U.S. Marine Corps Dictionary

D

Date of Commissioning

Date of Enlistment for officers. Seldom used as precedence among officers.

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Drownproofing

Survival swimming taught to every recruit.

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Defilade

A cut or low spot in the ground used for cover by tanks and personnel.

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Doc

A term reserved for Navy enlisted medical corpsmen assigned to duty with Marine Corps combat units. These sailors are generally given the same respect that one Marine gives to another Marine. In fact, Navy corpsmen who earn service medals during duty with the Marine Corps are authorized to wear a miniature eagle, globe and anchor on their ribbon; this is something not even authorized for Marines.

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DEROS

Date of Estimated Return from Overseas.

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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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Date of Enlistment

For enlisted personnel, this is the third level used to determine precedence among individuals of the same rank. The first level is earliest date of rank (DOR) and the second level is earliest date of enlistment (DOE).

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Diddy Bop

To move in such a manner as to be extremely cool. Diddy; to move on, usually quickly.

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Drum Major

The musician in charge of a band or musical unit. Usually elaborately dressed and carrying a baton, used to signal changes in march and to provide tempo. Usually a staff noncommissioned officer.

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Delayed Enlistment Program

A recruiting procedure which allows a person to enlist in the inactive reserve prior to being ordered to active duty. It legally binds the person to enlistment and gives them seniority when ordered to active duty. (see Poolee.)

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Doctor

A commissioned officer in the Navy with a degree in medicine, dentistry, psychology or other allied profession, usually referred to by their military rank.

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Desertion

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

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Date of Promotion

The date a promotion warrant or order is signed.

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Dinged

Wounded. (Origin) Vietnam

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Dry Fire

Simulated rifle fire used to teach correct positions for firing on the rifle range. A shooter would be in position and a buddy would slam the bolt to the rear when he or she heard the pin forced front.

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DELTA

(Commtalk) The letter “D”.

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Dog Robber

An aide to a general officer whose duties are so varied, they defy explanation.

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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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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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Date of Rank

The date a promotion is effective. Usually the date of rank is prior to the date of promotion (sometimes by days, weeks or years depending on the requirements of the promoting authority). Date of rank is used to establish precedence for promotion to the next higher rank and to establish seniority among individuals of the same rank (see General of the Armies).

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Dink

Enemy or, generically, Vietnamese.

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Dubbing

(From WWI to Vietnam) A concoction issued with boots and boondockers intended to clean them, since the footwear was made with the rough side out (much like the modern Desert Boot). By the late 1950s, it was not being used; Marines were using bottles to force shoe polish into the nap so that the boots and boondockers could be spit-shined. This all came to an end when Defense Secretary McNamara forced Marines to give up their comfortable “Marine Corps last” footwear and replaced it with the Army Munson last which was much less comfortable, but cheaper.

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Delta Delta

Dependent Daughter (see Dependent Wife)

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Dog Tags

Originally metal disks embossed with personal information that could be left with a body on the field of battle for identification. Eventually it evolved into a rounded rectangle with a small indentation on one side so that it could be set on the teeth of a deceased soldier and kicked into the head so that the enemy could not strip the dead soldier of his identity (this info confirmed with HQMC Casualty Branch). Current versions do not have the notch. (see also Toe Chain.)

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Dress Blues, Tennis Shoes, and a Light Coat of Oil

A flip response to the question, “what is the uniform?” or “what will you be wearing?”

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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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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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Delta Hotel

Dependent Husband (see Dependent Wife)

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Dog Watch

The normal watch from 1600 until 2000. It is broken into two smaller watches (first dog and second dog) so that everyone has the opportunity to eat the evening meal. They change the rotation of the watches where there are only two groups of watch standers (mostly from the days of smaller wooden ships).

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Devil Doc

Nickname for Navy hospital corpsmen assigned to Marine Corps field units.

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Drill Injector

Pseudo-humorous replacement for Drill Instructor, sometimes acceptable in informal speech.

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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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Ditty Dot

Radio operator, from Morse Code, dit and dot.

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DVA

Mistaken abbreviation for Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Delta Sierra

Dumb Shit. Also Dependent Son (see Dependent Wife)

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Doggies

Pejorative term for soldiers.

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Devil Dog.

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.

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Drill Instructor

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.

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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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Division

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

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Delta Whiskey

Dependent Wife. (see Alpha Unit)

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Da Nang

Major Marine base and seaport on the China Sea in southern I Corps. (origin) Vietnam

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DI

Abbreviation for drill instructor. Also a mid-20th Century movie about a drill instructor at Parris Island, SC starring Jack Webb.

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Drill Instructor”s Hut

The office and duty quarters of the drill instructors, it is located within the recruit squad bay.

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Deck

Naval term for floor.

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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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DEP

Delayed Enlistment Program.

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Donkey Dick

Long, flexible metal spout for attaching to Jerry Cans.

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Dailey, Joseph W.

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.

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Di Di

From the Vietnamese term Di Di Mau which was loosely translated to mean “move quickly”. (pronunciation: “D-D”.)

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Drill Sergeant

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.

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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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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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Department of the Navy

The unit, under the Department of Defense, that manages the Navy and Marine Corps. There are also Departments of the Army and Air Force.

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Dope

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.

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Daily Seven

Physical Training exercises expected of every Marine.

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Dick Cheese

Someone of little or no value as a person or a unit/team member.

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Drilling Holes in the Sky

Flying. Usually flying without a mission often simply to obtain the necessary monthly flying time to be eligible for flight pay.

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Deep Six

To throw something overboard or away. (origin) Call a sailor made to the bridge that the depth of the water is more than six but not quite seven fathoms.

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DMZ

Demilitarized Zone. Area where the presence of soldiers or weapons are prohibited. In Vietnam, a section of Vietnam between the Marines of I Corps and North Vietnam. In Korea, the line drawn at the 38th Parallel. Any point between two belligerent camps.

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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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Dap

A complicated and unique hand shake devised by African American Marines in Vietnam as a demonstration of racial pride. Quickly picked up by non-African Americans and eventually a common form of greeting. It came back to the United States with many of the veterans and became widespread for more than a decade.

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Dick Holster

Mouth. Usually used in reference to Women Marines.

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Drooping Turns

Helicopter pilot term for “I’m getting tired” or when a helicopter is unable to maintain the necessary rotor RPM for whatever reason.

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DEERS

Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (used to register dependents for CHAMPUS/TRICARE and numerous other programs).

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DO

Duty Officer. The Marine equivalent to Officer of the Day.

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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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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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About DevilDogCorps.com

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