Misc Military Jargon and Stuff

Here is much of the military jargon and “extra stuff” that didn’t seem to fit on other pages in this site; but, which were of such interest that they should be included.

The JAG “Mill rinde”

The official insignia of the JAG Corps consists of two gold oak leaves, curving to form a semicircle in the center of which is balanced a silver “mill rinde” [sic], In ancient France, the fer de moline, or millrind, was a symbol of equal justice for all under the law. The two counterbalancing oak leaves are identical and connote the scales upon which justice is weighed. Oak leaves denote a corps, and symbolize strength, particularly the strength of the hulls of the early American Navy, which were oak-timbered. In the milling of grains, the millrind was used to keep the stone grinding wheels an equal distance apart to provide consistency in the milling process. It, thus, symbolizes that the wheels of justice must grind exceedingly fine and exceptionally even. In the 16th century, this symbol was adopted in England as a symbol for lawyers.

The millrind can also be found in both the Staff Corps Officers Specialty Insignia and in the Enlisted Rating Insignia (LN Legalman).

General Naval Military Jargon

Aft –
Toward the stern or “blunt end of the boat”
Anchor Clanker –
Boatswains mates
Air(e)dale –
Naval personnel connected with Naval aviation
Bilge –
to fail or do terribly at something
Bird Farm –
an Aircraft Carrier
Black shoe –
Naval personnel NOT connected with Naval aviation
Blue nose –
a sailor who has crossed the Arctic circle
Blue water Ops –
operations in the open ocean (as opposed to Gulfs, etc.). Denotes the logistics support available to sustain ops away from land bases
Bohica –
Bend over, here it comes again
Bravo Zulu –
Well done (from the NATO code for “well done”)
Bug Juice –
Sort of like Kool Aid
Bulkhead –
Wall or other device delineating a compartment
Cannon cocker –
a Gunner’s Mate
Captain’s Mast –
Informal hearing by the unit, ship or station commander. Usually for relatively minor offenses not a court-martial
Catapult (or cat) –
A device which literally hurls aircraft into the air off an aircraft carrier
Charlie Sierra –
chicken sh*t. Stupid stuff
Chief –
A Chief Petty Officer
Coffee pot –
a nuclear reactor (aka teakettle)
Compartment –
Room or space in barracks or ship
Crow –
the bird on the rating insignia worn by petty officers along with some chevrons
Deck –
The floor or a level on a ship
Deck ape –
Boatswain’s Mates (aka Knuckledraggers)
Deep 6 –
to throw something overboard (or away)
Delta Sierra –
Dumb “Sh*t” – stupid
Dixie cups –
a sailors white hat or any sailor under E-7
Dog watch –
a 2-hour versus the usual 4-hour watch
Field Day –
to thoroughly clean from top to bottom
Forward –
Toward the bow or “pointy end of the boat”
“Fouled” Up Beyond All Belief
“Fouled” Up Beyond All Repair
Gear adrift –
anything not properly stowed or tied down
Gedunk (or Geedunk) –
store which sells candy, soft drinks, ice cream, etc…
Goat Locker –
Chief’s mess and quarters on a ship
Gouge –
The “straight scoop”, inside information
GQ –
General Quarters
Gundeck –
to “pencil-whip” a task, sign off as complete without performing it (often done with inspections)
Gut bomb –
Navy chow
Gyrene –
A member of the Marine Corps
Head –
Jack –
a flag at the bow of the ship
Jar head –
Another word for a Gyrene
JG –
A Lieutenant Junior Grade
Knee-knockers –
the phlange around the oval-shaped watertight doors. The lip of the opening is roughly 18″ off the deck – just about shin level!
Knuckledraggers –
Boatswain’s Mates (aka deck apes)
Liberty –
Going ashore or into town when off duty
Lid –
the hat or dixie cup
Mail buoy watch –
watch duty assigned as a joke on new crewmembers. There is no such thing as a “mail buoy”
No joy –
Used in describing to someone that a task or action yielded negative results.
Oxygen Breathing Apparatus –
an oxygen generation and recycling unit worn during firefighting
On-station –
the ship is at it’s designated place
One MC –
the PA system on the ship
Overhead –
the ceiling
Port –
If facing forward, the left side of the ship. Also, of course, a harbor
Rollers –
hot dogs, frankfurters
Sandcrab –
civilian contractor aboard ship
Sea Bat –
a joke pulled on anyone gullible enough. Usually ends with the jokers whacking the joke with brooms
Scuttlebutt –
Water fountain. Also rumors, etc., generally associated with being spread at the water fountain
Shellback –
anyone who has crossed the Equator and gone thru the initiation. All others are Pollywogs
Sierra Hotel –
Sh*t Hot! The best
Splice the Main Brace –
have an alcoholic drink
Stanchion –
Any pole or pillar used to support the overhead
Starboard –
If facing forward, the right side of the ship
Steel beach –
use of the deck for barbeque, games, etc. A party aboard the ship
Squid –
What Gyrenes call sailor-types
Sliders –
Hamburgers (with lids=cheeseburgers)
Tea kettle –
a nuclear reactor (aka coffee pot)
Titless WAVE –
a male Yeoman
Tits up –
broken, inoperative, dead
UNderway REPlenishment – taking on supplies, ammo, fuel, etc., while still moving thru the water
VERtical REPlenishment – taking on supplies, ammo, fuel, etc., while underway from the air (ie helicopters)
Watch my six –
watch my back, or “cover” me
Zero –
Any officer…from the “O” in their pay grades

Naval Aviator’s Military Jargon

Anti-Aircraft Artillery (flak)
Air Combat Maneuvering (dog fighting)
Afterburner (AB or ‘Burner) –
Feature on high-performance jet engines where raw fuel is dumped directly into the hot exhaust, which nearly triples thrust (but also fuel consumption)
the Russian trawlers that trail every carrier task force everywhere they go
Alert 5 –
an aircraft ready to launch in 5 minutes. The crew is/are seated in the aircraft, it is fuelled and armed. It simply needs to be started and launched. There may be aircraft and crews on “Alert 15”, etc…
Arresting Gear –
the wires and associated machinery which stop the aircraft on the flight deck
Ball –
the image created by the Fresnel lens. Denotes glideslope information for a landing pilot
Bandit –
positively ID’d bad guy
Barricade –
a mesh net designed to stop an aircraft that has missed the arresting wires
Bingo –
fuel state so low that a pilot must either hit a tanker or RTB
Bird Farm –
an aircraft carrier
Blue shirt –
an Aviation Boatswains Mate. Positioning and chaining down of aircraft (aka knuckledragger)
Bogey –
an unidentified contact
Bolter –
missing the arresting wires on a carrier landing (IF the landing gear contacts the deck)
Brown shirt –
a plane captain
Colorful actions –
dangerous flight actions
Driver –
a pilot
Aluminum cloud –
An F-14 (They’re HUGE aircraft)
Arresting Gear –
Heavy steel cables stretched across the flight deck to catch incoming aircraft. The cables are connected to braking devices
B.E.S. –
Blinding Electronic Speed
Blower –
Borex –
BORing EXcercise
Buster –
Full military power — go fast
Combat Air Patrol
Centurion –
A pilot who has made 100 arrested landings on a carrier. (there are double centurions, etc)
Drop lights –
red lights arranged below the round down at the aft end of the carrier for night landing lineup
Fighter-Attack Guy. A Hornet driver
F.M. –
Fu**ing Magic
Foreign Object Damage. A very small object sucked into a jet engine can damage the turbine blades
FOD Walkdown –
anybody who can be spared is incorporated into a line which walks the flight deck from end to end and picks up even the most minute pieces of trash
Foul Deck –
a flight deck which is not ready for landings due to any reason (previous landed aircraft not taxied clear, arresting gear not ready, etc.)
Fox one –
A Sparrow air-to-air missile
Fox two –
A Sidewinder air-to-air missile
Fox three –
A Phoenix air-to-air missile
Fur Ball –
big dogfight
Grapes –
the purple-shirted fuel crew on a carrier
Hangar Queen –
An aircraft which has chronic “down” problems. Often cannibalized for spare parts
Huffer –
cart used to provide compressed air to jet engines during startup
JP-4, JP-5 –
Jet fuel (or coffee)
Judy –
an aircraft has radar contact with the target and needs no further assistance to prosecute
Knuckledragger –
Aviations Boatswains Mate – positioning and chaining down of aircraft. (aka blue shirt)
Lights out –
radar off
Low pass –
landing attempt when the landing gear does not contact the flight deck at all
Liquid Oxygen
Landing Signals Officer. Aids pilots in landing aboard the carrier (aka “Paddles”)
1: Magnetic Anomaly Detection (finds submarines); or, 2: Marine Aviation Detachment
Nugget –
Rookie pilot
Nylon letdown –
Ejection and subsequent parachute ride
Oh-dark thirty –
Any time between midnight and sunrise
Ordie –
an ordnanceman, one who handles ammunition, bombs, missiles, etc…
Paddles –
Landing Signals Officer – aids pilots in landing aboard a carrier
Padeye –
a tiedown point usually sunk below flight deck or flight line level
Paint –
to illuminate an aerial target with radar
Passing gas –
aerial tanking
Pinkie –
a trap (carrier landing) at dawn or dusk which is generally counted as a night landing (night landings are graded and recorded separately from day traps.)
Plastic bug –
an F/A-18 Hornet, so called because of the amount of plastics and composites used in it’s construction
Plumber –
A bad pilot
Prang –
crash, bend or break an aircraft
Pucker factor –
the amount of tension or stress in any situation
R2D2 –
Radio-Intercept Officer (F-14) or Bombardier/Navigator (A-6)
Ramp strike –
to hit the round down of the carrier
Round-down –
the very back end of the flight deck; it is slightly rounded off
Return To Base
SA –
Situational Awareness, most often used in aviation to describe a pilot’s alertness to the situation surrounding him/her
Shooter –
catapult officer. The one who directs the actual firing of the catapult
Six (or Six O’clock) –
the area immediately to the rear of your aircraft
Skosh –
usually used by aviators to describe a nearly 0 fuel state
Splash –
an air-to-air kill (esp. over water)
Squawk –
to use an IFF device to identify yourself using a special code
Sweatex –
any busy, tense exercise
Tailhook –
A hook on carrier borne aircraft which catch the Arresting Gear Wires
Trap –
an arrested carrier landing
Vulture’s Row –
Catwalks and galleries where crewmembers not on duty can observe flight ops
Wave off –
signal from the LSO to abort the present landing attempt and go around again. Could be bad approach, foul deck
Zone five –
Maximum afterburners

Anchors Aweigh

Stand Navy out to sea, fight our battle cry;
We’ll never change our course, so vicious foe steer shy-y-y-y.
Roll out the TNT, Anchors aweigh! Sail on to victory
And sink their bones to Davy Jones, hooray!

Anchors aweigh, my boys, anchors aweigh.
Farwell to foreign shores, we sail at break of day-ay-ay-ay.
Through our last night ashore, drink to the foam,
Until we meet once more. Here’s wishing you a happy voyage home.

Blue of the mighty deep, gold of God’s great son.
Let these our colors be till all of time be done, done, done, done.
On the seven seas we learn Navy’s stern call:
Faith, courage, service true, with honor, over honor, over all.

Marine Corps Hymn

From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli,
We fight our country’s battles in the air, on land and sea.
First to fight for right and freedom, and to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title of United States Marine.

Our flag’s unfurled to every breeze from dawn to setting sun.
We have fought in every clime and place, where we could take a gun.
In the snow of far off northern lands and in sunny tropic scenes,
You will find us always on the job, The United States Marines.

Here’s health to you and to our Corps, which we are proud to serve.
In many a strife we’ve fought for life and never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy ever look on heaven’s scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines.

US Marine Corps Core Values

Generation after generation of American men and women have given special meaning to the title United States Marine. These same men and women live by a set of enduring Core Values which forms the bedrock of their character. The Core Values give Marines strength and regulate their behavior; they bond the Marine Corps into a total force that can meet any challenge.

Honor guides Marines to exemplify the ultimate in ethical and moral behavior; to never lie cheat or steal; to abide by an uncompromising code of integrity; respect human dignity; and respect others. The quality of maturity, dedication, trust and dependability commit Marines to act responsibly; to be accountable for their actions; to fulfill their obligations; and to hold others accountable for their actions.

Courage is the mental, moral and physical strength ingrained in Marines. It carries them through the challenges of combat and helps them overcome fear. It is the inner strength that enables a Marine to do what is right; to adhere to a higher standard of personal conduct; and to make tough decisions under stress and pressure.

Commitment is the spirit of determination and dedication found in Marines. It leads to the highest order of discipline for individuals and units. It is the ingredient that enables 24-hour a day dedication to Corps and country. It inspires the unrelenting determination to achieve a standard of excellence in every endeavor.

General Douglas MacArthur
quote from statue at West Point

Your mission remains fixed, determined, inviolable. It is to win our wars!

All other public purposes will find others for their accomplishment. Yours is the profession of arms – the will to win, the sure knowledge that in war there is no substitute for victory.

The very obsession of your public service must be duty, honor, country.

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