U.S. Marine Corps Dictionary

H

H & I

Harassment and interdiction artillery fire designed to limit and alter enemy movement.

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Head Shed

Often Head Shed. Headquarters or Command Post where all of the leaders are gathered. A great place for a Marine to avoid.

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Hooch

Hard liquor, usually contraband, often home made.

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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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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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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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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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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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Ham and Motherfuckers

(Vietnam) The most reviled C-ration meal which was so bad you couldn’t even give it away to the locals. The meal included apricots. Sometimes called the dead man’s meal because it was said that if you ate apricots before going into battle you would be hit.

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Heywood, Charles

Ninth Commandant of the Marine Corps. Born in Maine Oct. 3, 1839 he became Colonel Commandant on Jan. 30, 1891 and served in the position until Oct. 2, 1903. On March 3, 1899 the billet of Commandant was again raised to Brigadier General, and on July 1, 1902 a law was passed promoting the incumbent to Major General Commandant but requiring that his replacement be a Brigadier General. He died on Feb. 26, 1915.

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Hostess House

An on-base hotel for guests of Marines.

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Hamlet

(Vietnam) A village of less than 100 residents.

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High and Tight

The traditional Marine haircut.

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Hotel Street

(WWII) The vice district of Honolulu, Hawaii which contained 20 brothels and around 200 prostitutes. Customers would pay $3 for 3 minutes and the women (mostly imported from the mainland) would service up to 100 customers per day (martial law rules imposed a curfew during the hours of darkness).

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Harper’s Ferry

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.

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Hiyoko

To bug out in a big hurry.

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House Mouse

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.

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Harris, John

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.

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HMFIC

Head Mother Fucker In Charge. An Ebonic version is MFWIC for Mother Fucker What’s In Charge.

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Housewife

(Civil War through WW II) Sewing kit.

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Hashmark

Stripes worn on forearm of dress and service uniforms by enlisted Marines, each denotes 4 yrs of service.

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Holcomb, Thomas.

Seventeenth Commandant of the Marine Corps. Born in Delaware Aug. 5, 1879 he was named Major General Commandant on Dec. 1, 1936. On Jan. 20, 1942 a new law provided for the Commandant to be a Lieutenant General and provided that the title be “Commandant of the Marine Corps”, dropping the reference to rank. He retired from the Marine Corps on Dec. 31, 1943 and the next day was promoted to General on the retired list the first Marine to hold that rank. He died May 24, 1965. Following his retirement he served as Ambassador to South Africa. (see Tombstone Brigadier General),

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HQ

Headquarters.

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HASP

Hawaiian Armed Services Police. Vietnam era.

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Hole

Window, from the Naval term porthole. (see “make a hole”.)

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HQMC

Headquarters Marine Corps. Located in the Pentagon. Previously at the Navy Annex on a plot of land where the Air Force Monument will be built. (background) The original site for the AF Monument was on Arlington Ridge adjacent to the Marine Corps Memorial but Marines and their friends fought that placement as inappropriate.

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Hat

Informally suitable term for the Campaign Cover worn by Drill Instructors. Also an informally suitable name for Drill Instructors. Also, to leave as in “get a hat.”

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Hollywood Marine

Marines trained at MCRD San Diego, CA. (background) It is rumored among Parris Island Marines that Hollywood Marines are issued sun glasses in boot camp. There are no female Hollywood Marines since all female Marines go through boot camp in the 4th Recruit Training Battalion (formerly WM Battalion) at MCRD Parris Island, SC.

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Huey

UH1E, the designation of a helicopter used extensively in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam period.

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Havelock

1. The civilian community outside the main gate of MCAS Cherry Point, NC. 2. Also a cloth hanging from the back of a cap or hat to protect the neck (a la the French Foreign Legion). 3. Once part of the U. S. Navy uniform hat it now exists only on the female dress hat in a much smaller form.

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Homeboy (homes, homey, homedog, holmes, or homie)

A fellow Marine from one’s neighborhood, hometown or region.

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Hump

1. A field march or extended hike. 2. To work hard. 3. To fornicate.

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HE

High Explosive.

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Honcho

The person in charge; not necessarily the person assigned to be in charge. (see HMFIC.)

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HUSS

An early Marine helicopter designation often used to request a helicopter they would say “get me a huss.” Later it came regularly to mean do me a favor or help me out as in “Cut me a huss.” (origin) Vietnam

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Head

Latrine or toilet, from the Naval term. (background) In the sailing navy the forecastle (pronounced folk-sill) was the most forward deck open to the weather and was the place sailors were allowed to gather to relax and entertain each other. One corner of the forecastle, with a wide scupper, was where sailors went to the bathroom. As the forecastle was in the front or “head” of the ship, a sailor on the way to relieve himself would declare that he was on the way to the head.

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Honey Bucket

Any bucket used to clean out a toilet, usually carried in pairs on a stick by Oriental women and men.

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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.