U.S. Marine Corps Dictionary

M

Meat Tag

Meat Tags or Dog tag tattoos are tattoos that are usually featured on the torso of a soldier, and can be used for identification in case the deceased is otherwise unidentifiable. Other places becoming common for meat tags include the extremities such as arms and the neck.

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Moto Run

Moto Run or Motivational Run

Moto Run or officially known as the Motivational Run that takes place during Basic Training during Family Day (the last full day before graduation). The run is performed by Recruits on Family Day (by company, then by platoon) yelling Marine Corps Cadences, past their families; circling the base and ending at the parade deck.

Marine Recruits preparing for the Moto Run

(continue reading…)

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Moto

The term ‘moto’ commonly used within the Marine Corps came from the word Motivation. The Marine Corps has a way of developing it’s own terms. Moto is just the USMC’s term for Motivation. Example:

“That explosion was moto (motivating)!”

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M & M

Abbreviation for marine mattress. Slang term for a woman or guy that only gives up the booty to marines.

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M224

60 mm Mortar consisting of the M225 cannon, the M170 bipod and the M64 sight as well as two types of base plates, the circular M7 and the rectangular M8.

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M79

Shoulder-held, 40 mm, single shot grenade launcher with a range of 400 meters. Called a “blooper” from the sound it made when fired.

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Mameluke Sword

The sword worn on parade and formal occasions by Marine commissioned and warrant officers. The first Mameluke sword was presented to Marine Lieutenant Presley N. O”Bannon, by Prince Hamet Bey the Pasha of Tripoli in 1805 during which the United States flag was flown for the first time in the Old World.

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Marine Regs

A term used in the Navy to refer to Navy medical or dental personnel who opt to wear Marine Corps uniforms while serving with Marine Corps units. They agree to meet Marine Corps uniform regulations including grooming and physical standards.

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Maxwell, Smith

The most senior enlisted Marine on the battlefield at Bull Run during the Civil War. He had been busted from sergeant to private the previous December for drinking on duty. He was made Quartermaster Sergeant for the battle, then was rated Sergeant until December when he was again “reduced to the ranks” and a few days later discharged for completion of his 4 years of service.

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MedalofHonor

The nation”s highest award for bravery. It is not the Congressional Medal of Honor. More correctly it is the Army, Navy or Air Force Medal of Honor. (Navy version shown).

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MightyMite

M422-A-1. A small, Jeep-like vehicle made specifically for the Marine Corps by American Motors Corporation during the Vietnam War.

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Montezuma Red

1. The crimson color of the Blood Stripe on the dress uniform of Marine commissioned and noncommissioned officers. 2. The color of the lipstick worn by early Women Marines.

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Multi-fueler

A vehicle designed to use multiple types of fuel including gasoline, diesel or jet fuel. (see Deuce-and-a-Half.)

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M1

The U.S. rifle caliber .30 [30-06], M1, is an air-cooled, gas-operated, clip-fed, semiautomatic shoulder weapon. The primary infantry weapon of World War II and Korea. It replaced the Springfield M1903 and was replaced by the M14.

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M225

Cannon for the M224 mortar.

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M7A3CS

Riot Control Hand Grenade. This 19-oz weapon contains 9.5 oz of CS that, when ignited, gives off a thick cloud of irritating agent for approximately 60 seconds.

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Manning the Rails

When entering or leaving port, or when rendering special honors, the ship’s compliment will get in full dress uniforms and stand along the rails or in the rigging at the position of attention.

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MarineBand

The United States Marine Band, “The President’s Own”, is located at Marine Barracks 8th and Eye Street, Washington, DC. It is the official band of the Marine Corps. Other bands exist at division, air wing and depot levels throughout the Marine Corps.

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Mayday

The international distress signal, particularly during voice communication. see SOS and Police Flag.

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Medevac

Evacuation of wounded usually by helicopter. First used in the Korean War and perfected in Vietnam, it is now a standard medical term used worldwide.

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Montford Point

A section of Camp Lejeune, NC where black Marines were trained during World War II. Prior to that time there were no black Marines.

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Mundy Jr., Carl E

Thirtieth Commandant of the Marine Corps serving from July 1, 1991 until June 30, 1995. The native Georgian was born July 16, 1935.

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M1/M2

.30 cal. carbine rifle.

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M228

Hand grenade fuse.

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M8

Smaller, rectangular baseplate for the M224 mortar.

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Manual of Arms

The prescribed movements involving the use of weapons, including swords, in parades and ceremonies.

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MarineBrat

see Military Brat.

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MCAS

Marine Corps Air Station.

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MedicalBattalion

A Navy medical unit which provides additional support to Marine operational units in the field and to Marine units who do not have corpsmen assigned to them.

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Mikes

Millimeters or minutes as appropriate.

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Mustang

A commissioned officer who served previously as an enlisted person.

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M103

Heavy gun tank with a 120 mm main cannon of extremely long range.

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M249

SAW or Squad Automatic Weapon, it replaced the BAR. The SAW is a gas-operated, belt/magazine-fed, air-cooled, automatic, shoulder-fired weapon 5.56 mm. Typically, there are nine SAWs in a basic infantry platoon.

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M9

Baretta 9mm pistol with 15 round magazine which replaced the M19llA1 in the 1990s.

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MarDet

Marine Detachment.

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MarineCombatTraining

Infantry training provided to every Marine not assigned an Infantry MOS. (see School of Infantry)

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MCAS

Marine Corps Air Station.

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MEF

Marine Expeditionary Force.

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Military Brat

The child of someone in the military. Originally a put-down, it is now a term embraced by most military brats. They take pride in the informal education that living with their military parent(s) in many and unique places has afforded them.

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Moose

An indigenous female in Korea or Vietnam who served as a mistress to a Marine while in the country. They would maintain an off-base home environment and sex for a small payment and black market supplies.

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M14

M14, The U.S. rifle, caliber 7.62 mm [308 Winchester], M14, is an air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed, shoulder weapon. It is designed primarily for semiautomatic fire. (background) An infantry weapon in use between Korea and early Vietnam. It replaced the M1 and was replaced by the M16.

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M25A2 CS

Riot Control Hand Grenade weighing 7.5 oz with 3.5 oz of CS gas, with a unique arming system unlike any other grenade in the inventory. The use and effect is the same as the M7A3.

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MAG

Marine Air Group. A unit in an air wing equivalent to an infantry regiment. Commanded by a colonel.

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Marine Corps Association

At Guantanamo Bay, Cuba 25 April 1913, Marines of the Second Provisional Brigade formed the Marine Corps Association. John A. Lejeune, then a lieutenant colonel, headed its first executive committee. The purpose of the MCA was defined then and continues to drive the Association. To disseminate knowledge of the military art and science among members. * To provide for professional advancement. * To foster the spirit and preserve the traditions of the Marine Corps. * To increase the efficiency of the Marine Corps and to further the interest of the military and Naval Services in all ways not inconsistent with the good of the general government.

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MarineExpeditionary Brigade (MEB)

Consisting of a Regimental Landing Team, Marine Air Group and a services support group, the MEB is commanded by a brigadier general and is a self-sufficient fighting element.

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MCB

Marine Corps Base.

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MenopauseManor

(see Goat Locker, from the Royal Navy term.)

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Military Creases

On uniform shirts, vertical creases ironed into the uniform–two on the front running through the shirt pocket buttons and three evenly spaced on the back. Some Army and Air Force types had them sewn in, while Marines always had them ironed in.

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Mortar

An ancient field weapon that fires a projectile in a high arch to reach an impact point.

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M15

White phosphorous hand grenade replaced by the M34.

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M26

Fragmentation hand grenade. Hand-thrown, with a 7-second delay from arming to explosion.

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Maggie’s Drawers

A red flag, waved from the rifle pits to indicate a complete miss of the target during qualification firing.

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Marine Corps Birthday Ball

Any event from a buffet dinner to a mess night held on or close to November 10th each year to commemorate the birthday of the United States Marine Corps in 1775. To qualify it must have a decorated cake so that the first two pieces go to the oldest and youngest Marine present and the reading of the Commandant”s Birthday Order and the Birthday Order of Major General Commandant John A. Lejeune.

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MARTD

Marine Air Reserve Training Detachment.

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MCBH

Marine Corps Base, Hawaii.

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MER

Maximum Effective Range. The distance at which a weapons system can be expected to regularly hit a target.

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Military Occupational Specialty (MOS)

The career field and job of a Marine.

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MOS

Military Occupational Specialty.

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M16

The U.S. rifle, caliber 5.56 mm [223 Remington], M16, is a lightweight air cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed, shoulder weapon. It is capable of both semiautomatic and full automatic fire. (background) The basic infantry rifle that replaced the M14 at the start of the Vietnam War. It was designed by Eugene Stoner for the Armalite Company and was produced by Colt. see Mattel.

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M34

White phosphorous smoke hand grenade. This 27.2 oz weapon contains 12 oz of white phosphorous.

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Maggot

One of the lowest forms of life. Also a Marine who spends most of his or her time trying to obtain a discharge.

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Marine Corps Exchange

The correct name of the PX. On Navy bases you will find a Navy Exchange and on Army and Air Force installations they will have Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES).

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McCawley, Charles

Eighth Commandant of the Marine Corps. Born in Pennsylvania on Jan. 29, 1827, he was named Colonel Commandant on the resignation of Brigadier General Jacob Zeilin on Oct. 31, 1876. The law making the Commandant a brigadier general had been repealed during Zeilin’s term. McCawley resigned Jan. 29, 1891 and died on Oct. 13 of that year.

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MeritoriousMast

An awards and promotions formation. From the navy tradition of gathering the crew around the main mast of the ship to deliver punishment and rewards. In the modern Marine Corps it is a written recognition of work well done and is of greater value than a Letter of Appreciation or a Certificate of Commendation.

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Miller, Samuel

Adjutant and Inspector of the Marine Corps and a Brevet Major, he served as Acting Commandant of the Marine Corps from the 2nd to the 15th of Sept. 1818. He was replaced as Acting Commandant by Brevet Major Archibald Henderson who served from Sept 16, 1818 until March 2, 1819 when Anthony Gale was appointed Commandant.

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MotorT

Motor Transport. Present and former motor transport personnel can join the USMC Motor Transport Association.

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M170

Bipod for the M224 mortar.

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M3A1

Shoulder fired, blowback operated .45 cal. submachine gun with 30-round magazine known as the “grease gun”. A favorite of garrison officers. Standard on-board weapon for most tank crews.

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MAGTF

Marine Air Ground Task Force. A unit with both air and ground elements but not MEU or MEB.

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Marine Corps Gazette

The magazine for professional Marines.

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Massaro, John E

Eighth Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps serving from April 1, 1977 through August 15, 1979. He was born on May 22, 1930 in Cleveland, OH.

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McHugh, Thomas J

Third Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps having served from June 29, 1962 until July 16, 1965. He was born Dec 23, 1919 in New York City and died in 1999.

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MessDeck

Naval term for Dining room.

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Missing Man Formation

A flight of usually five aircraft in a fly-over formation. When the flight reaches the honor point, one of the aircraft peels off into a steep climb leaving his or her position vacant. It is a formal salute rendered to POW and MIA as well as to deceased military people–usually aviators.

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MountUp

A cavalry term meaning to mount your horse and prepare to move out. In the infantry it is often said “mount out” and means to go into battle or begin a march or some similar event.

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M18

Colored Smoke Hand Grenade. Emits either red, green or yellow smoke for up to 1.5 minutes. Color is marked on the canister.

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M47

Dragon Weapon System. Man-portable, shoulder-fired, medium-range antitank weapon.

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Mail Buoy

A non-existent navigational aid used in a practical joke by “salty” Marines and sailors. (background) Allegedly, the mail buoy or sea buoy was a device to which passing ships or aircraft would attach packets of mail. Inexperienced Marines or sailors were assigned to “guard duty” and told to be on the look out for the buoy. It was part of an informal initiation rite.

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Marine Corps Hymn

Does not exist. (see Marines” Hymn)

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Master at Arms

A ship”s policeman. Usually a senior petty officer charged with keeping order aboard ship or in a Navy organization. When necessary, he would call upon Marines to assist in his duties.

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MCI

Marine Corps Institute. Correspondence school for Marine Corps leadership and technical training.

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MK1

Illuminating Hand Grenade. The burning magnesium emits 55,000 candlepower for about 25 seconds.

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MP

Military Police. At one time an additional duty, now a professional MOS with both guard and law enforcement responsibilities.

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M1903

Springfield bolt-action .30 caliber rifle which was replaced by the M1 in the mid- 1930s. The Marine Corps used them through much of World War II.

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M48A3

Main battle tank in Vietnam with a 90 mm main gun, coaxial mounted .30 cal machine gun and a cupola mounted .50 cal. machine gun with a crew of 4. The 850 horse Chrysler air-cooled diesel engine provided a cruising range of approximately 200 miles. It weighed 52 tons when combat loaded.

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Main Bottle

360-gallon bottle of napalm on the M67A2 flame thrower tank. A cluster of nine air bottles surrounded the main bottle to provide air for combustion.

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Marine Corps League

National organization of Marines and former Marines, with local detachments throughout the country.

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Master Gunnery Sergeant of Marines

The senior enlisted technician in any MOS. His or her insignia is three chevrons and four rockers with a bursting bomb between chevrons and rockers. The pay grade E-9 is shared with sergeant major. None of the other services has a similar technical rank at that grade.

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McKeon, Matthew

Staff Sergeant of Marines. (see Ribbon Creek.)

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MessNight

A formal dinner and ceremony having strict rules, toasts and responses. The uniform is always evening dress, unless the unit is in a forward area where the appropriate field uniform is acceptable. It is a unique evening of fraternity open only to Marines or specifically invited guests (spouses are seldom, if ever, allowed to attend). Separate events are held for Commissioned and Warrant Officers, Staff Noncommissioned Officers, Noncommissioned officers, or sometimes it is open to all ranks.

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MK19 Mod

40 mm machine gun. An air-cooled, blow-back operated, belt-fed heavy machine gun.

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MPC

Military Pay Certificates. Script issued instead of dollars to Marines in Japan (following WWII) and Vietnam (during that conflict).

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M1911A1

The automatic pistol, 45 caliber is a recoil operated, magazine-fed hand weapon. Used from World War I until the 1990s, it has been replaced by the M9.

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M60

Air-cooled, belt-fed, gas-operated, fully automatic, shoulder-fired standard infantry machine gun 7.62 mm with bipod and replacement barrels.

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Mainside

The main portion of a base or installation where the headquarters are located along with the Marine Corps Exchange and theater. As opposed to “in the field” or the boonies.

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Marine Detachment

A small unit of Marines assigned as part of the ship’s complement to provide guard duties, operate the brig, provide orderlies to the senior Navy officers and man one or more of the guns on board. (see Seagoing Marine)

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Master Sergeant

Army and Air Force enlisted ranks. (see Master Sergeant of Marines)

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McMichael, Alford L

Fourteenth Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps and the first black to serve in that position. Began his duties on July 1, 1999 and is still serving. He was born in Hot Springs, AR.

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MEU

Marine Expeditionary Unit. The smallest of the expeditionary organizations is built around a Battalion Landing Team and a Composite Air Squadron. It consists of approximately 2,500 Marines.

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M-NU

A fluid used by Marines to renew emblems and metal rank which are showing metal through the black coloring. Originally dark brown, since Marine Corps emblems were that color until about 1960 when emblems and shoes became black. The name stands for eMblem-reNU.

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Mr. Charles

A Viet Communist soldier. Usually called Charlie. (origin) Vietnam

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M1917A1

Browning water-cooled machine gun.

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M64

Sight for the M224 mortar.

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Major

The fourth grade of commissioned officer and first of the field grades is indicated by a gold oak leaf on the collar points. The pay grade is O-4 and is the same in the Army and Air Force. In the Navy and Coast Guard, the rank is lieutenant commander and is additionally indicated with two broad bands of gold with one narrow band between them, topped with insignia representing the branch to which the officer is assigned (most often a gold star in the Navy) or a gold shield in the Coast Guard.

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Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF)

Built around a complete Division-Wing team with combat support and combat service support groups, the MEF consists of about 53,000 Marines and sailors.

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Master Sergeant of Marines

Three chevrons and three rockers with crossed rifles between chevrons and rockers. The pay grade E-8 is shared with First Sergeant of Marines. In the Army, the rank and insignia are the same without the crossed rifles. In the Air Force, the rank is senior master sergeant who wears a technical sergeant insignia with one chevron above. Navy and Coast Guard equivalents are senior chief petty officer who wears the chief petty officer insignia with one star above the eagle.

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MCRD

Marine Corps Recruit Depot. There is one at Parris Island, SC and one in San Diego CA.

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MIA

Missing In Action.

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Mo Skosh

Very small. (see Skoshi)

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MRE

Meal, Ready to Eat. Often called Meal that Refuses to Exit. (see C-Rations.)

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M1918

Browning Automatic Rifle, known universally as the BAR/

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M67

Fragmentation hand grenade. This 14 oz hand weapon contains 6.5 oz of composition B. The average Marine can throw it 40 meters and it has a casualty producing radius of 15 meters.

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Major General

Second of the flag officer ranks indicated by two silver stars on the collar points of the uniform. The pay grade is O-8 and is the same in the Army and the Air Force. In the Navy and Coast Guard the rank is rear admiral (upper half) and is additionally indicated with a two-inch gold band and two one-inch gold bands and a gold star (Navy) or gold shield (Coast Guard) above on the coat cuffs. The shoulder board is the same as rear admiral (lower half) except that there are two silver stars rather than one.

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Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU)

The smallest of the expeditionary organizations is built around a Battalion Landing Team and a Composite Air Squadron. It consists of approximately 2,500 Marines.

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Mattel

A 20th Century toy company erroneously reported to have been the original manufacturer of the M16 rifle (see M16). The rifle was detested by soldiers at the start of the Vietnam war as it was prone to sand and dirt-induced jams and the stocks broke with very little impact. The problems were resolved and was produced for years. It has been replaced by the M16A 2.

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MCRD

Marine Corps Recruit Depot. There are two in the Marine Corps, one at Parris Island, SC and the other in San Diego, CA. (see Hollywood Marines.)

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Mickey Mouse Boots

Cold weather boots worn by Marines.

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MOH

Medal of Honor. It is not Congressional Medal of Honor. There are three separate designs: Army, Navy and Air Force. The criteria is the same for all. It is the most senior award that can be given to a military person.

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MSG

Marine Security Guard. (see Embassy Marine)

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M1919A4

Browning .30 caliber machine gun.

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M67A2

Flame thrower tank with 260 gallon bottle of napalm, a coaxial mounted .30 caliber machine gun and a crew of three. It had a cruising range of 200 miles and weighed 50 tons when combat loaded.

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Make a hole

A phrase used to move a group of people not in formation out of the way of a formed unit or a person senior in rank.

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Marine House

Used often in embassy duty to designate the residence for Marines located in a civilian neighborhood overseas or on the grounds of an embassy. Sometimes generally used for any free-standing barracks for Marines.

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Mattress

A prostitute or other person who spends a lot of time in the prone or supine position giving sexual gratification to Marines.

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MCT

Marine Combat Training. Infantry training provided to every Marine who is not assigned the Infantry MOS. (see School of Infantry)

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Midrats

Midnight Rations. Food served from midnight to reveille for those getting off or going on duty during the middle of the night.

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MOJO

Originally a concoction of hard liquors designed for the sole purpose of getting drunk. Also used to mean a swaggering approach or smooth talking individual, as in “He’s got his MOJO goin’.”

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MSSG

MEU Service Support Group, Combat Service Support Element of a MEU.

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M2

“Heavy barrel” .50 cal. machine gun developed just after WWI and still being used into the 21st Century.

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M69

Training and practice grenades. The training version has all inert or expended parts, the only removable item is the pin. The practice grenade is the same as the training grenade except that it uses an active M228 fuse to indicate delay times and add realism to training.

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Malingerer

A Marine or recruit who spends too much time at sick call or makes other excuses to get out of training or duty. It is a punishable offense under the UCMJ.

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Marine Hymn

The official song of the United States Marine Corps.

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MCX

Marine Corps Exchange.

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Midshipman

A student at the U. S. Naval Academy and in Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps units. Prior to the establishment of the Naval Academy in 1847 it was an entry-level rank to commissioning as a Naval officer. Appointments as midshipman were given, by politicians, to boys as young as 9 , who would be assigned to serve on board a ship for the purposes of learning seamanship and leadership. When they felt prepared they would apply to a Naval School in Boston, New York, Baltimore or Norfolk where they would study in preparation for an examination. Successful completion of the examination made the midshipman a Passed Midshipman and he was eligible for promotion to lieutenant.

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MOLLE

Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment. A system which replaced the traditional harness, belt and pack system to allow the Marine to “wear” rather than “carry” his or her equipment.

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Mud Marines

A term used by Marine aviation personnel to identify infantry Marines. Origin) World War II and Korea.

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M203

Light weight, single-shot, breech-loaded, pump action (sliding barrel), shoulder-fired weapon attached to the M16A2 rifle.

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M7

Larger, circular baseplate for the M224 mortar.

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Maltreatment

A problem in Marine Corps recruit training in the middle of the 20th Century, now resolved. Recruit training, while difficult and demanding, is not life threatening. Each of the very few accidents is thoroughly investigated and reviewed. (see Ribbon Creek)

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Marine One

The call sign of the Marine aircraft in which the President of the United States is either passenger or pilot. Usually one of the specially built helicopters assigned to Andrews Air Force Base, MD for Presidential Support. Most often used to transport the President from the White House lawn to Air Force One or to Camp David, MD.

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MAW

Marine Air Wing. In Marine Aviation, a unit equivalent to an infantry division. Commanded by a major general.

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MEB

Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

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Midwatch

Midnight until 0400. (see Watch.)

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MollyMarine

A statue of a Woman Marine located in New Orleans, LA. The first statue of a woman in military service in the United States.

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Mule

Designated an M274 and used around the Vietnam period, it was little more than a platform on wheels, with a two-cylinder opposed Tecumseh engine. It started with a pull-cord just like your power lawnmower. I t has four-wheel drive and steering and could be driven by a Gyrene lying prone for a low profile. It could literally carry a ton of supplies or be mounted with M60 mortars, small cannon or the 105mm recoilless rifle. The mule was retired due to the faulty design of the tires and lack of proper protection for the driver.

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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.