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

The emphasis of this educational reference is on words and phrases that appear in published works about war and military service; and amongst this jargon and slang, there is no pretense of objectivity or completeness, which may be readily found in official documents or government resources. This fragmentary opus is a work in progress ....

Caveat Lector: Vulgar, profane, and obscene dysphemisms, which have been used for every part of speech and rhetorical form, have not been Bowdlerized nor expurgated from this glossary, to the undoubted dismay of purists and the evident enrichment of our mother-tongue; so immature or hypersensitive persons should refrain from perusing this indubitably eclectic and contingently egregious compendium. Swearing is usually either juvenile or crass, but military personnel admire talent and respect skill, so the ability to create imaginative expletives and to craft uncommon scurrility is often appreciated.

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N :
an aircraft prefix under the Joint Service Designation System that represents '(permanent) test'.

N/A :
Not Applicable, as used when completing FORMs, since every question must be answered and every block filled-in; see NO EXCUSE, RED TAPE.

the enclosed part of an airplane, dirigible, or the like, in which the engine, cargo, or passengers are housed; compare COWLING, FUSELAGE, FAIRING. Also, the car of a balloon; as derived from a "small boat". [nb: reconnoitering balloons were first used by the Army of the Potomac at the Battle of Fredericksburg (12 December 1862)]

a modern pluralistic tribe of heterodox peoples, racially and religiously admixed, sharing a common blend of languages and mores, regardless of income or profession, especially a preoccupation with artifacts and costumery, entertainment and recreation; resident throughout North America in sociopolitical and socioeconomic enclaves distributed in urban, suburban, exurban, and rural dwellings of great variety, this oft-analyzed tribe is world renown for its savvy and enthusiasm, its tolerance and generosity, its determination and idealism. See CAN DO, AMERICANIZE, TRADITION, LAST BEST HOPE, PATRIOTISM, FOREIGN DEVIL, CIVILIAN, SILENT MAJORITY, LITTLE PEOPLE, THIRD ESTATE, CITIZEN, TAXPAYER, PROFESSIONAL VETERAN, RETIREE, CULTURE WAR.

unofficial Marine element NAD
NAD Marines
Naval Advisory Detachment, located in Da Nang to support MARKET TIME, BRIGHT LIGHT, and other clandestine seaborne operations by SEALs, FORCE RECON, or SOG.

Non-Appropriated Funds, being the subvention money that's commonly known as a SLUSH FUND.

Naval Advisory Group; see MRF, JUNK FORCE.

an anti-personnel type of warhead attached to a 2.75-inch, spin-stabilized, folding-fin, aerial rocket containing FLECHETTEs, and was usually launched from helicopter GUNSHIPs.

an operative with inadequate COVER or insufficient BACKSTOP, who may be accidentally or mistakenly exposed; not usually a DANGLE or THROW-AWAY; see LIFTED SKIRT, RABBIT, BOLT HOLE, TRADECRAFT. Also, defenseless, unprotected, vulnerable or exposed; without the customary covering or typical protection, as "out in the cold" or a "naked sword". Also, unaided or unenhanced, as without support or supplement, accompaniment or augmentation. Also, plain or simple, unadorned or unembellished, uncomplicated or unobscured; by extension of bare or nude, fully exposed or plainly revealed; see THE NAKED TRUTH. Also, out of uniform; uncovered or undisguised, as when improperly revealed or misrepresented; see STERILE, CLEAN, STOOGE, SECRET SQUIRREL, LIFTED SKIRT.

slang for Nakhon / Nhakon Phanom (NKP) Air Base Thailand, located across the MeKong River from Takhet Laos; operating as a major communication and electronic warfare base, hosting both Army and USAF special operations forces. See PONY, INVERT.

the plain authentic TRUTH, unadulterated and unvarnished, without embellishment or accompaniment, unreserved or undisguised; according to fable, Truth and Falsehood went bathing together, and when Falsehood came first out of the water, she dressed herself in Truth's garments, so when Truth emerged, unwilling to take the dress of Falsehood, she went naked. [nb: "We wink and grin, gawk and gape, leer and slaver at each and every lurid lie ... but when exposed to the naked truth, in all its shameless glory, we modestly blush while offering to conceal its lusty radiance, as we meekly beg its pardon."]

an abridgement of the name of the southeast Asian country: Viet Nam / Vietnam; being a short form absent of pejorative implications; compare THE NAM, see see GVN, RVN, SVN, VN.

phrase used by CLERKS 'n' JERKS to signify the VIETNAM WAR, with the implication that the user is a grizzled veteran of a tough combat tour; use of this TELLTALE phrase is a FALSE FLAG. See WAR STORY, SEA STORY, COUNT COUP, BTDT, PAY DUES, REMF, UP-CLOSE 'n' PERSONAL, CANDY-ASS, WANNABE; compare GVN, RVN, SVN, VN, THE ROOT, THE MED, THE GULF, THE MOG, ABSURDISTAN, THE STANS. [nb: among the persistent myths about the VIETNAM WAR is the generalization that "no place was safe" and that "everyone was a combatant"; but the fact is that only 8% of ground personnel ever engaged in combat with the enemy, and the greatest majority of combat casualties occurred in a few selected border areas of enemy concentration and infiltration] [v: Myths of the Vietnam War]

A repressive government (acting as surrogate parent) that inhibits the free choice and manages the normal risk of its constituents by implementing protectionist policies and enforcing extensive regulations; coined by a British journalist (1965), and also called a "welfare state", this excess of paternalism seeks to abrogate LIBERTY with despotic redistribution. Compare CLIENT STATE, PROTECTORATE, SATELLITE, GARRISON STATE, RUGGED INDIVIDUALISM, FATHER KNOWS BEST; see FREEDOM, EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, SOCIAL CONTRACT, EQUAL PROTECTION, WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS, EURO-WEENIE, NATION BUILDING, NEW WORLD ORDER.

the "sanctioned" term of Non-Airborne Personnel for the common slang epithet LEG. Also, a doze or short sleep, especially during the daytime; see EYELID MAINTENANCE, KIP, PAC / PAC TIME, COMBAT NAP; compare NO REST. [v: sleep, shut-eye, snooze, doze, catnap, power nap, forty winks, drowse, slumber, rest, siesta, hibernate]

a jellied incendiary, also called "nape", and formally known as "Incendi-Gel" (or "Incendier-Gel"), used by French and American forces throughout INDOCHINA as both defoliant and anti-personnel weapon. Like "Composition C", it was developed during WWII by British research, but is as ancient as "Greek Fire" (viscid oil augmented by quicklime, caAD670); consisting of a flammable organic solvent, usually gasoline, made gelatinous by soap, and delivered by bomb or flamethrower. NAPALM clung to the surfaces it touched, holding the burning solvent in place on the target. See PHOUGAS, SNAKES 'n' NAPES, ZIPPO, FLAMETHROWER, MOLOTOV COCKTAIL, FAE, GBU, CBU, IRON BOMB. [v: pyromachy]

see NOE.

Naval Academy Prep School; a naval service training center that prepares enlisted applicants from the Navy and Marine Corps to attend college at the BOAT SCHOOL (USNA, Annapolis, MD); these CADETs are known as "NAPSters". Compare USMAPS; see RING-KNOCKER, TRADE SCHOOL, NROTC.

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

(en ay ess) Naval Air Station; see OPIUM DEN, compare MCAS, MAD.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, established in 1969 from technologies transferred by DARPA, subsuming the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) entire, which has been re-interpreted as "Never A Straight Answer" and "Not Always Scientifically Accurate" by investigators; the official NASA motto is: "For the benefit of all mankind". Compare NSA, NOAA, USGS, NRO; see STADAN, RIGHT STUFF.

a Malaysian dish of coconut rice, fried chicken pieces, parcooked egg in red sauce with various seasonings, served together on a banana leaf; as derived from 'fatty rice'.

a popular Indonesian dish consisting of fish curry, sambal chili sauce, mixed green vegetables with a little bit of soybean cake (tempeh) on a bed of hot rice. Compare SATE LILIT.

designated U.S. Navy Patrol Type Fast (PTF); imported from Norway to be part of operation MARKET TIME, used to patrol (at speeds up to 47 KNOTS) coastal waters and rivers of Vietnam, and used to insert "Sea Commandos" or SEAL teams. See CAS, PBR, SWIFT BOAT.

a brusque and concise message, typically a terse directive or a tactless e-mail, which is unnecessarily irritating in its style and manner, simply because the author has the authority to be rude to the recipient ... impoliteness is often an attempt to mask uncertainty or deficiency, regardless of tactical urgency. Also known as "flame" or "flamer". Compare CALL ON THE CARPET, FANG, GRIPEVINE, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, RIOT ACT, BAYONET SHEET, BACK CHANNEL.

U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center, a Quartermaster research facility in Natick, Massachusetts; formerly designated "Natick Research and Development Laboratories". [nb: the "Army Food Lab" (Food Engineering Laboratories, U.S. Army Research and Development Command, Natick, MA) continues to evolve nutritious and convenient meals for MIL-PERS, such as "no waste steak" (72% animal vs 30%), "pouch food" (Mylar wrapped food), "air-dried food" (compressed compact food), etc]

see HOMELAND, HOME FRONT, AMERICANIZE / AMERICANIZATION, THE G, THE ESTABLISHMENT, UNCLE SAM. [cf: state, country] [nb: "Nations have forefathers, but ideas have progenitors; the wealthy have ancestors, but the poor only have grandparents."]

THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER, by Francis Scott Key, was composed during the defense of Fort McHenry, 13-14 September 1814; then made National Anthem of the United States of America by a 1916 Executive Order and a 3 March 1931 Act of Congress.

a cemetery, maintained by the federal government, for the interment of persons who have served honorably in the Armed Forces of the United States, the most famous of which is Arlington National Cemetery; see PUNCHBOWL, BOX JOB, BONEYARD, GARDEN OF STONES, TOMB, CATAFALQUE, FUNERAL PACE, MORTUARY AFFAIRS, GRAVES REGISTRATION; compare LAID BY THE WALL. [nb: "long home" is slang for gravesite; v: graveyard, boneyard, boot hill, God's acre, churchyard, catacomb, necropolis, cenotaph, columbarium, sepulcher; cf: "whited sepulcher" (Matthew 23:27)] [nb: the traditional three-shot volley at burial derives from the pagan ritual of shouting the name of the deceased three times to tell the gods who is coming] [nb: the tradition of placing a coin in the mouth of the deceased before burial derives from the pagan rite of paying for passage into the Afterlife (cf: Christian eschatology, re: "harder for a rich man to get into Heaven"); compare "tooth notch" at DOG TAGS]


National Defense service
awarded to MIL-PERS for honorable active federal service in the Armed Forces during the KOREAN WAR (25 Jun 1950 - 27 Jul 1953), the VIETNAM WAR (1 Jan 1961 - 14 Aug 1974), the Persian GULF WAR (2 Aug 1990 - 30 Nov 1995), and the GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM (11 Sep 2001...), with a bronze service star (BATTLE STAR) or an oak leaf cluster (OLC) added for multiple periods of service; the NDSM has also been authorized for award to cadets serving at the military service academies (ie: USMA, USNA, USAFA). The obverse of this medal displays the legend "National Defense" with an American eagle surmounting a military sword and palm branch representing 'victory'; the reverse displays the United States shield amidst an oak leaf and laurel spray representing achievement and strength. It's been sardonically remarked that the colors of the NDSM are: "red for the blood we never shed, blue for the sea and sky we never crossed, and yellow is the reason why!" The NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL is equivalent to the AMERICAN CAMPAIGN MEDAL (ACM) for similar active federal duty during WWII. Compare AMERICAN DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL.

Congress, the best that money can buy! ... both phrases are ascribed to William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers about the branch of government that apportions, reviews, and regulates the military, with little knowledge and less appreciation for its role or function. The military is either a cat's-paw or stalking-horse for ambitious pols, whose best joke is delivered every time THE EAGLE SHITS. See THE G, FOGGY BOTTOM, THE HILL, ALPHABET CITY, OLYMPUS, GREEN ACRES, RED TAPE, PORK BARREL, ACT OF CONGRESS, PETITION, WASHINGTON WALTZ, UNCLE SAM, MANDARIN, YANKEE. [nb: "Every time Congress makes a joke, it's a law. And every time it makes a law, it's a joke." by Will Rogers; "There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you." by William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers]


devotion and loyalty to one's own country, its culture and customs; adherence to the spirit of PATRIOTIC aspiration or advancement. Also, a policy asserting the peculiar interests of one's own nation, as separate from the interests of other nations or from the common interests of all nations; also called "statism", being a movement promoting such a doctrine. See NATION BUILDING, WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS, CULTURE WAR, SOFT TYRANNY, SIEGE MENTALITY, LAST BEST HOPE, TRUE BLUE; compare UN-AMERICAN, ANTI-AMERICAN. [v: kultur, nativism, xenophobia, ethnocentrism, chauvinism, jingoism, irredentism, separatism, anomie; cf: nation-state, self-determination, autonomous international cooperation, fascism, socialism, imperialism, populism]

STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER, composed by John Philip Sousa (c1897), was proclaimed the national march of the United States of America on 10 December 1987 by an Act of Congress.

conceived by a group of disabled World War I veterans who were patients in the United States Public Health Service Hospital #54 located at Arrowhead Springs, California, with some of them being members of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV); this facility (like many others) was converted from a building formerly used for other purposes due to a shortage of hospital beds after the war, in this case, a well known hotel situated on the side of a mountain near San Bernardino. Because of its isolation and the limited activities available to its patients, the majority of whom were ambulatory, a few DAV members formed a secret fraternal society, devising an initiation ceremony, which was then promoted nationwide as a DAV auxiliary in 1924. The NATIONAL ORDER OF TRENCH RATS derives its name from the rats sharing the trenches in France during the Great War, and members are divided into local Dugouts. An exclusive "fun and honor society", it's open only by invitation to those who perform outstanding service for the Disabled American Veterans, with the Order's members wearing different colored fezzes, similar to the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, as symbols of their status. See BOY'S CLUB, VETERANS' ASSOCIATION. [nb: before the American CIVIL WAR, several state militias (eg: Chicago Zouave Cadets, New York Zouaves, Indiana Zouaves, Salem Zouaves, Eufaula Zouaves, Chichester Zouaves, Richmond Zouaves, Maryland Guard Zouaves, etc) caparisoned their troops like the picturesque Algerian-French Zouaves, including the fez, principally for drill, but retained this gawdy uniform throughout the war (eg: Battle of Port Republic)]

organized (20 Sept 1916) to promote wartime research and to stimulate scientific information; see DARPA.

a momentous catch-phrase that was imbued with righteous patriotism, as coined by James V. Forrestal, the first Secretary of Defense, the utterance of which was intended to (literally and figuratively) open any closed door and close any open door; an invocation to "bend the rules" for a "higher" or "greater" cause. This post-WWII expression, prevalent during the VIETNAM WAR and also represented as "national defense", was a sacrosanct incantation for the edification and exploitation of BRASS-COLLARed CANNON FODDER; being a laissez-passer for all things vague and shadowy and off the record. See PARTY LINE, TOE THE LINE, CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER, BIG PICTURE, SCRIPTURES, SAVINGS BOND. [nb: "Security is like liberty in that many are the crimes that are committed in its name." by Robert H. Jackson (1950)]

National Security Presidential Directive 51 :
see NSPD-51.


the declared altruistic objective of civil and military operations that validate the dominant exported culture; phrase coined by Boston newspaper on 12 July 1817 during America's "manifest destiny". The "white man's burden" of promoting a "melting pot" homogeneity as the universal culture of the 19th century has been redefined as "tossed salad" diversity under 20th century multiculturalism, an egalitarian export that devalues civilized achievement. After the VIETNAM WAR, this unconventional warfare (UW) doctrine was shunned as politically sensitive in favor of measurable objectives, but when COUNTER-TERRORISM missions were assigned, the doctrinal dispute resumed; the new iteration of NATION-BUILDING is called "stability operations", wherein the US military helps to provide basic services and build institutions to stabilise a foreign state recovering from war. The Pentagon issued a directive in late 2005 declaring that "stability operations are a core US military mission". Such stability and peacekeeping operations also involve civilian advisers as police, engineers, sanitarians, economists, and agricultural experts. See WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS, CLIENT STATE, FIFTY-FIRST STATER, NANNY STATE, MONROE DOCTRINE, ROOSEVELT COROLLARY, GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY, TRUMAN DOCTRINE, MARSHALL PLAN, CONTAINMENT, NEW WORLD ORDER, INTERVENTIONISM, NIXON DOCTRINE, CARTER DOCTRINE, REAGAN DOCTRINE; compare ISOLATIONISM. [nb: "The most important thing about democracy, which America could not teach Vietnam because we have not yet learned it ourselves, is not who votes, but who counts the ballots." by an unknown commentator] [v: "manifest Destiny" was coined by John L. O'Sullivan (1839); "White Man's Burden" was coined by J. Rudyard Kipling (1899)]

the policy of preserving or reviving an indigenous culture; the practice of preferring the interests of a native-born population to the diversity of incoming external influences; compare CONTINENTALISM. [v: innate; cf: messianism, adaptation, accommodation, acculturation / assimilation, exclusion / extermination, xenophobia]

North Atlantic Treaty
Organization flag
abbreviation for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, being a coalition formed on 4 April 1949 among the twelve nations of the Atlantic Pact (ie: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom, United States of America) together with Greece (1952), Turkey (1952), and the Federal Republic of Germany ("West Germany" 1955), for collective defense under a joint military command (headed by SACEur) against aggression, especially the Soviet Union and the six other eastern European nations of the Warsaw Pact (aka: Warsaw Treaty Organization); NATO is headquartered at Brussels, Belgium (or Bruxelles, Belgique); compare LEAGUE OF NATIONS, COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS, UN. [nb: the NATO coalition continues to represent collective defense for nations emerging in the region that affiliate, including some former Warsaw Pact countries, to wit: Spain (1982), Czech Republic (1999), Hungary (1999), Poland (1999), Bulgaria (2004), Estonia (2004), Latvia (2004), Lithuania (2004), Romania (2004), Slovakia (2004), Slovenia (2004), Albania (2009), Croatia (2009)] Also, abbreviation for the North African Theater of Operations, being the WWII designation for the area encompassing morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, and Egypt; see ETO, MTO.


a term employed in the fields of human ecology and human geography to denote a habitat occupied by a population that shares a common 'social heritage' of similar interests, related occupations, class values, or other distinguishing cultural possessions ... in short, a distinctive community. See BASE, FORT, POST, COMPOUND, FSB, FOB, OUTPOST, GARRISON, CANTONMENT, RESERVATION, GEOPOLITICS.

officially known as the "International Nautical Mile", being a unit of distance at sea or in the air equal to 1.852 kilometers. Also, a unit of distance, formerly used in the U.S. for navigation, equal to 6080.20 feet (1853.25 m), or the length of a minute of latitude at the latitude in question (decreasing toward the poles); abbreviated "nm". See KNOT, CABLE, FATHOM, DEMONS, SHOT, KLICK. [nb: the nautical mile was originally defined as a minute of arc of latitude measured along any meridian (circumference measured through the earth's poles); since a circle has 360 degrees, and each degree is 60 minutes, so the nautical mile was defined as 1/21,600 of the Earth's circumference, or about 1,852.22 meters; however, by international agreement, the NM is now defined to be exactly 1,852 meters (6,076 feet)] [nb: 12 inches = 1 foot, 3 feet = 1 yard, 6 feet / 2 yards = 1 fathom, 16.5 feet = 1 rod (aka: pole or perch), 66 feet / 4 rods = 1 chain (90 feet / 15 fathoms = 1 anchor chain), 10 chains / 660 feet (1/8 statute mile) = 1 furlong, 120 fathoms / 720 feet = 1 land cable, 101 fathoms / 606 feet (1/10 nautical mile) = 1 cable, 3 statute miles = 1 land league, 3 nautical miles = 1 sea league / shot] [nb: a "geographic mile" is the length of a minute of longitude on the equator]

contraction of NAVigator, or radar navigator, in an aircraft. Also, prefix for Navy or naval abbreviations (eg: NavForV, NavLO, NavOp, NavSpeak).

see USNI.

Naval Communications Station.

US Naval Forces Vietnam.


the MIL-SPEAK corruption of navigator, being the flight officer in the aircrew who's responsible for the accurate positioning of the aircraft in transit, as well as any weapons or cargo AIRDROPped onto an AIMPOINT, including airborne (ABN) MIL-PERS deployed onto a landing (LZ) or drop zone (DZ). See HEADING, AZIMUTH, BEARING, BEAM, VECTOR, DEAD-RECKONING, HEADWAY, PLOT, CHART TABLE, NAV, NAVIGATION; compare SLACK. [nb: in NavSpeak, an assistant navigator is designated as a QUARTERMASTER]

Navy Liaison Officer; see LO.

US NAVy OPerations; NavSpeak for headquarters (HQ). See FLAG PLOT.

someone serving in any of the several naval services (ie: U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Merchant Marine); see SAILOR, CIVLANT, CIVPAC, MIL-PERS.

contraction of navigation plot; see PLOT.

Naval Security Group.

a subcategory of MIL-SPEAK, being the slang and jargon employed by Navy and Marine personnel. [nb: called "jack-speak" in the British Royal Navy; first compiled as a glossary in 1955 by Commander A. Covey-Crump]

unclassified nickname of the global positioning satellites (GPS) which enable accurate and convenient navigation for military and civilian persons linked to them.

(forthcoming); presented for achievement or valor, this award ranks below the Navy Commendation Medal (NAVCOM), the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) and Bronze Star (BSM); equivalent to the Army Achievement Medal (AAM). Compare GREEN WEENIE; see DEVICE, GONG.

(forthcoming); this award ranks below the Bronze Star (BSM) for valor, and between the Navy Achievement Medal (NAM) and the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) for achievement. See DEVICE, V-DEVICE, IMPACT AWARD, GONG.

the nation's second highest award for valor, presented to Navy and Marine personnel for conspicuous gallantry; equivalent to the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) or Air Force Cross (AFC). See V-DEVICE, IMPACT AWARD, GONG.

a method of showering wherein the body is wetted, the water turned off while washing is performed, then rinsed as quickly as possible; this water-saving evolution wherein one attempts to get reasonably clean while using as little water as possible was formerly performed aboard ships using filtered seawater and saltwater soap before distillation became commonplace. See GI SHOWER, DOUCHE BAG, RAINROOM, PT SHOWER, MARINE SHOWER, WHORE'S BATH, MONKEY BUTT, LATRINE, HEAD, COMFORT STATION.

informal referent for "one size fits all"; except by some extraordinary cosmic coincidence, nothing issued by the military will ever fit a normal person. Compare ARMY SIZE; see FOOTWEAR, DRESS, CAP-A-PIE. [v: tailored, bespoke, couture]

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 contraction of National Socialist, from the political party named National Socialist German Workers' Party, which ruled Germany under (Chancellor, later 'der Führer') Adolf Hitler [born: Alois Schicklgruber; also known as "Mahatma Propagandi"] during the Third Reich (1933-1945), advocating territorial expansion and Aryan supremacy. This term signifies political affiliation, not military service; see BROWN SHIRT, BAD GUYS, GENOCIDE. Also, the most common disparagement or most frequent derogation uttered against MIL-PERS by PACIFISTs, PROTESTORs, and other societal parasites; this stereotypically censorious slur attempts to equate PATRIOTs with war criminals, PATRIOTism with chauvinism or jingoism, with xenophobia or ethnocentrism, which generalizations are specious attributions and fraudulent comparisons.

Nuclear-Bacterial-Chemical, or Nuclear-Biological-Chemical warfare agents; see CBR, CBW, GERM WARFARE, CBRNE, GNR, WMD, VECTOR, NUKE, BOMB, GENOCIDE, APOCALYPSE.

a protective coverall designed to shield the wearer against contamination from nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons; see MOPP, BUNNY SUIT, MOON SUIT, BLUE SUIT, JSLIST, CPOG, GAS MASK.

a nuclear bomb designed to release an intense burst of neutrons and gamma rays, with a weaker blast wave and less residual radiation than other nuclear weapons; also known as "neutron bomb". Compare A-BOMB, H-BOMB; see ZERO POINT, GROUND ZERO, OVERKILL, CBR, NUKE, FOOTBALL, PENTAGONAL, DARPA, BIGGER BANG FOR THE BUCK, YELLOWCAKE, HEAVY WATER, HOT GREASE, SCRAM, CONTAINMENT, BROKEN ARROW.

(en-see-a) National Command Authority, being the highest level of tactical leadership in time of war or other emergency, from the president, his duly deputized alternate or successor along the CHAIN-OF-COMMAND from the JCS.

Naval Construction Battalion; see SEABEES.

Navy Component Commander. Also, the National Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam; see NEW MOBE, PROTESTOR, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY, BEST AND BRIGHTEST, RUNNING DOG, FIFTH COLUMN, BLACK BLOC, BULLSHITVIK, YIPPIE.

Naval Combat Demolitions Units were formed during Spring 1943 by Naval Construction Battalion (CB/SEABEES) volunteers, to perform underwater surveys and clearances for amphibious landings. The NCDU evolved into Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) before the end of WWII.

Naval Construction Forces Pacific; see SEABEES.

Naval Criminal Investigative Service, or Naval Criminal Investigation Service, being the section that specializes in criminal investigations and prosecutions for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, and is the successor of the Naval Investigative Service (NIS); see CID, OSI, CGIS, DCIS, DIS, FBI, BUTTON, POLICE.

subdued Master Sergeant rank
(en-see-oh) Non-Commissioned Officer; exclusive of technical and specialist ratings, the "hard-stripe" sergeant and petty officer RANKs (from E-4) are in the CHAIN-OF-COMMAND; also known as "nun-skum" and SARGE. See BUCK, CHIEF, GUNNY, TOP, DI, SUPER GRADE, ROCKER, NCOIC, SNCOIC, MATING MOSQUITOES, SNCO, RIGHT ARM; compare EM, MOSQUITO WING, MOSQUITO SMILE, SLICK SLEEVE, SPEC, BIRD UMBRELLA, CRUIT, SWINE LOG, YARDBIRD, STAFF SERGEANT MAJOR.

Non-Commissioned Officer Academy, being a Corps- or Army-level training course required for promotion above Sergeant E-5; see LPC, INCOC, NCOCC, SMA, SHAKE 'n' BAKE, UP OR OUT. [v: FM 7-22 "Non-Commissioned Officer Guide" (1904)]

(forthcoming); see LPC, NCOA, SMA, SHAKE 'n' BAKE, UP OR OUT. course training later automated at off-duty education centers.

(forthcoming); include STRIPES BAR, ROCKER LOUNGE, TOP 3 CLUB, RIGHT ARM; compare ANNEX, SLOP CHUTE, ACEY-DEUCY, O CLUB, ALL RANKS CLUB. [v: "What happens in the club stays in the club!"]

Non-Commissioned Officer Efficiency Report; based on character and efficiency (C&E) rating. See FITREP, ER, BAYONET SHEET.

(n-c-o-i-c) Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge; compare SNCOIC, OIC, CQ.

National Clandestine Service, formerly designated the Directorate of Operations for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

National Counter-Terrorism Center, an interagency organization devoted to NATIONAL SECURITY through the detection and neutralization of foreign and domestic threats; see DHS, NSPG, NRP, NIMS, ANTI-TERRORISM, COUNTER-TERRORISM, TERRORIST.

Notification-Day; the unnamed day an active duty unit is notified for deployment or redeployment. See TIME.


(knee-cap) National Emergency Airborne Command Post, being the perennially airborne aerial command center of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) and Strategic Command (STRATCOM), which is the command and control (C&C) headquarters of the president (POTUS) in the event of worldwide nuclear war (DOOMSDAY); see DEFCON, SACON, FPCON, ALERT, FOOTBALL, ABNCP, ABCCC, LOOKING GLASS.

the operational area of the SANDBOX and the FIVE SEAS.

a hairsbreadth escape or deliverance from danger or trouble; see CLOSE SHAVE, SQUEAK; compare WITHOUT TURNING A HAIR. [nb: not a declaration of the propinquity of an unmarried woman!]

Necco flavored sugar wafers
Necco sugar wafers
sugar wafers made by the New England Confectionery Company (Necco) and provided in rolls of assorted flavors since 1847; called "hub wafers" at the time, these lozenges were carried by Federal troops during the American CIVIL WAR because they were resistant to travel and temperature exposures, which factors became a consideration for later wars and expeditions, up to the present. Issued to servicemembers during WWII, the popularity of these wafers dwindled after the Vietnam-era. NECCO wafers usually include eight flavors [ie: lemon (yellow), lime (green), orange (orange), clove (purple), cinnamon (white), wintergreen (pink), licorice (black), and chocolate (brown)], but the manufacturer has also produced a mix of chocolates [ie: mocha (light brown), white chocolate (white), milk chocolate (brown), and dark chocolate (dark brown)] and a new "Smoothies" assortment [ie: blueberry (pale blue), banana caramel (yellow), pineapple / coconut (white), peach (orange), and strawberry creme (pink)]. While the company has reputedly sold more than a trillion NECCO wafers, it also produces "Haviland Mints", "Conversation Hearts", "Mary Janes", "Nonpareil", "Sky Bar" and CLARK BAR candy bars, among others. See POGY BAIT, GEDUNK, SUGAR PILL.

any narrow, connecting, or projecting part or piece, especially a strip of land; an isthmus or cape. Also, a strait, channel, narrows, or passage. See BIGHT. [cf: "gat" : a passage or channel that extends inland from a shore through shoals, reefs, gorges, and the like; as derived from hole or opening]

a scarf or cloth worn around the neck; see KERCHIEF.

see NECK SOCK. [cf: turtleneck, dickey; balaclava, coif, pileus/pîlos, calotte, skullcap]

to pinion a harried victim with a fuel-filled rubber tire, or a wrap of petrol-soaked rope, which is ignited while the person is entrapped; being a slow and sadistic form of execution practiced in many underdeveloped countries. See HAIRCUT AND MANICURE, DECAPITATION, TERRORIST, ATROCITY.

a colored or patterned neck-cloth worn with various uniforms to signify unit distinction or branch affiliation; such as honor guard, military police, or airborne status. Sometimes called cravat, ascot, or foulard; in observing the military tradition of Croatian mercenaries wearing a distinctive neck scarf while serving in the French Army. In WWII, resupply parachutes were often scavenged to make distinctively colored or patterned neck scarves as an indication of front line duty. During combat operations, all MIKE FORCE troops were issued a distinctively patterned or colored NECK SCARF to help prevent FRIENDLY FIRE casualties; a similar display was practiced by the Northern Alliance tribesmen and their ADVISORs in Afghanistan after the 9/11 2001 TERRORIST attack. Compare FIELD SCARF; see CORD, CORDON, CREST, HEADGEAR, LANYARD, PATCH. [nb: during the period of American "manifest destiny", when Indian Scouts were employed as Army guides and strikers in the Western campaigns, bright red cloths were issued to AmerIndian allies, to be worn as an armband or headband or NECK SCARF, so as to avoid FRIENDLY FIRE casualties during engagements]

informal name for the separate tube or collar encasing the wearer's throat, knitted or crocheted of woolen yarns, that has been permitted for wear for additional warmth during winter operations by OEF troops in Afghanistan and OIF troops in Iraq; also called "neck gaiter" or "neck warmer" [cf: turtleneck, dickey]. See JEEP CAP, WATCH CAP. [cf: balaclava, coif, pileus/pîlos, calotte, skullcap]

slang for the direction indicator or course pointer in a magnetic COMPASS, which is typically dampened so as to hinder excessive oscillation during travel, especially in a constantly moving vehicle or craft, so as to maintain its direction; see DEADHEAD, GIMBAL, GYROCOMPASS. [v: pelorus] Also, metonymic slang for a syringe for hypodermic injection or ejection; see SYRETTE. Also, a small, slender, pointed instrument used for sewing or suturing; see HOUSEWIFE, DOG BITE. Also, to prod, goad, or harass someone, as "to give him the needle".

the basic criterion for access to restricted data, regardless of rank or position; security classifications include UNCLASsified (UNCLAS)(color code: white), For Official Use Only (FOUO)(color code: green), Confidential (color code: blue), Secret (color code: red), Top Secret (TS)(color code: orange), and delimiters include NO FOReigN (NOFORN) and Eyes Only (no copies)(color code: yellow). There are no security classifications "above" Top Secret, but code word access for special projects or reports, is a further restriction based upon the NEED TO KNOW, upon being "in the loop" for action or oversight. It's been said that SOG kept its best secrets from its own operatives, all of whom were COMPARTMENTALIZED, since penetration agents and war PROTESTORS seemingly knew more than the actual veterans! See MUSHROOM, OPSEC, BLACKOUT, GAG ORDER, BACK CHANNEL. [nb: "hush-hush" and "mum" mean 'silent' (don't talk about it), rather than 'secret'] [nb: "Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead." by Benjamin Franklin (1735); "Security is like liberty in that many are the crimes that are committed in its name." by Robert H. Jackson (1950); "Absolute secrecy corrupts absolutely." by Fred Hitz (1995)]

MIL-SPEAK for no, not, incorrect, disagree, denied, none; sometimes converted into slang as "negatory" or "negatron". Compare AFFIRMATIVE, CORRIGHT; see NUGATORY.

exhibiting a selfish ("What's in it for me?") or cynical ("You've mistaken me for someone who cares."; "Do I look like somebody who gives a damn?") approach to life's difficulties and challenges, which is countered by motivational teamwork ("The word TEAM is not spelled with an 'I' in it!"); see HALF-ASSED, GUNDECKING, SHORT-TIMER ATTITUDE, GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK, BOONDOGGLE, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF, CUTTHROAT, IOTA. [v: anomie]



Navy Electronics Laboratory.

Noncombatant Evacuation Operation, being the designation for the transport of injured civilians to a medical facility; see SOFT TARGET, CIVCAS, COLLATERAL DAMAGE, MUSHROOM, NEUTRAL, DOUBTFULS, MEDEVAC, DUSTOFF, BAND-AID, CRACKER BOX, AID STATION, HOSP.


Lockheed RP-2 aircraft. Also, brand name of the DIVE KNIFE that was available (1968-74) as a private-purchase accessory made by Gerber Legendary Blades for underwater utility and survival during the VIETNAM WAR; the 5.5" blade of .25" 440C stainless steel had inch marks etched along its length. The straight-backed blade had either sawteeth or serrations along its back, a plain cutting edge leading to an upswept point, and a molded haft with an integral single-quillion guard of highly textured (non-slip) "Armorhide" that was colored either bright yellow and black or international blaze orange. The Gerber NEPTUNE was provided with a durable latex sheath (with chromium carbide sharpening steel) or oil-impregnated leather sheath, either suited for wear on belt or leg. See KNIFE. [nb: Gerber's '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 coating; 'Armorhide' exists in gray, black, yellow, and orange]

slang for the episodic concentrations of high-tech and science-based industries, such as California's Silicon Valley and Boston's Route 128 Corridor; formed as a blend of 'nerd' with the suffix "-istan" (place), these developments are expansions of the post-WWII era "nerdvilles", which arenas had often been located on the periphery of a research laboratory or technical school. See WONK, GADGET, WALLAH, GUNNER, WIZARD, PROFESSOR, POGUE, CREEP. [nb: the electronic medium that's populated by online bloggers is known as "blogistan"]

a rhyming catch-phrase for "relax", "calm down", "take it easy", and similar injunctions; typically expressed as "Don't get nervous in the service." whenever allaying doubts or concerns. Also used to identify someone who's anxious or apprehensive, excited or agitated, as "He must be getting short 'cause he's nervous in the service." ... these skittish or flinchy persons are sometimes called "jitterbug" or "jumping bean"; see HANG LOOSE, MARK TIME, HAPPY FEET, HURRY-UP AND WAIT.

(knee-sip, or ness-sep) Navy Enlisted Scientific Education Program, a baccalaureate and commissioning program available to promising technicians serving on active duty in the U.S. Navy; see ACASP, DEP, CONAP, BOOTSTRAP, USAFI, SOC, ROTC.

Nuclear Emergency Support Team, formerly known as the Nuclear Emergency Search Team, being a response group of scientists and engineers under the auspices of the National Nuclear Security Administration in the US Dept of Energy that has been tasked since 1974 with responding to nuclear accidents and radiological incidents. NEST, which can field a force of several hundred technicians equipped with portable detectors, is responsible for investigating the illegal use of nuclear materials, and will assist military or police bomb disposal missions, including TERRORIST incidents. Due to the occurrence of false positive reactions and the ease of masking fissile/fissionable materials, it is unlikely that NEST will be able to detect a serious threat before it is activated ... hence the generally dismissive comparison by critics to a volunteer fire department working to control a major incident, when no organization, no matter how alert or professional, can prevent an episode. Acronym sometimes misrepresented as 'Nuclear Explosion Survey Team'. See CBR, NUKE, HOT GREASE, SCRAM, CONTAINMENT, EOD, BUNNY SUIT, MOPP, HAZMAT, WMD.

short for network, especially communication or surveillance systems; see COMMO, RADIO, TELEPHONE, TELECON, SAT, SATCOM; compare SCUTTLEBUTT, RUMOR, BACK CHANNEL, TELEPHONE TREE, BAMBOO TELEGRAPH. Also, mesh or screen of appropriate size used variously to cover, carry, or contain; see GP, DEBARKATION NET, CARGO NET, BAR, MAIL [nb: the word "canopy" originally meant net, as a gauze insect or mosquito barrier; cf: sparver]. Also, anything serving to catch or ensnare; see SNATCH, SNAKING [v: seine, pound net, fyke].

the contracted form of NETwork inTRUSION, being the transmission or insertion of false data or corrupt programs into an enemy computer or network by way of communication links or sensors; this form of "information warfare" (CYBERWAR) employs DECEPTION (eg: TROJAN HORSE) and SABOTAGE (eg: ZORCH). [cf: sniff, phish, spoof, astroturfing, smurf, deadman, worm, virus, spyware, malware]

a person or entity that's not participating in a dispute or war; a citizen or nation that's not aligned with or aiding any participant in a controversy or conflict, as when taking a neutral position, belonging to a neutral party or state, residing in a neutral territory; term derived from "neuter" (asexual or sterile). See PACIFIST, CO, THEY'LL GIVE A WAR AN' NOBODY'LL COME, DRONE, APPEASE, PEACE. [v: 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact (General Treaty for the Renunciation of War)] [nb: "The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality." (mis-)attributed to Dante Alighieri by John F. Kennedy (24 June 1963); "Non-combatant: a dead Quaker." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce]

to render an enemy action, operation, force, installation, or the like ineffective by military action, as to nullify an enemy's threat potential or capability by combat action, by intercession, by maneuver, by containment, or any other means.

baby talk used sardonically to dramatically express a negative, meaning "[this/that will] never happen"; no way at all, without any possibility.

a patriotic rallying cry that decries past failures and exhorts new policies or practices, especially after the KOREAN WAR and the VIETNAM WAR; argues against LIMITED WARs and MISSION CREEP ... perceived as bellicose and jingoistic when simply advocating efficiency and effectiveness.


a movement espousing vague philosophies and indefinite practices that seeks to blend ancient traditions with modern technologies, to meld custom with innovation, to merge the old with the new in a "better way"; this process of social reform is most evidently represented in art and music, but is just another extension of the factitious Age of Aquarius; see BABY BOOMER, COUNTERCULTURE, CULTURE WAR; compare NIHILISM, NEW WORLD ORDER, HAPPY VALLEY. [v: Third Wave]

a latter-day disciple of the COUNTERCULTURE, typically one of the privileged spawn of the pampered elite who misguidedly indulge their impractical romanticism for an idyllic paradise (especially one without challenge or conflict) in a deluded devotion to humanistic perfectability; a HIPPIE devotee enthralled by the "third wave" of social reform; a "citizen of the world" who is unappreciative of their inherited liberty and ungrateful for the protections that preserve their vaunted freedoms. See SUMMER OF LOVE, WE SHALL OVERCOME, KUM BA YAH, FLOWER POWER, PACIFIST, LOVE BEADS, SILVER-TAIL, SOFT TYRANNY, STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, SYMPATHIZER, THEY'LL GIVE A WAR AN' NOBODY'LL COME, FIFTH COLUMN, PROTESTOR, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY, UN-AMERICAN, ANTI-AMERICAN, BULLSHITVIK; compare YIPPIE, TRIPPIE.

(new-bee) anyone with less time IN COUNTRY or in service than the speaker, but usually synonymous with CHERRY or FNG for a novice, tyro, or neophyte; may also be spelled "newbie", as a contraction of "NEW baBIEs". Sometimes called "rookie", "tenderfoot", "greenhorn", "cheechako", FRESH CATCH, "fresh meat", "new meat, or "raw meat". Compare TURTLE, CHUM, SHOWER SHOE, NUGGET, WANNABE, RETREAD. [nb: showing an astonishing sophistication, a new Russian soldier in the USSR during WWII was known as an "ingénu" (masculine form of ingénue), which is both quite accurate and very descriptive] [nb: "One new recruit added to an old unit is worth two added to a new unit." military maxim]

a facetious reference denoting a passionate desire or an enthusiastic tendency to experience the untried or to encounter the unknown; a nonce word that characterizes nervous excitement as if it were a diseased condition. Compare FLAP. [v: buck fever]


Eisenhower doctrine of immediate REPRISAL or massive RETALIATION employing strategic air defense and nuclear weapons, which policy reduced conventional ground assets as too slow, too weak, and superfluous to the higher tech remedies ... thus inviting the LOW-INTENSITY CONFLICTs that preoccupied successive decades. See CONTAINMENT, BRINKMANSHIP, BIGGER BANG FOR THE BUCK, NUKE, WMD, MAD, OVERKILL. [nb: the New Look, a strategy dependent upon only one form of military power, was sharply criticized by soldiers and academics alike; critics argued that unless the United States was willing to risk destruction, the threat of massive nuclear retaliation had little credibility. General Matthew B. Ridgway and his successor, General Maxwell D. Taylor, were vocal opponents; both advocating balanced forces to enable the United States to realistically cope with a variety of military contingencies, with later events demonstrating the importance of avoiding a fixed concept of war]

symbol of international peace
peace sign
short form of the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (NMCEWV); see NCC, PROTESTOR, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY, BEST AND BRIGHTEST, RUNNING DOG, FIFTH COLUMN, BLACK BLOC, BULLSHITVIK, YIPPIE, APOCALYPSE. [v: grievance culture, populism, dual consciousness, relative deprivation theory, J-curve theory, frustration-aggression theory, obstructive dissociative disorder, value-added schema, hooliganism (including lunatic fringe or fanatical riffraff) and other collective aberrant behaviours; cf: scapegoat Atonement]

see PIO, PAO, FRUIT FLY, WAR CORRESPONDENT, FOURTH ESTATE, SHUTTERBUG, GAG ORDER, OPSEC, BLACKOUT, CENSORSHIP, RED INK, DISINFORMATION, PROPAGANDA, BIG LIE, ECHO CHAMBER, DIRTY LAUNDRY, SPIN, FAKE NEWS, RUMOR. [v: noise, pickthank, newsmonger, rumormonger, gossip, gossipmonger, scandalmonger, busybody, yenta, quidnunc, chinwagger, chin musician, schmoozer, blabbermouth, flibbertigibbet, tittle-tattler, tattler, tattletale, talebearer, bottom-feeder] [nb: "Journalists are the semi-literate cretins hired to fill the spaces between the advertisements." by Winston L.S. Churchill; "If ever you see a man put his fingers in his ears and whistle 'Dixie' to keep from hearing the truth, you may assume he's a fool; but if he puts his fingers in your ears and starts whistling, then you know you're dealing with a journalist." by Andrew Klavan; "I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are." by William Tecumseh Sherman; "If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from Hell before breakfast." by William Tecumseh Sherman; "The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers." by Thomas Jefferson; "If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed; but if you do read it, you're misinformed." attributed to Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens); "But what is the difference between literature and journalism? ... Journalism is unreadable and literature is not read." by Oscar Wilde (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills); "I think I understand what military fame is; to be killed on the field of battle and have your name misspelled in the newspapers." by William Tecumseh Sherman]


the post-COLD WAR organization of international powers that tend to negotiate cooperation, rather than foster CONFLICT, toward the attainment of visionary goals that would be shared among all nations; this utopian conspiracy was propounded in a 1939 book of the same title by H.G. Wells. See DIME, CONTAINMENT, POSSE COMITATUS, PEACEKEEPER, NATION BUILDING, WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS, SOCIAL CONTRACT, EURO-WEENIE, NANNY STATE, FOREIGN POLICY; compare NEW AGE, HAPPY VALLEY. [nb: the tenth and final avatar of Vishnu, Kalki Avatara, will end the present age while armed with a scimitar and riding a white horse, then afterwards he'll sleep on the waters, produce Brahma,and inaugurate the New World; v: Messiah, Christ, Son of God, Prince of Peace, Immanuel, Mahdi]

Navy EXchange, being the maritime equivalent of the PX/BX concession for Naval, Marine, and Coast Guard installations; the modern sutler's store of general merchandise for military personnel and their dependents. See SLOP CHEST; compare AAFES, COMMISSARY. [cf: vivandière]

the abbreviation in NavSpeak for Non Functional Gear, which is typically corrupted to "No Fucking Good"; a designation marked on the sides of inoperative equipment as an indication that it should not be used, and should be replaced as soon as possible. See DEEP SIX, DX, CASTOFF, FLOAT TEST, FLOTSAM, DODO, WAVESON, JETSAM, LAGAN.

National Front for the Liberation of South Viet Nam, as the political arm of the Viet Cong (VC); also abbreviated NFL and/or NLF (qv). See PRG, PLA, PAVN.

No Fire Zone, an ostensibly secure or pacified area in which no fire (including defensive) may occur without both military and political authorization; compare RFZ, FREE FIRE ZONE, WEAPONS FREE ZONE; see RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), COLLATERAL DAMAGE. Also, any area where supporting fire or tactical air support is prohibited due to the presence of FRIENDLY elements; see DANGER CLOSE.

NG :
National Guard [properly specified as Army National Guard (ARNG), Air National Guard (ANG), etc], being state military forces that are partly equipped, trained, and quartered by the federal government, and paid by the federal government, which become an active component of the Armed Forces when called into federal service by the president during civil emergencies. See WEEKEND WARRIOR, MILITIA, PARAMILITARY, RESERVE, RESERVE COMPONENT; compare ING, RA. [nb: Vietnamese term: Bao Chinh Doan]

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency; successor to the National Imaging and Mapping Agency (NIMA), which displaced the US Geological Survey (USGS) as the resource for military maps when downlink satellite profiles enabled more accurate data to be provided in a more timely manner. See TOPO, MOSAIC MAP, MAP, COMICS, CHART.

Naval GunFire Support (with 5" to 16" shells), shore bombardment.

Non-Governmental Organization, being a private organization with transnational social or economic interests that consults with the UN on humanitarian relief and peacekeeping; compare QUANGO, GOCO, COCO, OGA, BELTWAY BANDIT.

Vietnamese for 'danger', being a warning or caution notice posted near munitions and machinery, such as the TAILBOOM of a helicopter.

Vietnamese term for a church, temple, or religious building; the same term with a different pronunciation refers to a brothel or whorehouse! See WAT, JOSS STICK; compare COWARD'S CATHEDRAL, HELL ON WHEELS, BOOM BOOM ROOM, PIGPEN. [cf: sporting house, parlor house, cake shop, knocking shop, house of joy, house of ill repute, house of ill fame, disorderly house, Cock Lane, red-light district, punch house, hothouse, fleshpot, brothel, whorehouse, cathouse, bawdyhouse, bordel / bordello, bagnio, stews, lupanar, Mexican nunnery; see SIN CITY, KIP, CLAP, PRO KIT, SHORT ARM, ANTIBIOTIC, SHORT-TIME, BOOM-BOOM, CHURNING BUTTER, TRICK, DIDDLY, FUCK, DU, HOOKUP, HAT TRICK, DAISY CHAIN, BUTTERFLY, HEAD, HUMMER, BIB, SHACK-JOB, CAMP FOLLOWER, CHOCOLATE BUNNY, PUNK, SUDS ROW, STEAM 'n' CREAM, COMFORT STATION, ACT OF CONGRESS] [nb: the "comfort girls" who were employed as contract prostitutes to serve the sexual needs (TRICKs) of Imperial Japanese troops in the field, usually at a COMFORT STATION or SIN CITY, were called "shock absorbers" by the Allied POWs who happened to observe their (mis-)treatment] [nb: "Mike was looking around the room, his eyes now accustomed to the dim rosy lay. 'You know what I like about this place?' 'What?', I asked. 'I like it 'cause there's such a great variety of girl-type people ... white, Indian, Mexican, Negress' ... he peered off into a corner ... 'even a Chinese lady.' He waved one arm unsteadily. 'And I love all pretty girls!' 'You bet,' Flap said. 'Whorehouses are the only completely democratic places in the world.' He paused for a moment. 'I ain't never seen no real prejudice in no whorehouse, 'cause every race of a pretty lady can give every race of a man a grand hard-on.' Mike said, 'That's so true that it's truly kind of beautiful.' Flap went on, 'A fella could run smack head-on into every one of his race prejudices in a whorehouse and have himself one hell of a time while he was gettin' rid of 'em all!' 'A classic concept,' Mike said. They both took another drink, and then Flap suddenly hit the top of the table. 'What a blow for freedom if we could change the whole world into one great whorehouse!' 'Great!' Mike cried. 'Think of the understanding and happiness it could bring.' I took a drink myself. 'Only trouble is ....' 'What?!' Mike asked. 'With alot of fellas, if they started layin' pretty girls from every race they were prejudiced against, they'd likely fuck themselves to death!' 'Good,' Flap said. 'They're exactly the bastards to get rid of anyway.' 'Your worldwide whorehouse just might work,' I said. 'First, we'll have to get all the girls to agree,' Flap decided, 'which might not be all that difficult.'" by Clair Huffaker, Nobody Loves a Drunken Indian (1967)]

U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, subordinate to the U.S. Department of Transportation; see RUNWAY, STAR OF LIFE. [nb: the Eisenhower interstate highway system mandates that one mile in every five be straight so it can be used to land aircraft during an emergency or wartime]

name of 1968 KheSanh relief operation, supported by FOB#3 SLAM elements of SOG. [nb: typically poor metaphor: falls, deluge, implying relentless force]

National Intelligence Council; formed in 1979, this center analyzes information regardless of policy or objectives, proposes intelligence strategy, reports to the Director of National Intelligence, and publishes its findings in either the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE)or the Special National Intelligence Estimate (SNIE). The NIC has directors and specialists in geographic as well as special subject areas, including transnational threats, intercontinental finance, science and technology. A "global trends" projection spanning fifteen years is submitted to the White House after every quadrennial election so that policy assessments can be mapped. Compare JIC; see PSYOPS, MI, INTEL.

a hard, silvery white alloy of cupronickel that does not readily oxidize, and is minted as a coin of the United States, being equal to five cents (PENNY), or one twentieth of a DOLLAR; as derived from 'niccolite' [kupfernickel ("copper demon")], a metallic element that resembles copper but yields none; see LEGAL TENDER. Also, slang for something costing five dollars, especially drugs (ie: "nickel bag"); also known as fin, fiver, or five-spot. [nb: on the back of the $5 bill, all fifty states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial]

a brief familiarization flight, as a demonstration of technology or technique, and an evaluation of the passenger, as a preliminary to acceptance for training; by analogy with the once cheap and thrilling carnival rides. See UP CHECK, CHECK RIDE, CHOPPER, BIRD.

that category of unclassified designations that are used to identify military units or combat operations, such that their meanings are intended to facilitate administration, to encourage morale, and to inform the public; composed of two-word groupings that are assigned unclassified meanings, NICKNAMEs came into effect during the KOREAN WAR to compensate for the limitations of the classified CODENAME restrictions, and to boost the morale of both military personnel and the general public. Compare CODENAME, CODEWORD, COVER, PASSWORD, CALL-SIGN, BATTLE CRY, GUSTO, HOOAH, OORAH, GUNG-HO, ESPRIT DE CORPS, WETSU, DIEHARD, WAKE UP, TOAST, SIGNATURE, CREST, PATCH. [v: mottoes and nicknames of military units] [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: Names of Foreigners or Foes]

National Intelligence Estimate; also identified as Special National Intelligence Estimate (SNIE); see NIC.

a colloquial allusion to any unexplained disappearance (as of sticks stolen from stockpiled fuel), being an unproven suspicion that was later applied to any unforeseen problem, any hidden difficulty, or any unanticipated effect; see MEETING ENGAGEMENT, FORCE MAJEURE, RIPPLE EFFECT, MISSION CREEP, CAMEL'S NOSE. Also, something out of its proper place, or not where it should be; someone in the wrong place; see A DOG IN THE MANGER, A DOG IN ONE'S DOUBLET. [nb: 'nigger' in this case is less of a racial or ethnic slur than a denigration of any outsider or alien (ie: not one of us)]

the ostentacious display of wealth and the irresponsible spending of someone who has just been paid, which appertaining behavior by MIL-PERS was especially noteworthy when the military only disbursed salaries once a month; after paying his debts and celebrating payday (with self-indulgent vices), many servicemembers were practically pennyless for the rest of the month ... until the next paroxysmal payday! Also, anyone who suddenly receives a large amount of money and does not spend it wisely; a flashy spendthrift who's flamboyantly improvident. See SALARY, BP, THE EAGLE SHITS, CHARGE SHEET, DEAD HORSE, CHIT, BAD PAPER; compare COMMISSARY DAY. [v: credit money; cf: company store / industrial store] [nb: this expression is not a racial slur; it's indicative of any contemptible person (regardless of race, color, or ethnicity) who is economically, politically, or socially disadvantaged. According to lexicographers, 'nigger' is now considered to be the most Disparaging and offensive word in the English language; used since 1640, this word (derived from French 'nègre') simply means 'black' ... as does negro and niger as well]

slang for a recruiter who scouts businesses, institutions, and other areas for suitable candidates, usually an ideologue or contrarian, who requires little or no training to perform antiestablishment acts, such as protesting, wrecking, propagandizing, and spying, regardless of the beneficiary; also known as a "talent scout". See THROW-AWAY, DANGLE, SLEEPER, MOLE, FIX, DECOY, STOOGE, PROVOCATEUR, PROTESTOR, SECRET AGENT, SPOOK, CRYPTO, TRADECRAFT, YOUNG LIONS, BABY BRIGADE; compare HANDLER.

to calibrate the daylight sights and nighttime aiming device by the adjustment of elevation and windage on a firearm or gun so as to strike the target at a given range; to ensure that a weapon's discharge is the same in darkness as it is in daylight; see ZERO. [v: Firearms Glossary]

an interceptor aircraft that operates in the dark during the nighttime, or during any period of bad weather resulting in poor target visibility, a role surpassed by technology before the VIETNAM WAR; also called "all-weather interceptor". Also, a soldier who has been specially trained for nighttime operations, especially RANGERs and other SOF personnel. Also, slang for a BLACK or Afro-American, especially a criminal using the dark for concealment.


Lockheed F-117 fighter bomber, commonly known as "The Black Jet", being a stealth aircraft developed from the DARPA "Have Blue" project; see BIRD.

Douglas C-9 cargo aircraft, used for MEDEVAC. Also, a distraction or deception device designed by the CIA for clandestine operations that simulated a firefight, including intervals and delays; see BOOBY-TRAP, DECOY, RED HERRING, DECEPTION.

human excrement that's collected in a HONEY BUCKET and transported by DUMMY STICK or HONEY WAGON to where it will be composted or used as fertilizer, especially in Asia.

pocket patch of 160th Special
Operations Aviation Regiment
160th SOAR
nickname of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), also spelled "Nightstalkers", and sometimes called "the fly-by-night airline", which was formed as Task Force 158 to execute "Operation Honey Badger" after Operation EAGLE CLAW, then transformed into Task Force 160 as a result of the official inquiry into the failure of Operation EAGLE CLAW, later reformed as 160th Special Operations Aviation Group Airborne (160SOAGAbn), and then expanded into a regiment. [nb: "A good many things go around in the dark besides Santa Claus." by Herbert Hoover (1935)]

an airplane (called "tow plane", "tug ship", or "air train") towing one or more GLIDERs; GLIDER tow positions are either below ("low-tow") or above ("high-tow") the wake of the tow plane. See DAKOTA (DC-3 / C-47), SKY TRAIN, TOWLINE, UNCOUPLE, AIRHEAD; compare SKYTRAIN, SKYTRAIN II. [nb: 'DC-#" represents Douglas Commercial]

BLACKOUT landing of an airplane on an aircraft carrier under nighttime tactical conditions; undoubtedly the most difficult of FLATTOP (CV) landings. See PADDLES, TAILHOOK, BOLTER, BURBLE.


E-4 electronic surveillance aircraft; see BIRD. Also, those DUTY shifts performed at night; see DOGWATCH, O-DARK-THIRTY, MIDWATCH, WATCH-AND-WATCH, 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]

the first major impetus for a coded orthographic system of tangible writing (punctaform) was offered in about 1821 by Charles Barbier de la Serre (or M. Charles Barbier), a captain of artillery in the French army, who invented NIGHT-WRITING for silent and blacked-out nighttime messages. This twelve-element (6X2 rectangle) phonetic code system, then called "sonography", was too complex (ie: one cell equals more than 479-million possible combinations); being mostly abbreviations, without any numerals or punctuation marks. It purportedly consisted of dots, points, dots and dashes, or holes, which cells were larger than a fingertip, causing the reader to slowly circle (or "scrub") each embossed combination. A type of "ruler" was used with the stylus for creating some elemental compositions. This tactile writing system was adapted by Louis Braille (1824) for use by the blind. During World War Two, pilot training involved timed and masked shape or pattern perception, such that stress and environment would not cause errors. Results with both digital and whole hand tests found that only eleven different shapes could be reliably and consistently distinguished. A tactile discrimination study used non-braille readers as a sample to test positional recognition and separation, resulting in distinct letter identification of A, C, E, I, K being easiest, and all similar letters (eg: U like H) and close letters/contractions (eg: of) as much harder to feel. This reinforced the basic definition of literate grammars being most efficient when there are fewer than forty contingencies. Elegant systems, from Chinese ideograms to NIGHT-WRITING, are generally too ponderous for ordinary applications. See TAP CODE, MORSE CODE. [nb: In early literate societies (eg: Phoenician, Hebrew, Greek), before the introduction of distinct Arabic numerals, letters were also used as numbers (gematria / gimetria), either in context or with the addition of a number sign to cue (q/quando) the reader, which practice is still used in braille and TAP CODE but not in sign language or MORSE CODE]

informal acronym for Not Invented Here, representing the institutional resistance to anything imported from another service or agency; commonly expressed as: "that's not how we did it before", or "we didn't do it that way last time". This narrow-minded insularity, provincialism or parochialism, is a negative bias, which objections usually evaporate as soon as the item has been integrated and tested ... an obstructive delay that's intolerable during wartime, regardless of motive, due to lost time and wasted lives. Among the several schisms contributing to the debacle of the VIETNAM WAR, a refusal to alter un-/conventional doctrine, to change gear or devices (as REINVENT THE WHEEL) to make them more branch specific, or to "abandon" TRADITION in order to "win on the battlefield" was indicative of the 'Not Invented Here' mind-set.

a quasi-religious belief that all existence is senseless, and that there's no objective basis for truth; which belief is the incentive for the sociopolitical doctrine that totally rejects the established laws and traditional institutions prevailing in society, which rejection is perceived as a warrant for terrorism and other revolutionary activities to bring about anarchy; this doctrine stems from a 19th century Russian political philosophy advocating the violent destruction of social and political institutions so as to expunge all societies or to make way for a new enlightened society. See ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT, RESSENTIMENT, CULTURE WAR, CULTURAL SUICIDE, AMERIKA, ANTI-AMERICAN, NEW AGE; compare SOCIAL CONTRACT, NANNY STATE, NEW WORLD ORDER, HAPPY VALLEY.

the 9-digit National Item Identification Number; see NSN, FSN, LOG, QM, SUPPLY.

Naval Intelligence Liaison Officer, usually a linguist or area specialist; see ONI.

(neemah) National Imaging and Mapping Agency, or National Imagery and Mapping Agency, becoming the resource for military maps in October 1996, when the US Geological Survey (USGS) was displaced due to downlink satellite profiles; then renamed the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). See TOPO, MOSAIC MAP, MAP, COMICS, CHART.


anything that causes a brief but brilliant sensation and then is utterly forgotten; which derives from the blindness of puppies and kittens at birth, passing to complete awareness. A novelty that shortly loses its appeal; a short-lived sensation; a spectacle that soon becomes tawdry. See BOY WONDER, FLASHBANG. [nb: "This wonder, as wonders last, lasted nine daies." by John Heywood, Witty and Witless (1556); "The brags of life are but a nine days wonder; / And after death the fumes that spring / From private bodies make as big a thunder, / As those which rise for a huge King." by George Herbert, The Temple (1633); "A wonder lasts nine days, and then the puppy's eyes are open." proverbial]

9-MIL :
informal referent for the M-9 9mm pistol; see M-9 PISTOL.

a Conference on the Limitation of Armament was convoked in Washington DC (1921-2) to guarantee the integrity and independence of China, and to reaffirm the OPEN DOOR commercial policy; signed by the United States, Great Britain, Japan, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, China, and Belgium. The Japanese seized Manchuria and created Manchukuo in 1931.

the number 'nine', a numeric integer; being this digit when pronounced in voice communication. See RTP, ALPHABET SOUP, PHONETIC ALPHABET, PROWORD.

dismissive reference to the former enlisted (EM/NCO) graduates of an Officer's Candidate School (OCS), who were also called "Ninety Day Blunders" from the length of the original WWII training period, commencing in 1941. Primarily oriented toward training combat arms leaders for company-level assignments during wartime, the OCS program was the first training course to be racially desegregated, and a WAC OCS program was episodically offered until 1976. Also available to reservists, OCS is known in the Air Force (USAF) as Officer Training School (OTS). In 1918, ROTC was suspended in favor of the Student Army Training Corps to train enlisted men (EM) for special wartime assignments. To correct the deficiencies of the original WWII program, OCS was extended to 22-weeks during the KOREAN WAR, and to 26-weeks during the VIETNAM WAR; but in April 1973, the program was reorganized into a 14-week branch immaterial course at Fort Benning, the graduates of which (along with ROTC graduates) must then attend the Army's officer's basic course (BOC / OBC) for branch specialization. See LDR, TRADE SCHOOL.

dismissive reference to the "instant expert" who arrogantly panders his "vast knowledge", gleaned from the cursory perusal of a WHITE PAPER or from attending an "indepth" BRIEFING; a play on words from 90-PAGE WONDER; see SHAKE 'n' BAKE, LITTLE PRICK, BOY WONDER, SHAVETAIL, RAPPORTEUR, WIZARD, PENCIL PUSHER, MILICRAT. Also, a document that purports a thorough analysis and complete examination of the subject in a very short treatment or account, as a summary or compendium; see REPORT, FINDING, WHITE PAPER, MR, ANNEX, PAPER BULLET, SNOWFLAKE. [v: bailiwick]

traditionally heroic characters, champions from the classics; like the Seven Wonders of the World, they are variously cited by different authors, such as three pagans, three Jews, and three Christians, but often include Hector, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Pompey, Joshua, David, Judas Maccabaeus, Hercules, Arthur, Galahad, Charlemagne, and Godfrey of Bouillon. See FICTIONAL CHARACTER, SUPERHERO, HERO, WINTER SOLDIER, WHITE PROPAGANDA; compare THE IMMORTALS.

thoroughly, completely, entirely; from "the full NINE-YARDS" or "the whole NINE-YARDS". Phrase represents the full amount of belted .50cal AMMO (v: LINK AMMO) for the WWII aircraft machinegun (MG); this concept is also represented as "whole hog" and "whole megillah", "whole shebang" and "the works", "whole kit and caboodle" and as "lock, stock, and barrel". Similarly, "dressed to the nines" (from all the elements of full dress ... "nine tailors make a man") also means completely and entirely, since it takes all NINE-YARDS of fabric to properly outfit the well dressed (v: MESS DRESS) man. The number 'nine' is ancient symbolism for completion or fulfillment. See BALLS TO THE WALL. [nb: derivation is also alleged to be the amount of sailcloth on a YARDARM, the number of YARDARMs ("yards") on a three-masted sailing ship, the amount of fabric for a sashed kilt, the distance to a first-down in football, a quantity of poured concrete, or a bin full of coal; cf: derivation of "gringo" as foreign-speaking vs song lyric, v: DOUGHBOY]

1889 Japanese naval ensign
Japanese navy
flag of the Japanese army, or
Self Defense Forces, originating before 1904 Russo-Japanese War
Japanese SDF
short for Nipponese, the Japanese name for themselves, as derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese ideogram for "land of the rising sun", which term was used in a derogatory manner by Allies when referring to Imperial Japanese troops during WWII; also known as a "son of heaven", which refers to the divinity (kami) of their emperor (Mikado), which was also expressed sarcastically by Americans. See MEATBALL, JAPE, GOOK, DINK, SLOPE, SLANT-EYE, RICE BALL, ZIP, CHINK, WOG, LITTLE PEOPLE, BAD GUYS; compare BUDDHAHEAD, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, INDIG, DESEGREGATION.

sharp-edged palms (Nypa Fruticans), used for thatching and basketry, that grow in dense concentrations; palm leaf edges much like SAW GRASS. See BOONIES, TULE, ELEPHANT GRASS, KUNAI, PITA.

Naval Intelligence Service; see DNI, CNO, INTEL. Also, Naval Investigative Service, later renamed Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS); see CGIS, CID, OSI, DCIS, DIS, FBI, BUTTON, POLICE.


something small, little, or diminutive, as from pidgin Thai; also spelled "nitnoi" and "nitnoid". Compare SKOSH, TEE-TEE.

a glucose polymer, nitric acid ester of cellulose, that's usually formed by the nitration and degradation action of a mixture of nitric and sulfuric acids on purified cotton or wood pulp (cellulose). When cotton is treated so that nearly all of the hydroxyl groups of the cellulose molecule are esterified, but with little or no degradation of the molecular structure, the nitrocellulose formed is called guncotton, which resembles cotton in its appearance. Extremely flammable, guncotton explodes when detonated, and is used in the manufacture of explosives. Guncotton is insoluble in such common solvents as water, chloroform, ether, and ethanol. If the nitration is not carried to completion (the point at which about two thirds of the hydroxyl groups are esterified), the soluble cellulose nitrate pyroxylin is formed, which is used in the manufacture of artificial silk (ca1891), artificial leather (ca1818), oilcloth (ca1627), and similar items.

a colorless oily liquid (C3H5N3O9), being an unstable compound that decomposes with explosive violence when heated or jarred; also spelled nitroglycerine, it is more correctly called glycerol trinitrate, but is commonly known as "nitro" or "explosive oil". Discovered in 1847 by Ascanio Sobrero, an Italian chemist, it was first produced commercially by Alfred Nobel. As the nitric acid triester of glycerol, it is insoluble in water but soluble in ether, acetone, benzene, and chloroform. Nitroglycerin is mixed with an absorbent material to form dynamite, making it less sensitive, and it's also used as a component of smokeless powder. Nitroglycerin is also used medicinally as a vasodilator to provide temporary relief from the symptoms of angina pectoris. Compare PETN, see EXPLOSIVE.

rhyming slang for the basics, the essentials, the fundamentals, the harsh reality, the most important aspect, or the heart of the matter; this Americanism seemingly originated in the early 20th century, where it's documented in song lyrics (1937), newspaper reportage (1940), and novel narratives (1956), but it may have originated by association with panning for gold. It is innocuous wordplay (similar to namby-pamby, willy-nilly, itsy-bitsy, itty-bitty, super-duper, teeny-weeny, shilly-shally, dilly-dally) that may have associations (from 'grit') with 'determined' or 'plucky', and it may be a reduplicative euphemism for 'shitty'. It has also been represented as "down 'n' dirty" in the same way that THE NAKED TRUTH has been (mis-)represented as ugly. [nb: the American Dialect Society (1974) has (mistakenly) suggested that 'nit' refers to lice and 'grit' to coarse meal, hence nitty-gritty is (supposedly) a phrase used to derogate African-American slaves as shiftless or worthless ... it has also been (mistakenly) suggested that this term, most often used to refer to something on or at the bottom (as in "getting down to the nitty-gritty") originally designated the debris or detritus in the hold of a slave ship; however, these allegations cannot be substantiated by historic usage, becoming another inauthentic fantasy (together with 'picnic' and scores of others) perpetrated by academic charlatans]

the 1969 foreign policy propounded by Richard Milhous Nixon that sought to reduce America's role as the world's policeman; stating "America cannot – and will not – conceive all the plans, design all the programs, execute all the decisions, and undertake all the defense of the free nations of the world. We will help where it makes a difference in our national interest and is considered in our interest." As with Thomas Jefferson's reversal on ISOLATIONISM and T. Woodrow Wilson's compromised rejection of the ROOSEVELT COROLLARY, this policy was abrogated in his 30 April 1970 Cambodian INCURSION speech: "If when the chips are down, the world's most powerful nation, the United States of America, acts like a pitiful, helpless giant, the forces of totalitarianism and anarchy will threaten free nations and institutions throughout the world." See VIETNAMIZATION, PING-PONG DIPLOMACY, PRESIDENTIAL DOCTRINE, CONTAINMENT, INTERVENTIONISM, NATION BUILDING.

National Joint Terrorism Task Force; see JTTF.

abbreviation for Nakhon / Nhakon Phanom Air Base Thailand, located across the MeKong River from Takhet Laos; operating as a major communication and electronic warfare base, hosting both Army and USAF special operations forces. Also called NAKED FANNY. See PONY, INVERT.

North Korean People's Army, of the Democratic People's Republic of (North) Korea, being the enemy during the KOREAN WAR, along with the Chinese communists (CHICOM). See GOOK, BAD GUYS.

National Liberation Front, officially the "National Front for the Liberation of the South" (NFLSVN), but also known as 'South Viet Nam Liberation Army (SVNLA) or 'Liberation Army of South Vietnam'; being the political directorate of the Viet Cong (VC) guerrilla movement, formed as a separate entity from the NVA on 20 Dec 1960. Vietnamese term: Mat Tran, Quan Doi Giai Phong. Enemy weapons of the Vietnam-era included: SKS, PPSh-41, PPS-43, MP-40, MAT-49, K-50M, AK-47, AKM, Type 50 (unlicensed PRC copy w/30rd mag). See VIET MINH, CHARLIE, VC, VCI, PRG, PLA, VIET QUOC, BAD GUYS.

Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon, being an experimental autoloading and firing system since 2004 designed for artillery, tank, and mortar guns on mobile chassis using electrothermal energy, which generates more force than solid propellants. The prototype tank and artillery cannons can automatically fire up to six 120mm/155mm rounds per minute; and the prototype armored vehicle mounted mortar can fire twelve 105mm/120mm rounds per minute.

Not Later Than, directing the time/date of completion; see SUSPENSE DATE, RBI, TICKLER, DEADLINE, UNDER THE GUN.

U.S. Navy Mobile Construction Battalions; see SEABEES.

National Military Command Center at JCS; also National Military Command System (NMCS) and National Military Command System Support Center (NMCSSC).

National Military Command System.

National Military Command System Support Center.

no middle initial, or no middle name; see FNU.

Non-Operational Aircraft

(noah) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, being a commissioned service of the US government; see NASA, DARPA, USGS, SRTM, MGRS, GPS, LORAN, UTM, INS, AZIMUTH, CHART, SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE, BEAUFORT SCALE, STORM WARNING, WINDSOCK, WEATHER EYE.

(en-oh-bee) Navy / Naval Operations Base. Also, Naval Order of Battle; see OBE, OB.

slang for the housing section on post or BASE provided for married OFFICER family quarters, either the entire area or just the FLAG OFFICER neighborhood; often mistaken to be "snob", the term 'nob' refers to any socially prominent person, and is synonymous with 'head', as leader. See QTRS. [v: nibs, nabob, patrician, nobleman, aristocrat, lord, brahmin, grandee, peer, gentleman, blue-blood, silk-stocking, swell, leader (LDR)] [nb: the word "caddie", with the same origin as CADET, and sometimes shortened to "cad" (irresponsible, dishonorable), was the 17th century term for a gentleman who learned the military profession by serving in the army without a commission; henceforth, it was applied to any person seeking employment] [v: beseem; cf: nicety] [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"); v: BRASS HAT, BLUE BLOOD, UP THE HAWSEPIPE, OFFICER'S COUNTRY, TALLY-HO, TACT; cf: HARD-ASS, MACHO]

operational name of the NATO campaign in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Kosovo (24 Mar - 20 Jul 1999).

program of military assistance to civil authorities subsequent to the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks; see OPERATION GARDEN PLOT.

(forthcoming); introduced by John Dryden, not Jean Jacques Rousseau; compare the "scholar soldier" as an ideal of consummate professionalism; see QUIET PROFESSIONAL, GUNSLINGER, WINTER SOLDIER, FUGLEMAN, SUPER-TROOPER, OLD BREED, DINOSAUR, OLD SALT, SHELLBACK, VET, VETERAN, BEST AND BRIGHTEST, RIGHT STUFF. [v: expert, master, virtuoso, bailiwick; cf: "wight" is a human being, who is defined as such by his ability to fight, hence is someone who's strong and brave in war] [nb: "No one going as a soldier entangles himself with the affairs of life, that he may please him who has enlisted him as a soldier." 2 Timothy 2:4 (Darby)]

the moral obligation of the privileged to display honorable and generous conduct; the responsibility of leaders to ensure that the needs of their subordinates are taken care of; see LDR, LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN, CREED, HONOR CODE, PROMISE, CASTE, RING-KNOCKER, KHAKI MAFIA, RHIP. [nb: "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required." Luke 12:48 Bible; "For of those to whom much is given, much is required." by John F. Kennedy] [nb: "to the manner born" refers to adopting customs and traditions, not entitlements; re: act 1 sc 4 Hamlet by William Shakespeare (1602)]

(knock) Non-Official Cover, the unconventional COVER story (ie: LEGEND) given to an operative or agent, instead of the standard embassy or military job title; an agent operating without diplomatic protection. See SINGLETON, THROW-AWAY, SECRET AGENT, CIA.

Night Observation Device, also represented as "Night Optical Device", a large light-intensifying telescopic night vision system that's powered by replaceable batteries; also called Night Vision Device (NVD) when configured as a handheld or head-mounted monocular. See STARLIGHT, GREEN-EYE, NVG, I2, PEEPERS, FIELD GLASSES, GLASS.

an informal colloquialism for ineffective, for being of no use or no help; also, slang for no or negative, for no way or not at all; see DICE.

airborne missions to broadcast psychological operations tapes of appeals, music and PROPAGANDA during darkness; play on words from commercial stimulants (caffeine tablets) sold under same name. See PEANUT, PSYOPS.

Nap Of [the] Earth, or following the contours of the terrain, which is a greater distance but more tactical or covert; often misrepresented as "map of the earth", probably by reference to CONTOUR LINES but perhaps by aural misunderstanding of oral pronunciation. See GRASS, CONTOUR FLYING, TFR, SLANT DISTANCE, UNDER THE RADAR; compare BUZZ, FLAT-HATTING.

the three wise monkeys of
ancient Japan representing see no evil, hear no evil, and speak
no evil
three wise monkeys
commonly expressed as "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil", but properly translated from Japanese as "don't see, don't hear, don't speak" [mizaru, kikazaru, iwazaru]; and allegorically represented by "three wise monkeys" from a play on words in Japanese. The pictorial maxim of these "three wise monkeys" was popularized by a 17th century carving over the Sacred Stable door of the famous Tosho-gu shrine in Nikko, Japan. The origin of this aphorism is unknown, but it is believed to have migrated from India through China into Japan during the 8th century (Yamato Period) as a Tendai-Buddhist legend. The "three wise monkeys", along with the chrysanthemum, are historically representative of the Mikado, thus many Allied and American forces serving in the Pacific (PTO) during WWII and KOREAN WAR became acquainted with this motif: being a representation of the ancient expellers of demons in an animistic cosmology. [nb: a Chinese version includes a fourth 'wise monkey' (with his arms and legs wrapped around himself) representing "do no evil", which is based upon the analects of Confucius (K'ung Fu-tzu) ... "What you do not wish upon yourself, extend not to others."]

the military catch-phrase for "it's my responsibility" or "it's my fault", which is a commendable performance-oriented attitude but it only fixes the blame, without fixing the problem; an "explanation" is not an "excuse". On the battlefield, "No excuse, sir!" is never heard ... and good leaders always carry the bloody burden of unavoidable mistakes. See N/A, RED TAPE, WIGGLE ROOM, CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, UNODIR, CASTRATION ANXIETY, MEA CULPA, ACCOUNTABILITY, RESPONSIBILITY, ZERO TOLERANCE. [nb: real life always transcends the rule book] [nb: obfuscation and obscurantism are widely represented by the military maxim: "Bullshit baffles brains!", sometimes called a "Well sir,..." excuse] [nb: "Never complain, never explain." proverbial saying; "(It's only damned fools who argue!) Never contradict. Never explain. Never apologize." by Admiral of the Fleet John Arbuthnot Baron Fisher (1919); "Everyone accused of evildoing has a plausible excuse, and their rationale for failure is not that their motives were bad nor their aspirations were wrong, but that they were stymied in their fulfillment ... their glorious creation would have been marvelous if only they had not been interrupted, and this wretched world would be a better place."; "Man is not a reasonable being, but is instead a rationalizing animal ... he will make any excuse to justify his actions."; "No one really believes that anything they do is genuinely evil ... there's always a justifying excuse for doing what's necessary, for doing our duty, unpleasant and distasteful as it may be ... so evil is what we call other people, people we don't agree with, people who have grossly violated our own personal sense of right and wrong. Deciding what's bad is the proper exercise of power, a privilege of victory. There can be no lies in such self-justifications because everything we posit is true." paraphrase of Robert K. Tanenbaum; "But at the end of the day, people can justify anything they want ... it's just how we're wired." by David Baldacci; "You're not a total failure until you start blaming others!"]

a safety area, buffer, or access corridor set off from a border, boundry, DMZ, or other demarcation where air traffic is prohibited; a prohibition first instituted during the Persian Gulf War, being an airspace that excludes the passage of select aircraft, which is used for security, defense, or quarantine. See FCSL, CHOPPER, BIRD. [nb: contrary to popular opinion, this is not an area reserved for medical treatment or food preparation that's warranted to be absent of contagious insects and other noxious pests!]

(no-forn) NO FOReigN, not for distribution to foreign nationals; a security delimiter qualifying distribution of classified documents, with access by allied foreigners prohibited. See OPSEC, EYES ONLY, NEED TO KNOW, COMPARTMENTALIZATION, ADV, COUNTERPART.

MIL-SPEAK for unacceptable or unsatisfactory ... probably from the assessment determining whether someone or something passes inspection, especially for deployment, as for use in combat; often expressed as "You're a no-go at this station!" or "That's a no-go condition!".


informal term for the directed transmittal of jamming signals intended to interfere with detection or communication; see CHAFF, MUSIC, MIJI, FANFARE, ECM. Also, the existence of STATIC, CROSS-TALK, CHATTER, STATIC, or other deterioration in a broadcast causing low-grade reception; see SQUELCH, RADIO. Also, excess data or extraneous information. Also, baleful or rancorous gossip; see SCUTTLEBUTT, RUMOR. Also, any unusual or inappropriate sound, often harsh, startling, or confusing; see GRIDE, BOMBINATE, CREPITATE, SCRAPE, DRUMFIRE, FUSILLADE, ROCK 'n' ROLL, SOUND AND LIGHT SHOW, FIREWORKS, WATERWORKS, THUNDERSTRUCK, WHIZ BANG, WHISTLER, BOXCAR CHARLIE, DOODLEBUG, PETARD, FIZGIG, FIRECRACKER, FIZZLE, SOUND AND FURY, ACOUSTIC SHADOW.

informal expression of failure or dissatisfaction, of unsuccess or incompleteness, of unfulfilledness or fruitlessness; an apparent Britishism adopted by aviators. This expression's aspect of "unattained gratification" stands in marked contrast with military CAN DO professionalism, hence is typical of droll English humor. This expression basically admits of being unable to complete the task or to score against the target; but it's not a complaint about not having any fun, because every MIL-PERS knows that just going off to work everyday is more fun than most people can imagine ... where they get to use really big machines and really powerful weapons and go places nobody else gets to go! Although failure will make anyone sad because they couldn't quite finish what they started or to accomplish what they intended, it's important to remember that just doing the job is its own reward. Compare JOY, SPLASH, SMOOGE.

Next Of Kin; the person designated for notification in the event of injury or death. See KINFORMING, HUG SQUAD, CACO, GHOUL, SGLI, WIA, DOW, KIA, PERSONAL EFFECTS, SKY PILOT, MORTUARY AFFAIRS, GRAVES REGISTRATION.

Operation Nomad Shadows conducted from 5 November 2007; see GULF WAR, WAR ON TERROR.

an area between warring armies that no one controls (or, conversely, that both sides attempt to control); also called "zone of contention"; compare DMZ, OVER THE TOP, McNAMARA'S WALL, OVER THE FENCE, DEMILITARIZE, BUFFER ZONE, TALLY-HO. Also, an unclaimed tract of usually barren land; a desolate and forbidding region. Also, any area where guidelines or authority are not clear; compare CHOP LINE.

war name, assumed name or pseudonym; see COVER, CODENAME, NICKNAME, SIGNATURE, CALL-SIGN, WAR FACE, FLINT FACE, WAR PAINT. [v: will-o'-the-wisp]

the set of names or the terminological system that's particular to an art or science, a discipline or profession; typically extended to an admixture of pseudo nomenclature, such as "the official M1A1 HAIRY EYEBALL", "the olive drab MILITARY MIND", or similar accommodations; see JARGON, MIL-SPEAK, ALPHABET SOUP, VERNACULAR, POLYGLOT, LINGUA FRANCA. [v: nomenclatura; cf: nomenklatura]

proprietary name of a flame-retardant nylon fabric constructed of a synthetic aramid fiber (extruded long-chain polyamide) that protects the wearer against burns (but not overheating); typically worn as a one-piece coverall by aircrew members; see FLIGHT SUIT.

broad conical hat made of rice straw, part of traditional Vietnamese costume; see BASKET HEAD, HEADGEAR.

shortening of Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO), being the "hard-stripe" sergeant and petty officer RANKs (from E-4), exclusive of technical and specialist ratings, that are in the CHAIN-OF-COMMAND; also known as "nun-skum" or SARGE. See BUCK, CHIEF, GUNNY, TOP, DI, SUPER GRADE, ROCKER, RIGHT ARM.

anyone who is not a COMBATANT, such as a civilian in wartime; see PACIFIST, CO, NEUTRAL, PROTESTOR, APPEASE, PEACE. Also, any member of a military force who is not a fighter, such as a surgeon (BONE CUTTER) or chaplain (SKY PILOT); compare COMBAT BUM, TOUR BABY, TWO-FISTED, LIFER. [nb: "Non-combatant: a dead Quaker." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce]

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

in the enforcement of the PUNITIVE LAWS that're catalogued in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, those summary punishments that may be imposed on the malefactor by his immediate commander (CO) for infractions thereof, including extra duty (ADY), fines or forfeitures [mulct], or confinement to the STOCKADE/BRIG or to quarters (QTR); NON-JUDICIAL PUNISHMENT does not become a permanent part of a serviceman's record. See DRUMHEAD, ARTICLE 15, OFFICE HOURS, CAPTAIN'S MAST, ROCKS 'n' SHOALS, UCMJ.

see NON.

(forthcoming); see BANGER, FLASHBANG / FLASH BANG, HEIP, CONCUSSION GRENADE, CS, MCCM, WASTER, WOODEN SWORD; [v: Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate]



slang term for a light blow, a poke or jab, that's made to someone's head or upper arm, abdomen or back, accompanied by a twisting motion, with the curled fist prominently extending one or two central knuckles, so as to administer a rough gesture of affection or a playful (albeit painful) prank; also spelled "nuggie" or "nugie". This somewhat boorish greeting was common among male peers during the post-WWII period extending into the Vietnam-era; it's not unlike the adolescent torments of the Dutch rub and Indian burn. See PISSING CONTEST, MACHO. [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]

a refusal to show MERCY or indulgence, as by declining surrender or by executing prisoners, as in a state of total war; see BLACK FLAG, RED FLAG, PLAY CHARLEMAGNE, LAST STAND. [nb: the so-called "Jolly Roger", featuring a skull with crossed bones on a black field, that was purportedly flown by pirates, as a declaration of "no quarter" and "non-alliance", originated as the "Jolie Rouge", a plain red flag] [nb: baucans (or bauccedillian) was a plain red streamer, flown from a ship's masthead, signifying that "no quarter" would be given; which antedates the "flag of defiance" or "colors of defiance", also known as the "bloody flag", a practice abandoned after 1800]

acronym for NORth [American] Air/Aerospace Defense command, a combined U.S. and Canadian air forces command responsible for detecting aircraft and space vehicles deemed a threat to the continental airspace.

designates cross-country (X-C) skiing, as originated in Scandinavia; distinguished from alpine (downhill or slalom) practices. Compare SNOWSHOE; see BUNNY BOOTS, MICKEY MOUSE BOOTS, K-9, SCOUT DOG, WEASEL, IRON DOG, CAT-TRAIN, MOUNTAINEER, NWTC, WINTER WARRIOR. [nb: National Ski Patrol (NSP) established in Stowe, VT (1938); chartered by Congress (1980)]

a widely misquoted sentiment that's commonly expressed as "no rest for the weary", "no rest for the righteous", or "no rest for the wicked", depending upon perspective and commiseration; the concept represents endless work, and properly derives from "There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary be at rest." [Job 3:17 Bible]. See OP 'TIL YOU DROP, OP TEMPO, OPSCHED, GOOD TO GO, COMBAT LOADED, MISSION READY, SADDLE-UP, MOVE OUT, JUMP-START, HOOPLA, BATTAILOUS; compare EYELID MAINTENANCE, KIP, PAC / PAC TIME, COMBAT NAP.

see NO REST.

see NO REST.

see NO REST.

(norse) Not Operationally Ready -- (due to short) Supply

interdiction operation in the Mid-East from 1 Jan 1997 to 18 Mar 2003; compare SOUTHERN WATCH.

(forthcoming); "sniffer" device, molecular detector; see CBR, HAZMAT [cf: forensic molecular detector for diagnosis (eg: vaginitis) or search (eg: cadaver)]. see COCKPIT, CHIN BUBBLE, CHOPPER, FUSELAGE, BIRD. see WAR NOSE, FUZE, WARHEAD, E-WARHEAD, PAYLOAD.

(forthcoming); images depicted on the front of an aircraft as an expression of morale or pride, such as a unit mascot or to animate the "machinery of war"; compare PIN-UP.

a collegial form of polling ("head-count") that shares responsibility (or distributes guilt) in a manner imitative of corporate and political compromises, as favored among BROWN NOSERs and MILICRATs; being a harmonizing or acquiescent practice among STAFFers that is antithetical to the hierarchal sole responsibility of command authority. See RUN IT UP THE FLAGPOLE, EYE-CHECK, POPULARITY CONTEST, BULLFROG CHORUS, RUNNING DOG, REASSURANCE, COMMAND RATIO, LDR, HEADQUARTERISM. Also, to itemize or enumerate each ("head-count") of the components so as to ascertain the quantity of the whole; see BY THE NUMBERS, COUNT-OFF, ACCOUNTABILITY.

the plunge of an aircraft with the forward part pointing downward, especially a headfirst crash; also spelled "nose-dive" or "nose dive". See AUGER-IN, PANCAKE, GROUND LOOP, ALUMINUM RAIN, BOUNCE, TOUCHDOWN, ALS, AUTO-ROTATE, CHOPPER, BIRD. [nb: the distinction between a head-first AUGER-IN (or NOSEDIVE) and a belly-flopping PANCAKE is less about aircraft orientation than the potential survivability of passengers and crew] [nb: during the period of aeronautical experimentation, before powered flight was successful, headfirst or nose-down crashes were so common that the Wright brothers characterized their efforts as "well drilling"]

Naval Operations Support Group, PACific Fleet

Naval Ocean Surveillance System, being a satellite system that detects and tracks vessels by focusing on radio transmissions.

informal catch-phrase for can do, easily done, or not a problem to accomplish; see PIECE OF CAKE, CAKEWALK, LAUGH A MINUTE, WALK IN THE PARK, MILK RUN, DUCK SOUP, TURKEY SHOOT.

an idiomatic expression identifying that which is not exceptional or extraordinary, as "That big shindig weren't nuthin' ta write home about."; being basic, ordinary, regular, simple, undifferentiated, typical, average, plain vanilla, plain Jane, unadorned, unembellished, unornamented, undistinguished, everyday, quotidian, commonplace, unremarkable, prosaic, routine, mundane, workaday, run-of-the-mill, garden-variety, just another square on the checkerboard, bog standard (Briticism). Compare RANK, FILE, FORGOTTEN MAN, THINK PURPLE, GOOD IRON DOES NOT MAKE NAILS NOR DO GOOD MEN BECOME SOLDIERS, EDC, STROLLER.


an expression representing the thoroughness of intense combat, with its deliberate destructiveness clearly manifest. Commonly attributed to the Bible ["There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." Matthew 24:2], wherein the destruction of the temple forebodes the last days of the world, but the utter devastation of the Third Punic War (149 - 146BC) is a valid harbinger, wherein the Romans left no Carthaginian stone upon another, salted the earth, executed all adult males, selling all women and children into slavery. This phrase represents the inhumanity of mankind toward his fellows ... arguably the more so with more technologically sophisticated weapons. See BOMB 'EM BACK TO THE STONE AGE, BOUNCE THE RUBBLE, BIGGER BANG FOR THE BUCK, KNOCK INTO A COCKED HAT, ROMAN HOLIDAY, OUTGUN, OVERKILL, BRINKMANSHIP.

literary allusion to man's pitiful life and pathetic affairs, wherein his grandiose schemes arouse only contempt; as derived from the poetic passage: "This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper." by Thomas Stearns Eliot in The Hollow Men (1925). See APOCALYPSE, HOLOCAUST, GENOCIDE, OVERKILL, MASSACRE, KILL 'EM ALL, WARMONGER, KNOCK INTO A COCKED HAT, RETALIATION, REPRISAL, RETRIBUTION, ARMAGEDDON, DAY OF RECKONING, HOLY WAR, JUST WAR; compare SOUND AND FURY, SHOCK 'n' AWE, FIREWORKS, SOUND AND LIGHT SHOW, WATERWORKS. [nb: "I have discovered that all human evil comes from a single cause: man's inability to sit still in a room." paraphrase of Blaise Pascal; "Man finds nothing so intolerable as to be in a state of complete rest, without passions, without occupation, without diversion, without effort. Then he feels his nullity, loneliness, inadequacy, dependence, helplessness, emptiness." by Blaise Pascal; "Boredom is ... a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it." by Bertrand A.W. Russell; "The world is a force, not a presence." by Wallace Stevens; "The world only exists in your eyes -- your conception of it. You can make it as big or as small as you want to." by F. Scott Fitzgerald; "The eternal silence of these infinite spaces fills me with dread." by Blaise Pascal; "Modern man likes to pretend that his thinking is wide-awake. But this wide-awake thinking has led us into the mazes of a nightmare in which the torture chambers are endlessly repeated in the mirrors of reason." by Octavio Paz; "Global persecution, unremitting greed, and worldwide catastrophe cannot be attributed to the petty mischief inspired by childish boredom, no matter how indulgent the gods may be with their insipid creations ... this is not a lapse in proper development, but a willfully malicious tantrum by vicious beasts. The horrors are now so ubiquitous that the wretched screams of the dispossessed no longer startle us and the agonized cries no longer distress us, such that misery is now commonplace and suffering is simply the background noise of modern civilization. The ultimate question is not whether anyone hears the broken tree fall in the forest, but can anyone hear anything at all if everyone is wailing at the top of their lungs?!"]

the word assigned to represent the letter "N" in the international phonetic alphabet; at various times in different spelling schemes, it has also been acrophonetically represented as Nan and Nap. This is a "governing flag" in US Navy signals that also represents "negative". See ALPHABET SOUP, PHONETIC ALPHABET. [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags]

Republic of Vietnam National Police Field Force; see WHITE MICE, QC, NPSS, POLICE.

former abbreviation for the U.S. Navy Post-graduate School, which is properly cited as NPS (qv).

National Personnel Records Center; consolidated archive of military records from all service branches. See PERSCOM, BUPERS.

U.S. Navy Post-graduate School, being a center for advanced technical training situated in Monterey CA; originally devoted to nautical subjects, including nuclear physics, but the curriculum has been expanded to include unconventional warfare (UW), and the student body extended to other service branches; also known as Naval Post-graduate School, and formerly cited as NPG.

Republic of Vietnam National Police and Security Service; see WHITE MICE, NPFF, QC, POLICE.

National Reconnaissance Office, established 25 Aug 1960 by a technology transfer from DARPA, to administer and coordinate satellite development and operations for the U.S. intelligence community; later renamed National Reconnaissance Organization, but is commonly known as "Big Black". The satiric motto of the NRO is: "Yesterday's technology at tomorrow's prices!".

Naval Reserve Officer's Training Corps; see ROTC.


Naval Support Activity. Also, National Security Agency, now known as National Security Administration; may be re-interpreted as "No Such Agency", "Never Say Anything", or "Never Sleeps at All", due to the sensitivity of the data it processes; colocated (CRYPTO CITY) with Fort Meade, this so-called "shadow factory" (established 1952) is the successor to the Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA), founded 1949.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug; see ASA, APC, CANDY, BISCUIT, RANGER CANDY, CHEERIOS. [v: acetaminophen / paracetamol (para-acetamidophenol)]

National Security Council, a U.S. government agency, established by the 1947 National Security Act, is responsible for planning,coordinating, and evaluating the nation's defense policies, being staffed by the President, Vice-President, Secretarys of State and Defense, and Directors of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Office of Emergency Preparedness. The NSC is an advisory body, like the president's cabinet, and is not in the CHAIN-OF-COMMAND. See NSPG, TIWG, PNSA. [nb: JCS is not included in this Executive Branch conclave] Also, National Simulation Center (including Mission Command Training Support program, Global Simulation Capability, TCM Virtual and Gaming, etc) in the Combined Arms Command, Fort Leavenworth, KS.

Naval Supply Depot, aka: NAVSUPDEP; see DEPOT, DUMP, DRMO, MOTHER SHIP, PRE-POS, LOGISTICS. Also, National Security Directive; also identified as National Security Decision Memorandum (NSDM) and as National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM).

Navy Standard Fuel Oil; see BUNKER, JUICE, PETROL.

the abbreviation for Naval Station Guantanamo, and commonly called the "Pearl Harbor of the Atlantic"; see GITMO.

National Strategy Information Center.

National Stock Number, the stock number identifying every part, component, or item in government inventory, for purchase, issue, requisition, or accountability. The National Stock Number is a 13-digit inventory sequence, consisting of the 4-digit Federal Supply Classification code and the 9-digit National Item Identification Number, which replaced the 11-digit Federal Stock Number on 30 Sep 1974, and is NATO compatible. [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]

NSPD-51 :
National Security Presidential Directive 51, or Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20, which was signed into existence on 4 May 2007 by President George W. Bush, being a partially classified Presidential Directive that asserts the authority to execute all necessary procedures to sustain the continuity of the federal government in the event of a "catastrophic emergency". Executive Directive 51 construes such emergency to be "any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions." Although the intent of NSPD-51 seems to be similar to the amendment on presidential succession, as inferred from the unclassified portion released to the public, there is some concern that some of the provisions of Executive Directive 51 may be unconstitutional (eg: conjoin separate branches for checks and balances, subordination of formerly co-equal branches to the executive for essential allocations, wholesale reorganization by the chief executive, insinuates the chief of staff of the executive into a supervisory position over the co-equal branches, creates a new "National Continuity Coordinator" as supervening authority, fails to stipulate when the emergency may be concluded, etc). Compare EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE; see EXECUTIVE ORDER, FINDING, NATIONAL SECURITY.

National Security Planning Group; see NSC, TIWG.

SEAL Team 6 pocket patch
SEAL Team 6
Naval Special Warfare Group, formed in 1967 from Naval Operations Support Group, which includes UDT (until 1983) and SEAL organizations.

Naval Special Warfare Development Group, being the designation for U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6.

National Training Center
(en-tee-see) National Training Center; a live-fire armor (ARM), cavalry (ACAV / ACR), and air cavalry (AIR CAV / AIRMOBILE) field exercise area at Fort Irwin using OPFOR CADRE known as "Krasnovyans". The Desert Training Center was established before WWII to prepare troops for combat in north Africa, with the Center renamed the California-Arizona Maneuver Area in 1943. Compare JRTC, RED FLAG; see EXERCISE, OPFOR, MILES.

Naval Tactical Data System

Nutrition Task Force, a new military nutrition research division that was established in 1983 at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine so as to complete an intensive field trial of rations in order to determine food appeal and acceptance, the occurrence of weight gain or loss, the incidence of disease or malnutrition from a steady diet over a prolonged period of consumption, including exposure to high altitudes and severe temperatures. In 1986, the Nutrition Task force became the Military Nutrition Division. This division, in collaboration with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, is responsible for developing the high-energy HOOAH! BAR and the supplemental ERGO drink so as to enhance the performance of healthy individuals performing military functions in extreme environments.

(new-bush or nub-bush) a BLACK woman (especially Afro-American) or a female of mixed race with pronounced Negroid characteristics, especially head and pubic hair; as a contraction of 'Nubian' + 'bushy'. See LULU THE ZULU, CHOCOLATE BUNNY.

trifling, worthless, ineffective, or futile; as derived from something of little value or no consequence; being typical of semi-literate MIL-SPEAK which mixes hieratic esoterica with slang and obscenity to form a unique patois; see MISTER, DUD, LOOSE CANNON, FIDO, PAPER TIGER. [nb: not to be confused with "negatory"; see NEGATIVE] [v: Sisyphean]

slang for a sailor on his first FLOAT or initial cruise on-board a ship; see SWABBY, SQUID, CHUM, DRYBACK, TADPOLE, POLLYWOG, FRESH CATCH, CHERRY, SHOWER SHOE, FNG, NEWBEE. Also, by extension of the basic meaning of gob, glob, or lump, an infantryman who is a small element in the vast army but remains individually valuable; sometimes expressed as "nug"; see GRUNT, SNUFFY, GROUND POUNDER, BLUELEG, BOONIE RAT, BUSHMASTER, CRUNCHY.

informal usage for a nuclear or thermonuclear weapon; derived from "nut"; see BOMB, A-BOMB, H-BOMB, N-BOMB, ZERO POINT, GROUND ZERO, OVERKILL, WMD, FOOTBALL, CBR, CBRNE, BACKPACK, SRAM, PENTAGONAL, DARPA, MANHATTAN PROJECT, BIKINI, ENIWETOK, BIGGER BANG FOR THE BUCK, GENIE, YELLOWCAKE, HEAVY WATER, HOT GREASE, HEU, FIZZLE, FLASH BURN, SCRAM, DRAGON SHIT, FALLOUT, RADIATION SICKNESS, EMP, DRAGON'S BREATH, CONTAINMENT, CHIRPER, BANG READER, NEST, FOREST GREEN, BROKEN ARROW, WALKING GHOST, PAPER TIGER; compare SUBATOMIC WEAPONS. [nb: the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed in 1963 by 99 nations, permitting only underground testing (limited to 150 kilotons in 1974), while prohibiting detonations in the atmosphere, in outer space, at or under the sea; the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968 was ultimately signed by 140 nations, which aimed to prevent the further spread of nuclear weapons, to foster peaceful uses of atomic energy, and to encourage negotiations to end the nuclear arms race; v: 1972 Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I), 1979 Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT II), 1982 Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START), 1993 Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START II)] [nb: "We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed." by John F. Kennedy (20 Jan 1961); "So in your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals, I urge you to beware the temptation of pride -- the temptation blithely to declare yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong, good and evil." by Ronald W. Reagan (8 Mar 1983)] Also, slang for heating or cooking in a microwave oven; a conventional misnomer for this extremely high frequency electromagnetic wave radiation.

any meaningless symbol or invalid sign used in cryptography, especially one used to mislead or inhibit decipherment; see CODE, ENCODE, ENCRYPT, DECODE, DECRYPT, ALPHABET SOUP, KAK, KEK, KEY, SHACKLE, SCRAMBLE, CIPHER, BURST, TAP CODE, DUNGEON, CRYPER, INTEL. Also, a person or thing of no value or import, something worthless, as naught, nil, aught, rush, zilch; see ZERO, ZIP, CIPHER, SQUAT, DIDDLY.

the pronunciation of numbers or numerals in voice communication is dictated by the conventions of Radio Telephone Procedure (RTP) and Procedure Words (PROWORD), such as stating only single digits (ie: 'one-one', not eleven), 'niner' (not nine), 'zero' (not "oh"), 'five' (not "fiver"). In early literate societies (eg: Phoenician, Hebrew, Greek), before the introduction of distinct Arabic numerals, letters were also used as numbers [gematria / gimetria], either in context or with the addition of a number sign to cue [q/quando] the reader, which practice is still used in braille and TAP CODE but not in sign language or MORSE CODE. See ALPHABET SOUP, PHONETIC ALPHABET. [nb: Roman numerals: I = 1, V = 5, X = 10, L = 50, C = 100, E = 250, D = 500, M = 1000] [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags]

(numba whon) slang for good, excellent, fine, superb, prime, as based on numeric rating scale, from earlier use of Japanese "ichi-ban" during the KOREAN WAR; see UCGC. Also, the self or self-interest, as "looking out for number one".

(numba sixee / numba sicksee) M-60 machinegun (MG), being a pun on the slang value rating of #1 - #10,000 as "bad news" or deadly; a CREW-SERVED WEAPON that's also called PIG.

(numba ten) slang for bad on a numeric rating scale from earlier use of Japanese "juu" during the KOREAN WAR.

(numba ten-thou) slang for extremely bad, the worst, on a numeric rating scale from earlier use of Japanese "ichiman" during the KOREAN WAR. [cf: Chinese "wan-sue", Japanese "banzai" meaning ten-thousand years, used as a battle cry]

slang for a stupid or worthless person, such as a blockhead, dolt, lunkhead, dunderhead, bonehead, knucklehead, numskull, scrot (shortening of 'scrotum'); see DEADHEAD, PUKE, DUD, LOOSE CANNON, DOPE, YARDBIRD, MAGGOT, PYHOOYA, TURD, SOS, FUCK-UP, SMACK, SHIT MAGNET, DOUCHE BAG, FIELD REJECT. [nb: "Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."]

the pronunciation of numbers or numerals in voice communication is dictated by the conventions of Radio Telephone Procedure (RTP) and Procedure Words (PROWORD), such as stating only single digits (ie: 'one-one', not eleven), 'niner' (not nine), 'zero' (not "oh"), 'five' (not "fiver"). In early literate societies (eg: Phoenician, Hebrew, Greek), before the introduction of distinct Arabic numerals, letters were also used as numbers [gematria / gimetria], either in context or with the addition of a number sign to cue [q/quando] the reader, which practice is still used in braille and TAP CODE but not in sign language or MORSE CODE. See ALPHABET SOUP, PHONETIC ALPHABET. [nb: Roman numerals: I = 1, V = 5, X = 10, L = 50, C = 100, E = 250, D = 500, M = 1000] [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags]

non-Indonesian ethnic Chinese peoples INDIGenous to the CENTRAL HIGHLANDS and North Vietnam; this ethnic minority served primarily in SPECIAL FORCES projects. See CHINK, INDIG.


slang for the on-base enclosure reserved for the housing of female servicemembers from 1942 to 1978, when all separate women's military service corps were dissolved, and female servicemembers were integrated into the RANKs; so-called by comparison to the cloistered convent for religious devotees. See SKIRT.

(nook) Vietnamese term for water; see THE DRINK, JUICE, BUG JUICE, GI JOE, WATERWORKS, CANTEEN, JERRY CAN, LISTER BAG, EVAPORATOR, SOLAR STILL, WATER PURIFICATION TABLET, THE DEVIL'S WATER. [aka: hobo soda, Adam's ale, snow float, Nature's own elixir] [nb: "Have a drink of pure sweet water? It's filtered by dirt. It lays low and grows scum. It erodes solid stone. It rots wood. It rusts metal. Fish have sex in it. Little boys pee in it. Bugs and such drown in it. And I'm expected to drink it?! NO thanks!"] [nb: a Vietnam-era bon mot proposed: "Instant Space Age Water has been scientifically formulated to replicate Nature's own elemental distillate, clean and clear and odorless, fortified and purified with a neutral pH, at only a fraction of the weight of the original regular substance; a man-made improvement developed for ready consumption, alone or as an additive, having been designed for better living through chemistry! ... to reconstitute this marvelous product, just add water."] [nb: 1 liter (1000cc/1.0567qt) of pure water weighs 1 kilogram (1000g/2.2046#)] [nb: "When drinking the water, don't forget those who dug the well." Chinese proverb]

(nook day) Vietnamese term for ice; see THE DRINK, JUICE, BUG JUICE, GI JOE, CANTEEN, JERRY CAN, LISTER BAG, WATER PURIFICATION TABLET. [nb: the first patent application for an Ice Cube Tray with Lever Ejector Mechanism was filed in 1950 by Arthur J. Frei]

a pungent Vietnamese condiment, a fermented and concentrated fish sauce used to flavor RICE, also spelled "nuos nam"; known as "nam pla" (Thailand), "tuk trey" (Cambodia), "kechap" (Malaya/Malaysia), and called "armpit sauce" by many Americans. [nb: a similar fish sauce, garum, was a common ingredient in ancient Greek and Roman cultures since the eighth century BC; being a pungent extract of fermenting fish, this seasoning was a popular alternative to salt. Salt, spices, and seaweed were combined with various fishes (eg: mackerel, prawns, sardines, anchovies, tuna, salmon, red mullet, or oysters) and fermented for as long as three months; whence the residual liquid was strained, then carefully decanted and sealed. The fermenting fish undergo "enzymic proteolysis", an interactive process that produces an acrid brine; the odor of its manufacture banishing garum production to remote locales. This sauce is not "rotten fish" or "spoiled meat" ... the "enzymic proteolysis" does not lead to decay and putrefaction (ie: ptomaine), but is a bacterial action that preserves and eventually dissolves the fish. This fermentation is similar to the production of beer, vinegar, cheese, and yogurt. The attractive "full-bodied" flavor of fermented foods is due to a high content of "glutamate", an amino acid.] [nb: more common fish soup/stew dishes: ragout, pepper pot, matelote, cioppino, bouillabaisse, chowder, bisque/bisk, newburg, thermidor, and similar fare; v: CHOW, SOUP]

slang for a difficult task or challenging assignment; so-called after the process of breaking the shells of nuts, as "This job is a nutcracker!" See BALL BUSTER, UPHILL BATTLE, BALLS TO THE WALL, HARDBALL. Also, slang for breaking open a safe or other secure container, by analogizing safecracking with breaking the shell of a nut; see FLAPS 'n' SEALS, TRADECRAFT.


North Vietnamese Army, or a uniformed soldier in the regular army of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV); also known as: GOMER or BO DOI. The North Vietnamese Army deployed twenty-three infantry divisions (ie: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 10th, 101D, 304th, 304B, 308th, 308B, 312th, 316th, 320th, 320B, 324B, 325th, 330th, 338th, 341st, 380th, 711th, with 5th and 9th VC/NVA), together with their supporting artillery regiments and armored brigades, throughout North and South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. NVA rank designations changed from shoulder-strap to collar-tab during the 1960s, but was uniformly red background with yellow markings. NVA ranks during the VIETNAM WAR-era: Private Second Class, 1 star; Private First Class, 2 stars; Corporal, 1 star in stripe; Sergeant, 2 stars in stripe; Senior Sergeant, 3 stars in stripe; Cadet or student officer, 1 bar; Second Lieutenant, star and bar; Senior Lieutenant, 2 stars and bar; Captain, 3 stars and bar; Senior Captain, 4 stars and bar; Major, star and 2 bars; Lieutenant Colonel, 2 stars and 2 bars; Colonel, 3 stars and 2 bars; Senior Colonel, 4 stars and 2 bars; Major General, star in border; Lieutenant General, 2 stars in border; Colonel General, 3 stars in border; Senior General, 4 stars in border. Enemy weapons of the Vietnam-era included: SKS, PPSh-41, PPS-43, MP-40, MAT-49, K-50M, AK-47, AKM, Type 50 (unlicensed PRC copy w/30rd mag). See PAVN, VC, CHARLIE, NLF, PLA, PRG, VIET MINH, VPA.

North Vietnamese Air Force, which began air-to-air engagements over North Vietnam during post-Tet '68 reprisals; compare VNAF. [nb: sorties were purportedly flown against Lima Site 85 on 12 January 1968 by the NVAF piloting four Soviet-made Anotov An-2 biplanes, which fired 57mm rockets and dropped 120mm mortar bombs by hand in an attempt to destroy the RADAR installation, but two biplanes were shot down and the other two were driven off by an Air America UH-1D helicopter]

Night Vision Device; encapsulated by the 1980s catch-phrase: "own the night", the latest generations of light-intensifying goggles offer multiple views, pointing options, range finding, aiming and marking sequences, and coupling to a Global Positioning System (GPS). See ENVIS, NVG, MNVD, VIPER, NOD, GREEN-EYE, STARLIGHT, I2, PEEPERS.

Night Vision Goggles (eg: AN/PVS-7), the improved ambient-light technology made more compact in a set of binocular head-mounted goggles which lack good depth perception and constrict peripheral vision, making watchfulness by other crewmembers in moving vehicles or aircraft essential. Because the objective lens shows a luminous GREEN-EYE during operational scanning, and because the binocular NVG interferes with aimed firing of individual weapons, and because any sudden flare of intense illumination (eg: explosion, FLASHLIGHT, etc) will destroy the operator's adapted night vision, a head-mounted Monocular Night Vision Device (MNVD) with an on/off switch is issued to RECON and SOF personnel, who wear it over their non-dominant eye. See NOD, GREEN-EYE, STARLIGHT, I2, PEEPERS, FIELD GLASSES.

abbreviation for North Viet Nam, the informal designation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV), later becoming the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV); see VN.

Northern Warfare Training Center
Northern Warfare Training Center, being the site of the three-week Northern Warfare training course at Fort Greely Alaska. The mountain phase of the course includes climbing, rappelling, and medical evacuation. The watercourse phase covers boat operations, stream crossing, river charting and navigation. The glacier phase covers crevasse rescue, step cutting, group climbing, belaying and anchors. Acquired skills include basic knots, mountain walking techniques, and route selection. The schooling emphasizes mobility in mountainous terrain, on glaciers, and inland waterways, culminating in a three-day field exercise (FTX) situated on Gulkana Glacier. The Army's training center for cold weather and mountain warfare was initially setup on Mount Rainier at Camp Lewis in 1941, then relocated to Camp Hale in 1942, Camp Carson after WWII, and finally to Big Delta Alaska in 1948 for its range of arctic and subarctic conditions; with the Arctic Indoctrination School at Fort Greely redesignated the U.S. Army Cold Weather and Mountain School in 1957, then in 1963 its mission was changed from individual to unit instruction, so was renamed U.S. Army Northern Warfare Training Center. NWTC offers the following courses to active and reserve components: Cold Weather Orientation Course (CWOC), Cold Weather Leaders Course (CWLC), Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC), Assault Climbers Course (ACC), Arctic Light Individual Training (ALIT). See MOUNTAINEER, WINTER WARRIOR. [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]

aviator's catch-phrase for the PARACHUTE ride subsequent to an emergency ejection (PUNCH-OUT) from a disabled aircraft, usually connected to the pilot's chair (also called "hot seat" or "panic rack"), complete with survival equipment; being a play on words that extends the meaning of LETDOWN (a descent from a higher to a lower altitude preparatory to making an approach and landing); also spelled "nylon let-down".

New Zealand Army Training Team; see KIWI, NZV FORCE, TAN TAY LAN, ANZAC, AATTV, ATFV, FANK TRAINING COMMAND, KANZUS, ANZUS, ASEAN. [v: Down Under Military Glossary]


[Royal] New Zealand Special Air Service; formed 1955 and patterned on the British Special Air Service (SAS), it was attached to the Australian SAS regiment in Vietnam from November 1968 through October 1971, where it was named 1st Ranger Squadron. See ASAS, KIWI, TAN TAY LAN.