position of relative safety for a loaded weapon, with the implication of being instantly or immediately ready for discharge; see GOOD TO GO, FAT, CHAMP AT THE BIT, MISSION READY, JUMP-START. Also, to act or speak in a rash or thoughtless manner, to be impulsive or impetuous, precipitate or heedless, as by analogy to the mechanical defect that allows a firearm to discharge when halfway safe ... typically expressed as "going off half-cocked"; compare HAIR-TRIGGER, SABER-RATTLING, TRAILING HIS COAT, HEAD TO HEAD, FIGHTING WORDS, BLOODY SHIRT. Also, lacking enough preparation or mature consideration, being ill-considered or ill-prepared; sometimes called "half-baked". [v: Firearms Glossary]

a loop flown five-eighths of the way, then returning from inverted to level flight, and leveling the airplane out; an aerobatic maneuver that essentially consists of a "Cuban Eight" being flown only halfway. See AEROBATICS. [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon]

to set a flag midway on its staff as a mark of respect, or a sign of distress; such a lowered flag is also called "half-staff". The origin of this convention seemingly derives from the practice of "dipping" the flag as a sign of respect, as when passing a station or when vessels pass each other, except the lowered pose is sustained for a day or more out of respect; however, another history contends that the national STANDARD is lowered during periods of mourning as a sign of subordination to the superior "flag" of God (which, of course, does not show), whose reign is preeminent. Compare YELLOW RIBBON, STRIKE THE FLAG, BREAK A FLAG, SHOW THE FLAG. [v: Flag Terms] Also, a non-standard indication of an informal atmosphere wherein strictures are relaxed and protocol is waived, as an alternative style promoting greater interpersonal exchange, especially in a headquarters (HQ) during meetings or councils; see BRIEFING, OFFICER'S CALL, CONFAB, EAR-BANG, CROSS-TALK, CHATTER, CHIN CHIN, POWWOW, SUMMIT; compare QUARTERDECK FACE, FLINT FACE, DEADPAN.

a MARCH command executed at regular QUICK TIME, and typically calculated as fifteen inches per step, measured from heel to heel; see BACK STEP, SIDE STEP, PACE.

a lightly armored weapons and personnel carrier with front wheel steering and rear track propulsion, mounting a cannon and/or machinegun; including T-30 HMC Half-Track w/75mm howitzer, T-19 HMC Half-Track w/105mm howitzer, M-3 Half-Track w/75mm gun, M-21 Half-Track w/81mm mortar, M-16 Antiaircraft Half-Track w/QUAD 50, . Called a "Purple Heart box" by WWII troops due to its extreme vulnerability, some models were in the ARVN inventory during the VIETNAM WAR. See TRACK, ARMORED CAR, APC, LAV.

High-Altitude Low-Opening vertical deployment; see HARP, JUMPMASTER, JSD, MFF, FREE-FALL, PARACHUTE.

a high-intensity incandescent lamp that's gas-filled and has a tungsten filament containing a small amount of a halogen (ie: fluorine, chlorine, iodine, bromine, or astatine) that vaporizes when heated, redepositing any evaporated tungsten particles back onto the filament. [v: arc lamp, xenon lamp, mercury-vapor lamp, neon lamp, quartz lamp, sodium-vapor lamp, tungsten lamp; cf: carbon arc, xenon arc]

any of various LINES or tackles for hoisting a flag, signal pennants, sail, SPAR, or other object into position; derived as a corruption of "haul yard", as to raise or fix a SPAR into place; see CORD, LANYARD.


soldier's referent for Hill 937 (Dong Ap Bia Mountain) in the Ashau Valley (ICTZ/MR1) that was the site of high casualty combat during May 1969, being an allusion to the "meat grinder" or "ground meat" aspect of heavily contested battle; a Presidential Unit Citation (PUC) was awarded to 3/101st Abn Div (Ambl) for this engagement. See LEATHERNECK SQUARE.

that part of a lock that by its fall or action causes the firearm to discharge, as by exploding the percussion cap or striking the primer or firing pin; also called the 'cock'; compare GUNLOCK, TRIGGER. Also, a tool, instrument, or device with an impact surface that's used variously for beating, striking, pounding, hitting, or driving, during construction or destruction, assembly or disassembly, forming or shaping, adjustment or tuning, such as a mallet, gavel, lever, maul, sledgehammer, including the malleus; as derived from "made of stone". Also, the informal referent for a practical combat shooting technique wherein a minimum of three and a maximum of five semi-automatic shots (eg: double tap with a triple shot BURST) are fired at the center of mass of the opposition target; given the dynamic of a fluid battlefield situation with all participants under high stress and in rapid motion, these shots will not group neatly nor form a consistently linear pattern that can be predicted (as would five aimed shots at a silhouette target on the firing range), furthermore, half of all shots fired in combat miss their target entirely due to the battlefield dynamics of high stress and rapid movement, so HAMMERing may be the most reliable method of combat engagement between armed opponents fighting at short range; compare DOUBLE TAP, TRIPLE TAP, BURST, BEAUTY MARK, SNIPER'S TRIANGLE, ROCK 'n' ROLL, SPRAY, HOSE, FLOCK SHOOT, BLIND FIRE, WILD SHOT, RICOCHET, BUSTING CAPS, OVERKILL. Also, to produce with or generate by force; to impress or present something compellingly; see MIGHT MAKES RIGHT, THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS, BRUTE FORCE, HAMMER AND ANVIL, BLOOD AND IRON, BETTER THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, DIVIDE AND CONQUER, NO REST, REALPOLITIK. Also, to settle or resolve something by earnestly intense or strenuously repeated effort. Also, to reiterate; to emphasize by repetition; see KISS.


a symbol of organized labor (consisting of a hammer with its handle across the blade of a sickle) that was adopted as an emblem of communism in 1923, and has been used as a national insignia of many socialist countries (eg: USSR, PRC, etc) in the twentieth century.

a blacksmithing allusion to working or proceeding with great vigor, determination, or vehemence; to energetically or wholeheartedly produce results; to fiercely advance. See BALLS TO THE WALL, SWEAT HOG, FIRE IN THE BELLY. [cf: "strike while the iron is hot"]

an aircraft climbing maneuver wherein horizontal flight abruptly turns vertical until all airspeed is exhausted, then the plane is pivoted (by left or right RUDDER) back down the same vertical line it just climbed; also known as a "tailslide" or "stall turn". This maneuver is sometimes mistakenly called a "hammerhead stall", but the airplane never actually stops flying and there is no wing loading from which to recover. Compare CHANDELLE; see AEROBATICS. [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon] Also, slang for blockhead, dunce, or lout; as derived from its primary definition of that part of a HAMMER designed for striking, pounding, hitting, beating, and the like; see DUD, DOPE, BOX HEAD, NUMB NUTS, SOS, TURD, DOUCHE BAG, SHIT MAGNET, DEADHEAD, YARDBIRD, FIELD REJECT, LOOSE CANNON, HOT DOG, COWBOY, SMACK.

a wrestling hold wherein one of an opponent's arms is twisted and forced upward behind his back. Also, a metaphor for any form of coercion or intimidation.

a bed of cord or canvas that hangs between two supports, with its rigging known as "clews"; a "jungle" version, which was also used as a SLING, was originally improvised from sections of General Purpose net and Swiss-Seat ropes; see RACK, FART SACK, SHAKEDOWN, FLEABAG, RUBBER LADY, DUTCH WIFE, HOT BUNKING, BILLET. Also, the system of adjustable webbing straps inside the helmet liner, to prevent injury and ensure proper fit of the helmet (STEEL POT); see HEADGEAR. Also, a tract or hillock of land elevated above the general level of marsh or swamp lands, often densely foliated; also called hummock or bayhead.

C-RATION meal of 'Ham and Lima Beans', also called "Ham 'n' Motherfuckers", "Ham 'n' Chokers", or "Ham 'n' Slimies", which was one of the more unpopular meal offerings [nb: the most popular was 'Beef with Spiced Sauce']. See CHOW, BEANS; compare TURKEY, SLOP, GUT BOMB, WASH, WAD, SOS, CHOKE. [v: sample menu of C-RATIONS]

slang for chicken kiev, being a boneless chicken breast that's been pounded and rolled around seasoned butter that's then breaded and either baked or deep-fried, as served in the MESS / MESSHALL; originating as 'Kiev-style cutlet' and also known by the names "chicken supreme", this dish acquired its epithet by a fancied resemblance to the plump corpses of small stuffed rodents. [nb: chicken kiev was invented in France during the mid-18th century for privileged Russians, then introduced in America so as to appease the tastes of the exiled Russian community in the 20th century] [cf: chicken cordon bleu (boned chicken breast with a cheese and ham filling that's then breaded and baked or fried)] [nb: the so-called "Chicken Kiev Speech" was made by then-President George H.W. Bush in August 1991 that drew a distinction between 'freedom' and 'independence', cautioning Ukrainians against "suicidal nationalism"]

to impair, disable, or incapacitate by cutting the connective tendons that bind the thigh to the knee; to cripple by severing the strings of the ham. Also, to render powerless or useless, to frustrate or thwart, as by preventing an accomplishment or by forestalling success; may also be expressed as "hogtie". See SANDBAG, SPIKE, SPIKE THEIR GUNS, WAR OF NERVES; compare ACHILLES HEEL, CHINK, GOLDEN BB, MAGIC BULLET, SILVER BULLET. [v: foil, thwart, forestall, balk, hinder, inhibit, frustrate, hamper, impede, stymie]

(forthcoming); traditional two-piece Korean dress compare CHEONGSAM, AO DAI, KIMONO, PAJAMAS. [cf: sarong, lavalava, pareu/pareo]

the distinctive telegraphic sending style of a signalman or a morse code operator; also called "fist" or "touch". A SIGNATURE or CALL-SIGN was often unnecessary due to the distinctive style of each sender. See CW, SOS, EOT, II, GA, RADIO, TAP CODE, TWX.


(forthcoming); re: 'pellet' see BUCK, BULLET, SHOT, CANISTER, CASE SHOT; compare SNOWSHOE, BASKETBALL, FOOTBALL, PLAY BALL, BATTER UP, PLAY THE GAME. [re: , pelota, fronton, jai alai, racquets, racquetball, squash racquets, squash tennis, real tennis]


typically a hand-launched, anti-personnel explosive device, such as FRAG or CONCUSSION GRENADE, gas (CS) or incendiary (WP), each of which was shaped differently and color-coded for quick confirmation; also called a "hand bomb" or "egg". See GRENADE, GAMMON GRENADE, SHRAPNEL, POP SMOKE, SPOON.


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

the person who trains, manages, and audits the performance of covert or clandestine field operatives; a "controller", "spook wrangler", or BRIEFING OFFICER. See SECRET AGENT, SPOOK, CRYPTO, FIX, SLEEPER, MOLE, THROW-AWAY, SWEEPER, STOOGE, PROVOCATEUR, NEED TO KNOW, COMPARTMENTALIZATION, TRADECRAFT; compare NIGHTCRAWLER.

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

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



term of approbation for capable or skillful SAILORs who are dexterous and adroit, deft and nimble, facile and adept; also expressed as "in hand", "dab-handed", or "sure-handed"; see SALTY, SQUID, SWABBY, OLD SALT, MOSSBACK, SHELLBACK; compare HORSE MARINE [cf: ham-handed, ham-fisted]. Also, a craft or vessel that is easily maneuvered, is responsive to controls.

a shelter shed, especially one wide enough for aircraft; not 'hanger'. See APRON, REVETMENT, STEELDROME, BLDG.

an aircraft that's chronically out of commission (ACOOC), especially one prone to malfunction or in need of persistent maintenance; these troublesome aircraft become a principal resource for replacement parts (CANNIBALIZE) when other spares are not available. Compare FLIGHTWORTHY.

a malfunction in the proper discharge of AMMO from a loaded weapon, whether due to a mechanical fault or a process failure attributable to fouling or the like; a malfunction that prevents the weapon from operating properly, sometimes by an inappropriate delay, but sometimes by a complete stoppage or blockage; also known as "hang" or "hang up". Compare COOK-OFF, FOUL BORE, KICK, FLAREBACK, FIREPOWER.

that which is precarious or perilous, tenuous or dubious, ominous or portentous, such as a situation threatening imminent harm or impending disaster; being an allusion to the sword of Damocles suspended by a single hair. [v: Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse]


an informal directive to remain ready and available but expectant of a longer wait; being an indication to relax tension and anticipation in the HURRY-UP AND WAIT process. See MARK TIME, NERVOUS IN THE SERVICE; compare TWIST IN THE WIND, HANG TOUGH. [nb: expression derives from a constricted scrotum that should be relaxed (v: PUCKER FACTOR); but feminists now allege it connotes freedom from restriction or constraint, as being bra-less] [nb: medical science has ascertained that the testes of male humans are nourished by different blood supplies, with the right being fed from the heart and the left from the kidneys; and as a further evolutionary adaptation, the left testicle always hangs lower than the right so as to prevent constriction or injury]

the disagreeable physical aftereffects of excess indulgence in alcoholic beverages, as when suffering from gross excess in drinking or eating; to be sick from the unpleasant consequences of intoxication or inebriation; see BREW, HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, THE DRINK, IRISH FLU, FRENCH FIT. [nb: the expression "feel like crap" derives from crapulence (drunkenness), not excrement] Also, something remaining from a former period or state, as that which remains from an earlier exposure, or that which persists as a remnant or fragment; see FLASHBACK, TELESCOPING, STRESS OF SOUL, DISSOCIATION, OBJECTIFICATION, CONVERSION SYMPTOMS, PTSD.

catch-phrase of encouragement and solidarity for paratroopers who must endure bad weather and malfunctions; such as having the guts to ride-out a MAE WEST; also spelled "hang tuff". See PUCKER FACTOR, AIRBORNE SHUFFLE, PROP BLAST, RED HATS; compare HANG LOOSE. [nb: although similar sounding, this expression is not related to the proverbial mood-checker: "How they hangin'?"] [nb: medical science has ascertained that the testes of male humans are nourished by different blood supplies, with the right being fed from the heart and the left from the kidneys; and as a further evolutionary adaptation, the left testicle always hangs lower than the right so as to prevent constriction or injury]

unethical behavior; duplicity or deceit; this rhyming compound is also represented as "hankey-pankey" or "hanky pank"; see HINKY, TRICK, SOMETHING'S ROTTEN IN DENMARK; compare DUTY, HONOR, TRADITION, TOE THE LINE, ABOVE BOARD, MORAL COURAGE. Also, slang for illicit sexual relations; see TOMCAT, FAG, INVERT, PREEVERT, GLORY HOLE, FIRING LINE, CANDY-ASS, POGUE, POGY BAIT, SPUNK, PECKER TRACKS, BUTTERFLY, DAISY CHAIN, HAT TRICK, AROUND THE WORLD, CHOWING DOWN, HUMMERR, BUSH PILOT, MUFF DIVER, BOOM-BOOM, SHORT-TIME, FUCK, HOOKUP. [nb: adultery, along with bigamy and wrongful cohabitation, indecent acts and indecent exposure, are criminal violations of Article 134 of the UCMJ Punitive Articles]

nickname for Hoa Lo (geo: 21 01 26N 105 51 01E; UTM: 48QWJ88342483), site of major NVN prison camp for captive allied population; also known as [nb: some names only refer to sections within this prison] Camp One, Camp Unity, Heartbreak, Little Vegas, New Guy Village, West Court. Dates US POWs present: 11 Aug 64 to 28 Mar 73. The French finished building this prison in 1901, and it was located at the former site for making portable earthenware stoves (hibachi) called Hoa Lo. Following custom, the street was known by the name of the primary industry or commerce conducted there, so it became known as "Pho Hoa Lo" or "Hibachi Street". After the French built the prison, they renamed it "rue de la Prison", or "Pho Nha Tu" in Vietnamese. Vietnamese authorities changed the name of the street, after the French departed in 1954, to "Pho Hoa Lo", and the name of the prison to "Hoa Lo". Some of the aging leaders of the Communist government in Hanoi were imprisoned there during the French era, and a portion of the oldest section has been preserved in historic remembrance. See POW.


Vietnamese unit of currency equal to one-tenth part of the DONG, or a "dime"; and further subdivided into tenth parts which are called XU, being the equivalent of a "penny". See BENSON SILK, PIASTER, MPC, LEGAL TENDER.

a proposition, advanced by Lucy van Pelt in the Peanuts comic strip by Charles Schultz, that's been calibrated into a standardized non-SI emotional unit based upon the maximal amount of happiness that's derivable from a one kilogram beagle puppy with a body temperature of 310 kelvins when held in direct skin contact for a minimum of one second; see WARM FUZZY, STROKE THE TROOPS, STROKE ECONOMY, TOUGH LOVE. [nb: by reference to Jeremy Bentham's Utilitarianism, the amount of pleasure (equivalent to the amount of pleasure a person receives from gaining one 'util' of utility) may be represented by a positive conceptual unit called a 'hedon', and contrasted by a contrarily negative conceptual unit called a 'dolor' ... these elements are tautologically coextensive]

slang for cocaine or heroin; see SNOW, SMACK, CHINA WHITE, DOPE, JUNK, HOT SHOT, THAI STICK, STONED.

in the post-Vietnam era, reference to the high-anxiety "dance of indecision" exhibited by someone who's unable to make a positive commitment to resolving the "fight-or-flight reaction"; this condition of "betwixt-and-between" is possibly adopted from the image of Snoopy dancing in the Peanuts cartoon strip by Charles Schultz, but it's probably been popularized by the animated musical fantasy film about penguins [ie: Happy Feet by George Miller (2006), Happy Feet action / adventure video game (2006), and Happy Feet Two by George Miller (2011)]. Compare TAP-DANCER, HAPPINESS IS A WARM PUPPY; see NERVOUS IN THE SERVICE, JITTERBUG, JUMPING BEAN, DON'T DO NOTHING, CLUTCH-UP, FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT, PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, RISKY-SHIFT EFFECT. [v: Snoopy 'happy dance'; cf: 'restless leg' syndrome]

the practice of wildly shooting into the sky in celebration or demonstration of militaristic spirit or enthusiastic exhibition, as with political statements or religious proclamations, with inauguration or resolution, with such "joy shots" being characteristic of the American Frontier (or "Wild West"), the Middle East, Latin America, and elsewhere, which enactments are indicative of amateurism or unprofessionalism ... these celebrants are seemingly unaware of the law of gravity: what goes up must come down! See HOSE, SPRAY, ROCK 'n' ROLL, BUSTING CAPS, BLIND FIRE, TRIGGER-HAPPY.

slang for the body armor mandated for wear in the Mid-East during GULF WAR II, including ceramic plates, kevlar drapes, shoulder and knee pads worn over fire-resistant uniforms; also called "happy gear". The increased protection of body armor must be juxtaposed by its additional weight and the loss of mobility incurred by its wear; since autopsies performed by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner show that about 23% of gunshot and shrapnel fatalities occurred despite this protection ... such postmortem studies will be used to redesign body armor for improved effectiveness. See OTV, IOTV, SAPI, ESAPI, IBA, CHICKEN PLATE, FLAK VEST, FLAK JACKET; compare WAR PAINT, PARTY SUIT, DRESS. [cf: flexible 'mail'; v: doublet]

several so-called locations in the CENTRAL HIGHLANDS of Vietnam, such as one situated 17km west of DaNang in Quang Nam province, I CTZ. Also, an area in the mountains between Algeria and Tunisia that was a battle site during Operation Torch. Also, a metaphor for "heaven on earth", and synonymous with the prelapsarian paradise, eutopia ('good' + 'place'), Cockaigne (land of cookies), Arcadia, Shangri-la, Xanadu/Xandu, Brigadoon, Innisfree, Garden of Eden, Hesperides, Seventh Heaven, Empyrean, Pearly Gates, Celestial City, Heavenly City, New Jerusalem, Salem, Eternal Reward, Everlasting Rest, Camp of the Dead / Campground of the Dead, Hereafter, Afterlife, Afterworld, World to Come, Kingdom Come, Pure Land, Elysium, Elysian Fields, Isles of the Blest / Fortunate Isles, Tír Na Nóg (Land of Youth), Mag Mell (Plain of Joy), Avalon (Island of Apples), The Land o' the Leal, Fiddler's Green, Happy Hunting Ground, Rainbow's End, Lyonesse, City of the Sun, Beulah, Undiscovered Country, Promised Land, Sweet By-and-By, Land of Milk and Honey, City of Lanterns, Bensalem, Another Country, Atlantis, Brave New World, Republic, Lemuria, Rasselas, Manoa, El Dorado, Pie in the Sky, Castles in the Air, Wonderland, Big Rock Candy Mountain, Sugar Candy Mountain, Hog Heaven, Big Double-Wide in the Sky, Perfect Plush Parlor, Cosmic Comfort Condo, cloudland, cloud nine/cloud 9, Cloud-Cuckoo-Land, La La Land, Never Never Land, Utopia ('no' + 'place'), Erehwon (nowhere), and Nirvana (nothingness); see THE BIG PX IN THE SKY, VALHALLA; compare LAND OF THE BIG PX, NEW WORLD ORDER. [cf: millennialism/millenarianism; v: The Birds by Aristophanes; Lysistrata by Aristophanes; Ecclesiazusae by Aristophanes; The Republic by Plato; De Civitate Dei by Saint Augustine of Hippo (The City of God, 413-27); Utopia by Thomas More (1516); Abbey of Thélème in Gargantua by François Rabelais (1532); The City of the Sun by Tommaso Campanella (1612/-23); The New Atlantis by Francis Bacon (1627); The Commonwealth of Oceana by James Harrington (1656); The Fable of the Bees by Bernard Mandeville (1714); Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (1726); Discours sur les sciences et les arts by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1750); Discours sur l'origine de l'inégalité by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1755); Code de la Nature by Morelly (1755); Rasselas by Samuel Johnson (1759); Symzonia: Voyage of Discovery by Adam Seaborn (John Cleves Symmes, 1820); Erewhon, or Over the Range by Samuel Butler (1872); The Communistic Societies of the United States by Charles Nordhoff (1875); Voyage en Icaria by Etienne Cabet (1888); Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy (1888); Freiland by Theodor Hertzka (1890); Cæsar's Column by Ignatius Donnelly (1890); News from Nowhere by William Morris (1891); Unveiling a Parallel by Alice Ilgenfritz Jones and Ella Merchant (1893); Garden Cities of To-morrow by Ebenezer Howard (1902); From Mankind in the Making by H.G. Wells (1903); A Modern Utopia by H.G. Wells (1905); Herland by Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman (1906); The Iron Heel by Jack London (1909); The Story of the Utopias by Lewis Mumford (1922, rev 1966); Men Like Gods by H.G. Wells (1923); The Open Conspiracy by H.G. Wells (1928); Ideology and Utopia by Karl Mannheim (1929); Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932); Lost Horizon by James Hilton (1934); Animal Farm by George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair, 1945); Ape and Essence by Aldous Huxley (1948); Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair, 1949); Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller (1949); The Quest for Utopia by Glenn Negley and J.M. Patrick (1952, repr 1971); Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953); The Crucible by Arthur Miller (1953); The Trumpet Shall Sound by Peter Worsley (1957); Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley (1958); Walden Two by B.F. Skinner (1961, repr 1976); Island by Aldous Huxley (1962); Monkey Planet / Planet of the Apes by Pierre F.M.L. Boulle (1963); Incident at Vichy by Arthur Miller (1965); Heavens on Earth by Mark Holloway (1966); The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia by Ursula K. LeGuin (1974); God's Grace by Bernard Malamud (1982); Xenogenesis Trilogy by Octavia E. Butler (1987-9); The Last Yankee by Arthur Miller (1993); The Circle by Dave Eggers (2013)] [cf: And we are here as on a darkling plain / Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, / Where ignorant armies clash by night" by Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach] [v: "Farewell, fair queen; weep not for Mortimer, That scorns the world, and, as a traveller, Goes to discover countries yet unknown." by Christopher Marlowe Edward the Second] Also, vulgar reference to female genitalia as a metanym for sex or for a woman as a sexual object; see STRANGE, SNATCH, SPLIT, CAMP FOLLOWER, CAMPAIGN WIFE, BITCH, SKIRT. [v: Hottentot apron, Nez Percé plucked pubes (glabrous), Yakima thong, and Arabic nymphotomy, labial excision, or clitoral circumcision]


a traditional method of ritualized suicide by disembowelment that has been practiced in Japan [belly (hara) cutting (kiri)] and China [cut belly (seppuku)] for centuries among the officialdom or nobility whenever disgraced or dishonored; known facetiously as "happy dispatch" by modern Westerners, it has also been misspelled as "hari-kari". A dedicated warrior could attenuate his shame by 'crosscutting' (jumonji giri) his abdomen so that he quietly bleeds to death with one hand masking his face; this two cut method is performed without an attendant or assistant (kaishakunin) to end his suffering by beheading, as is conventionally done. [nb: hara-kiri is the spoken term and seppuku is the written term for the same act] [v: aikuchi, hamidashi, tanto, wakizashi, kaishaku, dakikubi, bushido, samurai; cf: kamikaze, junshi, oibara / tsuifuku, kanshi, funshi, jigai / jisatsu, suttee / sati] [nb: 1895 protest against the return of the Liaodong / Liaotung peninsula, territory conquered by the Japanese]

the application by a superior of a verbal critique (often belittling and intense) and/or physical correction (often remedial and punitive) in order to emend or ameliorate the military performance of a subordinate; although often perceived at the time as an abuse of authority or an exercise of sadistic torment, the objective of this hectoring ordeal is to lard the frustrated and demoralized recipient with petty stress so as to ascertain the level of his determination and resourcefulness in a controlled environment. See PRESTRESS, BOTHERATION, CHICKEN SHIT, ELEPHANT SHIT, DROP, FRONT LEANING REST, SQUAT, FASHION SHOW, BOX THE COMPASS, LITTLE PRICK, HARD-SET, HARD-NOSE, BRASS EAR, MARTINET, CALL ON THE CARPET, RATHOLE, SNIPE HUNT, PET, GHOST TURD, GIG LINE, GIG, ADY, SHIT LIST, SQUEEZE, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, INITIATION. Also, to continually trouble an enemy by repeated raids or attacks, incursions or other hostilities; to persistently pester or persecute, as derived from 'pursue', as when harrying dogs to chase after game; see H&I, HARASSMENT FIRE, DUFFEL BAG, RECON BY FIRE.

indirect fire designed to persistently disturb and interrupt the enemy by prosecuting intelligence reports and persecuting guerrilla activities, such that movement and rest are subject to interruption at any time. Because this fire is not directed and adjusted, it will not curtail enemy activity, but it will probably demoralize the enemy and make him more cautious. See H&I, I&I, DUFFEL BAG. [nb: in 1864, Mosby ridiculed Stahl for "bombarding bats and owls" when ineffectively shooting artillery at "probable" night locations]

strictly enforced or strongly binding, as something unalterable or unchangeable that's not to be set aside, yielded, or compromised; see HARD-ASS, DIEHARD, DEADLINE, HIDEBOUND, BRASSBOUND; compare ROCK THE BOAT, APPEASE. Also, nautical description of a ship run aground. Also, a method of securing a ROPE or LINE by tying the trailing end with one or more tight knots to a strong anchorage or stable base; see BELAY, KNOT.

tough, strict, disciplined, intractable, uncompromising, unyielding, intolerant, principled, as "He's a HARD-ASS!" [cf: bad-ass, soft-headed]; such 'rock-ribbed' individuals are often mistaken for being uncaring, malicious, or stupid, as a MARTINET. See ROCK THE BOAT, HARD-AND-FAST, HARD-NOSE, DIEHARD, HIDEBOUND, BRASSBOUND, HARD CORE, HARD CHARGER, BALLS TO THE WALL, SWEAT HOG; compare HALF-ASSED, LITTLE PRICK, BRASS EAR. [nb: it has been alleged in the modern era that the dedicated and driven Type-A personality, or compulsive workaholic, is both self-destructive and counterproductive, and this thesis contends that the compassion and sensitivity exhibited in the Type-B Metro-Man persona are preferrable traits; despite this theory, research has shown that an invincible Man of Steel attitude, or the Super-Masculine personality (cf: MACHO), produces positive results: better healing from injury, faster recovery from trauma, increased energy and endurance, more numerous and more flexible coping mechanisms ... in short, being strong and tough makes people more confident and contented] [v: adamantine, indurate]

informal reference to a fully metal jacketed BULLET of cylindrical profile with a round or pointed nose, as mandated by the LAWS OF WAR; originating as a spherical ('ball') projectile, as distinguished from a soft (lead) unjacketed CARTRIDGE tip; compare DUMDUM, see AMMO. [nb: a slang term for the fully metal jacketed .45cal PISTOL and submachinegun (SMG) ammunition is 'pumpkin ball' ("punkin ball"), so-called due to its color and size] Also, to be tough or ruthless, unforgiving or relentless, challenging or difficult, as to "play hardball"; see HARD-ASS, ROCK THE BOAT, HARD-AND-FAST, DIEHARD, HARD CHARGER, BALLS TO THE WALL, UPHILL BATTLE, TOOTH 'n' NAIL, DOG-EAT-DOG, ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, COUP DE PIED DE L'ANE. [v: omo lupus homini (Latin: man is a wolf to man)]

informal reference in the post-Vietnam era for a SUPER-TROOPER, or HARD CHARGER, for a SWEAT HOG or QUIET PROFESSIONAL, with this expression seemingly derived by comparison with ceramic body armor; being a popular reference of the time (eg: pickup truck, fitness equipment, etc) that alludes to toughness, ruggedness, and other similarly admirable characteristics; compare MAGGOT. Also, slang for any muscular or physically fit person.

actual money, as distinguished from checks or credit; see STANDARD MONEY, HARD TIMES TOKEN, LEGAL TENDER. [nb: by definition, money has four basic characteristics: a medium of exchange, a unit of account, a store of value, and a standard of deferred payments] [v: hard-asset; cf: fiat money]

any talented and dedicated MIL-PERS in aggressive pursuit of defined goals, both mission and career; a dedicated and uncompromising devotee, also called "hard-liner". See SWEAT HOG, FAST MOVER, BOOMER, SUPER-TROOPER, BALLS TO THE WALL, BARREL-ASS, HOT SHOT, HOT DOG, SPEEDY, BOY WONDER, HARD-ASS, TOP DOG, GOLDEN BOY, DEEP DIP, FIGJAM, UP OR OUT.

someone who is unswervingly committed, especially the completely faithful and dedicated nucleus of a group. Also, an uncompromising individual (ie: someone possessed of unyielding core values); sometimes (mis-)represented as "hard corps"; see HARD-ASS, HARD-NOSE, HARD-AND-FAST, DIEHARD, HIDEBOUND, BRASSBOUND, HARD CHARGER, BALLS TO THE WALL, UPHILL BATTLE, TOOTH 'n' NAIL, ROCK THE BOAT. Also, people or circumstances that are apparently without remedy or alteration; changeless or chronic, fixed or implacable. Also, that which is graphically or explicitly prurient [eg: "hard-core pornography"; cf: "soft-core"]; see STROKE BOOK, TRAINING FILM, UP-CLOSE 'n' PERSONAL, DOG 'n' PONY SHOW.

money that is backed by gold reserves and is readily convertible into foreign currencies; see STANDARD MONEY, HARD TIMES TOKEN, LEGAL TENDER. [v: hard-asset; cf: fiat money]

to reinforce or make unyielding, as a BUNKER, REDOUBT, or other fortification; see HARD TARGET, SKIN, IRONCLAD, UP-ARMOR, FORCE MULTIPLIER. Also, to shield or protect against specific conditions or circumstances; see EMP. Also, to toughen or make irresistible, as troops. [v: inveterate (harden, habitual, from veteran); inure / enure (accustom, habituate, from work)]

Originally conceived by Italian mathematician and physicist Giovanni Alfonzo Borelli during the 1600s, then Karl Heinrich Klingert invented the "free flow" open diving system in 1797 that used joints to regulate airflow. In 1823, John and Charles Deane patented a "smoke helmet" for firefighters that was also used underwater like a "diving bell". In 1834, Leonard Norcross invented the first "closed diving apparatus", with helmet valve and airtight dress (nicknamed "submarine armor"). Augustus Siebe ("Father of Diving") attached his power-pump to supply surface air to the Deane "smoke helmet" with watertight dress, and created the first "closed suit" diving system that allowed air to freely circulate. In 1836, George Edwards split the helmet into two sections: a lower part (corselet) attached to the suit, and an upper part (bonnet) attached to the lower part for housing air and communication lines. This configuration has remained the standard HARD HAT suit configuration. The military RATEs repair and salvage dive qualification skills with graduated badges. See DRY SUIT, DIVER; compare SCUBA, SNORT, SNORKEL. [v: Diving Terms] Also, slang for a uniformed soldier of a regular army, as opposed to a GUERRILLA. Also, informal usage for any type of protective helmet, whether made of metal or plastic; see BONE DOME, K-POT, STEEL POT, HEADGEAR.

someone who is tough, practical, and unsentimental; see HARD-ASS, HARD CORE, HIDEBOUND, BRASSBOUND, DIEHARD, BY THE BOOK; compare HALF-ASSED, MARTINET, BRASS EAR. [v: hard-liner, hard-handed, heavy-handed, hardhearted]

the specially designed and reinforced places on the wings and/or fuselage of an aircraft where weapons, munitions, and other auxiliary items (eg: POD) can be mounted; due to the limited number of HARDPOINTs on tactical aircraft, bombs are sometimes mounted onto ejection RACKs, depending upon available weight and space, which are attached to the HARDPOINTs to increase the PAYLOAD for an AIR STRIKE; compare PYLON, FAIRING. Also, by informal usage, any permanent place of attachment on a vessel or vehicle that's used to tie-down or for tying-off; see PAD EYE, CLEAT, CLAMP, DEADEYE.

heavily burdened or oppressed, as by overwork or responsibility; being beset, harried, put-upon, assailed, plagued, bedeviled, or beleaguered.

in a difficult position, as when unsupported or overextended. Also, firmly or rigidly determined; obstinate; see HIDEBOUND, BRASSBOUND, BRASS EAR. [nb: "Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass ...." Isaiah 48:4 KJV Bible]

a condition that's difficult to endure; a situation that entails suffering or deprivation; a circumstance that's hard to bear, such as constant danger or relentless toil, extreme weather or prolonged neglect. [cf: privation, austerity]

an overseas assignment of a MIL-PERS without spouse/family or household, usually lasting one year. Only some overseas tours are non-/dependent optional, so a HARDSHIP TOUR is shorter than the same tour of duty when accompanied by dependents, which normally lasts three years. The USMC identifies this assignment as a "dependent restricted tour". See DUTY, BILLET, BERTH, POST, ON STATION, WATCH, SHEEP-DIPPED, MOS, OJT, TDY / TAD, PDS, PCS, BACKWASH, DOG'S YEAR, MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, GARDEN SPOT, BUMFUCK. [nb: civilians go 'abroad' while soldiers go 'overseas']

an AMBUSH set by a TRACK mounted element of ARM, ACR, or CAV; see ALL AMERICAN, compare LAAGER. [nb: not to be confused with HARDPOINT]

a parking area with a firm or reinforced surface intended for use by heavy vehicles, such as tracks or aircraft; see APRON, RAMP, TANK PARK.

slang for the Atmospheric Diving Suit, being an articulated self-contained hard-shell protective body covering for deep underwater explorations (2000' max 6hrs); compare WET SUIT, DRY SUIT, see DIVER. [nb: not to be confused with "hard case"] [v: Diving Terms]

a hard, coarse, saltless biscuit that was formerly used aboard ships ("sea biscuits") and for army rations ("soldier's biscuits"); also known as "pilot biscuit" or "pilot bread". See BISCUIT, PITA, SANDWICH, PANCAKE, SINKER, BULLY SOUP, IRON RATIONS, BEANS, CHOW, THREE SQUARES, RATIONS, SLUSH FUND. [v: Dunand's army bread] [cf: Edgemont brand or Pelican Cracker factory hard bread] [v: staff of life] [v: biscuit, challah, croissant, bun, roll, pancake, chapati / chapatti, pita, cracker, cracknel, pretzel, shortbread, cookie, wafer, roly-poly, shortcake, teacake, tea bun, sally lunn, cupcake, pandowdy, cobbler / grunt, funnel cake, friedcake, doughnut (eg: beignet, bismarck, olykoek, fasnacht, cruller, brioche, bath bun, honey bun, soul cake, marlboro, dunker, clogger, kolacky / kolache, jelly doughnut, bear sign, bear paw, etc)]

any fortified, reinforced, armored, or protected object, mobile or stationary, which may require special ammunition or specific tactics (eg: sequence, approach, etc), and serves as a FORCE MULTIPLIER when attacked; see HARDEN, OBJ, COLLATERAL DAMAGE, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), RFZ, NFZ, FREE FIRE ZONE, BDA, IRONCLAD, SKIN; compare SOFT TARGET.

any of a series of U.S. copper tokens, issued 1834-41, bearing a political inscription or advertising message, and serving as currency during coin shortages. Compare CHALLENGE COIN, SHORT SNORTER, CHIT, COINING; see MPC, LEGAL TENDER. [cf: Australian brass razoo, British handsel; v: obverse/reverse, cross/pile, ornament, bijou, bauble, gewgaw, gimcrack, trinket, bagatelle, knickknack, bric-a-brac, trifle, notion] [v: Coin Terms]

designation for the AGM-88 Air-to-Ground MISSILE made by Texas Instruments, an aircraft launched High-speed Anti-Radiation MISSILE that will continue to target an objective without a continuous RADAR signal.

the combination of straps or bands and other parts that form the working or field gear of combatants; see WEB GEAR, PISTOL BELT, CLUTCH BELT, CANTEEN, DEUCE GEAR, ALICE, LBE, LBV, MOLLE, STABO, RUCKSACK, DINGLEBERRY, CROSS-CHECK, CROSS-LOADING, CAP-A-PIE. Also, the protective BODY ARMOR for people or animals, as to array in armor or equipments of war; derived from "provisions for an armed force". Also, usual work or regular routine, as when under control or in cooperation.

abbreviation for High Altitude Release Point; since the flight path and jump run on High Altitude High Opening (HAHO) skydives must be different, this is the spot best calculated for PARACHUTE deployment, as factored by current wind velocity, actual jump altitude, and other variables, that will optimally attain the Drop Zone (DZ) objective with the mission specific equipment and requisite GEAR load. The HARP is the point at which FREE-FALL becomes paraglide, relative to life support and other crucial considerations. Formerly an elapsed time or distance plot computed before take-off, along with supplemental oxygen and related details, but since the availability of a real-time Global Positioning System (GPS), mid-air decision making has become standard procedure (SOP). Also, sardonic nickname for the CREST or distinctive unit insignia (DI/DUI) of U.S. Army SPECIAL FORCES due to its vague resemblance, being a banner bearing the regimental motto ("De Oppresso Liber") overlaid by the saltire CROSSED ARROWS and COMMANDO DAGGER from the unit's history.

a long-range Air-to-Ground Missile (AGM-84); also known as Standoff Land Attack Missile (SLAM).

the McDonnell-Douglas AV-8/AV-8B /-R USMC vertical take-off attack jet is an American copy of the British Harrier; see VTOL, BIRD.


interference of signals between two radio stations on the same or on adjacent frequencies (FREQ, PUSH); see HITCHHIKE, SURF, RADIO. Also, a technique for locating data in a computer file by applying a transformation (usually arithmetic) to a KEY.

informal reference to the service stripe worn on the forearm of the CLASS-A uniform sleeve by an EM/NCO for each three-year term of honorable service; see RE-UP, compare HERSHEY BAR. Also, in publishing and computer jargon, slang for the 'number sign' (#) or 'pound sign'; see BANG. [v: interrobang, tittle]

a clasp for a lid or cover, door or other closure, as one passing over a staple that's then fastened by a pin or a padlock; compare LATCH.

a shallow and narrow body-sized depression for one man, usually scooped or dug with hands or improvised tools (eg: helmet, CANTEEN CUP, MESS KIT, fighting knife, etc) as a firing or fighting position while under enemy fire; also called a "prone fighting position", "hasty position", "hasty hole", or "hasty grave". See FOXHOLE, SPIDER HOLE, DEPUY FOXHOLE, BUNKER, E-TOOL; compare CAT HOLE, SLIT TRENCH, RANGER GRAVE. [nb: the HASTY TRENCH was formerly called a SLIT TRENCH, and this citation, depending upon the period represented, may sometimes be a TELLTALE in some WAR STORY accounts; to wit: "Most people did not know the difference between a slit trench and a foxhole. You could not lie down in a foxhole and they were harder to dig and they were only for special cases. Even after digging a slit trench a man would be dripping with sweat ... On the line they never dug them any closer than five and it was often ten or fifteen or even twenty yards, when the line was too great for the number of them as it so often was in the early days of the 'Canal." by James Jones in Temper of Steel] [v: Military Earthworks Terms]


an opening in the DECK of a vessel used as a PASSAGEWAY, or the cover over such an opening; also called a "hatchway" (not a "watertight door" in a BULKHEAD), term derived from gate, railing; compare SCUTTLE; see BATTEN, GANGWAY, LADDERWELL, COMPANIONWAY, OVERHEAD, COMPARTMENT, HOLD. Also, an opening or door in an aircraft; compare PORT, EMBRASURE, POSTERN. Also, an access opening or cover in a TANK, APC, or other armored vehicle. Also, a TOAST or SALUTE: "Down the hatch"; see THE DRINK, BREW, HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, GROUP TIGHTENER, SUNDOWNER.

the federal law regulating expenditures, contributions, and procedures in political campaigns; eponymously after Carl A. Hatch, being an act of Congress passed in 1939 to curb the corrupt voting practices of WPA workers in the border states of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Maryland during the elections of 1938. The Hatch Act prohibited federal officials below the policy making echelon in the executive branch from actively participating in political campaigns, from soliciting or accepting contributions from government employees, and from making use of official authority or favors in order to influence the outcome of federal elections. A 1940 amendment to the Hatch Act extended its scope to include state and local government workers whose salaries were drawn in whole or in part from federal funds, and also limited the maximum amount of individual contributions and the annual expenditure of political parties. The constitutionality of the Hatch Act was upheld by the Supreme Court in two challenges (1947, 1974), with election fraud also addressed by the Corrupt Practices Act (1925), Taft-Hartley Act (1947), Ethics Act (1978), and Government Ethics Reform Act (1989). See ACT OF CONGRESS, THE NATIONAL JOKE FACTORY, SPOILS, WASHINGTON WALTZ, RED TAPE, CIVIL SERVICE. [nb: not to be confused with the 1887 Hatch Act, which expanded the land-grant program (Morrill Act) by providing federal funds for agricultural research and experiment stations]

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

see HATCH.

an intense or passionate dislike; an extreme hostility or aversion; a feeling of antipathy, enmity, detestation, abhorrence, or repugnance. See ANGER, RAGE, FIGHTING MAD, RED ASS, STORM, RETALIATION, REPRISAL, RETRIBUTION. [nb: "The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel." Proverbs 12:10; "I must be cruel, only to be kind: Thus bad begins and worse remains behind." by William Shakespeare in iii:4 of Hamlet; "If the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto His glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?" Romans 3:7; "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?" Job 14:4; "A true soldier fights, not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." by G.K. Chesterton]

correspondence that attacks or assails, insults or belittles, impugns or ridicules the recipient, whether as a representative individual (ie: a specific MIL-PERS for his presumed culpability) or as a member of a select class (ie: any servicemember in a subgroup for their presumed collective culpability), as by letter, telegram, e-mail, or other message form; the use of abusive hate speech to expatiate or threaten, to intimidate or provoke. See TRIGGER TERM, HALF-COCKED, FIGHTING WORDS, TRAILING HIS COAT, NASTY-GRAM, FANG, BAYONET SHEET, BLISTER, VERBUM SAP; compare GRAYMAIL, SPAM, BREADCRUMBING, NETRUSION, MAIL CALL, SUGAR REPORT, SOAP CHIPS, LETTER BOX, DEAD LETTER. [nb: the patriotic greetings campaign ("To Any Soldier:") that was instituted during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) had to be discontinued due to the anti-war hate mail that exploited this privileged access so as to anonymously utter self-righteous diatribes]

any clever maneuver, adroit deception, or skillful success; as derived by sports analogy involving a triple play or three consecutive moves; compare WHIPSAW. Also, a provocative and complicated sex show, a sex act involving three men and one woman, or three consummations of the sex act during one session; compare DAISY CHAIN, AROUND THE WORLD, FUCK, TRICK, LOVE HANDLES, BUTTERFLY, SANDWICH, CHOWING DOWN.

directive to rapidly expedite task, to move quickly, or to depart immediately; sometimes represented phonetically as "Hotel Alfa". See BUSTER, PULL PITCH, SCRAMBLE, JUICE, BEAT FEET, DECAMP, SPLIT, BAILOUT, BARREL-ASS, GOYA, ASAP, PDQ, STAT, CHOGI, CHOP CHOP, RIKI TIK, FORTHWITH; compare TOCSIN, KLAXON, COUNTERMARCH, ROUT, RETROGRADE, DEFEAT. [v: tout de suite (French: at once, immediately)] [v: amain]

a cap cover with a cloth flap hanging over the back of the wearer's neck for protection from the sun, which may also identify similar improvised arrangements ... called a "neck curtain". A fashion formerly worn by U.S. Marines, and most commonly associated with the French "kepi"; it is derived from the British Army adaptation of the protective "pugree", and named after Sir Henry Havelock, an English general in India. See HEADGEAR.

originally a single-strapped oat bag that was worn over one shoulder, but this word was later used to refer to any bag that was slung over one or both shoulders for carrying rations or other supplies. Compare MUSETTE, RUCKSACK; see KIT BAG, FLIGHT BAG, WAR BAG, BUG-OUT KIT, DUFFEL, DUNNAGE, WEB GEAR, DINGLEBERRY. [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]

great destruction or devastation, ruinous damage or disaster; as derived from the obsolete command to PILLAGE, PLUNDER, and RANSACK; see SPOILS OF WAR, ROMAN HOLIDAY, SOUVENIR. [v: wrack and ruin, ruination, catastrophe, cataclysm, upheaval] Also, to create confusion or disorder, chaos or calamity, as to "play havoc with".

(hawk) acronym for High-technology Aerospace Weapons Center, an interservice weapons development and testing facility; compare DREAMLAND, AREA 51, TOP GUN, RED FLAG.

designation for the MIM-23 (HA) mobile, Surface-to-Air guided MISSILE (SAM) system; designed to defend against lower altitude enemy aircraft, and short-range rockets/missiles. Also, truncated form of TOMAHAWK (qv). Also, slang for scold, rebuke, upbraid, censure, reproach, chastise, disparage, denounce, harass, or vehemently criticize; see FANG, BLISTER, KICK ASS, CALL ON THE CARPET, VERBUM SAP, BROWBEAT, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, RIOT ACT, BAYONET SHEET, NASTY-GRAM, BACK CHANNEL.

Naval (E2/E2C) carrier-based, long-range, airborne RADAR plane used to monitor FRIENDLY aircraft and vessels while searching for enemy aircraft and vessels; see SENTRY, AWACS.

nickname for the unit's integral reconnaissance platoon, usually the S-2 Intelligence and Reconnaissance (I&R) team, some of which specialized in ELINT or AMBUSH for some areas, also known as "scout" or "shadow walker"; see LRSD, LRSP, LRSU, LRP, RECON, STRATA, WATCHER, PEEPERS. [v: a Sampling of Reconnaissance and Surveillance Insignia] Also, a person having a positive sociopolitical orientation toward the military, including a desire for a strong national defense and an aggressive foreign policy, in contradistinction with the irresolution of DOVES; originating as "warhawks" who advocated battle with Great Britain during 1811-12; see WAR PARTY, TRIGGER-HAPPY, KILL 'EM ALL, WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS, VIETNAM IS FOREVER, BATTLE CRY, WARMONGER, RETALIATION, WAR. [nb: "We should stop swatting flies and go after the manure pile." by Curtis LeMay]

see HAWKS, DOVES (qqv).

an iron or steel pipe situated in the STEM or BOW of a vessel through which an anchor cable passes. See UP THE HAWSEPIPE, BLUE NOSE.

heavy LINE used in mooring a ship, often 4 to 6 inches or more in diameter; these CABLEs are never referred to as "rope". [cf: cordelle] [nb: although the word 'line' means 'linen rope', another LINE that is never called a ROPE is a "sheet", which is a thin CORD or wire used in reeving and adjusting TACKLE, or in the rigging and securing of sails]

slang for hash or hashish, from the flowering tops and leaves of Indian hemp, which were called "dry vegetation" by Arabs, and used as an intoxicant. Compare HUBBLE-BUBBLE, GRASS, STICK, CAN SA, PIGTAIL, DOPE, JUNK, STONED, TAR BABY.

an unavoidable danger or risk, despite its often being foreseeable; that which causes unavoidable peril or difficulty. Also, the absence of predictability, or the lack of certainty; at RISK, at stake, as being subject to CHANCE. Also, any obstacle or obstruction serving as an impediment to advancement. Also, any winning strategy in a contested game (eg: tennis, billiards, golf, chess, etc) wherein the player is exposed to the risk of penalty or loss; compare GAMBIT. Also, a game played with two dice that dates from the Crusades (ca1125), being an earlier and more complicated form of CRAPS; based upon the uncertainty of the result in throwing a die; see DICE GAMES, BLUFF, BRAG, POKER, PLAY THE GAME, WAR GAMES. Also, to venture upon anything of doubtful issue, as to offer something with the probability of criticism or disapproval, misfortune or failure.



the achromatic color or neutral hue adopted by the U.S. Navy for all ships and boats, vehicles and other objects, unless otherwise directed; also identified as "battleship gray"; see GRAYBACK, COUNTERSHADING, PLIMSOLL MARK, LOAD-LINE MARK; compare GUNMETAL. [v: tattletale gray; cf: Theodore Roosevelt's Great White Fleet] [nb: 'grey' is the British spelling of American 'gray']

HAZardous MATerials, such as contaminants, caustics, corrosives, or flammables; see COCKTAIL, CBW, CW, BLISTER AGENT, SOUP, YELLOWCAKE, HEAVY WATER, HOT GREASE, CBR, COFFIN, TOMB, NEST, MOPP, JSLIST, CPOG, BUNNY SUIT, BLUE SUIT, MOON SUIT, H-GEAR, DEMILITARIZE. [nb: some naturally occurring hazardous materials, such as "swamp gas" or "marsh gas" (aka: "fire ice", methane hydrate), have been and are being exploited for military applications]

short for Hydrogen bomb; a bomb that derives its explosive energy from the thermonuclear fusion reaction of hydrogen isotopes, requiring a two-stage ignition, which is therefore more powerful than an atomic bomb. The US detonated the first Hydrogen bomb on 1 November 1952 at Eniwetok atoll in the Marshall Islands; the Soviet Union detonated a Hydrogen bomb on 12 August 1953; and the US detonated another Hydrogen bomb on 1 March 1954 on Bikini atoll. Compare A-BOMB, N-BOMB; see ZERO POINT, GROUND ZERO, OVERKILL, CBR, NUKE, FOOTBALL, PENTAGONAL, DARPA, BIGGER BANG FOR THE BUCK, YELLOWCAKE, HEAVY WATER, HOT GREASE, SCRAM, CONTAINMENT, BROKEN ARROW.

(h-b-t) HerringBone Twill; a two-piece green FATIGUE uniform issued by the U.S. Army from May 1941 until replaced by a plain weave version in the late 1950s; this tough work uniform had metal buttons and reinforced knees/elbows, featuring side pockets and an anti-vesicant impregnation. The HBT served as the summer tropical combat uniform during WWII.

HD :
Honorable Discharge; see RUPTURED DUCK, BTDT, DISCHARGE. [nb: contrary to stereotype, 97% of VN vets received Honorable Discharges]

Humanitarian Daily Ration, being a civilianized version of Meals Ready-to-Eat (MRE) that's packaged in a bright yellow bag, and was developed to provide a full day's sustenance to moderately malnourished refugees or displaced persons (DP) during an emergency. In order to provide the widest possible acceptance from the variety of potential consumers with diverse religious and dietary restrictions from around the world, the thermostabilized HDR contains no animal products or animal by-products, except that minimal amounts of dairy products are permitted; furthermore, alcohol and alcohol based ingredients are also banned. The HDR was AIRDROPped to starving Middle Eastern refugees during both GULF WARs. See RATIONS. [nb: for those persons who maintain a strict religious diet, a self-contained "religious meal" may be provided that consists of a kosher or halal certified entree and acceptable complementary items sufficient to provide a person's recommended daily nutritional requirements]

HE :
(h-ee, not "he") High Explosive ammunition; for the sake of clarity, it may be called phonetically "Hotel Echo". [nb: "It's impossible to use too much ordnance to kill the enemy."; "It's impossible to use too much explosive to demolish the objective."; "There is no situation, circumstance, or condition that cannot be resolved, remedied, or rectified by the proper application of a sufficiently sized, shaped, and placed charge of high explosive that's detonated in a timely manner."]

High Explosive Anti-Armor projectile fired from rocket launcher.

a toilet or bathroom on-board ship; ship's LATRINEs are so-called from their original position situated forward at the head of the vessel. See CAPTAIN OF THE HEADS, LATRINE, HEAD CALL, CAT HOLE, SLIT TRENCH, HONEY BUCKET, PISS TUBE, PIDDLE PACK, BLUE CANOE, DUMP, TROTS, SQUIRTS, CORK, TRA CA, COUGH DROP, GRAY WATER, BLACK WATER, WATERWORKS, DOUCHE BAG, GI SHOWER, NAVY SHOWER, PT SHOWER, RAINROOM, COMFORT STATION, WHORE'S BATH, MARINE SHOWER, MONKEY BUTT. [nb: Chinese archives document the use of perfumed rice-paper for use as toilet paper from the sixth century; toilet paper invented 1857; perforated roll of toilet paper (1877); 2-ply toilet paper (1942); pastel colors of toilet paper (1956)] Also, the position or place of leadership and authority; see HEADSHED, BRASS HAT, MILICRAT, FLATHEAD, WARHEAD, big head, swelled head. Also, any projecting part or advance element, as AIRHEAD, BEACHHEAD, BRIDGEHEAD, SPEARHEAD. Also, froth or foam that has risen to the top of a liquid, as in a glass of beer; see BREW, BA MUOI BA. Also, alcohol produced during the initial fermentation (heads) in distilling; see HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, GROUP TIGHTENER, DEAD-SOLDIER, DUTCH COURAGE, WHISKEY WARRIOR, SPLICE THE MAINBRACE, HOIST, HATCH, TOAST, SUNDOWNER, GUSTO. Also, any advocate or devotee, as ROTOR HEAD, prop head, JARHEAD. Also, any substance abuser or habitual user of illicit drugs, often expressed in combination as acidhead, cokehead, crackhead, hophead, pothead, juicehead. Also, a euphemism for oral sex (ie: cunnilingus or fellatio); see MUFF DIVER, BUSH PILOT, CHOWING DOWN, HUMMER, DAISY CHAIN, LOVE HANDLES, HONG KONG HAIRCUT. Also see DEADHEAD, DRUMHEAD, TURK'S HEAD, BLOCK, blockhead, meathead, fathead, chowderhead, bonehead, dunderhead, lunkhead, woodenhead, muttonhead, jughead, skinhead, bullhead, hardhead, knucklehead, hot head, sorehead, softhead, BASKETHEAD, BUDDHAHEAD, HEADGEAR, HEADS-UP, egghead, OVERHEAD, BULKHEAD.


to use the ship's toilet or bathroom, as a LATRINE visit or "pit stop" on personal time; see DUMP, SLOP CHUTE, TROTS, SQUIRTS, WATERWORKS. Also, to receive permission to use the ship's HEAD, as when excused from formation or relieved of DUTY. [nb: Chinese archives document the use of perfumed rice-paper for use as toilet paper from the sixth century; toilet paper invented 1857; perforated roll of toilet paper (1877); 2-ply toilet paper (1942); pastel colors of toilet paper (1956)]



many and varied, since some units attempted to build esprit by such, and some persons expressed their "panache" (from the ornamentation of helmets and caps) by individualizing such headpieces. During the VIETNAM WAR, the Army changed from the flat-topped FIELD CAP, which many early ADVISORs wore (even including the protective "pugree" or HAVELOCK associated with the similar French "kepi"), to the baseball-style cap for regular troops. Marines wore traditional "utility COVERs", and sailors wore either traditional WHITE CAPs / DIXIE CUPs or "fore 'n' aft" GARRISON CAPs. The STEEL POT, being a "tin hat" or "iron lid", and later changed to K-POT, helmet was mandated for field wear, but many units followed the Australian practice of "bush" hats, which became BOONIE HATs. Many LRRP elements adopted short-brim bush hats or various berets, which later became the standard headpiece. Many armored and air-cav units adopted broad brimmed Stetsons for wear when not under a BONE DOME ballistic communications (CVC) helmet. The service cap or barracks cover was worn with CLASS-A uniforms. The VC/NVA enemy wore sun or pith ("topi") helmets, Chinese-style soft field caps, traditional NON-LA conical hats, sweat-bands, or were bare headed. See BRASS HAT, BILLED CAP, SAUCER CAP, CRUSHER, COMBINATION COVER, BARRACKS COVER, CAMPAIGN HAT, BOONIE, FIELD CAP, JEEP CAP, WATCH CAP, TROOPER CAP, CUNT CAP, BERET, GREEN BERET, BLANKET HEAD, RED HATS, BLACK HATS, WHITE CAP, SNOWDROP, CHROME-DOME, STEEL POT, HELMET-COVER, JOHN WAYNE, K-POT, BONE DOME, HARD HAT, PITH HELMET, SCRAMBLED-EGGS, SPAGHETTI, FARTS 'n' DARTS, PIP, CORD, CONTRAFOIL, CAT'S-EYES, GLINT TAPE, BUD LIGHT, SHORT-TIMER PIN, CAP-A-PIE. [v: headdress, chapeau, tire, bedight; cf: de haut en bas] [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] [nb: in religious practice, the respectful covering of the head acts like an individual chapel (ie: private place of worship) or tabernacle (ie: a portable place of worship); doffing this head covering within a larger temple extends the bond of fellowship to others of like mind]

the practice of perverting the legitimate military mission into "keeping score" by BODY COUNT and other KILL CREDIT statistical yardsticks; see GENOCIDE, APOCALYPSE, HOLOCAUST, OVERKILL, KNOCK INTO A COCKED HAT, TRIGGER-HAPPY, MASSACRE. Also, the practice of trying to destroy the power, position, or influence of the opposition or competition; compare COUP D'ETAT. Also, a metonymic allusion to the assassination of a political or military leader or figurehead; also known as DECAPITATION or "executive action". [cf: malum prohibitum, malum in se; v: bounty, reward, head price, recompense, premium] [v: Executive Orders prohibiting assassination include: EO11905(5g) Gerald R. Ford (18 Feb 1976), EO12036(2-305) James E. Carter (24 Jan 1978), EO12333(2.11) Ronald W. Reagan (4 Dec 1981); cf: Barbary pirates (1804-1805), Pancho Villa (1916), Augusto Cesar Sandino (1928-1932), Ernesto "Che" Guevara (1967), Achille Lauro hijackers (1985), Muammar al-Qaddafi / Kaddafi (1986), Osama Bin Laden (2001)]

the course or direction of travel for a person, party, vehicle, or vessel; see AZIMUTH, COMPASS, AIMPOINT, DEAD-RECKONING, SLANT DISTANCE, HEADWAY. Also, the angle between the axis of an aircraft or vessel and some reference line; see LEEWAY, ZIGZAG, TRAVERSE, BEARING, PELORUS. Also, the proper direction (GLIDE PATH) on a flight; compare GLIDE SLOPE.

a catch-phrase for pay attention, to focus or concentrate, to be without distractions, so as to not be a mere functionary or automaton; being a metaphor borrowed from sports that encourages total dedication, positive thinking, as well as aggressive implementation. See COLD ZERO, SPIDER SENSE, COLD-BLOOD, FIRE IN THE BELLY, SWEAT HOG, HARD CHARGER, WATCH MY SMOKE.

an idiomatic expression meaning to run a needless risk, to get involved in trouble or danger, to put oneself at the mercy of one's enemy; this sentiment (to put / place one's head into the lion's mouth) is also represented by other phrases: to have a tiger by the tail, to take a bear by the tooth, to play with fire, to tempt fate or tempt providence, especially after a lucky escape. See IN THE MOUTH OF THE CAT, BEARD THE LION, BELL THE CAT, BITTER END.


a term dating from the American CIVIL WAR to describe the remote and disengaged manner of an aloof, often centralized, COMMAND ELEMENT and its STAFF, where supervision was indirect, leadership was impersonal, and paperwork was primary ... the CREATURE COMFORTS of such a HEADSHED (HQ) was usually marked by gross contrast with the condition of the troops. These "necessary" perquisites of command appointment and privileges of authoritive careerism usually lead to abuse, incompetence, and lower morale, as has been selectively exhibited in every war since its coinage. See RHIP, ROUGHSHOD, MICROMANAGEMENT, KAFCA, CASTRATION ANXIETY, BRASS EAR, DELEGATOR, COMMANDEER, DOG ROBBER, ACETATE COMMANDO, CHAIRBORNE, PENCIL PUSHER, CHAIR FORCE, TICKET-PUNCHER, RING-KNOCKER, KHAKI MAFIA, MILICRAT, OFFICER, NOSE COUNT, YOUR WISH IS MY COMMAND, RUN IT UP THE FLAGPOLE, PARTY LINE, SCRIPTURES.


beret with flash of Special
Operations Command
SOCOM beret
slang for a psychotherapist, psychiatrist, or psychoanalyst, who's also called a "shrink", "mind-bender", "head-candler", "shaman", or WIZARD; which term probably derives from the primitive headhunting practice of collecting tokens or talismans, dried and shrunken, which are then displayed. Also, slang for a BERET, the world's worst form of military HEADGEAR, which substitutes style for protection from the elements; see GREEN BERET, BLANKET HEAD.

notice, pay attention, alert, caution; used in the same sense as "Now Hear This" or "For Your Information" (FYI). See BULLETIN, DOPE, POOP, THE WORD, WRITING ON THE WALL, HOT-SHIT, BOATSWAIN'S PIPE, BUGLE CALL, TOCSIN, TANNOY; compare OLD HAT. [nb: not "head-up" as in tense/anxious, nor as a sexual signal for errections!]


forward movement, advancement, or progress. Also, the interval of time or distance, relative to situation or circumstances, between two vehicles or vessels traveling in the same direction over the same route; see COMBAT SPREAD. [v: forereach]

truncation of PURPLE HEART MEDAL / PH (qv).

that idealized place, also known as "homeland" or "native country", from which the military recruits dedicated PATRIOTs into its ranks for unstinting service; compare HAPPY VALLEY, VALHALLA. Also, that depressing region, also known as "flyover country" or the "vast wasteland", from which POLITICIANs flee into exclusive bastions so as to conspire and collude in the formation of a regulatory government (THE G) that will sustain itself by taxation and other legal exploitations of the populace; see THE NATIONAL JOKE FACTORY, THE ESTABLISHMENT, FOGGY BOTTOM, GREEN ACRES, ALPHABET CITY, MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, ACT OF CONGRESS, PORK BARREL.



(heat, not "h-e-a-t") High-Explosive Anti-Tank ammunition, being a fin-stabilized armor-defeating projectile. Also, the acronym for HMMWV Egress Assistance Trainer, being a roll-over simulation module.

a medical condition brought on by intense or prolonged exposure to high temperatures, which is characterized by profuse sweating with the loss of fluids and salts, by pale and damp skin, by rapid pulse and dizziness, by nausea and confusion, that progresses to total collapse; also called 'heat prostration', being a reaction to heat that's marked by weakness resulting from dehydration. Compare HEATSTROKE. [v: coup de soleil]


a severe illness brought on by intense or prolonged exposure to high temperatures, especially when accompanied by marked exertion, which condition disturbs the temperature-regulating mechanisms of the body, resulting in headache, vertigo, fever, rapid pulse, hot and dry skin, which may progress to delirium and coma; also called "heat apoplexy", "heat hyperpyrexia", "malignant hyperpyrexia", or "thermic fever". Compare HEAT EXHAUSTION. [v: coup de soleil]

compressed fuel tablets or disks, usually pale-blue trioxin or hexamine, used for re-heating C-RATIONS, all of the entrees / entrées of which were pre-cooked in their containers; see STERNO, C-4. [nb: when tinder is not readily available to ignite a cooking fire, soldiers will routinely sacrifice a rifle cartridge so as to use its combustible gunpowder as a fire starter]

to lift or HOIST. Also, to forceably throw something, especially a weighted LINE (eg: HEAVING LINE). Also, to pull or haul on a ROPE, LINE, CABLE, or the like; see HEAVE AROUND, HEAVE-HO. Also, the rise and fall of the waves or swell of a sea. Also, the vertical rise and fall of a craft or vessel; compare ROLL, PITCH, YAW, ATHWART. Also, to halt or stop the advance of a craft or vessel ("heave to") by causing it to lose HEADWAY; see AVAST. Also, to move in a certain direction or into a certain position or situation, as "the ship hove into sight". Also, to PUKE, keck, vomit, regurgitate, throw-up, upchuck, barf, hurl, toss cookies, ralph, disgorge, retch, nausea, or mal de mer.

the order to haul in on a LINE, CHAIN, CABLE, or the like, whether by hand or with power (ie: capstan, winch, windlass).

an exclamatory call or chant used by sailors when hauling or working, especially used to signal that the anchor's aweigh. See HOOK, BOWER, DROGUE, GIMLET, CHANTEY, HOISE, HOOAH, OORAH, GUNG-HO, BY THE NUMBERS, HEP, WETSU, BEATERS 'n' BLEATERS, TOOTER; compare HEAVE AROUND, AHOY.


slang expression for all of the support aircraft flying over the Gulf of Tonkin during the VIETNAM WAR.

a light or thin CORD or ROPE, with its trailing end weighted by a knot (ie: MONKEY FIST), that's used to toss overboard to a swimmer or small boat, or to a WHARF or MOLE, or between vessels for transferring larger lines or CABLEs; also known as a "throw line" or "messenger line".

an enlarged reconnaissance or surveillance patrol team augmented by additional weapons, supplementary munitions, or mission-specific technical gear; see LRRP, LRSP, RECONDO. Also, two or three armed helicopters operating together in coordinated mutual support; also called "heavy team" or "heavy gun team". Also, slang for the largest or most powerful class of vehicle, vessel, or craft, such as the Main Battle Tank (MBT) or heavy bomber (eg: FLYING FORTRESS, STRATOFORTRESS, etc); also called "heavy metal".

palletized cargo delivered by
parachute onto the drop zone
heavy drop of palletized cargo
the PARACHUTE delivery of ARMOR, ARTY, munitions and other essential supplies; see DZ, AIRHEAD, GANG-BANG; compare DROP, AIRDROP, JPADS, LAPES, LOW-LEVEL EVACUATION DROP, DROP-TANK, DROGUE, PAYLOAD.

codename for the upgrade of RADAR equipment (ie: air-transportable all-weather AN/TSQ-81 radar bombing control system) at LIMA SITE 85 in 1967, in preparation for the procedure enabling the precision bombing attacks of select targets in North Vietnam; see TACAN, COMMANDO CLUB.

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

heavy fire-support, such as 175mm (eg: M-107 175mm SP ranging to 32,000m) and 8-inch cannon (eg: M-110 8" SP ranging to 16,800m), including naval gunfire from battleship or cruiser fleet off-shore; compare BIG STUFF, SMOOTHBORE, see ARTY.

water in which hydrogen atoms have been replaced by deuterium, used chiefly as a coolant (or "swimming pool" moderator) in nuclear reactors; also called "deuterium oxide" (D2O). See YELLOWCAKE, HOT GREASE, HEU, SCRAM, CONTAINMENT, NUKE. [v: Cherenkov radiation]

any of various types of defensive obstacles used to impede armored vehicles, amphibious forces, and the like; from the Old World name for the American porcupine; see DRAGON'S TEETH, CALTROP, FRAISE, ABATIS, BOLLARD. Also, a STRONGPOINT in a fortified line capable of directing fire on all sides. Also, a multi-tube mortar mounted on the FORECASTLE of a ship that launches a series of 24 anti-submarine bombs in a circular pattern ahead of the ship; this bomb-throwing gun was invented by the British in 1941 and adopted by the American Navy during WWII, being more accurate and more effective than stern-launched depth charges (ASHCAN, TEARDROP), and the bow didn't require reinforcement because it pair or ripple fired the 31-pound charges; see ASW.

High Explosive Dual Purpose, a 40mm round of grenade AMMO developed by Martin Electronics, that's suitable for both inert and anti-personnel (AP) targets, and is fired from an M-79, M-203, or M-32 grenade launcher. Also, a High Explosive Dual Purpose projectile fired from a rocket launcher or main gun tube against fortifications and light armor.


a prefix for HELICOPTER, such as in HELIBORNE or HELIPAD.

1st Aviation Brigade patch
1st Avn Bde
helicopter-borne; the AIRMOBILE or AIR ASSAULT mode for infantry or cavalry operations. Term imitative of "airborne". See AIR CAV, SKY CAV, CHALK, CHOPPER, MECH.


a device consisting of a reflector and shutter that's used for signaling or messaging over long distance by means of sunlight, moonlight, or lantern light; adopted by the U.S. Army in 1873 from a British invention used militarily in India as the first wireless long distance (10-15wpm sent 30mi) communications device. See ALDIS LAMP, MORSE CODE, HAND SIGN, WIGWAG. [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags]

a takeoff and landing area for helicopters, usually on an APRON without support facilities, but sometimes isolated in a REVETMENT near an HQ or TOC for the C&C, or as a DUSTOFF parked beside an EVAC; see LZ, PZ, CLZ, PSP, MOBI-MAT.

Air Force spotter

see VALHALLA, HOUNDS OF HELL, THE DOGS OF WAR, FOUR HORSEMEN, HELL HOUNDS, HELL ON WHEELS, RETRIBUTION, FACE THE MUSIC; compare THE BIG PX IN THE SKY, FIDDLER'S GREEN, HAPPY VALLEY. [nb: "No warrior is ever going to heaven because the saints would make him feel unwelcome there, and no warrior is ever going to hell because the devils are afraid that he would takeover there, so when warriors die, they go to their own special place, where they can be with others of their own kind." anonymous] [cf: Tartarus, Erebus, Pluto, Stygian, Orcus, Avernus, Tophet, Gehenna / valley of the sun of Hinnom (ge ben Hinnom), Satan's kingdom, Devil's house, underworld, lower world, netherworld, nether regions, the bad place, hell, hades, inferno, infernal regions, perdition, purgatory, limbo, oblivion, pit, bottomless pit, abyss, lake of fire, lake of fire and brimstone, fiery furnace, abode of the damned, home of lost souls, place of departed spirits, shades below, hellhole]

the Grumman F6F/F6F-3 Navy fighter aircraft. Also, the WWII-era M-18 tank destroyer. Also, nickname of the 12th Armored Division, which served in Europe (ETO) during WWII.

the Curtiss SBC/SB2C/A-25 dive bomber employed during WWII.

a Rockwell / Lockheed-Martin / Northrop-Grumman air-to-ground solid-fuel propulsion missile (AGM-114) launched from an aerial platform (eg: CHOPPER, UAV) against HARD TARGETs with a High-Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) warhead using "fire and forget" LASER guidance at longer standoff distances than other missiles in the Army's inventory, which minimizes launch exposure. Models in series include digital autopilot, electro-optical countermeasures, target reacquisition after lost LASER lock, electronic SAD, home-on-jam anti-radiation mode, with the HELLFIRE II being the optimized version, and the Longbow HELLFIRE Modular Missile System being an air-launched, RADAR aided, inertially guided missile utilizing millimeter-wave RADAR technology. Employed since the 1990 GULF WAR, it was scheduled to be replaced by the Joint Common Missile (JCM), designed to combine the capabilities of the several HELLFIRE variants, with a tri-mode seeker and a multi-purpose warhead, but its supersession was discontinued due to budgetary restraints. The HELLFIRE system has been tested for use on the High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), the Improved TOW Vehicle (ITV), and the Hercules C-130 SPECTRE gunship.

a nickname for the Marine Corps mascot: "devil dogs" or BULLDOG (qv); see USMC, LEATHERNECK, MILITARY ORDER OF THE DEVIL DOGS; compare HOUNDS OF HELL.

one of the common chants voiced by COUNTERCULTURE activists during anti-war meetings that encouraged draft resistance of the VIETNAM WAR; this doggerel also incited disobedience and desertion. Other chants that expressed opposition to military service included: "Draft beer, not boys!", "Eighteen today, dead tomorrow!", "Make love, not war!", and "One, two, three, four – we don't want your fucking war!". See DRAFT, CALL TO THE COLORS, DRAFTEE, DRAFT LOTTERY, PRESS-GANG, SHANGHAI, DRAGOON, McNAMARA'S HUNDRED THOUSAND, DRAFT DODGER, PROTESTOR, DAYS OF RAGE, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY, AMERIKA, WE SHALL OVERCOME, KUM BA YAH, THE FISH CHEER; compare BATTLE CRY, VIETNAM IS FOREVER. [nb: "I ain't got nothing against them Viet Congs. No, I'm not going ten thousand miles from here to help murder and kill and burn another poor people simply to help continue the domination of white slavemasters over the darker people the world over." by Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr (Muhammad Ali)]


2nd Armored Division patch
2nd Arm Div
the BATTLE CRY of the Army's 2nd Armored Division. Also, slang for anything that's effective and fast-paced, or anyone who's aggressive and extremely demanding; sometimes expressed as "going to hell in a handcart" or "...handbasket", as derived from the handcart or pushcart used to convey corpses, often called a "hell-cart". Such HELL ON WHEELS have been allegorically representative of the delivery of damned souls into Hell by fiends or demons in both Christian and Hindu eschatology over the past millennium. This phrase was also used to refer to the itinerant saloons and brothels (ie: SIN CITY, HELL'S HALF ACRE) that followed the construction of the transcontinental railroad (1863-9); as the term "hell-cart" was also used to describe the conveyance used by prostitutes. [cf: juggernaut; v: iron horse]

nickname of the B-24 LIBERATOR heavy bomber used during WWII against the Axis forces, especially Nazi Germany. Also, an interjection or exclamation expressing vexation or surprise, especially over a deteriorating condition or worsening situation, as an urgent crisis or pressing problem; also represented as the "hammers of hell" or the "clappers of hell" ... the complete 19th century imprecation was "hell's bells and buckets of blood!", but its ultimate origin is unknown.

after its earlier usage for a slum district or rough terrain [cf: HELL ON WHEELS, BLOOD ALLEY, SIN CITY], this phrase identified the Anzio beachhead during 1944, which was called "the only front without a rear" during WWII. [aka: hell hole, black hole, perdition]

a catch-phrase for a dreaded outcome or dire consequence, especially a punishment that's due, as used by Wellington when fighting Napoleon in 1811 during the Peninsular War; this expression is interchangeable with "devil to pay", and its etymology is nautical, not monetary nor eschatological. [nb: originally "The devil to pay and no pitch hot." being a nautical expression for a vital task that must be done without resources, that later meant any unpleasant punishment; an unwelcome but necessary job of maintenance that was also dangerous, wherein 'devil' and 'hell' were jargon for the ship's most inaccessible side-planking, while 'pay' refers to sealing these planks with pitch or tar to prevent leakage ... the precise location of these 'devil' planks is disputed today, with some alleging them to be the bottom-most garboard strakes connected to the keel (v: careen), while others claim them to be the longest strakes positioned midway between the gunwales and the waterline, but in either case, such caulking was a disagreeable chore]

(forthcoming); the training course is divided into pre-HELL WEEK (4wks), HELL WEEK (fifth week), and post-HELL WEEK (11wks) phases; see SUGAR COOKIE, WHISTLE DRILL, ROCK PORTAGE, TADPOLE, FROGMAN, UDT, PUP, BUDS, SEAL, NSWG, RING THE BELL, BUDWEISER. Also, for National Guardsmen (NG) and other reserve components, that period of "intense" training when the WEEKEND WARRIORs must perform their specialized duty (MOS) under "regular" military conditions, wearing their uniforms and executing orders, just like the rest of the active duty (AD) MILPERS do all the time! See MILITIA, PARAMILITARY, RESERVE.

the steering apparatus, as a wheel or tiller, by which a vessel is navigated. Also, the point, position, or location of such control. Compare COCKPIT, BRIDGE, FLYING BRIDGE, PILOTHOUSE, CONNING TOWER. [nb: where the ship's steering wheel has been replaced by JOYSTICKs for controlling propulsion pods and thrusters, the HELM is called an "integrated bridge system workstation"]

sometimes called "tin hat", "tin topper", "tin-topee /-topi", "iron lid", "soup bowl", "brain bucket", or "battle bowler"; see TIN POT, STEEL POT, HELMET-COVER, K-POT, BONE DOME, HAMMOCK, JOHN WAYNE, HEADGEAR, CAT'S-EYES, GLINT TAPE, BUD LIGHT, TURN TURTLE.

a camouflaged fabric, reversible for display of either mottled brown or green pattern, with foliage slits and elastic retention band; this HELMET-COVER (properly called "lambrequin") replaced the mesh net previously used due to the reflective glint or shine that could be occasionally detected through the inserted foliage, which gave the enemy a target. As with all CAMO fabrics, the pattern is often inappropriate for the setting, but is often rationalized as being "better than nothing". The number and type of command decisions regarding (in-)appropriate style or display of such HELMET-COVERs is directly proportional to the distance from the FRONT LINE, inasmuch as HEADGEAR is typically the most obvious exhibition of individuality among unit members.

loss of mental coordination by crewmembers at high altitude due to hypoxia. Also, by extension, any exhibition of mental confusion or scrambled thinking, often obsessive or compulsive, as when fixated on a bad idea or improper act; see BRAIN FART, THOUGHT GRENADE.

(hee-low) abbreviation for HELICOPTER.

Heavy Extended Mobility Tactical Truck; see TRUCK.



abbreviation for High Explosive Plastic, which was developed as Composition B during WWII as a powerful but sensitive ductile explosive; see C-4, COMPOSITION C, RDX, COCKTAIL, SOUP, IED, EXPLOSIVE. [cf: Silly Putty (1949) and Play-Doh (1956) are trademarked brands of a clay-like modeling substance, made in bright non-toxic colors, that can be variously stretched and shaped as toys for children] Also, rhythmic demarcation for CADENCE; see JODY CALL, HOISE, BY THE NUMBERS, BEATERS 'n' BLEATERS, TOOTER, PARADE, MARCH, DITTY-BOP, WALK LIKE A PUSSY. Also, slang for being aware ("tuned in, turned on"), informed, knowledgable; sometimes "hip", as in hipster or HIPPIE.

inflammation of the liver that's characterized by liver enlargement, jaundice, and fever, which is caused by a virus or by toxic agents.

see SPICE, CONDIMENTS, GUSTO. [v: fines herbes] [v: chacun à son gout (French: each to his own taste); de gustibus non est disputandum (Latin: there is no arguing about taste); pièce de résistance (French: the principal dish of a meal)]

an air combat maneuver that enables an aircraft to quickly reverse direction using a combination of high angles of attack and rolling; also called "J-turn", this practice was developed by Wolfgang Herbst (29 April 1993). [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon]

Lockheed C-130 / DC-130 four-engine, high-wing, turbo-prop, medium-capacity transport aircraft introduced to USAF inventory in 1954; nicknamed "Herky bird" or "whisper pig". See FLYING COW, SPECTRE, CANDLESTICK, STOL, BIRD. [nb: Lockheed AC-130 gunship has been designated as 'Spectre'] [nb: from 30 October 1963, a Marine KC-130F, modified with an anti-skid braking system, made several unassisted landings and take-offs from the flight deck of the USS Forrestal in an attempt to determine if it could serve as a Carrier On-board Delivery (COD) aircraft; because the C-130 was too large to fit in a carrier's hangar deck, the smaller Grumman C-2 GREYHOUND was developed instead]

173rd Airborne Brigade patch
173rd Abn Bde
nickname of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, formally known as "Sky Soldiers"; being the first major US Army combat unit sent to Vietnam. This affectionate nickname was probably adapted from the 3rd Infantry's "Old Guard" nickname of "The Third Herd" by imitation, as "The One Seventy Third Herd".

nickname for the Lockheed C-130 / DC-130 HERCULES transport aircraft, also called "whisper pig"; see FLYING COW, SPECTRE, CANDLESTICK, STOL, BIRD.

dismissive reference by rhyming to any World War Two NAZI soldier, also called "Fritz", "Kraut", "Heinie" ('Heine': Heinrich; not buttocks), or "Jerry/Gerry"; without the pejorative connotations of "Boche" (blockhead) and "Hun" (barbarian) from World War One. Compare CHARLIE, GOMER, IVAN, BAD GUYS.

conventionally, anyone who has demonstrated initiative and courage "above and beyond the call of duty", for which distinction of an "ordinary person doing an extraordinary thing", a token of recognition and esteem is bestowed in the form of a decoration or award. In actuality, medals are presented for "the good of the service", and the process is always political or fraternal (hence officers are recognized more than their men, and service academy graduates more than non-grads). Awards are required for promotion, and promotion is required for retention. Among "real soldiers", who disdain the glorified pomp and publicized circumstance of TICKET-PUNCHING, this label is offensive. The applicable military maxim is "A HERO is a sandwich." with deliberately dismissive and derisive intent, and the implication that a "real soldier" will 'eat' a HERO ... that a HERO will get 'eaten up' by a "quiet professional"! As one dutiful veteran expressed it: "I'm no HERO, but I've served in the company of heroes ... men so dedicated and loyal that their service was breathtaking!" The heroic conduct that's ordinarily deemed noteworthy will usually get other men killed, will compromise the mission, and would deserve a court martial if not redefined for a reward. Typically reckless and self-aggrandizing, heroics imperil lives and risk success. Many honorable commanders have said that "there's no such thing as a HERO, only men doing their DUTY". See DUD, HOT SHOT, BOY WONDER, MACHO, BERSERK, GO KINETIC, FIGHTING MAD, SEE RED, BLOOD IN THE EYE, MOCK-HEROIC, THE NINE WORTHIES, SUPERHERO, FICTIONAL CHARACTER, TRASH, GONG, FRUIT SALAD, DEVICE, OLC, V-DEVICE, TROPHY, WATCH MY SMOKE, BRAGGING RIGHTS, GUTS, MOXIE, ONIONS, WINTER SOLDIER. [v: hankering after glory (ruhmsucht), greed of honor (ehrgeiz)] [nb: "A nice war is a war where everybody who is heroic is a hero, and everybody more or less is a hero in a nice war. Now this war is not at all a nice war." by Gertrude Stein, Wars I Have Seen (1945); "Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy." by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Notebooks (1978); "It is a popular idea that a man is a hero just because he was killed in action. Rather, I think, a man is frequently a fool when he gets killed." by George S. Patton Jr, Hatch Memorial Shell speech (7 June 1945); "The chief business of the nation, as a nation, is the setting up of heroes, mainly bogus." by Henry Louis Mencken, Prejudices: Third Series (1923); "The dead hero becomes immortal. He becomes more vital with the passage of time." by Daniel J. Boorstin, The Image (1962); "I have never been more serious! ... stop your ridiculous plaudits! ... do not embarrass me with false praise that imitates classic poetry! ... do not make me hateful with ghostly allusions to ancient gods! ... I am anything but a damned hero! ... substitute odd-eyed, drunken dog, or any other vile epithet that more accurately describes this unshaven gentleman in question." paraphrase of Charles Lamb] [nb: every MILICRAT knows that the most dangerous people in the military are not HEROes, but are disgruntled MIL-PERS who are frustrated by MICKEY MOUSE and CHICKEN SHIT, by SNOW and RED TAPE, and having been passed over twice for promotion, are serving their terminal assignment, and because they are honorable men who have not STACKed ARMS, they know that there is nothing that the TICKET-PUNCHERs and RING-KNOCKERs of the KHAKI MAFIA can do to them!] Also, a sub(marine) or hero SANDWICH, a hoagie or grinder, gyro or po' boy, being a small loaf of bread (ie: baguet) filled with any of various ingredients, such as cold cuts and sliced cheese, sausage and meatballs, peppers and other vegetables; see PITA, RICE BALL, PANCAKE, SLIDER, CAMEL BURGER, HORSE COCK, BANH MI, DUTCH LUNCH, BOXED NASTY, SPAM, FIRST-STRIKE RATION.

any period in the history of a nation when myth and legend prevail over reality, especially some vague point in the past when ideals were pure and motives were noble ... this process formerly occurred as soon as all the participants were dead and could no longer contradict the propaganda, but in the modern era, such revisionism is crafted by journalists and politicians as soon as anything significant happens. Also, one of the five periods in human history when, according to Hesiod, the gods and demigods performed magnificent feats and glorious deeds, especially in ancient Greece and Rome. [nb: the successive periods in human history that were divided by Hesiod consisted of the golden, silver, bronze, heroic, and iron ages]

someone who manifests extravagant or excessive admiration for a personal hero; someone who exhibits a profound reverence for great people or their memory; the demonstration of adoration or idolization by somebody who's also known as a "celebrity junkie" or "star fucker", groupie or fawner, toady or sycophant. See HERO, RAINMAKER, CHARISMA, COMMAND PRESENCE, THE MAN ON HORSEBACK, CULT OF PERSONALITY, YOUR WISH IS MY COMMAND, ARMY CHRISTIAN, RICE CHRISTIAN, BUTTERFLY, GRASSHOPPER, CAMPAIGN WIFE, HORIZONTAL COLLABORATOR, SLEEPING DICTIONARY, CAMP FOLLOWER, PRAYER, HOODOO, MOJO, VOODOO, FAIRY DUST. [v: heroization, heroize / heroicize]

a tactical formation used by MECH, CAV, ARMOR, and other TRACKed units for convoy security during halts or defensive posture in FILE or COLUMN, during which the thickest armor and MAIN-GUNs are directed by alternating vehicles toward the opposite sides of the formation. This oblique placement is a compromise between maneuver and defense, since this temporary arrangement will either return to the route of march, respond to attack, or convert into LAAGER. All "thin skin" vehicles (eg: TRUCK, JEEP, etc) being escorted are sheltered in the center. Compare THUNDER RUN, REFUSE. Also, a pointed twill weave that forms alternate V-shaped columns of slanted lines in the field green fabric of work or utility uniforms; a tough but flexible cloth used in Army FATIGUES or Marine UTILITIES that were issued during WWI, and continued to be issued through WWII until phased out during the KOREAN WAR. The supply of herringbone fabric FATIGUES was finally depleted by the beginning of the VIETNAM WAR, having been issued to women serving in both the Army and Marines, but these uniforms were still being worn by DINOSAURs and OLD SALTs when the military changed from solid to patterned cloth in the late 1960s.

4 year set of overseas bars
overseas bars
slang for overseas bar or overseas Stripe, being a small rectangular stripe, worn on the lower right sleeve of CLASS-A uniforms, with each denoting six-months of foreign service in an overseas combat assignment. HERSHEY BARS, named for their resemblance to a stack of candy bars, replaced the WWI overseas service chevron, which had been worn in similar fashion. See OCONUS, DEROS, DUC, PH; compare CANDY BAR. [nb: civilians go 'abroad' while soldiers go 'overseas'] Also, informal reference to the individually wrapped Hershey chocolate bar that was issued as an energy supplement ["Ration D" (1937)] for combatants, then as a nutritional supplement in field rations [K-RATIONS (1943)], and later as a luxury food to boost morale in sundry packs. The "tropical chocolate bar" was developed by Hershey during WWII to resist melting in jungle or desert conditions, and was widely nicknamed TRACK PAD by the troops for its unpalatability; it was declared obsolete after the VIETNAM WAR. A new heat resistant chocolate bar was developed by the Army food lab (NATICK) and was produced experimentally by the Hershey Company for issue during operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM; nicknamed "Congo bar" by the researchers, it was packaged in a desert camouflage wrapper and labeled "Desert Bar" by Hershey ... unpalatability remained an obstacle to its widespread acceptance, so it was discontinued at the end of the GULF WAR. Compare CLARK BAR, HOOAH! BAR; see POGY BAIT, GEDUNK, SUGAR PILL. [nb: created as a byproduct of cocoa manufacturing for hot chocolate drinks, the chocolate candy bar did not appear as a confection until the mid-19th century; and before being individually wrapped for single sales, most confectionery products were sold in bulk packaging]


Hamlet Evaluation System.

(forthcoming); aka: "Hesco bastion"; deriv: gabion; semi-permanent; see BLAST WALL, T-WALL, REVETMENT, BANQUETTE [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

Heavy Equipment Transporter; see LOW BOY.

Vietnamese phrase meaning "all finished" or "already done", concluded or accomplished; used idiomatically for ended or terminated, dead or done for.

Highly Enriched Uranium, having been fortified to weapons grade levels; see HOT GREASE, YELLOWCAKE, DRAGON SHIT, HEAVY WATER. [v: Cherenkov radiation]


HF :
High Frequency; radio signal spectrum between 3 and 30 megahertz (MHz); see RADIO WAVE, RADIO. Also, abbreviation for "Hatchet Force", CODENAME for company- and battalion-sized SOG operations (eg: SLAM).

High Frequency Direction-Finding, being a form of RDF, and commonly called HUFF DUFF or HOT STUFF.

Harness gear, being those items worn on the H-harness suspenders and PISTOL BELT or CLUTCH BELT, including pouches containing survival and rescue gear, signaling and first aid items, ammunition and canteens; this WEB GEAR may be temporarily removed and laid nearby with one's individual weapon. Also, Handling gear, being the protective clothing and tools used when collecting or moving hazardous materials (HAZMAT); see BUNNY SUIT, MOON SUIT, BLUE SUIT, JSLIST, CPOG, GAS MASK.

Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, a company-sized element at the battalion level; see BATTERY/BTY, ARTY; compare HHC, HHD, HHT, H&S, HQ.

Headquarters and Headquarters Company, a company-sized element at the battalion level; see COMPANY/CO, INF, ARM, ENGR; compare HHB, HHD, HHT, H&S, HQ.

Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, a company-sized element at the battalion level; see DET, compare HHB, HHC, HHT, H&S, HQ.

the term used to designate the unnamed effective time specified for the commencement, execution, implementation, or initiation of a particular D-DAY operation; designation originally created by repetition. See HACK, TIME.

Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, a company-sized element at the squadron level; see TRP, SQDN, CAV, AIR CAV, ACR; compare HHB, HHC, HHD, H&S, HQ.

H&I / H & I / H-and-I FIRE :
Harassment and Interdiction fire, being nighttime artillery fire plotted to land on suspected enemy camps, caches, or travel routes, so as to interrupt or damage enemy activity; also known as "punching holes in the sky" and "rural undevelopment". See I&I, HARASSMENT FIRE, DUFFEL BAG; compare RECON BY FIRE. [nb: during the Battle of Chancellorsville in 1863, Porter Alexander blindly shot (no Forward Observer) indirect artillery at pre-registered sites, as logical or probable targets, to great effect for the first time in history]

Head In Clouds, or Head In Concrete, as refers to stubborn or impractical authorities; also called "rectal defilade", and known in NavSpeak as "up and locked". See HOT, PYHOOYA, BURY ONE'S HEAD IN THE SAND, DOESN'T KNOW SHIT FROM SHINOLA, DODGE THE BULLET, CYA, PING-PONG, SMOKE 'n' MIRRORS, WONK. [cf: "hollow men" of T.S. Eliot and "straw man" of Guy Fawkes]

CODENAME for an NSA radio intercept and SOG radio relay site, overrun by NVA attack on 4-5 June 1971. See LEGHORN, BLACK LADY MOUNTAIN, RR; compare LIMA SITE 85.

a lightly constructed place of CONCEALMENT, appropriately camouflaged into its setting, for hunting, observation, and related activities; also called a "blind", "hideaway", "mew", or "coverture". See SNIPER, SIGHT PICTURE, HUT, SHEBANG, DUGOUT, BOLT HOLE, RABBIT HOLE, GILLIE SUIT, SHROUD, SAFE HOUSE, SAFE ROOM, BOMB SHELTER, FALLOUT SHELTER; compare CACHE, GLORY HOLE, SMUGGLER'S TRAP. Also, an activity, organization, or construction that's intended to conceal or obscure some true purpose, as a subterfuge; see BLOW SMOKE, SMOKE 'n' MIRRORS, STALKING HORSE, TROJAN HORSE, SHADOW, UNDER THE RADAR, MASK, CONCEALMENT, DECEPTION.

one of a variety of children's games in which, according to specified rules, one player (ie: it or hunter) gives the other players a chance to hide, and then attempts to find them before they can return to the starting point (ie: base or home); also called "hide-and-go-seek" or "manhunt", this game is begun with the announcement "Ready or not, here I come." and is concluded with "All are in free." [typically slurred as "Ollie ollie in free."]. Not to be confused with 'tag', this game is actually a variant of 'Base Capture' and has been played indoors or outdoors, with returnees made safe or made additional hunters, played in the dark with a flashlight, and in camouflage with a paint-ball gun. HIDE-AND-SEEK is arguably the basis for all military operations, especially reconnaissance. See BATTLE ROYAL, UPHILL BATTLE, BATRACHOMYOMACHIA; compare DUCK ON DRAKE, DUCKS AND DRAKES, TUG OF WAR, RED ROVER, KING OF THE HILL, CAPTURE THE FLAG, PRISONER'S BASE, WAR GAMES.

someone who is narrow and rigid in opinion, representing an inflexible or unimaginative point of view; being pedantic or parochial, traditional or conservative, conventional or old fashioned, such as an OLD SALT or MOSSBACK, OLD BREED or DINOSAUR. Although its origin purports some dire veterinary malady, more probable etymologies include a metanym for narrow-minded, as someone whose thinking is restricted in the same way that a straitjacket (ie: a binding hide) confines the body, or a pedant who's limited to what's permitted by the published (ie: in a leather-bound book) rules and regulations. See TOE THE LINE, BRASSBOUND, BOX HEAD, BRASS-COLLAR, BRASS EAR, HARD-AND-FAST, MILITARY MIND, GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK, PARTY LINE, BY THE BOOK, ZERO TOLERANCE, HARD-SET, HARD-NOSE, HARD-ASS, CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, SOP, SCRIPTURES.

an idiom meaning to disguise by inactivity or indistinction, as when disguised or concealed by subterfuge or incognito; that which is undifferentiated from its surroundings, as to "lie doggo" ... also represented as "concealed in plain sight". See DECEPTION, CAMO, CONCEALMENT.


the eponymous LANDING CRAFT, originating as the 36-foot mahogany "Eureka" invented by Andrew Jackson Higgins, that became the prototype for all subsequent BEACHHEAD assault boats; also called Landing Craft Vehicle and Personnel (LCVP).

a flight profile wherein the nose of an airplane is situated at a high angle of attack (relative to the horizon) but without climbing or gaining altitude, especially during slow speed handling, as exhibited by the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the F/A-18 Hornet variants. [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon]

aerial bombardment from indirect enemy fire, such as MORTARs, ROCKETs, or artillery, which was usually quite accurate considering the improvised launching platforms; properly known as PLUNGING FIRE. See RPG, IN-COMING, SALVO, TURN TURTLE, WHIZ BANG. [cf: bombard as the earliest type of indirect cannon launching stones, from "noise" (bomb) and "stone-throwing engine" (bombarda)]

slang for a snappy hand SALUTE, as "to HIGH BALL the general" or "I threw him a HIGH BALL"; compare ITALIAN SALUTE, POLISH SALUTE, HAND SIGN. [cf: high sign] Also, an Americanism for a signal, given by hand or light, to commence movement; slang for a signal to proceed. Also, an iced drink of whiskey mixed with either club soda or ginger ale that's served in a tall glass.

HIGH 'n' DRY :
originally indicating a place above the reach of a high tide, as for work or camp, but later applied to aviation being above ground activity and temporarily out of the action, as when staging for a bomb run release or awaiting clearance for an AIR STRIKE, as Close Air Support (CAS) with weapons on 'safe'; also called "high cover". See UMBRELLA, CAP, ABNCP, RACETRACK, STACK, ORBIT, SPLASH, FEET WET. Also, from the same high tide allusion, someone who is stranded beyond the current of normal affairs; being disengaged, out of touch, out of action, or "out of it" (dissociation).

a superior level or echelon, referring to those remote and faceless SUPER GRADEs and OFFICERs who rule the lives of regular troops; often expressed as "HIGHER-HIGHER", like a multiplier, to indicate the magnitude of pronouncements, and the total impotence of anyone to intercede (eg: "It came from HIGHER-HIGHER -- way above my pay grade!" or "That's direct from HIGHER up -- way beyond my skill level!"). Although subordinates frequently cite this relationship as an "explanation" for orders, the opposite is not the case ... the expression "lower" or "lower-lower" (ie: SWINE LOG, LITTLE PEOPLE) is never used to refer to assigned personnel by unit commanders. This referent is also known as "echelons above reality". See CHAIN-OF-COMMAND, OB, TO&E, HONCHO, BRASS HAT, RHIP, ROUGHSHOD, TOP DOG, RAINMAKER, LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN, VFR DIRECT. [v: ex cathedra (Latin: with high authority [literally: "from the chair"])] [nb: When the highest monkey in the tree looks down, all he sees is the "tooth and nail" of others climbing after him; and when the lower monkeys look up, all they see is the asshole of the one at the top!] [nb: "The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind." by Joseph W. "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell]

a posture of presumed superiority, usually moral or intellectual, that's taken by an arrogant or overbearing person, whether or not there's any substance sustaining this assertion; such as "Get off your high horse and help us scrub the latrine!" or "The colonel's wife likes to ride around on her high and mighty horse telling everyone what to do!" [v: noblesse obligue; cf: hobbyhorse]

a type of slackline that's suspended between two anchor points, most often ships at sea, for the expedient transfer of people or property; this simple method of conveying men or material should not be confused with an angled slide (ie: TYROLEAN TRAVERSE) or a taut TIGHTROPE. Although the primary conveyance is a single HIGHLINE, a secondary slackline may be run parallel (inferior) as a safety LINE, while the load is advanced between the two points by a guy-line (GUY), and regulated by a BELAY. This HIGHLINE traverses the ship's superstructure, or the TOPSIDE above the HULL and main DECK, for both safety and convenience; however, a "lowline" may be rigged closer to the water surface, as from BOAT to WHARF, but with unstable anchor points, this can become difficult or dangerous. Even with solid anchors, as from rock to rock across a chasm, the transfer ROPE or CABLE is always kept "slack", relative to the load. The load transferred by HIGHLINE is always secured by SLING, BOATSWAIN'S CHAIR, or STRETCHER, as this is not a ROPE BRIDGE. This transfer mode is used with patients, medicines, spare parts, mail, and other critical items. See BRIDGE, RAPPEL, DINGLEBERRY, FOOTROPE, RATLINE. [nb: a new sport has developed since the early 1980s from the practice of balancing on chain and walking on flat webbing straps, either low ("trick-lining") or high (with safety leash), that's more informal and dynamic than high-wire walking, but such recreational "slacklining" should not be confused with this field expedient MIL-CRAFT technique]

slang reference for the use of a woman's cleavage [decollete / d'collet, or decolletage / d'colletage] or her bra / brasiere as a place to put small items (eg: messages, currency, jewelry, etc); see HANG LOOSE, PIRATE'S DREAM, TOPSIDE, MAE WEST, THE BRA. Also, the CODENAME for a WWII American spy named Claire Phillips, who, while using the nom de guerre Dorothy Fuentes, garnered enemy information at her Manila nightclub (called Tsubaki, which translates as 'camillia', and has the meaning of "hard to get" or "difficult to obtain") that was passed by courier to resistance groups from October 1942 to May 1944; although unaffiliated with any agency or organization, she was captured and imprisoned by the Imperial Japanese; she was later decorated for her clandestine efforts by both the Philippine and American governments.

someone who consistently performs well, being a model of efficiency and competence; also expressed as "high speed, low drag"; see HARD CHARGER, FAST MOVER, BOOMER, BARREL-ASS, BALLS TO THE WALL. Also, someone who performs his job with no interest or concern for those around him; see SPEEDY, BOY WONDER, HOT DOG, TAP-DANCER. Also, any job that has few obstructions and a minimum of RED TAPE. [v: amain]


a close military-style haircut, as with a crew-cut or BUZZ-cut, FLATTOP or FLATHEAD haircut; also known as "high 'n' stupid" and "butch-cut", "white side-walls" or WHITE WALLS. This is a hair style favored by the SUPER-TROOPER, SWEAT HOG, HARD CHARGER, LIFER, BRASS HAT, TICKET-PUNCHER, RING-KNOCKER, MILICRAT, and other career MIL-PERS. Such men also prefer no sideburns, cutting them even with the ocular canthus, or upper-ear junction. See LONGHAIR, RELAXED GROOMING STANDARDS, MOHAWK, FACE FUZZ. [v: glaber/glabrous; cf: roach, hog] Also, one of the common responses to the comradely mood-checker inquiry of "How they hangin'?", with the implication of being "ready to go" or "tensed-up for action"; as opposed to "hanging loose", being in a relaxed or easygoing condition; see "Passing well." at CLAP / VD, GOOD TO GO, FAT, MISSION READY, JUMP-START; compare HANG TOUGH.


slang for the improvised armor used on light vehicles by Coalition forces in post-invasion Iraq; also called "hajji armor" and "farmer armor". Before official UP-ARMOR remodeling could occur, vehicle crewmembers began protecting themselves against improvised explosive devices (IED) by reinforcing their vehicles with scrap metal, plywood, compromised ballistic glass, Kevlar blankets, surplus FLAK VESTs, and SANDBAGs. Lining the floor of vehicles with SANDBAGs to deaden the impact of explosions was first practiced on the M-8 Grayhound during WWII, and was continued during the VIETNAM WAR with APCs, GUN TRUCKs, and JEEPs. Armor-plate was added to escort vehicles and as SPLINTER SHIELDs on gun mounts from WWII through Vietnam, but only to deflect shrapnel. During WWII, some TANKs (eg: SHERMAN and STUART) were reinforced by the welding of worn TRACK blocks or used tread shoes onto their outer HULLs; a cannibalizing practice of "appliqué armor" that evolved into SPACED ARMOR, and later into REACTIVE ARMOR. Adding supplemental protection to specific vehicles is responsive to the evolving tactical situation, when modification with built-in armor on all transports would delay operations, and be inappropriate (ie: too expensive, too heavy ... Jumbo Sherman) for other circumstances. See SKIN, IRONCLAD, HARDEN.

CALL-SIGN for an ABCCC "command and control" aircraft, such as during the battle at Kham Duc on 12 May 1968.

suspicious, strange, unusual, partially hidden or concealed; as seemingly derived from limp or hobble, perhaps in the sense of subterfuge. This word, used to identify guile or artifice, is too often confused with "kinky", meaning twisted or abnormal. See DECEPTION, TRICK, FALSE FLAG, DECOY, RED HERRING, TROJAN HORSE, STALKING HORSE, CAT SKINNER, CAT'S-PAW, SOMETHING'S ROTTEN IN DENMARK, CREDIBILITY GAP; compare HANKY-PANKY, MOJO. [cf: hincty]

(hip-pah) Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, being a federal law enacted in 1996 To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to improve portability and continuity of health insurance coverage in the group and individual markets, to combat waste, fraud, and abuse in health insurance and health care delivery, to promote the use of medical savings accounts, to improve access to long-term care services and coverage, to simplify the administration of health insurance, and for other purposes; also known as "Kassebaum-Kennedy Act". Title II of HIPAA, known as the Administrative Simplification (AS) provisions, requires the establishment of national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health insurance plans, and employers, in addition to preventing fraud and abuse of protected health information and the health care system, with a 2006 implementation deadline, including civil and monetary penalties for violations.

Counterculture peace flag
peace flag
a devotee of Free Love, expanded consciousness, and other counterculture objectives, and sympathetic to the anti-war movement PROTESTORs; also known as "flower child" / "flower children" or LONGHAIR; contrary to popular opinion, "hippiedom" was as conventional and conformist as the culture it rejected. See PACIFIST, HEP, SUMMER OF LOVE, YIPPIE, FIFTH COLUMN, RUNNING DOG, THEY'LL GIVE A WAR AN' NOBODY'LL COME, WE SHALL OVERCOME, KUM BA YAH, SILVER-TAIL, NEW AGE HIPPIE, STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, LOVE BEADS, THE PILL, PREEVERT, TRIPPIE, BULLSHITVIK; compare STRAIGHT ARROW, SILENT MAJORITY. [nb: "A hippie is someone who looks like Tarzan, walks like Jane and smells like Cheetah." by Ronald Wilson Reagan] [v: "Tortilla Flat" (1935), "The Wayward Bus" (1947), "Sweet Thursday" (1954), and other proletarian works by John E. Steinbeck]

an informal referent for a specialist or problem-solver who is brought in from outside to offer expertise or perspective that is not available within the organization, or to ensure objectivity and impartiality during the analysis or resolution of an incident or situation; being a third party (CAT'S-PAW) who ensures against a cover-up, and will be blamed (FALL GUY) by both sides for his conclusion. This Vietnam-era expression was coined to represent the anti-corruption image of the "good guys in white hats" who were devoted to eliminating the "bad guys in black hats" in the Wild West motif of the time. Such autonomous experts, whether political appointees or civilian contractors, had broad investigative powers, the authority to hire and fire, and to take no prisoners ... hence this expression became synonymous with GUNSLINGER and MERCENARY. The meaning of HIRED GUN has also been extended from someone employed to resolve difficulties or disputes to someone who's skilled at attaining power for others. See AUGMENTEE, B TEAM, BELTWAY CLERK, BELTWAY BANDIT, SAND CRAB, DAC, KHAKI MAFIA, CARPETBAGGERS, GOLDEN SHOWER, SUPER GRADE, RELATIVE RANK, WHIZ KID, BEST AND BRIGHTEST, MANDARIN, WISE MEN, BRAIN TRUST, KITCHEN CABINET, MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, YOUNG LION, LONG KNIFE, COWBOY, DODGE CITY, INDIAN COUNTRY, APACHE COUNTRY.

the aggregate of past times, especially those noteworthy events recorded for posterity; that branch of knowledge studying the past for its meaning and implications. A systematic narrative of past events, typically chronological, relating to a particular period or activity, people or region, including biography and archaeology. See TRADITION, ESPRIT DE CORPS, BATTLE CRY, MOTTO, TOAST, CUSTOMS AND COURTESIES OF THE SERVICE, CREST, PATCH, THE G, ACT OF CONGRESS, THE NATIONAL JOKE FACTORY, THE HILL, GREEN ACRES, OLYMPUS, FOGGY BOTTOM, WASHINGTON WALTZ, DOMINO THEORY, WAR POWERS ACT, PETITION, DECENT INTERVAL, MIGHT MAKES RIGHT, THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS, BETTER THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, DIVIDE AND CONQUER, RED TAPE, POLITICS, REALPOLITIK, CIVILIAN, POLITICIAN, MANDARIN, WISE MEN, PRESIDENTIAL DOCTRINE; compare MYTH. [nb: "Students of history are horror-struck at the massacres of old; but in the shambles, men are being murdered to-day." by Herman Melville; "But what experience and history teach is this — that peoples and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it." by Georg W.F. Hegel; "History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives." by Abba Eban; "Although men make history, no man knows what history he is making until much later, when it has become historical."; "False history gets made all day, any day, the truth of the new is never on the news ... false history gets written every day." by Adrienne Rich; "History: An account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly fools." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce; "Mythology: The body of a primitive people's beliefs concerning its origin, early history, heroes, deities and so forth, as distinguished from the true accounts which it invents later." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce; "History is made only to be immediately forgotten."; "Hegel remarks somewhere that all great, world-historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice. He has forgotten to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce." by Karl H. Marx; "History should be written as philosophy." by François Marie Arouet de Voltaire; "History is Philosophy teaching by examples." by Thucydides; "History does nothing; it does not possess immense riches, it does not fight battles. It is men, real, living, who do all this .... It is not history which uses men as a means of achieving — as if it were an individual person — its own ends. History is nothing but the activity of men in pursuit of their ends." by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels; "History is regarded as nothing but the continuation of politics by other means." paraphrase of Karl von Clausewitz; "History is too dangerous to be entrusted to ordinary people."; "After the war is over, the victors write the history, and the vanquished write the poetry."] [nb: feminists resist the patriarchal dominance of masculine orientations (eg: aggressivity, objectivity, linearity, etc) by asserting the validity of "her-story" over 'his-story']

a quick, concentrated ATTACK that's marked by the attackers taking flight immediately after the ASSAULT; as derived from a base stealing tactic in baseball; see AMBUSH, RAID, PANTY RAID, SORTIE, INCURSION.

informal reference to a term or period of military service. Also, an unexpected difficulty or delay.

to transmit a PROPAGANDA broadcast on the same frequency (FREQ), using authentic CALL-SIGN and program characteristics, in imitation of the actual enemy station, except when the genuine enemy signal is off-the-air. Compare SURF; see HASHING, PUSH, RADIO.


more than an injunction to "strike hard" or "strike first", this expression is also an anthem to self-assertion or self-promotion where the irresistable charm of "putting one's best foot forward" will overwhelm any opposition or succeed against all resistance; adopted from the lyrics of a popular song ["Hit Me With Your Best Shot" written by John & Edward Schwartz, performed by Pat Benatar in Crimes of Passion (1980)] from the post-Vietnam era, it also implies sexual prowess with double-entendre (ie: "Well you're the real tough cookie ... You don't fight fair, But that's okay, see if I care, Knock me down, it's all in vain, I'll get right back on my feet again ... Put up your dukes, Let's get down to it ... Hit me with your best shot, Fire Away!"). This modern colloquialism advocates aggressivity as an implacable resolution to any desired objective.

slang for DUTY ROSTER; see WATCH BILL, SCROLL, ADY, SHIT LIST. Also, any sequential listing of favorite people or things, such as the categorized listing of popular songs, ranked by record sales since WWII. Also, used ironically to identify the list of preferred targets (people or places) that are to be attacked as soon as time, resources, and opportunity permits.

informal expression for making a parachute jump, from the time when parabolic canopies were made of silk fabric; see AIRBORNE, PARACHUTE, STATIC LINE, FREE-FALL, BLAST, GANG-BANG, DZ, PARATROOPER, JUMPIN' JUNKIE, JUMPMASTER.

abbreviation for HomeMade Explosive, being a form of improvised explosive (IED / VBIED) using pyrotechnics or munitions, which are often oversized due to their low-yield; see BOOBY-TRAP, EXPLOSIVE.

Heavy MachineGun, being those automatic firearms of .50cal or larger bore; see HEAVY MG, FIFTY, MA DEUCE, QUAD 50, MG, CREW-SERVED WEAPONS.

U.S. Navy designation of a Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron; see SEA COBRA (AH-1J), HUEY (UH-1N).

U.S. Navy designation for Marine medium helicopter squadron; see SEA KNIGHT (CH-46).

(humvee) acronym for the M-998 High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle, pronounced HUMVEE, and also called HUMMER. This vehicle was designed to replace the JEEP by correcting its "defects" of instability, an excessive height for its width (which made it ideal for the forests and jungles of WWII), and this successor has since been retrofitted with protective armor and passenger comforts (eg: microwave cooker, compact disc player, etc). Compare JEEP; see HEAT, DONKEY DICK, GAMMA GOAT, WAR PIG, DUCK/DUKW, FAV, ORV, MULE, CHAPARRAL.

a member of a diverse tribal group of seminomadic farming peoples of the mountains of southeastern China and the adjacent areas of northern Vietnam, northern Thailand, and Laos; these peoples are also called "Miao" or "Meo" [a disparaging referent (barbarian) that's sometimes used by Laotians and Vietnamese]. Like the MONTAGNARDs, these INDIGenous people served as STRIKERs in the Royal Laotian Army (RLA) and with American ADVISORs in special projects. Also, the Miao-Yao language spoken in parts of southern China and southeast Asia.

founded in 1919 by Huynh Phu So, who was assassinated by the VIET MINH in 1947, as a millenarian sect of Buddhism that opposes Confucian dominance and emphasizes good deeds more than prayers or orisons for salvation. "Phat Giao Hoa Hao" was transmitted more through the family and community, than by the scriptures or in the temple. This religio-political sect had mass peasant appeal in southwestern provinces and the Mekong Delta. Compare CAO DAI; see BINH XUYEN. [cf: the millenarian "TAIPING" movement of mosaic theology, inspired by Hung Hsiu-Ch'uan, which resulted in the 1851-1864 rebellion to begin the "Great Peace" of reigning purification]

(whah kee) Vietnamese phrase meaning "peace land", this expression was used to refer to the United States of America ... being a good place without war.

(forthcoming); compare COCKHORSE.

a large-headed nail used to protect the soles of heavy boots and shoes, as used during WWII. Also, a small allover pattern that's tactually distinctive [cf: vair, miniver, parti-colored]. [nb: although HOBNAIL is related to hub, to "play..." or "raise hob" is to disrupt, hamper, or make mischief]

(haw baw) forest area used as VC sanctuary; see U MINH FOREST, SEVEN MOUNTAINS.

the garbled adoption of foreign words and expressions into English; the alteration of a borrowed foreign word or phrase so as to accord with the more familiar phonological patterns of a native language; a Briticism wherein 19th century soldiers serving in India substituted common surnames (ie: Hobson, Jobson) for a corruption of the unfamiliar Shi'ites' cry during the Muharram festival: "Ya Hasan! Ya Hosain!" ... grandsons of Muhammad, Hasan and Hosain were killed fighting for the faith. See POLYGLOT, DOUBLE DUTCH, GOOKANESE, BAMBOO ENGLISH, MONKEY VOICES, VERNACULAR. [eg: English 'hoosgow' or 'hoosegow' from Spanish 'juzgado']

the option of accepting that which is offered or of taking nothing at all; the absence of a genuine alternative. This expression originated with the practice of Thomas Hobson renting each horse in its turn from his stable in Cambridge (ca1630) as long as it was always the one closest to the door, which later lent credence to the "take it or leave it" attitude that became normative with fungible military materiel issued through the quartermaster (QM) system. See SUPPLY, LOGISTICS. [nb: "The zookeeper told the monkeys that they would get three measures of nuts in the morning and four measures at night. This announcement made them upset; so the zookeeper offered the monkeys four measures in the morning and three at night. This change pleased them. The monkeys had reacted with joy and anger, and the zookeeper let them, but these rearrangements made everything the same. The sage harmonizes by walking two roads." by Chuang-Tzu]


nearly indestructible thong sandals made from rubber tires; which could not protect the foot, like a BOOT, but didn't cause disease from poor ventilation. Compare BATA BOOTS; see FLIP-FLOP, FOOTWEAR. [cf: zori, sandaru, huarache, geta, jandal; v: Birkenstock] [nb: an oversized version that was used like snowshoes enabled Asian soldiers, slighter and lighter than Occidentals, to traverse swamp mud and quicksand without sinking]

(forthcoming); also called "the Trail". In anticipation of future developments, the construction of the road network, vehicle parks, fuel pipeline, and troop areas began almost five years before the TONKIN GULF INCIDENT. Post-war PAVN confessions admitted that cutting The Trail, so as to stop infiltration and supply to southern insurgency, would probably have prevented victory, and ended the war with the country partitioned ... similar to the Korean stalemate. See BINH TRAM, McNAMARA LINE, YELLOW BRICK ROAD, LEAPING LENA, THE GREEKS, SOG, STEEL TIGER, TIGER HOUND, COMMANDO HUNT, LAM SON 719, WAR GAMES. Also, post-war slang for the commercial strip of Vietnamese businesses established by BOAT PEOPLE and other refugees in many cities, which are frequently isolated in a homogeneous Asian district (eg: Little Saigon).

an assault helicopter, such as UH-1B or other GUNSHIP, equipped with a nose-mounted 40mm cannon (M-5 armament subsystem) used for direct fire support; also called "hog flight". See CHOPPER, COBRA.

any VC/NVA/PAVN defector who rallied under the CHIEU HOI "Open Arms" program to SVN/GVN; see KIT CARSON SCOUT, EARTH ANGEL, ROADRUNNER, DECOY; compare BORDEN. [nb: after the American CIVIL WAR, former Confederates enlisted in the military as "galvanized Yankees" to regain citizenship by serving in the Indian Wars of westward expansion; see GRAYBACK]

to hoist, haul, or rouse, to pull together, as derived from "hissa" and "huzzah" work chants; see CHANTEY, AHOY, HEAVE-HO, GUNG-HO, HOOAH, OORAH, YUT, BATTLE CRY, WETSU, STRAC, GUSTO, JODY CALL, HEAVE, BEATERS 'n' BLEATERS, TOOTER.

any lifting apparatus, such as TACKLE or BOOM; derived from HOISE; see HEAVE. Also, the vertical edge of a flag attached to the HALYARD, opposite the FLY. [v: Flag Terms] Also, in NavSpeak, a group of signal flags that're hauled up a ship's mast by HALYARDs. Also, to sip, sup, drink, imbibe, quaff, as to TOAST or SALUTE with a beverage; see HOOCH, BREW, GROG, JUICE, GROUP TIGHTENER, THE DRINK, SUNDOWNER. [nb: it is considered bad luck or evil omen to TOAST with non-alcoholic (ie: catlap) beverages; military toasts are most often tributes to fortitude and loyalty, while civilian toasts (grace cup) are tributes to benefaction or longevity, such as: l'chaim, prosit / prost, skoal, slàin te mhath, wassail, cheers] [v: gemütlichkeit/gemuetlichkeit] [cf: apéritif]




the cargo compartment in the BAY of an aircraft or the cargo space in the HULL of a vessel, especially between the lowermost DECK (v: ORLOP) and the bottom. Also, any individual BAY or compartment of a larger cargo space that's closed by BULKHEADs and has its own HATCH or hatchway; as a variant derived from "hole". [nb: water-tight COMPARTMENTS were first used on sea-going JUNKS as containers for adjustable liquid ballast, as well as for damage safety; such construction was inspired by imitation of bamboo]

an expression, used figuratively in the modern era, that the enforcement or fulfillment of a commitment or obligation is compulsory, as "I'll hold your feet to the fire on sending reinforcements." or "She'll hold his feet to the fire now that he's vowed...."; derives from a method of TORTURE practiced by Roman Catholic Inquisitors during their investigations of heresy. See DUTY, TOE THE LINE, DUE DILIGENCE, PROMISE, CREED, OATH, SNAKE PIT, GAUNTLET, CUTTHROAT, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, LAST STAND, PAIN, SCAR. [v: bastinado, auto-da-fé; Medieval Inquisition, Spanish Inquisition]


since the integration of women throughout the military in the post-Vietnam era, slang for an incompetent female leader of the "stuffed-shirt" or EMPTY SUIT stereotype; the feminine referent is "empty dress", while the masculine rendering of this concept is DRONE. See LDR, DELEGATOR, PIG LOOKING AT A WRISTWATCH, BRASS EAR, THE GLASS CLIFF, MILICRAT. [nb: a female unit commander is not called the OLD MAN nor "old lady", not "chieftain" nor "chieftess", not the HONCHO nor "honchette", not TOP DOG nor "top bitch", but is rather antonomastically identified by the generic "boss" or "boss lady", or by her designated NICKNAME or CODENAME; also see "GI Jane", "Jane Bond", "Acting Jane", "Swinging Dickless", "Dear Jane", SKIRT, ANGEL]

deliberate mispronunciation of 'hollywood', as being the peculiar purveyor of perverted entertainments, especially motion pictures that dramatize unrealistic plots; an industry notorious for misrepresenting themes and exploiting events for sensational effects and absurd profits. [v: Baliwood]

any parachute jump made without field gear or combat equipment, as one required each month for PARATROOPERs to maintain their jump status, and to earn credit for supplemental jump pay; also called "Hollywood jump" from the show-off nature of such non-tactical formations. See DZ, DROP, AIRDROP, GANG-BANG, STRAP-HANGER, HIT THE SILK.

a great devastation or complete destruction, as by fire, especially the reckless destruction of life; derived from 'burnt offering', as in a sacrificial rite. See DECENT INTERVAL, YEAR ZERO, ANGKOR WAT, APOCALYPSE, GENOCIDE; compare MASSACRE, KILL 'EM ALL, OVERKILL, KNOCK INTO A COCKED HAT, HEADHUNTING. [eg: Albi, Atlanta, Baharestan Square, Beziers, Carthage, Chatham Islands, Columbia, Covington, Dresden, Glencoe, Guernica, Hiroshima, Katyn, Lidice, Meroë, Nagasaki, Nanking/Nanjing, Shanghai, Sybaris, Tiananmen Square, Veii] [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] [v: Myths of the Vietnam War]

a ferry service in an unarmed (SLICK) helicopter provided to the itinerant chaplain (SKY PILOT) and his staff (GOD SQUAD, RP) for ministering to the religious and spiritual needs of troops located at fire bases (FSB) and BASE CAMPs, in a manner similar to the logistical ASH 'n' TRASH flights. See CHOPPER, TS CARD, SYMPATHY, FOXHOLE CONVERSION, ARMY CHRISTIAN, PRAYER.

(aka: sanctum or sanctum sanctorum) see TANK, BUBBLE, FISHBOWL, DUNGEON, ISOFAC, SCIF, SAFE ROOM.



conventionally, a war that's waged for what is proclaimed to be a religious purpose, such as the defense of sanctified places or of "the one true faith"; ideally, warfare intends to destroy evil and to restore peace, light and good, justice and harmony, both on the cosmic and social planes. On the spiritual battlefield, "nobody killed and nobody was killed" [eg: Kurukshōtra battle in the Bhagavad Gītā] because this mystical conflict is the struggle [ie: Karmayoga] for the unification of being. This spiritual struggle aims to condense the scattered world of appearance and illusion into the concentrated world of the single reality, of the manifold into the one, of disorder into order. Holy war is the defensive manifestation of life itself, with the transition from 'major' to 'minor holy war' being that from external to internal equilibrium, and the true 'conqueror' [eg: jina] is the person who possesses peace of mind ... this is manifest in warrior societies from Kshatriya and Gesar de Ling to Yellow Turbans and Templars. According to the sacred texts of the Hindu and Buddhist, Jew and Muslim, a holy war is not the physical contest fought with real weapons, but a conflict that the individual wages within himself, between light and darkness. It takes place during the transition from ignorance to knowledge, hence the meaning of the phrase "the whole armor of light" which Saint Paul uses. It's a contradiction in terms and an abuse of the meaning of words to apply 'holy war' to an actual armed conflict (eg: righteous crusade). In historic tradition, no secular war of this sort is "holy" because the weapons and armor of the true holy war are of a spiritual nature. See BOXER UPRISING, TAIPING REBELLION, JUST WAR, ARMAGEDDON.

the 1973 operation to repatriate the prisoners of war (POW) held captive by the VC/NVA, especially those imprisoned in NVN camps; compare HOME RUN, see TORTURE, TAP CODE, MIA, POW MEDAL, POW-MIA DAY.

a military referent for the civilian sector of a nation that's at war, to differentiate it from the military component, especially those Armed Forces that are deployed overseas; see ANTEBELLUM, FIGHTING WORDS, SABER-RATTLING, PROPAGANDA, MORALE, V-CAMPAIGN, VICTORY TASK FORCE, BLOODY SHIRT, CONFLICT RESOLUTION, JUST WAR, CA, PAO, YELLOW RIBBON, RUGGED INDIVIDUALISM, PIO, MAIL CALL, NOK, HUG SQUAD, CIVILIAN.

someone's native land, especially a region comprised of a people of a particular ethnic origin or shared cultural values; see THE AMERICAN WAY, AMERICANIZE / AMERICANIZATION, HOME FRONT, UNCLE SAM. [v: E Pluribus Unum; cf: state, nation, country]

"homing" locator device or tactical beacon, a transponder; see LOCATOR BEACON. [cf: Selective Identification Feature (SIF); Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)]

slang for a POW's successful escape from custody and repatriation, being a metaphor since WWII for a round trip using baseball imagery (ie: home plate = parent unit or native country, first base = combat or battlefield, second base = POW camp, third base = neutral nation), with each "run" between "bases" having the potential for being eternally "tagged out" of the "game". Some POWs made several escape attempts, thus "running" toward "third base" but being "short stopped" and returned to "second base"; WWI was the last time that the gentlemanly parole was tendered in lieu of imprisonment. During WWII, "third base" was usually Switzerland, Spain, Turkey, or Sweden; and during the VIETNAM WAR, it was Thailand. See E&E, SERE, SAR, CSAR, TRAP, RIT, SAFE, BRIGHT LIGHT, BLOOD CHIT, POINTIE TALKIE, CODE OF CONDUCT; compare HOMECOMING. [nb: the "human railway" was an escape network established by the Resistance (French, Belgian, Czech, and others) to rescue or conceal downed Allied aircrewmen so as to escort them to neutral nations (Switzerland, Spain, Turkey, or Sweden) for repatriation during WWII; also known as the "underground railroad"]

to secure and/or retain a good assignment or a safe BILLET, so as to maximize career options, draw extra pay, and exploit economic opportunities. Compare COMBAT BUM, TOUR BABY, PLANK OWNER, GONE NATIVE, MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, LIFER, OLD BREED, PERMANENT PARTY, MILICRAT, TICKET-PUNCHER, CHAIRBORNE, DOUBLE-DIP.


a psychosocial referent denoting the tendency for people, regardless of age or race, to associate with others of the same sex; first identified as a cross-cultural characteristic during the mid-1960s, this behavioral pattern develops coincident with toilet training, is reinforced during maturation by peer pressure, is inculcated by education and socialization until, as adults, most people find more loyalty and companionship among friends of the same sex ... this tendency extends into work and leisure activities. Whenever tutoring or mentoring is heterosocial, it tends to become sexual ... as does the homosexual when tempted by authority. Competitive sports are classically segregated, and the most significant bonding activities are sex linked. So, while most people are heterosexual, and engage heterosocially to promote their sexual interests, they tend to reserve their most viable social intercourse for same sex companions. The military, in common with monasticism, has been traditionally homosocial; however, social engineers have been attempting to craft an alternative paradigm in their "brave new world" since the Vietnam-era.

any supervisor, as a foreman or "straw boss", who's the MIL-PERS designated in charge; imported into English from WWII Japanese term for squad leader [hanchu], which derives from chief or elder of the band. See WALLAH, GADGET, ACTING JACK, CHIEF, OLD MAN, PROFESSOR, TOP DOG, MOTHER HEN, 10, MC, OVERSIGHT, RAINMAKER, GO TO GUY, THE UNHOLY TRINITY, CO, LDR, COMMAND ELEMENT. [nb: a female unit commander is not called the OLD MAN nor "old lady", not "chieftain" nor "chieftess", not the HONCHO nor "honchette", not TOP DOG nor "top bitch", but is rather antonomastically identified by the generic "boss" or "boss lady", or by her designated NICKNAME or CODENAME; also see "GI Jane", "Jane Bond", "Acting Jane", "Swinging Dickless", "Dear Jane", SKIRT, ANGEL]

aviation slang for a self-contained portable toilet aboard an aircraft; see PISS TUBE, PIDDLE PACK, LATRINE, HEAD, BLUE CANOE, HEAD CALL, COMFORT STATION, COUGH DROP, GRAY WATER, BLACK WATER, WATERWORKS. Also, a container used to collect human waste (feces or excrement), which will be used as "night soil" fertilizer; in Asia, HONEY BUCKETs are transported by either DUMMY STICK or HONEY WAGON to a suitable place for dumping or composting; see DUMP, SHIT, TROTS, SQUIRTS, CAT HOLE, SLIT TRENCH, TRA CA, SLOP CHUTE, GUMP STUMP. [v: restroom, bathroom, lav / lavatory, washroom, powder room, loo, necessary, water closet, commode, toilet, can, crapper, john, jakes, throne, potty, privy, outhouse, earth closet, biff / biffy, chamber pot, piss pot / urinal, pissoir / vespasien, bedpan, slop jar / bucket, thunder mug / bucket, honey bucket]

slang designation for a secure bank for the clandestine transfer of non-accountable funds or unvouchered money that's made available to select agencies and special units for "deniable" training or BLACK operations, typically deposited by a BAGMAN; see CANDY, JUICE, GOLDEN SHOWER, BLACK BAG, SLUSH FUND. Also, slang for a vulnerable database, being a library or depository that can be exploited by NETRUSION, especially one that can be taken-over and remotely controlled. Also, slang for female genitalia; see STRANGE, SPLIT, SNATCH, HAPPY VALLEY, CAMP FOLLOWER, CAMPAIGN WIFE, SHACK-JOB, CLASS-B DEPENDENT, SLEEPING DICTIONARY, BITCH, RUNTS 'n' CUNTS, SQUEAK, SKIRT, DISTAFF; compare PRICK, CU, ONIONS. [v: Hottentot apron, Nez Percé plucked pubes (glabrous), Yakima thong, and Arabic nymphotomy, labial excision, or clitoral circumcision]

an operative (either male or female) who uses the blandishments of sex as a lure to ensnare a member of the opposition so as to exploit them for intelligence value; to dangle sexual bait for political entrapment; see DANGLE, DECOY, TRAP, PILLOW TALK, CAMPAIGN WIFE, LIFTED SKIRT, PROVOCATEUR, TRADECRAFT.

nickname for a cart or truck that collects HONEY BUCKETs or services LATRINEs.

slang for commercially purchased oral sex (ie: fellatio, cocksuck, blow job, go down on, suck off, deep throat, eat meat, gob job, blumpkin); see HEAD, HUMMER, CHOWING DOWN, BIB, LOVE HANDLES, DAISY CHAIN, STEAM 'n' CREAM.

conduct that demonstrates adherence to a moral code or belief system; in general terms, creditable behavior that represents worthy distinctions, such as sincerity and integrity, honesty and fairness; see OATH, CREED, CORE VALUES, CODE OF CONDUCT, ABOVE BOARD, PROMISE, HONOR CODE, SUMMUM BONUM, TRADITION, MORAL COURAGE. [nb: "Reputation is what other people think they know about you, and honor is what you choose to believe about yourself."; "Pride is a fool's fortress."; "Half of all the evil done in this world is done in the name of honor."] Also, the high regard, esteem, or respect given to worthy personages of merit or rank. Also, evidence of high rank or distinction as represented by formal titles or special decorations (eg: military honors); see IMPACT AWARD, V-DEVICE, GONG. Also, to recognize an official document as valid and binding, so as to accept its terms and conform to its requirements, as when honoring a TRUCE or TREATY; see RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), JUST WAR, LAWS OF WAR.

an oath sworn by officer candidates (OC) and CADETs preparatory to commissioning, release from which is dependent upon resignation or discharge, and which forms the basis for an officer's word being regarded as "evidence" (rather than "hearsay"). The HONOR CODE is short and simple: "I, [name], will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do." See DUTY, DELEGATE, CREED, CODE OF CONDUCT, ABOVE BOARD, PROMISE, LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN, BRASS-COLLAR, UP OR OUT. [nb: U.S. Air Force Academy pledge: "We will not lie, steal, or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and to live honorably, so help me God."] [nb: "Honor has not to be won; it must only not be lost."; "Honor knows no statute of limitations."]

a specially trained and designated escort for the national COLORS, a military COFFIN, or dignitaries and their guests; also known as "guard of honor". See President's 100 at Q-TAB, COLOR GUARD, COLORBEARER, HORSE GUARD, BODYGUARD, PALLBEARER, TOMB OF THE UNKNOWNS. [nb: assigned to occupation duty in post-war Berlin, the honor guard of the 82nd Airborne Division so impressed GEN George S. Patton that the 'All-Americans' acquired the additional designation of "America's Guard of Honor"]

a system of self-regulation and self-discipline wherein the students at a school, inmates at an institution, or members of an organization are pledged to a standard of behavior (HONOR CODE, CODE OF CONDUCT) that makes betrayal (honor violation) more significant than any of the regulatory violations; it's a system of instilled trust and inculcated honesty that supervenes the legalistic letter of the criminal code. It has been argued that this practice is an administrative convenience, but it is actually a measure of character ... determining who can be trusted with the vagaries of remote command during combat. See MORAL COURAGE, MORAL WATERSHED.

(who-ah) a call, out-cry, or salute by elite troopers to express enthusiasm or dedication, or any other positive or affirmative thing. According to "The Soldier's Guide" (FM 7-21.13, dtd 15 OCT 2003, paragraph 4-27: Traditions), "This informal but always understood sound [Hooah!] is less a word than an audible affirmation of the warrior ethos. The soldier that utters that sound understands his task and will not quit until it is completed. That sound means soldiers are ready and willing to accomplish the mission at hand." The modern Army version is: "HUAh", and represents "Heard Understood and Acknowledged"; but it has not yet been converted into an acronym by the Marines, who pronounce it: "ouhr-rah". These calls or salutes are often misrepresented as "whoo-yah" or "whoo-hah" by civilians and other non-veterans. See WETSU, GUNG-HO, STRAC, HOISE, OORAH, CHANTEY, BATTLE CRY, GUSTO, BLUE-SKY, SIGNATURE, AHOY, HEAVE-HO. [nb: "When I came here in February of 2001, it was my first -- one of my first official trips, my first visit to an Army post as Commander-in-Chief, and my first chance as President to say: Hooah!" by George Walker Bush (12 Sep 2003 speech at Ft Stewart Georgia)] [nb: the "death wind" is what witnesses called the collective sound of breathing when a score of Apaches went running past in the night on their way to or from an ambush or raid]

Hooah nutrition bar
Hooah nutrition bar
Hooah! energy bar
a high-energy snack ("nutritional performance bar") created in 1996 by military dieticians for inclusion in field RATIONS [eg: Meals Ready-to-Eat (MRE), Meal Cold Weather (MCW/LRP), FIRST-STRIKE RATION] but later distributed separately. Named after the BATTLE CRY, the original packaging displayed the word "HOOAH!" with the U.S. Army seal on one side and "OOO-RAH!" with the U.S. Marine Corps seal on the other side; but the wrappers were changed to show both logos on the same side ... a commercial version sold to civilians has the roundel of the United States imprinted. Made of all natural ingredients, the military HOOAH! BAR comes in apple-cinnamon, chocolate, cran-raspberry, peanut butter and raspberry flavors. The smaller high-energy bar that's supplied in the concentrated FIRST-STRIKE RATION comes in chocolate, apple-cinnamon, cran-raspberry, raspberry, and mocha flavors. The civilian HOOAH! BAR is only available in chocolate crisp, peanut butter, and apple-cinnamon flavors. A supplemental flavored high-energy drink called ERGO is also provided in ration packs. All versions of the HOOAH! BAR nutritional supplement have been renamed 'Soldier Fuel Bar'. [nb: the mocha bars are fortified with 200mg of caffeine] [nb: "Field tests with Army Rangers have shown that the Soldier Fuel Bar produced a 17 percent increase in physical endurance (as compared to other energy bars). It enables warfighters to think faster, move quicker, and run farther." by Gerry Darsch, Director, Combat Feeding Directorate, Soldier Systems Center]

living quarters, as a native hut or barracks; derived as a corrupt modification of the Japanese word for 'house' ("uchi"), with possible influence from 'hutch' (as a small animal enclosure), also spelled "hootch"; see BLDG, BILLET, BERTH, QTRS, VILLE, B-HUT, HUTMENT, TENT; compare LONG HOUSE, HUT, BOHIO, SHEBANG. [v: bield, bower, arbor, rock-shelter, den, lair, bothy, cot, cabin, cottage, casita, cabana, lodge, earth lodge, hogan, squat, shed, byre; cf: garret, cockloft, dovecote] Also, refers to any alcoholic beverage, whether commercial booze or homemade grog, variously called moonshine or firewater, rotgut or pop-skull, mash-squeezings or white-lightning, cheer-water or wobble-water, medicine water or antifreeze, jungle-juice or redeye, hair-of-the-dog or wisdom-soup; and sometimes, by extension, to other intoxicants; as derived from Tlingit "hoochinoo", literally Brown Bear's Fort, where illicit drink could be obtained. See SPLICE THE MAINBRACE, HOIST, HATCH, MOJO, JUICE, TORPEDO JUICE, GROG, MOONSHINE, IRISH SODA POP, SUNDOWNER, GROUP TIGHTENER, Kickapoo Joy Juice at SKUNK WORKS, DEAD-SOLDIER, CLASS SIX, BYOB, DUTCH COURAGE, WHISKEY WARRIOR, TOAST, GUSTO, BREW, BA MUOI BA, WASH, SAIGON TEA, THE DRINK, STONED. [v: liquor, sour mash, poteen, aqua vitae, eau-de-vie, elixir, usquebaugh, arrack, schnapps/schnaps, kirsch/kirschwasser, aquavit, slivovitz] [v: 1794 Whiskey Rebellion from 1791 excise tax laid by Hamilton] [v: vivandière] [nb: "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities." I Timothy 5:23 KJV Bible; "No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments." 1 Timothy 5:23 RSV Bible; "Wine is as good as life to a man, if it be drunk moderately: what is life then to a man that is without wine? for it was made to make men glad." Ecclesiasticus 31:27; "Under the pressure of the cares and sorrows of our mortal condition, men have at all times, and in all countries, called in some physical aid to their moral consolations – wine, beer, opium, brandy, or tobacco." by Edmund Burke (1795); "Wine makes a man better pleased with himself. I do not say that it makes him more pleasing to others .... This is one of the disadvantages of wine, it makes a man mistake words for thoughts." by Samuel Johnson (1778-91); "Alcohol is nicissary f'r a man so that now an' thin he can have a good opinion iv himsilf, ondisturbed be th' facts." by Finley Peter Dunne (26 April 1914); "I only drink to make other people seem more interesting." by George Jean Nathan (1958); "I'll n'er be drunk whilst I live, but in honest, civil, Godly company." by William Shakespeare (1602); "Wine gives a man nothing. It neither gives him knowledge nor wit; it only animates a man, and enables him to bring out what a dread of the company has repressed. It only puts in motion what had been locked up in frost." by Samuel Johnson (1778-91); "Drink! for you know not whence you came nor why: / Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where." by Omar Khayyam (1859); "Over the years I believe that I have taken more from alcohol than alcohol has ever taken from me." by Winston L.S. Churchill]

a supernatural power, including "black magic", that's vested in a person or object, or the person or object that's been so invested; sometimes manifest as "good fortune" (eg: talisman, amulet, charm, etc) or "bad luck" (eg: jinx, hex, bugbear, etc). Also, any of the exotic spells and ecstatic rites associated with the corrupt cult worship that derives from animism and polytheism; hence any sacrosanct incantation that imbues profound authority or evokes supernatural intervention (eg: NATIONAL SECURITY, ACT OF CONGRESS). See SMOKE 'n' MIRRORS, FAIRY DUST, the magic words "open sesame" at ALI BABA, PASSWORD, JOSS STICK, MOJO, VOODOO, CHARMS, ABRACADABRA, WIZARD, RAINMAKER, TECHNOLOGY.

slang for an anchor of any style, also called "killick", as used as a retainer or brake; includes related terms like arms, crown, shank, fluke, chain, capstan. See DROGUE, CABLE, BOWER, DAVIT, MAINSTAY, HEAVE-HO. [nb: the phrase "anchor's aweigh" means that the anchor is free of the bottom, that the anchor is no longer holding the vessel in place; the official song of the U.S. Navy is "Anchors Aweigh" composed by Charles A. Zimmerman] Also, nickname for the Boeing CH-47 CHINOOK cargo helicopter, also called "Shit Hook" or "Flying Oscar" (after the Oscar Meyer wiener). Also, nickname for the CH-54 SKYCRANE or FLYING CRANE heavy cargo helicopter; also called "superhook".

see HUBBLE-BUBBLE; compare GASPER, PIGTAIL, STICK, HAY, GRASS, JUNK, DOPE, COLORS, STONED, TAR BABY. [v: kat / khat / qat, kef / kief / kif, kef / keef, naswar; cf: chillum, bong; nb: contradictory Muslim use of narcotics but prohibition of wine and other spiritous liquors (THE DRINK)]



a ritualistic torture practiced by some AmerIndians (eg: Mandan) wherein an adherent is voluntarily suspended from hooks attached to the flesh of his back so as to induce religious mania or to inspire euphoria; compare STRAPPADO, see TORTURE. [cf: ritualized tether during AmerIndian Sun Dance; v: flagellation]

the command to, and the act of, securely tethering the STATIC LINE of the PARACHUTE onto an anchor (PAD EYE or LINE) in the jump plane on final approach preparatory to an AIRBORNE operation; may also be spelled "hook-up"; compare D-RING. Also, to grasp onto or linkup with other skydivers in freefall, as in building a formation; to link, dock, pin, grip, join, or connect. Also, any link, connection, or assembly that forms a network or system. Also, any cooperative association or alliance, as when forging a contact or reforming a connection. Also, slang for the attachment of handcuffs (BRACELETs) so as to restrain a suspect ("squeeze his wrists") or to confine a prisoner. Also, a catch-phrase for marriage, matrimony, wedlock, nuptials, conjugality, connubiality, hymeneal espousal, plight their troth, tie the knot, jump the broomstick, RING THE BELL, hitch, yoke, double harness, cohabitation, handfasting / handfastening, common law, hedgemarriage; see CLASS-B DEPENDENT, SLEEPING DICTIONARY, CAMPAIGN WIFE, DRAG, THE MOTHER-IN-LAW OF THE ARMY, SHACK-JOB. Also, a euphemism for sex, sexual relations, sexual intercourse, coitus, coition, venery, copulation, fornication, commerce, congress, seduction, intimate knowledge; see CHURNING BUTTER, BOOM-BOOM, SHORT-TIME, FUCK, SCREW, DIDDLY, ACT OF CONGRESS, BUTTERFLY, HAT TRICK, DAISY CHAIN, TRICK, PASSION RATION, LOVE HANDLES; compare STEAM 'n' CREAM, SHACK-JOB, HELL ON WHEELS, CHOWING DOWN, HUMMERR, BUSH PILOT, MUFF DIVER, TRAINING FILM, STROKE BOOK.

Hooligan pry bar
Hooligan pry bar
tool brand name for a heavy-duty crowbar, mounted with a perpendicular spike, used for assault entry and other jimmy or pry breaching; also called "hooli". The crowbar derives from its resemblance to a bird's beak, jimmy from jack, and pry from prize. See BREACHER, CE, SAPPER. [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]

slang reference for the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), as used since the interwar period when the USCG recruited during The Great Depression from the pool of semi-trained and semi-unfit applicants who'd been discharged for cause (ie: "less than honorable") from the other branches of military service; the COASTIES needed manpower to perform their mission, so the niceties were set aside while this "rogue's navy" or "scab navy" interdicted contraband (eg: drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc) during Prohibition. See BROWN WATER SAILOR, MUD DUCK, SPAR, USCGA, USN, TRADE SCHOOL; compare MERCHANT MARINE. [nb: Vietnamese term: Linh Phong Ve Duyen Hai, Phong Ve Duyen Hai] [nb: the official march of the USCG derives from its motto, "Semper Paratus", and was composed by Francis Saltus van Boskerek]

a commotion, turmoil, tumult, or to-do, such as a hullabaloo / haloobaloo, as derived from the command to move, as when directing a child to take a step; see STORM, MOVE OUT, NO REST, JUMP-START, GOOD TO GO, GOYA, CHAMP AT THE BIT, FAT, OP TEMPO, SADDLE-UP, BATTAILOUS; compare CHOGI, CHOP CHOP, RIKI TIK, HUBBA-HUBBA, FORTHWITH. Also, speech or writing that's intended to mislead or to obscure an issue, such as sensational publicity or ballyhoo; see DISINFORMATION, RUMOR, PROPAGANDA, CONTROLLED INFORMATION, FALSE FLAG, FACTOID, DECEPTION. [v: ballyhoo, endorse, aggrandize, inflate, hype, puffery, exhort / exhortation, tout, vaunt, promote, extol, exhalt, praise, laud, talk-up] [v: subreption, obreption] [nb: the neologism "pollaganda" / "polloganda" (poll + propaganda) has been coined to identify the representation of biased samples, slanted surveys, special pleading arguments, and ex-parte news depicted as authentic or authoritative; cf: "polingo" as a neologism for political lingo]

derived as a corrupt modification of the Japanese word for 'house' ("uchi"), with possible influence from 'hutch' (as a small animal enclosure); see HOOCH.

(forthcoming); "on the hop" (on the move, on the jump, on the bounce) / "hop 'n' pop" / deployment; see ON THE BOUNCE, HOPSCOTCH, JITTERBUG, JUMP-START, FIRE 'n' MANEUVER, OP TEMPO, GOOD TO GO.

nickname for POW camp at SON TAY (qv). Also, short for "Operation RESTORE HOPE" and "Operation Continue Hope", being peacekeeping assignments in Somalia, after the initial "Operation Provide Relief" aid/relief mission.

a window frame that has one or more upper sashes hinged at the bottom for opening inward, which casement framework has been used in hospitals since 1835 to provide ventilation without admitting inclement weather; also called "hopper window", "hopper light", "hopper vent", "hopper frame", "hospital window", and "hospital light".

a patrol or search method in AIRMOBILE or HELIBORNE operations where assault elements move or jump quickly and directly from one area to another, without having to pass through any of the intervening areas; to move in a series of short trips, as to travel erratically; also known as "jitterbug"; see FIRE 'n' MANEUVER, LEAP FROG, CHECKERBOARD, BUTTERFLY, CLOVERLEAF, BUTTONHOOK, STACK, ZIGZAG, DASH, WAY POINT, COMBAT SPREAD. Also, the practice of manually changing RADIO frequencies in a prearranged sequence of alternates during a transmission to avoid interception or interference; variously known as "FREQ swapping", "switch PUSH", "skip FREQ", "skip link", "skipspot", "skip rope", and the like; this evasive technique has been superseded by a computerized automatic frequency-switching modality.

a large number, a mass or multitude, a crowd or throng; from the troop of Asian nomads known as the "Golden Horde" (ie: royal residence: Mongolian army encampment). [nb: not to be confused with 'hoard', an accumulation that's carefully guarded]

a WWII-era euphemism for a woman who cooperates with the enemy occupying her country so as to benefit herself or her family with privileges, preferments, payoffs, and protection, including food and medicine, fuel and shelter; a prostitute whose services are bought with rationed commodities. See SHORT-TIME, BOOM-BOOM, BUTTERFLY, LBFM, GRASSHOPPER, LULU THE ZULU, CHOCOLATE BUNNY, CAMP FOLLOWER, SLEEPING DICTIONARY, CAMPAIGN WIFE, SHACK-JOB.

the error in range, deflection, or in radius, which a weapon may be expected to exceed as often as not. Horizontal error of weapons making a nearly vertical approach to the target is described in terms of circular error probable (CEP). Horizontal error of weapons producing elliptical dispersion pattern is expressed in terms of probable error. See AIMPOINT, CEP, DISPERSION ERROR, DELIVERY ERROR.

telephone or radio, as "The CO's on the horn.", being a sardonic allusion to an animal's horn used as a megaphone; see RTP, TELECON, HOT LINE, TELEPHONE. Also, designation given to USMC DASC in Military Region 1. Also, a device used to signal, alert, or alarm, as a "foghorn"; see KLAXON, TANNOY, BUGLE CALL, TOCSIN, ANNUNCIATOR, 1-MC.

a highly venomous viper that's characterized by having a process resembling a horn just above each eye; also known as "sand viper" and "sidewinder", it's common to extreme southwestern Asia and northern Africa.

the McDonnell-Douglas / Boeing F/A-18 USN fighter multi-role attack aircraft, nicknamed "Plastic Bug"; a single PILOT jet with a very low maintenance schedule, making it more reliable than other combat airplanes; compare SUPER HORNET, GROWLER, see HIGH ALPHA, BIRD. Also, the DeHavilland HORNET was developed as a speculative venture based upon the MOSQUITO, being designed as a long-range fighter for use in the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) against Imperial Japan, especially in Malaya. Produced from 1944 until 1956 for USAAF, RAAF, and other allied air forces, it was the fastest piston-engined fighter in service, and the fastest (472mph at 22,000 alt) wooden aircraft ever built. The HORNET was powered by twin-engines (V-12 liquid-cooled 2000hp) with their propellers rotating in opposite directions, canceling the adverse effects of torque and yaw, thus providing a more stable and predictable flight behaviour. In its several variations (36ft L by 45ft W by 14ft H), the HORNET was armed with cannons, rockets, bombs, and had twice the range of the MOSQUITO (qv). See BIRD.

(or-duh-kombah) literal French for "out of the fight", meaning disabled or impaired, as unable to continue fighting. Used metaphorically in the sense of having been "bested" or disarmed by an opponent (see SALUTE, COUP DE GRACE), to desist or resign (see STACK ARMS, QUARTER), to be unfit (see WHOLE MAN, MILLION DOLLAR WOUND, DRAFTEE); the phrase "combat ineffective" is the American equivalent. [v: misericord / misericorde] Also used as an ironic sexual allusion for spent, exhausted, unable to perform further amatory feats (see DEAD STICK, DEAD-SOLDIER, SCREW THE POOCH, TURN IN THE BARREL, HAT TRICK, AROUND THE WORLD, DAISY CHAIN).

any kind of luncheon meat (eg: bologna, liverwurst, etc) that's used to make SANDWICHes for either a snack or a meal; also called "cylindrical sirloin" and "fillet of mule tool". Compare PUPPY PETERS, DONKEY DICK; see BOXED NASTY, JERKY, BEANS, CHOW, RATIONS.

select mounted escorts serving as a "guard of honor"; see COLOR GUARD, HONOR GUARD, POSTILION, GUIDE, MARSHAL, DETAIL.

insulting reference to anyone aboard ship who is unhandy or lubberly, such as a seagoing infantryman mounted on a horse, but especially offensive when identifying unskilled seamen or jackleg sailors; a stupid lout or clumsy oaf. Compare SALTY, HANDY; see JARHEAD, SEAGOING MARINE, SQUID, SWABBY, DOGFACE, ZOOMIE, GI. [cf: ham-handed, ham-fisted]

the large anti-MALARIA pill (M-11), being either chloroquine or chloroquine-primaquine, taken weekly by MIL-PERS as a prophylaxis dosage, which often produced persistant diarrhea. See CORK, FUO; compare DAPSONE, THE PILL, YELLOW JACK.

a non-SI unit of energy equivalent to 550 foot-pounds per second, or 745.7 watts; see DONKEYPOWER.


massive automatic weapons fire, as from a minigun, Spooky or other high firepower GUNSHIP. BASE CAMP perimeters suspected of being infiltrated by sappers would be HOSED-DOWN by GUNSHIPS and defenders would shoot MAD MINUTE. The kill ratio to expended AMMO during the VIETNAM WAR was about 20,000 rounds per enemy kill. See FPL, RING OF FIRE, ENFILADE, SPRAY, ROCK 'n' ROLL, BUSTING CAPS, FLOCK SHOOT, BLIND FIRE, HAPPY FIRE; compare DOUBLE TAP. Also, slang for penis, phallus, PRICK / CU, SHORT ARM, JOYSTICK, STICK, SPAR, YARDARM, HOT DOG, BAYONET, BIRD, DIPPER, POGY BAIT, POGUE, and the like; compare LITTLE PRICK, DEAD-SOLDIER, ONIONS.

short form of hospital, as FLD HOSP (field hospital).


the 45-degree angle (octant) corner fold of bedding (ie: sheet, blanket, cover, or other SLOP) dressing a cot, RACK, bunk, or BERTH ready for inspection, as specified by regulations.


hospital conditions that have an adverse effect on patients; the adverse mental and physical effects caused by commitment or confinement under such unhealthy conditions. Also, the physiological and psychological consequences of living for an extended period or under long-term care in a hospital, nursing home, convalescent center, rehabilitation center, or the like, as used since the American CIVIL WAR. [v: iatrogenic, hospital gangrene, staph / staphylococcus, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), streptococcus, septicemia / septicaemia, sublethal anaclitic depression, dysentery, giardiasis, Escherichia coli, bacterial gastroenteritis]

a seagoing ship built to serve as a HOSPITAL, especially used to treat the wounded during wartime, which vessel is accorded safe passage by international law. See USNS, RED CROSS.

although generally inferred to be a railroad carrier, this military CONVOY is any assembly of ambulances, wagons, TRUCKs, JEEPs, cars, toboggans (IRON DOG, CAT-TRAIN) or dogsleds used to transport wounded, injured, and sick patients (who are generally bed-ridden) to a hospital for surgery or other medical treatment that's not available in the field or at an AID STATION; a military TRAIN equipped to transport wounded troops to a hospital, as used since the American CIVIL WAR.


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



dangerous, frantic, intense, as under enemy fire, or in an uncompromising situation ("in the hot seat"); see WHITE-HOT, RED-HOT, RED LZ, CYA, RED ASS, HIC, DODGE THE BULLET, DUD, LOOSE CANNON, SHOOTING WAR, BATTLE, REVOLUTION, WAR.

exaggerated talk or pretentious writing, as the monopolization of a presentation or discussion with empty or meaningless talk; a form of rigmarole or malarkey (malarky), bafflegab or bushwa / bushwah, gobbledygook or claptrap. See SNOW, CONFETTI, TALK TRASH, BLOW SMOKE, WOOF, BRAVO SIERRA, MOTOR MOUTH, VERBAL DIARRHEA, CHICKEN SHIT, SHOOT THE SHIT, GAS BAG, SCUTTLEBUTT; compare DEAD AIR. [nb: '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)] [cf: migration of "putz" from shine through ornament to penis and dolt; as sexual lure] [v: lucky stiff]

(hoe-taz) abbreviation for Hands On Throttle And Stick, being a design feature that carefully arranges all necessary function switches along the throttle and CONTROL STICK in a logical pattern for rapid activation by the aviator during combat operations; this "muscle memory" operation is augmented by the projection of target and flight information onto a Head's Up Display (HUD, COMBINING GLASS) or instrument panel monitor (VD, MFD, SMFD) that will enable the PILOT to maintain awareness outside the CANOPY or COCKPIT; see PICKLE, STICK, JOYSTICK, DEAD STICK, VOLPLANE, PLASTIC BRAINS.

(forthcoming); aka: "hot racking"; see BERTH, BUNK, RACK, COT, SACK, HAMMOCK.

the shared use of a desk, table, or work space, as by teammates cooperating on the same project, or by shift-work employees performing the same job; a desk or office is less a matter of form than of function, assigned by need instead of rank, with an electronic "desktop" being more individual and mobile than a fixed-base operation ... the supply sergeant and the first sergeant need a desk more than a platoon leader, who can borrow one whenever necessary. [v: workstation, alcove, cell, chamber, stall, loge, booth, warren, carrel, cubicle, cube farm, work hutch, cubbie, cubbyhole, people box, bullpen, or prairie dog town]

slang for a show-off or risk-taker, as someone with talent but lacking experience and judgment, being reckless and irresponsible; may be a "weenie" but not a frankfurter, wiener, or wurst. See SPEEDY, HOT SHOT, COWBOY, TAP-DANCER, BOY WONDER, DUD, TRIGGER-HAPPY. [nb: known as "show pony" by AUSSIE and KIWI troops] [v: show-off, swank, coxcomb, princox, turkey cock, popinjay, sophist, nabob, nibs, stuffed-shirt, gentry, sophisticate, culture vulture, pooh-bah, panjandrum, high and mighty, hogen mogen, high-muckety-muck, high-muck-a-muck] Also, slang for penis, phallus, PRICK / CU, SHORT ARM, JOYSTICK, STICK, SPAR, YARDARM, HOSE, BAYONET, BIRD, DIPPER, POGY BAIT, POGUE, and the like; compare LITTLE PRICK, DEAD-SOLDIER, ONIONS. [nb: '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)] [cf: migration of "putz" from shine through ornament to penis and dolt; as sexual lure] [v: lucky stiff]

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

to TOP-OFF an aircraft without shutting-down the engines, and without stopping the propellers if the situation is urgent enough, for immediate take-off and return to duty; being an emergency procedure during which nobody disembarks, which shut-down and disembarkation are normally safety requirements. If a BOMB FARM is nearby, as on an aircraft carrier, some rearmament may occur during the limited time available for refueling. This procedure is most often performed by MEDEVACs and SLICKs relaying into and out of a HOT LZ or other crisis. See POL, PETROL, JP, AVGAS, JUICE, BLIVET, BLADDER, POD, DROP-TANK, TANKER, ENDURANCE.

slang for fissile/fissionable materials (eg: uranium, plutonium, etc); see YELLOWCAKE, HEAVY WATER, HEU, COCKTAIL, SOUP, CONTAINMENT, SCRAM, NEST, TOMB, HAZMAT, CBR, WMD, OVERKILL, NUKE. [v: Cherenkov radiation]

extraction while under enemy fire of ground personnel by use of a helicopter's cable hoist, due to terrain or TRIPLE CANOPY preventing a landing; see JUNGLE PENETRATOR, TORPEDO, CHOPPER, SAR, CSAR; compare McGUIRE RIG, STABO, SKYHOOK, TRAWL.

slang designation for the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth KS, by reference to the tension or pressure generated in the "big house" or "glasshouse" (not analogous to greenhouse, terrarium or vivarium) by serious criminals; properly known as U.S. Disciplinary Barracks (USDB). Compare THE CASTLE, see BRIG, CROSSBAR HOTEL, DEADLOCK, CHL, STOCKADE, DEADLINE. [v: dog house, poky, clink, nick, slam, slammer, cooler, jug, can, joint, cage, glasshouse, big house, house of many doors, house of blue light, graystone college, stony lonesome, up the river, hoosegow, gaol, bagnio, lockup, pen, reformatory, jailhouse, penal institution, penitentiary, panopticon, keep, calaboose, dungeon, oubliette, hock (sty or prison as a miserable place to live)]

198th Light Infantry Brigade
198 Inf Bde
slang reference to the symbolism of the shoulder PATCH (SSI) of the 198th Light Infantry Brigade, also called "flaming blade" and "flaming bayonet"; the 198th LIB was an independent brigade in Vietnam that was integrated into TASK FORCE OREGON and incorporated into the AMERICAL division, being disbanded with the 23rd Infantry Division in December 1971.

the direct telecommunications link (originally a teletype circuit, later a telephone line) enabling immediate communication directly between heads of state in an international crisis; also called the "red phone" for its implied urgency, it was first arranged as a Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. on 20 June 1963. See BACK CHANNEL, BLOWER, HORN, FLASH, TWX, TTY, CONTEL, TELECON, TELEPHONE.

an open microphone that's always transmitting; a "hands free" arrangement for communication that permits simultaneous speech and listening, both incoming and outgoing signals being broadcast. Used mostly in more complex vehicle mounted radios, such as aboard ship or aircraft, the transmit key is selective (sometimes linked to the power switch), and such voice transmissions must audibly indicate changes to others on the network; backpack field radios are typically setup to send or receive serially, not both, such that one cannot hear while speaking, and two people talking at the same time will cancel each other. See BREAK, BREAK SQUELCH, PTT, CROSS-TALK, NOISE, RADIO.

a legal exception to inviolate boundaries, permitting an active military engagement to stray across an international border, as when repulsing an INCURSION or punishing a transgression. During the VIETNAM WAR, OPLAN 37-64 gave authorization for HOT PURSUIT across international borders or into denied areas whenever allied air or ground elements are continuously engaged with enemy forces. The Rules of Engagement (ROE) require that affected units must return to their authorized stations as soon as hostilities cease. A viable resort for a police action, this warrant is most often employed when an aggressor lurks in a CROSS-BORDER sanctuary, but action or residence beyond immediate response can widen into an international incident involving diplomatic negotiation or intervention with third parties. See OVER THE FENCE, GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY, BIG STICK DIPLOMACY, SABER-RATTLING, GUNPOINT, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), LAWS OF WAR; compare FAIL-SAFE.

the most accurate INTEL, the latest information, or the current news, as the "straight skinny" or "inside scoop"; see POOP, ROCKING HORSE APPLES, THE WORD, HEADS-UP, FYI, DOPE, GOUGE, GREEN GREASE, BULLETIN, BOATSWAIN'S PIPE, BUGLE CALL, TANNOY, VECTOR; compare OLD HAT. [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] Also, any wonderful thing or event, something or someone terrific, outstanding, superlative; not to be confused with "shit-hot", see SUPER-TROOPER, HARD CHARGER, FAST MOVER, BOOMER, BALLS TO THE WALL, YOUNG LIONS, BOY WONDER, COWBOY, HOT DOG, HOT SHOT, SHIT.

incendiary cannon fire from ARTY or TANKs. Also, a conspicuous or arrogant commander, as someone who throws their weight (RANK) around; see TRIGGER-HAPPY. Also, another nickname for a SWEAT HOG or GOLDEN BOY; probably a sexual metaphor. Also, to "mainline" or inject narcotics intravenously; see DOPE, JUNK, SMACK, CHINA WHITE.

any area, country or region where dangerous or difficult political situations exist or may develop; being any place of danger or instability. Also, by extension, any renown establishment or notorious locale, especially a place of risqué entertainment; see ANNEX, PARTY SUIT, DIRTY SHIRT, SLOP CHUTE, CANTEEN, SHADOW OF THE FLAGPOLE. [cf: barrelhouse, cocktail lounge, saloon, roadhouse, speakeasy, blind pig / blind tiger, pub, ginmill, public house, tavern, cantina, bar, barroom, bar-and-grill, grogshop, watering hole, tippling house, 11th Frame, 19th Hole, honky-tonk, dive, brasserie, bistro, taproom, beer joint, beer parlor, brewpub, alehouse, rathskeller, cabaret, nightclub, drinkery]

slang for High Frequency Direction-Finding (HFDF), being a form of RDF; also called HUFF DUFF.

an informal performance review, especially a critique or evaluation that's conducted while a training exercise is still underway; a concise and specific self-assessment of a unit's progress that's conducted by the participants as immediate feedback. Compare COLD WASH; see DEBRIEF, AAR, BACK BRIEF, BRIEF-BACK. [cf: consistory, gabfest] [nb: this expression has been migrating out of the military during the Gulf War-era, and has been adopted by motivational analysts promoting teamwork in civilian endeavors, such as business and sports]

a folkloric pack of vicious dogs, represented as having white bodies with red eyes and tongues, that run loose on stormy nights to attack the small and weak, the unbaptized and unsanctified, like a mythic band of demons that seize and possess the innocent; also called the "hounds of the underworld" and the "hounds of the otherworld". Compare HELL HOUNDS, THE DOGS OF WAR, FOUR HORSEMEN. [v: hounds of Arawn; cf: Cerberus, the Hound of Hades]

a tactical raid targeting a specific dwelling; an official visit to a particular residence by professional representatives. Compare CORDON AND KNOCK, HOUSEWARMING; see STACK, MOUSE HOLE, FIBUA, MOUT.

the act of cleaning a work space or living area completely and thoroughly; see FATIGUE, POLICE, GI PARTY, SCRUB, SQUARED AWAY, SHIPSHAPE. Also, the act of improving or reforming by elimination, replacement, or revision, as of personnel or methodologies; also called DEADHEADing by analogy to horticultural pruning.

an enlisted man (EM) who is selected to assist the training CADRE, the drill instructor (DI), or company-level COMMAND ELEMENT with ERRANDS, chores, demonstrations, and other tasks; such unofficial appointment to extra duty is usually preliminary to promotion. See GUIDE, GOLDEN BOY, DOGSBODY, DOG ROBBER, STRIKER, ORDERLY, MAN FRIDAY, GOFER, DRO; compare AIDE, RUNNER.

a feeble structure that's so insubstantial as to be subject to imminent collapse, by analogy to a framework made by balancing playing cards against each other; figuratively, any flimsy plan or scheme, as a false front, illusion, delusion, or mirage. See BOHIO, SHEBANG, HIDE, HOOCH, HUT, DUGOUT, BIVOUAC, TENT, COURSE OF ACTION, MIND CANDY, WHITE ELEPHANT, PLAN B, WIGGLE ROOM, RAIN ON PARADE, WANGLE, MAGIC KINGDOM, CLOUD-CUCKOO-LAND, RABBIT HOLE.

slang referent for the headquarters building of the United Nations (UN) organization in New York city; also called "house of glass". [nb: not to be confused with a "glass house" prison or panopticon]

slang for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), especially its headquarters administrators and agent controllers; also called "The Company" or "The Agency".

ironic reference to the artillery barrage and/or aerial bombardment of an urban target as preparation for ground assault; compare HOUSE CALL; see MOUT, FIBUA, MOUSE HOLE.

slang for a compact sewing kit; see DITTY BAG.

the trademark (1955) of a passenger vehicle that rides on a cushion of air and is driven forward by propellers; see Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC).

see FOOL 'EM.

75mm pack howitzer
pack howitzer
a portable, short-barreled, indirect-fire cannon; a HOWITZER fires at a higher angle, shorter range, and lower muzzle-velocity than a longer barreled artillery "gun". See ARTY, BASE PIECE, DIME-NICKEL, DPICM, FA, FUZE, KILLER JUNIOR, ONE-OH-DEUCE, PENNY-NICKEL-NICKEL, PALADIN, PINTLE, PROJOS, SP, TOWED, TOT, TRACK, TRUNNION. [nb: during WWII, a regiment (RGT) included a "Cannon Company" consisting of 105mm howitzers] [nb: "Cannon: a complex scientific instrument that is used more effectively than a theodolite in the rectification of national boundaries." paraphrase of Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce]



HQ :

Human Resources Command; formerly designated U.S. Army Personnel Command (PERSCOM); see NPRC.

H&S / H & S / H-and-S :
Marine Corps designation for Headquarters and Support, a company-sized element at the battalion level; see COMPANY/CO; compare HHB, HHC, HHD, HHT, HQ.

Headquarters Support Activity Saigon.

HSPD-20 :
see NSPD-51.

the modern Army version of HOOAH, which restatement represents "Heard Understood and Acknowledged"; the equivalent BATTLE CRY (ie: OORAH) used by Marines and other NavPers has not yet been converted into an acronym. See GUNG-HO, CHANTEY, HOISE.

House Un-American Activities Committee; setup in 1938 to investigate sedition and subversion, especially pro-communist influences; renamed the House Internal Security Committee in 1969, it was disbanded in 1975. Often compared to the 1692 Salem witchcraft trials, HUAC had been formed to recommend new legislation, but concentrated on investigating "disloyalty", charging witnesses with "guilt by association"; a similar committee was setup in the Senate during the 1950s by Joseph R. "Tailgunner Joe" McCarthy. See UN-AMERICAN, ANTI-AMERICAN, SOFT TYRANNY, CREDIBILITY GAP, McCARTHYISM, HOLD ONE'S FEET TO THE FIRE, SNAKE PIT, GAUNTLET. [v: auto-da-fé; Medieval Inquisition, Spanish Inquisition] [v: Hollywood Ten, Blacklist, Whittaker Chambers, Alger Hiss, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, Karl Fuchs]

slang for "on the double"; to hustle, bustle, hurry, or rush; see DOUBLE TIME, CHOGI, CHOP CHOP, RIKI TIK, GET ON THE STICK, SWEAT HOG, HARD CHARGER, BALLS TO THE WALL, ONIONS; compare HOOPLA.

a simplified or improvised water-pipe (hookah/hooka or narghile/nargileh/nargiòle) which makes a characteristic bubbling sound when the tobacco and/or hashish smoke passes through the cooling water in a container; an onomatopoeic rhyming compound, as derived from the jar or vase that's used as a pipe bowl for smoking. Compare GASPER, PIGTAIL, STICK, HAY, GRASS, JUNK, DOPE, COLORS, STONED, TAR BABY. [v: kat / khat / qat, kef / kief / kif, kef / keef, naswar; cf: chillum, bong; nb: contradictory Muslim use of narcotics but prohibition of wine and other spiritous liquors (THE DRINK)]

Head's Up Display, a luminous image of the active or critical operational controls projected from the instrument panel against a transparent surface (COMBINING GLASS) at eye-level for the PILOT or Weapon Systems Officer (WSO), so that awareness outside the CANOPY or COCKPIT is maintained, especially during combat sequences; compare VD, MFD, SMFD; see PLASTIC BRAINS, SIGHT PICTURE, PRIMROSE PATH, HOTAS.

U.S. Military Academy staff
slang reference to the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, NY; also called "The Academy", "Rock-bound Highland Home", "Woo-Poo U" (West Point University), "Hudson Detention Center for Delinquents", "Hell on the Hudson", "South Hudson Institute of Technology", "the *Un-College", and "Union of Shitheads, Mumblers, and Assholes" (USMA). Although authorized in 1802, principally as a perquisite to the sons of Revolutionary War veterans, students were not actually admitted to classes until 1812, due to the inherent American distrust of a "professional" standing army. The Vietnam National Military Acadamy (Truong Vo Bi Quoc Gia Viet Nam) at Dalat was patterned on West Point; with CADETs known as Sinh Vien Si Quan Vo Bi. See CADET, RING-KNOCKER, TRADE SCHOOL, BOAT SCHOOL, ZOO, OCS, ROTC. [nb: According to Alden Partridge, the West Point academy, that "nursery of aristocracy" and "public charity school", possessed a system of education designed to produce "military pedants and military dandies", and would form the basis of a "military aristocracy" that would threaten national values and republican institutions; and as its first superintendent, he repeatedly recommended curricular reforms, and after resigning his commission, he proposed its closure and replacement by an American System of practical education, that later became ROTC.] [v: Siwash ("At Good Old Siwash" by George Helgeson Fitch (1911)] [v: West Point slang; Military Schools]

First built by Emperor Gia Long early in the nineteenth century, Hue was the imperial capital of Vietnam between 1802 and 1945 situated in Annam beside the Perfume River; due to its imperial status, Hue was also called the Forbidden City and the Purple City. It is located on Highway 1 about 420 miles south of Hanoi and 670 miles north of Saigon and was an independent municipality under the Republic of Vietnam (Rvn). For the VIET CONG and North Vietnamese, Hue was a city with tremendous historical significance. Being the former imperial capital of a united Vietnam, the center of Vietnamese cultural and religious life, and the capital of Thua Thien Province, Hue became an important symbol in the struggle for dominance of INDOCHINA. It was also a difficult city to defend. Isolated by the Annamese mountain chain and bordered by Laos to the west and the Demilitarized Zone to the north, Hue was without access to a major port for resupply. Still, before the Tet Offensive, Hue was considered secure for South Vietnam. That all ended on 31 January 1968. At 3:40 a.m. that morning North Vietnamese Army (NVA) artillery began pounding the city. Elements of the NVA 6th Regiment simultaneously attacked Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) headquarters in Hue and ARVN 1st Division headquarters. Other NVA troops blockaded Highway 1 north and south of the city and attacked several hundred other sites in the city. By daylight, the VIET CONG flag was flying atop the Imperial Citadel of the Nguyen emperors. Hue had fallen to the Communists. The American and ARVN counterattack on Hue began almost immediately with huge volumes of artillery, naval bombardment, and air strikes reducing much of Hue to rubble while elements of the First Air Cavalry Division, the 101st Airborne Division, the ARVN 1st Division, the U.S. 1st Marines, and ARVN Rangers and Marines engaged in house-to- house, hand-to-hand combat with NVA troops and VIET CONG. The Imperial Citadel was not recaptured from the Communists until February 24, 1968. Hue had been devastated. More than 50 percent of the city had been totally destroyed, and 116,000 people of a total population of 140,000 had been rendered homeless. Nearly 6,000 civilians were dead or missing, and several thousand more were assassinated outright during the VIET CONG occupation. The NVA and VIET CONG suffered 5,000 dead; the United States, 216 dead and 1,364 seriously wounded; and the ARVN, 384 dead and 1,830 seriously wounded. Like the Tet Offensive in general, the battle for Hue was a tactical defeat for the Communists as well as a strategic victory. In taking control of the city, if only for several weeks, they had proven that MACV predictions of an imminent Communist collapse were totally groundless, undermining American faith in the credibility of political and military leaders. Hue in particular, and Tet in general, was indeed the turning point in the war.

nickname for the Bell "utility helicopter" (UH) series of CHOPPERS, formally known as IROQUOIS, and called "dipper" by the PAVN for its flight mannerisms.

nickname for the Bell special UH-1 utility helicopter, developed in 1968, with a stronger airframe and more powerful engine, that could lift loads up to three tons, which was nearly double that of a conventional HUEY.

slang vocalization of the initials (H-F D-F) that are used for High-Frequency Direction-Finder/-ing, being a method used by WWII Allies for locating enemy land or naval broadcasts by taking simultaneous bearings on their radio transmissions. See HF, RDF, TACAN. [v: goniometry]

slang for the cart that's used to provide start-up air to a jet aircraft. Also, slang reference to someone who inhales gas or sniffs chemicals recreationally; see DOPE, JUNK, SMACK, THAI STICK, HUBBLE-BUBBLE, CAN SA, SPICE, STONED.

when the enemy closes or engages too near to friendly assets and elements during CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE, such that artillery (ARTY) or close air support (CAS, TAC-AIR) cannot be employed to repulse or defeat them; it is the GUERRILLA tactic of "grabbing your opponent by his shirttail" or "grabbing the enemy by his belt buckle", which is also known as CATCH AND GRASP. See DANGER CLOSE, GROUP HUG. Also, to move or maneuver in close proximity; to situate nearby or alongside. Also, to clasp someone tightly and closely in one's arms; to cling or clench, grasp or grip, close or hold, as in an embrace, abrazo, or bear hug; derived from 'soothe' or 'console'; see WARM FUZZY, PET, PDA, KISS, PAX.

slang reference to the professionally sympathetic and compassionate team that's responsible for initiating burial and survivorship procedures for the Next of Kin (NOK) of a servicemember killed in LINE OF DUTY; this procedure is typically performed by a Casualty Affairs, Survivor Assistance, or Casualty Assistance Calls Officer (CACO), who is usually accompanied by a chaplain. See DOW, KIA, KINFORMING, GHOUL, SKY PILOT; compare GOD SQUAD.

the outermost and lowermost hollow portion of a ship or other vessel that floats partially submerged while supporting its infrastructure and superstructure; the "shell" or "skin" of a BOAT or amphibious craft enabling it to float; compare PRESSURE HULL, see GUNWALE, BOARD, STRAKE, KEEL, DECK, OVERHEAD, BULKHEAD, GASOLINE ALLEY, HATCH, SCUTTLE, SEACOCK, GIGGLES 'n' BANGS, CAISSON, ACCOMMODATION LADDER, TOPSIDE, PORTHOLE, DEADLIGHT, BULL'S-EYE, FIN, DRAFT, FREEBOARD, WATERLINE, LOAD-LINE MARK, PLIMSOLL MARK, CAREEN, HELL TO PAY, WARSHIP. [nb: the hull on European ships bears a resemblance to fish, while the hull on Asian junks bears a resemblance to waterfowl] Also, the boat-like portion of the fuselage of an amphibious aircraft. Also, an outer covering or envelope; a surrounding or enclosing part, as the shell of a vehicle or the HULL of a TANK. Also, to drift, as a ship or other craft, without power or propulsion; also called DEAD IN THE WATER.

the appearance of a faraway ship at sea when viewed at such a distance that only her superstructure (those upper works above the level of the weather deck) can be seen; compare DEFILADE.

someone who's concerned about the welfare of others, or a person who promotes social reform; someone who's engaged in helping others, or a person who's involved in improving the lives of others; a philanthropist, benefactor, or do-gooder. [nb: noncombatant medical personnel and unarmed aid workers, whether military or civilian, carry out humanitarian efforts during times of crisis, on battlefields and in disaster areas, being designated "protected persons" under international law by openly displaying a "protective sign" that's recognized by all parties involved in the situation, such as the RED CROSS, RED CRESCENT, or RED CRYSTAL; such persons may not be captured or injured, neither may their vehicles and facilities be attacked or confiscated, as the damage or destruction of clearly marked items constitutes a 'war crime']

see HDR.

Humanitarian Service medal
awarded to military personnel for direct meritorious participation in the humanitarian evacuation of Vietnamese refugees during the period 1-30 April 1975 at the Fall of the Saigon regime in South Vietnam (RVN); this medal has since been awarded to individuals for similar non-combat service in aid of refugees and disaster victims, including natural disaster relief, evacuation of non-combatants from a hostile area, or humanitarian support to refugees ... multiple awards of the HSM are denoted by service stars (BATTLE STAR). The HSM may not be awarded if either the ARMED FORCES SERVICE MEDAL or the ARMED FORCES EXPEDITIONARY MEDAL was presented for the same service; furthermore, this medal does not cover military services rendered in domestic disturbances involving law enforcement, equal rights demonstrations, or the protection of property. The obverse features an open right hand held upright, symbolizing the giving of a "helping hand"; the reverse is inscribed "For Humanitarian Service" above a three leafed oak branch with three acorns surmounting the legend "United States Armed Forces". See DEVICE, GONG. [nb: the Civilian Award for Humanitarian Service is presented by the military for similar service performed by government civilian employees, as well as private citizens]



a dismissive reference to low-life people, their ridiculous antics and insignificant concerns, as perceived by their higher ranking "betters"; dismissive slang for the arena of uncultured or unsophisticated human endeavors; see CANNON FODDER, SNOWBALL, BITTER END, DIDDLY, SWINE LOG, KNUCKLE-DRAGGER, MEAT EATER, SHAVED MONKEY, WHITE TRASH, LITTLE PEOPLE, THIRD ESTATE. [v: enfants perdus, forlorn hope] [v: rabble, the great unwashed, riffraff, proletariat, prole, lumpen proletariat, rank and file, commoner, commonalty, pleb / plebeian, hoi polloi, canaille, lower classes, campesino, peasant, indigent, lowest of the low, menial, populace, crowd, multitude, mass / the masses, the herd, cracker, hillbilly, hill jack, jackstraw, peckerwood, redneck, trailer park trash, human debris, scum of society, scum of the earth, scum of the universe, useful idiots] ["Good iron does not make nails, nor do good men become soldiers."]

to cause someone a painful loss of dignity or pride, self-satisfaction or self-respect; to shame or demean, disgrace or discredit, mortify or abase, vilify or denigrate, belittle or malign. Also, to destroy someone's independence, or to subdue their will; as derived from "to make humble". [nb: "Compared to shame and humiliation, death is nothing."]

having a modest opinion of one's own importance, as being courteously respectful in recognition of one's own inferiority or imperfection; not arrogant or vainglorious, as derived from 'low' or 'ground'. Also, to make oneself meek or righteous; to be unpretentious and sincere. [nb: "Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends." by Dwight David Eisenhower (12 July 1945); "So the amount of time you spend together is exponentially greater than what it would be for a normal work environment that's outside the military. You get to really know people, and you see them under pressure quite a bit, and you know who's real and who's not real, and you know who's going to really stand up for their people, and fight for them, and do the right thing. And you get to understand pretty quick who the guys are that are in there for themselves, where they come first above all else, they're chasing a promotion and that's what's most important to them and their reputation and the rest of it, as opposed to just doing the best thing for their organization. I always felt if you ran the organization right, you just focus on it, don't focus on your boss, focus on the organization, the organization will take care of you. That's the byproduct." by GEN Jack Keane]

HUMan INTelligence, information developed from human sources; as contrasted with visual, technical, or other methods.


see SENSE OF HUMOR, AS PLEASED AS PUNCH, GALLOW'S HUMOR, FREEDOM OF SPEECH, OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANCE DISORDER, SEDITION, SILENT INSOLENCE. [nb: "The popularity of humor shared in cultural entertainments that crossed social and political boundaries, whether satire or wit, was a key component in rallying patriotism and recruiting troops, serving as an example of comedy not only in reflecting public opinion, but in defining the national character. As Orwell points out, 'the songs which the soldiers made up and sang of their own accord were not vengeful but humorous and mock-defeatist. The only enemy they ever named was the sergeant-major.' It is crucial to note that the morale boosting songs of the war were not the state sanctioned, state written, glorious and triumphant displays of might that were seen in Germany during World War Two, or in Russia after the revolution. They were humorous, twee, quaint little ditties that didn't just reflect the attitudes of the war, but came to be the vital voices that defined them. Humor has historically played some role, in autonomy and liberty, beyond its ability to make us laugh." paraphrase of Sam Nicoresti, "In Defence of English Humour" (21 May 2011)]

to slog around through the BOONIES on foot under full COMBAT LOAD (eg: "humping the ruck"). Also, the rotation of 25% or more of a unit within a 30-day period, also known as "rotational hump"; compare INFUSION. Also, the 900 mile Himalayan mountain barrier, between the Salween and Mekong Rivers, flown over during WWII to supply Nationalist Chinese fighting Imperial Japanese, until the LEDO ROAD was connected to the Burma Road; also called the "Hump Airlift", and this route was called the "Aluminum Trail" or "Aluminum Highway" due to the number of crashed aircraft and vehicles. Also, a euphemism for sex; see SHORT-TIME, FUCK.

an expression that represents a hard tour of footslogging while bearing a heavy load, whether in training or in combat. [cf: picul]

pronunciation of the acronym for the High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), M-998; also called HUMMER. Compare JEEP; see HEAT, DONKEY DICK, GAMMA GOAT, DUCK/DUKW, FAV, ORV, MULE, CHAPARRAL.

nickname of the North American Rockwell F-100 SUPER SABRE interceptor jet aircraft. This single-place fighter-bomber has a low, thin, swept-back wing and supersonic turbojet speed. Also, derogatory reference to a German soldier during WWI, being a deliberate propaganda ploy to associate Germans with the earlier barbarian marauders ... ironically, the Germanic tribes were allied with Rome in fighting against the invasion of Europe by the Huns (v: Etzel); see HERMAN THE GERMAN, BAD GUYS.

a premonition or suspicion; guess or conjecture, surmise or intuition; see DEAD-RECKONING, NAVIGUESSER, DOUBLE DRIFT, WAG, SWAG, WEG, HOODOO, VOODOO, MOJO, SPIDER SENSE, FAIRY DUST, HEP, PARANOIA. Also, to assume a bent posture, either while sitting, standing, or walking; see SQUAT, CROUCH, TAKE A KNEE. Also, to shove or push, thrust or lunge; to exert enough force or pressure to create a hump, to cause something to arch. Also, any hump, lump, or other thick piece or raised place.

disparaging reference to the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile), formally known as 'Screaming Eagles'; see ONE-OH-WORST, PUKING BUZZARDS, SCREAMING CHICKENS, SERTS, GERONIMO, CURRAHEE, PARADICE, RAKKASAN, AIRBORNE, PARACHUTE.


despite Truman's BERLIN AIRLIFT response to the Soviet blockade and the avowed EISENHOWER DOCTRINE claiming to resist communist expansion, when Imre Nagy formed a new Hungarian government in 1956, calling for free elections, neither the US nor the UN intervened when the USSR forcibly suppressed the rebellion, killing more than 30,000 Hungarians. The excuse proffered for failing to support democratic liberation, after years of WHITE PROPAGANDA and a foreign policy of BRINKMANSHIP, was "the threat of nuclear holocaust" ... at the same time, the US interfered in Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Guatemala, and Vietnam under the same pretext.

any of several animistic gods that may be placated by sacrifices of food, typically donated by plaintive worshippers seeking favor or appeasement; in the ethereal eschatology of angry or unhappy souls that are confronting their karma, or in the metaphysical evolution of spirits to gods, this is a migrant in purgatory that's still influenced by the living, and unable to transition into the godhead. See OAN HON, PHI, SHADOW WALKER, TIGER BALM, SPIRIT MONEY. [nb: the Chinese believe that if a corpse is dressed in red for burial then its ghost will linger to haunt the living] [nb: it's common throughout Asia to shield against evil by mounting chili peppers, curry leaves, lemon blossoms, and ashes above the entrance to temples and dwellings] [v: rebirth in hell as a hungry ghost, explicated in the Eight Adversities of Buddhism]

to squat on one's heels, to rest on one's haunches; see SQUAT, CROUCH, TAKE A KNEE. Also, to assume a bent posture, as during concentration or concealment. Also, to withdraw or shelter, as when hiding from detection. Also, to cling resolutely or determinedly, as in stubborn resistance. Also, to move aimlessly.

High-Altitude Unit Navigated Tactical Imaging Round, a 40mm MUNITIONS round developed by Martin Electronics, that provides infantry elements with an enhanced battlefield awareness, and is fired from an M-79, M-203, or M-32 grenade launcher. This round consists of a cartridge case assembly, and a metal projectile body containing a first fire charge, a pyrotechnic delay column, an ejection charge, a CMOS Camera, and a parachute assembly; then upon firing, the projectile assembly is propelled to an average height of 700 feet, the first fire charge ignites the pyrotechnic delay element, which ignites an ejection charge that effectively ejects the CMOS Camera, which is attached to the parachute, and the CMOS Camera provides up to five minutes of real-time streaming video within a one mile line-of-sight range to a handheld device with a corresponding transceiver.


any of the phases of a full moon occurring in the falltime season, between the autumnal equinox (22 September) and the winter solstice (22 December). Also, any full moon phase that brightly illuminates military operations at night.

a severe tropical storm occurring at sea, with winds in excess of 64 knots; term reputedly derived from the name ('Huracan') of the Caribbean storm god; see STORM WARNING, WIND, BEAUFORT SCALE, SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE, FUJITA SCALE, WINDSOCK, TELLTALE. [nb: weather forecasters began using female names during WWII in imitation of a popular book (Storm by George Rippey Stewart, 1940), which had identified a typhoon with the name Maria; by 1953 this convention was made official, and in 1979 male names began alternating with female names on recurring rosters in six year rotations; the storm names may be in English, Spanish, or French (except for letters Q, U, and Z), and are only retired from use by the National Weather Service when they are particularly notorious]

a DECK at the top of a transport ship or passenger steamer, having a roof supported by light scantlings; sometimes represented as "hurricane-deck".

a result of the necessity to schedule everybody to do the same thing at the same time, which has the effect of pushing all the people at the beginning and dragging all the people at the end; it's the compulsory marriage between "crisis" and "inefficiency", this purported military doctrine requires that nothing will be adequately scheduled and nothing shall be done on time. This "rush and delay" pattern is not predictable, since the first time a soldier anticipates the condition, the military will function perfectly, leaving the misguided second-guesser out of step! See MARK TIME, HANG LOOSE.

the satirical term for a completely silent EXPLOSIVE, being a misnomer or euphemism derived from a fictitious concept expressed by Boris Badenov [bad-enough], disguised as the scientist J. Robert Oppendowner, together with his colleague Natasha Fatale [femme fatale] in the "Banana Formula" episode (1961) in the "Rocky and His Friends" cartoon series, where this concoction (v: SOUP, COCKTAIL) is presented as both a bomb (ie: boom tube) and a drink (ie: Soda Pow) used against Peter Wrongway Peachfuzz, Rocket J. Squirrel, and Bullwinkle J. Moose ... Boris and Natasha are arrested by a passing sheriff, not for conspiracy, not for spying, and not for terrorism, but for littering! See BLOWN. [v: Fractured Fairy Tales]

silenced or concealed, suppressed or quashed; hence, in modern usage, something highly confidential; compare MUM, QT; see CLASSIFIED, NEED TO KNOW. [nb: "hush-hush" and "mum" mean 'silent' (don't talk about it), rather than 'secret']

Kaman HH-43 USAF single-engine helicopter with twin offset main rotors and stabilized split TAILBOOM; nicknamed "Mixmaster" and also spelled "Huskie", this heavy-lift helicopter was designed for crash-rescue operations. See CHOPPER, SAR, CSAR, SANDY.

B-58 bomber aircraft; see BIRD.

see BLDG, BILLET, BERTH, BUTLER BUILDING, SEA HUT, B-HUT, HUTMENT, QUONSET HUT, JAMESWAY HUT, PACIFIC HUT, EMKAY HUT, ELEPHANT HUT, UTILITY BUILDING, MULTIPLE UTILITY BUILDING, STEELDROME, GODOWN, DEPOT, GUARDHOUSE, SENTRY BOX, TEAMHOUSE, BIVOUAC, PUP TENT, BOLT HOLE, HIDE, DUGOUT, BOHIO, HOOCH, SHEBANG, LONG HOUSE, VILLE. [v: bield, bower, arbor, rock-shelter, den, lair, bothy, cot, cabin, cottage, casita, cabana, lodge, earth lodge, hogan, squat, shed, byre; cf: garret, cockloft, dovecote]

a partially prefabricated BASE CAMP building, made of tent canvas stretched over a wood frame with four-foot high wooden walls, a wood floor, and a wooden door at each end. It was impossible to keep clean or comfortable, difficult to keep dry or ventilated, heated by a primitive wood/coal stove; it was used from the SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR through WWII ... a civilian version (called "rag house") was similarly erected in mining camps and other "boom towns". Also, the grouping of such half-wood and tent structures; compare SEA HUT, B-HUT, CHU; see BLDG, TENT, BASE CAMP, BIVOUAC, COMPANY STREET.

High Value Target.

smaller version of a Chlorine-Oxygen-Iodine Laser (COIL) used for self-defense.

see H-BOMB.

a hydrofoil attachment to an airplane enabling it to glide on the surface of the water; a seaplane; compare FLYING BOAT, AMPHIBIAN. Also, a high-powered, lightweight boat with a stepped bottom or hydrofoils, enabling it to plane across the surface of the water at high speeds. Also, a horizontal RUDDER used for submerging or elevating a SUBMARINE. Also, to skim over water in the manner of a hydroplaning boat, as when a wheeled vehicle rides on a film of water over a wet surface, resulting in decreased effectiveness in braking and steering; also called "aquaplane"; see FIREBALLING, ZIGZAG, BRODIE, STREET SURFING, JOYRIDE, WHEEL JOCKEY, JOHN WAYNE DRIVING SCHOOL.

to exaggerate or intensify, stimulate or agitate, as for dubious effect; derived by shortening (apocopation) of 'hyperbole'. Also, to trick, deceive, swindle, or gull. See TALK TRASH, SHOOT THE SHIT, BRAVO SIERRA, WAR STORY, TELL IT TO THE MARINES, SEA STORY, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, RUMOR, RED INK.

obvious and intentional exaggeration, being showy or flamboyant misrepresentation; any extravagant statement or figure of speech that's not intended to be taken literally ... any violence in the modern era is "more violent than violent", hence 'superviolence', 'hyperviolence', 'ultraviolence', 'uberviolence', and similar coinages. [ety: overshoot; thrown beyond (the target), or thrown too far ... missed the target] [cf: understatement, litotes, meiosis]

denoting or pertaining to speed that is at least five times that of sound in the same medium; see MACH, SONIC BOOM, JET PROPULSION; compare SUPERSONIC. [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. The audible range of sound wave frequencies for humans is 20 - 20,000 Hz; above which ultrasonic waves may be felt, instead of heard.] [cf: ultrasound]

any intense conflict employing the excessive force of all military components so as to attain a rapid and decisive conclusion; a neologism derived from 'over' + 'war'. Compare BLITZKRIEG, TOTAL WAR, FULL-COURT PRESS, SHOCK 'n' AWE, WAR.