U.S. Marine Corps Dictionary

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Brig Step

A regular step, as in marching. but the distance between the back of the first soldier and the front of the second soldier is reduced to about four inches, so that they must all march in step. It is a common method of controlling prisoners while moving them from place to place. It is an illegal step for anyone other than a prisoner.

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Burn in

Military term used to describe the action a paratrooper smacking into the ground after their parachute fails to open.

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A J Squared Away

1. Slang for the perfect Marine. 2. The opposite of Joe Shit the Rag Man.

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Aft

Behind (origin) Naval term for the after section of the ship.

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Alpha Whiskey

nickname for toilet paper (Ass Wipe).

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BA 30/30

Government-issue green Ray-O-Vac “C” cell battery.

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Barracks

Buildings where single Marines live or a duty station where they serve.

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Battle Stations

(see General Quarters)

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Bib

The portion of a Navy enlisted uniform that hangs from the back of the neck. (background) In the wooden navy it was fashionable for sailors to have long hair but it would get blown about by the winds and get stuck in the rigging or machinery. To counteract this, sailors at sea would braid their hair and dip it in tar (used to seal the boards on the ship). When ashore on liberty (as opposed to a longer leave where they would wash the tar out of the hair), they would cut a bib out of sack cloth and tie it around their neck to keep from getting tar on their one good shirt. The bib eventually became an official part of the enlisted uniform.

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Black, Henry H.

Seventh Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps serving from June 1, 1975 until March 31, 1977. He was born Feb 9, 1929 in Imperial, PA.

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Blue Water Sailor

One who sails on the deep seas, as opposed to members of the Coast Guard who are Shallow Water Sailors. (see Brown Water Navy.)

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Bouncing Betty

A US anti-personnel mine that pops into the air to waist level before exploding.

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Bullshit

A card game played by groups of Marines while standing in line, usually aboard ship. (background) A player will draw five cards from a shuffled deck and after reviewing the hand will announce the hand (it can be anything from “One Jack” to “Full Boat, Flush”). The next Marine in line will decide if the announced hand is what the player has and will either accept or proclaim “bullshit”. If the hand is accepted the Marine can draw from one to five cards and announce the hand, but his hand must be better than the hand he accepted. This continues until someone calls “bullshit”. There is no scoring as the game is usually played while standing up.

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By the Numbers

1. Training command to perform step-by-step, stopping at each step to allow for correction. 2. From the beginning. 3. Used to indicate that the action would have to be done precisely as directed.

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Captain”s Mast

Non-judicial punishment exercised by a ship captain.

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Chaplain

A religious leader commissioned into the Navy to provide religious services to members of the Naval establishment. They are addressed as Chaplain regardless of rank.

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Chief of Staff of the Army

The highest ranking general in the Army, reporting to the Secretary of the Army. He sits as a regular member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and is eligible to serve as Chairman. (background) Prior to the Civil War, an officer in this position was often called General-in-Chief. It was last applied to Winfield Scott, commander of U. S. troops in the Mexican War.

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Class VI

A military liquor store. (background) From the priority level assigned to the shipment of such supplies during World War II. Class I was for medical supplies and ammunition, Class II for food and the lowest priority, Class VI, included liquor for troop consumption. Often written Class 6.

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Combat Correspondents

Marines who report war news from the front and who assist the news media in reporting about Marines in combat. They are trained at the Defense Information School. (see United States Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association.)

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ComRats

Commuted Rations. Payment in lieu of eating in the mess hall, usually paid to married Marines.

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Corpsman

An enlisted member of the Navy Medical Corps trained in field medical aid. (During WWII they were Pharmacist Mates.) They usually wear Marine Corps uniforms with Navy rank and insignia. Until they are promoted to Chief Petty Officer they wear subdued insignia of rank on the right collar of field uniforms and a shield with a Caduceus on the left collar. On service uniforms they wear their rank insignia on the left arm only. Their rank structure is: * HR – Hospital Recruit (E-1) * HA – Hospital Apprentice (E-2) * HN – Hospitalman (E-3) * HM3 – Hospital Corpsman Third Class (E-4) * HM2 – Hospital Corpsman Second Class (E-5) * HM1 – Hospital Corpsman First Class (E-6) * HMC – Chief Hospital Corpsman (E-7) * HMCS – Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman (E-8) * HMCM – Master Chief Hospital Corpsman (E-9) (see Doc.)

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Cumshaw

A present or gratuity, often a piece of equipment that appears when needed (while at the same time a similar item disappears from another unit). A cumshaw artist is generally prized within a unit for his or her ability to provide – and few questions are asked. (origin) From the old Chinese term “kam sia” meaning grateful thanks. The term was used at the start of World War II to describe payoffs by Honolulu’s Hotel Street prostitutes to local police officials.

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DD Form 214

The certificate of service issued upon discharge. It lists all pertinent service information such as rank, date of rank, awards, special education and nature of service (honorable, bad conduct, dishonorable).

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Dependent

Military member”s spouse and children. Others can be dependents if they meet the dependency criteria of the service.

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Dinky Dau

A Vietnamese term translated by Americans to mean crazy.

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Duty

At work (on duty) or having special requirements after normal working hours. Units will have a Duty Officer, Duty NCO or Duty Driver.

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E-tool

Entrenching tool. A small folding shovel with a multitude of field uses. (background) In World War I it was one of a series of tools shared among a squad and used to dig the trenches in which the majority of the war was fought. The early versions did not fold up and had a “T” handle.

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Field Marshall

A rank in many foreign military forces, usually the highest ranking officer of the service. They are generally identified by the highly decorated baton that they carry on official occasions. Vaguely equivalent to Commandant of the Marine Corps or Chief of Naval Operations or one of the Chiefs of Staff. Not used in the military services of the United States.

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First Lieutenant

The second grade of commissioned officer, indicated by a silver bar on the collar of the uniform. The pay grade is O-2 and is the same in the Army and Air Force. In the Navy and Coast Guard the rank is lieutenant (junior grade) and is additionally indicated on shoulder boards or coat cuffs by one wide and one narrow gold stripe topped by an insignia indicating a branch (usually a gold star in the Navy or a gold shield in the Coast Guard indicating a line officer). In the Navy it refers to the Deck Division officer or person in charge of general seamanship.

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Flotsam

Floating wreckage of a ship or its cargo; floating debris; unimportant miscellaneous material.

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FPL

Final Protective Line. The point at which a position is about to be overrun–it signals a switch to survival instincts.

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G-3

Division or Wing Operations and Training.

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General and Commander in Chief

Wartime rank of George Washington in 1775.

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Gitmo

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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Grape

A person’s head.

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Group Tighteners

brAnother nonexistent search & fetch item for rookies, i.e., bucket of steam 2. A placebo drop of solvent or oil placed on the sights of the weapon of an unsuspecting marksmanship trainee, placed there by a range instructor as a last resort to instill confidence and get the idiot qualified, 3. Adult beverages employed by competition marksmen to either relax after a day of dealing with recruits or to combat match butterflies prior to competing. (see Recruit Punishment.)

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H-34

Sikorsky UH-34 resupply and medevac helicopter used in Vietnam.

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Heat Tab

Fuel for a C-Ration Stove. (background) A tablet of blue Trioxin, which caused fumes which irritated the eyes and respiratory tract if ventilation holes weren’t large enough. In that case, a whole heat tab had to be used. With a properly vented stove, only half a Trioxin heat tab was needed to heat the meal and then the other half could be used to heat water for coffee or cocoa. A small chunk of C-4 explosive could also be substituted for the Trioxin tablet for faster heating. It would burn hotter and was much better for heating water.

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Hook Up

To get in touch with.

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Iceplant

(see Grass.) (origin) Vietnam

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Irish Pennant

A string hanging randomly from a Marine”s uniform. Longer ones are sometimes called rappelling ropes or cables. A squared away Marine will be free of Irish pennants, particularly at an inspection.

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John Wayne

The tool included in each case of C-Rations used to open the cans. (see P-38.)

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KIA

Killed in Action.

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LBV

Load Bearing Vest. A vest that holds magazines of ammunition, grenades and a cartridge belt to which are attached other equipment such as first aid kit, canteens and cup. (see 782 Gear.)

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Lieutenant General

Third of the flag officer ranks, indicated by three silver stars on the collar of the uniform. The pay grade is O-9 and is the same in the Army and the Air Force. In the Navy and Coast Guard the rank is vice admiral, and is additionally indicated with a two inch gold band topped with three one-inch gold bands and a gold star in the Navy and gold shield in the Coast Guard on coat cuffs. Mostly gold shoulder boards sport a silver foiled anchor and three silver stars.

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LPH

Landing Platform, Helicopter. World War II aircraft carriers converted to accommodate squadrons of helicopters which could transport Marines behind enemy lines while others attacked from the beachhead.

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A/O

Area of Operations.

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AFU

All Fucked Up.

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AMF

(see Alpha Mike Foxtrot).

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ARVN

Army of the Republic of Vietnam.

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Ba Mu’o’i Ba

Brand name of a Vietnamese beer.

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Barracks Cover

A frame cap with a leather bill and a metal hoop frame for the cloth covering. It has a chin strap which is usually worn setting above the bill and is adorned with a large eagle, globe and anchor above the chin strap.

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Bayonet

A knife-like weapon attached to the muzzle of a rifle used for hand-to-hand combat.

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Biddle, William

Eleventh Commandant of the Marine Corps. The Pennsylvania native was born on Dec. 17, 1853 and died on Feb. 25, 1923. He served as Acting Commandant in the rank of Colonel from Dec. 1, 1910 until Feb. 2, 1911, when he was appointed Major General Commandant and served until Feb. 12, 1914. During his command, the term of office was set, by law at 4 years.

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Bladensburg Pike

Location of the Marine line of defense on the edge of Washington, DC when the British attacked in the War of 181 2. (background) The Marines were overrun by superior forces but they earned the respect of their enemy. Some say the British spared the Commandant’s House, at 8th and I Streets SE, out of respect.

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Blues

The Dress Blue uniform.

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Box of Grid Squares

One of the endless group of nonexistent items that new members of a unit would be sent looking for. This one was used mainly in artillery.

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Brigadier

A rank in the Royal Marines, equivalent to Brigadier General in the U. S. Marine Corps.

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Bum Scoop

Bad information. Often information passed on by “Bum Scoop Ned.”

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By your leave…

1. A phrase spoken by a junior when overcoming a senior prior to passing. 2. With your permission. 3. A request to be allowed to depart. Usually followed by “sir” or “ma’am”.

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Carry On

An informal order to continue what you were doing before being interrupted, usually by the appearance of a commissioned officer.

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Chapman Jr., Leonard F

Twenty-fourth Commandant of the Marine Corps, serving from Jan. 1, 1968 until Dec. 31, 1971. He was born Nov. 3, 1913.

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Chief of the Boat

The senior chief petty officer on a submarine.

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Claymore

Directional anti-personnel mine with plastic explosive-propelling ball bearings. Often used in perimeter defense.

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COMCIVLANT

Navy version of 1st Civ Div COMmander, CIVilians, AtLANTic.

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Cosmolene”

1. A protective fluid placed on rifles and other metal objects which hardens and keeps the item from rusting or corroding. It must be removed before the item can be used. 2. Also refers to something new as in, “it was still in Cosmolene”.

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Cunt Cap

Garrison cover. (see Pisscutter.)

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DD Form 4

The enlistment contract. All promises made by recruiters MUST be listed on the Form 4 or they are not enforceable.

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Deployment

Leaving the normally assigned duty area, usually as a unit, to serve temporarily in another area, normally on board ship. (see Float.)

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Ditty Dot

Radio operator, from Morse Code, dit and dot.

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Double Easy-8

Term used for the field telephone used in World War II and Korea. (background) Actually the official term was Telephone, Field, EE-8. After telling a young Marine to go get a “Double Easy-8 a few times, it was inevitable that sooner or later he would be sent to find a “TR- Double-E”. After a time he would be laughed at for searching for a “tree.”

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DVA

Mistaken abbreviation for Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Exchange

(see Marine Corps Exchange.)

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Field Marshall”s Baton

an ornamental piece Field Marshalls carry on official occasions.

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First of foot and right of the line

Honor bestowed on the U. S. Marine Corps by the Secretary of the Navy on Aug. 9, 1876. It means that Marines take the place of honor in any Naval formation.

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Fluff-n-buff

1. Cammies that were dried and not pressed (fluff dry) and boots that were brushed but not spit polished (buffed). 2. A Marine who wore a poorly prepared uniform. Especially noticeable during inspections.

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Frag

To kill a superior, usually by throwing a fragmentation grenade into the room or area where he or she is located (such as a hootch or a head). 2. Bombard with excess for the purpose of causing a problem or creating a distraction. 3. A fragmentary order giving subordinate commanders the information they require to conduct their portion of an operation. (origin) Vietnam

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G-4

Division or Wing Logistics (which includes supply, operations, facilities and food service).

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General in Chief

Rank given to Winfield Scott after the Spanish-American War.

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GMT

(see Zulu Time.)

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Grass

Marijuana, Mary Jane, Iceplant.

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Grunt

Originally a pejorative term for Infantry Marines but now a source of pride.

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Haj or Haji or Ha”i

(Iraqi Freedom)An Iraqi citizen. A local (usually a good guy). (background) Also Haggie, from the Johnny Quest cartoon who has a sidekick named Haggie (supposedly meaning friend).

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Hootch

Living quarters, originally occupied by enlisted Marines, the word later become a general term for wherever a Marine was living. The civilian word crib is essentially the same. (origin) Vietnam

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IG

Inspector General.

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Iron Mike

A statue of a World War I Marine at Quantico, VA with a copy on Parris Island, SC. (background) The original was made by the government of France to thank the Americans for their aid in World War I. When it was presented to General Pershing he noticed that the Doughboy holding aloft an M1911 A1 pistol had a Marine Corps emblem on his helmet. Pershing refused to accept the sculpture and it was given to the Marines.

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John Wayne Crackerbox, Junior

A name used by SSgt. Ed Johnson (the editor”s senior drill instructor) in 1962 to refer to any male person. According to SSgt. Johnson, he had a sister named Suzy Rottencrotch–which was a reference to any female person.

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Kin Ville

The small town outside of Camp Hansen in the Northern part of Okinawa.

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LCVP

Small landing craft used to transport Marines from ship to shore.

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LieutenantColonel

The fifth grade of commissioned officer, indicated by a silver oak leaf on the collar of the uniform. The pay grade is O-5 and is the same in the Army and the Air Force. In the Navy and the Coast Guard, the rank is commander and is additionally indicated with three broad gold bands topped by an insignia representing a branch (usually a gold star in the Navy and a gold shield in the Coast Guard) on shoulder boards or cuffs.

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LPM

(see Landing Party Manual.)

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A-1 Sky Raider

Single engine propeller driven aircraft also called Sandy or Spad (origin) Vietnam Era

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Air Force

1. One of the five uniformed military branches. 2. Air Force, a unit consisting of multiple wings and given a numerical designation (e.g. 8th Air Force). Used from World War II until the 1970s.

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As You Were

Informal command to continue what you were doing or to indicate a correction to a previous order or comment.

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Barracks Rat

1. A Marine who does nothing but stay in the barracks all day watching television and playing video games. 2. The Marine equivalent of a couch potato. 3. Also a woman who hangs around a barracks, BEQ or BOQ for the purpose of giving or selling sexual favors.

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Bazooka

first of the modern rocket launched weapons and was made in 2.75″ and 3.5″ versions. They were replaced by the M72 LAW. A WWII period invention, it was the They were used against tanks, vehicles and other profitable targets but they were plagued by electrical problems.

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Big Chicken Dinner

Bad Conduct Discharge.

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Blanket Party

Used most often to “encourage” a screw-up to mend his ways. While sleeping, his platoon mates would sneak up on him or her, cover them with a blanket and administer numerous blows to him, while he writhied and screamed. Unauthorized and punishable under the UCMJ. Not performed frequently.

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Boat

1. Any small vessel incapable of making regular independent voyages on the high seas. 2. Traditionally, a submarine.

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Boxsee

Vietnamese word for doctor. Marines called their corpsmen by this name.

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Brigadier General

First of the Flag Officer ranks, signified by a silver star on the collar of the uniform. (background) The pay grade is O-7 and is the same in the Army and the Air Force. In the Navy and Coast Guard, the rank is Rear Admiral (lower half) and at some times the rank of Commodore has been used. The rank is additionally indicated on the sleeves of various uniforms by a two-inch gold band topped by a one-inch gold band and an insignia indicating the branch of the service to which the officer is assigned (most often a gold star indicating a line officer). Shoulder boards are mostly gold with a silver-foiled anchor and one silver star.

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Bumfucknowhere

1. “Bumfuck Egypt” meaning in the middle of nowhere 2. very, very remote.

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Cadet

A student at the U. S. Military Academy, U. S. Air Force Academy, Reserve Officer Training Corps units as well as other officer procurement organizations. (see Aviation Cadet.)

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Casual Company (or Platoon)

A unit of Marines awaiting reassignment.

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CHARLIE

(Commtalk) The letter “C”.

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Chief Petty Officer

A Navy/Coast Guard enlisted rank consisting of three inverted chevrons with an inverted rocker on top and a Navy eagle sitting on the rocker. see Gunnery Sergeant of Marines.

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Cleary, Robert E.

Tenth Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps having served from June 28, 1983 until June 26, 1987. He was born in Tewksbury, MA on June 2, 1931.

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Commandant of the Coast Guard

The highest ranking Admiral in the Coast Guard, reporting to the Secretary of the Treasury in peace time and the Secretary of the Navy in wartime.

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Concertina

Heavy duty barbed wire.

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Court Street

Liberty destination in Jacksonville, NC for Marines from Camp Lejeune, Camp Geiger and MCAS New River. (background) Until the 1980s the street was populated with bars, pawn shops and the bus station. The town cleaned it up and turned it into a “mall” sending the liberty crowd to the “second front”, a range of bars along US 17.

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Cupola

The tank commander’s hatch.

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Dead Horse

In the sailing Navy, the period of time a sailor worked to pay off advance pay. (see Beating a Dead Horse.)

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DEROS

Date of Estimated Return from Overseas.

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Division

A unit containing multiple (usually three) regiments plus supporting units, commanded by a major general.

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Double Time

A marching pace which is double “quick time”, in which the arms are bent at the elbow and the troops run in step.

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Eagle, Globe and Anchor

The emblem of the United States Marine Corps adopted in 1868 under Brigadier General Commandant Jacob Zeilen following the Civil War. Prior to that, the Marines wore the Army infantry horn with a red field in the center and the letter “M” in Old English script.

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Ex-Marine

No such thing. Once a Marine, always a Marine. (see Former Marine.)

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Field Medical Service School

Where Navy corpsmen and dental technicians are trained for field duty with operational Marine Corps field units. (synonym) Devil Doc University

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First Sergeant of Marines

The senior noncommissioned officer in a company or squadron indicated by three chevrons and rockers with a diamond (lozenge) between chevrons and rockers. The pay grade is E-8 and is the same in the Army. In the Navy and Coast Guard, the rank is senior chief petty officer with a star above the eagle. First sergeant in the Air Force is a billet and is indicated by a lozenge between chevrons and rockers on any insignia between master sergeant and chief master sergeant.

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FMF

Fleet Marine Force. (synonym) Fighting Mother Fuckers.

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Free Fire Zone

Most of the area along the DMZ that is a “no man’s land” where standing orders allow for anyone seen in that area to be fired upon. Toward the end of Vietnam it became necessary to radio in a sighting and request permission to fire (widely ignored by the troops on the line). (origin) Vietnam

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GAF

Give A Fuck.

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General of the Air Force

A wartime rank. The rank insignia is five silver stars in a circle worn on collar points. Only “Hap” Arnold has held this rank. He was promoted to General of the Army in 1944, and in 1949 was made General of the Air Force.

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Go Juice

Fuel, gasoline, diesel, JP, etc.

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Gray Jr., Alfred M.

Twenty-ninth Commandant of the Marine Corps, serving from July 1, 1987 until June 30, 1991. The New Jersey native was born June 22, 1928.

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G-Spot

The building containing the majority of the division staff organizations (designated G-1, G-2, G-3 etc.) at Camp Pendleton, CA.

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Hajji

Term used in the U.S. military for person of Arab/Middle Eastern descent.

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Henderson Hall

A building in Arlington, VA, close to the Pentagon, used to house enlisted Marines assigned to HQMC at the Pentagon and other administrative functions. The building was named for Brevet Brigadier General, Colonel Commandant Archibald Henderson, the Grand Old Man of the Corps.

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Horse Blanket

A thick wool blanket or the heavy wool overcoat once issued to all Marines and seldom worn.

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Ike Jacket

The term was not authorized in the Marine Corps and when used would subject a Marine to a reprimand. (background) Marines remembered General Eisenhower’s comment that he would have no Marines in Europe (having forgotten that his reserve force in Northern Ireland was Marine and paying no attention to the OSS personnel in the theater). A uniform jacket of similar design was authorized just after World War II and continued into the early 1960s. It was a forest green fabric with a faux belt and no skirt below the belt. (see Battle Jacket.)

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IT

Incentive Training.

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John Wayne toilet paper

Military term used to describe the low grade toilet paper found in the MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) accessory packet. Called so because it”s rough, tough and don”t take shit off of anybody. Can also be used in place of extra fine grit sandpaper.

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King Neptune

The mythological God of the Sea. He always presides, with his court, at Line-Crossing Ceremonies.

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Lead Turd

Bad idea or an idea that is going nowhere fast.

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LieutenantCommander

The Navy and Coast Guard rank equivalent to a Marine major. (see Major.)

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LSD

Landing Ship, Dock. A ship designed by Admiral John Sidney McCain specifically for amphibious operations. Its center is a floodable dock where Marines and their equipment can be loaded into landing craft, which can then be floated out the aft door and onto the beach.

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A-4 Sky Hawk

Medium-sized, subsonic, single-engine attack jet. (origin) Vietnam Era

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Ammunition Supply Point

The location, usually just behind the Forward Edge of Battle Area where line units receive their ammunition supply/replenishment. In the movies, an ASP is usually called an “ammo dump.”

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ASAP

As Soon As Possible.

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Baby Dicks

Hot dogs contained in MREs.

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Barrow, Robert H.

Twenty seventh Commandant of the Marine Corps serving from July 1, 1979 until June 30, 1983. Born Feb 5, 192 2.

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BB Stacker

Anyone dealing directly with ordnance.

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Blivet

1. Anything overstuffed 2. A rubber fuel bladder. 3. modified fuel tank used to haul small cargo outside the aircraft. (origin) (WWII) Two pounds of shit in a one pound bag.

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Boy

A Civil War era rank just below private. (background) Boys were “apprenticed” to the Marine Corps or Navy to learn useful jobs. Many later enlisted or joined the Marine Corps Band. In the Navy they were put on ship and made “powder monkeys”.

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Bronze Star

A personal decoration originally intended for valorous service. (background) By the end of the 20th Century it was being given out for many non-combat acts, it even became known as the “officer”s good conduct medal”. The value of the award was deflated so much that a metal “V” device to be worn on the medal’s suspension ribbon was issued to indicate valor.

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Bunker

A covered, reinforced fighting hole.

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Cadillac

Marine Corps issued boots. The predominant form of transportation for recruits and infantry Marines.

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Cat 4

Applicants who scored next to the lowest on the entrance exams. Under normal circumstances they would not be allowed to enlist but during times of war and when recruiting was difficult a number of them were allowed to join. (background) In the 1960 the Pentagon was forced to accept some social engineering called Project 100,000 in which a great number of Cat 4 enlistees were taken in–the military has yet to recover. For classification purposes the category was further broken down to 4a, 4b or 4c which were defined by recruiters as “animal,” “vegetable,” or “mineral.”

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Charlie

A Viet Communist soldier, abbreviated VC or Victor Charlie, thus Charlie. (origin) Vietnam

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Chief Warrant Officer

A commissioned Warrant Officer. The top four grades of Warrant Officer (W-2 through W-5) are commissioned officers.

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Click

An inexact distance derived from artillery sightings in which each click of site elevation would move the impact point depending on a number of diverse options. Roughly either a mile or a kilometer. Used mostly since Vietnam. (background) Legend has it that when the GP (jeep) vehicle was first introduced the odometer would click every one fifth of a mile and that soldiers soon learned to judge distance by the click so that they could pay attention to road hazards and enemy positions.

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Commandant of the Marine Corps

The highest ranking person in the Marine Corps. The first CMC was a captain and the rank has increased until today he holds the rank of general. He is appointed by the President and reports to the Secretary of the Navy. He sits as a regular member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and is eligible to serve as Chairman.

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Confederate States Marine Corps

Many of the officers of the CSM were formerly officers or noncommissioned officers in the U. S. Marine Corps who resigned to “go south”. Their headquarters were at the fort at Drewry’s Bluff on the James River, keeping the U. S. Navy from firing on Richmond, the Confederate capital.

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Cover

Caps, hats and other things worn on the head. Marines wear covers, regardless of what the headgear actually is. A Marine’s cover is always removed when indoors unless that Marine is armed. Also, in ranks, to align directly behind the Marine in front of you.

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CUPP

Combined Unit Pacification Program. Units consisting of Marines and South Vietnamese soldiers. (origin) Vietnam

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Deck

Naval term for floor.

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Desertion

Absent without official leave (AWOL) for more than 30 days.

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Dixie Cup

Headgear worn by enlisted sailors through the grade of E-6 (first class petty officer). (see White Hat.)

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EAS

End of Active Service.

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Field Meet

An organized series of sporting competitions pitting one unit against another. Organized grab ass.

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First Shirt

Nickname for First Sergeant.

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FNG

Fucking New Guy.

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French Fourragere

The government of France honored the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments and the 6th Machinegun Battalion with the Fourragere for their fighting skills during World War I. Those units still wear the award today.

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Gaggle

An unorganized group doing nothing.

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General of the Armies

A rank given to General John Pershing in 1919 to place him above all other general officers. Unlike Generals of the Army, Pershing did retire. He turned down the offer to wear five stars. ( see Iron Mike.)

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Goat Heads

Thorns indigenous to California. On field exercises, they stick to everything and are a major nuisance.

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Grease

To kill. (origin) Vietnam

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GU11

1. The Navy version of the Air Force B1RD. 2. Gull

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Halozone

Water purification tablet.

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Henderson, Archibald

Fifth Commandant of the Marine Corps, known as the “Grand Old Man of the Corps” he served the longest in the position–38 years. The Virginia native was born on Jan. 21, 1783 and served as Acting Commandant from Sept. 16, 1818 until Gale’s appointment on March 3, 1819. He was named Lieutenant Colonel Commandant at the conclusion of Gale’s court martial which cashiered him from the service, Oct. 17, 1820. During Henderson’s tenure, he led the Marines in the Indian Wars in Florida, reportedly tacking a note to the door of the Commandant’s House saying, “Gone to fight the Indians, be back when the war is over”. He also became the first Colonel Commandant and was awarded a Brevet promotion to Brigadier General. In the social setting of Washington he was known as General Henderson but he always signed official documents as Colonel Commandant.

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Horse Marines

(see China Marines.)

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Illumination

Night artillery fire used to illuminate an area using a phosphorous filament suspended by a parachute.

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ITB

Infantry Training Battalion. (see School of Infantry)

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Join the Navy and Ride the WAVES

An impolite term used to deride women sailors ( known as WAVES.)

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Kiwi Injection

A good, sharp, quick kick in the ass.

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Leatherneck

A Marine. The phrase comes from the early days of the Marine Corps when enlisted men were given strips of leather to wear around their necks. The popular concept has it that the leather was to protect the neck from a saber slash. Truth is that it was to keep the Marines from slouching in uniform by forcing them to keep their head up.

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Lifer

A person apparently intending to serve on active duty until retirement. One with extensive experience. (see Refil)

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LST

Landing Ship, Tank. A ship designed to run its bow onto a beach with its bow doors open and discharge Marines and their equipment directly into battle. br”. A commercial lubricant used to protect the wear points of weapons.

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Abaft

Directional term meaning behind (aft) any given point on a ship.

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Air Strike

(see Close Air Support)

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Amtrac

Slang for Amphibious Armored, Tracked, Personnel Carrier. (LVT/AAV).

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ASP

Ammunition Supply Point.

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Backdoor Draft

Government policy of keeping troops in the military beyond their original enlistment contracts through “stop loss orders” (retaining specific shortage job specialties such as military intelligence and aviation) and “stop movement orders” (locking down entire units so that troops can”t leave the military or rotate out into another unit). Some troops have spent one to two years serving past their enlistment contract or retirement date.

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BAS

Basic Allowance for Subsistence. Food allowance paid to individuals not living in barracks. Barracks residents use the military dining facilities. (synonym) Also Battalion Aid Station.

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BC Glasses

Marine Corps issue eyeglasses (officially F-9). Named Birth Control glasses by the troops due to their repulsive effect on the opposite sex.

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Block

To tighten or straighten a fieldscarf (necktie).

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Bogey

An unidentified object, usually an aircraft, ship or other mobile weapons system.

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Brady, James

1. Press Secretary to Ronald Reagan who was shot during an attempted assassination of the President. He suffered severe brain trauma. 2. A journalist and author. His name was given to a law that requires a waiting list for the purchase of handguns and he became an advocate of hand gun control. Served in the Corps during Korea.

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Brown Shoe Marine

An old salt. (background) Until Secretary of Defense MacNamara, under President Kennedy, forced all of the services to use the same shoes, Marines were issued brown shoes. In the early 1960s the shoe color changed to black but the old salts continued to wear their brown shoes as long as they could get away with it. In the Navy, any member of the aviation community is called Brown Shoe in reference to the aviator’s brown flying boots.

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Call Sign

(Commtalk) The word identifier for a unit, aircraft or pilot.

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Cat 9

A reference to someone as “beyond dumb” since Category 4 is the lowest of the scores on the entrance exams.

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Charlie Echo Code

A numerical code devised by aviators during the Vietnam War after they were admonished for their frequent use of profanity and unkind references to staff and command personnel. (background) The code was a three-digit number with each number having a specific meaning. It was used in the form “Charlie Echo 103”.

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Chieu-Hoi

Unconditional surrender by an enemy soldier or force. (origin) Vietnam

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Close Air Support

A concept developed by Marines during the Bananna Wars of the 1930s, copied by the Germans in World War II and perfected by the Marines. Aircraft strafe enemy positions or formations only yards from the Marine front line. Marine aviators are most proficient at it but flying sailors also do an acceptable job. The Navy calls it, “Moving mud to help out the grunts.”

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Commandant’s Own

Name given to the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps.

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Confidence Course

A series of large scale obstacles that a Marine must overcome, particularly in boot camp. It is generally not a timed event and is most often an individual effort to overcome fears of height and to develop confidence in recruits. (synonym) Obstacle Course.

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Coxswain

One who steers a boat or has charge of its crew. (pronunciation: cox-SUN.)

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CUPP

Combined Unit Pacification Program. Units consisting of Marines and South Vietnamese soldiers. (origin) Vietnam

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Deck Ape

Anyone in the Deck Force (those sailors who chip paint, swab decks, mend canvas and create ornamental rope work) onboard ship. Generally a Boatswain’s Mate or Boatswain’s Mate striker.

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Deuce and a Half

A two and a half ton truck. (synonym) Six-By (it had six wheels on each side and each was a drive wheel). (see Multi-fueler)

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Dixie Station

One of two positions typically occupied by an aircraft carrier off the coast of Vietnam. Dixie was the southern station and was charged with troop support.

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Dress Blues

The famous blue uniform of the Marines with a standing collar. The uniform is similar to the one worn by Marines in the Civil War. The “sky blue” infantry trousers are adorned by a red “blood stripe” down the outside seams on commissioned and non-commissioned officers. This uniform is worn with medals (without medals it was at one time called Undress Blues). Current usage refers to: Blue Dress A (with medals), Blue Dress B (with ribbons), Blue Dress C (sky blue trousers with khaki shirt, field scarf and ribbons) and Blue Dress D (short sleeved khaki shirt and ribbons).

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Eat the Apple, Fuck the Corps

A phrase used by Marines to express their displeasure with the Marine Corps. Usually mouthed by someone about to leave the Corps or by a Marine who has endured a perceived injustice.

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Eye Fuck

To look or stare, usually in a curious manner.

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Field of Fire

The radius that an automatic weapon can cover in an arc from port to starboard.

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First to Fight

Marines have been in the forefront of every American war since the founding of the Corps. They entered the Revolution in 1775, even before the Declaration of Independence was signed! Marines have carried out more than 300 landings on foreign shores. They have served everywhere, from the Arctic to tropics; their record for readiness reflects pride, responsibility, and challenge.

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FO

Forward Observer. Usually an artillery officer or pilot assigned to infantry units to coordinate artillery support or air strikes in support of the Mud Marines.

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Frog

1. Nickname for the CH-46 helicopter, which sits with the rear portion of the craft lower than the front, squatting like a frog (some people spell it Phrog). 2. the green scarf worn wrapped around a Marine’s neck in winter 3. device attached to the duty belt upon which a sword is attached.

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Gale, Anthony

Fourth Commandant of the Marine Corps. Born in Ireland on Sept 17, 1782, as a young Marine officer serving in the Ganges he had been struck by a Navy junior officer whom he “called out” and shot. The action was deemed honorable by Commandant William Burrows. Following the death of Commandant Wharton in 1818, the position was filled in an acting capacity by Adjutant and Inspector, Brevet Major Samuel Miller, and later by Brevet Major Archibald Henderson. Gale’s short tenure as Lieutenant Colonel Commandant was punctuated with the dislike of the Secretary of the Navy who charged him in a court martial. The specifications included, “being intoxicated in common dram shops and other places of low repute.” He pleaded not guilty by reason of temporary insanity, but was found guilty and sentenced to dismissal from the service. He died circa 1843 and his burial location is unknown. He also remains the only Commandant for whom no likeness exists.

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General of the Armies of the United States

George Washington. A rank created on March 15, 1978 by Congress for General Washington to make it clear that he was the senior officer of the military services. Prior to that day he was in the grade of Lieutenant General.

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Goat Locker

Navy Chief Petty Officer’s quarters. From the Naval tradition that goats brought on board for milk were under the charge of the chiefs. Probably the origin of the phrase Old Goat. (see Menopause Manor.)

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Green Eye

Starlight Scope. The first generation of night vision equipment. First used in Vietnam, it was very large and very heavy.

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Guide

The person responsible for the unit guidon. First unit member in front of the formation. Sets the marching pace.

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HAM

Hairy Assed Marine. A female response to BAM.

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Herringbone

A World War II fabric in a field green color that was used to make utility uniforms. The herringbone pattern was phased out during Korea and by Vietnam was only worn by real salts.

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Hospital Corners

A method of making a rack where the top blanket is squared off at the corners leaving one 45 degree angle on each corner. The procedure allows the blanket to be tucked under making it straight and tight.

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Improvise, Adapt and Overcome

An unofficial mantra of the Marine Corps, based on the fact that the Corps generally received Army hand-me-downs and the troops were poorly equipped. Despite this, the Marine Corps has been successful mostly because of the creativity of its people and their success-based attitude.

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ITR

Infantry Training Regiment. The old name for Infantry Training Battalion.

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Joint Chiefs of Staff

A Department of Defense organization consisting of the Chiefs of Staff of the Army and Air Force, the Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Their chairman is appointed by the President. While each member retains control of their specific service, the JCS commands the Unified Commands.

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Kiwi”

1. The preferred brand of shoe polish for Marines since World War II. 2. Also the national bird of New Zealand, and a nickname for a New Zealander. 3. A registered trade mark of the Sara Lee Corporation.

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LeatherneckMagazine

A magazine published for Marines by the Marine Corps Association.

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Line

All rope and cord used on board ship is called a line.

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LVTP-7

Amphibious Tractor (Amtrack). Transported Marines from an LST or LPD to and over the beachhead, if necessary. Called Large Vulnerable Targets, they were renamed AAVP-7 “Tuna Boats”.

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ACE

Air Combat Element.

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Air Wing

An aviation unit equivalent to an infantry division.

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Amtracker

An Assault Amphibious Vehicle crewman.

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Ass Hanging Out

An individual who is not squared away or whose ignorance is showing.

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Bad Conduct Discharge

A discharge ranking between Honorable and Dishonorable. (background) It is rumored that Walt Disney’s Bad Conduct Discharge from the Marine Corps was framed and hung behind his desk–that its distinctive yellow color is seen in early introductions to “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color” on ABC in the 1950s and 1960s. This is false–Walt Disney never served in ANY military service. (synonym) Big Chicken Dinner.

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Base Pay

A servicemember”s basic monthly/yearly pay, based on rank and years of service.

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BCD

Bad Conduct Discharge.

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Bilge

1. An acrid mix of sea water, petroleum products and other brackish material that settles to the bottom of a ship. 2. Information that is of no value; garbage. 3. To fail at something.

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Blood Groove

A groove in a fighting knife or sword. It allows blood to flow from a wound to aid in removing the knife blade (a significant concern in close combat).

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BOHICA

Bend Over, Here It Comes Again. (origin) (Vietnam) Derived from the French beaucoup meaning many or much.

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Brain Bucket

Helmet of any type including combat Kevlar” and aviation headgear.

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Brown Shoe Navy

Navy from the old days (background) Naval officers assigned to aviation billets from World War II through Vietnam were authorized Aviation Greens in addition to their standard Navy blue uniform. The cut was very similar to Marine greens except that there was no belt. Rank insignia was in black and they wore a khaki shirt and black necktie. The shoes were lighter brown than the standard Marine Corps issue of the time and they wore tan socks. The Naval Aviator wings were gold-embroidered and the fore and aft cap had small solid gold wings on the port side and rank insignia on the starboard.

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Burrows, William Ward

Second Marine Commandant. Appointed to major under the authority of the Act of July 11, 1798 which established the Marine Corps, He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel Commandant on May 1, 1800 under the authority of the Act of April 22, 1800. He was born in South Carolina on Jan. 16, 1758 and died in office on March 6, 1804.

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CamelBac”.

A name brand version of a personal hydration system which allows the wearer to sip water through a tube from a bladder worn on the back.

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Catapult

A device on aircraft carriers that hurls an aircraft into the air. Operated by a giant steam piston, it shakes the entire ship when engaged.

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About DevilDogCorps.com

DevilDogCorps.com is an unofficial online dictionary of terms and acronyms commonly used within the United States Marine Corps.