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.
Military term used to describe the action a paratrooper smacking into the ground after their parachute fails to open.
1. A non-punitive discharge prior to completion of an enlistment. 2. Type of discharge that will not affect post-service benefits.
HC Smoke Hand Grenade. (specs) Weighs 25.5 oz, contains 19 oz of HC, which emits a dense smoke for up to 2.5 minutes, with a 2-second delay.
A system of time onboard ship. The routine day was broken into six watches of four hours each. (background) The watch on duty was responsible for maintaining the time, so each half hour a bell would be rung. This began at 30 minutes into the watch with one bell, and ending up at the end of the watch with eight bells. Watches began at 12, 4 and 8 so at those times eight bells were struck.
The continuous chain of authority that links the most junior private to the Commander in Chief and vice versa. (background) Many argue that the US implementation of the chain of command is the most important strategy employed by our military forces. In other armies the loss of a commander would throw the entire organization into disorder while in the U S military, the next most senior person present just assumes command. It is taught that whenever two Marines are walking together, one is in charge.
Criminal Investigation Division. Military Police unit charged with criminal investigations, polygraph examinations, etc. Commissioned and non-commissioned officers who wear civilian clothing. CIDs are not identified by rank; instead they are called Investigator. They work closely with Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS — formerly NIS).
General reference to the Naval Eagle in the insignia of U. S. Navy petty officers.
The act of joining the military services by individuals who are not Warrant or Commissioned Officers.
A field head consisting of a shack constructed over four 55 gallon drums cut in half to expedite removal of fecal material. There was no privacy. (origin) Vietnam
(Not PC) A pejorative term for anyone of oriental extraction–particularly an enemy. (North Korean, North Vietnamese).
A term of respect for a gunnery sergeant but not generally used by junior Marines. see Company Gunny.
A fellow Marine from one’s neighborhood, hometown or region.
A fighting knife used most particularly by reconnaissance Marines. It has also been issued to other Marines, such as air crew, from time to time. Also called a Kaybar.
An authorized absence from duty. Usually the time when not at work or on duty. Liberty is granted by the local commander and may be as long as 96 consecutive hours. It does not count as leave.
An individual who is not squared away or whose ignorance is showing.
A servicemember”s basic monthly/yearly pay, based on rank and years of service.
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.
Bend Over, Here It Comes Again. (origin) (Vietnam) Derived from the French beaucoup meaning many or much.
Instruction to wear reversible hat with the brown side showing. (origin) (Vietnam Era) Helmet covers and shelter halves were green camo on one side and brown camo on the other. (background) It was most often used to describe confusion in orders as the color would change frequently and ultimately someone would show up for formation in the wrong color.
The hat worn by drill instructors, sometimes called a “Smoky Bear” hat. The only official Marine headgear not called a cover.
Look behind you. (background) Based on the position of numbers on a clock. An aviation term, it refers to the relative location of an aircraft with 12:00 being the nose.
Military term for taking a dump. (origin) Came from the command Air Assault soldiers use to order the helicopter crew chief to drop the cargo load carried underneath the chopper.
A Marine. (background) The name “Teufel Hunden” was given to the Marines by their German enemies in World War I, probably as an insult since hunden translates more correctly as “bitch”. It has come to be considered a sign of respect for the dogged determination of Marines.
A noncommissioned officer charged with the training of Marine recruits and the making of Marines. Each recruit platoon usually has three drill instructors, a senior drill instructor and two junior drill instructors.
An open deck at the rear of a ship, usually where trash was dumped overboard.
A detachment of Marines assigned to certain Navy Admirals for security and ceremonial purposes.
There are eleven general orders and every Marine must memorize them.
Sometimes the Big Green Weenie. It’s what the Marine Corps uses to screw you.
The location of John Brown’s ill fated uprising in 1859 and of his capture by U. S. Marines under the command of Army Lieutenant Colonel Robert E. Lee. (background) The Marines were led by Lt Israel Greene who later resigned his commission to join the Confederate States Marines. Marine Private Luke Quinn was killed when he breached a hole in the firehouse door and was shot by John Brown and can, arguably, be considered the first casualty of the Civil War.
A recruit (or low ranking Marine in the fleet) who provides assistance to the drill instructor (or unit leaders) in the form of keeping the drill instructor hut (or NCO quarters) tidy and other minor tasks and chores. It is an informal position, the person is selected by the drill instructor and often receives one of the promotions given at the conclusion of basic training. Some units in the fleet also use the term to mean a junior member of an organization assigned duties such as coffee mess and other domestic chores.
World War II individual field rations. Universally detested for their lack of taste and rubbery consistency they were replaced by C-rations.
1. Held when a ship crosses the Equator. King Neptune and his court preside as Polliwogs are turned into Shellbacks. 2. Similar ceremonies are held when a ship crosses other international lines.
1. Slang for the perfect Marine. 2. The opposite of Joe Shit the Rag Man.
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.
A US anti-personnel mine that pops into the air to waist level before exploding.
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.
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.
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.
In the sailing Navy, the period of time a sailor worked to pay off advance pay. (see Beating a Dead Horse.)
A unit containing multiple (usually three) regiments plus supporting units, commanded by a major general.
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.
Where Navy corpsmen and dental technicians are trained for field duty with operational Marine Corps field units. (synonym) Devil Doc University
The building containing the majority of the division staff organizations (designated G-1, G-2, G-3 etc.) at Camp Pendleton, CA.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
The highest Naval rank in peacetime. (see Fleet Admiral) (background) The Admiral insignia has four silver stars in a row. Prior to the Civil War, Captain was the highest Naval rank When placed in command of larger units, Admirals were sometimes designated a Flag Officer, but that was a billet, not a rank. The current admiral ranks (from junior to most senior) are: Rear Admiral (lower half), one star; Rear Admiral (upper half), two stars; Vice Admiral, three stars; Admiral, four stars and Fleet Admiral, five stars.
An outpost with major communications assets apparent from the large number of antennae in the vicinity.
The decks below the main weather deck of a ship. They are numbered from the main weather deck. Deck 7 is therefore seven decks below the main deck. see Superstructure.
Well done. (background) From the Allied Naval Signal Book (ACP-175 Series), adopted after the formation of NATO.
Pejorative term for Second lieutenant or ensign, from the gold color of their rank insignia.
A general or admiral appointed by the President to serve as his senior military advisor. (background) He works with the Secretary of Defense and has no direct authority over the individual services. He does, however, direct the Unified Commands as the direct superior to their Commanders (who were previously called Commander in Chief until the practice was ended by President Bush who wanted exclusive use of the title).
Liberty that expires at midnight. (background) Used mostly in foreign ports where the captain is concerned for the safety of his crew or as a subliminal form of punishment.
A unit containing more than one platoon. They are typically commanded by a captain. Companies are assigned within Battalions.
A 54-hour training event in which Marine recruits are physically and mentally challenged by lack of sleep, minimal food, forced marches, teamwork exercises and leadership opportunities. It is the final major training event of boot camp and is designed to pull together everything they have been taught previously and survive a real challenge. Parents of recruits or potential recruits should be told that while it will be difficult for their child, it is safe and well supervised. It culminates in the Warrior Breakfast and signals a change in their drill instructors from task masters to mentors.
Marines in the rank of private, private first class and lance corporal. Although sergeants are also enlisted, they are categorized as NCOs.
1. A snack bar on ship. Any place that candy and pogey bait are sold. 2. Candy or snacks.
A take-off on “scoop”, it suggests that information is from a reliable source.
The person in charge; not necessarily the person assigned to be in charge. (see HMFIC.)
A physical test given early in the training of a recruit to determine if the recruit meets minimum fitness standards and to set a baseline for measuring progress.
The little first aid kit worn on web gear, and located in the middle of the lower back. Usually contained two field pressure dressings, a tourniquet, and some iodine. Sometimes, there was even geedunk in there.
Basic training for new second lieutenants. Conducted at Quantico, VA.
1. The sailors who drain and maintain the bilge on ship. 2. Marine assigned to bilge duty as non-judicial punishment.
Shoes with high sides, manufactured to 1917 specifications and famous for having the heels come off. Discontinued in the latter part of the 20th Century.
Operations in rivers and other shallow water locations. (see Shallow Water Sailor.) br
One of the five armed services and the only one not in the Department of Defense. In peacetime, they are part of the Department of Homeland Security because of their missions which include water search and rescue, drug interdiction and waterway safety. (background) Prior to being transferred to Homeland Security, they were part of the Department of Transportation. They were originally part of the Treasury Department because one of the major components that became the Coast Guard, the Revenue Cutter Service, was in that Department. The other major component that became the Coast Guard in the early 20th Century was the coastal US Life Saving Service.
A slave freed by Union forces during the Civil War. (background) While these slaves were in the South they were legally free. When they passed into the hands of Union forces they were still slaves (the Emancipation Proclamation did not free slaves in the Union). Many of them enlisted into the Army or Navy, but because of their status could serve only in menial positions. Many sailors of the time were free blacks and were treated like any other shipmate, but they would not associate with contrabands. It was only after the Civil War that the Navy was segregated.
Major Marine base and seaport on the China Sea in southern I Corps. (origin) Vietnam
Abbreviation for drill instructor. Also a mid-20th Century movie about a drill instructor at Parris Island, SC starring Jack Webb.
The office and duty quarters of the drill instructors, it is located within the recruit squad bay.
Any of the general or admiral ranks or any officer whose billet authorizes him or her to fly a personal flag (almost never applied in the present). (background) Prior to the Civil War and the introduction of the Navy admiral rank, captains in charge of squadrons or fleets were called flag officers as a point of courtesy.
The highest condition of alert on board ship, it pulls the crew from their normal work assignments to a warfighting stance. (background) In wooden ships with rigging, a portion of the Marine Detachment would report to the rigging as sharpshooters while others would report to a gun crew. In the modern Navy, the Marines usually manner one or more guns (which were usually painted with an eagle globe and anchor and generally were know to have the highest accuracy of all gun crews). Since 1998, there have been no Marines assigned as part of the ship”s crew of any U. S. Navy ship.
Twenty-third Commandant of the Marine Corps serving from Jan. 1, 1964 until Dec. 31, 1967. The Naval Academy graduate was born Dec. 27, 1907 and died March 8, 2003. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Sixth Commandant of the Marine Corps. Born in Chester County, PA on May 20, 1790, he became Colonel Commandant on the death of Archibald Henderson and served through the Civil War. His leadership is overshadowed by his personal battles with other senior Marine officers, one of which resulted in his report to the Secretary of the Navy after the First Battle of Bull Run in which he ignored the accolades of senior Army commanders on the field and reported that it was “the first instance in history where any portion of its members turned their backs on the enemy.” The erroneous report has stained the reputation of the Corps for eternity. He died, in office, on May 12, 1864.
Judge Advocate General. The head of the legal branch of the military services. Military lawyers are generally called “JAGs” in reference to serving in the JAG’s organization.
Thirty first Commandant of the Marine Corps serving from July 1, 1995 until June 30, 1999. The Virginia native and Naval Academy graduate was born Mar. 4, 194 2.
In the mid-20th Century, the lipstick worn by Women Marines was all the same shade; Montezuma Red. The color survives in the color of the cord on the female enlisted Marine”s garrison cap
A knife-like weapon attached to the muzzle of a rifle used for hand-to-hand combat.
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.
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.
1. “Bumfuck Egypt” meaning in the middle of nowhere 2. very, very remote.
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.”
A commissioned Warrant Officer. The top four grades of Warrant Officer (W-2 through W-5) are commissioned officers.
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.
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.
Headgear worn by enlisted sailors through the grade of E-6 (first class petty officer). (see White Hat.)
An organized series of sporting competitions pitting one unit against another. Organized grab ass.
Thorns indigenous to California. On field exercises, they stick to everything and are a major nuisance.
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.
Night artillery fire used to illuminate an area using a phosphorous filament suspended by a parachute.
An impolite term used to deride women sailors ( known as WAVES.)
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.
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.
A rank awarded to Admiral Dewey by an act of Congress in March 1899 to place him above all other admirals. (see Fleet Admiral).
Aerial Rocket Artillery. A Cobra AH-1G helicopter with four XM159C 19-rocket ( 2.75 inch) pods.
Short for “benefit.” All services provided to or for soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines are considered bennies.
The compartment aboard ship, usually in the superstructure, where the captain controls the ship by issuing orders. It is the ship’s at-sea headquarters.
A word or phrase given by a sentry to someone approaching his or her post. The person approaching must give the password or the sentry will assume that the person approaching is an enemy or an unauthorized person. (synonym) Challenge Coin–a coin shared by members of a specific organization which is used to identify a member of that group to another member of the group.
A commissioned officer in the first three grades. In the Navy and Coast Guard they are ensign, lieutenant (junior grade) and lieutenant. In the Army, Air Force or Marine Corps they are first and second lieutenants and captain. Traditionally, particularly in the Naval services, these officers may be addressed as mister, but a smart Marine doesn”t follow this tradition.
A recruit’s first introduction to guard duty. At least one recruit in each platoon remains awake and alert each night for safety and security purposes. When boot camp structures were made of wood, the posting was absolutely necessary; since the fireproof buildings were constructed starting in the 1960s, the job has remained as both tradition and training.
Any bucket used to clean out a toilet, usually carried in pairs on a stick by Oriental women and men.
US Air Force 4-engine cargo plane with a rear ramp. Can carry a combat-ready Marine rifle platoon.
Placing paper patches over holes in targets from the butts. The papers were coated with water-activated glue and had to be licked before sticking on the target.
1. A Navy or Air Force enlisted rank. 2. Generic term for anyone in the Air Force. (see Seaman and Airman First Class).
1. Illegal practice of keeping a leave request form in an “In” basket (versus submitting it for processing) while the individual goes on leave. 2. A leave that is never charged against a member”s leave balance. (background) Often, leave papers were actually filled out and approved, to cover everybody’s ass in case the person on leave got arrested, killed or detained somehow while on leave. When the individual returned, the papers were then destroyed. Used by supervisors or leave clerks to provide a “bennie” to someone.
1. A person who carried lunch rather than eat at the mess hall (usually a Married Marine). 2. Bar just outside the main gate to Camp Lejeune, NC.
Fifth Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps from Aug 1, 1969 until Jan 31, 1973, he was born Feb 17, 1917 in Black Mountain, Arkansas.
From the Vietnamese term Di Di Mau which was loosely translated to mean “move quickly”. (pronunciation: “D-D”.)
An Army recruit instructor similar to a Marine Drill Instructor. The first batch of modern Army Drill Sergeants were trained at the Drill Instructor School at MCRD Parris Island, SC.
A unit of measurement which is essentially the distance between the fingers of outstretched arms. (background) Originally “faedm” an Anglo Saxon word meaning hug or embrace, faedms were marked on a rope by a knot; when thrown overboard attached to an anchor a sailor would count off the knots or fathoms to the bottom. (Source: “Salty Talk”, Naval History, U. S. Naval Institute, October 2002)
C-47 twin prop cargo plane with flares suspended from parachutes to provide night time illumination of a battle area. Sometimes called “Spooky” or “Puff the Magic Dragon”.
Stripes worn on forearm of dress and service uniforms by enlisted Marines, each denotes 4 yrs of service.
A pejorative term for a Marine. (background) One account suggests that it refers to the Marine high and tight haircut which is cut almost to the skin at the ears with a bit more as it goes up the head giving the appearance of a jar. Another legend says that during World War II the Mason Jar Company stopped making jars and made the helmets for Marines.
A pejorative term for a Marine warrant officer. The term is derived from the fact that the insignia for warrant officers are the first and second lieutenants” gold and silver bars with stripes of red. Well-liked warrant officers are informally addressed as gunner, all others are addressed as Mister or warrant officer.
Single engine propeller driven aircraft also called Sandy or Spad (origin) Vietnam Era
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.
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.
Vietnamese word for doctor. Marines called their corpsmen by this name.
A reference to someone as “beyond dumb” since Category 4 is the lowest of the scores on the entrance exams.
Unconditional surrender by an enemy soldier or force. (origin) Vietnam
Name given to the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps.
One who steers a boat or has charge of its crew. (pronunciation: cox-SUN.)
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.
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.
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.
The radius that an automatic weapon can cover in an arc from port to starboard.
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.
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.
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.)
The person responsible for the unit guidon. First unit member in front of the formation. Sets the marching pace.
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.
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.
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.
A magazine published for Marines by the Marine Corps Association.
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”.
1. Floating aimlessly, usually without a rudder or compass. 2. Missing in action. 3. An individual who sets himself apart.
B-52 bombers dropping their entire load of 2,000 lb bombs on suspected concentrations of enemy troops. (origin) Vietnam
Browning Automatic Rifle. The M1918A1 automatic rifle was first used in World War II until Vietnam. Marines, of course, didn’t get it until after World War I. It was replaced by the SAW.
1. A jail in the Naval services usually operated by Marines. 2. Small warship under sail during the 18th and 19th Centuries.
Civilian Health And Medical Program of the Uniformed Services. (The military HMO)–now TRICARE.
The green service uniform with ribbons. Term use until about the 1980s, replaced by “Alphas”.
Usually a gunnery sergeant in a company who is charged with training. It is a billet and not a rank.
The unit, under the Department of Defense, that manages the Navy and Marine Corps. There are also Departments of the Army and Air Force.
Sight adjustments made to a Marine’s rifle to make its firing more accurate. Usually in reference to marksmanship training or qualification. Also, any adjustment made to improve the outcome of any event.
National Defense Service Medal. A medal awarded during times of war to every person in the military with 60 days of service. It is therefore awarded to each new Marine at graduation. The theory is, in order to qualify for the NDSM, only one tour of duty is required as a Firewatch.
Highest rank in the Marine Corps. The Commandant of the Marine Corps is a general. The pay grade is O-10 and is designated by four silver stars worn on collar points. The rank is the same in the Army and Air Force. In the Navy, the rank is admiral and is additionally designated by a two-inch gold band and four one-inch gold bands topped by a star on the jacket sleeves. The shoulder boards are mostly gold with a silver foiled anchor and four silver stars.
The relative position of a person to other persons of similar rank. (see pay grade.)
Harassment and interdiction artillery fire designed to limit and alter enemy movement.
Military slang term for the Middle East. Combines Iraq with the suffix of “istan which applies to 90% of the Muslim countries in the Middle East and central Asia, i.e. Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, etc.
Twenty eighth Commandant of the Marine Corps serving from July 1, 1983 until June 30, 1987. The Massachusetts native was born Nov. 11, 1928.
1. Soviet-manufactured Kalashnikov semi-automatic/fully automatic combat assault rifle, 7.62-mm 2. Basic weapon of the Communist forces.
Troops or people standing close together. (synonym) Asshole to Bellybutton, meaning close together.
A flare ship on station to drop illumination flares on command. (origin) Vietnam (synonym) “Puff the Magic Dragon” or “Spooky”.
In Naval and Marine Aviation, a fuel level or condition requiring return to base or ship or aerial refueler.
Any situation in which the Marine gets more out of an assignment, job or situation than the Marine Corps. A good time at the Uncle’s expense.
A commodity used in a practical joke by “salty” Marines who would send inexperienced comrades on a mission to find one as part of an informal initiation rite. Taken from a similar tactic among sailors.
1. Lieutenant General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, legendary former enlisted Marine who commanded Marines during the Korean War. Many Drill Instructors require their recruits to recite, “Good night General Puller, wherever you are” upon retiring at night. 2. Also a favorite name for the bulldog mascot of a Marine unit. 3. Marine PFC. (see Mustang)
A machinegun mounted exactly alongside a tank cannon enabling the tank’s gunner to use the same fire control system for both weapons.
Someone of little or no value as a person or a unit/team member.
Flying. Usually flying without a mission often simply to obtain the necessary monthly flying time to be eligible for flight pay.
A person of short or slight build, or a person in a comfortable or easy assignment such as headquarters duty or a staff billet. Often used for all civilians working for the military.
A group of ships usually under the command of a flag officer. Also, “In the Fleet” a term used to indicate the Marine Corps beyond boot camp and technical school. It is “in the fleet” that a Marine does his or her job.