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Do you understand Mil-Lingo?

Reference Notes

This quiz on military expressions consists of fifty questions divided into three sections: 'Nam rap, Gulf gab, and Nav speak. They have been compiled for the entertainment of trivia mavens.

Vietnam-era Military Terminology

    Q#01: What is a deuce-an'-half?
    1. A winning poker hand.
    2. A 2.5 millimeter shell.
    3. A transport truck with a 2.5 ton capacity.
    4. A 2.5 millimeter syringe.

    Q#02: What is the military meaning of NBC?
    1. National Broadcast Command, the official military network.
    2. Nuclear, biological, and chemical weaponry.
    3. Non-biological combatants (i.e.: machines).
    4. Native-born combatants (i.e.: Viet Cong).

    Q#03: What is a thumper?
    1. An unusually loud explosion.
    2. A faulty mortar round.
    3. A B-52 raid.
    4. An M-79 grenade launcher, or its operator.

    Q#04: What is a bouncing betty?
    1. A mine that launches itself to waist-height before exploding.
    2. An especially energetic female soldier.
    3. The host of Radio Hanoi.
    4. A performer at a USO show.

    Q#05: What is another name for a grunt?
    1. An Army or Marine infantryman.
    2. An ARVN soldier.
    3. The maneuver used to counteract G-forces during jet flight.
    4. A new recruit.

    Q#06: Which unit was referred to as Tropic Lightning?
    1. The 4th Infantry Division.
    2. The 25th Infantry Division.
    3. The First Infantry Division.
    4. The 3rd Marine Division.

    Q#07: Who needed to be most aware of a Cobra in Vietnam?
    1. Everyone needed to fear this dangerous snake.
    2. The Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army.
    3. The US forces.
    4. All of these.

    Q#08: How many US servicemen were killed in the Vietnam War?
    1. Over 58,000.
    2. About 35,000.
    3. Less than 10,000.
    4. More than 340,000.

    Q#09: What is a Huey?
    1. An innocent civilian.
    2. The Vietnamese version of Kilroy.
    3. The UH-1 utility helicopter.
    4. Vietnamese slang for a US Marine.

    Q#10: Which of the following locations was not a US R & R site during the Vietnam War?
    1. Australia.
    2. Canada.
    3. Hawaii.
    4. Thailand.

Gulf-era Military Terminology

    Q#01: The term ranger candy refers to what?
    1. Having sweet potatoes for dinner.
    2. The nickname for a new soldier joining a Special Forces team.
    3. An 800-milligram Motrin (ibuprofen) pill.
    4. An easy mission; like it's a piece of cake.

    Q#02: What does the term Air Force mittens mean?
    1. Gloves that are worn while piloting a plane.
    2. Slang for pockets ... gloves have fingers, but pockets, like mittens, do not.
    3. Groupies who hang out with pilots, are all over them and in their way.
    4. A famous squadron name that only goes to the best of the best.

    Q#03: What is the John Wayne Driving School?
    1. A private academy where you enroll at your own expense to keep from failing the test.
    2. A course of horseback riding at the Cavalry School for drill and ceremonies.
    3. Where you're sent because of all the tickets you've gotten driving government vehicles.
    4. Where new soldiers bang-up a Humvee in the process of learning to drive it.

    Q#04: The phrase All-American Decoy indicates?
    1. A guard posted out in the open.
    2. A streetwalker waiting outside a foreign Army base.
    3. An Iraqi wearing an Army uniform.
    4. A soldier who does something foolish on the battlefield.

    Q#05: The term fobbits refers to?
    1. Short soldiers resembling hobbits, and begun with F as a qualifier or intensifier.
    2. People who drive cargo trucks that are labeled freight on board.
    3. A derogatory term for soldiers who never leave a forward operations base.
    4. A deceitful person who cheats or tricks others, as by fobbing-off or palming-off.

    Q#06: Embracing the suck means?
    1. Receiving constant verbal abuse from Army superiors.
    2. Getting nothing but dirty or degrading assignments.
    3. Your plans to go home are curtailed by a stop loss order taking effect.
    4. The situation is bad, but deal with it.

    Q#07: The phrase Semper Knife means?
    1. Great job we did in combat today – as always fighting.
    2. A twist on Semper Fi, indicating backstabbing.
    3. Having to do additional work – as always hacking away at it.
    4. Being on the short end and never getting an even break – as always cutoff.

    Q#08: A pig looking at a wristwatch means?
    1. An inexperienced soldier has just joined your unit.
    2. The girl your buddy is flirting with has an Army boyfriend that he doesn't know about.
    3. Your new sergeant is a bad supervisor.
    4. Someone wearing a dumbfounded look.

    Q#09: An airman alignment tool is?
    1. A chiropractor who takes referrals from military clinics.
    2. A bar girl who's known not to be very choosy at closing time.
    3. Any tool that can be used to beat the [bleep] out of someone.
    4. A special device that calibrates the movements of aircraft crewmembers.

    Q#10: When a soldier refers to another Fallujah, it means?
    1. There is no action here.
    2. This is a screwed-up place that's crawling with bad guys.
    3. Equipment is breaking faster than it can be fixed.
    4. A type of field training exercise that involves heavy urban fighting.

    Q#11: If you take a turkey peek, it means?
    1. You're cheating on an exam with notes pinned to your uniform.
    2. You're using night vision goggles to see a target on the rifle range.
    3. You're sneaking a look at a female soldier's legs.
    4. You're glancing around or over an object or surface, such as a corner or wall.

    Q#12: A place called Marineland is?
    1. Slang for Iraq's Anbar province, which is mainly patrolled by Marines.
    2. A bar or other establishment that is mainly frequented by Marines.
    3. Slang for a Marine base.
    4. Slang for a beach, whether for recreation or amphibious operations.

    Q#13: When is Groundhog Day for soldiers?
    1. When your uniform allowance arrives unexpectedly in your paycheck.
    2. A special command holiday, when everyone scatters immediately after morning formation.
    3. Slang for the formal inspection conducted by the Command Sergeant Major.
    4. Every day of your tour in Iraq.

    Q#14: Reference to the Advanced Echelon means?
    1. A group of dignitaries who will spend the day touring an Army battalion.
    2. A unit's first group on the ground in the theater of operations.
    3. A brigadier general and his entourage.
    4. The compound where electronic communications are established with forward ground elements.

    Q#15: To soldiers, angels are?
    1. Soldiers wounded in combat who later die in a military hospital.
    2. Female Red Cross workers who are sent to remote locations to offer humanitarian assistance.
    3. Young and innocent refugees of war.
    4. Beautiful women who frequent the clubs on base looking for romance.

    Q#16: For soldiers, a beltway clerk is?
    1. The soldier tasked to drive personnel to and from National airport in a government vehicle.
    2. Slang for anyone who spends their active duty career behind a desk.
    3. The soldier required to keep track of the measurements for personnel assigned to a weight-loss program.
    4. Slang for someone who trades on his supposed political connections in Washington.

    Q#17: the acronym FUBIJAR means?
    1. An obscene phrase that translates as don't give that Iraqi any responsibility because he's a disaster waiting to happen.
    2. A request for more to drink – Fill'er Up Bro' I'm Just About Ripped.
    3. A play on FUBAR – Fouled Up But I'm Just a Reservist.
    4. A somewhat sorrowful refrain – Feelin' Unhappy Because I'm Just About to Retire.

    Q#18: Referring to someone as Ali Baba means?
    1. Slang for anyone from the Middle East.
    2. Slang for enemy forces.
    3. Slang for someone who is behaving stupidly.
    4. Slang for someone trying to get rich off of others.

    Q#19: When the word MARINES is used by soldiers, it means?
    1. That other military service where brawn is substituted for brains.
    2. Guys who can get any girl in a bar because their uniforms are so attractive.
    3. An acronym for Mangy Animal Rockheads Introducing Never Ending Stupidity.
    4. An acronym for Many Americans Running Into Never Ending Stuff.

    Q#20: The initials AZ represent?
    1. Abbreviation for a proficiency rating after completing a course of training on Assault Zones.
    2. Short for Alfa Zulu, which is a greeting between troops in a combat zone.
    3. Short hand designation of Al-Qaeda's former Iraqi emir: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
    4. Abbreviation for All Zones, when indicating their status.

Naval Slang and Terminology

    Q#01: When sailors talk about Amateur Night, they are referring to?
    1. Their first night of inebriation after joining the Navy.
    2. A blind date arranged by a Navy friend who turned out to be a prude.
    3. The day after payday, when nothing seems to go right, especially shipboard evolutions.
    4. Man overboard drills conducted in the middle of the night.

    Q#02: The Navy expression Balls to Four means?
    1. We are winning these war games, no sweat.
    2. The midnight to four watch.
    3. Setting the watch to include only the best qualified in the division.
    4. An impromptu health and welfare inspection conducted at 0400.

    Q#03: When sailors speak of the Golden Rivet, they mean?
    1. The part of a ship that must cross the equator for the crew to get official credit.
    2. Earning your first Good Conduct medal.
    3. The mythical last rivet that completes construction of a ship.
    4. Getting a special commendation from the Skipper.

    Q#04: The slang term Mud Duck refers to?
    1. A shallow water sailor, like the Coast Guard.
    2. A Navy ship that has run aground.
    3. A special drink of chocolate milk and fish sauce served at CPO initiations.
    4. Description of a sailor who has been put on restriction in a liberty port.

    Q#05: On a Navy ship, the FTN Space is?
    1. The Chief's Mess when it is closed during a formal disciplinary action.
    2. A certain berthing area known to contain many complainers and slackers.
    3. The place where a sailor stands at attention during Captain's Mast.
    4. A hard to reach space or compartment used by sailors to hide from officers or chiefs.

    Q#06: When sailors refer to the Dirty Shirt Wardroom, they mean?
    1. The laundry area of a ship.
    2. The engineering spaces.
    3. Davy Jones' locker.
    4. A space aboard ship that doesn't require those officers who enter to be in the uniform of the day.

    Q#07: An Oolie on a submarine is?
    1. The shower/toilet area.
    2. A difficult question that may not be about your duties or one that tests your knowledge to the limit.
    3. A seasick sailor.
    4. A sonar expert.

    Q#08: Speaking in terms of tradition, what does Piping Hot mean to sailors?
    1. Originally, that the boatswain's pipe is blowing an urgent call.
    2. Originally, meals were announced aboard ship by piping or blowing a call on the boatswain's pipe.
    3. Originally, slang for an enlisted man's date waiting on the pier.
    4. Originally, a musical interlude played for sailors sweating over their work.

    Q#09: In Navy talk, to Punch Elvis means?
    1. Get so inebriated you need help back to the boat.
    2. Show disrespect to a Chief Petty Officer.
    3. Taking another sailor's wife home from a nightclub.
    4. To eject from an aircraft.

    Q#10: To sailors, a Rug Dance is?
    1. Anxiously waiting for someone to relieve you on watch so that you can use the toilet.
    2. Nervous behavior exhibited while waiting in the passageway before a Captain's Mast.
    3. An awkward period spent with a senior officer or CPO, usually in a very intense one-sided conversation.
    4. The trip down the aisle that a sailor takes who is reluctant to get married.

    Q#11: The traditional expression Show a Leg means?
    1. A traditional call at reveille; originating in the days of sailing when women were let aboard ship.
    2. A traditional way to salute someone who has just been promoted in rank.
    3. A traditional signal for a private Chief's mess meeting that's conducted in a barroom.
    4. A traditional catcall sounded by sailors from the gun deck to women on the wharf.

    Q#12: The purpose of Dogwatches for sailors is?
    1. To be a roving watch around the ship in port.
    2. To allow sailors to privately switch schedules for money.
    3. To punish sailors by giving everyone onboard a watch at the same time.
    4. To permit watchstanders to eat the evening meal.

    Q#13: Whenever a sailor refers to another sailor as Walter, it means?
    1. A term of affection between old drinking buddies.
    2. Short for Walter One Way, the selfish sailor who always does for himself and never helps others.
    3. The other sailor someone is hot racking (sharing) a bunk with on a crowded ship.
    4. Short for Walter Under the Waves, the classic seasick sailor.

    Q#14: A Trim Party to sailors is?
    1. When all hands are ordered at the same time to help paint the ship's exterior.
    2. A private celebration when a sailor is promoted to Third Class Petty Officer.
    3. A prank often pulled on a recently qualified Dive Officer or Chief of the Watch.
    4. Being assigned to collateral duties that always keep you late or behind in your regular work.

    Q#15: To sailors, Tomachicken is?
    1. A Tomahawk cruise missile.
    2. A tuna fish casserole served for chow.
    3. A shy, reserved sailor who is reluctant to approach women in a club.
    4. The female offspring of a superior, who are very much off limits socially.

    Q#16: When someone on a Navy ship refers to the Teakettle, they mean?
    1. The main galley where the meals are cooked.
    2. A snack area where coffee and tea are made and served.
    3. The nuclear engineering plant.
    4. The operations area, where everyone works under constant pressure.

    Q#17: Traditionally, a Son of a Gun in Navy terms is?
    1. A son who joins the Navy, just like his father did.
    2. The alternate gunner on the watch.
    3. The dupe who is willing to buy everybody drinks, night after night.
    4. A male child born or conceived while afloat.

    Q#18: In the Navy, Boy Butter is?
    1. Something you can't talk about in polite conversation.
    2. The opposite of elbow grease, when not putting muscle into a job; a work related put-down.
    3. A light tan grease used by weapons types on torpedoes.
    4. Obvious compliments made to a CPO in order to get special privileges.

    Q#19: On a Navy ship, Gawkers, Walkers and Talkers are?
    1. Personnel who are off-duty.
    2. A special inspection team that comes aboard while the ship is at sea.
    3. Shipboard surveillance and communication equipment that most of the crew knows nothing about.
    4. Civilians who gather in a group on the pier for a private tour of a ship.

    Q#20: In the Navy, J.S. Ragman refers to?
    1. The Secretary of Defense.
    2. A dirtbag or screwed-up member of the crew.
    3. The commanding officer.
    4. A member of the clean-up crew in the engine room.