U.S. Marine Corps Dictionary

F

F-4 Phantom

Twin engine jet fighter/bomber, used by Marines for ground support. Made by McDonnell Douglas.

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Field Strip

Take apart or disassemble as in field strip a rifle or a cigarette.

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FitRep

Fitness Report written on Marines in the rank of sergeant and above, which measures his or her fitness for command. It is the written report of a Marine’s career.

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Fore

In front. From the Naval term.

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Front Leaning Rest Position

The position for pushups. Often just “the position”.

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Falcon Code

A variation of the Charlie Echo Code.

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Fieldscarf

A necktie worn on a Marine uniform.

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Forecastle

An open deck on board most ships at the bow, usually where the anchors were secured. Generally a place for off duty sailors to gather, tell sea stories and smoke. (pronunciation: fok’ sil.)

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Frozen Chosin

(see Chosin Reservoir.)

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Fantail

An open deck at the rear of a ship, usually where trash was dumped overboard.

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Fighting Hole

Called a Fox Hole by the Army, it is an entrenched position for one or more Marines in a static warfare situation.

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Flag Allotment

A detachment of Marines assigned to certain Navy Admirals for security and ceremonial purposes.

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Formed

Reference to a unit of Marines who are under the control of someone and are standing, walking, marching, sitting or even lying in a prescribed manner. It is said that whenever two Marines are walking together, one is in command and the other is formed.

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FTA

Fuck the Army.

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Fartsack

Sleeping bag or mattress cover.

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FIIGMO

Fuck It, I Got My Orders. Often written FIGMO. Someone who has received permanent change of station orders or is ending their term of service. Either way they are Short Timers and don’t much care about anything but leaving.

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Flag Officer

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.

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Former Marine

An acceptable term for a Marine who is not currently serving, but make no mistake, that person is a Marine and always will be a Marine.

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FTN

Fuck the Navy.

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Fathom

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)

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Final Strength Test

A physical fitness test given near the end of recruit training to determine if a recruit has improved sufficiently, based upon the results of the Initial Strength Test.

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Flare Ship

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”.

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Fortitudine

The original motto of the Marine Corps, Latin for fortitude. It has been replaced by Semper Fidelis.

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FUBAB

Fucked Up Beyond All Belief.

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Feather Merchant

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.

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Fire In The Hole

An alert that an explosive device is about to be detonated. If you hear this you probably missed all of the other warnings and are about to be blown away.

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Fleet

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.

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FUBAR

1. Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition. 2. Fucked Up Beyond All Repair.

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FEBA

Forward Edge of the Battle Area.

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Fire Team

The basic infantry fighting unit consisting of four Marines with various weapons and support. Fire teams are combined into squads.

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Fleet Admiral

A wartime rank given to full admirals who command a fleet. The rank insignia consists of five silver stars in a circle. Fleet Admirals do not retire. (background) This rank has been held by Admirals Leahy, King and Nimitz who were promoted in Dec. 1944. Admiral “Bull” Halsey received the rank a year later.

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Forward Edge of the Battle Area

The “front line” or the spot where the battle is active.

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Fuck You Bird

A bird indigenous to Southeast Asia whose call sounds exactly like, “fuck you”.

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Fiddler’s Green

Historically, a sailor’s idea of heaven. Many petty officer clubs on Navy installations are given this name.

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Firebase

An artillery support position.

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Fleet Hospital

Naval field hospital.

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Four Holer

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

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Fuller, Ben H.

Fifteenth Commandant of the Marine Corps. The Michigan native, born Feb. 27, 1870, graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy and was appointed Major General Commandant on the death of Wendell Neville, July 9, 1930. He served until Feb. 28, 1934, and died June 8, 1937.

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Field Day

A day set aside for the thorough cleaning of barracks or offices.

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Fireman

A Navy enlisted rank. (see Seaman.)

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Flight Line

The place where airplanes are parked on the airfield. Newbies are sent to find this intangible line.

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Four-deuce

A 4.2 inch mortar.

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Funeral Pace

Marching pace for funerals, approximately half of quick time.

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Field Expedient

The art of getting the job done despite the limitations. (see Tootsie Roll)

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Firewatch

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.

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Flight Surgeon

A physician and Navy Medical Officer who specializes in aviation medicine for the Navy and the Marine Corps.

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Foxhole

An Army term for a fighting hole.

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Field Grade

A commissioned officer in the grade of major, lieutenant colonel or colonel.

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Firewatch Medal

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.

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Float

To be deployed at sea, usually on a MEU as in “six month float”.

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FOXTROT

(Commtalk) the letter “F.”

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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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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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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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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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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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About DevilDogCorps.com

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