combat writing badge

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

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.

go to MilTerms index

M :
an aircraft prefix under the Joint Service Designation System that represents 'multi-mission'.

MA :
Mechanical Ambush, being any passive threat or automatic KILL ZONE triggered by electrical or pressure/release or TRIPWIRE devices; also called WIDOW MAKER; see ALPHA-ALPHA, ALL AMERICAN, BOOBY-TRAP, AMBUSH. Also, notation for Mission Accomplished. Also, abbreviation for MASTER-AT-ARMS, being a Naval Petty Officer responsible for keeping order on-board ships; also cited as "MAA".

MASTER-AT-ARMS in the US Navy, a petty officer (PO) who's responsible for discipline and accountability in each department aboard ship, serves as a parttime deputy under the direction of a Chief Master-At-Arms (CMAA); see SHERIFF, SP, POLICE, CAPTAIN'S MAST, ROCKS 'n' SHOALS, BRIG.

Military Advisory Assistance
Group Viet Nam shoulder patch
Military Assistance and Advisory Group, or Military Advisory and Assistance Group, precursor of Military Assistance Command (MAC); in Vietnam, MAAG-Vietnam was the predecessor of MACV, with MAAG-Indochina formed in 1950 and MAAG-Vietnam in 1955.

Marine Amphibious Brigade.

(mack) Military Airlift Command, redesignated from Military Air Transport Service (MATS) on 1 Jan 1966, which is Uncle Sugar's no-frills airline for "Space Available" travel by dependents and retirees; often interpreted as "Maybe Airplane Come". See ATC, MATS, ATS, AMC, MASQ, SPACE A, DEADHEAD; compare MSC. Also, Military Assistance Command, as in MACV and MACTHAI.

a road or airfield base made of broken stone, oil, tar, pitch, or bituminous composition, creating a stable, all-weather surface, that's easily maintained; also called "tarmacadam" or simply "tarmac" (after its inventor J.L. McAdam), as distinguished from cobblestone and corduroy, and also known by the Briticism "road metal". See TAXIWAY, APRON, RAMP, RUNWAY, PSP, MARSDEN MATTING, MOBI-MAT, HARDBALL. [v: blacktop; cf: laterite road, two-track]

Military Assistance Command (Vietnam) Combat Operations Center; see OPN.

a number indicating the ratio of the speed of an object relative to the speed of sound in the medium through which the object is moving; being an eponym (Ernst Mach) that's abbreviated "M". MACH is not a measure of the speed of an object but of the speed of sound from that object passing through a particular medium, as effected by atmospheric pressure and temperature, which is not constant; most modern jets fly at about 420 to 580 miles per hour (mph), or at about 75 percent of the speed of sound. See SONIC BOOM, SUPERSONIC, HYPERSONIC, SCRAMJET, JET PROPULSION, FAE. [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.]


a heavy utilitarian implement for slashing and chopping, and also used as a weapon in sword-like cutting; this Spanish-American knife derives its name from "macho sledgehammer". Consisting of a painted 16-18 inch carbon steel blade with a straight back, its single-edge curves deeply from the tip and tapers to the handle without a crossguard. Formerly the handle was unfinished wood, but during the VIETNAM WAR, the handle was changed to black plastic, making it harder to grasp. The wrist thong, drilled or molded, is a valuable safety feature for this tool. The pattern of the blade tip and curve have altered over the decades, but the MACHETE is not an axe nor a sickle, neither is it a sword, although it has been so used when nothing else was available. A MACHETE, having a simple beveled edge of mild steel (or of low hardness), is designed to chop woody stalks, reeds, canes, and vines, and is intended to be resharpened often with a rasp or whetstone. Earlier models also included a leather or canvas sheath, but that too became a plastic scabbard, making its carry and use much noisier. See BANANA BOLO, BOLO, ASTRONAUT SURVIVAL KNIFE, SMATCHET, V-44 MARINE RAIDER KNIFE, KNIFE. [v: gollock, kukri; cf: secateurs, pruners, loppers, shears, scissors] [v: Knife Terms; The Language of Swordplay]

see LMG, SAW, PIG, NUMBER SIXTY, HEAVY MG, FIFTY, MA DEUCE, QUAD 50, MINIGUN, LOADER, DOOR GUNNER, COOK-OFF, KICK, COAX, PINTLE, SPONSON, FPL, SPRAY, HOSE, ROCK 'n' ROLL, MOAN 'n' GROAN, MAD MINUTE, FIREPOWER, CREW-SERVED WEAPONS. [nb: Vietnamese term: Xa Thu Lien Thanh] [nb: an MG fires RIFLE ammunition, but an SMG fires PISTOL ammunition] [nb: the field occupations most often targeted in combat, because their loss so immediately influences unit effectiveness and morale, are the leader, pointman, signalman, machinegunner, and medic]

an assertive or domineering male, especially an arrogant specimen exhibiting exaggerated hypermasculine characteristics out of ignorance, inexperience, or immaturity; a misbegotten attitude that virility and strength, as masculine concomitants, confer social standing as an entitlement. Machismo embodies a mistaken sense of manliness; it is a contrapositive of "effeminate / effeminacy". Such a poseur is often known as a "mouth fighter", braggart, TOY SOLDIER, or WHISKEY WARRIOR. See GUTS, MOXIE, ONIONS, HERO, WATCH MY SMOKE, BITE THE BULLET, BRAGGING RIGHTS, BTDT, COUNT COUP, SURPLUS KILL, PISSING CONTEST, TESTOSTERONE ZONE, GOLDEN PENIS SYNDROME, COLD WAR, FLOWER WAR, SHOW THE FLAG. [v: "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] [cf: wight, mensch / menschen; brio, élan vital]

Military Adaptable Commercial Item; see LOGISTICS. [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]

Military Assistance Command (Vietnam) Office of Information; see PIO, PAO, WIEU, FIVE O'CLOCK FOLLIES, DOG 'n' PONY SHOW, SMOKE 'n' MIRRORS.

Modern Army Combatives Program, being a program of close quarters combat instruction instituted throughout the U.S. Army in 2007; see CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE / CQB, MARTIAL ART.

Military Assistance Command - Studies and Observations Group; see MACV-SOG, SOG.

(mack-tee) Military Assistance Command (Vietnam) Training directorate; see TRNG, TRAIN.

(mack-tie) Military Assistance Command THAIland; properly abbreviated as USMACTHAI.

MACV patch
(mack-vee, not "m-a-c-v") Military Assistance Command Vietnam, from 8 Feb 1962, through 16 May 1964 reorganization after MAAG-VN deactivation, to 29 Mar 1973 disbandment. The crenelated yellow wall depicted fess on the MACV shoulder insignia (SSI) represents the Great Wall of China (CHINESE WALL), while the crusader's sword symbolically stops the gap of invasion.

unofficial emblem of Studies
and Observations Group from the Vietnam-era
SOG emblem
COVER name for the interservice project known as "Military Assistance Command Vietnam - Studies and Observations Group" or 'Special Operations Group' (SOG); also known as MAC-SOG / MACSOG. [nb: personnel assigned to SOG / MACV-SOG wore the insignia of their parent unit (eg: Army personnel were assigned by Special Forces, MACV, or USARV) whenever not in a sterile uniform, but the unofficial patch for this covert organization was sometimes worn on a pocket, inside a blouse, inside a hat, or displayed as a "beer can" emblem on a plaque; although this unofficial design had many variants, it essentially consisted of pilot's wings and a fouled anchor surmounted by a shellburst with a grinning ("death's-head") skull and banner, the whole emblazoned on a shield; designed by MAJ Malcolm Vere "Mack" Fites, a Marine Corps officer assigned to OP-31 during 1965-66, its symbology represents an interservice project that was born on the battlefield]

Magnetic Anomaly Detector, being a device trailed from a fuselage extension to about 3000ft in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) searches; also called "MAD gear"; see GUPPY, ORION; compare LITTLE BUDDY. Also, acronym for Mutually Assured Destruction, being a US strategic policy of deterrence through irrevocable retaliation; compare GRADUATED RESPONSE, FLEXIBLE RESPONSE; see BRINKMANSHIP, BIGGER BANG FOR THE BUCK, OVERKILL, UP-GUN, OUTGUN, TOTAL WAR, DOOMSDAY, KNOCK INTO A COCKED HAT, KILL 'EM ALL, GENOCIDE. [v: vernichtungsgedanken] Also, abbreviation for Marine Aviation Detachment; compare MCAS, NAS.

informal designation for the 1919 Browning M-2 .50-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 between spade-like handles from the open-bolt position at a rate of 450-555rpm at a range of 7460 yards. See HEAVY MG, QUAD 50, MG, CREW-SERVED WEAPONS. [nb: the Browning M-3P .50-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]

slang for MACV headquarters, located at Ton Son Nhut (TSN) airport, and staffed by MAD MONKEYS; also called "Pentagon East", Fort Fumble, or Fudge Factory; compare PUZZLE PALACE, IMPERIAL PALACE, PINK PALACE, GROUND ZERO; see FIVE O'CLOCK FOLLIES, DOG 'n' PONY SHOW, JCS, PURGATORY TOUR, HEADQUARTERISM. Also, slang for that place where the psycho or weirdo, nut or nutso, freak or wacko is taken after a psychotic episode, after a crack-up or breakdown, to go overboard or off the edge, to wig-out or freak-out, be bonkers or loopy; variously known as asylum, sanatorium, psychotherapeutic hospital, psychiatric hospital, mental hospital, mental institution, insane asylum, mental health clinic, mental hygiene ward, psych ward, mental ward, bedlam, booby hatch, nuthouse, crazy house, cuckoo's nest, funny farm, giggle farm, funny house, loony bin, ding wing, hatchery, flight deck, or wack sack; see PTSD, FLASHBACK, THOUSAND-YARD STARE, TELESCOPING, BLACKOUT, ZOMBIE, WATERWORKS, DISSOCIATION, OBJECTIFICATION, CONVERSION SYMPTOMS. [nb: "basket-case" is a term for multiple amputee; now meaning an incapacitated or dysfunctional person, anyone or anything totally impaired]

concentrated fire of all weapons on perimeter for a brief period of time at optimum rate, set to coincide with STAND-TO or previously scheduled attack, so as to interrupt any enemy plans; also called MIKE-MIKE, "mad-mike", or "red splash", and formerly known as "morning concert". See HOSE, ROCK 'n' ROLL, BUSTING CAPS, SPRAY, FLOCK SHOOT, BLIND FIRE, HAPPY FIRE; compare FPL, ENFILADE, RECON BY FIRE, RING OF FIRE, FIRE DISCIPLINE.

MACV staffers occupying the MADHOUSE (qv).

inflatable life vest. Also, parachute malfunction where suspension lines divide the main canopy into two sections, like a gigantic brassiere, as derived from allusion to famous full-breasted actress as namesake; properly called "lineover", but also resembles a "partial inversion".

Marine Amphibious Force; see III MAF.

an exclusive set, in-group, coterie, or clique; see BOY'S CLUB, KHAKI MAFIA, RING-KNOCKER, CASTE.

a secret organization engaged in criminal activities around the world, as derived from a 19th century Sicilian political society (bravura, courage) that exhibited hostility and resistance to the law; also called "la cosa nostra" (our affair). See HIGHBINDER. [nb: "triad" is the British designation, meaning 'three closely related things' (ie: heaven, earth, man), of the criminal gang elements within the social group of each Chinese name (tong) society; compare 'trigram'] [nb: the Japanese "yakuza" is a secret society of racketeers, equivalent to the Italian mafia/maffia and Chinese tong/triad, meaning 'good-for-nothing', as derived from the losing hand (ie: 8,9,3) in a card game]


short for MAGazine; being the metal receptacle where ammunition is stored after being loaded from cartons, CLIPs, or BANDOLEERs until placed in the "magazine well" or "...housing" of an autoloading SMALL ARM. Magazine-fed weapons are distinguished from single-shot (eg: M-79 grenade launcher) and from belt-fed (eg: M-60 light machinegun). See DRUM, BANANA CLIP, C-CLIP, RIFLE, PISTOL, SMG, SAW, STONER; compare BLOOPER, MG, LINK AMMO, AMMO CAN, ARMS ROOM. [v: Firearms Glossary] Also, abbreviation for Marine Air Group.

a metal receptacle containing a number of CARTRIDGEs that's inserted into certain types of autoloading weapons, which, when empty, is removed and replaced by a full receptacle in order to continue firing; often shortened to 'MAG' (qv). Also, a room or separated place used for keeping GUNPOWDER and other EXPLOSIVEs, as in a FORT or on a WARSHIP. Also, a building or other separate place (eg: storehouse, warehouse) used for keeping military stores, such as arms, ammunition, or provisions; see ARSENAL, compare ARMS ROOM, ARMORY. [v: arming chest] Also, a collection of war MUNITIONS.

the Red Star of David has been used since 1935 to represent Israel's national disaster, ambulance, emergency medical, and blood bank services, but this symbol is not recognized as a protective sign by the Geneva Conventions, and it has been rejected by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, arguing that a proliferation of designs would detract from the mission, until 22 June 2006 when a non-religious icon (red crystal or red diamond) was substituted. Although the Red Star of David is still displayed inside the country (sometimes surrounded by the generic red lozenge), only the RED CRYSTAL is recognized worldwide. [nb: RED CRYSTAL is officially identified as the Third Protocol Emblem or Protocol III] [nb: an attack upon a marked vehicle or facility, and the capture or injury of an unarmed aid worker at such a site is legally a 'war crime']

a firing range signal indicating that the shooter completely missed the target; originating with flag signals to score shooting accuracy. This is an obsolete expression (shooting has been scored electronically since the GULF WAR) but modern MIL-PERS have mistakenly used it as a synonym for FLYING BRAVO, especially in the sense of menstruation and Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS); however the MAGGIE'S DRAWERS firing range signal was white, evocative of the color of women's panties of the era, while the FLYING BRAVO range warning flag is solid red in color. See BOLO, GROUP TIGHTENER, BULL'S-EYE, POINT-BLANK, RED FLAG; compare WIGWAG, GUIDON, WAVE OFF, DAP.

person assigned or serving with any MAAG element; may be spelled "MAAGgot". Also, Marine slang for a DUD, based upon classic definition of "soft-bodied legless larva"; compare SMACK, BOOT, PYHOOYA, see TADPOLE. Also, the larva of certain flies; see RICE KRISPIES, PICNIC, CRISPY CRITTER, TADPOLE, CREATURE FEATURE, FLOATER, BODY BAG. Also, an odd whim or fancy.

a catch-phrase for someone's next duty assignment, with implications of a quest involving unknown adventures and unexpected hazards; so-called after the 1967 Beatles' experimental (unscripted) film and six song (later expanded) soundtrack; see TDY, PCS, HOMESTEADER, TOUR BABY, DOG'S YEAR, HARDSHIP TOUR, GARDEN SPOT, BACKWASH, BUMFUCK, JUNKET.

(aka: "Oriental puzzle box", "puzzle box", "trick box", and "secret box") see CHINESE BOX, BLACK BOX; compare OUTSIDE THE BOX.

a lucky shot that finds a critical vulnerability out of sheer chance, being a constant risk of happenstance in war; see GOLDEN BB, ACHILLES HEEL, HAMSTRING, CHINK. Also, a contrived cure-all or concocted remedy to a problem or predicament; compare SILVER BULLET, BULLETPROOF, FAIRY DUST, VULCANIZE. [nb: the concept of a 'magic bullet' seemingly derives from the biochemical treatment of diseases that has been known as 'chemotherapy' since 1891, as coined by the research physician Paul Ehrlich]


a facetious reference to big government, being that monolithic edifice that represents its rapacious indifference as utopian; as derived from the many imaginative fantasies represented in myth and legend, such as C.S. Lewis' Narnia; see THE G, THE ESTABLISHMENT, ALPHABET CITY, SOG, FOGGY BOTTOM, GREEN ACRES, OLYMPUS, THE HILL, MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, UNCLE SAM. Also, by extension, any unrealistic scenario or fantastic construct; see THEME PARK, EXERCISE, WAR GAMES, CLOUD-CUCKOO-LAND, HOUSE OF CARDS, RABBIT HOLE.

slang reference during the Vietnam-era for a mushroom containing the hallucinogen psilocybin, which is prevalent in the southwestern United States and Mexico; also called "shroom".

slang for any powerful liquid, especially a drink that enchants or enthralls; also called "witches' brew" or "devil's brew". Also, slang for any liquid concoction, especially one used as a medium or carrier for some diagnostic or therapeutic treatment; a medicinal elixir. Also, slang for any volatile fluid used as an explosive; also called COCKTAIL, SOUP, HEAVY WATER.

slang for an ARMORY, being a place (S-4 annex) where arms and armor are made by an ARMORER; so-called from the technical fabrication and experimental modification of SMALL ARMS, and the sophisticated results. Compare ARSENAL, MAGAZINE.

a zone of heavy defensive fortifications erected along France's eastern border after WWI, which was outflanked by a German BLITZKRIEG invasion through Belgium in 1940; named after Andre Maginot, the French Minister of War. Compare SIEGFRIED LINE, STAR WARS, SMEZ, BERLIN WALL, IRON CURTAIN, BAMBOO CURTAIN, BAR LEV LINE, CACTUS CURTAIN, McNAMARA'S WALL, McNAMARA LINE, MARETH LINE, CHINESE WALL, DEW LINE, PHASE LINE. [v: Atlantic Wall] [cf: Hadrian's Wall, 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]

the principal or main line from which the position of the other lines of fieldworks is determined; as derived from 'master', being the baseline when developing fortifications. [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

Marine Air Ground Task Force, being a temporary COMBINED ARMS unit composed of USMC land forces and air support, but not Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) or Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB); compare ATF, see TF. [nb: a "composite MAGTF" is formed using forces from two or more other MAGTF's]

a corruption of the designation for the Muslim savior or messiah [anointed], being any enemy Muhammadan, but especially an Islamic martyr; see MUJ, HAJJI, ALI BABA, RAGHEAD, TERRORIST, BAD GUYS.

the first CRUISE or initial FLOAT of a newly built boat or ship, typically following the sea trials from the shipyard that tests its seaworthiness. Also, the first FLOAT or initial CRUISE of a sailor (ie: SWABBY, SQUID, etc); see DRYBACK, NEWBEE, CHERRY, FRESH CATCH, CHUM, NUGGET, SHOWER SHOE, FNG.

letters, correspondence, communiqués, documents, and the like that's distributed to individuals and commands; see MAIL CALL, SUGAR REPORT, V-MAIL, FREE, TRADE ENVELOPES, MWR LINE, VOIP, CARE, ASH 'n' TRASH, COMM SHACK, MARS, DB, POOP, CIRCULAR LETTER, HATE MAIL, RED TAPE, FINDING, REPORT, WHITE PAPER; compare MALE CALL, DEAD LETTER, BREADCRUMBING, GRAYMAIL, OUTGOING MAIL, MERCHANT MARINE. [v: airmail / air-mail / air mail, airgram / aerogram, priority mail, express mail, surface mail / s-mail, snail mail; cf: Mailgram, radiogram / radiotelegram / marconigram, cablegram, telegram / fast telegram / overnight telegram / personal-opinion telegram, electronic mail / e-mail] Also, the interstices in a NET, being the origin of flexible body armor; see FLAK JACKET, FLAK VEST, CHICKEN PLATE, HAPPY SUIT, OTV, IOTV; compare FARADAY POUCH.

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

the hierarchical distribution of correspondence and parcels, particularly official communications or formal communiqués, passed to the appropriate or designated recipient for his information or attention, including ORDERs and other POOP (eg: Daily Bulletin), but most especially, the personal and private letters addressed to individuals and handed-out in a formation, often daily, similar to SICK CALL, POLICE CALL, OFFICER'S CALL, or other BUGLE CALLs. See SUGAR REPORT, V-MAIL, FREE, TRADE ENVELOPES, CARE, ASH 'n' TRASH, COMM SHACK, MARS, CIRCULAR LETTER, HATE MAIL; compare MALE CALL, DEAD LETTER, BREADCRUMBING, GRAYMAIL, OUTGOING MAIL, MERCHANT MARINE. [nb: a "mail buoy" is a nonexistent navigational aid, where mail packets from passing vessels have supposedly been posted for collection by another vessel, used as mild harassment by OLD SALTs for FRESH CATCH when standing watch; compare MERMAID, DRAGON, PROP WASH, SNIPE HUNT]

(forthcoming); courier; compare RUNNER, BAGMAN.


to impair or cripple by a physical injury; to deprive of the use of some part of the body by wounding or the like; see MILLION DOLLAR WOUND, PROFILE, ZULU, WHOLE MAN. Also, to make essentially defective or imperfect, as in the tactical effect of sacrificing a part for the whole; see LAST STAND, SUICIDE SQUAD, DECOY, AUTOTOMY. [v: mangle, deform, deface, mayhem; cf: xenomelia, body dysmorphic disorder, bodily image integrity disorder]

fully trained and equipped Viet Cong and regular North Vietnamese military units; Vietnamese term CHU LUC. Compare LOCAL FORCE; see B-5 FRONT, NLF, PRG, PLA, NVA, VC.

the primary or principal gun of a vehicle/vessel or crew, variously from machineguns to flamethrowers, including cannons; see BORESIGHT, MUZZLE, KICK, HANG FIRE, FLAREBACK, FIREPOWER, WILD SHOT, TURRET, TRAVERSE, ELEVATION, NLOS-C, SQUIRREL GUN, TANK, MUZZLE-BRAKE, KILL RING, ARTY, TUBE, TUBE MONKEY. [nb: "The King's Final Argument" is a phrase that was routinely incised into European cannon barrels from the Renaissance until World War I; typically inscribed in Latin ("Ultima Ratio Regis"; "Utema Rasio Regum"), it means that the greatest weaponry ultimately settles any dispute (ie: MIGHT MAKES RIGHT)]

MarSpeak reference to the principal or primary portion of a base or installation, where the headquarters (HQ) are located along with the base exchange, theater, and other amenities; as opposed to being "in the field". Compare BOONDOCKS / BOONIES, INDIAN COUNTRY, THULE, BANJO COUNTRY, FRONT LINE, DOWN RANGE.

anything that serves as chief part or primary support; including an essential person, such as the "anchorman" or "right-hand man". Specific naval use as the stay that secures the mainmast forward. [v: sine qua non, causa sine qua non]

a WWII-era cocktail made of rum, curaçao, grenadine, lime juice, almond-flavored syrup, and powdered sugar, that's shaken together and served over crushed ice. Compare PLANTER'S PUNCH; see TIKI CULTURE, HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK, HOIST, GUSTO.

the abbreviation for MAJor (O-4), a FIELD-GRADE rank in the Army, Air Force, and Marines, that's equivalent to Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) in the Navy; see RANK, RATING, LDR, OFFICER.

Major rank insignia
the field-grade officer RANK (MAJ) or RATING (O-4) intermediate between Captain (CPT) and Lieutenant Colonel (LTC), and equivalent to Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) in the Navy; being one of superior ability or power, as derived from large or great, and related to majesty. The first officer so designated in the U.S. Army was Thomas Knowlton, commander of a Connecticut militia unit known as "Congress' Own Knowlton Rangers", who was mortally wounded 16 September 1776 during a skirmish with the Black Watch in the Battle of Harlem Heights. See OFFICER, RANK.


a PIDGIN expression for practical instruction, such as 'on the job training'; also represented as "make-ye learn-ye". Also, in NavSpeak, informal designation for a pupil or student, apprentice or understudy (protégé); also, an alternate or substitute, stand-in or pinch hitter. See KISS, OJT, POI, CROSS-TRAINING, TICKET, TRNG, MIL-CRAFT, COUNTERINTUITIVE, Q-COURSE, CHARM SCHOOL, TRADE SCHOOL.

a post-Vietnam catch-phrase that invites transgression so that RETALIATION or RETRIBUTION can follow; also expressed as "Go ahead, make my day!" This phrase was made notorious by the Inspector "Dirty Harry" Callahan character (Clint Eastwood) in the 1983 film Sudden Impact, but was previously used by the Tom Walsh character (Gary Swanson) in the 1982 film Vice Squad. This line ["Go ahead scumbag, make my day!" uttered by Tom Walsh, or "Go on punk, make my day!" uttered by Dirty Harry] has been attributed to screenwriters Dean "Dinky" Riesner and Joseph Stinson.


an injunction or interjection calling for clear passage, as to "make way" for RANK, or to "give way" for urgency; also expressed as GANGWAY. Also, to desist or relinquish.

a group of intermittent or remittent diseases that are characterized by attacks of chills, fever, aches, and sweating, and are caused by a parasitic protozoan transferred to the human bloodstream by an anopheles [literally: "good for nothing"] mosquito; usually treated with quinine, quinacrine (Atabrine/Atebrin), amodiaquin, chloroquine, chloroquine-primaquine, acedapsone, and sulfadiazine. Inherited resistance and genetic immunity (eg: sickle-cell anemia, thalassaemias, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, etc) to MALARIA poses other physiological deficiencies. Term means "bad air" since the disease was supposed to derive from unwholesome or poisonous air; has also been called ague, bilious fever, congestive fever, intermittent fever, and swamp fever. Although there are not supposed to be any mosquitos above the approximate 3,000 foot level, altitude is less of a barrier than cold. See HORSE PILL, FUO, BLACKWATER, BONE BREAK FEVER, YELLOW JACK, CHIKUNGUNYA; compare DAPSONE, CORK. [nb: an antipyretic medicine (Warburg's Tincture) consisting of quinine and other herbs was invented (1834) by Carl Warburg, a German physician, in British Guiana; after experimental testing, this proprietary remedy was officially adopted (1847) by the Austrian Empire, and was also supplied to troops in India and other colonies by the British government]

a BOOBY-TRAP consisting of a spike-mounted sapling positioned to swing upon release and sweep an arc area at groin height; also called "Malayan Whip". Compare PUNJI STAKE, FRAISE; see TU DAI.

a miniature, air-launched, medium-range DECOY (ADM-160) that can be deployed from either manned or unmanned (UAV) aircraft, can follow preset or introduced WAY POINTs, and can project various aircraft or missile profiles; future versions will offer both defensive and offensive capabilities, including thermobaric CRUISE missile PAYLOAD.

(forthcoming); comic strip featuring Miss Lace by Milton Caniff; spin-off from "Terry and the Pirates"; later created STEVE CANYON; compare GI JOE, SAD SACK; see COMICS, FICTIONAL CHARACTER.

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

to pretend illness or infirmity in order to shirk assigned work; someone (eg: skulk, laggard, sluggard, underworker, no-goodnik, etc) who shirks his DUTY. See CAPE HORN FEVER, FUO / FOUO; compare DUD, GOLDBRICK, FEATHER MERCHANT, SLACKER, TAP-DANCER, SOLDIERing, HALF-ASSED, GHOST, SKATE, REST ON OARS.

in the GULF WAR-era, any military-aged male; formerly known as fighting age male (FAM).

any mature Asian woman; term borrowed from Japanese. Compare BA, CO; see PAPA-SAN, BABY-SAN. [cf: grandam, nana, nanny, amah, ayah]

the ceremonial sword of the U.S. Marine Corps that's worn by warrant and commissioned officers, as derived from such a sword presented by Prince Hamet Bey, an Ottoman pasha, to Marine Corps Lieutenant Presley N. O'Bannon, who successfully led Arabs in an attack on pirates during the 1804-5 "shores of Tripoli" campaign; the Mamluks/Mamelukes were former slaves who became an Egyptian military class, influential from about 1250 until 1811. See LEATHERNECK; compare LONG KNIFE, OLD WRIST BREAKER. [v: Knife Terms; The Language of Swordplay]

a warrior caste that was dominant in Egypt and influential in the Middle East for over seven hundred years (from AD800); the word is Arabic for 'slave'. Islamic rulers created this warrior caste by collecting non-Muslim slave boys and training them as cavalry soldiers who were especially loyal to their owner and to each other; converting to Islam in the course of their training. They defeated the last of the Crusaders, repulsed the Mongol invasion of Syria (1260), conquered the Christian-held island of Cyprus (1424-26), and at times, they held all Palestine and the holy places of Arabia. The Ottomans skillfully used artillery and their slave infantry, the Janissaries, to defeat the Mamluks / Mamelukes, but did not destroy them as a class. When Ottoman power began to decline in the 18th century, the Mamluks / Mamelukes regained some autonomy and self-rule; they were defeated by Napoleon I during his invasion of Egypt in 1798, but their power as a class was ended only in 1811 by Muhammad Ali. See CASTE.

(forthcoming); re: Raymond Shaw; ex-POW from the KOREAN WAR has been brainwashed so as to automatically respond to implanted keyword suggestions without any persistent memory of his programmed actions; see TRUTH SERUM, BRAINWASHING, TORTURE, REEDUCATION.

an influential government official or powerful bureaucrat, also called a "suit"; see CLUB FED, POLITICIAN, POTUS, VP, CZAR, WISE MEN, BEST AND BRIGHTEST, BRAIN TRUST, KITCHEN CABINET, WHIZ KID, BRASS HAT, MILICRAT, RING-KNOCKER, KHAKI MAFIA. Also, a member of an influential or preeminent group, of a dominant or elite class (SECOND ESTATE); white-shoe, bluestocking, Brahmin, Oxbridge, gentry, nobility, aristocracy. [v: mandarinate; cf: apparatchik, nomenklatura, eunuch, nabob, nibs] [nb: the personal representatives of the G8 (ie: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) Heads of State and Government, who arrange the annual summit meeting in a series of pre-/post-meeting sessions, are commonly called "sherpas", and their assistants are known as "sous-sherpas", named after the Nepalese porters who assist Himalayan climbers]

the requirement to "make nice" at a picnic or party with other people who are also obliged to attend ... some of whom work together, where one's social performance will be evaluated as a prerequisite for promotion; such compulsory social interaction, which any normal person would rather spend with their family and friends, is probably a characterization that should be reserved for the privacy of one's own home ... boldly asking "if anyone is having any fun yet?" is not recommended for career advancement! [nb: "As dates, diplomats, and every other abused associate knows all too well ... compulsory amiability and enforced conviviality can lead to unpredictable, if not disastrous consequences; anyone intent upon having a good time at some gathering can make Hell into a very small place for the rest of the party!"]

(forthcoming); offensive mobility vs defensive conservation of force; wrong-footed; "tricks of agility" (Clausewitz)

(forthcoming); see EXERCISE, OPLAN.

any BLACK GI who BROWN NOSES his white superior to retain a good job or to avoid combat; a factotum, comprador, horse-holder, shield-bearer, spear-carrier, water-hauler, stamp-licker, or henchman. Compare ATTABOY, BROWN NOSER, DOGSBODY, HACK, RING-KNOCKER, CANDY-ASS, HOUSE MOUSE, RUNNER. [v: "gal Friday"]

a brief but intense rainstorm that occurs anomalously during the dry season in southeast Asia; it's so-called because its occurrence signals when the mangoes (a sweet tropical fruit) are ripe enough to be picked. Compare MONSOON; see WIND, GUMBO.

a highland pass on Highway 19 (STREET WITHOUT JOY), between An Khe and Pleiku; site of a decisive ambush of French troops (Groupe Mobile 100) by VIET MINH forces in 1954. Compare HAI VAN PASS, AN KHE PASS.

a cocktail made of whiskey, sweet vermouth, a dash of angostura bitters, then served straight up or over cracked ice and garnished with a maraschino cherry. Compare ROB ROY; see HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK, HOIST, GUSTO.

Manhattan Engineer District
shoulder patch
Manhattan Engineer District
the CODENAME for the WWII program to develop the A-BOMB as a weapon; the discovery of fission in 1939 persuaded scientists that certain radioactive materials could be used to make a bomb of unprecedented power. The Uranium Committee investigated the possibilities until the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction (nuclear pile) was achieved on 2 December 1942 at the metallurgical laboratory of the University of Chicago under the leadership of Enrico Fermi. Formed in August 1942, the Army's "Manhattan Engineer District", under the command of General Leslie R. Groves, then obtained sufficient amounts of the two necessary isotopes to assemble the devices. Uranium-235 was separated from the much more abundant uranium-238 by the gaseous diffusion process at Oak Ridge, TN; and nonfissionable uranium-238 was transmuted into plutonium-239 in reactors at Hanford, WA. The actual design and building of the plutonium and uranium bombs was undertaken by a group of American and European-refugee scientists under the leadership of J. Robert Oppenheimer in a remote laboratory at Los Alamos, NM. Due to a tactical scarcity of resources and a strategic urgency of the war, only one nuclear test explosion, CODENAMEd "Trinity", of a plutonium device was conducted on 16 July 1945 near Alamogordo, NM. An untested uranium bomb ("Little Boy") was dropped from a B-29 SUPER FORTRESS over Hiroshima on 6 August 1945, killing at least 70,000 inhabitants. On 9 August 1945, a plutonium bomb ("Fat Man"), which was virtually identical to the Trinity device, was dropped over Nagasaki (the primary target of Kohara was obscured by clouds), killing at least 35,000 inhabitants. See BIKINI, ENIWETOK, SCRAM, FALLOUT, NUKE, OVERKILL, BIGGER BANG FOR THE BUCK, CBR. [nb: the Soviet Union detonated its first atomic bomb in August 1949]

a list of passengers and cargo carried by an airplane, ship, truck, or train; as derived from 'evident' or "detected in the act". See FORM, LOG, ANNEX, PAPER TRAIL, RED TAPE, STRAP-HANGER, SUPERCARGO, TICKET-PUNCHER.

an imperialistic belief in expansion, both cultural and geographical, which expression was coined by John L. O'Sullivan (1839); along with the MONROE DOCTRINE (which had remained in effect from the WAR OF 1812 until WWI), this philosophy was formally refuted as a national policy option in 2013; see FOREIGN AFFAIRS, FOREIGN POLICY, GEOPOLITICS, PRESIDENTIAL DOCTRINE.

a thin sheet of typing paper with a flimsy page of carbon paper already attached, available in pale colors and with the word "copy" preprinted in outline block letters as a watermark; also called "manifold carbon set", "copy set", or "flimsy setup". This "second sheet" configuration was ideal for CLERKS 'n' JERKS since it was practically foolproof. Although the pull-apart flimsy sets could be recycled, the carbon pages were not expected to be re-used. Carbon paper, which had originally been invented (1803) to help blind people write, was (by all evidence) fairly complicated, mandating that the correct side be properly layered in the paper "sandwich", and that it be offset from its previous placement so as to utilize the unexposed portions of the page ... a situation fraught with numerous pitfalls, typically resulting in several retyping jobs when the text inevitably appeared in reverse on the back of the original! A marvel of technology known as No Carbon Required [NCR paper], a special paper first marketed in 1954, which actually contained minute beads of ink throughout the whole sheet of carbonless paper, such that any untoward pressure would immediately mark the pristine paper in an unsightly manner, proved to be even more complicated than carbon paper! ... at least carbon paper had alternate dull and shiny sides, but NCR paper just smelled good and messed everything up no matter how many layers were added or removed. It's axiomatic that everything committed to paper in the Armed Forces must be generated in CYA duplicates or circulation multiples, such that the extensive paperwork necessary to operate any military organization will collapse it by sheer volume and cripple its leaders with writer's cramp! The only thing that kept America's enemies "beyond the pale" during the COLD WAR was MANIFOLD SETs! ... and in the latest Global War On Terror (GWOT), computer driven jet propelled printers have come to the rescue! As long as there's paper and ink to document the battles, our great nation will triumph! See FORM, REPORT, ANNEX, PAPER BULLET, SNOWFLAKE, RED TAPE, CC, TYPEWRITER, MIMEOGRAPH, ORIFICE. [cf: true or fair copy] [nb: multiple-part form 1882] [nb: "If it isn't documented then it doesn't exist!"]

those strenuous activities which exemplify manliness and develop good character traits; in ancient Greece, the manly arts included athletics (eg: running, tumbling, wrestling, etc), combat arts (eg: weapons, horsemanship, leadership, etc), and rhetoric (eg: composition, recitation, acting, etc), but by the 18th century in England, the "manly arts of self-defense" had dwindled to swordplay, cudgeling, and boxing. In the modern era the "manly arts" include contact sports (eg: FOOTBALL, rugby, hockey, etc), extreme sports (eg: MARATHON, TRIATHLON, PENTATHLON, etc), and simulated or actual combat (v: PAINTBALL, WAR GAMES, MOCK-COMBAT, DUEL, WAR). The "profession of arms" has been characterized as "Doing manly things in a manly manner with other men.", which experience of combat forever distinguishes and distances the veteran from the non-veteran. See MARTIAL ART, TWO-FISTED, FIELD HOUSE, A FINE AND PLEASANT MISERY, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, SWEAT HOG, HANG TOUGH, GUNG-HO, WETSU, HARD CHARGER, RED-BLOODED, ROOT HOG OR DIE, TIKI, WARRIOR, QUIET PROFESSIONAL, WINTER SOLDIER. [cf: polite arts] [nb: Jean Piaget classifies children's games into three categories: games of make-believe and fantasy, games of skill and mastery, and games with rules and conditions ... this latter group includes war games, such as hide-and-seek] [cf: Trivial Pursuit (1983)] [nb: because Lee knew Hooker's cardplaying style (impetuous but irresolute), he was confident of victory at Chancellorsville in 1863, despite being vastly outnumbered] [nb: "To my way of thinking, there really are only three sports: baseball, basketball, and football ... everything else is either a game or an activity." by George Carlin; "There are only three sports -- mountain climbing, bullfighting, and motor racing -- all others being games." by Ernest Hemingway; "This is a place with only three pastimes: politics, sports, and revenge." paraphrase of Lawrence C. Moulter; "Any pastime that has no chance for serious injury or that leaves all the participants alive at the end of the activity isn't a true sport ... and if spectators bet on the outcome, then it's just a match or game."; "Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words, it is war minus the shooting." by George Orwell; "Sport in the sense of a mass-spectacle, with death to add to the underlying excitement, comes into existence when a population has been drilled and regimented and depressed to such an extent that it needs at least a vicarious participation in difficult feats of strength or skill or heroism in order to sustain its waning life-sense." by Lewis Mumford; "For man, maximum excitement is the confrontation of death and the skillful defiance of it by watching others fed to it as he survives transfixed with rapture." by Ernest Becker; "For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name, He writes -- not that you won or lost -- but how you played the game." by Grantland Rice; "The point of the game is not how well the individual does but whether the team wins. That is the beautiful heart of the game, the blending of personalities, the mutual sacrifices for group success." by Bill Bradley; "Our tools for the pursuit of wildlife improve faster than we do, and sportsmanship is a voluntary limitation in the use of these armaments. It is aimed to augment the role of skill and shrink the role of gadgets in the pursuit of wild things." by Aldo Leopold; "It was hard to say, about football as about games in general, which was more impressive, the violence or the rationality." by Howard Nemerov; "Football combines the two worst features of modern American life: it's violence punctuated by committee meetings." by George Will; "In America, it is sport that is the opiate of the masses." by Russell Baker; "It ain't over till it's over." by Yogi Berra]

(forthcoming); see TACT, FINESSE, ETIQUETTE, SOCIAL GRACES. [v: beseem, nicety; cf: mauvais ton] [nb: until recently, an OFFICER was simultaneously designated a "gentleman" when appointed by an ACT OF CONGRESS, which not only inspired further intellectual development but also encouraged cultural sophistication, which refinements were mocked as being 'suave and debonair' (deliberately mispronounced as "soo-wave" and "dee-boner")]

when rendering special honors or when entering or leaving a port, a ship's complement will stand at the position of ATTENTION in their full dress uniforms along the railings, in the rigging, or on the deck as a sign of respect. Compare VULTURE'S ROW, PEANUT GALLERY; see GRINDER, PARADE DECK, PARADE GROUND, ASSEMBLY AREA.

a BATTLE WAGON or WARSHIP; also known as "man o' war".

a military leader who presents himself as the savior of the country during a period of crisis and either assumes or threatens to assume dictatorial powers; an allusion to any strongman or dictator, tyrant or autocrat. [v: The Man Who Would Be King by J. Rudyard Kipling (1888)] [nb: "The first art of the ruler is to be able to endure envy." by Hercules Furens Seneca, and Desiderius Erasmus (Ars prima regni posse te invidiam pati.)]

Man-Portable Air Defense System, being a generic term used to encapsulate the general type of shoulder-fired Surface-to-Air MISSILEs (SAM) employed against U.S. components without specifying an exact model or version (eg: "sortie interdicted by MANPADS"); see CORKSCREW.

a catch-phrase inviting volunteers to reinforce the barriers (social or spiritual, moral or physical) against assault or incursion; see CALL TO ARMS, CALL TO THE COLORS, RALLY 'ROUND THE FLAG.

any snare or springe, deadfall or deathtrap, gin or drop trap, entoil or entrap; see BOOBY-TRAP, PUNJI STAKE, FRAISE, ABATIS, TROU-DE-LOUP, TIGER PIT, TIGER TRAP, PITFALL, MALAYAN GATE, TRICK, DECOY, RUSE DE GUERRE. Also, a secure PASSAGEWAY that has restricted access and may be locked down in case of emergency; used as either a double-barrier GRILLE or VESTIBULE for the protection of classified materials, or as a double-control corridor for the safe movement of people, especially inmates; a MAN-TRAP is designed so that only one door may be opened at a time, and arranged so that all interior areas are available for inspection from the exterior ... ingress and egress are regulated from outside the MAN-TRAP.


the prescribed orders and drill for handling a weapon, such as Inspection Arms, Port Arms, Order Arms, STACK ARMS, and so forth. See CARRY ARMS, CARRY SWORDS, SALUTE, HIGH BALL, CLOSE ORDER, DISMISS, THE BIBLE, DRILL, SCHOOL OF THE SOLDIER, SCHOOL OF THE SQUAD, CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, BY THE BOOK, SCRIPTURES. [cf: vade mecum (Latin: handbook, guide (literally: "go with me")]

a misquote that has become a catch-phrase for obligatory action, especially that which is distasteful or unpleasant, bothersome or vexatious; a moral debt or personal responsibility, deontological onus or answerability. See DUTY, PROMISE, OATH, CREED, HONOR CODE, CODE OF CONDUCT, LITMUS TEST, LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN, WINTER SOLDIER, BRASS-COLLAR, DUE DILIGENCE, STRAIGHT ARROW, TOE THE LINE, BITE THE BULLET, ROOT HOG OR DIE, ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH, TAKE IT ON THE CHIN, LAST STAND, HOLD ONE'S FEET TO THE FIRE, STAND ONE'S GROUND, MIGHT MAKES RIGHT, KISS, SCAR. [nb: "A man's got to do what a man's got to do." by Charlton Heston in "Three Violent People" film (1956); "A man has to do what he has to do, even if he'd rather do something else." by Wayne D. Overholser (1956); "I couldn't do what I gotta do if I hadn't always knowed that I could trust ya.", "A man has to be what he is." by Alan Ladd in "Shane" film (1953); "A man ought'a do what he thinks is best." by John Wayne (Marion Michael Morrison) in "Hondo" film] [nb: this phrase has become an anthem ("I gotta do what I gotta do!") for defying the interference of do-gooders and meddlers, a self-justification for resisting intrusive authority] [v: numinous, deontology, eudemonism; cf: meliorism, Solomonic compromise] [cf: "Having done what men could, they suffered what men must." by Thucydides]

(forthcoming); compare "buck-up" at BUCK, BITE THE BULLET, FIDO, WHITE-KNUCKLE, SUCK IT UP, HANG TOUGH, MANLY ARTS, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, SHIT HAPPENS, BAD-MOUTH, BITCH, MOAN 'n' GROAN, FANG, EMBRACE THE SUCK, TS CARD. [nb: "Men were only made into 'men' with great difficulty even in primitive society: the male is not naturally a 'man' any more than the woman. He has to be propped up into that position with some ingenuity, and is always likely (sic: liable) to collapse." by Wyndham Lewis; "Not only is it harder to be a man, it is also harder to become one." by Arianna Stassinopoulos; "A woman simply is, but a man must become. Masculinity is risky and elusive. It is achieved by a revolt from woman, and it is confirmed only by other men .... Manhood coerced into sensitivity is no manhood at all." by Camille Paglia; "Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." by Norman Mailer; "The things a man has to have are hope and confidence in himself against (the) odds, and sometimes he needs somebody, his pal or his mother or his wife or God, to give him that confidence. He's got to have some inner standards worth fighting for or there won't be any way to bring him into conflict. And he must be ready to choose death before dishonor without making too much song and dance about it. That's all there is to it." by Clark Gable]

the theory of Marxism-Leninism as practiced in mainland China (RED CHINA) since the end of WWII, which was developed by Mao Tse-tung / Mao Zedong (MOUSY DUNG) and others, as promulgated in THE LITTLE RED BOOK. Contrary to their industrial working-class comrades in the Marxist proletariat, Chinese communism asserts that peasants are the essential revolutionary class, and, as such, consider Maoism to be an anti-revisionist form of socialist ideology. Although its expansive period (Thousand Flowers Blooming) was followed by purges (Cultural Revolution, Great Leap Forward) under the misguided enthusiasm of Red Guard adherents and its Maoist CULT OF PERSONALITY, Chinese communism still seeks a classless society of shared prosperity. See COMMIE.

topographic map; see COMICS, TOPO, AZIMUTH, GRID COORDINATES, GRID LINES, CONTOUR LINES, DEAD-RECKONING, SLANT DISTANCE, UTM, GPS, CHART, MOSAIC MAP, ATLAS, MGRS, NIMA, MUX, PINS IN THE MAP SYNDROME. [nb: clay relief maps were used in Mesopotamia around 3000BC. The first carved stone relief map of a Chinese district was sent to the Emperor in 210BC, and it was so impressive as to scale and detail that all administrators were commissioned to similarly survey and map their districts, until the entire Empire was represented. To offset the inconvenience of stone and wooden maps, China began making silk maps around 266BC. Chinese archives document terrain modeling with rice, sawdust, and melted wax by various military commands in AD32. Scale-model relief maps were made portable by hinged folding and by segmental disassembly ca421-466 ... which inspired the creation of "jigsaw puzzles".] [nb: the Army Corps of Engineers was assigned the responsibility for surveying America's borders and features in 1831, resulting in a separate Topographic Corps in 1838] [nb: during WWII, the OSS issued a playing card deck to some teams that, when laid out in a particular order, formed an operational map detailing the assignments for a specific mission; furthermore, escape maps hidden on playing cards in a deck were also provided to assist downed crewmembers evade capture in select areas] [nb: the source for military maps was changed from US Geologic Survey to Nat'l Imaging and Mapping Agency in Oct 1996 due to downlink satellite profiles, then renamed National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)] Also, USAF Military Advisory Project oriented to training Vietnamese pilots and aircrew, being separate from MAAG. Also, Military Air Program. Also, Military Assistance Program. Also, Marine Assistance Program.

misrepresentation of 'Nap of the Earth'; see NOE.

a systematic construction of corresponding lines drawn on a plane surface that are representative of the meridians and parallels of the curved face of the earth (or some other celestial sphere); see AZIMUTH, RHUMB / RHUMB LINE, BEARING, HEADING, COMPASS, UTM, GPS, COMICS, MAP, CHART, ATLAS. [v: Mercator projection, transverse Mercator projection, gnomonic projection, rectilinear projection, conformal projection, polyconic projection, etc; cf: cartography, coordinate systems]

a means of identifying any point on the surface of the earth by relating it to information appearing on a TOPO map, generally the overlaid graticule or GRID LINES, by using a standardized map reference code of GRID COORDINATES.

an individual map or chart that's either complete in itself or is part of a series having the same scale and cartographic specifications, including explanatory marginal data and numeric sequencing system; also called a topographic (TOPO) map.

a long-distance footrace, typically extending over a course measuring 26 miles (42km), in honor of the 490BC run made by Pheidippides, when the Athenians requested aid from Sparta before the battle at Marathon plain against the Persians; see EXERCISE, AIRBORNE SHUFFLE, TRUSCOTT TROT, OBSTACLE COURSE, BIATHLON, PENTATHLON, DECATHLON, TRIATHLON, FIELD HOUSE, WAR GAMES. [cf: ultra-marathon] Also, any endurance event or grueling ordeal, as anything arduous or exhausting; a formidable tribulation; compare GAUNTLET, HOLD ONE'S FEET TO THE FIRE, SNAKE PIT, CUTTHROAT. [nb: "With all our technology, we should never forget that soldiering is first and foremost an outdoor sport." by David Petraeus (2009)]

Douglas B-26 twin-engined medium bomber used as counter-invader during WWII against Germany and Japan; see BIRD.

see GARDEN OF STONES. [nb: "long home" is slang for gravesite; v: graveyard, boneyard, boot hill, God's acre, churchyard, catacomb, necropolis, cist, dolmen, chamber tomb, cenotaph, columbarium, sepulcher; cf: "whited sepulcher" (Matthew 23:27)]

(forthcoming); Buddhist shrine, Radio Relay (RR) site near DaNang compare MONKEY MOUNTAIN, BLACK LADY MOUNTAIN.

(mar-cent) Marine Forces Central Command; see CENTCOM.

to walk with regular and measured tread, as soldiers on PARADE who advance in step as an organized body; as derived from 'to pace out a mark'; see CLOSE ORDER, QUICK TIME, DOUBLE TIME, FUNERAL PACE, PARADE, MARK TIME, PACE, HALF STEP, SIDE STEP, BACK STEP, JODY CALL, HEP, CADENCE, COUNTERMARCH, FORCE MARCH, ROAD MARCH, ROUTE STEP, STUTTER-STEP, WALK LIKE A PUSSY, DITTY-BOP, FROGMARCH, DUCK-WALK, DEATH MARCH. Also, the act or course of marching, by execution of this command. Also, the course or distance covered in a single period of marching. Also, to walk in a deliberate manner, as to 'march-past' or 'march toward'; see PARADE, PASS IN REVIEW. Also, to go forward; to advance, proceed, progress, or prepare. Also, to secretly gain an advantage over, as to slyly STEAL A MARCH on an opponent or goal. Also, a tract of land along the border of a country, as a frontier or border district; also known as "marches" or "marchland", as derived from 'mark'. [nb: mush, the command urging or spurring a dogsled team to travel, is a corruption of 'march' as spoken by French voyageurs]

a hairline crack in a bone, especially in the foot or leg, caused by repeated impact or prolonged tension, and usually occurring with runners, dancers, and soldiers; properly called a "stress fracture".

an artillery (ARTY) barrage that "walks" forward from a line of advancing troops, or moves in an incremental line over enemy positions until concentrated or LIFTed; compare SCREEN, see SHOT IN, RUNNING FIRE. Also, small arms fire delivered from the hip or shoulder of troops advancing toward an enemy position; not precision shooting, but fire upon an area by moving riflemen and other elements; compare SNIPER'S TRIANGLE, RECON BY FIRE.

orders to begin a march or other troop movement. Also, an informal request to start moving or to proceed with some activity. Also, a euphemism for dismissal or discharge, often used to conceal reproach or disgrace; also called "walking papers". [nb: a "march order" is differentiated from an "order of march", which denotes a position in line, an ordered sequence by unit or element; cf: order of battle (OB)]

MARine DETachment.

MARine DIVision, such as the 1st MarDiv or 3rd MarDiv.

(forthcoming); a zone of heavy defensive fortifications erected in southern Tunisia, which was circumvented by a surprise attack. Compare STAR WARS, SMEZ, BERLIN WALL, IRON CURTAIN, BAMBOO CURTAIN, BAR LEV LINE, CACTUS CURTAIN, McNAMARA'S WALL, McNAMARA LINE, MAGINOT LINE, SIEGFRIED LINE, CHINESE WALL, DEW LINE, PHASE LINE. [v: Atlantic Wall] [cf: Hadrian's Wall, 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]

a Vietnam-era cocktail made of tequila, lime or lemon juice, Cointreau®, an orange-flavored liqueur (or triple sec), and served (like a SALTY DOG) in a salt-rimmed glass; eponymously derived from Margarita Sames. See HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK, HOIST, GUSTO. [nb: an alternative origin alleges that this cocktail was invented for the popular 1930s movie star Rita Hayworth, who was neither Venezuelan nor Hispanic]

a member of the separate corps of "naval infantry" within the U.S. Navy; elsewhere known as "naval assault commando"; see GYRENE, LEATHERNECK, SNUFFY, RAIDER, FORCE RECON, AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT, GUNNY, BULLDOG, MILITARY ORDER OF THE DEVIL DOGS, SEAGOING MARINE, HORSE MARINE, CHINA MARINE, SCUM, JARHEAD, THE CROTCH, BIRD BALL 'n' HOOK, TELL IT TO THE MARINES, GUNG-HO, OORAH, YUT, MAMELUKE SWORD, USMC; compare KMC, VNMC. [nb: Vietnamese term: Thuy Quan Luc Chien] [nb: the word Marine has been converted into an acronym meaning: Muscles Are Required, Intelligence Not Essential; also referred to as "Uncle Sam's Misguided Children", "Unlimited Shit and Mass Confusion", or "seagoing bellhop"] [nb: the first standing body of marines or "fleet soldiers" in the Western world were posted by ancient Rome (Milites Classiarii)] [nb: the doctrine of amphibious assault by waterborne forces was developed by John Archer Lejeune (LTG USMC) after studying the Gallipoli Peninsula landing in WWI, and this specialization prevented the Marine Corps from being disbanded between the World Wars; Marines then taught amphibious doctrine during 1941-2 to soldiers of the Army's 1st and 3rd Infantry Divisions at both New River NC and Cape Henry VA in preparation for the North African landing] [nb: President Harry S. Truman planned to abolish the Marine Corps after WWII because "the Navy does not need its own army", but the Marines' conduct as a FIRE BRIGADE in the Pusan Perimeter during the KOREAN WAR persuaded him that they should be retained; however, the Supreme Allied Commander Douglas ("El Supremo") MacArthur refused to approve a Presidential Unit Citation for the Marines, saying that "they have enough medals", when every other engaged unit was so recognized] [nb: "The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen -- thank God for the United States Marine Corps!" by Eleanor Roosevelt]

slang for Anbar province in Iraq, which is primarily patrolled by U.S. Marines. Also, by extension of the THEME PARK concept (eg: "Camel Land" in the SANDBOX), anywhere that Marines predominate, from expeditionary or amphibious forces to beaches or waterfront bars.



an acronym used by ground troops in Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF) meaning "Many Americans Running Into Never Ending Shit"; compare MARINE, USMC.

facetious reference to the practice of changing into clean clothes without bathing at all; see PT SHOWER, NAVY SHOWER, GI SHOWER, WHORE'S BATH, MONKEY BUTT.

see THE ARMY WAY, FOR THE HELL OF IT, MIL-SPEC, GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK, PARTY LINE. [nb: "They know what they know, and what they don't know, they don't want to know." by Peter Bowen]

a model in a series, usually accompanied by a number and abbreviated "Mk". Also, a sign or symbol, a standard or measure, a device or imprint, an object or target, an indelible trace, an enduring effect, or a distinctive characteristic. Also, a basic monetary unit of Germany (Deutsche Mark) and Finland (Markka), and a former monetary unit of England; as derived from a former European unit of weight for gold and silver that was generally equal to 8 ounces; see LEGAL TENDER.

the initial artillery (ARTY) round fired to mark the target for adjustment; also called SPOTTER or "spotter round". See REGISTRATION.

Operation Market Time patch
Market Time
combined US/VN Navy Coastal Surveillance Force program using small fast patrol BOATs to prevent seaborne entry by the enemy into South Vietnam; see NAD, SWIFT BOAT, NASTY BOAT, PBR, DAGGER THRUST.

designation for the first in a series or set; also identified as "Mark 1", and abbreviated as MK I / MK1 / M-1; compare M1A1. Also, informal reference to the M-1917 or M-1918 KNUCKLE KNIFE (v: KNUCKLE-DUSTER); see TRENCH KNIFE, compare BAYONET. Also, any initial or prototypical product; an informal and unofficial designation of smaller or simpler commercial items (as opposed to the more elaborate or refined Mark II, Mark III, Mark IV, Mark V, Mark VI, or Mark VII versions); see BOOT KNIFE. [eg: Gerber Mark I, Command I, Tac I, and Guardian I knives]

Vietnam-era Gerber Mark II with
fine pointed-tooth serrations
Vietnam-era Gerber Mark II
Gulf War-era Gerber Mark II with
large chisel-tooth serrations
Gulf War-era Gerber Mark II
a privately purchased dagger introduced (1966) during the VIETNAM WAR by Gerber Legendary Blades; it featured a leaf-shaped 6.65" double-edged blade of L6 tool steel with a fencing-style haft of highly textured (non-slip) "cat's tongue" aluminum molded onto a 1.75" stub tang, fitted with a crossguard of forward-curving quillions and a pommel with wrist-thong hole ... it was revised (2005) with S30V or 420HC stainless steel for the GULF WAR. Ostensibly patterned on the ancient Roman short sword ('mainz gladius') by Bud Holzman, a retired U.S. Army captain, this knife is essentially a variant of the classic COMMANDO DAGGER, which derives from the parrying stiletto and the artillerist's bodkin. First issued with a canted blade (to improve vital penetration during a deadly thrust), it underwent many other alterations, including "Armorhide" grip, wasp-waisted recurve, double serrations, stainless steel (440C or 154CM), and blade blackening. During the anti-war hysteria of the late-Vietnam era, the exchange concessions (PX / BX / NEX) refused to sell this "fighting" knife, so Al Mar, a Gerber designer at the time, added two inches of serrations to each side of the blade (1971) so this knife could be marketed as a "survival" knife. A batch of fifty Mark IIs were purchased (1968) by Project Sigma (B-56, 5th SFGAbn), which were etched and issued as presentation gifts to team members. Limited editions, anniversary editions, and presentation editions of the Mark II have been produced, including stag and exotic wood versions; furthermore, the Mark II has inspired similar designs, including Command II, Tac II, Guardian II knives. See KNIFE. [nb: Gerber 'steel grip' ("cat's tongue") handle treatment was created by spraying molten stainless steel droplets onto the surface of the aluminum handle, which momentarily melted the aluminum, embedding the fused particles into a solidified handle with a permanently rough sandpaper-like texture that's extremely secure and extraordinarily slip-resistant] [nb: Gerber's gray 'Armorhide' handle treatment is a textured coating of vinyl dispersion resins, being a plasticizer that resists abrasion and improves slip-resistance better than paint, which treatment was later changed to an electrostatic dry-powder baked-on black coating] [nb: according to Gerber, the original canted or bent blade design was supposed to offset the angle of the blade level when held in the traditional fencing grip, and to enable the knife to be carried closer to the body ... not to assist the thrust of an attack, whether from the front or rear ... but the initial intent became immaterial, since so many "defective" knives were returned to the factory that Gerber discontinued the canted design (except for replicas) during the second year of manufacture of the Mark II]

MARK 1 :
see MARK I.

U.S. Army marksman skill
qualification badge
designation for the lowest class of riflemen (ranked below SHARPSHOOTER and Expert); in conventional usage, 'marksman' and 'sharpshooter' are simply employed interchangeably to refer to someone who shoots well. See BULL'S-EYE, DEADEYE, KISS THE MISTRESS, KNOCK THEIR SPOTS OFF, MAGGIE'S DRAWERS, BOLO BADGE, TRASH, MIL-CRAFT.

the skill demonstrated by someone when shooting at an object or target; in conventional usage, 'marksman' and 'sharpshooter' are simply employed interchangeably to refer to someone who shoots well. See DEADEYE, BULL'S-EYE, KISS THE MISTRESS, KNOCK THEIR SPOTS OFF, BOLO BADGE, TRASH, MIL-CRAFT.

the command to march in place at the same tempo; by extension, any busy-work or make-work activity. See CADENCE, ROUTE STEP, HEP, BOONDOGGLE, HURRY-UP AND WAIT, NERVOUS IN THE SERVICE. Also, by reference to its primary meaning, to act busy and occupied with work while actually accomplishing little or nothing; hence a "mark-timer" is the same as a time-server or coffee-cooler, a SLACKER or GHOST, GOLDBRICK or FEATHER MERCHANT, TAP-DANCER or other MILICRAT.

MARK 2 :
see MARK II.

Martin SP-5 aircraft.

a smooth, tapered, steel tool used to open the strands of a wire cable for splicing; compare FID.


MARine PATtern digital camouflage uniform for USMC; compare UTILITIES, see DIGITALS, CAMMIES, DRESS.

a legal contract between a man and a woman that sustains the social institution regulating sex, reproduction, familial interactions, financial obligations, and moral culpability, resulting in private anxiety, personal frustrations, interpersonal conflicts, dyadic co-dependency, and fiscal liability; the fact that divorce from one's "better half" is not more widespread after exposure to this intermittent interruption in HOMOSOCIAL liaisons is quite remarkable! See HOOKUP, RING THE BELL, RITE OF PASSAGE, BRACELET, BANGLE, SPOUSE, WIFE, OFFICER'S WIFE, COW, DRAG, THE MOTHER-IN-LAW OF THE ARMY, THE DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT, DISTAFF, GREEN BLOOD, ARMY SOUP, SHACK-JOB, SLEEPING DICTIONARY, CAMPAIGN WIFE. [nb: "Marriage is the enemy of love, just as school is the enemy of learning." anonymous; "Marriage is like a long dull meal with the dessert served at the beginning." paraphrase of oscar Wilde (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills)]

Military Affiliate Radio System, or Military Auxiliary Radio System; being the unofficial radio transmissions sent by OFF-DUTY MIL-PERS, who are using military communications apparatus during low traffic intervals to call civilians in the United States, by linking to volunteer amateur radio (HAM) operators to complete a toll-free connection with a local telephone call patched into the radio. Technology has overcome the drawbacks (eg: inconvenience, unavailability, lack of privacy) of this modality with worldwide e-mail of text, voice, and image for all servicemembers at no personal cost. Also, identifies the "Mars Task Force", or 5332nd Brigade, formed from the 475th Inf Rgt and 124th Cav Rgt, together with the lineage of the 5307th Composite Unit, to operate along the LEDO ROAD from October 1944 until being disbanded in July 1945; see MERRILL'S MARAUDERS, RANGER.

roll of steel mesh or metal net used for aircraft landing strip and vehicular road base constructions during WWII; also provided access for military tactical mobility in sand, mud, and other rough terrain. Compare PSP, MOBI-MAT, MACADAM. [v: blacktop, tarmac or tarmacadam; cf: laterite road]


an administrative officer of a U.S. judicial district with duties similar to those of a sheriff. Also, a high ranking officer of a royal court or of a military organization (eg: field marshal), especially in foreign countries. Also, to arrange or array in proper order; to gather together for dispatch or use, as before or after an operation or battle; also called "marshal area" or RALLY POINT. Also, to usher ceremoniously, or to escort ceremonially.

the safety wand, used in pairs by a GROUND GUIDE, to direct vehicles and aircraft in parking areas; brightly colored and luminous, these wands are waved in conventional HAND SIGN patterns by the "follow me" functionary when directing the safe movement of vehicles or aircraft in congested spaces. [v: usher, marshaler]

the beginning of America's foreign aid program in 1948 that was not aimed at any ideology or nation, but "against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos", and was advanced as a method of "waging peace" ... this program, which was formally designated the 'European Recovery Program', earning George C. Marshall the Nobel Prize, was the basis for Lyndon B. Johnson's offer to give North Vietnam foreign aid in an amount equivalent to America's military expenditure if the DRV/NVN would cease and desist its aggression against RVN/SVN. See PRESIDENTIAL DOCTRINE, LODGE-PHILBIN ACT, CLIENT STATE, NATION BUILDING. [nb: foreign aid was called "dollar diplomacy" during the William Howard Taft administration to characterize the policies of Secretary of State Philander C. Knox] [nb: "We have tried since the birth of our nation to promote our love of peace by a display of weakness. This course has failed us utterly." by George Catlett Marshall (1945)]

a safety or signal light that oscillates vertically, horizontally, or both ("figure-8") as a warning to nearby pedestrians or traffic, as initially produced for railroad locomotives and firefighting apparatus by the Mars Signal Light Company after experiments (ca1936) conducted by Jeremiah D. Kennelly, a Chicago fireman; mounted on service and emergency vehicles in various shapes and colors since WWII (including fire truck, ambulance, police car, tow truck, snow plow, excavator, tug tractor, "follow me" checkerboard ground guide, etc), the Mars brand ("The Light from Mars") has since (1991) been acquired by TriLite, which has updated the halogen incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient light-emitting diodes (LED). See BLINKER, BUBBLEGUM MACHINE, WIGWAG, CHRISTMAS TREE. [nb: Frank and Ethel Mars (of Mars candy products) underwrote the research and development of the "figure-8" safety light from 1933 onwards as a public service] [cf: "Gyralite" is a gyrating warning light made by The Pyle-National Company / Trans-Lite]

a form, either traditional or scientific, of close combat or self-defense that utilizes disciplined coordination and physical skill, with or without weapons, and may be practiced as a physical fitness regimen or as a rated sport (eg: t'ai chi chuan); although unarmed fighting techniques, recognized by degrees of proficiency with colored belts (dan), are the most common modes, practices with specific armaments are also recognized. MARTIAL ARTs (budo) include capoeira, shintaido, t'ai chi chuan, choi kwang do, stav, hwa rang do, hapkido, taido, wrestling, sumo, judo / jujitsu, aikido, shorinji kempo, jeet kune do, karate (shotokan, shito ryu, goju ryu, wado ryu), kalaripayattu, soo bahk do, tae kwon do, tang soo do, kung fu (hung-gar, wu shu, wing chun), vovinam viet vo dao, boxing / pugilism, kickboxing, muay thai (Thai boxing), savate (boxe Francais), krav maga, kuk sool won, bando thaing, kali silat, daito ryu aiki bujutsu, kajukenbo, mowie di do, gatka, chanbara / goshindo, iaido, haidong gumdo, kumdo, kendo, fencing, kyudo, archery, naginata, ninjutsu, kobudo, truncheon or stick-fighting. See JAP SLAPPER, DOJO, MMA, ONE-TWO, KNUCKLE SANDWICH, BOK-BOK, TWO-FISTED, BEAT HIM TO THE PUNCH, COUNTERPUNCH, SEMPER FU, LINE COMBAT SYSTEM, MACP, SCARS, SPEAR, BATS 'n' HATS, RUBBER DUCK, WASTER, WOODEN SWORD, ON GUARD, EQUALIZER, WEAPON / WPN, AT CLOSE QUARTERS, CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE, GRAPPLE, PULL ONE'S PUNCHES. [v: dojo: practice hall; kodokan: school; randori: sporting competition] [v: kuzushi: the art of breaking balance, as causing someone to become unbalanced, so as to use their momentum against them; atemi: to poke, grab, twist, or squeeze an area of the body where nerves (meridians) are close to the skin, so as to engage a vital spot or pressure point] [v: Japanese gijutsu (technique, art); Japanese bushido (the way of the military gentleman)] [nb: "Fall down seven times, get up eight." Japanese proverb; v: OKIAGARI-KOBOSHI]

(forthcoming); see CURFEW, CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER, DOUBTFULS, DETAINEE, RENDITION, BATS 'n' HATS, WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' BADGES, DRUMHEAD, SOFA, ROCKS 'n' SHOALS, UCMJ, MCM, JUDGE LYNCH, PROVOST COURT, PROVOST GUARD, PROVOST MARSHAL, SNOW DROP, MP, SP, AP, CONSTABULARY, POLICE. [nb: the Supreme Court established (Ex parte Milligan 1866) that civilians could not be legally tried by military tribunals in areas where regular courts continued to function during wartime; nonetheless, if a state of war exists (declared or not), the writ of habeas corpus may be suspended (with suspects imprisoned without trial for the duration) under martial law]

a strict disciplinarian, a severe taskmaster, or an exacting drillmaster; eponymously after General Jean Martinet, the French inventor of a system of DRILL. Also, someone who stubbornly adheres to rules or methods, regardless of the circumstances; see LITTLE PRICK, SHAKE 'n' BAKE, RAMROD, HARD-SET, BRASS EAR, HARD-NOSE, HELL ON WHEELS, BALL BUSTER, BRASS-COLLAR, HEADQUARTERISM; compare HARD-ASS. [nb: known as "pannikin boss" by AUSSIE and KIWI troops]

a chilled cocktail made of gin and dry vermouth, garnished with an olive; when made with vodka, it's called a vodka martini or 'vodkatini', often garnished with a lemon twist. Compare GIMLET, GIBSON, BRONX COCKTAIL; see HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK, HOIST, GUSTO. [nb: the original ratio of gin to vermouth was 2:1, but contemporary tastes tend toward "drier" ratios of 3:1, 5:1, and even 7:1] [cf: flirtini (a cocktail of vodka, champagne, and pineapple juice, garnished with a twist of lime)]

someone who willingly dies for his belief or convictions, such as a TRUE BELIEVER; see CAM TU, TERRORIST, BAD GUYS, MASSACRE, ATROCITY. Also, someone who undergoes torment or suffering, scourging or torture because of his belief; someone who is put to death on behalf of his commitment to a particular cause; compare BELIEVER.

the explosive undergarment, often packed with anti-personnel SHRAPNEL, which is worn by a suicide BOMBER or fanatical TERRORIST when wreaking havoc upon the "enemy" ... generally unarmed civilians. See CAM TU, MASSACRE, ATROCITY.

dismissive reference by rhyming to any soldier serving in the Army of the Republic of VietNam; as HERMAN THE GERMAN was used during World War Two. Compare CHARLIE, GOMER, IVAN, BAD GUYS.

(forthcoming); Marxism is a worldview and method of societal analysis that focuses on class relations and societal conflict, that uses a materialist interpretation of historical development, and a dialectical view of social transformation. See COMMIE.

an animal or object that's been adopted by a group as its representative symbol, which is intended to engender influence or advantage; as derived from talisman or charm; see BULLDOG, MULE, GOAT, THE BIRD, BLACK DEVIL, "Tony the Tiger" at LLDB and VNSF, "Screaming Eagles" at PUKING BUZZARDS and SCREAMING CHICKENS, MEAT MARKER, JOSS STICK, ANTHROPOMORPHISM. [nb: the mascot of a bulldog, called "Rocky the Marne Dog", was contributed (1942) by Walt Disney after serving in the 3rd Inf Div] [v: Moe the Kangaroo at Virginia Military Institute, General and Boo V bulldogs at The Citadel, Cadets at Norwich]

Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, supporting military actions at brigade and higher levels; has been superseded by the Forward Surgical Team (FST). See SICK CALL, AID STATION, EVAC, CSH, FLD HOSP, MEDEVAC, AGONY WAGON, CHOP SHOP.

American operation in Bihn Dinh province during 1966

a screen, as of earth or brush, used for concealing or obscuring an observation post (OP), a weapons' mount (EMPLACEMENT or BARBETTE), or any military operation; see CONCEALMENT, SCREEN, ANTI-THERMAL CLOAK, HIDE, CAMO.

the employment of additional transmitters in electronic warfare (EW) so as to obscure or conceal the location or purpose of a particular source of electromagnetic radiation; see ELINT, COUNTERMEASURES.

see FLINT FACE, QUARTERDECK FACE, DEADPAN, HALF-MAST, WAR FACE, FACE, BEARD THE LION, COMMAND PRESENCE. [nb: "But a soldier without command, though he fight for the Commonwealth, does not therefore represent the person of it; because there is none to represent it to. For every one that hath command represents it to them only whom he commandeth." by Thomas Hobbes]

someone who endures the infliction of cruelty, anguish or degradation, in order to obtain emotional satisfaction or physical gratification; this trait is considered to be a psychosexual aberration that's an essential component (to one degree or another) of every soldier, who are often proud of this capacity. See PAIN, SUFFERING, THEATER OF CRUELTY; compare SADIST.

Military Airlift Squadron; see MATS, MAC, ATC, ATS, AMC, SPACE A.

commonly misused to mean "a general slaughter of opponents" or "to inflict a great defeat", it has a specific and limited application in the deliberate killing of unarmed and unresisting persons. As with the term "decimate" [to reduce by one-tenth, from the ancient Roman (and Chinese) practice of punishing every tenth man], the accuracy of a term's usage distinguishes its political value from its military correctness. The usual reference during the VIETNAM WAR is the 1968 "My Lai MASSACRE", with its political connotations; but historical revisionists are ignoring PAVN atrocities, such as at Dak Son (1967), at Hue (1968), and at Cai Lay District School (1974). See BODY COUNT, KILL 'EM ALL, SURPLUS KILL, OVERKILL, KNOCK INTO A COCKED HAT, HEADHUNTING, TURKEY SHOOT, HOLOCAUST, APOCALYPSE, GENOCIDE, ATROCITY, WAR CRIMES TRIAL. [cf: blood feud; v: bloodbath, carnage, slaughter, hecatomb, mass murder, vernichtungsgedanken, pogrom/pogróm (destructive thunder)] [nb: "Attack them everywhere and shake the ground beneath them." by Abu Muhammad al-Adnani; "Most of the world's ills would be cured with one three-day open season on people." by Ernest M. Hemingway] [v: Myths of the Vietnam War] [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] [re: decimate is a culture-specific term that cannot be modified to properly reflect its modern sense of "only one-tenth remains" or of "nine-tenths destroyed"; v: decuple, cf: duple, triple, quadruple, quintuple, sextuple, sevenfold, octuple, ninefold]

any large number of casualties produced in a relatively short period of time by armed attack, vast accident, or natural disaster, which overwhelms the available medical & logistic support capabilities; see TRIAGE, LUGGAGE TAG, WALKING GHOST, ZERO WARD, ZERO-ZERO WARD.

a catch-phrase for the multiplicity of communication modes (eg: print, radio, television, computer, etc) that are used to reach large numbers of people, often delivering a similar message, due to a shared sympathy or common ownership; also called "main-stream media" or "lame-stream media". See FRUIT FLY, WAR CORRESPONDENT, FOURTH ESTATE, SHUTTERBUG, GAG ORDER, OPSEC, BLACKOUT, CENSORSHIP, RED INK, DISINFORMATION, PROPAGANDA, BIG LIE, RUMOR.

a structure rising above the HULL of a ship for holding spars, rigging, and associated equipment. Also, any upright pole, post, or support, as for a radio aerial. Also, the support for a crane or derrick, BOOM or YARDARM; see DAVIT, BLOCK, TACKLE. Also, short for CAPTAIN'S MAST; see ROCKS 'n' SHOALS, OFFICE HOURS, BLUE BOOK.

the ostensible tool for lowering the mast of a ship so as to clear an overpass when entering port, or to dip the flag as a sign of mutual respect when passing another vessel; 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.

a Naval petty officer (PO) responsible for maintaining discipline and determining accountability in each department on-board ship; the MAA serves as a parttime deputy to the Chief Master-At-Arms (CMAA). See SHERIFF, SP, POLICE, CAPTAIN'S MAST, ROCKS 'n' SHOALS, BRIG.


being the non-commissioned officer (NCO) grade (E-8) between Sergeant First Class (E-7) and Sergeant Major or Command Sergeant Major (E-9), and represented by three chevrons above three ROCKERs as sleeve rank insignia; this rank is rated equal to First Sergeant (1SG / FSG). See SARGE, BUCK, RIGHT ARM, FIRST SHIRT, TOP, NCO, SUPER GRADE, RATING, GRADE, RANK.

any of various devices that are guided by the hand of the operator so as to imitate the motions and tactile sensitivity of the human hand, to a greater or lesser extent, as used in situations in which direct handling of the objects or materials involved would be too dangerous or impossible. See BLUE SUIT. [cf: remote mechanical agents or servo-manipulation systems for use in sterile, hazardous, or contaminated environments began during WWII with the handling of radioactive materials; initially in the form of insulated gripper arms named "Waldo" (being a cognate of 'rule' or 'command', after the 1942 novel by Robert A. Heinlein), later known as the "Waldo F. Jones Synchronous Reduplicating Pantograph", and now as a telefactoring device, useful in bomb disposal and extraterrestrial maintenance]

Mobile Advisory Team. Usually a six-member team of two U.S. Army officers, three enlisted men, and an interpreter responsible for training territorial forces (RF/PF). See MTT, ADV.

Military Assistance and Training Advisory course, being a 6-week program of orientation and instruction, including 120-hours of Vietnamese language, taught in the Special Warfare Center and School (SWC&S) at Fort Bragg beginning in 1962; see MATS, ADV, CAP, COUNTERPART, SHEEP-DIPPED, CO VAN MY, INDIG, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, UGLY AMERICAN.

a slender piece of wood or other flammable material serving as a consumable handle, the other end of which is tipped with a chemical substance that produces fire when rubbed on a rough or chemically prepared surface; also called "lucifer" or "lucifer match", and supplied throughout the 20th century with RATIONS for sanitation and survival needs; see STORM MATCH, ZIPPO, LIGHTER. Also, a wick or cord that's been prepared to burn at an even rate for use as a FUSE when firing cannon, igniting explosives, and the like; see SLOW MATCH. [nb: the SLOW MATCH wick originated as an evenly burning wick or cord for cannon, by comparison with the wick in the nostril or muzzle of a lamp, the chemical stick-match or "lucifer (light bearing) match" began replacing friction or spark ignition in the 19th century; when an English apothecary, John Walker, invented the chemical friction match in 1827; when a French student, Charles Sauria, invented the phosphorus match in 1831; when America patented the sesquisulfide of phosphorus match in 1836; and when Sweden invented the safety match in 1855] [v: locofoco: a 19th century friction match that could be ignited by rubbing against any hard dry surface; derived as a rhyming compound of 'locomotive' (self-moving) and 'fuoco' (Ital: fire) meaning "self-lighting"] [cf: quick match]

aggregate of military equipment and supplies used by any organizational unit. Compare Personnel.

Corporal E-4 stripes
slang for the sleeve RANK insignia of a Corporal (CPL/E-4), the lowest GRADE non-commissioned officer (NCO), showing two chevrons ... that is, one MOSQUITO WING coupled to another! See SWINE LOG, EM, RATING, GRADE, RANK.

(forthcoming); Russian nesting doll; compare OKIAGARI-KOBOSHI.

Military Air Transport Service, redesignated Military Airlift Command (MAC) on 1 Jan 1966, which is Uncle Sugar's no-frills airline for "Space Available" travel by dependents and retirees; often interpreted as "Maybe Airplane Take-off Soon". See MAC, ATC, ATS, AMC, MASQ, SPACE A, DEADHEAD. Also, abbreviation for Military Advisor Training School, being a 2-week course at Di-Anh after 1968 that oriented and instructed ADVISORs dispatched to ARVN units; see MATA, ADV, COUNTERPART, CAP, SHEEP-DIPPED, CO VAN MY, INDIG, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, UGLY AMERICAN.

Mine-resistant ambush-protected All Terrain Vehicle, being a smaller lighter-weight TRUCK used for off-road patrolling, as manufactured from 30 June 2009 by Oshkosh Defense; this model is categorized as a Mine-Resistant Utility Vehicle (MRUV). Compare ATV, LSV, FAV, MULE.

Marine Amphibious Unit.

money distributed as ALMS, especially as part of the ceremonial observance of Maundy Thursday during Holy Week; as derived from Jesus' mandate to His disciples after washing their feet and sharing the Last Supper with them. Compare ALMS, BEGGING BOWL, SCROUNGE, CUMSHAW.


exhibiting bad manners, ill breeding, or vulgar ways.

an OFFICER promoted from the ranks, as by OCS or direct commission; see MUSTANG, UP THE HAWSEPIPE, BLUE BLOOD, COCKTAIL, OFFICER'S COUNTRY. Also, any independent-minded or non-conformist person, such as an OFFICER with enlisted experience, who cares more about the welfare of his troops than about being a "good organization man" [cf: ROGUE, imp, scamp, rascal, scalawag, scapegrace, miscreant, rake, roué, knave, scoundrel, villain, whoreson]. Also, designation for the AGM-65 Air-to-Ground MISSILE. Also, designation for the AGM-86D Air-to-Ground television-guided MISSILE. Also, a misappropriated or misused government vehicle, as one "branded" for personal use; compare POV. [nb: the eponymous maverick is comparable to "cleanskin" in Australia, where any standard or generic product could be marked or branded for sale or distribution by another, as a house label or customized gift; both terms originally referred to unmarked or untagged cattle]

Marine Air/Aircraft Wing. Also, abbreviation for Mission Adaptive Wing, being aircraft wings that can change the shape of their upper, leading, and trailing edge surfaces so as to improve flight performance without the use of hanging devices, such as FLAPs.

Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron.

(forthcoming); 15 May 1975 off Cambodia.

an international RADIO/TELEPHONE distress call used by ships and aircraft that involves the imminent loss of life or property; origin "m'aider" (Venez) "Come help me!". Compare SECURITE, PAN; see SOS, CSEL, GUARD, BLIND TRANSMISSION, RTP, PROWORD.

heavily armored Main Battle Tank, such as SHERMAN, PERSHING, PATTON, ABRAMS; also called "heavy" or "heavy metal"; see TANK, TRACK. [nb: WWII Sherman was 9ft wide weighing 38tons, while GULF WAR Abrams is 11ft wide weighing 70tons; fuel rate: 0.5mpg; the logistics tail "rule of thumb" for armored vehicles is: for each ton of vehicle weight, move 4 tons of supplies (fuel, parts, ammo, etc)]

MC :
(em-see) abbreviation for Mission Commander, principally used by USAF, for the specific and limited designation of a unit or operational leader with the most experience or best proficiency, regardless of RANK. This is a common practice in training scenarios, but special operations forces (SOF) also use it in combat, when the technically qualified ranking officer is untested, becoming a STRAP-HANGER observer until "approved" by his subordinates to his superiors. See COMMANDER, CO, COMMAND ELEMENT, CHAIN-OF-COMMAND, LDR, OLD MAN, SKIPPER, TOP DOG, MOTHER HEN, HONCHO, 10, WALLAH, MTP, IP, PC, DCO, XO, OVERSIGHT. Also, abbreviation for Medical Corps; see BONE CUTTER, SAWBONES, BABY DOC, DOC, ANGEL, FUZZY-WUZZY ANGEL, RAMP TRAMP, ORDERLY, PECKER-CHECKER, MEDIC, CORPSMEN, BAC SI, Y SI, BAND-AID, CHOP SHOP, HOSP, LUGGAGE TAG, TRIAGE. [nb: Vietnamese term: Nguoi Giai Phau] [nb: a separate medical department was established in the U.S. Army in 1818, and in the U.S. Navy (BuMed) in 1842; the Army established a corps for nurses (ANC) in 1901, and the Navy accepted nurses in 1908; the medical branch also includes dentists, veterinarians, pharmacists, and other specialists]

Marine Corps Air Station; compare MAD, NAS.

Mechanized Combined Arms Task Force.

Marine Corps Base.

the practice of making unsupported accusations of disloyalty, especially of pro-communist activity, based on slight or irrelevant evidence; also referred to as the "Second Red Scare"; named after the Congressional hearings (HUAC) conducted by J.R. "Tailgunner Joe" McCarthy. Also, the practice of making accusations or allegations in order to restrict criticism or suppress dissent.

Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Virginia.

the Modular Crowd Control Munition (M-5) is a "less than lethal" anti-personnel device that's used to incapacitate a large group of persons with a FLASHBANG and the impact of rubber ball projectiles. The MCCM can be selectively, serially, or cluster discharged by electrically ignited TRIGGERs, and deployed by mounted or dismounted troops. This directional munition has an effective range of 5-30 meters in a 60-degree semicircular arc of coverage. Used at American embassies since 2006, its similar resemblance to the CLAYMORE (M-18A1) mine serves as a deterrence to riot and other mob lawlessness.

Marine Corps Cold Weather Training Center; see MWTC.

devised by SGM Charles T. McGuire, an SF sergeant serving with Project Delta (see GREEKS); this is an extraction method for when helicopters cannot land, which utilizes the same equipment for a RAPPEL insertion. Originally the RIG "string" was conceived as a stirrup LINE or sling EYE; it was later refined by MSG Norman Donny as a quick connect for the integral Swiss seats to be converted into body loops over existing field gear. Lifted and moved like sling-loaded cargo, the team had to secure the ropes during landing to prevent fowling of the helicopter rotors. Adaptations to the basic technique occurred, such as safety wrist straps and linking arms to prevent spinning. The major defect of the McGUIRE RIG was for wounded or unconscious team members, who were liable to fall out of their hookup. The STABO (QV) full-body harness, invented at the MACV RECONDO School, remedied this problem. [nb: called "suspended rope extraction" by Australian and New Zealand SAS]

Mission Capability Inspection.

Manual for Courts Martial, which stipulates the standard procedures, unified among the services in 1951, for the proper conduct of a trial; see EXECUTIVE SESSION, UCMJ.

(mick-map) Marine Corps Martial Arts Program; see SEMPER FU.

a theoretical line, extending from the DMZ through Laos to Thailand, involving high-tech surveillance equipment and space-age munitions, as a barrier to North Vietnamese infiltration of South Vietnam. Considered for implementation as late as Operation Lam Son 719; an eponymous phrase after Secretary of Defense Robert Strange McNamara. See HO CHI MINH TRAIL; compare McNAMARA'S WALL, STAR WARS, MAGINOT LINE, SIEGFRIED LINE, MARETH LINE, SMEZ, IRON CURTAIN, BAR LEV LINE, CACTUS CURTAIN, BAMBOO CURTAIN, CHINESE WALL, DEW LINE, PHASE LINE. [cf: Hadrian's Wall, 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]

a draft quota to be achieved by lowering the minimum score of the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT), as established by DoD to meet force requirements of the VIETNAM WAR, Korea, Germany, Panama, and elsewhere. See DRAFT, DRAFT LOTTERY, DRAFTEE, MUSTER, AFEES, CALL TO THE COLORS. [eg: 1994 "Forrest Gump" movie]

a scheme to construct a 25-mile barrier along the northern border of South Vietnam (SVN) to block North Vietnamese Army (NVA) infiltration across the DMZ; officially designated "Operation Die Marker", and eponymously named after Secretary of Defense Robert Strange McNamara, but also known as "McNamara's Folly". Perhaps inspired by the 660 yards wide by 8.2 mile long "fire break" erected by Marines from Con Thien through Gio Linh, but "McNamara's Wall" was a more ambitious project, consisting of land mines and barbed wire, as well as acoustic sensors and infrared intrusion detectors. The project began in April 1967, but was preempted by the relief efforts for the siege of Khe Sanh in 1968, remaining incomplete. Compare STAR WARS, MAGINOT LINE, SIEGFRIED LINE, MARETH LINE, SMEZ, IRON CURTAIN, BAMBOO CURTAIN, BAR LEV LINE, CACTUS CURTAIN, McNAMARA LINE, CHINESE WALL, DEW LINE, PHASE LINE. [cf: Hadrian's Wall, 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]

McNAMera :
a coinage eponymously attributing wartime policies to Secretary of Defense Robert Strange McNamara ... the McNamara era of the VIETNAM WAR ... which he later repudiated.

Meal Cold Weather / Long Range Patrol [ration], being the nutritious successor (2004) to LRRP-RATIONS and Ration Cold Weather (RCW); the dehydrated contents of this long shelf-life food packet, packaged in white camouflage, will not freeze. This lightweight and compact meal, designed for cold weather feeding, may be issued at the rate of three per day per person (1540kcal/meal, 4620kcal/day) for a complete winter diet. The menues include chicken w/rice, beef stroganoff w/noodles, beef terriyaki w/rice, Western omelet, lasagna w/meat sauce, beef stew, spaghetti w/meat sauce, seafood chowder, scrambled eggs w/bacon, pork w/rice, chili macaroni w/beef, turkey tetrazzini; and these main courses are supplemented by Ramen noodle soup, peanut butter, cheese spread, crackers, toaster pastry, granola bar, fruit bar, chocolate sports bar, fudge brownie, banana walnut dessert bar, peanut brittle bar, nut raisin mix, roasted nuts, shortbread cookies, chocolate covered cookie, chocolate disks, chocolate toffee roll, cocoa beverage powder, lemon-lime beverage base, orange beverage base, and extra drink mixes for countering dehydration ... Corn Nuts, Walnettos, and a freeze-dried ice cream sandwich are the latest commercial items that have been added, while chocolate-covered coffee beans, energy fruit chews, and caffeinated chewing gum are being evaluated for inclusion. Although the sodium and protein content of the MCW/LRP is controlled to decrease the consumer's need for water, each meal requires an average of 34oz of potable water for its rehydration [nb: the Army Food Lab claims that the liquid required to hydrate these meals is not "extra", but is the normal allotment essential to prevent dehydration and hypothermia; water requirements don't change with dried foods: "There's a misconception that you need extra water for dehydrated rations. You need a given amount of water per day depending on activity and temperature. Whether some of that comes in the food or is consumed separately, the water requirement is the same."]. Weighing less than Meals Ready-to-Eat (MRE) but providing more sustenance, the MCW/LRP ration is best suited for MIL-PERS who are not easily resupplied. Most soldiers say that this ration makes them feel full, and some complain that it's too much food. See RATIONS.

Marine Corps Women's Reserve, being the formal designation for Woman Marine, appertaining to females serving in the Marine Corps Women's Reserve, being a support auxiliary established 30 July 1942; known as a Woman Reserve (WR) until 1948, thereafter as Woman Marine until 1994, and subsequently simply as Marine. All separate women's military service corps were dissolved in 1978 and female servicemembers were then fully integrated into the RANKS; and in 1994, the role of qualified women was expanded from service support occupations to "combat support", including police, pilots, and other assignments, including service aboard warships; then in 2016, qualified women were made eligible to compete for equal admission to all combat arms occupations. See BAM, BOSNIA, SKIRT; compare ANC, WAAC, WAC, WASP, WAFS, WAF, WAVES, SPAR. [nb: USMC lore identifies Opha Mae Johnson (1918) as the first 'woman Marine']

Mobilization-Day; the term used to designate the unnamed day on which full mobilization commences or is due to commence. The M-DAY materiel inventory objective is the quantity of things needed on or before operational commencement by active or reserve forces with delivery through the prescribed operational period. See TIME.

a system of receiving radio beacon signals and rebroadcasting them on the same frequency, causing inaccurate bearings to be obtained, so as to confuse navigation by air and ground stations; see BEAM, VECTOR. Also, a system of receiving broadcast signals and rebroadcasting them back, creating DECOY or DECEPTIVE readouts, such as GHOST or SHADOW images, confusing electronic guidance systems with a multiplicity of false (and a single true choice) options; see MIJI, RED HERRING. Also, a system of spoofing a microwave base station so as to decoy cellular telephone traffic and deceive the transmitter with the intent of capturing or altering data; see MIJI, NETRUSION.

a classic Latin phrase that literally means "through my fault" or "(it's) my responsibility", but this expression has been widely misused to beg forgiveness or seek pardon; it is not the equivalent of 'excuse me', nor does it request allowance, amnesty, apology, or condonation, neither to forbear, forgo, condone, overlook, or absolve. See NO EXCUSE, ACCOUNTABILITY, RESPONSIBILITY, THE ROAR OF BUTTERFLY WINGS, ZERO TOLERANCE, save face at FACE; compare XIN LOI, SORRY ABOUT THAT, sumimasen at ITTY-WA DESKA.

avoiding the use of direct and plain language, as from timidity, excessive delicacy, or hypocrisy; inclined to mince words, to dissemble or dissimulate; insincere, devious, or compromising. See NO EVIL, RESPECT, JUDGMENT CALL, BEARING, TACT.

to proceed by taking a winding course or indirect route, a circuitous path or roundabout journey; to progress by twists and turns. Also, to wander aimlessly; ramble or amble. Compare SQUARE CORNERS, EYE-BALL; see ACCORDION, CATERPILLAR, CROCODILE, JITTERBUG, SCUTTLE, BUTTERFLY, CLOVERLEAF, LEAP FROG, HOPSCOTCH, CORKSCREW, ZIGZAG, SNAKE, SLACKER, TAP-DANCER, ROMPER, STRAGGLER. [v: meandrous, meander line]

the resources or expenditures needed to accomplish something, as "by any means" or "at all costs"; a method or manner, process or procedure, way or practice, which is typically represented as THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS, except that the means are the ends!

to test one's strength or ability, courage or fortitude against that of someone else; a comparison preliminary to a competition, a check before contending in a contest. This phrase derives from the close examination of weapons made by the seconds to ensure that they both match in every detail before commencing a DUEL. [nb: a 'stickler' was the second in single combat, and so was very punctilious about the minutest points of etiquette, then later becoming an umpire or referee in competitive tournaments, and finally being any person who persistently demands absolute adherence or unyielding conformity] [nb: "So we measured swords and parted." by William Shakespeare in As You Like It (1599)] [cf: to take someone's measure; v: to Measure up]


Japanese flag
in Naval aviation, informal designation for the glowing signals that provide glideslope reference while an airplane is on landing approach to an aircraft carrier (FLATTOP); the term for the red ball of light seen in the old mirror landing system which predated the current Fresnel lens guidance system. Also, an Imperial Japanese, or an Imperial Japanese engine of war so emblazoned, with specific reference to the "Rising Sun" motif, and by extension of the informal slur (ie: stupid, ineffectual, etc); also called "burning asshole", "fiery asshole", "flaming asshole", "shining asshole", "radiant-" or "radiating asshole" (with the latter pertaining to the wartime flag). See NIP, JAPE, BAD GUYS.

antonomastic descriptor for a fearsome brute or ferocious savage, especially a marauder or raider; being a consumer of flesh (typically raw and bloody) with other base or gross appetites; an indelicate carnivore, and not a refined or cultivated vegetarian. See KNUCKLE-DRAGGER, BRUTE, HUMAN ZOO, SHAVED MONKEY, SILENT MAJORITY, BUBBA EFFECT, BANJO COUNTRY, REACTIONARY, CONSERVATIVE, ANTI-FEDERALIST, WHITE TRASH, THIRD ESTATE.


an indelible mark or sign, specific to a particular unit and often personalized, that's tattooed onto a MIL-PERS body in a unique location, for the purpose of identifying the individual's corpse after dismemberment on the battlefield; also called a "torso tattoo", "devil's mark" or "witch's mark". Specimen MEAT MARKERs have included unit logos or mascots, with a unit number or personal name, however these special markings are not ornamental TATTOOs. Even though some MEAT MARKERs are placed in obscure locations, not ordinarily visible, the standard restrictions regarding inappropriate legends or depictions remain in effect. The MEAT MARKER probably originated (out of gallows humor) by imitation of the purple dye stamp applied by USDA inspectors when grading the quality of butchered meat sold in the COMMISSARY. See CONTINUATION TATTOO, FULL-SLEEVE, SAT CONG, EARRING, DOG TAGS, ID CARD, BRACELET, COINING, CLEAN, STERILE. [nb: Tom Custer, twice awarded the Medal of Honor, was so badly mutilated at the Battle of the Little Bighorn (26 June 1876) that his body could only be identified by a distinctive tattoo] [nb: members of the Nazi Schutzstaffel (SS) were purportedly marked with a personalized fraternal tattoo near their armpit, which served as both identification and authentication]

slang for any motorized wheeled ambulance (CRACKER BOX) or motorized TRACKed ambulance (BAND-AID) that's used on roadways and in the field; see MEDEVAC, DUSTOFF, AIR AMBULANCE, LUGGAGE TAG, TRIAGE. [cf: ambulette]

Marine Expeditionary Brigade, being the designation for the first USMC force sent to RVN in March 1965, with the mission of protecting the AIRFIELDS; as more assets arrived IN-COUNTRY, became Marine Amphibious Force (III MAF).

MECHanized infantry (designated blue), as derived from mounted rifles (designated green) or dragoons (designated orange), who rode to battle but fought on foot; see CHECKERBOARD, HERRINGBONE, LAAGER; compare CAV, ACR, AIR CAV, AIR ASSAULT, AIRMOBILE, HELIBORNE, YELLOWLEG, DRAGOON, PONY SOLDIER, DOG SOLDIER, LONG KNIFE, BLUELEG, INF, DOZER INFANTRY. [nb: Vietnamese term: Bo Binh Co Van (motorized infantry)] Also, short for MECHanic (who was originally identified as "mechanician"), who was also called 'artificer', but was often nicknamed "tool-pusher" or GREASE MONKEY; see RAMROD, SNIPE, BLACK GANG. [nb: Vietnamese term: Co Khi, Tho May]

NavSpeak slang for the general area of the Mediterranean Sea, being the inland sea surrounded by Africa, Europe, and the Near East of Asia; See THE GULF, FIVE SEAS, POND, FLOAT, THE MOG, ABSURDISTAN, THE STANS, SANDBOX; compare THE ROOT, THE NAM.

a piece of metal, cast or struck, variously shaped (eg: disk, cross, star, etc) and mounted (eg: rosette, pendant, etc), bearing an inscription or decoration in relief, which is designed for specific issue as a token of commemoration or as a reward for bravery, merit, service, or other civil or military distinction; see GONG, IMPACT AWARD, FRUIT SALAD, DEVICE, V-DEVICE, OLC, BATTLE STAR, CORD, UNIT CITATION, CAMPAIGN MEDAL, TRASH, BOLO BADGE, Q-TAB, SCRAP METAL COLLECTOR, REVOCATION. [nb: an insignia emblematic of the honors and lineage of a military organization, unlike familial "coats of arms", may be individually enhanced but not personally heritable; v: Heraldry] [nb: Any person convicted of misconduct or a criminal charge by a U.S. military tribunal, or who receives a less than honorable discharge based upon actions while serving on active duty, or whose acts do not accord with the Code of Conduct, and whose actions are documented by U.S. military records is ineligible for the award of medals. Any found or recovered medals (or any other U.S. military items) remain the property of the U.S. government, and should be returned with a letter of explanation to: The Secretary of Defense; The Pentagon (Room 3E880); Washington, DC 20301]

the highest civilian award in recognition of an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors; also known as the "Presidential Medal of Freedom". Established by President Harry Truman in 1945 to honor civilian service during World War II, but in 1963, after falling into disuse, President John F. Kennedy revived and expanded the medal's purpose. The MEDAL OF FREEDOM is awarded annually, and at other times as directed, to recognize recipients selected by the president, either on his own initiative or based on the recommendations of the Distinguished Civilian Service Awards Board. In common with the highest grades of the LEGION OF MERIT, the MEDAL OF FREEDOM may be presented to non-citizens for their outstanding contributions to America. The medal can be awarded to an individual more than once, and may be awarded posthumously. The badge of the MEDAL OF FREEDOM is taken from the crest of the United States Coat of Arms, having the form of a golden star with white enamel, with a red enamel pentagon behind it; the central disc bears thirteen white enamel stars on a blue enamel background within a golden ring; golden American eagles with spread wings stand between the arms of the star; with the whole suspended on a blue neck ribbon with white edge stripes. A special grade of the medal, known as the "Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction", has the abovementioned medal worn as a star on the left chest; or is worn as a sash on the right shoulder, with its rosette (blue with white edge, bearing the central disc of the badge at its centre) resting on the left hip. Another special grade of the medal, known as the "Presidential Medal of Freedom with Military Distinction, has the abovementioned medal worn from a ribbon differenced by a series of white stars. See PRESIDENTIAL CITIZENS MEDAL, DSM, LOM, MSM, GREEN WEENIE, AAM, GONG.

1862 Medal of Honor
1862 Medal of Honor
1896 Medal of Honor
1896 Medal of Honor
the nation's highest award for valor; it was created by an Act of Congress and signed into law in December 1861 (first presented 25 March 1863) during the American CIVIL WAR as a pendant medal, and was the only award for gallantry until WWI. An act of Congress designated 25 March as "National Medal of Honor Day" in remembrance of the courage and sacrifice of the recipients. The MOH is widely misrepresented as the "Congressional Medal of Honor" (CMH, or "Coffin with Metal Handles"), but it is awarded by the President in the name of Congress (hence Douglas MacArthur's second award without review); it's sometimes called "Blue Max". Each branch of service has its own unique version. All awards are presented to recipients to recognize their accomplishment; no medal can "make" a HERO, and no medal is "won" by a 'contestant'. See BREVET, PURPLE HEART (PH) medal, GONG.

the proper designation for a metallic token resembling a 'coin' but intended to be used in non-monetary applications or non-commercial exchanges; anything resembling a medal (GONG) in form or function, especially an ornamental object or device, such as a token that's been surface shaped by striking metal between two dies. See CHALLENGE COIN, COINING, HARD TIMES TOKEN, CHIT. [cf: 'borax: slang for cheap, poorly made, but showy merchandise of an undistinguished style] [cf: Australian brass razoo, British handsel; v: obverse/reverse, cross/pile, ornament, bijou, bauble, gewgaw, gimcrack, trinket, bagatelle, knickknack, bric-a-brac, trifle, notion] [nb: it's illegal to deface, disfigure, or deform U.S. currency; furthermore, the size and weight of commemorative medallions or commercial tokens (slugs) must be other than that of U.S. coinage]

either the M-3, M-5, or M-17 medical supply bag, or the USN "Unit 1" ("Unit One") field medical kit bag, that's packed from a recommendation list by the Army medic or Navy corpsman carrying and using it, who could alter or augment as required, and was slung by strap or lashing; also called the "med kit bag" or "field med kit bag". Compare FIELD SURGICAL KIT, FIRST AID KIT, IFAK; see MUSETTE, CLS, COMPRESS, ASA, APC, SYRETTE, BLOOD EXPANDER, ABO, DOG BITE, SPILL THE GROCERIES, STRETCHER, AGONY WAGON, BAND-AID, MEDEVAC, MEDIC, DOC. [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]

Medical Civic Action Program; military physicians and medical assistants provided public health treatment in many remote VILLEs. See CA, CAP, DENTCAP, ICAP, WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS.

(med-ee-vack) a contraction of MEDical EVACuation, being primarily associated with the helicopter transport of casualties from the field to a HOSPITAL; also called DUSTOFF (1964 radio CALL-SIGN of LT Paul B. Kelley), HELEVAC or AIR AMBULANCE. The term MEDEVAC, which may also be spelled "med-evac", refers to both the mission and the vehicle, with any capable aircraft without a higher priority serving the role whenever necessary. The UH-1 HUEY utility helicopter (SLICK), with its wide doors, excelled at this mission, but transport by any type of AIR AMBULANCE improved a wounded soldier's chance of survival. The sound of a helicopter, probably the most ubiquitous memory of the VIETNAM WAR, is almost universally associated with some form of assistance or relief, and therefore an important factor in troop morale, which made pilots and aircrew more willing to take risks on behalf of beleaguered elements. With nearly 98% of WIAs evacuated alive from the battlefield, and no IN COUNTRY battlefield being more than an hour's travel time distant from medical care, the VIETNAM WAR had the highest casualty survival rate of any American conflict to date. See CRACKER BOX, BAND-AID, CASEVAC, CIVCAS, NEO, EVAC. [nb: James Webb has aptly called the MEDEVAC a "deus ex machina"] [nb: during the Vietnam War, the Marine Corps did not have discrete helicopters assigned for medical evacuation] Also, by extension, any MEDical EVACuation from training or combat by any means; see LUGGAGE TAG, TRIAGE. [nb: Australian and New Zealand forces use the term "CasEvac" for casualty evacuation from the field]


medical aidman or medical CORPSMAN, who's affectionately known as DOC by most troops; also called "shank mechanic" or "pill pusher". The symbolic color of the medical and medical service corps is maroon for blood. See BAC-SI, Y-SI, BABY DOC, BONE CUTTER, ANGEL, FUZZY-WUZZY ANGEL, RAMP TRAMP, PECKER-CHECKER, ORDERLY, SSTP, AIR AMBULANCE, MEDEVAC, DUSTOFF, CRACKER BOX, BAND-AID, SICK CALL, AID STATION, CHOP SHOP, MASH, EVAC, FST, CSH, FLD HOSP, HOSPITAL, LUGGAGE TAG, STRETCHER, COMPRESS, DOG BITE, MED BAG, ASA, APC, SYRETTE, ABO, BLOOD EXPANDER, TRIAGE. [nb: the field occupations most often targeted in combat, because their loss so immediately influences unit effectiveness and morale, are the leader, pointman, signalman, machinegunner, and medic]


see Physical Evaluation Board (PEB).

rhyming slang for a formal "hail 'n' farewell" or "mugs 'n' hugs" DINING-IN; see BLAST, FEATHERS, WITH BELLS ON; compare COMPANY PARTY, SIGG.

the inadvertent collision between advancing forces, neither of which is deployed for BATTLE; an unanticipated combat action at an unexpected time and place by maneuvering elements. If the contact is not direct, the opposing forces will maneuver to make it so (assess the enemy strength and fix his assets) before attempting to exploit an opportunity to pivot or FLANK. Compare PITCHED BATTLE, SPOILING ATTACK, AMBUSH, FIREFIGHT, CONTACT, CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE, SMACK DOWN, DOGFIGHT, PUNCH-OUT, FIREFIGHT, GROUP HUG, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, FRONTAL ASSAULT, BATTLE, BATTLEFIELD, FORCE MULTIPLIER, GAMBLER'S FALLACY, LAW OF AVERAGES.

Marine Expeditionary Force.

a symptom of mental illness marked by delusions of greatness, wealth, power, influence, and the like, which manifests as an obsession with doing extravagant things or making grand pronouncements; being a common irrational component in narcissistic personality disorder resulting in An exaggerated sense of self-worth or self-evaluation; also known as "macromania", it's a form of psychoneurosis entailing false perception and faulty thinking that leads to obsessive or compulsive delusions, as distinguished from the exaltation of "delusional disorder, grandiose type" (delusions of grandeur) wherein someone believes himself to be fated for exceptionalism.

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

(mah-gil-lah) slang for entirety, or the whole thing, especially an account or description made lengthy with tedious details or complications; as derived from a scroll [mãgill (Hebrew / Yiddish)], such as the Book of Esther, Book of Ruth, Book of Lamentations, Book of Ecclesiastes,and the Song of Solomon. See RED TAPE, WHITE PAPER. [cf: brief, summary, outline, abstract, precis / précis, synopsis, thumbnail, sketch, rough account, digest]

Management Effectiveness Inspection.

one of the principal rivers of Southeast Asia (SEA), flowing more than 3000 miles from its source in the mountains of Tibet, along the boundary between Thailand and Laos, and into the South China Sea through nine outlets ... hence its nickname of "the river of nine dragons"; see VTSZ, RSSZ, NAKED FANNY, DEATH RAILWAY, HUMP, INDOCHINA.

an area covering more than 26,000 square miles, and generally raised less than ten feet above sea level, that begins at Phnom Penh (the capital of Cambodia) where the Song Hau Giang branches off of the Mekong River, this estuarial splitting continues throughout the southernmost region (designated IV CTZ / MR4) of Vietnam; alluvial silting has made the area very fertile, suitable for wetland rice cultivation, and host to mangrove swamps. See IIFFV, JUNK FORCE, MRF, BROWN WATER, PLAIN OF REEDS, HO BO WOODS, U MINH FOREST, DOG'S FACE, PARROT'S BEAK, FISHHOOK, ELEPHANT'S FOOT, ANGEL'S WING, BLACK LADY MOUNTAIN, SEVEN MOUNTAINS, HOA HAO.

(mem-khon) MEMorandum of CONversation, being a verbatim transcript of a dialogue, conversation, or discussion that's documented for safekeeping; compare MFR, MR.

a construct that encapsulates cultural particulars and conveys these entities to others in an abbreviated form, such as a quip or cartoon, pastiche or caricature, gesture or signal, gesticulation or chironomia, bagatelle or film clip, including skillcrafts and linguistics. Coined in 1976 by a British biologist, R. Dawkins, from the ancient Greek word for 'imitate' or 'copy', it represents the repetitive manner by which all elements of culture are transmitted, analogous to the biological transmission of genes. The collection of all memes is the basis of culture. Shared exposure to fantastic allusions and pop-culture referents (eg: Mad Max, Conan the Barbarian, Star Trek, Star Wars, Jetsons, Flintstones, Simpsons, Twilight Zone, X-Files, etc) now substitute for social analyses and bridge disparities among interpersonal backgrounds. Since the proliferation of SHORT-SHOT witticisms has been exacerbated by the internet, the meme has become the most common form of expression in social networking, from jokes and buzzwords to slogans and flames, including parodies and visuals. [eg: gammadion / swastika (svastika)] [cf: morpheme, phoneme]

see SOUVENIR, TRENCH ART, TROPHY, INSIGNIA, MEDALLION, CHALLENGE COIN, SHORT SNORTER, CHIT. [v: artifact, relic, vestige, emblem, keepsake, favor, memorabilia, commemorative, reminder, remembrancer, memento mori, handsel]

a small ruled writing tablet for making notes; see BUCK SLIP, POCKET BRAINS, WHEEL BOOK, CHEAT SHEET. [cf: bout de papier, aide-mémoire]

commemorative coin of the
Studies and Observations Group in Vietnam
commemorative SOG coin
see SOUVENIR, TRENCH ART, TROPHY, INSIGNIA, MEDALLION, CHALLENGE COIN, SHORT SNORTER, CHIT. [v: artifact, relic, vestige, emblem, keepsake, favor, commemorative, reminder, remembrancer, memento, memento mori, handsel]


proclaimed a holiday by MG John A. Logan in General Order 11 to the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) on 5 May 1868, it was first observed as Decoration Day on 30 May 1868 to commemorate CIVIL WAR dead. The name of Decoration Day was changed in 1882 to MEMORIAL DAY; and extended to those killed in all wars after WWI. It was proclaimed a national holiday in 1971, and its date of observance was changed to coincide with the last Monday in May. It's known as "Remembrance Day" (or "Poppy Day") by AUSSIE, KIWI, and other UK veterans. See TAPS, TROPHY, ANZAC, BUGLE CALL, TOMB OF THE UNKNOWNS, POW-MIA DAY, FLAG DAY, BRONZE BRUCE, GABRIEL, KOREAN WAR VETERANS MEMORIAL, VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL, MISSING MAN FORMATION; compare VETERANS' DAY, PATRIOT DAY, PATRIOT'S DAY. [nb: more than twenty-five municipalities claim to have originated Memorial Day, from Boalsburg PA (1864) and Carbondale IL (29 April 1866) to Columbus MS (25 April 1866) and Columbus GA (29 April 1866), but Congress settled the dispute in 1966 by legislating Waterloo NY (5 May 1866) as the official birthplace; regardless of where or when it began, such tribute was a sincere and solemn sentiment that became a widespread observance] [nb: many civilians confuse the meaning of the principal national holidays, combining each and commemorating all together at each date; instead of according honors to military servicemembers on Armed Forces Day, honors to veterans on Veterans' Day, and honors to the war dead on Memorial Day] [nb: the Yasukuni (meaning "peaceful country") shrine, dedicated in 1869 to the remembrance of Japan's honorable military dead in battle and recognition of their dutiful loyalty, has become a national "peace" monument since the atomic bombings that concluded WWII]

a decent, upright, responsible, and mature person; see BITE THE BULLET, DIEHARD, BEARING, RIGHT STUFF, WINTER SOLDIER. [v: wight; cf: macho]

the systematic effort to undermine and destroy a person's values and beliefs, and to induce radically different ideas, as by the use of prolonged interrogation, the application of torture and other deprivations, the restriction of nourishment and medicine, the manipulation of rewards and punishments, the administration of psychotropic / psychotomimetic drugs, and so forth; a technique refined during the KOREAN WAR; see BRAINWASHING, REEDUCATION, STRUGGLE.

see DI, RIGHT ARM, LDR, RABBI, SEA DADDY, PATRON SAINT, JUDGMENT CALL, POPULARITY CONTEST. [nb: it's a well established fact that a good Drill Sergeant will take the raw material of a civilian and turn him into a soldier in the same way that he would take a tangled mess of steel wool and knit it into a tank!]

the series of secretive cross-border air operations, from March 1969 through the May-June 1970 Cambodian INCURSION, including Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, Dinner, Supper, and Dessert, as developed by Henry A. Kissinger.

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; a disparaging referent (barbarian) that's sometimes used by Laotians and Vietnamese, these peoples are also called "Miao" or "Hmong". 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.

the Military Enlistment Processing Station, or Military Entrance Processing Station, that's commonly called a RECEPTION STATION or "Reception Center" for the initial in-processing of new MIL-PERS. See PMOS, AIT, AFEES, ASVAB, AFQT, AFGCT, RETREAD, Q-COURSE, OJT, CROSS-TRAINING, BILLET, BERTH.

(murk) short form of MERCENARY (qv).

any venal person working primarily for rewards, especially someone hired to serve in a private or foreign army; also called "soldier of fortune". Formerly, a class of professional soldiers who sold their skills to various sovereigns; but the modern era has drawn psychopaths, criminals, and other corrupt adventurers into this category. Some governmental agencies employ former military professionals ["private military contractor" (PMC)] under contract for temporary assignments or deniability, but selection and supervision is stringent. A popular slogan during Vietnam was: "If you kill for pay, then you're a MERCENARY. If you kill for pleasure, then you're a sadist. If you kill for peace, then you're a fanatic. If you do it all, then you're a grunt!". See CIA, CIDG, PRU, LETTER OF MARQUE, SHEEP-DIPPED, SINGLETON, FREE COMPANION, HACK, GREEN BADGER, HIRED GUN, BINH XUYEN, WHITE VC. [v: free lance / freelancer, soldier of fortune, condottiere, landsknecht, privateer, corsair, picaroon, pirate, buccaneer / boucanier, vendible, hack, hirling / hireling, hired gun / hired muscle, red-shanks, Atholl Highlanders (duke of Atholl ca1269), Hessian, Haiduk / Heiduk, rapparee, filibuster, freebooter, cateran, marauder, despoiler, depredator, rover, mosstrooper, Wild Geese, William Walker's army (Nicaragua 1856), Popski's Private Army (Vladimir Peniakoff), Binh Xuyen (Cao Dai), ninja, ronin, yakuza] [nb: the original "Wild Geese" were Irish patriots who served with Napoleon against England, but their notorious name is recurrent among "hired muscle" seeking prestige; because the legs of breeches- or kilt-wearing Scottish mercenaries were exposed and bare, not covered by trousers, they were called "red-shanks"] [nb: the official history of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) notes that Vietnamese communist forces acted as MERCENARY rebels across the border in southern China so as to monopolize elements of the Kuomintang army, enabling Maoist revolutionaries to elude the remainder, thus preventing a Nationalist Chinese (CHINAT) victory] [nb: just before the Boxer Rebellion, a 1895 coup attempt against the Manchu Dynasty failed because the mercenaries, who were supposed to disguise themselves as civilians and travel with their armamentarium freighted, began bickering over their prowess while awaiting the ferry, and became so involved that they actually missed the boat!] [nb:"When Rome went out and hired mercenary soldiers, Rome fell." by Dwight D. Eisenhower (1951)]

crest of the U.S. Merchant
Marine and Maritime Service
Merchant Marine
properly known as the U.S. Maritime Service, it was established as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce by the 1936 Merchant Marine Act; and like the Coast Guard under the Department of Transportation, is subject to call-up onto active service under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Navy during wartime or other emergency. Beginning with a 1874 Congressional act that directed the U.S. Navy to use its ships for "the instruction of navigation and seamanship", several training centers were created for the basic training of MERCHANT MARINE officers. Congress later mandated, by the 1891 Postal Aid Law and the 1928 Jones-White Act, that ships accepting U.S. Government mail subsidies should take CADETs to be "educated in the duties of seamanship", with these seamen to later be examined for certification. To fill the emergency need for MERCHANT MARINE officers during WWI, the United States Shipping Board established an OCS-type course called "Free Training Schools for Merchant Marine Officers", which trained eligible seamen for officer BERTHs from 1917 until 1921. On 15 March 1938, the Merchant Marine Cadet Corps was founded by the U.S. Maritime Commission, under the authority of the 1936 Merchant Marine Act. Instruction at other centers, such as the New York Nautical School (1874), was consolidated by the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy under the guidance of the Coast Guard and the War Shipping Administration; graduating the first USMMA class in 1942, and dedicating its campus on 30 September 1943. During WWII, the four-year undergraduate curriculum was condensed to 18 months, including an on-board practicum at sea. Unlike the Coast Guard Academy, but in common with the other service academies, USMMA placement is by congressional appointment. By virtue of its CADET at sea term of training during wartime, when seven CADET crewmembers earned the Distinguished Service Medal (DSM), which is the Maritime Service's highest award for valor, the USMMA is the only Federal Academy authorized to carry a Battle Standard. The motto of the MERCHANT MARINE is: "We'll Deliver" ... which they have. See USMS, INFORMING GUN; compare COASTIES, USCG, USCGA, TRADE SCHOOL, USN.

see USMMA.

catch-phrase coined during WWI to condemn the armaments industry, such as DuPont and other businesses that specialized in war materiel, and applied when indicting German production during WWII, then revived to excoriate American manufacturers, such as Dow Chemical, during the VIETNAM WAR ... anti-war PROTESTORs proclaimed that "War is good business, so invest your son!"

under the LAWS OF WAR, the discretionary power to be compassionate or benevolent; as by omission during wartime in an act of restraint or forbearance, and by commission during wartime in an act of tolerance or indulgence ... showing compassion or benevolence toward an enemy or other person who's in one's power, or granting QUARTER to somebody under one's control. [v: clemency, leniency, alleviative; cf: charity, grace] [nb: "Mercy must not be permitted to rob justice." proverbial]

a management system established to reward and advance the members of an organization or society who have proven themselves to be the most talented and capable, regardless of any other assets or preferments; a system that truly exemplifies the adage: "the cream rises to the top" ... historically, every such system has been compromised and corrupted, leading to the counter-dictum: "shit floats"! See RANK, RATING, GRADE, CHAIN-OF-COMMAND, GARRISON STATE, EARN ONE'S STRIPES; compare CAKE-EATER, BRASS HAT, RING-KNOCKER, MILICRAT, KHAKI MAFIA, MANDARIN, WISE MEN, KITCHEN CABINET, WHIZ KID, POWER ELITE, BEST AND BRIGHTEST, BRAIN TRUST, BOOJIE, CZAR, POLITICIAN.

Meritorious Service Medal
created in 1969 to recognize non-combat meritorious service, including staff or support work in a combat zone. This was an attempt to restore the prestige of the BRONZE STAR medal for meritorious service, but became just another GONG for TICKET-PUNCHERs to collect ... it's regarded as the junior (or company-grade) officer's version of the 'Good Conduct' medal (GCM). This award ranks between the Bronze Star and the Army Commendation Medal. See BSM, LOM, DSM, GREEN WEENIE, AAM, OLC, DEVICE, GONG.

a folkloric sea creature, half woman and half fish, that's representative of the class of nonexistent monsters, of mythic animals or legendary beasts; including glacier snake, sea serpent, sea monster, triton, kraken, siren, centaur, hydra, cerberus, typhoeus / typhon, echidna, orthos, Nemean lion, firedrake, wyvern, griffin, chimera, cockatrice, basilisk, manticore, ogre, afreet, satyr, lamia, sphinx, unicorn, werewolf, whangdoodle, sasquatch/yeti, or other teratoid. Compare DRAGON, PROP WASH, and other SNIPE HUNT objectives.

an insulated, subdivided, sturdy container for transporting hot or cold food to troops in the field; military version of the portable "cooler" chest. The metal MERMITE has been succeeded by the "Insulated Food Container" (IFC), made of impact-resistant high-density polyethylene, which uses standardized steam-table inserts, is more convenient to handle, and is easier to clean.

Merrill's Marauders patch
Merrill's Marauders
popular name bestowed upon the 5307th Composite Unit by a journalist after its commander Frank D. Merrill, being a raiding unit formed as Galahad in Oct 1943 to train under Orde Wingate's CHINDIT force in the China-Burma-India (CBI) theater of WWII. After more than seven months of combat, the remnants of the 5307th Composite Unit were combined with replacements to form the 475th Inf Rgt, which was joined by the 124th Cav Rgt and other support elements to form the 5332nd Brigade, or "Mars Task Force", on 15 Oct 1944. The 5332nd Bde operated along the LEDO ROAD until its July 1945 disbandment. The MERRILL'S MARAUDERS heritage was briefly revived as the 75th Regimental Combat Team (RCT) during 1954-6, before being transferred to the 75th Airborne Ranger Infantry Regiment in January 1969 during the VIETNAM WAR. See MARS, RANGER, SPECIAL OPERATIONS; compare RAIDER.


a regular meal served to a group; term derived from a course at a meal, being the quantity of food sufficient for one group serving. Also, a dining room or refectory where such meals are served; sometimes called "chow hall", and since redesignated as a Dining Facility (DFAC); known as a FIELD KITCHEN when setup in BIVOUAC. The hygiene inspections of MESSHALLs are conducted by veterinarians (DVM), not Public Health sanitarians or physicians. Compare GALLEY, DINING-IN, CANTEEN, ANNEX, O CLUB; see BEANS, CHOW, DOG, GI JOE, CHOW LINE, COMFORT STATION, KP, DRO, COOKIE. [aka: greasy spoon, eatery, beanery, hash house, coffee shop, cafeteria, luncheonette, automat, salad bar, snack bar, soda fountain, lunch counter, dining room, lunchroom, tearoom, tea garden, teahouse, sandwich shop, burger joint, fast-food establishment, drive-in, truck stop, pizzeria, diner, restaurant, chophouse, steakhouse, carvery, trattoria, inn, tavern, dinner theater, supper club, brasserie, coffeehouse, bistro, cafe/café, grillroom, bar and grill, rathskeller, nightclub, cabaret, nitery] [v: napery, serviette]

military version of formal attire, similar to a dinnner jacket or tuxedo in its various colors and styles, worn with bow tie, cummerbund, gloves, miniature medals, cape (called "boat cloak" by Navy), and sometimes sword. The tuxedo-style uniform (eg: Mess Dress Blue or Mess Dress White) is required wear by all officers, but the cutaway-style uniform (eg: Dinner Dress Blue or Dinner Dress White), being the military version of "top hat and tails" (ie: tail coat or swallowtail coat), is only required of senior officers. The MESS DRESS dinner jacket uniform, usually called a "monkey suit" due to its decorative or theatrical appearance on an "ape man", as donning "dress blues and tennis shoes", is also called a "penguin outfit", and the white version is known as a "blizzard blazer" or "snow suit". The Army dress blue uniform sustains the tradition of the Continental Army, the lapel facings of which once changed by RANK and regiment. See DRESS, DRESS WHITES, ICE-CREAM SUIT, WITH BELLS ON, SPANKERS AND CLANKERS, CONTRAFOIL, CLASS-A, WAR PAINT, FEATHERS, MUFTI, CIVVIES, PARTY SUIT, DINING-IN. [v: glad rags] [nb: when the Navy specifies a sidearm and cape ("boat cloak") with formal evening wear, officers wear swords and petty officers wear cutlasses; v: Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist and Surface Warfare Officer (aka: WATER WINGS)]

a "throw line" or HEAVING LINE (qv) used to pass across a heavier LINE.


5-piece mess kit
5-pc mess kit
a two-piece oblong metal tray, designed so the latching handle can serve as a support for the reciprocal cover so as to make two dishes; used as either a fry pan or covered sauce pan, the MESS KIT was suitable for individual cooking of C-RATIONS. Any utensils stowed inside had to be padded to prevent rattling. Most MESS KITs were field DX, because it was much easier and cleaner to simply cook in the C-RATION can itself. The best substitute for a MESS KIT is an extra CANTEEN CUP (qv). See CHOPSTICK, SPOON, PARTISAN'S SECRET WEAPON, KFS, COVER, P-38. Also, a metaphor for personal space or private property, due to individual usage; hence, the admonition "Don't SHIT in your own MESS KIT!" is a military axiom equivalent to "don't foul your nest" and "not in my backyard". [nb: when served SLOP or WAD from a field kitchen, the MESS KIT was commonly called a "slop bucket" or "slop pail", as the CANTEEN CUP was called a "slop bowl" or "slop jar" for the dirty liquid filling it ... a direct comparison to "thunder mugs" and "chamber pots", "honey buckets" and "commodes"]

a person with whom one regularly takes meals, typically a COMRADE in the same unit, or a SHIPMATE who works in the same specialty. Since the Army and Marine Corps feed by units, and the Air Force and Navy feed by schedules (sometimes in 24-hour galleys), the interactions and associations during meals is often unique. See ASSHOLE BUDDY, BAND OF BROTHERS, BATTLE BUDDY, BUDDY SYSTEM, TRADE ENVELOPES.

stainless steel mess tray
mess tray
a subsectioned dining tray, sized about 12" X 16", made of stainless steel or thermoplastic in various colors, used only in cafeteria-style food service, such as aboard ships or in GARRISON; replaced by personal two-piece MESS KIT on BIVOUAC or in the field. Due to soldiers DXing their MESS KITs in Vietnam, whenever hot CHOW was brought to troops on operation in the field, the cooks included paper plates to accommodate those without containers; disposable Styrofoam plates and Lucite trays have also been used since the VIETNAM WAR to save on the bulk and cleanup of MESS TRAYs.

informal term for a gunshot trace residue detection process that was used on Viet Cong suspects (VCS); this exam will generate a "false positive" for anyone who works around metal, machinery, and petroleum, including mechanics and farmers, who constitute a substantial portion of the Vietnamese population and a vast majority of the Montagnard population.

meteorological message, a weather conditions report sent from a meteorological unit. Compare PI-REPS; see SIG MET, WEATHER EYE, MONSOON, STORM WARNING, WIND, ZERO-ZERO. [nb: due to axial tilt during earth's rotation, the hemispheric seasons are not the same length, with the southern summer / northern winter being the shortest season, and northern summer / southern winter being the longest]

a cycle of 235 synodic (conjunctive) months, very nearly equal to nineteen years, after which the new moon occurs on the same day of the year as at the beginning of the cycle with perhaps a shift of one day, depending on the number of leap years in the cycle; eponymously after Meton, the 5th century BC Athenian astronomer. See TIME.

(met-tea) a mnemonic abbreviation for Mission, Enemy, Troops, Terrain, and Time available.

Marine Expeditionary Unit, being the smallest expeditionary organization of USMC assets consisting of a Battalion Landing Team (BLT), a composite aviation squadron (SQDN), and a logistics support element.


Mexican Border service medal
Mexican Border
Service Medal
Mexican War service medal
Mexican War
Service Medal
after the death toll rose and border violations multiplied, including the execution of 18 American mining engineers on 10 January 1916 and a raid into Columbus NM on 9 March 1916 that left 17 civilians dead, Congress compelled Woodrow Wilson to abandon his policy of "watchful waiting" to intervene on 15 March 1916 in Mexico, which was beset by freebooters and insurgents; although dispatched with the consent of the Mexican government, the 15,000-man punitive expedition, headed by John Joseph Pershing, unsuccessfully sought revolutionaries (like Pancho Villa) and other bandits, but only exacerbated anti-American sentiments. Wilson stationed an additional 150,000-man border guard along the boundary, but by 24 November, a bilateral proposal (v: ABC POWERS) for withdrawal and joint border guarding had reached an impasse. Wilson abandoned the campaign on 5 February, and extended de jure recognition to Mexico's new constitutional government on 11 March 1917. [nb: Mexican Revolution (1914-19): 35 battle deaths]



a confrontation that neither side can win, or a situation that cannot be resolved without alteration or re-alignment; as an impasse or stalemate, at loggerheads or discontinuance, dead-end or standstill; see DEADLOCK, SIAMESE INSURANCE; compare FALL ON DEAF EARS, BRINKMANSHIP.

under the direction of President James K. Polk and the tenets of Manifest Destiny, those western and southwestern lands that could not be negotiated for purchase from Mexico by the United States were forcibly annexed by this war. Hostilities began on 25 April 1846 over a border incident, so the U.S. declared war against Mexico on 13 May 1846, with several battles until the 24 August 1847 armistice, and the cessation of hostilities on 14 September 1847. About 13,000 U.S. troops died in the MEXICAN WAR, with only 1700 killed in actual combat; while Mexican losses are estimated at 25,000 dead. The 2 February 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ceded 40% of Mexican territory (including California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Wyoming), for which a $15million indemnity was paid. The MEXICAN WAR was fought over territorial borders, but it also served as a precursor of the lifestyle dispute over sovereign autonomy and religious expression later decided by the American CIVIL WAR. [nb: the MEXICAN WAR should not be confused with the 1835-6 Texas Revolution, culminating in the defeat of Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto, where the "Remember the Alamo!" motto (attributed to Colonel Sidney Sherman, 21 April 1836) became a BATTLE CRY; however, among the provisions of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was the establishment of the Rio Grande (Rio Bravo) border and the possession of Texas (annexed 29 December 1845) by the United States] [nb: Winfield Scott commanded the first amphibious landing of an invading army (12,000 troops), supported by a naval task force under David Conner and Matthew Perry, in March 1847 at Veracruz during the MEXICAN WAR] [nb: Mexican-American War (1846-48): 79,000 served; 1,733-13,283 battle deaths] [nb: the MEXICAN WAR changed American smoking habits, from a preference for pipes (typically clay) to cigars and cigarettes]

Missile Enlargement Zone.

MF :

Multi-Function Display, being an interactive computer monitor in the COCKPIT of an aircraft that depicts, in text or graphics, one or more flight, weapons, or surveillance functions, with options and checklists; the Super Multi-Function Display (SMFD) substitutes graphical icons for alphanumerics. The MFD has superseded the instrument panel with its analog readouts. See HUD, VD, PLASTIC BRAINS, SHARON, SIGHT PICTURE, PRIMROSE PATH, HOTAS.

U.S. Army Military Free Fall
parachutist badge
Army MFF
Military Free Fall vertical deployment; see FREE-FALL, AMFFPC, HARP, VWT, HAHO, HALO, LALO, JUMPMASTER, GABRIEL, AIRBORNE, PARACHUTE, JSD. [v: Parachuting Terms, and Parachuting History]

Military Free-Fall Simulator; also known as the Vertical Wind Tower (VWT), and located at Ft. Bragg NC, this training facility was designed by SGM Santos Alfredo Matos Jr. to enable students to practice body positions and other skydiving techniques in a controlled environment. See AMFFPC, HARP, HAHO, HALO, LALO, FREE-FALL.

the XM-177E2 / CAR-15 "Shorty-16" rifle, and the USAF Colt "Commando" Automatic Rifle, which later became the M-4 "Scout" carbine; compare M-6 "Scout" ASW.

M-14 RIFLE :
a gas-operated, air-cooled, shoulder-fired semi-automatic weapon chambered for 7.62mm NATO ammunition fed from a twenty round magazine (MAG), weighing about 14# when loaded, with a maximum effective range of 460m; like the M-1 GARAND (which it replaced), it is FIELD STRIPped for cleaning into three major components: the barrel and bolt group, the receiver and trigger group, and the stock and sling group. Adopted during the KOREAN WAR, it was displaced by the 5.56mm M-16 BLACK MAGIC early in the VIETNAM WAR, but was selectively re-introduced with a composite stock during OEF and OIF in the GULF WAR. See RIFLE. [nb: the plastic-housed version of the M-14A2 evolved into the Stoner AR-15]

(em-eff-ar) abbreviation for Memorandum For the Record, being a formal date-stamped and signed objection, disagreement, or protest that's filed for the sake of accountability during any official review or investigation that may occur after the fact; such an exception by a subordinate will have repercussions, whether warranted or not. Compare MEMCON, MR; see TICKLER, SNOWFLAKE, RBI, PAPER BULLET, FORM, RAPPORTEUR, WHITE PAPER, REPORT, ANNEX, RED TAPE, 90-PAGE WONDER, FILE 13, CYA, PING-PONG, SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT.

MG :
M-1919 .30cal machinegun
MachineGun; being a magazine or belt fed fully automatic (continuous firing) weapon of various RIFLE calibers [nb: an MG fires RIFLE ammunition, but an SMG fires PISTOL ammunition] M-60: American-made 7.62mm (.308 cal) machinegun. aka: PIG, NUMBER SIXTY; design inspired by WWII German MG-42. M-1919 .30cal (water- / air- cooled) machinegun. M-240G 7.62mm medium mg 24lb M-2 .50cal mg (tripod / pedestal) blowback recoil opn 84lb c1919 See HEAVY MG, FIFTY, MA DEUCE, QUAD 50, COOK-OFF, COAX, LINK AMMO, MAGAZINE, DRUM, PINTLE, RAMROD, MUZZLE, MUZZLE-BRAKE, FLASH SUPPRESSOR, SILENCER, KICK, FIREPOWER, SPONSON, LMG, SAW, MINIGUN, FPL, SPRAY, HOSE, ROCK 'n' ROLL, MOAN 'n' GROAN, MAD MINUTE, LOADER, DOOR GUNNER, CREW-SERVED WEAPONS; compare CAR, BAR, RIFLE, SMG, PISTOL, BLOOPER, STONER, UP-GUN. [nb: the first "machinegun" was a magazine-fed crossbow, repeating @200-bolts/15-seconds, with effective range of 80-180 yds, and able to penetrate two layers of body armor, as used by Chinese during AD 11th-12th century. The Gatling Gun, also called the "coffee grinder" due to its crank operation, which was introduced during the American CIVIL WAR, was developed as "a weapon too terrible to be used", in hopes that it would make war too violent to be practiced.] [v: Firearms Glossary] [nb: the field occupations most often targeted in combat, because their loss so immediately influences unit effectiveness and morale, are the leader, pointman, signalman, machinegunner, and medic]

abbreviation for Major General (O-8); see RANK, RATING, LDR, FLAG OFFICER.

Mobile Guerrilla Force; also called MIKE FORCE or STRIKERS. See MSF, CSF, SF, BLACKJACK; compare UNPFK.

M-32 Multiple-shot Grenade
M-32 MGL
Multiple-shot Grenade Launcher (M-32), being adopted in 2006 for infantry operations to supersede all versions of the single-shot 40mm grenade launcher. The prototype Milkor MGL-140, a shoulder fired six-shot revolver, is a modification of their earlier Milkor Mk-1S (stainless-steel) / Mk-1L (long-range) series MGL that was further adapted to MIL-SPEC after preliminary field testing. Barrel rifling is progressive, with a minimum safe arming distance of 98 feet. The M32 has a maximum range against area targets of 400m, and an effective range against point targets of 150m, and this new MGL configuration allows the grenadier to accurately place all six (6) 40mm rounds onto a target in under three (3) seconds. Aiming is accomplished through a parallax-free electro-optical night vision compatible holographic sight that can be adjusted to compensate for long-range shooting. The M32 foregrip is equipped with a MILSTD-1913 quad rail system to accommodate currently issued weapon accessories, such as grips, laser illuminators/designators, and flashlights. The MGL shoots the full array of special-purpose high- and low-velocity 40mm munitions, including the new DRACO (Direct Range Air Consuming Ordnance) thermobaric round, the high-explosive / breaching ("Hellhound") round, and the improved less-than-lethal (M433I) Low-Velocity crowd control round developed by Martin Electronics. See BLOOPER, THUMPER, OVER 'n' UNDER, DOVER DOG, BOFORS, DUSTER, compare SHOTGUN, GYROJET, FRAG, GRENADE, RPG.

Military Grid Reference System, being a standardized scale that's superimposed upon a TOPO map projection of the earth's surface for the accurate and consistent position of locations, or the computation of direction and distance between locations; this LAT-LONG overlay is an extension of Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM), and is also known as "military grid", "grid", and GRID LINES.

MagnetoHydrodynamic Generator, which produces electricity by spinning plasma through a magnetic field.

MI :
U.S. Army Military Intelligence
branch insignia U.S. Army Military Intelligence
branch insignia
Military Intelligence
Military Intelligence ... the classic oxymoron; their unofficial motto is "we bet YOUR life". See CIC, DLI, MIS, FLAPS 'n' SEALS, CLOWN COLLEGE, IR, PIR, CCIR, JIC, NIC, NIE, SNIE, PSYOPS, RUSE DE GUERRE, PSYWAR, ASA, CODE, COMICS, CHATTER, DECEPTION, SQUEEZE, GATOR, SWEAT, SLURPER, CONTROLLED INFORMATION, NEED TO KNOW, OSINT, RUMOR, PROPAGANDA, INTEL. [nb: more tactical advantages have been acquired, and more battle casualties spared by good military intelligence than all the heroism on all the battlefields! ... INTEL isn't glamorous or dramatic, and proper implementation takes skill and courage, but MI is a vital component in winning wars, perhaps the most vital] [nb: the watchword of MI is not "It's better to know something than nothing." but rather is "It's better to know a little more than to be suspected of knowing too much."; "Intelligence is pseudoscience, like astrology; sometimes the outcome seems to prove that your methods and techniques are infallible ... other times, it proves the exact opposite." by Olen Steinhauer (2014)]

Missing In Action; military personnel who are not known if alive or dead in a battle situation. See CIL, JPAC, RECOVERY, MEMORIAL DAY, TOMB OF THE UNKNOWNS, POW-MIA DAY, POW-MIA BRACELET. [nb: approximately 78,000 servicemembers remain missing from WWII, 8100 from the Korean War, 1800 from the Vietnam War, and 120 from the Cold War] [nb: the first war memorial dedicated to the "unknown soldier" was proposed by British author J. Rudyard Kipling, who's son died in combat]

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 "Hmong" 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.


acronym summarizing the motivations for spying, to wit: Money, Ideology, Coercion, Ego; see ESPIONAGE, SPY, SPOOK, SECRET AGENT. [nb: "There are some who become spies for money, or out of vanity and megalomania, or out of ambition, or out of a desire for thrills. But the malady of our time is of those who become spies out of idealism." by Max Lerner (1952, 1959); "What do you think spies are: priests, saints and martyrs? They're a squalid procession of vain fools, traitors too, yes; pansies, sadists and drunkards, people who play cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten lives." by John LeCarré (1963)]

anything insignificant or inconsequential that's given import or portent; something petty, niggling, trivial, or picayune; being a denigrating term applied to unrealistic training or to "make work" duties which waste resources and diminish morale; compare CHICKEN SHIT, SPEEDING TICKET, BOONDOGGLE, SKATE, SLACKER, REST ON OARS, SEAT OF THE PANTS, TAP-DANCER, BLOW SMOKE, FUCK-UP, FUCKED-UP, CLUSTER FUCK, WTFO, SOL, BOHICA. Also, an anthropomorphized cartoon character created by Walt Disney, characterized by white gloves, red shorts, and oversized shoes, it debuted in the 1928 animated short "Steamboat Willie", the 1940 feature "Fantasia", and dozens of other films; MICKEY MOUSE (originally conceived as "Mortimer") has a girlfriend ("Minnie"), a dog ("Pluto"), and symbolizes Disney productions, including the "Mickey Mouse Club" (c1955); compare TUNNEL RAT. [nb: the Disney Studio designed and executed (at no charge) scores of unofficial insignia during WWII, which contributed immeasurably to troop morale]

slang designation for a motor launch that was lightly armored and fitted with three .50cal machineguns (MG) as an improvised patrol vessel in the Pacific at the beginning of WWII; see PT BOAT, PBL, GUNBOAT, SKIMMER, BOAT.

waterproof and insulated rubber boots, with traction sole and ventilation ports, worn over regular issue combat boots for protection in severe winter conditions; these are the military version of insulated overshoes or galoshes, so-called do to their exaggerated appearance. MICKEY MOUSE BOOTS, which were colored white for arctic camouflage, and were designed to readily fit onto cross-country (Nordic) skis, actually worked too well; causing the feet of an active soldier to overheat, and risk frostbite when the perspiration froze. This boot was developed after the experiences of WWII and Korea, when the military issued "shoepacs" as winter boots ... 'shoepacs' (or "shoepacks"), often called "pacs", were heavy waterproofed boots imitative of "double insole" moccasins originating with the Delaware Indians. Compare BUNNY BOOTS, see FOOTWEAR. [cf: mukluk, a high soft boot of sealskin or deerhide, usually double-soled and fur-lined, originally worn by Eskimos; also spelled "mucluc" or "muckluck", as derived from 'bearded seal' ("maklak"), misapplied to sealskin boots]

the expression of subtle forms of discrimination or bias; a form of socially acceptable hostility directed toward anyone representing the thoughts or ideas, observations or experiences, impressions or sensations that differ from those that are currently popular, conventional, or normative. See CONFLICT, LOW-INTENSITY CONFLICT, THE LESSER OF EVILS, STRUGGLE, PLAY THE GAME, FLOWER WAR, SOFT REVOLUTION, COCKTAIL WARS.

to manage or control with excessive attention to minor details; to direct people or procedures with unnecessary guidance; a person exhibits such compensatory behavior as an obsessive/compulsive adjustment to his powerlessness in larger affairs, whether consciously or subconsciously recognizing his impotence, so that his manifest preoccupation with minutia will grant him the impression of, if not actually bestow or restore, some level of reinforcing control over the conduct or disposition of events affecting his life, because he either lacks the strength of character to accept uncertainty, or is too psychicly frail to trust anyone else's judgment and competence. See WIGGLE ROOM, OFF THE RESERVATION, OUTSIDE THE WIRE, CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, VFR DIRECT, UNODIR, SCRIPTURES, READ-BACK, PARTY LINE, EYE-CHECK, RUN IT UP THE FLAGPOLE, CASTRATION ANXIETY, REASSURANCE, MILICRAT, MEGALOMANIA, BRASS EAR, PINS IN THE MAP SYNDROME, HANDLER, BRIEF-BACK, COMPARTMENTALIZATION, HEADQUARTERISM, COMMAND RATIO, LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN, COMBAT EFFECTIVE, DON'T DO NOTHING, DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF, NO EXCUSE, ZERO TOLERANCE, OVERSIGHT; compare BIG PICTURE. [v: in loco parentis] [nb: a good leader cultivates competence; real life always transcends the rule book; "Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." by George S. Patton Jr]

Military Intelligence Detachment; see MI, DET.

diminutive of midshipman, a student at the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) in Annapolis, MD; also known as CRAB or SQUID; see CADET, COASTIES, SNOTTY, DOGSBODY, MISTER, GOAT, TRADE SCHOOL.


the Mid-East / Near East operational area, including Afghanistan, Turkey, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the other countries of the Arabian peninsula (formerly extending to India, Burma and Tibet); see SANDBOX, FIVE SEAS.

misappropriation of government property, also called "midnight redistribution" and "moonlight requisition"; distinguished from "theft" (peculation) in that the goods are used for unit operations, and are not for personal enrichment (poach / poaching) or BLACK MARKET profit. Under-supplied GRUNTs with field skills regarded stealing from REMFs as "good practice" for enemy action. Compare SCROUNGE; see REDNECK CREDIT CARD. [v: "a nigger in the woodpile"]

also known as WHITE NIGHT; see TIME.

in NavSpeak, a contraction of MIDnight RATionS, being a snack (typically composed of leftovers) that's prepared for the watchstanders who are coming on duty at midnight, but the remnants are often shared with the watchstanders of the departing section.

the night shift, usually extending from midnight until dawn; also called "middle watch", and known as "sunrise watch", "graveyard shift", or "graveyard watch". In the Navy, this is the midnight to 0400 DUTY shift, which is also known as "00 to 4" or "balls to four". Compare DOGWATCH; see WATCH, TIME, O-DARK-THIRTY, WHITE NIGHT. [nb: people who work at night and sleep during the day tend to have a more negative or pessimistic attitude, to be more emotionally or mentally depressed, are more prone to becoming physically unfit, and are more susceptible to illness or disease than are daytime coworkers]

a catch-phrase denoting REALPOLITIK, and as ancient a concept as WAR itself, wherein force or power reigns; also represented as "might is right". Ideationally, it first appears in Hesiod's parable of Homer and the Hawk (vae victis), then in Thucydides' representation of The Melian Dialogue (the strong do what they can, the weak suffer what they must) during the Peloponnesian War. Furthermore, this phrase also connotes the rationale for whatever sociopolitical system that happens to dominate society, be it moral authority, religious zeal, legalistic conviction, genetic superiority, democratic plurality, or any other imperative. Prescriptively, the strongest or most dominant element always determines social policy, and therefore cultural norms, in the same way that the victors write the history ... whatever level of proscriptive control or punitive restraint is exercised over divergence or dissent is also a function of that same governance. History has shown that every such system, from ethnarchy and oligarchy to theocracy and gerontocracy, from plutocracy and stratocracy to timocracy and ochlocracy, inevitably becomes corrupt and oppressive, necessitating a change when itself also becomes dysfunctional and self-defeating. The latest iteration of "the will to power" (Nietzsche) is egalitarian technocracy, a pseudo-scientific social Darwinism, that only manifests humanity's obsession with self-delusion. [nb: "But now, instead of discussion and argument, brute force rises up to the rescue of discomfited error, and crushes truth and right into the dust. Might makes right, and hoary folly totters on in her mad career escorted by armies and navies." by Adin Ballou; "Where might is, the right is: / Long purses make strong swords. / Let weakness learn meekness: / God save the House of Lords!" by A.C. Swinburne; "Let us have faith that right makes might; and in that faith let us to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it." by Abraham Lincoln; "Soldiers have many faults, but they have one redeeming merit; they are never worshippers of force. Soldiers more than any other men are taught severely and systematically that might is not right. The fact is obvious. The might is in the hundred men who obey. The right (or what is held to be right) is in the one man who commands them." by G.K. Chesterton; "People believe whatever they want to believe. The sad truth is that being right has never changed anything. Because truth always requires substantiation or enforcement, convention is as good as conviction, plurality is as good as reality, and might is as good as right." anonymous] [nb: "The King's Final Argument" is a phrase that was routinely incised into European cannon barrels from the Renaissance until World War I; typically inscribed in Latin ("Ultima Ratio Regis"; "Utema Rasio Regum"), it means that the greatest weaponry ultimately settles any dispute]

a high-powered blower used to force smoke or tear gas (CS) into BUNKER systems and tunnel complexes; sometimes called "mighty mike". See SMOKY BEAR, POP SMOKE.


(mee-gee) acronym for Meaconing, Interference, Jamming, Intrusion, or for Messaging, Interference, Jamming, Intrusion; see MEACONING, TRICK, RUSE DE GUERRE, MUSIC, NOISE, ECM, DECEPTION.

the phonetic letter "M", representing minute (eg: "one-five mikes" = 15 minutes), meter (eg: "two-hundred mikes" = 200 meters), or millimeter (eg: "twenty mike-mike" = 20mm). Also, the word assigned to represent the letter "M" in the international phonetic alphabet; see ALPHABET SOUP, PHONETIC ALPHABET. [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags]

phonetic representation of MAD MINUTE; also of millimeter (@0.001m or 0.03937").

ARVN Mike Force patch
Mike Force
Mike Force
Command patch
Mike Force Command
either Mobile Strike Force (MSF) or Mobile Guerrilla Force (MGF), also called STRIKERS; composed of INDIGenous personnel trained as airborne infantry with Special Forces ADVISORs, and used as a reaction force or special mission unit. Headquarters under MIKE FORCE Command (MFC), DET B-55, 5th SFGA. See CSF, BLACKJACK, NECK SCARF; compare HOC BAO, PRU, BORDER DEFENSE RANGER, GCMA, UNPFK. [nb: not to be confused with RVN's Civillian Defense Force ("Nhan Dan Tu Ve") which was only a part-time MILITIA]

abbreviation for MILitary or MILitia (qv). Also, a measurement equal to the angle subtended by 1/6400 of a circumference, or a one-thousandth degree, as derived from Latin "millesimus"; see AZIMUTH, BEARING, COMPASS, HEADING. [nb: the 4 cardinal points are subtended by 32 compass points, which are equivalent to 360 degrees or 6400 mils; as a rule of thumb: 1 mil subtends 1 meter at 1 kilometer] Also, a unit of length equal to 0.001 of an inch (0.0254 mm), or a one-thousandth inch; see PEEPERS, ZERO.

U.S. Army expert skill
qualification badge
any vessel, vehicle, or craft, especially aircraft, meeting military specifications. Also, slang for the body of knowledge and skills necessary to perform in military situations; a talent or forte, knack or bent, and also known as "repertoire" or "skill-set", as derived by analogy to TRADECRAFT, priestcraft, kingcraft, statecraft, stagecraft, campcraft, woodcraft, fieldcraft, etc. See MOS, PMOS, BILLET, BERTH, POI, KISS, TRNG, PRESTRESS, OJT, Q-COURSE, BOLO BADGE, TRASH, OBSTACLE COURSE, CONFIDENCE COURSE, COUNTERINTUITIVE, CROSS-TRAINING, TICKET, RATING, PRO PAY, 3 R's, MIL-SPEAK, TICKET-PUNCHER, SCRAP METAL COLLECTOR.

a unit of distance measured on land in English-speaking countries that's equal to 5280 feet, 1760 yards, or 1.609 kilometers; abbreviated 'mi', and formally known as "statute mile"; as derived from Latin (milia passuum) for "a thousand paces". Also, any of various other units of distance at different periods and in different countries, such as Roman mile (approximately 1620 yards or 1480 meters), geographical mile (a minute of longitude on the equator). Compare MIL, NAUTICAL MILE, KNOT, KLICK; see RANGER BEADS.

Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System, being a casualty scoring method for use in WAR GAMES and other modern combat simulations. Compare SIM-AMMO, BLANK; see AMMO.

contraction of MILItary bureauCRAT, being a military manager who thinks that the Armed Forces [later: Uniformed Services] should operate like a corporation; also known as "gutless wonder" for unwillingness to take risks, and as "ladder monkey" for ambition for promotion by imitation; this "stuffed-shirt" or EMPTY SUIT is sometimes known as "buroid" as a contraction of bureaucratic android, or "militute" as a contraction of military prostitute. See HOMESTEADER, LIFER, OLD BREED, TICKET-PUNCHER, RING-KNOCKER, KHAKI MAFIA, FOLLOW THE DRUM, FAST TRACK, UP OR OUT, MIL-PERS, FLATHEAD, WONK, HONCHO, GADGET, ACTING JACK, BREVET, OFFICER, BRASS HAT, RHIP, SWINE LOG, MIL-SPEC, MIL-SPEAK, BRASS EAR, PARTY LINE, SCRIPTURES, HEADQUARTERISM, WIGGLE ROOM, TAP-DANCER, RUN IT UP THE FLAGPOLE, WANGLE, CYA, DODGE THE BULLET, SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT, HIC, PYHOOYA, SMOKE 'n' MIRRORS, BLOW SMOKE, HOT AIR, SNOW, PING-PONG, SNOWFLAKE, CONFETTI, ORIFICE, RED TAPE, PAPER BULLET, FORM, REPORT, WHITE PAPER, PM, ZD, NO EXCUSE, VULCANIZE, BOOTSTRAP, PROFESSOR, THE UNHOLY TRINITY, RAINMAKER, WALLAH, SANTA CLAUS, BEAN-COUNTER, ACETATE COMMANDO, CHAIRBORNE, CHAIR FORCE, RHIP, BROWN NOSER, DOG ROBBER, DOGSBODY, PUKE, DELEGATOR, DRONE, AIDE, RAPPORTEUR, STAFF, TASK SATURATION, LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN, OVERSIGHT, ROUGHSHOD, DOUBLE-DIP. [cf: apparatchik, nomenklatura, eunuch, nabob, nibs; placeholder, chair warmer, time-server, coffee-cooler; checkbook gardener, gentleman farmer, patron of the arts, white knight, fairy godmother, benefactor; meritocrat, technocrat, bureaucrat, theocrat] [nb: "Algerism", an eponym for the politico who was probably the worst Secretary of War in American history, became the national byword for bureaucratic sloath, cronyism, and incompetence, becoming a synonym for venality and ineptitude; after Russell A. Alger, attorney and capitalist, Michigan governor and U.S. Senator, CIVIL WAR Major General and Spanish American War Secretary of War] [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!]

(surroundings, environment; habitat) see UMWELT. [v: Bayes' inferential theorem]

a national policy of maintaining a large military establishment; a policy advocating a strong military. Also, a principle that regards military efficiency as the supreme ideal of the state, subordinating all other interests to those of the military.

to equip with armed forces, military supplies, or the like. Also, to imbue with MILITARISM; to make military.

pertaining to the ARMED FORCES, or "the military establishment", especially when distinguishing the army from the navy; often abbreviated MIL (qv). Also, pertaining to or characteristic of a soldier, the BEARING or DUTY of a MIL-PERS; as derived from MILE (qv). Also, pertaining to WAR or COMBAT. [nb: "The military is not a job – it's a lifestyle."]

a school organized in a manner somewhat resembling the procedures of military life; also known as a "military school". Also, a school that trains prospective officers for military careers, usually as part of a college education; see ROTC, TRADE SCHOOL. [v: Siwash ("At Good Old Siwash" by George Helgeson Fitch (1911)] [v: kriegsakademie, kriegsschule] [v: "What happens in school stays in school!"] [v: West Point slang; Military Schools]


one of a pair of matched hairbrushes without handles, which men use in personal grooming; a component of a gentleman's DOPP KIT or DITTY BAG.


the distance below the top of a hill or ridge, which varies depending upon the terrain, where personnel or vehicles can move without being silhouetted, and from which the other side can be observed. Sometimes called "shoulder", as distinct from the brink, brim, or brow. See SKYLINE, REVERSE SLOPE. [v: Climbing Terms]

a form of 'fiat money' (scrip) that is issued by competent authority as the sole type of LEGAL TENDER circulated for the exchange of goods and services during a specified period, including "invasion currency" and "occupation currency". See MPC, FUNNY MONEY, CANDY, JUICE, THE EAGLE SHITS; compare BAD PAPER, SPIRIT MONEY. [nb: "banana notes", so-called due to the banana tree depicted on its face, were issued by Imperial Japan in countries occupied as part of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere]

the oldest of all dances (eg: Corybantic dances), executed with swords, javelins, and bucklers; and said to have been invented by Minerva to celebrate the victory of the gods over the Titans [in Greek mythology, any of a race of gods (Gigantes, the children of Uranus and Gaea), who lost their supremacy over the world after a great battle with the Olympian gods]. See MORRIS DANCE, WITH BELLS ON, COUNT COUP.

see MFF.

see VWT.

two sets of parallel lines that intersect at right angles so as to form standard-scaled squares, which are superimposed on maps, charts, and other similar representations of the surface of the earth in an accurate and consistent manner, permitting ground locations to be identified, compared, and differentiated as to calculated direction and computed distance; also called 'graticule' or GRID LINES, and forming the basis of the Military Grid Reference System (MGRS).

the administrative rule under MARTIAL LAW of defeated peoples in an OCCUPIED TERRITORY by the military commander of a conquering nation; the practices of MILITARY GOVERNMENT were standardized before WWI at the Hague Conferences of 1899 and 1907, and form a part of the LAWS OF WAR. See MILITARY GOVERNOR, CONSTABULARY, GARRISON STATE. [nb: Nazi Germany administered occupied countries (such as France, Belgium, Norway, Greece, and Serbia) through a hierarchy of military government headquarters (Kommandaturen); Allied Military Government (AMG) began to function (in Sicily and Italy) in 1943, then was incorporated into the MARSHALL PLAN through CIVIL AFFAIRS AGREEMENTs, which occupations were ended by treaty with Japan in 1951 and Germany in 1955; a new convention covering military occupation was signed in Geneva in 1949]

the military commander of a conquering nation who administers MARTIAL LAW for the rule of defeated peoples in an OCCUPIED TERRITORY; the military officer in command of a MILITARY GOVERNMENT.

an informal referent that implies a certain level of toughness or ruggedness, durability or reliability; an unofficial qualifier that is supposed to signify "battle-worthiness"; see MIL-SPEC, SNUFF, SCRATCH, GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK. [nb: "A brontosaurus is a salamander designed to Mil-Spec."] [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]

the network of a nation's military force together with all of the industries that support it; the collective influence of the Armed Forces, the industries that supply them, and the government entities that regulate them; from a 1961 precautionary speech by Dwight David Eisenhower. See BELTWAY CLERK, SAND CRAB, BELTWAY BANDIT, PORK BARREL, PRIME THE PUMP, POLITICAL ENGINEERING, YANKEE, UNCLE SAM, SOG, THE ESTABLISHMENT, THE G, DEEP STATE, POLITICIAN, ACT OF CONGRESS, THE HILL, FOGGY BOTTOM. [nb: "Over grown military establishments are, under any form of government, inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty." by George Washington; "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." by Dwight D. Eisenhower]

see MI, INTEL.

the body of laws relating to the governance of the Armed Forces; the system of rules and regulations that have been established for the control and discipline of military personnel, or any other persons under the jurisdiction of the military, which are administered by military officers or their representative subordinates. See PUNITIVE ARTICLES, ORDER, SOFA, OFFICE HOURS, CAPTAIN'S MAST, ROCKS 'n' SHOALS, UCMJ, MCM, COURT MARTIAL, MARTIAL LAW, MILITARY GOVERNMENT, LAWS OF WAR.

a brisk MARCH, especially a rousing one that's suitable for a military procession or pageant; see PARADE, PASS IN REVIEW, NATIONAL MARCH.


conceived as a "fun and honor society" for the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the USA (VFW) in late 1919 by several members of the Imperial Order of the Dragon (IOD), a higher degree of the United Spanish-American War Veterans (USAWV), it was first opened for membership on 17 September 1920, and made part of the VFW on 24 September 1921. Utilizing a secret three-degree initiation ritual, members are inducted into Pup Tents under the leadership of the Supreme Seam Squirrel, and are kept informed by the Supreme Scratch in a newsletter entitled "Cootie Tickle". See BOY'S CLUB, VETERANS' ASSOCIATION, COOTIE, GRAYBACK, CRAB, COMFORT STATION.

conceived as a "fun and honor society" for members of the Marine Corps League in 1937, with applicant Pups sponsored by two Pedigreed Devil Dogs and interviewed at a Pound Growl; if accepted, the inductee undergoes an initiation ritual. Members wear dog tags on a ribbon (black = Pup, red = Devil Dog, gold = Pedigreed Devil Dog) around their neck, and are organized in Pounds (under a Poundkeeper), Packs (under a Pack Leader), and a Kennel (under the Chief Devil Dog). The Military Order of the Devil Dogs promotes good fellowship among League detachments, and is active in fund-raising for children's hospitals and charities. The name ["teufelhunden"] derives from the Imperial German characterization of the courage and tenacity of the American Marines at the 1918 Battle of Belleau Wood. See BOY'S CLUB, VETERANS' ASSOCIATION, BULLDOG, SNUFFY, LEATHERNECK, MARINE, USMC.

a Congressionally chartered association of veterans who have been wounded in action (WIA) and earned at least one Purple Heart (PH) medal; this organization employs service officers to counsel and represent veterans in pension claims with the Veterans Administration (USDVA); see VETERANS' ASSOCIATION, MILLION DOLLAR WOUND, BROKEN-WING SYNDROME, PROFILE, LINE OF DUTY, WHOLE MAN, PAY DUES, PROFESSIONAL VETERAN.

a single step or stride that's used to coordinate the marching of soldiers in formation, being a distance equal to thirty inches (30"/76cm) for quick time, and three feet (36"/91cm) for double time; see DRILL, THE BIBLE, CADENCE, BY THE NUMBERS.


servicemembers who perform regulatory and investigative police duties within the military, especially soldiers in the Army; compare SP, SHORE PATROL, MASTER-AT-ARMS; see MP, AP, POLICE.

a sharp horizontal crease at the yoke, with bisecting vertical creases descending, ironed into a military dress shirt or BLOUSE, now only worn by performance drill teams; called "military creases" by Marines, they were sometimes sewn-in for an even more dramatic effect; see PISSCUTTER, CHROME-DOME, SAM BROWNE BELT, MILITARY TUCK, TOY SOLDIER, ASU, DRESS. Also, a physical training exercise for increasing upper-body strength; see PT. [nb: this phrase does not refer to RUMOR, PARTY LINE, PROPAGANDA, or publications, such as YANK or STARS AND STRIPES]


an academic classification for the disciplined course of study on the causative factors and tactical principles of warfare that's undertaken as preparation for military service; a misnomer for military arts and their practices; see DRILL, BY THE BOOK, BY THE NUMBERS, SCHOOL SOLUTION, PRIMROSE PATH, PARTY LINE, CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, HIDEBOUND, BRASSBOUND, BRASS EAR, BOX HEAD, MILITARY MIND, TOE THE LINE, ROUTINE, SCRIPTURES. [cf: social science, political science, library science, information science, computer science, domestic science, etc]

the pattern of tanned skin obtained by outdoorsmen (eg: soldiers, foresters, farmers, etc) who are compelled to wear uniforms or protective clothing; being a suntan only on the face, neck, throat, forearms, and hands, leaving the rest of the body untanned. This tan pattern becomes amusingly obvious when the individual changes attire, or is naked. Compare TOC TAN, SAFE HOUSE TAN. [nb: a civilian version of this phenomenon is the "slam tan", which is produced by extended outdoor exposure while wearing protective gear, such as pads for the knees, elbows, and wrists, while engaged in various extreme sports activities]

the tightly folded side seams of the uniform shirt that are held in place by properly aligned and buckled trousers, which presents a smooth taut appearance, because military clothing sizes are only approximate at best. The MILITARY TUCK is performed on all uniforms for a good appearance, but tailoring should only be performed on dress uniforms due to diminished range of motion. See GIG LINE, MILITARY PRESS, SAM BROWNE BELT, SPIT 'n' POLISH, CHROME-DOME, TOY SOLDIER.

that venerable body of "citizen soldiers" (including sailors and airmen) who are enrolled for military service, called out periodically for drill, but serving full time only during war and in declared emergencies; the National Guard or reserve component, as distinguished from a "standing army" of professional soldiers. A "cornstalk" or "broomstick" MILITIA is one without weapons, using simulated arms for drill and training, but otherwise acting as a deterrent by its mere existence or presence. An early prototype was the national militia developed by Philip of Macedon; however, the modern concept of the militia as a defensive organization against invaders grew out of the Anglo-Saxon fyrd, wherein civilians served in times of crisis and then returned to their occupations when the emergency was over. Militias continued through the Middle Ages, declining after the rise of large standing armies, but persist as a philosophical alternative ("citizen soldier") to military careerists (MILICRAT); they're also known as the "territorial reserve" or "special reserve". Also, in the broadest sense, all able-bodied males eligible by law for military service. See WEEKEND WARRIOR, MINUTEMAN, PARAMILITARY, STRIKER, MUSTER DAY, TRAINBAND, DRAFT, DRAFTEE, THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. [cf: fyrd, landsturm; v: pandour] [nb: during WWII, the term "militiaitis" was coined by USMC MG Holland "Howling Mad" Smith to summarize the contemptible condition of reserve units composed of incompetent socialites with obsolete skills, that were oriented toward style over substance and reputation over mission, which needed almost as much (re-)training and (re-)organization as brand new units]

a person serving in the MILITIA.

any ordinary event or routine procedure, especially a safe or secure undertaking in an area otherwise designated as 'hostile' or 'hazardous'; see NO SWEAT, LAUGH A MINUTE, PIECE OF CAKE, WALK IN THE PARK, CAKEWALK, DUCK SOUP, BLUE BALL, ASH 'n' TRASH, TRASH HAULER, CONVOY, LOG-PAC.

any combat injury severe enough for medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) but not permanently disfiguring or totally disabling; a means to obtain convalescent LEAVE for recovery, which is why this wound was also called a "hometowner". First known in WWII as a "Hollywood wound" (by association with the too many fictitious "scratches" depicted in popular books and films where the HERO endures despite the minor inconvenience of a "small wound"), this wound often elicits a temporary PROFILE for a "light duty" reassignment. The wartime rule for anyone who's earned three PURPLE HEARTs prohibits reassignment to a combat role, but serious professionals find a way to subvert this dictum. See LINE OF DUTY, GI BILL, WIA, GSW, GSW-TTH, TBI, PINK, PH, DUSTOFF, MEDEVAC, PTSD, CONVERSION SYMPTOMS, PROFILE, MAIM, MUTILATE, WHOLE MAN, DOUBLE-DIP, THE EAGLE SHITS; compare SIW, DOW, KIA. [nb: the MILLION DOLLAR WOUND is often mistaken for acquiring an injury that "hits the benefits' jackpot" or "breaks the VA bank", but it is actually synonymous with a "minor wound", one that can be recuperated from ... a permanent handicap is not something to willingly seek!]

a 17-point program, approved by President John F. Kennedy on 9 March 1961, to prepare or improve the US military posture in Laos; also known as OPN MILLPOND. See PEO, WHITE STAR.

MILitary PERsonnel; a servicemember in the Armed Forces or Uniformed Services, a MIL-PERS.

MILitary PERSonnel, or MILitary PERSon; anyone serving in uniform with the Armed Forces [later, Uniformed Services], a servicemember or MILPER; compare SHEEP-DIPPED, see MILICRAT, SWINE LOG, BRASS HAT, BOOT, BIRDMAN, ZOOMIE, GROUND HOG, SQUID, SWABBY, SNUFFY, DOGFACE, CRUNCHY, LEG, SKIRT, GI JANE, GI JOE, WARM BODY, KNUCKLE-DRAGGER, GI. [nb: persons or groups engaged in violent conduct against a duly constituted authority or its designated adherents are not entitled to the protective provisions of domestic or international laws; see MILITIA, MINUTEMAN, PARAMILITARY, MERCENARY, GUERRILLA, INSURGENT, TERRORIST]

Military Intelligence (Service) Language School, operated at Fort Snelling MN during WWII; see DLI, MI, CIC, YANKEE SAMURAI.

military slang and jargon, military lingo. Such bureaucratese or officialese may be compared to Orwellian "doublespeak", and subdivided into "NavSpeak" or "ArSpeak" as a hierarchically multiplex mode of convoluted symbolic parameters and indecipherable synergistic algorithms representative of the transpersonal colloquies and interfaced confirmations essential for redundant bureaucratic authorizations. See TALK TRASH, CONFETTI, SNOW, BLOW SMOKE, RED TAPE, TALK THE TALK, VERNACULAR, BAMBOO ENGLISH, PIDGIN, CREOLE, LINGUA FRANCA, JARGON, ALPHABET SOUP, PIG LATIN, DOG LATIN, POLYGLOT, AAAAAAA. [v: drivel, obfuscation, double-talk, nonsense, bombast, malarkey, claptrap, bunkum, gibber jabber, gibble-gabble, bosh, twaddle, flummery, bafflegab, gobbledygook, tommyrot, balderdash] [nb: Zipf's Law of Linguistics asserts that while a few words in any natural language are used quite often, most words are used infrequently, which statistical observation was first made by George Kingsley Zipf] [nb: "After all, when you come right down to it, how many people speak the same language even when they speak the same language?" by Russell Hoban]

conforming to MILitary SPECifications for minimum performance or standard quality. The "good enough for government issue" criterion is based upon the lowest cost for all the required features of any procurement. See HALF-ASSED, NSN, GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK, MILITARY GRADE, SCRATCH, 100 MPH TAPE, 1000 MPH TAPE, FLASHLIGHT, LIGHT STICK, HOOLIGAN, FLASHBANG, GPS, MUGR, ENVIS, VIPER. [nb: "A brontosaurus is a salamander designed to mil-spec."] [nb: the combat zone is, by definition, a destructive area, so whatever exists there is either disposable, replaceable, or made as cheaply as possible to do the required job; 'superiority' is a shifting objective, a changeable goal that must be factored by time and resources, which is always competing with 'sufficiency'] [cf: faute de mieux (French: for want of something better)] [nb: in an effort to control costs and reduce waste, the DoD has instituted a policy of "non-duplication" in military procurement (Military Adaptable Commercial Item {MACI}), such that a mil-spec contract will NOT be let whenever a commercial "off the shelf" (COTS) product is "close enough for government work" and does not require special features; so some name brand items are now in logistical inventory]

a DoD-owned 20-foot shipping container (20'L X 8'H X 8'W), which is the most commonly used shipping container sized for military deployments; see CONEX, TEU, CONTAINERIZATION.

formerly a trademark for a small printing machine with an ink-fed drum, around which a cut waxed stencil was placed so that successive sheets of paper could be fed into it for reproduction; available for electrical or manual operation, and readily portable, all ORDERs and CIRCULARs were reproduced by mimeography before computerization. [cf: silkscreen process, xerography, offset lithography]


slang expression for an improbable course, an absurd proposal, or an unworkable solution; as a vision, prospect, proposition, aspiration, scheme, notion, desire, fancy, dream, fantasy, phantasm, concoction, figment, contrivance, illusion, mirage, chimera, hallucination, reverie, daydream, musing, wishful thinking, brown study, delusion, pipe dream, castles in the air, pie in the sky, will-o'-the-wisp, wisp, ignis fatuus. See COURSE OF ACTION, PLAN B, BAND-AID, RUN IT UP THE FLAGPOLE, WIGGLE ROOM, HOUSE OF CARDS, WET DREAM, MAGGOT, WHITE ELEPHANT, BELL THE CAT, WANGLE, FAIRY DUST, MILITARY MIND, GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK, McNAMARA'S WALL, RAIN ON PARADE.

by shortening of reminder, being someone who serves as an attendant or acts as an escort, especially for civilians or other guests while they're visiting secure facilities or military installations; compare AIDE. Also, slang for a personal protector or BODYGUARD; see PDS, PSD.


usually subdivided into automatic and command detonated, then further categorized as Anti-Personnel (aP) and Anti-Tank (AT) or Anti-Vehicle, and classified as standardized or improvised construction; initially classified as a 'torpedo', whether on land or at sea, they're also known as an "egg", as well as CLAYMORE, BOUNCING BETTY, TOE-POPPER, PETARD, CAMOUFLET, CAISSON, DEVIL'S GARDEN, LSM, CAPTOR, FISH. See EOD, EFP, UDT, IED, MOTHER OF SATAN, LO DUN, TU DAI, INFLUENCE MINE, ALPHA-ALPHA, BOOBY-TRAP, DET CORD, CLACKER, TRIPWIRE, TRIGGER, EXPLODER, INFLUENCE PISTOL, SAPPER, COCKTAIL, SOUP, CHARGE, EXPLOSIVE, BOMB, FANFARE, PARAVANE, RAMICS, MUSETTE, MINEFIELD, MINESWEEPER, COUNTER-MINE. [nb: the Chinese first used iron-cased land mines in AD 1277, modified the casement to bamboo and converted the "ground thunder" mines to self-tripping automatic triggers by 1412, and self-detonating mines were made by 1573 ... mine craft arrived in Europe by technomigration in 1403.]

(forthcoming); aka: metal detector; AN/PRS-4 - Mine detector used by combat engineers; compare FALL GUY [nb: "Every foot soldier can be a mine detector ... once."]

(forthcoming); aka: DEVIL'S GARDEN

(forthcoming); see GUINEA PIG, PIGGING / PIGGED [nb: "Any ship can be a mine sweeper ... once."]

a light (85#; complete assembly weighs a third less than one M-2 heavy MG) but effective six-barrel machinegun (MG) of 7.62mm caliber that's able to fire by barrel rotation (similar to old Gatling Gun) at rates of 2,000-4,000 rounds per minute; first made by General Electric in 1960. Because the MINIGUN (variously M-134, GAU-17/A, GAU-2B) is electrically operated, it is almost always mounted on-board a vessel, aircraft, or assault vehicle, such as SPOOKY, SPECTRE, DRAGON SHIP, GO-GO SHIP, COBRA, etc. Firing the MINIGUN produces a distinctive MOAN 'n' GROAN sound, so it is also known as a MOANING MINI. See HOSE, VULCAN, DUSTER, DOVER DOG, BOFORS. [v: "gat", slang derived from Gatling gun, referred to any machinegun, then any portable or compact machinegun, and finally to a pistol]

an approach favoring the least commitment compatible with accomplishment; making the least expenditure of time, energy, or resources so as to fulfill the proposition or program; having minimal expectations for the achievement of specific goals; offering no more than what is required or essential for attainment; also known as "bare bones". [v: necessitarianism / necessarianism, determinism, fatalism] Also, an artistic style offering spare or simple, abstract or impersonal modes in literature, painting, acting, music and dance, being a popular form during the Vietnam-era.

small RADAR transmitter used to mark locations on the ground for radar-carrying aircraft.

a small submarine, holding only one or a few persons, as used in naval special operations, underwater explorations, or when conducting underwater experiments; a contraction of MINIature SUBmarine, and also called "midget sub". See GIGGLES 'n' BANGS, PRESSURE HULL, MOTHER SHIP, SUBMARINE; compare SDV,AUV, ROV. [nb: a 2-man version, sized about 6' by 70', used during WWII by the Imperial Japanese Navy was identified as a Special Purpose Submarine, and was transported (PIGGYBACKed) on deck behind the CONNING TOWER of a full sized sub (MOTHER SHIP), before being occupied and launched into action] [cf: bathyscape/bathyscaphe]

(mine-ol) a military EXPLOSIVE that was developed early in WWII by the British admiralty to augment the limited supplies of trinitrotoluene (TNT) and Research Department eXplosive (RDX), and was developed in four formulations for use as naval weapons in underwater applications (eg: mines, depth charges, torpedoes, etc): Minol-1 (48% TNT, 42% ammonium nitrate, 10% powdered aluminum); Minol-2 (40% TNT, 40% ammonium nitrate, 20% powdered aluminum); Minol-3 (42% TNT, 38% ammonium nitrate, 20% powdered aluminum); Minol-4 (40% TNT, 40% ammonium nitrate and potassium nitrate, 20% powdered aluminum). As with other munitions, the aluminum element significantly prolongs the explosive pulse, during which the blast wave is positive, making it more destructive than those explosives with high BRISANCE. Since the 1950s, MINOL has gradually been superseded by compositions (eg: PBX) with superior explosive yields and more stable storage characteristics. [nb: Minol must not be fired in artillery shells from gun barrels because there's a risk of premature detonation whenever it's subjected to acceleration over 250 Gs]

an alcoholic beverage of the 19th century made of mint sprigs and powdered sugar in a glass of finely cracked ice that's topped with whiskey, and served with straws without stirring. Compare ZOMBIE; see HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK, HOIST, GUSTO. [nb: during the Middle Ages, a 'julep' was a preparation of water and a flavored syrup, often medicated and used as a tonic]

an American intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with three stages that's powered by solid-propellant rocket engines; see MISSILE. Also, a member of a group of American militiamen just before and during the Revolutionary War who held themselves in readiness for instant military service; see AMERICAN REVOLUTION. Also, a member of a small, secretive, ultraconservative organization that formed into armed groups for the declared purpose of conducting GUERRILLA WARFARE against a communist invasion of the United States; compare MILITIA, WEEKEND WARRIOR, PARAMILITARY, COUNTER-GUERRILLA, COUNTERINSURGENCY. [cf: fyrd, landsturm]


slang for egoism/egotism, excessive or overweening pride, vanity, self-centeredness, self-importance, self-absorption, self-love, or narcissism. [cf: bootlicker, lickspittle]

backward writing that resembles a mirror image of ordinary script, as used when updating flight status or unit movement on a translucent tactical map (ie: written from the back, read from the front) at an operations center; this methodology was displaced by computers after the VIETNAM WAR. See AOC, FOC, TAOC, ADOC, ASOC, TACC, TADC, TAOC, TOC.

(murv) acronym for Multiple Independently-targetable Reentry Vehicle, being the WAR NOSE on a MISSILE that carries several nuclear WARHEADs, each of which can be directed to a different target during the return of the ROCKET from outer space into the earth's atmosphere; also represented as "M.I.R.V."

(m-i-s) Military Intelligence Service, established September 1941 in cooperation with the Defense Language School (later redesignated the Military Intelligence Language School) for training INTEL specialists who could translate documents and interrogate prisoners in order to acquire and assess military information. Military Intelligence Service members, called "MISers" (m-i-s-ers), comprised about 6,000 Japanese-American interpreters, being Neisei, Kibei, and Sansei citizens, who were attached for temporary duty (TDY) to combat units in the Pacific, China-Burma-India, and European theaters of operation. The MIS translation / interrogation intel element assigned to OSS Det 101 operating in the CBI theater with "rebel" GUERRILLAs was nicknamed "Dixie" for this association with "confederates" for shared objectives. During the final year of WWII in the Pacific theater, the MIS published a Japanese language newspaper that was called "Parachute News" because it was delivered to Imperial forces and civilians by AIRDROP from B-29s in an effort to counter the anti-American PARTY LINE with WHITE PROPAGANDA and encouragements to surrender. See DLI, CIC, MI, PURPLE HEART BATTALION, LOST BATTALION.

the detestation, dislike, or distrust of humankind ... a not unreasonable viewpoint, albeit pessimistic, for adherents of the warrior ethos; see KILL 'EM ALL, MASSACRE, BUTCHER'S BILL, WARMONGER, TRIGGER-HAPPY, BOUNCE THE RUBBLE, BOMB 'EM BACK TO THE STONE AGE, DOOMSDAY, OVERKILL, KNOCK INTO A COCKED HAT, GENOCIDE, ATROCITY. [v: misogyny, misandry, phobia, -ophobe (zenophobe); cf: counterphobic]

an unofficial indication of the nation's economic health, a sum derived by adding the percentage rate of inflation to the percentage of unemployed workers; being a catch-phrase used by free-enterprisers to characterize the repressive taxation and obstructive policies of the Carter Administration during the post-Vietnam era.

the failure to properly fire or explode, as a primer or propellant that malfunctions in whole or in part; see DUD, FIZZLE, DEACTIVATE, EOD, CARTRIDGE, SHELL, CHARGE, EXPLOSIVE. [nb: this term has often been misused to indicate the accidental or negligent discharge of a firearm] [v: Firearms Glossary] Also, the failure of an internal-combustion engine to ignite properly or to run consistently. Also, a failure to achieve the intended result or the desired effect. Also, a euphemism for inadvertent or premature ejaculation during foreplay, thus inhibiting the consummation of sexual intercourse; an analogy based upon the incapacity of a CARTRIDGE or SHELL.

the Joint Tactical Air Reconnaissance/Surveillance MISsion REPort, being a preliminary report of information from tactical reconnaissance aircrews rendered by designated debriefing personnel immediately after landing, and dispatched prior to the compilation of the Initial Photo Interpretation Report; providing a summary of the route conditions, observations, and aircrew actions, identifying sensor products. See SITREP, SPOT REPORT.


any weapon that's thrown, shot, launched, or otherwise propelled at a target, such as a GRENADE, bullet, torpedo (FISH), guided ROCKET (steer after launch), or ballistic ROCKET (no power or no guidance after launch); including AAM, ABM, AGM, ALCM, AMRAAM, ASRAAM, ATGM, Atlas, AVENGER, CHAPARRAL, CORKSCREW, CRUISE, FOG-M, HARM, Harpoon, HAWK (HA), Hellfire, Hercules (HE), Honest John (HJ), Hound Dog, ICBM, IDAS, JASSM, JAVELIN, Jupiter, LAW, LGM, Little John (LJ), MANPADS, MAVERICK, MINUTEMAN, MIRV, MLRS, MOAB, Nike-Hercules (NH), PATRIOT, Peacekeeper, PERSHING (PE), PGM, PHOENIX, POLARIS, POSEIDON, PREDATOR, Quail, RED EYE, RPG, RR, SAM, SCORPION, Sergeant (SG), SHILLELAGH, SHRIKE, SIDEWINDER, SKY STREAK, SLAM, SNARK, SPARROW, SPARTAN, SRAM, STEALTH HAWK, STINGER, STRIKER, TACIT RAINBOW, Thor, Titan, TLAM, TOMAHAWK, TOW, TRIDENT, WOLVERINE, ZUNI, and 2.75 "rocket" (diameter of the side- or pod-mounted MISSILEs carried on all older "B" model HUEY gunships and the newer Cobras). Enemy large-caliber "rockets" at 122mm, 140mm. "Stalin's Organ" was nickname for WWII mobile "rocket" launchers [cf: "Screaming MeMe" and "Moaning Mini" at WHIZ BANG and WHISTLER]. See AA, AAA, ATACMS, DDG, DRONE, DOODLEBUG, BOXCAR CHARLIE, SHERIDAN, WARHEAD, E-WARHEAD, PAYLOAD, DOGHOUSE, DRUMFIRE, SALVO, VOLLEY, SLBM, CWI, CATAPULT, SHERWOOD FOREST, SILO, BLOCKHOUSE, IRON HAND, WILD WEASEL, EGADS BUTTON, MISSILE GAP. [nb: The Chinese invented a two-stage ignition rocket in AD 1150, which achieved increased thrust and velocity by choking the exhaust (later called the "Venturi Effect"), with a range of over 1800yds, and was used during battle in 1206. On 16 March 1926, Robert Hutchings Goddard launched the first liquid-fuel rocket.] [nb: "What's the sense of sending $2million missiles to hit a $10 tent that's empty?" by George W. Bush (13 September 2001)]

a pre-Vietnam era catch-phrase for a lag in the technical sophistication or productive development between one nation's defensive armamentarium relative to that of competing countries.

someone who works on, launches, or operates guided MISSILEs; also known as "missileer". [nb: INDIGenous peoples have nicknamed the shoulder-fired version of this weapon an "arrow", and designate the missileer who fires it as "archer" or "bowman"]

the missile system fire control computer room aboard ship; see GUN PLOT.

a symbolic PARADE formation of marching soldiers or flying aircraft where a prominent gap in the arrangement represents a comrade who has died on active duty service to his country. This overflight or passing formation also represents the enduring commitment of the others to continue to march, to CARRY ON the mission. The accountability FLYOVER first became a tribute when performed for the funeral of King George V by the RAF in 1935, and in 1938 at the funeral of MG Oscar Westover by the USAAC, but the first MISSING MAN FORMATION was flown at Japan's Johnson Field in Nov 1951 to recognize the death of a fighter pilot in the KOREAN WAR. As with the burial of USAF GEN Hoyt Vandenberg in April 1954, the KOREAN WAR had made this a new "traditional" practice to be observed by militaries worldwide. "The McConnell Story", a Warner Brothers movie about the death of test pilot Captain Joseph McConnell in 1954, prominently featured the MISSING MAN FORMATION overflight, both the simple vacancy and the dramatic vertical pull-out, captivating an even larger audience. Paramilitary and civilian usurpation of this practice includes parachutists in Canopy Relative Work (CRW) or FREE-FALL formations, antique aircraft and classic automobiles paraded past the mourners, sometimes using colored smoke or lights for special effects, which celebratory display is never done at military funerals. See TAPS, MEMORIAL DAY, TOMB OF THE UNKNOWNS, KOREAN WAR VETERANS MEMORIAL, VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL, POW-MIA DAY, TROOP THE LINE, PASS IN REVIEW; compare VETERANS' DAY.

a specific task that one or more persons is assigned to accomplish, often in a limited time; an operation that's designed to carry out the goals of a particular plan or program; see OBJ, OPN, BALL GAME, THE PLAN, DUTY, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), LAWS OF WAR, THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS, MIGHT MAKES RIGHT, WATCH MY SMOKE, FOLLOW ME, CHARGE, STORM. Also, a group of persons sent to a foreign country to conduct negotiations, establish relations, provide technical assistance, or the like, especially the establishment of a diplomatic embassy abroad. [v: portfolio]

the tendency to extend the purpose of a program, to expand the intent of a project, or to exceed the original boundaries of an operation, putting the participants into difficult or unforeseen circumstances, and causing the goals to change; it is the process by which military operations morph into paramilitary operations, such as combat elements performing civic action and humanitarian aid, or vice versa. Although this expression was first used (1993) to describe the multiplication of military projects for each overseas peacekeeping commitment (eg: Somalia, Bosnia, Iraq, etc), it has since been retroactively applied to earlier interventions (eg: Vietnam, Haiti, El Salvador, etc) when describing similar expansions of assignment. Among ambitious politicians and enterprising directors, there's an understandable tendency to attempt a redoubling of success by adding extra or compound commitments, but this maximization effort generally spirals out of control, making the objectives unattainable, often jeopardizing the original achievement. This tendency to widen or deepen the scope of any task is a regrettable reflection of the super-utilization concept that confuses specialized success with generalized success ... not only is a jack-of-all-trades not a master, but penny wise is pound foolish ... the proper way to expand the mission is to expand the performance base. See GRADUATED RESPONSE, FLEXIBLE RESPONSE, SWEEP, COMBINED ARMS; compare CONTAINMENT. [v: optimum treatment versus negative relapse]

the modern equivalent of 'forlorn hope' as performed by 'enfants perdus' ("lost children"), being a highly romanticized depiction that was represented by the popular Vietnam-era namesake TV program featuring fantastic resolutions to extraordinary scenarios; such emprising fiction was formerly represented as "in like Flynn" (after Errol Flynn, the swashbuckling Australian actor) for those emphatic or dramatic feats of derring-do that were staged for WWII-era adventure films. See BELL THE CAT, BITTER END, SNOWBALL, SUICIDE SQUAD, AUTOTOMY, MOCK-HEROIC, FICTIONAL CHARACTER.

synonym for COMBAT LOADED, and sometimes known as "mission capable", being briefed and equipped for a specific operation; frequently applied to helicopters and their crew, but universally understood as GOOD TO GO for each OP TEMPO period; see CHAMP AT THE BIT, SPIN-UP, LOADOUT, BATTAILOUS.

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

the proper title of address for Warrant Officers (WO) in all branches, and for Naval officers below the RANK of Commander (O-5), as derived from master, as an indication of skill; see CHIEF, OFFICER. Also used informally or pejoratively when addressing a CRUIT or CADET about his unmilitary or unskillful performance; thus categorizing him with other nugatory civilians. [nb: similar contranym is SOLDIER as either fugleman or shirker]

see MR. CLEAN.

designation for jet Forward Air Controllers; see FAC, CAS.

B-25 twin-engined light bomber flown in all theaters during WWII, and still used during the VIETNAM WAR; sixteen B-25 light bombers took-off from the flight deck of an aircraft carrier on 18 April 1942 under the command of James H. Doolittle to strike Tokyo in reprisal for the Pearl Harbor raid by Imperial Japan. See AIR COMMANDO, compare LIBERATOR.

any of various small to microscopic arachnids, including species that are parasitic on animals and plants or that feed on decaying matter and stored foods; see FLEA, COOTIE, GRAYBACK, CRAB, BEDBUG, COMFORT STATION [cf: chigoe, chigger, jigger, sand flea, beach flea]. Also, any very small creature or thing. Also, any very small sum of money; as derived from an ancient copper coin [myte] of very little value; see LEGAL TENDER.

to make milder or more gentle; to lessen in severity; to mollify. Also, to lessen in force or intensity, as when making a harsh punishment less severe; derived from 'calm', 'soften', or 'soothe'. Compare NO EXCUSE; see COURT MARTIAL.

nickname of the Kaman HH-43 heavy-lift HUSKY helicopter. Also, nickname of the Cessna O-2 SKYMASTER, a fixed-wing STOL aircraft. Also, nickname of the Douglas XB-42 experimental bomber.

MK1 / M-1 :
see Mark 1 / Mark I.

MK19-3 :
a belt-fed, blowback-operated, and air-cooled automatic 40mm grenade machinegun (@72.5#) that was developed (1983) to deliver decisive firepower against enemy personnel and lightly armored vehicles to an effective range of 2200m, replacing the Browning M-2 heavy machinegun as the primary suppressive weapon in vehicle-mounted combat support operations. Compare DOVER DOG.

MK2 / M-2 KNIFE :
designation (Mark 2 / Mark II) for the clip-pointed, single-edged, bowie-style, fighting utility knife issued by the U.S. Navy from 1942 as a more practical replacement for the Mk1 / M-1 TRENCH KNIFE; commonly called a KABAR (qv), regardless of manufacturer. [ie: USMC Mark 2 Knife, Fighting Utility; and U.S. Navy Utility Knife, Mark 2]

Marine Logistics Group.

Main Line of Resistance; also known as "main line of defense"; being a standard term in conventional warfare for a FRONT LINE or FLOT designated at the Forward Edge of the Battle Area (FEBA) for the purpose of coordinating all mutually supporting fire, including TAC-AIR and naval gunfire; but does not include the areas utilized by COVERing or SCREENing forces. It's use in a COUNTERINSURGENCY combat zone without static borders or defensive boundaries is indicative of a counterproductive military mind-set See FCSL, TIED-IN, ANCHOR, REFUSE, OBJECTIVE AREA, DMZ, UW; compare MSR.

Multiple Launch Rocket System; see ROCKET, MISSILE.

abbreviation for Mixed Martial Arts, being a sanctioned fighting style of hand-to-hand combat that is less doctrinaire than the traditional disciplines, combining techniques from several schools in order to maximize the effectiveness of "no holds barred" close combat ... a methodology developed in the post-Vietnam era as a competitive sport (involving aspects of boxing and wrestling, karate and judo) but primarily focused on surviving (if not besting) a deadly threat in real life situations. See MARTIAL ART, JAP SLAPPER, TWO-FISTED, KNUCKLE SANDWICH, BOK-BOK, SEMPER FU, BATS 'n' HATS, ON GUARD, EQUALIZER, AT CLOSE QUARTERS, CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE (CQB), ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR.

9mm M-9 sidearm
M-9 9mm pistol
the standard military sidearm, known as a "Personal Defense Weapon", issued to aviators, policemen, and crew-served weapons crewmen, replacing the M-1911A1 (.45cal) pistol and the Smith & Wesson (.38cal) revolver; it's basically a Beretta model 92F pistol firing the 9mm NATO round. A lightweight, semiautomatic, double-action pistol, with redundant safety features, the M-9 is reputedly more lethal and safer than its predecessors; but its adoption was principally spawned by the need to accommodate female marksmen (eg: smaller frame, less recoil, lighter weight, more ammo), in a mandatory initiative to standardize DoD with NATO, and to field one handgun for all United States armed services. The M-9 pistol has a staggered 15-round magazine, may be fired double or single action without a magazine inserted, and can be unloaded or decocked without activating the trigger. The M-9 9mm pistol is also known as the "9-mil". See UP-GUN, PISTOL. [nb: "The M-9 is the ultimate in feminine protection!"] [nb: although the 9mm cartridge is alleged to be "as good" or "better" than the older calibers (.38spl / .45ACP), bullet size and ballistic performance do not substantiate this claim; the 9mm (.35433cal) is smaller than both the .38spl (.355cal) and .357mag (.357 - .361 depending upon manufacturer), and much more under powered than either the special or magnum loads; the .45cal remains the best ammo for close combat, and either .22LR or .22mag is still preferred for execution / assassination ... it has been said that the underpowered 9mm is just a .45cal set on stun!]

Monocular Night Vision Device; see VIPER.

Military Operations Area, or Military Operational Area, being a restricted zone or region that is exclusive to military forces for the period of an exercise or test, with civilian access prohibited by land, sea, or air for the duration; compare AO, TO, AOR, OA, TAOR, CHOP LINE, UA.

(mow-ab) Massive Ordnance Airburst Bomb, or Massive Ordnance Air Blast; being a satellite-guided MISSILE that generates a mushroom cloud; with the acronym widely re-interpreted as the "Mother Of All Bombs".

literally "Mother Of All Fuck Ups", or more euphemistically as "... foul ups"; see FUCK-UP, FUCKED-UP, CLUSTER FUCK, WTFO, SOL, BOHICA.

the distinctive sound of MINIGUN or VULCAN machinegun firing; see SPRAY, HOSE, ROCK 'n' ROLL, MAD MINUTE. Also, the incessant complaints of wimps and whiners, of thumbsuckers and wusses, of crybabies and weaklings; see REMF, CLERKS 'n' JERKS, WANNABE, CANDY-ASS, POGUE, PENCIL PUSHER, ACETATE COMMANDO, CHAIRBORNE, FOBBIT, TOCROACH, FIELD REJECT, BARRACKS LAWYER, SEA LAWYER, YARDBIRD, DUD; compare WORM TURNS, SUCK IT UP. [nb: "Life is no finishing school for young ladies." by Jaroslav Hašek in The Good Soldier Schweik (1930, 1974); "The state of nature is one of general war ... And the life of man is solitary, poore, nasty, brutish and short." by Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan (1651, 1668)]

see MOAN 'n' GROAN, MINIGUN, VULCAN; WHIZ BANG, WHISTLER, BOXCAR CHARLIE, DOODLEBUG. [nb: hysteria is also known as the "screaming-meemies"]

(maug) slang phrase referring to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia (Somali Democratic Republic), where the multinational peacekeeping mission was headquartered during 1992-5. See RESTORE HOPE, SKINNY, AD HOC, THE MED, THE GULF, ABSURDISTAN, THE STANS; compare THE ROOT, THE NAM.

Main Operations Base; being a joint special operations command and support facility established in FRIENDLY territory by a component commander to provide sustained administrative and logistical support to special operations activities in designated areas; compare FOB, AOB, FSB, CP, JUMP CP, CAMP, BASE CAMP, BASE.

a portable (removable and re-usable) rollout access pathway for vehicles and pedestrians that's relatively lightweight and maintenance-free; it has a rigid corrugated surface that provides a safe, flexible and visible pathway that's very durable and "environmentally friendly". The MOBI-MAT, a brand name that's also spelled "Mobi Mat", is used by agriculture and construction, public utilities and emergency services, as well as by forward deployed units of the military as a passageway to vulnerable, inappropriate, or otherwise inaccessible areas, including mud and bog areas, boat ramps and riverbeds, glaciers and beaches, snow and sand fencing, aircraft recovery and portable landing pads, and access for military tactical mobility. The MOBI-MAT can rapidly create a durable roadway that's impervious to weather and will not cause erosion. Available in three configurations, each pegged into place, specific to vehicular or foot traffic; twelve MOBI-MATs, weighing just over two tons, can be arranged to form a helicopter landing pad in a couple of hours. See FARP, PETROL, POL, DEPOT, DUMP, TREADWAY BRIDGE; compare MARSDEN MATTING, PSP, HELIPAD, RUNWAY, GANGWAY, DUCKBOARDS.

slang for military coffee, also known as joe, mud, sludge, washy, belly-wash, jamoke, java, espresso, brew, black water, brown blood, boiler acid, battery acid, and nectar of the gods; see GI JOE.

minced veal, pork, or other "mystery meat", molded onto a stick or skewer so that it somewhat resembles a chicken leg, then breaded and braised; also called "city chicken". See SLIDER, CAMEL BURGER, BOXED NASTY, HORSE COCK, CRITTER FRITTER, CAVALRY STEAK, SEA LEGS, SLOP, GUT BOMB, WASH, WAD, CHOW, BEANS, RATIONS.

a structured competition that tests and measures both individual proficiency and unit effectiveness by staging simulated battlefield scenarios with stipulated time and space restrictions; such a realistic (albeit non-lethal) examination differs from a field training exercise in both its complexity and intensity ... and in its purposeful application of enemy methodologies, is the only relatively "safe arena" where the textbook or "school solution" may be practically refined or experimentally challenged without disastrous consequences. See DRY RUN, EXERCISE, THE PLAN, FIELD EXPEDIENT, PLAN B, WIGGLE ROOM, GAMBIT, DOUBLE DUTCH, PARTY LINE, BOX HEAD, PRIMROSE PATH, MILITARY MIND, TOE THE LINE, SCRIPTURES, FTX, JRTC, NTC, RED FLAG, PAINTBALL, WAR GAMES, RINK, UMPIRE, REFEREE, TRAIN HARD - FIGHT EASY, PLAY THE GAME, SNAKE PIT, DUEL, ORDEAL, OPFOR, CAPABILITY, COMBAT EFFECTIVE, COURSE OF ACTION, SHOW THE FLAG, FLOWER WAR, BATRACHOMYOMACHIA. [nb: such contests, formerly known as festivals or fiestas, have existed since the medieval era to demonstrate common skills and to exemplify social values; v: joust, tournament]

to burlesque or parody heroic acts or manners by an amplified imitation thereof, so as to ridicule the character of heroes and the traits of heroism; a counterfeit or caricature of heroism, being a literary form in which minor players, insignificant subjects, or trivial events are satirized by exaggeration and elevation, as when treated with false solemnity and sham ceremony. See TRAINED KILLER, BTDT; compare VALOR, BRAVERY, COURAGE, WINTER SOLDIER, QUIET PROFESSIONAL, HERO.


a mixed drink containing no booze or liquor, especially those served in establishments where the prevailing community standard opposes alcoholic beverages; derived as a truncation of mock-cocktail. Compare SAIGON TEA, IRISH SODA POP; see WASH, HOOCH, GROG, BREW, THE DRINK. [v: Virgin Mary, Cinderella, Shirley Temple, Davy Crockett, Roy Rogers, Pilgrim's Punch, etc]

a testing or teaching model, usually full-size, such as an aircraft fuselage or prison camp building; see TRAIN HARD - FIGHT EASY, DON'T DO NOTHING, KILL HOUSE, WAR GAMES, DUMMY. [cf: "folly" as a useless structure built as an extravagance or indulgence]

rhyming slang for the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponder codes broadcast (SQUAWK) by aircraft; the transponder code settings for radios that identify different aircraft in flight.

MOtor vehicle GASoline, supplied as low-octane military-grade fuel; see PETROL, POL, JUICE, TOP-OFF, REDNECK CREDIT CARD.

a twin turboprop, two-seat U.S. Army aircraft fitted with cameras, RADAR, and infrared (IR) sensors and designed to monitor enemy operations; the Grumman OV-1 observation / RV-1 radio/RADAR reconnaissance aircraft; see BIRD. Also, a hairdo wherein a narrow strip of upright hair runs along the center of the scalp from the forehead to the nape, with the sides of the head made bare by plucking or shaving; this brush-like strip of blunt hair, along with other irrevocable signs, was originally developed as a mark of distinction and a sign of affiliation, therefore this hairstyle was commonly worn by elite units during wartime and by members of the opposition force (OPFOR) during training exercises (FTX) throughout the peri-Vietnam era. The designation for this coiffure is a misnomer since neither the Mohawk nor the Mohican/Mahican/Mohegan tribesmen of the Iroquois confederacy (Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Tuscarora, and Oneida) wore this hairstyle, instead sporting a patch (3inch diameter) of hair at the back of the crown of their bare head, which was arranged into three short braids ... this tradition is represented in the modern era by three upright eagle feathers (Gustoweh) arranged as a headdress at the back of the crown. Although this "roach" or "hog" hairstyle was worn by Pawnee, Winnebago, and other AmerIndian tribesmen, it acquired its misnomer from Hollywood when it was featured in Drums Along the Mohawk, a 1939 film starring Henry Fonda, wherein the warriors were depicted wearing this hairdo; as with the GERONIMO battlecry, this misrepresentation was enthusiastically adopted by WWII paratroopers, which has imbued this haircut with considerable cachet ... except that in recent times, among anti-establishment dissenters and countercultural activists, it's now worn as an emblem of non-conformist autonomy. See FAUXHAWK / FAUX-HAWK, DRILL HAWK, BUZZ, WHITE WALLS, HIGH 'n' TIGHT, FLATTOP, FLATHEAD, HACKLE / HACKLES; compare LONGHAIR, RELAXED GROOMING STANDARDS. [v: warhawk, rat-hawk / rat-tailed mohawk, frohawk / fro-hawk, lazyhawk / lazy-hawk; cf: roach, hog, bi- / tri-hawk, shark-fin, liberty spikes, nohawk / hawkmo] [nb: due to the fighting prowess of the gamecock, it's more than likely that the so-called "mohawk" hairdo was adopted by various warriors in imitation of their distinctive cockscomb or caruncle] [nb: the red-haired Clonycavan man bog body found near Dublin, Ireland in 2003 is notable for having a well-preserved mohawk hairdo, styled with plant oil and pine resin, dated to between 392BC - 201BC] [nb: artwork at the burial site of Pazyryk warriors depicts Scythian combatants wearing mohawk hairstyles around 600BC] [nb: Herodotus describes the mohawk hairstyle among the Macai, a northern Libyan tribe] [nb: when going to war during the 16th century, Ukrainian Cossacks would shave their heads so as to leave a long central mohawk-style strip, which remnant was then braided or tied into a topknot (called 'oseledets' or 'chupryna')]

a popular Burmese breakfast food available from street vendors and in restaurants, whose ingredients vary with the season, being a thick fish and rice noodle soup that's seasoned with Garlic, onions, lemon grass, cilantro (coriander), ginger, fish sauce, crumbled chickpea fritters, crushed dried chillies, and a squirt of lime juice.

as the personification of fate among ancient Greeks, a person's destiny. [v: fate, fortune, destiny, joss, karma, kismet, 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)]

a Cuban highball of white rum and sparkling water that's accented by lime juice, mint, and sugar cane syrup; its origin is attributed to Francis Drake, and the name purportedly derives from either 'mojado' (little wet, as with sparkling water) or 'mojo' (magic spell) ... a Marine Corps tradition has any available alcohol that's mixed with fruit juice and soda water as being so-called. See BREW, HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK, HOIST, GUSTO.

intuition or extrasensory perception, a prescient or presentiment feeling; a foreknowledge of danger or a foreboding of harm; as derived from the word for the personal magnetism of a VOODOO medicine man, practiced in the art of divination, casting spells, or creating magic charms (amulet or talisman). Term also spelled "mo-jo", and also known as "juju" or "grigri"; but not to be confused with getting a "combat itch" or "battle twitch", or becoming "nervous in the service", which are forms of anxiety, jitters, or fright. A person with MOJO is often calm, composed, and calculating. Its conjuring is sometimes dismissed as 'experience', except that MOJO is not quantifiable ... a person knows, but usually does not know how he knows what he knows. See HOODOO, SPIDER SENSE, COLD ZERO, ABRACADABRA, JOSS STICK, TIGER BALM, PASSWORD, FAIRY DUST, SMOKE 'n' MIRRORS. Also, an alcoholic concoction that's intended to be powerful rather than tasteful; an extemporaneous drink designed to alter consciousness; see HOOCH, BREW, GROG, SPLICE THE MAINBRACE, GROUP TIGHTENER, SUNDOWNER, HATCH, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK, HOIST, JUICE. [v: mojito]

undercover operative or espionage agent; see SECRET AGENT, SPOOK, CREEP, CRYPTO, SLEEPER, INVISIBLE, PROVOCATEUR, FIX, THROW-AWAY, STOOGE. [v: intelligencer] Also, a BREAKWATER, groyne/groin, or jetty used to form or protect an anchorage or harbor, to reinforce or protect a pier or quay; see WHARF.

(mollie) acronym for MOdular Lightweight Load-bearing Equipment, or MOdular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment, which was introduced in 1997, deriving its modularity from the grid-work system of straps that permits various pouch and gear arrangements, including load-bearing vest (LBV) and CamelBak-style CANTEEN (with sipping tube) built into the backpack (RUCK / RUCKSACK). Although MOLLE is proprietary to Natick research labs, any load-bearing arrangement that incorporates a modular grid-work system, regardless of manufacture or application, employs MOLLE and PALS generically ... non-military designs are proliferating in the civilian market. See ALICE, PALS, ILBE, CLIP, WEB GEAR.

a crude incendiary device, usually consisting of a petrol-filled bottle corked by a wick, which is ignited just before throwing; also called a "petrol bomb" or "bush cocktail". The combustible contents may be made adhesive or jellied by various additives, such as detergent or oil. The original formula consisted of petroleum, ethanol, and tar enclosed in a container with storm matches affixed to the top, and was first used during the Russo-Finnish War (aka: "Winter War"); eponymous derivation from Vyacheslav Mikhailovich (Skryabin) Molotov, the Russian commissar of foreign affairs. See IED, GAMMON GRENADE, IID, NAPALM, FLAMETHROWER, SOUP, COCKTAIL.

M-1 / MK1 :
see Mark 1 / Mark I.

M1A1 / M-1A1 :
universal designation for the first revised or improved version of the basic issue of some (unspecified) military materiel, weapon or vehicle, implement or instrument, gear or clothing, device or other item; see EYE-BALL.

M-1941 LMG :
the .30cal Johnson model light machinegun, or JOHNNY-GUN.

M-1911A1 PISTOL :


the second day of the conventional (ie: Sunday through Saturday) week, named for the 'day of the moon' (mōnandæg) in pagan Anglo-Saxon; according to the old rhyme: "Monday's child is fair of face". See MONDAY MORNING BLUES, DAY, WEEK, TIME. [v: cobbler's Monday (Saint Monday or Saint Lundi), Hock Monday / Hocktide, black Monday, blue Monday, oatmeal Monday, plough Monday]

amongst wage slaves, a disinclination to resume work after the weekend break.


a catch-phrase meaning "on the spot" or "on the target", as used when shooting indirect fire MORTARs or artillery (ARTY); this expression is applied to the final marking round or the last ranging shot in a FIRE MISSION before ordering the Fire Direction Center (FDC) to fire for effect (FFE) ... this expression is used because artillery fire missions are very expensive (about $150,000 each) so getting on target as quickly as possible is cost-effective. The MONEY SHOT is also expressed as "on the money", "right on the money", "dead on the money", and is derived from the practice of marking the BULL'S-EYE in archery prize competitions with a coin. Although this phrase also enjoys currency in photography where it represents the most lucrative image ("money-making shot") due to being most impressive or memorable, its application to pornographic "blue movies" (aka: cum shot) is lately being devulgarized for use in all media ... which is unrelated to its MIL-SPEAK sense. [nb: MONEY SHOT is not a gambling allusion] [cf: sweet spot]

a stylized three-legged toad that represents a charm for success and prosperity, which is variously named the "golden toad" (jin chan), "spirit toad" (chan chu), or "wealth-beckoning toad" (zhaocai chan chu); the MONEY TOAD is usually depicted as a bullfrog with red eyes, flared nostrils, an astrological constellation (Big Dipper, or the Plough) on its back, and only three legs (symbolic of the visible phases of the moon), sitting on a pile of traditional Chinese CASH, with a coin in its mouth. The lore explicating the celestial origin of the MONEY TOAD and its relationship with the fabled Chinese alchemist (Liu Hai / Lui Hai, or Gamma Sennin) is extensive; the legend purports that this mythical creature appears during the full moon near homes or businesses that will soon receive good news, good luck, or good fortune, which is most often understood to be wealth-related. The dynamic of the MONEY TOAD in attracting success, preserving health, and deterring bad luck is contingent upon the proper placement of this talisman nearest the workplace, and away from exterior portals or interior living spaces (ie: kitchen, dining room, bedroom, or bathroom) ... the MONEY TOAD is a conduit for the flow of "positive vibes". See MOJO, HOODOO, VOODOO, JOSS, FENG SHUI, JOSS STICK, BILLIKEN, BUDDHA BELLY, FOO DOG. [cf: Sri Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of fortune and prosperity]

a basic monetary unit of currency for the Mongolian People's Republic, equal to one-hundredth part of the TUGRIK; see LEGAL TENDER.

(epicanthus / epicanthic fold) see SLANT-EYE.

a stew-like dish of sliced meat, seafood, and vegetables cooked together in hot broth and seasoned with a hot sauce, often prepared in a clay pot; compare CHOW MEIN, CHOP SUEY, LO MEIN, GENERAL TSO'S CHICKEN, POT STICKER, LOP SLOP, ORIENTAL CRUD; see CHOW, BEANS, RATIONS.

a developmental birthmark, both benign and transient, of irregular shape and variously colored (ie: blue, blue-gray, bluish green, blue-black, or reddish brown), which is present in both sexes but usually disappears between infancy and puberty; a pigmented sacral spot (dermal melanocytosis) that denotes genetic lineage among the Mongols, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Siamese, Malay, Polynesian, Micronesian, Indonesian, Indian, Turkish, East African, Spanish, Caribbean, MesoAmerican, mestizo Indian, Eskimo, Inuit, Inupiak, AmerIndian, Mayan, Peruvian, and other non-European peoples. Having a "blue butt" ('shiri ga aoi') is a Japanese idiom for immaturity or inexperience; and the Koreans attribute the mark to a bruise caused by the slap given by a shamanic spirit ('samshin halmi') to the baby's behind as an incentive to leave the mother's womb.

CODENAME for overt military plans and covert operations scheduled by the Kennedys against Castro and Cuba during the early Vietnam-era, formulated between the failed Bay of Pigs INVASION (April 1961) and the Cuban Missile Crisis (22 Oct - 20 Nov 1962).


slang for the sore irritated condition in the private or nether region of one's anatomy when compelled to persistently perform activities with inadequate hygiene; an equal opportunity malady that plagues men and women, walkers and riders, sitters and standers, regardless of race or creed, color or national origin, especially when CREATURE COMFORTS are complicated by climate and rationing. This inflammatory condition (chafing) produces an itchy redness that causes the victim to walk straddle or bowlegged, reminiscent of a chimpanzee or baboon; this uncomfortable malaise is also called "swamp ass", "dookie booty", "bleacher butt", "roseate fundament", "red ass", "crotch rot", and so forth. See GOYA, BUTT, FOURTH POINT OF CONTACT, EXERCISE, DOUCHE BAG, MARINE SHOWER, PT SHOWER, NAVY SHOWER, GI SHOWER, RAINROOM, WHORE'S BATH, LATRINE, HEAD, COMFORT STATION.

slang for the safety tether worn by an aircraft crewmember when required to move around the interior of the FUSELAGE while the exit doors are open and the aircraft is aloft; a shorter restraint (sometimes called a "leash") is worn by DOOR GUNNERs and JUMPMASTERs who may be wounded or become unconscious while occupying their post at the airplane's open door; this expression is probably so-called by a fancied resemblance to the leash worn by an organ-grinder's monkey.



a casting knot (often a figure-8 on a bight) added to the trailing-end of a ROPE or LINE to lend weight and direction for throwing; a ball-like knot used as an ornament or as a throwing weight at the end of a line, which is sometimes called "monkey paw" or "monkey's paw" by a fancied resemblance; see KNOT, LIFELINE, ROPE, LINE, HAWSER, TURK'S HEAD. [nb: may also be made by tying a bag of lead shot to the end of a rope]

Asian slang for a jail or prison, probably by analogy with the caged condition of the prisoners, but possibly by allusion to the antics of the immured captives; see BRIG, STOCKADE, GUARDHOUSE, CROSSBAR HOTEL, LBJ, TANK, CLUB FED, ADULT DAY CARE CENTER, THE CASTLE, HOT HOUSE, USDB.

slang for a FLYING BRIDGE on top of a PILOTHOUSE or chart house.

denigrating reference to the short, close-fitting UNIFORM blouse worn by soldiers and sailors before and during the WWII-era, being an allusion to the jacket costuming an organ-grinder's monkey; compare MONKEY SUIT, see DRESS. Also, disparaging reference to the short jacket worn by a Navy waiter/steward and Army dining room orderly (DRO), who was formerly (before DESEGREGATION) a contract employee of the government (not an enlistee); see LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, SALT AND PEPPER, WARDROOM, GLORY HOLE, KP, COOKIE.

WWI slang for a squad-sized canned ration (B-RATIONS) of beef and carrots that was unappealing and unpalatable, which phrase has since been applied to any "mystery meat"; see CAMEL BURGER, SANDWICH, BOXED NASTY, SPAM, PUPPY PETERS, HORSE COCK, SLIDER, CRITTER FRITTER, CAVALRY STEAK, MIDRATS, SLOP, GUT BOMB, WASH, WAD, BEANS, CHOW, RATIONS.

(forthcoming); Radio Relay (RR) site atop overlook near CCN/FOB#4 compound; compare MARBLE MOUNTAIN, BLACK LADY MOUNTAIN.

slang for the non-Chinese ethnic minorities in Asia, especially the hill tribes or mountain people, as celebrated by the Siamese when their intervention enabled Thailand to remain independent [v: Lop Buri shrine]; used negatively or pejoratively by most Asians. See MONTAGNARD, YARD, BODE, HMONG, NUNG, CHINDIT, RF/PF, CIDG, STRIKER, JINGPAW RANGERS, ANNAMITE SASQUATCH, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, INDIG, BAJARHAKO, FULRO, DEGA.

an act of imitation or mimicry, usually with limited knowledge or understanding, and little apprehension or appreciation for any potential consequences; typically being a slavish gesture of conformity; also represented as copycat, ape/aping, follow in another's footsteps (sequacious). Also, as part of the larger educational model (represented as: "monkey see, monkey do; monkey hear, monkey say"), this methodology restricts learning to rote imitation without emphasizing understanding or encouraging exploration. Such mechanistic repetition is dogmatic or doctrinaire, not heuristic or hortative; it represents the learning of a process without an understanding of why or how it works, where it originated and where it may develop. The capacity for social learning acquired by demonstration was considered to be an indicator of genetic development and/or intellectual achievement when 19th century biologists began to establish the phylogeny of all the species comprising the animal kingdom. When it does not laud ("Imitation is the finest form of flattery."), imitation devalues its model with spurious duplication or counterfeit reproduction, or trivializes its subject with mockery or parody. Compare KISS, OJT, POI, LESSONS LEARNED. [v: emulate, replicate; socialization, aculturation; evolution, eugenics; "fair use" copyright]


slang for any uniform; see DRESS. Also, slang for any full-dress suit, such as a tuxedo, by reference to dressing an "ape man" in socially acceptable attire; see DRESS WHITES, ICE-CREAM SUIT, SPANKERS AND CLANKERS, MESS DRESS, WITH BELLS ON, FEATHERS, CUMMERBUND, BLACK TIE, WHITE TIE, DRESS.

in NavSpeak, slang for any of various short ropes or light lines.

in Asian cultures, the ceaseless chattering and relentless nagging that disturbs the quiet focus of mental concentration or spiritual meditation; a personification of the background noise or static that disturbs and disquiets someone's affairs. See GOOKANESE, DOUBLE DUTCH, BAMBOO ENGLISH, CREOLE, PIDGIN, HOBSON-JOBSON, VERNACULAR, POLYGLOT, LINGUA FRANCA. [cf: monkeyshines, monkey business]

a wrench having an adjustable jaw permitting it to grasp fittings or fixtures of different sizes; eponymously derived from Charles Moncky, and also called "adjustable spanner". Also, a universally accessible object that may be readily used to interfere with normal functions; a metaphoric obstacle that unavoidably halts progress, or a hypothetical hindrance that compels a change in plans. Also, to deliberately prevent or delay, ruin or sabotage development, especially technological or industrial advancement, as by vandalism or wrecking; see SABOTAGE, SUBVERSION. Also, in its left-handed incarnation, 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.

in AvnSpeak, an airplane with one main sustaining surface, or with one set of wings; compare BIPLANE, TRIPLANE, FLYING WING, BLIMP. Also, in NavSpeak, a planing craft, the bottom of which is in an unbroken fore-and-aft line.

the precept, promulgated by James Monroe on 2 December 1823, that the United States opposed further European colonization of or intervention in the western hemisphere; this unilateral tenet reciprocated for this "hands'-off" policy with a non-interference policy that echoed George Washington's warning against foreign entanglements; being the first foreign policy of the United States, it remained in effect until WWI. See ISOLATIONISM, ROOSEVELT COROLLARY, GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY, PRESIDENTIAL DOCTRINE, CONTAINMENT, INTERVENTIONISM, NATION BUILDING. [nb: "We owe it, therefore, to candor and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those [European] powers to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety." by James Monroe (2 Dec 1823)] [v: "manifest Destiny" was coined by John L. O'Sullivan (1839); "White Man's Burden" was coined by J. Rudyard Kipling (1899)]

the seasonal wind of the Indian Ocean and the nearby lands of southern Asia, blowing from the southwest in summer and from the northeast in winter, commonly marked by heavy rains; often called the "rainy season" or the "wet". See MANGO SHOWER, WIND, BEAUFORT SCALE, SAFFiR-SIMPSON SCALE, STORM WARNING, WINDSOCK, TELLTALE, GUMBO. [v: brisa/briza, churada, elephanta, sumatra] [nb: due to irresponsible pollution and waste disposal practices on our over-populated globe, it is dangerous to drink unfiltered or untreated water anywhere on earth, but especially in "under developed" countries where livestock is not sequestered from human habitation; these contaminating conditions are complicated in some regions, like Southeast Asia, by MONSOON rains and other inclement weather conditions; see WATER PURIFICATION TABLET] [nb: due to axial tilt during earth's rotation, the hemispheric seasons are not the same length, with the southern summer / northern winter being the shortest season, and northern summer / southern winter being the longest]

nickname for the relatively large and heavy, backpack portable, field RADIO (AN/PRC-77) equipped with a "secure net" SCRAMBLEr; also called PRICK-77.


the non-Chinese ethnic tribal peoples who inhabit the remote uplands of Southeast Asia, affectionately known as YARDs or LITTLE BROWN BROTHERs by their ADVISORs; this French term means "mountain people", and is widely misspelled (eg: 'Montaignard'). See BAJARHAKO, DEGA, FULRO, INDIG, CIDG, STRIKER, RF/PF, Y SI, BUDDHAHEAD, LONG HOUSE, MONKEY PEOPLE, BRACELET, WHITE ELEPHANT; compare ADV, COUNTERPART, GONE NATIVE. [nb: extremists or radicals in French politics are also called "Montagnards" by association with those who occupied the upper tiers in the assembly during the French Revolution]

a metal circlet, appropriately marked with the animistic symbols specific to each tribe, that's ceremonially presented to each man and woman after passing through their secret puberty rites; such a distinctive wristband cuff is also presented during the marriage ceremony, and when adopting friends (eg: neighbors, medicos, and civil affairs advisors) into the tribe. See BRACELET.

a four-dent crown style that was adopted in 1899 as the proper shape for best shedding water, which style is known as a "lemon squeezer" peak in New Zealand; see CAMPAIGN HAT.


any megalith, statue, or other great work erected as a reminder of some worthy attainment or noteworthy event; a symbolic representation serving as enduring evidence of occurrence or accomplishment; see TROPHY, KOREAN WAR VETERANS MEMORIAL, VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL, TOMB OF THE UNKNOWNS, NATIONAL CEMETERY, BONEYARD, GARDEN OF STONES, MEMORIAL DAY, POW-MIA DAY, TAPS, MISSING MAN FORMATION. [eg: Arundelian marbles, London's Column, Nelson's Column, the Antonine Column / Column of Marcus Aurelius, the Column of July (1830), the Column of the Grand Army / Column at Boulogne, the Column of the Place Vendôme, the Duke of York's Column, Trajan's Arch, Trajan's Column] [nb: "For those who achieve, no monument is necessary; for those who admire the achievement, the monument is a respectful echo of the attainment; and for those who will never accomplish anything, sordid graffiti defacing the monument is their secret pride."; "A society that does not value the sacrifices of its native sons will not long endure."; "A civilization that builds monuments to itself has ceased to develop."; "The more aggrandizement, the greater the decline."]

nighttime name of ABCCC HILLSBORO; MOONBEAM was a nighttime command and control aircraft that flew with big searchlights at fairly low altitudes, illuminating the ground for targets of opportunity. Also, slang for a FLASHLIGHT.

an almond cookie (ie: flour, butter, sugar, ground almonds, and either almond or vanilla extract) that's made in the shape of a large, flat, circular pastry representing the disk of the full moon during the mid-autumn harvest festival in Asia, sometimes embossed with the Chinese signs of the zodiac; this sugar-type or butter-type (shortbread) cookie, also known as a "moon cake" or "harvest moon cake", was traditionally baked to celebrate the second-most significant holiday in the Asian calendar (after the lunar new year celebration), but has since become the archetypal dessert in westernized Chinese restaurants appealing to Occidental tastes. Compare FORTUNE COOKIE; see LOP SLOP, RICE, CHOPSTICKS, RICE BOWL.

sunlight reflected from the surface of the moon, the earth's natural orbital satellite, during its several phases, except new and eclipse, including the incidence of moonrise and moonset; before artificial illumination (ILLUM) and night vision devices (NVD), the amount of moonlight was an important consideration when planning military operations, especially the gibbous phase of the harvest moon and hunter's moon. Compare LOOM, PINK TIME; see FRESNEL UNIT, FLARE, TIME, SHADOW. [nb: in WWII, during the fall of 1944 and the winter of 1945, when the Allies were advancing into Germany, spotlights aimed at the underside of low cloud cover were used to bounce off light beams that created "artificial moonlight", being a diffuse ambient illumination similar to that produced during a full moon, which supplemental light was adequate to sustain night operations without exposing or highlighting the ploy, as does a flare] [cf: snowblink, iceblink] Also, to work at an additional part-time job after finishing a regular full-time period of employment, as at night or after-hours to supplement income; see OFF-DUTY, SUDS ROW, MIDNIGHT REQUISITION.


a flare-carrying helicopter GUNSHIP; see FIREFLY, SMOKY BEAR. Also, natural or artificial illumination at night; compare FLARE, SLAP-FLARE, VERY PISTOL, BASKETBALL, FLASHLIGHT, LIGHT STICK, BUD LIGHT, NVG, BLINKER. Also, slang for illicit or homemade alcoholic liquors that are clear or without color after manufacture (like gin, vodka, or tequila); also called "white goods", "white mule", or "white lightning"; see HOOCH, BREW, GROG, JUICE, CLEANSKIN, IRISH SODA POP, GROUP TIGHTENER, MOJO, BYOB, DEAD-SOLDIER, TOAST, SPLICE THE MAINBRACE, SOAK, HOIST, HATCH, DUTCH COURAGE, WHISKEY WARRIOR. [nb: "A sudden violent jolt of moonshine has been known to stop the victim's watch, snap his suspenders, and crack his glass eye right across." attributed to Irvin S. Cobb] Also, slang for exaggerated tales or fabricated stories, without the opprobrium of pernicious lies; see TALK TRASH, SHOOT THE SHIT, GAS BAG, WAR STORY, SEA STORY, MIL-SPEAK, RUMOR.

slang reference to any of the several styles of whole-body protective coveralls, typically self-contained, that's worn as a barrier against exposure to contaminants and hazardous materials (HAZMAT); so-called due to its resemblance to a closed environment outer-spacesuit, especially in its awkwardness of movement. See CBR, MOPP, JSLIST, CPOG, BUNNY SUIT, BLUE SUIT, H-GEAR, GAS MASK, DEMILITARIZE.

informal reference to a cryptographic book code, being a simple method of enciphering and deciphering a secret message by identifying the desired words in a particular book (by selecting the page, line, and word count), each party to the transaction having ready access to the identical edition; a method of coding that's both relatively secure and convenient. Compare ONE-TIME PAD; see CODE, KEY, TRADECRAFT.

acronym for Move Out Of Saigon Expeditiously; for unit decentralization and displacement. See MOOT.

acronym for Move Out Of Town; being a program to reduce troop concentrations in developed or built-up city areas. See MOOSE.

Mission Oriented Protective Posture; especially a CBR or HAZMAT protective suit, mask and related gear that's designed to shield against contamination from chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons. The MOPP suit is commonly called a "body bag with a window". See BUNNY SUIT, MOON SUIT, BLUE SUIT, JSLIST, CPOG, H-GEAR, GAS MASK; compare COFFIN, PRO KIT. [cf: remote mechanical agents or servo-manipulation systems for use in sterile, hazardous, or contaminated environments began during WWII with the handling of radioactive materials; initially in the form of insulated gripper arms named "Waldo" (being a cognate of 'rule' or 'command', after the 1942 novel by Robert A. Heinlein), later known as the "Waldo F. Jones Synchronous Reduplicating Pantograph", and now as a telefactoring device, useful in bomb disposal and extraterrestrial maintenance]

in military parlance, the final reduction of isolated pockets of enemy resistance; also expressed as "mop-up"; see SEARCH AND CLEAR or CLEAR AND HOLD operations.

a personal commitment to the ethical principles of right conduct; dedicated or conforming to the established principles of virtue; behavior that's based on fundamental principles of proper thought and action, rather than on law or fashion, regardless of difficulty or resistance. While morality and immorality can be instilled by psychosocial reinforcements, the human animal is predisposed by its physiology to imbue righteous behavior due to psychophysical rewards, from paliatives to homiostasis, contributing to a positive sense of well being for doing "good" (whatever that may be in any particular time and place), hence being in control of one's mental and emotional state, such that one's conduct is self-disciplined, exhibiting good character and proper judgment, probity and dedication as an impersonal commitment to social betterment. See A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, HONOR CODE, CODE OF CONDUCT, HONOR, TRADITION, DUTY, TOE THE LINE, STAND-ALONE, ABOVE BOARD, DUE DILIGENCE, PROMISE, FORTITUDE, GUTS, MOXIE, DIEHARD, ROOT HOG OR DIE, HOLD ONE'S FEET TO THE FIRE, CREED, OATH, KEEP THE FAITH, FOXHOLE CONVERSION, ARMY CHRISTIAN, STRAIGHT ARROW, QUIET PROFESSIONAL, WINTER SOLDIER, PATRIOTISM, SILENT MAJORITY, SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT, BEST AND BRIGHTEST, WISE MEN, MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, MIGHT MAKES RIGHT, THE BIGGER THEY ARE, THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS, DECENT INTERVAL, DOMINO THEORY, KNOW YOUR ENEMY, APOCALYPSE. [v: numinous, deontology, eudemonism; cf: meliorism, Solomonic compromise, opportunism] [nb: "No man is justified in doing evil on the grounds of expediency." by Theodore Roosevelt; "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they've tried everything else!" by Winston L.S. Churchill; "There is no man so dangerous as a disillusioned idealist." by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; "There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men." by Henry David Thoreau]

the mental attitude or emotional condition of people contending with opposition or hardship, especially their indwelling confidence or abiding determination; its a measure of the psychological strength of a unit, and bears upon its endurance and willingness to encounter risks. Some factors affecting MORALE include food and resupply, rest and refit, the status of operations, and conditions on the HOME FRONT, especially mail delivery ... but the most important factor is the estimate of worth ascribed to their service and sacrifice by their leaders and countrymen. See DOUGHNUT DOLLY, CAMPAIGN WIFE, SALLY, USO, AFR, AFRTN, MAIL CALL, SUGAR REPORT, CARE, MARS, SPECIAL SERVICES, FIELD HOUSE, PASS, LIBERTY, R&R, LEAVE, ATTABOY, PRO PAY, RESPECT, PAY DUES, I WAS THERE, FRUIT SALAD, GONG, TRASH, BOLO BADGE, PATCH, V-CAMPAIGN, VICTORY TASK FORCE, WAKE UP, BATTLE CRY, JODY CALL, ESPRIT DE CORPS, THE EDGE, FORCE MULTIPLIER, BLOOD CHIT, DEATH CARD, MEDEVAC, I&I, H&I, PSYOPS, WAR OF NERVES, PSYWAR, MUSHROOM, SUBVERSION, WHITE PROPAGANDA, BULLSHIT BOMB, PROPAGANDA, DISINFORMATION, SOAP CHIPS, SCRIPTURES, WIGGLE ROOM, OFF THE RESERVATION, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), NFZ, COLLATERAL DAMAGE, HEADQUARTERISM, BRASS EAR, MICROMANAGEMENT, CYA, CHICKEN SHIT, MICKEY MOUSE, BITCH, BAD-MOUTH, MOAN 'n' GROAN, PECKER CHECK, SUCK IT UP, SWEAT HOG, GUNG-HO, WETSU, HARD CHARGER, FIDO, WATCH MY SMOKE, DIEHARD, ROOT HOG OR DIE, BITE THE BULLET, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, GUSTO, A FINE AND PLEASANT MISERY. [nb: the field occupations most often targeted in combat, because their loss so immediately influences unit effectiveness and morale, are the leader, pointman, signalman, machinegunner, and medic]

unofficial emblems, often of local manufacture, that are worn with or without authorization, as for expressing esprit (eg: PATRIOTISM, GUSTO, HOOAH, OORAH, YUT, GUNG-HO, WETSU, UCGC, SEMPER FI, KEEP THE FAITH, ESPRIT DE CORPS), as for celebrating achievement (eg: skill rating, class graduation, combat missions completed, promotion), and for commemorating an event (eg: deployment or assignment, training exercise participation, unit or weapon activation, retirement of weapon or vehicle, unit deactivation, heritage or lineage, milestone or anniversary); when the COMMAND ELEMENT does not permit these novelty items to be openly displayed, they are typically concealed by mounting inside a hat or helmet, inside a BLOUSE or FLIGHT SUIT, as an informal protest against political-correctness or censorship.

an emotional wound stemming from an unjustifiable crisis; an act of transgression that creates dissonance and conflict because it violates assumptions and beliefs about right and wrong and personal goodness; philosophical anguish over the sense of betrayal for a societal commitment that has unraveled, leaving the military participants to assume the blame for a strategic failure, especially national abandonment.

see MORAL COURAGE, MORAL VICTORY, HONOR, HONOR CODE, CODE OF CONDUCT, CREED, OATH, PROMISE, TRADITION, DUTY, TOE THE LINE, ABOVE BOARD, SUMMUM BONUM, DUE DILIGENCE, CORE VALUES, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, KEEP THE FAITH, STRAIGHT ARROW, PATRIOTISM, THE BIGGER THEY ARE, MIGHT MAKES RIGHT, THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS, WINTER SOLDIER, MORAL WATERSHED, MORAL INJURY. [nb: "Morality is contraband in war." by Mohandas K. Gandhi (vol 1 ch 268 Non-Violence in Peace and War 1942); "For morality life is a war, and the service of the highest is a sort of cosmic patriotism which also calls for volunteers." by William James ("Circumscription of the Topic", The Varieties of Religious Experience 1902); "Our whole life is startlingly moral. There is never an instant's truce between virtue and vice. Goodness is the only investment that never fails. ... the laws of the universe are not indifferent, but are forever on the side of the most sensitive. Listen to every zephyr for some reproof, for it is surely there, and he is unfortunate who does not hear it." by Henry David Thoreau (Walden 1854); "Of all the habits and dispositions which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports." by George Washington (Farewell Address 17 Sep 1796); "The moral difference between a soldier and a civilian is that the soldier accepts personal responsibility for the safety of the body politic of which he is a member. The civilian does not." by Robert A. Heinlein; "Introspection is the price of morality, and morality is the price of civilization."; "Conventional wisdom asserts that law separates barbarism from civilization, but it's morality that truly impels justice and every other set of honorable values or principles."] [v: synderesis / synteresis] [cf: debaucher/debauchee: one who has been seduced from duty or virtue; one who subverts or corrupts another's virtue]

an allegorical dramatic form that was in vogue during the late medieval era, wherein the vices (ie: seven deadly sins) and the virtues (ie: seven cardinal virtues) were personified so that manifest good could be shown to triumph over encroaching evil. Developed from the ancient Greek and Roman hero tales, these portrayals presented the conflicts confronting people in their everyday lives, and established civilized solutions to common dilemmas. Some of the better known compositions include: Langland's Piers Plowman, Spenser's Faerie Queene, Dante's Divine Comedy, Dunbar's "The Dance of the Sevin Deidly Synnis" in Fasternis Evin in Hell, Chaucer's "Parson's Tale" in The Canterbury Tales, Everyman, Mankind, The Castle of Perseverance, Lindsay's Ane Pleasant Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis, Skelton's Magnyfycence, Bale's King John. [v: miracle play, No / Noh theatre]

(forthcoming); see THE BIGGER THEY ARE, LAST STAND. [nb: an adage addressing the unanticipated consequences of "right" or "proper" action: "The breeze from the flutter of a butterfly's wings will create a storm in the next valley."; "Though the youth at last grows indifferent, the laws of the universe are not indifferent, but are forever on the side of the most sensitive. Listen to every zephyr for some reproof, for it is surely there, and he is unfortunate who does not hear it." by Henry David Thoreau; "Military power wins battles, but spiritual power wins wars." by George Catlett Marshall; "My strength is as the strength of ten, / Because my heart is pure." by Alfred Lord Tennyson; "What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted?" by William Shakespeare; cf: BIG PICTURE, RIGHT STUFF]

a point of division or transition between morality and immorality, between rectitude and turpitude, especially when designating the last bastion of probity. [v: moral sense]

now meaning an admirable custom that's too often neglected, this catch-phrase has reversed its meaning since its inception, where it formerly identified deplorable practices that should be avoided or abandoned in favor of more enlightened mannerisms ... the reference is to celebrations that are so boorish that they detract from the achievements that prompted them. See CUSTOMS AND COURTESIES OF THE SERVICE, INSTITUTIONAL MEMORY, IF IT WEREN'T FOR THE HONOR OF THE THING, ESPRIT DE CORPS, TRADITION. [nb: "But to my mind, though I am native here And to the manner born, it is a custom More honored in the breach than the observance." by William Shakespeare, act 1 sc 4 Hamlet (1602)]

see CAT SKINNER. [aka: "more than one way to gut a fish"] [cf: "There's more than one way to kill a cat than to choke it with cream." adage]

a repository for human remains; a place in which dead bodies are kept, especially those pending investigation or identification prior to burial; see BUTCHER'S BILL, BODY-SNATCHER, LAID BY THE WALL, RECOVERY, GRAVES REGISTRATION, MORTUARY AFFAIRS. [v: autopsy / postmortem examination] Also, a reference file of previously published articles, notices, announcements, and photos in the office of a periodical publisher, especially the room where such reference files are housed; as derived from the entry room [to face bravely or defiantly (morguehaughtiness)] of a prison; compare OBITUARY, NECROLOGY, EPITAPH.


see OFFICER'S CALL (aka: "Captain's Call" on-board ships); compare EVENING PRAYERS.

the military considers the MORNING REPORT to be its most important form, hence it is designated Form 1, listing the status (ie: present, hospitalized, incarcerated, on leave, etc) of all assigned personnel, while the most common is Form 1049 for requests of all kinds to senior authority; such time-consuming FORMS and REPORTS were derisively called PAPER BULLETs during the American CIVIL WAR. Compare SWINE LOG; see FORM, 201 FILE, LOG, WAR DIARY. [nb: "If it isn't documented then it doesn't exist!"]

a narcotic alkaloid (C17H19NO3H2O) extracted from opium (first isolated 1806) for use as a pain reliever and sedative; also called "morphia" and named after Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams; when administered in the field (directly through clothing in an emergency), the empty SYRETTE was supposed to be attached to the patient's collar, with a capital letter 'M' marking (in grease pencil, blood, or iodine / thimerosal) his forehead, so that intake medicos would be aware of the field treatment when receiving the (often undocumented) casualty from the combat zone. [v: "First Aid for Soldiers" (FM 21-11 dtd 7 April 1943)]

a law providing for the distribution of public lands to the states with the proviso that at least one college in each state be dedicated to the study of agricultural and industrial arts; introduced by Justin S. Morrill, this bill was vetoed by James Buchanan in 1859 before being signed into law by Abraham Lincoln in 1862. Educational funding for these schools was augmented by the 1887 Hatch Act, and 69 land-grant colleges were established by this legislation. Also known as the Land-Grant College Act, this law provides for the training of citizen soldiers under the Reserve Officer's Training Corps (ROTC).

a corruption of "Moors' dance" from which the traditional military cotillion derives; see WITH BELLS ON.

an arbitrary alphanumeric system of short and long sounds or flashes, separated by spaces, that's used to signal messages; also known as "Morse's alphabet" or "telegrapher's signs". [nb: in standardizing the transmission speed of the International Code, the following relationships exist between the elements: 1) the "dit" (dot) is the basic unit of length; 2) the "dah" (dash) is equal in length to three dits; 3) the space (pause) between dits and dahs within a character (letter) is equal to one dit; 4) the space between characters (letters) in a word is equal to three dits; 5) the space between words is equal to seven dits. (TM-11-459/TO 31-3-16 - Sept 1957) Operator transmission speed rating, measured in words-per-minute (WPM), is established by counting the number of times the 5-letter word 'PARIS' is sent in one minute] See CW, EOT, GA, HAND, II, ROGER, SOS, RADIO, SALTING, TWX, ALDIS LAMP, HELIOGRAPH, SIGNAL MIRROR, DITTY-DOT, WIGWAG / WIGWAGGER, TAP CODE, NIGHT WRITING, BAMBOO TELEGRAPH. [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags] [nb: in 1832, Samuel F.B. Morse was intrigued by the idea, propounded by André Marie Ampère, of transmitting code electrically, so set about developing it with the aid of Leonard Gale, Joseph Henry, and Alfred Vail; the first message ("successful experiment with telegraph") was sent on 4 Sept 1837, and was patented on 20 June 1840 with the demonstration test message: "What hath God wrought"] [nb: the original American Morse Code included pauses within some letters, but in 1920 the simplified International Morse Code (aka: Continental Code) eliminated them, and changed some letter patterns (11 letters, 9 numbers, and punctuation)]

81mm mortar
81mm mortar
a large bore, muzzle-loading, indirect high-angle fire weapon, with either a rifled- or SMOOTHBORE short-barreled cannon, and usually of shorter range than a HOWITZER that a skilled crew can discharge every 4-6 seconds; including the 60mm (M-224) ranging to 2000m, the 81mm (M-29, M-252, M-291) ranging to 3500m, and the 4.2-inch (M-30) ranging to 6000m. MORTAR is abbreviated "mtr", and is also called "vest-pocket artillery", "mortie", STOVEPIPE, and PISS TUBE. See FOUR DEUCE, PETARD, BARBETTE, CREW-SERVED WEAPONS, LOADER, SHOT OUT, FDC, FIRE MISSION, MONEY SHOT, HIGH ANGLE HELL, IN-COMING, DANGER CLOSE, DEVIATION, DELIVERY ERROR, CEP, DISPERSION ERROR, HORIZONTAL ERROR, BIPOD, BASEPLATE, HANG FIRE, DONKEY DICK, NLOS-C, FIRE FINDER, APC, UP-GUN. [cf: bombard as the earliest type of indirect cannon launching stones, from "noise" (bomb) and "stone-throwing engine" (bombarda)] [v: ship mounted "carronade" ca1779] [nb: the surplus propellant from mortar and artillery fire can be ignited to sterilize the contents of a cesspool [eg: SLIT TRENCH, CAT HOLE], and thus maintain local sanitation]

a combat arms soldier (11C) trained as a member of a crew to operate and maintain a MORTAR that will fire in support of platoon (PLT) or company (CO) operations, including bombs, illumination, or devices (eg: sensors, LIFELINEs, etc). See CREW-SERVED WEAPONS.

covers the search for, recovery, identification, preparation, and disposition of remains of persons for whom the Armed Services are responsible by status and Executive Order. The joint Mortuary Affairs Office is a theater-level command responsible for planning, monitoring, and executing programs while maintaining pertinent data on the recovery, identification, and disposition of all US dead and missing in the assigned theater. See NOK, KIA, DOW, PERSONAL EFFECTS, KINFORMING, HUG SQUAD, GHOUL, BODY BAG, RICE KRISPIES, CRISPY CRITTER, FLOATER, CREATURE FEATURE, PICNIC, GRAVES REGISTRATION, BODY-SNATCHER, PRP, RECOVERY, CIL, JPAC, LAID BY THE WALL, FUNERAL PACE, PALL, PALLBEARER, NATIONAL CEMETERY, BOX JOB, BONEYARD, GARDEN OF STONES, TOMB, CATAFALQUE, DAVY JONES'S LOCKER. [nb: funeral (disposal) versus funeral ritual (memorial); about a third of veteran burials in NATIONAL CEMETERYs are unattended, and veteran family burials are stacked in the same gravesite; while graveyards in America are relocated whenever the public requires the space (eminent domain), the gravesites in European cemeteries have long been exchanged for replacement occupancy, sometimes stacked, sometimes vacated; mortuary options include: (burial) decomposition, (immolation) cremation, (predatory) digestion, (transplant/dissection) medical research,(lime) water reduction, in line (ph neutral) composting, or freezedry pulverization] [nb: although the immolation of a corpse on a pyre was used in ancient Europe (eg: Vikings, Greeks) and is a Hindu tradition, cremation was not employed as a method of corpse disposal in America until 1874, but is now the preferred mode, with cremains either scattered or vaulted in a columbarium; the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not regulate crematoria, because the public does not want the reduction of human remains to be treated like the disposal of "solid waste" (incinerators are regulated by the Clean Air Act)]

Military Occupational Specialty; the military job designation for one's duty assignment or job title. The process of induction begins with a mental and physical assessment, and supplemental training will augment each person's service. To qualify for promotion, a serviceman usually had to do the job, to get the rating, to get the pay. The basic MOS could be modified by prefix or suffix skill indicators (eg: ASI, SQI) to indicate further qualification. See PMOS, AIT, AFEES, RECEPTION STATION, MEPS, ASVAB, AFQT, AFGCT, Q-COURSE, OJT, CROSS-TRAINING, SHEEP-DIPPED, MIL-CRAFT, DOG TAG, BILLET, BERTH, DUTY, POST, ON STATION, WATCH, HARDSHIP TOUR, BUMFUCK, TDY / TAD, PCS. [nb: USAF term is Specialty Code (AFSC)] [nb: "War, by its very nature, is a time of meager fare and unusual occupations."]

photos or illustrations pieced together from other elements to create a composite image, also called a "mosaic pattern map"; especially a "photomosaic" or "aerial mosaic", which is an assembly of aerial photographs matched in such a way as to show a continuous photographic representation of an area. See MAP, COMICS, COMPOSITE; compare TOPO, CHART.

see MULE.

designated the F-8 and called "The Wooden Wonder" or "The Timber Terror", this twin-engined (V-12 liquid-cooled 1710hp) military aircraft, with the pilot and navigator seated abreast, relied on speed (415mph at 28,000 alt) and agility (without defensive armaments) to act as a fighter-bomber, tactical bomber, intruder, photo-recon or pathfinder as used by the USAAF, RAF, RAAF, and other allied air forces from 1941 until 1956. It was developed as a prototype by the manufacturer, DeHavilland in Hertfordshire UK, to utilize available resources when metals were scarce, but the government was disinterested until the test flights proved its superior performance, being one of the fastest and most maneuverable aircraft of WWII, due to its balsa and birch plywood construction (44ft L by 54ft W by 17ft H). It proved to be the most effective fighter-bomber of WWII, and various models were equipped with machineguns, rockets, cannons, bombs, flares, chaff, and RADAR, giving rise to rumors of "cat-eyed" pilots with superior eyesight. Compare HORNET; see BIRD. Also, nickname of the North American T-6 Texan, being the liaison version of the AT-6 known as the OLD GROWLER. Also, any of numerous bloodsucking winged insects that transmit diseases (eg: MALARIA, BONE BREAK FEVER, YELLOW JACK, CHIKUNGUNYA), which is commonly called SKEETER; see BAR, FUO, HORSE PILL. [cf: gnat, midge, punkie, no-see-um]

(aka: insect bar) see BAR, NET. [nb: the word "canopy" originally meant net, as a gauze mosquito barrier; cf: sparver]

1943 mosquito boat patch
mosquito boat
any group of small armed BOATs. Also, the assemblage of wooden hulled civilian BOATs (converted yachts) that have served as armed patrol boats during wartime; also known as "suicide fleet". See GUNNBOAT, PT BOAT, CUTTER, SWIFT BOAT, TANGO BOAT, ZIPPO BOAT, WARSHIP.

slang for the sleeve RANK insignia of a Lance Corporal (LCPL) during the Vietnam-era showing one chevron (MOSQUITO WING) and one ROCKER (smile). See SWINE LOG, EM, RATING, GRADE, RANK; compare NCO.

Private First Class sleeve
a single chevron of RANK representing a Private First Class (PFC) during the Vietnam-era, formerly an E-3 but now, since the elimination of the two SLICK SLEEVE ratings and the introduction of Lance Corporal (LCPL) RANK, an E-2 Private (PVT); so-called for seeming small and forlorn in its solitary state, and for the fact that there is usually a multitude whenever any single individual is found. See MOSQUITO SMILE, MATING MOSQUITOES, SWINE LOG, EM; compare NCO.

MObile Submarine Simulator, being a sonar DECOY (MK70) developed by Gould in 1976 and manufactured by Westinghouse through the mid-1990s; this 10" submersible (without an explosive warhead) was able to generate both an active SONAR echo and a passive sound SIGNATURE represented as extremely similar to that of the launching SUBMARINE, with the purpose of creating multiple targets, each with the same profile, whether for training or defense.

reactionary; a person holding antiquated notions. Sometimes called "mossy horn", and derived from a reference to a large old fish or turtle. See OLD BREED, OLD SALT, SALTY DOG, SHELLBACK, DINOSAUR, MAVERICK, BROWN SHOE / BOOT, CONSERVATIVE, ANTI-FEDERALIST, SILENT MAJORITY. [nb: a pompous old reactionary, "Colonel Blimp", was a post-WWI cartoon character conjured by David Low that satirized resistance to progressive change]

to inactivate something disused for preserved storage as a reserve; by extension of the protective storage process for textiles with balls of naphthalene or camphor; see BONEYARD, TOMB, DUMP, CANNIBALIZE; compare STANDBY. Also, to place an idea or plan in abeyance; removed from further consideration, suspend from implementation.


slang for the leader (LDR) of a CHALK or STICK, who is functioning as a team, squad, or section leader to get "all the little chicks in a row"; properly known as the STICK COMMANDER or CHALK COMMANDER, which is independent of RANK. See HONCHO, TOP DOG, 10, MC, OVERSIGHT. [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]

sardonic reference to Fort Leavenworth and its environs, due to its importance, both historically and in career development, from the fact that many families remained there while husbands were posted farther west during and after the period of westward expansion, and from all the Army daughters who made "good marriages" to bachelors with excellent prospects for promotion. See C&GS, JEDI KNIGHT, USDB, MONROE DOCTRINE, OFFICER'S WIFE, DISTAFF, PETTICOAT COMMAND, COW, THE DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT, RING THE BELL, DRAG, CLASS-B DEPENDENT, SLEEPING DICTIONARY, CAMPAIGN WIFE, SHACK-JOB. [nb: "You promised me my answer to-night." "Well, you can't have it, Ben," Helen said, "until you have fought the Yankees." "What heart will I have for fighting," he said, "if you give me no promise?" "I'll not be engaged to any man," she said, "until he has fought the Yankees. You distinguish yourself in the war, and then see what I'll have to say to you." "But suppose I don't come back at all!" exclaimed Ben. "Oh, then I'll acknowledge an engagement and be good to your mother – and wear mourning all the same – provided – your wounds are all in the front." Later, when Ben leaned out the window of his departing train, he whispered as she gazed up at him, "Can't I have the promise now, Helen?" "Yes!" Helen exclaimed. "Yes, Ben – dear Ben, I promise!" As the train cars gathered speed and rolled away, Helen turned an calmly announced to the others, "Girls, I'm engaged to Ben Shepard." "I'm engaged to half a dozen of them," said one. "That's nothing," said another, "I'm engaged to the whole regiment."]

a phrase most often associated with Saddam Hussein's threatened "mother of all battles" (APOCALYPSE) during the Persian Gulf War, but the expression exists as a comparison to precedence in numerous other phrases (eg: "The name, in its outer aspect, is the mother of all created things."; "The numeral one is the mother of all numbers."; "Vedanta is the mother of all philosophies."; "Philosophy is the mother of all science.") and not just in exaggerated allusions (eg: "the mother of all leaps" / ...explosions" / ...mountains") to great achievements, tremendous acts, or monumental things, including ridiculous assertions (eg: "the mother of all hangovers!"). See MOAB, MOAFU.

white crystalline organic compounds [eg: acetone peroxide, tri-cyclic acetone peroxide (TCAP), triacetone triperoxide (TATP), tetrameric acetone peroxide, peroxyacetone] that are used explosively due to the ready availability and low cost of their precursors; although not readily soluble in water, they are susceptible to heat, friction, and shock, which instability is greatly altered by impurities, including their own oligomers, and they slowly sublime into larger unstable crystals at room temperature ... these are among the few high explosives not containing nitrogen, so can pass through scanners designed to detect nitrogenous compounds. Acetone peroxides, as bleaching agents, phenol synthesizers, and polymerization initiators, are common industrial by-products that can become hazardous when mishandled. See IED, APNC, BOOBY-TRAP, MINE, EXPLOSIVE.

slang for a supply or maintenance ship (eg: TENDER) or delivery ship (eg: SUBMARINE) that provides combat support to other vessels; see SRV, MINISUB, PIGGYBACK, DUMP, NSD, DEPOT, GODOWN, PRE-POS, LOGISTICS. [cf: a large resupply submarine, called "Milch Cow", provided fuel, ammunition, and provisions to patrolling Nazi U-boats during WWII, enabling them to remain on station in their sector for extended periods]

a colloquialism for any precious possession, especially liquid sustenance (ie: oil or fuel, beer or liquor, coffee or water), from that essential foodstuff generated in a parturient woman's breasts for feeding to an infant; see POL, PETROL, HOOCH, BREW, MOONSHINE, JUICE, THE DRINK, IRISH SODA POP, SAIGON TEA, WASH, BUG JUICE, GI JOE, NUOC, GASPER, PIGTAIL, BUTT, FAG, SOLDIER'S BREAKFAST, CHEW, SNUFF.


(forthcoming); aka: "rattler"; see SPEAR, PEOPLE SNIFFER. Also, a secondary TRIGGER (aka: "trembler") designed to inhibit defuzing or to prevent disassembly of an explosive device.


slang for head lice; also called "cootie garage"; see COOTIE, GRAYBACK, CRAB, BEDBUG, COMFORT STATION.

someone who talks too much (if not incessantly) and works too little (v: HALF-ASSED), always trying to offer an excuse (v: NO EXCUSE) for substandard or failed performance instead of making the extra effort to accomplish the mission; a typically fast talking and glib TAP-DANCER using SMOKE 'n' MIRRORS. Compare SILENT INSOLENCE; see SCUTTLEBUTT, SHOOT THE SHIT, TALK TRASH, VERBAL DIARRHEA, BLOW SMOKE, WOOF, BAD-MOUTH, RUMOR, BACK CHANNEL.

a fleet of motor vehicles made available for temporary use by assigned military personnel. Also, the designated lot or yard where such military vehicles are parked and maintained; sometimes called "vehicle depot" or "motor park". See JEEP, HUMVEE, TRUCK, TRACK, TANK, DUCK/DUKW, GAMMA GOAT, CANNIBALIZE, PM, TANK PARK; compare BIRD FARM.

(forthcoming); compare NICKNAME, CODENAME, COVER, PASSWORD, CALL-SIGN, BATTLE CRY, GUSTO, HOOAH, OORAH, GUNG-HO, ESPRIT DE CORPS, WETSU, DIEHARD, WAKE UP, E PLURIBUS UNUM, IN GOD WE TRUST, TOAST, SIGNATURE, CREST, PATCH. [nb: the term 'slogan' is derived from the Scottish words ('sluagh' + 'gairm') meaning "army cry" or "war cry"; cf: misnomer "slughorn"] [nb: Imperial Japanese "banzai" (ten-thousand years; not "bonsai" gardening) similar to Chinese "wàn-sue"] [cf: warison; v: clarion call] [nb: the "thin red line" was applied to the British ("Redcoats") in the Crimean War because they did not form into a defensive square when engaged, making their line weak, which impugned their military prowess; likewise, the Scottish bagpipers accompanying British troops in WWI were labeled "ladies from hell" for wearing kilts into battle while playing an instrument instead of carrying a weapon ... each attribution was initially offensive, but both were later adopted as proud distinctions] [v: mottoes and nicknames of military units; Names of Foreigners or Foes]

nickname for Xa Dao Tru (geo: 21 31 39N 105 31 52E; UTM: 48QWJ55008040), site of major NVN prison camp for captive allied population; also known as [nb: some names only refer to sections within this prison] Mountain Retreat, K.77 or K.71, D.1, Vinh Quang B, Vinh Ninh, Duong Ke. Dates US POWs present: 24 Aug 68 to 25 Nov 70. Located about 60 kilometers northwest of Hanoi, this camp was dismantled after the war. The Ministry of Public Security apparently ran this camp until LTC Ben Purcell escaped, but the military seemingly assumed camp administration afterwards. USAF Captain Robert N. Daughtrey, who was captured on 02 Aug 65 after his F105 went down in NVN, called this site "Camp D.1", because this legend appeared on the building in which he was detained; however "D.1" could be an abbreviation for "Doanh Trai No. 1", meaning "Barracks No. 1". Captain Daughtrey recalled that the American POWs from this camp were moved to the CITADEL / PLANTATION (17 Pho Ly Nam De) about two days after the American raid on SON TAY in November 1970. See POW.

10th Mountain
Division patch
10th Mtn Div
a person skilled in mountaineering; able to conduct military operations in the severe climate and rugged terrain of various uplands. The Mountain Warfare training course is a challenging two-week program conducted under tactical conditions at Camp Ethan Allen in Jericho Vermont. The Mountain Warfare school develops and conducts resident training under both summer and winter conditions, emphasizing survival and mobility techniques. The WWII Mountain and Winter Warfare Board commenced training in 1942 at Fort Lewis (Mount Rainier and Mount Bryce), in 1943 at Elkins Maneuver Area (Seneca Rocks), and in 1943 at Camp Hale (Aspen, Vail, Mount Albert, Sawatch Range). The volunteers who formed the 10th Mountain Division (officially activated August 1943) received training in skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, tobogganing, and climbing with related snow shovel, ice axe, and rope work. Their infantry and recon elements were augmented by heavy weapons, including 81mm mortar and 75mm pack howitzer. The Mountain and Winter Warfare Board was assisted by members of the Sierra Club in developing specialized equipment, including boots, mummy-style sleeping bags, mountain stoves and rations, a rucksack that converted skis into a toboggan, and the first operational snowmobile (IRON DOG). The mountaineering phase of both RANGER and SPECIAL FORCES qualification has been conducted in some sector of the Appalachian range since their inception, with only occasional treks to more rugged or severe or higher ranges, to "real mountains". See RAPPEL, BELAY, SNAP-LINK, BIGHT, KNOT, LINE, ROPE, ROPE BRIDGE, TYROLEAN TRAVERSE, SNOWSHOE, BUNNY BOOTS, MICKEY MOUSE BOOTS, X-C, OSV, WEASEL, CAT-TRAIN, LRRP-RATIONS; compare WINTER WARRIOR, NWTC, MWS, MWTC, JUNGLE EXPERT. [v: Climbing Terms]

(forthcoming); experimental waterproof neoprene tent developed for alpine operations during WWII was uncomfortable and unhealthy for occupancy see TENT


a black-colored cloth or ribbon (crepe) displayed as a symbol of grief or sorrow, mourning or lamentation for a given period after a loved one's death; may be coincident with flying the flag at HALF-MAST. Wear is restricted to individual display on CLASS-A and dressier uniforms for personal (not unit) expressions of grief for only the period lasting from the time of death to the funeral or memorial; such MOURNING BANDs were intermittently conspicuous on all uniforms during the American CIVIL WAR. See YELLOW RIBBON. [nb: the color 'black' represents "the privation of joy" and "the midnight gloom of sorrow and suffering", and has done so since being introduced from ancient Egypt to Western culture, especially Greek, Roman, Israelite, and Anglo-Saxon, who cover their heads (black cap or scarf) in mourning, dress in black clothing (cloak), and traditionally go barefoot; the 'mourning band' itself seems to have derived from a black banner (epithet bande nere) that was flown out of respect for the death of an admired leader, and has been historically marked with the name of the deceased]

slang for the oversized head-mounted hearing protection worn by aviation support personnel who work around idling aircraft on the APRON or RUNWAY; also called EARS.


a one-man SPIDER HOLE situated in an urban area; see MOUT, FIBUA, HOUSEWARMING.

to trick or ensnare by means of a feint or stratagem, being so-called after the baited device that's used to attract household rodents so they can be killed by a spring-loaded mechanism [John Mast (1899)]; this idiom has been widely applied to games and sports as a metaphor for the many and varied engines of our ingenuity. See BOOBY-TRAP; compare PITFALL. [v: deadfall; cf: snare] [nb: "Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door." attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson (1889)] Also, informal reference to the anti-submarine missile launcher that fired in pairs or quads from the deck of an ASW ship, which was developed during WWII (1941) for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard as a replacement for the British-made HEDGEHOG, a mortar that projected its bombs in a forward cluster. Although the payload was equivalent (7.2" missile with a 33# Torpex warhead), the MOUSETRAP rockets were launched on rails, which weighed less, were easier to install, and placed less strain on the ship's structure. Also, in NavSpeak, a remote securing device that uses recovery assistance cables to aid an in-coming helicopter to lower itself safely onto the unstable landing platform (HELIPAD) of a pitching ship in rough waters; the equivalent of the arresting wires on the FLIGHT DECK of an aircraft carrier; compare BURBLE, WAFFLE.

(mustache/mustachio) commonly called a "cookie duster", "soup strainer", "snot mop", "womb broom", or simply 'stache; which, by regulation in the modern era, could not extend beyond the fullest part of the upper-lip or below the corner of the mouth, so the drooping gunfighter and mandarin styles worn OFF-DUTY were waxed upwards into walrus and kaiser, bull's horn and handlebar style for duty display; see FACE FUZZ, RELAXED GROOMING STANDARDS. [v: Zapata-style, Daliesque, Hitlerian toothbrush, etc]

a play on words for Mao Tse-tung (Mao Zedong), also called "Chairman Mao" and the "Great Helmsman", who was then premier of Red China, as used by KOREAN WAR prisoners subjected to BRAINWASHING during their captivity; a clever homophone that represented the POW's opinion of their opposition: drab and timid (mousy) shit (dung), which is also spelled "mousey dung". See THE LITTLE RED BOOK, PAPER TIGER, CIVILIAN, PRC, CHICOM; compare UNCLE HO, UNCLE JOE, BUTCHER OF BAGHDAD, UNCLE SAM, VINEGAR JOE.

Military Operations in Urban Terrain; commonly called "urban combat" or "house-to-house fighting". See FIBUA, BREACHER, SQUAD, FIRE TEAM, STACK, WAY POINT, MOUSE HOLE, CORDON AND KNOCK, HOUSE CALL, HOUSEWARMING, KILL HOUSE.

MOVement CONtrol; the command and control element for a convoy.

an ideal period of youthful discovery that may be experienced anywhere in the great variety of life's multitude; being a metaphor for joyous satisfaction or unbridled repletion, as is also expressed by "heyday", "salad days", or "halcyon days"; this expression was popularized during the Vietnam-era by Hemingway's usage: "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." ... this epigraph [from Papa Hemingway edited by A.E. Hotchner (1966)] headed the posthumously published collection of Hemingway's Paris memoirs. [cf: "The world's mine oyster, which I with sword will open." as boasted in The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare (1597)]

a military catch-phrase that directs a small unit (team, squad, platoon, or company) to patrol a region with the expectation that the enemy will ambush or assault it at a time and place of its choosing, so that actionable intelligence (such as its size and strength) can be developed from this engagement, so that reinforcements and fire support can be committed, thus augmenting BODY COUNT statistics and expanding the pacified land area; it is a tactical exercise, not a strategic mission, that has been propounded as a viable operational objective since the VIETNAM WAR whenever an unconventional enemy uses guerrilla warfare against regular forces ... a MOVEMENT TO CONTACT reconnaissance is essentially a "bull in a china shop" technique designed to "prove the manhood" of the commander! Compare SHOWING THE FLAG, RECON BY FIRE, BEAT AROUND THE BUSH, MEETING ENGAGEMENT, SEARCH AND DESTROY, SPOILING ATTACK; see INTEL, UW, COIN, PISSING CONTEST, BRAGGING RIGHTS, MACHO.

the informal command used by a leader to commence or continue an operation; see CHARGE, SADDLE-UP, FOLLOW ME, WATCH MY SMOKE, STORM, JUMP-START, GOYA, HOOPLA, BATTAILOUS. [nb: "Anticipate enemy action and move quickly before the shooting starts, then keep moving once it's started, and don't take cover until the firing stops." anonymous]

an injunction to stop dithering inconclusively (like a civilian) and take decisive action, even if it's dangerous; this admonition is also represented as "Get with the program!" and "Get off the dime!", and is often used to motivate indolent slackers and play-it-safe survivors. See CROSSROADS, PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, CUT THE GORDIAN KNOT, CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER, DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF, DON'T DO NOTHING, CLUTCH-UP, PING-PONG, KEEP A STIFF UPPER LIP, RISKY-SHIFT EFFECT, DOESN'T KNOW SHIT FROM SHINOLA, PIG LOOKING AT A WRISTWATCH, HOLLOW BUNNY, DRONE, BRASS EAR, EMPTY SUIT, DELEGATOR, CYA, MILICRAT, GOYA, HAUL-ASS, BUSTER, PULL PITCH, SCRAMBLE, JUICE, ASAP, PDQ, STAT, CHOGI, CHOP CHOP, RIKI TIK, FORTHWITH.


slang description of the typically repetitive search pattern used during surveillance or rescue operations by air or sea, whether by sight or by device, so as not to skip any of the designated area; like SENTRY duty, such grid-work repetition, also called "cutting the grass", becomes boring when extended over time, which increases the likelihood of missing the objective by inattention, even when supplemented by automation. Compare SWEEP; see SAR, SCREEN, GRASS.

bold vigor and courage, fortitude and endurance; derived from the trademark for "Moxie Nerve Food", an invigorating temperance tonic widely sold as a refreshing beverage since 1876, being more popular than "CocaCola" until the Depression Era. See V-DEVICE, GUTS, ONIONS, BRAGGING RIGHTS, WATCH MY SMOKE, BITE THE BULLET, PAIN, SCAR, DIEHARD, BEARING, MACHO, HERO, SLOW MATCH, WINTER SOLDIER. [nb: "We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulations produce perseverance." Romans 5:3; "Grace under pressure." by Ernest M. Hemingway]

deliberate misspelling of the German expression ('es macht nichts') meaning "it doesn't matter"; and also used by post-WWII occupation troops to express 'no worries', in the manner of the "What me worry?" proposition posed by the cartoon character Alfred E. Newman. See LO AND BEHOLD, ATTENTION.

slang reference to the mechanical turn-signal indicators that lifted out of the door post in many economical foreign automobiles (eg: Fiat, Simca, Lancia, Renault, Peugeot, Citroën, English Ford, Austin, Austin-Healey, Morris, Hillman, Saab, Subaru, Opel, Volkswagen, etc) from the pre- to the post-WWII era; predating the electrical turn-signal indicator, this device (engaged and disengaged by a lever on the steering column) permitted the driver to signal a turn without steering with only one hand and without extending his arm outside the vehicle during inclement weather. Although too small to be as obvious as the driver's protruding arm, this clever device was soon displaced by signal lights, which automatically shut-off after completing the turn. The name for these turn-signals probably derives from the fact that they had to be mechanically disengaged after finishing the turn, so were often forgotten ... left out so that nobody knew when the signal was intentional or just an exposed oversight. [aka Briticism: indicators or indicator lights]

alternative designation for the practical shooting tactic called TRIPLE TAP (qv), wherein the controlled technique of rapid semi-automatic fire is used to effectively and positively terminate the opposing target; this referent derives from the close-quarters combat experience of Mike Rousseau, a Rhodesian mercenary fighting FRELIMO guerrillas in the Mozambican War of Independence, which LESSONS LEARNED were shared with Jeff Cooper, who formalized and disseminated them.

MP :
crossed-pistols branch insignia of
the U.S. Army Military Police crossed-pistols branch
insignia of the U.S. Army Military Police
Military Police
Military Police, also known as SNOWDROP; while their official motto is "Assist, Protect, and Defend", their unofficial motto is "Kick Ass and Take Names!". See KATN, PM, AP, SP, QC, BATS 'n' HATS, CHIMPS, CID, OSI, NIS, FBI, CONSTABULARY, PROVOST GUARD. [aka: police, policeman, police officer, peace officer, sheriff, shrieve, bailiff, beadle, reeve, tipstaff, catchpole, marshal, lawman, patrolman, cop, bluecoat, copper, pig, narc, fuzz, bear / Smoky Bear, bull, flatfoot, heat, The Man, The Law, John Law, law dog, Deputy Dog, long arm of the law, state trooper, Texas Ranger, plainclothesman, inspector, gumshoe, dick, detective, constable, rookie, meter maid, security guard, square badge, nab, peeler, bobby, mountie, flic, gendarme, carabiniere, Cheka, Gestapo] [nb: a multi-generational lineage of police service is expressed by "tin in the blood", "tin blood", and "silver blood"; cf: GREEN BLOOD]

1964 series MPC $1 bill
MPC $1 (1964)
1964 series MPC $5 bill
MPC $5 (1964)
Military Payment Certificate, or Military Payment Currency, also called FUNNY MONEY for its resemblance to gaming "play money"; a form of color-coded scrip [paper; not "script"] (also called "shinplaster") used by MIL-PERS stationed overseas during the period from WWII through the VIETNAM WAR, in lieu of American dollars (USD/US$), to help control inflation in the local economy. Technically known as "fiat money", it has no intrinsic value and is not convertible to any specie or commodity, being based only on the "trust" of the government. See CANDY, SLUSH FUND, CUMSHAW, SCROUNGE, MIDNIGHT REQUISITION, SPIRIT MONEY, BAD PAPER, BENSON SILK, CHARGE, CHIT, HARD TIMES TOKEN, LEGAL TENDER. [v: flying money, credit money, spirit money] Also, the abbreviation for Message Processing Center.

Maritime Pre-positioning Ship, stocked with Roll-On / Roll-Off containerized military weapons and equipment to speed operational deployment; see PRE-POS, CONTAINERIZATION.

MR :
Military Region; being the redesignated regional Corps Tactical Zone (CTZ) areas: MR1 - MR4; see I CORPS, II CORPS, III CORPS, IV CORPS. Also, Memorandum for Record or Memorandum of Record; compare MFR, MEMCON; see TICKLER, SNOWFLAKE, RBI, PAPER BULLET, FORM, RAPPORTEUR, WHITE PAPER, REPORT, ANNEX, RED TAPE, 90-PAGE WONDER, FILE 13, CYA, PING-PONG, SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT. [v: dossier; cf: bout de papier, aide-memoire] [nb: "If it isn't documented then it doesn't exist!"]

(em-rap) Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected category of wheeled vehicles that're protected by an armored V-shaped hull to withstand improvised explosive devices (IED) and land mines while carrying personnel and cargo; this 2004 program includes versions of the COUGAR, BUFFALO, and CAIMAN, with some models configured for patrol and others as ambulances. MRAPs are scheduled to be superseded by the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) when it enters service in 2016, but will continue to be used until 2022, when the inventory of JLTVs will be sufficient to displace them. [nb: at 14-24 tons each, MRAPs are too heavy to cross more than 72% of bridges around the world, and their top-heavy profile makes them vulnerable to roll-over on the narrow crude roads prevalent in most countries]

the personification of a powerful GENIE (jinn) used as the advertising mascot for an all-purpose household cleaning product [Procter & Gamble (1958)], which archetype has come to symbolize a strong champion who obliterates immorality and evil; a superhero who rids society of its disgusting dirt and slimy filth. See STRAIGHT ARROW, CLEANSKIN, FICTIONAL CHARACTER. [nb: because this cleanser was originally developed to remove grease and grime from ships, the original model was a well muscled sailor, tanned and dressed in white with an earring]

MRE package
MRE package
Meal Ready-to-Eat, also called "Meals Rejected by Everyone", "Meals Rarely Enjoyed", "Meals Refusing to Exit", or "Meals Refused by the Enemy"; which apportionment replaced the three meals per day per person C-RATIONS with an MRE issue of four meals per day per person to obtain the same caloric value. This "new and improved" thermostabilized field food is neither "wet packed" (like C-RATIONS) nor "dry packed" (like LRRP-RATIONS), but is 'moist' packed in a microwavable package that includes a great deal of rubbish for pre-/postprandial disposal. Although microwave ovens are now available in many modern military vehicles, the MREs are not amenable to conventional heating from flame, mandating use of the chemical heat pack (if not eliminated during mission prep) or necessitating 'cold' consumption in remote or survival situations. Pre-operational field stripping typically reduces three MREs to the normal area of one MRE; a "sustainment pouch" holds three MREs, and can be mounted on belt or harness. Because most modern units are "light", "mobile", or "mechanized", the field troops find that the MRE diet is excessive, and many give away their extra rations to children and other needy civilians in their operational area. Compare HDR, FIRST-STRIKE RATION; see RATIONS. [nb: "We never repent having eaten too little." by Thomas Jefferson (1825)]

Mobile Riverine Force Mekong
Delta patch
MRF Mekong Delta
Mobile Riverine Force; sometimes called "BROWN WATER Navy". In 1968, a combined US Navy/Army command assembled to combat the Viet Cong forces in the Mekong Delta, involving 2nd Brigade 9th Infantry Division and River Assault Flotilla 1. See CCB, ALPHA BOAT, TANGO BOAT, SEALORDS; compare JUNK FORCE, NAG.

Mobile Road Reaction Force

Mine-Resistant Utility Vehicle, a smaller and lighter version of the wheeled Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicle with an armored V-hull that's designed for use in constricted urban areas (CAIMAN) or off-road patrolling (M-ATV).

Medical Service Corps, the administrative department for medical combat service support; known by the Navy as the Medical Administration Office; see REGISTRAR. Also, abbreviation for Military Sealift Command; compare MAC.

Mainland SouthEast Asia Air Defense Region.

Mobile Strike Force, also called MIKE FORCE or STRIKERS; operating under the Mobile Strike Force Command (MSFC). See MGF, CSF, SF, BLACKJACK; compare UNPFK.

abbreviation for Master SerGeant, being the non-commissioned officer (NCO) grade (E-8) between Sergeant First Class (E-7) and Sergeant Major or Command Sergeant Major (E-9), and represented by three chevrons above three ROCKERs as sleeve rank insignia; formerly abbreviated "MSgt", this rank is rated equal to First Sergeant (1SG / FSG). See SARGE, BUCK, RIGHT ARM, FIRST SHIRT, TOP, NCO, SUPER GRADE, RATING, GRADE, RANK.

see SCOUT, ASW, OVER 'n' UNDER. [cf: the LeMat revolver was a double-barreled nine-shot pistol that was developed by Jean A.F. LeMat, a New Orleans physician, in 1856 for close combat by naval and cavalrymen; chambered for .40 caliber and 18 gauge, it was preferred by Confederate generals J.E.B. Stuart and P.G.T. Beauregard]

M-16 RIFLE :
an assault rifle (AR) firing 5.56mm/.223caliber AMMO in either semi- or full-automatic modes from magazines (MAG) that's been used by the military since the Vietnam-era; see BLACK MAGIC, WIDOW MAKER, OVER 'n' UNDER, POODLE SHOOTER, TUPPERWARE, AR-15, UP-GUN.

M-60 MG :
the belt fed 7.62mm machinegun; see NUMBER SIXTY, PIG, MG.

Mean Sea Level, being the average height of the surface of the sea for all stages of the tide, and used as a reference for elevations. Compare AGL; see G [gravity]. [cf: geoid]

Marine Special Operations School; established 27 June 2007 with the stated intent by USMC of becoming the premier Foreign Internal Defense (FID) and Unconventional Warfare (UW) university in the entire Special Operations Forces (SOF) community. Compare Joint Special Operations University at USSOC, SWS, SWC&S.

RADAR (qv).

Military Supply Route; also "Main Supply Route" and "Main Service Route", being the primary route through an operational area for the transport of men and materiel supporting those operations; see COMBAT LOADED, RED BALL, BLUE BALL, CONVOY, LOG-PAC, LOG; compare MLR.


M-3P :

see TRENCH KNIFE; compare BAYONET. [nb: "The Trench Knife M-3 has been developed to fill the need in modern warfare for hand-to-hand fighting. While designated for issue to soldiers not armed with the bayonet, it was especially designed for such shock units as parachute troops and rangers." U.S. Catalog of Standard Ordnance Items (1943)]

abbreviation for the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, being the WWII designation for the area encompassing Italy, Sicily, Greece, Crete, Turkey, and the Balkans; the MTO supplanted the North African Theater of Operations, US Army (NATOUSA); see ETO, NATO.

Modified Table of Organization and Equipment; see TO&E/TOE, TO, SPAGHETTI CHART.

Maintenance Test Pilot, being a U.S. Army aviation specialist who's qualified to verify the efficacy of a remedy and the viability of the restoration.

M-252 smoothbore 81mm mortar
81mm mortar
abbreviation for MorTaR (qv), also called "vest-pocket artillery" and "mortie", but informally known as STOVEPIPE or PISS TUBE. Also, abbreviation for motor.

Mobile Training Team, an advisory element operating within a district or region to improve defenses and enhance skills of local forces; often a TDY assignment. See MAT.

(forthcoming); Medium Tactical Vehicle; compare LMTV, see TRUCK.

M-2 / MK2 KNIFE :
designation (Mark 2 / Mark II) for the clip-pointed, single-edged, bowie-style, fighting utility knife issued by the U.S. Navy from 1942 as a more practical replacement for the Mk1 / M-1 TRENCH KNIFE; the 1219C2 is commonly called a KABAR, regardless of manufacturer. [ie: USMC Mark 2 Knife, Fighting Utility; and U.S. Navy Utility Knife, Mark 2]

M-2 MG :
the Browning .50cal machinegun of blowback recoil operation with heavy-barrel (c1919); see FIFTY, MA DEUCE, QUAD 50, HEAVY MG.

M-240 :
a vehicle-mounted medium (24#) machinegun firing 7.62mm cartridges.

M-249 :
see SAW, MG.

M-203 :

Mountain Training eXercise, or simply MounTain eXercise; see MOUNTAINEER, WINTER WARRIOR, EXERCISE.

1944 sleeve-version of
Meritorious Unit Commendation
1944 MUC
1947 breast-version of
Meritorious Unit Commendation
1947 MUC
Meritorious Unit Commendation, effective 1 Jan 1944 for combat related service; initially existed as a laurel wreath worn on the sleeve cuff, with subsequent awards designated by numerals within the wreath, but the award was redesigned in 1947 as a red ribbon framed by laurel leaves. Due to military procurement, there were so many of the sleeve-style awards remaining in inventory that the revised breast-style was not issued until 1967. The MUC is issued in an Army (red) version, in Navy / Marine Corps (blue, gold stripes) version, or in Coast Guard (blue, green, white stripes) version. The Army designates that UNIT CITATIONs (and foreign awards) shall be worn opposite individual decorations, but the Navy and Marine Corps integrate them in their order of precedence. Compare OUA, JMUA; see UNIT CITATION, GONG.

slang for military coffee, also known as joe, sludge, washy, java, mocha, espresso, brew, black water, brown blood, boiler acid, battery acid, and nectar of the gods; see GI JOE. Also, the natural and normal operational environment of real soldiers; see GRUNT, SNUFFY, ATLAS; compare TOY SOLDIER, WHISKEY WARRIOR.

slang for any shallow water sailor, including Marines and COASTIES; also known as a BROWN WATER SAILOR serving in the Mobile Riverine Force (MRF) or "Brown Water Navy". See JUNK FORCE, SEALORDS, NAG.

slang for infantryman; see GRUNT, SNUFFY, CRUNCHY, BOONIE RAT, DOUGHBOY, GI JOE.

slang for any low-level attack aircraft providing close air support (CAS) to ground elements, such as A-6 INTRUDER or A-10 WARTHOG; also called "mud pounder" or GROUND POUNDER.

a suggestion to put theory into practice, to put concepts into action, to put ideas to the test of actuality, as in "Let's try it by getting a little mud on our boots." or "Go out and get some mud on your boots."; a recommendation (if not an admonition) to get out of the classroom and into the field, to get out of the office and into the dirt, to get off the parade field and into the mud!

slang for infantryman; see GRUNT, SNUFFY, CRUNCHY, BOONIE RAT, DOUGHBOY, GI JOE.

unofficial muff diver para
muff diver para
a mock qualification badge ironically presented to paratroopers for sexual performance, especially cunnilingus; badge depicts a fully exposed naked woman spread across Army or Marine parachutist's WINGS. A similar Navy or Air Force pilot's badge was "awarded" to BUSH PILOTS. See CHOWING DOWN, LOVE HANDLES, HEAD, HUMMER, DAISY CHAIN, HAT TRICK, WINGS, BIB, TRICK, BUTTERFLY, FUCK, DIDDLY, HOOKUP, CHURNING BUTTER, BOOM-BOOM, SHORT-TIME, SHACK-JOB. [nb: a "red wing" variant is "awarded" for performing cunnilingus during menstruation] [aka: 60, 69, oral sex, oral copulation, cunnilingus, cunny-delicious, rug / carpet muncher, eat / eating out, lickety-splitter, cunt licker, pussy eater, pussy chewer, cunt chomper, tongue 'n' groove, lip sucker, lick the cat, eat the beaver, taste tuna taco, go down / -on, pearl diver, deep dive, Aussie kiss (a French kiss down under)] [nb: 'lecher' derives from "to lick gluttonously"]

see BUDDHA BELLY, LOVE HANDLES. [cf: beer belly, squeezy bits]

civilian clothes worn by someone usually in uniform; the implication being that the clothes cannot hide the man, or that the man wears casual attire like a uniform would be worn. Origin obscure, but probably derived from the similarity of deportment between Muslim counselors and off-duty military officers. See DOG ROBBER, BEARING, CIVVIES, T-SHIRT, SKIVVIES, PARTY SUIT, FEATHERS, DRESS.

(mugger) Miniature Underwater Global positioning system Receiver; a waterproof tactical locator/plotter selectively issued to SEALs and other SOF elements; see GPS. [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]

of or pertaining to Islam or the prophet Muhammad, as a follower or adherent thereof; a Muslim; see MUJ, SANDY, HAJJI, ALI BABA, SKINNY, STREET ARAB, BAD GUYS, ISLAMOFASCISM, INSURGENT, TERRORIST, ALLAH'S WAITING ROOM. [nb: the argument about the efficacy of discouraging Muslim fanatics by tainting them with pork (ie: bullets coated with lard, corpses sprinkled with pig's blood, body parts buried inside pig carcasses, corpses buried with pig entrails and offal) has been revived since the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, claiming continuity with John J. "Blackjack" pershing's (restrained) treatment of the Moros on Mindanao (cf: Mount Dajo campaigns by Blackjack Pershing vs Leonard Wood), when the association should properly be made with the British in colonial India during the Sepoy Rebellion (aka: Indian Mutiny 1857-8) when the atrocities were profoundly savage; Muslims scorn these scare tactics, noting that the body of a martyr who dies for the faith is so pure that his body is exempt from the usual practices, and that his soul goes directly to paradise, regardless of any enemy mistreatment] [v: "It was Colonel Alexander Rodgers of the 6th Cavalry who accomplished by taking advantage of religious prejudice what the bayonets and Krags had been unable to accomplish (on Mindanao). Rodgers inaugurated a system of burying all dead juramentados in a common grave with the carcasses of slaughtered pigs. The Mohammedan religion forbids contact with pork; and this relatively simple device resulted in the withdrawal of juramentados to sections not containing a Rodgers. Other officers took up the principle, adding new refinements to make it additionally unattractive to the Moros. In some sections the Moro juramentado was beheaded after death and the head sewn inside the carcass of a pig. And so the rite of running juramentado, at least semi-religious in character, ceased to be in Sulu. The last cases of this religious mania occurred in the early decades of the (20th) century. The juramentados were replaced by the amucks ... who were simply homicidal maniacs with no religious significance attaching to their acts." Jungle Patrol: The Story of the Philippine Constabulary by Victor Hurley (E.P. Dutton, New York 1938)]

(mooge) contraction of Mujahideen / Mujahedin / Mujaheddin, being a Muslim GUERRILLA fighting in and around the region of Afghanistan; also called "The Muj", as derived from "one who wages jihad". This term is more descriptive than derogatory, with its usage dependent upon tone and context, and upon which side the MUJ is fighting; it should be noted that these fighters take credit for toppling the USSR as a religious triumph, while America is given credit for causing the collapse of Soviet communism by economic means. See GULF WAR, ABSURDISTAN, RAGHEAD, SANDY, HAJJI, STREET ARAB, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, INDIG. [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]

logo of Army mule mascot
Army mule mascot
a small, lightweight, low-profile, open-frame, four-wheel drive utility vehicle that was used in Vietnam to rapidly transport up to a ton of equipment, weapons, and men over difficult terrain; probably inspired by the "dune buggy", and developed before the later military imitations of the All Terrain Vehicle (ATV), namely the Light Surveillance Vehicle (LSV) and Fast Attack Vehicle (FAV). The MULE, designated M-274 half-ton truck, was operated by an opposed two-cylinder pull-cord (Tecumseh) engine, and could be propelled while the driver was prone. It could transport men and their equipment, or mount a 60mm mortar, a 90mm recoilless rifle, or 75mm pack howitzer. The MULE was withdrawn from inventory due to inadequate wheel and axle performance; the lack of protection for the driver and passengers compromised its function when later redesigned. Compare CHAPARRAL, GAMMA GOAT, DIRT BIKE, IRON DOG. Also, Air Force slang for a towing tractor (tug) that's used to maneuver maintenance or cargo loads, and to move airplanes into and out of HANGARs or REVETMENTs; see PUSHBACK. Also, the sterile offspring of a female horse and a male donkey ('dickey', as distinguished from 'hinny'); being the mascot of the U.S. Army that's traditionally maintained at West Point (USMA); see BULLDOG, GOAT, THE BIRD, BLACK DEVIL, MEAT MARKER. [nb: the "Black Knight" is the mascot of the U.S. Military Academy] [nb: although the mule has been designated as the Army mascot since 1899 (to counter the Navy goat), the first Army mascot mule to be named was "Mister Jackson" (after Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson) in 1936; others have included "Poncho" (or "Skippy"), "Hannibal I" (or "Bud"), "K.C. Mo", "Trotter", "Hannibal II" (or "Jack"), "Buckshot", "Spartacus" (or "Frosty"), "Ranger I", "Black Jack", "Traveler" (or "Dan"), "Trooper" (or "Ernie"), "Raider" (or "Joker"), "Ranger II" (or "George"), "General Scott" (or "Scotty"), "Ranger III" (or "Jack"), "Stryker" (or "Abe")] Also, a stubbornly determined person; someone mulish, headstrong, willful, obdurate, obstinate, intractable, or fractious; see HIDEBOUND, BRASSBOUND, BRASS EAR, HARD-SET. [nb: "Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass ...." Isaiah 48:4 KJV Bible] Also, a mixed drink made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice that's traditionally served over ice in a copper mug garnished with a slice of lime or a sprig of mint; also known as a "buck" or "Moscow mule", this cocktail was created during WWII to demonstrate solidarity with America's Russian allies, but after the onset of the COLD WAR, its popularity diminished, as did all vodka drinks; see BREW, HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK, HOIST, GUSTO.

a modular arched-roof building, also known as a "Multiple Building", that could be expanded in both directions; sized 82' X 102' that could be extended in width by 61.5' increments and extended in length by 100' increments. According to the Multiple Building manual [National Steel Products], it was possible to add an endless number of segmented sections, since the design allowed for expansion in both directions. Using many of the same parts fabricated for the UTILITY BUILDING, it accomplished larger spans by introducing a rectilinear steel frame upon which arched roof segments were joined, one to the other, with low sloping valley gutters. The largest assemblage of Multiple Buildings was said to have been a 54,000-square-foot warehouse in Guam that was nicknamed the "Multiple Mae West". Compare STEELDROME, ELEPHANT HUT; see DEPOT, GODOWN, BLDG, BILLET. [v: British Nissen hut]

coined during the KOREAN WAR-era as a COMBINED ARMS tactic wherein separately projecting subdivisions coalesce upon the target, or several separate elements converge and coincide from different directions as a concentrated force upon the objective; see FORCE MAJEURE, compare FRONTAL ASSAULT. Also, a concept used figuratively to represent the approach of several points of view from different perspectives in systems analysis or problem solving; also represented as "multidisciplinary" or "heterodox".

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

U.S. Army Ordnance Corps
branch insignia U.S. Army Ordnance Corps
branch insignia

slang for a committee of questioners assembled to prepare a candidate for a qualification test; an informal review board that's been convened to scrutinize the qualifications of the candidate, exposing their deficiencies and delinquencies in hopes of preventing failure at the actual test. This preliminary panel prepares both enlisted and commissioned servicemembers for a rating. Originating in the military, these preparation panels are now widely used in academics and politics for their efficacy, with this descriptor based upon the severity of their questions and the detailed knowledge expected for approval. See BOARD, MIL-CRAFT, RATING, STRIKER, OJT, 3 R's, CROSS-TRAINING, MOS, PMOS; compare BAYONET, BAYONET SHEET, CHEAT SHEET, ARTICLE 32. [cf: oral comprehensives] [nb: not 'murder' as constituting a group ("murder of crows") but anything extremely difficult or unpleasant]

any concise aphorism or succinct maxim, often representing some universal experience by an anonymous composer; often subdivided into variations (eg: Sarge's Corollary to MURPHY's LAW, or Doc's Contamination Theorem of MURPHY's LAW). Ostensibly derived from a fictitious bungling mechanic in the USN educational cartoons of 1950s; but actually originating with USAF Captain Edward A. Murphy Jr, who discovered that the deceleration gauges on Major John P. Stapp's rocket-sled test in December 1954 at Edwards AFB were installed wrong, and he proclaimed the first law: "if something can go wrong, it will" ["If there's more than one way to do a job, and one of those ways will end in disaster, then someone will do it that way."]. Over the next decade, MURPHY's Fundamental LAWs were created by scientists and engineers; but the VIETNAM WAR generated a new version: Murphy's Laws of Combat. Compare GREMLIN, BUG, PLAN B, SEAT OF THE PANTS, CATCH-22; see PARKINSON'S LAW, PETER PRINCIPLE, OCCAM'S RAZOR, LESSONS LEARNED. [v: "An order that can be misunderstood will be misunderstood." attributed to Helmut von Moltke] [cf: 'Finagle's Law' or 'Finagle's Law of Dynamic Negatives' has been rendered as "Anything that can go wrong, will." or "If something can go wrong, it will go wrong at the worst possible moment.", which is a generalized version of Murphy's Law, but is not eponymous ... 'finagle' (derived from renege) means to trick, scheme, manipulate, deceive, defraud, swindle, cheat] [cf: 'Hanlon's Razor' is a corollary of Finagle's Law, asserting "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity." and has been alternatively stated "Never invoke conspiracy when ignorance and incompetence will adequately suffice, since conspiracy implies intelligence."] [v: graffiti, samizdat, pasquinade ... political jokes were called "tiny revolutions" by George Orwell] [v: "Murphy" by Samuel Beckett (1938)]

a small bag or satchel with a shoulder strap, used for medical or military sundries; also known as haversack. Until the grenadier's vest for the M-79 was developed, this bag was primarily used for carrying grenades and mines. Compare MED BAG, AWOL BAG, FLIGHT BAG, WAR BAG, DUFFEL BAG, BIVY. [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]

Kept In The Dark - Fed On
Horse Shit mushroom patch
nickname for a pawn, tool, CAT'S-PAW, foil, stooge, or other clandestine operative, who was subject to NEED TO KNOW cutouts, being "kept in the dark and fed on horse shit" (KITD-FOHS), or "Watch 'em grow like MUSHROOMs when kept in the dark and fed a lot of shit!"; such is known as a "toadstool" in the Navy; see RUMOR, BRAVO SIERRA, BURY ONE'S HEAD IN THE SAND, SPOOK. [nb: mushroom is the general class of fleshy fungi, among which the toadstool is poisonous] Also, slang for a parabolic or round-top PARACHUTE. Also, slang for a civilian victim of COLLATERAL DAMAGE, so-called for their tendency to suddenly pop-up in TARGET areas thought to be vacant or clear of noncombatants; see CIVCAS, SOFT TARGET, SURGICAL STRIKE. [cf: "kindermorde" (slaughter of the innocent); nb: it is an irony of war that more civilians die during combat than do soldiers, sailors, and airmen; not just COLLATERAL DAMAGE from inadvertent propinquity, but due to starvation, disease, exposure and other mortal adversities]

a large mushroom-shaped cloud that forms rapidly from the smoke and debris dispersed into the atmosphere after an explosion, which shortly dissipates; this formation is especially characteristic of a nuclear explosion. See GENIE, DRAGON'S BREATH, FLASH BURN, NUKE, ZERO POINT, GROUND ZERO, MOAB, BIGGER BANG FOR THE BUCK. [cf: pother]

slang for RADAR jamming, BUG masking, or other ECM techniques, as "loud MUSIC" or "heavy MUSIC"; see NOISE, MIJI, FANFARE, CHAFF. Also, organized sound having the forms of rhythm, melody, harmony, and dynamics; see BEATERS 'n' BLEATERS, TOOTER, BUGLE CALL, TATTOO, SALUTE, RUFFLES 'n' FLOURISHES, REVEILLE, RETREAT, TAPS, NO-DOZE, FACE THE MUSIC. Also, any of the "normal" sounds of the conduct of military activity, including training and operations, such as sounding JODY CALLs, shooting MAIN-GUNs, firing RIFLEs or machineguns, detonating MINEs or EXPLOSIVEs, the rotor noise of flying CHOPPERs, the TRACK squeak of TANKs or SP artillery, the passage of CONVOYs, the CADENCE of footsteps MARCHing together, BUGLE CALL announcements ... any of the sounds that stir the heart of a WARRIOR ("That's music to my ears!") and "speak" to the lifestyle of uniformed MIL-PERS.


(forthcoming); [cf: Muscle Shoals]

Medical Unit Self-contained Transportable; also abbreviated "MUSCT"; see HOSPITAL.

originally any Naval Petty Officer advanced to commissioned officer RANK, as "promoted up through the hatch", but universally adopted for any commissioned officer having prior enlisted service, having been promoted by any means; see MAVERICK, UP THE HAWSEPIPE, BLUE BLOOD, COCKTAIL, OFFICER'S COUNTRY. Also, the North American P-51 fighter-bomber that succeeded the THUNDERBOLT, and was later designated F-51 / F-6 for close air support (CAS); compare TWIN MUSTANG, see BIRD.

to summon, gather, collect, or assemble a military unit for inspection or duty, sometimes jocularly referred to as "cluster muster"; see FALL-IN / FALL-OUT, CALL TO THE COLORS, FOLLOW THE DRUM, RA, VOLUNTEER, TOTAL FORCE. Derived from show, display, demonstrate; related to "MUSTER roll" for roster, to "MUSTER out" for DISCHARGE, and to "pass MUSTER" for approval (used in the same sense of being found worthy as "cut the mustard"). [cf: warison; v: clarion call]

historically, the annual day for enrollment in the MILITIA of all able-bodied men, aged 18 to 45, according to a law established in 1792, remaining in effect until after the American CIVIL WAR.


to disfigure or make imperfect by irreparably damaging or removing parts thereof, especially when permanently injuring the configuration of a person. Also, to deprive a person or other animal of a necessary or essential part, as by impairing or crippling; derived from 'cut off' or 'maim'. See MILLION DOLLAR WOUND, PROFILE, ZULU, WHOLE MAN. Also, made essentially defective or imperfect, as in the tactical result of sacrificing a part for the whole; see LAST STAND, SUICIDE SQUAD, DECOY, AUTOTOMY.

a soldier or sailor who rebels against duly constituted authority; that is, someone who commits MUTINY. See RIOT ACT, BATS 'n' HATS, CALL ON THE CARPET, PETITION, DRUMHEAD. [v: sedition, misprision, lese / lèse-majesté, barratry]

an insurrection or rebellion, such as a takeover to overthrow a duly constituted authority; compare INSURGENCY, REVOLUTION, COUP D'ETAT, STRUGGLE, CONFLICT, TREASON. [v: sedition, misprision, lese / lèse-majesté, barratry] [cf: 1783 Newburgh conspiracy]

(forthcoming); acronym for the 4WD, quarter-ton, M-151 Military Utility Tactical Truck; see HUMVEE, GAMMA GOAT, DUCK/DUKW, FAV, ORV, MULE. [nb: in 1970, the M-151A2 revised the rear (semi-trailing arm) suspension, which improved safety and fast cornering, but also added combination turn signals and blackout lights to its reworked fenders]

an informal syndicate setup to benefit its members; a form of the "self-promotion and mutual-protection league" or the "old-boy network"; see BOY'S CLUB, GOOD OLD BOY, RING-KNOCKER, KHAKI MAFIA, THE ESTABLISHMENT, BROWNIE / BROWN NOSE, VET / VETERAN, PROFESSIONAL VETERAN, MILICRAT, RHIP, FAST TRACK, TICKET-PUNCHER, VULCANIZE. [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!]

MUltipleXor, also spelled "multiplexer"; being a transmitter, or system of transmission, that simultaneously sends two or more signals or messages over a single channel or circuit. Also, a stereoscopic device used in mapping that makes it possible to view pairs of aerial photographs in three dimensions.

the discharge end, or mouth, of a firearm, PISTOL, RIFLE, cannon, or gun; derived from snout. Many soldiers formed the habit of covering the MUZZLE of their RIFLES with a cap of 100 MPH TAPE, later replaced by a condom after the open-prong FLASH SUPPRESSOR on the AR-15/M-16 was modified, which helped to keep the RIFLE barrel clean and dry; and this "muzzle capping" unwittingly imitated the practice of soldiers in previous centuries who plugged (tampion) their gun barrels when not in use. See BORESIGHT, SUPPRESSOR, MUZZLE-BRAKE, BLANK ADAPTER, MG, SMG, MAIN-GUN, SILENCER. [nb: when condoms were requisitioned during WWII, the reason given was for muzzle capping of SMALL ARMS rather than prophylaxis] [nb: the 1795 Springfield Arsenal musket (smoothbore, flintlock, .69 caliber muzzleloader) was the first official shoulder-firearm to use standardized interchangeable parts] [v: Firearms Glossary]

the modification, by porting or attachment, of a firearm barrel that reduces recoil, stabilizes rotation, and compensates for climb during discharge by deflecting the explosive exit of the propellent gases; also called a "recoil compensator" or simply "compensator". While a SMALL ARMS compensator will reduce muzzle climb during automatic fire, it greatly increases the muzzle flash and discharge report of the weapon. Although this deflector may superficially resemble (at least on SMALL ARMS) a FLASH SUPPRESSOR, its purpose is very different and its function is directional: sending the muzzle blast upwards on submachineguns (SMG) and RIFLEs, while porting the blast sideways (for improved viewing) on the MAIN-GUN of cannon and TANKs. Compare SILENCER. [v: "Cutts Compensator" on Thompson submachinegun]

bayonet mounted on rifle
fixed bayonet
a circular opening inlet into the crossguard of a detachable BAYONET that fits over the MUZZLE or FLASH SUPPRESSOR of a RIFLE to enhance alignment and reinforcement of the KNIFE when attached to the mounting lug. [v: Knife Terms; The Language of Swordplay]

MW / MWO :
Master Warrant / Master Warrant Officer denoted grade MW-5, and commonly called "master chief"; compare WOJG, CWO; see WO, MISTER, CROUTON, SPOT, WOBBLY, CHIEF.

designation for a Military Working Dog, such as sentry, scout, or explosives detection; see K-9, SCOUT DOG, IASK9, A DOG IN A DOUBLET, WAR DOGS. [nb: the four element serial number tattooed on military working dogs consists of a letter and three numeric digits denoting the year and order of induction; the letters G / I / O / Q / U are not used because they are too easily confused] [nb: the military working dogs employed in GWOT operations wear Kevlar protective vests]

Mountain Warfare Instructor, being the RED HATS cadre at the USMC Mountain Warfare Training Center (MWTC) located near Bridgeport California.

Morale, Welfare, and Recreation; being those activities and facilities provided to servicemembers, retirees, and their families, sometimes subsidized with no charge to the user, but often at rates lower than commercial prices.

long-distance FONECON or E-MAIL provided to all unit members on a schedule at low charge (domestic) or no cost (overseas) as a perquisite of the subsidized Morale, Welfare, and Recreation program; see MAIL, TELEPHONE, VOIP, SKYPE.

Mountain Warfare School; conducts a challenging two-week program under tactical conditions at Camp Ethan Allen in Jericho Vermont; see MOUNTAINEER, WINTER WARRIOR.

Mountain Warfare Training Center, being the Marine Corps school for individuals and units undertaking cold weather operations in alpine terrain, which facility has been situated northwest of Bridgeport (Toiyabe National Forest, California, south of Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevadas); this installation originated as the Cold Weather Battalion in 1951 for training replacements sent to the KOREAN WAR, with its role and doctrine expanded in 1963 to encompass high altitude and mountain warfare, then oriented to Norway and the northern flank of Europe, but lately as pre-deployment preparation for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan. Like the Army's RANGER school, students attending the USMC's MWTC begin with the Mountain Endurance Test on Training Day One: a five mile ruck run with 50lb pack completed within 75 minutes or less while wearing the camouflage uniform and boots, immediately followed by at least ten pull-ups, then finishing with a 30 foot rope climb. The MWTC offers training in leadership and management, survival and skillcrafts (eg: scout/sniper, ropework and rappelling, rock and ice, snow and avalanches, snowshoeing and skiing, vehicle operation, animal transport, high altitude cooking, cold weather medicine and rescue, navigation and hazards, etc), which facilities also include a gym, climbing wall, ski lift, airfield, displays, maneuver areas, and firing ranges. See RED HATS, MOUNTAINEER, WINTER WARRIOR. [v: Climbing Terms]

acronym for Mind Your Own Business, being a libertarian catch-phrase advocating laissez faire / laisser faire principles. [cf: "It's none of your business!", "Mind your own plate!", "Paddle your own canoe!"]

any ground or smothered entree that's disguised to conceal its inferiority as a palatable foodstuff (eg: mock chicken, mock turtle soup, sea legs / surimi, Bombay duck, Welsh rabbit, golden buck). Also, dismissive reference to any unknown or unknowable entree/entrée, especially in a foreign cuisine or with wild game, including varmints and arthropods, amphibians and avifauna. See HARDTACK, RICE BALL, PITA, CAMEL BURGER, SANDWICH, BOXED NASTY, HORSE COCK, SLIDER, CRITTER FRITTER, CAVALRY STEAK, SPAM, MIDRATS, SLOP, GUT BOMB, WASH, WAD, IRON RATIONS, STONE SOUP, BEANS, CHOW, RATIONS. [cf: tube steak, cheese steak, minute steak, Swiss steak, Salisbury steak; v: porterhouse steak (ie: sirloin steak and New York strip steak), club steak, skirt steak, round steak, shell steak, T-bone steak, cube steak]

an invented story or fictitious person; as a contrivance, fabrication, fantasy, falsehood, tall tale, prevarication, canard, hearsay, anecdote, yarn, poseur, faker, pretender, fraud, imitator, sham, counterfeit, spurious, bogus, specious; see COUNT COUP, WAR STORY, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, SEA STORY, TELL IT TO THE MARINES, TALK TRASH, SHOOT THE SHIT, MACHO, WHISKEY WARRIOR, TOY SOLDIER, WANNABE. [v: Myths of the Vietnam War] Also, a belief or set of beliefs, often unproven or false, that have accrued around a person or people, institution or phenomenon, such as the "myth of moral authority", the "myth of intellectual superiority", or the "myth of sexual endowment"; see BEST AND BRIGHTEST, WHIZ KID, WISE MEN, MANDARIN, CZAR, POLITICIAN. Also, a traditional story, involving gods and heroes, that explains cultural beliefs and practices, natural objects and phenomena, supernatural forces and events; the underlying system of beliefs that are characteristic of a particular cultural group; also known as 'mythos', and collected into 'mythology', as derived from story (Greek 'word'). [nb: a LEGEND is usually concerned with a real person or event, which story is associated with a particular people and is believed to have some basis in fact; a MYTH is a purportedly historical story that attempts to explain some belief, practice, or phenomenon, with its characters being gods or heroes; a FABLE is a fictitious story that intends to teach a moral lesson, with its characters being anthropomorphized animals or magical creatures; cf: homily, allegory, parable, apologue, tale, folk tale, fairy tale] [nb: "Heroes are long remembered, but legends never die."; "The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest -- but the myth -- persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." by John F. Kennedy (11 June 1962); "From the perspective of our old age, the reckless adventures of our impetuous youth begin to take-on the aura of fantastic mythology!" paraphrase of Craig Johnson (2015)]