U.S. Marine Corps Dictionary

A-L


China Marines

Marines of the 4th Marine Regiment assigned to China in the first half of the 20th Century. (synonym) Horse Marines.

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Cluster Fuck

A mission, operation or activity gone bad. Confusion. (origin) Vietnam

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Commander

One who is in charge of a military unit or, in the Navy and Coast Guard a rank equivalent to a Marine lieutenant colonel. (see Lieutenant Colonel.)

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Congressional Medal of Honor

No such thing. (see Medal of Honor.)

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CP

Command Post. Unit headquarters.

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Cushman Jr., Robert E.

Twenty fifth Commandant of the Marine Corps, serving from Jan. 1, 1972 until June 30, 1975. The Naval Academy graduate was born Dec. 24, 1914 and dies Jan. 2, 1985.

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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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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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ECHO

(Commtalk) The letter “E”.

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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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General of the Army

A wartime rank. The rank insignia is five silver stars in a circle worn on collar points. (background) Generals of the Army do not retire. This rank has been held by George Marshall, Douglas McArthur, Dwight Eisenhower and “Hap” Arnold, all with dates of rank of Dec. 1944. Omar Bradley was promoted to this rank in Sept. 1950.

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Goat Rope

Similar to a Cluster Fuck, except that this activity comes from the Head Shed.

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Green Machine

A derogatory term used by Marines to mean the Marine Corps. Also used regularly by the Army to proudly describe the Army.

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Guidon

The official pennant of a platoon or company. At battalion or squadron level or above, the unit has official colors and they parade relative to the national flag.

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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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IMR

Individual Memorandum of Receipt. The form used to issue 782 Gear.

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Itty Bitty Gook Boats

Small Vietnamese fishing junks in the DaNang area. Early in the 1960s they were prevalent but by the end of the decade they were nearly extinct. (origin) Vietnam

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Jones, James L.

Thirty-second Commandant of the Marine Corps serving since July 1, 1999. The Missouri native was born Dec. 19, 1943.

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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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ACE Medical

Battalion Aid Station for USMC Aviation units in the field.

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Airdale

Anyone serving in aviation.

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Anchor Clanker

1. Naval slang for a Boatswain’s Mate. 2. Anyone in the Navy.

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Ass Pack

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.

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Bag

To get, as in “to bag some sleep.”

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Basic School

Basic training for new second lieutenants. Conducted at Quantico, VA.

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BDU

Battle Dress Uniform. The official name for cammies.

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Bilge Rat

1. The sailors who drain and maintain the bilge on ship. 2. Marine assigned to bilge duty as non-judicial punishment.

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Blood Stripe

A red stripe displayed on the outer seam of dress blue uniform trousers. It is worn by noncommissioned officers, warrant officers and commissioned officers, traditionally to honor the high number of casualties among the ranks at the Battle of Chapultapec in the Mexican War.

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Boondockers

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.

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Brain Fart

Discontinuity, lost of concentration, a senior moment.

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Brown Side Out

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.

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Bursting Bomb

1. Found on an ancient insignia used in the Marine Corps to designate a warrant officer with the MOS that entitles him or her to be called “gunner”. 2. Found on the enlisted grade insignia of master gunnery sergeant.

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Cammies

The field uniform of the Marine Corps since the 1970s. The original design was stolen by the Army and then every other military service and in 2002 the “pixelated” design was introduced. The design itself includes tiny Marine Corps emblems and blends better into most natural settings.

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Cates, Clifton B.

Nineteenth Commandant of the Marine Corps. A Tennessee native, he was born Aug 31, 1893 and died June 4, 1970. He served as Commandant from Jan 1, 1948 until Dec 31, 1951 in the rank of General.

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Check

Yes, affirmative or I agree.

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Chit

Any piece of paper authorizing something (light duty chit, leave chit, etc.) within the Naval establishment.

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CMC

Commandant of the Marine Corps. The senior officer in the Marine Corps although under the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Unified Command systems of organization it is possible to have a Marine whose billet outranks the Commandant (Gen. Peter Pace, Deputy Chairman of the Join Chiefs of Staff, is in a position that out ranks the Commandant). Also, in the Navy, Command Master Chief Petty Officer.

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Commander in Chief

The President of the United States (POTUS). Prior to 2002, it was also used to indicate the senior officer in a unified command. In June of 2002, the Secretary of Defense decreed that the only the POTUS can serve in this position.

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Conscientious objector

Someone who objects to combat on religious grounds. (background) They can serve in non-combatant positions (including service on the battlefield as a corpsman or other unarmed person) or they can serve in non-military public service assignments. They are usually not slackers or traitors and deserve respect for making difficult decisions before getting someone hurt or killed in combat.

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Cushman Jr., Robert E.

Twenty fifth Commandant of the Marine Corps, serving from Jan. 1, 1972 until June 30, 1975. The Naval Academy graduate was born Dec. 24, 1914 and dies Jan. 2, 1985.

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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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Devil Doc

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

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DO

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

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Drill Injector

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

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EE-8

(see Double Easy-8).

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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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Gangway

1. An order to clear space for an approaching senior officer. 2. Also a ladder or ramp used to board and debark a ship. (see Make A Hole)

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General Officers

Commissioned Officers in the ranks of: Brigadier General, Major General, Lieutenant General and General. Also called Flag Officers because federal law authorizes a flag to be flown whenever a general officer is present or on board.

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Gobbler

(Okinawa or Japan) A female in a Turkey Bar who provides oral sex for a fee.

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Green Side Out

The steel pot helmets before Kevlar”. They came with a cover that had green camouflage on one side and brown on the other. The decision of which color was to be worn to a formation was often left to a second lieutenant who couldn’t make up his or her mind resulting in frequent changes and confusion. The term came to mean the leadership was confused as usual.

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Gun

Artillery or other weaponry in which the barrel does not contain rifling (lands and grooves) used to spin a projectile for greater accuracy.

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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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In Country

(Vietnam) Serving (or having served) in Vietnam. (Iraq) Serving (or having served) in Iraq. Often used to refer to any current combat zone.

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Jack

A flag at the bow of a ship or sometimes a sailor, from the Royal Navy term for sailor–Jack Tar. The Jack of a United States ship has a blue field and 50 white stars and is flown from the bow while in port. During courts martial or courts of inquiry on board the Jack is flown from the yardarm.

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Jungle Boots

Boots designed to meet the peculiar climate of Vietnam. Made from standard field boots the upper leather was replaced with a breathable canvas that would dry while being worn and the sole was reinforced with a steel shank in response to the Punji Sticks.

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KP

Kitchen Police. Duty assigned to junior enlisted Marines, sometimes as punishment.

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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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Acme Beer

World War II era beer. (background) Made in San Jose, CA. Sent to the South Pacific specifically for Marine units. It came in both a green and a brown bottle but only the brown-bottled beer was fit to drink. The green bottles contained a liquid that smelled like a skunk.

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Airman

1. A Navy or Air Force enlisted rank. 2. Generic term for anyone in the Air Force. (see Seaman and Airman First Class).

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Anchor Pool

An unofficial betting pool, the winner is whomever come closest to the time logged by the Officer of the Deck for dropping or weighing anchor.

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Assault Line

Marine attack formation with troops advancing abreast.

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Bag Drag

Being transferred, shipped out or the process of moving to new quarters. From the act of dragging the sea bag from place to place.

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Basket Leave

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.

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Beating A Dead Horse

A Naval term meaning to work off advance pay onboard ship–the period before you start earning money again. see Dead Horse.

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Billet

A specific job authorized within a unit structure.

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Bloop or Bloop “em

(Vietnam) Unofficial field command to hit a target with an M79 grenade launcher.

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Boondocks

Anyplace out in the country.

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Brown Water Navy

Operations in rivers and other shallow water locations. (see Shallow Water Sailor.) br

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Bush

1. Outside the perimeter wire. 2. The boonies. (origin) (Vietnam)

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Campaign Cover

The hat worn by drill instructors, sometimes called a “Smoky Bear” hat. The only official Marine headgear not called a cover.

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Cattle Car

A cargo trailer converted by adding bus doors to the right side, sealing the back doors and adding bench seating. It was pulled by a truck utilizing a fifth-wheel and it was employed at Parris Island and Quantico until the late 1960s to transport recruits and officer candidates.

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Check your six

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.

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Chop Chop

Quickly or in a hurry. (origin) Derived from Chinese by the old China Marines.

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CO

1. Commanding Officer. 2. Conscientious objector.

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Commanding General

A general officer in charge of a unit with authority to dispense justice appropriate to his or her rank.

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Constructionman

A Navy enlisted rank. (see Seaman.)

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C-Rations

Individual meals used in the field from World War II until Vietnam. (background) They came in a box containing cans of food and a foil accessory pack. They were replaced by the Meals, Ready to Eat (MRE).

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Cut Sling Load

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.

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Defilade

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

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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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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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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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EGA

An abbreviation for Eagle, Globe and Anchor. Generally not used.

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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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Garbage Burner

Slang term for M67A2 Flame Thrower Tank, since it was used mostly in Vietnam to burn garbage dumps.

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General Orders

There are eleven general orders and every Marine must memorize them.

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Green Weenie

Sometimes the Big Green Weenie. It’s what the Marine Corps uses to screw you.

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Gun Bunny

Pejorative term for someone in the field artillery.

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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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Jacksonville

The civilian community adjacent to Camp Lejeune, NC.

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Jungle Bunny

(Korean War Period) Grunt, infantryman.

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K-rations

World War II individual field rations. Universally detested for their lack of taste and rubbery consistency they were replaced by C-rations.

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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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Actual

(Commtalk) Radio call sign to speak with the commander of a unit. (example) If the unit call sign is “Brownbag”, the unit commander will be “Brownbag Actual”.

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AK-47

1. Soviet-manufactured Kalashnikov semi-automatic/fully automatic combat assault rifle, 7.62-mm 2. Basic weapon of the Communist forces.

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ANGLICO

Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company. (background) Composed of 4-man “fire control teams”. A fire control officer (FICTO – usually a Lt, but due to their limited number in the reserves, may be led by a Captain in the Reserves). Like a true team, the officer shares the load of radios (UHF, VHF and HF), batteries and rifles – just like the Lance Corporal. ANGLICO members are usually parachute and SCUBA qualified. ANGLICO rarely works with Marine Corps units. You will find ANGLICO teams attached to and supporting U.S. Army (often to 82nd & 101st Airborne) and Foreign Forces, giving these forces the capability to use U.S. Naval Gunfire and close air support from Navy and Marine Aircraft. Used in the Vietnam era, and reduced from four to two companies in 1997 (both surviving companies were reserve units), and brought back for the Afghanistan operations.

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Assholes to Elbows

Troops or people standing close together. (synonym) Asshole to Bellybutton, meaning close together.

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Bag Nasty

An unappetizing meal delivered in a paper bag, mostly during Marksmanship Training at boot camp but also at other times in the fleet.

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Basketball

A flare ship on station to drop illumination flares on command. (origin) Vietnam (synonym) “Puff the Magic Dragon” or “Spooky”.

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Beef, Grease, and Shrapnel

C-Ration meal of beefsteak, potatoes and gravy.

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Bingo

In Naval and Marine Aviation, a fuel level or condition requiring return to base or ship or aerial refueler.

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Blooper

M79 grenade launcher. At least one is assigned to each squad of infantry Marines.

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Boondoggle

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.

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Brownbagger

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.

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Bust Caps

1. A firefight. 2. The actual firing of a weapon.

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Cannon Cocker

A Marine in the artillery or a Navy gunner’s mate.

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CAX

Combined Arms Exercise. Exercises the MAGTF.

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Coast Guard

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.

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Commanding Officer

A person in charge of a unit with authority to dispense justice appropriate to his or her rank.

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Contraband

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.

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Crawford, Leland D.

Ninth Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps having served from Aug. 16, 1979 until June 27, 1983. He was born in Sharon, WV on Feb. 16, 1930.

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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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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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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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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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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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El Espanol

The hotel in the Dominican Republic that was headquarters for the 6th Regimental Landing Team (including BLT 3/6) in 1965.

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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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Garrison

Any place where civilized comforts, such as showers and cots, can be found. Not in the boonies.

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General Quarters

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.

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Good Conduct Medal

An individual award given to an enlisted Marine for three consecutive years of undetected crime while on active duty.

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Greene, Wallace M.

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.

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Gung Ho

Eager and ready to accomplish whatever task necessary.

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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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Incendiary

An artillery shell that burns upon impact, usually stuffed with white phosphorous.

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JAG

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.

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Krulak, Charles C.

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.

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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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AD

Active Duty.

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ALCON

Used in radio traffic to denote all concerned.

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AN-M14

Incendiary (Thermite) Hand Grenade. (specs) Weighs 32 oz, contains 26.5 oz of TH3 thermite mixture. It is designed to start fires with its 40 seconds of 4,300oF.

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ASVAB

Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (skills test). Individuals must pass this test in order to join the Armed Forces.

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BAM

A pejorative term for a Woman Marine (background) broad-assed Marine. Never used much in the presence of female Marines. Women Marine recruits in the 1960s, when it was most used, were taught that the letters meant “Beautiful American Marine”. Known to have been used as early as World War II. It fell out of use in the late 20th Century.

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Baton

see Field Marshall and Drum Major.

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Belay

1. Stop. 2. Make fast, from the Naval practice of tying off a line with a belaying pin. 3. Disregard, as in “Belay my last”.

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Binjo Ditch

Rudimentary sewage ditches found throughout the Orient.

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Blouse

1. The service or dress coat worn by Marines. 2. Act of tucking pant legs into boots so that the fabric slightly overhangs the boots (worn mostly by Army personnel and in utility uniforms). 3. Act of tucking in a shirt with military creases so that it appeared tight over the entire belt line and caused a slight overhang between the two outside creases in the back.

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Boonie Hat

Field cover with a brim all the way around it. It became an issue item in 2001 when the no-iron cammies were introduced. May not be worn in garrison.

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Brat

(see Military Brat.)

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Bucket of Steam

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.

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Bust Heavies

To work hard. (origin) (Vietnam era)

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Canoe U

The U. S. Naval Academy.

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CC

Correctional Custody.

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Cherry Boy

1. A newcomer to the Orient. 2. New or inexperienced soldier.

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Chosin Reservoir

The fiercest and most costly battle in the Korean War. A retreat under fire in 30 below temperatures against a well-trained, much larger force. “Chesty” Puller and all of the Marines were professional in all aspects of the operation. They won the respect of everyone from General MacArthur to the newest Army private who fought with them. (see Puller, Lewis B.)

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Coastie

A member of the Coast Guard.

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Commando

Not wearing skivvies.

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CONUS

Continental United States.

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Crew-Served Weapon

Any weapon which requires more than one Marine to fire. Most artillery pieces, tanks and large machine guns fit in this category.

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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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DELTA

(Commtalk) The letter “D”.

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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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Dog Robber

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

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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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El Presidente

Dominican Republic beer in 1965, when the Marines landed there. (origin) Dominican Republic

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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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Garrison Cover

A uniform cover invented in the 20th Century. Consists of a cap running fore and aft on the head displaying the eagle globe and anchor on the front left, and the rank insignia of commissioned and warrant officers on the front right. No rank is worn on the cap by enlisted personnel. (synonyms) Pisscutter, Cunt Cap.

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Good Cookie

Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal.

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Gungy

Gung Ho, but usually to express “in an inexperienced, just-out-of-recruit-training” way.

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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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Incentive Training

Physical exercise used as a punishment to instill motivation, particularly in a Marine recruit during boot camp. (synonyms) Quarterdecking or being pitted (as outside it is usually conducted in a special sand pit designed for the purpose)

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Jarhead

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.

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Junk on the bunk

An inspection of a Marine”s uniforms and equipment in which everything is laid out in a specified order on the bunk bed. Also called “things on the springs” or “sea bag inspection”.

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Kuni

MCAS Iwakuni, Iwakuni Japan

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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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Administrative Discharge

1. A non-punitive discharge prior to completion of an enlistment. 2. Type of discharge that will not affect post-service benefits.

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Ali Baba

1. An enemy combatant. 2. Looter or bad guy. (background) “Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves.”. (origin) Operation Iraqi Freedom

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AN-M8

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.

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Aviation Cadet

A student in military flight training. In some instances they have come from other officer procurement programs, while at other times they were stand-alone commissioning and flight training programs. (see Cadet.)

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Bandoleer

A cloth or canvas container of several rounds of ammunition.

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Battalion

A unit containing multiple companies. It is typically commanded by a lieutenant colonel. (background) Battalions are normally assigned to a regiment.

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Bells

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.

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Bird Colonel

A full colonel, designated by the eagle emblem on the insignia. (synonym) Full Bird

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Blowing Smoke

Wasting time, talking for no purpose and to no effect.

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Bravo

(Commtalk) the letter “B.”

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Buddy

Best friend. It is said that a real buddy is someone who will go into town when you are restricted to base and get himself two blow jobs, then come back to base and give one of them to you.

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But

The pits on a rifle range.

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CAO

Casualty Assistance Officer.

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CG

Commanding General.

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Chesty

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)

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Chow Hall

Place where meals are served (synonym) Mess, Mess Hall, Dining Hall, Mess Deck.

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Coaxial Machinegun

A machinegun mounted exactly alongside a tank cannon enabling the tank’s gunner to use the same fire control system for both weapons.

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Commissary

Grocery store on base run by DeCA (Defense Commissary Agency).

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Cool Beans

Everything is OK.

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Crossing the Line

An allegorical ceremony performed aboard ship whenever the ship crosses a navigational line such as the equator or into another ocean. Very colorful and usually involves an initiation of those who have never crossed the line before.

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Daily Seven

Physical Training exercises expected of every Marine.

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Delta Delta

Dependent Daughter (see Dependent Wife)

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Dick Cheese

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

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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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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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Elliott, George

Tenth Commandant of the Marine Corps. Born in Alabama on Nov. 30, 1856, he died on Nov. 4, 1931. Appointed Brigadier General Commandant to replace Major General Commandant Heywood. The law was changed on May 13, 1908 establishing the position of Major General Commandant to which he was promoted.

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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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Gas Chamber

A building used to train recruits and Marines on how to respond during a nuclear, biological or chemical attack. Various gasses are used in training; all of them are noxious, but none are fatal.

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Get Some

1. To kill the enemy. 2. To have sex. (origin) Vietnam

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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.