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

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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L :
an aircraft prefix under the Joint Service Designation System that represents 'light'.

a protective circle or secure PERIMETER, a "coil", "corral", or "wagon wheel", permitting maximum use of integral weapon systems, as temporarily formed by ARMOR/ACR/MECH and/or artillery (ARTY) TRACK vehicles during halts, ranging from conference time to overnight. Aviation (AVN) elements will also position their CHOPPERS in an armament-outward configuration for security during temporary halts on the ground, or overnight positions without REVETMENTS. See FOB, BASE CAMP, RON, NDP, COLD CAMP, TANK PARK, SPIKE, STOCKADE; compare HARDSPOT, REFUSE. [aka: leaguer; v: tabor, wagenburg, ad carraginem] [nb: this is not, despite similarity of spelling, the military formation organized to protect the lager beer!]

a camp, typically remote but situated near the job site, where workers are sheltered and sustained, often as a perquisite of employment, in labor-intensive occupations, such as agriculture, husbandry, mining, logging, construction (eg: railroad, bridge, dam, airfield, oil pipeline, etc); see OUTPOST, FSB, FOB, BIVOUAC, LITTLE AMERICA, HELL ON WHEELS. Also, a penal colony where inmates are forced to work, as with captive prisoners of war (POW) and convicts condemned to 'confinement at hard labor' (CHL); also called "forced labor camp" or "slave labor camp"; see CONCENTRATION CAMP, GULAG, LAOGAI, REEDUCATION, STRUGGLE, STOCKADE.

work done for its own sake, for the sake of one's own enjoyment, or for its benefit to others, rather than for any actual or potential material rewards; work that is spiritually refreshing or mentally restorative ... work that is not work.

in classical Greek mythology, the twelve extraordinary feats performed by Hercules, the fabulously strong son of Zeus and Alcmena/Alcmene, for his cousin Eurystheus, the king of Mycenae in Argolis, in order to gain immortality; these labors included: killing the Nemean lion; killing the Hydra; capturing the Erymanthian boar; capturing the sacred hind of Artemis; killing the man-eating Stymphalian birds; cleansing the Augean stables; capturing the Cretan bull; capturing the horses of Diomedes; capturing the girdle of Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons; killing the monster Geryon; capturing Cerberus; stealing the golden apples of the Hesperides. After innumerable other adventures, Heracles eventually died when donning the poisoned shirt dipped in the blood of the centaur Nessus, which was given to him by his wife Deianira. Heracles ascended to Olympus from his funeral pyre on Mount Oeta, whereupon he married Hebe ... according to Euripides [Herakleidai (The Children of Heracles")], his family revenged the persecutions of Eurystheus.

(latches) failure to do something at the proper time, especially a delay that will bar a party from bringing a legal proceeding; the legal doctrine that an unusual delay in asserting a right or pursuing a claim can prejudice the case and impair or disqualify its enforcement. [v: subreption, obreption; cf: statute of limitations, estoppel, demurrer] [nb: "justice delayed is justice denied"]

new generation of high resolution RADAR imaging satellites, transmits in color by data link; see SAT.

(lay-dar) LAser Detection And Ranging, which is the military version of Laser-light Imaging Detection And Ranging (LIDAR), and is similar to RADAR technology, being a device or system that determines distance to the surface of an area or object using LASER pulses by measuring the return delay of their reflected intervals; with shorter wave-lengths and higher coherency than RADAR, LADAR imaging and scanning can generate greater precision and accuracy, so is used for mapping, atmospheric and geologic measurements, as well as TARGETing. See LGB, LASER AIMING DEVICE, SALH, PAINT, LOCK-ON, MILES.


the staircase, usually skeletonized, whether fitted with rungs or steps, with or without handrails (ie: "ladderrail"), running between DECKS on-board ships; also called "ladderway" or COMPANIONWAY. Compare ACCOMMODATION LADDER, AIR STAIRS; see GANGWAY, HATCH, RAMP.

a courtesy title given to the wife or companion (female feudal superior) of a man of high professional rank or social position; a polite mode of address for the female complement or counterpart of an important person, such as the commanding officer's wife or the president's wife; see FLOTUS, OFFICER'S WIFE, COW, DISTAFF, PETTICOAT COMMAND, DRAG, CAMP FOLLOWER, BITCH, SKIRT, GREEN BLOOD, BRAT, ARMY SOUP, GOLD STAR. Also, a woman who is refined, polite, and well-spoken, especially a woman who is the object of chivalrous devotion; the female parallel of 'gentleman' (not "gentlewoman", who is a servant to a lady). Also, a woman of high social position or economic class, especially a woman who has proprietary rights or authority; a female feudal superior, which term originated as "loaf-kneader" or "maker of the bread" [cf: 'lord' originated as "loaf-keeper" or "source of the bread"]. Also, any woman (eg: "Hey, lady ...."), or any female performing a job or function, such as "lady professor" or "lady reporter"; this usage is considered offensive by feminists and their sympathizers. Also, an attribute or abstraction personified as a woman; the designation of an allegorical figure as feminine, such as "Lady Luck" or "lady Venus".

without getting ribald or fetishistic, this euphemism designates a slim and compact straight razor that a woman carries in her purse or tucked behind her garter belt as a defensive weapon for self-protection; compare RAZOR BURN, HIGH POCKETS, SILENT PARTNER, EQUALIZER, WPN. [nb: not "ladies' best friend"] [cf: "pearls are a lady's best friend", "diamonds are a girl's best friend"]

goods that are deliberately thrown or sunk in the sea but are attached to a BUOY so that they may be recovered, being a form of JETSAM; as derived from a net laid in the sea. See CASTOFF, DODO; compare FLOTSAM, WAVESON.

(lie day) Vietnamese phrase for "bring to me", "come to me", or "come here"; compare ITTY-WA DESKA.

someone who is dead but not yet buried; now figurative from original literal meaning of placing a corpse out of the way for later retrieval. See KIA, DOW, ZERO WARD, WASTED, ZAPPED, BUY THE FARM, PUSHING UP DAISIES, BITTER END, SPLASH, BUTCHER'S BILL, ZULU, BODY BAG, BODY-SNATCHER, RECOVERY, CIL, JPAC, GRAVES REGISTRATION, MORTUARY AFFAIRS, CATAFALQUE, BOX JOB, GARDEN OF STONES, BONEYARD, "long home" at LONG HOUSE, NATIONAL CEMETERY. [nb: there were rarely enough BODY BAGs when needed, so corpses were often wrapped and tied into ground-sheets, PONCHOs, PONCHO LINERs, sleeping bags (FART SACK), or even TARPs and SHELTER-HALves as improvised winding sheets (ie: SHROUD) for removal from the field]

Letterman Army Institute of Research; see USAMRNL.

the practice of non-intervention or non-interference in the affairs of others, especially with reference to individual conduct or freedom of action, which sociopolitical doctrine is literally derived from "allow to act"; see LIBERTARIAN / LIBERTARIANISM, BLUE-SKY, CLOUD-CUCKOO-LAND, HOUSE OF CARDS, WET DREAM.

see PASS, SAFEGUARD, PASSPORT. [v: visa (carta visa); cf: carnet] [v: Diplomatic Terms]

Low-Altitude Low-Opening vertical deployment; see HARP, JUMPMASTER, JSD, MFF, FREE-FALL, PARACHUTE.

a curly wheat noodle (der: 'pulled noodle' or 'hand pulled noodles') of a yellowish tinge with a stringy or chewy texture that's used in Chinese cookery; also known as 'ramen' in Japan and 'ramyeon' in Korea, it can also be made of rice or egg noodles in various lengths and thicknesses with either a smooth or wrinkled finish; see INSTANT NOODLES. [v: daoxiaomian (knife-sliced noodles)]

designation of the PB4Y-2 Privateer when used as a FLARESHIP in the KOREAN WAR.

LAM SON 719 :
designation for the Vietnamese incursion (8 Feb - 9 Mar 1971) into the southern panhandle of Laos that was intended to interdict the infiltration routes of the HO CHI MINH TRAIL; this raid was reminiscent of the earlier Cambodian incursion directed against the Central Office for South Viet Nam (COSVN). As part of the VIETNAMIZATION process, the U.S. limited its participation in this operation to logistical and air support under the codename "Dewey Canyon II", and although the mission objective was attained, North Vietnamese resistance (including antiaircraft artillery and medium tanks) caused more than 50% casualties among the South Vietnamese. 'Lam Son' is the birthplace of Le Loi, a 15th century hero of Vietnamese resistance, and was used several times as an operational codename so as to inspire the troops.

Lance Corporal sleeve rank
enlisted rating E-3, between PFC/E-2 and CPL/E-4, being represented by a single chevron and one ROCKER; sometimes called MOSQUITO SMILE. The US Army adopted this rank during the VIETNAM WAR when enlisted ratings were reorganized. Army Privates E-1 and E-2 formerly had no stripes , and PFC/E-3 was the first single-stripe sleeve insignia (MOSQUITO WING); but the Army made PVT/E-1 SLICK SLEEVE, PFC/E-2 one chevron, LCPL/E-3 as one-up-one-down Lance Corporal (LCPL), and kept CPL/E-4 at two chevrons. This adjustment brought Army ratings into conformity with Marine tradition. The Army also introduced the SUPER GRADE NCOs at the high end of the ratings. See MOSQUITO WING, MATING MOSQUITOES, SWINE LOG, EM, FIRST SHIRT, NCO.

the Republic P-43 fighter aircraft in WWII. Also, the Rockwell/Boeing B-1 strategic long-range heavy bomber aircraft, commonly nicknamed "Bone"; may be configured as an unmanned, long-range, supersonic attack airplane (EB-1D); compare EXCALIBUR; see LRCA, BIRD. Also, a cavalry soldier [lancier] of the medieval era who is armed with a lance. [v: joust, tournament] [nb: although ancient Greek and Roman cavalrymen approached their opponents from the left so as to favor the weapon held in their right hand, tournament jousting by right-handed lancers is the basis for driving vehicles on the left side of the roadway (eg: Japan, Thailand, Nepal, Bhutan, Macao, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Kenya, South Africa, Hong Kong, Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Jamaica, Bahamas, Grenada, Barbados, Australia, New Zealand, Falkland Islands, England, Ireland, Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey, Malta, Cyprus, and other British influenced countries ... except Gibraltar)] [nb: on the advice of a geomancer in 1970, Burma changed from driving on the left side of the roadway to driving on the right] [nb: Okinawa, a Japanese prefecture under American military occupation since 24 June 1945, accommodated U.S. administration by driving on the right side of the roadway until after sovereignty was restored in 1972, then reverted to left side 'rules of the road' in common with other Japanese regions on 30 July 1978 ... an occasion known locally as "730"]

(forthcoming); a set of non-linear differential equations that are used to model the attrition of opposing forces using direct and indirect weaponry; also called "Lanchester's Laws" and "Lanchester's Laws of Warfare"; devised by F.W. Lanchester in 1916, and were simultaneously discovered from independent analysis by the Russian scientist Osipov.


shallow-draft vessels, (barge or LIGHTER) designed to transport men and equipment from ships to shore, without docking requirements; also known as GATOR-FREIGHTER or ASSAULT BOAT. Originating with the 36' mahogany "Eureka" boat invented by Andrew Jackson Higgins, all subsequent LANDING CRAFT were adapted from this design for BEACHHEAD assaults. In nautical terms, a craft is defined as being 200' or less, and a ship is any vessel longer than a craft; but all the BOATS in this class performs the same basic function. LANDING CRAFT include: Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV); Landing Craft Assault (LCA); Landing Craft Infantry (LCI @160'); Landing Craft Mechanized/Medium (LCM); Landing Craft Tank (LCT); Landing Craft Vehicle and Personnel (LCVP), also called HIGGINS BOAT; Landing Craft Vehicle Ramped (LCVR); Landing Ship Dock (LSD); Landing Ship Infantry (LSI); Landing Ship Tank (LST @327'); Landing Vehicle Tank (LVT); Landing Vehicle Tracked Command (LVTC); Landing Vehicle Tracked Amphibious (LVTA, with 75mm howitzer); Landing Vehicle Track Propelled (LVTP); and a new hovercraft-type called Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC). Assault troops who've been transported in it to an enemy BEACHHEAD, claim that LST really means "Long Slow Target", and that LVT actually means "Large Vulnerable Target". The designation LSMR-536 means "toilet" or GHOST BOAT. See TANGO BOAT, ZIPPO BOAT, AMTRACK, APD, MRF, ALLIGATOR, RAMP, TAILGATE, WELL DECK, DUCK, ELSIE, TRACK, BOAT. [nb: the doctrine of amphibious assault by waterborne forces was developed by John Archer Lejeune (LTG USMC) after studying the Gallipoli Peninsula landing in WWI, and this specialization prevented the Marine Corps from being disbanded between the World Wars; Marines then taught amphibious doctrine during 1941-2 to soldiers of the Army's 1st and 3rd Infantry Divisions at both New River NC and Cape Henry VA in preparation for the North African landing; beach assaults have now been removed to launch from "over the horizon"]

see RUNWAY. [nb: technically, an 'airstrip' is a small airfield with only one RUNWAY, but the term is widely used as a synonym for a landing strip; the Eisenhower interstate highway system mandates that one mile in every five be straight so it can be used to land aircraft during an emergency or wartime] [v: flying field, landing field, airport, airdrome / aerodrome, jetport] [nb: RUNWAY designations are by compass heading and its reciprocal, which designation alone informs the PILOT by which direction to approach or depart]

the wheels upon which an aircraft lands and moves on the ground, or the floats of an amphibious aircraft upon which it lands and moves on the water; see UNDERCARRIAGE, FIXED GEAR, WHEEL PANTS, TAILDRAGGER, LANDING SKID, FLOAT, BASE LEG, TOUCHDOWN. [nb: the lowering of retractable landing gear while in flight (DIRTY) is a visual confirmation, along with illuminating all navigation and anti-collision lights (CHRISTMAS TREE), that the airplane, its passengers and crew, is subordinate to and will comply with the instructions of its military or law enforcement escort; although the lowered landing gear generates drag, inhibiting escape or aerial combat, this feature in modern military aircraft also engages a safety mechanism that prevents weapons from being discharged]

a HELIPAD aboard ship for the landing and take-off of helicopters; see FLIGHT DECK.

(eg: LSD, LSM, LST, etc) see LANDING CRAFT.

a rail-type of landing gear used on some aircraft that has either recessed wheels or no wheels; see FIXED GEAR, UNDERCARRIAGE, BASE LEG, TOUCHDOWN, CHOPPER.

see RUNWAY. [nb: technically, an 'airstrip' is a small airfield with only one RUNWAY, but the term is widely used as a synonym for a landing strip; the Eisenhower interstate highway system mandates that one mile in every five be straight so it can be used to land aircraft during an emergency or wartime] [v: flying field, landing field, airport, airdrome / aerodrome, jetport] [nb: RUNWAY designations are by compass heading and its reciprocal, which designation alone informs the PILOT by which direction to approach or depart]

see LZ, PZ, CLZ, LIFT.

any direct communication method, such as telegraph, but usually a hard-wired telecom device, such as a hand-cranked field telephone (TA-312) connected with insulated wire (SPAGHETTI). See RTO, RTP, GROWLER, TELEPHONE, TWX, RADIO. Also, a tether or painter; as a GUY used for making a secure connection; see ROPE, CORD, PARA-CORD, SHROUD, HAWSER.


informal referent for Australia, being a remote fantasia infested with strange flora and fauna; from the corrupt pronunciation of AUSSIE as "Ozzie". See OUC DA LOI, ANZUS, KANZUS, ASEAN, SEATO.

see THAILAND. Also, a bittersweet operetta [The Yellow Jacket (1923), reprised as The Land of Smiles by Franz Lehár (1929)] after the Chinese custom of smiling regardless of what happens in one's life.

slang for home, America, the United States of America; also known as "Fort Home", "Fire Base Home", the "Land of the All Night Generator" for its luxuries, and the "Golden Mountain" for its resources and opportunities. See THE WORLD, THE REAL WORLD, CONUS, ZI; compare LITTLE AMERICA, THE BIG PX IN THE SKY.

the doctrine of supremacy of the ground pertinent to BATTLEFIELDs that's endorsed and manifested by the U.S. Army (AUS, USAR, USA); see GRUNT, MECH INF, BOONIE RAT, LEG, BLUELEG, REDLEG, YELLOWLEG, FOXHOLE, BUNKER, TRENCH; compare SEA POWER, AIR POWER.

an expanse of natural inland or coastal scenery, often altered so as to "improve" its appearance; being a civilian reference to 'camouflage' (CAMO). Also, a sphere of activity; a section, field, scene, or arena of interest. Also, computerized data that's displayed horizontally, in a sideways orientation; as contrasted with vertical 'portrait' output; see CRT, SCREEN, IMAGE-CONVERTER TUBE, ELECTRONIC CAMPFIRE, BOOB TUBE. [cf: tile, cascade]


that portion of an air-transported unit that was not initially committed to combat operations, so joins the rest of the unit by surface movement; see ADVANCE PARTY, TRAIN, STRAGGLER.

Atlantic Fleet (atLANTic FLeeT); see CINCLANT, CINCLANTFLT.

(forthcoming); Low-Altitude Navigation and Targeting by InfraRed at Night; see PAVEWAY, GBU, IR, LGB, LASER AIMING DEVICE, GLD, PAINT, LASER.

a short rope or wire used to secure objects or riggings. Also, a CORD for securing or suspending a small object. Also, a hooked cord acting as a firing trigger on certain cannons. Also, a CORD worn around the left shoulder by a member of a decorated military unit; compare CORD, CORDON, AIGUILLETTE, FOURRAGERE, ROPE. Also, a CORD looped around the right shoulder, and secured to a pistol butt, as worn by military police. Derived from thong or noose; compare SLING. [nb: the female Marine drill instructor (DI) wore a characteristic crimson AIGUILLETTE or shoulder CORD on the left side of her uniform, as a mark of distinction while training women recruits, until the October 1996 adoption of the CAMPAIGN COVER, which reform matched her male counterpart]

Local Area Orientation Flight, being a prerequisite for autonomous aerial operations; see CHECK RIDE, NICKEL RIDE.

the system of forced-labor camps and prisons in RED CHINA (PRC); literally meaning "reform through labor". Compare GULAG, CONCENTRATION CAMP.

1952 flag of Laos
a country in southeast Asia (SEA) that was formerly part of French INDOCHINA; autonomous by Geneva Accord of 23 July 1962. See MILLPOND, PEO, WHITE STAR, HMONG, RLA, PATHET LAO, THE BRA, PLAIN OF JARS / THE J, TRI-BORDER, OVER THE FENCE, KIP, GOLDEN TRIANGLE.

a complete circuit of a course, as in recreation or competition; compare LEG; see OBSTACLE COURSE, PARCOURSE, EXERCISE.

Low Altitude Parachute Extract/Extraction System, wherein a DROGUE is used to extract para-dropped cargo from the open fuselage of an airplane in flight; see AIRDROP, BUNDLE, JPADS, LOW-LEVEL EVACUATION DROP, PARACHUTE.

Light Armored Reconnaissance battalion employing Light Armored Vehicles (LAV) as scout and security elements on the periphery of larger USMC units.

in Laotian cuisine, a minced meat (raw or cooked) salad that's flavored with lime juice, fish sauce, roasted ground rice, cured and pickled fish (padaek), and fresh herbs, then accented by mint and chili peppers; considered to be the national dish of Laos, the mixed meats (including chicken, beef, duck, fish, pork or mushrooms) are served with seasonal vegetables and sticky rice.

(lahr-mahn) a clear soup containing noodles, vegetables, and often bits of meat with seasoning; also called "ramen"; see INSTANT SOUP.

Lightwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation; the nearly monochromatic and almost parallel coherent beam of light that's produced by atomic excitation radiating in phase [cf: Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (MASER)]. Also, the device producing such light. See LASER AIMING DEVICE, GLD, PAINT, LGB, PGM, PAVEWAY, LANTIRN, LADAR, SKY BOLT, ADS, SLINGSHOT, HYDRA, COIL, FEL, MILES. [nb: yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) is a synthetic gemstone used for infrared lasers as well as jewelry]

a sighting aid for individual (eg: AN/PEQ-2 Infrared LASER) and crew-served weapons that precisely targets the munition's point of impact ... not just where it 'should' impact. Simple devices give exact range, and complex devices guide the munition onto its target; such targeting is called PAINT or "las" (shortening of LASER). See PAINT, GLD, BOMBSIGHT, SALH, LGB, PAVEWAY, LANTIRN, LADAR, SKIN.

a rescue or recovery mnemonic for Locate, Assess, Stabilize, Transport; see SAR, CSAR, JSARC, PJ, BRIGHT LIGHT, JPRC, HOT HOIST, JUNGLE PENETRATOR, TRAP.

an expression that's generally represented as "America is the last best hope for mankind" or "America is the last best hope of the world", which has also been expressed as "children are mankind's last best hope for a better world" [v: BABY BRIGADE]; although commonly attributed to Abraham Lincoln ["We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best, hope of earth."] in a 1 December 1862 Congressional message, it actually originated in a rebuttal by Thomas Jefferson to the nullification acts, wherein he asserts that "the last best hope for freedom" resides in the several state legislatures. See PATRIOTISM, TRUE BLUE, ALLEGIANT, STAND-ALONE, SILENT MAJORITY.

informal reference to the holding area where sick or injured patients who are not expected to survive are given palliative care; also known as the "final encampment", "terminal ward", or ZERO WARD. Compare ZERO-ZERO WARD, see TRIAGE, MASS CASUALTIES, WALKING GHOST, DOW. [v: lazaretto, hospice, pesthouse, sanatorium, leprosarium]

informal reference to a veteran's organization, for specialty (eg: glider, code talker, balloonist, etc), unit (eg: Alamo Scouts, FSSF, Marine Raiders, etc), or engagement (eg: Bataan Bastards, Chosin Few, China Marines, Seagoing Marines, etc), which is past, discontinued, or dissolved; in contrast to branch of service (eg: USAF, USCG, etc), combined (eg: VFW, AL, DAV, etc) or continuing (eg: pilots, submariners, cryptanalysts, etc) elements. This expression was current during WWII, and has been used in literature ever since. See VET / VETERAN, PROFESSIONAL VETERAN, VETERANS' ASSOCIATION, VETERAN'S DAY, MEMORIAL DAY, KOREAN WAR VETERANS MEMORIAL, VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL, TAPS.

a catch-phrase for the sole survivor or final defense, for the last defiant act; such a theory of attrition seeks, by expenditure and endurance, to deny strategy by a defeat in detail, a "process of elimination". This concept has been promoted in the modern era by numerous popular songs, several video games, a couple of reality TV series, two adventure films (1988 and 1996), and a popular novel (2001) by David Baldacci. See SUICIDE SQUAD, IOTA, GO TO HELL POINT, LAST STAND, STAND-ALONE, RISKY-SHIFT EFFECT, LAST MAN CLUB. [v: enfants perdus, forlorn hope; cf: picket, vedette] [nb: the "last king of Great Britain", Charles I, was called "the last man" by the Parliamentarians, and Charles II was called "son of the last man"]

in the armed forces of British commonwealth nations, the BUGLE CALL that orders retirement at the end of each day, and is traditionally sounded at military funerals; compare TAPS, DEAD MARCH, TATTOO; see FUNERAL PACE, PALLBEARER, PARADE.

an indefinite military expression for a final defense when no other recourse exists, as to "go down fighting" when there's no possibility of reinforcement or retreat; being any spectacular defeat, as a suicidal fight that may be strategically heroic but is tactically pointless. Notable LAST STANDs include the battles at Naseby (1645), Alamo (1836), Navy Island (1837), Port Hudson / Vicksburg (1863), Little Bighorn (1876), Saragarhi (1897), Sevastopol (1920, 1942), LOST BATTALION (1918, 1944), Wake Island (1941), and Corregidor (1942); while some historians also include Rorke's Drift and Dunkirk in this loose category. See LAST MAN STANDING, ROOT HOG OR DIE, STAND ONE'S GROUND, STAND-ALONE, RISKY-SHIFT EFFECT, DIEHARD, ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH, TAKE IT ON THE CHIN, HOLD ONE'S FEET TO THE FIRE, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, GO TO HELL POINT, ALAMO POSITION, WAKE UP, SIEGE, AUTOTOMY, DOG'S CHANCE, SNOWBALL, TAR BABY, BITTER END, SHIT HIT THE FAN, DEEP SHIT, PRAYER, MORAL VICTORY, RED FLAG, BLACK FLAG, LAWS OF WAR. [v: enfants perdus, forlorn hope] [nb: "The frontier is freedom's last stand in America." by William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers]

the last in a succession of snubs or insults, incidents or offenses that utterly exhausts one's forbearance or tolerance, as being the final provocation, the ultimate violation, or the last unwarranted transgression; something that is beyond the limit or the breaking point, as being literally unbearable. Often used as a pretext when "spoiling for a fight"; this proverbial expression is derived from "It is the last straw that breaks the camel's back." See FIGHTING WORDS, BLOODY SHIRT, TRAILING HIS COAT, CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS, SABER-RATTLING, HAIR-TRIGGER, HALF-COCKED, RAMPAGE. [v: casus belli; lese / lèse majesté]

any device serving to keep a door or gate closed, a lid or cover fastened, by use of a bar or tongue mechanism that falls or slides into a catch or other reciprocal receptacle; compare HASP; see UNDER LOCK 'n' KEY, FOOTLOCKER, AMMO CAN, MESS KIT, COOPER VANE. [v: knob latch, night latch, latchkey, latchstring] Also, to close something tightly or securely; as derived from 'seize' or take hold of. Also, to obtain or acquire, get or possess. Also, to attach or append, add or include, as when joining or affiliating; to "grab onto" or "hold onto", to "latch on" or "latch onto".


military toilet, which has been euphemistically redesignated a "field sanitary facility"; see CAT HOLE, SLIT TRENCH, WAG BAG, PISS TUBE, PIDDLE PACK, HEAD, HONEY BUCKET, BLUE CANOE, WCS, COUGH DROP, GRAY WATER, BLACK WATER, WATERWORKS, DUMP, TROTS, SQUIRTS, CORK, SHIT, TRA CA, E-TOOL, DOUCHE BAG, GI SHOWER, NAVY SHOWER, PT SHOWER, RAINROOM, COMFORT STATION, MARINE SHOWER, WHORE'S BATH, MONKEY BUTT, SCUTTLE. [v: restroom, bathroom, lav / lavatory, washroom, powder room, loo, necessary, water closet, commode, toilet, can, crapper, john, jakes, throne, potty, privy, outhouse, earth closet, biff / biffy, chamber pot, piss pot / urinal, pissoir / vespasien, bedpan, slop jar / bucket, thunder mug / bucket, honey bucket] [nb: when served SLOP or WAD from a field kitchen, the MESS KIT was commonly called a "slop bucket" or "slop pail", as the CANTEEN CUP was called a "slop bowl" or "slop jar" for the dirty liquid filling it ... a direct comparison to "thunder mugs" and "chamber pots", "honey buckets" and "commodes"] [nb: Chinese archives document the use of perfumed rice-paper for use as toilet paper from the sixth century; toilet paper invented 1857; perforated roll of toilet paper (1877); 2-ply toilet paper (1942); pastel colors of toilet paper (1956)]


slang for going into hostile riverine operations by small boat with confidence of success; see WALK IN THE PARK, PIECE OF CAKE, CAKEWALK, MILK RUN, DUCK SOUP, NO SWEAT, TURKEY SHOOT.

a secure position, as near the enemy as practicable, where operational elements, supported by communication relay assets, may be rapidly dispatched upon or quickly retrieved from their mission; being situated as far forward as possible at some suitable airfield or anchorage for insertion/extraction, launch sites do not include staff and support facilities, although some ammunition resupply and emergency medical care is often provided. A launch site (also called "jump site", "jumping-off point" or "staging area") is the holding area for a small specialized unit that has already been briefed and equipped for its assignment. See FOB, FSB, AOB, MOB, CP, JUMP CP, STAGE, POD, ASSEMBLY AREA, IP, LINE OF DEPARTURE, STRONGPOINT, ADVANCED BASE, BASE CAMP, BASE, QRC, QRF, QRT, RRF, RRT, RIT, SAR, CSAR, FIRE BRIGADE, STRIKE FORCE. [nb: the six SOG Forward Operation Bases were consolidated and reorganized in 1967, and redesignated as differentiations of Command and Control (C&C), with FOB#4 becoming Command and Control North (CCN), FOB#2 becoming Command and Control Central (CCC), FOB#6 becoming Command and Control South (CCS), while FOBs #1,3,5 became launch sites; the "Hatchet Force" and "Recon Team" designations became "Exploitation Force" and "Spike Team"]

slang reference to the Chinese communists (CHICOM, CCF, CPVF), due to the relatively unprepossessing appearance of their plain green uniforms with red and gold insignia, who "volunteered" for service in the KOREAN WAR, an appellation made notorious by LTG Ned Almond (simultaneously X Corps commander and MacArthur staffer), which may be related to the stereotypic "Chinese laundry" operated by Asian immigrants to America; see CHINK, GOOEY, BAD GUYS, PRC. [nb: during the egalitarian era of the 1967-77 Cultural Revolution, the People's Liberation Army and Navy (PLAN) abandoned the wear of rank and insignia altogether; then in 2007, emulating the military dress of other nations, the PLAN has adopted "07" dress, duty, and battle fatigue styles, with ground forces in pine green, air forces in deep blue/gray, and naval forces in dark blue, all with chest insignia]

Light Armored Vehicle, primarily utilized by USMC (eg: LAV-25 wheeled personnel carrier for six troops that's armed with 25mm CHAIN GUN); compare APC, HALF-TRACK, ARMORED CAR, TRACK, TANK, AAV, LSV, FAV.

Light Anti-tank Weapon, being a compact, shoulder-fired, single-shot MISSILE in a disposable fiberglass launcher at ranges to 325m, as used on lightly armored enemy vehicles and lightly reinforced fortifications; exists as the M-72 at 66mm and M-80 at 94mm firing a High-Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) WARHEAD from a disposable tube launcher. See SMAW, PREDATOR, RR; compare TOW, RPG. [v: panzerfaust] [nb: the failure rate of LAWs in Vietnam was high, and the few times the NVA used armor (PT-76 amphibious tanks) the drape of pre-detonation rubber matting (SPACED ARMOR) made these anti-tank ROCKETs ineffective] Also, the governing regulations established by legislation and legal decisions from ancient customs or common principles that are authoritatively administered for application to the subject peoples; see ORDER, SOFA, UCMJ, MCM, BLUE BOOK, ROCKS 'n' SHOALS, DUE PROCESS, SUB JUDICE, FINE PRINT, COMPOS MENTIS, LACHES, LEX LOCI, LEX TALIONIS, DRACONIAN CODE, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), LAWS OF WAR, MARTIAL LAW. [nb: "If Moses had gone to Harvard Law School and spent three years working on the Hill, he would have written the Ten Commandments with three exceptions and a saving clause." by Charles Morgan; "Law is simply a superstructure for whatever power system is currently reigning." by Karl Heinrich Marx; "'Legal' is just the word for everything that's not threatening to the ruling order." paraphrase of Hari Kunzru; "No great idea in its beginning can ever be within the law." by Emma Goldman; "Good men must not obey the laws too well." by Ralph Waldo Emerson; "Justice is incidental to law and order." by J. Edgar Hoover; "Out here, due process is a bullet." by James Lee Barrett as scripted for John Wayne (Marion Michael Morrison); "What right does Congress have to go around making laws just because they deem it necessary?" by Marion Barry, Washington D.C. mayor; "Yeh, I learned that 'the law' is something they write down in books." by Raymond Chandler; "The laws in this city are clearly racist. All laws are racist. The law of gravity is racist." by Marion Barry, Washington D.C. mayor]

any command or directive that is morally or ethically consistent with obedience to laws and conformity to regulations; not only is each commander but every subordinate is liable for the consequences of improper, inappropriate, unlawful or illegal orders ... MIL-PERS act at their own peril whenever they obey invalid orders. See COMPOS MENTIS, LINE OF DUTY, DELEGATE, COUNTERMAND, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), LAWS OF WAR, SOP, SCRIPTURES, ARTICLE 32, UCMJ, BLUE BOOK, ROCKS 'n' SHOALS.

a statistical principle showing a more or less predictable ratio between the potential number of random trials of an event and their possible result, as formulated by Jakob Bernoulli; with the naive projection that "no two shells will land in the same place" ... an absolute and categorical fiction known by every GRUNT! Such probability theories have relative application and utility, but are refuted by "reality"; since no event precludes any other event, and since all factors affect all other and all subsequent factors. While pseudo-science attempts to rationalize (GAMBLER'S FALLACY) Chaos Theory, and religious propitiation (FOXHOLE CONVERSION) attempts to demystify Fortune, GRUNTS believe in the immutable "MURPHY'S LAWS of Combat". General "Jumpin' Jim" Gavin called his 82nd ABN DIV paratroopers "fugitives from the law of averages". See UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE, LORENTZ CONTRACTION, LORENTZ TRANSFORMATION, BOYDLOOP, LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURNS, LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, PRINCIPLE OF LEAST FORCE, PARADIGM SHIFT, BLACK SWAN EVENT, OUTSIDE THE BOX, MILITARY MIND.



ruthless competition that's motivated by self-interest; this catch-phrase, meaning "a law unto itself" where the stronger prevail over the weaker, was popularized by J. Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book (1894) ... it's often contended that this modality embodies no law at all, because these creatures aren't regulated by the ethical restraints of civilization. See EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF, DOG-EAT-DOG, TOOTH 'n' NAIL, ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, ROMAN HOLIDAY, CUTTHROAT, GAUNTLET, ORDEAL, BATTLE ROYAL, DOGFIGHT, SEAT OF THE PANTS.

that which is unalterable; compare DRACONIAN CODE. [der: "Now, O King, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not." Daniel 6:8 Bible]

(forthcoming); consequence, ramification, implication, effect, side-effect, aftereffect, outgrowth, offshoot, upshot, by-product; see BACKWASH, FALLOUT, COLLATERAL DAMAGE, DOMINO EFFECT, RIPPLE EFFECT, THE ROAR OF BUTTERFLY WINGS, UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE, LORENTZ CONTRACTION, LORENTZ TRANSFORMATION, BOYDLOOP, LAW OF AVERAGES, GAMBLER'S FALLACY, LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURNS, PRINCIPLE OF LEAST FORCE, PARADIGM SHIFT, BLACK SWAN EVENT, OUTSIDE THE BOX, MILITARY MIND, BLIND AMBITION, BIG PICTURE, FACE, MORAL VICTORY. [cf: "The breeze from the flutter of a butterfly's wings will create a storm in the next valley."; "Though the youth at last grows indifferent, the laws of the universe are not indifferent, but are forever on the side of the most sensitive. Listen to every zephyr for some reproof, for it is surely there, and he is unfortunate who does not hear it." by Henry David Thoreau Walden (1854)]

certain conventional rules that the fashionable world tacitly holds inviolable with regard to honourable conduct; see OATH, PROMISE, CREED, CORE VALUES, HONOR CODE, LOYALTY CODE, SUMMUM BONUM, DUTY, TRADITION.

the codes and regulations affecting the conduct of MIL-PERS and their permissible or prohibited acts, also known as "jus belli" or "lawful orders"; as established by Executive Order, Congressional Acts, and multinational accords or pacts, especially Hague Treaties and Geneva Conventions. See RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), EXTRAORDINARY POWERS, RFZ, FREE FIRE ZONE, COLLATERAL DAMAGE, HOT PURSUIT, ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' BADGES, FIGHTING WORDS, WARNING SHOT, BLOODY SHIRT, JUST WAR, CROSS THE RUBICON, REBUS SIC STANTIBUS, ARTICLES OF WAR, POSSE COMITATUS, RIOT ACT, RETALIATION, REPRISAL, REVENGE, WAR CRIMES TRIAL, ICC, IMT, IMTFE, UNWCC, HAGUE TRIBUNAL, GENEVA CONVENTION, WAR POWERS ACT, GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY, PING-PONG DIPLOMACY, BIG STICK DIPLOMACY, SABER-RATTLING, GUNPOINT, NEUTRALIZE, CONFLICT, STRUGGLE, BATTLE, WAR. [nb: the Constitution of the United States specifically restricts the power to raise and maintain armed forces, and to declare war, to the Congress] [cf: jus gentium (Latin: law of nations)] [nb: according to the international LAWS OF WAR, a civilian compelled to act as a military porter by transporting weapons or munitions and materiel becomes a bona-fide combatant, subject to treatment as a de-facto soldier, and forfeits the protection of civilian noncombatant status; international law includes rules on the treatment of prisoners of war, but only extends protection to combatants, excluding any civilians who engage in hostilities, and those unconventional forces that do not observe restrictions for combatants] [nb: "There are laws for peace as well as war." by Titus Livius; "And if also any one contend (in the fight), he is not crowned (for victory) unless he contend lawfully." 2 Timothy 2:5; "Without conventions, any sort of group life is impossible, and no division of society is without its canons. The laws of the jungles are not the laws of the drawing room, but they are as certainly existent, and as important to their subject." by S. Dashiel Hammett] [v: Diplomatic Terms]


to lay in one position, lie motionless, lying still; or, in other slang, to chill-out, to freeze.

mock designation of the most expert sexologist in a unit of naive and callow youths; being an "elder" in the "wishful congregation of worshipful virgins", with his only sacerdotal qualification being his intimate knowledge and vast experience of licentious or lascivious (mis-)conduct. This ordinary member of the laity, a layperson who is neither certified nor ordained, lends counsel to the confused members of "the flock", sometimes procuring sexual initiation for the more incompetent "brothers" in the "monastery". So designated since WWII, this lady's man or lady killer, womanizer or skirt-chaser, philanderer or heartbreaker, sport or swinger, playboy or lover-boy, Don Juan or Casanova, Lothario or Romeo, libertine or voluptuary, seducer or debaucher, wolf or goat, rake/rakehell or wanton, letch/lecher or pussy hound is also called a "lay minister" or "lay reader". See CHURNING BUTTER, BOOM-BOOM, SHORT-TIME, SCREW, FUCK, HOOKUP, DIDDLY, ACT OF CONGRESS, BUTTERFLY, HAT TRICK, DAISY CHAIN, TRICK; compare ARMY CHRISTIAN, FOXHOLE CONVERSION, SKY PILOT.

(el-bee-ee) Load-Bearing Equipment; compare ILBE, LBV; see WEB GEAR, DEUCE GEAR, PISTOL BELT, CLUTCH BELT, CANTEEN, STABO, DINGLEBERRY, ALICE, MOLLE. [nb: called "belt order" by AUSSIE and KIWI troops]


Little Bitty Gook Boat; small watercraft, usually sized for one or two persons, sometimes made from reeds. See JUNK, SAMPAN.

Long Binh Jail, being the Long Binh STOCKADE in IIICTZ, with the last word changed to make a pun on the initials of President Lyndon Baines Johnson (L-B-J); also called "LBJ ranch". See CROSSBAR HOTEL, BRIG, TANK, THE CASTLE, HOT HOUSE, MONKEY HOUSE, DEADLOCK, CHL, PAIN.

(el-bee-vee) Load-Bearing Vest; used for carrying ammunition, water, and other tactical loads while in the field, or during an assault. Compare LBE; see WEB GEAR, DEUCE GEAR, PISTOL BELT, CLUTCH BELT, CANTEEN, STABO, DINGLEBERRY, ALICE, MOLLE.

Landing Craft Assault, see LANDING CRAFT.

Landing Craft Air Cushion, being a hovercraft-type of LANDING CRAFT for transport of men, equipment, and vehicles on amphibious operations.

the COMPANY-GRADE officer RANK (Lieutenant Commander) or RATING (O-4) intermediate between Lieutenant (LT / O-3) and Commander (CDR / O-5) in the naval services (USMM, USCG, USN); equivalent to 'major' (MAJ) in the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps. See LDR, OFFICER.

Landing Craft Infantry; see LANDING CRAFT.

Landing Craft Mechanized, or Landing Craft Medium; see LANDING CRAFT.

abbreviation for Lance CorPoraL, being a rank in the Marine Corps between Private First Class (PFC) and Corporal (CPL), which is an assistant section or squad leader rating, and is commonly called a MOSQUITO SMILE. During the Vietnam-era, the Army reorganized its enlisted grades and incorporated this rank; however, this sleeve rank was later redesignated "Private First Class", with the traditional PFC sleeve rank changed to "Private". See SWINE LOG, MOSQUITO WING, MATING MOSQUITOES, EM, RATING, GRADE, RANK.

Littoral Combat Ship.

Landing Craft Tank; see LANDING CRAFT.

Liquid Cooling and Ventilation Garment, being an insulating liner that's worn under a space suit to keep the wearer comfortable.

Landing Craft Vehicle and Personnel, also called HIGGINS BOAT; see LANDING CRAFT.

Landing Craft Vehicle Ramped; see LANDING CRAFT.

LD :
abbreviation for Line of Departure (qv).

leader or leadership, from team leader to group leader; which qualities entail resourcefulness, quick-mindedness, an ability to meet any occasion despite the odds, and the ability to use maximum strength in pursuit of the specified goal. The basic rule of leadership is to "draw" or "pull", as in FOLLOW ME, not to "drive" or "push", since something spineless (eg: noodle or string) cannot be shoved, and shoving something as stubborn as a mule will result in either a swift kick or a load of shit ... the fully-exposed broad back of a "lead from the front" COMMANDER is always vulnerable! Good leaders cultivate competence: "select men that you trust, then trust the men that you select" ... as Eisenhower put it: "Trust 'em or bust 'em!" See CO, COMMANDER, COMMAND PRESENCE, COMMAND ELEMENT, CHAIN-OF-COMMAND, CHIEF, ACTING JACK, GADGET, BREVET, OLD MAN, HONCHO, WALLAH, MOTHER HEN, 10, MC, GREEN TAB, LEAD ON MACDUFF, SPOTLIGHT LEADER, LPC, LITTLE PRICK, MARTINET, WARLORD, THE MAN ON HORSEBACK, BRASS BLOAT, BRASS EAR, EMPTY SUIT, SHAKE 'n' BAKE, CAL, INCOC, NCOCC, NCOA, SMA, OCS, TRADE SCHOOL, ROTC, BOC, OBC, BOLC, TBS, WAR COLLEGE, BOOTSTRAP, TOP DOG, SKIPPER, CAPTAIN, COMBAT EFFECTIVE, COMMAND RATIO, EXTRAORDINARY POWERS, JUDGMENT CALL, OVERSIGHT, DON'T DO NOTHING, WATCH MY SMOKE, DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF, JJ DID TIE BUCKLE, PIG LOOKING AT A WRISTWATCH, DRONE, HOLLOW BUNNY, BROWN NOSER, NOSE COUNT, RUN IT UP THE FLAGPOLE, POPULARITY CONTEST, BRASS-COLLAR, YOUR WISH IS MY COMMAND, HEADQUARTERISM, MICROMANAGEMENT. [nb: Vietnamese term: Nguoi Lanh Dao] [v: shogun (shaugun), duce (dux), führer (fuehrer), caudillo, warlord, sirdar/sardar, brenn/brenhin, voivode/vaivode (voyevoda), commander; ruler, president, governor, exarch (exarkhos), tetrarch, dey, emir (amir/emeer/ameer), inca, highness, eminence, imperium, sovereign, suzerain, monarch, pendragon, king (rex), emperor/imperator, rex et imperator (R&I), caesar, kaiser, czar/tsar, mikado/tycoon, negus, pharaoh, khan/Khaqan (chan/xan)[Genghis Khan ("king of the ocean"), Jenghis Khan, Jenghiz Chan, Chinggis Khan; Batu Khan, Kublai Khan; Tamerlane, Timur Lenk, Temüjin], caliph/calif/khalif/khalifa, shah, bey, vizier, sultan, padishah, pasha (padshah/pasa), bashaw, khedive/khidiw (vali/valiking/wali), satrap, mpret (imperator), mogul (moghul/moghal), nizam, sheik (sheikh/shaikh/shaykh), regent, duke, marquis, earl, count, viscount, baron, grandee, palatine, viceroy, nawab, regent, knight, ritter (rider), cavalier, chevalier, boyar, margrave, prince, stadtholder, gauleiter, burgomaster/burgermeister/burgemeester, archon, aedile, prefect, legate, taipan, steward, foreman, boss, effendi/effemdi, thakur sahib, master, liege, potentate, lord, overlord, hospodar, duumvir, triumvir, chief, chieftain, head, sachem/sagamore, diwan/dewan, cacique/cazique, kabaka, maharao, maharawal, maharao rajah, rajah, maharajah, nabob, patriarch, dynast, tyrant, despot, dictator, autocrat, nibs, panjandrum, pooh-bah, high and mighty, hogen mogen, high-muckety-muck, high-muck-a-muck] [nb: queen, empress, begum, candace, and all other feminine designations are derivatives or variants of masculine titles] [nb: the field occupations most often targeted in combat, because their loss so immediately influences unit effectiveness and morale, are the leader, pointman, signalman, machinegunner, and medic] [nb: "Never before were so few commanded by so many from so far away." by Henry H. "Hap" Arnold; "Never were so few commanded by so many from so far for so little." soldier sentiment during WWII Operation Torch; "We are the invisible doing the impossible in a place unknown." soldier sentiment during KOREAN WAR; "We are the unwilling led by the unfit to do the unnecessary for the ungrateful." soldier sentiment during VIETNAM 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; "We are the few led by the best doing the essential for the ungrateful." soldier sentiment during GULF WAR II; "an anonymous individual may be presented with a futile object for an indefinable purpose when he reaches his unknown destination" by Eric Frank Russel (1951)] [nb: "Leadership is the art of getting something done by persuading others that they want to get it done." paraphrase of Dwight D. Eisenhower; "Leadership consists not in degrees of technique but in traits of character; it requires moral rather than athletic or intellectual effort, and it imposes on both leader and follower alike the burdens of self-restraint." by Lewis H. Lapham; "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more ... you are a leader." by John Quincy Adams; "In science, as in art, and, as I believe, in every other sphere of human activity, there may be wisdom in a multitude of counsellors, but it is only in one or two of them. And ... it is to that one or two that we must look for light and guidance." by Thomas Henry Huxley; "People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. ... The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert. The leader leads, and the boss drives." by Theodore Roosevelt; "We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way." by George S. Patton Jr; "The discipline which makes the soldiers of a free country reliable in battle is not to be gained by harsh or tyrannical treatment. On the contrary, such treatment is far more likely to destroy than to make an army. It is possible to impart instruction and to give commands in such a manner and such a tone of voice to inspire in the soldier no feeling but an intense desire to obey, while the opposite manner and tone of voice cannot fail to excite strong resentment and a desire to disobey. The one mode or the other of dealing with subordinates springs from a corresponding spirit in the breast of the commander. He who feels the respect which is due to others cannot fail to inspire in them regard for himself, while he who feels, and hence manifests, disrespect toward others, especially his subordinates, cannot fail to inspire hatred against himself." by John M. Schofield; "In order to stand before me, you must be a brave and cunning warrior; I can make you a rich and strong chief, but only time, failure, and sorrow can make you a wise leader." attributed to Attila, high king of the Huns; "There's no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." by Ronald Wilson Reagan; "When the lions are away, the hyenas will fight over the carcass."; "An army of asses led by a lion is preferable to an army of lions led by an ass."; "An army of lions commanded by a deer will never be an army of lions." by Napoleon Bonaparte] Also, abbreviation for Let-Down Rope (qv), being an auxiliary line used for descent from a tree landing in which the PARACHUTE canopy is entangled; compare DINGLEBERRY, NYLON LETDOWN. [v: Parachuting Terms]

to begin or advance; to go ahead or go first, as to go in advance of others who follow; see FOLLOW ME, LDR. Also, to initiate, commence, launch, as to take the offensive; see CHARGE, STORM. Also, to aim and fire a firearm or gun ahead of a moving target in order to allow for the travel of the TARGET while the BULLET or SHELL is reaching it. Also, the distance ahead of a moving target that a gun must be aimed in order to score a direct hit; see DEFLECTION, AIMPOINT, TRAVERSE.

see LDR. [v: pacesetter, pathfinder]

see LDR. [v: foremanship]

an invitation to sally forth, to embark upon or to proceed with an endeavor, often used facetiously or ironically, mockingly or sarcastically; this common misquotation of "Lay on, Macduff, and damned be him who first cries 'Hold! Enough!'" [Macbeth by William Shakespeare (1606)] which alludes to "leading someone a pretty dance" or "leading someone the devil's own dance" as when putting them through their intricate steps, causing them great difficulty, endless trouble, a great deal of bother and inconvenience. See FOLLOW ME, LDR, GREEN TAB, WATCH MY SMOKE, PRIMROSE PATH, BOX HEAD, MILITARY MIND; compare PIED PIPER, ONE FELL SWOOP. [cf: "lead the way", "lead someone by the nose", "lead someone up the garden path", "lead someone astray"]


an international organization, based in Geneva Switzerland, that was created by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 to promote world peace and cooperation, and was dissolved in April 1946; compare COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS, NATO. [cf: organizational date (25 April - 26 June 1945) of the United Nations (UN)]

1 FASCOM patch
1 Support Command patch
1st Spt Cmd
nickname for the shoulder patch representing Vietnam's logistics command (1st FASCOM), being a design that depicts a clockface pointer counting down to the Biblical "Eleventh Hour", but it also resembles a tilted privy silhouetted against a dark night.

euphemism for being ready to fight, trained to perfection; also called "trim 'n' grim". See LOCK 'n' LOAD, STRAC, GREEN MACHINE, HORS DE COMBAT.

mock designation for an EXERCISE (eg: CPX, TTX, or other DRY RUN) that primarily consists of the participants jumping through their own assholes for the edification of the command and/or staff judging the results; see MOCK-COMBAT, WAR GAMES.

informal reference for the basic method of fire and movement (FIRE 'n' MANEUVER) by alternating elements in advance or retreat, such that one protects the other during maneuver; movement in which supporting elements are moved successively through or by one another. See BUTTERFLY, CLOVERLEAF, CHECKERBOARD, HOPSCOTCH, BUTTONHOOK, ZIGZAG, DASH, STACK, WAY POINT, COMBAT SPREAD.

the US Navy SEAL parachute team, a precision aerobatic demonstration team that performed at public ceremonies; later becoming part of the CHUTING STARS; compare GOLDEN KNIGHTS, see PDT.

initiated in April 1964 as the precursor to Project Delta (DET B-52, 5th SFGAbn), organized under Combined Area Studies (CAS) as "Mountain Scouts" for PARACHUTE insertion of RECON teams onto the HO CHI MINH TRAIL in Laos; the supplemental training in reconnaissance and surveillance, patrolling and airmobility techniques taught to unit members became the basis for the MACV Recondo School. See OPLAN 34A, CSD, THE GREEKS, DELTA FORCE.


any tactical or operational modality that promotes the simplest method or advocates the easiest technique, as in taking "the line of LEAST RESISTANCE" or "the path of LEAST RESISTANCE"; such avoidance of obstacles tends to keep the advancing elements moving forward. This avoidance of opposition is not necessarily submissive, but is accommodating while being goal oriented. Any intolerable pressure (social or psychic, military or economic, mechanical or survival) will vent in the direction of its least resistance; and the counter to this pressure is to apply the least force to control or contain that pressure so that it does not become destructive, or is directed in its destruction at the least valuable element or segment ... such a calculated loss is a value judgment of the regulatory authority, so that more are spared than sacrificed. If the force or effect are miscalculated, the regulators may be purged, or the entire value system may be called into question. See KNOW YOUR ENEMY, COURSE OF ACTION, BY THE BOOK, CAPABILITY, STRESSOR, KNOW THE ROPES, PRINCIPLE OF LEAST FORCE, LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURNS, LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, PARADIGM SHIFT, OUTSIDE THE BOX, MILITARY MIND; compare OVERKILL, BOMB 'EM BACK TO THE STONE AGE, BOUNCE THE RUBBLE, KNOCK INTO A COCKED HAT, TURKEY SHOOT, KILL 'EM ALL, ATROCITY, GENOCIDE, HOLOCAUST, COLLATERAL DAMAGE. [v: Occam's razor (aka: law of parsimony); cf: Sartre's existential path of least resistance in the metaphysical void]

term for a Marine or the Marine Corps (USMC), also called "boot neck"; as derived from a leather neckband worn from 1798 to 1880 on the Marine uniform for protection of the neck during sword combat. See MAMELUKE SWORD, BULLDOG, MILITARY ORDER OF THE DEVIL DOGS, GYRENE, SNUFFY, USMC; compare BLACK DEVIL, GODDAM.

Marine operational area in I Corps (ICTZ/MR1) inclusive of Gio Linh, Con Thien, Dong Ha, and Cam Lo; also known as the "meat grinder".

an extended period of authorized absence without travel restrictions, often subclassified as accrued or annual, convalescent or compassionate; also known as "furlough" (derived from permission, as "by your leave"). See OFF-DUTY, TERMINAL LEAVE, PASS, R&R, I&I, STEEL BEACH, BREAK SHIP, UA, AWOL, OFF THE RESERVATION, PROFILE, USAFI; compare ROMAN HOLIDAY.


the additional territory that a nation considers to be necessary for national survival or the expansion of trade; that additional space needed in order for a nation to act or function in its own best interest, as exemplified by Nazi Germany; literally derived from 'living space'. Compare GEOPOLITICS, IRREDENTISM; see FOREIGN POLICY, POLITICS.

a bookstand or bookrest for a standing reader; see ROSTRUM.

a speech or discourse presented to an audience, usually for instruction, often tedious, as derived from 'read'; see JAWBREAKER, TRNG, POI, LESSONS LEARNED, KISS, MIL-CRAFT. [nb: a 'microcentury' (or 52 minutes, 35.69 seconds) denotes the maximum permissible period of a lecture, according to the mathematician John von Neumann]

Ledo Road patch
Ledo Road
1079mi highway built from Ledo India to Chungking (Chongqing) China during WWII in order to CONVOY equipment and materiel as a more efficient way to support Nationalist Chinese (CHINAT) allies; this route was called the "Stilwell Road" or "Pick's Pike", the "Aluminum Trail" or "Aluminum Highway" due to the number of crashed aircraft and vehicles, including a curvaceous segment of 24 TURNS in southwestern China. Construction, including a parallel oil pipeline, was completed 28 Jan 1945, connecting the Ledo Road to the Burma Road, eliminating the need to fly the HUMP over the eastern Himalayan foothills.

the drift of an aircraft or vessel from its course or HEADING due to crosswinds or currents; see BEARING, DOUBLE DRIFT, TRAVERSE, ZIGZAG [cf: leeward, windward]. Also, a margin of space, time, or materials, being an extra or surplus; a degree or element of freedom, of latitude.


slang for an infantryman, "line-doggie" or "footslogger", GROUND POUNDER or CRUNCHY, DOUGHBOY or BOONIE RAT, GRUNT or SNUFFY; see GI. Also, derisive slang for any non-parachutist or not-AIRBORNE qualified soldier, also known as "straight leg"; the "sanctioned" term is Non-Airborne Personnel (NAP); compare CADET, TADPOLE, PUP, POLLYWOG, CHUM, NUGGET, GROUND HOG. [nb: LEG is such a foul epithet that PARATROOPERs must spit and swear whenever compelled to utter it; "Spitting and swearing are nearly out of fashion in Philadelphia ... at this moment we cannot recall more than two or three gentlemen who would think of such a thing as spitting on the carpet of a lady's drawing room." in A Pleasant Peregrination in Pennsylvania (1836)] Also, designation for any non-flying aviation support staff and ground crew; see WING WIPER, GROUND HOG, POG, GROUNDED. Also, a distinct segment or incremental portion of a course or journey, as a stage, subdivision, or phase. Also, one of the stretches or sections of a relay race; one of a designated number of elements that must be completed in order to finally conclude an event or contest; compare LAP; see PARCOURSE, EXERCISE. Also, any of the sequence of straight segments between the series of abrupt turns in a ZIGZAG course; the straight section or run between the acute changes of direction when obliquely tacking; the straight part of a multidirectional course.

a familial entitlement bestowed by a predecessor; that sense of duty and responsibility handed down from the past, as by inheritance from an ancestor ... such as a "legacy cadet" in a military academy. See GREEN MACHINE, LONG GREEN LINE, CASTE, GREEN BLOOD, SEPARATE RATS, DISTAFF, BRAT, THE MOTHER-IN-LAW OF THE ARMY, THE DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT, RING-KNOCKER, TWEEDLEDUM 'n' TWEEDLEDEE, KHAKI MAFIA, CAKE-EATER, MILICRAT. [v: patronage, favoritism, partiality, preferment, partisanship, cronyism, nepotism, advocation, simony, advowson; eg: remittance man] [cf: "root-digger" geneologist] [nb: "Some people think that noble heritage, as fabricated and exaggerated as a romantic novel, is more important than survival, which is often deemed to be rude and distasteful, until conditions change and times become harsh and unforgiving, then the ability to endure hardship becomes a rare and precious talent, known by our earliest forebears to be paramount." paraphrase of Richard Flanagan]


see JAG; compare BARRACKS LAWYER, GUARDHOUSE LAWYER, SEA LAWYER. [nb: 'beagle' derives from "whine insistently"!]

the official currency of a sovereign nation; currency that may be lawfully tendered in payment of private or public pecuniary exchanges or debts, and that may not be refused by creditors, merchants, employees, or institutions. Currency as a form of money or LEGAL TENDER is subdivided into specie (coin) and scrip (paper; not "script"). Any LEGAL TENDER that is not based upon a convertible value (ie: hard currency; cf: hard cash) is technically "fiat money", having no intrinsic value. By definition, money has four basic characteristics: a medium of exchange, a unit of account, a store of value, and a standard of deferred payments. The Chinese government began regulating the private circulation of paper currency in AD812, which had expiration dates and was called "flying money" at the time (later known as "credit money"), and was used like a check/cheque, as a draft on deposited funds that was redeemed by exchange of the promissory fixed-sum note; then three-color printing of scrip was instituted in 1107 in China to prevent counterfeiting ("impersonate authority") of paper money. Because paper money adversely affected inflation through distrust and forgery, the Chinese government recycled it with more and more elaborate designs, allowing the outdated currency to be used as "spirit money" for the deceased to spend in the afterlife; special issues of "spirit money" were later produced for burning at the funeral, which practice is still followed today. By technomigration, paper currency appeared in Sweden c1661, in America c1690 [cf: 1862 Legal Tender Act; 1863 National Bank Act; 1913 Federal Reserve Act; 1933 Legal Tender Act; 1933 Emergency Banking Act; 1934 Securities Exchange Act], in France c1720, in England c1797, and in Germany c1806. Since colonial America was prohibited from minting its own coinage and forbidden the import of British coins, compelling colonists to resort to barter, the US Constitution authorized American coinage in 1787, based upon the decimal system developed by Gouverneur Morris, with silver and gold coins first minted in 1792 at Philadelphia's US Mint: "E Pluribus Unum" motto in 1795; $50 gold "slug" coined in California (1849); 1¢ nickel coin minted in 1856; 2¢ coin minted in 1864; "In God We Trust" motto in 1864; 5¢ nickel coin minted in 1866; gold standard established by 1873 Coinage Act and 1900 Currency Act, disestablished by 1934 Gold Reserve Act and 1975 Act; increase silver coinage by 1878 Bland-Allison Act and 1890 Silver Purchase Act; US bills of different denominations sized alike (1929); anti-counterfeiting features (ie: security threads, microprinting, tonal shifting inks, infrared marking, with enlarged portraits) introduced to US bills (1996); splashes of orange, yellow, and red color added to US bills (2003-8); . [nb: cash register (1879); credit card (Diners' Club, 1951; magnetic strip added 1971); Automated Teller Machine (ATM; 1969)] See DONG, HAO, XU, PIASTER, BAHT, SATANG, KIP, RIEL, PAGODA, PYA, KYAT, RINGGIT, YEN, WON, MONGO, TUGRIK, TAEL, SYCEE, YUAN, JIAO, FEN, RENMINBI, POUND, MARK, KOPECK, RUBLE, LIRA, PARA, DINAR, DIRHAM, HALALA, RIYAL, RIAL, FILS, STANDARD MONEY, STANDARD DOLLAR, DOLLAR, TWO-BIT / TWO-BITS, DIME, NICKEL, TWO CENTS, PENNY, HARD TIMES TOKEN, MILITARY CURRENCY, MPC, FUNNY MONEY, SLUSH FUND, JUICE, CANDY, BLACK BAG, HONEY POT, CHIT, SHORT SNORTER, CUMSHAW, SOUVENIR, CHALLENGE COIN, SAVINGS BOND, LIBERTY BOND, WAR BOND, PATRIOT BOND, T-BILL, INCOME TAX, WAR CHEST, ALMS, MAUNDY, SPIRIT MONEY, SUPER NOTE, BAD PAPER, BENSON SILK. [aka: bread, dough, lettuce, cabbage, kale, long green, frogskin, fishskin, skin, jack, scratch, simoleon, moola, lolly, plunk, dead president, stake, clam, smacker, buck, big bucks, megabucks, packet, wad, pelf, boodle, lucre, swag, soap, grease, chicken feed, peanuts, shinplaster, wampum, mazuma, chit, nest egg, pin money, spending money, pocket money, walking-around money, mad money, flash money, funny money, reward money, prize money, blood money, viaticum, gelt, shekels, piaster, Asiadollar, Eurodollar, banknote, grand, thou(sand), big one, c-note, double-sawbuck, sawbuck, tenner, ten-spot, fin, fiver, five-spot, two-spot, single, cash, thaler, cartwheel, half-eagle, eagle, double-eagle, quarter, two-bit / two-bits, dime, nickel, two cents, penny, cent, coin, specie, slug] [v: obverse/reverse, cross/pile] [nb: there are 293 ways to make change for a dollar] [v: Coin Terms]

the mission-specific cover story and alias assumed for an operative or operational team; also called "field legend", "jacket", or "back story"; see COVER, POCKET LITTER, CLEAN, TALK THE TALK, BACKSTOP, LIFTED SKIRT, NOC, TRADECRAFT. Also, a table on a map or chart that lists and explains the symbols used thereupon [nb: a 'key' is a systematic explanation of the abbreviations and symbols used in a book or map]. Also, an inscription, as on a coat of arms, a monument, an image, or the like, including the lettering running around the field of a medal [nb: an 'inscription' is the lettering running across the field of a medal]. [v: Heraldry] Also, a traditional story, handed down by word-of-mouth from earlier times, that relates the lore of particular peoples, which is popularly accepted despite its unverifiability; as derived from the collection of stories (ledger) about the (miraculous) deeds of admirable persons, which are to be recited (read aloud) on designated dates (eg: saint's day); see COUNT COUP, WAR STORY, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, SEA STORY, TELL IT TO THE MARINES, TALK TRASH, SHOOT THE SHIT. [nb: a LEGEND is usually concerned with a real person or event, which story is associated with a particular people and is believed to have some basis in fact; a MYTH is a purportedly historical story that attempts to explain some belief, practice, or phenomenon, with its characters being gods or heroes; a FABLE is a fictitious story that intends to teach a moral lesson, with its characters being anthropomorphized animals or magical creatures; cf: homily, allegory, parable, apologue, tale, folk tale, fairy tale] [nb: "Heroes are long remembered, but legends never die."; "From the perspective of our old age, the reckless adventures of our impetuous youth begin to take-on the aura of fantastic mythology!" paraphrase of Craig Johnson (2015)]

olive drab canvas legging worn
before and after WWII
canvas legging
a protective covering of canvas or leather for the lower leg, usually at the ankle (gaiter) from instep to calf, as worn by soldiers, riders, workers, and other outdoorsmen; also spelled "leggin". See PUTTEE, BOONDOCKERS, FOOTWEAR. [nb: like jodhpurs, leggings are also a particular style of pants]

CODENAME for radio relay site established 15 January 1967 atop a remote pinnacle in Laos, and operated continuously for the next five years; see HICKORY, BLACK LADY MOUNTAIN, RR; compare LIMA SITE 85.

the largest unit of the ancient Roman army, comprising all elements (infantry, cavalry, etc); compare CORPS, RCT. Also, any great or massive group of armed men. Also, any large or extensive military, semi-military, or quasi-military organization. Also, a multitude, throng, horde, conflux, host, or myriad.

Legion of Merit medal
LoM medal
issued in three grades to both civilian and military personnel for distinguished service, the medal is typically regarded as the field-grade officer's version of the 'Good Conduct' medal (ie: the "Colonel's Weenie"), since failure to "earn" it usually results in compulsory retirement. See TICKET-PUNCHER, GONG, MSM, DSM, GREEN WEENIE. [nb: the LEGION OF MERIT awarded to military personnel is actually the third class of this award, with the first two classes reserved for civilian diplomats and foreign dignitaries; the PRESIDENTIAL CITIZENS MEDAL and the MEDAL OF FREEDOM are likewise reserved for civilians]

a form of pneumonia that's typically acquired by inhaling airborne droplets from a bacteria contaminated water supply (especially Legionella pneumophila); so-called from its first reported occurrence at an American Legion convention during 1976 in Philadelphia. Compare SICK BUILDING SYNDROME.

the Vietnamese designation for the Accelerated Pacification Program that was announced by South Vietnam's President Nguyen Van Thieu on 1 July 1968; this interservice organization was directed against the Vietnamese Communist Infrastructure (VCI), utilizing projects such as PHOENIX / PHUNG HOANG, PRU, and ICEX. [nb: Le Loi was a 15th century patriot who led a ten year fight to expel the Chinese from Viet Nam]

a program of Allied assistance inaugurated in February 1943 when the British sent the commandant and a couple of trainers from their War Dog Training School to establish the doctrine and methods for converting the amateur "defense dog" program being conducted by American enthusiasts into a professional regimen for the production of military working dogs in several specializations, where their only previous experience had been with arctic sled dogs; this sharing of expertise was similar to the British instruction of American special agents in the finer techniques of close-quarters knife fighting; this expression is a play on words from the 1941 Lend Lease Act. See SCOUT DOG, K-9, MWD, A DOG IN A DOUBLET, HAPPINESS IS A WARM PUPPY.

a "hand bearing" or "sighting baseplate" COMPASS (qv). [v: transit, theodolite, or circumferento]

disparaging slang for an egoist who's obsessively drawn to posing (or mugging) for the camera, being a condition unrelated to RANK or DUTY; an exhibitionist or narcissist with an inflated opinion of their importance or self-worth; also called "camera hog" or "publicity hound". Compare SHUTTERBUG. [cf: camera shy]

duck hunter pattern
duck hunter
spot pattern camouflage used
by the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan
spot camouflage
this is the first camouflage pattern that was actually produced for uniforms during WWI as a result of the color perception research by the "camouflage corps" artists and engineers (beginning with a dadaistic confusion of reds, greens, yellows, blues, and browns); the research primarily addressed the concealment of soldier's tents and artillery positions, or the distortion of ships and airplanes. Although not suitable in all circumstances, this dappled pattern disrupted someone's configuration more than any other single design. This spotted pattern, produced by the French ["léopard"], was later adopted for American parachutists during WWII, and for ADVISORs in Vietnam; it was supplanted by the TIGER STRIPE pattern in Southeast Asia, and by WOODLAND and DESERT patterns elsewhere in U.S. operations. The WWII-era spotted "duck hunter" camouflage pattern adopted by America was originally hand-painted but later silkscreened. A similar German (flecktarn) pattern was based upon the effect of sunshine through foliage, and was applied to ponchos and helmet covers as well as uniforms; the post-WWI German "raindrop" design has been widely imitated, and variations of the mottled LEOPARD pattern are still used by foreign armies around the world. See CAMMIES, CAMO, DRESS.

laser pulse detonation rocket system, being an advanced hybrid TURBOFAN or SCRAMJET rocket engine.

nickname given by white troops to any BLACK soldier in the field, or to any rural "country boy" Afro-American; see MAN FRIDAY, SMOKE, SPOOK, SPLIB, SPEAR-CHUCKER.

LES / L&ES :
Leave and Earnings Statement, being the accounting of a MIL-PERS finances, both credits and debits; see THE EAGLE SHITS, SALARY, BP, NIGGER RICH, PRO PAY, FIELD ALLOWANCE, UA, SEPARATE RATS, DEAD HORSE, COLA, SDP, TSP, SAVINGS BOND, DFAS, PENSION. [nb: 'stipend', as a tax-exempt allowance or honorary salary, usually a pittance, derives from "soldier's pay"] [cf: 'wages' are compensation or recompense, from carry on, struggle, pledge]

a moral compromise or political accommodation that inhibits diplomatic support and restricts military action; being a rationale for a LIMITED WAR, for an UNDECLARED WAR or a PROXY WAR. Compare SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT, DODGE THE BULLET; see THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS, MICROAGGRESSION, BETTER THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, REALPOLITIK.

those adjustments and adaptations acquired from the latest experience with enemy forces that's taught as augmentation to the "institutional memory" of each discipline before the standard doctrine can be emended or amended, revised or updated; see OJT, KISS, POI, CROSS-TRAINING, Q-COURSE, MIL-CRAFT, CHARM SCHOOL, COC, ACTA, RECONDO, CALL, MEME, MONKEY SEE - MONKEY DO, COUNTERINTUITIVE, PETER PRINCIPLE, PARKINSON'S LAW, OCCAM'S RAZOR, MURPHY'S LAW. [nb: the most revered truths gleaned from "lessons learned" on the battlefield are: quality is always better than quantity; expertise cannot be mass produced; competence results from practice, not desire or funding; no emergency response can repair a mistake or restore an opportunity; humans are more important than hardware; experience takes time, and judgment takes maturity]


the descent of an aircraft from a higher to a lower altitude preparatory to making an approach and landing, or to making a target run, or the like; also spelled "let-down"; see NYLON LETDOWN.

an auxiliary line carried whenever a tree landing may capture the PARACHUTE canopy, being a 5mm or 7mm cord of about 75-150 foot length that's typically carried in a leg pocket for deployment whenever necessary, by securing one end to the PARACHUTE harness and then body RAPPELLING down to the ground ... this escape line, abbreviated LDR, is left in place to assist in the later retrieval of the entangled para gear. If a PARATROOPER utilizes an equipment bag (DINGLEBERRY) that's tethered to the PARACHUTE harness by a "lowering line", then an auxiliary LET-DOWN ROPE may not be necessary. Instructors often teach students to employ the reserve 'chute as a method of descending to the ground if suspended in a tree, but that solution relies upon the availability of a secondary canopy, the space to deploy such a voluminous alternative, and the unavoidable expense of certified repacking. This escape line is a necessary adjunct for smokejumpers, and a useful tactical supplement for PARATROOPERs. Compare NYLON LETDOWN. [v: Parachuting Terms]

the area within which 50% of exposed enemy troops become casualties from indirect fire or area MUNITIONS.


a secure place or person where secret messages can be left for later collection by the recipient, with appropriate procedures for any undelivered DEAD LETTERs; also called a "mail drop" or "message center". Compare DEAD DROP; see FLAPS 'n' SEALS, BLIND DATE. [v: accommodation address]

a license issued to a private citizen by a sovereign authorizing the capture and confiscation of property from other nations as reprisal, also called "Letter of Marque and Reprisal"; such MERCENARY conduct is vested in Congressional powers authorized by Article 1, Section 8.11, and prohibited to States by Article 1, Section 10.1 of the American Constitution.

an idiom meaning to disclose a secret, to reveal something hidden, as when unmasking the subterfuge in a blind bargain (classically, passing off a muling cat in a sack as a suckling pig in a poke); however, this idiom has since been extended to revealing the identity of the condemned prisoner after hanging, since his head was generally encased before execution. See ROOM TO SWING A CAT, OVER A BARREL, FIGHT LIKE KILKENNY CATS, LYNCH, STRANGE FRUIT, CHRISTMAS TREE, TWIST IN THE WIND, SHROUD, BODY BAG. [v: spill the beans; cf: cat-o'-nine-tails]

a catch-phrase asserting that things will take care of themselves. This proposition directs that the focus of attention and resources be productively purposeful; it encourages goal orientation for mission accomplishment. This expression is actually a misquotation of "... let the dead bury their own dead." [Matthew 8:22], which has similarly been represented as "Let the dead Past bury its dead!" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.


the compulsory collection of an imposition (ie: duty, tax, excise, tariff, etc) by legal authority; or the assessed amount (sum or number) so collected, as a quantity of troops conscripted for military service. See DRAFT, DRAFTEE, DRAFT LOTTERY, PRESS-GANG, SHANGHAI, DRAGOON, McNAMARA'S HUNDRED THOUSAND, MUSTER, CALL TO THE COLORS.

a light, air-cooled, gas-operated machinegun (MG) that was fed by a circular magazine; first used in World War I, it's also called a "Lewis automatic" and a "Lewis machine gun", eponymously after I.N. Lewis. See LMG.

a vocabulary or wordbook, as of a particular field or language; a complete inventory of words in a given language. [v: Ancillary Lexicons]


the principle of RETALIATION embodied in a law stipulating that a punishment inflicted should correspond in degree and kind to the offense of the wrongdoer, as an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth; being retributive justice that's also called 'talion'. Compare REPRISAL, RIPOSTE / RIPOST.

L/FE :
the Office of the Legal Adviser, his assistant and staff, for Far Eastern Affairs, being a section within the Department of State (DOS); compare JAG.

Laser Guided Bomb; see LASER AIMING DEVICE, GLD, PAINT, PAVEWAY, LANTIRN, LADAR, LASER; compare GBU, EOGB, PGM, VB, EGBU, SMART BOMB. [nb: "A laser-guided 500# bomb that's accurate to within 5 feet is a waste of technology!"] [nb: 'lgb' is not the MIL-SPEAK abbreviation for "lesbian, gay, bisexual"]

Laser Guided Missile, such as Titan II (LGM-25), Minuteman I (LGM-30A/B), Minuteman II (LGM-30F), Minuteman III (LGM-30G), Peacekeeper (LGM-118A), and the like. See MISSILE.

the term used to designate the unnamed effective time specified for the commencement, execution, implementation, or initiation of a particular C-DAY operation. See HACK, TIME.

designated U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship.

someone who utters a falsehood; anyone who attempts to deceive by commission or omission; a dishonest or untrustworthy person; to mislead or cheat, to fool or delude. See DECEPTION, RED HERRING, DECOY, TROJAN HORSE, STALKING HORSE, CAT'S-PAW, FALSE FLAG, LIE DETECTOR, FLUTTER, SWEAT, SQUEEZE, TRUTH SERUM, PARTY LINE, TRUE BELIEVER, TRICK, TURNCOAT, WHITE VC, QUISLING, TRAITOR, TREASON, CREDIBILITY GAP, WHITE PROPAGANDA, ROCKING HORSE APPLES, OPINION, RUMOR, TRUTH, THE NAKED TRUTH, REALITY, ACT OF TRUTH, HOLD ONE'S FEET TO THE FIRE. [nb: "The Vietnamese are born liars; generation after generation has taught them that truth only brings bad luck." by Nguyen Cao Ky]

it's believed that this game originated with the Incas (ca1300) and was brought to Spain by Francisco Pizarro, the conquistador of Peru, from whence it migrated elsewhere; basically consisting of a set number of dice that are concealed under a cup that's passed from player to player with bets laid on the arrangement, including variants with additional cups and progress boards. LIAR'S DICE is also known as Bluff / Call My Bluff, Pirate's Dice, Dead Man's Chest, Luring, LuckiCup (with two dice cups), Dudo, Budo, Perudo (with six dice cups), Liari, and Cachito; a Chinese version using counters is known as FAN-TAN ("repeated divisions"). Deception and misdirection have been enhanced by playing LIAR'S DICE, as well as the game of brag, used to recount battle action as a test of knowledge or gullibility since before the American CIVIL WAR; it can also be played with a single hand of PLAYING CARDS being passed around the table, with discards and draws made as bets accumulate. See DICE GAMES, BATRACHOMYOMACHIA, PLAY THE GAME, PLAYING CARDS, WAR GAMES.

classically, an orientation that's free from prejudice or bigotry, as when exhibiting an open-minded attitude of tolerance; not bound by traditional values or conventional ideas. Also, by extension to political movements or religious affairs, advocating progressive measures of social reform that ostensibly promote individual freedom of action or representational forms of government; see SYMPATHIZER, FIFTH COLUMN, PROTESTOR, PINKO, USEFUL IDIOTS, RED. [nb: "Liberal -- a power worshipper without power." by George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair); "But a man's life is not supposed to be well-rounded; it is supposed to be one-pointed -- a compass, not a weathercock." paraphrase of Aldous Huxley; "The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment." by Bertrand A.W. Russell; "A liberal is someone who will not take his own side in a fight."; "The liberals can understand everything but people who don't understand them." by Lenny Bruce; "We who are liberal and progressive know that the poor are our equals in every sense except that of being equal to us." by Lionel Trilling; "The principle feature of American liberalism is sanctimoniousness. By loudly denouncing all bad things -- war and hunger and date rape -- liberals testify to their own terrific goodness. More important, they promote themselves to membership in a self-selecting elite of those who care deeply about such things .... It's a kind of natural aristocracy, and the wonderful thing about this aristocracy is that you don't have to be brave, smart, strong or even lucky to join it, you just have to be liberal." by P.J. O'Rourke; "I sit on a man's back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means -- except by getting off his back." by Leo Tolstoy; "Ultraliberalism today translates into a whimpering isolationism in foreign policy, a mulish obstructionism in domestic policy, and a pusillanimous pussyfooting on the critical issue of law and order." by Spiro T. Agnew]

facetious reference to the tendency among sociopolitical progressives, who misrepresent their totalitarian ideology as 'liberalism', to forget everything except their grudges and prejudices, jealousies and resentments; also known as "liberal Alzheimer's disease". See SYMPATHIZER, PROTESTOR, PINKO, USEFUL IDIOTS, NEW AGE HIPPIE, SILVER-TAIL, SOFT TYRANNY, UN-AMERICAN, ANTI-AMERICAN.

to free from oppression or release from bondage, as a person or peoples, a group or nation. [cf: liberticide] Also, a euphemism for steal, swipe, rip-off, filch, pinch, purloin, appropriate or expropriate [v: misappropriate] anything unsecured or unguarded, as when soldiers "liberate" the imprisoned bottles from a wine cellar; also known as "tactical acquisition" or "gone adrift" in NavSpeak; see COMMANDEER, SPOILS OF WAR, MIDNIGHT REQUISITION, FIELD EXPEDIENT. [v: "a nigger in the woodpile"]

clandestine FP-45 single-shot
Liberator pistol from WWII-era
FP-45 Liberator
Mitchell B-24 heavy bomber that flew 60% of the precision daylight raids from England over Europe during WWII; also called HELL'S BELLS; the Consolidated B-24 LIBERATOR was nicknamed FLYING BOXCAR; see BALL TURRET, BIRD. Also, the Navy PB4Y-1 during WWII; see BALL TURRET, BIRD. Also, (forthcoming); see DEER GUN, ZIP GUN, PISTOL.

compare MINIMALISM, NECESSARY / NECESSITY. [v: laissez faire / laisser faire; cf: necessitarianism / necessarianism, determinism, fatalism] [nb: almost every libertarian WET DREAM involves some version of "Mind your own plate!" or "Paddle your own canoe!", "It's none of your business!" or "Mind your own business!" (MYOB) as its sufficient rebuttal ... "'If everybody minded their own business,' the Duchess said in a hoarse growl, 'the world would go round a deal faster than it does.'" by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) in ch6 of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865)]

NavSpeak for permission to be off-duty and away from one's assigned place; being at large and unaccountable, except that LIBERTY has travel restrictions and may be revoked during an emergency; equivalent to Army and Air Force PASS. See CINDERELLA PASS, STEEL BEACH, OFF-DUTY, R&R, I&I, LEAVE, BREAK SHIP, SPLIB, MUFTI, UA, AWOL, OFF LIMITS, OFF THE RESERVATION, BUS TRANSFER; compare ROMAN HOLIDAY. [cf: break, recess, rest, pause, intermission, lull, hiatus, caesura, lacuna, respite, reprieve] Also, one of the inalienable human rights recognized by The Declaration of Rights (1689) as a tenet of the rights of man, but most especially of American citizenship; versions of which also included life, property, security, the pursuit of happiness, and the presumption of innocence. [v: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." Declaration of Independence (1776)] [nb: "He hath made every thing beautiful in His time. Also He hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice and to do good in his life, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor: it is the gift of God." Ecclesiastes 3:11-3; "Liberty is a blessing so inestimable, that, wherever there appears any probability of recovering it, a nation may willingly run many hazards, and ought not even to repine at the greatest effusion of blood or dissipation of treasure." by David Hume]

any of the five fixed-price subscription bond issues offered by the U.S. government during World War I to finance the American wartime military commitment; also called "Liberty loan" or "Liberty loan bond". Because the government was paying too much for the debt, these issues were over-subscribed, wherein buyers could immediately resell these undervalued bonds at a higher price; so the government shifted (1929) to a pro rata auction system, with securities being sold to the highest bidder, in a manner similar to later T-BILL securities. See SAVINGS BOND; compare BONUS ACT.

(forthcoming); [nb: according to some scholars, the Phrygian cap worn during the Roman Saturnalia, a period of unrestrained merrymaking that was celebrated each December during which societal rules were set aside, was the origin of the stocking cap worn by Santa Claus] [cf: balaclava, coif, pileus/pîlos]

(forthcoming); commonly called the Statue of Liberty; proposed 1865, dedicated 1886; situated on Liberty Island (renamed in 1956 from Bedloe's Island, formerly a ten acre quarantine station), and declared a national monument 1924. Compare "Spirit of the American Doughboy" and "Spirit of the American Navy" at DOUGHBOY. [nb: after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, Dr Pepper produced its soft drink in patriotic cans depicting the Statue of Liberty and the words: One Nation ... Indivisible for a limited period (from November 2001 to February 2002) in an area covering parts of only twelve states; the company was criticized and threatened with boycott for exhibiting its support for national unity; the company was also criticized for quoting the Pledge of Allegiance incompletely]


abbreviation for LOW-INTENSITY CONFLICT (qv).

misnomer for an instrument, properly known as a 'polygraph', that records the changes in certain bodily activities (such as blood pressure, pulse, breathing, and perspiration) during questioning of an individual, which indicators may be interpreted to determine the truth or falsity of that person's answers. The original polygraph was invented by John A. Larson in 1921, and the test is also known as a "psychophysiological deception detection" exam. See FLUTTER, SWEAT, SQUEEZE, TRUTH SERUM, TRADECRAFT.

to lay quiet and still; especially to escape detection or recognition. See HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT, CAMO, DECEPTION. [cf: lie low, lie chilly, chill out, be cool]

(forthcoming); safe depth for submarines due to shallow setting of depth charges, altered later during WWII; 40 fathoms (240')

a double-ended accessory craft, also called a dinghy or TENDER, required to be available on any aircraft or vessel operating on or over water, usually stocked with a limited supply of medical equipment and survival provisions, so as to enable passengers and crew to be rescued from sinking. The first modern revision of the classic ancillary LIFEBOAT came about in consideration of downed aircrew during WWII under the tutelage of E.V. "Eddie" Rickenbacker, a WWI ace who survived such an ordeal in the Pacific enroute to Australia; wherein signal devices, shade material, and high visibility contrast were factored into the redesign. See GIG, SKIMMER, SCOW, BOAT, BOAT DECK, CHICKEN LINE, POOPIE SUIT, FEET WET, THE DRINK, GOLDFISH CLUB. [v: jolly boat]

a LINE or ROPE available for saving life, as one attached to a LIFEBOAT, or a heave line cast from a vessel; see MONKEY FIST, CHICKEN LINE, TRAWL. Also, any of various LINEs running above the weather DECKs, between spars or other structures of a ship or boat, giving sailors something to guide or grab when in danger of falling overboard or washing away [nb: not a rail]; on military vessels, this safety barrier or fence is made of bronze wire; compare PULPIT, TAFFRAIL, SNAKING, TOE RAIL, BULWARK. Also, the line by which an underwater diver is lowered and raised. Also, any of several anchored lines used by swimmers for support. Also, a route over which supplies must be sent to sustain an area or group of persons otherwise isolated.

informal reference to a career soldier; allegedly an abbreviation for 'Loyal - Industrious - Freedom-loving - Efficient - Rugged' but arguably an acronym for "Lazy Ignorant Fucker Expecting Retirement'! Compare OLD BREED, OLD SWEAT, RETREAD, HOMESTEADER, FLATHEAD, CHERRY, FNG, NEWBEE; see FOLLOW THE DRUM, TICKET-PUNCHER, MILICRAT, KHAKI MAFIA, VULCANIZE, RIGHT ARM, BOOTSTRAP, DOUBLE-DIP, BIG GREEN PARADISE.

any of the supportive holds (eg: cross-body carry, head hold, etc) administered by a lifeguard when aiding a drowning victim or when recovering a drowned corpse from the water; also called "lifesaving carry". Also, a carry used to transport a semi- or unconscious person from the water to a transfer point on the beach, as by positioning the victim's body horizontally across the small of the rescuer's back, with one of the victim's arms laid across the rescuer's shoulders, so that the rescuer can support the victim's weight with both arms hooked around the victim's torso (presenting an extra wide but very stable load); compare FIREMAN'S CARRY, DRAG; see LITTER-BEARER, STRETCHER-BEARER, MEDIC, DOC, CORPSMAN, ORDERLY, COOLIE, CHIGGIE BEAR. [cf: dead lift]

a single helicopter trip transporting people or carrying cargo from a loading area to a landing zone; see COMPANY LIFT, EAGLE FLIGHT, PZ, LZ, CLZ, compare SORTIE. Also, the transport of any load, usually specifying its weight or quantity, by any means, whether emergency or routine, such as airlift or sealift; see LOADOUT, PAYLOAD [cf: picul]. Also, indirect fire support, such as naval gunfire, that has been redirected or discontinued, as when shifting an artillery (ARTY) bombardment so ground troops can advance. Also, that component of force, opposite to the pull of gravity, exerted by air upon an airfoil in a direction perpendicular to its forward motion. Also, to exalt, as elevated in RANK or position. Also, to rescind, as the removal of an official curfew or ban.

the deliberate disclosure or the inadvertent revelation of an operational cover story, such as exposing a THROW-AWAY as a counterintelligence ploy; expressed as "the DANGLE lifted his skirt" or "he got drunk and his skirt lifted"; also called "flipped skirt". See NAKED, BOLT HOLE, DECOY, RABBIT, COVER, LEGEND, CLEAN, NOC, TRADECRAFT. [v: WWII deception Operation Mincemeat, "the man who never was"] [cf: anásyrma]

Douglas C-118 cargo aircraft; see BIRD.

unencumbered or unburdened, as being lightly armed and equipped (eg: light cavalry, light infantry [ie: 11th LIB, 196th LIB, 198 LIB, 199 LIB]), with the implication of swift mobility, of fast response, of rapid reaction; see RRF, SMU, SOF, RANGER, STRIKE FORCE, FIRE BRIGADE, BURNING WORM, BUTCHER BRIGADE. [nb: Vietnamese term: Su Doan Khinh Chien (light division)] Also, any form of natural or artificial electromagnetic radiation (400 - 700 nanometers at 186,282 miles per second) which illuminates, making things visible; see FLASHLIGHT, BLINKER, LIGHT STICK, BUD LIGHT, FLARE, PEN FLARE, SLAP-FLARE, VERY PISTOL, BASKETBALL, GREEN-EYE, NVG, NVD, NOD, I2, ENVIS, STARLIGHT, FIELD GLASSES, VIPER, PEEPERS, PERISCOPE; compare CAT'S-EYES, GLINT TAPE, IR, FLIR, LRAS3, IR MARKERS, RADAR, BEAM, AIS, HOMER, PIPSQUEAK, IFF, SQUAWK. [v: cresset]

a Vietnam-era catch-phrase that quickly became a cliché meaning problems are passing and relief is nigh, trouble is over and better times are ahead; used by John F. Kennedy (1962), Joseph Alsop (1965), Lyndon B. Johnson (1966), and many others until Robert Lowell (1977) reversed the metaphor with "It's the light of the oncoming train."

Lieutenant Colonel rank
slang for Lieutenant Colonel (LTC/LtCol, O-5), being equivalent to a Naval Commander; so-called because the RANK is not yet a FULL BIRD / FULL BULL colonel. As with lieutenants and generals, it is customary to address both GRADEs as "colonel", unless the distinction is an insult or reprimand. See OFFICER, RANK.

temporary restriction or limitation in performance requirements due to illness or injury; see PROFILE, WHOLE MAN.

a large, open, flat-bottomed vessel used to transport cargo from ship to WHARF, often towed or pushed; a sailless JUNK or barge [cf: bark, barque] used to ferry passengers, especially when reserved for pageants or FLAG OFFICERS; see SCOW. Also, a mechanical device containing fuel, wick, and igniter (flint) that's used to inflame combustible materials, especially tobacco products for smoking, including brands like Ronson (1913), Zippo (1932), and Bic (1973); see ZIPPO, SLOW MATCH, FUSE. [nb: the 1913 "Wonderliter" by Louis V. Aronson was the first successful pocket lighter, and was advertised as "Always lights the first time.", which slogan later became the basis of the 'Ronson' nickname for the M-4 SHERMAN tank and other gas-fueled armored combustibles; unlike ZIPPO, the Ronson Art Metal Works diversified during wartime into military products, from bomb fuses to flamethrowers] [v: "Man from the South" by Roald Dahl, a 'conte cruel' account of a cigarette lighter bet]

USN F-3 submarine-hunting jet; compare ORION, DASH; see ASW. Also, USAF F-22 fighter jet; see BIRD. This name formerly designated the Lockheed P-38 split TAILBOOM fighter, nicknamed "Fork Tailed Devil", that was employed for high speed, high altitude, long distance DOGFIGHTs during WWII; see PATHFINDER.

nickname of the DAKOTA C-47 FLARESHIP flown during the KOREAN WAR. Also, a small fixed-wing airplane (BIRD DOG) that could release aerial flares while performing ground observation in the KOREAN WAR; also called FIREFLY. Also, an aerial team consisting of one searchlight or arc lamp equipped helicopter operating with two GUNSHIPS, typically flying PERIMETER guard around fire bases (FSB) or BASE CAMPs in Vietnam; also called FIREFLY; see MOONBEAM, MOONSHINE, SMOKY BEAR, BASKETBALL; compare SNOOPY.

designates the supersonic F-35 medium bomber and attack aircraft produced by a consortium of manufacturers (ie: Lockheed, Martin, Northrop-Grumman, BAE Systems), and known during development as the "Joint Strike Fighter" (JSF); its maximum speed is classified.

to begin, start, or activate something, especially a mechanical device (eg: vehicle motor, jet engine, etc); also expressed as "crank"; see JUMP-START, SPOOL-UP, SADDLE-UP, MOVE OUT, TRIGGER, HOOPLA, BATTAILOUS. Also, slang for engage or fire upon the enemy; also expressed as LIGHT UP.

a small lightweight satellite developed by DARPA; see SAT, NRO, SATCOM.

also called "sound and light show"; see FIREWORKS, LOOM, WATERWORKS.

the order to extinguish all BASE, POST, or BARRACK lights; a condition where no illumination is permitted to show, that any lighting must be masked; compare BLACKOUT. Also, the BUGLE CALL directing "lights out" at bedtime on the COMPOUND or RESERVATION; compare REVEILLE, RETREAT, TATTOO; see TAPS, SCOTT TATTOO. Also, a euphemism for unconsciousness; also called BLACKOUT; compare GRAYOUT, BROWN-OUT, RED-OUT. [v: visual blackout (amaurosis fugax)]

informal designation for the chemical luminescent light, properly called a "chemiluminescent light", and also known as a "chemical light" (or "chem light"), "glow stick" (or "glo-stick"), "glow-light" (or "glo-lite"), "snap light", and "cold light". A LIGHT STICK is a colored plastic tube filled with liquid chemicals separated by a membrane, which when said barrier is broken, allows the fluids to reactively mix and emit a cold soft light (called "chemiluminescence") for several hours (from 6 to 12), which is bright enough to read maps and notes by during night operations without supplemental vision systems. This LIGHT STICK, an invention patented by Omniglow and manufactured by Cyalume, is used in the field for signaling and marking, in select colors, and works equally well underwater. An infrared (IR) version is also available for instrument detection. A larger version, commonly called a "glow belt" or "glow ring", is available for use at check-points or WAY POINTs. Another mechanism, manufactured by Krill, uses a battery to operate the "electronic lightstick" and "electric chem light". These LIGHT STICKs should not be identified by tradename (such as "chem-light", "chemlight", "chem-lite", "chemlite", etc). Phosphor luminance was experimentally used during WWII by special operations elements, significantly by the OSS. See BUZZ SAW, FLASHLIGHT, NVG, CAT'S-EYES, BUD LIGHT, BLINKER. [v: cresset] [nb: in an effort to control costs and reduce waste, the DoD has instituted a policy of "non-duplication" in military procurement (Military Adaptable Commercial Item {MACI}), such that a mil-spec contract will NOT be let whenever a commercial "off the shelf" (COTS) product is "close enough for government work" and does not require special features; so some name brand items are now in logistical inventory]


slang expression meaning to fire on the enemy; also expressed as "light off". Also, informal reference to igniting tobacco products for personal consumption, as a form of relaxation after working or eating; compare THREE ON A MATCH; see SMOKING LAMP.

the key phrase of the notorious metaphor that was made famous by Walter P. Ruther when alluding to communists: "If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it just may be a duck." See PINKO, USEFUL IDIOTS, RED, COMMIE. [cf: "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet"; "You can call a horse a duck all you want, but at the end of the day, it's still a horse."; "If you call a dog's tail a leg, the poor dog still has only four legs."; "You can proclaim the nation peace-loving, the army invincible, and the dollar sound, but ...."]

timorous or cowardly, from the old notion that a craven's liver was bloodless; also known as "pigeon-livered" or "white-livered" ... as from "How many cowards, whose hearts are all as false / As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins / The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars, / Who, inward search'd, have livers white as milk." by William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice (1596). See WHITE FLAG, STRIKE THE FLAG, SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT, VIETNAM SYNDROME, WHITE FEATHER, FRENCH FLU. [cf: "white (or pale) about the gills" for fear, terror, or sickness; v: chicken-hearted, faint-hearted, yellow-bellied, poor-spirited, half-hearted, weak-kneed, spineless, soft-headed] [nb: symbolically the lily, or "fleur de lis", also means pale, weak, meek, timid, delicate, and pure; it is the national emblem of France]

the word assigned to represent the letter "L" in the international phonetic alphabet; at various times in different spelling schemes, it has also been acrophonetically represented as Love. See ALPHABET SOUP, PHONETIC ALPHABET. [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags]

phonetic for "LL" meaning Low Level, as in aircraft altitude Ground-Controlled Intercept (GCI).

designation for any landing area, especially an aircraft landing site; as derived by substituting the phonetic 'L' for landing, but not the phonetic 'S' for site; see LZ, CLZ, PZ, INFIL, EXFIL, FALSE INSERTIONS, FLIP-FLOP, THRESHOLD, TOUCHDOWN, PSP, MARSDEN MATTING, MOBI-MAT, RUNWAY.

CODENAME designation given to a RADAR site (TACAN) in Laos, established August 1966, situated atop Phou Pha Thi, and adjacent to an airstrip at the base of that pinnacle; this all-weather VECTOR was overrun by an NVA attack on 10 March 1968. See COMMANDO CLUB, HEAVY GREEN, BLACK LADY MOUNTAIN; compare HICKORY, LEGHORN, RR.

the front part of the (formerly horse-drawn) carriage for a field gun, to which the TRAILs ("outrigger legs") of the gun are attached; being a type of carrier or trailer for hauling a cannon, including a "limber box" (CAISSON) of ready ammunition. Artillery is now mounted on a CHASSIS and dragged around by a towing bar, or mounted in a HULL and driven (SP) to its destination, whenever they're not airlifted into place. See TOWED, TRUNNION, TRANSOM, PRIME MOVER, ARTY; compare UNLIMBER.

an ammunition chest kept with the artillery gun or howitzer for immediate use; known in NavSpeak as a "ready box" for AMMO held handy beside small cannons and antiaircraft guns aboard ships. See CAISSON.

LIMited DUty; see PROFILE.

a warfare doctrine in which at least one of the belligerents deliberately restricts its aims and conduct, its commitment and resources, such as the "police action" of the KOREAN WAR or the ENCLAVE STRATEGY of the VIETNAM WAR; a doctrine advocated by Maxwell D. Taylor. See INSURGENCY, GUERRILLA WARFARE, GRADUATED RESPONSE, FLEXIBLE RESPONSE, THE LESSER OF EVILS, BRUSH FIRE WAR, WARS OF NATIONAL LIBERATION, LOW-INTENSITY CONFLICT, STRUGGLE, PROXY WAR, UNDECLARED WAR, COLD WAR; compare TOTAL WAR. [nb: "The essence of war is violence; moderation in war is imbecility." by John Fisher / Thomas Babington Macaulay]

a RANK of troops or fortifications abreast (widthwise), as in a "line of attack"; as distinguished from FILE or COLUMN; see TOE THE LINE, REFUSE. Also, a boundry or demarcation (eg: FRONT LINE, CHOP LINE). Also, any thread, string, CORD, SPAGHETTI, GUY, ROPE, HEAVING LINE, GANTLINE, RATLINE, SHROUD, TOWLINE, HAWSER, or the like, and made without wire, for various uses (eg: RAPPEL, BELAY, HIGHLINE, TYROLEAN TRAVERSE, LET-DOWN ROPE, ROPE BRIDGE, tether, TOWLINE). Compare CABLE, SHOCK CORD, LANDLINE. [nb: in NavSpeak, 'line' is any length of cordage cut from a spool of 'rope', albeit natural or synthetic, braided or twisted, as distinguished from wire cable or woven webbing; 'small line' is classified by the number of strands that comprise it (eg: 9-thread line), while 'large line' is sized by its circumference (rather than its diameter)] [v: Climbing Terms] Also, in NavSpeak, informal reference to the equator, as in the "line-crossing" ceremony.

designation given to air operations against North Vietnam; subdivided into LINEBACKER I from May 1972 to October 1972, and LINEBACKER II during December 1972.

a close quarters combat system that's derived from various MARTIAL ART disciplines, which was developed by Ron Donvito, a retired Marine combat-arms specialist, for use by select military elements from 1989 to 2007; the name of this combat system is a contrived acronym: Linear Infighting Neural Override Engagement, Seven Deadly Moves of Combat philosophy. The LINE system was found to be lacking in flexibility, especially techniques for use in situations that didn't require lethal force, so while it was designed to be performed by any MIL-PERS in reduced visibility conditions while wearing full combat gear, confronting an asymmetrical force while highly stressed or fatigued, its movements eliminated any requirement for feats of strength or agility. Although designed to be easily learned, in common with other MARTIAL ART disciplines, the LINE combat system was found to demand too much drill to maintain a high degree of proficiency. LINE was replaced by the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) in 2002, and LINE was replaced by the Modern Army Combatives Program (MACP) in October 2007; however, it remains available for instruction to members of state and federal agencies, including high risk law enforcement officers and private industry contractors.

the ceremony associated with movement from one hemisphere to the other across the equator aboard a ship, in observance of the arcane rites decreed by Neptune's representative; see GOLDEN DRAGON, POLLYWOG, SHELLBACK, CHUM, NUGGET, TADPOLE, PUP; compare DOLPHIN DIVE, SALTING, EARRING, INITIATION. [nb: according to legend, a sailor acquired a pierced EARRING when "crossing the line" (equator), which was alleged to improve his eyesight]

a long-distance CONVOY or TRAIN of military trucks; also called "long haul"; see FIREBALLING, RED BALL, LOG-PAC, WHEEL JOCKEY. [v: catenate / concatenate]

a line formed by troops or ships for delivering or receiving an attack, as a battle line arrayed for combat; a formation of troops or ships arranged (in line ahead or line abreast) for engagement in battle. Also, a vessel or vehicle designed for FRONT LINE service, as a "ship of the line" or a "main battle tank" (MBT).


an actual or designated PHASE LINE that's used to coordinate the movement of assault elements or attack forces so as to enable their scheduled arrival(s) on their specified objective(s); also identified as "LD". Compare MLR, FEBA, FCSL, FLOT, IP, POD, STAGE, SERIAL, LAUNCH SITE, RALLY POINT, WAY POINT.

actions performed under authority of lawful orders, such as disposal of equipment or destruction of property; see SOP, SCRIPTURES, TOE THE LINE, DUTY. Also, criterion for determination of "service-connected" (SC) eligibility in post-war veteran's benefits; see PROFILE, MILLION DOLLAR WOUND, PINK, PH, CONVERSION SYMPTOMS, WHOLE MAN, PEB, TDRL, PDRL, GI BILL, PENSION, BLOOD MONEY, COMPENSATION, DOUBLE-DIP, THE EAGLE SHITS. [nb: Service-Connected (SC) disability compensation and Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) are benefit categories for military persons retired for medical reasons] [nb: service-connected or combat-related is the standard that covers those injuries and diseases attributable to the special dangers associated with armed conflict, or the preparation or training for armed conflict, making the servicemember unfit, or contributing to their unfitness, which catastrophicor other impairments were incurred under honorable conditions while performing assigned duties]

a military or naval OFFICER serving with combat units or WARSHIPs, as distinguished from a staff officer, supply officer, medical officer, and the like; see CHAIN-OF-COMMAND, compare RESTRICTED LINE.


that which is in direct view, especially that direct line between friendly forces and the visible enemy, without intervening obstacles; also known as "line of fire", such that if other elements are situated inbetween FRIENDLIES and the FOE, then the RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE) may require restraint or engagement by indirect fire only. [nb: it's a Murphy Law of Combat that: "If you can see, then you can be seen; and if you can be seen, then you can be hit; and if you can be hit, then you can be killed."]

any language that is widely used as a means of communication among speakers of other languages; sometimes called "trade language", and derived from 'Frankish' + 'tongue', as the Italianate pidgin spoken in Mediterranean Sea ports from the Medieval era. The first natural language which transcended its borders by military and religious dissemination was Greek (Koine), succeeded by Latin, both being displaced by French for literary and academic applications (eg: langue d'oc, langue d'oïl / d'oil) during the 17th century, which has been replaced by English since the 19th century as a result of science and trade. Artificial languages, developed for science and communications, have been developed to improve information exchange and enhance international relations; notably Interlingua, Esperanto, and Ido. A synthesized language contrives a consistent syntax, but natural languages (eg: Aramaic, Austronesian, Bislama, Chinook Jargon, Hausa/Haussa, Indonesian, Kongo/Kikongo, Krio, Lingala, Lozi, Pilipino, Sango, Swahili, Tahitian, Yiddish) evolve both their grammar and vocabulary; which irregularity makes them both vital and enticing. See PIDGIN, BAMBOO ENGLISH, GOOKANESE, DOUBLE DUTCH, POLYGLOT, CREOLE, MONKEY VOICES, VERNACULAR, TALK THE TALK, MIL-SPEAK. [nb: despite the Mongol reign over most of medieval EurAsia for centuries, its linguistic legacy has been sparse, with only remnant influences in Magyar, Samoyedic, and Uralic; while Hispanic conquests have culturally persisted, making Spanish a global linguistic contender; and due to a combination of the international suppression of Judeo-Christian propagation by communists and fascists, and global proselytizing by Muslims, making Islam the world's fastest growing religion, the Arabic language (which supplanted Aramaic) is now being insinuated and interlarded into native tongues worldwide]

ammunition connected by interlocking links for continuous automatic fire from "belt fed" machineguns (MG), which is separated or disconnected after firing during the extraction/ejection process. Early machinegun models employed semi-permanent re-usable belts into which the assistant gunner or loader inserted separate CARTRIDGEs after inspecting each belt for defects that would interfere with smooth firing; these belts were succeeded by "disintegrating" links ... which could be reassembled into a new belt using resupply AMMO if time permitted. Belts of LINK AMMO can be attached to each other by the assistant gunner to extend firing, or detached near the receiver to stop a COOK-OFF of runaway firing. Most LINK AMMO is interlarded with TRACER rounds. The manner of carry or distribution of extra LINK AMMO for MGs as portrayed in books or movies is a reliable TELLTALE for detecting phonies. See AMMO, AMMO CAN; compare CLIP, MAG, DRUM.


a WWII-era type of instrument flight simulator that provided realistic instruction (and testing) in a safe and inexpensive environment, recording performance readouts while assisting students to accommodate vertigo and other disorientations. Flight school included physical exercise, ground school (flight theory and mechanics), and supervised or directed flying lessons, with the latter augmented by LINK TRAINER simulations whenever new aircraft or new techniques were scheduled, or bad weather interrupted the regular training schedule. Compare TRAINER.

a colloquialism used since the WWII-era to indicate a positive connection, or the establishment of contact or linkage between the elements of military units. Also, any connection creating a network or system; also called HOOKUP.

designation given to Ubon Control and Reporting Post (CRP).

an insincere expression of confidence or support, admiration or loyalty; a bogus pledge of commitment or a feigned promise of conduct tendered by words only, but not acted upon. See EYE SERVICE, BLOW SMOKE, TAP-DANCER, SHOOT THE SHIT, HOT AIR, WASHINGTON WALTZ, PULL ONE'S PUNCHES, WOOF, TALK TRASH, SMOKE 'n' MIRRORS, CREDIBILITY GAP, SUMMER SOLDIER, SUNSHINE PATRIOT, TREASON, DEFECT, TURNCOAT, QUISLING, TRAITOR, DESERTER, WHITE VC; compare WATCH MY SMOKE, BRING SMOKE, ROOT HOG OR DIE, RISKY-SHIFT EFFECT. [nb: "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me." Matthew 15:8]

polite Vietnamese custom when dining to signify appreciation; equivalent of "tastes good", "delicious", or "yummy". See FOOD COMA. [nb: the Western custom of showing appreciation for a toothsome meal by polishing the plate clean is rudely gluttonous in Eastern custom, where it is polite for the host to always refill an empty plate or glass]

a distilled beverage, such as brandy or whiskey, which is distinguished from a fermented beverage, such as wine or beer; see HOOCH, compare BREW. Also, any liquid substance, such as broth from cooked meat or vegetables, often as a concentrated solution; see JUICE, SOUP, BULLY SOUP, POOR MAN'S STEW, SLUMGULLION, POT LIQUOR, STONE SOUP, SLOP, WASH.

the basic monetary unit of Italy, Malta, and Turkey; "lire" is plural form; derived from POUND. See LEGAL TENDER.

signalman's or radio operator's duty assignment, usually at headquarters or communications center, intended to monitor all routine and unusual transmissions; see INTERNATIONAL RADIO SILENCE, RTP, RADIO, COMMO, EARS.

an air-coOled, DUFFEL BAG sized canvas container with several spigot-cocks, as used for dispensing potable water; also spelled "Lyster bag" as an eponymous variant after its inventor, William John Le Hunte Lyster, a U.S. Army surgeon and public health physician, who introduced a rubber-lined heavy canvas bag with a tight-fitting cover as a container for chemically-treated water in 1907, which has since been used extensively ... water dosed with a chlorine solution is potable after 30-minutes. See CANTEEN, WATER BUFFALO, POD, BLIVET, BLADDER, DOUCHE BAG, SOLAR STILL, EVAPORATOR, WATER PURIFICATION TABLET. [v: cask, vat, tun, butt, drum, hogshead, barrel, tank, rundlet, kilderkin, puncheon, keg, carboy, breaker, jug, tub, firkin, salmanazar, pottle, flask, pony, gill, pot, flagon, bottle, demijohn]

any of several Gram-positive, rod-shaped, parasitic bacteria, aerobic to microaerophilic, motile and peritrichous, of the genus listeria, pathogenic for humans and cold-blooded (poikilothermic) or warm-blooded (homeothermic) animals, causing upper respiratory infection or encephalitis; often ingested as a toxin, it was first identified during the early Vietnam-era, and named after Joseph Lister, a 19th century pioneer of antisepsis.

this standard test of a chemical medium became an allegorical analogy for "true blue" patriotism and corrosive "acid red" communism; and by extension, any single issue or crucial factor determinant used as the basis for a judgment or conclusion. See YELLOW RIBBON, COLORS, LODGE-PHILBIN ACT, V-CAMPAIGN, CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER, WINTER SOLDIER, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, DUTY. [cf: "acid test" coined by Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters (ca1965)]

a framework of cloth stretched between two parallel rods or bars, often folding or collapsible, used as a conveyance to transport a sick or wounded person; sometimes called DOOLIE; compare SKEDCO, BASKET, STRETCHER; see STRETCHER-BEARER, LITTER-BEARER. Also, a disorderly or untidy condition, or the elements of same, especially when detritus or rubbish is exposed; also called "urban tumbleweeds"; see CLUTTER, ARABIAN TUMBLEWEEDS, SPAGHETTI, POLICE CALL, GI PARTY, SQUARED AWAY, SHIPSHAPE, GI CAN, BUTT CAN, DUSTBIN, FILE 13, FLAP, SALUTE. Also, a wheelless vehicle borne by draft or porters, consisting of a covered and curtained bed or couch suspended between shafts; also called palanquin/palankeen, palki/palkee, jiao, gama, sedan chair, hand truck, pushcart, tug-truck, pull-truck; see DUMMY STICK, YO-HO POLE, CHIGGIE BEAR, RICKSHA, PEDICAB, CYCLO, HACK, RICE-BURNER.


an operations and research base in Antarctica, the "white continent", situated on the Bay of Whales and south of the Ross Sea, used to house scientists and as a point of departure for expeditions; established in 1929 by Admiral Richard E. Byrd; see DEEP FREEZE, ICE STATION, RED NOSE. [v: Antarctic Treaty 1 December 1959] Also, the uniquely and intrinsically nativist installation, be it a rugged outpost or built-up permanent post, that's representative of the modern American military, especially since the mid-19th century, wherein a PERIMETER of FOXHOLEs with straddle trench LATRINEs is inexorably transmogrified into villas and manors provisioned with lavish CREATURE COMFORTS and ex-officio entertainments! The JUMP CP soon becomes a mansion, the TENTs are outfitted with refridgerators, ironing boards and shoe-shine stands mysteriously appear, and a COMFORT STATION is constructed coincident with lounges offering slot-machines! Primitive cots are replaced by hospital beds, sound systems are brought back from the PX/BX, and a flagpole for REVEILLE or RETREAT ceremonies is artistically manicured! USO shows are scheduled between the latest Hollywood releases, which are shown on the "back" (opposite the FRONT LINE) of the MESSHALL, where hot dogs and pizza, popcorn and ice cream are served to gristled GRUNTs during intermission! Whenever US troops COMMANDEER foreign dwellings, they are shortly wired and plumbed to stateside code! The UGLY AMERICAN does not "fit in" when overseas, he takes over; and would be dangerous if he weren't so kind and generous, and if the enemy didn't occasionally force him out of his HOMESTEAD! Foreign nationals (FN) do not understand this mania to remake the world over in the image of the American homeland, but the SLICKY BOYs are usually very grateful for the BLACK MARKET opportunities that befall them. See FOB, FSB, LSA, BASE CAMP, COMPOUND, GARRISON, BASE, RESERVATION, SHADOW OF THE FLAGPOLE, DODGE CITY, CRUSADER FORT, FOUR CORNERS, BLOOD ALLEY, SIN CITY, HELL ON WHEELS, HELL'S HALF ACRE; compare CHINATOWN, LITTLE TOKYO, K-TOWN, LITTLE SAIGON, HO CHI MINH TRAIL, SIGG, LITTLE TIGER. [v: "What happens in Sin City stays in Sin City!"] [nb: not to be confused with the "Little America Travel Centers" in Wyoming]

the armed version (AH-6 series) of the Hughes CAYUSE Light Observation helicopter (OH-6 series), including aircrew and armed "outriders" perched [v: dickey] on the skids; usually operates in a dual configuration or in tandem with a larger CHOPPER. The high speed (150knots), great maneuverability, and aerodynamic versatility of this helicopter, coupled with the visual effect of DOORGUNNERs riding outside the cabin on the skids, has captured the public's imagination and made its missions very popular. See LOH, SPERM, SILVER EAGLES, EGGBEATER, WHIRLY BIRD, CHOPPER.


affectionate reference to INDIGenous personnel serving with ADVISORs; in contrast to ethnic or racial disparagements, such as Vietnamese "moi" (savage) for the MONTAGNARDs, or Lao "meo" (barbarian) for the Hmong. This phrase, attributed to William Howard Taft in 1900, was originally used to encourage good and fair treatment of Filipinos after the SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR; but because GUERRILLA fighting persisted in remote areas, it was rebutted on the basis of imputed 'brotherhood' ("He ain't no brother of mine!"), and this refutation ignored the adjectives 'little' and 'brown', which phrase was in marked contrast to the "little brown boy" epithet used extensively during the 19th and 20th centuries as a racist or paternalistic slur of WOGs. A similar phrase, "little brown buddy", was later used by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to refer to Filipinos. See BUDDHAHEAD, BASKET HEAD, YARD, FUZZY-WUZZY, GUNGA DIN, CHINDIT, FLIP, BEANER, CREOLE, COON-ASS, REDBONE, MUJ, GONE NATIVE, BUSH HANKY, INDIG; compare LITTLE PEOPLE, MAN FRIDAY, YELLOW PERIL, YELLOW DOG, DINK, GOOK, SLOPE, SLANT-EYE, RICE BALL, ZIP, ANNAMITE SASQUATCH, RAGHEAD.

slang for the aerodynamic canister that can be towed behind an airplane as a DECOY, presenting a larger infrared (IR) or RADAR cross section than the true target itself; used with CHAFF and other COUNTERMEASURES, this device can be reeled-in after deployment for later use, if it has not been damaged or destroyed while evading detection; see MAD.

(forthcoming); invading infiltrators; compare PINK ELEPHANTS

see BASEBALL; compare JV.


despite the fact that a person's genitals are almost always covered in public, and that size has little to do with sexual gratification or procreation, an individual who is insecure about the reality of their physiognomy or status will often attempt to compensate for their perceived lack or shortcoming with aggressive or flamboyant behavior, because they are desperate for the acceptance and esteem, the respect and regard that they believe that they are unable to achieve by being their true or authentic self; a disorder wherein someone who aggressively strives to overcome their unreasonable sense of inferiority through overtly factitious behavior or the acquisition of socially reinforcing tokens; a pronounced striving to neutralize and conceal a strong but unacceptable character trait by substituting an alternative or opposite trait for it instead. An affliction most frequently attributed to white/Caucasian males, studies have proven that there is no statistical difference in the size of reproductive organs among human, regardless of the myth of black/African prowess, and that this compulsive insecurity probably has more to do with the competitive nature of male interaction than with over-educated Westerners creating a problem where one does not actually exist; furthermore, there is no proof that intelligence is inversely proportional to penis size, which seemingly runs the normative gamut across class and caste. Men who are obsessed with the appearance of their genitals will often compensate for this insecurity by routinely exercising or bodybuilding, by participating in sports or martial arts, by working in highly technical or hazardous fields, by purchasing complicated gadgets and devices, by owning oversized houses and boats, by acquiring overly powerful vehicles and firearms ... all of which objects are known as "penis substitutes". In addition, these men with weak egos tend to lie about their activities and accomplishments, exaggerating them to the point of ludicrous farce ... the most common being, of course, their sexual conquests. This aberration is also known as "small penis syndrome", "little cock syndrome", and "teenie-weenie peenie". See PRICK, CU, JOYSTICK, HOT DOG, HOSE,BAYONET, BIRD, DIPPER, SUPER-TROOPER, SWEAT HOG, HARD CHARGER, FAST MOVER, BOOMER, HOT SHOT, BALLS TO THE WALL, MOXIE, GUTS, RED-BLOODED, FIGJAM, GOLDEN BOY, HOT-SHIT, TOP DOG, PISSING CONTEST, FIRING LINE, GOLDEN PENIS SYNDROME, MACHO, TESTOSTERONE ZONE; compare DEAD-SOLDIER, ONIONS, THE PENIS AS GENIUS, LITTLE PRICK. [ety: 'überkompensation' coined by Alfred Adler] [nb: compensatory SUPER-TROOPER syndrome: big complicated wristwatch = simple little weenie!] [v: penis enhancement surgery, steroidal testicular shrinkage; cf: penis envy, small breast complex, short person syndrome, little man complex]

any group of underlings or subordinates, with the implication of inferiority, as that teeming horde of plodding and menial minions, or that great mass of uncouth and unwashed lackeys; also known as the "Little Man" of ordinary convention and unremarkable tradition; see SWINE LOG, HUMAN ZOO; compare GOOD PEOPLE, GOOD STICK, GO TO GUY. Also, a dismissive reference to persons of small stature or slight build, especially racial or ethnic types presumed to be mentally, physically, or morally "weaker" than the prime titans of robust narcissism; see FN, WOG, INDIG, BUDDHAHEAD, BASKET HEAD, FOREIGN DEVIL, UGLY AMERICAN, ELEPHANT, RUNTS 'n' CUNTS.

slang for the newly promoted, recent graduate of the Leadership Preparation Course (LPC; Little PriCk), who acts like an arrogant MARTINET or taskmaster; being someone too young and inexperienced to use his authority wisely ... based upon the well known fact that a prick has a head but no brains! See INCOC, NCOA, SHAKE 'n' BAKE, BRASS EAR, RAMROD, LDR, UP OR OUT. [nb: known as "pannikin boss" by AUSSIE and KIWI troops]

informal reference to the pocket-sized abridgement of the collected speeches and writings of Mao Tse-tung (Mao Zedong); a small book of quotations (c1966) excerpted from the collected speeches and writings of Mao Tse-tung (Mao Zedong) that was published for the Red Guard during the "Cultural Revolution" and the "Great Leap Forward" in the People's Republic of China (RED CHINA). Probably the most reprinted book in the 20th century, THE LITTLE RED BOOK (together with the VIET CONG flag) became an iconic symbol of the anti-establishment and anti-war attitude exhibited by PROTESTORs in America, but its possession (and instantaneous recitation) by CHICOMs was mandatory, with failure being severely punished. The 427 quotations, organized into 33 thematic chapters, range in length from a sentence to a couple of short paragraphs that were selected from about two dozen works gathered in four volumes. Some analysts now report that the socioeconomic failure of the "Cultural Revolution" and the "Great Leap Forward", and the concurrent mass suffering, was due to the development of a "cult of personality" that diverted essential energies from work into the study of these quotations. See MOUSY DUNG, PROPAGANDA.

an ethnic Asian enclave situated among other distinctly homogeneous neighborhoods and shopping districts within a larger metropolitan area; similar to "Korea town" [aka: "K-town"] or "Little Tokyo" [aka: "Japtown"], and not unlike other exclusive districts (eg: "Little Italy" or "Germantown", "Little Armenia" or "Thai town", ghetto or darktown). Compare HO CHI MINH TRAIL, CHINATOWN, LITTLE AMERICA, SIGG, LITTLE TIGER; see DP, BOAT PEOPLE.

nickname of Formosa/Taiwan, being the location of the Republic of China (RoC), established 1949, by contrast with the "Big Tiger" of the People's Republic of China (PRC) or RED CHINA; see CHINAT, CHINDIT, CHINK, PROPRIETARY AIRLINE, SHANKER JACK, DRAGON LADY, MOUSY DUNG.

an ethnic Asian enclave situated among other distinctly homogeneous neighborhoods and shopping districts within a larger metropolitan area; also known as "Japtown", and similar to "Korea town" [aka: "K-town"] or "Little Saigon", and not unlike other exclusive districts (eg: "Little Italy" or "Germantown", "Little Armenia" or "Thai town", ghetto or darktown). Compare HO CHI MINH TRAIL, CHINATOWN, LITTLE AMERICA, SIGG, LITTLE TIGER; see DP, BOAT PEOPLE.

see AMMO, LINK AMMO, TRACER, BULLET, HARDBALL, DUMDUM, CARTRIDGE, SHELL, WARHEAD, HANG FIRE, COOK-OFF, CALIBER, MUNITIONS; compare BLANK, SIM-AMMO, DUMMY, MILES. [nb: long barreled weapons (including RIFLE, BAR, CAR, MG) fire the same type of AMMO, and short barreled weapons (including SMG, PISTOL) shoot the same kind of AMMO.] [nb: RIFLEd guns are denoted "inch" (eg: 3" Field Gun called "three incher"), which is the diameter of the projectile, while SMOOTHBORE cannons are denoted "pound" (eg: 12# Mountain HOWITZER called "twelve pounder"), which is the weight of the projectile] [nb: although "gauge" is actually a measure of weight (not size), representing the bore diameter sized to equal the number of lead balls of that diameter to weigh one pound avoirdupois (12ga converts to .69cal), but the so-called ".410ga" SMOOTHBORE barrel is actually a caliber] [v: Firearms Glossary]

(lee-wha) U.S. Army's Land Information Warfare Activity.

slang for the primitive or survival brain that functions instinctually, not cerebrally, being the primal brain that controls unconscious and involuntary activities; situated in the brainstem [ie: medulla oblongata, pons, midbrain (mesencephalon), hypothalamus], it operates the limbic and autonomic nervous systems. It's the non-thinking (or gut-feeling) part of the brain that prompts reflexive reactions before the stimulus can be recognized or the situation analyzed. See SIXTH SENSE, SPIDER SENSE, MOJO, HOODOO, PARANOIA. [aka: paleencephalon / paleoencephalon; v: amygdala; cf: triune brain] Also, in the same manner as WONK or BRAINIAC, a descriptive reference for a person who is calculating and unemotional, seemingly cold-blooded and insensitive; see HACK, BRUTE, UGLY AMERICAN.

L&L / L & L / L-and-L :
Liaison and Logistics, being the person or department within the DAO that's responsible for supporting remote military detachments from a US embassy in a foreign country.

ARVN Special Forces patch
(el-el-dee-bee) Luc Luong Dac Biet, being the Vietnamese Special Forces (VNSF), which initially served as presidential security (along with the Vietnamese Airborne) more than COUNTER-GUERRILLA and UW duty; and as a result of being so politically connected, were sometimes derogatorily derided as "Look Long Duck Back". When the USSF departed RVN on 5 March 1971 during the VIETNAMIZATION process, the LLDB/VNSF disbanded (unlike the Vietnamese Marines and SEALs), with their personnel and assets reassigned to either SVN Airborne or Ranger units. The motto of the Vietnamese Special Forces was "Honor and Gallantry" (Danh Du-Dung Cam). See STD, THUNDER TIGER, BORDER DEFENSE RANGER. [nb: the "leaping tiger" motif of the LLDB/VNSF patch was variously adapted during the VIETNAM WAR by the Vietnamese, many of whom had attended specialized training in American military centers, with the most ironic being their adoption of the "Tony the Tiger" symbol used to advertise Kellogg breakfast cereals and Esso gasoline since 1941 ... the Vietnamese enlistment of this cartoon figure as a mascot for their most elite force led many GIs to comment scathingly about their prowess]

(el-em-dee) Large Military Desk, and variously Large Metal Desk or Large Mahogany Desk, being the most common work area in the military; a play on words used by desk jockeys in an attempt to relate their paper-shuffling to LANDING CRAFT assaults. A "large desk", like a big stick or fancy hat, is a metonymic symbol of power and prestige (the bigger the desk then the more important the person behind it), however the people who need a large desk because they do all the paperwork must work on the smallest surfaces! ... the military will become efficient when form follows function. See DRUMHEAD, GROUNDED, ORIFICE, PENCIL PUSHER, DESK MAPPING, REMF, CLERKS 'n' JERKS, CANDY-ASS, PUKE, ACETATE COMMANDO, BEAN-COUNTER, TAP-DANCER, BOMB-PROOF, CHAIRBORNE, DOG ROBBER, MILICRAT, RED TAPE, BUCK SLIP, HEADQUARTERISM.

M-1941 Johnson light
Johnson LMG
(el-em-gee) Light MachineGun, being a designation from WWI to identify a two-man portable (weighing less than 30#) belt-fed machinegun (such as the M-1919 .30cal or M-60 7.62mm), to distinguish them from vehicle or craft mounted "heavy" machineguns (such as the M-2 .50cal MG). See LEWIS GUN, BREN, JOHNNY-GUN.

(forthcoming); Light Medium Tactical Vehicle; compare MTV, see TRUCK.

LN :
Local National, being a person indigenous to the region; this referent supplanted foreign national (FN) from the Vietnam-era for the GULF WARs.

(el-en-oh) Liaison Officer; also represented as 'LO'; see L&L, USDAO, USMILAT, CT, DIP CO.

LO :
(el-oh) Liaison Officer; also represented as 'LNO'; see L&L, USDAO, USMILAT, CT, DIP CO. Also, Letter Order; see GO, LOI, LON, ORDER. Also, abbreviation for Diem's Presidential Liaison Office, the clandestine organization that succeeded the Special Exploitation Service (SES/SEPES), together with the Special Commando Unit (SCU or THUNDER TIGER), as covert operations evolved during the VIETNAM WAR; see STD, SOG. [nb: after numerous airborne and seaborne CROSS-BORDER commandos were captured and subjected to being doubled or exposed in show trials, the Presidential Liaison Office was renamed (1962) the Presidential Survey Office, which the American COUNTERPARTS interpreted as the "Topographical Exploitation Office"]

to be fully prepared for any action, to be ready for any contingency or for the hardest problems; this 19th century expression derives from the practice of loading a musket with a more powerful charge of gunpowder or a heavier shot (bullet) when hunting for bigger game, which is juxtaposed to using a lighter charge and reduced shot for hunting smaller game. Also, to aggressively seek a confrontation; spoiling for a fight; being contentiously belligerent or antagonistically bellicose; see BLOODY SHIRT, SABER-RATTLING, HAIR-TRIGGER, HALF-COCKED, FIGHTING MAD, TRAILING HIS COAT. [re: hostile, pugnacious, firebrand, fire-eater] Also, a euphemism for alcohol intoxication; see DRUNK, THIRD DEGREE, DUTCH COURAGE, IRISH FLU, FRENCH FIT.

the least experienced and lowest ranking member of a CREW-SERVED WEAPONS team who is responsible for carrying the AMMO / LINK AMMO (or moving SHELLs from a carrier to a self-propelled vehicle) that's to be fired, for cleaning the gun, and for assisting the gunner whenever an "assistant gunner" is not assigned in the TO&E; LOADERs serve on ARTY gun crews, TANK crews, MORTAR crews, ROCKET (TOW, SAM, etc) crews, recoilless rifle (RR) crews, and are paired with a MACHINEGUNNER in INFantry and AIRMOBILE units. Also, informal reference to the aircraft crewmember who's responsible for properly positioning and safely securing the cargo to be transported under the direction of the LOADMASTER; also called LOAD TOAD, KICKER, or BB STACKER.

any of various lines marked on the sides of a cargo vessel to indicate the depth to which a vessel may be immersed under certain conditions; also represented as "load-line", "load line", or "boottop". See PLIMSOLL MARK, WATERLINE, DRAFT, WATER PLANE, HULL, FREEBOARD; compare GRAYBACK, COUNTERSHADING.

the Air Force crewmember on a bomber or cargo aircraft who is responsible for the proper stowage and movement of transported men, equipment, munitions, or other materiel, for the optimal balance and protection of the PAYLOAD; compare DROPMASTER, CREW CHIEF, KICKER, BB STACKER, COMBAT LOADED, JUMPMASTER, BEACHMASTER, BAILOUT.

the gear and equipment, tools and weapons, clothing and expendables (ie: ammo, food, water, etc) to be used by a MIL-PERS on a particular assignment, this assemblage varies depending upon mission objectives,time constraints, weather, terrain, duty or role, and personal preferences ... it essentially consists of everything someone needs to accomplish a specific purpose. Term may be used as a qualifier (eg: "loadout gear", "loadout room", etc) to distinguish tactical from what's ordinary, typical, or routine; and actively to designate a process or procedure ("We need to breakdown stores for loading-out."). See FIELD GEAR, FULL BATTLE RATTLE, SPIN-UP, GOOD TO GO, MISSION READY, COMBAT LOADED, EDC, BATTLE DRESS. Also, a military operation wherein equipment and supplies, weapons and materials are assembled, loaded, and moved from one place to another; being a singular logistical process, not a continuous resupply process; see LIFT, compare SORTIE.

priority categorization of a MIL-PERS portable weapons and equipment offering layered levels of activity or response, as "first line loadout gear", being all clothing and any other items worn close to one's body; "second line loadout gear", being all individual weapons, ammunition, and H-gear; and "third line loadout gear", being all backpacked or vehicle stowed supplies and equipment that's transported into the operational area by rucksack or personnel carrier ... everything that sustains the soldier on his assigned mission. One is never without "first line" items as they are constantly worn on one's person. The "second line" items may be removed or laid down, but are always nearby. The "third line" items are available when needed, but an emergency may necessitate their abandonment.

a makeshift work space, typically situated near the armory or supply room, where team or section members assemble the gear and equipment, weapons and expendables that they've been issued for a forthcoming assignment; a staging area where preparations are made and the operation discussed apart from anyone not privy to the mission particulars ... it may be the BAY area in a BARRACKs or the common area of a TEAMHOUSE. See STAGE.

slang for the aircraft crewmember who's responsible for properly positioning and safely securing the cargo to be transported under the direction of the LOADMASTER; also called LOADER, KICKER, or BB STACKER. Also, in NavSpeak, the ordnanceman who's responsible for on-loading and off-loading MUNITIONS from aircraft, and other ordnance-handling duties such as assembling and attaching guidance packages; also called "ordie" or "red shirt"; see BB STACKER. Also, among Naval electricians, a small ceramic frog used as a talisman to ward off evil GREMLINs and bad MOJO throughout the arcane propitiations that're designed to prevent loss of electrical power in all or part of the ship.

an obsolete colloquialism for "look here", as used to express wondrous surprise or delighted fascination; a polite way of saying "look and learn" or "observe and comprehend", as in "pay attention (to this)", which is often accompanied by a pointing gesture. Although somewhat conversationally stilted, this interjection was still being used by a few WWII vets during the Vietnam-era. [v: Golden Flower sutra; cf: Stop, Look, and Listen]

an alternative source of funds, being the practice of lending money at excessive or exorbitant rates of interest (usury); see JAWBONE, CHIT, CANDY, JUICE, BLACK BAG, GOLDEN SHOWER, HONEY POT, STAND SAM, SLUSH FUND.

Line Of Communications, or Lines of Communication, as used for resupply and reinforcement.

a Viet Cong combat unit subordinate to a district or province Party committee headquarters; abbreviated "LF". Compare MAIN FORCE, RF/PF; see NLF, PRG, PLA, VC.

see FN.


(lock) Logistical Operations Control Center


to fully load a firearm; with large-bore guns, to load a round of ammunition and lock the breechblock into firing position, or with SMALL ARMS, to advance a round of ammunition into the barrel's breech and set the bolt ready to fire. Because the next command is usually "fire" or "commence firing", the weapon's safety is usually disengaged at this time; however, patrol elements will often "lock 'n' load" and then "safe" their weapons. From the literal meaning of "charge your weapons" came this catch-phrase meaning "get ready to fight"; also represented as "cocked 'n' locked". See UNLIMBER, COMBAT LOADED, OP TEMPO, SADDLE-UP, MOVE OUT, HOOPLA, BATTAILOUS.

to automatically follow or TRACK a TARGET or other object by RADAR or other electronic means, usually as a preliminary to engagement by a weapons guidance system; see AIMPOINT, PAINT. [nb: a sniper may actively track his target until the optimum shooting solution presents itself, or he may passively await the appearance of his target in the window of the optimum shooting solution; most shooters prefer the more active "sniper's track" method since they believe that this technique increases their opportunity for success, but it also makes them more liable to detection, whereas the more passive "sniper's trap" method enables the best setup to be fully prepared, simply awaiting quintessential conjuncture]

attributed to a style of close-order drill, as a metaphor of rigid conformity, an inflexible pattern or process; but actually derived from the coordinated gait of a chain-gang moving under compulsion.



Line Of Duty (qv). A LINE OF DUTY investigation determines whether the injury or disease exhibited by a servicemember was incurred or aggravated while performing their assignments, and whether willful negligence or intentional misconduct contributed to the impairment.

an Act, commonly known as the Lodge Act (1950-59), that allowed for the recruiting of non-communist foreign nationals (FN), especially those with technical skills, into a military force under U.S. command (eg: NATO), as a streamlined method of obtaining American citizenship, to be granted after five years of honorable service; these displaced specialists were encouraged to work in radio surveillance (ASA) and counterintelligence (CI), as well as Special Forces (USSF), especially after the BERLIN AIRLIFT and the HUNGARIAN UPRISING. Due to its restrictions, as against the admission of anyone from a MARSHALL PLAN country, the total participation was very small; by contrast, foreign recruits during World War II only had to serve three years to earn their citizenship, without the political agenda of a LITMUS TEST or PARTY LINE. Lodge Act inductees who died on active duty, or from injury or illness incurred during their term of service, are entitled to posthumous citizenship, if requested within two years of their demise. [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]

land mines, as per Vietnamese expression by Tiger scouts; see TU DAI.

Lines Of Engagement.

abbreviation for LOGistics (qv). Also, Logistical Operations Group command. Also, a ground FLARE used by FAC aircraft to create a reference point (RP) during night strikes. Also, the official record for the activities of a ship or airplane, and also called a "logbook"; compare WAR DIARY, FORM, MANIFEST, MORNING REPORT, JOURNAL.

alternative reference for the "Ration D" bar that was issued separately and was included in K-Rations during WWII; so called after COL Paul Logan, the quartermaster who arranged for the laboratory at the Hershey Company to develop (1937) this special formula chocolate bar for soldiers needing quick energy; see HERSHEY BAR, compare HOOAH! BAR, SOLDIER FUEL, ERGO. [nb: each 4oz bar contained chocolate, sugar, oat flour, cacao fat, skim milk powder, and artificial flavoring, then was sealed in aluminum foil; and when configured in a 3-bar parchment packet, they constituted a daily ration, furnishing the combatant with the recommended 1800 calorie minimum sustenance per day]

a logistical resupply aircraft, which flies a "log run" mission of aerial resupply or administrative support; also called "log hel'o" or "trash hauler". See ASH 'n' TRASH, MILK RUN, SLICK, CHOPPER, BIRD.

a log or register, book of days or daybook account recording the daily affairs and activities of a unit; see WAR DIARY, compare JOURNAL, MORNING REPORT. Also, an account detailing the travels, maintenance (PMCS), and related activities of a ship, aircraft, or other official vehicle. Also, the ownership, maintenance, and related activities for a governmentally regulated airfoil (eg: parachute, para-sail, glider, etc); the absence, neglect, or alteration of which is illegal. Also, an authenticated record (countersigned by a responsible witness) of someone's flying or parachuting experience, citing date, place, equipment, weather, and performance of each event, which log is submitted whenever a candidate applies for further training or a higher rating.

slang for logistics or supply personnel; see WALLAH, BEAN-COUNTER, GADGET. [nb: not 'logy' (lethargic)]



a sequence of malicious programming, or a linked series of malicious coding sets, that's intended to compromise or corrupt a computer, its operating system or applications, in compliance with specific circumstantial triggers, so as to render it dysfunctional and/or unreliable; see DATA MINING, NETRUSION, CYBERWAR, INFORMATION WARFARE.

supply or quartermaster, including transportation, abbreviated LOG; see QM, LOCC, DSA, DLA, DPSC, DRMO, FLC, LSA, DCA, MIL-SPEC, NSN, PDO, DX, MSR, RED BALL, COMBAT LOADED, LOG-PAC, DUMP, NSD, DEPOT, PRE-POS, CACHE, GODOWN, SOG LOG, HOUSE 240, CARGO NET, PLS, CONTAINERIZATION, CONEX, AMMO, RATIONS, CIF, ARMY SIZE, NAVY SIZE, HOBSON'S CHOICE, CLASS SIX, CONTRABAND, WALLAH, L&L, RED TAPE, BEAN-COUNTER, MIDNIGHT REQUISITION, SLICKY BOY. [nb: the 1941 Hoover Commission recommended centralizing perishable food management into a single organization, becoming the Market center System established under the Army Quartermaster Corps (QMC); and centralization of procurement for semi-perishable subsistence and operational rations was added to the mission, forming the Defense Subsistence Supply center in 1953. In 1965, the centralization of common items consolidated the Defense Subsistence Supply center, the Defense Clothing and Textile Supply center, and the Defense Medical Supply center into forming the Defense Personnel Support Center (DPSC) in Philadelphia. A Direct Commissary Support data-processing System (DICOMSS) was implemented while Defense Subsistence Regions were re-allocated and merged under the Defense Integrated Subsistence Management System (DISMS), and renamed Defense Supply Center Philadelphia in 1998.] [nb: in an effort to control costs and reduce waste, the DoD has instituted a policy of "non-duplication" in military procurement (Military Adaptable Commercial Item {MACI}), such that a mil-spec contract will NOT be let whenever a commercial "off the shelf" (COTS) product is "close enough for government work" and does not require special features; so some name brand items are now in logistical inventory] [nb: it takes supplies to move supplies, and it takes even more supplies to move them farther! About 92% of IN-COUNTRY personnel served in non-combat support or administrative roles (including service, supply, and transportation occupations) during Vietnam, keeping the 8% combat element functional. Although similar ratios exist for WWII (@13%/87%) and Korea (@11%/89%), Vietnam showcased the success of LOGISTICS; later improved during the GULF WARs to a 7%/93% ratio.] [v: a "viaticum" is a provision or allowance of the necessary funds and supplies issued to a Roman soldier traveling to his last or final battle; which became the ecclesiastical Eucharist or Communion given to a dying person]

LOGistics PACkage, being a CONVOY dedicated to logistical supply / resupply; see MSR, TRAIN, LINE HAUL, MILK RUN, TRASH HAULER, ASH 'n' TRASH, BLUE BALL, COMBAT LOADED, RED BALL, LOG, QM.

(loach, not "l-o-h") Light Observation Helicopter, such as Hughes OH-6A CAYUSE and SPERM; also called "white bird". Compare LITTLE BIRD; see SCOUTSHIP, CHOPPER. [nb: the Chinese sent military observers aloft on numerous occasions from 290BC to AD250 in "man-lifting" kites, which anticipated the airfoil parachute and hang-glider.]

Letter of Instruction. Also, Letter of Intent. See LO.

among tribal peoples in tropical regions, a cloth worn about the hips and loins by men and women in a prescribed manner; a garment designed to display affiliation while offering the wearer a relative amount of modesty and protection, of style and status; also called a "waistcloth" or "breechcloth" / "breechclout". See CUMMERBUND, SASH, CHEONGSAM, AO DAI, HANBOK, KIMONO, PAJAMAS, SKIVVIES, GOING COMMANDO, DRESS. [cf: fall / fall front, codpiece, G-string / gee-string, sarong / sarung, pagne, lungi / lungee / lungyi / longyi, dhoti / dhooti / dhootie / dhuti, lavalava / lava-lava, pareu / pareo]

codename for the maritime abduction (SNATCH) and transport of innocent NVN civilians, especially fishermen and coastal villagers, who were briefly exposed to the idealized scenario of PARADISE ISLAND by covert agents pretending to be members of the traditional "Sacred Sword Patriot's League" (qv), and after a DISINFORMATION interview, were given medical care and gifts before being safely returned home; named after the mythic Scandinavian trickster god, this experience was meant to foment dissatisfaction with the communist lifestyle.

an extraordinary thing, impressive event, or unusual person; an exceptional example or remarkable instance; such an outstanding or extreme specimen of its kind being derived as a fanciful construction of the late 19th century, and commonly used by Americans ever since. [v: humdinger, doozy / doozie, corker, lulu / looloo, ripsnorter, dilly, crackerjack; cf: lollypaloozer]

a form of stunt flying wherein the aircraft tumbles forward, end over end; this aerobatic maneuver was introduced to tactical aviation by Russian pilots; see AEROBATICS. [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon]

a Chinese dish consisting of thin noodles stir-fried with vegetables and usually meat or seafood; as derived from "stirred noodles". Compare INSTANT NOODLES, RAMEN, RAMYEON, LAMIAN, CHOP SUEY, CHOW MEIN, GENERAL TSO'S CHICKEN, MONGOLIAN HOT POT, POT STICKER, LOP SLOP, ORIENTAL CRUD, DYNAMITED CHICKEN; see CHOW, BEANS, RATIONS. [v: yi mein]

Letter Of Notification; see LO.

XXIV Corps patch
XXIV Corps
nickname of XXIV Corps, from the white outline hearts on a purple shield design of its shoulder PATCH (SSI); equivalent to First Field Force Vietnam (IFFV) and Second Field Force Vietnam (IIFFV), the Army XXIV Corps superseded the USMC III MAF as senior command in I CTZ after the debacle at LangVei and the mishandling of KheSanh.

the general category of SMALL ARMS with full-length gun barrels, including rifles, shotguns, and machineguns; as differentiated from pistols, submachineguns, and carbines. Compare LONG RIFLE.

number sequence of 1-10-1 steadily broadcast for tuning reception; see ZERO BEAT, SHORT COUNT.

an allusion to the lineal procession of West Point CADETs, from the post-Revolutionary inception of HUDSON HIGH through its latest sociopolitical accommodation to military education; a metonymic reference that later evoked the LONG GREEN LINE. See LEGACY, TRADE SCHOOL.

column of infantry advancing through jungle terrain; see GREEN MACHINE. Also, informal reference to the gigantic and impersonal "Big Green Killing Machine" or "Mother Army" (aka: "Holy Mother Army"), which is also sardonically known as the GREEN WEENIE or the "big green dildo" for the impersonal abuse implied in "bend over - here it comes again" (BOHICA). See GREEN MACHINE, WARM BODY, GREEN BLOOD. Also, by allusion to West Point's "long gray line", the lineal procession of soldiers, from the early American MILITIA through various wars to the All Volunteer Force (AVF) of today; see LEGACY, CASTE.

slang for a female enemy combatant in the VIETNAM WAR, sometimes armed and uniformed with BO DOI, sometimes armed with VC in black pajamas (AO BA BA), but typically serving in secondary and support roles of nurse, clerk, driver, cook, communicator ... just like her 'sisters' in other military organizations; also represented as the "long-haired army". It should be noted that while "liberated women" in free and democratic societies have clamored for "equal rights" (except for the right to be drafted into military service during wartime), women in totalitarian regimes have not only volunteered for combatant status but have willingly died in "people's wars of liberation" for their beliefs. She, the long-haired comrade, can be a tenacious and formidable opponent. See DAN CONG, PAVN, NLF, NVA, VIET MINH, VIET QUOC, CHARLIE, PRG, PLA, GOMER, LUKE THE GOOK, BAD GUYS. Also, the individuals, typically covert agents or special operators, who are authorized relaxed compliance with official grooming standards so as to permit them to meld with a foreign or civilian environment for operational purposes; these MIL-PERS are permitted to wear sideburns and side whiskers, beards and mustaches, and long hair arranged in various ethnic or religious styles; see RELAXED GROOMING STANDARDS, FACE FUZZ, FLATHEAD, FLATTOP, BUZZ, WHITE WALLS, HIGH 'n' TIGHT. Also, a hair style that proclaims the intellectual status of someone who loves philosophical theory and fine arts, as a maven, connoisseur, or aficionado; see PROFESSOR, WONK, WIZARD, WALLAH. Also, a person with long hair, especially as a manifestation of countercultural sensibilities; commonly known as "flower child" or HIPPIE, and denigrated as a "hair farmer" (ie: an unproductive member of society); see PACIFIST, YIPPIE, PROTESTOR, BULLSHITVIK, SILVER-TAIL, PREEVERT, TRIPPIE. [nb: "A ponytail always adorns a horse's ass!"]

in MONTAGNARD culture, the communal dwelling for unmarried adult males, and the sociopolitical gathering place of the village. See BLDG, BILLET. [nb: not to be confused with "Long Home", which has been military slang for a grave since the American CIVIL WAR] [v: bield, bower, arbor, rock-shelter, den, lair, bothy, cot, cabin, cottage, casita, cabana, lodge, earth lodge, hogan, HOOCH, HUT, SHEBANG, squat, shed, byre; cf: garret, cockloft, dovecote]

pre-WWII Army officer's sword
and scabbard
Army saber
CALL-SIGN of the Army Air Cav HUEYs, whether singular or plural ("Long Knives") meaning 'sword'; as an extension of the horse cavalry motif that's been romanticized in the technological age; see AIRMOBILE, HELIBORNE, ACR, YELLOWLEG, PONY SOLDIER, DOG SOLDIER, BOOTS AND SADDLES, CAMPAIGN HAT, CAVALRY WHISKERS, SPUR RIDE, ORDER OF THE SPUR, STIRRUP CUP, YELLOW RIBBON. [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 INDIAN COUNTRY.] Also, primitive designation for a sword or saber, especially that used by the cavalry; a metonym for mounted troops; see OLD WRIST BREAKER, MAMELUKE SWORD. [v: Knife Terms; The Language of Swordplay] Also, an idiomatic allusion to vengeance or revenge, especially when effected from a distance; the ability to indirectly or surreptitiously influence someone or something from a great remove implies power and security, neither of which may exist ... separation from direct intelligence and personal contact increases vulnerability by delay, confusion, and mistrust.

an informal descriptor indicating the ability of an aircraft to fly great distances; also represented as "long-legged".

a euphemism for human flesh, as when consumed by another human being, whether for ritual or survival purposes; see CANNIBALIZE. [v: Thyestean feast] [v: 1942-3 battle of Stalingrad]

informal reference since the VIETNAM WAR for the accurized SNIPER rifle, also called "long barrel", that fires match AMMO and is equipped with SILENCER and scope, such as the M-14 (XM-21), but custom models (eg: M-24 Remington 700 7.62mm/.308 caliber) have also been used, including a once experimental .50 caliber (Barrett's M-82A1 rifle at 57"L) for distances exceeding 2000 yds. See SASS, STONER. [v: Firearms Glossary]

slang designation for an open shallow boat that's impelled by a recovered automobile engine that's been adapted for seagoing service by the improvised mounting of a propeller at the end of the vehicular drive shaft; unlike marine engines specifically designed for exposure to water and intended for mounting on watercraft, these JERRY-BUILT engines are used instead of sails or oars, and being configured with a long drive shaft that has not been shortened to suit the new conditions, such "long-tailed" boats are difficult to steer and hard to control at higher speeds due to the excess weight of such a powerful rear-mounted engine configured with such a long drive shaft. This JURY-RIGged adaptation is typical of hard working people with limited options who must use all available resources ... and the drag racing of these "long-tailed" boats on the many regional rivers is also typical of the simple entertainments of country people everywhere. Compare SKIMMER, LIGHTER, GIG, GUNBOAT, PT BOAT, PBL, PBR, SWIFT BOAT, STAB, NASTY BOAT, MICKEY MOUSE BATTLESHIP.

informal designation of a TOWED 155mm field cannon produced throughout World War II; see ARTY. Also, a long, heavy cannon that was formerly carried by small naval vessels.

(louie) slang for Lieutenant (LT), often expressed as "Second Looey" or "First Looey", and sometimes shortened to "Loo" (Lew) or "Loot"; also expressed as "Second-" or "First John", with the implication of both penis and toilet. The RANK of Lieutenant was subdivided into First Lieutenant (being the first substitute for the Captain) and Second Lieutenant (being the second substitute for the Captain) when the Army dropped the SUBALTERN ranks of 'ensign' (infantry) and 'coronet' (cavalry) in 1840; however, Congress did not authorize any insignia for these ranks until the Great War (WWI). See BUTTER BAR, BROWN BAR, ENSIGN, AIMING STAKES, OFFICER, RANK. [nb: "Be for I cudn't eevan spel Lewtennit, an' now I are won!"]

Boeing RC-135 / EC-135 airborne command post (ABNCP) aircraft (E4B Boeing 747), being the platform used by the Strategic Air Command (SAC) and Strategic Command (STRATCOM); also known as the "doomsday bird", and also spelled "Lookingglass"; compare STRATOLIFTER, STRATOTANKER, see NEACP, ABCCC, BIRD.

something seen indistinctly at a distance or through a mist or fog, as light below the horizon that's reflected in the sky; a rising or portentous appearance; compare GREEN FLASH, PINK TIME, MOONLIGHT. [cf: half-light, Purkinje shift, crepuscule, eventide, evenfall, gloam, gloaming, sunset, sundown, cockshut, vespers, prime, matin, cockcrow, daybreak, nightfall, dawn, false dawn, dusk, first light, first dark, last light, civil twilight, astronomical twilight, night-sky light, airglow; v: chromosphere, spicule, plage] Also, the distant illumination reflected into the sky from gunfire or explosions, usually without the accompanying noise from a "sound and light show"; this image often presents as a hauntingly vague or captivatingly mysterious illumination that typically flickers or wavers; see FIREWORKS, WATERWORKS; compare ACOUSTIC SHADOW.

an aerobatic maneuver describing a vertical circle in the air; typically executed by pointing the aircraft's nose up, proceeding upside down, and following through to the original flight path ('inside loop'), but may also be executed by pointing the aircraft's nose down, proceeding upside down, and following through to the original flight path ('outside loop') ... with the inside loop forcing the pilot's blood toward his feet while the outside loop forces the pilot's blood toward his head. Compare GROUND LOOP; see RED-OUT, G-FORCE, G-LOCK, AEROBATICS. [nb: outside loop first executed by James Doolittle (25 May 1927)] [eg: Loops Avalanche, Eight-Sided Loop, Inside-Outside Eight, Square Loop] [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon]

a narrow opening in the wall of a fortification used for observation, an aperture used for the discharge of weapons, or a vent for the admittance of light or air; see EMBRASURE, PORTHOLE, DEADLIGHT, BULL'S-EYE. Also, informal reference to the 'escape clause' that's been deliberately written into some contracts and legislation, which provides exceptions, evasions, and nullifications to enforcement without penalty.

a reckless person who endangers others or jeopardizes events; derived from the damaging effects of a dismounted or unrestrained gun on the pitching deck of a ship during battle. See DUD, TRIGGER-HAPPY, DEADHEAD, MAGGOT.

that which is despoiled by PILLAGE or PLUNDER, as in war; see SPOILS OF WAR, HAVOC, RANSACK, ROMAN HOLIDAY. Also, slang truncation of 'lieutenant' ("lieut"), and also called "Loo" or "Looey"; see BUTTER BAR, BROWN BAR, LT, LDR, OFFICER.

a disparaging characterization of Asian cookery, which slight manifests an ignorant prejudice against Oriental cuisines; compare ORIENTAL CRUD, CHOP SUEY, PAD GA PAO, SUKIYAKI, CHOW MEIN, LO MEIN, DIM SUM, INSTANT NOODLES, GENERAL TSO'S CHICKEN, MONGOLIAN HOT POT, POT STICKER, DYNAMITED CHICKEN; see SLOP, GUT BOMB, WASH, WAD, GLOP, GOOP, GOO, CHOW, BEANS, RATIONS.

Logistics Operation Readiness Inspection.

a "LOng-RANge radio-navigation" position fixing system using the time difference of reception of pulse type transmissions from two or more fixed ground stations. The USCG operated four "LORAN" stations in SE Asia: two in Vietnam and two in Thailand. These stations were part of the chain of stations across the Pacific Ocean. "LORAN" operated in two modes: "A" and "C". "A" model began operation in World War II and was eventually replaced in some areas of the world by "C" model "LORAN" is being made obsolete by the global positioning system (GPS), and the USCG closed its last Pacific "LORAN" station at Marcus Island in September 1993 and transferred to the Japanese Maritime Safety Agency. See UTM, INS, AZIMUTH, DEAD-RECKONING, MGRS, WAG.

a theory of the foreshortening of a moving body in the direction of its motion, or the contracting length of a body as its speed increases, being an hypothesis proposed by Hendrik A. Lorentz, a pioneering Dutch physicist, based on an earlier suggestion by G.F. Fitzgerald, which is also known as the "Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction"; although it did not entirely succeed in reconciling theory with experimental results, it did serve as the basis for the mathematics of Einstein's special theory of relativity. Einstein showed that this effect is due, not to the actual deformation of the body in question, as Lorentz had originally supposed, but to a change in the way space and time are measured. See LAW OF AVERAGES, GAMBLER'S FALLACY, UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE, PRINCIPLE OF LEAST FORCE, LEAST RESISTANCE, LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURNS, LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, BOYDLOOP, OODALOOP, PARADIGM SHIFT, OUTSIDE THE BOX, MILITARY MIND.

a proposition, established by Hendrik A. Lorentz, that the space and time coordinates of one moving system can be correlated with the known space and time coordinates of any other system; the mathematical transformation in the special theory of relativity that defines the way in which physical measurements differ for two observers in uniform relative motion. The equations used in relativity theory to change from a coordinate system, or frame of reference, in which the observer is at rest, to a second system that is moving at constant velocity with respect to the first system, are known as the LORENTZ TRANSFORMATION. The Lorentz transformation will result in a stationary observer recording an effect equivalent to the LORENTZ CONTRACTION when observing an object in uniform motion relative to his system of coordinates. See LAW OF AVERAGES, GAMBLER'S FALLACY, UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE, PRINCIPLE OF LEAST FORCE, LEAST RESISTANCE, LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURNS, LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, BOYDLOOP, OODALOOP, PARADIGM SHIFT, OUTSIDE THE BOX, MILITARY MIND.

(low-sat) Line Of Sight Anti-Tank missile system; see JAVELIN, DRAGON, TOW, ATGM, CAAT, ROCKET.

see FACE. [nb: "One hand washes the other, and both hands wash the face." Corsican proverb]

in artillery and naval gunfire support, a spotting report by the Forward Observer (FO, ANGLICO) that the marking round or registration shot was not observed.

in WWI, during the period 28-30 September and 2-7 October 1918, a composite force consisting of 554 doughboys, comprising elements of the 306th Machinegun Battalion, the 307th and 308th Infantry Regiments in the 77th Division, were cut-off by Imperial German forces in "The Pocket" at the Charlevaux Mill in the French Argonne Forest, enduring cold, thirst, hunger, fatigue, pain, fear, misery, and death until the German withdrawal enabled relief when the advance reunited the units, resulting in 159 wounded and 194 survivors; also known as "Whittlesey's Lost Battalion" after its senior officer. Also, in WWII, during the period 23-30 October 1944, the 141st Battalion of the 36th Infantry Division was cut-off on a ridge in the Vosges Mountains while advancing six miles into German-held territory, where they endured cold, thirst, hunger, fatigue, pain, fear, misery, and death until the 211 Texans were rescued by the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which suffered a loss of 216 men killed and 856 wounded during its six-day relief mission.

the young people who came of age during and after the Great War (WWI), the "war to end all wars", who were disillusioned by the pointlessness of such a costly war that ended practically where it began, which was followed by the devastation of the pandemic of the Spanish influenza; characterized as cynical and nihilistic, this generation (especially its artists and writers) promoted social change and self indulgence (commonly known as the Roaring Twenties) until the ruined economy of the Great Depression curtailed their irresponsibility. This appellation would later be applied to the VETERANs and HIPPIEs displaced by the VIETNAM WAR. [nb: "And even if these scenes from our youth were given back to us, we would hardly know what to do." by Erich Maria Remarque] [nb: after WWI, many of the Lost Generation took the Oxford oath, which many fascists and communists viewed as implicit appeasement, if not an explicit warrant, for political hegemony leading to WWII; this pacifistic pledge declared: "We solemnly swear that we will never take up arms in defense of our country. We will never take up arms, even in defense of our country."; a more extensive pledge was promulgated by 1935: "If war comes, I will not fight; if war comes, I will not enlist; if war comes, I will not be conscripted; if war comes, I will do nothing to support it; if war comes, I will do everything to oppose it, so help me God."]

LOUD 'n' CLEAR / 5 BY 5 :

any of various small, flat, wingless insects with sucking mouthparts, that are parasitic on humans and other mammals, as "head louse" and "body louse"; also called "nit", "Army bug", "seam squirrel", "pants rabbit", "motorized dandruff", and during the American CIVIL WAR as "Bragg's bodyguards" or "Taylor's tigers"; see COOTIE, GRAYBACK, CHESAI DOMO TACHI, COMFORT STATION. Also, slang for a contemptible person.

a liking, admiration, affection, or attraction of one person for another, often kind and tender, sometimes passionate or ethereal; symbolized by a heart and personified by cupid. Also, sympathetic concern for the well-being of others. Also, a strong predilection or enthusiasm; a preference, predisposition, or partiality for something. Also, the profoundly benevolent affection of God for His creatures, or the reverence they reciprocate. Also, a deep feeling of warm personal attachment with another person; sexual relations. [nb: in the pervading nihilism of the post-Vietnam era, gangbanger hoodlums and ruffians are exhibiting a tattoo of an upside down 'heart' to represent "hate" and a tattoo of an upside down 'peace sign' to represent "war", as manifestations of their antipathy for the dominant society]

a necklace of small beads, often colorful, sometimes handmade, that's worn with the countercultural costumery by men and women as a symbol of peace and goodwill; such necklaces were also worn by some soldiers in Vietnam, despite being against regulations. See HIPPIE, PACIFIST, FLOWER CHILD, SILVER-TAIL, NEW AGE HIPPIE, BABY BOOMER, KUM BA YAH, THEY'LL GIVE A WAR AN' NOBODY'LL COME, WE SHALL OVERCOME, FLOWER POWER, APPEASE, STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, DAISY CHAIN, THE PILL, PREEVERT, SYMPATHIZER, TRIPPIE; compare BRACELET, RANGER BEADS. [v: prayer beads, rosary, worry beads; cf: charm bracelet, poppit/pop-it necklace, puka necklace, torque/torc, choker/dog collar, riviere/rivière, wampum]

on civilians or military retirees, the fat "beer wings" that bulge-out at the hips over the belt-line, which a woman grabs to guide and control a passionate lover; on regular soldiers, the tight little muscular buttocks to which a woman clings while they frantically drive the sex act; and on SFers, his ears! Compare CHOWING DOWN, MUFF DIVER, BUSH PILOT, HAT TRICK, DAISY CHAIN, HEAD, HUMMER, WINGS, BIB, TRICK, BUTTERFLY, FUCK, DIDDLY, HOOKUP, CHURNING BUTTER, BOOM-BOOM, SHORT-TIME, SHACK-JOB; see BUDDHA BELLY. [cf: beer belly, muffin top, squeezy bits]

a towed transporter for a damaged or disabled vehicle, especially a TANK, which carrier is also called a "low loader" or "dragon wagon" (homophonic "draggin' wagon"); see HET, HEMTT, VTR, ARV.

to move in a prone position with the body close to or touching the ground, at a relatively slow rate of progress, in imitation of a snake or alligator, worm or caterpillar; being the typical manner of movement or maneuver while under fire on the battlefield. See CREEP, DRAG, DUCK-WALK, WORM PIT. [nb: 'crawl' and 'creep' are both characterized by slow advancement; either may be on hands and knees, with a 'crawl' at or close to the ground, while a 'creep' is only near the ground; a 'creep' is additionally stealthy or difficult; a LOW-CRAWL is performed with the body on the ground, while a "high-crawl" has the body on all fours]


the section of rope or webbing strap (about 15-30ft length) that tethers an equipment bag (ie: DINGLEBERRY) to the parachute harness, so that it can be lowered to hang under the PARATROOPER after the main canopy has properly deployed, where it is safely out of the way when it's time to execute a parachute landing fall (PLF); not to be confused with an auxiliary LET-DOWN ROPE (LDR).

the most expedient course of action that can be undertaken so as to generate the quickest solution, by allusion to the most available produce ("easy pickings"); that which is most readily obtained, or that which is most easily gained or acquired; anything that can be won, or anyone who can be persuaded with an expenditure of little time or effort. [v: bear fruit, shake the tree; cf: sour grapes] [nb: The Fisherman and His Nets by Aesop: A Fisherman, engaged in his calling, made a very successful cast and captured a great haul of fish. He managed by a skillful handling of his net to retain all the large fish and to draw them to the shore; but he could not prevent the smaller fish from falling back through the meshes of the net into the sea.] [nb: The Walnut-Tree by Aesop: A Walnut-Tree standing by the roadside bore an abundant crop of fruit. For the sake of the nuts, the passers-by broke its branches with stones and sticks. The Walnut-Tree piteously exclaimed, "O wretched me! that those whom I cheer with my fruit should repay me with these painful requitals!"] [nb: The Jackdaw and the Fox by Aesop: A half-famished Jackdaw seated himself on a fig-tree, which had produced some fruit entirely out of season, and waited in the hope that the figs would ripen. A Fox seeing him sitting so long and learning the reason of his doing so, said to him, "You are indeed, sir, sadly deceiving yourself; you are indulging a hope strong enough to cheat you, but which will never reward you with enjoyment."] [nb: The Fox and the Grapes by Aesop: A famished Fox saw some clusters of ripe black grapes hanging from a trellised vine. She resorted to all her tricks to get at them, but wearied herself in vain, for she could not reach them. At last she turned away, hiding her disappointment and saying: "The Grapes are sour, and not ripe as I thought."]

a catch-phrase used since the mid-1990s to describe people who are not well informed about politics, so will cast their vote in an election based upon a single issue or upon a superficial assessment of the solutions proposed for the pending issues; this characterization of low-information voters is a projection by "political junkies" and other self-interested ideologues who do not recognize that the average everyday citizen with a regular job and a normal family does not have the time to indulge in current affairs, as if such daily dramatics were recreational. As with KNUCKLE-DRAGGER and WHITE TRASH, SHAVED MONKEY and MEAT EATER, this overt denigration is an attempt by a supposedly better-informed faction to persuade the undecided electorate as to the rightness and/or superiority of their opinion. Seemingly coined as "low-information signaling" [The Reasoning Voter: Communication and Persuasion in Presidential Campaigns by Samuel Popkin (1991)] as a descriptor that poorly informed voters used as heuristic cues when making their election decisions, including church attendance or driving a luxury car, leisure golfing or wearing boxer shorts, eating pizza or smoking cigars. This expression acquired its pejorative implications, according to George Lakoff, because these low-information voters, who are deliberately misinformed by the political parties and the complicit news media, tend to vote against their own best interests. In a political science study ["A Theory of Political Parties: Groups, Policy Demands and Nominations in American Politics" (2012)], it was found that election results were due to a lack of attention and information, rather than polemic approval, which can be advantageous to both political parties, so the remedy for an uninformed electorate being persistently bamboozled by the system is the involvement of interested activists and lobbyists as trustworthy guides. Furthermore, many political and media operatives identify low-information voters as "anti-intellectual religious cranks" (Mike Lofgren) who "don't know what they think they know" (Rush Limbaugh), and whose ignorant manipulations are undermining American democratic institutions. Low-info voters are less likely to vote, but when they do, they generally vote for a candidate they find personally appealing; they tend to be swing voters, and they tend to vote moderate and split-ticket, more so than well-informed voters. In the absence of further information, the electorate will infer a politician's character from his appearance, an incumbent legislator's probity from his longevity, a candidate's ideological predilection from their sex or race, and name placement on the ballot as an an influential factor in their electability preference. See VOTER; compare USEFUL IDIOTS.

a protracted confrontation between contending states that ranges from subversion to armed outbreaks, employing a variety of instruments, from political and economic to informational and military, during an ideological opposition that is generally localized while containing global implications; being the restrained and selective application of limited military force that's employed to enforce compliance with the stated political policies of one or more disputing nations; also expressed as "Low Intensity Conflict" (LIC). See CONFLICT, MICROAGGRESSION, STRUGGLE, INSURGENCY, GUERRILLA WARFARE, BATTLE, SHOOTING WAR, WAR; compare TOTAL WAR.

a specialized adaptation of AIRDROP resupply by the USAF, introduced in Vietnam to compensate for the chronic "missed Drop Zone" phenomenon, wherein the palletized cargo (PLS) is extracted from the fuselage, skidded across the lowered RAMP or TAILGATE by the billowing of one or two open PARACHUTEs, and delivered directly onto the DZ from an altitude of 100' - 300' above ground level, depending upon terrain and antiaircraft fire. Sometimes the pallets are DAISY CHAINed, and sometimes the cargo is containerized (ie: CONEX), but the over-flight speed is always accelerated, and the flight path is always steeply climbing so as to aid deployment. Resupply cargo included medicine, food, ammunition, communications equipment, clothing and field gear. Cargo delivered by this LOW-LEVEL EVAC DROP method suffered surprisingly little damage, and was more consistently deposited on target. This method of AIRDROP is inherently more dangerous for crewmembers, who, along with the aircraft itself, are also more vulnerable to enemy ground fire. The higher proportion of injury and damage inflicted is due to the fact that this method is only used when resupply by vehicular CONVOY is not possible. The LOW-LEVEL EVAC DROP method was later used during the Panama INCURSION and the GULF WAR. See DROPMASTER, LOADMASTER, CREW CHIEF, COMBAT LOADED, PAYLOAD, DROGUE, DROP, HEAVY DROP, KICK-OUT, LAPES, JPADS, COOPER VANE, DROP-TANK, LOG BIRD, ASH 'n' TRASH, FREE-FALL.

a smooth-toed oxford-style shoe that laces across the instep, worn with CLASS-A uniforms by all servicemembers who were not on jump status; also called KICKS. Some duty positions, such as air crew or air service support, issued or authorized the use of an ankle-high jodhpur or demiboot (sometimes called BOONDOCKERS). MIL-SPEC shoes of patent leather and "Corfam" (an uncomfortable synthetic imitation of leather made by DuPont from 1964-1968) were private purchase alternatives to issue footwear. See BLACK SHOE/BOOT, BROWN SHOE/BOOT, FOOTWEAR. [nb: this term does not refer to bottom berths, basement dwellings, or substandard housing!] [nb: Gaelic for shoe is 'brog', from which comes the English word "brogue" or brogan; the vent holes or decorative perforations that are often punched in the leather represent the piercings for drainage in the traditional deerhide footwear; Gaelic for 'my footwear' is "mo chasan", which usage by Scottish immigrants may have spawned the American name "moccasin" for the one-piece AmerIndian shoe (alternatively: "maxkeseni" in Algonquian)]

abbreviation for liquid oxygen.

a feeling of faithfulness or allegiance; bearing true fidelity or commitment, as a constant or reliable adherent. See KEEP THE FAITH, SEMPER FI, TRUE BLUE, ESPRIT DE CORPS, SUMMUM BONUM, COMRADE, SHIPMATE, MESSMATE, BUDDY SYSTEM, CAMARADERIE, TRADE ENVELOPES; compare BLUE FALCON, SEMPER KNIFE, SEMPER I, BAYONET SHEET, CREDIBILITY GAP, McCARTHYISM, TRAITOR, TREASON. [nb: "You may have your suspicions, your fears, you may even believe there is something, somewhere, terribly, drastically wrong, but because someone else is in charge, because there is a part of the system above you which you don't know, you don't question it, you even distrust your own doubts." by Graham Swift; "An ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of discretion." by Elbert Hubbard; "We have to distrust each other. It is our only defence against betrayal." by Tennessee Williams]


a promise of fidelity that's publicly sworn before a designated official as a prerequisite for receiving a pardon or amnesty (as when regaining political or property rights), or qualifying for enlistment, enfranchise, and other positions of trust, including security clearances; when too vague or overly broad, these "test oaths", "civic oaths", or "oaths of allegiance" have been declared unconstitutional. See PROMISE, CREED, OATH, TEST ACT, PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE, CODE OF CONDUCT, DUTY, HONOR CODE, LOYALTY CODE, LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN, BRASS-COLLAR, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, CUSTOMS AND COURTESIES OF THE SERVICE. [nb: secular origin of sacrament: the oath of allegiance taken by a Roman soldier on enlistment] [nb: the Ironclad Oath (2 July 1862), as written into the Reconstruction Act of 23 March 1867, called for allegiance, both past and future, to the United States government] [nb: Vietnam War draft evaders were offered clemency on 16 September 1974 by President Gerald R. Ford in return for swearing an oath of allegiance and serving up to 24 months of alternate service] [v: Glorious Loyalty Oath Campaign in Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1961)] [nb: "If a government requires the support of oaths, it is a sign that it is not worth supporting, and ought not to be supported. Make government what it ought to be, and it will support itself." by Thomas Paine]

a catch-phrase that succinctly embodies the philosophical concept of reciprocity that underlies the CHAIN-OF-COMMAND, such that to get respect then respect must be given, and that self-discipline is a prerequisite for the discipline of others; also known as "dual loyalty", it is the antithesis of the irresponsible RHIP concept beloved by MILICRATs, RING-KNOCKERs, TICKET-PUNCHERs, and other marginal leaders (LDR) or OFFICERs. See RABBI, PATRON SAINT, SEA DADDY, KHAKI MAFIA, VFR DIRECT, COMBAT EFFECTIVE, WIGGLE ROOM, RANK, UP OR OUT, ALLEGIANT, DUTY, BRASS-COLLAR, CREED, I'VE GOT YOUR BACK, TRUE BLUE. [cf: divided loyalty] [nb: "There is a great deal of talk about loyalty from the bottom to the top. Loyalty from the top down is even more necessary and much less prevalent. One of the most frequently noted characteristics of great men who have remained great is loyalty to their subordinates." by George S. Patton Jr]

LP :
Listening Post, sometimes called "Lima Papa"; a night position setup outside the perimeter to give advanced or early warning of enemy action. Situated so as to enable the calling and adjustment of supporting ARTY or TAC AIR missions. The LP is in telephone or radio contact with the perimeter, is lightly armed and manned, and is not intended for defense. Compare OP. [cf: picket, vedette]

compass rose insignia of
Leader Prep Course
compass rose
(el-pee-see) U.S. Army Leadership Preparation Course, being a two-week training program established for the promotion of promising enlistees and DRAFTEEs from SLICK SLEEVEs into the lowest level of the CHAIN-OF-COMMAND as squad or section leaders at the E-3 and E-4 levels, typically using combat veteran instructors in combat arms branches (ie: INF, ARTY, ARM/CAV) as preparation for practical leadership on the battlefield; the LPC was symbolized by the COMPASS ROSE, meaning "true direction" and "universal", while all other schools used a burning lamp or torch as a symbol of knowledge; see LITTLE PRICK, SHAKE 'n' BAKE, UP OR OUT, GADGET, ACTING JACK, MOTHER HEN, INCOC, NCOCC, NCOA, LDR. Also, Leather Personnel Carrier, being a pair of shoes or COMBAT BOOTS; a play on words used by Marines, related to transport by LANDING CRAFT, expressive of all the walking they are required to perform; see FOOTWEAR.

(el-pee-ach) Landing Platform Helicopter; the WWII-era aircraft carrier converted to an amphibious assault ship so as to accomodate squadrons of helicopters that would transport men and equipment beyond the BEACHHEAD to inland landing zones (LZ), placing them behind the enemy's first line of defense.

(el-pee-eye) Low Probability of Intercept, being a form of distributed RADAR used to avoid scan or search detection; see AVIONICS.


(el-raz) Long Range Advanced Scout Surveillance System; introduced in 2001, this man-portable ground-mounted or vehicle-mounted advanced electronic target location and targeting grid overlay device can view the front and flanks from its setup base using Forward-Looking InfraRed (FLIR) thermal imaging. See PEEPERS.

Long-Range Combat Aircraft, such as B-52 Stratofortress or B-1B Lancer.

Long Range Desert Group, commonly known as "Desert Rats" and "Desert Raiders", it was also called the "mosquito army" and the "desert taxi service"; the scorpion was its emblem and its motto was "Not By Strength, By Guile". [nb: the early British LRDG, which fought the forces of Erwin "Desert Fox" Rommel in North Africa, was later reorganized as a Special Air Service (SAS) unit] [v: Popski's Private Army (Vladimir Peniakoff)] [nb: LRDG recruiting ad: "Only men who do not mind a hard life with scanty food, little water, and lots of discomfort, only men who possess stamina and initiative need apply."]

(lurp, or el-ar-pee) Long Range Patrol, being any type of small unit operating on foot or from vehicles or vessels to perform various missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, assault, hostage rescue, prisoner snatch, and other special assignments. LRP units include: LRRP, LRSP, LRPG, LRDG, LRSD, LRSU. The abbreviation originally meant "Long Range Penetration" and designated either the tactic or the unit when Orde Wingate conceived it, such that any unit could implement this methodology to attain a victory over an enemy; only later developing an organization to exploit this doctrine. See RECON, FORCE RECON, I&R, HAWKS, RZ, RECONDO. [nb: the long-range patrol doctrine was developed by British Major David Sterling, who also formed the Special Air Service (SAS)] [v: a Sampling of Reconnaissance and Surveillance Insignia]

Long Range Patrol Group


(lurp, not "l r r p") Long-Range Reconnaissance Patrol; created on 8 July 1966 by COMUSMACV directive authorizing commands to develop integral reconnaissance units, some of which replaced the older S-2 Intelligence and Reconnaissance (I&R) teams. The MACV RECONDO School, operated first by 5th SFGA, later by 75th Abn Rngr Rgt, and finally by ARVN BDQ, trained LRRP/FORCE RECON members in a three-week course. LRRP units were subsumed when the 75th Airborne Ranger Regiment was activated (1 Feb 69 - 15 Aug 72). See LRP, RECON, RZ, HAWKS, FORCE RECON, RAIDER. [nb: Vietnamese term: Vien Tham, Tham Bao, Tham Kich, Tham Kich Xam Nhap, Tham Tu] [v: a Sampling of Reconnaissance and Surveillance Insignia]

compact, lightweight, and dehydrated rations that were designed to enable small SOF units to remain in the field longer due to reduced weight and volume; however the requirement for large amounts of potable water made these rations less than satisfactory in a tropical environment. Typically prepared without heating, this restrictive diet projected consumption at the rate of one meal per day per person, for a maximum of ten days; menus included spaghetti with meatballs, beef stew, chili con carne, macaroni and cheese, and other single dish main courses. Packaged in a green pouch during the VIETNAM WAR, they were later wrapped in desert tan packets during the GULF WARs. Due to longer shelf-life storage, these dehydrated RATIONS were redesigned and redesignated for winter survival use (MCW/LRP), where available liquid would not impair their effectiveness. [nb: the Army Food Lab claims that the liquid required to hydrate these meals is not "extra", but is the normal allotment essential to prevent dehydration and hypothermia; water requirements don't change with dried foods: "There's a misconception that you need extra water for dehydrated rations. You need a given amount of water per day depending on activity and temperature. Whether some of that comes in the food or is consumed separately, the water requirement is the same."]

LRSD badge of the
Long-Range Surveillance Detachment, being a patrol about half the size of a reconnaissance patrol that's normally scheduled for twice the period in the field; Vietnamese term: Tham Sat. Compare LRRP; see LRP, RECON, STRATA, I&R, HAWKS, PEEPERS, WATCHER. [nb: when LRSP operations were distinguished from LRRP and other SOF missions, as CAV from INF, or INTEL from CSAR, the surveillance teams trained in RVN were awarded a qualification badge similar in design to the US Army para badge, except that the wings grasped a pair of binoculars, instead of being attached to a deployed parabolic parachute, denoting that HAWKS, scouts, and shadow walkers were supposed to "sneak, creep, and peek"]

Long-Range Surveillance Leaders Course; see Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leader Course (RSLC).

Long-Range Surveillance Patrol, being a patrol about half the size of a reconnaissance patrol that's normally scheduled for twice the period in the field; Vietnamese term: Tham Sat. Compare LRRP; see LRP, RECON, STRATA, I&R, HAWKS, PEEPERS, WATCHER. [v: a Sampling of Reconnaissance and Surveillance Insignia]

Long-Range Surveillance Unit, being a patrol about half the size of a reconnaissance patrol that's normally scheduled for twice the period in the field; Vietnamese term: Tham Sat. Compare LRRP; see LRP, RECON, STRATA, I&R, HAWKS, PEEPERS, WATCHER. [nb: when LRSP operations were distinguished from LRRP and other SOF missions, as CAV from INF, or INTEL from CSAR, the surveillance teams trained in RVN were awarded a qualification badge similar in design to the US Army para badge, except that the wings grasped a pair of binoculars, instead of being attached to a deployed parabolic parachute, denoting that HAWKS, scouts, and shadow walkers were supposed to "sneak, creep, and peek"]

Line Replaceable Unit; in aviation, components of aircraft systems that, if it malfunctions, can be removed and replaced on the flight line.

Lubricant Solution All-purpose, also interpreted as "Lubricant, Small Arms"; see LSU / LSA, CLP, WD-40, POL. [nb: due to wartime import constraints on petroleum products, Imperial Germany invented margarine (a glyceride of margaric acid) as a substitute firearm lubricant; which later became, with a coloring agent, a butter substitute.] Also, abbreviation for Logistics Support Area, being a resupply COMPOUND or equipment support BASE CAMP.

Landing Ship Dock; see LANDING CRAFT. Also, abbreviation for lysergic acid diethylamide, being a crystalline psychedelic drug that was jointly developed by the Army and CIA to induce a psychotic state, often producing temporary hallucinations, during interrogation; see MENTICIDE, BUMMER, SPECIAL K, STONED, DOPE, COLORS. [v: gateway drug, hard drug, soft drug, designer drug, prodrug; cf: miracle drug, wonder drug] [nb: it has been widely alleged (without documentation to date) that test subjects, including servicemembers and other government employees, were involuntarily administered LSD and other experimental psychotropic / psychotomimetic drugs without their informed consent, resulting in many notorious incidents, including at least one (now infamous) suicide (Frank Olson in 1953)] [cf: "The Army admitted today that it conducted secret experiments of mind-altering drugs on many unsuspecting soldiers without their consent during the 1960s, but the spokesman reported that none of the test subjects was promoted above the rank of lieutenant colonel." by George Carlin] [nb: a widely circulated but spurious WAR STORY alleges that post-war criminal violence and other antisocial nonconformity by crazed veterans is the direct result of unauthorized drug experimentation that was secretly conducted by medical personnel, many of whom were ignorant of this classified test, which was designed to increase combat aggressivity in soldiers, hence the fictitious "Rambo" account that allegedly attempted to disclose the purported "truth" behind the CODENAME of the program; actually, LRRP teams were only issued amphetamines, and Special Forces teams were also issued kits containing: 12 Darvon, 24 codeine, 6 dextroamphetamines, and 4 SYRETTEs of morphine sulfate.]

Landing Ship Infantry; see LANDING CRAFT.

Littoral Sea Mine, being a self-contained explosive device designed for shallow (littoral) or shoaling (sublittoral) waters; an encapsulated configuration that monitors traffic for accoustic acquisition and SONAR attack by torpedo (CAPTOR) is under development by the Naval Ordnance Laboratory. See MINE.

Landing Ship, Medium (Rocket); see LANDING CRAFT.

abbreviation for Landing Signals Officer on an aircraft carrier; commonly called PADDLES.

Landing Ship Tank, also called "Long Slow Target"; see LANDING CRAFT.

Lubricant Solution Utility or Lubricant Solution All-purpose (also interpreted as "Lubricant Small Arms"); a lightweight (or thin viscosity) gun oil; see CLP, WD-40, POL. [nb: due to wartime import constraints on petroleum products, Imperial Germany invented margarine (a glyceride of margaric acid) as a substitute firearm lubricant; which later became, with a coloring agent, a butter substitute.]

Light Surveillance Vehicle, being a small, lightweight, skeletonized vehicle used for high-mobility transport in rough terrain; this is the military version of the All Terrain Vehicle (ATV). Compare FAV, MULE, LAV, DIRT BIKE, CHAPARRAL, GAMMA GOAT.

LT :
Second Lieutenant rank insignia First Lieutenant rank insignia
(el-tee) abbreviation for LieutenanT, also referred to as "Loo", "Loot", or LOOEY; as derived from place-holder or substitute [v: locum tenens, vicar]. Differentiated into Second (2LT) and First (1LT) GRADEs; the designation of Second Lieutenant succeeded SUBALTERN, coronet, and ensign in the early 1800s, but wore no insignia of rank until WWI. Compare XO; see BUTTER BAR, BROWN BAR, LDR, RANK, RATING, OFFICER.

the abbreviation for LieutenanT Colonel (O-5), a field grade rank in the Army, Air Force, and Marines, that's equivalent to Commander (CDR) in the Navy; commonly known as a LIGHT BIRD (by contrast with a FULL BIRD); see RANK, RATING, LDR, OFFICER.

abbreviation for Lieutenant General (O-9); see RANK, RATING, LDR, FLAG OFFICER.


to be awkward or inexperienced around watercraft, such as a "landlubber"; also represented as "slubberly" for careless and "Dutch talent" for unskilled; to be "ham-handed" rather than "dab-handed"; see HORSE MARINE, compare SALTY, HANDY.

an open space near the top on a mast through which a sailor may pass to reach a perch, instead of climbing out on the futtock shrouds; see CROW'S NEST, GOD'S EYE VIEW, OVERSIGHT. [v: futtock shroud: any of several metal rods secured at their lower ends to a futtock band and at their upper ends to a futtock plate, connecting the lower mast to the topmast rigging]

see POL, JUICE, LSU / LSA, WD-40.

having or marked by good luck, as a fortunate happening or a beneficent occurrence; a positive force that mysteriously shapes events and opportunities; alternatively, an atavistic interpretation of circumstances or an emotional response to changing conditions. Also, bringing favorable conditions or foretelling a satisfactory conclusion, as by positive accommodation or by accidental propitiation. See HANDSEL, JOSS, FENG SHUI, BONUS DAY CLUB, LUCKY BAG. [nb: "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." by Darrell Royal; "Successful people are very lucky. Just ask any failure." by Michael Levine; "The harder you work the luckier you get." attributed to Gary Player; "Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get." by Ray A. Kroc; "At gambling, the deadly sin is to mistake bad play for bad luck." by Ian Fleming; "In combat, the worst error is to mistake poor performance for bad luck." anonymous; "Now and then there is a person born who is so unlucky that he runs into accidents which started out to happen to somebody else." by Don Marquis; "Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good." American adage; "You know what luck is? Luck is believing you're lucky. That's all." by Tennessee Williams] [nb: "Don't send me talented officers -- send me lucky ones!" is a common misquote of "Has he luck?", the most habitual query raised by Napoleon Bonaparte] [cf: "luck of the draw"; "push one's luck" or "crowd one's luck"] [v: bonne chance (French: good luck)]

a "lost and found" locker under the charge of the Master-At-Arms (MAA) aboard ship wherein sailors can reclaim their property when the locker is opened each month, and the rest of the crew can bid on the auction purchase of the other adrift or abandoned items, which monies are contributed to the general welfare SLUSH FUND. Compare SLOP CHEST.



(forthcoming); nickname of 13th Inf Div ("Black Cat") / 13th Abn Div ("The Unicorn Division")

a defensive air combat tactic first used during World War I that sketches a circular or corkscrew pattern of flight in the sky for all-around observation; this technique was so-called by the American fliers trained by Raoul Lufbery, the leading fighter ace of the Lafayette Escadrille, but this defensive surveillance was also (mis-)spelled "Lufberry" and "Luffberry". This defensive air tactic is most effective when executed by pairs or formations of aircraft to offset the vulnerabilities of slower or less maneuverable aircraft against stronger or faster attack aircraft, where even overlapping bombers can guard themselves against solitary striking fighters; although vulnerable to vertical attack, the Lufberry Circle has proven effective in battles between mismatched airplanes during WWII, the KOREAN and VIETNAM WARs. This term also refers to air-to-air combat that is essentially restricted to a "tail chase" fight (ie: "Luf-out" or "Luf'ed-out") in a single horizontal plane, where neither aircraft has a turning advantage nor the ability to introduce a vertical element. Compare THACH WEAVE, RACETRACK, HIGH 'n' DRY, AEROBATICS. [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics and Aviation Lexicon]

the vibratory effect of a canopy or airfoil flying into the wind at a too-steep ANGLE OF ATTACK, in which the leading edge may tremble and the entire surface may ripple; being an effect similar to WAFFLE, but from a different cause. Also, to raise or lower the outer end of the BOOM of a crane or derrick, moving its load horizontally.

slang for becoming entangled in a "tail chase" air-to-air battle that's limited to a single horizontal plane, where neither aircraft has a turning advantage nor the ability to introduce a vertical element, and disengagement is more problematic than continuation; as derived from LUFBERY CIRCLE.

a projecting piece by which something is connected, secured, or supported, such as a bayonet lug on the barrel of a rifle or other firearm. Also, a ridge or welt that helps to provide traction and reduce impact, such as the cleats on the sole of a boot; see PANAMA SOLE, FOOTWEAR.

slang for the casualty identification tag, formally designated the Field Medical Card (DD Form 1380), which is also known as a "field casualty card", "wound chit", "bag tag", "shipping label", or "toe tag". LUGGAGE TAGs identify the patient, report injury details, record interim treatment, and assist in later TRIAGE assessment. The LUGGAGE TAG is usually tied to the patient's chest, but if no cards are available, the injury and treatment information will be written directly on the patient's forehead (or, in the case of a head injury, on their chest). See SYRETTE, MASS CASUALTIES, MEDIC, DOC, BONE CUTTER, A 'n' D, BAND-AID, MEDEVAC, EVAC, HOSPITAL, RECOVERY, PRP, MORTUARY AFFAIRS.

dismissive reference by rhyming to any Oriental enemy soldier in the VIETNAM WAR, regardless of nationality; as HERMAN THE GERMAN was used during World War Two. See CHARLIE, GOOK, LONGHAIR, GOMER, IVAN, BAD GUYS.

rhyming slang from the WWII-era for a black or Negro/Negress prostitute plying her trade among soldiers and sailors in any of the wartime overseas areas (North Africa, South Seas, etc); compare NUBUSH, FUZZY-WUZZY ANGEL, CHOCOLATE BUNNY; see LBFM, STRANGE, GRASSHOPPER, CAMP FOLLOWER, CAMPAIGN WIFE, SLEEPING DICTIONARY, HORIZONTAL COLLABORATOR, CHURNING BUTTER, HOOKUP, FUCK, SHORT-TIME, INDIG. [nb: 'lulu' is slang (since the mid-19th century) for anything that's outstanding, for anyone who's remarkable, which is derived by generic use of the given name]


based upon the relations of the moon and the sun, or pertaining to their joint actions; see TIME.

Landing Vehicle Tracked, or Landing Vehicle Tank, being a ship-to-shore transport for 18-20 troops that's armed with .50cal heavy machineguns and 40mm automatic grenade launchers; this amphibious tractor is also called "Large Vulnerable Target"; compare AAV, see LANDING CRAFT.

Landing Vehicle Tracked Amphibious (with 75mm howitzer); see AAV, LANDING CRAFT.

Landing Vehicle Tracked Command, with additional communications.

Landing Vehicle Track Propelled; see AAV, LANDING CRAFT.

used successfully as an explosive filler for most artillery shells and bombs in the First World War; derived as a toponym after the British proving grounds at Lydd, a municipal borough of southeast England; it is also known as picric acid, carbazotic acid, picronitric acid, phenol trinitrate, trinitrophenol (TNP), or trinitrobenzene. See EXPLOSIVE.

to suffocate (anoxia) someone by suspending their body from the neck with a rope, chain, or other tether until they are dead, as a form of extralegal execution (as juxtaposed to 'hanging', which is a legally decreed punishment that breaks the neck of the convicted person); see JUDGE LYNCH, DRUMHEAD, MARTIAL LAW, SHOW TRIAL, PROVOST COURT, REGULATOR, VIGILANCE COMMITTEE, STRANGE FRUIT, CHRISTMAS TREE, ROOM TO SWING A CAT, LET THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG, ONE SIZE FITS ALL, TWIST IN THE WIND, TORTURE. [nb: gallows (also known as gibbet, tree, forks, two-legged man, widow) served to execute criminals by hanging (the higher the crime, the higher the platform), which often caused the victim to "dance" on the end of the rope (rope dance or airy trot) while strangling, if the neck was not immediately broken (a too short drop), or the head separated from the body (a too long drop) ... this tragic "dance of death" (danse macabre) is comic to the simpletons and ghouls who are entertained by capital punishment; the "last mile" is the indeterminate distance that the condemned prisoner walks to his place of execution; the phrase "room to swing a cat" is an expression for enough space to hang a rogue (the 'cat') who will caper or cavort at the end of the rope (not to flog with a cat-o'-nine-tails whip)]

the summary execution of an accused or convicted person by extralegal process; see JUDGE LYNCH.

see FREEZE-DRY. [v: parch]

LZ :
Landing Zone; an area of ingress or egress for HELIBORNE operations, including hoist, ladder, and rope (eg: RAPPEL, FRIES, McGuire, STABO). Originated with WWII glider LZ. Compare DZ; see PZ, CLZ, LIFT, AIRBORNE SHUFFLE, FLARE, BUTTONHOOK, ROMMEL'S ASPARAGUS.

usually performed by rolling a large bomb (BLU-82) out the rear cargo hatch from a C-130 aircraft, with a short fuse attached for above ground detonation. The bomb blew horizontally, without creating a crater, making an instant landing zone (LZ). See DAISY CUTTER.