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

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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K :
an aircraft prefix under the Joint Service Designation System that represents '(refuel) tanker'.

KA :
abbreviation for Known Associate; see PROVOCATEUR, DECOY, DANGLE, CI, THROW-AWAY, LEGEND, LIFTED SKIRT, TRADECRAFT. [cf: the usual suspects]

Mk-2 / M-2 fighting utility
Mk-2 / M-2 fighting/utility knife
common name for the generic "combat knife", designated as 1219C2 (Mk-2 / M-2) by the US Navy and Marine Corps that was developed in 1942 as a more practical replacement for the WWI-era Mk-1 / M-1 trench knife; issued to "frogmen" (UDT/SEAL), Marines, and shore-party sailors, this multi-purpose knife is a modified bowie pattern with a single edge and clipped swedge point, featuring a weight-reducing fuller (v: BLOOD GROOVE), a crossguard, a butt-plate, and a stacked-leather haft with "sweat grooves" for a secure grip. The original Navy version featured a plastic handle and plastic scabbard, with the Marine version featuring a leather handle and leather sheath. Although made by numerous contractors [eg: Camillus, Union, Pal, Robeson (ShurEdge), Utica, Conetta, Ontario, Case, etc], the brand name 'KaBar' (sometimes misspelled "K-Bar") became synonymous with all versions of this knife, government issue or private purchase. The KABAR was still the underwater knife issued to SEAL teams during the VIETNAM WAR, despite the availability of a non-magnetic Haynes Alloy (nickel-titanium) demolition knife specifically designed for underwater use. The basic pattern of this fighting/utility knife has been updated (ie: "Next Generation") since the GULF WAR with some high-tech features, such as a stainless alloy blade, Zytel polymer grip, and Kydex thermoplastic scabbard. See KNIFE. [nb: the KaBar brand name (KA-BAR Knives Incorporated of Olean, New York, formerly Union Cutlery Company, a subsidiary of the Cutco Corporation) is alleged to have been inspired by a testimonial letter (1923) sent by a fur trapper who used his knife to "kill a bear" after his rifle jammed] [v: Knife Terms; The Language of Swordplay]


a family of languages related to the Thai group and spoken by a small population in southern China and northern Vietnam.

Keeping the Able from Contributing to the Action, being an acronym coined during the Reagan Administration by Arthur Twining Hadley, a Pentagon consultant, that represents an attempt by the so-called Defense Establishment to make officers into managers and soldiers into mediocre functionaries doing the bidding of their superiors, which, together with interservice rivalry and out-of-control procurement practices, leaves America woefully unprepared and national defense bankrupt. [nb: this acronym is probably an allusion to Franz Kafka, the Austrian writer of The Castle, The Trial, and other existential works]

abbreviation for Key-Auto-Key, being a form of cryptographic logic that uses the key from one key set to produce another key in a different key set; it's a method of automatic substitution according to a variable schedule that permits rapid and accurate encoding or decoding of discrete data by the use of a simple computational device called a 'KAK WHEEL'.

a numeric-exchange calculator that was used by the team or platoon leader to encipher and decipher map coordinates or other essential information for inclusion in a regular (clear) radio transmission [eg: "Blackhawk Six, this is One-Six; send log bird ASAP to my location: I KAK: zulu, tango, alfa, alfa, lima, bravo, delta, mike; over."]; this simple mechanical device was carried around the RTO's neck on a thick cord, but was made obsolete before the end of the VIETNAM WAR by a scrambler radio with built-in encryption. See CODE, ENCODE, DECODE, SHACKLE, CIPHER, ENCRYPT, DECRYPT, SCRAMBLE, NULLITY, ALPHABET SOUP, RADIO, COMICS, GRID COORDINATES.

Kalashnikov AK-47
Kalashnikov AK-47
variously the AK-47, Type 56, or AKM (1959) assault rifle, which are also known as "Kalash" (Kah-lash) and "AK" (AA-Kay, not "ack") from Avtomat (automatic) Kalashnikov (designer); as adapted from captured WWII German MP-43 and SPG-44 rifles using the 7.62X39mm cartridge. After rigorous testing for reliability, simplicity of operation, and ease of maintenance, this became the standard rifle for Soviet infantrymen, then it became standard for communists and revolutionaries around the world. Relatively lightweight and compact, sturdy and reliable, it simplified and speeded up training so more firepower could be introduced onto the combat zone faster. It typically fired in full and semiautomatic modes from a thirty round magazine, and its high muzzle velocity contributed to its combat effectiveness, since bullets were not deflected by foliage. The combination of these effects plus its rapid-fire capability meant that accuracy was not a major requirement, thus reducing the training time before a soldier could be sent into combat. Most armaments analysts judge the AK-47 to be superior to the U.S. M-16, which became the standard weapon of American, South Korean, and South Vietnamese troops. The AK-47 was more durable and less adversely affected by the climate and conditions of Vietnam. There are numerous accounts of American troops using captured AK-47 rifles, in preference to their issue weapons, but the distinctive Kalashnikov sound SIGNATURE was an invitation to "friendly fire" incidents during the confusion of combat (THE FOG OF WAR). The KALASHNIKOV was supplied to the VC and NVA by both the Soviet Union (USSR) and Red Chinese (PRC / CHICOM). At the end of the VIETNAM WAR, the AK-74 and AKM were introduced with a smaller 5.45mm caliber cartridge. See 7.62 MINIS, SKS, RIFLE, BAR, CAR, SMG, ELDEST SON.

an alternate designation, due to the ubiquity of the AK assault rifle, for youths participating in a CHILDREN'S BRIGADE or BABY BRIGADE (qv).

(kansas) combined force from Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States; see SEATO, ASEAN, ANZUS, FWF, ATFV, AATTV, NZV FORCE, NZATTV, ROK, KATUSA.

any action that brings inevitable results upon oneself, either in this life or in a reincarnation; the cosmic principle according to which each person is rewarded or punished in one incarnation according to that person's deeds in the previous incarnation; one's fate or destiny, and any associated emanations. [v: fate, fortune, destiny, joss, kismet, moira, predestination, weird; che sarà sarà ("what will be, will be"); que sera, sera ("whatever will be, will be"); cf: appointment in Samarra] [v: alea jacta est (Latin: the die is cast)] [nb: "You only live twice -- once when you are born, once when you look death in the face." by Ian Fleming (1964)]

abbreviation for "Kick Ass Take Names", which is the function and unofficial motto of the military police; see KICK ASS, AP, MP, SP, QC, CHIMPS.

(kah-too-suh) Korean Augmentation Troops with the U.S. Army, later changed to Korean Augmentee To the U.S. Army; being a partnership program initiated during the KOREAN WAR to improve the performance of ROK troops, which were integrated into American units. Although still practiced, these assignments are now reserved for privileged Koreans with superior skills, better education, and higher social status. Although successful, this program was not replicated in Vietnam, but used ADVISORs and companion units instead. See STRIKER, OMLT, BUDDY SYSTEM; compare DOUBLE FORCE. [v: geminate]

Killed By Air; also cited as Killed By Artillery. See KIA, DOW.

abbreviation for Kit Carson Scout (qv); see HOI CHANH, ROADRUNNER, EARTH ANGEL.

Convoy-Day; the unnamed date for the introduction of a convoy system on any particular convoy lane. See CONVOY, TIME.

Known Distance Range; not "Knock Down", despite the use of "pop-up / knock-down" silhouette targets to assist in scoring. The firing range CADRE informed all trainees that the shooting principles for practice are identical to those used in combat, except the targets are the "pop-up / shoot-back" type. See ZERO, BASS, SIGHT PICTURE, DRY FIRE, RIFLE, SMALL ARMS, RED FLAG, BOLO, MAGGIE'S DRAWERS, FLYING BRAVO. [v: Firearms Glossary]

a small auxiliary ANCHOR of traditional configuration, having flukes perpendicular to the stock and connected by a shank. Also, to move a stranded ship into deeper water by advancing it in stages along the anchor line of a kedge deployed from a dispatched boat; also called "kedging", being a method of incrementally warping a load along a waterway by anchor line hauling from one secure point to another.

a central fore-and-aft structural member in the bottom of a ship's HULL extending from the stem to the sternpost; see STRAKE, FREEBOARD, CAREEN. [nb: in Asia it's known as a "dragon's spine"] [v: even keel (steady); keel over (capsize)]

formerly, to drag an offender from stem to stern beneath a ship's keel, a punishment which often proved fatal, but now meaning to rebuke severely. See ROCKS 'n' SHOALS, CAPTAIN'S MAST, UCMJ, BRIG, DRUMHEAD, OVER A BARREL, WALK THE PLANK, GAUNTLET, GARROTE, DEATH OF A THOUSAND CUTS, TWIST IN THE WIND, PAIN. [nb: criminals on sailing ships were once lashed to the bowsprit until they perished, as a form of maritime crucifixion] Also, the operational CODENAME for the post-WWII forced deportation and repatriation of eastern European POWs, DPs, and refugees (including Russians, Cossacks, Slovenians, Croats, Serbs, and others) into subjugation behind the IRON CURTAIN during 1944-47 as a result of the Allied agreements at the Tehron and Yalta conferences, affecting millions of innocents who were systematically exterminated in labor camps; see CONCENTRATION CAMP, GULAG.

an admonition against showing trepidationor agitation, as when resisting the natural tendency to tremble when alarmed or fearful; to bear difficulties or danger with imperturbability and fortitude; to act in a determinedly resolute or an unemotionally stoical manner; a 19th century Americanism for the British idiom: "Keep your pecker up." See CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER, DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF, PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, BITE THE BULLET, SUCK IT UP, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, WHITE-KNUCKLE, MAN-UP, DIEHARD, FORTITUDE, FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT, RISKY-SHIFT EFFECT.

signifier or closure exchanged with fellow servicemembers, especially combat veterans, expressing loyalty and fidelity; used in the same manner as Marine use SEMPER FI. Derived from "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith." [2 Timothy 4:7]. See UCGC, ESPRIT DE CORPS, MORALE PATCH, PECKER CHECK, OATH. [nb: "If ye break faith with us who die / We shall not sleep, though poppies grow / In Flanders fields." by John McCrae (1915); "If you keep the faith, good things will eventually come to you." by Elmer Kelton (2002); "We can no more pick our wars than pick our comrades, and while we would prefer that some things be different or results be otherwise, all we can do is our duty, keeping our honor clearly in mind." anonymous]

an idiomatic admonition to stay alert or to be wary; this Americanism first appeared (ca1833) as "keep your eyes skinned" in frontier Kentucky, but was later amended (ca1853) among pioneers in St. Louis; the reference is to watchfulness made vigilant by the removal of one's eyelids. See HAIRY EYEBALL, EYE-BALL / EYE-BALLING, DOUBLE-O, CHECK IT OUT, VR, EYE-CHECK, STACKING SWIVEL. [v: Bodhidharma]

admonitory quote by Sun-Tzu on the strategy of relationships; often misattributed to Niccolò Machiavelli. See KNOW YOUR ENEMY.

an admonition to be prepared for action, to remain resolute and steadfast; from the fact that early gunpowder was often impure (containing both calcium nitrate and potassium nitrate [niter], with the former prone to absorb moisture), which would fail to ignite if damp or wet. This phrase ostensibly comes from an address by Oliver Cromwell to his troops before a river crossing during his campaign in Ireland, concluding: "Put your trust in God, my boys, and keep your powder dry."; however this apocryphal attribution was only later made by Valentine Blacker in 'Oliver's Advice', Ballads of Ireland by E. Hayes (1856). [v: "Keep your powder dry and your dauber up!" American maxim]

a popular 19th century Americanism for remaining undisturbed or unperturbed, which derived from the practice of removing one's coat and shirt when answering a challenge to a fight or DUEL; this precaution of calm tranquility later led to it being an admonition against haste or hurry, rashness or recklessness. See APPEASE, PACIFIST, PEACE; compare FIGHTING WORDS, TRAILING HIS COAT, BLOODY SHIRT, HAIR-TRIGGER, HALF-COCKED, SABER-RATTLING, RAMPAGE.

a keg party, or so-called "beer bust"; also known as a "kegger". Also, a small cask or barrel, usually containing 5-10 gallons (19-38l) in wet measure or 100 pounds (45kg) in dry measure. See CANTEEN, LISTER BAG, POD, WATER BUFFALO, BLIVET, BLADDER. [v: cask, vat, tun, butt, drum, hogshead, barrel, tank, rundlet, kilderkin, puncheon, keg, carboy, breaker, jug, tub, firkin, salmanazar, pottle, flask, pony, gill, pot, flagon, bottle, demijohn]

Key Encryption Key, being a key that encrypts or decrypts another key for transmission or storage; compare KAK, see KEY.

a bilateral defense pact advanced by the French foreign minister Aristide Briand and Frank B. Kellogg, the American Secretary of State, as the culmination of an idea promoted by Professor James Shotwell that war itself be outlawed; the 1928 alliance (General Treaty for the Renunciation of War) is known to be unenforceable, but becomes a sort of multinational goodwill pledge that's eventually signed by 62 countries. See PEACE, APPEASE, PACIFIST, REPRISAL, RETALIATION, NEUTRAL. [nb: after WWI, many of the Lost Generation took the Oxford oath, which many fascists and communists viewed as implicit appeasement, if not an explicit warrant, for political hegemony leading to WWII; this pacifistic pledge declared: "We solemnly swear that we will never take up arms in defense of our country. We will never take up arms, even in defense of our country."; a more extensive pledge was promulgated by 1935: "If war comes, I will not fight; if war comes, I will not enlist; if war comes, I will not be conscripted; if war comes, I will do nothing to support it; if war comes, I will do everything to oppose it, so help me God."]

(keeloyd) an abnormal proliferation of scar tissue, as at the site of an injury, radiation, or surgical intervention; as derived from "stain" or "spot"; see SCAR. [nb: Negroes are prone to more pronounced keloidal development than are Caucasians]


a military cap with a circular, flat-topped crown and a nearly horizontal visor, being a style adopted in the mid-19th century from the French (képi) and Swiss (käppi) FIELD CAP; see HAVELOCK, HEADGEAR. [nb: while symbols of rank or branch have often been displayed on the front of these caps above the visor, their flat top served as the initial site for the display of unit insignia during the American CIVIL WAR, probably because it could be most easily read by a commander mounted on horseback, so as to identify his own unit members]

a woman's square scarf worn as a covering for the head and/or sometimes the shoulders; derived as a syncopated variation of 'keverchef / cuevrechef' meaning "head covering". Also, a handkerchief, as a cloth used for personal grooming. Also, a neckerchief (NECK SCARF), as a cloth worn around the neck. See SNOT-RAG, BUSH HANKY, BUSH OYSTER, POCKET LITTER, SNIVEL GEAR, CREATURE COMFORTS. [v: kerchief, pocket-square, bandana, fascinator, do-rag, nubia, shawl, scarf, stole, tippet, fraise, muffler, neckerchief, neck gaiter, neck sock, wiper, sudarium, napkin, napery, serviette, handkerchief, tissue, Kleenex, mouchoir, smallclothes, hanky; cf: veronica]

a CONDIMENT consisting of puréed tomatoes, onions, vinegar, sugar, and spices; trademarked by Heinz in 1876, it's also spelled catchup or catsup. Also, in a generic sense, any of various other sauces (eg: mushroom ketchup, walnut ketchup, etc) that're used for meat, fish, or other foods; as derived from Malay fish sauce ('kechap') and akin to Chinese eggplant juice. See COCKTAIL SAUCE, NUOC MAM. [v: katsap at IVAN]

a synthetic aramid fiber (extruded long-chain polyamide) that was patented in 1971, and has since been used for body and splinter armor; see K-POT, GANTLET, HAPPY SUIT, HILLBILLY ARMOR. Also, MarSpeak for the lightweight K-POT helmet. [nb: it's been well established that the effectiveness of Kevlar is significantly degraded when saturated with water]

(cue) Kinetic Energy Weapon; see FAE, DU, STABALLOY. [cf: potential energy]

an information set, usually a sequence of random or pseudorandom binary digits, that's used to initially set up and to periodically change the operations performed in cryptographic equipment for encrypting or decrypting electronic signals, for determining electronic counter-countermeasures' patterns (eg: frequency hopping or spread spectrum), or for producing other keys. See KAK, KEK, CODE, ENCODE, DECODE, SHACKLE, CIPHER, ENCRYPT, DECRYPT, SCRAMBLE, NULLITY, HASHING, ALPHABET SOUP, RADIO, COMICS, GRID COORDINATES. [nb: the term 'key' has replaced the terms "variable", "key(-ing) variable", and "cryptovariable"] Also, something that secures or controls access, such as a mechanical or electronic entry device; see SWIPE CARD, CAC, PIC, PASSWORD, UNDER LOCK 'n' KEY, DOUBLE DUTCH. [cf: dongle] Also, that (nonexistent) device used to access and operate a military vehicle (eg: JEEP, TRUCK, APC, TANK, BOAT, BIRD, etc); a nonexistent object that a novice or tyro is required to obtain in the same manner as any other SNIPE HUNT objective; compare MERMAID, DRAGON. [nb: despite the fact that military vehicles must be accessible to anyone in a tactical situation, some civilian vehicles, painted in military livery and used to convey senior officers or visiting officials, are activated by an actual 'key', but these are the exception that proves the rule for the majority]

accountability of the physical or electronic devices which restrict access to select areas or secure government property belonging to a unit; a responsibility assigned to the unit's supply (S-4/G-4/J-4) officer, the duty officer (OOD), or the charge of quarters (CQ).

by reference to the aperture in a key lock, snooping or intruding into extremely private information; see KH, SAT.

informal reference to the elliptical or elongated imprint upon a paper or cardboard target that demonstrates the fact that a BULLET was not traveling point first, did not fly true along its trajectory, and so did not impact the target cleanly (which would leave a perfectly round hole); this defect in ammunition design or manufacture contributes to inaccuracy, albeit delivering a more severe wound (due to tumbling) when the bullet does actually hit an enemy. The M-16 rifle bullet is notorious for this trait, especially when disturbed by eddies and crosswinds or leaves and twigs, while the M-1911A1 pistol bullet is famous for its stability. See YAW.

key, code, or authentication information for transmission or storage in physical or magnetic form.

a contraction of KEYhole MODular mounting system, being an open-source component accessorization system developed by VLTOR Weapon Systems of Tucson (AZ), and later (July 2012) released to the public domain for adoption by the entire firearms industry; KeyMod was designed to be superior to the military's weighty and non-ergonomic PICATINNY RAIL, because the KeyMod resists recoil and counter-recoil slippage by the close-tolerance of the chamfered slot and stepped nut interface.

the operational CODEWORD for the series of RETROGRADE increments, spanning the period July 1969 - November 1972, by which the U.S. Army was withdrawn from Vietnam; further subdivided by stages, as: Keystone Eagle, Keystone Cardinal, Keystone Bluejay, Keystone Robin, Keystone Oriole, Keystone Mallard, Keystone Owl, and so forth. A unit was "keystoned" when it turned in its equipment and moved to port; or a support element was "keystoning" by effecting the transfer of another unit's men and materiel. See ACTOV, CRIMP, CSMO, PROVN, VIETNAMIZATION. Also, (forthcoming) joint doctrine includes plans, command and control, communications, computer systems, intelligence, operations, logistics, and personnel; see CAPSTONE, USJFCOM.

certain terrain, such as high ground or defiles, that when occupied or controlled, gives the holder a distinct tactical advantage; compare STRONGPOINT, ACP, CHOKE POINT.

K-50 / K-50M :
North Vietnamese K-50M
a revised version of the Red Chinese Type 50 submachinegun (SMG) that was manufactured by North Vietnam; with a variety of specimen models as influence, the lighter weight K-50 even improved on the original Soviet PPSh-41 BURP GUN. The K-50 reduced the length of the barrel on the Type 50 and shortened the BARREL SLEEVE to only three inches, adding a pistol grip, introducing a foresight imitative of the French MAT-49, and replacing the non-collapsing wooden buttstock with a skeletonized steel-wire type ... all of which reduced its weight by over a pound. Furthermore, this version restored the SMG's acceptance of both the box and drum (with wire stock retracted) magazines, as per the original Russian model.

M-1926 utensils issued to
military personnel for eating
M-1926 utensils
abbreviation for Knife, Fork, Spoon; being the complete set of eating utensils associated with civilized dining, hence only ever encountered in a MESS or GALLEY, and during a command (CMMI or IG) inspection! A soldier in the field reduces weight and eliminates noise by carrying only a SPOON (also known as the PARTISAN'S SECRET WEAPON!). See FORK, KNIFE, CHOPSTICK, FRED, P-38, CHURCH KEY, MESS KIT, CANTEEN CUP, MESS TRAY, COVER, RATIONS. [nb: spork is a spoon with tines added; splade / splayd is a knife, fork, and spoon combined into one device, consisting of a tined spoon with a sharpened edge; sporf is an all-purpose term for any hybrid of spoon, fork, and knife; knork is a fork with a knife-like cutting edge; knifork is a knife and fork combo that's typically configured as a rocking-knife with tines; knoon is a combination knife and spoon utensil; spife is a spoon with a knife on the end; chork is a set of chopsticks that can be reversed into a fork] [nb: the small knife ("sgian dubh") that's tucked into the top of the stocking, below the skirt of the kilt, that's typically crafted by frugal Scots from broken weapons or scrap metal, is traditionally used when skinning or eating; it is sometimes called a "black knife", not for any sinister or devious usage, but due to its coarse or inferior metal, which contrasts with the brightly polished finer metal used in weapons] [v: napery, serviette]

KH :
abbreviation for KeyHole, the series of surveillance and intelligence gathering satellites that can produce high quality photographs; as derived from intrusively revealing, as if spied through a private keyhole.

Killed in Hostile Action; see KIA, DOW, NOK.

a yellowish brown or tawny summer-weight CLASS-A uniform made of cotton twill; also called 'suntan' / 'suntans' / 'sun-tan' / 'sun-tans'. The short-sleeved KHAKI shirt had breast pockets and EPAULETs; KHAKI trousers were usually four pocketed and long, but KHAKI shorts with knee-socks were experimental during the early 1960's. The Army had no matching beige-colored HEADGEAR, but the Navy and Air Force did. A privately purchased alternative of the era was "tropical worsted wool" (TWs) in a slightly darker shade of light brown; which uniform was both more comfortable and more attractive than cotton KHAKIS. In 1846, the white British Army uniform was dyed "dust brown" to match the color of the desert dirt in India, and is considered to be the first camouflage uniform. See DRESS, CAMMIES, CAMO, PATCH. [cf: bisque (pinkish-tan)]

slang for the "old boys club", for the "movers and shakers", for henchmen and minions, especially RING-KNOCKERs and other self-protective MILICRATs; any exclusionary in-group (eg: Bataan Gang of MacArthur sycophants), but may extend to overtly criminal rackets engaged in BLACK MARKETeering. As with organized-crime families [v: FAMILISM], there isn't a single monolithic structure; so the KHAKI MAFIA (also spelled "maffia" for clique; also known as "the group", "the outfit", "the organization", or "the mob") is composed of the "Airborne Mafia", the "Armor Mafia", the "Aviation Mafia", the "Submarine Mafia", the "Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Mafia", the "Freemason (Free and Accepted Masons) Mafia", the "Shriner (Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, an auxiliary of the Masonic order) Mafia", and other subsets which are dedicated to their own preferment and advancement. See RABBI, PATRON SAINT, SEA DADDY, BOY'S CLUB, THE ESTABLISHMENT, CASTE, THE UNHOLY TRINITY, SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, RHIP, ROUGHSHOD, LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN, HANG HIS STOCKING, CARPETBAGGERS. [v: pickthank; cf: apparatchik, nomenklatura, eunuch, nabob, nibs] [v: 'claque' for group or coterie of BROWN NOSERs] [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!]

in Laotian cuisine, a beef or chicken broth seasoned with savory herbs, accented by lime juice, chili oil, and cilantro (coriander), garnished by bean sprouts, basil, long beans, and containing flat rice noodles; this Lao noodle soup is the Laotian version of Vietnamese PHO (qv).

in Laotian cuisine, a sweet and spicy coconut soup (nam kathi) containing rice noodles, pounded fish, chicken or pork, garnished with lime leaves and shallots, seasoned with herbs, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, perilla (mint), and chilies that's simmered for a long time; compare TOM KHA KAI, MOHINGA.

flag of the Kingdom of
Cambodia / People's Republic of Kampuchea
Kingdom of Cambodia
People's Republic of Kampuchea
1970 flag of the Khmer
Khmer Republic
Khmers are traditionally the ethnic majority who inhabit Cambodia and parts of Thailand and the Mekong delta. [nb: 1847 - Kingdom of Cambodia (Ang Duong) Angkor Wat emblem on coin; 1863 - Kingdom of Cambodia (Ang Duong) national flag; 1947 - Kingdom of Cambodia (Norodom Sihanouk Varman) monarchy promulgated democratic constitution and universal suffrage; 1948 - Kingdom of Cambodia (Norodom Sihanouk Varman) new flag; 1954 - Kingdom of Cambodia (Sihanuks); 1970 - Khmer Republic (Lon Nol); 1975 - Kingdom of Cambodia (Khmer Rouge); 1976 - Democratic Kampuchea (Pol Pot, et al); 1979 - People's Republic of Kampuchea [or Kampuchea Popular Republic] (Heng Samrin, Hun Sen, et al); 1989 - State of Cambodia (Heng Samrin, Hun Sen, et al); 1991 - State of Cambodia under provisional UN administration; 1993 - Kingdom of Camdbodia (Norodom Sihanuk). The colors of the national flag represent blue for royalty, leadership, or contentment; red for the nation, people, or courage; white for religion (Brahmanism / Buddhism), faith, or righteousness. The principal emblem has been ANGKOR WAT. The three stars in the flag of the Khmer Republic variously represent: people / religion / government, upper / middle / lower country, triple jewel of Buddhism (Dharma / Prajna / Sandhi), three branches of government. The present design of horizontal bands was adopted on 29 October 1948 until 9 October 1970, then again on 30 June 1993, with the royal coat of arms on 21 September 1993, in preparation for the reestablishment of the monarchy on 24 September 1993. The royal coat of arms show two cups, one placed over the other; above them a sacred sword, placed horizontally, surmounted by a symbol representing "om", the sound of creation. Beneath the whole, two laurel branches are united at the bottom by the star of the Royal Order of Cambodia.]

literally "Red Khmers"; the forces of the Cambodian Communist Party, or of the communist Cambodian Liberation Army. See CLA.

Free Khmer, Cambodian resistance group; see KKK, FARK.

(kahm bick) Vietnamese phrase for "unknown" or "don't understand", sometimes Americanized as "cam biet" or misspelled "khong biet"; compare BIET. [cf: Thai "cham mai khao chai" (I don't understand)]

(kay-eye-ay) abbreviation for Killed In Action; Vietnamese term: Tu Tran. See DOW, WALKING GHOST, PH, BODY COUNT, WASTED, ZAPPED, BUY THE FARM, PUSHING UP DAISIES, BITTER END, SPLASH, KBA, KHA, BODY BAG, LAID BY THE WALL, ZULU, RINGS OF SORROW, NOK, DUSTOFF, MEDEVAC; compare WIA, GSW, GSW-TTH, MILLION DOLLAR WOUND, PROFILE, LINE OF DUTY, SIW. [nb: allegedly, due to the undeclared status of the VIETNAM WAR, allied combat deaths were officially classified as "Killed in Hostile Action" (KHA), and enemy combat deaths were formally designated as "Killed In Action" (KIA); but such a legalistic distinction is supposed to regulate the award of "combat only" decorations. Allied deaths total approximately 300,000 servicemembers, and the enemy is estimated to have lost 1.4 - 2 million military dead during the Second INDOCHINA War (1954-75).]
    [ie: War of Independence (1775-83): 25,000 battle deaths;
    Quasi-War with France (1798-1800): 20 battle deaths;
    Barbary Wars (1801-15): 35 battle deaths;
    War of 1812 (1812-15): 20,000 battle deaths;
    First Seminole War (1817-18): 30 battle deaths;
    Second Seminole War (1835-42): 1,500 battle deaths;
    Mexican-American War (1846-48): 13,283 battle deaths;
    Third Seminole War (1855-58): 26 battle deaths;
    Civil War (1861-65): 623,026 battle deaths;
    Indian Wars (1865-98): 919 battle deaths;
    Spanish-American War (1898): 2,446 battle deaths;
    Philippine War (1898-1902): 4,196 battle deaths;
    Boxer Rebellion (1900-01): 37 battle deaths;
    Mexican Revolution (1914-19): 35 battle deaths;
    Haiti Occupation (1915-34): 146 battle deaths;
    World War I (1917-18): 116,708 battle deaths;
    World War II (1941-45): 407,316 battle deaths;
    Korean War (1950-53): 36,914 battle deaths;
    Vietnam War (1964-73): 58,169 battle deaths;
    El Salvador (1980-92): 20 battle deaths;
    Beirut (1982-84): 266 battle deaths;
    Persian Gulf Support (1987-88): 39 battle deaths;
    Invasion of Grenada (1983): 19 battle deaths;
    Invasion of Panama (1989): 40 battle deaths;
    Persian Gulf War (1991): 269 battle deaths;
    Somalia (1992-93): 43 battle deaths;
    Bosnia (1995): 12 battle deaths;
    Afghanistan (2002-10): 1,084+ battle deaths;
    Iraq (2003-10): 4,400+ battle deaths]

informal term used to mean RECOIL, being the distance through which a weapon moves backward after discharging; the physical rebound resulting from undergoing a change in momentum ... "every action has an equal and opposite reaction". See BASS, SPOT WELD, OFF HAND, BURST, DOUBLE TAP, TRIPLE TAP, HAMMER, FIREPOWER, SILENCER, PROLONGE. [v: Firearms Glossary]

a literal or figurative colloquialism for abuse or coercion, torment or duress, intimidation or compulsion, inducement or excoriation; see KATN, CALL ON THE CARPET, BLISTER, FANG, VERBUM SAP, BROWBEAT, BAYONET SHEET, FLAME, HAWK, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT. [v: comeuppance] Also, complimentary slang expressive of admiration or approbation, especially among aviators and other aircrew; probably derived as a truncation of "That kicks my ass!", and is used in the same manner as BRAVO ZULU; see GOOD STICK, SHIT-HOT, ATTABOY, A-1, WARM FUZZY, GLORY PIE, BRAGGING RIGHTS, TROPHY. [v: fanfaronade]

the illicit liquor made by the character Big Barnsmell at the "Skonk Works" manufactory in Al Capp's comic strip Li'l Abner; see SKUNK WORKS, HOOCH.

slang designation for a DROPMASTER or LOADMASTER who performs an AIRDROP, LOW-LEVEL EVACUATION DROP, or KICK-OUT of the PAYLOAD so as to effect a tactical resupply by air to ground elements; see CREW CHIEF, HATCH, RAMP, TAILGATE, LZ, DZ, COMBAT LOADED, BB STACKER, BAILOUT.

to deliver essential equipment or necessary resupply to a unit in the field by quickly throwing packaged goods out of the door or HATCH of a slow moving airplane, usually a hovering CHOPPER but any capable BIRD, from SKYMASTER to BRONCO, will suffice during an emergency. A KICK-OUT is performed as low to the ground as possible (to spare damage to the delivery), and at the center of a PERIMETER (which is usually too small for an AIRDROP), and under adverse conditions (typically receiving SMALL ARMS if not antiaircraft (AA) fire), since a proper and secure LZ would be established if time and opportunity permitted. See TAILGATE, COMBAT LOADED, COOPER VANE, LOW-LEVEL EVACUATION DROP.

slang for government issue (G.I.) shoes; see LOW-QUARTERS.

compulsory, mandatory, or forced retirement of a professional MIL-PERS, also spelled "kick-standed"; based upon the powerlessness of a fully functional motorcycle prevented from operating by elevating the spinning drive-wheel with a kickstand. This expedient method of disarming a politically embarrassing situation is supposedly more fair to the individual, since they are not punished or denied accrued benefits; but it is quite unjust and cowardly, since the person is presumed guilty and dishonored by the arrogation. See CYA, DODGE THE BULLET, CHOP, VULCANIZE, RIF, SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT.

a catch-phrase for postponement, as when delaying a decision or putting off some action by holding it in abeyance; to defer a conclusive solution by procrastination, by engaging in short-term postponements or delays; a decision or action awaiting a more appropriate time or circumstance for dealing with it ... the putative 'can' being displaced is the proverbial "can of worms". [nb: the verb phrases "kick about" and "kick around" have meant wander or roam aimlessly since the early 19th century, and the "kick the can" game is a variant form of "hide-and-seek" (qv) that allows the captives to escape, thus delaying the end of the game]

a three-dimensional area that's used to facilitate the integration of joint fires; being a hypothetical abstraction that's positioned to encompass the TARGET, whether fixed or mobile, horizontal or vertical, personnel or vehicles, which is the most effective target area that can be projected for select munitions capable of delivery by available assets within the given time constraints. This theoretical ideal of sufficient force without the expenditure of excess or inappropriate force causing unnecessary damage ranges from "one shot, one kill" SNIPER tactics to minimal implosion absent of COLLATERAL DAMAGE. With the refinements available from the new technology, such "surgical strikes" against the designated enemy are now possible, even in THE FOG OF WAR. Compare PAINT, SHOT, SHOT IN, SHOT OUT, SPLASH; see FREE FIRE ZONE.

a symbolic representation of the death toll, being one of the ways of "keeping score" in "real" WAR GAMES; see TROPHY, BANDIT, KILL RING, STREAMER, SOUVENIR, EARS, SCALPING, BRAGGING RIGHTS, COUNT COUP, TOP DOG, SPLASH, KIA, BODY COUNT, HEADHUNTING, BUTCHER'S BILL, ZULU, MASSACRE, KILL 'EM ALL, PISSING CONTEST. [nb: the kill ratio to expended AMMO during the VIETNAM WAR was about 20,000 rounds per enemy dead]

popular slogan or sardonic byword, as "Kill 'em all an' let God sort it out!". Originating as either "Neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoscet." or "Neca ecos omnes. Deus suos agnoscet.", which has been translated as both "Slay them all. God will recognize His own." and "Kill all! Kill all, for God will know His own."; and has been variously attributed to Simon de Montfort, Amal Ulric, Arnald-Amaury, Arnald-Amalric, Arnold Amalric, Caesar von Heisterbach, and Caesar Heisterbachiensis from the Albigensian Crusade to extirpate the Catharist heresy, 21 July 1209, in Beziers France. See MASSACRE, BUTCHER'S BILL, BATTLE CRY, PATCH, MERCENARY, WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS, VIETNAM IS FOREVER, WAR PARTY, WARMONGER, TRIGGER-HAPPY, BOUNCE THE RUBBLE, BOMB 'EM BACK TO THE STONE AGE, BIGGER BANG FOR THE BUCK, DOOMSDAY, OVERKILL, KNOCK INTO A COCKED HAT, GENOCIDE, ATROCITY, RETALIATION; compare THEY'LL GIVE A WAR AN' NOBODY'LL COME. [v: vernichtungsgedanken] [nb: "Attack them everywhere and shake the ground beneath them." by Abu Muhammad al-Adnani; "Most of the world's ills would be cured with one three-day open season on people." by Ernest M. Hemingway]

the setting of short-FUZEd high-explosive (HE) artillery (ARTY) rounds for air-burst as a PERIMETER defense technique against ground attacks. This anti-personnel (AP) procedure for HOWITZERs was developed by LTC Robert Dean, who was then CO of the 1/8th Field Artillery in the 25th Infantry Division, as a means to compensate for the absence of a BEEHIVE or other CASE SHOT round fitting the 105mm HOWITZER. The 105mm HE projectiles would be set with two-second timers and fired over open sights on depressed gun-tubes, resulting in an air-burst approximately 30 feet above the ground at ranges between 200 - 1000 meters. This technique was more effective than CANISTER or BEEHIVE because the enemy could not crawl under the fan of the dispersion pattern. Compare KILLER SENIOR; see DIME-NICKEL, ONE-OH-DEUCE, ARTY.

nickname for specialists in night ambush or assassination "behind enemy lines"; see SHADOW WARRIOR, BODYGUARD, DECAPITATION, TWEP, STROLLER, SWEEPER, TRAINED KILLER.

the setting of short-FUZEd high-explosive (HE) artillery (ARTY) rounds for air-burst as a PERIMETER defense technique against ground attacks. This anti-personnel (AP) procedure for HEAVY STUFF was developed as a means to compensate for the absence of a BEEHIVE or other CASE SHOT round fitting the 8" cannon. The 8" HE projectiles would be set with two-second timers and fired over open sights on depressed gun-tubes, resulting in an air-burst approximately 30 feet above the ground at ranges between 200 - 1000 meters. This technique was more effective than CANISTER or BEEHIVE because the enemy could not crawl under the fan of the dispersion pattern. Compare KILLER JUNIOR; see BIG STUFF, ARTY.

a building used for training military and paramilitary agents in the tactics and techniques of intervention and rescue, especially urban combat, by presenting typical, atypical, and specific scenarios during which MILES, PAINTBALL, SIM-AMMO, live AMMO, FLASHBANGs, and EXPLOSIVEs are used; some setups include sound effects, visual distractions, and BOOBY-TRAPs. The KILL HOUSE, also called "shooting house", may be a MOCK-UP of an aircraft fuselage, an embassy building, an apartment complex, a business office, or small factory designed in European, Asian, or Near Eastern style. These training sessions are normally videotaped for post-event review. Compare TIRE CITY; see BODYGUARD, DOOR KICKING, BREACHER, STACK, DOUBLE TAP, MOUT, DELTA FORCE, SPECIAL OPERATIONS, ANTI-TERRORISM, COUNTER-TERRORISM, AT CLOSE QUARTERS, RED FLAG.

the exposed area of saturated fire where most casualties will occur; also called "killing field", "beaten zone", "dead zone", or KILL ZONE.


a painted line or band encircling the MAIN-GUN tube, commencing from near the MUZZLE, each one of which represents the confirmed destruction in battle of a similar enemy weapon or vehicle; being a non-verbal testament of combat prowess, adopted by American YELLOWLEGs and REDLEGs from WWII German TANKERs. See TROPHY, BRAGGING RIGHTS, TOP DOG, KILL CREDIT.

slang from the GULF WAR-era for the surveillance images that are transmitted from targeted DRONEs or SATellites to the tactical operations center (TOC), often as one of several "live-action shows" displayed on one or another SCREEN amidst a banked array of similar outputs from ongoing operations, as occurring in real-time, but subject to post-event review on videotape; such monitoring is comparable to Video TeleConference (VTC), to CMOS streaming video via HUNTER, and to TANK PLINKING. See ELECTRONIC CAMPFIRE, BOOB TUBE, SNOW, DEAD AIR. [v: reality television]

the exposed area of saturated fire where most casualties will occur; also called "killing ground", "killing field", "beaten zone", or "dead zone"; compare ZONE OF FIRE, DEADLINE, POINT OF IMPACT, IMPACT AREA; see DANGER CLOSE, FPL, AMBUSH, BATTLEFIELD. Also, the most lethal area, being the preferred AIMPOINT or target for maximum effectiveness; compare DEFILADE, DEAD SPACE.

meaning 'thousand', as in kilogram or kilometer; see KLICK. Also, the word assigned to represent the letter "K" in the international phonetic alphabet; at various times in different spelling schemes, it has also been acrophonetically represented as King. See ALPHABET SOUP, PHONETIC ALPHABET. [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags]

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

Kilroy was here!
           (O O)
a peering face graffito (cf: SMILEY), often coupled with the catch-phrase "Kilroy was here!", as made popular during WWII and after by being indiscriminately emblazoned wherever troops advanced; this icon ostensibly originated as an inspection mark made on military equipment by James J. Kilroy. An alternative attribution credits Francis J. Kilroy Jr., a sergeant in the Army Air Transport Service, whose friends delighted in recording his name everywhere they went. [nb: in a similar vein, the SF friends and associates of Walt Shumate delighted in attributing every dastardly deed and ignoble feat to him, making his name impossibly ubiquitous and improbably universal, sometimes appearing simultaneously at a bar brawl in Okinawa, a whorehouse in Panama, a caper in Egypt, an escapade in Germany, and a frolic in Alaska; in the British SAS fraternity, the same has been done with the Andy McNab persona] [v: pasquinade; cf: kill-joy (spoilsport)]

a spicy Korean dish of pickled or fermented cabbage and onions, sometimes including fish, that's variously seasoned with garlic, horseradish, red peppers, and ginger.

any taxicab, hackney, or gypsy cab, from PEDICAB to RICKSHA; also called CYCLO or RICE-BURNER, TUK-TUK or PUTT-PUTT / PUT-PUT; compare HACK, RICE ROCKET, JINGLE TRUCK. [v: Japanese takushii (taxi)]

(forthcoming); a loose robe with wide sleeves that's fastened at the waist with a sash, as traditionally worn by Japanese men and women; garment, clothes; literally derived from "thing to wear". compare CHEONGSAM, AO DAI, HANBOK, PAJAMAS; see GEISHA. [cf: sarong, lavalava, pareu/pareo]

the sensation in one's own body of the movement of muscles, tendons, and joints, such that a person is aware of sufficient exertion and relative repetitive motion; also known as "muscle memory". Compare PROPRIOCEPTION.

see KEW, DU, STABALLOY, APDS, SLAP, DPICM, SABOT, FAE; compare GO KINETIC. [cf: potential energy]

a portmanteau word combining 'kin/kinfolk' and 'informing', as adopted during the GULF WAR; being the notification procedure required of the unit commander that advises a servicemember's family of his injury or death, which also initiates the casualty affairs or survivor assistance process. See NOK, WIA, DOW, KIA, CACO, HUG SQUAD, SKY PILOT, GHOUL, RINGS OF SORROW, MORTUARY AFFAIRS, GRAVES REGISTRATION.

CH-34 helicopter
CH-34 Kingbee
Sikorsky CH-34 cargo and troop-transport helicopter, which had a large loading aperture on its starboard side, and was used for AIR ASSAULT, MEDEVAC, and resupply missions; also known as "dog" and "ugly", it was flown by Vietnamese pilots during airmobility and special operations missions during the VIETNAM WAR. See CHOPPER. Also, codename of the 219th Special Operations Squadron in the South Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF) that flew helicopter support missions for the joint service organization known as MACV Studies and Observations Group, together with select US Army and Marine helicopter support, under the auspices of the RVN president's Liaison Office; see SOG, SCU, STD, SF, SPECIAL OPERATIONS.

a proverbial motto of the artillery, identifying its prominent, if not essential, role in combat; see ARTY, KNOCK THEIR SPOTS OFF, KISS THE MISTRESS, TURN THE JACK, CHESS.

codename for a constellation of American anti-spacecraft and ground attack space-based weapons; compare STAR WARS.

preeminent, paramount, predominant, foremost, superior, unsurpassed, matchless, peerless, incomparable, second to none; one who has conquered all contenders to achieve dominance. This activity, also called "king of the mountain", having devolved into a rough-and-tumble game for children, teaches the value of a superior position, and the singularity of attainment. KING OF THE HILL utilizes defensive high ground in the same manner as the 'Base Capture' game, which is a variant of CAPTURE THE FLAG. See BATTLE ROYAL, UPHILL BATTLE, FIGHTING MAD, CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE; compare DUCK ON DRAKE, DUCKS AND DRAKES, HIDE-AND-SEEK, TUG OF WAR, RED ROVER, PRISONER'S BASE, WAR GAMES.

the coupling pin, welded or bolted in the centre of the front underside of a semi-trailer chassis, which couples to the fifth wheel (ie: a horizontal ring or segment of a ring, consisting of two bands that slide on each other, placed above the front axle of a carriage and designed to support the forepart of the body while allowing it to turn freely in a horizontal plane) of the towing tractor or dolly convertor. Compare PINTLE, TRUNNION.

a strong vertical upright used to support a ship's windlass and the heel of a ship's bowsprit, as when docking or mooring; also called a "sampson post". See BOLLARD.

Bell OH-1 or OH-58 (JetRanger) observation helicopter; an armed version is designated "Kiowa Warrior" (OH-58D). See SCOUTSHIP, LOH, CHOPPER.

to sleep or rest; derived from brothel; see PAC / PAC TIME, COMBAT NAP, EYELID MAINTENANCE; compare NO REST. Also, a unit of weight equal to half a ton, or 1000 pounds avoirdupois. Also, a large heavy bundle or fardel, especially of hides. Also, the basic monetary unit of currency of Laos; see LEGAL TENDER.

a Vietnam-era apéritif consisting of chilled white wine or champagne blended with crème de cassis, a black currant liqueur; so-called after its inventor, Canon Félix Kir, the then-mayor of Dijon, France. See HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK, HOIST, GUSTO.

a fragrant brandy, colorless and unaged, that's distilled from a fermented MASH of cherries, which liquor has been primarily produced in Germany, Switzerland, and Alsace; as literally derived from 'cherry + water'. See HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK.

Kiska Task Force sleeve
Kiska TF
1943 Aleutian Islands Forces
Aleutian Is Fcs
(forthcoming); 15 August 1943 landing on Kiska in the Aleutian Islands

fate or destiny; as derived from divide [qismah] one's lot or portion. [v: fate, fortune, destiny, joss, karma, moira, predestination, weird; che sarà sarà ("what will be, will be"); que sera, sera ("whatever will be, will be"); cf: appointment in Samarra] [v: alea jacta est (Latin: the die is cast)] [nb: "You only live twice -- once when you are born, once when you look death in the face." by Ian Fleming (1964)] [nb: the dying declaration of Viscount Horatio Nelson when taking leave of his flag captain, Thomas Masterman Hardy, after the 1805 victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, is commonly (mis-)represented as "Kiss me, Hardy.", which interpretation is reinforced by the fact that Hardy did then bend down and kiss Nelson on the cheek; however, it should be quoted as "Kismet, Hardy." ... with the meaning "Such is fate, my old friend Hardy."]

military injunction to "Keep It Short and Simple", or "Keep It Simple Stupid"; conceived by British MG J.F.C. Fuller, who formalized the principles of warfare during WWI. [nb: "If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again a tremendous whack!" by Winston L.S. Churchill; "Some experience of popular lecturing had convinced me that the necessity of making things plain to uninstructed people, was one of the very best means of clearing up the obscure corners in one's own mind." by Thomas Henry Huxley; "Anything that's thoroughly understood can be made simple and clearly explained ... confusion is not the result of complexity but of misunderstanding."; "The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak." by Hans Hofmann; "If the idea for the plan or project cannot be summarily explained in twenty-five words or less, then it's probably too complicated to work, and should be redone." paraphrase of Donald H. Rumsfeld; "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." by Albert Einstein; "The initial resolution to any vexing problem is usually simple and obvious, and often wrong." paraphrase of Henry Louis Mencken; "The military has a knack for making the simple hard, the routine difficult, and the complex incomprehensible!"] Also, any slight touch or gentle contact, as a light impact or soft carom; a delicate strike; to brush or nudge; compare "turn" at KISS THE MISTRESS. Also, the touching or pressing together of pursed lips in an expression of greeting or respect, thought or reverence, affection or compassion, including a kiss that's blown or thrown at a distance; a cooperative interpersonal labial conjunction that's also known as smooch, bus, smack, buzz, neck / necking, make-out, petting, parking, first base, spoon / spooning, kissy face, lip lock, swap spit, tonsil mining, uvula speed-bagging, osculate / osculation; see HUG, PET, WARM FUZZY, PDA, PAX. Also, a piece of toffee-like confectionery that sometimes contains nuts, coconut, or the like; see POGY BAIT, GEDUNK, SUGAR PILL. Also, a small, sometimes conical, bite-sized piece of chocolate that's usually individually wrapped; see POGY BAIT, GEDUNK, SUGAR PILL. Also, a baked confection of egg whites and confectioners' sugar, served as a cookie.

a post-WWII idiom indicating a negative reaction or a destructive relationship, such as adverse support or hostile endorsement; any act generating disasterous results or any alliance not conducive to goal attainment; any destructive relationship or fatal action; this figure of speech alludes to the kiss bestowed by Judas Iscariot that betrayed Jesus Christ. See RAIN ON PARADE, TO TAKE THE GILT OFF THE GINGERBREAD, PANIC BUTTON, CHICKEN LITTLE, REALPOLITIK. [v: Judas kiss]


hitting the center of the target; a perfect score. See SHARPSHOOTER, DEADEYE, KNOCK THEIR SPOTS OFF, MAGGIE'S DRAWERS, TURN THE JACK, AIMPOINT, BOLO BADGE. [nb: by playing card analogy since the mid-19th century, the King is headquarters, the Queen is the principal point on the FRONT LINE, and the Jack is a secondary position; such that a "kiss" is a solid hit or strike, and a "turn" is an oblique or glancing blow of mis- or indirection] [nb: according to classic military lore, carrying playing cards (also called a "California prayer book" or the "Devil's calling cards") in combat is bad luck, so the deck must be left behind in camp or buried upon departure; cf: DEATH CARDS, WAR GAMES] [nb: some etymologists attribute the phrase "buck the tiger" to faro gambling, but can not explain its usage, however the same phrase is widely associated with lusty gratification, and needs no explanation; v: "They won't drink, they won't buck the tiger, they won't even fight." Roads of Destiny; "Nothing stronger than bouillon, not a chance to buck the tiger even for one moment...." Hagar's Daughter]

materials and supplies for a specific purpose (eg: MESS KIT, MED BAG, BUG-OUT KIT, BLOW-OUT KIT, DOPP KIT, PRO KIT). Also, the arrangement of all the materials and supplies that're necessary for a specific purpose; the proper configuration (kitted-out) of these items on a combat-ready MIL-PERS. Also, BIVOUAC or battlefield gear (eg: GO-BAG, WAR BAG); see DUFFEL. Also, the container for such material (eg: DITTY BAG, KIT BAG, MUSETTE, FLIGHT BAG, FARADAY CAGE, DIPLOMATIC POUCH); see DUNNAGE. Also, all the parts necessary to assemble something (eg: radio kit). [nb: the whole "kit 'n' caboodle" is an early Americanism for the container with everything that belongs in it, or an entity with all of its functional elements, such as a COMBAT LOADED or MISSION READY unit that's GOOD TO GO; another early Americanism for this entirety, whole or completeness, is "lock, stock, 'n' barrel", which refers to all the essential parts of a firelock musket; cf: SHEBANG]

see KIT, MED BAG, MUSETTE, WAR BAG, GO-BAG, FLIGHT BAG, B4 / B-4 BAG, DUFFEL BAG, AWOL BAG, BIVY, 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]

named for the renown American frontier Indian Scout, Kit Carson, abbreviated KCS, this program employed captured or surrendered enemy soldiers who return to their former operational areas to serve as guides for Allied troops. See HOI CHANH, ROADRUNNER, EARTH ANGEL. [nb: the American frontiersman, hunter and guide, Christopher Houston "Kit" Carson (1809-68), known as the "Little Big Man", was made famous by the plaudits of John Charles Frémont for his employments during the Western expeditions of 1842-5, then similarly engaged by Stephen Kearny in New Mexico, then installed in 1853 as Indian agent at Taos, and later militia leader of the New Mexico Volunteers in campaigns against southwestern tribes during the CIVIL WAR (including the Texas battle at Adobe Walls in November 1864), then finally appointed Brigadier General in July 1866 to command Fort Garland, Colorado] [nb: a similar program during WWII in the ETO operated by OSS was called "Sauerkraut" (word play: 'sour' + 'German')]

an early 19th century Americanism for that unofficial group of counselors who are relied upon to advise a head of government; compare CZAR, MANDARIN, WHIZ KID, WISE MEN, BRAIN TRUST, DEFENSE POLICY BOARD.

informal name for the 'Unitized Group Ration Express', introduced to field inventory in 2007, being a no-fuel/no-power self-heating system that requires no additional equipment. Each self-contained UGRE system is designed to be airdropped, weighs forty pounds, and feeds 18 servicemembers with menu items like turkey dinner with gravy. Compare T-RATIONS; see RATIONS.

an idiomatic expression for complete and entire, with all essential elements present, as when giving a summary report or depicting (in condensed form) the layout of a situation; see BATHTUB, SAND TABLE. [cf: "everything but the kitchen sink", "kitchen sink drama"]

an initialism for Kept In The Dark and Fed On Horse Shit, being a recipe for creating MUSHROOMs with NEED TO KNOW information or in a compartmented setting; see COMPARTMENTALIZATION, CHINESE WALL, TRADECRAFT.

(forthcoming); THROW-AWAY, FIX, DANGLE [nb: the kite, called a "flying sail", has been used militarily since the fifth century BC by the Chinese to signal situations, send commands, scatter leaflets, produce sounds, and lift observers.] [nb: during WWII, German U-boats used a "gyro-kite" to lift a temporary observation platform above sea level] Also, a worthless or fraudulent financial instrument; see BAD PAPER, COUNTERFEIT.


Commonwealth of New Zealand flag
New Zealand
(kee-wee) nickname for New Zealand ADVISORs and servicemen, also known as "Digger", from "Down Under" (antipodes); as derived from the flightless bird native to the islands. See NZATTV, NZV FORCE, RNZAF, NZSAS, TAN TAY LAN, ANZAC, FWF, FANK TRAINING COMMAND, ANZUS, KANZUS, ASEAN, SEATO, compare AUSSIE, TOMMY, GI JOE, GI. [v: Down Under Military Glossary] [aka: Maori 'Aotearoa' meaning "land of the long white cloud"] [cf: kiwifruit or Chinese gooseberry (Zespri)]

Krum Kmampuchea Khmer, or Khmer Kampuchea Krom, or Khymer Kampuchea Krom; exile ethnic Cambodian faction working with Allied elements. See KHMER SEREI, FARK.

Kosovo Liberation Army; see ALLIED FORCE.

a loud electric horn, formerly used on motor vehicles; a type of alarm now used as a warning signal or siren. Compare SQUAWK BOX, BLOWER, HORN, TANNOY, TOCSIN, ANNUNCIATOR, 1-MC; see WARNING ORDER, BOATSWAIN'S PIPE, BUGLE CALL, POOP, HEADS-UP, FYI, STAND-TO, DEFCON, ESP, SACON, FPCON, GQ, ALERT, AHOY, HOISE, OORAH, HOOAH, HAUL-ASS, STAT.

slang for kilometer (km), also spelled "click"; being 1,000 meters or 0.621 mile. Compare KNOT, NAUTICAL MILE, MILE; see RANGER BEADS. [nb: the kilometer was originally defined as 1/10,000th of the distance from either of earth's pole to the equator (or the meter set as one ten-millionth of the distance from a pole to the equator), or as 1/40,000th of the earth's circumference as measured through the poles (meridian); which definition would make the kilometer's length approximately 1,000.197 meters, but the km has been formally defined as exactly 1,000 meters (3,280.84 feet) by international agreement] [nb: hectare / hektare (ha): a unit of surface measure equal to 10,000 square meters (10 square kilometers), or equal to 100 ares; being equivalent to 2.471 acres. are (a): a unit of surface measure equal to 100 square meters (1/100 of a hectare); being equivalent to 119.6 square yards. acre (ac): a unit of surface measure in the U.S. and Great Britain equal to 4047 square meters (43,560 square feet, or 1/640 square mile)] [v: the Metric Conversion Act (23 Dec 1975; amended by the 1988 Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act, the 1996 Savings in Construction Act, and the 2004 Department of Energy High-End Computing Revitalization Act) recommended improved efficiency by voluntary accommodation with the standardized International System of Units (si): meter (length), kilogram (mass), second (time), ampere (electric current), kelvin (temperature), mole (amount of substance), and candela (luminous intensity); including femtometer / fermi (fm), picometer (pm), angstrom (a), nanometer (nm), millimicron, micron/micrometer (mu), millimeter (mm), centimeter (cm), decimeter (dm), meter (m), dekameter (dam), hectometer (hm), kilometer (km), light year, parsec]

KM :
kilometer; see KLICK.

Korean Military Advisory Group
shoulder patch
Korea Military Advisory Group, formed from the Provisional Military Advisory Group (PMAG) that was withdrawn from Far East Command (FEC) on 1 July 1949, and operated under the control of the U.S. Mission of the State Department (DoS) until shortly after the North Korean invasion (25 June 1950), whereupon KMAG assets reverted to Eighth Army command (redesignated 8668 AU), and were finally transferred to 8202 Army Unit on 28 December 1950. KMAG has been sardonically re-interpreted as "Kiss My Ass Good-bye". Compare MAAG, USDAO.

Republic of Korea Marine Corps; compare ROK, USMC.

a flat, thin, brittle unleavened rye bread of Sweden; as derived from 'break' + 'bread'.

a bag, made of various materials (from fabrics to leather), that's worn on the back for carrying supplies and other necessary items; also called a backpack or 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]

a PILOT's leg-mounted notebook and/or clipboard containing flight routines, signal operating instructions (SOI), and mission specific briefing notes, including strip maps or target photos; also called "knee chart". See PLASTIC BRAINS, compare HUD.

see NEACP. [nb: babies are born without kneecaps, which don't develop until the child lives to be two to six years of age]

slang for the protective rim or bulwark surrounding an opening in a BULKHEAD or DECK, designed to exclude water; this coaming is also called a "shin-scraper".


any sound or sign proclaiming the death of someone or announcing the failure of something, as derived from the mournful sound of a bell rung slowly. Also, to give forth a mournful, ominous, or warning sound. Also, to summon people for a proclamation by striking a bell. Compare TAPS, TATTOO, DEAD MARCH; see FUNERAL PACE, MORTUARY AFFAIRS, GARDEN OF STONES, MEMORIAL.

type 3 Fairbairn-Sykes commando
dagger with sheath made in Japan during the Vietnam-era
Vietnam-era type 3 F-S dagger
the principal (if not the sole) cooking and eating utensil used in all cultures throughout human evolution, and only recently augmented or supplemented; compare FORK, SPOON, PARTISAN'S SECRET WEAPON; see CHOPSTICK, P-38, CHURCH KEY, MESS KIT, CANTEEN CUP, MESS TRAY, COVER, RATIONS. [nb: when the knife was the only eating utensil, the manner of consumption among Occidentals sharing a meal was for each diner to cut off a morsel from the whole and lift it to their mouth on the tip of that same knife; while among Orientals, the practice was to bite into the whole and cut that mouthful free by slicing between the meal and the diner's face ... a method persisting among some tribal peoples until the mid-twentieth century] [nb: King Louis XIV decreed in 1669 that all pointed knives on the street or the dinner table were illegal in France, henceforth all knife points were ground down to blunt tips in order to reduce violence ... once the blunt tip was broadened into a spatula, the blade was bent backwards and the handle made into a pistol-grip, so the diner would not have to contort his wrist to eat food from the knife's tip] [nb: in establishing the metamorphosis of chopsticks, some historians argue that Confucius (K'ung Fu-tzu), the Chinese scholar, who was vegetarian, discouraged the use of the knife as an eating utensil because it would remind the diner of the slaughterhouse] Also, the primary cutting tool used in all cultures throughout human evolution, and only recently augmented or supplemented; see BAYONET, BANANA BOLO, BOLO, MACHETE, ASTRONAUT SURVIVAL KNIFE, ARKANSAS TOOTHPICK, V-44 MARINE RAIDER KNIFE, BOWIE, MK2, KABAR, DIVE KNIFE, NEPTUNE, SOG SCUBA-DEMO KNIFE, SOG BOWIE, DIRK, COMMANDO DAGGER, OSS STILETTO, RAIDER STILETTO, V-42 STILETTO, MARK II, APPLEGATE-FAIRBAIRN DAGGER, EK COMMANDO KNIFE, PIGSTICKER, TRENCH KNIFE, KNUCKLE KNIFE, SURVIVAL KNIFE, PILOT'S SURVIVAL KNIFE, RANDALL MADE KNIVES, BOOT KNIFE, PARATROOPER'S SWITCHBLADE, POCKETKNIFE, SWISS ARMY KNIFE; compare ON GUARD, BUTT STROKE, MUZZLE-RING, LUG, CQB, SILENT PARTNER, LADY'S BEST FRIEND, COLD STEEL, BLOOD GROOVE, PARKERIZE, BLUING, CLOAK-AND-DAGGER, LONG KNIFE, OLD WRIST BREAKER, MAMELUKE SWORD, WASTER, WOODEN SWORD, HOT KNIFE, ELECTRIC BUTTERKNIFE, BAYONET SHEET, SEMPER KNIFE. [nb: notable American knife manufacturers include Case and Western, Schrade and Utica, Camillus and Cattaraugus, KaBar and Union, PAL and Conetta, Imperial and Robeson (ShurEdge), Colonial and Queen, Kinfolks and Aerial, Buck and Gerber, Cold Steel and Ontario, Kershaw and Benchmade, Spyderco and MicroTech, making a wide variety of military, survival, hunting, and folding knives] [v: Knife Terms; The Language of Swordplay]


the attitude of an aircraft flown past a fixed position or past another aircraft, wherein said aircraft turns edgewise (90° angle of bank) in level parallel flight, displaying either its topside or bottom side in profile, without turn or deviation; compare FLAT PASS, BANANA PASS; see AEROBATICS. [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon]



a knife and fork combo that's typically configured as a rocking-knife with tines; see KFS.

a mounted soldier, typically armored, serving under a feudal superior in the Middle Ages; as derived from manservant; see PONY SOLDIER, DRAGOON, DOG SOLDIER, LONG KNIFE, YELLOWLEG, MERRY MEN, ORDER OF THE SPUR. Also, a man, usually of noble birth, who after serving a military apprenticeship as page and squire was raised to honorable medieval rank and bound to chivalrous conduct. Also, a man upon whom knighthood is conferred (dub / dubbed) by a sovereign, or any person of similar rank; a member of an exalted order or association conferring such honors. Also, a game token (especially a chess piece) imbued with higher rank; see WAR GAMES.

K-9 :
K-9 Corps patch
K-9 Corps
designation being a simulacrum for "canine", denoting the use of specially trained dogs for military employment in several areas with their companion handler; of the original five types of military working dogs ie: guard and sentry, sled and pack, messenger and courier, explosive and mine detection, scout and attack), specialization was reduced after wartime exposure by unreliability or inconsistency and by displacement from advanced technology, such that only sentry and scout dogs proved to be practical investments. Dog handling is traditionally conducted using German-language commands that're accompanied by unambiguous gestures. First used during WWI, such loyal but expendable animals have usually been abandoned or exterminated after each subsequent war, despite their extensive and expensive training. The bond between dog and handler is often untransferrable, such that the dog is either discharged when the handler leaves the military, or is destroyed if no other kennel is available for retirement. After WWI, starving signal dogs were rescued by the founders of what later became The Seeing Eye Foundation for re-training as guide dogs for blinded veterans, a field of orientation and mobility (o&m) training that has since burgeoned. These working dogs, commonly called "police dogs" and "guarddogs", as "four-legged soldiers" and "fuzzy-faced fighters" [nb: one K-9 during WWII attacked a machinegun nest and captured all four occupants, being awarded a Silver Star and Purple Heart for the action!], and were known during WWII as "war dogs" and "infantry scout dogs", then during the VIETNAM WAR as a "combat tracker team" (with companion handler) and as "boonie pups" in camaraderie with the BOONIE RATs operating in the boondocks, and during the GULF WARs, as military working dogs (MWD); the dogs' spirit was also represented by the expression: "Hell on Paws", as a take-off from HELL ON WHEELS. The Army's Quartermaster Corps (QMC) initially trained all military working dogs in their several specialties, but after a period of dispersion, the Department of Defense (DoD) again consolidated training with the U.S. Air Force. Because all dogs proved to be "gun shy" under the barrage conditions of WWII, their military assignments were later restricted to sentry and scout duties, where their superior senses of smell and hearing would be unambiguously beneficial; although their detection of explosives and mines was initially inconsistent, improved training methods since WWII has returned this capability to the repertoire of patrol dogs. See SCOUT DOG, IASK9, STILL TRAILER, OPEN TRAILER, LEND-LEASH, A DOG IN A DOUBLET, SAPPER, HAPPINESS IS A WARM PUPPY; compare WEASEL, IRON DOG. [nb: a joint US-Canadian operation during WWI called "K-9" transported dogsled teams from Alaska and northern Canada to the Alps and Vosges Mountains for the FRONT LINE delivery of messages, food, medicine, or AMMO, and evacuation of the wounded, in France and Italy during winter snows when horses and mules proved incapable] [nb: the first modern military use of dogsleds was in the laying of telegraph lines across Alaska, the delivery of mail and other resupply items in both World Wars, and for winter search and rescue operations in the Arctic, until replaced by snowmobiles and helicopters in the 1950s ... Germans used dogsleds for resupply on the Russian Front during WWII, and dogsleds are still used today for border patrol in Norway, Finland, and Greenland] [nb: during Operation Barbarossa, defending Russians used anti-tank "mine dogs" against attacking German vehicles; dogs were Pavlovian conditioned to eat their food on the underside of moving vehicles, where the trigger on their back would detonate the saddlebag explosive that they carried] [nb: sled dog team races began with the 1907-18 All-Alaska Sweepstakes, the 1925 Great Race of Mercy delivery of diphtheria serum (re-enacted in 1975), the 1932 Winter Olympics dogsled race, the annual Alaska Fur Rendezvous dogsled race that became the Iditarod in 1967, and the 1973 Iditarod race run from Anchorage to Nome] [nb: 'mush', the command urging or spurring a dogsled team to travel, is a corruption of 'march' as spoken by French voyageurs] [nb: while dogs have only about ten vocal sounds to express themselves, cats have more than a hundred]

slang for a radio operator who eavesdrops on enemy broadcasts; a signals intelligence (SIGINT) specialist who searches for and monitors enemy transmissions. Compare DITTY-DOT, COMM OP, RTO, EARS, RADIO PUKE; see FLAPS 'n' SEALS, HOPSCOTCH, HITCHHIKE, SURF.



command broadcast to all participants, by any element or umpire, to interrupt MOCK-COMBAT training for reasons of safety or completion; to cease and desist, to give quarter. Given the natural competition of training, enthusiasm frequently exceeds judgment, such that strikes and developments are disputed; so KNOCK IT OFF concludes the exercise for later analysis and assessment. Actual combat does not have a "pause" button or an "interrupt" switch; and "fair play by the rules" is a moot point in victory. Compare BREAKAWAY, see DOGFIGHT, BELAY, WAVE OFF, SCRUB, RING THE BELL, POOP, ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, EQUALIZER, TS CARD.

hitting the center of the target; a perfect score. Originating as pistol marksmanship competition with the target being the "pips" on playing cards. This phrase, which enjoins a superior performance of skill, may be confused with "knock their socks off", which extols an impressive (even flamboyant) performance. See SHARPSHOOTER, DEADEYE, KISS THE MISTRESS, MAGGIE'S DRAWERS, AIMPOINT, BOLO BADGE, DEATH CARDS, WAR GAMES.

a combination knife and spoon utensil; see KFS.

a fork with a knife-like cutting edge; see KFS.

a constrictive interlacement for fastening. Knot tying has a language of its own, including: bend, BIGHT, loop, hitch, running-end, standing-end, trailing-end, fast, splice, braid, twine, etc; see HARD-AND-FAST, FIGURE-8, MONKEY FIST, TURK'S HEAD, CROWN; compare SHOCK CORD. [v: Climbing Terms] Also, a unit of speed equal to one NAUTICAL MILE (or about 1.15 statute miles) per hour; probably derived as a contraction of "[k]naut(ical mile)"; the usage "knots per hour" is a redundancy. Also, a unit of measure, being either one NAUTICAL MILE, or a line marked 47'3" (13.79m) long; compare MIL, MILE, KLICK. [nb: 12 inches = 1 foot, 3 feet = 1 yard, 6 feet / 2 yards = 1 fathom, 16.5 feet = 1 rod (aka: pole or perch), 66 feet / 4 rods = 1 chain (90 feet / 15 fathoms = 1 anchor chain), 10 chains / 660 feet (1/8 statute mile) = 1 furlong, 120 fathoms / 720 feet = 1 land cable, 101 fathoms / 606 feet (1/10 nautical mile) = 1 cable, 3 statute miles = 1 land league, 3 nautical miles = 1 sea league / shot] [nb: a "geographic mile" is the length of a minute of longitude on the equator]

anything intricate or involved, especially something difficult or complicated (eg: knotty problem); see CUT THE GORDIAN KNOT, ALEXANDRIAN SOLUTION, BLUNT FORCE, BRUTE FORCE.

experienced, knowledgeable, masterly; to be familiar with or able to execute a task. A nautical phrase from the days of sail, when an understanding of the complexities of ropes, knots, and rigging was essential for a seaman. This expression first appeared in a published work as a reference to the ship's captain in "Two Years Before the Mast" by Richard Henry Dana (1840).

a catch-phrase that encourages insight and creativity, since it is not enough to second-guess oneself ("How would I destroy me?"), but to recognize enemy patterns and methods, strengths and weaknesses, potential and goals ("How would he destroy me?"), both tactically and strategically; also expressed as "know the enemy". See CAPABILITY, COURSE OF ACTION, LEAST RESISTANCE, FIELD EXPEDIENT. [nb: "To know your enemy, you must become your enemy ... Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." by Sun-Tzu (ca490BC); "The wise learn many things from their enemies." by Aristophanes (414BC); "A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends." by Baltasar Gracian; "Never underestimate nor overestimate, neither your enemy nor yourself."; "Observe your enemies, for they first find out your faults." by Antisthenes; "Let us carefully observe those good qualities wherein our enemies excel us; and endeavor to excel them, by avoiding what is faulty, and imitating what is excellent in them." by Plutarch]

a greeting, or gesture of respect, between participants wherein the closed hand, held either vertically or horizontally, is extended to nudge another's; unlike a handshake, this light contact may be made with either hand and with more than one person at a time. Also called "fist bump", "knuckle tap", "fist tag", "faux knock", "knock knucks", and "spudding"; this touch seems to date back to the time when boxers were unable to shake hands before their bout because their hands were wrapped or gloved, as mandated by the Marquess of Queensberry rules (1867). See DAP, HAND-JIVE, HANDSHAKE DANCE, HAND SIGN, V-SIGN; compare WIGWAG, DITTY-BOP, SALUTE. [v: Sir John Sholto Douglas]

according to all the purported BEST AND BRIGHTEST, those self-proclaimed elitists and every other pseudointellectual, this appellation is not derogatory slang, but an accurate characterization of someone who is large, strong, and dimwitted; a person who's more physical than mental, such as a brute or beast ... in other words, military personnel in general and combatants in particular. This specious inference willfully ignores the fact that MIL-PERS are more disciplined and energetic than their civilian peers, typically more widely traveled and more diversely experienced, often better educated and socially adjusted, in addition to being more physically competent and adventuresome. While these societal arbiters will reflexively defend the downtrodden and disadvantaged, frothing over politically-incorrect slights, they dismissively disdain the servicemembers who protect and defend their civil rights ... it is not fashionable to respect someone for doing what you will not do for yourself, so you must prove your superiority by belittling those who do. This specious attribution of military brutishness is further flawed by the fact that the most powerful weapon in any arsenal is a creative mind, so a smart soldier is a successful soldier, and America's warriors have been successful despite all the sabotage of the cowardly FIFTH COLUMNists and TRAITORous pseudointellectuals. See SOLDIER, AIRMAN, SAILOR, MARINE, GI, WARM BODY, ATLAS, CONSERVATIVE, ANTI-FEDERALIST, REACTIONARY, HUMAN ZOO, SHAVED MONKEY, MEAT EATER, WHITE TRASH, THIRD ESTATE. [nb: similarly questionable (if not spurious) allegations have long been leveled against Neanderthals (ie: primitive, unenlightened, reactionary) by the cladistic descendents of Cro-Magnons; v: therianthropic (ie: Nakalipithecus, Ouranopithecus, Graecopithecus, Sahelanthropus, Orrorin, Ardipithecus, Australopithecus), paleoanthropic (ie: Homo Erectus (Acheulean), Homo Habilis (Java Man, Peking Man, Homo Antecessor, Denisovan / Denisova Hominin, Homo Heidelbergensis), Neanderthal / Homo Neanderthalensis, Cro-Magnon); cf: neanthropic / neoanthropic (ie: Homo Sapiens)] [v: savage, barbarian, outlander, alien, troglodyte, ignoramus, know-nothing, lowbrow, booboisie (H.L. Mencken), philistine, old Adam, vandal, pillager, hooligan, vulgarian, yahoo (degraded brute); cf: second-class citizen, noble savage]

a metal brace or strap that spans the knuckles of a closed fist, which may be studded or spurred, to increase the impact of a punch; a handheld weapon, also called "brass knuckles" or "knucks", used to kill ("dust" or "dust-off") an opponent by beating him to death with one's reinforced or armored hands. Compare FIST-LOAD; see TRENCH KNIFE.

M-1918 knuckle knife with
scabbard as issued in World War I
M-1918 knuckle knife
that class of close combat (CQB) knives fitted with fist-bows [v: armature, archetto] and knuckle-guards (eg: knuckle-duster), such as the M-1917 or M-1918 knuckle knife (also known as "Mark I"); typically includes a triangular or double-edged blade, a skull-crusher pommel, and is generally not configured as a BAYONET. Although redesigned from battlefield reports by AEF officers, the "Mark I" was criticized for being too heavy, unbalanced, difficult to carry, limiting in its grip, and prone to break when prying ... complaints that were repeated when surplus knives were issued from inventory to Army RANGERs and Marine RAIDERs at the beginning of WWII. See TRENCH KNIFE, KNIFE. [v: Knife Terms; The Language of Swordplay]

slang for a clenched fist, as used to deliver a punch in the mouth; the allusion is to delivering a fist like feeding someone a sandwich; to throw hands or engage in fisticuffs, slugfest or punch-up, duke it out or knock-down drag-out, plug or mill, boxing or pugilism. See MARTIAL ART, JAP SLAPPER, BOK-BOK, TWO-FISTED, ONE-TWO, SMITE, UPPERCUT, HAYMAKER, SUNDAY PUNCH, RABBIT PUNCH, BEAT HIM TO THE PUNCH, COUNTERPUNCH, GROUP HUG, BATTLE ROYAL, BATS 'n' HATS, ON GUARD, AT CLOSE QUARTERS, UP-CLOSE 'n' PERSONAL, CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE, PULL ONE'S PUNCHES, THROW IN THE TOWEL. [v: Japanese gijutsu (technique, art)]

KO / KO'd :
(kay-oh; kay-owed) KnockOut, as by a punch or blow; to be knocked out of commission or service; also known as COLD-COCK / COLD-COCKED. [cf: technical knockout (TKO)]


an aluminum-bronze coin of Russia, the Soviet Union, and its successor states, being the 100th part of a RUBLE; also spelled kopek or copeck, as derived from the diminutive for 'spear' or 'lance', so-called from the lance with which the figure on the coin was armed. See LEGAL TENDER.

a serious disease, first detected among several thousand United Nations troops serving near the Hantan River during the KOREAN WAR, founded by the Hantaan virus (HTNV) but later known as hantavirus or HFRS after its etiologic agent was isolated [by Ho-Wang Lee (1977)]; because the virus can be transmitted by rodent saliva or urine, excretia or bites, the control of rats and mice, moles and voles in areas frequented by humans is crucial for disease prevention, including the disposal of nests, the closing of access, and the employment of poisons or predators.

Korean War service medal
Republic of Korea Wartime
Service medal
a war launched 25 June 1950 to unify the Hermit Kingdom, annexed since 1910 and divided by the Yalta Conference trusteeship, by INVASION from the Democratic People's Republic of (North) Korea aided by communist China (PRC) and Russia (USSR) into the Republic of (South) Korea aided by US and UN forces, resulting in an armistice signed 27 July 1953 that confirmed the antebellum 1948 separation along the 38th parallel, less approximately 180,000 Allied and an estimated 2,000,000 enemy casualties. The KOREAN WAR was America's first "limited war", formally designated a "police action", was the first military intervention by sixteen (16) members of the United Nations exercising their peacekeeping authority, and has since been called "the forgotten war". [v: Korean War Supplement] [nb: Korean War (1950-53): 5,764,143 served; 33,651-36,914 battle deaths] [nb: "In the simplest of terms, what we are doing in Korea is this: We are trying to prevent a third world war." by Harry S. Truman (16 April 1951)] [cf: during the KOREAN WAR, many North Korean and Chinese communist POWs TATTOOed themselves with anti-American or pro-communist slogans, on their hands, arms, foreheads, or chests, as an act of defiant solidarity with their homelands, and with their war against Western ideals; such that even when they rioted, no NK or CHICOM POWs were punished for having expressed their political views with signs or TATTOOs, despite the fact that such dissent was intolerable in their own homelands]

a striking tableau and frieze erected on the Capitol Mall adjacent to the VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL commemorating the service and sacrifice of combatants more than forty years after the armistice for the "Forgotten War". See MEMORIAL DAY, MISSING MAN FORMATION, TAPS.

see K-TOWN.

a culture-specific psychiatric syndrome that's characterized by the unreasonable fear of one's genitals permanently retracting into the body, such that one not only loses sexual function but sexual identity; occurring chiefly in China and southeastern Asia, this anxiety afflicts both men (penis and scrotum) and women (labia and breasts), wherein their acquired (psychosomatic) deformity would alienate them from society. This Malay term derives from 'land turtle' ("kura-kura") by association.

see PROVIDE PROMISE, JOINT ENDEAVOR, JOINT FORGE, JOINT GUARD, ALLIED FORCE, KLA. [nb: it has been said that Yugoslavia has one people, two alphabets, three religions, four languages, five nationalities, and six republics!]

Kosovo Campaign Medal
a CAMPAIGN MEDAL recognizing the honorable service of MIL-PERS in support of military operations (ie: Allied Force, Joint Guardian, Allied Harbor, Sustain Hope / Shining Hope, Noble Anvil, TF Hawk, TF Saber, TF Falcon, TF Hunter) in and around the former Yugoslav Republic of Kosovo (including Serbia, Montenegro, Vojvodina, Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, Slovenia, the Adriatic and Ionian Seas) from 24 March 1999 through 31 December 2013, with the authorized campaigns denoted by the addition of one or more bronze service stars (BATTLE STAR), including the Kosovo Air Campaign (24 Mar - 10 Jun 1999), and the Kosovo Defense Campaign (11 Jun 1999 - 31 Dec 2013). The obverse shows a picturesque landscape with the sun rising between two mountains, shining on a fertile valley, with hope and prosperity represented by a wreath of stylized sheaves of wheat in a new dawn, under the legend "Kosovo Campaign"; the reverse displays an outline map of the Yugoslavian province of Kosovo, keynoted by the NATO compass rose showing cardinal directions, and all surrounded by the legend: "In Defense Of Humanity". The Kosovo Campaign Medal was transitioned back to the ARMED FORCES EXPEDITIONARY MEDAL (AFEM) effective 1 January 2014. [v: Kosovo NATO Medal; Balkans NATO Medal]

in Chinese etiquette, to act in an obsequious or an apologetic manner; to show servile deference or abject reverence by touching the forehead to the ground while kneeling; literally derived from "knock head". Compare REI, WAI, SAMPEAH, CHAO, SALAAM; see "ko-tonk" (knock head) at BUDDHAHEAD, SALUTE. [nb: saikeirei (literally meaning "most respectful bow") is a formal Japanese bow of gratitude that's delivered from a kneeling posture until the head touches the floor; dogeza is a crouching bow demonstrating absolute submission or extreme regret that exhibits self contempt]

KP :
Kitchen Police, with duties to assist food preparation, setup, clean-up, and waiter/steward or Dining Room Orderly (DRO); sometimes called "pot-walloper", "pan-wrestler", or "kicking pots and pans", formerly known as "blackguard". See SCRUB, SWEAT, ELBOW GREASE, COOKIE, MESSHALL, GALLEY, POLICE; compare GI PARTY, POLICE CALL, HOUSECLEANING.

Fritz-style lightweight Kevlar
protective helmet
Advanced Combat Helmet
the lightweight ballistic (Kevlar) HELMET that replaced the STEEL POT after Vietnam; also called "Fritz" for its resemblance to the German coal-scuttle or "Dutch Boy" HEADGEAR; in the GULF WAR-era, this helmet is sometimes called a "brain bucket", "skid lid", or "dome of obedience". The 'Advanced Combat Helmet' uses a four-point retention strap system, includes closed-cell foam pads that can be Velcroed in place to adjust its fit, has a mounting bracket on the front for night vision devices (NVD), and is issued with a reversible CAMO cloth cover. Unlike the older and heavier STEEL POT, the new lightweight K-POT cannot serve as a wash basin, cook pot, makeshift shovel, improvised seat, or impromptu bludgeon ... and female MIL-PERS, who wear their long hair up in a bun, find that the closer-fitting K-POT shifts forward over their eyes and blocks their vision! [nb: Kevlar patented 1971]

a nocturnal venomous snake, in either black and white or black and yellow bands, with erect upper fangs (elapid), that's INDIGenous to South Asia; also called "two-step" or "eleven second" snake for its deadly effect.

single meal for an individual soldier in the field (consisting of 1 kraftboard-sleeved can of pork luncheon meat with can key, K-1 biscuit, K-2 biscuit, lemon juice powder, 4 sugar cubes, 4oz D-bar chocolate ration (aka: Logan bar), 1 stick chewing gum, pack of 4 cigarettes, clip of matches with VD warning, wooden spoon and toilet paper); eponymously named for its WWII (1942) creator, Ancel Keys. See RATIONS.

[kriegsspiel] see WAR GAMES.

(kay-town) short form of Korea town, being an ethnic Asian enclave situated among other distinctly homogeneous neighborhoods and shopping districts within a larger metropolitan area; similar to "Little Saigon" or "Little Tokyo" [aka: "Japtown"], and not unlike other exclusive districts (eg: "Little Italy" or "Germantown", "Little Armenia" or "Thai town", ghetto or darktown). Compare HO CHI MINH TRAIL, CHINATOWN, LITTLE AMERICA, SIGG, LITTLE TIGER; see DP, BOAT PEOPLE.


the title and principal refrain of a 19th century spiritual, meaning "come by here" from Gullah creole, that's popularly sung in songfests and has become associated with the civil rights and anti-war movements; it's also spelled "Kumbaya", "Koombaya", "Cum Ba Ya", and "Come By Yuh". This folk song has been used in the modern era, with varying degrees of sincerity or sarcasm, to evoke spiritual unity and interpersonal harmony, bland piety and naive optimism. Also, someone who's inexperienced or unworldly, or something that's impractical or unrealistic; beamish, Pollyannaish, Panglossian, auspicious, propitious, opportune. See WE SHALL OVERCOME, HIPPIE, ROSE-COLORED GLASSES, LOVE BEADS, PROTESTOR, BEST AND BRIGHTEST, PACIFIST, THEY'LL GIVE A WAR AN' NOBODY'LL COME, COUNTERCULTURE, PEACE. [nb: "They (radical Islamists) want us exterminated. ... That said, what do we, Christians in particular, do when faced with an implacable radical enemy? Just sit around, sing 'Kum Ba Yah' and hope these bad guys will leave us alone?" by Doug Giles; "I'm not condoning violence, but sometimes to get justice, you can't just sit around holding hands singing 'Kumbaya'." by Evan Shamar; A satirical campaign ad by David Zucker shows an actress playing Madeleine Albright serving milk and cookies to a group of terrorists, so when gunmen and suicide bombers emerge from the basement, her guests distract her by singing 'Kumbaya'.; When Ambassador John Bolton joked that "Nobody sang 'Kumbaya'." at the White House farewell dinner for outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Annan laughingly asked: "Does he know how to sing it?"; When President George W. Bush threatened to bomb terrorist strongholds in Turkey, an Administration spokesman said: "It's not 'Kumbaya' time any more."; Senator Barack Obama sought to distinguish himself from his opponent, frontrunner Senator Hillary Clinton, by stating that the notion that they were "holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'" on every issue was completely false.; Sol Trujillo, CEO of Telstra, mocked the proposed taxpayer-funded public-private partnership for a new national broadband network as some sort of "kumbaya, holding hands" theory.; "You should go back inside. Finish the big group sing. Get your kumbaya-yas out." by Joss Whedon]

tall sharp-edged grass, growing throughout Asia and the Pacific region; also called "blady", "blady grass", and "lalang". See BOONIES, TULE, ELEPHANT GRASS, SAW GRASS, NIPA PALM, PITA.

a Russian beer made from fermenting rye or barley and having a dark color and sour taste; see BREW, MALT, LOW WINE, POTEEN.

the basic monetary unit of currency in Burma (Myanmar), which is in the form of a cupronickel coin and paper, that's equal to one-hundred PYAs; see LEGAL TENDER.