combat writing badge

M I L T E R M S : fingerspelled letter C semaphor letter C signal flag letter C C : CHARLIE

The emphasis of this educational reference is on words and phrases that appear in published works about war and military service; and amongst this jargon and slang, there is no pretense of objectivity or completeness, which may be readily found in official documents or government resources. This fragmentary opus is a work in progress ....

Caveat Lector: Vulgar, profane, and obscene dysphemisms, which have been used for every part of speech and rhetorical form, have not been Bowdlerized nor expurgated from this glossary, to the undoubted dismay of purists and the evident enrichment of our mother-tongue; so immature or hypersensitive persons should refrain from perusing this indubitably eclectic and contingently egregious compendium. Swearing is usually either juvenile or crass, but military personnel admire talent and respect skill, so the ability to create imaginative expletives and to craft uncommon scurrility is often appreciated.

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C :
an aircraft prefix under the Joint Service Designation System that represents 'cargo'.

CA :
in air operations, meaning Combat Assault, which flight time counted more than resupply (ASH 'n' TRASH) or surveillance (VR); and in ground operations, meaning Civil Affairs (or Community Affairs), as related to Civic Action Program (CAP) missions, including DENTCAP, ICAP, and MEDCAP, as conducted by the proverbial "5 shop", as S-5/G-5/J-5 (v: J-CODES, STAFF); see DP, CAG, PHIL CAG, CAT, CAP, CAAT, CAMG, OOTW, USAID, IVS, WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS; compare UW, FID, PSYOPS, DA, SF, SOF. [nb:Civil Affairs sections have been redesignated as Resources, and enumerated S-/G-8; while J-5 has been designated the Plans section in latest references] Also, Casualty Affairs; see CACO, GHOUL, KINFORMING, HUG SQUAD, RINGS OF SORROW, MORTUARY AFFAIRS. Also, designates a U.S. Navy armored heavy cruiser; a type of WARSHIP; compare CL, FFG.

Combined Anti-Armor Team, consisting of several HMMWVs (High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle) equipped with TOW and JAVELIN anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), heavy machineguns and automatic grenade launchers. Also, Counterinsurgency Advisory and Assistance Team; see ADV, COIN, UW. Also, the Captive Air Amphibious Transport, or Captive Air Amphibious Transporter, is a maritime vehicle that can deliver standard shipping containers of supplies to support servicemen operating unconventional scenarios in coastal conditions.

Combat Action Badge
abbreviation for the Combat Action Badge, approved 27 May 2005, for US Army personnel present and engaged in active ground combat while serving at brigade level or smaller sized units in an area designated for Hostile Fire or Imminent Danger supplemental pay, but who are not eligible for either the Combat Infantryman's or the Combat Medical Badge. This award culminates the extensive efforts to recognize the combat service of artillerymen, tankers, cavalrymen, combat engineers, and military policemen with a distinctive badge; and it may be earned by other support personnel if so engaged. If a servicemember is entitled to more than one combat badge, only one may be worn at a time on the uniform, with the CAB of lowest precedence. This badge was known as the "Close Combat Badge" during its design and development (officially announced 11 Feb 2005), but someone probably noticed that Nazi Germany presented an award of the same name for the same service during WWII, which undoubtedly hastened the change of designation. During and after the VIETNAM WAR, an enlarged specialty branch insignia surrounded by a wreath was circulated as an unofficial "combat badge" for REDLEGs, MPs, and others. See CIB, CMB.

a late 19th century visiting card, measuring about 4" by 6.5", bearing the name and other particulars of an officer on one side and a photograph on the other; also called "cabinet portrait", this card is larger than the earlier CARTE DE VISITE.

any strong heavy ROPE or CORD made of twisted strands, especially one made with metallic wire; see LINE. Also, a thick HAWSER made of ROPE, wire, or chain. Also, a strong heavy ROPE or CORD that operates a mechanism. Also, a unit of length equal to 720 feet on land, or 606 feet at sea; see FATHOM, DEMONS, SHOT, NAUTICAL MILE, KNOT, KLICK. [nb: 12 inches = 1 foot, 3 feet = 1 yard, 6 feet / 2 yards = 1 fathom, 16.5 feet = 1 rod (aka: pole or perch), 66 feet / 4 rods = 1 chain (90 feet / 15 fathoms = 1 anchor chain), 10 chains / 660 feet (1/8 statute mile) = 1 furlong, 120 fathoms / 720 feet = 1 land cable, 101 fathoms / 606 feet (1/10 nautical mile) = 1 cable, 3 statute miles = 1 land league, 3 nautical miles = 1 sea league / shot] [nb: a "geographic mile" is the length of a minute of longitude on the equator]

abbreviation for the Common Access Card, a machine-readable control document that's used for identification and accommodation at military facilities by MIL-PERS, their dependents, and government contract employees; phased into use from 1993 to 2003, the CAC uses contact and non-contact features for identification as well as for authenticated access to DoD networks, including restricted accountability and signed transactions. In addition to the individual's photograph, the CAC contains programmable data in an integrated microchip, a stacked two-dimensional barcode, a linear barcode, a radio frequency identification (RFID) transmitter, and a magnetic stripe, most of which is protectively coated by transparent lamination (except the magstripe and chip contacts). Designed to provide two factor authentication by its physical presence and the input of a personal identification code (PIC), the CAC can be quickly used for verification and authorization in an environment made secure by intranet protocols. This identification card grants access to military posts and bases, high-security areas, military clinics or hospitals (or proof of healthcare eligibility under TriCare), exclusive stores (ie: AAFES/NEX outlets and commissaries), Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) facilities, and communications or transit networks. The status of the bearer is denoted by the color of the card: green [DD Form 2 (active duty)], blue (retired), tan [DD Form 1173 (dependent or SC-disabled veteran)], red (retired reserve and dependent of reservist). See SMART CARD, ID CARD, SWIPE CARD. [nb: in addition to active-duty, reserve, and National Guard members of the Armed Forces, retirees thereof and their dependents, the Common Access Card is also issued to DoD civilian employees and to civilians deployed overseas, to presidential appointees (approved by the U.S. Senate) and to military veterans (with a U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs disability rating of 100% P&T), and to members of the U.S. Public Health Service and of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] Also, abbreviation for the USMC Combined Action Company; compare CACO; see CAP, CUPP, CAG. Also, the rude Vietnamese word for 'shit', as in "bu cac toi"; see TRA CA, DUMP, TROTS, SQUIRTS, SLOP CHUTE, CAT HOLE, HONEY BUCKET, BLUE CANOE, SLIT TRENCH, LATRINE.

Vietnamese phrase for "kill you" or "you die". May be personalized "I'll kill you" as TOI CACA DAU.

a hiding place for munitions, supplies, or other valuables, a stash or hidey-hole; derived from "pack together" or stow. See GLORY HOLE, SMUGGLER'S TRAP, DUMP, DEPOT. [nb: the cellar or cache known as "The Douglas Larder" derives from the incident, on Palm Sunday 1307, when Sir James Douglas regained his castle by a ruse and, knowing that he could not hold it, caused all the provisions to be heaped together, along with the bodies of the slain prisoners and dead horses, pouring drink and casting salt over all, then the castle entire was fired; cf: wolverine] [v: hoard, stockpile, store, reserve]

an official seal, as on a letter or document; as derived from "something compressed to a small size"; see CHOP, RUBBER-STAMP, SIGNATURE. [v: seal, sign, signet, sigil] Also, a tradename, slogan, or design imprinted on an envelope or folded letter; see INSIGNIA. Also, any distinguishing mark or feature, such as a stamp of approval conferring superior status, or an endorsement from someone prestigious; see INFLUENCE.


(kak-ko) in the Navy and Marine Corps, the Casualty Assistance Calls Officer, being a duty detailed to someone of equivalent RANK who is stationed near the home of the servicemember's next of kin (NOK), often accompanied by a chaplain, so as to initiate burial and survivorship procedures; this procedure is known as Casualty Affairs (CA) or Survivor Assistance in the other service branches. See KINFORMING, HUG SQUAD, GHOUL, SKY PILOT, GOD SQUAD, WIA, DOW, KIA, RINGS OF SORROW, MORTUARY AFFAIRS, GRAVES REGISTRATION. Also, abbreviation for Marine Combined Action COmpany; compare CAC, see CAP.

the CODENAME for Guadalcanal during Operation Watchtower during the period 31 July - 3 September 1942 in WWII.

the ensemble WWII Allied air power assigned to Guadalcanal, particularly that operating from Henderson Field; which phrase derives from the CODENAME ("Cactus") for the island.

(forthcoming); see GITMO Compare STAR WARS, MAGINOT LINE, SIEGFRIED LINE, MARETH LINE, SMEZ, BERLIN WALL, IRON CURTAIN, BAMBOO CURTAIN, BAR LEV LINE, McNAMARA'S WALL, McNAMARA LINE, CHINESE WALL, DEW LINE, PHASE LINE. [cf: Hadrian's Wall, Antonine Wall, Great Wall of China] [nb: the Dutch built Wall Street (1652-98) as a defense against the British in New York] [nb: "The strength of a wall is neither greater nor less than the men who defend it." by Genghis Khan; "Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin; whoever builds a high gate invites destruction." Proverbs 17:19 NIV Bible]

a colorless, viscous, toxic PTOMAINE (C5H14N2) having a noisome odor, formed by the action of bacilli on meat, fish, and other protein; also called pentamethylenediamine. See PUTREFY.

rate of march, as coordinated by rhythmic beats or chants; the rhythmic and uniform step in marching. See JODY CALL, CHANTEY, HEP, BY THE NUMBERS, QUICK TIME, DOUBLE TIME, FUNERAL PACE, PARADE, MARCH, MARK TIME, ROUTE STEP, STUTTER-STEP, WALK LIKE A PUSSY, DITTY-BOP, HOISE, BEATERS 'n' BLEATERS, TOOTER. [cf: ballad, chanson, lay, air, tune, ditty, carol]
    [eg: C-130 comin' down the strip,
    Airborne daddy gonna take a little trip.
    Stand up! Hook up! Shuffle to the door!
    Jump right out and count to four.
    If my chute don't open wide,
    I've got another one by my side.
    If that chute don't open round,
    I'll be the first one on the ground.
    If I die on the ol' Drop Zone,
    Pack me up and ship me home.
    Bury me in the leaning rest,
    Tell my folks I did my best.]

West Point academy service
USMA svc cap
a student of military science in a school/academy, or a subaltern enrolled in an officer training course, culminating in a commission in the Armed Forces; such as OCS, ROTC, US Air Force Academy, US Military Academy ("West Point"), US Naval Academy ("Annapolis"), Virginia Military Institute (VMI), The Citadel, etc. Just as enlisted (EM) trainees are given distinguishing designations (eg: pup, TADPOLE, YARDBIRD, MAGGOT), so freshmen in officer training are identified by unflattering names (eg: plebe, midshipman, DOOLIE, rook, rat, knob, DOGSBODY, SNOTTY, snooker). The term CADET literally means "small head", as the younger son of a headman, chief, CAPTAIN, or noble [cf: cadette]. See BOAT SCHOOL, HUDSON HIGH, ALUMINUM U, TRADE SCHOOL, RING-KNOCKER, MERCHANT MARINE, COASTIES, RECYCLE, BCT / BEAST, SQUARE MEAL, SQUARE CORNERS, BRACE, SHORT-SHEET, RATHOLE, WOC, SMACK, MISTER, TWEEDLEDUM 'n' TWEEDLEDEE, OFFICER, AIDE, PIP, OC, OCS, WETSU, GREMLIN. [v: West Point slang; Military Schools] [nb: the word "caddie", with the same origin as CADET, and sometimes shortened to "cad" (irresponsible, dishonorable), was the 17th century term for a gentleman who learned the military profession by serving in the army without a commission; henceforth, it was applied to any person seeking employment (cf: coronet)] [v: Siwash ("At Good Old Siwash" by George Helgeson Fitch (1911)] [v: kriegsakademie, kriegsschule] [v: "What happens in school stays in school!"] [nb: Vietnamese term: Sinh Vien Si Quan; Chuan Uy (DRV Third Lieutenant Aspirant)] [v: Viet-Nam Military Terms]

the complement of officers and enlisted men (NCO, EM) permanently assigned to an organization, from regular TO&E units to training centers; see STAFF, PERMANENT PARTY, SHIP'S COMPLEMENT, PDS, PLOWBACK, HOUSE MOUSE, OC, OSUT, TOP GUN, RED FLAG.

the winged staff of Mercury / Hermes, with a rod separating two entwined snakes, which symbol represents peaceful negotiation; although widely used as a symbol of medicine and the healing arts, the rod of Aesculapius / Asclepius is the proper icon for that purpose; see BONE CUTTER, MC, ANGEL, RAMP TRAMP, ANC, FUZZY-WUZZY ANGEL, MEDIC, CORPSMEN, DOC, BABY DOC, ORDERLY; compare STAR OF LIFE.

(forthcoming); obliged to be above suspicion, beyond reproach.

the Marine Combined Action Force, being the administrative element in III MAF that directed the Combined Action Program; see CAC, CAP, CAG.

a poseur or dilettante, washout or hanger-on who advocates support for "the cause" (be it leftist or rightist) but without actually doing anything more than speak voluably and emotionally about it; like the "cafe poet" and "cafe intellectual", this "teahouse revolutionary" or "coffeehouse guerrilla" or "parlor anarchist" is more a matter of shared attitude with the subcultural in-group than an actual venue, whether restaurant or tavern, salon or cabaret. See GUERRILLA THEATER, POETIC JUSTICE, PRIMROSE PATH, SYMPATHIZER, RUNNING DOG, INVISIBLE, PROVOCATEUR, USEFUL IDIOTS, SOFT REVOLUTION, GUERRILLA, IRREGULARS, MACHO, TOY SOLDIER, WHISKEY WARRIOR, iota, WANNABE. [v: café society, literati, intelligentsia]

Carrier Air Group, or the designated Carrier Air Group commander. Also the Marine Combined Action Group; see CAP, COUNTERPART, CA, PHIL CAG, IVS, AID, USAID, HOPE, PROMISE.

a smaller and lighter version of the wheeled Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicle with an armored V-hull that's designed for use in constricted urban areas; this model is categorized as a Mine-Resistant Utility Vehicle (MRUV).

a two-wheeled wagon, used for carrying artillery ammunition; see LIMBER, ARTY. [nb: the marching song of the Field Artillery, "The Caisson Song", or "The Caissons Go Rolling Along", composed by Edmund L. Gruber, was adapted in 1956 by H.W. Arberg, a musical adviser in The Adjutant General's Office, to become the official U.S. Army song: "The Army Goes Rolling Along"] Also, an ammunition chest; a "limber box" or "ready box" containing AMMO for immediate use. Also, a wooden chest containing bombs or explosives that was formerly used as a MINE. Also, any of various structures used as a protective environment for workers in underwater construction, consisting of a pressurized watertight chamber. Also, a float for raising a sunken vessel, that's submerged beside the vessel, made fast to it, and then pumped out to make it buoyant; also called "camel" or PONTOON. Also, an adjustable structure built against the damaged area of a HULL to render it watertight; also called "cofferdam". Also, a boatlike structure used as a gate for a dock or the like.

anyone who acts like they are entitled to preferment or promotion by virtue of being a privileged member of the "lucky sperm club", regardless of their inherent conspecificity; a legacy CADET or anointed OFFICER, being an elitist who's inherited social standing or economic prominence, and believes his prestigious position in the military meritocracy doesn't have to be earned; this allusion probably originated as a reference to the French nobility who were summarily executed by the RADICALs in the French Revolution. See RING-KNOCKER, TICKET-PUNCHER, MILICRAT, FAST TRACK, VULCANIZE, RHIP, TWEEDLEDUM 'n' TWEEDLEDEE, WHIZ KID, WISE MEN, BRAIN TRUST, BLUE BLOOD, POWER ELITE, BRASS HAT, CZAR, MANDARIN, BEST AND BRIGHTEST, BOY'S CLUB, KHAKI MAFIA, SECOND ESTATE, THE ESTABLISHMENT, SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, VETERANS' ASSOCIATION, FRATERNIZATION; compare GOOD PEOPLE, GOOD STICK, LITTLE PEOPLE, GREEN BLOOD, LONG GREEN LINE, GOOD OLD BOY, REACTIONARY, WHITE TRASH, THIRD ESTATE, KNUCKLE-DRAGGER, BRUTE, BUBBA EFFECT. [aka: Ivy Leaguer] [v: 'claque' for group or coterie of BROWN NOSERs] Also, older WWI-era slang for a self-indulgent ladies' man; a gigolo of easy pleasures.

routine mission or uneventful operation; such "going through the motions" operations often lulled troops into false security. See PIECE OF CAKE, LAUGH A MINUTE, WALK IN THE PARK, DUCK SOUP, NO SWEAT, MILK RUN, TURKEY SHOOT.

abbreviation for 'caliber'. Also, abbreviation for the Center for Army Leadership; see LDR.


see CY, TIME.

the bore diameter, measured from land to land, of a firearm or gun, expressed in either hundredths of an inch (eg: .45 cal) or in millimeters (eg: 9mm); and the BULLETs sized to pass through particular barrels. See CARTRIDGE, HARDBALL, DUMDUM, SHELL. [nb: RIFLEd guns are denoted "inch" (eg: 3" Field Gun called "three incher"), which is the diameter of the projectile, while SMOOTHBORE cannons are denoted "pound" (eg: 12# Mountain HOWITZER called "twelve pounder"), which is the weight of the projectile] [nb: although "gauge" is actually a measure of weight (not size), representing the bore diameter sized to equal the number of lead balls of that diameter to weigh one pound avoirdupois (12ga converts to .69cal), but the so-called ".410ga" SMOOTHBORE barrel is actually a caliber] [nb: the 1795 Springfield Arsenal musket (smoothbore, flintlock, .69 caliber muzzleloader) was the first official shoulder-firearm to use standardized interchangeable parts] [v: Firearms Glossary]


acronym for the Center for Army Lessons Learned; see LESSONS LEARNED.

see CARTE DE VISITE, CABINET PHOTOGRAPH, COINING, CUSTOMS AND COURTESIES OF THE SERVICE. [nb: unlike previous secretaries of defense in the GULF WAR-era, James "Mad Dog" Mattis doesn't carry any challenge coins as calling cards or as tokens of appreciation because "I'm saving money for bombs." (Dec 2017)]

the formal censure or reproach of a subordinate by a superior, with the existence of an office carpet implying a very senior supervisor, which chiding may require a defensive or apologetic response, oral or written (RBI), or may escalate into preferred charges and punishment; also called reprimand, rebuke, upbraid, admonish, berate, scold, reprove, chastise, castigate, fustigate, revile, vilify, tongue-lash, dress-down, bawl-out, chew-out, sail-into, rap-on-the knuckles, slag-off, carpet dance or rug dance. See CONFAB, VERBUM SAP, BROWBEAT, FANG, VENT ONE'S SPLEEN, KICK ASS, NASTY-GRAM, BLISTER, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, HAWK, BLANKET PARTY, GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK, GIG, DR, DRUMHEAD, SMACK, ARTICLE 15, RIOT ACT, UCMJ. [v: comeuppance]

radio or field telephone station identification, known as "handle" or moniker; could be qualified by appending "actual" (eg: Bayonet 6 Actual) to indicate the person speaking was not the operator (RTO). After initial contact between stations, the formal CALL-SIGN would be abbreviated (eg: "Six, one, WILCO, over."); and a distinctive voice or style could eliminate any need for SIGNATUREs. Compare CODENAME, CODEWORD, NICKNAME, COVER, PASSWORD; see HAND, SOI, SSI. [nb: the numeric suffixes of CALL-SIGNs do not match STAFF designations (eg: S-6 = commo but CALL-SIGN-6 = commander, S-5 = civil affairs but CALL-SIGN-5 = executive officer or deputy commander, etc)]

a BUGLE CALL to rally the MILITIA; see MUSTER, VOLUNTEER. [cf: warison; v: clarion call] [nb: the phrase 'battle rattle' has been previously associated with a CALL TO ARMS aboard warships during the period of 1812]

evocative phrase akin to "rally 'round the flag", meaning to ACTIVATE the militia, in the same sense that a "call to arms" or a call to "man the barricades" invites VOLUNTEERs to defend their community or their standards. Due to Johnson's simultaneous NATION BUILDING in SEAsia and Great Society "war on poverty" at home, an agenda of both bullets and butter, only one reserve unit (Co D, 151st Inf (LRP/Rngr), Indiana NG at II FFVN: 20 Nov 69 - 10 Apr 70) was ACTIVATEd for service in combat during the VIETNAM WAR. See DRAFTEE, DRAFT LOTTERY, McNAMARA'S HUNDRED THOUSAND, VOLUNTEER, MUSTER, ENLIST, TOTAL FORCE; compare FOLLOW THE DRUM. [cf: warison; v: clarion call] [nb: "One volunteer is worth a score of [im]pressed men." anonymous proverb]

an obstructive device consisting of four projecting spikes, such that at least one always points upward when emplaced on the ground; formerly used to inhibit cavalry. Variously sized for anti-personnel or anti-vehicular obstruction, they may be seeded from AIRDROP. The name originally designated a tropical plant with spiny burs or bracts, but derives from Medieval Latin for "heel trap", and is also spelled "caltrap" or "calthrap". See PUNJI STAKE, FRAISE, ABATIS, HEDGEHOG, BOLLARD, DRAGON'S TEETH.


a slight upward curve or arching convexity, as in the DECK of a ship. Also, the rise of the curve of an airfoil, usually expressed as the ratio of the rise to the length of the CHORD of the airfoil. Also, the necessary tilt of an automotive wheel, measured as the angle between the vertical and a plane through the wheel's circumference.


see COSVN, MENU, SEALORDS, NIXON DOCTRINE, CASE-CHURCH AMENDMENT, COOPER-CHURCH AMENDMENT, INTERVENTIONISM, POSSE COMITATUS. [nb: the Cambodian INCURSION (30 April - 30 June 1970) was limited to 30km from the SVN border; as SOG missions were restricted to 20km inside Laos and Cambodia] [nb: Lam Son 719 (8 Feb - 9 Mar 1971) was restricted to interdiction of infiltration routes through the southern panhandle of Laos]


commercial name for the three-liter (3l) "personal hydration system" supplied with the MOdular Lightweight Load-bearing Equipment (MOLLE) issued to field troops as an individual canteen equipped with a sipping tube; see CANTEEN. [nb: the latest iteration of the humble water bag, now labeled a "personal hydration system", is the container and sipping tube supplied with the MOLLE gear that's commercially marketed as CamelBak; contrived from an intravenous setup by a competition bicyclist, its alleged benefits in specific situations are offset by its greater defects, the greatest being the additional care required to maintain sanitation and prevent temperature damage. The advantage of tube-feeding water from a backpack-mounted storage container without halting the march tempo or removing bulky gear ignores the necessity of rest stops, of movement paced to terrain, and of gear removal to prevent bodily injury. all flexible containers, which are quieter and lighter, are more prone to puncture and leakage than firm or rigid containers, but the heaviest part of any container is its contents, and no CANTEEN is bulletproof. Although the tubes and valves of this demand delivery system are detachable, replaceable, and interchangeable with an insulated type, every complex system has a greater potential for failure than a simple system; and when one large container holds all of a person's water, any small problem can rapidly become a large problem that will leave the user without water.] [nb: a vest-packed soft canteen accessed by a drinking tube was described in the novel: Tunnel in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein (1955)]

a garnished sandwich consisting of a fried or broiled patty made from ground camel meat mixed with lamb and beef, as served at the Abu Dhabi Officer's Club; an authentic regional specialty similar to the caribou burger in Alaska and the kangaroo burger in Australia. Also, slang for the Mid-Eastern sandwich of deep-fried falafel that's served in a PITA bread pocket. See SLIDER, CRITTER FRITTER, CAVALRY STEAK, CHOW, BEANS, RATIONS.

(forthcoming); compare WATER BUFFALO, HIPPO.



an idiom for permissiveness leading to undesirable consequences, or an allusion to the leading edge of a greater obtrusion, where any small act has greater (unforeseeable) consequences; originating in the 19th century as the substance of a Mid-Eastern fable (untraceable), it was usually expressed as: "Once the camel's nose enters your tent, you'll soon have the whole camel inside!" This precaution against relenting to the insinuations of evil seems to have been a Victorian appeal to MORAL COURAGE; other metaphors endorsing resistance include: "foot in the door", "give an inch", "slippery slope", "thin edge of the wedge". Represented as 'an old Arabian proverb' by Senator Barry Goldwater: "If the camel once gets his nose in the tent, his body will soon follow."; and an omen by Lydia Sigourney: "To illustrate the danger of the first approach of evil habit, the Arabs have a proverb, 'Beware of the camel's nose.'" See DOMINO THEORY, MISSION CREEP, RIPPLE EFFECT, LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, MORAL VICTORY. [v: venial sin, gateway drug] [cf: to swallow a camel and strain at a gnat]

see PEN EE. [cf: subminiature cameras (Minox, Rollei, Minolta, etc)]


Civil Affairs and Military Government; see USAID, CA, CAP, CAT.

camouflage FATIGUES or Battle Dress Uniforms (BDU) of various patterns, including LEOPARD, TIGER STRIPE, WOODLAND, CHOCOLATE CHIP, or three-/six-tone DESERT, as used for protective coloration. Each disruptive pattern has featured different styles of uniform. Probably the first patterned cloth camouflage was the hunting tartan worn by Scots, but the original camouflage field uniform was British KHAKI (subdued from "redcoats"), and both German gray and French blue were selected for their subtility during dawn and dusk operations, being the time when most enemy action occurs. During WWI, both Allied and Axis powers formed "camouflage corps" to study color perception, concealment and distortion, which resulted in various spotted or mottled patterns being adopted by the end of the war. During WWII, the earlier research resulted in the limited use of spotted or striped uniforms for select units, such as Marine parachutists, but the scale and urgency of the war made wider production of mottled cloth uniforms impractical. Furthermore, technological advances, such as infrared (IR) detection, made camouflage uniforms obsolete. The EDRL leaf pattern uniform that was introduced during the VIETNAM WAR included infrared dispersion dyes in its mottling; this feature became standard on later field uniforms. See ACU, ABU, AQUAFLAGE, DIGITALS, FLUFF 'n' BUFF, DRESS, HELMET-COVER, CAMO, GILLIE SUIT; compare FATIGUES, DUNGAREES. [cf: parti-colored, mottle/motley, variegate, pied/piebald]

truncation of CAMOuflage; designed to either conceal or distort an object, either blending or disrupting an object's context by imitation or deformation, and by natural or denatured coloration, so as to confuse or disguise perception of it. See DECEPTION, HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT, CONCEALMENT; compare HELMET-COVER, CAMMIES, LEOPARD, TIGER STRIPE, ERDL, WOODLAND, GILLIE SUIT, DESERT, CHOCOLATE CHIP, DIGITALS, ACU, ABU, AQUAFLAGE, KHAKI, DAZZLE, COUNTERSHADING, WAR PAINT, WAR FACE, CORK, GRAYBACK. [cf: parti-colored, mottle/motley, variegate, pied/piebald, moulage]

(kham-mon or gam-mug) Vietnamese idiom for "thank you", usually combined with the polite gender designation (eg: Cam On Ong); may be elevated to "Xin Cam On Ong Lam Lam" for emphasis.


the cavity that results from a deep underground explosion that doesn't rupture the surface; the enclosed pocket of gas and smoke produced by the underground explosion of a bomb or mine that doesn't break the surface. Also, the bomb or mine that, when exploded, creates a subsurface hollow; as literally derived from "smoke blown in someone's face" as a practical joke, a hot puff of breath. Compare CRATER; see PETARD, EXPLOSIVE.

all of the people, equipment, and shelters needed for a military establishment. Also, the place where a military unit is POSTed and lodged for training or some other temporary duty; a temporary setup of tents, huts, or other shelters for troops, being more permanent than a BIVOUAC or LAAGER but less permanent than a FORT or BASE; see BOOT CAMP, POW CAMP, CONCENTRATION CAMP, BASE CAMP, STOCKADE, COMPOUND, CANTONMENT, FOB, AOB, MOB, FSB, ADVANCED BASE, CHUVILLE, ENCEINTE, GARRISON. [eg: Camp Forrest, Camp Chaffee, Camp McKall, Camp Hunter Liggett, Camp Lejeune, Camp Pendleton, Camp Enari, Camp Holloway, etc] Also, any temporary structure that's used as shelter by transient or CASUAL occupants. Also, the group of transients or casuals who irregularly occupy such impermanent lodging, as to station troops at a POST. Also, to settle down securely, assuredly, and snugly; to become ensconced. Also, any group of people who are favorably disposed toward one another, or are sympathetic to each other's doctrine and lifestyle. Also, a sophisticated form of knowing amusement, as by virtue of its being artlessly mannered, self-consciously artificial, ingenuously stylized, or mawkishly sentimental; a campy spoof. Also, to behave in a playfully extravagant manner, or to adopt a teasingly theatrical mien, especially for the amusement of others; as to "camp it up" in the impetuous style of an uncouth (ie: homosexual) person.

one of a series of military operations, as a systematic course of aggressive activities, for a specific purpose or objective as part of a war; a campaign consists of a series of operations (including battles) that share the same goal, often coincident in a similar time and place. [nb: contrary to popular opinion, this term does not derive from 'camp' + 'pain'!] Also, a robust style of furniture, paraphernalia, accouterment, or equipage formerly used by soldiers and explorers when outfitting for campaigns, fieldwork, or foreign travel; see CAP-A-PIE, RIG, CAMPAIGN CHEST, FOOTLOCKER, DUFFEL BAG, WAR BAG.

(forthcoming); see FOOTLOCKER, SEA CHEST, WALL LOCKER, SLOP CHEST, BRASSBOUND. [cf: Armada chest, bachelor's chest, mule chest, oxbow chest, camelback chest, Saratoga trunk, cedar chest, blanket chest, hope chest, dower chest, marriage chest, steamer trunk, wardrobe trunk]

U.S. Army M1911 campaign hat
campaign hat
a broad-brimmed and high-crowned felt hat that's been in active service in various styles since the antebellum period, including the Hardee slouch (1850s), the cavalry center crease (1880s), and the "Montana Peak" (1899), which four-dent crown style still persists; Marines deployed to the Philippines and Cuba during the SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR wore this hat. Adopted in 1911 as the Army's service cap, it was replaced by the more convenient OVERSEAS CAP during WWI, but has since been retained for special purposes due to its military appearance. The CAMPAIGN HAT is most commonly associated with drill sergeants (DI), but has also been worn by marksmanship cadre, honor guards, drill teams, ROTC cadets, and others. Worn by the Army SCOUTs who staffed the national parks before the National Park Service was instituted, it remains part of the Forest and Park Service ranger uniform (called a "Smoky the Bear" hat), as well as being worn by many state and local POLICE forces. Compare PITH HELMET, BOONIE / BOONIE HAT; see HEADGEAR. [nb: the wearing of the CAMPAIGN HAT in a distinctive manner by certain groups or units has necessitated a "wetting down" (or "breaking-in your Stetson") INITIATION composed of various rituals and arcane rites, normally including a bout of drinking from the inverted hat, together with other high jinks and hilarity; see SPUR RIDE, ORDER OF THE SPUR] [nb: the Australian and New Zealand slouch hat, which is similar to the American campaign hat, is worn by AUSSIEs with a central fore-and-aft "bash" in the crown, while KIWIs shape the crown into a "lemon squeezer" peak (like American "Montana Peak") that sheds rainwater; one side of the slouch hat brim is pinned-up only when under arms, so as to clear the rifle at the shoulder or on its sling] [nb: the female Marine drill instructor (DI) wore a characteristic crimson AIGUILLETTE or shoulder CORD on the left side of her uniform, as a mark of distinction while training women recruits, until the October 1996 adoption of the CAMPAIGN COVER, which reform matched her male counterpart; compare CORDON, LANYARD, FOURRAGERE, ROPE]

informal reference to a "service medal", such as the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) or Vietnam Service Medal (VSM), the American Defense Service Medal (ADSM) and National Defense Service Medal (NDSM), which indicates honorable service during one or more campaigns in the specified region authorized for that award; see I WAS THERE, BTDT, GONG, JOCKSTRAP MEDAL, FRUIT SALAD, BATTLE STAR, DEVICE.

a plan for a series of related military operations aimed at accomplishing an operational objective or attaining a strategic goal within a given time and space.

a female companion or sex partner adopted for the period of "hardship" assignment outside of CONUS or away from home; and distinguished from a SHACK-JOB by being another dislocated government or military employee, instead of a foreign national (v: SLEEPING DICTIONARY). Officers have more of an opportunity to acquire a suitable surrogate without jeopardizing the CUSTOMS AND COURTESIES OF THE SERVICE (ie: morale is adversely affected when leaders "get their bread and meat" or "get their honey and money" at the same place) and offending social conventions (eg: divorce, pregnancy, etc). Although some foreign military services assign attractive EMs as "personal aides" (an implicit CAMPAIGN WIFE) to senior officers, the informal practice is a classic opportunity to introduce a DANGLE for a "honey trap" extortion. See DISTAFF, CLASS-B DEPENDENT, DRAG, RING THE BELL, THE MOTHER-IN-LAW OF THE ARMY, COW, OFFICER'S WIFE, PETTICOAT COMMAND, TERRITORIAL BACHELOR, CAMP FOLLOWER, HORIZONTAL COLLABORATOR, STRANGE, SPLIT, SNATCH, BITCH, ROUND EYE, SKIRT.

a military detention facility located near Umm Qasr in Iraq, used for Islamic TERRORISTs; see CLUB FED, GULF WAR.

renamed in 1953 by Dwight D. Eisenhower to honor his grandson; see SHANGRI-LA.


a CIVILIAN not officially connected with a military unit, but who settles nearby for personal or economic reasons, especially sutlers and prostitutes, also called "blow fly" or "barracks blow fly", but this rubric also includes dependent spouses and BRATs, who are dependent upon the largess of the military; see SEPARATE RATS, ARMY SOUP, SKIRT, DOUGHNUT DOLLY, SALLY, DISTAFF, CLASS-B DEPENDENT, DRAG, COW, LADY, OFFICER'S WIFE, GOLD STAR, BITCH, STRANGE, SPLIT, SNATCH, BUTTERFLY, GRASSHOPPER, LBFM, LULU THE ZULU, SHORT-TIME. [nb: many young women during WWII, enthralled by the wartime drama and excitement, became "uniform groupies" who were sufficiently "khaki wacky" to express their ardor by casual favor or intimacy bestowed upon almost any serviceman for simple companionship; such patriotic chippies or amateur trollops were known as "V-girls" (probably by analogy to B-girl), with the dual implication of "victory" and "venereal"] [nb: the American GI's standard reference for a "woman of easy virtue" during WWI was Miss Laycock and WWII was Mary Quicklay, during Vietnam was Susie Rottencrotch or Mary Meatgrinder, while any Asian was either Madam Butterfly or Suzie Wong] [cf: vivandière] [nb: the "comfort girls" who were employed as contract prostitutes to serve the sexual needs (TRICKs) of Imperial Japanese troops in the field, usually at a COMFORT STATION or SIN CITY, were called "shock absorbers" by the Allied POWs who happened to observe their (mis-)treatment] Also, a person who espouses the aims of a group without belonging to it; an advocate or champion, booster or supporter, sympathizer or upholder; see PATRIOT, BTDT, WANNABE, PAY DUES. [nb: "In the moment of failure (at Bannockburn) the sight of a body of camp-followers, whom they mistook for reinforcements to the enemy, spread panic through the English host." by J.R. Green, A Short History of the English People (1874)]

Vietnamese phrase for suicide squad, as depicted on unofficial RANGER-style scroll worn by I&R, LRRP, or LRSP teams. Suicidal tactics often indicate desperation or fanaticism (eg: TERRORIST) but also represent deep devotion and high dedication; and fails in its intended purpose, like STRATEGIC BOMBING, of demoralizing and discouraging their targeted opponent, enemy, or adversary. See SUICIDE SQUAD, SPEARHEAD; compare IOTA. [v: Viet-Nam Military Terms] [cf: Vietnamese phrase: Queyet Tu (ready to die)] [v: Japanese kamikaze (single) or floating chrysanthemum (group) mission, Nazi self-sacrifice mission or total mission]


a cuffed forearm orthotic appliance; also called 'Lofstrand crutch'; see CRUTCH.

a horizontal control surface that's mounted in front of the aircraft's main wing, which serves as a stabilizer to control PITCH and to prevent STALLs ... it's designed to stall before the main wing, lowering the ANGLE OF ATTACK of the main wing before that wing can stall. Used since the pioneering days of early aviation, CANARDs also reduce aerodynamic drag by cutting down the force generated by a conventional tail. Also, AvnSpeak term describing any aircraft that flies tail first.

Martin B-57 twin-jet tactical bomber, some of which were extensively modified for reconnaissance missions over southeast Asia; see BIRD.

the proper form of address for enlisted trainees in Officer's Candidate School (OCS), or more formally an "officer candidate" (OC); compare CADET. Also, the proper form of address for newly commissioned Marine officers undergoing screening and training in The Basic School (TBS) at Quantico VA.

designation given to UC-130 aircraft used in nighttime SCAR operations.

the state of enthusiastic purposefulness, or the quality of positive efficiency; an attitude of accomplishment or fulfillment that's exemplified by the rationale: all is permitted that's not forbidden ... creativity builds higher morale, wins more battles, and saves more lives! [nb: "Americanism is a byproduct of this land of plenty. Americans are, as a rule, optimistic and gullible because their homeland is superabundant. Our 'can do' attitude, which is a sore point with many other peoples, is natural for us because miracles happen to us all the time." paraphrase of Henry Miller (1956); "Americans have always believed that -- within the law -- all kinds of people should be allowed to take the initiative in all kinds of activities. And out of that pluralism has come virtually all of our creativity." by John W. Gardner (1979)] [nb: real life always transcends the rule book]

slang for non-accountable funds or unvouchered money made available to select agencies and special units for "deniable" training or BLACK operations, often banked in a HONEY POT; see GOLDEN SHOWER, JUICE, SLUSH FUND, CUMSHAW, BLACK BAG, BAGMAN, CARPETBAGGERS, PORK BARREL, POLITICAL ENGINEERING. Also, a euphemism for analgesics, anesthetics, euphorics, or other pharmaceuticals used to relieve PAIN or suffering incurred by MIL-PERS during training exercises or combat operations; the oft quoted Ogden Nash verse ("Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker.") does not apply in this case; compare ASA, APC; see RANGER CANDY, CHEERIOS, BISCUIT, HUFFER, JUNK, DOPE, STONED, COLORS, LSD, SMACK, TAR, SPICE, STICK, GRASS, HAY, BUMMER, HUBBLE-BUBBLE. [v: gateway drug, hard drug, soft drug, designer drug, prodrug; cf: miracle drug, wonder drug] [nb: it has been widely alleged (without documentation to date) that test subjects, including servicemembers and other government employees, were involuntarily administered LSD and other experimental psychotropic / psychotomimetic drugs without their informed consent, resulting in many notorious incidents, including at least one (now infamous) suicide (Frank Olson in 1953)] [cf: "The Army admitted today that it conducted secret experiments of mind-altering drugs on many unsuspecting soldiers without their consent during the 1960s, but the spokesman reported that none of the test subjects was promoted above the rank of lieutenant colonel." by George Carlin] [nb: a widely circulated but spurious WAR STORY alleges that post-war criminal violence and other antisocial nonconformity by crazed veterans is the direct result of unauthorized drug experimentation that was secretly conducted by medical personnel, many of whom were ignorant of this classified test, which was designed to increase combat aggressivity in soldiers, hence the fictitious "Rambo" account that allegedly attempted to disclose the purported "truth" behind the CODENAME of the program; actually, LRRP teams were only issued amphetamines, and Special Forces teams were also issued kits containing: 12 Darvon, 24 codeine, 6 dextroamphetamines, and 4 SYRETTEs of morphine sulfate.] Also, any sweet, sweetmeat, or other confection; see GEDUNK, POGY BAIT, SUGAR PILL, RAT BAIT, JAWBREAKER, TRACK PAD, SNIVEL GEAR, CREATURE COMFORTS, GUNS OR BUTTER, RATIONS.

any wimp, wuss, or whiner who performs unsatisfactorily in the field, or anyone who has a safe, clean, and comfortable job; probably originated as homosexual slang, like PUNK and POGUE. See REMF, DUD, MOAN 'n' GROAN, CLERKS 'n' JERKS, PENCIL PUSHER, ACETATE COMMANDO, CHAIRBORNE, FOBBIT, TOCROACH, ORIFICE, BTDT, WANNABE, THE NAM, FIELD REJECT, POGY BAIT, FAG. [nb: support personnel who try to make their jobs seem more vital or dangerous than they really are invite ridicule; such as Special Services claiming to be "Special Forces" and Merchant Marines claiming to be "Marines"!]

slang for an Overseas Service Stripe for six-months of duty; see HERSHEY BAR. Also, a unit recognition bar or "half-flash" worn on a beret by trainees or unqualified MIL-PERS assigned to special operations (SOF) units; see FLASH. [nb: this practice was discontinued during the organization of US Army Sp Opns Cmd (ARSOC) and the reorganization of the interservice US Sp Opns Cmd (USSOC) from the Sp Opns Cmd (SOCOM)] Also, any confection or sweetmeat that's individually wrapped for singular consumption; see POGY BAIT, GEDUNK, SUGAR PILL, RAT BAIT, JAWBREAKER, TRACK PAD, SNIVEL GEAR, CREATURE COMFORTS, GUNS OR BUTTER, RATIONS.


also called "canine 'n' equine extravaganza" or "canine 'n' equestrian theater"; see DOG 'n' PONY SHOW.

anti-personnel munition containing ball-bearings or pellets, being the modern equivalent of "grapeshot"; also called "canister shot" or CASE SHOT. See BIG SHOTGUN, SHOTGUN; compare BUCK, NAILS, BEEHIVE, FLECHETTE, SHRAPNEL.

see STERNO; compare HEAT TABS, C-4. [nb: when tinder is not readily available to ignite a cooking fire, soldiers will routinely sacrifice a pistol or rifle cartridge so as to use its combustible gunpowder as a fire starter]

to scavenge for repairs; to extract parts from a recovered vehicle, engine, or machine for use in repairing a similar unit or modifying another unit; sometimes called "parting-out" or "knacker"; compare PM; see HILLBILLY ARMOR, APPLIQUE ARMOR, DUMP, MOTHBALL, BONEYARD, HANGAR QUEEN. Also, to extract people or materials from existing resources in order to develop something similar. Also, the eating of the flesh of an animal by another animal of its own kind, whether for ritual or survival purposes, especially of human flesh ("long pig") by another human being. [v: 1942-3 battle of Stalingrad] [nb: benchmark study on hunger was conducted on x volunteers (all conscientious objectors who were selected for their good health and mild temperament) by Ancel Keys at the University of Minnesota's Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene during WWII; subject group lost 25% of body weight on controlled regimen of essential nutrition and regular exercise, with everyone exhibiting "starvation neurosis" symptoms (ie: irritability, sleeplessness, lethargy, paranoia)]

the process of preserving cooked food by sealing fruits, vegetables, and meats in metallic cans or in glass or ceramic jars; the word 'can' represents a form of tube. In response to an appeal by Napoleon Bonaparte for a safe method of storing portable food so as to supply an army, Nicolas Appert, a French confectioner and chef, invented (1806) the process of airtight food preservation, which technique was published in The Art of Preserving Animal and Vegetable Substances (1810). The "appertization" method was to fill thick, wide-mouthed glass bottles with every kind of produce, leaving a gap at the top for expansion, sealing the bottle with a vise-driven cork, wrapping the jar in a protective canvas, then submerging it in boiling water for as long as necessary to cook the contents ... antedating Pasteurization, this high temperature method not only killed bacteria but also destroyed some of the food's flavor. Because the quality of French tinplate was poor, Appert deliberately avoided its use in food preservation, but Peter Durand, a British inventor and merchant, developed his own method of food preservation in tinplate canning, both of which patents were purchased (1812) by Englishmen Bryan Donkin and John Hall, who began distributing preserves to America by 1822 ... the only drawback being the difficulty in opening metal containers of preserved food, but satisfactory CAN OPENER designs wouldn't materialize until the 20th century. See C-RATIONS, RATIONS.

a mounted gun for firing (cannonade) heavy projectiles; see ARTY, HOWITZER, MORTAR. [nb: invention credited to Konstantin Anklitzen (1260)] [nb: "A battery of field artillery is worth a thousand muskets." by William Tecumseh Sherman]

an artillerist or ARTILLERYMAN (qv). [nb: Vietnamese term: Phao Thu (cannoneer)]

an artillerist or ARTILLERYMAN (qv). [nb: Vietnamese term: Phao Thu (cannoneer)]

all available people considered as impersonally expendable, also called "cannon meat", "bullet-catcher", "fresh meat", "new meat", or "raw meat" [v: enfants perdus, forlorn hope]; see CHERRY, FNG, NEWBEE, TOY SOLDIER, ZAP, WASTED, BITTER END, SNOWBALL, DIDDLY, RAT RACE, SUICIDE SQUAD, SPEARHEAD, BASTARD, BELL THE CAT, AUTOTOMY. [nb: patriotism and other noble ideals will only sustain combatants if they understand the purposes of war, and know that their personal sacrifices won't be vaingloriously squandered by careless commanders; but even when the objectives are clear, troops are demoralized by criminally stupid operations ... Passchendaele and Anzio, Heartbreak Ridge and Pork Chop Hill, Khe Sanh and Hamburger Hill ... and this crisis of confidence over dereliction of duty can cost the war. Confederate General James "Pete" Longstreet, who wanted to save lives rather than test character, said: "I would not give the life of a single soldier of mine for a barren victory."] [nb: "Death eats up all things, both the young lamb and old sheep; and I have heard our parson say, death values a prince no more than a clown; all's fish that comes to his net; he throws at all, and sweeps stakes; he's no mower that takes a nap at noon-day, but drives on, fair weather or foul, and cuts down the green grass as well as the ripe corn: he's neither squeamish nor queesy-stomach'd, for he swallows without chewing, and crams down all things into his ungracious maw; and tho' you can see no belly he has, he has a confounded dropsy, and thirsts after men's lives, which he guggles down like mother's milk." by Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote (1615)]

dysphemistic slang for a forensic pathologist, the physician (AFME) who performs the postmortem examination (or autopsy) on a corpse; from the dissection of the cadaver, on the model of shoemaker or cabinetmaker, toolmaker or watchmaker, automaker or tentmaker; see SAWBONES, BONE CUTTER, PECKER-CHECKER, BABY DOC, DOC, CHOP SHOP, AFIP, FEST, USAMRIID, USARIEM, SGO, KIA, DOW, ZERO WARD, WASTED, ZAPPED, BUY THE FARM, PUSHING UP DAISIES, BUTCHER'S BILL, ZULU, BODY BAG, LUGGAGE TAG, CRISPY CRITTER, FLOATER, PICNIC, CREATURE FEATURE, TADPOLE, RICE KRISPIES, MEAT MARKER, LAID BY THE WALL, BODY-SNATCHER, RECOVERY, GRAVES REGISTRATION, MORTUARY AFFAIRS. [cf: coroner]

slang reference to the United States Naval Academy (USNA) at Annapolis, MD; also called "Small Boat and Barge School" or BOAT SCHOOL; see CADET, CRAB, MIDDIE, GOAT, RING-KNOCKER, TRADE SCHOOL. [v: Military Schools]

a symbol representing a situation or circumstance that, once altered by exposure or development, utterly changes character by becoming uncontrollable and irretrievable; that once the status quo has been altered, it is unrectifiable and irrecoverable; a source of unpredicted or unexpected difficulties that are not amenable to resolution. See KICK THE CAN DOWN THE ROAD. [v: Pandora's box]

a device used to open the sealed container of preserved foodstuffs; see P-38; compare CHURCH KEY, KFS, FRED. [nb: the first can opener, patented in 1855 by an Englishman named Robert Yeates and displaced in 1858 by Ezra J. Warner, an American inventor, a two-blade mechanism that was more dangerous than improvised tools, which was rescued from well deserved oblivion by becoming an issue item to Union troops during the American CIVIL WAR]

a transparent enclosure that covers the COCKPIT of an aircraft; originating as a windshield made of glass sections that were pieced together, modern canopies are molded from tempered plastic (eg: Plexiglas). Also, a "deployable aerodynamic decelerator" constituting the principal element of the PARACHUTE; this shaped construction of fabric and suspension lines is used to safely descend and land during parachuting, often used in conjunction with a clarifying type reference (eg: round, square, zero-p, main, or reserve). [v: Parachuting Terms, and Parachuting History]

a nonexistent object that a novice or tyro is required to obtain in the same manner as any other SNIPE HUNT objective; compare MERMAID, DRAGON.

NavSpeak for earphones or headphones; see EARS.

(kan sah) Vietnamese for marijuana, literally "water parsnip", as to fall down from the herb making drunk/stoned; also known as bhang, blunt, cannabis, charas, dacca/dhaka, ganja/ganjah, GRASS, hash, hashish, HAY, hemp, herb, hydro (hydroponic), J/jay, joint, locoweed, Mary Jane, pot (wine or brandy steeped [derived from potiguaya or potaguaya, apparent contraction of potaci›n de guaya, drink of grief]), reefer, rope, STICK, spliff, tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC), THAI STICK, wacky weed, weed. See STONED, FIVE FINGERS, TAR; compare DOPE, JUNK, SMACK, COLORS, HUBBLE-BUBBLE, SPICE, PIGTAIL. [v: kat / khat / qat, kef / kief / kif, kef / keef, naswar; cf: chillum, bong]

a small container (from quart to gallon), as used by soldiers and outdoorsmen, for carrying potable liquids, especially water; the molded plastic CANTEEN, some with screen filters, and collapsible BLADDER BAGs were introduced to replace the older aluminum version. A small flask (flagon) was designed to fit in the lower-leg pocket of a PILOT's FLIGHT SUIT to serve the function of a CANTEEN. Prior to metal and plastics, the American military issued wooden CANTEENs. See WATER PURIFICATION TABLET, SOLAR STILL, EVAPORATOR, CANTEEN CUP, PISTOL BELT, WEB GEAR, MOLLE, DEUCE GEAR. [v: bota, wineskin] [nb: the latest iteration of the humble water bag, now labeled a "personal hydration system", is the container and sipping tube supplied with the MOLLE gear that's commercially marketed as 'CamelBak'; contrived from an intravenous setup by a competition bicyclist, its alleged benefits in specific situations are offset by its greater defects, the greatest being the additional care required to maintain sanitation and prevent temperature damage. The advantage of tube-feeding water from a backpack-mounted storage container without halting the march tempo or removing bulky gear ignores the necessity of rest stops, of movement paced to terrain, and of gear removal to prevent bodily injury. all flexible containers, which are quieter and lighter, are more prone to puncture and leakage than firm or rigid containers, but the heaviest part of any container is its liquid contents, and no CANTEEN is bulletproof. Although the tubes and valves of this demand delivery system are detachable, replaceable, and interchangeable with an insulated type, every complex system has a greater potential for failure than a simple system; and when one large container holds all of a person's water, any small problem can rapidly become a large problem that will leave the user without essential water!] Also, a snack bar or cafeteria for military personnel, where sundries are often included for sale; see ANNEX, DIRTY SHIRT, SLOP CHUTE, ACEY-DEUCY, NCO CLUB, O CLUB, DINING-IN, SIGG [cf: barrelhouse, cocktail lounge, saloon, roadhouse, speakeasy, blind pig / blind tiger, pub, ginmill, public house, tavern, cantina, bar, barroom, bar-and-grill, grogshop, watering hole, tippling house, 11th Frame, 19th Hole, honky-tonk, dive, brasserie, bistro, taproom, beer joint, beer parlor, brewpub, alehouse, rathskeller, cabaret, nightclub, drinkery]. Also, a place where free entertainment is provided for military personnel; such as a recreation hall or social club; also known as a "service club". Also, a box or chest for cutlery, utensils, tableware and other cooking implements; a field mess chest or an officer's mess chest; compare MESS KIT, MESS, GALLEY [cf: chuck box, grub box].

a large capacity self-standing drinking cup or mug with a folding handle that can be heated directly; may also serve as a bowl. The CANTEEN CUP helped to shape and support the smaller BLADDER BAG. If a GRUNT wanted to lighten his packload, he would eliminate the MESS KIT, and carry two CANTEEN CUPs (one for food and the other for hot drinks). The size of the CANTEEN CUP accustoms MIL-PERS to large servings, hence normal tableware seems inadequate. See BLACKJACK, DIOGENES' CUP, CANTEEN, PARTISAN'S SECRET WEAPON, KFS, SPOON, GIMBAL. [v: cup, mug, tumbler, schooner, beaker, tankard, toby / toby jug, pilsner, stein (steinzeug/steinzeugkrug), seidel, growler, stoup, thermos cup, travel mug, commuter cup, carry cup, road cup] [nb: when served SLOP or WAD from a field kitchen, the MESS KIT was commonly called a "slop bucket" or "slop pail", as the CANTEEN CUP was called a "slop bowl" or "slop jar" for the dirty liquid filling it ... a direct comparison to "thunder mugs" and "chamber pots", "honey buckets" and "commodes"]


a large training camp for military personnel; as derived from a district (canton) used to house troops (cantonnement). Also, the winter quarters of an army. Also, military quarters. See BILLET, BARRACK, QTRS, BASE, BASE CAMP, GARRISON, POST, FORT, COMPOUND, CAMP, CHUVILLE, FOB, RESERVATION, NATURAL AREA, PERIMETER.


designation of the traditional route for celebratory ticker-tape PARADEs along Broadway, from Battery Park to City Hall Square in New York City; this spectacular pageant has been traditionally used to honor celebrities and notables, such as athletes and heads of state, aviators and astronauts, including the veterans and their commanders after both World Wars. Wounded veterans of the Korean War were honored in 1952, the Women's Auxiliary Corps in 1953, the return of the first unit deployed to Korea in 1954, and again later that same year, a parade for select Korean War commanders; then the fortieth anniversary of the Korean War was celebrated on 2 June 1991. After a YELLOW RIBBONs parade welcomed the repatriated Iran hostages back home in 1980, the veterans of the Vietnam War were finally welcomed back home with a parade on 7 May 1985. Gulf War veterans were honored on 1 June 1991. [v: triumph, ovation] [nb: Lieutenant Geneviève de Galard-Terraube, the "Angel of Dien Bien Phu", was honored with a ticker-tape parade on 26 April 1954 along the CANYON OF HEROES]


Combined Air Operations Center; see AOC, FOC, TAOC, ADOC, ASOC.

founded by Ngo Van Chieu, and revised by Le Van Trung, as an evangelical universalistic religion, blending Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Christianity, and spirituality into an eclectic pantheon, that was governed by the deity, Cao Dai, since its revelation in 1926. It foresees a coming Messiah, Minh Vuong. This congregational church of graduated mediums and liturgical gradients was most popular in the southeastern provinces of Vietnam, and it maintained its own private army, which resisted both the Diem regime and communist insurgency. Compare HOA HAO; see BINH XUYEN.

U.S. Marine Corps Combined
Action Program pocket patch
most commonly, a Civil Action Program, such as a MEDCAP or a DENTCAP, during which "hearts and minds" were enticed by government largess into military cooperation, voluntary intel reporting, and political allegiance. Conducted by designated S-5 elements, Civil Affairs MOS branch teams (CAT), and detached specialists, a cavalry, infantry, or military police unit usually provided security for these charitable programs. See AID, HOPE, PROMISE, COUNTERPART, CAG, PHIL CAG, CA, CAMG, OOTW, USAID, IVS, WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS. Also, this acronym identifies the Marine Combined Action Program (CAP). The Marine CAP units operated like reinforced advisory teams, by living in the hamlets where they operated, patrolling the same area regularly, and training the local RF/PF for combined unit operations in their district. The Marine CAP was originally designated CAC (Combined Action Company) until commanders realized the similarity to the Vietnamese word for "shit". Marine CAPs and CUPPs were organized under four Combined Action Groups (CAG), which included 42 officers, 2 physicians, 126 medics, and over 2,000 EMs; and existed from August 1965 to May 1971. [nb: Vietnamese term of Marine CAP: Luc Luong Hon Hop] Also, abbreviation designates Combat Air Patrol, being a distribution of different types of aircraft at various altitudes, which are typically flying an oval RACETRACK pattern "on station" to monitor or surveil a specific area in case of air/ground action; to fly high-cover (HIGH 'n' DRY) or UMBRELLA, as opposed to Close Air Support (CAS); includes several distinct applications, such as TARCAP (TARget CAP), BARCAP (BARrier CAP), SARCAP or RESCAP (REScue CAP) on Search And Rescue operations; compare ABNCP. Also, a type or form of head covering; see HEADGEAR.

the ability to execute a specified COURSE OF ACTION. Also, the COURSEs OF ACTION within the power of the military for accomplishing its mission by attaining the operational objectives assigned. Also, those COURSEs OF ACTION of which the military is physically capable and that, if adopted and implemented, will affect the accomplishment of the mission, which not only includes the general COURSEs OF ACTION open to the military, such as attack, defense, reinforcement, or withdrawal, but also all the particular COURSEs OF ACTION possible under each situation, including time, space, weather, terrain, force strength, force disposition, and all other known factors affecting military operations. See STRATEGY, TACTICS, BY THE BOOK, ABSTRACTION, FIELD EXPEDIENT, KNOW YOUR ENEMY, OPLAN, MILITARY MIND.

(kapuh-pee) from head to foot, usually with reference to arming or accoutring; also spelled "cap-à-pie". See CAMPAIGN, RIG, DRESS, HEADGEAR, ARMY SIZE, NAVY SIZE, POCKET LITTER. [v: tire, bedight; cf: de haut en bas]


naval slang for an illness feigned by malingerers; see FUO / FOUO, GUNDECKING, REST ON OARS.

iced milk sweetened coffee has become a favorite Vietnamese drink since the Dutch and French colonists introduced coffee plantations into southeast Asia during the 18th century; it's also called ca phe nau da / cà phê nâu dá, or "iced brown coffee" in the northern provinces, and the beverage has been adopted with many regional variations. Because of limitations on the availability of uncontaminated fresh milk, the French and Vietnamese began to use sweetened condensed milk with a flavorful dark roast coffee. At its simplest, ca phe sua da is made from finely ground dark roast coffee, individually brewed with a small metal French drip filter (cà phê phin), that's collected in a cup containing about a quarter to a half as much sweetened condensed milk, which is stirred and poured over ice. See GI JOE, CONDENSED MILK, NUOC DA.

the imposition of death as a penalty by the duly constituted authority of the state for anyone convicted of certain crimes against society, including treason and war crimes, serial homicide and murder with special circumstances; the death penalty was intended to be a deterrent since ancient times, hence the manner of execution (eg: impalement, drawing and quartering, crucifixion, hanging, garrote, decapitation, immolation) was supposed to be painful and dehumanizing, but with the onset of the Enlightenment, both the number of capital crimes and the manner of their execution (eg: guillotine, firing squad, electric chair, gas chamber, lethal injection) gradually changed. Before the influence of humanism, some punishments (eg: GAUNTLET, KEELHAUL, OVER A BARREL, etc) for lesser crimes were so severe that they too were a virtual death sentence for the convict. See DEATH OF A THOUSAND CUTS, GALLOWS, STRANGE FRUIT, JUDGE LYNCH, LYNCH LAW, ROOM TO SWING A CAT, LET THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG, TWIST IN THE WIND, FIRING LINE, hangman's day at FRIDAY, PISO'S JUSTICE, DRUMHEAD, PROVOST COURT, UCMJ, MCM, VIGILANCE COMMITTEE, CROSSROADS, CORPORAL PUNISHMENT, CHL, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, TORTURE, SQUEEZE, PAIN.

that cloistered fortress where POLITICIANs diligently construct an alternate universe that's financed by graft and taxation; an exclusive bastion of mediocrity surrounded by reality; compare HEARTLAND; see FOGGY BOTTOM, OLYMPUS, GREEN ACRES, THE HILL, ALPHABET CITY. [nb: a capitol is situated in the capital]

to yield resistance; to surrender on stipulated terms, especially 'unconditionally'; see THROW IN THE TOWEL, WATERLOO, EXIT STRATEGY, WHITE FLAG, STRIKE THE FLAG. Also, the document containing the terms of a surrender; see DIKTAT, ENTENTE, RAPPROCHEMENT, CARTE BLANCHE, TRUCE.

link joint doctrine to national strategy and the contributions of other government agencies, alliances, and coalitions see KEYSTONE, USJFCOM.

the abbreviation for CAPTAIN (O-3), a company-grade rank in the Army, Air Force, and Marines, that's equivalent to Lieutenant (LT) in the naval services; see RANK, RATING, LDR, OFFICER.

the junior / company-grade officer RANK (CPT/Capt) or RATING (O-3) intermediate between First Lieutenant (1LT) and Major (MAJ) in the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, and symbolized by twin silver bars (called RAILROAD TRACKS or "First Lieutenant, Second Award"); equivalent to a Lieutenant in the USN/USCG, intermediate between Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG) and Lieutenant Commander (LCDR); see OLD MAN, CO, AIMING STAKES, OFFICER. [nb: a peculiarity unique to the USMC rank insignia for captains is that the connections between the bars are traditionally set at the outer ends, not inset like Army and Air Force RAILROAD TRACKS] Also, the senior officer RANK (Capt) or RATING (O-6) intermediate between Commander (CDR) and Rear Admiral Lower-Half (RADML) in the naval services. [nb: the rank of 'captain' (Latin: "head") was the highest commissioned officer grade in the American Navy until 1862] Also, an officer of any rank who commands a military, naval, or merchant vessel; compare SKIPPER. Also, a person in authority over others, as a leader (LDR), CHIEF, or boss; see HONCHO, WALLAH, CO, OLD MAN, TOP DOG, MOTHER HEN.

(forthcoming); a fictional character deliberately created to promote patriotism and to counter Nazism and Fascism at the outset of WWII.

a red-suited superhero who debuted in 1940 as an implied offspring from BATMAN; identified as Billy Batson, and nicknamed the "Big Red Cheese", this inconspicuous person is transformed by a wizard, and his tough-muscled special powers may be activated by uttering the magic word 'shazam' ... an acronym for the names of six traditional heroes: Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury. See FICTIONAL CHARACTER.

a traditional designation in naval ships for the RATING who is in charge of the HEADs or LATRINEs, which were originally positioned forward at the 'head' of the vessel, hence the derivation for their name.

a narrow bed consisting of a shallow box with drawers in the side and a mattress on top, which is typical of an officer's BERTH in a STATEROOM; see BUNK, RACK, SACK, HAMMOCK.

a disciplinary session at which the SKIPPER of a naval vessel hears and acts upon the cases of enlisted personnel charged with committing offenses; the summary disciplinary judgment of a sailor or Marine by his immediate commander, which may result in fines [mulct], extra duty (ADY), or confinement in the BRIG. See ROCKS 'n' SHOALS, KEELHAUL, BREAK SHIP, MASTER-AT-ARMS, UCMJ.

slang for the junior-grade officer's version of the 'Good Conduct' medal (GCM) ... to wit, the Bronze Star (BSM) for service or the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM).

enCAPsulated TORpedo (MK-60), being a sophisticated deep water MINE that can be laid by air or sea and moored to monitor (by acoustic detection system) traffic in anti-submarine warfare (ASW), automatically releasing (by influence firing device) a modified MK-46 torpedo (FISH) to acquire and attack an appropriate submerged target, ignoring all non-hostile vessels. This configuration (enclosed in a launch tube) is under development for application in shoaling (littoral/sublittoral) waters.

an informal game, also known as "drapeau" and "dare base", used for recreation or training, that's played by teams of children or adults in a variety of settings by various rules, with the objective being to win the contest by capturing the goal ... that is, crossing from home territory into enemy territory to seize the flag and return with it. As in chess (and actual warfare), the objective is paramount, with territory and prisoners being incidental ... so if the goal can be attained with few confrontations, then the achievement is masterly. Basically, the competition occurs on a field that's subdivided into sectors for each team, with lines of sight obstructed such that no team can survey the entire area. Each sector shall include places designated for a flag mount and guardhouse. Team members are assigned duties, such as defense or offense, and they execute their roles within the rules of the game. Before commencing the game, the "flag" (any appropriate object) is identified, inner and outer boundaries are defined, time limits are established, contingencies for recapturing the flag are set, provisions for prisoner rescue agreed, the number of participants regulated, and the permissible types of contact restricted. Some CAPTURE THE FLAG games are moderated by an umpire, and some teams are captained for coordination. The game may be varied by combining with TREASURE HUNT or ORIENTEERING, or by sanctioning jailbreaks under particular circumstances. Other variants include: urban terrain, players on roller or ice skates, players on snowshoes or X-C skis, an indoor or high-rise building milieu, more than two teams competing at once ... interactive video and internet versions also exist. In 1981, CAPTURE THE FLAG engendered the paint-ball game that became a nationwide craze among PARAMILITARY buffs. A static variant, called 'Base Capture', uses a fixed flag that does not need to be taken to the home territory, being more comparable to KING OF THE HILL. See BATTLE ROYAL, CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE; compare DUCK ON DRAKE, DUCKS AND DRAKES, HIDE-AND-SEEK, TUG OF WAR, RED ROVER, PRISONER'S BASE, WAR GAMES.

USAF Colt Commando carbine
USAF Colt Commando
M-4 carbine
M-4 carbine
carbine, being any compact, lightweight, short-barreled rifle, especially USAF Colt "Commando" Automatic Rifle, the XM-177E2 / CAR-15 "Shorty-16" rifle, and the later M-4 "Scout" carbine [nb: M-4 Scout mounts the small non-telescopic M-68 gunsight incorporating a "red aiming dot"]. Although a carbine may be sized about the same as an SMG, it fires the more effective RIFLE cartridge, instead of PISTOL AMMO. The M-1 and M-2 .30cal carbines were effective enough in close-combat firefights, including nighttime encounters, to offset the higher rate and volume of enemy submachineguns (SMG), and were the only wooden stocked rifles in the US inventory that fit the bodies of Asian allies without modification. See SMG, ACTIV, ACOG, RIFLE, BLACK MAGIC, WIDOW MAKER, POODLE SHOOTER, TUPPERWARE. Also, the abbreviation for the 'Combat Action Ribbon' that's awarded to Naval, Marine, and Coast Guard personnel, being equivalent to the Combat Infantryman's Badge (CIB); compare CAB.





acronym of Co-operative for American Relief Everywhere, established in 1945 to distribute food, clothing, books, and tools to displaced persons (DP) and refugees after WWII; this nonsectarian federation of relief agencies has since absorbed the Medical International Cooperation Organization (MEDICO) and the Partnership for Productivity International. Also, term widely used to designate gifts (ie: CARE package) sent from home, as if they were manna from heaven! See MAIL CALL.

to cause a vessel to tip, lean, list, or heel over to the side; see ROLL, compare PITCH, ATHWART. Also, to clean or repair the HULL of a vessel by laying onto its side. Also, a headlong rush, as rash, impetuous, or uncontrolled action.

MIL-SPEAK for "professional development" as a rigid automaton; see LIFER, RIGHT ARM, FAST TRACK, TICKET-PUNCHER, RABBI, SEA DADDY, PATRON SAINT, CYA, MILICRAT.

the large central area of a transport vehicle, vessel, or craft in which PAYLOADs and support equipment are carried; also known as "cargo area", "payload bay", or BAY.


a flexible open-weave mesh, fabricated of fiber or wire, that is used to conveniently secure, sling-load, or otherwise handle loose objects that are transported to or from a CARGO BAY, HOLD, or other receptacle; compare CONTAINERIZATION, PLS, CONEX; see DUNNAGE, NET, SNAKING. Also, such a mesh used when scaling, as during INSERTION or EXTRACTION, but especially during debarkation from or embarkation of a transport ship; see DEBARKATION NET, JACOB'S LADDER, RATLINE, GP, NET. [v: escalade]


a lightweight, small-capacity, twin-engine, piston-driven, short take-off and landing (STOL) transport aircraft (CV-2 or C-7A); also nicknamed "bou" / 'bou. Also designated Australian WALLABEE.

an art form (visual or descriptive) that ludicrously exaggerates the peculiarities of a person or thing, a process or event, especially its defects, for some moral or sociopolitical effect, as a comic parody or grotesque burlesque; see FICTIONAL CHARACTER, THE NINE WORTHIES, MOCK-HEROIC, TRAINED KILLER, BANJO COUNTRY, WHITE PROPAGANDA, MIND CANDY, RUBE GOLDBERG, CLOUD-CUCKOO-LAND, WET DREAM, HOUSE OF CARDS. [eg: "We are Fred Karno's army, Fred Karno's infantry; We cannot fight, we cannot shoot, So what damn good are we? But when we get to Berlin The Kaiser he will say: Hoch, hoch, mein gott Vot a bloody fine lot, Fred Karno's infantry"; nb: "Fred Karno's army" was a satiric allusion to the new British Army (BEF) raised for WWI, and it was nicknamed after Fred Karno (Frederick John Westcott), a famous comedian of the time; during WWII, 'Old Hitler' was substituted for 'The Kaiser' ... there are many variants and numerous verses sung to the tune of "The Church's One Foundation"] [nb: during the Renaissance, in the commedia dell' arte, Il Capitano (the captain) was a caricature of the professional soldier, being bold and brash, swaggering and cowardly; his role was replaced by the more agile Scarramuccia or Scaramouche, who, dressed in black and carrying a pointed sword, was the Robin Hood of his day] [v: Feast of Fools (clerical saturnalia), "The Tale of Sir Thopas" in the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, Tom Thumb the Great by Henry Fielding, Trivia, or The Art of Walking the Streets of London by John Gay, Chrononhotonthologos ('the Most Tragical Tragedy that was ever Tragediz'd by any Company of Tragedians') by Henry Carey, Bombastes Furioso by William Barnes Rhodes, The Rehearsal (re: Drawcansir) by George Buckingham, "Christmas Day in the Workhouse (In the Workhouse: Christmas Day) by George R. Sims, Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Active Service by Stephen Crane, Deliverance by James Lafayette Dickey, et cetera, through Hemingway's "Nick Adams" and Wodehouse's "Bertie Wooster" stories, including war films like Platoon, Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, G.I. Jane, and many others]

Combined Arms Research Library, an interagency facility.

compare PASS, PASSPORT. [cf: visa (carta visa)] [v: Diplomatic Terms]

name given to the select disbursement committee which mismanages the unit's non-appropriated SLUSH FUNDs for their own benefit; from the looters and scalawags who plundered the spoils of the southern states during Reconstruction. During the post-VN era, those privileged and ambitious aspirants who exploit the trust of their good offices to enhance their personal power and garner other opportunities, similar to civilian social climbers, have also been labeled as CARPETBAGGERS, or more fashionably as "Gucci-baggers", with the implication that they are transient (are even fly-by-night), and that their portable (and infinitely expandable) luggage contains everything about them that's valuable. See BELTWAY BANDIT, SAND CRAB, RHIP, KHAKI MAFIA, ROUGHSHOD, SPOILS OF WAR, WAD; compare RING-KNOCKER, BUMMER. [v: mountebank; cf: comprador/compradore] [nb: the expression "damned Yankee", being an opprobrious referent throughout the South for an itinerant peddler or traveling salesman, for a jobber or huckster from the North, especially from New England, was widely used long before the American CIVIL WAR]

a saturation bombing pattern by B-52s covering an area 1km wide by 2km long. Because these AIR STRIKEs were invisible and inaudible to ground troops, the Vietnamese called them "whispering death". See ARC LIGHT, BOMB 'EM BACK TO THE STONE AGE, BOUNCE THE RUBBLE, STRATEGIC BOMBING, SURGICAL STRIKE. [nb: this concentrated bombardment technique was developed by the Germans flying in the Spanish CIVIL WAR (1936-9)]



a colloquialism for a LIMBER-mounted field artillery (ARTY) piece; also called "wagon gun". [nb: the GATLING GUN (or "coffee grinder") was sometimes deployed in field operations from the bed of a horse-drawn wagon]

the military command directing that the RIFLE is to be held in a vertical position in the right hand and against the right shoulder. Compare CARRY SWORDS; see MANUAL OF ARMS, THE BIBLE.


verbal command to resume or continue whatever was interrupted by protocol; often interchangeable with AS YOU WERE. Compare RECOVER, BELAY.

the military command directing that the drawn sword is to be held in a vertical position in the right hand and against the right shoulder. Compare CARRY ARMS; see MANUAL OF ARMS, THE BIBLE.

Combat Arms Regimental System; triangular organization. Compare PENTAGONAL; see TO&E, OB, DIV, RGT.

meaning "blank paper", being a paper with only the signature written on it, so that the recipient may write his own terms upon it, knowing they will be accepted, as in an "unconditional surrender". This expression is now used figuratively as when granting full discretionary power or absolute freedom of action. See WAR, CAPITULATION, TRUCE, DIKTAT, ENTENTE, DETENTE, RAPPROCHEMENT, APPEASE, PEACE. [v: Diplomatic Terms] Also, a cocktail devised by the FICTIONAL CHARACTER James Bond (agent 007) that consists of blended Canadian whiskey, accented by orange-flavored liqueur (triple sec) and angostura bitters, then garnished by a twist of orange peel; see HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK, BREW, COCKTAIL, FIZZ, GUSTO.

a written agreement between belligerents, especially for the exchange of prisoners (POW). Such agreements have inspired the formation of an alliance or syndicate, a combination or coalition of special-interest groups having a common cause, such as when establishing policies and regulating prices. Originating as a "letter of defiance" (cartello), it has also been a written challenge to a DUEL, the equivalent of "throwing down a gage" [v: GAUNTLET, GANTLET]. See BLOOD CHIT, HOMECOMING, CODE OF CONDUCT, GENEVA CONVENTION, HAGUE TRIBUNAL, LAWS OF WAR, POW MEDAL, POW-MIA DAY, YELLOW RIBBON.

in response to Soviet encroachments, the 1979 foreign policy declared by James Earl Carter that America will actively protect its interests in the Middle East; see EAGLE CLAW, PRESIDENTIAL DOCTRINE, NATION BUILDING.

a small visiting card (approximately 2" X 3") that shows an officer's name, rank and branch of service on one side and a graphical or pictorial image of that officer on the opposite side; popularized during the American CIVIL WAR (ca1861) by imitation of the French fashion of presenting such a card when visiting a superior. See 'calling card' at COINING; compare CABINET PHOTOGRAPH.

a drawing (or series of drawings) that represents or symbolizes, satirizes or caricatures some person, subject, or activity; also known as "comics" or "comic strip"; see FICTIONAL CHARACTER; compare JOURNAL, YANK, STARS AND STRIPES. [cf: animated cartoon]

specimen rifle cartridge
a unit of SMALL ARMS ammunition (AMMO), consisting of a case, primer, propellant, and BULLET; also called a "round". See ELDEST SON, HARDBALL, DUMDUM, SABOT, DUMMY, SRTA, CALIBER, CASING, BRASS, DROPPY, GUNPOWDER, MISFIRE, BLANK, BLANK ADAPTER, RIFLE GRENADE; compare SHELL. [nb: when tinder is not readily available to ignite a cooking fire, soldiers will routinely sacrifice a rifle cartridge so as to use its combustible gunpowder as a fire starter] [v: Firearms Glossary]

Close Air Support, air-to-ground missions involving cannon and/or gunfire, rocket, and/or bomb delivery by allied aircraft flown perpendicular to or parallel with the Fire Control Support Line (FCSL) in support of friendly forces engaged in hostile contact, requiring detailed integration of each AIR STRIKE with the fire and movement of those forces; such ground attack is also called TAC-AIR; see SORTIE, STRAFE, GUN RUN, XCAS, DANGER CLOSE, BIRD. Also, abbreviation for Combined Area Studies; a CIA program using SF and SEAL trainers to field a covert military (ie: "Mountain Scouts", "Sea Commandos") during 1961-1962, as authorized by National Security Memorandum 52. Also, "Controlled American Source" for the Saigon office (SMM) of the CIA. Also, abbreviation for Continental Air Service, a PROPRIETARY AIRLINE; see FIRST FLIGHT, CUSTOMER. [nb: 1045th Operations, Evaluation, and Training Group (1045th OE&T Gp), being a USAF asset that specializes in managing special and covert flights for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in remote or compromised locations (eg: Tibet, Laos, NVN, etc)]

a Congressional amendment (14 June 1973) banning the use of any funds for American combat activities in any part of Indochina without the specific authorization of Congress; a legislative restraint proposed by Senators Clifford Case and Frank Church, who sought to craft FOREIGN POLICY by modifying a State Department appropriations bill so as to inhibit ground and air support of military operations in or over Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. A compromise (30 June) permitted bombing raids in Cambodia to continue until 15 August, but President Nixon signed the bill on 17 December 1973 mandating the prior approval of Congress for the funding of any military operations in southeast Asia. Compare COOPER-CHURCH AMENDMENT, WAR POWERS ACT, TONKIN GULF RESOLUTION; see OVER THE FENCE, SEALORDS, FANK TRAINING COMMAND, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), LAWS OF WAR.

a vault or chamber, as in a rampart or fortification, with openings (EMBRASUREs) for artillery guns; see BUNKER, PILLBOX, TOMB, BLOCKHOUSE, CONCRETE BATTLESHIP, REDOUBT, BLACK HOLE, BOMB-PROOF. Also, an armored enclosure for guns in a WARSHIP; see TURRET, SPONSON, BARBETTE. [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

a casing, formerly metal, filled with ball-bearings, pellets, bullets, darts, grapeshot, chain, and other SHRAPNEL objects to fire, as from cannon or rocket, at massed enemy personnel; also known as "canister shot". See CANISTER, FLECHETTE, BEEHIVE, BUCK, NAILS, KILLER JUNIOR, KILLER SENIOR, BIG SHOTGUN, BLOOPER, THUMPER, SHOTGUN, SMOOTHBORE.

(kaz-ee-vack) a contraction of CASualty EVACuation, as by air or surface vehicle; see MEDEVAC, DUSTOFF, AIR AMBULANCE, CRACKER BOX, BAND-AID, CIVCAS, NEO, EVAC.

traditional Chinese-style
square-hole coins used in southeast Asia before the French
piaster and Vietnamese dong
square-hole coins
money in the form of coins or banknotes, as issued by a government, that's used to pay for purchases or to redeem debts; a convertible medium used for the acquisition of a commodity or service. Also, any of several low-denomination coins of China (wen), Japan (mon), Korea (mun), India, and the East Indies, especially a square-holed copper coin of Asia; derived as a variant of the Sanskrit term (carat/karat) for the weight of precious metals. See LEGAL TENDER.

to DISMISS someone from a position of command, responsibility or trust, especially with disgrace; see FACE THE MUSIC, ROGUE'S MARCH, DISCHARGE. Also, to discard or reject; as derived from break or shatter.

a container or housing, as for the propellant in a CARTRIDGE or SHELL, especially those emptied or expended after firing or DISCHARGE; also called BRASS or DROPPY.

a case or COFFIN, especially one for the burial of human remains, which is properly called a TRANSFER CASE; see BOX JOB.

any rigid structure or system of social distinctions that imposes unassailable strictures; any group of persons sharing a social position of common cultural privileges and constraints that's been conferred by inheritance. Also, an endogamous and hereditary social group limited to persons of the same rank, occupation, economic position, and the like, which has mores distinguishing it from other such groups; slave castes of warriors include Mamluk/Mameluke (cavalry) and Janissary (infantry). See GREEN BLOOD, GREEN MACHINE, LONG GREEN LINE, RING-KNOCKER, BOY'S CLUB, KHAKI MAFIA, RHIP, MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, THE ESTABLISHMENT, BRASS HAT, TOP DOG, GOLDEN BOY, RAINMAKER, VULCANIZE. [ety: pure race, pure breed; cf: COCKTAIL] [v: jati (Hindu); cf: class] [cf: apparatchik, nomenklatura, eunuch, nabob, nibs; establishmentarianism, antidisestablishment, disestablishment] [nb: the inheritance or bestowal of heraldic honors is explicitly prohibited in the American constitution (Art 1, Sec 9.8; Art 1, Sec 10.1)]

a mythical possession in a nonexistent location, being equivalent to "estates on the Island of Dunnowhere", which referent was originally cited as "chateaux en Espagne" in French. Compare HAPPY VALLEY; see GARDEN SPOT, BUMFUCK, MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, BACKWASH, BANJO COUNTRY, HARDSHIP TOUR. [aka: podunk, jerkwater, hicksville, nowheresville, boringburg, splitsville, sunset town, one-horse town, shithole, back-of-beyond, middle-of-nowhere, faraway, nowhither, lost-in-the-woods, north remote, east stranded, one-eyed town, ass-end of nowhere, nastyland, badland / bad lands, bandit country, INDIAN COUNTRY, dead-letter office, elephant's boneyard, elephant's graveyard, TULE, THULE, hinterlands, bush, sticks, BOONDOCKS / BOONIES; v: castles in Spain, estates on the Island of Dunnowhere, Erehwon, wop-wops, Woop Woop, Waikikamukau, Eketahuna, beyond the Black Stump, back of Bourke, boohai, outback]

the psychic tension or distress caused by the fear or apprehension resulting from those perceived threats to the symbolic functioning of one's psychosocial sex role; the psychoanalytic term for the uneasiness of mind associated with the coping mechanisms imposed by the necessary interactions with domineering individuals, which aggressivity undermines the confidence of their subordinates and deprives such subordinates of taking the initiative. See MICROMANAGEMENT, READ-BACK, REASSURANCE, KAFCA, PINS IN THE MAP SYNDROME, HEADQUARTERISM, ACCOUNTABILITY, RESPONSIBILITY, STRESSOR, MEA CULPA, NO EXCUSE, ZERO TOLERANCE, OVERSIGHT; compare DISSOCIATION. [v: dementia praecox]

a MIL-PERS awaiting orders, transport, or some other administrative disposition at a post or station to which that individual is not attached or assigned; also known as a "transient"; compare SNOWBIRD. Also, personnel, vehicles, ships, or craft that are temporarily stopping at a post, base, station, or port to which they are not assigned or attached, and having destination elsewhere.


an event or incident that is used politically to bring about hostilities, or is used to validate a declaration of war; literally meaning an occasion or an occurrence of war. See BLOODY SHIRT, JUST WAR, SABER-RATTLING, GUNPOINT, CROSS THE RUBICON, CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS, FIGHTING WORDS, FIGHTING MAD, TONKIN GULF INCIDENT, WAR POWERS ACT, GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY, BIG STICK DIPLOMACY, LAWS OF WAR, UCMJ, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), BATTLE, WAR. [nb: historically adequate justifications include "a place in the sun" or "lebensraum"; cf: bellicose, antagonistic, hostile, pugnacious, Firebrand, fire-eater] [v: Diplomatic Terms]

slang designation for the monolithic U.S. Naval prison at Portsmouth NH, so-called by its resemblance, although Kafkaesque influences may pertain; compare HOT HOUSE, see BRIG, CROSSBAR HOTEL, DEADLOCK, CHL, STOCKADE, DEADLINE, CLUB FED. Also, an informal metaphor for the ORIFICE where MILICRATs generate RED TAPE, FORMs, REPORTs, WHITE PAPERs, SPAGHETTI and other LITTER; after the book of the same title by Franz Kafka (1926).

to let a ship go, to loose a vessel from its mooring, or to launch a BOAT; also spelled "cast-off", and also known as SHOVE-OFF or simply "cast", as derived from 'throw'. Also, to turn the head of a sailing ship away from the wind, especially when getting underway or during departure. Also, to discard, reject, or abandon people or things, as a castaway; see DX, SALTY DOG, FLOAT TEST, DEEP SIX, FLOTSAM, WAVESON, JETSAM, LAGAN. Also, the characteristic blood-spatter or -droplet pattern resulting from specific weapons that are used in particular ways; see DRAG, SPLASHBACK, PECKER TRACKS, TRACE, TRACK, TRAIL, BEAT AROUND THE BUSH, WALK BACK THE CAT. [v: pug / pug marks, spoor] [nb: more so than foreign armies, Americans can usually be traced by their excessive noise and exotic odors as well as by the trail of trash (LITTER) that they leave behind themselves in the field]

Combat Analysis Team; see ACTIV, CDEC, CMEC, CDTCVN. Also, abbreviation for Civil Action Team, or Civic Action Team, or Civic Affairs Team, or Civil Affairs Team, which are typically numbered (CAT47) and under the command of an advisory mission; see CA, CAP, CAMG, USAID. Also, short form of CATAPULT, being a device used to launch a missile from an emplacement, or to launch an airplane from the deck of a ship.

a raised structure on which the body of a deceased person lies in state, or upon which the body of a deceased person is carried; a bier, as derived from the wooden scaffold used as a siege tower. See PALL, COFFIN, TRANSFER CASE, PALLBEARER, BOX JOB, GARDEN OF STONES, BONEYARD, NATIONAL CEMETERY, DAVY JONES'S LOCKER, MORTUARY AFFAIRS, GRAVES REGISTRATION; compare LAID BY THE WALL.

high-wing Boeing PBY (OA-10 patrol boat) seaplane, commonly called DUMBO; see FLYING BOAT, BIRD.

an attack designed to bring about a war between major powers through the disguised machinations of a third power; also called "catalytic war", "catalystic war", or "surrogate war".

to cause alarm, to make trouble, or to create havoc; as "to put...", "to let...", or "to set the cat among the pigeons"; see SABER-RATTLING, TRAILING HIS COAT, GUNPOINT, HEAD TO HEAD, CROSS THE RUBICON, BLOODY SHIRT, ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, JUST WAR. [cf: "when the cat's away, the mice will play"]

to tease or mistreat someone before a final act of cruelty or unkindness; compare CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS, CAT'S-PAW, HARE 'n' HOUND, FALL GUY, SCAPEGOAT, TERRORIST, TORTURE.

a structure that provides an auxiliary source of guidance and thrust to an aircraft or MISSILE, combining the functions of directing and accelerating the vehicle during its travel on the platform; a CATAPULT is used to accelerate the launch of an aircraft from the DECK of a ship at sea, and serves the same functions for a MISSILE as does a gun tube for a fired SHELL. The use of SHOCK CORD (ie: bungee) as a hurling engine for GLIDER take-off is technically a 'catapult' launch.

askew or awry; anything skewed or twisted, deviated or distorted, out of alignment or improperly fitted; as derived from "wampish" (to wave about, cast about, or flop to and fro). Also, set or positioned diagonally; arranged at a slant or at an oblique; deviating from a straight line or from a right angle; also called kadawhompus, kaddywhompus, cater-corner, catty-corner, kitty-corner. See OBLIQUE, YAW, SEAT OF THE PANTS, FLAP, FOOFARAW, GOAT ROPE, CLUSTER FUCK; compare SQUARED AWAY, SHIPSHAPE, SALTY, DRESS RIGHT, COCKEYED OPTIMIST.

an advantageous situation or dominant position; also called "sitting pretty" or "standing pat"; see VANTAGE POINT.

the GUERRILLA tactic of "grabbing your opponent by his shirttail" or "grabbing the enemy by his belt buckle", also known as HUG, which inhibits the use of artillery (ARTY) and close air support (CAS, TAC-AIR) during such CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE; see DANGER CLOSE.


catch as catch can / catch-as-catch-can :

a colloquialism for being compelled to deal with someone who is unanticipatedly powerful, or something that proves to be unexpectedly troublesome; see TARTAR.

CATCH-22 :
a frustrating situation wherein contradictions paradoxically entrap the participants in an illogical dilemma; expressive of a situation in which a desired outcome is impossible to attain due to a set of inherently illogical conditions; as derived from fictitious military regulations depicted by Joseph Heller in his 1961 novel of the same name. [nb: originally dubbed "Catch-18", but Mila 18 by Leon Uris had already achieved success that year, so Heller changed the number]


an escorted CONVOY of military and civilian vehicles moving at irregular intervals on a secure road; see ACCORDION, INDIAN FILE, COMBAT SPREAD, HEADWAY. Also, the informal name (trademarked) for a method of propulsion for a vehicle (eg: tractor, bulldozer, ARMORED CAR, APC, TANK, snowmobile, etc) by the rotation of one or two endless belts or tracks that are sprocket-driven and aligned by passing over a number of wheels, which system is intended for rough terrain; also known as caterpillar track, track-driven, or TRACK, this system was invented (1904) by Benjamin Holt in Stockton California, due to its superior traction and improved weight distribution over wheels, and was an essential component in the British invention of the WWI battle tank, introduced during the First Battle of the Somme (15 September 1916). See BOGIE, TRACK BLOCK, TRACK PAD, COUNTER-ROTATE, CANNIBALIZE.

an unofficial association initiated during WWII comprising aircrew who had been compelled to bail out in action and been saved by their PARACHUTE. Begun by the Irvin Parachute Company, survivors reported the control number of the equipment that saved their life in exchange for a small gold caterpillar pin representing the silkworm, which supplied the material from which parachutes were formerly made. A similar society, called the GOLDFISH CLUB, was formed for seafarers saved by their necessary resort to a rubber dinghy or LIFEBOAT.

an expedient field LATRINE that's been dug out of the ground for the use of one person; the surplus propellant from mortar and artillery fire can be ignited to sterilize such a cesspool, and thus maintain local sanitation ... field sanitation recommends that C-RATION matches be used to ignite the toilet paper and begin decomposition. See SLIT TRENCH, WAG BAG, TROTS, SQUIRTS, SHIT, DUMP, BLACK WATER, CORK, HONEY BUCKET, WCS, E-TOOL, HEAD, LATRINE, BLUE CANOE, COMFORT STATION.

see EYELID MAINTENANCE, KIP, PAC / PAC TIME, COMBAT NAP; compare NO REST. [v: sleep, shut-eye, snooze, doze, nap, power nap, forty winks, drowse, slumber, rest, siesta, hibernate]

see ROOM TO SWING A CAT, WHIP. [v: scourge]

Civil Air Transport Service, a PROPRIETARY AIRLINE; formerly known as FIRST FLIGHT; see CUSTOMER. [nb: 1045th Operations, Evaluation, and Training Group (1045th OE&T Gp), being a USAF asset that specializes in managing special and covert flights for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in remote or compromised locations (eg: Tibet, Laos, NVN, etc)]

reflective markers, usually arranged in patterns, placed on the back of patrol caps and helmets for identification and orientation on night operations; phrase derived from similarity of appearance to chatoyant luster or luminous eyes glowing eerily in the dark. Sometimes called "glow tape" or "fluorescent paint". See LIGHT STICK, BLINKER, FIREFLY, AIS, BUD LIGHT, GLINT TAPE, HEADGEAR, IR MARKERS. Also, the small separate housing that replaces the normal headlights and taillights on vehicles, used for maintaining an appropriate COMBAT SPREAD and safe driving intervals during night operations, especially in CONVOY.

slang designation for any wily or beguiling person, skilled in DECEPTION, artifice, or stratagem, such as an innovator; derived from the classic phrase about "more than one way to skin a cat". See HINKY, COC, IA, BRIEF-BACK, GABRIEL, GHOST WALK, AIR CAV, DARPA, BIGGER BANG FOR THE BUCK, PARADIGM SHIFT, BLACK SWAN EVENT, OUTSIDE THE BOX. [aka: "more than one way to gut a fish"] [cf: "There's more than one way to kill a cat than to choke it with cream." adage]

a person who is exploited for some ulterior end, a tool, pawn, dupe/doupe, gudgeon, or foil; also spelled "catspaw"; see FALL GUY, SCAPEGOAT, HACK, HIRED GUN, SANDBAG, FALSE FLAG, DECEPTION, CUTOUT, JUDAS GOAT, DECOY, COUSIN, RED HERRING, TROJAN HORSE, STALKING HORSE, DARK HORSE, MUSHROOM; compare CAT AND MOUSE, CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS. Also, a light breeze that ruffles the surface of the water over a small area; see FETCH. Also, a retaining hitch taken in the bight of a rope or LINE. [nb: phrase derives from the fable about a monkey using the paw of his friend the cat to pull chestnuts from a fire; also alludes to tampering or meddling in the "get your fingers burned" phrase] [nb: "Use your enemy's hand to catch a snake." Persian proverb; "Method is more important than strength, when you wish to control your enemies. By dropping golden beads near a snake, a crow once managed To have a passer-by kill the snake for the beads." by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow]

a WWII designation for a train of sleds, toboggans, or similar vehicles mounted on runners, the whole procession drawn by a tractor with caterpillar treads; see IRON DOG, OSV. [v: slipe, ahkio, pulka / pulkka; cf: Flexible Flyer sled (1889)] [nb: not a procession of felines, harnessed or herded]



a narrow walkway mounted high on the interior walls (parapet) of a fortification or bastion, as used for surveillance and defense; not "cat's walk". See BANQUETTE, DEFILADE. [cf: widow's walk, cock of the walk, DUCK-WALK, GHOST WALK, CAKEWALK] Also, a narrow walkway, especially one positioned high above the surrounding area, used to provide access or allow movement; also called "skybridge" or "monkey bridge"; see FLYING GANGWAY, BRIDGE.

crossed-sabers branch insignia for
U.S. Army Cavalry crossed-sabers branch
insignia for U.S. Army Cavalry
a contraction for 'cavalry' or mounted soldiers, formerly on horseback (or camel or elephant) but on vehicles in the modern era, as applied to both air cavalry (AIR CAV, AIRMOBILE) and to armored cavalry (ACR) using lightly armored TRACK vehicles; see HHT, TRP, SQDN, HELIBORNE, LAAGER, SCOUT TEAM, YELLOWLEG, DRAGOON, DOG SOLDIER, LONG KNIFE, PONY SOLDIER, BOOTS AND SADDLES, SPUR RIDE, ORDER OF THE SPUR, CAVALRY WHISKERS, YELLOW RIBBON. Also, a literary allusion (that's become clichéd by overuse in popular books and films) to any swift force that arrives to reinforce or rescue a beleaguered element, as "The cavalry arrived just in the nick of time to save our bacon!"; compare WHITE KNIGHT, HERO. [nb: the last U.S. Army horse-mounted cavalry attack was not the 1916 Pershing campaign into Mexico, but the 1942 defense of Manilla against Imperial Japanese occupation] [nb: a scrap of largely blue and red tartan, with the thread count falling in sevens, entitled "The 7th Cavalry Tartan", appears in a Scottish pattern book of the 19th century, which researchers now conclude was a design commissioned by George Armstrong Custer for outfitting a regimental marching band of pipers and drummers, which order was interrupted by the 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn]



slang for a cut of meat from a horse or mule (instead of beefsteak), as used from the CIVIL WAR through WWII. It has been said that Apaches rode a horse until it couldn't walk and then they ate it, but during pioneer days on the American frontier, little distinction was made in discriminating between wild game and domestic animals for food; likewise during the period of Japanese occupation of the Philippines, where dogs and chickens, grubs and rats, lizards and turtles, monkeys and water buffalo were consumed (along with the U.S. horses and mules) to prevent starvation. See SLIDER, CAMEL BURGER, CRITTER FRITTER, CHOW, BEANS, IRON RATIONS, RATIONS. [nb: canned rations supplied to American troops during WWI included horse meat] [cf: tube steak, cheese steak, minute steak, Swiss steak, Salisbury steak; v: porterhouse steak (ie: sirloin steak and New York strip steak), club steak, skirt steak, round steak, shell steak, T-bone steak, cube steak] [nb: since the era of the CIVIL WAR, American troops have mockingly mislabeled salt pork as "Cincinnati chicken" just as ground or smothered entrees are now called "mystery meat"; v: mock chicken, mock turtle soup, sea legs / surimi, Bombay duck, Welsh rabbit, golden buck] [nb: high-muckety-muck and high-muck-a-muck are corrupt Americanisms from Chinook jargon ("hayo makamak") meaning plenty to eat or much food, from the layer of whale meat between blubber and flesh]

side whiskers grown across the cheeks to connect with a full moustache, leaving the jawline, chin, and neck cleanly shaven; a style affected by 19th century cavalrymen (YELLOWLEG, PONY SOLDIER). Compare SIDEBURNS; see FACE FUZZ.

slang for the Combat Information Center (CIC), which is also known as "combat"; compare OPIUM DEN, see WAR ROOM, TOC. [nb: alternatively, only the detection and tracking module within the CIC]

the Hughes (500C) Light Observation helicopter (OH-6A), with the Marine version designated SPERM; see LOH, SILVER EAGLES, CHOPPER; compare LITTLE BIRD.

CB :
Naval Construction Battalion, which abbreviation is the basis for the nickname SEABEES (qv).

China-Burma-India theater
China-Burma-India patch
established 4 March 1942 to assist American allies on the Asian mainland to resist the expansion of Imperial Japan by combat support, support services, tactical advice and reinforcement; the China-Burma-India theater was subordinate to Southeast Asia Command (SEAC) during WWII, as differentiated from the Southwest Pacific theater ... this abbreviation was also interpreted as: "Confusion Beyond Imagination" and "Confused Bastards in India". The ethnic groups participating in the China-Burma-India region included: Chinese, Burmese, Indian, Nepalese / Gurkha, Siamese / Thai, Shan, Bamar, Chin, Rakhine, Mon / Mong, Karen, Kaya, Kachin / Cachin, Jinghpaw / Jingpo, and similar tribes. Because the small American contingent was initially without supplies, having to rely upon British clothing and equipment, the CBI shoulder patch was created by LTC Frank "Pinky" Dorn (an aide to VINEGAR JOE Stilwell) to supposedly differentiate Yanks from Brits in barroom brawls! See FLYING TIGERS, OSS, CHINDIT, JINGPAW RANGERS, MERRILL'S MARAUDERS, MARS, HUMP, LEDO ROAD.

Congressional Budget Office. [v: Bureau of the Public Debt (succeeded by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service in 2012)]

U.S. Customs and Border Protection; see ICE, DHS.

crossed refractory retorts serve
as branch insignia for Chemical corps crossed refractory retorts
serve as branch insignia for Chemical corps
Chemical-Biological-Radiological warfare agents, classified as strategic weapons, and sometimes called "Tech Weapons" or GERM WARFARE. They have also been designated: Atomic Bacteriological Chemical (ABC), Nuclear Bacterial Chemical (NBC), Chemical Biological Warfare (CBW), or Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). The equivalent 21st century version of this genocidal threat has been designated Genetic-Nanotechnological-Robotic (GNR). More than 140 nations ratified the "Biological Toxins and Weapons Treaty of 1972", but this convention on prohibiting the development, production, stockpile, and disposal of biological, bacterial, and toxin weapons hasn't stopped research nor prevented use in subsequent low-intensity conflicts, including YELLOW RAIN in Southeast Asia. According to historians, the 18th century was a period devoted to advanced mathematics, the 19th century was a period devoted to chemistry, the 20th century was devoted to physics, and the 21st century will be devoted to biology. See CBW, CW, RANCH HAND, AGENT ORANGE, BLISTER AGENT, COCKTAIL, YELLOWCAKE, HEAVY WATER, HOT GREASE, MANHATTAN PROJECT, FALLOUT, EMP, GENIE, NUKE, TOMB, COFFIN, NEST, GAS MASK, BUNNY SUIT, CPOG, JSLIST, MOPP, BOONIES; compare DEMILITARIZE, HAZMAT. [nb: by extension from fumigating houses, the Chinese military used bellows-driven (see ZIPPO) burned mustard, stink bombs, poisons, and excrement against enemy tunnels and strongholds during the seventh to the fourth centuries BC; and is known to have used a form of "tear gas", made by burning powdered lime and sulphur, during the second century AD. Alexander of Macedon hurled diseased corpses into fortifications.] [nb: "stinkpot" is term for combustible container of suffocating vapors; now meaning any mean or nasty person (mephitic stinkpot)]

Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and high yield Explosives; see CBR, CBW, GERM WARFARE, VECTOR, GNR, WMD, NUKE, EXPLOSIVE, GENOCIDE, APOCALYPSE.

combat; see CMBT.

Cluster Bomb Unit, or Cluster Bomb; the general term for different types of SUBMUNITIONs expelled from a dispenser for use against both HARD TARGETs and SOFT TARGETs, such as vehicles and people; includes "SADEYE/BLU-26B" Cluster Bombs, later nicknamed "guava" bombs by the Vietnamese. These one-pound, baseball-sized bombs were usually dropped in lots of 600 or more. The bomblets were released from a dispenser in such a way as to spread them across a wide area. When they hit the ground, they exploded sending out smaller, steel balls embedded in their cases. There were also CBU-24; CBU-25; and CBU-49, a canister of time-delayed, baseball-sized bomblets that go off randomly over a thirty-minute period, each blasting out 250 white-hot ball bearings. There was Clamshell CBU, which exploded in a donut pattern, creating a circle of fire in a hollow; and Rockeye CBU, a thermite device used for burning targets. The post-Vietnam cluster bombs include: Combined Effects Munition (CBU-87) is an AIRDROPped distribution of anti-personnel and anti-vehicle mines over a wide area; Sensor Fuzed Weapon (CBU-97) is an AIRDROPped detection and destruction weapon for TANKs and other armored vehicles. See BUTTERFLY BOMB, IRON BOMB, GBU.


C&C / C & C / C-and-C :
Command and Control, or C2; sometimes called "eye in the sky" or "eye spy", from looking over everyone's shoulder. The exercise of authority and direction by a properly designated commander over assigned and attached forces in the accomplishment of the mission. Command and control functions are performed through an arrangement of personnel, equipment, communications, facilities, and procedures employed by a commander in planning, directing, coordinating, and controlling forces and operations in the accomplishment of the mission. See ABCCC, ABNCP, C3, C4, UMBRELLA, CROW'S NEST, CHARLIE CHARLIE, OVERSIGHT. [nb: the six SOG Forward Operation Bases were consolidated and reorganized in 1967, and redesignated as differentiations of Command and Control (C&C), with FOB#4 becoming Command and Control North (CCN), FOB#2 becoming Command and Control Central (CCC), FOB#6 becoming Command and Control South (CCS), while FOBs #1,3,5 became launch sites; the "Hatchet Force" and "Recon Team" designations became "Exploitation Force" and "Spike Team"]

CC / C.C. :
abbreviation for copy/copies, as derived from "carbon copy", referring to the former practice of interleaving sheets of carbon paper between blank pages to mechanically reproduce the original, which was a process fraught with potential errors and image degradation; to reduce errors and increase productivity, special "copy set" combinations of lightweight paper with attached carbon paper were manufactured for government and other administrative uses. See FLIMSY, MANIFOLD SET, MIMEOGRAPH, PAPER BULLET, RED TAPE, ORIFICE, CLERKS 'n' JERKS.

Close Combat Attack, being a fast, low-level helicopter GUNSHIP assault against an enemy using onboard weaponry in support of friendly ground elements; compare CAS, STRAFE, TAC-AIR, AIR STRIKE, DANGER CLOSE.

Command & Control Boat. A converted landing craft of the Monitor class of riverine boats, packed with radios, designed for forward command and communications. Traveling with the flotilla of boats and landing craft of a typical riverine operation, it was used for relaying communications between the commanders in the field and the Army's Tactical Operations Center (TOC) and Fire Support groups. By using larger antennas than would be practical in the field, communications range could be extended 10 to 15 miles. See MRF.

Chinese Communist Forces; see CHICOM.

Commander's Critical Information Requirements, being that information that directly affects the commander's decisions and dictates the successful execution of tactical operations; CCIR normally requires three types of information: priority intelligence requirements, essential elements of friendly information, and friendly force information requirements. See PIR, IR, MI, INTEL.

slang for a curved or extended magazine (MAG), typically 30- or 40-round type, by comparison to its similar shape; see BANANA CLIP. Also, slang for a 100-round magazine (MAG), by reference to the Roman numeral for 100; see DRUM.

Combined Command for Reconnaissance Activities Korea, being the interservice precursor, along with the 8240th and 8242nd Army Units, of the United Nations Partisan Forces Korea (UNPFK / UNPIK). The covert techniques established by OSS, enhanced by UNPFK and JACK, were inherited by SOG, and have since been passed to Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and US Special Operations Command (USSOC). Compare MGF, MSF, MIKE FORCE; see SPECIAL OPERATIONS.

scarlet beret of USAF Combat
CCT beret
USAF Combat Control Team; see JTAC. Also, Combat Crew Training.

CD :
Cavalry Division.

Commencement-Day; the unnamed day on which a deployment operation commences or is intended to commence, including movement of troops, cargo, weapon systems, or any combination thereof, using any type(s) of transport. See L-HOUR, TIME.

Combat Development and Evaluation
Command patch
(see-deck, not "c-d-e-c") Combat Development and Evaluation Command; based at Camp Hunter Liggett with testing teams detached to RVN. See ACTIV, CAT, CDTCVN.

Capability Development Integration Directorate, being a component of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) consisting of: Army Operational Knowledge Management (AOKM), Concept Development Division (CDD), Requirements Determination Division (RDD), Personnel Recovery Proponent Office (PRPO), Electronic Warfare Proponent Office (EWPO), Information Operations Proponent Office (IPO), Mission Command Battle Lab (MCBL), Combat Training Center Directorate (CTCD), Combined Arms Doctrine Directorate (CADD), Training Management Directorate (TMD), TRADOC Capability Manager - Mission Command (TCM-MC), and associated elements.

Navy and Marine designation of Command Duty Officer; compare OOD, JOOD, OOG, OOW, SOPA, SDO, DUTY DOG, DOG ROBBER, DOGSBODY.

the FIELD-GRADE officer RANK (Commander) or RATING (O-5) intermediate between Lieutenant Commander (LCDR / O-4) and Captain (Capt / O-6) in the naval services (USMM, USCG, USN); equivalent to 'lieutenant colonel' (LTC / Lt Col) in the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps; sometimes improperly abbreviated as "CMDR" and "COMDR". See OLD MAN, SKIPPER, CO, LDR, OFFICER. [nb: the rank of 'commander' was introduced into the U.S. Navy in 1838 to replace "master commandant", which title, when it was spelled "commandeur", was introduced into the British Navy by William III as second officer commanding in large ships]

Combat Development and Test Center Vietnam; see ACTIV, CDEC, CAT.


CE :
fortress branch insignia for U.S.
Army Engineer fortress branch insignia for
U.S. Army Engineer
Combat Engineer, sometimes called "demolition commando" and "assault pioneer", as derived from "engine[er] of war"; see ENGR, SEABEES, RED HORSE, PIONEER, SNIPE, SAPPER, BREACHER, EOD, SATCHEL CHARGE, JERRV, CEV. Also, Civil Engineer, also known by their function of repairing "Roads and Commodes"; see SMART, PRIME BEEF, CHIPS [nb: the person who builds "targets" to be destroyed by the mechanical engineer, who builds weapons]. Also, abbreviation for Counter-Espionage; see ESPIONAGE. Also, abbreviation for character and efficiency (C&E) rating; see ER, EER, NCOER, OER, FITREP.

the order to interrupt or discontinue the discharge of firearms; sometimes "check-fire" is used when directing MIL-PERS to hold their fire, but this phrase can be misunderstood; see SCRUB, BELAY, COUNTERMAND, STAND FAST. [nb: not to be confused with 'hang fire' (qv)] Also, a temporary cessation of hostilities; a TRUCE or armistice. [v: Diplomatic Terms]

major ground operations in IRON TRIANGLE beginning Jan 1967.

a Direct Action (DA) project of SOG during 1969 for raid missions in Cambodia utilizing ethnic BODEs; see SALEM HOUSE.

Combat Equipment Group - Europe; established in April 1964 to store, maintain, and issue equipment to units deployed from CONUS for participation in the European general defense plan, it originated as the 7th U.S. Army Combined Arms Maintenance Group, was renamed the U.S. Army Europe Augmentation Readiness Group in May 1965, then obtained its present designation in October 1970 while continuing the PRE-POS mission with improved resources under the auspices of the 21st Support Command until 1995. CEG-E was the logistical support organization for operations in Kuwait, Qatar, Iraq, Bosnia, and Kosovo, whence control was passed to Army Materiel Command (AMC).

the maximum altitude at which an aircraft can operate under specified conditions. Also, the height above ground level of the lowest layer of clouds that cover more than half of the sky. Also, the OVERHEAD; compare DECK, BULKHEAD.

Communications Electronics Implementation Plan; also, CEIPA for Comm Electr Implement Plan Amendment.


a mobile telephone system, introduced 1973, using ultrahigh frequency (UHF) radio signal transmitters, each covering separate areas, and computers for switching calls from one area to another; compare LANDLINE, see ELECTRONIC PACIFIER, MEACONING, PORTABLE BRAINS, BURNER, TAC-CHAT, TELEPHONE, MEME. [v: Subscriber Identity Module / Subscriber Identification Module (SIM; 1991); Embedded Subscriber Identity Module / Embedded Subscriber Identification Module (eSIM); Integrated Circuit Card IDentifier (ICCID); International Mobile Subscriber Identity / International Mobile Subscriber Identification (IMSI); Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC); Embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card (eUICC); International Mobile Equipment Identity / International Mobile Equipment Identification (IMEI); Short Message Service (SMS) / Short Message Service Center (SMSC) number; Service Provider Name (SPN); Service Dialing Numbers (SDN); Mobile Network Code (MNC)] [nb: the 1983 URGENT FURY incursion was probably the first time that close air support (CAS) was obtained by a cellular telephone call from the battlefield that was placed to the parent unit in CONUS and relayed by satellite back to the operational area when direct communication could not be established; such remote linking for command and control of tactical assets became commonplace during the GULF WARs]

Combined Effects Munition (eg: CBU-87, CBU-97); see CBU.

[ety: sleeping place] a burial ground for the dead; see BONEYARD, TOMB, DAVY JONES'S LOCKER, GARDEN OF STONES, NATIONAL CEMETERY, TOMB OF THE UNKNOWNS. [nb: "If all of the war dead were buried on their own farmland, not only would the hungry people back home put an immediate end to the war, but the abundance of headstones would serve as a perpetual reminder, ensuring that nobody would ever fight another battle to create more graveyards." paraphrase of Helen Dunmore]

the authority, vested in a religious office or governmental agency, to suppress or exclude all or part of objectionable works, including literature, dramas, illustrations, speeches, and other published or broadcast matter, based upon an examination of them for moral transgressions, political or military violations, or some other worthy grounds; such bans (eg: sedition, sex and violence) are moot outside the purview of the censor [deriv: the Roman official charged with the enforcement of public manners and morals]. See GAG ORDER, BLACKOUT, DISINFORMATION, CONTROLLED INFORMATION, PROPAGANDA, FALSE FLAG, THOUGHT POLICE, SOFT TYRANNY, CHINESE WALL, IRON CURTAIN, BIG BROTHER, NANNY STATE, THE G, WHITE LIST, FREEDOM OF SPEECH. [v: imprimatur, nihil obstat, Index Librorum Prohibitorum, Comstock laws, D[efense advisory]-notice; cf: political-correctness] [nb: censorship may not be imposed upon the press or mass media without a DECLARATION OF WAR, although journalists may be constrained (by threatening a revocation of their credentials) within privacy and security guidelines so as to protect operational autonomy and personal identity] [nb: it has been proposed that, in addition to periodic book burnings, various Chinese dynasties deliberately changed their script as a form of censorship, thus preventing future generations from being able to read any but the emended texts] [nb: "We have a natural right to make use of our pens, as of our tongue, at our peril, risk, and hazard." by Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire; "As good almost kill a man as kill a good book; who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were in the eye." by John Milton; "Bias is primarily accomplished by exclusion .... Such a bias is much harder to observe than a positive vilification or direct criticism, but it is the essence of censorship." by Paul Vitz; "If you get rid of all the books, you get rid of memory ... and culture, and ethics, and variety, and any argument that opposes what you choose to think." by Donna Leon; "Wherever they burn books, they will also, in the end, burn human beings." by Heinrich Heine; "Don't join the book burners. Don't think you are going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed." by Dwight David Eisenhower]

(cen-taf) Central Command Air Forces; see CENTCOM.

CENTral COMmand, also represented as USCENTCOM; being one of nine unified joint US military commands, headquartered at McDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Florida; during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), CENTCOM maintained a forward base at Doha, Qatar. See CINCCENT, ARCENT, CENTAF, MARCENT, SOCCENT.

the Central Highlands region of Southeast Asia, a plateau area at the southern edge of the Truong Son Mountains in the Annamite range, was a strategically important region of South Vietnam throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Nearly one million people, primarily MONTAGNARD tribesmen, lived in the 20,000 square miles of the Central Highlands in 1968. The region was economically known for its production of coffee, tea, cinnamon, upland rice, and various vegetables. See SEVEN MOUNTAINS.

Cessna P-210 single-engined light transport airplane with a pressurized cabin.


gilded Army parachutist badge
commemorates 100 jumps
gilt para
informal reference to the golden hued parachutist badge that's unofficially awarded to PARATROOPERs after the successful completion of one hundred (100) military jumps, typically deployed by STATIC LINE; although this skill qualification badge has been gradated senior (star above canopy @30+ jumps) and master (star in wreath above canopy @65+ jumps) since 1949, this gilded CENTURY WING is traditionally represented by the 'basic' parachutist badge. See JUMPMASTER, MASTER BLASTER, FREE-FALL, MFF, PARACHUTE, WINGS, TRASH. [nb: solid gold versions are known to exist, but they're usually miniature size and intended to be worn as jewelry]

Circular Error Probable, being an indicator of the delivery accuracy of a weapon system, based upon a determination of the probable damage to a target when half of a missile's projectiles are expected to fall within the radius of its circle; see DEVIATION, DELIVERY ERROR, DISPERSION ERROR, HORIZONTAL ERROR. Also, Communications EarPlug, being a baffle device within an expanding foam earplug that dwells in the outer ear canal so as to provide hearing protection, which is especially useful around loud or sharp noises, such as aviation engines, firearms discharges, and explosions, while miniature transducers enable clear voice communications without interruption; developed in 1999, this unit may be combined with circumaural headphones ("mouse ears") for increased sound attenuation; see CEPS, WIRE WORM, EARS.

Communications Enhancement and Protection System, being a combination of highly sensitive microphones, micro-circuitry and the communications earplug to create a device, suitable for both aviation and ground operations, which enhances sound detection and localization, improves face-to-face communications, and provides hearing protection for impact and continuous noise, and rapid cut-off and recovery during weapons firing.

that's war, or such is war, often accompanied by a world-weary shrug; see FIDO, MAN-UP, SHIT HAPPENS, SUCK IT UP, ROTS O' RUCK. [cf: c'est la vie (French: such is life)]

Combat Engineer Vehicle; such as the M-728 which mounts a 165mm MAIN-GUN for demolition on an M-60A1 TANK chassis. Compare JERRV.

Combined Forces Air Component Command.

Certified Flight Instructor, and Certified Flight Instructor - Instruments (CFI-I), being the formal designation for an instructor pilot (IP).

Combined Forces Land Component Command.

Combined Forces Maritime Component Command.

C4 :
Command, Control, Communications, and Computers (CCCC = C4); including Battle Management CCCC and Intelligence (BMC4I), CCCC CounterMeasures (C4CM), CCCC and Intelligence (C4I), CCCC and Intelligence for the Warrior (C4IFTW), CCCC Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), CCCC Systems (C4S), Global CCCC Assessment (GC4A). See C&C, C2, C3, ABCCC. Also, Combat Casualty Care Course. Also, designation for the Lockheed-Martin TRIDENT submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).

C-4 :
Composition C-4, being the fourth variant in the Composition C formulation; a very stable, malleable, and lightweight plastic explosive (qv), that was widely used in the VIETNAM WAR because of its high potency, great versatility, and easy portability. As a plastic explosive, it was not destabilized by water, which was an important factor in that climatic region. With a semi-soft texture similar to putty or modeling clay, it could be readily formed into a SHAPED CHARGE of any configuration. C-4 would not explode without use of detonation devices, even when dropped, beaten, shot, or burned. Because it could be safely burned, and was more accessible than Sterno (which had to be privately purchased on a rare trip to the PX/BX), C-4 was often used to heat RATIONS, boil coffee, and warm FOXHOLES or BUNKERS. Originating as a mixture of TNT [TriNitroToluene (C7H5N3O6)] with a plasticizer, it was developed by the British during WWII as Composition C (C3H6N6O6) or Research Department Explosive (RDX) at Woolwich England. See HEP, COCKTAIL, SOUP, IED, EXPLOSIVE. [nb: when tinder is not readily available to ignite a cooking fire, soldiers will routinely sacrifice a rifle cartridge so as to use its combustible gunpowder as a fire starter]

Code of Federal Regulations; see ORDER.

Combat Research and Engineering Board, formerly known as the Food and Nutrition Research and Engineering Board; chaired by the Office of the Director, Defense Research and Engineering, this council includes representatives from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).

Combat Feeding and Research Program, the directorate in the Department of Defense (DoD) that has provided a research, technology and engineering base for all combat feeding systems since 1986.

Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command.

CG :
Commanding General. Also, Civil Guard. Also, Communications Group. Also, Coast Guard / USCG (qv).

(c-g-i-s) U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service; see NCIS, NIS, CID, OSI, DCIS, DIS, FBI, BUTTON, POLICE.

C&GS :
abbreviation for the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (USACGSC / CGSC), and currently designated the U.S. Army General Command and Staff College (USAGCSC / GCSC), a ten-month curriculum taught at Fort Leavenworth Kansas; established by GEN William T. Sherman (1881). See WAR COLLEGE, JEDI KNIGHT, HUDSON HIGH, BOAT SCHOOL, OCS, ROTC. [v: Siwash ("At Good Old Siwash" by George Helgeson Fitch (1911)]

U.S. Army Command and General Staff College; see C&GS.

strips of tinsel-like metal foil dropped by an aircraft to decoy or confuse enemy RADAR by reflection; this countermeasures invention by the British during WWII was originally known by its CODENAME "window"; see MUSIC, NOISE, ECM. Also, any worthless matter or refuse, as in processing harvested food; compare CONFETTI, CHATTER.

M-24 light TANK, having two gas-powered engines linked to two separate transmissions, which were impossible to properly synchronize; replaced in 1953 by the M-41 WALKER-BULLDOG. Served in Vietnam as bridge pillboxes, and chassis formed body of DUSTER. See WIDOW MAKER, TANK, TRACK.

a class of externally powered, link-fed , chain driven, single-barrel, selective-fire weapons (eg: M-242 25mm; Mk-38/Mk-46; M-230 30mm) that are mounted on vehicles and aircraft, and capable of effectively firing 200 rounds per minute at lightly armored, thin-skinned, and SOFT TARGETs more than a mile distant; this term refers to the use of a roller chain that drives the bolt back and forth when the TRIGGER is activated. Unlike most firearms, the CHAIN GUN does not depend on blow-back or recoil to actuate its firing system; instead, it uses a 1hp DC motor, positioned in the receiver, to drive the chain and dual-feed system, which uses sprockets and extractor grooves to feed, load, fire, extract, and eject rounds. A system of clutches provides for an alternate sprocket to engage the dual-feed system and thus allows the gunner to remotely switch between armor piercing and high explosive rounds without changing AMMO belts. Ammunition options include: Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot with Tracer (APDS-T); Armor-Piercing, Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot With Tracer (APFSDS-T ); High Explosive Incendiary with Tracer (HEI-T); High Explosive Incendiary with Tracer and Self Destruct (HEI-TSD); Target Practice with Tracer (TP-T); and Target Practice Discarding Sabot with Tracer (TPDS-T). The CHAIN GUN weapon system design was begun in 1972 by Hughes Aircraft, further developed by McDonnell-Douglas (later acquired by the Boeing Corporation), coming to fruition in 1981, and since manufactured by Alliant Techsystems (ATK) of Mesa, Arizona. The latest modifications include: chrome-lined barrel, high-efficiency muzzle brake, enhanced feeder, enhanced receiver, quick-detachable link covers, larger breech assembly, longer recoil, integral round counter, extended-life firing pin and spring, and triple-spring drive clutch.

a storage compartment for the proper stowage of CABLE and HAWSER aboard a vessel.

the sequential structure of authoritative leadership in the military hierarchy, from Tm Ldr to ChJCS, and exclusive of supporting service and technical staff; also referred to as the "food chain" and "pecking order". See CO, SKIPPER, HONCHO, 10, WALLAH, GADGET, ACTING JACK, BREVET, CHIEF, OLD MAN, MOTHER HEN, MC, LDR, LINE OFFICER, COMBAT EFFECTIVE, COMMAND RATIO, BRASS BLOAT, OVERSIGHT, CAPTAIN'S MAST, OFFICE HOURS, COMMAND ELEMENT, FIRST SHIRT, TOP-KICK, FIELD FIRST, SHAKE 'n' BAKE, HIGHER, VFR DIRECT, ROUGHSHOD, RHIP, LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN, WO, GREEN TAB, LOOEY, BUTTER BAR, FULL BULL, FLAG OFFICER, MILICRAT, RANK, JCS, NCA, CINC / POTUS; compare RESTRICTED LINE. [nb: although individual commanders and separate battles during the American CIVIL WAR demonstrated the tendency, WWI was the first full-scale war in which commanders did not lead from the front. Despite technological advances, this practice was reversed during WWII combat. When the VIETNAM WAR engaged conventional forces, command was again detached from the point of contact, and marginal technology substituted for decisive leadership.]

a STAFFer or MILICRAT who represents himself as a reluctant but dutiful "desk-bound warrior", regardless of qualifications or experience; expression derived by combining CHair with AIRBORNE. Compare KICKSTANDED; see ACETATE COMMANDO, TOCROACH, FOBBIT, BEAN-COUNTER, PENCIL PUSHER, CHAIR FORCE, MILICRAT, HOMESTEADER, PERMANENT PARTY, PUKE, BTDT, PAY DUES, HEADQUARTERISM, RED TAPE, ORIFICE. [cf: apparatchik, nomenklatura, eunuch, nabob, nibs; placeholder, chair warmer; checkbook gardener, gentleman farmer, patron of the arts, white knight, fairy godmother, benefactor] [v: 'claque' for group or coterie of BROWN NOSERs]

sardonic reference to military servicemembers who accomplish all of their work while comfortably seated, especially the Air Force (USAF), where the war is being won by everybody sitting down on the job! Compare SEAT OF THE PANTS, ZOOMIE; see CHAIRBORNE, ACETATE COMMANDO, TOCROACH, FOBBIT, BEAN-COUNTER, PENCIL PUSHER, MILICRAT, HOMESTEADER, PERMANENT PARTY, PUKE, BTDT, PAY DUES, HEADQUARTERISM, RED TAPE, ORIFICE. [cf: apparatchik, nomenklatura, eunuch, nabob, nibs; placeholder, chair warmer; checkbook gardener, gentleman farmer, patron of the arts, white knight, fairy godmother, benefactor] [v: 'claque' for group or coterie of BROWN NOSERs]

the FILE of airlift infantry which conforms to the size of the transport aircraft, regardless of regular TO&E assignment; as derived from temporary group assignment numbers CHALKed onto the helicopter hulls. Compare STICK; see AIRMOBILE, AIR ASSAULT, AIR CAV, HELIBORNE, LZ, CLZ, PZ, CHOPPER, MOTHER HEN. [nb: the team size of British commando units was changed to conform to the carrying capacity of the landing craft during WWII]

the qualified individual who is responsible for and in control of the group of AIR CAV, AIR ASSAULT, or HELIBORNE troops embarked under the same chalk number; sometimes called MOTHER HEN; see STICK.

the number designating the transport carrier and its complete load of men and materiel.


reverse side of Counterparts
challenge coin
reverse side of
challenge coin
some organizations, including both military units and fraternal societies, began selling specially produced and serial numbered coins to unofficially raise funds for unit activities and recreation; which coins could be called forth (ie: COINING) for comparison to settle wagers and challenges, or contested to raise even more money. It is possible that 'unit identification' or commemorative coins were specially made for the British officers in the Boer War (1899-1902) or for the American volunteer pilots flying with the RAF in WWI, but these were more mementos or SOUVENIRs, because they weren't serial numbered, and because the "challenge ritual" had not yet come into existence. In a similar vein, the 10th SFGAbn commissioned an overstrike of a German coin [nb: it's illegal to deface, disfigure, or deform U.S. coinage] as a commemorative for its early Bad Tolz detachment, but this too lacked the sequence and protocol of the later CHALLENGE COINs. It is believed that the first genuine CHALLENGE COINs (those made primarily to raise money and settle wagers) were produced by the (then) 77th SFGAbn at Ft Bragg around 1957, and their popularity quickly spread to cover many other units, operations, and special events. As with most PISSING CONTESTs, the more elaborate and involved the competition, then the better the competitors like it, and it's all for a "good cause". See SHORT SNORTER, SLUSH FUND, HARD TIMES TOKEN. [nb: after the Great War (WWI), surviving British conscripts made a coin key chain, representative of having taken the King's shilling, which served as a subtle recognition signal to fellow combatants of their veteran status] [v: obverse/reverse, cross/pile] [v: Coin Terms]


a mixed drink of brandy, angostura bitters, and sugar that's topped with chilled champagne; see FIZZ, AIRBORNE SPIRIT, HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK, HOIST, GUSTO.

a colloquialism for exhibiting anxiety or impatience, as when eager to begin some action; derived from vigorous chewing or noisy grinding with the teeth. See GOOD TO GO, JUMP-START, HOOPLA, SPIN-UP, MISSION READY.

a fighter or warrior, especially the victor on a battlefield. Also, someone who fights for another or who defends a cause; an advocate or protector. Also, first among all contestants or competitors; the person who has defeated all opponents in a competition or series of competitions, so as to hold first place. Also, anything that has taken first place in competition, or has accumulated enough winning points to be distinguished as first-rate or superior. See TROPHY; compare HERO. [nb: the 'Champion of England' is an hereditary official at British coronations who originally served as defender of the crown by challenging anyone disputing the right of the new sovereign's rule to mortal combat] [nb: the Soviet Union (USSR) characterized itself as "the world's first champion of peace"]

the unpredictable and uncontrollable element of an event, being the unplanned aspect or accidental nature of an occurrence. Also, the possibility or probability of something happening, usually perceived as luck, joss, fate, destiny or fortune beyond one's ken. GRUNTs have characterized this phenomenon as "the sacred geometry of chance", where fatalism reigns over will and skill, and where life and death are separated by moments and millimeters. See QUICK OR DEAD, HAZARD, RISK, RISKY-SHIFT EFFECT, UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE, LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, LAW OF AVERAGES, GAMBLER'S FALLACY, LUCKY, JOSS STICK, ZOMBIE, DISSOCIATION, OBJECTIFICATION.

see SHANKER JACK. [v: chancre, chancroid]

an abrupt climbing turn in which an aircraft almost STALLs while using its momentum to gain a higher rate of climb, with the airplane reversing its direction in this steep turn at the stall point so as to regain its speed and go on the attack; derived from "candle". Compare HAMMERHEAD; see AEROBATICS. [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon]

refers to the switch in BUGLE CALLs from "charge" to RETREAT, indicating withdraw or RETROGRADE; see BEAT FEET, CUT AND RUN, HAUL-ASS, BAILOUT, ROUT; compare COUNTERMARCH, DEFEAT. [nb: to skedaddle or scarper in a disorderly or panicked manner is an unmilitary reversion to primaeval atavism; "Retreat, hell! We're attacking in a different direction!" by O.P. Smith; "Retreat, hell! We just got here!" by Lloyd Williams; "If he can fight, he advances and takes the offensive; if he cannot fight, he retreats and remains on the defensive. He will invariably conquer who knows whether it is right to take the offensive or the defensive." by Chang Yu]

a rhythmic work song, especially used by sailors; also spelled "chanty". See HOISE, CADENCE, JODY CALL, HEP, BY THE NUMBERS, HEAVE-HO, GUNG-HO, HOOAH, OORAH, YUT, BEATERS 'n' BLEATERS, TOOTER. [cf: ballad, chanson, lay, air, tune, ditty, carol]

a rice gruel or porridge, prepared in a proportion of ten parts water to one part rice, which is served to the very young, very old, the infirm, or as a worshipful offering to the dead in a temple or spirit house; see HUNGRY GHOST, OAN HON, PHI; compare TIGER BALM, SPIRIT MONEY.

Vietnamese salutation used in greeting or departing; usually combined with polite gender designation (ie: Chao Ba, Chao Co, Chao Ong). This expression was traditionally combined with a slight bow of the head and upper torso, with the arms crossed over the chest (right over left) as a sign of respect, but this gesture is now rarely practiced in the modern era, except in formal settings among elders. Except where the cultures have blended (eg: Khmer-Vietnamese), the Cambodian SAMPEAH and the Thai WAI are not customarily performed in Vietnam. See SALUTE. [nb: in Vietnam, the traditional crossed-arm bow is called cúi đEA7;u (literally "bow head"), while the clasp-hands greeting, performed without bowing either the head or torso, is called cháp tay chào; the Vietnamese word vái describes someone clasping their hands and bowing their head in religious worship]

CALL-SIGN of HMONG T-28 TALON fighter pilots.

a mobile Surface-to-Air (SAM) MISSILE platform consisting of STINGERs mounted on a HMMWV (HUMVEE or "Hummer"). See FAV, MULE, JEEP.

a non-denominational ecclesiastic who conducts religious services and offers pastoral counseling to interested servicemembers; such a clergyman is commonly known as a SKY PILOT. The motto of the Chaplain's Corps is "For God And Country" ('Pro Deo Et Patria'). During WWI, the American Expeditionary Force was augmented by volunteer chaplains who were sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, the Young Men's Christian Association, and other altruistic organizations; these chaplains served the moral and spiritual needs of front line troops, including combat leadership and sexual prophylaxis. See GOD SQUAD, HOLY HELO, TS CARD, SYMPATHY, FOXHOLE CONVERSION, ARMY CHRISTIAN, PRAYER; compare HUG SQUAD, GHOUL, LAY PREACHER. [v: abbé, churchman, curé, ecclesiastic, evangelist, father, guru, hieromonk, man of the cloth, master, minister, officiant, parson, pastor, preacher, prelate, priest, prophet, rabbi, rector, reverend, revivalist, swami, vicar, votary, yogi] [nb: "A chaplain is the minister of the Prince of Peace serving the host of the God of War – Mars. As such, he is as incongruous as a musket would be on the altar at Christmas. Why, then, is he there? Because he indirectly subserves the purpose attested by the cannon; because too he lends the sanction of the religion of the meek to that which practically is the abrogation of everything but brute Force." by Herman Melville, ch 24 Billy Budd, Sailor]

a citation of the exact authority for an action or statement, as originally derived from detailing the precise Biblical reference; see CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, BY THE BOOK, ACCORDING TO HOYLE, SCRIPTURES, BY THE NUMBERS, CHARGE SHEET, PUNITIVE ARTICLES, GRIPE SHEET, DEFECT, BUG, NOISE, DX.

military discharge in place of court martial for "the good of the service", as prelude to Undesirable Discharge (UD). Compare SECTION EIGHT; see COG, DISCHARGE. [v: disown]

the aggregate of features and traits that forms the specific nature of a thing or the essential basis of a person; the moral or ethical qualities (eg: honesty, loyalty, integrity, fortitude, etc) that contribute to someone's capacity for reputation or status; see BEARING, RESPECT, TACT, FINESSE, JUDGMENT CALL, COMMAND VOICE, COMMAND PRESENCE, LDR, CHARISMA. Also, an account of a person's qualities, abilities, past performance and probable potential; recommendation, reference; see EER, OER, FITREP, BAYONET SHEET. Also, a persona depicted in some dramatic form (eg: story, play, film, etc) by a distinctive part, an eccentric, unusual, or interesting role; see FICTIONAL CHARACTER, CARICATURE, MOCK-HEROIC, WHITE PROPAGANDA, MIND CANDY. [nb: "How you lived is more important than how long you lasted." aphorism] Also, any significant visual mark or symbol, such as an orthographic system of writing; see HAND SIGN, FINGERSPELLING, BURGEE, WIGWAG, FLAG, ALPHABET SOUP. Also, any symbol used to represent useful data, from directions and instructions to access keys and messages, so as to limit access to its contents; see CODE, ENCODE, DECODE, ENCRYPT, DECRYPT, CIPHER, DECIPHER, KAK, KEK, KEY, SHACKLE, SCRAMBLE, PROWORD, CODEWORD, PASSWORD, CODENAME, ALPHABET CODE, ALPHABET SOUP.

an impetuous onslaught or resolute attack by soldiers; Vietnamese term: "Tien Lien"; see STORM, WATCH MY SMOKE, compare FOLLOW ME, MOVE OUT. [v: amain] Also, the drum signal or BUGLE CALL for such an onset or assault. [cf: warison] Also, a command or injunction; see ORDER. Also, an entrusted DUTY, responsibility, or superintendence; see NCOIC, OIC, OOD, SDO. Also, the amount of explosive, powder, or similar substance required to perform a task, by type and placement; see SATCHEL CHARGE, BURSTING CHARGE, FAE, SHAPED CHARGE, DEMO, EXPLOSIVE. [nb: the pan is the depressed part of the lock holding the priming in old guns, so a "deadpan" facial expression derives from a musket's flash-pan being empty, that is, without any primer to set-off the charged barrel when the hammer falls to strike a spark of ignition] Also, the power or amount of energy necessary for task performance; see JUICE. Also, a formal and authoritative accusation of wrongdoing, as an offense or violation; see ROCKS 'n' SHOALS, BLUE BOOK, OFFICE HOURS, CAPTAIN'S MAST, YELLOW SHEET, ARTICLE 31, ARTICLE 15, UCMJ. Also, a fee, price, cost, expense, or debit; see CHIT, DEAD HORSE, CHARGE SHEET. Also, any distinctive heraldic figure borne on an escutcheon. [nb: an insignia emblematic of the honors and lineage of a military organization, unlike familial "coats of arms", may be individually enhanced but not personally heritable; v: Heraldry]

accounting FORM that deducts the value of wrongfully damaged or lost property from an individual's base pay; exclusive of any lawful penalties for "willful destruction" or "intentional mistreatment" of accountable gear, and also exclusive of combat loss or destruction of issue items. Misappropriation of materiel is chargable with penalties. Accidental liability is at command discretion. Replacement for "normal wear and tear" is not individually charged. See DX, SALTY DOG, ADRIFT, GRIPE SHEET, SCROUNGE, SOUVENIR, MIDNIGHT REQUISITION, SPOILS OF WAR.

an allusion to a perilous or desperate enterprise, a vain or forlorn hope (enfants perdus), a lost cause; also expressed as "charge hell with a bucket of water" and "charging into hell with a cup (teaspoon) of water". In another context, Matthew Arnold said of an institution that cherishes traditional honor: "Home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names, and impossible loyalties!" (1865).

that special quality of personal magnetism that enables an individual to attract or influence people, conferring extraordinary powers of leadership and the ability to inspire veneration; as derived from the favor of grace, a divine gift or power [charism]. See TACT, COMMAND PRESENCE, BEARING, STANDARD-BEARER, LDR.

slang for a painful involuntary muscular cramp, typically of an arm or leg, that results from excessive strain, blunt-force trauma, or nutritional deficiency; sometimes misspelled "charlie horse", being an Americanism of obscure origin from the 1880s. See CRAMP / CRAMPED; compare PUMPED / PUMPED-UP.

flag of the National
Liberation Front (NLF) or Viet Cong (VC) dating from 1955-1960 to
the end of the Second Indochina War
slang for the VIET CONG (VC), being the irregular forces operating in SVN under the direct control of NVN by the political artifice of the National Liberation Front (NLF); from shortening the phonetic representation of Victor Charlie. The VC was also called "Chuck", "Charles", "Sir Charles", and "Mister Charles", with varied intonations to imply derision or respect in recognition of the enemy or his performance; also spelled "charley". Enemy weapons of the Vietnam-era included: SKS, PPSh-41, PPS-43, MP-40, MAT-49, K-50M, AK-47, AKM, Type 50 (unlicensed PRC copy w/30rd mag). See VIET MINH, NLF, LUKE THE GOOK, LONGHAIR, GOOK, PRG, PLA, GOMER, BO DOI, NVA, PAVN, BAD GUYS; compare MARVIN THE ARVN. Also, an epithet used instead of a given name when imputing impersonal characteristics or universal status, in the same sense as everyman, anyone, pal, bub, buddy, gink, GUY, dude, bloke, cove, CHUM, brother, friend, fellow, Joe Blow, Joe Six-pack, Joe Lunchbox, Joe Lunchbucket, John Doe, Joe Doakes, John Q. Public, Richard Row, Tom Styles, Johna Nokes, Joe Bloggins, Joe Bloggs, Jack Tar, Peter Collins, Tommy Atkins / TOMMY, GI JOE; such as good-time Charlie, champagne Charlie, christian Charlie, sorry Charlie, circus Charlie, creeping Charlie, chainsaw Charlie, Mister Charlie, Uncle Charlie, cheap Charlie, bed-check Charlie, washing machine Charlie, and TAIL-END CHARLIE. See CHARLIE NOBLE. Also, a procedure word (PROWORD) meaning 'correct' or 'alright', 'satisfactory' or 'okay' that's used in radio/telephone procedure (RTP) to make voice communications more concise and clear; the letter 'C' originated as the MORSE CODE abbreviation for "correct" that later acquired the 'Charlie' designation from the PHONETIC ALPHABET; it's used in the same way as A-OK. Also, the word assigned to represent the letter "C" in the international phonetic alphabet; at various times in different spelling schemes, it has also been acrophonetically represented as Cast. See ALPHABET SOUP, PHONETIC ALPHABET. [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags]

informal designation of the unit commander's helicopter, from which he conducts visual reconnaissance (VR) and exercises command and control (C&C / C2); also called the "C-and-C bird". See ABCCC, ABNCP, OVERSIGHT, CHOPPER.

the exhaust or vent pipe from a ship's GALLEY, which duct may debouch into a larger flue or smokestack; of obscure origin, but the most popular derivation is eponymous after the admiral who required that this galley smokestack be polished for inspections.

some object (amulet, trinket, or talisman) that's worn or carried on one's person for its supposedly captivating or magical effect; see BRACELET, SOUVENIR, COINING, TRENCH ART, TROPHY, MOJO, HOODOO, VOODOO, JINX, BUGBEAR, JOSS. Also, the capability of fascinating or pleasing, as by beauty or personality traits; the allure of features imparting such enchantment; see CHARISMA, BEARING. Also, any action or characteristic that's supposed to have magical power; to protect or endow with supernatural powers. Also, the chanting or recitation of a magic verse, formula, or spell; see PATHETIC FALLACY, ANTHROPOMORPHISM. [v: charmer]

an exclusive or privileged group, coterie or clique; a network of powerful or influential persons; also known as the "inner circle" or the "loop" of insiders. See MANDARIN, WISE MEN, BRAIN TRUST, WHIZ KID, KITCHEN CABINET, EUNUCH, CZAR, BEST AND BRIGHTEST, POLITICIAN, BOY'S CLUB, KHAKI MAFIA, RING-KNOCKER, BLOOD BROTHER, HOMESTEADER, SHEEP-DIPPED, RITE OF PASSAGE, PRECONIZE, INITIATION, OUTSIDE THE WIRE, OFF THE RESERVATION, BEYOND THE PALE, GONE NATIVE, EXILE, SHADOW OF THE FLAGPOLE, SIEGE MENTALITY. [cf: apparatchik, nomenklatura, eunuch, nabob, nibs] [v: bailiwick] [v: 'claque' for group or coterie of BROWN NOSERs]

assorted fruit-flavored (eg: cherry, grape, lemon, lime, orange, raspberry) hard candy squares that were included with C-RATIONS during the WWII and KOREAN WAR eras and with Meals Ready-to-Eat (MRE) during the GULF WAR eras; originally called "Tropical Charms" (1912) and informally called "Charms candy squares" or "assorted candy Charms", these stickless lozenges were originally an assortment of individually cellophane wrapped candies in foil rolls, but are now loosely contained (about ten pieces) in small packets. Created by Walter Reid Jr, the double-wrapping sustained its freshness and flavor, making this hard candy suitable for every weather condition encountered by the military; this Bloomfield family business was sold in 1988 to Chicago-based Tootsie Roll Industries [making Tootsie the world's largest manufacturer of lollipops / lollypops (Sour Balls, Sweet & Sour Suckers, Sweet Pops, Cotton Candy Pops, Blow Pops, Sugar Babies, Sugar Daddies, Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Da-Pops, Tear Jerkers Sour Bubble Gum together with Tootsie Pops)]. See JAWBREAKER, SUGAR PILL, POGY BAIT, GEDUNK. [nb: a superstition arose in the late-1990s attributing occurrences of "bad luck", from foul weather and mechanical breakdowns to training accidents and combat losses, to the consumption of these innocuous candies, hence these candy packets became inexplicably unpopular, and were the first foodstuff to be thrown away or given away, until the inclusion of Charms candy was discontinued in 2007, perhaps due to a corruption of "magic charms" (amulet or talisman); see MOJO, VOODOO, HOODOO, BUGBEAR, JINX] [cf: "Lifesavers" ["Crane's Peppermint Life Savers" (1912)], a privately purchase ring-shaped confection not included in government issued RATIONS, is a rival of "Charms" candy lozenges, differing in shape and flavor selection, but not singly wrapped; the five-flavor (ie: cherry, lemon, lime, orange, pineapple) roll of "Lifesavers" was first offered in 1935; v: "Polo" mints by Nestlé] [nb: not to be confused with "Lucky Charms", an oat and marshmallow breakfast cereal introduced by General Mills (1964)]

slang for the introductory program setup by most major units that was designed to acclimate newly arrived troops IN-COUNTRY, to refresh their field/operational skills, to enable weapons familiarization or zero, and to instruct in the latest procedural techniques derived from "lessons learned" on the BATTLEFIELD. Replacements were informed of unit standard operating procedures (SOP), of immediate action (IA) practices, and of security protocols, together with geographic orientation to the operational area (AO). Notable examples of refresher courses setup to improve the survivability of troops included the 1st Cav Div "First Team Academy" (FTA) and the 101st Abn Div "Screaming Eagle Replacement Training School" (SERTS). Such a prep-course was also known as "cherry school". Compare COC, FINISHING SCHOOL, ACTA, THE RANCH, RECONDO; see Q-COURSE, BUDDY SYSTEM, CHERRY, FNG, NEWBEE, TURTLE, RETREAD, REPL' DEPOT, AFEES. [nb: the initials of the "First Team Academy" (FTA), widely understood to mean "Fuck The Army", was an ironic example of the unfortunate decisions made by otherwise sane and insightful persons, similar to the initials of the political action group named the "Committee to Re-Elect the President" (CREeP) setup on behalf of Richard M. Nixon] [v: Siwash ("At Good Old Siwash" by George Helgeson Fitch (1911)]

a marine or hydrographic map, as derived from "papyrus roll"; see UTM, SIDE-SCAN SONAR, LORAN, MGRS, GPS, GRID COORDINATES, GRID LINES, AZIMUTH, CONTOUR LINES, TOPO, DEAD-RECKONING, COMICS, MOSAIC MAP, MAP, ATLAS, NIMA, PINS IN THE MAP SYNDROME. Also, an outline or graph, as a display of diagramatic or tabular information; see PLOT.

the desktop surface, typically horizontal, used for displaying a marine or hydrographic MAP, a nautical CHART, which is consulted for known hazards, and upon which an intended course is planned or the actual course is plotted; the modern electronic version is known as the "central navigation console". Compare PLOT, see NAVIGATION.

medical corpsman or team in a trailing aircraft, such as a medic chasing a RECON insert or PJs following a bomb run; ready to lend immediate assistance or emergency EXFIL, including COMMO and close combat.

the framework on which a gun carriage moves backward and forward; compare GUN MOUNT, LIMBER; see ARTY. Also, the frame, wheels, and machinery of a motor vehicle, upon which the body is supported; see TRUCK, JEEP, HUMMER, MOTOR POOL. Also, the main landing gear of an aircraft; see UNDERCARRIAGE, FIXED GEAR, LANDING SKID, DIRTY, WHEEL PANTS. Also, the frame for mounting the circuitry of a RADIO.

the overwhelming plethora of potentially useful information that must be sorted and assessed to discern valuable intelligence; being that inundating deluge of intercepted data that runs constantly in the background while pertinent material is simultaneously isolated and analyzed in the foreground; that surfeit or excess, surplus or overage, overabundance or superabundance of resources from which actionable INTEL is collated. Compare NOISE, MUSIC, CROSS-TALK, STATIC, FLAK, CHAFF, CONFETTI, CHICKEN FEED, ROCKING HORSE APPLES, DISINFORMATION, CONTROLLED INFORMATION; see CONFAB, EAR-BANG, RUMOR, PROPAGANDA, PSYOPS. [nb: an MI axiom states that obtaining good INTEL from CHATTER is like "trying to sip from a fire hose"] [cf: gabfest]

sardonic reference to the United Nations (UN) complex beside the East River in New York City, which is seemingly devoted to talking about problems until they no longer exist, as long as everyone discussing the issues is polite and comfortable. Monies are sometimes appropriated, but since nobody at the UN really knows where money comes from, it's merely a ritual without expectation of result. Troops are sometimes dispatched to global HOT SPOTs to act as police or referees under the aegis of the UN, but they aren't allowed to actually shoot anybody doing something wrong (whatever "wrong" might mean at any particular place or time) ... since these troops, who are attractively dressed in bright blue berets or helmets, are enticing targets for all sides in any of the disputes they are monitoring, the UN authorizes the award of medals for serving in NO MAN'S LAND between the various combatants. See DIP CO.

that vast group, both anonymous and ubiquitous, of misinformed and ill-informed persons who are compelled by propinquity to share their ignorance with their friends and neighbors, associates and acquaintances ... each convinced that their adamant belief is sufficient warrant to justify their dogmatic conclusion, regardless of its merit or the facts. Also known as "the chittering class" or "the cheeping class", these multifarious denizens will ingeniously contrive to fit the facts to their conclusion while having neither experience nor expertise to ameliorate their logic ... a condition extended them whenever serving on a jury, voting in an election, or calculating their taxes. This is the 'body politic' that journalists seek to persuade, politicians seek to manipulate, and government seeks to dominate; it's the fickle source of 'public opinion' that praises and condemns its own soldiery for the same acts. See PEANUT GALLERY, TWO CENTS, ARMCHAIR GENERAL, STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, WILD MAN, OPINION, THIRD ESTATE, JUDGMENT CALL, WHITE PROPAGANDA, THE NAKED TRUTH, ACT OF TRUTH; compare TERGIVERSATE, PARTY LINE, SCRIPTURES, FALSE FLAG, SUBVERSION, HIDEBOUND, DEAD HORSE, BRASS EAR, FALL ON DEAF EARS, USEFUL IDIOTS, TRUE BELIEVER, THOUGHT POLICE. [v: commentariat, obiter dictum]

the enterprising Asian merchant, being a vendor of everything from food and fine art to gimcrack and gewgaw; most often a peddler, packman, chapman, duffer, or cheap-jack but also a hawker, hustler, huckster, or COWBOY. Because markets, fairs, and shops are political extensions, most dispossessed or disenfranchised traders operate portable businesses. Compare HAJJI SHOP, SLICKY BOY, COWBOY; see CYCLO, JINGLE TRUCK, SLOP CHEST. [cf: comprador/compradore] [nb: Unlike the agora, the marketplace originated as a secure location for the sale of particular goods or produce at specified times and prices under governmental regulation] Also, a critical characterization by avaricious civilians of thrifty or stingy MIL-PERS for not being prodigal, profligate or improvident; any niggardly or miserly person; see BE NICE, FACE.

a word or act with little investment or expenditure for the results garnered; a malicious blow struck against a vulnerable or defenseless opponent ... now reserved for unsportsman-like remarks or conduct directed against an unprepared or off-guard contestant. See FAIR GAME, PLAY THE GAME, WRONG-FOOTED, COUP DE PIED DE L'ANE, HARDBALL, DIRTY FIGHTER, AMBUSH, SPOILING ATTACK, TURKEY SHOOT, TANK PLINKING, SHOOTING FISH IN A BARREL.

slang for something that aids the memory (aide-mémoire) when speaking, writing, or performing a regular sequence in its proper order; see POCKET BRAINS, WHEEL BOOK, PORTABLE BRAINS, PLASTIC BRAINS, TIN BRAINS, KNEEBOARD, MEMO PAD, BUCK SLIP, PAPER BULLET, TICKLER. Also, slang for the improper use of notes during a recitation or examination, with such plagiarism also being known as "crib", "pony", or "ream"; see MURDER BOARD, BAYONET SHEET, ARTICLE 32. [v: mnemonic; cf: bout de papier]

a specific sweep technique, dividing a fixed area into blocks, into one of which a ground element is inserted while mechanized or armor elements operate around the periphery to completely saturate the area and prevent enemy escape (SQUIRTER). See FIRE 'n' MANEUVER, LEAP FROG, HOPSCOTCH, BUTTERFLY, CLOVERLEAF, BUTTONHOOK, STACK, ZIGZAG, DASH, WAY POINT, COMBAT SPREAD.

a capture game played with opposed tokens that are moved on a checkerboard of contrasts; 'checker' derives from diversify or variegate. A token that safely reaches the last row may be crowned a "king" with superpowers so as to continue eliminating the opposition. Variations of the game existed in Egypt and India before its adoption in Europe, where it has been called polis, alquerque, demos, morris, and draughts. Reported in Homer's "Odyssey" as a game being played in the palace of Ulysses in Ithaca to wile away boredom during the siege of Troy; it later spawned CHESS as a WAR GAME for more genteel or sophisticated players. [v: huff; cf: Nine Men's Morris] [nb: the beret-like Balmoral hat is often accented with a surrounding "diced" pattern (called "checky") that symbolizes guardianship and protection]

command used to interrupt or terminate an artillery fire mission; order used to immediately halt the discharge of mortar and cannon fire; see CEASE-FIRE. [nb: not to be confused with 'hang fire' (qv)]

verifying confusing instructions or questionable orders; compare OFF THE RESERVATION. Also, verifying the proper procedure, or any other specific detail; see SOP, FSR, FM, TM, TC, MANUAL OF ARMS, THE BIBLE, SCRIPTURES, BY THE BOOK, CHAPTER AND VERSE, ACCORDING TO HOYLE, UNODIR, OVERSIGHT, READ-BACK, HIDEBOUND, BRASSBOUND, NO EXCUSE, WIGGLE ROOM, VFR DIRECT, SALUTE. [cf: vade mecum (Latin: handbook, guide (literally: "go with me")] [nb: real life always transcends the rule book]

a slang as ubiquitous as "okay" or "ya know" during the late Sixties, meaning to have a close look at something or someone, to get an "eye-full"; to gaze, gawk, or gape so intently that "eye-tracks" or "eye-prints" are left behind. The saying was prominently featured in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Miss Saigon". See HAIRY EYEBALL, DOUBLE-O, EYESHOT, A-OK, GUSTO; compare EYE-BALL, STACKING SWIVEL, VR, THOUSAND-YARD STARE, FLASHBACK. [v: "custody of the eyes"]

a security stop or checkpoint.

an Access Control Point (ACP); see CHECKMATE, BARBED WIRE; compare CHOKE POINT, WAY POINT.

slang for an Access Control Point (ACP) in Iraq that's been reinforced by protective barriers against suicide bombers; compare COP IN A BOX, VCP; see HESCO BARRIER, T-WALL, BLAST WALL, REVETMENT.

an evaluation flight administered by the unit's designated Instructor Pilot (IP) to verify the PILOT's qualification and establish the ability of every newly reporting PILOT. If a weakness is detected, the PILOT may be assigned as PETER PILOT and required to remedy the deficiency; or the PILOT's rating may be suspended. See UP CHECK, DOWN CHECK; compare LAOF, NICKEL RIDE.

a mechanism that imposes limits on all branches of a government by vesting in each branch the right to amend or void those acts of another branch that fall within its purview; attributed to both Locke and Montesquieu, this doctrine is also known as "separation of powers". when crafting its new form of government, America sought to limit the effects of each branch (ie: legislative, executive, and judicial) so as to forestall the occurrence of tyranny and extremism, which division is a form of restraint that's designed to prevent a concentration of power in any person or entity, segment or element. While this principle guards against the acquisition of absolute power, it also emphasizes the interdependence of various autonomous constituents by distributing the duties and responsibilities of public administration among several components, with provisions for their restriction and the redress of grievances. See IG, TS CARD, RED TAPE, WHITE LIST, WASHINGTON WALTZ, REALPOLITIK, THE NATIONAL JOKE FACTORY, ACT OF CONGRESS, THE G, THE HILL, GREEN ACRES, MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE, GAG ORDER, BLACKOUT, CENSORSHIP, COMSTOCKERY, DISINFORMATION, CONTROLLED INFORMATION, PROPAGANDA, FALSE FLAG, SOFT TYRANNY, CHINESE WALL, IRON CURTAIN, BIG BROTHER, NANNY STATE. [nb: The Commonwealth of Oceana by J. Harrington (1656)] [nb: "Those in possession of absolute power can not only prophesy and make their prophecies come true, but they can also lie and make their lies come true." by Eric Hoffer; "With great power comes great arrogance, and an utter lack of foresight." by P.J. Tracy; "And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that. All power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely." by John E.E. Dalberg-Acton]

to die, or be killed, to be slain or croaked, a goner, gone West; as to depart from life's metaphoric hotel without leaving a forwarding address, or to withdraw from corporeal human affairs; most often expressed in the context of COMMO, as to CHECK OUT of the NET ... which is distinguished from being "log-out" or "log-off" of the NET. Sometimes expressed as "cashing in" or "cashing out", as from life's gambling game. See BUY THE FARM, ZAP / ZAPPED, WASTED, BITE THE DUST, PUSHING UP DAISIES, WAXED, SNOWBALL, TWEP, KIA, DOW, SOL, BITTER END, BELIEVER.

the street name for Oxycodone / OxyContin (time-release form), a semi-synthetic opioid synthesized (1916) from thebaine (alkaloid in the Persian poppy) that's used as an analgesic for the relief of moderate to severe PAIN; also known as "hillbilly heroin", this slang designation is probably derived from the British greeting of well wishes, not the drinking toast or the breakfast cereal brand name. See RANGER CANDY, BISCUIT, SPECIAL K, DOPE, JUNK, COLORS, LSD, CAN SA, GRASS, HAY, SMACK, HOT SHOT, CHINA WHITE, STICK, STONED, WASTED, TAR, HUBBLE-BUBBLE. [ety: OxyContin derives as a blend of OXYcodone and CONTINuous] [v: acetaminophen, acetaminophen/paracetamol; Eukodal, eucodal; oxycodeinone, oxomorphine; dihydrohydroxycodeinone, dihydrohydroxymethyloxomorphine]


[ety: "head of kitchen"] see COOKIE.


a nonexistent object that a novice or tyro is required to obtain in the same manner as any other SNIPE HUNT objective; compare MERMAID, DRAGON.

(forthcoming); a close-fitting, knee-/floor-length dress with slitted-skirt and an upright or mandarin collar, worn chiefly by Oriental women; as literally derived from "long dress". aka: Ch'i-P'ao / Qipao / Mandarin gown (from Manchu) vs traditional Han Chinese clothing called Hanfu / Hanyu or Hanzhuang / Huafu worn before 1644 The traditional Vietnamese AO DAI was derived from the CHEONGSAM; the American fashion of imitating Chinese dress was made popular by "The World of Suzie Wong". compare AO DAI, KIMONO, HANBOK, PAJAMAS. [cf: sarong, lavalava, pareu/pareo]


a new trooper or inexperienced replacement, as a novice or beginner, tyro or neophyte; being the same as FNG or NEWBEE, and sometimes called "rookie", "tenderfoot", "greenhorn", "cheechako", FRESH CATCH, "fresh meat", "new meat", or "raw meat". See TURTLE, CHUM, SHOWER SHOE, NUGGET; compare RETREAD. [nb: showing an astonishing sophistication, a new Russian soldier in the USSR during WWII was known as an "ingénu" (masculine form of ingénue), which is both quite accurate and very descriptive] [nb: "One new recruit added to an old unit is worth two added to a new unit." military maxim] Also, slang for the burning tip of a cigarette or the plug of burning tobacco in a pipe, especially during inhale at night so it glows in the surrounding darkness.

slang for someone's first parachute jump, whether civilian or military; equivalent to a trainee's solo excursion after ground school; see WINGING. Also, a PARATROOPER's first jump with an assigned AIRBORNE unit after finishing JUMP SCHOOL training; being the sixth jump for soldiers, and the eleventh jump for Marines; see BLAST, HIT THE SILK, PROP BLAST, HOLLYWOOD BLAST, ABN, PARACHUTE.

slang for hydraulic fluid, especially in the TURRET traversing system of TANKs, which is so-called due to its color.

Okinawan slang (meaning 'small friend') for "the crabs" ... crab louse [especially genital lice (pediculosis pubis)]; see CRAB, COOTIE, GRAYBACK, COMFORT STATION.

(forthcoming); Mesopotamia 6000BC terra cotta figures thought to be chessmen China 2nd century wei-chi/xiangqi "elephant chess" India 6th century chaturanga/chataranga 4-player war game [cf: origin of ZERO] Persia 6th century shatranj Japan 7th century shogi Europe 9th century shah rules, moves, pieces, number of squares varied till 15th century "game of kings" was embellished by fantasy or fairy chess variations that were superseded by a three-dimensional version ["strato-chess"] during the Vietnam-era, and has since been displaced by computer games. See KING OF BATTLE, QUEEN OF BATTLE, CHECKERS, BATRACHOMYOMACHIA, GAMBIT, PLAY THE GAME, WAR GAMES. [v: Nine Men's Morris] [nb: probably based upon the legendary play of Charlemagne using live tokens on a courtyard grid, the red and white chessmen are alive in Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson] (1871)] [nb: "Chess is ruthless: you've got to be prepared to kill people." by Nigel Short (1991); "It's not that the beginning and end are foregone conclusions, but if chess is a metaphor of life, then it's all about the middle game ... that's where we came in, and that's where we'll go out." paraphrase of Randy Wayne White; "The chess-board is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us. We know that his play is always fair, just and patient. But also we know, to our cost, that he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance. To the man who plays well, the highest stakes are paid, with that sort of overflowing generosity with which the strong shows delight in strength. And one who plays ill is checkmated – without haste, but without remorse." by Thomas Henry Huxley (1868); "Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward. They may be beaten, but they may start a winning game." by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; "The chess pieces are the block alphabet which shapes thoughts; and these thoughts, although making a visual design on the chess-board, express their beauty abstractly, like a poem .... I have come to the personal conclusion that while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists." by Marcel Duchamp (1952); "The best chess-player in Christendom may be little more than the best player of chess; but proficiency in whist implies capacity for success in all these more important undertakings where mind struggles with mind." by Edgar Allan Poe (1841); "The achievement of satisfaction or the fulfillment of contentment is as difficult as moving the proper piece at the proper time on the great chess board of life; one must challenge potential hazards and avoid habitual errors to move as close as possible to the goal before the clock ends the game."]


a smokeless tobacco product that's administered by placing a small amount into the mouth, with the masticated pulp tucked between the cheek and gum to savor its flavor and keep the throat moist; also called "chaw" or "quid", this tobacco preparation has been a popular refreshment among field soldiers for generations, since it's not easily detected by nearby enemy personnel; compare SNUFF, PLUG, BETEL / BETEL NUT; see GASPER, PIGTAIL, BUTT, FAG, SOLDIER'S BREAKFAST, FIELD STRIP, BUTT CAN, POLICE CALL, SMOKER. Also, to literally tear or mangle, crush or grind, as with the teeth when eating; or to figuratively contemplate or meditate upon, as when considering the resolution to a problem.

slang for reprimand, reproach, rebuke, upbraid, admonish, berate, scold, reprove, chastise, castigate, fustigate, revile, vilify, chide, censure, punish, discipline, correct, tongue-lash, dress-down, take to task, give what-for, bawl-out, sail-into, rap-on-the knuckles, slag-off, or carpet dance; see FANG, BLISTER, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, HAWK, GIG, DR, DRUMHEAD, SMACK, CALL ON THE CARPET, PULL RANK, OFFICE HOURS, VERBUM SAP, ARTICLE 15, RIOT ACT, UCMJ. [v: comeuppance]

H-19 helicopter

disrespectful MIL-SPEAK slang for the American eagle that's featured as a national symbol in official emblems and insignia; also called BUZZARD, CROW, and "the bird". Also, ... ; see CHICKENMAN, LILY-LIVERED, WHITE FEATHER, MOHAWK, GOLDEN PENIS SYNDROME. [nb: after an unsuccessful attempt to change its national symbol to the eagle (in imitation of ancient Rome, Germany, Poland, Russia, etc), the legislature of the French empire replaced their traditional fleur-de-lis/fleur-de-lys with the chicken in 1830]


slang for a grab bar mounted securely to the frame or structure of a vehicle for use as a stabilizing handgrip for passengers or crewmembers; also called "sissy bar", "panic bar", and "'Oh shit!' bar". [nb: despite the obvious implication, not a drinking establishment where cowards can drown their regrets!]

also called "bird colonel"; see FULL BIRD / FULL BULL, OFFICER, RANK.

slang for low-value information or low-level intelligence (INTEL); compare CHATTER, RUMOR, ROCKING HORSE APPLES. Also, slang for an insignificant sum of money, especially small change; see LEGAL TENDER.

see HAMSTER. [nb: the so-called "Chicken Kiev Speech" was made by then-President George H.W. Bush in August 1991 that drew a distinction between 'freedom' and 'independence', cautioning Ukrainians against "suicidal nationalism"]


slang for the length of rope or webbing that's rigged around the outer perimeter of a small boat or raft that's to be used as a safety handhold during self-rescue by passengers and crew; compare CHICKEN BAR, LIFELINE, TRAWL; see TENDER, LIFEBOAT.

someone who constantly warns (BAD-MOUTH) that a calamity is imminent; a vociferous pessimist, a worrywart or fussbudget, a doomsayer / doomster or crapehanger / crepehanger; also called "Henny Penny", "Chicken-Diddle", or "Chicken-Licken", this character in nursery tales, when struck on the head by a falling object, panics in the belief that the sky is falling. See RAIN ON PARADE, KISS OF DEATH, PANIC BUTTON, TO TAKE THE GILT OFF THE GINGERBREAD, SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT, COWARDICE.

timid, fearful, or cowardly; see LILY-LIVERED.

Chickenman character
superimposed on 1st Cavalry Division patch of the Vietnam-era
Chickenman patch
(not "Chicken Man") the principal character in a series of short radio skits that were syndicated nationwide, including AFRTS, beginning in 1966 from its host station in Chicago; this series has been replayed numerous times on various networks, and revived several more times for successive audiences. The introductory theme of the show was taken from Thunderball, the James Bond film, since the four-note trumpet sound fits perfectly with CHICKENMAN's "bock-bock-bock-buuuuuck" call. Conceived by Dick Orkin, a production director at WCFL, the CHICKENMAN skits used parody to dramatic effect in spoofs of comic book heroes, sustaining the tradition of old time radio programs (eg: the original "soap operas"), which followed the exploits of Benton Harbor, a mild mannered shoe salesman in a Midland City department store who could only fight crime on the weekends due to his work schedule. When in his superhero role, CHICKENMAN patrolled the city in his yellow "chicken coupe", sometimes aided by Mildred Harbor, his mother (also known as the "Maternal Marauder" or "Masked Mother"), by Sayde Leckner, his girlfriend, and reported to Benjamin Norton, the police commissioner, and Miss Honor Helfinger, the police commissioner's secretary. CHICKENMAN's greatest foes included the "chicken-plucker", the "dog lady", the "bear lady", Big Clyde Crushman, Rodney Farber (the "very diabolical"), and the couple from SHTICK (Secret Henchmen To Injure Crime Killers). Tag lines from the series include: "He's everywhere! He's everywhere!" and "It's a bird! It's a plane! Whoops, it's a bird." The program was revived in 1973 as "Chickenman versus the Earth-Polluters", an ecology series of 52 episodes in which the "Fearless Feathered Fighter" battles pollution in Midland City, organizing the BEAK (Beautiful Earth and Air Keepers) patrol. Then revived in 1977 as "Chickenman Returns for the Last Time Again", which numbered 65 episodes, wherein the "Wonderful White-Winged Warrior", feeling that life has bypassed him, opens a crime-fighting school to carry on his crusade, but there's only one student: Leon Cabblemouth. Just as the program itself borrowed extensively from the paradigms of the day (v: "Superman", "James Bond", "The Man From UNCLE", "Get Smart", etc), so it was common for soldiers to entertain each other with re-enactments of the "capon crusader", or to invent localized spin-offs. Although the fearful "chicken" premise was widely used throughout the VIETNAM WAR to mock excellence (eg: chicken hawk) and heroism (eg: chicken hearted), some units (incl LRPs and AHCs) proclaimed their LILY-LIVERED nature as an anti-heroic desire to finish their tour of duty and return stateside to "real life" ... and due to the eagle depicted on the shoulder patch of the 101st Airborne Division (ie: SCREAMING CHICKENS), many Vietnamese soldiers labeled these paratroopers as "chicken man". [nb: the character name of Benton Harbor was taken from a place name discovered while searching a map of Michigan]

a sardonic commentary on all submarine tactics, especially for a ballistic missile SUB, as derived from a brand name of canned tuna fish; the Navy's submarine service is also designated "Run silent, run deep.", "We hide with pride!", and SILENT SERVICE. See SUBMARINE. [nb: 'silent' means quiet, not "secret"; all combat operations are classified, not just undersea missions]

slang for bulletproof chest protector (body armor) worn by helicopter crewmembers, so-called due to similarity of resemblance to chicken-breast or pigeon-breast caused by protective pyroceramic inserts; also known as "bullet-bouncer". Compare FLAK JACKET, HAPPY SUIT, OTV, IOTV, ESAPI, SAPI, IBA, FLAK VEST.

anything insignificant or inconsequential that's given import or portent; something petty, niggling, or trivial; any picayune enforcement of the letter (rather than the spirit) of the law; thus making military life much more difficult and exasperating than it needs to be in order to function properly. ELEPHANT SHIT is an enormous quantity of CHICKEN SHIT; but both are distinguished from "bull shit" and "horse shit", which describe brags and lies instead of harassment. See OCS, BEAN-COUNTER, SPEEDING TICKET, AIR FORCE GLOVES, FLUFF 'n' BUFF; compare MICKEY MOUSE, BLOW SMOKE, HOT AIR.

slang for the eject mechanism, as used by test pilots and astronauts in the event of a malfunction; also called "loud handle" / "loud lever" or "Admiral's doorbell"; see PUNCH-OUT, NYLON LETDOWN.

(cheye-kom) a term designating a Chinese Communist (Chi-Com), or the weapons manufactured in mainland (People's Republic of) China, or "Red China"; their military is formally known as the People's Liberation Army and Navy (PLAN). Compare CHINAT, PAVN; see THE LITTLE RED BOOK, CHINK, GOOEY, CPVF, CCF, PRC, BAD GUYS. [nb: due to the relatively unprepossessing appearance of their plain green uniforms with red and gold insignia, the Chinese communists (CHICOM) who "volunteered" for service in the KOREAN WAR were sometimes called "laundryman" / "laundrymen" by GIs, which appellation may be related to the stereotypic "Chinese laundry" operated by Asian immigrants to America; during the egalitarian era of the 1967-77 Cultural Revolution, the PLAN abandoned the wear of rank and insignia altogether; then in 2007, emulating the military dress of other nations, the PLAN has adopted "07" dress, duty, and battle fatigue styles, with ground forces in pine green, air forces in deep blue/gray, and naval forces in dark blue, all with chest insignia]

headman or boss, as of an office or department, as derived from "head", being the basis for CAPTAIN and CADET; see HONCHO, DI, FIRST SHIRT, TOP, TOP DOG, JCS, LDR, WONK, WIZARD, RAINMAKER, WALLAH, PROFESSOR, POGUE, PUKE. [v: chieftain, sachem, cacique] Also, title for master of a craft or vessel; compare PILOT, CREW CHIEF, BOATSWAIN, SKIPPER. Also, informal address for a senior Warrant Officer (CWO) or a Naval Chief Petty Officer (CPO); see TOP, GUNNY, MISTER, SARGE, NCO; compare PO. Also, slang for any ethnic AmerIndian tribesman in an integrated unit [nb: some reserve units are racially homogeneous due to their locale] [nb: by an ACT OF CONGRESS on 24 June 1924, all AmerIndians were granted U.S. citizenship]; see REDBONE, COON-ASS, CREOLE. [nb: the 'redskin' description seems to have originated when Europeans first landed on North America and initially encountered indigenous peoples who stained their exposed flesh with an orangish red (ocher) pigment; "Red-skin: a North American Indian, whose skin is not red -- at least not on the outside." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce]

(choo hoy) meaning "Open Arms"; the name of the program under which SVN/GVN offered amnesty to VC defectors, who were called HOI CHANH. See PSYOPS, DEATH CARD.

a small parasitic FLEA, which is also called "jigger" or "chigoe"; see COOTIE, GRAYBACK, CRAB, BEDBUG, COMFORT STATION. Also, the six-legged larva of a mite (trombiculidae) that's parasitic on humans and other vertebrates, sucking blood and causing severe itching and acting as a vector for scrub typhus and other infectious diseases; also called "harvest mite" or "redbug".

a Korean porter who was employed by US and UN forces to deliver resupplied military materiel in the formidable terrain of the KOREAN WAR by using DUMMY STICK yokes and A-frames; these hired laborers also served as LITTER-BEARERs when departing the Main Line of Resistance (MLR). Also spelled "choggie bear", this term may be derived from the corrupt pronunciation of 'hurry bearer' ("chogi barán"). In China, a casual or piecework porter is called a "bon-bon man". Compare DAN CONG, COOLIE; see LITTER, CHOGI, YO-HO POLE. [nb: according to the international LAWS OF WAR, a civilian compelled to act as a military porter by transporting weapons or munitions and materiel becomes a bona-fide combatant, subject to treatment as a de-facto soldier, and forfeits the protection of civilian noncombatant status; international law includes rules on the treatment of prisoners of war, but only extends protection to combatants, excluding any civilians who engage in hostilities, and those unconventional forces that do not observe restrictions for combatants]

a small parasitic FLEA (tunga penetrans), the impregnated female of which embeds herself in the skin of humans and animals, becoming greatly distended with eggs; also called "chigoe flea", "chigger", "jigger", and "sand flea". See COOTIE, GRAYBACK, CRAB, BEDBUG, COMFORT STATION.

(chik-un-gunya) a febrile disease resembling Dengue Fever, caused by an arbovirus transmitted by aedes mosquitoes, and characterized by sudden onset, chills and fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, arthralgia, and rash. First described in epidemic form in 1952-1953, and seen mainly in Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and Southeast Asia. The most prominent frequent feature of CHIKUNGUNYA fever is severe arthritis, and the name derives from "that which bends up", referring to the posture of afflicted patients. See FUO, MALARIA, BONE BREAK FEVER, YELLOW JACK, HORSE PILL; compare DAPSONE, CORK.

also known as "Kalashnikov kids"; see BABY BRIGADE. [nb: "A child is a general without an army." folk saying]

sardonic acronym for Completely Hopeless In Most Police Situations, when referring to military policemen as no better than monkeys dressed up in uniform; see KATN, AP, SP, MP, CONSTABULARY, PROVOST GUARD, BATS 'n' HATS, POLICE.

little likelihood or small chance, as a predictor of negative results; also known as DOG'S CHANCE or "a cat in hell's chance". See SNOWBALL, TWO CENTS, PRAYER. [v: enfants perdus, forlorn hope; cf: "when hell freezes over", "when pigs fly", "when frogs grow hair", "when pigs whistle", "when fish climb trees", "when chickens have teeth", "when the sun rises in the west", "in a month of Sundays", "in a blue moon", "when there're three Saturdays in every week", "when there're three Thursdays in a row", "not in this lifetime", "not a chance"]

(forthcoming); 4th and 6th Mar Rgt serving embassy duty and river, coastal, and compound patrol (1927-40) See GYRENE, SNUFFY, SEAGOING MARINE, HORSE MARINE, SCUM, JARHEAD, GUNNY, THE CROTCH, MAMELUKE SWORD, USMC.

a hypothetical nuclear-reactor accident wherein the hot fuel melts down through the reactor, burrowing deeper and deeper into the earth until it passes all the way through! ... a jocular notion propounded during the lugubrious Vietnam-era. See GENIE, FLASH BURN, SCRAM, DRAGON SHIT, FALLOUT, RADIATION SICKNESS, DRAGON'S BREATH, A-BOMB, H-BOMB, N-BOMB, ZERO POINT, GROUND ZERO, OVERKILL.

(cheye-nat) a term describing a Chinese Nationalist (Chi-Nat), or resources derived from Taiwan (the "Little Tiger"); compare CHICOM, CHINK. [nb: the Republic of China (RoC) was established in 1949 by the Nationalist Chinese leader Chiang Kai-Shek (Chiang Chung-Cheng; called "Shanker Jack" by GIs) on the island of Formosa/Taiwan, which had been forfeited by Imperial Japan] [nb: the official history of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) notes that Vietnamese communist forces acted as MERCENARY rebels across the border in southern China so as to monopolize elements of the Kuomintang army, enabling Maoist revolutionaries to elude the remainder, thus preventing a Nationalist Chinese (CHINAT) victory]

the principal enclave of Chinese refugees and emigrees, or that Asian district of racial, ethnic, or religious concentration which habitation constitutes an approximate transplant of foreign culture as an expression of tradition, security, or commercial benefit, such as ChoLon being the Chinese sector in Saigon; includes such variants as "Korea town" [aka: "K-town"], "Little Tokyo" [aka: "Japtown"], "Little Saigon", and is not unlike other exclusive districts (eg: "Little Italy" or "Germantown", "Little Armenia" or "Thai town", ghetto or darktown). Compare HO CHI MINH TRAIL, LITTLE AMERICA, SIGG, LITTLE TIGER; see DP, BOAT PEOPLE.

purest form of white crystalline heroin ([diacetylmorphine] derived from the 1895 German trademark that's based upon "hero" from the induced euphoria) produced in the GOLDEN TRIANGLE region; see SMACK; compare DOPE, JUNK, HOT SHOT, STICK, STONED, SILVER TRIANGLE, GOLDEN CRESCENT.

the lower viewing ports on rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft that enable the pilots to see the area (just below and before) that a descending airplane is about to occupy; these windows are so-called from being positioned at the "chin" of the COCKPIT, where the windshield is putatively the "eyes" and the greatest protrusion is the "nose". Compare NOSE, see CHOPPER.

pidgin Chinese-English for talk, a discussion or conference, purportedly originated as the polite expression "please-please" (ch'ing-ch'ing); see BRIEFING, CONFAB, CROSS-TALK, HALF-MAST, CHATTER, EAR-BANG, POWWOW, SUMMIT. [cf: consistory, gabfest]

Chindit guardian shoulder
Chindit guardian patch with
a corruption of the Burmese word ('chinthe') for the lion-headed winged dragon (v: FOO DOG) that graces the outside of Burmese pagodas, it was adopted as the armorial device of the troops under MG Orde Wingate that operated behind the Japanese lines in the China-Burma-India (CBI) theater during 1943-5. The CHINDIT and Cachin/Kachin Chinese, together with the OSS, supported the 5307th Composite Unit (MERRILL'S MARAUDERS), and were supported by the 1st Air Commando Force flying out of Assam India for resupply, close air support (CAS), and AIR AMBULANCE medical evacuation. [nb: Wingate was killed in an aircrash in March 1944]

a small ornamental container, often elaborately decorated and highly finished, usually secured by an intricate closure, and incidentally used to hold precious or delicate objects; also known as an "Oriental puzzle box", "trick box", "magic box", and "secret box". Also, by analogy, someone who is very attractive, full of secrets, and impossible to open; typically an inscrutable DRAGON LADY (qv).

a politically-incorrect expression describing a disorganized mess or chaotic situation, exhibiting mass confusion; see GOAT ROPE, CLUSTER FUCK, FLAP.

a combatant's sardonic jest, wherein killing Asians isn't as satisfying as killing Europeans, that the hunger to slaughter more Orientals returns after a few hours of repletion ... being a GALLOW'S HUMOR take-off on Chinese food leaving the diner unfulfilled and ready to partake again after a short interval. This insensitive observation, which tends to regard the YELLOW PERIL as an impersonal mass of fungible anonymity, is only "funny" to a GRUNT exposed to weeks or months of enemy engagements, who's been called upon time and time again to put forth his best effort on an inconclusive battlefield. [nb: the actual 'Chinese restaurant syndrome' is a physiological reaction (eg: headache, sweating, etc) to monosodium glutamate / MSG, the food additive that's supposed to enhance the flavor of inferior foodstuffs]


a ban on passing sensitive or classified information, especially detrimental material, from one department or agency to another; originated with confidential financial data, and alludes to the Great Wall of China; compare STOVEPIPE; see COMPARTMENTALIZATION, RIG. [v: D-Notice] Also, the Great Wall of China, being a 1500 mile long fortification winding across northern China, running mostly along the southern edge of the Mongolian plain from Gansu to Hebei provinces on the Yellow Sea, it was erected to guard against invading nomads. Known by the Chinese as the "Long Wall of Ten-thousand Li", it's an amalgamation of many walls, some brick, others earthen, having an average height of 25 feet, an average base width of 23 feet, a top width of about 12 feet, interspersed with guard stations and watchtowers. Begun in the Ch'in dynasty, it was abandoned during the Ming dynasty because it proved ineffective, but since 1949, a portion north of Peiping / Peking / Beijing is being restored, and is open to visitors. See MACV; compare BAMBOO CURTAIN, STAR WARS, MAGINOT LINE, SIEGFRIED LINE, MARETH LINE, SMEZ, BERLIN WALL, IRON CURTAIN, BAR LEV LINE, CACTUS CURTAIN, McNAMARA'S WALL, McNAMARA LINE, DEW LINE, PHASE LINE. [cf: Hadrian's Wall, Antonine Wall] [nb: the Dutch built Wall Street (1652-98) as a defense against the British in New York] [nb: "The strength of a wall is neither greater nor less than the men who defend it." by Genghis Khan; "Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin; whoever builds a high gate invites destruction." Proverbs 17:19 NIV Bible]

to privately communicate a RUMOR, SCUTTLEBUTT, or other BACK CHANNEL information; the 'Chinese' modifier qualifies the information as inscrutable; see POOP, HEADS-UP, FYI, DOPE, THE WORD, GREEN GREASE, HOT-SHIT, GOUGE, WHISPERING CAMPAIGN.

Vietnamese phrase for the NVA indocrination sessions for all party leaders; compare DAU TRANH.

disparaging slang for a Chinese, formerly known as a "celestial" (from the Celestial Empire), especially a Chinese communist soldier during the KOREAN WAR; also called "chinkie" or "gooey"; see CHICOM, CHINAT, NUNG, DINK, GOOK, SLOPE, SLANT-EYE, RICE BALL, ZIP, NIP, JAPE, WOG, LITTLE PEOPLE; compare BUDDHAHEAD, BASKET HEAD, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, INDIG, DESEGREGATION. [nb: due to the relatively unprepossessing appearance of their plain uniforms, the Chinese communists (CHICOM) who "volunteered" for service in the KOREAN WAR were sometimes called "laundryman" / "laundrymen" by GIs; this appellation may be related to the stereotypic "Chinese laundry" operated by Asian immigrants to America] [nb: "Which is why I remark, / And my language is plain, / That for ways that are dark, / And for tricks that are vain, / The heathen Chinee is peculiar / Which the same I am free to maintain." by F. Bret Harte (1871)] Also, a narrow crack, cleft, or fissure, as in an otherwise solid and impervious surface, hence a vulnerability or weakness; a "chink in the armor" or "chink in one's armor" is a potentially deadly defect or fatal flaw, as derived from the gapped join or overlap in a knight's armor-plate; see ACHILLES HEEL, HAMSTRING, GOLDEN BB, MAGIC BULLET, SILVER BULLET, REFUSE.

large, twin-engined Boeing CH-47 transport (47-50 MIL-PERS) or cargo (12-ton capacity) heavy-lift helicopter with a maximum speed of 170knots that's been operational since 1962; its 90ft fuselage includes a rear loading ramp and side access doors; also called HOOK, "Shit Hook", "flying bus", or "Flying Oscar" (after the Oscar Meyer wiener). See GO-GO SHIP, HELL HOLE, JACOB'S LADDER; compare SHAWNEE, SEA KNIGHT.

see JOHN WAYNE, HEADGEAR. [cf: neck strap, stampede string / stampede strap]

slang for a cultivated beard (not just bewhiskered or hirsute from a grooming neglect, as when serving in the field), especially in the style of a goatee or Vandyke; with the advent of the SAFETY RAZOR and the necessity to properly fit a GAS MASK for the TRENCH WARFARE of WWI, beards were discouraged when not officially prohibited. In a Vietnam-era "Zgram" message, ADM Elmo Zumwalt endorsed the "tradition" of shipboard beards, as were worn, in marked contrast to shorter haircuts, by sailors and soldiers on various vessels. French officers historically wore a tuft of hair below their lower lip, above the chin, without a goatee or beard but sometimes with a moustache, as an adornment denoting their military status; and although this embellishment has gone out of fashion with soldiers, it remains popular, and is known as a "royale", "imperial / impériale", "mouche / mosca" (fly), "small beard", "soul patch", "dab", "barnacle", "tickler", "honey mop", or "flavour-saver". See FACE FUZZ, SIDEBURNS, CAVALRY WHISKERS, RELAXED GROOMING STANDARDS, LONGHAIR; compare RAZOR BURN, BARBER'S ITCH. [nb: the Army Transportation Corps has a tradition of beards for landing craft crews, as does the Navy ... both approved for wear during the VIETNAM WAR] [nb: Alexander the Great was reputedly clean-shaven so as to prevent an enemy from grabbing his beard, and holding him long enough to deliver a killing stroke]

an isometric EXERCISE (not part of the DAILY DOZEN) that entails grasping an overhead horizontal bar, pulling oneself upward until one's chin is above or is level with the bar; also called a PULL-UP. [nb: purists supposedly distinguish between these terms by the position of the hands: the palms of the hands are facing inward during 'chin-ups' while the palms of the hands are facing outward during 'pull-ups']


nickname for a shipwright, millworker, or other woodworker, including artificer and armorer. See PRIME BEEF, SMART.

slang for an audible dosimeter, such as a Geiger-Müller counter, that's used for measuring the quantity of ionizing radiation to which a person or thing has been exposed; compare BANG READER, FOREST GREEN; see FALLOUT, RAINOUT, DRAGON SHIT, CONTAINMENT, GENIE, NUKE.

informal vouchers, often elaborately decorated, used for promissory payment on food, drinks, and entertainment; receipts valid only within club of issue, similar to "running a tab" for later settlement. Shortened from India "Chitty/chitti"; see CHARGE, compare DEAD HORSE, STAND SAM, HARD TIMES TOKEN, MPC, BLOOD CHIT. [nb: formerly "Orders on the Paymaster" (OPs) were accumulated by sutlers for assigned troopers against the next pay disbursement, as a precursor of the CHIT tabulation system of billing or accounting] [cf: vivandière] Also, in NavSpeak, any authoritative document or official piece of paper, such as a "leave chit", "light duty chit", or the like.

a catch-phrase used among combatant peers, especially in an informal atmosphere, to describe an engagement or skirmish in a somewhat humorous or dismissive manner by employing an elaborate pose of relaxation and using an exaggerated Texican ("Frito Bandito") accent: "... an' all of a sudden it was a shitty shitty bang bang!" This phrase was adopted by Vietnam vets from the then current book and film. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a 1968 film (screenplay by Roald Dahl) that was based upon a 1964 children's book by Ian Fleming that was about a magical car; inspiration for the fantastic car came from a series of aero-engined racing cars built by Count Louis Zborowski in the early 1920s at Higham Park, which had been christened "Chitty Bang Bang" at the time. See FIREFIGHT, CONTACT, CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE, AMBUSH, MEETING ENGAGEMENT, WAR STORY, SEA STORY, RED INK, BEANER. [v: emprise / emprize]


a wedge to fill-in a gap or a device to BRACE an object, any support or reinforcement; also called "chock block", and derived from "choke", as close or tight. See CLEAT, BLOCK, SHORE; compare FAIRLEAD. [v: quoin, sprag]

see HERSHEY BAR, D-RATION / LOGAN BAR, TRACK PAD, CONGO BAR, CANDY BAR, CLARK BAR, POGY BAIT, GEDUNK, SUGAR PILL. [nb: military chocolate rations are often compounded in special lots to conform to specifications of size, weight, longevity, taste, nutrition, and other distinct characteristics, with the majority of issued chocolate produced by the Hershey Company] [nb: created as a byproduct of cocoa manufacturing for hot chocolate drinks, the chocolate candy bar did not appear as a confection until the mid-19th century; and before being individually wrapped for single sales, most confectionery products were sold in bulk packaging]

slang for the pilots and crewmembers who flew the air transports that delivered food and fuel into the blockaded city during the BERLIN AIRLIFT (Jun 1948 - Sep 1949); also known as "candy bombardier".


chocolate chip camouflage
chocolate chip camo
a distinctive GULF WAR-era variant of the DESERT camouflage Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) that added brown splotches or blotches to the mottled tan and green pattern; this color variant did not alter the basic BDU, which was replaced in 2004 by the Army Combat Uniform (ACU). See CAMMIES, CAMO, DRESS.

a foil-wrapped candy in the shape of an idealized soldier; see TOY SOLDIER, PALACE GUARD.

Vietnamese term for "son-of-a-bitch"; literally 'given birth by a dog'.

to hurry or move out quickly, to flee or hightail, to scarper or abscond; also spelled "chogie", and sometimes expressed as "cut a CHOGI", "boogaloo", HUBBA-HUBBA, or SKY. This Korean term was brought to Vietnam by soldiers who had previously served in the KOREAN WAR. See ASAP, PDQ, STAT, GOYA, SCRAMBLE, BARREL-ASS, FORTHWITH, DECAMP, CUT AND RUN, HAUL-ASS, SPLIT, SCRAM, JUICE, CHOP CHOP, RIKI TIK, CHIGGIE BEAR; compare TOCSIN, KLAXON. [v: haiyaku (Japanese: quickly); wiki-wiki (Hawaiian: hurriedly); tout de suite (French: at once, immediately)] [v: amain]

a euphemism for vulgarities or swearwords; see EXPLETIVE, OATH, GODDAM, SWEAR, VULGAR, FUCK, BAD-MOUTH, TALK TRASH.

Americanization of Vietnamese TROI OI (qv), an expression used as an exclamation.

slang for C-RATION peanut butter. Compare HAM 'n' MOTHERS, TURKEY, SLOP, GUT BOMB, WASH, WAD, SOS; see BEANS, CHOW, RATIONS. [v: sample menu of C-RATIONS]

any natural constriction (eg: ford, defile) or tactical funnel (eg: air corridor, artillery-fan) that constricts movement, maneuver, or fire; also called "area of vulnerability", "bottleneck", "pinch point", "squeeze play", or "fatal funnel". Command or regulation of these transit points is a FORCE MULTIPLIER against a superior enemy. The classic example is Thermopylae, where Spartans delayed the Persian INVASION, at odds of more than twenty to one, so Greece could evacuate noncombatants and rally a defense. See SPIN DOWN, BRIDGEHEAD, STRONGPOINT, BARBICAN, ACP, KEY TERRAIN. [cf: sally port]

a high-necked service dress jacket or BLOUSE with a "standing" or "upright" collar, as used by US Navy ("choker whites") or USMC ("choker blues") personnel. The redesigned DIGITAL combat uniforms (eg: ACU) also employ an "upright" collar, not for the display of insignia, but for coverage and comfort behind the newer high-necked FLAK VEST. The Army has not utilized a CLASS-A uniform with a "standing" collar since WWI. See WITH BELLS ON, DRESS. [nb: 'choker': slang for a white neckcloth, as a symbolic necktie once worn by clergymen and physicians, lawyers and bankers, professors and other white-collared tradesmen (petit bourgeois) or middle-class professionals]

Anglo-Indian slang for a military jail or prison, which has been adopted into American usage since WWI; originating as a customs inspection post or toll station, this GUARDHOUSE is derived from either Hindustani ('cauki') or Hindi ('rhauki') for "lockup"; see STOCKADE, BRIG, CROSSBAR HOTEL.

pidgin Chinese-English for a document; probably derived from the Asian stamp used to seal or the mark used to identify something, which acquired a distinction or value (chop = good) of its own; see CACHET, PIP, ENSIGN. Also, to be detached or "seconded" for service with some other organization; see TDY, TAD, JCET, SHEEP-DIPPED, VULCANIZE. Also, cut or cut-off, made redundant or expendable; as "to get the chop"; see RIF. Also, the coordination and synchronization of timepieces or timers for the accurate commencement of a mission or operation; also called HACK; see TIME. Also, an irregular or turbulent wave motion, as at sea. Also, to authorize or acknowledge by marking with one's initials; such endorsement is also known as "got chop" or "got chopped"; see RUBBER-STAMP, SIGNATURE. [v: seal, sign, signet, sigil] Also, nickname of the supply and stores officer on-board ship; probably derived from both the accountability mark and the official paperwork.

pidgin Chinese-English for an urgent document; and by extension, anything hurried or critical. See FORTHWITH, SCRAMBLE, CHOGI, RIKI TIK; compare SKOSH, TEE-TEE. [v: haiyaku (Japanese: quickly); wiki-wiki (Hawaiian: hurriedly); tout de suite (French: at once, immediately)] [v: amain]

NavSpeak for a border, boundary, ambit, or PERIMETER demarcating the operational area assigned to each command, such as the separation between the Atlantic and Pacific fleets, or the distinction between northern and southern commands; compare AO, TAOR, TO, MOA, AOR, OA, UA, LINE, CORDON, BLOCKING FORCE, SCREEN.

CHange OPerational CONtrol, a Marine expression for transferring the command and control of a subordinate unit from its parent organization to another organization, typically as reinforcement or fire support; see OPCON. [nb: the doubled 'op' probably lends clarity to what would otherwise be "chopcon", but it may also emphasize speed or urgency in this removal, since it's generally performed while a combat operation is underway]

informal referent for any helicopter, sometimes called helo, 'copter, fling-wing, WHIRLY BIRD, EGGBEATER; including APACHE, BLACKHAWK, CAYUSE, CHICKASAW, CHINOOK, COBRA, COMANCHE, DOLPHIN, FLYING CRANE, HUEY/IROQUOIS, HUSKY, IROQUOIS/HUEY, JAYHAWK, JOLLY GREEN GIANT, KINGBEE, KIOWA, LITTLE BIRD, ORION, OSPREY, SEA COBRA, SEA HAWK, SEA KING, SEA KNIGHT, SEA SPRITE, SEA STALLION, SHAWNEE, SIOUX, SKYCRANE, SPERM. See AIRMOBILE, HELIBORNE, AHC, FLARESHIP, GUNSHIP, ARA, HOG, LOH, SCOUTSHIP, BIRD, WARBIRD, SLICK, LZ, GREEN LZ, RED LZ, CLZ, PZ, HELIPAD, SHELL GAME, FALSE INSERTION, FLIP-FLOP, LIFT, EAGLE FLIGHT, COMPANY LIFT, TIGER AIRLINE, DUSTOFF, MEDEVAC, AIR AMBULANCE, CHASE, FIREFLY, SNOOPY, ASH 'n' TRASH, LOG BIRD, CHARLIE CHARLIE, HOLY HELO, LAAGER, IR MARKERS, BROWN-OUT, WHITEOUT, ZERO-ZERO, FLAT LIGHT, COCKPIT, CHIN BUBBLE, NOSE, HATCH, RAMP, HELL HOLE, LANDING SKID, JESUS NUT, TAILBOOM, SPOOL-UP, BLADE TIME, BLADE STRIKE, PULL PITCH, WAFFLE, FLARE, HOOK TURN, BUTTONHOOK, AUTO-ROTATE, AUGER-IN, PANCAKE, CHECK RIDE, UP CHECK, DOWN CHECK, LAOF, NICKEL RIDE, DUNKER, BREAK STATION, GREEN PLATOON, DASH, HOT HOIST, JUNGLE PENETRATOR, FCSL, NO FLY ZONE, PETROL, TOP-OFF, POL, HOT-FUELING, STRIP ALERT, APRON, REVETMENT, LPH, ROTOR HEAD, WOBBLY, WOP, PROP JOCKEY, PILOT, GOOD STICK, SILVER EAGLES; compare BIRD, GLIDER, BLIMP. [nb: Vietnamese term: Phi Co Len Thang, Phi Co Tuc Thang] [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon] [nb: it has been said that a helicopter is a random collection of rotating parts spinning around, and reciprocating parts thrusting about, unable to fly, but acting so ugly in operation, that the earth tries to immediately expel or repel them into the atmosphere! The Chinese devised a pinwheel toy or "helicopter top" during the fourth century AD based upon the dragonfly, called "bamboo dragonfly", and they were sometimes added to kites; which inspired experiments with manned-flight like a dragonfly (ca1809-1853), after earlier (ca550-577) attempts to fly like a bird. From its initial 1909 creation, the helicopter was developed by Peter C. Hewitt, F.B. Crocker, Louis Breguet, Juan de la Cierva, and Igor Sikorsky, with the first production prototype (VS300 by Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft, a division of the United Aircraft Manufacturing Corp) flown on 14 Sep 1939, then delivering a fully operational helicopter (XR-4 Hoverfly) to the USAAF in May 1942. Igor Sikorsky later established (1941) the world's endurance record for sustained flight in a helicopter of his own design, and for his pioneering efforts, he was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1968] [nb: first successful flight of prop-driven fixed-wing airplane by Orville and Wilbur Wright (1903); first successful flight of rotary winged aircraft by Igor Sikorsky (1909); first successful flight of multimotored aircraft by Igor Sikorsky (1913); first successful flight across the Atlantic Ocean was made by Albert Cushing Read in a Glenn Curtiss seaplane NC-4 (1919); first successful jet-powered flight by Ernst Heinkel HE-178 (1939); although three Douglas "World Cruiser" airplanes (sponsored by the US Army Air Corps) flew around the world in 175 days (1924) by landing numerous times, the first non-stop circumnavigation orbit was made by satellite (1957), then by the Rutan "Voyager" airplane (1986); first supersonic (Mach 1.06) flight by Chuck Yeager in Bell X-1 "Glamorous Glennis" that was launched from B-29 bomber at 29,000 foot altitude (1947); first successful carbon-fiber jet wing flight by Yves Rossy/Rossi (2004)]

CHief of OPerationS.


one of a pair of Asian eating utensils, being a pair of tapered sticks held in one hand; variously made of wood (bamboo, pine, teak, cedar, sandalwood), ivory, coral, bone, stone (jade, agate), metal (bronze, brass, silver, gold), or plastic. The word 'chopstick' means 'fast' + 'tool' or "quick little fellows" (Chinese: kuai-zi) ... they're also called "parallel sticks" (Japanese: wari-bashi), "pick sticks" (Japanese: wari-kogai), or simply "sticks" (Japanese: hashi). The earliest form of chopstick in Japan was made from a single piece of bamboo that was joined at the top, operated like a large pair of tweezers, eventually made in two separate pieces; furthermore, the traditionally rectilinear Chinese chopsticks differed from Japanese versions, which were shorter, rounded, tapering to a point, and (later) polished or lacquered. Historians have determined that Chinese culture had the 'spoon' before it developed 'chopsticks'; the most widely accepted explanation being a shortage of natural resources, which also prompted stir frying of small pieces of food in a wok because that cooking method required less fuel ... some argue that Confucius (K'ung Fu-tzu), the Chinese scholar, who was vegetarian, discouraged the use of the knife as an eating utensil because it would remind the diner of the slaughterhouse. See CHORK, KFS, PARTISAN'S SECRET WEAPON, SPOON, FORK, KNIFE, RICE, RICE BOWL, NUOC MAM; compare BREAK CHOP. [cf: muddler, swizzle/swizzle-stick] [nb: in Asian etiquette, leaving utensils in the rice while dining is impolite because it represents the traditional offering to the dead]

a Chinese-style dish in American cuisine consisting of small pieces of meat that've been cooked with onions, mushrooms, bean sprouts, and other vegetables, and served with rice; as derived from "mixed bits". Compare PAD GA PAO, CHOW MEIN, GENERAL TSO'S CHICKEN, LO MEIN, MONGOLIAN HOT POT, POT STICKER, LOP SLOP, ORIENTAL CRUD, DYNAMITED CHICKEN; see CHOW, BEANS, RATIONS.

informal reference to an Americanized Asian restaurant, whether the cuisine is Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Vietnamese, being used since the late 19th century; see LOP SLOP, ORIENTAL CRUD, CHOW, BEANS, RATIONS.

the longest front-to-back dimension of a wing at any given point along its span; also called "chord line", as an imaginary straight line connecting the leading and trailing edges of an airfoil cross-section. The chord is the reference used to determine the angle of attack (ALPHA), and to draw lift, weight, and other vectors when analyzing a wing that is producing lift. [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon]

a set of chopsticks that can be reversed into a fork; a patented eating utensil made of wood or plastic that tapers from a solid handle with tines outward to two pick-up prongs; see CHOPSTICK, KFS.

food or meal; derived Chinese "dog". Sometimes called fare, tack, fixings, grub, tucker, hash, victuals/vittles, stew (Brunswick Stew, Irish Stew, Hunter's Stew, Shepherd's Pie), mulligan, nosh, scoff/scarf, fricassee, goulash, daube, carbonnade, lobscouse, pot-au-feu (pot on the fire), hot pot, ratatouille, blanquette, ragout, gallimaufry, burgoo, tzimmes, cassoulet, risotto, raclette, chop suey, sukiyaki, brochette, pepper pot (hasenpfeffer), pottage/poddidge, matelote, cioppino, bouillabaisse, sop, hotchpotch/hodgepodge, olla podrida (olio), mishmash, salmagundi, potpourri ("rotten pot"), slumgullion ("cesspool"). See BEANS, THREE SQUARES, SQUARE MEAL, MRE, LRRP-RATIONS, C-RATIONS, CHOKE, HAM 'n' MOTHERS, TURKEY, DYNAMITED CHICKEN, HAMSTER, SOUP, CONDIMENTS, GI JOE, BUG JUICE, JUICE, IRON RATIONS, SOLDIER'S BREAKFAST, PITA, CAMEL BURGER, SANDWICH, HORSE COCK, SLIDER, CRITTER FRITTER, CAVALRY STEAK, SOS, PUPPY PETERS, PANCAKE, SINKER, DOG, FISH-EYES, SUGAR PILL, GEDUNK, POGY BAIT, FEEL AWFUL, SLOP, GUT BOMB, WASH, WAD, LIP SMACKING, FORAGE, HEAT TABS, STERNO, MERMITE, EVAPORATOR, MESS, GALLEY, COOKIE. [v: beanfeast, wayzgoose] [v: Japanese gohan (meal, cooked rice)] [nb: since the era of the CIVIL WAR, American troops have mockingly mislabeled salt pork as "Cincinnati chicken", just as ground or smothered entrees are now called "mystery meat"; v: mock chicken, mock turtle soup, sea legs / surimi, Bombay duck, Welsh rabbit, golden buck] [nb: American cuisine includes chow mein ("noodle pieces") and chop suey ("mixed bits"), a stir-fried combination of shredded meat and diced vegetables over noodles or rice in Chinese style] [cf: "battels" (probably a corruption of the obsolete 'battle', to feed) meaning the expense of board and provisions, or the board and provisions themselves; housing and meals, shelter and rations] [v: field cookware includes MESS KIT, CANTEEN CUP, billy/billy-pot/billy-can] [nb: it requires more time and fuel to cook at higher altitudes because the boiling point (212°F/100°C) of water is more difficult to attain as the atmospheric pressure decreases, leaving the food desiccated and partially cooked, so a small sealed container is needed to increase the pressure (which also increases the boiling point) for efficient food and beverage preparation, enabling a higher temperature to be reached before boiling occurs (water at 15psi boils at 252°F/125°C); although pressure cookers (aka: waterless cooker) reduce cooking time by a factor of three, they also prevent the escape of air and liquids below a preset temperature, which conserves their contents from evaporation ... one of the earliest models was called a "steam digester", invented by physicist Denis Papin in 1679; commercial kitchens use large volume "pressure canners" ... WARNING: as with boiling, the use of contaminated water in pressure cooking will not cleanse its impurities, since distillation requires evaporation (and condensing) to achieve potability; cf: osmotic (or reverse osmosis) filtration] [nb: high-muckety-muck and high-muck-a-muck are corrupt Americanisms from Chinook jargon ("hayo makamak") meaning plenty to eat or much food, from the layer of whale meat between blubber and flesh] [nb: according to Claude Levi-Strauss (1970), cooking is the quintessential inauguration of civilization, which demarcation separates the primitive kinship structure that concentrates upon survival from the cooperative social organization that has since developed specialization and leisure]

a dining room or refectory where meals are served to a group; also called MESS / MESSHALL, GALLEY, or Dining Facility (DFAC). See FIELD KITCHEN, CHOW LINE, CANTEEN, ANNEX, DINING-IN, O CLUB, BEANS, CHOW, DOG, GI JOE, COMFORT STATION, KP, DRO, COOKIE.

eating, to eat a hearty meal, especially when very hungry; see CHOW, BEANS, RATIONS, MESS, GALLEY. Also, having oral sex, especially cunnilingus; see DAISY CHAIN, HAT TRICK, LOVE HANDLES, BUSH PILOT, MUFF DIVER, HEAD, HUMMER, WINGS, BIB, HONG KONG HAIRCUT, DIDDLY, STEAM 'n' CREAM, HOOKUP, CHURNING BUTTER, BOOM-BOOM, SHORT-TIME, HELL ON WHEELS, SHACK-JOB, FUCK. [aka: oral sex, oral copulation, sixty-nine / soixante-neuf / 69, sixty / 60, cunnilingus, cunny-delicious, rug / carpet muncher, eat / eating out, lickety-splitter, bush dinner, cake eater, cunt lapper, cunt licker, pussy eater, pussy chewer, cunt chomper, tongue 'n' groove, lip sucker, lick the cat, eat the beaver, taste tuna taco, go down / -on, pearl diver, deep dive, Aussie kiss (a French kiss down under); penilinctus, fellatio, head / -job, blow job, bj, hummer, suck / -off, deep suck, deep throat, cocksuck / -ing, gob job, gobble, go down / -on, blumpkin] [nb: 'lecher' derives from "to lick gluttonously"]

a selection of foods, arranged buffet- or cafeteria-style (like a smorgasbord), presented for the expeditious feeding of large numbers of MIL-PERS at one time, whether indoors or outside. Also, the line of MIL-PERS passing such a table, counter, or array of containers for obtaining such foods at mealtime. See CHOW, BEANS, C-RATIONS, MESS, GALLEY, PIPING HOT, COMFORT STATION, CANTEEN, CHOWING DOWN.

a Chinese-style dish in American cuisine consisting of steamed or stir-fried vegetables, topped with shredded chicken, pork, shrimp, or the like, and served with fried noodles; as derived from "noodle pieces". Compare CHOP SUEY, GENERAL TSO'S CHICKEN, LO MEIN, MONGOLIAN HOT POT, POT STICKER, LOP SLOP, ORIENTAL CRUD, DYNAMITED CHICKEN; see CHOW, BEANS, RATIONS.

to turn-on or activate all navigation, anti-collision, landing, and/or interior cabin lights on an aircraft, vessel, or vehicle; used as a distress signal, as a safety measure during midair refueling, as a surrender signal, as a diversion or distraction, or as a dramatic display during a FLYOVER or other PARADE; most commonly phrased as "like a ..." or "going CHRISTMAS TREE"; compare BLACKOUT, WIGWAG, MARS LIGHT, BLINKER, IR MARKERS, SQUAWK, DIRTY; see PORT, STARBOARD, BOW, PROW, STEM, AFT, STERN. [nb: the lowering of landing gear while in flight (DIRTY) is a visual confirmation, along with illuminating all navigation and anti-collision lights, that the airplane, its passengers and crew, is subordinate to and will comply with the instructions of its military or law enforcement escort; although the lowered landing gear generates drag, inhibiting escape or aerial combat, this feature in modern military aircraft also engages a safety mechanism that prevents weapons from being discharged] Also, slang for the (illegal) practice in COUNTERINSURGENCY, COUNTER-GUERRILLA, and COUNTER-TERRORISM of "decorating" nearby trees or fences, flagpoles or steeples with "strange fruit", being the bodies or body parts of opponents exhibited as a precaution or object lesson to the other residents; see LYNCH LAW, GALLOWS, ONE SIZE FITS ALL, TWIST IN THE WIND, TERRORIST.

slang for a boarding or ACCOMMODATION LADDER secured at the side of a ship or vessel that's formed of a single central rail with rigidly cantilevered rungs extending outward to the sides, which permits use while wearing swimfins. Compare JACOB'S LADDER, CHICKEN LADDER, DEBARKATION NET.

a chrome-plated helmet or argent-painted helmet liner, often with distinctive insignia and non-standard webbing, as worn by performance drill teams and headquarters or embassy guards. As with other TOY SOLDIERs, PALACE GUARDs, and "glitter guards", their "kabuki theater" costumes are usually embellished or elaborated to the point of dysfunctional impracticality. See MILITARY PRESS, SAM BROWNE BELT, SPIT 'n' POLISH, MILITARY TUCK; compare SNOWDROP, BRASS HAT, POUTER PIGEON, FUGLEMAN, CANNON FODDER.

a timepiece capable of demarcating very brief intervals of elapsed time; see WATCH, TIME.

any timepiece that's been designed for the highest accuracy where very exact measurement of time is required, as for use in determining longitude in celestial navigation; see WATCH, TIME. [nb: although initially considered effeminate, the fashion of wearing wristwatches became popular during WWI, displacing pocket watches as being too inconvenient]

(chew; not c-h-u) Containerized Housing Unit, being a mobile and stackable shipping container that's been converted (by the addition of flooring, insulation, electricity, window, and air vent) into living space for 2-8 MIL-PERS; when equipped with an en suite bathroom, it's called a "wet CHU", and when arranged in clusters, the neighborhood is called "CHUville". The unarmored CHU is a larger, cleaner, and more comfortable alternative to living in a TENT or HUTMENT. See CONEX, RO/RO, CONTAINERIZATION.

a coastal community in Quang Tin province (ICTZ/MR1) of the Republic of Vietnam that was named for himself by Marine General Victor Krulak (later USMC Commandant), who was an Asian linguist and scholar, being the Chinese version of his surname.

Vietnamese term for a MAIN FORCE (MF) element; compare LOCAL FORCE.

in NavSpeak, a play on words for a novice sailor or a seaman on his first FLOAT or initial cruise on-board a ship; term overtly claims friendship but also refers to "waste" or "bait" which indicates the inexperience of the tyro or neophyte. May also imply variegated color (as Chum or Chinook Salmon) from the sea sickness of new sailors [cf: greenhorn]. See SWABBY, SQUID, NUGGET, POLLYWOG, DRYBACK, TADPOLE, FRESH CATCH, CHERRY, SHOWER SHOE, FNG, NEWBEE; compare GUY, CHARLIE.

a beverage can opener [in the pre-Pull-Tab / pre-Pop-Top era] for pressing neat triangular holes into the top of a beverage can for drinking, and/or lifting off the bottle cap compressed at the opening of a beverage bottle [in the pre-Twist-Off-Cap era], being a useful item of personal property that could also convert, by the addition of several triangular vents, an empty C-RATION can into an individual cook stove fueled by some C-4 or HEAT TABS. If no CHURCH KEY was available, a knife could make a crude opening for drinking, and any solid object (like an AMMO case) could serve for striking-off a bottle cap. Originally manufactured as the "Quick & Easy Opener" by the Vaughan Novelty Company in 1935, the slang term apparently derives from its large size and "fancy" ends, which resembled (especially after numerous beers!) a large ornate key, as for unlocking a church. Allegedly called a "B-52" by some vets, as a contrast with the P-38 (qv) C-RATIONS can-opener. [nb: cork disk screw cap (1856, 1889); wired mechanical cap (1875); Crown Cork (1892); ROPP Aluminum Cap (Roll-On Pilfer Proof, 1936); Pull Tab (Pepsi, 1962; detachable, banned 1975); Tear Tab (Iron City Beer, 1962; detachable, banned 1975); Tab Top (1962; detachable, banned 1975); Pop-Top (1963; detachable, banned 1975); Soft Top (aluminum, 1963); Twist-Off Crown Cap (1966); Sta-Tab (1975; non-detachable); Twist-Off (Labatt, 1984)]


truncation of PARACHUTE; see HIT THE SILK, AIRBORNE. Also, an angled channel or trough that's used to convey liquids or other substances to a lower level; see SLOP CHUTE.

(shooting stars) US Navy precision aerobatic PARACHUTE team used for public ceremonies and demonstrations; later included US Navy SEAL demonstration team called "Leap Frogs". Compare GOLDEN KNIGHTS; see PDT.

slang for a cluster of Containerized Housing Units (CHU); also called "CHU farm"; see QTRS, BARRACK, COMPOUND, CANTONMENT, BILLET, HUTMENT, HOOCH, WANIGAN, SHEBANG, CAMP, COMPANY STREET. [v: district, section, precinct, parish, purlieus, ward, quarter, community, confines, environs, slum]

CI :
CounterIntelligence; the aspect of military intelligence (MI) activity devoted to destroying the effectiveness of hostile foreign intelligence activities, to protection of information against espionage, of individuals against subversion, of installations and materials against SABOTAGE. See CIC, CE, COUNTERESPIONAGE, INTEL, MI, OSS. Also, abbreviation for Confidential Informant; see PROVOCATEUR, DECOY, DANGLE, KA, THROW-AWAY, LEGEND, LIFTED SKIRT, TRADECRAFT. Also, representation for Classified Information, which is not a legal or formal categorization; see OPSEC, EYES ONLY, FOUO, UNCLAS, NOFORN, NEED TO KNOW, COMPARTMENTALIZATION.

seal of the Central Intelligence
Central Intelligence Agency; also called "The Agency", "The Company", "Clowns In Arena", "Christians In Action", or "Culinary Institute of America" [nb: not the legitimate one in Hyde Park]. The Central Intelligence Group was formed after the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was disbanded, and the CIA was organized as an independent agency from it on 18 Sept 1947. The CIA motto is from the Biblical book of John: "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free"; but it has been rephrased by agency employees as: "You'll know the truth, and it'll piss you off!" ["Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad." by Aldous Leonard Huxley]. See DCI, DO, DDO, DI, DDI, CAS, CIO, NCS, SACO, BOY SCOUT, SPOOK, SECRET AGENT, SINGLETON, NOC, HANDLER, SHEEP-DIPPED, SMM, HOUSE OF SPOOKS, THE FARM, THE GARAGE, COUNTRY CLUB, THE PICKLE FACTORY, PARASOL, SWITCHBACK, PROPRIETARY AIRLINE, FIRST FLIGHT, DIRTY TRICKS, TRADECRAFT, COUNTERINTELLIGENCE (CI), COUNTERESPIONAGE; compare MERCENARY, LETTER OF MARQUE. [nb: an informal reference for the counterpart foreign intelligence organization of England (SIS / MI6) is known as "The Firm", and of Israel (Mossad) is known as "The Office"] Also, abbreviation for Captured In Action; see MIA, POW.

third award of
the Combat Infantryman's Badge
CIB third award
Combat Infantryman's Badge, nicknamed "Chevy Bar", and lately represented as "See I Been There"; the CIB depicts an elliptical oak-leaf wreath surmounted by a blue bar displaying a 1795 Springfield musket, which represents the Infantry Branch as the first official Army shoulder arm. The CIB is awarded to infantrymen engaged in ground combat while assigned to a line unit. Only infantry MOS personnel (not Artillery FOs attached to an infantry unit; not Engineer or Quartermaster personnel who temporarily perform infantry roles) are eligible for award of the CIB, making it one of the most coveted awards. Authorized on 7/27 October 1943 to recognize the unique role of the infantryman, its award included an additional $10/month for recipients; it was approved on 8 February 1952 for award in later conflicts with the addition of stars ... there have been fewer two-star CIBs awarded for participation in a third war than Medals of Honor (MOH) bestowed. A similarly restrictive decoration for direct enemy confrontation is awarded to Marine and Naval/Coast Guard personnel as the "Combat Action Ribbon" (CAR). Compare EIB, GREEN TAB; see CMB, CAB.

Combat Information Center aboard ship, commonly called "combat" or THE CAVE; including Engagement Controller, Ship's Weapons Coordinator (SWC), Display and Decision module, Electronic Warfare module, Weapons Control module, Fire Control Systems Coordinator (FCSC). Also, Communications and Information Center, but not aboard ship. Also, Counter Intelligence Corps; see INTEL, MI, MIS, FLAPS 'n' SEALS, CLOWN COLLEGE, TRADECRAFT; compare CINC.

Army Criminal Investigation
Criminal Investigation Division, being a federal agency that investigates violations of serious crimes for military or civil prosecution; Army equivalent of Air Force OSI and Navy NIS. See BUTTON, FLAPS 'n' SEALS, FBI, POLICE.

ARVN Mike Force patch
Mike Force
(sidge or c-i-d-g) Civilian Irregular Defense Group, composed of INDIGenous tribesmen and villagers trained as security and reaction forces, from platoon to battalion size, advised and equipped by U.S. Army SPECIAL FORCES (USSF); initiated under the "Tribal Area Development Program", the "Village Defense Program", and the STRATEGIC HAMLET program. See SWITCHBACK, PARASOL, STRIKER, MIKE FORCE, HOC BAO, BORDER DEFENSE RANGER, VIETNAMIZATION. [nb: not to be confused with RVN's Civillian Defense Force ("Nhan Dan Tu Ve") which was only a part-time MILITIA]

Central Issue Facility, being the supply (QM/LOG) depot where recruits receive their initial issue of regulation clothing, footwear, and equipment while in-processing at a RECEPTION STATION, before reporting to basic training (BCT). See ARMY SIZE, HOBSON'S CHOICE, GEAR.



U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory, being a facility with worldwide responsibility for the identification of corpses (or remains) of American servicemembers lost in the line of duty; made subordinate to the U.S. Joint Prisoner of War / Missing in Action Accounting Command (JPAC) in 2003; see JTF-FA, JPRA, RECOVERY, POW, MIA, LAID BY THE WALL, BODY-SNATCHER, GRAVES REGISTRATION, MORTUARY AFFAIRS.

Commander-IN-Chief, or President of the United States (POTUS), being the chief executive officer of the armed forces, and Head of State; see OLYMPUS, SACRED COW, compare CIC. Also, former military abbreviation for Commander-In-Chief, as of a corps or group, theater or region. [nb: the military has discontinued its use of "cinc-" prefixed abbreviations to avoid any confusion with POTUS] [nb: the word 'emperor' (derived "impera") originally meant "one who gives orders"] [nb: "Executive: an officer of the Government, whose duty it is to enforce the wishes of the legislative power until such time as the judicial department shall be pleased to pronounce them invalid and of no effect." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce]

Commander-In-Chief, Aerospace Defense command; compare CINCNORAD. [nb: the military has discontinued its use of "cinc-" prefixed abbreviations to avoid any confusion with POTUS]

Commander-In-Chief, Central Command. [nb: the military has discontinued its use of "cinc-" prefixed abbreviations to avoid any confusion with POTUS]

Commander-In-Chief, Forces Command. [nb: the military has discontinued its use of "cinc-" prefixed abbreviations to avoid any confusion with POTUS]

Commander-In-Chief, Atlantic, properly known as USCINCLANT; see LANTFLT, CINCLANTFLT. [nb: the military has discontinued its use of "cinc-" prefixed abbreviations to avoid any confusion with POTUS]

Commander-In-Chief, Atlantic Fleet; see CINCLANT, LANTFLT. [nb: the military has discontinued its use of "cinc-" prefixed abbreviations to avoid any confusion with POTUS]

Commander-In-Chief, Military Airlift Command. [nb: the military has discontinued its use of "cinc-" prefixed abbreviations to avoid any confusion with POTUS]

Commander-In-Chief, North American Aerospace Defense command; compare CINCAD. [nb: the military has discontinued its use of "cinc-" prefixed abbreviations to avoid any confusion with POTUS]

Commander-In-Chief, Pacific, properly known as USCINCPAC; see PACOM. [nb: the military has discontinued its use of "cinc-" prefixed abbreviations to avoid any confusion with POTUS]

Commander-In-Chief, Pacific Air Force. [nb: the military has discontinued its use of "cinc-" prefixed abbreviations to avoid any confusion with POTUS]

Commander-In-Chief, Pacific Fleet. [nb: the military has discontinued its use of "cinc-" prefixed abbreviations to avoid any confusion with POTUS]

Commander-In-Chief, Strategic Air Command; see SAC. [nb: the military has discontinued its use of "cinc-" prefixed abbreviations to avoid any confusion with POTUS]

Commander-In-Chief, Southern Command. [nb: the military has discontinued its use of "cinc-" prefixed abbreviations to avoid any confusion with POTUS]

Commander-In-Chief, US Army Pacific; see USARPAC. [nb: the military has discontinued its use of "cinc-" prefixed abbreviations to avoid any confusion with POTUS]

a shorter range and more limited time period for being OFF-DUTY, which expires at midnight; also called "Cinderella Liberty" by Naval and Marine personnel ... "sign-in before midnight or turn into a pumpkin!".

Central Intelligence Organization, the Vietnamese form of the American CIA.

a secret method of writing, as by CODE; see ENCODE, ENCRYPT, DECODE, DECRYPT, ALPHABET SOUP, KAK, KEK, KEY, SHACKLE, SCRAMBLE, ONE-TIME PAD, FLASH PAPER, NULLITY, BURST, REVERSEDICTIONARY, 10-CODES, TAP CODE, DUNGEON, CRYPER, INTEL. Also, the key to a secret method of writing. [nb: Kerckhoffs' Principle of Secure Cryptography states that a cryptosystem should be secure even if everything about the system, except the key, is public knowledge; Schneier's Law states that "Any person can invent a security system so clever that s/he can't think of how to break it."] Also, a combination of letters, as the initials of a name, forming a monogram or ACRONYM; see CODE, BREVITY CODE, PROWORD, INTERCO, CODEWORD, CODENAME, NICKNAME, ALPHABET SOUP, ABBREVIATION. Also, a person or thing of no value or import, something worthless, as naught, nil, aught, rush, zilch; see ZERO, ZIP, NULLITY, SQUAT, DIDDLY. Also, any Arabic numeral or figure. Also, to use figures or numerals arithmetically; to calculate numerically.

a cooperative perversion, analogically based upon the homosexual act of masturbating one's nearest companion (instead of oneself); as a situation or relationship with beneficial consequences only for those who participate, such as cover-up, BLACK MARKETeering, boondoggle, RING-KNOCKING, etc; compare FIRING LINE, PISSING CONTEST, FUCK-UP, FUCKED-UP, CLUSTER FUCK, WTFO, SOL, BOHICA, SEAT OF THE PANTS, TURN IN THE BARREL, CHICKEN SHIT, MICKEY MOUSE; see POGUE. Also, by extension of the primary definition, a self-reinforcing stroke economy that's mutually beneficial to all of its participants, most notably among members of an "old boy's club"; also known as a "mutual admiration society" (which is not markedly dissimilar to the various "protective leagues") wherein everyone sings the praises of everyone else; see RING-KNOCKER, KHAKI MAFIA, THE ESTABLISHMENT, BROWNIE / BROWN NOSE, SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, FRATERNIZATION. [v: trade-last; cf: 'claque' for group or coterie of sycophants]

see RING OF FIRE. [cf: girandole / girandola; v: circular firing squad] [nb: every circle, once described and sustained by lashes or strokes, turns vicious upon itself; not because it's a circle, but because it encircles men]

a colloquialism for the temporary formation of a secure or protective defense, as when "closing ranks" against criticism or fortifying a PERIMETER against attack; a corral, tabor, wagenburg, or LAAGER. [v: ad carraginem]

an announcement or statement, notice or memorandum that's addressed to a number of persons within an organization, or intended for general circulation to the public; formerly used by politicians in colonial America to inform their constituents of pertinent issues, these have also been used (since 1813) by Army commanders to direct changes or proclaim postings. See TC, DB, ORDER, SCRIPTURES.

the measured error giving the distance from the center of a target to the POINT OF IMPACT of a bomb or shell, or to the GROUND ZERO of an aerial burst; see CEP, DEVIATION, DELIVERY ERROR, DISPERSION ERROR, HORIZONTAL ERROR.


a newsy correspondence of somewhat impersonal quasi-sociability, typically composed by an ambitious spouse for the advancement of the MILICRAT's career, which is distributed in the guise of Christmas greetings to a carefully cultivated list of colleagues and associates, superiors and subordinates, cohorts and comrades, to remind them of one's existence and outstanding qualities, to apprise them of alterations and attainments, and to inform them of their continued loyalty and dedication, all in a most light-hearted and fun-loving manner. Such a group or bulk letter, mimeographed before computerization, interlarded wry anecdotes into the banalities of work and travel, often including candid photos and amusing illustrations. A carry-over from the days when a single letter was meant to be shared among family and friends, these form letters became first a plague then a joke during the worldwide policing demanded by the COLD WAR; they have since been replaced by spam e-mails and social networking blogs. [cf: round robin / round-robin; v: newsletter] [v: "A Circular Letter to My Friends in Italy" by Mikhail Bakunin (1871)]

a circular arena surrounded by tiers of seats, wherein public entertainments are held; as derived from the large roofless amphitheater, surrounded by progressively elevated seats, that was used for public games and spectacles in ancient Rome; see FIELD HOUSE, COCKPIT, BEAR GARDEN, BREAD AND CIRCUSES, SOCIAL CONTRACT, CULTURE WAR, PEANUT GALLERY, VULTURE'S ROW, ACETATE COMMANDO, TOCROACH, FOBBIT, CHAIRBORNE, ARMCHAIR GENERAL. Also, any great public entertainment that's typically presented in more than one outdoor or indoor arena, featuring exhibitions of pageantry, feats of skill and daring, performing animals, and so forth, interspersed throughout with the slapstick antics of clowns; see FIVE O'CLOCK FOLLIES, DOG 'n' PONY SHOW, FASHION SHOW, SMOKE 'n' MIRRORS, WASHINGTON WALTZ. Also, a troupe of itinerant performers who present such gala entertainments for the public, together with their company of attendants and administrators, animals and equipment; see FLYING CIRCUS, TICKET-PUNCHER, DOG ROBBER, PENCIL PUSHER, CHAIR FORCE, KHAKI MAFIA, MILICRAT, HEADQUARTERISM. Also, fun, excitement, or uproar, as a display of rowdy sport; see GROUP HUG, BATTLE ROYAL, AT CLOSE QUARTERS, ROMAN HOLIDAY, RANSACK, NOT ONE STONE LEFT UPON ANOTHER, HAVOC, KNOCK INTO A COCKED HAT, EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF. Also, an open circle or plaza where several streets converge or intersect; also called "rotary", "roundabout", or "traffic circle". Also, a circlet or RING; see BRACELET, BANGLE, RING-KNOCKER.

1994 flag of the Commonwealth
of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States; formed in 1994, together with the Russian Federation, after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union (USSR).

Counter Insurgency Support Office, the logistical support depot for SOG; being a quartermaster unit located on Okinawa under nominal command of US Army Pacific. Among numerous other items, the CISO provided Asian-sized BODY BAGS, imitation NVN GEAR, replica NVN uniforms, PIR meals, SOG BOWIE knives, and "gift packs". One "gift pack" freely distributed to NVN contained a yard of fabric with sewing needle and thread (HOUSEWIFE), in colors and design reminiscent of the SVN flag. Another "gift pack" included a toy rubber ball in colors or pattern resembling the SVN flag.

any strongly fortified place, especially a fortress that commands a city and its inhabitants, which is used in defense during an attack or siege; see STRONGPOINT, FORTIFICATION. [eg: the Citadel in Hue Vietnam] Also, a heavily armored structure formerly found on a WARSHIP that's used for protecting the engines or magazines; see SPONSON, TURRET, BARBETTE, GUNDECK, SPLINTER SHIELD. Also, the name of the Military College of South Carolina, established in Charleston during 1842; see CADET, TRADE SCHOOL. Also, nickname for 17 Pho Ly Nam De (geo: 21 02 09N 105 51 02E; UTM: 48QWJ88362615), site of major NVN prison camp for captive allied population; also known as [nb: some names only refer to sections within this prison] Plantation, Country Club, Camp Four, Funny Farm, Holiday Inn, Lows or Lowes Camp. Dates US POWs present: 6 Jun 67 to 30 Jul 70, and 25 Nov 70 to 16 Mar 73. The villa at the north end of this COMPOUND was the family residence of a French military officer during the French era. After the French departed, the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) motion picture department took over the COMPOUND. The PAVN film department was subordinate to PAVN's General Political Directorate, one of the PAVN's three principle staff components (the others were the General Staff Directorate and the General Directorate for Rear Services). In 1967, the Enemy Proselyting Department (another component of the General Political Directorate) took control of the COMPOUND and used it to detain American POWs. The Enemy Proselyting Department was the principle PAVN element responsible for administering American POWs, and administered this camp until, in about April 1972, the newly formed Office 22 of PAVN Group 875 assumed responsibility for administration of this and other American POW camps in North Vietnam. (The Enemy Proselyting Department apparently retained responsibility for interrogation, indoctrination, and records keeping.) After 1973 the COMPOUND was returned to the PAVN motion picture department. The building on the east side of the COMPOUND that housed American POWs was demolished in about 1992 and replaced by a three or four story building that houses offices of the PAVN motion picture institute. See POW.

the rights and duties of an individual member of a society, especially the preferred character traits of such a person; the voluntary allegiance of a native or adopted inhabitant of a nation; that loyal population from which a MILITIA may be recruited for its common defense; an inhabitant of a place, entitled to its privileges or protections, and owing allegiance to its government, as derived by combining 'city' + 'denizen'. See CIVILIAN, TAXPAYER, THIRD ESTATE, THE AMERICAN WAY, AMERICANIZE, TRADITION, LAST BEST HOPE, LODGE-PHILBIN ACT, PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE, TRUE BLUE, CULTURE WAR, PATRIOTISM, PATRIOT, SILENT MAJORITY, LITTLE PEOPLE, WHITE TRASH, KNUCKLE-DRAGGER, BRUTE, USEFUL IDIOTS, RUNNING DOG, SYMPATHIZER, PINKO. [nb: the notorious 1924 immigration quotas, which restricted the number of visas available to foreign nationals, was based upon each nation's representation in previous U.S. Census surveys, so as not to change the character or culture of America ... migrants who do not assimilate the language and customs of their host are not 'immigrants', but are instead 'invaders'!] [v: rabble, the great unwashed, riffraff, proletariat, prole, lumpen proletariat, rank and file, commoner, commonalty, pleb / plebeian, hoi polloi, canaille, lower classes, campesino, peasant, indigent, lowest of the low, menial, populace, crowd, multitude, mass / the masses, the herd, cracker, hillbilly, hill jack, peckerwood, redneck, trailer park trash, human debris, scum of society, scum of the earth, scum of the universe, useful idiots] [nb: "Citizenship is an attitude, a state of mind, an emotional conviction that not only is the whole greater than the sum of its parts, but that it should be ... and that the humble part should be modestly proud to sacrifice itself so that the greater body may live." paraphrase of Robert A. Heinlein]

a contraction of CIVilian CASualty; being noncombatants who are unavoidably victimized when military targets are neutralized; sometimes called COLLATERAL DAMAGE or MUSHROOM. See CIVILIAN, CASEVAC, NEO, SOFT TARGET. [cf: "kindermorde" (slaughter of the innocent); nb: "When the elephants fight, the ants get crushed." Hindu proverb] [nb: it is an irony of war that more civilians die during combat than do soldiers, sailors, and airmen; not just COLLATERAL DAMAGE from inadvertent propinquity, but due to starvation, disease, exposure and other mortal adversities] [nb: calculated rate of non-combat civilian casualties (except disease deaths) for WWII @ 1 civ KIA / 4 tons of munitions, for VN @ 1 civ KIA / 15 tons of munitions, and for GULF WAR @ 1 civ KIA / 38 tons of munitions]

an agreement governing the relationship between allied armed forces located in a friendly country and the civil authorities and people of that country; compare SOFA, MILITARY GOVERNMENT, DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY, EXTRATERRITORIALITY.

see DAY, TIME.

a nonprofessional or outsider, as anyone regarded by members of a profession, institution, group, society, or the like, as not belonging; derived from "student of civil law". Term particularly applies to a person who is not on active duty with a military, naval, police, or fire fighting organization; used in the same sense as "layman" and "lay figure" [nb: discharged or ex-military persons may be identified as CIVILIANs (eg: sardonic USN usage of CIVPAC, for Pacific-area Civilian, or CIVLANT, for Atlantic-area Civilian), but retirees are never CIVILIANs!]. Also, a person employed by the government who is not authorized to wear a uniform, such as a civil servant, a civilian defense worker, a contractor or consultant; see AUGMENTEE, ADVISOR, HIRED GUN, DAC, B TEAM, RELATIVE RANK, DOUBLE-DIP. Also, a citizen, derived by combining 'city' + 'denizen', being an inhabitant of a place, entitled to its privileges or protections, and owing allegiance to its government; see SHEEPLE, UGLY AMERICAN, BULLFROG CHORUS, POPULARITY CONTEST, PEANUT GALLERY, TWO CENTS, EYE-CHECK, NOSE COUNT, RUN IT UP THE FLAGPOLE. Also, the "support structure" that aids and assists partisan, GUERRILLA, INSURGENT, TERRORIST, or any other IRREGULAR force operating counter to the government; being the protective and deceptive "sea of people" in which the FREEDOM FIGHTER or Maoist revolutionary "swims" as one among the many. Also, those noncombatants who, by their propinquity to the BATTLEFIELD, become inadvertent casualties of war; see CIVCAS, COLLATERAL DAMAGE, MUSHROOM, DOUBTFULS, SQUIRTER. Also, a slur that maligns anyone who is unfit for military service, or a derogation that disparages anyone who is unwilling to serve in the ARMED FORCES, especially during wartime ... "what you'll forever be if the military rejects you!" [cf: "kindermorde" (slaughter of the innocent); nb: it is an irony of war that more civilians die during combat than do soldiers, sailors, and airmen; not just COLLATERAL DAMAGE from inadvertent propinquity, but due to starvation, disease, exposure and other mortal adversities] [nb: calculated rate of non-combat civilian casualties (except disease deaths) for WWII @ 1 civ KIA / 4 tons of munitions, for VN @ 1 civ KIA / 15 tons of munitions, and for GULF WAR @ 1 civ KIA / 38 tons of munitions] [nb: according to the international LAWS OF WAR, a civilian compelled to act as a military porter by transporting weapons or munitions and materiel becomes a bona-fide combatant, subject to treatment as a de-facto soldier, and forfeits the protection of civilian noncombatant status] [nb: "In time of war, a citizen either becomes a soldier or ends up a slave." paraphrase of Dale Brown (2008); "Why should fools have money in hand to buy wisdom, when they are not able to understand it?" Proverbs 17:16 NIV Bible]

authorized by U.S. Department of State to be awarded for one year of aggregate service in country, or any part thereof if tour interrupted by injury or disability due to hostile action; equivalent to the Vietnam Service Medal (VSM) that was presented to military personnel.

see FREEDOM, LIBERTY, CREED, CORE VALUES, ARTICLE 31, EQUAL PROTECTION, EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, DESEGREGATION, AMERICANIZE. [nb: "The next time that someone demands their rights ... give them a few good sharp lefts, together with some jabs, hooks, crosses, and kicks to go along with them!"]

the administration of government agencies and bureaus; that entire body of persons employed to perform public services, exclusive of elected officials and military personnel. Arranged by competitive examinations in China since Confucian times, its development is coincident with the decline of the feudal system, sponsoring reforms in Prussia and France, with the professional institution first so-called by the British in 1854, being designed to separate the civil service from political patronage by restricting promotions to meritorious advancement. The spoils system of the Jacksonian era led to the Civil Service Commission of 1871, which was so corrupt and scandalous that it collapsed, then was reinstated by the Pendleton Act (1883) for catalogued positions, then state administrations were extended by the merit system in 1939 wherever federal grants appertained, and the HATCH ACT of 1939 finally attempted to divorce politics from civil service officeholders. As a consequence of the reforms recommended by the Hoover Commission (1949, 1955), the organization of the federal bureaucracy was streamlined by the creation of the General Services Administration (GSA), wherein the operations and activities of some sixty government agencies were combined. See SUIT, EMPTY SUIT, DRONE, HOLLOW BUNNY, PIG LOOKING AT A WRISTWATCH, PENCIL PUSHER, WONK, BEAN-COUNTER, CLUB FED, CARPETBAGGERS, WALLAH, MANDARIN, POOH BAH, PANJANDRUM, EUNUCH, TAP-DANCER, DOUBLE-DIP; compare ORIFICE, RED TAPE, PAPER BULLET, PAPER TRAIL, SPOILS, WASHINGTON WALTZ, SMOKE 'n' MIRRORS, CYA, DODGE THE BULLET, PECKING ORDER, PARKINSON'S LAW, PETER PRINCIPLE, BRASS EAR, PARTY LINE, PALACE GUARD, MILICRAT. [nb: Presidents James Garfield and William McKinley were both assassinated by disgruntled civil servants]

Civil War service medal
any war between political factions or regions within the same country; see REBELLION, INSURGENCY, GUERRILLA WARFARE, DIRTY WAR. Also, an American war from 12 April 1861 to 23 June 1865, initially disputing the right of eleven Southern states to secede from their constitutional union with the remaining twenty-two Northern states, which states' rights and tariff impositions evolved (after the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation) into a righteous crusade against slavery ... a political dispute that became a moral campaign; also called the "War Between the States", "The War for (Southern) Separation", the "War of Southern Rebellion", and the "War of Northern Aggression", it remains the bloodiest encounter in American history. See MEDAL OF HONOR, H&I, "seine hauling" at SNATCH, WHISTLIN' DIXIE, "rebel yell" at BATTLE CRY, REDLEG, ROCK FIRE, GREEK FIRE, WHITE TRASH. [v: Frémont's Emancipation Proclamation (30 Aug 1861); cf: Afrikaner Great Trek, Boer War, apartheid] [nb: although more than 1000 Union officers accepted Confederate commissions, only 26 enlisted men changed sides at the outset of the Civil War; later, more than 1500 Irish draftees agreed to serve in the Confederate Army to escape confinement in Southern POW camps] [nb: Civil War (1861-65): 1,500,000-2,300,000 served; 214,938-623,026 battle deaths] [nb: before the American CIVIL WAR, several state militias (eg: Chicago Zouave Cadets, New York Zouaves, Indiana Zouaves, Salem Zouaves, Eufaula Zouaves, Chichester Zouaves, Richmond Zouaves, Maryland Guard Zouaves, etc) caparisoned their troops like the picturesque Algerian-French Zouaves, including the fez, principally for drill, but retained this gawdy uniform throughout the war (eg: Battle of Port Republic)] [nb: "You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to secure peace." by William Tecumseh Sherman; "If I thought this war was to abolish slavery, I would resign my commission, and offer my sword to the other side." by Ulysses S. Grant] [nb: "Among the rank and file, [in] both armies [in the Civil War], it was very general to speak of the different States they came from by their slang names. Those from Maine were call'd Foxes; New Hampshire, Granite Boys; Massachusetts, Bay Staters; Vermont, Green Mountain Boys; Rhode Island, Gun Flints; Connecticut, Wooden Nutmegs; New York, Knickerbockers; New Jersey, Clam Catchers; Pennsylvania, Logher Heads; Delaware, Muskrats; Maryland, Claw Thumpers; Virginia, Beagles; North Carolina, Tar Boilers; South Carolina, Weasels; Georgia, Buzzards; Louisiana, Creoles; Alabama, Lizards; Kentucky, Corn Crackers; Ohio, Buckeyes; Michigan, Wolverines; Indiana, Hoosiers; Illinois, Suckers; Missouri, Pukes; Mississippi, Tad Poles; Florida, Fly Up the Creeks; Wisconsin, Badgers; Iowa, Hawkeyes; Oregon, Hard Cases." by Walt Whitman, "Slang in America" in North American Review (Nov 1885; plagiarized from an unsigned list published 3 May 1845 in Broadway Journal]

NavSpeak for Atlantic-area Civilian, being a facetious reference to retired NavPers; compare RETIREE, see SWALLOW THE HOOK, ON THE BEACH, CIVILIAN.

NavSpeak for Pacific-area Civilian, being a facetious reference to retired NavPers; compare RETIREE, see SWALLOW THE HOOK, ON THE BEACH, CIVILIAN.

civilian clothes, as distinguished from military uniforms; probably derived from skivvy-shirt or SKIVVIES (underwear), with the implication of being "out of uniform". See T-SHIRT, SINGLET, PARTY SUIT, MUFTI, GIG, DOG ROBBER, DRAG. [v: dishevel, dishabille, disorderly]

Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, being the senior military advisor to the president of the United States (POTUS); see JCS.

Combined Joint Special
Operations Task Force - Afghanistan
Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force - Afghanistan.

Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force - Arabian Peninsula, a multinational interservice project headquartered in Balad Iraq, with a month-long RECONDO School setup at the K1 training base in Kirkuk Iraq.

CL :
designates a U.S. Navy light cruiser, a type of WARSHIP; compare CA, FFG.

Cambodian Liberation Army, Communist; Khmer Libra Armie. See KHMER ROUGE.

a small handheld firing device used for TRIGGERing CLAYMORE mines and other electrically initiated demolitions; slang term derives from sound made during use, that's also called 'exploder' or DETONATOR.

security restrictions or operating restraints, as to "clamp down"; see NEED TO KNOW, COMPARTMENTALIZATION, CLASSIFIED. Also, an adjustable support or fastener; derived from CLEAT; compare PAD EYE, DEADEYE.

doughnut-pattern CBU (qv).

an operation sponsored by governmental departments or agencies and conducted by specially trained personnel to function in such a way as to assure secrecy or concealment. In SPECIAL OPERATIONS, an activity may be both covert (where the identity of the sponsor is concealed) and clandestine (where the operation itself is concealed), and may focus equally on operational considerations and intelligence-related activities. Compare COVERT OPERATION, see SPECIAL OPERATIONS.

generalization for any venereal disease (VD) or sexually transmitted disease (STD), especially gonorrhea, being expressed as "a dose of the clap", "the drip" or "jelly"; term derived from "brothel". See ORIENTAL CRUD, ARC, PRO KIT, SHORT ARM, PECKER-CHECKER, ANTIBIOTIC. [aka: "scrud" (any venereal disease); "dirty barrel" (an infected penis or vagina)] [re: syphilis, genital herpes, chlamydia, lymphogranuloma venereum, trichomoniasis, nongonococcal urethritis] [nb: before blatant sexuality abrogated etiquette, a polite inquiry into one's well-being could receive the jocular reply of "Passing well.", which meant micturating without difficulty, or being free from venereal infection, having the same amusing effect among friends as the modern query "How they hanging?" ... "passing well" could be interpreted as "fair to middling", and so was socially inoffensive]

a clear and shrill sound made by an ancient trumpet with a curved shape, or by any similar instrument, which was notable for its audible distinction on a chaotic battlefield; see BOATSWAIN'S PIPE, BUGLE CALL, FOLLOW THE DRUM, BATTLE CRY, CALL TO ARMS, CALL TO THE COLORS, RALLY 'ROUND THE FLAG, MUSTER, TOOTER. [cf: warison; v: clarion call]

Clark chocolate-coated candy
Clark candy bar
the first chocolate-coated candy bar that was individually wrapped for single sales (the 5¢ candy bar) directly to soldiers recruited for service in the Great War (WWI); manufactured by Clark Bar America, which also created a dark chocolate ("Dark Clark") version, until its production was acquired by the New England Confectionery Company (NECCO), this milk chocolate and peanut flake candy bar was later imitated by "Crispy Crunch" (1912), "Butterfinger" (1923), and "5th Avenue" (1936) candy bar brands. A candy purveyor, David L. Clark developed many confections, including "Slo-Poke" and "Black Cow" suckers, "Teaberry" and "Tendermint" chewing gum. The coconut covered "Zagnut" was almost as popular as the CLARK BAR, and its production was later acquired by the Hershey Company. See POGY BAIT, GEDUNK, SUGAR PILL. [nb: created as a byproduct of cocoa manufacturing for hot chocolate drinks, the chocolate candy bar did not appear as a confection until the mid-19th century; and before being individually wrapped for single sales, most confectionery products were sold in bulk packaging]

the Army and Air Force uniform intermediate between DRESS MESS and FATIGUES, being either Army green or Air Force blue, tropical white or suntan KHAKI, as worn for inspection, PARADE, PASS, and the like; being equivalent to the Navy and Marine Corps "service dress" uniforms in blue, white, or tan. If the CLASS-A / service dress uniform is not "high neck" (CHOKER) or "open throat", a necktie or neckerchief is worn. See DRESS, CREST, PATCH, FRUIT SALAD, HERSHEY BAR, GREEN TAB, HEADGEAR, BRASS, FOOTWEAR, LOW-QUARTERS. [nb: sailors used to also have "undress blues" (and "undress whites") as a semi-work uniform without neckerchief or piping; but in 2006 the Navy exchanged its service dress blues and whites for a year around tan, and its DUNGAREES for digitized multicolor work utilities with an 8-point COVER, abolishing their traditional bell-bottoms and DIXIE CUPs] [nb: the human eye can discern more shades of green than any other hue; see AG, OG, OD, compare ASU] [nb: except for rifle regiments separate from infantry and dragoons from before the War of 1812, the U.S. Army wore blue uniforms until the adoption of KHAKIS and FATIGUES, so when the CLASS-A uniform was redesigned in 1954, the color Army Green (AG44) was selected for its historical link to the early riflemen and SHARPSHOOTERs; then in 2008, the traditional Continental Army blue color was restored]

the strictly informal and unofficial designation for an extramarital lover living off-base stateside with a servicemember in shared civilian accommodations, and therefore eligible for the SEPARATE RATionS subsidy; being the polite form of SHACK-JOB, which cohabitation would not be tolerated in the SHADOW OF THE FLAGPOLE. Compare SLEEPING DICTIONARY, CAMPAIGN WIFE, DRAG, COW, OFFICER'S WIFE, CAMP FOLLOWER, SKIRT.

arranged, divided, or containing classes or categories. Also, information or data assigned to a classification so as to control its access or use to authorized persons only; see EYES ONLY, NEED TO KNOW, COMPARTMENTALIZATION, REGRADE, RIG, CHINESE WALL, STOVEPIPE, INFOSEC, OPSEC, FOUO, NOFORN, PASSWORD, UNDER LOCK 'n' KEY, SOI, SSI, CODENAME, CLAMP, TRADECRAFT, SHELL GAME, BUBBLE, CLEAN, LEGEND, PROPAGANDA, MUSHROOM, DEBRIEF, BURN BAG, OPEN SECRET, DEMILITARIZE, UNCLAS. [nb: the color code for classified cover sheets is: UNCLASsified = white, For Official Use Only (FOUO) = green, Confidential = blue, Secret = red, Top Secret = orange, Eyes Only = yellow] [nb: "hush-hush" and "mum" mean 'silent' (don't talk about it), rather than 'secret'] [nb: "If I told you, I'd have to kill you!"; "My job is so highly classified that I'm not allowed to know what I'm doing!" or "My job is so secret that I don't know what I'm doing!"; classified disclaimer: "I don't know you, I was never there, I don't know anything about it, and I never got a t-shirt!" or "You don't know me, I've never been there, I've forgotten everything that happened, and I lost the t-shirt!"] [nb: "Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead."; "Three may keepe counsayle, if two be away." by John Heywood (1556); "Two may keep counsel when the third's away." by William Shakespeare (1594); "The dark has eyes and the walls have ears."; "Fieldes have eies and woods have eares." by John Heywood (1556)]

euphemism for a liquor store, sometimes called "package store" or "bottle shop"; based upon the resupply priority rating system, from essential Class One (eg: food, ammo, medicine, fuel) to non-essential Class Six (eg: clothing, reference manuals, furniture, spare parts). See BYOB, BREW, HOOCH, GROG, GROUP TIGHTENER, JUICE, THE DRINK, SUNDOWNER, DEAD-SOLDIER, O CLUB. [v: Alcohol Beverage Control, Liquor Control Board] [cf: barrelhouse, cocktail lounge, saloon, roadhouse, speakeasy, blind pig / blind tiger, pub, ginmill, public house, tavern, cantina, bar, barroom, bar-and-grill, grogshop, watering hole, tippling house, 11th Frame, 19th Hole, honky-tonk, dive, brasserie, bistro, taproom, beer joint, beer parlor, brewpub, alehouse, rathskeller, cabaret, nightclub, drinkery]

fan-shaped anti-personnel land mine (M-18A1), sized about 8" by 3" and weighing about 3.5lbs; as derived from broadsword (Gaelic "claidheamh mor"). The CLAYMORE used a curved block of C-4 plastic explosive, shaped to propel its 700 embedded steel balls outward in a 60-degree semicircular arc pattern, having an effect similar to an oversized SHOTGUN to a distance of 250 meters (effective 50-100m), at a height not greater than 2 meters. With their directional pattern, CLAYMOREs were well-suited for perimeter-defense. Due to electric ignition of the firing device, CLAYMOREs could be selectively, serially, or cluster discharged by passive (TRIPWIRE) or active (manual or command detonate) triggers. Enemy sappers and infiltrators would reverse the direction of the perimeter CLAYMOREs, rather than disable them, in hopes of injuring the defenders. Some FNG troops pried the CLAYMORE casing open so as to steal C-4 to heat their rations, but always regretted it when the CLAYMORE was needed for defense. A "less than lethal" version (M-5 Modular Crowd Control Munition) that shoots rubber balls has been used for riot control at American embassies since 2006. See ALPHA-ALPHA, CLACKER, DET CORD, MCCM.

the outfitting of an investigator or operative with the necessary weapons, tools, gear, and other effects that confirm (or will not contradict) the identity assumed for a particular mission. In covert operations, not being betrayed by clothing or equipment, by speech or mannerisms, including TATTOOs and dental work, is crucial for successful role performance. See SPOOK, CRYPTO, SLEEPER, MOLE, SWEEPER, STOOGE, DECOY, BABY 007, LEGEND, POCKET LITTER, LIFTED SKIRT, CLEANSKIN, ZERO FOOTPRINT, TRADECRAFT; compare STERILE.

slang for an unimpeachable or irreproachable person; someone of unblemished character who's above suspicion, especially someone without a tainted or criminal past; apparently borrowed from Australia during WWII (ca1941) by reference to someone without prison TATTOOs or the scars from CORPORAL PUNISHMENT; compare CLEAN, STERILE; see MEAT MARKER, SOUVENIR. Also, a clandestine or covert operative, such as an undercover spy or an agent provocateur who's unknown to their target; see BABY 007, BOY SCOUT, SECRET AGENT. Also, by extension of the unbranded range animal (maverick) designation, any unmarked or unlabeled product, especially alcoholic beverages (ie: beer, wine, whisky, etc) in anonymous containers without the requisite tax stamps; see MOONSHINE, TORPEDO JUICE, HOOCH.


clearing an area of enemy activity, and holding it temporarily; compare SEARCH AND CLEAR, CORDON AND SEARCH, SEARCH AND DESTROY.

a doctrine for interpreting any restraint upon free speech that will produce a substantive evil, especially during wartime, which is legally preventable or punishable; a test that was enunciated by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr when considering (1919) the constitutionality of the Espionage Act. See LITMUS TEST, MARTIAL LAW, UCMJ. [v: "Utterance in a context of violence can lose its significance as an appeal to reason and become part of an instrument of force." by Felix Frankfurter; cf: "free trade in ideas" vs "bad tendency" test] Also, by extension, a catch-phrase for an indication of impending danger, or of imminent harm, which is also represented as "gathering storm clouds" or the "sword of Damocles"; any looming and unmitigated threat, especially to the safety and security of the nation (eg: time-sensitive targets, targets of opportunity); see PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH, FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT, PARTY LINE, NATIONAL SECURITY. [v: mauvais quart d'heure]

under restrictive rules of engagement (ROE), clearance from higher command (sometimes more than one or two "echelons above reality") for an enemy target to be engaged by specific weapons or weapon systems, including SNIPER and TAC-AIR. See HIGHER, RFZ, DANGER CLOSE, EOF, ROOF KNOCKING / KNOCKING ON THE ROOF, NFZ, COLLATERAL DAMAGE.

a lightly charged shell case or low-charge bag of propellant that's inserted without a projectile into a FOULed BORE, as used to forcibly clear an obstruction from the bore of a gun; see COOK-OFF, HANG FIRE, FLAREBACK.

in NavSpeak, the removal of all unnecessary items (to stowage) and the banishment of all inessential personnel (to their battle stations) as a preliminary to a seaborne engagement; see GQ, SHIPSHAPE.

a strong device, usually metal with one or more projections, that's used to secure tie-downs, as on a pier or DECK for mooring; see CLAMP, PAD EYE, DEADEYE, HARDPOINT, BOLLARD. Also, a wedge-shaped block or strip of resistant material fastened to a surface to serve as a check or support; also called a CHOCK. Also, a resistant strip fastened across a surface, as on a RAMP, to provide sure footing.


rhyming phrase to show disregard or contempt for noncombatant support personnel; an enlisted clerk in the Navy is a YEOMAN (or "yeomanette"); see REMF, BEAN-COUNTER, PENCIL PUSHER, GO TO GUY, PUKE, RED TAPE, ORIFICE, MILICRAT, CANDY-ASS, ACETATE COMMANDO, CHAIRBORNE, FOBBIT, TOCROACH, POG, BOMB-PROOF, BTDT, THE NAM, WANNABE. [nb: "The greatest Clerkes be not the wisest men." by John Heywood (1556)] [nb: the only authorized rating for an enlisted woman in the U.S. Navy during WWII was 'yeoman', hence the slang designation "yeomanette"]

see KLICK (kilometer / km).

any country that's dependent on a richer or more powerful country for its political, economic, or military welfare; a PROTECTORATE or SATELLITE. See NATION BUILDING, GARRISON STATE, BUFFER STATE, PUPPET, FATHER KNOWS BEST, NANNY STATE, FIFTY-FIRST STATER, WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS, GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY, PRESIDENTIAL DOCTRINE, PROXY WAR, FLAG OF PROTECTION, CONTAINMENT, INTERVENTIONISM, REALPOLITIK, BETTER THE DEVIL YOU KNOW; compare ISOLATIONISM. [nb: called "dollar diplomacy" during the William Howard Taft administration to characterize the policies of Secretary of State Philander C. Knox] [v: Bantustan, being a homeland set aside for occupation by Black Africans within the Republic of South Africa during the late 1940s] [nb: "He may be a son-of-a-bitch, but he's our son-of-a-bitch." by Franklin Delano Roosevelt (referring to Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza); "He's a bastard, but he's our bastard." by William Casey (referring to Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega)]


an onomatopoeic reference, from the succession of its alternating clinks and clanks, to any track-driven vehicle, such as an armored personnel carrier or self-propelled howitzer, but most especially to a tank; used either as a literary allusion for verisimilitude (eg: "the clinkety-clank of armored vehicles on the rough road"), or as a childish imputation for disparagement (eg: "the great and gross clinkety-clank, buttoned-up and off-line, raced its tracks in a furious attempt to bury itself").

(forthcoming); see PRESIDENTIAL DOCTRINE.

a narrow, slightly curved piece of metal that holds several rifle CARTRIDGEs in a row for conveniently loading a magazine (MAG) when fitted into a removable adapter [nb: with practice, the rounds could be inserted into a magazine without the bracket, or stripped from the CLIP and inserted singly]; also known as a "stripper clip". Rifle ammunition (AMMO) is manufactured for military service by placing CARTRIDGEs in a CLIP, two clips in a cardboard sleeve (enough for one magazine reload), paired CLIPs in a cloth BANDOLEER, and several BANDOLEERs in an air-/water-tight container (AMMO CAN) with a carrying handle. The term CLIP is widely but improperly used as a synonym for magazine, probably derived from the earlier use of internal magazines, which were reloaded from a "stripper clip" fitted into a built-in bracket on the rear-sight while the rifle bolt was locked open. Compare BANANA CLIP, C-CLIP, DRUM, LINK AMMO. Also, a retention device of various designs (eg: ALICE tension clip, Natick polyethlyene snap, Malice polymer clip, Delrin pinch buckle, speed clip) that's used to securely, but temporarily, attach pouches or holsters to the straps or belts of WEB GEAR; used instead of U-WIRE HOOKS, but may be used with reinforcing ties or straps; see LBE, ILBE, PALS, BEDROLL STRAP.

an exclusive set, in-group, coterie, or maffia; see BOY'S CLUB, KHAKI MAFIA, RING-KNOCKER, CASTE.

the use of subterfuge, guile, or intrigue in DECEPTION or CONCEALMENT operations; originating as a style of swashbuckling comedies called "cloak and sword" in Spanish and "cape and foil" in French theatricals from the 16th century. See SPOOK, CRYPTO, FIX, PROVOCATEUR, DANGLE, HANDLER, SWEEPER, DECOY, STOOGE, TRADECRAFT, PSYOPS, INTEL, ESPIONAGE.



see CAS.

a hairsbreadth escape or deliverance from danger or trouble; see CLOSE SHAVE, SQUEAK; compare WITHOUT TURNING A HAIR.

a post-operative surgical device that uses compression and suction to remove exudate from a wound, and collect this drainage in a reservoir for examination and measurement; such a device is emplaced during a surgical procedure, which reduces the risk of infection, permitting more accurate assessments. The JP (Jackson-Pratt) drain has a small bulb on the end of a plastic tube with a plug that allows the removal, measurement, and assessment of exudate; compressing the bulb after emptying it and before replacing the plug generates enough vacuum to facilitate drainage ... recompression is indicated when the bulb fills again, or is no longer compressed. The "HemoVac" is a portable wound suction device that applies negative pressure to the wound by incorporating a larger disc-shaped reservoir for collecting drainage, which includes a pouring spout for emptying the collected fluids. Compare OPEN DRAINAGE SYSTEM.


a formation of men or vehicles at near interval, primarily for DRILL or PARADE, but formerly used to concentrate force (mass) or increase power (including firepower) before advanced weaponry altered battlefield tactics; also called "close order drill". See CLOSE RANKS, DRILL, THE BIBLE, MANUAL OF ARMS, SCHOOL OF THE SOLDIER, SCHOOL OF THE SQUAD, SCRIPTURES; compare COMBAT SPREAD. [nb: "to close in" has the sense of approaching as well as constricting, but firepower cannot substitute for either ... "close with and destroy the enemy" is not a metaphor]

practice and performance in formation marching, in the carrying and handling of individual arms, and in other near-interval movements, as during guard mount and formal ceremonies. Compare OPEN ORDER DRILL.

generally fighting in close proximity, as when ships engage each other alongside, or when combatants engage in hand-to-hand fighting; also called CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE (CQB), "close combat", and "close battle". See SALVO, VOLLEY, FUSILLADE, ENFILADE, DRUMFIRE, BAYONET, ON GUARD, BUTT STROKE, DOUBLE TAP, BEARD THE LION, AT THE SHARP END, GABRIEL, MARTIAL ART, JAP SLAPPER, UP-CLOSE 'n' PERSONAL, BATTLE, WAR.

phrase referring to the tactical propinquity, sometimes intimate, of opposition forces when engaged, like the Maoist metaphor of "fishes swimming together in the sea" [cf: COUNTER-GUERRILLA / ASYMMETRIC WARFARE], and sometimes represented by the slang expression UP-CLOSE 'n' PERSONAL, but especially referring to combat encounters experienced by individuals or small units (ie: SQUAD and TEAM level). See BATTLE ROYAL, CATCH AND GRASP, HUG, KING OF THE HILL, DOGFIGHT, FIREFIGHT, CONTACT, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, MEETING ENGAGEMENT, BEARD THE LION, FIGHTING MAD, MARTIAL ART, JAP SLAPPER, KNUCKLE SANDWICH, BAYONET, ON GUARD, BUTT STROKE, DOUBLE TAP, BATTLE, WAR.


the lending of mutual support in anticipation of attack, physical or verbal, literal or figurative, by "standing fast" or "staying the course", by "manning the barricades" or "defending the ramparts" whenever assailed by opposition; formed at near interval to concentrate force (mass) or increase power (including firepower) before advanced weaponry altered battlefield tactics. See CLOSE ORDER.

a hairsbreadth escape from danger or trouble, as when averting, or being extricated from, an encounter, strait, dilemma, predicament, difficulty, plight, imbroglio, extremity, affliction, trial or tribulation; also known as "close call", "near miss", or narrow SQUEAK; compare WITHOUT TURNING A HAIR, RAZOR BURN; see FUR BALL, FIGHTING MAD.

a species of very potent antigenically distinct neurotoxins consisting of six main strains (A - F) that occurs widely in nature and is a fre cause of FOOD POISONING from improperly preserved meats, fruits, or vegetables which have been incorrectly sterilized before canning. The recorded cases of human botulism have been mainly due to types A, B, E, and F; strains can only be neutralized by their specific antitoxin. [v: botulinus, botulin]

slang for senior Headquarters (HQ) and its operations, with the implication of impractical, foolish, crazy, or fantastic missions originating from leaders who are out-of-touch with reality; derived from the ancient Greek play, "The Birds" by Aristophanes, depicting an imaginary city (Nephelokokkygia / Nephelococcygia) built in the air between the gods and the mortals. See BELL THE CAT, RABBIT HOLE, HOUSE OF CARDS, MAGIC KINGDOM, PUZZLE PALACE, MADHOUSE, ELEPHANT DANCE, PURGATORY TOUR, PENTAGONITIS, HEADSHED, HEADQUARTERISM.


a method of patrolling in which subordinate elements move out from a central area and "loop" back to the vicinity of the main advance's direction or starting point. Used as a technique of advance by units in unknown terrain. Also called BUTTERFLY; see CHECKERBOARD, LEAP FROG, HOPSCOTCH, BUTTONHOOK, STACK, ZIGZAG, DASH, FIRE 'n' MANEUVER, WAY POINT, COMBAT SPREAD.

see FOOL.

sardonic reference to the highly specialized training given to military intelligence (MI) and counter-intelligence corps (CIC) agents for clandestine and covert operations; Compare HOUSE OF SPIES, HOUSE OF SPOOKS, THE FARM, THE PICKLE FACTORY, COUNTRY CLUB; see INTEL, TRADECRAFT.

Cleaner, Lubricant, and Preservative; a preparation (ie: gun oil) used to maintain firearms. See LSA / LSU, WD-40, MR. CLEAN, POL. [nb: due to wartime import constraints on petroleum products, Imperial Germany invented margarine (a glyceride of margaric acid) as a substitute firearm lubricant; which later became, with a coloring agent, a butter substitute.]

Combat Life Saving/Saver, a first aid kit; see MED BAG.

Command Launch Unit for portable missiles; can also be used as a stand-alone day/night sighting device.


this phrase was ostensibly made popular by television's "Miami Vice" program, it refers to any minimum security federal prison, especially one with inmate facilities rivaling a resort (ie: tennis, golf, gymnasium, game room, auditorium, etc); patterned on the model of "Club Med" vacations. This phrase has also been sarcastically applied to military detention or disciplinary barracks, such as those setup overseas, as at Abu Ghraib and Camp Bucca, Bagram Air Base and Guantanamo; see BRIG, STOCKADE, GUARDHOUSE, LBJ, TANK, THE CASTLE, CROSSBAR HOTEL, HOT HOUSE, USDB, MONKEY HOUSE, DEADLOCK, DEADLINE. Also, the nickname for the FBI Academy, which is colocated with the Marine installation at Quantico Virginia, and is a separate facility from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). Also, that coterie or clique of consultants (the insiders or inner circle) who are periodically employed as federal executives by one or another political administration to render guidance and to coordinate policy by virtue of their ostensible expertise, but actually due to their incestuous associations; see MANDARIN, EUNUCH, BEST AND BRIGHTEST, POLITICIAN, BOY'S CLUB, KHAKI MAFIA, RING-KNOCKER. [cf: apparatchik, nomenklatura, eunuch, nabob, nibs] [v: bailiwick] [v: 'claque' for group or coterie of BROWN NOSERs]


a combination or series of mistakes and failures, if not averted, halted, or reversed, culminating in disaster; being an inadvertent situation complicated by good intentions and compounded by inefficient persons promoted to their level of incompetence! Drill formation examples include "Mill Around Mill", "High Diddle Diddle, File From The Middle", "Accordion March", "Rear Ripple March", "Stagger-Step March", STUTTER-STEP, and "Convulsion By Columns". Also known as a "charlie foxtrot", "mix-up", "mess-up", "goof-up", "foul-up", "screw-up", "group grope", "flub", "botch", "bungle", "fuddle", "blunder", "muddle", "pother", "Chinese fire drill", "goat fuck", GOAT ROPE, or FLAP; and related to BOHICA, FUCKED-UP, FUCK-UP, SHIT HIT THE FAN, WTFO, SOL, SEAT OF THE PANTS, CIRCLE JERK, TURN IN THE BARREL; compare CHICKEN SHIT, MICKEY MOUSE.

term for ammunition belt worn by Marines, the same as Army PISTOL BELT; see WEB GEAR, LBE, DEUCE GEAR.

Navy slang for hesitate or falter, to be irresolute or indecisive; also known as seize-up, freeze-up, or "brain lock". Although this is a "normal" response to high stress and great confusion, the training solution of "do something even if it's wrong" can be worse than inaction in a combat scenario ... and the emotional aftermath for inexperienced leaders can be devastating. See TRAIN HARD - FIGHT EASY, DON'T DO NOTHING, HAPPY FEET, PIG LOOKING AT A WRISTWATCH, DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF, PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, CUT THE GORDIAN KNOT, RISKY-SHIFT EFFECT, PING-PONG, BEAT AROUND THE BUSH, OODALOOP, BOYDLOOP, WAR GAMES, OPTEMPO, OP 'TIL YOU DROP, COMBAT EFFECTIVE. [nb: the dilemma of the centipede is that it walks perfectly until it's required to explain how it walks; v: Zen mind] [v: mauvais quart d'heure]

echoes on a RADAR screen that do not come from the target; also known as GRASS. Also, a confused assemblage, anything untidy or disorganized; also called LITTER or SPAGHETTI; see POLICE CALL, GI PARTY, SQUARED AWAY, SHIPSHAPE.

(see-el-zee) Contingency Landing Zone, being the fallback alternative or tertiary reserve site to be utilized after discovering that the primary and secondary areas are unavailable or unusable; see LZ, PZ; compare FALSE INSERTION, SHELL GAME, FLIP-FLOP.

Chief Master-At-Arms in the US Navy, being the senior petty officer (PO) aboard ship who's responsible for discipline and accountability; supervises a parttime staff of deputy Masters-At-Arms (MAA) in each department; commonly called SHERIFF. See SP, POLICE, CAPTAIN'S MAST, ROCKS 'n' SHOALS, BRIG.

Capital Military Advisory (Assistance) Command.

U.S. Army Combat
Medical badge
Army CMB
Combat Medical Badge, sometimes called "Combat Medic's Badge", and originating as the "Medical Badge", it was authorized 29 January / 1 March 1945 for actions from 7 December 1941, with a $10/month bonus payment being approved in July 1945. The CMB is awarded to Army, Navy, or Air Force corpsmen who serve in the field with line-troops actively engaged in ground combat (as distinguished from AID STATION and EVAC / FIELD HOSPITAL medics). The CMB is similar in appearance to the Expert Field Medical Badge (EFMB) surrounded by an oval wreath, and stars added for awards resulting from subsequent combat actions authorized in February 1951. See CIB, CAB.

combat; see CBT.

Commandant of the US Marine Corps.

see CDR.

abbreviation for the Command Master Chief rating established 19 December 2000 in the naval services.

Combat Materiel Exploitation Center, commissioned to evaluate new enemy weapons; see ACTIV, CAT, CDEC, CDTCVN.

Command Materiel and Maintenance Inspection.

Committee on Military Nutrition Research, an advisory body formed by the National Research Council's Advisory Board on Military Personnel Supplies (ABMPS) in 1982 as part of the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) to provide analysis and recommendations on nutrition-related priorities to the Department of Defense (DoD). See RATIONS.

Civil Military Operations Center, a command and control base for coordinating civil affairs (CA) and humanitarian relief, often interservice and multinational. See OPN.

Court of Military Review.

(see-knack) China National Aviation Corporation, being the commercial airline ferrying passengers and cargo from India to China across the HUMP in support of the Nationalist Chinese (CHINAT) under PROPRIETARY contract to the Allies during WWII; also known as the "Flying Tigers Airline". See AVG, FLYING TIGERS.

Chief of Naval Operations, being the senior naval officer; instituted in 1916 to replace the Naval War Board, which existed to analyze opposing forces, assess situations, and advise SQDN COs, SECNAV, and POTUS on appropriate naval actions. See DNI, NIS. Also, Casualty Notification Officer; see CACO, GHOUL, KINFORMING, HUG SQUAD, RINGS OF SORROW, MORTUARY AFFAIRS.

CN-1 :
designation for a non-lethal riot control agent or tear gas agent (chlorobenzaimalononitrile); a CS-grenade. See CS.

CO :
abbreviation for Commanding Officer, being the designated leader and the highest ranking person in the CHAIN-OF-COMMAND of a particular unit; see COMMANDER, COMMAND ELEMENT, DOR, OLD MAN, SKIPPER, MC, TOP DOG, HONCHO, EXTRAORDINARY POWERS, OVERSIGHT. [nb: Vietnamese term: Chi Huy Truong] Also, abbreviation for COMPANY (qv). Also, the abbreviation for Conscientious Objector; see CORB, PACIFIST, NEUTRAL, PROTESTOR. Also, Vietnamese term for an unmarried adult woman, equivalent to Miss, Senorita, Senhorita, Fraulein, or Mademoiselle; compare BA, MAMA-SAN. [v: girl, lass, maiden, damsel, demoiselle, bachelorette, spinster]




U.S. Coast Guard logo
U.S. Coast Guard
nickname used to identify the servicemen and women (v: SPAR at SKIRT) of the United States Coast Guard (USCG); also known as "shallow water sailor" or "hooligan sailor" (re: HOOLIGAN NAVY). The USCG originated as the Revenue Cutter Service in 1790, was combined with the U.S. Life Saving Service in 1915, subsumed the U.S. Lighthouse Service in 1939, and the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation in 1942. To enhance rescue and recovery modalities, the USCG developed the "rescue swimmer" program in the post-VN era, but, unlike USAF PJs and other SAR team members, these survival tech's (AST) are not PARACHUTE or SCUBA qualified. During peacetime, the USCG was a branch of the Department of Transportation (DoT) until the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), but during wartime, at the direction of the president, is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Navy. Since the Coast Guard has arrest powers as part of its normal mission, it is exempt from POSSE COMITATUS, as well as the FOIA provisions applicable to the other uniformed services. Compare MERCHANT MARINE; see BROWN WATER SAILOR, MUD DUCK, INFORMING GUN, USN, USCGA, TRADE SCHOOL. [nb: Vietnamese term: Linh Phong Ve Duyen Hai, Phong Ve Duyen Hai] [nb: the official march of the USCG derives from its motto, "Semper Paratus", and was composed by Francis Saltus van Boskerek]

(ko-ax) shortened form of coaxial, having a common or coincident axis, as a multiplex cable (MUX) or a machinegun (MG) slaved to a MAIN-GUN.

Cobra attack
Cobra attack helicopter
Bell AH-1 series of attack helicopter; nicknamed by some as the "Shark" or "Snake" (Hindu symbol of eternal life) as represented in nose art. The COBRA carried 2.75s, MINIGUNs, and a 40mm gun mounted in a SPONSON under the nose of the aircraft. Other configurations, such as the SEA COBRA (AH-1J), also existed. The old "B" model HUEY gunships were fazed out, and the COBRAs used in greater strength, around 1968. Most of the COBRAs were painted with eyes and big, scary teeth like a shark (nose art similar to FLYING TIGERS of WWII) for psychological impact during Close Air Support (CAS). The COBRA evolved into the "Super Cobra" (AH-1W), and has been succeeded by the APACHE (AH-64). Also, a family of venomous snakes that are equipped with rigid short fangs and inflatable neck hoods, which are nocturnal hunters of small animals throughout most of Africa and southern Asia; this family also includes the African mamba, the Asian krait, the New World coral snake, and a number of Australian snakes. The cobra's hood, which serves as a warning device, consists of loose skin around the neck that's spread by extending the underlying movable ribs, and inflating this hood with air from the lungs when the snake is excited. The Indian cobra, sized about 4-5ft long, which preys on rats, has a large hood that's marked on the back by a figured pattern resembling eyes. The king cobra, which is the largest of all venomous snakes, reaching a length of 18ft, may be found in southern Asia feeding chiefly on other snakes. The ringhals (or "spitting cobra") can eject a spray of venom through the openings of its fangs, aiming accurately at the eyes of its victim for a distance of about 7ft, causing great pain or blindness. Cobras displayed by snake charmers, especially the Indian and Egyptian cobras, seemingly "dance" to the music being played but, like all snakes, since they are deaf, they only react to the movements of the charmer ... as cobras do not strike accurately during daylight, charmers are seldom bitten.

an air combat maneuver wherein the pull-up aircraft applies either rudder or thrust-vectoring to turn downwards, instead of resuming level flight; a variation of Pugachev's cobra turn, this delaying tactic leaves the airplane vulnerable due to inhibited mobility and the resultant plume of hot exhaust, which can be targeted. Compare IMMELMANN, SPLIT-S; see AEROBATICS. [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon]

Combat Orientation Course; established April 1968, and colocated with the MACV Recondo School on Hon Tre Island, this 8-day supplemental training program was designed to acclimate newly arrived troops, to refresh their field/operational skills, to enable weapons familiarization or zero, and to instruct in the latest procedural techniques derived from "lessons learned" on the BATTLEFIELD. Most of the major units established a similar introductory program designed to inform newly assigned personnel of unit standard operating procedures (SOP), of immediate action (IA) practices, and of security protocols; such as the 1st Cav Div "First Team Academy" (FTA) and the 101st Abn Div "Screaming Eagle Replacement Training School" (SERTS). See CHARM SCHOOL, BUDDY SYSTEM, CHERRY, FNG, NEWBEE, RETREAD, FINISHING SCHOOL, Q-COURSE, ACTA, RECONDO. [nb: the initials of the "First Team Academy" (FTA), widely understood to mean "Fuck The Army", was an ironic example of the unfortunate decisions made by otherwise sane and insightful persons, similar to the initials of the political action group named the "Committee to Re-Elect the President" (CREeP) setup on behalf of Richard M. Nixon] Also, abbreviation for 'Combat Operations Center', being the USMC designation for the Army's Tactical Operations Center (TOC); see CIC; compare THE CAVE.

name for the southern section of Vietnam under the French INDOCHINA Protectorate; compare ANNAM, TONKIN. [nb: 'China' suffix was added (ca1720) to 'Cochin' to distinguish region in Vietnam from region in India]

a chronic tropical disease that's often associated with enteric infection and nutritional deficiency, which is frequently complicated by folate deficiency with macrocytic anemia; also called "tropical diarrhea" or "tropical sprue". See TROTS, SQUIRTS, DUMP, SHIT, HEAD CALL, SLOP CHUTE, CAT HOLE, BLUE CANOE, SLIT TRENCH, HEAD, LATRINE, HONEY BUCKET, TRA CA, COMFORT STATION, SALMONELLA / SALMONELLOSIS, DIARRHEA, SPRUE, CORK.


a dysphemism for any woman who arrogantly displays or parades herself as if she were so alluring or enticing as to be utterly irresistible, which shamelessly autoerotic self-adoration borders on an hyperactive state of relentless sexual arousal, if not interminably frenzied nymphomania; despite the fact that females constitute a majority (54%) of the population, this variation of the "golden vagina syndrome" postulates that each and every woman (regardless of how ugly or stupid she may be) represents a precious singularity who has been issued all of the requisite equipment to be a "seductive temptress" and to become the noble savior of the human race! See QUEEN FOR A YEAR, WARRIOR PRINCESS, WONDER WOMAN, SQUEAK, PIRATE'S DREAM, ANGEL, LONGHAIR, ROUND EYE, NUNNERY, OLD GIRL'S CLUB, RUNTS 'n' CUNTS, BITCH, BALL BUSTER, BATTLE-AX, WHITE SERGEANT, STRANGE, SPLIT, SNATCH, SKIRT.

a catch-phrase indicating that a firearm is fully loaded and charged for action, but with the weapon's safety engaged, preventing an inadvertent or accidental discharge; also known as LOCK 'n' LOAD. See UNLIMBER.

someone who's foolishly positive or unrealistically optimistic; someone proposing a warped perspective or offering a skewed conclusion on the "satisfactory" prospects for the current situation ... the person who always finds the silver lining of a dark cloud. [v: pollyannaish / pollyannaism (Eleanor Porter); yeasayer]

a deadly contest between specially bred gamecocks, which are typically fitted with spurs; formally known as alectryomachy. Compare WHITE FEATHER, COCKSURE, DOGFIGHT, FIREFIGHT; see BEAR GARDEN, HACKLE / HACKLES, COCKPIT, BLOOD SPORT, BATTLE ROYAL. [v: Welsh Main, barratry, Shrove Tuesday / Shrovetide] [nb: the "Blue Hens Chickens", originating as the Delaware MILITIA during the Revolutionary War, was nicknamed after its commanders, who indulged in "cock fighting" whenever encamped, while also instilling a "gamecock" spirit into the troops; this phrase henceforth became a compliment for any tough or spirited unit, as during the CIVIL WAR]

(forthcoming); see HOBBYHORSE, GET ON THE STICK.


a forward space, usually enclosed (v: CANOPY), in the FUSELAGE of an airplane that contains the flight controls, instrument panel, and crew seats necessary for flight operations; a technologically enhanced environment for the pilot and aircrew is called a "super cockpit"; see NOSE, CHIN BUBBLE, AIRFRAME; compare FLIGHT DECK. Also, a sunken, open space, generally in the after part of a small boat, that provides access to the controls and instruments needed by the crew when operating a vessel at sea; compare BRIDGE, PILOTHOUSE, FLYING BRIDGE, HELM. Also, the space, including the seat, controls and instrumentation, surrounding the driver of a motor vehicle. Also, a place where a contest is fought, or a place which has been the scene of many contests or battles; as derived from the enclosed pit for cockfights (alectryomachy) [cf: Welsh Main]; see BATTLE ROYAL, BEAR GARDEN, HACKLE / HACKLES, WHITE FEATHER. Also, a space below the water line in a warship, that was formerly occupied by the junior officers as quarters, and used as a dressing station for those wounded in action; see AID STATION, DISPENSARY, BAND-AID, CHOP SHOP, WARDROOM.

overconfident, as being too sure or overly certain; arrogant or conceited; this term may derive from the surety of a cock to crow in the morning, or from the assurance of a gamecock ... it formerly meant 'safe' or 'secure'. [cf: "too big for one's breeches"]

a solution concocted of various ingredients, especially a chemical contaminant or biological agent for use as a weapon; also called "poison gas", and classified under Chemical Warfare (CW) or Chemical Biological Warfare (CBW) agents. The chemical agent color code includes: white for irritants [v: sternutator] (eg: tear gas); yellow for BLISTER AGENTs (eg: mustard gas); green for suffocation agents (eg: phosgene gas); blue for molecular inhibitors (eg: arsine gas); black for nerve agents (eg: sarin). Also, a solution concocted of various ingredients, especially an incendiary device used as a weapon; see CBR, TOMB, GAS MASK, MOPP, HAZMAT, SOUP, NAPALM, PHOUGAS, MOLOTOV COCKTAIL, ZIPPO, FLAMETHROWER, ROCK FIRE, GREEK FIRE, WP, THERMITE, IED, YELLOWCAKE, HEAVY WATER, HOT GREASE, NUKE, RANCH HAND, AGENT ORANGE, HUSH-A-BOOM. Also, any of various mixed drinks containing one or more alcoholic beverages together with soda water or fruit juices, flavorings or garnishes, typically served chilled; many cocktails combine liquor with wine (eg: Old Etonian, Scotsmac, Whisky Mac) and liquor with beer (eg: Yorsh, Boilermaker, Porchcrewler), as well as non-alcoholic liquids (ie: MOCKTAIL, SAIGON TEA, etc), in a mix appealing to sundry and savory appetites; see FIZZ, AIRBORNE SPIRIT, BREW, HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, MOJO, THE DRINK, SPLICE THE MAINBRACE, SUNDOWNER, GROUP TIGHTENER, HOIST, TOAST, GUSTO. Also, an alcoholic beverage served before a meal so as to stimulate the appetite; an aperitif/apéritif. Also, a small portion of food served as a tidbit (dainty / delicacy), or as the appetizer course of a meal, such as seafood with sauce or a mixture of fruits; an hors d'oeuvre or antipasto, canape/canapé or savory/savoury, bouchee/bouchée / bonne bouche. Also, any eclectic mixture or miscellaneous collection, especially a solution concocted of various drugs. Also, attire that's been styled for semiformal wear, such as women's clothing; see WITH BELLS ON, FOOFARAW, FEATHERS, DRESS. Also, a man of little breeding who tries to pass for a gentleman, by extension of a horse that is not a thoroughbred; see MUSTANG, UP THE HAWSEPIPE, BLUE BLOOD, WHITE TRASH; compare CASTE. Also, any animal with a shortened or docked tail; also called "bobtail".

any of various sauces served with a seafood salad or appetizer that typically consist of ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, horseradish, and seasonings; see CONDIMENTS, NUOC MAM, BEANS, CHOW, RATIONS.

those international gatherings, from intimate and exclusive meetings to vast and impersonal conventions, where businessmen (eg: defense contractors) and diplomats (including defense attachés) vie for advantage so as to outmaneuver their opposition to global hegemony; see SIGG, COOKIE PUSHER, DIP CO, SHOW THE FLAG, PLAY THE GAME, MICROAGGRESSION, FLOWER WAR, COLD WAR, UNDECLARED WAR.

Contractor Owned Contract[-or] Operated, being the "privatized" agencies or companies which fulfill military or governmental functions, especially merchandise and maintenance; also known as "Civilian Owned Civilian Operated" or "Commercially Owned Commercially Operated". Compare GOCO, NGO, QUANGO, OGA, BELTWAY BANDIT.

informal reference to a protective covering, usually of polyvinyl chloride, that's sprayed over machinery, guns, and the like, to provide an airtight seal and to prevent rust; see PROTECTIVE COATING. Also, Informal reference to the soaring harness that encloses and supports a GLIDER pilot from shoulders to toes.

Carrier On-board Delivery aircraft, such as the C-2 GREYHOUND.


acronym for COngressional DELegation, junketers; see IG.

a classified COVER name or secure blind designation that specifies a project or operation without revealing its function, as a CODEWORD that's assigned a classified meaning and is used to safeguard plans and operations; see NEED TO KNOW, OPSEC, PASSWORD, compare NICKNAME, PROWORD, BREVITY CODE, INTERCO, ACRONYM. Also, a unique personal identifier assigned to many officers and most ADVISORs, as distinct from a radio CALL-SIGN duty station assignment; most often used when reporting status, or passing BACK CHANNEL personal messages.

a clear and concise set of guidelines for personal behavior by Armed Forces servicemembers while serving in a combat zone, instituted after the KOREAN WAR in response to POW collaboration resulting from privation and BRAINWASHING. Just as MAAG and MACV ADVISORs were issued wallet-sized cultural "helpful hints" cards, the CODE OF CONDUCT cards (enumerating six basic points) were issued to everyone for personal use; see E&E, POW, DUTY, DELEGATE, BEARING, CREED, HONOR CODE, ABOVE BOARD, PROMISE, LOYALTY CODE, BRASS-COLLAR, WINTER SOLDIER, UCMJ. [v: Code of Conduct and Armed Forces Honor Code of Ethics] [nb: the modern military has now mandated the carry of "Ethics Cards" by all servicemembers. During the Crusades, if a captive was compelled to vow belief or disavow allegiance, upon his repatriation he would be excommunicated]

an AmerIndian radio messenger ("Combat Communication Specialist") serving with forward elements of Army and Marine infantry, artillery, and aviation during WWII; consisting of enlisted members of Navajo, Hopi, Choctaw, Comanche, Muskogee, Creek, Ojibwa, Chippewa, Menominee, Zuni, Apache, and Cherokee tribes who were trained to communicate military information in their native languages, which were indecipherable to the Axis enemy, by expanding their vocabulary with the introduction of code words and phrases (eg: mortar = squatting gun, machinegun = fast shooter, barrage = iron rain, grenade = potato, bomb = egg, observation airplane = owl, fighter airplane = hummingbird, bomber = buzzard, patrol airplane = crow, submarine = iron fish, destroyer = shark, battleship = whale, amphibious craft = frog, corps = clan, section = beads, officer = headman, commander = war chief, etc). This technique was much faster and more reliable than the typical encode/decode method of secure transmission, but the practice was abandoned after the war and has not been subsequently revived. In the National Guard divisions activated for WWI with substantial AmerIndian populations, such as the 36th "Lone Star" Infantry, the 90th "Alamo" Infantry, and the 91st "Wild West" Infantry, the Signal Corps units employed Choctaw, Zuni, Apache, and other tribesmen as radio operators, who spoke in their own native dialect (without the code words and phrases later introduced during WWII) for rapid and secure transmissions. See CRYPER, ENCRYPT, DECRYPT, ALPHABET SOUP, PROWORD, INTERCO, CODEWORD, CODENAME, RTP, RTO, RADIO, TELEPHONE. [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags]

a classified COVER name or secure blind designation that specifies a project or operation without revealing its character or function, as a CODENAME that's assigned a classified meaning and is used to safeguard plans and operations; see NEED TO KNOW, OPSEC, PASSWORD, compare NICKNAME, PROWORD, INTERCO, BREVITY CODE, ACRONYM.

a flap or cover for the crotch in men's hose or tight-fitting breeches, usually matching the costume and often decorated, as worn in the 15th and 16th centuries; see FALL, BIB, LOINCLOTH, DRESS.

a condition wherein nations compete peacefully against their economic or political rivals; a deliberate policy of "live and let live" tolerance; see RAPPROCHEMENT, RAISON D'ETAT, ENTENTE, DETENTE, APPEASE, PEACE. [nb: the phrase "peaceful co-existence" seems to have originated as the expression "peaceful and friendly co-existence" at the Ninth All-Russian Congress of the Soviets, then was used in a 30 June 1954 press conference by Dwight D. Eisenhower, but was made famous when uttered by Nikita Khrushchev in a 6 January 1961 speech] [v: Diplomatic Terms]

see GI JOE, CA PHE SUA DA; compare BREW. [nb: coffee (as a food: before AD1000, as a beverage: 15th century, introduced to North America: 1668, replaced tea as America's favorite drink after the Boston Tea Party: 16 December 1773), espresso (1822), soluble powder/granulated instant (1890), Hills vacuum-packed (1900), decaffeinated Sanka instant (1903), freeze-dried/sublimated instant (1938); coffee pot (1803), Biggin immersion-type coffee boiler (1840), percolator (1865), drip coffee maker (1908), Silex/Pyrex drip coffee pot (1915), Mister Coffee drip coffee maker (1972); Pream powdered non-dairy coffee creamer (1952)]



slang for the environmentally secure container that's used to safely transport HAZMAT toxins and other deadly CBR munitions for storage, use, or disposal; term alludes to their lethal contents; compare TOMB, DUMP; see DRAGON SHIT, MOPP, BUNNY SUIT, DEMILITARIZE. Also, a case or casket for the burial of human remains; properly identified as a sealed metal TRANSFER CASE, but also called "wooden overcoat" or "Stalin's greatcoat"; see BODY BAG, PALL, BOX JOB, PALLBEARER, GARDEN OF STONES.


Army high-fragmentation shell. [nb: not to be confused with "Corfam" (see LOW-QUARTERS)]

Convenience Of the Government; an administrative discharge for the "good of the service"; see CHAPTER 10, SECTION EIGHT, BOARD, DISCHARGE. Also, to activate reservists or DRAFT civilians onto active duty military service at the Convenience Of the Government. Also, abbreviation for Continuity Of Government, being the master plan for sequestering and protecting the most essential officeholders (eg: POTUS, VPOTUS, etc) during a national emergency; see THE G, SOG, THE ESTABLISHMENT, THE HILL, OLYMPUS, GREEN ACRES. [nb: not a particular site or venue, as many contingencies exist]

any group or company, especially a group of soldiers or warriors; as derived from one of the ten divisions in an ancient Roman legion, numbering from 300 to 600 soldiers. Also, any group of persons sharing a particular biological, demographic, or other statistical relationship; an association formed by shared or common characteristics. Also, a companion or associate, a friend or comrade, an accomplice or abetter; an individual in a population of the same species.

the modifying verbal form of 'cohort' that's used to express a mood of encouragement or exhortation; to urge or impel, spur or goad. [cf: exhortative]

Coordinator Of Intelligence/Information; in 1941, the Office of the Coordinator Of Intelligence/Information (OCOI) was the predecessor of, along with the JCS Office of War Information (OWI), what would become the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) on 13 June 1942, in order to gather intelligence, proliferate propaganda, resist counter-intelligence, and perform sabotage during WWII.

a favorable position for observation or action, a "vantage point"; informally known as "catbird seat" or "inside track"; see ESPY, TRAIL WATCHER, RECON, WATCHER, WEATHER EYE, ARGUS, GROUND OBSERVER CORPS, SPOTTER, PEEPERS. [nb: a stroke of the eye ('coup d'oeil') is a brief first look or quick glance]

Chlorine - Oxygen - Iodine Laser, being LASER light that's produced by a chemical reaction; see HYDRA.

abbreviation for COUNTERINSURGENCY / COUNTER-INSURGENCY, which is a coordinated military and civic action (CA) program combating subversion and guerrilla warfare; see UW, CAAT, CAP, SF, SEAL, SOF, ASYMMETRIC WARFARE GROUP, DIME; compare COUNTER-GUERRILLA, ANTI-TERRORISM. [v: uprising, insurrection, insurgency, revolt, rebellion, takeover, toppling, outbreak, break-out, overthrow, break-through, downfall, mutiny, turning point, putsch, coup, coup d'état, or intifada (der: "shaking off")] Also, a stamped piece of metal that's been issued as a medium of exchange (specie) or as a commemorative object (token); to convert metal into cash or coinage by governmental authority, or to fabricate metal into medallions or tokens for commercial or commemorative purposes; see HARD CASH, STANDARD MONEY, HARD TIMES TOKEN, CHALLENGE COIN, COINING, CHIT, SHORT SNORTER, LEGAL TENDER, MPC, FUNNY MONEY, BAD PAPER, BENSON SILK, JUICE, CANDY, HONEY POT, SLUSH FUND, CUMSHAW, CASH, SPIRIT MONEY. [cf: Australian brass razoo, British handsel; v: obverse/reverse, cross/pile]

(forthcoming); compare STRUCTURALISM [cf: simultaneity, synchronicity, synchronism, synchrony] [nb: "A single occurrence is random, twice is coincidence, but three times is a pattern." paraphrase of Edward M. Lerner; "...enemy action" by Ian Fleming]

the challenge of matching unit or operational coins as a gesture of fellowship or as a means of raising funds, often at a bar or other social event, using somewhat elaborate or esoteric rules; see CHALLENGE COIN, SHORT SNORTER, HARD TIMES TOKEN, PISSING CONTEST, SOUVENIR. Also, the presentation of a unit, operational, or special event coin as a token of comradeship or recognition; such coins are usually not serial numbered or otherwise personalized. Allegedly derived from the practice of stealing the pendant medal from the uniform of the British Army officer who was awarded a decoration for the distinguishing act of a subordinate, being the only way for NCOs to recognize the deeds of their troops [cf: ranks of the recipients of the Victoria Cross]. During the GULF WAR, possession of a regional SOUVENIR coin (the higher the denomination the better) from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, or Iraq served to signify that "I was there", and can also serve as a CHALLENGE COIN. With the increased popularity of novelty coins, both authentic and imitative, they have lately been presented as 'calling cards' by high-ranking military members (ie: SUPER GRADEs and FLAG OFFICERs) and senior government officials (eg: POTUS) since the beginning of the Global War On Terror (GWOT). Coins have now been minted for every military occupation and qualification, course and school, unit and assignment, including "wife of ..." and "mother of ..." proclamations, making their superabundance a commercial windfall for vendors, and a petty distraction (if not a preoccupation) for MIL-PERS with better things to do! Compare EARRING, BRACELET, TATTOO, MEAT MARKER, CARTE DE VISITE, CABINET PHOTOGRAPH, CUSTOMS AND COURTESIES OF THE SERVICE. [nb: Desert Storm POWs SGT Troy Dunlap and MAJ Rhonda Cornum ("She Went To War") have been credited with initiating the practice of using local coins as campaign medallions for the GULF WAR] [nb: it's illegal to deface, disfigure, or deform U.S. currency; furthermore, the size and weight of commemorative medallions or commercial tokens (slugs) must be other than that of U.S. coinage] [v: obverse/reverse, cross/pile] [v: Coin Terms]

the abbreviation for Colonel (O-6), a field grade rank in the Army, Air Force, and Marines, that's equivalent to Captain (CAPT) in the Navy; commonly known as a FULL BIRD / FULL BULL (by contrast with a LIGHT BIRD), and identified by the slang designations of "bird colonel" and "chicken colonel" since WWII. See RANK, RATING, LDR, OFFICER.

Cost Of Living Adjustment, being an escalator clause in government salaries and pensions that automatically grants annual wage and payment increases in an amount to cover rising prices on select goods and services, a calculation computed by adjusting inflation. Also, a differential allowance or offset supplement paid to lower-income government employees who are assigned to work in bureau or agency offices that're located in high-priced districts or expensive regions so as to serve the public by maintaining an accessible presence for clients, patients, or other patrons in that area. See THE EAGLE SHITS, SALARY, MISERY INDEX, DOUBLE-DIP, BREAD AND CIRCUSES. [nb: an amendment for a cost of living adjustment (COLA) was added to the Social Security Act in 1972 so as to automatically adjust payments by an annual comparison of the consumer price index]

done without apparent emotion, as to act without obvious feeling or overt response, by allusion to reptiles and other animals whose blood temperature corresponds to the temperature of their surrounding medium. See FLINT FACE, HALF-MAST, QUARTERDECK FACE, WAR FACE, FACE. [v: sang-froid]

a night position, usually RT or SQUAD sized, which is tactically prohibited from the usual amenities of hot food, fresh water, and secure sanitation; also known as a "fly camp". A similar rough base or camp for Marine or Naval personnel is called a "cold harbor"; compare "harbor site" at RON. See PERIMETER, NDP, HIDE, HUT, BREAKWEATHER, LAAGER, SPIKE, FOB, OB, CP, JUMP CP, BASE CAMP. [cf: line camp, shelter camp]


slight, scarce, or negligible consolation, being expressive of a morose outlook, a dispassionate manner, or an aloof mien, as "this too will pass", that the acute pain and suffering that's now so keenly felt will fade into a dull ache with the passage of time and diminished memory; also known as "Dutch comfort", implying that things might have been worse. Compare WARM FUZZY, TOUGH LOVE, GLORY PIE, COOKIE, HUG, BRAVO ZULU, ATTABOY; see STROKE ECONOMY. [nb: "Poison'd,-- ill fare -- dead, forsook, cast off: And none of you will bid the winter come to thrust his icy fingers in my maw, nor let my kingdom's rivers take their course through my burn'd bosom, nor entreat the north to make his bleak winds kiss my parched lips and comfort me with cold. I do not ask you much, I beg cold comfort; and you are so strait and so ingrateful, you deny me that." by William Shakespeare (The Taming of the Shrew)]

a metaphor informally representing a state of anxiety or apprehension, a loss or lack of courage or confidence, an onset of uncertainty or dread; see FEAR, CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER, FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT.

see COLD CAMP. [cf: gunk hole[


the large, heavy, brass
mounted, stainless steel bowie knife by Western Cutlery that was
popular as a privately purchased item during the Vietnam-era
bowie knife
an anthropomorphic allusion to those WEAPONs which are not activated or motivated by some "hot" (ardent or empathetic) impulse, such as mechanical (ie: DETONATOR, FUZE, TRIGGER, etc) or chemical (ie: EXPLOSIVE, FIREARM, etc) ignition, especially knives and swords, BAYONETs and E-TOOLs; impelled by fear or desperation, their wielding is calculated and deliberate. [v: Knife Terms; The Language of Swordplay]

intense political, military, and ideological rivalry between nations, factions, or peoples that is just short of armed conflict, especially such rivalry after WWII between the Soviet Union and the USA, together with their respective proxies and allies, until the 1989 demolition of the BERLIN WALL and 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union (USSR); this expression was first used in a 1947 speech given by financier Bernard Baruch that was written by journalist Herbert Bayard Swope. Compare SHOOTING WAR, PROXY WAR, ARMS RACE, NEW WORLD ORDER, FLOWER WAR; see CONTAINMENT, BATTLE, WAR. [nb: "(This post-war era is) a twilight that is neither peace nor war." by John F. Kennedy; "Let us not be deceived – we are today in the midst of a cold war." by Bernard Baruch (16 Apr 1947 speech to South Carolina legislature); "We are in the midst of a cold war which is getting warmer." by Bernard Baruch (1948 speech to U.S. Senate War Investigating Committee); Baruch attributed the expression to his speechwriter Herbert Bayard Swope]

an informal performance review, especially a critique or evaluation that's conducted immediately after a training exercise has concluded; an inclusive and extensive self-assessment of a unit's performance that's conducted by the participants as short-interval feedback. Compare HOT WASH; see DEBRIEF, AAR, BACK BRIEF, BRIEF-BACK. [cf: consistory, gabfest] [nb: this expression has been migrating out of the military during the Gulf War-era, and has been adopted by motivational analysts promoting teamwork in civilian endeavors, such as business and sports]


the central zone of concentrated focus, blocking all distractions, wherein the sniper's self-confidence will actually lower his blood pressure and diminish his anxiety when sighted-in on a target; see SNIPER / SCOUT-SNIPER, SNIPER'S TRIANGLE, BEAUTY MARK, SIGHT PICTURE, BUBBLE, HEAD IN THE GAME, MONKEY VOICES, DISSOCIATION, OBJECTIFICATION, SPIDER SENSE, COLD-BLOOD, STRESSOR, STRESS OF SOUL.

the design depth beyond which the HULL structure of a submersible is presumed to suffer catastrophic failure to the point of total collapse; such "crush depth" is referenced to the axis of the PRESSURE HULL, and is affected by material defect or decline, by hull penetrations, or by other relevant factors. The "test depth" is the maximum safe depth rating to which a submarine is tested by actual or simulated submergence, as based upon design and manufacturing limits. The "maximum operating depth" is the lowest safe depth at which a submarine is not to exceed during normal operations; this "never exceed depth" is a determination made by naval authority in consideration of design and manufacturing limits, and has been specified as two-thirds (USN) of the test depth. See GIGGLES 'n' BANGS, PRESSURE HULL, CRASH-DIVE, SUBMARINE. [nb: the crush depth of WWII SUBMARINEs was estimated at 280m, while the COLLAPSE DEPTH of modern nuclear-powered BOOMERs has been calculated at 730m]

the necessary and unavoidable harm done to noncombatants and non-military structures in order to effectively neutralize or eliminate a hostile target; as derived from accompanying, accessory, or auxiliary. When TERRORISTs, GUERRILLAs, and INSURGENTs have sought to limit COUNTERTERROR, COUNTERGUERRILLA, and COUNTERINSURGENT responses by increasing the moral and political criticism of OVERKILL and "over-reaction", this expression became a catch-phrase for "civilian casualties" (CIVCAS) [nb: also called MUSHROOMs, for their tendency to pop-up anywhere, and "lambs", as "to the slaughter"] ... with the blame always laid upon the ignoble military, and never upon the so-called "noble rebels". Also, any damage incidental and inferior to a predominant activity. See RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), RFZ, NFZ, FREE FIRE ZONE, BDA, SOFT TARGET, HARD TARGET; compare SURGICAL STRIKE, TWEP. [cf: "kindermorde" (slaughter of the innocent); nb: the first known use of the phrase 'collateral damage' was published in an article entitled "Dispersal, Deterrence, and Damage" by Thomas C. Schelling (May 1961)] [nb: "When the elephants fight, the ants get crushed." Hindu proverb] [nb: it is an irony of war that more civilians die during combat than do soldiers, sailors, and airmen; not just COLLATERAL DAMAGE from inadvertent propinquity, but due to starvation, disease, exposure and other mortal adversities] [nb: calculated rate of non-combat civilian casualties (except disease deaths) for WWII @ 1 civ KIA / 4 tons of munitions, for VN @ 1 civ KIA / 15 tons of munitions, and for GULF WAR @ 1 civ KIA / 38 tons of munitions]

the gathering together of similar things in a common area, or the holding together of related things in a shared space; any unified grouping of similar style or theme, function or purpose. [nb: an assemblage or accumulation of dissimilar items or unalike objects is properly designated an 'agglomeration', and a coherent heterogeneous combination is rightfully a 'conglomeration']


designation applied to airborne radar project; see BIG EYE.


WWII-era coinage for any attitude, plan, or COURSE OF ACTION that leads to confrontation or conflict with another entity. Also, the course or path of an object (vehicle, projectile, etc) that will result in an impact with another object, if unchanged or unchecked, if not deflected or diverted, not circumvented or evaded.

the damage-control station assigned to MIL-PERS during emergency situations, signaled by fire alarm or alert TOCSIN. Although not everyone is detailed during FIRE QUARTERS, everyone has an assigned post during "battle stations" and COLLISION QUARTERS, which may involve lifesaving or abandon ship routines. Compare GQ, FIRE QUARTERS, STAND-TO.

to conspire or confer secretly; to plot mischief; perhaps derived as a blend of collude and dialogue. See CLEAN, NOC, COVER, LEGEND, BACKSTOP, TALK THE TALK, CHICKEN FEED, NEED TO KNOW, COMPARTMENTALIZATION, RIG, PROPAGANDA, DISINFORMATION, PILLOW TALK, RUMOR, TRADECRAFT.

a Vietnam-era coinage for being jointly situated, or for occupying the same place, as when two or more military elements are designated to coexist together. [v: colocation / co-location] [cf: collocate; collate]


slang for the field-grade officer's version of the 'Good Conduct' medal (GCM) ... to wit, the Legion of Merit (LOM).

the person who carries the standard, flag, or COLORS in a military formation; see GUIDON, ENSIGN, STARS 'n' STRIPES, GUIDE, STANDARD-BEARER, PALLBEARER.

at the United States Naval Academy (USNA), the cadet company which demonstrates its superiority in academics and leadership, athletics and MIL-CRAFT over the other 36 cadet companies, with the additional obligation to MUSTER a COLOR GUARD.

military personnel who carry and escort the national standard, flag, or COLORS during PARADE or review; also called "flag guard". See GUIDON, STARS 'n' STRIPES, CLOSE ORDER, GUIDE, HORSE GUARD, STANDARD-BEARER.

an idiomatic expression employed as a colloquial affectation by certain subgroups (eg: "Color me sad." or "Color me glad.", "Color me repentant." or "Color me chagrined.") during the Vietnam and post-Vietnam eras; used in the same manner as the later 'tattoo me' phraseology ("Tattoo me surprised." or "Tattoo me embarrassed."). See TATTOO.

variation of Franklin's Join
Or Die cartoon
cartoon variation
Gadsden flag
Gadsden flag
Culpeper flag
Culpeper flag
a flag or ENSIGN, particularly the national standard [nb: called "flag" on a building, "standard" when mounted on a moving horse or vehicle, and COLORS when hand-carried by marching COLORBEARERs]; see GUIDON, STARS 'n' STRIPES, HALF-MAST, STREAMER, SHIFT COLORS, BLOCK THE COLORS, HOIST, HALYARD, COLOR GUARD, COLORBEARER, STAR SPANGLED BANNER, STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER, SHOW THE FLAG, FACE THE MUSIC, BLACK FLAG, WHITE FLAG, FALSE FLAG, BLOOD CHIT. [v: Flag Terms] [nb: In a 1751 "Pennsylvania Gazette" commentary, Benjamin Franklin satirically proposed that colonists thank England for her practice of deporting convicts to America by reciprocating with rattlesnakes sent to Great Britain. Then in 1754, reflecting on the Albany Congress, Franklin published America's first political cartoon; depicting a segmented rattlesnake, severed into eight colonial sections, curved to resemble the coastline, and captioned with the legend "Join or Die". This cartoon exploited the then popular superstition about a dismembered snake being brought back to life if reunited before sundown ... leaving America vulnerable during the French and Indian War (1754-60). The rattlesnake became a popular symbol for Americans, being widely reprinted and adapted by many newspapers. In 1774, Paul Revere added it to the masthead of "The Massachusetts Spy", and showed the snake fighting a British dragon. By 1775, the snake symbol, no longer severed or generic but now a rattlesnake, had migrated from newspapers to paper money, uniform buttons, banners and flags. The Franklin legend became a motto, such as "Nemo me impune lacesset." ("No one will provoke me with impunity."), which would continue to evolve. The Second Continental Congress authorized the formation of the Continental Navy in 1775 to seize British arms and materiel for the revolution. At the same time, five companies of Marines were mustered for this mission, and they bore drums painted yellow with a coiled rattlesnake and the motto: "Don't Tread On Me". Observing this scene, Benjamin Franklin expressed, in December 1775 under the pseudonym "An American Guesser" to the "Pennsylvania Journal", the advantages of the rattlesnake as a suitable device on the armorial seal of this new country. Christopher Gadsden, an activist with the Sons of Liberty (nb: phrase coined by Isaac Barre, a veteran of the French and Indian War, when referring to colonists in rebutting Charles Townshend and the establishment of the 1765 Stamp Act), a South Carolina delegate to the Continental Congress, and a commander in the Continental Army, was one of three men responsible for outfitting and manning the ships assigned to raid British shipping. Colonel Gadsden presented a rattlesnake flag to Commodore Esek Hopkins as a distinctive standard; also giving a copy to the South Carolina legislature, which description survives in their legislative journal as the flag now known as the "Gadsden Flag" ... bearing a coiled rattlesnake on a yellow field with the motto "Don't Tread On Me!". Throughout most of the Revolutionary War, there was no single banner (nb: as later with the Confederacy, the last flag would be projected toward the beginning), and numerous state and unit flags employed some variation of the rattlesnake symbol. The flag used by the Virginia Minutemen of Culpeper County generally resembles the Gadsden flag with the addition of Patrick Henry's famous declaration: "Liberty Or Death".] [nb: an outpouring of patriotism, occurring between the nation's centennial (1876) and the SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR (1898), caused most states and territories to enact "flag protection" statutes to restrict commercial and political abuse of the American flag, and by the Great War (WWI), these laws were linked to anti-sedition acts, which then became federal anti-desecration laws with greater punishments during the VIETNAM WAR; due to inconsistencies of interpretation and enforcement, most were deemed unconstitutional (1989), and some were rewritten, but the conflict between legislation and the courts will only be resolved by a constitutional amendment, if one can be ratified while the "culture wars" remain pending] [nb: the U.S. Army mandates (AR670-1: Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia) the wear of an American flag patch on each sleeve of the field uniform (ie: BDU, ACU) 0.5" below the shoulder sleeve insignia (SSI), with the patches oriented to the viewer "as if the flag were flying", that is with the starred union forward, which causes the flag on the right sleeve (identified as the 'reverse side flag') to be displayed "backwards" according to the federal flag code; to compound this long-standing (since Bosnia and Kosovo) controversy, the Army is the only service branch doing so, and such wear was not so improperly directed in previous wars (eg: WWII) ... quibbles over a 'patch' not being a 'flying flag' are irrelevant, since the federal flag code cites "depictions" and "representations" in various passages about respectful display; and the Army can be responsive, as when changing the full-color patch to subdued on desert camouflage, but it declines to emend this heraldic error: a sinister imputation of our national symbol] Also, any colored badge or uniform which signifies allegiance or membership, as "to show one's true colors"; see FEATHERS, LITMUS TEST, DRESS. Also, the temporary hallucinogenic visions or psychotic "trip" induced by psychedelic, psychotropic, or psychotomimetic drugs, such as Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD); see STONED, JUNK, DOPE, SMACK, TAR, STICK, GRASS, HAY, BUMMER, MAGIC MUSHROOM, SPECIAL K, HUBBLE-BUBBLE. [v: gateway drug, hard drug, soft drug, designer drug, prodrug; cf: miracle drug, wonder drug] [nb: it has been widely alleged (without documentation to date) that test subjects, including servicemembers and other government employees, were involuntarily administered LSD and other experimental psychotropic / psychotomimetic drugs without their informed consent, resulting in many notorious incidents, including at least one (now infamous) suicide (Frank Olson in 1953)] [cf: "The Army admitted today that it conducted secret experiments of mind-altering drugs on many unsuspecting soldiers without their consent during the 1960s, but the spokesman reported that none of the test subjects was promoted above the rank of lieutenant colonel." by George Carlin] [nb: a widely circulated but spurious WAR STORY alleges that post-war criminal violence and other antisocial nonconformity by crazed veterans is the direct result of unauthorized drug experimentation that was secretly conducted by medical personnel, many of whom were ignorant of this classified test, which was designed to increase combat aggressivity in soldiers, hence the fictitious "Rambo" account that allegedly attempted to disclose the purported "truth" behind the CODENAME of the program; actually, LRRP teams were only issued amphetamines, and Special Forces teams were also issued kits containing: 12 Darvon, 24 codeine, 6 dextroamphetamines, and 4 SYRETTEs of morphine sulfate.]


a formation, comprising one or more files, functioning as a single longitudinal unit; compare FLANK, OBLIQUE, RANK, LINE; see STACK, LONG GREEN LINE, HERRINGBONE, RGT, FIFTH COLUMN, GAGGLE, CLUSTER FUCK. Also, a formation of ships in single FILE.

Y/RAH-66 helicopter


any person prepared for and actively engaged in fighting against an enemy, who is regulated by pertinent laws and directed by sovereign authority. Also, a group, nation, or other entity so directed and engaged with opposing forces. See BELLIGERENT, WARRIOR, GRUNT, SNUFFY, WAR FIGHTER, QUIET PROFESSIONAL, WINTER SOLDIER, VETERAN, GUNSLINGER, SAILOR, MARINE, AIRMAN, SOLDIER, GI, WEEKEND WARRIOR, SHADOW WARRIOR. [nb: Vietnamese term: Chien Si] [nb: persons or groups engaged in violent conduct against a duly constituted authority or its designated adherents are not entitled to the protective provisions of domestic or international laws; see MILITIA, MINUTEMAN, PARAMILITARY, MERCENARY, GUERRILLA, INSURGENT, TERRORIST] [nb: the difference between a TERRORIST and a FREEDOM FIGHTER, a GUERRILLA and an IRREGULAR, a "militiaman" and a "defense warden", a "revolutionary" and a "criminal", a "Death Squad" and a "SWAT Team" has more to do with one's perspective and allegiance than with the il-/legality of the violent acts themselves; synonyms include: rebel, dissident, insurgent, raider, marauder, jayhawker, bushwhacker, scallywag / scalawag, firebrand, fire-eater, redneck, cracker, reaver / reiver, rascal, ruffian, brigand, outlaw, desperado, villain / villein, freebooter, pirate, buccaneer, privateer] [cf: barrator, wight] [v: uprising, insurrection, insurgency, revolt, rebellion, takeover, toppling, outbreak, break-out, overthrow, break-through, downfall, mutiny, turning point, putsch, coup, coup d'état, or intifada (der: "shaking off")] [nb: "War is the province of danger, and therefore courage above all things is the first quality of a warrior." by Karl von Clausewitz (1832)]

the military occupational specialties (eg: infantry, armor, artillery, etc) that are critical for direct action (DA) or battlefield engagements with the enemy. Compare COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT (CSS), COMBAT SUPPORT (CS); see TOOTH-TO-TAIL RATIO, COMBAT EFFECTIVE, DOOR KICKING, BLEEDING EDGE, SHARP END. [nb: About 92% of IN-COUNTRY personnel served in non-combat support or administrative roles (including service, supply, and transportation occupations) during Vietnam, keeping the 8% combat element functional. Although similar ratios exist for WWII (@13%/87%) and Korea (@11%/89%), Vietnam showcased the success of LOGISTICS; later improved during the GULF WARs to a 7%/93% ratio.] [nb: unilaterally terminating all feasibility studies on the full integration of women, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter directed that any qualified women would be eligible (effective January 2016) to compete for equal admission to all front line combat arms occupations ... SecDef Carter noted that "the military can no longer afford to exclude half of the population from grueling military jobs, so any man or woman who meets the standards should be able to serve; but equal opportunity will not mean equal participation in some specialty jobs, because the armed services must assign tasks and jobs based on ability, rather than on gender."]

operating under the dictum of "fight hard and party hard" (v: TRAIN HARD - FIGHT EASY), this was a musical group that could play the popular music of the era (from folk and country to blues and rock 'n' roll) that was formed to entertain the advisory teams in remote areas during the VIETNAMIZATION transition in late 1970; directed by COL "Iron Mike" Healy (then commander of 5th SFGAbn), this group of volunteers toured the various A-camps in distant provinces as each was converted to either a base for MACV MTTs or ARVN BDQ camps, since SF had been directed to depart by early 1971. This quasi-official "combat band" was variously called "Colonel Healy's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and the "5th Special Forces Group Political Warfare Band", "The Round Eye Band" and the "Green Beanie Good-bye Band", and it was composed of detached casuals, including: Dalton Kast, Sonny Hoffman, Don Bemis, Pete Barra, Red Sirois, with initial setup by Jim Tolbert.

black leather combat boot
combat boot
this designation dates from 1941 for the boot that replaced the gaiter-topped or puttee-wrapped shoe, being sturdy FOOTWEAR with a reinforced sole, Achilles tendon protector, and above-the-ankle leg-support upper; made of unitized manufacture in cloth and leather since the Vietnam-era, wear of all leather models is no longer authorized after 30 April 2008. See BROWN SHOE / BOOT, BLACK SHOE / BOOT, LPC, BOONDOCKERS, JUMP BOOTS, JUNGLE BOOTS, BATA BOOTS, TANKER BOOTS, DESERT BOOTS, FOOTWEAR.

a tactical formation composed of strategic bombers arrayed in staggered sets so as to concentrate their payloads upon the same target without interfering with one another's flight path while also offering mutual defense, as conceived (1942) by (then) COL Curtis E. LeMay in its several variations (eg: squadron box, four-box formation, group box, six-box formation, wing box, etc); the periphery of such a formation is its most vulnerable feature, especially the uppermost, lowermost, and rearmost aspects, where overlap is meager. Compare FINGER FOUR, V FORMATION, TAIL-END CHARLIE; see FIE, BIRD.

a MIL-PERS, usually highly trained (eg: PILOT, RANGER, MEDIC, etc), who persistently extends his tour of duty to retain an operational assignment or combat posting; being a serviceman said to have GONE NATIVE or be "combat crazed", such as an "adrenalin addict" or "danger junkie". Rather than being admired or respected, these "encore vets" are often viewed with suspicion, and given a compulsory transfer out of the combat zone after three contiguous tours. See SHADOW WARRIOR, BUSHMASTER, BODYGUARD, SNIPER, DECAPITATION, KILLER KANE, TWEP, STROLLER, SWEEPER, GREEN BADGER, MERCENARY, SINGLETON, HACK, WHITE VC, TOUR BABY, DOG'S YEAR, HOMESTEADER, TWO-FISTED, SANDWICH.

informal reference to the paramilitary apparel or quasi-military attire that's routinely adopted by the contract employees and dispatched journalists who infest the base camps and rear echelons of military operational areas; this non-standard pseudo-military uniform, which is also called a "safari suit", is generally adopted by persons who disdain all uniformity, and yet believe that this masquerade projects a "professional" mystique. See AUGMENTEE, B TEAM, HIRED GUN, BELTWAY BANDIT, BELTWAY CLERK, FRUIT FLY.

see FRUIT FLY, WAR CORRESPONDENT, FOURTH ESTATE, GAG ORDER, OPSEC, BLACKOUT, CENSORSHIP, RED INK, DISINFORMATION, PROPAGANDA, BIG LIE, ECHO CHAMBER, DIRTY LAUNDRY, SPIN, FAKE NEWS, RUMOR. [nb: "Journalists are the semi-literate cretins hired to fill the spaces between the advertisements." by Winston L.S. Churchill]

the ability of a military organization to achieve its assigned missions with the least expenditure of resources, both material and human, in the shortest amount of time; subtended by human, technical, and organizational factors. See CHAIN-OF-COMMAND, LDR, LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN, WIGGLE ROOM, OPTEMPO, OP 'TIL YOU DROP, DON'T DO NOTHING, DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF, CLUTCH-UP, TRAIN HARD - FIGHT EASY, FORCE MULTIPLIER, command ratio, TOOTH-TO-TAIL RATIO. ["The GI Offensive in Europe: The Triumph of American Infantry Divisions 1941-1945" by Peter R. Mansoor (1999)]

also called combat fatigue, shell shock, or war neurosis; see BATTLE FATIGUE, PTSD.

also called combat exhaustion, shell shock, or war neurosis; see BATTLE FATIGUE, PTSD.


MIL-SPEAK for an individual or organization that's been impaired or disabled by enemy action, especially a euphemism for killed or destroyed; also known as HORS DE COMBAT; compare COMBAT EFFECTIVE.


U.S. Army master
parachutist's badge with bronze star devices signifying four
airborne assaults in combat
master para badge
w/4 cmbt jump stars
an AIRBORNE assault (with full field equipment and weapons) into a COMBAT ZONE; such a combat parachute jump is distinguished by the wearing of a bronze star DEVICE on the PARA WING and an arrowhead DEVICE on the CAMPAIGN MEDAL. See WINGS, BTDT, GONG, FRUIT SALAD.

designation given to TACS automation project.

arrangement of supplies and equipment by combat classification, so off-loading can expedite delivery of the most urgent items to troops in, or going into combat. Because this is a more time consuming and less efficient way to pack, it is only done when necessary. See LOGISTICS, RED BALL, MSR, LOG-PAC, AIRDROP, BB STACKER. [nb: "The essence of 'combat loading' is not to put the toilet paper on top of the ammunition -- but if you do, you'll probably need it!"] [nb: derivation of lade/laden, as in "bill of lading", is load or burden; not carry or transport; v: fardel] Also, slang for "ready to fight", as a GRUNT with a full combat load of arms, ammo, medical supplies, food, water, technical gear, and clothing; as distinguished from prepared for training or GARRISON. See MISSION READY, LOADOUT, CROSS-CHECK, CROSS-LOADING, UNLIMBER, FULL BATTLE RATTLE, LOCK 'n' LOAD, GOOD TO GO, FAT, SADDLE-UP, OP TEMPO, HOOPLA, MOVE OUT, BATTAILOUS.

a short, light doze; to lightly rest in place; also called catnap, power nap, and forty winks. It's a way to temporarily relieve stress, or to recover from fatigue or exhaustion, without abandoning one's assigned position, which doze can even be performed while standing in formation or marching with eyes open; the COMBAT NAP is an acquired knack. See KIP, PAC / PAC TIME, EYELID MAINTENANCE; compare NO REST.







the segment of the military that indirectly supports combat forces, including: medicine, logistics, transportation, maintenance, administration, finance, and the like; abbreviated CSS. Compare COMBAT SUPPORT (CS), COMMZ; see TOOTH-TO-TAIL RATIO. [nb: About 92% of IN-COUNTRY personnel served in non-combat support or administrative roles (including service, supply, and transportation occupations) during Vietnam, keeping the 8% combat element functional. Although similar ratios exist for WWII (@13%/87%) and Korea (@11%/89%), Vietnam showcased the success of support; later improved during the GULF WARs to a 7%/93% ratio.]

designation given to radar bombing project.

the optimal interval of troops, vehicles, or craft for security during movement or maneuver, or for maximum coverage of the target area during an assault or sweep; compare CLOSE ORDER, see HEADWAY, FIRE 'n' MANEUVER, ZIGZAG, STACK, FILE, INDIAN FILE, COLUMN, CONVOY, TRAIN, ACCORDION, CATERPILLAR, ROMPER, STRAGGLER, FIREBALLING, CAT'S-EYES, IDENTIFICATION PANEL, TRON, EVOLUTION.

the segment of the military that directly supports combat forces, without involvement in enemy contact, including: signal, military intelligence, military police, ordnance, and the like; abbreviated CS. Compare COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT (CSS), COMMZ; see TOOTH-TO-TAIL RATIO. [nb: About 92% of IN-COUNTRY personnel served in non-combat support or administrative roles (including service, supply, and transportation occupations) during Vietnam, keeping the 8% combat element functional. Although similar ratios exist for WWII (@13%/87%) and Korea (@11%/89%), Vietnam showcased the success of support; later improved during the GULF WARs to a 7%/93% ratio.]


this concept of self-supporting combined-action units that could operate autonomously was conceived by George C. Marshall (then Chief of Staff) at the beginning of WWII; these separate units employed integral infantry, artillery, armor, cavalry, engineer, quartermaster, signal, and medical elements together in a single command structure. Also, a combination of military units, usually of different types, as infantry and artillery, temporarily under one command while assigned to perform a special combat mission. See TEAM, RCT, BCT, SBCT, FIRE BRIGADE, MTT, A TEAM, FIRE TEAM, SQUAD, STACK; compare ADVANCE GUARD, ADVANCE PARTY.

in an attempt to improve MORALE, especially among DRAFTEEs, the military instituted a policy of individual rotation within units that remained perpetually on DUTY in the COMBAT ZONE; the effect of this policy was to isolate individuals from their COMRADEs and to disintegrate unit cohesion. Due to a paucity of manpower during WWII, some units were unable to be withdrawn from action in a timely manner, necessitating piecemeal replacements during ongoing operations; but the normal policy was full unit rotation, refit, and retraining before reassignment. This policy was based upon an analysis of soldier effectiveness, which indicated that troops became most efficient after three months of exposure and less effective after six months in combat. Irrespective of these findings, a COMBAT TOUR in the KOREAN WAR was set at 9 months, and a COMBAT TOUR in the VIETNAM WAR was set at 12 months (6 months for Navy, 13 months for USMC). The military has resumed the practice of rotating entire units (often one brigade replacing another within a division) during the GULF WARs.


see SCOUT DOG, K-9, MWD, WAR DOGS, IASK9, A DOG IN A DOUBLET, STILL TRAILER, OPEN TRAILER, LEND-LEASH, SAPPER; compare IRON DOG, WEASEL. [nb: "Who loves me will love my dog also." (Latin: Qui me amat, amet et canem meum.); "Love me, love my dog."] [v: basic dog commands]

also known as "combat distinguishing device" among Navy and Marine personnel; see V-DEVICE.

an expedient resetting of firearm sights when a known distance range with indexed paper targets is not available; an approximated adjustment of elevation and windage on a firearm's sights, being an accommodation made to a firearm after it's been bumped off of its true setting by hard usage, so as to strike a man-sized target at normal field range (40-100yds), often accomplished by empirical shooting adjustments made while in enemy contact. See ZERO, SIGHT PICTURE, BORESIGHT, PEEP SIGHT, OPEN SIGHT, POINT-BLANK, SNAP-IN, DEAD-RECKONING, DEFLECTION.

that area designated by the chief executive (POTUS) where COMBATANTs engage in CONFLICT, BATTLE, or WAR; also known as a "hazardous duty area", being the land and sea areas to be invaded or defended ... the place where BAD GUYS try to kill GOOD PEOPLE. Compare COMMUNICATIONS ZONE / COMMZ; see FEBA, MLR, FLOT, FRONT LINE, OBJECTIVE AREA, TO, INDIAN COUNTRY, IN COUNTRY, SANDBOX, DOWN RANGE, BOONDOCKS / BOONIES, THULE, FIELD ALLOWANCE.

in NavSpeak, the brimmed service cap of different colors that's worn with various summer- and winter-weight uniforms; commonly called "Donald Duck cap" by NavPers and "pizza hat" by Marines, this visored SERVICE CAP is widely known as BILLED CAP or SAUCER CAP among Army and Air Force personnel. See SCRAMBLED-EGGS, SPAGHETTI, FARTS 'n' DARTS, CRUSHER, SEA DIP, BARRACKS COVER, CONTRAFOIL, GARRISON CAP, CAMPAIGN HAT, BERET, HEADGEAR.


purportedly, the military uses the term "joint" (to join) to indicate two or more elements from the same service or nation, and the term "combined" (by twos) to indicate two or more interservice or international elements, hence a "joint action" might involve the Army and Navy, while a "combined action" might involve the US and UK; additionally, the term "composite" (put together) indicates a compound of disparate elements forming a whole, while the term "component" (put together) indicates constituent elements of a greater whole. See MERRILL'S MARAUDERS, MARS, DOUBLE FORCE, THINK PURPLE, ALLY, SEATIC, SEATO, NATO, UN.

the tactics, techniques, and procedures employed by a force to integrate firepower and mobility to produce a desired effect upon the enemy; see FDC, NSC, MAGTF, FMF, DIV, MULTIPRONG, MISSION CREEP, HYPERWAR, BLITZKRIEG, FULL-COURT PRESS, FRONTAL ASSAULT, FORCE MAJEURE; compare COMBINED, JOINT, COMPONENT, COMPOSITE.

the full integration and application of two or more arms or elements of one military service branch into a unified and concerted operation.

in aviation, the sloping transparent surface that reflects the Head's Up Display (HUD) projection back to the PILOT's field of view, with the effect that the instruments' symbology is superimposed over the forward view through the aircraft's windshield; see VD, MFD, SMFD, SIGHT PICTURE, PLASTIC BRAINS; compare GLARE SHIELD.

see CDR.


an admonishment or intervention to dissuade MIL-PERS against straying from the "true path of righteousness" by inviting or invoking a point of conversion; this pseudo-religious ultimatum is sometimes used ironically as a stimulus to bring the "sinner" back to CORE VALUES, where the "convert" publicly demonstrates his devout credibility, which may involve a confession or exhibition of his "sins" as a prerequisite to "forgiveness". Such a "come to Jesus moment" or "come to Jesus meeting" is a secular invocation that imitates the time of expiation that derives from the 19th century evangelical revivalism (eg: altar calls) of the Second Great Awakening, which has also been expressed as "straighten up and fly right" and "read him the RIOT ACT". This methodology is also used in the Communist "struggle session" as a testimonial and pep rally to inspire the TRUE BELIEVERs to renew their commitment to the "cause" by exposing their weaknesses and failings for penitential recommitment. See FACE THE MUSIC, DAY OF RECKONING, STRUGGLE, RETRIBUTION. [v: Nathan confronting King David about Bathsheba]

a refitment and personal hygiene facility containing showers, laundry, and barbershop, usually colocated with a field CHOW LINE, AID STATION, and resupply DEPOT in a rear area; also called a "delousing station" or "GI hotel", and being a euphemism for a toilet or lavatory in modern civilian usage. See BRICK, LATRINE, HEAD, WET CHU, RAINROOM, PT SHOWER, GI SHOWER, DOUCHE BAG, MONKEY BUTT, HEAD CALL, BLUE CANOE, PISS TUBE, PIDDLE PACK, WCS, CAT HOLE, SLIT TRENCH, SHIT, DUMP, HONEY BUCKET, COUGH DROP, GRAY WATER, BLACK WATER, WATERWORKS, GRAYBACK, COOTIE, CRAB, CHESAI DOMO TACHI, BEDBUG, ASSASSIN BUG, DOODLEBUG; compare SUDS ROW, PRIME RIBS, SIN CITY, HELL ON WHEELS. [nb: the "comfort girls" who were employed as contract prostitutes to serve the sexual needs (TRICKs) of Imperial Japanese troops in the field, usually at a COMFORT STATION or SIN CITY, were called "shock absorbers" by the Allied POWs who happened to observe their (mis-)treatment]

a metaphor indicating the environment in which an agent or operative is best suited to work; often referring to some level of danger or difficulty that doesn't interfere with a person's ability to perform their assignment; that arena where proficiency is not inhibited or canceled, compromised or nullified, as derived from the range of atmospheric temperature and humidity considered suitable for most people. Among REMFs and MILICRATs, this would be a more or less BOMB-PROOF shelter augmented by CREATURE COMFORTS; while among GRUNTs and WINTER SOLDIERs, this might be a muddy FOXHOLE or a icy BUNKER, a sun-scorched BERM or a rain-soaked FIRING PIT, an overnight COLD CAMP or summertime BIVOUAC. It should be noted that military professionals strive to exceed the tactical limitations of the enemy's COMFORT ZONE in order to command superiority on the battlefield.

a diverting entertainment with some spoken parts; a performance having farcically self-important aspects while being ineffectually vainglorious; compare GUERRILLA THEATER; see FIVE O'CLOCK FOLLIES, WIEU, DOG 'n' PONY SHOW. [v: opéra bouffe, opéra comique, theatre of the absurd]

slang for military maps, especially ones plotted with military intelligence (MI) symbols from INTEL reports (IR); also called "funny papers" and "comic books"; see AZIMUTH, GRID COORDINATES, GRID LINES, CONTOUR LINES, DEAD-RECKONING, SLANT DISTANCE, PLOT, TOPO, CHART, MOSAIC MAP, ATLAS, MAP, PINS IN THE MAP SYNDROME. [nb: the Army Corps of Engineers was assigned the responsibility for surveying America's borders and features in 1831, resulting in a separate Topographic Corps in 1838] [nb: during WWII, the OSS issued a playing card deck to some teams that, when laid out in a particular order, formed an operational map detailing the assignments for a specific mission; furthermore, escape maps hidden on playing cards in a deck were also provided to assist downed crewmembers evade capture in select areas] [nb: the source for military maps was changed from US Geologic Survey to Nat'l Imaging and Mapping Agency in Oct 1996 due to downlink satellite profiles, then renamed National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)] Also, a drawing (or series of drawings) that represents or symbolizes, satirizes or caricatures some person, subject, or activity; also known as "cartoon" or "comic strip"; see FICTIONAL CHARACTER; compare JOURNAL, YANK, STARS AND STRIPES. [cf: animated cartoon] [nb: "The Yellow Kid" (1896) first comic book]

COMmunications INTelligence; later redesignated signals intelligence (SIGINT); compare ELINT, see INTEL.

a contraction of COMmunist INTERNational, being an organization dedicated to uniting all communist groups together into a unified conglomerate; a radical political movement (1919-43) known as the 'Third International'.


the office or mantle of hierarchical authority and responsibility employed for implementing and executing an assigned task; the authority that a commander in the military service lawfully exercises over subordinates by virtue of rank or assignment; may be designated "C1". These command functions are performed through an arrangement of personnel, equipment, communications, facilities, and procedures employed by a commander and his subordinates in planning, directing, coordinating, leading and controlling all assigned and attached forces in operations that will accomplish their designated mission. Command not only includes the authority for the effective use of available resources, but it also includes responsibility for the health, welfare, morale, and discipline of assigned personnel. See ABCCC, C&C, C2, C3, C4, LDR, COMMANDER, COMMAND PRESENCE, COMMAND ELEMENT, CHAIN-OF-COMMAND, DELEGATE. Also, an authoritative directive, injunction, or requirement; an SOP or ORDER, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE) or LAWS OF WAR; see COUNTERMAND. Also, a two part ORDER in DRILL consisting of the "preparatory command" and the "command of execution". Also, a superior perspective or elevated viewpoint, as from a lookout; see OVERSIGHT, OVERWATCH, CROW'S NEST, OP, FO, FAC, UMBRELLA, ORBIT, RACETRACK, STACK.

the commander of a military academy, school, or training center. Also, the commander of a military unit or organization, especially the Marine Corps (USMC).

to force people or things into military service, as the prerogative of sequestration or impressment (qv). Also, to seize private property for military or other public use, as of vehicles or housing, provisions or provender; as the privilege of expropriation, requisition, or appropriation. This practice is also known as "eminent domain" and "purveyance"; and is distinguished from confiscation, preemption, and impoundment, which are penalty forfeitures. See PRESS-GANG, FORAGE, RANSACK, SPOILS OF WAR, DETAIL, DET, AD HOC, FIELD EXPEDIENT, SHANGHAI, DRAGOON, HEADQUARTERISM, UCMJ.

consisting of unit commander, his deputy or vice commander, his Chief of Staff or Chief of Operations, and any designated assistants. Sometimes called "command group", "cmd grp", or "headquarters element". See CO, OLD MAN, HONCHO, TOP DOG, MOTHER HEN, MC, 10, LDR, DCO, SECOND BANANA, XO, EXTRAORDINARY POWERS, OVERSIGHT, HEADQUARTERISM. [nb: "As long as his men full of good courage fight with zeal and spirit, it is seldom necessary for the Chief to show great energy of purpose in the pursuit of his object. But as soon as difficulties arise--and that must always happen when great results are at stake -- then things no longer move on of themselves like a well-oiled machine, the machine itself then begins to offer resistance, and to overcome this the Commander must have a great force of will. By this resistance we must not exactly suppose disobedience and murmurs, although these are frequent enough with particular individuals; it is the whole feeling of the dissolution of all physical and moral power, it is the heartrending sight of the bloody sacrifice which the Commander has to contend with in himself, and then in all others who directly or indirectly transfer to him their impressions, feelings, anxieties, and desires. As the forces in one individual after another become prostrated, and can no longer be excited and supported by an effort of his own will, the whole inertia of the mass gradually rests its weight on the Will of the Commander: by the spark in his breast, by the light of his spirit, the spark of purpose, the light of hope, must be kindled afresh in others: in so far only as he is equal to this, he stands above the masses and continues to be their master; whenever that influence ceases, and his own spirit is no longer strong enough to revive the spirit of all others, the masses drawing him down with them sink into the lower region of animal nature, which shrinks from danger and knows not shame. These are the weights which the courage and intelligent faculties of the military Commander have to overcome if he is to make his name illustrious. They increase with the masses, and therefore, if the forces in question are to continue equal to the burden, they must rise in proportion to the height of the station." by Karl von Clausewitz]

informal reference to the Commanding Officer (CO), being the designated leader (LDR) and the highest ranking (DOR) person in the CHAIN-OF-COMMAND of a particular unit; see OLD MAN, HONCHO, TOP DOG, WALLAH, MOTHER HEN, MC, FLAG OFFICER, COMMAND ELEMENT, COMMAND PRESENCE, JUDGMENT CALL, COMMAND RATIO. [nb: "An exalted position is no guarantee of an exalted personage." anonymous adage] Also, the senior officer RANK (CDR) or RATING (O-5) intermediate between Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) and Captain (Capt) in the Navy, and equivalent to Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) in the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps; compare CAPTAIN, see SKIPPER, OFFICER.

the second part of a two part ORDER in DRILL wherein the designated movement is enacted in a precise and coordinated manner; compare PREPARATORY COMMAND; see BY THE NUMBERS, CLOSE ORDER, BY THE BOOK, MANUAL OF ARMS.

any of the inviolable mandates that're authoritatively proclaimed by a credo; see DUTY, STANDING ORDER, GO, ORDER, CREED, CODE OF CONDUCT, OATH, PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE, HONOR CODE, TRUTH, THE NAKED TRUTH, ACT OF TRUTH, PROMISE, CORE VALUES, MORALITY, TOE THE LINE, HOLD ONE'S FEET TO THE FIRE, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, LOYALTY, KEEP THE FAITH, SEMPER FI, TRUE BLUE, ESPRIT DE CORPS, SUMMUM BONUM, TRADITION, CUSTOMS AND COURTESIES OF THE SERVICE. [v: numinous, deontology, eudemonism; cf: meliorism, Solomonic compromise] [nb: "These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." Proverbs 6:16-9 KJV Bible]

Curtis-Wright twin-engined C-46 heavy cargo transport aircraft, nicknamed DUMBO, and also called "StratoLiner" when used as a passenger airliner; this reliable airplane was used like the C-47 DAKOTA from WWII through the Vietnam-era, including FARMGATE and JUNGLE JIM; see BIRD. Also, by extension of the British designation for special operations forces (SOF) or personnel, any specially trained combat element or combatant, typically covert or clandestine. Also, AIR COMMANDO; see PJ, USAFSOC. Also, the absence of underpants (drawers, shorts, boxers, briefs, whity-tidy, smalls, codpiece, g-string, loincloth, breechcloth / breechclout) under the uniform as an accommodation to comfort and hygiene in the field since the VIETNAM WAR, commonly called GOING COMMANDO; see SKIVVIES, T-SHIRT, SINGLET, DRESS. [aka: "furring", "free balling", or "snaking" by AUSSIE and KIWI troops] [cf: sarong, lavalava, pareu/pareo]

following the upgrade of RADAR equipment (ie: air-transportable all-weather AN/TSQ-81 radar bombing control system) at LIMA SITE 85 in 1967, codenamed "Heavy Green", this was the U.S. Air Force designation for the procedure that enabled the precision bombing attacks of select targets in North Vietnam; see TACAN.

1943 third pattern of classic
Fairbairn-Sykes dagger
type 3 F-S
type 1 Fairbairn-Sykes stiletto
with S-crossguard and checkered grip
type 1 F-S
a classic design derived from the artillery bodkin and left-hand dagger that was primarily intended for stabbing and only secondarily for slashing, used single handed in either the cross-palm or ice-pick grip, being a haft heavy construction that will tend to "fall into the hand" (instead of blade heavy that falls out of the grasp). Designed by William Ewart Fairbairn and Eric Anthony Sykes to have a strong tip and sharp edges so that the blade could penetrate clothing and equipment, pass between the ribs to reach vital areas, and cause copious bleeding, so as to demoralize as well as disable an opponent. The first pattern by Wilkinson Sword (ca1938) was dull edged with square ricasso, having a checkered grip with S-guard; which pattern proved too expensive for mass production. The changes (ie: no ricasso, straight crossguard, etc) to subsequent patterns account for the "defects" of this model: such as the inability to quickly orient the blade in the dark. A lower quality of wartime steel caused many blades to fracture in use. Despite these defects, the COMMANDO DAGGER (also known as F-S or Fairbairn-Sykes) inspired the OSS stiletto, Marine Raider stiletto, Applegate-Fairbairn dagger, V-42 stiletto, Randall #2, Gerber Mk-II, and many other designs ... this knife pattern is also celebrated as a symbol of the achievements of the fighting men who bore it into combat. See KNIFE. [v: Knife Terms; The Language of Swordplay]

the CODENAME designation given to air interdiction operations of infiltration routes through Laos using ARC LIGHT and GUNSHIP missions by USAF, USN, and USMC aircraft, from the assumption of STEEL TIGER and TIGER HOUND operations in 1968 until its termination in January 1973. See HO CHI MINH TRAIL.

designation given to airspace control facility project for military forces in the Pacific Ocean area; see AOC, FOC, TAOC; compare OPIUM DEN.


see CP.

the exhibition of personal magnetism or charisma in a leader, the acquisition or development of which tends to promote an aura or mystique that encourages loyalty and discipline in others, making them more enthusiastic and effective, for the betterment of the entire unit and the success of its mission; to paraphrase Thomas Alva Edison: talent is more perspiration than inspiration. See LDR, COMMANDER, COMMAND VOICE, JUDGMENT CALL, EXTRAORDINARY POWERS, FINESSE, RESPECT, BEARING, STANDARD-BEARER.

the proportion of subordinates to their COMMANDER, also called the "leadership equation", which is typically calculated on the basis of indirect authority, instead of direct responsibility, in the CHAIN-OF-COMMAND ... that is, a division CG, who has about 20,000 subordinates at his disposal, only has personal contact with his brigade COMMANDERs and his divisional STAFF officers, a group totaling about SQUAD size; on the other hand, a platoon leader exercises his command presence directly upon the 45 (or so) members comprising his unit, giving the LT quadruple the leadership role. Alternatively, the LT is only a figurehead, just like the MG, directing only the platoon sergeant and section leaders, with the "lowly" SQUAD leader taking the greatest direct supervisory role. The military is a reluctant bureaucracy, shuffling paperwork out of necessity, but responding vigorously to demonstrated charisma. It should be noted that, however the COMMAND RATIO is calculated, the military is becoming more and more "top heavy" (BRASS BLOAT) with an inflation of both higher RANKs and more supervisory or administrative positions. In the U.S. Navy, for example, the officer to enlisted ratio has been: 1:11 in 1785, 1:11 in 1812, 1:23 in 1861, 1:14 in 1898, 1:23 in 1917, 1:9 in 1942, 1:9 in 1951, 1:8 in 1966, 1:7 in 1990; or, a ratio of 1 USMC general for every 5802 Marines in 1945 versus 1 USMC general per 2190 Marines during the GULF WAR. As a contrast between upper and lower ranking officers in the U.S. Army, there was 1 2LT for every 76 EMs in WWII (1945), 1 2LT for every 45 EMs in Korea (1953), and 1 2LT for every 71 EMs in Vietnam (1971); with 1LTs similarly distributed at 1:35, 1:44, and 1:41 for the same periods; but general officers had ratios of 1:4916 in WWII, 1:2953 in Korea, and 1:1952 in Vietnam! Compare TOOTH-TO-TAIL RATIO; see GUSTO, HOOAH, OORAH, WETSU, GUNG-HO, FIDO, FORCE MULTIPLIER.

being a SUPER GRADE non-commissioned officer (NCO) rated (E-9) between Master Sergeant (MSG) or First Sergeant (1SG) and Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA), and represented by three chevrons above three ROCKERs with a wreath enclosed star centered as sleeve rank insignia; this rank is rated equal to Sergeant Major (SGM). See SARGE, RIGHT ARM, FIRST SHIRT, TOP, TOP DOG, NCO, RATING, GRADE, RANK.

any verbal utterance, pitched with such gravity and determination, that its concise meaning is clear and its intent is unambiguous, masterfully exhibiting competence and confidence; also represented as "parade ground voice" or "full field voice". Like the distinction between the implacable "mask of command" and a leader's normal countenance, the "voice of command" or the "voice of authority" is distinctly different, by tone and incisiveness, from the leader's ordinary speaking voice. See VOCO, COMMAND PRESENCE, BEARING, TACT, RESPECT; compare JUDGMENT CALL, FLINT FACE, DEADPAN, QUARTERDECK FACE.

the command to start or begin shooting, especially SMALL ARMS; also expressed as "open fire". Compare CEASE-FIRE.

disparaging diminutive of 'communist', being an advocate or devotee of communism, a totalitarian subset of socialism that stipulates the dictatorship of the proletariat as well as requiring that all property be held in common; someone subject to the political doctrine of collectivism that purportedly seeks a classless society while promoting the violent overthrow of capitalism. See PINKO, USEFUL IDIOTS, RED, HAMMER AND SICKLE, COMINTERN, RED CHINA, MAOISM, CHICOM, PRC, PLAN, LAUNDRYMAN, CHINK, GOOEY, CPVF, CCF, MARXISM, USSR, IVAN, BULLSHITVIK, NKPA, GOOK, FOE, BAD GUYS. [v: syndicalism] [nb: communism is not different or separate from socialism, but is one of the several forms of socialism, although they compete when not united against capitalism] [nb: following the theme of "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet", Walter P. Reuther noted how communists could often be identified: "If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it just may be a duck."; "Communism has never come to power in a country that was not disrupted by war or corruption, or both." by John Fitzgerald Kennedy in a speech to NATO (3 July 1963)]

the organized method by which food, equipment, and other supplies are delivered to armies. Also, the department of an army charged with supplying provisions; see QM, LOGISTICS.

a store that sells food and other commodities on a military installation; a grocery concession for servicemembers and their dependents; see AAFES, NEX, COMMISSARY DAY. [nb: rescinded 2014] Also, a dining room or cafeteria for employees; see CANTEEN. Also, a deputy, being a person to whom some role or level of responsibility is delegated by a superior authority; as derived from 'entrust' (committere) [v: commissar].

the day after payday when renewed prosperity (v: NIGGER RICH) is celebrated by a surfeit of foodstuffs (some exotic) for a lavish recompense to the meager diet of bare essentials that typically marked the last days before THE EAGLE SHITS, being a circumstance that was especially noteworthy when the military only disbursed salaries once a month ... the memory of, and the anticipation of such a day of periodic repletion (sic: intermittent gluttony ... succeeded by a FOOD COMA] sustained the morale of many military families posted in remote locales. Also, like washing day and ironing day, the day designated to carry the accumulated grocery list to the COMMISSARY for food shopping, typically stocking-up for at least a week or two ... which is in marked contrast to the civilian practice of "impulse buying" on an almost daily basis.

authority granted for a particular action or function. Also, an authoritative order, directive, or charge, as an official assignment; a task or matter committed to one's charge. Also, a document granting authority; a document conferring authoritative rank or position to an officer in the Armed Forces or other public service. Also, the authority to act as agent for another or others in a binding transaction; the fee allotted to such a representative for services rendered. Also, to place in proper order or operating condition (ie: "out of commission"); to ready for service.


when all elements report sequentially to their base station; or when a station on the comm net requests a reception evaluation. Evaluations of "loud" and "clear" are rated on a scale from one to five resulting in 25 permutations, including loud and unclear ("5 by 1"), weak and clear ("1 by 5"), weak and unclear ("1 by 1"), loud and clear ("5 by 5"). Operational units performed COMMO CHECKS hourly, if no other transmission was needed; except for recon units, which linked much less often.

the senior commander of a Naval squadron, FLOTILLA, or CONVOY during wartime, being a duty position and not a RATING. Also, a former RANK equivalent to Brigadier General (O-7), situated between Naval CAPTAIN and Rear Admiral, but now designated Rear Admiral Lower-Half (RADML). Also, designation of the senior captain when two or more ships of war are cruising in company; or, the senior captain of a line of merchant vessels; or, the head of a yacht club or boat club. See FLAG OFFICER, ADMIRAL, FLEET ADMIRAL, LDR, CO, SKIPPER, USN, USCG. [nb: a rating created by the Dutch admiralty as a wartime economy wherein a 'commodore' was BREVET promoted above captain with full responsibility but at only half pay]


sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like; normal native intelligence possessed by all unimpaired persons. Also spelled common-sense and commonsense, and also known as horse sense, commonplace knowledge, prudence, conventional wisdom, empirical concensus, and reality check; it is that obvious logic which reasons that the sun rotates around the earth, that the earth is flat, that the stars are holes in the fabric of the night, that whatever goes up must come down, that larger and heavier objects fall faster, that a solid object cannot pass intact through another solid object, that a greater quantity cannot be held in a smaller container, that air must be lighter than water vapor, that extreme fear can negate any universal law, and so forth. See COUNTERINTUITIVE, RAIN ON PARADE, REALITY, PISO'S JUSTICE, JOHN WAYNE, FRATERNIZATION. [v: argumentum ad populum, Occam's razor, consensus reality]

those people ("body politic") who are freely associated by mutual interests and are joined in shared objectives; a sovereign state or federation of states in which the supreme power is held by the people; see SOCIAL CONTRACT.

a voluntary association among Great Britain and its dependencies, certain former British dependencies, and some associated states, as founded under a charter entitled the "Statute of Westminster" in 1931, which declared that autonomous dominions, bound only by common allegiance, might specify legislation as assenting equals; composed of Great Britain, Canada, Newfoundland (Canadian since 1949), Australia, New Zealand, the Irish Free State (Republic of Ireland withdrew in 1949), and South Africa (withdrew in 1961). The other sovereign members of the COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS were: India, Pakistan, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Ghana, Federation of Malaya (Malaysia), Nigeria, Cyprus, Sierra Leone, Tanganyika (Tanzania), Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Malta, Gambia, Singapore, Guyana, Botswana, Lesotho, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Mauritius, Swaziland, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Western Samoa, Tonga, Bangladesh, Bahamas, Grenada, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Zimbabwe, Belize, Brunei, Maldives, Namibia, Nauru, and Tuvalu. Members (except Canada) are part of the sterling monetary exchange, with other economic ties shared in the fields of trade, investment, and development; but Britain's 1973 entry into the European Common Market (European Community) has redirected their economic relations. The periodic meetings of the COMMONWEALTH, made for the purpose of consultation and cooperation, issue no collective decisions that are binding. The COMMONWEALTH, also known as the British Commonwealth of Nations, has maintained a Secretariat in London since 1965. See UN, NATO, LEAGUE OF NATIONS, NAM, ASEAN, SEATO, PENTALATERAL AGREEMENT, ANZUS, KANZUS, HAGUE TRIBUNAL, NGO, QUANGO, COCO, GOCO, OGA, BELTWAY BANDIT; compare G10, G15, G20, G24, G77, ARAB LEAGUE.

COMMunications OPerator, being the proper designation for a communications specialist, whether of RADIO or TWX or any other device, who's commonly nicknamed EARS or DITTY-DOT; sometimes spelled "com op", "comm-op", or "com-op". Compare RUNNER, RADIO PUKE, KNOB-TURNER, RTO; see COMMO.


COMMunications building or BUNKER, typically being a clean and cool area established to protect transcievers and transmitters, often including the message and mail center, and is therefore a popular place to visit for conversation or companionship at any time of the day or night; also known as "comm shed", "comm pit", "commo bunker", "commo shack", "commo shed", or "commo pit". See COMMO, NET, RADIO, CW, TWX, SAT, RRD, ANTENNA FARM, TROPO, CODE, COMSEC, SOTA, SIGINT, BAMBOO TELEGRAPH.

the area that's necessary for administrative activities incident to military operations; a geographical area of control that shifts so as to sustain support for active fighting in the COMBAT ZONE ... abbreviated as COMMZ. See COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT (CSS), COMBAT SUPPORT (CS).

see COMMIE. [nb: the idealized egalitarian state promised by communism is at best a myth and at worst a ruse perpetrated by the pitiless henchmen who promote the "dictatorship of the proletariat", knowing that only the downtrodden would accept a "something for nothing" promissory bargain, and that capable people will risk their lives to escape bondage for a genuine chance at self-fulfillment; psychosocial research has revealed that the people who advocate socialism are not self-reliant Type-A personalities, but are rather more compassionate and sensitive Type-B "Metro-Man" personas, who are somewhat incompetent and uncoordinated, unassuming and acquiescent, apathetic and defensive]

see COMMIE. [nb: "Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure." by Thomas Alva Edison; "High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectations." by Charles Franklin Kettering]



COMmander of U.S. NAVal FORces Vietnam.

someone with whom one associates, such as a colleague or confrere; as derived from "someone with whom one eats" (MESSMATE); see COMRADE, SHIPMATE, ASSHOLE BUDDY. Also, someone who accompanies (accompanyist) or assists (helper) another person; compare ESCORT; see BUDDY SYSTEM. Also, a member of the lowest rank in an order of knighthood. Also, a handbook or guidebook; see CIRCULAR, THE BIBLE, CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, SCRIPTURES. Also, a mate or match for something.

a stair or ladder within the HULL of a vessel; a raised and hooded hatchway transitioning from the DECK to the cabin(s) of a ship; see LADDERWELL, PASSAGEWAY, ACCOMMODATION LADDER, GANGWAY. Also, the transitional space occupied by this interior stair or ladder.

a company, abbreviated CO, is a military unit commanded by a captain (CPT/O-3), consisting of two or more platoons (PLT), and varies widely in size according to its mission. An artillery company is called a battery (BTY), and a cavalry company is a troop (TRP). The COMMAND ELEMENT of a company consists of its commander (CO), executive officer (XO), platoon leaders (Plt Ldr), first sergeant (FSG), and platoon sergeants (Plt Sgts); but does not include a STAFF. The company is the lowest level at which an ARTICLE 15 or NON-JUDICIAL PUNISHMENT can be administered. [nb: Vietnamese term: Dai Doi] [nb: on 14 June 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the formation of the first ten companies of the Continental Army]

nickname of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which is also called "The Agency"; see CIA, HOUSE OF SPOOKS, THE FARM, THE GARAGE, THE PICKLE FACTORY, TRADECRAFT. [nb: an informal reference for the counterpart foreign intelligence organization of England (SIS / MI6) is known as "The Firm", and of Israel (Mossad) is known as "The Office"]

any junior officer RANKed Lieutenant (2LT, 1LT) to Captain (CPT/Capt), pay-grade ratings O-1 to O-3 in the U.S. Army (USA/AUS), U.S. Air Force (USAF), and U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), or Ensign (ENS) to Lieutenant Commander (LCDR), pay-grade ratings O-1 to O-4 in the naval services (USMM, USCG, USN). Compare WO, FIELD-GRADE, FLAG OFFICER; see RING-KNOCKER, TICKET-PUNCHER, OFFICER, LDR, CHAIN-OF-COMMAND, RATING, GRADE, RANK.


a flight of helicopters sufficient to carry the assault elements of a rifle COMPANY in a single LIFT; see EAGLE FLIGHT, PZ, LZ, CLZ.

a quasi-official entertainment involving all members of a particular unit, officers and enlisted, their spouses and other dependents, together in an informal gathering designed to improve interpersonal relations; wholly financed by non-appropriated funds (SLUSH FUND) and convened at the FIELD HOUSE or unit MESS, the DRILL FIELD or COMPANY STREET, camaraderie was to be fostered by recreational games and sports, amateur dramatics and songfest, admixed with enough horseplay and high jinks to reduce tensions and defuse animosities. See CANTEEN, ANNEX, DIRTY SHIRT, SLOP CHUTE, BLAST, DINING-IN, SIGG, FEATHERS, WITH BELLS ON, FIELD DAY, BREAD AND CIRCUSES.

the access lane for unit formations, instruction, practice, arrival/departure; also used as unit "commons" for promenade or recreation. Before and during the VIETNAM WAR, most informal socializing was conducted on or around the COMPANY STREET, with individuals at windows and doorways, on BARRACK stoops, roving from MESSHALL and DAYROOM, checking the ORDERLY ROOM bulletin board. Some "tent city" BASE CAMPs simulated this arrangement IN-COUNTRY, but piecemeal rotations and replacements compromised the sense of "home" offered by COMPANY STREETS. Dormitories replaced WWII-style barracks during and after Vietnam, further fragmenting and disassociating unit cohesion once bachelor NCOs no longer resided with their troops. See GRINDER, BIVOUAC.

a separated part, section, or division, as a group or department; see COMMAND ELEMENT, CHAIN-OF-COMMAND. Also, a partitioned area or space, as a BAY or HOLD on a vessel; see BILLET, STATEROOM, BERTH, GOAT LOCKER, ENSIGN LOCKER, SMACK, BOATSWAIN'S LOCKER, CHAIN LOCKER, BULKHEAD. [nb: water-tight COMPARTMENTS were first used on sea-going JUNKS as containers for adjustable liquid ballast, as well as for damage safety; such construction was inspired by imitation of bamboo]

operational classification into NEED TO KNOW cutouts; discrete subdivision and discreet categorization so that isolated parts cannot jeopardize others or compromise the objective. Intricacy and complexity increases when assignments are double-cutout or double-blind, so neither the SECRET AGENT nor the HANDLER knows all of the important details ... unfortunately, this is also an instance of executive micromanagement that virtually assures failure whenever anything goes wrong, because the field operative cannot improvise a viable alternative. Concept also expressed as "compartmentation" and "compartmented". See RIG, HANDLER, NEED TO KNOW, CHINESE WALL, STOVEPIPE, BRIEF-BACK, TRADECRAFT.

military lensatic compass
lensatic compass
an instrument used for determining directions and taking measurements, as by means of a freely rotating magnetized needle that indicates magnetic north, by a graduated mil-scale rotating BEZEL, and by a demarcated rule or protractor; with a sighting mechanism, it's known as a "lensatic compass", a "hand bearing compass", a "sighting baseplate compass", a circumferento or a "transit" (theodolite). A vehicle or vessel mounted compass must be adjusted for the distortion of its surroundings, as bearing compasses are affected by stray magnetic fields, nearby electrical power circuits, or nearby large masses of ferrous metals. The directional pointer on many compasses is deadened or dampened by the use of various liquids ("wet compass") so that readings will be less erratic. Some military compasses use tritium, a radioactive material, in combination with phosphorus to illumine the pointer and direction indicators for nighttime navigation. See COMPASS CARD, COMPASS ROSE, BOX THE COMPASS, AZIMUTH, BEARING, DEVIATION, AIMPOINT, HEADING, DEAD-RECKONING, ASPHALT COMPASS, SLANT DISTANCE, BINNACLE, GIMBAL, MAP, CHART, GPS. [v: back-bearing, declination, foresight, latitude, longitude, mercator projection, meridian, minutes, rhumb / loxodrome, vernier, lubber line, pelorus, marching lines, cardinal points, compass points, binnacle] [nb: the 4 cardinal points are subtended by 32 compass points, which are equivalent to 360 degrees or 6400 mils; as a rule of thumb: 1 mil subtends 1 meter at 1 kilometer] [nb: invention of the 360° compass is credited to Petrus Peregrinus de Maricourt (1260)] [nb: the south-pointing compass, including the recognition of magnetic declination, was devised for military navigation during the third century BC as an application of Chinese astrology and geomancy] [nb: north derives from a Proto-Germanic root meaning "to the left of the rising sun"; east derives from a word meaning "dawn"; south derives as a root-cognate of sun, meaning "the region of the sun"; west derives as a root-cognate of Latin vesper meaning "evening"] [nb: from ancient times in various cultures, different colors have been assigned to the cardinal directions, such as Oriental (5: N E S W C) or AmerIndian (6: N E S W A B), but the meaning of each color is interpreted differently by different subcultures (eg: green / wood / Spring = east, red / fire / Summer = south, white / metal / Autumn = west, black / water / Winter = north, yellow / earth = center); however, in the modern era, color associations are purely aesthetic]

a circular card that displays the points of the compass beneath the directional pointer, and either rotates freely on a pivot or can be manually aligned so as to point to magnetic north; the directional pointer on many compasses is deadened or dampened by the use of various liquids ("wet compass") so that readings will be less erratic. Compare COMPASS ROSE.

designation given to satellite service project.

cardinal directions on
compass rose
cardinal directions
on compass rose
a circle divided into 32 points (360 degrees or 6400 mils), and numbered clockwise from true or magnetic north, that's printed on a MAP or CHART as a means of determining the course of a vessel or aircraft; compare COMPASS CARD. Also, a similar design, often ornamented, used on maps to indicate the points of the compass. [nb: north derives from a Proto-Germanic root meaning "to the left of the rising sun"; east derives from a word meaning "dawn"; south derives as a root-cognate of sun, meaning "the region of the sun"; west derives as a root-cognate of Latin vesper meaning "evening"] [nb: from ancient times in various cultures, different colors have been assigned to the cardinal directions, such as Oriental (5: N E S W C) or AmerIndian (6: N E S W A B), but the meaning of each color is interpreted differently by different subcultures (eg: green / wood / Spring = east, red / fire / Summer = south, white / metal / Autumn = west, black / water / Winter = north, yellow / earth = center); however, in the modern era, color associations are purely aesthetic] Also, such a design, symbolic of "true direction", used as a referent for leadership; see LDR, LPC. [nb: the "universal" meaning of this symbol represents 'knowledge' in the same manner as the burning torch or lamp used by most schools]

the doctrine of gradual escalation or incrementalism for limited warfare missions that was coined (re: 'compel' / 'compellent') for its similarity to 'deterrence'; see GRADUATED RESPONSE, FLEXIBLE RESPONSE, LIMITED WAR.

the methodology by which an individual stresses another aspect of their mind or body in order to make up for a shortcoming; the necessary development or excessive action of another part so as to improve upon a deficiency, delinquency , or defect within the same structure; see WHOLE MAN, PHANTOM LIMB, REFERRED PAIN, CRUTCH, BROKEN-WING SYNDROME. Also, to recompense, offset, or counterbalance, especially remunerative amends for services rendered; the payment of approximate indemnity or equivalent reparation for any liable injury or loss; see LINE OF DUTY, PENSION, BLOOD MONEY, SALARY, THE EAGLE SHITS. [nb: 'compensation' is a tax-exempt benefit paid by the government on a recurring basis to a veteran for his service-connected (SC) impairment or disability as long as no misconduct was involved]

see MUZZLE-BRAKE. [v: "Cutts Compensator" on Thompson submachinegun]

a unit or organization comprising disparate elements, such as an interservice special operations force, or an international organization capable of operations on land, sea, and air. purportedly, the military uses the term "joint" (to join) to indicate two or more elements from the same service or nation, and the term "combined" (by twos) to indicate two or more interservice or international elements, hence a "joint action" might involve the Army and Navy, while a "combined action" might involve the US and UK; additionally, the term "composite" (put together) indicates a compound of disparate elements forming a whole, while the term "component" (put together) indicates constituent elements of a greater whole. See THINK PURPLE. Also, an image, such as a photograph or map, composed from separate images to form a whole picture; see MOSAIC MAP. Also, an alloyed material (metallic or not) that's composed of various elements that's designed to ameliorate the compound, to excel the characteristics of its separate constituents, to impart or achieve special qualities, or to reduce manufacturing time or costs. [v: 'alloyed' as diverse, polytypic, or heterogeneous versus impair, adulterate, or diminish; cf: unalloyed, sterling, karat, mere, sheer, pure] Also, in rocketry, a solid propellant composed of a mixture of fuel and oxidizer; a ROCKET or MISSILE having more than one stage. Also, in NavSpeak, denoting a vessel having frames of one material and shells and decking of another, especially one having iron or steel frames with shells and decks planked. Also, anything compounded of disparate or separate parts or elements; see BOT, CYBORG, FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER / FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTROSITY.

see High Explosive Plastic (HEP); compare COMPOSITION C.

originating as a mixture of TNT [TriNitroToluene (C7H5N3O6)] with a plasticizer, this explosive compound was developed by the British during WWII as Composition C (C3H6N6O6) or Research Department eXplosive (RDX) at Woolwich England; it's also known as "Royal Demolition eXplosive" (RDX) and Cyclonite. This is a very stable, malleable, and lightweight PLASTIC EXPLOSIVE that has high potency, great versatility, and easy portability. Plastic explosives are not destabilized by water, and have a semi-soft texture similar to putty or modeling clay, so it can be readily formed into a SHAPED CHARGE of any configuration. Composition C will not explode without use of detonation devices, even when dropped, beaten, shot, or burned. Derived as a more stable form of the powerful but sensitive "Composition B" ductile explosive, also called High Explosive Plastic (HEP), it became the basis for all subsequent variations, including C-4. See COCKTAIL, SOUP, IED, EXPLOSIVE. [cf: Silly Putty (1949) and Play-Doh (1956) are trademarked brands of a clay-like modeling substance, made in bright non-toxic colors, that can be variously stretched and shaped as toys for children ... and are the most frequent comparisons to plastic explosives]

a castable explosive compound that's primarily used in underwater munitions (eg: naval mines, depth charges, torpedoes, etc), being composed of 44% Research Department eXplosive (RDX) and nitrocellulose (GUNCOTTON), 29.5% trinitrotoluene (TNT(, 21% powdered aluminum, 5% paraffin wax (phlegmatizing agent), and 0.5% calcium chloride, which makes it approximately 1.35 times more powerful than pure TNT. This military compound has generally replaced TorpEx because it's less shock sensitive, and has more stable storage characteristics.

being mentally competent; in full possession of one's mind; sane, mentally sound, cognizant, adept faculties; the prerequisite state for executing a legally binding contract and for accepting LAWFUL ORDERS. See DUE PROCESS, SCRIPTURES, LAW. [cf: non compos mentis (incompetent)]


a sterile pressure bandage for direct application in dressing a wound (the non-sterile or backside marked to face outwards), furnished with integral ties but may be taped into place; also called "battle dressing". The rule is to always use the victim's COMPRESS, but experienced soldiers know that they should carry two or more bandages, because many wounds require more than one dressing, and the victim's bandage may not be easy to find, or may not even exist. Sterile COMPRESS bandages, which were first manufactured on a large scale during WWI, inspired the creation of "sanitary napkins" for use during menstruation. Compare TAMPON, BAND-AID; see MED BAG, DOG BITE, BLOOD EXPANDER, SPILL THE GROCERIES, STRETCHER, MEDIC, TENT.

see DMS. [v: injection molding; cf: slip lasting, board lasting]

a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by the reciprocal adjustment of opposing claims; an intermediate modification of differing demands. Also, to make vulnerable or to expose to danger; to jeopardize. Also, to make a dishonorable or shameful concession. Also, to bring to terms; to bind by agreement. [v: conciliation, reconciliation; cf: compromis] [v: via media (Latin, 'the middle way'): the mean between two extremes; cf: golden mean: the perfect moderate course or position that avoids extremes, being the happy medium] [nb: "All government -- indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act -- is founded on compromise and barter." by Edmund Burke; "Since you won't meet me halfway, then tell me how far you're willing to come and I'll meet you there."; "The history of human achievement is rich with stories of successful partnerships -- while the history of human failure is rife with tales of fruitless competition and willful antagonisms." by Margaret E. Mahoney; "Any plan conceived in moderation must fail when the circumstances are set in extremes." by Prince Klemens W.N.L. von Metternich; "I agree with you that in politics the middle way is none at all." by John Adams; "Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; but urge me not to use moderation in a case (abolition) like the present." by William Lloyd Garrison; "Moderation in temper is always a virtue, but moderation in principle is always a vice," by Thomas Paine; "Man seems to be capable of great virtues but not of small virtues; capable of defying his torturer but not of keeping his temper." by G.K. Chesterton; "Moderation is a virtue only in those who are thought to have an alternative." by Henry Kissinger; "Without contraries is no progression, Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence." by William Blake; "The world is not dialectical -- it is sworn to extremes, not to equilibrium, sworn to radical antagonism, not to reconciliation or synthesis. This is also the principle of evil." by Jean Baudrillard; "Virtue cannot separate itself from reality without becoming a principle of evil." by Albert Camus; "The beginning, middle, and end of the birth, growth, and perfection of whatever we behold is from contraries, by contraries, and to contraries; and whatever contrarity is, there is action and reaction, there is motion, diversity, multitude, and order, there are degrees, succession and vicissitude." by Giordano Bruno; "In me the tiger sniffs the rose." by Siegfried Sassoon; "Compromise makes a good umbrella but a poor roof." by James Russell Lowell; "To be or not to be is not a question of compromise. Either you be or you don't be." by Golda Meir; "If one cannot catch a bird of paradise, better take a wet hen." by Nikita Khrushchev; "Compromise used to mean that half a loaf was better than no bread. Among modern statesmen it really seems to mean that half a loaf is better than a whole loaf." by G.K. Chesterton; "Compromise is no bargain; it means that I give up half of what is most valuable to me in exchange for half of what you don't want anyway."; "Compromise: such an adjustment of conflicting interests as gives each adversary the satisfaction of thinking he has got what he ought not to have, and is deprived of nothing except what was justly his due." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce]

the finance officer, or chief government accountant, who supervises financial transactions and superintends the fiscal budget for the installation and its assigned units; derived from "compt" for count or accounting. The civilian equivalent in business finance is a "controller" [v: ADVISOR / "adviser"] [nb: in the military, a 'controller' is a person charged with the control of a sequence or process, such as systems manager or air-traffic controller, (ATC) with responsibilities not unlike a COMPTROLLER; cf: HANDLER]

a computational device, mechanical or electrical, from an abacus or slide rule to a plotting wheel or accumulator; a programmable electronic processor designed for performing prescribed logical operations on data at high speed, especially one housed with or linked to other devices for inputting, storing, retrieving, and displaying the resultant data; compare CYBERWAR, INFORMATION WARFARE; see HATE MAIL, SPAM, HONEY POT, TROJAN HORSE, DEADMAN, MEACONING, DECEPTION, MIJI, ZORCH, JIFF / JIFFY, DEEP WEB, DARK WEB, OSINT, INFOSEC, DATA MINING, SLIPSTREAMING, LOGIC BOMB, NETRUSION, DISINFORMATION, BREADCRUMBING, QUILT, FIREWALL, THE AMERICAN WALL, AIR GAP, TIN BRAINS, PLASTIC BRAINS, SMART CARD, BURNER, COMSTOCKERY, JTIDS, ELECTRONIC CAMPFIRE, SLIDEWARE, DARPA, WIZARD, WONK, WALLAH, GADGET, HACK. [v: analog computer, digital computer; cf: sniff, phish, spoof, astroturfing, smurf, deadman, worm, virus, spyware, malware]

someone who shares activities, especially risk in the profession of arms, as a companion in mutual camaraderie; term of reference is reserved and discriminate, as differentiated from associate or acquaintance. Comradeship is a bond, based upon a shared commitment, that transcends stratification, that persists long after the fact, and that can only be broken by betrayal or death. Like colleague or confrere, it's similar to SHIPMATE or MESSMATE, and used with the same reliance as "swim buddy" or "ranger buddy". Originally referred to a group of soldiers BILLETed ("kamara": room, vault, chamber) together. Vietnamese term: "Tuong Huu", for kindred spirit, close companion. German version: "gemeinschaft" for 'community-ship' [nb: "gesellschaft" (companionship) is a formal partnership]. See ASSHOLE BUDDY, BAND OF BROTHERS, BATTLE BUDDY, BUDDY SYSTEM, TRADE ENVELOPES. [nb: "wight" is a human being, who is defined as such by his ability to fight, hence is someone who's strong and brave in war] [nb: 'compadre' derived from "godfather"] [nb: as with "swim buddy" and "Ranger buddy", the military BUDDY SYSTEM is not a codependency relationship, but a dyadic mutuality of cooperation, such that a pair does not redouble but reinforces; cf: Damon and Pythias (Phintias), Pylades and Orestes, David and Jonathan] [ety: the term 'cahoot', meaning a nefarious conspiracy ("in cahoots with"), derives from cabin or hut, as in shared partnership, in the same way that 'comrade' ("kamara") is related to being billeted together; its connotation of illegality is secondary to its denotation of partner or associate, union or league]

a COMmunications SATellite, as produced by Communications Satellite Corporation. Compare SATCOM; see SYNCOM, NRO, ANTENNA FARM, SAT.

COMmunications SECurity; sometimes spelled "commsec", "com-sec", or "comm-sec"; being the protection resulting from all measures designed to deny unauthorized persons information of value which might be derived from the improper possession and study of telecommunications, or those measures intended to mislead unauthorized persons in their interpretation of the results of such possession and study. See SIGINT, SOTA, RDF, COMMO, RADIO.

Commander, Seventh Fleet.

an epithet coined (1905) by George Bernard Shaw, the Irish playwright and socialist, to disparage the suppression of printed or illustrated publications deemed to be salacious or corrupting, as advocated by the moral crusader Anthony Comstock, a Union veteran of the American CIVIL WAR. Postal inspectors were authorized (1873 Comstock law) to seize indecent or offensive materials and arrest the procurers and panderers; while currently uninforced, the Federal Anti-Obscenity Act remains on the books, and the Telecommunications Reform Bill of 1996 applied some of its provisions to computer networks. In addition to his campaign against obscenity, Comstock also sought to redress gambling, quackery, and contraception; however, attacks on transcendentalism and syndicalism, miscegenation and other UN-AMERICAN activities were likewise condoned under the aegis of this crusade. See UP-CLOSE 'n' PERSONAL, DOG 'n' PONY SHOW, PILLOW BOOK, STROKE BOOK, TRAINING FILM, CENSORSHIP, NETRUSION, TRIGGER TERM, WHITE LIST, FREEDOM OF SPEECH. [v: bowdlerize; cf: curiosa, pornography]

Commander Submarine Fleet; see SUBMARINE.

Commander, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Thailand.

Commander, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam.

CONcurrent Admissions Program; a cooperative program between the military and participating colleges which admit eligible soldiers while serving their enlistment. See ROTC, ACASP, DEP, NESEP, BOOTSTRAP, USAFI, SOC.

CONtinental ARmy Command.

to veil, mask, SCREEN, HIDE, or obscure from view; compare COVER, see MASK, CAMO, DECEPTION, COUNTERSHADING, HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT.

a guarded COMPOUND for the summary confinement of political prisoners, racial or ethnic minorities, or other social outcasts, such as the Scottish or AmerIndian clearances and the Romany or Jewish ghettos; also called "internment camp". Term originally applied to camps where noncombatants were confined during the Boer War (1899-1902). See GULAG, LAOGAI, INTERNAL EXILE, REEDUCATION, BRAINWASHING, PAIN, DP, POW, KEELHAUL. [v: dungeon, keep, oubliette, hock (sty or prison as a miserable place to live)] [v: U.S. removal of Eastern tribes of AmerIndians to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River (eg: "Trail of Tears"), or the exile of Western tribes onto Pan-Indian reservations or into prison camps on remote Army posts (eg: "The Long Walk"); cf: American persecution of Japanese (ie: Neisei, Kibei, Sansei) residents versus Nazi extermination of non-Aryan inhabitants]

a BARBED WIRE or RAZOR WIRE coil, used to quickly emplace a temporary barrier which is easily retrieved and conveniently stowed; although derived from the musical instrument having a similar design, smooth or barbed wire that's stored on a spool tends to loop into entanglements unless stretched taut between posts. See BANGALORE TORPEDO, LOW-CRAWL, CREEP, WORM PIT.

a franchise conceded by the government for a concessionaire to operate a subsidiary business or service within a military installation, granting privileged access to servicemembers and their dependents; see PX, BX, NEX, ANNEX, COMMISSARY.

slang for the coast artillery or a shore battery, often heavily fortified; also called a "cement tank". A military truism states: guns on shore are always more effective than guns off-shore (ie: afloat, at sea). See CASEMATE, BUNKER, BLOCKHOUSE. [v: Military Earthworks Terms]

a hand-launched explosive device that's designed to inflict injury or to cause damage by the forceful OVERPRESSURE of its detonation, rather than by the fragmentation of its casing or the poisonous nature of its contents. See GAMMON GRENADE, GRENADE, EXPLOSIVE PRESSURE.

clarified whole milk from which almost half of its water content has been removed, making a thickened reduction to which sugar has been added as a preservative; a process invented (1856) by Gail Borden Jr, using a non-scorching pan condenser that was designed and developed by Shakers, in an attempt to avert food poisonings from contaminated milk ... sanitized vacuum concentrated milk has an extended shelf-life needing no refrigeration. Establishing the New York Condensed Milk Company, Borden also experimented with condensing tea, coffee, cocoa, and fruit juices after the beginning of the American CIVIL WAR; then in 1899, the Borden company renamed its concentrated milk product "Eagle" brand ... in that same year, the Pacific Coast Condensed Milk Company (later known as the Carnation Milk Products Company) opened a manufacturing plant in Kent, Washington under the direction of E.B. Stuart. Nestlé constructed the world's largest condensed milk plant in Dennington, Victoria, Australia, in 1911. Throughout parts of Europe and Asia, condensed milk has become the preferred condiment for tea and coffee, either hot or cold, and as a topping (like jam or jelly) on biscuits or toast. See SUA, CA PHE SUA DA; compare EVAPORATED MILK.

bottle of Tabasco sauce
the use of spices and sauces, many privately purchased, to accent and supplement the spare diet of outdoorsmen and veterans subsisting in the field; such seasonings are not only used to enrich the flavor of primitive meals, including "dirty" or "deviled" treatments, but to make stored foods more palatable by masking their deterioration. The most basic condiments include table salt, onion salt, garlic salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, grated horseradish or mustard root (wasabi), mustard powder or sauce, vinegar, chili powder or sauce, barbecue sauce, cocktail sauce, salsa, ketchup (catchup, catsup), tartar sauce, potherb, soy sauce, duck sauce, hoisin sauce, and others (eg: A-1 sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce). See GUSTO, SCHIMMELPFENNIG SAUCE, NUOC MAM, KETCHUP, COCKTAIL SAUCE, BABY SHIT, BEANS, CHOW, SOUP, RATIONS. [v: fines herbes] [v: katsap at IVAN] [nb: although the "Scoville Organoleptic Test", developed in 1912 as a method for rating the hotness of chili peppers, was an empirical scale based upon subjective interpretations, the modern tests (eg: High Performance Liquid Chromatography / HPLC) that have superseded it have retained the name as a unit of measure in honor of the pharmacist, Wilbur Scoville, who originally devised it; the pungency (or "heat factor") of Scoville units range from 0 for the bell pepper to 16,000,000 for pure capsaicin; Asians do not use a rating scale for the twenty-five species, but base their selection upon size and color, (falsely) believing that the smallest are the hottest; although black pepper originated in the East Indies, chili peppers originated in Central and South America, then were carried to Europe and Asia by Portuguese traders, where they were readily incorporated into the cuisines of India, Thailand, Korea, China, and Japan; it's common throughout Asia to shield against evil by mounting chili peppers, curry leaves, lemon blossoms, and ashes above the entrance to temples and dwellings] [v: chacun à son gout (French: each to his own taste); de gustibus non est disputandum (Latin: there is no arguing about taste); pièce de résistance (French: the principal dish of a meal)]

in international law, joint sovereignty or concurrent dominion over a territory by several states; the territory so dominated. See BERLIN WALL; compare OCCUPIED TERRITORY.

a prophylactic sheath worn over the penis; see PRO KIT.

air-launched commando-insertion aircraft (MQ-35).

C-130 :

(kone-ecks) CONtainer EXpress, a large corrugated-steel container used for sealed self-contained transshipments of goods since its development in 1952 during the KOREAN WAR. Often re-used for protected or secure storage, or emplaced for intermediate resupply; the CONEX was often collected into clusters for working or living quarters when empty, becoming clinics or offices or clubs, because the theater of operations (TO) lacked such facilities. Sometimes used as a command post (CP) or BUNKER when modified and insulated against SPALLing. See CONTAINERIZATION, PLS, LOW-LEVEL EVACUATION DROP, DAISY CHAIN; compare CARGO NET.

contraction of CONFABulation, being an informal and private conversation; to talk, converse, palaver, discuss, consult, confer, discourse, council, parley. See CALL ON THE CARPET, VERBUM SAP, OFFICER'S CALL, BRIEFING, DEBRIEF, EAR-BANG, CROSS-TALK, CHATTER, HALF-MAST, CHIN CHIN, POWWOW, SUMMIT. [cf: consistory, gabfest]

during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), an intelligence gathering "suggestion box" was setup at various locations where local people could voluntarily report sightings or suspicions that would be of interest to the police or military; due to a need to make these "suggestion boxes" accessible to all, literate or not, they were arranged as a secluded alcove that would offer anonymity, somewhat resembling a confessional, hence the informal name. See CHATTER, INTEL.

polite slang referring to lies and tales told by TAP-DANCERs to conceal their activity or intent, being a form of rigmarole or malarkey (malarky), bafflegab or bushwa / bushwah, gobbledygook or claptrap; also called FAIRY DUST, and commonly known as bullshit. See TALK TRASH, COVER, NOC, LEGEND, LIFTED SKIRT, BRAVO SIERRA, BLOW SMOKE, SNOW, SEA STORY, WAR STORY, SMACK, VERBAL DIARRHEA, HOT AIR, WASHINGTON WALTZ, SHOOT THE SHIT, GODDAM. Also, small bits of paper, usually colored, thrown or dropped from a height at festive events; see SNOWFLAKE, CHAFF, PAPER BULLET.

sardonic reference to the propaganda leaflet drops that were conducted during surveillance overflights of enemy areas and their targeted populations during WWII; also called "pamphlet raid".

a training course consisting of a series of staged MIL-CRAFT challenges which are designed to develop problem solving skills, teamwork, trust, confidence, and reliance during their resolution or accomplishment. CONFIDENCE COURSEs are often compared to the "challenge courses" of Outward Bound, National Outdoor Leadership, White Stag Leadership Development, Scouts, and similar organizations, including corporate team-building workshops. Sometimes mistakenly called an OBSTACLE COURSE (qv); the completion of an OBSTACLE COURSE is an individual effort, while satisfying the requirements of a CONFIDENCE COURSE is a team or group effort. Compare PARCOURSE, IOCT, PARKOUR, RUCKING. [cf: round robin; steeplechase]

a delimiter qualifying duplication and restricting distribution of CLASSIFIED documents; see NEED TO KNOW, COMPARTMENTALIZATION.

a temporary or prolonged condition of opposition, being a state of struggle or strife, rivalry or enmity, incompatibility or discordance; as a dispute, argument, disagreement, breach, dissension, contention, discord, clash, dissidence, controversy, quarrel, squabble, wrangle, spat, scrap, tiff, fuss, rhubarb, row, hassle, misunderstanding, falling-out, open variance, difference, contradiction, discrepancy, or disparity. Also, a contention or collision, as an agonal or paroxysmal fight, being true combat; derived from "to strike together". See FIGHTING MAD, FIGHTING WORDS, DUEL, SIEGE MENTALITY, GANTLET, BLOODY SHIRT, JUST WAR, GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY, BIG STICK DIPLOMACY, SABER-RATTLING, GUNPOINT, HEAD TO HEAD, CROSS THE RUBICON, WAR POWERS ACT, BATTLE, HOT, SHOOTING WAR, WAR, COLD WAR, FLOWER WAR, INSURGENCY, SOFT REVOLUTION, LOW-INTENSITY CONFLICT, STRUGGLE, MICROAGGRESSION, DIME, DODGE THE BULLET, ANTEBELLUM, TRUCE, DETENTE, RAPPROCHEMENT, PEACE. [nb: while fight and battle are subsumed by war, which is of indeterminate but finite duration, conflict and struggle have the potential of being persistent and relentless, with such an inexorable contumacy best represented by the concepts of "long struggle", "ceaseless struggle", "prolonged struggle", and manifest in endless war, perpetual revolution, continuous fighting, the long fight, everlasting resistance, perennial strife, and the long defeat; although struggle has marked human existence from the sustenance of life to the adoption of contending rationales, as a philosophical tenet, the struggle between realism and determinism has been best represented by Immanuel Kant, Ludwig Feuerbach, Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Karl Marx] [v: gage; casus belli; lese / lèse majesté; cf: slugfest, battalia, stour] [nb: "Men do not understand how what is at conflict is at harmony with itself; it is an attunement of opposites like that of bow and lyre." by Heraclitus]

a catch-phrase referring to the process of permanently resolving a dispute by adequately addressing the interests and needs of both opposing sides, or of all disputant parties, so that they are satisfied with the outcome; also known as "dispute resolution". This practice is juxtaposed to "conflict transformation", which refers to techniques or modalities for de-escalating or de-intensifying a long-term conflict by use of alleviating measures or crisis abatements, and to "conflict management", which refers to a long-term strategy for preventing the escalation or disintegration of intractable conflicts. See CONFLICT, STRUGGLE, SHOWDOWN, WAR, PEACE. [v: numinous, deontology, eudemonism; cf: meliorism, Solomonic compromise] [nb: within Hopi and Zuni societies, 'violence' is considered to be an anti-social illness (not unlike any other communicable disease) and is treated by "medical" sessions designed to "heal" the malady; so if the "patient" is unwilling to undergo "therapy" to quell the motive or resolve the dispute, then the community must expel them (a death sentence in ancient times) to protect itself from "contamination" ... this ethic, of course, does not pertain to violence inflicted from without (ie: war), where tribal defense is obligatory to sustain the culture from destruction] [cf: the conflict, a matter of conscience, in the empire of Lilliput between the Big-Endian and the Little-Endian parties is explicated in Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (1726)] [nb: "Recalcitrance is the cause of resolute contention, and persistent unrepentance is the initiator for the next war; there are no contrite warriors on the battlefield!"]



a fellow member of a profession; colleague, associate, teammate, co-worker, confederate; see COMRADE, SHIPMATE, BAND OF BROTHERS. [v: Sancho Panza]

the dispersed Chinese attempted, as early as the 1880s, to restore and sustain a sense of identity within their isolated communities by introducing a unified dating system that encapsulated their extensive heritage; this chronology used the birth date of Confucius (K'ung Fu-tzu) as the starting point for a new conceptual timeframe, lending coherence to their mixed history. As with many cultures (eg: Nordic, Indian, Egyptian, Mongolian, Celtic, Japanese, etc), important dates were recorded as a sovereign's regnal year (ie: on the nth day of zodiacal moon in the nth year of Emperor X) until displaced in the modern era by either the Confucian or Gregorian calendars. See TIME. [nb: when nationalism displaced imperialism in China, regnal notation persisted as Minguo (Republic of China) from 1911 to 1949]

disorder, disorganization, shambles, mess, muddle, chaos, upheaval, ferment, uproar, tumult, disorientation, perplexity, bewilderment, bafflement, stupefaction; originally meaning defeat, overthrow, or ruin. A classic military maxim states: "If you're not confused then you're misinformed." See PLAN B, CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, MILITARY MIND, SMOKE 'n' MIRRORS, SEAT OF THE PANTS, HELMET FIRE, EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF, THE FOG OF WAR, ROUT, STORM, STURM UND DRANG, ALPHABET SOUP, FLAK, STATIC, NOISE, CONFETTI, SNOW, BLOW SMOKE, HOT AIR, TALK TRASH, HOOPLA, FLAP, FUCK-UP, CLUSTER FUCK, FUCKED-UP, SHIT HIT THE FAN, SOL, WTFO, BOHICA, STOOGE. [nb: "When in trouble or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!"] [v: anomie] [nb: "... we begin to feel that we are no longer perfectly at ease and collected; even the bravest is at least to some degree confused." by Karl von Clausewitz]



any coherent heterogeneous combination; a mass of cohesive oddments; compare COLLECTION.

a new heat resistant (withstand temperatures to 140°F) chocolate bar was developed by the Army food lab (NATICK) and was produced experimentally by the Hershey Company for issue during operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM; nicknamed "Congo bar" by the researchers, it was packaged in a desert camouflage wrapper and labeled "Desert Bar" by Hershey ... unpalatability remained an obstacle to its widespread acceptance, so it was discontinued at the end of the GULF WAR. Compare TROPICAL CHOCOLATE BAR; see HERSHEY BAR, TRACK PAD, POGY BAIT, GEDUNK, SUGAR PILL.

see THE NATIONAL JOKE FACTORY, THE HILL, ACT OF CONGRESS, WAR POWERS ACT, DECENT INTERVAL, FOGGY BOTTOM, UNCLE SAM, WISE MEN, POLITICIAN, WASHINGTON WALTZ, RED TAPE, THE EAGLE SHITS, THE G, GSA, GAO, PORK BARREL, BELTWAY CLERK, BELTWAY BANDIT, SAND CRAB. [v: realpolitik, machtpolitik] [nb: "Congress consists of one-third, more or less, scoundrels; two-thirds, more or less, idiots; and three-thirds, more or less, poltroons." by H.L. Mencken]

water vapor that forms a cone-shaped trail around the rear of the fuselage of an airplane due to a combination of high speed and high humidity; see CONTRAIL, VAPES, CON LEVEL.


the altitude at which CONTRAILs occur due to condensation in the atmosphere of water droplets or ice crystals from the moisture in engine exhaust; this visible indicator from the wake of a passing missile or aircraft is readily detected in a tactical situation.

the housing over the main entrance to the interior of a SUBMARINE, accommodating its periscope and antennas, and used as an observation platform; also called the "sail" or FAIRWATER. Compare COCKPIT, BRIDGE, FLYING BRIDGE, HELM, PILOTHOUSE.

CONtingency PLAN, being a proposed response to an urgent situation involving hostile action or a state of emergency that may be reasonably anticipated within a specific geographical area, as authorized by the Secretary of Defense, Congress, or the President (POTUS), wherein members of the Armed Forces are called-up or retained on active duty for this operational contingency; see OPLAN, COURSE OF ACTION (COA), THE PLAN, CAMPAIGN PLAN, FIELD EXPEDIENT, EXPLAN, PLAN B, DEMARCHE, MIND CANDY.

to be triumphant or victorious in war, to win in battle, to acquire by force of arms, to overcome or subdue by force, to vanquish the enemy. Also, anything acquired by force; as derived by 'seek'; see INVASION, HAVOC, SPOILS OF WAR, RANSACK, ROMAN HOLIDAY. [v: anabasis; cf: katabasis]

the inner sense of what is right or wrong in someone's motives or conduct, impelling a person toward proper action, or inhibiting a person's improper deeds; the complex of ethical principles that controls or regulates an individual's thoughts and actions, which self-knowledge can burden someone with feelings of guilt and regret; and especially in the Armed Forces, that part of a servicemember's regulation issue that is scrupulously maintained (like "inspection gear") for periodic survey and accountability as long as it's clearly understood that it'll never be used! ... that orders, customs, and traditions will always take precedence over niggling morality and trivial philosophy! ... that when "push comes to shove", the "right thing to do" in every crisis will be in favor of the military mother who loves each and everyone of us best! See MORALITY, MORAL COURAGE, MORAL VICTORY, HONOR CODE, CODE OF CONDUCT, CREED, OATH, PROMISE, SUMMUM BONUM, CORE VALUES, STRAIGHT ARROW, KEEP THE FAITH, TRADITION, DUTY, TOE THE LINE, STAND-ALONE, MIGHT MAKES RIGHT, THE BIGGER THEY ARE, THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, FORTITUDE, GUTS, MOXIE, DIEHARD, ROOT HOG OR DIE, HOLD ONE'S FEET TO THE FIRE, WINTER SOLDIER, PATRIOTISM. [nb: "Conscience is the inner voice which warns us somebody may be looking." by Henry Louis Mencken; "I think remorse ought to stop biting the consciences that feed it." by Ogden Nash; "A 'conscience' is the only part of a person that hurts when the rest of them is happily exhausted, when the rest of their body feels wonderful!" anonymous; "I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after." by Ernest M. Hemingway; "The number of people with any criteria for distinguishing between good and evil is very small." by Thomas Stearns Eliot; "O conscience, upright and stainless, how bitter a sting to thee is a little fault!" by Dante Alighieri; "Most people sell their souls, and live with a good conscience on the proceeds." by Logan Pearsall Smith; "In many walks of life, a conscience is a more expensive encumbrance than a wife or a carriage." by Thomas De Quincey; "Politicians are doing the best they can according to the dictates of 'no conscience'." by William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers; "The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience." by Harper Lee; "It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them." by Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens); "Men never do evil so fully and cheerfully as when we do it out of conscience." by Blaise Pascal; "The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants." by Omar Nelson Bradley]


a recruit compelled into military service; a citizen drafted into the Armed Forces under the Selective Service Act. See DRAFT, DRAFTEE, DRAFT LOTTERY, McNAMARA'S HUNDRED THOUSAND, MUSTER, CALL TO THE COLORS, SHANGHAI, PRESS-GANG, DRAGOON, VOLUNTOLD, DRAFT DODGER.


regular military personnel assigned the duty of law enforcement or peacekeeping; compare PROVOST GUARD, see PM, MP, SNOWDROP, AP, SP, QC, BUTTON, CID, OSI, NIS, FBI. Also, the body of POLICE officers or government agents, called "constables", organized in a military manner, and responsible for keeping the peace; see ANTI-TERRORISM, PATRIOT ACT, POSSE COMITATUS, WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' BADGES. [nb: "squad room" is an archaism retained by police forces for a PARAMILITARY structure no longer utilized]

Lockheed C-121 transport is a high-speed, low-wing, monoplane, powered by four reciprocating engines. The EC-121K is a special search plane with bottom and top radar antennas. The EC-121D/EC-121M is an electronic countermeasures configuration aircraft. Name originally designated the C-54 (or DC-4) transport aircraft, which was later renamed SKYMASTER.

the fundamental law, organic and establishing, of the U.S. by which the nation is governed, or the embodying document thereof, framed in 1787 and made effective in 1789; compare ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION, DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.

an engagement with enemy forces, as a skirmish, FIREFIGHT, or AMBUSH; being "in the shit" or CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG; compare SPOILING ATTACK, MEETING ENGAGEMENT, MOVEMENT TO CONTACT, CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE, FRONTAL ASSAULT, PITCHED BATTLE; see BATTLE. Also, to communicate, or to be a source of communication; derived from "touch"; see POC.

see AREA 51.

the use of transport containers (ie: CONEX, MILVAN, SEAVAN, RO/RO trailers) to unitize cargo for secure transport, supply, and storage, without intermediate handling of the contents during airlift, sealift, or roll-on/roll-off conveyance. A MILVAN is a DoD-owned 20-foot shipping container (20'L X 8'H X 8'W), which is the most commonly used container size for military deployments. Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU) include TRICON (3=20'L), QUADCON (4=20'L), and the older CONEX for storage. These containers require special container handling equipment and vehicles. CONTAINERIZATION provides convenient accountability, security, centralization, specificity, damage control, and weather protection. CONTAINERIZATION aids strategic lift and military prepositioning missions. From the palletized load systems (PLS) of WWII, the Army's Transportation Corps began experimenting with CONTAINERIZATION in 1948 using the "Transporter" (Transporter, Household Goods, Shipboard), which was a rigid steel box (8'6"L X 6'3"W X 6'10"H) mounted on elevated skids, with a double door on one end and lifting rings on the top four corners. The "Transporter" immediately proved itself so valuable during the KOREAN WAR, where 90% of shipments were delayed by mishandling and 10% were lost to pilferage, that the Transportation Corps developed the Container Express (CONEX) in 1952. With CONEX delivery of cargo, efficiency halved transit time, and loss was markedly reduced ... making it possible to double the tonage transshipped to Korea over that shipped to Europe during WWII. During the VIETNAM WAR, container ships were first developed by Sea-Land Container Services, which led to the development of Inter-modal containers for conveyance by truck, rail, air, or ship. Military considerations for container selection include: cargo characteristics, container dimensions, payload restrictions, materiel accessibility, handling requirements, movement capabilities, and serviceability prior to packing. The unit movement officer must develop a loading plan to avoid deployment delays and equipment damage. With the exception of "dense cargo", like AMMO, the cubic area of the equipment is more important than its weight ("cube out before weigh out"). See CONEX, PLS, RO/RO, CHU, LOW-LEVEL EVACUATION DROP, DAISY CHAIN; compare CARGO NET. [nb: the "twenty-foot equivalent unit" is the volume of the average shipping container or railroad boxcar, being equivalent to 1,360 cubic feet of storage; it's occasionally called a carload, boatload, or shipload]

to restrict the growth or expansion of hostile powers by economically, diplomatically, ideologically, or militarily intervening in their ambitions for influence or territory; so named in 1947 by George Kennan, a policy director in the State Department, which concept will guide U.S. foreign policy throughout the COLD WAR. Also, a restrictive enclosure that's designed to prevent the accidental release of radioactive material from a nuclear reactor; see FALLOUT, RAINOUT, FIZZLE, SCRAM, CHIRPER, BANG READER, DRAGON SHIT, GENIE, NEST, BROKEN ARROW, FOOTBALL.



a light breakfast typically consisting of coffee and rolls; sometimes abbreviated 'CB' in travel literature; compare ENGLISH BREAKFAST, SOLDIER'S BREAKFAST.

an attitude of favoritism or a policy of partiality to a particular continent, its culture and peoples; a bias toward the characteristics representative of a given continent; compare NATIVISM, XENOPHOBIA. Also, the late 19th century doctrinaire belief that Canada, Mexico, and the United States should merge into a single North American nation, especially for mutual economic benefit.

an emergency caused by natural disasters, civil disobedience or insurrection, terrorism or subversion, or other crisis requiring operations by military forces; due to the uncertainty of the situation, contingencies require alternative plans, rapid response, and special procedures to ensure the safety and readiness of personnel, equipment, and installations. See CONPLAN.

a quota of troops furnished, being any one of the representative elements or groups composing an assemblage; a share that's been furnished, or a portion to be contributed to the whole. Also, any uncertain or conditional occurrence; anything liable to happen or not.

among combat veterans with a pre-existing TATTOO who have suffered an amputation that either interrupted or removed their body art, it's an indelible design decorating their prosthesis; such designs may continue an interrupted pattern or motif, replace a lost one, or add one that complements, supplements, or augments one on another part of the body; compare FULL-SLEEVE, MEAT MARKER. [nb: among non-amputees, a 'continuation tat' carries a design or extends a pattern from one part of the body to another, making the person's skin into a unified canvas for a thematic continuum]

following terrain features and land outlines, aircraft flight as close to the earth's surface as vegetation and obstacles will permit; also called "nap of the earth" (NOE) flight. See GRASS, TFR, DTF, UNDER THE RADAR.

lines representing terrain features and gradients on topographic maps, such as saddle, draw, pinnacle, depression. See TOPO, AZIMUTH, GRID COORDINATES, GRID LINES, DEAD-RECKONING, MILITARY CREST, MAP, COMICS. [nb: clay relief maps were used in Mesopotamia around 3000BC. The first carved stone relief map of a Chinese district was sent to the Emperor in 210BC, and it was so impressive as to scale and detail that all administrators were commissioned to similarly survey and map their districts, until the entire Empire was represented. To offset the inconvenience of stone and wooden maps, China began making silk maps around 266BC. Chinese archives document terrain modeling with rice, sawdust, and melted wax by various military commands in AD32. Scale-model relief maps were made portable by hinged folding and by segmental disassembly ca421-466 ... which inspired the creation of "jigsaw puzzles".]

anything prohibited by law from being imported or exported, as illegal trade in prohibited goods, smuggling; term derived from 'against' + 'proclamation' (contrabando). A "contraband of war" is anything, such as arms or munitions, that a neutral may not supply to a belligerent except at the risk of seizure and confiscation; and "conditional contraband" is anything that may become a "contraband of war", such as food or medicine, if supplied by a neutral to a belligerent. During the American CIVIL WAR, a slave who escaped to, or was brought within the Union lines, was deemed to be "contraband". [v: malum prohibitum, malum in se]

any direct opposition between facts, acts or events, when compared, especially an inconsistent statement or contrary proposition that's logically incongruous. Also, any assertion of opposites; the denial of consistency (eg: "We kill for peace!"). [nb: "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise." by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1936)]

the decorative trimming or braid that ornaments a hat or sleeve; its size and complexity of placement are a function of the wearer's rank; see MESS DRESS, DRESS WHITES, DRESS, HEADGEAR, CORD, CORDON, SHOULDER KNOT, WITH BELLS ON, FOOFARAW, FEATHERS. [v: paillette]

a condensation trail, being the visible condensation of water droplets or ice crystals from the atmosphere, which occurs in the wake of an aircraft, rocket, or missile; also called "vapor trail". See CONIC VAPOR, CON LEVEL.

Vietnam-era slang for someone who is preoccupied with managing their surroundings; a person having an obsessive/compulsive need to regulate the details of their life; see MICROMANAGEMENT, SCRIPTURES, READ-BACK, CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, PINS IN THE MAP SYNDROME, HEADQUARTERISM, CASTRATION ANXIETY, REASSURANCE, ZERO TOLERANCE.

information or other indicators deliberately conveyed or denied to an adversary in a DECEPTION operation so as to evoke desired inferences, or generate invalid estimates, that result in actions advantageous to US or allied interests and objectives. See NEED TO KNOW, IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, BIG LIE, RUMOR, HOOPLA, FALSE FLAG, DISINFORMATION, PROPAGANDA, PSYOPS, UW, SPECIAL OPERATIONS.

see HANDLER. Also, see COMPTROLLER. [v: ADVISOR / "adviser"]

a lever (JOYSTICK, STICK) by which a pilot controls the ailerons and elevator of an aircraft; see DEAD STICK, VOLPLANE, HOTAS. Also, the control or steering lever of a computer or conveyance.

(ko-nus; not con-us) the CONtinental United States; see ZI, compare OCONUS.

any stress related sensory or physical impairments; such "performance anxiety" disabilities, both combat and non-combat in origin, may be persistent or recurrent. See FUO, JUNGLE ROT, PTSD, WHITE STATIC, WATERWORKS, DISSOCIATION, OBJECTIFICATION, STRESS OF SOUL, BROKEN-WING SYNDROME, LINE OF DUTY, RIGHT STUFF. [v: dementia praecox]

slang designation for the Cessna T-37 TWEET, a twin-seat trainer, for its remarkable capacity to convert fuel into noise! The TWEET is also known as a "dog whistle"; compare SUPER TWEET, see BIRD.

flag identifying the lead
vehicle of a convoy flag identifying the vehicle
of the convoy commander flag identifying the final
vehicle of a convoy
convoy marker flags
a fleet, flight, or group of vehicles accompanied by a protective escort; as derived from convey, conveier. Also, an armed force, warship, or the like that protectively escorts other vehicles or elements. Also, any group of military vehicles traveling together under the same orders, as a caravan or cavalcade; see TRAIN, LINE HAUL, LOG-PAC, FIREBALLING, K-DAY, HEADWAY, CAT'S-EYES, COMBAT SPREAD, ACCORDION, CATERPILLAR, EVOLUTION, ZIGZAG, ROMPER, STRAGGLER, POSTILION. [v: catenate / concatenate]

the preparation of food by the use of heat (eg: fry, bake, broil, roast, boil, steam, etc); see CHOW, BEANS, RATIONS, COOKIE. Also, slang for the manipulation or falsification of information, as to concoct or contrive results, especially tabular data but not omitting intelligence reports; also cited as "cook-up". Also, slang for ruin or spoil; compromise or distort. Also, slang for happen or occur; for something to be done in the right way, as to work well or perform enthusiastically; for being active and energetic. Also, slang for prepare or develop, as to ready a stage or setup.

nickname for a cook, baker, mess sergeant, or steward, sometimes called "pot-walloper" or "slops-server", and known among NavPers as "mess crank", "cabbage mechanic", or "stew burner"; see CHOW, BEANS, C-RATIONS, KP, DRO, ORDERLY, MESS, GALLEY. [v: chef (ety: head of kitchen) / chef de cuisine] [nb: Vietnamese term: Nguoi Lam Bep] [nb: the first army cooking manual, Directions for Cooking by Troops in Camp and Hospital composed by Florence Nightingale, was published by the Army of Virginia (1861) emphasizing whole grains, meat and milk, fruits and vegetables; Hints on the Preservation of Health in the Armies by John Ordronaux (1861) contained the first dietary guidelines for soldiers, identifying the nutritional priorities of an effective military diet] Also, slang for any reward or compliment, so-called by analogy to the small, flat, sweetened cake of stiff dough that's baked on a flat pan (ie: "cookie sheet"); see WARM FUZZY, GLORY PIE, HUG, BRAVO ZULU, ATTABOY, GONG, GREEN WEENIE, RED WEENIE, GOOD COOKIE, STREAMER, BRAGGING RIGHTS; compare KISS, BISCUIT.


slang for any of the mush-mouthed diplomats and namby-pamby foreign service officers (FSO) who populate embassies, ostensibly representing the best interests of their country by attending formal parties and other social events; also known as "cookie passer" and "perfumed prince(-ss)"; see SIGG, COCKTAIL WARS, DIP CO.

spontaneous or "runaway" firing, such as an automatic weapon that has been fired enough to continue firing without the trigger mechanism being engaged; an overheated machinegun (MG) can only be stopped by breaking the belt of LINK AMMO. Also, the unguided and uncontrolled discharge of burning ammunition, as when a too hot gun barrel ignites the CHARGE of a cartridge or shell before it can be properly fired, or when a DUMP is sympathetically exploded, or when a soldier is consumed by phosphorous (WP) or NAPALM.

see Insulated Food Container (IFC), MERMITE.

any Asian subsistence laborer; an unskilled civilian worker earning a minimum wage, as derived from pidgin Chinese-English for hireling. In China, a casual or piecework porter is called a "bon-bon man". See CHIGGIE BEAR, DAN CONG, HACK. [nb: according to the international LAWS OF WAR, a civilian compelled to act as a military porter by transporting weapons or munitions and materiel becomes a bona-fide combatant, subject to treatment as a de-facto soldier, and forfeits the protection of civilian noncombatant status; international law includes rules on the treatment of prisoners of war, but only extends protection to combatants, excluding any civilians who engage in hostilities, and those unconventional forces that do not observe restrictions for combatants]

an ethnic slur for anyone, civilian or otherwise, who is a member of the traditionally Roman Catholic and French-speaking population that was resettled in southern Louisiana after being expelled from Acadia in 1755-63, which label is used as a generalization for convenient description or identification; also called "Cajan/Cajun" or "pinto", "gumbo" or "swamp rat". See CREOLE, REDBONE, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, INDIG, DESEGREGATION.

a Congressional amendment (1970) prohibiting U.S. ground forces from operating outside the borders of South Vietnam (RVN); a legislative restraint proposed by Senators John Sherman Cooper and Frank Church, who sought to craft FOREIGN POLICY by modifying a Defense Department appropriations bill so as to forestall a repeat of the Cambodian INCURSION. The COOPER-CHURCH AMENDMENT sought to limit presidential authority to conduct military operations in Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand; sought to defund ground operations and air support for those operations outside South Vietnam; and sought to curtail training and support of Cambodian forces ... which amendment was only passed in modified form. Compare CASE-CHURCH AMENDMENT, WAR POWERS ACT, TONKIN GULF RESOLUTION; see OVER THE FENCE, SEALORDS, FANK TRAINING COMMAND, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), LAWS OF WAR.

a wind-activated safety latch (ie: mechanical aerodynamic wedge) that prevents the opening of a personnel HATCH or cargo RAMP while a civilian airplane (eg: Boeing 727, Douglas DC-9, etc) is in flight; also called a "Cooper switch" or "Cooper device", this precaution was introduced after D.B. Cooper hijacked an airliner in 1971, escaping with the $200,000 ransom by parachuting from the TAILGATE at a 10,000ft altitude over southwestern Washington state ... he was never apprehended. See KICK-OUT, DROP, AIR DROP, HEAVY DROP, LOW-LEVEL EVACUATION DROP.

slang for a louse, as one affecting humans (eg: body louse, head louse [aka: "motorized dandruff"], or pubic louse [pediculosis pubis]); also spelled "cooty", probably derived from Malay 'kutu' (biting body louse). Term first documented during WWI [eg: Over the Top (US) / From the Fire Step (UK) by Arthur Guy Empey (1917)] but plausibly introduced to the American vocabulary from the Philippines during the SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR. The louse is also called "nit" and "Army bug", "seam squirrel" and "pants rabbit". Compare ASSASSIN BUG, DOODLEBUG; see GRAYBACK, CRAB, CHESAI DOMO TACHI, BEDBUG, COMFORT STATION, MILITARY ORDER OF THE COOTIES. [ety: alternatively derived as an Americanism from Tagalog louse (kuto); cf: Hawaiian flea (uku), as in ukulele ("jumping flea")] [nb: the diminutive flea is parasitic upon lice and ticks as well as birds and mammals (eg: rodents, humans), spreading plague and other diseases; cf: chigoe, chigger, jigger, sand flea, beach flea]

originating in WWI, a colloquialism for the sleeping or bunk area when infested with lice.

originating in WWI, a colloquialism for the amusing antics exhibited by others when hunting for lice in the clothing that they're wearing. [cf: Saint Vitus's dance, Huntington's chorea]

originating in WWI, a colloquialism for an infestation of head lice; also called "motorized dandruff".

Combat OutPost, being a small platoon- or company-sized base situated in a hostile area, serving both guard and patrolling duties; compare OP, LP; see OUTPOST, CP, FOB, FSB, LSA, BASE CAMP, COMPOUND, CROW'S NEST. Also, typical acronym for Constable On Patrol, being slang for a law enforcement officer; see MP, SNOWDROP, PM, PROVOST GUARD, AP, SP, BATS 'n' HATS, CMAA, MAA, MASTER-AT-ARMS, SHERIFF, CHIMPS, KATN, CID, OSI, NIS, NCIS, BODYGUARD, PDS, PSD, SECRET SQUIRREL, USSS, CONSTABULARY, POLICE.

slang for a Vehicle Check Point (VCP) that consists of a small PILLBOX situated at an intersection or along a road to control traffic in Iraq; compare CHECKPOINT IN A BOX, ACP.

specious designation for the informal dual-executorship established by the Clinton Administration; see POTUS. [nb: during the Clinton administration, the First Lady acquired the matching designation "FLOTUS" from the Secret Service (USSS), which is perhaps a mocking acknowledgement of the first overtly titular "co-presidency"; subsequent to the Kennedy assassination, Congress passed (1965) the 25th Amendment (Presidential Vacancy or Inability) to the Constitution that provided for rightful succession, which factor became a prevailing concern during Reagan's term of office, due to fears that the spousal surrogateship of the presidency, as prompted by Wilson's disability, might recur without some overriding intervention]


Conscientious Objector Review Board. [nb: a common belief among professional MIL-PERS is that PACIFISTs should command the military, since they would be the most reluctant to commit them to senseless missions, and that warriors should set the terms of every peace treaty, since they would be the most reluctant to create the excuse for another conflict ... "Cursed be the peacemakers, for they make the next war harder than the last!"]

informal reference to a woven or braided device (also called a "rope" or "monkey's swing") that's worn at or around the shoulder as a badge or decoration, such as FOURRAGERE, AIGUILLETTE, or LANYARD; see CORDON, CONTRAFOIL, SHOULDER KNOT. Also, a distinctive piping or edge-trimming (often called "edge-cord") on the cuff or curtain of the GARRISON CAP to signify the unit, branch, or rank of the wearer. [nb: an insignia emblematic of the honors and lineage of a military organization, unlike familial "coats of arms", may be individually enhanced but not personally heritable; v: Heraldry] Also, cordage; see PARA-CORD, SPAGHETTI, GUY, LINE, ROPE, BOLTROPE, RATLINE, LET-DOWN ROPE, SHROUD, HAWSER, SHOCK CORD, ROGUE'S YARN.

a slow-burning, smokeless explosive powder that was invented in 1889 by Sir Frederick Augustus Abel and Sir James Dewar; composed of nitroglycerin and cellulose nitrate blended by acetone, with a mineral jelly lubricant; named for the cord-like form it takes when treated with certain chemicals. See GUNCOTTON.

a military line of sentinels, as posts or warships, enclosing (PERIMETER, ambit) or guarding (DMZ, YANKEE STATION) an area; compare BLOCKING FORCE, SCREEN, CHOP LINE. Also, a CORD, braid, or ribbon worn as an ornament, fastening, or badge; see CORD, FOURRAGERE, AIGUILLETTE, LANYARD, CONTRAFOIL.

an urbanized form of CORDON AND SEARCH wherein a neighborhood or village is surrounded and each building is then searched for suspects and/or contraband; compare SEARCH AND CLEAR, CLEAR AND HOLD, SEARCH AND DESTROY; see HOUSE CALL, STACK, HOUSEWARMING, FIBUA, MOUT.

a guarded line acting as a barrier when surrounding a quarantined hazard. Also, a buffer formed by a protective barrier between adversaries; as a group of neighboring states forming a geographical barrier between hostile states; compare DMZ. [cf: lazaretto]

operation to seal-off and search an area or village; also called "C&S". See COUNTY FAIR, CORDON AND KNOCK; compare SEARCH AND CLEAR, CLEAR AND HOLD, SEARCH AND DESTROY.

Civil Operations and Revolutionary (Rural) Development Support; a joint US military and USAID civil program that directed assistance, by providing assigned staff and contract civilian technical instruction and professional ADVISORs to the Government of Vietnam in support of its revolutionary (rural) development. Some program aspects were informally called "Rev-Dev" (Revolutionary Development) operations. See PHOENIX, PRU.

a person's most essential guiding principles; that central or innermost ethos forming the basis of one's character; also represented as "core competency", but sometimes (mis-)represented as "corps values"; see MORALITY, MORAL COURAGE, MORAL VICTORY, HONOR, HONOR CODE, CODE OF CONDUCT, CREED, OATH, PROMISE, LOYALTY CODE, TRADITION, DUTY, TOE THE LINE, ABOVE BOARD, SUMMUM BONUM, PINK, BEST AND BRIGHTEST, DUE DILIGENCE, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, KEEP THE FAITH, STRAIGHT ARROW, PATRIOTISM, MIGHT MAKES RIGHT, THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS, WINTER SOLDIER. [v: numinous, deontology, eudemonism; cf: meliorism, Solomonic compromise]

a synthetic imitation of leather made by DuPont (1964); see LOW-QUARTERS, KICKS.

slang for the drug (polymagnol) used in the field as an operational expedient to prevent defecation, especially in the treatment of diarrhea or dysentery; see TROTS, SQUIRTS, SHIT, DUMP, HORSE PILL, MALARIA, YELLOW JACK. [v: Diphenoxylate (Lomotil atropine sulfate), Tincture of Opium (Kaopectate), Loperamide (Imodium®), Maalox, Pepto; avoid milk thistle, cayenne, ginseng, saw palmetto, and other herbal supplements] [nb: diarrhea, with its associated dehydration, is the condition most responsible for human death worldwide] Also, "burnt cork" was used for facial camouflage before cosmetic grease paint was developed; see WAR FACE, WAR PAINT, CAMO.

slang for the distinctive flight pattern of a heat-seeking enemy shoulder-fired SAM (Surface-to-Air Missile), as is most acutely shown in the spiral, helical, or ZIGZAG pattern of trailing exhaust marking the sky as it locates its flying TARGET. Also, a short scurry or run, a quick DASH or hurried SCUTTLE, as in a ZIGZAG movement when under enemy fire; see FIRE 'n' MANEUVER.

designation given to Air Force project to evaluate airpower effectiveness in Southeast Asia.

the lowest non-commissioned officer (NCO) rank, equivalent to Specialist (SP4), and is commonly called MATING MOSQUITOES; this term derives from 'head of a body of men' ("caporale"), and not from 'body' (as in "corporal punishment). See SWINE LOG, MOSQUITO WING, MOSQUITO SMILE, EM, RANK, GRADE, RATING.

physical punishment inflicted upon the body of someone convicted of a crime by a duly constituted authority; formerly ranged from flogging and branding to imprisonment and the death penalty. See THIRD DEGREE, GAUNTLET, OVER A BARREL, WHIP, KEELHAUL, BASHING, BITCH SLAP, BLISTER, TORTURE, DRUMHEAD, PROVOST COURT, REGULATOR, VIGILANCE COMMITTEE, CHL, RENDITION, SHIT LIST, ADY, FASHION SHOW, DROP, FRONT LEANING REST, SQUAT, BOX THE COMPASS, CAPTAIN'S MAST, OFFICE HOURS, ARTICLE 15, NON-JUDICIAL PUNISHMENT, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, AIRMAN ALIGNMENT TOOL, BLANKET PARTY, GI SHOWER, SQUEEZE, PAIN; compare ROOM TO SWING A CAT, LET THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG. [v: buck and gag, riding the wooden mule, hanging by thumbs, confinement in irons, confinement on bread and water]

any small military detachment (DET) or DETAIL; see AD HOC.

2nd Corps
2 Corps
3rd Corps
3 Corps
The term "corps" has a dual meaning in the armed services. It can be used to designate a skill branch, such as any group of military personnel performing a similar function, like the Signal Corps or the Medical Corps. It's also a tactical unit that's larger than a division but smaller than a field army, which usually consists of two or more divisions, together with auxiliary arms and services. As an organizational element in the military hierarchy, a corps is a unit made up of at least two divisions that's responsible for the defense of a Military Region. The corps commander, typically a lieutenant general, controls combat operations by issuing directives to division commanders and coordinating the supporting elements. There were several corps operating in Vietnam during the war, including III Marine Amphibious Force, XXIV Corps, I Field Force Vietnam, II Field Force Vietnam, and USARV.

medical aidman serving in Navy or Marine units, also designated "hospital corpsman" or "pharmacist mate", and commonly called DOC or MEDIC; a "shank mechanic" or "pill pusher". See BAND-AID, BABY DOC, PECKER-CHECKER, BAC-SI, Y-SI, BONE CUTTER, ANGEL, FUZZY-WUZZY ANGEL, RAMP TRAMP, SSTP, ORDERLY. [nb: Marines perform police functions for the Navy, and the Navy performs medical functions for the Marines ... Navy corpsmen assigned to Marine units are sometimes nicknamed SQUID, not for their medical skills but for being a SAILOR] [nb: Vietnamese term: Quan Y Vien (military hospital / medical corpsman)] [nb: the field occupations most often targeted in combat, because their loss so immediately influences unit effectiveness and morale, are the leader, pointman, signalman, machinegunner, and medic]

a blend created from CORrect and RIGHT as an emphatic affirmation; originating in Singapore. See AFFIRM / AFFIRMATIVE, JOY, A-OK; compare NEGATIVE.

the swept- or gull-winged, propeller-driven Vought F4U fighter airplane, nicknamed BENTWING; principally in service with the U.S. Navy during WWII and the KOREAN WAR. Also, the Chance Vought F4U/AU series of fighter aircraft. Also, the Vought O2U observation/attack aircraft used by USMC during the BANANA WARs of the 1920s. [nb: 'corsair': a pirate, especially one formerly of the Barbary Coast; hence a fast ship used for piracy]

Vought/LTV A-7 single-engined subsonic fighter-bomber aircraft, as flown from U.S. Navy aircraft carriers during both the VIETNAM WAR and Persian GULF WAR.

Chief Of Staff (or "CS"); see DCS, JCS. Also, Chief Of Station, being the supervisor in charge of an overseas Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) post.

the tradename for a protective fluid placed on rifles, machineguns, and other metal objects, which hardens when dry, and preserves the treated item from rusting or corroding ... this coating must be removed before the protected item can be used. Also, a referent for something new or unused, as "It was still in Cosmolene." See WD-40, GREASE.

Combat and Operations Stress Reaction, or Combat and Operational Stress Reaction, being a diagnostic classification of dysfunction induced by hostile action or hazardous duty; a non-disabling condition that's amenable to alleviation by various treatment modalities. See BLAST SYNDROME, ZOMBIE; compare PTSD, TBI. [cf: acute stress disorder (ASD)]


(koz-vin) Central Office for South Viet Nam; the communist regional headquarters from 1961, being a forward field command post situated along the Cambodian border, in or near Tay Ninh province; being the objective of the MENU air campaign, and the May-June 1970 Cambodian INCURSION.

X-legged canvas folding cot
canvas folding cot
a lightweight portable bed, especially one constructed of canvas on a folding frame; as derived from 'bedstead' [khat (Hindi), kattil (Tamil), khatva (Sanskrit)]; sized for single occupancy (78"L by 30"W by 17"H), these folding wood and canvas duck cots were developed before WWII (1938) for semi-permanent use in mobile encampments and field medical units, with or without a blanket, mattress, sleeping bag, or gauze mosquito barrier, which models were displaced by folding aluminum and nylon versions during the KOREAN WAR, with surpluses later distributed during flood, earthquake, and disaster relief operations; see RACK, SACK, BERTH, HAMMOCK, BIVY, FART SACK, FLEABAG, SHAKEDOWN, RUBBER LADY, DUTCH WIFE, HOT BUNKING, SLOP, HOSPITAL CORNER, BILLET. Also, a small cottage or hut; a small place of shelter; see HUT, SHEBANG, HIDE, DUGOUT, BOLT HOLE, RABBIT HOLE. [v: bield, bower, arbor, rock-shelter, den, lair, bothy, cabin, cottage, casita, cabana, lodge, earth lodge, hogan, squat, shed, byre; cf: garret, cockloft, dovecote]

Commercial Off-The-Shelf product; not MIL-SPEC but GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK. [nb: in an effort to control costs and reduce waste, the DoD has instituted a policy of "non-duplication" in military procurement (Military Adaptable Commercial Item {MACI}), such that a mil-spec contract will NOT be let whenever a commercial "off the shelf" (COTS) product is "close enough for government work" and does not require special features; so some name brand items are now in logistical inventory]

the Grumman F9F-8/F-9H/TF-9 Navy jet fighter. Also, a landmine- or bomb-resistant vehicle that's larger than the HUMVEE but less flexible and more expensive, utilizing a capsule design that was imported from South Africa in 1998, which protects passengers and key vehicle components from explosions, shrapnel, and small arms fire; the 4-wheel 7-ton COUGAR carries ten passengers, and the 6-wheel 12-ton COUGAR carries sixteen fully equipped troops; compare BUFFALO; see JERRV, MRAP, TRUCK.

slang for the sanitizing lozenge placed in the trough of restroom urinals or the deodorizing cake that's hung on the edge of public toilets; see LATRINE, HEAD, BLUE CANOE, COMFORT STATION. [cf: troche]

any conference convened for discussing or deciding upon a COURSE OF ACTION, as by military leaders during a period of emergency; see CONFAB, BRIEFING, HALF-MAST, CHIN CHIN, POWWOW, SUMMIT, RUN IT UP THE FLAGPOLE, EYE-CHECK, REASSURANCE, MICROMANAGEMENT, EXTRAORDINARY POWERS. [nb: It is proverbial that councils of war never fight." by Henry W. Halleck (1863); "We always carry out by committee anything in which any one of us alone would be too reasonable to persist." by Frank Moore Colby (1926); "A camel is a horse designed by a committee." anonymous] [cf: consistory, gabfest]

a daring deed performed by a warrior in battle, especially among North American Plains Indians; also called "count coup", as derived from stroke or blow; see COUP STICK. Also, to recount acts of courage, or recall deeds that defy combat injury or war death; as derived from the AmerIndian practice of performing death-defying battle honors, which achievements would be worthy of descriptive recounting as remembrances in tribal councils; see COUP, COUP STICK, BTDT, PAY DUES, ATFU, PISSING CONTEST, BRAGGING RIGHTS, SOUVENIR, EARS, SCALPING, WATCH MY SMOKE, DIEHARD, BITE THE BULLET, GUTS, MOXIE, MACHO, SHOOT THE SHIT, SEA STORY, WAR STORY. [cf: warrior practice of adding FEATHERS to his hairdo or headdress for each battle honor ... denoting battle honors varied from tribe to tribe among AmerIndians, including painted lightning on warrior's face, painted hand print on warrior's horse, skunk skin anklets worn as an ornamental circlet, and so forth] [v: bragging song, bragging dance (Algonquian, Narragansett, etc)]

the detection and frustration of enemy ambushes, as by prevention or neutralization; see ALPHA-ALPHA, ALPHA BRAVO, HARDSPOT, MA, ALL AMERICAN, KILL ZONE, TRIPWIRE, BOOBY-TRAP, AMBUSH.

an attack by part or all of a defending force against an enemy attacking force, for such specific purposes as regaining ground lost, or cutting off, or destroying enemy advance units, and with the general objective of denying to the enemy the attainment of the enemy's purpose in attacking. In sustained defensive operations, it is undertaken to restore the battle position and is directed at limited objectives. Compare COUNTERFORCE, COUNTEROFFENSIVE.

indirect fire aimed at the opposing indirect fire weapon and its guidance system, delivered for the purpose of neutralizing or destroying that threat; see SALVO, VOLLEY, ARTY.


the lifestyle of those persons who reject the values and behavior prevailing in the dominant society, some of whom advocate an alternative ethos; also spelled counter-culture or counter culture. See BEST AND BRIGHTEST, PACIFIST, HIPPIE, SUMMER OF LOVE, TRIPPIE, PREEVERT, GONE NATIVE, STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, DECONSTRUCTION, POST-MODERN, PUNK, NIHILISM, STATE SUICIDE, UN-AMERICAN, ANTI-AMERICAN, AMERIKA, FLOWER POWER, THE PILL, KUM BA YAH, WE SHALL OVERCOME, PROTESTOR, DAYS OF RAGE, BURN BABY BURN, PROVOCATEUR, RUNNING DOG, FIFTH COLUMN, NEW MOBE, YIPPIE, BLACK BLOC, SILVER-TAIL, NEW AGE HIPPIE, BULLSHITVIK, GUERRILLA THEATER, EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF, CONFUSION, DISINFORMATION, DOUBLE VETERAN, SUPPORT THE TROOPS, VIETNAM IS FOREVER, THEY'LL GIVE A WAR AN' NOBODY'LL COME, SILENT MAJORITY, TUG OF WAR, RAT BAIT. [v: kultur, nativism, irredentism, nationalism, anomie] [nb: the doctrine of "cultural diversity" was introduced into American institutions during the post-Vietnam era by Islamists (and their sympathizers) who sought to corrupt the Western ideal of pluralistic tolerance with diffuse multiculturalism as a strategy ("a house divided...") for defeat] [v: grievance culture, populism, dual consciousness, relative deprivation theory, J-curve theory, frustration-aggression theory, obstructive dissociative disorder, value-added schema, hooliganism (including lunatic fringe or fanatical riffraff) and other collective aberrant behaviours; cf: scapegoat Atonement] [nb: "Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Be not afraid of them, for they cannot do evil; neither is it in them to do good." Jeremiah 10:5 RSV Bible]

those efforts intended to negate, neutralize, diminish the effects of, or gain advantage from a foreign deception operation; which does not include the intelligence function of identifying foreign deception operations. See DECEPTION.

the detection and frustration of enemy ESPIONAGE, foreign or domestic; a subspecialty of COUNTERINTELLIGENCE (CI). That aspect of COUNTERINTELLIGENCE designed to detect, destroy, neutralize, exploit, or prevent espionage activities through identification, penetration, manipulation, deception, and repression of individuals, groups, or organizations conducting or suspected of conducting espionage activities.



fire that's intended to destroy or neutralize enemy weapons, including counterbattery, counterbombardment, and countermortar fire.

the strategic employment of air and missile forces in an effort to destroy, or render impotent, selected military capabilities of an enemy force under any of the circumstances by which hostilities may be initiated; compare COUNTERATTACK, COUNTEROFFENSIVE, COUNTERMEASURES. Also, the OPFOR or AGGRESSOR FORCES that are engaged in military training exercises to add realism or to create fictitious challenges; see RED TEAM, RED FORCE, ORANGE FORCE, PURPLE FORCE, GRAY FORCE; compare BLUE FORCE, GREEN FORCE, FRIENDLIES, ALLY.

the use of guerrilla tactics against GUERRILLA forces; also known as "anti-guerrilla". See GUERRILLA WARFARE, LOW-INTENSITY CONFLICT, UW, CAP, MIKE FORCE, CIDG, RF/PF, STRIKER, SEA SWALLOWS, MILITIA, IRREGULARS, ASYMMETRIC WARFARE. [nb: during the INDIAN WARS, an Army LT returning from campaign sent the War Department this message: "Out on patrol 3 months. Killed 1 hostile. Took 44 casualties. At this rate, war will last 500 years, will cost $100,000,000, and they will win."]

a coordinated military and civic action (CA) program combating subversion and guerrilla warfare; abbreviated COIN. The U.S. military exported COUNTERINSURGENCY techniques to match the global communist threat posed by proliferating guerrilla revolutions in Africa, MesoAmerica, Mid-East, as well as Southeast Asia. Overt communist attacks against the U.S. included the Cuban Missile Crisis (22 Oct - 20 Nov 1962), the USS Pueblo incident (23 Jan - 22 Dec 1968; 1 KIA, 3 WIA of 83), and the USS Scorpion submarine sinking (27 May 1968). See LOW-INTENSITY CONFLICT, UW, CAP, CAAT, SF, SEAL, SOF, ASYMMETRIC WARFARE GROUP, DIME; compare COUNTER-GUERRILLA, ANTI-TERRORISM. [v: uprising, insurrection, insurgency, revolt, rebellion, takeover, toppling, outbreak, break-out, overthrow, break-through, downfall, mutiny, turning point, putsch, coup, coup d'état, or intifada (der: "shaking off")]

information gathered and activities conducted to protect against espionage, other intelligence activities, sabotage, or assassinations conducted by or on behalf of foreign governments or elements thereof, foreign persons or agents, foreign organizations or international terrorist activities; the four functions of COUNTERINTELLIGENCE are operations, investigations, collection, analysis and production, including counterespionage, countersabotage, countersubversion, security and security intelligence. See CI, CIC, CE, COUNTERESPIONAGE, SABOTAGE, INTEL, MI, OSS.

although conventional wisdom argues in favor of the obvious conclusions of "common sense", one of the most important aspects of military instruction is teaching COUNTERINTUITIVE lessons and reactions to trainees, such as the fact that aimed shots (not BLIND FIRE) are more effective in a FIREFIGHT, that moving into (not away from) an AMBUSH improves survivability, that clearing a PARACHUTE malfunction with a CUT-AWAY before deploying the reserve will prevent a STREAMER, that exhaling before inhaling when "buddy breathing" is essential while SCUBA diving, and so forth. Some COUNTERINTUITIVE principles influence judgment or bear upon decision making, such as the fact that a rifleman needs to aim low when shooting at targets uphill, or that it takes more (not less) power to land a helicopter than to lift it off, and that narrower rotary helicopter wings are more efficient (not less) than wider or broader blades.

to rescind, retract, withdraw, revoke, cancel, abrogate, annul, or invalidate an order, command, directive, or the like; derived as a contraction of 'counter' + 'mandate' ("counter command"); see BELAY, RECOVER, AS YOU WERE, SCRATCH, UNODIR, CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, WIGGLE ROOM. Also, an order or command that recalls or overrules a previous one, especially one stopped by a contrary order.

a return march over the same ground, a "re-march"; not to be confused with RETREAT (eg: ROUT, BEAT FEET, CHANGING TUNE, BAILOUT, DEFEAT). See FORCE MARCH, MARCH.

that form of military science that, by the employment of devices and/ or techniques, has as its objective the impairment of the operational effectiveness of enemy activity; see CHAFF, LITTLE BUDDY, ECM, EW, ELINT; compare COUNTERFORCE.

(forthcoming) (eg: aerial bombing of emplacement, depth charge of torpedo) see MINE

any large scale offensive undertaken by a defending force to seize the initiative from the attacking force; compare COUNTERATTACK, COUNTERFORCE.

advisor shoulder
advisor shoulder patches
in advisory or joint service elements, the complementary or opposite number of any person serving in a skill or command position, with the purpose of exchanging knowledge and increasing function while producing a mutually benefitial tutorial. Although the ADVISOR and advisee usually learned from each other, the dual or parallel organizational structure often creates as many problems as it solves. See ADV, CAP, MATA, MATS, CO VAN MY, OUC DA LOI, TAN TAY LAN, GONE NATIVE, INDIG, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER.

a tactical strike or assault made in return for an initial or previous attack; also known as "counterblow", as derived from boxing. See RIPOSTE / RIPOST, RETALIATION, COUNTERATTACK, SMACK DOWN, REPRISAL. [cf: counter campaign]

all measures taken to prevent hostile observation of an operational force, a maneuver area, or a tactical location, whether by trackers or detectors, including devices and dog teams; commonly known as "watching the watcher", and also called "counter-recon", "anti-surveillance", or COUNTERSURVEILLANCE. [cf: sousveillance] [v: a Sampling of Reconnaissance and Surveillance Insignia]

resistance by the people being governed against the sudden and violent overthrow of an established political system, with the objective of perpetuating the status quo ante; compare WAR ON TERROR, ANTI-GUERRILLA, COUNTERINSURGENCY.

a neutral pivot-turn of zero radius that's performed by a TRACK-propelled vehicle so as to reverse its direction in the least possible area; this "turn in place" turnabout is accomplished by driving the vehicle's TRACKs in opposite directions using a controlled differential transmission, a mechanism employed on German armor late in WWII. Counter-rotation improved upon the short radius turns accomplished by locking one TRACK while driving the other forward or back in a tight arc or circle. The proper HAND SIGN to direct this maneuver is: arms crossed at the wrists across the chest with hands closed into fists, extending one finger in the direction of movement. See BOGIE, CATERPILLAR; compare CRASH-BACK, BRODIE.

a method of reverse coloration for CONCEALMENT, as darkening areas exposed to the light and lightening areas exposed to the dark; compare CAMO, WAR PAINT, DAZZLE, GRAYBACK, INTERNATIONAL ORANGE, PLIMSOLL MARK, LOAD-LINE MARK.

a sign used to reply to another sign, both of which are typically secret; an exchange of a challenge CODEWORD and its corresponding PASSWORD reply, usually called "sign / counter-sign", as used to gain access to a guarded area; see SIGN. Also, an added signature that validates or vouches for another signature; a confirming or authenticating co-signature; see SIGNATURE.

also known as RIPOSTE / RIPOST.

all measures, active or passive, taken to counteract hostile surveillance; commonly known as "watching the watcher", and also called "anti-surveillance", "counter-recon" or COUNTERRECONNAISSANCE. [cf: sousveillance]

the use of offensive and defensive stratagems, including terror tactics against TERRORISTs, revolutionaries, religious fanatics, and other sociopolitical radicals; also known as ANTI-TERRORISM. See UW, COUNTER-GUERRILLA, COUNTERINSURGENCY, ICEX, PRU, PHOENIX, ASYMMETRIC WARFARE GROUP, CONSTABULARY, IRREGULARS, OPLAN 7500, TIWG, DHS, NIMS, NRP, NCTC, DOOR KICKING, KILL HOUSE, GWOT, WAR ON TERROR, PATRIOT ACT. [v: uprising, insurrection, insurgency, revolt, rebellion, takeover, toppling, outbreak, break-out, overthrow, break-through, downfall, mutiny, turning point, putsch, coup, coup d'état, or intifada (der: "shaking off")] [nb: "Everyday that nothing happens is a good day." AT mantra]

the command to either tabulate or enumerate a unit ("head-count" or "nose-count"), as for accountability or partition; see BY THE NUMBERS, SOUND-OFF. [v: ordinal number; cf: cardinal number]


the WWII training center for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) personnel, formerly the Congressional country club; see TRADECRAFT, SHANGRI-LA, FINISHING SCHOOL, THE FARM, THE GARAGE, THE PICKLE FACTORY. Also, nickname for a section or annex within some North Vietnamese prison camps; see CITADEL, BRIARPATCH, ALCATRAZ, POW [v: dungeon, keep, oubliette, hock (sty or prison as a miserable place to live)].

the senior US coordinating and supervising body in-country, headed by the chief of the US diplomatic mission, and composed of the senior member of each US department or agency represented; abbreviated CT. See DOS, DIP CO, FSO, LO, L&L, DA, USDAO. [v: Diplomatic Terms]

nickname for CORDON AND SEARCH methodology, in which a surrounded village would be "entertained" by CAP or social services while their property was searched for enemy materiel.

a highly successful and unexpected act or move; truncation of COUP D'ETAT. Also, among North American Plains Indians, a daring deed performed by a warrior in battle; also called "count coup", as derived from stroke or blow; see COUP STICK.

a death blow, especially one delivered mercifully to end suffering; literally a "blow of mercy" [coup de grâce]; also known as "mercy killing". [v: misericord / misericorde] Also, any finishing or decisive stroke; see DEATH OF A THOUSAND CUTS, DOUBLE TAP; compare QUARTER, MERCY.

a surprise attack or sudden development; literally a "blow from the hand".

literally a "kick from a donkey's foot", but used figuratively to mean a "blow given to a fallen person", specifically a kick delivered to a conquered foe ... in other words, a cowardly strike at a defenseless opponent, or an insult rendered to someone lacking the power to return it. This expression alludes to the fable of the sick lion kicked by the ass. See ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, DOG-EAT-DOG, TOOTH 'n' NAIL, HARDBALL, CHEAP SHOT, CUTTHROAT, UPHILL BATTLE, DIRTY FIGHTER, DARTH VADER, ROMAN HOLIDAY, WHEN IN ROME, WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' BADGES, OUTSIDE THE WIRE, OFF THE RESERVATION.

a sudden and decisive political act resulting in a compulsory change of government; literally a "stroke concerning the state". An unsuccessful revolt is called a "putsch". Compare HEADHUNTING, DECAPITATION; see RAPPROCHEMENT, DETENTE, ENTENTE, APPEASE, TRUCE, RAISON D'ETAT. [v: uprising, insurrection, insurgency, revolt, rebellion, takeover, toppling, outbreak, break-out, overthrow, break-through, downfall, mutiny, turning point, putsch, coup, coup d'état, or intifada (der: "shaking off")] [nb: a COUP / COUP D'TAT is qualified as the violent overthrow of the ruling order within the same caste or class, while a REVOLUTION is differentiated as the violent overthrow of the ruling order between castes or classes]

miss or failure; a missed shot or failed opportunity, as derived from "missed stroke" ... similar to "don't do anything only halfway". [nb: "Shoot dead, or don't aim at all; but never make a coup manqué." ch XX Under Two Flags by Ouida / Maria Louise de la Ramée (1867)]

a totemic stick (not a weapon) that was used by some North American Indian warriors who sought to touch their enemies in battle as a sign of courage; see COUP, COUNT COUP; compare SWAGGER STICK, WARDER, BATON, BATS 'n' HATS, SANDBAG. [cf: warrior practice of adding FEATHERS to his hairdo or headdress for each battle honor] [v: bragging song, bragging dance (Algonquian, Narragansett, etc)]

the mental or spiritual ability to face danger or pain; as derived from "heart" [cf: cordial]; see V-DEVICE, IMPACT AWARD, GUTS, MOXIE, ONIONS, DIEHARD, SUMMUM BONUM, VETERAN, WINTER SOLDIER, NOBLE SAVAGE, COUNT COUP, BRAGGING RIGHTS, QUIET PROFESSIONAL, HERO, MACHO. [nb: "That which valor has joined cannot be parted by death, and that which has been ennobled by courage shall not be diminished by passing, even out of remembrance."; "Uncommon valor was a common virtue."; "The bravest are the tenderest, and the loving are the most daring."; "It's good to be brave, but it's better to be smart."]

a messenger, who often travels in haste, bearing urgent news, important materials, diplomatic communications, and similar packages, as a mailman distributing "by safe hand" or "by secure means"; see RUNNER, ROADRUNNER, BAGMAN, DIPLOMATIC POUCH, SHELL GAME, K-9, WAR DOGS, estafette at STIRRUP. Also, the conveyance so used, especially on a regular basis. [v: dispatch rider, dispatch boat]

any line of conduct or sequence of military activities that an individual or unit may direct or follow in an effort to accomplish a job or mission; may be abbreviated "COA". Also, the plan or scheme devised for the accomplishment of a job or mission. Also, a STAFF product of contingency planning and response development that's intended for later adoption, implementation, or execution; compare CONPLAN, OPLAN. See CAPABILITY, BY THE BOOK, COLLISION COURSE, LEAST RESISTANCE, FIELD EXPEDIENT, KNOW YOUR ENEMY, PLAN B, RUN IT UP THE FLAGPOLE, WIGGLE ROOM, DEMARCHE, WHITE ELEPHANT, MIND CANDY, MILITARY MIND, HOUSE OF CARDS, DIVIDE AND CONQUER, RAIN ON PARADE, TACTICS, STRATEGY, BATTLE, WAR. [nb: Frederick the Great's mule attended many battles but learned nothing about war from them!; the difference between the OLD MAN and the TOP-KICK is the same in war as it is in sex: officers need to talk about it in great detail for a long time before it happens, but sergeants need to talk about it in great detail for a long time after it happens!] [nb: "If everybody thought about all the things that really needed to be done, and what they'd have to do to actually accomplish these things, nobody would ever get out of bed in the morning!" paraphrase of Lawrence Block]

a military tribunal appointed by a commander for the trial of Armed Forces personnel who have been charged and arraigned for infractions of MILITARY LAW. Also, the trial of military personnel conducted by military personnel proceeding from arraignment on violations of MILITARY LAW in either a general, summary, or special courts martial. The UCMJ establishes three levels of court-martial: with the summary court martial consisting of a single officer who may impose a maximum penalty of imprisonment for one month; with the special court martial consisting of at least three officers who may impose a prison sentence of up to six months; with the general court martial consisting of at least five members and one JAG lawyer who may impose any authorized sentence, including dishonorable discharge or death. Courts martial are subdivided into two phases: the prosecution and defense of the aggravating allegations that're used to establish guilt, and the penalty phase if guilt is determined, wherein arguments in extenuation and mitigation (including previous convictions) are presented so as to reconcile appropriate sentencing. See UCMJ, ROCKS 'n' SHOALS, CAPTAIN'S MAST, JAG, MCM, PROVOST COURT, DRUMHEAD, SHOW TRIAL, ARTICLE 15, RIOT ACT, SILENT INSOLENCE, SOFA, YELLOW SHEET, WAR CRIMES TRIAL, POSSE COMITATUS. [cf: kangaroo court, honor court, grievance committee, vigilance committee, tribunal, sanhedrim]

informal reference to someone from an allied nation, especially a servicemember or an intelligence agent from a member nation in the United Kingdom (eg: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Great Britain, etc). Also, a gullible person who is taken advantage of, or an innocent person who is easily duped; see TELL IT TO THE MARINES, LIAR'S DICE, BLUFF, BRAG, HAZARD, TIGER, PLAY THE GAME, WAR GAMES, DECEPTION. [nb: "A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." by Demosthenes; "Man is a credulous animal, and must believe 'something'; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones." by Bertrand A.W. Russell; "Man can believe the impossible, but man can never believe the improbable." by Oscar Wilde (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills); "The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality." by George Bernard Shaw]

unofficial scroll
worn by American advisors
American advisor scroll
Vietnamese phrase for "American ADVISOR"; compare OUC DA LOI, TAN TAY LAN; see ADV, COUNTERPART.

defensive protection; compare CONCEALMENT, EMPLACEMENT. Also, the threat or action of land, sea, or air forces to protect by offense or defense. Also, support or reinforcement, including aerial monitor; see CAP. Also, a mask, SCREEN, subterfuge, or substitute, usually secret, as used to obscure or misdirect; compare CODENAME, CODEWORD, PASSWORD, NICKNAME; see CIA, NOC, LEGEND. Also, those measures necessary to guard against enemy intelligence, its surveillance or penetration of persons, plans, operations, formations, or installations; see BACKSTOP. Also, the alignment, one directly behind another, of the members of a FORMATION; the alignment of a FILE; see DRILL. Also, a top, cap, lid, or envelope; see HATCH, SCUTTLE. Also, Marine term for a head covering, albeit hard (helmet) or soft (utility); see BARRACKS COVER, COMBINATION COVER, HEADGEAR. Also, the complete set of eating utensils or the entire dining service for one person; see MESS KIT, MESS TRAY, CANTEEN CUP, SPOON, PARTISAN'S SECRET WEAPON, KFS, P-38, CHURCH KEY, CHOPSTICK.

in the organization of tactical Marine elements, designation for the second man in the patrol, often armed with an automatic weapon (eg: M-60 light machinegun); compare SLACK, POINT, DRAG.


a military action that's planned so as to be executed in a manner that will conceal the identity of its sponsor, or will permit plausible deniability by its sponsor; covert action, in which the U.S. role is to be kept hidden, requires a presidential finding and congressional notification; an "overt operation" is not its opposite; compare CLANDESTINE OPERATION, see SPECIAL OPERATIONS. [nb: civilians pronounce 'covert' as "kuv-uhrt", while the MIL-SPEAK pronunciation is "ko-vuhrt", by analogy with 'overt'; v: PINTLE; cf: adviser versus ADVISOR]

abbreviation for Commanding Officer's Wife; see OFFICER'S WIFE, LADY, DISTAFF, PETTICOAT COMMAND, HOOKUP, RING THE BELL, THE DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT, THE MOTHER-IN-LAW OF THE ARMY, DRAG, CLASS-B DEPENDENT, SLEEPING DICTIONARY, CAMPAIGN WIFE, SHACK-JOB, CAMP FOLLOWER, BITCH, SKIRT, BRAT, GREEN BLOOD, ARMY SOUP. Also, West Point (USMA) slang for a member of the second class, ranked as a college junior, which term derives from the phrase "till the cows come home", because these third-year cadets are granted official leave to travel to their hometowns for the first time; see CADET, HUDSON HIGH, TRADE SCHOOL. [nb: plebe, yearling, cow, firstie] [v: West Point slang]

see COWARDICE. [nb: the Cowardly Lion was made miraculously "brave" by a factitious medal presented by a fraudulent poseur, the Wizard of Oz, in The Wonderful World of Oz by L. Frank Baum (1900)]

a shameful lack of courage or fortitude, as being craven or risk-averse, timorous or pavid, yellow-bellied or chicken-hearted, fainthearted or weak-kneed, spineless or pusillanimous, a dastard or poltroon; see FEAR, LILY-LIVERED, WHITE FEATHER, FRENCH FLU, WHITE FLAG, STRIKE THE FLAG, SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT, CHICKEN LITTLE; compare FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT, PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, RISKY-SHIFT EFFECT. [v: Il Capitano, Scarramuccia / Scaramouche]

a dysphemism for a barroom or saloon, where all the false gods are worshiped, where all the sacred cows are slaughtered, where all the secular liturgies are recited by rote, where all the profane rituals are performed (especially alcoholic communion), where maudlin confessions are heard and absolutions are granted; it is the darkened withdrawing room for those who have lost their way and are too pitiful to encounter more challenges. See WHISKEY WARRIOR, CAFE REBEL, DUTCH COURAGE, CANTEEN, O CLUB, ANNEX, ALL RANKS CLUB, NCO CLUB, ACEY-DEUCY, SLOP CHUTE, BOOM BOOM ROOM, PIGPEN, NHA THO. [cf: barrelhouse, cocktail lounge, saloon, roadhouse, speakeasy, blind pig / blind tiger, pub, ginmill, public house, tavern, cantina, bar, barroom, bar-and-grill, grogshop, watering hole, tippling house, 11th Frame, 19th Hole, honky-tonk, dive, brasserie, bistro, taproom, beer joint, beer parlor, brewpub, alehouse, rathskeller, cabaret, nightclub, drinkery]

any careless HOT-SHOT or reckless show-off, usually a hazard to everyone around him; sometimes applied to a wheeler-dealer, trader, pimp, or TRIGGER-HAPPY HOT DOG. Vietnamese term: Cao-Boy (cao = bad); compare BUDDHAHEAD. [nb: known as "show pony" by AUSSIE and KIWI troops] [nb: following the Wild West motif prevalent in LBJ's "little pissant war", numerous allusions to a mythic frontier adventurism were utilized; including DODGE CITY, INDIAN COUNTRY, and GUNSLINGER. The term "cow-boy" was originally (Feb 1840) used by Texas Rangers to signify a cattle thief or "rustler" (worker), which changed its meaning after the CIVIL WAR. Before "rustler" acquired its illicit implications, the term for a marauding thief or outlaw was "reaver", which is also used for vigilantes and "nightrider" TERRORISTs. Before the word COWBOY became acceptable, the respectable term for someone who works with cattle was either "drover", a driver or herder of livestock, or "buckaroo", being an Anglicized variant of "vaquero", which derives from the Spanish word (vaca) for cow. A "cowhand" is a 'hand' (manual laborer) employed to work with cattle, and a "cowpoke" is the person who loads livestock (by poking with a long pole) onto cattle cars for railroad transshipment. A "wrangler" is a 'ranch hand' who works with horses (horseman), which is similarly a corruption of the Spanish word (caballerango) for groom or stable boy; as caballero has been expanded from groom or horseman and extended to mean cavalier, knight, and cavalryman]

(forthcoming); state supported Land-Grant College Act for the development of agricultural, mechanical, and industrial arts; see MORRILL ACT, TRADE SCHOOL, PROFESSOR, WONK, WIZARD.


a streamlined housing or removable covering for an engine, often made of metal and forming a continuum with the body of the vehicle, as becoming a part of the wing or fuselage when shielding an aircraft engine; compare FAIRING, NACELLE.

the person, generally a Boatswain's Mate, who's in charge of steering and/or directing the crew of a boat, wherein a boat is defined as a vessel smaller than a ship. [ety: "cockswain" : a small boat (cock) servant (swain); who was the sailor in charge of a boat and its crew whenever an officer was absent]

an expendable aerial surveillance DRONE using an electro-optical camera that can remain on station up to 90 minutes, and may be variously deployed to operate up to 20,000feet above ground level using X-wings and battery power; this UAV was developed by Advanced Ceramic Research and acquired by BAE Systems (2009) for governmental applications (RQ-/NQ-55).

CP :
Command Post; see OPN, TOC, ACV. Also, Check-Point; see WAY POINT, CHECKMATE. [nb: Vietnamese term: Bo Chi Huy] Also, Communist Party.

abbreviation for CorPoraL, which E-4 rating is the lowest non-commissioned officer (NCO) rank, equivalent to Specialist (SP4), and is commonly called MATING MOSQUITOES; this term derives from 'head of a body of men' ("caporale"), and not from 'body' (as in "corporal punishment). See SWINE LOG, MOSQUITO WING, MOSQUITO SMILE, EM, RANK, GRADE, RATING.

(see-pee-oh) Chief Petty Officer, rated E-7 and above in the Navy, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine; also called CHIEF. Because the CPO wears a different hat than lower ranking EMs and NCOs, there is a special promotion ceremony conducted by other CHIEFs, usually involving high jinks, skylarking, and consumption of adult beverages. See CROW, BUZZARD, GUNNY, BLOOD STRIPE, TOP GUN, TOP, SARGE, NCO, MISTER; compare PO, CMDMC.

Chemical Protective Over-Garment, used with HAZMAT or CBR; see MOPP, JSLIST, BUNNY SUIT, MOON SUIT, BLUE SUIT, H-GEAR, GAS MASK. [cf: remote mechanical agents or servo-manipulation systems for use in sterile, hazardous, or contaminated environments began during WWII with the handling of radioactive materials; initially in the form of insulated gripper arms named "Waldo" (being a cognate of 'rule' or 'command', after the 1942 novel by Robert A. Heinlein), later known as the "Waldo F. Jones Synchronous Reduplicating Pantograph", and now as a telefactoring device, useful in bomb disposal and extraterrestrial maintenance]

the abbreviation for CAPTAIN (O-3), a company-grade rank in the Army, Air Force, and Marines, that's equivalent to Lieutenant (LT) in the naval services; see RANK, RATING, LDR, OFFICER.

Chinese People's Volunteer Force, the communist Chinese (CCF, CHICOM) in the KOREAN WAR; also known as Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV); see GOOEY, GOOK.

(see-pee-ecks) Command Post eXercise, a simulated training exercise for headquarter's (HQ) staff using prepared plans and reduced-distance radio broadcasts; also known as "operations base exercise". See EXERCISE. [nb: under the Double Cross system of Operation Fortitude preliminary to the WWII D-Day INVASION, a procedure similar to CPX was used to create "ghost" and "phantom" units as a deception]

CQ :
(see-cue) Charge of Quarters, an NCO duty assignment equivalent to OD or OOD; similar to Navy "Chief of Watch"; see BRASSARD, ORDERLY ROOM, PARADE, DETAIL, compare SDO, SOPA. Also, an abbreviation meaning Call to Quarters. Also, a MarSpeak abbreviation for Command Quarters, being the place (ie: tent, building, or other structure) where company-level administration is conducted; see ORDERLY ROOM; compare TOC.


a maneuver in which an aircraft is headed partly into the wind to compensate for drift; see CAREEN, PITCH, YAW, ROLL, ATHWART, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT. [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon] Also, a mechanical contrivance for hoisting or pulling heavy weights, a truckle; see BLOCK, TACKLE, PARBUCKLE, FAIRLEAD, FALL, WHIP, BOOM. Also, slang for midshipman, a student at the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) in Annapolis, MD; also known as SQUID or MIDDIE; see CADET, COASTIES, SNOTTY, DOGSBODY, MISTER, GOAT, TRADE SCHOOL. Also, slang for a civilian contractor for naval stores or services; by truncation of SAND CRAB (qv). Also, the crab louse or "crabs" [especially genital lice (pediculosis pubis)]; see COOTIE, GRAYBACK, CHESAI DOMO TACHI, BEDBUG, COMFORT STATION, MILITARY ORDER OF THE COOTIES; compare ASSASSIN BUG, DOODLEBUG.

to scurry or scuttle in a crouched or hunkered posture, especially while under fire; see DUCK-WALK, FIRE 'n' MANEUVER.

a motorized wheeled ambulance used on roadways and in the field; also called "meat wagon"; so-called due to the similarity of box-style ambulance with a box of crackers, but also attributed to a container (box) for injured or broken (cracked) patients, as a variant of the German 'kranken'. See BAND-AID, MEDEVAC, DUSTOFF, AIR AMBULANCE, CASEVAC, CIVCAS, NEO, LUGGAGE TAG, TRIAGE. [cf: ambulette]

informal reference to the U.S. Navy "service dress blue" (or "service dress white") bell-bottomed uniform with back-flap blouse; by association with the trademarked American confection of caramel-coated popcorn and peanuts, which derives from "crackajack", meaning someone of marked ability, something exceptionally fine. See JUMPER, DUNGAREES, BELLS, AQUAFLAGE, BLUE JACKET.

a sudden and painful hyperflexion of a muscle (or set of muscles) that's caused by exhaustion, dehydration, hypoxia, or electrolyte imbalance (low sodium, potassium, magnesium, or calcium) ... as distinct from a physiological reaction to a disease state ... which involuntary contraction incapacitates the affected muscle(s) for seconds or minutes or hours without permanent damage or impairment, and may only be ameliorated by counterflexion and relief of the causative. Also known as "corky" or CHARLEY HORSE; see RADIATION SICKNESS, FOOD POISONING, DYSENTERY, DIARRHEA. [v: tetany, clonic spasm]

see BRACE.

a special version of the FIGHTING FALCON (F-16) configured with a delta-wing for improved stability; built by General Dynamics, it has an increased fuel load and weapons capacity.


a dice game in which the players wager on the outcome of the roll (or a series of rolls) of a pair of dice, betting against the bank (ie: table or casino craps) or against each other (ie: street craps), but many variations exist, including the use of a single di or replacing the dice with PLAYING CARDS; the name is probably derived from the crouched posture ["crapaud": French for 'toad'] that players assume when huddled on the ground to play the game. When introduced (1813) through the New Orleans trading port, the rules for the older dice game known as Hazard, which dated back to the Crusades, were simplified by John H. Winn (ca1835), making it faster paced; the basic rules provide that a first throw of 7 or 11 wins ["natural"], that a first throw of 2, 3, or 12 loses ["crap-out"], and that a first throw of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 can be won only by throwing the same number again ["hard way", "easy way"] before throwing a 7. See DICE GAMES, WAR GAMES, PLAY THE GAME.

anything that's problematic or unpredictable, being a risky situation that will have an arbitrary or capricious resolution; an informal expression of the Vietnam-era, derived by figuratively extending the gambling metaphor from 'shooting craps', a dice game, as a sufficient resolution of any crisis.



a sharp high-speed turn performed by a ship with at least two propellers, such that one pushes while the other pulls with the rudder; also spelled "crashback" or "crash back", this greatly reduced turning radius consists of reversing the direction of one "screw" after disengaging its drive shaft so that the engine is not ruined by the torque in this maneuver. Compare COUNTER-ROTATE, BRODIE.

rhyming slang for a FIELD CARRIER LANDING or BOUNCE, which is similar to a TOUCH AND GO landing.

to dive rapidly at a steep angle, as when a SUBMARINE submerges to avoid attack from a surface vessel or airplane; also spelled "crash dive". See GIGGLES 'n' BANGS, PRESSURE HULL, COLLAPSE DEPTH.

an emergency radio locator beacon that automatically activates to help search and rescue (SAR) forces find a crashed aircraft. See ELT, HOMER, LOCATOR BEACON.

a cup-shaped cavity on the surface of a heavenly body, as caused by volcanic eruption (orifice) or meteoritic impact (astrobleme). Also, a bowl-like depression on the surface of the earth with a raised rim that was formed by the forceful impact of a foreign object, especially the hole or pit in the ground where a bomb, shell, or military mine has exploded; such a conical- or saucer-shaped hole is also called an "impact crater"; compare CAMOUFLET. Also, slang for ruin or destroy; to cancel or abandon; as derived from 'mixing bowl'.

individual packaged meal fOR hot or cold consumption in the field; also called "combat rations", "C-rats", "Charlie rats", "C's", or just "rats". C-RATIONS, being canned meals that evolved (C-1 to C-3) from a 1938 experiment into their final form in 1958, were used in military operations, required little or no preparation, and were moist or fluid packed, making them a convenient packaged food. Moisture content and prepreparation were benefits compared to dehydrated LRRP-RATIONS and PIRations. During WWII, the "meal in a can" comprising several complete menu offerings replaced the previous single food concept. The letter designation was both a category label (such as D or K rations) and an abbreviation for "combat". A C-RATION container (meal box, case, or carton) was also called a "rat pack". See CHOKE, HAM 'n' MOTHERS, BEANS, CHOW, SOUP, IRON RATIONS, SOLDIER'S BREAKFAST, GI JOE, BUG JUICE, MERMITE, P-38, HEAT TABS. [nb: a method of preserving food against spoilage by heat-sealing the contents in airtight jars was perfected in 1810 by a French chef, Nicolas Appert, who won the prize offered by Napoleon Bonaparte when the food so treated for use by the army and navy remained fresh after several months at sea; a British merchant, Pierre Durand, patented a similar method of heat-sealing foods using airtight tin-coated canisters that enabled the British Army and Navy to be supplied with food preserved in tin cans by 1813] [v: sample menu of C-RATIONS]


Control and Reporting Center (also Command and Reporting Center or Combat Reporting Center); see DRESSY LADY, PANAMA, PUIS; compare CRP.

all non-essential (CLASS SIX) ancillary items that make military service more comfortable and tolerable, often purchased for unit members with non-appropriated (SLUSH FUND) monies; these "nice to have" items include privately purchased products as well as "goodies" sent by loved ones at home, and run the gamut from "comfort foods" and games to reading matter and sports equipment ... called SNIVEL GEAR in the post-Vietnam era. See GEDUNK, POGY BAIT, DOG, SINKER, SANDWICH, SLIDER, JUICE, BREW, HOOCH, GROG, SNAKE SKIN, SPLICE THE MAINBRACE, SUNDOWNER, GUSTO, PONCHO LINER, WOOBIE / WUBBIE, SWAMP COOLER, DAYROOM, SAFE ROOM, POWER WALL, COMPANY STREET, CANTEEN, FOUR CORNERS, SIN CITY, LITTLE AMERICA, R&R, STEEL BEACH, USO, SHANGRI-LA, FIELD HOUSE, SMOKER, TREASURE HUNT, ORIENTEERING, WAR GAMES, PLAYING CARDS, CHALLENGE COIN, BATRACHOMYOMACHIA, PLAY THE GAME, GUNS OR BUTTER, TRAIN HARD - FIGHT EASY.

slang for a submerged corpse, typically a gruesome one beginning to suffer the ravages of immersion and marine predation but either insufficiently bloated to float, or one too decomposed for gaseous accumulation, but not yet unrecognizable or skeletal; the recovery of such a corpse is potentially hazardous due to the transmittal of blood-borne (by seepage) or airborne (by "sighing") diseases that were incubated during decomposition. Compare FLOATER, RICE KRISPIES, SOUP, CRISPY CRITTER, PICNIC, TADPOLE; see GRAVES REGISTRATION, MORTUARY AFFAIRS.


a perceived discrepancy between words and deeds, a disparity between statements and behavior, a variance between propositions and actual performance; a mistrust of authority, or a lack of confidence by the public in the proclamations of government or business. The perceived difference between social classes or societal groups that are divided by attainments or attitudes, values or customs; being a suspicion or mistrust that may be unbridgeable.

an authoritative formulation stating the principal articles or essential tenets of belief, an explicit espousal of an accepted system of belief; as derived from "I believe" (credo). See DUTY, CODE OF CONDUCT, OATH, PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE, HONOR CODE, PROMISE, LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN, UP OR OUT, DUE DILIGENCE, CORE VALUES, MORALITY, TOE THE LINE, HOLD ONE'S FEET TO THE FIRE, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, SUMMUM BONUM, TRADITION, CUSTOMS AND COURTESIES OF THE SERVICE. [v: numinous, deontology, eudemonism; cf: meliorism, Solomonic compromise]

to approach slowly or gradually with the body close to the ground; to advance imperceptibly or stealthily, as to inconspicuously sneak up behind someone or without someone's knowledge; see LOW-CRAWL, DRAG, DUCK-WALK. Also, slang for an intelligence or counterintelligence agent; a spy or counterspy; see SPOOK, CRYPTO, SECRET AGENT, BOY SCOUT, INVISIBLE, MOLE, SLEEPER, FIX, THROW-AWAY, TRADECRAFT. Also, slang for a GRAPNEL, grappling iron, or gang hook. Also, the slack in a trigger mechanism before it releases the firing pin or actuates the firing device; compare HAIR-TRIGGER, see TRIGGER. Also, to expand or extend, to advance or develop gradually so as to infringe on or supplant something else; see MISSION CREEP. Also, slang for a boring or obnoxious person, someone who's disturbingly eccentric or painfully introverted; a social misfit or deviant, such as goons and nerds, goofs and dweebs, geeks and freaks; see DUD, CLERKS 'n' JERKS, PUKE, BEAN-COUNTER, WONK, LOOSE CANNON, RUNTS 'n' CUNTS, AAA, POGUE, YARDBIRD, PYHOOYA, TURD, SOS, SMACK, SHIT MAGNET, DOUCHE BAG, FIELD REJECT.

a syntactic pidgin that has become the native language of a distinct subculture or discrete speech community; derived from "to bring up", create, native (criollo). A pidgin evolves into a creole when it acquires syntax (eg: Austronesian, Bislama, Chinook Jargon, Gullah, Kongo/Kikongo, Krio, Sango, Island Carib, Cajun, Papiamento, Rhenish, Rock English, Pochismo, Spanglish, Texican, Franglais, Denglish, Polglish (Polish), Dunglish (Dutch), Swenglish (Swedish), Russlish, Hinglish (Hindi), Japlish, Chinglish (Chinese), Singlish (Singaporean English), Konglish (Korean), Yinglish, Hiberno-English, Anglicism). See PIG LATIN, DOG LATIN, PIDGIN, LINGUA FRANCA, GOOKANESE, DOUBLE DUTCH, BAMBOO ENGLISH, MONKEY VOICES, JARGON, VERNACULAR, POLYGLOT. [v: calque, bilingualism] Also, a member of any of several French-speaking communities of Louisiana of mixed BLACK and French or Spanish ancestry; also called Cajan/Cajun or "creole of color" [cf: criollo, Acadian]; see COON-ASS, REDBONE.

to make a crackling sound; crackle, rattle, or rustle; see CHATTER, STATIC, NOISE.

distinctive unit insignia of
U.S. Army Rangers
Ranger DUI
distinctive unit insignia (DUI); being a metallic badge denoting each Brigade/Regimental sized unit or larger, and worn on the EPAULETs of the CLASS-A uniform; also worn on some HEADGEAR in lieu of RANK by EMs and NCOs. These heraldic "coats of arms", approved for wear on 18 March 1922, are also called distinctive insignia (DI), BADGE, or blazon. See GREEN TAB, BRASS, BEERCAN, TRASH, EMBLEM, BATTLE CRY, TOAST, SIGNATURE; compare BRANCH. [nb: an insignia emblematic of the honors and lineage of a military organization, unlike familial "coats of arms", may be individually enhanced but not personally heritable; v: Heraldry]

senior crewmember who is responsible for the care and maintenance of the aircraft. See CHIEF, BAILOUT; compare LOADMASTER, DROPMASTER, KICKER, BB STACKER, JUMPMASTER.

a flattopped BUZZ haircut as favored by career MIL-PERS; see FLATHEAD, FLATTOP, WHITE WALLS, HIGH 'n' TIGHT, MOHAWK, LONGHAIR, RELAXED GROOMING STANDARDS. [v: glaber/glabrous; cf: roach, hog]

AvnSpeak for an aircraft crewmember, being an experienced "crew mate" as distinguished from an inexperienced CREW PUPPY. See BIRDMAN, LOADMASTER, DROPMASTER, CREW CHIEF, KICKER, JUMPMASTER, CHOCOLATE BOMBARDIER; compare PENGUIN, WING WIPER, GROUND HOG, GROUNDED.

AvnSpeak for a novice or tyro aircraft crewmember, being an inexperienced "crew mate" as distinguished from an experienced CREW DOG.

the category of large-bore and vehicle-mounted weapons, which normally require more than one person to operate (eg: transport, setup, aim, load, shoot, resupply); abbreviated CSW, they include mortar, rocket, machinegun, etc. The belt-fed M-60 light machinegun, commonly called a PIG or NUMBER SIXTY, was classified as CREW-SERVED, having a gunner and loader assigned, but was normally operated on a bipod by one person; in consequence of which, and in consideration of the terrain, the barrel was shortened (eliminating the bipod) to increase its effective manipulation. See MG, LMG, PIG, HEAVY MG, FIFTY, MA DEUCE, QUAD 50, MINIGUN, VULCAN, DOVER DOG, RR, SCORPION, ONTOS, DRAGON, TOW, MORTAR, FOUR DEUCE, HOWITZER, MAIN-GUN,HEAVY STUFF, BIG STUFF, SMOOTHBORE, ARTY, TUBE MONKEY, LOADER, RAIL GUN, RUNNING FIRE, SMALL ARMS, MISSILE, FIRING LINE, BARBETTE.

a card game played by two or more persons using a standard 52-card deck and a pegboard (of various designs) that's used for scoring; invented around 1620 by Sir John Suckling , an English poet, and widely played by soldiers and sailors, its name derives from the extra hand ('crib' or DUMMY) given to the dealer from the discards of the other player(s). Although a game of chance (like poker), its required arithmetic (like blackjack) makes mental agility an essential component of play. See PLAYING CARDS, WAR GAMES, PLAY THE GAME, SOUVENIR. [nb: it's a naval tradition to present PLANK OWNERs (original crewmembers, especially petty and commissioned officers) with a commemorative CRIBBAGE board, formerly made from scraps of teak decking from a ship's initial construction, when they depart their assigned MAIDEN VOYAGE] [v: muggins, nob/nobs, pair royal, double pair royal; cf: bisque]

designation given to an ABCCC orbit.

(crid, not "c-r-i-d") Republic of Korea Capitol Infantry Division; designated the "Tiger" Division by Americans.

Consolidated Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Improvement and Modernization Program; see PROVN, CSMO, ACTOV, VIETNAMIZATION, KEYSTONE.

slang for a burn casualty; a victim of NAPALM or phosphorous (WP) burns, due to typical exterior appearance and to characteristic pugilist's contracted body posture. See PHOUGAS, THERMITE, PETROL, WALKING GHOST, GRAVES REGISTRATION, MORTUARY AFFAIRS; compare CREATURE FEATURE, FLOATER, PICNIC, TADPOLE.

to judge unfavorably or harshly; to find fault; to rebuke or censure, reproof or reprimand. Also, to analyze and evaluate, to assess and judge, as of merits and demerits; review or critique. [nb: "If you're not being criticized, then you're probably not doing very much." paraphrase of Donald H. Rumsfeld; "The sharpest critics of the troops used to be ones themselves." proverbial]

slang for a patty of fried mystery meat; see SLIDER, CAMEL BURGER, CAVALRY STEAK, CHOW, BEANS, RATIONS. [nb: since the era of the CIVIL WAR, American troops have mockingly mislabeled salt pork as "Cincinnati chicken" just as ground or smothered entrees are now called "mystery meat"; v: mock chicken, mock turtle soup, sea legs / surimi, Bombay duck, Welsh rabbit, golden buck] [nb: high-muckety-muck and high-muck-a-muck are corrupt Americanisms from Chinook jargon ("hayo makamak") meaning plenty to eat or much food, from the layer of whale meat between blubber and flesh]

see JOINT ENDEAVOR, JOINT FORGE, JOINT GUARD, ALLIED FORCE, PROVIDE PROMISE. [nb: it has been said that Yugoslavia has one people, two alphabets, three religions, four languages, five nationalities, and six republics!] [nb: Serbian is written in Cyrillic while Croatian is written in the Roman alphabet]

slang for a FILE of people, especially when sinuous or undulating; after the body movement of that tropical reptile; see INDIAN FILE, COLUMN, ACCORDION, CATERPILLAR, ZIGZAG, CORKSCREW, JITTERBUG, SCUTTLE, BUTTERFLY, CLOVERLEAF, LEAP FROG, HOPSCOTCH, CHECKERBOARD, STACK, DASH, STRAGGLER, FIRE 'n' MANEUVER.

the practice of favoring one's friends or of promoting one's associates so as to enhance unanimity and equanimity within the milieu; see RING-KNOCKER, BOY'S CLUB, KHAKI MAFIA, CASTE, LEGACY, THE ESTABLISHMENT, TRADE SCHOOL, TICKET-PUNCHER, TWEEDLEDUM 'n' TWEEDLEDEE, CAKE-EATER, VULCANIZE, SPOILS; compare EARN ONE'S STRIPES, MERITOCRACY. [v: patronage, favoritism, partiality, preferment, partisanship, nepotism, advocation, simony, advowson; eg: remittance man]

Army Corrections Command
U.S. Army
Corrections Command
slang for a jail or prison, a BRIG, STOCKADE, or GUARDHOUSE; see LBJ, TANK, DEAD-TIME, THE CASTLE, HOT HOUSE, MONKEY HOUSE, DEADLOCK, CHL, PAIN, REEDUCATION, POW, CONCENTRATION CAMP, GULAG, YARDBIRD, DEADLINE, CLUB FED, UCMJ. [v: dog house, poky, clink, nick, slam, slammer, cooler, jug, can, joint, cage, glasshouse, big house, house of many doors, house of blue light, graystone college, stony lonesome, up the river, hoosegow, gaol, bagnio, lockup, pen, reformatory, jailhouse, penal institution, penitentiary, panopticon, keep, calaboose, dungeon, oubliette, hock (sty or prison as a miserable place to live)]

also called "across the fence", "cross the line" (or "line crossing"), "over the wall", and "hop the fence"; see OVER THE FENCE, HOT PURSUIT. [nb: Vietnamese term: Hanh Quan Vuot Bien] [nb: unlike the CIA and similar agencies, the military operates in foreign territory only under Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of State (DoS) sanctions, with operational security (OPSEC) providing "plausible deniability" for any classified operations]

to determine the dependability or accuracy of something by verifying it with other sources; see CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, SOP, SCRIPTURES, BY THE BOOK, CHAPTER AND VERSE, ACCORDING TO HOYLE, READ-BACK. Also, everyone checks everyone else for things that are loose, that make noise, reflect or light up, smell bad, etc; because not only is everyone on an operation at risk from everyone else (v: SHIT MAGNET), but everyone must know where everyone else's GEAR is positioned in case of emergency or replacement. Also known as "check and double-check". See CROSS-LOADING, MISSION READY, COMBAT LOADED, FULL BATTLE RATTLE.

see X-C.

a Navspeak term for the sharing of resources, including assets and material, between two or more vessels, especially in an impromptu or AD HOC manner. See FIELD EXPEDIENT, FRAGO. [v: Chechen]

slang for the branch insignia of the infantry (INF), where the RIFLEs (musket) are presumed to be primitive clubs because the insignia wearer is ostensibly too stupid to operate anything more sophisticated.


an expression from the pre-CIVIL WAR era representing lines of gunfire from two or more combatant positions that cross one another; see RANGE CARD, KILL ZONE, BEATEN ZONE, FPL, ZONE OF FIRE, INTERDICTION FIRE. Also, a situation involving conflicting claims, opposed allegations, or contending viewpoints, especially represented as a brisk exchange of words or opinions.

delicate fibers, fine wires, thin strands of spider web, or the like, that are laid in a cross pattern within the focal plane of an optical instrument so as to center an object or target, or to define a line of sight; reticle marks that aid in the proper positioning of an object to be registered. See SIGHT PICTURE, SCREEN, ZERO, BULL'S-EYE, BORESIGHT, FIELD GLASSES, PERISCOPE, PEEPERS. [aka: 'cross wires' (not "crossed wires" or "wires crossed")] [v: Firearms Glossary]

a Naval warfare tactic wherein the adversaries are perpendicular to each other, wherein the attacking ship passes at right angles to the target ship, such that the passing ship has an extended time and full range for attacking with all its guns, while the target ship has a limited period and restricted range for defensive fire, being primarily frontal; the difference is essentially between SALVO and serial when the gun bears on the target. This arrangement has been made relatively obsolete by rotating turrets, improved armaments, enhanced guidance, and Naval aviation. This tactic may be utilized by single vessels or ships in battle formation (eg: line astern), which are arranged to fire in sectors without shooting over or across friendly vessels. The accurate ranging of shots by a ship CROSSING THE T is not as critical as the adjustments of the target ship. The CROSSING THE T tactic, also known as "T-bone", was successfully used in the following sea battles: Tsushima (1905), Jutland (1916), Surigao Strait (1944), and Lingayen Gulf (1945), among others.

a process wherein the military temporarily transfers (TDY/TAD) personnel, especially among RESERVE units, so as to fill quotas that're dictated by deployment circumstances.

the small unit practice of distributing all mission critical items among the several members of a section or team so that no single loss or destruction will jeopardize the unit's capability to perform its assigned task(s); see CROSS-CHECK, COMBAT LOADED, MISSION READY, FULL BATTLE RATTLE, WEB GEAR. Also, a method of data sharing from a primary or active source to secondary or passive sources so as to protect the range of distribution and to mask the number, type, and location of nodes on the communications net, whether derived from audio or visual, sensor or human; see NET, COMMO, RADIO, TELEPHONE, TELECON, SAT, SATCOM.

Republic of Vietnam Cross of
medal awarded by the Republic of Vietnam to individuals (with gold, silver, bronze star) or to units (with palm) for conspicuous gallantry; see V-DEVICE, IMPACT AWARD, UNIT CITATION, GONG.

a mechanistic allusion to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on a wooden cross, with the "cross of iron" representing the combination of military and industrial power exerted during wartime that condemns humanity's suffering; as derived from a quotation by Dwight D. Eisenhower. [nb: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron." by Dwight David Eisenhower]

Cross of Lorraine depicted on
79th Infantry Division patch
79th Inf Div
an iconic representation of the 79th Infantry Division, in the form of a cross on a shield having two crosspieces, the upper shorter than the lower, which originated as the symbol of a medieval kingdom in western Europe along the Moselle, Meuse, and Rhine rivers, which is now confined to a historic region in northeastern France (cf: Alsace-Lorraine). The 79th Infantry Division was activated for WWI in August 1917 and deactivated in June 1919 after ten months of overseas service in France; again activated for WWII in June 1942 and deactivated in December 1945 after twenty months of overseas service in Europe; then it was reactivated in November 1946 as a reserve unit. The CROSS OF LORRAINE, or the patriarchal cross, was also adopted as the emblem of the Free French Forces (FFL) in June 1940, which became the Fighting French in July 1942, during their WWII cooperation with the Allies.

(forthcoming); see MARKSMAN, SHARPSHOOTER, BOLO BADGE. [cf: Maltese cross] [v: Heraldry]


an intersection, literal or figurative, as a place of gathering or interaction; a reference to "where paths cross" implies a meeting, but "to cross someone's path" is to confront or thwart them. Such an intersection also represents a crisis point necessitating a decision before further progress can be made, and this bifurcation or plexus is symbolic of a positive or negative TURNING POINT. Because ancient Germanic peoples used such intersections as places for sacrifices, and later for executions, and persons excluded from holy rites, such as suicides, were also buried at crossroads, this allusion to foul play or nefarious activity gave rise to the expression: "dirty work at the crossroads".

to take a decisive step, or make an irrevocable move; also known as "pass the Rubicon". The Rubicon, flowing 15 miles into the Adriatic Sea, separated ancient Italy from Cisalpine Gaul, which was the province allotted to Julius Caesar; so when he crossed this stream in 49BC, he precipitated a civil war with Pompey and the Roman senate. In August 1914, the Belgian frontier proved to be a symbolic Rubicon when crossed by Germany, leading to war with Great Britain. Likewise, when Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, this casus belli led to war with America. See BLOODY SHIRT, JUST WAR, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY, BIG STICK DIPLOMACY, SABER-RATTLING, GUNPOINT, CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS, WAR POWERS ACT, LAWS OF WAR.

a measuring instrument consisting of a calibrated staff with another shorter staff perpendicular to and sliding on it, as used for calculating the angle of elevation of objects, including heavenly bodies; also called "forestaff" or "Jacob's staff". See AIMING STAKES, PINTLE, STANCHION. [v: pelorus]

to engage in combat, to fight or contend, as in a formal DUEL; compare SABER-RATTLING. Also, a metaphorical expression meaning to violently dispute or vehemently disagree, as to passionately argue or quarrel.

interference on RADIO or TELEPHONE transmissions by unintentional coupling or bleeding resulting in mixed or garbled messages; see NOISE, STATIC, SQUELCH, COMMO. Also, by analogy with the telecommunications hindrance, resistance or opposition, such as obfuscation from being at odds; see FLAK, DISINFORMATION, CONTROLLED INFORMATION. Also, byplay, repartee, back-talk; see CONFETTI, SNOW, CHAFF. Also, to confer or discuss, usually at cross-purposes; see CONFAB, BRIEFING, HALF-MAST, POWWOW, CHIN CHIN, SUMMIT.

each member of a team becomes proficient in the MOS duties of one other unit specialist, so that work is more readily accomplished, and so that no single combat loss will be able to compromise the mission; as practiced by elite units (eg: ANGELS). This method of training is more expensive, time-consuming, and requires a higher level of aptitude or dedication than regular units can stipulate. Conventional units resent the loss of high achievers from their manpower pool. See ASI, SQI, OJT, THREE-IN-ONE, Q-COURSE, RANGER, FORCE RECON, SPECIAL FORCES, SEAL.

derogatory slang for the US Marine Corps, from a play-on-words saying "fuck the crotch and eat the core" [cf: "He was loyal to the regiment but rotten to the core!"]; also known as "The Corps", "Uncle Sam's Misguided Children", "Unlimited Shit and Mass Confusion", and "seagoing bellhop". See GUNNY, SNUFFY, CHINA MARINE, SEAGOING MARINE, HORSE MARINE, GI (GIrine/gyrene), JARHEAD, MAMELUKE SWORD, USMC.


to stoop-over or bend low to the ground; a hunched or hunkering body posture that presents a smaller target when poised or moving under enemy fire; as derived from the humped or huddled posture of a toad (v: CRAPS). See SCUTTLE, DASH, ZIGZAG, CORKSCREW, CRAB-WALK, DUCK-WALK, SQUAT, TAKE A KNEE, FIRE 'n' MANEUVER.

slang for the lowest grade of warrant officer (WO1 / WOJG), after its classic definition of a "toasted garnish", from an allusion to the appearance of its RANK insignia, which shows a single black square centered on a silver bar; also called "spot". See MISTER, WOBBLY, WO.

in NavSpeak, disrespectful slang for the eagle surmounting the rate chevrons on the sleeve of a Petty Officer (PO) and Chief Petty Officer (CPO); also called BUZZARD, "chicken", and "the bird".

an ornamental wreath or honorary garland that was worn upon the head as a mark of distinction after being conferred by the ancients for military victory, athletic achievement, or some other signal merit; such a circlet forms the basis of the various types of headgear worn by a monarch as the symbol of sovereignty; see BAY, SCRAMBLED-EGGS, SPAGHETTI, GONG, UNIT CITATION, FEATHER, PRECONIZE, PARADE, SALUTE. Also, the distinction that comes from a great achievement; an exalting or chief attribute. Also, the top or highest part of anything, as the crest or summit, vertex or apex. Also, the highest or most nearly perfect state of anything; the acme or supreme source of something. Also, the part of an anchor at which the arms join the shank; also called "head". Also, a knot made by interweaving the strands at the end of a rope, often made as the beginning of a back splice or as the first stage in tying a more elaborate knot; see TURK'S HEAD, WHIP, MONKEY FIST, KNOT.

the only prize awarded to victors in the ancient Olympic games, in recognition of the satisfaction of having performed a worthwhile task for its own sake, rather than for gain; the wild olive was considered sacred from its having been first planted by Hercules; see CROWN, BAY, FEATHER, SALUTE, PRECONIZE. [v: crown of bays; cf: crown of thorns]

originally a lookout platform high atop a ship's main mast, later altered to any observation point with a commanding view, hence adoption by surveillance aircraft ("eye in the sky" or GOD'S EYE VIEW). Compare LUBBER'S HOLE; see OP, VISOBS, COIGN OF VANTAGE, WATCHTOWER, C&C, ABNCP, UMBRELLA, ORBIT, RACETRACK, STACK, HIGH 'n' DRY, OVERSIGHT, OVERWATCH.


Combat Rubber Raiding Craft, large inflatable BOAT; see IBS, RIB, ZODIAC, BOAT.

Combat-Related Special Compensation, a benefit category for military persons retired for medical reasons; see LINE OF DUTY, PROFILE, PEB.

Cathode-Ray Tube, especially a monitor or terminal SCREEN displaying computerized or broadcast data; see LANDSCAPE, SCOPE DOPE, SCREEN, ELECTRONIC CAMPFIRE, BOOB TUBE, IMAGE-CONVERTER TUBE.

Naval slang for a tour of duty at sea, a FLOAT; see SQUID, SWABBY, NUGGET, CHUM, FRESH CATCH, POLLYWOG, SHELLBACK, MOSSBACK, OLD SALT. [nb: military vessels "cruise" an assigned area, but merchant and civilian vessels (ie: ocean liner, steamship, tanker, freighter, packet, etc) make a "crossing" from station to station, port to port] Also, a guided MISSILE, the major portion of whose flight path to its target occurs at an approximately constant velocity; it depends on the dynamic reaction of air for lift, and upon propulsion forces to balance drag; this class of MISSILEs, includes Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM / AGM-86), Advanced Cruise Missile (AGM-129), TACIT RAINBOW (AGM-136) anti-RADAR Cruise Missile, JASSM, WOLVERINE, STEALTH HAWK, and TOMAHAWK or Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM); see AGM, MISSILE.


one of the classes of naval WARSHIPs, as designed for high speed and long-range at medium tonnage; including light cruiser (CL), armored heavy cruiser (CA), guided missile cruiser (FFG), and the like.

contraction of recruit, as the term of reference applied to a trainee (novice, tyro, abecedarian) not yet eligible for address as soldier or trooper; formerly the lowest military RANK (eg: Seaman Recruit, Airman Recruit). See BOOT, EM, SLICK SLEEVE, TRAIN, MAGGOT, YARDBIRD, BCT, MISTER, GOTCHA. [nb: it's a well established fact that a good Drill Sergeant will take the raw material of a civilian and turn him into a soldier in the same way that he would take a tangled mess of steel wool and knit it into a tank!]

slang for infantryman; also spelled "Crunchie" and also called "Cruncher" or SPEED BUMP; term purportedly derived from the sound of marching feet, but also alleged to be the sound of overloaded infantrymen crushed by armored vehicles. See LEG, BOONIE RAT, GRUNT, BLUELEG, INF, 03, SNUFFY.

Vought A-8/F-8 attack/fighter aircraft. The US Navy F-8U, made by LTV Aerospace, is a high-wing fighter used in fleet air defense.

modern reference to an Allied BASE CAMP that exists during the era of the GWOT as an alternate universe in the midst of the Near East, being a sanctuary for United Nations forces to withdraw into when not required to operate in the culturally alien and socially hostile environment of the Islamic country requiring foreign assistance; an allusion to the medieval BASEs from which military expeditions were conducted by the Christians to recover the Holy Lands from the Muslims. See FOB, COMPOUND, DODGE CITY, LITTLE AMERICA.

WWII-era Air Corps 50-mission
crush cap
the PILOTs (especially those flying bombers and transports) in WWII wore the service cap because its visor was a practical advantage over the soft leather helmet, but they had to remove the hooped stiffeners to accommodate the wearing of headphones (headset) over the hat, which gave aircrews a distinctive appearance that was widely admired and imitated ... General MacArthur affected the same crumpled or drooped look with his encrusted cap. Since this broken-down shape couldn't be immediately acquired, the Air Corps' service cap was also known as the "fifty mission crush" ... an appearance that distinguished the veteran from the tyro when successfully completing fifty missions finished a tour of duty, rotating the crewmember back to the states for reassignment. See BILLED CAP, SAUCER CAP, COMBINATION COVER, BARRACKS COVER, SEA DIP, SCRAMBLED-EGGS, SPAGHETTI, FARTS 'n' DARTS, HEADGEAR.

an orthotic support that's used to assist a lame or infirm person in walking; because crutches (axillary and non-axillary) have two points of contact (ie: brace and handgrip), they offer better stability and security than a cane. An axillary crutch provides better trunk support since it allows 80% of the user's body weight to be transferred to the device, while a non-axillary crutch only transfers 50% of the user's body weight, but with improved mobility without the possibility of loss ... this cuffed forearm style crutch also offers better wrist support than a cane. Some crutches use straps to augment weak hands or triceps, inflexible elbows or shoulders; crutch styles include: axillary (underarm) crutch, ortho crutch, Canadian crutch, Lofstrand crutch, proximal crutch, forearm crutch, forearm orthosis, elbow crutch, elbow cane, arm cane, Kenney (strap) stick, platform (strap) forearm orthosis, Everett (double strap) crutch, Warm Springs crutch, triceps weakness crutch. See WHOLE MAN, PHANTOM LIMB, REFERRED PAIN, BROKEN-WING SYNDROME. Also, a forked support for a boom, spar, oar, and the like. Also, anything that serves as a temporary support; a prop or brace, a buttress or mainstay.

see WIMP.

(cripper) a person working with codes and ciphers, also "crypter", originally an "intelligencer"; a cryptographer or cryptanalyst, as derived from crypto for hidden, concealed, secret. See CODE TALKER, ALPHABET SOUP, ENCRYPT, DECRYPT, KAK, KEK, KEY, SHACKLE, SCRAMBLE, BURST, RTO, RADIO, TAP CODE, DUNGEON, INTEL, ASA, MI, CIC, ICAP, IR, COMICS; compare CRYPTO. [nb: Vietnamese term: Mat Ma Vien (cryptologist)] [v: the "handwriting on the wall", which represents any prophecy of calamity or doom, was a cryptic message on Belshazzar's palace that predicted the end of the Babylonian kingdom, as correctly interpreted by Daniel (Daniel 5:5)] [nb: after WWII, the cryptographers and cryptanalysts at Bletchley Park wanted to maintain the established "brain trust", so in 1946, Roland Berrill and Lance Ware established a society for "bright people" called Mensa, named after the altar stone and symbolic of equality, so as to promote intellectual fellowship around the world]


the campus for housing the National Security Agency (NSA), which is colocated with Fort Meade.

see CODE, CIPHER, ENCODE, ENCRYPT, DECODE, DECRYPT, ALPHABET SOUP, KAK, KEK, KEY, SHACKLE, SCRAMBLE, MOOR'S KNOT, ONE-TIME PAD, FLASH PAPER, BURST, DOUBLE DUTCH, TRADECRAFT, INTEL. [cf: cryptanalysis] [nb: according to DoD JP1, the term 'encrypt' covers the meanings of encipher and encode; as the term 'decrypt' covers the meanings of decipher and decode] [nb: Kerckhoffs' Principle of Secure Cryptography states that a cryptosystem should be secure even if everything about the system, except the key, is public knowledge; Schneier's Law states that "Any person can invent a security system so clever that s/he can't think of how to break it."]

(forthcoming); false alarm; "the sky is falling" [v: Amyclaean silence]; see TALK TRASH, SNOW, CONFETTI, BRAVO SIERRA, MOTOR MOUTH, BLOW SMOKE, BAD-MOUTH, BTDT, ATFU.

CS :
Chief of Staff (or "CoS"), also Deputy Chief of Staff (DCS); see JCS. Also, Combat Support; compare COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT, COMMZ. Also, Composite Service. Also, riot control agent or tear gas agent, such as a CS-grenade (chlorobenzaimalononitrile / CN-1), used widely as a non-lethal influence or dispersion medium, and to clear-out enemy dwellings and tunnel works.

Combat Search And Rescue, also represented as "Command Search And Rescue"; see SAR, CSARTF, JSARC, PJ, BRIGHT LIGHT, JPRC, JPRA, HOT HOIST, JUNGLE PENETRATOR, TRAP, RESCAP, SARCAP, JOLLY GREEN GIANT, HUSKY, SANDY, MOWING THE LAWN, SWEEP, ELT, RECOVERY. [nb: during the VIETNAM WAR, more than 4000 MIL-PERS were saved in aggressive CSAR operations, which cost 71 rescuemen their lives]

Combat Search and Rescue Task Force; being all elements committed to a specific search, identification, and recovery operation of isolated personnel during wartime, including control and security forces. See SAR, CSAR, JSARC, PJ, BRIGHT LIGHT, JPRC, JPRA, HOT HOIST, JUNGLE PENETRATOR, TRAP. [nb: Locate, Assess, Stabilize, Transport (LAST)]

Combined Studies Division, a combined CIA/military covert operation. See CAS, SES, SOG.

(c-sell or see-cell) Combat Survivor Evader Locator, a short-range emergency radio and beacon transmitter; successor to URC-10 survival radio. See MAYDAY, SOS, GUARD, RADIO.

Camp Strike Force, known as STRIKERs; see MIKE FORCE, MGF, MSF, BLACKJACK.

Combat Support GrouP.


(cash or c-s-h) Combat Support Hospital, being the intermediate level medical facility which replaces the functions of an evacuation hospital. See SICK CALL, AID STATION, MASH, EVAC, FST, FLD HOSP, MEDEVAC, CHOP SHOP.

Combat Studies Institute, an interagency school.

Component Services Liaison Section.

abbreviation for Command Sergeant Major, being a SUPER GRADE non-commissioned officer (NCO) rated (E-9) between Master Sergeant (MSG) or First Sergeant (1SG) and Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA), and represented by three chevrons above three ROCKERs with a wreath enclosed star centered as sleeve rank insignia; this rank is rated equal to Sergeant Major (SGM) or STAFF SERGEANT MAJOR. See SARGE, RIGHT ARM, FIRST SHIRT, TOP, TOP DOG, NCO, RATING, GRADE, RANK.

Close-Station March Order, equipment movement preparation order; see PROVN, CRIMP, ACTOV, VIETNAMIZATION, KEYSTONE.

Combat Service Support; compare COMBAT SUPPORT (CS), COMMZ. Also, abbreviation for Coastal Security Service, or Coastal Survey Service, being the counterpart Vietnamese component of SOG's maritime OP37, engaged in counterinsurgency sabotage and raids; see PBL, PBR, PT BOAT, SWIFT BOAT, NASTY BOAT, NAD.

Cultural Support Team. Compare FET; see WARRIOR PRINCESS, GI JANE, SKIRT.

abbreviation for CREW-SERVED WEAPONS.

CT :
Country Team, an advisory team under auspices of MAAG, MACV, MACTHAI, USDAO, USAID, or other department; see SHEEP-DIPPED. Alternatively, a council of senior US Embassy officials (ie: Ambassador, military attache, CIA station chief, USAID chief) who are responsible for directing field advisory teams. Also, abbreviation for COUNTER-TERRORISM.

the senior-level SPECIAL FORCES unit, also known as "Operational Detachment Charlie" (ODC) and sometimes spelled C-Team; superior to the A TEAM and B TEAM detachments. [nb: The Rangers of World War II and Korea had been designed as light-infantry shock troops; their mission was to hit hard, hit fast, then get out so larger and more heavily armed units could follow through. Special Forces, on the other hand, were designed to spend months, even years, deep within hostile territory. They would have to be self-sustaining, without extensive resupply from the outside. They would have to speak the language and know the customs of their target area.] [nb: six A TEAMs or ODAs comprise a company (CO), three SF Companies comprise a battalion (BN), and four SF Battalions comprise a group (effective 2007); each active duty SF Group specializes in the languages and cultures of a particular region (ie: 1st SFGA in East Asia; 3rd SFGA in Africa, Mid-East, and Central Asia; 5th SFGA in Mid-East and Central Asia; 7th SFGA in South America; and 10th SFGA in Europe)]

Carrier Task Force; see YANKEE STATION, CV, TF.

C3 :
Command, Control, and Communications (CCC = C3); including CCC Advisory Group (C3AG), CCC CounterMeasures (C3CM), CCC and Intelligence (C3I), Coalition Coordination Communications and Integration Center (C3IC), CCC Systems Master Plan (C3SMP), Counter CCC (CC3), Global CCC Assessment (GC3A), Integrated CCC (IC3), Initial Joint CCC (IJC3), Nuclear CCC Assessment (NC3), Strategic CCC Master Plan (SC3MP). See C&C, C2, C4, ABCCC.

C3OB :
Command - Control - Communications Order of Battle; see OB.

Corps Tactical Operations Center; see TOC, JOC, JDOC, CMOC, OPN.

CT-O :
Communications Technician - Operation branch.

center; sometimes abbreviated "CEN" (but this properly refers to 'central').

see COMBAT TRACKER TEAM. Also, see Common Tasks and Training at SMART BOOK.

C2 :
Command and Control (CC = C2), also called C&C; including Army Airspace Command and Control (A2C2), Command and Control Element (C2E), Command and Control Initiatives Program (C2IP), Command and Control Information Processing System (C2IPS), Command and Control Protection (C2P), Command and Control Support (C2S), Command and Control Warfare (C2W), Joint Command and Control (JC2), Joint Command and Control Warfare Center (JC2WC). See C3, C4, ABCCC.

Corps Tactical Zone (I, II, III, IV), and usually shortened to Corps; later redesignated Military Region (MR1 - MR4). See I CORPS, II CORPS, III CORPS, IV CORPS.

CU :
Vietnamese word for "dick" or "cock", not clinical 'penis'; see PRICK, SHORT ARM, JOYSTICK, STICK, SPAR, YARDARM, HOT DOG, HOSE, BAYONET, BIRD, DIPPER, POGUE, POGY BAIT, GOLDEN PENIS SYNDROME, LITTLE PENIS COMPLEX; compare LITTLE PRICK, THE PENIS AS GENIUS, DEAD-SOLDIER, ONIONS. [v: ku ku jiao, lan jiao] [aka: phallus, peter, Saint Peter, Lord Upright, Mister Happy, Mister Frisky, schlong, schwanz, pud, putz, pizzle, dauber, stinger, fun gun, tallywhacker, wang, wanker, Johnny jump-up, Johnny on the spot, dick, dickey bird, cock, BIRD, DIPPER, pecker, bipper, zipper snake, pants python, lizard, worm, Mister Wiggly, Simple Simon, boy toy, short-tail, little brother, one-eyed monster, nebuchadnezzar, clown, trickster, giggle stick, JOYSTICK, stiffy, pocket rocket, skin flute, lollipop, creamcicle, banana, snap bean, string bean, pole bean, pickle, HOT DOG, wiener, salami, sausage, baloney, bone, boner, ramrod, BAYONET, ding-dong, dong, dork, dingus, dipstick, crank, shaft, drill, jackhammer, knob, tool, equipment, baby-maker, organ, middle leg, root, HOSE, pipe, pole, ridgepole, rod, STICK, SPAR, YARDARM, Captain Winkie, winking wizard, magic wand, scepter, pencil, and the like] [nb: 'hooey', allegedly an Americanism used as an interjection for nonsense or tripe, is actually a corruption of the Russian vulgarity ("khuy") for penis, and is commonly used alone (eg: dick, dickhead, dick-wad) or in phrases (eg: dumber than dick; he doesn't know dick; don't dick around; don't stir your tea with your dick)] [cf: migration of "putz" from shine through ornament to penis and dolt; as sexual lure] [v: lucky stiff]

a mixed drink made of light rum, Coca-Cola®, and lime juice that's served over ice in a tall glass, being a cocktail invented to celebrate the liberation (10 December 1898) of Cuba from Spain; see HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK, HOIST, GUSTO.

an aerobatic maneuver that traces a figure-8 laying on its side in the sky; a loop flown five-eighths of the way, leveling out, and then repeating the partial loop on the other side. Compare HALF CUBAN EIGHT, SAM WEAVE; see AEROBATICS. [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon]

a nickname for the 25th Infantry Division (aka: "Tropic Lightning") for its HOMESTEADING of that sector of Vietnam; see ELECTRIC STRAWBERRY.

in Vietnam and among Vietnamese peoples, a traditional gesture of respect that was formerly combined with the customary greeting (CHAO); literally meaning "bow head", it consists of a slight bow of the head and upper torso, with the arms crossed over the chest (right over left), however this gesture is now rarely practiced in the modern era, except in formal settings among elders. Compare WAI, SAMPEAH, REI, KOWTOW, SALAAM; see SALUTE. [nb: in Vietnam, the clasp-hands greeting, performed without bowing either the head or torso, is called cháp tay chào; the Vietnamese word vái describes someone clasping their hands and bowing their head in religious worship]

a preoccupation with male traits and characteristics, an obsession with masculine roles and postures; a focus on strength and power, boldness and aggressivity, vigorousness and effectiveness, rationality and consistency ... because this chauvinistic cultivation is the contrapositive of misogyny, it can devolve into stagnant homosexuality. See NOBLESSE OBLIGE, MANLY ARTS, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, A FINE AND PLEASANT MISERY, SWEAT HOG, WETSU, HANG TOUGH, BITE THE BULLET, FIDO, MAN-UP, WHITE-KNUCKLE, SUCK IT UP, EMBRACE THE SUCK, SHIT HAPPENS, GUNG-HO, HARD CHARGER, RED-BLOODED, ROOT HOG OR DIE, MARTIAL ART, TWO-FISTED, FIELD HOUSE, MACHO, TESTOSTERONE ZONE, ONIONS, MOXIE, GUTS, WAR GAMES, MOCK-COMBAT, DUEL, GUNSLINGER, FUGLEMAN, SUPER-TROOPER, OLD BREED, QUIET PROFESSIONAL, WINTER SOLDIER; compare ESTROGEN ALLEY. [cf: cult of individuality, cult of the ego / self, cult of personality]

a leadership style practiced by autocrats and tyrants, dictators and strongmen, whose demagoguery makes them infallible; see THE MAN ON HORSEBACK, YOUR WISH IS MY COMMAND, HERO-WORSHIPER, WARLORD, MOUSY DUNG, UNCLE JOE, UNCLE HO, BUTCHER OF BAGHDAD, CHARISMA.

a form of nihilism wherein the populace loses faith in and mistrust of its own institutions, and either betrays its own traditional values by sabotaging them, or replaces its cultural norms with adopted substitutes that are perceived to be superior (or at least unimpaired), resulting in widespread discontinuity and alienation, and the eventual replacement of the dominant society. This popular overthrow of the prevailing conventional society can be the result of unassimilated immigration, of multicultural heterodoxy, or of a protracted cultural war spawned by insurgents or agents provocateur. Cultural suicide essentially transpires when a society no longer exerts its will to prevail in its own homeland, and abandons the teaching of its traditional history and values to successive generations. Social leaders will make futile attempts to "manage" this disintegration, but the leadership is irrelevant to this process, since the subject population will cease to vote, will ignore proliferating laws, will evade taxes and other regulations as they develop more trustworthy alternative or parallel systems to cope with their daily needs. Social stigmas will cease to deter and economic welfare will shift currency. A society which fails to educate its youths and punish its criminals is practically salting its own fields and poisoning its own wells ... and is rife for collapse and displacement. State suicide (also called "national suicide") differs from cultural suicide in that the former is precipitated by the leadership and the latter by the populace, hence the Chinese people have endured different forms of government without abandoning their identity, but many African and AmerIndian tribes have disintegrated when displaced by more technologically advanced cultures, causing them to lose their language as well as their folkways. Any culture that has undergone suicide is either permanently expunged from history, or its remnants must re-invent their society from the broken and distorted fragments that have been accidentally preserved by their detractors. Compare STATE SUICIDE; see CREDIBILITY GAP, PARANOIA, SIEGE MENTALITY, RESSENTIMENT, NIHILISM, KELLOGG-BRIAND PACT, APPEASE, LOST GENERATION, BABY BOOMER, PACIFIST, UN-AMERICAN, ANTI-AMERICAN, RAISON D'ETAT, PATRIOTISM, TRADITION. [cf: social contract, millenarianism, utopia / eutopia; v: sabotage, wreck, undermine, vandalize, cripple, disable, harry] [nb: dystopia: The Iron Heel by Jack London (1909); We by Yevgeny Ivanovich Zamyatin (1920); Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932); Darkness At Noon by Arthur Koestler (1941); Animal Farm by George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair, 1945); Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair, 1949); Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut Jr (1951); The Space Merchants by Cyril M. Kornbluth (1952); Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953); Lord of the Flies by William Gerald Golding (1954); The Case Against Tomorrow by Frederik Pohl (1957); Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley (1958); Walden Two by B.F. Skinner (1961, repr 1976); From Utopia to Nightmare by Chad Walsh (1962); Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut Jr (1963); The Future As Nightmare by Mark R. Hillegas (1967); Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (1968); Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky (1971); The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey (1975); The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (1984); O-Zone by Paul Edward THEROUX (1986); In the Country of Last Things by Paul Auster (1988); The Children of Men by Phyllis Dorothy James (1992); The Circle by Dave Eggers (2013)] [nb: "America is not so much a nightmare as a non-dream. The American non-dream is precisely a move to wipe the dream out of existence. The dream is a spontaneous happening and therefore dangerous to a control system set up by the non-dreamers." by William Burroughs; "There couldn't be a society of people who didn't dream. They'd be dead in two weeks." by William Burroughs; "The American Dream has run out of gas. The car has stopped. It no longer supplies the world with its images, its dreams, its fantasies. No more. It's over. It supplies the world with its nightmares now." by J.G. Ballard; "America is like one of those old-fashioned six-cylinder truck engines that can be missing two spark-plugs and have a broken flywheel and have a crankshaft that's 5000 millimetres off fitting properly, and two bad ball-bearings, and still runs. We're in that kind of situation. We can have substantial parts of the population committing suicide, and still run and look fairly good." by Thomas McGuane; "America makes prodigious mistakes, America has colossal faults, but one thing cannot be denied: America is always on the move. She may be going to Hell, of course, but at least she isn't standing still." by E.E. Cummings; "America is the most grandiose experiment the world has seen, but, I am afraid, it is not going to be a success." by Sigmund Freud; "Yes, America is gigantic, but a gigantic mistake." by Sigmund Freud; "America is the only nation in history which, miraculously, has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization." attributed to Georges Clemenceau; "I hate this shallow Americanism which hopes to get rich by credit, to get knowledge by raps an midnight tables, to learn the economy of the mind by phrenology, or skill without study, or mastery without apprenticeship." by Ralph Waldo Emerson; "The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any- price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life." by Theodore Roosevelt; "Of all the nations in the world, the United States was built in nobody's image. It was the land of the unexpected, of unbounded hope, of ideals, of quest for an unknown perfection. It is all the more unfitting that we should offer ourselves in images. And all the more fitting that the images which we make wittingly or unwittingly to sell America to the world should come back to haunt and curse us." by Daniel J. Boorstin; "The quality of American life is an insult to the possibilities of human growth ... the pollution of American space, with gadgetry and cars and TV and box architecture, brutalizes the senses, making gray neurotics of most of us, and perverse spiritual athletes and strident self-transcenders of the best of us." by Susan Sontag; "A civilization is destroyed only when its gods are destroyed." by E.M. Cioran]

the abuse of entrusted authority and/or privileged position by inducements to dishonesty and wrongdoing; a parallel covert system of bribery and influence peddling that functions alongside the standard system of business and government enabling normal processes to be approved or disapproved, stymied or accelerated, accepted and excepted or overlooked and quashed, depending upon the level of illegality pervading this special interests system. Compare WHISTLE-BLOWER; see ACCOUNTABILITY. [v: misprision, misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance, sedition, bribery, embracery]

a conflict between societies, or segments of a society, over the interpretation of philosophy (eg: political, religious, psychosocial, etc) or the enforcement of standards of behavior (eg: immoral, criminal, anti-social, asocial, etc), and the consequential disharmony resulting from such disparity; the absence of, or the rejection of, a unifying norm condemns a society to destruction, either by revolution (a doctrine that cannot or will not defend and sustain itself) or by evolution (a doctrine that cannot or will notpreserve and perpetuate itself). The countercultural revolution (or Third American Revolution) is a strategic schism between factions, exclusive of "loyal opposition", that becomes "divide and conquer" with the intent of subjugating the minority (eg: generation gap); the "live and let live" tolerance of coexistent "agree to disagree" disunion is repressed by dogmatic ideology; it's not that the lunatic fringe won the countercultural revolution, but that the mainstream has been co-opted by its own purblindness; a society that has lost the capacity to imbue its own children with its values and to inspire its immigrants with its traditions has scheduled its own destruction and replacement. Many cultures have declined due to corruption but even more have dissolved when conquered; the culture wars of the modern era are noteworthy for aiding and abetting their adversaries ... and what is pathetic about the displacement is that the substitution is blatantly and patently worse than what it intends to replace! See COUNTERCULTURE, PROTESTOR, WE SHALL OVERCOME, SOFT TYRANNY, DECONSTRUCTION, POST-MODERN, MEME, CULTURAL SUICIDE, NIHILISM, STATE SUICIDE, PUNK, SIEGE MENTALITY, COLD WAR, NEW AGE, BABY BOOMER, SILVER-TAIL, AMERIKA, UN-AMERICAN, ANTI-AMERICAN. [v: kultur, kulturkampf; cf: pop culture, nativism, irredentism, nationalism, anomie] [nb: the doctrine of "cultural diversity" was introduced into American institutions during the post-Vietnam era by Islamists (and their sympathizers) who sought to corrupt the Western ideal of pluralistic tolerance with diffuse multiculturalism as a strategy ("a house divided...") for defeat] [v: grievance culture, populism, dual consciousness, culture jamming, relative deprivation theory, J-curve theory, frustration-aggression theory, obstructive dissociative disorder, value-added schema, hooliganism (including lunatic fringe or fanatical riffraff) and other collective aberrant behaviours; cf: scapegoat Atonement]


a wide band of decorative cloth that's worn around the waist as an adornment or embellishment to one's ensemble; as derived from Hindi 'kamarband', a loin-band; see LOINCLOTH, SASH, BLACK TIE, WHITE TIE, DRESS.

gift, present, gratuity, tip, douceur, baksheesh, consideration; derived from Chinese expression for "grateful thanks". See SOUVENIR, TRENCH ART, BEGGING BOWL, WAD, SLUSH FUND, CANDY, CARPETBAGGERS, JUICE, MPC.

Air Force garrison cap
garrison cap
slang for the GARRISON or OVERSEAS CAP, also called "fore 'n' aft" and "Go To Hell" cap, flight cap or boat cap, flat cap or envelope cap, pisscutter and the like, as worn by all branches and grades with variations of color, fabric, style, and insignia; so-called from the flat-fell pleat (or labial vent-seam) at the crown, which permitted expansion for an improved fit. During WWII, the envelope-style GARRISON CAP was introduced due to productivity requirements, reserving the pleated version for the women's auxiliary corps. The cuff or curtain of the GARRISON CAP was edge-trimmed with branch or rank specific CORD (called "edge-cord"); with EMs/NCOs wearing their unit CREST (DI/DUI), and officers wearing their RANK on the left side of the cap. Until the introduction of the red berets, the AIRBORNE wore a "para-glider" PATCH (originally separate patches for paratroops and gliders, infantry and artillery, but merged after WWII) sewn to their caps. Compare BILLED CAP, SAUCER CAP, CRUSHER; see CAMPAIGN HAT, HEADGEAR. [nb: a Balmoral hat, which somewhat resembles a beret, and is traditionally blue (from the campaigning dress of the Blue Bonnets), and is often accented with a surrounding "diced" pattern (called "checky" after an accounting process of the Stewarts or High Stewards, from which "exchequer" derives) that symbolizes guardianship and protection; the boat-shaped Glengarry hats are of 19th century military origin]


altitude expressed in hundreds of feet above ground level (AGL); called "cherub" in NavSpeak. Compare ANGEL.

the domed section on a TURRET, such as mounted with a machinegun for the tank commander, or any domed section, such as on some airplanes and ships, so as to afford a better (or different) view; term derived from (inverted) cup, cap, dome, or bell, as in belvedere. Compare TURRET, SPONSON, RING MOUNT; see HATCH.

the Marine Combined Unit Pacification Program; see CAC, CAP, CAG.

(forthcoming); see MARTIAL LAW.

corruption of a Cherokee word ['gurahiyi'] meaning "stands alone", in the sense of an exceptional singularity, that was used as a BATTLE CRY by the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division; this adoption was derived from Currahee Mountain, a promontory situated five miles west of Camp Toccoa, a WWII paratrooper training base in Georgia. [cf: egregious, sine qua non; v: sine pari, nonpareil, parfait, crème de la crème]



the Air America euphemism for the CIA; also called "client". See PROPRIETARY AIRLINE.

(forthcoming); formal and informal traditions, folkways, mores, customs, consuetudes, conventions, ethos; galoshes / overshoes, umbrella, perambulator / stroller, PDA, MOURNING BAND, calling card (see COINING), CARTE DE VISITE, CABINET PHOTOGRAPH, RELAXED GROOMING STANDARDS, SALUTE, INSTITUTIONAL MEMORY, MORE HONORED IN THE BREACH THAN THE OBSERVANCE, TRADITION, CREED, DUTY, ORDER, SOP, CHAPTER AND VERSE, BY THE BOOK, SCRIPTURES, CHECKING THE DICTIONARY, LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN, RHIP, ROUGHSHOD, HEADQUARTERISM; [re: AR670-1: Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia] [nb: the British War Office decreed during WWII that the kilt, worn to parade and battle for over a thousand years, was not a suitable garment for combat, causing outrage in the Scottish regiments; the last kilted unit that operated as an organised body was a platoon of the Cameron Highlanders, which fought an heroic rearguard action at Dunkirk in 1940] [nb: "to the manner born" refers to adopting customs and traditions, not entitlements; re: act 1 sc 4 Hamlet by William Shakespeare (1602)] [nb: "Custom reconciles us to every thing." by Edmund Burke; "Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6:16; "O tempora! O mores!" by Marcus Tullius Cicero; "Other times, other customs." (Autres temps, autres mœurs.) French proverb; "The more things change, the more they are the same." by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr] [cf: comedy of manners (French: comédie de mœurs)]

slang for the relative location of an enemy broadcast that's based upon only two measures in the Radio Direction Finding (RDF) triangulation method, which approximation is accurate to a range between 500m - 3000m. While a CUT reading is insufficient for an artillery barrage or AIR STRIKE, it can provide other valuable SIGINT, such as unit identification or operational movement. See DITTY-DOT, KNOB-TURNER, RADIO PUKE, COMM OP, RTO, RADIO, COMMO. [v: goniometry]

a catch-phrase meaning to flee, run away, or make a hasty departure; seemingly originated as a naval expression dating from 1740: to cut the cable and make sail instantly, without waiting to weigh anchor ... as having been shortened from "to cut and run away" or "to cut and run off". See RETREAT, RETROGRADE, CHANGING TUNE, BEAT FEET, BAILOUT, DECAMP, PULL PITCH, SCRAM, SPLIT. [nb: not to be confused with parachuting CUT-AWAY; cf: cut-and-dried, cut-and-fill, cut-and-try, cut-and-paste]

in the event of a total main canopy malfunction, a parachutist must eliminate the obstruction before deploying the reserve parachute, or the new canopy will become entangled with the old, and the parachutist will fall to his death. This release process may involve the mechanical release of the "cape well" link housings, or may involve actual slicing of suspension lines; but in either case, the practice is always called "cut-away". See PARACHUTE, STREAMER, MAE WEST.

(aka: downsize, drawdown) see RIF, DEMOB, SERB, KICKSTANDED, DISCHARGE, DUMP, ETS.

an emergency medical procedure conducted by a field medical aidman (MEDIC or CORPSMEN) wherein a normally inaccessible but superficial vein (eg: collapsed due to shock or blood loss) is incised so a cannula or catheter can be inserted for the administration of fluids or medication. Also, any reduction or decrease; a cutback, drawdown, or downsize; see RIF, SERB, DUMP, KICKSTANDED, DISCHARGE, DEMOB.

the rabbit-like character that was invented by Poy, the cartoonist for the "Evening News", to represent all the eligible DRAFT DODGERs avoiding combat during WWI with sinecures and deferments; see DRAFT DODGER. [nb: not to be confused with Saint Cuthbert]

see LONG KNIFE, OLD WRIST BREAKER, MAMELUKE SWORD. [v: Knife Terms; The Language of Swordplay]

slang for a trusted intermediary between two espionage agents or agencies, by analogy with the mechanical or electrical device that can manually or automatically interrupt a flow (of exhaust, of current, etc). See SPOOK, SECRET AGENT; Compare CAT'S-PAW, DECOY, FALSE FLAG.

a lightly armed vessel that's 65-feet or more in length, provided with crew accommodations, and equipped with either a motor surf boat or rigid-hull inflatable boat on-board; variously serving as a Patrol Boat, Construction TENDER, Icebreaking Tug, or the like. The CUTTER originated as a single-masted sailing vessel, similar to a sloop but having its mast farther astern [cf: bark, barque]. See WPB, MOSQUITO FLEET, BOAT.

an idiomatic expression meaning to act quickly and decisively in resolving a difficult situation, as when boldly solving a complex problem; based upon the swift sword stroke of Alexander the Great (ie: ALEXANDRIAN SOLUTION) that "untied" the intricate knot that had been maintained from ancient times as a leadership challenge by Gordius, the king of Phrygia. See DON'T DO NOTHING, CLUTCH-UP, PIG LOOKING AT A WRISTWATCH, MOVE OUT 'n' DRAW FIRE, PING-PONG, PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, BLUNT FORCE. [cf: Ghiordes or Turkish knot] [nb: "There is nothing, nothing on this earth that is as complicated as you're making it out to be. I am not going to spend any more time on this (systematizing). I am just going to go do it. At the end of the day, it's not the system that's crucial; it's who's in that system, the people that are in there. I'm going to spend time on the people. I don't need to understand all the details of all of that (procedural stuff)." by GEN Jack Keane]

found worthy, as determined to be good enough; to pass MUSTER (qv); see SCRATCH, "up to snuff" at SNUFF, BAR, BOLO, Q-COURSE.

anyone or anything murderous, whether literal or figurative; that which is diabolical or merciless, and is sometimes spelled "cut-throat"; compare MARATHON, GAUNTLET, SNAKE PIT, HOLD ONE'S FEET TO THE FIRE, ORDEAL. Also, any ruthless act or circumstance; see DOG-EAT-DOG, TOOTH 'n' NAIL, DO OR DIE, HARDBALL, ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, UPHILL BATTLE, ROMAN HOLIDAY, WHEN IN ROME, WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' BADGES, COUP DE PIED DE L'ANE, OFF THE RESERVATION. [v: omo lupus homini (Latin: man is a wolf to man)] Also, to engage in an action without allies, as a three handed card game played without partners; see EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF, BATTLE ROYAL, DOGFIGHT.

the forward edge of the STEM of a ship; see BOW, PROW, ROSTRUM, SHARP END. Also, an upstream face of a BRIDGE pier or piling, sharp edged or sharply pointed, arranged for resisting the effects of moving water or ice.

CV :
USN abbreviation for an aircraft carrier, also known as FLATTOP, first made by erecting a flight deck over a cruiser; see WARSHIP.

ballistic CVC helmet
ballistic CVC helmet
(forthcoming); ballistic communications helmet for vehicle crewmembers; see HELMET, HEADGEAR.

USN abbreviation for an Escort Carrier, also known as a BABY FLATTOP, and designated "Combustible-Vulnerable-Expendable" by the sailors who served aboard them; see WARSHIP.

Vietnamese Confederation of Christian Workers; also, Confederation of Vietnamese Trade Congress.

CW :
abbreviation for Continuous Wave, or MORSE CODE; see EOT, GA, HAND, II, R, SOS, RADIO, ALDIS LAMP, WT, TWX, SALTING, BAMBOO TELEGRAPH. Also, abbreviation for Chemical Warfare; see COCKTAIL, SOUP, HAZMAT, CBW, BLISTER AGENT, GERM WARFARE, VECTOR, CBRNE, CBR.

Continuous Wave Illumination; a MISSILE guidance BEAM.

Chief Warrant Officer denoting grades CW-3 / CW-4, and commonly called CHIEF; see WO, MISTER, WOBBLY, CROUTON, SPOT; compare WOJG, MW.

CY :
calendar year; compare FY, SY; see TIME. [nb: Olmec, Maya, Toltec, Aztec, and Inca peoples used a "great cycle" calendar of 5130 years, which marked significant changes or new creations in the world, with the current "great cycle" beginning in 3114BC and scheduled to end 23 December 2012; v: Gregorian calendar, Julian calendar] [nb: a pack of playing cards represents a year: 4 suits = seasons; 12 face cards = zodiacal / calendar months; 13 values (ace - king) = lunar months; 52 cards = weeks; value of cards in deck added together with 1 joker = 365 days, then add second joker for leap year]

abbreviation for Cover Your Ass, meaning either to avoid blame (roorback) or to shift liability, which may be an obsession with RED TAPE, an expression of the finer bureaucratic arts, or the cowardice of irresponsible cover-up; may also be represented as "Cover Your Anatomy" or "Conceal Your Assets". See DODGE THE BULLET, 11th COMMANDMENT, TICKET-PUNCHER, MFR, PING-PONG, HIC, SMOKE 'n' MIRRORS, TAP-DANCER, WANGLE, BEAN-COUNTER, ACCOUNTABILITY, RESPONSIBILITY, PAPER TRAIL, SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT, VULCANIZE, CHOP, BOHICA, DELEGATOR, MILICRAT; compare PYHOOYA.

the use of COMPUTERs as offensive and/or defensive weapons in attacking enemy computers and computer networks so as to render them unreliable, incapable, or irretrievable, especially during SABOTAGE and ESPIONAGE intrusions. Compare INFORMATION WARFARE. [nb: not to be confused with electronic warfare (E-WARFARE) or psychological warfare (PSYWAR)]

a syncopic acronym for CYBernetic ORGanism, being a person whose physiological functioning is aided by or dependent upon a mechanical or electronic device; this Vietnam-era concept has reached fruition in the electromechanical prosthetics issued to MIL-PERS wounded in the GULF WAR [ie: Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), and the Global War On Terror (GWOT)]. As an enhancement of the future soldier concept for the smaller but more powerful military that will be tasked to "do more with less", this technological development has already been scheduled for later (ca2030) implementation. Compare BOT, DRONE, BIONICS, FUGLEMAN, SUPER-TROOPER, SWEAT HOG, HARD CHARGER. [cf: android, automaton; v: humanoid, mannequin, homunculus, golem, Frankenstein's monster, yahoo (degraded brute), booboisie (H.L. Mencken), philistine]

a motorized RICKSHA or motorscooter taxi in a variety of configurations, including a covered four passenger train trailing behind the operator; also called an "auto-rickshaw", or a "tuk-tuk", especially in India and Thailand, due to the sound of its two-stroke engine. Compare PEDICAB, PUTT-PUTT / PUT-PUT, HACK, KIMCHI CAB, RICE-BURNER, RICE ROCKET, LITTER. [v: chariot, hansom, hackney, drag, jitney, jingle, gharry, fiacre, tonga, trap, gig, dogcart, calash, growler, runabout, palanquin/palankeen, palki/palkee, jiao, gama, sedan chair, hand truck, pushcart, tug-truck, pull-truck] [v: Japanese takushii (taxi)]

a severe tropical storm occurring at sea, with winds in excess of 64 knots; this term is also applied to closed and small-scale circulations (eg: tornadoes); see STORM WARNING, WIND, BEAUFORT SCALE, SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE, FUJITA SCALE, WINDSOCK, TELLTALE. [nb: weather forecasters began using female names during WWII in imitation of a popular book (Storm by George Rippey Stewart, 1940), which had identified a typhoon with the name Maria; by 1953 this convention was made official, and in 1979 male names began alternating with female names on recurring rosters in six year rotations; the storm names may be in English, Spanish, or French (except for letters Q, U, and Z), and are only retired from use by the National Weather Service when they are particularly notorious]


CZ :
Communications Zone.

someone appointed by the president (POTUS), without congressional review, to implement policy as the chief executive's agent, or to exercise authority in a specified sociopolitical area, such as drug-abuse or governmental reorganization; a powerful lieutenant or autocratic henchman, from the Russian word (tsar/tzar) for emperor or king, kaiser or caesar. See NSC, NSPG, TIWG, XCOM, POLITICIAN; compare MANDARIN, WISE MEN, BRAIN TRUST, WHIZ KID, KITCHEN CABINET. [cf: apparatchik, nomenklatura, eunuch, nabob, nibs]