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

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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T :
an aircraft prefix under the Joint Service Designation System that represents 'trainer'. [v: 'AT' (advanced trainer)]

TAA :
Tactical Assembly Area; see AA, RV, RP, RALLY POINT, LINE OF DEPARTURE, POD, IP, WAY POINT, RON.

TAB :
ARVN BDQ shoulder tab
ARVN BDQ
Tactical Assault Boat, as for special operations; see BOAT. Also, Tactical Air Base. Also, a distinguishing label denoting classification or qualification, such as an AIRBORNE arc attached to a unit PATCH, or a sleeve tag designating individual proficiency (called a Q-TAB); see TRIPLE CANOPY, compare SCROLL, GREEN TAB. Also, a small airfoil hinged to the rear portion of a control surface, as to an elevator, aileron, or RUDDER; see FIN, TAILBOOM.

TABLE MUSCLE :
facetious description of excessive body weight, commonly called 'fat' (adipose) or 'blubber', which obesity or corpulence is achieved by eating too much and not working hard enough; see PT, PFT, DAILY DOZEN, FRONT LEANING REST, PUSH-UP, JUMPING JACK, SQUAT, AIRBORNE SHUFFLE, EXERCISE, MONKEY BUTT, PAIN. [cf: adipocere]

TAC :
Tactical Air Command, being one of three USAF commands with Air Defense Command (ADC) and Strategic Air Command (SAC). Also, the TACtical officer (commissioned or non-commissioned) who directly supervises the training and assesses the character of military school candidates; sometimes represented as an acronym for Training and Assessment Counselor; see CADET, TRADE SCHOOL. [nb: variously misrepresented as "train / assess / coach" or "teach / advise / counsel"]

TAC-AIR :
TACtical AIR support, or Close Air Support (CAS); as distinguished from "strategic bombing". See FAC, MISTY FAC, FO, FCSL, PREP, DANGER CLOSE, LETDOWN.

TACAN :
Tactical Air Control And Navigation, or TACtical Air Navigation, also spelled "TAC-AN" [nb: not to be confused with 'TACON' (qv)]; being an ultra-high frequency electronic air navigation system which provides a continuous indication of bearing and distance to the TACAN station, by common slant range components. Also, TACtical ANtenna, employing TMSQ# (T=temporary, M=mobile, S=Special type, Q=special purpose) devices, as used for VECTOR; a ground- or aircraft-based radio used to provide distance and bearing information between two elements, as ground to air or air to air; see RADAR, STACK, ANTENNA FARM, COMM SHACK, COMMANDO CLUB.

TACC :
Tactical Air Control Center; compare TADC, TAOC.

TACIT RAINBOW :
an anti-RADAR Cruise Missile (AGM-136) manufactured by Northrop Venturi Corporation, which has the capacity to track a RADAR signal over 50mi, and loiter if the signal is interrupted, before acquiring it again for destruction.

TACK :
the use of a short piece of rope (4-6ft length) to serve as a blank space when communicating by signal flags (ie: BURGEE) aboard a ship; this blank (ZERO, ZIP) acts as an interruption in the message so as to set part of it aside, or to punctuate the text, which is recorded as a 'dash'. [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags]

TACKLE :
any specialized apparatus, equipment, or GEAR, including rigging; see LINE. Also, a leverage system of pulleys; see BLOCK, WHIP, FAIRLEAD, FALL, PENDANT, CRAB, PARBUCKLE. [v: gun tackle, double block, double Spanish burton; nb: a "sheet" is a thin LINE or CORD used in reeving TACKLE and the rigging of sails; and like a HAWSER, it is never called a ROPE]

TAC OFFICER :
a redundency for TAC (qv).

TACON :
U.S. Air Force acronym for TACtical CONtrol, or Tactical Air CONtrol, being the local direction and detailed control of movements or maneuvers that are necessary to accomplish assigned tasks or missions. [nb: not to be confused with 'TACAN' (qv)]

TACS :
(forthcoming); see COMBAT LIGHTNING

TACT :
one of the principal traits evaluated for promotion; this ability to adroitly deal with sensitive matters without giving offense is considered to be as important (if not more so) as BEARING or MIL-CRAFTs. See ER, EER, NCOER, OER, FITREP, BAYONET SHEET, RESPECT, JUDGMENT CALL, CHARISMA, NO EVIL, SOCIAL GRACES, FINESSE, PROMISE, DIME, CONTAINMENT, BIG STICK DIPLOMACY, GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY, PING-PONG DIPLOMACY, SABER-RATTLING, CROSS THE RUBICON, BLOODY SHIRT, JUST WAR, CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS, FIGHTING WORDS, FIGHTING MAD. [nb: "It has been said that 'tact' is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that he looks forward to taking the trip!"; "The naked truth is like a naked man -- it's better to dress-up the bare ugliness."; "Civility is greatly overrated."; "Tellin' a good lie ain't no sin."; "Tact is for weenies!"] [v: beseem; cf: nicety] [nb: until recently, an OFFICER was simultaneously designated a "gentleman" when appointed by an ACT OF CONGRESS, which not only inspired further intellectual development but also encouraged cultural sophistication, which refinements were mocked as being 'suave and debonair' (deliberately mispronounced as "soo-wave" and "dee-boner"); v: BRASS HAT, MUSTANG, BLUE BLOOD, UP THE HAWSEPIPE, TALLY-HO; cf: HARD-ASS, MACHO]

TACTICAL ACQUISITION :
see LIBERATE, SNATCH, COMMANDEER, SPOILS OF WAR, MIDNIGHT REQUISITION, FIELD EXPEDIENT.

TACTICAL NUCLEAR WEAPON :
any nuclear device employed by land, sea, or air forces against opposition forces, their installations or facilities, in support of operations that contribute to the accomplishment of a limited military mission, or support a scheme of maneuver in a defined area of the battlefield; see SUITCASE NUKE, NUKE.

TACTICAL RAIL :
see PICATINNY RAIL.

TACTICS :
a plan or procedure of those movements necessary for gaining an advantage, such as in the art or science of deploying military (or naval) forces and maneuvering them in battle; as derived from arranging, to put in order. Compare STRATEGY; see CAPABILITY, COURSE OF ACTION, LEAST RESISTANCE, KNOW YOUR ENEMY, OPLAN. [nb: a theorem on the relativity of tactics and strategy is: if the tactics are wrong and the strategy is wrong then the war will be quickly lost; if the tactics are right but the strategy is wrong then battles will be won while the war is lost; if the tactics are wrong but the strategy is right then battles will be lost while the war is won; and if the tactics are right and the strategy is right then the war will be quickly won] [nb: "There is only one tactical principle which is not subject to circumstantial change, and that is to utilize all available resources to vigorously prosecute the enemy by inflicting maximum death and destruction in the minimum time required to render them defenseless or ineffective."] [nb: "Them ain't tactics, honey. That's just the beast in me." by Elvis Presley as Vince Everett in Jailhouse Rock (1957)]

TACTICAL SHOOTING POSTURE :
see SHOOTING POSTURE.

TACTLESS :
see BLUNT, UNIVOCAL, NASTY-GRAM, UGLY AMERICAN; compare TACT.

TAD :
NavSpeak for Temporary Additional Duty, known as Temporary Duty (TDY) by Army and Air Force personnel; abbreviation corrupted into "Traveling Around Drunk". See CHOP, JCET, SHEEP-DIPPED; compare DUTY, BILLET, BERTH, POST, ON STATION, WATCH, HARDSHIP TOUR, BUMFUCK, MOS, OJT, PCS.

TADC :
Tactical Air Direction Center; compare TACC, TAOC.

TADPOLE :
being the aquatic larva of frogs, hence the nickname for a FROGMAN trainee; see BUDS, UDT, DIVER; compare PUP, LEG, POLLYWOG, CHUM, NUGGET. Also, slang designation for a limbless amputee or quadriplegic; also called a "basket-case" by Brits, a "samovar" by Russians, and a "curling stone" by Canadians; compare CRISPY CRITTER, RICE KRISPIES, SOUP, CREATURE FEATURE, FLOATER, MAGGOT, CADET.

TAEL :
formerly a basic monetary unit of currency in China, equivalent to its weight (liang = 37g/1.33oz) in silver; compare SYCEE; see YUAN, RENMINBI, LEGAL TENDER.

TAFFRAIL :
the upper part of the STERN of a ship, as derived from 'tableau'; see FANTAIL. Also, a rail above the STERN of a ship; see PULPIT; compare BULWARK, LIFELINE.

TA-50 :
the unit accountability form for each individual's field gear, equivalent to the Marine Corps' Requisition Form 782 (DEUCE GEAR); see CANTEEN, FIELD CAP, BUSH HAT, HELMET, HELMET-COVER, PISTOL BELT, LBE, ALICE, LBV, MOLLE, WEB GEAR, FLAK VEST, PONCHO, PONCHO LINER, FART SACK, SHELTER-HALF, RUCK / RUCKSACK, E-TOOL, BAYONET, COMPRESS, MESS KIT, FULL BATTLE RATTLE, COMBAT LOADED, BATTLE DRESS. [nb: called "belt order" by AUSSIE and KIWI troops]

TAGGING :
see PINNING, BLOODING.

TAG LINE / TAGLINE :
a catchword or phrase that's associated with a person or group, institution or organization, process or product, by propinquity and repetition, often the most prominent refrain or final line, such as a slogan, motto, or theme song; see BATTLE CRY, TOAST, SIGNATURE, ESPRIT DE CORPS.

TAILBOOM :
an extension from the FUSELAGE as part of the tail assembly (empennage) of an aircraft; also called "boom", being the FUSELAGE extension of an aircraft that ends in a small stabilizing propeller, or in a split extension to mount the RUDDER and FIN stabilizers. See HUEY, HUSKY, FLYING BOXCAR, LIGHTNING, SKYMASTER, BIRD.

TAILDRAGGER / TAIL-DRAGGER :
an aircraft having its center of gravity behind its main wheels, with the aft FUSELAGE supported by a small pivoting or steerable tail-wheel; these so-called "conventional gear" airplanes require S-turns to obtain clear forward visibility whenever taxiing, and so are more susceptible to GROUND LOOP incidents. See FIXED GEAR, WHEEL PANTS, LANDING SKID, FLOAT, UNDERCARRIAGE, BIRD.

TAIL-END CHARLIE :
the last man in any given line or FILE, being too often "a day late and a dollar short" or otherwise relegated to the end; compare DRAG, TRAIL, GOAT, CHARLIE. Also, the trail element at the end of a COMBAT BOX flight formation, which position is typically reserved for the most inexperienced pilots; this vulnerable position was also called the "Purple Heart position" or "coffin corner" in such a flight formation.

TAILGATE :
the end RAMP on some aircraft, such as the HERCULES and HUSKY, CHINOOK / SEA KNIGHT, including the clamshell closure at the rear end of the DECK on the FLYING BOXCAR and FAT ALBERT, for the movement of people and cargo; being similar to the bow RAMP on LANDING CRAFT. Also, to off-load men or equipment through this HATCH, as AIRBORNE, AIRDROP, LOW-LEVEL EVACUATION DROP, or KICK-OUT delivery.

TAILHOOK :
the arresting device for catching restraining lines when landing aircraft on-board FLATTOPs (CV). See PADDLES, BURBLE, NIGHT TRAP, BOLTER, BOUNCE. [nb: the arresting TAILHOOK on some US Air Force jets does not make them eligible for aircraft carrier landings, since the airframe and landing gear are not designed to withstand the forces involved; the US Air Force TAILHOOK is designed to catch and drag a weighted restraint situated near the end of the RUNWAY to help slow an out of control airplane that OVERSHOOTs the landing strip]

TAILSLIDE :
see HAMMERHEAD.

TAILSPIN :
see SPIN.

TAIPING REBELLION :
the unsuccessful "great peace" rebellion (1850-64) against the Manchu or Ch'ing/Ta Ch'ing dynasty (1644-1912) by the Small Swords Society; compare BOXER UPRISING, see HOLY WAR. [nb: kiao-tse represents combat boxing, as taught and practiced in lodges, such as Chao-lin; cf: righteous and harmonious fists, a secret society (ca1898, "I Ho Ch'uan"]

TAKE A KNEE :
the invitation extended by the commander to his subordinates to "get comfortable" by SQUATting or hunkering in the field without removing WEB GEAR or setting aside weapons; equivalent to "take a seat" when indoors. Because most Americans are not agrarian or rural, and so have never learned fieldcrafts, the SQUAT or hunker becomes very uncomfortable in a short time; therefore the most common posture assumed by fully loaded troops is a stable three-point crouch, with the body resting on one foot, the other toe and knee [nb: this is also the supported kneeling position for rifle shooting]. This TAKE A KNEE posture is a way to rest without removing essential GEAR, and can be more easily and quickly recovered from than sitting, which can expose the body to unwanted dirt, moisture, or contaminants. It's possible that this posture is derived from football, where suited-up players are informally gathered for a short lecture or discussion during practice; however the coincidence is not unusual, because most MIL-PERS are athletes, and would be involved in both playing and coaching various sports. See DUCK-WALK, FROGMARCH, LOW-CRAWL. Also, a traditional gesture of subordination, as when pledging loyalty or swearing fealty; a symbol of devotion or faithfulness; compare SALUTE, KOWTOW, REI, WAI, SAMPEAH, CHAO, SALAAM, ON ONE'S KNEES.

TAKE A SHIT :
see DUMP, SQUIRTS, TROTS, SHIT.

TAKE CARE OF THE PENCE :
see TAKE CARE OF THE PENNIES.

TAKE CARE OF THE PENNIES :
the initial part of the Americanized version of "Take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves.", which was an English addage attributed to "old Mister Lowndes" (who was the renown Secretary of the Treasury in the reigns of King William, Queen Anne, and King George I) by Lord Chesterfield in a letter (5 Feb 1750) to his son; this expression ("Take care of the pennies and the bills will take care of themselves."), which advocates close attention to one's budget, can be read either as "dollar bills" or as "bills due for payment". See DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF, DON'T DO NOTHING. [nb: this saying is parodied in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson; 1865) as the Duchess's words of advice: "Take care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves."]

TAKE IT ON THE CHIN :
a colloquialism for impassively withstanding abuse or mistreatment; to stoically endure injustice or punishment. Also, being utterly or thoroughly defeated. See DIEHARD, BITE THE BULLET, WHITE-KNUCKLE, SUCK IT UP, MAN-UP, REFERRED PAIN, ROOT HOG OR DIE, ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH, STAND ONE'S GROUND, LAST STAND, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, GUTS, MOXIE, ONIONS, WINTER SOLDIER.

TAKE-OFF / TAKEOFF :
leaving the ground, as when an aircraft departs; also called "lift-off" or "wheels-up" (on airplanes with retractable LANDING GEAR). Also, informal referent for a departure or leave-taking of any kind; see STOL, VSTOL, VTOL, JET PROPULSION, JATO, BIRDCAGE, JUDAS GOAT, RUNWAY, LIMA SITE, ROOF, THRESHOLD, TAXIWAY, APRON, RAMP, PSP, MARSDEN MATTING, MOBI-MAT, MACADAM, STRIP ALERT, CATAPULT, WINDSOCK, HOT-FUELING, FOD, APU, PLASTIC BRAINS, WALK AROUND, SCRAM, SCRAMBLE, HAUL-ASS, BUG-OUT, BEAT FEET, CUT AND RUN, PULL PITCH, SPLIT, CHOGI, RABBIT, DECAMP, SKY, JUICE, DUSTOFF, RETROGRADE, EXFIL, SHOVE-OFF, BLUE PETER.

TAKE-OFF AND DIE :
slang reference to the symptomatic "gun-shy" or "fear of exposure" that's entailed by combat action, as when aircrew are afraid of flying into a RED LZ; commonly represented as an acronym: TOAD (qv).

TAKEOVER :
the act of seizing control or appropriating authority, to arrogate or usurp, confiscate or expropriate; see COUP, COUP D'ETAT, COMMANDEER.

TAKE THE GILT OFF THE GINGERBREAD :
see (TO TAKE THE) GILT OFF THE GINGERBREAD.

TAKE UP THE SLACK :
literally, to make a loose section of a rope or other line taut, tight, or tense by gathering the excess; and figuratively, to supplement or compensate for something inadequate or incomplete by providing its lack. See SLACK.

TALENT SCOUT :
see NIGHTCRAWLER; compare HANDLER.

TALISMAN :
something whose presence exercises a remarkable influence upon human feelings or actions, especially an object (amulet or charm) that's carved with figures or engraved with characters which are supposed to possess occult powers; as derived from 'payment' or 'result'. See FEATHER, MASCOT, ANTHROPOMORPHISM, MOJO, HOODOO, VOODOO, JINX, BUGBEAR, JOSS.

TALK THE TALK :
a descriptive catch-phrase that acknowledges someone's authenticity, validates their eligibility for in-group membership, as of someone unknown to other unit members being vouched safe if "he talks the talk and walks the walk". This corroboration of a person's genuineness also applies to someone transferred to a combat unit who has had a previous combat tour with a different unit, which testament serves as a warrant to his ability subsequent to his latest combat operation in the war zone. Also, this catch-phrase is also used heuristically when manufacturing a cover story or back story for an operative or agent who must fit in or blend in with others, as in "You will have to remember to talk the talk and walk the walk when ....". See WALKS THE WALK, ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS, SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, GOOD PEOPLE, GOOD STICK, BOY'S CLUB, HOOKUP, NET, BACKSTOP, LEGEND, SPOOK, CRYPTO; compare JARGON, LINGUA FRANCA, PIDGIN, VERNACULAR, POINTIE TALKIE, VISUAL LANGUAGE TRANSLATOR, POLYGLOT, MIL-SPEAK.

TALK TRASH :
to brag or lie, as bullshit or horseshit; to use vulgar, obscene, scurrilous, or profane language, as to BAD-MOUTH; also includes nervous or compulsive verbiage, as babble, blather, chatter, jabber, natter, prate, prattle, yammer, yak, yackety-yack, yadda-yadda, jaw-jacking, or VERBAL DIARRHEA; also includes word-play, rhyme, banter, persiflage, badinage, ranking, rake, pun, jest, jive, jeer, rag, raillery, rigmarole, rap, witticism, or the like (eg: "doin' tha dozens" [v: WOOF] was a form of "battle rhyme" or 'verbal combat' among BLACK troops). See SMACK, SHOOT THE SHIT, SNOW, GAS BAG, HOT AIR, MOTOR MOUTH, BRAVO SIERRA, TELL IT TO THE MARINES, SCUTTLEBUTT, BLOW SMOKE, CONFETTI, GODDAM, OATH, SEA STORY, WAR STORY, COUNT COUP, ATFU; compare CHICKEN SHIT, RUMOR, MIL-SPEAK. [nb: 'hooey', allegedly an Americanism used as an interjection for nonsense or tripe, is actually a corruption of the Russian vulgarity ("khuy") for penis, and is commonly used alone (eg: dick, dickhead, dick-wad) or in phrases (eg: dumber than dick; he doesn't know dick; don't dick around; don't stir your tea with your dick)] [cf: migration of "putz" from shine through ornament to penis and dolt; as sexual lure] [v: lucky stiff]

TALL GRASS :
(forthcoming); nominally, any tall grass, such as reed grass or switch grass, see SAW GRASS, KUNAI, NIPA PALM, PITA, ELEPHANT GRASS, TULE; idiomatically, any remote wilderness or hinterland, bush or sticks, as "run for the tall grass" or "hide in the tall grass", see BOONDOCKS / BOONIES, TULE, BACKWASH, INDIAN COUNTRY, DOWN RANGE. [cf: "in the wind"]

TALLY-HO :
acknowlegement by a PILOT that he has visually acquired an air or ground target which had been called to his attention, and is now in pursuit, closing, chasing, or attacking; also known as "tallyho" or "tally"; in Naval aviation, if the target is confirmed, the call skips the preliminary BANDIT, and issues a TALLY-HO immediately; see BOGIE, BANDIT, GOMER, VISUAL, PRIMROSE PATH, JUDY, JOY, SCRAM, SPLASH, BATTER UP, PLAY BALL. Also, designation for the southernmost sector of North Vietnam (NVN); compare DMZ. Also, the phrase used by PILOTs and other aviation personnel to informally announce the arrival of an attractive woman in the target area, or the sighting of an attractive woman in the operations area; such usage is considered to be more refined and mature, more suave and debonair than slavering and grunting ... bug-eyed chest-pounding and wolf-whistling is deemed to be uncouth and unsophisticated, though typical of crass and boorish FLY-BOYs! [nb: apparently "Waco!" was used by WWI pilots when suddenly encountering military or female targets, in the same way as TALLY-HO]

TALO :
Tactical Airlift Liaison Officer

TALON :
North American T-28 / T-38, a 2-seat, single-engine, monoplane TRAINER; the T-28D version is an attack plane, capable of carrying a variety of ordnance on counterinsurgency missions. Compare TROJAN; see CHAPAKAO, BIRD.

TAM MAK HOONG :
in Laotian cuisine, a spicy fruit salad of shredded green papaya that's admixed with hot chili, sour lime, piquant fish sauce, salt, and palm sugar; versions of this dish also exist in Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia. Compare SOMTAM. [nb: because this 'green papaya' is not yet ripe, it retains its firm crisp texture, and the flavor is savory (not sweet)]

TAMPON :
a plug or pledget of cotton, lint, or other absorbent material (eg: amalou), used to control bleeding from a wound or body cavity; as derived from tampion/tapon for any bung or plug (see MUZZLE); compare COMPRESS, TENT, STRETCHER; see POLICE CALL. Also, a two headed drumstick, used to play rolls; see DRUM.

TANGLEFOOT :
slang for wire entanglements used as barriers; also called devil's rope, bobwire, razor ribbon, wire-tape, or barbed tape, warwire, or tactical wire (tac-wire). See BARBED WIRE, RAZOR WIRE, CONCERTINA, BANGALORE TORPEDO.

TANGO :
the word assigned to represent the letter "T" in the international phonetic alphabet; at various times in different spelling schemes, it has also been acrophonetically represented as Tare and Tape. See ALPHABET SOUP, PHONETIC ALPHABET. [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags] Also, a generic agnomen for any unknown, indistinguishable, or non-descript TERRORIST, often diminutive or effeminate (eg: Terry ..., Tracy ..., Timmy ..., Tanya ..., Teddy ..., or Tommy the Tango), so as to differentiate them as targets.

TANGO BOAT :
Armored Troop Carrier (ATC); like an APC that floats [nb: APCs and tanks are "swim" rated with engine SNORKELs, but are unreliable in that mode], but was less effective on land. The originals were LCM-6s with armor-plate and bar-armor added. They had nine seats for the troops and a canvas top to keep the sun out. Each TANGO could carry a fully equipped rifle platoon. They had two twin .50 cal. machinegun mounts on the boat deck and four Browning .30 cal. light machineguns re-chambered for NATO 7.62mm in the WELL DECK. In 1968 the Navy deployed two new river assault squadrons with TANGO BOATS built from the keel up specifically for riverine operations. See MRF, AAV, MOSQUITO FLEET.

TANK :
generic term for a track-driven (on caterpillar treads due to superior traction and improved weight distribution) armored combat vehicle that's armed with a cannon (MAIN-GUN) mounted inside a rotating TURRET, formerly called a "land ship", informally known as "big boy" and "clinkety-clank", and designated a "crab" or "turtle" by INDIGenous peoples; including STUART, GENERAL LEE, SHERMAN, PERSHING, WALKER-BULLDOG, CHAFFEE, PATTON, SHERIDAN, ABRAMS. Invented in 1914, pre-WWII doctrine designated TANK employment against troops and obstacles, so the armor was only thick enough to deflect SMALL ARMS, with counteroffense relegated to specially equipped "tank destroyer" teams; but WWII introduced more resistant fortifications and engagements between TANKs, necessitating lower silhouettes, thicker armor, and larger cannons. With the introduction of wire- and LASER-guided munitions during and after the VIETNAM WAR, TANKs also acquired better sights, faster fire, and increased speed. The shock value of the armor doctrine, where heavy gunfire issues from a rapidly moving platform that's fortified against general defense, acts as a FORCE MULTIPLIER. TANKERs convert the official "mobility and firepower" doctrine into sexual tactics: it ain't whatcha got but how ya use it! See COAX, MAIN-GUN, MUZZLE-BRAKE, NLOS-C, WILD SHOT, FLAREBACK, KICK, FIREPOWER, CUPOLA, TURRET, HATCH, CHERRY JUICE, PERISCOPE, BOGIE, COUNTER-ROTATE, CATERPILLAR, TRACK PAD, TRACK BLOCK, TRACK, MBT, APC, ARMORED CAR, LAV, HALF-TRACK, DUSTER, VTR, ARV, LOW BOY, AVLB, SNORKEL, SNORT, REACTIVE ARMOR, SPALL, SPACED ARMOR, BUSTLE, LAAGER, TANK PARK, GROUND GUIDE, MOTOR POOL, APPLIQUE ARMOR, HILLBILLY ARMOR, CANNIBALIZE, DRAGON'S TEETH, HEAT, SLAP, SABOT, AT, PAVIS, WIDOW MAKER, KILL RING, LOADER, TOAD, CONCRETE BATTLESHIP, VOTING MACHINE. [nb: heavily armoured cars, known as "tanks" to disguise their function, were introduced during the First Battle of the Somme (15 September 1916)] Also, a large container designed to hold a quantity of gas or liquid; see BLIVET, BLADDER, WATER BUFFALO. Also, a pond (natural or artificial) used for storing water. Also, nickname for the main conference room that's designated for meetings of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS); situated underground, it is also known as the "gold room"; compare BUBBLE, FISHBOWL. Also, a large cell or bullpen for the temporary detention of a group of prisoners; see BRIG, THE CASTLE, DEADLOCK, CHL, LBJ, CROSSBAR HOTEL, GUARDHOUSE, STOCKADE, HOT HOUSE, CLUB FED, MONKEY HOUSE [v: dungeon, keep, oubliette, hock (sty or prison as a miserable place to live)].

TANK FARM :
the safe area where a group or cluster of storage tanks containing volatile liquids or combustible gases is located. Compare TANK PARK.

TANKER :
a refueling aircraft (eg: KA-6, KB-29, KB-50, KC-10, KC-97, KC-135, etc); also called a "flying gas station". Geopolitical and treaty concerns in the post-WWII era, involving landing and over-flight rights, necessitated the adoption of TANKERS (eg: ATCA) that could not only fuel other aircraft, but be refueled themselves. When the situation permits, TANKERs also serve as FLARESHIPs for illuminating night incidents or operations. See STRATOTANKER, EXTENDER, SUPER FORTRESS, INTRUDER, ENDURANCE, ARCP, DROGUE, BREAKAWAY, BASKETBALL; compare HOT-FUELING, FLYING COW. Also, a vehicle or other conveyance designed for the bulk shipment of liquids or gases. Also, a crewmember of a track-driven TANK or other armored vehicle; also called a "track rat" or "tankist"; see TOAD, TREAD HEAD, YELLOWLEG, PONY SOLDIER, BOOTS AND SADDLES, CAVALRY WHISKERS, ORDER OF THE SPUR, YELLOW RIBBON; compare CRUNCHY. [nb: Vietnamese term: Linh Thiet Giap (tankman)]

TANKER BOOTS :
tanker boot
tanker boot
pull-on leather boots, similar in appearance to regular combat boots, except secured by a wrapped strap (no laces or eyelets); so designed to permit the foot to be withdrawn if the boot is trapped or jammed. Developed before WWII, this design was not authorized, but was widely condoned in armored and armored cavalry units. A tanker's coverall was also proposed, under the same principle of "readily shed for escape", but was not as popular, and was likewise not authorized. The wear of all-leather boots is no longer authorized after 30 April 2008. Compare JODHPUR; see FOOTWEAR.

TANKER JACKET / TANKER'S JACKET :
informal reference to a short cold weather jacket (ie: "jacket, combat, winter") that was issued (1943) by the Army to infantry, artillery, and armor personnel during WWII; this hip-length, windproof, water-repellent, tan colored cotton twill jacket with kersey (blanket-type) lining and knitted wool collar, cuffs, and waistband, featured a full-length brass front zipper and side-entry front pockets. See BATTLE JACKET, FLIGHT JACKET, FIELD JACKET, DRESS.

TANKER TECH / TANKERS' TECH :
slang reference to the U.S. Armor School at Fort Knox Kentucky where the basic and advanced courses for Armor officers are taught; also called "Tankers' Institute of Technology"; see REDLEG REFORMATORY, HUDSON HIGH, BOAT SCHOOL, ZOO, OCS, ROTC, TRADE SCHOOL. [v: Siwash ("At Good Old Siwash" by George Helgeson Fitch (1911)]

TANK PARK :
the secure area where armored vehicles (ie: TRACKs, TANKs, etc) are temporarily housed for the performance of maintenance, refitment, repairs, refueling, and other pre- or post-operational chores until deployed again on maneuvers; a HARDSTAND area where these armored vehicles are parked when not operational. See LAAGER, MOTOR POOL, CANNIBALIZE, GROUND GUIDE; compare TANK FARM.

TANK PLINKING :
slang phrase used by GULF WAR gunners and weapons officers (WSO) for destroying enemy armor with laser or infrared (IR) targeting and guided munitions ... an authentic "video game" that's almost as boring as "shooting fish in a barrel"! Phrase was officially discouraged, as being disrespectful and unprofessional, hence its politically-incorrect persistence. See LGB, GBU, PAVEWAY; compare PLINKING.

TANNOY :
the public-address (PA) system on-board ships, being a British brand name adopted during WWII, used for "Now Hear This" and "Do You Hear There" messages; also known as "1-MC", "loud hailer", and loudspeaker. Compare SQUAWK BOX, BLOWER, HORN, KLAXON, TOCSIN, ANNUNCIATOR, 1-MC; see WARNING ORDER, BOATSWAIN'S PIPE, BUGLE CALL, POOP, HEADS-UP, FYI, STAND-TO, DEFCON, SACON, FPCON, ESP, GQ, ALERT, AHOY, HOISE, OORAH, HOOAH, HAUL-ASS, STAT.

TAN TAY LAN :
Vietnamese for a New Zealander; see KIWI, ADV, COUNTERPART; compare OUC DA LOI, CO VAN MY. [v: Down Under Military Glossary]

TAO :
(tee-ai-oh) NavSpeak for the Tactical Action Officer in operations.

TAOC :
(t-a-o-c) Tactical Air Operations Center; compare TACC, TADC; see AOC, FOC, ADOC, ASOC, OPN.

TAOR :
Tactical Area Of Responsibility, or Tactical Area of Operational Responsibility, and is designated "Tactical Area of Operations" (TAO) by USMC; includes mission of key installation defense, protective reaction force, and pacification activity support. Compare AO, TO, AOR, MOA, OA, CHOP LINE, UA.

TAP :
a light but audible knock, blow, or strike; the sound made by such a light tap or repeated tapping; compare NOOGIE. Also, a metal piece attached to the sole of boots and shoes (at the toe and/or heel) as reinforcement, or to exaggerate the sound of marching and other DRILL movements. Also, a plug or stopper that closes an opening in a container (eg: barrel or cask) through which liquid is intermittently drawn; a hand-operated valve, spigot, faucet, cock or stopcock. Also, a tool used for cutting screw threads into the interior cylindrical surface of a round opening, as when enabling a branch connection into an extant pipe or line ... by extension, a connection made at an intermediate point on an electrical circuit or device. Also, to eavesdrop on telegraphic or telephonic communications, as when gathering information or evidence; wiretap. Also, to draw upon, to use what is readily available ("on tap"). Also, to draw from a source, as beer from a keg, molten metal from a furnace, or surgical spinal fluid. Also, acronym for Tactical Assault Panel, being a bib-like chest rig that's covered with PALS grid-work webbing and storage for eight rifle magazines ... similar bib-style carriers for submachinegun stick MAGs were used during WWII. The TAP, which replaces the fighting load carrier, can be used alone, or mounted on the Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV) or on the Soldier Plate Carrier System (SPCS).

TAP CODE :
clandestine communication method using any sound to represent letters of the alphabet, where the alphabet is arrayed as a 5X5 square (K=C); a communications method used when no "long" or "short" sounds are possible, so unlike MORSE CODE, no "dots" and "dashes" are necessary. [nb: In early literate societies (eg: Phoenician, Hebrew, Greek), before the introduction of distinct Arabic numerals, letters were also used as numbers (gematria / gimetria), either in context or with the addition of a number sign to cue (q/quando) the reader, which practice is still used in braille and TAP CODE but not in sign language or MORSE CODE] [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags] Also, an abbreviated form of communication used by LRRPs to signal alerts or prearranged messages transmitted by a TAP CODE knocked-out on a RIFLE stock.

TAP-DANCER :
someone who's working hard at not working; someone showing alot of flash-and-dash "fancy footwork" to distract everyone from what the hands are or are not doing, being a "song and dance" of all style and no substance. See SKATE, MOTOR MOUTH, VERBAL DIARRHEA, HOT DOG, SPEEDY, BOY WONDER, CYA, WANGLE, PING-PONG, DOG 'n' PONY SHOW, FIVE O'CLOCK FOLLIES, BLIVET, CHICKEN SHIT, MICKEY MOUSE, ORIFICE, HALF-ASSED, FRUIT FLY, WAR CORRESPONDENT, SMOKE 'n' MIRRORS, GAMESMANSHIP, MILICRAT. [nb: known as "show pony" by AUSSIE and KIWI troops] [nb: obfuscation and obscurantism are widely represented by the military maxim: "Bullshit baffles brains!", sometimes called a "Well sir,..." excuse] [v: showmanship, show-off, swank, coxcomb, princox, turkey cock, popinjay, sophist, nabob, nibs, stuffed-shirt, gentry, sophisticate, culture vulture, pooh-bah, panjandrum, high and mighty, hogen mogen, high-muckety-muck, high-muck-a-muck] [nb: "If you're walking on thin ice anyway, you may as well dance." by Randy Wayne White]

TAPS :
bugle signal indicating the end of the day [v: LIGHTS OUT], and used in memorial services to indicate the last or final day of duty; being a variation of TATTOO, and so-called from the earlier practice of tapping the tune on a DRUM. The current version was composed by Major General Dan Butterfield in 1862 by adaptation of the SCOTT TATTOO, and was officially adopted in 1874. TAPS is known as "The Last Post" by AUSSIE, KIWI, and other UK veterans. This term is also used as a metonym for necrology. See DEAD MARCH, KNELL, PALLBEARER, ANZAC, MEMORIAL DAY, MISSING MAN FORMATION, TOMB OF THE UNKNOWNS, BUGLE CALL, FURL, RUFFLES 'n' FLOURISHES, FACE THE MUSIC, FLAG DAY, RETREAT. [nb: before TAPS, the DEAD MARCH dirge was played at military funerals] [nb: when the American flag is folded into a triangle, representative of the Colonial tricorne, the red and white stripes representing the blood and bones of sacrifice are buried within the blue constellation of heaven; which is the traditional configuration for funeral and retreat ceremonies]

TAR :
a sailor; by shortening of 'tarpaulin'. Also, slang for hashish; see CAN SA, STICK, FIVE FINGERS, THAI STICK, DOPE, COLORS, JUNK, SMACK, STONED.

TAR BABY :
an inextricable problem or situation, such as a QUAGMIRE; derived from an 1881 Uncle Remus story by Joel Chandler Harris; compare BITTER END, SHIT HIT THE FAN, DEEP SHIT, FIGHT LIKE KILKENNY CATS, PYRRHIC VICTORY, AUTOTOMY, LAST STAND, BELL THE CAT. Also, a hashish addict; see HAY, HUBBLE-BUBBLE.

TARCAP :
Target Combat Air Patrol; also spelled "Tar-CAP" and "Tar CAP". See CAP, UMBRELLA, HIGH 'n' DRY, RACETRACK; compare ABNCP.

TARFU :
literally "Things Are Really Fucked Up", or more euphemistically as "... really fouled up"; see PVT SNAFU, FUCK-UP, FUCKED-UP, CLUSTER FUCK, WTFO, SOL, BOHICA. [nb: The Three Brothers, a 1944 U.S. Army animated short film that was directed by Friz Freleng, portrays a character named Fubar as being the brother of Privates Snafu and Tarfu]

TARFUN :
literally "Things Are Really Fucked Up Now", or more euphemistically as "... fouled up now"; see FUCK-UP, FUCKED-UP, CLUSTER FUCK, WTFO, SOL, BOHICA.

TARGET :
an object, usually marked for scoring, to be aimed at in shooting practice, qualification, or competition; see TEE, BOLO, KD RANGE, BASS, SIGHT PICTURE, SPOT WELD, BUTT, BERM, MAGGIE'S DRAWERS, DRY RUN, POINT-BLANK, BULL'S-EYE, SLEEVE, AIMPOINT. Also, the impersonal and unemotional objective designation of enemy personnel, weapons, vehicles, or stores (eg: "targets of opportunity", "target rich environment"); see OBJECTIFICATION, BOGIE, VISUAL, BANDIT, JUDY, TALLY-HO, PAINT, LOCK-ON, PICKLE, RANGE CARD, AIMING STAKES, CE, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), SOTA, STRATA, POP SMOKE, TOT, H&I, ZONE AND SWEEP, FIRE FOR EFFECT, DEFLECTION, FIRECRACKER, NAPALM, FAE, JDAM, GROUND ZERO, POINT OF IMPACT, COLLATERAL DAMAGE, SOFT TARGET, HARD TARGET, HVT, OBJ. [nb: "smart bomb, dumb target"] [v: Aunt Sally, Jack-a-Lent, cockshy, clay pigeon, sitting duck, mark, gull, dupe, pigeon, prey, quintain, wand, hit list]

TARGET OF OPPORTUNITY / TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY :
a target that has been exposed, which is within range of available weapons, and against which fire has not already been scheduled; any impromptu objective that spontaneously arises as a consequence of the developing tactical situation, and is neither a trap nor a diversion from the primary mission ... typically a flushed enemy element or an exposed enemy cache.

TARGET PRACTICE :
a training regimen wherein shooters (or 'gunners') acquire familiarity and proficiency with a weapon (or weapon system) in order to better fulfill their duty assignment while armed; being a drill that is typically rated and critiqued for improvement ... as distinguished from informal "plinking" at random targets of opportunity where fire discipline is lax and scores are not kept; see BASS, SIGHT PICTURE, AIMPOINT, DEVIATION, DEFLECTION, DRY FIRE, ZERO, KD RANGE, DEADEYE, BULL'S-EYE, KISS THE MISTRESS, KNOCK THEIR SPOTS OFF, SHARPSHOOTER, BOLO, RED FLAG, MAGGIE'S DRAWERS, FLYING BRAVO. [v: Firearms Glossary] Also, probably based upon 'scoring', a euphemism for sex, sexual relations, sexual intercourse, coitus, coition, venery, copulation, fornication, commerce, congress, seduction, intimate knowledge; see CHURNING BUTTER, BOOM-BOOM, SHORT-TIME, FUCK, HOOKUP, DIDDLY, ACT OF CONGRESS, BUTTERFLY, SANDWICH, HAT TRICK, DAISY CHAIN, AROUND THE WORLD, TRICK, PASSION RATION, LOVE HANDLES; compare STEAM 'n' CREAM, SHACK-JOB, HELL ON WHEELS, CHOWING DOWN, HUMMERR, BUSH PILOT, MUFF DIVER, TRAINING FILM, STROKE BOOK.

TARGET RICH ENVIRONMENT :
a modern euphemism for a surfeit or plethora, excess or abundance of valid enemy personnel or structures, vehicles or aircraft that may be actively and legitimately engaged (ie: killed or destroyed) within the OBJECTIVE AREA or COMBAT ZONE under the prevailing RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE); see TALLY-HO, TURKEY SHOOT, ROCK 'n' ROLL, MAD MINUTE, FIRE FOR EFFECT, FREE FIRE ZONE, WEAPONS FREE ZONE; compare SPRAY, FLOCK SHOOT, BLIND FIRE, H&I, RECON BY FIRE.

TARMAC / TARMACADAM :
see MACADAM / MACADAMIZED.

TARP :
informal designation of TARPaulin, derived by shortening; refers to a SHEET of waterproofed canvas or other material used as a protective covering for objects exposed to the weather; see BOLTROPE, SHELTER-HALF, TENT, WAPENSHAW. Also, a sailor; see TAR.

TARTAR :
a brutal or savage person who's irascible and intractable; a tartarian personality allegedly derived from the Mongolian (Tartar) and Turkish (Tatar) tribesmen (and their intermingled descendants) who overran Asia and much of eastern Europe in the Middle Ages. See CATCH A TARTAR. [v: Tartarus; cf: harsh mistress]

TASER :
see HEIP, NON-LETHAL WEAPONS.

TASK FORCE :
(forthcoming); units that are brought together under one command for the execution of a specific operation; abbreviated TF; see CTF, ATF, MAGTF, JTF, JTFEX, JTTF, JSOTF, CJSOTF-AP, ATFV, MARS, TASK FORCE OREGON, DOZER INFANTRY, NIGHT STALKERS, RESTORE HOPE, AD HOC, "Task Force Troy" at GHOST UNIT.

TASK FORCE OREGON :
(forthcoming); see AMERICAL, SOUTHERN CROSS.

TASKING :
see TASKING ORDER.

TASKING ORDER :
a method used to assign tasks and to disseminate projected targets and specific missions to components, subordinate units, and command and control agencies; additionally, the tasking order (also called "tasking" or TASKORD) provides specific instructions concerning mission planning, targets, and other controls, as well as general instructions for accomplishing the mission. See ORDER.

TASKORD :
see TASKING ORDER.

TASK SATURATION :
being too busy to follow regular procedures, often due to insufficient time or combat/emergency conditions, usually resulting in injury or death, lost or damaged equipment; to overload or overburden. See BRAIN FART, STRESS OF SOUL, OBJECTIFICATION, TELESCOPING, DISSOCIATION, KILL ZONE, BEATEN ZONE, DEAD ZONE, KILLING GROUND, CARPET BOMBING, ARC LIGHT, CHECKERBOARD. [nb: despite MIL-SPEAK, this awkward phrase, which actually refers to genuine circumstances, has not yet been enhanced to "task supersaturation" by MILICRATs! ... although "over-hype" was coined for coverage of the Iraq War] [v: fardel]

TAT :
see MEAT MARKER, TATTOO.

TATAR :
see TARTAR.

TATP :
a white crystalline powder (triacetone triperoxide) having a distinctive bleach-like odor that's often used as the primary propellant in improvised explosive devices (IED); together with acetone peroxide and peroxyacetone, this organic compound is nicknamed the MOTHER OF SATAN for its high susceptibility to accidental detonation. See EXPLOSIVE.

TATTOO :
a signal, such as BUGLE CALL or BOATSWAIN'S PIPE, announcing a condition or event, such as OFFICER'S CALL or TAPS. [cf: warison] Also, any similar drumbeat or rhythm, as a heart beat; see DRUM, DRUMFIRE. [v: paradiddle] Also, an outdoor military pageant; see PARADE, PASS IN REVIEW, TROOP THE LINE, PASSING HONORS, COLOR GUARD, BEATERS 'n' BLEATERS, TOOTER, FACE THE MUSIC, MISSING MAN FORMATION. Also, indelible marks or designs on the skin, as from powder burns or inserted pigments; also called "ink" or "tat". With the exception of CLEAN agents or STERILE operatives, the military permits "personal adornment" or "body art" by TATTOOs [aka: "devil's mark" or "witch's mark"] on any part of the body that's visible while in uniform, except the head, face, neck, and hands, as long as the depiction or legend is not sexist, racist, extremist, or indecent; see MEAT MARKER, FULL-SLEEVE, CONTINUATION TATTOO, SAT CONG, ID CARD; compare CLEANSKIN, EARRING, DOG TAGS, COINING, SOUVENIR. [nb: "Show me a man with a tattoo and I'll show you a man with an interesting past." by Jack London; "The perfect tattoo ... the one I believe we are all struggling toward ... is the one that turned the jackass into a zebra." by Cliff Raven; "You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh, (as) for the dead, neither shall you make in yourselves any figures or marks ...." Leviticus 19:28 (Douay-Rheims)] [nb: in the pervading nihilism of the post-Vietnam era, gangbanger hoodlums and ruffians are exhibiting a tattoo of an upside down 'heart' to represent "hate" and a tattoo of an upside down 'peace sign' to represent "war", as manifestations of their antipathy for the dominant society] Also, an idiomatic expression employed as a colloquial affectation by certain subgroups (eg: "Tattoo me surprised." or "Tattoo me embarrassed.", "Tattoo me repentant." or "Tattoo me chagrined."); used in the same manner as the earlier 'color me' ("Color me sad." or "Color me glad.") phraseology during the Vietnam and post-Vietnam eras.

TAW :
Tactical Airlift Wing; also abbreviated "TAWg".

TAXIWAY :
any surface area of an airport where aircraft are moved to and from a RUNWAY; compare APRON, HARDSTAND, RAMP, THRESHOLD; see FOLLOW ME.

TAXPAYER :
a person, visitor or resident, who is subject to and liable for the payment of government taxes levied upon goods and services, incomes and transactions, the sum of which appropriation constitutes the majority of the revenue by which the government acts on behalf of its constituency; in the case of the military, those persons who both contribute to and are recipients of the government's redistribution of their SALARY, including housing and sustenance, weaponry and equipment. See CIVILIAN, AUGMENTEE, HIRED GUN, POLITICIAN, THE G, ACT OF CONGRESS, INCOME TAX, THE EAGLE SHITS, SEPARATE RATS, DOUBLE-DIP. [v: Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN); cf: Social Security Number (SSN)]

TBI :
Traumatic Brain Injury, including concussion and persistent vegetative state [PVS]; see WIA, GSW, GSW-TTH, BLAST SYNDROME, COSR, MILLION DOLLAR WOUND, PROFILE, LINE OF DUTY, TRIAGE, MAIM, MUTILATE, WHOLE MAN, ZULU. [cf: organic brain syndrome; v: agnosia, aprosodia, prosotagnosia, prosopagnosia]

T-BILL :
Treasury bill; the broad referent for marketable government debt instruments that are used to finance the national debt, including Treasury bills (maturity term of less than 1 year), Treasury notes (maturity terms from 2 to 10 years), Treasury bonds (maturity term of 30 years), and Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS), all of which are also simply called "treasuries". Because Federal Reserve Banks are required to hold collateral equal in value to the notes put into circulation, this collateral is chiefly held in the form of U.S. Treasury debt, federal agency and government-sponsored enterprise securities. Treasury securities are marketable and are heavily traded by secondary owners; unlike bond values, treasury yields decrease as demand increases, and interest rates on loans increase as yields increase, which higher yields can increase the value of the dollar. The offset between short-term and long-term yield (ie: the total return over the life of the security) affects confidence and liquidity in the dollar, which has been denominated as the global currency of worldwide trade. Compare SAVINGS BOND, see LEGAL TENDER.

TBO :
aviation jargon for Time Before Overhaul.

T-BONE :
a tactic wherein the adversaries are perpendicular to each other; see CROSSING THE T.

TBS :
Talk Between Ships, being a short-range radiotelephone used for ship-to-ship communications during WWII. Also, U.S. Air Force designation for a Tactical Bomber Squadron (1947-1992). Also, abbreviation for The Basic School at Quantico VA, being the initial 11-week course of infantry instruction required of all newly commissioned (whether from OCS, NROTC, or USNA) Marine officers so as to prepare them to be platoon commanders in Marine Corps companies; see BOC, OBC.

TC :
U.S. Army Transportation Corps
branch insignia U.S. Army Transportation Corps
branch insignia
Transportation
Training Circular; see FM, TM, DASH TEN, CIRCULAR, CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, SCRIPTURES. Also, designation for the Track or Tank Commander of an armored vehicle; typically a sergeant (SGT/NCO) in a section or platoon (PLT) CHAIN-OF-COMMAND, including the platoon sergeant (PLT SGT) and platoon leader (PLT LDR / PL). Also, the branch responsible for the surface (land/sea) movement of men and materiel for mission support and accomplishment; the Transportation Corps is exclusive of combat vehicles (eg: APC, TANK), construction equipment (eg: ROME PLOW), aircraft (eg: HUEY, HERKY BIRD), and submersible vessels (eg: SUBMARINE), although the Army has more boats (LANDING CRAFT) than the Navy; see JEEP, HUMVEE, TRUCK, DUCK/DUKW, GAMMA GOAT, CONVOY, RED BALL, COMBAT LOADED, WHEEL JOCKEY, MOTOR POOL.

TCAP :
a white crystalline powder (tri-cyclic acetone peroxide) having a distinctive bleach-like odor that's often used as the primary propellant in improvised explosive devices (IED); together with acetone peroxide and peroxyacetone, this organic compound is nicknamed the MOTHER OF SATAN for its high susceptibility to accidental detonation. See EXPLOSIVE.

TCN :
Third-Country National, being a civilian contract employee from a neighboring nation (eg: Japan, Okinawa, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, etc) who's been hired to work in some COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT activity (eg: food service, logistics, transportation, maintenance, etc) on an American military base. See FN; compare LN.

T-DAY :
the unnamed effective day coincident with a Presidential declaration of national emergency, and authorization for partial mobilization, exclusive of personnel called-up on S-DAY. See TIME.

TDRL :
Temporary Disability Retired List, being an administrative assignment made by the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) that removes an injured servicemember from active duty (AD) while their medical condition is inconclusive (either still under treatment or subject to change as healing progresses) for a maximum of four years; at the end of this period, the servicemember is finally adjudicated as either fit for return to service or unfit for service, assigned a disability rating, and moved to the Permanent Disability Retired List (PDRL). See WHOLE MAN, HORS DE COMBAT, MILLION DOLLAR WOUND, PROFILE, LINE OF DUTY. [nb: Service-Connected (SC) disability compensation and Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) are benefit categories for military persons retired for medical reasons]

TDY :
Temporary Duty; known as Temporary Additional Duty (TAD) by Navy and Marine personnel; generally an assignment (including OVERSEAS postings) lasting less than 180 days. See CHOP, JCET, SHEEP-DIPPED; compare DUTY, BILLET, BERTH, POST, ON STATION, WATCH, HARDSHIP TOUR, MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, BUMFUCK, MOS, OJT, PCS.

TEACH :
(ie: "Tell 'em whutcha gunna tell 'em; tell 'em; then tell 'em whutcha told 'em!") see MONKEY SEE - MONKEY DO, POI (Program Of Instruction), TRNG, MIL-CRAFT, CROSS-TRAINING, LESSONS LEARNED. [nb: "If you can't say it clearly, you don't understand it yourself." by John Searle; "We teach people how to remember, we never teach them how to grow." by Oscar Wilde (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills)]

TEACH A PIG TO SING / TEACH A PIG TO WHISTLE :
an allusion to any pointless or futile activity, with the importance of this expression being that such a pastime wastes one's valuable time and seriously annoys the animal; this folkloric expression has also been represented as "teach a horse to sing" or "teach a frog to whistle". Despite its modern interpretation, its significance formerly derived from the relevance of its associated tale: wherein a criminal, condemned to death by the king, bargained for his freedom if he could teach the royal horses to sing within a year, which prospect flattered the king's vanity, whereupon the prisoner's escort complains that this would be an utter waste of time, so the prisoner explained that the future was unknown, that he might die a peaceful death during that period, that the king might lose his crown, or that the horses might actually learn to sing! ... so the prisoner's stay of execution, albeit preoccupied, would not be without hope! See WILD GOOSE CHASE, PING-PONG, BEAT AROUND THE BUSH, PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, WASHING A BEAR WITHOUT GETTING WET, DEATH IS NOT THE GOAL, PIG LOOKING AT A WRISTWATCH.

TEAM :
a number of persons associated in some joint action, which variable composition is determined by mission and TO&E; abbreviated TM. See COMBAT TEAM, RCT, BCT, SBCT, MTT, A TEAM, SCOUT TEAM, RT, LRP / LRRP, LRSD, COMBAT TEAM, TEAM BOX, TEAMHOUSE; compare FIRE TEAM, SQUAD, CHALK, STACK, FIRE BRIGADE. [nb: the word 'team' is not spelled with an "I" in it; "The point of the game is not how well the individual does but whether the team wins. That is the beautiful heart of the game, the blending of personalities, the mutual sacrifices for group success." by Bill Bradley]

TEAM BOX :
a container, sized from FOOTLOCKER to CONEX, that's packed with all mission specific weapons and equipment for the unit's initial deployment, including radios and optics, maps and manuals, medicine and relevant clothing; also called OP BOX.

TEAMHOUSE :
primary structure for advisory teams; usually includes partitions for admin, plans, intel, and command sections, with sleeping area, guest quarters, kitchen, and bar/lounge. See BILLET, BLDG, SEA HUT, HUTMENT, TENT.

TEARDROP :
naval slang for a streamlined depth charge, being one that will sink faster along a more vertical vector than the older cylindrical (ASHCAN) style; compare HEDGEHOG, see ASW.

TECH :
1942 Technician 4th Class
Tech 4th Class
1942 Technician 5th Class
Tech 5th Class
short for technician or technical, as in Technician 3rd Class or Technical Sergeant; technical grades were established during the post-WWI reorganization, were designated with the letter "T" during WWII, and were eliminated in the post-WWII reorganization. See SPC/SP4, BIRD UMBRELLA, WO, CHIEF, GUNNER, WOBBLY, WONK, PROFESSOR, WIZARD, WALLAH.

TECHINT :
TECHnical INTelligence; information developed from technical sources.

TECHNICAL :
(forthcoming); comparable to Combined Anti-Armor Team (CAAT) using High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV) equipped with anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), mortars, heavy machineguns and automatic grenade launchers.

TECHNOLOGY :
the devices and mechanisms invented by the practical application of industrial arts and engineering sciences; the material objects provided by a society to its members. A technology is only meaningful if a culture or subculture utilizes it as a medium to manifest inculcated ideals and ubiquitous cognates. Adaptations or extensions of technological invention have traditionally passed through three phases: gadget creation, improved accommodation, and streamlined production; or, in other words, from the simple to the complex and on to the simplified. [nb: "Engines of war have long since reached their limits, and I see no further hope of any improvement in the art." by Frontinus (AD90); "Everything that can be invented has been invented." by Charles H. Duell (Commissioner of US Office of Patents, 1899); "Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end." by Henry David Thoreau (1854); "Men are only as good as their technical development allows them to be." by George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) (1940); "Machinery strikes strange dread into the human heart, as some living panting behemoth might." by Herman Melville (1851); "Men have become tools of their tools." by Henry David Thoreau (1854); "Now that technology has overtaken our humanity, the world is left with a generation of immoral idiots." falsely attributed to Albert Einstein; "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men." by Martin Luther King Jr. (1963); "Where there is the necessary technical skill to move mountains, there is no need for the faith that moves mountains." by Eric Hoffer (1955); "Technology enables misfits who prefer emulation to interaction to coexist without consequences -- the scientific age has created the first amoral society in human history."; "Superior technical achievements -- used correctly both strategically and tactically -- can beat any quantity numerically many times stronger, yet technically inferior." by Adolf Galland; "The more mechanical our weapons become, in consequence our fighting spirit must become much less mechanical." paraphrase of Archibald P. Wavell; "The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do." by B.F. Skinner (1969); "The machine yes the machine / never wastes anybody's time / never watches the foreman / never talks back." by Carl Sandburg (1936); "Technology works, whether or not you understand it; and science is true, whether or not you believe it -- they don't have to be good or just, because they're real." paraphrase of Neil DeGrasse Tyson; "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." by Arthur C. Clarke (1973); "Witchcraft to the ignorant ... simple science to the learned." by Leigh Brackett (1942); "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." by Richard P. Feynman (1986)]

TEE :
the mark aimed at in various games; see BULL'S-EYE, AIMPOINT, POINT OF IMPACT, TARGET. Also, truncation of T-SHIRT (qv).

TEE-TEE :
Vietnamese term for "A little bit"; often mistaken for 'small' or 'short', and therefore widely misused. Compare SKOSH, NITNOY. [cf: minuscule]

TELECON :
contraction of TELEgraphic CONference, but later extended to any interactive telecommunications system. Originally functioned by scheduling the principals, with or without their staff, to meet in signal offices or message centers to engage in dialogues or exchange information in real-time immediacy; which was displaced by long-distance "conference calling", and computerized "instant messaging". See FONECON, TWX, TTY, CONTEL, VTC, HOT LINE, BAMBOO TELEGRAPH, BACK CHANNEL, BUCK SLIP, FROST CALL, TELEPHONE TREE, TELEPHONE.

TELEPHONE :
see BLOWER, HORN, LANDLINE, ELECTRONIC PACIFIER, BURNER, MWR LINE, SPAGHETTI, COAX, PIGTAIL, FONECON, TELECON, HOT LINE, AUTOVON, WATTS, DSN, PSTN, TELEPHONE TREE, SATCOM, UWT, PBX, PTT, RTO, CALL-SIGN, CODE TALKER, ENCRYPT, DECRYPT, EARS, BUG, MEACONING, RTP, INTERCO, PROWORD, A-OK, MAYDAY, EOT, BREADCRUMBING, PORTABLE / TIN BRAINS, BUCK SLIP; compare SCUTTLEBUTT, RUMOR, BACK CHANNEL, BAMBOO TELEGRAPH, RADIO, CONTEL, TWX, TTY, NET, COMMO. [v: Japanese denwa] [nb: Bell patent 1876; coin-operated phone 1889; push-button telephone invented 1941; Area Codes 1952; cellular phone 1973; voice mail 1980; Caller ID 1982] [nb: mobile phone (Global System for Mobile Communications, a second-generation open-standard digital-transceiver voice/text wireless system) tracking for accountability and monitoring for security is rendered via repeater triangulation and the GPS satellite network, with an approximate margin of error of 10-50m depending on location]

TELEPHONE TREE :
the hierarchal notification setup, imitative of the unit structure, for the efficient dissemination of information, or rapid notification of alterations, to ensure personnel readiness during training, mobilization, and so forth; activation or initiation is often designated "lighting the telephone tree", where each superior notifies his immediate subordinates, who notify their immediate subordinates, and so forth. Calling guidelines must include Privacy Act restrictions, and cautions against RUMORs or BACK CHANNEL gossip. This unit communication system is also useful in post-deployment family support activities. Compare FROST CALL; see NET, TELECON. [nb: not to be confused with "telephone tag"]

TELESCOPING :
informal reference to the normal psycho-sensory response to threat or conflict, formally known as "tachypsychia" (swift + mind), wherein the participant focuses in a clear and concentrated manner on what is perceived as most dangerous to the exclusion of other stimuli, including sound, touch, periphery, and elapsed time. Sometimes referred to as "tunnel vision", the analogy to the actual use of a telescope is apt, since events seem distant but vivid, central but out of context, real but without distractions. The participant is not "deaf" or BULLETPROOF but does not react to anything immaterial or inessential, to the point of following directives without memory, or of being injured or wounded without knowing it. The time sense of the participant may contract, elongate, or vacillate; and the post-confrontational period is usually disoriented. Tachypsychia is induced by extreme physical exertion and emotional stress, exhibiting high levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, and is symptomatic of trauma (eg: PTSD). See BUBBLE, THOUSAND-YARD STARE, DISSOCIATION, OBJECTIFICATION, BLACKOUT, ZOMBIE, FLASHBACK, STRESS OF SOUL, BROKEN-WING SYNDROME, FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT.

TELL IT TO THE MARINES :
a sardonic or dismissive catch-phrase used to express disbelief or incredulity concerning an allegation or assertion, an account or tale; a protest against being regarded as gullible or as stupid as the prototypical JARHEAD. A similar phrase among civilians is: "Tell it to the women and children." See TALK TRASH, SHOOT THE SHIT, BRAVO SIERRA, WAR STORY, SEA STORY, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, RUMOR, RED INK. [nb: this phrase originated with the Royal Marines, formed as the Maritime Regiment of Foot (1664), in the early 19th century as "He may tell that to the marines, but the sailors will not believe him." ("The Post-Captain, or The Wooden Walls Well Manned Comprehending a View of Naval Society and Manners" by John Davis, 1804), which was later shortened to its present form, as in "...if a soldier complained to him [the commander] of hardships which he could not comprehend, [the commander] would be very likely to recommend him to "tell it to the marines'!" (1848 preface to "A Journal of the Campaign in Flanders" by John Marshall Deane, 1708); the allegation that King Charles II mocked the credulity of these naive soldiers to Samuel Pepys is a hoax perpetrated in the 1900s by the novelist W.P. Drury, a retired Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Marines. Americans later adopted this phrase, as in the 1918 short story ("Above the Law" by Max Brand / Frederick Faust) and in the 1926 film title for a movie about recruit training and military culture]

TELLTALE :
someone or something which reveals, discloses or warns, to give notice; see TU DAI, TRIPWIRE, WEATHER EYE, WHITE MOUSE. Also, any of various devices or mechanisms for alerting, indicating, or registering; see TRADECRAFT. Also, a signal device consisting of either a weighted (fabric, foil, crepe paper) streamer or flagged smoke grenade that's thrown from the jump plane to estimate winds under canopy and to help determine the jump spot for parachute deployment; also called 'wind drift indicator' (WDI). Also, a suspended line, ribbon, or feather hung so as to indicate wind direction; see WINDSOCK, BEAUFORT SCALE, SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE, FUJITA SCALE.

TEMP :
abbreviation for TEMPorary; also represented as "tmp". Also, Tactically Expandable Maritime Platform, being a development scenario conceived by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

TEMPLE :
a place or edifice dedicated to the public worship or the religious services devoted to a deity; see WAT, ANGKOR WAT, NHA THO, JOSS HOUSE, JOSS STICK, FOO DOG. [v: ashram, synagogue, church, chapel, mosque, ziggurat, house of God, house of prayer, house of worship] Also, any building used by a fraternal order (eg: the Templars' "Inns of Court"); as derived from "a space demarcated by an augur for taking auspices".

TEMPLE LION :
see FOO DOG. [nb: although lions, as a symbol of strength and courage, serve as guardians against evil for religious buildings and civic centers, they are not native to Asia; only panthers (eg: tiger, leopard, etc) are autochthonous]

TENACIOUS / TENACITY :
see RESILIENT / RESILIENCE. [v: persistent / persistence, perseverant / perseverance, determined / determination, unbent / unbowed / unbroken / undefeated]

10-CODES / TEN-CODES :
(forthcoming); see POLICE, CODE, CIPHER, BREVITY CODE [nb: not "one-zero codes"]

TEN COMMANDMENTS :
a catalogue of the ten principal moral precepts fundamental to the Judeo-Christian faith; also called Decalogue / Decalog or Ten Utterances. See CREED, PROMISE, OATH, CODE OF CONDUCT, DUTY, HONOR CODE. [v: Exodus 20:2-17, Deuteronomy 5:6-21; cf: Shema Yisrael / Sh'ma Yisrael] [nb: the Ten Commandments were inscribed on the Two Tablets of Stone (Tables of Stone or Two Tablets of Testimony) by the finger of God (Jehovah, Adonai, HaShem, HaShem Yitbarakh, Hagedulah Bamarom, YHVH); these tablets were smashed by Moses after the Sin of the Golden Calf, but Moses was mercifully permitted to carve replacements after forty days of rethinking and repentance]

TENDER :
an auxiliary ship employed to attend other ships, as for supply or maintenance, such as a submarine tender; derived as a variant of 'attend' / 'attender'; see MOTHER SHIP, OILER, LIGHTER, BOAT. Also, a dinghy carried or towed by a yacht; an auxiliary watercraft; see GIG, SKIMMER, LIFEBOAT, BOAT. Also, a person who attends to various matters; someone who is in charge of something, such as supplying provisions. [nb: an early twin-hulled tender was the "snag boat", equipped with steam-powered ram and wench, that was invented by Henry Miller Shreve at Heliopolis in 1829; which was used to clear a fairway of submerged obstacles on the Red River, permitting commercial traffic]

TENT :
a portable shelter or temporary structure made of fabric or skins, usually supported by poles and secured by stakes in the ground; as derived from stretch (cf: tenterhook) [aka: cabana, tepee (teepee/tipi), wickiup (wikiup/wickyup), wigwam, yurt]. See PUP TENT, SHELTER-HALF, TARP, BOLTROPE, GP, WALL TENT, HUTMENT; compare BIVOUAC, HOOCH, HUT, SHEBANG, BOHIO, SEA HUT, VILLE, COMPANY STREET. Also, a surgical probe for opening an aperture or wound, or a roll or pledget of soft absorbent material, as lint or gauze, for dilating an orifice, keeping a wound open, gaping a slit, and so forth; compare COMPRESS, TAMPON, STRETCHER.

TERGIVERSATE / TERGIVERSATION :
to repeatedly change one's attitude or opinion regarding some subject, as to equivocate or vacillate [v: shilly-shally (der: "Shall I? Shall I?")]; see DON'T DO NOTHING, CLUTCH-UP, PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, PING-PONG, BEAT AROUND THE BUSH, POPULARITY CONTEST; compare HIDEBOUND, BRASSBOUND, BRASS EAR, HARD-AND-FAST, TOE THE LINE, MILITARY MIND, BRASS-COLLAR, BY THE BOOK, SCRIPTURES, PARTY LINE. Also, to turn renegade, become a treasonist; a 'tergiversant' is derived from to "turn one's back"; see TURNCOAT, TRAITOR, QUISLING, WHITE VC.

TERMINAL LEAVE :
a period of LEAVE, amounting to all accrued LEAVE that remains unused just prior to a servicemember's discharge from military service; a form of calculated early release that's granted to the individual in lieu of payment for the convertible value of that unused LEAVE.

TERMINAL WARD :
also known as the "last bivouac" or "final encampment"; see ZERO WARD, ZERO-ZERO WARD, TRIAGE, MASS CASUALTIES, WALKING GHOST, DOW. [v: lazaretto, hospice, pesthouse, sanatorium, leprosarium]

TERRAIN :
the military advantages manifest in the natural features of a tract of land; the landscape implemented as a FORCE MULTIPLIER ... what civilians call 'scenery'! See KEY TERRAIN.

TERRITORIAL BACHELOR :
someone who regards posting on a HARDSHIP TOUR to be a sufficient excuse for violating their marital vows by indulging in extramarital sexual relations, being a moral lapse that's remedied upon rotation to the HOME FRONT and spousal propinquity; a euphemism for a philanderer or an adulterer, a lothario or a rakehell, a profligate or a libertine. See ADULTERY, STRAIGHT ARROW, SILENT MAJORITY; compare SLEEPING DICTIONARY, CAMPAIGN WIFE, CAMP FOLLOWER, DISTAFF, SKIRT. [v: UCMJ punitive article 134: adultery]

TERRORIST :
a radical or fanatical activist who uses violence, or the threat of violence, to intimidate a society or to coerce a government into a state of fear or submissive subjection for religious, economic, racial, ethnic, or other sociopolitical objectives. Any unknown, indistinguishable, or non-descript TERRORIST type is given a generic agnomen, often diminutive or effeminate (eg: Terry ..., Tracy ..., Timmy ..., Tanya ..., Teddy ..., or Tommy the Tango), so as to differentiate them as targets. See GWOT, WAR ON TERROR, ANTI-TERRORISM, COUNTER-TERRORISM, SABOTAGE, PROVOCATEUR, ASYMMETRIC WARFARE, UW, ISLAMOFASCISM, DECAPITATION, NECKLACE, HAIRCUT AND MANICURE, JUDGE LYNCH, STRANGE FRUIT, CHRISTMAS TREE, RING OF FIRE, MARTYR'S VEST, ATROCITY, BAD GUYS, FALL GUY, CAT AND MOUSE, PLAY DEAD, CAM TU, BOMBER, "nightrider" at COWBOY, SILENT MAJORITY, PATRIOT ACT, DHS, NRP, NIMS, NCTC, JTTF, CONSTABULARY. [nb: the difference between a TERRORIST and a FREEDOM FIGHTER, a GUERRILLA and an IRREGULAR, a "militiaman" and a "defense warden", a "revolutionary" and a "criminal", a "Death Squad" and a "SWAT Team" has more to do with one's perspective and allegiance than with the il-/legality of the violent acts themselves; synonyms include: rebel, dissident, insurgent, raider, marauder, jayhawker, bushwhacker, nightrider, scallywag / scalawag, firebrand, fire-eater, redneck, cracker, reaver / reiver, rascal, ruffian, brigand, outlaw, desperado, villain / villein, freebooter, pirate, buccaneer, privateer] [v: Guy Fawkes, Gunpowder Plot (5 Nov 1605)] [v: uprising, insurrection, insurgency, revolt, rebellion, takeover, toppling, outbreak, break-out, overthrow, break-through, downfall, mutiny, turning point, putsch, coup, coup d'état, or intifada (der: "shaking off")]

TEST ACT :
the English statute (1673) requiring that all military officers and public officials take an oath of allegiance to the Crown, receive the sacraments of the Church of England, and reject the doctrine of transubstantiation; although repealed in 1828, similar tests of loyalty have been decreed at various times in various places, including the Disqualification Act, the Alien and Sedition Act, and the Reconstruction Act in the United States of America. See LOYALTY OATH, PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE, McCARTHYISM, RIOT ACT, MUTINY, TREASON, QUASI-WAR.

TESTOSTERONE :
a sex hormone that's secreted by the testes, which stimulates the development of male sex organs, secondary sexual traits, and sperm; an androgen that's synthesized in small quantities in the ovaries, cortices of the adrenal glands, and placenta, usually from cholesterol, and is also used in the medical treatment of certain gynecological conditions. Testosterone is necessary in the fetus for the development of external male genitalia, then increased levels of testosterone at puberty cause further growth of male genitalia and the development and maintenance of male secondary sex characteristics, and because it stimulates protein synthesis, testosterone accounts for the greater muscular development of the male. It's been scientifically verified that an absence of "aggressive" (ie: adrenalin producing) activities diminishes a man's testosterone level, a factor that can reduce his sex drive and cause sexual impotence, and a condition that may affect the sexual orientation of his offspring. [v: ICSH (Interstitial-Cell Stimulating Hormone), androsterone, FSH (Follicle-Stimulating Hormone), anabolic steroid]

TESTOSTERONE ZONE :
slang for any male-centric area or masculine-intensive activity, from a gym or firing range to contact and extreme sports, especially the military; also known as a "total testosterone territory" or "sausage fest", "estrogen-free zone" or "estrus- / estrum-free zone". See ONIONS, MOXIE, GUTS, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, MANLY ARTS, TWO-FISTED, WAR GAMES, GOLDEN PENIS SYNDROME, RED-BLOODED, HANG TOUGH, MAN-UP, MACHO; compare ESTROGEN ALLEY.

TET :
Vietnamese term for the Lunar New Year holiday period, with both cultural and religious significance. The Chinese lunar calendar, reckoned in sixty-year cycles, divides each year into twelve months, with an intercalary month added seven times every nineteen years; therefore the occurrence of the new year in the lunar cycle varies from year to year. See TIME.

TET OFFENSIVE :
a culturally propitious and environmentally advantageous period for military operations in Southeast Asia, especially the sudden nationwide offensive of 1968 that garnered propaganda kudos for the NVA and VC forces. Just as the SON TAY raiders trained for their special mission in a prison camp MOCK-UP, so the PAVN infiltrators trained on a MOCK-UP of the American embassy and other strategic targets for the 1968 TET OFFENSIVE at COSVN in Cambodia. It required weeks for SVN and US troops to recover and secure airfields, bases, and cities. Although the 1968 TET OFFENSIVE was a military disaster for NVN, which did not elicit a sympathetic uprising as predicted, it was turned into a "political victory" by the connivance of a complicit media ... which should have made comparisons to other failed "break-outs" or "break-throughs", but instead found inaccurate parallels with other historic "turning points", such as Gettysburg and Cowpens.

TETRACYCLINE :
an ANTIBIOTIC, derived from streptomyces, that's used in medicine to treat a broad variety of bacterial infections by interfering with protein synthesis; tetracycline is used to treat some diseases where the infecting microorganism is resistant to penicillin. Compare SULFA DRUGS, PENICILLIN, STREPTOMYCIN. [v: chlortetracycline (Aureomycin), oxytetracycline (Terramycin)]

TEXAN :
designation for the North American AT-6 TEXAN, a fighter aircraft employed during WWII and KOREAN WAR; given the slang nickname of the OLD GROWLER as a result of the distinctive sound made by the propeller on take-off. This WWII trainer (also manufactured by Beechcraft) was commonly known as a "pilot maker", and was later succeeded by the Raytheon T-6 and T-6 II. The T-6 liaison version was nicknamed "Mosquito". Compare GROWLER, see BIRD.

TF :
abbreviation for Task Force (qv). Also, abbreviation for Tactical Fighter.

TFO :
Tactical Flying Officer, or Technical Flight Officer, being the technician who operates the FLIR and RADAR devices in the cockpit of an aircraft; compare WSO (WIZZO), EWO, RSO, RIO, GIB, BEAR.

TF OREGON :
see AMERICAL, SOUTHERN CROSS.

TFR :
abbreviation for Terrain Following Radar; see CONTOUR FLYING, NOE, GRASS, UNDER THE RADAR.

TFS :
U.S. Air Force designation for a Tactical Fighter Squadron (1947-1992).

TFW :
Tactical Fighter Wing; also abbreviated "TFWg".

THACH WEAVE :
an air combat tactic wherein a targeted airplane and his WINGMAN (or two separate elements) move laterally apart and then turn to approach each other, exposing the attacker to direct counterfire on the return pass; eponymously after John S. Thach, a Naval aviator, who developed and tested the technique in 1941 as a counter to the faster climbing and more maneuverable Japanese Mitsubishi 'Zero' fighters (nicknamed "Zeke"), giving Americans flying the F4F 'Wildcat' an advantage, which was first implemented at the June 1942 battle of Midway ... also called the "beam defense position", this tactic was later used in the KOREAN and VIETNAM WARs. Compare LUFBERY CIRCLE, VIFF, SAM WEAVE; see AEROBATICS. [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon]

THAILAND :
1917 flag of the Kingdom of
Thailand
Kingdom of Thailand
5 band Kingdom of Thailand
flag with central elephant motif
Kingdom of Thailand
Kingdom of Siam flag with
elephant in chakra on red field (ca1809-24)
Kingdom of Siam
the kingdom of Thailand (Ratcha Anachak Thai) is a constitutional monarchy that remained independent when other Asian states were being colonized and co-opted, briefly attempting isolationism (like Japan and China) to resist Western influences, but finally relying upon diplomatic negotiation to sustain its autonomy. Widely known as the "Land of Smiles", Siam was renamed Thailand in 1939, briefly reverting to Siam in 1947 as a reaction to its wartime cooperation with Imperial Japan, then resumed in 1950 as an ally of the USA. This primarily Buddhist country has periodically lost territory (ie: Burma [Myanmar], Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia) to the secession of some ethnic minorities. The Royal Thai Army fielded an expeditionary division in South Vietnam. See RTAVF, RTAVR, RTAF, FWF, MACTHAI, COMUSMACTHAI, PONY EXPRESS, PONY, NAKED FANNY / NKP, SKYSPOT, McNAMARA LINE, HOME RUN, DEATH RAILWAY, SEA HUT, NITNOY / NIT NOY, WAI, WHITE ELEPHANT, HMONG, SEATO, ASEAN, OUT COUNTRY, SEA, R&R, BAHT, GOLDEN TRIANGLE, THAI STICK. [nb: an anecdote alleges that the modern Thai flag was created because, during an inspection tour, the king noticed that the elephant on his flag was positioned upside down, so he directed a five-band revision that could not be mistaken when flown]

THAI STICK :
hashish cigarette impregnated with heroin; see STICK, TAR, CAN SA, STONED, compare DOPE, JUNK, SMACK.

THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE :
a catch-phrase that's been used as a salutation or valediction in the post-Vietnam era by decent and faithful people as a deliberate counter to the "baby-killer" class of slurs and epithets cast at MIL-PERS and veterans; this polite gesture is redeemed from being synthetic or artificial by its sincerity, although becoming, by overuse, another trite stereotype or hackneyed cliché, like "Have a nice day!" Many veterans of America's foreign wars (being a classic case of mismanaged military adventurism disguised as inept foreign policy) prefer the expression: "Welcome home!" See BLUE SKY, HOOAH, HOIST, DOCH-AN-DORIS, STIRRUP CUP, TOAST, PRIDE, V/R, VICTORY TASK FORCE, GABRIEL, CUT AND RUN, PULL PITCH, PARTHIAN SHOT. [v: "Have a blessed day!"]

THANKSGIVING / THANKSGIVING DAY :
the act or expression of giving thanks for life's bounty and blessings, especially a public celebration in acknowledgment of divine favor; this national holiday, celebrated as a day of feasting and giving thanks for divine goodness, was inaugurated by Congress in 1789, and is observed on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States (and on the second Monday of October in Canada). See FOOD COMA. [nb: "what I have found good is to eat and drink and take joy in all our work and toil under the sun" by Ecclesiastes]

THE AGENCY :
see CIA, HOUSE OF SPOOKS, THE FARM, THE PICKLE FACTORY, TRADECRAFT.

THE AIR FORCE WAY :
see (THE) ARMY WAY.

THE AMERICAN WAY :
see (THE) AMERICAN WAY.

(THE) ANGELS :
see ANGELS.

THE ANOINTED :
see (THE) ANOINTED.

THE ARM / THE ARM OF HONOR :
see ITALIAN SALUTE.

THE ARMY WAY :
see (THE) ARMY WAY.

THEATER OF CRUELTY :
a form of surrealist theater that was originated by Antonin Artaud that emphasized the blatant cruelty of human existence by portraying sadistic acts and intense suffering in post-WWII performances; derived as a translation of théâtre de la cruauté.

THE BALLOON GOES UP :
see (THE) BALLOON GOES UP.

THE BASIC SCHOOL :
see TBS.

(THE) BEST AND BRIGHTEST :
see BEST AND BRIGHTEST.

THE BIBLE :
see (THE) BIBLE.

THE BIGGER THEY ARE :
see (THE) BIGGER THEY ARE.

THE BIG PX IN THE SKY :
see (THE) BIG PX IN THE SKY.

THE BIRD :
see (THE) BIRD.

THE BLACK ART / THE BLACK ARTS :
see (THE) BLACK ART / (THE) BLACK ARTS.

THE BLACK JET :
see (THE) BLACK JET.

THE BRA :
see (THE) BRA.

THE CASTLE :
see (THE) CASTLE.

THE CAVE :
see (THE) CAVE.

THE CLUB :
see (THE) CLUB.

THE COMPANY :
see CIA, HOUSE OF SPOOKS, THE FARM, THE PICKLE FACTORY, TRADECRAFT.

THE CONSTITUTION / CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA :
see (THE) CONSTITUTION.

THE CROTCH :
see (THE) CROTCH.

THE DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT :
see (THE) DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT.

THE DEVIL'S WATER :
see (THE) DEVIL'S WATER.

THE DIRTY DOZEN :
see (THE) DIRTY DOZEN.

THE DOGS OF WAR :
see (THE) DOGS OF WAR.

THE DRINK :
see (THE) DRINK.

THE EAGLE SHITS :
see (THE) EAGLE SHITS.

THE EDGE :
see (THE) EDGE.

THE ELEVENTH HOUR :
see (THE) ELEVENTH HOUR.

THE END JUSTIFIES THE MEANS :
see (THE) ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS, MEANS.

THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS :
see (THE) ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS, MEANS.

THE ESTABLISHMENT :
see (THE) ESTABLISHMENT.

THE EXEC :
(the ig-zek) truncation of THE EXECutive officer; also called "exec"; see XO.

THE FARM :
see (THE) FARM.

THE F-BOMB :
see (THE) F-BOMB.

THE FINGER :
see (THE) FINGER.

THE FIRST BLOW IS HALF THE BATTLE :
see (THE) FIRST BLOW IS HALF THE BATTLE.

THE FISH CHEER :
see (THE) FISH CHEER.

THE FOG OF WAR :
see (THE) FOG OF WAR.

THE FORGOTTEN WAR :
see KOREAN WAR.

THE FULL NINE-YARDS :
see NINE-YARDS.

THE G :
see (THE) G.

THE GARAGE :
see (THE) GARAGE.

THE GLASS CLIFF :
see (THE) GLASS CLIFF.

THE GOLDEN TALON :
see (THE) GOLDEN TALON.

THE GRACE OF GOD :
see (THE) GRACE OF GOD.

THE GRAND OLD MAN OF THE CORPS :
see (THE) GRAND OLD MAN OF THE CORPS.

THE GRAND OLD MAN OF THE ARMY :
see (THE) GRAND OLD MAN OF THE ARMY.

(THE) GREAT WAR :
see WWI.

THE GREEKS :
see (THE) GREEKS.

THE GULF :
see (THE) GULF.

THE HAPS :
see WHAT'S THE HAPS.

(THE) HEART OF THE MATTER :
see NITTY-GRITTY, BLOOD 'n' GUTS.

THE HERD :
see (THE) HERD, SKY SOLDIERS.

THE HILL :
see (THE) HILL.

THE HOLY OF HOLIES :
see (THE) HOLY OF HOLIES, TANK, BUBBLE, FISHBOWL, DUNGEON, ISOFAC, SCIF, SAFE ROOM.

THE IMMORTALS :
see (THE) IMMORTALS.

THE INSTITUTE OF HERALDRY :
see (THE) INSTITUTE OF HERALDRY.

THE J :
see (THE) J.

THE LESSER OF EVILS :
see (THE) LESSER OF EVILS.

THE LINE :
being the LINE, FRONT LINE, SHARP END, LINE OF BATTLE, ON THE LINE, CHOP LINE, LINE OF DEPARTURE, McNAMARA LINE.

THE LINE OF LEAST RESISTANCE :
see (THE) LINE OF LEAST RESISTANCE.

THE LITTLE RED BOOK :
see (THE) LITTLE RED BOOK.

THE MANLY ART OF SELF-DEFENSE :
see MANLY ARTS.

THE MAN ON HORSEBACK :
see (THE) MAN ON HORSEBACK.

THE MARINE WAY :
see (THE) ARMY WAY.

(THE) MASS MEDIA / (THE) MEDIA :
see MASS MEDIA.

THE MED :
see (THE) MED.

(THE) MEDIA / (THE) MASS MEDIA :
see MASS MEDIA.

THE MOG :
see (THE) MOG.

THEME PARK :
a euphemism employed during the post-Vietnam era to refer to an EXERCISE area developed for MOCK-COMBAT engagements of specific operational scenarios under particular conditions (eg: air assault, beach landing, counter-guerrilla, anti-terrorism, etc); although challenging, most MIL-PERS regard these tests as an opportunity to demonstrate their skills while enjoying a vacation from normal routine ... a busman's holiday or frolic at carnival. This phrase seems to derive from the commercial embellishments that are modeled upon amusement parks [eg: Disneyland (1955), Disney World (1971), Six Flags, Dollywood, Twitty City], wherein entertainments and attractions are based upon various themes, from wilderness adventures and fairy tales to the Old West and the Space Age. See NICKEL RIDE, JRTC, NTC, RED FLAG, FTX, TREASURE HUNT, ORIENTEERING, WAR GAMES. [nb: "Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than a fool bent on folly." Proverbs 17:12 NIV Bible]

THE MOTHER-IN-LAW OF THE ARMY :
see (THE) MOTHER-IN-LAW OF THE ARMY.

THE NAKED TRUTH :
see (THE) NAKED TRUTH.

THE NAM :
see (THE) NAM.

THE NATIONAL JOKE FACTORY :
see (THE) NATIONAL JOKE FACTORY.

THE NAVY WAY :
see (THE) ARMY WAY.

THE NINE WORTHIES :
see (THE) NINE WORTHIES.

THE OPEN KIMONO :
see (THE) OPEN KIMONO / OPEN YOUR KIMONO.

THE PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE :
see LEAST RESISTANCE.

THE PENIS AS GENIUS :
see (THE) PENIS AS GENIUS.

THE PICKLE FACTORY :
see (THE) PICKLE FACTORY.

THE PILL :
see (THE) PILL.

THE PLAN :
see (THE) PLAN.

THE POINT :
see (THE) POINT.

THE RAINY SEASON :
see MONSOON.

THE REAL WORLD :
see (THE) REAL WORLD.

THERE'S MORE THAN ONE WAY TO SKIN A CAT :
see CAT SKINNER. [cf: "There's more than one way to kill a cat than to choke it with cream." adage]

THE RIGHT TO BE WRONG :
see (THE) RIGHT TO BE WRONG.

THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS :
see (THE) RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS.

THE RIVER OF NINE DRAGONS :
see (THE) RIVER OF NINE DRAGONS.

THERMAL :
(forthcoming); a distinct heat signature that's detected in air or water, whether generated by a radiant, electrical, or magnetic source, which is subject to measurement and/or assessment, which presence may be partly or temporarily masked (ANTI-THERMAL); Also, a meteorological event affecting aircraft flight and parachute maneuvering, that's also known as a "thermal column" or "thermal bubble"

THERMAL CROSSOVER :
the loss of contrast between two adjacent objects on infrared (IR) imagery; an inability to detect a distinction between objects and/or their surrounding atmosphere due to rising or falling temperatures ... this is a natural phenomenon that normally occurs twice a day when ambient temperatures are in transition.

THERMITE :
incendiary composed of powdered aluminum, ferric oxide, and magnesium; see ROCKEYE, WP.

THERMOBARIC :
(forthcoming);

THERMONUCLEAR WEAPON :
a very high temperature fission explosive created by the fusion of light nuclei (eg: deuterium and tritium hydrogen isotopes) with the accompanying release of great energy; see NUKE.

THE ROCK :
see (THE) ROCK.

THE ROOT :
see (THE) ROOT.

THE SILENCE :
see (THE) SILENCE.

THE SILENT SERVICE / SILENT SERVICE :
see SILENT SERVICE, SS, SUBMARINE.

THE SILENT TREATMENT :
see (THE) SILENCE.

(THE) SKY IS FALLING :
see CHICKEN LITTLE.

THE SNAFU DIVISION :
see (THE) SNAFU DIVISION.

THE SNAKE IN THE GRASS :
see SNAKE IN THE GRASS.

THE SNIPE :
see (THE) SNIPE.

THE STANS :
see (THE) STANS.

THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER :
see (THE) STAR SPANGLED BANNER.

(THE) STILL :
see EVAP / EVAPORATOR.

THE STUMPS :
see (THE) STUMPS.

THE SUCK :
see (THE) SUCK.

THE TOUGH GET GOING :
the predicate of "When the going gets tough, the tough get going.", which is a motivational proverb intended to inspire dedication and determination in goal attainment; this chiasmus was used as a recruiting slogan for the U.S. Marine Corps in the post-Vietnam era. Although this phrase, which invites people to rise to the occasion, is variously attributed (eg: Joseph P. Kennedy, Knute Rockne, et al) it is not authentically cited. This expression is comparable to: "Hard times never last but strong people do." and "There is no prize for defeat."

THE UNHOLY TRINITY :
see (THE) UNHOLY TRINITY.

THE UNICORN DIVISION :
see LUCKY THIRTEENTH.

THE UNIT :
see (THE) UNIT.

THE U.S. ARMY INSTITUTE OF HERALDRY :
see (THE) INSTITUTE OF HERALDRY.

THE WALL :
see (THE) WALL.

(THE) WALL OF SEVERUS :
see HADRIAN'S WALL.

THE WARRIOR'S WAY :
see (THE) WARRIOR'S WAY.

THE WHOLE MEGILLAH :
see MEGILLAH.

THE WHOLE NINE-YARDS :
see NINE-YARDS.

THE WIND UP :
see PUT THE WIND UP / LET THE WIND GET UP.

THE WORD :
see (THE) WORD.

THE WORLD :
see (THE) WORLD.

THEY'LL GIVE A WAR AN' NOBODY'LL COME :
novelty protest patch with
butterfly and slogan
butterfly protest
popular slogan bandied by PROTESTORs and HIPPIEs during the VIETNAM WAR; derived from "Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come." by Carl Sandburg, in "The People, Yes" (1936). In 1968, the song "Zor and Zan", written by B and J Chadwick, was released on "The Birds, The Bees, and The Monkees" album, and included the phrase in the lyrics: "The great war began / They met on the battlefield, banner in hand / They looked out across the vacant land / And they counted the missing one upon one / None upon none / The war it was over before it began / Two little kings playing with games / They gave a war and nobody came". The 1970 movie "Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came?" (starring Brian Keith and Tony Curtis) echoed the phrase. The phrase was also recalled in "What if someone gave a war and Nobody came? Life would ring the bells of Ecstasy and Forever be Itself again." in a 1972 poem entitled "Graffiti" by Allen Ginsberg. The 1970 song "Imagine" by John Lennon includes a related passage in the lyrics: "Imagine there's no countries / ... / Nothing to kill or die for / ... / Living life in peace".

THE ZONE :
see (THE) ZONE.

THINGAMAJIG :
an informal placeholder term used to identify an article, object, tool, part, gadget, device, contrivance, mechanism, technique, or process whose proper name is unknown or forgotten, also spelled "thingumajig"; including dingus, gismo / gizmo, doohickey, thingy / thingee, thingamabob / thingumabob, whatsis / whatsit, whachamacallit / whatchamacallit, whuddayacallit / whudyacallit, what-do-you-call-it, what-you-may-call-it, jigger, doojigger / do-jigger, doojiggy, doodad / do-dad, widget. [v: doover in Australia and New Zealand]

THINK PURPLE :
a management catch-phrase for blending or merging military assets in a cooperative effort toward mission accomplishment; based upon the color resulting from a meld of each separate uniform worn by the different branches, with a fancied implication of royalty ... instead of the ordinary mud brown of mundane unity. Compare COMBINED ARMS.

THINK TANK :
an academic organization or research institution that's employed to predict difficulties, establish perspective, assess alternatives, offer solutions, or propose developments in the military aspects of social, political, or economic changes entailed by current affairs; also called "policy institute" or "think factory". See BRAIN TRUST, AIRHEAD; compare WAR COLLEGE.

THIN-SKINNED :
see SKIN, SOFT TARGET. [nb: a self-propelled (SP) HOWITZER resembles a TANK, but unlike a TANK, is thin-skinned]

THIRD DEGREE / THIRD-DEGREE :
the use of intensive questioning and rough treatment in order to extort information; to interrogate a detainee or captive, to cross-examine or cross-question, to grill or pump an enemy suspect; also known as SWEAT or SQUEEZE, and sometimes includes intimidation or abuse. This Americanism is notorious for implying "illegal" or "unlawful" methods of interviewing suspects, such as beating with rubber hoses or sleep deprivation (ie: ENHANCED INTERROGATION), but this catch-phrase originated as a humorous reference (ie: "in the third degree of drink") in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Or What You Will comedy, wherein the level of drunkenness is compared to the degrees of natural philosophy, which assigns the 'third degree' to the penultimate level of intensity. Although etymologists have attempted to analogize other rating scales (eg: burns, edema, consciousness) or to associate other indexes (eg: qualifying rank, criminal code, Masonic ritual), they do not correlate properly, and the Shakespearean citation is the oldest known referent. Compare TORTURE, see FIELD EXPEDIENT FACIAL, SONG AND DANCE, OVER A BARREL, BLISTER, SQUEEZE, BITCH SLAP, BASHING, CAT-O'-NINE-TAILS, PAIN, SCAR.

THIRD ESTATE :
the third of the three principal estates, consisting of the common people; see HIPPIE, WHITE TRASH, HUMAN ZOO, KNUCKLE-DRAGGER, BRUTE, BUBBA EFFECT, REACTIONARY, CONSERVATIVE, ANTI-FEDERALIST, BOOJIE, THE CHATTERING CLASS, SILENT MAJORITY, FORGOTTEN MAN, THE RIGHT TO BE WRONG; compare FIRST ESTATE, SECOND ESTATE, FOURTH ESTATE, FIFTH ESTATE. [v: rabble, the great unwashed, riffraff, proletariat, prole, lumpen proletariat, rank and file, commoner, commonalty, pleb / plebeian, hoi polloi, canaille, lower classes, campesino, peasant, indigent, lowest of the low, menial, populace, crowd, multitude, mass / the masses, the herd, cracker, hillbilly, hill jack, peckerwood, redneck, trailer park trash, human debris, scum of society, scum of the earth, scum of the universe, useful idiots] [nb: "Now, more than ever, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature .... If the next centennial does not find us a great nation .... it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces." by James A. Garfield]

THIRD INDOCHINA WAR :
a war of Vietnamese suzerainty over INDOCHINA fought against Chinese, Cambodian, and Laotian forces from the end of the VIETNAM WAR to the restoration of diplomatic relations with China and America.

3rd INF DIV :
see ROCK OF THE MARNE.

38th PARALLEL / THIRTY-EIGHTH PARALLEL :
the Demilitarized Zone dividing North and South Korea that was established by an armistice in 1953 at the end of the KOREAN WAR, coincident with the post-WWII division by the Geneva Accords.

33 :
see BA MUOI BA.

THOUGHT GRENADE :
an idea, insight, or concept that's so profound that it seems to have the impact of an explosion; perspicacity that figuratively wrecks one's mental defenses, that shatters one's assumptions or suppositions. Compare BRAIN FART, HELMET FIRE.

THOUGHT POLICE :
a referent coined by George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) in his futuristic novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), wherein struggle against nightmarish totalitarianism is hopeless; the doctrinaire THOUGHT POLICE monitor deviations from prescribed norms, violations of conformity to official protocol, infractions of doublethink, and exceptions to politically-correct NewSpeak. By extension, the THOUGHT POLICE are the censors [nb: derived from the Roman official charged with the enforcement of public manners and morals, being required "to give one's opinion, recommendation, or assessment"] responsible for examining public and private matters, suppressing objectionable parts, and protecting the PARTY LINE, which is deemed to be the whole TRUTH by BOX HEADs who TOE THE LINE. See BIG LIE, GAG ORDER, BLACKOUT, DISINFORMATION, CONTROLLED INFORMATION, PROPAGANDA, FALSE FLAG, DECEPTION, PSYOPS, MORALE PATCH, DEATH CARD, SOFT TYRANNY, CHINESE WALL, IRON CURTAIN, BIG BROTHER, THE G. [v: imprimatur, nihil obstat, auto-da-fe/auto-da-fé] ["If fascism came to America, it would be on a program of Americanism." by Huey P. Long; "I have often thought that if a rational Fascist dictatorship were to exist, then it would choose the American system." by Noam Chomsky]

THOUSAND MILE PER HOUR TAPE :
see 1000 MPH TAPE / ONE-THOUSAND MILE PER HOUR TAPE.

THOUSAND-YARD STARE :
defense mechanism symptomatic of individual need for spiritual distancing, emotional disengagement, or mental detachment, as a response to combat exposure; also known as "wall gazing" or "bulkhead stare" by Navy and Marine personnel. See PTSD, BLACKOUT, FLASHBACK, TELESCOPING, ZOMBIE, STRESS OF SOUL, BROKEN-WING SYNDROME, FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT, WATERWORKS, DISSOCIATION, OBJECTIFICATION, CONVERSION SYMPTOMS. [v: middle distance] [nb: this neurotic response was an ineffective defense mechanism since it was often a prelude to dysfunction or casualty due to inattention or unawareness. Most combat casualties occur when the soldier is new and inexperienced (see FNG, cherry, NEWBEE, REPL' DEPOT), upon return from R&R, and after 180 days of combat exposure. The COC acclimation attempted to reduce early tour losses, and not much can compensate for the dulling of hard earned combat skills by R&R, but the only way to relieve fatigue losses after six months is to rotate entire units out of combat, restore unit strength, and bond the unit with new training before returning them to the combat zone. Zen or Ch'an meditation (zazen) is sometimes called "wall staring", using mental riddles (koan) and analytical discourse (mondo), together with controlled physical violence for reinforcement, to "awaken" (satori/prajna) the inner or spiritual being; hence the affinity between martial arts and Zen, where military and religious disciplines are unified.]

THREATCON :
Threat CONdition, being the level of probable enemy action perceived for a military installation; also represented as "threat configuration", later renamed Force Protection Condition (FPCON); see DEFCON, SACON, ESP, GQ, ALERT, STAND-TO, STAND-DOWN.

THREE-IN-ONE / 3-in-1 :
a disparaging slang reference to airborne replacements who become "instantly qualified" by being rushed through minimal orientation and three static line jumps in only one day of training! This contemptuous reference alludes to the brand name of a lightweight machine oil that's commonly used as a household lubricant, with the implication that anyone so "qualified" was slippery and greasy. This condensed practice, conducted whenever "necessary" from WWII through Vietnam, substantiated the British contention that parachute indoctrination was too long, and didn't affect the occurrence of or recovery from jump accidents. While typically performed for infantry replacements, it was also undertaken when a staff officer with particular skills (eg: JAG, INTEL) was needed by an airborne unit ... the most egregious example was the failed attempt to appoint a non-jump qualified commander of the 5th Special Forces Group when COL Robert Rheault was relieved pending an Article 32 investigation of a Project Gamma episode ... after this maneuver failed, COL "Iron Mike" Healy ("Mister Green Beret") was appointed instead. Compare TRIPLE NICKEL; see ALMOST AIRBORNE, BLAST, HIT THE SILK, AIRBORNE, PARACHUTE.

3 R's / 3 Rs :
the basic essentials or fundamentals of any field; specifically in the case of the military, being Recruiting, Readiness, and Retention, wherein the Armed Forces attracts potentially worthwhile servicemembers, trains them to effectively meld into the mission, and cultivates their commitment to the organization throughout their career; being the primary factors affecting personnel management in the several military branches, as derived from the facetiously elucidated "Classic Three R's": reading, [w]riting, and [a]rithmetic. See TICKET, RATING, MIL-CRAFT.

THREE SHEETS TO THE WIND :
in NavSpeak, an idiomatic expression for being 'drunk', as derived from the condition of a sailing ship in a storm when its sails ("sheets") have broken loose from their lines and flap uselessly in the wind; see STONED.

THREE SQUARES :
three nutritious meals each day, being one of the incentives or inducements (along with shelter and job training) for poor people to willingly serve in the military; as derived from "square meal", where 'square' means proper or satisfactory. This quotidian sentiment is also expressed as "three hots and a flop" (ie: CHOW and RACK). Compare SQUARE MEAL; see BEANS, RATIONS.

THREE STAR / THREE-STAR :
metonymic reference to a lieutenant general (or vice admiral) based upon their insignia of RANK; see FLAG OFFICER, OLD MAN, GEN / GENERAL, SKIPPER, ADM / ADMIRAL, CO, LDR.

THREE WISE MONKEYS :
see NO EVIL.

THRESHOLD :
the vestibular pathways or PASSAGEWAYs that allow airplanes to ingress and egress the RUNWAYs or landing strips; used to taxi aircraft and stage take-offs; also used in the sense of "entrance" or "beginning" during aircraft landings. See APRON, RAMP, STRIP ALERT, TAXIWAY, TOUCHDOWN, BOUNCE, WINDSOCK.

THROW-AWAY :
a minor operator or low-level SECRET AGENT who's sacrificed to investigators for the protection and preservation of the spy network; also called KITE, "discard", or "slough". Compare DANGLE; see SLEEPER, MOLE, FIX, CRYPTO, CREEP, SWEEPER, DECOY, COMPARTMENTALIZATION, TRADECRAFT.

THROW HANDS :
slang for fistfighting or fisticuffs, slugfest or punch-up, duke it out or knock-down drag-out, plug or mill, boxing or pugilism; see KNUCKLE SANDWICH, MARTIAL ART, JAP SLAPPER, BOK-BOK, TWO-FISTED, ONE-TWO, BEAT HIM TO THE PUNCH, COUNTERPUNCH, GROUP HUG, BATTLE ROYAL, BATS 'n' HATS, ON GUARD, AT CLOSE QUARTERS, UP-CLOSE 'n' PERSONAL, CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE, PULL ONE'S PUNCHES.

THROWING STICK :
a short stick, straight or curved, flat or cylindrical, that's grasped near the end for hurling at birds and other small game, used as a method of hunting among preliterate societies; see BOOMERANG, BATS 'n' HATS, BATON, WARDER, SPEAR. [cf: truncheon, billy, night stick, espantoon, cudgel, bludgeon, shillelagh/shillealah, knobkerrie, cosh, bastinado, singlestick, waddy, club, blackjack, sap, slapjack; cf: bauble] [cf: javelin, pike, polearm, poleax/poleaxe, partisan, assegai/assagai, lance, harpoon, trident, leister, gig, pigsticker, truncheon; v: atlatl, woomera]

THROW IN THE TOWEL :
to concede DEFEAT, to quit, surrender, or resign; also expressed as "throw in the sponge" or "toss...", as derived from prizefighting, when a boxer's manager throws a towel or sponge into the ring, which signal stops the fight, and spares the beaten fighter more injury. See QUARTER, WHITE FLAG, STRIKE THE FLAG, WATERLOO, CARTE BLANCHE, TRUCE, ENTENTE, DETENTE, RAPPROCHEMENT, APPEASE, FRENCH DESPAIR, WHITE FEATHER, LILY-LIVERED, FRENCH FLU, HOI CHANH, KIT CARSON SCOUT.

THUD :
nickname for the Republic F-105 THUNDERCHIEF.

THUGGEE CORD :
see GARROTE.

THULE :
(too-lee) any distant or obscure location, from the remote bush to an isolated encampment, as derived from the Eskimo culture of the same name that flourished during AD500-1400 across the Arctic region; see BOONDOCKS / BOONIES, BACKWASH, INDIAN COUNTRY, DOWN RANGE, SANDBOX; compare TULE. Also, a settlement in northwestern Greenland that was founded in 1910 by the Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen in the Etah Eskimo area, which became the site of a U.S. airbase during WWII, together with a science station. Also, the name given by the ancient Greeks to the most extreme area of northern Europe, based upon a discovery by the navigator Pytheas that was described in 310BC, variously identified with Iceland, Norway, and the Shetland Islands; the phrase "Ultima Thule" figuratively denotes the greatest or most distant goal of human endeavor, and the farthest point or a land remote beyond all reckoning. [nb: the thule/tule homophone, together with other variants, has appeared widely and interchangeably in American military writings when referring to remote locales, in the same manner that bush, sticks, woods, barrens, brush, weeds, scrub, rough, and the like are also synecdochically representative]

THUMBSCREW / THUMBSCREWS :
an old instrument of torture by which one or both thumbs were compressed. [v: pilliwinks]

THUMBSUCKER :
see WIMP.

THUMPER :
M-79 single-shot grenade launcher
M-79
M-32 Multiple-shot Grenade
Launcher
M-32 MGL
nickname for the M-79 grenade launcher, or any other 40mm weapon; also known as "thump gun" or "bloop tube". In 2006, all versions of the single-shot grenade launcher were superseded by the M-32 Multiple-shot Grenade Launcher (MGL) for infantry operations. The grenadier's grasp of the M-79 grenade launcher when firing, as portrayed in books or movies, is a reliable TELLTALE for detecting phonies. See BLOOPER, OVER 'n' UNDER, DOVER DOG, BOFORS, DUSTER, compare SHOTGUN, GYROJET, FRAG, GRENADE, RPG. [nb: the "fire lance" flamethrower of AD 905 China utilized propulsion to launch small objects and pellets, like a shotgun, becoming a prototype firearm; with a three-barreled version for repeat firing developed later] [nb: there probably ought to be a MURPHY LAW of Combat to the effect that "weapons don't win wars", as a corollary to "the side with the simplest weapon will win the war"; since there is no doubt that the test and procurement system is defective. The other sides had better and finer weapons during WWII (the proof existing in the pistols, rifles, machineguns, and tanks adopting enemy innovations), but the American GREASE GUN and the British Sten gun triumphed behind better armies. jury-rigging and complicating US weapon systems will not defeat us, but compromising and discarding all the simple and effective designs will make the future BUTCHER'S BILL extremely expensive!]

THUNDERBIRDS :
USAF Thunderbirds
Thunderbirds
(forthcoming); designation for the USAF Precision aerial Demonstration Team, organized in for public display of typical aviation skillcraft, performed nationwide at air shows, patriotic events, and other fairs. A precision flight demonstration of the capability and versatility of aircraft kept at least one BIRD performing between set piece formations and maneuvers. The team consisted of aviators; See BARNSTORMER, AEROBATICS.

THUNDERBOLT :
the Republic P-47/F-47 bomber escort and pursuit fighter, also known as "T-Bolt", and nicknamed the "Little Friend" (cf: FLYING FORTRESS), as well as the "Jug" due to the appearance of its cowling; this WWII designation was later transferred to the A-10 WARTHOG but widely ignored. The P-47, which derives from the earlier P-43 "Lancer", was tested during 1942, and entered combat service on 10 March 1943 as a single-prop turbo-supercharged fighter-bomber flown by one PILOT at a maximum speed of 467mph for a range of 800 miles. During and after WWII, the P-47 also served as a spotter plane during search and rescue (SAR) missions. Inventories were transferred to Asian, Mid-Eastern, and South American allies as well as being assigned to the US Air National Guard (ANG) as the re-designated F-47. See BIRD. [nb: another explanation for the origin of the THUNDERBOLT's "Jug" nickname is a contraction of juggernaut, being any destructive object or unstoppable force, as the Hindu cart that transports Krishna, in testimony to the plane's ability to take battle damage and still bring its pilot home] [cf: the XP-72 or "Super Thunderbolt" was an experimental variant of the P-47, having increased speed, mileage, and altitude with fewer armaments, tested from the summer of 1944 until the end of WWII, when jets supplanted piston aircraft] Also, nickname of the 11th Armored Division, which served in Europe (ETO) during WWII. [ie: a flash of lightning with the accompanying thunder; hence, whatever acts with sudden destructive force] Also, nickname of the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team (517 PRCT) during WWII.

THUNDERBOLT II :
official designation of the Fairchild-Republic A-10 WARTHOG ground attack & anti-tank aircraft.

THUNDERCHIEF :
the single-engine Republic F-105 USAF jet fighter-bomber was originally developed as a tactical nuclear bomber aircraft; also called "Thud", and nicknamed "Thunderstick" or "T-Stick". See WILD WEASEL, BIRD.

THUNDERFLASH :
the Republic RF-84F (RF-96A) supersonic photo-reconnaissance aircraft.

THUNDER FROM HEAVEN :
motto of the 17th Airborne Infantry Division, a phantom organization of WWII; compare THE GOLDEN TALON, XVIII AIRBORNE CORPS; see GHOST UNIT, PHANTOM OPERATIONS.

THUNDERING HERD :
slang phrase for a HORDE or swarm, host or multitude, mass or throng, particularly when in concerted movement or inundating surge, as a stampede or ("human wave") overrun. Also, the nickname of the 8th Armored Division, which served in Europe (ETO) during WWII.

THUNDERJET :
the Republic F-84 sub-sonic ground attack fighter aircraft; see BIRD. [nb: the Republic XF-91A Thunderlancer was the unsuccessful successor of the F-84 THUNDERJET; cf: the Republic XF-84H Thunderprop hybrid jet/propeller fighter]

THUNDER ROAD :
RVN Highway 13, running from Saigon to Loc Ninh; known to be a treacherous route due to mines and ambushes. See STREET WITHOUT JOY, HAI VAN PASS, MANG YANG PASS, AN KHE PASS.

THUNDER RUN :
the high speed advance of armored vehicles clearing the way for lighter-weight thin-skinned vehicles; the rapid movement of an armored column along a road, with guns alternated in their covering fire to either side of the route, so as to rapidly clear or secure an area. Compare HERRINGBONE.

THUNDERSTREAK :
the Republic F-84F (F-96A) fighter-bomber, being a swept-wing version of the F-84 THUNDERJET.

THUNDERSTRUCK :
stunned, overcome, confounded, dumbfounded, appalled or astonished, as when overwhelmed by the SOUND AND FURY of thunder ... "Thunderstruck by the barrage, the enemy couldn't organize a resistance to our assault."

THUNDER TIGER :
ARVN SCU patch
ARVN SCU
nickname for INDIGenous MIL-PERS serving with the Special Commando Unit (SCU) of the Liaison Office (LO), as the COUNTERPART organization to SOG; derived from the imagery of their shoulder PATCH. The SCU/LO developed from the Special Exploitation Service (SEPES or SES), an ARVN unit under presidential direction; and evolved into the Strategic Technical Directorate (STD), after the disbanding of the VNSF/LLDB. See CAS, CSD, RECON, VIETNAMIZATION.

THURMONT :
Naval Support Facility Thurmont; see SHANGRI-LA.

THWART :
to prevent the accomplishment of a plan or purpose, to frustrate or forestall success, to foil or stymie attainment; see SANDBAG, HAMSTRING, STUMBLING BLOCK, SPIKE, SPIKE THEIR GUNS, WAR OF NERVES. Also, by extension, perverse or obstinate; adverse or unfavorable; as derived from 'angry'; see HIDEBOUND, BRASSBOUND, HARD-SET, BRASS EAR. [v: athwart] [nb: "Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass ...." Isaiah 48:4 KJV Bible]

TICK :
a slight but recurrent click, tap, knock, or similar noise, as of a working (or malfunctioning) mechanism. Also, a slight but involuntary twitch, a small nervous spasm, or a minor responsive tremor, typically recurrent during stress. Also, a small mark or minor check made as a reminder, an indication, or a highlight, as when "ticking off" items on a list. Also, slang for the motivation or intention, the purpose or reason, the cause or prompt, the stimulus or spur, the instigation or incitement underlying an act or drive toward a goal or objective ... as "what makes them tick". Also, the durable cloth ('ticking') case for bedding; a strong twill or plain weave fabric used to cover mattresses and pillows, often in a distinctive pattern. Also, any of numerous bloodsucking arachnids, related to but larger than mites, having a barbed proboscis for attachment to the skin of mammals, many of which are disease vectors (eg: Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme's disease, relapsing fever, Texas fever, etc); see COOTIE, FLEA, GRAYBACK, CRAB, FLY, BEDBUG, ASSASSIN BUG, DOODLEBUG.

TICKER-TAPE PARADE :
see CANYON OF HEROES, PARADE. [v: pageant, spectacle, triumph, ovation] [nb: Lieutenant Geneviève de Galard-Terraube, the "Angel of Dien Bien Phu", was honored with a ticker-tape parade on 26 April 1954 along the CANYON OF HEROES]

TICKET :
slang for the certifying license or RATING of a ship's officer or of an aviation PILOT; compare QUALS; see MOS, PMOS, BILLET, BERTH, POI, TRNG, OJT, MIL-CRAFT, Q-COURSE, CROSS-TRAINING, 3 R's, RATING, PRO PAY. Also, a preliminary recording of transactions prior to their entry in more permanent books of account; see WAR DIARY, AIRBORNE ALBUM, SEA BOOK, JOURNAL. Also, informal reference to the documentation that's established ("punched") for career development or advancement; see TICKET-PUNCHER / TICKET-PUNCHING. Also, slang for a token or voucher that substitutes for genuine currency in select establishments, such as military canteens and servicemen's clubs; see CHIT, HARD TIMES TOKEN, MPC, CHARGE.

TICKET-PUNCHER / TICKET-PUNCHING :
career management; a "ladder-climber" who needs to get credit for checkmarking all necessary steps preliminary to promotion in the "up or out" modern military. Promotion above or below the zone affected retention and retirement, with little regard for expert skills. See LIFER, OLD BREED, MILICRAT, KHAKI MAFIA, PURGATORY TOUR, FAST TRACK, SCRAP METAL COLLECTOR, RIF, KICKSTANDED, CYA, DODGE THE BULLET, VULCANIZE, BOOTSTRAP, DOUBLE-DIP. [cf: apparatchik, nomenklatura, eunuch, nabob, nibs]

TICKLER :
informal name for a "tickler file" or "suspense account", which contains SUSPENSE DATEd work that must be completed Not Later Than (NLT) a particular time/date specification; a temporary store pending final disposition. A file consisting of memoranda, notices, signals, or correspondence serving as a reminder of obligatory due-dates. See MR, SNOWFLAKE, RBI, CHEAT SHEET, DEADLINE.

TIED-IN :
the connection of the opposite ends of all units in any broad front of advance or defense, closing any gap or discontinuity therein, so that the line of troops and arms is not exposed or suspended, unattached or unsecured, subject to being penetrated or out-flanked; see FRONT LINE, MLR, FLOT, FEBA, LINE OF BATTLE, FLANK, REFUSE, ANCHOR; compare IN THE AIR.

TIG :
The Inspector General; see IG.

TIGER :
a large, powerful, tawny and black striped cat (panthera tigris) that's native to Asia. Also, a person exhibiting the fierceness or courage of a tiger; see IN THE MOUTH OF THE CAT, THUNDER TIGER, LLDB. [nb: the "leaping tiger" motif of the LLDB/VNSF patch was variously adapted during the VIETNAM WAR by the Vietnamese, many of whom had attended specialized training in American military centers, with the most ironic being their adoption of the "Tony the Tiger" symbol used to advertise Kellogg breakfast cereals and Esso gasoline since 1941 ... the Vietnamese enlistment of this cartoon figure as a mascot for their most elite force led many GIs to comment scathingly about their prowess] Also, the lowest hand [cf: Yarborough in bridge] that can be drawn in POKER (ie: six high, ace low, without a pair, straight or flush), requiring great nerve to hold and BLUFF on such a hand; see PLAYING CARDS, WAR GAMES, PLAY THE GAME. [nb: the jazz classic "Tiger Rag" ("hold the tiger") was composed in honor of this bluff]

TIGER AIRLINE :
the support and transport flights of the USMC CH-46 SEA KNIGHT helicopters into Khe Sanh from bases in Danang and aboard aircraft carriers (LPH) offshore; see LIFT, LZ, PZ, CHOPPER.

TIGER BALM :
a foul-smelling oil used by many Asians to ward off evil spirits; this folk remedy, along with other Chinese patent medicines, was made in Singapore. See OAN HON, PHI, HUNGRY GHOST.

A TIGER BY THE TAIL :
see HEAD IN THE LION'S MOUTH.

TIGER CAGE :
a sturdy confined space for the imprisonment of captured prisoners of war (POW) that's inadequate for a person to fully stand or lie stretched-out; stoutly made of lashed bamboo or welded PSP, sized about three by four feet, for ease of access when maintaining the prisoner and inspecting his condition, being absent of all amenities for comfort, weather protection, and sanitation. The design and designation probably derives from a similar container used to transport large animals (ie: larger than a monkey cage or bird cage) from the jungle; it's generally considered to be among the most inhumane of prison cells for unrelieved immurement. See GRILLE; compare DEADLOCK. [v: keep, oubliette, hock (sty or prison as a miserable place to live)]

TIGERCAT :
the twin-engine Grumman F7F fighter that was designed (1945) for use on the Midway class of aircraft carriers (CV), and was later flown by the Marine Corps in the KOREAN WAR; also called T-CAT.

TIGER DIVISION :
nickname of the South Korean (ROK) Capital Division, deployed to Vietnam in September 1966.

TIGER HOUND :
the CODENAME designation given to the southern sector of the Laotian panhandle, effective December 1965, as part of the STEEL TIGER air campaign of interdiction operations along the HO CHI MINH TRAIL from Route 9 opposite the DMZ to the Cambodian border; redesignated COMMANDO HUNT in 1968.

TIGER II :
Northrop F-5E /-5F twin-engine light fighter/bomber aircraft, built for the Vietnamese Air Force; compare FREEDOM FIGHTER.

TIGER PIT :
informal reference to a TROU-DE-LOUP as used in Asia; also called a "tiger trap", being a lightly covered and camouflaged pitfall or deathtrap, usually positioned singly with one or more sharpened stakes in the bottom, that's prepared as a BOOBY-TRAP for people or animals.

TIGERSHARK :
single-engine F-20 aircraft, being a modified Northrop F-5 fighter jet designed for versatility and durability.

TIGER STRIPE :
tiger stripe camouflage pattern
tiger stripe camouflage
a camouflage uniform composed of wavy horizontal bands of multicolored brushstrokes that somewhat resemble the effect of a tiger's stripes in dappled light; as derived from the French "lizard" pattern, which existed in both horizontal and vertical (adopted by Portugal) orientations. The TIGER STRIPE uniform was adopted from the French in INDOCHINA, in common with the LEOPARD pattern, and worn extensively by American ADVISORs and RECON patrols during the VIETNAM WAR. A British version from WWII that was used on jump smocks was called "brushstroke". A desert version of TIGER STRIPEs, as well as pixelated DIGITALS have since been developed for the GULF WARs; in 2007, the USAF adopted a new TIGER STRIPEd field uniform, known as the Airman Battle Uniform (ABU), in a digitized mix of muted tan, gray, green, and blue. See CAMMIES, CAMO, DRESS.

TIGER TRAP :
informal reference to a TROU-DE-LOUP as used in Asia; also called a "tiger pit", being a lightly covered and camouflaged pitfall or deathtrap, usually positioned singly with one or more sharpened stakes in the bottom, that's prepared as a BOOBY-TRAP for people or animals.

TIGHT :
a directive indicating restricted use (eg: "guns tight", "radio tight", or "sit tight"), wherein activity or employment is limited to a response by a formal order; compare FREE.

TIGHTROPE :
any risky or delicate situation requiring skill and judgment, by analogy to the acrobatic feats performed on the high-wire; compare HIGHLINE, see MIL-CRAFT.

TIKI :
(forthcoming); emphasizing sexuality by promoting overt masculinity and demure femininity; derived as an allusion to "first man"; see GOD OF WAR, WIGHT, SUPER-TROOPER, WHITE KNIGHT.

TIKI CULTURE :
(forthcoming); development of the so-called "tiki culture" in the post-WWII era

TIKI ROOM / TIKI BAR :
a fashion of the post-WWII era, wherein lounges and restaurants were decorated with rattan, batik, and Polynesian icons so as to evoke the romantic exoticism of the South Pacific ... a trend that withered in the psychedelic jungles of the nightmarish VIETNAM WAR.

TIKI TORCH / TONGA TORCH :
a flaming outdoor light that burns gas or oil, as used to illuminate a gathering for feasting, dancing, storytelling, or the like.

TILT AT WINDMILLS :
to engage in a meaningless act or to indulge a futile endeavor, being an allusion to this impractical gesture by Don Quixote, who chivalrously attacked these "giants" so as to rescue beleaguered (non-existent) damsels; such bootlessness may also be idiomatically expressed as WHISTLE IN THE WIND. [v: Sisyphean]

TILT-WING :
a convertible computer-assisted assembly that permits the supportive and propulsive airfoils to swivel for either vertical (ROTARY-WING) or horizontal (FIXED-WING) flight; also called "tilt-rotor"; compare SWING-WING; see VTOL, VSTOL, BIRD.

TIME :
see HACK, JIFF / JIFFY, SHAKE, ZORCH, FORTHWITH, ASAP, PDQ, CHOGI, CHOP CHOP, RIKI TIK, STAT, INCENSE CLOCK, F-HOUR, H-HOUR, L-HOUR, ZERO-HOUR, ZULU, GMT, UTI/UTC, IAT, DTG, DATE LINE, SAILING INTO YESTERDAY, A-DAY, C-DAY, D-DAY, G-DAY, K-DAY, M-DAY, N-DAY, R-DAY, S-DAY, T-DAY, W-DAY, SOLAR DAY, SOLAR CONSTANT, FY, CY, BUDDHIST CALENDAR, CONFUCIAN CALENDAR, HEBREW CALENDAR, TET, LUNISOLAR, METONIC CYCLE, SYNODIC, SIDEREAL, JULIAN DATE, SUSPENSE DATE, TICKLER, NLT, DEADLINE, PINK TIME, MOONLIGHT, BELLS, DOGWATCH, MIDWATCH, WATCH, WATCH-AND-WATCH, O-DARK-THIRTY, O-STUPID-30, WHITE NIGHT, DONKEY'S YEARS, DOG'S YEAR, COMBAT TOUR, MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, HARDSHIP TOUR, SHORT-TIMER CALENDAR; compare YEAR ZERO. [nb: military time is expressed in four-digits, from 0001 to 2400, representing each minute in all 24-hours of the day, without designating ante- or post-meridiem; there is no 0000 hour] [nb: "Combat winds its own clock." military maxim] [nb: Chinese and Vietnamese zodiacal double-hours proceed in the same cyclically recurrent order, and with the same characteristics, as do the days, months, and years (v: TET): Hour of the Rat (yang): 11pm - 1am; Hour of the Ox (yin): 1am - 3am; Hour of the Tiger (yang): 3am - 5am; Hour of the Rabbit (yin): 5am - 7am; Hour of the Dragon (yang): 7am - 9am; Hour of the Snake (yin): 9am - 11am; Hour of the Horse (yang): 11am - 1pm; Hour of the Goat (yang): 1pm - 3pm; Hour of the Monkey (yin): 3pm - 5pm; Hour of the Rooster (yang): 5pm - 7pm; Hour of the Dog (yin): 7pm - 9pm; Hour of the Pig (yin): 9pm - 11pm] [v: the Metric Conversion Act (23 Dec 1975; amended by the 1988 Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act, the 1996 Savings in Construction Act, and the 2004 Department of Energy High-End Computing Revitalization Act) recommended improved efficiency by voluntary accommodation with the standardized International System of Units (si): meter (length), kilogram (mass), second (time), ampere (electric current), kelvin (temperature), mole (amount of substance), and candela (luminous intensity); including yoctosecond (ys), zeptosecond (zs), attosecond (as), femtosecond (fs), picosecond (ps), nanosecond (ns/nsec), microsecond (mis/misec), millisecond (ms/msec), centisecond (cs), second (s/sec), leap second, minute (min), mean solar minute, sidereal minute, hour (hr), day (dy), mean solar day, sidereal day, week (wk), fortnight, month (calendar, lunar, solar, sidereal, synodic), biannum, year (yr; calendar, lunar, solar, tropical, sidereal, Sothic, leap, school, man-year), epact, biennium, triennium, quadrennium, quinquennium/pentad, sexennium, septennium, octennium, novennium, decennium/decade, vicennium/score/vigintennium, quinquagennium, century/centennium, bicentennium, millennium, bimillennium, epoch, era, age, eon]

TIME-SERVER :
see DUD, GHOST, SLACKER, GOLDBRICK, FEATHER MERCHANT, REST ON OARS, DODGE THE BULLET, TAP-DANCER, STACK ARMS, MARK TIME, BOONDOGGLE, HALF-ASSED, DRONE, PUKE, FIELD REJECT, SMACK, DOUCHE BAG, FUCK-UP, MAGGOT, YARDBIRD.

TIN BRAINS :
slang expression during and after the GULF WAR-era for any small portable microcomputer (eg: palmtop), with or without cellular telecom connectivity, that can be used to record notes and instructions, as well as store regulations and standard operating procedures (SOP) for ready reference; also called PORTABLE BRAINS; compare PLASTIC BRAINS, POCKET BRAINS, PAPER BRAINS, WHEEL BOOK, CHEAT SHEET.

TIN CAN :
slang for a USN destroyer; term derives from the thinness of the HULL on WWII-era destroyers, which could be penetrated by pistol fire, but the designation persists, having become affectionate, despite all the modern enhancements. A destroyer is one of the classes of naval WARSHIPs, as designed for fast and maneuverable attacks by a small ship with limited armaments; including DD, DDG, DLG, APD. [nb: Vietnamese term: Khu Truc Ham]

TINNITUS :
see DEATH BELL.

TIN POT / TIN-POT :
slang for the standard American helmet during the period of WWII through the VIETNAM WAR; also called "tin hat", "iron lid", "brain bucket", or "battle bowler"; see STEEL POT, K-POT, BONE DOME, HEADGEAR. Also, that which is inferior, paltry, or shoddy; as derived from the believed inferiority of a tin vessel.

TIOH :
see (THE) INSTITUTE OF HERALDRY.

TIRE CITY :
a walled courtyard with limited access and other protections that's used as a live-fire training environment for tactical shooting in built-up areas. This unroofed enclosure uses stacked tires and moveable barriers to alter the layout from one scenario to another for variety, and to reduce SMALL ARMS ricochets. Also known as a "shooting house", the interior action may be surveilled from cameras mounted atop the surrounding walls. Not designed for role playing or war gaming, a TIRE CITY functions like a combat shooting range when orienting troops to the potential hazards in a hostile urban situation. compare KILL HOUSE, see BODYGUARD, DOOR KICKING, BREACHER, STACK, DOUBLE TAP, MOUT, DELTA FORCE, SPECIAL OPERATIONS, ANTI-TERRORISM, COUNTER-TERRORISM, AT CLOSE QUARTERS, RED FLAG.

TIT FOR TAT :
(forthcoming);

TIWG :
Terrorist Incident Working Group; a National Security Planning Group (NSPG) that was setup in 1983 with representatives from the JCS, DOD, CIA, DOS, FBI, and DEA; but was uncooperative on interagency operations due to its large size and lack of security, which entity later became the basis for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). See TERRORIST, ANTI-TERRORISM, OPLAN 7500, SABOTAGE, ATROCITY.

TLAM :
(tee-lam) Tomahawk Land Attack Missile; a long-range CRUISE missile launched from ship or submarine.

TM :
Technical Manual; see FM, TC, DASH TEN, CHECKING THE DICTIONARY. Also, abbreviation for 'team'; see MTT, A TEAM, FIRE TEAM, TEAM, TEAM BOX, TEAMHOUSE; compare SQUAD, STACK.

TMI :
abbreviation for 'Too Much Information', which catch-phrase formerly meant "overwhelming" but has evolved to imply "unwanted details" (especially aberrant or deviant data).

TMO :
Traffic Management Officer, being responsible for monitoring the movements of ships or aircraft through a designated area.

TNP :
trinitrophenol; see EXPLOSIVE.

TNT :
trinitrotoluene; also known as the "anarchist's artillery"; see COMPOSITION C, HEP, RDX, TORPEX, COMPOSITION H6, GAMMON GRENADE, KILOTON, MEGATON, GIGATON, EXPLOSIVE.

TO :
Technical Order; see SCRIPTURES, ORDER. Also, Theater of Operations, such as European Theater of Operations (ETO) or Kuwait Theater of Operations (KTO), being the land and sea areas to be invaded or defended (ie: combat zone), including administrative areas (ie: communications zone); compare AO, OA, AOR, MOA, TAOR, CHOP LINE, UA. Also, Table of Organization; compare TO&E, SPAGHETTI CHART.

TOAD :
slang acronym for Track Of Armored Division, designating APC and TANK vehicles; but descriptive of a big ugly bloated things that squats around and about, staring impudently at everything! Term is also a derisive reference to YELLOWLEG TANKERs and other "track rat" or "tread head" crewmembers (eg: TC, gunner, driver, LOADER) assigned to these vehicles; compare CRUNCHY, DOGFACE, BULLET HEAD, CANNON-COCKER, ROTOR HEAD, JET JOCK. Also, slang acronym for the Take-Off And Die syndrome exhibited by "gun-shy" aircrew (also called "fear of flying") and ground-pounders (fear of exposure when moving in the open from COVER to COVER); see FEAR, DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF, PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, FORTITUDE, FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT, RISKY-SHIFT EFFECT.

TOAD-IN-A-HOLE / TOAD-IN-THE-HOLE :
a dish consisting of beef or pork sausages baked in a coating of batter. Also, a dish consisting of poached or scrambled eggs situated in the center of a slice of pan-fried toast. Compare EGGS BENEDICT, SCOTCH WOODCOCK, PIG-IN-A-BLANKET.

TOAD-STICKER :
see PIGSTICKER.

TOADSTOOL :
see MUSHROOM.

TOAST :
an honorable gesture to someone or something by SALUTE or HOIST of an alcoholic beverage, usually accompanied by a concise speech or expressive phrase. Popular military TOASTS during the VIETNAM WAR included: "To all of us! And to hell with all of them!"; "To those of us, and those like us! We're damned few, and too many like us are dead."; "To absent friends. May they never be forgotten."; "To those fallen from our ranks. May they save us a seat in Valhalla.". See STIRRUP CUP, DOCH-AN-DORIS, VALEDICTION, PROP BLAST, DOLPHIN DIVE, THE DRINK, HATCH, HOIST, HOOCH, BREW, GROG, JUICE, GROUP TIGHTENER, SPLICE THE MAINBRACE, SUNDOWNER, SMOKER, GUSTO, BYOB, CLASS SIX. [nb: it is considered bad luck or evil omen to TOAST with non-alcoholic (ie: catlap) beverages; military toasts are most often tributes to fortitude and loyalty, while civilian toasts (grace cup) are tributes to benefaction or longevity, such as: l'chaim, prosit / prost, skoal, slàin te mhath, wassail, cheers] [v: gemütlichkeit/gemuetlichkeit] [cf: apéritif] Also, a euphemism for 'killed' or 'dead', as cooked, done to a turn, roasted, crispy, and so forth; see WASTED, ZAPPED, BUY THE FARM, CHECK OUT, BELIEVER, SOL, BITTER END, DEATH CARD, TWEP, KIA, DOW; compare WIA, GSW, MILLION DOLLAR WOUND.

TOB :
Tactical Order of Battle; see OB.

TOBOGGAN :
see IRON DOG, CAT-TRAIN. [v: slipe, ahkio, pulka / pulkka; cf: Flexible Flyer sled (1889)]

TO BOLDLY GO WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE :
a catch-phrase implying intrepid exploration into the final frontier of outer space, as promoted by Star Trek TV episodes and movies from 1966; later changed to "to boldly go where no one has gone before" [in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)] as a capitulation to political-correctness without correcting the split infinitive. It was famously the tag line of the pronouncement (authored by Samuel A. Peeples, Gene Roddenberry, John D.F. Black, and Bob Justman) introducing each TV episode and many films: "Space: The final frontier / These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise / Its five year mission / To explore strange new worlds / To seek out new life and new civilizations / To boldly go where no man has gone before." This expression was originally published in a Presidential Science Advisory Committee pamphlet [Introduction to Outer Space (26 March 1958)] that was released to the public by Dwight D. Eisenhower ... "It is useful to distinguish among four factors which give importance, urgency, and inevitability to the advancement of space technology. The first of these factors is the compelling urge of man to explore and to discover, the thrust of curiosity that leads men to try to go where no one has gone before. Most of the surface of the earth has now been explored and men now turn to the exploration of outer space as their next objective." An earlier reference cites H.P. Lovecraft [The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (1927, 1943)] as a potential resource: "Carter resolved to go with bold entreaty whither no man had gone before, and dare the icy deserts through the dark to where unknown Kadath, veiled in cloud and crowned with unimagined stars, holds secret and nocturnal the onyx castle of the Great Ones." This catch-phrase was commonly invoked during the VIETNAM WAR-era as a sardonic reference to clandestine operations (eg: TRAINED KILLER, BELL THE CAT, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, etc) and as an ironic reference to sexual exploits (eg: LAY PREACHER, ACT OF CONGRESS, HAT TRICK, etc).

TO BURN ONE'S BRIDGES :
see BURN ONE'S BRIDGES.

TO BURN YOUR BRIDGES :
see BURN ONE'S BRIDGES.

TOC :
Tactical Operations Center; an INTEL and OPNS planning and development area separate from the administrative headquarters (HQ); also called "Combat Operations Center" (COC) by Navy and Marine personnel. When not touring elements of his unit during combat operations, a commander (CO) is normally located at the TOC; while his Deputy Commander (DC) or Executive Officer (XO) directs support activities from the HQ in a BASE CAMP. During the GULF WAR, the TOC was buried below the open expanse of ground level, like a BUNKER, and was accordingly nicknamed the "Black Hole" by those who had to work within its subterranean environment. During Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), the TOC of the 101st Air Assault Division was a multi-bay tent that was so elaborate that it was nicknamed the "TOC Mahal" [v: Taj Mahal mausoleum]. The WAR ROOM is usually the center of the TOC, where maneuvers are updated and actions are recorded. See CTOC, JOC, JDOC, CMOC, ACV, CP, VESTIBULE, FOBBITVILLE; compare THE CAVE. [nb: the first underground command and operations center was instituted by Winston L.S. Churchill during the Battle of Britain (BLITZ) and was immediately imitated by Franklin D. Roosevelt; all buried TOCs have subsequently been patterned on the British model]

TOCROACH :
(tock-roach) a derogatory or disparaging reference to subterranean creatures that dwell in the air-conditioned recesses of the BOMB-PROOF Tactical Operations Center (TOC), and scurry for shelter whenever exposed to the glare of daylight (or reality, or even TRUTH); a novel coinage by Coalition forces in GULF WAR II or the GWOT. See ACETATE COMMANDO, CHAIRBORNE, CLERKS 'n' JERKS, FOBBIT, CHAIR FORCE, POG, REMF.

TOCSIN :
(toxin) a signal, especially of alert or alarm, sounded on a bell or by ringing bells; derived from "the bell strikes". Compare SQUAWK BOX, BLOWER, HORN, KLAXON, TANNOY, ANNUNCIATOR, 1-MC; see WARNING ORDER, BOATSWAIN'S PIPE, BUGLE CALL, POOP, HEADS-UP, FYI, STAND-TO, DEFCON, SACON, FPCON, ESP, GQ, ALERT, AHOY, HOISE, OORAH, HOOAH, HAUL-ASS, STAT.

TOC TAN :
a sarcastic description of anyone exhibiting the pallid or wan appearance of MIL-PERS working constantly in subterranean BUNKERs under red safety lights or on the night shift under fluorescent lights; being slang for the unhealthy visage acquired by those confined to labor within secure enclosures; also called "safe house tan"; compare MILITARY TAN.

TO&E / T O and E / TOE :
Table of Organization and Equipment; sometimes erroneously denoted as "Table of Organization, Numbers, and Equipment" (TONE), and informally called a SPAGHETTI CHART. See MTOE, CARS, PENTAGONAL; compare TO, OB.

TOE-POPPER :
small pressure-detonated, non-magnetic, anti-personnel mine (M-14), designed to disable more than to kill; based upon WWII non-magnetic "shoe" mine, which was matchbox sized, with primer detonated TNT; improvised version is pressure-detonated SMALL ARMS cartridge. Such mines are used to interdict predictable routes of advance or traverse; were also used to limit access to BOOBY-TRAPped corpses or equipment. See IED, BOOBY-TRAP, MINE.

TOE RAIL :
the raised lip at the edge of a weather deck that's designed to prevent someone's feet from slipping or sliding overboard; compare BULWARK, GUNWALE, SNAKING, LIFELINE.

TOE TAG :
see LUGGAGE TAG.

TOE THE LINE :
to form into LINE abreast, a RANK; not "tow the line". Also, to conform to regulations, to obey the rules, to exhibit proper conduct, as being on the "straight and narrow"; see STRAIGHT ARROW, GOOD PEOPLE, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, HOLD ONE'S FEET TO THE FIRE, BRASS-COLLAR, HIDEBOUND, BRASSBOUND, NATIONAL SECURITY, SCRIPTURES, DUTY; compare HIPPIE, TRIPPIE, PREEVERT. [cf: "one toe over the line"]

TOILET KIT :
see DOPP KIT, DITTY BAG. [v: etui]

TOILET PAPER :
a lightweight, low-quality paper that's used for personal cleansing after urination or defecation; a small quantity of this material is provided in the sundry pack (along with eating utensils and CONDIMENTS) that's issued with field RATIONS; also called "toilet tissue", "bumf" (bumfodder), and "ass wipe". [nb: Chinese archives document the use of perfumed rice-paper for use as toilet paper from the sixth century; toilet paper invented 1857; perforated roll of toilet paper (1877); 2-ply toilet paper (1942); pastel colors of toilet paper (1956)]

TOMAHAWK :
a very accurate, long-range CRUISE attack guided missile, capable of being launched from different platforms (eg: surface ship, submarine, etc) and mounted with various WARHEADs; also known as "TomaChicken" in NavSpeak; see TLAM. Also, a light ax or adz used by many AmerIndians as a small tool or secondary weapon, as derived from Algonquian for hatchet [tamahaac], meaning "to cut off"; this word is sometimes truncated into 'hawk; during the VIETNAM WAR, some Army and Marine units issued these weapons to soldiers in the field in hopes of inspiring a more warrior-like spirit, which when reported by journalists, was immediately curtailed for being too "savage" during wartime!

TOMATO :
WWII-era slang for a "hand bomb" (GAMMON GRENADE) improvised from DYNAMITE on a short FUSE, probably by association with a red colored object that's compact enough to be conveniently thrown by hand; see GRENADE.

TOMB :
a safe and secure storage BUNKER, vault, mausoleum, or sepulcher for CBR or COCKTAIL munitions; as a "field of tombs" for mass burial. Compare DUMP, COFFIN, BOMB FARM, MOTHBALL, BB STACKER, ELEPHANT HUT, BONEYARD, GARDEN OF STONES, NATIONAL CEMETERY, RESERVATION; see HOT GREASE, HEAVY WATER, YELLOWCAKE, YELLOW RAIN, RANCH HAND, AGENT ORANGE, GAS MASK, MOPP, HAZMAT, DRAGON SHIT, NUKE. [cf: cist, dolmen, chamber tomb]

TOMB OF THE UNKNOWNS :
a memorial to military personnel lost in combat, especially those remains unable to be identified or recovered, and those Missing-in-Action (MIA); formerly known as the "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier", established 11 November 1921. The MEDAL OF HONOR (MOH) and the Victoria Cross (Great Britain) have been awarded to the Unknown Soldier of WWI and WWII. The TOMB OF THE UNKNOWNS has been under perpetual protection by the Old Guard in ceremonial attendance since its establishment. A pocket badge is authorized for permanent wear by guards who successfully perform this duty. See MEMORIAL DAY, POW-MIA DAY, MISSING MAN FORMATION, KOREAN WAR VETERANS MEMORIAL, VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL, FLAG DAY. [v: cenotaph]

TOMCAT :
the Grumman F-14 twin turbofan, supersonic, all-weather, long-range fighter aircraft with dual-crew, designed for USN fleet air defense and close air support (CAS); see BIRD. Also, slang reference for a womanizer or philanderer, especially an adulterer or cuckold; also known as a lover boy, lady-killer, dallier, woman-chaser, trifler, Don Juan, swinger, rake, libertine, rakehell, lecher, lothario, or wolf.

TOM KHA KAI :
arguably the national dish of Thailand, being a spicy aromatic soup with a creamy coconut milk and chicken base, accented by lemon grass, coriander (cilantro), galangal (ginger), fried chili peppers, and topped with a fresh kaffir lime leaf; compare KHAO PUN, MOHINGA, BOAT NOODLES.

TOMMY :
slang for a British soldier, from the specimen name of "Tommy Atkins" as used on sample forms since 1815; similar to American use of "John Doe", "Joe Blow", "Joe Doakes", "John Q. Public", and "Richard Row". The same practice made "Jack Tar" the universal byword for any British sailor; and made "Peter Collins" an alias for any unknown or unidentified person, being a euphemism for anyone or anybody. Similarly, the name "Joe Bloggins" or "Joe Bloggs" was used by Canadians to designate any anonymous soldier or sailor, especially in precautionary examples of incompetence leading to misfortune. See AUSSIE, KIWI, CHARLIE, GI JOE, GI. [nb: "pongo" is Australian slang for a soldier or Marine, probably after its primary meaning of 'monkey']

TOMMY-GUN / TOMMY GUN :
Thompson M-1
submachinegun
Thompson M-1 submachinegun
Thompson submachinegun, also spelled "tommie-gun", a .45cal ACP drum or stick magazine fed, fully automatic shoulder fired weapon; developed in 1916 for WWI trench fighting, some versions have fore-end pistol-grip or "Cutts Compensator" MUZZLE-BRAKE. It should be noted that although John T. Thompson was head of the company's design department, credit for the actual design must go to O.V. Payne and T.H. Eickoff, who held the relevant patents for prototypes produced between 1918 and 1920, after which mass production began in 1921. Popular civilian nicknames were "chopper", "stutter-gun", "stutterer", "chatter-gun", "chatterer", and "Chicago typewriter". Compare JOHNNY-GUN, GREASE GUN; see SMG.

TONGUE :
indirect term for an enemy prisoner captured specifically for an INTEL debriefing or interrogation, as used during WWII and after; see PACKAGE, SNATCH, PW; compare GOO, NET, BRACELET. [nb: the 5 S's of prisoner handling include: Search, Silence, Segregate, Safeguard, Speed; in that a prisoner and his intelligence value must be protected against escape, injury, and collusion, which means evacuating the captive(s) while the primary mission continues]

TONKIN :
name for the northern section of Vietnam under the French INDOCHINA Protectorate; compare ANNAM, COCHIN CHINA. [nb: derived from "dong kinh" = eastern capital]

TONKIN GULF INCIDENT :
clashes between North Vietnamese patrol boats and U.S. ships surveilling the coast from the South China Sea on 2 and 4 August 1964 were sufficient provocation to warrant Allied defense of South Vietnam under SEATO. See DESOTO, YANKEE STATION, DIXIE STATION, TONKIN GULF YACHT CLUB. [cf: the sinking of the battleship USS Maine preliminary to the SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR, and sinking of the SS Lusitania preliminary to WWI]

TONKIN GULF RESOLUTION :
Congress resolved military/aid support for South Vietnam on 7 August 1964, following the two casus belli TONKIN GULF INCIDENTs, and signed the 'Southeast Asia Resolution' into law by the President on 10 August 1964; the TONKIN GULF RESOLUTION was repealed in December 1970 by Congress. See COOPER-CHURCH AMENDMENT, CASE-CHURCH AMENDMENT, WAR POWERS ACT. [nb: the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, together with continuous funding of both the American and Asian armed forces, constituted a tacit approval of the VIETNAM WAR (or Second Indochina War) without a formal declaration of war, despite the later congressional retrenchments from 1970 onward, which were provoked by anti-war protests, countercultural divisiveness, and an erosion of public morality]

TONKIN GULF YACHT CLUB :
an apocryphal social society comprised of the U.S. Navy in operations offshore of both North and South Vietnam. Compare PERSIAN GULF YACHT CLUB, SPORT HUNTING CLUB, 72 VIRGINS DATING SERVICE; see DIXIE STATION, YANKEE STATION, POND, FLOAT.

TOOLEE / TOOLEES :
see THULE, TULE. [nb: the thule/tule homophone, together with other variants, has appeared widely and interchangeably in American military writings when referring to remote locales, in the same manner that bush, sticks, woods, barrens, brush, weeds, scrub, rough, and the like are also synecdochically representative]

TOOTER :
musician; also known as BEATERS 'n' BLEATERS. An indication of the misplaced priorities of the Vietnam-era is the fact that even the US Army Special Forces had a marching band! During the CIVIL WAR, when musicians served double-duty as litter-bearers, clerks, and cooks, a transfer request was rejected by D.H. Hill with the terse statement: "We need shooters, not tooters!" ... this kind of moral courage was absent during the VIETNAM WAR. See BUGLE CALL, DRUM, BOATSWAIN'S PIPE, TATTOO, SALUTE, RUFFLES 'n' FLOURISHES, REVEILLE, RETREAT, TAPS, CADENCE, HEP, CHANTEY, HOISE, JODY CALL, GUNG-HO, HEAVE-HO, NO-DOZE, DANCE CARD, PASSING HONORS, CHANGING TUNE, FACE THE MUSIC, ROGUE'S MARCH. [nb: a scrap of largely blue and red tartan, with the thread count falling in sevens, entitled "The 7th Cavalry Tartan", appears in a Scottish pattern book of the 19th century, which researchers now conclude was a design commissioned by George Armstrong Custer for outfitting a regimental marching band of pipers and drummers, which order was interrupted by the 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn]

TOOTH FAIRY :
informal slang for a military dentist, usually ham-handed and slipshod; from the rotation of new graduates who are in service only long enough to repay their educational obligations; also called FANG MECHANIC; see PEARLY WHITES. [nb: during WWII, dentists not only repaired teeth but also made prosthetic eyes and polished the objective lens on submarine periscopes] Also, a mythical representation of the government (THE G) from whence all good and needful things come (largess by requisition); also called "Uncle Sugar" or "Uncle Scam"; see UNCLE SAM, SANTA CLAUS, BELTWAY BANDIT.

TOOTH 'n' NAIL :
(forthcoming); in right good earnest, with one's utmost power, as though biting and scratching; "no holds barred"; "They were fighting fang and claw as if their hair was on fire!"; see UPHILL BATTLE, ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, OFF THE RESERVATION, OUTSIDE THE WIRE, DOG-EAT-DOG, WHEN IN ROME, COUP DE PIED DE L'ANE; compare ARMED TO THE TEETH.

TOOTH NOTCH / TOOTH-NOTCH :
the so-called "tooth notch" that was set in the edge of the oblong identification tag, opposite the thong hole, existed solely for embossing stability; see DOG TAGS.

TOOTH-TO-TAIL RATIO :
an informal military assessment of the relative relationship between combat elements ("tooth") and combat support elements ("tail"); it indicates the number of support personnel needed to sustain a soldier in the COMBAT ZONE so the enemy can be neutralized. This ratio, also known as "tip to tail", is a general measure of the combat effectiveness of a military force based upon its ability to supply and maintain the SHARP END of the war machine, so as to accomplish its strategic mission. A technologically advanced military often exhibits an inverse relationship between its "tail" and its "tooth", enabling a smaller SPEARHEAD with better weapons and communications to be more responsive and effective; while the opposite will have more personnel devoted to battle, but be incapable of supporting them, making them less dynamic and less effective. Power then becomes a factor in applying resources, more than force, especially in unconventional or irregular warfare environments. One of the explicit objectives of military technology is to streamline the TOOTH-TO-TAIL RATIO by reducing manpower while increasing response time, by reducing vulnerability while increasing efficiency, by protecting infrastructure while eliminating superstructure. Systems will never eliminate the need for BOOTS ON THE GROUND, but smart weapons are always better than dumb targets! Compare COMMAND RATIO, BRASS BLOAT; see FORCE MULTIPLIER, COMBAT EFFECTIVE, HUMAN WAVE, COMBAT SUPPORT, COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT. [nb: About 92% of IN-COUNTRY personnel served in non-combat support or administrative roles (including service, supply, and transportation occupations) during Vietnam, keeping the 8% combat element functional. Although similar ratios exist for WWII (@13%/87%) and Korea (@11%/89%), Vietnam showcased the success of LOGISTICS; later improved during the GULF WARs to a 7%/93% ratio.] [nb: "When a commander initiates new activities, he must force himself to find old activities currently underway that can now be discontinued, so as to sustain the effectiveness of the working 'teeth-to-tail' ratio." paraphrase of Donald H. Rumsfeld]

TOP :
the highest ranking Non-Commissioned Officer in a unit, usually the First Sergeant; also called "Top-Kick" or FIRST SHIRT, and used in the same way as OLD MAN. See SARGE, CHIEF, GUNNY, NCO.

TOP DOG :
a person, group, or entity that has acquired an authoritative or dominant position by competition or selection, as the "alpha male", "big kahuna" or "cock of the walk"; see STREAMER, TRASH, BOLO BADGE, GONG, ATTABOY, A-1, BRAVO ZULU, BRAGGING RIGHTS, TROPHY, KILL RING, HERO, TOP GUN, FUGLEMAN, SUPER-TROOPER, SWEAT HOG, HARD CHARGER, FAST MOVER, BOOMER, HOT SHOT, GOLDEN BOY, BALLS TO THE WALL, FIGJAM, HOT-SHIT, DEEP DIP, UP OR OUT, SHAKE 'n' BAKE, OLD SWEAT, BOY WONDER, PLOWBACK; compare GOAT, DUD, GOLDBRICK, GHOST, FEATHER MERCHANT. Also, the senior RANKing MIL-PERS, as the "Top-Kick" or "Commander"; see LDR, CO, MC, DOR, RHIP, COMMAND ELEMENT, BRASS HAT, OLD MAN, TOP, SUPER GRADE, FIRST SHIRT, GUNNY, CHIEF, HONCHO, RAINMAKER, MOTHER HEN, ACTING JACK, GADGET, BREVET, OVERSIGHT. [nb: a female unit commander is not called the OLD MAN nor "old lady", not "chieftain" nor "chieftess", not the HONCHO nor "honchette", not TOP DOG nor "top bitch", but is rather antonomastically identified by the generic "boss" or "boss lady", or by her designated NICKNAME or CODENAME; also see "GI Jane", "Jane Bond", "Acting Jane", "Swinging Dickless", "Dear Jane", SKIRT, ANGEL] [aka: the pick, chosen, select, cream, flower, notable, VIP, dignitary, magnate, cavalier, aristocrat, crème de la crème, socialite, haut monde, celebrity, personage, snob, hincty, high-hatter, bigwig, high-muckety-muck, high-muck-a-muck, mogul, potentate, nabob, tycoon, big deal, wheeler-dealer, wheel / big wheel, big cheese, fat cat, big gun, big shot]

TOP GUN / TOPGUN :
U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons
School
USN FWS
nickname for the formally entitled U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School at the Miramar (CA) and Fallan (NV) NASs; consisting of a ten week course of advanced fighter aircraft training for instructor PILOTs (IP), who return to their parent unit to teach upgrade skills to other qualified JET JOCKs. Unlike the USAF, which setup multi-squadron exercises, the USN concentrated on "training the trainers", who disseminated doctrine after completion. TOP GUN, also spelled "topgun", was established in 1968 as the Navy's Fighter Weapons, Tactics, and Doctrine course to increase PILOT experience by simulating combat; and is now known as the U.S. Navy Strike Fighter Tactical Instruction course. Compare DREAMLAND, AREA 51, RED FLAG, HAWC, BOOMER, ZOOMIE, CADRE, OSUT, PLOWBACK.

TOPO :
short form of topographic; see MAP, COMICS, GRID COORDINATES, GRID LINES, CONTOUR LINES, PINS IN THE MAP SYNDROME; compare MOSAIC MAP, CHART, ATLAS. [nb: the Army Corps of Engineers was assigned the responsibility for surveying America's borders and features in 1831, resulting in a separate Topographic Corps in 1838] [nb: during WWII, the OSS issued a playing card deck to some teams that, when laid out in a particular order, formed an operational map detailing the assignments for a specific mission; furthermore, escape maps hidden on playing cards in a deck were also provided to assist downed crewmembers evade capture in select areas] [nb: the source for military maps was changed from US Geologic Survey to Nat'l Imaging and Mapping Agency in Oct 1996 due to downlink satellite profiles, then renamed National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)] [nb: "War is God's way of teaching geography to Americans." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce; "Boundary: in political geography, an imaginary line between two nations, separating the imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights of the other." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce; "Just as politics exists to teach geography, so combat exists to teach topography."]

TOP-OFF :
refuel completely, also called "top-up" and "press up", as when filling to the top of the fuel tank with PETROL so as to prevent condensation from diluting the propellant, and to ensure readiness; see HOT-FUELING, POL, MOGAS, JP, AVGAS, JUICE, JERRY CAN, BLIVET, POD, BLADDER, TANKER, ENDURANCE. [nb: the advertising phrase "Fill 'er up!" was created in 1933 to showcase the features of the Wayne Computing Pump, a gasoline dispenser that automatically calculated the sale price]

TOPSIDE :
on DECK, or on the outer-surface of the HULL above the waterline, often refers only to the main or weather deck, and also known as "topsides"; the superstructure of a ship is numbered upward from the main deck (01); see QUARTERDECK, FANTAIL, POOP DECK, TRANSOM, TAFFRAIL, FORECASTLE, PULPIT, HELM, PILOTHOUSE, FLYING BRIDGE, BRIDGE, FREEBOARD, BOARD, GUNWALE, STRAKE, TOE RAIL, LIFELINE, PLANK, ABOVE BOARD, VULTURE'S ROW. Also, the most authoritative level, RANK, or position; a "topsider"; see WARDROOM, OFFICER'S COUNTRY; compare BELOW DECK. Also, a euphemism for a woman's bosom, her breasts or mammary glands; also called "upper deck"; see PIRATE'S DREAM, HIGH POCKETS, HANG LOOSE, MAE WEST, THE BRA, compare BELOW DECK. [aka: assets, endowments, advantages, bosom, bust, breasts, dynamic duo, terrible twosome, double trouble, boobs/boobies, knockers, dingers, bangers, shock absorbers, hooters, tooters, honkers, whoopies, howlers, whammies, woofers, breasticles, chesticles, dumbbells, bumpers, zoomers, jigglers, wobblers, bouncers, knobs/knobbers, nodules, bumps, mounds, hills, peaks, baubles, cupcakes, dumplings, gumdrops, lollies, yum-yums, jugs, dugs, droopers, floppers, flopdoodles, saggies, baggies, glad bags, huffies, balloons, air-bags, wind bags, cuddlies, pillows, softies, huggies, cushions, mooglies, bazooms, babaloos, baloobas, bubbies, hubba-bubbas, zingers, whoppers, headlights, hubcaps, twins, friends, cubs, puppies, hush puppies, snuggle pups, tats/tatties, tits/titties, lungs, mammary, udder, teats, nipples, tippers, mammilla, falsie, cheaters] [nb: the first US patent for the brassiere occurred 1910, despite the 1913 claim by Mary Phelps Jacob for its invention from two artfully tied handkerchieves that replaced the stay or corset; Ida Rosenthal introduced the "Maidenform" bra in 1923; the "sports bra" was introduced in 1977; gelatin-filled bras have been available as an alternative to implants since 1978; the "ideal" bra size is 34-B, a standard established by clothing designers, and from which the other sizes are volumetrically extrapolated; the commercial size range is from 28-AAA to 55-DD; bra size is measured with a tape across the top of the chest, then across the bust, such that if the difference in girth is 1" then the cup size is A, if 2" then B, if 3" then C, if 4" then D]

TOP SECRET :
a delimiter qualifying duplication and restricting distribution of CLASSIFIED documents; see NEED TO KNOW, COMPARTMENTALIZATION.

TOP 3 CLUB / TOP THREE CLUB :
see NCO CLUB; compare ANNEX, SLOP CHUTE, ACEY-DEUCY, O CLUB, ALL RANKS CLUB.

TOP-UP :
see TOP-OFF.

TOQ :
Transient Officer's Quarters; see VOQ.

TORNADO :
the North American B-45 medium bomber; see BIRD. Also, nickname of the 8th Armored Division, which served in Europe (ETO) during WWII. Also, a violent squall, whirlwind, or windstorm; see STORM WARNING, WIND, BEAUFORT SCALE, SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE, FUJITA SCALE, WINDSOCK, TELLTALE. [nb: weather forecasters began using female names during WWII in imitation of a popular book (Storm by George Rippey Stewart, 1940), which had identified a typhoon with the name Maria; by 1953 this convention was made official, and in 1979 male names began alternating with female names on recurring rosters in six year rotations; the storm names may be in English, Spanish, or French (except for letters Q, U, and Z), and are only retired from use by the National Weather Service when they are particularly notorious]

TORPEDO :
(forthcoming); see FISH, CAPTOR. [nb: as a safety precaution, all torpedoes incorporate an arming-delay] Also, a small explosive charge used to sever the cable of a JUNGLE PENETRATOR if the device becomes entangled or the (too heavy or unbalanced) load affects flight and jeopardizes the helicopter, which may be actuated by either the PILOT or CREW CHIEF, jettisoning the device and its load; see HOT HOIST, CHOPPER, SAR, CSAR.

TORPEDO JUICE :
naval slang for illicit booze made from methyl alcohol (methanol or wood alcohol), which was used aboard submarines and ships during WWII as an additive or solvent; filtered and flavored to make it palatable, consumption of this poisonous liquid caused blindness and death. See MOONSHINE, CLEANSKIN, HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, THE DRINK, IRISH SODA POP.

TORPEX :
developed during WWII (1942) as a TORPedo EXplosive that was 50% more powerful than TNT by mass, comprising 42% Research Department eXplosive (RDX), 40% trinitrotoluene (TNT), and 18% powdered aluminum to extend its explosive pulse, making this underwater munition more destructive than others. TORPEX was used in bombs and mines as well as torpedoes, but has been superseded by Composition H6 and plastic-bonded explosive (PBX). See MOUSETRAP, EXPLOSIVE.

TORTURE :
(forthcoming); shared derivation with 'tort' (twisted) [v: foltern, trepalium]; see TORTURE CHAMBER, FIELD EXPEDIENT FACIAL, ROPE TRICK, STRAPPADO, SCOURGE, HOOKSWINGING, PLAYING THE XYLOPHONE, SONG AND DANCE, NECKLACE, HAIRCUT AND MANICURE, WATER TORTURE, SCAVENGER'S DAUGHTER, THUMBSCREW, RACK, BOOT, DECAPITATION, BRAINWASHING, REEDUCATION, CONCENTRATION CAMP, GULAG, SQUEEZE, SWEAT, THIRD DEGREE, BITCH SLAP, BASHING, GAUNTLET, FROGMARCH, HOLD ONE'S FEET TO THE FIRE, FALL GUY, CAT AND MOUSE, DEATH OF A THOUSAND CUTS, TWIST IN THE WIND, GARROTE, KEELHAUL, OVER A BARREL, WALKING GHOST, ENHANCED INTERROGATION, PAIN, CODE OF CONDUCT, LAWS OF WAR, WAR CRIMES TRIAL, CHL, UCMJ. [v: Black Hole of Calcutta] [nb: "Human Intelligence Collector Operations" (FM 2-22.3, rev 6 Sep 2006; replacing FM 34-52 dtd 1992) prohibits 'enhanced interrogation techniques' and other euphemisms for torture; the "threat of imminent death" is one of the definitions of torture (18USC2340), and the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984; ratified 1994 by USA) prohibits the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering, such that "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture" (Article 2); in the most effective practices, whether a manipulation of Maslow's "hierarchy of needs" or Skinner's "operant conditioning", the physical experience is secondary to the psychological component, from which the traumatized person may never recover] [nb: the mutilation of enemy corpses, wherein the excised genitals are lodged in the victim's mouth, is a sexual metaphor more than a symbolic sex act; such placement denigrates the enemy's prowess and disparages him as a "cocksucker", a ponce or nance, not a "real man"; if the victim of torture, such mutilation indicates contempt, declaring that he did not die well, bravely or manfully]

TORTURE CHAMBER :
a room or cell where extreme physical and mental PAIN is inflicted upon a captive or convict, often with the aid of specially designed equipment or specially developed devices, in order to break that person's resistance, to extract information, or to elicit a confession; also called a "chamber of horrors", this facility is usually located near a prison, and may be equipped with select instruments of TORTURE, from knives and tools to chemicals and generators, including ties and restraints. [v: bastinado, strappado, thumbscrew, pilliwinks, scavenger's daughter, boot, Judas chair, iron maiden, rack or wheel]

TO RUN RINGS AROUND :
see (TO) RUN RINGS AROUND.

TO SEPARATE THE SHEEP FROM THE GOATS :
see (TO) SEPARATE THE SHEEP FROM THE GOATS.

TOT :
Time On Target, multi-battery artillery fire computed for simultaneous POINT OF IMPACT; coordinated mass fire from different locations. Also, Time Over Target, computation of bomb delivery period by aircraft. Compare SHOT OUT, SPLASH.

TO TAKE THE GILT OFF THE GINGERBREAD :
see (TO TAKE THE) GILT OFF THE GINGERBREAD.

TOTAL FORCE :
the all-volunteer military was proposed, utilizing the somewhat existentialist slogan of "The Army Wants to Join You", in 1972 by Richard M. Nixon; and while the U.S. Army studied ways and means of implementing this proposal within its mission, GEN Creighton W. Abrams, as Chief of Staff, implemented the TOTAL FORCE plan which blended the reserve and active duty components, such that active combat elements could not be deployed without simultaneously activating combat support (CS/CSS) reserve elements, in hopes that no future generation would incur the enmity and alienation of the Vietnam-era troops. This plan eliminated the reserve as a method of evading assignment to a combat zone while ensuring that experience would not be held in reserve during a crisis. Although the all-volunteer concept almost collapsed during the James E. Carter administration from lowered standards (Army Chief of Staff Edward (Shy) Meyer publicly declared that America had a "hollow Army") in an effort to meet goals and quotas without reinstituting the DRAFT, the TOTAL FORCE plan has not faltered since its inception. When standards were raised and other policies were implemented under Ronald W. Reagan, coincident with the 1980 "Be All You Can Be" ad campaign, both the active and reserve components improved. See RETREAD, RE-UP, GOTCHA, FTA, BUDDY SYSTEM, RECRUITER, VOLUNTEER, VOLAR, AVF, RA, COMBAT EFFECTIVE, MUSTER, CALL TO THE COLORS. [nb: the military has an involuntary "stop-loss" authority, which allows each branch to compel soldiers who reach the end of their enlistment to remain in uniform for "the good of the service"]

TOTAL WAR :
this new era of machine warfare, influenced by industrial development and scientific progress, and prosecuted by masses of conscripted troops, is waged not only against the opposition's government and armed forces, but also against its economic means of existence and its civilian population, in order to destroy its means and will for continuing the STRUGGLE. Modern TOTAL WAR calls for the regimentation and coordination of peoples and resources; the state is compelled to demand a surrender of private rights in order that a unity of purpose may enable it to prosecute the war to a victorious conclusion. Compare LIMITED WAR, LOW-INTENSITY CONFLICT, PROXY WAR, MAD, FULL-COURT PRESS, BLITZKRIEG, HYPERWAR, OVERKILL, DOOMSDAY. [v: The Total War by Erich Ludendorff (1935)] [nb: "It is a war against all nations." by T. Woodrow Wilson]

TOUCH AND GO / TOUCH-AND-GO :
the practice landing of an aircraft on a RUNWAY wherein the airplane does not come to a complete stop, but power is reduced before being again increased for an immediate take-off; often performed by students training for qualification in a particular model by flying in a low altitude circuit around the airfield; also called "crash and dash", and similar to the Navy's FIELD CARRIER LANDING or BOUNCE. [cf: stop and go] Also, despite the fact that this term probably derives from the keel of a ship momentarily touching ground ("touch bottom") before its inertia enables it to continue (instead of running aground), this expression is now widely used as a metaphor for any narrow escape from a risky, precarious, or delicate state of affairs; see CLOSE CALL, CLOSE SHAVE, NEAR MISS, SQUEAK. [v: hairsbreadth; cf: hit-and-miss, hit-or-miss]

TOUCHDOWN :
the moment of contact of an aircraft with the landing surface. Compare BOUNCE, AUGER-IN, PANCAKE; see ALS, SPLASHDOWN, LETDOWN, RUNWAY, BASE LEG, THRESHOLD, APRON, WINDSOCK.

(THE) TOUGH GET GOING :
see THE TOUGH GET GOING.

TOUGH LOVE :
a relational mixture of sternness and support, wherein expectations and encouragement are blended so as to foster good character traits and achievable goals; a post-WWII psychosocial adjustment modality that eschews both cruelty and laxity, as used in counseling and training scenarios. Originating as a faith-based therapeutic technique for treating juvenile delinquents, it later evolved into a broader secular-based network of support groups in the post-Vietnam era. See HARD-ASS, TOE THE LINE, BY THE BOOK, ZERO TOLERANCE, WARM FUZZY, BRAVO ZULU, ATTABOY. [nb: it's a well established fact that a good Drill Sergeant will take the raw material of a civilian and turn him into a soldier in the same way that he would take a tangled mess of steel wool and knit it into a tank!]

TOUR BABY :
anyone who repeatedly extends overseas tours, or serves them in series, one after another without an intervening stateside assignment, so as to garner more training or experience, or to take advantage of assignment perquisites (eg: supplemental pay, additional leave, tax deferments, hazardous duty, or exotic travel); often refers to someone who has GONE NATIVE or is "war crazed", which is perceived as a loss of "proper perspective" and is thus a death knell for career aspirations. Also called "encore vet", and known among Marines as "double pump". Compare COMBAT BUM, HOMESTEADER, PLANK OWNER, DOG'S YEAR, MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, LIFER, MILICRAT, TICKET-PUNCHER, DOUBLE-DIP, TWO-FISTED, SANDWICH. [nb: civilians go 'abroad' while soldiers go 'overseas']

TOURIST DESTINATION :
sardonic reference to any HOT SPOT or THEME PARK, INDIAN COUNTRY or SANDBOX, BOONDOCKS or THULE, FRONT LINE or DOWN RANGE, BATTLEFIELD or COMBAT ZONE. [nb: "Join the military, learn useful skills, travel to distant lands, meet interesting people, and kill them!" sardonic recruiting slogan popularized during the Vietnam-era]

TOURNAMENT :
see MOCK-COMBAT, DRY RUN, EXERCISE, THE PLAN, FIELD EXPEDIENT, PARTY LINE, BOX HEAD, PRIMROSE PATH, MILITARY MIND, TOE THE LINE, WAR GAMES, UMPIRE, REFEREE, TRAIN HARD - FIGHT EASY, PLAY THE GAME, SNAKE PIT, DUEL, ORDEAL, FLOWER WAR. [nb: although ancient Greek and Roman cavalrymen approached their opponents from the left so as to favor the weapon held in their right hand, tournament jousting by right-handed lancers is the basis for driving vehicles on the left side of the roadway (eg: Japan, Thailand, Nepal, Bhutan, Macao, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Kenya, South Africa, Hong Kong, Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Jamaica, Bahamas, Grenada, Barbados, Australia, New Zealand, Falkland Islands, England, Ireland, Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey, Malta, Cyprus, and other British influenced countries ... except Gibraltar)] [nb: on the advice of a geomancer in 1970, Burma changed from driving on the left side of the roadway to driving on the right] [nb: Okinawa, a Japanese prefecture under American military occupation since 24 June 1945, accommodated U.S. administration by driving on the right side of the roadway until after sovereignty was restored in 1972, then reverted to left side 'rules of the road' in common with other Japanese regions on 30 July 1978 ... an occasion known locally as "730"]

TOW :
Tube-launched Optically-tracked Wire-guided anti-tank (AT) ROCKET, being a portable CREW-SERVED component linked system; see DRAGON, LOSAT, JAVELIN, ITV, ATGM, CAAT; compare MISSILE.

TOWED :
a light or compact field gun (eg: M-101 / M-102 / M-119 / M-202 105mm; M-1 / M-114 / M-198 155mm) with support attached to tow-bar or LIMBER for vehicular transport or aerial relocation; commonly called a "towed HOWITZER" or "towed artillery". A "Pack Howitzer" (eg: L5 105mm) is specifically designed for towing over rough terrain, is light enough to be airlifted or AIRDROPped, and may be easily dismantled for piecemeal transport. Compare SP; see PINTLE, TRAIL, TRUNNION, LIMBER, TRANSOM, LONG TOM, ARTY.

TOWLINE :
a LINE, ROPE, CABLE, HAWSER, or the like, by which anything is (or may be) drawn, pulled, hauled, towed, or launched; see SNATCH, TRAWL, SKYHOOK, UNCOUPLE.

TOW PLANE :
an airplane (called the "tug ship", AIR TRAIN, or SKY TRAIN) towing one or more GLIDERs; GLIDER tow positions are either below ("low-tow") or above ("high-tow") the wake of the tow plane. See TOWLINE, UNCOUPLE, AIRHEAD.

TOYS FOR TWATS :
a parody of the "Toys for Tots" Christmas present program sponsored by the Marine Corps (USMC) wherein every lonely GI JANE is gifted with a dildo, vibrator, or other sexual aid to ensure tranquility in the barracks, if not satisfaction in the ranks. See ANGEL, QUEEN FOR A YEAR, LONGHAIR, ROUND EYE, RUNTS 'n' CUNTS, PIRATE'S DREAM, BITCH, BALL BUSTER, BATTLE-AX, FLYING BRAVO, STRANGE, SPLIT, SNATCH, SKIRT. [nb: protracted use of a dildo (or other similarly unyielding object) causes erosion of the uterine cervix]

TOY SHOP :
slang for an ARMORY, being a place (S-4 annex) where arms and armor are made by an ARMORER; so-called from the fabrication and modification of SMALL ARMS, and the admiration (if not delight) that such manufacturing conveys to the dedicated soldier. Compare ARSENAL, MAGAZINE.

TOY SOLDIER :
a derogatory ascription of an idealized MIL-PERS in perfect costume, often embellished or elaborated so as to be impractical for all but display purposes in some form of stylized "kabuki theater". Also, a pretender or poseur, being someone who affects or projects the image of a "real soldier" ... that is, one who gets dirty and risks his life in combat; see WANNABE, WHISKEY WARRIOR. Also, an effigy or simulacrum representing an abstract ideal of inanimate perfection; usually a model or miniature, such as a decorated chessman or costumed doll; also called "chocolate soldier" (glitter wrapped sweet). See CHROME-DOME, SAM BROWNE BELT, MILITARY PRESS, MILITARY TUCK, SPIT 'n' POLISH, POUTER PIGEON, MACHO; compare FUGLEMAN, WOODEN SOLDIER, CANNON FODDER.

TPFDD :
Timed, Phased, Forced Deployment Data

TRA CA :
Vietnamese for a carp-like fish raised in manure lagoons, fed on village wastes and sewage for community hygiene. See HONEY BUCKET, DUMP, TROTS, SQUIRTS, SLOP CHUTE, CAT HOLE, SLIT TRENCH, LATRINE.

TRACE :
any slight or faint trail made in the wilderness by animals or vehicles; especially when man-tracking (to fall in trace), a sense detectable path left by enemy personnel that's used to plot a concentration or discover a CACHE or HIDE. See PECKER TRACKS, CASTOFF, BLOOD TRAIL, TRAIL, TRACK, DRAG, BREADCRUMBING, BEAT AROUND THE BUSH, INDIAN ROPE TRICK, WALK BACK THE CAT. [v: pug / pug marks, spoor] [nb: more so than foreign armies, Americans can usually be traced by their excessive noise and exotic odors as well as by the trail of trash (LITTER) that they leave behind themselves in the field]

TRACER :
color emitted by ignition of treated ammunition when fired from rifle or machinegun, so shots can be tracked (traced) and their points of impact adjusted. TRACERS are visible under most light conditions, but night provides best results. Inexperienced troops quickly learn the MURPHY LAW that "tracers work both ways", so must reserve their use for specific situations. At closer ranges, before burn time is exhausted, TRACERS may ignite combustible materials under prime conditions. Enemy AK and AAA weapons fire "green" TRACERS, while Allied weapons shoot "red" TRACERS. See LINK AMMO, MAG, DRUM. [nb: US naval gunfire includes a dye-marker to help identify shots during multiple ship engagements, and to help adjust the POINT OF IMPACT by fire observation, which normally takes 8-10 rounds due to calculations of barrel/air temperatures and the moving platform of a ship at sea]

TRACK :
any track-propelled vehicle, from self-propelled howitzers to tractor bulldozers, but usually refers to armored TANKs or APCs; such vehicles use caterpillar treads due to their superior traction and improved weight distribution over wheels; see DOZER INFANTRY, ROME PLOW, ARMORED CAR, HALF-TRACK, CEV, LAV, AAV, AMTRACK, ALLIGATOR, GATOR-FREIGHTER, ELSIE, AVLB, VTR, SP, FAASV, SCORPION, DUSTER, ONTOS, SPAT, RR, FISTV, MECH, WEASEL, IRON DOG, CLINKETY-CLANK, PAVIS, SNORKEL, SNORT, BOGIE, COUNTER-ROTATE, TRACK, CATERPILLAR, TRACK PAD, TRACK BLOCK, APPLIQUE ARMOR, HILLBILLY ARMOR, REACTIVE ARMOR, SPALL, SPACED ARMOR, TANK PARK, GROUND GUIDE, MOTOR POOL, LAAGER, DRAGON'S TEETH, HEAT, SLAP, SABOT, AT; compare STRYKER, DUCK, GAMMA GOAT, GATOR. [nb: initially conceived ca1903, heavily armoured cars, which were known as "tanks" to disguise their function, were introduced to land warfare during the First Battle of the Somme (15 September 1916)] Also, one of the sections of TRACK BLOCK (not "tread") that, when linked together to form a revolving belt, generates propulsion and steerage on a TRACK-driven vehicle; compare TRACK PAD; see BOGIE, CATERPILLAR, COUNTER-ROTATE. Also, to follow sign, spoor, CASTOFF, PECKER TRACKS, or other marks when pursuing an elusive quarry; also called TRAIL or TRACE; see PAINT, LOCK-ON, DRAG, BREADCRUMBING, BEAT AROUND THE BUSH, INDIAN ROPE TRICK, WALK BACK THE CAT. [v: pug / pug marks, spoor] [nb: more so than foreign armies, Americans can usually be traced by their excessive noise and exotic odors as well as by the trail of trash (LITTER) that they leave behind themselves in the field] [nb: a sniper may actively track his target until the optimum shooting solution presents itself, or he may passively await the appearance of his target in the window of the optimum shooting solution; most shooters prefer the more active "sniper's track" method since they believe that this technique increases their opportunity for success, but it also makes them more liable to detection, whereas the more passive "sniper's trap" method enables the best setup to be fully prepared, simply awaiting quintessential conjuncture]

TRACK BLOCK :
a linked section that forms a revolving belt or rotating TRACK, about eighty BLOCK sections per side, that's powered by a drive sprocket (BOGIE); see CATERPILLAR, COUNTER-ROTATE.

TRACK PAD :
a rubber insert for each TRACK BLOCK (1 or 2 pads per block) so that paved roadways and bridges would not be damaged by the exposed metal tread on revolving TRACKs; see BOGIE, CATERPILLAR, COUNTER-ROTATE. [nb: each M-60A3 track block had two rubber track pads mounted side by side] Also, dismissive slang for the small chocolate candy bar (originally D-Ration or Logan Bar) that's included with field rations; compare HERSHEY BAR, CANDY BAR, CLARK BAR, HOOAH! BAR; see POGY BAIT, GEDUNK, SUGAR PILL.

TRADECRAFT :
U.S. Army Military Intelligence
branch insignia
Military Intelligence
the necessary skills to perform any difficult job, especially covert operations, including everything from camouflage and marksmanship to surveillance and communications (eg: cover story, dead drops, shadowing); also known as "the black arts". See SECRET AGENT, CRYPTO, SPOOK, CREEP, SWEAT, POISON PILL, SQUEEZE, FLUTTER, DEBRIEF, LIE DETECTOR, TRUTH SERUM, TAP, DEAD DROP, LETTER BOX, DEAD LETTER, CHICKEN FEED, BLIND DATE, DOUBLE DUTCH, DIRTY TRICKS, BLACK BAG, HONEY POT, NUTCRACKER, BIOMETRICS, FINGERPRINT, FLAPS 'n' SEALS, FLASH PAPER, ONE-TIME PAD, SPY DUST, MOOR'S KNOT, DESK MAPPING, TWEP, WET WORK, BOLT HOLE, RABBIT HOLE, NAKED, LIFTED SKIRT, RABBIT, THROW-AWAY, KITE, HONEY TRAP, PILLOW TALK, DANGLE, SLEEPER, MOLE, FIX, CUTOUT, DECOY, STOOGE, PROVOCATEUR, BOY SCOUT, BALLOON, NIGHTCRAWLER, HANDLER, MICE, ZERO FOOTPRINT, CLEANSKIN, CLEAN, POCKET LITTER, NOC, COVER, LEGEND, BACKSTOP, TALK THE TALK, NEED TO KNOW, COMPARTMENTALIZATION, RIG, COLLOGUE, PROPAGANDA, DISINFORMATION, RUMOR, ESPIONAGE SWAMP, CLOWN COLLEGE, HOUSE OF SPIES, HOUSE OF SPOOKS, THE FARM, THE PICKLE FACTORY, COUNTRY CLUB; compare MIL-CRAFT.

TRADE ENVELOPES :
a private arrangement by which friends agree to hold a sealed last or final letter, to be mailed in the event of death, but to be returned or destroyed if unharmed. See COMRADE, BUDDY SYSTEM.

TRADE SCHOOL :
any of the several most prominent (and prestigious) military academies, from West Point and Annapolis to VMI and the Citadel with the declared objective of educating future military leaders. In general terms, admission to military schools is based upon academic and athletic standing, extracurricular activities, age, political appointment (including children of POW/MIA, SC disabled veterans, or MoH recipients) and upon geographical allotments (including active duty and reserve personnel). The superior schooling provided by the service academies, borne at taxpayer's expense, is mocked by the students as "A million-dollar education shoved up your ass one nickel at a time!" See HUDSON HIGH, BOAT SCHOOL, ZOO, USMMA, USCGA, RING-KNOCKER, MISTER, CADET, ZOOMIE, TWEEDLEDUM 'n' TWEEDLEDEE, CANDIDATE / OC, MERCHANT MARINE, COASTIES, USMAPS, NAPS, ROTC, OCS, WAR COLLEGE, C&GS, JEDI KNIGHT, TANKER TECH, REDLEG REFORMATORY, UP OR OUT, CAREER TRACK, FAST TRACK, FIVE AND FLY, BRACE, SQUARE MEAL, SQUARE CORNERS, SHORT-SHEET, RATHOLE, TICKET-PUNCHER, BOY'S CLUB, OFFICER, INITIATION. [nb: Vietnamese term: Quan Truong] [v: West Point slang; Military Schools] [v: Siwash ("At Good Old Siwash" by George Helgeson Fitch (1911)] [v: kriegsakademie, kriegsschule] [v: "What happens in school stays in school!"]

TRADITION :
a long-established or inherited way of thinking and acting, as derived from "handing over" or "giving over"; those old school beliefs and old-line creeds, steadfast customs and time-honored legends that are passed along from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth and emulation. See CUSTOMS AND COURTESIES OF THE SERVICE, MORE HONORED IN THE BREACH THAN THE OBSERVANCE, KEEP THE FAITH, SEMPER FI, TRUE BLUE, ESPRIT DE CORPS, LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN, DUTY, SCRIPTURES, CODE OF CONDUCT, HONOR CODE, CREED, OATH, PATRIOTISM, VALOR, V-DEVICE, IMPACT AWARD, GUTS, DIEHARD, VETERAN, WINTER SOLDIER, NOBLE SAVAGE, COUNT COUP, BRAGGING RIGHTS, QUIET PROFESSIONAL, STRAC, BATTLE CRY, HOOAH, OORAH, GUNG-HO, WETSU, ROOT HOG OR DIE, GUSTO, MORALE, RELIGIOUS RIGHT, RUGGED INDIVIDUALISM, HOME FRONT. [v: unwritten law; cf: kultur] [nb: "to the manner born" refers to adopting customs and traditions, not entitlements; re: act 1 sc 4 Hamlet by William Shakespeare (1602)] [nb: "Tradition is the religion of the military, and history is its Bible."; "Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6:16; "The best way to keep tradition alive is not to pray to the ashes, but to keep the fire burning bright."; "Whenever we want an excuse to keep doing the same old things in the same old way, no matter how ineffective or inefficient, ridiculous or corrupt, we claim the dubious authority of tradition to forestall change and avoid alteration, to negate innovation and prevent improvement, just so we won't be disconcerted in our complacency."; "As long as open debate has protections for conscientious objection, there is no reason why honorable people cannot respectfully disagree, and resolve that honest disagreement by referendum. There is no custom or tradition that cannot be changed by the will of the people ... even the Constitution can be amended ... and if, at some future time, after assessing the consequences of such change, be changed again. Traditions don't deserve absolute deference by virtue of their age, nor do customs mean silent and eternal acquiescence." paraphrase of Ted Cruz; "Change for its own sake is stupid! ... has tradition no meaning anymore?!"; "Most of the great results of history are brought about by discreditable means." by Ralph Waldo Emerson (The Conduct of Life 1860); "Records of old wars mean nothing to me. History is more or less bunk. It's tradition." by Henry Ford (1916); "The youth of America is their oldest tradition. It has been going on now for three hundred years." by Oscar Wilde (A Woman of No Importance 1893)]

TRADOC :
Training and Doctrine Command
shoulder patch
TRADOC
U.S. Army TRAining and DOCtrine command; established in 1973 to reorient the post-VN Army, as projected by GEN Creighton W. Abrams. See USATC, CDID, POI, BAYONET, TOTAL FORCE. [nb: the equivalent USAF organization is called "Directorate of Personnel Training and Education"]

TRAIL :
a path or route; see TRACE, RAT PATH. Also, two supporting parts ("outrigger legs") extending from the rear of a field gun; see TOWED, FLASK, LIMBER, TRANSOM, ARTY. Also, rear security element, term derives from "drag"; also known as DRAG; compare POINT, SLACK, TAIL-END CHARLIE, see ZERO, BUTTONHOOK [nb: the follow-up TRAIL or DRAG element is not only responsible for guarding the back of the unit (ie: tailgunner), but in obscuring its passage (eg: scrub, scour, sweep, "dry clean", "Hoover") and detecting pursuit (eg: double-check, double-back, back-check) so as to preserve unit integrity and enable accomplishment of its mission] Also, to follow sign, spoor, pug / pug marks, CASTOFF, PECKER TRACKS, or other sense marks when pursuing an elusive quarry or prey; also called TRACK or TRACE; see DRAG, BREADCRUMBING, BEAT AROUND THE BUSH, WALK BACK THE CAT. [nb: more so than foreign armies, Americans can usually be traced by their excessive noise and exotic odors as well as by the trail of trash (LITTER) that they leave behind themselves in the field]

TRAILBLAZE / TRAILBLAZING / TRAILBLAZER :
see PATHFINDER, POINT, ADVANCE FORCE, ADVANCE GUARD.

TRAILING HIS COAT :
(forthcoming); being provocative; see HAIR-TRIGGER, HALF-COCKED, FIGHTING WORDS, SABER-RATTLING, GUNPOINT, CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS, FIGHTING MAD, BATTLE ROYAL, DOGFIGHT, RAMPAGE, BLOODY SHIRT.

TRAILING OVERWATCH / TRAVELING OVERWATCH :
a movement technique used when contact with enemy forces is Possible; with the lead element and trailing element being separated by a short distance, which varies with the terrain. The trailing element moves at various speeds and may pause for short periods to overwatch the lead element, keying its movement to the terrain and the lead element. The trailing element overwatches at such a distance that should the enemy engage the lead element, it will not prevent the trailing element from firing or moving to support the lead element in its response.

TRAIL MIX :
a high-energy snack, variously composed, dating from the early VIETNAM WAR-era; properly called 'gorp', and improperly called 'Granola®'. [nb: called "scroggin" in Australia]

TRAIL OF TEARS :
referent for the primary route (Highway 21) from BanMeThout to NhaTrang that was the stage for the slaughter of thousands of Vietnamese refugees who were fleeing the communist onslaught by the invading North Vietnamese in 1975; not only did the NVA ambush unarmed civilians, but criminal bands also exploited the chaos of civil disintegration by wholesale rape, robbery, and murder. [v: U.S. removal of Eastern tribes of AmerIndians to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River (eg: "Trail of Tears"), or the exile of Western tribes onto Pan-Indian reservations or into prison camps on remote Army posts (eg: "The Long Walk")]

TRAIL WATCHER :
an enemy SENTRY, usually convalescent or elderly, posted at a point (eg: tree-stand platform or hilltop blind) of good observation on heliborne insertions and troop movements, with the responsibility to alert all affected enemy units. Imitative of the WWII Allied "Coast Watcher" surveillance system, which successfully employed noncombatant businessmen and missionaries; also called "bird watcher". Later expanded to cooperate with rear security and counter-RECON units. See BINH TRAM, STAY BEHIND, FLIP-FLOP, FALSE INSERTION, COIGN OF VANTAGE.

TRAIN :
a line or procession of aggregated persons, animals, vehicles, or vessels traveling together, as for carrying supplies or baggage; such as a CONVOY, LINE HAUL, caravan, motorcade, procession, cavalcade, or cortege, as derived from drag, draw, pull. Also, order, especially proper order and sequence, as proceeding events or ideas. Also, to develop or form the habits, thoughts, or behavior of a person by discipline and instruction, as to make an adherent proficient by instruction and practice; see BCT, AIT, OSUT, SLICK SLEEVE, BOOT, CRUIT, POI, KISS, TRNG, PRESTRESS, OJT, COUNTERINTUITIVE. Also, the series of results or circumstances from an event or action, as an aftermath. Also, to point, aim, or bring to bear a firearm or other device on some object; see SIGHT PICTURE, SPOT WELD, BASS, TRAVERSE, ELEVATION, DEFLECTION, ZERO. Also, to TRAVERSE a cannon or GUN TUBE laterally, as contrasted with ELEVATION; see ARTY. Also, a successive stream, trail, or trailing part from some moving object or sequence; see LAND TAIL. Also, a line of combustible material, as gunpowder, for leading fire to an explosive charge; see FUSE. [v: catenate / concatenate]

TRAINBAND :
a company of trained MILITIA organized in London and elsewhere in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries; derived as a contraction of "trained band".

TRAINED KILLER :
ironic reference to any recent graduate of a military school, especially one conferred with a new technical or specialty rating; see PRESTRESS, MOCK-HEROIC, BTDT, KILLER KANE.

TRAINEE :
someone enrolled in a training school or course of instruction in order to learn the lessons and doctrine of said program so as to apply such as a skill in mission fulfillment; a MIL-PERS undergoing specialized instruction in a disciplined setting ... someone civilians would classify as a 'pupil' or 'student'. See CADET, PUP, TADPOLE, POLLYWOG, TRNG, POI, CALL, TRADOC, MIL-CRAFT, Q-COURSE, CROSS-TRAINING, OJT, MONKEY SEE - MONKEY DO, COUNTERINTUITIVE, PETER PRINCIPLE, PARKINSON'S LAW, OCCAM'S RAZOR, MURPHY'S LAW, LESSONS LEARNED. [nb: "To get up at dawn to the sound of fife and drums, to wash my face in a hurry in a tin basin, wipe on a wet towel, and go forth with a suffocated skin, and a sense of uncleanliness to be drilled by a fat little cadet, young enough to be my son, of the Virginia Military Institute, that, indeed, was misery. How I hated that little cadet! He was always so wide-awake, so clean, so interested in the drill; his coat-tails were short and sharp, and his hands looked so big in white gloves. He made me sick." by George Bagby (Lynchburg 1861)]

TRAINER :
a rudimentary vehicle, vessel, craft, or simulator used to instruct operators and to orient crewmembers, especially a simplified aircraft for teaching PILOTs; see LINK TRAINER, TOP GUN, GOSHAWK, DRAGONFLY, TALON, TROJAN. [nb: Vietnamese term: Phi Co Huan Luyen] Also, the person responsible for teaching a class or course; an instructor, teacher, educator, professor, lecturer, preceptor, pedagogue, guide, tutor, mentor, coach, and the like; see DI. [nb: it's a well established fact that a good Drill Sergeant will take the raw material of a civilian and turn him into a soldier in the same way that he would take a tangled mess of steel wool and knit it into a tank!]

TRAIN HARD - FIGHT EASY :
catch-phrase of military philosophy advocating that the more troops sweat in training the less they bleed in combat, also expressed as "a bucket of sweat for every thimble of blood" or "every drop of sweat can save a drop of blood"; contrasts with civilian philosophy of "work hard, play harder". See DON'T DO NOTHING, COMBAT EFFECTIVE, DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF, CLUTCH-UP, WAR GAMES, OPTEMPO, OP 'TIL YOU DROP. [nb: although the British Commando raid on Dieppe and the Carlson's RAIDER INCURSION on Makin Island during WWII, as well as the Ivory Coast TF raid on the Son Tay prison camp and the PAVN assault on the U.S. Embassy during the VIETNAM WAR, all used training MOCK-UPs to ensure operational success, none fulfilled its mission ... which raises questions on the practicality of specialized training, as the British found with parachute deployment, that minimum training proved as successful (or as unsuccessful) as advanced training, and much more cost effective] [nb: "The Roman (Legions) are sure of victory, for their drills are bloodless battles and their battles are bloody drills." by Josephus; "A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both." by Francoise Rene Auguste Chateaubriand; "The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems." by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi; "Well done is better than well said." by Benjamin Franklin; "A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed." by Henrik Ibsen; "A drop of sweat on the drill ground will save many drops of blood on the battlefield." by August Willich (1866); "Sweat saves blood, blood saves lives, and brains save both." attributed to Erwin Rommel; "A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood." by George S. Patton Jr (3 March 1944); "The high sentiments always win in the end, the leaders who offer blood, toil, tears and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time." by George Orwell; "I have never promised anything but blood, sweat and tears, now however we have a new experience. We have victory ... a remarkable victory. A bright gleam has caught the helmets of our soldiers and warmed and cheered all our hearts." by Winston L.S. Churchill]

TRAINING AMMO :
see SIM-AMMO; compare BLANK.

TRAINING FILM :
slang for a sexually explicit or pornographic movie, also known as a "blue movie" or "art film"; compare STROKE BOOK; see CIRCLE JERK, FIRING LINE, STEAM 'n' CREAM, BOOM-BOOM, SHORT-TIME, BUTTERFLY, HAT TRICK, DAISY CHAIN, TRICK, FUCK, DU, DIDDLY, HOOKUP, ACT OF CONGRESS, CHOWING DOWN, HUMMERR, BUSH PILOT, MUFF DIVER, UP-CLOSE 'n' PERSONAL, DOG 'n' PONY SHOW.

TRAITOR :
a person who betrays a trust or cause, especially his country, by treachery or disloyalty; also called "treasonist", this term is derived from "to hand over" or "to give over" ... the lowest part of Hell, a frigid lake of ice, was reserved for traitors in Dante's "Inferno". Compare DRAFT DODGER, DESERTER, TURNCOAT, WHITE VC; see TREASON, QUISLING, DEFECT, MUTINEER, RIOT ACT, CREDIBILITY GAP, FIRING SQUAD, UCMJ. [cf: traitress / traitoress; v: renegade, misprision, lese / lèse-majesté] [nb: the British Free Corps was a unit of the Waffen-SS consisting of United Kingdom POWs who were sympathetic to fascism and had been recruited by the Nazis; although small, this unit fought with the Wehrmacht against the Allies during WWII; (french) ; (irish) ] [nb: Union officers who betrayed their fellow captives in the CSA's Libby Prison in Richmond Virginia for some extra consideration or special preferment were branded by the other prisoners with the letter 'T' cut into their face] [v: traditor (an early Christian who betrayed other Christians at the time of the Roman persecutions; as derived from a betrayer of tradition)]

TRAJECTORY :
the curved course or path described by a projectile (eg: bullet, shell, rocket, missile, or the like) in its "casting over" flight from discharge to impact. Also, a geometric curve that cuts across all the surfaces of a given system at a constant angle.

TRANSIENT :
a MIL-PERS awaiting orders, transport, or some other administrative disposition at a post or station to which that individual is not attached or assigned; also known as a "casual"; compare SNOWBIRD. Also, personnel, vehicles, ships, or craft that are temporarily stopping at a post, base, station, or port to which they are not assigned or attached, and having destination elsewhere.

TRANSOM :
a metal piece connecting the sidepieces of the tail or the cheeks of an artillery gun carriage; as derived from the alteration of "traverse" (lying across, breadth); see TRAIL, FLASK, LIMBER, ARTY. Also, a flat termination to a STERN, above the water line on a vessel; see AFT. Also, any crosspiece or crossbar, such as a framework.

TRAP :
Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel, or Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Pilots, being a USMC mission to expediently secure a downed aircraft, its personnel and equipment, as performed by specially trained Marines; compare PJ, AST, RIT, RRF; see CSAR, SAR, RCC. Also, any contrivance or other mechanical device, especially a disguised or concealed one, that's used for capture or seizure, for defeat or extermination; see BOOBY-TRAP (TRICK, RUSE DE GUERRE), TROU-DE-LOUP (TIGER TRAP, PITFALL), MINEFIELD (DEVIL'S GARDEN), AMBUSH (AA, MA). Also, to catch someone unawares by a stratagem, artifice, or trickery; to ensnare or entrap, as by allurement or inveiglement. [nb: a sniper may actively track his target until the optimum shooting solution presents itself, or he may passively await the appearance of his target in the window of the optimum shooting solution; most shooters prefer the more active "sniper's track" method since they believe that this technique increases their opportunity for success, but it also makes them more liable to detection, whereas the more passive "sniper's trap" method enables the best setup to be fully prepared, simply awaiting quintessential conjuncture]

TRASH :
slang for skill or qualification badges, as worn on the FATIGUE or BATTLE DRESS uniform, work or duty uniform; so designated because in elite units such qualifications were required, so everyone had them, and in regular units, where no one else had them, they were essentially meaningless. The acquisition of MIL-CRAFT skills, proclaimed by the award of badges and other designations (eg: ASI, SQI), are a prerequisite to certain assignments, or essential for promotions. The TICKET-PUNCHER's lust for "trash collecting" is more for ego-gratification than for the "good of the service". Compare BOLO BADGE, Q-COURSE, Q-TAB, TRIPLE CANOPY, DIVER, DOLPHIN, WINGS, CENTURY WINGS, BLACK WINGS, OVAL, FLASH, GONG, JOCKSTRAP MEDAL, FRUIT SALAD, CREST, GREEN TAB, DEVICE, PATCH, ASH 'n' TRASH, POWER WALL, REVOCATION. [nb: skill qualification badges, which may be sewn or pinned onto the work uniform, are not called 'trash' when mixed with ribbon bars on Class-A uniforms; furthermore, 'fruit salad' ribbons and pendant 'gongs' are never worn on fatigue or battle dress uniforms] [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: an apt MURPHY LAW of Combat says: "The side with the simplest uniform will win the war."!]

TRASH COLLECTOR :
see SCRAP METAL COLLECTOR, TRASH, MIL-CRAFT.

TRASH HAULER :
slang for aerial resupply or administrative support flights, the airplanes or missions so designated, especially by an unarmed SLICK helicopter or a fixed-wing cargo aircraft carrying less urgent non-combat materiel; also called "pigs 'n' rice", "log hel'o", LOG BIRD, MILK RUN, BLUE BALL, or ASH 'n' TRASH (commonly perverted into "ass and trash"). Also, slang for the supply and troop transport pilot or aircrew; sometimes shortened to "trashy" or "trashies".

T-RATIONS :
(forthcoming); the heat-and-serve Tray-pack Ration (Tray Ration or T-rats) was developed in 1983 to provide a unit with the option of supplying a hot meal when cooks were unavailable; formally designated 'Unitized Group Ration Express' (UGR). Compare KITCHEN IN A CARTON; see RATIONS.

TRAVERSE :
to turn or move, or to be turned or moved horizontally, laterally, diagonally, obliquely, or slantwise. Also, the horizontal movement of the barrel of a cannon, GUN TUBE, or MAIN-GUN; such lateral movement is also known as TRAIN; compare ELEVATION, PLUNGING FIRE; see LEAD, DEFLECTION, ARTY. Also, the ZIGZAG track of a vessel, or each interval of such a tacking course, as when compelled to maneuver across a direct HEADING by contrary winds or currents; see LEEWAY, BEARING. Also, a suitable crossing place or point, as a ford or pass; as derived from "laying across". Also, a defensive barrier, parapet, or other battlement placed at an angle; see EMPLACEMENT, REVETMENT, BLAST WALL, OUTWORK. Also, a railing, lattice, or screen serving as a barrier; see LIFELINE, SNAKING, TOE RAIL, BULWARK. Also, any bar, strip, rod, or other structural part that extends across something; a crosspiece or crossbar. Also, to obstruct, thwart, counter, contradict, or deny. Also, to look over, examine, or consider carefully, as a review or survey.

TRAWL :
a recovery line trailing from a moving craft, which enables UDT, SEAL, SCUBA, or other combat swimmers to be extracted from an operational area by attaching themselves onto the line, while the craft or vessel continues without stopping to embark departing personnel ... thus speeding the recovery process, reducing target interval, inhibiting force exposure, and avoiding mission detection; this term derives from "trail", and is also called "trawl line" or "dragrope". First used during offshore beach-clearing operations in WWII by both small boats and fixed-wing aircraft, which ferried the EXFIL swimmers to their host ship for embarkation. Compare SDV, GATOR, SNATCH, HOT HOIST, SKYHOOK, McGUIRE RIG, STABO, FRIES, LIFELINE. [v: stream]

TRAY RATIONS :
also known as T-RATIONS (qv), "T-rats", and formally designated (UGR).

TREACHERY :
see TRAITOR, TREASON.

TREAD HEAD / TREAD-HEAD :
someone assigned to or serving with an armor or armored cavalry unit, being a "track rat" or TOAD; see PONY SOLDIER, DRAGOON, DOG SOLDIER, LONG KNIFE, TANKER, YELLOWLEG, MECH, ARM, TRACK, TANK, ACR, CAV, BOOTS AND SADDLES, ORDER OF THE SPUR, SPUR RIDE, CAVALRY WHISKERS, CAMPAIGN HAT, STIRRUP CUP, YELLOW RIBBON.

TREADWAY BRIDGE :
a bridge constructed by engineers to carry its intended traffic, from foot soldiers to armored vehicles, suspended or floating, but with the travel surface limited to one or two tracks, instead of a complete roadway that uses more materials and helps to redistribute the weight. See BRIDGE RATING, BAILEY BRIDGE, PONTOON BRIDGE, ROUTE STEP, ROPE BRIDGE.

TREASON :
acting to harm or overthrow the duly constituted government, or to lend aid and comfort to the enemies of that government, as an offense against the people of that sovereign nation, as explicated in Article 3 Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution; term derived from "handing over tradition". Also, the violation or betrayal of a sacred trust or state allegiance, as treachery; as by a "treasonist". See TRAITOR, QUISLING, DEFECT, GRAYMAIL, RIOT ACT, CREDIBILITY GAP, DRUMHEAD, FIRING SQUAD, UCMJ, POSSE COMITATUS. [v: sedition, misprision, incitement, provocation, lese / lèse-majesté]; cf: prevaricator, agitator] [v: traditor (an early Christian who betrayed other Christians at the time of the Roman persecutions; as derived from a betrayer of tradition)] [nb: the 1791-4 resistance to the federal Excise Tax, commonly known as the Whiskey Rebellion, prompted the first American trials for treason; just as the Alien and Sedition Acts (later deemed unconstitutional) were a result of the 1798 virtual- / quasi-war with France] [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]

TREASURE HUNT :
a competition wherein individuals or teams vie in their attempt to locate a hidden prize by using indirect clues during a specific event or timed episode; such a recreation may be conducted indoors or outdoors, involving children or adults, which may entail tracking the trail or deciphering the puzzle, in a manner not unlike an Easter egg hunt or scavenger hunt, puzzlehunting or maze running, geocaching or letterboxing. Aside from explorers (eg: Coronado, DeSoto, Ponce De León, et al), archaeologists (eg: Botta, Schliemann, Belzoni, et al), and authors (eg: Stevenson, Burroughs, Buechner, et al), this pastime was introduced during the mid-19th century to entertain people with leisure time ["In the Treasure Hunt ... intellectual men were paired off with great beauties, glamor with talent; in the course of the night's escapades, anything could happen." by socialite Elsa Maxwell] ... it continues as a game to teach people survival skills in a low-stress environment. See ORIENTEERING, CAPTURE THE FLAG, THEME PARK, PLAY THE GAME, WAR GAMES. [v: Holy Grail]

TREATY :
a formal agreement between states or nations regarding peace, alliance, commerce, or other international relations. Also, the formal document embodying an international agreement or compact; as derived from tractate, a treatise or essay. See TRUCE, RAISON D'ETAT, DETENTE, ENTENTE, RAPPROCHEMENT, COUP D'ETAT, CARTE BLANCHE, DIKTAT, REBUS SIC STANTIBUS, LAWS OF WAR, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), WAR POWERS ACT, GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY, PING-PONG DIPLOMACY, BIG STICK DIPLOMACY, SABER-RATTLING, GUNPOINT, WARNING SHOT, BLOODY SHIRT, JUST WAR, ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, CROSS THE RUBICON, NEUTRALIZE, WAR, PEACE, APPEASE. [v: Diplomatic Terms]

TREE VIPER :
see BAMBOO VIPER.

TREMBLER :
see MOTION DETECTOR.

TRENCH :
(forthcoming); derived from truncation of "entrenchment"; first used during Crimean War (1853-6); compare FOXHOLE, HASTY TRENCH, SLIT TRENCH, RANGER GRAVE; see TRENCH WARFARE [cf: escarp, scarp/escarpment, counterscarp; v: trench fever, trench foot, trench mouth] [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

TRENCH ART :
a token or memento, made by hand in the field from surplus or expendable materials, and acquired as a relic, SOUVENIR, TROPHY, artifact, reminder, remembrancer, keepsake, favor, commemorative, memento mori, memorabilia, sign, insignia, mark, or vestige. Examples of TRENCH ART have included CARTRIDGE case lighters, SHELL casing ashtrays, BEERCAN badges, hand-embroidered PATCHes, end-of-tour plaque CRESTs, campaign belt buckles, knife hilts, uniform buttons, caricatures and portraitures. See CUMSHAW, SLUSH FUND, SHORT SNORTER, BRAGGING RIGHTS, POWER WALL, SAFE ROOM.

TRENCH KNIFE :
M-3 trench knife with sheath
issued in World War II
M-3 trench knife
that class of crude knives, handmade from improvised materials (such as barbed wire stakes or shell fragments, leaf springs or scrap metal), rough and untempered, that were used for close combat (CQB) during the CIVIL WAR and WWI; sometimes created as TRENCH ART or exchanged as a SOUVENIR from a veteran's PERSONAL EFFECTS. Also, when the bayonet was as long as a short sword, that class of close combat (CQB) knives fitted with fist-bows [v: armature, archetto] and knuckle-guards (eg: KNUCKLE-DUSTER), such as the M-1917 or M-1918 KNUCKLE KNIFE (also known as "Mark I") used for stabbing and slashing in confined spaces during hand-to-hand fighting; it typically includes a triangular or double-edged blade, a skull-crusher pommel, and is generally not configured as a BAYONET. Although redesigned from battlefield reports by AEF officers, the "Mark I" was criticized for being too heavy, unbalanced, difficult to carry, limiting in its grip, and prone to break when prying ... complaints that were repeated when surplus knives were issued from inventory to Army RANGERs and Marine RAIDERs at the beginning of WWII. Also, the straight bladed 6.75" dirk (spear-pointed edge-and-a-half) with thumb rest crossguard (forward-curving top quillion), butt-plate, and stacked-leather haft with "sweat grooves", that was made by numerous contractors (eg: Camillus, Case, PAL, Kinfolks, Utica, Imperial, Robeson / ShurEdge, Aerial, etc) from March 1943 for WWII and designated the M-3 Trench Knife, which was developed specifically for issue to soldiers without a BAYONET (ie: those equipped with pistols, light / heavy machineguns, submachineguns, recoilless rifles, mortars, and other crew-served weapons); the M-3 derives its prestige from being issued first to AIRBORNE, GLIDER, and RANGER units; selected for issue to the Army over the Navy's 1219C2 (M-2 / MK2 KABAR) as being more conservative of strategic materials and more economical to manufacture, production of the M-3 Trench Knife was discontinued in August 1944, but this dirk-style blade pattern continued to be used on M-4 through M-7 BAYONETs throughout the pre-Gulf War-era; see 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)] [v: Knife Terms; The Language of Swordplay]

TRENCH WARFARE :
although the trench has been used intermittently since ancient times as a temporary fortification, it was first used during the Crimean War (1853-6) as a style of combat emphasizing regimentation, uniform formations, fixed intervals, limited initiative, and close coordination of fire and maneuver; compare OPEN WAR, FRONTAL ASSAULT, see WAR. [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

TRIAGE :
the process of sorting MASS CASUALTIES from a battle or disaster to determine their priority of medical treatment, based upon their probability of survival with intervention, as an effort to economize resources; as derived from "sort". Those victims who will survive without care and those who will not survive even with care are left untreated. Also, the determination of priorities for action in any type of emergency. Also, a designation pertaining to or performing the prioritizing process, as the "triage officer"; see LUGGAGE TAG, DOW, WALKING GHOST, ZERO WARD, ZERO-ZERO WARD.

TRIAL :
a court martial (ie: special, general, or summary) convened so that a tribunal of magistrates can determine the guilt and punishment of the accused servicemember according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ); see DRUMHEAD, REVOCATION, SOFA, ARTICLE 31, ROCKS 'n' SHOALS, BLUE BOOK, MCM, JAG, LAWS OF WAR, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), WAR CRIMES TRIAL, PISO'S JUSTICE; compare ARTICLE 15, OFFICE HOURS, CAPTAIN'S MAST. [v: UCMJ Punitive Articles]

TRIAL BY COMBAT :
also known as "trial by fire" or "trial by ordeal"; see ACT OF TRUTH, ORDEAL, DUEL, GANTLET, SNAKE PIT, HOLD ONE'S FEET TO THE FIRE.

TRIANGULATION :
a method of determining the location of an unknown site by using the relative position of two or more established points, and intersecting their vertices. Also, a geometric technique for establishing the distance between any two points by calculating the gradient to these vertices from any measurable baseline. Also, the triangles so formed and measured. Compare SLANT DISTANCE, DEAD-RECKONING, DOUBLE DRIFT; see RDF, CUT, GPS, BLOWER. [v: goniometry]

TRIATHLON :
an athletic competition comprising three consecutive events, usually a medley of swimming, bicycling, and running, whether organized as sprint, intermediate, or endurance; derived from 'three' + 'contest', modeled upon 'decathlon'. Compare BIATHLON, PENTATHLON, DECATHLON; see EXERCISE, AIRBORNE SHUFFLE, TRUSCOTT TROT, MARATHON, FIELD HOUSE, WAR GAMES. [v: Pheidippides was the Athenian runner sent to request aid from Sparta before the battle at Marathon plain (490BC) against the Persians; which inaugurated the long-distance footrace and other endurance events] [nb: "With all our technology, we should never forget that soldiering is first and foremost an outdoor sport." by David Petraeus (2009)]

TRI-BORDER :
the area of intersection in SEAsia where the borders of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos meet. See INDOCHINA, THE BRA, PLAIN OF JARS / THE J; compare GOLDEN TRIANGLE, SILVER TRIANGLE, GOLDEN CRESCENT.

TRICK :
a crafty or cunning device, maneuver, stratagem, expedient, or the like, intended to deceive; an artifice, ruse (RUSE DE GUERRE), feint, or wile; see DECEPTION, DECOY, GAMBIT, MIJI, FALSE FLAG, RED HERRING, CAT'S-PAW, TROJAN HORSE, STALKING HORSE. Also, a clever device or adroit technique, as the "tricks of the trade" or a feat of legerdemain; see ROPE TRICK, PLAYING THE XYLOPHONE, TORTURE. Also, a highly-trained elite or special operations force (SOF) unit, such as WWII Marine Raiders or Army Rangers. Also, to embellish or adorn with ornaments or other attention-getting devices, as in the wearing of inappropriate attire [v: paillette] or the ostentatious display of FRUIT SALAD or TRASH, of FEATHERS or FLASH; to "trick-out", to be "tricked-out". Also, a period or stint of duty; a term, turn, shift, evolution, tour, or assignment. Also, in heraldry, a preliminary sketch of a coat of arms. Also, in heraldry, to indicate the tinctures of a coat of arms with engraver's tricks. Also, slang for a prostitute's customer. Also, a sexual act or to engage in sexual acts for hire, as to "turn a trick"; see FUCK, CHURNING BUTTER, BOOM-BOOM, SHORT-TIME, DIDDLY, HAT TRICK, DAISY CHAIN, AROUND THE WORLD, SHACK-JOB, BUTTERFLY, DU, STEAM 'n' CREAM, HOOKUP, HELL ON WHEELS, ACT OF CONGRESS. [nb: the "comfort girls" who were employed as contract prostitutes to serve the sexual needs (TRICKs) of Imperial Japanese troops in the field, usually at a COMFORT STATION or SIN CITY, were called "shock absorbers" by the Allied POWs who happened to observe their (mis-)treatment]

TRIDENT :
the C4 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), manufactured since 1979 by Lockheed-Martin and designed to fit existing SILOs aboard ships; Trident I succeeded by Trident II in 1997. Also, a nuclear-powered submarine; see BOOMER. Also, informal designation for the U.S. Navy Special Warfare Badge, but commonly called a BUDWEISER (qv), being the qualification badge for a Navy SEAL that was adapted from the UDT qualification badge in 1971; see UDT, BUDS, HELL WEEK, PUP, TADPOLE, FROGMAN, Q-COURSE. [cf: gig, fishgig, fizgig, harpoon]

TRIGGER :
an actuating tongue, lever, or other mechanism that's used to discharge a firearm, launch a weapon, or initiate a munition; also called initiator or activator, as derived from trek (migrate); see HAIR-TRIGGER, CREEP, CLACKER, DETONATOR, WAR NOSE, EXPLODER, EXPLOSIVE, SECONDARY EXPLOSION. Also, anything that initiates or precipitates a reaction or series of reactions; the starter, cause, or prime mover. [cf: sympathetic vs spontaneous ignition]

TRIGGER-HAPPY :
obsessed by or apt to use firepower as a universally favored solution to all difficulties or complexities, as someone who is quick to or ready to shoot a firearm at the least provocation, regardless of the situation or probable consequences; see HOT DOG, DUD, COWBOY, LOOSE CANNON, HOT SHOT, HAPPY FIRE. Also, someone who is reckless in advocating action that can result in war, a HAWK or WARMONGER; see WAR PARTY. [cf: slaphappy (ie: severely befuddled or agreeably foolish)] [nb: "Most of the world's ills would be cured with one three-day open season on people." by Ernest M. Hemingway]

TRIGGER TERM :
a provocative word or phrase that initiates a reaction or precipitates a series of reactions; such evocative language tends to incite or inspire, for good or ill, as a byword or slogan, catchword or catch-phrase. Some inflammatory expressions may also be known as "hate speech" or"casus belli". See SABER-RATTLING, GUNPOINT, CROSS THE RUBICON, CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS, HAIR-TRIGGER, HALF-COCKED, FIGHTING WORDS, TRAILING HIS COAT, BLOODY SHIRT.

TRIM :
the set of a ship in the water, especially the most advantageous posture with respect to the intended course and the prevailing conditions; also called ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT. Also, the attitude of an airplane with respect to all three axes, at which balance occurs in forward flight under no controls; see PITCH, ROLL, YAW, CANARD, FLIGHTWORTHY.

TRIPLANE :
an airplane with three supporting wings, one above another, which design was mainly used in the early history of the airplane; compare CANARD, MONOPLANE, BIPLANE, FLYING WING, BLIMP.

TRIPLE-A :
informal designation of AntiAircraft Artillery (AAA).

TRIPLE CANOPY :
triple canopy Q-tab
triple canopy
ostensibly a layered wilderness foliage or thick COVER, representing three stages of growth, that is so dense that it is virtually impenetrable for military operations from either the ground or the air, except along game trails, which are readily BOOBY-TRAPped. When referring to the tropical jungle forests of INDOCHINA, this term is overused, misused and misleading. Most forests have growth of similar height, some low enough and interspersed with clearings such that scrubby bushes and vines proliferate, making penetration and maneuver very difficult; and other forests have growth high enough that direct sunshine is prevented from reaching the ground, leaving it relatively clear and open ... creating an understory of filtered light and cooler temperatures that's well suited for ferns and flowers. See JUNGLE PENETRATOR, HOT HOIST, McGUIRE RIG, STABO. Also, slang for the wearing of multiple Q-TAB arcs, especially the SF, Rngr, and Abn tabs above the unit PATCH (SSI); see Q-COURSE.

TRIPLE NICKEL :
nickname of 555th Parachute Infantry Regiment, being the first AIRBORNE unit that was composed entirely of BLACK officers and enlisted PARATROOPERs; established 30 December 1943 as a test platoon, then formed as a separate unit of the 13th Airborne Division ("Lucky Thirteenth"). Although it was not deployed overseas, its members became qualified as SMOKEJUMPERs in order to fight forest fires throughout the Pacific Northwest (Operation FIREFLY) that were caused by incendiary balloons sent from Imperial Japan. When the 82nd Airborne returned to America for the victory (VE) parade, General James M. Gavin insisted that the 555th PIR march with the division, sharing its triumph.

TRIPLE TAP :
informal reference to the tactical firing technique wherein the shooter quickly discharges his weapon three times at the most vulnerable AIMPOINTs so as to strike the opposing target more effectively, and positively terminate the target; also called "Mozambique drill", "failure to stop" or "body-body-head" targeting. Introduced (ca1971) as a formal shooting tactic by COL Jeff Cooper, this method of controlled rapid-fire is used with SMALL ARMS in semi-automatic mode (instead of full-auto fire) during close combat encounters where rapidity and lethality are prime factors. This practical close-quarters firing technique consists of the shooter firing twice into the torso of an opposing target (a "double tap" to the center of mass) and after momentarily assessing these hits, then follows them with a carefully aimed killing shot to the head of the target, destroying the brain or brain stem, and preventing the target from retaliating. Compare DOUBLE TAP, BURST, BEAUTY MARK, SNIPER'S TRIANGLE, ROCK 'n' ROLL, SPRAY, HOSE, FLOCK SHOOT, BLIND FIRE, WILD SHOT, BUSTING CAPS, HAMMER, KICK; see OVERKILL, BOUNCE THE RUBBLE, PLAY DEAD, JAPE.

TRIPPIE :
someone who is periodically under the influence of a hallucinogenic drug, a coinage imitative of HIPPIE and YIPPIE after the commonplace term (trip) for a psychotropic / psychotomimetic experience; see SILVER-TAIL, COUNTERCULTURE, COLORS, STONED, WASTED, DOPE.

TRIPOD :
a three-part or three-legged supportive stand that is often mounted midway (at or near the center or balance point) of a heavy-duty firearm, with the point of attachment adjustable for relative level. Also used with sighting, listening, and other surveillance devices. Compare BIPOD, PINTLE.

TRIPOLITAN WAR :
a war (1801-05) that Tripoli declared on the United States because of American refusal to pay tribute for the safe passage of shipping in Barbary Coastal waters; a war by pirate corsairs of the Barbary States (ie: Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli / Tripolitania) for tribute payments guaranteeing the safe passage of American shipping. [nb: Barbary Coast Wars (1801-15): 35 battle deaths] [nb: "Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute." by Robert Goodloe Harper in a Congressional dinner toast for John Marshall on 18 June 1798; often attributed to Charles C. Pinckney, who purportedly said "Not a penny! Not a penny!" or possibly "No, no, not a six-pence." during the 1797 XYZ Affair]

TRIPWIRE / TRIP-WIRE :
thin wire strung across defensive areas or probable pathways, attached to mines or flares, as used by both sides for alert or demolition; see BOOBY-TRAP, MA, ALPHA-ALPHA, AMBUSH, TELLTALE.

TRI-TAC :
designation for the interservice (tri-) standard applied to the tactical communications equipment program.

TRITONAL :
a military EXPLOSIVE that's used in several types of ordnance (eg: air-dropped bombs), and is composed of 80% trinitrotoluene (TNT) and 20% powdered aluminum (extending the impulse during which the blast wave is positive); it's approximately 18% more powerful than TNT alone.

TRNG :
TRaiNinG, consisting of formal or special instruction in an officially designated course according to outlined objectives; the buzzword phrase: "end-user upgrade" is a technical sounding catch-phrase for training; see POI, TRAIN, COUNTERINTUITIVE; compare PRESTRESS, OJT, UP THE HAWSEPIPE. [nb: Vietnamese term: Huan Luyen] [nb: a military axiom states that "training is just like combat without blood; and that war is just like training without sweat!"; "We should remember that one man is much the same as another, and that he is best who is trained in the severest school." by Thucydides]

TROI OI :
Vietnamese expression used as an exclamation; literally 'heaven' + 'dear', meaning "Dear heaven!", "Dear God!", "Good heavens!", or "Oh God!". [nb: exclamatory euphemisms for 'Good God' or 'Thank God' (such as "Good grief!", "Good heavens!", "Goodness gracious!", "Goodness sakes!", "Gracious sakes!") satisfy the prohibition against profanation of the Lord's name]

TROJAN :
North American AT-28 advanced TRAINER, being a 2-seat single-engine monoplane that was also used on counterinsurgency missions. Compare TALON; see CHAPAKAO, BIRD.

TROJAN HORSE :
any person or device that undermines or destroys from within, by reference to the gigantic wooden horse that the Greeks left at the gates of Troy as a feigned sacrifice to Poseidon so as to sabotage Trojan defenses and conclude the Trojan War (ca1250BC); such as a nonreplicating computer subroutine that's illegally planted in a benign program to do local damage when the masquerading algorithm is activated. Compare STALKING HORSE, DARK HORSE, CAT'S-PAW, RED HERRING, DECOY, FALSE FLAG, HIDE, DEADMAN, NETRUSION, PHANTOM OPERATIONS, DECEPTION.

TRON :
Target Recognition Operator Notification, an LED infrared (IR) pulsing fiber optic system that's bundled in a temporary display arrangement that can be visually detected by air support personnel while on a target run so as to identify friendlies and avoid BLUE ON BLUE damage; variously sized and readily programmable fabric that includes the circuit board and batteries for 200 hours of operation. The individual TRON fabric weighs only 3 ounces, and may be worn, draped, wrapped, or attached to equipment; and it may be set to different patterns to distinguish different units, or to enable security verification. TRON has been developed, since 2004, at the Air Force Research Lab at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. See IDENTIFICATION PANEL.

TROOP :
short form of TROOPer, being one who walks or travels, as a SOLDIER or DRAGOON, cavalryman or artillerist; affectionately as "troopee". Also, short form of PARATROOPER. Also, a company-sized cavalry (CAV), air- or armored cavalry (ACR) unit, abbreviated TRP; see HHT, SQDN.

TROOPER CAP :
fur-lined winter cap with
ear-flaps
ushanka
(forthcoming); fur-lined winter cap with ear-flaps; including mouton, melton, felt, and synthetic pile liner (FISH FUR); compare JEEP CAP, WATCH CAP; compare HEADGEAR

TROOP THE LINE :
the inspection or review of arrayed units by officials who walk or ride before them along the PARADE GROUND; as distinguished from PASS IN REVIEW, during which the arrayed units PARADE past the assembled dignitaries on the "reviewing stand". See COLOR GUARD, PARADE, SHOW THE FLAG, MISSING MAN FORMATION.

TROPHY :
any award, memento, SOUVENIR, prize, or spoil taken in competition or war; a token or evidence of valor, skill, success, or victory. Also, a representation or depiction of attainment or achievement. Originally in ancient Greece and Rome, a memorial of captured arms and armor dedicated at the site to a military victory; term derives from 'turn', as "put to flight", "ended in a ROUT". In unit competitions and WAR GAMES, the military still emphasizes group performance over individual success, because battles are not won by a solitary execution or singular act. See STREAMER, UNIT CITATION, BRAGGING RIGHTS, COUNT COUP, BANDIT, KILL RING, KILL CREDIT, A-1, BRAVO ZULU, KICK ASS, EARS, SCALPING, TOP DOG, HERO, REVOCATION. [v: fanfaronade]

TROPHY COLLECTOR :
see SCRAP METAL COLLECTOR, TICKET-PUNCHER.

TROPICAL ACNE :
a severe type of acne over a person's entire trunk (including shoulders and upper arms, chest and back, buttocks and thighs) that occurs in hot humid climates; compare PRICKLY HEAT.

TROPICAL BUBO :
[venereal lymphogranuloma / lymphogranuloma venereum] a venereal infection usually caused by chlamydia trachomatis, and characterized by a transient genital ulcer and inguinal adenopathy (painful swelling or morbid enlargement of the lymph nodes) in the male; in the female, the perirectal lymph nodes are involved and rectal stricture (binding stenosis or cicatricial contracture) is a common occurrence; also known as climatic bubo, lymphogranuloma inguinale, Nicolas-Favre disease, and sixth venereal disease. See CLAP, VD, STD, ARC, ORIENTAL CRUD, SHORT ARM, PECKER-CHECKER, PRO KIT, ANTIBIOTIC.

TROPICAL CHOCOLATE BAR :
compare CONGO BAR, see HERSHEY BAR, TRACK PAD, POGY BAIT, GEDUNK, SUGAR PILL. [nb: emergency ration chocolate bars (ca1943) were made to be high in energy value, to be easy to carry, and able to withstand high temperatures (heat resistant to 120°F); after 1957, each 4oz bar contained chocolate, sugar, cocoa powder, non-fat milk solids, and artificial vanilla flavoring] [nb: created as a byproduct of cocoa manufacturing for hot chocolate drinks, the chocolate candy bar did not appear as a confection until the mid-19th century; and before being individually wrapped for single sales, most confectionery products were sold in bulk packaging]

TROPICAL DIARRHEA / TROPICAL SPRUE :
see COCHIN CHINA DIARRHEA, DIARRHEA, SPRUE.

TROPICAL LICHEN :
see PRICKLY HEAT.

TROPICAL MASK :
[chloasma bronzinum] a condition wherein tan or brownish patches of gradually spreading pigmentation appear on the skin of persons who are continuously exposed to harsh sunlight, especially their face and head, due to a hormone imbalance. Compare JAUNDICE; see DISEASE.

TROPIC LIGHTNING :
nickname of the 25th Infantry Division; see ELECTRIC STRAWBERRY.

TROPO :
abridgement of tropospheric, which identifies the type of antenna used for long-range voice communications; see EARS, STACK, TACAN, ANTENNA FARM, COMM SHACK, COMMO.

TROTS :
diarrhea, dysentery, or any other intestinal disorder involving frequent bowel evacuations; also called SQUIRTS, "skidders", "greasy spoon two-step" (two-stepping), or "green apple quick step" (quick-stepping). Contrary to popular fiction, enemy contact would temporarily cure (not cause) this condition. See PUCKER FACTOR, CORK, SALMONELLA / SALMONELLOSIS, COCHIN CHINA DIARRHEA, DUMP, SHIT, HEAD CALL, SLOP CHUTE, CAT HOLE, BLUE CANOE, SLIT TRENCH, HEAD, LATRINE, HONEY BUCKET, TRA CA, COMFORT STATION. [nb: diarrhea, with its associated dehydration, is the condition most responsible for human death worldwide]

TROU-DE-LOUP :
a conical or pyramidal pit with a pointed stake fixed vertically in the center, rows of which (trous-de-loup) are dug in front of a FORTIFICATION to hinder an enemy's approach, formerly used chiefly against cavalry; when used singly, this type of pitfall is known in Asia as a "tiger pit" or "tiger trap", and the French name literally translates as "wolf hole". See BOOBY-TRAP, TRICK, RUSE DE GUERRE. [v: man-trap, drop trap, deadfall, or deathtrap]

TRP :
troop; a company-sized air- or armored cavalry unit; see CAV, ACR, HHT, SQDN.

TRUCE :
a mutual agreement or treaty by the warring parties that establishes a suspension of hostilities for a specified period of time; an armistice ('stop' + 'arms') or CEASE-FIRE. Also, a respite, as a recess, intermission, postponement, or pause; derived from belief, TRUTH or trust (trow). See WAR, ENTENTE, RAISON D'ETAT, DIKTAT, CAPITULATION, CARTE BLANCHE, COUP D'ETAT, DETENTE, RAPPROCHEMENT, EXIT STRATEGY, NEUTRALIZE, APPEASE, PEACE, FLAG OF TRUCE, WHITE FLAG. [v: Diplomatic Terms]

TRUCK :
any of various motorized or self-propelled wheeled vehicles, single or tandem, used for transport of personnel or cargo, including M-37 three-quarter ton weapons carrier, M-561 GAMMA GOAT, M-35 DEUCE-AND-A-HALF, M-953 6X6 FIVE-TON truck, M-939 Heavy Expanded-Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) FIVE-TON truck, M-52A2 FIVE-TON tractor-trailer truck; see GUN TRUCK, JEEP, HUMVEE, LMTV, MTV, M-ATV, MRUV, CAIMAN, JERRV, MRAP, HEMTT, WAR PIG, COUGAR, BUFFALO, DUCK/DUKW, CONVOY, TRAIN, LINE HAUL, FIREBALLING, WHEEL JOCKEY, MOTOR POOL, HACK, JINGLE TRUCK, RICE-BURNER. [nb: PAVN transport of materiel was labor-intensive, using modified bicycles; but the military use of wheelbarrows (both push and pull types) dates from the first century AD, and remain in use today. Such wheelbarrows, drawn by teams or even sail mounted, transported goods and wounded troops, portable launchers, and served as temporary barriers to cavalry.] [cf: chariot, hansom, hackney, drag, jitney, jingle, gharry, fiacre, tonga, gig, trap, dogcart, calash, growler, palanquin/palankeen, palki/palkee, jiao, gama, sedan chair; v: Japanese takushii (taxi)] Also, any of various wheeled frames used for transporting large or heavy objects, including packages and boxes, cases and cartons, trunks and crates; also called dolly or hand truck [cf: pushcart, tug-truck, pull-truck]. Also, a small wooden cylinder or roller on certain old-style gun carriages; the roller recoil mechanism on the carriage of a cannon or artillery piece; derived as a back-formation from wheel (truckle). Also, a circular piece of wood fixed on the head of a mast or the top of a flagstaff, usually containing small holes for the roving through of signal halyards. Also, miscellaneous articles of little worth; oddments or odds and ends. Also, slang for walking or strolling in a jaunty manner.

TRUE BELIEVER :
a fanatical opponent, being the equivalent of a zealot who regards communism as a new secular religion, or a devotee of an exclusive faith. Any courtesy or consideration shown to these incorrigibles was regarded as "proof" of American weakness; and field interrogation of these intractable captives was a waste of time. Compare BELIEVER, CHIEU HOI, PARTY LINE; see ZIP, BRASS-COLLAR, BRASS EAR. [v: agitprop; strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP / SLAPP suit)] [nb: "In the fevered state of our country, no good can ever result from any attempt to set one of these fiery zealots to rights, either in fact or principle. They are determined as to the facts they will believe, and the opinions on which they will act. Get by them, therefore, as you would by an angry bull; it is not for a man of sense to dispute the road with such an animal." by Thomas Jefferson (24 Nov 1808); "If you see someone who is both cold and vehement at the same time, then mark him down as a fanatic." paraphrase of Johann Kaspar Lavater (1788); "A fanatic is someone who does what he thinks the Lord would do if He only knew the facts of the case." paraphrase of Finley Peter Dunne (1890); "Fanaticism consists of redoubling your effort when you have lost sight of your aim." paraphrase of George Santayana (1986); "The fanatic is incorruptible: if he kills for an idea, he can just as well get himself killed for one; in either case, tyrant or martyr, he is a monster." by E.M. Cioran (1949); "Mere human beings can't afford to be fanatical about anything -- not even about justice or loyalty -- our dedication makes us passionate devotees of inhumanity! Our compassion gets quashed for the best of all reasons: a good cause." paraphrase of Storm Jameson (1957); "His ardent bias was not against 'thinking' but against any divergence from his own thinking."]

TRUE BLUE / TRUE-BLUE :
a nickname adopted by several volunteer units during the American CIVIL WAR, being a contraction of "true to the blue", which phrase, representing allegiance, referred to the color of the federal uniform. Also, an allusion to a type of unwavering constancy, being someone [ie: ALLEGIANT] who is loyal or steadfast, faithful or staunch, perhaps from the character of a 'blue blood' but more likely from the reliability or unchanging nature of some dyed-in-the-wool quality, such as patriotism or traditionalism. Also, this phrase designates a perfect score in an infantry test, such as marksmanship or land navigation, including the comprehensive sequence for earning the Expert Infantryman badge (EIB); an infantry honorific used to recognize excellence.

TRUMAN DOCTRINE :
the foreign policy of the United States, declared in 1947, that offered military and economic aid to free nations that resist totalitarian aggression; see MARSHALL PLAN, GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY, CONTAINMENT, CLIENT STATE, PRESIDENTIAL DOCTRINE, NATION BUILDING.

TRUMPET :
see CLARION.

TRUNNION :
any of various supports, such as the cylindrical projections on the sides of cannon, the suspension posts on heavy machinery, or the lifting pegs on large containers, used for cradling the object when moved or carried; compare PINTLE, see LIMBER.

TRUSCOTT TROT :
a rapid march tempo instituted during mobilization for WWII by Lucian K. Truscott, later Third Infantry Division and Fifth Army commander, imitative of the ancient Roman Legion and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's "foot cavalry"; wherein the unit would march at the rate of 5mph for the first hour of travel, and 4mph thereafter ... this was an increase from the then standard 2.5mph required of regular and reserve personnel. This increase, which was considered demanding by American standards, granted the GI parity with the opposing Axis troops. See EXERCISE, DAILY DOZEN, AIRBORNE SHUFFLE, DOGTROT, OBSTACLE COURSE, SLANT DISTANCE, DEAD-RECKONING, ORIENTEERING, MARATHON. [v: Pheidippides was the Athenian runner sent to request aid from Sparta before the battle at Marathon plain (490BC) against the Persians; which inaugurated the long-distance footrace and other endurance events]

TRUST :
confidence in, or reliance upon, the integrity, surety, ability, or strength of someone or something; an expectation of fulfillment without fear of adverse consequences. Also, the worthy state or worthwhile condition of one to whom something (tangible or intangible) has been entrusted in expectation of satisfactory completion; that upon which a person relies. Also, the obligation or responsibility imposed on a person in whom confidence or authority is placed, as by appointment or commission. Also, something committed or charged to one's care or custody, as for use or safekeeping. See ACCOUNTABILITY, RESPONSIBILITY, TRUTH. [nb: "Never go into a firefight with comrades who can't be trusted."]

TRUTH :
from ancient times, the "first casualty of war"; which must contend with the solipsistic weltanschauung expressed in the rude military maxim: "Opinions are like assholes; everybody's got one, and they all stink!". See THE NAKED TRUTH, ACT OF TRUTH, OATH, ORDEAL, HOLD ONE'S FEET TO THE FIRE, SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER, INTEL, PSYOPS, PROPAGANDA, PARTY LINE, TRUE BELIEVER, WHITE PROPAGANDA, ROCKING HORSE APPLES, REALITY, RECENCY EFFECT, FALSE FLAG, DECEPTION, RED HERRING, DECOY, TROJAN HORSE, STALKING HORSE, CAT'S-PAW, OPINION, RUMOR. [nb: "In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies." by Winston L.S. Churchill; "In any war, the first casualty is common sense, and the second is free and open discussion." by James Reston; "Truth may be the first casualty of war, but perspective is its lingering corpse." anonymous; "To die for an idea: it is unquestionably noble. But how much nobler would it be if men died for ideas that were true." by Henry Louis Mencken; "We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light." Plato; "The truth is rarely pure and never simple." by Oscar Wilde (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills); "There are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths." by Alfred North Whitehead; "There are no truths; only half-truths and one-and-a-half truths." by Karl Kraus; "Truth is whatever best serves the needs of the state." by Joseph V. Stalin (Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili); "In the spirit of amity and conciliation, if our enemies will stop telling lies about us, then we'll stop telling the truth about them!" anonymous; "If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you." by Oscar Wilde (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills)] [nb: according to fable, Truth and Falsehood went bathing together, and when Falsehood came first out of the water, she dressed herself in Truth's garments, so when Truth emerged, unwilling to take the dress of Falsehood, she went naked] [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]

TRUTH SERUM :
a drug, such as the barbiturate thiopental sodium, considered to induce an inclination to speak freely and unreservedly, so as to reveal repressed or consciously withheld information; also called "truth drug". See SWEAT, SQUEEZE, FLUTTER, DEBRIEF, TRADECRAFT, BRAINWASHING. [nb: Pentothal is a trademarked brand]

TS :
abbreviation for Top Secret; see CLASSIFIED, NEED TO KNOW, COMPARTMENTALIZATION. Also, abbreviation for "tough shit" or "too sorry"; see TS CARD, SYMPATHY, SHIT.

TSA :
(tee-ess-ay) Transportation Safety Administration, or Transportation Security Agency, established in 2001 as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation; it was relocated to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2003, providing screening and security of traffic at various ports and interchanges.

TS CARD :
mythical "Tough Shit Card" supposedly issued to everyone upon entry into the military, which would be TICKET-PUNCHed by the Drill Sergeant, Field First Sergeant, First Sergeant, or Chaplain whenever the individual had a problem or complaint. Anyone could quit training or refuse to participate at any time, called RING THE BELL, and undergo military punishment or out-processing; but the post-Vietnam military would issue actual "Stress Cards" for a "time-out" during any procedure to encourage hassle-free troop retention ... veterans know that there is no "stop the war" device, so training "casualties" are better than combat losses. See POOP, BUS TRANSFER, KNOCK IT OFF, SUCK IT UP, SYMPATHY.

T-SHIRT :
a lightweight, pullover, short sleeved undershirt, usually knitted with a round collarless neckline; also called "tee", which name derives from its T-shape when spread out flat. First issued by the U.S. Navy in 1915, then produced commercially in 1930 by Hanes. The subdued olive-drab (OD) undershirt replaced the white T-SHIRT during the VIETNAM WAR; wear of the brown T-SHIRT is no longer authorized after 30 April 2008. See SINGLET, SKIVVIES, DRESS. [cf: muscle shirt; nb: the practice of not wearing underpants during field operations was common during the VIETNAM WAR as an aid to disease prevention, and has since acquired the designation: "going commando"]

TSN :
Tan Son Nhut Air Base, South Vietnam.

TSP :
Thrift Savings Plan, being a retirement savings account (similar to the 401k) that's available to military servicemembers and other federal employees as one of three components of the Federal Employees Retirement System, and is administered by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board. The TSP allows the account holder to make tax-deferred contributions toward retirement savings at an annual maximum of $17,000 (effective 2012). Compare SDP; see THE EAGLE SHITS, BP, SALARY.

TTP :
abbreviation for Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures, being operational factors subject to variation from assignment to assignment, mission to mission, as a preventive of predictability.

TTX :
(tee-tee-ecks) TableTop eXercise, being an informal meeting convened among commanders, officials, and other key personnel for the discussion of policies, practices, and procedures in the resolution of tactical problems. The TTX simulates any number of hypothetical situations or incidents, then proposes ways and means of defense, prevention, counter, and recovery, identifying and facilitating effective practices and efficient procedures. This slow-paced analytical environment is deliberately heuristic, whether kept whole (plenary) or subdivided into smaller working groups (breakout), and stands in marked contrast to the rapid decision-making of critical engagements. See SAND TABLE, EXERCISE.

TTY :
teletypewriter; compare TWX, see CONTEL, HOT LINE, TELEPHONE, TELECON, VTC, RADIO, COMMO, BAMBOO TELEGRAPH. [nb: the first teletypewriter began operating in 1867; telex (TELeprinter EXchange) is a form of teletypewriter. facsimile/FAX ('make' + 'like') technology for the exact reproduction of text or illustrations antedates both telephonic and wireless forms of communication.]

TUB :
an old, slow, or clumsy boat; probably after the broad, round, open topped and flat bottomed container that was originally made of wooden staves held together by hoops ... a boat that's little better than a bucket or bathtub. Compare SCOW, TIN CAN; see BOAT.

TUBE :
slang for the cannon barrel of a MORTAR, or the MAIN-GUN of a TANK or ARTY piece. [nb: "The King's Final Argument" is a phrase that was routinely incised into European cannon barrels from the Renaissance until World War I; typically inscribed in Latin ("Ultima Ratio Regis"; "Utema Rasio Regum"), it means that the greatest weaponry ultimately settles any dispute (ie: MIGHT MAKES RIGHT)]

TUBE MONKEY :
slang for an artillerist or ARTILLERYMAN (qv), from the practice of assigning one or two crewmembers to hang from the MAIN-GUN barrel as counterweights so that the base can be repositioned by pivoting. [nb: Vietnamese term: Phao Thu (cannoneer)]

TU DAI :
(to die) Vietnamese phrase posted on small signs to warn of nearby BOOBY-TRAPS or minefields; the US adopted "TU DAI Area" for SITREPs. See TELLTALE, LO DUN.

TUG :
see MULE, PUSHBACK, UNCOUPLE.

TUG OF WAR :
a hard-fought critical struggle for supremacy, often surging back and forth; as derived from 'contend' or 'wrestle', also spelled "tug-o'-war". This severe engagement has devolved into a rope pulling contest between opposing teams, which anti-war PROTESTORs and other counterculturalists have attempted to redesignate "tug of peace" or "tug-o'-piece". See ANCHORMAN, compare DUCK ON DRAKE, DUCKS AND DRAKES, HIDE-AND-SEEK, KING OF THE HILL, CAPTURE THE FLAG, PRISONER'S BASE, RED ROVER, WAR GAMES.

TUGRIK :
the basic monetary unit of currency for the Mongolian People's Republic; derived from "circle" or "disk", and also spelled "tughrik". Compare MONGO, see LEGAL TENDER.

TUK-TUK :
in India and Thailand, slang reference to a motorized RICKSHA or motorscooter taxi, due to the sound of its two-stroke engine; also called an "auto-rickshaw", or a CYCLO; compare PEDICAB, HACK, KIMCHI CAB, RICE-BURNER, RICE ROCKET. [nb: a motorized bicycle, invented by Gottlieb Daimler in 1885, was commonly referred to as a "tuck-tuck" or "tusk-tusk" throughout the United Kingdom due to its onomatopoeic puttering sound, which may have influenced the slang in Great Britain's Asian colonies; v: The War in the Air by H.G. Wells (1908)]

TULE :
(too-lee) a kind of large rush, bulrush, sedge, marsh grass, cattail, or reed found in inundated lands and wetlands; as used in "tule fog" or "Tule Lake", and in the plural as 'tules' (too-lees). See ELEPHANT GRASS, SAW GRASS, NIPA, KUNAI, PITA, BOONDOCKS / BOONIES, QUAGMIRE. [nb: Tule Lake, situated along the California - Oregon border, is an intermittent catchment fed by Lost River, that was a factor in the Modoc War, and is the location of the Tule Lake War Relocation Center, which was a Japanese-American internment camp during WWII] [nb: the thule/tule homophone, together with other variants, has appeared widely and interchangeably in American military writings when referring to remote locales, in the same manner that bush, sticks, woods, barrens, brush, weeds, scrub, rough, and the like are also synecdochically representative]

TUMBLE / TUMBLING :
see YAW, KEYHOLE.

TUNNEL RAT :
Tunnel Rat patch
Tunnel Rat
originally, the smallest member of any unit who would be directed to investigate tunnel entrances; later developed into specialty RECON teams with recovery LINEs, silenced PISTOLs, headset RADIOs, miner's head lamps, and other specific GEAR. Initiated in 1966 by the Australian infantry investigating the IRON TRIANGLE, and known by AUSSIEs as "tunnel ferrets", the TUNNEL RAT program was discontinued on 7 April 1971, having earned the highest per capita ratio of PURPLE HEART awards of any unit in Vietnam; its unofficial motto was "Not worth a rat's ass!" or "Couldn't give a rat's ass!" (Latin: Non Gratum Anus Rodentum); see BLACK ECHO, compare MICKEY MOUSE. Also, during WWII, anyone working in a protected BOMB-PROOF environment, or who's dependent (agoraphobic) upon the physical security of a bomb shelter or BUNKER.

TUPPERWARE :
slang for molded plastic-bodied SMALL ARMS, especially PISTOLs, which have the virtue of being lighter weight, self-lubricating, quieter, rust-resistant, and with a larger AMMO capacity; these weapons typically use non-ferrous metal or ceramic parts for the critical elements. Some fiberglass and plastic bodied RIFLEs, both foreign and domestic, are also included in this informal category. [nb: the stock and other injection-molded components of the M-16 rifle are made from polyoxymethylene (aka: acetal resin, poly glycol, polyacetal, and polyformaldehyde), a precision engineered thermoplastic that exhibits high abrasion resistance, low friction coefficient, high heat resistance, high stiffness, excellent dimensional stability, good electrical and dielectric properties, and low water absorption characteristics]

TURBOFAN :
a jet engine having a large impeller (a rotor for transmitting motion) that takes in air partly for the combustion of fuel and partly as exhaust; also called "fanjet". Also, an airplane equipped with one or more turbo-fan or fanjet engines.

TURBOPROP :
contraction of turbo-propeller, as an airplane equipped with one or more turbo-propeller engines.

TURD :
a demerit or reprimand, "ding" or "black mark", the accumulation of which places the recipient on the punishment or extra duty SHIT LIST; see ADY, GIG, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, FASHION SHOW, DROP, FRONT LEANING REST, BOX THE COMPASS, AIRMAN ALIGNMENT TOOL, BLANKET PARTY, SQUEEZE, DUTY ROSTER, STRAC, SQUARED AWAY, SHIPSHAPE. Also, an inept or incompetent misfit; a DUD, DEADHEAD, GOLDBRICK, SOS, DOUCHE BAG, SHIT MAGNET, FIELD REJECT, MAGGOT, YARDBIRD, or the like; see SMACK, PYHOOYA.

TURD POLISHING :
see POLISHING THE TURD.

TURKEY :
slang for military-style hash, being diced cooked meat and potatoes that are browned together or reheated in gravy; a jumbled mess of meat and vegetables that have been chopped up together and cooked. See HAM 'n' MOTHERS, SLOP, GUT BOMB, WASH, WAD, SOS, CHOW, BEANS, RATIONS, SCHIMMELPFENNIG SAUCE.

TURKEY PEEK :
a colloquialism meaning to peep or peer, as a quick look or furtive glance, especially over or around an obstruction; see COIGN OF VANTAGE, ESPY, WEATHER EYE, SPYHOP, PEEPERS. [nb: a stroke of the eye ('coup d'oeil') is a brief first look or quick glance]

TURKEY SHOOT :
an easy destruction of enemy positions, vehicles and vessels, men and materiel, especially by attacking aircraft (eg: The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot); which derives from the marksmanship contest wherein a tethered live turkey had to be shot through the head by a rifle, but this competition later adopted moving inanimate targets for rifles, with a turkey dinner as the prize. A too easy victory that resembles a MASSACRE is sometimes described as "shooting fish in a barrel", but fishermen formerly killed fish by shooting them with rifles during winter so as to stock their larder and survive. See MASSACRE, OVERKILL, KNOCK INTO A COCKED HAT, ATROCITY, BODY COUNT, KILL 'EM ALL, GENOCIDE. [cf: Festival of the Popinjay; v: Aunt Sally, Jack-a-Lent, cockshy, clay pigeon, sitting duck, mark, gull, dupe, pigeon, prey, quintain, wand, hit list]

TURK'S HEAD :
a large decorative knot, used to finish a special line or lanyard (such as suspended from the clapper of a ship's bell); sometimes called "Nigger Head". Compare MONKEY FIST, WHIP.

TURN A DEAF EAR :
see FALL ON DEAF EARS.

TURNCOAT :
a person who switches sides, as if by reversing one's coat to change its color, being someone who changes to the opposite position or affiliation, reverses principles, betrays loyalty or trust; a renegade, apostate, defector, recreant, changeling. Compare DEFECT, DRAFT DODGER, DESERTER, TRAITOR, QUISLING, JUDAS GOAT, WHITE VC, FIRING SQUAD. [nb: the British Free Corps was a unit of the Waffen-SS consisting of United Kingdom POWs who were sympathetic to fascism and had been recruited by the Nazis; although small, this unit fought with the Wehrmacht against the Allies during WWII; (french) ; (irish) ]

TURNING MOVEMENT :
a variation of the ENVELOPMENT maneuver wherein the attacking force passes around (FLANK) or over (FRONTAL ASSAULT) the enemy's principal defensive positions so as to secure objectives deep in the enemy's rear, which will force the enemy to abandon his positions or to divert major forces to meet the threat.

TURNING POINT :
the point at which a decisive change takes place; a critical point or crisis point. Also, the point at which something changes direction; a transition point. Also, a point temporarily marked so as to determine a location or calculate an elevation; a WAY POINT or AIMPOINT. See CROSSROADS, COUP D'TAT, COIN.

TURN IN THE BARREL :
expressed as "your TURN ..." or "his TURN IN THE BARREL", taken from the punch-line of a bad old joke, which applies to the military system or any other social institution in that the individual member is only rewarded enough to perpetuate the process ... one gets the chance to screw only by getting screwed repeatedly! Less offensive civilian equivalents are "you gotta go along to get along" and "what goes around comes around". See CIRCLE JERK, PISSING CONTEST, FIRING LINE, CLUSTER FUCK.

TURNKEY :
jailer or prison guard; also known as screw or twirl (likewise for turning the key); compare WARDER, SENTRY, PROVOST GUARD; see GUARDHOUSE, BRIG, CROSSBAR HOTEL, STOCKADE, TANK, CLUB FED, HOT HOUSE, THE CASTLE, DEAD-TIME, CHL, DEADLOCK, DEADLINE, BATS 'n' HATS, WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' BADGES, POLICE.

TURN THE JACK :
defense against a salient thrust by both forward and flank fire which redirects the resultant force; by playing card analogy since the mid-19th century, such that a "kiss" is a solid hit or strike, and a "turn" is an oblique or glancing blow of mis- or indirection to the King as headquarters, to the Queen as the principal point on the FRONT LINE, and to the Jack as a secondary position. See KISS THE MISTRESS, KNOCK THEIR SPOTS OFF.

TURN THE OTHER CHEEK :
an admonition to forbear against the transgressions of those who would harm you, being a slightly inaccurate rendering of a preaching by Jesus of Nazareth, to wit: "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well ...." [Matthew 5:38-40]; see KUM BA YAH, LOVE BEADS, WE SHALL OVERCOME, THEY'LL GIVE A WAR AN' NOBODY'LL COME, PACIFIST, APPEASE, NEUTRAL, PEACE.

TURN TURTLE :
slang for take COVER from HIGH ANGLE HELL; based upon the amazing fact, which was repeatedly demonstrated throughout the war, in total refutation of all the laws of physics, that a fully equipped adult soldier can be entirely concealed and completely contained inside his own helmet! ... the fact that a turtle, with his head buried in the ground, can respire through its rectum is not only well known but ably practiced by infantrymen under fire! Also, slang for capsize; compare GROUND LOOP, AUGER-IN, NOSEDIVE, PANCAKE, ALUMINUM RAIN, BOUNCE, TOUCHDOWN, ALS, AUTO-ROTATE.

TURRET :
a revolving domed structure mounting a MAIN-GUN and housing a crew compartment, such as on a TANK, airplane, or ship; derived from "tower". Compare CUPOLA, BLISTER, DUSTBIN, BARBETTE, SPONSON, RING MOUNT; see BALL TURRET, HATCH, BUSTLE. [nb: on aircraft, blister is transparent, sponson is not transparent, turret is transparent and rotates]

TURTLE :
slang for an individual replacement, being any "warm body" whose arrival would permit the departure of a SHORT-TIMER; so-called because it seemed to take so very long for him to arrive! See REPL' DEPOT, FNG, CHERRY, NEWBEE, SHOWER SHOE. [nb: "One new recruit added to an old unit is worth two added to a new unit." military maxim] [nb: "Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out." by James B. Conant]

TW / TWs :
Tropical Worsted, being the tan woolen uniform (short-sleeved shirt and long trousers) that was privately purchased and worn instead of KHAKIs (qv); see SUNTAN.

T-WALL :
(forthcoming); see BLAST WALL, REVETMENT, BANQUETTE [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

TWEEDLEDUM 'n' TWEEDLEDEE :
any two persons or things that're nominally different but are practically indistinguishable; being as alike as a nearly identical pair, a twin set, or two peas in a pod. This humorous coinage was first applied when differentiating the musical rivalries of 17th century Europe, then was used as the names of two little fat men in Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson] (1871), and finally as dismissive slang for the indistinguishable clones produced by the military TRADE SCHOOLs. See RING-KNOCKER, TICKET-PUNCHER, KHAKI MAFIA. [nb: tweedle: a light performance made upon a musical instrument] [nb: "As if their souls had been exchanged during orientation, the deportment of ring-knockers is permanently imprinted, such that as Old Boy celebrants at a reunion, their physiognomy makes them practically indistinguishable ... there they stand, potbellied specimens of Tweedledum 'n' Tweedledee, each wearing moronic grins, matching shirts and massive wristwatches!"]

TWEET :
designation for the Cessna T-37 twin-seat trainer; also known as "dog whistle" or CONVERTER. Compare SUPER TWEET, see BIRD.

25th INF DIV :
see ELECTRIC STRAWBERRY.

TWENTY-FOOT EQUIVALENT UNIT :
see CONTAINERIZATION.

24th CORPS / XXIV CORPS :
see LONELY HEARTS.

24 TURNS :
a particularly curvaceous (and therefore hazardous) segment of the LEDO ROAD from Kunming (Yunnan) to Chungking (Chongqing) in southwestern China, so as to supply the Nationalist Chinese (CHINAT) troops and their American ADVISORs.

23rd INF DIV :
see AMERICAL.

TWEP :
abbreviation for Terminate With Extreme Prejudice, being a euphemism for "kill", execute, exterminate, or assassinate, as allegedly employed by the CIA for "wet work"; also known as "de-effectuate", "liquidate", "purge". See ZAP, WASTED, BUY THE FARM, CHECK OUT, SOL, DEATH CARD, BELIEVER, SWEEPER, STROLLER, KILLER KANE, SHADOW WARRIOR, SECRET AGENT, BODYGUARD; compare COLLATERAL DAMAGE.

TWIDGET :
Navy slang for an enlisted electronics specialist; also called "wire biter". See SNIDGET, ET, ELINT, ECM, BEAR. Alternatively, Navy slang for anyone who is not rated in the same specialty; compare PUKE.

TWIG :
to watch or observe, to be alert to or to be made aware of, to notice. Also, to understand or comprehend, as derived from a similar sounding Irish word; see FATHOM.

TWIN MUSTANG :
F-82 aircraft; see BIRD.

TWIN OTTER :
DeHavilland UV-18 / V-18 twin-engined "bush" aircraft, STOL capable by wheels, skis, or floats; compare BEAVER, OTTER; see BIRD.

TWIST IN THE WIND :
anxiously awaiting action or decision, especially about punishment for misconduct; also known as "hang in the wind" or "dangle in the breeze", or as "swing in the breeze" (not 'swing with the breeze') or "hang out to dry" (not drying laundry but curing butchered meat), as derived from the practice of leaving a hanged corpse as an example to others. Compare HANG LOOSE; see DEATH OF A THOUSAND CUTS, HANG TOUGH, LYNCH, STRANGE FRUIT, CHRISTMAS TREE, ONE SIZE FITS ALL, ROOM TO SWING A CAT, LET THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG, POLICE, UCMJ.

TWO-BIT / TWO-BITS :
twenty-five cents, especially the coin ('quarter') minted to represent this sum, being the fourth part of a dollar; as derived from 'bit' (a former small silver coin of Spain and Spanish America that was worth one-eighth of a real), being an amount equivalent to 12.5 cents, which is only used in even multiples. Also, slang for inferior, unimportant, small-time, or of little value; as related to something worth, costing, or selling for twenty-five cents; see TWO CENTS. Also, an archaism for anything embellished, made fancy or decorative; as from "penny plain, twopence coloured" for theatrical cardboard cutouts sold during and after the 18th century, and by extension, anything that can easily be enriched. Also, slang for a big or long word, being representative of a term that's polysyllabic and recondite, complex and abstruse, which word is used instead of a plain or simple expression (eg: "Never use a two-bit word when a nickel word will do."). [v: "Never use a twenty-five cent word when a five cent word will do."; "Never use a fifty cent word when a five cent word will do."; "Never use a five dollar word when a five cent word will do."; "Never use a ten cent word when a two cent word will do."; "Never use a two dollar word when a two cent word will do."]

TWO-BUCKLE BOOTS :
see BUCKLE BOOTS.

TWO CENTS / TWO-CENTS :
the 2¢ coin minted from 1864 to represent the sum of two pennies, as used for LEGAL TENDER and MAUNDY MONEY (alms). Also, something of little to no value; anything insignificant, trifling, or paltry; see TWO-BIT / TWO-BITS, compare CHINAMAN'S CHANCE, DOG'S CHANCE, SNOWBALL. Also, an opinion, usually unsolicited and unwelcome; as "two cents worth"; see OPINION, PEANUT GALLERY, THE CHATTERING CLASS. [v: commentariat, obiter dictum; cf: twopence / tuppence, twopenny / tuppenny]

2DD :
(two-dee-dee) two Dimensional Data, being any facts or information obtained (or inferred) by remote survey; any INTEL that has not been confirmed by direct observation or field experience. This "flat" data, superficial and incomplete, is better than nothing, but is never as good as "full bodied" (3D) information, even when such contact information is confused or contradictory. [cf: one-dimensional man]

TWO DIGIT NUMBERS :
less than one hundred days to DEROS; such numerals were the standard reply to greetings (eg: "How's it going?" "73 and a wake-up!"). See SHORT-TIMER, FREEDOM BIRD.

TWO-FISTED :
an Americanism meaning strong and vigorous, capable and resourceful, self-reliant and masterly, adept and adroit, agile and able. Also, someone inclined toward fighting or combat, probably as an allusion to pugilism [v: slugfest]; see PUNCH-OUT, KNUCKLE SANDWICH, SMITE, HAYMAKER, SUNDAY PUNCH, UPPERCUT, ONE-TWO, GROUP HUG, BOK-BOK, JAP SLAPPER, MARTIAL ART, BATTLE ROYAL, TOUR BABY, COMBAT BUM, SANDWICH. [cf: two-handed]

TWO STAR / TWO-STAR :
metonymic reference to a major general (or rear admiral) based upon their insignia of RANK; see FLAG OFFICER, OLD MAN, GEN / GENERAL, SKIPPER, ADM / ADMIRAL, CO, LDR.

TWO-STEP / TWO-STEPPER :
slang for the banded KRAIT, a nocturnal venomous snake indigenous to South Asia; also called "eleven second" snake for its deadly effect.

TWO-STEP / TWO-STEPPING :
slang for diarrhea, dysentery, or any other intestinal disorder involving frequent bowel evacuations; also called SQUIRTS, "skidders", "greasy spoon two-step" (two-stepping), or "green apple quick step" (quick-stepping); see TROTS, PUCKER FACTOR.

TWO-TRACK :
a primitive route or undeveloped roadway that consists of vehicular wheel ruts running across country; an unimproved trail-like road created by repeated usage without grading or gravel. See MACADAM / MACADAMIZED. [v: laterite road, blacktop; cf: two-lane]

201 FILE :
military designation of an individual servicemember's personnel record, containing essential facts and a record of assignments, training and qualifications, performance evaluations and legal proceedings, commendations and punishments, together with pertinent orders and notification contacts; this vital dossier has been electronic since the post-Vietnam era. [nb: despite the fact that this file is numeric (two-zero-one), it is pronounced as if it were alphanumeric (two-oh-one); cf: O-DARK-30]

TWX :
(twix) originally a Teletype Writer eXchange message, but later used to mean any brief written message, sent by any method. See BUG, COAX, TTY, LANDLINE, TELEPHONE, TELECON, VTC, CONTEL, BACK CHANNEL, HOT LINE, FLASH, EOT, RADIO, BAMBOO TELEGRAPH. [nb: facsimile/FAX ('make' + 'like') technology for the exact reproduction of text or illustrations antedates both telephonic and wireless forms of communication. The first teletypewriter began operating in 1867; telex (TELeprinter EXchange) is a form of teletypewriter. The test sentence, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.", was used before the American CIVIL WAR by telegraphers, and has since been adopted as a practice phrase for morse code (CW).]

TYPE 50 :
a licensed copy of the Soviet PPSh-41 submachinegun (SMG) with some slight mechanical changes (including a BARREL SLEEVE), accepting only a box magazine, which was manufactured by the Red Chinese (PRC) for use by communist CLIENT STATEs in various GUERRILLA wars, especially the KOREAN and VIETNAM WARs; compare K-50, see BURP GUN. [nb: the Type 49 was a licensed copy of the Soviet PPSh-41 submachinegun with some slight mechanical changes (including a BARREL SLEEVE), accepting only a drum magazine, which was manufactured by North Korea]

TYPEWRITER :
a machine for writing in monospaced characters by manually pressing the letters of a keyboard; invented in 1808 as a communication device for the blind, these "strike-on" mechanisms originally functioned by keystrokes impacting at the back of the sheet of paper that pressed against carbon in front of the page in order to create a printed text image ... later displaced by the introduction of COMPUTERs and electronic FORMs. See /S/, CHOP, V/R, CC, MANIFOLD SET, MIMEOGRAPH, PAPER BULLET, RED TAPE, ORIFICE, CLERKS 'n' JERKS. [nb: 400 double-spaced typewritten pages approximately equal 1KB] [nb: before the 20th century, a 'typewriter' was the typist who operated the typewriting machine]

TYPHOID / TYPHOID FEVER :
an acute infectious disease that's spread by food or liquid contaminated with any of several pathogenic bacteria (bacillus salmonella typhosa), and characterized by an increasingly high fever, an eruption of rose-colored spots on the chest and abdomen, severe physical and mental depression, diarrhea, tympanites, intestinal inflammation, and sometimes perforation or hemorrhage of the bowel; duration averages four weeks, although relapses are not uncommon; also known as "enteric fever", this word derives from 'smoke' or 'fog', and it's so-called for its resemblance to TYPHUS / TYPHUS FEVER. [cf: paratyphoid / paratyphoid fever, Schottmnller's disease; v: Widal test]

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

TYPHUS / TYPHUS FEVER :
a group of infectious and contagious diseases that're transmitted by bites from arthropodes (eg: fleas, ticks, mites, lice, etc) and caused by rod-shaped microorganisms (rickettsias), which is characterized by acute prostration, headache, and a peculiar eruption of reddish spots on the body; also called "camp fever", "ship fever", "prison fever" or "jail fever". See TYPHOID / TYPHOID FEVER, PARROT FEVER.

TYRANNY :
any undue severity or harshness, rigor or exactness; see BRASS-COLLAR, RAMROD, BRASS EAR, LITTLE PRICK, MARTINET. Also, the arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; the despotic abuse of authority, as in an oppressive or repressive government, as by unjust or absolute rule; compare SOFT TYRANNY. [v: dictator, autocrat, tyrant; cf: tyranicide] [nb: "Tyrants seldom want pretexts." by Edmund Burke; "The tyranny of a multitude is a multiplied tyranny." by Edmund Burke; "The use of force alone is but temporary. It may subdue for a moment; but it does not remove the necessity of subduing again: and a nation is not governed, which is perpetually to be conquered." by Edmund Burke]

TYROLEAN TRAVERSE :
a LINE or CABLE suspended along a decline for use as a single-strand ROPE BRIDGE that's negotiated using a pulley under the force of gravity; also spelled "Tirolean traverse", and also known as "Tyrolean crossing", "zip-line", "zip-wire", "flat line traverse", "aerial ropeslide", "aerial runway", "flying fox", "foefie slide", "death slide" or "slide-for-life". Used to conveniently transport equipment and supplies, specimens and personnel (especially when injured); and may be used in reverse when ascending an incline by a draw rope (GUY or TOWLINE) or by other motive force. Originating as a method to resupply or evacuate mountain troops, it's now commonly used for outdoor recreation and vacation tourism ... as such, sometimes provided with a BOATSWAIN'S CHAIR, it is the minimalist version of the telpherage gondola or cable-car. See RAPPEL, GANTLINE, HIGHLINE, MOUNTAINEER. [nb: some Tyrolean traverse setups use constriction or friction brakes, and safety is provided by net or secondary attachment; all Tyrolean traverse lines sag, with the sagging "belly" of the line almost always lower than the finish or terminus, so continuation beyond the sag requires either momentum or motivation] [nb: although steeplejacks have used ropes to haul materials and a ropeslide to descend from their work since the 18th century, this practice is more akin to rappelling than to the Tyrolean traverse]




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