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

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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IA :
abbreviation for Immediate Action, a rehearsed drill of rapid reactions or optimal responses to anticipated incidents from "lessons learned" in field experience; routines are practiced until they're automatic, unconscious, or intuitive; see OJT, POI, CROSS-TRAINING. Also, Montagnard for river, as in Ia Drang; see SONG, SUOI. Also, abbreviation during the GULF WAR for Individual Augmentee, being someone assigned to a unit to fill a shortage or to contribute special skills; compare AUGMENTEE.

Infrared Aiming Light, or Infra-red Aiming Light, being a device that assists targeting by sending an invisible (to the naked eye) line-of-sight indication of the point of impact for the coupled weapon; see PICATINNY RAIL.

International Atomic Time, being a system of time based on atomic clocks that measure the second as the international standard unit (SI) of defined time; see TIME.

Individual Body Armor, being the protective helmet and vest with drape and plates that's issued to everyone IN-COUNTRY or DOWN RANGE, visiting or assigned, civilian or military; commonly called "happy gear" or HAPPY SUIT; see FLAK VEST, FLAK JACKET, OTV, IOTV, ESAPI, SAPI, STEEL POT, K-POT.

(eye-bolk) Infantry Basic Officer Leadership Course; see BOC, OBC, TBS, OFFICER.

Inflatable Boat Small; see CRRC, RIB, ZODIAC, BOAT.

IC :
(eye-see) Intelligence Community, being a common referent that encompasses the sixteen (16) federal intelligence agencies that collect, collate, analyze, and distribute hostile information in a timely manner.

Intelligence Civic Action Program, INTEL or PROPAGANDA sponsored by Civil Affairs (CA) in conjunction with DENTCAP or MEDCAP activities that provided hygiene treatments in many remote VILLEs; see WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS.

InterContinental Ballistic Missile, being very long-range with nuclear WARHEAD that was initially controlled by SAC; see SNARK, MINUTEMAN, MISSILE.

International Control Commission, established by the Geneva Accords of 1954, and made up of representatives from Canada, India, and Poland; see ICCS. Also, the International Criminal Court, which was established in July 1998 as a permanent tribunal for war crimes and crimes against humanity; see IMT, IMTFE, UNWCC, WAR CRIMES TRIAL, HAGUE TRIBUNAL, LAWS OF WAR, ROE; compare UCMJ. Also, abbreviation for Installation Coordinating Center.

the International Commission of Control and Supervision was setup in 1973 by the Paris Accords as the successor agency to the ICC, and included representatives from Poland, Indonesia, Hungary, and Iran. The ICCS had no enforcement powers, and was a diplomatic travesty. Americans said the abbreviation stood for: "I Can't Control Shit"; while the Vietnamese cynically interpreted it: "Im Cho Coi Sao" (wait quietly and see how things turn out).

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a federal agency that was reorganized from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), and subsumed under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. During this reorganization, most INS functions were transferred to three new entities: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP); ICE also subsumed the Federal Protective Service and the Federal Air Marshal Service in this reorganization.

slang for any all white uniform, from Tropical Whites to MESS DRESS (also called "snow suit" or "blizzard blazer"), especially the Navy service dress (CLASS-A) uniform worn with white shoes. See WITH BELLS ON, SPANKERS AND CLANKERS, DRESS. [cf: whitewing] [nb: when the Navy specifies a sidearm and cape ("boat cloak") with formal evening wear, officers wear swords and petty officers wear cutlasses; v: Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist and Surface Warfare Officer (aka: WATER WINGS)]

a remote military base situated in an isolated part of the Arctic or Antarctic that's manned by specialists in electronic surveillance; such a camp may be colocated with a scientific installation monitoring the local weather, wildlife, or geophysical activity. See JAMESWAY HUT, PNEUMONIA HOLE, WINTER WARRIOR, THULE; compare LITTLE AMERICA, DEEP FREEZE.

Intelligence Coordination and EXploitation, or Intelligence Collection and EXploitation, a joint MACV and CIA/CIO project sponsored by CORDS in 1967, as a combined collaboration with Vietnamese National Police and Special Branch for military intelligence and civil surveillance. As COMUSMACV in 1968, GEN Creighton W. Abrams took control of the ICEX program away from the CIA, making it the precursor of PHOENIX / PHUNG HOANG.

from Japanese for best or prime, excellent or superb, as used during the KOREAN WAR and VIETNAM WAR; see NUMBER ONE.

Improved Conventional Munition; see MUNITIONS, EXPLOSIVE. Also, the Iraq Campaign Medal; participants are authorized to wear a bronze campaign star (BATTLE STAR) on the pendant medal and ribbon for each of four phases: Liberation of Iraq (19 Mar 2003 - 1 May 2003); Transition of Iraq (2 May 2003 - 28 Jun 2004); Iraqi Governance (29 Jun 2004 - 15 Dec 2005); National Resolution (from 16 Dec 2005). See CAMPAIGN MEDAL, FRUIT SALAD, GONG.

Interdepartmental Committee on Nutrition for National Defense, formed in 1955 and reorganized in 1967, its research studies produced the Women Infants and Children (WIC) supplemental nutrition program (1972), the Food Stamp program (1974), the USDA School Breakfast program (1975), nutrition programs for the elderly, military dietary reform, and the establishment of NIH-funded Nutrition Research Centers.

(eye corps, eye C-T-Z) northernmost military region in South Vietnam. I Corps was one of the four major military and administrative units of the Vietnamese government in the 1960s and early 1970s. In particular, I Corps was the Central Vietnam Lowlands administrative unit and consisted of the five northernmost provinces: Quang Tri, Thua Thien, Quang Nam, Quang Tin, and Quang Ngai. The headquarters of I Corps was located in Da Nang. The major cities in I Corps were Hue, Quang Tri City, Da Nang, and Chu Lai. I Corps was also known as I Corps Tactical Zone (I CTZ) and Military Region 1 (MR1). The following U.S. military units fought in I Corps: 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Amphibious Force, 1st Marine Division, 23rd Americal Division, XXIV Corps, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile), 5th Infantry Division, and 82nd Airborne Division.

International Committee of the Red Cross; see RED CROSS. [nb: mission statement of the worldwide Red Cross organization is "to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity"; the slogan of the International Committee of the Red Cross is "The Power of Humanity", and its motto is "In War, Charity" (Inter Arma Caritas), while the slogan of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is "Protecting Human Dignity", and its motto is "With Humanity, Towards Peace" (Per Humanitatem ad Pacem)]

ID :
Infantry Division. Also, identification.

Institute for Defense Analysis.

Interactive Defense and Attack System, being a SUBMARINE launched MISSILE system; see SHERWOOD FOREST.

(eye-dee braycilet) an IDentity or IDentification bracelet is traditionally a gold or silver linked chain dangle bracelet with an oval or rectangular plate mounted in-line onto which the owner's name or initials are engraved; also called a "link bracelet" or "(love-) slave bracelet", this fashion began with servicemembers during WWII before the introduction of photo identification cards. Although some ID BRACELETs engraved the owner's name and service number, rank and unit on the plate, most were simple decorations worn with the CLASS-A uniform. Because most men believed that wearing jewelry as a personal adornment was effeminate or unmanly, acceptance of the wristwatch during WWI and adoption of the ID BRACELET during WWII marked a major stylistic change at the time. In a practice that continued into the Vietnam-era, soldiers and sailors used these "love-slave bracelets" as tokens of affection and devotion when forming "steady" relationships with girlfriends, which was imitative of "pinning" by college fraternity boys. These link bracelets have since been dedicated, with the addition of suitable engraving and a caduceus, as medical alert bracelets, which are often anodized or plasticized. See BRACELET, PARA-CORD BRACELET, POW-MIA BRACELET, SHORT SNORTER, CHALLENGE COIN, EARRING, TATTOO, MEAT MARKER, BANGLE, YELLOW RIBBON; compare LUGGAGE TAG. [nb: a charm bracelet suspends pendant trinkets and dangle ornaments from the links of a chain bracelet that's worn around the wrist as decorative signifiers of importance in the wearer's life] [v: single or double link, rounded or squared connector, twisted curb, barred marina, elongated figaro, rope cable, and other chain designs]

(eye-dee kard) informal name of the military IDentification CARD, properly known as the United States Uniformed Services Privilege and Identification Card, which was formerly called an "AGO card" and was used (Geneva Conventions Identification Card) to guarantee servicemembers protection under those treaties, and known since 1993 as a machine-readable SMART CARD. It originated during WWII as a tri-fold document with individual photographs and fingerprints for positive recognition due to the counterfeiting of DOG TAGS after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Formerly branch specific [denoted by logo and code (A, AF, N, MC, CG) until October 1993, thereafter status denoted by color: green (active duty), blue (retired), tan (dependent or SC-disabled veteran), red (retired reserve and dependent of reservist)], ID CARDs are now universal in appearance with military and medical data barcoded onto the back for servicemembers, with dependent cards scheduled for renewal every three years. See SERVICE NUMBER, AGO, DOG TAGS, STERILE, GENEVA CONVENTION, PIC, MWR, AAFES, NEX, COMMISSARY; compare CAC, SWIPE CARD. [nb: Vietnamese term: can cuoc] [nb: in 1796, under the auspices of the Seaman's Protection Act, the United States began issuing identification certificates to sailors to prevent impressment, which certificates included the bearer's name, date of birth, place of birth, height, complexion, and any distinguishing marks, such as scars, TATTOOs, or deformities; the WWII-era tri-fold officer ID CARD was AGO WD Form 65-1, the EM ID CARD was AGO WD Form 65-4, and the Medic ID CARD was AGO WD Form 65-10; active duty and retiree Common Access Card is DD Form 2, and dependent Common Access Card is DD Form 1173] [v: Index of Social Security Numbers (eg: AFSN, ASSN, SSAN)]

Initial Defense Communications Satellite System; see DSCS.

(ee-day feeks) literally a "fixed idea", being a persistent idea, an obsessive preoccupation, or a compulsive fixation that dominates clear thinking and open practice; in its extreme form, this mania can be a symptom of psychosis. See PARTY LINE, THE ARMY WAY, FOR THE HELL OF IT, GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK, TOE THE LINE, BRASS-COLLAR, HIDEBOUND, BRASSBOUND, BRASS EAR, BOX HEAD, PRIMROSE PATH, MILITARY MIND, ROUTINE.

a reversible cloth, sized 2'X2' or 4'X4' with ties and grommeted eyelets, used for identification of friendly vehicles and personnel; also called "combat identification panel". These panels are colored orange on the daytime face, and either tan or green on the nighttime face, which displays a "cold" square for thermal imagery. Large panels are mounted on TRUCKs and HUMVEEs, TANKs and CHOPPERs, while the small panels are mounted on RUCKSACKs to help regulate COMBAT SPREAD and prevent FRIENDLY FIRE incidents, especially among SOF personnel. Compare SIGNAL PANEL, TRON, AIS, BLINKER.


in its broadest usage, an utterly foolish or incapable person, a senseless dolt or impetuous boor; but originating as someone of the lowest order in a former classification system of mental retardation, which term derives from layman, being a person lacking in skill or expertise, by analogy with "professional soldier". Compare USEFUL IDIOTS; see BRUTE, KNUCKLE-DRAGGER, BUBBA EFFECT, REACTIONARY, WHITE TRASH, ANTI-FEDERALIST, CONSERVATIVE, CIVILIAN, SILENT MAJORITY, THIRD ESTATE. [v: imbecile, moron, cretin, amentia]

scornful reference by MIL-PERS to the "exploding cherry blossom" that was developed by the Imperial Japanese at the end of WWII from designs for the German V-2 rocket, a supposed successor to kamikaze and floating chrysanthemum suicide aircraft; it was a flying bomb, piloted by a volunteer "thunder god", that carried a 2640# payload in the nose of a winged 20ft missile (AGM) that was launched from a high-altitude bomber to plunge at over 600mph toward its sea level target.

slang for a television (TV) set; also called "boob tube" or "one-eyed monster"; see CRT, SCREEN, SCOPE DOPE.

slang for a rifle, being a disparaging and dismissive referent for the "primitive club" that's the only weapon a stupid infantryman is capable of operating; see CROSSED IDIOT STICKS, GRUNT, CRUNCHY, BOONIE RAT, BLUELEG, INF. Also, by extension, any of the SMALL ARMS operated by an infantryman in the field; see SIDEARM, PISTOL, SMG, RIFLE, LMG, MG, MGL, THUMPER, BLOOPER, OVER 'n' UNDER, WEAPON.

slang for Infantry branch insignia; see CROSSED IDIOT STICKS, IDIOT STICK. Also, alternative for MOX NIX STICKS.


Improvised Explosive Device, being the category for any low-yield or alternatively detonated devices that incorporate pyrotechnics or munitions, which are intended to destroy, incapacitate, harass or distract; the TRIGGER for such devices include garage-door openers, remote-controlled toys, and cellphones. IEDs are the primary weapon used by insurgents because their lethality is effective, being simple, cheap, abundant, and difficult to detect or disarm; IEDs are targeted at civil and military capability or authority. See EFP, MOLOTOV COCKTAIL, SOUP, COCKTAIL, BOOBY-TRAP, TCAP, TATP, APNC, MOTHER OF SATAN, GAMMON GRENADE, TOE-POPPER, JIEDDO, HME, VBIED, SVBIED, C-4, EXPLOSIVE, MINE, SYMPHONY, DEACTIVATE, EOD, UXO, SABOTAGE.

(eye-fack) Individual First Aid Kit; also called a "blow-out kit"; see FIRST AID KIT, FIELD SURGICAL KIT, MED BAG.

Insulated Food Container, being the successor to the MERMITE container.

Identification Friend or Foe, a confirmation transponder code broadcast by aircraft flying through various security zones; also known as "modes and codes" in rhyming slang, which includes the aircraft's altitude and airspeed as well as its identification. See SQUAWK, PIPSQUEAK, WEFT, LOCATOR BEACON, IR MARKERS, VISUAL. [nb: IFF code 7700 is reserved for emergency SQUAWK]

(eye-eff-eff-vee) First Field Force Vietnam, originating as Task Force Alpha to provide corps level support to the South Vietnamese in the Central Highlands from 1 August 1965 to 30 April 1971; headquartered in NhaTrang, it was redesignated IFFV in March 1966.

an idiomatic expression made famous in Nation's Business by Bert Lance, the director of the Office of Management and Budget for the Carter Administration who was compelled to resign in 1977 over financial irregularities; this folk adage refers to a HARD-AND-FAST event horizon. [nb: "Bert Lance believes he can save Uncle Sam billions if he can get the government to adopt a single motto: 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' He explains: 'That's the trouble with government: fixing things that aren't broken and not fixing things that are broken.'" by Bert Lance, Nation's Business (1977); "The worst rule of management is: 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' In today's economy, if it ain't broke, you might as well break it yourself, because it soon will be." by Wayne Calloway, CEO PepsiCo (11 March 1991); "We do not get all the government we pay for -- thank God." by Milton Friedman on ABC-TV David Brinkley Show (4 Oct 1992); "If it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change." by Lucius Cary, House of Commons speech (22 Nov 1641)]

a humble disclaimer that sardonically excuses the inescapable fact of the matter, as expressed: "If it weren't for the honor of the thing, I'd just as well forgo it."; this expression most often refers to those acts (and their consequences) over which the MIL-PERS believes that he had no choice (that is, was morally obliged to act), as when risking his life to complete the mission (ie: an "ordinary person doing an extraordinary thing") or when doing one's duty by extending one's best efforts in the completion of some course or assignment. See GUTS, MOXIE, ONIONS, DIEHARD, SUMMUM BONUM, MORE HONORED IN THE BREACH THAN THE OBSERVANCE, CUSTOMS AND COURTESIES OF THE SERVICE, TRADITION, VETERAN, WINTER SOLDIER, QUIET PROFESSIONAL, BADGE OF HONOR. [cf: "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: "if it wasn't for the honor (of being tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail), I'd rather walk."]

(originally the League of Red Cross Societies) International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; see RED CROSS. [nb: mission statement of the worldwide Red Cross organization is "to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity"; the slogan of the International Committee of the Red Cross is "The Power of Humanity", and its motto is "In War, Charity" (Inter Arma Caritas), while the slogan of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is "Protecting Human Dignity", and its motto is "With Humanity, Towards Peace" (Per Humanitatem ad Pacem)]

InterFerometric Synthetic Aperture Radar; see SRTM, ISAR, SAR.

a catch-phrase ("If there's one, there's a multitude!") that's been said of insects and Orientals (YELLOW PERIL) and implies a plethora from scant evidence; any portent, prophesy, or prediction made from the only known or knowable part of the subject or situation. This inferential expression has also been represented as "If you see one, there's more!", and as a precursor, harbinger, or forerunner, it has been alluded to in similes such as "the smoke from many campfires", "the tip of the iceberg", "the ears of the hippopotamus", "the nose of the crocodile", and so forth ... these manifest allusions, seemingly small and superficial, each incorporating a threat, imply that there is more to follow and worse to come from what is hidden. Such beginnings must be contrasted with "false leads", which attempt deductions with insufficient proof, such as "One bugle does not announce an army.", "One bloom does not make a spring.", "One robin does not make a spring.", "One swallow doesn't make a summer.", and the like. Compare CAMEL'S NOSE, RIPPLE EFFECT, LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES; see MOSQUITO WING, HORDE, THUNDERING HERD. [v: paradox]


IG :
U.S. Army Inspector General branch
Inspector General
(eye-gee) Inspector General; also called The Inspector General (TIG) by USAF. See VFR DIRECT.

a SLOGAN intended to convey faithfulness; this well-intentioned sentiment that ostensibly promotes the virtues of loyalty and solidarity is actually a romantic cliché of boundless honor, because military servicemembers are subject to orders, hence this pronouncement underscores the vulnerability of MIL-PERS, and is a testament to their wishful thinking. Compare DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR, LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN, TRUE BLUE; see DUTY, CODE OF CONDUCT, OATH, PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE, HONOR CODE, PROMISE, CREED, CORE VALUES, MORALITY, SUMMUM BONUM, TRADITION, TOE THE LINE.

a famous BATTLE CRY issued on 23 September 1779 by John Paul Jones, captain of the "Bonhomme Richard" (Poor Richard), named in honor of Benjamin Franklin, when invited to surrender by the larger and better gunned "Serapis" after beginning a naval battle off the east coast of England. After engaging, Jones lashed the two ships together, and had to transfer his survivors to the British frigate once they'd struck their colors ... this is the only known instance wherein the victor has lost his own ship and returned in a captured vessel. Although this quote has been disputed, it represents America's willingness to endure great hardship to achieve its goals. Jones' exploits as a Scottish-born naval adventurer have been celebrated by Philip Freneau, James Fenimore Cooper, Herman Melville, Sarah Orne Jewett, Winston L.S. Churchill, and James Boyd; his 1792 gravesite was forgotten in France until rediscovered in 1905, then interred at Annapolis. [nb: "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way." by John Paul Jones (16 Nov 1778)]

II :
morse code shorthand abbreviation for "I'm ready" or transmit; compare EOT, GA, R; see CW.

I&I :
Intelligence and Interdiction, or I & I / I-and-I FIRE, being planned night artillery fire aimed at suspected enemy locations, disturbing their sleep, curtailing their movement and lowering their morale through threat of losses. See H&I, HARASSMENT FIRE, DUFFEL BAG. Also, intoxication and intercourse, as an ironic abbreviation used in lieu of R&R; see STEEL BEACH.

(two corps, two C-T-Z) Central Highlands military region in South Vietnam. II Corps was also known as II Corps Tactical Zone (II CTZ) and Military Region 2 (MR2).

abbreviation for Improvised Incendiary Device, being a combustible container of napalm, thermite, white phosphorous or the like, that burns with an intense heat; compare IED, HME; see SOUP, COCKTAIL, MOLOTOV COCKTAIL, FLAMMABLE.

(eye-eye-eff-eff-vee) Second Field Force Vietnam, providing corps level support for the South Vietnamese in the Mekong delta region; established at Bien Hoa and Long Binh in March 1966, it was disbanded in May 1971.

Individual Integrated Fighting System, being a transitional equipment carrying system (including pouches, belt, harness, and pack) that experimented with prototypical ILBE and MOLLE gear arrangements.

(three corps, three C-T-Z) military region between Saigon and the Highlands, including WAR ZONEs C and D. Major cities included Da Lat, Cam Ranh, Cu Chi, Nha Trang. III Corps was also known as III Corps Tactical Zone (III CTZ) and Military Region 3 (MR3).

Third Marine Amphibious Force
(three maff) Third Marine Amphibious Force, the senior corps-level command for USMC units in VN; including 1st Mar Div, 3rd Mar Div, RLTms, CAG, and Spt BDEs. Created 6 May 1965 as III Marine Expeditionary Force, then renamed on 7 May 1965 due to connotations with French "expeditions" by the Vietnamese. See MAB, MEB, CAP; compare LONELY HEARTS.

Inadvertent Instrument Meteorological Conditions, being an alternative description of Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC), due to the fact that aircraft should not be flying if the weather requires mechanical navigation. Commonly called POPEYE; compare VFR, VOR, VECTOR.

Imaging InfraRed, being a heat sensor with enough resolution to form images; see IR.

Integrated Intra-Squad Radio, being a compact two-way transciever used by conventional field elements during the GULF WAR; see WALKIE-TALKIE, SINCGARS, RADIO.


(eye-el-bee-ee) Improved Load-Bearing Equipment, being a system that uses the PALS grid-work to securely position small items on a larger backpack (RUCK / RUCKSACK) with a smaller profile for Marine Corps carry into combat; this Commercial Off-The-Shelf WEB GEAR system supersedes the ALICE and MOLLE systems.


this counterfeit Latin phrase, which has also been concocted as "illegitimi non carborundum", "noli illegitimi carborundorum", and "illegitimatum uncarborundum", has been widely used to express, in a falsely pretentious or fake pontifical manner, the positive encouragement: "don't let the bastards grind you down". Aside from the fact that the Latin word for 'bastard' is "nothus" and that carborundum (trademark for a compound of fused abrasives) wasn't manufactured until 1891, this phrase seems to be a misunderstanding of a passage in the Commentarium in Leviticum of Evagrius Ponticus, which apparent corruption is traceable in English to a line of John Donne; the original text should probably be "Ne illegitimi carbunculi tibi in facie sint" (now idiomatically: "Don't let the bastards grind you down!"). The first attested modern employment of this euphemism was in a 4 April 1920 sermon delivered at Fort Bragg NC; its almost immediate widespread dissemination was due to it being reported by H.L. Mencken in an article (p4 Baltimore Sun Monday 5 April 1920) titled "Nursing as a Profession". [v: mottoes and nicknames of military units]

illumination; primarily being flares dropped by aircraft and fired from the ground by hand, artillery or mortars, but not to exclude tower- or vehicle-mounted searchlights; see FLASHLIGHT, LIGHT STICK, FLARE, MOONBEAM, FIREFLY, MOONLIGHT, LOOM, PINK TIME. Also, illuminate; the targeting and guidance of weapons on an object or objective, as by RADAR, laser, or infrared (IR); which is distinguished from PAINT, being the designation and tracking of an object or objective. See LOCK-ON, LASER AIMING DEVICE, GLD, SALH, PAVEWAY, LANTIRN, LADAR, MILES, SQUAWK, PGM, ECM.

Instrument Landing System, being a radio beam system coupled with the Global Positioning System (GPS) that can guide aircraft onto a RUNWAY for a safe landing under severe weather conditions; compare ALS, see TOUCHDOWN, THRESHOLD, BOUNCE, PANCAKE, AUGER-IN.

an electron tube that receives a pattern of radiation, as infrared, ultraviolet, or x-ray, on a photosensitive surface and reproduces the pattern on a fluorescent screen; also called "image tube". See SNOOPERSCOPE, ELECTRONIC CAMPFIRE. [v: optoelectronics, metascope]

Instrument Meteorological Conditions, also known as "Inadvertent Instrument Meteorological Conditions" (IIMC), and commonly called POPEYE; compare VFR, VOR, VECTOR.

IMage INTelligence, information developed from various imaging techniques.

(forthcoming); see ACTA; compare RECONDO, Q-COURSE, COC, CHARM SCHOOL.

accomplished at once or instantaneously, done without any delay or intervening interval; see FORTHWITH, ASAP, PDQ, CHOGI, CHOP CHOP, RIKI TIK, STAT, TIME. [v: tout de suite (French: at once, immediately); cf: directly, presently]

a controlled aerial maneuver in which an airplane makes a half loop followed by a half roll, which is used to gain altitude while reversing the direction of flight; eponymously derived from technique developed by Max Immelmann, a WWI Imperial German PILOT. A "Double Immelmann" is one looped turn on top of the other, usually taking the airplane in the same direction when it started the first Immelmann. Compare SPLIT-S; see AEROBATICS. [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon]

the select BODYGUARD of the kings of ancient Persia; compare THE NINE WORTHIES, see PALACE GUARD, POLITROOPER.

a portable heater for mounting onto the side of a GI CAN for heating water to be used in cooking (eg: submerged cans) or cleaning (eg: sanitizing MESS KITs). Although the military version of this appliance is gas-powered and vented through a rudimentary chimney, and has been part of the FIELD KITCHEN since WWI, the same principle is used on electric water heaters and cup-sized beverage heaters.

a serum containing naturally or artificially produced antibodies to a given antigen, as obtained from human or animal sources; compare BLOOD SERUM, see BLOOD.

the area bounded by the designated fall limits of the ordnance employed, whether inert or explosive, on or off target; see POINT OF IMPACT, DEFLECTION, ZONE OF FIRE, KILL ZONE.

an award presented by a senior officer to an individual for conspicuous valor or outstanding achievement, as soon after the action or event as possible, often on the battlefield or in the hospital; criteria specifically excludes such impromptu awards for merit and to units. See V-DEVICE, JOCKSTRAP MEDAL, BADGE OF COURAGE, GONG. [nb: pagan Norsemen awarded metallic bracelets in recognition of meritorious or valorous deeds]

see CRATER; compare CAMOUFLET.

a policy of extending the rule or the practice of extending the authority of one state over the peoples and interests of foreign countries; the act of acquiring and holding colonies or dependencies. [v: imperial, imperious]

slang for the headquarters of U.S. Army Europe (HQUSAREUR) in Heidelberg (1948-2013), due to its elaborate pomp and extensive ceremony, which battalion-sized command has also been colocated with the headquarters elements of 7th Army (including V and VII Corps, 1st and 4th Inf Divisions, 28th and 43rd Inf Divisions, 2nd Armored Division and Constabulary cavalry regiments), Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF), U.S. Forces European Theater (HQUSFET), European Command (HQEUCOM), and the U.S. Office of Military Government; compare PUZZLE PALACE, MADHOUSE, PINK PALACE, IVORY TOWER, HQ; see FIVE O'CLOCK FOLLIES, DOG 'n' PONY SHOW, HEADQUARTERISM. Also, the royal citadel in the imperial city of Hue (aka: "Purple City" or "Forbidden City"), being the capital of Vietnam in Annam, situated beside the Perfume River (Song Huong) on Highway One (QL 1 or STREET WITHOUT JOY) north of DaNang, which was heavily contested during the (31 Jan - 2 Mar) 1968 Tet Offensive.

supreme administrative power; the ultimate command authority; the imperative right to command the force of the state in order to enforce the law. Also, a nation having complete control or exerting supreme power; the dominion of a superpower.

the salient portion of a Murphy Law of Combat: "The important things are always simple; and the simple things are always hard!"

that which is unable to be performed or effected, such as an impossible assignment. Also, that which is difficult beyond reason or is utterly impracticable, such as an impossible plan or an impossible situation. See BLUNT FORCE, CUT THE GORDIAN KNOT, ALEXANDRIAN SOLUTION, PING-PONG. [v: pons asinorum (Latin: insolvable problem (literally: "bridge of asses")] [nb: "If it is only difficult, it is done; if it is impossible, we shall see." by Charles-Alexandre de Calonne (ca1790); "The difficult is done at once; the impossible takes a little longer," by Anthony Trollope (1873); "'Difficulties' is the name given to things which it is our business to overcome." by ADM Ernest J. King (1942); "The difficult we do immediately. The impossible takes a little longer." U.S. Army Service Forces motto (1945); "We are the invisible doing the impossible in a place unknown." soldier sentiment during KOREAN WAR; "Never have so few been led through such difficulty to do what's right for so many who thought so little of it!" soldier sentiment during GULF WAR; "It's kind of fun to do the impossible." attributed to Walt Disney (1982); "If it exists it must be possible." Boulding's Law; "It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow." by Robert Goddard; "So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable." by Christopher Reeve; "Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." by Edgar Allen Poe; "All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible." by T.E. Lawrence; "Some men see things as they are and ask 'Why?' Others dream things that never were and ask 'Why not?'" by George Bernard Shaw]

to seize and confine, as to retain someone or something in the custody of the law; to legally secure and hold forfeitures; compare COMMANDEER, see SEQUESTRATION. [cf: appropriation, expropriation, requisition, purveyance, confiscation, preemption, eminent domain]

done without previous preparation, or provided from resources readily at hand; to makeshift or stopgap; any make-do production or extemporaneous arrangement, from GAMMON GRENADE and ZIP GUN to MICKEY MOUSE BATTLESHIP and HILLBILLY ARMOR. See ASYMMETRIC WARFARE, UW, PROVISIONAL, STRONGPOINT, COMPARTMENTALIZATION, FIELD EXPEDIENT, JURY-RIG, JERRY-BUILT, PATCH, BAND-AID, AD HOC, LEAST RESISTANCE, CROSS-DECKING, SEAT OF THE PANTS, ADAPT / ADAPTABILITY, GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK, BOONDOGGLE, OFF THE RESERVATION, OUTSIDE THE WIRE, PLAN B, RUBE GOLDBERG. [nb: "Anybody that knows American military history knows that the American military, actually, in most wars, gets off on the wrong foot, and we sort of figure it out because, intellectually, we're very adaptable, and then we become operationally very flexible as a result of it. And it's true in just about every major war we've fought, with some exceptions." by GEN Jack Keane]

International Military Tribunal. The London Agreement between the Allied representatives of the Soviet Union, Great Britain, France, and America on 8 August 1945 sponsored Law Ten of the Allied Control Council, which instruments authorized the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, and established its methodology. The Charter of the IMTribunal authorized the trial of wartime suspects whose acts crossed national boundaries; while suspects whose acts were localized were to be tried separately by the Occupation Zone nation having jurisdiction. All four of these war crimes' courts operated according to its own national procedures, but each was governed by the IMT Charter. The IMT was based in Berlin, located in the USSR Occupation Zone, and the IMT trials were convened in November 1945 at the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg, situated in the US Occupation Zone. Each Occupation force appointed a judge, a judicial alternate, a prosecutor, and a prosecutorial staff, while the defendants chose their own legal counsel. The charges brought were: conspiracy to wage aggressive war; waging of aggressive war in violation of treaties; war crimes; and crimes against humanity. Twenty-two defendants and eight organizations were charged, resulting in guilty verdicts for nineteen convicts (12 hanged, 7 incarcerated, 3 acquitted), and four organizations. The IMT heard appeals after sentencing, and disbanded on 16 October 1946 as soon as the sentences were executed. See IMTFE, ICC, UNWCC, ROE, WAR CRIMES TRIAL, HAGUE TRIBUNAL, LAWS OF WAR; compare UCMJ. [nb: "That four great nations, flushed with victory and stung with injury, stay the hand of vengeance and voluntarily submit their captive enemies to the judgment of the law, is one of the most significant tributes that power has ever paid to reason." by Robert D. Jackson in an opening statement at Nuremberg] [nb: the prosecutors in the 1942 "Pastorius" Nazi saboteurs' trial respectively became the chief justices of the WWII war crimes trials of Axis defendants: Attorney General Francis Biddle was senior US judge at Nuremberg, and Army Judge Advocate General Myron C. Cramer was the US judge at Tokyo] [v: mittimus]

International Military Tribunal for the Far East. The IMTFE was conducted in Tokyo from 3 May 1946 to 12 November 1948 by judges and prosecutors from each of the eleven Allied nations: Australia, Canada, China, France, Great Britain, India, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, the Soviet Union, and the United States of America. The IMTFE Charter was written by General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Allied Commander, and Joseph Keenan, the US chief prosecutor. The indictment accused the defendants of promoting a scheme of conquest that "contemplated and carried out ... murdering, maiming and ill-treating prisoners of war [and] civilian internees ... forcing them to labor under inhumane conditions ... plundering public and private property, wantonly destroying cities, towns and villages beyond any justification of military necessity; [perpetrating] mass murder, rape, pillage, brigandage, TORTURE and other barbaric cruelties upon the helpless civilian population of the over-run countries." Of the eighty Class-A war criminal suspects detained in Sugamo prison after 1945, twenty-eight were brought to trial before the IMTFE. The accused included nine civilians and nineteen military professionals. Unlike the IMT, all the defendants were found guilty; with two defendants dying of natural causes, seven executed by hanging, sixteen sentenced to life imprisonment, two to lesser sentences, and one incarcerated in a mental institution ... all survivors had been paroled by 1956. In a separate trial, conducted 25-30 December 1949, twelve Japanese from the top-secret TAMA Detachment, who had been accused of bacteriological experiments on prisoners in Manchuria, were convicted by the USSR. See ICC, IMT, UNWCC, WAR CRIMES TRIAL, HAGUE TRIBUNAL, LAWS OF WAR, ROE; compare UCMJ. [nb: the prosecutors in the 1942 "Pastorius" Nazi saboteurs' trial respectively became the chief justices of the WWII war crimes trials of Axis defendants: Attorney General Francis Biddle was senior US judge at Nuremberg, and Army Judge Advocate General Myron C. Cramer was the US judge at Tokyo] [v: mittimus]

authorized training performed by a member of a RESERVE COMPONENT who's not on active duty or active duty for training, which consists of regularly scheduled unit training assemblies, additional training assemblies, periods of appropriate duty or equivalent training, and any special additional duties authorized for these reservists by the Secretary concerned, and performed by them in connection with the prescribed activities of the organization in which they are assigned, with or without pay; IDT does not include work or study associated with correspondence courses. See ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING, RESERVE.


(forthcoming); [cf: Chinese "mandate of heaven"]


any substance or device that can be ignited so as to burn with an intense heat, especially when used as a weapon; see NAPALM, PHOUGAS, MOLOTOV COCKTAIL, FLAMETHROWER, ZIPPO, WP, THERMITE, ROCK FIRE, GREEK FIRE, COCKTAIL. [v: pyromachy]


(forthcoming); see JOSS STICK, SPICE, TIME.

(in-cock) Infantry Non-Commissioned Officer's Course, being a division-level training course established to promote leadership skills among promising junior Non-Coms, especially in combat theaters; see CHARM SCHOOL, LPC, NCOCC, NCOA, SHAKE 'n' BAKE, LDR, UP OR OUT.

a graduated assessment levied on the annual incomes of individuals and corporations; administered by state and federal bureaus, the monies from taxes (including property, capital gains, inheritance, excise, and sales) are collected into a general fund that's apportioned and disbursed by the legislatures. The first American income tax (1864-72) was instituted to pay for the CIVIL WAR; it was then made permanent by the 16th Amendment (1913) following a constitutional challenge, whereupon its rate was increased [v: War Revenue Act (1917)] to fund American involvement in the Great War (WWI) ... income taxes have yielded as much as 85% of government revenue since 1919. The income tax is progressive, offering certain deductions and exemptions, with the corporate rate structured like the individual schedule. Compare SAVINGS BOND, T-BILL; see TAXPAYER, LEGAL TENDER, WAR CHEST. [nb: Great Britain levied an income tax (1799-1816) to fund the Napoleonic Wars]

an alert notice or description of receiving enemy MORTAR or ROCKET fire; also called "in-coming mail". See HIGH ANGLE HELL, TURN TURTLE, WHIZ BANG. [cf: bombard as the earliest type of indirect cannon launching stones, from "noise" (bomb) and "stone-throwing engine" (bombarda)] [nb: this term should probably be spelled 'incoming' except for the fact that it's always pronounced "IN COMING!" ... sorry 'bout that, but combat is frequently ungrammatical]

the designated hostile area, specifically Vietnam, but not the geographic limit of the war; also spelled "in-country". Compare OUT COUNTRY; see INDOCHINA. Also, by extension of earlier VIETNAM usage, any combat zone or hazardous duty assignment overseas; see FEBA, MLR, FLOT, FRONT LINE, INDIAN COUNTRY, SANDBOX, DOWN RANGE, BOONDOCKS / BOONIES, THULE, FIELD ALLOWANCE.

the hostile entry of a place, or the military penetration of a territory, as an expeditionary raid or inroad for defined or limited objectives; as distinguished from an INVASION for enduring conquest or perpetual occupation. [v: anabasis; cf: katabasis, excursion] [nb: Lam Son 719 (8 Feb - 9 Mar 1971) was restricted to interdiction of infiltration routes through the southern panhandle of Laos] [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]

a national holiday, recurring on 4 July each year, commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 by the Continental Congress on behalf of the American colonies, which led to the AMERICAN REVOLUTION; American independence was actually declared on 2 July by the Second Continental Congress, but the document was not signed until 4 July 1776. Compare MEMORIAL DAY, VETERANS' DAY, PATRIOT DAY, PATRIOT'S DAY, FLAG DAY, ARMED FORCES DAY, POW-MIA DAY; see LIBERTY ENLIGHTENING THE WORLD. [nb: many civilians confuse the meaning of the principal national holidays, combining each and commemorating all together at each date; instead of according honors to military servicemembers on Armed Forces Day, honors to veterans on Veterans' Day, and honors to the war dead on Memorial Day]

the word assigned to represent the letter "I" in the international phonetic alphabet; at various times in different spelling schemes, it has also been acrophonetically represented as Item and Inter. This is a "governing flag" in US Navy signals that also represents "interrogatory". See ALPHABET SOUP, PHONETIC ALPHABET. [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags]

hostile territory, especially in the field or jungle, as any areas contested by the enemy remote from BASE CAMPs or cities; also called "Apache country"; see FEBA, MLR, FLOT, FRONT LINE, IN-COUNTRY, SANDBOX, DOWN RANGE, BOONDOCKS / BOONIES, THULE, FIELD ALLOWANCE. [nb: following the Wild West motif prevalent in LBJ's "little pissant war", numerous allusions to a mythic frontier adventurism were utilized; including COWBOY, DODGE CITY, and GUNSLINGER.]

informal designation for the alignment of a small unit, from SQUAD to platoon (PLT) size, when operating in a hostile area and arranged in single FILE (one behind another), with proper interval, and exclusive of flank security; also called "Ranger file" or "Conga line". See STACK, COMBAT SPREAD, ACCORDION, CATERPILLAR, HEADWAY; compare COLUMN.

a staged performance by a mystic who seemingly levitates a coiled rope straight into the air, whereupon he climbs this upright rope and disappears, pulling the rope up into oblivion with him; a virtuoso act of legerdemain purportedly practiced by fakirs and swamis since ancient times, and made notorious by the publicity about this conjuring hoax as reported by Western travelers to India and China in the 19th century. Several more elaborate variations of this illusion exist in the lore of magic shows, some more dramatized than others, some involving assistants and reappearances, but this deception is essentially an escape gambit that, as such, has often been used as an "explanation" when a tracking team loses contact with the enemy, justifying their failure by claiming that "When we followed them to this point, they then pulled the ol' Indian rope trick and disappeared!" This same concept is also expressed, more crudely, as "They crawled up inside their own assholes and vanished!"

in TRACKing or TRAILing, those clues and cues that are obscure (if not invisible) to the unskilled; see CASTOFF, PECKER TRACKS, TRACE, SIGN, BEAT AROUND THE BUSH. [v: pug / pug marks] Also, a primitive type of magical power or evil eye, not unlike a hex or enchantment; see JUICE, SPIDER SENSE, MOJO, JUJU, GRIGRI, VOODOO, HOODOO, ABRACADABRA.

Indian Wars service medal
Indian Wars
service medal
a general term referring to the series of conflicts, under the tenets of Manifest Destiny, between European immigrants and the indigenous peoples of North America; ranging from the 1680 Pueblo Uprising, the 1637 Pequot War, the 1675-7 Wampanoag and Narragansett Uprising (Metacom's Rebellion or King Philip's War), the 1711-13 Tuscarora War in Carolina, Pontiac's Rebellion in 1763, Little Turtle's War ending with the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794, defeat of the Shawnee prophecy at Tippecanoe in 1811 (and the demise of the Shawnee Confederacy with the death of Tecumseh in the 1813 Battle of the Thames, and the defeat of their British ally in the WAR OF 1812), the 1814 defeat of the Creek Confederation, the 1832 Black Hawk War (caused by the forced removal of the Sac and Fox to the Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River), but most especially the battles fought after 1860 on the Frontier (Great Plains and Far West) against the Sioux, Apache, Comanche, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, Ute, Blackfoot, Shoshone, Nez Percé, and Bannock tribes. Hostilities reached their peak between 1869-78 when more than 200 battles were fought; notable incidents include the Siege of Tucson, the Massacre at Sand Creek, the Modoc War, the Fetterman Massacre, the Battle at Little Bighorn, and the Battle of Wounded Knee. The 1890 Battle of Wounded Knee is usually considered to be the closing encounter of the INDIAN WARS, although there was an expedition against the Ojibwa in Minnesota in 1898. At the end of this era, the AmerIndian was confined on reservations. See SEMINOLE WAR. [nb: practiced in Europe and Asia before being introduced to North American tribes, enemy scalps served as both a trophy and a talisman of empowerment until they became a token of exchange for bounties paid during the genocidal INDIAN WARS of extirpation; although scalping was not always fatal, and not all tribes engaged in the practice, the term 'redskin' was formerly a euphemism for an AmerIndian scalp, male or female, adult or child] [nb: Indian Wars (1865-98): 919 battle deaths] [v: after the 1886 surrender of the Apaches, the surviving tribesmen, including women and children, all classified as POWs, endured a 30-year imprisonment on various remote Army posts (eg: "The Long Walk")] [nb: in an effort to economize after the CIVIL WAR, Congress mandated that each Spencer repeater be retrofitted with the Stabler Cut-off Device, which modification converted the 7-shot carbine into a single-shot firearm, until combat losses in the INDIAN WARS forced its abandonment, and later succession of the Spencer by the trapdoor Springfield having even more firepower] [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 polymerized elastic substance that's formed into many products, from tires and electrical insulation to erasers and condoms; a resilient material (light cream or dark amber in color) made by chemically treating and toughening the dried and coagulated milky juice (latex) exuded from rubber trees (especially the Hevea and Ficus species); also called "natural rubber". See GUTTA-PERCHA, PARA RUBBER. [cf: synthetic rubber; v: wild rubber]


(indidge) contracted form of INDIGenous, as a reference to the native peoples of a region or locale who may be divided in their loyalties by race, creed, religion, and other criteria; also represented as 'indigene'. In Southeast Asia during the VIETNAM WAR, numerous partisan factions and ethnic tribes participated in Allied operations, including Bahnar, Bru, Cao Dai, Cham, Chinese, Cua, Halang, Hmong/Miao, Hoa Hao, Hre, Hroi, Jarai, Jeh, Katu, Kha, Khmer, Koho, Ma, M'nong, Muong, Nung, Raglai, Rengao, Rhade, Sedang, Stieng. See RF/PF, CIDG, STRIKER, MIKE FORCE, GCMA, BODE, KKK, ROADRUNNER, EARTH ANGEL, MONKEY PEOPLE, BUDDHAHEAD, BASKET HEAD, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, YARD, JINGPAW RANGERS, RICE BALL, CHINDIT, NUNG, CHINK, RICE CHRISTIAN, LONG HOUSE, WHITE ELEPHANT, YELLOW PERIL, YELLOW DOG, SLANT-EYE, SMALL-EYED, FUZZY-WUZZY ANGEL, FUZZY-WUZZY, GUNGA DIN, LULU THE ZULU, FOREIGN DEVIL, FN, COUNTERPART, GONE NATIVE, LITTLE PEOPLE, FLIP, BEANER, COON-ASS, REDBONE, FAM, MUJ, RAGHEAD; compare BAD GUYS. [cf: aborigine, autochthon, native, denizen, inhabitant, countryman, compatriot, citizen, CIVILIAN, ALLY]

that firepower which can be brought to bear upon a target that is not in the line of sight of the shooter, as by an arcing impact; see MISSILE, MORTAR, ARTY, SHOT OUT, MONEY SHOT, HIGH ANGLE HELL, DEVIATION, DELIVERY ERROR, CEP, DISPERSION ERROR, HORIZONTAL ERROR, UP-GUN.

that which is disarranged or out of order, confused or disorganized, unresponsive or uncontrolled, messed-up or muddled; being ill-trained or misled, as a "flub", "bungle", "blunder", "pother", "Chinese fire drill", "mare's nest", "dog's breakfast", "group grope", or "goat fuck". See FLAP, SHIT HIT THE FAN, SEAT OF THE PANTS, GOAT ROPE, CLUSTER FUCK. [v: carfuffle / kerfuffle or carwhuffle / kerwhuffle]

a manpower pool consisting of individuals who have had some training, who have served previously (PS) in the Active Component or in the Selected Reserve, and have some period of their military service obligation remaining; these IRR members may voluntarily participate in training for retirement points and promotion, with or without pay. See RESERVE.

the region of Southeast Asia (SEA), between the Bay of Bengal and the South China Sea, comprising Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, western Malaysia, and select boundary islands (eg: Paracels). Also called "Farther India" until Scottish poet and Orientalist John Leyden proposed the referent INDOCHINA during the early 19th century, because the region lay between India and China, and its history was tied to both dominant influences. This region and its history was popularized by Bernard Fall, who is also credited with designating the native rebellion against British, French, and American forces as the "Second Indochina War" (qv). Also, the name of the former (1862-1954) French colonial federation, French INDOCHINA (Indo-Chine = Extreme Orient) or "Union Indochinoise", comprising a region in Southeast Asia (SEA) that included Cochin-China, Annam, Cambodia, Laos, Tonkin, and the leased territory of Kwangchowan (Guangzhouwan 1898-1945); Vietnamese term : "Dong Nam A". Compare ANNAM, COCHIN CHINA, TONKIN. [nb: During the first through fifth centuries, most of southeast Asia was dominated by Funan, which included most of present Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and the Mekong delta region of Vietnam. Funan was supplanted around the sixth century by Chenla. Annam was a small coastal strip in north VN and southern China, and south of it Champa controlled a coastal strip in central VN. Pressure from China pushed Annam southwards, and in turn Annam pushed Champa south to what is now roughly central South Vietnam. In 1284, Kublai Khan leads a 500,000-man Chinese army into Vietnam, but guerrillas organized by Tran Hung Dao virtually destroy the INVASION force. Around the twelfth century the Khmers emerged as a great empire controlling all the lower Mekong, leaving Sukhothai as a small version of modern Siam and Laos. From 1407 to 1428, China seized control of Dai Co Viet, but resistance forces led by Le Loi drove the Chinese from the country, and established the kingdom of Dai Viet; so that by 1428, Vietnam regained her independence from China's Ming Empire. The Khmer Khmer Empire collapsed after Siam seized Ankor in 1431. Thereafter, Cambodia found itself pinched between its more powerful neighbours: Siam and Annam. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, much of Cambodia was partitioned between Siam and Annam. In 1844, what was left of Cambodia became a protectorate of Siam. Around the 15th century the Kingdom of Luang Prabang emerged along the upper and middle Mekong River. Vientiane and the middle Mekong broke away in 1707. Both Luang Prabang and Vientiane came under Siamese suzerainty in 1778. During most of its existence, Laos was disputed over by Siam and Annam. Laos did not reemerge as a distinct and separate entity until the French declared this region a protectorate in 1893. Annam expanded farther southward into Champa in the 16th century, and into the Mekong Delta in the 18th century. With its capital at Hue, Annam seized Saigon in 1776. With French advice and assistance, Annam defeated the Tay Son triumvirate, and united the Tongking and Cochinchina regions into the Vietnamese Empire in 1802; but the Cochin, Annam, and Tongking regions were administered separately. Following religious persecutions, France seized Saigon in 1861, and annexed Cochin in 1862. Cambodia became a French protectorate in 1863, and Siam gave up its claims to the area in 1867. The French then made protectorates of Annam and Tongking in 1884, and unified the protectorate into the "Union Indochinoise" in 1887, retaining the capital at Saigon. Laos was added to this union when it became a French protectorate in 1893. After further confrontations, Siam ceded more territory, which France added to Cambodia and Laos in 1907. After the Nationalist Chinese and British reinstated the French protectorate on 19 Dec 1946, with Bao Dai as nominal emperor, the Second Indochina War began.]

see DUI, DWI, OWI, DRUNK, THIRD DEGREE, LOADED FOR BEAR, DUTCH COURAGE, STONED, WASTED, ZAP, HOOCH, GROG, BREW, JUICE, THE DRINK, COLORS, LSD, DOPE, JUNK, GRASS, HAY, SMACK, STICK, IRISH FLU, FRENCH FIT, HANGOVER. [nb: "The initial effect of imbibing is to change reality, and the more one partakes, the deeper reality is revealed, until one finally has enough to know exactly how stark naked reality appears, which makes one wish for some distortion to obscure all of what's been revealed."]

an on-board system that determines an aerospace vehicle's course by means of devices, such as a gyroscope and accelerometer, that measure the vehicle's movements in flight; also called "inertial guidance", this expression was coined during the KOREAN WAR.

crossed-rifles branch
insignia of the U.S. Army Infantry crossed-rifles branch
insignia of the U.S. Army Infantry
abbreviation for INFantry, being the "Queen of Battle"; derived from 'infant' or youth. In modern times, the "foot soldier" has evolved from axman and spearman, through swordsman and halberdier, into musketeer and rifleman. Branch insignia has been represented by crossed muskets since 19 November 1875 (standardized in 1924), often called "crossed idiot sticks" for the arduous nature of the infantry role and those persons idiotic enough to undertake it. The traditional color of the infantry is blue, from the uniform of the Continental Army uniform. See BLUELEG, GRUNT, SNUFFY, GI, 03, GROUND POUNDER, BOONIE RAT, BUSHMASTER, CRUNCHY, LEG, DOUGHBOY, DOZER INF, FOLLOW ME, CIB, EIB, HHC, USAIS, USATC, TRUE BLUE; compare ARTY, ARM, CAV. [cf: infantry (infant= child too young to speak)] [nb: Vietnamese term: Bo Binh] [nb: the 1795 Springfield Arsenal musket (smoothbore, flintlock, .69 caliber muzzleloader) was the first official shoulder-firearm to use standardized interchangeable parts] [nb: "dismounted reconnaissance" is MIL-SPEAK for patrolling on foot]

INFILtrate or INFILtration; a stealthy entry or an inconspicuous arrival into any operational area; may involve deceptive FALSE INSERTIONs. See FLIP-FLOP, SHELL GAME; compare EXFIL. [nb: unlike sex, getting into an operational area is the easy part; getting back out with the INTEL after the mission is much more difficult, and sometimes impossible]


the capacity to produce an effect upon other people or other things by indirect means; the power to impel or affect change by intangible means; see INFLUENCE MINE, INFLUENCE PISTOL. Also, the ability to obtain advantages as a result of one's status or position, wealth or knowledge; also known as pull, sway, persuasion, weight, clout, prerogative, say-so, leverage, puissance, cachet, charisma, consequential, vitamin B, and so forth.

any automatic MINE that is actuated by proximity or peripheral disturbance, such as magnetic attraction or acoustic prompt, a trembler switch or some other activating TRIGGER; a mine that does not require physical contact or direct pressure to detonate.

an acoustic or magnetic EXPLODER that's used to detonate a torpedo (FISH) or MINE.


a gun fired by a warship to signal its intention to search a merchant vessel; also called "affirming gun"; compare WARNING SHOT.



see IR.

informal abbreviation for the U.S. Army Infantry School (USAIS) which is not only responsible for developing ground warfare tactics, including weapons expertise and fieldcraft, but also sponsors PATHFINDER, PARACHUTE, and JUMPMASTER training; see USATC, ARTY, ARM, CAV. [nb: U.S. Army Armor School has been colocated with U.S. Army Infantry School for combined arms doctrine since 2005]

a program for transfer of personnel within or between commands to reduce "rotational hump"; see HUMP.


see IP.


that device which activates or launches a sequence or series, especially of EXPLOSIVEs or firing mechanisms. Also, that element which actuates a process or begins a proceeding. See TRIGGER, FUSE, FUZE, DETONATOR, EXPLODER.


after Errol Flynn, the swashbuckling Australian actor, for those emphatic or dramatic feats of derring-do that were staged for WWII-era adventure films; compare MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, see MACHO, MOCK-HEROIC, FICTIONAL CHARACTER. [nb: the earliest recorded usage is from a 1946 pilot reporting on a successful landing: "In like Flynn, everything is O.K."; being equivalent to Flynn's cinematic feats, and devoid of the sexual connotations that this phrase later acquired] [nb: Our Man Flint (1966) and In Like Flint (1967) were Hollywood film take-offs on the original "in like Flynn" phrase, which have since caused some etymological confusion]

see TAPS, MEMORIAL DAY, MISSING MAN FORMATION, MEMORIAL, MONUMENT. [v: tribute, lament, dirge, elegy, threnody, monody, ode]

Inertial Navigation System, an aircraft coordinate locator used for plotting position relative to underlying surface; works from known point of departure through all WAY POINTs plotted for each air mission. See HOMER, SQUAWK, LOCATOR BEACON; compare LORAN, AIS, MGRS, GPS, SRTM, UTM. [v: accelerometer] Also, Immigration and Naturalization Service, being the U.S. government agency in the Department of Justice that's responsible for the admission and naturalization of foreigners, and for the prevention and deportation of illegal aliens through the U.S. Border Patrol; existing as separate bureaus since 1891, then consolidated in 1933, this agency was reorganized on 1 March 2003 into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and subsumed under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. Citizenship may be granted either to individual petitioners after a minimum of five years residence without criminal conviction, or to populations made eligible by legislation [eg: denizens of the Republic of Texas (1845), the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (1917), the American Virgin Islands (1917), all AmerIndian tribesmen (1924), denizens of Alaska (1959), and of Hawaii (1959)]. See EXILE, LODGE-PHILBIN ACT. [nb: the uniform naturalization laws require the applicant to renounce any previous national allegiance, to swear to support the Constitution of the United States, to read and write the English language, and to be adjudged of good moral character; v: Fourteenth Amendment]

(aka: mosquito bar) see BAR, NET. [nb: the word "canopy" originally meant net, as a gauze mosquito barrier; cf: sparver]

to place or advance a unit or element in any operational area, often by air-assault; contrasted with EXTRACTION. See FALSE INSERTION, JACOB'S LADDER, RAPPEL, DEBARKATION NET, SPY RIGGING.

a catch-phrase, used both literally and figuratively, to indicate that the outer defenses of a COMPOUND or BASE CAMP have been penetrated, and that secondary defenses must be engaged, or that the security protection for classified material has been compromised, and that fallback precautions must be undertaken; this expression refers to a defensive enclosure or ambit that implies a safe boundry and entails a secure border (not a small unit position or remote station location), hence the dire consequences subsequent to its pronouncement. See PERIMETER, BARBED WIRE, RAZOR WIRE, CONCERTINA, TRIPWIRE, OUTWORK, BARBICAN, GO TO HELL POINT; compare OUTSIDE THE WIRE.

a distinguishing mark, as an emblem of office, a badge of honor, or a sign of distinction, being a symbolic figure or decoration; formally a plural of "insigne", but began to be used as a singular in the 18th century, with "insignias" adopted as the new plural shortly thereafter, such that INSIGNIA is now standard usage for both singular and plural forms. See BADGE, CREST, DUI, DI, BEERCAN, EMBLEM, CHARGE, GREEN TAB, BRASS HAT, BAY, HEADGEAR, SCRAMBLED-EGGS, SPAGHETTI, PIP, CHOP, RATING, RANK, PINNING, BRANCH, ENSIGN, WIGWAG, BRACELET, CORD, TRASH, PATCH, SANDWICH, SCROLL, HERSHEY BAR, FLASH, OVAL, TAB, Q-TAB, TRIPLE CANOPY, JUNGLE EXPERT, RECONDO, BOLO BADGE, EOD, SAPPER, PATHFINDER, WINGS, PARACHUTE, MFF, AIR ASSAULT, GLIDER, RIGGER, PILOT, DOLPHIN, WATER WINGS, DIVER, SCUBA, HARD HAT, UDT, BUDS, BUDWEISER, CIB, CMB, CAB, GONG, FRUIT SALAD, DEVICE, OLC, V-DEVICE, BATTLE STAR, IMPACT AWARD, HERO, BATTLE CRY, SIGNATURE, TOAST. [v: seal, sign, signet, sigil] [nb: the devices that cover the mounting prongs that attach the insignia to the uniform, holding the two parts together, are variously sized, and are called "fasteners", "clip fastener", "clutch fastener", "clutch back fastener", "clutch grip fastener", "pinch fastener", "butterfly fastener", or "dammits"]

an examination to determine the presence, condition, readiness or compliance of personnel and equipment with procedures or regulations; see CMMI, FMI, LORI, MCI, MEI, ORI, PI, PMI, QVI, SAMI, PRE-FLIGHT, POST-FLIGHT, WALK AROUND, WHITE-GLOVE, SPIT 'n' POLISH, DRILL, THE BIBLE, MANUAL OF ARMS.

see IG.

(forthcoming); [nb: "Inspiration is mostly perspiration, but sometimes desperation will suffice."; "If a man can be made weak and brought low, then he can be uplifted and made strong."]

as part of the progression in food preservation, coincident with military affairs and outer-space exploration, the mechanistic creation of "instant" foods was added to the practices of dessicating / dehydrating, curing / parching, freeze-drying, canning, condensing, and concentrating foodstuffs. Momofuku Ando (Go Pek-Hok), a Formosan entrepreneur who established Nissin Foods (1958) in Japan when he made the commercial production of packaged INSTANT NOODLES economically viable by working with precooked ramen noodles that were dried into a flavored or seasoned block with a long shelf-life (12mo) so as to be reconstituted with boiling water ... hence their common nickname of "two-minute noodles". Dried noodle blocks were shortly (1961) introduced to Taiwan (ROC) and (1963) to South Korea (ROK), then Nissin soon (1971) innovated its packaging by offering the flash-fried dried noodles with flavoring and seasoning already added inside a sealed polystyrene container, marketed as "Cup Noodles". Other manufacturers, including Knorr and Lipton (Unilever), Foodles (Horlicks) and Maruchan (Toyo Suisan), Shin Ramyun and Nongshim (farmer's heart), Demae Itcho and Sapporo Ichiban (Sanyo Foods), Hwa-Long (Chinese Dragon) and Master Kong (Ting Yi or Kang-shi-fu), Sau Tao and Koka, Hwa-Long and Bai-xiang (White Elephant), Maggi (Nestlé) and Indomie (Sukses Makmur), Yum Yum and Wai Wai, Trident and Fantastic, Frontier and Bear Creek, became involved with offerings that would appeal to different cuisines, and experimented with various types of noodles (eg: wheat, buckwheat, rice, and egg noodles). Due to its association with the earliest dried noodle foods, the term 'ramen' has become synonymous among Americans with all varieties of pre-seasoned INSTANT NOODLES (including chicken, pork, beef, mutton, duck, shrimp, fried egg, soy protein, triturated cheese, and dehydrated vegetable sachets). See RAMEN, RAMYEON, LAMIAN, LO MEIN, CHOW MEIN, LOP SLOP, ORIENTAL CRUD, CHOW, BEANS, RATIONS. [nb: according to a nationwide poll conducted in the year 2000, the best Japanese invention of the 20th century was considered to be 'instant noodles']

compare INSTANT NOODLES; see SOUP, PHO, KHAO PIAK SEN, RAMEN, LARMEN, RAMYEON, LAMIAN, WON-TON, TOM KHA KAI, KHAO PUN, MOHINGA, BOAT NOODLES, BULLY SOUP, OH LAM, POOR MAN'S STEW, WASH, STONE SOUP, BEANS, CHOW, RATIONS. [nb: a Vietnam-era bon mot proposed: "Instant Space Age Water has been scientifically formulated to replicate Nature's own elemental distillate, clean and clear and odorless, fortified and purified with a neutral pH, at only a fraction of the weight of the original regular substance; a man-made improvement developed for ready consumption, alone or as an additive, having been designed for better living through chemistry! ... to reconstitute this marvelous product, just add water."]


The U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry is the repository responsible for developing and preserving the military insignia and coats of arms for all branches of service; see INSIGNIA, BADGE, TRASH, PATCH, SCROLL, CORD, CREST, DUI, DI, EMBLEM, GONG, FRUIT SALAD, DEVICE, OLC, V-DEVICE, BATTLE STAR, RANK, PIP, RATING, ENSIGN, FLAG, BRANCH.


a mechanism or device, vehicle or vessel that's designed primarily for military use or service; or anything similar employed in a comparably risky or hazardous capacity.

not submissive to proper authority; disobedient or refractory, defiant or insolent; see DUTY, CODE OF CONDUCT, CORE VALUES, SUMMUM BONUM, MORALITY, CREDIBILITY GAP, FIGHTING WORDS, RIOT ACT, SEDITION, MUTINY, TREASON, SILENT INSOLENCE. [re: punitive articles 89 and 91 in the UCMJ; v: UCMJ Punitive Articles]

domestic REBELLION within a group or state without achieving the condition of REVOLUTION or CIVIL WAR; rebellion against an existing government by a group not recognized as a belligerent. Also, the military employment of sociopolitical methods to destabilize and overthrow a government; the application of asymmetric means to achieve political ends. See GUERRILLA WARFARE, LOW-INTENSITY CONFLICT, UW, ASYMMETRIC WARFARE, SOFT REVOLUTION, STRUGGLE, CONFLICT; compare COUNTERINSURGENCY.

a person who participates in forcible opposition or armed resistance to an established authority or a duly constituted government; a rebel or revolutionary, as derived from "to rise up" or "ascend". See COUNTERINSURGENCY, UW.

U.S. Army Military Intelligence
coat of arms U.S. Army Intelligence Center
Military Intelligence
intelligence; the proverbial "2 shop", being S-2/G-2/J-2 (v: J-CODES, STAFF). See COMINT, ELINT, HUMINT, IMINT, SIGINT, TECHINT, OSINT, 2DD, PIR, DECEPTION, CHATTER, SWEAT, SQUEEZE, GATOR, SLURPER, CONFESSION BOX, CONTROLLED INFORMATION, NEED TO KNOW, ONE-TIME PAD, FLASH PAPER, FLAPS 'n' SEALS, CHICKEN FEED, ROCKING HORSE APPLES, DESK MAPPING, CLOWN COLLEGE, TRADECRAFT, PSYOPS, RUSE DE GUERRE, PSYWAR, ASA, CIC, MI, ICAP, CCIR, PIR, IR, JIC, NIC, NIE, SNIE, DOC EX, DIA, CIA, SDI; compare RUMOR. [v: the Culper Ring, composed of trusted civilians, both men and women, was a spy ring that was organized by Benjamin Tallmadge in the summer of 1778 under the direction of George Washington during the Revolutionary War, because military intelligence had proven itself to be insecure and unreliable; cf: Joseph Hooker's Bureau of Military Information] [nb: "Thus, what enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge [of the enemy's disposition and intentions]. Now this foreknowledge cannot be elicited from spirits; it cannot be [predicted] obtained inductively from experience, nor by any deductive calculation. Knowledge of the enemy's dispositions can only be obtained from other men." by Sun-Tzu (ca490BC); "Intelligence is pseudoscience, like astrology; sometimes the outcome seems to prove that your methods and techniques are infallible ... other times, it proves the exact opposite." by Olen Steinhauer (2014)]

see PROFESSOR, WIZARD, BRAINIAC, REASON, RATIONALE, INTELLIGENCER, BEAN-COUNTER, CHIEF, WONK, GUNNER, WALLAH, PUKE, POGUE. [nb: "'Rabbit's clever,' said Pooh thoughtfully. 'Yes,' said Piglet, 'Rabbit's clever.' 'And he has brains.' 'Yes,' said Piglet, 'Rabbit has brains.' There was a long silence. 'I suppose,' said Pooh, 'that that's why he never understands anything.'" by A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh (1926)]

a person working with codes and ciphers; a cryptographer, cryptanalyst, cryptologist, or crypter; Vietnamese term: Mat Ma Vien. See ENCRYPT, DECRYPT, CRYPER.

a fighter airplane that's capable of speedily pursuing and intercepting hostile aircraft; also called "hunter/killer"; see BIRD. [v: hunter squadron (jagdstaffel)]

the acronym for the International Code of Signals, being a standardized system for sending clear and concise messages, without resorting to translation of foreign languages; many of which do not involve an exchange or require a response. INTERCO messages are signaled by sight (ie: lights, flags, smoke) or by sound (ie: whistle, bell, siren, foghorn, MORSE CODE). Specific phrases are represented by letter codes from 1 to 3 characters in length (eg: MAA = I need medical advice; AN = I need a physician; AC = I am abandoning my vessel). See CIPHER, CODE, PROWORD, BREVITY CODE, CODENAME, CODEWORD, NICKNAME, 10-CODES, ACRONYM, ABBREVIATION, FREQ, GUARD, MAYDAY, PAN, SECURITE.

direct and/or indirect fire placed at a point or brought to bear on an area so as to deny enemy access, use, or occupation; see ZONE OF FIRE, FPL, RANGE CARD.


the banishment of a person, such as a political dissident or other despised minority, to a remote place within the same country; see PNG, DP, GULAG, LAOGAI, CONCENTRATION CAMP, STRUGGLE, BOMBING, REEDUCATION. [v: outcast, castaway, pariah, deportee, expatriate, displaced person, man without a country, nonperson, untouchable]

a shade of bright orange, highly visible at a great distance and in murky weather, that's been used since 1955 to color rescue or emergency gear, safety devices and appliances, survey equipment and vehicles, including boats and aircraft, hangars and control towers; also known as "safety orange" or "blaze orange". Compare DAZZLE, COUNTERSHADING, GRAYBACK, CAMO.

a convention establishing two periods (for three-minutes each) of monitored silence every hour in order to permit distress signals to be heard; see GUARD, SOS, MAYDAY, PAN, SECURITE, BLIND TRANSMISSION, listening watch, RTP, RADIO, COMMO, NET.

to question carefully or closely, to examine minutely or exhaustively, especially a formal or official survey that's intended to check or discredit a previous statement; also known as "cross-examine" or "cross-question", "pump" or "grill", as derived from 'ask' or 'query'. See THIRD DEGREE, SQUEEZE, FIELD EXPEDIENT FACIAL, SONG AND DANCE, BASHING, BLISTER, ENHANCED INTERROGATION, BRAINWASHING, REEDUCATION, SNATCH, BODY-SNATCHER, PACKAGE, TONGUE, TRUE BELIEVER, BY ASSOCIATION, SWEAT, GATOR, SLURPER, SCREEN, LIE DETECTOR, FLUTTER, TRUTH SERUM, POISON PILL, FISHBOWL, PING, SERE, DEBRIEF, ARTICLE 31, ARTICLE 32.

the lateral space between elements of the same line; with normal interval measured as one arm's length from shoulder to shoulder (approx 30") for DRILL, with extended interval measured as both arms at full length (approx 70") for EXERCISE, and with close interval measured as a bent elbow's length (approx 6") for GUARD; see DRESS RIGHT, CLOSE ORDER, THE BIBLE, MANUAL OF ARMS, SCHOOL OF THE SOLDIER, SCHOOL OF THE SQUAD. [nb: the distance between RANKs is equivalent to the distance between FILEs, an interval established by DRESSing RIGHT in one FORMATION and then pivoting the FORMATION with a 'facing' command so as to DRESS RIGHT in the other direction ... THE BIBLE reports this distance as 40" from back to front and 30" from side to side] Also, that necessary and appropriate spacing that balances tactics and safety while accomplishing the assigned mission; see COMBAT SPREAD, INDIAN FILE, CONVOY, HEADWAY, STAND-OFF; compare ACCORDION, CATERPILLAR, LEEWAY. Also, the use of signals (eg: LASER) or beacons (eg: PIPSQUEAK) to fix an object or measure an objective. Also, any period of inactivity or recuperation, generally as a respite preliminary to resumption; see INTERWAR, PEACETIME, PEACETIMER; compare IMMEDIATELY, FORTHWITH.

cockpit equipment used for selecting weapon system or rate of fire / bombing; see PICKLE.

the policy or practice of government interference in the political or economic affairs of another state, ostensibly for its benefit; see BANANA WARS, GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY, CLIENT STATE, CONTAINMENT, DIVIDE AND CONQUER, PRESIDENTIAL DOCTRINE, PROXY WAR, REALPOLITIK; compare ISOLATIONISM.

occurring during a period of PEACE between two WARs, especially the interval between World War I (WWI) and World War II (WWII); compare ANTEBELLUM.


the extreme ends in any broad front of advance or defense, or any discontinuity therein, where the line of troops and arms is exposed or suspended, subject to being out-flanked, as an unattached FLANK (eg: Stoneman's Raid) or an unsecured FRONT LINE (eg: Chickamauga); compare REFUSE, TIED-IN. Also, the simultaneous suspension of an entire SALVO, VOLLEY or FUSILLADE, by the skillful loading and firing of a MORTAR rapidly enough that all of the rounds launched remain in flight before the first round impacts on the TARGET; sometimes expressed as "hang (in the air)", not HANG FIRE. Also, the condition of air superiority that permits land or sea operations to proceed without interference; see CAP, COVER, UMBRELLA, ABNCP. Also, an EXPLOSIVE detonation above the ground of a BOMB, SHELL, or other ORDNANCE, together with its EXPLOSIVE PRESSURE or OVERPRESSURE blast wave; an AIRBURST.


any forward combat area, or any area outside of a built-up town or BASE CAMP; see BOONDOCKS / BOONIES.

a common metaphor among southeast Asian peoples for violent death, that's also represented as "in the jaws of the cat"; the predation of the cat is not just an allusion to men being as weak as mice who are victimized by house cats, but to those brave defenders of their villages who are slaughtered (like any other prey) by the more aggressive tigers and more capable panthers. In the case of warriors who have survived battle, the imagery is of having escaped the ready mouth of the lethal cat, of having eluded the yawning pit of Hell. This expression is also used to symbolize an act that needlessly confronts death, such that success or survival is uncertain; it's used in the same way as "to tempt fate" or "to tempt providence" by taking a needless risk, especially after a lucky escape. Compare HEAD IN THE LION'S MOUTH; see TIGER CAGE, PITFALL, TROU-DE-LOUP.


taking fire or being ambushed; see SHIT.



Grumman A-6 twin-engined subsonic fighter-bomber aircraft, operated by PILOT and weapons officer (WSO), with flight characteristics sufficiently sluggish and awkward to have earned it the nickname of "cement truck"; this all-weather low-level MUD MOVER carried up to 22 500# bombs. Compare KA-6 at TANKER; see GIB, BIRD.

Douglas A-26, B-26/RB-26 light bomber aircraft. Used during USAF FARMGATE project, the vintage B-26 carries eight nose-mounted .50-caliber machineguns (350 rounds each), delivers a 4,000 pound bombload, plus extra ordnance hung on external racks under its WINGS, and is powered by two reciprocating engines.

the entrance or advent of something, especially by force or hostile intent, as to injuriously or destructively take possession or overrun; as distinguished from an INCURSION for defined or limited objectives. [v: anabasis; cf: katabasis] [nb: "Nothing should be left to an invaded people but their eyes for weeping." attributed to Otto von Bismarck]

designation given to Nakhon Phanom Control and Reporting Post (CRP); see NKP, NAKED FANNY. Also, slang for a homosexual, being a truncation of 'inversion', which is the psychiatric term for assuming the sexual role of the opposite sex; see FAG, PREEVERT, DON'T ASK - DON'T TELL, CAMP, GLORY HOLE, FIRING LINE, CANDY-ASS, POGUE, POGY BAIT, SPUNK, PECKER TRACKS; compare STRAIGHT ARROW. [v: gender dysphoria]

an enemy operative or espionage agent (eg: SLEEPER or MOLE) who is essentially undetectible, being ethnically indiscernible or culturally indistinguishable from the other members of society who surround him, and so his intended SABOTAGE or TERRORISTic plots cannot be prevented by profiling because his activities are concealed from public knowledge. See STOOGE, FIFTH COLUMN, RUNNING DOG, QUISLING, SECRET AGENT, SPOOK, CREEP, CRYPTO, PROVOCATEUR, SYMPATHIZER.

mock designation (i/Iota Ι = very small) given to so-called "one man death teams" or "suicide missions" as purported by phonies and poseurs, as being similar to other Greek-letter special project names; see GREEKS, SUICIDE SQUAD, CAM TU, LAST MAN STANDING, WANNABE, BTDT, WAR STORY.

Improved Outer Tactical Vest; individual body armor introduced in 2007 to replace the "Interceptor" Outer Tactical Vest from the late 1990s. The Improved Outer Tactical Vest is an over-the-head entry FLAK VEST, with a mesh liner for wicking and an inner cummerbund for weight distribution, available in eleven sizes that incorporate a lower back flap to increase ballistic coverage. The IOTV has integrated side ballistic plate carriers to accommodate currently-issued Enhanced Small Arms Protective Insert plates in the front, back, and sides, obviating the need for the Deltoid Axillary Protector set. Soldier survivability is enhanced by a single-point quick release tab on the front of the vest that pulls it apart into several pieces with one tug, as well as tear-away access points for medical treatment. The 27 pound IOTV (weighing 3#s less than the "Interceptor" Outer Tactical Vest) offers a reduced profile for increased mobility during operations. Compare OTV; see HAPPY SUIT, CHICKEN PLATE, FLAK JACKET, IBA, ESAPI, SAPI. [cf: flexible 'mail'; v: doublet]

IP :
(eye-pee) Instructor Pilot, being the informal designation for a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI / CFI-I); see PILOT, CHECK RIDE, UP CHECK, DOWN CHECK, NICKEL RIDE. Also, Initial Point, as reference location for mission commencement or troop movement; see POD, STAGE,RALLY POINT, RV, WAY POINT, PHASE LINE, LINE OF DEPARTURE, AIMPOINT, INS.

IR :
(eye-ar) InfraRed, the part of the invisible spectrum that comprises electromagnetic radiation wavelengths of from 800 nm to 1 mm, and is contiguous to the red end of the visible spectrum; probably by association with 'ultraviolet', IR is sometimes called "ultrared", but not in technical usage. Infrared radiation is distinguished from ultraviolet (wavelengths from 5 nm to 400 nm), x-ray (wavelengths from 0.1 nm to 10 nm), and gamma ray (high-frequency photon from 1019 Hz). A gunner or weapons officer (WSO) must develop a refined sense of chiaroscuro interpretation in order to discern a viable target from the variety of available heat SIGNATUREs down range. See DSP, SBIRS, IRST, FLIR, RED HAZE, LRAS3, BLACK, SNOOPERSCOPE, IMAGE-CONVERTER TUBE, IIR, IR MARKERS, THERMAL CROSSOVER, WEFT, SCRAM, IFF, SQUAWK, BLINKER, LIGHT STICK. [nb: yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) is a synthetic gemstone used for infrared lasers as well as jewelry] Also, acronym for Intelligence Reports; see INTEL. Also, the abbreviation for information requirements, being those items of information regarding the enemy and his environment which need to be collected and processed in order to meet the intelligence requirements of a commander; see CCIR, PIR, MI, INTEL.

I&R / I & R / I-and-R :
Intelligence and Reconnaissance, being a battalion or regimental S-2 integral surveillance or special mission element; sometimes known as "Tigers" or "Raiders", WOLF or HAWKS, were usually superseded by LRRP/LRSP unit. [v: a Sampling of Reconnaissance and Surveillance Insignia] Also, US Air Force abbreviation for Inspection and Repair.

acronym for Inspect and Replace As Needed.

Iraq Campaign Medal
awarded to military personnel for service in Iraq, its airspace or its territorial waters, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) for which participants are authorized to wear a bronze service star (BATTLE STAR) on the pendant medal and ribbon for each of four phases: Liberation of Iraq (19 Mar - 1 May 2003); Transition of Iraq (2 May 2003 - 28 Jun 2004); Iraqi Governance (29 Jun 2004 - 15 Dec 2005); National Resolution (from 16 Dec 2005); and may be further distinguished by a bronze arrowhead for a combat parachute assault. The obverse features a palm wreath surmounting a relief map of Iraq with the Tigris and Euphrates rivers prominently displayed, and the legend "Iraq Campaign"; the reverse shows the Statue of Freedom surmounting a sunburst, flanked by two scimitars with their points down and tips crossed, all above the inscription: "For Service In Iraq". See GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM EXPEDITIONARY MEDAL, CAMPAIGN MEDAL.

Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF); compare Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF); see GULF WAR, WAR ON TERROR. [v: Gulf War Supplement]

International Red Cross, Red Crescent, and Red Crystal; see RED CROSS. [nb: mission statement of the worldwide Red Cross organization is "to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity"; the slogan of the International Committee of the Red Cross is "The Power of Humanity", and its motto is "In War, Charity" (Inter Arma Caritas), while the slogan of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is "Protecting Human Dignity", and its motto is "With Humanity, Towards Peace" (Per Humanitatem ad Pacem)] [nb: the parent organization of the American Red Cross, being the International Red Cross and Red Crescent (IRC) based in Geneva Switzerland, should not be confused with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), despite their cooperation]

the International Rescue Committee was setup during 1933 by a group of 51 concerned Americans (including John Dewey, Charles A. Beard, Morris Cohen, Roger Baldwin, John Dos Passos, Abba Hillel Silver, Oswald Garrison Villard, Reinhold Niebuhr, and William J. "Wild Bill" Donovan) who responded to a plea for action by Albert Einstein. Established in imitation of the Europe-based International Relief Association, the objective of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) was to save anti-Nazi leaders targeted by the Gestapo by guiding them to safety in free countries. The refugee tide grew in 1938 as thousands escaped from Fascist Italy and Franco's Spain, then surged in 1939 when the infamous Nazi/Soviet pact led to the invasion and partition of Poland, and the beginning of WWII. When France fell, the refugees had to flee again, so a new American organization, called the "Emergency Rescue Committee", sent volunteers to establish escape routes, many of whom later joined the underground resistance. The end of the war left a devastated continent with millions of uprooted people on the move: prisoners of war, displaced persons (DP), forced laborers, expellees, concentration camp survivors, and refugees. In order to provide the most effective assistance for them, the International Relief Association and the Emergency Rescue Committee joined forces to become the International Rescue Committee, serving refugees of all religions, races, and nationalities. With the onset of the Iron Curtain, the IRC's relief and resettlement efforts shifted, establishing hospitals and children's centers funded by a combination of public and private monies. The IRC has served the emergency relief needs, as well as some extended health and education goals ("One doctor can save a thousand lives and one teacher can save a thousand minds."), of refugees and exiles from "hot spots" scattered around the world. Its resettlement methodology for Indochinese BOAT PEOPLE has become the model for other agencies and organizations. See PEACE CORPS, IVS, SPARTAN, CA, ADV, E&E, BRIGHT LIGHT, SAFE, BLOOD CHIT, DP, BOAT PEOPLE, YELLOW BIRD. [nb: "There is so much injustice and suffering crying out for our attention: Victims of hunger, racism and political oppression, prisoners of so many lands, governed by the Left and Right. What all these victims need above all is to know that they are not alone: that we are not forgetting them; that when their voices are stifled, we shall lend them ours; that while their freedom depends on ours, our quality of freedom depends on theirs." by Elie Wiesel; "Support of the principle of asylum, and assistance for refugees, are fundamental principles of American foreign policy." by Dwight David Eisenhower]

an ethnic slur referring to the discomfiture associated with a HANGOVER or with being DRUNK or STONED; a stereotype of the disagreeable aftereffects of overindulgence by certain peoples (eg: drunken Indian, drunken Russian, etc). See BREW, HOOCH, GROG, THE DRINK; compare LOADED FOR BEAR, FRENCH FIT, FRENCH FLU. [nb: the expression "feel like crap" derives from crapulence (drunkenness), not excrement]

in NavSpeak, loose threads and/or frayed clothing; equivalent to ROPE in the Army; see SHIPSHAPE, SALTY, SQUARED AWAY, STRAC, GIG.

an ethnic slur referring to a soft drink that's been spiked with liquor; a soft drink container used to conceal the alcoholic contents of a mixed beverage. See WASH, BREW, HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, THE DRINK, MOONSHINE, MOCKTAIL, SAIGON TEA.

slang for 'blush', being a flushed countenance that's indicative of embarrassment; which is ostensibly due to the Irish being so guilt-ridden that they cannot enjoy their sinful transgressions!

American and NATO military rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft are marked with infrared (IR) patches in distinctive patterns on the fore (near cockpit) and aft portions of the fuselage, and on the wings or rotor blades, which serve as positive identification whenever flying in BLACKOUT conditions prohibits the use of colored navigation lights or IFF/SQUAWK recognition aids. See STARBOARD, PORT, AFT, STERN, BOW, PROW, STEM, WEFT, SCRAM, CHOPPER, BIRD.

any conventional gravity ordnance or DUMB BOMB, also called an "egg", including time delay and proximity, explosive and incendiary, weighing from 100# to 2000#, and delivered on target by aircraft subject only to the laws of physics. See STICK, PICKLE, HARDPOINT, BOMBSIGHT, BUTTERFLY BOMB, FAE, CBU, GBU, SNAKE, SNAKES 'n' NAPES, NAPALM; compare SMART BOMB.

the so-called "iron cage of rationality" identifies the increased objectification and dehumanization of social interaction when bureaucratized systems estrange and disassociate people from production, its means and output, its purpose and persistence; coined by Max Weber, the German sociologist, the IRON CAGE is also known as the "polar night of icy darkness" and the "shell as hard as steel". Social actions and interactions, traditionally based upon kinship or lineage, were being motivated by efficiency and efficacy, such that the requirements of the organization became preeminent ... hence profitable in capitalism, productive in bureaucracy, and compliant in autocracy, whether secular or religious. The "rule of law" ostensibly replaced arbitrary edicts, but the selection process eliminated vagrant irregularities and diversions from the norm, the new system was as corrupt and self-perpetuating as the old system, locking the classes into new and different castes, but a caste nonetheless. While the attempt to transfer power from "bad" people who control the means of production to "bad" systems that cannot control the means of production has not changed the effect on the "cog" in the social "machine" ... even if the "cog" is larger, it is still subject to the motive forces affecting society. As has been seen since the earliest bureaucracy in ancient China, small systems (microcosm) affect fewer persons, while large systems (macrocosm) affect more persons ... whether for good or ill is not a function of the system, but a direct result of the people involved. See CIVIL SERVICE, GSA, GAO, ALPHABET SOUP, CLUB FED, HATCH ACT, FORM, PAPER BULLET, PAPER TRAIL, RED TAPE, ORIFICE, MIL-SPEAK, JARGON, WASHINGTON WALTZ, PARTY LINE, WORK ETHIC, RAT RACE, PECKING ORDER, PARKINSON'S LAW, PETER PRINCIPLE, SMOKE 'n' MIRRORS, SPOILS, RUBE GOLDBERG. [nb: "Bureaucracy is a conspiracy to slow down and bring down the big organizations by masking their inefficiency behind complexity." paraphrase of Donald H. Rumsfeld]

a low-profile, steam-driven, armored WARSHIP that, beginning in 1862 with the turtle-backed CSS Manassas and CSS Virginia (former USS Merrimack), revolutionized naval warfare. Also, something covered or cased with protective iron or steel plates, such as a vessel or vehicle; being armor-plated; see ARMOR, UP-ARMOR, HILLBILLY ARMOR, HARDEN, SPLINTER SHIELD, HARD TARGET. Also, being certain or stolid, intractable or irrevocable, sure or exacting, inflexible or unbreakable; see TOE THE LINE, BRASSBOUND, HIDEBOUND, BOX HEAD, BRASS-COLLAR, BRASS EAR, HARD-AND-FAST, MILITARY MIND, PARTY LINE, BY THE BOOK, ZERO TOLERANCE, HARD-SET, HARD-NOSE, SCRIPTURES.

(railroad network) see ASPHALT COMPASS.

a political and ideological barrier that impeded relations between the Soviet Union (USSR) and its allies (Warsaw Pact) and other non-communist countries; phrase used by Winston Churchill in 1946 to describe the line of demarcation between Western Europe and the Soviet zone of influence. Also, an impenetrable barrier to the exchange of information and ideas, to communication and understanding, as imposed by rigid censorship and secrecy. Compare STAR WARS, MAGINOT LINE, SIEGFRIED LINE, MARETH LINE, SMEZ, BERLIN WALL, BAMBOO CURTAIN, BAR LEV LINE, CACTUS CURTAIN, 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]

on the model of "iron horse" (locomotive), this affectionate slang term is used to designate any type of mechanical Over the Snow Vehicle (OSV) or snowmobile (eg: WEASEL), as used by MOUNTAINEERs and WINTER WARRIORs. A snowmobile is a motorized vehicle with one or a pair of revolving treads in the rear for propulsion and moveable skiis in the front for steering. The first snowmobile was invented in 1920 from an automobile chassis that was fitted with tractor-treads and skis by Virgil D. White; another early military snowmobile was the "Eliason motor toboggan". Compare K-9, SCOUT DOG, SNOWSHOE, X-C; see CAT-TRAIN, MOUNTAINEER, NWTC, MWS, MWTC, WINTER WARRIOR. [nb: a joint US-Canadian operation during WWI called "K-9" transported dogsled teams from Alaska and northern Canada to the Alps and Vosges Mountains for the FRONT LINE delivery of messages, food, medicine, or AMMO, and evacuation of the wounded, in France and Italy during winter snows when horses and mules proved incapable] [nb: the first military use of dogsleds was in the laying of telegraph lines across Alaska, the delivery of mail and other resupply items in both World Wars, and for winter search and rescue operations in the Arctic, until replaced by snowmobiles and helicopters in the 1950s ... Germans used dogsleds for resupply on the Russian Front during WWII, and dogsleds are still used today for border patrol in Norway, Finland, and Greenland] [nb: sled dog team races began with the 1907-18 All-Alaska Sweepstakes, the 1925 Great Race of Mercy delivery of diphtheria serum (re-enacted in 1975), the 1932 Winter Olympics dogsled race, the annual Alaska Fur Rendezvous dogsled race that became the Iditarod in 1967, and the 1973 Iditarod race run from Anchorage to Nome] [nb: mush, the command urging or spurring a dogsled team to travel, is a corruption of 'march' as spoken by French voyageurs] [v: slipe, ahkio, pulka / pulkka; cf: Flexible Flyer sled (1889)]

(forthcoming); see FATHER KNOWS BEST, GAGE.

an early (1965) RADAR and MISSILE suppression program in Vietnam using WILD WEASEL aircraft.

paratrooper statue, dedicated in tribute to WWII combat parachutists ["In honor of the American Airborne Trooper, whose courage, dedication, and traditions make him the world's finest fighting man."], and serving as a paradigm for subsequent AIRBORNE personnel, has been emplaced at Fort Bragg since 1961. The IRON MIKE statue was inspired by the cover illustration on Those Devils in Baggy Pants by Ross Carter (504/82 Abn Div), was modeled by SGM Mike Runyon (1960), and was sculpted in steel and fiberglass resin by Leah Hiebert, an artist and wife of LTC Samuel L. Hiebert (then Deputy Post Chaplain). IRON MIKE represents a paratrooper ready for action shortly after landing, depicting the courage, dedication, weariness, and compassion characteristic of veterans. This icon complements the infantryman (FOLLOW ME) and DOUGHBOY (qv) statues at other posts. [nb: 'statue' derived from 'status', meaning 'standing', 'position'] [nb: not to be confused with John W. "Iron Mike" O'Daniel, CG of 3rd Inf Div in WW2, of I Corps in Korea, and of MAAG-VN in Vietnam; nor with Michael D. "Iron Mike" Healy (aka: "Mister Green Beret"), the last commander of 5th SFGAbn in RVN]

a small supply of emergency food, also called survival rations; see BULLY SOUP, BEANS, CHOW, C-RATIONS, STONE SOUP, SOLDIER'S BREAKFAST, GI JOE, BUG JUICE, FORAGE, RATIONS. [nb: despite the perennial complaints about military food, and some rude characterizations (eg: biscuit = armor-plate), this designation does not describe the texture or taste of survival rations!] [cf: pemmican]

an enemy sanctuary in IIICTZ / III CORPS region near Ben Suc; adjacent to WAR ZONE C; see CEDAR FALLS. Also, a North Korean staging area during the KOREAN WAR encompassing Pyonggang, Chorwon/Chowan, and Kumhwa, which is now divided by the stabilized front.

Bell UH-1 utility helicopter series; nicknamed HUEY, from its "UH" designation, and became symbolic of the VIETNAM WAR through photojournalism. The Bell UH-1 helicopter is one of aviation's true success stories. Thousands of the aircraft have been made in a number of variations, serving a multitude of roles. Bell was chosen in 1955 to provide the army with a utility helicopter capable of serving as a FRONT LINE medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) aircraft, a general utility aircraft, and an instrument training aircraft. Deliveries to the U.S. Army began in 1959. In 1961 a more powerful version, the UH-1B, was introduced, and saw use by both Army and Marines in transport and as an early GUNSHIP. The UH-1C was used by the Army as an armed attack helicopter. In 1967, starting with the UH-1D series, the airframe length was increased, giving the HUEY a much roomier passenger-cargo compartment capable of carrying more troops or supplies. The UH-1F Bell helicopter was used by the Air Force as a light utility cargo or personnel carrier, and as a GUNSHIP. The UH-1N was an Army light helicopter. In 1968 Bell developed a specialized version of the aircraft with a stronger airframe and more powerful engine. The HUEY TUG, as it was nicknamed, was capable of lifting loads up to three tons, nearly double that of a conventional HUEY. Powered by a 1,400 SHP Avco Lycoming engine, the HUEY had a cruising speed of 127 mph and a range of 318 miles. Fast and maneuverable, the HUEY proved far superior to the CH-21 SHAWNEE or CH-34 KINGBEE as an assault helicopter. Combat troops normally rode in the wide door openings on each side of the aircraft, and could exit quickly; greatly reducing the time the helicopter was on the ground. Often troops jumped from a HUEY just above the ground as it "bounced" in ground effect, with the entire ground time reduced to a matter of seconds. See SLICK, GUNSHIP, CHOPPER.

Individual Ready Reserve (qv); see WEEKEND WARRIOR, MILITIA, RESERVE.

the party or association in any country that advocates the acquisition of some region included in another country by reason of cultural, historical, ethnic, racial, religious, or other similar restorative ties; any minority group seeking to break away from alien rule so as to affiliate with a neighboring element with which it shares a greater national affinity, as derived from a 19th century Italian redemption movement. See CULTURE WAR, SOFT TYRANNY, SIEGE MENTALITY; compare LEBENSRAUM, GEOPOLITICS, BUFFER STATE, CLIENT STATE, SATELLITE, PUPPET, FLAG OF PROTECTION, GARRISON STATE. [v: kultur, nativism, nationalism, anomie]

armed individuals and groups not members of the regular armed forces, police, or other internal security forces. If IRREGULARS are not in uniform during their periods of service, they may be summarily executed if captured [v: "free-shooters"]. See MILITIA, STRIKER, CIDG, CSF, MIKE FORCE, PF, RF, RF/PF, PRU, PSDF, PARAMILITARY, CAP, COUNTERPART, CAFE REBEL, CONSTABULARY, UW, AIWC, ASYMMETRIC WARFARE GROUP, ANTI-TERRORISM. [v: bushranger, bashi-bazouk] [nb: the Viet Cong thrived on their access to and control of the regular inhabitants, who formed the most important part of their support base. The general population provided both economic and manpower resources to sustain and expand the insurgency; the people of the villages served the guerrillas as their first line of resistance against government intrusion into their "liberated zones" and bases of influence. By comparison with their political effort, the strictly military aims of the Viet Cong were secondary, although they did so whenever weaker elements could be isolated and defeated as a form of "political action" to extend their influence over the population. By mobilizing the population, the Viet Cong compensated for their numerical and material disadvantages. The rule of thumb that ten regular soldiers were needed to defeat one guerrilla reflected the insurgents' political support rather than their military superiority. The task of isolating the Viet Cong from the population was difficult under normal circumstances, and impossible to achieve by force alone. Viet Cong military forces varied from hamlet and village guerrillas, who were farmers by day and fighters by night, to full-time professional soldiers. Organized into squads and platoons, part-time guerrillas had several military functions: they gathered intelligence, passing it on to district or provincial authorities; they proselytized, propagandized, recruited, and provided security for local cadres. They reconnoitered the battlefield, functioned as porters and guides, created diversions and evacuated wounded, served as replacements and reinforcements, retrieved weapons and munitions ... their very presence and watchfulness in a hamlet or village inhibited the population from aiding the government.]

(erst) InfraRed Search and Track, or InfraRed Sighting and Tracking; being an electronic weapons system for fighter aircraft that detects heat energy, transmitting target direction (ie: BEARING, AZIMUTH) to the weapon's control system; also represented as InfraRed Search and Track System (IRSTS). See AVIONICS.

(eye-zack the eye-rack) dismissive reference by rhyming to any enemy soldier or TERRORIST in the Iraq War ("Gulf War Part Two"); see SCARAB THE ARAB, HAJJI, ALI BABA, MUJ, RAGHEAD, SKINNY, STREET ARAB, ALLAH'S WAITING ROOM, SANDY, INSURGENT, BAD GUYS. [v: Abdullah; cf: palmer (Christian)]

Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar, a system that uses the motion of the object being tracked to define and sharpen the RADAR image; most commonly used by naval reconnaissance aircraft to locate and identify ships at sea. See SAR.

like Moslem and MUHAMMADAN, a politically-incorrect referent for a Muslim, an adherent of Islamic religion and culture; see ALI BABA, ISAAC THE IRAQ, SCARAB THE ARAB, SANDY, MUJ, HAJJI, MAHDI, RAGHEAD, ISLAMOFASCISM, TERRORIST, BAD GUYS, FOE. [nb: "They (radical Islamists) want us exterminated. ... That said, what do we, Christians in particular, do when faced with an implacable radical enemy? Just sit around, sing 'Kum Ba Yah' and hope these bad guys will leave us alone?" by Doug Giles; "There is not a Musselman alive who would not imagine that he was performing an action pleasing to God and his Holy Prophet by exterminating every Christian on earth, while the Christians are scarcely more tolerant on their side." by Denis Diderot (1774)] [nb: a political-correctness memo distributed in 2008 to U.S. federal agencies, including the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Counter Terrorism Center, directed that Islamic extremists were no longer to be described as jihadists, mujahedeen, Islamo-fascists, Islamic terrorists, holy warriors, or Islamists, so that these banned terms would not impugn the Muslim religion; the preferred terms of communication are 'violent extremist' or 'terrorist', which (ostensibly) deny them any level of legitimacy without confrontation]

a radical form of Islamic fundamentalism that seeks world domination by revolutionary methodologies; also spelled "Islamo-fascism". See MUJ, SANDY, HAJJI, ALI BABA, SKINNY, STREET ARAB, BAD GUYS, INSURGENT, TERRORIST, ALLAH'S WAITING ROOM. [nb: a political-correctness memo distributed in 2008 to U.S. federal agencies, including the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Counter Terrorism Center, directed that Islamic extremists were no longer to be described as jihadists, mujahedeen, Islamo-fascists, Islamic terrorists, holy warriors, or Islamists, so that these banned terms would not impugn the Muslim religion; the preferred terms of communication are 'violent extremist' or 'terrorist', which (ostensibly) deny them any level of legitimacy without confrontation]

slang for the superstructure positioned on the STARBOARD side of the flight DECK of an aircraft carrier (FLATTOP), containing the BRIDGE, OPIUM DEN, WARDROOM, and other TOPSIDE spaces; see AIR BOSS, OFFICER'S COUNTRY, VULTURE'S ROW. [nb: aircraft carrier islands are situated on the starboard side of the flight deck because early propeller-driven aircraft turned to the left more easily, as an effect of engine torque, so would turn more readily in that direction whenever waved-off from landing, therefore the island superstructure was more out of the way on the opposite side; once situated on the starboard side for cause, that configuration remains by convention, and even with the angled deck, there is no advantage in changing its location]

(eye-so-fack) ISOlation FACility, being the secure and sealed area where a SPECIAL OPERATIONS team undergoes pre-mission briefing and preparation, lasting hours or weeks, preliminary to deployment; also called "the box" or "lock-down". During this sequestration, any team judged to be unprepared or unfit may continue to be held incommunicado as a security measure for the duration of the operation. See BRIEF-BACK, BUBBLE, SCIF, SUB-ROSA.

the doctrine that peace and prosperity can be best achieved by the disassociation of one's country from alliances and commitments with other countries; originating with George Washington's warning against foreign entanglements, and manifest in the MONROE DOCTRINE, it remains the preferred foreign policy of the American people, who summarize it as: "If you leave us alone, then we'll leave you alone." Compare GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY, BUFFER STATE, CLIENT STATE, CONTAINMENT, INTERVENTIONISM, REALPOLITIK, NATION BUILDING, ALLY, PRESIDENTIAL DOCTRINE. [nb: "It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances, with any portion of the foreign world." by George Washington (17 Sept 1796); "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none." by Thomas Jefferson (4 March 1801); "It isn't the oceans which cut us off from the world – it's the American way of looking at things." by Henry Miller (1945); "National isolation breeds national neurosis." by Hubert H. Humphrey (6 Jan 1967); "In April 1917 the illusion of isolation was destroyed, America came to the end of innocence, and of the exuberant freedom of bachelor independence. That the responsibilities of world power have not made us happier is no surprise. To help ourselves manage them, we have replaced the illusion of isolation with a new illusion of omnipotence." by Barbara Tuchman (5 May 1967)] [nb: "I don't know how a lot of these other nations have existed as long as they have till we could get some of our people around and show 'em how to be pure and good like us." by William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers (27 Feb 1932)]

(eye-ess-ar) Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, being the updated form of 'intelligence and reconnaissance' (I&R); see WOLF, HAWKS, LRP, LRRP, LRSP. [nb: the U.S. Air Force ISR Agency (Air Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Agency) was formerly designated the Air Intelligence Agency, situated at Kelly Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas]

a politically-incorrect reference to any dismissive gesture of contempt or disdain (eg: The Finger, The Horns, A-Ok, etc), but especially represented by someone bending their arm into an L-shape, then gripping the biceps of the bent arm while emphatically thrusting it upward, either with the fist clenched or with one or more fingers extended; this demonstratively obscene gesture, meaning "Up yours!" or "Shove it!", "It doesn't matter!" or "I don't give a damn!", is also known as "the arm" or the "arm of honor" [French: bras d'honneur], the "Bosnian coat-of-arms" or the "sleeve-cut" [corte de mangas / corte de manga], the "banana" or "umbrella" gesture. Compare POLISH SALUTE, JEWISH WAVE; see HIGH BALL, SALUTE.

a common trope popular among the post-WWI generation that was integrated into the fear-mongoring used in crowd manipulations during the WWII-era; this expression is often used sarcastically as a reality check when coupled with the catch-phrase: "you must break eggs to make an omelet", but it's more akin to "whistling in the dark" or "whistling past the graveyard" as an impotent protest against the inevitability of sociopolitical trends. A novel, It Can't Happen Here by H. Sinclair Lewis (1935), in imitation of H.L. Mencken, "warned" against the loss of liberty and the coming of fascism in America, wherein both the radical Left and extreme Right decry such erosion while promoting all the mechanisms that inhibit autonomy and independence by imposing conformity and protection upon the more than cooperative "sheep" who are more interested in creature comforts and security than anything as uncertain as freedom! The contention of this assertion is that the complainant is the exception to the invariable rule of implacable human nature, that what occurs elsewhere cannot occur amongst "the chosen" because of their unique makeup or special status ... a fact repeatedly refuted by history. See THE RIGHT TO BE WRONG, FOOL ME, FOOL 'EM, SILENT MAJORITY, THIRD ESTATE. [v: League of Forgotten Men; cf: the symbol of the "forgotten man" was coined in 1885 by William Graham Sumner in a speech at Yale University: "The forgotten man works and votes -- generally he prays -- but his chief business in life is to pay .... Who and where is the forgotten man in this case, who will have to pay for it all?"] [nb: "Heaven covers all equally; earth supports all equally." by Chuang-tzu; "To follow a one-sided opinion is to diverge from Tao. Be exalted, as the ruler of a State whose administration is impartial. Be at ease, as the Deity of the Earth, whose dispensation is impartial. Be expansive, like the points of the compass, boundless without a limit. Embrace all creation, and none shall be more sheltered or helped than another. This is to be without bias. And all things being equal, how can one say which is long and which is short? Tao is without beginning, without end. The material things are born and die, and no credit is taken for their development. Emptiness and fullness alternate, and their relations are not fixed. Past years cannot be recalled; time cannot be arrested. The succession of growth and decay, of increase and diminution, goes in a cycle, each end becoming a new beginning. In this sense only may we discuss the ways of truth and the principles of the universe. The life of things passes by like a rushing, galloping horse, changing at every turn, at every hour. What should one do, or what should one not do? Let the (cycle of) changes go on by themselves!" by Chuang-tzu; "Their (old teachers) moral philosophy is but a description of their own passions. For the rule of manners, without civil government, is the law of nature; and in it, the law civil, that determineth what is honest and dishonest; what is just and unjust; and generally what is good and evil. Whereas they make the rules of good and bad by their own liking and disliking; by which means, in so great diversity of taste, there is nothing generally agreed on; but every one doth, as far as he dares, whatsoever seemeth good in his own eyes, to the subversion of Commonwealth (established coercive power). Their logic, which should be the method of reasoning, is nothing else but captions of words, and inventions how to puzzle such as should go about to pose them." by Thomas Hobbes; "But for these emotions I should not be. Yet but for me, there would be no one to feel them. So far we can go; but we do not know by whose order they come into play. It would seem there was a soul; but the clue to its existence is wanting. That it functions is credible enough, though we cannot see its form. Perhaps it has inner reality without outward form. Take the human body with all its hundred bones, nine external cavities and six internal organs, all complete. Which part of it should I love best? Do you not cherish all equally, or have you a preference? Do these organs serve as servants of someone else? Since servants cannot govern themselves, do they serve as master and servants by turn? Surely there is some soul which controls them all. But whether or not we ascertain what is the true nature of this soul, it matters but little to the soul itself. For once coming into this material shape, it runs its course until it is exhausted. To be harassed by the wear and tear of life, and to be driven along without possibility of arresting one's course – is not this pitiful indeed? To labor without ceasing all life, and then, without living to enjoy the fruit, worn out with labor, to depart, one knows not whither – is not this a just cause for grief?" by Chuang-tzu; "The rain, it raineth all around, / Upon the just and unjust fellas, / But more upon the just because / The unjust have the just's umbrellas." anonymous]

a colloquialism for someone who is eager to engage the enemy, or who is anxious to confront the opposition, as in a feisty FLAME-BAIT; an agitator, instigator, fomenter, troublemaker, rabble-rouser, mischief-maker, firebrand, WARMONGER, or PROVOCATEUR ... a combative or bellicose person with "a chip on his shoulder". See GUTS, MOXIE, SPUNK; compare FIZZLE, PETARD.

(ee-tee-wah deskah) corrupt mispronunciation of Japanese pidgin used emphatically to direct someone to "Come here immediately!" or to "Get over here right now!", as used during the KOREAN WAR; the proper phrase is: "Sugu kotchi koi!". Compare LAI DAI. [v: Japanese kuru (come)] [nb: in Japanese, 'sumimasen' is a polite expression of apology (similar to "pardon me" or "excuse me") that's used impersonally with strangers (instead of 'ayamaru', 'shitsurei shimasu', or 'gomen nasai'), as when moving through a crowd, but when uttered in a sharp or brusk tone, it means "attend to me at once" or "come over here right away"; cf: XIN LOI, MEA CULPA]

(eye-tee-vee) abbreviation for Improved Tow Vehicle, being a mobile platform for firing TOW (Tube-launched Optically-tracked Wire-guided) missiles; similar to the earlier JEEP-mounted recoilless rifle (RR) anti-tank (AT) setup.

I2 :
Image Intensification; night vision technology. See NVD, NVG, NOD, GREEN-EYE, STARLIGHT, PEEPERS.

nickname for USSR soldier, also known as BULLSHITVIK or "Charlie Brown" for similar personality (serious and deliberate, but always messing-up); also known as RED, "Russki", "Katsap", "Radish", or "Commie". Compare MARVIN THE ARVN, LUKE THE GOOK, CHARLIE, GOMER, HERMAN THE GERMAN, ISAAC THE IRAQ, SCARAB THE ARAB, FOE, BAD GUYS. [nb: 'katsap' is corruption of Ukrainian 'goatee' (kak tzap: like a goat), and the red condiment 'catsup' (ketchup), a spiced tomato sauce] [nb: "The difficulty in understanding the Russian is that we do not take cognizance of the fact that he is not a European, but an Asiatic, and therefore thinks deviously. We can no more understand a Russian than a Chinaman or a Japanese, and from what I have seen of them, I have no particular desire to understand them, except to ascertain how much lead or iron it takes to kill them. In addition to his other Asiatic characteristics, the Russian has no regard for human life and is an all out son-of-a-bitch, barbarian, and chronic drunk." by George S. Patton Jr (8 Aug 1945)]

(four corps, four c-t-z) the southernmost military region in South Vietnam, located in the Mekong Delta; with principal cities of Saigon, Long Binh, Can Tho. IV Corps was also known as IV Corps Tactical Zone (IV CTZ) and Military Region 4 (MR4).

a place remote from and disdainful of practical affairs, especially university "think tanks" and military "war game" centers (eg: Pentagon); a referent created by Charles Augustin Sainte-Beauve in a 1837 poem, describing a place that's separated from reality. See HEADSHED, PUZZLE PALACE, MADHOUSE, PURGATORY TOUR, IMPERIAL PALACE, PINK PALACE, HEADQUARTERISM, WAR GAMES, ARMCHAIR GENERAL.

abbreviation for International Voluntary [Volunteer] Service; a QUANGO formed in 1956, which served as the model for the PEACE CORPS, and was finally dissolved in 2003 by insufficient funding. IVS operated worldwide, attracting idealistic and dedicated young adults, often religious, who wanted an opportunity to improve living conditions in remote areas. It sometimes received service, aid in kind (AIK), or funding from USAID or USDAO. Composed of civilian advisers and teachers in technical (medical or agricultural) fields, these volunteers served the needs of INDIGenous peoples. During the VIETNAM WAR, the VC/NVA made no distinction between armed and unarmed advisers, and several IVS volunteers were deliberately captured or killed in order to politicize their acts. See ADV, CA, CAP, COUNTERPART, LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, INDIG, SPARTAN, IRC, AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE, VOLUNTOLD, DRAFT LOTTERY. [nb: civilians go 'abroad' while soldiers go 'overseas']

IW :
abbreviation for Individual Weapon, such as a RIFLE or SIDEARM.

a catch-phrase identifying the eligibility criteria requisite for issuance of a service or CAMPAIGN MEDAL to a particular MIL-PERS, to wit: being present for duty during the stipulated period in the requisite area. These decorations were instituted to build morale and pacify the general public, and as such they constitute the majority of the FRUIT SALAD that's so impressively displayed on the uniformed breast of every servicemember ... but because they are mostly meaningless or redundant, they are widely ignored or disdained by professionals. See BTDT, JOCKSTRAP MEDAL, PAY DUES, COUNT COUP, COINING, PISSING CONTEST, SEA STORY, WAR STORY, GONG, UNIT CITATION, TRASH, BOLO BADGE, DEVICE.