an aircraft prefix under the Joint Service Designation System
that represents 'trainer'. [v: 'AT' (advanced trainer)]
Tactical Assembly Area; see AA, RV, RP, RALLY POINT, LINE OF
DEPARTURE, POD, IP, WAY POINT, RON.
Tactical Assault Boat, as for special operations; see BOAT. Also,
Tactical Air Base. Also, a distinguishing label denoting
classification or qualification, such as an AIRBORNE arc attached
to a unit PATCH, or a sleeve tag designating individual
proficiency (called a Q-TAB); see TRIPLE CANOPY, compare SCROLL,
GREEN TAB. Also, a small airfoil hinged to the rear portion of a
control surface, as to an elevator, aileron, or RUDDER; see FIN,
TABLE MUSCLE :
facetious description of excessive body weight, commonly called
'fat' (adipose) or 'blubber', which obesity or corpulence is
achieved by eating too much and not working hard enough; see PT,
PFT, DAILY DOZEN, FRONT LEANING REST, PUSH-UP, JUMPING JACK,
SQUAT, AIRBORNE SHUFFLE, EXERCISE, MONKEY BUTT, PAIN. [cf:
Tactical Air Command, being one of three USAF commands with Air
Defense Command (ADC) and Strategic Air Command (SAC).
Also, the TACtical officer (commissioned or non-commissioned) who
directly supervises the training and assesses the character of
military school candidates; sometimes represented as an acronym
for Training and Assessment Counselor (or "Training Advising and
Counseling" officer); see CANDIDATE, TAC ALLEY, CADET, TRADE
SCHOOL. [nb: variously misrepresented as "train / assess / coach"
or "teach / advise / counsel"]
TACtical AIR support, or Close Air Support (CAS); as
distinguished from "strategic bombing". See FAC, MISTY FAC, FO,
FCSL, PREP, DANGER CLOSE, LETDOWN.
TAC ALLEY :
the corridor where the administrative offices of a training
company are located, almost always situated on the ground floor
of a barracks, including rooms for the commander, XO, TAC
officers (by platoon), ORDERLY ROOM, together with other company
areas, such as a non-denominational chapel, DAYROOM, or chow hall
/ DFAC. Compare OFFICER'S COUNTRY.
Tactical Air Control And Navigation, or TACtical Air Navigation,
also spelled "TAC-AN" [nb: not to be confused with 'TACON' (qv)];
being an ultra-high frequency electronic air navigation system
which provides a continuous indication of bearing and distance to
the TACAN station, by common slant range components. Also,
TACtical ANtenna, employing TMSQ# (T=temporary, M=mobile,
S=Special type, Q=special purpose) devices, as used for VECTOR; a
ground- or aircraft-based radio used to provide distance and
bearing information between two elements, as ground to air or air
to air; see RADAR, STACK, ANTENNA FARM, COMM SHACK, COMMANDO
Tactical Air Control Center; compare TADC, TAOC.
a trademarked [One Monkey LLC (Apr 2016)] multi-user
communications network enabling text-based messaging (SMS) on
mobile phones during the GULF WAR-era; see BURNER, CELLULAR
TELEPHONE / CELLPHONE, ELECTRONIC PACIFIER, MEME.
TACIT RAINBOW :
an anti-RADAR Cruise Missile (AGM-136) manufactured by Northrop
Venturi Corporation, which has the capacity to track a RADAR
signal over 50mi, and loiter if the signal is interrupted, before
acquiring it again for destruction.
the use of a short piece of rope (4-6ft length) to serve as a
blank space when communicating by signal flags (ie: BURGEE)
aboard a ship; this blank (ZERO, ZIP) acts as an interruption in
the message so as to set part of it aside, or to punctuate the
text, which is recorded as a 'dash'. [v: Alphabet Codes & Signal Flags]
any specialized apparatus, equipment, or GEAR, including
rigging; see LINE. Also, a leverage system of pulleys; see BLOCK,
WHIP, FAIRLEAD, FALL, PENDANT, CRAB, SNATCH BLOCK, PARBUCKLE. [v:
gun tackle, double block, double Spanish burton; nb: a "sheet" is
a thin LINE or CORD used in reeving TACKLE and the rigging of
sails; and like a HAWSER, it is never called a ROPE]
TAC NCO :
a redundency for TAC (qv).
TAC OFFICER :
a redundency for TAC (qv).
U.S. Air Force acronym for TACtical CONtrol, or Tactical Air
CONtrol, being the local direction and detailed control of
movements or maneuvers that are necessary to accomplish assigned
tasks or missions. [nb: not to be confused with 'TACAN' (qv)]
Tactical Air Control Party.
see COMBAT LIGHTNING
one of the principal traits evaluated for promotion; this ability
to adroitly deal with sensitive matters without giving offense is
considered to be as important (if not more so) as BEARING or
MIL-CRAFTs. See ER, EER, NCOER, OER, FITREP, BAYONET SHEET,
RESPECT, JUDGMENT CALL, CHARISMA, NO EVIL, SOCIAL GRACES,
FINESSE, PROMISE, DIME, CONTAINMENT, BIG STICK DIPLOMACY, GUNBOAT
DIPLOMACY, PING-PONG DIPLOMACY, SABER-RATTLING, CROSS THE
RUBICON, BLOODY SHIRT, JUST WAR, CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS, FIGHTING
WORDS, FIGHTING MAD.
[nb: "It has been said that 'tact' is the ability to tell someone
to go to hell in such a way that he looks forward to taking the
trip!"; "The naked truth is like a naked man -- it's better to
dress-up the bare ugliness."; "Civility is greatly overrated.";
"Tellin' a good lie ain't no sin."; "Tact is for weenies!"] [v:
beseem, nicety; cf: mauvais ton]
[nb: until recently, an OFFICER was simultaneously designated a
"gentleman" when appointed by an ACT OF CONGRESS, which not only
inspired further intellectual development but also encouraged
cultural sophistication, which refinements were mocked as being
'suave and debonair' (deliberately mispronounced as "soo-wave"
and "dee-boner"); v: BRASS HAT, MUSTANG, BLUE BLOOD, UP THE
HAWSEPIPE, TALLY-HO; cf: HARD-ASS, MACHO]
TACTICAL ACQUISITION :
see LIBERATE, SNATCH, COMMANDEER, SPOILS OF WAR, MIDNIGHT
REQUISITION, FIELD EXPEDIENT.
TACTICAL NUCLEAR WEAPON :
any nuclear device employed by land, sea, or air forces against
opposition forces, their installations or facilities, in support
of operations that contribute to the accomplishment of a limited
military mission, or support a scheme of maneuver in a defined
area of the battlefield; see SUITCASE NUKE, NUKE.
TACTICAL RAIL :
see PICATINNY RAIL.
a plan or procedure of those movements necessary for gaining an
advantage, such as in the art or science of deploying military
(or naval) forces and maneuvering them in battle; as derived from
arranging, to put in order. Compare STRATEGY; see CAPABILITY,
COURSE OF ACTION, LEAST RESISTANCE, KNOW YOUR ENEMY, OPLAN.
[nb: a theorem on the relativity of tactics and strategy is: if
the tactics are wrong and the strategy is wrong then the war will
be quickly lost; if the tactics are right but the strategy is
wrong then battles will be won while the war is lost; if the
tactics are wrong but the strategy is right then battles will be
lost while the war is won; and if the tactics are right and the
strategy is right then the war will be quickly won] [nb: "There
is only one tactical principle which is not subject to
circumstantial change, and that is to utilize all available
resources to vigorously prosecute the enemy by inflicting maximum
death and destruction in the minimum time required to render them
defenseless or ineffective."] [nb: "Them ain't tactics, honey.
That's just the beast in me." by Elvis Presley as Vince Everett
in Jailhouse Rock (1957)]
TACTICAL SHOOTING POSTURE :
see SHOOTING POSTURE.
see BLUNT, UNIVOCAL, NASTY-GRAM, UGLY AMERICAN; compare TACT.
NavSpeak for Temporary Additional Duty, known as Temporary Duty
(TDY) by Army and Air Force personnel; abbreviation corrupted
into "Traveling Around Drunk". See CHOP, JCET, SHEEP-DIPPED;
compare DUTY, BILLET, BERTH, POST, ON STATION, WATCH, HARDSHIP
TOUR, BUMFUCK, MOS, OJT, PCS.
Tactical Air Direction Center; compare TACC, TAOC.
being the aquatic larva of frogs, hence the nickname for a
FROGMAN trainee; see BUDS, UDT, DIVER; compare PUP, LEG,
POLLYWOG, CHUM, NUGGET. Also, slang designation for a
limbless amputee or quadriplegic; also called a "basket-case" by
Brits, a "samovar" by Russians, and a "curling stone" by
Canadians; compare CRISPY CRITTER, RICE KRISPIES, SOUP, CREATURE
FEATURE, FLOATER, MAGGOT, CADET.
formerly a basic monetary unit of currency in China, equivalent
to its weight (liang = 37g/1.33oz) in silver; compare SYCEE; see
YUAN, RENMINBI, LEGAL TENDER.
the upper part of the STERN of a ship, as derived from 'tableau';
see FANTAIL. Also, a rail above the STERN of a ship; see PULPIT;
compare BULWARK, LIFELINE.
the unit accountability form for each individual's field gear,
clothing and equipment, equivalent to the Marine Corps'
Requisition Form 782 (DEUCE GEAR); see CANTEEN, FIELD CAP, BUSH
HAT, HELMET, HELMET-COVER, PISTOL BELT, LBE, ALICE, LBV, MOLLE,
WEB GEAR, FLAK VEST, PONCHO, PONCHO LINER, FART SACK,
SHELTER-HALF, RUCK / RUCKSACK, E-TOOL, BAYONET, COMPRESS, MESS
KIT, FULL BATTLE RATTLE, COMBAT LOADED, BATTLE DRESS. [nb: called
"belt order" by AUSSIE and KIWI troops]
see PINNING, BLOODING.
TAG LINE / TAGLINE :
a catchword or phrase that's associated with a person or group,
institution or organization, process or product, by propinquity
and repetition, often the most prominent refrain or final line,
such as a slogan, motto, or theme song; see BATTLE CRY, TOAST,
SIGNATURE, ESPRIT DE CORPS.
an extension from the FUSELAGE as part of the tail assembly
(empennage) of an aircraft; also called "boom", being the
FUSELAGE extension of an aircraft that ends in a small
stabilizing propeller, or in a split extension to mount the
RUDDER and FIN stabilizers. See HUEY, HUSKY, FLYING BOXCAR,
LIGHTNING, SKYMASTER, BIRD.
TAILDRAGGER / TAIL-DRAGGER :
an aircraft having its center of gravity behind its main wheels,
with the aft FUSELAGE supported by a small pivoting or steerable
tail-wheel; these so-called "conventional gear" airplanes require
S-turns to obtain clear forward visibility whenever taxiing, and
so are more susceptible to GROUND LOOP incidents. See FIXED GEAR,
WHEEL PANTS, LANDING SKID, FLOAT, UNDERCARRIAGE, BIRD.
TAIL-END CHARLIE :
the last man in any given line or FILE, being too often "a day
late and a dollar short" or otherwise relegated to the end;
compare DRAG, TRAIL, GOAT, CHARLIE. Also, the trail element at
the end of a COMBAT BOX flight formation, which position is
typically reserved for the most inexperienced pilots; this
vulnerable position was also called the "Purple Heart position"
or "coffin corner" in such a flight formation.
the end RAMP on some aircraft, such as the HERCULES and HUSKY,
CHINOOK / SEA KNIGHT, including the clamshell closure at the rear
end of the DECK on the FLYING BOXCAR and FAT ALBERT, for the
movement of people and cargo; being similar to the bow RAMP on
LANDING CRAFT. Also, to off-load men or equipment through this
HATCH, as AIRBORNE, AIRDROP, LOW-LEVEL EVACUATION DROP, or
the arresting device for catching restraining lines when landing
aircraft on-board FLATTOPs (CV). See PADDLES, BURBLE, NIGHT TRAP,
BOLTER, BOUNCE. [nb: the arresting TAILHOOK on some US Air Force
jets does not make them eligible for aircraft carrier landings,
since the airframe and landing gear are not designed to withstand
the forces involved; the US Air Force TAILHOOK is designed to
catch and drag a weighted restraint situated near the end of the
RUNWAY to help slow an out of control airplane that OVERSHOOTs
the landing strip]
THE TAIL WAGS THE DOG / THE TAIL WAGGING THE DOG :
an idiomatic expression for the few controlling the many, for the
least dominating the majority, for the minor governing the major,
for the elite or privileged directing the common or ordinary;
while typical of hierarchies, where officers command enlisted
personnel, this expression represents the exception to the rule,
wherein the students taught the instructor, the amateurs bested
the professionals, or the under-class scored a moral victory over
the upper-class. See GO TO GUY, SILENT MAJORITY.
TAIPING REBELLION :
the unsuccessful "great peace" rebellion (1850-64) against the
Manchu or Ch'ing/Ta Ch'ing dynasty (1644-1912) by the Small
Swords Society; compare BOXER UPRISING, see HOLY WAR. [nb:
kiao-tse represents combat boxing, as taught and practiced in
lodges, such as Chao-lin; cf: righteous and harmonious fists, a
secret society (ca1898, "I Ho Ch'uan"]
TAKE A KNEE :
the invitation extended by the commander to his subordinates to
"get comfortable" by SQUATting or hunkering in the field without
removing WEB GEAR or setting aside weapons; equivalent to "take a
seat" when indoors. Because most Americans are not agrarian or
rural, and so have never learned fieldcrafts, the SQUAT or hunker
becomes very uncomfortable in a short time; therefore the most
common posture assumed by fully loaded troops is a stable
three-point crouch, with the body resting on one foot, the other
toe and knee [nb: this is also the supported kneeling position
for rifle shooting]. This TAKE A KNEE posture is a way to rest
without removing essential GEAR, and can be more easily and
quickly recovered from than sitting, which can expose the body to
unwanted dirt, moisture, or contaminants. It's possible that this
posture is derived from football, where suited-up players are
informally gathered for a short lecture or discussion during
practice; however the coincidence is not unusual, because most
MIL-PERS are athletes, and would be involved in both playing and
coaching various sports. See DUCK-WALK, FROGMARCH, LOW-CRAWL.
Also, a traditional gesture of subordination, as when pledging
loyalty or swearing fealty; a symbol of devotion or faithfulness;
compare SALUTE, KOWTOW, REI, WAI, SAMPEAH, CHAO, SALAAM, ON ONE'S
TAKE A SHIT :
see DUMP, SQUIRTS, TROTS, SHIT.
TAKE CARE OF THE PENCE :
see TAKE CARE OF THE PENNIES.
TAKE CARE OF THE PENNIES :
the initial part of the Americanized version of "Take care of the
pence and the pounds will take care of themselves.", which was an
English addage attributed to "old Mister Lowndes" (who was the
renown Secretary of the Treasury in the reigns of King William,
Queen Anne, and King George I) by Lord Chesterfield in a letter
(5 Feb 1750) to his son; this expression ("Take care of the
pennies and the bills will take care of themselves."), which
advocates close attention to one's budget, can be read either as
"dollar bills" or as "bills due for payment". See DON'T SWEAT THE
SMALL STUFF, DON'T DO NOTHING. [nb: this saying is parodied in
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (Charles
Lutwidge Dodgson; 1865) as the Duchess's words of advice: "Take
care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves."]
TAKE IT ON THE CHIN :
a colloquialism for impassively withstanding abuse or
mistreatment; to stoically endure injustice or punishment. Also,
being utterly or thoroughly defeated. See DIEHARD, BITE THE
BULLET, WHITE-KNUCKLE, SUCK IT UP, MAN-UP, REFERRED PAIN, ROOT
HOG OR DIE, ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH, STAND ONE'S GROUND, LAST
STAND, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, GUTS, MOXIE,
ONIONS, WINTER SOLDIER.
TAKE-OFF / TAKEOFF :
leaving the ground, as when an aircraft departs; also called
"lift-off" or "wheels-up" (on airplanes with retractable LANDING
GEAR). Also, informal referent for a departure or leave-taking of
any kind; see STOL, VSTOL, VTOL, JET PROPULSION, JATO, BIRDCAGE,
JUDAS GOAT, RUNWAY, LIMA SITE, ROOF, THRESHOLD, TAXIWAY, APRON,
RAMP, PSP, MARSDEN MATTING, MOBI-MAT, MACADAM, STRIP ALERT,
CATAPULT, WINDSOCK, HOT-FUELING, FOD, APU, PLASTIC BRAINS, WALK
AROUND, SCRAM, SCRAMBLE, HAUL-ASS, BUG-OUT, BEAT FEET, CUT AND
RUN, PULL PITCH, SPLIT, CHOGI, RABBIT, DECAMP, SKY, JUICE,
DUSTOFF, RETROGRADE, EXFIL, SHOVE-OFF, BLUE PETER.
TAKE-OFF AND DIE :
slang reference to the symptomatic "gun-shy" or "fear of
exposure" that's entailed by combat action, as when aircrew are
afraid of flying into a RED LZ; commonly represented as an
acronym: TOAD (qv).
the act of seizing control or appropriating authority, to
arrogate or usurp, confiscate or expropriate; see COUP, COUP
TAKE THE GILT OFF THE GINGERBREAD :
see (TO TAKE THE) GILT OFF THE GINGERBREAD.
TAKE UP THE SLACK :
literally, to make a loose section of a rope or other line taut,
tight, or tense by gathering the excess; and figuratively, to
supplement or compensate for something inadequate or incomplete
by providing its lack. See SLACK.
TALENT SCOUT :
see NIGHTCRAWLER; compare HANDLER.
something whose presence exercises a remarkable influence upon
human feelings or actions, especially an object (amulet or charm)
that's carved with figures or engraved with characters which are
supposed to possess occult powers; as derived from 'payment' or
'result'. See FEATHER, MASCOT, ANTHROPOMORPHISM, MOJO, HOODOO,
VOODOO, JINX, BUGBEAR, JOSS.
TALK THE TALK :
a descriptive catch-phrase that acknowledges someone's
authenticity, validates their eligibility for in-group
membership, as of someone unknown to other unit members being
vouched safe if "he talks the talk and walks the walk". This
corroboration of a person's genuineness also applies to someone
transferred to a combat unit who has had a previous combat tour
with a different unit, which testament serves as a warrant to his
ability subsequent to his latest combat operation in the war
zone. Also, this catch-phrase is also used heuristically when
manufacturing a cover story or back story for an operative or
agent who must fit in or blend in with others, as in "You will
have to remember to talk the talk and walk the walk when ....".
See WALKS THE WALK, ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS, SIX DEGREES
OF SEPARATION, GOOD PEOPLE, GOOD STICK, BOY'S CLUB, HOOKUP, NET,
BACKSTOP, LEGEND, SPOOK, CRYPTO; compare JARGON, LINGUA FRANCA,
PIDGIN, VERNACULAR, POINTIE TALKIE, VISUAL LANGUAGE TRANSLATOR,
TALK TRASH :
to brag or lie, as bullshit or horseshit; to use vulgar, obscene,
scurrilous, or profane language, as to BAD-MOUTH; also includes
nervous or compulsive verbiage, as babble, blather, chatter,
jabber, natter, prate, prattle, yammer, yak, yackety-yack,
yadda-yadda, jaw-jacking, or VERBAL DIARRHEA; also includes
word-play, rhyme, banter, persiflage, badinage, ranking, rake,
pun, jest, jive, jeer, rag, raillery, rigmarole, rap, witticism,
or the like (eg: "doin' tha dozens" [v: WOOF] was a form of
"battle rhyme" or 'verbal combat' among BLACK troops). See SMACK,
SHOOT THE SHIT, SNOW, GAS BAG, HOT AIR, MOTOR MOUTH, BRAVO
SIERRA, TELL IT TO THE MARINES, SCUTTLEBUTT, BLOW SMOKE,
CONFETTI, GODDAM, OATH, SEA STORY, WAR STORY, COUNT COUP, ATFU;
compare CHICKEN SHIT, RUMOR, MIL-SPEAK.
[nb: 'hooey', allegedly an Americanism used as an interjection
for nonsense or tripe, is actually a corruption of the Russian
vulgarity ("khuy") for penis, and is commonly used alone (eg:
dick, dickhead, dick-wad) or in phrases (eg: dumber than dick; he
doesn't know dick; don't dick around; don't stir your tea with
your dick)] [cf: migration of "putz" from shine through ornament
to penis and dolt; as sexual lure] [v: lucky stiff]
TALL GRASS :
(forthcoming); nominally, any tall grass, such as reed grass or
switch grass, see SAW GRASS, KUNAI, NIPA PALM, PITA, ELEPHANT
GRASS, TULE; idiomatically, any remote wilderness or hinterland,
bush or sticks, as "run for the tall grass" or "hide in the tall
grass", see BOONDOCKS / BOONIES, TULE, BACKWASH, INDIAN COUNTRY,
DOWN RANGE. [cf: "in the wind"]
TALL MAN SYNDROME :
(forthcoming); aka: "big man syndrome"; compare LITTLE PENIS
COMPLEX / SMALL PENIS SYNDROME. [v: "head and shoulders above
acknowlegement by a PILOT that he has visually acquired an air or
ground target which had been called to his attention, and is now
in pursuit, closing, chasing, or attacking; also known as
"tallyho" or "tally"; in Naval aviation, if the target is
confirmed, the call skips the preliminary BANDIT, and issues a
TALLY-HO immediately; see BOGIE, BANDIT, GOMER, VISUAL, PRIMROSE
PATH, JUDY, JOY, SCRAM, SPLASH, BATTER UP, PLAY BALL. Also,
designation for the southernmost sector of North Vietnam (NVN);
compare DMZ. Also, the phrase used by PILOTs and other aviation
personnel to informally announce the arrival of an attractive
woman in the target area, or the sighting of an attractive woman
in the operations area; such usage is considered to be more
refined and mature, more suave and debonair than slavering and
grunting ... bug-eyed chest-pounding and wolf-whistling is deemed
to be uncouth and unsophisticated, though typical of crass and
boorish FLY-BOYs! [nb: apparently "Waco!" was used by WWI pilots
when suddenly encountering military or female targets, in the
same way as TALLY-HO] [ety: the call proclaimed in fox hunting
when the quarry is sighted and pursuit is intensified; cf: soho]
Tactical Airlift Liaison Officer
North American T-28 / T-38, a 2-seat, single-engine, monoplane
TRAINER; the T-28D version is an attack plane, capable of
carrying a variety of ordnance on counterinsurgency missions.
Compare TROJAN; see CHAPAKAO, BIRD.
TAM MAK HOONG :
in Laotian cuisine, a spicy fruit salad of shredded green papaya
that's admixed with hot chili, sour lime, piquant fish sauce,
salt, and palm sugar; versions of this dish also exist in
Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia. Compare SOMTAM. [nb: because
this 'green papaya' is not yet ripe, it retains its firm crisp
texture, and the flavor is savory (not sweet)]
a plug or pledget of cotton, lint, or other absorbent material
(eg: amalou), used to control bleeding from a wound or body
cavity; as derived from tampion/tapon for any bung or plug (see
MUZZLE); compare COMPRESS, TENT, STRETCHER; see POLICE CALL.
Also, a two headed drumstick, used to play rolls; see DRUM.
TAN BERET :
see BERET; compare GREEN BERET.
slang for wire entanglements used as barriers; also called
devil's rope, bobwire, razor ribbon, wire-tape, or barbed tape,
warwire, or tactical wire (tac-wire). See BARBED WIRE, RAZOR
WIRE, CONCERTINA, BANGALORE TORPEDO.
the word assigned to represent the letter "T" in the
international phonetic alphabet; at various times in different
spelling schemes, it has also been acrophonetically represented
as Tare and Tape. See ALPHABET SOUP, PHONETIC ALPHABET. [v: Alphabet Codes &
Also, a generic agnomen for any unknown, indistinguishable, or
non-descript TERRORIST, often diminutive or effeminate (eg: Terry
..., Tracy ..., Timmy ..., Tanya ..., Teddy ..., or Tommy the
Tango), so as to differentiate them as targets.
TANGO BOAT :
Armored Troop Carrier (ATC); like an APC that floats
[nb: APCs and tanks are "swim" rated with engine SNORKELs, but
are unreliable in that mode], but was less effective on land.
The originals were LCM-6s with armor-plate and bar-armor added.
They had nine seats for the troops and a canvas top to keep the
sun out. Each TANGO could carry a fully equipped rifle platoon.
They had two twin .50 cal. machinegun mounts on the boat deck
and four Browning .30 cal. light machineguns re-chambered for
NATO 7.62mm in the WELL DECK. In 1968 the Navy deployed two new
river assault squadrons with TANGO BOATS built from the keel up
specifically for riverine operations. See MRF, AAV, MOSQUITO
generic term for a track-driven (on caterpillar treads due to
superior traction and improved weight distribution) armored
combat vehicle that's armed with a cannon (MAIN-GUN) mounted
inside a rotating TURRET, formerly called a "land ship",
informally known as "big boy" and "clinkety-clank", and
designated a "crab" or "turtle" by INDIGenous peoples; including
STUART, GENERAL LEE, SHERMAN, PERSHING, WALKER-BULLDOG, CHAFFEE,
PATTON, SHERIDAN, ABRAMS. Invented in 1914, pre-WWII doctrine
designated TANK employment against troops and obstacles, so the
armor was only thick enough to deflect SMALL ARMS, with
counteroffense relegated to specially equipped "tank destroyer"
teams; but WWII introduced more resistant fortifications and
engagements between TANKs, necessitating lower silhouettes,
thicker armor, and larger cannons. With the introduction of wire-
and LASER-guided munitions during and after the VIETNAM WAR,
TANKs also acquired better sights, faster fire, and increased
speed. The shock value of the armor doctrine, where heavy gunfire
issues from a rapidly moving platform that's fortified against
general defense, acts as a FORCE MULTIPLIER. TANKERs convert the
official "mobility and firepower" doctrine into sexual tactics:
it ain't whatcha got but how ya use it! See COAX, MAIN-GUN,
MUZZLE-BRAKE, NLOS-C, WILD SHOT, FLAREBACK, KICK, FIREPOWER,
CUPOLA, TURRET, HATCH, CHERRY JUICE, PERISCOPE, BOGIE,
COUNTER-ROTATE, CATERPILLAR, TRACK PAD, TRACK BLOCK, TRACK, MBT,
APC, ARMORED CAR, LAV, HALF-TRACK, DUSTER, VTR, ARV, LOW BOY,
AVLB, SNORKEL, SNORT, REACTIVE ARMOR, SPALL, SPACED ARMOR,
BUSTLE, LAAGER, TANK PARK, GROUND GUIDE, MOTOR POOL, APPLIQUE
ARMOR, HILLBILLY ARMOR, CANNIBALIZE, DRAGON'S TEETH, HEAT, SLAP,
SABOT, AT, PAVIS, WIDOW MAKER, KILL RING, LOADER, TOAD, CONCRETE
BATTLESHIP, VOTING MACHINE.
[nb: heavily armoured cars, known as "tanks" to disguise their
function, were introduced during the First Battle of the Somme
(15 September 1916)]
Also, a large container designed to hold a quantity of gas or
liquid; see BLIVET, BLADDER, WATER BUFFALO. Also, a pond (natural
or artificial) used for storing water. Also, nickname for the
main conference room that's designated for meetings of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff (JCS); situated underground, it is also known as
the "gold room"; compare BUBBLE, FISHBOWL. Also, a large cell or
bullpen for the temporary detention of a group of prisoners; see
BRIG, THE CASTLE, DEADLOCK, CHL, LBJ, CROSSBAR HOTEL, GUARDHOUSE,
STOCKADE, HOT HOUSE, CLUB FED, MONKEY HOUSE [v: dungeon, keep,
oubliette, hock (sty or prison as a miserable place to live)].
TANK FARM :
the safe area where a group or cluster of storage tanks
containing volatile liquids or combustible gases is located.
Compare TANK PARK.
a refueling aircraft (eg: KA-6, KB-29, KB-50, KC-10, KC-97,
KC-135, etc); also called a "flying gas station". Geopolitical
and treaty concerns in the post-WWII era, involving landing and
over-flight rights, necessitated the adoption of TANKERS (eg:
ATCA) that could not only fuel other aircraft, but be refueled
themselves. When the situation permits, TANKERs also serve as
FLARESHIPs for illuminating night incidents or operations. See
STRATOTANKER, EXTENDER, SUPER FORTRESS, INTRUDER, ENDURANCE,
ARCP, DROGUE, BREAKAWAY, BASKETBALL; compare HOT-FUELING, FLYING
Also, a vehicle or other conveyance designed for the bulk
shipment of liquids or gases. Also, a crewmember of a
track-driven TANK or other armored vehicle; also called a "track
rat" or "tankist"; see TOAD, TREAD HEAD, YELLOWLEG, PONY SOLDIER,
BOOTS AND SADDLES, CAVALRY WHISKERS, ORDER OF THE SPUR, YELLOW
RIBBON; compare CRUNCHY. [nb: Vietnamese term: Linh Thiet Giap
TANKER BOOTS :
pull-on leather boots, similar in appearance to regular combat
boots, except secured by a wrapped strap (no laces or eyelets);
so designed to permit the foot to be withdrawn if the boot is
trapped or jammed. Developed before WWII, this design was not
authorized, but was widely condoned in armored and armored
cavalry units. A tanker's coverall was also proposed, under the
same principle of "readily shed for escape", but was not as
popular, and was likewise not authorized. The wear of all-leather
boots is no longer authorized after 30 April 2008. Compare
JODHPUR; see FOOTWEAR.
TANKER JACKET / TANKER'S JACKET :
informal reference to a short cold weather jacket (ie: "jacket,
combat, winter") that was issued (1943) by the Army to infantry,
artillery, and armor personnel during WWII; this hip-length,
windproof, water-repellent, tan colored cotton twill jacket with
kersey (blanket-type) lining and knitted wool collar, cuffs, and
waistband, featured a full-length brass front zipper and
side-entry front pockets. See BATTLE JACKET, FLIGHT JACKET, FIELD
TANKER TECH / TANKERS' TECH :
slang reference to the U.S. Armor School at Fort Knox Kentucky
where the basic and advanced courses for Armor officers are
taught; also called "Tankers' Institute of Technology"; see
REDLEG REFORMATORY, HUDSON HIGH, BOAT SCHOOL, ZOO, OCS, ROTC,
TRADE SCHOOL. [v: Siwash ("At Good Old Siwash" by George Helgeson
TANK PARK :
the secure area where armored vehicles (ie: TRACKs, TANKs, etc)
are temporarily housed for the performance of maintenance,
refitment, repairs, refueling, and other pre- or post-operational
chores until deployed again on maneuvers; a HARDSTAND area where
these armored vehicles are parked when not operational. See
LAAGER, MOTOR POOL, CANNIBALIZE, GROUND GUIDE; compare TANK FARM.
TANK PLINKING :
slang phrase used by GULF WAR gunners and weapons officers (WSO)
for destroying enemy armor with laser or infrared (IR) targeting
and guided munitions ... an authentic "video game" that's almost
as boring as "shooting fish in a barrel"! Phrase was officially
discouraged, as being disrespectful and unprofessional, hence its
politically-incorrect persistence. See LGB, GBU, PAVEWAY; compare
the public-address (PA) system on-board ships, being a British
brand name adopted during WWII, used for "Now Hear This" and "Do
You Hear There" messages; also known as "1-MC", "loud hailer",
and loudspeaker. Compare SQUAWK BOX, BLOWER, HORN, KLAXON,
TOCSIN, ANNUNCIATOR, 1-MC; see WARNING ORDER, BOATSWAIN'S PIPE,
BUGLE CALL, POOP, HEADS-UP, FYI, STAND-TO, DEFCON, SACON, FPCON,
ESP, GQ, ALERT, AHOY, HOISE, OORAH, HOOAH, HAUL-ASS, STAT.
TAN TAY LAN :
Vietnamese for a New Zealander; see KIWI, ADV, COUNTERPART;
compare OUC DA LOI, CO VAN MY.
[v: Down Under Military Glossary]
(tee-ai-oh) NavSpeak for the Tactical Action Officer in
(t-a-o-c) Tactical Air Operations Center; compare TACC, TADC; see
AOC, FOC, ADOC, ASOC, OPN.
Tactical Area Of Responsibility, or Tactical Area of
Operational Responsibility, and is designated "Tactical Area of
Operations" (TAO) by USMC; includes mission of key installation
defense, protective reaction force, and pacification activity
support. Compare AO, TO, AOR, MOA, OA, CHOP LINE, UA.
a light but audible knock, blow, or strike; the sound made by
such a light tap or repeated tapping; compare NOOGIE. Also, a
metal piece attached to the sole of boots and shoes (at the toe
and/or heel) as reinforcement, or to exaggerate the sound of
marching and other DRILL movements. Also, a plug or stopper that
closes an opening in a container (eg: barrel or cask) through
which liquid is intermittently drawn; a hand-operated valve,
spigot, faucet, cock or stopcock. Also, a tool used for cutting
screw threads into the interior cylindrical surface of a round
opening, as when enabling a branch connection into an extant pipe
or line ... by extension, a connection made at an intermediate
point on an electrical circuit or device. Also, to eavesdrop on
telegraphic or telephonic communications, as when gathering
information or evidence; wiretap. Also, to draw upon, to use what
is readily available ("on tap"). Also, to draw from a source, as
beer from a keg, molten metal from a furnace, or surgical spinal
fluid. Also, acronym for Tactical Assault Panel, being a bib-like
chest rig that's covered with PALS grid-work webbing and storage
for eight rifle magazines ... similar bib-style carriers for
submachinegun stick MAGs were used during WWII. The TAP, which
replaces the fighting load carrier, can be used alone, or mounted
on the Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV) or on the Soldier
Plate Carrier System (SPCS).
TAP CODE :
clandestine communication method using any sound to represent
letters of the alphabet, where the alphabet is arrayed as a 5X5
square (K=C); a communications method used when no "long" or
"short" sounds are possible, so unlike MORSE CODE, no "dots" and
"dashes" are necessary. [nb: In early literate societies (eg:
Phoenician, Hebrew, Greek), before the introduction of distinct
Arabic numerals, letters were also used as numbers (gematria /
gimetria), either in context or with the addition of a number
sign to cue (q/quando) the reader, which practice is still used
in braille and TAP CODE but not in sign language or MORSE CODE]
[v: Alphabet Codes &
Also, an abbreviated form of communication used by LRRPs to
signal alerts or prearranged messages transmitted by a TAP CODE
knocked-out on a RIFLE stock.
someone who's working hard at not working; someone showing alot
of flash-and-dash "fancy footwork" to distract everyone from what
the hands are or are not doing, being a "song and dance" of all
style and no substance. See SKATE, MOTOR MOUTH, VERBAL DIARRHEA,
HOT DOG, SPEEDY, BOY WONDER, CYA, WANGLE, PING-PONG, DOG 'n' PONY
SHOW, FIVE O'CLOCK FOLLIES, BLIVET, CHICKEN SHIT, MICKEY MOUSE,
ORIFICE, HALF-ASSED, FRUIT FLY, WAR CORRESPONDENT, SMOKE 'n'
MIRRORS, GAMESMANSHIP, MILICRAT.
[nb: known as "show pony" by AUSSIE and KIWI troops] [nb:
obfuscation and obscurantism are widely represented by the
military maxim: "Bullshit baffles brains!", sometimes called a
"Well sir,..." excuse] [v: showmanship, show-off, swank, coxcomb,
princox, turkey cock, popinjay, sophist, nabob, nibs,
stuffed-shirt, gentry, sophisticate, culture vulture, pooh-bah,
panjandrum, high and mighty, hogen mogen, high-muckety-muck,
high-muck-a-muck] [nb: "If you're walking on thin ice anyway, you
may as well dance." by Randy Wayne White]
bugle signal indicating the end of the day [v: LIGHTS OUT], and
used in memorial services to indicate the last or final day of
duty; being a variation of TATTOO, and so-called from the earlier
practice of tapping the tune on a DRUM. The current version was
composed by Major General Dan Butterfield in 1862 by adaptation
of the SCOTT TATTOO, and was officially adopted in 1874. TAPS is
known as "The Last Post" by AUSSIE, KIWI, and other UK veterans.
This term is also used as a metonym for necrology. See DEAD
MARCH, KNELL, PALLBEARER, ANZAC, MEMORIAL DAY, MISSING MAN
FORMATION, TOMB OF THE UNKNOWNS, BUGLE CALL, FURL, RUFFLES 'n'
FLOURISHES, FACE THE MUSIC, FLAG DAY, RETREAT.
[nb: before TAPS, the DEAD MARCH dirge was played at military
funerals] [nb: when the American flag is folded into a triangle,
representative of the Colonial tricorne, the red and white
stripes representing the blood and bones of sacrifice are buried
within the blue constellation of heaven; which is the traditional
configuration for funeral and retreat ceremonies]
a sailor; by shortening of 'tarpaulin'. Also, slang for hashish;
see CAN SA, STICK, FIVE FINGERS, THAI STICK, DOPE, COLORS, JUNK,
TAR BABY :
an inextricable problem or situation, such as a QUAGMIRE; derived
from an 1881 Uncle Remus story by Joel Chandler Harris; compare
BITTER END, SHIT HIT THE FAN, DEEP SHIT, FIGHT LIKE KILKENNY
CATS, PYRRHIC VICTORY, AUTOTOMY, LAST STAND, BELL THE CAT. Also,
a hashish addict; see HAY, HUBBLE-BUBBLE.
Target Combat Air Patrol; also spelled "Tar-CAP" and "Tar CAP".
See CAP, UMBRELLA, HIGH 'n' DRY, RACETRACK; compare ABNCP.
literally "Things Are Really Fucked Up", or more euphemistically
as "... really fouled up"; see PVT SNAFU, FUCK-UP, FUCKED-UP,
CLUSTER FUCK, WTFO, SOL, BOHICA.
[nb: The Three Brothers, a 1944 U.S. Army animated short
film that was directed by Friz Freleng, portrays a character
named Fubar as being the brother of Privates Snafu and Tarfu]
literally "Things Are Really Fucked Up Now", or more
euphemistically as "... fouled up now"; see FUCK-UP, FUCKED-UP,
CLUSTER FUCK, WTFO, SOL, BOHICA.
an object, usually marked for scoring, to be aimed at in shooting
practice, qualification, or competition; see TEE, BOLO, KD RANGE,
BASS, SIGHT PICTURE, SPOT WELD, BUTT, BERM, MAGGIE'S DRAWERS, DRY
RUN, POINT-BLANK, BULL'S-EYE, SLEEVE, AIMPOINT. Also, the
impersonal and unemotional objective designation of enemy
personnel, weapons, vehicles, or stores (eg: "targets of
opportunity", "target rich environment"); see OBJECTIFICATION,
BOGIE, VISUAL, BANDIT, JUDY, TALLY-HO, PAINT, LOCK-ON, PICKLE,
RANGE CARD, AIMING STAKES, CE, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), SOTA,
STRATA, POP SMOKE, TOT, H&I, ZONE AND SWEEP, FIRE FOR EFFECT,
DEFLECTION, FIRECRACKER, NAPALM, FAE, JDAM, GROUND ZERO, POINT OF
IMPACT, COLLATERAL DAMAGE, SOFT TARGET, HARD TARGET, HVT, OBJ.
[nb: "smart bomb, dumb target"] [v: Aunt Sally, Jack-a-Lent,
cockshy, clay pigeon, sitting duck, mark, gull, dupe, pigeon,
prey, quintain, wand, hit list]
TARGET OF OPPORTUNITY / TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY :
a target that has been exposed, which is within range of
available weapons, and against which fire has not already been
scheduled; any impromptu objective that spontaneously arises as a
consequence of the developing tactical situation, and is neither
a trap nor a diversion from the primary mission ... typically a
flushed enemy element or an exposed enemy cache.
TARGET PRACTICE :
a training regimen wherein shooters (or 'gunners') acquire
familiarity and proficiency with a weapon (or weapon system) in
order to better fulfill their duty assignment while armed; being
a drill that is typically rated and critiqued for improvement ...
as distinguished from informal "plinking" at random targets of
opportunity where fire discipline is lax and scores are not kept;
see BASS, SIGHT PICTURE, AIMPOINT, DEVIATION, DEFLECTION, DRY
FIRE, ZERO, KD RANGE, DEADEYE, BULL'S-EYE, KISS THE MISTRESS,
KNOCK THEIR SPOTS OFF, SHARPSHOOTER, BOLO, RED FLAG, MAGGIE'S
DRAWERS, FLYING BRAVO.
[v: Firearms Glossary]
Also, probably based upon 'scoring', a euphemism for sex, sexual
relations, sexual intercourse, coitus, coition, venery,
copulation, fornication, commerce, congress, seduction, intimate
knowledge; see CHURNING BUTTER, BOOM-BOOM, SHORT-TIME, FUCK,
HOOKUP, DIDDLY, ACT OF CONGRESS, BUTTERFLY, SANDWICH, HAT TRICK,
DAISY CHAIN, AROUND THE WORLD, TRICK, PASSION RATION, LOVE
HANDLES; compare STEAM 'n' CREAM, SHACK-JOB, HELL ON WHEELS,
CHOWING DOWN, HUMMERR, BUSH PILOT, MUFF DIVER, TRAINING FILM,
TARGET RICH ENVIRONMENT :
a modern euphemism for a surfeit or plethora, excess or abundance
of valid enemy personnel or structures, vehicles or aircraft that
may be actively and legitimately engaged (ie: killed or
destroyed) within the OBJECTIVE AREA or COMBAT ZONE under the
prevailing RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE); see TALLY-HO, TURKEY SHOOT,
ROCK 'n' ROLL, MAD MINUTE, FIRE FOR EFFECT, FREE FIRE ZONE,
WEAPONS FREE ZONE; compare SPRAY, FLOCK SHOOT, BLIND FIRE,
H&I, RECON BY FIRE.
TARMAC / TARMACADAM :
see MACADAM / MACADAMIZED, HARDBALL.
informal designation of TARPaulin, derived by shortening; refers
to a SHEET of waterproofed canvas or other material used as a
protective covering for objects exposed to the weather; see
BOLTROPE, SHELTER-HALF, TENT, WAPENSHAW. Also, a sailor; see TAR.
a brutal or savage person who's irascible and intractable; a
tartarian personality allegedly derived from the Mongolian
(Tartar) and Turkish (Tatar) tribesmen (and their intermingled
descendants) who overran Asia and much of eastern Europe in the
Middle Ages. See CATCH A TARTAR. [v: Tartarus; cf: harsh
see HEIP, NON-LETHAL WEAPONS.
TASK FORCE :
(forthcoming); units that are brought together under one command
for the execution of a specific operation; abbreviated TF; see
CTF, ATF, MAGTF, JTF, JTFEX, JTTF, JSOTF, CJSOTF-AP, ATFV, MARS,
TASK FORCE OREGON, DOZER INFANTRY, NIGHT STALKERS, RESTORE HOPE,
AD HOC, "Task Force Troy" at GHOST UNIT.
TASK FORCE OREGON :
(forthcoming); see AMERICAL, SOUTHERN CROSS.
see TASKING ORDER.
TASKING ORDER :
a method used to assign tasks and to disseminate projected
targets and specific missions to components, subordinate units,
and command and control agencies; additionally, the tasking order
(also called "tasking" or TASKORD) provides specific instructions
concerning mission planning, targets, and other controls, as well
as general instructions for accomplishing the mission. See ORDER.
see TASKING ORDER.
TASK SATURATION :
being too busy to follow regular procedures, often due to
insufficient time or combat/emergency conditions, usually
resulting in injury or death, lost or damaged equipment; to
overload or overburden. See BRAIN FART, STRESS OF SOUL,
OBJECTIFICATION, TELESCOPING, DISSOCIATION, KILL ZONE, BEATEN
ZONE, DEAD ZONE, KILLING GROUND, CARPET BOMBING, ARC LIGHT,
CHECKERBOARD. [nb: despite MIL-SPEAK, this awkward phrase, which
actually refers to genuine circumstances, has not yet been
enhanced to "task supersaturation" by MILICRATs! ... although
"over-hype" was coined for coverage of the Iraq War] [v: fardel]
see MEAT MARKER, TATTOO.
a white crystalline powder (triacetone triperoxide) having a
distinctive bleach-like odor that's often used as the primary
propellant in improvised explosive devices (IED); together with
acetone peroxide and peroxyacetone, this organic compound is
nicknamed the MOTHER OF SATAN for its high susceptibility to
accidental detonation. See EXPLOSIVE.
a signal, such as BUGLE CALL or BOATSWAIN'S PIPE, announcing a
condition or event, such as OFFICER'S CALL or TAPS. [cf: warison]
Also, any similar drumbeat or rhythm, as a heart beat; see DRUM,
DRUMFIRE. [v: paradiddle] Also, an outdoor military pageant; see
PARADE, PASS IN REVIEW, TROOP THE LINE, PASSING HONORS, COLOR
GUARD, BEATERS 'n' BLEATERS, TOOTER, FACE THE MUSIC, MISSING MAN
FORMATION. Also, indelible marks or designs on the skin, as from
powder burns or inserted pigments; also called "ink" or "tat".
With the exception of CLEAN agents or STERILE operatives, the
military permits "personal adornment" or "body art" by TATTOOs
[aka: "devil's mark" or "witch's mark"] on any part of the body
that's visible while in uniform, except the head, face, neck, and
hands, as long as the depiction or legend is not sexist, racist,
extremist, or indecent; see MEAT MARKER, FULL-SLEEVE,
CONTINUATION TATTOO, SAT CONG, ID CARD; compare CLEANSKIN,
EARRING, DOG TAGS, COINING, SOUVENIR.
[nb: the Maori differentiate ritualistic chisel ink designs
(ta-moko) on people's faces and bodies as a spiritual aspect of
their culture, from the bilateral "drawn skin" ink tattoo designs
(kirituhi) adopted as imitative "artistic expression" by
non-traditional outsiders] [nb: "Show me a man with a tattoo and
I'll show you a man with an interesting past." by Jack London;
"The perfect tattoo ... the one I believe we are all struggling
toward ... is the one that turned the jackass into a zebra." by
Cliff Raven; "You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh, (as)
for the dead, neither shall you make in yourselves any figures or
marks ...." Leviticus 19:28 (Douay-Rheims)] [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
Also, an idiomatic expression employed as a colloquial
affectation by certain modish subgroups (eg: "Tattoo me
surprised." or "Tattoo me embarrassed.", "Tattoo me repentant."
or "Tattoo me chagrined."); used in the same manner as the
earlier 'color me' ("Color me sad." or "Color me glad.")
phraseology during the Vietnam and post-Vietnam eras.
Tactical Airlift Wing; also abbreviated "TAWg".
any surface area of an airport where aircraft are moved to and
from a RUNWAY; compare APRON, HARDSTAND, RAMP, THRESHOLD; see
a person, visitor or resident, who is subject to and liable for
the payment of government taxes levied upon goods and services,
incomes and transactions, the sum of which appropriation
constitutes the majority of the revenue by which the government
acts on behalf of its constituency; in the case of the military,
those persons who both contribute to and are recipients of the
government's redistribution of their SALARY, including housing
and sustenance, weaponry and equipment. See CIVILIAN, AUGMENTEE,
HIRED GUN, POLITICIAN, THE G, ACT OF CONGRESS, INCOME TAX, THE
EAGLE SHITS, SEPARATE RATS, DOUBLE-DIP. [v: Taxpayer
Identification Number (TIN); cf: Social Security Number (SSN)]
Traumatic Brain Injury, being a physical injury wherein the brain
is damaged, causing changes in cognitive function, mood, and
behavior, including concussion and persistent vegetative state
[PVS]; see WIA, GSW, GSW-TTH, BLAST SYNDROME, COSR, MILLION
DOLLAR WOUND, PROFILE, LINE OF DUTY, TRIAGE, MAIM, MUTILATE,
WHOLE MAN, ZULU. [cf: organic brain syndrome; v: agnosia,
aprosodia, prosotagnosia, prosopagnosia]
Treasury bill; the broad referent for marketable government debt
instruments that are used to finance the national debt, including
Treasury bills (maturity term of less than 1 year), Treasury
notes (maturity terms from 2 to 10 years), Treasury bonds
(maturity term of 30 years), and Treasury Inflation Protected
Securities (TIPS), all of which are also simply called
"treasuries". Because Federal Reserve Banks are required to hold
collateral equal in value to the notes put into circulation, this
collateral is chiefly held in the form of U.S. Treasury debt,
federal agency and government-sponsored enterprise securities.
Treasury securities are marketable and are heavily traded by
secondary owners; unlike bond values, treasury yields decrease as
demand increases, and interest rates on loans increase as yields
increase, which higher yields can increase the value of the
dollar. The offset between short-term and long-term yield (ie:
the total return over the life of the security) affects
confidence and liquidity in the dollar, which has been
denominated as the global currency of worldwide trade. Compare
SAVINGS BOND, see LEGAL TENDER.
aviation jargon for Time Before Overhaul.
a tactic wherein the adversaries are perpendicular to each other;
see CROSSING THE T.
Talk Between Ships, being a short-range radiotelephone used for
ship-to-ship communications during WWII. Also, U.S. Air Force
designation for a Tactical Bomber Squadron (1947-1992). Also,
abbreviation for The Basic School at Quantico VA, being the
initial 11-week course of infantry instruction required of all
newly commissioned (whether from OCS, NROTC, or USNA) Marine
officers so as to prepare them to be platoon commanders in Marine
Corps companies; see BOC, OBC.
Training Circular; see FM, TM, DASH TEN, CIRCULAR, CHECKING THE
DICTIONARY, SCRIPTURES. Also, designation for the Track or Tank
Commander of an armored vehicle; typically a sergeant (SGT/NCO)
in a section or platoon (PLT) CHAIN-OF-COMMAND, including the
platoon sergeant (PLT SGT) and platoon leader (PLT LDR / PL).
Also, the branch responsible for the surface (land/sea) movement
of men and materiel for mission support and accomplishment; the
Transportation Corps is exclusive of combat vehicles (eg: APC,
TANK), construction equipment (eg: ROME PLOW), aircraft (eg:
HUEY, HERKY BIRD), and submersible vessels (eg: SUBMARINE),
although the Army has more boats (LANDING CRAFT) than the Navy;
see JEEP, HUMVEE, TRUCK, DUCK/DUKW, GAMMA GOAT, CONVOY, RED BALL,
COMBAT LOADED, WHEEL JOCKEY, MOTOR POOL.
a white crystalline powder (tri-cyclic acetone peroxide) having a
distinctive bleach-like odor that's often used as the primary
propellant in improvised explosive devices (IED); together with
acetone peroxide and peroxyacetone, this organic compound is
nicknamed the MOTHER OF SATAN for its high susceptibility to
accidental detonation. See EXPLOSIVE.
Third-Country National, being a civilian contract employee from a
neighboring nation (eg: Japan, Okinawa, Taiwan, South Korea,
Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, etc) who's been hired to
work in some COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT activity (eg: food service,
logistics, transportation, maintenance, etc) on an American
military base; a contract service worker who's unaffiliated with
either the allies or the enemy. See FN; compare LN.
the unnamed effective day coincident with a Presidential
declaration of national emergency, and authorization for partial
mobilization, exclusive of personnel called-up on S-DAY. See
Temporary Disability Retired List, being an administrative
assignment made by the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) that
removes an injured servicemember from active duty (AD) while
their medical condition is inconclusive (either still under
treatment or subject to change as healing progresses) for a
maximum of four years; at the end of this period, the
servicemember is finally adjudicated as either fit for return to
service or unfit for service, assigned a disability rating, and
moved to the Permanent Disability Retired List (PDRL). See WHOLE
MAN, HORS DE COMBAT, MILLION DOLLAR WOUND, PROFILE, LINE OF DUTY.
[nb: Service-Connected (SC) disability compensation and
Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) are benefit categories
for military persons retired for medical reasons]
Temporary Duty; known as Temporary Additional Duty (TAD) by Navy
and Marine personnel; generally an assignment (including OVERSEAS
postings) lasting less than 180 days. See CHOP, JCET,
SHEEP-DIPPED; compare DUTY, BILLET, BERTH, POST, ON STATION,
WATCH, HARDSHIP TOUR, MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, BUMFUCK, MOS, OJT,
PCS. [nb: abbreviated 'TD' during WWII]
(ie: "Tell 'em whutcha gunna tell 'em; tell 'em; then tell 'em
whutcha told 'em!") see MONKEY SEE - MONKEY DO, POI (Program Of
Instruction), TRNG, MIL-CRAFT, CROSS-TRAINING, LESSONS LEARNED.
[nb: "If you can't say it clearly, you don't understand it
yourself." by John Searle; "We teach people how to remember, we
never teach them how to grow." by Oscar Wilde (Fingal O'Flahertie
TEACH A PIG TO SING / TEACH A PIG TO WHISTLE :
an allusion to any pointless or futile activity, with the
importance of this expression being that such a pastime wastes
one's valuable time and seriously annoys the animal; this
folkloric expression has also been represented as "teach a horse
to sing" or "teach a frog to whistle". Despite its modern
interpretation, its significance formerly derived from the
relevance of its associated tale: wherein a criminal, condemned
to death by the king, bargained for his freedom if he could teach
the royal horses to sing within a year, which prospect flattered
the king's vanity, whereupon the prisoner's escort complains that
this would be an utter waste of time, so the prisoner explained
that the future was unknown, that he might die a peaceful death
during that period, that the king might lose his crown, or that
the horses might actually learn to sing! ... so the prisoner's
stay of execution, albeit preoccupied, would not be without hope!
See WILD GOOSE CHASE, PING-PONG, BEAT AROUND THE BUSH, PUSH COMES
TO SHOVE, WASHING A BEAR WITHOUT GETTING WET, DEATH IS NOT THE
GOAL, PIG LOOKING AT A WRISTWATCH.
a number of persons associated in some joint action, which
variable composition is determined by mission and TO&E;
abbreviated TM. See COMBAT TEAM, RCT, BCT, SBCT, MTT, A TEAM,
SCOUT TEAM, RT, LRP / LRRP, LRSD, WORK WIFE, TEAM BOX, TEAMHOUSE;
compare FIRE TEAM, SQUAD, CHALK, STACK, FIRE BRIGADE.
[nb: the word 'team' is not spelled with an "I" in it; "The point
of the game is not how well the individual does but whether the
team wins. That is the beautiful heart of the game, the blending
of personalities, the mutual sacrifices for group success." by
TEAM BOX :
a container, sized from FOOTLOCKER to CONEX, that's packed with
all mission specific weapons and equipment for the unit's initial
deployment, including radios and optics, maps and manuals,
medicine and relevant clothing; also called OP BOX.
primary structure for advisory teams; usually includes
partitions for admin, plans, intel, and command sections, with
sleeping area, guest quarters, kitchen, and bar/lounge. See
BILLET, BLDG, SEA HUT, HUTMENT, TENT.
naval slang for a streamlined depth charge, being one that will
sink faster along a more vertical vector than the older
cylindrical (ASHCAN) style; compare HEDGEHOG, see ASW.
TEAR GAS :
(CN-1) see CS, GRENADE, NON-LETHAL WEAPONS.
short for technician or technical, as in Technician 3rd Class or
Technical Sergeant; technical grades were established during the
post-WWI reorganization, were designated with the letter "T"
during WWII, and were eliminated in the post-WWII reorganization.
See SPC/SP4, BIRD UMBRELLA, WO, CHIEF, GUNNER, WOBBLY, WONK,
PROFESSOR, WIZARD, WALLAH.
TECHnical INTelligence; information developed from
during the GULF WAR-era, a mobile fighting platform using
machineguns, mortars, and rocket-propelled grenade (RPG)
launchers, which is improvised from an unarmored pick-up truck by
Mid-East INSURGENTs, being comparable to Coalition Combined
Anti-Armor Team (CAAT) using High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled
Vehicles (HMMWV) equipped with anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM),
mortars, heavy machineguns and automatic grenade launchers.
the devices and mechanisms invented by the practical application
of industrial arts and engineering sciences; the material objects
provided by a society to its members. A technology is only
meaningful if a culture or subculture utilizes it as a medium to
manifest inculcated ideals and ubiquitous cognates. Adaptations
or extensions of technological invention have traditionally
passed through three phases: gadget creation, improved
accommodation, and streamlined production; or, in other words,
from the simple to the complex and on to the simplified.
[nb: "Engines of war have long since reached their limits, and I
see no further hope of any improvement in the art." by Frontinus
(AD90); "Everything that can be invented has been invented." by
Charles H. Duell (Commissioner of US Office of Patents, 1899);
"Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our
attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an
unimproved end." by Henry David Thoreau (1854); "Men are only as
good as their technical development allows them to be." by George
Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) (1940); "Machinery strikes strange
dread into the human heart, as some living panting behemoth
might." by Herman Melville (1851); "Men have become tools of
their tools." by Henry David Thoreau (1854); "Now that technology
has overtaken our humanity, the world is left with a generation
of immoral idiots." falsely attributed to Albert Einstein; "Our
scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided
missiles and misguided men." by Martin Luther King Jr. (1963);
"Where there is the necessary technical skill to move mountains,
there is no need for the faith that moves mountains." by Eric
Hoffer (1955); "Technology enables misfits who prefer emulation
to interaction to coexist without consequences -- the scientific
age has created the first amoral society in human history.";
"Superior technical achievements -- used correctly both
strategically and tactically -- can beat any quantity numerically
many times stronger, yet technically inferior." by Adolf Galland;
"The more mechanical our weapons become, in consequence our
fighting spirit must become much less mechanical." paraphrase of
Archibald P. Wavell; "The real problem is not whether machines
think but whether men do." by B.F. Skinner (1969); "The machine
yes the machine / never wastes anybody's time / never watches the
foreman / never talks back." by Carl Sandburg (1936); "Technology
works, whether or not you understand it; and science is true,
whether or not you believe it -- they don't have to be good or
just, because they're real." paraphrase of Neil DeGrasse Tyson;
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from
magic." by Arthur C. Clarke (1973); "Witchcraft to the ignorant
... simple science to the learned." by Leigh Brackett (1942);
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over
public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." by Richard P.
the mark aimed at in various games; see BULL'S-EYE, AIMPOINT,
POINT OF IMPACT, TARGET. Also, truncation of T-SHIRT (qv).
TEENIE-WEENIE PEENIE :
see LITTLE PENIS COMPLEX / SMALL PENIS SYNDROME.
Vietnamese term for "A little bit"; often mistaken for 'small' or
'short', and therefore widely misused. Compare SKOSH, NITNOY.
contraction of TELEgraphic CONference, but later extended to any
interactive telecommunications system. Originally functioned by
scheduling the principals, with or without their staff, to meet
in signal offices or message centers to engage in dialogues or
exchange information in real-time immediacy; which was
displaced by long-distance "conference calling", and computerized
"instant messaging". See FONECON, TWX, TTY, CONTEL, VTC, HOT
LINE, BAMBOO TELEGRAPH, BACK CHANNEL, BUCK SLIP, FROST CALL,
TELEPHONE TREE, TELEPHONE.
see BLOWER, HORN, GROWLER, LANDLINE, ELECTRONIC PACIFIER, BURNER,
CELLULAR TELEPHONE / CELLPHONE, TAC-CHAT, MWR LINE, VOIP,
SPAGHETTI, COAX, PIGTAIL, FONECON, TELECON, HOT LINE, AUTOVON,
WATTS, DSN, PSTN, TELEPHONE TREE, SATCOM, UWT, PBX, PTT, RTO,
CALL-SIGN, CODE TALKER, ENCRYPT, DECRYPT, EARS, BUG, MEACONING,
RTP, INTERCO, PROWORD, A-OK, MAYDAY, EOT, BREADCRUMBING, PORTABLE
/ TIN BRAINS, BUCK SLIP; compare SCUTTLEBUTT, RUMOR, BACK
CHANNEL, BAMBOO TELEGRAPH, RADIO, CONTEL, TWX, TTY, NET, COMMO.
[v: Japanese denwa] [nb: Bell patent 1876; coin-operated phone
1889; push-button telephone invented 1941; Area Codes 1952;
cellular phone 1973; voice mail 1980; Caller ID 1982]
[nb: mobile phone (Global System for Mobile Communications, a
second-generation open-standard digital-transceiver voice/text
wireless system) tracking for accountability and monitoring for
security is rendered via repeater triangulation and the GPS
satellite network, with an approximate margin of error of 10-50m
depending on location]
TELEPHONE TREE :
the hierarchal notification setup, imitative of the unit
structure, for the efficient dissemination of information, or
rapid notification of alterations, to ensure personnel readiness
during training, mobilization, and so forth; activation or
initiation is often designated "lighting the telephone tree",
where each superior notifies his immediate subordinates, who
notify their immediate subordinates, and so forth. Calling
guidelines must include Privacy Act restrictions, and cautions
against RUMORs or BACK CHANNEL gossip. This unit communication
system is also useful in post-deployment family support
activities. Compare FROST CALL; see NET, TELECON. [nb: not to be
confused with "telephone tag"]
informal reference to the normal psycho-sensory response to
threat or conflict, formally known as "tachypsychia"
(swift + mind), wherein the participant focuses in a clear
and concentrated manner on what is perceived as most dangerous to
the exclusion of other stimuli, including sound, touch,
periphery, and elapsed time. Sometimes referred to as "tunnel
vision", the analogy to the actual use of a telescope is apt,
since events seem distant but vivid, central but out of context,
real but without distractions. The participant is not "deaf" or
BULLETPROOF but does not react to anything immaterial or
inessential, to the point of following directives without memory,
or of being injured or wounded without knowing it. The time sense
of the participant may contract, elongate, or vacillate; and the
post-confrontational period is usually disoriented. Tachypsychia
is induced by extreme physical exertion and emotional stress,
exhibiting high levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, and is
symptomatic of trauma (eg: PTSD). See BUBBLE, THOUSAND-YARD
STARE, DISSOCIATION, OBJECTIFICATION, BLACKOUT, ZOMBIE,
FLASHBACK, STRESS OF SOUL, BROKEN-WING SYNDROME, FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT.
TELL IT TO THE MARINES :
a sardonic or dismissive catch-phrase used to express disbelief
or incredulity concerning an allegation or assertion, an account
or tale; a protest against being regarded as gullible or as
stupid as the prototypical JARHEAD. A similar phrase among
civilians is: "Tell it to the women and children." See TALK
TRASH, SHOOT THE SHIT, BRAVO SIERRA, WAR STORY, SEA STORY, CHITTY
CHITTY BANG BANG, RUMOR, RED INK.
[nb: this phrase originated with the Royal Marines, formed as the
Maritime Regiment of Foot (1664), in the early 19th century as
"He may tell that to the marines, but the sailors will not
believe him." ("The Post-Captain, or The Wooden Walls Well Manned
Comprehending a View of Naval Society and Manners" by John Davis,
1804), which was later shortened to its present form, as in
"...if a soldier complained to him [the commander] of hardships
which he could not comprehend, [the commander] would be very
likely to recommend him to "tell it to the marines'!" (1848
preface to "A Journal of the Campaign in Flanders" by John
Marshall Deane, 1708); the allegation that King Charles II mocked
the credulity of these naive soldiers to Samuel Pepys is a hoax
perpetrated in the 1900s by the novelist W.P. Drury, a retired
Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Marines. Americans later adopted
this phrase, as in the 1918 short story ("Above the Law" by Max
Brand / Frederick Faust) and in the 1926 film title for a movie
about recruit training and military culture]
someone or something which reveals, discloses or warns, to give
notice; see TU DAI, TRIPWIRE, WEATHER EYE, WHITE MOUSE. Also, any
of various devices or mechanisms for alerting, indicating, or
registering; see TRADECRAFT. Also, a signal device consisting of
either a weighted (fabric, foil, crepe paper) streamer or flagged
smoke grenade that's thrown from the jump plane to estimate winds
under canopy and to help determine the jump spot for parachute
deployment; also called 'wind drift indicator' (WDI). Also, a
suspended line, ribbon, or feather hung so as to indicate wind
direction; see WINDSOCK, BEAUFORT SCALE, SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE,
abbreviation for TEMPorary; also represented as "tmp". Also,
Tactically Expandable Maritime Platform, being a development
scenario conceived by the Defense Advanced Research Projects
a place or edifice dedicated to the public worship or the
religious services devoted to a deity; see WAT, ANGKOR WAT, NHA
THO, JOSS HOUSE, JOSS STICK, FOO DOG. [v: ashram, synagogue,
church, chapel, mosque, ziggurat, house of God, house of prayer,
house of worship]
Also, any building used by a fraternal order (eg: the Templars'
"Inns of Court"); as derived from "a space demarcated by an augur
for taking auspices".
TEMPLE LION :
see FOO DOG. [nb: although lions, as a symbol of strength and
courage, serve as guardians against evil for religious buildings
and civic centers, they are not native to Asia; only panthers
(eg: tiger, leopard, etc) are autochthonous]
TENACIOUS / TENACITY :
see RESILIENT / RESILIENCE. [v: persistent / persistence,
perseverant / perseverance, determined / determination, unbent /
unbowed / unbroken / undefeated]
10-CODES / TEN-CODES :
(forthcoming); see POLICE, CODE, CIPHER, BREVITY CODE
[nb: not "one-zero codes"]
TEN COMMANDMENTS :
a catalogue of the ten principal moral precepts fundamental to
the Judeo-Christian faith; also called Decalogue / Decalog or Ten
Utterances. See CREED, PROMISE, OATH, CODE OF CONDUCT, DUTY,
HONOR CODE. [v: Exodus 20:2-17, Deuteronomy 5:6-21; cf: Shema
Yisrael / Sh'ma Yisrael] [nb: the Ten Commandments were inscribed
on the Two Tablets of Stone (Tables of Stone or Two Tablets of
Testimony) by the finger of God (Jehovah, Adonai, HaShem, HaShem
Yitbarakh, Hagedulah Bamarom, YHVH); these tablets were smashed
by Moses after the Sin of the Golden Calf, but Moses was
mercifully permitted to carve replacements after forty days of
rethinking and repentance]
an auxiliary ship employed to attend other ships, as for supply
or maintenance, such as a submarine tender; derived as a variant
of 'attend' / 'attender'; see MOTHER SHIP, OILER, LIGHTER, BOAT.
Also, a dinghy carried or towed by a yacht; an auxiliary
watercraft; see GIG, SKIMMER, LIFEBOAT, BOAT. Also, a person who
attends to various matters; someone who is in charge of
something, such as supplying provisions. [nb: an early
twin-hulled tender was the "snag boat", equipped with
steam-powered ram and wench, that was invented by Henry Miller
Shreve at Heliopolis in 1829; which was used to clear a fairway
of submerged obstacles on the Red River, permitting commercial
a portable shelter or temporary structure made of fabric or
skins, usually supported by poles and secured by stakes in the
ground; as derived from stretch (cf: tenterhook) [aka: cabana,
tepee (teepee/tipi), wickiup (wikiup/wickyup), wigwam, yurt].
See PUP TENT, SHELTER-HALF, TARP, BOLTROPE, GP, WALL TENT,
HUTMENT; compare BIVOUAC, HOOCH, HUT, SHEBANG, BOHIO, SEA HUT,
VILLE, COMPANY STREET.
Also, a surgical probe for opening an aperture or wound, or a
roll or pledget of soft absorbent material, as lint or gauze, for
dilating an orifice, keeping a wound open, gaping a slit, and so
forth; compare COMPRESS, TAMPON, STRETCHER.
TEQUILA SUNRISE :
a mixed drink made of tequila, orange juice, and grenadine that's
served in a tall glass of crushed ice. Compare SANGRE, MARGARITA,
ORANGE BLOSSOM, BRONX COCKTAIL, SCREWDRIVER, HARVEY WALLBANGER;
see HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK, HOIST, GUSTO.
TERGIVERSATE / TERGIVERSATION :
to repeatedly change one's attitude or opinion regarding some
subject, as to equivocate or vacillate [v: shilly-shally (der:
"Shall I? Shall I?")]; see DON'T DO NOTHING, CLUTCH-UP, PUSH
COMES TO SHOVE, PING-PONG, BEAT AROUND THE BUSH, POPULARITY
CONTEST; compare HIDEBOUND, BRASSBOUND, BRASS EAR, HARD-AND-FAST,
TOE THE LINE, MILITARY MIND, BRASS-COLLAR, BY THE BOOK,
SCRIPTURES, PARTY LINE. Also, to turn renegade, become a
treasonist; a 'tergiversant' is derived from to "turn one's
back"; see TURNCOAT, TRAITOR, QUISLING, WHITE VC.
TERMINAL LEAVE :
a period of LEAVE, amounting to all accrued LEAVE that remains
unused just prior to a servicemember's discharge from military
service; a form of calculated early release that's granted to the
individual in lieu of payment for the convertible value of that
TERMINAL WARD :
also known as the "last bivouac" or "final encampment"; see ZERO
WARD, ZERO-ZERO WARD, TRIAGE, MASS CASUALTIES, WALKING GHOST,
DOW. [v: lazaretto, hospice, pesthouse, sanatorium, leprosarium]
the military advantages manifest in the natural features of a
tract of land; the landscape implemented as a FORCE MULTIPLIER
... what civilians call 'scenery'! See KEY TERRAIN.
TERRITORIAL BACHELOR :
someone who regards posting on a HARDSHIP TOUR to be a sufficient
excuse for violating their marital vows by indulging in
extramarital sexual relations, being a moral lapse that's
remedied upon rotation to the HOME FRONT and spousal propinquity;
a euphemism for a philanderer or an adulterer, a lothario or a
rakehell, a profligate or a libertine. See ADULTERY, STRAIGHT
ARROW, SILENT MAJORITY; compare SLEEPING DICTIONARY, CAMPAIGN
WIFE, CAMP FOLLOWER, DISTAFF, SKIRT. [v: UCMJ punitive article
a radical or fanatical activist who uses violence, or the threat
of violence, to intimidate a society or to coerce a government
into a state of fear or submissive subjection for religious,
economic, racial, ethnic, or other sociopolitical objectives. Any
unknown, indistinguishable, or non-descript TERRORIST type is
given a generic agnomen, often diminutive or effeminate (eg:
Terry ..., Tracy ..., Timmy ..., Tanya ..., Teddy ..., or Tommy
the Tango), so as to differentiate them as targets. See GWOT, WAR
ON TERROR, ANTI-TERRORISM, COUNTER-TERRORISM, SABOTAGE,
PROVOCATEUR, ASYMMETRIC WARFARE, UW, ISLAMOFASCISM, DECAPITATION,
NECKLACE, HAIRCUT AND MANICURE, JUDGE LYNCH, STRANGE FRUIT,
CHRISTMAS TREE, RING OF FIRE, MARTYR'S VEST, ATROCITY, BAD GUYS,
FALL GUY, CAT AND MOUSE, PLAY DEAD, CAM TU, BOMBER, "nightrider"
at COWBOY, SILENT MAJORITY, PATRIOT ACT, DHS, NRP, NIMS, NCTC,
[nb: the difference between a TERRORIST and a FREEDOM FIGHTER, a
GUERRILLA and an IRREGULAR, a "militiaman" and a "defense
warden", a "revolutionary" and a "criminal", a "Death Squad" and
a "SWAT Team" has more to do with one's perspective and
allegiance than with the il-/legality of the violent acts
themselves; synonyms include: rebel, dissident, insurgent,
raider, marauder, jayhawker, bushwhacker, nightrider, scallywag /
scalawag, firebrand, fire-eater, redneck, cracker, reaver /
reiver, rascal, ruffian, brigand, outlaw, desperado, villain /
villein, freebooter, pirate, buccaneer, privateer]
[v: Guy Fawkes, Gunpowder Plot (5 Nov 1605)] [v: uprising,
insurrection, insurgency, revolt, rebellion, takeover, toppling,
outbreak, break-out, overthrow, break-through, downfall, mutiny,
turning point, putsch, coup, coup d'état, or intifada
(der: "shaking off")]
TEST ACT :
the English statute (1673) requiring that all military officers
and public officials take an oath of allegiance to the Crown,
receive the sacraments of the Church of England, and reject the
doctrine of transubstantiation; although repealed in 1828,
similar tests of loyalty have been decreed at various times in
various places, including the Disqualification Act, the Alien and
Sedition Act, and the Reconstruction Act in the United States of
America. See LOYALTY OATH, BLOOD OATH, PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE,
McCARTHYISM, RIOT ACT, MUTINY, TREASON, QUASI-WAR.
a sex hormone that's secreted by the testes, which stimulates the
development of male sex organs, secondary sexual traits, and
sperm; an androgen that's synthesized in small quantities in the
ovaries, cortices of the adrenal glands, and placenta, usually
from cholesterol, and is also used in the medical treatment of
certain gynecological conditions. Testosterone is necessary in
the fetus for the development of external male genitalia, then
increased levels of testosterone at puberty cause further growth
of male genitalia and the development and maintenance of male
secondary sex characteristics, and because it stimulates protein
synthesis, testosterone accounts for the greater muscular
development of the male. It's been scientifically verified that
an absence of "aggressive" (ie: adrenalin producing) activities
diminishes a man's testosterone level, a factor that can reduce
his sex drive and cause sexual impotence, and a condition that
may affect the sexual orientation of his offspring. [v: ICSH
(Interstitial-Cell Stimulating Hormone), androsterone, FSH
(Follicle-Stimulating Hormone), anabolic steroid]
TESTOSTERONE ZONE :
slang for any male-centric area or masculine-intensive activity,
from a gym or firing range to contact and extreme sports,
especially the military; also known as a "total testosterone
territory" or "sausage fest", "estrogen-free zone" or "estrus- /
estrum-free zone". See ONIONS, MOXIE, GUTS, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT
A MAN'S GOTTA DO, MANLY ARTS, TWO-FISTED, WAR GAMES, TIKI, GOLDEN
PENIS SYNDROME, RED-BLOODED, HANG TOUGH, MAN-UP, GOD OF WAR,
WIGHT, SUPER-TROOPER, WHITE KNIGHT, MACHO; compare ESTROGEN
Vietnamese term for the Lunar New Year holiday period, with both
cultural and religious significance. The Chinese lunar calendar,
reckoned in sixty-year cycles, divides each year into twelve
months, with an intercalary month added seven times every
nineteen years; therefore the occurrence of the new year in the
lunar cycle varies from year to year. See TIME.
TET OFFENSIVE :
a culturally propitious and environmentally advantageous period
for military operations in Southeast Asia, especially the sudden
nationwide offensive of 1968 that garnered propaganda kudos for
the NVA and VC forces. Just as the SON TAY raiders trained for
their special mission in a prison camp MOCK-UP, so the PAVN
infiltrators trained on a MOCK-UP of the American embassy and
other strategic targets for the 1968 TET OFFENSIVE at COSVN in
Cambodia. It required weeks for SVN and US troops to recover and
secure airfields, bases, and cities. Although the 1968 TET
OFFENSIVE was a military disaster for NVN, which did not elicit a
sympathetic uprising as predicted, it was turned into a
"political victory" by the connivance of a complicit media ...
which should have made comparisons to other failed "break-outs"
or "break-throughs", but instead found inaccurate parallels with
other historic "turning points", such as Gettysburg and Cowpens.
an ANTIBIOTIC, derived from streptomyces, that's used in medicine
to treat a broad variety of bacterial infections by interfering
with protein synthesis; tetracycline is used to treat some
diseases where the infecting microorganism is resistant to
penicillin. Compare SULFA DRUGS, PENICILLIN, STREPTOMYCIN. [v:
chlortetracycline (Aureomycin), oxytetracycline (Terramycin)]
the Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit is the volume of the average
shipping container or railroad boxcar, being equivalent to 1,360
cubic feet of storage via Inter-modal containers for conveyance
by truck, rail, air, or ship; it's occasionally called a carload,
boatload, or shipload, and includes TRICON (3=20'L), QUADCON
(4=20'L), and the older CONEX. See CONTAINERIZATION.
designation for the North American AT-6 TEXAN, a fighter aircraft
employed during WWII and KOREAN WAR; given the slang nickname of
the OLD GROWLER as a result of the distinctive sound made by the
propeller on take-off. This WWII trainer (also manufactured by
Beechcraft) was commonly known as a "pilot maker", and was later
succeeded by the Raytheon T-6 and T-6 II. The T-6 liaison version
was nicknamed "Mosquito". Compare GROWLER, see BIRD.
abbreviation for Task Force (qv). Also, abbreviation for Tactical
Tactical Flying Officer, or Technical Flight Officer, being the
technician who operates the FLIR and RADAR devices in the cockpit
of an aircraft; compare WSO (WIZZO), EWO, RSO, RIO, GIB, BEAR.
TF OREGON :
see AMERICAL, SOUTHERN CROSS.
abbreviation for Terrain Following Radar; see CONTOUR FLYING,
NOE, DTF, GRASS, UNDER THE RADAR, BUZZ.
U.S. Air Force designation for a Tactical Fighter Squadron
Tactical Fighter Wing; also abbreviated "TFWg".
abbreviation for Thank God / Goodness It's Friday; see FEDERAL
THACH WEAVE :
an air combat tactic wherein a targeted airplane and his WINGMAN
(or two separate elements) move laterally apart and then turn to
approach each other, exposing the attacker to direct counterfire
on the return pass; eponymously after John S. Thach, a Naval
aviator, who developed and tested the technique in 1941 as a
counter to the faster climbing and more maneuverable Japanese
Mitsubishi 'Zero' fighters (nicknamed "Zeke"), giving Americans
flying the F4F 'Wildcat' an advantage, which was first
implemented at the June 1942 battle of Midway ... also called the
"beam defense position", this tactic was later used in the KOREAN
and VIETNAM WARs. Compare LUFBERY CIRCLE, VIFF, SAM WEAVE; see
AEROBATICS. [v: AvnSpeak, an Aerobatics
and Aviation Lexicon]
the kingdom of Thailand (Ratcha Anachak Thai) is a constitutional
monarchy that remained independent when other Asian states were
being colonized and co-opted, briefly attempting isolationism
(like Japan and China) to resist Western influences, but finally
relying upon diplomatic negotiation to sustain its autonomy.
Widely known as the "Land of Smiles", Siam was renamed Thailand
in 1939, briefly reverting to Siam in 1947 as a reaction to its
wartime cooperation with Imperial Japan, then resumed in 1950 as
an ally of the USA. This primarily Buddhist country has
periodically lost territory (ie: Burma [Myanmar], Laos, Cambodia,
and Malaysia) to the secession of some ethnic minorities. The
Royal Thai Army fielded an expeditionary division in South
Vietnam. See RTAVF, RTAVR, RTAF, FWF, MACTHAI, COMUSMACTHAI, PONY
EXPRESS, PONY, NAKED FANNY / NKP, SKYSPOT, McNAMARA LINE, HOME
RUN, DEATH RAILWAY, SEA HUT, NITNOY / NIT NOY, WAI, WHITE
ELEPHANT, HMONG, SEATO, ASEAN, OUT COUNTRY, SEA, R&R, BAHT,
GOLDEN TRIANGLE, THAI STICK. [nb: an anecdote alleges that the
modern Thai flag was created because, during an inspection tour,
the king noticed that the elephant on his flag was positioned
upside down, so he directed a five-band revision that could not
be mistaken when flown] [nb: the distinction between Red, White,
and Black Thais is not racial, but is the dominant tribal color
of the traditional clothing or costume worn by women associated
with specific matrilineal relationships]
THAI STICK :
hashish cigarette impregnated with heroin; see STICK, TAR,
CAN SA, STONED, compare DOPE, JUNK, SMACK.
see DARK TOURISM; compare WAR TOURIST, REENACTOR.
THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE :
a catch-phrase that's been used as a salutation or valediction in
the post-Vietnam era by decent and faithful people as a
deliberate counter to the "baby-killer" class of slurs and
epithets cast at MIL-PERS and veterans; this polite gesture is
redeemed from being synthetic or artificial by its sincerity,
although becoming, by overuse, another trite stereotype or
hackneyed cliché, like "Have a nice day!" Many veterans of
America's foreign wars (being a classic case of mismanaged
military adventurism disguised as inept foreign policy) prefer
the expression: "Welcome home!" See BLUE SKY, HOOAH, HOIST,
DOCH-AN-DORIS, STIRRUP CUP, TOAST, PRIDE, V/R, VICTORY TASK
FORCE, GABRIEL, CUT AND RUN, PULL PITCH, PARTHIAN SHOT. [v: "Have
a blessed day!"]
THANKSGIVING / THANKSGIVING DAY :
the act or expression of giving thanks for life's bounty and
blessings, especially a public celebration in acknowledgment of
divine favor; this national holiday, celebrated as a day of
feasting and giving thanks for divine goodness, was inaugurated
by Congress in 1789, and is observed on the fourth Thursday of
November in the United States (and on the second Monday of
October in Canada). See FOOD COMA. [nb: "what I have found good
is to eat and drink and take joy in all our work and toil under
the sun" by Ecclesiastes]
THE AGENCY :
see CIA, HOUSE OF SPOOKS, THE FARM, THE PICKLE FACTORY,
THE AIR FORCE WAY :
see (THE) ARMY WAY.
THE AMERICAN WAY :
see (THE) AMERICAN WAY.
(THE) ANGELS :
THE ANOINTED :
see (THE) ANOINTED.
THE ARITHMETIC OF WAR :
see (THE) ARITHMETIC OF WAR.
THE ARM / THE ARM OF HONOR :
see ITALIAN SALUTE.
THE ARMY WAY :
see (THE) ARMY WAY.
THEATER OF CRUELTY :
a form of surrealist theater that was originated by Antonin
Artaud that emphasized the blatant cruelty of human existence by
portraying sadistic acts and intense suffering in post-WWII
performances; derived as a translation of théâtre de
THEATRE OF THE ABSURD :
a theatrical form developed during the Vietnam-era wherein
naturalistic conventions of plot and characterization are ignored
or distorted in order to convey the irrationality of existence
and the essential isolation of an impotent humanity; compare
GUERRILLA THEATER. [der: théâtre de l'absurde] [v:
opéra bouffe, opéra comique, comic opera]
THE BALL IS OPEN :
see (THE) BALL IS OPEN.
THE BALLOON GOES UP :
see (THE) BALLOON GOES UP.
THE BASIC SCHOOL :
(THE) BEST AND BRIGHTEST :
see BEST AND BRIGHTEST.
THE BIBLE :
see (THE) BIBLE.
THE BIGGER THEY ARE :
see (THE) BIGGER THEY ARE.
THE BIG PX IN THE SKY :
see (THE) BIG PX IN THE SKY.
THE BIRD :
see (THE) BIRD.
THE BLACK ART / THE BLACK ARTS :
see (THE) BLACK ART / (THE) BLACK ARTS.
THE BLACK JET :
see (THE) BLACK JET.
THE BRA :
see (THE) BRA.
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT :
see (THE) BUTTERFLY EFFECT.
THE CASTLE :
see (THE) CASTLE.
THE CAVE :
see (THE) CAVE.
THE CLUB :
see (THE) CLUB.
THE COMPANY :
see CIA, HOUSE OF SPOOKS, THE FARM, THE PICKLE FACTORY,
THE CONSTITUTION / CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA :
see (THE) CONSTITUTION.
THE CROTCH :
see (THE) CROTCH.
THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON :
see (THE) DARK SIDE OF THE MOON.
THE DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT :
see (THE) DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT.
THE DEVIL'S WATER :
see (THE) DEVIL'S WATER.
THE DIRTY DOZEN :
see (THE) DIRTY DOZEN.
THE DOGS OF WAR :
see (THE) DOGS OF WAR.
THE DRINK :
see (THE) DRINK.
THE EAGLE SHITS :
see (THE) EAGLE SHITS.
THE EARTHLY PARADISE :
see (THE) EARTHLY PARADISE.
THE EDGE :
see (THE) EDGE.
THE ELEVENTH HOUR :
see (THE) ELEVENTH HOUR.
THE END JUSTIFIES THE MEANS :
see (THE) ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS, MEANS.
THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS :
see (THE) ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS, MEANS.
THE ESTABLISHMENT :
see (THE) ESTABLISHMENT.
THE EXEC :
(the ig-zek) truncation of THE EXECutive officer; also called
"exec"; see XO.
THE FARM :
see (THE) FARM.
THE F-BOMB :
see (THE) F-BOMB.
THE FINGER :
see (THE) FINGER.
THE FIRST BLOW IS HALF THE BATTLE :
see (THE) FIRST BLOW IS HALF THE BATTLE.
THE FISH CHEER :
see (THE) FISH CHEER.
THE FOG OF WAR :
see (THE) FOG OF WAR.
THE FORGOTTEN WAR :
see KOREAN WAR.
THE FULL NINE-YARDS :
THE G :
see (THE) G.
THE GARAGE :
see (THE) GARAGE.
THE GLASS CLIFF :
see (THE) GLASS CLIFF.
THE GOLDEN TALON :
see (THE) GOLDEN TALON.
THE GRACE OF GOD :
see (THE) GRACE OF GOD.
THE GRAND OLD MAN OF THE CORPS :
see (THE) GRAND OLD MAN OF THE CORPS.
THE GRAND OLD MAN OF THE ARMY :
see (THE) GRAND OLD MAN OF THE ARMY.
(THE) GREAT WAR :
THE GREEKS :
see (THE) GREEKS.
THE GULF :
see (THE) GULF.
THE HAPS :
see WHAT'S THE HAPS.
(THE) HEART OF THE MATTER :
see NITTY-GRITTY, BLOOD 'n' GUTS.
THE HERD :
see (THE) HERD, SKY SOLDIERS.
THE HILL :
see (THE) HILL.
THE HOLY OF HOLIES :
see (THE) HOLY OF HOLIES, TANK, BUBBLE, FISHBOWL, DUNGEON,
ISOFAC, SCIF, SAFE ROOM.
THE IMMORTALS :
see (THE) IMMORTALS.
THE INDISPENSABLE MAN :
see (THE) INDISPENSABLE MAN.
THE INSTITUTE OF HERALDRY :
see (THE) INSTITUTE OF HERALDRY.
THE J :
see (THE) J.
THE LAW OF THE MEDES AND PERSIANS :
see (THE) LAW OF THE MEDES AND PERSIANS.
THE LESSER OF EVILS :
see (THE) LESSER OF EVILS.
THE LINE :
being the LINE, FRONT LINE, SHARP END, LINE OF BATTLE, ON THE
LINE, CHOP LINE, LINE OF DEPARTURE, McNAMARA LINE.
THE LINE OF LEAST RESISTANCE :
see (THE) LINE OF LEAST RESISTANCE.
THE LITTLE RED BOOK :
see (THE) LITTLE RED BOOK.
THE MANLY ART OF SELF-DEFENSE :
see MANLY ARTS.
THE MAN ON HORSEBACK :
see (THE) MAN ON HORSEBACK.
THE MARINE WAY :
see (THE) ARMY WAY.
(THE) MASS MEDIA / (THE) MEDIA :
see MASS MEDIA.
THE MED :
see (THE) MED.
(THE) MEDIA / (THE) MASS MEDIA :
see MASS MEDIA.
THE MOG :
see (THE) MOG.
THEME PARK :
a euphemism employed during the post-Vietnam era to refer to an
EXERCISE area developed for MOCK-COMBAT engagements of specific
operational scenarios under particular conditions (eg: air
assault, beach landing, counter-guerrilla, anti-terrorism, etc);
although challenging, most MIL-PERS regard these tests as an
opportunity to demonstrate their skills while enjoying a vacation
from normal routine ... a busman's holiday or frolic at carnival.
This phrase seems to derive from the commercial embellishments
that are modeled upon amusement parks [eg: Disneyland (1955),
Disney World (1971), Six Flags, Dollywood, Twitty City], wherein
entertainments and attractions are based upon various themes,
from wilderness adventures and fairy tales to the Old West and
the Space Age. See NICKEL RIDE, JRTC, NTC, RED FLAG, FTX,
TREASURE HUNT, ORIENTEERING, WAR GAMES. [nb: "Better to meet a
bear robbed of her cubs than a fool bent on folly." Proverbs
17:12 NIV Bible]
THE MOTHER-IN-LAW OF THE ARMY :
see (THE) MOTHER-IN-LAW OF THE ARMY.
THE NAKED TRUTH :
see (THE) NAKED TRUTH.
THE NAM :
see (THE) NAM.
THE NATIONAL JOKE FACTORY :
see (THE) NATIONAL JOKE FACTORY.
THE NAVY WAY :
see (THE) ARMY WAY.
THE NINE WORTHIES :
see (THE) NINE WORTHIES.
THE OPEN KIMONO :
see (THE) OPEN KIMONO / OPEN YOUR KIMONO.
THE PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE :
see LEAST RESISTANCE.
THE PENIS AS GENIUS :
see (THE) PENIS AS GENIUS.
THE PICKLE FACTORY :
see (THE) PICKLE FACTORY.
THE PILL :
see (THE) PILL.
THE PLAN :
see (THE) PLAN.
THE POINT :
see (THE) POINT.
THE RAINY SEASON :
THE RANCH :
see (THE) RANCH.
THE REAL WORLD :
see (THE) REAL WORLD.
THERE'S MORE THAN ONE WAY TO SKIN A CAT :
see CAT SKINNER. [cf: "There's more than one way to kill a cat
than to choke it with cream." adage]
THE RIGHT TO BE WRONG :
see (THE) RIGHT TO BE WRONG.
THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS :
see (THE) RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS.
THE RIVER OF NINE DRAGONS :
see (THE) RIVER OF NINE DRAGONS.
(forthcoming); a distinct heat signature that's detected in air
or water, whether generated by a radiant, electrical, or magnetic
source, which is subject to measurement and/or assessment, which
presence may be partly or temporarily masked (ANTI-THERMAL);
Also, a meteorological event affecting aircraft flight and
parachute maneuvering, that's also known as a "thermal column" or
THERMAL CROSSOVER :
the loss of contrast between two adjacent objects on infrared
(IR) imagery; an inability to detect a distinction between
objects and/or their surrounding atmosphere due to rising or
falling temperatures ... this is a natural phenomenon that
normally occurs twice a day when ambient temperatures are in
incendiary composed of powdered aluminum, ferric oxide,
and magnesium; see ROCKEYE, WP.
THERMONUCLEAR WEAPON :
a very high temperature fission explosive created by the fusion
of light nuclei (eg: deuterium and tritium hydrogen isotopes)
with the accompanying release of great energy; see NUKE.
THE ROAD OF TEN-THOUSAND PAINS :
see (THE) ROAD OF TEN-THOUSAND PAINS.
THE ROAR OF BUTTERFLY WINGS :
see (THE) ROAR OF BUTTERFLY WINGS.
THE ROCK :
see (THE) ROCK.
THE ROOT :
see (THE) ROOT.
THE SILENCE :
see (THE) SILENCE.
THE SILENT SERVICE / SILENT SERVICE :
see SILENT SERVICE, SS, SUBMARINE.
THE SILENT TREATMENT :
see (THE) SILENCE.
(THE) SKY IS FALLING :
see CHICKEN LITTLE.
THE SNAFU DIVISION :
see (THE) SNAFU DIVISION.
THE SNAKE IN THE GRASS :
see SNAKE IN THE GRASS.
THE SNIPE :
see (THE) SNIPE.
THE STANS :
see (THE) STANS.
THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER :
see (THE) STAR SPANGLED BANNER.
(THE) STILL :
see EVAP / EVAPORATOR.
THE STUMPS :
see (THE) STUMPS.
THE SUCK :
see (THE) SUCK.
THE SWAMP :
see (THE) SWAMP.
THE TAIL WAGS THE DOG / THE TAIL WAGGING THE DOG :
see (THE) TAIL WAGS THE DOG / (THE) TAIL WAGGING THE DOG.
THE TOUGH GET GOING :
the predicate of "When the going gets tough, the tough get
going.", which is a motivational proverb intended to inspire
dedication and determination in goal attainment; this chiasmus
was used as a recruiting slogan for the U.S. Marine Corps in the
post-Vietnam era. Although this phrase, which invites people to
rise to the occasion, is variously attributed (eg: Joseph P.
Kennedy, Knute Rockne, et al) it is not authentically cited. This
expression is comparable to: "Hard times never last but strong
people do." and "There is no prize for defeat."
THE UNHOLY TRINITY :
see (THE) UNHOLY TRINITY.
THE UNICORN DIVISION :
see LUCKY THIRTEENTH.
THE UNIT :
see (THE) UNIT.
THE U.S. ARMY INSTITUTE OF HERALDRY :
see (THE) INSTITUTE OF HERALDRY.
THE WALL :
see (THE) WALL.
(THE) WALL OF SEVERUS :
see HADRIAN'S WALL.
THE WARRIOR'S WAY :
see (THE) WARRIOR'S WAY.
THE WHOLE MEGILLAH :
THE WHOLE NINE-YARDS :
THE WIND UP :
see PUT THE WIND UP / LET THE WIND GET UP.
THE WORD :
see (THE) WORD.
THE WORLD :
see (THE) WORLD.
THEY'LL GIVE A WAR AN' NOBODY'LL COME :
popular slogan bandied by PROTESTORs and HIPPIEs during the
VIETNAM WAR; derived from "Sometime they'll give a war and nobody
will come." by Carl Sandburg, in "The People, Yes" (1936). In
1968, the song "Zor and Zan", written by B and J Chadwick, was
released on "The Birds, The Bees, and The Monkees" album, and
included the phrase in the lyrics: "The great war began / They
met on the battlefield, banner in hand / They looked out across
the vacant land / And they counted the missing one upon one /
None upon none / The war it was over before it began / Two little
kings playing with games / They gave a war and nobody came". The
1970 movie "Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came?" (starring
Brian Keith and Tony Curtis) echoed the phrase. The phrase was
also recalled in "What if someone gave a war and Nobody came?
Life would ring the bells of Ecstasy and Forever be Itself
again." in a 1972 poem entitled "Graffiti" by Allen Ginsberg. The
1970 song "Imagine" by John Lennon includes a related passage in
the lyrics: "Imagine there's no countries / ... / Nothing to kill
or die for / ... / Living life in peace".
THE ZONE :
see (THE) ZONE.
an informal placeholder term used to identify an article, object,
tool, part, gadget, device, contrivance, mechanism, technique, or
process whose proper name is unknown or forgotten, also spelled
"thingumajig"; including dingus, gismo / gizmo, doohickey, thingy
/ thingee, thingamabob / thingumabob, whatsis / whatsit,
whachamacallit / whatchamacallit, whuddayacallit / whudyacallit,
what-do-you-call-it, what-you-may-call-it, jigger, doojigger /
do-jigger, doojiggy, doodad / do-dad, widget. [v: doover in
Australia and New Zealand]
THINK PURPLE :
a management catch-phrase for blending or merging military assets
in a cooperative effort toward mission accomplishment; based upon
the color resulting from a meld of each separate uniform worn by
the different branches, with a fancied implication of royalty ...
instead of the ordinary mud brown of mundane unity. Compare
THINK TANK :
an academic organization or research institution that's employed
to predict difficulties, establish perspective, assess
alternatives, offer solutions, or propose developments in the
military aspects of social, political, or economic changes
entailed by current affairs; such a research and development
(R&D) facility is also called a "policy institute" or "think
factory". See BRAIN TRUST, AIRHEAD, SPIN-OFF, SKUNK WORKS;
compare WAR COLLEGE.
see SKIN, SOFT TARGET. [nb: a self-propelled (SP) HOWITZER
resembles a TANK, but unlike a TANK, is thin-skinned]
THIRD DEGREE / THIRD-DEGREE :
the use of intensive questioning and rough treatment in order to
extort information; to interrogate a detainee or captive, to
cross-examine or cross-question, to grill or pump an enemy
suspect; also known as SWEAT or SQUEEZE, and sometimes includes
intimidation or abuse. This Americanism is notorious for implying
"illegal" or "unlawful" methods of interviewing suspects, such
as beating with rubber hoses or sleep deprivation (ie: ENHANCED
INTERROGATION), but this catch-phrase originated as a humorous
reference (ie: "in the third degree of drink") in William
Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Or What You Will comedy,
wherein the level of drunkenness is compared to the degrees of
natural philosophy, which assigns the 'third degree' to the
penultimate level of intensity. Although etymologists have
attempted to analogize other rating scales (eg: burns, edema,
consciousness) or to associate other indexes (eg: qualifying
rank, criminal code, Masonic ritual), they do not correlate
properly, and the Shakespearean citation is the oldest known
referent. Compare TORTURE, see FIELD EXPEDIENT FACIAL, SONG AND
DANCE, OVER A BARREL, BLISTER, SQUEEZE, BITCH SLAP, BASHING,
CAT-O'-NINE-TAILS, PAIN, SCAR.
THIRD ESTATE :
the third of the three principal estates, consisting of the
common people; see HIPPIE, WHITE TRASH, HUMAN ZOO,
KNUCKLE-DRAGGER, BRUTE, BUBBA EFFECT, REACTIONARY, CONSERVATIVE,
ANTI-FEDERALIST, BOOJIE, THE CHATTERING CLASS, SILENT MAJORITY,
FORGOTTEN MAN, THE RIGHT TO BE WRONG; compare FIRST ESTATE,
SECOND ESTATE, FOURTH ESTATE, FIFTH ESTATE. [v: rabble, the great
unwashed, riffraff, proletariat, prole, lumpen proletariat, rank
and file, commoner, commonalty, pleb / plebeian, hoi polloi,
canaille, lower classes, campesino, peasant, indigent, lowest of
the low, menial, populace, crowd, multitude, mass / the masses,
the herd, cracker, hillbilly, hill jack, peckerwood, redneck,
trailer park trash, human debris, scum of society, scum of the
earth, scum of the universe, useful idiots] [nb: "Now, more than
ever, the people are responsible for the character of their
Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is
because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and
corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because
the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the
national legislature .... If the next centennial does not find us
a great nation .... it will be because those who represent the
enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not
aid in controlling the political forces." by James A. Garfield]
THIRD INDOCHINA WAR :
a war of Vietnamese suzerainty over INDOCHINA fought against
Chinese, Cambodian, and Laotian forces from the end of the
VIETNAM WAR to the restoration of diplomatic relations with China
3rd INF DIV :
see ROCK OF THE MARNE.
13-BUTTON SALUTE / THIRTEEN-BUTTON SALUTE :
euphemism for when a sailor pulls down sharply on the upper
corners of the fall front on his uniform breeches so as to
quickly and fully expose his genitals, often to accommodate a
powerful urge to urinate copiously, or to immediately satisfy a
lustful desire; see FALL, BIB, FOREPLAY.
38th PARALLEL / THIRTY-EIGHTH PARALLEL :
the Demilitarized Zone dividing North and South Korea that was
established by an armistice in 1953 at the end of the KOREAN WAR,
coincident with the post-WWII division by the Geneva Accords.
see BA MUOI BA.
THOR'S HAMMER :
American space-launched land attack projectiles.
THOUGHT GRENADE :
an idea, insight, or concept that's so profound that it seems to
have the impact of an explosion; perspicacity that figuratively
wrecks one's mental defenses, that shatters one's assumptions or
suppositions. Compare BRAIN FART, HELMET FIRE.
THOUGHT POLICE :
a referent coined by George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) in his
futuristic novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), wherein
struggle against nightmarish totalitarianism is hopeless; the
doctrinaire THOUGHT POLICE monitor deviations from prescribed
norms, violations of conformity to official protocol, infractions
of doublethink, and exceptions to politically-correct NewSpeak.
By extension, the THOUGHT POLICE are the censors [nb: derived
from the Roman official charged with the enforcement of public
manners and morals, being required "to give one's opinion,
recommendation, or assessment"] responsible for examining public
and private matters, suppressing objectionable parts, and
protecting the PARTY LINE, which is deemed to be the whole TRUTH
by BOX HEADs who TOE THE LINE. See BIG LIE, GAG ORDER, BLACKOUT,
DISINFORMATION, CONTROLLED INFORMATION, PROPAGANDA, FALSE FLAG,
DECEPTION, PSYOPS, MORALE PATCH, DEATH CARD, SOFT TYRANNY,
CHINESE WALL, IRON CURTAIN, BIG BROTHER, THE G. [v: imprimatur,
nihil obstat, auto-da-fe/auto-da-fé] ["If fascism came to
America, it would be on a program of Americanism." by Huey P.
Long; "I have often thought that if a rational Fascist
dictatorship were to exist, then it would choose the American
system." by Noam Chomsky]
THOUSAND MILE PER HOUR TAPE :
see 1000 MPH TAPE / ONE-THOUSAND MILE PER HOUR TAPE.
THOUSAND-YARD STARE :
defense mechanism symptomatic of individual need for spiritual
distancing, emotional disengagement, or mental detachment, as a
response to combat exposure; also known as "wall gazing" or
"bulkhead stare" by Navy and Marine personnel. See PTSD,
BLACKOUT, FLASHBACK, TELESCOPING, ZOMBIE, STRESS OF SOUL,
BROKEN-WING SYNDROME, FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT, WATERWORKS, DISSOCIATION,
OBJECTIFICATION, CONVERSION SYMPTOMS. [v: middle distance]
[nb: this neurotic response was an ineffective defense mechanism
since it was often a prelude to dysfunction or casualty due to
inattention or unawareness. Most combat casualties occur when the
soldier is new and inexperienced (see FNG, cherry, NEWBEE, REPL'
DEPOT), upon return from R&R, and after 180 days of combat
exposure. The COC acclimation attempted to reduce early tour
losses, and not much can compensate for the dulling of hard
earned combat skills by R&R, but the only way to relieve
fatigue losses after six months is to rotate entire units out of
combat, restore unit strength, and bond the unit with new
training before returning them to the combat zone. Zen or Ch'an
meditation (zazen) is sometimes called "wall staring", using
mental riddles (koan) and analytical discourse (mondo), together
with controlled physical violence for reinforcement, to "awaken"
(satori/prajna) the inner or spiritual being; hence the affinity
between martial arts and Zen, where military and religious
disciplines are unified.]
Threat CONdition, being the level of probable enemy action
perceived for a military installation; also represented as
"threat configuration", later renamed Force Protection Condition
(FPCON); see DEFCON, SACON, ESP, GQ, ALERT, STAND-TO, STAND-DOWN.
360° THINKING / 360-DEGREE THINKING :
see OUTSIDE THE BOX.
THREE-IN-ONE / 3-in-1 :
a disparaging slang reference to airborne replacements who become
"instantly qualified" by being rushed through minimal orientation
and three static line jumps in only one day of training! This
contemptuous reference alludes to the brand name of a lightweight
machine oil that's commonly used as a household lubricant, with
the implication that anyone so "qualified" was slippery and
greasy. This condensed practice, conducted whenever "necessary"
from WWII through Vietnam, substantiated the British contention
that parachute indoctrination was too long, and didn't affect the
occurrence of or recovery from jump accidents. While typically
performed for infantry replacements, it was also undertaken when
a staff officer with particular skills (eg: JAG, INTEL) was
needed by an airborne unit ... the most egregious example was the
failed attempt to appoint a non-jump qualified commander of the
5th Special Forces Group when COL Robert Rheault was relieved
pending an Article 32 investigation of a Project Gamma episode
... after this maneuver failed, COL "Iron Mike" Healy ("Mister
Green Beret") was appointed instead. Compare TRIPLE NICKEL; see
ALMOST AIRBORNE, BLAST, HIT THE SILK, AIRBORNE, PARACHUTE.
3 R's / 3 Rs :
the basic essentials or fundamentals of any field; specifically
in the case of the military, being Recruiting, Readiness, and
Retention, wherein the Armed Forces attracts potentially
worthwhile servicemembers, trains them to effectively meld into
the mission, and cultivates their commitment to the organization
throughout their career; being the primary factors affecting
personnel management in the several military branches, as derived
from the facetiously elucidated "Classic Three R's": reading,
[w]riting, and [a]rithmetic. See TICKET, RATING, MIL-CRAFT.
THREE ON A MATCH :
a speculative superstition contending that the lighting, or
igniting, of at least three smokes (ie: cigars, cigarillos,
cigarettes, and the like) on a single match is courting bad luck;
which superstition, also known as "third on a match" or "third
light", is rumored to have originated in several wars, from the
Crimean to the Boer, from the Mexican to the Spanish-American,
but without valid attribution. The essence of this superstition,
popularized during and after the Great War / WWI, proposed that
the attention of an enemy sniper would be drawn by the first
light, that the second light would give the sniper time to aim,
and the third light would render a kill for the shooter. This
legend has lent itself to dramatization in books and films of the
20th century, such that Ivar Kreuger, a Swedish safety match
manufacturer, promoted the superstition so as to increase sales.
While this practice is alleged to bode misfortune to at least one
of the participants, it's more than likely that its origin lies
with the ancient tribulations associated with specific ill-omened
numerals ... to wit, the number three: "bad things always happen
in threes". In keeping with this distinction, anything that's
sacred, but can also exist in the ordinary world, acquires a
negative connotation if profaned by impiety; hence, lighting the
triplet candles representative of the triune Trinity acquires bad
luck when mundane ignition is substituted. See LIGHT UP, MATCH /
MATCHES, STORM MATCH, ZIPPO, LIGHTER, FUSE, SLOW MATCH, GASPER,
PIGTAIL, SMOKE, BUTT, FAG, SOLDIER'S BREAKFAST, SMOKING LAMP.
THREE SHEETS TO THE WIND :
in NavSpeak, an idiomatic expression for being 'drunk', as
derived from the condition of a sailing ship in a storm when its
sails ("sheets") have broken loose from their lines and flap
uselessly in the wind; see STONED.
THREE SQUARES :
three nutritious meals each day, being one of the incentives or
inducements (along with shelter and job training) for poor people
to willingly serve in the military; as derived from "square
meal", where 'square' means proper or satisfactory. This
quotidian sentiment is also expressed as "three hots and a flop"
(ie: CHOW and RACK). Compare SQUARE MEAL; see BEANS, RATIONS.
THREE STAR / THREE-STAR :
metonymic reference to a lieutenant general (or vice admiral)
based upon their insignia of RANK; see FLAG OFFICER, OLD MAN, GEN
/ GENERAL, SKIPPER, ADM / ADMIRAL, CO, LDR.
THREE WISE MONKEYS :
see NO EVIL.
the vestibular pathways or PASSAGEWAYs that allow airplanes to
ingress and egress the RUNWAYs or landing strips; used to taxi
aircraft and stage take-offs; also used in the sense of
"entrance" or "beginning" during aircraft landings. See APRON,
RAMP, STRIP ALERT, TAXIWAY, TOUCHDOWN, BOUNCE, WINDSOCK.
a minor operator or low-level SECRET AGENT who's sacrificed to
investigators for the protection and preservation of the spy
network; also called KITE, "discard", or "slough". Compare
DANGLE; see SLEEPER, MOLE, FIX, CRYPTO, CREEP, SWEEPER, DECOY,
THROW HANDS :
slang for fistfighting or fisticuffs, slugfest or punch-up, duke
it out or knock-down drag-out, plug or mill, boxing or pugilism;
see KNUCKLE SANDWICH, MARTIAL ART, JAP SLAPPER, BOK-BOK,
TWO-FISTED, ONE-TWO, BEAT HIM TO THE PUNCH, COUNTERPUNCH, GROUP
HUG, BATTLE ROYAL, BATS 'n' HATS, ON GUARD, AT CLOSE QUARTERS,
UP-CLOSE 'n' PERSONAL, CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE, PULL ONE'S PUNCHES.
THROWING STICK :
a short stick, straight or curved, flat or cylindrical, that's
grasped near the end for hurling at birds and other small game,
used as a method of hunting among preliterate societies; see
BOOMERANG, BATS 'n' HATS, BATON, WARDER, SPEAR.
[cf: truncheon, billy, night stick, espantoon, cudgel, bludgeon,
shillelagh/shillealah, knobkerrie, cosh, bastinado, singlestick,
waddy, club, blackjack, sap, slapjack; cf: bauble] [cf: javelin,
pike, polearm, poleax/poleaxe, partisan, assegai/assagai, lance,
harpoon, trident, leister, gig, pigsticker, truncheon; v: atlatl,
THROW IN THE TOWEL :
to concede DEFEAT, to quit, surrender, or resign; also expressed
as "throw in the sponge" or "toss...", as derived from
prizefighting, when a boxer's manager throws a towel or sponge
into the ring, which signal stops the fight, and spares the
beaten fighter more injury. See QUARTER, WHITE FLAG, STRIKE THE
FLAG, WATERLOO, CARTE BLANCHE, TRUCE, ENTENTE, DETENTE,
RAPPROCHEMENT, APPEASE, FRENCH DESPAIR, WHITE FEATHER,
LILY-LIVERED, FRENCH FLU, HOI CHANH, KIT CARSON SCOUT.
nickname for the Republic F-105 THUNDERCHIEF.
THUGGEE CORD :
(too-lee) any distant or obscure location, from the remote bush
to an isolated encampment, as derived from the Eskimo culture of
the same name that flourished during AD500-1400 across the Arctic
region; see BOONDOCKS / BOONIES, BACKWASH, INDIAN COUNTRY, DOWN
RANGE, SANDBOX; compare TULE. Also, a settlement in northwestern
Greenland that was founded in 1910 by the Danish explorer Knud
Rasmussen in the Etah Eskimo area, which became the site of a
U.S. airbase during WWII, together with a science station. Also,
the name given by the ancient Greeks to the most extreme area of
northern Europe, based upon a discovery by the navigator Pytheas
that was described in 310BC, variously identified with Iceland,
Norway, and the Shetland Islands; the phrase "Ultima Thule"
figuratively denotes the greatest or most distant goal of human
endeavor, and the farthest point or a land remote beyond all
reckoning. [nb: the thule/tule homophone, together with other
variants, has appeared widely and interchangeably in American
military writings when referring to remote locales, in the same
manner that bush, sticks, woods, barrens, brush, weeds, scrub,
rough, and the like are also synecdochically representative]
THUMBSCREW / THUMBSCREWS :
an old instrument of torture by which one or both thumbs were
compressed. [v: pilliwinks]
nickname for the M-79 grenade launcher, or any other 40mm weapon;
also known as "thump gun" or "bloop tube". In 2006, all versions
of the single-shot grenade launcher were superseded by the M-32
Multiple-shot Grenade Launcher (MGL) for infantry operations. The
grenadier's grasp of the M-79 grenade launcher when firing, as
portrayed in books or movies, is a reliable TELLTALE for
detecting phonies. See BLOOPER, OVER 'n' UNDER, DOVER DOG,
BOFORS, DUSTER, compare SHOTGUN, GYROJET, FRAG, GRENADE, RPG.
[nb: the "fire lance" flamethrower of AD 905 China utilized
propulsion to launch small objects and pellets, like a shotgun,
becoming a prototype firearm; with a three-barreled version for
repeat firing developed later]
[nb: there probably ought to be a MURPHY LAW of Combat to
the effect that "weapons don't win wars", as a corollary to "the
side with the simplest weapon will win the war"; since there is
no doubt that the test and procurement system is defective. The
other sides had better and finer weapons during WWII (the proof
existing in the pistols, rifles, machineguns, and tanks adopting
enemy innovations), but the American GREASE GUN and the British
Sten gun triumphed behind better armies. jury-rigging and
complicating US weapon systems will not defeat us, but
compromising and discarding all the simple and effective designs
will make the future BUTCHER'S BILL extremely expensive!]
designation for the
USAF Precision aerial Demonstration Team, organized in
for public display of typical aviation skillcraft, performed
nationwide at air shows, patriotic events, and other fairs. A
precision flight demonstration of the capability and versatility
kept at least one BIRD performing between set piece
formations and maneuvers. The team consisted of aviators;
See BARNSTORMER, AEROBATICS.
the Republic P-47/F-47 bomber escort and pursuit fighter, also
known as "T-Bolt", and nicknamed the "Little Friend" (cf: FLYING
FORTRESS), as well as the "Jug" due to the appearance of its
cowling; this WWII designation was later transferred to the A-10
WARTHOG but widely ignored. The P-47, which derives from the
earlier P-43 "Lancer", was tested during 1942, and entered combat
service on 10 March 1943 as a single-prop turbo-supercharged
fighter-bomber flown by one PILOT at a maximum speed of 467mph
for a range of 800 miles. During and after WWII, the P-47 also
served as a spotter plane during search and rescue (SAR)
missions. Inventories were transferred to Asian, Mid-Eastern, and
South American allies as well as being assigned to the US Air
National Guard (ANG) as the re-designated F-47. See BIRD.
[nb: another explanation for the origin of the THUNDERBOLT's
"Jug" nickname is a contraction of juggernaut, being any
destructive object or unstoppable force, as the Hindu cart that
transports Krishna, in testimony to the plane's ability to take
battle damage and still bring its pilot home]
[cf: the XP-72 or "Super Thunderbolt" was an experimental variant
of the P-47, having increased speed, mileage, and altitude with
fewer armaments, tested from the summer of 1944 until the end of
WWII, when jets supplanted piston aircraft]
Also, nickname of the 11th Armored Division, which served in
Europe (ETO) during WWII.
[ie: a flash of lightning with the accompanying thunder; hence,
whatever acts with sudden destructive force]
Also, nickname of the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team (517
PRCT) during WWII.
THUNDERBOLT II :
official designation of the Fairchild-Republic A-10 WARTHOG
ground attack & anti-tank aircraft.
the single-engine Republic F-105 USAF jet fighter-bomber was
originally developed as a tactical nuclear bomber aircraft; also
called "Thud", and nicknamed "Thunderstick" or "T-Stick". See
WILD WEASEL, BIRD.
the Republic RF-84F (RF-96A) supersonic photo-reconnaissance
THUNDER FROM HEAVEN :
motto of the 17th Airborne Infantry Division, a phantom
organization of WWII; compare THE GOLDEN TALON, XVIII AIRBORNE
CORPS; see GHOST UNIT, PHANTOM OPERATIONS.
THUNDERING HERD :
slang phrase for a HORDE or swarm, host or multitude, mass or
throng, particularly when in concerted movement or inundating
surge, as a stampede or ("human wave") overrun. Also, the
nickname of the 8th Armored Division, which served in Europe
(ETO) during WWII.
the Republic F-84 sub-sonic ground attack fighter aircraft; see
BIRD. [nb: the Republic XF-91A Thunderlancer was the unsuccessful
successor of the F-84 THUNDERJET; cf: the Republic XF-84H
Thunderprop hybrid jet/propeller fighter]
THUNDER ROAD :
RVN Highway 13, running from Saigon to Loc Ninh; known
to be a treacherous route due to mines and ambushes. See STREET
WITHOUT JOY, HAI VAN PASS, MANG YANG PASS, AN KHE PASS.
THUNDER RUN :
the high speed advance of armored vehicles clearing the way for
lighter-weight thin-skinned vehicles; the rapid movement of an
armored column along a road, with guns alternated in their
covering fire to either side of the route, so as to rapidly clear
or secure an area. Compare HERRINGBONE.
the Republic F-84F (F-96A) fighter-bomber, being a swept-wing
version of the F-84 THUNDERJET.
stunned, overcome, confounded, dumbfounded, appalled or
astonished, as when overwhelmed by the SOUND AND FURY of thunder
... "Thunderstruck by the barrage, the enemy couldn't organize a
resistance to our assault."
THUNDER TIGER :
nickname for INDIGenous MIL-PERS serving with the Special
Commando Unit (SCU) of the Liaison Office (LO), as the
COUNTERPART organization to SOG; derived from the imagery of
their shoulder PATCH. The SCU/LO developed from the Special
Exploitation Service (SEPES or SES), an ARVN unit under
presidential direction; and evolved into the Strategic Technical
Directorate (STD), after the disbanding of the VNSF/LLDB. See
CAS, CSD, RECON, VIETNAMIZATION.
Naval Support Facility Thurmont; see SHANGRI-LA.
the fifth day of the conventional (ie: Sunday through Saturday)
week, named among ancient Romans for the 'day of Jove' (dies
Jovis) or Jupiter, which was translated from "Thor's day", being
the pagan Norse god of sky and thunder, who wielded a magical
hammer; sometimes called "thunder day", and according to the old
rhyme: "Thursday's child has far to go". See DAY, WEEK, TIME. [v:
black Thursday, bloody Thursday, Holy Thursday / Ascension Day,
Maundy Thursday, sheer Thursday]
to prevent the accomplishment of a plan or purpose, to frustrate
or forestall success, to foil or stymie attainment; see SANDBAG,
HAMSTRING, STUMBLING BLOCK, SPIKE, SPIKE THEIR GUNS, WAR OF
NERVES. Also, by extension, perverse or obstinate; adverse or
unfavorable; as derived from 'angry'; see HIDEBOUND, BRASSBOUND,
HARD-SET, BRASS EAR. [v: athwart] [nb: "Because I knew that thou
art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass
...." Isaiah 48:4 KJV Bible]
a slight but recurrent click, tap, knock, or similar noise, as of
a working (or malfunctioning) mechanism. Also, a slight but
involuntary twitch, a small nervous spasm, or a minor responsive
tremor, typically recurrent during stress. Also, a small mark or
minor check made as a reminder, an indication, or a highlight, as
when "ticking off" items on a list. Also, slang for the
motivation or intention, the purpose or reason, the cause or
prompt, the stimulus or spur, the instigation or incitement
underlying an act or drive toward a goal or objective ... as
"what makes them tick". Also, the durable cloth ('ticking') case
for bedding; a strong twill or plain weave fabric used to cover
mattresses and pillows, often in a distinctive pattern. Also, any
of numerous bloodsucking arachnids, related to but larger than
mites, having a barbed proboscis for attachment to the skin of
mammals, many of which are disease vectors (eg: Rocky Mountain
spotted fever, Lyme's disease, relapsing fever, Texas fever,
etc); see COOTIE, FLEA, GRAYBACK, CRAB, FLY, BEDBUG, ASSASSIN
TICKER-TAPE PARADE :
see CANYON OF HEROES, PARADE. [v: pageant, spectacle, triumph,
ovation] [nb: Lieutenant Geneviève de Galard-Terraube, the
"Angel of Dien Bien Phu", was honored with a ticker-tape parade
on 26 April 1954 along the CANYON OF HEROES]
slang for the certifying license or RATING of a ship's officer or
of an aviation PILOT; compare QUALS; see MOS, PMOS, BILLET,
BERTH, POI, TRNG, OJT, MIL-CRAFT, Q-COURSE, CROSS-TRAINING, 3
R's, RATING, PRO PAY.
Also, a preliminary recording of transactions prior to their
entry in more permanent books of account; see WAR DIARY, AIRBORNE
ALBUM, SEA BOOK, JOURNAL. Also, informal reference to the
documentation that's established ("punched") for career
development or advancement; see TICKET-PUNCHER / TICKET-PUNCHING.
Also, slang for a token or voucher that substitutes for genuine
currency in select establishments, such as military canteens and
servicemen's clubs; see CHIT, HARD TIMES TOKEN, MPC, CHARGE.
TICKET-PUNCHER / TICKET-PUNCHING :
career management; a "ladder-climber" who needs to get credit for
checkmarking all necessary steps preliminary to promotion in the
"up or out" modern military. Promotion above or below the zone
affected retention and retirement, with little regard for expert
skills. See LIFER, OLD BREED, MILICRAT, KHAKI MAFIA, PURGATORY
TOUR, FAST TRACK, SCRAP METAL COLLECTOR, RIF, KICKSTANDED, CYA,
DODGE THE BULLET, VULCANIZE, BOOTSTRAP, DOUBLE-DIP. [cf:
apparatchik, nomenklatura, eunuch, nabob, nibs]
informal name for a "tickler file" or "suspense account", which
contains SUSPENSE DATEd work that must be completed Not Later
Than (NLT) a particular time/date specification; a temporary
store pending final disposition. A file consisting of memoranda,
notices, signals, or correspondence serving as a reminder of
obligatory due-dates. See MR, SNOWFLAKE, RBI, CHEAT SHEET,
the connection of the opposite ends of all units in any broad
front of advance or defense, closing any gap or discontinuity
therein, so that the line of troops and arms is not exposed or
suspended, unattached or unsecured, subject to being penetrated
or out-flanked; see FRONT LINE, MLR, FLOT, FEBA, LINE OF BATTLE,
FLANK, REFUSE, ANCHOR; compare IN THE AIR.
The Inspector General; see IG.
a large, powerful, tawny and black striped cat (panthera tigris)
that's native to Asia. Also, a person exhibiting the fierceness
or courage of a tiger; see IN THE MOUTH OF THE CAT, THUNDER
[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]
Also, the lowest hand [cf: Yarborough in bridge] that can be
drawn in POKER (ie: six high, ace low, without a pair, straight
or flush), requiring great nerve to hold and BLUFF on such a
hand; see PLAYING CARDS, WAR GAMES, PLAY THE GAME. [nb: the jazz
classic "Tiger Rag" ("hold the tiger") was composed in honor of
TIGER AIRLINE :
the support and transport flights of the USMC CH-46 SEA KNIGHT
helicopters into Khe Sanh from bases in DaNang and aboard
aircraft carriers (LPH) offshore; see LIFT, LZ, PZ, CHOPPER.
TIGER BALM :
a foul-smelling oil used by many Asians to ward off evil spirits;
this folk remedy, along with other Chinese patent medicines, was
made in Singapore. See OAN HON, PHI, HUNGRY GHOST.
A TIGER BY THE TAIL :
see HEAD IN THE LION'S MOUTH.
TIGER CAGE :
a sturdy confined space for the imprisonment of captured
prisoners of war (POW) that's inadequate for a person to fully
stand or lie stretched-out; stoutly made of lashed bamboo or
welded PSP, sized about three by four feet, for ease of access
when maintaining the prisoner and inspecting his condition, being
absent of all amenities for comfort, weather protection, and
sanitation. The design and designation probably derives from a
similar container used to transport large animals (ie: larger
than a monkey cage or bird cage) from the jungle; it's generally
considered to be among the most inhumane of prison cells for
unrelieved immurement. See GRILLE; compare DEADLOCK. [v: keep,
oubliette, hock (sty or prison as a miserable place to live)]
the twin-engine Grumman F7F fighter that was designed (1945) for
use on the Midway class of aircraft carriers (CV), and was later
flown by the Marine Corps in the KOREAN WAR; also called T-CAT.
TIGER DIVISION :
nickname of the South Korean (ROK) Capital Division, deployed to
Vietnam in September 1966.
TIGER HOUND :
the CODENAME designation given to the southern sector of the
Laotian panhandle, effective December 1965, as part of the STEEL
TIGER air campaign of interdiction operations along the HO CHI
MINH TRAIL from Route 9 opposite the DMZ to the Cambodian border;
redesignated COMMANDO HUNT in 1968.
TIGER II :
Northrop F-5E /-5F twin-engine light fighter/bomber aircraft,
built for the Vietnamese Air Force; compare FREEDOM FIGHTER.
TIGER PIT :
informal reference to a TROU-DE-LOUP as used in Asia; also called
a "tiger trap", being a lightly covered and camouflaged pitfall
or deathtrap, usually positioned singly with one or more
sharpened stakes in the bottom, that's prepared as a BOOBY-TRAP
for people or animals.
single-engine F-20 aircraft, being a modified Northrop F-5
fighter jet designed for versatility and durability.
TIGER STRIPE :
a camouflage uniform composed of wavy horizontal bands of
multicolored brushstrokes that somewhat resemble the effect of a
tiger's stripes in dappled light; as derived from the French
"lizard" pattern, which existed in both horizontal and vertical
(adopted by Portugal) orientations. The TIGER STRIPE uniform was
adopted from the French in INDOCHINA, in common with the LEOPARD
pattern, and worn extensively by American ADVISORs and RECON
patrols during the VIETNAM WAR. A British version from WWII that
was used on jump smocks was called "brushstroke". A desert
version of TIGER STRIPEs, as well as pixelated DIGITALS have
since been developed for the GULF WARs; in 2007, the USAF adopted
a new TIGER STRIPEd field uniform, known as the Airman Battle
Uniform (ABU), in a digitized mix of muted tan, gray, green, and
blue. See CAMMIES, CAMO, DRESS.
TIGER TRAP :
informal reference to a TROU-DE-LOUP as used in Asia; also called
a "tiger pit", being a lightly covered and camouflaged pitfall or
deathtrap, usually positioned singly with one or more sharpened
stakes in the bottom, that's prepared as a BOOBY-TRAP for people
a directive indicating restricted use (eg: "guns tight", "radio
tight", or "sit tight"), wherein activity or employment is
limited to a response by a formal order; compare FREE.
any risky or delicate situation requiring skill and judgment, by
analogy to the acrobatic feats performed on the high-wire;
compare HIGHLINE, see MIL-CRAFT.
(forthcoming); emphasizing sexuality by promoting overt
masculinity and demure femininity; derived as an allusion to
"first man"; see GOD OF WAR, WIGHT, SUPER-TROOPER, WHITE KNIGHT,
ONIONS, MOXIE, GUTS, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO,
MANLY ARTS, TWO-FISTED, WAR GAMES, TESTOSTERONE ZONE, GOLDEN
PENIS SYNDROME, RED-BLOODED, HANG TOUGH, MAN-UP, MACHO.
TIKI CULTURE :
(forthcoming); development of the so-called "tiki culture" in the
TIKI ROOM / TIKI BAR :
a fashion of the post-WWII era, wherein lounges and restaurants
were decorated with rattan, batik, and Polynesian icons so as to
evoke the romantic exoticism of the South Pacific ... a trend
that withered in the psychedelic jungles of the nightmarish
TIKI TORCH / TONGA TORCH :
a flaming outdoor light that burns gas or oil, as used to
illuminate a gathering for feasting, dancing, storytelling, or
TILT AT WINDMILLS :
to engage in a meaningless act or to indulge a futile endeavor,
being an allusion to this impractical gesture by Don Quixote, who
chivalrously attacked these "giants" so as to rescue beleaguered
(non-existent) damsels; such bootlessness may also be
idiomatically expressed as WHISTLE IN THE WIND. [v: Sisyphean]
TILTING DOLL :
a convertible computer-assisted assembly that permits the
supportive and propulsive airfoils to swivel for either vertical
(ROTARY-WING) or horizontal (FIXED-WING) flight; also called
"tilt-rotor"; compare SWING-WING; see VTOL, VSTOL, BIRD.
see HACK, JIFF / JIFFY, SHAKE, ZORCH, FORTHWITH, ASAP, PDQ,
CHOGI, CHOP CHOP, RIKI TIK, STAT, CHRONOGRAPH, CHRONOMETER,
WRISTWATCH, INCENSE CLOCK, F-HOUR, H-HOUR, L-HOUR, ZERO-HOUR,
ZULU, GMT, UTI/UTC, IAT, DTG, DATE LINE, SAILING INTO YESTERDAY,
DAY, A-DAY, C-DAY, D-DAY, G-DAY, K-DAY, M-DAY, N-DAY, R-DAY,
S-DAY, T-DAY, W-DAY, SOLAR DAY, WEEK, SOLAR CONSTANT, FY, CY,
BUDDHIST CALENDAR, CONFUCIAN CALENDAR, HEBREW CALENDAR, TET,
LUNISOLAR, METONIC CYCLE, SYNODIC, SIDEREAL, JULIAN DATE,
SUSPENSE DATE, TICKLER, NLT, DEADLINE, PINK TIME, MOONLIGHT,
BELLS, DOGWATCH, MIDWATCH, WATCH, WATCH-AND-WATCH, O-DARK-THIRTY,
O-STUPID-30, WHITE NIGHT, DONKEY'S YEARS, DOG'S YEAR, COMBAT
TOUR, MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, HARDSHIP TOUR, SHORT-TIMER CALENDAR;
compare YEAR ZERO.
[nb: military time is expressed in four-digits, from 0001 to
2400, representing each minute in all 24-hours of the day,
without designating ante- or post-meridiem; there is no 0000
hour] [nb: "Combat winds its own clock." military maxim; "Time is
what prevents everything from happening all at once." aphorism]
[nb: Chinese and Vietnamese zodiacal double-hours proceed in the
same cyclically recurrent order, and with the same
characteristics, as do the days, months, and years (v: TET): Hour
of the Rat (yang): 11pm - 1am; Hour of the Ox (yin): 1am - 3am;
Hour of the Tiger (yang): 3am - 5am; Hour of the Rabbit (yin):
5am - 7am; Hour of the Dragon (yang): 7am - 9am; Hour of the
Snake (yin): 9am - 11am; Hour of the Horse (yang): 11am - 1pm;
Hour of the Goat (yang): 1pm - 3pm; Hour of the Monkey (yin): 3pm
- 5pm; Hour of the Rooster (yang): 5pm - 7pm; Hour of the Dog
(yin): 7pm - 9pm; Hour of the Pig (yin): 9pm - 11pm]
[v: the Metric Conversion Act (23 Dec 1975; amended by the 1988
Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act, the 1996 Savings in
Construction Act, and the 2004 Department of Energy High-End
Computing Revitalization Act) recommended improved efficiency by
voluntary accommodation with the standardized International
System of Units (si): meter (length), kilogram (mass), second
(time), ampere (electric current), kelvin (temperature), mole
(amount of substance), and candela (luminous intensity);
including yoctosecond (ys), zeptosecond (zs), attosecond (as),
femtosecond (fs), picosecond (ps), nanosecond (ns/nsec),
microsecond (mis/misec), millisecond (ms/msec), centisecond (cs),
second (s/sec), leap second, minute (min), mean solar minute,
sidereal minute, hour (hr), day (dy), mean solar day, sidereal
day, week (wk), fortnight, month (calendar, lunar, solar,
sidereal, synodic), biannum, year (yr; calendar, lunar, solar,
tropical, sidereal, Sothic, leap, school, man-year), epact,
biennium, triennium, quadrennium, quinquennium/pentad, sexennium,
septennium, octennium, novennium, decennium/decade,
vicennium/score/vigintennium, quinquagennium, century/centennium,
bicentennium, millennium, bimillennium, epoch, era, age, eon]
see DUD, GHOST, SLACKER, GOLDBRICK, FEATHER MERCHANT, REST ON
OARS, DODGE THE BULLET, TAP-DANCER, STACK ARMS, MARK TIME,
BOONDOGGLE, HALF-ASSED, DRONE, PUKE, FIELD REJECT, SMACK, DOUCHE
BAG, FUCK-UP, MAGGOT, YARDBIRD.
TIN BRAINS :
slang expression during and after the GULF WAR-era for any small
portable microcomputer (eg: palmtop), with or without cellular
telecom connectivity, that can be used to record notes and
instructions, as well as store regulations and standard operating
procedures (SOP) for
ready reference; also called PORTABLE BRAINS; compare PLASTIC
BRAINS, POCKET BRAINS, PAPER BRAINS, WHEEL BOOK, CHEAT SHEET.
TIN CAN :
slang for a USN destroyer; term derives from the thinness of the
HULL on WWII-era destroyers, which could be penetrated by pistol
fire, but the designation persists, having become affectionate,
despite all the modern enhancements. A destroyer is one of the
classes of naval WARSHIPs, as designed for fast and maneuverable
attacks by a small ship with limited armaments; including DD,
DDG, DLG, APD. [nb: Vietnamese term: Khu Truc Ham]
see DEATH BELL.
TIN POT / TIN-POT :
slang for the standard American helmet during the period of WWII
through the VIETNAM WAR; also called "tin hat", "iron lid",
"brain bucket", or "battle bowler"; see STEEL POT, K-POT, BONE
DOME, HEADGEAR. Also, that which is inferior, paltry, or shoddy;
as derived from the believed inferiority of a tin vessel.
TIN-POT DICTATOR :
see MEGALOMANIA, THE MAN ON HORSEBACK, WARLORD, TYRANNY.
see (THE) INSTITUTE OF HERALDRY.
TIRE CITY :
a walled courtyard with limited access and other protections
that's used as a live-fire training environment for tactical
shooting in built-up areas. This unroofed enclosure uses stacked
tires and moveable barriers to alter the layout from one scenario
to another for variety, and to reduce SMALL ARMS ricochets. Also
known as a "shooting house", the interior action may be
surveilled from cameras mounted atop the surrounding walls. Not
designed for role playing or war gaming, a TIRE CITY functions
like a combat shooting range when orienting troops to the
potential hazards in a hostile urban situation. compare KILL
HOUSE, see BODYGUARD, DOOR KICKING, BREACHER, STACK, DOUBLE TAP,
MOUT, DELTA FORCE, SPECIAL OPERATIONS, ANTI-TERRORISM,
COUNTER-TERRORISM, AT CLOSE QUARTERS, RED FLAG.
TIT FOR TAT :
Terrorist Incident Working Group; a National Security Planning
Group (NSPG) that was setup in 1983 with representatives from the
JCS, DOD, CIA, DOS, FBI, and DEA; but was uncooperative on
interagency operations due to its large size and lack of
security, which entity later became the basis for the Department
of Homeland Security (DHS). See TERRORIST, ANTI-TERRORISM, OPLAN
7500, SABOTAGE, ATROCITY.
(tee-lam) Tomahawk Land Attack Missile; a long-range CRUISE
missile launched from ship or submarine.
Temporary Living Facility, being Air Force MIL-SPEAK for the
housing of CASUALs and TRANSIENTs, displaced persons (DP) and
REFUGEEs; see QTRS.
Technical Manual; see FM, TC, DASH TEN, CHECKING THE DICTIONARY.
Also, abbreviation for 'team'; see MTT, A TEAM, FIRE TEAM, TEAM,
TEAM BOX, TEAMHOUSE; compare SQUAD, STACK.
abbreviation for 'Too Much Information', which catch-phrase
formerly meant "overwhelming" but has evolved to imply "unwanted
details" (especially aberrant or deviant data).
Traffic Management Officer, being responsible for monitoring the
movements of ships or aircraft through a designated area.
trinitrophenol; see EXPLOSIVE.
trinitrotoluene; also known as the "anarchist's artillery"; see
COMPOSITION C, HEP, RDX, TORPEX, COMPOSITION H6, GAMMON GRENADE,
KILOTON, MEGATON, GIGATON, EXPLOSIVE.
Technical Order; see SCRIPTURES, ORDER. Also, Theater of
Operations, such as European Theater of Operations (ETO) or
Kuwait Theater of Operations (KTO), being the land and sea areas
to be invaded or defended (ie: combat zone), including
administrative areas (ie: communications zone); compare AO, OA,
AOR, MOA, TAOR, CHOP LINE, UA. Also, Table of Organization;
compare TO&E, SPAGHETTI CHART.
slang acronym for Track Of Armored Division, designating APC and
TANK vehicles; but descriptive of a big ugly bloated things that
squats around and about, staring impudently at everything! Term
is also a derisive reference to YELLOWLEG TANKERs and other
"track rat" or "tread head" crewmembers (eg: TC, gunner, driver,
LOADER) assigned to these vehicles; compare CRUNCHY, DOGFACE,
BULLET HEAD, CANNON-COCKER, ROTOR HEAD, JET JOCK. Also, slang
acronym for the Take-Off And Die syndrome exhibited by "gun-shy"
aircrew (also called "fear of flying") and ground-pounders (fear
of exposure when moving in the open from COVER to COVER); see
FEAR, DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF, PUSH COMES TO SHOVE,
FORTITUDE, FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT, RISKY-SHIFT EFFECT.
TOAD-IN-A-HOLE / TOAD-IN-THE-HOLE :
a dish consisting of beef or pork sausages baked in a coating of
batter. Also, a dish consisting of poached or scrambled eggs
situated in the center of a slice of pan-fried toast. Compare
EGGS BENEDICT, SCOTCH WOODCOCK, PIG-IN-A-BLANKET.
an honorable gesture to someone or something by SALUTE or HOIST
of an alcoholic beverage, usually accompanied by a concise speech
or expressive phrase. Popular military TOASTS during the VIETNAM
WAR included: "To all of us! And to hell with all of them!"; "To
those of us, and those like us! We're damned few, and too many
like us are dead."; "To absent friends. May they never be
forgotten."; "To those fallen from our ranks. May they save us a
seat in Valhalla.". See STIRRUP CUP, DOCH-AN-DORIS, VALEDICTION,
PROP BLAST, DOLPHIN DIVE, THE DRINK, HATCH, HOIST, HOOCH, BREW,
GROG, JUICE, GROUP TIGHTENER, SPLICE THE MAINBRACE, SUNDOWNER,
SMOKER, GUSTO, BYOB, CLASS SIX.
[nb: it is considered bad luck or evil omen to TOAST with
non-alcoholic (ie: catlap) beverages; military toasts are most
often tributes to fortitude and loyalty, while civilian toasts
(grace cup) are tributes to benefaction or longevity, such as:
l'chaim, prosit / prost, skoal, slàin te mhath, wassail,
cheers] [v: gemütlichkeit/gemuetlichkeit] [cf:
Also, a euphemism for 'killed' or 'dead', as cooked, done to a
turn, roasted, crispy, and so forth; see WASTED, ZAPPED, BUY THE
FARM, CHECK OUT, BELIEVER, SOL, BITTER END, DEATH CARD, TWEP,
KIA, DOW; compare WIA, GSW, MILLION DOLLAR WOUND.
Tactical Order of Battle; see OB.
see IRON DOG, CAT-TRAIN. [v: slipe, ahkio, pulka / pulkka; cf:
Flexible Flyer sled (1889)]
TO BOLDLY GO WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE :
see (TO) BOLDLY GO WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE.
TO BURN ONE'S BRIDGES :
see BURN ONE'S BRIDGES.
TO BURN YOUR BRIDGES :
see BURN ONE'S BRIDGES.
Tactical Operations Center; an INTEL and OPNS planning and
development area separate from the administrative headquarters
(HQ); also called "Combat Operations Center" (COC) by Navy and
Marine personnel. When not touring elements of his unit during
combat operations, a commander (CO) is normally located at the
TOC; while his Deputy Commander (DC) or Executive Officer (XO)
directs support activities from the HQ in a BASE CAMP. During
the GULF WAR, the TOC was buried below the open expanse of ground
level, like a BUNKER, and was accordingly nicknamed the "Black
Hole" by those who had to work within its subterranean
environment. During Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), the TOC of the
101st Air Assault Division was a multi-bay tent that was so
elaborate that it was nicknamed the "TOC Mahal" [v: Taj Mahal
mausoleum]. The WAR ROOM is usually the center of the TOC, where
maneuvers are updated and actions are recorded. See CTOC, JOC,
JDOC, CMOC, ACV, CP, VESTIBULE, FOBBITVILLE; compare THE CAVE.
[nb: the first underground command and operations center was
instituted by Winston L.S. Churchill during the Battle of Britain
(BLITZ) and was immediately imitated by Franklin D. Roosevelt;
all buried TOCs have subsequently been patterned on the British
(tock-roach) a derogatory or disparaging reference to
subterranean creatures that dwell in the air-conditioned recesses
of the BOMB-PROOF Tactical Operations Center (TOC), and scurry
for shelter whenever exposed to the glare of daylight (or
reality, or even TRUTH); a novel coinage by Coalition forces in
GULF WAR II or the GWOT. See ACETATE COMMANDO, CHAIRBORNE, CLERKS
'n' JERKS, FOBBIT, CHAIR FORCE, POG, REMF.
(toxin) a signal, especially of alert or alarm, sounded on a bell
or by ringing bells; derived from "the bell strikes". Compare
SQUAWK BOX, BLOWER, HORN, KLAXON, TANNOY, ANNUNCIATOR, 1-MC; see
WARNING ORDER, BOATSWAIN'S PIPE, BUGLE CALL, POOP, HEADS-UP, FYI,
STAND-TO, DEFCON, SACON, FPCON, ESP, GQ, ALERT, AHOY, HOISE,
OORAH, HOOAH, HAUL-ASS, STAT.
TOC TAN :
a sarcastic description of anyone exhibiting the pallid or wan
appearance of MIL-PERS working constantly in subterranean BUNKERs
under red safety lights or on the night shift under fluorescent
lights; being slang for the unhealthy visage acquired by those
confined to labor within secure enclosures; also called "safe
house tan"; compare MILITARY TAN.
a classic drink of liquor (variously rum, whiskey, brandy, etc),
often sweetened and spiced, and diluted with water ... if the
water is boiling, then this drink is a 'hot toddy'; originated as
a fermented drink made from the drawn sap of the toddy palm in
southern Asia. See HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE DRINK,
TO&E / T O and E / TOE :
Table of Organization and Equipment; sometimes erroneously
denoted as "Table of Organization, Numbers, and Equipment"
(TONE), and informally called a SPAGHETTI CHART. See MTOE, CARS,
PENTAGONAL; compare TO, OB.
small pressure-detonated, non-magnetic, anti-personnel mine
(M-14), designed to disable more than to kill; based upon WWII
non-magnetic "shoe" mine, which was matchbox sized, with primer
detonated TNT; improvised version is pressure-detonated SMALL
ARMS cartridge. Such mines are used to interdict predictable
routes of advance or traverse; were also used to limit access to
BOOBY-TRAPped corpses or equipment. See IED, BOOBY-TRAP, MINE.
[nb: SOG teams placed provocative posters at convenient points
along the HO CHI MINH TRAIL with a non-magnetic TOE-POPPER buried
immediately before it so as to disable an irate soldier with such
TOE RAIL :
the raised lip at the edge of a weather deck that's designed to
prevent someone's feet from slipping or sliding overboard;
compare BULWARK, GUNWALE, SNAKING, LIFELINE.
TOE TAG :
see LUGGAGE TAG.
TOE THE LINE :
to form into LINE abreast, a RANK; not "tow the line". Also, to
conform to regulations, to obey the rules, to exhibit proper
conduct, as being on the "straight and narrow"; see STRAIGHT
ARROW, GOOD PEOPLE, A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO, HOLD
ONE'S FEET TO THE FIRE, BRASS-COLLAR, HIDEBOUND, BRASSBOUND,
NATIONAL SECURITY, SCRIPTURES, DUTY; compare HIPPIE, TRIPPIE,
PREEVERT. [cf: "one toe over the line"]
TOILET KIT :
see DOPP KIT, DITTY BAG. [v: etui]
TOILET PAPER :
a lightweight, low-quality paper that's used for personal
cleansing after urination or defecation; a small quantity of this
material is provided in the sundry pack (along with eating
utensils and CONDIMENTS) that's issued with field RATIONS; also
called "toilet tissue", "bumf" (bumfodder), and "ass wipe".
[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)]
a very accurate, long-range CRUISE attack guided missile, capable
of being launched from different platforms (eg: surface ship,
submarine, etc) and mounted with various WARHEADs; also known as
"TomaChicken" in NavSpeak; see TLAM.
Also, a light ax or adz used by many AmerIndians as a small tool
or secondary weapon, as derived from Algonquian for hatchet
[tamahaac], meaning "to cut off"; this word is sometimes
truncated into 'hawk; during the VIETNAM WAR, some Army and
Marine units issued these weapons to soldiers in the field in
hopes of inspiring a more warrior-like spirit, which when
reported by journalists, was immediately curtailed for being too
"savage" during wartime!
WWII-era slang for a "hand bomb" (GAMMON GRENADE) improvised from
DYNAMITE on a short FUSE, probably by association with a red
colored object that's compact enough to be conveniently thrown by
hand; see GRENADE.
a safe and secure storage BUNKER, vault, mausoleum, or sepulcher
for CBR or COCKTAIL munitions; as a "field of tombs" for mass
burial. Compare DUMP, COFFIN, BOMB FARM, MOTHBALL, BB STACKER,
ELEPHANT HUT, BONEYARD, GARDEN OF STONES, NATIONAL CEMETERY,
RESERVATION; see HOT GREASE, HEAVY WATER, YELLOWCAKE, YELLOW
RAIN, RANCH HAND, AGENT ORANGE, GAS MASK, MOPP, HAZMAT, DRAGON
SHIT, NUKE. [cf: cist, dolmen, chamber tomb]
TOMB OF THE UNKNOWNS :
a memorial to military personnel lost in combat, especially those
remains unable to be identified or recovered, and those
Missing-in-Action (MIA); formerly known as the "Tomb of the
Unknown Soldier", established 11 November 1921. The MEDAL OF
HONOR (MOH) and the Victoria Cross (Great Britain) have been
awarded to the Unknown Soldier of WWI and WWII. The TOMB OF THE
UNKNOWNS has been under perpetual protection by the Old Guard in
ceremonial attendance since its establishment. A pocket badge is
authorized for permanent wear by guards who successfully perform
this duty. See MEMORIAL DAY, POW-MIA DAY, MISSING MAN FORMATION,
KOREAN WAR VETERANS MEMORIAL, VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL, FLAG
DAY. [v: cenotaph] [nb: 42%of American CIVIL WAR casualties were
unidentifiable, which accountability was reduced to 3% by the
WWII-era, and has since been lessened to less than 1% due to
scientific improvements ... no remains have been added to the
TOMB OF THE UNKNOWNS since the Vietnam-era]
the Grumman F-14 twin turbofan, supersonic, all-weather,
long-range fighter aircraft with dual-crew, designed for USN
fleet air defense and close air support (CAS); see BIRD. Also,
slang reference for a womanizer or philanderer, especially an
adulterer or cuckold; also known as a lover boy, lady-killer,
dallier, woman-chaser, trifler, Don Juan, swinger, rake,
libertine, rakehell, lecher, lothario, or wolf.
TOM COLLINS :
an iced drink of gin, lemon juice, powdered sugar, and soda water
that's served in a tall glass; when made with vodka instead of
gin, this becomes a 'vodka collins'; so-called after its American
inventor (1880). Compare RICKEY, SINGAPORE SLING, GIMLET, SALTY
DOG, WHISKEY SOUR, FIZZ; see HOOCH, GROG, JUICE, MOONSHINE, THE
DRINK, HOIST, GUSTO.
TO MEET ONE'S WATERLOO :
TOM KHA KAI :
arguably the national dish of Thailand, being a spicy aromatic
soup with a creamy coconut milk and chicken base, accented by
lemon grass, coriander (cilantro), galangal (ginger), fried chili
peppers, and topped with a fresh kaffir lime leaf; compare KHAO
PUN, MOHINGA, BOAT NOODLES.
slang for a British soldier, from the specimen name of "Tommy
Atkins" as used on sample forms since 1815; similar to American
use of "John Doe", "Joe Blow", "Joe Doakes", "John Q. Public",
and "Richard Row". The same practice made "Jack Tar" the
universal byword for any British sailor; and made "Peter Collins"
an alias for any unknown or unidentified person, being a
euphemism for anyone or anybody. Similarly, the name "Joe
Bloggins" or "Joe Bloggs" was used by Canadians to designate any
anonymous soldier or sailor, especially in precautionary examples
of incompetence leading to misfortune. See AUSSIE, KIWI, CHARLIE,
GI JOE, GI.
[nb: the word 'atkins' in Welsh means "little son of red earth",
so it became slang for the British red coat, which was later a
metonym for the soldier who wore such a garment] [nb: "pongo" is
Australian slang for a soldier or Marine, probably after its
primary meaning of 'monkey']
TOMMY-GUN / TOMMY GUN :
Thompson submachinegun, also spelled "tommie-gun", a .45cal ACP
drum or stick magazine fed, fully automatic shoulder fired
weapon; developed in 1916 for WWI trench fighting, some versions
have fore-end pistol-grip or "Cutts Compensator" MUZZLE-BRAKE. It
should be noted that although John T. Thompson was head of the
company's design department, credit for the actual design must go
to O.V. Payne and T.H. Eickoff, who held the relevant patents for
prototypes produced between 1918 and 1920, after which mass
production began in 1921. Popular civilian nicknames were
"chopper", "stutter-gun", "stutterer", "chatter-gun",
"chatterer", and "Chicago typewriter". Compare JOHNNY-GUN, GREASE
GUN; see SMG. [nb: an alternative etymology alleges that this
nickname derives from contraband stocks of this SMG being
supplied to Irish Republican Army (IRA) rebels for use against
the British constabulary during "the troubles"]
Thompson M-1 submachinegun|
see HIGHBINDER, MAFIA.
indirect term for an enemy prisoner captured specifically for an
INTEL debriefing or interrogation, as used during WWII and after;
see PACKAGE, SNATCH, PW; compare GOO, NET, BRACELET.
[nb: the 5 S's of prisoner handling include: Search, Silence,
Segregate, Safeguard, Speed; in that a prisoner and his
intelligence value must be protected against escape, injury, and
collusion, which means evacuating the captive(s) while the
primary mission continues]
name for the northern section of Vietnam under the French
INDOCHINA Protectorate; compare ANNAM, COCHIN CHINA. [nb: derived
from "dong kinh" = eastern capital]
TONKIN GULF INCIDENT :
clashes between North Vietnamese patrol boats and U.S. ships
surveilling the coast from the South China Sea on 2 and 4 August
1964 were sufficient provocation to warrant Allied defense of
South Vietnam under SEATO. See DESOTO, YANKEE STATION, DIXIE
STATION, TONKIN GULF YACHT CLUB. [cf: the sinking of the
battleship USS Maine preliminary to the SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR, and
sinking of the SS Lusitania preliminary to WWI]
TONKIN GULF RESOLUTION :
Congress resolved military/aid support for South Vietnam on 7
August 1964, following the two casus belli TONKIN GULF INCIDENTs,
and signed the 'Southeast Asia Resolution' into law by the
President on 10 August 1964; the TONKIN GULF RESOLUTION was
repealed in December 1970 by Congress. See COOPER-CHURCH
AMENDMENT, CASE-CHURCH AMENDMENT, WAR POWERS ACT. [nb: the 1964
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, together with continuous funding of
both the American and Asian armed forces, constituted a tacit
approval of the VIETNAM WAR (or Second Indochina War) without a
formal declaration of war, despite the later congressional
retrenchments from 1970 onward, which were provoked by anti-war
protests, countercultural divisiveness, and an erosion of public
TONKIN GULF YACHT CLUB :
an apocryphal social society comprised of the U.S. Navy in
operations offshore of both North and South Vietnam. Compare
PERSIAN GULF YACHT CLUB, SPORT HUNTING CLUB, 72 VIRGINS DATING
SERVICE; see DIXIE STATION, YANKEE STATION, POND, FLOAT.
TOOLEE / TOOLEES :
see THULE, TULE. [nb: the thule/tule homophone, together with
other variants, has appeared widely and interchangeably in
American military writings when referring to remote locales, in
the same manner that bush, sticks, woods, barrens, brush, weeds,
scrub, rough, and the like are also synecdochically
musician; also known as BEATERS 'n' BLEATERS. An indication of
the misplaced priorities of the Vietnam-era is the fact that even
the US Army Special Forces had a marching band! During the CIVIL
WAR, when musicians served double-duty as litter-bearers, clerks,
and cooks, a transfer request was rejected by D.H. Hill with the
terse statement: "We need shooters, not tooters!" ... this kind
of moral courage was absent during the VIETNAM WAR. See BUGLE
CALL, DRUM, BOATSWAIN'S PIPE, TATTOO, SALUTE, RUFFLES 'n'
FLOURISHES, REVEILLE, RETREAT, TAPS, CADENCE, HEP, CHANTEY,
HOISE, JODY CALL, GUNG-HO, HEAVE-HO, NO-DOZE, DANCE CARD, PASSING
HONORS, CHANGING TUNE, FACE THE MUSIC, ROGUE'S MARCH.
[nb: a scrap of largely blue and red tartan, with the thread
count falling in sevens, entitled "The 7th Cavalry Tartan",
appears in a Scottish pattern book of the 19th century, which
researchers now conclude was a design commissioned by George
Armstrong Custer for outfitting a regimental marching band of
pipers and drummers, which order was interrupted by the 1876
Battle of the Little Bighorn]
TOOTH FAIRY :
informal slang for a military dentist, usually ham-handed and
slipshod; from the rotation of new graduates who are in service
only long enough to repay their educational obligations; also
called FANG MECHANIC; see PEARLY WHITES. [nb: during WWII,
dentists not only repaired teeth but also made prosthetic eyes
and polished the objective lens on submarine periscopes] Also, a
mythical representation of the government (THE G) from whence all
good and needful things come (largess by requisition); also
called "Uncle Sugar" or "Uncle Scam"; see UNCLE SAM, SANTA CLAUS,
TOOTH 'n' NAIL :
(forthcoming); in right good earnest, with one's utmost power, as
though biting and scratching; "no holds barred"; "They were
fighting fang and claw as if their hair was on fire!"; see UPHILL
BATTLE, ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, OFF THE RESERVATION, OUTSIDE
THE WIRE, DOG-EAT-DOG, RED IN TOOTH AND CLAW, WHEN IN ROME, COUP
DE PIED DE L'ANE; compare ARMED TO THE TEETH.
TOOTH NOTCH / TOOTH-NOTCH :
the so-called "tooth notch" that was set in the edge of the
oblong identification tag, opposite the thong hole, existed
solely for embossing stability; see DOG TAGS.
TOOTH-TO-TAIL RATIO :
an informal military assessment of the relative relationship
between combat elements ("tooth") and combat support elements
("tail"); it indicates the number of support personnel needed to
sustain a soldier in the COMBAT ZONE so the enemy can be
neutralized. This ratio, also known as "tip to tail", is a
general measure of the combat effectiveness of a military force
based upon its ability to supply and maintain the SHARP END of
the war machine, so as to accomplish its strategic mission. A
technologically advanced military often exhibits an inverse
relationship between its "tail" and its "tooth", enabling a
smaller SPEARHEAD with better weapons and communications to be
more responsive and effective; while the opposite will have more
personnel devoted to battle, but be incapable of supporting them,
making them less dynamic and less effective. Power then becomes a
factor in applying resources, more than force, especially in
unconventional or irregular warfare environments. One of the
explicit objectives of military technology is to streamline the
TOOTH-TO-TAIL RATIO by reducing manpower while increasing
response time, by reducing vulnerability while increasing
efficiency, by protecting infrastructure while eliminating
superstructure. Systems will never eliminate the need for BOOTS
ON THE GROUND, but smart weapons are always better than dumb
targets! Compare COMMAND RATIO, BRASS BLOAT; see FORCE
MULTIPLIER, COMBAT EFFECTIVE, HUMAN WAVE, COMBAT SUPPORT, COMBAT
[nb: About 92% of IN-COUNTRY personnel served in non-combat
support or administrative roles (including service, supply, and
transportation occupations) during Vietnam, keeping the 8% combat
element functional. Although similar ratios exist for WWII
(@13%/87%) and Korea (@11%/89%), Vietnam showcased the success of
LOGISTICS; later improved during the GULF WARs to a 7%/93%
ratio.] [nb: "When a commander initiates new activities, he must
force himself to find old activities currently underway that can
now be discontinued, so as to sustain the effectiveness of the
working 'teeth-to-tail' ratio." paraphrase of Donald H. Rumsfeld]
the highest ranking Non-Commissioned Officer in a unit, usually
the First Sergeant; also called "Top-Kick" or FIRST SHIRT, and
used in the same way as OLD MAN. Compare FIELD FIRST; see SARGE,
CHIEF, GUNNY, NCO.
TOP DOG :
a person, group, or entity that has acquired an authoritative or
dominant position by competition or selection, as the "alpha
male", "big kahuna" or "cock of the walk"; see STREAMER, TRASH,
BOLO BADGE, GONG, ATTABOY, A-1, BRAVO ZULU, BRAGGING RIGHTS,
TROPHY, KILL RING, HERO, TOP GUN, FUGLEMAN, SUPER-TROOPER, SWEAT
HOG, HARD CHARGER, FAST MOVER, BOOMER, HOT SHOT, GOLDEN BOY,
BALLS TO THE WALL, FIGJAM, HOT-SHIT, DEEP DIP, UP OR OUT, SHAKE
'n' BAKE, OLD SWEAT, BOY WONDER, PLOWBACK; compare GOAT, DUD,
GOLDBRICK, GHOST, FEATHER MERCHANT. Also, the senior RANKing
MIL-PERS, as the "Top-Kick" or "Commander"; see LDR, CO, MC, DOR,
RHIP, COMMAND ELEMENT, BRASS HAT, OLD MAN, TOP, SUPER GRADE,
FIRST SHIRT, GUNNY, CHIEF, HONCHO, RAINMAKER, MOTHER HEN, ACTING
JACK, GADGET, BREVET, OVERSIGHT.
[nb: a female unit commander is not called the OLD MAN nor "old
lady", not "chieftain" nor "chieftess", not the HONCHO nor
"honchette", not TOP DOG nor "top bitch", but is rather
antonomastically identified by the generic "boss" or "boss lady",
or by her designated NICKNAME or CODENAME; also see "GI Jane",
"Jane Bond", "Acting Jane", "Swinging Dickless", "Dear Jane",
[aka: the pick, chosen, select, cream, flower, notable, VIP,
dignitary, magnate, cavalier, aristocrat, crème de la
crème, socialite, haut monde, celebrity, personage, snob,
hincty, high-hatter, bigwig, high-muckety-muck, high-muck-a-muck,
mogul, potentate, nabob, tycoon, big deal, wheeler-dealer, wheel
/ big wheel, big cheese, fat cat, big gun, big shot]
TOP GUN / TOPGUN :
nickname for the formally entitled U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons
School at the Miramar (CA) and Fallan (NV) NASs; consisting of a
ten week course of advanced fighter aircraft training for
instructor PILOTs (IP), who return to their parent unit to teach
upgrade skills to other qualified JET JOCKs. Unlike the USAF,
which setup multi-squadron exercises, the USN concentrated on
"training the trainers", who disseminated doctrine after
completion. TOP GUN, also spelled "topgun", was established in
1968 as the Navy's Fighter Weapons, Tactics, and Doctrine course
to increase PILOT experience by simulating combat; and is also
called the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons Instructor Course (FWIC),
but is now known as the U.S. Navy Strike Fighter Tactical
Instruction course. Compare DREAMLAND, AREA 51, RED FLAG, HAWC,
BOOMER, ZOOMIE, CADRE, OSUT, PLOWBACK.
see TOP, FIRST SHIRT.
short form of topographic; see MAP, COMICS, GRID COORDINATES,
GRID LINES, CONTOUR LINES, PINS IN THE MAP SYNDROME; compare
MOSAIC MAP, CHART, ATLAS.
[nb: the Army Corps of Engineers was assigned the responsibility
for surveying America's borders and features in 1831, resulting
in a separate Topographic Corps in 1838] [nb: during WWII, the
OSS issued a playing card deck to some teams that, when laid out
in a particular order, formed an operational map detailing the
assignments for a specific mission; furthermore, escape maps
hidden on playing cards in a deck were also provided to assist
downed crewmembers evade capture in select areas] [nb: the source
for military maps was changed from US Geologic Survey to Nat'l
Imaging and Mapping Agency in Oct 1996 due to downlink satellite
profiles, then renamed National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
(NGA)] [nb: "War is God's way of teaching geography to
Americans." by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce; "Boundary: in political
geography, an imaginary line between two nations, separating the
imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights of the other."
by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce; "Just as politics exists to teach
geography, so combat exists to teach topography."]
refuel completely, also called "top-up" and "press up", as when
filling to the top of the fuel tank with PETROL so as to prevent
condensation from diluting the propellant, and to ensure
readiness; see HOT-FUELING, POL, MOGAS, JP, AVGAS, JUICE, JERRY
CAN, BLIVET, POD, BLADDER, TANKER, ENDURANCE. [nb: the
advertising phrase "Fill 'er up!" was created in 1933 to showcase
the features of the Wayne Computing Pump, a gasoline dispenser
that automatically calculated the sale price]
on DECK, or on the outer-surface of the HULL above the waterline,
often refers only to the main or weather deck, and also known as
"topsides"; the superstructure of a ship is numbered upward from
the main deck (01); see QUARTERDECK, FANTAIL, POOP DECK, TRANSOM,
TAFFRAIL, FORECASTLE, PULPIT, HELM, PILOTHOUSE, FLYING BRIDGE,
BRIDGE, FREEBOARD, BOARD, GUNWALE, STRAKE, TOE RAIL, LIFELINE,
PLANK, ABOVE BOARD, VULTURE'S ROW. Also, the most authoritative
level, RANK, or position; a "topsider"; see WARDROOM, OFFICER'S
COUNTRY; compare BELOW DECK. Also, a euphemism for a woman's
bosom, her breasts or mammary glands; also called "upper deck";
see PIRATE'S DREAM, HIGH POCKETS, HANG LOOSE, MAE WEST, THE BRA,
compare BELOW DECK.
[aka: assets, endowments, advantages, bosom, bust, breasts,
dynamic duo, terrible twosome, double trouble, boobs/boobies,
knockers, dingers, bangers, shock absorbers, hooters, tooters,
honkers, whoopies, howlers, whammies, woofers, breasticles,
chesticles, dumbbells, bumpers, zoomers, jigglers, wobblers,
bouncers, knobs/knobbers, nodules, bumps, mounds, hills, peaks,
baubles, cupcakes, dumplings, gumdrops, lollies, yum-yums, jugs,
dugs, droopers, floppers, flopdoodles, saggies, baggies, glad
bags, huffies, balloons, air-bags, wind bags, cuddlies, pillows,
softies, huggies, cushions, mooglies, bazooms, babaloos,
baloobas, bubbies, hubba-bubbas, zingers, whoppers, headlights,
hubcaps, twins, friends, cubs, puppies, hush puppies, snuggle
pups, tats/tatties, tits/titties, lungs, mammary, udder, teats,
nipples, tippers, mammilla, falsie, cheaters]
[nb: the first US patent for the brassiere occurred 1910, despite
the 1913 claim by Mary Phelps Jacob for its invention from two
artfully tied handkerchieves that replaced the stay or corset;
Ida Rosenthal introduced the "Maidenform" bra in 1923; the
"sports bra" was introduced in 1977; gelatin-filled bras have
been available as an alternative to implants since 1978; the
"ideal" bra size is 34-B, a standard established by clothing
designers, and from which the other sizes are volumetrically
extrapolated; the commercial size range is from 28-AAA to 55-DD;
bra size is measured with a tape across the top of the chest,
then across the bust, such that if the difference in girth is 1"
then the cup size is A, if 2" then B, if 3" then C, if 4" then D]
TOP SECRET :
a delimiter qualifying duplication and restricting distribution
of CLASSIFIED documents; see NEED TO KNOW, COMPARTMENTALIZATION.
TOP 3 CLUB / TOP THREE CLUB :
see NCO CLUB; compare ANNEX, SLOP CHUTE, ACEY-DEUCY, O CLUB, ALL
Transient Officer's Quarters; see VOQ, QTRS.
the North American B-45 medium bomber; see BIRD. Also, nickname
of the 8th Armored Division, which served in Europe (ETO) during
WWII. Also, a violent squall, whirlwind, or windstorm; see STORM
WARNING, WIND, BEAUFORT SCALE, SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE, FUJITA
SCALE, WINDSOCK, TELLTALE. [nb: weather forecasters began using
female names during WWII in imitation of a popular book
(Storm by George Rippey Stewart, 1940), which had
identified a typhoon with the name Maria; by 1953 this convention
was made official, and in 1979 male names began alternating with
female names on recurring rosters in six year rotations; the
storm names may be in English, Spanish, or French (except for
letters Q, U, and Z), and are only retired from use by the
National Weather Service when they are particularly notorious]
(forthcoming); see FISH, CAPTOR. [nb: as a safety precaution, all
torpedoes incorporate an arming-delay]
Also, a small explosive charge used to sever the cable of a
JUNGLE PENETRATOR if the device becomes entangled or the (too
heavy or unbalanced) load affects flight and jeopardizes the
helicopter, which may be actuated by either the PILOT or CREW
CHIEF, jettisoning the device and its load; see HOT HOIST,
CHOPPER, SAR, CSAR.
TORPEDO JUICE :
naval slang for illicit booze made from methyl alcohol (methanol
or wood alcohol), which was used aboard submarines and ships
during WWII as an additive or solvent; filtered and flavored to
make it palatable, consumption of this poisonous liquid caused
blindness and death. See MOONSHINE, CLEANSKIN, HOOCH, GROG,
JUICE, THE DRINK, IRISH SODA POP.
developed during WWII (1942) as a TORPedo EXplosive that was 50%
more powerful than TNT by mass, comprising 42% Research
Department eXplosive (RDX), 40% trinitrotoluene (TNT), and 18%
powdered aluminum to extend its explosive pulse, making this
underwater munition more destructive than others. TORPEX was used
in bombs and mines as well as torpedoes, but has been superseded
by Composition H6 and plastic-bonded explosive (PBX). See
shared derivation with 'tort' (twisted) [v: foltern, trepalium];
see TORTURE CHAMBER, FIELD EXPEDIENT FACIAL, ROPE TRICK,
STRAPPADO, SCOURGE, HOOKSWINGING, PLAYING THE XYLOPHONE, SONG AND
DANCE, NECKLACE, HAIRCUT AND MANICURE, WATER TORTURE, SCAVENGER'S
DAUGHTER, THUMBSCREW, RACK, BOOT, DECAPITATION, BRAINWASHING,
REEDUCATION, CONCENTRATION CAMP, GULAG, SQUEEZE, SWEAT, THIRD
DEGREE, BITCH SLAP, BASHING, GAUNTLET, FROGMARCH, HOLD ONE'S FEET
TO THE FIRE, FALL GUY, CAT AND MOUSE, DEATH OF A THOUSAND CUTS,
TWIST IN THE WIND, GARROTE, KEELHAUL, OVER A BARREL, WALKING
GHOST, ENHANCED INTERROGATION, PAIN, CODE OF CONDUCT, LAWS OF
WAR, WAR CRIMES TRIAL, CHL, UCMJ.
[v: Black Hole of Calcutta] [nb: "Human Intelligence Collector
Operations" (FM 2-22.3, rev 6 Sep 2006; replacing FM 34-52 dtd
1992) prohibits 'enhanced interrogation techniques' and other
euphemisms for torture; the "threat of imminent death" is one of
the definitions of torture (18USC2340), and the UN Convention
Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
or Punishment (1984; ratified 1994 by USA) prohibits the
intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering, such that "No
exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a
threat of war, internal political instability or any other public
emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture" (Article
2); in the most effective practices, whether a manipulation of
Maslow's "hierarchy of needs" or Skinner's "operant
conditioning", the physical experience is secondary to the
psychological component, from which the traumatized person may
never recover] [nb: the mutilation of enemy corpses, wherein the
excised genitals are lodged in the victim's mouth, is a sexual
metaphor more than a symbolic sex act; such placement denigrates
the enemy's prowess and disparages him as a "cocksucker", a ponce
or nance, not a "real man"; if the victim of torture, such
mutilation indicates contempt, declaring that he did not die
well, bravely or manfully]
TORTURE CHAMBER :
a room or cell where extreme physical and mental PAIN is
inflicted upon a captive or convict, often with the aid of
specially designed equipment or specially developed devices, in
order to break that person's resistance, to extract information,
or to elicit a confession; also called a "chamber of horrors",
this facility is usually located near a prison, and may be
equipped with select instruments of TORTURE, from knives and
tools to chemicals and generators, including ties and restraints.
[v: bastinado, strappado, thumbscrew, pilliwinks, blooming pear,
scavenger's daughter, boot, Judas chair, iron maiden, rack or
TO RUN RINGS AROUND :
see (TO) RUN RINGS AROUND.
TO SEPARATE THE SHEEP FROM THE GOATS :
see (TO) SEPARATE THE SHEEP FROM THE GOATS.
Time On Target, multi-battery artillery fire computed for
simultaneous POINT OF IMPACT; coordinated mass fire from
different locations. Also, Time Over Target, computation of bomb
delivery period by aircraft. Compare SHOT OUT, SPLASH.
TO TAKE THE GILT OFF THE GINGERBREAD :
see (TO TAKE THE) GILT OFF THE GINGERBREAD.
TOTAL FORCE :
the all-volunteer military was proposed, utilizing the somewhat
existentialist slogan of "The Army Wants to Join You", in 1972 by
Richard M. Nixon; and while the U.S. Army studied ways and means
of implementing this proposal within its mission, GEN Creighton
W. Abrams, as Chief of Staff, implemented the TOTAL FORCE plan
which blended the reserve and active duty components, such that
active combat elements could not be deployed without
simultaneously activating combat support (CS/CSS) reserve
elements, in hopes that no future generation would incur the
enmity and alienation of the Vietnam-era troops. This plan
eliminated the reserve as a method of evading assignment to a
combat zone while ensuring that experience would not be held in
reserve during a crisis. Although the all-volunteer concept
almost collapsed during the James E. Carter administration from
lowered standards (Army Chief of Staff Edward (Shy) Meyer
publicly declared that America had a "hollow Army") in an effort
to meet goals and quotas without reinstituting the DRAFT, the
TOTAL FORCE plan has not faltered since its inception. When
standards were raised and other policies were implemented under
Ronald W. Reagan, coincident with the 1980 "Be All You Can Be" ad
campaign, both the active and reserve components improved. See
RETREAD, RE-UP, GOTCHA, FTA, BUDDY SYSTEM, RECRUITER, VOLUNTEER,
VOLAR, AVF, RA, COMBAT EFFECTIVE, MUSTER, CALL TO THE COLORS.
[nb: the military has an involuntary "stop-loss" authority, which
allows each branch to compel soldiers who reach the end of their
enlistment to remain in uniform for "the good of the service"]
TOTAL WAR :
this new era of machine warfare, influenced by industrial
development and scientific progress, and prosecuted by masses of
conscripted troops, is waged not only against the opposition's
government and armed forces, but also against its economic means
of existence and its civilian population, in order to destroy its
means and will for continuing the STRUGGLE. Modern TOTAL WAR
calls for the regimentation and coordination of peoples and
resources; the state is compelled to demand a surrender of
private rights in order that a unity of purpose may enable it to
prosecute the war to a victorious conclusion. Compare LIMITED
WAR, LOW-INTENSITY CONFLICT, PROXY WAR, MAD, FULL-COURT PRESS,
BLITZKRIEG, HYPERWAR, OVERKILL, DOOMSDAY. [v: The Total
War by Erich Ludendorff (1935)] [nb: "It is a war against all
nations." by T. Woodrow Wilson]
TOUCH AND GO / TOUCH-AND-GO :
the practice landing of an aircraft on a RUNWAY wherein the
airplane does not come to a complete stop, but power is reduced
before being again increased for an immediate take-off; often
performed by students training for qualification in a particular
model by flying in a low altitude circuit around the airfield;
also called "crash and dash", and similar to the Navy's FIELD
CARRIER LANDING or BOUNCE. [cf: stop and go]
Also, despite the fact that this term probably derives from the
keel of a ship momentarily touching ground ("touch bottom")
before its inertia enables it to continue (instead of running
aground), this expression is now widely used as a metaphor for
any narrow escape from a risky, precarious, or delicate state of
affairs; see CLOSE CALL, CLOSE SHAVE, NEAR MISS, SQUEAK. [v:
hairsbreadth; cf: hit-and-miss, hit-or-miss]
the moment of contact of an aircraft with the landing surface.
Compare BOUNCE, AUGER-IN, PANCAKE; see ALS, SPLASHDOWN, LETDOWN,
RUNWAY, BASE LEG, THRESHOLD, APRON, WINDSOCK.
(THE) TOUGH GET GOING :
see THE TOUGH GET GOING.
TOUGH LOVE :
a relational mixture of sternness and support, wherein
expectations and encouragement are blended so as to foster good
character traits and achievable goals; a post-WWII psychosocial
adjustment modality that eschews both cruelty and laxity, as used
in counseling and training scenarios. Originating as a
faith-based therapeutic technique for treating juvenile
delinquents, it later evolved into a broader secular-based
network of support groups in the post-Vietnam era. See HARD-ASS,
TOE THE LINE, BY THE BOOK, ZERO TOLERANCE, WARM FUZZY, BRAVO
[nb: it's a well established fact that a good Drill Sergeant will
take the raw material of a civilian and turn him into a soldier
in the same way that he would take a tangled mess of steel wool
and knit it into a tank!]
TOUR BABY :
anyone who repeatedly extends overseas tours, or serves them in
series, one after another without an intervening stateside
assignment, so as to garner more training or experience, or to
take advantage of assignment perquisites (eg: supplemental pay,
additional leave, tax deferments, hazardous duty, or exotic
travel); often refers to someone who has GONE NATIVE or is "war
crazed", which is perceived as a loss of "proper perspective" and
is thus a death knell for career aspirations. Also called "encore
vet", and known among Marines as "double pump". Compare COMBAT
BUM, HOMESTEADER, PLANK OWNER, DOG'S YEAR, MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR,
LIFER, MILICRAT, TICKET-PUNCHER, DOUBLE-DIP, TWO-FISTED,
SANDWICH. [nb: civilians go 'abroad' while soldiers go
TOURIST DESTINATION :
sardonic reference to any HOT SPOT or THEME PARK, INDIAN COUNTRY
or SANDBOX, BOONDOCKS or THULE, FRONT LINE or DOWN RANGE,
BATTLEFIELD or COMBAT ZONE. [nb: "Join the military, learn useful
skills, travel to distant lands, meet interesting people, and
kill them!" sardonic recruiting slogan popularized during the
see MOCK-COMBAT, DRY RUN, EXERCISE, THE PLAN, FIELD EXPEDIENT,
PARTY LINE, BOX HEAD, PRIMROSE PATH, MILITARY MIND, TOE THE LINE,
WAR GAMES, UMPIRE, REFEREE, TRAIN HARD - FIGHT EASY, PLAY THE
GAME, SNAKE PIT, DUEL, ORDEAL, FLOWER WAR. [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"]
Tube-launched Optically-tracked Wire-guided anti-tank (AT)
ROCKET, being a portable CREW-SERVED component linked system; see
DRAGON, LOSAT, JAVELIN, ITV, ATGM, CAAT; compare MISSILE.
a light or compact field gun (eg: M-101 / M-102 / M-119 / M-202
105mm; M-1 / M-114 / M-198 155mm) with support attached to
tow-bar or LIMBER for vehicular transport or aerial relocation;
commonly called a "towed HOWITZER" or "towed artillery". A "Pack
Howitzer" (eg: L5 105mm) is specifically designed for towing over
rough terrain, is light enough to be airlifted or AIRDROPped, and
may be easily dismantled for piecemeal transport. Compare SP; see
PINTLE, TRAIL, TRUNNION, LIMBER, TRANSOM, PRIME MOVER, LONG TOM,
a LINE, ROPE, CABLE, HAWSER, or the like, by which anything is
(or may be) drawn, pulled, hauled, towed, or launched; see
SNATCH, TRAWL, SKYHOOK, UNCOUPLE.
TOW PLANE :
an airplane (called the "tug ship", AIR TRAIN, or SKY TRAIN)
towing one or more GLIDERs; GLIDER tow positions are either below
("low-tow") or above ("high-tow") the wake of the tow plane. See
TOWLINE, UNCOUPLE, AIRHEAD.
TOYS FOR TWATS :
a parody of the "Toys for Tots" Christmas present program
sponsored by the Marine Corps (USMC) wherein every lonely GI JANE
is gifted with a dildo, vibrator, or other sexual aid to ensure
tranquility in the barracks, if not satisfaction in the ranks.
See ANGEL, QUEEN FOR A YEAR, LONGHAIR, ROUND EYE, RUNTS 'n'
CUNTS, PIRATE'S DREAM, BITCH, BALL BUSTER, BATTLE-AX, FLYING
BRAVO, STRANGE, SPLIT, SNATCH, SKIRT. [nb: protracted use of a
dildo (or other similarly unyielding object) causes erosion of
the uterine cervix]
TOY SHOP :
slang for an ARMORY, being a place (S-4 annex) where arms and
armor are made by an ARMORER; so-called from the fabrication and
modification of SMALL ARMS, and the admiration (if not delight)
that such manufacturing conveys to the dedicated soldier. Compare
TOY SOLDIER :
a derogatory ascription of an idealized MIL-PERS in perfect
costume, often embellished or elaborated so as to be impractical
for all but display purposes in some form of stylized "kabuki
theater". Also, a pretender or poseur, being someone who affects
or projects the image of a "real soldier" ... that is, one who
gets dirty and risks his life in combat; see WANNABE, WHISKEY
WARRIOR. Also, an effigy or simulacrum representing an abstract
ideal of inanimate perfection; usually a model or miniature, such
as a decorated chessman or costumed doll; also called "chocolate
soldier" (glitter wrapped sweet). See CHROME-DOME, SAM BROWNE
BELT, MILITARY PRESS, MILITARY TUCK, SPIT 'n' POLISH, POUTER
PIGEON, MACHO; compare FUGLEMAN, WOODEN SOLDIER, CANNON FODDER.
Timed, Phased, Forced Deployment Data
TRA CA :
Vietnamese for a carp-like fish raised in manure lagoons, fed on
village wastes and sewage for community hygiene. See HONEY
BUCKET, DUMP, TROTS, SQUIRTS, SLOP CHUTE, CAT HOLE, SLIT TRENCH,
any slight or faint trail made in the wilderness by animals or
vehicles; especially when man-tracking (to fall in trace), a
sense detectable path left by enemy personnel that's used to plot
a concentration or discover a CACHE or HIDE. See PECKER TRACKS,
CASTOFF, SPLASHBACK, BLOOD TRAIL, TRAIL, TRACK, DRAG,
BREADCRUMBING, BEAT AROUND THE BUSH, INDIAN ROPE TRICK, WALK BACK
THE CAT. [v: pug / pug marks, spoor] [nb: more so than foreign
armies, Americans can usually be traced by their excessive noise
and exotic odors as well as by the trail of trash (LITTER) that
they leave behind themselves in the field]
color emitted by ignition of treated ammunition when fired from
rifle or machinegun, so shots can be tracked (traced) and their
points of impact adjusted. TRACERS are visible under most light
conditions, but night provides best results. Inexperienced troops
quickly learn the MURPHY LAW that "tracers work both ways", so
must reserve their use for specific situations. At closer ranges,
before burn time is exhausted, TRACERS may ignite combustible
materials under prime conditions. Enemy AK and AAA weapons fire
"green" TRACERS, while Allied weapons shoot "red" TRACERS. See
LINK AMMO, MAG, DRUM.
[nb: US naval gunfire includes a dye-marker to help identify
shots during multiple ship engagements, and to help adjust the
POINT OF IMPACT by fire observation, which normally takes 8-10
rounds due to calculations of barrel/air temperatures and the
moving platform of a ship at sea]
any track-propelled vehicle, from self-propelled howitzers
to tractor bulldozers, but usually refers to armored TANKs or
APCs; such vehicles use caterpillar treads due to their superior
traction and improved weight distribution over wheels; see DOZER
INFANTRY, ROME PLOW, ARMORED CAR, HALF-TRACK, CEV, LAV, AAV,
AMTRACK, ALLIGATOR, GATOR-FREIGHTER, ELSIE, AVLB, VTR, SP, FAASV,
SCORPION, DUSTER, ONTOS, SPAT, RR, FISTV, MECH, WEASEL, IRON DOG,
CLINKETY-CLANK, PAVIS, SNORKEL, SNORT, BOGIE, COUNTER-ROTATE,
TRACK, CATERPILLAR, TRACK PAD, TRACK BLOCK, APPLIQUE ARMOR,
HILLBILLY ARMOR, REACTIVE ARMOR, SPALL, SPACED ARMOR, TANK PARK,
GROUND GUIDE, MOTOR POOL, LAAGER, DRAGON'S TEETH, HEAT, SLAP,
compare STRYKER, DUCK, GAMMA GOAT, GATOR.
[nb: initially conceived ca1903, heavily armoured cars, which
were known as "tanks" to disguise their function, were introduced
to land warfare during the First Battle of the Somme (15
Also, one of the sections of TRACK BLOCK (not "tread") that, when
linked together to form a revolving belt, generates propulsion
and steerage on a TRACK-driven vehicle; compare TRACK PAD; see
BOGIE, CATERPILLAR, COUNTER-ROTATE.
Also, to follow sign, spoor, CASTOFF, PECKER TRACKS, or other
marks when pursuing an elusive quarry; also called TRAIL or
TRACE; see PAINT, LOCK-ON, DRAG, BREADCRUMBING, BEAT AROUND THE
BUSH, INDIAN ROPE TRICK, WALK BACK THE CAT.
[v: pug / pug marks, spoor] [nb: more so than foreign armies,
Americans can usually be traced by their excessive noise and
exotic odors as well as by the trail of trash (LITTER) that they
leave behind themselves in the field] [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]
TRACK BLOCK :
a linked section that forms a revolving belt or rotating TRACK,
about eighty BLOCK sections per side, that's powered by a drive
sprocket (BOGIE); see CATERPILLAR, COUNTER-ROTATE.
TRACK PAD :
a rubber insert for each TRACK BLOCK (1 or 2 pads per block) so
that paved roadways and bridges would not be damaged by the
exposed metal tread on revolving TRACKs; see BOGIE, CATERPILLAR,
COUNTER-ROTATE. [nb: each M-60A3 track block had two rubber track
pads mounted side by side] Also, dismissive slang for the small
chocolate candy bar (originally D-Ration or Logan Bar) that's
included with field rations; compare HERSHEY BAR, CANDY BAR,
CLARK BAR, HOOAH! BAR; see POGY BAIT, GEDUNK, SUGAR PILL.
the necessary skills to perform any difficult job,
especially covert operations, including everything from
camouflage and marksmanship to surveillance and communications
(eg: cover story, dead drops, shadowing); also known as "the
black arts". See SECRET AGENT, CRYPTO, SPOOK, CREEP, SWEAT,
POISON PILL, SQUEEZE, FLUTTER, DEBRIEF, LIE DETECTOR, TRUTH
SERUM, TAP, DEAD DROP, LETTER BOX, DEAD LETTER, CHICKEN FEED,
BLIND DATE, DOUBLE DUTCH, DIRTY TRICKS, BLACK BAG, HONEY POT,
NUTCRACKER, BIOMETRICS, FINGERPRINT, FLAPS 'n' SEALS, FLASH
PAPER, ONE-TIME PAD, SPY DUST, MOOR'S KNOT, DESK MAPPING, TWEP,
WET WORK, BOLT HOLE, RABBIT HOLE, NAKED, LIFTED SKIRT, RABBIT,
THROW-AWAY, KITE, HONEY TRAP, PILLOW TALK, DANGLE, SLEEPER, MOLE,
FIX, CUTOUT, DECOY, STOOGE, PROVOCATEUR, BOY SCOUT, BALLOON,
NIGHTCRAWLER, HANDLER, MICE, ZERO FOOTPRINT, CLEANSKIN, CLEAN,
POCKET LITTER, NOC, COVER, LEGEND, BACKSTOP, TALK THE TALK, NEED
TO KNOW, COMPARTMENTALIZATION, RIG, COLLOGUE, PROPAGANDA,
DISINFORMATION, RUMOR, ESPIONAGE SWAMP, CLOWN COLLEGE, HOUSE OF
SPIES, HOUSE OF SPOOKS, THE FARM, THE PICKLE FACTORY, COUNTRY
CLUB; compare MIL-CRAFT.
TRADE ENVELOPES :
a private arrangement by which friends agree to hold a sealed
last or final letter, to be mailed in the event of death, but to
be returned or destroyed if unharmed. See COMRADE, BATTLE BUDDY,
BUDDY SYSTEM, BAND OF BROTHERS.
TRADE SCHOOL :
any of the several most prominent (and prestigious) military
academies, from West Point and Annapolis to VMI and the Citadel
with the declared objective of educating future military leaders.
In general terms, admission to military schools is based upon
academic and athletic standing, extracurricular activities, age,
political appointment (including children of POW/MIA, SC disabled
veterans, or MoH recipients) and upon geographical allotments
(including active duty and reserve personnel). The superior
schooling provided by the service academies, borne at taxpayer's
expense, is mocked by the students as "A million-dollar education
shoved up your ass one nickel at a time!"
See HUDSON HIGH, BOAT SCHOOL, ZOO, USMMA, USCGA, RING-KNOCKER,
MISTER, CADET, ZOOMIE, TWEEDLEDUM 'n' TWEEDLEDEE, CANDIDATE / OC,
MERCHANT MARINE, COASTIES, USMAPS, NAPS, ROTC, OCS, WAR COLLEGE,
C&GS, JEDI KNIGHT, TANKER TECH, REDLEG REFORMATORY, UP OR
OUT, CAREER TRACK, FAST TRACK, FIVE AND FLY, BRACE, SQUARE MEAL,
SQUARE CORNERS, SHORT-SHEET, RATHOLE, TICKET-PUNCHER, BOY'S CLUB,
[nb: Vietnamese term: Quan Truong] [v: West Point
slang; Military Schools] [v: Siwash ("At Good Old Siwash"
by George Helgeson Fitch (1911)] [v: kriegsakademie,
kriegsschule] [nb: "The greatest defect of military schools is
that their traditions are unimproved by progress." anonymous; "A
military academy is neither a cloister nor an asylum -- it's a
medium-security prison for rote indoctrination." paraphrase of
John T. Reed] [v: "What happens in school stays in school!"]
a long-established or inherited way of thinking and acting, as
derived from "handing over" or "giving over"; those old school
beliefs and old-line creeds, steadfast customs and time-honored
legends that are passed along from generation to generation,
especially by word of mouth and emulation. See CUSTOMS AND
COURTESIES OF THE SERVICE, MORE HONORED IN THE BREACH THAN THE
OBSERVANCE, KEEP THE FAITH, SEMPER FI, TRUE BLUE, ESPRIT DE
CORPS, LOYALTY UP - LOYALTY DOWN, DUTY, SCRIPTURES, CODE OF
CONDUCT, HONOR CODE, CREED, OATH, PATRIOTISM, VALOR, V-DEVICE,
IMPACT AWARD, GUTS, DIEHARD, VETERAN, WINTER SOLDIER, NOBLE
SAVAGE, COUNT COUP, BRAGGING RIGHTS, QUIET PROFESSIONAL, STRAC,
BATTLE CRY, HOOAH, OORAH, GUNG-HO, WETSU, ROOT HOG OR DIE, GUSTO,
MORALE, RELIGIOUS RIGHT, RUGGED INDIVIDUALISM, HOME FRONT.
[v: unwritten law; cf: kultur] [nb: "to the manner born" refers
to adopting customs and traditions, not entitlements; re: act 1
sc 4 Hamlet by William Shakespeare (1602)]
[nb: "Tradition is the religion of the military, and history is
its Bible."; "Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old
paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find
rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6:16; "The best way to keep
tradition alive is not to pray to the ashes, but to keep the fire
burning bright."; "Whenever we want an excuse to keep doing the
same old things in the same old way, no matter how ineffective or
inefficient, ridiculous or corrupt, we claim the dubious
authority of tradition to forestall change and avoid
alteration, to negate innovation and prevent improvement, just so
we won't be disconcerted in our complacency."; "As long as open
debate has protections for conscientious objection, there is no
reason why honorable people cannot respectfully disagree, and
resolve that honest disagreement by referendum. There is no
custom or tradition that cannot be changed by the will of the
people ... even the Constitution can be amended ... and if, at
some future time, after assessing the consequences of such
change, be changed again. Traditions don't deserve absolute
deference by virtue of their age, nor do customs mean silent and
eternal acquiescence." paraphrase of Ted Cruz; "Change for its
own sake is stupid! ... has tradition no meaning
anymore?!"; "Most of the great results of history are brought
about by discreditable means." by Ralph Waldo Emerson (The
Conduct of Life 1860); "Records of old wars mean nothing to
me. History is more or less bunk. It's tradition." by Henry Ford
(1916); "The youth of America is their oldest tradition. It has
been going on now for three hundred years." by Oscar Wilde (A
Woman of No Importance 1893)]
U.S. Army TRAining and DOCtrine command; established in 1973 to
reorient the post-VN Army, as projected by GEN Creighton W.
Abrams. See USATC, CDID, POI, BAYONET, TOTAL FORCE.
[nb: the equivalent USAF organization is called "Directorate of
Personnel Training and Education"]
TRAGEDY TOURISM :
see DARK TOURISM; compare WAR TOURIST, REENACTOR.
a path or route; see TRACE, RAT PATH. Also, two supporting parts
("outrigger legs") extending from the rear of a field gun; see
TOWED, PRIME MOVER, FLASK, LIMBER, TRANSOM, ARTY. Also, rear
security element, term derives from "drag"; also known as DRAG;
compare POINT, SLACK, TAIL-END CHARLIE, see ZERO, BUTTONHOOK [nb:
the follow-up TRAIL or DRAG element is not only responsible for
guarding the back of the unit (ie: tailgunner), but in obscuring
its passage (eg: scrub, scour, sweep, "dry clean", "Hoover") and
detecting pursuit (eg: double-check, double-back, back-check) so
as to preserve unit integrity and enable accomplishment of its
Also, to follow sign, spoor, pug / pug marks, CASTOFF, PECKER
TRACKS, or other sense marks when pursuing an elusive quarry or
prey; also called TRACK or TRACE; see DRAG, BREADCRUMBING, BEAT
AROUND THE BUSH, WALK BACK THE CAT. [nb: more so than foreign
armies, Americans can usually be traced by their excessive noise
and exotic odors as well as by the trail of trash (LITTER) that
they leave behind themselves in the field]
TRAIL BIKE :
see DIRT BIKE, RICE ROCKET.
TRAILBLAZE / TRAILBLAZING / TRAILBLAZER :
see PATHFINDER, POINT, ADVANCE FORCE, ADVANCE GUARD.
TRAILING HIS COAT :
(forthcoming); being provocative; see HAIR-TRIGGER, HALF-COCKED,
FIGHTING WORDS, SABER-RATTLING, GUNPOINT, CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS,
FIGHTING MAD, BATTLE ROYAL, DOGFIGHT, RAMPAGE, BLOODY SHIRT.
TRAILING OVERWATCH / TRAVELING OVERWATCH :
a movement technique used when contact with enemy forces is
Possible; with the lead element and trailing element being
separated by a short distance, which varies with the terrain. The
trailing element moves at various speeds and may pause for short
periods to overwatch the lead element, keying its movement to the
terrain and the lead element. The trailing element overwatches at
such a distance that should the enemy engage the lead element, it
will not prevent the trailing element from firing or moving to
support the lead element in its response.
TRAIL MIX :
a high-energy snack, variously composed, dating from the early
VIETNAM WAR-era; properly called 'gorp', and improperly called
'Granola®'. [nb: called "scroggin" in Australia]
TRAIL OF TEARS :
referent for the primary route (Highway 21) from BanMeThout to
NhaTrang that was the stage for the slaughter of thousands of
Vietnamese refugees who were fleeing the communist onslaught by
the invading North Vietnamese in 1975; not only did the NVA
ambush unarmed civilians, but criminal bands also exploited the
chaos of civil disintegration by wholesale rape, robbery, and
murder. [v: U.S. removal of Eastern tribes of AmerIndians to
Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River (eg: "Trail of
Tears"), or the exile of Western tribes onto Pan-Indian
reservations or into prison camps on remote Army posts (eg: "The
TRAIL WATCHER :
an enemy SENTRY, usually convalescent or elderly, posted at a
point (eg: tree-stand platform or hilltop blind) of good
observation on heliborne insertions and troop movements, with the
responsibility to alert all affected enemy units. Imitative of
the WWII Allied "Coast Watcher" surveillance system, which
successfully employed noncombatant businessmen and missionaries;
also called "bird watcher". Later expanded to cooperate with rear
security and counter-RECON units. See BINH TRAM, STAY BEHIND,
FLIP-FLOP, FALSE INSERTION, COIGN OF VANTAGE.
a line or procession of aggregated persons, animals, vehicles, or
vessels traveling together, as for carrying supplies or baggage;
such as a CONVOY, LINE HAUL, LOG-PAC, caravan, motorcade,
procession, cavalcade, or cortege, as derived from drag, draw,
pull. Also, order, especially proper order and sequence, as
proceeding events or ideas. Also, to develop or form the habits,
thoughts, or behavior of a person by discipline and instruction,
as to make an adherent proficient by instruction and practice;
see BCT, AIT, OSUT, SLICK SLEEVE, BOOT, CRUIT, POI, KISS, TRNG,
PRESTRESS, OJT, COUNTERINTUITIVE. Also, the series of results or
circumstances from an event or action, as an aftermath. Also, to
point, aim, or bring to bear a firearm or other device on some
object; see SIGHT PICTURE, SPOT WELD, BASS, TRAVERSE, ELEVATION,
DEFLECTION, ZERO. Also, to TRAVERSE a cannon or GUN TUBE
laterally, as contrasted with ELEVATION; see ARTY. Also, a
successive stream, trail, or trailing part from some moving
object or sequence; see LAND TAIL. Also, a line of combustible
material, as gunpowder, for leading fire to an explosive charge;
see FUSE. [v: catenate / concatenate]
a company of trained MILITIA organized in London and elsewhere in
the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries; derived as a contraction of
TRAINED KILLER :
ironic reference to any recent graduate of a military school,
especially one conferred with a new technical or specialty
rating; see PRESTRESS, MOCK-HEROIC, BTDT, KILLER KANE.
someone enrolled in a training school or course of instruction in
order to learn the lessons and doctrine of said program so as to
apply such as a skill in mission fulfillment; a MIL-PERS
undergoing specialized instruction in a disciplined setting ...
someone civilians would classify as a 'pupil' or 'student'. See
CADET, PUP, TADPOLE, POLLYWOG, TRNG, POI, CALL, TRADOC,
MIL-CRAFT, Q-COURSE, CROSS-TRAINING, OJT, MONKEY SEE - MONKEY DO,
COUNTERINTUITIVE, PETER PRINCIPLE, PARKINSON'S LAW, OCCAM'S
RAZOR, MURPHY'S LAW, LESSONS LEARNED.
[nb: "To get up at dawn to the sound of fife and drums, to wash
my face in a hurry in a tin basin, wipe on a wet towel, and go
forth with a suffocated skin, and a sense of uncleanliness to be
drilled by a fat little cadet, young enough to be my son, of the
Virginia Military Institute, that, indeed, was misery. How I
hated that little cadet! He was always so wide-awake, so clean,
so interested in the drill; his coat-tails were short and sharp,
and his hands looked so big in white gloves. He made me sick." by
George Bagby (Lynchburg 1861)]
a rudimentary vehicle, vessel, craft, or simulator used to
instruct operators and to orient crewmembers, especially a
simplified aircraft for teaching PILOTs; see LINK TRAINER, TOP
GUN, GOSHAWK, DRAGONFLY, TALON, TROJAN. [nb: Vietnamese term:
Phi Co Huan Luyen]
Also, the person responsible for teaching a class or course; an
instructor, teacher, educator, professor, lecturer, preceptor,
pedagogue, guide, tutor, mentor, coach, and the like; see DI.
[nb: it's a well established fact that a good Drill Sergeant will
take the raw material of a civilian and turn him into a soldier
in the same way that he would take a tangled mess of steel wool
and knit it into a tank!]
TRAIN HARD - FIGHT EASY :
catch-phrase of military philosophy advocating that the more
troops sweat in training the less they bleed in combat, also
expressed as "a bucket of sweat for every thimble of blood" or
"every drop of sweat can save a drop of blood"; contrasts with
civilian philosophy of "work hard, play harder". See DON'T DO
NOTHING, COMBAT EFFECTIVE, DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF,
CLUTCH-UP, WAR GAMES, OPTEMPO, OP 'TIL YOU DROP.
[nb: although the British Commando raid on Dieppe and the
Carlson's RAIDER INCURSION on Makin Island during WWII, as well
as the Ivory Coast TF raid on the Son Tay prison camp and the
PAVN assault on the U.S. Embassy during the VIETNAM WAR, all used
training MOCK-UPs to ensure operational success, none fulfilled
its mission ... which raises questions on the practicality of
specialized training, as the British found with parachute
deployment, that minimum training proved as successful (or as
unsuccessful) as advanced training, and much more cost effective]
[nb: "The Roman (Legions) are sure of victory, for their drills
are bloodless battles and their battles are bloody drills." by
Josephus; "A master in the art of living draws no sharp
distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his
leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation.
He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of
excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to
determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always
appears to be doing both." by Francoise Rene Auguste
Chateaubriand; "The difference between what we do and what we are
capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's
problems." by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi; "Well done is better
than well said." by Benjamin Franklin; "A thousand words will not
leave so deep an impression as one deed." by Henrik Ibsen; "A
drop of sweat on the drill ground will save many drops of blood
on the battlefield." by August Willich (1866); "Sweat saves
blood, blood saves lives, and brains save both." attributed to
Erwin Rommel; "A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood." by
George S. Patton Jr (3 March 1944); "The high sentiments always
win in the end, the leaders who offer blood, toil, tears and
sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer
safety and a good time." by George Orwell; "I have never promised
anything but blood, sweat and tears, now however we have a new
experience. We have victory ... a remarkable victory. A bright
gleam has caught the helmets of our soldiers and warmed and
cheered all our hearts." by Winston L.S. Churchill]
TRAINING AMMO :
see SIM-AMMO; compare BLANK.
TRAINING FILM :
slang for a sexually explicit or pornographic movie, also known
as a "blue movie" or "art film"; compare STROKE BOOK; see CIRCLE
JERK, FIRING LINE, STEAM 'n' CREAM, BOOM-BOOM, SHORT-TIME,
BUTTERFLY, HAT TRICK, DAISY CHAIN, TRICK, FUCK, DU, DIDDLY,
HOOKUP, ACT OF CONGRESS, CHOWING DOWN, HUMMERR, BUSH PILOT, MUFF
DIVER, UP-CLOSE 'n' PERSONAL, DOG 'n' PONY SHOW.
a person who betrays a trust or cause, especially his country, by
treachery or disloyalty; also called "treasonist", this term is
derived from "to hand over" or "to give over" ... the lowest part
of Hell, a frigid lake of ice, was reserved for traitors in
Dante's "Inferno". Compare DRAFT DODGER, DESERTER, TURNCOAT,
WHITE VC; see TREASON, QUISLING, DEFECT, MUTINEER, RIOT ACT,
CREDIBILITY GAP, FIRING SQUAD, UCMJ. [cf: traitress / traitoress;
v: renegade, misprision, lese / lèse-majesté] [nb:
the British Free Corps was a unit of the Waffen-SS consisting of
United Kingdom POWs who were sympathetic to fascism and had been
recruited by the Nazis; although small, this unit fought with the
Wehrmacht against the Allies during WWII; (french) ; (irish) ]
[nb: Union officers who betrayed their fellow captives in the
CSA's Libby Prison in Richmond Virginia for some extra
consideration or special preferment were branded by the other
prisoners with the letter 'T' cut into their face] [v: traditor
(an early Christian who betrayed other Christians at the time of
the Roman persecutions; as derived from a betrayer of tradition)]
the curved course or path described by a projectile (eg: bullet,
shell, rocket, missile, or the like) in its "casting over" flight
from discharge to impact. Also, a geometric curve that cuts
across all the surfaces of a given system at a constant angle.
TRANSFER CASE :
military nomenclature for a sealed metal coffin, casket, or pall;
see BODY BAG, SHROUD, PALLBEARER, CATAFALQUE, FUNERAL PACE, BOX
JOB, GARDEN OF STONES, BONEYARD, MORTUARY AFFAIRS, GRAVES
REGISTRATION, NATIONAL CEMETERY.
a MIL-PERS awaiting orders, transport, or some other
administrative disposition at a post or station to which that
individual is not attached or assigned; also known as a "casual";
compare SNOWBIRD. Also, personnel, vehicles, ships, or craft that
are temporarily stopping at a post, base, station, or port to
which they are not assigned or attached, and having destination
a metal piece connecting the sidepieces of the tail or the cheeks
of an artillery gun carriage; as derived from the alteration of
"traverse" (lying across, breadth); see TRAIL, FLASK, LIMBER,
ARTY. Also, a flat termination to a STERN, above the water line
on a vessel; see AFT. Also, any crosspiece or crossbar, such as a
Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel, or Tactical Recovery
of Aircraft and Pilots, being a USMC mission to expediently
secure a downed aircraft, its personnel and equipment, as
performed by specially trained Marines; compare PJ, AST, RIT,
RRF; see CSAR, SAR, RCC. Also, any contrivance or other
mechanical device, especially a disguised or concealed one,
that's used for capture or seizure, for defeat or extermination;
see BOOBY-TRAP (TRICK, RUSE DE GUERRE), TROU-DE-LOUP (TIGER TRAP,
PITFALL), MINEFIELD (DEVIL'S GARDEN), AMBUSH (AA, MA). Also, to
catch someone unawares by a stratagem, artifice, or trickery; to
ensnare or entrap, as by allurement or inveiglement. [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
slang for skill or qualification badges, as worn on the FATIGUE
or BATTLE DRESS uniform, work or duty uniform; so designated
because in elite units such qualifications were required, so
everyone had them, and in regular units, where no one else had
them, they were essentially meaningless. The acquisition of
MIL-CRAFT skills, proclaimed by the award of badges and other
designations (eg: ASI, SQI), are a prerequisite to certain
assignments, or essential for promotions. The TICKET-PUNCHER's
lust for "trash collecting" is more for ego-gratification than
for the "good of the service". Compare BOLO BADGE, Q-COURSE,
Q-TAB, TRIPLE CANOPY, DIVER, DOLPHIN, WINGS, CENTURY WINGS, BLACK
WINGS, OVAL, FLASH, GONG, JOCKSTRAP MEDAL, FRUIT SALAD, CREST,
GREEN TAB, DEVICE, PATCH, ASH 'n' TRASH, POWER WALL, REVOCATION.
[nb: skill qualification badges, which may be sewn or pinned onto
the work uniform, are not called 'trash' when mixed with ribbon
bars on Class-A uniforms; furthermore, 'fruit salad' ribbons and
pendant 'gongs' are never worn on fatigue or battle dress
uniforms] [nb: an insignia emblematic of the honors and lineage
of a military organization, unlike familial "coats of arms", may
be individually enhanced but not personally heritable; v: Heraldry] [nb: an apt MURPHY LAW of Combat says: "The
side with the simplest uniform will win the war."!]
TRASH COLLECTOR :
see SCRAP METAL COLLECTOR, TRASH, MIL-CRAFT.
TRASH HAULER :
slang for aerial resupply or administrative support flights, the
airplanes or missions so designated, especially by an unarmed
SLICK helicopter or a fixed-wing cargo aircraft carrying less
urgent non-combat materiel; also called "pigs 'n' rice", "log
hel'o", LOG BIRD, MILK RUN, BLUE BALL, or ASH 'n' TRASH (commonly
perverted into "ass and trash"). Also, slang for the supply and
troop transport pilot or aircrew; sometimes shortened to "trashy"
(forthcoming); the heat-and-serve Tray-pack Ration (Tray Ration
or T-rats) was developed in 1983 to provide a unit with the
option of supplying a hot meal when cooks were unavailable;
formally designated 'Unitized Group Ration Express' (UGR).
Compare KITCHEN IN A CARTON; see RATIONS.
to turn or move, or to be turned or moved horizontally,
laterally, diagonally, obliquely, or slantwise. Also, the
horizontal movement of the barrel of a cannon, GUN TUBE, or
MAIN-GUN; such lateral movement is also known as TRAIN; compare
ELEVATION, PLUNGING FIRE; see LEAD, DEFLECTION, ARTY. Also, the
ZIGZAG track of a vessel, or each interval of such a tacking
course, as when compelled to maneuver across a direct HEADING by
contrary winds or currents; see LEEWAY, BEARING. Also, a suitable
crossing place or point, as a ford or pass; as derived from
"laying across". Also, a defensive barrier, parapet, or other
battlement placed at an angle; see EMPLACEMENT, REVETMENT, BLAST
WALL, OUTWORK. Also, a railing, lattice, or screen serving as a
barrier; see LIFELINE, SNAKING, TOE RAIL, BULWARK. Also, any bar,
strip, rod, or other structural part that extends across
something; a crosspiece or crossbar. Also, to obstruct, thwart,
counter, contradict, or deny. Also, to look over, examine, or
consider carefully, as a review or survey.
a recovery line trailing from a moving craft, which enables UDT,
SEAL, SCUBA, or other combat swimmers to be extracted from an
operational area by attaching themselves onto the line, while the
craft or vessel continues without stopping to embark departing
personnel ... thus speeding the recovery process, reducing target
interval, inhibiting force exposure, and avoiding mission
detection; this term derives from "trail", and is also called
"trawl line" or "dragrope". First used during offshore
beach-clearing operations in WWII by both small boats and
fixed-wing aircraft, which ferried the EXFIL swimmers to their
host ship for embarkation. Compare SDV, GATOR, SNATCH, HOT HOIST,
SKYHOOK, McGUIRE RIG, STABO, FRIES, CHICKEN LINE, LIFELINE. [v:
TRAY RATIONS :
also known as T-RATIONS (qv), "T-rats", and formally designated
see TRAITOR, TREASON.
TREAD HEAD / TREAD-HEAD :
someone assigned to or serving with an armor or armored cavalry
unit, being a "track rat" or TOAD; see PONY SOLDIER, DRAGOON, DOG
SOLDIER, LONG KNIFE, TANKER, YELLOWLEG, MECH, ARM, TRACK, TANK,
ACR, CAV, BOOTS AND SADDLES, ORDER OF THE SPUR, SPUR RIDE,
CAVALRY WHISKERS, CAMPAIGN HAT, STIRRUP CUP, YELLOW RIBBON.
TREADWAY BRIDGE :
a bridge constructed by engineers to carry its intended traffic,
from foot soldiers to armored vehicles, suspended or floating,
but with the travel surface limited to one or two tracks, instead
of a complete roadway that uses more materials and helps to
redistribute the weight. See BRIDGE RATING, BAILEY BRIDGE,
PONTOON BRIDGE, ROUTE STEP, ROPE BRIDGE.
acting to harm or overthrow the duly constituted government, or
to lend aid and comfort to the enemies of that government, as an
offense against the people of that sovereign nation, as
explicated in Article 3 Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution; term
derived from "handing over tradition". Also, the violation or
betrayal of a sacred trust or state allegiance, as treachery; as
by a "treasonist". See TRAITOR, QUISLING, DEFECT, GRAYMAIL, RIOT
ACT, CREDIBILITY GAP, DRUMHEAD, FIRING SQUAD, UCMJ, POSSE
COMITATUS. [v: sedition, misprision, incitement, provocation,
lese / lèse-majesté]; cf: prevaricator, agitator]
[v: traditor (an early Christian who betrayed other Christians at
the time of the Roman persecutions; as derived from a betrayer of
tradition)] [nb: the 1791-4 resistance to the federal Excise Tax,
commonly known as the Whiskey Rebellion, prompted the first
American trials for treason; just as the Alien and Sedition Acts
(later deemed unconstitutional) were a result of the 1798
virtual- / quasi-war with France] [nb: vigilante Regulators in
North Carolina took the law into their own hands to protect
themselves against extortion and oppression by colonial
officials, but increasing disorders led to passage of the "Bloody
Act" (Johnston Bill 15 Jan 1771) making these rioters guilty of
TREASURE HUNT :
a competition wherein individuals or teams vie in their attempt
to locate a hidden prize by using indirect clues during a
specific event or timed episode; such a recreation may be
conducted indoors or outdoors, involving children or adults,
which may entail tracking the trail or deciphering the puzzle, in
a manner not unlike an Easter egg hunt or scavenger hunt,
puzzlehunting or maze running, geocaching or letterboxing. Aside
from explorers (eg: Coronado, DeSoto, Ponce De León, et
al), archaeologists (eg: Botta, Schliemann, Belzoni, et al), and
authors (eg: Stevenson, Burroughs, Buechner, et al), this pastime
was introduced during the mid-19th century to entertain people
with leisure time ["In the Treasure Hunt ... intellectual men
were paired off with great beauties, glamor with talent; in the
course of the night's escapades, anything could happen." by
socialite Elsa Maxwell] ... it continues as a game to teach
people survival skills in a low-stress environment. See
ORIENTEERING, CAPTURE THE FLAG, THEME PARK, PLAY THE GAME, WAR
GAMES. [v: Holy Grail]
a formal agreement between states or nations regarding peace,
alliance, commerce, or other international relations. Also, the
formal document embodying an international agreement or compact;
as derived from tractate, a treatise or essay. See TRUCE, RAISON
D'ETAT, DETENTE, ENTENTE, RAPPROCHEMENT, COUP D'ETAT, CARTE
BLANCHE, DIKTAT, REBUS SIC STANTIBUS, LAWS OF WAR, RULES OF
ENGAGEMENT (ROE), WAR POWERS ACT, GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY, PING-PONG
DIPLOMACY, BIG STICK DIPLOMACY, SABER-RATTLING, GUNPOINT, WARNING
SHOT, BLOODY SHIRT, JUST WAR, ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR, CROSS
THE RUBICON, NEUTRALIZE, WAR, PEACE, APPEASE.
[v: Diplomatic Terms]
TREE VIPER :
see BAMBOO VIPER.
see MOTION DETECTOR.
(forthcoming); derived from truncation of "entrenchment";
first used during Crimean War (1853-6);
compare FOXHOLE, HASTY TRENCH, SLIT TRENCH, RANGER GRAVE; see
[cf: escarp, scarp/escarpment, counterscarp; v: trench fever,
trench foot, trench mouth] [v: Military
TRENCH ART :
a token or memento, made by hand in the field from surplus or
expendable materials, and acquired as a relic, SOUVENIR, TROPHY,
artifact, reminder, remembrancer, keepsake, favor, commemorative,
memento mori, memorabilia, sign, insignia, mark, or vestige.
Examples of TRENCH ART have included CARTRIDGE case lighters,
SHELL casing ashtrays, BEERCAN badges, hand-embroidered PATCHes,
end-of-tour plaque CRESTs, campaign belt buckles, knife hilts,
uniform buttons, caricatures and portraitures. See CUMSHAW, SLUSH
FUND, SHORT SNORTER, BRAGGING RIGHTS, POWER WALL, SAFE ROOM.
TRENCH KNIFE :
that class of crude knives, handmade from improvised materials
(such as barbed wire stakes or shell fragments, leaf springs or
scrap metal), rough and untempered, that were used for close
combat (CQB) during the CIVIL WAR and WWI; sometimes created as
TRENCH ART or exchanged as a SOUVENIR from a veteran's PERSONAL
Also, when the bayonet was as long as a short sword, that class
of close combat (CQB) knives fitted with fist-bows [v: armature,
archetto] and knuckle-guards (eg: KNUCKLE-DUSTER), such as the
M-1917 or M-1918 KNUCKLE KNIFE (also known as "Mark I") used for
stabbing and slashing in confined spaces during hand-to-hand
fighting; it typically includes a triangular or double-edged
blade, a skull-crusher pommel, and is generally not configured as
a BAYONET. Although redesigned from battlefield reports by AEF
officers, the "Mark I" was criticized for being too heavy,
unbalanced, difficult to carry, limiting in its grip, and prone
to break when prying ... complaints that were repeated when
surplus knives were issued from inventory to Army RANGERs and
Marine RAIDERs at the beginning of WWII.
Also, the straight bladed 6.75" dirk (spear-pointed
edge-and-a-half) with thumb rest crossguard (forward-curving top
quillion), butt-plate, and stacked-leather haft with "sweat
grooves", that was made by numerous contractors (eg: Camillus,
Case, PAL, Kinfolks, Utica, Imperial, Robeson / ShurEdge, Aerial,
etc) from March 1943 for WWII and designated the M-3 Trench
Knife, which was developed specifically for issue to soldiers
without a BAYONET (ie: those equipped with pistols, light / heavy
machineguns, submachineguns, recoilless rifles, mortars, and
other crew-served weapons); the M-3 derives its prestige from
being issued first to AIRBORNE, GLIDER, and RANGER units;
selected for issue to the Army over the Navy's 1219C2 (M-2 / MK2
KABAR) as being more conservative of strategic materials and more
economical to manufacture, production of the M-3 Trench Knife was
discontinued in August 1944, but this dirk-style blade pattern
continued to be used on M-4 through M-7 BAYONETs throughout the
pre-Gulf War-era; see KNIFE.
[nb: the combat zone is, by definition, a destructive area, so
whatever exists there is either disposable, replaceable, or made
as cheaply as possible to do the required job; 'superiority' is a
shifting objective, as 'excellence' is a changeable goal that
must be factored by time and resources, which is always competing
with 'sufficiency'] [v: good enough for government work; cf:
faute de mieux (French: for want of something better)]
[v: Knife Terms; The Language of
TRENCH WARFARE :
although the trench has been used intermittently since ancient
times as a temporary fortification, it was first used during the
Crimean War (1853-6) as a style of combat emphasizing
regimentation, uniform formations, fixed intervals, limited
initiative, and close coordination of fire and maneuver; compare
OPEN WAR, FRONTAL ASSAULT, see WAR. [v: Military
see HIGHBINDER, MAFIA.
the process of sorting MASS CASUALTIES from a battle or disaster
to determine their priority of medical treatment, based upon
their probability of survival with intervention, as an effort to
economize resources; as derived from "sort". Those victims who
will survive without care and those who will not survive even
with care are left untreated. Also, the determination of
priorities for action in any type of emergency. Also, a
designation pertaining to or performing the prioritizing process,
as the "triage officer"; see LUGGAGE TAG, A 'n' D, DOW, WALKING
GHOST, ZERO WARD, ZERO-ZERO WARD.
a court martial (ie: special, general, or summary) convened so
that a tribunal of magistrates can determine the guilt and
punishment of the accused servicemember according to the Uniform
Code of Military Justice (UCMJ); see DRUMHEAD, REVOCATION, SOFA,
ARTICLE 31, ROCKS 'n' SHOALS, BLUE BOOK, MCM, JAG, LAWS OF WAR,
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE), WAR CRIMES TRIAL, PISO'S JUSTICE;
compare ARTICLE 15, OFFICE HOURS, CAPTAIN'S MAST. [v: UCMJ Punitive Articles]
TRIAL BY COMBAT :
also known as "trial by fire" or "trial by ordeal"; see ACT OF
TRUTH, ORDEAL, DUEL, GANTLET, SNAKE PIT, HOLD ONE'S FEET TO THE
a method of determining the location of an unknown site by using
the relative position of two or more established points, and
intersecting their vertices. Also, a geometric technique for
establishing the distance between any two points by calculating
the gradient to these vertices from any measurable baseline.
Also, the triangles so formed and measured. Compare SLANT
DISTANCE, DEAD-RECKONING, DOUBLE DRIFT; see RDF, CUT, GPS,
BLOWER. [v: goniometry]
an athletic competition comprising three consecutive events,
usually a medley of swimming, bicycling, and running, whether
organized as sprint, intermediate, or endurance; derived from
'three' + 'contest', modeled upon 'decathlon'. Compare
BIATHLON, PENTATHLON, DECATHLON; see EXERCISE, AIRBORNE SHUFFLE,
TRUSCOTT TROT, MARATHON, FIELD HOUSE, WAR GAMES.
[v: Pheidippides was the Athenian runner sent to request aid from
Sparta before the battle at Marathon plain (490BC) against the
Persians; which inaugurated the long-distance footrace and other
endurance events] [nb: "With all our technology, we should never
forget that soldiering is first and foremost an outdoor sport."
by David Petraeus (2009)]
the area of intersection in SEAsia where the borders of Vietnam,
Cambodia, and Laos meet. See INDOCHINA, THE BRA, PLAIN OF JARS /
THE J; compare GOLDEN TRIANGLE, SILVER TRIANGLE, GOLDEN CRESCENT.
a crafty or cunning device, maneuver, stratagem, expedient, or
the like, intended to deceive; an artifice, ruse (RUSE DE
GUERRE), feint, or wile; see DECEPTION, DECOY, GAMBIT, MIJI,
FALSE FLAG, RED HERRING, CAT'S-PAW, TROJAN HORSE, STALKING HORSE.
Also, a clever device or adroit technique, as the "tricks of the
trade" or a feat of legerdemain; see ROPE TRICK, PLAYING THE
XYLOPHONE, TORTURE. Also, a highly-trained elite or special
operations force (SOF) unit, such as WWII Marine Raiders or Army
Rangers. Also, to embellish or adorn with ornaments or other
attention-getting devices, as in the wearing of inappropriate
attire [v: paillette] or the ostentatious display of FRUIT SALAD
or TRASH, of FEATHERS or FLASH; to "trick-out", to be
"tricked-out". Also, a period or stint of duty; a term, turn,
shift, evolution, tour, or assignment. Also, in heraldry, a
preliminary sketch of a coat of arms. Also, in heraldry, to
indicate the tinctures of a coat of arms with engraver's tricks.
Also, slang for a prostitute's customer. Also, a sexual act or to
engage in sexual acts for hire, as to "turn a trick"; see FUCK,
CHURNING BUTTER, BOOM-BOOM, SHORT-TIME, DIDDLY, HAT TRICK, DAISY
CHAIN, AROUND THE WORLD, SHACK-JOB, BUTTERFLY, DU, STEAM 'n'
CREAM, HOOKUP, HELL ON WHEELS, ACT OF CONGRESS.
[nb: the "comfort girls" who were employed as contract
prostitutes to serve the sexual needs (TRICKs) of Imperial
Japanese troops in the field, usually at a COMFORT STATION or SIN
CITY, were called "shock absorbers" by the Allied POWs who
happened to observe their (mis-)treatment]
TRICK BOX :
(aka: "Oriental puzzle box", "puzzle box", "magic box", and
"secret box") see CHINESE BOX, BLACK BOX; compare OUTSIDE THE
see TEU, CONTAINERIZATION.
the C4 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), manufactured
since 1979 by Lockheed-Martin and designed to fit existing SILOs
aboard ships; Trident I succeeded by Trident II in 1997. Also, a
nuclear-powered submarine; see BOOMER. Also, informal designation
for the U.S. Navy Special Warfare Badge, but commonly called a
BUDWEISER (qv), being the qualification badge for a Navy SEAL
that was adapted from the UDT qualification badge in 1971; see
UDT, BUDS, HELL WEEK, PUP, TADPOLE, FROGMAN, Q-COURSE. [cf: gig,
fishgig, fizgig, harpoon]
an actuating tongue, lever, or other mechanism that's used to
discharge a firearm, launch a weapon, or initiate a munition;
also called initiator or activator, as derived from trek
(migrate); see HAIR-TRIGGER, CREEP, CLACKER, DETONATOR, WAR NOSE,
EXPLODER, EXPLOSIVE, SECONDARY EXPLOSION. Also, anything that
initiates or precipitates a reaction or series of reactions; the
starter, cause, or prime mover. [cf: sympathetic vs spontaneous
obsessed by or apt to use firepower as a universally favored
solution to all difficulties or complexities, as someone who is
quick to or ready to shoot a firearm at the least provocation,
regardless of the situation or probable consequences; see HOT
DOG, DUD, COWBOY, LOOSE CANNON, HOT SHOT, HAPPY FIRE. Also,
someone who is reckless in advocating action that can result in
war, a HAWK or WARMONGER; see WAR PARTY.
[cf: slaphappy (ie: severely befuddled or agreeably foolish)]
[nb: "Most of the world's ills would be cured with one three-day
open season on people." by Ernest M. Hemingway]
TRIGGER TERM :
a provocative word or phrase that initiates a reaction or
precipitates a series of reactions; such evocative language tends
to incite or inspire, for good or ill, as a byword or slogan,
catchword or catch-phrase. Some inflammatory expressions may also
be known as "hate speech" or"casus belli". See SABER-RATTLING,
GUNPOINT, CROSS THE RUBICON, CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS, HAIR-TRIGGER,
HALF-COCKED, FIGHTING WORDS, TRAILING HIS COAT, BLOODY SHIRT.
the set of a ship in the water, especially the most advantageous
posture with respect to the intended course and the prevailing
conditions; also called ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT. Also, the attitude
of an airplane with respect to all three axes, at which balance
occurs in forward flight under no controls; see PITCH, ROLL, YAW,
an airplane with three supporting wings, one above another, which
design was mainly used in the early history of the airplane;
compare CANARD, MONOPLANE, BIPLANE, FLYING WING, BLIMP.
informal designation of AntiAircraft Artillery (AAA).
TRIPLE CANOPY :
ostensibly a layered wilderness foliage or thick COVER,
representing three stages of growth, that is so dense that it is
virtually impenetrable for military operations from either the
ground or the air, except along game trails, which are readily
BOOBY-TRAPped. When referring to the tropical jungle forests of
INDOCHINA, this term is overused, misused and misleading.
Most forests have growth of similar height, some low enough and
interspersed with clearings such that scrubby bushes and vines
proliferate, making penetration and maneuver very difficult; and
other forests have growth high enough that direct sunshine is
prevented from reaching the ground, leaving it relatively clear
and open ... creating an understory of filtered light and cooler
temperatures that's well suited for ferns and flowers. See JUNGLE
PENETRATOR, HOT HOIST, McGUIRE RIG, STABO.
Also, slang for the wearing of multiple Q-TAB arcs, especially
the SF, Rngr, and Abn tabs above the unit PATCH (SSI); see
TRIPLE NICKEL :
nickname of 555th Parachute Infantry Regiment, being the first
AIRBORNE unit that was composed entirely of BLACK officers and
enlisted PARATROOPERs; established 30 December 1943 as a test
platoon, then formed as a separate unit of the 13th Airborne
Division ("Lucky Thirteenth"). Although it was not deployed
overseas, its members became qualified as SMOKEJUMPERs in order
to fight forest fires throughout the Pacific Northwest (Operation
FIREFLY) that were caused by incendiary balloons sent from
Imperial Japan. When the 82nd Airborne returned to America for
the victory (VE) parade, General James M. Gavin insisted that the
555th PIR march with the division, sharing its triumph.
TRIPLE TAP :
informal reference to the tactical firing technique wherein the
shooter quickly discharges his weapon three times at the most
vulnerable AIMPOINTs so as to strike the opposing target more
effectively, and positively terminate the target; also called
"Mozambique drill", "failure to stop" or "body-body-head"
targeting. Introduced (ca1971) as a formal shooting tactic by COL
Jeff Cooper, this method of controlled rapid-fire is used with
SMALL ARMS in semi-automatic mode (instead of full-auto fire)
during close combat encounters where rapidity and lethality are
prime factors. This practical close-quarters firing technique
consists of the shooter firing twice into the torso of an
opposing target (a "double tap" to the center of mass) and after
momentarily assessing these hits, then follows them with a
carefully aimed killing shot to the head of the target,
destroying the brain or brain stem, and preventing the target
from retaliating. Compare DOUBLE TAP, BURST, BEAUTY MARK,
SNIPER'S TRIANGLE, ROCK 'n' ROLL, SPRAY, HOSE, FLOCK SHOOT, BLIND
FIRE, WILD SHOT, BUSTING CAPS, HAMMER, KICK; see OVERKILL, BOUNCE
THE RUBBLE, PLAY DEAD, JAPE.
someone who is periodically under the influence of a
hallucinogenic drug, a coinage imitative of HIPPIE and YIPPIE
after the commonplace term (trip) for a psychotropic /
psychotomimetic experience; see SILVER-TAIL, COUNTERCULTURE,
COLORS, STONED, WASTED, DOPE.
a three-part or three-legged supportive stand that is often
mounted midway (at or near the center or balance point) of a
heavy-duty firearm, with the point of attachment adjustable for
relative level. Also used with sighting, listening, and other
surveillance devices. Compare BIPOD, PINTLE.
TRIPOLITAN WAR :
a war (1801-05) that Tripoli declared on the United States
because of American refusal to pay tribute for the safe passage
of shipping in Barbary Coastal waters; a war by pirate corsairs
of the Barbary States (ie: Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli /
Tripolitania) for tribute payments guaranteeing the safe passage
of American shipping. [nb: Barbary Coast Wars (1801-15): 35
battle deaths] [nb: "Millions for defense, but not one cent for
tribute." by Robert Goodloe Harper in a Congressional dinner
toast for John Marshall on 18 June 1798; often attributed to
Charles C. Pinckney, who purportedly said "Not a penny! Not a
penny!" or possibly "No, no, not a six-pence." during the 1797
TRIPWIRE / TRIP-WIRE :
thin wire strung across defensive areas or probable pathways,
attached to mines or flares, as used by both sides for alert or
demolition; see BOOBY-TRAP, MA, ALPHA-ALPHA, AMBUSH, TELLTALE.
designation for the interservice (tri-) standard applied to the
tactical communications equipment program.
a military EXPLOSIVE that's used in several types of ordnance
(eg: air-dropped bombs), and is composed of 80% trinitrotoluene
(TNT) and 20% powdered aluminum (extending the impulse during
which the blast wave is positive); it's approximately 18% more
powerful than TNT alone.
TRaiNinG, consisting of formal or special instruction in an
officially designated course according to outlined objectives;
the buzzword phrase: "end-user upgrade" is a technical sounding
catch-phrase for training; see POI, TRAIN, COUNTERINTUITIVE;
compare PRESTRESS, OJT, UP THE HAWSEPIPE.
[nb: Vietnamese term: Huan Luyen] [nb: a military axiom states
that "training is just like combat without blood; and that war is
just like training without sweat!"; "We should remember that one
man is much the same as another, and that he is best who is
trained in the severest school." by Thucydides]
TROI OI :
Vietnamese expression used as an exclamation; literally 'heaven'
+ 'dear', meaning "Dear heaven!", "Dear God!", "Good
heavens!", or "Oh God!". [nb: exclamatory euphemisms for 'Good
God' or 'Thank God' (such as "Good grief!", "Good heavens!",
"Goodness gracious!", "Goodness sakes!", "Gracious sakes!")
satisfy the prohibition against profanation of the Lord's name]
North American AT-28 advanced TRAINER, being a 2-seat
single-engine monoplane that was also used on counterinsurgency
missions. Compare TALON; see CHAPAKAO, BIRD.
TROJAN HORSE :
any person or device that undermines or destroys from within, by
reference to the gigantic wooden horse that the Greeks left at
the gates of Troy as a feigned sacrifice to Poseidon so as to
sabotage Trojan defenses and conclude the Trojan War (ca1250BC);
such as a nonreplicating computer subroutine that's illegally
planted in a benign program to do local damage when the
masquerading algorithm is activated. Compare STALKING HORSE, DARK
HORSE, CAT'S-PAW, RED HERRING, DECOY, FALSE FLAG, HIDE, DEADMAN,
NETRUSION, PHANTOM OPERATIONS, DECEPTION.
contrived slang usage since the post-Vietnam era for cycling the
slide on an autoloading PISTOL, which affected mannerism is
supposedly due to a fancied resemblance to the slide mechanism on
this musical instrument ... "He tromboned his sidearm before
breaching the entry."
Target Recognition Operator Notification, an LED infrared (IR)
pulsing fiber optic system that's bundled in a temporary display
arrangement that can be visually detected by air support
personnel while on a target run so as to identify friendlies and
avoid BLUE ON BLUE damage; variously sized and readily
programmable fabric that includes the circuit board and batteries
for 200 hours of operation. The individual TRON fabric weighs
only 3 ounces, and may be worn, draped, wrapped, or attached to
equipment; and it may be set to different patterns to distinguish
different units, or to enable security verification. TRON has
been developed, since 2004, at the Air Force Research Lab at
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. See IDENTIFICATION PANEL.
short form of TROOPer, being one who walks or travels, as a
SOLDIER or DRAGOON, cavalryman or artillerist; affectionately as
"troopee". Also, short form of PARATROOPER. Also, a company-sized
cavalry (CAV), air- or armored cavalry (ACR) unit, abbreviated
TRP; see HHT, SQDN.
TROOPER CAP :
fur-lined winter cap with ear-flaps; including mouton, melton,
felt, and synthetic pile liner (FISH FUR); compare JEEP CAP,
WATCH CAP; see HEADGEAR
TROOP THE LINE :
the inspection or review of arrayed units by officials who walk
or ride before them along the PARADE GROUND; as distinguished
from PASS IN REVIEW, during which the arrayed units PARADE past
the assembled dignitaries on the "reviewing stand". See COLOR
GUARD, PARADE, SHOW THE FLAG, MISSING MAN FORMATION.
any award, memento, SOUVENIR, prize, or spoil taken in
competition or war; a token or evidence of valor, skill, success,
or victory. Also, a representation or depiction of attainment or
achievement. Originally in ancient Greece and Rome, a memorial of
captured arms and armor dedicated at the site to a military
victory; term derives from 'turn', as "put to flight", "ended in
a ROUT". In unit competitions and WAR GAMES, the military still
emphasizes group performance over individual success, because
battles are not won by a solitary execution or singular act. See
STREAMER, UNIT CITATION, BRAGGING RIGHTS, COUNT COUP, BANDIT,
KILL RING, KILL CREDIT, A-1, BRAVO ZULU, KICK ASS, EARS,
SCALPING, TOP DOG, HERO, REVOCATION. [v: fanfaronade]
TROPHY COLLECTOR :
see SCRAP METAL COLLECTOR, TICKET-PUNCHER.
TROPHY WALL :
see POWER WALL.
TROPICAL ACNE :
a severe type of acne over a person's entire trunk (including
shoulders and upper arms, chest and back, buttocks and thighs)
that occurs in hot humid climates; compare PRICKLY HEAT.
TROPICAL BUBO :
[venereal lymphogranuloma / lymphogranuloma venereum] a venereal
infection usually caused by chlamydia trachomatis, and
characterized by a transient genital ulcer and inguinal
adenopathy (painful swelling or morbid enlargement of the lymph
nodes) in the male; in the female, the perirectal lymph nodes are
involved and rectal stricture (binding stenosis or cicatricial
contracture) is a common occurrence; also known as climatic bubo,
lymphogranuloma inguinale, Nicolas-Favre disease, and sixth
venereal disease. See CLAP, VD, STD, ARC, ORIENTAL CRUD, SHORT
ARM, PECKER-CHECKER, PRO KIT, ANTIBIOTIC.
TROPICAL CHARMS :
TROPICAL CHOCOLATE BAR :
compare CONGO BAR, see HERSHEY BAR, TRACK PAD, POGY BAIT, GEDUNK,
SUGAR PILL. [nb: emergency ration chocolate bars (ca1943) were
made to be high in energy value, to be easy to carry, and able to
withstand high temperatures (heat resistant to 120°F); after
1957, each 4oz bar contained chocolate, sugar, cocoa powder,
non-fat milk solids, and artificial vanilla flavoring] [nb:
created as a byproduct of cocoa manufacturing for hot chocolate
drinks, the chocolate candy bar did not appear as a confection
until the mid-19th century; and before being individually wrapped
for single sales, most confectionery products were sold in bulk
TROPICAL DIARRHEA / TROPICAL SPRUE :
see COCHIN CHINA DIARRHEA, DIARRHEA, SPRUE.
TROPICAL LICHEN :
see PRICKLY HEAT.
TROPICAL MASK :
[chloasma bronzinum] a condition wherein tan or brownish patches
of gradually spreading pigmentation appear on the skin of persons
who are continuously exposed to harsh sunlight, especially their
face and head, due to a hormone imbalance. Compare JAUNDICE; see
TROPIC LIGHTNING :
nickname of the 25th Infantry Division; see ELECTRIC STRAWBERRY.
abridgement of tropospheric, which identifies the type of antenna
used for long-range voice communications; see EARS, STACK, TACAN,
ANTENNA FARM, COMM SHACK, COMMO.
diarrhea, dysentery, or any other intestinal disorder involving
frequent bowel evacuations; also called SQUIRTS, "skidders",
"greasy spoon two-step" (two-stepping), or "green apple quick
step" (quick-stepping). Contrary to popular fiction, enemy
contact would temporarily cure (not cause) this condition. See
PUCKER FACTOR, CORK, SALMONELLA / SALMONELLOSIS, COCHIN CHINA
DIARRHEA, DUMP, SHIT, HEAD CALL, SLOP CHUTE, CAT HOLE, BLUE
CANOE, SLIT TRENCH, HEAD, LATRINE, HONEY BUCKET, TRA CA, COMFORT
STATION. [nb: diarrhea, with its associated dehydration, is the
condition most responsible for human death worldwide]
a conical or pyramidal pit with a pointed stake fixed vertically
in the center, rows of which (trous-de-loup) are dug in front of
a FORTIFICATION to hinder an enemy's approach, formerly used
chiefly against cavalry; when used singly, this type of pitfall
is known in Asia as a "tiger pit" or "tiger trap", and the French
name literally translates as "wolf hole". See BOOBY-TRAP, TRICK,
RUSE DE GUERRE. [v: man-trap, drop trap, deadfall, or deathtrap]
troop; a company-sized air- or armored cavalry unit; see
CAV, ACR, HHT, SQDN.
a mutual agreement or treaty by the warring parties that
establishes a suspension of hostilities for a specified period of
time; an armistice ('stop' + 'arms') or CEASE-FIRE. Also, a
respite, as a recess, intermission, postponement, or pause;
derived from belief, TRUTH or trust (trow). See WAR, ENTENTE,
RAISON D'ETAT, DIKTAT, CAPITULATION, CARTE BLANCHE, COUP D'ETAT,
DETENTE, RAPPROCHEMENT, EXIT STRATEGY, NEUTRALIZE, APPEASE,
PEACE, FLAG OF TRUCE, WHITE FLAG. [v: Diplomatic Terms]
any of various motorized or self-propelled wheeled vehicles,
single or tandem, used for transport of personnel or cargo,
including M-37 three-quarter ton weapons carrier, M-561 GAMMA
GOAT, M-35 DEUCE-AND-A-HALF, M-953 6X6 FIVE-TON truck, M-939
Heavy Expanded-Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT), FIVE-TON truck,
M-52A2 FIVE-TON tractor-trailer truck, M-916 tractor-trailer
truck, M-983 HEMTT tractor truck, M-977 HEMTT cargo carrier with
crane, M-985 HEMTT cargo carrier, M-978 HEMTT fuel tanker, M-984
HEMTT wrecker; see GUN TRUCK, JEEP, HUMVEE, LMTV, MTV, M-ATV,
MRUV, CAIMAN, JERRV, MRAP, HEMTT, WAR PIG, COUGAR, BUFFALO,
DUCK/DUKW, CONVOY, TRAIN, LINE HAUL, LOG-PAC, FIREBALLING, WHEEL
JOCKEY, MOTOR POOL, HACK, JINGLE TRUCK, RICE-BURNER.
[nb: PAVN transport of materiel was labor-intensive, using
modified bicycles; but the military use of wheelbarrows (both
push and pull types) dates from the first century AD, and remain
in use today. Such wheelbarrows, drawn by teams or even sail
mounted, transported goods and wounded troops, portable
launchers, and served as temporary barriers to cavalry.]
[cf: chariot, hansom, hackney, drag, jitney, jingle, gharry,
fiacre, tonga, gig, trap, dogcart, calash, growler,
palanquin/palankeen, palki/palkee, jiao, gama, sedan chair; v:
Japanese takushii (taxi)]
Also, any of various wheeled frames used for transporting large
or heavy objects, including packages and boxes, cases and
cartons, trunks and crates; also called dolly or hand truck [cf:
pushcart, tug-truck, pull-truck]. Also, a small wooden cylinder
or roller on certain old-style gun carriages; the roller recoil
mechanism on the carriage of a cannon or artillery piece; derived
as a back-formation from wheel (truckle). Also, a circular piece
of wood fixed on the head of a mast or the top of a flagstaff,
usually containing small holes for the roving through of signal
halyards. Also, miscellaneous articles of little worth; oddments
or odds and ends. Also, slang for walking or strolling in a
TRUE BELIEVER :
a fanatical opponent, being the equivalent of a zealot who
regards communism as a new secular religion, or a devotee of an
exclusive faith. Any courtesy or consideration shown to these
incorrigibles was regarded as "proof" of American weakness; and
field interrogation of these intractable captives was a waste of
time. Compare BELIEVER, CHIEU HOI, PARTY LINE; see ZIP,
BRASS-COLLAR, BRASS EAR. [v: agitprop; strategic lawsuit against
public participation (SLAPP / SLAPP suit)]
[nb: "In the fevered state of our country, no good can ever
result from any attempt to set one of these fiery zealots to
rights, either in fact or principle. They are determined as to
the facts they will believe, and the opinions on which they will
act. Get by them, therefore, as you would by an angry bull; it is
not for a man of sense to dispute the road with such an animal."
by Thomas Jefferson (24 Nov 1808); "If you see someone who is
both cold and vehement at the same time, then mark him down as a
fanatic." paraphrase of Johann Kaspar Lavater (1788); "A fanatic
is someone who does what he thinks the Lord would do if He only
knew the facts of the case." paraphrase of Finley Peter Dunne
(1890); "Fanaticism consists of redoubling your effort when you
have lost sight of your aim." paraphrase of George Santayana
(1986); "The fanatic is incorruptible: if he kills for an idea,
he can just as well get himself killed for one; in either case,
tyrant or martyr, he is a monster." by E.M. Cioran (1949); "Mere
human beings can't afford to be fanatical about anything -- not
even about justice or loyalty -- our dedication makes us
passionate devotees of inhumanity! Our compassion gets quashed
for the best of all reasons: a good cause." paraphrase of Storm
Jameson (1957); "His ardent bias was not against 'thinking' but
against any divergence from his own thinking."]
TRUE BLUE / TRUE-BLUE :
a nickname adopted by several volunteer units during the American
CIVIL WAR, being a contraction of "true to the blue", which
phrase, representing allegiance, referred to the color of the
federal uniform. Also, an allusion to a type of unwavering
constancy, being someone [ie: ALLEGIANT] who is loyal or
steadfast, faithful or staunch, perhaps from the character of a
'blue blood' but more likely from the reliability or unchanging
nature of some dyed-in-the-wool quality, such as patriotism or
traditionalism. Also, this phrase designates a perfect score in
an infantry test, such as marksmanship or land navigation,
including the comprehensive sequence for earning the Expert
Infantryman badge (EIB); an infantry honorific used to recognize
TRUMAN DOCTRINE :
the foreign policy of the United States, declared in 1947, that
offered military and economic aid to free nations that resist
totalitarian aggression; see MARSHALL PLAN, GOOD NEIGHBOR
POLICY, CONTAINMENT, CLIENT STATE, PRESIDENTIAL DOCTRINE, NATION
see CLARION, HORN, BUGLE CALL, TOOTER.
any of various supports, such as the cylindrical projections on
the sides of cannon, the suspension posts on heavy machinery, or
the lifting pegs on large containers, used for cradling the
object when moved or carried; compare PINTLE, KING PIN; see
TRUSCOTT TROT :
a rapid march tempo instituted during mobilization for WWII by
Lucian K. Truscott, later Third Infantry Division and Fifth Army
commander, imitative of the ancient Roman Legion and Thomas J.
"Stonewall" Jackson's "foot cavalry"; wherein the unit would
march at the rate of 5mph for the first hour of travel, and 4mph
thereafter ... this was an increase from the then standard 2.5mph
required of regular and reserve personnel. This increase, which
was considered demanding by American standards, granted the GI
parity with the opposing Axis troops. See EXERCISE, DAILY DOZEN,
AIRBORNE SHUFFLE, DOGTROT, OBSTACLE COURSE, SLANT DISTANCE,
DEAD-RECKONING, ORIENTEERING, MARATHON.
[v: Pheidippides was the Athenian runner sent to request aid from
Sparta before the battle at Marathon plain (490BC) against the
Persians; which inaugurated the long-distance footrace and other
confidence in, or reliance upon, the integrity, surety, ability,
or strength of someone or something; an expectation of
fulfillment without fear of adverse consequences. Also, the
worthy state or worthwhile condition of one to whom something
(tangible or intangible) has been entrusted in expectation of
satisfactory completion; that upon which a person relies. Also,
the obligation or responsibility imposed on a person in whom
confidence or authority is placed, as by appointment or
commission. Also, something committed or charged to one's care or
custody, as for use or safekeeping. See ACCOUNTABILITY,
RESPONSIBILITY, TRUTH. [nb: "Never go into a firefight with
comrades who can't be trusted."]
from ancient times, the "first casualty of war"; which must
contend with the solipsistic weltanschauung expressed in the rude
military maxim: "Opinions are like assholes; everybody's got one,
and they all stink!". See THE NAKED TRUTH, ACT OF TRUTH, OATH,
ORDEAL, HOLD ONE'S FEET TO THE FIRE, SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER, INTEL,
PSYOPS, PROPAGANDA, PARTY LINE, TRUE BELIEVER, WHITE PROPAGANDA,
ROCKING HORSE APPLES, REALITY, RECENCY EFFECT, FALSE FLAG,
DECEPTION, RED HERRING, DECOY, TROJAN HORSE, STALKING HORSE,
CAT'S-PAW, OPINION, RUMOR.
[nb: "In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be
attended by a bodyguard of lies." by Winston L.S. Churchill; "In
any war, the first casualty is common sense, and the second is
free and open discussion." by James Reston; "Truth may be the
first casualty of war, but perspective is its lingering corpse."
anonymous; "To die for an idea: it is unquestionably noble. But
how much nobler would it be if men died for ideas that were
true." by Henry Louis Mencken; "We can easily forgive a child who
is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are
afraid of the light." Plato; "The truth is rarely pure and never
simple." by Oscar Wilde (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills); "There are no
whole truths; all truths are half-truths." by Alfred North
Whitehead; "There are no truths; only half-truths and
one-and-a-half truths." by Karl Kraus; "Truth is whatever best
serves the needs of the state." by Joseph V. Stalin (Iosif
Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili); "In the spirit of amity and
conciliation, if our enemies will stop telling lies about us,
then we'll stop telling the truth about them!" anonymous; "If you
want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll
kill you." by Oscar Wilde (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills)]
[nb: according to fable, Truth and Falsehood went bathing
together, and when Falsehood came first out of the water, she
dressed herself in Truth's garments, so when Truth emerged,
unwilling to take the dress of Falsehood, she went naked]
[v: subreption, obreption] [nb: the neologism "pollaganda" /
"polloganda" (poll + propaganda) has been coined to identify
the representation of biased samples, slanted surveys, special
pleading arguments, and ex-parte news depicted as authentic or
authoritative; cf: "polingo" as a neologism for political lingo]
TRUTH SERUM :
a drug, such as the barbiturate thiopental sodium, considered to
induce an inclination to speak freely and unreservedly, so as to
reveal repressed or consciously withheld information; also called
"truth drug". See SWEAT, SQUEEZE, FLUTTER, DEBRIEF, TRADECRAFT,
BRAINWASHING. [nb: Pentothal is a trademarked brand]
abbreviation for Top Secret; see CLASSIFIED, NEED TO KNOW,
COMPARTMENTALIZATION. Also, abbreviation for "tough shit" or "too
sorry"; see TS CARD, SYMPATHY, SHIT.
(tee-ess-ay) Transportation Safety Administration, or
Transportation Security Agency, established in 2001 as part of
the U.S. Department of Transportation; it was relocated to the
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2003, providing
screening and security of traffic at various ports and
TS CARD :
mythical "Tough Shit Card" supposedly issued to everyone upon
entry into the military, which would be TICKET-PUNCHed by the
Drill Sergeant, Field First Sergeant, First Sergeant, or Chaplain
whenever the individual had a problem or complaint. Anyone could
quit training or refuse to participate at any time, called RING
THE BELL, and undergo military punishment or out-processing; but
the post-Vietnam military would issue actual "Stress Cards" for a
"time-out" during any procedure to encourage hassle-free troop
retention ... veterans know that there is no "stop the war"
device, so training "casualties" are better than combat losses.
See POOP, BUS TRANSFER, KNOCK IT OFF, SUCK IT UP, SYMPATHY.
a lightweight, pullover, short sleeved undershirt, usually
knitted with a round collarless neckline; also called "tee",
which name derives from its T-shape when spread out flat. First
issued by the U.S. Navy in 1915, then produced commercially in
1930 by Hanes. The subdued olive-drab (OD) undershirt replaced
the white T-SHIRT during the VIETNAM WAR; wear of the brown
T-SHIRT is no longer authorized after 30 April 2008. See SINGLET,
SKIVVIES, DRESS. [cf: muscle shirt; nb: the practice of not
wearing underpants during field operations was common during the
VIETNAM WAR as an aid to disease prevention, and has since
acquired the designation: "going commando"]
Tan Son Nhut Air Base, South Vietnam.
Thrift Savings Plan, being a retirement savings account (similar
to the 401k) that's available to military servicemembers and
other federal employees as one of three components of the Federal
Employees Retirement System, and is administered by the Federal
Retirement Thrift Investment Board. The TSP allows the account
holder to make tax-deferred contributions toward retirement
savings at an annual maximum of $17,000 (effective 2012). Compare
SDP; see THE EAGLE SHITS, BP, SALARY.
abbreviation for Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures, being
operational factors subject to variation from assignment to
assignment, mission to mission, as a preventive of
(tee-tee-ecks) TableTop eXercise, being an informal meeting
convened among commanders, officials, and other key personnel for
the discussion of policies, practices, and procedures in the
resolution of tactical problems. The TTX simulates any number of
hypothetical situations or incidents, then proposes ways and
means of defense, prevention, counter, and recovery, identifying
and facilitating effective practices and efficient procedures.
This slow-paced analytical environment is deliberately heuristic,
whether kept whole (plenary) or subdivided into smaller working
groups (breakout), and stands in marked contrast to the rapid
decision-making of critical engagements. See SAND TABLE,
teletypewriter; compare TWX, see CONTEL, HOT LINE, TELEPHONE,
TELECON, VTC, RADIO, COMMO, BAMBOO TELEGRAPH.
[nb: the first teletypewriter began operating in 1867; telex
(TELeprinter EXchange) is a form of teletypewriter. facsimile/FAX
('make' + 'like') technology for the exact reproduction of
text or illustrations antedates both telephonic and wireless
forms of communication.]
an old, slow, or clumsy boat; probably after the broad, round,
open topped and flat bottomed container that was originally made
of wooden staves held together by hoops ... a boat that's little
better than a bucket or bathtub. Compare SCOW, TIN CAN; see BOAT.
slang for the cannon barrel of a MORTAR, or the MAIN-GUN of a
TANK or ARTY piece. [nb: "The King's Final Argument" is a phrase
that was routinely incised into European cannon barrels from the
Renaissance until World War I; typically inscribed in Latin
("Ultima Ratio Regis"; "Utema Rasio Regum"), it means that the
greatest weaponry ultimately settles any dispute (ie: MIGHT MAKES
TUBE MONKEY :
slang for an artillerist or ARTILLERYMAN (qv), from the practice
of assigning one or two crewmembers to hang from the MAIN-GUN
barrel as counterweights so that the base can be repositioned by
pivoting. [nb: Vietnamese term: Phao Thu (cannoneer)]
TUBE SNAKE :
medical slang for an intravenous (IV) line or other catheter, as
when affixed to a patient being evacuated from the field.
TU DAI :
(to die) Vietnamese phrase posted on small signs to warn
of nearby BOOBY-TRAPS or minefields; the US adopted "TU DAI Area"
for SITREPs. See TELLTALE, LO DUN.
the third day of the conventional (ie: Sunday through Saturday)
week, named for the Norse god Tiu, Tiw, or Tyr, who was the son
of Odin and a younger brother of Thor, whose hand was bitten off
when chaining up Fenrir, the wolf of Loki; although he was
identified with Mars, the Roman god of war, philologists have
generally equated the name with Greek Zeus, Latin Deus, and
Sanskrit devas. According to the old rhyme: "Tuesday's child is
full of grace". See DAY, WEEK, TIME. [v: Hock Tuesday / Hocktide,
Shrove Tuesday / Shrovetide] [nb: in Scandinavian mythology,
Fenrir was the brother of Hel, such that when he gaped, one jaw
touched earth and the other heaven; at the final battle of
Ragnarok, Fenrir broke his fetters and swallowed Odin, who was
avenged by Vidar thrusting his sword into the wolf's yawning
gullet, piercing the beast's heart]
see MULE, PUSHBACK, UNCOUPLE.
TUG OF WAR :
a hard-fought critical struggle for supremacy, often surging back
and forth; as derived from 'contend' or 'wrestle', also spelled
"tug-o'-war". This severe engagement has devolved into a rope
pulling contest between opposing teams, which anti-war PROTESTORs
and other counterculturalists have attempted to redesignate "tug
of peace" or "tug-o'-piece". See ANCHORMAN, compare DUCK ON
DRAKE, DUCKS AND DRAKES, HIDE-AND-SEEK, KING OF THE HILL, CAPTURE
THE FLAG, PRISONER'S BASE, RED ROVER, WAR GAMES.
the basic monetary unit of currency for the Mongolian People's
Republic; derived from "circle" or "disk", and also spelled
"tughrik". Compare MONGO, see LEGAL TENDER.
in India and Thailand, slang reference to a motorized RICKSHA or
motorscooter taxi, due to the sound of its two-stroke engine;
also called a "putt-putt" or "put-put", an "auto-rickshaw" or
CYCLO; compare PEDICAB, HACK, KIMCHI CAB, RICE-BURNER, RICE
ROCKET. [nb: a motorized bicycle, invented by Gottlieb Daimler in
1885, was commonly referred to as a "tuck-tuck" or "tusk-tusk"
throughout the United Kingdom due to its onomatopoeic puttering
sound, which may have influenced the slang in Great Britain's
Asian colonies; v: The War in the Air by H.G. Wells
(too-lee) a kind of large rush, bulrush, sedge, marsh grass,
cattail, or reed found in inundated lands and wetlands; as used
in "tule fog" or "Tule Lake", and in the plural as 'tules'
(too-lees). See ELEPHANT GRASS, SAW GRASS, NIPA, KUNAI, PITA,
BOONDOCKS / BOONIES, QUAGMIRE. [nb: Tule Lake, situated along the
California - Oregon border, is an intermittent catchment fed by
Lost River, that was a factor in the Modoc War, and is the
location of the Tule Lake War Relocation Center, which was a
Japanese-American internment camp during WWII] [nb: the
thule/tule homophone, together with other variants, has appeared
widely and interchangeably in American military writings when
referring to remote locales, in the same manner that bush,
sticks, woods, barrens, brush, weeds, scrub, rough, and the like
are also synecdochically representative]
TUMBLE / TUMBLING :
see YAW, KEYHOLE.
TUMBLER DOLL :
TUNA BOAT :
informal referent for the Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV),
redesignated AAVP-7 from its predecessor AMTRACK (LVTP-7).
TUNNEL RAT :
originally, the smallest member of any unit who would be directed
to investigate tunnel entrances; later developed into specialty
RECON teams with recovery LINEs, silenced PISTOLs, headset
RADIOs, miner's head lamps, and other specific GEAR. Initiated in
1966 by the Australian infantry investigating the IRON TRIANGLE,
and known by AUSSIEs as "tunnel ferrets", the TUNNEL RAT program
was discontinued on 7 April 1971, having earned the highest per
capita ratio of PURPLE HEART awards of any unit in Vietnam; its
unofficial motto was "Not worth a rat's ass!" or "Couldn't give a
rat's ass!" (Latin: Non Gratum Anus Rodentum); see BLACK ECHO,
compare MICKEY MOUSE. Also, during WWII, anyone working in a
protected BOMB-PROOF environment, or who's dependent
(agoraphobic) upon the physical security of a bomb shelter or
slang for molded plastic-bodied SMALL ARMS, especially PISTOLs,
which have the virtue of being lighter weight, self-lubricating,
quieter, rust-resistant, and with a larger AMMO capacity; these
weapons typically use non-ferrous metal or ceramic parts for the
critical elements. Some fiberglass and plastic bodied RIFLEs,
both foreign and domestic, are also included in this informal
[nb: the stock and other injection-molded components of the M-16
rifle are made from polyoxymethylene (aka: acetal resin, poly
glycol, polyacetal, and polyformaldehyde), a precision engineered
thermoplastic that exhibits high abrasion resistance, low
friction coefficient, high heat resistance, high stiffness,
excellent dimensional stability, good electrical and dielectric
properties, and low water absorption characteristics]
a jet engine having a large impeller (a rotor for transmitting
motion) that takes in air partly for the combustion of fuel and
partly as exhaust; also called "fanjet". Also, an airplane
equipped with one or more turbo-fan or fanjet engines.
contraction of turbo-propeller, as an airplane equipped with one
or more turbo-propeller engines.
TURBULENCE / TURBULENT :
being in a state of agitation or disorder; manifesting a violent
commotion or tempestuous disturbance, such as exhibited by the
haphazard secondary motion caused by eddies within a moving
fluid, or by irregular motion of the atmosphere, as that
indicated by gusts and lulls in the wind; term derives from
'restless'. [v: tumult / tumultuous]
TURBULENT FLOW :
the flow of a fluid past an object such that the velocity at any
fixed point in the fluid is inconstant, changeable, or varies in
an irregular or unpredictable manner; the variable path of
suspended particles that are moving erratically or eccentrically
in a fluid medium past an object. [cf: streamline flow; v:
aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, fluid dynamics]
a demerit or reprimand, "ding" or "black mark", the accumulation
of which places the recipient on the punishment or extra duty
SHIT LIST; see ADY, GIG, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, FASHION SHOW, DROP,
FRONT LEANING REST, BOX THE COMPASS, AIRMAN ALIGNMENT TOOL,
BLANKET PARTY, SQUEEZE, DUTY ROSTER, STRAC, SQUARED AWAY,
SHIPSHAPE. Also, an inept or incompetent misfit; a DUD, DEADHEAD,
GOLDBRICK, SOS, DOUCHE BAG, SHIT MAGNET, FIELD REJECT, MAGGOT,
YARDBIRD, or the like; see SMACK, PYHOOYA.
TURD POLISHING :
see POLISHING THE TURD.
slang for military-style hash, being diced cooked meat and
potatoes that are browned together or reheated in gravy; a
jumbled mess of meat and vegetables that have been chopped up
together and cooked. See HAM 'n' MOTHERS, SLOP, GUT BOMB, WASH,
WAD, SOS, CHOW, BEANS, RATIONS, SCHIMMELPFENNIG SAUCE.
TURKEY PEEK :
a colloquialism meaning to peep or peer, as a quick look or
furtive glance, especially over or around an obstruction; see
COIGN OF VANTAGE, ESPY, WEATHER EYE, SPYHOP, PEEPERS. [nb: a
stroke of the eye ('coup d'oeil') is a brief first look or quick
TURKEY SHOOT :
an easy destruction of enemy positions, vehicles and vessels, men
and materiel, especially by attacking aircraft (eg: The Great
Marianas Turkey Shoot); which derives from the marksmanship
contest wherein a tethered live turkey had to be shot through the
head by a rifle, but this competition later adopted moving
inanimate targets for rifles, with a turkey dinner as the prize.
A too easy victory that resembles a MASSACRE is sometimes
described as "shooting fish in a barrel", but fishermen formerly
killed fish by shooting them with rifles during winter so as to
stock their larder and survive. See MASSACRE, OVERKILL, SURPLUS
KILL, KNOCK INTO A COCKED HAT, ATROCITY, BODY COUNT, KILL 'EM
ALL, GENOCIDE. [cf: Festival of the Popinjay; v: Aunt Sally,
Jack-a-Lent, cockshy, clay pigeon, sitting duck, mark, gull,
dupe, pigeon, prey, quintain, wand, hit list]
TURK'S HEAD :
a large decorative knot, used to finish a special line or lanyard
(such as suspended from the clapper of a ship's bell); sometimes
called "Nigger Head". Compare MONKEY FIST, WHIP.
TURN A DEAF EAR :
see FALL ON DEAF EARS.
a person who switches sides, as if by reversing one's coat to
change its color, being someone who changes to the opposite
position or affiliation, reverses principles, betrays loyalty or
trust; a renegade, apostate, defector, recreant, changeling.
Compare DEFECT, DRAFT DODGER, DESERTER, TRAITOR, QUISLING, JUDAS
GOAT, WHITE VC, FIRING SQUAD. [nb: the British Free Corps was a
unit of the Waffen-SS consisting of United Kingdom POWs who were
sympathetic to fascism and had been recruited by the Nazis;
although small, this unit fought with the Wehrmacht against the
Allies during WWII; (french) ; (irish) ]
TURNING MOVEMENT :
a variation of the ENVELOPMENT maneuver wherein the attacking
force passes around (FLANK) or over (FRONTAL ASSAULT) the enemy's
principal defensive positions so as to secure objectives deep in
the enemy's rear, which will force the enemy to abandon his
positions or to divert major forces to meet the threat.
TURNING POINT :
the point at which a decisive change takes place; a critical
point or crisis point. Also, the point at which something changes
direction; a transition point. Also, a point temporarily marked
so as to determine a location or calculate an elevation; a WAY
POINT or AIMPOINT. See CROSSROADS, COUP D'TAT, COIN.
TURN IN THE BARREL :
expressed as "your TURN ..." or "his TURN IN THE BARREL", taken
from the punch-line of a bad old joke, which applies to the
military system or any other social institution in that the
individual member is only rewarded enough to perpetuate the
process ... one gets the chance to screw only by getting screwed
repeatedly! Less offensive civilian equivalents are "you gotta go
along to get along" and "what goes around comes around". See
CIRCLE JERK, PISSING CONTEST, FIRING LINE, CLUSTER FUCK.
jailer or prison guard; also known as screw or twirl (likewise
for turning the key); compare WARDER, SENTRY, PROVOST GUARD; see
GUARDHOUSE, BRIG, CROSSBAR HOTEL, STOCKADE, TANK, CLUB FED, HOT
HOUSE, THE CASTLE, DEAD-TIME, CHL, DEADLOCK, DEADLINE, BATS 'n'
HATS, WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' BADGES, POLICE.
TURN-SIGNAL / TURN-SIGNAL INDICATOR :
[aka Briticism: indicators or indicator lights] see MOX NIX
STICKS. [nb: an early post-WWII version subdivided the centrally
mounted taillight into a left or right flashing orange
turn-signal flanking a central red brake light, often directly
above the white lighted license plate]
TURN THE JACK :
defense against a salient thrust by both forward and flank fire
which redirects the resultant force; by playing card analogy
since the mid-19th century, such that a "kiss" is a solid hit or
strike, and a "turn" is an oblique or glancing blow of mis- or
indirection to the King as headquarters, to the Queen as the
principal point on the FRONT LINE, and to the Jack as a secondary
position. See KISS THE MISTRESS, KNOCK THEIR SPOTS OFF.
TURN THE OTHER CHEEK :
an admonition to forbear against the transgressions of those who
would harm you, being a slightly inaccurate rendering of a
preaching by Jesus of Nazareth, to wit: "You have heard that it
was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say
to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on
the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue
you and take your coat, give your cloak as well ...." [Matthew
5:38-40]; see KUM BA YAH, LOVE BEADS, WE SHALL OVERCOME, THEY'LL
GIVE A WAR AN' NOBODY'LL COME, PACIFIST, APPEASE, NEUTRAL, PEACE.
TURN TURTLE :
slang for take COVER from HIGH ANGLE HELL; based upon the amazing
fact, which was repeatedly demonstrated throughout the war, in
total refutation of all the laws of physics, that a fully
equipped adult soldier can be entirely concealed and completely
contained inside his own helmet! ... the fact that a turtle, with
his head buried in the ground, can respire through its rectum is
not only well known but ably practiced by infantrymen under fire!
Also, slang for capsize; compare GROUND LOOP, AUGER-IN, NOSEDIVE,
PANCAKE, ALUMINUM RAIN, BOUNCE, TOUCHDOWN, ALS, AUTO-ROTATE.
a revolving domed structure mounting a MAIN-GUN and housing a
crew compartment, such as on a TANK, airplane, or ship; derived
from "tower". Compare CUPOLA, BLISTER, DUSTBIN, BARBETTE,
SPONSON, RING MOUNT; see BALL TURRET, HATCH, BUSTLE. [nb: on
aircraft, blister is transparent, sponson is not transparent,
turret is transparent and rotates]
slang for an individual replacement, being any "warm body" whose
arrival would permit the departure of a SHORT-TIMER; so-called
because it seemed to take so very long for him to arrive! See
REPL' DEPOT, FNG, CHERRY, NEWBEE, SHOWER SHOE. [nb: "One new
recruit added to an old unit is worth two added to a new unit."
military maxim] [nb: "Behold the turtle. He makes progress only
when he sticks his neck out." by James B. Conant]
TW / TWs :
Tropical Worsted, being the tan woolen uniform (short-sleeved
shirt and long trousers) that was privately purchased and worn
instead of KHAKIs (qv); see SUNTAN.
(forthcoming); see BLAST WALL, HESCO BARRIER, REVETMENT,
BANQUETTE [v: Military Earthworks Terms]
TWEEDLEDUM 'n' TWEEDLEDEE :
any two persons or things that're nominally different but are
practically indistinguishable; being as alike as a nearly
identical pair, a twin set, or two peas in a pod. This humorous
coinage was first applied when differentiating the musical
rivalries of 17th century Europe, then was used as the names of
two little fat men in Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice
Found There by Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson]
(1871), and finally as dismissive slang for the indistinguishable
clones produced by the military TRADE SCHOOLs. See RING-KNOCKER,
TICKET-PUNCHER, KHAKI MAFIA.
[nb: tweedle: a light performance made upon a musical instrument]
[nb: "As if their souls had been exchanged during orientation,
the deportment of ring-knockers is permanently imprinted, such
that as Old Boy celebrants at a reunion, their physiognomy makes
them practically indistinguishable ... there they stand,
potbellied specimens of Tweedledum 'n' Tweedledee, each wearing
moronic grins, matching shirts and massive wristwatches!"]
designation for the Cessna T-37 twin-seat trainer; also known as
"dog whistle" or CONVERTER. Compare SUPER TWEET, see BIRD.
25th INF DIV :
see ELECTRIC STRAWBERRY.
TWENTY-FOOT EQUIVALENT UNIT :
24th CORPS / XXIV CORPS :
see LONELY HEARTS.
24 TURNS :
a particularly curvaceous (and therefore hazardous) segment of
the LEDO ROAD from Kunming (Yunnan) to Chungking (Chongqing) in
southwestern China, so as to supply the Nationalist Chinese
(CHINAT) troops and their American ADVISORs.
21-MC / 21MC :
NavSpeak for the command intercom circuit used between the
bridge, the flight deck, and combat (OPIUM DEN) aboard an
aircraft carrier (FLATTOP); compare 1MC, 2-MC, 4-MC, 5-MC, 7-MC,
4-JG, 2-JV; see TANNOY, SQUAWK BOX, BITCH BOX, BLOWER, HORN,
KLAXON, TOCSIN, ANNUNCIATOR, BOATSWAIN'S PIPE, BUGLE CALL, POOP,
HEADS-UP, FYI, STAND-TO, DEFCON, SACON, FPCON, ESP, GQ, ALERT,
23rd INF DIV :
abbreviation for Terminate With Extreme Prejudice, being a
euphemism for "kill", execute, exterminate, or assassinate, as
allegedly employed by the CIA for "wet work"; also known as
"de-effectuate", "liquidate", "purge". See ZAP, WASTED, BUY THE
FARM, CHECK OUT, SOL, DEATH CARD, BELIEVER, SWEEPER, STROLLER,
KILLER KANE, SHADOW WARRIOR, SECRET AGENT, BODYGUARD; compare
Navy slang for an enlisted electronics specialist; also called
"wire biter". See SNIDGET, ET, ELINT, ECM, BEAR. Alternatively,
Navy slang for anyone who is not rated in the same specialty;
slang for watch or observe, to be alert to or to be made aware
of, to notice. Also, slang for understand or comprehend, to
comprehend or apprehend, to catch-on or figure-out, as derived
from a similar sounding Irish word; see FATHOM.
TWIN MUSTANG :
F-82 aircraft; see BIRD.
TWIN OTTER :
DeHavilland UV-18 / V-18 twin-engined "bush" aircraft, STOL
capable by wheels, skis, or floats; compare BEAVER, OTTER; see
TWIST IN THE WIND :
anxiously awaiting action or decision, especially about
punishment for misconduct; also known as "hang in the wind" or
"dangle in the breeze", or as "swing in the breeze" (not 'swing
with the breeze') or "hang out to dry" (not drying laundry but
curing butchered meat), as derived from the practice of leaving a
hanged corpse as an example to others. Compare HANG LOOSE; see
DEATH OF A THOUSAND CUTS, HANG TOUGH, LYNCH, STRANGE FRUIT,
CHRISTMAS TREE, ONE SIZE FITS ALL, ROOM TO SWING A CAT, LET THE
CAT OUT OF THE BAG, POLICE, UCMJ.
TWO-BIT / TWO-BITS :
twenty-five cents, especially the coin ('quarter') minted to
represent this sum, being the fourth part of a dollar; as derived
from 'bit' (a former small silver coin of Spain and Spanish
America that was worth one-eighth of a real), being an amount
equivalent to 12.5 cents, which is only used in even multiples.
Also, slang for inferior, unimportant, small-time, or of little
value; as related to something worth, costing, or selling for
twenty-five cents; see TWO CENTS. Also, an archaism for anything
embellished, made fancy or decorative; as from "penny plain,
twopence coloured" for theatrical cardboard cutouts sold during
and after the 18th century, and by extension, anything that can
easily be enriched. Also, slang for a big or long word, being
representative of a term that's polysyllabic and recondite,
complex and abstruse, which word is used instead of a plain or
simple expression (eg: "Never use a two-bit word when a nickel
word will do.").
[v: "Never use a twenty-five cent word when a five cent word will
do."; "Never use a fifty cent word when a five cent word will
do."; "Never use a five dollar word when a five cent word will
do."; "Never use a ten cent word when a two cent word will do.";
"Never use a two dollar word when a two cent word will do."]
TWO-BUCKLE BOOTS :
see BUCKLE BOOTS.
TWO CENTS / TWO-CENTS :
the 2¢ coin minted from 1864 to represent the sum of two
pennies, as used for LEGAL TENDER and MAUNDY MONEY (alms). Also,
something of little to no value; anything insignificant,
trifling, or paltry; see TWO-BIT / TWO-BITS, compare CHINAMAN'S
CHANCE, DOG'S CHANCE, SNOWBALL. Also, an opinion, usually
unsolicited and unwelcome; as "two cents worth"; see OPINION,
PEANUT GALLERY, PUT IN ONE'S OAR, THE CHATTERING CLASS. [v:
commentariat, obiter dictum; cf: twopence / tuppence, twopenny /
(two-dee-dee) two Dimensional Data, being any facts or
information obtained (or inferred) by remote survey; any INTEL
that has not been confirmed by direct observation or field
experience. This "flat" data, superficial and incomplete, is
better than nothing, but is never as good as "full bodied" (3D)
information, even when such contact information is confused or
contradictory. [cf: one-dimensional man]
TWO DIGIT NUMBERS :
less than one hundred days to DEROS; such numerals
were the standard reply to greetings (eg: "How's it going?" "73
and a wake-up!"). See SHORT-TIMER, FREEDOM BIRD.
an Americanism meaning strong and vigorous, capable and
resourceful, self-reliant and masterly, adept and adroit, agile
and able. Also, someone inclined toward fighting or combat,
probably as an allusion to pugilism [v: slugfest]; see PUNCH-OUT,
KNUCKLE SANDWICH, SMITE, HAYMAKER, SUNDAY PUNCH, UPPERCUT,
ONE-TWO, GROUP HUG, BOK-BOK, JAP SLAPPER, MARTIAL ART, BATTLE
ROYAL, TOUR BABY, COMBAT BUM, SANDWICH. [cf: two-handed]
2-JV / 2JV :
NavSpeak for the engineering sound-powered circuit (GROWLER)
aboard ship; compare 1-MC, 2-MC, 21-MC, 4-MC, 5-MC, 7-MC, 4-JG;
see TANNOY, SQUAWK BOX, BITCH BOX, BLOWER, HORN, KLAXON, TOCSIN,
ANNUNCIATOR, BOATSWAIN'S PIPE, BUGLE CALL, POOP, HEADS-UP, FYI,
STAND-TO, DEFCON, SACON, FPCON, ESP, GQ, ALERT, AHOY, HOISE.
2-MC / 2MC :
NavSpeak for the engineering loudspeaker circuit aboard ship;
compare 1-MC, 21-MC, 4-MC, 5-MC, 7-MC, 4-JG, 2-JV; see TANNOY,
SQUAWK BOX, BITCH BOX, BLOWER, HORN, KLAXON, TOCSIN, ANNUNCIATOR,
BOATSWAIN'S PIPE, BUGLE CALL, POOP, HEADS-UP, FYI, STAND-TO,
DEFCON, SACON, FPCON, ESP, GQ, ALERT, AHOY, HOISE.
TWO STAR / TWO-STAR :
metonymic reference to a major general (or rear admiral) based
upon their insignia of RANK; see FLAG OFFICER, OLD MAN, GEN /
GENERAL, SKIPPER, ADM / ADMIRAL, CO, LDR.
TWO-STEP / TWO-STEPPER :
slang for the banded KRAIT, a nocturnal venomous snake indigenous
to South Asia; also called "eleven second" snake for its deadly
TWO-STEP / TWO-STEPPING :
slang for diarrhea, dysentery, or any other intestinal disorder
involving frequent bowel evacuations; also called SQUIRTS,
"skidders", "greasy spoon two-step" (two-stepping), or "green
apple quick step" (quick-stepping); see TROTS, PUCKER FACTOR.
a primitive route or undeveloped roadway that consists of
vehicular wheel ruts running across country; an unimproved
trail-like road created by repeated usage without grading or
gravel. See MACADAM / MACADAMIZED. [v: laterite road, blacktop;
201 FILE :
military designation of an individual servicemember's personnel
record, containing essential facts and a record of assignments,
training and qualifications, performance evaluations and legal
proceedings, commendations and punishments, together with
pertinent orders and notification contacts; this vital dossier
has been electronic since the post-Vietnam era. [nb: despite the
fact that this file is numeric (two-zero-one), it is pronounced
as if it were alphanumeric (two-oh-one); cf: O-DARK-30]
(twix) originally a Teletype Writer eXchange message, but later
used to mean any brief written message, sent by any method. See
BUG, COAX, TTY, LANDLINE, TELEPHONE, TELECON, VTC, CONTEL, BACK
CHANNEL, HOT LINE, FLASH, EOT, RADIO, BAMBOO TELEGRAPH.
[nb: facsimile/FAX ('make' + 'like') technology for the
exact reproduction of text or illustrations antedates both
telephonic and wireless forms of communication. The first
teletypewriter began operating in 1867; telex (TELeprinter
EXchange) is a form of teletypewriter. The test sentence, "The
quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.", was used before the
American CIVIL WAR by telegraphers, and has since been adopted as
a practice phrase for morse code (CW).]
TYPE 50 :
a licensed copy of the Soviet PPSh-41 submachinegun (SMG) with
some slight mechanical changes (including a BARREL SLEEVE),
accepting only a box magazine, which was manufactured by the Red
Chinese (PRC) for use by communist CLIENT STATEs in various
GUERRILLA wars, especially the KOREAN and VIETNAM WARs; compare
K-50, see BURP GUN. [nb: the Type 49 was a licensed copy of the
Soviet PPSh-41 submachinegun with some slight mechanical changes
(including a BARREL SLEEVE), accepting only a drum magazine,
which was manufactured by North Korea]
a machine for writing in monospaced characters by manually
pressing the letters of a keyboard; invented in 1808 as a
communication device for the blind, these "strike-on" mechanisms
originally functioned by keystrokes impacting at the back of the
sheet of paper that pressed against carbon in front of the page
in order to create a printed text image ... later displaced by
the introduction of COMPUTERs and electronic FORMs. See /S/,
CHOP, V/R, CC, MANIFOLD SET, MIMEOGRAPH, PAPER BULLET, RED TAPE,
ORIFICE, CLERKS 'n' JERKS. [nb: 400 double-spaced typewritten
pages approximately equal 1KB] [nb: before the 20th century, a
'typewriter' was the typist who operated the typewriting machine]
TYPHOID / TYPHOID FEVER :
an acute infectious disease that's spread by food or liquid
contaminated with any of several pathogenic bacteria (bacillus
salmonella typhosa), and characterized by an increasingly high
fever, an eruption of rose-colored spots on the chest and
abdomen, severe physical and mental depression, diarrhea,
tympanites, intestinal inflammation, and sometimes perforation or
hemorrhage of the bowel; duration averages four weeks, although
relapses are not uncommon; also known as "enteric fever", this
word derives from 'smoke' or 'fog', and it's so-called for its
resemblance to TYPHUS / TYPHUS FEVER. [cf: paratyphoid /
paratyphoid fever, Schottmnller's disease; v: Widal test]
a severe tropical storm occurring at sea (principally in the
western Pacific ocean), with winds in excess of 64 knots; this
term is a corruption of Chinese ('ty-fung'); see STORM WARNING,
WIND, BEAUFORT SCALE, SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE, FUJITA SCALE,
WINDSOCK, TELLTALE. [nb: weather forecasters began using female
names during WWII in imitation of a popular book (Storm by
George Rippey Stewart, 1940), which had identified a typhoon with
the name Maria; by 1953 this convention was made official, and in
1979 male names began alternating with female names on recurring
rosters in six year rotations; the storm names may be in English,
Spanish, or French (except for letters Q, U, and Z), and are only
retired from use by the National Weather Service when they are
TYPHUS / TYPHUS FEVER :
a group of infectious and contagious diseases that're transmitted
by bites from arthropodes (eg: fleas, ticks, mites, lice, etc)
and caused by rod-shaped microorganisms (rickettsias), which is
characterized by acute prostration, headache, and a peculiar
eruption of reddish spots on the body; also called "camp fever",
"ship fever", "prison fever" or "jail fever". See TYPHOID /
TYPHOID FEVER, PARROT FEVER.
any undue severity or harshness, rigor or exactness; see
BRASS-COLLAR, RAMROD, BRASS EAR, LITTLE PRICK, MARTINET. Also,
the arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; the despotic
abuse of authority, as in an oppressive or repressive government,
as by unjust or absolute rule; compare SOFT TYRANNY. [v:
dictator, autocrat, tyrant; cf: tyranicide] [nb: "Tyrants seldom
want pretexts." by Edmund Burke; "The tyranny of a multitude is a
multiplied tyranny." by Edmund Burke; "The use of force alone is
but temporary. It may subdue for a moment; but it does not remove
the necessity of subduing again: and a nation is not governed,
which is perpetually to be conquered." by Edmund Burke; "For
somehow this is tyranny's disease: to trust no friend." by
Aeschylus; "I trust no one -- even myself." by Joseph V. Stalin
(Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili)]
TYROLEAN TRAVERSE :
a LINE or CABLE suspended along a decline for use as a
single-strand ROPE BRIDGE that's negotiated using a pulley under
the force of gravity; also spelled "Tirolean traverse", and also
known as "Tyrolean crossing", "zip-line", "zip-wire", "flat line
traverse", "aerial ropeslide", "aerial runway", "flying fox",
"foefie slide", "death slide" or "slide-for-life". Used to
conveniently transport equipment and supplies, specimens and
personnel (especially when injured); and may be used in reverse
when ascending an incline by a draw rope (GUY or TOWLINE) or by
other motive force. Originating as a method to resupply or
evacuate mountain troops, it's now commonly used for outdoor
recreation and vacation tourism ... as such, sometimes provided
with a BOATSWAIN'S CHAIR, it is the minimalist version of the
telpherage gondola or cable-car. See RAPPEL, GANTLINE, HIGHLINE,
MOUNTAINEER. [nb: some Tyrolean traverse setups use constriction
or friction brakes, and safety is provided by net or secondary
attachment; all Tyrolean traverse lines sag, with the sagging
"belly" of the line almost always lower than the finish or
terminus, so continuation beyond the sag requires either momentum
or motivation] [nb: although steeplejacks have used ropes to haul
materials and a ropeslide to descend from their work since the
18th century, this practice is more akin to rappelling than to
the Tyrolean traverse]