combat writing badge

A Glossary of West Point Slang

compiled for the edification of candidates and cadets, their friends and families

Public Notice: this unofficial vocabulary is not authorized by nor affiliated with the United States Military Academy.



a glossary of
West Point Slang
logo of Army mule mascot

compiled for the edification of candidates and cadets, their friends and families


Public Notice: this unofficial vocabulary is not authorized by nor affiliated with the United States Military Academy.



Reference Notes


West Point / USMA patch

expression

definition
AA Air Assault; an Army qualification that may be earned by cadets
AAA Antiaircraft Artillery; a branch specialization in the U.S. Army
Abn Airborne; an Army qualification that may be earned by cadets
The Academy informal reference to West Point or USMA
ACU Army Combat Uniform
ADA Air Defense Artillery, commonly called "missile artillery"; a branch specialization in the U.S. Army
AFC As For Class
AI Additional Instruction
AIAD Academic programs of Individual Advanced Development, such as foreign language, public policy, public administration, and international relations; usually related to a cadet's major, these academic opportunities are developed through the separate academic departments [cf: tutorial, internship, practicum, apprenticeship, understudy]
AMI morning (ante meridiem) inspection
APFT Army Physical Fitness Test
area bird a cadet/candidate who is obliged to serve punishment by walking on the GO ARMY quad
area tour an assigned period of punishment
Army brat the son or daughter of a career Army soldier
arty Artillery; a branch specialization in the U.S. Army
ASAP As Soon As Possible; at once, immediately, forthwith
A squad cadet varsity intercollegiate team
ate up in disarray or dishevelment
authos authorization; permission to miss drill or other company training
AWOL Absent Without Leave
BCT Basic Cadet Training; boot camp
BDU Battle Dress Uniform
bean head Plebe, from the mandatory haircut
beast cadet basic training; from pronouncing the abbreviation "BCT" as an acronym
beast barracks the location for basic training
beat the Dean to pass an academic test
beat your boots to walk-off punishment on the GO ARMY quad
big brass rocket to cheer during sporting events, at the cadets' beckoning for the Supe, Com, Dean, BTO, and the like; also known as "the rocket"
B.J. fresh or lacking in respect; abbreviation for "Bold before June" from the time when Plebe recognition was the day before June graduation
blow off to dismiss something; to ignore or not to worry about something, as "He blew off the assignment."
blow post to depart without permission; also BPP
blues Army dress blue uniform; Army blue Class-A uniform worn by staff
blue-suiter an Army officer wearing the blue Class-A uniform
bogus uncalled for audacity or temerity
bone to study or strive for achievement
boodle cake, cookies, candy, ice cream, etc.
Boodler's the cadet snack store [nb: defunct]
BPP blow post privileges; to go AWOL
brainiac an intelligent person or one who learns quickly, especially one who uses their aptitude in perverse ways; by merging of 'brain' and 'maniac'
brown bar the subdued reddish brown bar of rank for a Second Lieutenant
brutal descriptive of a cadet who has become too inculcated for their own good, and to the detriment of others
BTO Brigade Tactical Officer
Buckghanistan / Bucknam field training scenarios at Camp Buckner
Bugle Notes the handbook of the Corps of Cadets containing historical and required knowledge that's issued to fourth class cadets
bust to reduce in rank as the result of a misconduct proceeding; to revoke the appointment of a cadet
butt the remains of anything, as the butt of a month, the butt of a tour, or the butt of a cigarette
butter bar the golden yellow bar of rank for a Second Lieutenant
cadet a subaltern in a training center, such as a Plebe, Midshipman, or Doolie; literally meaning "small head", as the younger son of a headman, chieftain, captain, or nobleman [cf: cadette]
cadidiot derogatory term for cadets, as of West Point or ROTC; by merging of 'cadet' and 'idiot'
camo camouflage
Camp Buckner field training area near The Academy; also known as "Bucknam" and "Buckghanistan"
cannon cocker artilleryman, Artillery; a branch specialization in the U.S. Army
carry on to resume activity, to go about your business
CBT Cadet Basic Training; also a leadership tour for upperclass cadets
CDLT Cadet Drill Leader Training, being a 30-day summer leadership course option as a subaltern (or "third lieutenant") with an active duty Army basic training unit
cdt abbreviation of 'cadet'
CFT Cadet Field Training, being an 8-week summer course at Camp Buckner; also a leadership tour for upperclass cadets
Charlie Mike phonetic alphabet for the initial letters of Continue Missions
chow mealtime; food served in military facilities
civvies civilian clothes; mufti
class godson in the hoary tradition of primogeniture, the first son born to a member of the class after graduation
classmen divided into Firstie, a first classman or senior; Cow, a second classman or junior; Yearling / Yuk, a third classman or sophomore; Plebe, a fourth classman or freshman; New Cadet (ie: during CBT); Turnback (re-admitted to the next lowest class)
CLDT Cadet Leadership Development Training
CME Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering
Coastie any member of the Coast Guard Academy (USCGA)
cold absolutely without error, as in "a cold max"
Com the Commandant of Cadets
commo signals communication, especially by radio
COR Cadet Observation Report
Corps of Cadets the Long Gray Line of the student body attending West Point; consisting of four regiments (or eight battalions, with each containing four companies; Co A, B, C, D in 1st Bn, and Co E, F, G, H in 2nd Bn) [later extended to three Bns per Rgt]
Corps squader a varsity or JV National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) athlete
Corps whore a civilian female who has dated several different male cadets
Cow a member of the second class; a junior [allegedly derived from cadet resemblance to bloated bovines and/or cows coming home]
CPR Cadet Performance Report [nb: any allusion to cardiopulmonary resuscitation is not unwarranted]
Crab someone who attends the Naval Academy (USNA); Midshipman
crossed idiot sticks Infantry; a branch specialization in the U.S. Army
C-store cadet store
CTLT Cadet Troop Leader Training, being a 30-day summer leadership course option as a subaltern (or "third lieutenant") with an active duty Army unit
D deficient; below average, as in academics
The Days required knowledge for Plebes; signifying the duration to the next major event for the upperclass, and "a finite number for the end of eternity" for the Plebes
death from above catchphrase for the airborne doctrine of vertical envelopment
death from within catchphrase for food prepared and served in military facilities
DFL Department of Foreign Languages
DI Drill Instructor
digitals camouflage uniform
dirt the core geography class taken by Yearlings / Yuks
dirt department Department of Geography
DMI Department of Military Instruction
donkey dick the fuzzy black plume on the full dress hat
double-knock a sharp pair of rapid door raps that's used as a signal preceding the entry of an upperclass cadet or tactical officer (TAC) into a cadet's room, which entry prompts a flurry of formal responses and reports; often a preliminary to harassment or some other special attention
DPE Department of Physical Education
DPE&A Department of Physical Education and Athletics
drag a young lady whom a cadet is escorting
duke the jockstrap (athletic supporter) issued to all male cadets on R-Day [nb: it Has yet to see actual use in any cadet activity!]
elephant an ungainly or graceless cadet who cannot dance, especially one compelled to take lessons
EM Enlisted Man/Men, assigned as staff
emerging leader a cadet who earns a high position of leadership; usually used sarcastically
engineer someone who is well up in studies, a cadet in the upper section in academic work; also, Corps of Engineers, a branch specialization in the U.S. Army
FA Field Artillery; a branch specialization in the U.S. Army
fashion show a form of harassment or punishment wherein the cadet dons, in rapid succession as directed for inspection, each of his complete uniforms, fatigue or dress, summer or winter, including field gear
fatigue tour one hour of punishment [nb: refers to duty, not uniform]
F.D. Full Dress uniform
find to discharge a cadet/candidate for deficiency in studies, conduct, or honor
First Captain cadet commanding the Corps of Cadets,
Firstie a member of the first class; a senior [derived as diminutive]
five and fly an attitude expressive of a graduate who plans to leave the service as soon as his minimal educational obligation is repaid; the intent not to make a career of the military
500th Night a celebration on the Saturday closest to five hundred nights before graduation; a banquet and dance during second (junior) year
flirtie Flirtation Walk; the scenic walk where only cadets and their escorted guests may promenade
floater a person without a table at a meal who stands under the poop-deck waiting to be seated
fried egg insignia of the USMA, worn on the hat or tar bucket
geek an intelligent person or one who learns quickly, especially technical matters
ghost a Fourth Class cadet (Plebe or freshman) who hides in his/her room to avoid the upperclass, or to shirk duties; also refers to an upperclass cadet who is rarely seen around a cadet company
GI Government Issue; property of the U.S. government (not to be used when referring to enlisted personnel)
Goat a cadet in the lower sections; a cadet near the bottom of the class; the lowest ranking cadet on graduation
going black shutting down or closing down, by analogy to a computer shutdown [disengaged or disconnected, not covert or clandestine]
gouge reliable information; apparently derives from older slang for "having the right answers to the test" (cheating)
gray blindfold exhibiting an extreme form of engrossment or preoccupation, insularity or self-absorption, but to an extent beyond reparable damage to one's dignity
gray goggles exhibiting a vacant stare or a disoriented look that's caused by a lack of exposure to the outside world [cf: beer goggles]
gray hog an extremely USMA-/USMAPS-oriented cadet; highly motivated
Gray Matter a brief, weekly e-mail newsletter on West Point, its cadets and graduates; since re-named The Weekly Wrap-Up
green girl comforter on cadet bed
greens Army Class-A uniform worn by staff, commissioned and enlisted
green-suiter an Army officer wearing the green Class-A uniform
gross blundering; disgusting
held report explanation of report
Hell Cats musicians who sound reveille and the calls
hive a cadet standing in the upper 5% of their class academically; a cadet in the upper section in academic work; one who is well up in studies [v: urticaria]
hooah a response meaning 'yes' or 'I understand'
hop cadet dance; compulsory training in etiquette and socialization for knuckle-draggers
hotel night the one night a week when sheets are broken down due to laundry send-out; a routine that's commonly flouted
hours a punishment served by a cadet by walking with their rifle or saber in Central Area on a weekend
HUA a restatement of 'hooah', which response represents "Heard Understood and Acknowledged"
Hudson High sardonic reference to West Point or The Academy
Hudson hip disease symptomatic development of the hips and thighs of female cadets attending West Point
Hudson theta derived from the location of West Point on the Hudson River, and the Greek letter Theta's use as a symbol of a plane angle in geometry
IAD Individual Advanced Development, including MIAD, PIAD, AIAD
IKE Eisenhower Barracks or Eisenhower Hall
Ikette a female who frequents Eisenhower Hall for the sole purpose of picking up a helpless male cadet; a woman who's impressed only by the "man in uniform" image
IOCT Indoor Obstacle Course Test
IRP the command: "Immediate Response, Please"
juice electricity; Electrical Engineering
Junior Bird Man someone who attends the Air Force Academy (USAFA); Doolie
kaydet authorized pronunciation of 'cadet'
kickin' the Dean's butt to do well on a test or assignment
knowledge information that all Plebes (fourth classmen or freshmen) must be able to recite to upperclassmen
late lights cadet room lights on after midnight
limits the boundaries on the reservation to which cadets are restricted
Long Gray Line the Corps of Cadets, from the inception of West Point into the indefinite future
lost 50s the detached end of Scott Barracks, which is separate and distant from other barracks
Mac MacArthur Barracks
max maximum; a complete success, as to make a perfect mark in academic recitation, or to do something perfectly
Meals Ready to Eat this field ration (MRE) is commonly re-named Meals Rejected by Everyone, Meals Refusing to Exit, and Meals Refused by the Enemy
MIAD Military programs of Individual Advanced Development, such as Airborne, Air Assault, Sapper, and SERE
Middie someone who attends the Naval Academy (USNA); Midshipman
minutes the time remaining before a formation or inspection
Missouri National a tune supposed to bring rain; normally sung before parades in hopes of cancellation
Mister Jackson given name of the mule that serves as the Army mascot
MRE Meals Ready to Eat, a field ration
NCO Noncommissioned Officer, assigned as staff
New Cadet a cadet who is not yet officially recognized as a member of the Corps of Cadets (ie: during CBT)
Non-Com informal for Noncommissioned Officer
OAO One And Only; significant other; sweetheart, steady, betrothed, or affiance
OC Officer in Charge; a commissioned officer from the Department of Tactics serving as the Officer of the Day
OD Olive Drab; also, Officer of the Day
Odin the Scandinavian god to whom cadets appeal for supernatural intervention (eg: rain before parades, inspector boredom or blindness, invisibility to upperclass, etc)
OPP Off Post Privileges; authorized absence
Old Corps the way things used to be at USMA (ie: "When dinosaurs roamed the plain...."; in reality, when the Firsties were Plebes)
Old Grad someone who has graduated from The Academy
100th Night a celebration on the Friday and Saturday closest to one hundred nights before graduation; the final class event during first (senior) year, including parodies and skits of class
P a professor; academic instructor; the teacher of a course or subject
PDA Public Display of Affection. Also, a Personal Digital Assistant (eg: Palm Pilot, Blackberry)
PIAD Physical programs of Individual Advanced Development, such as scuba and rock climbing
ping the quick pace for a Plebe to walk (180 steps per minute)
pioneer Engineer; a branch specialization in the U.S. Army
pip an emblem of emulated rank or a badge of office bestowed upon subalterns in military training, especially metallic ROTC insignia
Plebe a cadet of the fourth class; a freshman [v: pleb, plebeian]
Plebe Bible "Bugle Notes", the handbook of the Corps of Cadets
Plebe quarter-mile a timed evolution that requires that Plebes transit campus (from Arvin to Thayer), change uniforms (from PT to AFC), and report within the specified 15 minute passing period
PMI afternoon (post meridiem) inspection
Pointer View weekly publication about cadet life and activities
police to clean up, straighten up, or discard
poop information to be memorized
poop-deck the balcony in the USMA Cadet Mess from which orders are published (ie: read aloud to the Corps of Cadets)
poop-sheet a page of information
poopster a USMAPS candidate/graduate
pop-off to sound off in a military manner; a directive to sound off in a military manner
post directive to "take your post" or to "assume (or resume) your proper position", as in formation or on guard duty
p-rade parade
preppy a USMAPS candidate/graduate
prepster a USMAPS candidate/graduate
pro proficient, being above passing; also used to refer to attractive dates of cadets as likewise being "above passing"
promotion to place a fourth classman (Plebe or freshman) on upperclass status
prop jockey slang for the pilot of a propeller-driven aircraft, either rotary ("chopper") or fixed wing ("slow mover"), also known as "rotor head"; qualification for Aviation, a branch specialization in the U.S. Army [cf: USAF "jet jockey"]
pro word a specialized procedure word used to improve communications
PT Physical Training
pull out to barely complete an assignment on time and meeting only the minimum standards
quill a report for delinquency
rabble rouser cadet cheerleader
rack cadet bed; also, to sleep
Ranger specialized infantry training in scouting and patrolling; an Army qualification that may be earned by cadets
rathole dismissive characterization of a cadet's unkempt room
R-Day Reception Day; date for reporting and registration at USMA
RD=FC Rough Draft equals Final Copy; the art of completing a paper or project in one sitting
recognize to place a fourth classman (Plebe or freshman) on a first-name basis with an upperclass cadet
Recondo a specialized infantry training course at West Point in scouting and patrolling
ring-knocker a West Point graduate who flaunts such status, and attempts to exploit it [nb: USMA was the first school to use finger-rings as a unified symbol; obtained informally from 1835, then designed by a committee in each class after 1869; after 1917, each class ring must bear the USMA initials, motto, crest, eagle, saber, and other elements, although the stone is individual to each graduate]
RHIP Rank Hath Its Privileges (and responsibilities)
rock an individual who struggles in academics and "sinks" to the bottom of the class; "Rock Math" is the lowest section in Plebe Math
Rock Squad Remedial Swimming an additional class for Plebe non-swimmers
roger a procedure word meaning "I understand", that's used to expedite communication
room con confinement to quarters, as a punishment for breach of discipline
ROTC Reserve Officer's Training Corps; a commissioning program in select colleges and universities
rotor head helicopter Aviation; a branch specialization in the U.S. Army
RTO Regimental Tactical Officer. Also, Radio Telephone Operator; radioman or phone talker
sack cadet bed; also, to sleep
sally port the arched entrances into the barracks areas; from the gateway in fortifications
SAMI Saturday morning (ante meridiem) inspection
Sapper specialized training in explosives and undermining for military engineers; an Army qualification that may be earned by cadets
SERE Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape training program, an Army qualification that may be earned by cadets; this 3-week course has been expanded to "Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape, Recovery" (SERER) so as to include rescue modalities
SF Special Forces; a branch specialization in the U.S. Army
sham to shirk; to avoid work or duty, to evade responsibility; to take the easy way out
short close to graduation
skinny information; derived from the intramural tutoring in physics and astronomy that's needed for satisfactory course completion
skivvies underwear, underclothing
slam to impose a special punishment on someone for a serious offense
slug a special punishment for a serious offense, which may result in a loss of privileges, special fatigue duty, walking punishment tours, or confinement to room during off duty hours; also, a lazy cadet, one who's out of shape, one who's not pulling his load, or one who's not doing his duty
slug-stopper to barely complete an assignment on time and meeting only the minimum standards
smack someone whose unmilitary bearing is disgusting
snake someone who has or who will cut-in on dance partners at hops; to cut in
solids Engineering Mechanics
SOD Senior Officer of the Day
SOG Senior Officer of the Guard
SOP Standing Operating Procedure; Standard Operating Procedure
sound off to voice a response powerfully; to shout loud and clear, so as to be heard and understood at a distance. Also, to direct a cadet to reply or recite in a military manner. Also, to count off or count cadence
South Hudson Institute of Technology sardonic reference to West Point or The Academy
spaz to make a gross error; an inept or maladroit cadet who repeatedly makes gross errors
spec to memorize verbatim, as "to spec blind"
spec and dump to memorize material long enough to pass a test, then forget it
spoon up to put in proper order, to clean up
spoony neat and tidy in personal appearance
spoony button a removable silver button on the white trousers issued to new cadets, which was presented to one's girlfriend as a token of commitment [nb: this tradition has purportedly been lost]
squared away fit, ready, reliable; competent and well-prepared
Squid someone who attends the Naval Academy (USNA); Midshipman
Star Man an academically-distinguished cadet/candidate
storm when said of things, a disordered condition; when said of people, a nervous haste
STRAC Straight, Tough, and Ready Around the Clock; being organized and excellent in appearance
straight observant of the rules; organized, dutiful
Striper a cadet captain
subaltern a subordinate, especially an officer trainee; formerly known as "third lieutenant"
Supe the Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy
TAC a tactical officer assigned to supervise the four classes in a cadet company
TAC NCO a tactical noncommissioned officer assigned to supervise the cadets in a company
tanker Armor; a branch specialization in the U.S. Army
tar bucket parade hat
TED an intelligent person or one who learns quickly. Also, Tactical Eye Device
TEE Term End Examination; final exams or finals; formerly known as Written General Review (WGR)
Thayer Angle the angle a saber makes on the hip of a female Firstie while dressed under arms
Thayer Week a week with numerous graded events
tie up to make a gross error
tour one hour's punishment walk on the area; a period of duty, as a fatigue or guard tour
trade school a military service academy (eg: USMA, USNA, USAFA, USCGA)
Trophy Point overlooking the Hudson River with trophies from the Mexican War
trou trousers; also, a female cadet
Turnback a re-admitted cadet sent to the next lowest class
Tweedledum 'n' Tweedledee any two persons who are nominally different but are practically indistinguishable; being as alike as a nearly identical pair, a twin set, or two peas in a pod
2% Club informal league of cadets who have sustained a committed relationship with the same individual throughout their USMA attendance, from R-Day through graduation
2.0 and go the practice of meeting the minimum passing grade
unsat unsatisfactory performance; an evaluation or rating for unsatisfactory performance
USMA United States Military Academy; West Point or The Academy
USMAPS United States Military Academy Preparatory School; a preliminary course established for enlisted (EM/NCO) candidates to become West Point cadets
victory lap the extra year a Firstie (first classman or senior) turnback spends at The Academy
walrus someone who cannot swim
The Weekly Wrap-Up a brief, weekly e-mail newsletter on West Point, its cadets and graduates; formerly known as Gray Matter
went-off special attention from an upperclass cadet
WGR Written General Review; final exams or finals; redesignated Term End Examination (TEE)
wife cadet roommate
wig-wagger signaler, Signal Corps; a branch specialization in the U.S. Army
wilco a procedure word meaning "(I) will comply", that's used to expedite communication
Woo-Poo-U informal for West Point University; USMA
woops the derisive sound made by members of other service academies when they see a USMA cadet or USMAPS candidate; purportedly derives from the noise made by the flying monkeys (which also seem to be wearing full dress West Point uniforms) in The Wizard of Oz
wopper pronunciation of 'WOPR', a Written Oral Partial Review
WOPR Written Oral Partial Review
the word current information; the latest update
WPPA West Point Protective Association; the ostensible gang of thugs that rescues any malefactor or transgressor to preserve the "honor" of The Academy or the Long Gray Line; a secret "old boy's club"
WPPWE West Point Professional Writing Examination, administered during English course in compositional writing
WPR Written Partial Review; major exam or midterm examination
writ a written recitation; an examination
Yearling a member of the third class; a sophomore [deriv: horse aged over one year]
you fly, I buy catchphrase meaning that "I'll pay for the food if you'll go get it"
Yuk a member of the third class; a sophomore; derived as an epithet for the marginal appearance and comportment of cadets who have escaped the rigorous scrutiny of Plebe year, hence the contrivance of a euphemistic acronym: Young Upper-Klassman
Zoomie someone who attends the Air Force Academy (USAFA); Doolie





MilTerms
index
S-1:
ADMIN
S-2:
INTEL
S-3:
OPNS
S-4:
QM
S-5:
CA
S-6:
COMMO
Site
Map
Home
Page





C O M B A T