U.S. Marine Corps Dictionary

T

Tacking On

(see Pinning On.)

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Tits Up

Dead, broken, inoperative. A politically correct version is Toes Up. Also referred to as Tango Uniform.

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Truck

The top of a flagpole containing either a ball or an eagle and a pulley for the flag lanyard so that the flag can be hoisted and lowered.

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TAD

1. Temporary Additional Duty. An assignment in addition to the normal billet, usually “at no additional cost to the government”. 2. Traveling Around Drunk

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TLA

Temporary Living Allowance.

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Tun Tavern

A tavern in Philadelphia where the first Marines were recruited for service in 1775. It was also the home of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Pennsylvania.

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Tail End Charlie

The last person or element in a line or column.

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TMO

Traffic Management Office. Where one goes to arrange for the shipment of household goods, vehicles or other items on a permanent change of station.

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Tuna Boat Driver

A pejorative term used by tankers in reference to Amtrac drivers.

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Toe Chain

The smaller of two chains holding the dog tags. It could be draped on the big toe to identify a casualty while the tag on the larger chain went to Graves Registration.

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Turkey Bar

(Okinawa and Japan) A local bar where oral sex is performed for a fee. In the 1960s, some of the bars even advertised being Turkey Bars on their signs. The bar girls are called gobblers.

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TDY

Temporary Duty. A temporary assignment other than the normal billet, often at another location and frequently with additional pay during the period. Used since the 1980s, prior to that the term was TAD.

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Toilet Seat

Pejorative term for the “Marksman” Shooting Badge. It is the lowest of three levels of marksmanship qualification and the badge is shaped like a square target. Qualifications for the Marksman Shooting Badge would earn an “Expert” rating in the other services.

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Turn to

Naval command to begin work.

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Technical Sergeant

1. A World War II and Korea period rank, the insignia of which was three chevrons and two horizontal bars. It was part of a dual rank system which had technicians and command ranks. In the 1960s, the rank became gunnery sergeant and the crossed rifles were added. 2. Air Force rank upon which the insignia of the top three enlisted grades are constructed. (see Staff Sergeant of Marines.)

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Tombstone Brigadier General

Following World War I, Congress passed a law that advanced a Navy commander by one grade if they were retiring and had been decorated during the war. It was intended as a one-time fix for a decorated officer whose career was compromised by an accident which kept him from promotion. However, the law, which applied only to the Naval Service, remained in effect until 1967 when it was repealed. Marines who retired and had received personal decorations were routinely promoted to the next rank the day after retirement. The effect was most noticed with colonels who, the day following retirement became flag officers.

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Twilight Cruise

Transfer to a cushy duty station for a Marine’s last assignment prior to retirement.

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Terminal Leave

Leave from which a Marine is not expected to return to duty, such as just prior to retirement or separation. Usually taken to get a jump on civilian life or to use up any unpaid leave remaining on the books.

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Tootsie Roll

A candy that was air dropped to the Marines who were cut off at the Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War. It kept many of the Marines from starving to death, as all of the other food they had required heating, due to the 30o below zero temperatures. Tootsie Rolls could be put inside clothing, close to the skin, and it would thaw out enough to be eaten. In addition, as their trucks and jeeps were being shot up by the Chinese, the Marines would repair the holes by placing a chewed up Tootsie Roll into the hole, where it would immediately freeze and create a weld.

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Twinkie

(Korean War Period) Marine aviation personnel.

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Tet

Lunar new year celebration which in 1968 marked the start of an offensive by the North Vietnamese Army to oust the Americans from Vietnam. While fighting was fierce, it was a failure for the Communist forces. (origin) Vietnam

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Top

(WWII through Vietnam) First Sergeant, informal reference not currently in use. At present, if it is used at all it refers to a Master Sergeant (who is in the same pay grade as a First Sergeant but serves in a more technical capacity). While not the top enlisted grade, a first sergeant is the senior enlisted grade authorized in a company, the level at which most Marines spend their time. Sometimes used as “top kick” (mostly a WWII usage).

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TH3

Thermite. (see AN-M14)

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Topside

1. Naval term for the deck or floor(s) above. 2. Also used to refer to the upper levels of the chain of command.

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The President’s Own

The United States Marine Band. What term goes here? Madd Shitter, The? Term used primarily in the U.S. Army. Refers to deranged individuals that leave steaming piles of poo in conspicuous areas or sometimes in or on your personal equipment. Most of the time their aim is to shock or disgust the discoverers; other times they aim to cause illness by attacking food or water sources. Most attacks are meant as practical jokes played between units but occasionally they are meant as acts of revenge. Areas that the Mad Shitter has been known to strike: Public showers; on top of toilet seats; in sleeping bags; in hats or berets; in cars; in water tanks; on the hoods of cars; on desks

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Tothe Colors

A bugle call sounded in the morning as the U. S. flag is being raised. (see Reveille.)

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ThrashLight

Illumination of a combat zone by dropping 55-gal. barrels of napalm from CH-53 helicopters. Go to: this site for more info (which site?) (origin) Vietnam

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Toys for Tots

A nationwide project to collect toys and distribute them at Christmas to children of need. It began within the Marine Corps Reserve and is now assisted by the Marine Corps League. It has been placed within its own corporation, the Toys for Tots Foundation.

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Three Ss

Shit, shower and shave.

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Track Lube

A tanker’s term for Infantrymen.

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Three up and three down

A reference to a First Sergeant or a Master Sergeant (three stripes up and three rockers down).

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TrainingFilm

U.S. military cover term for a pornographic video.

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Tie-Tie

A length of cord with two clips every 10 inches issued to recruits. The recruit would cut between the clips and use the resulting length of cord to tie laundry to a line to dry. Clothes clips were not used in boot camp in the mid-20th Century.

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Triangle

The civilian community outside MCB Quantico, VA.

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Tight-Jawed

Pissed off, angry.

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TRICARE

Managed health care program for the military, dependents and retirees. Replaced CHAMPUS.

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TINS

This Is No Shit. Sort of the “Once upon a time” of Sea Stories.

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Trops

Tropical Uniform consisting of Khaki Long Sleeve Shirt, Trousers, Cover & Tie. Worn until the mid-70’s.

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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.