A Glossary of Military Terminology, Jargon, and Slang
compiled and edited by Jeff Crowell

Flight Deck Jersey Color Code Appendix

Flight Deck Jersey Color Code

Note: further identification may be provided by color-coded cranies, additional markings on jerseys (such as a red cross for medical personnel, squadron identifiers on troubleshooters, etc.).




Yellow Jersey
(Yellowshirts) :
Aircraft Handling Officer
(ACHO, Handler) -
Exercises overall supervision of embarked aircraft and assists the Air Boss in the conduct of flight operations;
Flight Deck Officer - Responsible for safe and timely operations, training of flight deck personnel, readiness, maintenance, and material condition of the flight deck and aircraft handling support equipment;
Catapult Officer
(Shooter) -
Responsible to the Air Boss, via the ACHO, for the safe and efficient operation of launch equipment;
Aircraft Crash and Salvage Officer
(Air Bosun) -
Supervises crash crews and fire parties. Also ensures the readiness of assigned personnel, firefighting, and salvage equipment;
Arresting Gear Officer
(AGO, The Hook) -
Responsible to the Air Boss, via the ACHO, for the safe and efficient operation of recovery equipment and crew;
Plane Directors
(Taxi Director) -
Provide visual signals to cockpit crews in guiding aircraft movement.
White Jerseys :
Safety Officer
and crew -
Responsible for the overall safety of flight deck operations;
Air Transport Officer
(ATO) -
Coordinates loading, unloading, and movement of all air cargo and passengers;
Landing Signal Officer - Ensures that each aircraft remains within safe parameters during landing operations via radio and visual signals;
Squadron Plane Inspectors
(Troubleshooters) -
Responsible for safety and inspection of aircraft;
Medical - Provide immediate medical assistance and treatment to flight deck personnel as needed.
Blue Jersey
(Blueshirts) :
Aircraft Handling and Chock Crewmen
(Chock and Chain Gang) -
Responsible for handling and securing all aircraft with wheel chocks and tiedown chains, also operate handling equipment such as tractors and aircraft starting units (huffers);
Elevator Operators - Operate the deck edge aircraft elevators.
Red Jerseys
(Redshirts) :
Crash and Salvage
(Crash and Smash Crew) -
Responsible for fighting aircraft fires and rescue of aircrews and flight deck personnel, and operate all mobile firefighting and crash-and-salvage equipment;
Ordnance Officer - Responsible for the movement, handling, and loading of aircraft ordnance;
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer
and Crew -
Disarm, neutralize, and dispose of defective ordnance;
Ordnance handlers
(BB Stackers) -
Move, load, and unload ordnance on aircraft.
Purple Jerseys
(Grapes) :
Aviation Fuel Crews - Fuel and defuel aircraft, also provide gasoline and lube oil as needed.
Green Jerseys :
Catapult Safety Observer - Representative of the Launching Officer, ensures all flight deck crew follow launch procedures and precautions;
Topside Safety Petty Officer
(TSPO) -
Ensures that holdbacks and repeatable release assemblies are installed, and that the aircraft's launch bar is seated in the catapult shuttle;
Holdback Personnel - Install holdbacks and repeatable release assemblies;
Centerdeck Operator - Communicates with catapult control, relaying aircraft type, gross weight, side number, and capacity selection valve settings for the launching officer;
Jet Blast Deflector
(JBD) Operator -
Raises and lowers the JBDs for each catapult;
Weight Board Operator - Verifies aircraft gross weight with the aircrew as a final check before launch;
Topside Petty Officer - Supervises the arresting gear topside crew;
Deck Edge Operator - Retracts the arresting gear after recovery of an aircraft;
Hook Runner - Ensures cross-deck pendant and purchase cable have been disengaged from the aircraft's tailhook;
Deck Checker - Ensures the landing area is FOD-free, the arresting wire is in position, and all personnel, aircraft, and deck gear are clear of the landing area;
Aircraft Maintenance Crew - Maintain the aircraft;
Landing Signal Enlisted
(LSE) -
Directs takeoff and landing of helicopters with visual signals;
Photographer - Captures still and video images of flight deck operations for documentation and media requests.
Brown Jerseys
(Brownshirts, Turd Shirts) :
Plane Captain - Responsible for cleanliness and general condition of assigned aircraft, also ensure aircraft is inspected and serviced before and after each flight.

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