This quiz on military expressions consists of fifty questions
divided into three sections: 'Nam rap, Gulf gab, and Nav speak.
They have been compiled for the entertainment of trivia mavens.
Vietnam-era Military Terminology
Q#01: What is a deuce-an'-half?
- A winning poker hand.
- A 2.5 millimeter shell.
- A transport truck with a 2.5 ton capacity.
- A 2.5 millimeter syringe.
Q#02: What is the military meaning of NBC?
- National Broadcast Command, the official military network.
- Nuclear, biological, and chemical weaponry.
- Non-biological combatants (i.e.: machines).
- Native-born combatants (i.e.: Viet Cong).
Q#03: What is a thumper?
- An unusually loud explosion.
- A faulty mortar round.
- A B-52 raid.
- An M-79 grenade launcher, or its operator.
Q#04: What is a bouncing betty?
- A mine that launches itself to waist-height before
- An especially energetic female soldier.
- The host of Radio Hanoi.
- A performer at a USO show.
Q#05: What is another name for a grunt?
- An Army or Marine infantryman.
- An ARVN soldier.
- The maneuver used to counteract G-forces during jet flight.
- A new recruit.
Q#06: Which unit was referred to as Tropic Lightning?
- The 4th Infantry Division.
- The 25th Infantry Division.
- The First Infantry Division.
- The 3rd Marine Division.
Q#07: Who needed to be most aware of a Cobra in Vietnam?
- Everyone needed to fear this dangerous snake.
- The Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army.
- The US forces.
- All of these.
Q#08: How many US servicemen were killed in the Vietnam War?
- Over 58,000.
- About 35,000.
- Less than 10,000.
- More than 340,000.
Q#09: What is a Huey?
- An innocent civilian.
- The Vietnamese version of Kilroy.
- The UH-1 utility helicopter.
- Vietnamese slang for a US Marine.
Q#10: Which of the following locations was not a US R &
R site during the Vietnam War?
Gulf-era Military Terminology
Q#01: The term ranger candy refers to what?
- Having sweet potatoes for dinner.
- The nickname for a new soldier joining a Special Forces
- An 800-milligram Motrin (ibuprofen) pill.
- An easy mission; like it's a piece of cake.
Q#02: What does the term Air Force mittens mean?
- Gloves that are worn while piloting a plane.
- Slang for pockets ... gloves have fingers, but pockets, like
mittens, do not.
- Groupies who hang out with pilots, are all over them and in
- A famous squadron name that only goes to the best of the
Q#03: What is the John Wayne Driving School?
- A private academy where you enroll at your own expense to
keep from failing the test.
- A course of horseback riding at the Cavalry School for drill
- Where you're sent because of all the tickets you've gotten
driving government vehicles.
- Where new soldiers bang-up a Humvee in the process of
learning to drive it.
Q#04: The phrase All-American Decoy indicates?
- A guard posted out in the open.
- A streetwalker waiting outside a foreign Army base.
- An Iraqi wearing an Army uniform.
- A soldier who does something foolish on the battlefield.
Q#05: The term fobbits refers to?
- Short soldiers resembling hobbits, and begun with F
as a qualifier or intensifier.
- People who drive cargo trucks that are labeled freight
- A derogatory term for soldiers who never leave a forward
- A deceitful person who cheats or tricks others, as by
fobbing-off or palming-off.
Q#06: Embracing the suck means?
- Receiving constant verbal abuse from Army superiors.
- Getting nothing but dirty or degrading assignments.
- Your plans to go home are curtailed by a stop loss
order taking effect.
- The situation is bad, but deal with it.
Q#07: The phrase Semper Knife means?
- Great job we did in combat today – as always
- A twist on Semper Fi, indicating backstabbing.
- Having to do additional work – as always hacking
away at it.
- Being on the short end and never getting an even break
– as always cutoff.
Q#08: A pig looking at a wristwatch means?
- An inexperienced soldier has just joined your unit.
- The girl your buddy is flirting with has an Army boyfriend
that he doesn't know about.
- Your new sergeant is a bad supervisor.
- Someone wearing a dumbfounded look.
Q#09: An airman alignment tool is?
- A chiropractor who takes referrals from military clinics.
- A bar girl who's known not to be very choosy at closing
- Any tool that can be used to beat the [bleep] out
- A special device that calibrates the movements of aircraft
Q#10: When a soldier refers to another Fallujah, it
- There is no action here.
- This is a screwed-up place that's crawling with bad guys.
- Equipment is breaking faster than it can be fixed.
- A type of field training exercise that involves heavy urban
Q#11: If you take a turkey peek, it means?
- You're cheating on an exam with notes pinned to your
- You're using night vision goggles to see a target on the
- You're sneaking a look at a female soldier's legs.
- You're glancing around or over an object or surface, such as
a corner or wall.
Q#12: A place called Marineland is?
- Slang for Iraq's Anbar province, which is mainly patrolled
- A bar or other establishment that is mainly frequented by
- Slang for a Marine base.
- Slang for a beach, whether for recreation or amphibious
Q#13: When is Groundhog Day for soldiers?
- When your uniform allowance arrives unexpectedly in your
- A special command holiday, when everyone scatters
immediately after morning formation.
- Slang for the formal inspection conducted by the Command
- Every day of your tour in Iraq.
Q#14: Reference to the Advanced Echelon means?
- A group of dignitaries who will spend the day touring an
- A unit's first group on the ground in the theater of
- A brigadier general and his entourage.
- The compound where electronic communications are established
with forward ground elements.
Q#15: To soldiers, angels are?
- Soldiers wounded in combat who later die in a military
- Female Red Cross workers who are sent to remote locations to
offer humanitarian assistance.
- Young and innocent refugees of war.
- Beautiful women who frequent the clubs on base looking for
Q#16: For soldiers, a beltway clerk is?
- The soldier tasked to drive personnel to and from National
airport in a government vehicle.
- Slang for anyone who spends their active duty career behind
- The soldier required to keep track of the measurements for
personnel assigned to a weight-loss program.
- Slang for someone who trades on his supposed political
connections in Washington.
Q#17: the acronym FUBIJAR means?
- An obscene phrase that translates as don't give that
Iraqi any responsibility because he's a disaster waiting to
- A request for more to drink – Fill'er Up Bro' I'm
Just About Ripped.
- A play on FUBAR – Fouled Up But I'm Just a
- A somewhat sorrowful refrain – Feelin' Unhappy
Because I'm Just About to Retire.
Q#18: Referring to someone as Ali Baba means?
- Slang for anyone from the Middle East.
- Slang for enemy forces.
- Slang for someone who is behaving stupidly.
- Slang for someone trying to get rich off of others.
Q#19: When the word MARINES is used by soldiers, it
- That other military service where brawn is substituted for
- Guys who can get any girl in a bar because their uniforms
are so attractive.
- An acronym for Mangy Animal Rockheads Introducing Never
- An acronym for Many Americans Running Into Never Ending
Q#20: The initials AZ represent?
- Abbreviation for a proficiency rating after completing a
course of training on Assault Zones.
- Short for Alfa Zulu, which is a greeting between
troops in a combat zone.
- Short hand designation of Al-Qaeda's former Iraqi emir: Abu
- Abbreviation for All Zones, when indicating their
Naval Slang and Terminology
Q#01: When sailors talk about Amateur Night, they are
- Their first night of inebriation after joining the Navy.
- A blind date arranged by a Navy friend who turned out to be
- The day after payday, when nothing seems to go right,
especially shipboard evolutions.
- Man overboard drills conducted in the middle of the
Q#02: The Navy expression Balls to Four means?
- We are winning these war games, no sweat.
- The midnight to four watch.
- Setting the watch to include only the best qualified in the
- An impromptu health and welfare inspection conducted at
Q#03: When sailors speak of the Golden Rivet, they mean?
- The part of a ship that must cross the equator for the crew
to get official credit.
- Earning your first Good Conduct medal.
- The mythical last rivet that completes construction of a
- Getting a special commendation from the Skipper.
Q#04: The slang term Mud Duck refers to?
- A shallow water sailor, like the Coast Guard.
- A Navy ship that has run aground.
- A special drink of chocolate milk and fish sauce served at
- Description of a sailor who has been put on restriction in a
Q#05: On a Navy ship, the FTN Space is?
- The Chief's Mess when it is closed during a formal
- A certain berthing area known to contain many complainers
- The place where a sailor stands at attention during
- A hard to reach space or compartment used by sailors to hide
from officers or chiefs.
Q#06: When sailors refer to the Dirty Shirt Wardroom,
- The laundry area of a ship.
- The engineering spaces.
- Davy Jones' locker.
- A space aboard ship that doesn't require those officers who
enter to be in the uniform of the day.
Q#07: An Oolie on a submarine is?
- The shower/toilet area.
- A difficult question that may not be about your duties or
one that tests your knowledge to the limit.
- A seasick sailor.
- A sonar expert.
Q#08: Speaking in terms of tradition, what does Piping
Hot mean to sailors?
- Originally, that the boatswain's pipe is blowing an
- Originally, meals were announced aboard ship by piping or
blowing a call on the boatswain's pipe.
- Originally, slang for an enlisted man's date waiting on the
- Originally, a musical interlude played for sailors sweating
over their work.
Q#09: In Navy talk, to Punch Elvis means?
- Get so inebriated you need help back to the boat.
- Show disrespect to a Chief Petty Officer.
- Taking another sailor's wife home from a nightclub.
- To eject from an aircraft.
Q#10: To sailors, a Rug Dance is?
- Anxiously waiting for someone to relieve you on watch so
that you can use the toilet.
- Nervous behavior exhibited while waiting in the passageway
before a Captain's Mast.
- An awkward period spent with a senior officer or CPO,
usually in a very intense one-sided conversation.
- The trip down the aisle that a sailor takes who is reluctant
to get married.
Q#11: The traditional expression Show a Leg means?
- A traditional call at reveille; originating in the days of
sailing when women were let aboard ship.
- A traditional way to salute someone who has just been
promoted in rank.
- A traditional signal for a private Chief's mess meeting
that's conducted in a barroom.
- A traditional catcall sounded by sailors from the gun deck
to women on the wharf.
Q#12: The purpose of Dogwatches for sailors is?
- To be a roving watch around the ship in port.
- To allow sailors to privately switch schedules for money.
- To punish sailors by giving everyone onboard a watch at the
- To permit watchstanders to eat the evening meal.
Q#13: Whenever a sailor refers to another sailor as
Walter, it means?
- A term of affection between old drinking buddies.
- Short for Walter One Way, the selfish sailor who
always does for himself and never helps others.
- The other sailor someone is hot racking (sharing) a
bunk with on a crowded ship.
- Short for Walter Under the Waves, the classic
Q#14: A Trim Party to sailors is?
- When all hands are ordered at the same time to help paint
the ship's exterior.
- A private celebration when a sailor is promoted to Third
Class Petty Officer.
- A prank often pulled on a recently qualified Dive Officer or
Chief of the Watch.
- Being assigned to collateral duties that always keep you
late or behind in your regular work.
Q#15: To sailors, Tomachicken is?
- A Tomahawk cruise missile.
- A tuna fish casserole served for chow.
- A shy, reserved sailor who is reluctant to approach women in
- The female offspring of a superior, who are very much
off limits socially.
Q#16: When someone on a Navy ship refers to the
Teakettle, they mean?
- The main galley where the meals are cooked.
- A snack area where coffee and tea are made and served.
- The nuclear engineering plant.
- The operations area, where everyone works under constant
Q#17: Traditionally, a Son of a Gun in Navy terms is?
- A son who joins the Navy, just like his father did.
- The alternate gunner on the watch.
- The dupe who is willing to buy everybody drinks, night after
- A male child born or conceived while afloat.
Q#18: In the Navy, Boy Butter is?
- Something you can't talk about in polite conversation.
- The opposite of elbow grease, when not putting
muscle into a job; a work related put-down.
- A light tan grease used by weapons types on torpedoes.
- Obvious compliments made to a CPO in order to get special
Q#19: On a Navy ship, Gawkers, Walkers and Talkers are?
- Personnel who are off-duty.
- A special inspection team that comes aboard while the ship
is at sea.
- Shipboard surveillance and communication equipment that most
of the crew knows nothing about.
- Civilians who gather in a group on the pier for a private
tour of a ship.
Q#20: In the Navy, J.S. Ragman refers to?
- The Secretary of Defense.
- A dirtbag or screwed-up member of the crew.
- The commanding officer.
- A member of the clean-up crew in the engine room.