U.S. Marine Corps Dictionary

L


LES

Leave and Earnings Statement.

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Lance Corporal

The rank between private first class and corporal. It is not a noncommissioned officer rank and the insignia is a single chevron with crossed rifles beneath it worn on each sleeve of the uniform. The pay grade is E-3 and is equivalent to a private first class in the Army (who wears a single chevron and a rocker) and an airman first class in the Air Force (who wears two inverted chevrons with a star in a circle covering the points of the chevrons). In the Navy and Coast Guard the rank is seaman (three angular stripes in a box on the left sleeve only)

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LetterheadBG

(see Tombstone Brigadier General.)

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Lister Bag

A long canvas bag suspended on a tripod or from a tree limb containing drinking water. The canvas would “sweat” and provide natural cooling for the water.

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Landing Party Manual

The complete book of what to do (and when to do it) that guided the Marine Corps through most of the 20th Century. Now, obsolete copies are prized by professional Marines for the wealth of information and simple approach to leadership, morale, discipline, warfighting and professionalism.

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Liberty

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.

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Loader

The tank crewman on a gun tank responsible for operating the .30 caliber machine gun and loading the 90 mm cannon.

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LAW

Light Antitank Weapon. It was contained in a collapsible, disposable fiberglass tube.

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Liberty Hound

A Marine who is thought to be overly consumed with liberty.

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LockandLoad

The firing line command to put the weapon’s safety to the “on” position, load the weapon with ammunition and await further orders from the range officer. In combat, an informal command to prepare to fight.

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LBE

Load Bearing Equipment. Often “web gear” worn by infantry personnel to hold packs and tools and weapons and first aid kits and whatever is worn by the person in the field

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Lick ’em and Stick ’em

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.

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LP

(Vietnam) Listening Post usually set up at night to provide warning of an enemy attack.

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LBFM

Little Brown Fucking Machine. A pejorative term for South Pacific island girls Marines encounter while on liberty

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Lid

Another acceptable word for cover.

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LPC

Leather Personnel Carriers. Shoes or boots.

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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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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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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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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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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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LeatherneckSquare

The area south of the DMZ with the following outposts as its corners: Con Tien (NW), Cam Lo Hill (SW), Cua Viet (SE) and Gia Linh (NE). Later in the war the Marines built “Ocean View” to the east of Gia Lihn along the ocean for better control of enemy troop movement. (origin) Vietnam

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Line of Communication

(Dominican Republic) A series of roads leading from San Ysidro Airport west to the American Embassy in San Domingo, Dominican Republic and passing the Presidential Palace. The eastern half was controlled by the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division while the western half was Marine-occupied. In the Army half, troops were hiding behind walls, firing at ghosts and on high alert. In the Marine sector, the Marines were being house and fed by the locals who were doing laundry for them while the Marines maintained control of the street from the cabana chairs on the front porches.

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LZ

Helicopter Landing Zone. A field position usually designated with a name (LZ Lark, LZ Betty, LX Mouse).

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Leave

An authorized absence from duty. Marines earn 30 days of leave each year and are encouraged to take the time off.

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Line Officer

A Navy officer who is “with a ship of the line”; every officer not a staff officer such as supply, medical, judge advocate, chaplain, etc.

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Lee, Lewis G

Thirteenth Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps having served from June 30, 1995 until June 30, 1999. He was born Jan. 19, 1950 in North Carolina.

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LineCrossingCeremony

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.

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Leggings

(First World War – Korea) Canvas. leather or cloth bindings, strapped, buckled, tied or wrapped to the ankles for support and to keep out mud, snow and water. (background) By the Korean War, the Army had abandoned the use of them but the Marine Corps retained them for their distinctive look. When a dispatch from a Chinese Communist general was found, in which he ordered his troops not to engage the “yellow legs” and to seek out the less fierce Army units, the U. N. command ordered the Marines to stop wearing the leggings.

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Lipstick

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

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Lejeune, John Archer

Thirteenth Commandant of the Marine Corps. Legendary World War I commander he was the first Marine to command Army troops. Born in Louisiana on Jan 10, 1867 he died on Nov. 20, 194 2. He was first appointed Major General Commandant on July 1, 1920 and was the first Commandant to be reappointed, serving until March 4, 1929. He was also a graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy.

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Lipstick Lieutenant

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.

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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.