It has been brought to my attention that we in the military have our own version of the English language and that certain words as common in usage to us and hence used broadly here are as foreign to civilians as is Fahrvernuegen is to an Afghan farmer. As readers note strange words and acronyms, they will be added to the list here.
CinC: Commander in Chief, used alone, this will generally refer to the POTUS.
CinC-NATO: would be the Commander in Chief of NATO Forces.
POTUS: President Of The United States (SCOTUS: Supreme Court)
REMF: Rear Eschelon M**** F***** This is no longer politically correct and often these are now referred to as Fobbits. (See Military College of Cussing)
Fobbit: Soldiers that spend their entire combat tour in the safety of a large Forward Operating Base. Not all fobbits are REMF's, but if the fobbit screws up your pay or mail, or writes you a ticket for a uniform violation, they are a REMF.
Glory Hound: The guy that does nothing to achieve success, but claims responsibility after it's attained. Often these are officers.
NCO: Non-Commissioned Officer. They started out as privates in basic, have years of experience and are the true leaders of troops. These are Sergeants.
WO/CWO: Warrant Officer/Chief Warrant Officer, the O is generally replaced with a number 1 to 5 denoting rank. Warrants aren't NCO's and they're not really officers. Their pay is in between and they are "experts" in their fields. They started life as enlisted, ie. Privates but chose to give up responsibility and leadership for the sake of pay.
"O's" are Officers. They are Gentlemen by an act of Congress. Nuff Said.
CO: Commanding Officer, usually the Company Commander.
PL: Platoon Leader, an LT, signed for by a PSG, Platoon Sergeant, generally a Sergeant First Class (E7), who is responsible to train the LT and try to keep him out of trouble as well as find him when he gets lost.
Top: 1st Sergeant, a Master Sergeant (E8)in charge of a Company. Technically, he's the advisor to the CO.
"Sergeant, Are you signed for that Lieutenant?" NCO's are not only in charge of training Privates, but also Lieutenants, fresh out of college, higher paid and technically outranking them.
LT: Lieutenant. They're like puppies, fun to play with and cute, but not housebroken. Give them a map and compass if they're in the way. They'll get lost in about 10 seconds.
GPS: Global Positioning Satelites (and the devices they communicate with). They will tell you are within a meter, anywhere on earth, unless the batteries are dead, the screen cracked, or the signal blocked by mountains, buildings or metal roofs. (No batteries in a map or compass.) Another way to get an LT lost. Never, ever let the LT control the movement.
Troops: The whole lot of them, regardless of service.
Trooper: Cavalry Soldier. State Highway Patrolman.
Troop: Single of Troops. A particular sized unit in the Cavalry, about the same size as a Company.
Soldier, Buddy-Team, Fire Team, Squad, Platoon, Company, Battalion, Brigade, Division, Corps, Army, Department of the Army, Department of Defense: Progressively larger units in the Conventional Army.
"Group:" A bunch of Soldiers of no particular size above being given a command, normally to get into a formation.
Group: Another way of saying "Special Forces Group," A Brigade sized unit capable of running a war pretty much by itself. 1/3rd of 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) was responsible for taking Afghanistan from the Taliban. They allowed a few zoomies and some spooks to tag along.
Spook: CIA agents, generally. They are not officially in existence and many have a desire to be far away. They can screw up a wet dream, usually by paying 100x the going rate for substandard service.
CA: Civil Affairs. These are huggy types of the Army (and now Marines). They do the HA (Humanitarian Aid) work for the Army, winning hearts and minds, etc. They build schools, hospitals and other very important work, but can be overly optimistic about the good will generated. They're job is to talk and they can talk way too much.
PA: Public Affairs. Their job is to talk to the press. It's hard to say which is more dangerous to tell a secret to, PA or CA.
550 Cord: The string used to tie a paratrooper to his parachute, as well as tie everything else in the Army. It is rated at 550 lbs. 550 cord must be burnt/fused on the ends when cut.
100 Mile Per Hour Tape: Used to hold planes together, or anything else. Its like duct tape for the Army but better and green. Jarheads have a bad habit of calling it "Riggers Tape."
Deck: the wooden structure found behind many homes and used for barbques and parties. Contrary to Squids and Jarheads, it is NOT the floor of a building, nor the dirt beneath one's feet.
Head: the thing that sets above your shoulders, attached to your neck. Contrary to Squids and Jarheads, it is NOT a Latrine.
Latrine: a Military Restroom and may or may not include a shower (and hence showerhead) which is probably what caused Squids to get confused. Multiple syllables can be difficult for them.
Lima Charlie: Loud and Clear. The response when you can hear the other person well on the radio or have just been instructed to do something, particularly if your disagreement with it is well known. As with so many words, the Military changes them to initials and then uses the phonetic alphabet, resulting in a response just as long or longer than the original words.
Mikes: Phonetic for M, short of Minutes or Miles.
K: Short for kilometers.
"Broken and Unreadable:" the opposite of Lima Charlie.
"Broken and Stupid:" I understood the words but what you just said makes as much sense as going to the latrine for a hot breakfast. Often heard in reply to a LT on the radio.
Rank: The title before a Soldiers name, i.e. Sergeant XX
Grade: The pay grade, i.e, E5, O5, CW5 (Sergeant, Lieutenant Colonel, Chief Warrant Officer-5)
Navy Ranks: don't ask.
Air Force Ranks: designed to induce mass counting.
Squids: Navy. Sailors, Seamen.
Zoomies: Air Force. Airmen.
Jarheads: Marines, Leathernecks. Department of Navy.
Soldier: Army Servicemember, not a Zoomie, Squid nor Jarhead
Devil Dog, Devil Dawg, Teufelhund: A nickname given to Jarheads in WWI, whether originally coined by Germans, or Recruiters, Teufelhund means Devil Dog, as in a devilish dog straight out of hell. It doesn't mean the Devil's (pet) Dog or "Teufelshund" as the "Rumor Doctor" tried to argue. Jarheads are pretty proud of the nickname and use it the same way Soldiers use "Joe."
Dogface: Infantry Soldier.
Infante: Spanish for Marine or infant.
Gun Bunny: Artillery Soldier. (pertinent to the storyline of DeltaBravoSierra)
Joe: Army, Soldiers, Lower enlisted, Any Private, Any Soldier, Every Private. Joe will get in trouble. Joe can break anything, including a diamond while he is contained in a padded room.
"Joe-Proof:" Supposedly unbreakable. Joe can break it. It'll just take him longer.
"Joe:" Direct address to any Soldier you don't know and can't identify.
"Hey Joe:" If you are Joe, this is the time to pretend you can't hear. Don't turn. Don't look. Nothing good comes from this. Usually it's a butt chewing or an extra detail. Whoever it is doesn't know your name, yet. He must be calling someone else.
Jody: Someone willing to risk his life to get laid. This will require its own article, but Jody is always trying to steal Joe's girl.
FUBAR: F***ed Up Beyond All Recognition. Or as the Rangers told the Intelligence geek: it's a German word.
Military Intelligence: Yes, it truely is an oxymoron.
RUMINT: Rumor Intelligence. This is the most common kind. If MI was as prolific as RUMINT, we'd know who killed Kennedy and how many ants reside in the Amazon, rounded to the nearest tenth. RUMINT becomes orders when it is well spun. Seen it happen from the initial story by an E5 (Sergeant) to implementation by an O5 (Lieutenant Colonel).
Green Beret: A hat worn by Special Forces.
Black Beret: Hat stolen from Army Rangers by General Shinseki, bought from China, and given to everyone, because "it would make them feel elite."
Maroon Beret: Hat worn by Army Airborne Paratroopers.
Dope on a Rope: Air Assault qualified Soldiers.
LEG: Low Eschelon Ground troops. (Non-Airborne) All LEG's are by definition "dirty nasty LEG's"
5 Jump Chump: Graduate of Airborne School who has not yet ( and may never) made their "Cherry Jump"
Cherry: Recent graduate of Airborne School, making their first jump with their unit. (6th Jump)
Paratrooper: Soldier that jumps out of planes ready to fight.
PLF: Parachute Landing Fall. It takes a week at Airborne School to teach you how to fall down. No really, falling down is a critical part of being a Paratrooper. Those that don't do it right break bones.
Dynamic PLF: A well-executed way of falling down. One Paratrooper at Bragg survived a fall from 1250 feet with two failed parachutes and no broken bones. When asked how, his answer was "Dynamic PLF." That's how important it is to know how to fall down.
Mustard Stain: The yellow star worn on airborne wings denoting a combat jump. Highly prized, Paratroopers will take great risk to get one. Few Paratroopers have two.
Sheep: The Protected. People that do not have the desire or ability to protect themselves.
Wolf: The Bad Guys. These are the ones that prey on the "sheep." Includes Criminals and Terrorists.
Sheepdogs: The Protectors. They are willing to commit violence to protect the sheep, but will not purposely harm the sheep. Generally Troops and Police Officers.
A person can during various parts of their lives be any or all of the above. See the article: "On Sheep, Wolves, & Sheepdogs" by LTC Grossman.
A civilian that actively participates in their own security is a Sheepdog.
Political Correctness: The 2nd biggest detriment to the effectiveness of the Army.
Risk Aversion: The biggest detriment to winning battles, wars, and bring the Troops home safely.
Clearing Barrel: The place designated forJoe to have accidental discharges with unloaded weapons. As part of the Risk Aversion program, Joe is not allowed to carry a loaded weapon while on FOBs in the combat zone. As such, Joe treats the weapon as he would any other heavy piece of metal he has to carry around.
Reflective Belt: After paying thousands of dollars to give Joe the best camoflauge the Army can find, the Army will write him a ticket if he doesn't wear a reflective belt on a FOB in a combat zone. We don't want the Taliban to accidently run Joe over. (more risk aversion)
AD/ND: Accidental Discharge/Negligent Discharge A bullet discharged from a firearm unintentionally. Marines don't like "AD" because the Army thought it up.
Tangos: Targets. Bad Guys. Terrorists.
ACM: Anti Coalition Militants. There are a multitude of acronyms for them but
BG: Bad Guys is the most pertinent.
Indian Country: the place where the BG's are. It is named due to the similarity to the American Southwest, aka the Badlands, aka Indian Country.
The Alamo: the nickname of half the firebases in Afghanistan.
Firebase: small outposts in Indian Country far from other friendly forces, hence the preferred nickname.
MoM: Mother of Marine, you're safer being between a Grizzly Bear and her cub than messing with a MoM's Marine. More ferocious than a Wolverine, and in packs bigger than Wolves, you're likely to find yourself set upon by a Batallion of Veterans if you make the mistake of fighting back. So just play nice, and enjoy the sweet cookies instead.
What did I miss?