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

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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R :
morse code shorthand abbreviation for "received" or "receipt acknowledged"; compare EOT, II, GA; see CW. Also, an aircraft prefix under the Joint Service Designation System that represents 'reconnaissance'.

RA :
(r-a; not "rah") abbreviation for Regular Army, denoting a VOLUNTEER during a DRAFT, or a full-time career professional when reservists are activated for duty; the same distinction (RN) applies to Naval personnel. See AUS, USA, MUSTER, CALL TO THE COLORS.

Royal Australian Air Force; being a branch of the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) based upon the Royal Air Force (RAF) of the United Kingdom.

Radar Altimeter and Altitude Warning System, being the detection, location, and tracking of aircraft by reflected radio waves; first patented by Christian Hulsemeyer in 1904, and developed into different applications by Britains, Germans, and Russians during WWII. See RADAR.

superior who functions as a professional military career guide, counselor, mentor, intercessor, sponsor, patron, or protector for select and favored subordinates of great potential, also called "godfather", "presbyter", or "elder"; see PATRON SAINT, SEA DADDY, LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN; compare RING-KNOCKER, KHAKI MAFIA, TICKET-PUNCHER. [cf: apparatchik, nomenklatura, eunuch, nabob, nibs] [nb: 'compadre' derived from "godfather"]

slang for any covert or clandestine operative who must either abandon his LEGEND or assume protective COVER while distancing himself from a mission or operational area (AO); often used with related terminology, such as "bunny" (spouse or dependent), "carrots" (necessities or money), "rabbit's foot" (lucky break or favorable opportunity),"cottontail" (his ass or life), "rabbit hole" (hideout or escape route), "hutch" (former area or point of departure). Such indirection also zoomorphically characterized the enemy pursuit as "bear" (Russia), "dog"/"hound" (Germany), "tiger" (China), "dragon" (Vietnam), or other assignments; and similarly extended to Allied aid, as "eagle" (USA), "kangaroo" (Australia), "kiwi" (New Zealand), "elephant" (Thailand), "bulldog" (England), "wolf" (Canada), and so forth. So a scenario might be described as: "the RABBIT was chased from his hutch without carrots by six dragons; an elephant will make a rabbit hole 'til the eagles arrive". Also, informal CODENAME for a defector who must be extracted or EXFILtrated. See BOLT HOLE, NAKED, LIFTED SKIRT, SPOOK, CRYPTO, SECRET AGENT, TRADECRAFT; compare SAFE HOUSE, SLEEPER, MOLE, THROW-AWAY, DANGLE, HANDLER, SWEEPER, DECOY, STOOGE, PROVOCATEUR.

slang for a protective OVERSHOOT barrier emplaced at the end of a RUNWAY to prevent airplane damage or loss; see TAILHOOK, BOLTER.

slang for salad or fresh raw vegetables, often procured from local markets and served in a MESS or CHOW HALL, GALLEY or DFAC; a substance disdained by MACHO men, except as sparse garnish on heavily grilled meat!

slang for a refuge or hideout; see BOLT HOLE, HIDE, SAFE HOUSE, COLD CAMP, FLY CAMP, BREAKWEATHER. [cf: line camp, shelter camp] Also, an allusion to a distorted or fantastic reality, especially one where the rabbits and mice have more authority than the eagles and elephants; also known as a HOUSE OF CARDS or CLOUD-CUCKOO-LAND; such expression (eg: "into the rabbit hole" or "down the rabbit hole") derives from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson] (1865); see RABBIT, CUTHBERT, MIND CANDY, RUBE GOLDBERG, WET DREAM, MAGIC KINGDOM, BEARD THE LION, BELL THE CAT.

a blow to the nape of the neck or base of the skull, which strike is illegal in boxing; being so-called for its utility in quickly dispatching rabbits and hares raised in hutches for food. Compare SUCKER PUNCH, COLD-COCK / COLD-COCKED; see KNUCKLE SANDWICH, PUNCH.


slang for a military bed, bunk, cot, or flop, as "hit the rack"; to conserve space on-board ship, especially troop transport vessels, bunks are arranged in a tier or rack, which may be the origin of this usage; see SACK, BERTH, HAMMOCK, BIVY, FART SACK, FLEABAG, SHAKEDOWN, RUBBER LADY, DUTCH WIFE, HOT BUNKING, SLOP, HOSPITAL CORNER, BILLET, QTRS. [nb: the military was attractive to many poor people because it offered "three hots and a flop" everyday] Also, the exterior framework for mounting or hanging armaments or munitions on an aircraft's HARDPOINTs, as a bomb load; also called "external ejector rack"; see POD, FAIRING, compare PYLON, STICK. Also, slang for the array of colorful ribbon bars ("ribbon candy" or "salad bar") comprising the service and achievement awards earned by a servicemember on various assignments; perhaps by allusion to a rack of antlers, as in "building a rack" or "adding to his rack"; see FRUIT SALAD, GONG, OLC, BATTLE STAR, V-DEVICE, TRASH, REVOCATION. [nb: the devices that cover the mounting prongs that attach the insignia to the uniform, holding the two parts together, are variously sized, and are called "fasteners", "clip fastener", "clutch fastener", "clutch back fastener", "clutch grip fastener", "pinch fastener", "butterfly fastener", or "dammits"] Also, a former instrument of TORTURE consisting of a framework upon which a victim was tied by the wrists and ankles, often spread-eagled, to be slowly stretched and disjointed by spreading the parts of the framework; a device that converts circular into rectilinear motion (or vice versa) as used for tormenting an immobilized human body; also called a "wheel". Also, any cause of intense suffering of the body or mind; a condition of torment or anguish.

to sail vessels or ships at sea and/or fly aircraft in an oval or circular pattern, as a patrol route, for station-holding, for surveillance, for assembly or interception, for returning to an approach or recycling to an execution point; also called "wheel" or "go around", and formally known as an Air Control Point (ACP) among fliers. See ORBIT, FIGURE-8, STACK, UMBRELLA, CAP, HIGH 'n' DRY, CROW'S NEST, ABNCP, AWACS, VATLS.

(ray-dar) a device or system for determining the presence and location of an object by measuring the direction and timing of radio waves; a WWII acronym derived from RAdio Detecting And Ranging (also reported as: Radio Assisted Detection And Ranging) ... early-warning RADAR was developed in Great Britain by Robert Watson-Watt. Two dimensional RADAR provides range and bearing; while three dimensional RADAR provides range, bearing, and altitude. See BIG EYE, CHAFF, COLLEGE EYE, COMBAT SKYSPOT, ECM, CLUTTER, GRASS, TFR, CONTOUR FLYING, UNDER THE RADAR, GPR, MINI-POUNDER, MSQ, MUSIC, LOCK-ON, PAINT, PIP, PIRAZ, RED CROWN, IRON HAND, WILD WEASEL, RUBBER DUCK, LIMA SITE 85, RADOME, TACAN, SLAR, ISAR, FIRE FINDER, ANGEL, AIMPOINT, DIRECTOR, ATC, SCOPE DOPE; compare RAAWS, LADAR. [v: AN/FPS-79 space-tracking radar]

NavSpeak slang for RADAR operators; this phrase alludes to comfortable duty (which is performed while seated in a relatively quiet, air-conditioned room, requiring more mental than physical effort), and does not refer to the sex of the operators. See SCOPE DOPE.

the viewing screen of radar equipment. [nb: not "radar-scope" or "radar scope"]

sickness caused by irradiation with x-rays or other harmful radiation as a result of a nuclear bomb explosion, accidental exposure, or therapeutic treatment, which is characterized by nausea, vomiting, headache, cramps, diarrhea, loss of hair and teeth, destruction of white blood cells, and prolonged hemorrhage. See FALLOUT, WALKING GHOST, NUKE.

an extremist who advocates fundamental sociopolitical or socioeconomic reforms by direct and often uncompromising methods; see SYMPATHIZER, HIPPIE, TRIPPIE, SILVER-TAIL, FIFTH COLUMN, PINKO, USEFUL IDIOTS, COUNTERCULTURE, PROTESTOR, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY, BLACK BLOC, YIPPIE, BULLSHITVIK, RED, PROVOCATEUR, SUBVERSION, DAYS OF RAGE, CULTURE WAR, SOFT TYRANNY, SIEGE MENTALITY, REVOLUTION, RUNNING DOG, INVISIBLE, BABY 007, SECRET SQUIRREL, WHITE TRASH, KNUCKLE-DRAGGER, BRUTE, BUBBA EFFECT, ANTI-FEDERALIST, REACTIONARY, ZEALOT, TERRORIST, AL-QAIDA COCKTAIL, ISLAMIST, ISLAMOFASCISM; compare ANTI-TERRORISM, CONSERVATIVE, SILENT MAJORITY, TRADITION, PATRIOTISM, PATRIOT ACT, CONSTABULARY, COUNTER-GUERRILLA, COUNTERINSURGENCY. [nb: extremists or radicals in French politics are also called "Montagnards" by association with those who occupied the upper tiers in the assembly during the French Revolution] [nb: "The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair." by H.L. Mencken]




NavSpeak slang for a radio operator or radioman; compare RUNNER, COMM OP, KNOB-TURNER, DITTY-DOT, EARS, RTO; see PUKE.

an instrument that is carried aloft by a balloon to send back scientific information on atmospheric temperature, pressure, and humidity by means of a small radio transmitter. Compare RAWINSONDE; see SONDE.

an electromagnetic wave having a wavelength between 1 millimeter and 30,000 meters, or a frequency between 10 kilohertz and 300,000 megahertz; see AM, FM, HF, UHF, VHF, EHF, VLF, ELF, SSB, PUSH, FREQ, RADIO.

a dome-shaped device used to house a RADAR antenna; as derived by combining RAdar and DOME.

a fit of violent anger, desire, or other devastating passion. Also, to move or rush, to dash or surge furiously. See ANGER, FIGHTING MAD, RED ASS, HATE, STORM, RETALIATION, REPRISAL, RETRIBUTION.

disparaging metonymic slang for an Islamic male, civilian or otherwise, especially in the Near- or Mid-East, used as a generalization for convenient description or identification; also called towel-head, hanky-head, diaper-head, or sheet-head (often said as an exaggerated mispronunciation of "shithead"), based upon the 'kaffiyeh' [v: turban, fez, tarboosh; cf: agal/aghal]. See MUJ, ISAAC THE IRAQ, SCARAB THE ARAB, AHAB THE ARAB, SANDY, HAJJI, ALI BABA, SKINNY, STREET ARAB, BAD GUYS, INSURGENT, TERRORIST, ALLAH'S WAITING ROOM; compare CHINK, BASKET HEAD, GOOK, JAPE. [aka: camel jockey, camel cowboy, goat roper, goat fucker, snake charmer, carpet pilot, rug rider, sand flea, sand monkey, sand nigger, desert darky, dune coon, tarsh, ali baba, ahab, aladdin, habib, zalama, zol] [v: askar (soldier), lashkar (army)] [nb: the term 'kafir', being Arabic for an infidel or unbeliever (cf: goy/goyim), is probably the origin of 'kaffir', which is a derogatory reference to BLACK people; the term was probably imported into South Africa during the Boer War by British soldiers who had fought in the Sudanese campaign] [nb: a political-correctness memo distributed in 2008 to U.S. federal agencies, including the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Counter Terrorism Center, directed that Islamic extremists were no longer to be described as jihadists, mujahedeen, Islamo-fascists, Islamic terrorists, holy warriors, or Islamists, so that these banned terms would not impugn the Muslim religion; the preferred terms of communication are 'violent extremist' or 'terrorist', which (ostensibly) deny them any level of legitimacy without confrontation]

an operation, usually small scale, involving a swift penetration of hostile territory to secure information, confuse the enemy, distract from other operations, or to destroy installations; it ends with a planned withdrawal upon completion of the assigned mission. Also known as "smash 'n' dash" or "shoot 'n' scoot"; see DOOLITTLE RAID, HOPE, CEDER WALK, I&R, HIT AND RUN, SORTIE, INCURSION, PANTY RAID, TRAIN HARD - FIGHT EASY, RAIDER, BUMMER.

WWII Marine Raider patch
USMC Raider
any member or element of a raiding party, from rifleman or medic to air crewmember or boat crewmember. Also, a WWII commando-style Marine Corps unit of elite infantry formed in June 1941 by LTC Merritt "Red Mike" Edson from 1/5 Mar Div, designated 1st Raider Bn in Jan 1942; with LTC Evans F. Carlson forming the 2nd Raider Bn, nicknamed GUNG-HO, in Feb 1942. The four battalion 1st Raider Rgt was formed in March 1943. Limited wartime manpower halted formation of the 2nd Raider Rgt, the assets for which were transferred to 5th Mar Div, along with the remainder of the Marine Parachute Rgt. Remnants of the 1st Raider Rgt were disbanded and assigned to 4th and 6th Mar Div for the duration. The battle honors earned by non-AIRBORNE WWII Marine Raiders are now carried in the FORCE RECON heritage. [nb: early combat losses in VN compelled USMC FORCE RECON to alter their "broken contact" doctrine inherited from RAIDER practice: instead of individual and separate dispersion after enemy action, the team will remain connected and act concertedly, whether in defense or evasion, adopting the "Ranger buddy" protocol]

the Marine Corps version of the British Fairbairn-Sykes COMMANDO DAGGER that was designed by Lieutenant Colonel Clifford H. Shuey, and issued (1942) to the 1st Marine Parachute Battalion, the 1st and 2nd Marine Raider Battalions; possessed of a checkered grip and reinforced crossguard, the double-edged diamond cross section blade on this stiletto was only appropriate for thrusting or stabbing, and was unsuitable for utility applications ... it was therefore replaced by the shorter Collins machete and the KABAR combat knife.

Real-time AUTODIN (Automatic Digital Network) Interface Distribution System.


a CREW-SERVED WEAPON consisting of a parallel pair of conducting metal rails, that uses an electromagnetic force field to launch a projectile at great velocity, accelerating to speeds much greater than that achieved by conventional chemical propulsion.


Captain's bars
slang for the two silver (subdued black) bars of RANK, parallel and connected, designating a CAPTAIN (CPT/Capt; O-3) in the Army (USA), Air Force (USAF), and Marines (USMC), or a Lieutenant (Lt, O-3) in the Navy (USN) or Coast Guard (USCG); so-called from its similarity of appearance. Sometimes jocosely called "First Lieutenant, Second Award". See AIMING STAKES.

water that's condensed from the aqueous vapor in the atmosphere, falling to earth in drops as a shower or storm; an intermittent or periodic rainfall; see MONSOON, MANGO SHOWER, STORM, TYPHOON, STORM WARNING, WEATHER EYE. Also, any figurative descent of good or bad occurrences, such as the steady bestowal of favors or the continuous infliction of punishments. [v: soaker, downpour, drencher, torrent, deluge, pouring down buckets, raining cats an' dogs, raining lizards an' salamanders, raining toads an' tadpoles, raining bullfrogs, toad-strangler, frog-strangler, toad-choker, frog-choker, toad-swallower, frog-swallower, raining the devil an' pitchforks, snake and rat drowner, gullywasher, ditch swamper, bridge-lifter, barn-floater, raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock]

slang for a physical training formation that permits any type of attire or work-out uniform; see PT'S, IPFU, EXERCISE.

a waterproof or water-repellent MIL-SPEC coat that's worn over the duty uniform as protection against rain, sleet, or snow; see PONCHO, OILSKINS, WINDBREAKER.


a god-like person who is imputed or ascribed sufficient powers to magically "fix things" or to mysteriously "make things happen" by mystical forces beyond mortal ken ... such as causing SLUSH FUND rain to fall, igniting fires under GOLDBRICKs, evicting entrenched HOMESTEADers, moving RED TAPE mountains, quelling OLD MAN earthquakes, parting COMMAND ELEMENT floods, if not quite able to turn water into HOOCH, or teach the new SHAVETAIL everything he needs to know! See GO TO GUY, WIZARD, HONCHO, WALLAH, CHIEF, ACTING JACK, GADGET, BREVET, THE UNHOLY TRINITY, EMPTY SUIT, RHIP, LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN, DINOSAUR, OVERSIGHT. [nb: "There's no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." by Ronald Wilson Reagan; "A lofty sentiment, transformative idea, inspiring song, or breathtaking scene needs no monument, requires no signature, disdains the authenticating stamp of approval ... it is wholly complete in and of and by itself." anonymous]

to discourage or dissuade, to quell or quench a stratagem or scheme, a proposal or plan, an act or event; as "it rained on our parade" or "I will rain all over your parade". Also used in the sense of deter or sober, deflate or divert by facts or logic; as "he didn't mean to rain on my parade, but". Used in the same sense as to "pour cold water" on somebody or something; to interrupt or terminate by dousing with common sense, by a shock of realism, a reality check. Compare TO TAKE THE GILT OFF THE GINGERBREAD, GET OFF OF MY CLOUD, KISS OF DEATH, PANIC BUTTON, CHICKEN LITTLE; see MIND CANDY, HOUSE OF CARDS, PLAN B, COURSE OF ACTION.

the removal of radioactive particles or other foreign substances from the atmosphere by precipitation; compare FALLOUT, CONTAINMENT. [nb: not to be confused with "rained-out"]

slang for a shower or shower room; known as a "rain locker" in NavSpeak; see DOUCHE BAG, PT SHOWER, GI SHOWER, MARINE SHOWER, WHORE'S BATH, LATRINE, HEAD, COMFORT STATION, MONKEY BUTT.


that which is for the good of the country; as derived from "reason of state"; see ENTENTE, RAPPROCHEMENT, DETENTE, DEMARCHE, APPEASE, TRUCE. [cf: raison d'être, coup d'etat] [v: Diplomatic Terms]

an alcoholic liquor distilled from grain, grapes, plums, and so forth, in southeastern Europe and the Near East, especially Turkey ('araqi'); compare ARRACK; see HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK, HOIST, GUSTO.

Japanese torii (Shinto gate)
symbol of 187th Regimental Combat Team
187th RCT torii
Korean War shoulder patch of
187 RCT used as a pocket patch in the Vietnam War
187th RCT
the nickname of the 187th Regimental Combat Team, which loosely translated from Japanese means "falling umbrella" [sky blossom]; this nickname was bestowed upon them, the first foreign combat unit to enter the homeland of Japan (30 Aug 1945) in almost 2000 years, during their service as part of the American Occupation Force after WWII. The 187th Infantry Regiment was constituted on 12 Nov 1942 at Camp MacKall, then assigned on 25 Feb 1943 as a GLIDER unit in the 11th Airborne Division (ANGELS) where they were CROSS-TRAINED as PARATROOPERs. Deployed to the southwest Pacific from May 1944, the unit fought on Luzon, Leyte, Nasugbu Bay, Tagaytay Ridge, Manila, and Mount Macolod, before landing on Atsugi Airfield in Japan. The 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment was reorganized on 27 Aug 1950 and redesignated as the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team, then dispatched to Korea, where they made parachute drops at Sukchon-Sunchon and Munsan-ni Valley, fighting at Wonju, Inje, Wonton-ni, and Koje-do. The 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment was assigned to Vietnam on 13 Dec 1967 as an element of the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile). Deployed to Saudi Arabia during September 1990 for Operation DESERT SHIELD, the RAKKASANs conducted the world's largest AIR ASSAULT on 25 Feb 1991 in the Euphrates River Valley. The motto of the 187th Infantry Regiment is "Let Valor Not Fail" (Ne Desit Virtus).

any VC/NVA who seeks amnesty under the CHIEU HOI "Open Arms" program; see HOI CHANH, KIT CARSON SCOUT, EARTH ANGEL, ROADRUNNER; compare BORDEN.

a pre-designated position for assembly or a fallback designation, also called rendezvous (RV) or MARSHAL ("marshal area"); see WAY POINT, STRONGPOINT, GO TO HELL POINT, ALAMO POSITION, DAR, ORP, AIMPOINT, IP, POD, STAGE, LINE OF DEPARTURE; compare RP.

a patriotic cry for voluntary defense, being a refrain in the song "Battle Cry of Freedom" by George F. Root (1862); previously expressed as "rally under the flag" in an 1861 address by Stephen A. Douglas. See CALL TO THE COLORS; compare FOLLOW THE DRUM. [cf: warison; v: clarion call]

(forthcoming); John Rambo is a fictional character introduced in the 1972 novel First Blood by David Morrell, and the protagonist of the later series of RAMBO films [v: First Blood (1982 film); Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985 film); Rambo III (1988 film)] [nb: a widely circulated but spurious WAR STORY alleges that post-war criminal violence and other antisocial nonconformity by crazed veterans is the direct result of unauthorized drug experimentation that was secretly conducted by medical personnel, many of whom were ignorant of this classified test, which was designed to increase combat aggressivity in soldiers, hence the fictitious "Rambo" account that allegedly attempted to disclose the purported "truth" behind the CODENAME of the program; actually, LRRP teams were only issued amphetamines, and Special Forces teams were also issued kits containing: 12 Darvon, 24 codeine, 6 dextroamphetamines, and 4 SYRETTEs of morphine sulfate.]

(rah-mun or ray-mahn) a curly wheat noodle (der: 'pulled noodle' or 'hand pulled noodles') of a yellowish tinge with a stringy or chewy texture that's used in Japanese cookery; also known as 'lamian' in China and 'ramyeon' in Korea, it can also be made of rice or egg noodles in various lengths and thicknesses with either a smooth or wrinkled finish; see INSTANT NOODLES. [aka: udon, soba, shina soba, chuka soba, yakisoba, abura soba, nihon soba, champon, pasta] [v: yi mein] Also, a clear soup containing noodles, vegetables, and often bits of meat with seasoning; also called "larmen"; see INSTANT SOUP. [v: shio ramen, tonkotsu ramen, shoyu ramen, miso ramen, hiyashi ramen, tantan-men, wantan-men, curry ramen, muroran curry ramen, tsuke-men, sanratanmen, ie-kei ramen, hiyashi-chuka, tan-men]

acronym for Rear Area MotherFucker; see REMF.

(ram-icks) Rapid Airborne MIne Clearance System, being a Navy program utilizing a CHAIN GUN (eg: Mk-38/Mk-46) mounted on a heliborne platform.

a jet propulsion engine operated by the injection of fuel into a stream of air compressed by the forward speed of the aircraft; also called a "ramjet engine" or "ram air jet engine", it contains neither compressor nor turbine. Compare PULSEJET, SCRAMJET; see JET PROPULSION.

a moveable slope or inclinable platform, for entry or exit, loading or unloading, as the front panel of a LANDING CRAFT, the rear panel of an APC, or the TAILGATE of a cargo airplane; see HATCH, HELL HOLE, CLEAT. [nb: both armored vehicles (especially TANKs) as well as MISSILEs have used RAMPs to increase ELEVATION for PLUNGING FIRE] Also, a movable staircase, also called a "boarding ramp", that provides the passengers and crew with access to the cabin of an aircraft; see AIR STAIRS, LADDERWELL, GANGWAY, BROW, COMPANIONWAY. Also, a peripheral area bordering an airfield or airstrip; also called HARDSTAND or APRON; see THRESHOLD, STRIP ALERT, TAXIWAY, FOLLOW ME, RUNWAY, FOD.

an eruption of violently reckless or furiously destructive behavior; as derived from Scottish "ramp and rage". See CHARGE, BRING SMOKE, ROOT HOG OR DIE, SALVO, FUSILLADE, STORM, BATTLE ROYAL, FIGHTING MAD. [nb: ramp: to act violently, to rage or storm, to furiously leap or dash; to assume such posture (as to rise or rear with arms raised or extended)]

a mound of earth or rubble that's been raised around a place to serve as a protective fortification, especially with a capping parapet. Also, anything serving as a bulwark or defense. [nb: a 'boulevard' is a broad avenue (with landscaped areas at its sides or center) that's built on the site of a razed rampart] [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

slang for the in-take medicos who receive the newly arrived patients from the battlefield, processing them through the emergency room into surgery; or the out-processing medicos who discharge patients after stabilization for transport to another medical facility, usually for chronic or convalescent care. See LUGGAGE TAG, TRIAGE, AID STATION, HOSP, CRACKER BOX, MEDEVAC, DUSTOFF, AIR AMBULANCE, SSTP, MEDIC, DOC, BABY DOC, BAND-AID, BONE CUTTER, ANGEL, CORPSMEN, ORDERLY.

a cleaning rod used in the barrel of a FIREARM (eg: RIFLE, MG, BAR, SMG, SMALL ARMS), as derived from the rod used for ramming the CHARGE into a muzzle-loader. Also, informal designation for a section leader or department head, a CREW CHIEF or BOSS, HONCHO or RAINMAKER, 10 or MC, TOP DOG or MOTHER HEN, especially a strict disciplinarian, such as a HARD-ASS or MARTINET. [nb: known as "pannikin boss" by AUSSIE and KIWI troops] Also, the Air Force nickname for a mechanic (MECH), mechanical engineer, or artificer, especially the maintenance supervisor; see GREASE MONKEY, BLACK GANG, SNIPE.

a curly wheat noodle (der: 'pulled noodle' or 'hand pulled noodles') of a yellowish tinge with a stringy or chewy texture that's used in Korean cookery; also known as 'lamian' in China and 'ramen' in Japan, it can also be made of rice or egg noodles in various lengths and thicknesses with either a smooth or wrinkled finish; see INSTANT NOODLES. [v: kkoburang guksu (curly noodles), juksok guksu (instant noodles)] [cf: ramyunddang, rabokki]

(forthcoming); compare CHARM SCHOOL, FINISHING SCHOOL, THE FARM, THE GARAGE, THE PICKLE FACTORY; see BEHIND THE FENCE, DELTA FORCE, Q-COURSE, JSOC, SPECIAL OPERATIONS. Also, unclassified identifier for the OFF LIMITS training and test region in the Nevada desert known as AREA 51.

tactical defoliation and herbicide operations, including anti-crop spraying; the program's unofficial motto was "Only We Can Prevent Forests!". See AGENT ORANGE, CBR.

Randall #18 Attack Survival
hollow-handle knife with brass butt cap
Randall #18 Attack Survival
Randall #17 Astro slotted-tang
Randall #17 Astro
one of the first benchmade knife companies was founded by Walter Doane "Bo" Randall, a Florida citrus grower, after seeing a custom Scagel knife being used to scrape the hull of a boat ... inspired to make a knife good enough to be so abused, he began selling customized knives to soldiers, sailors, and sportsmen in 1938. Randall, his son and grandson, have offered many military-style knives for private purchase, from the #1 All Purpose Fighter and #2 Stiletto to the #14 Attack and #15 Airman, including the famous #17 Astro and #18 Attack-Survival. Like many excellent products, Randall knives are generally too expensive for soldiers and sailors to use them in the disposable battlefield environment without causing the owner a moment's pause at its loss ... a hesitation that may prove fatal. See DIVE KNIFE, BOWIE, COMMANDO DAGGER, APPLEGATE-FAIRBAIRN DAGGER, SURVIVAL KNIFE. [nb: the combat zone is, by definition, a destructive area, so whatever exists there is either disposable, replaceable, or made as cheaply as possible to do the required job; 'superiority' is a shifting objective, as 'excellence' is a changeable goal that must be factored by time and resources, which is always competing with 'sufficiency'] [v: good enough for government work; cf: faute de mieux (French: for want of something better)]

a terrain sketch map showing the target area covered by a fortified position, relative to weapon capacities, and interlocked with other positions and indirect fire support. Intended for night reference to a daylight sketch, this map is most useful for orienting new or replacement personnel to an established position. Like so many other "good ideas" that military managers require in training, there is no time to create them during combat operations; inexperienced personnel don't know what to document, and experienced troops don't need them. The "lay of the land" is always part of the proper positioning and alignment of interlocking defensive positions, such that approaches and dead spaces are covered. See SECTOR, AIMING STAKES, FPL, GUNPOINT, AIMPOINT.

any of various instruments, from parallax lenses to laser rebounds, used to determine the distance from the observer to a particular object, as for sighting a gun or adjusting the focus of a viewfinder; originally a separate device, then later built into the weapon or mechanism.

original World War Two Ranger
WWII Ranger
75th Ranger Regiment scroll
75 Rngr Rgt scroll
elite light infantry; a highly trained and motivated special operating force (SOF) used in assaults, SPEARHEAD advances, and difficult terrain. Originating as "ranging units" with tactics developed by Benjamin Church, Robert Rogers, Thomas Knowlton, Dan Morgan, Francis Marion, Samuel Herrick, Seth Warner, and other militia leaders from the French and Indian War and the American Revolutionary War. Motto of "Rangers Lead the Way" derives from WWII D-Day directive from Norman D. Cota, CG 29th Inf Div, when detailing the Normandy landing. The RANGER scroll, which antedates the Q-TAB, was designed by a unit member because the official shoulder PATCH, a yellow on blue lozenge, resembled the logo for a national brand of petrol, for which RANGERs were mocked as "gas passers" and ridiculed as "pump jockeys", resulting in great discord and unnecessary dissension. During WWII, Army RANGERs and Marine RAIDERs were not AIRBORNE qualified, and after the Atomic Bombs were used to end the War, such SPEARHEAD units were considered unnecessary, and so were disbanded. AIRBORNE RANGER companies were reinstituted for the KOREAN WAR, assigned separately to conventional units for I&R without forming a "Ranger Battalion" to protect the separate assets, so were squandered on "enfants perdus" and "forlorn hope" missions; resulting in the units being again disbanded. The Ranger School, under the auspices of the Infantry School, remained open to provide 9-weeks (61 days) of excellent small unit field training ... considered by many to be the most arduous Army program [nb: "Winter Rangers" often sew their Q-TAB onto their uniform with blue thread as a signifier], but not resulting in high ranking officers who could integrate RANGER-style tactics into conventional strategy. After integral LRP units were formed by separate commands in the VIETNAM WAR, the 74th Inf Rgt was activated as the superior LRP unit command to prevent a recurrence of the KOREAN WAR devastation. The 74th Inf Rgt was given the heritage of MERRILL'S MARAUDERS (5307th Composite Unit / 5332nd Mars Task Force) because the RANGER lineage had already been passed to Army Special Forces (SF) in 1952 to prevent it from disappearing. The 74th was redesignated the 75th Airborne Ranger Infantry Regiment, and was not deactivated after the VIETNAM WAR; consequently, when SF was reorganized under the Special Operations Command (SOCOM), the RANGER lineage was rightfully returned to the 75th Inf Rgt. Vietnamese term: Biet Cach, Biet Kich, Biet Dong Doi, Biet Dong Quan. See BORDER DEFENSE RANGER, JINGPAW RANGERS, LRRP, LRSP, SHARPSHOOTER, SCOUT, SCOUT-SNIPER, MERRILL'S MARAUDERS, MARS, RAIDER, AIRBORNE, PARACHUTE, AIRBORNE RANGER, SPECIAL OPERATIONS, RAT RACE, SPEARHEAD, SUICIDE SQUAD. [nb: U.S. Army officers and enlisted men (NCO/EM) served as the initial custodians for the nascent National Parks from 1872 until 1920, when they were superseded by the National Park Service (NPS); the assigned soldiers wore campaign hats, silver identity badges on green uniforms, and were at first called "scouts", but were later called "rangers" ... hence the adoption of the RANGER identity by Forest and Park Rangers]

a string of counting tokens used in reckoning distances by tallying one's paces (eg: 1760 strides equal one mile) as adjusted for terrain, weather, illumination, tactics, and fitness; also called "pace-counters", such a beaded cord is an alternative to simply tying knots in a suspended length of unembellished line. See SLACK, DEAD-RECKONING, KLICK, MIL, MILE; compare PRAYER BEADS, WORRY BEADS, LOVE BEADS.

sardonic designation of the U.S. Army Ranger qualification tab (Q-TAB); also known as the RANGER PONCHO ("It will keep you warm and dry under the most adverse conditions!"); see WETSU, GUSTO, GUNG-HO, HOOAH.

a partnership assigned to pairs of unit members for support and accountability, such that mission success without your 'buddy' is failure [cf: mission - men - self dictum]; see COMRADE, SHIPMATE, MESSMATE, ASSHOLE BUDDY, CAMARADERIE, BUDDY SYSTEM, LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN. [nb: as with "swim buddy" and "Ranger buddy", the military BUDDY SYSTEM is not a codependency relationship, but a dyadic mutuality of cooperation, such that a pair does not redouble but reinforces; cf: Damon and Pythias (Phintias), Pylades and Orestes, David and Jonathan] [v: geminate] [nb: US Navy SEAL adage: "two is one, one is none"] [ety: the term 'cahoot', meaning a nefarious conspiracy ("in cahoots with"), derives from cabin or hut, as in shared partnership, in the same way that 'comrade' ("kamara") is related to being billeted together; its connotation of illegality is secondary to its denotation of partner or associate, union or league]

slang for the 800mg Motrin (ibuprofen) tablet, being an anti-inflammatory and antipyretic analgesic that's "eaten like candy" to relieve the pains incurred during elite training and operations; also sardonically called "vitamin M" for this high-dosage Motrin (ibuprofen) tablet. Compare ASA, APC; see CANDY, CHEERIOS, BISCUIT, JUNK, DOPE, STONED, COLORS, STICK, GRASS, HAY, BUMMER, HUBBLE-BUBBLE, BAD MEDICINE. [v: gateway drug, hard drug, soft drug, designer drug, prodrug; cf: miracle drug, wonder drug] [nb: a widely circulated but spurious WAR STORY alleges that post-war criminal violence and other antisocial nonconformity by crazed veterans is the direct result of unauthorized drug experimentation that was secretly conducted by medical personnel, many of whom were ignorant of this classified test, which was designed to increase combat aggressivity in soldiers, hence the fictitious "Rambo" account that allegedly attempted to disclose the purported "truth" behind the CODENAME of the program; actually, LRRP teams were only issued amphetamines, and Special Forces teams were also issued kits containing: 12 Darvon, 24 codeine, 6 dextroamphetamines, and 4 SYRETTEs of morphine sulfate.]

see the flat-topped FIELD CAP, which resembles the French "kepi".

a brew of 'joe' or 'mud' that's been made so strong that a spoon will stand upright in a cup of it, or so strong that it will strip the enamel off the drinker's teeth! ... ostensibly made so just to keep these intrepid warriors awake so they don't inadvertently sleep through any of the suffering required of them for the completion of each mission. Some veterans claim that RANGER COFFEE is an acceptable blood substitute that may be mainlined if the wounded patient is torpid, comatose, or unconscious. This concoction is never adulterated by the admixture of milk or cream, sugar or candy, herbs or spices, which will inhibit its revitalizing infusion!

the thin, multi-strand, sheathed suspension line (SHROUD) on a parachute that's been widely adopted for many other utilitarian applications; also called "p-cord", "550-cord", "dummy cord", or PARA-CORD.


slang for a body-length concavity dug as a night defensive position (NDP) for one person when dismounted from transport for overnight halts (RON) when highly mobile units are advancing or maneuvering; typically situated near vehicles, they're used in the Mid-East in lieu of FOXHOLEs; compare HASTY TRENCH, SLIT TRENCH.

sardonic designation of the U.S. Army Ranger qualification tab (Q-TAB); also known as the RANGER RAINCOAT; see WETSU, GUSTO, GUNG-HO, HOOAH.

sardonic designation of the U.S. Army Ranger qualification tab (Q-TAB); also known as the RANGER BLANKET ("It will keep you warm and dry under the most adverse conditions!"); see WETSU, GUSTO, GUNG-HO, HOOAH.

sardonic designation of the U.S. Army Ranger qualification tab (Q-TAB); also known as the RANGER OVERCOAT; see WETSU, GUSTO, GUNG-HO, HOOAH.

qualification shoulder tab
for U.S. Army Ranger School
Ranger Q-tab
operating under the auspices of the Infantry School (USAIS), an intense 9-week (61 days at 19.6hrs/day) course of combat leadership and field training in small unit infantry tactics that's considered by many to be the most arduous of all Army programs [nb: "Winter Rangers" often sew their Q-TAB onto their uniform with blue thread as a signifier]. Open to all ranks in all branches, including allied military personnel, this physically and mentally demanding program is subdivided into Assessment Phase (Rogers) and First Phase (Darby) at Fort Benning, Second Phase (mountain / Merrill) at Dahlonega, and Third Phase (swamp / Rudder) at Eglin Air Force Base ... a Desert Phase was briefly conducted at White Sands Missile Range (extended to 65 days in 1983) and Dugway Proving Ground (extended to 68 days in 1991), but was discontinued in 1995. After the separate ranger-type units were disbanded at the end of WWII, the Ranger School was reorganized in 1950 to train seventeen Airborne-Ranger companies for the KOREAN WAR, remaining open afterwards as a specialty course in reconnaissance, with its graduates forming ranger-type units in the VIETNAM WAR. The Ranger School annually conducts eleven classes with about 366 enrollees per class; the majority of students are airborne (ABN) and/or air assault (AA) qualified before admission, with most ranked as CPL/SPC (E-4) or LT (O-1/O-2), aged 23 years old, and will patrol more than 200mi while carrying 65-90lbs of weapons and equipment during the course ... attrition rates have varied historically (from 42% to over 65%), but average approximately 50%. The following awards may be presented to recognize outstanding Ranger School graduates: William O. Darby Award to the distinguished honor graduate; Ralph Puckett Award to the officer honor graduate; Glenn M. Hall Award to the enlisted honor graduate; LTC Keith Antonia Officer Leadership Award to the officer graduate rated highest in leadership; CSM Michael Kelso Enlisted Leadership Award to the enlisted graduate rated highest in leadership. [nb: the Army's chief of staff made Ranger training mandatory from 16 Aug 1966 to 21 June 1972 for all officers commissioned into the regular Army ... it has been said that the black and gold colors of the Ranger Q-tab denote the school's affiliation with West point!] [nb: CPT Kristen M. Griest (military police; USMA 2011) and 1LT Shaye L. Haver (helicopter pilot; USMA 2012) became the first women to complete the U.S. Army Ranger School on 21 August 2015]

hail, the larger the better; also known as "Nature's own Swedish massage"; see WETSU, GUSTO, GUNG-HO, HOOAH.

rain, especially sleet; see WETSU, GUSTO, GUNG-HO, HOOAH.

specific name of a serviceman's GRADE-level; corresponding skill/PAY-GRADE levels are alphanumeric (E-1...,WO-1...,O-1...). Formerly, some RANKs were job specific and not RATINGs, such as "First Sergeant" or "Sergeant Major" being an appointment to a selected Master Sergeant; but this changed by the addition of SUPER GRADEs during the VIETNAM WAR; other job titles (eg: squad leader, platoon sergeant, drill instructor, supply sergeant, platoon leader, company commander, ship captain, chief of staff, etc) are still RATING specific but not yet designated as RANKs. Except for the naval COMMODORE (a wartime posting equivalent to Brigadier General, bestowed as a brevet upon the senior Captain in command of several ships), officer branch ranks have long been unchanged, and include direct, reserve, regular, and battlefield commissions. Officers may be promoted to higher authority by "brevet" without changing their PAY-GRADE. Compare RATING, RELATIVE RANK, PULL RANK; see OFFICER, FLAG OFFICER, ADMIRAL, GENERAL, COMMODORE, MISTER, FULL BULL, LIGHT BIRD, COMMANDER, MAJOR, AIMING STAKES, CAPTAIN, LOOEY, BROWN BAR, BUTTER BAR, ENSIGN, ROCKER, BUCK, BIRD UMBRELLA, MATING MOSQUITOES, MOSQUITO SMILE, MOSQUITO WING, SLICK SLEEVE, THE UNHOLY TRINITY. Also, the enlisted men (EM) collectively, except officers, or the body of any group without officers; as "in ranks", "other ranks", or "rankers". Also, in formation, RANK is any LINE abreast or row standing beside one another; see TOE THE LINE, compare FILE.

to search thoroughly or vigorously, especially for booty or spoils, loot or PLUNDER; to PILLAGE, being derived from "seek" or "examine", but obscurely akin to 'ramshackle'. See FORAGE, COMMANDEER, SPOILS OF WAR, HAVOC, ROMAN HOLIDAY.

abbreviation for Rocket Assisted Projectile.


descent by rope, down a hillside or building and from an aerial platform; most often conducted by use of some descending device (eg: carabiner/SNAP-LINK, figure-8, brake-bar). Originally a method of body or "hasty rappel" (more formally called "abseil") which, after doubling around an anchor and woven around the body, permitted the rope to be retrieved and re-used. Numerous tied "Swiss seats" and sewn harnesses were later invented, culminating in the full-body STABO rig; which is suitable for both ascent and descent, including recovery of wounded or unconscious teammates. A specialized downward-facing or inverted descent (often called "Australian" because it is upside down) is used with caves and buildings. RAPPEL training normally includes methods for ascending attached rope, including Prussik loops, etriers, anchors, and cam-ascend devices. Term derives from "recall", as to recover or retrieve the descent line. See BELAY, LINE, ROPE, KNOT, SPY RIGGING, HIGHLINE, TYROLEAN TRAVERSE, ROPE BRIDGE, LET-DOWN ROPE. [v: Climbing Terms]


a person responsible for compiling reports and presenting them, as to an authority or a governing body; see REPORT, FINDING, WHITE PAPER, MR, ANNEX, RBI, SNOWFLAKE, PAPER BULLET, BRIEFING, STAFF, PENCIL PUSHER, 90-PAGE WONDER, MILICRAT. [v: rapport, dossier; cf: bout de papier, aide-memoire]

the act or state of coming together or of being drawn near, as in establishing cordial relations or in renewing harmonious ties; see ENTENTE, DETENTE, RAISON D'ETAT, DEMARCHE, CARTE BLANCHE, COUP D'ETAT, CAPITULATION, DIKTAT, APPEASE, TRUCE, PEACE. [nb: the phrase "peaceful co-existence" seems to have originated as the expression "peaceful and friendly co-existence" at the Ninth All-Russian Congress of the Soviets, then was used in a 30 June 1954 press conference by Dwight D. Eisenhower, but was made famous when uttered by Nikita Khrushchev in a 6 January 1961 speech] [v: Diplomatic Terms]

[ety: severe or sharp criticism ... criminal charge] see YELLOW SHEET.

the Boeing F-22 air-superiority fighter, a fifth-generation American aircraft; see BIRD.

Reserve Active-Status List [10 USC 14002 (reference b)], being reserve personnel on active duty status.

a loud, abrasive, spluttering noise made with the lips and tongue to express displeasure or mockery, derision or contempt; also known as a "Bronx cheer" or "razz", this Americanism derives as a shortening of 'raspberry tart', a euphemism for "rasping fart".

nickname for the sesame-honey candy packaged with Patrol INDIGenous Rations (PIR), which was insufficiently sweet for American taste. This candy became very popular as part of the "health food" craze in the HIPPIE's countercultural revolution.

any small and uncomfortable room or office, especially one that's dirty or disordered; as derived from an access hole or sheltering burrow made by a rodent ... and by association, despite their cozy trappings, the so-called habitat of legislators and the press corps, through which these "dirty rats" insinuate and inveigle their presumptive conclusions; see POLITICIAN, FOURTH ESTATE; compare GLORY HOLE, FOXHOLE, SPIDER HOLE, MOUSE HOLE, BOLT HOLE, RABBIT HOLE. Also, by association with a rodent's burrow, the scornful and dismissive characterization of a CADET's unkempt cell or untidy apartment at a military academy, being another case of hyperbolic harassment by upper-class inspectors; see TRADE SCHOOL. Also, a metaphor for any worthless purpose ("Competition between the Armed Forces is federal funding lost down the rathole!"); see GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK, FOR THE HELL OF IT / FOR THE HECK OF IT.

the specific skill level or PAY-GRADE of a servicemember expressed as an alphanumeric notation; RANKs equivalent to RATINGs are unique to each branch of service (USAF E-4=SGT, USA E-4=CPL, USN/USCG E-4=PO3, USMC E-4=CPL). RATINGs and RANKs remained distinct for temporary or ACTING JACK (BREVET/GADGET) assignments. The RATING hierarchy was originally descending (with x-1 being highest), but this arrangement was reversed (with x-1 being lowest) during WWII. The proficiency or skill RATING system was first documented in 1866, with continuing updates and changes, to regulate established usage and practice. See MOS, PMOS, STRIKER, OJT, CROSS-TRAINING, MURDER BOARD, BILLET, BERTH, ACASP, CONAP, DEP, PULL RANK, SUPER GRADE, EOD, DIVER, OVAL, RIGGER, TRASH, CHECK RIDE, FITREP, EER, OER, BAYONET SHEET, SPEC, WO; compare GRADE, RANK, RELATIVE RANK. Also, a specialty qualification attained in order to perform a particular job; see MOS, PMOS, BILLET, BERTH, POI, TRNG, OJT, 3 R's, MIL-CRAFT, Q-COURSE, CROSS-TRAINING, TICKET, PRO PAY. Also, a seaman or other enlisted man (EM) in Naval service, as a sailor who is not yet attained the RANK of Petty Officer; see SLICK SLEEVE, STRIKER, BOATSWAIN, YEOMAN, BELOW DECK.


to contrive or ascribe a plausible explanation for the cause or occurrence of a case or condition, act or phenomenon, circumstance or situation; see JUDGMENT CALL, THE ROAR OF BUTTERFLY WINGS, REASON, LAW OF AVERAGES, LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURNS, BINOMIAL DISTRIBUTION, POISSON DISTRIBUTION, PASCAL DISTRIBUTION. [nb: "No rational argument will have a rational effect on a man who does not want to adopt a rational attitude." by Karl R. Popper; "One is tempted to define man as a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason." by Oscar Wilde (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills)]

a fixed portion of food allotted to people; a set allowance of provisions issued to servicemembers and/or civilians, especially during periods of food shortages (eg: natural disaster, wartime, etc).

the four classes of rations are: type A) mess hall meals prepared using fresh, refrigerated, or frozen ingredients; type B) meals prepared using dried, canned, or otherwise preserved foods when adequate refrigeration or kitchen facilities are unavailable; type C) completely prepackaged meals distributed by a field kitchen or directly to each individual in the field; type D) a prepackaged nutritional supplement of various types issued to combatants as energy enhancement during periods of physical and mental distress. See BEANS, CHOW, THREE SQUARES, K-RATIONS, C-RATIONS, LRRP-RATIONS, PIR / PIRations, MRE, HDR, FIRST-STRIKE RATION, MCW/LRP, T-RATIONS, B-RATIONS, UGR / UGRE, KITCHEN IN A CARTON, ERGO, HOOAH! BAR, SOLDIER FUEL, CFREB, CFREP, USAMRNL, NTF, CMNR, ICNND, SQUARE MEAL, SOLDIER'S BREAKFAST, GI JOE, RANGER COFFEE, BUG JUICE, SOUP, POT LIQUOR, BULLY SOUP, INSTANT NOODLES, POOR MAN'S STEW, POT LUCK, SLUMGULLION, BISCUIT, HARDTACK, IRON RATIONS, RESTRICTED RATIONS, STONE SOUP, FORAGE, BUSHMEAT, CHOKE, HAM 'n' MOTHERS, BEAN BOMB, TURKEY, DYNAMITED CHICKEN, HAMSTER, ORIENTAL CRUD, LOP SLOP, SLOP, GUT BOMB, WASH, WAD, GLOP, SOS, PUPPY PETERS, MIDRATS, CAVALRY STEAK, CRITTER FRITTER, SLIDER, SANDWICH, HORSE COCK, DUTCH LUNCH, BOXED NASTY, SPAM, GOOP, JERKY, SALT JUNK, CAMEL BURGER, FEEL AWFUL, PITA, RICE BALL, SINKER, PANCAKE, POGY BAIT, GEDUNK, SUGAR PILL, HERSHEY BAR, D-RATION, TRACK PAD, CANDY BAR, CLARK BAR, NECCO, CHARMS, RAT BAIT, DOG, FISH-EYES, BUGS, CHOWING DOWN, GUSTO, RABBIT FOOD, CONDIMENTS, COCKTAIL SAUCE, FOOD COMA, LIP SMACKING, NUOC MAM, HEAT TABS, C-4, STERNO, DAKOTA FIRE HOLE, IMMERSION HEATER, MERMITE, P-38, CHURCH KEY, PARTISAN'S SECRET WEAPON, SPOON, KFS, CHOPSTICK, MESS KIT, CANTEEN CUP, MESS TRAY, CHOW LINE, CANTEEN, EVAPORATOR, MESS, DFAC, GALLEY, COOKIE. [v: beanfeast, wayzgoose] [nb: after the Civil War, the 1892 ration was developed, succeeded by the Pershing garrison ration, displaced by the New Army Ration, then superseded by individual "D-", "K-", "C-", Survival and Emergency rations, culminating in Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) and T-rations; K-Rations were named for Ancel Keys (1942)] [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] [nb: since the era of the CIVIL WAR, American troops have mockingly mislabeled salt pork as "Cincinnati chicken" just as ground or smothered entrees are now called "mystery meat"; v: mock chicken, mock turtle soup, sea legs / surimi, Bombay duck, Welsh rabbit, golden buck] [cf: "battels" (probably a corruption of the obsolete 'battle', to feed) meaning the expense of board and provisions, or the board and provisions themselves; housing and meals, shelter and rations] [v: field cookware includes MESS KIT, CANTEEN CUP, billy/billy-pot/billy-can] [nb: it requires more time and fuel to cook at higher altitudes because the boiling point (212°F/100°C) of water is more difficult to attain as the atmospheric pressure decreases, leaving the food desiccated and partially cooked, so a small sealed container is needed to increase the pressure (which also increases the boiling point) for efficient food and beverage preparation, enabling a higher temperature to be reached before boiling occurs (water at 15psi boils at 252°F/125°C); although pressure cookers (aka: waterless cooker) reduce cooking time by a factor of three, they also prevent the escape of air and liquids below a preset temperature, which conserves their contents from evaporation ... one of the earliest models was called a "steam digester", invented by physicist Denis Papin in 1679; commercial kitchens use large volume "pressure canners" ... WARNING: as with boiling, the use of contaminated water in pressure cooking will not cleanse its impurities, since distillation requires evaporation (and condensing) to achieve potability; cf: osmotic (or reverse osmosis) filtration] [nb: high-muckety-muck and high-muck-a-muck are corrupt Americanisms from Chinook jargon ("hayo makamak") meaning plenty to eat or much food, from the layer of whale meat between blubber and flesh] [nb: according to Claude Levi-Strauss (1970), cooking is the quintessential inauguration of civilization, which demarcation separates the primitive kinship structure that concentrates upon survival from the cooperative social organization that has since developed specialization and leisure] [nb: "An army travels on its stomach." by Napoleon Bonaparte]

any horizontal ropes or rigging lines used as steps when ascending or descending; so-called from the small ropes crossing the shrouds on a sailing ship that sailors used to go aloft. Compare FOOTROPE, GRAB ROPE, SHROUD; see JACOB'S LADDER, DEBARKATION NET, NET, LINE, ROPE, CORD, GUY, PARA-CORD, HAWSER. [v: escalade]

Rocket Assisted Take-Off; see JATO.

slang for a container (meal box, case, or carton) of C-RATIONs.

any narrow pathway, typically obscure and circuitous, that's used for limited access to or ready escape from a BOLT HOLE or RABBIT HOLE, a HIDE or SAFE HOUSE. Also, any narrow pathway used as an infrequent transition between two other more heavily traveled trails; compare RAT RACE, PASSAGEWAY, WALK BACK THE CAT, TRACE, TRAIL. Also, slang for any convoluted TRACK or circuitous TRACE requiring investigation, such as a PAPER TRAIL. [cf: "rat alley" in The Waste Land by Thomas Stearns Eliot (1922)]

a blindly headlong FRONTAL ASSAULT upon an enemy of unknown size, strength, or distribution [v: enfants perdus, forlorn hope]; see SPEARHEAD, SUICIDE SQUAD, CANNON FODDER, WASTED, DIDDLY, BITTER END, AUTOTOMY, BELL THE CAT, SNOWBALL, FORCE MAJEURE. Also, any repetitive or routine activity that's enervating or exhausting due to its stressful or competitive nature; also called "hamster run" or "squirrel cage"; see IRON CAGE, WORK ETHIC.

short for RATionS (qv), as in MIDRATS or SEPARATE RATS.


a form of TORTURE that supposedly originated in ancient China where live rats were given access to chained or caged prisoners in order to extract confessions, to induce cooperation, or to increase the mental and physical suffering of convicts; this practice has spread worldwide from Vietnam and Japan to Brazil and Chile, from the Philippines and India to England and the Netherlands, with certain refinements such as the introduction of a live rat into the bowels of a prisoner, or a caged rat driven by nearby heat to eat its way out through the prisoner's body; this form of torture, sometimes combined with temperature or WATER TORTURE, is often sufficient as a dramatic threat to break the resistance of a prisoner before any injury occurs. v: Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair, 1949)]

a small, lightweight, remotely controlled DRONE that's launched by hand for tactical observation of an operational area (AO).

a method of upper-atmosphere meteorological observation conducted by means of a small radio transmitter (radiosonde) that's tracked by RADAR; derived as a blend of RAdar + WINd + radioSONDE. [cf: ionosonde]

the scattering of light by particles that are very small in relation to the wavelength of the light, and in which the intensity of the scattered light varies inversely with the fourth power of the wavelength, so that shorter wavelength violet and blue light will scatter more than the longer yellow and red light wavelengths; eponymously after (John William Strutt) Lord Rayleigh (1935). See AIRGLOW; compare MIE SCATTER. [v: Tyndall Effect, Rayleigh Gans Approximation, Rayleigh Criterion; cf: Raman scattering] [nb: There are two causes of the light scattering that lead to airglow: scattering from molecules such as N2 and O2 (called Rayleigh scattering), and that from aerosols, called Mie scattering. Rayleigh scattering is much stronger for short-wavelength (blue) light, while scattering from aerosols is little affected by wavelength. In most places, most particularly in urban areas, aerosol scattering dominates, due to the heavy aerosol loading caused by modern industrial processes and transportation. Rayleigh scattering makes the sky appear blue in the daytime; the more aerosols there are, the less blue or whiter the sky appears. When the air is clear and relatively free of aerosols, blue or white light (for example from metal halide lamps, fluorescent lamps, and white light-emitting diodes) contributes significantly more to sky-glow than an equal amount of yellow light (for example from high- and low-pressure sodium vapor lamps), which indicates that high-pressure sodium sources produce roughly one-third to one-half of the skyglow compared to the output of typical metal halide sources, based on the same amount of light entering the atmosphere and pure Rayleigh scattering. Another effect that makes skyglow from white-light sources worse than from yellow arises from the Purkinje effect, where the eye becomes more sensitive to bluer/whiter light when adapted to low light levels, as experienced under nighttime conditions. When the Purkinje effect is also considered the effect is magnified, to where yellow sources can produce as little as one-eighth the skyglow of an equivalent output white-light source, particularly when the observer is located at some distance from the light-pollution source, the sky is darker, and the eye more completely dark-adapted.]

a type of skin abrasion, including soreness and irritation, that's caused by a too hasty or too vigorous application of the shaver; this mild rash can also be caused by a dull blade or poor technique; lubricating and moisturizing the skin to be shaved can help to prevent an uncomfortable RAZOR BURN. Aftershave emollients will medicate and soothe the affected skin, promoting epidermal healing. Dry shaving, which is universally used as a punishment for inadequate grooming, generally produces a painful RAZOR BURN. See SAFETY RAZOR, FACE FUZZ, ALEXANDER'S BEARD, AMAZONIAN CHIN, CREW-CUT, FLATHEAD, BUZZ, FLATTOP, WHITE WALLS, HIGH 'n' TIGHT, RELAXED GROOMING STANDARDS; compare CLOSE SHAVE. [cf: pseudofolliculitis barbae]

a sharp-edge wire with spaced barbs that may be strung or coiled for use as a barrier; also called "razor ribbon", "wire-tape", or "barbed tape". This lighter weight alternative to BARBED WIRE is available with a reinforced core, in galvanized or stainless steel, and in various strengths with different lengths of barbs. It is constructed by punching barbs into a steel band that's then tightly cold-crimped around a high tensile strength core. First used during WWI by Imperial Germany due to a shortage of materials, and to its ease of manufacture, it was introduced domestically after the VIETNAM WAR for security fencing, and once improved with reinforcement, was adopted by the American military before the GULF WAR. See CONCERTINA, BANGALORE TORPEDO.


Reply By Indorsement; distinguished from "endorsement" (approve or acknowledge) as the requirement to explain or justify in correspondence by a stipulated SUSPENSE DATE. See RAPPORTEUR, NLT, TICKLER, REPORT.

RC :
radio control, as in radio control models.

Rescue Control Center; see JSARC, JPRC, JPRA, SAR, CSAR.

abbreviation for Runway Condition Rating, being a relative evaluation of the surface suitability for the safe landing of an airplane, especially its ability to brake effectively; see FOD, RUNWAY.

Regimental Combat Team; a highly mobile infantry regiment (RGT) that's often autonomous and augmented by task-oriented combat and support elements; typically reinforced with integral artillery (ARTY), armor (ARM) or armored cavalry (ACR), and engineer (ENGR) elements. Compare BCT, SBCT; see PRCT, TEAM.

Ration Cold Weather; superseded by Meal Cold Weather (MCW/LRP); see RATIONS.

R&D / R & D :

Redeployment-Day; the unnamed day on which major combat, combat support, and combat service support forces are operationally redeployed. See TIME.

Radiological Dispersion Device; also called DIRTY BOMB.

Radio Direction Finding/-er, being a method of triangulation used for locating the RADIO, transmitter, or base station of enemy broadcasts, so as to attack the unit or to silence the equipment. Detection can be delayed or complicated by either BURST transmission or by manual or automatic frequency-hopping. An "electronic divining rod", a man-portable sensor, has been used in Iraq and Afghanistan to detect cellphone broadcasts. See CUT, DITTY-DOT, HOT STUFF, HUFF DUFF, COMSEC, SIGINT; compare TACAN. [v: goniometry]

Research Department eXplosive, being a mixture of TNT [TriNitroToluene (C7H5N3O6)] with a plasticizer that was developed by the British at Woolwich England during WWII; it's also known as "Royal Demolition eXplosive", Cyclonite, and Composition C (qv). See TORPEX, HEP, PBX, COMPOSITION H6, COCKTAIL, SOUP, IED, SHAPED CHARGE, PLASTIC EXPLOSIVE, EXPLOSIVE.


properly called Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA), as distinguished from passive or inert armor or armor-plating; and commonly called "armor tile(s)". REACTIVE ARMOR consists of a defensive system of shaped-charge panels that are tiled over the surface of the armored vehicle so as to cause predetonation of the striking munition, and to prevent vehicular crewmember deaths from penetration, impact, or SPALLing. As a concept, ERA is an extension of SPACED ARMOR predetonation methods, but these explosive panels must be removed during transshipments and airborne/seaborne assaults, thus delaying any intervention sequences. See TRACK, APC, TANK, SKIN, UP-ARMOR, HARDEN. [v: powder chest]

the directive to recite, repeat, or recount the exact orders or explicit commands received, especially operational instructions, so as to verify their precise understanding; although often misused by MILICRATs to harass subordinates, it is intended to function as a form of authentication to prevent confusion in the field. Compare BRIEF-BACK; see BRIEFING, SOP, SCRIPTURES, UNODIR, CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, WIGGLE ROOM, VFR DIRECT, OFF THE RESERVATION, OUTSIDE THE WIRE, OVERSIGHT, MICROMANAGEMENT, CASTRATION ANXIETY, NO EXCUSE, ZERO TOLERANCE.


NavSpeak for an ammunition chest for the AMMO held handy beside small cannons and antiaircraft guns aboard ships; known as a "limber box" for artillery guns and howitzers; see CAISSON.

members of the RESERVE COMPONENT (eg: Selected Reserve, Individual Ready Reserve, Inactive National Guard, etc) who are eligible (10 USC 10142, 12301-2) for call to service on active duty. See RESERVE.

the foreign policy proclaimed in 1980 by Ronald Wilson Reagan that the United States has an obligation to intervene anywhere in the world where there is political insurrection so as to counter the Soviets' "Evil Empire"; see URGENT FURY, THE ROOT, PRESIDENTIAL DOCTRINE, CONTAINMENT, NATION BUILDING.

the existence of real things, genuine facts, or verifiable events taken as a whole, independent of ideas and other things; also known as 'actuality' or 'verity'. Also, a resemblance to this state of REALITY, being that purportedly inviolate condition which is (during or after the fact) subject to interpretation or distortion based upon the independent assessment and individual perception of each and every interested person or involved party, especially those with a sociopolitical agenda; compare TRUTH, PERCEPTION, RECENCY EFFECT, TRUE BELIEVER, WHITE PROPAGANDA, DECEPTION, SPECULATION, ABSTRACTION, FOURTH ESTATE, TELESCOPING, DISSOCIATION, OBJECTIFICATION, CONVERSION SYMPTOMS. [nb: "We all start from naive realism (ie: the doctrine that things are what they seem): we think that grass is green, that stones are hard, and that snow is cold; but physics assures us that the greenness of grass, the hardness of stones, and the coldness of snow are not the greenness of grass, the hardness of stones, and the coldness of snow that we know in our experience, but something very different." by Bertrand A.W. Russell; "Reality: The dream of a mad philosopher. That which would remain in the cupel if one should assay a phantom. The nucleus of a vacuum." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce]

policy based on power, rather than ideals, as practical politics or political realism; see ALLY, CLIENT STATE, MIGHT MAKES RIGHT, BRUTE FORCE, BLOOD AND IRON, THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS, THE LESSER OF EVILS, BETTER THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, DIVIDE AND CONQUER, GARRISON STATE, PRESIDENTIAL DOCTRINE, FLAG OF PROTECTION, SATELLITE, BUFFER STATE, THE G. [v: machtpolitik] [nb: "Every political system is an accumulation of habits, customs, prejudices, and principles that have survived a long process of trial and error and of ceaseless response to changing circumstances. If the system works well on the whole, it is a lucky accident -- the luckiest, indeed, that can befall a society." by Edward C. Banfield (12 June 1989)]

the United States of America, being the "land of plenty" or the LAND OF THE BIG PX, especially for MIL-PERS returning from an overseas assignment (DEROS); also known as THE WORLD, with the implication that a military tour outside CONUS is just a "bad dream", that all the death and destruction is just a nightmare that will evaporate in the beautiful dawn of perpetual sunrise. Also, civilian life (or its non-ACTIVE DUTY equivalent) for those persons being DISCHARGEd from the military (ETS), or those deactivated reservists resuming part-time WEEKEND WARRIOR status.

a surveillance DRONE or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), able to vector assault craft and/or fire missions onto enemy movements and positions; the MQ-9 is equipped with cameras capable of identifying an object the size of a milk carton from altitudes of 60,000 feet, and has forward-looking infrared (FLIR) devices that can detect the heat from a human body at distances of up to 60 kilometers.

the zone behind the FORWARD AREA that exists to provide support activities to forward elements; also called "support area" or REAR ECHELON.

the officers and enlisted men stationed outside the combat zone who function to support combat operations in the operations area (OA) with medical or logistical functions, technical or administrative services; compare FORWARD ECHELON, see ECHELON.

see REMF.

the trailing or rear security element, being the rearmost contingent of an advancing or withdrawing force, which functions to protect the rear of the element, keeping it covered and informed; the REAR GUARD serves to keep support and resupply routes open during an advance, and to delay the enemy's advance during a withdrawal. See DRAG, TRAIL; compare TAIL-END CHARLIE. [nb: Vietnamese term: Hau Ve Quan]

a delaying defense undertaken by the rearmost element so as to enable the main force to withdraw; the technique of providing protective rear security while covering and informing the RETREATing force about the enemy's advance. Compare RETROGRADE, EXIT STRATEGY; see PARTHIAN SHOT.

see REMF.

a small mirror that's been mounted so as to provide some perspective for the operator directly behind the moving vehicle; first introduced to high-speed automobiles in 1911, it was later affixed to the cockpit of an aircraft as an aid in spatial awareness; see LUFBERY CIRCLE. [cf: side-view mirror]

the power of intelligent and dispassionate thought, or of conduct influenced by such good sense; the faculty of acquiring intellectual knowledge, either by direct understanding of first principles or by earnest discussion. Also, a statement presented in justification or explanation of a belief or action, especially when representative of sound powers of mind; the cogent premise of a logical argument. Also, the persuasive basis of some fact or belief; the conclusive cause for some action or event. Also, the mental powers concerned with drawing conclusions or inferences, with forming judgments or premises; thinking or arguing in a logical manner within the morphology of normative thought. see FALLACY OF CONSENSUS GENTIUM, FALLACY OF TU QUOQUE, PATHETIC FALLACY, AD HOMINEM, LAW OF AVERAGES, GAMBLER'S FALLACY, OCCAM'S RAZOR, LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURNS, BLACK SWAN EVENT, NO EXCUSE, MEA CULPA, THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS, THE LESSER OF EVILS, REALPOLITIK, LAWFUL ORDER, OUTSIDE THE BOX, RAISON D'ETAT. [v: reckon (compute, regard, report); ratiocination (to calculate in the specified manner); adjudge; appraise; assess; justify; surmise; conjecture; infer; deduce]

to restore to confidence; to encourage or hearten, to comfort or inspirit; being an activity that's proverbially situated between 'real' and 'stupid' in every military dictionary! Compare SYMPATHY, TS CARD, PRAYER; see EYE-CHECK, RUN IT UP THE FLAGPOLE, NOSE COUNT, POPULARITY CONTEST, BULLFROG CHORUS, FALL ON DEAF EARS, BRASS EAR, PINS IN THE MAP SYNDROME, CASTRATION ANXIETY, MICROMANAGEMENT. [v: vox clamantis in deserto (Latin: a voice crying in the wilderness)]


the open and organized defiance of authority or tradition, especially armed resistance against the government; to refuse compliance or allegiance; as derived from "renew war". Compare REVOLUTION, GUERRILLA WARFARE, DIRTY WAR, COUP D'ETAT, INSURGENCY, SOFT REVOLUTION, CONFLICT, STRUGGLE; see TREASON, UN-AMERICAN, ANTI-AMERICAN. [cf: Shays' (regulator) Rebellion (1786-7); Whiskey Rebellion (1791-4); Fries' Rebellion (1798)] [v: Spring of Nations (1848), Prague Spring, Velvet Revolution (Czechoslovakia 1989), Rose Revolution (Georgia 2003), Orange Revolution (Ukraine 2004), Chestnut Revolution (Ukraine 2004), Purple Revolution (Iraq 2005), Cedars Revolution (Lebanon 2005); cf: demonstration, protest, resurgence, renascence, risorgimento, intifada] [nb: "When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty." by Thomas Jefferson; "Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience and rebellion that progress has been made." by Oscar Wilde (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills)]

an underwater breathing system that cleanses and recycles captured air back into the air supply; a method of re-using exhaled breath so that it can be re-inhaled, being a self-contained device used to regulate and re-circulate breathing gases so that diving time can be extended and dive functions will be quieter. The closed-circuit re-breathing system does not release exhaled gasses as exhaust, but filters and recycles the discharge back into the gas supply, which is accomplished by scrubbing CO2 and adding O2 as necessary to maintain a constant partial pressure of oxygen. The semi-closed circuit re-breathing system, which also uses a scrubber, releases a portion of each breath into the water while the same portion of new breathing gas is injected into the cycle. Compare SCUBA, PLSS; see DIVER. [nb: Draeger refers to the closed-circuit oxygen re-breather, invented (together with other rescue equipment) by Alexander B. Dräger, an early 20th century German scientist]

a principle of international law wherein a treaty or other agreement is binding only as long as the relevant facts and circumstances remain basically the same; a treaty or other agreement is voidable if the conditions establishing it change greatly [Latin: with things remaining thus, or at this state of affairs].

to dispute an assertion by countering it; to contradict the opposed propositions alleged by an adversary; to defeat an assertion by disproving it or by neutralizing its effect. [nb: "War is the ultimate rebuttal."]

(wrecky) an informal Briticism for reconnaissance, which is used instead of RECON, the American preference.


the psychological tendency for individuals to retain their latest involvement or exposure, and to be most influenced by same, because currency tends to provide the best recall, the most accurate and complete representation from a person's short-term memory bank, which is why after action reports (AAR) and lessons learned are most worthwhile when gathered in nearest propinquity to the subject of focused activity. In detailing traumatic events and other special circumstances, it sometimes occurs in reverse (known as a 'primacy effect') wherein the individual's first contact or episode is best remembered, and the most recent is less vivid and more vague, which inversion doesn't discredit the exposure, but makes the extraction of valid or useful information more problematic ... this latter phenomenon is indicative of burnout, and indicates a need for rest-and-recuperation (R&R) or reassignment. See PERCEPTION, HOT WASH, DEBRIEF, CHICKEN FEED, SNARK, ANGEL, GHOST, ROCKING HORSE APPLES, PROPAGANDA, SMOKE 'n' MIRRORS, DISINFORMATION, BIG STORY, RUMOR.


the initial point for in-processing, as into military service (Reception Center) or into medical evacuation (Receiving Station). The place where recruits report for duty was formerly identified as the Armed Forces Examination and Entrance Station (AFEES), but is now called the Military Enlistment Processing Station (MEPS).


the distance through which a weapon moves backward after being discharged; commonly called KICK, to rebound ("every action has an equal and opposite reaction"); see BASS, SPOT WELD, BURST, DOUBLE TAP, FIREPOWER, SILENCER, BARREL SLEEVE, PROLONGE. [v: Firearms Glossary] Also, to undergo a change in momentum as a result of either a collision or of emission; as derived from rump or buttocks; see SPLASHBACK.

see RR.

reconnaissance, to reconnoiter; slang, to recce (reck-key). See LRP, LRRP, RT, FORCE RECON, RECONDO, HAWKS, STINGRAY, I&R, SPIKE TEAM, LRSP, SRI, SNATCH, PANTY RAID, PECKER TRACKS, TRACE, CSAR, SAR, INFIL, EXFIL, FLIP-FLOP, FALSE INSERTION, SHELL GAME, CHASE, SKYHOOK, POINT, SWING, DRAG, 10, RON, LZ, CLZ, PZ, RZ, DZ, BRIEF-BACK, COUNTERRECONNAISSANCE. [nb: Vietnamese term: Loi Ho, Trinh Sat] [v: a Sampling of Reconnaissance and Surveillance Insignia]

the practice of shooting into probable concealment sites, potential AMBUSH positions, or other suspected locations so as to provoke an enemy response, as by movement, return fire, or other disclosure; RBF is not a valid or reliable method of reconnaissance. Compare MAD-MINUTE, BLIND FIRE, WILD SHOT, H&I, RIF, MARCHING FIRE, RUNNING FIRE, INCURSION.

MACV recondo
School patch
MACV Recondo
a person trained in advanced scouting techniques, or the training center where this MIL-CRAFT is taught; such as during the VIETNAM WAR at the MACV Recondo School, established 16 September 1966 under commandant MAJ A.J. Baker, consisting of a three week course of instruction in reconnaissance, patrolling, and other infantry skills for jungle operations. This "lurp finishing school" was only open to Allied soldiers with six-months of service in country, and with assignments to some LRRP-type unit. The final FTX exam was a supervised patrol in enemy territory called "You Bet Your Life". The motto of the MACV Recondo School was "Smart, Skillful, Tough, Courageous, Confident" (SSTCC), and was given with the name "Recondo" by GEN W.C. Westmoreland. The word "recon-do" is supposed to be a contraction of "RECONnaissance-DOughboy", but most staff and students associated the term with the Japanese "do" for 'way', as in judo, aikido, kendo, bushido. Despite the fact that most students underwent a divisional preparatory program to improve their endurance, the MACV course had an approximate 40%-50% attrition rate. Graduates received a numbered certificate and were authorized to wear a black-and-white arrowhead patch on their right-side breast pocket while IN-COUNTRY; although the colors symbolized day and night operations, many unit patch variations of this arrowhead existed. The MACV Recondo School was officially transferred to ARVN administration on 15 April 1971. See LEAPING LENA, DELTA, JUNGLE EXPERT, IMJIN SCOUT, ACTA, RANGER SCHOOL, RSLC, SLC, GABRIEL. [nb: as commanding general of the 101st Abn Div (1958) and as commandant of West Point (1960), GEN W.C. Westmoreland setup RECONDO training for each institution before authorizing the new RECONDO School in NhaTrang; each with a downward arrow bearing either 101-numerals or USMA-letters, at which time the term "recon-do" was originally claimed to be a contraction of RECONnaissance commanDO, but was later changed in Vietnam to mean 'recon' + 'doughboy'] [nb: the 9th Infantry Division conducted an intense 'Recondo' program in reconnaissance and surveillance, night navigation and survival techniques, together with other small unit tactics and infantry operations over a 15 day (272hrs) period for each class from 1976 to 1979, culminating in a night raid on the old Vietnam village mock-up at Fort Lewis ... this course was unique for admitting female soldiers to the training, although no women graduated] [v: Recondo Schools pocket-patch sampler] [v: a Sampling of Reconnaissance and Surveillance Insignia]

to recompose or reconstruct a unit (not just "reorganize" extant elements) by the addition of replacement men and materiel, and by the application of new or refresher training; notable examples include 1st Ranger Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, 6th Army ALAMO SCOUTS, 6th Ranger Battalion, 5307th Composite Unit (MERRILL'S MARAUDERS), 23rd Infantry Division (AMERICAL), 11th Air Assault Division, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile). Reconstitution often restores a DEACTIVATEd unit, but more than restructuring or rejuvenating, it is rededicated, usually to a new or different mission [eg: the mule skinners of 98th Field Artillery (Pack) became the elite infantry of 6th Rangers]. Compare ACTIVATE, ORGANIZE, REFLAG. [nb: the term "composite" (put together) indicates a compound of disparate elements forming a whole, while the term "component" (put together) indicates constituent elements of a greater whole] Also, to rehydrate concentrated or desiccated food by adding water or other liquids; see LRRP-RATIONS.


see RECON, RT, RECONDO, I&R, HAWKS, LRP, LRRP, SPIKE TEAM, LRSP, SRI, RANGER, FORCE RECON, STINGRAY, COUNTERRECONNAISSANCE. [nb: each SOG recon team was authorized three US (team ldr / 10, asst tm ldr / 11, specialist / 12) and nine indig MIL-PERS] [nb: following the consolidation and reorganization of SOG in 1967, the "Hatchet Force" and "Recon Team" designations bestowed upon elements of the FOBs were altered to "Exploitation Force" and "Spike Team" under the new Command and Control (CCN, CCC, CCS) differentiations, which added confusion, such that many references of the era are mixed] [nb: Vietnamese term: Loi Ho, Trinh Sat] [v: a Sampling of Reconnaissance and Surveillance Insignia]

the order or instruction to interrupt an exercise and to resume the start or beginning position for that activity, as in PT or bayonet drill; compare AS YOU WERE, CARRY-ON, BELAY, COUNTERMAND.

informally, the collection of a lost or displaced MIL-PERS from an uncontested situation or environment, such as a non-emergency rescue, or a battlefield pick-up absent enemy fire; but formally used to designate an operation to collect the remains of a missing person (MIA) or the remains of someone presumed dead (KIA); officially designated "Search and Recovery" to distinguish it from Search and Rescue; also called "Search and Retrieval" as a further distinction from Search and Rescue. See SAR, CSAR, CSARTF, JSARC, JPRC, BRIGHT LIGHT, JPRA, HOT HOIST, JUNGLE PENETRATOR, EPIRB, PJ, TRAP, LAID BY THE WALL, BODY-SNATCHER, PRP, GRAVES REGISTRATION, MORTUARY AFFAIRS.

to send a trainee through a second training course or program after a review of the reasons for his unsatisfactory or substandard performance (eg: illness/injury, skill deficiency) as long as the student is willing; may also refer to the recycled trainee himself. The alternative is either a military hearing for unsuitability or retraining in another specialty. See CRUIT, MAGGOT, YARDBIRD, CADET, GOAT, GI; compare RETREAD, PLOWBACK.

someone who has been enlisted ('enlistee') for a term of service in the Armed Forces. Compare INDUCTION, DRAFT; see CRUIT, BOOT, YARDBIRD, MAGGOT, SLICK SLEEVE, VOLUNTEER, RETREAD.

a military representative assigned to enlist persons into the Armed Forces by various inducements or incentives; being a crimp or procurer, who's known as "Walking John" in the Marine Corps; see CRUIT, BOOT, SLICK SLEEVE, BUDDY SYSTEM, RETREAD, RE-UP, RECEPTION STATION, YARDBIRD, MAGGOT, DRAFT, RECYCLE, FTA, GOTCHA, CALL TO THE COLORS, TOTAL FORCE, AVF, DON'T ASK - DON'T TELL; compare BORDEN. Also, a "talent scout" or NIGHTCRAWLER who solicits aides and fellow travelers into SABOTAGE and other covert operations; see MOLE, SLEEPER, INVISIBLE, SYMPATHIZER, RUNNING DOG, TRADECRAFT.

an advertising catch-phrase that's circulated as a militaristic byword to induce an otherwise intelligent and capable young person to willingly submit themselves to systematic regimentation and heuristic exploitation so as to manifest their patriotism and serve the commonweal missions directed by the commander-in-chief (POTUS) and the CHAIN-OF-COMMAND; such slogans have included: "Be All You Can Be", "Looking For A Few Good Men", and so forth. [v: burlesque, facetiae, doggerel, ditty, limerick] [nb: "Join the Navy and ride the WAVES!" sardonic recruiting slogan popularized during WWII; "Join the Navy and see the world -- through a porthole!" sardonic recruiting slogan popularized during the Vietnam-era; "Join the Army and see the world -- from the bottom of a garbage can!" sardonic recruiting slogan popularized during the Vietnam-era; "Join the military, learn useful skills, travel to distant lands, meet interesting people, and kill them!" sardonic recruiting slogan popularized during the Vietnam-era]


RECtifying anTENNA, being a device that converts electromagnetic energy into direct current electricity; compare NANTENNA.

a radical Leftist in politics, especially a communist (COMMIE); compare PINKO; see RED FLAG, HAMMER AND SICKLE, RED FORCE, IVAN, BULLSHITVIK, CHICOM, NKPA, GOOK, BAD GUYS, PROTESTOR, YIPPIE, BLACK BLOC, FIFTH COLUMN, RED DIAPER BABIES, RUNNING DOG, DISINFORMATION, BIG LIE, PROPAGANDA. [nb: communism is not different or separate from socialism, but is one of the several forms of socialism, although they compete when not united against capitalism] [nb: following the theme of "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet", Walter P. Reuther noted how communists could often be identified: "If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it just may be a duck."; "Communism has never come to power in a country that was not disrupted by war or corruption, or both." by John Fitzgerald Kennedy in a speech to NATO (3 July 1963)] Also, in Asia, the color representative of good fortune and well being, of good tidings and great joy, of hope and happiness. [cf: Oriental white versus Occidental black]

the most urgent form of alert in military or civilian defense, signaling that a critical situation is developing or has occurred, such as an imminent enemy attack; the period during which a state of crisis or danger is declared to exist. Compare BLUE ALERT, YELLOW ALERT, WHITE ALERT; see ALERT.

slang for the inflammatory condition (chafing) that occurs in one's nether region when hygiene is restricted during military operations that are performed in a severe climate; such soreness is also called "roseate fundament" or "dookie booty", "crotch rot" or MONKEY BUTT. Also, slang for a display of anger or irritation, annoyance or vexation, aggravation or exasperation, upset or provocation, especially as an exaggerated reaction to something of little consequence, such as a trivial matter or a minor incident; or an epithet for the person exhibiting such an attitude; see ROCK THE BOAT, CHICKEN SHIT, ELEPHANT SHIT, BELL THE CAT, BAYONET SHEET, NASTY-GRAM, FANG, HAWK, GIG, CALL ON THE CARPET, TALK TRASH, BAD-MOUTH, HELL'S BELLS, SWEAR, OATH, GODDAM, EXPLETIVE, NOISE, BUG, GREMLIN, GADFLY, FIREFLY, HACK, BAD BOY.

the "red badge of courage" in Stephen Crane's novel [The Red Badge of Courage: An Episode of the American Civil War (1895)] is an honorable wound that tacitly testifies of one's fortitude; see PURPLE HEART, BADGE OF COURAGE.

1944 Red Ball Express patch
Red Ball Express
a high-priority resupply system, instituted from 15 March 1967, which guaranteed delivery of items to the field within one-hour after receipt of the request. Phrase probably derives from "get moving", but the WWII supply/resupply TRAINs (Motor Transport Service of the Transportation Corps) running constantly along the Communication Zone (Comm-Z) routes of the ETO were known as the "Red Ball Express" ... likewise, during the same period, the Imperial Japanese resupply system was called the "Tokyo Express". Compare BLUE BALL; see COMBAT LOADED, MSR, LOG-PAC, AIRDROP, DROP-TANK, LOW-LEVEL EVACUATION DROP, DUMP. [nb: derivation of lade/laden, as in "bill of lading", is load or burden; not carry or transport; v: fardel] Also, by extension, any high-priority or high-speed CONVOY, as in running hot and heavy by "red-balling". Also, by extension, the highway or road conditions that are solid and secure enough to permit urgent traffic.


vigorous or virile, as a "red-blooded American"; see SUCK IT UP, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, ALLEGIANT, TRUE BLUE; compare BLUE BLOOD, GREEN BLOOD.

disparaging slang for any person of mixed AmerIndian race, especially a blend of Hispanic and/or Negroid ancestry, being a denizen of America or any other country, civilian or otherwise, and used as a generalization for convenient identification or description; also called indio, mestizo, métis, Lumbee, CREOLE, "osrouge", "red nigger" or "cherry nigger". Also, disparaging slang for any person of mixed ethnicity, such as Cajan/Cajun and other interbred CREOLEs; see COON-ASS. See SEMINOLE WAR, MEXICAN WAR, INDIAN WARS, SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR, BANANA WARS, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, INDIG, CHIEF, BEANER, BLACK, LITTLE PEOPLE, DESEGREGATION. [nb: the 'redskin' description seems to have originated when Europeans first landed on North America and initially encountered indigenous peoples who stained their exposed flesh with an orangish red (ocher) pigment; "Red-skin: a North American Indian, whose skin is not red -- at least not on the outside." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce]


a non-verbal red on white symbol of an Islamic crescent that's representative of humanitarian aid and noncombatant status, as agreed under the provisions of the GENEVA CONVENTIONs and HAGUE TRIBUNALs, that's to be prominently emblazoned as a signifier; being a color reversal of the flag of the Ottoman Empire, it was first used during the armed conflict between Russia and Turkey (1877-8) so as to appease the Muslims, who were distrustful of the implied Christianity inherent in the RED CROSS ... an objection to the International Committee of the Red Cross that was again repeated by the Turks in 1906, made coequal (International Red Cross and Red Crescent) in 1919, and formally adopted (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies) in 1929. The Red Lion and Sun Society was established by Persia (1922) to render humanitarian aid and relief after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire; however, its altruistic efforts have been subsumed by RED CRESCENT since 1980, but because the Red Lion and Sun Society is still recognized by international protocols, the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves the right to reactivate it.

a non-verbal red on white symbol of a Greek cross that's generally representative of medicine, medical care, medical facilities, and medically trained personnel, from hospitals and ambulances to rescue workers and emergency technicians, from treatment supplies and safety equipment to nurses and physicians; a universal symbol representing humanitarian aid and noncombatant status, as agreed under the provisions of the GENEVA CONVENTIONs and HAGUE TRIBUNALs, that's to be prominently emblazoned as a signifier, which has only been intermittently respected, with the uncamouflaged symbol frequently serving as an AIMPOINT; compare STAR OF LIFE. [cf: caduceus, rod of Aesculapius / Asclepius] [nb: the field occupations most often targeted in combat, because their loss so immediately influences unit effectiveness and morale, are the leader, pointman, signalman, machinegunner, and medic] Also, this plain equilateral Greek cross, colored red on a white background (being the color reverse of the national flag of Switzerland) was adopted (1885) by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a non-governmental service organization, as its official symbol; this secular icon of the League of Red cross Societies (1919), later called the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), including the American Red Cross (ARC) is to be prominently displayed on ambulances and hospital ships, armbands and supplies as an identifier during humanitarian aid and relief operations in disaster areas and war zones ... later joined by the RED CRESCENT and RED CRYSTAL (Magen David Adom); see DOUGHNUT DOLLY. [nb: mission statement of the worldwide Red Cross organization is "to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity"; the slogan of the International Committee of the Red Cross is "The Power of Humanity", and its motto is "In War, Charity" (Inter Arma Caritas), while the slogan of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is "Protecting Human Dignity", and its motto is "With Humanity, Towards Peace" (Per Humanitatem ad Pacem)] [nb: the publication of "Un Souvenir de Solferino" in 1862 by Swiss philanthropist Jean Henri Dunant, regarding the suffering of the wounded at the Battle of Solferino, led to the formulation of the Geneva Convention and to the establishment of the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1863; the parent organization of the American Red Cross, being the International Red Cross and Red Crescent (IRC) based in Geneva Switzerland, should not be confused with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), despite their mutual cooperation] [nb: before the parameters of nursing were well defined, the civilian women who volunteered to serve as nurses on battlefields in various 19th century wars were expected to function as physician assistants and midwives, dieticians and pharmacists, handmaidens and charwomen; the Red Cross (and other organizations) was established to enable workers to provide food and supplies (especially medical) to people who were injured or displaced by wars and natural disasters ... only in the mid-20th century did professional altruism become banal and insipid] [nb: "There's a rose that grows on no man's land, / And it's wonderful to see. / Tho‘ it's spray‘d with tears, it will live for years, / In my garden of memories. / It's the one red rose the soldier knows. / It's the work of the master hand. / 'Mid the war's great curse, stands the Red Cross nurse. / She's the rose of no man's land." by Jack Caddigan & James Brennan, The Rose of No Man’s Land]

designation given to RADAR picket ship off the coast of Vietnam; see PIRAZ.

(aka: red diamond) see MAGEN DAVID ADOM, RED CROSS. [nb: the RED CRYSTAL is officially identified as the Third Protocol Emblem or Protocol III]

reared by communist SYMPATHIZERs and other FELLOW TRAVELERs as the spawn of the next generation of spiteful ANTI-AMERICAN liberals who bite the hand that feeds them and scorn the protection they abuse with protests; compare BABY BOOMER, USEFUL IDIOTS, COMMIE, RED, PINKO, BULLSHITVIK, FIFTH COLUMN, PROTESTOR.

(eg: reflex sight, infrared aiming light, etc) see PICATINNY RAIL.

a shoulder-launched U.S. Army infrared (IR) guided Surface-to-Air MISSILE that's capable of destroying low-flying aircraft, and was superseded in 1979 by AVENGER (qv); see SAM. Also, slang for any LASER AIMING DEVICE; compare GREEN-EYE. Also, a colloquialism for any condition (fatigue, eye strain) or activity (sleeplessness, pollution) causing the bloodshot (dilated vessels of the sclera) appearance of someone's eyeballs. Also, a symptom of working through the night without rest; pulling an "all-nighter"; see WHITE NIGHT, DOGWATCH, WATCH-AND-WATCH, O-DARK-THIRTY. Also, informal referent for conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the mucous membrane covering the exposed surface of the eye; also called "pink eye". Also, slang for strong cheap whiskey; see HOOCH, MOONSHINE, MOJO, GROG. Also, dysphemistic slang for the anus; see STINK EYE.

a euphemism for a BATTLEFIELD reddened by an effusion of blood; a "killing field" or "beaten zone"; see KILLING GROUND, ZONE OF FIRE, KILL ZONE.

a notice of importance or a warning of danger that may be signified as "red banner" or simply marked as "flagged"; it formerly indicated "no quarter" but now cautions "danger"; compare BLACK FLAG, see SHOW THE FLAG, FALSE FLAG, WHITE FLAG, YELLOW JACK, PLAY CHARLEMAGNE, LAST STAND. [v: Flag Terms] [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] Also, a red burgee designating the letter "B" in the International Code of Signals; and when any solid red signal flag is flown alone, shows that highly inflammable materials or EXPLOSIVEs are being handled, carried, loaded, or discharged, as by vessels or at firing ranges and impact areas; also known as "powder flag"; see FLYING BRAVO, WIGWAG, compare BRAVO ZULU. Also, designation for a six-week period of advanced aerial training exercises that simulate air warfare, or live-fire war gaming scenarios, that has been hosted several times each year since 1975 by the USAF 414th Combat Training Squadron of the 57th Fighter Wing at Nellis AFB Nevada, so as to train personnel and practice doctrine in realistic MOCK-COMBAT operations; this name is derived from the "Red Baron" study of Vietnam performance which showed that combat effectiveness improved dramatically after surviving the tenth sortie; training includes "Blue Flag" U.S. components, "Green Flag" electronic countermeasures (ECM), "Copper Flag" U.S. air defense forces, "Checkered Flag" rapid deployment to U.S. bases overseas, and "Black Flag" combat maintenance; compare TOP GUN, DREAMLAND, AREA 51, HAWC, JRTC, NTC, JTFEX, BLUE FORCE, OPFOR, WAR GAMES, BOOMER, ZOOMIE. Also, any warning, alert, incitement, provocation, arousal, caution, mark, notice, or emphasis, as when drawing attention.

a red coloration of the lower portion of the sun, occasionally seen as the sun rises above or sinks to the horizon; compare PINK TIME, GREEN FLASH, LOOM. [cf: half-light, Purkinje shift, crepuscule, eventide, evenfall, gloam, gloaming, sunset, sundown, cockshut, vespers, prime, matin, cockcrow, daybreak, nightfall, dawn, false dawn, dusk, first light, first dark, last light, civil twilight, astronomical twilight, night-sky light, airglow; v: chromosphere, spicule, plage]

designation for an opposition force or enemy component, especially when war gaming or during training exercises. See CPX, FTX, JTFEX, JRTC, NTC, GQ, WAR GAMES, OPFOR, RED FLAG, BANDIT, BAD GUYS, BELIEVER; compare GRAY FORCE, RED TEAM, PURPLE FORCE, ORANGE FORCE, BLUE FORCE, ALLY, FRIENDLIES.

to be caught in the act, or exhibiting undeniable evidence of involvement, as if with blood on the hands, especially those of an illicit or nefarious nature; also represented as "flagrante delicto" (with the act still ablaze); compare CYA, SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT, 11th COMMANDMENT..

a red-colored baseball-style cap emblazoned with RIGGER WINGS, to designate a parachute repairer or packer on the loading strip or drop zone (DZ); compare BLACK HATS. [nb: the concept of a distinctive red hat (originally a ski-type hat) was borrowed from the Navy practice of color-coding work crews on an aircraft carrier's flight deck for ready identification when a job or service is needed, such as pre-boarding inspections of parachutists enroute to emplaning; this adoption of a distinctive identifier was established and tested during refinements to the airborne delivery system shortly after the WWII-era, when doctrine was still being developed] Also, a scarlet- or maroon-colored beret approved for wear by U.S. Army paratroopers on active jump status, as derived from WWII British AIRBORNE units; compare GREEN BERET; see BERET. Also, a nickname for the Vietnamese (ARVN) AIRBORNE ("Nhay Du") elements and their Team 162 ADVISORs. [nb: Vietnamese term: Mu Do (red beret)] Also, informal designation of the Mountain Warfare Instructors at the USMC Mountain Warfare Training Center (MWTC) located near Bridgeport, California; this MWI cadre has undergone additional instruction [eg: Mountain Leadership Course (MLC), Basic Instructor Course (BIC), Instructor Qualification Course (IQC), Operational Risk Management (ORM), Basic Ski Instructor (BSI), Military Ski Instructor (MSI), Certified Wilderness First Responder] so as to teach the school's coursework.

reconnaissance flight to detect heat emissions from the ground by aircraft-mounted infrared system; see IR, FLIR. Also, informal allusion to THE FOG OF WAR (qv). [nb: both 'mist' and 'haze' restrict or obscure clear vision, so affect judgement]

phantom 50th Infantry
50th Inf Div
phantom 55th Infantry
55th Inf Div
a misleading clue or diversionary proposal intended to misdirect attention or resources; derived from speculative or bogus stock offerings marked in red [cf: RED TAPE]. See TROJAN HORSE, STALKING HORSE, CAT'S-PAW, DARK HORSE, FALSE FLAG, GHOST UNIT, PHANTOM OPERATION, DECOY, MEACONING, NIGHTINGALE, GHOST WALK, RUMOR, PROPAGANDA, DECEPTION. [v: subreption, obreption] [nb: the neologism "pollaganda" / "polloganda" (poll + propaganda) has been coined to identify the representation of biased samples, slanted surveys, special pleading arguments, and ex-parte news depicted as authentic or authoritative; cf: "polingo" as a neologism for political lingo]

Rapid Engineer Deployment of Heavy Operational Repair Squadron to Everywhere, alternatively "Rapid Engineer Deployable, Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers", which despite its contrived acronym, is a very effective combat engineer (CE) support element of the US Air Force. USAF combat engineer rapid-deployment and operational heavy repair squadron that enables self-sufficient mobility into a potential theater of operations. See SEABEES, CE, ENGR.

extremely hot, such as sun-baked metal or a machinegun barrel, a skirmish or landing zone; also expressed as "white heat", HOT, or WHITE-HOT. Also, a stage of intense activity or involvement, exceedingly enthusiastic or ardent, impassioned by devotion or dedication, fiercely angry or violent, emphatically fervid or perfervid. See RED LZ; compare RED ASS.

a metonymic expression for a lurid or sensational account of a combat experience, a skirmish or other battlefield episode; formerly headlined in red-colored ink, these graphic stories attempted to simulate blood flowing from the reportage itself by an effusion of hyperbole. See FRUIT FLY, WAR CORRESPONDENT, RED FIELD, RED-HANDED, WAR STORY, SEA STORY, TELL IT TO THE MARINES, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, SPIN, RUMOR.

a literary allusion from the early 19th century to the brutal state of nature wherein life endures by consuming other lives; an allusion to the violent and bloody world of natural predation, which contrasts the unsentimental callousness of protean nature with the esoteric ideal of Judeo-Christian love ... whence such heartfelt conflict is most often cited as being from Alfred Lord Tennyson's elegy In Memoriam Arthur Henry Hallam [canto 56 (1850)]: "Who trusted God was love indeed / And love Creation's final law / Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw / With ravine, shriek'd against his creed". Although "tooth and claw" was already a literary allusion for beasts and bestial behaviors by the early 19th century, scientists and sociologists employed the concept to advance their "survival of the fittest" hypotheses from the late 19th century onwards. See MIGHT MAKES RIGHT, DOG-EAT-DOG, TOOTH 'n' NAIL, REALPOLITIK, STRUCTURALISM, ADAPT / ADAPTABILITY, CAT SKINNER, OUTSIDE THE BOX, PARADIGM SHIFT, BLACK SWAN EVENT, UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE. [nb: Charles Darwin's "principle of natural selection" was distorted and perverted into eugenic theories by Herbert Spencer, Richard Dawkins, et al] [nb: not "read in tooth and claw"]

a prominent notice affixed to documentation and materials, as required by the Interstate Commerce Commission, indicating that the contents of shipping containers are volatile or hazardous; later used as a warning phrase for recognizing any potentially harmful or inflammable materials in transit.

informal designation for an artillerist or ARTILLERYMAN (qv), which originally referred to their red-colored pants, a fashion later changed to a red stripe down the outer seam; see KILL RING, ARTY; compare BLUELEG, YELLOWLEG, BOMBARDIER. [nb: Vietnamese term: Phao Thu (cannoneer)] Also, a member of a secret organization, formed in Kansas in 1862, that engaged in guerrilla activities during the American CIVIL WAR; so called from the red leggings worn as identification by the members. [cf: Jayhawker, Copperhead] [nb: settlement was authorized by the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act (repealing the Missouri Compromise), which promoted factional conflict over the status of slavery before its 1861 statehood, with the warring parties (confused by real estate speculators and abetted by opportunists) making it "bleeding Kansas" by raids and reprisals that persisted throughout the CIVIL WAR]

slang reference to the U.S. Army Artillery School at Fort Sill Oklahoma where the basic and advanced courses for Artillery officers are taught; also called "Redleg Reformatory for Recalcitrant Retards"; see TANKER TECH, HUDSON HIGH, BOAT SCHOOL, ZOO, OCS, ROTC, TRADE SCHOOL. [v: Siwash ("At Good Old Siwash" by George Helgeson Fitch (1911)]


landing zone under hostile fire; also called HOT LZ. Compare GREEN LZ.

anger that temporarily clouds one's judgement or inhibits clear thinking; a sensory distortion ("seeing red") caused by uncontrollable rage that's analogous to the climatic or weather phenomenon of red-tinted light (PINK TIME) that makes everything appear to be red toned. Compare VENT ONE'S SPLEEN, BLOOD IN THE EYE, SEE RED / SEEING RED, RED HAZE, PINK MIST. [nb: both 'mist' and 'haze' restrict or obscure clear vision, so affect judgement]

(forthcoming); compare YELLOW MUSIC, JUNGLE MUSIC.

see WHITE TRASH, KNUCKLE-DRAGGER, REACTIONARY, BRUTE, MEAT EATER, HUMAN ZOO, BUBBA EFFECT, BANJO COUNTRY, CONSERVATIVE, ANTI-FEDERALIST, SILENT MAJORITY, THIRD ESTATE. [v: cracker (boaster), hillbilly, hill jack, jackstraw, peckerwood, white trash, lout, oaf, bumpkin, yokel, trailer park trash, yahoo (degraded brute), booboisie (H.L. Mencken), philistine, old Adam; cf: worthy poor (J.E. Oglethorpe)]

slang for a siphon, being a flexible hose or U-shaped tube that's used to transfer a quantity of some liquid from a container at one level to a different container at another level by atmospheric pressure; typically used to transfer POL or other liquids without a pump, or to steal PETROL for illegal purposes; also called "West Virginia credit card", "Arkansas credit card", and the like. See DONKEY DICK, WATERLINE, MIDNIGHT REQUISITION. [cf: syringe]

a ship that has crossed the Antarctic Circle (at 66.5° south latitude, between the South Frigid Zone and the South Temperate Zone), so-called from painting the HAWSEPIPEs red, as being representative of the cold; the ship's company of such a voyage may be called "red noses", after each "warm body" is inducted into the "Order of the Red Nose". Compare BLUE NOSE; see BOW, PROW, STEM, FORECASTLE, INITIATION, DEEP FREEZE, LITTLE AMERICA. [v: Antarctic Treaty 1 December 1959]

a euphemism to describe air, artillery, or small-arms fire from some enemy elements, components, or forces that is directed at or impacting upon other enemy personnel or positions, as when an unstable alliance breaks down; also called FRATRICIDE. These incidents can also be classified, depending upon participants, as "Red on Orange" or "Red on Purple". See RED FORCE, ORANGE FORCE, PURPLE FORCE; compare GREEN ON GREEN, BLUE ON BLUE. [nb: "Let's you and him fight."]

any independent protective structure built within or without some larger fortification; a refuge derived from reduce. Compare BUNKER, CASEMATE, EMPLACEMENT, DEFILADE, REVETMENT, BARBICAN, OUTWORK, DUGOUT. [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

condition that occurs when the body experiences a negative G-FORCE sufficient to cause the blood to flow from the lower parts of the body toward the head, which is the inverse effect of a GREYOUT or BROWN-OUT, where blood flows away from the head to the lower parts of the body; so-called from the reddening of vision resulting from increased blood pressure in the head. RED-OUTs are potentially dangerous and can cause retinal damage and hemorrhagic stroke. Compare BLACKOUT; see G-FORCE, G-LOCK, G-SUIT. [v: visual blackout (amaurosis fugax)]

a children's game, seemingly developed in America during the late 19th century, in which two equal teams, some distance apart, face each other and take turns designating an opposing player to run toward their line. Any player who fails to break through their clasped hands becomes a member of that team. Any player who succeeds in breaking through can select one of the broken linkers to change sides. Also known as "bullrush" or "forcing the [city] gate", this game is a variant of prisoner capture, with the goal of collecting everyone into one team. During the Vietnam-era, this game was banned in most schools for being "too violent", since players could be knocked down or otherwise injured. A Japanese version (hana ichi monme) exists, which is seemingly related to dance and involves no "violent" bodily contact, but it is probably too cultural to be readily transferred elsewhere without modification. Compare CAPTURE THE FLAG, TUG OF WAR, KING OF THE HILL, PRISONER'S BASE, HIDE-AND-SEEK, DUCK ON DRAKE, WAR GAMES.

an identifying garment worn to signify membership in or affiliation with a socialist or communist organization; a symbol of socialism or of a socialist militia. Also, a metonym for a member of a socialist or communist organization, especially a reserve militia; patterned after the loose red blouse worn by the soldiers of Giuseppe Garibaldi, the 19th century Italian patriot. Compare BLACK SHIRT, BROWN SHIRT; see BAD GUYS, DRESS.

see CHIEF, REDBONE, CREOLE. [nb: the 'redskin' description seems to have originated when Europeans first landed on North America and initially encountered indigenous peoples who stained their exposed flesh with an orangish red (ocher) pigment; "Red-skin: a North American Indian, whose skin is not red -- at least not on the outside." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce]


bureaucratic routine or rigmarole required before any official action can occur; derived from red-ribbons formerly used to tie official documents. See CYA, PAPER TRAIL, MILICRAT, WONK, MANIFEST, REPORT, WHITE PAPER, FINDING, DREAM SHEET, ANNEX, MANIFOLD SET, BUCK SLIP, FORM, N/A, NO EXCUSE, FILE 13, ORIFICE, GSA, GAO, THE G. [nb: The first sociological studies of bureaucracy properly focused on Mandarin China, with its Confucian (K'ung Fu Tzu) tradition; but such an elaborate public administration was enabled by the early Chinese inventions of paper-making and printing. Paper was made from jute, hemp, ramie, flax, seaweed, mulberry, bamboo, sandalwood, and other fibers. Inks were made from dilute or viscous stains or other substances, such as dyed clay, plant extracts, pulverized charcoal, and ground stones.] [nb: "Algerism", an eponym for the politico who was probably the worst Secretary of War in American history, became the national byword for bureaucratic sloath, cronyism, and incompetence, becoming a synonym for venality and ineptitude; after Russell A. Alger, attorney and capitalist, Michigan governor and U.S. Senator, CIVIL WAR Major General and Spanish American War Secretary of War]


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


specifically Vietnam's post-war "corrective labor reeducation" camps; being the internment or CONCENTRATION CAMPs established by the communists for all suspected and former enemy (US allies) denizens of Vietnam, where "rehabilitative" indoctrination and punishments were imposed without trial on more than a million non-communists, resulting in 25% mortality. Most humanitarian observers reported that these ReEd Camps were much worse than the prisons and TIGER CAGEs of the Republican regime. Compare GULAG, LAOGAI, INTERNAL EXILE, PAIN; see STRUGGLE, BOMBING, DP, EPW. [v: menticide] [v: dungeon, keep, oubliette, hock (sty or prison as a miserable place to live)]

in NavSpeak, a short, close-fitting coat of thick cloth with a collar, similar to a PEA JACKET; see BLUE JACKET, OVERCOAT, GREATCOAT, DRESS. Also, a walk-in refrigerator; or a refrigerated car, truck, or similar conveyance. Also, slang for a marijuana cigarette; see CAN SA, STICK, THAI STICK, PIGTAIL, GRASS, HAY, HUBBLE-BUBBLE.

the hobby of "live" wargaming in a role playing game (RPG) wherein participants (ie: reenactor/re-enactor, buff or war-gamer) act out historical battles, using people who are costumed and caparisoned with period equipment, instead of using miniature military models or computerized simulations. Although many participants attempt to repeat what's known of these historical events, the unreality of these performances lends them a sense of entertainment. Not only can there never be urgency or crisis in the REENACTMENT of a pivotal occurrence, but the changes in setting and atmosphere taint the entire episode. When such portrayals are intended to render respectful remembrance, their lack is especially heartrending ... staging a foreign campaign in an alien setting during the wrong season, without period props and sensory cues is a travesty. See DARK TOURISM, MOCK-COMBAT, WAR GAMES, TOY SOLDIER, WHISKEY WARRIOR, WANNABE.


(ar ee faktor) forthcoming;

an umpire or Observer Controller (OC) CADRE who monitors field training (FTX) and war game exercises for safety and security; see KNOCK IT OFF, OPFOR, MOCK-COMBAT, WAR GAMES, STOOGE, OFF THE RESERVATION, OUTSIDE THE WIRE, WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' BADGES, ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE). [nb: a 'stickler' was the second in single combat, and so was very punctilious about the minutest points of etiquette, then later becoming an umpire or referee in competitive tournaments, and finally being any person who persistently demands absolute adherence or unyielding conformity]

see RP.

a sensation of pain that's felt in an area remote from the actual site of origin; also called 'synalgia' or 'telalgia'. [v: phantom limb pain or shadow sensation (paresthesia)]

to assign or specify a new identity to an extant unit; to redesignate or re-label an existing program or operation, element or organization, without significant change or substantial alteration, such as U.S. Army Air Corps redesignated U.S. Air Force, Armed Forces Examination and Entrance Station (AFEES) redesignated as the Military Enlistment Processing Station (MEPS), Basic Officer's Course (BOC) redesignated Officer's Basic Course (OBC), Army Intelligence and Security redesignated Military Intelligence, communications intelligence (COMINT) later redesignated signals intelligence (SIGINT), 5307th Composite Unit (MERRILL'S MARAUDERS) redesignated 5332nd Brigade (Mars Task Force), Bomb Damage Assessment redesignated Battle Damage Assessment, After Action Report redesignated After Action Review, 77th Special Forces Group redesignated 7th Special Forces Group, Special Warfare School redesignated Institute for Military Assistance, Corps Tactical Zone (CTZ) redesignated Military Region (MR), Area of Operations (AO) redesignated Military Operational Area (MOA), 11th Air Assault Division (Test) redesignated 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), TIGER HOUND redesignated COMMANDO HUNT, Task Force Alpha redesignated First Field Force Vietnam (IFFV), Task Force Oregon redesignated 23rd Infantry Division (AMERICAL), Army Personnel Command (PERSCOM) redesignated Human Resources Command (HRC), LATRINE redesignated Field Sanitary Facility, MESSHALL redesignated Dining Facility (DFAC), observation post (OP) redesignated visual observation post (VISOBS), Armistice Day redesignated VETERANS' DAY; see RECONSTITUTED, ACTIVATE, ORGANIZE, SHEEP-DIPPED. Also, to re-commission or transfer allegiance, as to be put into service under new authority or different sponsorship; especially a ship registered under the protection of a foreign nation (eg: USS Merrimac redesignated CSS Virginia).

REturn of FORces to GERmany, an annual field training exercise (since Jan 1969) conducted with units deployed from CONUS to test the European general defense plan, and the concomitant pre-positioned materiel distribution system (POMCUS / APS) in anticipation of another international war; see BIG LIFT.

a change to a better state, form, or condition as by the amendment of conduct, belief, or commitment; the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, and so forth, as by ending abusive, negative, or evil ways. [nb: "Every reform, however necessary, will, by weak minds, be carried to an excess, that itself will need reforming." by Samuel Taylor Coleridge]

see RETREAT, DEFECT; compare HIDE, BOLT HOLE, SAFE HOUSE, BOMB SHELTER. [nb: according to international law, an 'asylum' is internal or interior, and may be only temporary, but a 'refuge' is external or exterior, and is permanent]

a person who seeks safety and protection, as a result of having been made homeless or stateless by the exigencies of war or natural disaster; someone who flees persecution or privation in their homeland for a safe haven or secure refuge in another country. See RETREAT, DEFECT, BLOOD CHIT, E&E, BRIGHT LIGHT, SAFE, IRC, CARE, DP, BOAT PEOPLE, YELLOW BIRD, INTERNAL EXILE, EXILE. [v: emigrant / émigré; cf: immigrant]

to bend or curve back the outer or peripheral elements of a military force so that they generally face the FLANK, rather than the front; to "refuse the line" orients its extremities toward protection of the LINE's flanks; see ANCHOR, TIED-IN, ECHELON; compare IN THE AIR. Also, to decline or renounce; derived from "pour back". [v: refusenik]

contraction of REGulation or REGulations, referring specifically to the official Army Regulations (AR) or Navy Regulations (NR), but also extended to any written directive or verbal authorization, such as SOP, ORDER, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), LAWS OF WAR, UCMJ, SCRIPTURES.

the official at a military hospital who compiles and maintains the records of patients, and issues summary reports of medical activity and tabulates their cost; earlier 'registrer' by alteration of register (to make an official record"), later changed to "patient administrator", an officer in the Medical Service Corps (MSC). See A 'n' D, BOAR; compare PERSONNEL, PERSCOM.

the alignment of fire from large guns onto a known location for calibration; such fire registration will ensure that subsequent fire missions will be accurate. See MARKER ROUND, SPOTTER.

a determination that certain classified information requires, in the interests of national defense, either a higher or a lower degree of protection against unauthorized disclosure than what's currently provided, coupled with a change in the designated classification, so as to reflect this reassessment; also called "downgrade" or "upgrade"; see NEED TO KNOW, OPSEC, CLASSIFIED, COMPARTMENTALIZATION. Also, anyone or anything that undergoes a revaluation resulting in a change of designation or status.

to organize into a new tactical formation, especially a marshalling or staging 'regroupment'. Also, to form into a new or restructured grouping so as to make a fresh start.


any member of a VIGILANCE COMMITTEE, vigilante band, citizen's council, or similar quasi-judicial agency that exists to establish, restore, or preserve public order and safety in the absence of regular legal authority; compare PROVOST COURT, MARTIAL LAW. [nb: any of several North Carolina committees that formed (1767-71) to resist some of the abuses (ie: extortion and oppression) by colonial officials; cf: nightrider, TERRORIST] [nb: "Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice." by Henry Louis Mencken; "What men value in this world is not rights but privileges." by Henry Louis Mencken]

informal NavSpeak for REfitment and overHAUL, when all necessary replacements and repairs are made to a ship and its company to enable it to be fully operational and ready for dispatch; compare STAND-DOWN.

in Japanese etiquette, a polite bow representing a salutation or deference, gratitude or apology, as conveyed from a standing or seated posture, the hands clasped or held at the sides, with its depth and duration representing status and sincerity; also expressed as "o-rei" and "o-jigi". As a model of humility in Japanese culture, it is said that "the rice stalk with the most grain bows the lowest". Compare KOWTOW, SAMPEAH, WAI, CHAO, SALAAM; see SALUTE. [nb: saikeirei (literally meaning "most respectful bow") is a formal Japanese bow of gratitude that's delivered from a kneeling posture until the head touches the floor; dogeza is a crouching bow demonstrating absolute submission or extreme regret that exhibits self contempt]

to strengthen a military force by the addition of men, materiel, and the like, making it more forcible or effective; to augment or increase. Also, to strengthen something by the addition of materials or any other support; derived as an alteration of 'enforce' / 'enforcement'. Also, to increase the probability of eliciting a desired behavior by giving or withholding a reward for compliance, or curtailing undesirable behavior by giving or withholding a punishment for restraint; the administration of psychosocial behavior modification (b-mod) conditioning procedures that alter behavioral responses.

in its best sense, a metaphor advocating the Socratic method, wherein the student learns the basics by rediscovering and extending them; such learning has the virtue of instilling logical analysis (instead of rote memorization), and can inspire creativity. However, this idiom is commonly used as ironic criticism of "boring" or "time wasting" make-work, fulfilling no need and serving no good purpose. The 'wheel' represents optimal development, having been invented early in prehistory and absent any imperfections, but it should be noted that the conceptual disk was not universal, and the circle was not universally adapted to technology (eg: circular calendar but no wheel), hence further learning may necessitate unlearning and relearning of what is already known ... the unexpected and unpredictable are tactical advantages! [nb: "He who does not expect the unexpected will not find it, since it is trackless and unexplored." by Euripides]


shoulder patch for a civilian
employed by the military
khaki shoulder patch for a
civilian employed by the military
civilian worker
employed by military
an accommodated RANK or equivalent RATING given to a contract employee of the U.S. government while serving with the military, as with technicians and other specialists, or with persons seconded ("visiting firemen") from other agencies. This RELATIVE RANK designation resolves the ambiguity of classification ("neither fish nor fowl"), which is so problematic for the interactions of most MIL-PERS. Although they coexist at the same PAY-GRADE with their military peers, they are typically paid at a different rate, often higher, sometimes lower. Such bestowal grants certain privileges (eg: PX shopping, BOQ housing, O Club refreshments, FIELD HOUSE access, etc), these individuals are not in the CHAIN-OF-COMMAND. [nb: women serving in the Army Nurse Corps (ANC) from 2 Feb 1901 to 16 Apr 1947 were granted 'relative rank' at lesser pay, and restricted in promotion to LTC/O-5 or below] [cf: first among equals ("primus/prima inter pares")]

a proviso permitting non-regulation grooming for cosmetic aculturation or assimilation during particular assignments or operations, especially when acting in a surreptitious or incognito manner when the wear of wigs and false whiskers (adopted by some OFF-DUTY servicemembers on PASS / LIBERTY or on LEAVE) would be too risky. Those individuals, typically covert agents or special operators, who are authorized relaxed compliance with official grooming standards (also known as "going shaggy") so as to permit them to meld with a foreign or civilian environment (INVISIBLE) for operational purposes; these MIL-PERS are permitted to wear sideburns and side whiskers, beards and mustaches, and long hair arranged in various ethnic or religious styles; see LONGHAIR, FACE FUZZ, MOHAWK, FLATHEAD, FLATTOP, BUZZ, WHITE WALLS, HIGH 'n' TIGHT; compare RAZOR BURN, AMAZONIAN CHIN, ALEXANDER'S BEARD.

any object that's of interest due to its age, or its association with the past. Also, something that's kept in remembrance, such as a memento or SOUVENIR; see TRENCH ART, TROPHY, POWER WALL, SAFE ROOM. Also, any remaining parts or fragments, trace or vestige, including sacred or bodily elements.

a coalition of politically active religious CONSERVATIVEs who advocate faith-based social welfare remedies while resisting the maneuverings of UN-AMERICAN social engineering schemes; an alliance of individuals and groups that cherish constitutional and patriotic TRADITIONs, constituting a majority of MIL-PERS and their families. See KEEP THE FAITH, SEMPER FI, TRUE BLUE, ESPRIT DE CORPS, DUTY, TOE THE LINE, SCRIPTURES, SUMMUM BONUM, CORE VALUES, MORALITY, STRAIGHT ARROW, HONOR, CREED, OATH, PROMISE, CODE OF CONDUCT, HONOR CODE, CUSTOMS AND COURTESIES OF THE SERVICE, PATRIOTISM, WINTER SOLDIER, QUIET PROFESSIONAL, ANTI-FEDERALIST, ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT, REACTIONARY, CULTURE WAR, CULTURAL SUICIDE, SOFT TYRANNY, SIEGE MENTALITY, GUSTO, MORALE, HOME FRONT. [v: religious tolerance, reverse discrimination; cf: 'religism' is a neologism representing either advocacy of or discrimination against a particular religious affiliation, which has been coined on the model of racism and speciesism, sexism and lookism, heightism and weightism, ageism and ableism, with the most common prejudice being anti-Semitism] [v: The American Family Association, Christian Coalition, Concerned Women for America, Family Research Council]

the piecemeal or incremental substitution of units, one element at a time, so as to maintain continuous security and coverage over the operational area; sometimes the replacement unit accepts custody of the weapons and equipment from the departing unit so as to save exchange time and transport costs. see FLIP-FLOP; compare SHELL GAME.

Rear Echelon MotherFucker, being the nickname given to men serving in BASE CAMPs and other secure areas by FRONT LINE soldiers, who are also known as Rear Area MotherFucker (RAMF). Less profane but equally derogatory reference is made to: desk jockey, PENCIL PUSHER, office flier, typing machinegunner ("Remington Raider"), staff warrior, combat briefer, barroom shooter, fire base gunfighter, and Saigon commando. In earlier wars, such servicemen were known as "rear lines rats" and such protected assignments were called BOMB-PROOF jobs. As with any PISSING CONTEST, there is a clear distinction made between those acting upon (ie: "fucker") and those acted upon (ie: "fuckee"), such that neat and clean REMFs in their protected BILLETs are more contemptible, despite wielding power, than the impotent "front line fuckee", otherwise known as the "poor bloody infantry", a GRUNT or SNUFFY. See CLERKS 'n' JERKS, CANDY-ASS, ACETATE COMMANDO, POG, TOCROACH, FOBBIT, CHAIRBORNE, BEAN-COUNTER, TAP-DANCER, PUKE, DOG ROBBER, MILICRAT, RED TAPE, GO TO GUY, PAY DUES, BTDT, THE NAM, WANNABE. [nb: "Rear: in American military affairs, that exposed part of the army that is nearest to Congress." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce]

see REMF.


a place designated for assembly or meeting; an agreement to gather at a certain time and place; the meeting itself, as derived from "betake yourselves" [v: render]; see RV, RALLY POINT, MARSHAL, DAR.

departing later in the day than originally planned, instead of postponing the launch for bright and early the next day; being an attempt to approximate the intended schedule without falling behind before the trip actually begins. This shakedown practice was developed for inexperienced settlers in wagon trains during the westward migration of the 19th century, and although the first encampment was sometimes within view of the group's point of departure, this initial "getting on the road" movement broke the hesitation and inertia endemic with novice travelers, compelling them to encounter the unknown and unexpected sooner than later. Compare FLYING START; see ADVANCE PARTY.

to surrender a prisoner for extradition; to legally transfer a captive from one jurisdiction to another; the intrastate, interstate, or international relocation of a DETAINEE for judicial processing. Detailed by various statutes (eg: Uniform Criminal Extradition Act) and authorized by the U.S. Constitution (ie: Art IV, §2, cl 2), a subject person may be rendered to (or from) any municipality or state, territory or country for due process in a judicial proceeding. Authorized by the appropriate executive (eg: mayor, governor, POTUS), the rendition of captured TERRORISTs for interrogation before trial, a practice also known as "extraordinary rendition" for its exceptional application, has been alleged to be a contrivance for circumventing the prohibitions against TORTURE, but as a fully supervised aspect of MARTIAL LAW, this unsubstantiated claim is spurious.

the basic monetary unit of currency in the People's Republic of China (PRC), represented by the YUAN (circular / round) and subdivided into tenth parts ("jiao") and hundredth parts ("fen"); term literally means "people's currency". Compare TAEL, SYCEE; see LEGAL TENDER.

informal reference to a civilian specialist who is under contract for a limited period to a government agency or bureau (eg: DoD, DoS, DIA, CIA, etc) for the satisfactory performance of a specific job or professional specialty, from surveillance scout and intelligence analyst to interpreter and cryptographer, but without the benefits and protections of governmental (Civil Service) employment; see B TEAM, SAND CRAB, BELTWAY BANDIT, BELTWAY CLERK, AUGMENTEE, HIRED GUN, DAC, DOUBLE-DIP, RELATIVE RANK.

to return prisoners or refugees to their place of origin; see DP, REFUGEE, EXILE. Also, to send materials or assets to one's native land or homeland.

a SEMIAUTOMATIC firearm that operates by extracting the spent case from the firing chamber, feeds a new round from an attached magazine, which autoloading process automatically cocks the hammer and sets the trigger for the next discharge.


(repull-depull) the central distribution center for most personnel sent to Vietnam without specific unit assignments; being the "clearing house" or "meat market" for field unit requests of replacement MOS types. Only initially transferred units brought elements in tact with personnel who had trained together in CONUS; and all subsequent replacements for casualties (except TDY units and activated Reserve units) were supplied from the Repl' Depot pool of "warm bodies" who met the required allocation. During WWII, the individual replacement method was found to be unsatisfactory, so entire squads of new troops were sent to the field, but this only resulted in higher losses when the whole squad was killed; so the military reverted to individual replacements because entire units could not be withdrawn for refit and retraining [nb: some Marine and Airborne units were withdrawn, but only after losing more than half of their strength]. To improve the survivability of Vietnam replacements, MACV established the Combat Orientation Course (COC) and each major unit initiated a prep/refresher (eg: "First Team Academy", "Screaming Eagle Replacement Training School", etc) course. See BUDDY SYSTEM, COC, CHARM SCHOOL, FTA, FNG, CHERRY, NEWBEE, TURTLE, MEPS, AFEES. [nb: "One new recruit added to an old unit is worth two added to a new unit." military maxim]


the standardized introduction to a formal meeting with a superior, usually involving an exchange of SALUTES while stating name, rank, and purpose of meeting. Also, the verbal command for receipt of a verbal account of status, progress, etc; see FRAG REPORT, SPOT REPORT, SOUND-OFF. Also, any written account, summary or detailed, of status, progress, or completion; including SITREP, INTELREP, DEBRIEF, HOT WASH, AAR, ER, OER, etc; see RAPPORTEUR, RED TAPE, MR, RBI, WHITE PAPER, FINDING, ANNEX, MANIFOLD SET, PAPER BULLET, 90-PAGE WONDER, DREAM SHEET, BUCK SLIP, FILE 13. [v: dossier; cf: bout de papier, aide-memoire] [nb: such time-consuming FORMS and REPORTS were derisively called "paper-bullets" during the American CIVIL WAR] [nb: "If it isn't documented then it doesn't exist!"; "Reports reflect the priorities of the institution by focusing attention on the status of their contents -- which tends, as a normal management practice, to cause these select factors to improve. A good leader will avail himself of his authority and go where he's unexpected, just to check on the factors that are not being emphasized. That's the only way to get a valid impression of the status quo." paraphrase of Donald H. Rumsfeld]

an alleged unit that has been mentioned in an INTEL report, a captured document, a surveillance or interrogation summary, or the like, but is lacking sufficient and specific details to be included in the accepted order of battle (OB) holdings.

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]

a severe rebuke, reproof, or censure, especially a formal or official one; as derived from 'repress', and also called upbraid, admonish, berate, scold, chastise, castigate, fustigate, revile, vilify, tongue-lash, dress-down, bawl-out, chew-out, sail-into, rap-on-the-knuckles, or slag-off. See CALL ON THE CARPET, VERBUM SAP, VENT ONE'S SPLEEN, HAWK, FANG, NASTY-GRAM, BLISTER, GIG, DR, ARTICLE 15, RIOT ACT. [v: comeuppance]

the use of countermeasures against an enemy to secure redress for a grievance, especially by the infliction of equal or greater injuries; a form of RETALIATION. Both acts are specifically excluded from peacetime acts by armed forces, and are prohibited by multinational treaties (eg: League of Nations Covenant, Kellogg-Briand Pact, United Nations Charter). See RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), WAR POWERS ACT, WAR PARTY, NEW LOOK, WAR CRIMES TRIAL, LAWS OF WAR, JUST WAR, COLLATERAL DAMAGE. [v: comeuppance] [nb: An old War Department manual, "Rules of Land Warfare", still recognized in the State Department's "Hackworth Digest", authoritatively states that: reprisals are never to be taken 'merely for revenge' but only as an unavoidable last resort 'to enforce the recognized rules of civilized warfare'; and they should not exceed the degree of violence employed by the enemy.] [nb: "And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe." Exodus 21:23 Bible; "The land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it." Numbers 35:33 Bible; "Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same." Job 4:8 KJV Bible; "No more tears now; I will think upon revenge." attributed to Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland; "Don't get mad, get even." attributed to Joseph P. Kennedy; "Forgiveness is for weaklings without the guts for revenge!"; "Revenge is its own reward."; "The only problem with exterminating a select few people, those who deserve it most, is that they can only be killed once!"; "There is no statute of limitations on revenge."; "In human affairs, the other side of revenge is not anti-revenge or contra-revenge, but is reverse vengeance, perpetually vindicated."] [v: ad eundum (Latin: to the same degree); cf: regret, remorse, repentance, reconciliation, atonement, retribution, redress, restitution, reparation]

a formal or official request for something, especially a written demand for supplies; the state of being in military use, or required for military use. Also, the form on which such an order is drawn up; as derived from 'investigation'. See DRAFT, FORAGE, COMMANDEER, SPOILS OF WAR.

Rescue Combat Air Patrol; also spelled "Res-CAP" or "Res CAP", and also known as SARCAP (Search and Rescue CAP). See CAP, UMBRELLA, HIGH 'n' DRY, RACETRACK, SWEEP, MOWING THE LAWN; compare ABNCP.



a tract of public land set apart for a special purpose, as for a GARRISON or DUMP, BASE or TOMB, COMPOUND or STRONGPOINT, BASE CAMP or GARDEN OF STONES; see DODGE CITY, SIN CITY, COMPTROLLER, CANTONMENT, NATURAL AREA, SHADOW OF THE FLAGPOLE, LITTLE AMERICA, OFF THE RESERVATION. [nb: "A reservation is a worthless piece of ground surrounded by scoundrels." by William Tecumseh Sherman] [nb: Nevada = 87.6% federal land; Utah = 68% federal land; Idaho = 65.2% federal land; Alaska = 57% federal land; Oregon = 55.5% federal land; California = 49.9% federal land; Wyoming = 49.7% federal land; Arizona = 44.3% federal land; Colorado = 38.9% federal land; New Mexico = 36.2% federal land; Washington = 32.8% federal land; Montana = 31.9% federal land]

that contingent or Portion of a body of troops that is kept to the rear, or withheld from action at the beginning of an engagement, in order to be available for reinforcement or to be able to make a decisive movement. Also, members of the Armed Forces who are not in active service, but who are subject to call to federal active duty; see MILITIA, MINUTEMAN, STRIKER, PARAMILITARY, DRAFT, DRAFTEE, ANG, ARNG, NG, WEEKEND WARRIOR, READY RESERVE, SELECTED RESERVE, IRR / INDIVIDUAL READY RESERVE, RETREAD, STANDBY RESERVE, AT, ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING, INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING, INACTIVE NATIONAL GUARD, RETIRED RESERVE, FUBIJAR.

the elements of the Reserve are: Army National Guard of the United States, Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air National Guard of the United States, Air Force Reserve, and Coast Guard Reserve. The status of each reservist is identified by a specific RESERVE COMPONENT category designation, such as Ready Reserve, Standby Reserve, and Retired Reserve.

a derisive reference to a demonstrative shrug, being expressive of ignorance or indifference, disregard or disdain, discountenance or disapprobation; also called POLISH SALUTE. Compare ITALIAN SALUTE; see HIGH BALL, SALUTE.

the ability to recover after being stressed; the power to return to one's original form or position after being bent, compressed, or stretched; being tough and flexible enough to 'spring back' to the original shape, form, or position. See PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, KEEP A STIFF UPPER LIP, TAKE IT ON THE CHIN, ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH, LAST STAND, STAND ONE'S GROUND, DIEHARD, ROOT HOG OR DIE. [v: perseverant / perseverance, persistent / persistence, determined / determination, tenacious / tenacity, unbent / unbowed / unbroken / undefeated] [nb: "I am sore wounded but not slain / I will lay me down and bleed a while / And then rise up to fight again" by John Dryden; "Fight on, my men," says Sir Andrew Barton, / "I am hurt, but I am not slain; / I'll lay me down and bleed awhile, / Then I'll rise and fight again." The Ballad of Sir Andrew Barton, an English folk song; "I'm wounded, but I'm not slain. / I'm bruised and faint they say, / Just let me lie and bleed awhile; / I'll not be long this way. / My Spirit's low and my eyes flow. / My heart is sad and sore; / But when my pen'ent tears are gone, / I'll stand and fight some more. / I'll bind these wounds; I'll dry these tears; / I'll close this bleeding vein; / I'll not lie here and weep and die: / I'll rise and fight again. / 'Twas yesterday I bowed so low, / Was weak from tears and pain; / Today I'm strong; my fears are gone; / Today I fight again." by John Jefferson]

proper conduct, appropriate courtesy, acceptable behavior, dutiful comportment, as directed toward a person of superior RANK or a national STANDARD; the conveyance of regard or esteem by considerate words or honorable gestures. It's a truism of leadership (LDR) that in order to get respect, respect must be given. See THE BIBLE, MANUAL OF ARMS, SALUTE, BEARING, TACT, COMMANDER, GREEN TAB, COMMAND VOICE, COMMAND PRESENCE, TOAST, SILENT INSOLENCE, EYE-FIGHTING. [v: misfeasance, misprision, lese / lèse-majesté]

the obligation to carry forward an assigned task and execute it satisfactorily; responsibility entails the authority to direct and take the necessary action to ensure a successful conclusion. Also, the obligation for the proper custody, care, and safekeeping of property and/or funds entrusted to the possession or supervision of an individual; compare ACCOUNTABILITY, see CYA. [nb: "Even if someone else made the mistake, you are the only one who can fix the problem in a timely manner at your end of the fault line." anonymous]

the cynical belief that people and their human institutions exist in a hostile society, or the defeatist attitude that mankind exists in an indifferent universe; an oppressive awareness of the futility of trying to improve one's status in life. See COUP DE PIED DE L'ANE, NIHILISM, CULTURAL SUICIDE, ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT.

see EYELID MAINTENANCE, KIP, PAC / PAC TIME, COMBAT NAP; compare NO REST. [v: sleep, shut-eye, snooze, doze, nap, catnap, power nap, forty winks, drowse, slumber, siesta, hibernate]

a naval catch-phrase for shirking or slacking duty, to avoid work or evade effort, to coast or take it easy; being the same as SOLDIERing. See CAPE HORN FEVER, GUNDECKING, GOLDBRICK, GHOST, FEATHER MERCHANT, SKATE, SLACKER, BOONDOGGLE; compare SWEAT HOG, HARD-ASS.

humanitarian aid to Somalia began in August 1992 with Operation Provide Relief, which the UN escalated into protecting relief efforts and securing the political situation as mandated by the use of "all necessary means including military force". A U.S.-led coalition, named Operation RESTORE HOPE, intervened from 3 Dec 1992 to 4 May 1993 in fulfillment of this sanction. After 4 May 1993, the unified multinational task force was restructured, named Operation Continue Hope, leading to increased tension and mismanagement within and without the UN mission, some of whom acted like co-belligerents. When 25 Pakistani peacekeepers were killed by Somali aggressors, the peace-enforcement role was emphasized over peace-building (ie: PARAMILITARY disarmament, political reconciliation, and economic rehabilitation). Enforcement was manifest in Operation Gothic Serpent directed toward the capture (v: SNATCH; cf: DECAPITATION) of tribal warlords. Public outcry over a clash on 3-4 October 1993 that left 18 dead and 78 wounded American personnel, along with over one thousand Somali casualties, contributed to the decision to withdraw U.S. forces in March 1994. That, coupled with continued internal strife and Somali hostility, led to a total UN withdrawal by 31 March 1995. [nb: Somalia (1992-93): 43 battle deaths] [v: Somaliland, Djibouti, Ogaden, Punt]

a USN officer who's not eligible to succeed to the command of an operational unit, such as engineering or medical officers; also known as "non-line officer"; compare CHAIN-OF-COMMAND, LINE OFFICER. [nb: it's not unusual for a line officer to hold command authority over a non-line officer of superior rank]

MIL-SPEAK for "bread and water", being a diet formerly served to prisoners as additional punishment; see STONE SOUP, IRON RATIONS, SOLDIER'S BREAKFAST, RANGER COFFEE, HARDTACK, POOR MAN'S STEW, BULLY SOUP, BEANS, CHOW, RATIONS.

RETired from military service, active and/or reserve (v: RETIRED RESERVE), as by longevity or service-connected disability; a retiree, who is not a CIVILIAN, remains bound by his/her oath of enlistment and subject to summary punishment under the UCMJ for any civil infractions, including suspension of pay or benefits and REVOCATION of awards. While the number of CITIZENs who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States has never been large, the percentage has been shrinking since the mid-20th century, but even more remarkable is the minor percentage of servicemembers who endure long enough to qualify for retirement. [nb: during the 4 years of World War II, 11.2% of Americans served in the military; during the 10 years of the Vietnam War, 4.3% of Americans served in the military; during the 12 years of the Global War on Terror, only 0.45% of Americans served in the military] [nb: although the "up or out" retention policy and the rigors of demanding assignments have militated against the "deferred benefit" program of military retirement, about 94% of Vietnam War and 83% of Gulf War servicemembers did not attain retirement status]

an elastic strap that's used to hold camouflage materials and to secure the net or reversible cloth cover ("lambrequin") in place on a helmet; see STEEL POT, K-POT.

to requite; to return like for like, as wrong or injury or evil for same, as derived from "balance accounts" (re + tally) [v: lex talionis (law of retaliation)]; as distinguished from REPRISAL, which repays as much or more for an offense. Both acts are specifically excluded from peacetime acts by armed forces, and are prohibited by multinational treaties (eg: League of Nations Covenant, Kellogg-Briand Pact, United Nations Charter). See RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), WAR POWERS ACT, WAR PARTY, NEW LOOK, WAR CRIMES TRIAL, LAWS OF WAR, JUST WAR, COLLATERAL DAMAGE; compare RIPOSTE / RIPOST. [v: comeuppance] [nb: An old War Department manual, "Rules of Land Warfare", still recognized in the State Department's "Hackworth Digest", authoritatively states that: reprisals are never to be taken 'merely for revenge' but only as an unavoidable last resort 'to enforce the recognized rules of civilized warfare'; and they should not exceed the degree of violence employed by the enemy.] [nb: "And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe." Exodus 21:23 Bible; "The land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it." Numbers 35:33 Bible; "Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same." Job 4:8 KJV Bible; "No more tears now; I will think upon revenge." attributed to Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland; "Don't get mad, get even." attributed to Joseph P. Kennedy; "Forgiveness is for weaklings without the guts for revenge!"; "Revenge is its own reward."; "The only problem with exterminating a select few people, those who deserve it most, is that they can only be killed once!"; "There is no statute of limitations on revenge."; "In human affairs, the other side of revenge is not anti-revenge or contra-revenge, but is reverse vengeance, perpetually vindicated."] [v: ad eundum (Latin: to the same degree); cf: regret, remorse, repentance, reconciliation, atonement, retribution, redress, restitution, reparation]


a small mesh bag, or a little purse made of network; as derived from 'little net' (reticulum); compare RETICLE, GRATICULE; see FARADAY CAGE, SCREEN, CROSS HAIRS.

all Reserve members who receive retirement pay on the basis of their active duty and/or Reserve service; those members who are otherwise eligible for retirement pay but have not yet reached age 60, and who have not elected discharge, and are not voluntary members of the Ready or Standby Reserve. See RESERVE.

a former MIL-PERS who has served on active duty long enough (minimum 180 days) to qualify for retirement, but remains subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) for the remainder of his life; see LIFER, CAREER TRACK, TICKET-PUNCHER, MILICRAT, WHOLE MAN, PEB, LINE OF DUTY, DOUBLE-DIP, RETIRED RESERVE, REVOCATION. Also, a superannuated careerist who utilizes the benefits he's earned by shopping at CONCESSIONs, scheduling appointments at medical facilities, traveling STANDBY on SPACE A transport, usually boring others with tedious tales of derring-do, or loudly complaining about the loss of cherished TRADITIONs; see PAY DUES, BIG GREEN PARADISE, SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, VET, PROFESSIONAL VETERAN, DINOSAUR, MOSSBACK, OLD BREED, OLD SALT, ON THE BEACH, SWALLOW THE HOOK, CIVLANT, CIVPAC, BOY'S CLUB, LAST MAN CLUB, GLUE FACTORY, ATFU, TALK TRASH, GAS BAG, TELL IT TO THE MARINES, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, SEA STORY, WAR STORY. [nb: "Aspiring young soldiers emulate the best traits of old soldiers, while old soldiers simply hope to impersonate their younger selves." anonymous]

any re-enlistee with a break in service; was more common during KOREAN WAR, but the expectation of "interesting" duty in Vietnam drew some peacetimers back into uniform. Compare LIFER, FNG, CHERRY, NEWBEE, GOAT, RECYCLE, PLOWBACK, Q-COURSE, RESERVE, TOTAL FORCE.

the forced withdrawal of an armed force from action with an enemy, as to BUG-OUT; see BEAT FEET, CUT AND RUN, CHANGING TUNE, HAUL-ASS, ROUT, RETROGRADE, EXIT STRATEGY, REAR GUARD, DESERTER, TRAITOR, TURNCOAT, DEFEAT. [nb: to skedaddle or scarper in a disorderly or panicked manner is an unmilitary reversion to primaeval atavism; "Retreat, hell! We're attacking in a different direction!" by O.P. Smith; "Retreat, hell! We just got here!" by Lloyd Williams; "If he can fight, he advances and takes the offensive; if he cannot fight, he retreats and remains on the defensive. He will invariably conquer who knows whether it is right to take the offensive or the defensive." by Chang Yu; "A good retreat is better than a bad stand." Irish maxim] Also, a strategic withdrawal used as a military tactic or diplomatic device; see PARTHIAN SHOT. Also, to withdraw or retire into safety or privacy, as to evacuate or escape; see SPLIT, BAILOUT, DECAMP, BUSTER, PULL PITCH, SCRAMBLE, JUICE, GOYA, ASAP, PDQ, STAT, CHOGI, FORTHWITH, COUNTERMARCH. Also, the flag lowering ceremony that ends or closes the working day with a BUGLE CALL and cannon fire; also known as "beating retreat" at sunset, which originated as a DRUM signal that recalled nearby troops to their castle or fortress to commence the setting of night watches; compare TAPS, REVEILLE, LIGHTS OUT; see TATTOO, BEATERS 'n' BLEATERS, TOOTER, FURL, FACE THE MUSIC, FIRING SQUAD. Also, a place of refuge, seclusion, or privacy, as a sanctuary or haven, asylum or preserve, that was formerly inviolate or immune to military action; as derived from "draw back" or "retract". [nb: according to international law, an 'asylum' is internal or interior, and may be only temporary, but a 'refuge' is external or exterior, and is permanent]

the act of requital, or that (measure for measure) which is given or inflicted according to just deserts; to repay in kind, to give back what is owed; payback, reciprocation. See DAY OF RECKONING, RETALIATION, REPRISAL, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), WAR POWERS ACT, WAR PARTY, WAR CRIMES TRIAL, LAWS OF WAR, JUST WAR, COLLATERAL DAMAGE. [v: comeuppance] [nb: An old War Department manual, "Rules of Land Warfare", still recognized in the State Department's "Hackworth Digest", authoritatively states that: reprisals are never to be taken 'merely for revenge' but only as an unavoidable last resort 'to enforce the recognized rules of civilized warfare'; and they should not exceed the degree of violence employed by the enemy.] [nb: "And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe." Exodus 21:23 Bible; "The land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it." Numbers 35:33 Bible; "Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same." Job 4:8 KJV Bible; "No more tears now; I will think upon revenge." attributed to Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland; "Don't get mad, get even." attributed to Joseph P. Kennedy; "Forgiveness is for weaklings without the guts for revenge!"; "Revenge is its own reward."; "The only problem with exterminating a select few people, those who deserve it most, is that they can only be killed once!"; "There is no statute of limitations on revenge."; "In human affairs, the other side of revenge is not anti-revenge or contra-revenge, but is reverse vengeance, perpetually vindicated."] [v: ad eundum (Latin: to the same degree); cf: regret, remorse, repentance, reconciliation, atonement, retribution, redress, restitution, reparation]

any voluntary or involuntary movement to the rear; inverse, reverse, or backward movement, as to retire or RETREAT. See KEYSTONE, COUNTERMARCH, BAILOUT, CHANGING TUNE, BEAT FEET, CUT AND RUN, HAUL-ASS, ROUT, DEFEAT. [nb: to skedaddle or scarper in a disorderly or panicked manner is an unmilitary reversion to primaeval atavism; "Retreat, hell! We're attacking in a different direction!" by O.P. Smith; "Retreat, hell! We just got here!" by Lloyd Williams; "If he can fight, he advances and takes the offensive; if he cannot fight, he retreats and remains on the defensive. He will invariably conquer who knows whether it is right to take the offensive or the defensive." by Chang Yu]

re-enlistment slogan combining RE-enlist with sign-UP; was the first major post-WWII advertising campaign directed toward retention and recruitment, offering a monetary bonus, specialized training, educational opportunities, or reassignment. See HASH MARK, BOOTSTRAP, RETREAD, FTA, TOTAL FORCE; compare SHIP OVER. [nb: after the VIETNAM WAR, the all-volunteer military adopted other advertising campaigns, from "Be All You Can Be" to "Peace is our Profession", to destigmatize the Armed Forces] [v: remissions or indulgences granted during a Jubilee Year; cf: Sabbatical Year]

the BUGLE CALL that commences the working day with an assembly during the flag-raising ceremony; formerly a signal to awaken or arise, from "watch" or "vigilant". See POLISH REVEILLE, RETREAT, TAPS, TATTOO, LIGHTS OUT, BEATERS 'n' BLEATERS, TOOTER, FACE THE MUSIC.

to exact punishment or expiation for a wrong on behalf of another; vindication or vengeance; see RETALIATION, REPRISAL, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), WAR POWERS ACT, WAR PARTY, WAR CRIMES TRIAL, LAWS OF WAR, JUST WAR, COLLATERAL DAMAGE. [nb: An old War Department manual, "Rules of Land Warfare", still recognized in the State Department's "Hackworth Digest", authoritatively states that: reprisals are never to be taken 'merely for revenge' but only as an unavoidable last resort 'to enforce the recognized rules of civilized warfare'; and they should not exceed the degree of violence employed by the enemy.] [nb: "And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe." Exodus 21:23 Bible; "The land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it." Numbers 35:33 Bible; "Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same." Job 4:8 KJV Bible; "No more tears now; I will think upon revenge." attributed to Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland; "Don't get mad, get even." attributed to Joseph P. Kennedy; "Forgiveness is for weaklings without the guts for revenge!"; "Revenge is its own reward."; "The only problem with exterminating a select few people, those who deserve it most, is that they can only be killed once!"; "There is no statute of limitations on revenge."; "In human affairs, the other side of revenge is not anti-revenge or contra-revenge, but is reverse vengeance, perpetually vindicated."] [v: ad eundum (Latin: to the same degree); cf: regret, remorse, repentance, reconciliation, atonement, retribution, redress, restitution, reparation]

an agent of the Treasury Department, especially one regulating bootlegged goods or prohibited materials (CONTRABAND) ... because THE G cares less about what people do than about chiseling a tax out of them for doing it, such revenue enforcement agents probably originated with the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion, a direct result of Hamilton's 1791 excise tax and the first test of federal authority over state sovereignty and individual autonomy. The U.S. Treasury Department (established 1789) has included the Secret Service since 1860, the Internal Revenue Service since 1862, the Customs Service since 1927, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms since 1972, and formerly included the Postal Service until 1829; and its law enforcement officers are also known as "T-Men", in contradistinction to the FBI's "G-Men". See POLICE; compare FBI, DEA, DIS, DHS, CIA.

an alphabetical list of words spelled in reversed order, which arrangement is of particular use to cryptographers; see CODE, CIPHER, ALPHABET SOUP.

see SPLIT-S.

on the backside and below the top of a hill, opposite the front or facing slope, but oriented in the same direction (toward the enemy); as used protectively for operational staging, indirect fire, and concealed observation, which are contraindicated for exposure. See SKYLINE, MILITARY CREST. [v: anticline] [v: Climbing Terms]

an aerial change of direction entailing a swift passage beyond one's target, then turning the airplane's tail outward while the nose is elevated, standing edgewise on one wing, and then rapidly reversing direction along a backtrack; see AEROBATICS. [cf: reversion]

an uncovered low enclosure, as a rampart or bulwark, used for vehicle parking or POL storage, being a directional barrier of partial protection sufficient to limit the extent or range of damage during attack; also called RIPRAP. See BUNKER, COVER, DEFILADE, REDOUBT, EMPLACEMENT, BERM, PARAPET, STAND-OFF, BLAST WALL, T-WALL, HESCO BARRIER, FACE, BOMB FARM, HANGAR, APRON, RUNWAY, SEA HUT. [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

any qualification or award may be revoked by the commandant of a school or the senior commander of a field unit if the subject individual exhibits a pattern of behavior, lack of proficiency, or duty performance that is inconsistent with expectations of the U.S. Army; any of the following conditions are sufficient for REVOCATION: failure to maintain prescribed standards of personal fitness and readiness to accomplish missions commensurate with position and rank; upon relief of duty or release from service for cause; dismissal, dishonorable discharge, or conviction by courts martial for desertion in time of war. [nb: Any person convicted of misconduct or a criminal charge by a U.S. military tribunal, or who receives a less than honorable discharge based upon actions while serving on active duty, or whose acts do not accord with the Code of Conduct, and whose actions are documented by U.S. military records is ineligible for the award of medals. Any found or recovered medals (or any other U.S. military items) remain the property of the U.S. government, and should be returned with a letter of explanation to: The Secretary of Defense; The Pentagon (Room 3E880); Washington, DC 20301]

a sudden and violent overthrow of an established political system by the people governed, with the objective of a complete replacement; by extension of a revolving series or sequential circuit. It has been asserted that once revolution begins, it is perpetual ("what goes around, comes around") and progressively degenerative (entropy); revolution is never complete because remnants persist long after the idealized inception, and short of genocide, will continue to cause disturbance and disruption for the violation of the "old ways". Despite the rhetoric, historically no revolution has supplanted a "bad" political system with a "better" political system ... the jury is still out on the AMERICAN REVOLUTION, which nation has been in moral decline throughout the 20th century. Compare REBELLION, COUP D'ETAT, GUERRILLA WARFARE, DIRTY WAR, INSURGENCY, SOFT REVOLUTION, CONFLICT, STRUGGLE; see TREASON, UN-AMERICAN, ANTI-AMERICAN. [cf: Shays' (regulator) Rebellion (1786-7); Whiskey Rebellion (1791-4); Fries' Rebellion (1798)] [v: Spring of Nations (1848), Prague Spring, Velvet Revolution (Czechoslovakia 1989), Rose Revolution (Georgia 2003), Orange Revolution (Ukraine 2004), Chestnut Revolution (Ukraine 2004), Purple Revolution (Iraq 2005), Cedars Revolution (Lebanon 2005); cf: demonstration, protest, resurgence, renascence, risorgimento, intifada] [nb: a COUP / COUP D'TAT is qualified as the violent overthrow of the ruling order within the same caste or class, while a REVOLUTION is differentiated as the violent overthrow of the ruling order between castes or classes] [nb: "Be not deceived. Revolutions do not go backward." by Abraham Lincoln; "Revolutions never go backward" by William Henry Seward; "Revolutions have never lightened the burden of tyranny: they have only shifted it to another shoulder." by George Bernard Shaw; "More and more, revolution has found itself delivered into the hands of its bureaucrats and doctrinaires on the one hand, and to the enfeebled and bewildered masses on the other." by Albert Camus; "When dictatorship is a fact, then revolution is a duty."; "The war brought revolution, and the revolution brought reform, but then the reformation brought another war! ... each sacrifice burdens the people more and more, until death finally frees us from all of our desires."; "Whenever the ceiling gets pulled down, the little people always get buried under the rubble in the basement." paraphrase of Cynthia Harrod-Eagles; "Revolution is bloody, revolution is hostile, revolution knows no compromise, revolution overturns and destroys everything that gets in its way." by Malcolm X (Little); "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." by John F. Kennedy; "Insurrection: an unsuccessful revolution; disaffection's failure to substitute misrule for bad government." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce]


also known as the "American War of Independence" and the "War of American Independence"; see AMERICAN REVOLUTION.

a handgun wherein each load or cartridge is contained in a separate chamber of a rotating cylinder, which advancement is either manual (single-action) with the cocking of the hammer, or is automatic (double-action) with the firing of each round; because revolvers are mechanically simpler than semiautomatics, they are considered to be more reliable and less prone to malfunction, but are slower to reload, with a smaller capacity than magazine-fed pistols. A double-action six-shot revolver with a four-inch barrel in .38spl caliber was issued to pilots as a personal SIDEARM during the VIETNAM WAR; this underpowered bullet had been discredited in the Philippines during the SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR and was replaced at that time by the .45ACP semiautomatic, which were even issued to rear echelon Jeep drivers and radio operators, supply clerks and hospital physicians! Compare M-9 PISTOL, JOHN WAYNE RIFLE; see UP-GUN, PISTOL. [nb: revolver patented (1835) by Samuel Colt; due to the military requirements of the MEXICAN WAR and the American CIVIL WAR, many other manufacturers produced variations of Colt's 1848 .44cal "Dragoon", Colt's 1851 .36cal "Navy", and Colt's 1860 .44cal "New Model Army" 'holster pistol' models, including Remington, Starr, Savage, Whitney, Beal, Joslyn, Deane & Adams, Bentley, Kerr, Lefaucheaux, Allen, Leech & Rigdon, Spiller & Burr, Griswold & Gunnison, Tranter, and LeMat; due to supply limitations during the American CIVIL WAR, many servicemembers brought their own personal weapons, including multibarreled "pepperbox" and single-shot dueling pistols in calibers from .32 to .50 ... as with privately purchased knives during the VIETNAM WAR, it was not uncommon for in-country MIL-PERS to acquire privately owned handguns, usually in magnum calibers] [v: "handgun" or "bean-shooter", "pea-shooter" or "horse pistol", "hog leg" or "hand-cannon", "rod" or "barker", "shootin' iron" or "barking iron", "sixgun" or "six-shooter", "heater" or "toaster", "gat" or "Roscoe", "bulldog" or "blaster", "police positive" or "detective special"]

RF :
Regional Forces of South Vietnam, recruited and trained defense troops employed as company-sized units within their local district or province and directed by provincial chiefs; Vietnamese term: Dia Phuong Quan. See PF, RF/PF, PRU, HOC BAO, PSDF, SEA SWALLOWS. Also, the U.S. Army abbreviation for Requisition Form; see DEUCE GEAR, see FORM.

Radio Frequency Identification; see SMART CARD, SIF, HOMER, LOCATOR BEACON, RADIO.

Regional and Popular Forces of South Vietnam; PARAMILITARY forces, ranging from squad or platoon to company size, recruited and utilized within a hamlet, village, district, or province. Also known as "RuFf-PuFfs"; Vietnamese terms include: Tap Kich, Xung Kich. See PRU, PSDF, HOC BAO, STRIKER, SEA SWALLOWS; compare CIDG, MIKE FORCE. [nb: not to be confused with RVN's Civillian Defense Force ("Nhan Dan Tu Ve") which was only a part-time MILITIA]


regiment; the traditional organizational structure of the military, and the most common unit-level of troop identification and loyalty. A regiment is commanded by a colonel (from the Roman leader of a column), and is intermediate between the division (DIV) and the battalion (BN). In some structures, the regiment is equivalent to the brigade (BDE), and in others it is superior. The regiment is traditionally "triangular" in organization, with two infantry battalions paired with a cavalry battalion, or with one each of infantry, cavalry, and artillery; but during the Vietnam era, regiments were "pentagonal", such as two squadrons of cavalry, two battalions of infantry, and one artillery battalion. Vietnamese term: Trung Doan. Compare RCT, PRCT, PIR; see CARS, OB, TO&E. [nb: the Third Infantry Regiment, constituted in the Regular Army on 3 June 1784, was the first American regiment authorized by Congress]

see RIB.

shortened form of RHINOceros, being the nickname for the "teeth" welded to the body of a SHERMAN tank as a FIELD EXPEDIENT adaptation that enabled penetration of thick foliage and hedgerows subsequent to the Normandy INVASION during WWII. See ELEPHANT'S TRUNK; compare ROME PLOW, HY-X.

(ar-h-eye-pee) abbreviation for Rank Has Its Privileges; this catch-phrase should more properly be expressed "Rank Has Its Responsibilities" (RHIR), as in the classic "noblesse oblige", which is the moral obligation of privileged persons to act in an honorable manner. Most MILICRATs who endorse the RHIP proposition (ie: "rank has its pricks") forget that their privileges and perquisites are contingent upon responsibility; to paraphrase a Chinese maxim: every General's reputation is built upon the sacrifices of ten-thousand soldiers. Part of the SF/SOF philosophy dealing with leadership (LDR) is: "everybody in the truck loads the truck". Compare CREED, HONOR CODE, PROMISE, LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN; see HIGHER, UP OR OUT, BRASS HAT, DELEGATOR, OFFICER, TOP DOG, RAINMAKER, CASTE, TICKET-PUNCHER, RING-KNOCKER, KHAKI MAFIA, ROUGHSHOD, HEADQUARTERISM. [v: turkey cock, popinjay, sophist, nabob, nibs, stuffed-shirt, pooh-bah, panjandrum, high and mighty, hogen mogen, high-muckety-muck, high-muck-a-muck] [cf: first among equals ("primus/prima inter pares")] [nb: every MILICRAT knows that the most dangerous people in the military are not HEROes, but are disgruntled MIL-PERS who are frustrated by MICKEY MOUSE and CHICKEN SHIT, by SNOW and RED TAPE, and having been passed over twice for promotion, are serving their terminal assignment, and because they are honorable men who have not STACKed ARMS, they know that there is nothing that the TICKET-PUNCHERs and RING-KNOCKERs of the KHAKI MAFIA can do to them!]

the CODEWORD for the WWII ground attack mission executed by fighter aircraft over Europe. Also, slang for a quarrel or squabble, disagreement or imbroglio, strife or contention.

a curve on the surface of a sphere that cuts all meridians at the same angle, being the path taken by a vessel or aircraft that maintains a constant compass direction; also called "loxodrome", wherein a map projection, as of Mercator's projections, appear as straight lines. See BEARING, HEADING, COMPASS. [cf: rhomboid]

the basic monetary unit of currency in Iran, Oman, and the Republic of Yemen; also spelled RIYAL, and meaning 'real'. See LEGAL TENDER. [cf: ryal / rose noble]

Rigid Inflatable Boat; having a solid keel surrounded by large inflatable tubes as the hull, which may also be called a "squidgie"; see CRRC, IBS, ZODIAC, BOAT. [nb: known as Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) among British and UK forces]

slang for a display or an array of colorful ribbons, representing their equivalent pendant medals (ie: valor, merit, service, campaign), as worn on CLASS-A / service dress uniforms of all branches; a rectangular section of the distinctive suspension ribbon on a pendant medal, or a ribbon bar so designed without a matching medal, that must be worn in a strictly hierarchical order that is incomprehensible to the uninformed. This arrangement of ribbon bars, also known as FRUIT SALAD, often includes select combat or qualification badges (eg: CIB, CMB, CAB, PARACHUTE, PILOT, etc). See SCRAMBLED-EGGS, BOLO BADGE, Q-TAB, GONG, TRASH, WINGS, CORD, DEVICE. [nb: the devices that cover the mounting prongs that attach the insignia to the uniform, holding the two parts together, are variously sized, and are called "fasteners", "clip fastener", "clutch fastener", "clutch back fastener", "clutch grip fastener", "pinch fastener", "butterfly fastener", or "dammits"] [nb: an insignia emblematic of the honors and lineage of a military organization, unlike familial "coats of arms", may be individually enhanced but not personally heritable; v: Heraldry] [nb: pagan Norsemen awarded metallic bracelets in recognition of meritorious or valorous deeds]

a staple grain of the Asian diet, often used as a medium of exchange in economic barter, or to pay taxes; grown "dry" in a cultivated upland field, or "wet" in a paddy (flooding serves to drown the weeds). See CHOPSTICK, NUOC MAM, CENTRAL HIGHLANDS, AGENT ORANGE, ASH 'n' TRASH, RICE BOWL, RICEROOTS. [v: beriberi]

a ball of sticky (short-grained) rice, sometimes flavored, that's wrapped in a pliant leaf, being a portable meal for an adult Asian; equivalent to an American SANDWICH; compare SOMTAM. [nb: although rice balls are traditional fare in China, Japan, India, and Southeast Asia, barley balls are preferred in Tibet] Also, dismissive slang for an Oriental person; see DINK, SLOPE, ZIP, GOOK, SLANT-EYE, NIP, JAPE, CHINK, YELLOW PERIL, YELLOW DOG, WOG, LITTLE PEOPLE; compare BUDDHAHEAD, BASKET HEAD, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, INDIG, DESEGREGATION.

a metonym representing the necessities of life, the simple RICE BOWL symbolizes all a person's daily needs, and signifies (in the Buddhist sense) that more is unnecessary; see RICE, RICE BALL, CHOPSTICK, NUOC MAM, RICEROOTS. Also, the symbolic BEGGING BOWL used when requesting surplus or largess, as a field medic asking hospital staff for extra supplies; imitative of Buddhist mendicants seeking alms; compare SCROUNGE, CUMSHAW, WAD, SOUVENIR, MIDNIGHT REQUISITION. Also, a symbol of one's vested interest, of one's skill and ability, of one's authority and jurisdiction; this bailiwick is probably associated with America's involvement in the mid-20th century Asian wars, but is also an extension of the metaphoric "food chain" (ie: the greater one's power then the larger one's rice bowl). Also, an almost universally negative expression that identifies something unwanted or disliked, anything not pleasing, as "Don't put that in my bowl of rice!" or "I wouldn't want this in my rice bowl!"; also expressed as "not my cup of tea". [nb: before the modern era, the tea cup and the rice bowl were one and the same; v: cha-wan (Japanese)] [nb: in Asian etiquette, leaving utensils in the rice while dining is impolite because it represents the traditional offering to the dead]

any of the small under-powered motor vehicles prevalent in Southeast Asia, from two-stroke cars and chain-driven trucks to diminutive buses and embellished CYCLOs, most of which were flimsy but diligently maintained well beyond their lifespan; also called "putt-putt", "tuk-tuk", "one-lunger", or "smokestack" from their operation or effect. Compare HACK, KIMCHI CAB, RICE ROCKET, JINGLE TRUCK. [v: chariot, hansom, hackney, drag, jitney, jingle, gharry, fiacre, tonga, gig, trap, dogcart, calash, growler, runabout, palanquin/palankeen, palki/palkee, jiao, gama, sedan chair, hand truck, pushcart, tug-truck, pull-truck] [v: Japanese takushii (taxi)]

an Asian converted to Western values (eg: Christianity) or to an Occidental ethic (eg: democracy or capitalism) for motives of self-interest or personal advantage; their worship or proclamations being called the "squeak of the Celestial Hog". Compare ARMY CHRISTIAN, YELLOW PERIL, YELLOW DOG, PAPER TIGER. [v: similar usage of "praying indian" in colonial America] [cf: the Edict of Milan issued by Emperor Constantine the Great (Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus) caAD313]

derogatory slang for someone of mixed EurAsian heritage (especially the half-breed offspring from white American servicemen coupled with Japanese, Korean, Thai, or Vietnamese women); compare BAMBOO, YELLOW FEVER, GONE NATIVE, FOREIGN DEVIL; see GOOK, DINK, SLOPE, SLANT-EYE, RICE BALL, ZIP, NIP, CHINK, BUDDHAHEAD, BASKET HEAD, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, INDIG, YELLOW PERIL, YELLOW DOG, BAD GUYS. [cf: 'banana' and 'Twinkie' are slurs for an Oriental who's yellow on the outside and white on the inside]

the common English name for the Japanese 'go', a unit of dry and liquid capacity equal to about three-fourths of a U.S. cup (180ml); a measuring cup having this capacity is usually provided with automatic rice cookers.

Asian slang for the pale-skinned Caucasian Occidentals, especially the imported clerics, businessmen, and soldiers, who inhabit the Orient and infest the region with alien concepts; also called "ghost", "white devil", FOREIGN DEVIL, WHITE MONKEY, YANKEE, and UGLY AMERICAN. [cf: wheyfaced, pale-faced]

slang for the distinctive sound made by the mass of maggots, sized about the same as a grain of cooked rice, when devouring a decomposing corpse; by analogy to the "snap, crackle, and pop" of the breakfast food advertising jingle. Depending upon the weather and other factors, this stage can occur as early as two days and as late as two weeks after death. A corpse typically decreases in temperature (algor mortis) by 1.5 degrees per hour until it attains ambient equilibrium. If uninterrupted (by predation, cremation, or preservation), the brain and organs of a corpse will begin to liquefy (SOUP) after the RICE KRISPIES phase, and the body (normally 73.6% fluids) will lose about half its weight through leakage due to the destruction of cellular integrity. Rigor mortis is a normal biochemical response to homeostatic termination, a condition that may occur immediately after a traumatic death but usually concludes within 48 hours; while putrefaction and bloat (including tongue and testes), slippage and sloughing (autolysis) is the natural process of organic decomposition from the body's own bacteria. Due to burial delays and travel time, embalming became common during the American CIVIL WAR; it should be noted that embalming (depending upon the amount of formaldehyde used) only temporarily inhibits decomposition of the decedent, and if the remains are exposed to water, such retardation is reversed. Compare CRISPY CRITTER, FLOATER, CREATURE FEATURE, PICNIC, TADPOLE; see BODY BAG, BODY COUNT, BUTCHER'S BILL, KIA, ZULU, BODY-SNATCHER, GRAVES REGISTRATION, MORTUARY AFFAIRS.

slang for a motorcycle or motorscooter of Asian manufacture, typically loud and under-powered, often driven recklessly but used in clever ways (eg: covered train), and diligently maintained well beyond its lifespan; also known as "tuk-tuk" or "putt-putt". Compare CYCLO, RICE-BURNER; see DIRT BIKE, COURIER, RUNNER, WARTHOG, KICKSTANDED. [v: bike, cycle, trail bike, minibike, motorbike, motorscooter, mo-ped, motorcycle, chopper, hog, bomb, crotch-rocket, sidecar, cyclecar, pillion, buddy seat, fairing, fork, handlebar, ape hangers, sissy bar, saddlebag, kick-start, kickstand; cf: motocross, enduro] [nb: Gottlieb Daimler invented the motorized bicycle (1885)]

regional euphemism for grassroots (qv), the sociopolitical and economic forces associated with an agrarian population; the rural lifestyle of ordinary people, in contrast with urban workers and metropolitan elitists. Also, the beginning, basis, or foundation of something (Asian). [nb: "astroturfing" is a term used in politics and advertising to describe public relations (PR) campaigns that (falsely) seek to create an impression of spontaneous or ingenuous behavior, of unsolicited or independent action, hence is a metaphor for "fake grassroots" support; so-called after the trademarked synthetic product, being a carpetlike covering of vinyl and nylon, that's made to resemble turf ... artificial grass(-roots)]

more akin to brewing beer than winemaking, the process essentially consists of treating a porridge of steamed rice (or a mix of barley, wheat, millet, cassava, maize, sorghum, or other grains) with a yeast cake starter of microorganisms, which enzymes convert the starches to sugar in a slow fermentation, rendering a yellowish alcoholic (18-25%ABV) beverage that's sometimes infused with herbs (eg: cinnamon, liquorice, ginger, ginseng, hawthorn, mushroom, etc) for their medicinal value. Rice wines, whether clear or milky, sweetened or flavored, are used as a beverage, in cooking, for celebrations, in religious rites, and so forth. Compare SAKE, MALT, LOW WINE, PLONK, BRANDY, MAHUA; see BREW, HOOCH, GROG, MOONSHINE, JUICE, THE DRINK. [v: ruo'u can / ruo'u cân (Vietnam); lao-lao (Laos); sombai (Cambodia); sato (Thailand); cheongju, beopju, dansul, gwaha-ju, makgeolli (Korea); mirin, nihonshu, shochu, sake (Japan); choujiu, huangjiu, mijiu, shaoxing (China); basi, pangasi (or 'gasi), tapuy (Philippines); apong, cholai, chuak, hariya, sonti (India); ara (Bhutan); brem (Bali); lihing, tuak (Borneo); tapai (various Austronesian cultures)]

an American cocktail made of gin and lime juice, served over cracked ice and topped with soda water; this traditional gin rickey becomes a Scotch rickey, Irish rickey, Russian rickey, Mexican rickey, and so forth by substituting other alcoholic spirits. Compare SINGAPORE SLING, TOM COLLINS, GIMLET, SALTY DOG, WHISKEY SOUR, FIZZ; see HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK, HOIST, GUSTO. [ety: variously attributed to personages with the 'Rickey' surname]

a small two-wheeled vehicle featuring a covered passenger compartment for one occupant that's pulled by its operator, formerly used throughout Japan, China, and other parts of Asia; also identified as "rickshaw" or "riksha", as an alteration of "jinriksha" / "jinrikisha" (person + power + vehicle) [Chinese: nyin lik chia]. Compare PEDICAB, CYCLO, TUK-TUK, PUTT-PUTT / PUT-PUT, LITTER, HACK, RICE-BURNER. [v: chariot, hansom, hackney, drag, jitney, jingle, gharry, fiacre, tonga, gig, trap, dogcart, calash, growler, runabout, palanquin/palankeen, palki/palkee, jiao, gama, sedan chair, hand truck, pushcart, tug-truck, pull-truck] [v: Japanese takushii (taxi)]



(forthcoming); see SKIP BOMBING, DIVETOSS, DEFLECTION, SPLASHBACK, RECOIL, HAMMER, WILD SHOT, BULLETPROOF. [cf: kill two birds with one stone]

the Cambodian basic monetary unit of currency; see LEGAL TENDER.

Reconnaissance in Force, company-sized and larger sweeps of suspected enemy locations, maneuver areas, or sanctuaries; a method of provoking contact or, if without incidence, a method of quickly declaring an area to be pacified. This technique, like RECON BY FIRE, depends upon enemy response so is not a valid or reliable indicator of true enemy presence or strength. Also, abbreviation of Reduction In Force, sometimes used as "RIF'd" (rifted or riffed) for discharged or demobilized; also known as "involuntary separation", these cutbacks and drawdowns are intended to reduce manpower and materiel for the anticipated diminished Armed Forces role. While the intended budgetary constraint of the post-VN RIF was promoted as a PEACE DIVIDEND, the Congressional anti-war abatements had the effect of being anti-military. Later "pink slip" downsizing [Selective Early Retirement Board (SERB)] paid substantial bonuses for early retirement, which eliminated intermediate-level experience from the forthcoming GULF WARs. See ETS, DUMP, KICKSTANDED, DISCHARGE, DEMOB. [nb: the military has an involuntary "stop-loss" authority, which allows each branch to compel MIL-PERS who reach the end of their assignment or enlistment to remain attached or in uniform for "the good of the service"]

1917 Army rifle
1917 Army rifle
Springfield rifle
Springfield rifle
standard shoulder-fired, magazine-fed infantry weapon operating in either semi-autoloading mode or in both semi- and fully-auto mode; term derived from the "lands and grooves" rifling inside the barrel (ie: BORE) which imparts a stabilizing spin to the projectile so as to improve accuracy of bullet placement. Rifles used in Vietnam include the M-1 Garand [nb: MIL-SPEC designation is the same for M-1/M-2 CARBINE], an 8-shot .30 caliber WWII-era (adopted 1936) American rifle, that will be superseded by the M-14, and subsequently by the M-16. The M-14, a 7.62mm/.308cal selective-fire rifle, was used during the early period of the VIETNAM WAR, and would remain the primary SNIPER weapon, when scope mounted using match-ammo. The prototype revision (M-10) that became the AR-15/M-16 was a plastic stock M-14A2 full-auto rifle; and due to its superior stopping power and reliability in desert conditions, would be returned to Army and Marine inventory (with a Kevlar stock) during GULF WAR II. The communist version of the M-14 was the "K-50" CHICOM rifle. See BLACK MAGIC, WIDOW MAKER, TUPPERWARE, LONG RIFLE, GARAND, SPRINGFIELD RIFLE, OVER 'n' UNDER, BAR, CAR, ACOG, SCOUT, RUBBER DUCK, KALASHNIKOV (AK-47), SKS, BURST, MAG, DRUM, MUZZLE, MUZZLE-BRAKE, KICK, HANG FIRE, FIREPOWER, SILENCER, FLASH SUPPRESSOR, PISTOL GRIP, RAMROD, ZERO, OFFHAND; compare PISTOL, BLOOPER, SMG, MG, STONER, ARTY, SMOOTHBORE, UP-GUN. [nb: Vietnamese term: sung truong] [nb: an MG fires RIFLE ammunition, but an SMG fires PISTOL ammunition] [nb: 75% of the WWI American Expeditionary Force (AEF) were armed with the Model 1917 Enfield .306cal, not the 1903 Springfield .308cal rifle] [aka: the Sharps rifle was known as "Beecher's Bibles" by pro-war abolitionists] [nb: in an effort to economize after the CIVIL WAR, Congress mandated that each Spencer repeater be retrofitted with the Stabler Cut-off Device, which modification converted the 7-shot carbine into a single-shot firearm, until combat losses in the INDIAN WARS forced its abandonment, and later succession of the Spencer by the trapdoor Springfield having even more firepower] [v: Firearms Glossary] Also, an outdated metonym that was formerly used to tally the strength of a given infantry unit (ie: "a battalion of a thousand rifles").

a GRENADE launched from a RIFLE MUZZLE by firing a blank CARTRIDGE, developed to travel with greater distance and accuracy than one thrown by hand; see BLOOPER, FRAG.

the system of spiral grooves ("lands and grooves") cut into the BORE of a gun barrel so as to impart a stabilizing spin to the discharged projectile; compare SMOOTHBORE, FREEBORE.

to fit or furnish with clothing, gear, or other equipment; to outfit, supply, provision, accouter; see CAP-A-PIE, CAMPAIGN. [v: tire, bedight; cf: de haut en bas] Also, to assemble, install, prepare, or setup a particular arrangement or apparatus. Also, the combined or assembled unit of equipment resulting from the combination of related elements, such as a PARACHUTE rig. Also, costumery and other inappropriate attire; "rigged-out" can be synonymous with TRICKed-out. Also, acronym for Restricted Interagency Group, being a compartmented coordinating body for U.S. military and diplomatic covert activities involving the JCS, DOD, NSC, CIA, and DOS; see NEED TO KNOW, COMPARTMENTALIZATION, CHINESE WALL, STOVEPIPE, OPSEC, DIME, NOFORN, TRADECRAFT.

U.S. Army rigger badge
Army rigger
U.S. Navy rigger badge
Navy rigger
a Quartermaster specialist (MOS: 43E) responsible for the supply, maintenance, and proper packing of various parachutes, including reserve, cargo, and personnel; such skill specialization has been distinguished since 1948 by wear of a red baseball-style cap (RED HATS; compare BLACK HATS) and a unique badge, which was finally approved on 9 June 1986. Originating as a "half-winged canopy" to be worn on the sleeve (but too similar to the flaming torch PATHFINDER badge worn on the sleeve at the time), the RIGGER badge was redesigned by MAJ Thomas R. Cross with a scroll overlaying a fully winged parabolic canopy for display opposite the PARACHUTE badge. All branches initially train their parachutists and riggers in Army schools ("rough terrain" parachuting was initially taught to military personnel at the US Forest Service Smokejumpers school ... which techniques were adopted for HALO insertion of recon teams into TRIPLE CANOPY jungle), and then proceed to further training within each separate branch; hence, Marine paratroopers and riggers wore Army badges during WWII, and the gold Marine para badge was adapted from the USMC rigger's badge after WWII. A distinctive three-cell canopy RIGGER badge was later developed for Navy/Marine packers (called "skivvy folders"). Due to their excellent attention to detail and meticulous care, most riggers since WWII have been female (see SKIRT). See 5000 CLUB, Q-COURSE.

informal referent for the Vietnam-era trouser belt that was made by unit RIGGERs from remnants of nylon straps for wear by PARATROOPERs as an unofficial "mark of distinction"; see WEB BELT.

lifting or hauling tackle. Also, the ropes and other lines used on a ship to work the sails and yards. Also, clothing or costume.

a commander's most effective and efficient non-commissioned assistant; not necessarily the highest ranking sergeant, such as the NCOIC or FIRST SHIRT or TOP-KICK, but the one with whom the current leader works best ... which is one of the ways to "work around" CYA and RED TAPE. "By the book" and "get it done" are two very different philosophies of administration, management, and leadership, each having its own positive and negative aspects; so compatibility among CADRE not only facilitates unit performance but enhances career development. This teamwork principle is promoted by temporarily rescinding the non-FRATERNIZATION barrier when officers host their enlisted assistants during "Right Arm Night" at the O CLUB; which is reciprocated by "Bring Your Boss Night" at the NCO Club.


literally the right-side foot, but figuratively the proper or correct foot, implying one's best or truest presentation; see YOUR RIGHT FOOT FORWARD; compare WRONG-FOOTED, AN ARM AND A LEG.


the necessary intelligence and skill, strength and judgment combining to form superior MIL-PERS; an indefinable but incontestable worth that converts expertise into a righteous altruism, which protects our American values, and transforms dedicated obedience into an honor code, which preserves our American way of life. Phrase originated by Joseph Conrad in short story entitled "Youth" (1903), then made prominent by Theodore Roosevelt in 1910 speech entitled "Citizenship in a Republic"; and later popularized by Tom Wolfe's 1979 book. See COMRADE, SHIPMATE, BUDDY SYSTEM, PILOT, SF, SEAL, RANGER, FORCE RECON, FUGLEMAN, SUPER-TROOPER, RIGHT ARM, MORAL COURAGE, CAREER TRACK, LIFER, RABBI, SEA DADDY; compare CONVERSION SYMPTOMS, TICKET-PUNCHER, CYA, MERCENARY, WHITE VC.


an unambiguous God-given right of free people that's manifest in the curiosity and creativity of Americans; an inalienable freedom enjoyed by civilians that is not tolerated in soldiers and sailors and airmen, who must not only pay for their own mistakes with their blood, but must also redeem the wrong-headedness of their democratic government! [nb: "The American people have the Constitutional right to be wrong." by Warren Rudman (July 1987 comment in the Senate Select Committee hearing on the Iran-Contra affair]

the Constitutional right of an adult citizen, who is neither a convicted felon nor a diagnosed mental defective, to possess and utilize a firearm in any lawful manner, from sport and survival to personal protection and national defense; this right is not contingent upon anyone's eligibility for, or upon their performance of military service; neither is it a reward for service or achievement, nor a designation of class or status. Personal disarmament, usually proposed as "gun control" or "crime prevention", is typically a legislative ploy to unilaterally expand police powers and extend governmental authority ... the USA is now the only nation in the world that has not disarmed its citizenry. See GUN CONTROL, OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANCE DISORDER, PTSD. [nb: "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Second Amendment, Constitution of the United States of America (ratified 1791 in the Bill of Rights)] [nb: after WWII, any firearm that was privately owned by a servicemember (or his dependents) had to be stored in the unit's secure arms room and signed out for use, just like an issued weapon; but after 2012, no personal firearms could be legally housed in government quarters on a military post or base] [nb: "An armed man is a citizen; an unarmed man is a subject."; "If guns cause crimes, then pencils cause misspellings, matches cause arson, and spoons cause obesity!"; "Know guns, know peace and security; no guns, no peace or security!"; "The Second Amendment is in place in case the others are ignored ... what part of 'shall not be infringed' don't you understand?!"; "Anyone who trades liberty for security has neither!"]


to act rapidly, quickly, urgently, hastily, speedily, swiftly, promptly, or expeditiously; often emphasized by 'more' or 'most', as "mo' riki tik". Adopted from Japanese, phrase is also spelled "rikki tik" or "ricky tick". See ASAP, PDQ, GOYA, FORTHWITH, SCRAMBLE, BARREL-ASS, STAT, HAUL-ASS, JUICE, CHOP CHOP, CHOGI. [v: haiyaku (Japanese: quickly); wiki-wiki (Hawaiian: hurriedly); tout de suite (French: at once, immediately)] [v: amain] [nb: the newly popularized expression: "mosh kosh", which is being used in the same sense as RIKI TIK to express urgency (pronto, soonest, right away), is actually a corruption of Americanized Japanese "mo' skosh", from the Japanese 'sukoshi' meaning "little"; hence a little more instead of a little faster]

corrupt rhyming slang variously used to mean poor or inferior, of low quality; meaningless or senseless, of no importance; genitals or sex, of a sex act; also spelled "rikki tikki" or "ricky ticky"; but not to be confused with the mongoose named "Rikki Tikki Tavi" in The Jungle Book by J. Rudyard Kipling (1894). This phrase is used in the same manner as rinky-dink, nitty-gritty, hoity-toity, namby-pamby, itsy-bitsy, titbit / tidbit, lickety-split, rack and ruin, and the like as reduplicative wordplay.


a cartridge ignition system wherein the priming compound is contained in the edge rim at the base of a thin metallic cartridge case such that when the firing pin strikes this rim, the primer detonates, which then sets off the propellent gunpowder. [cf: centerfire]

a circular line or mark; a circlet or circle, surround or enclosure, as the bands denoting RANK on the lower sleeves of naval officer uniforms; see KILL RING. Also, anything serving as a circle, having the form of a circle, or resembling a circle, from a smoke ring or annual tree ring to a traffic circle or bullring, including any number of persons or things situated in a circle (eg: Dien Bien Phu is ringed by hills). [nb: rings: an apparatus consisting of a smallish pair of suspended circlets that, when grasped by a gymnast, are used to perform feats of balance, agility, and strength as part of a competitive event in gymnastics] Also, a bow-like or circular piece at the top of a shaft on some hooking devices to which the line, cable, or chain is secured; see ANCHOR, BOWER, HOOK, DROGUE, GRAPNEL, PAD EYE, DEADEYE, D-RING. Also, a circular band of usually durable material (eg: metal, wood, stone, plastic, etc) that's worn on the finger as an ornament, a status symbol, or a token of commitment (ie: the wedding band as the "domestication" thrall ring to which is affixed the proverbial "ball and chain" of marital bliss); see BRACELET, BANGLE, RING-KNOCKER. Also, a circular course or route, especially a single curving turn in such a path, including a cyclic spiral; see CIRCUS, HIGH 'n' DRY, CAP, RACETRACK, UMBRELLA, STACK, ORBIT, TO RUN RINGS AROUND. Also, an enclosed area, circular (as in wrestling) or square (as in boxing), setup for a sports contest or an exhibition; see COCKPIT, BEAR GARDEN, BLOOD SPORT, FIELD HOUSE, CIRCUS, RINK, GAMBIT, MOCK-COMBAT, WAR GAMES, ORDEAL, WE WHO ARE ABOUT TO DIE SALUTE YOU. Also, a group of persons cooperating for unethical or illegal purposes; see MANDARIN, RAINMAKER, CLUB FED, EUNUCH, BEST AND BRIGHTEST, POLITICIAN, BOY'S CLUB, KHAKI MAFIA, RING-KNOCKER. [cf: apparatchik, nomenklatura, eunuch, nabob, nibs] [v: 'claque' for group or coterie of BROWN NOSERs] Also, from the onomatopoeic term that's imitative of the sound of a bell, a characteristic sound or quality, as in "the ring of truth". Also, a relative phrase, "ring a bell", which stimulus evokes a memory, as when reminded of someone or something; probably derived from the chiming of canonical hours. Also, a trope used to represent someone's refusal to continue their participation in training, as to be so mentally enervated or physically exhausted (POOP) that a MIL-PERS quits; see RING THE BELL, KNOCK IT OFF, SCRUB, FIELD REJECT.

the Malaysian basic monetary unit of currency; see LEGAL TENDER.

class ring of Staunton
Military Academy class ring of Army Sergeants
Major Academy U.S. Army ring
military rings
any person who flaunts their membership in an exclusive fraternity or association in order to acquire prestige, obtain privileges, or influence decisions; an arrogant elitist. Such "in-group" status is extended to military academy graduates among OFFICERs, and to quasi-religious societies among NCOs. This disparaging reference to the tendency of in-group members to attempt to assist or favor one another is sometimes called the "self-promotion and mutual-protection league". See RHIP, CASTE, ROUGHSHOD, MAVERICK, MILICRAT, TRADE SCHOOL, TICKET-PUNCHER, TWEEDLEDUM 'n' TWEEDLEDEE, BOY'S CLUB, KHAKI MAFIA, THE ESTABLISHMENT, SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, FAST TRACK, VULCANIZE, BOOTSTRAP. [nb: West Point (USMA) was the first school to use finger-rings as a unified symbol; obtained informally from 1835, then designed by a committee in each class after 1869; after 1917, each class ring must bear the USMA initials, motto, crest, eagle, saber, and other elements, although the stone is individual to each graduate] [cf: apparatchik, nomenklatura, eunuch, nabob, nibs] [v: 'claque' for group or coterie of BROWN NOSERs] [v: Siwash ("At Good Old Siwash" by George Helgeson Fitch (1911)]

a circular framework in a horizontal plane to which one or more machineguns (MG) are attached, giving the gunner an omnidirectional range; later converted, by the addition of SPLINTER SHIELD armor-plating, into a SPONSON. Due to its similarity of function, the RING MOUNT is often called a TURRET or CUPOLA. See QUAD 50, PINTLE.

the terrorist tactic of shooting compact automatic weapons (SMG) into a crowd with full coverage while making the shooters hard to hit with return fire; executed like a choreographed dance routine wherein several (3-5) terrorists meet at a given point (convention floor, airport lobby, etc), expose their concealed SMALL ARMS, turn their backs to each other while linking arms, then open fire on the crowd while turning in a circle; also known as "circle of fire". Also, to strategically encircle a TARGET (eg: moving unit, base camp, etc) with direct and indirect fire, making maneuver or withdrawal impossible; compare CORDON, PERIMETER, BLOCKING FORCE, SCREEN, FPL, ENFILADE, MAD MINUTE, HOSE. [cf: girandole / girandola; v: circular firing squad] [nb: every circle, once described and sustained by lashes or strokes, turns vicious upon itself; not because it's a circle, but because it encircles men]

an expression coined by T.E. Lawrence for the emotional toll that casualties take on small groups of warriors; a psychological effect that extends in discrete ripples from its most intense to its least influence, ranging from total absorption to complete indifference.

to quit training or refuse to participate in non-combat operations, making the individual subject to military discipline or dismissal; formally known in the Navy as "dropped on request" (DOR). Phrase is usually figurative, but both RANGER and SEAL schools have an actual bell to be rung by quitters. A refusal to participate in combat operations may prove fatal, and will result in a court martial, incarceration, and an other than honorable discharge. See HELL WEEK, KNOCK IT OFF, POOP, SCRUB, EQUALIZER, TS CARD, FIELD REJECT, DUD, YARDBIRD. Also, a catch-phrase for marriage, matrimony, wedlock, nuptials, conjugality, connubiality, hymeneal espousal, plight their troth, tie the knot, jump the broomstick, HOOKUP, hitch, yoke, double harness, cohabitation, handfasting / handfastening, common law, hedgemarriage; see PETTICOAT COMMAND, OFFICER'S WIFE, COW, THE DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT, THE MOTHER-IN-LAW OF THE ARMY, DRAG, CLASS-B DEPENDENT, CAMPAIGN WIFE, SLEEPING DICTIONARY, SHACK-JOB, DISTAFF, GREEN BLOOD, BRAT, ARMY SOUP.

a section of prepared ground that's been setup for competition wherein opponents are ranked against each other; see RING, GAMBIT, MOCK-COMBAT, WAR GAMES, ORDEAL. [ety: an area for a battle, joust or bout (Scots: 'renk')]

Radar Intercept Officer, or Radio Intercept Officer, being the backseater in fighter aircraft; see GIB, BEAR, TFO, EWO, RSO, WSO (WIZZO); compare FUF.

the specifications of Article 116 in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) regarding unlawful assembly (ROUT), sedition, and mutiny, together with their stipulated consequences; also known as a "straighten up and fly right" harangue or a COME TO JESUS scolding, this phrase has been extended to any formal admonition, caution, or warning used to restore order by imposing discipline or threatening repercussions, as in "read them the RIOT ACT". See GIG, CALL ON THE CARPET, FANG, NASTY-GRAM, PETITION, MUTINEER, BATS 'n' HATS, DRUMHEAD, POSSE COMITATUS, TREASON. [v: misfeasance, lese / lèse-majesté, misprision] [nb: vigilante Regulators in North Carolina took the law into their own hands to protect themselves against extortion and oppression by colonial officials, but increasing disorders led to passage of the "Bloody Act" (Johnston Bill 15 Jan 1771) making these rioters guilty of treason]

Relief In Place, being a transfer of equivalent units that turnover responsibility for assets and equipment on an outpost or operations base, together with assumption of the continuing mission within the tactical area; may comprise a changeover among international elements within an alliance or coalition. Also, sardonic abbreviation for Retired In Place, being either a MIL-PERS who was passed-over for promotion, who was determined to be unfit for further service, or who was on terminal assignment awaiting final disposition; an unofficial play-on-words from Reduction In Force (RIF) and Rest In Peace (RIP); see STACK ARMS, ROAD, PROFILE, WHOLE MAN, HORS DE COMBAT, UP OR OUT. [nb: every MILICRAT knows that the most dangerous people in the military are not HEROes, but are disgruntled MIL-PERS who are frustrated by MICKEY MOUSE and CHICKEN SHIT, by SNOW and RED TAPE, and having been passed over twice for promotion, are serving their terminal assignment, and because they are honorable men who have not STACKed ARMS, they know that there is nothing that the TICKET-PUNCHERs and RING-KNOCKERs of the KHAKI MAFIA can do to them!] Also, common abbreviation for "rest in peace"; as derived from Latin (requiescat in pace) for "may he rest in peace".

the deployment system on all reserves and most FREE-FALL parachutes so as to enable descent; being a length of cable with a D-RING handle at one end and a release pin (or set of pins) at the other, so that when pulled, the pins come out of the closing loop holding the parachute container shut, and the pilot chute (tethered by a bridle to the main canopy) is thus released so as to open the main (or reserve) parachute for descent. Also, a control cord fastened at the closure of the inflation bag of a passenger balloon or blimp, dirigible or airship, which can be used to open the bag and release the gas, causing the inflatable to descend rapidly.

a quick sharp reply in speech or a rapid return in action; such a prompt response is also known as a "counterstroke", as in fencing when making a quick thrust after parrying a lunge. See RETALIATION.

a series of events, or sequence of consequences that result from a singular act or incident; anything that spreads from an initial source, intentional or accidental, into a multiplicity of ramifications; see DOMINO EFFECT, LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES.

a quantity of broken material (eg: gravel, fragments, splinters, chips, etc) used to stabilize a bank, a bed, or a barrier by adding fill [v: debris] or by shoring [v: shot rock]. Also, a foundation or wall constructed of stones, either loose or cemented, laid in a regular or irregular manner for strength or reinforcement; see REVETMENT, BLAST WALL, DEFILADE, EMPLACEMENT, COVER, FACE, BERM, STAND-OFF, SPALL, BALLAST, PITCH. [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

the webbing straps that connect the parachute harness to the suspension lines. At the end of the risers is a mechanism, such as Capewell, Chrysalis, or three ring release, for harness attachment and detachment. The brakes/steering control lines are affixed to the back or rear risers. The suspension lines attach to the top of the risers with connector links, which are also known as "rapid links". On older arrangements (without steering or control toggles), the canopy suspension lines are sewn directly onto the risers, making each riser responsible for the directional control of a fourth of the canopy.

exposure to the possibility of injury or loss; a HAZARD or dangerous CHANCE. Also, a venture involving obligation or liability; peril or jeopardy. [nb: "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." by T.S. Eliot; "Caution quashes impulsivity -- spontaneity quashes ratiocination."; "If you have the know-how, risk isn't a death defying act; but if you lack the talent, every risk is an opportunity for total failure -- calculating the odds is not a measure of the risk factors, but is rather a determination of the value of the results."; "It's not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It's because we dare not venture that they are difficult." by Lucius Annaeus Seneca; "All of life is the management of risk, not its elimination." by Walter Wriston; "If you aren't failing, then you aren't trying; and if you aren't making mistakes, then you aren't learning." by Peter Drucker; "Every good thing in the world stands on the razor-edge of danger." by Thornton Wilder; "Don't be afraid to take a big step. You can't cross a chasm in two small jumps." by David Lloyd George; "This nation was built by men who took risks -- pioneers who were not afraid of the wilderness, businessmen who were not afraid of failure, scientists who were not afraid of the truth, thinkers who were not afraid of progress, dreamers who were not afraid of action." by Brooks Atkinson; "The knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world, and not in a closet." by Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield; "Historically, risk takers are people who shatter the illusion of knowledge. They are willing to try something that everyone thinks is outrageous or stupid." by Daniel Boorstin; "An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered." by G.K. Chesterton; "The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible -- and achieve it, generation after generation." by Pearl S. Buck; "Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out." by James B. Conant; "When you are in any contest, you should work as if there were -- to the very last minute -- a chance to lose it. This is battle, this is politics, this is anything." by Dwight D. Eisenhower; "Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible." military academy cadet maxim]

a social-psychological phenomenon that refers to the observed tendency for people to make more daring decisions when they are in groups than when they are alone; a byproduct of accommodation to normative strictures, wherein peer-pressure overwhelms the individual's rationalization for safety and security so as to receive the esteem of others. See PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, KEEP A STIFF UPPER LIP, WATCH MY SMOKE, BRING SMOKE, CHARGE, STORM, FOLLOW ME, ROOT HOG OR DIE, ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH, DIEHARD, LAST MAN STANDING, LAST STAND, V-DEVICE, MOXIE, GUTS, ONIONS.

Rapid Intervention Team, being a unit composed of personnel specially trained in medicine and rescue, fire and hazards, search and recovery techniques; see SAR, CSAR, PJ, TRAP, AST, RRF.

a ceremony performed by a community in a time of crisis that affects all of its members; in anthropology, a transformational ritual. [nb: "There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly." by R. Buckminster Fuller]

any important act or event that serves to signify the change from one stage of life to another; originating in the post-WWII era as a French anthropological concept (rite de passage / rites de passage) that focused on more than mental or physical maturation, but on the adoption of moral responsibility for one's behavior. Also, a ceremony performed to mark a person's change of status upon any of several highly important occasions, as at the onset of puberty or upon entry into marriage, upon adoption into a clan or promotion as a tenured associate; such a ritual facilitates and solemnizes this change of status, demarcating these adherents for the edification of both insiders and outsiders; see PRECONIZE, INITIATION, BRACELET, RING-KNOCKER, QUEST, BLOOD BROTHER, BOY'S CLUB, VETERANS' ASSOCIATION.

an established act or prescribed procedure for ceremonial rites; the observance of set forms in a public forum as systematically codified in a book of administrations. Also, prescribed procedures or established acts that're collectively featured as part of codes of conduct so as to serve and regulate social behavior. Also, any practice or pattern of behavior that's regularly performed in a set manner, including compulsively or obsessively repetitive acts. [v: sacrament]

pertaining to navigable streams or other channels; see MRF, BROWN WATER SAILOR, BROWN WATER. [nb: the colloquialism "up the river" means imprisonment, but "down the river" means betrayal]

nickname of the 3000 mile long Mekong River, because it debouches into the South China Sea through nine 'mouths' or tributary outlets in the delta.

the basic monetary unit of currency in Qatar and Saudi Arabia; also spelled RIAL, and meaning 'real'. See HALALA, LEGAL TENDER. [cf: ryal / rose noble]

Royal Laotian Army, or Royal Lao Army; properly known as Forces de Armee Laos (FAL). See PEO, MILLPOND, WHITE STAR, HMONG, PATHET LAO, KIP, INDOCHINA. [nb: The 1959 Program Evaluation Office (PEO) was augmented by MILLPOND and WHITE STAR in 1961 to assist military training of the Laotian Army. The 10 May 1961 beginning of negotiations concludes with the neutrality of Laos declared by the Geneva Accords on 23 July 1962. The new royal Lao succession of 4 Nov 1959 was deposed by rightists, who imposed elections in April and established a new regime 24 May 1960, but were overturned by a leftist revolt on 9 August 1960. From 18 November 1960 to 7 June 1962, royalist, leftist, and rightist factions seized portions of the country, operated contending governments from neighboring nations, and successive administrations were displaced until a coalition neutralist government was installed under prince Suvana Phuma. Subsequent to warlord disputes and terrorism, the neutralist coalition was deposed by rightists on 19 April 1964, but international pressure soon restored prince Suvana Phuma as premier. On 17 May 1964, Laos requests US support when PATHET LAO seize the Plaine des Jarres. During Spring 1965, several revolts by various factions were again attempted, and a new youth movement party emerged from the 18 July 1965 elections. The rightist parliament was dissolved on 7 October 1966, and by 15 November 1966, the opposition leaders were in exile, and the neutralist Army elements had moved into the PATHET LAO controlled region, complicating the ongoing US-aided revolt of the ethnic Meo and Lao Thung against them. Laos Neutralist Government flew a blue/white flag of three central horizontal stripes with a cluster of ten stars centered. The three-headed elephant (ie: "Erawan") symbol is centrally featured on both the Royal Lao flag and state crest.]

abbreviation for RANGER (qv).

Royal New Zealand Air Force; similar to Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), based upon the Royal Air Force (RAF) of the United Kingdom.

informal reference to head hair that's been stiffened and made to stand upright by various means, sometimes augmented by animal whiskers and guard hairs, which are sometimes dyed or beaded so as to form a ceremonial headdress, as worn by Potawatomi, Abenaki, Lenape, and other AmerIndian tribesmen; also called "hog", probably by association with feral swine; compare MOHAWK, HACKLE / HACKLES, FAUXHAWK / FAUX-HAWK. [nb: due to the fighting prowess of the gamecock, it's more than likely that the so-called "mohawk" hairdo was adopted by various warriors in imitation of their distinctive cockscomb or caruncle]

abbreviation for Reorganization Objective Army Divisions. Also, slang for Retired On Active Duty, and also represented as "ROAD warrior", "coaster", and "rolling coaster"; see RIP, STACK ARMS, UP OR OUT; compare PROFILE, WHOLE MAN. [nb: every MILICRAT knows that the most dangerous people in the military are not HEROes, but are disgruntled MIL-PERS who are frustrated by MICKEY MOUSE and CHICKEN SHIT, by SNOW and RED TAPE, and having been passed over twice for promotion, are serving their terminal assignment, and because they are honorable men who have not STACKed ARMS, they know that there is nothing that the TICKET-PUNCHERs and RING-KNOCKERs of the KHAKI MAFIA can do to them!] Also, a pathway or highway for tracked or wheeled vehicles, including a roadway or route, trail or lane, passageway or byway, street or avenue, boulevard or thoroughfare, throughway or parkway, expressway or turnpike; see MACADAM, BUND, TAXIWAY, APRON, RAMP, RUNWAY, PSP, MARSDEN MATTING, MOBI-MAT, TWO-TRACK, JOHN WAYNE DRIVING SCHOOL. [v: blacktop, tarmac or tarmacadam; cf: laterite road] [nb: a 'boulevard' is a broad avenue (with landscaped areas at its sides or center) that's built on the site of a razed rampart]

with marching units, guards positioned to control or halt passing road traffic; with armor and MP units, escort duty for road traffic control and protection.

to walk a unit along a roadway, paved or not, so as to move them in good military order from one location (ie: start point) to another (ie: objective), while typically carrying full gear and individual weapons, without the use of trucks or other vehicles; as distinguished from dismounted maneuvers afield. See HUMPING THE RUCK, FORCE MARCH, ROUTE STEP, COUNTERMARCH, MARCH, REFUSE, HERRINGBONE, ORIENTEERING. [cf: picul]

Vietnam-era Military Police
Roadrunner patch
MP Roadrunner
informal name for road-clearing operations by TRACKed vehicles with the mission of preventing enemy/GUERRILLA interdiction of civil traffic and local byways. Also, nickname for ROAD GUARD escorts, especially armored-JEEP patrols by Military Police (MP). Also, INDIGenous soldiers dressed in enemy uniforms, with enemy arms and equipment, who travelled the communication and access trails established by the enemy, and deliberately encountered sentinels or couriers to gain information; sometimes surrendered HOI CHANH worked in their former area of operations. See EARTH ANGEL, KIT CARSON SCOUT. [nb: a similar program during WWII in the ETO operated by OSS was called "Sauerkraut" (word play: 'sour' + 'German')] [nb: during WWII, the German Brandenburg Division was composed of linguists who were specially trained to infiltrate foreign armies (eg: French, Italian, Russian, Dutch, Greek, etc) as impostors to perform SABOTAGE; "Brandenburger" trainees were tested on the effectiveness of their aculturated disguises in exercises called "Masquerade Balls"]


a reference to the April - November 1967 USMC campaign along Vietnam's Route 534 in the Que Son Valley (ICTZ / MR1) against an NVA division; so-called by allusion to Homer's Iliad.

any nominal distraction or minute vagary that can plausibly account for someone's failure to perform without mistake or error; any desperate excuse for imperfection, for a lapse in focus or dexterity, adroitness or proficiency, that's also expressed as "the roar of butterflies' wings", which seems to derive from "the butterfly effect". See NO EXCUSE, MEA CULPA, RATIONALE / RATIONALIZATION, WIGGLE ROOM, RIPPLE EFFECT, GAMBLER'S FALLACY, UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE, LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, BLACK SWAN EVENT. cf: "The breeze from the flutter of a butterfly's wings will create a storm in the next valley."]

a legendary English brigand of the 12th century, hero of many ballads, stories, and plays (eg: Piers Plowman, A Lytell Geste of Robyn Hode, Ivanhoe, The Once and Future King, etc), who robbed the rich to give to the poor; being a popular model of courage, generosity and justice in the tradition of English yeomanry, protecting women and children with chivalrous magnanimity, as well as being skilled in archery, he lived and presided over his band of followers (eg: Little John, Friar Tuck, Will Scarlet, Allan-a-Dale, Will Stutly, Maid Marian / Marion, etc) chiefly in Sherwood Forest (Nottinghamshire), Barnsdale (Yorkshire), and Plompton Park (Cumberland), where he sought asylum from his debts and outlawry. Reputedly born in Locksley (Nottingham) sometime during AD1160 as Robert Fitzooth, the Earl of Huntingdon, whence his wild and extravagant disposition led him into penury, then his assumed independent sovereignty set kings, judges, and magistrates against his defiance, bringing condemnation and unfulfilled reward; after a long career, he purportedly died of medical malpractice (an alleged betrayal) on 18 November 1247, and was interred under some trees at Kirkley nunnery in Yorkshire. Robin Hood became a stock figure in the MAY DAY plays and festivities. See BRIGANDAGE, FICTIONAL CHARACTER. [v: bandit, freebooter, brigand, pirate, buccaneer; cf: puckish Robin Goodfellow] [nb: "Many talk of Robin Hood who never shot with his bow, just as many have bragged of deeds in which they took no part." anonymous]

see note ("to sell Robin Hood's pennyworth") at BLACK MARKET, MIDNIGHT REQUISITION.

recurrent operational name for the 19-day field training exercise (FTX) that constitutes the "final exam" in SPECIAL FORCES qualification; being a 4-week block of training formally known as Phase V: Unconventional Warfare Culmination Exercise. Originating as FTXs designated "Cherokee Trail" or "Gobbler Woods" in its earliest years (then in the Chattahoochie National Forest of Georgia), it has since been conducted from Camp MacKall into Badin Lake and the Pigsah or Uwharrie National Forest to test the trainee's survival skills, UW tactics, GUERRILLA diplomacy, and military ethics in a hypothetical "Pineland" scenario that involves role-playing civilians and includes OPFORland aggressors. ROBIN SAGE is a problem-solving Field Training Exercise (FTX) where students put their knowledge and skills to use as student Special Forces teams. During this unconventional warfare (UW) exercise, the students are required to apply the lessons learned from previous months of Special Forces MOS training and field training to include survival and foreign language based scenarios. This exercise involves the students, counterinsurgent and guerrilla personnel (other casual service members), auxiliary personnel, and cadre. This scenario stresses realism as the student teams train a mock-guerilla force in a hostile environment using civilians in the surrounding community as the auxiliary. This exercise is conducted throughout 15 counties in south central North Carolina and covers approximately 50,000 square miles. By the conclusion of ROBIN SAGE, the students have been placed in situations where they were required to use MOS and leadership skills, language and cultural skills and their abilities were tested to work in adverse and ambiguous conditions. The ROBIN SAGE Internship Program enables select senior-level ROTC cadets to participate in "G" band linkup, sustainment, and combat operations with regular Army personnel, so as to practice leadership skills, mission planning, small unit tactics, air operations, basic field craft, communications, medicine, weapons and demolitions. See FTX, SF; compare GABRIEL. [nb: the "Robin Sage" designation has been attributed to both the association with the town of Robbins NC and to the name of an instructor, COL Jerry Sage, an OSS veteran]

any unmanned vehicle or pilotless craft; see BOT, DRONE, UAV, RPV, ROV, UUV. [cf: cyborg, android, automaton; v: humanoid, mannequin, homunculus, golem, Frankenstein's monster, yahoo (degraded brute), booboisie (H.L. Mencken), philistine] [nb: the word "robot" was coined by Karel Capek, the Czech playwright, in his 1920 R.U.R!, where it was used as a combining form (eg: "inrobota": compulsory labor; "robotník": a peasant owing compulsory labor; etc) to represent human enslavement to automation; Isaac Asimov later (1950) established the fundamental principles of robotics ("The three laws of robotics: 1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the first law. 3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second law.")] Also, any automated mechanism or replicating algorithm, especially malware (eg: worm, sniffer, spoof, etc); see CYBERWAR, INFORMATION WARFARE, DATA MINING, NETRUSION, DISINFORMATION.

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

1928 flag of the Republic of
Rep of China
acronym for Range Of Capabilities, being that knowledge and those skills, including weapons expertise and launch mobility, cultural orientation and foreign language facility, that a unit may exhibit in the execution of its assigned mission; those integral capacities which qualify a particular unit for a specific assignment; see MIL-CRAFT, TICKET, RATING, CROSS-TRAINING, CAPABILITY, COURSE OF ACTION, FIELD EXPEDIENT, STRAP-HANGER. Also, acronym for Required Operational Capability. Also, Republic of China, or Nationalist China (CHINAT), established in 1949 on Formosa/Taiwan (commonly known as the "little Tiger"); compare PRC. [nb: the official history of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) notes that Vietnamese communist forces acted as MERCENARY rebels across the border in southern China so as to monopolize elements of the Kuomintang army, enabling Maoist revolutionaries to elude the remainder, thus preventing a Nationalist Chinese (CHINAT) victory]

abbreviation for the Remote Operations Control Center, being a facility handling many unmanned aircraft or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV); see BOT, DRONE. [nb: in 2009, the UAV operators were granted "flight status" for their remote guidance (ie: "piloting") of these drones while positioned a continent away from the target area, making them eligible for both Air Medals (AM) and supplemental flight proficiency pay; and in 2012, the US Air Force presented the first Medal of Honor awarded since the Vietnam War to the remote pilot of an unmanned aerial vehicle supporting ground combat operations in Afghanistan]

a time or place of challenge or difficulty that offers few (if any) options requiring a "do or die" performance, as "You're between a rock and a hard place!"; a situation reminiscent of the two equal dangers of Scylla and Charybdis [v: Homer, Horace], and commonly known as a "nut crunch". This untenable situation may also be referred to as "fish or cut bait". Compare BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK; see GONE SOUTH, BITE THE DUST. [v: sundering the "Pillars of Hercules" (Calpe and Abyla)]

referent for Guam; an unincorporated US territorial possession in the Mariana Islands. Also, referent for the 2 square mile island of Corregidor in Manila Bay, formally known as Fort Mills, where American and Filipino forces surrendered to Japan in May 1942; which is also called the "Gibraltar of the East". Also, informal Marine Corps reference to Naval Station Guantanamo (NSGTMO), which is commonly called the "Pearl Harbor of the Atlantic"; see GITMO. Also, informal Navy SEAL reference to San Clemente Island, a nature preserve off the California coast, where some land warfare training and field exercises are conducted.

a telemeter for gathering data on the atmosphere at very high altitudes, carried aloft by rocket and returned to earth by parachute; derived as a blend of rocket + sonde.

a slow-burning incendiary that was difficult to extinguish, as used to set fire to buildings and ships during the American CIVIL WAR; known by Confederates as "fire stone", it was composed of rosin, sulphur, nitre, regulus of antimony, and turpentine that was contained in paper cylinders with a primer, which was borne by cannon shell onto its target for a fiery effect. Compare GREEK FIRE; see NAPALM, FLAMETHROWER, PHOUGAS, MOLOTOV COCKTAIL, ZIPPO, FAE, WP, THERMITE, COCKTAIL. [v: pyromachy]

(forthcoming); motto of 3rd Inf Div [nb: 3rd Inf Div mascot of bulldog called "Rocky the Marne Dog" by Walt Disney (1942); song entitled "Dogface Soldier" by Bert Gold and Ken Hart (1942)]

firing of weapons on full automatic; the kill ratio to expended AMMO during the VIETNAM WAR was about 20,000 rounds per enemy kill; see SPRAY, BUSTING CAPS, HOSE, HAPPY FIRE, MAD MINUTE, BLIND FIRE, FLOCK SHOOT; compare BURST, DOUBLE TAP. Also, a sardonic expression used to relate self-protective disassociation, as "It's all just rock 'n' roll."; see XIN LOI, CHECK IT OUT, FIDO, SHIT HAPPENS, AMF, ROTS O' RUCK. [nb: various phrases have been used by 20th century combatants for protective disassociation from epiphenomena, including: "There it is.", "It don't mean nuthin'.", "Too damn bad.", "Tough shit.", "It ain't nuthin'.", and "It's just a thing."; the latter appears in "The Rescue" by Joseph Conrad (1920)]

US Army Master Sergeant
Army MSG
USMC Master Sergeant
Marine MSG
USAF Senior Master Sergeant
Air Force SMG
the curved stripe beneath the triple chevrons of an Army or Marine sergeant's RANK that indicates RATINGs between E-6 and E-9; Staff Sergeant (3 chevrons + 1 rocker), Sergeant First Class (3 chevrons + 2 rockers), Master Sergeant (3 chevrons + 3 rockers). Air Force and Navy chevrons are inverted so the "rocker" that 'caps' these stripes is also inverted. Between WWI and WWII, when the military budget was minuscule and promotions were impossible, ROCKERs were added to lower rate chevrons to represent enhanced skill and increased authority ... a PFC with four ROCKERs wasn't a CPL, but he wasn't just a PFC anymore either! See BIRD UMBRELLA, SPEC, SARGE, CHIEF, GUNNY, TOP, NCO.


any projectile that is steered onto its objective or target after launch; compare "fire-and-forget" MISSILE; see HIGH ANGLE HELL, IN-COMING, MISSILE, ROCKET BELT, RPG, RPG SCREEN, BAZOOKA, LAW, RR, SALVO, VOLLEY, DRUMFIRE, DOODLEBUG, TURN TURTLE, WP, DRAGON, LOSAT, TOW, SMAW, HEAA, HEDP, FOG-M, MIRV, MLRS, EGADS BUTTON. [nb: documents from AD 1412 in Chinese archives discuss the techniques and tactics for launching rocket assisted arrows (called "eruptors"), fire-arrows, and rocket launched pellet bombs at ranges from 100yds to 1000yds, being fired as a soldier's individual weapon or from a wheelbarrow as a mobile platform.] [v: the Congreve rocket was first employed in the War of 1812, and is memorialized in The Star Spangled Banner: "the rockets' red glare"; cf: Roman candle]

the enemy zone encircling a BASE CAMP or locality from which large-caliber (122mm and 140mm) enemy MISSILE attacks could be launched.

from LAW and BAZOOKA to TOW and DRAGON; see ROCKET, compare MISSILE.

a thermite Cluster Bomb Unit (CBU) used to incinerate the target.

a euphemism for solid information or reliable intelligence (INTEL) that's been received from a dependable and irrefutable source, being a true account that's absolutely trustworthy ... a phenomenon so rare as to be practically nonexistent! See POOP, HOT-SHIT, THE WORD, scoop, skinny, GOUGE, DOPE, GREEN GREASE, A-OK, ACEY-DEUCY; compare CHICKEN FEED, CHATTER, NOISE, MUSIC, CROSS-TALK, STATIC, CONFETTI, RUMOR, SPIN, DIRTY LAUNDRY, BIG LIE, DISINFORMATION, GHOST TURD.

a rocket probe launched from a balloon at high altitude for the collection of scientific data; derived (1950) as a blend of ROCKet + ballOON.

nickname for Nam Ha and Ba Sao (literally three stars) (geo: 20 33 24N 105 47 30E; UTM: 48QWH82607310), site of major NVN prison camp for captive allied population; also known as Noi Coc, Camp B. Dates US POWs present: 21 Jun 71 to 14 Feb 73. The Ministry of Public Security (now Ministry of Interior) administered this camp; which was located about 35 kilometers south of Hanoi, and about 15 kilometers west of Phu Ly town. About 10-12 American POWs were held in a small COMPOUND separated from the Vietnamese prisoners also housed there. Two or three American POWs briefly escaped from this camp. See POW. Also, slang reference for a Marine defensive position near ConTien in I CTZ.

a technique for landing a BOAT CREW or other small TEAM, together with all their weapons and equipment, onto a rocky shore by BOAT without detection for the conduct of military operations farther inland; this training DRILL or EVOLUTION is practiced at night under tactical conditions, so is consequently dangerous just as an elemental exercise. Unlike a beach landing, where currents assist the landing, and movement into the dunes is relatively simple, the waves work against stability in a ROCK PORTAGE, and climbing is complicated by slippery wetness and chilling cold as well as by impenetrable darkness. Although SEALs and MARINES specialize in amphibious landings, the Army includes small watercraft insertion (INFIL) and extraction (EXFIL) in select specialty training (eg: Jungle Warfare, Mountain Warfare, etc). In SEAL training at BUDS, this simulation is used to harass and demoralize the students. see SUGAR COOKIE, SURF TORTURE, WHISTLE DRILL, PUPPY PILE, HELL WEEK, TADPOLE, FROGMAN, UDT, PUP, BUDS, SEAL, NSWG, BUDWEISER.

Naval slang for the Articles for the Governance of the U.S. Navy; otherwise known as the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). See BLUE BOOK, CAPTAIN'S MAST, BRIG, THE CASTLE, KEELHAUL, OFFICE HOURS, DRUMHEAD, MASTER-AT-ARMS, BREAK SHIP, DON'T ASK - DON'T TELL, WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' BADGES. Also, shallow water containing hazards to surface navigation; compare BANK.

colloquial expression meaning to cause trouble or upset routine; often phrased in a negative injunction, as "Don't ROCK THE BOAT!". Similar phrase "make waves" has same meaning. Compare HARD-AND-FAST.


see RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, being the procedures and restrictions on the proper conduct of a combat operation.

understand/understood, being a procedure word (PROWORD) used in radio/telephone procedure (RTP) to make voice communications more concise and clear; the letter 'R' originated as the MORSE CODE abbreviation for "received" that acquired the 'Roger' designation from the 1939 PHONETIC ALPHABET (FM24-5), with the 'acknowledged' extended to mean 'understood', which is mutually exclusive with 'will comply' (WILCO).

in military parlance, someone who's not a "team player", someone with too much initiative; being anyone who exhibits unorthodox methods or unconventional thinking, as an individualist or singular, heterodox or iconoclast. Although the military prizes conformity, it (reluctantly) accepts abnormal solutions whenever they're successful, but often resentfully, and never when exceptionalism has failed. Non-school and "outside the box" options are most often tolerated in SPECIAL FORCES, PSYOPS, and INTEL. MILICRATs usually discourage ROGUEs from promotion or retention during peacetime, but "America needs her bastards during war!" ... the ones who don't "play by the rules". The civilian definition of a 'rogue' (dishonest scoundrel; inferior specimen) is intolerable to military mores, and therefore subject to punishment and dismissal. See ASYMMETRIC WARFARE GROUP, ANTI-TERRORISM, UW, SOF; compare MAVERICK, PALACE GUARD. [cf: irregular, eccentric, quixotic, anomalous, heretical, schismatic]

a very popular type of underworld writing in the 16th and 17th centuries, which is often confessional and vividly descriptive, providing a resource for everyday common life and its language, as well as for the canting terms of thieves and beggars. It relates early attempts at autobiography, fiction, jest-book (merry tales and pleasant conceits) and folk hero stories, including Caveat for Commen Cursetors by Thomas Harman (1567), Hye Way to the Spyttel House by R. Copland, and pamphlets on 'coneycatching' (the deception of innocents) by R. Greene. See SAMIZDAT, CENSORSHIP.

a derisive tune played to accompany a person's expulsion from a regiment or similar organization; also known as "drumming-out ceremony". See CASHIER, DISMISS, FACE THE MUSIC, DRUM, BEATERS 'n' BLEATERS, TOOTER.


informal reference to the insertion of a distinctively different yarn into the ROPEs and LINEs of cordage so as to identify the manufacturer in case of defect, or to identify the source in case of theft; also called "identification thread", being a strand of yarn of a distinctively different color, fiber or twist, unique to each producer, that's introduced along the full length of ROPEs and CORDs sold to the military. See PARA-CORD, SPAGHETTI, LANYARD, GUY, SHOCK CORD, HIGHLINE, TYROLEAN TRAVERSE, HEAVING LINE, GANTLINE, STIRRUP, BOLTROPE, FOOTROPE, RATLINE, SHROUD, LET-DOWN ROPE, TOWLINE, HAWSER.

Republic of Korea flag
(rock) Republic of Korea or South Korea ground combat troops, such as soldiers and marines (KMC); usually referred to as ROKs (rocks). South Korea deployed the Capital and Ninth Infantry Divisions in South Vietnam. See ROKA, ROKFV, KATUSA, KANZUS, FWF, ASEAN, SEATO, BLUE HOUSE. [nb: the USA subsidized the salaries of ROK troops serving in the VIETNAM WAR, so that their pay-scale matched the American pay-grade, which was about twenty times higher than normal]

(row-kah) Republic of Korea Army; see PMAG, KATUSA, compare NKPA.

Republic of Korea Forces Vietnam

axial plunge, swaying or rocking, as of a ship's alternating side to side, PORT to STARBOARD movement; see CAREEN, CRAB, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, compare PITCH, YAW, HEAVE, ATHWART. [cf: heel, list]

the CODENAME designation given to the sustained air operations against North Vietnam from March 1965 through November 1968; see STEEL TIGER, SEA DRAGON, compare FLAMING DART.


informal referent for the traditional round-bottomed Japanese doll (OKIAGARI-KOBOSHI) that symbolizes perseverance and resilience as a national character trait; so-called after anything that's short and plumply round, such as a young animal ... seemingly derived from 'rowle-powle" (a worthless fellow). Also, a Briticism for a pastry made of BISCUIT dough that's spread with jam or jelly, then rolled up and steamed or baked; see SINKER, DOUGHNUT.

acronym for Radio Operator Maintenance And Driver; imitative of "nomad".

a riotous public disturbance, often marked by wanton destruction and licentiousness; see PILLAGE, PLUNDER, SPOILS OF WAR, RANSACK, HAVOC, SOUVENIR, SURPLUS KILL, OVERKILL, NOT ONE STONE LEFT UPON ANOTHER, KNOCK INTO A COCKED HAT, COUP DE PIED DE L'ANE. [aka: satan's carnival, devil's carnival, Beelzebub's festival, Belial's bonfire, Cloot's celebration, feast of fools, Old Nick's gala, Old Harry's sideshow, a circus for Old Scratch, a circus for the Prince of Darkness] Also, pleasure or entertainment obtained from the discomfort or suffering of others; schadenfreude. [nb: "In the misfortunes of our best friends we always find something not altogether displeasing to us." by François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld (1665); "I am convinced that we have a degree of delight, and that no small one, in the real misfortunes and pains of others." by Edmund Burke; "Depend upon it that if a man talks of his misfortunes there is something in them that is not disagreeable to him." by Samuel Johnson (1780); "Friends love misery, in fact. Sometimes, especially if we are too lucky or too successful or too pretty, our misery is the only thing that endears us to our friends." by Erica Jong (1977); "... whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished." Proverbs 17:5 NIV Bible]

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

a large bulldozer (D7E Caterpillar), sized about the same as a 60-ton main battle tank (MBT) but operated by only one crewmember, fitted with a specially mounted oversized blade, used for heavy-duty earth-moving and to clear forest or jungle, in order to deny sanctuary to the enemy and to facilitate operational access (eg: DOZER INFANTRY); this designation is a toponym from its place of manufacture in Rome Georgia, also called "hog-jaw". Compare RHINO, HY-X.

WWII slang for the passive defenses constructed for the denial of probable landing or drop zones (LZ/DZ) used by GLIDERs and PARATROOPERs, named in honor of German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel; being poles erected vertically in open areas, often tied together by wires and mined at their bases. Similar defenses were constructed in the highland clearings of SVN to deny AIRBORNE and AIR ASSAULT access. Compare PIGSTICKER.

a person, group, vehicle, or vessel that has moved so far ahead of its unit or formation that it is unable to rejoin its element before nightfall; compare STRAGGLER, UA; see COMBAT SPREAD.

Remain OverNight, being a night setup position, usually a fall-back position selected and scouted earlier, and sometimes called "Rest Over Night" or "Night Location" (NL); such a small unit overnight position is known as a "harbor site" by Marine and Naval personnel. This phrase is also used by aircrew members, in the same way that civilians use "layover" or "stopover", whenever an unplanned delay prevents their scheduled Return To Base (RTB) on the same day or sequence (EVOLUTION). See LAAGER, COLD CAMP, SPIKE, NDP, PERIMETER. [cf: line camp, shelter camp]

USCG Squadron One. RONTHREE or RON3: larger Coast Guard vessels assigned off-shore patrol work.

the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, including RUNWAY and APRON. The crew of a flight deck includes: "red shirts"= weaponry / ordnance; "white shirts"= safety; "blue shirts"= un-/secure (tie, CHOCK); "purple shirts"= fuel / POL; "green shirts"= launch / catapult; "brown shirts"= plane captain (control); "yellow shirts"= direct movement [v: PADDLES]. See FLATTOP, TAILHOOK, BURBLE.

the practice of warning any potentially innocent inhabitants in a target area of an impending airstrike upon a building or other structure that may be occupied and that is believed to contain military materials or armaments; a practice introduced by Israel (2006), this overflight delivering a non-explosive (eg: sound bomb, smoke bomb, etc) or low-yield device (putting the pilot and his aircraft at extreme jeopardy) is a humane gesture amidst a combat zone without mutually respected rules of engagement (ROE) and without distinct boundaries, and has since been adopted by other allied coalition forces in GULF WAR II; compare WARNING SHOT, CLEARED HOT, BUZZ, FLAT-HATTING, SNAP ROLL, NOE, CONTOUR FLYING. [v: human shield]

a catch-phrase expressive of enough space (especially aboard ship) to hang a rogue (the putative 'cat') who will caper or cavort at the end of the rope, who will perform the "dance of death" (danse macabre); although widely misunderstood, this expression does not mean to flog with a cat-o'-nine-tails WHIP. See LET THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG, OVER A BARREL, FIGHT LIKE KILKENNY CATS.

advanced in 1905 by Theodore Roosevelt, it is more precisely identified as the ROOSEVELT COROLLARY to the MONROE DOCTRINE, and asserts that the United States has the right to intervene in affairs of Latin American nations whenever they are politically or economically so unstable as to threaten American interests. Earlier (1895), when Grover Cleveland directed England to settle a boundry dispute with Venezuela, he proclaimed that "Today the United States is practically sovereign on this continent, and its fiat is law upon the subjects to which it confines its interposition." Later (1961), John F. Kennedy would recapitulate by asserting "And let every other power know that this hemisphere intends to remain master of its own house." Just as Thomas Jefferson betrayed his stated ISOLATIONISM with England and Spain, so T. Woodrow Wilson, who repudiated the ROOSEVELT COROLLARY in 1913, made incursions into Latin America and WWI. See JUST CAUSE, URGENT FURY, BANANA WARS, GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY, CONTAINMENT, INTERVENTIONISM, GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY, PRESIDENTIAL DOCTRINE, NATION BUILDING.

catch-phrase signifying the seaport of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, and the 1983-4 Multinational Peacekeeping mission headquartered there, as used by sentries and CA DRONEs, WONKs and PUKEs, REMFs and CLERKS 'n' JERKS to imply 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, UP-CLOSE 'n' PERSONAL, CANDY-ASS, WANNABE; compare THE NAM, THE MED, THE GULF, THE MOG, ABSURDISTAN, THE STANS. [nb: under the EISENHOWER DOCTRINE of aiding nations that resist communism, US Marines were dispatched to Lebanon in July 1958; subsequent to the 1982 Israeli intervention in the Lebanese CIVIL WAR, a Multinational Peacekeeping Force was located in Beirut; in April 1983 the U.S. embassy was bombed, and the U.S. Marine and French paratrooper barracks were bombed on 23 October 1983; the Multinational Peacekeeping Force withdrew from Lebanon in February 1984, and in May 2003, U.S. District Court judge Royce C. Lamberth declared that the Islamic Republic of Iran was responsible for the 1983 attacks] [nb: Beirut (1982-84): 266 battle deaths] [nb: as with other Arab-Israeli wars (eg: 1967 6-Day War and 1973 Yom Kippur War), the 1982 War began with an air raid, launched by Palestinian guerrillas from their Lebanon base in 1978, causing Israel to send occupation forces to defend their border, but intermittent fighting continued even after the intervention of UN peacekeepers, so in 1982, Israel finally launched an attack to destroy all of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) bases, compelling the Muslim rebels to evacuate southern Lebanon under a US-sponsored plan; Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 1985 but continues to police a buffer zone north of its border]

a precept or admonition to either encourage (root) and finish (hog) or to perish (die) in the attempt; also punctuated as "root, hog, or die"; see WATCH MY SMOKE, DIEHARD, LAST STAND, BRING SMOKE, ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH, TAKE IT ON THE CHIN, STORM, STAND ONE'S GROUND, RISKY-SHIFT EFFECT, WETSU, FIDO, BATTLE CRY, ESPRIT DE CORPS, SIGNATURE. [nb: an alternative interpretation of this expression posits that "You should root for us as we hog our way in or die under us as we overrun you!", that is: "You should either support us, help us succeed, or we'll kill you!"; both of which meanings are in contrast to the definition alleged by most etymologists from the phrase "Root, little hog, or die.", which asserts a "fend for yourself" theme of self-reliance, from an old ballad: "Oh, I went to Californy in the spring of Seventy-six, Oh, when I landed there I wuz in a terrible fix. I didn't have no money my victuals for to buy, And the only thing for me was to root, hog, or die."]

any type of LINE (eg: kernmantle, laid [CABLE], braid [riata = rawhide rope], plait [lariat = grass rope], twine) that can be used to attach, connect, tether, secure, restrain, haul, lift, or perform any other useful purpose; see LINE, LANYARD, CORD, PARA-CORD, SHROUD, RATLINE, SPAGHETTI, GUY, TOWLINE, HAWSER, HALYARD, STATIC LINE, SHOCK CORD, ROGUE'S YARN, KNOT, EYE, FALL, HARD-AND-FAST, BELAY, RAPPEL, McGUIRE RIG, STABO, JACOB'S LADDER, HIGHLINE, ROPE BRIDGE, LET-DOWN ROPE. [v: Climbing Terms] Also, slang for any looped or hanging CORD, FOURRAGERE, AIGUILLETTE, or LANYARD that's worn at or around the shoulder of a military uniform; such ornamentation typically represents an award or decoration, a badge of merit or distinction, a symbol of office or duty assignment; see SHOULDER KNOT, CORDON, CONTRAFOIL. Also, metonymic MarSpeak for a female drill instructor (DI) from the wearing of a characteristic crimson AIGUILLETTE or shoulder CORD on the left side of her uniform as a mark of distinction while training women recruits, until the October 1996 adoption of the CAMPAIGN COVER, matching her male counterpart; compare CORDON, LANYARD, FOURRAGERE, CONTRAFOIL, SHOULDER KNOT. Also, hyperbolic slang for an untidy string or thread hanging from some part of the uniform; called "Irish pennants" in the Navy; see STRAC, SQUARED AWAY, SHIPSHAPE, GIG, TURD. Also, slang for marijunana, as to "smoke a rope", due to ropes having once been made from hemp; see CAN SA.

a temporary traverse, using one (.), two (I), or three (V) strands of rope with a retrievable tension-knot (eg: butterfly knot), for small unit crossings of difficult or time-consuming water courses or ravines; also called "swing bridge" or "hanging bridge". Derived from ancient Chinese catenary or suspension-arch bridges, where ROPE BRIDGES with bamboo slides or cradles have existed in China and Tibet (Xizang) since AD20; and by technomigration in the Andes from ca1290. The relative tensile strength of ROPE BRIDGE materials is: hemp @8,000psi; bamboo @26,000psi; silk @65,000psi; steel cable @256,000psi. See LINE, BELAY, RAPPEL, JUNGLE EXPERT, BUSHMASTER; compare AVLB, BAILEY BRIDGE, PONTOON BRIDGE, BRIDGE RATING, TREADWAY BRIDGE, ROUTE STEP, TYROLEAN TRAVERSE, HIGHLINE.

a euphemism for hanging or lynching, as the cure-all for detrimental criminality, antagonistic opposition, and other forms of antisocial behavior; the necessary excision of a defective or diseased part from the body politic; see HANG, LYNCH, REGULATOR, VIGILANCE COMMITTEE, DRUMHEAD, PROVOST COURT, ONE SIZE FITS ALL, ROOM TO SWING A CAT, LET THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG, STRANGE FRUIT, CHRISTMAS TREE, TWIST IN THE WIND.

slang expression for the North Vietnamese TORTURE, sometimes called the "jet plane", consisting of binding the prisoner's limbs into a contorted posture, which interrupted circulation and dislocated joints, eventually causing permanent impairment. See TORTURE, BRAINWASHING, PAIN, CODE OF CONDUCT, POW. [v: bastinado, strappado; cf: rope dance at GALLOW'S HUMOR] [nb: a TRICK, but not to be confused with HAT TRICK]

(row-row) Roll-On / Roll-Off, prepacked and sealed shipping containers that are designed to be rapidly on-loaded onto and off-loaded from a seagoing vessel so as to expedite the transference of cargo. Also, the seagoing ship (MPS) optimally configured to accept these containers, typically on-loaded from one end and off-loaded from the other end. See CONTAINERIZATION.


a device intended to create a bright and cheerful outlook, especially an overly optimistic or unrealistic apprehension; this affectation was worn as part of the countercultural costumery by male and female 'flower children' so as to invoke an atmosphere of peace and goodwill. See TIE-DYE, LOVE BEADS, DAISY CHAIN, FREE LOVE, FLOWER CHILD, PACIFIST, HIPPIE; compare PERCEPTUAL BIAS, REALPOLITIK. [nb: the formulaic mantra of self-affirming positive thought that's inculcated by rote amongst all right-thinking do-gooders is: "Every day, in every way, things are getting better and better." by Emile Coue / Émile Coué ... which is also represented as: "Day by day, in every way, things are getting better and better."]


any stage for public speaking, as derived from the speaker's platform in the ancient Roman forum, which was decorated with the prows of ships captured from Volscian Antium in 338BC; also known as dais, proscenium, podium, stand, pulpit, soapbox, stump; and is differentiated from a lectern or bookstand. Also, any beaklike projection, such as the ram on the PROW of ancient WARSHIPs; as derived from "snout"; see BOW, STEM, CUTWATER, SHARP END; compare PULPIT.

an airfoil that rotates around an approximately vertical axis, as that supporting an autogiro or HELICOPTER in flight; compare FIXED-WING, SWING-WING, TILT-WING; see BIRD.

the rotation of 25% or more of a unit within a 30-day period, also known as HUMP; compare INFUSION.

Army R.O.T.C. patch
(r-oh-te-see or rot-see) Reserve Officer's Training Corps; a course of programmed military instruction and preparation coincident with undergraduate education, culminating in a commission in a branch of the Armed Forces [later, Uniformed Services] upon college graduation. Women were admitted to the ROTC commissioning program in 1972; ROTC is also known as "Rotten Old Turds Club". See OCS, CADET, RING-KNOCKER, BOAT SCHOOL, HUDSON HIGH, ZOO / ZOOMIE, USMMA, USCGA, CONAP, ACASP, DEP, ROBIN SAGE, UP OR OUT. [nb: the preparation of "citizen soldier" leadership was augmented by the Land-Grant College Act, based upon a 1783 proposal by New York Governor George Clinton, and augmented by proposals from Alden Partridge (1841), and Jonathan B. Turner (1851), submitted by Vermont Congressman Justin Smith Morrill, in December 1861 and signed into law on 2 July 1862, which mandated military training as supplemental to higher agricultural and industrial education in state supported institutions, which had little effect, due to inconsistent standards and restricted resources, until after WWI. States endowed by Morrill Act land grants were required to establish at least one college: "where the leading object shall be without excluding other scientific and classical studies, and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, in such manner as the legislatures of the States may respectively prescribe, in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life." As a result of General Leonard Wood's reformative Plattsburgh Movement, the drill formations became a reserve force, including ROTC officers authorized by the 1916 and 1920 National Defense Acts and the 1935 Thomason Act. Subsequent to the 1948 Selective Service Act (incl "Distinguished Graduate" program) and the ROTC Vitalization Act of 1964, the ROTC was transferred, effective 1 July 1966, from Reserve Components, and was conjoined with OCS and Academy commissioning criteria effective 1 January 1967. From 1969, in response to collegiate anti-war sentiment, the ROTC program was more generalized and de-militarized, producing well educated youths of good character, who would learn their practical military skills while on active duty in the Armed Forces.] [v: Military Schools] [v: Siwash ("At Good Old Siwash" by George Helgeson Fitch (1911)] [v: "What happens in school stays in school!"]

an oscillating hospital bed that's used in the treatment of a variety of neurological conditions wherein the patient must be kept still and in bodily alignment, with the patient being kept in place with a system of belts and specially designed pillows and packs; the bed can rock slowly back and forth, thereby preventing some hazards of immobility. Also known as "Roto Rest treatment table", this trademarked oscillating bed is a proprietary product of Kinetic Concepts of San Antonio, TX.

nickname for a helicopter PILOT or crewmember; also called "prop head", as related to the propeller-topped beanie [v: JEEP CAP, WATCH CAP] worn by children, college freshmen, fraternity pledges, and "brain fan" pixilates. See CHOPPER, WOBBLY, WOP, PROP JOCKEY, Q-COURSE, GOOD STICK. [nb: a BULLETPROOF pilot's braggadocio is often expressed as "big sky, little bullet"; v: GOLDEN BB, MAGIC BULLET]


a sardonic expression used to disclose disbelief, convey contempt, or relate self-protective disassociation; although uttered in a fake Japanese pronunciation (lots of luck), this phrase does not derive from America's mid-20th century involvement in Asia, as is commonly believed, but is a corruption of the earlier American expression "rot the luck", which has been common in the military since the CIVIL WAR. See XIN LOI, CHECK IT OUT, FIDO, SHIT HAPPENS, AMF. [nb: various phrases have been used by 20th century combatants for protective disassociation from epiphenomena, including: "There it is.", "It don't mean nuthin'.", "Too damn bad.", "It's all just rock 'n' roll.", "Tough shit.", "It ain't nuthin'.", and "It's just a thing."; the latter appears in "The Rescue" by Joseph Conrad (1920)]



by extension of the allusion to putrid decay, anyone or anything that's bad or corrupt, unreliable or unsatisfactory, contemptible or despicable; being a rot that's not limited to the surface, but is deep and thorough; this colloquialism is sometimes (mis-)represented as "rotten to the corps" [eg: "She was loyal to the regiment but rotten to the corps!"]. Compare CORE VALUES, MORAL COURAGE, HONOR CODE, CODE OF CONDUCT, CREED, OATH, TRADITION, TOE THE LINE, KEEP THE FAITH, STRAIGHT ARROW. [nb: "A goodly apple rotten at the heart: O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!"; "An evil soul producing holy witness Is like a villain with a smiling cheek, A goodly apple rotten at the heart."] [v: rotter]

classic reference to horseshoes set with protruding nails or points that were used by cavalry to injure or kill foot soldiers by riding over them, but term also applies to hobnail studded FOOTWEAR, from Hittite sandals through colonial American shoes to JUNGLE BOOTS, which ruggedness and traction gave the wearer an advantage over a less well shod opponent. Also, harsh treatment, especially for personal advancement. [cf: ice-caulking; v: crampon]

an informal reference to violence, especially unnecessary violence that "breaks the rules"; see PLAY THE GAME, PISSING CONTEST, TRAIN HARD FIGHT EASY, GAMBIT, WILD CARD, ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, BATRACHOMYOMACHIA. Also, blatant vulgarity or obscenity; see EXPLETIVE, GODDAM, BAD-MOUTH, TALK TRASH, BLOW SMOKE, OATH.

a small wheel-like device with sharp teeth that's used to make perforations, short cuts, or impress marks so as to facilitate the consistent separation of segments, parts, or pages (eg: bursting tractor-feed margins on printer paper). Also, a small wheel, subdivided into distinct sections or compartments, that serves as the basis for games of chance whenever the disk is spun against some form of marker; gambling on such happenstance may offer variable odds of payoff for different elements that are hypothetically commensurate; see GAME THEORY, PLAY THE GAME, BATRACHOMYOMACHIA, WAR GAMES.

slang term used by American soldiers to describe another American or an individual of European descent, especially females; see ANGEL, SALLY, DOUGHNUT DOLLY, PIRATE'S DREAM, CAMP FOLLOWER, CAMPAIGN WIFE, DRAG, DISTAFF, SKIRT.

a letter, notice, or the like, circulated from person to person in a group, often with individual comments being added by each; see CIRCULAR, CIRCULAR LETTER. Also, a petition, remonstrance, or the like, having the signatures arranged in circular form so as to disguise the order of signing. Also, a sequence or series. Also, a tournament wherein all of the entrants play each other at least once, with failure to win a contest not resulting in elimination; see PARCOURSE, EXERCISE, WAR GAMES.

any overwhelming or decisive defeat, often attended by disorderly flight, as when dispersed in such defeat and disorderly flight [nb: frenzy, phrenitis, panic, and hysteria are civilian reactions that are contrary to good order and discipline]; see DEFEAT, RETROGRADE, RETREAT, CHANGING TUNE, BAILOUT, COUNTERMARCH, BEAT FEET, HAUL-ASS, DESERTER, TRAITOR, TURNCOAT. Also, any tumultuous or disorderly crowd of persons, especially a disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons acting together in a manner that suggests an intention to riot; see RIOT ACT, STORM, STURM UND DRANG, FLAP, HOOPLA, DUTCH CONCERT, BEAR GARDEN. Also, a large party or gathering of people, a GAGGLE or band; as derived from "break", as of a fraction or detachment.

a course or way used for passage, especially one regularly traveled. Also, the customary path following an itinerary in the regular performance of one's duties. Also, to fix or forward, select or direct along a specific line or particular passage. [nb: "Just because you're lost doesn't mean you can't explore -- unanticipated bypasses and unexpected detours are always more interesting than 'the best laid plan' for any journey. Remember that the word 'travel' derives from 'travail'." paraphrase of Clara Bensen]

the military command for a formation to "march out of step", as when in field conditions or when crossing bridges; formerly "break step". See QUICK TIME, DOUBLE TIME, CADENCE, STUTTER-STEP, FORCE MARCH, ROAD MARCH.

a regular course of action or customary procedure, especially those that are unvarying or rote; routine procedures, through their sequence of cross-checks and fail-safes, are designed to prevent errors; see DRILL, THE BIBLE, MANUAL OF ARMS, BY THE BOOK, SOP, CUT-AND-DRIED, CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, SCRIPTURES. Also, any habitual practice or unimaginative procedure that's uniform or consistent, predictable or presumptive, which is a lethal formula for disaster on the battlefield; see PRIMROSE PATH, LAW OF AVERAGES, GAMBLER'S FALLACY, BOYDLOOP, PARADIGM SHIFT, BOX HEAD, MILITARY MIND, BRASSBOUND, HIDEBOUND. Also, a formulaic set of instructions directing the performance of a specific task, such as a recipe or subroutine; see FATIGUE, EVOLUTION, DUTY. [nb: "No combat-ready unit has ever passed a white-glove inspection! ... and no spit-and-polish unit has ever 'passed' combat." a Murphy Law of Combat]

Remotely Operated Vehicle, being an unmanned submersible that is piloted by remote control; almost universally nicknamed "rover". Compare AUV, SDV, MINISUB. [cf: bathyscape/bathyscaphe]

see ROV.

RP :
Reference Point, a prearranged map coordinate assigned a CODEWORD, used as a quick and simple method of sending plotted locations as related to any fixed particular. Because the enemy monitors Allied transmissions, and RPs are retained for an entire operation, the RP can be deduced by provocative activity, and the positions of other units can then be inferred without further surveillance. The slower method of KAK encryption is much more effective. The Navy designation for an RP is "bulls eye", but has sometimes been erroneously designated a "geographic checkpoint". See GRID COORDINATES, GRID LINES, AZIMUTH, COMICS, DEAD-RECKONING, compare WAY POINT, RV, RALLY POINT, VOR. Also, abbreviation for Religious Programs, being a Navy enlisted specialist responsible for assisting chaplains of all faiths with their ministrations ... this chaplain's aide is not recognized as an exempted non-combatant; see GOD SQUAD, HUG SQUAD, HOLY HELO, FOXHOLE CONVERSION, ARMY CHRISTIAN, PRAYER, SKY PILOT.

Ruchnoi Pulyemet Degtyarova, a Soviet-made belt-fed light machinegun (LMG) firing 7.62mm LINK AMMO; having many parts interchangeable with the KALASHNIKOV AK-47, it was superseded (ca1961) by the RPK, or "Kalashnikov hand-held machine gun". See 7.62 MINIS; compare PIG / NUMBER SIXTY.

Rocket-Propelled Grenade, being a Chinese- or Russian-made rocket launcher and its high-explosive ammunition (eg: RPG2, RPG7, RPG9, B-40, etc); this man-portable and shoulder-fired rocket is used against armored vehicles (AT) and fortifications; compare RR, LAW, BAZOOKA, GRENADE, MISSILE. [v: panzerfaust] Also, an abbreviation for Role Playing Games, which are either historical REENACTMENTs or simulated WAR GAMES.

chain link fence erected as a protective barrier around a valuable position to protect it from rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attack, by causing the enemy rocket to explode on the fence, and not on the protected building, bunker, etc. See SCREEN, GRILLE.

Ruchnoi Pulemyot Kalashnikova / Ruchnoy Pulemyot Kalashnikova, or "Kalashnikov hand-held machine gun", being a Soviet-made belt-fed light machinegun (LMG) firing 7.62mm LINK AMMO; it replaced the earlier RPD light machinegun.

Rounds Per Minute; see CYCLIC RATE. Also, Revolutions Per Minute. [v: torque, tachometer]

Remotely Piloted Vehicle, being a radio-controlled unmanned aircraft used for reconnaissance and surveillance; see DRONE, UAV, BOT.

U.S. Air Force designation for a Rescue Squadron.

R&R / R & R / R-and-R :
Rest-and-Recreation or Rest-and-Recuperation or Rest-and-Recovery or Rest-and-Relaxation, being a short vacation taken during a tour of duty in a combat zone that's not charged against an individual's accrued annual LEAVE; was called "rest-and-refit" during the American CIVIL WAR. R&R out-of-country locations during the VIETNAM WAR were located at Australia, Bangkok, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Penang, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo; while R&R IN COUNTRY locations were at Cam Rahn Bay, Vung Tau, or Da Nang's China Beach. The R&R venue for Coalition troops during Operations Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Iraqi Freedom (OIF) has been Qatar / Katar, Crete, Italy, an American merchant fleet ship, and a variety of other locations. R&R is often called "rack-and-ruin" or "rut-and-roister". See I&I, STEEL BEACH. [cf: busman's holiday, businessman's holiday]

R&R RASH / R & R RASH / R-and-R RASH :
an itchy soreness, often discolored with mottled blemishes on the skin, extending from the abdomen to the lower thighs, being a result of excessive indulgence in sexual activity; this blotchy rash, often with eruptive spots, is sensitive to the slight abrasion of clothing, causing the satiated individual to walk in an awkward manner until the malady resolves. [v: efflorescence, macule]

RR :
M-18 57mm recoilless rifle
57mm recoilless rifle
recoilless rifle; nicknamed BIG SHOTGUN when firing CANISTER anti-personnel AMMO. Conceived by the Navy before WWI by joining opposing barrels, with the forward tube firing a projectile and the backward tube firing a counter-charge. The BAZOOKA (2.36" or 3.5" rocket launcher) was replaced by the M-18 57mm shoulder-fired, air-cooled, single-loading RR during WWII; 75mm (M-20) and 90mm RRs were also shoulder-fired, but larger 106mm RRs were vehicle mounted as infantry support and tank destroyers, including SCORPION and ONTOS. The M-67 90mm RR was a lightweight (35lbs) and compact (53"L) man-portable weapon firing (muzzle velocity @ 700fps to 450m-800m) high-explosive (HE) anti-tank ammunition. Compare LAW, PREDATOR, SMAW, RPG. [v: panzerfaust] Also, the abbreviation for Radio Relay; see HICKORY, LEGHORN, BLACK LADY MOUNTAIN, MARBLE MOUNTAIN, MONKEY MOUNTAIN; compare LIMA SITE 85.

Radio Relay Aircraft

Radio Research Detachment, being a secure communications monitoring station located at brigade (BDE) and higher headquarters (HQ) COMPOUNDs for supervision of SOI/SSI transmissions, cataloguing of security violations (eg: real names, actual units, locations in the clear, uncoded directives, profanity, etc), and developing SIGINT from the surveillance and analysis of enemy intercepts (eg: organization, leadership, locations, operations, etc). Even when the enemy codes would change, the operator's HAND was often sufficient for reconstructive matching. Because the RRD radios were sensitive and operated constantly, the COMM SHACK was usually clean and air-conditioned, making it a favorite place for OFF-DUTY REMFs to hang-out for relaxation. See DITTY-DOT, COMM OP, COMSEC, ANTENNA FARM, RADIO, COMMO.

Rapid Reaction Force, being a highly qualified unit, usually light and mobile, on STANDBY or alert status for timely response to a crisis; also called "Rapid Response Force". See QRT, QRF, HOC BAO, RT, FIRE BRIGADE, STRIKE FORCE, SOF, SMU, SAR, CSAR, PJ, TRICK, TRAP, LIGHT.

RS :
U.S. Air Force designation for a Reconnaissance Squadron.

Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leaders Course, being a 26 day program of instruction in clandestine movement and covert communication, foreign weapons and equipment identification, target acquisition and combat assessment operations for officers and non-commissioned officers serving in reconnaissance and surveillance units; established as the Long Range Surveillance Leaders Course (LRSLC) when Long-Range Surveillance Units (LRSU) were reactivated in 1986, the five week program was modeled on the Recondo School and the Recon Team Leader's Course (ONE-ZERO / MC) from Vietnam, but was revised in July 2002 to adapt and extend this LESSONS LEARNED doctrine to global ANTI-TERRORISM scenarios. Taught by the Ranger Training Brigade (RTB), this course is open to Army RANGERs and SPECIAL FORCES, Marine FORCE RECON, Navy SEALs, Air Force Combat Control Team (CCT), and other combat arms personnel, with the graduates distinguished by a "Six Bravo" (6B) skill identifier (ASI / SQI) modifying their MOS rating.

Radio Signals Officer, or the backseater in fighter aircraft; see GIB, BEAR, TFO, EWO, RIO, WSO (WIZZO); compare FUF. Also, abbreviation for Range Safety Officer, being the supervisor of a SMALL ARMS or tank gunnery firing range.

pocket patch for Rung Sat
Security Zone
Rung Sat Special Zone, or Rung Sat Security Zone, with Rung Sat meaning "Forest of Assassins"; being a forty-mile stretch of rivers and marshes between Saigon and the South China Sea, especially the main shipping channel (Long Tau), which served as a haven for criminals and rebels due to its impenetrability. See VTSZ.

RT :
Recon(naissance) Team; see RECON, RECONDO, I&R, HAWKS, LRP, LRRP, LRSP, SPIKE TEAM, RANGER. Also, Response Team; variously First Response Team (or "First Responders"), Emergency Response Team (ERT), Rapid Response Team (RRT), Special Response Team (SRT); see QRT, QRF, RRF, SMU. [v: a Sampling of Reconnaissance and Surveillance Insignia] Also, abbreviation for Radio Transmission, a form of wireless telegraphy (WT); compare CW, RADIO, TWX.

Royal Thai Army, or Royal Thailand Army, which fielded an expeditionary division in South Vietnam.

Royal Thai Air Force, or Royal Thailand Air Force; which is housed at a Royal Thai Air Force Base (RTAFB).

Royal Thai Army Volunteer Force, or Royal Thailand Army Volunteer Force.

Royal Thai Army Volunteer Regiment, or Royal Thailand Army Volunteer Regiment.

commemorative coin of the
Ranger Training Brigade, U.S. Army Infantry School
Ranger Training Brigade
commemorative coin
Return To Base; for pilots, this is often related to the remaining fuel (BINGO), but for ground forces it contrasts with continuing the mission or remaining overnight (RON). Also, abbreviation for Ranger Training Brigade, being the assignment for the cadre staffing the RANGER department in the Infantry School under TRADOC; changed to separate battalions (4th-7th) after August 1987; see RSLC, RANGER SCHOOL.

abbreviation for Read The Damn / Damned Manual; alternatively as Read The Damn / Damned Map ... to rebuke someone for not looking up the answer on an open book exam!

Radio Telephone Operator, being the enlisted man (EM) responsible for the field transport, operation, care and maintenance of the unit's communication device(s); formerly known as "radioman". Compare RUNNER, COMM OP, KNOB-TURNER, DITTY-DOT, EARS, RADIO PUKE; see RTP, ACTUAL, CODE TALKER, TELEPHONE, RADIO, COMMO. [nb: Vietnamese term: Vo Tuyen, Nguoi Coi Vo Tuyen Dien] [nb: the field occupations most often targeted in combat, because their loss so immediately influences unit effectiveness and morale, are the leader, pointman, signalman, machinegunner, and medic]

Radio Telephone Procedure; the contractions and conventions used to make military communications more precise and efficient. See PROWORD, A-OK, CHARLIE, AFFIRM, FOX, ROGER, WILCO, CALL-SIGN, SOS, MAYDAY, PAN, SECURITE, INTERCO, INTERNATIONAL RADIO SILENCE, GUARD, UNICOM, CIPHER, CODE, LISTENING WATCH, RADIO, TELEPHONE. [nb: "roger"/"wilco" and "over"/"out" are mutually exclusive; "break"/"clear", "repeat"/"say again", and "shoot"/"fire" are very specific; "niner", not "fiver"; "zero", not "oh"] [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags]

rhyming slang for a massage or rubdown, especially an asexual one; as derived from a mildly ribald rhyme touting a peep show attraction of three naked maids posed in a tub at traveling fairs during the 14th century, which became a moralistic nursery rhyme with varying lyrics after the 18th century, prudishly exposing the respectable men (ie: the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker), who visited such sideshows to ogle the exposed female flesh, to public censure ... the phonetic nonsense (originally "dub-a-dub-dub") implied disapprobation or disapproval, similar to "tsk-tsk-tsk", and set the puritanical tone of the composition. See RANGER SUNBEAMS, PUMPED / PUMPED-UP, CHARLEY HORSE; compare STEAM 'n' CREAM, HONG KONG HAIRCUT, BOOM-BOOM, BUTTERFLY, TRICK, ACT OF CONGRESS. [v: massage parlor; massager, massagist, masseur, masseuse; rubdown, body rub, backrub, Swedish massage, acupressure, shiatsu, reflexology, physical medicine, physiatrics, physiatry, Rolfing, physical therapy, massotherapy, naturopathy, effleurage, stroke, knead, pat / pummel, tapotement] [nb: a SEA STORY popular during WWII told of a Naval aviator who couldn't find his aircraft carrier after flying in circles for a long time, so he radioed in the clear: "Rubba dub dub, where's my tub?!" and received the almost instantaneous reply: "Hey diddle diddle, right here in the middle!"]

an elastic substance, natural or synthetic; see INDIA RUBBER, GUTTA-PERCHA, PARA RUBBER, SHOCK CORD, VULCANIZE. Also, slang for a prophylactic sheath or condom that's worn over the penis; see PRO KIT.

slang for an inert training firearm that's been made of resin or plastic reinforced with metal in various distinctive colors (especially the flash suppressor) to avoid confusion with actual firearms; first introduced near the end of the Vietnam-era, these replicas or simulators were used as training aids with trainees for weapon's familiarization and proper drill procedures. Only available in the beginning as dummy M-16 rifles, they were later produced as fake pistols, submachineguns (SMG), and machineguns (MG) for use in training scenarios (eg: hand-to-hand combat, waterborne, airmobile, etc) where the actual weapon might be damaged by hard use or abuse. Compare WASTER; see WOODEN SWORD. Also, slang for a pair of inflatable RADAR-reflecting decoy buoys (AN/SLQ-49) that simulate the profile of a ship while floating on the surface of the sea so as to seduce RADAR-guided anti-shipping cruise missiles; acting like CHAFF, these simulators can be deployed within seconds from the deck of a ship, generating a far stronger and more attractive target for up to three hours after launch. The two octahedron-shaped buoys' RADAR array is suspended inside an inflatable framework constructed of fabric with a gassing system to pressurize the framework and to serve as a drogue in anchoring the floating DECOY. Originally (1985) configured for confusion and distraction roles, the RUBBER DUCK has demonstrated an effective seduction capability for electronic countermeasures (ECM). Also, slang for a large-wheeled excavator, so-called due to its tendency to "bob about" while working or traveling; unlike the tracked undercarriage model, this engineering vehicle doesn't need to be transported to the job site, and can work where tracks would damage pavement, but the rubber tires are not as effective on soft ground ... often used to handle materials at transfer stations.

slang for an air mattress, issued as padding for sleeping bags, but only used by REMFs; see FART SACK, SHAKEDOWN. [v: bedroll, bolster, futon, pallet, paillasse / palliasse, swag, tick, sougan / soogan, mat, pad, cushion]

slang for waterproof overshoes or galoshes; see MICKEY MOUSE BOOTS, BUNNY BOOTS, CUSTOMS AND COURTESIES OF THE SERVICE.

giving routine or automatic approval to something without due consideration, as by lax supervision or indifferent authority; a vestige of WWI politics wherein the government's rubber stamp was wielded on behalf of the president's agenda. Compare CACHET, CHOP, SIGNATURE; see BOY'S CLUB, GOOD OLD BOY, RING-KNOCKER, KHAKI MAFIA, BROWNIE / BROWN NOSE, THE ESTABLISHMENT. [cf: seal, sign, signet, sigil]


the tradename for a challenging puzzle that's used as a metonym for any complicated or difficult problem; compare BLUNT FORCE, CUT THE GORDIAN KNOT, ALEXANDRIAN SOLUTION, PING-PONG; see OUTSIDE THE BOX, PARADIGM SHIFT, GAMBLER'S FALLACY, LAW OF AVERAGES, LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE. [v: tangram] [v: deus ex machina (Latin: any desperate or contrived solution (literally: "god from the machine"); pons asinorum (Latin: insolvable problem (literally: "bridge of asses")]

the basic monetary unit of Russia, the Soviet Union, and its successor states, being a silver or copper-alloy coin that's equal to 100 KOPECKs; also spelled "rouble", as derived from "stump" or "plug", originally denoting a piece cut from a silver bar. See LEGAL TENDER.

backpack issued to infantrymen for carrying large heavy loads; modern packsack styles have varied from external frame, interior frame, and no frame, with the ancient Greek RUCKSACK being a backpacked wickerwork basket. The expression "humping the ruck" represents a hard tour of footslogging while bearing a heavy load. Compare DUFFEL BAG, FLIGHT BAG, WAR BAG, MUSETTE BAG; see ALICE, MOLLE, LBE, LBV, WEB GEAR, DINGLEBERRY. [nb: "rucksack" = back-sack; "knapsack" = bite/snap-up/eat, food sack; "kit-bag" = soldier's small bag/knapsack; "haversack" = single-strapped feed bag worn over one shoulder; musette = single-strapped small bag worn over one shoulder] [cf: bundle, bindle/bindlea, swag, bluey, dilly bag, tucker-bag, bag, pouch, tote, sack, traps, pack, grip, gripsack, overnighter, weekender, holdall, carpetbag, B-4 bag, suitcase, one-suiter, single-suiter, two-suiter, three-suiter, portmanteau, Gladstone bag, traveling case, garment bag, Val-Pack, luggage; v: "scrip" wayfarer's bag or wallet; "viaticum" traveler's money and necessities]

a type of interdisciplinary training that melds power walking with upper-body tension by speed walking while carrying a weighted backpack over varied terrain for an extended distance; an exercise modality (burning three times as many calories as straight walking) that has practical applications for MIL-PERS and other outdoorsmen, but has become a form of long-distance competition in the GULF WAR-era. See PARCOURSE, STEEPLECHASE, PARKOUR, MARATHON, BIATHLON, TRIATHLON, PENTATHLON, DECATHLON, OBSTACLE COURSE, IOCT, CONFIDENCE COURSE, EXERCISE. [nb: rock climbers can substitute the weighted rucksack by rigging a shoulder harness with overlapping Swami belts from which a pair of dumbbells are suspended by oversized snap-links]

a vertical blade positioned at the stern of a craft or vessel that's used, by turning, to change its direction when in motion; derived from "row", as a steering or sweeping oar; see STARBOARD, JUNK, SAMPAN. Also, a movable control surface attached to a vertical stabilizer, positioned at the rear of an airplane, and used, along with the ailerons, to turn the airplane; see TAB, FIN, TAILBOOM. Also, any method of directing or means of guiding a course, actual or symbolic; see HYDROPLANE.

RUFFLES are played on DRUMs, and FLOURISHES are played on bugles (v: BUGLE CALL); and they're sounded together in honor of an official ... according to title, or once for each star of RANK, to a maximum of four. See SALUTE, PASSING HONORS, BEATERS 'n' BLEATERS, TOOTER, FACE THE MUSIC. [v: paradiddle]

sardonic reference to the Regional and Popular Forces (RF/PF) of South Vietnam, a territorial MILITIA within ARVN; Vietnamese terms include: Tap Kich, Xung Kich. See RF, PF, PRU, PSDF, STRIKER, SEA SWALLOWS; compare CIDG, MIKE FORCE.


a psychosocial modality that advocates the personal principle of independent thought and action; the philosophical proposition that autonomous independence is the moral basis for societal interaction, wherein liberty and other civil rights are negotiated by the consent of the governed. Although first documented ("the American system of rugged individualism") in a 22 October 1928 campaign speech by Herbert C. Hoover, where it was employed as a contrast with European paternalism and socialism, he declined the attribution of coinage by noting that the expression had been commonly used throughout the foregoing fifty years; this phrase referred to "those God-fearing men and women of honesty whose stamina and character and fearless assertion of rights led them to make their own way in life."

according to the lip-service of the BEST AND BRIGHTEST, the 'rule of law' is the basis of 'civilization' ... which they attempt to pervert by corrupt influences and to subvert by economic or political forces, so as to differentiate and distinguish their refined paradise from the fortified bastions of the LITTLE PEOPLE who simply use vicious coercion and blunt force to protect their havens and sustain their meager lives; an ideal that the POWER ELITE ostensibly aspire toward while engaged in a CULTURE WAR. See REG, LAW, DUE PROCESS / DUE PROCESS OF LAW, ACCORDING TO HOYLE. [nb: "They don't seem to have any rules in particular, at least if there are, nobody attends to them." by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 1865)]

any rough or practical method of procedure, being an allusion to simple handspan or hand's-breadth measurement estimates. Also, a general principle or guideline based on experience or practice, as opposed to a scientific calculation. See CODE OF CONDUCT, HONOR CODE, PERCEPTION, PARAMETER, SOP, SCRIPTURES, CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, TELEPHONE TREE, NET, POCKET BRAINS, PORTABLE BRAINS, SMART, DEAD-RECKONING, DOUBLE DRIFT, SLANT DISTANCE, FIELD EXPEDIENT, JURY-RIG, JERRY-BUILT, PATCH, BAND-AID, AD HOC, GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK, IMPROVISE / IMPROVISATION; compare GIVE AN INCH, NO MAN'S LAND. [eg: the first joint of the adult thumb measures almost exactly one inch; the 'hand' is an unconventional unit of measure equivalent to four inches, while a 'handspan' is a non-standard measure approximating eight to ten inches; cf: ell, cubit]

operating instructions for air, land, or sea warfare; during the VIETNAM WAR, specifically MACV directive 525-13, and promulgated as regulations by subordinate commands. These restrictions stipulate who is the enemy, what is the objective, where the troops can go, what firepower can be used, when certain acts are permissible, and so on. Among other factors, OPLAN 37-64 gave authorization for HOT PURSUIT across international borders or into denied areas whenever Allied air or ground elements are engaged with enemy forces. The military often complains that the ROE compromise their efficiency and effectiveness; while the popular myth among civilians is that warfare is unbridled savagery. The U.S. military is not only directed by civil authority, but is highly regulated; such that even "total war" aimed at "unconditional surrender" is fraught with rules for proper conduct. In "limited wars", like the Spanish-American, Korean, and Vietnam conflicts, where diplomatic negotiations are interlarded with battlefield engagements, the ROE are even more extensive. Such prohibitions, with their concomitant and inevitable violations, impose an extreme morale problem upon the combatants, and produces disintegrating confusion on the HOME FRONT. See RFZ, CLEARED HOT, NFZ, FREE FIRE ZONE, INCURSION, HOT PURSUIT, COLLATERAL DAMAGE, RETALIATION, EOF, EXTRAORDINARY POWERS, LAWS OF WAR, ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, WARNING SHOT, WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' BADGES. [nb: "And if also any one contend (in the fight), he is not crowned (for victory) unless he contend lawfully." 2 Timothy 2:5; "Fighting methods will never fail to be used merely because some international law forbids them." by Adolf Hitler]

an alcoholic liquor distilled from molasses, or from some other fermented sugar cane product; see HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK. Also, any intoxicating liquor or alcoholic drink in general, as in the blanket condemnation "demon rum".

any unattributable or unauthenticatable statement in general circulation, mockingly called "RumInt"; a bruit that may also be known as folklore or myth. As a cover-story or DISINFORMATION, false or misleading RUMORS were often generated ("rumor mill") by INTEL sections; some of which gossip has since rebounded as authentic "oral history". The second- and third-hand passing of such word-of-mouth RUMORS was alleged to have qualified "security" access by being "cleared for bullshit and rumors". See NEED TO KNOW, CONTROLLED INFORMATION, FALSE FLAG, DECEPTION, MUSHROOM, GAS BAG, TALK TRASH, BRAVO SIERRA, CHICKEN FEED, CHATTER, PROPAGANDA, ECHO CHAMBER, DIRTY LAUNDRY, SPIN, FAKE NEWS, FACTOID, NOISE, HOOPLA, BIG LIE, GOUGE, DOPE, POOP, THE WORD, GREEN GREASE, OSINT, GRIPEVINE, BACK CHANNEL, SCUTTLEBUTT, WHISPERING CAMPAIGN, RED INK, CHINESE WHISPER, BAMBOO TELEGRAPH. [v: Myths of the Vietnam War] [nb: during WWII, the OSS "rumor mill" held Morale Operations meetings to generate false information] [nb: at West Point and Annapolis after WWI, the courses on physics and navigation or astronomy were called "skinny" due to the intramural tutoring needed for satisfactory completion; which may be the origin of that slang term for reliably current information] [v: subreption, obreption] [nb: the neologism "pollaganda" / "polloganda" (poll + propaganda) has been coined to identify the representation of biased samples, slanted surveys, special pleading arguments, and ex-parte news depicted as authentic or authoritative; cf: "polingo" as a neologism for political lingo] [nb: "What Peter says about Paul says more about Peter than it does about Paul" by Arthur Schopenhauer; the "narcissism of small differences" by Sigmund Freud; "When you hear somebody usin' words ag'in somebody, don't go by his words, for they won't make no damn sense, [but] go by his tone, and you'll know if he's mean and lying." by Forest Carter, The Education of Little Tree (1976); "Once rumors are released, they usually take off in a manner that defies technology and, after circulating, return in a form that's unrecognizable, if not unbelievable." paraphrase of John Grisham (2009)]

a group or network of persons who originate or promulgate unsubstantiated claims; the deliberate generation of false or misleading information as a DECEPTION tactic, including cover-story or FACTOID, PROPAGANDA or DISINFORMATION, by various INTEL sections; it's absolutely essential that each side be able to recognize its own PROPAGANDA, so as not to be persuaded or misdirected by the rebound of its own lies; also known as a "whispering campaign", some of this gossip has since rebounded as authentic "oral history". See NEED TO KNOW, CONTROLLED INFORMATION, WAR OF NERVES, FALSE FLAG, HOOPLA, BIG LIE, BACK CHANNEL, CHINESE WHISPER, BAMBOO TELEGRAPH. [nb: during WWII, the OSS "rumor mill" held Morale Operations meetings to generate false information]


RUN 'n' GUN :
rhyming slang for the battlefield technique of FIRE 'n' MANEUVER, wherein the infantryman rapidly relocates his firing position ('run') so as to bring effective fire ('gun') upon the enemy without himself becoming a predictable target; also called SHOOT 'n' SCOOT or HOP 'n' POP; see LEAP FROG, ZIGZAG, CORKSCREW, HOPSCOTCH, BUTTONHOOK, SCUTTLE, DASH, BUTTERFLY, CLOVERLEAF, CHECKERBOARD, STACK.

a WWII-era catch-phrase, "Run it up the flagpole and see who salutes.", that was adopted in the 1950s as a mantra for the button-down gray-flannel suited "organization men" of big business, and was then comedically exploited during the early 1960s in parodies of robotic executives who were anxiously climbing the corporate ladder in lockstep. The expression proposes a trial run or trial balloon; suggests trying a new idea or concept, a different formula or procedure, in order to discover support or resistance, benefit or detriment for the alternative option or speculative plan. For MILICRATs, it's a method of polling collaborators, more than actually determining the worth or merit of a proposition. See HEADQUARTERISM, SHOW THE FLAG, BREAK A FLAG, POPULARITY CONTEST, EYE-CHECK, BULLFROG CHORUS, VIETNAM SYNDROME, SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT, WIGGLE ROOM, COURSE OF ACTION, PLAN B, WHITE ELEPHANT, RAIN ON PARADE, WANGLE.

a messenger; originally a communications assignment for conveying dispatches and ORDERs, which involved great responsibility and high risk during battle, but lately being a DUTY assignment to perform errands and chores as an assistant, such as to the Charge of Quarters (CQ) or Officer of the Day (OOD). Compare COURIER, GOFER, HOUSE MOUSE, MAN FRIDAY, RTO, COMM OP, DITTY-DOT.

someone who sympathizes or collaborates with the enemy, typically by betraying his native peoples and traditions in favor of a foreign invader; see SYMPATHIZER, INVISIBLE, QUISLING, FIFTH COLUMN, PINKO, BULLSHITVIK, RED, PROTESTOR, BLACK BLOC, TURNCOAT, PROVOCATEUR, FALSE FLAG, FRUIT FLY, SUBVERSION, COUNTERCULTURE, PEACE SIGN. Also, anyone who agrees with the majority decision or accepts the prevailing opinion, fearful of being singled-out or excluded; an irresolute lackey or pavid minion who is intimidated by autonomy; see NOSE COUNT, EYE-CHECK, REASSURANCE, RUN IT UP THE FLAGPOLE.

the discharge of CREW-SERVED WEAPONS (eg: machinegun, cannon, etc) from moving vehicles or craft; compare GUN RUN, see MARCHING FIRE, SNIPER'S TRIANGLE, RECON BY FIRE.


any of various navigation or warning lights that are required to be displayed by a vessel or aircraft when operating between sunset and sunrise, or during inclement weather or other low visibility conditions; also known as "anti-collision light"; see CHRISTMAS TREE, compare BLACKOUT. Also, to operate a vehicle or craft with insufficient crew, low fuel, absent arms or armor, or other inadequacy; typically a mission imperative expedient; compare DEADHEAD. [nb: not to be confused with the minimalism of light infantry tactics]

a metaphor representing superlative performance, wherein one is able to outdo or surpass one's competition; probably derived from a runner lapping the others on a circular course. [nb: to show their disdain for the "low standards" at the Army's JUMP SCHOOL, Navy SEAL and FORCE RECON Marine candidates would break formation by repeatedly running around their platoon during the daily five mile run, a practice that was later prohibited (probably due to embarrassment!)]

an unofficial motto of the Navy's submarine service; also known as SILENT SERVICE, "We hide with pride!", or CHICKEN OF THE SEA; see SUBMARINE. [nb: 'silent' means quiet, not "secret"; all combat operations are classified, not just undersea missions]

a rude and crude reference to those persons affected by the change in regulations, initially an individual waiver or exemption, then later as sociopolitical quotas mandated by AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, permitting undersized and underweight applicants, including women and racial diminutives, to apply for training in previously restricted or prohibited specialties; because these limitations adversely affected promotion and career development, the regulatory changes also set different (lower) standards for qualification, which has prompted resentment and dissension ... the objections are performance and service oriented, not racist or sexist, as has been alleged. The sentiment represented by this catch-phrase about AFFIRMATIVE ACTION quotas that could harm the military's capability of fulfilling its mission has also been expressed as "geeks and freaks" or "goons and baboons". See AAA, CREEP, UP OR OUT, VOLUNTEER, AVF, TOTAL FORCE, SWEAT HOG, HARD CHARGER, FAST MOVER, BOOMER, HOT SHOT, BALLS TO THE WALL, BOY WONDER, HOT-SHIT, SHAKE 'n' BAKE, TOP DOG, GOLDEN BOY, SUPER-TROOPER, BLACK CRUTCH, SKIRT, ANGEL, WARRIOR PRINCESS, "Hollow Bunny" at EMPTY SUIT, THE GLASS CLIFF, BAMBOO TELEGRAPH, RIGGER, MOTHER HEN, BITCH, SPLIT, DISTAFF. [nb: in 1996, the ratio of women serving in the U.S. Air Force was 16.3%, in the U.S. Army was 13.8%, in the U.S. Navy was 12.6%, and in the U.S. Marine Corps was 4.9%]

to suffer a severe test or tribulation; see GAUNTLET, ORDEAL, HOLD ONE'S FEET TO THE FIRE, SNAKE PIT, CUTTHROAT, BLOOD ALLEY, MARATHON. [nb: the "gauntlet" ordeal is a mispronunciation of "gantlope" or "gantelope", which is Scandinavian for a "running course"; to "run the gantlope" is redundant]

high-visibility checkered
warning flag mounted on all airfield vehicles
vehicle mounted
warning flag
a paved or cleared strip on which airplanes land and take-off; Vietnamese term: Truong Bay (airfield). See LIMA SITE, ROOF, TOUCHDOWN, BASE LEG, DOWNWIND LEG, BOUNCE, FIELD CARRIER LANDING, THRESHOLD, TAXIWAY, APRON, RAMP, FOLLOW ME, OVERSHOOT, UNDERSHOOT, RABBIT-CATCHER, STRIP ALERT, WINDSOCK, BIRDCAGE, REVETMENT, PSP, MARSDEN MATTING, MOBI-MAT, MACADAM, ILS, ALS, RCR, FOD. [nb: technically, an 'airstrip' is a small airfield with only one RUNWAY, but the term is widely used as a synonym for a landing strip; 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] [v: flying field, landing field, airport, airdrome / aerodrome, jetport] [nb: RUNWAY designations are by compass heading and its reciprocal, which designation alone informs the PILOT by which direction to approach or depart]

Vietnamese RICE WINE(qv) that's often fermented in earthen jars and drunk through long reeds or thin bamboo tubes.

honorable WWII service lapel pin, so-called due to the "puffed posture" of the eagle; originally manufactured in plastic due to restrictions on the availability of metal. See HD, RIF, DEMOB, BTDT; compare POUTER PIGEON.

those single, serial, or collective measures designed to mislead the enemy by manipulation, distortion, or falsification of evidence so as to induce the enemy to act or react in a manner prejudicial to its own interests; also called DECEPTION, TRICK, ploy, feint, artifice, stratagem, subterfuge, wile, gambit, imposture, machination. See PSYOPS, GHOST UNIT, GHOST FRONT, PHANTOM OPERATIONS, FALSE FLAG, HINKY, DECOY, MEACONING, RED HERRING, TROJAN HORSE, STALKING HORSE, CAT SKINNER, CAT'S-PAW, NIGHTINGALE, PROPAGANDA, DISINFORMATION, GHOST WALK, Q-SHIP, CLOAK-AND-DAGGER, TRADECRAFT. [nb: "Prince John" MaGruder's Army in the CIVIL WAR's Peninsular Campaign permitted the Confederate withdrawal while forestalling McClellan's advance with a ruse: troops marching in circles, wagons ridden in circles, breakfast fires lighted for nonexistent troops, and Quaker cannon]

a large venomous snake that's characterized by having three rows of large, black-edged brown spots on a light-brown body; common in India and southeastern Asia; eponymously after Patrick Russell, an 18th century Scottish physician and naturalist.

1994 flag of the Russian
Rus Fed
the Russian Federation was formed in 1994, together with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union (USSR).

sardonic nickname for the USSR's BURP GUN (PPSh-41) during the 1956 HUNGARIAN UPRISING.



slang for vodka, a colorless alcoholic spirit, the best of which is distilled from rye or wheat or barley malt, but the most common fare is made from a mash of maize and potatoes. Because vodka has almost no distinctive odor or taste, its alcoholic strength is generally diluted below 90% before marketing. See BREW, HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK, HOIST, GUSTO. [cf: aquavit / akvavit]

a game of high risk from the interwar period wherein each player in turn, using a revolver containing one bullet, spins the revolver's cylinder, and while pointing the muzzle at his own head, pulls the trigger; monetary bets are often laid on the probability of discharge at various odds. See RISK, STUMER; compare ONE-ARMED BANDIT. [v: "buck the odds"]

disparaging diminutive of 'Russian'; also known as "Commie", "Radish", or "Katsap"; see IVAN, RED, BULLSHITVIK, FOE, BAD GUYS. [nb: 'katsap' is corruption of Ukrainian 'goatee' (kak tzap: like a goat), and the red condiment 'catsup' (ketchup), a spiced tomato sauce]

a Vietnam-era cocktail made of Scotch whisky blended with Drambuie®, a sweet herbal liqueur, that's served over ice; see HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK, HOIST, GUSTO.

RV :
RendezVous, being a place designated for assembly or meeting; an agreement to gather at a certain time and place; the meeting itself, as derived from "betake yourselves" [v: render]; also known as RALLY POINT or MARSHAL. See IP, WAY POINT, GO TO HELL POINT, DAR, STRONGPOINT.

abbreviation for the Republic of Viet Nam, the formal name for South Vietnam (SVN); Vietnam was granted independence from France by the Treaty of Auriol, signed 8 March 1949. Exercising its sovereignty in a referendum held October 1955, the electorate deposed Bao Dai as chief of state and established a republic with Ngo Dinh Diem as president. This republic, proclaimed 26 October 1955, was recognized as the legal government of Vietnam by the United States, France, Great Britain, and other Western powers. The bright yellow RVN flag background symbolized the bounty of rice and the golden (promised) land, with the three red (bloody sacrifice) stripes representing the original parts of the country (North/Tonkin, Central/Annam, South/Cochin China). The republican regime was finally defeated on 30 April 1975. See GVN, VN, THE NAM, PASSAGE TO FREEDOM, FREQUENT WIND; compare NVN, DRV, SRV.

see Vietnam Air Force (VNAF), Armed Forces of Vietnam (AFVN); compare VNN, VNMC, ARVN.

Republic of Vietnam campaign
Republic of Vietnam Civic
Action Honor Medal
the green and white Republic of Vietnam CAMPAIGN MEDAL, with 1960 DEVICE, was awarded to Allied personnel for direct combat service or support during the period 1 March 1961 - 28 March 1973; compare VIETNAM SERVICE MEDAL, CIVILIAN SERVICE IN VIET NAM MEDAL; see CAMPAIGN MEDAL, GONG.

awarded to programs and units for advice and support on civic action (CA) in the Republic of Vietnam during the period of the Second Indochina War; see ADV, GONG.

see VNMC; compare USMC, VNN, ARVN, VNAF, AFVN.

see VNN; compare VNMC, ARVN, VNAF, AFVN.

RZ :
Reconnaissance Zone; see LRP, RECON.