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

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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U :
an aircraft prefix under the Joint Service Designation System that represents 'utility'.

UA :
Unauthorized Absence, being the Navy and Marine Corps equivalent of 'Absent Without Leave' in the Army and Air Force; see AWOL, STRAGGLER, ROMPER; compare DESERTER, TRAITOR, TURNCOAT. Also, designates Unassigned Area, being those zones not actively covered by military elements, having the lowest priority of responsibility; compare AO, TO, AOR, MOA, OA, TAOR, CHOP LINE. Also, abbreviation for Uniform Allowance, being a sum of money (always insufficient) provided annually in an effort to defray the individual servicemember's cost of adding or replacing uniforms worn in the LINE OF DUTY since they have not been issued by unit SUPPLY to enlisted personnel (EM/NCO) since the end of the Vietnam-era; this seeming beneficent gesture of largess was extended by the same benignant Congress that withdrew the privilege of quartermaster (QM) issue, a hoary routine of legerdemain.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, commonly called a DRONE or BOT, used variously to observe or attack enemy movements or positions by remote control; including PIONEER, PREDATOR, GLOBAL HAWK, EAGLE EYE, REAPER, Pointer, Raven, FIRE SCOUT, GREBE, and the waterproof Aqua Puma. Compare UUV. [nb: in 2009, the UAV operators were granted "flight status" for their remote guidance (ie: "piloting") of these drones while positioned a continent away from the target area, making them eligible for both Air Medals (AM) and supplemental flight proficiency pay; and in 2012, the US Air Force presented the first Medal of Honor awarded since the Vietnam War to the remote pilot of an unmanned aerial vehicle supporting ground combat operations in Afghanistan]

Marine acronym for "Unit, Corps, God, Country" representing worthwhile values; equivalent to official "Duty, Honor, Country". The GI philosophy opposed to such noble altruism is "Me, Myself, and I" or "Taking Care of Number One". See SEMPER FI, KEEP THE FAITH, ESPRIT DE CORPS.

Uniform Code of Military Justice; the laws governing conduct of military personnel (and persons under military control), with applicable penalties for violations, codified in 1951 (revised 1968) from former "Manual of Martial Law" and "Articles of War" (the so-called laws of land / sea warfare, or "jus belli"). MIL-PERS who committed civil crimes were also subject to military punishment for related offenses (eg: disorderly in town also earned an UA/AWOL charge). Transgressions against "good order and discipline" are processed by either an ARTICLE 15 (non-judicial punishment) or courts martial (ie: general, special, summary). The "Manual for Courts Martial" (MCM) stipulates the standard procedures, unified among the services in 1951, for the proper conduct of a trial. Although MIL-PERS are exempt from the Fifth Amendment protection against self incrimination, and the First Amendment right of free speech, they are protected under ARTICLE 31 from the abuse of authority by those of higher RANK. See CAPTAIN'S MAST, ROCKS 'n' SHOALS, BLUE BOOK, OFFICE HOURS, JAG, PM, DRUMHEAD, PISO'S JUSTICE, DON'T ASK - DON'T TELL, ADY, DUTY ROSTER, GI PARTY, SHIT LIST, DUE DILIGENCE, UA, AWOL, DESERTER, TRAITOR, TREASON, TURNCOAT, RIOT ACT, MUTINY, MUTINEER, GRAYMAIL, PETITION, SILENT INSOLENCE, REVOCATION, LACHES, ARTICLES OF WAR, SOFA, FINDING, CHARGE, YELLOW SHEET, DEAD-TIME, BAD TIME, FIRING SQUAD, TWIST IN THE WIND, BRIG, THE CASTLE, STOCKADE, HOT HOUSE, CLUB FED, CROSSBAR HOTEL, CHL, STERILE, BLOODY SHIRT, JUST WAR, CROSS THE RUBICON, HAGUE TRIBUNAL, LAWS OF WAR, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), WAR CRIMES TRIAL, ICC, IMT, IMTFE, UNWCC, WAR POWERS ACT, POSSE COMITATUS, SEQUESTRATION, IMPOUND, COMMANDEER, WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' BADGES. [v: mittimus; misfeasance; lese / lèse-majesté; misprision; casus belli] [v: UCMJ Punitive Articles]

UD :
Undesirable Discharge, as for unsuitability; see SECTION EIGHT, DISCHARGE. [nb: during the 19th century, a "bobtail" discharge was slang for both a curtailed term of service, and for a certificate with its character cutoff so as to obscure or conceal the type of discharge ... always "other than honorable"]

World War Two Underwater
Demolition Team badge
UDT badge
Underwater Demolitions Team, or Underwater Demolitions Training; similar to Army EOD, this was the Navy specialty for explosives and mines, which originated with a concentrated program (designed by Draper Kaufman) for WWII volunteers from the SEABEES (Construction Battalion) engineers trained as FROGMEN for the Naval Combat Demolition Units in Operation Torch into north Africa in the Spring of 1943. UDTs were organized into "Navy Combat Demolition Units" and "Combat Swimmer Reconnaissance Units"; the requirement for PARACHUTE qualification was added later. UDTs were operational in both Atlantic and Pacific regions during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. It was still a skill rating, like DIVER qualifications, separate from the rest of SEAL training throughout the Vietnam-era. In 1983, existing UDTs were re-designated as SEAL teams or as SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams, transferring the underwater demolition and hydrographic reconnaissance missions to SEALs. The UDT badge originated as a specialty rating worn as a sleeve insignia during WWII, becoming a breast decoration after the KOREAN WAR, initially partitioned silver for EM/NCO and gold for OFFICER, being worn beside the SEAL "Trident" or a DIVER skill rating badge during the VIETNAM WAR, and then was declared obsolete in 1975. The UDT badge forms the central motif of the U.S. Navy Special Warfare Badge (BUDWEISER), which has superseded it. Trainee FROGMEN are informally called TADPOLEs. See NCDU, BUDS, DIVER, SCUBA, Q-COURSE; compare PUP, POLLYWOG. [nb: Vietnamese term: Thuy Cong] [nb: US Navy UDT/SEAL "swim buddy" adage: "two is one, one is none"]

literally "Unidentified Flying Fuck Up", or more euphemistically as "unidentified flying foul up"; see FUCK-UP, FUCKED-UP, CLUSTER FUCK, WTFO, SOL, BOHICA.

literally "Ultimate Fuck Up", or more euphemistically as "ultimate foul up"; see FUCK-UP, FUCKED-UP, CLUSTER FUCK, WTFO, SOL, BOHICA.

nickname for the Sikorsky CH-34 KINGBEE cargo and troop-transport helicopter, which had a large loading aperture on its starboard side, and was used for AIR ASSAULT, MEDEVAC, and resupply missions; also known as "dog"; see CHOPPER.

taken from the title of the popular 1958 novel by William Julius Lederer (Eugene Burdick), being a stereotypically bumptious and tactless character, in contrast to the "beautiful people" who always have the "right" answers for everything. This archetypical jingoist is perceived as careless of foreign traditions and insensitive to the social values of an alien milieu ... cast as the graceless beast who wrecks things in his narrow-minded enthusiasm to help others. The UGLY AMERICAN's impatience is interpreted as disrespect. What's omitted from these assessments, and clearly depicted in the book, is the fact that the UGLY AMERICAN is both naive and optimistic; so without his reckless disregard for conventions, there would be little change and less progress. The UGLY AMERICAN is therefore the essential catalyst for international advancement, for technological improvement, and for societal amelioration. [nb: the UGLY AMERICAN is sometimes confused with the nihilistic character in Graham Greene's existential novel "The Quiet American", which is also set in Asia]

Unitized Group Ration Express; see KITCHEN IN A CARTON, T-RATIONS.

UltraHigh Frequency; radio signal spectrum between 300 and 3000 megahertz (MHz). See RADIO WAVE, RADIO.

U.S. Army Individual Training Group (FANK-UITG); see FANK TRAINING COMMAND.

overhead protection provided by Combat Air Patrol (CAP) flying high-cover (HIGH 'n' DRY) "on station" in an oval RACETRACK or circular ORBIT pattern in case of action. Also, an aerial platform surveilling and supporting ground forces below station; see CROW'S NEST, ABNCP, C&C, AWACS, VATLS.

a "parachute flare" or SLAP-FLARE (qv); compare PEN FLARE, see FLARE.

forest area used as VC sanctuary; see HO BO WOODS, SEVEN MOUNTAINS.

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

a program for establishing and sustaining a nation's pool of trained military personnel, requiring all qualified citizens to serve for a period of active and reserve duty; see UNIVERSAL MILITARY SERVICE / UNIVERSAL MILITARY TRAINING.

a program for establishing and sustaining a nation's pool of trained military personnel, requiring all qualified citizens to serve for a period of active and reserve duty; see UNIVERSAL MILITARY SERVICE / UNIVERSAL MILITARY TRAINING.

UN :
United Nations flag
United Nations
United Nations, also abbreviated "U.N.", being a worldwide multinational organization, formed in 1945 for cooperation, security, and peace, as the successor to the LEAGUE OF NATIONS; situated on a 17-acre plot near Turtle Bay in New York City that was donated by John D. Rockefeller, and operating as a self-governing community with diplomatic immunity. The official languages of the United Nations are English, French, Spanish, Russian, and Chinese; with the General Assembly working in English, French, and Spanish, while the Security Council works in English and French. See GARIOA, HOUSE OF SPIES; compare COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS, NATO, G8, G10, G15, G20, G24, G77, ARAB LEAGUE, NAM, ASEAN, SEATO, PENTALATERAL AGREEMENT, ANZUS, KANZUS, HAGUE TRIBUNAL, LAWS OF WAR, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), WAR CRIMES TRIAL, NGO, QUANGO, GOCO, COCO, OGA, BELTWAY BANDIT. [v: Moscow Declaration (30 October 1943), Dumbarton Oaks Conference (Aug - Oct 1944), Yalta Conference (Feb 1945), founding conference (25 April - 26 June 1945)] [nb: initially conceived as a superior assembly, with its flag flown above its member nations, this ostensible "superiority" was amended during the KOREAN WAR] Also, the 26 ALLY nations that signed a joint declaration on 1 January 1942, pledging to employ their full resources against the Axis powers and to not make peace separately. [cf: dissolution date (April 1946) of the LEAGUE OF NATIONS] [nb: "The words unprofessional, unethical, and unaccountable cannot be spelled without the UN." anonymous]


opposed or hostile to the United States of America, its values and standards, its goals and other endemic characteristics; being in favor of foreign nations and peoples, foreign principles and policies ... a pretty distinction without much difference is that un-Americanism rejects this freedom-loving society which is permissive enough to tolerate disloyalty and dissent, while anti-Americanism seeks to overthrow this freedom-loving society and replace it with some repressive rule disguised as "heaven on earth" [v: HAPPY VALLEY]. Despite this anti-triumphal disestablishmentarianism, it has been noted, not as a final act of desperation but as a moral victory, that "America is the last best hope for mankind" or "America is the last best hope of the world", which has also been expressed as "children are mankind's last best hope for a better world" [v: BABY BRIGADE]. See AMERIKA, PROTESTOR, SILVER-TAIL, COUNTERCULTURE, REBELLION, REVOLUTION, HUAC, McCARTHYISM, SOFT TYRANNY; compare PATRIOTISM, LAST BEST HOPE, SILENT MAJORITY. [v: spite fence; cf: liberticide] [v: kultur, nativism, irredentism, nationalism, anomie; cf: loyal opposition] [v: malcontent, undesirable, objectionable, defiant, acrimonious, grudge, malice, malignity, rancor, splenetic, venomous, vituperous] [nb: "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between." by Oscar Wilde (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills)]

a dysphemism for exit or depart, debark or disembark, as when directed to "Unass this bird on the bounce!"; see GOYA, MOVE OUT, NO REST, JUMP-START, HOOPLA, HAUL-ASS, SCRAMBLE, BEAT FEET, ASAP, PDQ, STAT, CHOGI, CHOP CHOP, RIKI TIK, HUBBA-HUBBA, FORTHWITH, FOURTH POINT OF CONTACT, BUTT.

see RESILIENT / RESILIENCE. [v: perseverant / perseverance, persistent / persistence, determined / determination, tenacious / tenacity]

Headquarters United Nations
United Nations Command; used since 1950 for multinational peacekeeping missions.

formulated by W.K. Heisenberg during the Vietnam-era, it was known by the WHIZ KIDS and other strategic consultants to have an effect on security and surveillance methodologies. The Heisenberg UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE essentially posits that the study of any related phenomena (eg: position and momentum, energy and time) alters their aspect; and further, that the observer is / becomes a participating factor in the study. Given that either space or time can be known, but not both simultaneously, observers tend to define reality by the experimental delimitation of possibilities, such as the paradox of Schrodinger's cat, and eliminating potential alternatives. See McNAMARA LINE, LAW OF AVERAGES, GAMBLER'S FALLACY, BOYDLOOP, LEAST RESISTANCE, PRINCIPLE OF LEAST FORCE, LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURNS, LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, LORENTZ CONTRACTION, LORENTZ TRANSFORMATION, PARADIGM SHIFT, BLACK SWAN EVENT, OUTSIDE THE BOX, MILITARY MIND.

unclassified documents or other materials, usually designated as white in color code, as in WHITE PAPER; see OPEN BOOK, OSINT, OPEN SECRET, NEED TO KNOW, OPSEC, EYES ONLY, FOUO, NOFORN, COMPARTMENTALIZATION.

paternalistic nickname for the revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969), meaning "bringer of enlightenment"; this honorific was first used by Vo Nguyen Giap, because the designation of 'uncle' in Asia denotes respect. Ostensibly born as Nguyen Sinh Cung; other pseudonyms were adopted at various stages of his political development, including Nguyen Tat Thanh ("he who will succeed"), Nguyen Van Ba ("third child" working as steward), Nguyen Ai Quoc ("The Patriot" pen name), Tran Dan Tien ([auto]biographer), Ly Thuy (translator for Mikhail Borodin), Comrade Vuong (recruiter), Mr Tran (traveler). He recruited for the Vietnam Nationalist Movement (Vietnam Thanh Nien), established the Vietnam Revolutionary Youth Association (Cach Menh Dong Chi Hoi), and later founded the League for Vietnam Independence (Viet Nam Doc Lap Dong Minh Hoi), commonly known as the VIET MINH, in May 1941 during the Indochina Communist Party Plenum. UNCLE HO, being Soviet trained and supported, emulated the tyrannical rule of his namesake, UNCLE JOE Stalin, and whose political ambitions place him among the world's most vicious executioners of history. Compare MOUSY DUNG, BUTCHER OF BAGHDAD, UNCLE SAM.

paternalistic nickname of Joseph V. Stalin (meaning 'man of steel'), which was adopted as an alias by Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, who was made generalissimo of the Soviet forces in 1943 and the premier of communist Russia (USSR) from 1941-53; see BIG BROTHER, GULAG, BRAINWASHING, POW, COLD WAR, FIFTH COLUMN, RUNNING DOG; compare MOUSY DUNG, UNCLE HO, BUTCHER OF BAGHDAD, UNCLE SAM. [nb: "During the Viet Nam decade a whole American generation of journalists and intellectuals unlearned the experience of Stalinist society – its incomparable inefficiency; its thick-headed, dogmatic compounding of error and miscalculation; and, not least (so obvious in Eastern Europe and the U.S.S.R.), its intolerable burden of a costly military machine superimposed on an old-fashioned, hard-pressed, 'underdeveloped' economy." by Robert Elegant, "How to Lose A War: The Press And Viet Nam" pp 73-90 in Encounter (vol LVII no 2, August 1981)]

by extension of the initials "U.S.", meaning United States, a personification of the government or the people of the USA; proposed as an official symbol in 1813 being represented as a tall lean man with white chin whiskers, wearing a blue tailcoat, red-and-white-striped trousers, and a top hat with a band of stars. Also called "Uncle Sugar" or "Uncle Scam", and identified in the pre-Revolutionary era as "Brother Jonathan" (v: Jonathan Trumbull), being equivalent to "John Bull" of England. See YANKEE, SANTA CLAUS, TOOTH FAIRY, POLITICIAN, STAND SAM, PORK BARREL, BELTWAY BANDIT, THE G, SOG, FOGGY BOTTOM, THE NATIONAL JOKE FACTORY, ACT OF CONGRESS, UGLY AMERICAN, CIVILIAN; compare MOUSY DUNG, UNCLE HO, UNCLE JOE, BUTCHER OF BAGHDAD. [nb:protest chant of the Vietnam-era: "God-damn Uncle Sam, bring the boys home from Viet-Nam!"]


to release the connecting link between objects or persons; the mechanical disconnect or physical separation of a coupling; to unfasten or let go, as a PARACHUTE from its harness, a GLIDER uncoupled from a tow plane, or a PUSHBACK aircraft uncoupled from a towing tug or tractor. See TOWLINE, SKY TRAIN, AIRHEAD.

an (ostensibly) unsanctioned outbreak of hostilities between adversaries, sometimes represented as an intervention, a police action or disciplinary action, but sometimes employed by the chief executive to circumvent legislative oversight or judicial interruption; an open military conflict between transnational groups that is not qualified or delimited by documentary legalisms ... not a civil war, war of succession, revolt, or coup. An UNDECLARED WAR may be a disagreement or political action that gains momentum or escalates, an armed outbreak that's overtaken by widespread or popular resistance to repression, or fighting that's conducted without sanction so as to withhold formal recognition of one or more of the belligerents. It's an attempt to impose a military resolution upon a sociopolitical conflict without diplomatic interference ... the people killed and the property destroyed in an UNDECLARED WAR are indistinguishable from those people killed and that property destroyed in a legitimately declared war! Compare DECLARATION OF WAR; see PROXY WAR, QUASI-WAR, FLAG OF PROTECTION, INTERVENTIONISM, CONTAINMENT, GRADUATED RESPONSE, FLEXIBLE RESPONSE, THE LESSER OF EVILS, LOW-INTENSITY CONFLICT, BRUSH FIRE WAR, LIMITED WAR, COLD WAR, INCURSION, WAR POWERS ACT, JUST WAR, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), LAWS OF WAR. [nb: while the "war to end all wars" or the Great War (WWI) is a stark example of the consequences of entangled alliances that were meant to prevent war but rather expanded and extended it, most historic wars have begun without a formal declaration, but almost all have concluded with an armistice or treaty (eg: French and Indian Wars, War of 1812, Banana Wars, Korean War, Vietnam War, etc); however, the United States has, on several occasions, ignored declarations of war from minor states when it has been politically expedient to do so] [v: Japanese invasion of Manchuria, Italian invasion of Ethiopia, German occupation of Austria and Czechoslovakia, Chinese annexation of Tibet, Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands, etc]

the supporting framework underneath a vehicle, being the structure to which the wheels, tracks, or the like are fitted or attached. Also, those portions of an aircraft that are below the body; the wheels, frames, and struts of the retractable landing gear used on land-based aircraft; compare FIXED GEAR, CHASSIS, LANDING GEAR, LANDING SKID; see DIRTY, BASE LEG, TOUCHDOWN, BIRD. [nb: a pilot flying an airplane with retractable landing gear is required to announce "Three down and locked." during preparation for final approach onto a RUNWAY; those with fixed landing gear typically modify this call into "Three down and welded."] [nb: the lowering of landing gear while in flight (DIRTY) is a visual confirmation, along with illuminating all navigation and anti-collision lights (CHRISTMAS TREE), that the airplane, its passengers and crew, is subordinate to and will comply with the instructions of its military or law enforcement escort; although the lowered landing gear generates drag, inhibiting escape or aerial combat, this feature in modern military aircraft also engages a safety mechanism that prevents weapons from being discharged]

the protection of documents or other sensitive materials that are placed in a secure container or other fastened location; this idiomatic expression would probably be more clearly and accurately represented as "under lock and latch" or "under lock and bolt". See KEY, DOUBLE DUTCH, NEED TO KNOW, COMPARTMENTALIZATION, CLASSIFIED. [cf: dongle]

in AvnSpeak, to fly an aircraft short of the beginning of a RUNWAY, as to fall short of the start of a landing strip; see TOUCHDOWN, BOUNCE, THRESHOLD, APRON, RAMP, TAXIWAY. Also, in marksmanship, to launch or direct a projectile so that it does not reach the target; to miss the objective by falling short; see SHORT-SHOT.

an obligation to conform to a DEADLINE, to perform within rigid restrictions, as of time or place or practice; being derived from the death-threat implied by a pointing firearm. Compare STICK TO ONE'S GUNS.

informal expression referring to movement, maneuver, INFIL / EXFIL, or operations conducted without detection, especially CONTOUR FLYING down in the GRASS; although a primary referent for technical surveillance, such usage is not exclusive, since it also implies covert or clandestine acts, legal or extralegal, that should not be detected, including BACK CHANNEL, BAMBOO TELEGRAPH, RUMOR, BAYONET SHEET, CUMSHAW, BEGGING BOWL, SCROUNGE, MIDNIGHT REQUISITION, SHADOW / SHADOW WARRIOR, OFF THE GRID, HIDE, SHROUD, and other underhanded practices.

see UDT.



a tripartite secular hierarchy comprising the most powerful persons ("movers 'n' shakers") in the lives of servicemembers, with the first being the authority, the second being the one that gets things done, and the third being the one to propitiate; to wit, for GRUNTs and SNUFFYs, the first sergeant, the supply sergeant, and the cook; for most MIL-PERS, the colonel, the sergeant major, and the paymaster; and for most citizens, the president, the congress, and the courts. [cf: Holy Trinity, Blessed Trinity]

UNIversal COMmunication, being a common radio frequency (usually 121.0MHz) that's used at uncontrolled (non-tower) airports for local interplane communication between pilots. See RTP, FREQ, PUSH, GUARD, AIRWAY, RADIO.


an interservice stabilization operation in Haiti.

an identifying outfit worn in a consistent style signifying membership in a profession or organization; prescribed standard attire that's varied only by individual or unit blazons; as derived from "one mold" or "one sort". Such an invariable ensemble exhibits the rank or status of the wearer while representing an authoritative or trustworthy role. A "costume" differs from a UNIFORM in that the wearer is not eligible or qualified for membership, its wear is temporary or occasional, and its intent is either fanciful or fraudulent. See DRESS, ARMY SIZE, NAVY SIZE, CAP-A-PIE; compare MUFTI, PARTY SUIT, CIVVIES, PAJAMAS, FEATHERS, T-SHIRT, SKIVVIES. [v: tailored, bespoke, couture] Also, the word assigned to represent the letter "U" in the international phonetic alphabet; at various times in different spelling schemes, it has also been acrophonetically represented as Unit and Uncle. See ALPHABET SOUP, PHONETIC ALPHABET. [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags] Also, consistent, without variation; constant, standard.

any group of persons, together with their related equipment, regarded as a single entity, and equivalent to any other comparable entity, such as the cohesive units of a single group or the units comprising a larger organization; a subdivision of an organized body of soldiers.

informal reference to any specific military organization, especially a smaller one with relative exclusivity (eg: DELTA FORCE, SMU, SOF team, etc).

originating as a laurel wreath or honorary garland, this is an award or commendation presented to an entire unit for its collective achievement or accomplishment, and it remains as a distinctive honor in the unit's heraldic lineage; for those MIL-PERS assigned or attached at the time of the award, the UNIT CITATION becomes an individual decoration. See PUC, VUA, DUC, MUC, JMUA, OUA, SUA, COG, STREAMER, JOCKSTRAP MEDAL, GONG; compare IMPACT AWARD.

multinational operations in Somalia from 5 Dec 1992 to 31 Mar 1995; see RESTORE HOPE.

the affinity of unit members and the cohesion of unit elements that causes the "whole to become greater than the sum of its parts" [gestalt]; a concordant sense of "oneness" that enables mission accomplishment. Most Combat Arms units are contiguous, facilitating coordination and cooperation, even when reinforcing; but some detachments (DET), and most Combat Support (CS) and Combat Service Support (CSS) units are separated among combined or composite units, making identification problematic and disintegration probable. The CHAIN-OF-COMMAND counters this tendency, and ESPRIT DE CORPS sustains the unit integrity.

the U.S. Navy designation of the "medical kit bag" or "field medical kit bag"; see MED BAG; compare FIELD SURGICAL KIT, FIRST AID KIT.


a doctrine widely adopted by fascist and totalitarian states that requires all able-bodied young men to perform a mandatory period of military service; advocated in the United States as a secular form of moral tutelage for conscripts, with the general benefit of public service and public defense, which was later extended to "compulsory national service" for young men and women performing civic projects ... Congress rejected the Universal Military Training Bill in 1946, and again in 2004. See VOLUNTEER, MUSTER, SPARTAN, DRAFT, DRAFTEE, DRAFT LOTTERY, COMMANDEER, SHANGHAI, PRESS-GANG, DRAGOON, DRAFT DODGER, PEACE CORPS, VISTA, IVS, AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE. [cf: "Conservatives are against abortion because it limits the number of people who can be drafted into the military to fight the next war." by George Carlin; "All the people I know who are driving for a form of national service, primarily want it to be compulsory. They realize that's a terrible problem politically, so they're not willing to say it. It is endangerment of freedom and the potential for indoctrination that skeptics do not like in the national service concept. However benign the program, some think it will not succeed on any meaningful scale unless it is compulsory." by Martin Anderson]

see UTI / UTC.

having only one meaning, being precise and unambiguous; the standard military mode of clear and concise communication, often tactless and abrupt. [nb: "A lack of precision is dangerous when the margin of error is small." by Donald H. Rumsfeld]

abbreviation for UNKnown.

to make ready for use or action, as to detach a gun from its carrier, or to set a limbered gun into battery; compare LIMBER, see IN-BATTERY, ARTY. Also, to prepare for action, as to unsling or unshoulder infantry SMALL ARMS; see COMBAT LOADED, LOCK 'n' LOAD, OP TEMPO, MISSION READY, GOOD TO GO, SADDLE-UP, MOVE OUT, HOOPLA, BATTAILOUS.


UNPIK patch
abbreviation for United Nations Partisan Forces Korea, or United Nations Partisan Infantry Korea, being a unit comprised of INDIGenous personnel with international military ADVISORs (US personnel assigned under 8240th Army Unit and 8242nd Army Unit, from February 1951 to February 1954) during the KOREAN WAR; formerly known as Combined Command for Reconnaissance Activities Korea (CCRAK). The covert techniques established by OSS, enhanced by UNPFK and JACK, were inherited by SOG, and have since been passed to Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and US Special Operations Command (USSOC). Compare MGF, MSF, MIKE FORCE; see SPECIAL OPERATIONS.

United Nations Security Council, being a 15 member executive organ responsible for preserving peace by sanction or intervention, which resolutions are subject to veto; comprising five permanent members (France, Great Britain, China, Russia, and the United States) and ten nonpermanent members elected for two-year terms from the General Assembly; this body has twice authorized enforcement measures, in Korea (1950) and Iraq (1990, 2002).

United Nations Special COMmission, being the organization appointed to search for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq.

UNknown Sized Enemy Force.

anyone made exempt or immune, inviolable or invulnerable by virtue of their particular distinction, such as affiliation or inheritance, political association or physical handicap, color or race, ethnicity or national origin, creed or religion, sex or sexual orientation, imbecility or incompetence, regardless of their inherent conspecificity; that which is beyond criticism or reproach as an inversion of the Hindu caste system and a contravention of Constitutional equal rights, this mandate of biased preferment flouts equal opportunity and flaunts prejudiced bigotry as a progressive expression of social engineering. See AAA, EQUAL PROTECTION, THE GLASS CLIFF, VULCANIZE, DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY, FAIRY DUST, BULLETPROOF, MAGIC BULLET, SILVER BULLET, DODGE THE BULLET; compare CAKE-EATER, BEST AND BRIGHTEST, BOOJIE, POWER ELITE, BOY'S CLUB, CLUB FED, RING-KNOCKER. [v: Harijan]

(u-n-w-c-c) United Nations War Crimes Commission for WWII; see WAR CRIMES TRIAL, ICC, IMT, IMTFE, HAGUE TRIBUNAL, LAWS OF WAR, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE). [nb: a similar body, the Commission on the Responsibility of the Authors of the War and the Enforcement of Penalties, was setup after WWI as a condition of the 1919 Versailles treaty, but the accused were never brought to trial to answer charges]

a field expedient defensive adaptation to changing Mid-Eastern battlefield conditions wherein unarmored vehicles and lightly fortified positions are retrofitted or reinforced; catch-phrase used in the same way as UP-GUN. See SKIN, HARDEN, HILLBILLY ARMOR, IRONCLAD, SPLINTER SHIELD, SPACED ARMOR, REACTIVE ARMOR, ARMOR.

formal clearance or approval by an Instructor Pilot (IP) or flight supervisor for a student or PETER PILOT to continue a course lesson or performance procedure, or to advance to the next stage or sequence of training difficulty or aircraft complexity, usually written as a RATING into a log or record book following a CHECK RIDE. Compare DOWN CHECK, NICKEL RIDE. Also, any formal clearance or positive approval; see RATING, CROSS-TRAINING, TICKET, PRO PAY, FITREP, EER, OER.

a euphemistic catch-phrase for intimate knowledge, thorough or privileged, with particular reference to a familiarity with "close combat"; stipulating the experience of chaotic combat more than hand-to-hand battle or heroism. This slang phrase derives from the titles of a series of popular (and often imitated) pornographic magazines of the Vietnam-era that featured tightly focused and extremely enlarged gynecologic images (often called "beaver shots" [v: Simon's position]). Such intimacy was also expressed as "in-close and up-tight". See STROKE BOOK, TRAINING FILM, DOG 'n' PONY SHOW, CQB, AT CLOSE QUARTERS, BEARD THE LION, DOGFIGHT, FIREFIGHT, GABRIEL, JAP SLAPPER, MARTIAL ART; compare BTDT, THE NAM.


a catch-phrase indicating a need for increased FIREPOWER, or acknowledging the improvements made to troop armaments or vehicular refits. The changing battlefield situation may require a revision in tactical methodology, or may be adequately addressed by new types of ammunition (v: DU, STABALLOY, etc), but when American personnel are OUTGUNned, achieving the mission entails a modification of weaponry ... as from 9mm to .45cal PISTOLs, as from 5.56mm to 7.62mm RIFLEs, as from 66mm to 94mm ROCKETs, as from 81mm to FOUR DEUCE mortars, as from 90mm to 106mm recoilless rifles (RR), as from 105mm to 155mm TANK or HOWITZER cannon ... as from single to dual and quad machineguns, as from machineguns to cannon, as from MINIGUNs to MISSILEs. This expression is used in the same way as UP-ARMOR, the referent for the field expedient defensibility adaptations that have been made in response to changing Mid-Eastern battlefield conditions. See POODLE SHOOTER, BIGGER BANG FOR THE BUCK, KNOCK INTO A COCKED HAT, MAD, BRINKMANSHIP, OVERKILL. [nb: in its infinite wisdom, the American military abandoned a completely satisfactory rifle (7.62mm M-14) in order to adopt a marginal rifle (5.56mm M-16) of inferior efficacy, only to reinforce this poor selection with hundreds of modifications, later resulting in a reissue of stockpiled pre-Vietnam rifles and a change in rifle caliber for the "preferred" shoulder arm; likewise, a completely satisfactory handgun (.45cal M-1911A1) was abandoned in favor of a marginal sidearm (9mm M-9) of inferior efficacy, only to reinforce this poor decision with scores of modifications, resulting in a reissue of stockpiled Vietnam-era pistols ... in both cases, returning to larger "man-stopping" calibers proven in battle]

a relentless or fatiguing difficulty, as of soldiers charging up a slope; also known as an "uphill struggle". Based upon the fact, more than simply conquering inertia, that dispossessing the advantageous high ground from its entrenched occupation is considered to be ten times harder than defending that same position, whereas fighting on a "level playing field" is considered mostly equivalent. See TOOTH 'n' NAIL, ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, DOG-EAT-DOG, WHEN IN ROME, COUP DE PIED DE L'ANE. [nb: "My God, if we cannot hold the top of a hill then we certainly cannot hold the bottom!" by George Gordon Meade at Chancellorsville (1863)]

operation in Haiti from September 1994 to March 1995.

catch-phrase representing the modern military practice of systems management techniques which have displaced the old fashioned mode of LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN and CREED-oriented MIL-CRAFTsmanship; also called "musical chairs" or "round robin", with the objective of exposing everyone to an idealized well-rounded preparation for maximum efficiency during each phase of their developmental promotion. Under the now (supposedly) discredited "cadre system", the best people were sought to fill their appropriate positions in the hierarchy, offering both expertise and continuity to the ever-changing external influences that mandate action. While promotions for Enlisted Men (EM) and Non-commissioned Officers (NCO) were relatively "local" at one time, they are now like officer promotions, scheduled and approved at branch-level, which tends to place more emphasis on documentation than on personal performance; making the phrasing of efficiency reports (EER, OER) crucial. All servicemembers eligible for promotion are simultaneously scheduled for review, resulting in FAST TRACK individuals being promoted first ("above the zone"), then the standard increase, and finally the last qualified ("below the zone") ... each process reducing the competition by the fewer number of available assignments, such that anyone promoted "below the zone" will not be advanced in the next review cycle. While purporting to benefit the military, this doctrine has actually proved to be most beneficial to raw and ruthless ambition, careless of secondary consequences and side-effects, creating dissention and discouragement by their arrogant disregard of subordinates, which has spawned a military correlative to the cynical civilian maxim of "Don't trust anyone over thirty!": "Don't trust anyone above the rank of buck sergeant!" In the past, the intercession of actual fighting in real wars interfered with such pretty management practices, requiring leaders to actually lead, instead of posture, and troops to perform, instead of parade, but technology has substituted for combat since the VIETNAM WAR, so bureaucracy is now the rule under all conditions. See DUTY, HONOR CODE, COMBAT EFFECTIVE, LPC, SHAKE 'n' BAKE, NCOA, SMA, OCS, CADET, MISTER, RING-KNOCKER, TRADE SCHOOL, BOAT SCHOOL, HUDSON HIGH, ROTC, BOOTSTRAP, NESEP, CONAP, ACASP, DEP, USAFI, SOC, MILICRAT, HIGHER, TICKET-PUNCHER, VULCANIZE, FAST MOVER, BOOMER, HOT SHOT, HARD CHARGER, GOLDEN BOY, BOY WONDER, DEEP DIP, KHAKI MAFIA, BRASS HAT. [nb: every MILICRAT knows that the most dangerous people in the military are not HEROes, but are disgruntled MIL-PERS who are frustrated by MICKEY MOUSE and CHICKEN SHIT, by SNOW and RED TAPE, and having been passed over twice for promotion, are serving their terminal assignment, and because they are honorable men who have not STACKed ARMS, they know that there is nothing that the TICKET-PUNCHERs and RING-KNOCKERs of the KHAKI MAFIA can do to them!]


the conclusion or result, the final issue; the consequence, outgrowth, aftereffect; this term originally meant the final shot in an archery match, hence its figurative sense. Also, the gist of an argument or thesis. See TRUCE, TREATY, PEACE, APPEASE, NEUTRALIZE, DETENTE, ENTENTE, RAPPROCHEMENT, DEFEAT, DIKTAT, CARTE BLANCHE, COUP D'ETAT, LAWS OF WAR, SABER-RATTLING, GUNPOINT, WARNING SHOT, BLOODY SHIRT, JUST WAR, ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, CROSS THE RUBICON, WAR, VICTORY.

a Naval expression for learning the proper methods from the bottom to the top, in imitation of the HAWSEPIPE channeling the anchor chain; the promotion of any SAILOR with prior enlisted service to commissioned rank, as by being advanced "up through the hatch", putting him ABOVE BOARD; see OJT, trng, CROSS-TRAINING, MOS, BLUE BLOOD, MUSTANG, COCKTAIL. [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, OFFICER'S COUNTRY, TALLY-HO, TACT; cf: HARD-ASS, MACHO]


the slight updraft, or upward flow of air that's redirected just prior to its reaching the leading edge of a rapidly moving airfoil; compare BACKWASH, WASH. [cf: upwind]

underwater acoustic communications set (AN/UQC-1), being a general-purpose SONAR signal device that utilizes power-amplified audio to enable underwater communications between submerged vessels and/or SCUBA divers; because sound travels faster in water (52mi/min) than in air (12mi/min; 1mi/5sec; 1087ft/sec at sea level), this technique has an insecure but clear utility ranging from 1,000-3,000 yards. See UWT, GERTRUDE; compare TELEPHONE, RADIO, ELF, ASDIC, MACH. [nb: the velocity and distance that sound travels in either air or water depends upon atmospheric pressure, medium temperature, molecular density, and turbulence; such that under equivalent conditions, sound moves faster in salt water than in fresh, faster in fresh water than in air. The audible range of sound wave frequencies for humans is 20 - 20,000 Hz; above which ultrasonic waves may be felt, instead of heard.] [cf: ultrasound]

also known as "urban combat" or "house-to-house fighting"; see MOUT, FIBUA, BREACHER, STACK, MOUSE HOLE, HOUSEWARMING, KILL HOUSE.

a PSYOPS deception project developed from actual PARADISE ISLAND contacts that simulated a maritime agent network in NVN; see SOG.

the multinational INCURSION on Grenada from 23 Oct to 21 Nov 1983 to intervene in political restoration, the protection of lives and property after a breakdown of civil order, at the request of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States for this independent island (since 1974) in the West Indies. The URGENT FURY operation captured communist weapons and stores, evacuated 599 Americans and 80 foreign nationals, captured the commander (General Hudson Austin) of the People's Revolutionary Armed Forces, rescued the Governor General held hostage, and enabled the restoration of the constitution (suspended 1979) and formation of a representative government at a loss of 18 KIA and 116 WIA American casualties. The allied force was almost double the size of its opposition, which comprised Soviet, Cuban, North Korean, East German, Bulgarian, Libyan, as well as Grenadian elements. This is probably the first time that close air support (CAS) was obtained by a telephone call from the battlefield that was placed to the parent unit in the USA and relayed by satellite back to the operational area when direct communication could not be established; such remote linking for command and control of tactical assets became commonplace during GULF WAR II. Compare SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR. [nb: Invasion of Grenada (1983): 19 battle deaths]

abbreviation for the United States of America, often shortened to US, with or without periods; a constitutional republic formed in North America by a revolutionary declaration of independence and sustained by democratic representation, embodied in the national motto "e pluribus unum" (Latin: out of many, one); see UNCLE SAM, YANKEE, UGLY AMERICAN, THE G. Also, the conventional abbreviation for the United States Army, but is properly designated as the Army of the United States (AUS); which distinction was codified in the 1920 National Defense Act. Vietnam-era RANKs: E-1 Private, PVT; E-2 Private, PVT / Private First Class, PFC; E-3 Private First Class, PFC / Lance Corporal, LCPL; E-4 Corporal, CPL / Specialist 4th Class, SP4; E-5 Sergeant, SGT / Specialist 5th Class, SP5; E-6 Staff Sergeant, SSG / Spec 6th Class, SP6; E-7 Sergeant First Class, SFC / Spec 7th Cl, SP7; E-8 Master Sergeant MSG / First Sergeant, FSG; E-9 Sergeant Major, SGM / Command Sergeant Major, CSGM; E-10 Sergeant Major of the Army, SMA; W-1 Warrant Officer 1st Class, WO1; W-2 Warrant Off 2nd Class, WO2; W-3 Chief Warrant Off 3rd Class, CW3; W-4 Chief Warrant Off 4th Class, CW4; W-5 Master Warrant Off, MW5; O-1 Second Lieutenant, 2LT; O-2 First Lieutenant, 1LT; O-3 Captain, CPT; O-4 Major, MAJ; O-5 Lieutenant Colonel, LTC; O-6 Colonel, COL; O-7 Brigadier General, BG; O-8 Major General, MG; O-9 Lieutenant Gen, LTG; O-10 General, GEN. Army officers: O-1 - O-3 = company grade; O-4 - O-6 = field grade; O-7 - O-10 = general. See DA, USAR, LAND POWER, DOGFACE, GRUNT, GI.

U.S. Army Air Corps patch
the United States Army Air Corps was first established as the United States Army Air Service in 1917, being so named on 2 July 1926 by an ACT OF CONGRESS, making the Army's aerial element equivalent to the Navy's ground (Marine) element. Re-designated the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) on 20 June 1941, it was separated from the Army in September 1947 as a distinct branch: the United States Air Force (USAF). Also, the new (1987) designation for the Army's aviation branch, which is responsible for organizing, training, equiping, and operating the light aircraft assets and components for ground forces by providing surveillance, transport, close air support (CAS), and evacuation services. The Key West Agreement regulates the division of air assets and their employment among the service branches, such that the Army is precluded from operating jet aircraft, while neither the Navy nor Air Force is prohibited from operating helicopters. See USAF, BIRDMAN, ZOOMIE, FLYING TIGERS, "Flying Sergeants" at OFFICER. [nb: the result of a 1937 contest to develop a simple march tempo song celebrating aviation, the official song of the Air Force originated as "The Army Air Corps" with music and lyrics composed by Robert MacArthur Crawford in 1939; it's informally referred to as "The Air Force Song", "Wild Blue Yonder", "Into the Wild Blue Yonder", and "Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder"; the words "Army Air Corps" were replaced in 1947 by "U.S. Air Force", and it was adopted as the official song on 27 September 1979; other songs associated with the Air Force include: "Men in the Air Force Blue" by Eve Lawson (1966) and "Air Force Blue" by Marilyn Scott and Keith Textor (1956)]

United States Army Air Forces, being the new designation for the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) effective 20 June 1941; it was separated from the Army in September 1947 as a distinct branch: the United States Air Force (USAF).

U.S. Army Command and General Staff College; see C&GS.

U.S. Army Engineer Command Vietnam.

U.S. Air Force logo
U.S. Air Force
United States Air Force; established in 1947 (17 Sep 48) from the U.S. Army Air Force, and earlier Army Air Corps. Vietnam-era RANKs: E-1 Airman Basic, AB; E-2 Airman 3rd Class, A3C; E-3 Airman 2nd Class, A2C; E-4 Airman 1st Class, A1C / Sergeant, Sgt; E-5 Staff Sgt, SSgt; E-6 Technical Sgt, TSgt; E-7 Master Sgt, MSgt; E-8 Senior Master Sgt, SMSgt; E-9 Chief Master Sgt, CMSgt; W-1 Warrant Officer 1st Class, WO1; W-2 Warrant Off 2nd Class, WO2; W-3 Chief Warrant Off 3rd Class, CWO3; W-4 Chief Warrant Off 4th Class, CWO4; O-1 Second Lieutenant, 2Lt; O-2 First Lieutenant, 1Lt; O-3 Captain, Capt; O-4 Major, Maj; O-5 Lieutenant Colonel, LtCol; O-6 Colonel, Col; O-7 Brigadier General, BGen; O-8 Major General, MajGen; O-9 Lieutenant General, LtGen; O-10 General, Gen. See USAAC, AIR POWER, AIRMAN, BIRDMAN, FLY-BOY, DOOLIE, ZOOMIE, GI. [nb: the USAF phased-out the Warrant Officer grades from 1959-91 to reduce management, improve flexibility, and concentrate technical expertise]

United States Air Force Academy, with the first class sworn in at Lowry AFB near Denver in July 1955, then relocating in 1958 to its permanent site at Colorado Springs; also called the ZOO or ALUMINUM U, with the four-year curriculum leading to a baccalaureate and commission as a second lieutenant. The cadet uniform was designed by filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille, and the class rings differ from the other military schools in being made of white gold. Legislation was signed on 7 October 1975 permitting women to enter the United States service academies. See DOOLIE, JUNIOR BIRDMAN, CADET, RING-KNOCKER, TRADE SCHOOL, THE BIRD, ZOOMIE. [nb: Captain Lance P. Sijan awarded Medal of Honor for resistance during captivity in a North Vietnamese prisoner of war camp]

(u-safe) U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

(u-safe) United States Army Forces in the Far East, a corps-sized element organized 26 July 1941 in preparation for WWII, placing all ground and air forces in the Far East under the command of Douglas MacArthur, excepting the Asiatic Fleet of the U.S. Navy.

(yu-sah-fee) United States Armed Forces Institute, a vast program of extension or correspondence courses offered for military career development at education centers on worldwide bases and posts under the auspices of participating accredited schools (such as the University of Maryland, University of Omaha, etc). In return for a further commitment, the military would grant select NCOs and officers a (sabbatical) LEAVE of absence to complete their studies on a full-time basis. The newer Servicemember's Opportunity College (SOC) is where college courses can be taken at posts around the world. See BOOTSTRAP, RE-UP, CONAP, ACASP, DEP, NESEP, ROTC.

U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command; see AIR COMMANDO, PJ, SOF, USSOC, SPECIAL OPERATIONS.

United States Air Force Tactical Air Warfare Center; see RED FLAG.

U.S. Army General Command and Staff College; see C&GS.

United States Army Headquarters Area Command.

U.S. Army Intelligence Center; see MI, CIC, ASA, INTEL. Also, U.S. Army Infantry School (or INF SCH); see INF, USATC.

abbreviation for U.S. Agency for International Development.

United States Army Institute for Surgical Research.

crest of the U.S. Army John F.
Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School
the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, or more commonly referred to as just the Special Warfare Center and School (SWC&S / SWCS); being the complex of Special Warfare, Psychological Warfare, and Civil Affairs schools at Fort Bragg that were unified on 21 July 1983, redesignated from the Institute for Military Assistance; it is sardonically called JOHN WAYNE HIGH SCHOOL. See SFTG, PSYOPS, GABRIEL, SF; compare Joint Special Operations University at USSOC, MSOS.

(yew-sam-rid) United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, being the military equivalent of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC); compare USARIEM; see BONE CUTTER, SAWBONES, CANOEMAKER, BAND-AID, CHOP SHOP, HOSPITAL, FEST, AFIP, SGO. [cf: Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS, 1951), which studied polio, smallpox, malaria, tuberculosis, etc, as part of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)]

U.S. Army Medical Research and Nutrition Laboratory; formed in 1958 by combining the Army's Medical Nutrition Laboratory (Chicago, IL) and the Research and Development Department of Fitzsimons General Hospital (Denver, CO) to become the nation's finest clinical research institute for human nutrition, then relocated to San Francisco in 1973, becoming the Letterman Army Institute of Research (LAIR); its programs were transferred in 1980 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the University of California in Davis.

United States Army Reserve; compare AUS, USA.

U.S. Army Europe, being a battalion-sized theater command that's been active since 1942; see IMPERIAL PALACE. [cf: USEURCOM joint European command]

US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine; compare FEST, AFIP, USAMRIID.

U.S. Army Forces Military Region.

U.S. Army Pacific Command
United States Army, Pacific command; see CINCUSARPAC.

U.S. Army Special Operations Command; see ARSOC and USASOC.

(yew-sarv or uze-ar-vee) United States ARmy Vietnam; established 20 July 1965. [nb: after Feb 1971, cover assignments for SOG ADVISORs (TF1AE and TF2AE) were processed by USARV]

U.S. Army Special Operations Command; also represented as "USARSOC", and formerly known as ARSOC; official motto: "without equal" [sine pari]; insignia approved 1 Dec 1989. See SOCOM, USSOC, SPECIAL OPERATIONS. [v: nonpareil, parfait, crème de la crème; cf: sine qua non]

U.S. Army Strategic Communications Command; compare STRATCOM.

U.S. Army Training Center
U.S. Army Training Center, often particularized (eg: USATC-Arm or USATC-Inf). [nb: U.S. Army Armor School has been colocated with U.S. Army Infantry School for combined arms doctrine since 2005]

United States Coast Guard, formerly a branch of the Department of Transportation (DoT), since transferred into the sphere of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during peacetime, but during wartime, at the direction of the president, is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Navy. The motto of the Coast Guard is "Always Ready" (Semper Paratus), and its members are commonly called COASTIES. The Coast Guard Academy at New London CT, which was known as the "United States Revenue Cutter Service School of Instruction" until 1915, is unlike the military service academies in that it does not require congressional appointment. The RATING system of the USCG was brought into conformity with the U.S. Navy RANK structure during WWI. Compare MERCHANT MARINE; see USN, BROWN WATER SAILOR, HOOLIGAN NAVY, MUD DUCK, AST, INFORMING GUN, USCGA, TRADE SCHOOL, SPAR at SKIRT.

United States Coast Guard Academy at New London, CT; established in 1876 as the United States Revenue Cutter Service School of Instruction, it then took its present name in 1915. Differing from other U.S. military academies, the USCGA gains its candidates through a nationwide competition for matriculation; there are no congressional appointments or geographical quotas. Each cadet's education consists of military and academic instruction, including professional training at sea. Compare USMMA; see COASTIES, CADET, RING-KNOCKER, TRADE SCHOOL.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; see ICE, DHS.

(U S D A O) United States Defense Attaché Office, Department of State, being military ADVISORs to diplomats and Foreign Service Officers (FSO); formerly known as the Office of the Defense Attaché (ODA) before the Vietnam-era. See DA, L&L, LO, USMILAT, ADV, CT, DIP CO, SOFA, DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY, DIPLOMATIC POUCH; compare KMAG, MAAG.

United States Disciplinary Barracks, being the federal prison at Fort Leavenworth Kansas, commonly known as "Leavenworth Prison" or HOT HOUSE. Compare THE CASTLE; see BRIG, CROSSBAR HOTEL, DEADLOCK, CHL, STOCKADE, DEADLINE, CLUB FED.

slang phrase or informal expression for the outer border or boundary area of an airstrip (RUNWAY), especially the clear area (usually paved) near airfield buildings and HANGARs that's used for un-/loading, refueling, inspection, and parking aircraft; also called "hard stand", APRON, or RAMP.

a catch-phrase coined by Vladimir Ilyich (Ulyanov) Lenin to identify the dupes and gulls, tools and pawns who enable the REVOLUTION by their cowardly inconstancy; those who will always find a plausable excuse or a defensible explanation for whatever the communist regime (ie: "dictatorship of the proletariat") does to advance its nefarious cause. See CAT'S-PAW, FALL GUY, HACK, DECOY, RED HERRING, STALKING HORSE, MUSHROOM, INVISIBLE, SYMPATHIZER, FIFTH COLUMN, RUNNING DOG, PROVOCATEUR, PINKO.

(U S G P O) US Government Printing Office, under the direction of the Superintendent of Documents, responsible for publishing all military forms, regulations, manuals, pamphlets, etc.

(U S G S) United States Geological Survey, established in 1879 to study water and mineral resources, being the source for public information on geophysics and topography under the aegis of the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) program, and in cooperation with NASA and NOAA. The resources for military mapping were transferred in October 1996 to the National Imaging and Mapping Agency (NIMA) due to downlink satellite profiles, which was later renamed National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA); the unclassified public domain data [such as Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED)] from Shuttle Radar Topography Mapping (SRTM) missions has been passed to USGS for documentary updating. See TOPO, MOSAIC MAP, MAP, COMICS, CHART, UTM, INS, AIS, MGRS, GPS, LORAN. [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]

a fur-lined winter cap with ear-flaps; see TROOPER CAP.

(U S I A) U.S. Information Agency, Department of State.

(yew ess eye ess) United States Information Service; see DOS, compare VIS.

(yew-ess-jay-eff-kom) United States Joint Forces COMmand; see KEYSTONE, CAPSTONE, PINNACLE.

(yew-ess-em-ay) United States Military Academy, West Point, NY; see HUDSON HIGH, CADET, TRADE SCHOOL, RING-KNOCKER, MULE. [v: West Point slang]

(yew-ess-mack-tie) United States Military Assistance Command THAIland; also abbreviated as MACTHAI.

(yew-ess-mack-vee) United States Military Assistance Command Vietnam; see MACV, COMUSMACV.

United States Military Academy Preparatory School, being a preliminary course established for enlisted (EM/NCO) candidates to become West Point CADETs; the attendees or graduates are commonly called "prepster", "poopster", or PREPPY. Compare NAPS; see RING-KNOCKER, TRADE SCHOOL.

U.S. Marine Corps logo
U.S. Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps; Naval infantry. Vietnam-era RANKs: E-1 Private; E-2 Private First Class; E-3 Lance Corporal; E-4 Corporal; E-5 Sergeant; E-6 Staff Sergeant; E-7 Gunnery Sergeant; E-8 First Sergeant / Master Sergeant; E-9 Sergeant Major / Master Gunnery Sergeant; W-1 Warrant Officer 1st Class, WO1; W-2 Warrant Off 2nd Class, WO2; W-3 Chief Warrant Off 3rd Class, CWO3; W-4 Chief Warrant Off 4th Class, CWO4; O-1 Second Lieutenant, 2Lt; O-2 First Lieutenant, 1Lt; O-3 Captain, Capt; O-4 Major, Maj; O-5 Lieutenant Colonel, LtCol; O-6 Colonel, Col; O-7 Brigadier General, BGen; O-8 Major General, MajGen; O-9 Lieutenant General, LtGen; O-10 General, Gen. The USMC is also called "The Corps", THE CROTCH, "Uncle Sam's Misguided Children", and "Unlimited Shit and Mass Confusion"; the word Marine has been converted into an acronym meaning: Muscles Are Required, Intelligence Not Essential. See MARINE, GUNNY, SNUFFY, GI (GIrine/GYRENE), RAIDER, FORCE RECON, AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT, CHINA MARINE, SEAGOING MARINE, JARHEAD, HORSE MARINE, BIRD BALL 'n' HOOK, TELL IT TO THE MARINES, GUNG-HO, OORAH, YUT, LEATHERNECK, MAMELUKE SWORD, BULLDOG, MILITARY ORDER OF THE DEVIL DOGS. [nb: the first standing body of marines or "fleet soldiers" in the Western world were posted by ancient Rome (Milites Classiarii)] [nb: the doctrine of amphibious assault by waterborne forces was developed by John Archer Lejeune (LTG USMC) after studying the Gallipoli Peninsula landing in WWI, and this specialization prevented the Marine Corps from being disbanded between the World Wars; Marines then taught amphibious doctrine during 1941-2 to soldiers of the Army's 1st and 3rd Infantry Divisions at both New River NC and Cape Henry VA in preparation for the North African landing] [nb: President Harry S. Truman planned to abolish the Marine Corps after WWII because "the Navy does not need its own army", but the Marines' conduct as a FIRE BRIGADE in the Pusan Perimeter during the KOREAN WAR persuaded him that they should be retained; however, the Supreme Allied Commander Douglas ("El Supremo") MacArthur refused to approve a Presidential Unit Citation for the Marines, saying that "they have enough medals", when every other unit was so recognized]


United States Merchant Marine; see MERCHANT MARINE; compare USMS, COASTIES, USCG, USN, TRADE SCHOOL.

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

(forthcoming); United States Maritime Service. See MERCHANT MARINE, USMM; compare COASTIES, USCG, USN, TRADE SCHOOL.

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U.S. Navy
United States Navy. Vietnam-era RANKs: E-1 Seaman Recruit, SR; E-2 Able Seaman, AS; E-3 Seaman, SN; E-4 Petty Officer 3rd Class, PO3; E-5 Petty Off 2nd Class, PO2; E-6 Petty Off 1st Cl, PO1; E-7 Chief Petty Officer, CPO; E-8 Senior Chief Petty Officer, SCPO; E-9 Master Chief Petty Officer, MCPO; W-1 Warrant Officer 1st Class, WO1; W-2 Warrant Off 2nd Class, WO2; W-3 Chief Warrant Off 3rd Class, CWO3; W-4 Chief Warrant Off 4th Class, CWO4; O-1 Ensign, ENS; O-2 Lieutenant Junior Grade, LTJG; O-3 Lieutenant, LT; O-4 Lieutenant Commander, LCDR; O-5 Commander, CDR; O-6 Captain, CAPT; O-7 Rear Admiral Lower-Half, RADML; O-8 Rear Admiral Upper-Half, RADM; O-9 Vice Admiral, VADM; O-10 Admiral, ADM. Naval EMs/NCOs are properly addressed by their specialty and rating (eg: Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class, BM2; Gunner's Mate 1st Class, GM1; Hospitalman 3rd Class, HM3; Chief Quartermaster, QMC; Aviation Machinist's Mate 2nd Class, AMM2; etc) instead of their rank. Naval officers: O-1 - O-4 = junior grade; O-5 - O-6 = senior grade; O-7 - O-10 = flag. See SEA POWER, SWABBY, SQUID, SAILOR, GI. [nb: the U.S. Navy, established 1775, was disbanded from 1786 to 1794]

(yew-ess-en-ay) United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD; also called BOAT SCHOOL, "Canoe U", or "Small Boat and Barge School"; see COLOR COMPANY, NAPS, CRAB, MIDDIE, CADET, TRADE SCHOOL, GOAT, RING-KNOCKER.

see TOP GUN.

see TOP GUN.

United States Naval Institute, being a separate organization established (1873) for the scientific research and development of maritime technology; includes a press (1898) for the publication of naval sea power studies and history.

abbreviation for United States Navy Ship, or United States Naval Ship, being a non-commissioned non-combatant vessel that's owned by the U.S. Navy and operationally crewed by hospital and support staff from the Military Sealift Command (MSC), including physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, chaplains, medical technicians, yeomen, and other service support specialists ... due to the protected status of these ships under the Geneva Convention, warfare qualified combat specialist personnel (Unrestricted Line NavPers) may not be assigned.

United Service Organization, established in February 1941 by an interfaith movement to build morale by providing recreation and entertainment to military servicemembers; formed as a coalition from the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), National Catholic Community Services, National Jewish Welfare Board, Traveler's Aid Association, and the Salvation Army. See SALLY. [nb: civilians go 'abroad' while soldiers go 'overseas']

abbreviation for United States Ship and United States Steamship; see BOOMER, SUBMARINE, LANDING CRAFT, BOAT, WARSHIP [cf: Steam Ship (SS), Motor Ship (MS)]. Also, abbreviation for United States Senate; see ACT OF CONGRESS, THE NATIONAL JOKE FACTORY, POLITICIAN.

the Union of Socialist States of America, being a derisive misnomer for the United States of America, as used by fiscal conservatives and political libertarians, who construe modern society as an irresponsible "welfare state"; compare AMERIKA.


abbreviation for United States [Army] Special Forces, often truncated to "SF"; the SF Regiment is organized into the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (USASFC) under the U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). See SPECIAL FORCES, SNEAKY PETE, SNAKE-EATER, BLANKET HEAD, GREEN BERET, ELECTRIC BUTTERKNIFE, THE GREEKS, A TEAM, DOOR KICKING, SOF, SPECIAL OPERATIONS. [nb: The Rangers of World War II and Korea had been designed as light-infantry shock troops; their mission was to hit hard, hit fast, then get out so larger and more heavily armed units could follow through. Special Forces, on the other hand, were designed to spend months, even years, deep within hostile territory. They would have to be self-sustaining, without extensive resupply from the outside. They would have to speak the language and know the customs of their target area.] [nb: six A TEAMs or ODAs comprise a company (CO), three SF Companies comprise a battalion (BN), and four SF Battalions comprise a group (effective 2007); each active duty SF Group specializes in the languages and cultures of a particular region (ie: 1st SFGA in East Asia; 3rd SFGA in Africa, Mid-East, and Central Asia; 5th SFGA in Mid-East and Central Asia; 7th SFGA in South America; and 10th SFGA in Europe)]

United States Special Operations Command, sometimes abbreviated as "USSOCOM", established by the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 and the Nunn-Cohen Amendment to the act in 1987; which interservice command includes the Center for Special Operations (CSO), the Joint Task Force, the Special Operations Joint Interagency Collaboration Center, and the Joint Special Operations University. See SPECIAL OPERATIONS, SOF, SMU, JSOC, SF, SEAL, FORCE RECON, RANGER, AIR COMMANDO; compare SOCOM.

1923 flag of the Union of
Soviet Socialist Republics or the Soviet Union
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (cccp = SSSR), being a former federal union of 15 constituent republics, in eastern Europe and northern Asia, comprising the larger part of the earlier Russian Empire: founded in 1917, with its flag adopted in 1923, and dissolved in 1991; also known as "Soviet Union", which has since reorganized as the Russian Federation and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). See IRON CURTAIN, START, IVAN, BULLSHITVIK, BAD GUYS. [nb: the Soviet Union (USSR) characterized itself as "the world's first champion of peace"] [nb: when President Ronald W. Reagan characterized the Soviet Union as the "Evil Empire" in 1983, journalists immediately associated it with the fictitious galactic power in the 1977 film "Star Wars", but it was actually a reference to biblical prophecies in Ezekiel; v: Gog and Magog]

United States Secret Service; being a law enforcement agency of the Treasury Department that was established (1860) to protect American currency and securities, and to prevent counterfeiting; its role was extended to executive protection after the assassination of William McKinley (1901), and now includes bodyguarding of presidents and vice presidents, presidents-elect and vice presidents-elect, presidential candidates, former presidents, their families, widows and dependent children. This agency was transferred as a subdivision of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after the 9/11 2001 TERRORIST attacks. See POTUS, VP, BODYGUARD, PDS, PSD, SHELL GAME, SECRET SQUIRREL, POLICE.

see UTI / UTC.

the Beechcraft U-21/JU-21/U-22 Army utility aircraft.

[ety: collectively, useful things] eating utensils are manifestations of culture, and as such, these objects were shaped by and continue to shape our preferences for etiquette, our impression of sociability, our desire for civilization; before the modern era, travelers carried their own utensils (sometimes nesting, sometimes folding), in the same way that hunters and explorers always carry their own cooking implements, because taverns and inns did not provide them; see KFS, COVER, PARTISAN'S SECRET WEAPON, SPOON, FORK, KNIFE, CHOPSTICK, MESS KIT, CANTEEN CUP, MESS TRAY, P-38, CHURCH KEY.

Universal Time International is the former designation for the current Universal Time Coordinated, both of which are adjustments of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or ZULU time to minimize its divergence from international atomic time (IAT); also called "universal time". In response to rapid transportation, Congress enacted the Standard Time Act in 1883, which became crucial for scheduling during WWII. The Uniform Time Act was enacted in 1966 and amended in 1986 to standardize Daylight Savings Time. The convention for adopting GMT as the prime meridian was approved 1884. See TIME.

Marine term for FATIGUES, the work/combat uniform that bore a stencil of the USMC emblem on the chest pocket. Compare MARPAT, see DRESS.

a larger (40' X 100') version of the QUONSET HUT that evolved over time, and could be adapted to tropical climates with the addition of specialized components; more than 11,800 UTILITY BUILDINGs were fabricated by the end of WWII. A single unit could be erected by a team of ten unskilled men in 300 man-hours, and could be shipped in twenty-three crates. This structure was sometimes called ELEPHANT HUT. See DEPOT, GODOWN, STEELDROME, BLDG, BILLET. [v: British Nissen hut]

Universal Transverse Mercator, a naval navigation reference which dispenses with latitude and longitude GRID LINES in favor of digital metric coordinates that are accurate to within 100m; see DEAD-RECKONING, "mercator projection", "rhumb line", compare GRID COORDINATES, MGRS, INS, GPS, SRTM. [nb: around AD 1000, the Chinese invented a 28 division star chart based upon lunar movements around the polar axis; which was later adopted by Europe]


the Universal Uniform Personal Identification Code is a "user name" for database access by a government employee, who must also include a control password that's equivalent to a Personal Identification Code (PIC) / Personal Identification Number (PIN); if the system is protected by FIREWALL hardware, a Personal Unblocking Code (PUK) may also be required.

Unmanned Underwater Vehicle; a remotely operated submersible DRONE or BOT.

UW :
(yew-w) Unconventional Warfare, also called "unorthodox warfare"; the use of military/PARAMILITARY, police, political, economic, psychological, and civic actions (CA) by a government to defeat subversion, insurgency, and terrorism in enemy-controlled or politically sensitive areas. A broad spectrum of low-visibility military and PARAMILITARY operations, normally of long duration, predominantly conducted through, with, or by INDIGenous or surrogate forces who are organized, trained, equipped, supported, and directed in varying degrees by an external source. It includes, but is not limited to, GUERRILLA WARFARE, subversion, SABOTAGE, INTEL activities, escape and evasion (E&E), and unconventional assisted recovery. See INSURGENT, GUERRILLA, TERRORIST, COUNTERINSURGENCY, COUNTER-GUERRILLA, ANTI-TERRORISM, PROVOCATEUR, IRREGULARS, CAP, SPECIAL OPERATIONS, SOF, STAY BEHIND, DA, DOOR KICKING, AIWC, FID, PSYOPS, CA, OOTW, SF, SOF, SEAL, ASYMMETRIC WARFARE GROUP, OSS, OUTSIDE THE BOX, POSSE COMITATUS, CONSTABULARY. [nb: Army Chief of Staff GEN George H. Decker was forcibly retired for noting that the United States could not win a conventional war in Southeast Asia (SEA); and, in a post-war interview, GEN William C. Westmoreland confessed his ignorance of the potential utility of special operations forces (SOF), so he admitted that he did not fully develop their VIETNAM WAR role] Also, abbreviation for Urban Warfare; see MOUT, FIBUA, HOUSEWARMING, MOUSE HOLE, KILL HOUSE.

a suspension bracket forming two U-shaped hooks that's made of stiff wire and sewn or riveted onto an accessory item; an attachment device that's used to securely, but temporarily, hang pouches or holsters from the eyelets on military belts and related WEB GEAR. Compare CLIP.

UnderWater Telephone, commonly known as GERTRUDE, being a sound-powered wireless telephonic communication system of voice or whistle signals that's used between submerged SUBMARINEs; because sound travels faster in water (52mi/min) than in air (12mi/min; 1mi/5sec; 1087ft/sec at sea level), this technique has an insecure but clear utility ranging from 1,000-3,000 yards. See TELEPHONE, compare RADIO, VLF, ELF, UQC, SONAR, ASDIC, MACH. [nb: the velocity and distance that sound travels in either air or water depends upon atmospheric pressure, medium temperature, molecular density, and turbulence; such that under equivalent conditions, sound moves faster in salt water than in fresh, faster in fresh water than in air. The audible range of sound wave frequencies for humans is 20 - 20,000 Hz; above which ultrasonic waves may be felt, instead of heard.] [cf: ultrasound]

(yew-ecks-oh) UneXploded Ordnance or Unexploded eXplosive Ordnance, being live AMMO or other active MUNITIONS remaining on the battlefield after combat that pose a hazard to noncombatants; see EOD, DEACTIVATE, EXPLOSIVE.