A Glossary of Military Terminology, Jargon, and Slang
compiled and edited by Jeff Crowell

©1990; revised and renewed ©7 May 2013

    • — — Copyright: This glossary was created and has been maintained by Jeff Crowell since 1990. Corrections, comments, or suggestions for improvement will be welcomed. This information may not be reproduced or otherwise displayed without the express consent of the author. All rights reserved.
    • — — Notes: Unless otherwise noted, all terms are common to the USN, USMC, USCG, USMS, or NOAA. The abbreviation RN denotes Royal Navy usage. Similarly, RCN = Royal Canadian Navy, RAN = Royal Australian Navy, RM = Royal Marines, RNZN = Royal New Zealand Navy, UK = general usage in militaries of the former British Empire.
    • — — Listing: Terms in ALL-CAPS have a separate listing (same as q.v.).
    • — — Pronunciation: A great deal of variation in pronunciation may be experienced between services or between countries. For example, in the US Navy and Marine Corps ASAP is spoken as a word: eh' sap (eh = long a sound) while the US Army and US Air Force essentially spell the word aloud, speaking each letter: eh ess eh pee (again, eh is pronounced as the long a sound).
    • — — Appendices: The following appendices supplement this glossary: Appendix A: Aircraft Nicknames; Appendix B: Dolphin Codes; Appendix C: Falcon Codes; Appendix D: Weights and Measures; Appendix E: Jersey Colors; Appendix F: Flight Deck; Appendix G: Signal Flags; Appendix H: Anchor Parts; with these and other Editorial Notes.
    • — — Special Note: Since days of yore the military in general, and sailors in particular, have often had a rather pithy (dare I say tasteless?) manner of speech. That may be changing somewhat in these politically correct times, but to Bowdlerize the sailor's language represented here would be to deny its rich history. The traditions and origins remain. While I have attempted to present things with a bit of humor, if you are easily offended, this glossary may not be for you. You have been warned!

# : Numbers

      1MC :
      The basic one-way communications system on a vessel. Reaches all spaces on a ship. Used for general announcements, and to transmit general alarm system signals. Control stations are located on the bridge, quarterdeck, and central station. Other transmitters may be installed at additional points. There are other MC and JV circuits used for communications within the ship. They are typically system-specific, i.e. weapons systems, navigation communication, engineering systems, firefighting, etc.

      13-Button Fly :
      The fly (front closure) of the CRACKERJACK UNIFORM trousers.

      27 Charlie :
      A program of modification to, especially, Essex class aircraft carriers, or a carrier which has had the modifications done. Modifications included the addition of a HURRICANE BOW and ANGLED DECK.

      3-9 Line :
      A.K.A. wingline. The virtual line running between 3 o'clock (starboard beam) and 9 o'clock (port beam) of an aircraft.

      90-Day Wonder :
      Derisive term for a graduate of OCS. The derision arises from the lack of experience and naval knowledge of the typical graduate. Commonly also seen as '90-Day Blunder'.

      99 :
      (USN aviation) Radio PROCEDURE WORD, precedes a radio call which applies to a group of aircraft, e.g. "99 Guntrains" would address all aircraft with a Guntrain callsign.

      130-rpm fish :
      A form of sea life (type unknown) which makes a sound very similar to a propeller turning at 130 rpm.


      AAW :
      Anti-Air Warfare.

      AAWC :
      Anti-Air Warfare Commander.

      Aback :
      Backing a sail is turning it so that the wind hits the forward face; the effect is to slow a ship or boat. A sail which is being backed is said to be 'aback.' A sailing ship which accidentally goes aback when tacking loses its momentum and is said to be 'in irons.' A person is said to be 'all aback' when he is confused or surprised.

      Abaft :
      Aft of a given point on a ship; e.g. the bridge is abaft the bow.

      Abbajabba :
      The all-attitude indicator on some tactical aircraft, particularly the A-4; provides attitude data in roll, pitch, and yaw. Comes from the AJB-3 designation for the device.

      ABC :
      Atomic, Biological, Chemical. An early term, since supplanted by 'NBC'.

      Accelerated Stall :
      (Aviation) A stall which occurs during accelerated flight, i.e. while the pilot is pulling G's. Generally, a much more violent event than a stall occurring during level (unaccelerated) flight.

      Acey-Deucey :
      Backgammon, a board game traditionally played in off-duty hours.

      Acey-Deucey Club :
      A club for E-5 and E-6 enlisteds (Second- and First-Class Petty Officers USN).

      ACLS :
      Automatic Carrier Landing System. An autopilot-coupled system capable of bringing the aircraft aboard without pilot input.

      ACM :
      Air Combat Maneuvering. Dogfighting practice.

      Acockbill :
      Out of alignment or awry. In original usage, if a sailing ship's yards were not all aligned, she was said to be 'all acockbill.' Contrast with SQUARED AWAY.

      Action :
      Directive to initiate a briefed tactical sequence or maneuver, such as a turn at the initial point.

      Active Homing :
      A homing (guidance) method where the missile provides its own signal (typically either radar or sonar) transmissions and homes in on the energy reflected off the target.

      Admiral's Doorbell :
      The emergency jettison button on an aircraft; use it, and you'll be explaining to The Man.

      Adrift :
      (1) Not secured; scattered about; not properly stowed, or out of place. (2) (RCN) Missing in action. "Oh no, I'm adrift for the meeting and the Bossman'll be there!"

      Advance and Transfer :
      Two separate terms involving a ship's turn. Advance is the forward progress made between the time that the rudder is put over and the time the ship is steady on her new course. Transfer is the horizontal displacement of the ship during the same period of time. Advance is maximized in a turn of 90 degrees or more; transfer is maximized in a turn of 180 degrees or more. Contrast with FINAL DIAMETER.

      AEF/A :
      (USN submarine) Auxiliary Electrician Forward/Aft.

      A.F.R.T.S. :
      Spoken as 'a-farts', with long first 'A' sound; Armed Forces Radio and Television System, a US system providing television and radio entertainment to forces overseas. Recently, the preferred interpretation has become 'American Forces Radio and Television Services.'

      AFFF :
      A.K.A. Light Water. Aqueous Film Forming Foam. A fire-fighting agent which is mixed with water and sprayed on flammable liquids fires. Spoken "A triple-F". for the foam's ability to float on oil or gasoline. Replaced protein foam. Unlike blood-based protein foam, AFFF is self-healing, in that holes in the foam blanket will close by themselves, preventing REFLASH.

      Afterburner :
      (1) (Aviation) A system in the engine(s) of many tactical aircraft (and a very few non-tactical a/c such as the SR-71 and U-2) which dramatically increases thrust at the cost of doubling (or more) the fuel consumption. Analogous term in UK-based countries is 'reheat.' (2) A flaming shot (i.e. a shotglass of liquor which has been ignited) which, after being consumed, still has fire in the glass.

      A-gang :
      Auxiliaries Division of the Engineering Department. These personnel operate and maintain the ship's auxiliary equipment (air conditioning systems, distilling units, air compressors, etc.)

      A-ganger :
      Auxiliaryman. Member of A-gang.

      A-gear :

      AGI :
      A.K.A. Tattletale. Ship designation for Auxiliary, Intelligence Gathering. Refers to USSR 'trawlers' (or, more often, purpose-built ships) formerly stationed off NATO ports and following major fleet units. The AGI's mission is both intelligence-gathering and providing location (and therefore, potentially, targeting) data for key targets such as aircraft carriers.

      AGL :
      (Aviation) Above Ground Level. A method of defining an altitude with respect to local ground elevations. The altitude that really matters for safety of flight. Contrast with MSL.

      (Air) Boss :
      The watchstander responsible for the safe operation of the carrier's flight deck. His minions direct the placement of aircraft on the deck, monitor the operation of catapults and arresting gear, and direct firefighting efforts if a crash occurs. Contrast with LITTLE BOSS.

      Airdale, Airedale :
      A.K.A. BROWNSHOE. Naval aviator. Can also refer to any member of the aviation community, officer or enlisted. From envy, often modified by non-aviation types with the adjective "fucking".

      Air Start :
      (1) The process by which a flamed-out jet aircraft engine may be restarted in flight. (2) The process of starting a large Diesel engine using air to turn the engine over. (3) Blowjob.

      Air Wing :
      The officers and men assigned to the aircraft aboard a ship, whether a carrier (usually referred to as a 'carrier airwing') or a smaller vessel (generally referred to as an 'air det' (detachment)); the airwing has a separate administrative and operational chain of command.

      Airy-Fairy :
      (1) (RN) Fleet Air Arm personnel. See WAFOO. (2) (RCN) Vague or impractical suggestion.

      A.J. Squared-Away :
      (1) The mythical sailor who always has his shit together. (2) A mnemonic taught to Data Processing specialists (now combined with Radiomen to form the Information Technician's rate) as a memory aid for recalling the Hollerith code for computer punch cards. The first zone (12) begins with 'A', the second (11) with 'J', the third (10) with 'S.'

      Alaskan Fits :
      A.K.A. Arctic Fits. What ensues when one attempts to urinate while the thickness of one's clothing exceeds the length of one's wedding tackle (penis).

      Aldis :
      (UK) A handheld signaling lamp.

      Alert Five :
      Aircraft on five-minute alert, i.e. which can be airborne within 5 minutes or less of the 'go' signal. This generally requires that the aircrew be seated in the aircraft at all times. There may also be aircraft (and, therefore, aircrews) on Alert Fifteen, etc., in which cases the aircrew may be out of the aircraft but must remain nearby, in the Ready Room, etc.

      All Ahead (Flank, Standard, etc.) :
      A system of commands for ordering engine, and therefore ship, speeds. In the U.S. Navy, the usual increments of the command are: One Third, Two Thirds, Standard, Full, and Flank. Gas turbine ships, increasingly common in the U.S. Fleet, often break 'Flank' speed into further increments: Flank One, Flank Two, and Flank Three. Engine orders for a multi-screw ship name the engine or engines involved ('all,' 'port,' etc.) and the engine speed increment. So a typical engine order aboard an American gas turbine ship might be 'All engines ahead Flank One for 25 knots.' To minimize the chance of confusion, it is standard practice in the USN to use port/starboard for engine orders, and left/right for helm orders. A typical combined engine/helm order might be "Starboard engine ahead one third, port engine back one third, left full rudder." Maximum permissible BACKING bell is 'Full.'

      All Ahead Bendix :
      Traditionally, an engine order for 'max tracks,' i.e. as fast as she can go. The ENGINE ORDER TELEGRAPH was traditionally made by the Bendix Company, and was so marked just past the forward end of the annunciator quadrant. Therefore, pushing the E.O.T. annunciator handles as far forward as they would go brought the pointer near the word 'Bendix.' Actual use of the phrase 'All Ahead Bendix' tends to irritate the Chief Engineer.

      Allocated :
      Engagement status, as: "Track 1234 allocated fighters" (indicates that NTDS track number 1234 will be engaged by fighter aircraft).

      Alfa Mike Foxtrot :
      Phonetic acronym for "Adios, Motherfucker." Polite form: "Adios, My Friend." Also seen (and spoken) as individual letters, 'AMF.'

      Amateur Night :
      The day after payday, when nothing seems to go right, especially shipboard evolutions.

      Amphib :
      Ship whose primary mission involves amphibious landings.

      Amp Tramp :
      (RCN) Ship's electrician.

      Anchor ( ) :
      (1) (Aviation) To hold overhead or in the vicinity of a specified location. (2) (Surface Navy) From the process of weighing anchor, the sequence of reports is usually as follows: (Anchor) at short stay -- the ship has been pulled up to the anchor, but the anchor is still lying on the bottom, more or less undisturbed. (Anchor) up and down -- the anchor's flukes have broken free of the bottom, and the shank is more or less vertical. The crown of the anchor is still resting on the bottom. (Anchor) aweigh -- the anchor has left the bottom. Legally, at this point the ship is UNDER WAY, whether or not it is MAKING WAY. Anchor Parts

      Anchor-faced :
      (RN) Anyone who is enthusiastic about the Navy.

      Anchor Clanker :
      (1) Boatswain's Mate. (2) (RN) Ordinary seaman. See DECK APE. (3) Sailor.

      Anchor Pool :
      The betting pool on the actual (versus planned) hour and minute the ship will drop anchor or tie up.

      Andrew (the) :
      (UK) Nickname for the Royal Navy. Refers to pressgang leader Andrew Miller who, it was said, owned the Royal Navy.

      Angled Deck :
      A.K.A. Angle Deck, The Angle. The landing area of a modern aircraft carrier, which is offset approximately 10 degrees (it varies somewhat by class) to port from the ship's centerline to provide for safe BOLTERs. Enables the simultaneous landing and launching of aircraft.

      Angle of Attack :
      A.K.A. Alpha, AOA. An engineering term represented by the Greek letter 'Alpha' (Α); measured as the angle between the airfoil chord line and the relative wind. Note spelling is not the same as the military phonetic for the letter 'A.' AOA is generally measured and reported in 'units,' an arbitrary quantity which differs from aircraft to aircraft. AOA has a tremendous import in the handling and behavior of the aircraft. Most commonly seen as an aviation term, although it is applicable to other fluid environments such as a ship's propeller in water.

      Angle of Incidence :
      The angle measured between the aircraft's longitudinal centerline and the chord line of the wing airfoil. This value changes throughout the span of most aircraft (WASHOUT).

      Angle (Off) :
      (1) (Aviation) The measure, in degrees, of how far off your opponent's 6 o'clock you are. Relative bearing from the enemy to you, measured from dead astern. If you are dead astern, at his six o'clock, angle-off is zero. If angle-off is twenty, you are twenty degrees off your opponent's six o'clock (relative bearing from him to you is either 160 or 200).

      Angles and Dangles :
      Operating a submarine at steep angles of ascent and descent, as well as the performance of rapid turns (a submerged submarine in a tight turn will bank in the same fashion as an aircraft).

      Angles Fighter :
      Air to air maneuvering tactics which emphasize turning and rolling maneuvers. Angles tactics favor highly-maneuverable aircraft. Contrast with ENERGY FIGHTER.

      Anti-Smash Light :
      The rotating or flashing red anti-collision beacon on an aircraft.

      AOA :
      ANGLE OF ATTACK; an engineering term represented by the Greek letter 'Alpha' (Α).

      AOW :
      Auxiliaryman Of (the) Watch. Also called 'The Aux' (pronounced 'ox').

      A-Pole :
      (Aviation) The SLANT RANGE, in feet, from the launching aircraft to the target at the point where the missile begins its active-guidance terminal phase (if so equipped). Indicates the range at which the launching aircraft can maneuver without fear of losing radar lock and therefore missile guidance.

      ARAB :
      (UK) Arrogant Regular Army Bastard.

      Arizona :
      No anti-radiation missile ordnance remaining.

      Arresting Gear :
      Mechanism used to rapidly bring an aircraft to a halt aboard ship or ashore. In field use (i.e. ashore), A-gear may be a device as simple as lengths of chain connected to a CROSS-DECK PENDANT, though this type of installation is becoming less common. The chain arrestment device (A.K.A. 'chain gear') is usually referred to as 'overrun gear', as it acts to stop an aircraft which is about to run off of the end of the prepared runway surface (which area is called "The Overrun." Other types of arresting gear, ashore and afloat, involve complicated braking mechanisms.

      Arse Bandit :
      (UK) Homosexual.

      Artificer :
      (RN) Engineering technician.

      ASAP :
      As Soon As Possible. Depending on service and country, may be pronounced by being spoken as a word, 'A-sap,' the first 'a' being given the long sound, or essentially by being spelled aloud.

      Ashcan :
      A depth charge which is cylindrical in shape. Contrast with 'TEARDROP.'

      ASW :
      Anti-Submarine Warfare.

      As You Were :
      A command to a formation which contravenes a previous command; a statement made by one about to correct himself.

      Athwartships :
      Moving or placed from side to side aboard ship, or straddling a particular position. At right angles to the ship's longitudinal centerline.

      At Loggerheads :
      A serious difference of opinion. A Loggerhead is two iron balls attached by an iron rod, which was heated and used for melting pitch. Sailors sometimes used them as weapons to settle a grudge, i.e. when fighting they were 'at loggerheads.'

      Auto Dog :
      (USN) Soft serve ice cream, due to its similarity in appearance (at least when having chocolate flavor) to a pile of dog feces.

      Autorotation :
      (1) A method of making an emergency landing in a helicopter which has experienced engine failure. Energy is stored in the rotor as rotational momentum, then expended to slow the decent and cushion the landing. (2) Facetiously, a way for a helicopter pilot to keep his hands and feet occupied as he plummets to his death.

      Attitude :
      Orientation of an aircraft with respect to the horizon (pitch and roll).

      Attitude Indicator :
      Artificial horizon, an instrument which provides aircraft attitude (pitch/roll), and sometimes heading, reference for instrument flight.

      AUX :
      Pronounced 'ox', with short 'o' sound. (1) Verbal shorthand for 'auxiliary', as when referring to a machinery space, e.g. 'Aux One'. (2) Alternate form of AOW.

      Avast :
      A command which means, basically, 'Stop what you're doing.' This term appears to be from the French 'Haud Vast,' literally 'hold fast.'

      Aweigh :
      (sometimes seen, improperly, as 'away') When a ship raises (weighs) anchor, the anchor is said to be aweigh as soon as it is no longer in contact with the sea bottom. The traditional (and extremely old) joke runs "What does a ship weigh?" referring to its mass or size. The only proper answer to the question is, of course, "Anchor." Anchor Parts

      AWOL Bag :
      A small canvas or vinyl bag used to carry clothing or personal items while on weekend liberty.


      Baby Shit :
      Yellowish, evil-smelling grease.

      Back Afty :
      (RN) Anything to do with the nuclear power plant or the people who operate it. Contrast with CONER. See NUKE.

      Back in Battery :
      Originally an artillery term for a gun which has completed its recoil/postfiring cycle and is ready to fire again. Common additional usage now is to be 'ready to go,' or recovered. Also seen as 'Back to Battery' or 'Return to Battery.' "I set my hair on fire last night, but five hours' rack time and I'm back in battery."

      Backing :
      (1) Operating astern propulsion machinery. (2) A change of wind direction in the counter-clockwise direction (shifting to the left, as one looks into the wind).

      Back to the Taxpayers :
      Where you send an aircraft that has crashed or that you eject from.

      Bag :
      (1) Get, or collect: "Let's go bag some traps." (2) Stop, or leave: "Let's bag this project."

      Bagger :
      (1) One who bags, e.g. a "Hop Bagger" is one who tries to get more than his share of hops (flights). (2) One who does not pull his own weight; a lazy person.

      Baggywrinkle :
      Anti-chafing gear, especially for the rigging of a sailing ship.

      Bag Nasty :
      Sack lunch.

      Ball (the) :
      The glowing image projected by the FRESNEL LENS. Gives glideslope reference while on landing approach. Short for MEATBALL. As used today, the Ball is yellow unless the aircraft is dangerously low, in which case it is red and flashing.

      Ballbuster :
      (1) Something difficult. (2) A sexually teasing woman. (3) A safety harness used when working aloft, referring to the crotch strap of such a device.

      Ball Call :
      A radio transmission from a carrier pilot reporting that he has sighted the BALL during approach to the carrier. Typically consists of SIDE NUMBER, aircraft type (to ensure proper ARRESTING GEAR settings), and amount of fuel onboard in thousands of pounds, e.g. '205 Tomcat ball, 3.5'.

      Balls (or Four Balls) :
      Midnight, which in the military's 24-hour timekeeping system may be written as '0000,' although writing midnight as '2400' is perhaps more common.

      Balls Out :
      Refers to an early design of engine governor, in which a pair of masses (balls) on a vertical axle spun at an increasing rate as engine speed increased. Centrifugal acceleration threw the masses outward; the faster the engine speed, the farther from centerline the balls, so 'balls out' refers to maximum possible engine speed.

      Balls to Four :
      Midnight to 4 a.m. watch.

      Balls to the Wall :
      Maximum speed, or maximum effort.

      BAM :
      Originally this term meant Bad-Ass Marine. It has since come to mean Broad-Ass Marine, i.e. a woman Marine, but I recommend you make sure she doesn't hear you use the term. Compare with BOSNIA.

      Banca Boat :
      Term for any small native watercraft, especially in the Western Pacific or Indian Ocean/Persian Gulf. Actually somewhat redundant, as 'Banca' is from the Tagalog, literally 'boat.'

      Bandit :
      (1) Air contact positively identified as hostile. (2) (RCN) A sailor often in trouble.

      Bang Out :
      (UK) Eject.

      Bang Seat :
      (UK) Ejection seat.

      Banjo :
      (1) (RN) A sandwich. Also 'sarnie' or 'butty' (the latter, perhaps, from the practice of putting butter on the bread instead of mayonnaise as is usually done in the U.S.). (2) (USN) An aircraft nickname for the F-2 Banshee fighter. (3) During WWII, a device used aboard U.S. submarines as a visual aid during approach to a torpedo attack.

      Banyan :
      (RCN/UK) A barbecue or party on the flight deck, usually with steaks and beer. The term is derived from 'banian', a garment worn by an East Indian sect which neither kills nor eats meat ('Banyan' (note spelling) is a species of tree). In the 18th century, the British navy denied its sailors meat on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; these days were known as 'banian (or Banyan) days.' The term has now come to mean just the opposite. The USN term for a shipboard barbecue is STEEL BEACH (though, sadly, without the beer).

      Bar Hog :
      A woman who hangs out in bars (regardless of appearance).

      Barrack Stanchion :
      (RNZN) A sailor who rarely goes to sea.

      Barricade (Barrier) :
      (1) A device vaguely similar to (but much larger than) a tennis net, which can be rigged and used to stop an aircraft which is unable to TRAP (due to a defective or damaged arresting hook, damaged landing gear, etc). (2) In the days of the STRAIGHT DECK CARRIER, when it was not possible to BOLTER, the barricade was a series of devices rigged during normal landing operations to prevent an aircraft which had failed to TRAP from smashing into THE PACK, graduating from a low barrier which just engaged the landing gear, all the way to a device more similar to the contemporary one which ensured the aircraft would be stopped prior to running into aircraft already stopped on deck.

      Basement :
      The hangar bay of an aircraft carrier.

      Basha :
      (UK) An improvised shelter.

      Batten Down :
      Make fast, secure, or shut. Cargo hatches often do not have hinged, attached covers. In such case, hatch covers are separate pieces which are laid over the hatch opening, then made fast with battens (pieces of timber). This is still the practice aboard bulk (i.e. non-container) cargo ships.

      Battle Cover :
      The steel cover for a port or deadlight.

      Bat Turn :
      (Aviation) A very tight turn, reminiscent of the instantaneous 180 degree turns of the batmobile on the old Batman television series.

      BB Stacker :
      Generically, any ORDIE. One who handles ordnance, ammo, or explosives; an Aviation Ordnanceman. See REDSHIRT.

      Beach :
      Noun or verb, the shore, or to be put ashore. 'He screwed the pooch bigtime and they beached him.'

      Beagle :
      (RN/RAN) Wardroom steward.

      (On her) Beam Ends :
      Strictly speaking, when a ship has gone through 90 degrees of roll, where her decks are vertical. In such case a ship could capsize (roll completely over). Commonly used to refer to extreme rolls, even if less than 90 degrees.

      Bear A Hand :
      Make haste.

      Bearing Drift :
      The movement, left or right, of the bearing to an object in motion relative to your platform. It is an immediate indication of risk to you; if an object has no bearing drift and range is decreasing (referred to as CBDR, or Constant Bearing Decreasing Range), you will collide unless one or another (or both) platforms maneuver. Similarly, slow bearing drift may indicate an unsafe condition if the range is short.

      Bearing Only Launch :
      Launch of a weapon with only azimuth data. The missile flies up the bearing line looking for the target, and attacks the first detected object which meets its target parameters.

      Behind the Power Curve :
      (1) Not meeting expectations. (2) An airspeed lower than that for maximum lift over drag (the most efficient point of the wing's performance curve); at such a performance point, the aircraft requires more power to go slower while remaining in level flight.

      Belay :
      (1) Stop. (2) Make fast. Derived from the practice of tying a line off (making it fast) using a belaying pin. (3) Disregard, as in 'belay my last.'

      Bells :
      (1) A system for denoting the time aboard ship. Each bell represents half an hour, and bells are rung in pairs when possible; five bells in the morning watch (0630 hours, or 6:30 a.m.) would be rung as ding-ding, ding-ding, ding. Bells are normally rung over the 1MC during working hours only. (2) Speed orders to the engine room, from the days when moving the engine order telegraph rang a bell in the engine room. 'Ready to answer bells' means the engineering plant is ready for maneuvering orders.

      Bell Tapper :
      One who is habitually a few minutes late, especially when relieving the watch.

      Beltway Bandit :
      A company, or an employee of same, located near Washington, DC, which serves the defense industry. Many of the employees are former military personnel or military retirees.

      Benny :
      A treat or reward, derived from 'benefit.'

      Benny Sugg :
      (USN) Beneficial Suggestion program, a program where personnel were rewarded for making suggestions to improve some aspect of military life, usually involving living conditions.

      Beno Box :
      Patrol station in the Eastern Mediterranean in the '80s. Occupied by various Carrier Battlegroups and Amphibious Groups. The BENO Box was notorious for long on-station assignments, during which time there would 'Be No Liberty, Be No Women, Be No Nothing!'

      Bend :
      A knot.

      Bend On :
      Attach, as in tying two lines together. Can also refer to speed, "They bent on 30 knots and got the hell out of there."

      Bent :
      Radio PROCEDURE WORD. Broken or inoperative, as 'My gadget is bent.'

      Better Dead Than Looking Bad :
      The credo of the naval aviator (and, likely, all military aviators).

      Between the Devil and The Deep Blue (Sea) :
      See 'Devil to Pay'

      BFM :
      Basic Fighter Maneuvers. Simple maneuvers (turns, climbs, dives, skids, etc.) which can be combined to make up more complex ones.

      Bib :
      Term for the flap hanging from the rear shoulders of the jumper top of the CRACKERJACK USN enlisted uniform.

      Big Chicken Dinner :
      Bad Conduct Discharge. In many ways, equivalent to a felony conviction.

      Bight :
      (1) A loop in, or slack part of, a line. (2) A curve or bend in a shoreline, or a small body of water formed by same.

      Bilge :
      (1) The area below the deck gratings in the lowest spaces of the ship, where things, especially liquids, tend to collect. (2) To fail or do poorly. "Poor Smitty bilged the quiz." (3) To name a classmate or shipmate involved in wrongdoing, or to identify a mistake made by someone else.

      Bilge Diving :
      Working in the bilges of a ship, or cleaning same.

      Bilge Rat :
      Someone who works in the engineering spaces.

      Bin Rat :
      (RCN) A person who works in Stores (supply).

      Bingo :
      (1) Fuel level or status requiring either an immediate return to base or vector to a tanker, as 'bingo fuel'. As a verb, the act of returning to base or a tanker because of low fuel state.

      Binnacle :
      A pedestal which supports a compass. Typically found next to or in front of the ship's wheel.

      Binnacle List :
      Sick list; a listing of the names of the men currently in sick bay and unable to perform their duties due to sickness or injury. This list was originally to be found attached to the binnacle.

      Biologics :
      The sounds generated by sea life, when picked up on sonar.

      Bird Colonel :
      A full colonel (O-6 paygrade), whose collar device is a silver eagle, as compared to a lieutenant colonel, whose collar device is a silver oak leaf.

      Bird Farm :
      Aircraft carrier.

      Birds :
      (1) Term for the collar device of a USN/USCGS Captain or USMC/USAF/USA Colonel (O-6 paygrade), a silver eagle. (2) (RCN) Punishment consisting of confinement to the ship, base, etc., or sailors under punishment (derived from 'jailbird.') (3) Generic, airplane. (4) Missiles, especially in the surface warfare community.

      Birds Free :
      Missiles may be fired at any contact not positively identified as friendly.

      Birds Tight :
      Missiles may be fired only at contacts positively identified as hostile.

      Bitchbox :
      (USN) Intercom or amplified circuit used to communicate between spaces of the ship.

      Bitching Betty :
      The (usually female-voiced) cockpit voice warning system of many aircraft today.

      Bitter End :
      Properly, the free or loose end of a line. Originally, the bitter end of a mooring line was taken to the bitts to secure it.

      Bittersweet :
      A radio call signifying that friendly aircraft are in danger from a surface AAW missile launch, or that the presence of friendly aircraft is preventing a missile shot at a BANDIT.

      Bitts :
      A shipboard mooring fixture comprised of a pair of cylindrical posts. Similar to a pair of BOLLARDs.

      Black and Bitter :
      Coffee, no sugar or cream added.

      Black and Sweet :
      Coffee with sugar.

      Black Cat :
      During World War Two, a PBY Catalina which was painted black and used for night reconnaissance patrol.

      Black Cat Merchant :
      (RN) Someone who is always exaggerating.

      Black-Hand Gang :
      SNIPE. Older (ca. WW II), less politically-correct form is 'Black Gang.' Originally, it referred to the appearance of men who had been handling or working around coal, but the term has come to refer to the engine room crew. During WWII, members of the Black Gang were issued black 'Dixie Cups' instead of white ones, and were therefore sometimes called 'Black Hats.'

      Black-shoe :
      Member of the surface or submarine community. Until recently, the only approved footwear for these communities was black in color. More recently, brown footwear is optional, but seldom seen due to tradition.

      Black Water :

      Blank Flange :
      (1) A plate bolted onto an open pipe to prevent flooding or leaks while work is performed on a piping system. (2) Pancakes. (3) A.K.A. Blank File, someone who acts like an idiot.

      Bleed Air :
      In gas turbine engines, compressed air that is removed ('bled') from the compressor section at various points. Can be used for various applications, such as maintaining clean airflow in the engine, anti-icing, air conditioning, or to provide start air to another engine.

      Blind :
      Advisory call that an aircraft has lost visual contact with another friendly aircraft or ground position (opposite of Visual), as "Two's blind" (I have lost sight of my flight lead).

      Blivet :
      (1) Traditionally, "Ten pounds of shit in a five-pound sack." (2) A rubber fuel bladder. (3) A modified droptank (may be purpose-built or a field modification) used to haul small cargo, especially in tactical aircraft, or used to haul dangerous or toxic cargo outside of the aircraft.

      Bloggins :
      (RN) The catch-all name. "Ordinary Seaman Bloggins screwed up again." Similar to the USN's JOE SHIT THE RAGMAN, or "Seaman Jones".

      Blonde and Bitter :
      Coffee with cream.

      Blonde and Sweet :
      Coffee with cream and sugar.

      Bloodhound :
      Radio codeword for Mark 46 ASW torpedo.

      Bloodhound Loose :
      I have launched an ASW torpedo (an informative advising others to keep clear).

      Blow Chunks :

      Blowdown :
      A generic engineering term which can be used as noun or verb. A cleaning and/or venting process. Some specific applications: (1) A process for cleaning water-sides of a boiler. A top blow removes scum and floating contaminants, a bottom blow removes sludge. (2) To backflush and clean a SEACHEST. (3) The process of removing excess pressure from a system, or venting it completely.

      Blower :

      Blow Through :
      (Aviation) Noun or verb, when an intercepting aircraft does not turn at the MERGE to continue the engagement, but continues straight ahead. Refusing an engagement.

      Blue Bandit :
      During Vietnam War, a US radio codeword for the MiG-21 'Fishbed.'

      Blue Force :
      Friendly forces in a wargame exercise.

      Bluejacket :
      An older term for an enlisted man, from the short blue jacket issued to such men as part of the dungaree uniform. Equivalent to today's BLUE-SHIRT.

      Blue on Blue :
      A.K.A. Own Goal. Accidental death or injury resulting from actions of your own forces. Sometimes called 'friendly fire', though of course if it kills you, it ain't friendly!

      Bluenose :

      Blue-Shirt :
      (1) (Aviation) A.K.A. Chock and Chain Gang. Aviation Boatswain's Mate. During flight deck ops, wears a jersey color-coded blue. Responsible for positioning and chaining down aircraft. A type of KNUCKLEDRAGGER. Often a non-rated person. (2) Anyone E-6 or below wearing the dungaree uniform. Contrast with BLUEJACKET.

      Blue Water :
      Literally, 'deep water,' or 'deep draft,' but more traditionally, 'away from land.' The opposite of BROWN WATER. A 'blue water navy' is capable of prosecuting battle away from shore-based support in vessels of sufficient size and endurance to do so safely.

      Blue Water Ops :
      Flight operations conducted when beyond range of a BINGO or divert field. At this point it is literally sink or swim for the aircrew -- if a successful trap or landing aboard cannot be made, the aircrew will have to eject, bail out, or ditch.

      Boarding Rate :
      The percentage of carrier approaches that result in successful arrestments. May be counted for a pilot, a squadron, or an airwing.

      Board :
      Oral examination board.

      Boards :
      (1) (Aviation) Speed Brakes. (2) Shoulder boards (rank markings).

      Boat :
      (1) Traditional term of reference for a submarine. (2) Traditional aviation term used to refer to an aircraft carrier. (3) Any small vessel incapable of making regular independent voyages on the high seas. The traditional differentiator is that 'ships carry boats.'

      Boats :
      Boatswain's Mate. This rate's specialization is DECK SEAMANSHIP.

      Bogey :
      Unidentified air contact. May turn out to be friendly, neutral, or hostile.

      Bogey Dope :
      Radio call giving or requesting data on the bogey's position, course, altitude, etc.

      BOHICA :
      Acronym for "Bend Over, Here It Comes Again."

      BOL :

      Bollard :
      A squat cylindrical fixture with small horizontal horns, attached to a pier or quay. Used to secure lines, such as mooring lines.

      Bolter :
      The unintentional touch-and-go landing that occurs when the carrier plane's tailhook misses the wires. Only possible on modern carriers with an ANGLED DECK. Prior to the advent of the angled deck, missing the arresting gear wires generally resulted in a BARRICADE engagement or a crash into the PACK.

      Bomb (The) :
      (submarines) The oxygen generator system.

      Bomber :
      See BOOMER.

      Bomb Farm :
      Aboard the carrier, the magazine where bombs are stored and assembled prior to use.

      Bonedome :
      A.K.A. Hardhat, Brain Bucket. Flight helmet.

      Boom :
      (1) (Aviation) Sonic boom, the shockwave resulting from compressibility effects caused by supersonic aircraft speed. Can be used as noun or verb. (2) (USAF) The winged pipe extending aft and below a tanker aircraft. The wings are used to fly the boom into position to connect with the receiving aircraft, then the boom extends to make contact. Offers much higher rates of transfer than that found in the probe and drogue systems common to the USN and all other countries that employ inflight refueling. (3) (General Naval) A spar attached to a mast at one end.

      Booming :
      (1) Loud partying. (2) Low, fast flying.

      Boomer :
      (1) (Naval) Ballistic missile submarine. Primary mission is nuclear deterrence. May also be seen as 'bomber.' (2) (USAF) The operator of the BOOM.

      Boomer Pin :
      See PATROL PIN.

      Boomer Widow :
      The wife of a boomer sailor, if she chooses to stray while he's on patrol.

      Boondockers :
      High-top (over the ankles) black shoes, worn as part of the working uniform.

      Boondoggle :
      Travel which is more fun than functional. Applies to many military schools.

      Boresight :
      (1) A method of aligning guns to a fixed or mechanical reference point, to verify alignment of the sighting system, or checking same. (2) A.K.A. Head Up And Locked. Excessive concentration on one situation in a time of plenty, i.e. tunnel vision. (3) (Aviation) A location on the aircraft's datum line, often used as a center point for dogfight radar scan modes, or a positional reference to the aircraft, as when telling the RIO to get a lockup, goddammit! (4) A radar mode which slaves the antenna scan to the aircraft datum line.

      Boot :
      Rookie or newbie, as in 'boot Ensign.' Originated in the practice of referring to a new man as 'bootcamp,' rather than by name.

      Bootcamp :
      A rookie, or someone fresh from boot camp.

      Bootneck :
      (RN) Royal Marine.

      Boot Topping :
      The black paint used at the waterline of many warships. Separates the (above-water) hull paint from the anti-fouling underwater paint.

      BOREX :
      BORing EXercise.

      BOSNIA :
      Big Old Standard Navy Issue Ass. Refers to the size of the sterns of some (usually female) navy personnel.

      Bosun :
      The phonetic spelling (and proper pronunciation) of 'boatswain.'

      Bosun's Whistle (Pipe) :
      A small metal whistle used to signal the announcement of important messages, or for ceremonial purposes.

      Bounce :
      (1) Carrier landing practice. (2) (older usage) Surprise air-to-air attack by a fighter, usually from above and behind.

      Bow Array :
      (Submarine) That part of the sub's sonar suite which is located in the bow.

      Bow Wave :
      Radio request for a weather report (long format).

      Box (the) :
      A region of a carrier's flight deck between the after ends of catapults One and Two.

      Box the Compass :
      (1) To name all 16 points of the compass. (2) To face successively or aimlessly in all directions, as when a ship loses STEERAGE and drifts without control.

      Boy Butter :
      A tan-colored grease used by weapons types on torpedoes.

      Bracket :
      In shipboard gunnery, a bracket results when, from the firing ship's viewpoint, one salvo lands to the left of the target and the next lands to the right, or vice versa. Adjustments in deflection usually result in a hit soon after. If it's you being bracketed, you had better do something (i.e. maneuver radically) fast! Contrast with STRADDLE.

      Bracket and Halving :
      A method of correcting the FALL OF SHOT in gunnery. For example, say a salvo falls left of the target; a 'spot' (aim correction) is made using right deflection, and the next salvo falls to the right of the target. Another spot is applied back to the left, half the amount of the previous correction. In this way, the fall of shot is walked onto the target.

      Brain Fart :
      Conceptual discontinuity. Loss of the bubble. Polite forms: 'brain fade', 'brain cramp'.

      Brain Housing Group :
      Head, or skull.

      Brass :
      Officers, especially senior officers.

      Bravo Zulu :
      Phonetic pronunciation of 'BZ' from the NATO signals codes. Signifies 'Good Job' or 'Well Done.'

      Break :
      (1) Maneuver used by pilots of tactical aircraft to slow to traffic pattern speed. Typically, a 180-degree turn to the downwind leg at 4.5-6 G's (depending on speed of entry and type of aircraft). This maneuver minimizes the amount of time an aircraft spends in the traffic pattern, one of the most dangerous flight regimes. It also maximizes the rate at which aircraft can arrive at the airport. (2) Noun or verb, an immediate, maximum-performance defensive turn designed to avoid a threat, whether missile, gun, or midair collision. If a radio call is made to tell someone to break, typically a direction of turn is given as well, and you will make many enemies if you don't specify who you want to break (otherwise everyone on the frequency will do it); e.g. "Packard Flight, Break Left!" (3) Radio PROCEDURE WORD meaning "what follows has nothing to do with what preceded it," i.e. it's a new subject.

      Breakaway :
      The act of disconnecting from an UNREP ship and maneuvering clear. Can be either a normal or emergency evolution, the difference being simply how quickly the various actions are accomplished.

      Break Lock :
      Loss of targeting lock, whether radar or IR. Can be purposeful on the part of the sensor operator, or a result of target maneuvers, countermeasures, etc.

      Bridge Coat :
      Usually a REEFER, but sometimes a green medium-weight jacket.

      Brigadier Chief :
      Senior Chief Petty Officer (who has one star on the anchors of his insignia).

      Broke Dick :
      Non-functional. See 'TITS UP.'

      Brow :
      The proper term for what is often called the 'gangway,' the temporary bridge connecting the ship's quarterdeck to the pier.

      Brown-Bagger :
      A.K.A. Khaki Sacker. Married member of the crew.

      Brown Fingered Numbers (or Data) :
      Numbers pulled out of one's ass, i.e. made up on the spur of the moment.

      Brownie :
      Photographic device.

      Brown-Shirt :
      (Aviation) A.K.A. Turd Shirt. A Plane Captain, so called because of the brown jersey he wears.

      Brownshoe :
      Member of the aviation community. Refers to the brown boots or shoes which once were worn by aviation personnel with the Aviation Green uniform. Unauthorized footgear for a while, but recently re-approved for all USN service communities.

      Brown Water (Navy) :
      Shallow water or shallow draft, especially a ship or navy whose ships are not suited to deep (or open) water and deep-water combat.

      Brown Water Ops :
      Naval operations in shallow water, typically consisting of water depths of 100 fathoms or less.

      Bruiser :
      Radio pro word for a friendly air-launched anti-surface missile, e.g. Penguin, Harpoon, etc.

      (direction) Bubble :
      A system of measuring (in degrees) the amount by which a submarine's bow is above or below the horizontal. The primary method of depth change in a submarine is to point the bow either up or down, then drive the boat with the engines. Down Bubble is used to increase depth. Up Bubble is used to decrease depth.

      Bubble Chaser :
      (USN) A specialist in aircraft hydraulic systems, the AMH (Aviation Structural Mechanic (Hydraulics)); in hydraulic systems, bubbles are anathema.

      Bubblehead :
      (1) Member of the submarine community. Frequently modified by members of the surface fleet with the adjective "fucking". See 6 D's. (2) Diver, especially a 'hard hat' diver (i.e. a diver who wears the spherical metal helmet of a Navy diver).

      Bucket :
      Turbine or compressor wheel of a jet engine. To "swallow a bucket" is to suffer catastrophic failure of an engine; if a piece comes off of an engine rotating at 10,000 rpm, bad things happen -- quickly!

      Buddy Fucker :
      Someone who will not stand up for, or defend, a friend or shipmate, or someone who screws over a shipmate.

      Buddy Store :
      A self-contained unit which makes it possible for aircraft not designed as tankers to deliver a limited amount of fuel to other aircraft. Buddy stores comprise a drogue, hose reel, and ram air turbine to power the device; can be hung on wing or fuselage hardpoints.

      Buffer :
      (UK) The senior rate responsible for seamanship evolutions, typically a Chief Boatswain's Mate. According to some, stands for 'Big Ugly Fat Fucker Easily Replaced.'

      Bug :
      (Aviation) (1) A.K.A. Plastic Bug. Nickname for the F/A-18 Hornet, so called due to the large percentage of aircraft structure made up of synthetic materials or composites rather than metal. Appendix A: Aircraft Nicknames (2) A heading indicator on a compass or Horizontal Situation Indicator (HSI).

      Bug Juice :
      A substance, similar in appearance to Kool-Aid, which is served as a beverage aboard USN ships. Its color has no bearing on its flavor. Largely composed of ascorbic acid. Used extensively as an all-purpose cleaner/stripper for bulkheads, decks, brass fire nozzles, and pipes, and no, I'm not kidding.

      Bug Out :
      'Getting the hell out of Dodge.' An escape maneuver from an air-to-air fight, generally consisting of choosing the proper moment to unload and select ZONE FIVE 'burner.

      Bulkhead :
      A naval wall.

      Bulkheading :
      Loudly criticizing a fellow officer.

      Bulldog :
      Codeword for surface-launched anti-ship missile, e.g. Harpoon.

      Bull Colonel :
      A.K.A. Full Bull Colonel. A Colonel (as compared to a Lieutenant Colonel).

      Bull Ensign :
      Senior ensign aboard. In multi-unit ships, such as a carrier with its airwing embarked, generally each squadron will have its own Bull Ensign.

      Bull Nuke :
      Senior nuclear-trained CPO aboard a sub. Junior in authority to the COB.

      Bullnose :
      A chock placed right over the stem, 'in the eyes' of the ship.

      Bullpen :
      Term for the large antenna arrays associated with a shore HFDF (High Frequency Direction Finding) station.

      Bullseye :
      A prearranged positional reference point. Used to make specific location calls without giving that location away to a hostile listener, e.g. 'Bandit two four five for fifteen from Bullseye' (translation -- confirmed enemy aircraft bearing 245 degrees, 15 miles distant from the prearranged reference point).

      Bullshit Artist :
      A glib person, or one who lies.

      Bullshitting :

      Bumboat :
      A supply boat, usually of an unofficial nature. Often purveyors of curios, souvenirs, etc.

      Bumfuck Egypt :
      A fictitious unpleasant or bad place to be stationed, or the figurative ends of the earth. Sometimes seen as B.F.E.

      Bumming :
      Making a full-time job of a position in the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve.

      Bum Nut :
      Hen's egg.

      Bump :
      A.K.A. "Bumping Heads," Hassle. ACM.

      Bunt (the Nose) :
      Pushing the stick forward to unload or lessen the G on the airplane.

      Bunting Tosser, Bunts :
      (RN)Signals or Radio personnel. The term originates from the use of semaphore flags for visual signals. Analogous USN terms: 'Flag Wagger', 'Skivvy Waver.' Nautical Signal Flags

      Buoy Jumper :
      The sailor who climbs onto a mooring buoy to attach or remove mooring lines.

      Burble (the) :
      An area of turbulent or disturbed air aft of a carrier, through which an aircraft on approach must fly.

      Burner :
      (1) In a submarine, a system that burns carbon monoxide and hydrogen out of the air, converting H2 to water and CO to CO2. CO2 is then removed by the SCRUBBER. (2) In aviation, short for AFTERBURNER.

      Burnthrough :
      Noun or verb, the point at which a radar overcomes jamming. As long as the radar transmitter is stronger than the jammer transmitter (which is nearly always the case), as range decreases the radar's echoed signals will eventually be stronger than the jammer transmissions. At this point, burnthrough occurs and the radar will once again 'see' the target in spite of the jamming.

      Bursting Charge :
      The explosive filler of an artillery shell.

      Buster :
      Aviation term for maximum speed available without using afterburners.

      Butt :
      (1) Cigarette. (2) (obsolete) A wooden cask or barrel. (3) The bottom end of a spar or other object.

      Butter Bar :
      Ensign/Second Lieutenant (O-1 paygrade), so called for the gold bar collar device.

      Butt Kit :

      Button (numeral) :
      Preset radio channel, as "Packard, go button three."

      By and Large :
      Colloquial term meaning 'For the most part.' Origin of the term seems to be that a ship was considered particularly seaworthy if it could sail both 'by' (close to the wind) and 'large' (broad to or before the wind).

      By His Lights :
      In the nautical Rules of the Road, a ship uses lights at night to indicate its status, e.g. 'restricted in ability to maneuver,' 'constrained by draft,' 'towing alongside,' and so on. Therefore, "by his lights" you can predict to some extent the actions of the vessel.


      Cabbage Mechanic :
      (RN) Cook.

      CAG :
      Commander Air Group; senior officer of the air wing. Can also stand for 'Carrier Air Group,' though that is more properly termed "Carrier Air Wing" or CAW.

      Cake :
      ASW weapon state report.

      Cake Hole :
      Mouth. Also seen as 'snack hole.'

      Call For Fire :
      A request from ground forces for artillery support.

      Calve :
      The process whereby icebergs form, as chunks of ice fall from a glacier into the sea.

      Camel Station :
      Rendezvous point for ships in the Indian Ocean.

      CAMS :
      Central Atmosphere Monitoring System. A mass spectrometer that samples the atmosphere on submarines.

      Can :
      (1) Short for TINCAN. (2) In radio parlance, headphones.

      Candle :
      Night illumination device.

      Candy :
      Ammunition state report.

      Candyass :
      Someone who doesn't do his (or her) share of the work. Similar to the older 'Feather Merchant.'

      Candygram :
      Radio pro word, informative call that EW targeting information is available via prebriefed secure radio circuit.

      Cannon Cocker :
      Gunnery specialist.

      CANTCO :
      CAN'T COmply.

      Canyon :
      Use electronic jamming on radar frequency indicated, or in accordance with previous orders.

      CAP :
      Combat Air Patrol. Usually defensive in nature. There are several types -- TARCAP (TARget CAP), BARCAP (BARrier CAP), RESCAP (REScue CAP, i.e. for SAR operations).

      Captain's Mast :
      Non-judicial disciplinary procedure, usually meted out by unit commanders.

      Captain of the ... :
      Person in charge of a particular part of the ship, e.g. "Captain of the Focs'le." Derogatory, or as punishment, 'Captain of the Head.'

      Captain's Table :
      (RN) A disciplinary hearing. See CAPTAIN'S MAST.

      Careen :
      To lay a ship on its side in shallow water or on the beach, generally to work on the hull.

      Carrier Landings :
      A game involving a long flat table and, generally, a lot of beer. Participants run toward the table and dive onto it face-first. The goal is to arrive safely and not slide off the sides or end. Refinements such as the need to engage 'arresting gear' (typically a power or microphone cord) with one's toes after touchdown, 'crash and smash' teams using pitchers of beer to extinguish post-crash 'fires' following a hard landing or slideoff, etc., are common.

      CAS :
      Close Air Support. Moving mud to help out the grunts.

      CASREP :
      CASualty REPorting system, whereby equipment failures which can affect a unit's ability to carry out its mission are reported. Term can be used as a noun or verb -- "We CASREPped the gyro last night," or "Did you fill out the CASREP on the gyro?"

      Casualty :
      Injured or wounded personnel, or a piece of equipment which has failed.

      Cat :
      (1) Catapult. (2) Short for cat o' nine tails, a form of whip used to administer a flogging. Generally made up of three short lines, each with three knotted ends, spliced to a short rope or wooden handle.

      CATCC :
      (pronounced cat-see) Carrier Air Traffic Control Center.

      CAVOK :
      Aviation term, Cloud And Visibility OK (no significant clouds below 5000 feet, visibility at least 6 miles, no precipitation or storms).

      CAVU :
      Aviation term, short for 'Ceiling And Visibility Unlimited'.

      CAW :
      Carrier Air Wing.

      CBDR :
      Constant Bearing, Decreasing Range. When comparing another object's (ship, aircraft, missile, etc.) movement relative to your own, if there is no BEARING DRIFT and distance is decreasing, it's an indication that collision is about to occur.

      CBR :
      Chemical, Biological, and Radiological (nuclear) warfare.

      Cease Fire :
      Do not open fire, or discontinue firing. Complete intercept if weapons are in flight; continue to track. Contrast with 'HOLD FIRE.'

      Centurion :
      One who has made 100 traps board a particular carrier. Typically a patch is issued which is worn on the flight jacket.

      CEP :
      Circular Error Probable. The statistical average miss distance of a weapon.

      CERA :
      (RCN) Pronounced 'sarah'. Chief Engine Room Artificer.

      Cha :
      (RN) Tea. Also spelled 'char'.

      Channel Fever :
      Anxious to get home, or reach port.

      Charley More :
      A fair deal, or a call for fair play. From the Maltesian pub of the same name; the sign over the door said "Charley More, the Square Thing" (some report the sign as saying "The Fair Thing"), referring to unwatered drinks and at least the decent chance that a customer could end the evening with something approaching the proper type and quantity of bodily fluids still aboard.

      Charlie Noble :
      The galley smokestack. The most popular version of the term's origin is that Charlie Noble was an Admiral who insisted that the (brass or copper) galley smokestack be polished for inspections.

      Charlie Oscar :
      Commanding Officer.

      Charlie Foxtrot :
      Phonetic abbreviation for Cluster Fuck, i.e. an evolution which has not gone at all well.

      Charlie Sierra :
      Phonetic abbreviation for 'chickenshit,' the unnecessarily thorough enforcement of an insignificant or unimportant regulation.

      Charlie Time :
      Assigned time for carrier aircraft to land, generally meant as the time that an aircraft crosses the RAMP. "Your Signal Charlie" means 'commence approach immediately, and land upon arrival.'

      Chatter :
      Comm jamming.

      Check Six :
      The customary greeting and parting salutation between aviation personnel, refers to the practice of looking astern of the aircraft, in the 6 o'clock position, to ensure he is not being attacked.

      Check Valve :
      Used to describe a person, it refers to one who does for himself, but not others. None of the goodies get past him.

      Cheng :
      CHief ENGineer. Pronounced 'chang'.

      Cherubs :
      Height of an aircraft in hundreds of feet (contrast with ANGELS).

      Chicken of the Sea :
      Ballistic missile submarine, or a crewmember of same; the nature of their mission is to avoid detection by whatever means necessary while on patrol, or while en route to or from the patrol area. Their unofficial motto is "We hide with pride." See BOOMER.

      Chicks :
      Friendly aircraft.

      Chinese Fire Drill :
      An evolution notable for its complete lack of coordination and/or military smartness.

      Chinstrap :
      (RM) So tired, usually from running, that one's head drops. Any naval personnel are assumed to be 'on their chinstraps' at all times.

      Chips :
      Ship's carpenter.

      Chips Light :
      A Master Caution annunciation signifying small metal particles in the gearbox or transmission. This is often quickly followed by total failure.

      Chit :
      A small piece of paper, often a request for or granting of permission to do something (leave chit, for example).

      Chock-a-block :
      See TWO BLOCKED.

      Chop :
      (1) CHange of Operational command, spoken as 'inchop' (entering a command region or zone) or 'outchop' (leaving a command region), e.g. 'We will inchop MIDEASTFOR at 0830 tomorrow.'

      Chuffed :
      (UK) Extremely pleased.

      Chunder :
      (UK) To vomit. Derived from 'watch under!'

      Commander In Chief (of the) HOUSE, i.e. one's spouse. Pronounced 'sink house.'

      Cinder :
      Offboard infra-red decoy.

      Cinderella Liberty :
      Liberty where one must be back aboard by midnight.

      Circular Run :
      The result of a control or gyro malfunction which causes a torpedo to maneuver in a circle and return to its launch point. At least one US submarine (USS Tang) was lost to a circular run torpedo during WWII. Several other U.S. subs suffered close misses as well.

      Circus :
      In WW II, a fighter-bomber mission whose primary goal was to force the German fighter defenses to come up and engage. Usually consisted of a small bomber force and heavy fighter escort.

      CIVLANT :
      (also seen as CIVPAC) Facetious description of one's next duty station when he or she is leaving the service; CIV = CIVilian, LANT = atLANTic coast, PAC = PACific coast.

      Civvy Street :
      Civilian life, particularly when one is about to leave the service.

      CIWS :
      Close-In Weapon System, a short-range anti-missile point defense system comprised of a radar system and high firing-rate gun. In NATO, the common system is Vulcan Phalanx, combining Doppler radar and a 20mm Gatling gun. A newer version, Goalkeeper, uses the GAU-8 30mm Gatling gun as found in the A-10 Thunderbolt for increased range and destructive power. Can have anti-surface modes as well, for use against small craft and the like. Derisive interpretations of the acronym for this notoriously cranky system include 'Christ, It Won't Shoot', and 'Captain, It Won't Shoot,' due to common maintenance difficulties.

      Clag :
      See GOO.

      Clam :
      Cease all or indicated electromagnetic/acoustic emissions due to presence of a potential intel collector in area.

      Clankie, Clanky :
      (RN) Mechanical Engineer.

      Clara :
      The radio call from a carrier pilot on approach, signifying that he has not sighted the BALL.

      Class (type) Fire :
      Alfa: a fire in sold fuels which leaves ashes; Bravo: a fire involving flaming liquids; Charlie: an electrical fire; Delta: a fire involving special materials and firefighting methods. Commonly thought to consist of a fire involving flammable metals, which is indeed one example of a Class Delta fire; another type of Class Delta fire involves deep fat fryer equipment.

      Clean :
      The opposite of DIRTY; an aircraft with gear and flaps raised. In extreme cases, with external stores jettisoned.

      Clear Datum :
      (1) (Submarine) To leave the area where you have been detected (see DATUM). (2) To leave the scene of the crime, especially when liquor and members of the opposite sex are involved, and particularly if the member of the opposite sex in question is a GRONK.

      Clearing Charge :
      A low-charge case or bag of propellant without projectile, used to forcibly clear a stuck projectile from the bore of a gun.

      Cloak :
      Switch from normal external lighting to covert NVD-only compatible lighting.

      Clobbered :
      Weathered in, or in very poor visibility, as "We made a good approach, but the field was clobbered and we had to divert," similar to WOXOF. Can also indicate a radio frequency or other facility which is unusable due to popularity or over-use, 'The tactical frequency was clobbered,' or hit well, 'Lead, you really clobbered the target on that pass.'

      Clown :
      Deception jammer.

      Cluster Fuck :
      An evolution remarkable for its significant lack of excellence. Mass confusion and chaos. Similar to a GOAT ROPE, CHINESE FIRE DRILL, etc.

      Clutch-Brake :
      A device used to engage or disengage an engine from a propeller shaft, and/or to stop the shaft's rotation if need be.

      CMC :
      Command Master Chief. Similar to the COB, but for surface, shore, and aviation commands. See also MCPOC.

      CNO :
      Chief of Naval Operations.

      CO :
      Commanding Officer. The captain or skipper of a vessel. Often spoken as 'Charley Oscar'.

      Coaming :
      The raised lip around a hatch. Designed to prevent, or at least limit, water entry. Very effective in damaging one's shins; see also KNEE KNOCKER.

      Coastie :
      Coast Guard sailor.

      COB :
      Chief Of (the) Boat. Senior enlisted onboard a submarine; acts as liaison between the crew and the XO.

      Cobra :
      ASW torpedo with snake search.

      Coffee Mess :
      An area, usually in a duty or working area, where coffee is made and served.

      Coffeepot :
      A.K.A. Teakettle. Nuclear reactor.

      Coffin :
      Bed. See RACK.

      Cog :
      Responsibility or awareness. Short for 'cognizance' or 'cognizant,' as 'Lieutenant Jones is the cognizant officer'; one could also say 'LT Jones has the cog on that.'

      COG/SOG :
      Course Over Ground/Speed Over Ground, in navigation the actual movements of a vessel with respect to the seabed. The result of the vector addition of ship's heading and speed through the water, and speeds/directions of winds and currents.

      Coke Syndrome :
      What happens when a soda (or other drink) spills into a piece of electronic gear, or a keyboard.

      Cold :
      (1) Current intercept geometry will result in a pass or roll-out behind the target. (2) On a leg of the CAP patrol pointed away from likely threats. (3) Group(s) heading away from friendly aircraft. (4) Not radiating.

      Cold Cat :
      A catapult shot in which insufficient END SPEED is generated. The aircraft does not have sufficient speed to fly, and usually crashes. May be caused by steam supply problems or other mechanical difficulties.

      Cold Enough to Freeze The Balls Off A Brass Monkey :
      This term has nothing to do with testicles or primates, and a good deal of debate remains to this day regarding the origin of the phrase. In the days of smoothbore cannon, particularly ashore, ready-use cannon balls were stored near the guns. Ashore, the balls were stacked in a 'monkey,' a metal frame which was laid on the deck to help contain the bottom layer of the pyramid of cannon balls. Monkeys were typically made of brass (though monkeys made of rope were used as well). In extremely cold temperatures, the brass monkey shrank more than the iron cannon balls, and the stack of balls would collapse, or perhaps ice which formed under the balls pushed them up enough to break them loose. The root of the debate is whether such an event is possible at all, though the phrase appears to be more a traditional exaggeration than an engineering possibility. Aboard ship, cannonballs were more typically stored in SHOT GARLANDS, horizontal racks.

      Cold Iron :
      An engineering term meaning that the entire engineering plant has been secured. Lighting off boilers and getting steam up has always been an involved and lengthy operation, requiring anywhere from an hour to even longer before the ship could get underway. In time of war, being caught 'cold iron' could be tactically disastrous (cf. the Pearl Harbor air raid). With the increasing usage of gas turbines, this is less of an issue; a gas turbine ship can get underway within minutes if the lube oil systems are warm.

      Cold Shot :
      See COLD CAT.

      Collar Device :
      A usually metal rank marking attached to the uniform lapels.

      Collision Mat :

      Combat Dump :
      A preflight visit to the head.

      Combat Spread :
      A theory and method of maneuver for a SECTION (flight of two) in air combat. Depending on era, the two aircraft are separated both horizontally and vertically by 1000 to 1500 feet to maximize mutual support and visual lookout.

      Combination Cover :
      (USN) (A.K.A. Combo Cover) A black-brimmed cap with a replaceable (usually white, can be khaki) cloth or vinyl cover, worn as part of the naval officer's or chief's dress or working uniform. For officers of O-4 (Lieutenant Commander) or higher rank, the brim has scrambled egg embroidered in gold.

      Combining Glass :
      The sloped glass used to reflect the Head's Up Display (HUD) symbology back to the pilot's eyes. The effect is to superimpose the symbology over the view forward through the windshield.

      COMEX :
      COMmence EXercise.

      Commander's Moon :
      A night lighting condition with clear skies and a large (late phase) moon, to provide optimum lighting condition for night flights, and especially night traps. Favored by, and planned for by, O-4s and above to get their night requirements 'X.'

      Compartment :
      A room aboard ship.

      Condition ( ) :
      One: General Quarters (battle stations). May be modified for certain conditions, such as Condition 1-AS, in which all anti-submarine watch stations and weapons are manned, but AAW stations may not be. Modified conditions are used to minimize crew fatigue, which can be a significant factor over a prolonged period at battle stations. Other types of modified conditions include 1-SQ (battle stations for missile launch); Two: Condition of modified General Quarters, generally used on large ships; Three: Material condition of readiness commonly associated with wartime steaming where some, usually half, of the ship's weapons are kept in a manned and ready status at all times; Four: Material condition of readiness commonly associated with peacetime steaming. There are no weapons in a ready status; Five: Material condition of readiness associated with peacetime inport status. Other material conditions may be set as needed, dictated by the threat; Hairy: Alert that all units may be required to prosecute an unidentified submarine contact.

      Coner :
      A.K.A. 'Noseconer'. A crew member on a submarine who does not work in the engineering spaces. A non-nuke.

      Conformal Array :
      A sonar array whose transducers are attached at various locations about the hull, rather than being concentrated on one location. Contrast with BOW ARRAY, TOWED ARRAY.

      Con Level :
      Altitude at which contrails occur due to condensation or freezing of the moisture in engine exhaust. To be avoided in tactical situations, as they make for easy visual detection.

      Conn :
      Has several uses, all to do with control of the ship. (1) As 'Conning Officer,' that individual is legally responsible for the safe and proper usage of steering and engine orders to ensure the safe navigation of the ship. (2) (Submarines) Obsolete, the term used to refer to the conning tower, a structure built atop the hull from which periscope attacks on shipping were conducted. In more modern times, 'the conn' refers to the submarine's control center, an analogous compartment located within the pressure hull. (3) In general, the area of the ship from which conning orders are given.

      Conning :
      (1) Giving orders regarding the maneuvers of a ship. See CONN. (2) (Aviation) Generating a contrail.

      Contact Coordinator :
      (submarine) Senior Enlisted/Junior Officer that mans the submarine periscope during surface operations in order to help track and assess surface contacts.

      Contract :
      The agreements and ground rules between wingmen or members of an aircrew, or the terms of an enlistment.

      Control Surface :
      In aircraft, aerodynamic parts moved to effect maneuvers, e.g. elevators, ailerons, etc.

      CONUS :
      CONtinental U.S.

      Convert :
      (Aviation) A maneuver at THE MERGE whereby an intercepting aircraft attempts to roll out behind the intercepted aircraft, in a position to attack. Also used as a verb, "We converted on a flight of two and MORTED them both."

      Cook Off :
      A serious casualty, the premature detonation of a loaded (naval or shore artillery) gun round caused by the residual heat within a HOT GUN. In a cook-off, the powder charge ignites all at once, rather than progressively from the rear of the shell casing as from the normal action of the primer. Similarly, the shell's BURSTING CHARGE may be initiated by this residual heat. The resulting pressure spike usually destroys the gun, and can kill or seriously injure the gun crew (and bystanders if present).

      Cooky, Cookie :
      Ship's cook.

      Corpen :
      (1) A maneuver of a formation of ships. In its simplest form, ships in a column turn in succession, each at the same point, akin to a column movement of marching men. (2) Course. 'Foxtrot Corpen' is the chosen course for flight operations. 'Romeo Corpen' is the chosen course for underway replenishment.

      Corral (the) :
      A region of a carrier's flight deck, starboard side between elevators One and Two.

      Counter Battery :
      Firing on enemy artillery. Doing unto them before they can do unto you.

      Courtesy Flush :
      What someone will ask for if you are stinking up the head.

      COW :
      Chief Of (the) Watch. (submarine only) Responsible for coordinating shipboard evolutions such as housekeeping, watchstanding, wake-ups, etc. Also controls the BCP (ballast control panel) while underway.

      Cox :
      (UK) The Coxswain. The senior rate on a destroyer, frigate, or smaller vessel. Responsible, among other things, for discipline.

      CPA :
      Closest Point of Approach. The range and bearing to the closest point of another vessel's passage, relative to your own.

      Crab :
      A.K.A. Sandcrab, derisive term for civilian contractor who works in/on the naval base. A sideways-walking, scavenging beach creature.

      Crabfat :
      (RN) A member of the Royal Air Force. From the light blue color of the uniform, which is the same as that of the grease (known as 'crabfat') used on gun breeches, etc., in the RN. Accounts vary, but apparently the grease was called 'crabfat' because it resembled in color the ointment used to treat sailors for 'crabs' (pediculosis pubis, genital lice), and of which fat was a major constituent.

      Crackerjack Uniform, Crackerjacks :
      The traditional USN enlisted man's uniform, similar to the trademarked icon on a box of Crackerjack popcorn snacks. Consists of bellbottom trousers with 13-button fly and a jumper top with rear shoulder flap ('bib').

      Cranie :
      Pronounced with long 'a' sound. Protective headgear worn by flight deck crewmembers. Incorporates hearing protection and impact protection. May be color-coded like the flight-deck jerseys.

      Crank :

      Crash and Dash :
      Touch and go landing.

      Crash and Smash Crew (Team) :
      Crash and Rescue personnel. They wear red flight deck jerseys.

      Crescent Hammer :
      Crescent wrench.

      Crinkleneck :
      Small fish that wait for waste to drop from a SCUTTLE or overboard discharge. Derogatory term for officers and enlisted personnel who figuratively do the same.

      Crippie :
      Cryptographic personnel.

      Critter Fritters :
      Fried mystery meat.

      Crossdeck Pendant :
      The wire (cable) which the hook of a carrier aircraft catches to accomplish an arrested landing. The crossdeck pendant is attached to the purchase cables, which are in turn connected to the arresting engines belowdecks. The CDP is replaced periodically, depending on the number of times it has been engaged.

      Cross-Decking :
      (1) The practice of transferring men or equipment from one ship to another, especially when transferring from a ship returning from deployment to a ship departing or about to depart on deployment. (2) Cross-training in another rate.

      Crotch (the) :
      (1) A region of a carrier's flight deck, port side at the inboard corner of the ANGLE DECK. (2) Derisive term for the USMC.

      Crow :
      The rate insignia of a USN Petty Officer (E-4 through E-6), so-called because of the eagle surmounting the rate chevrons.

      Crush Depth :
      The designed depth at which the pressure hull of a submarine will collapse.

      Crusher :
      (RN) A member of the Regulating Branch, i.e. Naval Shore Patrol.

      Cumshaw :
      Procurement of needed material outside the supply chain, usually by swapping, barter, or mutual backscratching. Often involves the barter of coffee or other food items. Officially frowned upon, but a widespread practice. The word comes from the pidgin English of the old China Fleet for "Come Ashore" money. It was usually anything useless to a sailor or ship, scavenged and saved for trade to locals for the purpose of earning a little extra liberty money.

      Cunt Cap :
      Fore and aft or 'garrison' cap, so named because the folds of material at the upper ridge of the cap vaguely resemble labia.

      Cut and Run :
      To leave quickly, from the practice of cutting a ship's moorings in a hasty departure.

      Cut Lights :
      Part of the array of lights found in the FRESNEL LENS. Originally used to give the CUT SIGNAL. Most common use today is to acknowledge that the LSO has heard the approaching pilot CALL THE BALL.

      Cut of his Jib :
      From the days of sail, when individual sails were made aboard the ship and a certain amount of individuality was expressed in the design (shape and size) of the sails. Ships could be, and were, identified by the 'cut of their jib.'

      Cut Signal (Cut Sign) :
      (1) (Aviation) The signal to pull the throttles back to idle; can be given by the CUT LIGHTS or the classic throat-cutting gesture. In older use, this signal was used when piston-engine aircraft came aboard the carrier. With the straight-deck carriers, an aircraft either trapped successfully or engaged the barricade. (2) The signal to shut down a piece of gear.

      Cutwater :
      (1) The foremost part of a ship or boat's bow; literally, the part that cuts the water. (2) A wedge-shaped feature of a bridge pier, primarily used to prevent ice or other debris from piling up at the upstream or up-current side of the pier.


      Dabtoe :
      (RN) Surface sailor.

      DACT :
      Dissimilar Air Combat Training. ACM conducted between aircraft of different types. Also seen as DACM. Valuable in that it teaches an aircrew to consider comparative performance points of their aircraft and others.

      ( ) Days and a Wake-up :
      The cry of the short-timer, often intensely annoying to those around him. If a sailor will be leaving the service in ten days, he is said to have 'nine days and a wake-up.'

      DASH :
      (1) (USN) Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter, a Vietnam-era remotely-controlled helicopter. The program was canceled for a number of reasons, among them the startling consistency with which the DASH, once launched, attacked the mother ship. (2) (Aviation) Aircraft in a particular position within a flight (formation), usually followed by a numeral to indicate position, e.g. 'Dash 2' is the flight leader's wingman. Used in place of a SIDE NUMBER or other callsign.

      Datum :
      (1) A point or location where a submarine has been detected or has made its own detection possible, especially by firing missiles or torpedoes. (2) The horizontal row of green reference lights found on a FRESNEL LENS array, which indicate the optimum glideslope.

      Davey Jones :
      The devil, as represented by the sea, perhaps a corruption of "Devil Jones," though there was not always an evil or negative connotation at first. Daniel Defoe and Tobias Smollett used the term in literature in the 1700s.

      Davey Jones' Locker :
      The mythical place on the seabed where all sunken ships or objects (and drowned sailors) end up.

      DC :
      Damage Control.

      DCA :
      Damage Control Assistant. Responsible, under the Chief Engineer, for damage control and stability of a ship.

      Deadeye :
      Informative call that airborne laser/IR designation system is inoperative.

      Dead Head :
      The resistance of a magnetic compass to swinging back and forth excessively; a compass with insufficient deadhead will swing so much (due to normal movement of the ship or aircraft) that it is difficult to steer a course.

      Dead Horse :
      An interest-free loan which is paid off via payroll deduction. Often used to cover relocation expenses, or to pay back a disbursing error which was originally in your favor.

      Deadlight :
      A glass window set in the deck or bulkhead.

      Deck :
      What the civilian calls a floor. Contrast with FLOOR.

      Deck Ape :
      Surface fleet personnel, usually Boatswain's Mates, which care for topside gear and equipment. A type of KNUCKLE-DRAGGER.

      Deck Seamanship :
      The real navy; the handling of lines and small craft, knots and splicing, etc. The province of the Boatswain's Mate.

      Deck Spotter :
      One who peeks at the landing area instead of watching the BALL.

      Declare :
      Request from fighter to AWACS or other agency for identification of a specified track, target, or group (response may be 'Friendly', 'Bogey', 'Bandit', or 'Unable').

      6 D's :
      Deep Diving Death Defying (or Dealing) Denizens of the Deep. Term used by submariners to refer to themselves. Often used to detect SKIMMERs by their helpless laughter upon hearing the phrase.

      Deeps :
      (RN) Submariner.

      Deep Six :
      (1) Originally, the call of the leadsman signifying that the water is more than 6 fathoms deep, but less than seven. (2) Euphemism for throwing something overboard. Also seen as 'splash', 'float check', 'float test'.

      Defensive ( ) :
      (NATO Aviation) Aircraft is maneuvering with reference to a stated condition - Spike (friendly radar lockon), Missile, Mud (missile or gun radar lockon), SAM.

      Deflection :
      (1) (Gunnery) The adjustment (correction) of fire to the left or right. 2) (Aviation) A measure of ANGLE OFF between one's aircraft and the opponent, or the amount of lead necessary to hit a crossing target.

      Delta Sierra :
      Phonetic for Dumb Shit or Dog Shit.

      Delouse :
      Radio pro word, a directive to detect and identify unknown aircraft trailing friendly aircraft.

      Demons :
      Depth in meters.

      Demurrage :
      A fine levied for not unloading a ship on time.

      Depart, Departure :
      (Aviation) (1) One of a number of standard, published combinations of flight profile and headings used to depart an airfield, as Standard Instrument Departure. Used to regularize and speed up an aircraft's departure from the airfield and its crowded airspace. (2) A regime of flight where the aircraft is uncontrollable, as departure from controlled flight. Generally the result of a stall, whether accelerated or unaccelerated. May or may not result in the aircraft entering a spin.

      Desert Cooker :
      (UK) During WWII, a field expedient stove made by cutting a 4 gallon fuel tin in half. One half had a handle added and was used as the cooking vessel; the other half was filled with sand, soaked with gasoline, and set alight.

      Designator :
      The numerical descriptor of a USN officer's military warfare specialty; similar to a Marine's MOS. Some examples: 1310 (Unrestricted Line, Qualified Naval Aviator, USN); 1395 (Naval Aviator, USN Reserve); 1320 (NFO, USN); 1100 (Unrestricted Line, Unqualified USN); 1110 (Unrestricted Line, Qualified Surface Warfare Officer). Note: the differentiation between USN and USNR has recently (2006) been eliminated; all officer ranks are USN.

      (Ma) Deuce :
      Browning cal fifty heavy machine gun.

      (The) Devil to Pay :
      Originally, the saying was 'The devil to pay and no pitch hot.' In the old wooden-hulled ships, 'devil' seams joined the external hull timbers with the deck planking; there are also references to a devil seam back aft, where the hull timbers join at the rudder post, and forward, where the hull timbers join at the stem. Seams were caulked or sealed (paid) by jamming oakum fiber into the gaps, then smearing the seam with melted pitch (which was called tar). If one of these seams worked open in rough weather, a great deal of water could be shipped before it was repaired. This term is probably the origin of the terms 'hell to pay' and 'between the devil and the deep blue sea,' since a sailor paying the devil seam was hanging over the side.

      DGUTS :
      Don't Give Up The Ship.

      DIB :
      (RCN) Any non-engineering personnel.

      Dick the Dog :
      Screwing around; being unproductive. 'When you guys are done dicking the dog, I could use a hand over here.'

      Dickey Front :
      (UK) The flap in the front of the traditional sailor's trousers.

      Dick Skinners :

      Dicksmith :
      Hospital Corpsman.

      DILLIGAF :
      Do I Look Like I Give A Fuck? A term indicating sublime indifference to someone else's plight.

      Dink :
      Spoken form of 'Delinquent In Qual,' pronounced to rhyme with 'pink.' Someone delinquent in PQS qualification points. A weekly points goal is typically set by each command that an NQP must achieve. Failure to do so means daily mandatory study hours supervised by the duty Chief.

      Dip :
      (1) To lower a sonar transducer into the water from a hovering helicopter. (2) To render and acknowledge passing honors from a merchant ship to a naval ship, by lowering and two-blocking the national ensign. The merchie dips first, and the naval vessel answers dip for dip. Naval vessels do not dip to each other, but man the side to render passing honors to each other. (3) A way of feeding a mooring line from one ship through the already in-place mooring lines of another vessel so that either vessel may remove theirs first.

      Dipper :
      An ASW helicopter capable of both sonar search and attack.

      Direct Fire :
      Gunnery and fire control where the FALL OF SHOT can be directly observed by the firing unit.

      Dirt Sailor :
      A member of the Navy's Construction Battalions (Seabees).

      Dirty :
      (1) (Aviation) Configured for landing; an aircraft with gear and flaps (and/or other high lift devices) deployed; (2) Data link is not encrypted.

      Dirty Shirt Wardroom :
      (USN) A wardroom (officer's mess and lounge) aboard ship which does not require patrons to be in the uniform of the day, i.e. flight suits or other working uniforms are permitted. The etiquette of the wardroom, which is usually fairly formal, is also relaxed in the dirty shirt wardroom.

      Dit :
      (RN) A short written note.

      Ditty Bag :
      A small cloth bag with drawstring closure; usually used to hold toilet articles and the like.

      Dive Planes :
      The 'elevators' of a submarine; movable, horizontal surfaces used to control the dive (pitch) angles. Usually there are two pairs of planes, mounted on bow and stern, or on the fairwater (sail) and stern.

      Dive the Intakes :
      Cleaning engine air intakes, usually by crawling into them.

      Division :
      A flight of four aircraft; two SECTIONs.

      DIW :
      Dead In the Water. Not MAKING WAY.

      Dixie Cup :
      The USN sailor's white hat, or the blue-rimmed USNA Midshipman's hat when in White Works uniform. See also WHITEHAT.

      Dixie Station :
      The southern of the two positions occupied by U.S. aircraft carriers off the coast of Vietnam during the war. Dixie was tasked with CAS.

      Dobie :
      (RCN) Laundry. Also seen as 'Dhobi.'

      Dobie Dust :
      (RCN) Laundry soap.

      Dockyard Tour :
      (RN) An excuse to slide away early when at a fleet school.

      Dr. Pepper :
      In aviation, an extremely uncomfortable situation where you have SAM radars active at '10, 2, and 4' o'clock, as in the old advertising jingle for the carbonated drink of the same name. The hazard is extreme because maneuvering to defeat any particular missile of the three makes you more vulnerable to one of the others.

      Dodge City :
      Diego Garcia island, a British possession in the approximate middle of the Indian Ocean. US military forces also have long operated from there.

      Dog :
      See AUTO-DOG.

      Dog Box :
      Area within which units may interfere with or be endangered by ASW torpedoes.

      Dog Dish :
      DIXIE CUP.

      Dog Watch :
      (1) A shortened watch period. Generally, two two-hour watches, designated First and Second (or First and Last, RCN), arranged so that personnel on watch can eat the evening meal. Usually 1600 to 1800 and 1800 to 2000. Also serves to alternate the daily watch routine so sailors with the midwatch one night will not have it the next time. Origin of term unclear. (2) (RCN) An unpopular watch, usually the 2400-0400 or 0400-0800. See also WATCH.

      Doggie Dicks :
      A.K.A. Monkey Dicks, Poodle Peckers, etc. Breakfast sausages.

      Doldrums :
      Regions of little or no wind near the equator.

      Dolphin Code :
      (Submarines) Similar to USN Aviation's FALCON CODE, but perhaps a bit more 'refined', i.e. less profanity (!!!). A representative sample (multiple versions exist) is included here as Appendix B.

      Dolphins :
      A.K.A. Tin Tunas, Pukin' Fish, etc. Submarine qualification insignia of the submarine fleet. Represented as two heraldic dolphins flanking the prow of a WW II-type submarine, gold for officers and silver for enlisted.

      Donkey Dick :
      (1) The nozzle of an inline proportioner in a firefighting hose line for AFFF. (2) (RNZN) The inflated tube that holds up the center of the roof of a lifeboat. (3) The protruding sensor boom of the MAD gear aboard the P-2 Neptune and P-3 Orion. (4) Fitting at the aft end of a submarine through which the hydrogen effluent from the O2 generating system is discharged overboard. Note: this term is also used for literally dozens of other objects in the naval service.

      Double Nuts :
      Aircraft with side number zero-zero. Often the CAG's bird.

      Douche Kit :
      Shaving Gear.

      DOW, DOOW :
      Diving Officer (of the) Watch.

      Down to the Short Strokes :
      Nearly done; almost finished.

      D-ring :
      The handle of a ripcord; the way one opens one's parachute.

      Draeger Tubes :
      An older method of sampling atmosphere, in which a hand-held pump is used to draw samples into the test system.

      Drift Factor :
      A measure of reliability or attentiveness; if you have a high drift factor, you can't be relied upon, or are not paying attention.

      Drifty :
      A sailor who is not SQUARED AWAY. Probably comes from 'adrift.'

      Drilling Holes in the Water (Ocean) :
      Term for miscellaneous underwater operations of a submarine. Also refers to sailing any ship from point A to point B for no particular reason.

      Drip :
      (RN) Complain. "The Chief was dripping about the state of the world."

      Drop (number) :
      (1) Directive to stop monitoring a specified emitter or target and resume normal search. (2) Remove specified track number from tactical picture or track store.

      Droop :
      A leading-edge high lift device which tilts downward to increase airfoil camber but does not increase wing surface area.

      Droplights :
      Red lights arranged vertically below the RAMP, on the approach centerline, on the carrier's stern. Used to provide lineup cues for night landings.

      Drop Synch :
      A condition where the scrambler or other cryptographic gear does not properly descramble a received radio call. To the receiver of the transmission, the result of a 'drop synch' is unintelligible noise.

      Drunkex :
      Any evolution characterized more by the amount of alcohol consumption than by accomplishment of any goals (other than getting toasted, of course).

      Dry Thrust :
      (Aviation) Thrust rating of an aircraft jet engine without afterburner.

      DTG :
      (1) Days To Go. SHORT TIMER's record-keeping. (2) Date-Time Group, part of the header of a message which indicates the date, time, and timezone of the message's origin.

      Duckbutt :
      Callsign of an aircraft performing precautionary SAR.

      Duff :
      (RCN, RN) (1) Dessert. (2) Broken, or useless.

      Dumbo :
      During World War Two, an aircraft (often a B-17) modified for long range air-sea rescue.

      Dusty :
      (RN) Stores rating, especially one concerned with food. More fully 'Jack Dusty'. USN usage, 'Jack o' the Dust.' In its original usage, the 'Dusty' was a sailor (Jack, in British naval terminology) assigned responsibility for the bread room, where flour was stowed.

      Dynamited Chicken :
      Chicken a la King, allegedly.

      Dzus Fitting :
      Pronounced like the Greek god (Zeus), a quick-release fitting used in aircraft.


      EAB Mask :
      (Submarine) Emergency Air Breathing mask. A sealed mask with an airhose and a quick disconnect to attach to the main EAB system.

      Easter Egging :
      The practice of replacing components of an electronic device in an attempt to correct a difficult-to-diagnose fault.

      EB Green :
      Nuke duct tape. As provided by Electric Boat (EB) Corporation, green rather than gray.

      ECMO :
      A.K.A. Mushroom, Toadstool. Electronic CounterMeasures Officer, an NFO aboard an electronic warfare aircraft such as an EA-6B Prowler. The sarcastic 'mushroom' term refers to their claim that they are kept in the dark and fed bullshit, due to the poor outward visibility of the after 2 seats in the Prowler.

      Eight o'clock Reports :
      Reports made daily by all department heads to the XO, who then takes them to the CO. The reports usually consist of equipment reports and position reports, significant events of the day or of the day to come, etc.

      Elevation :
      The movement of a gun vertically.

      Elevator :
      (1) (Aviation) A control surface attached to the aft edge of a horizontal stabilizer; used to control pitch. (2) (Carrier) A mechanical device, abbreviated EL, used to lift and lower aircraft and equipment between hangar bay and flight deck.

      Elevon :
      Combination aileron and elevator, found in delta-winged aircraft.

      ELSA :
      (RN) Emergency Life Support Apparatus. Consists of a clear plastic hood and an air bottle, used to escape from smoke-filled spaces.

      ELT Math :
      Rough approximations. Brown-fingered arithmetic, in which 2+3=8 or so. Numbers sanded down to fit a certain block in a log.

      EM :
      (1) Electrician's Mate. (2) (Nuke) Extra Mechanic. An Electrician's Mate who stands Motor Machinist (MM) watches to support the watchbill.

      EMCON ( ) :
      EMissions CONtrol. Various conditions of electronic silence. 'EMCON Alfa' is total emissions silence, 'EMCON Bravo' allows radiation of certain non type-specific emitters, etc.

      Emergency Foul (type and number) :
      Unable to land my assigned aircraft within their safe endurance time. Followed by report of numbers and types of aircraft needing to land.

      Emergency Space (type and number) :
      I am able to land aircraft in addition to my own, followed by numbers and types.

      EMI :
      Extra Military Instruction. Duties assigned as punishment which are also intended to improve one's military knowledge. Chipping paint would not qualify as EMI, while inventorying the ship's pubs (publications) would.

      End Around :
      (USN submarine) Also seen as 'End Run.' A maneuver in which a WWII-era diesel submarine made use of its relatively high surfaced speed to get out in front of an enemy ship or convoy in order to gain attack position. Usually, the sub would open the range enough to barely maintain radar contact (to monitor the convoy's course and speed while minimizing the chances of counter-detection) during the maneuver. Named for the play of the same name in American football.

      End Speed :
      The airspeed of a carrier aircraft at the end of the catapult launch stroke. For obvious reasons, serious trouble will result if end speed is less than stalling speed. The necessary end speed varies widely with aircraft type and loadout (gross weight), and is a function of the catapult settings.

      Energy Fighter :
      Air combat tactics emphasizing "the vertical," i.e. looping maneuvers, where the fighter trades speed for altitude and vice versa. Energy tactics favor aircraft with high excess power. Contrast with ANGLES FIGHTER.

      Engaged Fighter :
      The fighter actively maneuvering against the bandit. His emphasis is, if not to make a killing shot, to beat down the bandit's energy level to set him up for his wingman, the FREE FIGHTER. The section trades off 'free' and 'engaged' roles as needed to force the bandit's energy level down without themselves having to slow down that much.

      Engine Order Telegraph :
      A.K.A. EOT, a signaling system linking bridge and main engineering control; used to command engine speeds.

      Ensign Locker :
      JO (Junior Officer) berthing aboard ship.

      Enswine :
      Derogatory term for an Ensign.

      EOOW :
      Engineer Officer Of (the) Watch. Pronounced 'ee-ow'.

      EOS :
      Enclosed Operating Space. Space from which engineering spaces are controlled. Generally air-conditioned and soundproofed, the wimps.

      ERA :
      (RCN) Engine Room Artificer

      Essence :
      Good, pleasant, or attractive. "Having a totally essence time, wish you were here."

      Evap :
      A.K.A. Still. A distilling unit. Used to produce fresh water at sea, both for the boilers and for potable usage. For many years, vacuum 'flash' evaps were used; reverse osmosis systems are becoming more common now.

      Ex :
      Short for 'exercise.' Some forms -- mobex (an evolution involving a mob, i.e. poorly organized -- or not organized at all), drunkex, borex (a boring exercise), sinkex (an exercise whose intent is to sink a target ship).

      Exide :
      Submarine contact is using battery propulsion.

      Exploder :
      The part of a torpedo designed to detonate the warhead.

      Eyes in the Boat :
      A command similar to the UK services' order "Eyes Front," an order to stop looking around or acting in an unmilitary fashion.


      FAG :
      Fighter-Attack Guy. The pilot of an F/A-18.

      Fairwater :
      (1) Submarine) The more modern term for the conning tower of a submarine. (2) A structure on a ship which is designed to deflect or redirect water flow.

      Fairwater Planes :
      Diving planes located on a submarine's fairwater (sail).

      Fake Down :
      To lay out a line to permit free running while maintaining seamanlike appearance. Generally used for large-diameter lines. The line is laid out in long parallel lines, generally starting up against a bulwark or deck edge and working inboard from there.

      Faker :
      A friendly track acting as hostile for exercise purposes.

      Falcon Code :
      (USN Aviation) A significantly obscene form of shorthand used in radio comms to avoid use of profanity (!!!) over the radio. A version (there are many) is included here as Appendix C.

      Fall of Shot :
      Point of impact of a shell or salvo of shells.

      Fancy Dinns :
      (UK) Steak and wine night at sea. Usually hosted by the various departments.

      FANG :
      Fucking Air National Guard, or Florida Air National Guard. See also FNG.

      Fangs Out :
      Hot for a dogfight.

      Fang Bosun :
      A.K.A. Fang Farrier. Dentist.

      Fanny :
      (UK) A mess tin. Named for Fanny Adams, a girl who was murdered and dismembered about the same time that tinned meat was introduced into the Royal Navy.

      (Sweet) Fanny Adams :
      (UK) (Sweet) Fuck All, i.e. nothing, zero, etc.

      Fantail :
      The aft-most weather deck on a ship, right above the stern.

      Fart Sack :
      Sleeping bag. (common usage among ground forces of various countries) Can also refer to fitted mattress covers aboard ship.

      Fast Attack :
      Refers to submarines whose primary missions are sealane control, anti-shipping operations, anti-submarine warfare, and intelligence or special operations.

      Fast Cruise :
      A training exercise whereby the ship simulates being underway while remaining tied to the pier. Generally the brow and all shore services are secured and the ship is on internal systems only.

      Father :
      Shipboard TACAN installation.

      FBM :
      Fleet Ballistic Missile submarine; an earlier term for a Ballistic Missile Submarine, i.e. BOOMER.

      Feather :
      (1) In a propeller aircraft, to rotate the propeller blades of a stopped engine into the wind. This reduces the drag of the stopped propeller by a tremendous amount. (2) Submarines, the wake of white water left on the surface by the raised periscope of a submerged submarine.

      Feather Merchant :
      A lightweight, i.e. someone who doesn't hold up his end, or doesn't do his (or her) share of the work. An older term, circa WW II, not frequently seen now. Similar to CANDYASS.

      Feed Water :
      Water used in boilers. Must be of very high purity (low salinity is especially critical) due to the risk of corrosion or contamination in high-temperature piping.

      Feet Wet (Dry) :
      Report that an aircraft is flying over water (land).

      Fence Check :
      Checking armament, RWR, and other switches and settings when entering (Fence In) or leaving (Fence Out) hostile airspace.

      FESTA :
      Fire Extinguishing System, Twin Agent. An installation which pairs an AFFF-dispensing system with a PKP-dispensing system. Often found in engineering spaces. An obsolete term; replaced with TAU.

      FFG :
      Guided Missile Frigate. Derisively, 'Forever Fucking Gone.'

      Fiddlers Green :
      Sailor's heaven.

      Field Day :
      To scrub or otherwise clean a ship's spaces. Usually ordered when the COB or the XO thinks morale is low.

      FIFI :
      'Fuck It, Fly It.' Spoken by the maintenancemen when they can't find the solution to a gripe, in the hopes that it will fix itself (it never does).

      Fig :
      Spoken form of the ship designation FFG (Guided Missile Frigate).

      Fightertown :
      Formerly used to refer to Miramar NAS, located near San Diego, California, more recently refers to NAS Fallon in Nevada.

      FIGMO :
      Fuck It, (I) Got My Orders. "Go away and don't bother me, I'm outta here." Similar forms abound, e.g. FYJIGMO, Fuck You Jack, I Got My Orders. No polite form has been reported.

      Final Diameter :
      The diameter of a circle inscribed by a turning ship once it has stabilized in its turn. Smaller than the ship's TACTICAL DIAMETER.

      Finger (the) :
      A region of a carrier's flight deck, port side aft of elevator four.

      Fire For Effect :
      A signal indicating that the correct spots have been applied and rounds are falling on target; the firing battery should begin rapid fire.

      First Lieutenant :
      (1) (USN) Deck Division officer aboard ship, or officer responsible for general seamanship and deck evolutions. In a ship with a large deck department, especially where it is key to the ship's mission, such as a carrier or AMPHIB, generally the deck department head. As used, it's an assignment, not a rank. (2) (RN) Executive Officer of a ship, if a Lieutenant Commander or below. (3) A commissioned officer's rank, O2, in the Marine Corps or USAF/USA. For an officer, one step up from the bottom, rankwise.

      Fish :
      (1) Torpedo. (2) The expendable portion of the XBT, a streamlined weight and sensor fitted with a wire dispenser. (3) The sound-generating towed body of a NIXIE installation.

      Fisheyes :
      Tapioca pudding.

      Fish Head :
      (RN) WAFU term for the RN surface navy crowd.

      Fist :
      (1) A.K.A. Hand, the recognizable, distinctive style or technique of a trained Morse radio operator. (2) (RN) To make a 'good' fist of something is to do it well. To make a 'real' fist of something is to do it badly.

      Five S's :
      The traditional steps to prepare for a formation or liberty: Shit, Shower, Shave, and Shine Shoes.

      Flag (Officer) :
      An admiral, from the rank-denoting flag such officers are entitled to fly.

      Flameout :
      Engine failure in a jet aircraft, regardless of cause.

      Flaming Datum :
      A burning ship, or a missile breaking water. See DATUM.

      Flaperon :
      A combination flap and aileron; a roll-control surface which also can act as a high-lift device.

      Flashing :
      (1) A navigational light (whether buoy or lighthouse) which is off longer than it is on. Contrast with OCCULTING; (2) A process whereby hot water under pressure turns to steam when the pressure is released.

      Flash Up :
      Get up steam; fire the boilers,

      Flathatting :
      Unauthorized low-level flying. Often fatal, generally career-ending (if you get caught, anyway).

      Flat Top :
      Aircraft carrier.

      Fleet Up :
      To promote from within.

      Flemish :
      To coil a line on deck so that it can run freely while maintaining a seamanlike appearance. Generally used for lines of small diameter. The line is laid in a flat, close-coiled spiral on the deck.

      Flimsy :
      (UK) In WWII, a 4-gallon petrol tin. So called because they were shoddily built and leaked a lot.

      Flinders Bar :
      Bar with spherical correcting magnets. Found on a BINNACLE.

      Float Test :
      Testing the buoyant qualities of unwanted material while at sea. Whether it passes the test or not, it is outta here.

      Floor :
      In naval architecture, a horizontal structural surface which does not extend the full length of the ship. Think of it as a deck which does not run the full length of the hull.

      Flotsam :
      Floating wreckage released from a sunken ship. See also JETSAM.

      Flush(ing) :
      (Submarine) Go deep, or I am going deep.

      Flying Bravo (Baker) :
      Normally, a signal flown ashore when the firing range is hot, or afloat while handling ammunition or fuel. When a woman is menstruating, she is said to be 'flying Bravo.' The Bravo (originally 'Baker' from the phonetic alphabet) alphabet signal flag is red. Sometimes also seen as 'flying Maggie's Drawers.'

      FM :
      See PFM.

      FNAEB :
      Fleet Naval Aviation Evaluation Board. The long green table, before which one never wants to stand. Makes ground-pounders out of aviators.

      FNG :
      Variously, Fucking New Guy, Fucking No Good, Fucking National Guard.

      Foc'sle :
      The phonetic spelling for 'forecastle', the forward-most part of the ship.

      FOD :
      Foreign Object Debris. Can be used as a noun ("Look at the piece of FOD I picked up.") or a verb ("Dave FODded his engine last night.") Any object, including people, which might be sucked into, and thereby damage, a jet engine.

      FOD Burger :
      Someone who has become FOD.

      FOD Walkdown :
      (1) Unpopular activity aboard aviation ships where all personnel not on watch line up and walk the flight deck from end to end, picking up any object that might damage an engine or, if picked up by jet blast, an eye. The human broom picking up any and every small item on the flight deck.

      Fougasse :
      Pronounced "foo gas," the combination of an explosive charge and a container of gasoline. Used as an antipersonnel weapon.

      Foul :
      Blocked, or not clear.

      Foul Bore :
      (1) In gunnery, an unsafe condition where the bore of the gun is not clear after firing. It may be obstructed by a stuck shell casing, an entire round, or other unwanted foreign material. (2) Someone who repeatedly tells uninteresting sea stories.

      Foul Deck :
      A flight deck which is unsafe for landings. May be due to a crash, location of an aircraft, gear or personnel, or the condition of the deck surface.

      Foul Deck Waveoff :
      A WAVEOFF given due to a foul deck.

      Foul Line :
      Painted lines on the flight deck which delineate an area which must be kept clear for flight operations (specifically, takeoffs and landings) to proceed safely.

      Four by Eight :
      The 0400 to 0800 watch.

      Four-ringer :
      (RN) Captain.

      Four Row :
      A region of a carrier's flight deck, portside outboard of the track for catapult two.

      Four to Eight :
      The 0400 to 0800 watch.

      Fox (numeral) :
      Radio call to report the launch of a air-to-air missile, from the 'Foxtrot' (F) of the phonetic alphabet. Fox One reports the launch of a semi-active radar-homing missile, e.g. Sparrow (AIM-7). Fox Two is a heat-seeking missile, e.g. Sidewinder (AIM-9). Fox Three is an active radar-homing missile -- either Phoenix (AIM-54) or the AIM-120 AMRAAM missile. Prior to the advent of the active radar homing AIM-120, the Air Force sometimes used Fox Three to report firing of guns. Fox Four is sometimes used derisively to refer to a midair collision.

      Fox Oscar :
      Also seen as Foxtrot Oscar. Fuck Off.

      Foxtail :
      A long, narrow cleaning brush.

      F-Pole :
      The SLANT RANGE, in feet, from the launching aircraft to the target at time of missile detonation or closest approach.

      Freak :

      Free (Engaged) Fighter :
      Of a section (two aircraft), the one which keeps lookout while maneuvering to gain advantageous position as his partner, the engaged fighter, maneuvers against the bandit. The section trades off 'free' and 'engaged' roles as needed to force the bandit's energy level down without themselves having to slow down that much.

      Freeze :
      Directive to designated helicopter(s) to hover in place (cancelled by "THAW").

      Fresh Air Snipe :
      Rates which spend at least some of their time in the engineering spaces, and are members of the Engineering Dept., but do not work solely with engineering machinery. Includes rates such as IC (Interior Communications Electrician) and EM (Electrician's Mate), though nuke EMs are seldom seen outside the plant.

      Fresnel Lens :
      A gyro-stabilized arrangement of lights that gives a carrier pilot glideslope information during his approach to landing, or when simulating same ashore. A glowing yellow image, 'THE BALL,' is visible to the pilot on approach. A horizontal row of green 'DATUM' lights represents the perfect glideslope angle. The ball moves vertically on the Fresnel lens array as the aircraft moves up and down the glideslope; a high ball, when the ball is above the datum lights, indicates that the aircraft is above the optimum glideslope. If the ball is lined up with the datum lights, the aircraft is correctly positioned on the glideslope. The ball appears red if the pilot gets dangerously low. The Fresnel lens assembly also has red lights mounted on it which can be used to give WAVEOFF and CUT commands. Fresnel lens installations are also found on almost all Naval Air Station runways. A simplified form of the lens is mounted on ships which operate helicopters.

      Friday/Sunday Routine :
      (RN) Field day aboard, followed by CO's rounds. A cake or a couple of cases of beer are awarded to the cleanest mess on the ship.

      Fritz :
      (US Army, Marines) Term for the modern Kevlar helmet worn by US forces, which bears a strong resemblance to the helmets worn by the German military during WW II.

      FRS :
      Fleet Replacement Squadron. Training squadron in which new pilots are trained to fly a specific aircraft type.

      Fruit Salad :
      Generic term for decorations, medals, and awards.

      FTN :
      'Fuck The Navy.' Term used by SHORT TIMERs, attitude cases, and sailors having a bad day. Facetiously, 'Fun-Time Navy.'

      FTN Space (the) :
      An obscure, hard-to-get-to space, compartment, or void; used to hide from officers or chiefs. According to legend, some ships have had such spaces which do not show up on the official blueprints at all. Persistent rumors exist of entire, fully-outfitted machinery spaces which do not officially exist on the ship's drawings.

      FUBAR :
      Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition.

      FUBIJAR :
      FUck you Buddy, I'm Just A Reservist.

      Fuel King :
      Alternate form of OIL KING.

      FUF :
      The complement to the GIB; the Fucker Up Front.

      Fun Boss :
      Person in charge of setting up recreational opportunities during a port call or shore det.

      Fun Meter :
      A (usually sarcastic) measure of one's level of enjoyment of an evolution. If someone says his fun meter is pegged, chances are that he is not enjoying himself.

      Furball :
      (Aviation) A turning fight in which multiple friendly and hostile aircraft are mixed.


      G :
      (Aviation) The acceleration forces felt by aircrews when maneuvering.

      Gadget :
      Electronic gear. Specific type is generally deduced from context of the radio call, e.g. TACAN, IFF, etc.

      Gaff Off :
      To blow off or ignore something.

      Gangway :
      (1) Today, more properly called a 'brow,' the temporary bridge connecting the ship's quarterdeck to the pier. (2) A call to get out of the way, which originated as a call for junior personnel to give precedence to a senior while crossing the gangway.

      Ganked :
      Stolen. 'Hey, who ganked my sandwich?'

      Gash :
      (1) Garbage or rubbish. Also used to refer to any unwanted item. (2) Uncomplimentary term for a woman.

      Gate :
      (Aviation) Radio directive for maximum attainable speed.

      Gator :
      Vessel of the amphibious force.

      Gator Freighter :
      Amphibious warfare cargo ship.

      Gator Hashmark :
      A grease stain on one's uniform, gained by leaning up against or bumping a wire (cable), many of which are found on and about Gators.

      Gawkers, Walkers, and Talkers :
      Off-duty personnel. They can usually be found cluttering up passageways or decks where real work is being done.

      Gear (the) :
      Arresting gear.

      Geedunk, Gedunk :
      (1) See also POGEY BAIT. Dessert/junk food/candy, or a place to buy same. (2) "Extras" or benefits, awards, ribbons, or medals. (3) Easy or "sweet" duty. Can be used as noun or verb. 'Gedunk' may be a corruption of the German 'ge tunk', which means to repetitively dip something. This supposedly goes back to when bread was usually pretty stale and its taste could be improved by dunking it in milk. It was carried over to the practice of putting ice cream into soda. Gedunk apparently was first used specifically to refer to ice cream sodas or sundaes in a comic strip called "Harold Teen" which was drawn by Carl Ed.

      Gedunk Medal :
      National Defense Service Medal. Considered meaningless, it was awarded to anyone who served in a certain time frame during and subsequent to the Vietnam War.

      Gen :
      Pronounced with soft 'g,' knowledge, information, or intelligence data.

      Gertrude :
      (USN subs) An underwater telephone, it allows communications by voice or whistle signals.

      Gethomeitis :
      Pronounced as separate words, 'get home itis,' the tendency to ignore potentially significant problems when homeward bound, especially in aviation circles.

      Get The X :
      Accomplish the mission; refers to checking off a training requirement as complete. Pushing to get the X is often a contributing factor in mishaps.

      GIB :
      A.K.A. Bear, Pitter (the guy in the pit). Literally, the "Guy In Back". More common in Air Force usage, refers to the backseater (pilot, non-pilot, or NFO) of a 2-place tactical aircraft. In two-seat USN/USMC fighters, the backseater is more commonly (and properly) called the RIO. In A-6's, the Bombardier/ Navigator or BN, who actually sits beside the pilot rather than behind. In S-3 Vikings, more properly an Overwater Jet Navigator (OJN).

      Gig :
      (1) Small boat carried aboard ship, e.g. the Captain's gig. (2) Demerits, or the act of receiving same.

      Gig Line :
      On a uniform, a line formed by the buttoned shirt, a crease on the belt buckle, and the trousers' fly. If your gig line isn't straight, you hear about it at personnel inspections.

      Gigahertz and Nanoseconds :
      Highly technical or detailed: "We're getting down to gigahertz and nanoseconds now."

      Gimbals (direction) :
      Informative call that a target is approaching the lateral/vertical limits of scan of the tracking sensor.

      Gingerbread :
      Voice imitative radio deception.

      Gin Pennant :
      (UK) An unofficial flag flown to signify that a ship's wardroom has free drinks or a celebration underway. Usually green, with a wine or cocktail glass on it.

      Give Way :
      (1) An order to oarsmen to begin pulling. (2) Under the Rules of the Nautical Road, the act of a ship maneuvering to get out of another ship's way.

      Give Way Vessel :
      Under the Rules of the Nautical Road, a vessel which is required to maneuver to avoid another vessel during a crossing, overtaking, or meeting situation.

      Gizmo :
      A piece of technical gear.

      Glare Shield :
      A horizontal extension of the top surface of the instrument panel, designed to shade the instruments from sun glare.

      GLOC :
      G-induced Loss Of Consciousness. Pronounced 'gee-lock' with soft 'g' and long 'e.' Can be induced by magnitude or duration of the G load, the rate at which G's are applied, or a combination of these factors.

      GMT :
      General Military Training. Non-specific training on military matters, often assigned as NJP. (2) Greenwich Mean Time. Since this timezone is designated by the letter "Z," it is also known as Zulu time.

      Goat :
      (1) A.K.A. Window Licker, a member of the mission crew (as distinct from being with the flight crew) in an AWACS, JSTARS, or similar aircraft. (2) USNA mascot. (3) The member of a class assigned lowest standing, especially of a USNA graduating class.

      Goat Locker :
      A.K.A. MENOPAUSE MANOR. Chiefs' Quarters and Mess. The term originated during the era of wooden ships, when Chiefs were given charge of the milk goats on board. Nowadays more a term of respect for the age of its denizens.

      Goat Rope :
      An evolution which is going not at all well; disorganized; chaotic.

      Gob :
      Sailor (especially American). Archaic term, etiology unknown.

      Goblin :
      Radio pro-word used to report that an undersea object has been detected.

      God Botherer :
      (RN) A.K.A. Sin Bosun, Sky Bosun. The chaplain.

      God's G :
      The acceleration due to gravity.

      Goffa :
      Any non-alcoholic drink (why bother?).

      Goffer :
      (RN) A large wave. Usually shouted as a warning.

      Golden BB :
      That one bullet or shell that ruins your (or your opponent's) day in a dogfight or when conducting ground attacks.

      Golden Rivet :
      The mythical last rivet which completes a ship. Generally found in the depths of the engineering spaces, a maneuver used to get a female guest to bend over. "And if you look 'way down there, you can see the golden rivet!"

      Golden Shellback :
      One who has crossed the Equator at the International Date Line.

      Gong :
      (RN/RCN/RAN) Medal.

      Gonk :
      (RN) To sleep, perchance to dream. "I think I'll have a gonk before we hit the beach."

      Gonzo Station :
      The rendezvous point for aircraft carrier battle groups off the Straits of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.

      Goo :
      Generically, weather, but more usually the term refers to clouds and/or fog, undercast, etc., which one is flying through.

      Goofers :
      Denizens of VULTURE'S ROW.

      Goofy :
      An asymmetrical loadout of stores on an aircraft.

      Gooned :
      Screwed up.

      Go Pill :
      Anti-fatigue medication; stimulant.

      Gopping :
      (RN) Awful, horrible.

      Gouge (the) :
      (1) A.K.A. The Poop, The Gen (USAF). Information, or the 'inside scoop'. See SCUTTLEBUTT. (2) In older usage, cheating, or, as a verb, to cheat. (3) Easy, as a class where the prof grades gently.

      GQ :
      General Quarters. The call for all hands to man battle stations. Often used prepare the crew to react to a potential emergency. For example, a ship will call away general quarters for a major fuel or oil leak in the engineering spaces (to prepare in case a fire results). RN form is Action Stations.

      Grab-Assing :
      Horsing around, skylarking, etc. Unmilitary or undisciplined behavior.

      Grand Slam (track number or method) :
      Radio call for the successful SPLASH (destruction) of the indicated hostile air track (which can be comprised of one or more aircraft or missiles). "Grand Slam with birds" signifies a kill with missiles.

      Grannie (Granny) :
      (1) A mis-tied square knot. (2) (UK) The opposite of 'hard charger,' i.e. someone tentative in thought and/or action.

      Grape :
      (1) Easy pickings, especially in ACM, or a PQS signature obtained from a friend. (2) Member of the flight deck fuels crew, who wear purple jerseys. Jersey Colors

      Grape Sig :
      An easy signature on your qual card, generally given in return for a favor. The signature is traditionally in purple ink, and the practice is frowned upon.

      Gray Funnel Line :
      (RN) The Royal Navy surface fleet.

      Grease the Skids :
      Refers to the practice of lubricating the ways (or skids) upon which a ship was built, just prior to her launching. Now used to refer to facilitating something.

      Green Apple :
      The activation knob for the emergency oxygen in an aircraft.

      Green Board :
      An obsolete term used in submarines to indicate status of various hull openings, and therefore the ability of the boat to submerge safely. A properly closed hull opening was indicated by a green light. An open, or unsafe, closure was indicated by a red light. The more modern, safer 'STRAIGHT BOARD' (q.v.) report came into use because when a sub was 'RIGGED FOR RED', red unsafe indications were not readily visible on the monitor panel.

      Greenie :
      (RN) (1) Electrician. (2) Weapons Electrical Branch. (3) A fiber-type scrubbing or scouring pad. (4) Green (solid, not just foam or spray) water coming aboard.

      Greenie Board :
      A signboard used to track and display landing scores of the pilots of a carrier squadron.

      Green Maggot :
      (RCN) Sleeping bag.

      Green Slime :
      (RN) Member of British Army Intelligence.

      Green Water :
      Solid water (a swell or wave) coming aboard.

      Greyhound :
      Radio pro word for a friendly ground attack cruise missile.

      Grinder :
      (1) Obstacle course. (2) Parade (marching) ground.

      Gripe :
      (1) (Aviation) A discrepancy noted (on a 'gripe sheet') for maintenance action. (2) Tiedowns.

      Grog :
      (UK) Pusser's rum mixed with two parts water. So called from the name of the officer that regularized the issue of watered rum aboard British ships. Admiral Vernon was referred to as 'Old Grog' for his habit of wearing overcoats made of a material called grogram.

      Gronk :
      (RN) Ugly or unattractive, especially a member of the opposite sex.

      Group Grope :
      A disorganized or confused evolution.

      Grunion :
      Yard worker. Literally, a species of fish.

      Grunt :
      A.K.A. Leatherneck. A Marine or, more generally, an infantryman.

      G-suit :
      A.K.A. Speed Jeans, Speed Slacks. A piece of gear worn by flight crews in tactical aircraft. Uses compressed air to squeeze the calves, thighs, and stomach to reduce the blood-pooling effects of hard maneuvering, i.e. increased Gs.

      Guard :
      (1) International distress radio frequencies, including 243.0 MHz and 121.5 kHz. (2) To maintain a specific type of listening watch on a radio net or circuit.

      Gulch :
      (RN/RCN/RAN) A collection of PITs. Berthing space.

      Gun Boss :
      The Weapons Officer.

      Gun Busters :
      (RCN) Naval weapons ratings.

      Gundeck :
      A.K.A. Pencil-Whipping, Radioing In. To mark a maintenance or PMS check as complete without doing the work, especially when intentionally falsifying logs or records, filling in the blanks just before an inspection. 'Radioing' is also used to refer to work that is logged before it is performed.

      Gunner :
      (1) (Aviation) The CAG Weapons Officer. Responsible for the air-launched weapons. (2) Surface -- Term of address for a Warrant Officer gunnery or weapons specialist.

      Gunny :
      Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant (E-7).

      Gunroom :
      Junior officer living spaces. Back in the days of sail, the midshipmen and junior lieutenants lived on the gun deck, in a partitioned-off area known as the gunroom.

      Gut Bomb :
      Food, often not particularly appetizing or nutritious.

      Gyrene :
      (US) Marine


      Hack :
      (1) Informal confinement to quarters or to squadron spaces. (2) Time check, though this usage is more common to USAF than USN.

      Hacker :
      One who hacks the problem (gets the job done, come what may). To fail at something, or to SNIVEL out of it, is to be a non-hacker.

      Hail and Farewell :
      A party at which a soon-to-be-detached officer (the farewell) and his replacement (the hail) are feted.

      H and I :
      A military mission emphasizing Harassment and Interdiction of enemy forces and supply routes.

      Halfway Party :
      A party celebrating the midpoint of a submarine cruise.

      Halyard :
      A corruption of 'haul yard,' in modern usage refers to lines used to hoist flag signals on a ship's mast. In sailing ships, can mean lines used to raise a yard (spar) into place, or lines which place and/or hold a yard in a particular orientation.

      Handsomely :
      Executed carefully or deliberately. Does not necessarily mean 'slowly.' Opposite of ROUNDLY.

      Hangar Queen :
      (Aviation) An aircraft that never seems to be in flyable condition, it often sits in a corner and provides spare parts for serviceable aircraft instead.

      Hanging Garden :
      Berths suspended from the overhead in a torpedo room in diesel-electric and older nuke subs.

      Hanging Out :
      (RM) Similar to CHINSTRAP, but worse, i.e. 'Hanging out of their arses.'

      Hard Deck :
      (Aviation) A safety altitude (expressed as AGL). If an aircraft breaks the hard deck, it is considered a safety-of-flight violation (a serious transgression). Commonly 5000 feet AGL. See also SOFT DECK.

      Hard Dick :
      (USN Aviation) Aggressive.

      Hard Kill :
      To destroy a unit.

      Hardpoint :
      Location or locations on an aircraft's wings and fuselage where weapons or other stores can be hung.

      Hard Right (Left) :
      (1) (Aviation) Radio call for a maximum energy-sustaining turn in the called direction. Differs from a BREAK call in that energy is sustained. (2) (Surface) Maximum available rudder in the called direction. Unless applied with caution, can damage the rudder system.

      Hard Wing :
      An aircraft which lacks high lift devices (flaps, slats, slots, droops, etc.) in the leading edge. Opposite of Soft Wing.

      HARM :
      High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile, AGM-88.

      Hashmarks :
      (1) Chevrons or stripes worn on the sleeve to signify years of service. (2) Poop (or fart) stains on one's underwear.

      Hat :
      Job. "First hat" is one's primary job, but each servicemember usually has several jobs; second hat, third hat, etc.

      Hatch :
      An opening in the deck, and its closure. Sometimes (incorrectly) used to mean a watertight door, which is mounted vertically in a bulkhead.

      Hat Locker :
      One's head.

      Hawk :
      (Aviation) To watch closely, but also to think ahead. For example, if a tanker is hawking a low state aircraft (an aircraft with low fuel) near the carrier, he will position himself so that if the low state aircraft bolters, the tanker will be close ahead and above, to enable a fast joinup (rendezvous) and rapid transfer of fuel.

      Head :
      Marine toilet. In their original form, toilet facilities were found right forward in the bows, so that the smell would be blown downwind and away from the ship (since sailing ships could not lie directly into the wind when underway). The extreme fore part of a ship was known as the 'beakhead,' which may have been shortened to 'head' over time.

      Head On a Swivel :
      A.K.A. Doing Linda Blair. To be looking in all directions; to be alert. The Linda Blair reference relates to her 360 degree head rotation in the movie The Exorcist.

      Head Up and Locked :
      See BORESIGHT.

      Heater :
      Heat-seeking missile, e.g. Sidewinder.

      Heave and Wake the Dead :
      Refers to the pre-steam practice of hoisting anchor or performing other heavy lifts with a gang of men at a capstan. These actions were coordinated by use of a chanty. The louder they yelled, the harder they pushed.

      Heave Around :
      The order to haul in on a line, wire, or anchor chain, whether with power (windlass or capstan) or by hand.

      Heave Out And Trice Up :
      Originally, a call for sailors to get out of their hammocks, roll them up, and trice (tie) them to the ship's rail. Among other things, it reduced the splinters produced when a cannon ball hit the (wooden) rail. Today, it simply means it's time for a sailor to get out of his or her bunk, making sure it is left in shipshape condition.

      Heave the Lead :
      To take soundings by throwing a lead weight ('the lead', rhymes with 'dead') on a line ahead of the vessel, then pulling the line taut and reading the depth from markers on the line as the ship passes over the weight.

      Heave To :
      In a sailing ship, to come into the wind and essentially stop, with minimum sail area exposed. Used to wait out a squall or storm.

      Heaving Deck :
      Call from the LSO to a pilot on approach to the carrier that the vertical movement of the deck due to the action of wind and wave is sufficient to be a factor in the approach. Not only may BALL indications be erroneous; upward deck movement combined with proper aircraft descent rate may result in damaging impact at touchdown.

      Heaving Line :
      A relatively light, end-weighted line which is used by throwing the weighted end to an adjacent ship or pier, in order to pass over heavier lines (such as MOORING LINES).

      Heavy Weather :
      Bad weather, especially high seas.

      Heel :
      Side to side tilting motion of a ship caused by maneuvering; a ship will lean away from the direction of turn. The amount of heel can be quite significant at higher speeds and greater rudder angles. Contrast with ROLL, LIST.

      Hell To Pay :
      See DEVIL TO PAY.

      Helm :
      The steering wheel of the ship.

      Helmet Fire :
      A condition of high and increasing anxiety, often resulting from loss of SA, or from a surfeit of snakes in the cockpit.

      Hey Rube :
      I need support (come to my assistance).

      High Order :
      In general usage, performing calibration on someone by yelling or other attention-getting activity. Basically, yelling and screaming. Often referred to as 'going high order.' The term originates in the difference between high explosives such as dynamite or C4 (in which the flame propagation is supersonic and the material therefore detonates) and low explosives such as gunpowder, in which the flame front is subsonic and the material 'just burns real fast.').

      High PRF :
      Similar to HIGH ORDER; PRF is a radar term meaning Pulse Repetition Frequency. Can be used to refer to someone shouting.

      High Speed, Low Drag :
      (1) A HOT RUNNER (a very strong performer). (2) One who does his job with no concern for those around him. (3) An easy job, or one involving a minimum of red tape.

      High Warble :

      Hinge Head :
      O-4 (Lieutenant Commander/Major) or above; legend has it that when someone makes O-4, he or she receives a lobotomy. Some claim that the removed brain material is later replaced, others claim that the hinge is there so that the remaining half can be removed at a later date (such as the occasion of further promotion).

      Hi-Pac :
      High Pressure Air Compressor. Also seen as HPAC, spoken 'aitch-pack.'

      HITS :
      (UK) Herrings In Tomato Sauce.

      H.O. :

      Hogging :
      The behavior of a ship where the midships area is supported by the crest of a wave but the bow and stern are less supported due to the troughs of the wave. Contrast with SAGGING.

      Hoist :
      (1) A mechanism for delivering ammunition to a gun. (2) A group of signal flags hauled up a ship's mast via halyards.

      Hold Down :
      In ASW, to hold contact on a sub long enough to force it to surface due to battery exhaustion or lack of oxygen aboard. Only applies to non-nuke subs.

      Hold Fire :
      An emergency fire control order used to stop firing on a designated target (and destroy any missiles in flight.

      Holiday :
      A 'missed spot' in a paint job.

      Hollywood shower :
      An excessively long shower.

      Holystone :
      An abrasive stone used with water (and, originally, sand), to scrub a ship's wooden decks. The name stems from the size and shape of the stones, which closely resembled bibles. Generally used by fitting a wooden stick into a socket in the top surface of the stone. Before the advent of the stick, the man using the stone would kneel as if in prayer, aiding in the development of the nickname.

      Hong Kong Haircut :

      Hook :
      (1) Anchor. Anchor Parts (2) (Aviation) Short for tailhook.

      Hooker :
      Fishing craft.

      Hook Point :
      The part of the tailhook that actually engages the wires. It is replaced periodically, as it is worn down by contact with the deck or by field arrestment. Field traps are particularly rough on the hook point, as it is common practice to touch down well prior to the gear and roll into it, and length of rollout in field arrestment gear is much longer. As the hook is held down against the deck by a gas-pressurized snubber, wear is accelerated.

      Hook Skip Bolter :
      A BOLTER which results when the arresting hook bounces over the wires.

      Hooky :
      (RN) Leading rate. So called from the fouled anchor rate badge.

      Hooter :

      Hoover :
      (1) S-3 Viking, so called for the vacuum cleaner-like sound of its turbofan engines. (2) Any jet aircraft, for their tendency to suck objects and debris up off the ground, but especially a jet aircraft with a chin or beard intake, such as the A-7 Corsair II or F-8 Crusader. Aircraft Nicknames

      Hopper :
      Hovercraft or other air-cushion vehicle.

      Horse-cock :
      A.K.A. Tube Steak, Cylindrical Sirloin, Filet of Mule Tool. Sandwich meat, usually served at MIDRATS or during relaxed states of GQ, made with mystery meat masquerading as bologna or other lunch meat.

      Horse Latitudes :
      An area of variable and fickle winds in the region of the DOLDRUMS. Sailing ships which were becalmed here often had to throw live cargo such as livestock over the side to conserve water. The bloated carcasses sometimes floated for quite some time, and were often seen by other ships.

      Hostilities Only :
      (UK) (no longer in use) As compared to RN or RNR, for example. As the name suggests, H.O. ratings were servicemembers whose term of service ended with the cessation of hostilities. Similar to U.S. draftees.

      Hot :
      (Aviation) (1) Attack geometry will result in roll-out in front of the target. (2) A leg of the CAP patrol pointing toward anticipated threats. (3) Group heading toward friendly aircraft. (4) Ordnance employment intended or imminent. (5) 'Master Arm' switch is on (i.e. intent to attack).

      Hot Fuel :
      (Aviation) To take on fuel with engines running.

      Hot Gun :
      Literally, a gun which has been fired often enough to become so hot that there is risk that a round may COOK OFF (q.v.) before it can be fired. A hot gun which has a stoppage when loaded is an extremely dangerous situation often resulting in serious damage and loss of life.

      Hot Pipe :
      (submarines) To snorkel.

      Hot Pit :
      A place to conduct hot refueling.

      Hot Rack :
      Sharing of beds due to a lack of living space aboard ship.

      Hot Run :
      A torpedo which lodges in its tube when fired, or which activates itself without being fired. A very dangerous situation, as the torpedo's warhead could easily 'cook off' from the heat buildup.

      Hot Runner :
      (1) A high performer, one who consistently does well. (2) A torpedo undergoing a HOT RUN.

      Hot Shot :
      Iron cannon shot which has been heated red hot before firing, in an attempt to cause fires aboard the target ship. Only used by shore batteries, as open fires aboard a ship in combat would be a recipe for disaster.

      Hot, Straight, and Normal :
      (Submarine) A report from the sonar operator that torpedoes just fired are running hot (proper ignition of the engine has occurred), straight (not malfunctioning and steering in a circular run), and normal (no unusual noise are being emitted). Originally used to report performance of steam torpedoes, ca. WWII.

      Hotel Services :
      Power, water, and steam used for cooking, heating, laundry, or other non-engineering or non-propulsion purposes.

      Hound Dog :
      Informative call that the FREE FIGHTER is in position to use weapons.

      HPAC :
      See Hi-Pac.

      HS :
      Helicopter anti-submarine warfare squadron.

      HSL :
      Helicopter anti-submarine squadron (light).

      HUD :
      Head's Up Display. The instrument symbology is reflected back to the pilot's eyes by the sloped COMBINING GLASS. The effect is to superimpose the symbology over the view forward through the windshield.

      Huffer :
      A cart used to provide start air to an aircraft.

      Hull Down :
      The term for a ship when viewed at such a distance that only her upper works (structure above the weather deck level) can be seen.

      Hulled :
      A hit in the hull of the ship.

      Hull Up :
      The term for a ship which is sufficiently close that her weather decks may have been seen.

      Hum Job :

      Hummer :
      (1) E-2 Hawkeye, so-called for the sound of its turboprop engines. (2) Any propeller-driven aircraft. Aircraft Nicknames

      Hummer Hole (the) :
      An area of the carrier flight deck where the Hummers (E-2C Hawkeyes) are usually parked.

      Hunter-killer :
      (1) A SAG whose primary mission is ASW; a term coined in WWII. (2) FAST ATTACK sub.

      Hurricane Bow :
      An enclosed bow, particularly on an aircraft carrier; earlier types of carriers had an exposed, open area below the forward end of the flight deck which was susceptible to damage by large waves or heavy weather.

      Hydraulic Sandwich :
      Liquid lunch, i.e. beer or other alcoholic beverage.


      Idler :
      One who stands no watches.

      IFR :
      (1) Instrument Flight Rules. Derisively, 'I Follow Roads'. An FAA-defined set of flight rules where the aircraft is under positive radar control. Legal responsibility for safe flight and collision avoidance rests with the Air Traffic Control center, although a certain amount of legal and moral responsibility always rests with the pilot(s). Has nothing to do with meteorological conditions. (2) In-Flight Refueling

      I and I, I&I :
      Intercourse and Intoxication. A takeoff on R and R (R&R).

      Illuminate, illumination :
      (1) The targeting of an object with radar, especially for weapons guidance purposes. Differs from 'PAINT' (q.v.) in that painting is generally used to denote detection and tracking, while illumination specifically refers to targeting and/or guidance of weapons. (2) The lighting-up of an area with flares, often abbreviated 'illum' (pronounced to rhyme with 'room').

      Illumination Round :
      Star shell

      IMC :
      Instrument Meteorological Conditions. A set of FAA-defined criteria for inflight visibility.

      Indexer :
      (Aviation) The indicator lights mounted on a carrier aircraft's glare shield to indicate AOA during an approach to landing. The light array consists of a red 'fast' (AOA too low) indication (an upward-pointing chevron) at the bottom of the array, a green 'slow' (AOA too high) indication (a downward-pointing chevron) at the top, and a yellow on-speed indication (a circle or 'donut') in the center. It is generally active only when the landing gear are deployed. The same light pattern is sometimes echoed on an external array on or near the nose gear, so that aircraft AOA can be determined by the LSO.

      Indians :
      Ships of a Surface Action Group (SAG).

      Indirect Fire :
      Gunnery and fire control where the fall of shot is not directly visible from the firing unit. Shell impacts must be observed by someone other than the firing unit, whether an aircraft or a team on the ground.

      In-flight Arrestment (Engagement) :
      An arrested landing where the hook engages the CROSSDECK PENDANT while the main landing gear are not on deck. Generally the result of a significantly non-excellent approach or a too-close waveoff, visually it looks like what happens to the running cartoon dog when he reaches the end of the chain. Aircraft damage can result.

      In-Flight Refueling :
      Replenishing an aircraft's fuel supply in flight. US Navy systems (as well those of numerous other countries) use the 'probe and drogue' system where a hose is streamed aft of the tanker aircraft. The receiving aircraft then plugs into the drogue (also called 'the basket') and receives fuel. The US Air Force uses the 'boom' method, which has a much higher rate of fuel delivery. In this method, the receiving aircraft flies in close formation aft of and just below the tanker aircraft. A boom operator ('boomer') aboard the tanker aligns the boom via control surfaces and plugs it into a receptacle on the receiving aircraft.

      Influence Mine :
      A mine which does not require physical contact to detonate. A magnetic or acoustic mine.

      Influence Pistol :
      An exploder for a mine or torpedo which uses acoustic or magnetic sensing to activate.

      INT :
      Spoken as 'eye-en-tee.' Short form of the radio pro-word "Interrogative". Also used as a phrase in flag or Morse comms.

      Interrogate :
      Challenge contact with IFF (using stated mode).

      Irish Pennant :
      (1) (RN) Loose mop strings left in the flat. May be seen as 'Irish Pendant.' (2) (USN) More generically, any dangling or loose thread on a uniform, or lines left adrift or dangling from the upper works or rigging of the ship.

      Iron Lung :
      (RN) Soda dispenser filled with beer.

      Island (the) :
      The superstructure of an aircraft carrier. Houses the bridge, flag bridge, PRIFLY, and other administrative spaces. Flight Deck


      Jack :
      (1) (UK) General nickname for Royal Navy sailors (obsolete, from 'Jack Tar'). (2) The Union Jack, a small flag flown from the jackstaff on the bow of USN ships while moored or anchored; has a blue field and 50 white stars. It is also flown from the yardarm when a court martial or court of inquiry is in session aboard. (3) To slowly turn the propeller shaft or shafts of a ship while engines are stopped, both to maintain the oil film in shaft bearings and to prevent the shaft from bowing from its own weight.

      Jackass :
      A conical bag stuffed into the hawsepipes to stop the entry of seawater. Usually filled with oakum.

      Jacking Gear :
      The machinery used to jack (cause to turn slowly) a shaft. May also be used to lock the shaft.

      Jack of the Dust :
      See DUSTY.

      Jackspeak :
      (UK) Language used by sailors.

      Jacob's Ladder :
      A rope ladder. Some have wooden steps, others have knotted horizontal ropes for that purpose.

      JANFU :
      Joint Army-Navy Fuck-Up.

      Jarhead :
      GRUNT, or Marine. Reportedly, due to the 'high and tight' haircut favored by many marines; it looks as if someone put a bowl (or jar) on the victim's head and cut or shaved off all the hair that protruded.

      Jaunty :
      (UK) Master at Arms.

      JBD :
      Jet Blast Deflector, a large flat surface of the flight deck immediately aft of each catapult which can be raised hydraulically to deflect the hot jet exhaust of an aircraft about to be catapulted away from the aircraft, men, and equipment on deck aft of the cat. In modern carriers, seawater can be pumped through pipes embedded in the JBD to prevent overheating under the sustained blast of afterburners.

      Jerry Can :
      Steel (usually) 5-gallon fuel can. So named because the first ones seen were German, during WWII. Weights and Measures

      Jetsam :
      Objects thrown over the side (jettisoned) to lighten ship. Jetsam does not float. See also FLOTSAM.

      Jimmy, Jimmy the One :
      (RN) First Lieutenant of a ship.

      JO :
      Junior Officer; O-3 (Navy Lieutenant/USMC Captain) and below.

      Joe :
      As in 'cup of Joe,' refers to coffee. Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy, on July 1, 1914, issued General Order 99, which rescinded Article 827, thereby prohibiting alcoholic beverages aboard ship. Henceforth, the strongest drink to be had was coffee.

      Joe Shit the Ragman :
      A.K.A. Seaman Jones, Joe/Seaman Schmuckatelli, etc. The generic US Navy dirtbag or screwup. Also seen as 'J.S. Ragman'.

      JO Jungle (Ghetto) :
      Junior Officer berthing.

      Joker :
      (Aviation) Fuel state above BINGO at which BUGOUT or event termination should begin.

      JOPA :
      Junior Officer Protective Association. In any unit, the JOs tend to bend together for mutual support and protection. Also seen as JORC, Junior Officer Retaliation Corps.

      Joss, Jossman :
      (RN) Master at Arms. The 'Fleet Joss' was the Fleet Chief Petty Officer Master at Arms.

      JSTARS :
      Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System; can also refer to the E-8C aircraft which carries the airborne element of this system.

      Junk Yard (the) :
      A region of a carrier's flight deck, starboard side, aft of the island.

      Judy :
      Radio call signifying that the fighter has radar contact on the BOGEY or BANDIT and can complete the intercept without further assistance from the controller.

      Jury Rig :
      A temporary fix, or makeshift.


      Keelhaul :
      Ancient, usually fatal form of punishment from the days of sail, in which a sailor was thrown overboard and dragged under the ship to the other side with a line. If not fatal, severe injuries were expected due to the barnacles and other sea life encrusting the hull.

      Kevlar :
      (1) A synthetic Aramid fiber used for body and splinter armor. (2) A type of helmet used by US forces. See 'FRITZ.'

      Ki, kai, kye :
      (RN) Hot chocolate made from slab chocolate shavings mixed with water into a cloyingly sweet drink. Pronounced to rhyme with 'try'.

      Kick the Tires and Light the Fires :
      Originally, to bypass completely or drastically shorten the preflight inspection of an aircraft in favor of starting up and launching. Current meaning is to speed up the evolution of preflight, startup, and launch as much as possible while maintaining safety.

      Killick :
      (RN, RCN) Leading rate. Often used with the branch name or nickname, e.g. Killick Stoker, Killick Bunting Tosser.

      King Neptune :
      The mythological God of the Sea. He always presides, with his court, at the LINE-CROSSING CEREMONY.

      Kipper :
      (UK) (1) Obsolete term for torpedo. (2) An Englishman. Also seen as Kipperland, i.e. England or the UK.

      Knee-knockers :
      The coaming of a watertight door or bulkhead opening. These coamings are a foot or so off the deck. So called because they can wreak havoc on the shins of those new to shipboard life.

      Knife Fight in a Phonebooth :
      (Aviation) A close-range turning fight.

      Knock It Off :
      (Aviation) The radio call to stop an ACM engagement. May be made for safety reasons, fuel shortage, or because an aircraft has met the kill criteria for the exercise. Any participant (or an observer) may make the call.

      Knot :
      A measure of speed, equating to one nautical mile per hour. 'Knots per hour' is incorrect usage. A nautical mile equates to one and an eighth statute miles. Weights and Measures

      Knuckle :
      A transitory disturbed area in the water which can return sonar pulses (and therefore appear as a submarine contact). Can be caused by high rudder-angle maneuvers (sharp turns) of a sub at high speeds as part of an evasive maneuver.

      Knuckle-dragger :
      Any sailor whose job requires more brawn than brains. See DECK APE, ORDIE.


      Ladder :
      Stairs aboard ship. Found in a 'ladderwell' (stairwell).

      Lagan :
      (also seen as Ligan) Floating or sunken goods that have been marked with a buoy to indicate ownership and facilitate later recovery.

      Lagging :
      Fiberglass insulation blankets commonly attached to bulkheads, ducts, and piping.

      Lagging Paste :

      Lance :
      Active shipborne sonar.

      Laundry Queen :
      (submarines) A junior sailor, usually an NQP (especially if he's DINK) assigned to handle a division's laundry chores.

      Lawn Mower :
      (RN) 'Flashing up a lawn mower' is a term used when a sailor is about to steal away or woo another sailor's companion away. Cutting one's fellow sailor's grass.

      Lead (the) :
      Pronounced to rhyme with 'dead.' A heavy weight attached to a coil of light line; used to take soundings. See HEAVE THE LEAD.

      Leadsman :
      One who heaves the LEAD.

      Leaker :
      An airborne threat (missile or aircraft) which has successfully penetrated (survived passage through) a defensive layer.

      Leans, The :
      Vertigo. Flying on instruments in poor visibility often results in odd "seat of the pants" sensations.

      LEAPEX :
      An exercise in jumping through your own asshole.

      Lee Helm :
      The bridge watchstander who operates the Engine Order Telegraph.

      Leatherneck :
      A.K.A. Bootneck (especially RN). A Marine. Derives from the historical use of a leather collar or stock to protect the neck from saber cuts. Also All terms frequently modified by Naval personnel with the affectionate adjective "fucking".

      Leg :

      Lens (the) :

      Let the Cat Out of the Bag :
      Originally, this term simply meant to remove the cat (cat o' nine tails) from its baize bag, generally preliminary to administering punishment. The term's meaning today is to reveal a secret.

      Liberty Boat :
      Various small craft used to shuttle personnel ashore and back aboard when the ship is anchored out rather than moored alongside. May be operated by a civilian contractor or by ship's personnel.

      Liberty Card :
      A CHIT granting permission for a junior enlisted sailor to go on liberty. Usually implies that all his assigned work is done and he is not in trouble at the moment.

      Liberty Hound :
      Party animal.

      Liberty Risk :
      Someone with a reputation for getting into trouble while on liberty.

      Liberty Turns :
      The practice of answering an ordered bell with more than the requested number of turns, in order to get into port faster for some eagerly-awaited R&R, I&I, etc.

      Lifer (or Lifer Dog) :
      A career member of the service, or one who has been in a long time.

      Light Off :
      Starting a piece of gear, especially, but not confined to, boilers.

      Light Water :
      See AFFF.

      Line :
      (1) What mere mortals call 'rope', the sailor calls 'line.' Small line is called by the number of threads it's made up of (e.g. 9-thread line); larger line is sized by its circumference (rather than diameter). Traditionally, the PORKCHOP buys rope, but as soon as you cut a piece off of the spool, it is called 'line.' (2) The equator.

      Line-Crossing Ceremony :
      The ceremony which turns POLLYWOGs into SHELLBACKs. Enjoyed much more by the Shellbacks than by the 'Wogs. Held when a vessel crosses the Equator (which is also known as The Line). During the ceremony, POLLYWOGS are made to go through a number of ordeals, each more disgusting than the last. These trials are conducted in full view of KING NEPTUNE and his court. Once the ceremony is completed, the POLLYWOG is now a SHELLBACK. Similar ceremonies are conducted for Orders of the BLUENOSE and REDNOSE.

      Line Officer :
      See UNRESTRICTED LINE. A contraction of the older term "Officer of the Line."

      List :
      The static (at rest) tendency of a ship to lie with her decks not level in beamwise (side to side) aspect, due to imbalances in her loadout or perhaps due to flooding. Contrast with ROLL, HEEL.

      Little (or Mini) Boss :
      Assistant Air Boss.

      Load Toad :
      (1) (Aviation) Ordnanceman. See REDSHIRT. (2) A small ceramic frog used as a talisman to prevent loss of electrical power in all or part of the ship (see LOSE THE LOAD). Similar to the chicken bones used by other rates to ward off evil spirits.

      Lock :
      A.K.A. Lockup, Lockon. A radar/fire control system status in which the system has obtained a stable track, permitting weapons to be fired or launched.

      Lock and Load :
      In the use of small arms, to place the weapon on safe ('lock') and chamber a round ('load'). Note that in some small arms it is not possible to cycle the action once locked, in such case the proper sequence of events is 'Load and Lock.'

      Log Room :
      An engineering space used for engineering admin purposes, often used as the office for the engineering dept.

      Looking :
      Aircrew does not yet have visual contact with ground object, air contact, or target.

      Loose Deuce :
      An early form of COMBAT SPREAD, a formation and theory of maneuver/visual lookout for a flight of two in air combat.

      LOPAC :
      LOw Pressure Air Compressor. Also seen as LPAC, spoken 'ell-pack.'

      Lose the Bubble :
      Originally, to assume such an extreme up- or down-angle in a submarine that the bubble of the inclinometer is no longer visible. In common usage, to lose SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. See BRAIN FART.

      Lose the Load :
      A.K.A. Drop the Load, to lose electrical power in all or part of the ship.

      Loss of Steerage :
      See STEERAGE.

      Loud Lever :
      (Aviation) Variously, throttle or ejection handle.

      Lower Deck Lawyer :
      (UK) A know-it-all sailor. The US version is a SEA LAWYER.

      LPAC :
      See LoPac.

      LSO :
      A.K.A. Paddles. Landing Signals Officer. A specially-qualified pilot who observes landing approaches aboard a carrier. A pilot's 'passes' (approaches) are critiqued and graded as follows -- OK ('underlined okay pass') is the elusive perfect pass, and counts as 4 points. OK ('okay pass') counts 3 points. A 'no grade pass' is worth 2 points. A 'bolter pass' (which grade can be assigned whether the aircraft traps successfully or not) is worth 1 point. A 'cut pass' counts zero points and is considered to have put ship, plane, and pilot in danger. In qualifying for carrier ops, the numerical average of the assigned grades must at least equal the stated minimum value.

      LSO Platform :
      A small platform on the flight deck, portside aft about midway between the RAMP and the LENS, from which the LSO and his minions control landing ops.

      Lubber's Line :
      The vertical mark on a compass bowl which marks the ship's heading. To 'chase the lubber's line' is to be unable to hold a steady course.

      Lucky Bag :
      A compartment maintained by the Chief Master at Arms where ADRIFT gear is stored. Personnel can retrieve personal gear turned into the Lucky Bag by working off EMI. If, after a period of time, the items are not claimed, they are sold, with the funds going to the Rec Fund. Similar to SCRAN BAG (RN).


      MAA :
      Master At Arms.

      MAD :
      (1) Magnetic Anomaly Detector; as in MAD boom, MAD bird. (2) Marine Aviation Detachment.

      Madcat :
      Helicopter fitted with MAD gear.

      MADMAN :
      The report of the MAD operator when his gear detects an undersea object (presumably, a submarine).

      Mae West :
      A.K.A. KAPOK, a non-inflatable life jacket, so called because it is quite bulky in the chest area (somewhat reminiscent of the movie actress).

      Maggie's Drawers :
      (1) A flag flown to signal a miss at the firing range. (2) Another term for the red Baker (later, Bravo) alphabet signal flag. Nautical Signal Flags

      Magnum ( ) :
      Informative call reporting a HARM launch, usually to include callsign, threat type, and location, e.g. "Blackjack Two, Magnum SA-6, one five five for fifty from BULLSEYE" (translation: Blackjack Two has just launched a HARM at an SA-6 SAM radar, 155 degrees and fifty miles from reference point BULLSEYE).

      Mail Buoy Watch :
      A practical joke pulled on inexperienced crewmembers and midshipmen which revolves around convincing the victim that mail is delivered to a ship at sea via a buoy.

      Main Control :
      The engineering space from which the operations of the engineering plant are controlled. Watchstation of the EOOW.

      Main Space :
      Engine room or fire room or, collectively, both/all.

      (Make a) Play for the Deck :
      A maneuver guaranteed to attract the ire of the LSO and the BOSS, whereby the pilot tries to salvage a significantly non-excellent approach by diving for the deck (and thereby the arresting wires). Can result in damage to the aircraft, even a RAMPSTRIKE. Improves the BOARDING RATE but costs at the GREENIE BOARD.

      Make and Mend :
      Originally, a half-day off from normal ship's work to make and/or mend clothing.

      Make Fast :
      To tie off (a line) securely.

      Make Way :
      A command to get out of the way.

      Makee-Learnee :
      Also seen as make-ye learn-ye. A term for on-the-job training. From the pidgin English expression for teaching or training.

      Making Way :
      (1) From the Rules of the Nautical Road, when a ship is making way she is proceeding under her own power, whether by engine or sail (or oars, for that matter). Often confused with UNDER WAY; a ship which is adrift (not under power or sail) is under way, but not making way, even though she may be moving with respect to the seabed due to wind and current effects.

      Maneuvering :
      A.K.A. The Box. The Engineering Operating Station aboard a submarine.

      Manfred :
      Informative radio call which means 'I am unable to operate radar due to reasons of national security.'

      MARDET :
      MARine DETachment.

      Marine Bib, Marine Napkin :
      The flap on the front of the CRACKERJACK US Naval enlisted uniform trousers.

      Marine Shower :
      Changing clothes without bathing, usually just applying deodorant. Similar to POMMIE BATH.

      Mark :
      (1) A designation system for military hardware, e.g. 'Mark 14 torpedo.' Contrast with MOD. Also used as a general example: 'Mark one, mod zero midshipman' would refer to the typical or common midshipman. (2) A spoken word to designate a specific point in time, e.g. 'Bearing, mark!' means to note the indicated bearing at the instant the observer speaks the word 'mark.'

      Martin-Baker Fan Club :
      Someone who has ejected from an aircraft. Martin-Baker makes ejection seats for some U.S. aircraft.

      Marshal :
      The rally point from which approach for a shipboard landing begins, or the controlling agency aboard the ship for same.

      Marshal Stack :
      The holding pattern at the marshal point, vertically tiered to maintain safe separation of aircraft.

      Masker :
      A noise-reduction system in which air is pumped into the water from belts in the vicinity of the engineering spaces.

      Matelot :
      (RN, pronounced to rhyme with 'flow') A sailor. The word is French, literally 'sailor'. This is why reason sailors are referred to as 'mateys.'

      Material Condition ( ) :
      Circle William - A material condition involving closure of ventilation fittings and machinery marked with a 'W' inside a circle. Used to control the spread of smoke in a fire belowdecks, or in preparation for an NBC attack; Xray - A material condition where fittings or closures (hatches, watertight doors, valves, flappers, etc.) marked with an 'X' ('X-ray' in the phonetic alphabet) must be closed; Generally seen only inport. Surface ships only; Yoke - Closures marked 'X' and 'Y' must be kept closed. This is the normal daylight underway material condition, and represents a minimal condition of watertight integrity; Zebra - All fittings and closures marked 'X', 'Y', and 'Z' must be closed. Maximum watertight integrity. "Set Condition Zebra" is the command to close all water-tight doors, hatches, and fittings throughout the ship.

      Max Conserve :
      Signal to aircraft to use power levels appropriate for maximum endurance. 'Loiter' is similar, although loitering usually involves staying in one place, e.g. in a holding pattern. 'Max Conserve' more properly applies to an aircraft flying a long-range profile.

      Max Trap :
      (USN Aviation) The maximum gross weight condition at which an aircraft can safely carry out an arrested landing at sea or ashore (max trap weight ashore is a higher number because the field arresting gear does not stress the aircraft as much as the shipboard gear does)

      Mayday :
      Distress call via radio, Anglicized from the French m'aidez (literally, "help me").

      MCAS :
      Marine Corps Air Station.

      MCPOC :
      (pronounced 'mickpock') Master Chief Petty Officer Of the Command. Senior MCPO assigned to the unit. Similar to the COB of a submarine.

      Meatball :
      (obsolete) A system in which a red light was reflected off a large parabolic mirror and projected aft to provide glideslope data to the pilot on approach. In common usage today, synonymous with the luminous yellow display of the FRESNEL LENS system which replaced it.

      Meet Her :
      An order to the helm to use the rudder as needed to stop the ship's turn. Usually followed by an order giving a course to steer.

      MER :
      Multiple Ejector Rack, a device used to increase the amount of ordnance carried by an aircraft. Allows up to six weapons to be hung on a single set of shackles, depending on weight and other limitations.

      Merge :
      (1) Culmination of an intercept. (2) A.K.A. Merge Plot, the point at which two radar blips join and become indistinguishable.

      Messenger, Messenger Line :
      A line used to pass across a heavier line.

      Mess Mother :
      (RN) Senior hand of the mess, responsible to the COX'N for the cleanliness and good order of the mess decks.

      Messcrank :
      A.K.A. CRANK, food service personnel, especially nonrated personnel provided on a temporary basis by the ship's other departments (non-Supply depts.) to perform scutwork such as busing tables, washing dishes, etc.

      Messdecks :
      Crew's eating area.

      Mickey Mouse Book :
      See PIPING TAB.

      Midrats :
      Food served at midnight for ongoing watchstanders, although the oncoming watch section commonly does not get up early enough to partake. Offgoing section gets the remnants, if any. Usually a combination of leftovers, plus something new to round out the service. A contraction of 'midnight rations.'

      Midwatch :
      A.K.A. Midbitch, Midshitter, Balls to Four, etc. A watch stood from midnight (2400) until 4 a.m. (0400).

      Mike-Mike :
      Radio phonetic for 'millimeter.'

      Military Power :
      Aviation term for maximum 'dry' power, i.e. without afterburner.

      Milk Bottle Shoulders :
      Refers to someone who is unwilling or unable to shoulder responsibility.

      Mind Your Ps and Qs :
      In the past, when sailors went ashore for liberty, the tavern keepers knew how much the sailors were paid. They'd keep tally of a sailor's beer consumption by marking up 'P' for pints and 'Q' for quarts, then settling up with the sailor at the end of the evening. If a sailor failed to 'mind his Ps and Qs,' he'd come up short (or perhaps be cut off by the bartender).

      Minute To Live Rule :
      (Aviation) A rule of thumb which states that rate of descent in feet per minute should never be greater than your altitude, therefore you should never be less than a minute away from death.

      Mission (or Soft) Kill :
      A unit which, while still operable at some level, is not capable of fulfilling its mission due to damage, or to inflict sufficient damage on a target that it is unable to fulfill its mission.

      MMR :
      Main Machinery Room.

      Mod :
      Modification. Goes with MARK to track revisions or upgrades of hardware. For example, a 'mark ten, mod two' would be an updated or improved version of a 'mark ten, mod one' of whatever was being discussed or described.

      Monkey Dicks :
      (1) A.K.A. Poodle Peckers, Puppy Peters, etc. Sausages. (2) The 'rubber ducky' antenna of a handheld radio.

      Monkey Fist :
      The complex knot surrounding (sometimes taking the place of) the weight on the end of a HEAVING LINE.

      Monkey on a stick :
      Derisive term for a dish similar to satay chicken, grilled meat served on skewers, by street vendors in any port of call. In third-world countries, only consumed by drunk sailors and Marines, due to questionable sanitation practices.

      Monkey Shit :
      Room temperature vulcanizing packing material (RTV caulking) used to fill and seal stuffing tubes, etc.

      Mooring Line :
      Lines used to tie the ship to the pier or to another ship. Mooring lines are numbered from forward aft; the direction they tend (lead) is also sometimes given. 'Number one mooring line' typically is made fast at the bow, and tends straight across to the pier or other ship. Spring lines tend forward or aft of their attachment point.

      Morning Prayers :
      A general term for a regularly scheduled meeting, often a Commanding Officer's briefing.

      Mort :
      Dead; to kill, or be killed. "I got morted prior to the merge."

      MOS :
      Military Occupational Specialty, the descriptor of a USMC Marine's warfare specialty, e.g. Artillery, Infantry, etc.

      Most Skosh :
      (pronounced with long 'o') Soonly; quickly. A very small amount. Compare with SKOSH.

      Mouse ears :
      Muff-style hearing protectors.

      MPA :
      Main Propulsion Assistant. Division Officer for MP Division, the group that operates and maintains the ship's main engines.

      MSL :
      (Aviation) Mean Sea Level. Altitude expressed with respect to sea level (i.e. pressure altitude). Used to ensure common reference points for aircraft operating in a common area. Altitudes expressed as MSL have no meaning as far as ground clearance is concerned. Contrast with AGL.

      Mud :
      (1) (General) Coffee. (2) (Aviation) Informative call of a RWR indication of a SAM or AAA radar. Normally includes clock direction and relative distance (Close/Far).

      Mud Duck :
      Shallow water sailor, e.g. Coast Guard. See also BROWN WATER.

      Mud Mover :
      An aircraft used for support of ground forces, or the pilot of same.

      Muscle Bosun :
      Physical Training rating.

      Mushroom :
      Warning call of a nuclear detonation.

      Mustang :
      (1) (USN) An officer who has 'come up through the ranks,' i.e. started out as an enlisted man and earned a commission. Equivalent UK term is 'Up through the hawsehole." (2) Helicopter carrying an anti-surface weapon.


      NAAF :
      Naval Auxiliary Air Field

      NAAFI :
      (RN) Navy, Army, and Air Force Institute. Provides canteens, shops, and other services to the armed forces ashore and afloat.

      NAFOD :
      (Aviation) Pronounced nay fod, with short 'o,' the abbreviation for 'No Apparent Fear Of Death.' What a frightened LSO writes on your grade card. Indicates consistent unsafe practices.

      Naked :
      No radar warning indications on the scope.

      NALF :
      Naval Air Landing Field

      NAM :
      Navy Achievement Medal. Said to be given to SONAR GIRLS for tracking a stationary object.

      Nancy Hanks :
      Directive signal to another unit to establish infra-red communications, or to turn on her POT (Point Of Train) lights to enable infra-red communications.

      NAS :
      Naval Air Station

      NATO Standard :
      (RCN) Term to indicate a large cup of coffee with double cream and double sugar.

      NATO Stock Number :
      (NSN) A number given by NATO to identify a particular part, that is unique and standard to only that particular part, with a description that only God can understand because no man or woman could have come up with such a far fetched description. No matter the size and shape, there is a number. It is a given that what you're looking for is usually found after hours of looking up the NSN, beating, yelling, and cursing at the computer, only to have a friend with a horseshoe up his ass find it as you walk away in disgust.

      NATOPS :
      A.K.A. Big Blue Sleeping Pill. Naval Aviation Training and Operating Procedures Standardization system (pronounced NAY' tops) A program of systematized training and procedures development for aircraft and air operations. Can also refer to the specific NATOPS manual for each aircraft type. Developed to improve readiness and reduce accident rates and severity. It has been truthfully said that every line in the NATOPS manual has been written in blood.

      Nav (the) :
      (1) Navigator, or having to do with navigation. (2) The Navy (USN).

      Navigator :
      A.K.A. Gator, Nagivator, Old Clueless, Vasco (especially UK). Officer responsible, under the captain, for safe navigation of the ship.

      NavSta :
      Pronounced Nav Stay; Naval Station.

      Navy Brat (Junior) :
      One who has grown up in a Navy household.

      Navy Shower :
      A water-saving evolution in which one attempts to get reasonably clean while using as little water as possible. Basically, you wet yourself down, turn off the shower, lather up, then turn the shower back on to rinse off.

      NBC Warfare :
      Nuclear/Biological/Chemical Warfare.

      Neats :
      (RN) Straight rum, as opposed to GROG, which has been diluted. Also seen as 'Neaters'.

      Needle :
      Turn needle, an aircraft instrument which indicates direction and rate of turn.

      Needle, Ball, Airspeed :
      (Aviation) A term for instrument flying before the days of reliable attitude indicators (artificial horizon), or, more recently, upon failure of the attitude indicator (see PARTIAL PANEL). The needle (turn needle) indicates the direction the aircraft is turning, with some indication of rate of turn. The ball indicates when the aircraft is in balanced flight (neither slipping nor skidding). Scanning the airspeed indicates speed of flight and trend (e.g. if the aircraft is increasing speed, it is descending). Sometimes seen humorously as "Needle, ball, ripcord" or "Needle, ball, D-RING."

      Needles :
      The indicators on an artificial horizon or digital screen for an approach aid system which provide glideslope and course reference.

      Negat :
      Spoken or abbreviated form of 'negative.'

      Nest :
      Two or more ships berthed together, one outboard of the other.

      NFG :
      Non Functional Gear. Written on the sides of inoperative equipment as an indication that they should be replaced or scrapped (float tested). Often corrupted as 'No Fucking Good.'

      NFI :
      No Fucking Idea.

      NFO :
      Naval Flight Officer. Derisively, Non-Flying Officer or No Future Occupation.

      Nixie :
      A countermeasure against acoustic homing torpedoes. It consists of a noise-generating body ('fish') towed behind the ship on a long cable.

      NJP :
      Non-Judicial Punishment. See CAPTAIN'S MAST.

      No Factor :
      Not a threat.

      No Go Pill :
      Sedative used to ensure sufficient sleep. Contrast with 'Go Pill.'

      No Joy :
      No radio contact, or no visual contact (when used as opposite of 'Tallyho'). Sometimes used to say 'it didn't work.'

      No-Load :
      (1) A servicemember who does not pull his or her own weight. (2) A test of a catapult system where the cat is fired without launching anything (a dry firing).

      Nonskid :
      An epoxy compound applied to deck surfaces to improve traction for feet and wheels. At the end of a cruise, when a flight deck's nonskid is mostly gone, not to mention oily and/or greasy, taxiing or landing can be even more of an adventure than usual. Usually applied to all weather decks of any ship.

      NORDO :
      NO RaDiO.

      No Room To Swing A Cat :
      Originally, this term meant insufficient room to carry out a flogging, which punishment was performed with a CAT. The modern meaning is simply that an area is crowded.

      Noseconer :
      See CONER.

      Notch :
      The defensive maneuver of an aircraft to put a threat radar or incoming missile directly abeam (90 degrees relative) to zero out Doppler. Also used as an advisory radio call.

      NQP :
      Non-Qual-Puke. (submarines only) One who has not yet received his DOLPHINS. Also used as a derogatory term for a Dolphin wearer who screws up on something he should have known.

      Nub :
      (pronounced to rhyme with 'tube') Newbie, or someone who does not stand watches and is therefore deadweight to the department. Literally, 'Non-Usable Body.'

      Nugget :
      First-tour pilot or NFO. A diamond in the rough, or at least with a few rough edges.

      Nuke, nuc :
      (1) Nuclear-trained and qualified personnel, whether surface or sub. (2) A nuclear-powered vessel. (3) Nuclear weapon, although the term 'special weapon' is preferred.

      Number 8's :
      (RN) Action working dress. The equivalent of US dungarees.

      Nuts and Bolts :
      (RN) Stores rating concerned with equipment.

      NVD :
      Night Vision Device.

      Nylon Letdown :
      A.K.A. Nylon Approach. The parachute ride following an ejection.


      O's :
      Officers. Pronounced 'ohs.'

      O1 (or 02, 03, etc.) :
      A paygrade designation for an American commissioned officer. Pronounced oh-1, oh-2, etc. A naval O1 is an Ensign, O2 is a Lieutenant (j.g.), etc.

      Oakum :
      Jute or hemp fiber. Used with pine tar (pitch) in caulking the seams of a wooden ship.

      OBA :
      Oxygen Breathing Apparatus. An oxygen generating and rebreathing system used for firefighting.

      OBE :
      Overcome By Events. Eaten by the snakes in the cockpit; the victim of task saturation. What happens to the pilot who forgets that his priority of actions goes in the following order: Aviate, Navigate, Communicate.

      OBOGS :
      On-Board Oxygen Generating System, the system replacing liquid oxygen systems aboard tactical aircraft.

      OCA :
      Offensive Counter Air. A fighter sweep in advance of the strike, whose mission is to gain air superiority, at least for the duration of the strike mission.

      Occulting :
      A navigation light (buoy or lighthouse) in which the light is on longer than it is off. Contrast with FLASHING.

      OCSA :
      Program which takes in college graduates and turns out commissioned officers. See '90-Day Wonder.'

      Octaflugeron :
      Odd and aimless maneuvers of an aircraft. May result from a DEPARTURE.

      OD :
      (RN) (1) An ordinary seaman. (2) Derogatory term for anyone acting 'green' (Olive Drab). Frequently modified with the adjective "fucking".

      Officers' Country :
      The area of the ship where the officers live. Generally off-limits to enlisted crew unless they are on duty or on a specific errand.

      O-ganger :

      Oh Dark Thirty :
      A.K.A. Zero Dark Thirty. Very late at night, or very early in the morning.

      Oil King :
      Personnel in charge of inventorying, testing, and bringing aboard petroleum products of various types.

      Oilskins :
      Garments made from cloth which has been made water-resistant by impregnating it with linseed oil.

      Oleo, Oleo Leg :
      The telescoping pneumatic or hydraulic-pneumatic landing gear leg of an aircraft. Acts as a shock absorber.

      One Row :
      A region of a carrier's flight deck, starboard side outboard of the track of catapult one.

      One Way :
      See WALTER.

      On Speed :
      (Naval Aviation) A term meaning that the aircraft is at the proper speed for final approach to landing. Indicated by the INDEXER light array. This speed varies with amount of fuel and ordnance or other stores being carried.

      On The Mouse :
      Talking on the flight deck radio circuit.

      OOD :
      Officer Of (the) Deck. Relays TWELVE O'CLOCK REPORTS on fuel and water, magazine temperature, and ship's position to the CO.

      Oolie :
      (Submarine) A difficult question that may not pertain to one's duties, or one that tests one's system knowledge to the limit. Also seen as Ouly or owly.

      OPFOR :
      OPposing FORce, whether in an exercise or real life.

      Opportunity to Excel :
      A disagreeable job, typically without the time or resources to do it properly.

      Opposite Number :
      (RN) (1) A.K.A. Oppo. Anyone carrying out comparable or equivalent duties on another watch or ship. Literally, the other person on the ship who works the same watchstation as you. (2) A.K.A. Wingie, Wings (i.e. wingman). A friend.

      OPTAR :
      OPerational TARget, one's budget for operational costs (fuel, etc.)

      Orange Force :
      Opposing force in a wargame exercise.

      Oranges (Sour/Sweet) :
      Weather is unsuitable/suitable for aircraft missions.

      Order of the Blue Nose :
      One who has crossed the Arctic Circle in a ship.

      Order of the Golden Dragon :
      A fraternal order made up of those who have crossed the equator at the International Date Line in a ship. An event similar to a LINE-CROSSING CEREMONY is staged for the benefit of the victims.

      Order of the Red Nose :
      A fraternal order made up of those who have crossed the Antarctic Circle in a ship.

      Ordie :
      Aviation Ordnanceman. See REDSHIRT.

      ORSE :
      Operational Reactor Safeguards Examination, a strenuous and exhausting series of examinations, tests, and demonstrations of reactor operating procedures and practices, performed on nuclear-powered ships of the US Navy. Conducted by NAVSEA08, the Nuclear Propulsion group of Naval Sea Systems Command, once per cycle.

      Oscar :
      (1) The dummy used for man overboard drills. (2) The international signal flag hoisted for "man overboard". (3) Phonetic alphabet for 'O.'

      Oscar Brothers :
      The Commanding Officer and Executive Officer (CO and XO).

      Outhouse (bearing/distance) :
      My position, given in true bearing and distance in miles from my reference point (assigned station).

      Overhead :
      What a civilian would call the ceiling. Essentially, the underside of the deck above.

      Oversweep :
      A non-flight wing position on the F-14 Tomcat allowing for minimum deck space requirement.


      Pack (the) :
      Aircraft ranged (parked) about the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, especially forward of the landing area; contrast with Sixpack.

      Packed Up :
      Broken, or unserviceable.

      Padeye :
      (1) A recessed tie-down point on a flight deck or a flight line. (2) Almost any anchor point on a bulkhead or deck.

      Paddles :
      Landing Signals Officer (LSO).

      Padlocked :
      Informative call indicating that aircrew cannot take their eyes off a visual contact without risk of losing the contact.

      Paint :
      To detect or track an object with radar. Contrast with ILLUMINATE.

      Panther :
      Hostile nuclear submarine.

      Papa Hotel :
      Phonetic pronunciation of the flag signal 'P-H'. Signal for "all hands return to ship".

      Parade :
      The standard USN 4-ship aircraft formation, similar to the USAF "fingertip" formation.

      Paraffin Budgie :
      (UK) Shipboard helicopter, particularly a small one such as the Wasp.

      Paravane :
      A device towed from the bow of a ship to aid in cutting the cable of moored underwater mines, causing them to rise to the surface where they can be destroyed. When streaming minesweeping gear, the paravane pulls the sweep wire out at an angle, trailing about 45 degrees aft from the bow, so that as the ship moves forward, the sweep wire catches the anchor cable of moored mines; the mooring cable slides down the wire to the end (coincidentally also moving the mine away from the sweeper!), where it is cut. The mine then bobs to the surface, where it is sunk or exploded with small arms fire.

      Parrot :
      IFF transponder

      Partial Panel :
      Instrument flight without benefit of an attitude indicator. Not all aircraft can be successfully flown this way.

      Passageway :
      A hallway aboard ship.

      Passing Gas :
      What a TEXACO does.

      Passing Honors :
      In a manner similar to two military personnel saluting each other as they pass, military vessels render passing honors. Controlled by whistle blasts passed over the ship's topside 1MC speakers, all topside personnel come to attention facing the other ship, render a hand salute, return salute, and carry on. Just as in a hand salute between personnel, the ship whose captain is junior in precedence initiates the honors, and the senior ship terminates the honors first. Passing honors are also rendered to a ship's boat when the boat carries a ship's captain or flag officer.

      Patio (the) :
      A region of a carrier's flight deck, starboard side aft of elevator three.

      Patrol Pin :
      Term for the Deterrent Patrol Pin; the device shows a ballistic missile sub launching a Polaris ICBM, with a banner below. After the initial award of the Boomer Pin, subsequent awards (patrols) are represented as stars on the banner. May be awarded and worn before the wearer has earned his warfare pin (dolphins, q.v.) by qualifying in submarines.

      Paybob :
      (RN)Supply officer, especially one responsible for accounts.

      Paygrade :
      Alphanumeric designation corresponding to rank (officer) or rating (enlisted). Used to denote pay level or as an analog to rank/rating. For example, O-1 is an Ensign (USN/USCG) or 2nd Lieutenant (USA/USMC/USAF); an E-1 is a Seaman Recruit (USN) or Basic Airman (USAF).

      PCD (PCOD) :
      Pussy Cut-Off Date. The last date during a deployment in which a (married, presumably) servicemember can have sex, catch a sexually- transmitted disease, and still have it cured prior to his return home. A less-easily determined date since STDs such as AIDS and Hepatitis-C have entered the picture.

      Pea Coat :
      Mid-calf length heavy wool overcoat, usually worn as part of the dress or liberty uniform.

      Peak and Tweak :
      An activity intended to bring electronics, avionics, or other systems to optimum operating condition. Something the TWIDGETS do. Also seen as "Peek and Tweak."

      Peanut Gyro :
      A backup attitude indicator (artificial horizon). Usually placed in a hard-to-see location by diabolical aircraft designers.

      Peeping Tom :
      An F-14 Tomcat fitted with the TARPs pod. Reconnaissance Tomcat. Aircraft Nicknames

      Pecker Checker :
      A.K.A. Dick Doc, Penis Machinist, Chancre Mechanic. Navy doctor or Corpsman.

      Peckerhead :
      The junction box (and particularly the cover) on an electric motor.

      Pelican Hook :
      A quick-release shackle which can be knocked free with a hammer. Often used to release the anchor when dropping the hook. Anchor Parts

      Pelorus :
      A stanchion topped with a gyrocompass, used to shoot bearings to an object for navigation purposes.

      Penalty Box :
      The waveoff/bolter pattern around a carrier.

      PFM :
      Pure Fucking Magic. A nontechnical explanation for why something works. 'Hell, I dunno how it works. It's PFM.'

      Pickle :
      (1) The switch used by the LSO to activate the cut and waveoff lights on the LENS. (2) The button on the stick which drops bombs, or the act of pressing same.

      Picture :
      A request for an update of the tactical situation from AWACS or other agency.

      Piddle Pack :
      A device to enable (male, anyway) aircrew to relieve themselves in flight. Consists of a sponge in a plastic bag. Can be used by females, with difficulty, using a funnel or other device to guide the urine into the bag.

      Pigeons, Pigeon Steer :
      Heading and distance to homeplate (or other specified destination). "Your pigeons two eight five for 125 miles."

      Pigging, Pigged :
      The use of a prepared, expendable ship (manned but with no crew below decks) to run over a mined area repeatedly to trigger influence-type mines. The ship is a 'guinea pig'. An area cleared of mines is said to be "pigged".

      Pig of the Port :
      The least attractive member of the opposite sex brought aboard during a port visit. Awards and honors are often granted, though seldom sought.

      Pig Palace :
      A bar populated with ugly women, watered booze, etc.

      Pilot :
      (RN) The navigating officer.

      Ping :
      (1) To transmit on active sonar, or the sound or signal made by same. (2) (RM) To recognize someone or something. (3) To bounce or wander around aimlessly.

      Ping Jockey :
      Sonar operator.

      Ping On :
      To pay close attention to.

      Pinkers :
      (UK) Gin or gin and water/tonic to which has been added angostura bitters.

      Pinkie :
      A landing occurring at first or last light which is generally counted as a night landing (night landings are logged separately).

      Pintle :
      The pins upon which a ship's rudder hangs.

      Pipe Down :
      Originally, a call on a boatswain's whistle sending the crew below. It has come to mean 'be quiet.'

      Piping Aboard :
      A ceremony where the arrival of a senior officer is signified by the blowing of a BOSUN'S WHISTLE.

      Piping Hot :
      Originally, meals were announced aboard ship by piping (blowing a call on the boatswain's pipe). If a meal is piped, it has just been served and is therefore hot.

      Piping TAB :
      A.K.A. Mickey Mouse Book. On submarines, a book that has all the systems drawn out. Used as a study guide. TAB stands for Training Aid Booklet, and there are two, one for piping systems and one for electrical systems. The systems bibles.

      Piss :
      (RAN, RNZN) Beer.

      Piss Ant :
      (UK) Yard worker; civilian contractor. See also Sandcrab.

      Pisscutter :
      Garrison cap.

      Pissed :
      (1) (US) Angry. (2) (UK) Drunk.

      Pissing Contest :
      A behavior similar to that displayed by two male dogs when they meet. A heated argument.

      Pistol :
      (1) (Aviation) An aircraft gun, whether built-in or carried in a pod. (2) In older usage, refers to the exploder/detonator of a bomb or torpedo.

      Pit :
      (1) (Aviation) The back seat of a two-seat aircraft. Where the GIB sits. (2) (RN/RCN/RAN) Rack (bed).

      Pitbull :
      Informative call that an air-to-air missile is now at active-homing range.

      Pitch :
      (1) Dynamic movement of a ship or aircraft about a transverse axis, i.e. when bow or nose moves up and down. Contrast with TRIM. (2) Aviation. Movement about the transverse or 'x' axis of an aircraft.

      Pit Log :
      Short for Pitometer Log, a device for measuring the ship's speed through the water.

      Pit Sword :
      The part of the PIT LOG (q.v.) which extends down into the water from the ship's hull and senses ship speed. It works by generating an electric field and measuring its variations, which are proportional to speed through the water.

      PKP :
      Purple K Powder. Potassium carbonate. A dry firefighting agent that chemically prevents combustion.

      Plane :
      See DIVE PLANE.

      Plank Owner :
      A member of the original commissioning crew of a ship. Traditionally, when a plankowner leaves, he is presented with a piece of the wooden decking. Since the advent of all-metal warships, however, a common plankowner memento is a plaque bearing a brass or bronze escutcheon constructed from the machining scraps of the propellers.

      Plan View :
      An aircraft seen from the perspective of either directly above or below.

      PLAT :
      Pilot Landing Aid Television. Two cameras which record landings aboard the carrier. One is mounted flush in the landing area of the flight deck, one is mounted on the island. Often called upon to resolve pissing contests between pilots and LSOs.

      Platform :
      (1) The station of the LSO, athwart the carrier's touchdown area, outboard of the portside deck edge. (2) Short for Weapons Platform, a generic name for any ship, aircraft, etc.

      Playmates :
      Other pilots and/or aircraft on the same mission as you.

      Playtime :
      Amount of time an aircraft can remain on station.

      Plimsoll Mark :
      A mark on the side of a ship's hull which indicates a certain level of loading and, therefore, draft.

      Plumber :
      Inept pilot.

      Podunk :
      A small town, or one's hometown.

      Pogey Bait :
      In modern usage, candy or other junk food. See also GEDUNK. Originally, pogey bait was candy or other sweet stuff used as inducement to a young sailor or boy (a 'POGUE') to engage in homosexual play.

      Pogue :
      (1) Ancient USN usage. A young boy or sailor, especially when referring to a partner in homosexual acts. (2) A pejorative term for someone regarded as a coward or sissy. (3) Pejorative term for a servicemember employed in a rear echelon support role (see also REMF).

      Point (the) :
      (1) A region of the carrier's flight deck, starboard side forward, outboard of Cat One's JBD. (2) The U. S. Military Academy.

      Pointer :
      In larger weapons, the member of the gun crew assigned to move the gun in elevation to aim. Compare with TRAINER.

      Pole :
      (Aviation) The stick or yoke used to control the aircraft in roll and pitch.

      Police :
      Pick up or clean up. 'Policing the brass' would be to shine or clean brass fittings and/or fixtures or, on a firing range, to pick up expended brass.

      Polishing The Cannonball :
      To spend excessive time trying to make the shot perfect, rather than getting the damn thing loaded and on its way.

      Pollywog, Polliwog :
      One who has never crossed the Equator aboard ship and become a SHELLBACK. Also seen as Wog. Frequently modified by the adjective "slimy".

      Pollywog Ceremony :

      Polynya :
      An opening or thin spot in the ice overhead when operating beneath the Arctic or Antarctic icecap. These can open and close relatively quickly due to movement of the ice.

      Pommie Bath :
      (RNZN) To change clothes without bathing, simply applying deodorant. Same as a MARINE SHOWER.

      Pongo :
      (RN) Soldier. May be mistakenly used to refer to a ROYAL MARINE.

      Pooped :
      Term used when a wave breaks over a ship's stern.

      Poopie Pants :
      Permanently stained coveralls or dungarees used for performing particularly dirty work.

      Poopie Suit, Poopy Suit :
      (1) Blue coveralls worn by sub crews (and, recently, surface ships) underway. (2) Immersion survival suit worn by aviators in cold-water ops.

      Popeye :
      An advisory call that an aircraft is flying in the GOO.

      Pork Chop, Chop :
      (USN) Supply Officer. From the resemblance of the collar device (actually oak leaves and three acorns) to a pork chop.

      Pork Sword :
      (RNZN) Penis

      Port and Report :
      Strictly speaking, a situation where you have no watch relief, but commonly used as synonymous with PORT AND STARBOARD watch.

      Port and Starboard :
      (1) Port and Starboard Watch, A.K.A. Port and Stupid. Watch schedule where one stands 6 (or four or eight) hours on, the same amount of time off watch, then back on watch. (2) Before ships had rudders, they were steered by an oar which was positioned on the quarter. This side was known as the 'steer board side' which, over time, was corrupted to 'starboard side.' For a long time, the other side of a ship was known as the 'larboard' side, even into the 1700s. This led to confusion and difficulty in giving orders during storms, etc., where it might be easily confused between starboard and larboard. Since the larboard side was also the side of the vessel which was placed against a pier or dock, it became known as the 'port' side, i.e. when you went into port, that side of the ship was against the pier.

      Position Angle (numeral) :
      A method of reporting elevation of a visual contact, in increments of ten degrees. A contact reported at position angle three would be 30 degrees above the horizon.

      Post-Stall Gyration :
      The behavior of an aircraft immediately following a DEPARTURE; a period of uncommanded (and uncontrollable) roll, pitch, and yaw excursions while the aircraft is deciding whether it wants to fly or not.

      PPI :
      Plan Position Indicator. A type of radar scope with a "God's eye" perspective, i.e. as if the viewer were directly above the own ship. In this case, "plan" means as if the view was taken from overhead, looking down.

      P.P.P.P.P.P.P. (or P7) :
      Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance (sometimes seen as only 6 P's, which is as above but without the Piss).

      PQS :
      Personnel Qualification System. A method of formalizing and tracking the qualification progress of personnel toward watchstation certification. Often abbreviated as 'Qual System'. Used by all warfare specialties, but has reached its ultimate in the submarine service.

      Prang :
      To bend, break, or bump another aircraft.

      Prairie :
      A noise-masking system which pumps air out of holes in a screw (ship's propeller) blade to reduce cavitation noises.

      Prayer Beads :
      (USN aviation) The beaded grips which, when pulled, inflate one's life preserver.

      Pressure Hull :
      The watertight, pressure-bearing structure that makes up the living and working area of a submarine.

      Press :
      (1) (UK) The process of (or Pressgang, the people involved in) impressment of personnel to man a ship, especially during the Napoleonic War era. Differs from SHANGHAIING in that pressing was a legal way to obtain a crew for a ship. (2) (Aviation) To pressure or force, as to press an attack.

      Pressgang :
      See PRESS.

      Press Up :
      To completely fill a tank with liquid.

      Prick 90 :
      A survival radio carried by U.S. aircrew, from the PRC-90 equipment designation. An earlier version, the PRC-60, was used in the Vietnam era.

      PRIFLY :
      PRImary FLIght Control, the control tower of the carrier.

      Primary Target :
      A.K.A. Skin Return, the actual blip or signal detected by a radar receiver. Contrast with SECONDARY TARGET.

      Probe and Drogue :
      An air-to-air refueling system which involves an inflatable 'basket' (the drogue) which is extended at the end of a long hose trailed by the tanker aircraft. The receiving aircraft maneuvers so that its refueling probe enters the basket.

      Procedure (or Pro) Word :
      Specific words used in voice radio to standardize and expedite (and thereby shorten) radio communications. Examples: 'over' ('I am finished speaking now, and expect you to reply'), 'roger' ('I understand you,' or, less correctly, 'yes'), 'out' (perhaps the most misused term in Hollywood, it means 'I am finished speaking and do not require an answer or acknowledgement back from you'). It may be seen, therefore, that 'Over' should never be used in combination with 'Out.'

      Prop Wash :
      (1) Backwash. (2) Non-existent substance, usually an item on an FNG's task list.

      Pucker Factor :
      A measure of the stressfulness of a situation, determined by the amount of muscle tension registered in one's rectum. High pucker factor events are usually accompanied by 'that old sinking feeling'.

      Puke :
      People, or person. 'What are those pukes up to?' or 'He's a drifty puke, isn't he?', etc. In aviation, someone who flies a different aircraft type than you.

      Pull Chocks :
      (Aviation) Literally, to remove the wheel chocks in order to allow an aircraft to taxi. In more general, non aviation-specific usage, 'let's get going.'

      Pull G's :
      (Aviation) To maneuver in such a way that centrifugal acceleration adds to the force of gravity.

      Pumpkin Suit :
      Orange exposure suit worn by topside watchstanders aboard U.S. submarines.

      Punch Elvis :

      Purchase Cable :
      The part of the arresting gear that connects the CROSS-DECK PENDANT to the arresting engines below decks.

      Push :
      (1) Specified radio frequency. (2) (Aviation) Depart designated point.

      Pusser, Pussers :
      (RN) (1) Supply officer. (2) Anyone who goes 'by the book'. (3) Of or belonging to the Royal Navy. The term is a corruption of "Purser".

      Pusser Neats :
      (RCN) A.K.A. Blue Label Rum, Instant Stupid. Royal Navy issue rum, rarely seen but a few bottles still exist.

      Puzzle Palace :
      (1) The Pentagon or, more generally, headquarters of any sort. (2) (RM) The maze of offices on any UK camp.


      Qual Card :
      A listing of necessary PQS qualification points. Each completed goal is acknowledged by the signature of the appropriate duty Chief or other authorized signer. May be a single piece of paper or a bound book.

      Queer :
      (1) Homosexual. (2) An EA-6 Prowler, or the pilot of same, from the VAQ squadron identifier.

      Q-Ship :
      A naval (anti-submarine) ship disguised as a merchant ship, with concealed guns, depth charges, etc.


      Rabbits :
      (1) (RN) Souvenirs. (2) Any unofficial job. (3) Hydraulic tracks that move weapons horizontally in a US SSN's torpedo room. (4) (RCN) Items stolen from the ship or shipyard and smuggled out the main gate. Can also mean items bought duty free overseas. Originally referred to actual, live rabbits which were taken by dockyard workers from Whale Island in the UK.

      Rack :
      Bed or bunk, especially the combination bed and locker found as enlisted sleeping accommodations.

      Rack Burns :
      Visible marks, usually red, on one's face following a nap.

      Racket :
      An intercepted electromagnetic signal. The term is used in Electronic Warfare.

      Rack Monster :
      The bunk (bed) which entraps the unwary, or refuses to release its victim, leading to unexpected or protracted naps. "I was attacked by the rack monster and was late for watch."

      Rack Time :

      Radioing a Report :

      RAG :
      Replacement Air Group. Strictly speaking, an obsolescent term, though still widely used. Proper current term is FRS.

      Raghat :
      Junior sailor, E-6 (First Class Petty Officer) and below. Refers to the sailor's white hat or Dixie Cup.

      Rain Locker :

      Ralph :
      Also seen as 'Looking for Ensign Ralph,' Praying to The Porcelain God.' Vomiting. May result from seasickness or from having maximized a recreational opportunity ashore, or a combination of the two.

      Ramp (the) :
      A.K.A. 'ROUND-DOWN'. The aftmost edge of the flight deck. Slopes toward the water at about 45 degrees.

      Ramp Strike :
      Occurs when an aircraft on carrier approach lands short and hits the RAMP. Damage sustained by the aircraft can range from loss of the hook point to destruction of the aircraft. Ship (and personnel) damage can also result.

      Ramrod :
      In WW II, a combined fighter-bomber mission whose primary goal was destruction of a ground target.

      R and R, R&R :
      Rest and Rehabilitation.

      Range and Bearing Launch :
      Launch of a weapon in which both range and bearing (azimuth) are known.

      Rank and File :
      The generic man in ranks. Comes from the terms for a military formation, where a rank is a row (crosswise) and a file is a column (lengthwise) within the formation.

      Range Gate :
      A period of time, and therefore range, during which a radar "listens" for a return pulse while tracking a target. The radar "expects" a return within a certain interval of time based on the history of movement of that target. The existence of the range gate makes this type of radar susceptible to certain countermeasures.

      RAST :
      Recovery Assist Secure and Traverse. A mechanical aid to landing or moving helicopters aboard a small boy, especially during heavy weather.

      Ratbags :
      (1) Foreign currency. (2) Dirtbag.

      Rate :
      Job specialization, e.g. GSM (Gas Turbine Mechanic), GMG (Gunner's Mate, Guns), GMM (Gunner's Mate, Missile), AO (Aviation Ordnanceman), etc. Contrast with RATING.

      Ratfuck :
      An evolution lacking in organization and smartness.

      Rat Guards :
      Circular or conical metal plates attached to a ship's mooring lines to prevent rats getting aboard (or getting off).

      Rate Grabber :
      One who does something he does not rate, i.e. has not earned. An example would be a First Class Petty Officer acting like a Chief.

      Rating :
      (1) (USN) Enlisted rank. Contrast with RATE. (2) (RN) Enlisted personnel.

      Rattle (in the) :
      (RN) In official trouble, on report.

      Razee :
      (pronounced ray-zee) A ship, especially a sailing warship, reduced in height by the removal of the upper deck, or the process of removing the wooden upper deck of a (usually, sailing) ship. From the French rasé (to scrape or shave), raser (to raze).

      RBL :

      RCH :
      Red Cunt Hair, the smallest unit of linear measurement known.

      RCR :
      Runway Condition Rating, a relative measure of runway condition for braking effectiveness.

      Ready to Answer Bells :
      The engineering plant is ready for engine (maneuvering) orders.

      Recon :
      (1) Reconnaissance. (2) (US Naval Academy) Spirit-related activities associated with, usually, late-night shenanigans, e.g. 'Last night the USNA exchange students at Air Force reconned the Air Force Academy and painted USAFA's static display Phantom in Blue Angel colors.' (3) Special Warfare branch of the USMC.

      Redass :
      Official flap about something of little consequence. A pain in the butt. "Man, that gender sensitivity training was a real redass."

      Red Flag :
      (1) A regularly held (quarterly) mock air war staged by the USAF out of Nellis AFB. (2) The US Air Force postgraduate fighter tactics school, or a session of same.

      Red Force :
      Opposing force in wargames. Sometimes abbreviated as 'REDFOR.'

      Rednose :

      Red Out :
      A condition caused by excessive negative G's. Temporary loss or obstruction of vision caused by too much blood in the retinas.

      Redshirt :
      A.K.A. Ordie, BB Stacker, Load Toad. Aviation Ordnanceman. Wears a red jersey. Responsible for loading and downloading ordnance from aircraft, and other ordnance-handling duties such as assembling and attaching guidance packages. Members of Crash and Smash Team also wear red jerseys.

      Red Leg :
      (US Army) A member of the artillery. Comes from the color of the pant stripe and uniform piping in the dress uniform. The other colors are light blue (infantry), yellow (cavalry), and white (engineer).

      Reefer :
      A short (about fingertip length) wool overcoat.

      Reflash :
      The reignition of a fire, generally due to hot spots.

      Reheat :
      UK term for AFTERBURNER.

      Relative Bearing :
      Bearing to an object measured with the ship's bow used as the reference (000 degrees). So if an object is on the port beam (9 o'clock), its relative bearing is 270.

      Relative Bearing Grease :
      Non-existent substance, usually an item on an FNG's task list, as "Go get me a can of relative bearing grease." Similarly, newbies can be sent for "20 feet of flight line", a "bucket of prop wash", etc.

      REMF :
      Rear Echelon Mother-Fucker.

      Rendering Honors :

      Reserve Salute :
      A shrug of the shoulders.

      Restricted Line :
      A.K.A. Non-Line Officer. A USN officer not eligible to succeed to command of an operational unit. Some examples: medical, supply, engineering-only duty. It's not unusual for a Line officer to hold command authority over a non-Line officer of superior rank.

      Re-up :

      Rhubarb :
      Originally, the codeword for a ground attack mission over Europe during WW II, carried out by fighter aircraft. Not the favorite mission of the fighter pilots, as the missions suffered high loss rates. Now, the term for an argument or disagreement.

      (Most) Ricky Tick :

      Rifle :
      Informative call for the launch of an AGM-65 Maverick. Typical call format includes callsign, threat, and location, e.g. "Oxbow Three, Rifle triple-A BULLSEYE 240 for twelve" (translation: Oxbow Three has launched a Maverick at anti-aircraft guns located 240 degrees, twelve miles from BULLSEYE).

      Rig for Angles and Dangles :
      (Submarines) To prepare for sharp, swift dives, ascents, and turns, or to practice same.

      Rig For Red :
      In submarines, to ensure all interior lighting is red and of low intensity so as to preserve night vision.

      Ring Knocker :
      Graduate of US Naval Academy or US Military Academy.

      Ring the Bell :
      Quit. When a BUD/S (Seal) candidate quits, he does so by ringing a bell in the training compound.

      RIO :
      Radar Intercept Officer, the NFO in a fighter aircraft. See also GIB.

      Rivet Joint :
      The primary U.S. Air Force airborne reconnaissance system, the RC-135V/W.

      Roach Coach :
      Mobile food vendor's vehicle or gedunk stand.

      ROAD :
      A.K.A. 'ROAD Program.' Retired On Active Duty. A (non)work strategy employed by some senior members of the naval service.

      Rocket :
      A letter or memo, usually of reprimand.

      Rocket One :
      The skipper (Commanding Officer) of the squadron.

      Rocket Two :
      The XO.

      Roger, Ball :
      A radio call from the LSO acknowledging the pilot's Ball call.

      Rogue's Gun (or Salute) :
      (UK) The single gun salute fired at the commencement of a court martial.

      Rogue's yarn :
      Yarn of a different twist and color inserted into the cordage of rope or line of the British Navy to identify the maker (in case of defect), or to identify origin if stolen. Each manufacturer used a unique yarn color.

      Roll :
      (1) Dynamic movement of a ship or aircraft about the lateral axis, i.e. a tilting of the deck from side to side, usually due to motion of the water (i.e. the passage of waves). Contrast with LIST, HEEL. (2) A maneuver of rotation about an aircraft's longitudinal (fore and aft) axis.

      Rollers :
      Hot dogs.

      Roll In On :
      (1) An aviation term referring to the initial maneuver of an attack. (2) To make a play for the attentions of a member of the opposite sex.

      RON :
      Remain OverNight.

      Roof :
      Flight deck.

      Rope :
      (vs. line) Natural or synthetic, woven, braided, or twisted (or some combinations), it is called 'rope' as long as it is on the spool. As soon as you unroll a piece and cut it off, it becomes 'line.' Contrast with WIRE ROPE.

      Ropeyarn Sunday :
      Early liberty or an early knockoff of ship's work. Refers to the days of sail, when Sunday was generally a day for 'make and mend,' i.e. personal admin. rather than ship's work.

      Rotorhead :
      A.K.A. 'Rotor Maggot.' Helicopter pilot or crew.

      Round (Roundly) :
      Briskly or quickly.

      Round-Down :
      See RAMP.

      Round Turn (Take a) :
      To work briskly or quickly. Compare with ROUNDLY.

      Routine, Routining :
      Regular preventive maintenance of torpedoes, especially during World War Two. Might consist of topping up fuel, charging batteries, topping up air flasks, maintenance of exploder and gyro, etc.

      Royal Baby :
      The junior (or, often, the fattest) member of KING NEPTUNE's court. During the LINE-CROSSING CEREMONY, all POLLYWOGS must kiss his belly, which is usually smeared with grease, oil, or salad dressing.

      Royal Marine :
      (RN) A.K.A. 'bootneck', 'jolly'. British Marine. "Her Majesty's Royal Marines," when they are up and dressed (seldom).

      RPO :
      (RN) Regulating Petty Officer.

      RTB :
      Return To Base.

      Rug Dance :
      A.K.A. chewing out, ass chewing, etc. Quality time spent with a senior officer or NCO, usually in a very one-sided conversation. Typical topics of discussion include one's parentage and probable eventual fate.

      Running Her Easting Down :
      Back when measurements of longitude were a chancy thing, or not possible at all, a sailing master would make an offing (get clear of land) by heading West, head north or south to the proper latitude of the destination (since latitude is easily measured directly), then run East again to make landfall. Obviously some areas require the captain to make offing to the East, followed by a homing run West, but the traditional term harks back to the olden days of sail off the coast of Europe.

      RWR :
      Radar Warning Receiver. A passive electronic warfare threat detector.


      SA :
      See 'Situational Awareness.'

      Safe Shot Line :
      On a carrier's flight deck, a painted line delimiting the area which must be clear for an aircraft to be safely launched ('shot') by the associated catapult. Compare with 'FOUL LINE.'

      Sagging :
      The condition of a ship in which the bow and stern are supported by wave crests and the midships area is less supported by the trough. Contrast with HOGGING.

      Sally Ship :
      Causing a ship to list in alternating directions by having parties of men run from one side of the ship to the other. When a ship runs aground, a suction often forms between the hull and the sea bottom mud, and sallying ship can break that suction, making it possible to back off of the reef. Uses the same principles of a TRIM PARTY, but for very different reasons.

      Salt and Pepper :
      (USN) An enlisted uniform with black or navy blue trousers and white shirt.

      Salty :
      One whose level of experience is extreme, or who is 'in the know' regarding matters maritime.

      Salty Dog :
      Experienced sailor.

      Salvo :
      One or more guns fired together, or the shells which have been fired.

      Sandbag :
      (1) To ask a question of someone to belittle or deride them, or to do something behind their back. (2) To not give 100% of one's abilities; to hang back, or hold back. Compare with BAG.

      Sandy Bottoms :
      (RM) The usual result of making a WET with melted snow.

      SAPFU :
      Surpassing All Previous Fuck-Ups.

      SAR :
      Search And Rescue. Pronounced as a word, not initials.

      Sarnie :
      (RN) A sandwich. Similar to BANJO.

      Saunter :
      A directive to fly at maximum endurance power setting (same as MAX CONSERVE).

      Scope :
      (1) The amount of anchor chain which has been paid out. 'Increasing the scope' means to veer (pay out) more anchor chain. (2) The Cathode Ray Tube display for a radar. (3) A RIO.

      Scope Dope :
      One who watches a radar scope.

      Scram :
      Emergency shutdown of a nuclear reactor.

      Scrambled Egg :
      The gold braid found on the cap brim of a senior officer.

      Scran :
      (RN) General term for food.

      Scratch :
      (RN) The Captain's secretary.

      Screaming Alfa (Fire) :
      A burning human. See CLASS ALFA FIRE for more detail.

      Screw the Pooch :
      To make a mistake, especially a serious one.

      Scrounge :
      (1) A sailor who is not current on his hygiene quals. (2) The procurement of a needed item through irregular (i.e. usually illegal) means.

      Scrubber :
      (USN Submarines) On a submarine, removes or "scrubs" CO2 out of the air.

      Scrubber Load :
      (USN Submarines) A non-watchstanding crewmember whose only contribution appears to be exhaling CO2 for the scrubbers to work on.

      Scullery Slut :
      (RCN) Junior hands assigned to work in the mess decks (enlisted eating area) to clean dishes, serve the Chiefs, make coffee, etc. Similar to USN 'MESSCRANK.'

      Scuppered :
      (UK) Torpedoed, or sunk.

      Scuttle :
      (1) A water-tight opening set in a hatch or bulkhead. (2) To intentionally sink a ship or object. (3) To punch a hole in something.

      Scuttlebutt :
      (1) Drinking fountain; Originally, a BUTT which had been SCUTTLED, used to hold drinking water for crew access in sailing ships. (2) Gossip or rumors. Originated from the habit of crewmembers of talking while at the scuttlebutt.

      Sea Bat :
      A practical joke akin to a snipe hunt. If the victim bites on the joke, the victim usually gets batted on the butt with a broom.

      Sea Chest :
      The cavity inside a SEA SUCTION from which pumps draw seawater, often for cooling purposes.

      Sea Chicken :
      Derisive term for NATO Sea Sparrow. Not the same as CHICKEN OF THE SEA.

      Sea Daddy :
      Someone who takes a less-experienced crewmember under his or her wing and expert tutelage. Often, and traditionally, when a CPO takes care of and educates a boot ensign.

      Sea Lawyer :
      Someone who professes to have significant knowledge of the fine points of the rules and regs. This knowledge is often used for personal gain, or to claim why something cannot be done.

      Sea Story :
      A tale of nautical or airborne derring-do. Differs from a fairy tale only in that while a fairy tale begins 'Once upon a time,' a sea story begins either 'There I was,' (aviation version) or 'This is no shit,' (seaborne version).

      Sea Suction :
      Underwater opening in a ship's hull. May be up to several feet in diameter. Usually fitted with a grating to prevent the entry of large, unwanted objects such as divers and other sea life.

      SEAWARS :
      SEAWater-Activated Release System, a device which releases an aircrew member from his or her parachute upon water entry. A similar device also inflates their flotation device.

      See The Elephant :
      In common usage, one who has been in combat. Traditionally, up through World War Two, in the U.S. it was common for a country boy to reach adolescence without having traveled much, if at all. The tradition (urban legend though it may in truth be) was that the father would give the mid-to-late-teens son two dollars and send him to town when the circus came through. He was expected to attend the circus, get drunk for the first time, and perhaps rent a young lady's time for his first erotic experience. Upon his return to the farm he was said to have 'seen the elephant.'

      Secondary Target :
      In a radar, the computer-generated symbol overlying the actual radar return. Contrast with PRIMARY TARGET.

      Section :
      A flight of two aircraft. The basic combat unit in aviation.

      Section Go :
      Two aircraft launching as a single flight.

      Semi :
      (UK) A member of the USN, or more generally, things American, e.g. 'that semi destroyer.' Originated in the proliferation of semi-automatic or automatic gear in the post-WWII US Navy, especially things that did not work so well. Pronounced 'sem-eye.'

      Semi-Active Homing :
      A type of radar missile homing where the launch platform provides radar transmissions and the missile homes in on the radar energy reflected off of the target. Abbreviated as 'SAH.'

      Sergeant :
      (UK) Naval Commander (the rank markings of three stripes being somewhat akin to the NCO's insignia of three chevrons).

      Service Dress (Blue) :
      The standard USN winter uniform, with navy blue wool trousers, white shirt with navy blue necktie, and navy blue double-breasted jacket.

      Set and Drift :
      Refers to the behavior of a ship under the influence of wind and current; both deflect the ship from its intended course. 'Set' is the direction of that deflection, and 'drift' is the speed in knots of the displacement. A vector.

      Sewer Pipe :

      Shaft Alley :
      Engineering space aft of engine rooms, where propeller shafts pierce the hull. Location of shaft seals, etc.

      Shanghai :
      The process or practice of kidnapping people to man a ship. Contrast with PRESS, PRESSGANG.

      Shaw :
      (Aviation) The author of what is considered to be the fighter pilot's bible, "Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering," Robert L. Shaw.

      Shell :
      An artillery projectile which has an explosive or other filler. Contrast with SHOT.

      Shellback :
      One who has crossed the Equator. Frequently modified with the adjective "trusty".

      Shellback Ceremony :

      Shift Colors :
      The process of changing between moored and underway flag displays. When a USN ship moors, the national colors are broken on the stern, the UNION JACK ("jack") is broken on the bow, and the national colors on the mast ("steaming colors") are hauled down, all at the instant the first line goes over. When the ship gets underway, as soon as the last line is cast off the dock, the jack and colors are struck at bow and stern while the steaming colors are broken at the masthead.

      Ship Over :

      Ship's Company :
      Refers to the officers and men assigned to the ship, as separate from the AIRWING or various detachments which may be aboard.

      Shipshape :
      Also seen as 'Shipshape and Bristol fashion.' The desired condition of any ship or unit; the maintenance of seamanlike appearance. Every piece of gear stowed neatly, 'a place for everything, and everything in its place.'

      Shitbird :
      A screwed-up person.

      Shitcan :
      (1) Trash can, or when used as a verb, to throw something away. Can be used to refer to people -- "He was a dirtbag, so we shitcanned him to Surface Line." (2) (USN Submarine) Sub Chaser.

      Shit In It :
      (UK) Leave it alone.

      Shitfaced :
      (1) Drunk. (2) (UK) Angry.

      Shitters :
      (1) (UK) Just about anything, but especially any liquids or chemicals, used in cleaning the head. (2) The toilets, as opposed to the Pissers (urinals).

      Shitting :
      Lying to, or attempting to con, someone. 'Are you shitting me?'

      Shoe :
      Usually, a surface warfare officer; short for 'blackshoe.'

      Shonky :
      (RNZN) Not particularly well; not well rehearsed, not familiar with.

      Shooter :
      (1) The catapult officer. The one who directs the firing of the catapult. (2) A unit (aircraft or ship) that is launching, or is about to launch, ordnance.

      Shore Up :
      To brace with timbers or other objects, as might be done with a damaged bulkhead to prevent further damage or flooding.

      Shoring :
      The materials used to shore up something; generally wooden timbers or extensible metal screw braces, wedges, etc.

      Short :
      (1) SHORT TIMER. (2) An artillery round which does not have sufficient elevation to hit the target.

      Short-Arm Inspection :
      VD check. The sailors lined up after a port call and dropped trou (took down their pants), and the doc took a look. Really.

      Short Round :
      A less than maximum propellant charge used in an artillery piece.

      Short Timer :
      One whose enlistment or rotation/transfer date is nearly up. Can lead to usage of the term 'FIGMO.'

      Short-Timer's Chain :
      A length of chain carried by a short-timer, where the number of links equals the number of days remaining before discharge. Each day, the short-timer cuts off another link.

      Shot :
      (1) A solid gun or artillery projectile (contrast with SHELL). (2) (Artillery, NGFS) A radio call that a round has been fired. Contrast with SPLASH. (3) A unit of measure for anchor chain. In this usage, a shot is 15 fathoms (90 feet). (4) (archaic) A unit of measure equaling a league (3 nautical miles). This appears to be the origin of the convention that a country's territorial waters extend 3 miles out from its shores; a country was able to claim what it could control with its guns. That is probably also the origin of the term itself. 'Gunshot' or 'cannon shot' became simply 'shot.' Weights and Measures

      Shotgun :
      Prebriefed weapons state at which separation or BUGOUT should begin. The idea is to retain some weapons to fight your way home if necessary.

      Shot Line :
      The line fired from a line throwing gun; used to put lines over for UNREP or when coming alongside the pier. The shot line is small-diameter line to which, once passed across, successively heavier lines can be bent (attached) so that they may be hauled over to the receiving ship or pier. Modern equivalent to a HEAVING LINE.

      Show a Leg :
      The traditional call made at reveille, it originated in the days of sail when women were let aboard ship. At reveille, a woman in her hammock would display a leg and thereby was not required to turn out. Sometimes corrupted to "Shake a Leg."

      Side Number :
      Numerals painted on the nose of an aircraft to serialize it as to type and squadron. 1XX and 2XX are fighters. 3XX and 4XX are attack aircraft. 5XX is the EW (EA-6 Prowler) detachment, 6XX is the E-2 Hawkeye detachment, and 7XX is the ASW (Viking) squadron.

      Sideslip :
      (Aviation) A condition of unbalanced flight where the nose is too far outside the turn. Also seen as "slip." May be induced purposefully to slow down or mislead an ACM opponent in a guns engagement (since the aircraft is not following the path in which it is pointed, the bullets will tend to miss).

      Sierra Hotel :
      From the phonetic alphabet for SH, the polite form of 'Shit Hot'. Excellent, aggressive, skilled, etc. "Man, that was a sierra hotel takeoff." The standard naval aviator's term of approbation.

      Single-Digit Midget :
      One who has less than ten days remaining in his or her enlistment.

      Sippers :
      (RN) Drinks, usually containing alcohol.

      Situational Awareness :
      Especially in aviation, one's ongoing, continuous awareness of one's self, aircraft, surroundings, circumstances, and dynamic tactical situation, though it is used in all warfare communities. Loss of situational awareness is often fatal in combat, and can be fatal at other times as well.

      Sixpack (the) :
      An area of a carrier's flight deck approximately amidships and on centerline; compare Pack (the).

      Skate :
      (RCN) One who avoids work. See BANDIT. Also, to get out of something, e.g. work.

      Skid :
      (Aviation) A condition of unbalanced flight in which the nose of the aircraft is too far inside the turn. While it may be induced purposefully, this maneuver is not without risk, as it can lead to a DEPARTURE.

      Skimmer :
      A surface ship, or officers/crew of same. Frequently modified with the adjective 'fucking' by members of the submarine community.

      Skin Return :
      Radar signal energy reflected off an object. Contrast with PRIMARY RETURN.

      Skinny :
      The inside scoop. From one report, the term originated from the USMC practice of typing up official reports on 3-part forms, then using or filing only the top two; the third copy, which was printed on thinner paper, was thrown away. Personnel who cleaned the company office would read the "skinny" (thinner) sheet to get advance knowledge of what was coming.

      Skipper :
      Commanding Officer. Apparently from the Dutch 'Schipper', which means, essentially, 'he who ships.'

      Skive Artist :
      (RCN) One who avoids work.

      Skivvies (Skivvys) :

      Skivvy Waver :
      Signalman. Same as BUNTING TOSSER. Nautical Signal Flags

      Skivvy Folder :
      Parachute rigger.

      Skosh :
      Pronounced with a long 'o'. From the Japanese sukoshi, literally 'small' or 'little'. (1) Little or low, as in "They better get that foul deck cleared; Dave's coming in skosh fuel." (2) Fast, or quickly, as in "We need to get this job done most skosh."

      Skunk :
      The name label used for surface radar contacts. 'Skunk Alfa' refers to the first new radar contact of the day, 'Skunk Bravo' the second, etc. If you go through the alphabet, you start doubling (or tripling), i.e. 'Skunk Alfa Delta' would be the 30th contact of the day.

      Skylarking :
      Horsing around, goofing off, etc.

      Slammer :
      The AIM-120 AMRAAM missile, which is in service but has not been assigned an official name, although 'Bounty Hunter' appears in some early Hughes Missile Systems documents.

      Slant Range :
      The straight-line distance between two points, where generally at least one point is aloft. The hypotenuse of the range, with the other two legs being altitude (or altitude difference) and distance along the surface of the ground.

      Slapshot :
      Directive for a BEARING ONLY LAUNCH of a HARM against a specified threat.

      Slat :
      A leading-edge high lift device which both tilts downward to increase airfoil camber and also extends to increase wing surface area.

      Sleeping Dictionary :
      A member of the local population who teaches a sailor the local language (among other things), usually in exchange for room and board.

      Slick 32 :
      EW (Electronic Warfare) gear aboard ship, from the SLQ-32 equipment designation.

      Sliders :
      (1) Hamburgers. So greasy, they slide around on your plate. (2) (RN) Those who leave work early, either by departments or individually.

      Sliders with Lids :

      Slip :
      See SIDESLIP.

      Slop Chit :
      To-do list. See also SLOPS.

      Slop Chute :
      Enlisted Men's club.

      Slops :
      (RN) Uniforms and other official clothing for sale. The 'slop chit' is the authorization to obtain clothing from stores. Derived from the old terms sloppe or slype, which meant ill-fitting or loose clothing.

      Sloshy :
      (RN) The cook, or the cook's helper.

      Slug :
      Liquid water entrained in a steam pipe; the result can be damage to turbines.

      Slush Fund :
      The money accumulated by the ship's cook through the sale of slush, the salty fat which collected during the boiling of salt meat aboard ship. The sailors used the slush on their biscuits, and the cook got to keep the money.

      Small Boy :
      Frigate or destroyer.

      Smart Money :
      Money paid to a sailor who has a Smart Ticket (Smart Certificate), which was issued to a man who had been injured or wounded in the performance of his duty.

      Smoking Hole :
      What a crashed aircraft leaves.

      Smoking Lamp :
      From the square-rigger days, a lamp from which personnel could light their pipes or cigars. In contemporary usage, signifies whether smoking is permitted or not. If the smoking lamp is out, no smoking is permitted.

      Snack Hole :
      See CAKE HOLE.

      SNAEB :
      Student Naval Aviator Evaluation Board. Turns student pilots into surface warriors or civilians (evaluates the performance and future potential as pilots of student naval aviators (SNAs) whose performance is not up to snuff).

      SNAFU :
      Situation Normal, All Fucked (Fouled) Up.

      Snag :
      A discontinuity in the leading edge of a wing. Acts to re-energize the boundary layer at high angles of attack, thereby improving maneuverability in that regime.

      Snake-eater :
      SEAL's and other Special Forces personnel.

      Snake Ranch :
      A house rented by a group of bachelors.

      Snidget :
      A member of engineering department who works on electronics, literally a 'Snipe Twidget.'

      Snipe :
      A.K.A. BLACK-HAND GANG (RN), BLACK GANG. See STOKER (RN). Crew members in the engineering rates; someone who works in the engineering spaces and seldom is seen topside when underway. MM's (Machinist's Mates) and BT's (Boiler Technicians) are ultimate snipes. In today's modern gas turbine fleet, also includes GSM (Gas Turbine Specialist, Mechanic), GSE (Gas Turbine Specialist, Electrician), and EN (Engineman). It is believed that true snipes cannot stand direct sunlight or fresh air, must have machine oil in their coffee in order to survive, and get nosebleeds at altitudes above the waterline. It is also firmly believed that fresh-air sailors who venture into SNIPE COUNTRY are never seen again.

      Snipe Country :
      The engineering spaces, bilges, and voids where the snipes dwell. Considered to be extremely dangerous territory for non-snipes. "The snipes will get you" is commonly used to deter sailors from going too far below decks.

      Sniper :
      Informative radio call for the launch of a HARM missile with range and bearing known. Typical call format includes callsign, threat type engaged, and location, e.g. "Packard Three, Sniper SA-3 northeast Baghdad." In more recent usage, may be used to indicate the launch of any precision weapon.

      Snivel :
      (1) A request that one not be assigned a watch or other duty (flight, etc.) due to other obligations. (2) A log for recording same, the 'Snivel Log'. (3) Whining.

      Snorkers :
      (UK, especially RAN) Sausages.

      Snort :

      Snotty :
      (RN) Derogatory term for a midshipman. Supposedly due to the 'young gentlemen's' habit of wiping their noses with their sleeves. The Navy attempted to counter this habit by sewing buttons on the cuffs of naval uniform jackets.

      SNUB :
      Shortest Nuke Onboard, also seen as SNOB.

      Snuggle Up :
      To close up a formation (reduce distance between aircraft).

      Sod's Opera :
      (UK) An impromptu variety show put on by the ship's company, usually of a bawdy nature.

      Soft Deck :
      (Aviation) A safety altitude below which certain maneuvers are prohibited during ACM. Expressed as feet AGL. Typically 5,000 feet AGL. See also HARD DECK.

      Soft Kill :

      Sonar Dome :
      The generally onion-shaped structure at a surface ship's bow which houses the sonar transducer.

      Sonar Girls :
      Submarine sonar operators. The rate is STS. The term is somewhat derogatory, and refers to behavioral and hygiene habits. Minus the behavioral quirks, the equivalent rates are ST (surface) and AW (aviation).

      Son of a Gun :
      Traditionally, a male child born (or conceived) afloat. An archaic term from the days of sail, when crewmen were typically not let ashore for fear of desertion. Women were let aboard (the regulation said 'wives', but this was immediately and widely ignored, or at least winked at), and even carried at sea at times.

      SOP :
      Standard Operating Procedure.

      SOPA :
      Senior Officer Present Afloat.

      Sortie :
      A single mission by a one aircraft.

      SOS :
      A.K.A. Creamed Foreskins on Toast. Shit On a Shingle; creamed chipped (or ground) beef on toast.

      SOSUS :
      SOund SUrveillance System. A land-based system of seabed hydrophones and sophisticated analysis equipment, used to monitor worldwide movements of ships and submarines.

      Sour :
      Opposite of SWEET. (1) Indicates that a piece of gear is not operating properly. (2) Invalid response to IFF interrogation.

      Spaghetti :
      (1) Arresting gear wires. (2) The sketched flight paths of aircraft involved in a FURBALL.

      Spankers and Clankers :
      Navy dress uniform, either blues or whites, including sword (spanker) and medals (clankers).

      Spanner :
      (RN) Wrench.

      Sparker, Sparks :
      (RN) Radio operator.

      Sparkle :
      Target marking by infrared pointer from ground, using incendiary rounds if airborne.

      SpecOps :
      Special Operations. Any mention of SpecOps is generally followed with "If I told you, I'd have to kill you."

      Speeding Ticket :
      A citation written by the MAA, often for a Charley Sierra infraction such as "out of uniform."

      Speed Jeans :
      G-SUIT. A.K.A. "Speed Slacks".

      Speed of Heat (The) :
      (Aviation) A.K.A. "Speed of Stink", "Warp One", etc. Moving very fast.

      Spike :
      RWR indication of a radar threat in track, launch, or unknown mode. Include bearing/clock call, and threat type if known, e.g. 'Spike SAM two o'clock.'

      Spitkit :
      Polite form of the WWII slang term for a Japanese sub chaser (a small anti-submarine warfare craft). The USN designation for this ship type was 'SC', which the American submariners immediately termed 'shitcans.'

      Spit Out :
      (Aviation) Noun or verb, to be out-turned in a maneuvering fight, e.g. 'He stayed with me for two turns, then I reversed and spit him out.'

      Spitter :
      An aircraft that has departed the engagement in the called direction.

      Splash :
      (1) Signifies the kill of an aircraft, e.g. "Cowboy one-six, splash one." (2) (Gunnery) A radio call warning that a salvo or shell will land in ten seconds (see also SHOT). The call may be to warn you to get your head down (if you're in the target area) or to get your head up (to observe the FALL OF SHOT if you are a member of the fire direction team).

      Splice the Main Brace :
      Have a drink. Originated in the days of the sailing navies, meaning unchanged.

      Split-tail :

      Spoiler :
      A flight control surface which acts to decrease or 'dump' lift from the wing.

      Spook :
      Intelligence personnel.

      Spooled Up :

      Spot :
      (Gunnery) Observing the fall of shot and calling corrections to the firing unit; also refers to the actual corrections themselves.

      Spud Locker :
      The stern gallery of a carrier. Where a really low ramp strike ends up.

      Square Away :
      Originating in the days of sail, the term refers to putting a ship before the wind (getting way on the ship). Today, the term refers to getting organized or ready for something, be it an inspection, a drill, etc.

      Squared Away :
      A ship that looks good, maneuvers smartly, etc., or a sailor who is capable and smart in appearance and action.

      Squawk :
      To use an IFF transponder, or the numeric code set into such a device.

      Squid :
      Sailor. Frequently modified by the other services, especially Marines, with the adjective "fucking".

      SSORM :
      Ship's Service and Organization Manual. The bible for shipboard organization.

      STAB :
      (UK) Stupid Territorial Army Bastard.

      Stall :
      (Aviation) The loss of smooth airflow over an airfoil, causing a reduction in generated lift. Often thought of as an abrupt cessation of lift, a stall actually begins, then progresses or deepens as AOA continues to increase, resulting in a progressive drop-off (rather than a sudden total loss) of lift.

      Stand On :
      To continue in a straight line.

      Stand-on Vessel :
      Under the Rules of the Nautical Road, a vessel which is not permitted to maneuver during a meeting, crossing, or overtaking situation. The intent is to ensure that she does not maneuver into the GIVE-WAY-VESSEL; facetiously, a way to ensure that the give-way vessel hits her squarely.

      State ( ) :
      Aviation. Short for 'fuel state,' a measure of how much fuel you have onboard. May be seen as "Say state" (requesting you to report your fuel state), "My state", etc. Numerals: May be reported in terms of flight time (e.g. "102 is two plus twenty to splash," meaning 2 hours and 20 minutes before fuel exhaustion), flight time to Bingo state, or pounds (e.g. "102 state is three point eight," meaning 3.8 thousand, or 3800, pounds) Smaller aircraft may report their fuel state in hundreds of pounds. Chicken: My fuel state requires recovery, tanking, or diversion to an airfield now. Lamb: I do not have enough fuel for an intercept plus return to base. Tiger: I have sufficient fuel to complete my mission as assigned. Tiger Slow: I have sufficient fuel to complete a subsonic interception and return to base.

      Stateroom :
      The room in which an officer lives. Originally, the term 'stateroom' referred to the better-quality lodging available aboard riverboats plying the rivers of the early United States; these rooms were named after various states of the Union. It has come to mean any motel-style room aboard ship (as compared to berthing spaces, which are barracks style).

      Steaming as before :
      The beginning of a log entry made at the beginning of a watch. If at the beginning of the day (i.e. midnight), it is followed with a detailed narrative of ship, system, and machinery status. It is traditional that the first log entry made in the new year should be in verse.

      Steel Beach :
      Barbecue on the flight deck or other weather deck. Often hosted by a department to give the cooks a break.

      Steerage :
      The condition of having enough speed through the water to have steering (helm) control; at speeds below "steerage way" the rudder is ineffective in controlling the ship's heading.

      Stern Tube :
      (Submarine) (1) Torpedo tubes which point aft. Many modern subs (and all U.S. subs) today have only a single set of torpedo tubes mounted well aft of the bow in order to permit installation of the bow sonar array. These tubes point forward but are angled outboard of the centerline. (2) The point where the propeller shaft passes through the skin of the ship. This tube includes a packing gland which permits rotation of the shaft without excessive leakage of water.

      Stew Burner :

      STFB :
      Stand The Fuck By, i.e. prepare for heavy rolls and bad weather (get ready for trouble).

      Stick :
      (1) Cockpit flight control for pitch and roll. (2) A pilot. (3) A measure of a pilot's competence, e.g. "He's a good stick."

      Stick Actuator :
      A.K.A. "stick-throttle interconnect." Pilot.

      Still :
      See EVAP.

      Stinger :
      (1) The MAD boom, which extends aft of a P-3's empennage. (2) An additional bell stroke given when the captain actually departs the ship. (3) One or more aircraft trailing a formation, usually to permit ambush of an enemy a/c attempting to CONVERT on the formation.

      Stoker, Stokes :
      (RN) Marine Engineering Mechanic, Technician, or Artificer.

      Stores :
      (1) (Services of Supply) Almost anything which is handled or consumed aboard ship, e.g. food, spare parts, etc. (2) (Aviation) Weapons or other devices which can be carried by an aircraft.

      Straddle :
      In shipboard gunnery, when one round or salvo is over, and the next is short, or vice versa. A hit is often soon to come, as the firing ship is getting the target's range (prior to the advent of radar, the most difficult aspect of the fire control puzzle). Contrast with BRACKET.

      Straight Board :
      In submarines, the more modern version of the obsolescent 'GREEN BOARD' report. Hull closure indicators are mounted on a panel. Closures which are shut are indicated by a backlighted dash (short straight line), while open closures are indicated by a backlighted 'donut' (circle). Therefore, with a 'straight board,' all hull openings are closed and it is safe to dive the boat.

      Straight Deck Carrier :
      An aircraft carrier which does not have an ANGLED DECK.

      Straight Leg :
      (Army) A non parachute-qualified soldier.

      Strangle :
      Shut off or disable. "Strangle your parrot" is a common call to shut off an aircraft's IFF transponder.

      Street (the) :
      A region of a carrier's flight deck, approximately amidships.

      Strike :
      (1) (Aviation) The mud-moving side of the community. (2) To attempt to qualify for a new rate (specialty).

      Striker :
      Crewmember, usually a nonrate, who 'tries out' for a specific rate.

      Striking for Chief :
      Brown-noser, or someone really good at his job.

      Stripey :
      (RN) Able rate with two or three good conduct badges.

      Subby :
      (RN) Sub-lieutenant.

      Sub :
      (RN) (1) Pay advance, loan. (2) Sub-lieutenant.

      Suck and Blow Sailor :
      Airedale. 'Suck and Blow' also refers to jet aircraft, for obvious reasons. Early jets were called 'blow jobs.'

      Suck Rubber :
      To use an EAB MASK.

      Sugar :
      State report for surface to air missiles (SAMs).

      Summer Weight :
      A lightweight uniform intended for warm weather.

      SURTASS :
      SURveillance Towed Array Sonar System.

      Suspect :
      A track which is potentially hostile due to its characteristics, behavior, origin, or nationality.

      Swab :
      (1) Sailor. (2) Mop.

      Swain :
      (RN) Ship's Coxswain. Similar to the COB in the US Navy.

      Swallow the Hook (Anchor) :
      To leave the sea; retire.

      Swansea Virgin :
      (UK) Welsh rarebit.

      Sweat :
      To worry about something or to be overly conscientious, or one who worries excessively.

      Sweat Grenade :
      Someone whose sweat pumps are always running at full speed. An excitable person, or one who takes humorous situations too seriously.

      Sweet :
      (1) Good, or functional. "Homeplate, I have sweet lock on your gadget (TACAN)." (2) Valid response to IFF interrogation.

      Sweeten The Shot :
      (Aviation) Last second maneuvers, prior to firing a missile, which improve ANGLE-OFF or other launch parameters.

      Swinging Dick :
      Men (or personnel), as in "I want every swingin' dick in Deck Division working on the problem!"

      Swinging the Lead :
      (RCN) To work in a lazy manner. "OS Bloggins has BIRDS for swinging the lead."

      SWO :
      Surface Warfare Officer.

      SWOS :
      Surface Warfare Officer School.


      TACAN :
      TACtical Air Navigation. A radio navaid (navigational aid) which provides bearing and distance data to the aircraft. Slang term is 'gadget.'

      Tack :
      (1) A short (4 to 6 foot long) piece of rope (line) used as a blank in a signal flag hoist, used for punctuation or to set aside a part of the message. (2) A punctuation mark in a written or voice message, written as a dash.

      Tacking On :
      "Tacking on the crow" refers to the practice of punching the arm of a newly-promoted Petty Officer, a practice now in disfavor due to past abuses. See also CROW. May have originated in the tradition of having one's shipmates each take a stitch in attaching a new crow.

      TACTAS :
      TACtical Towed Array Sonar.

      Tactical Diameter :
      The diameter of the circle first described by a ship's turn. Tactical diameter is larger than FINAL DIAMETER due to the initial momentum of the ship, which drives the vessel outside the arc of its turn at first. See also ADVANCE AND TRANSFER.

      TACTS :
      Tactical Aircrew Combat Training System. A system of computers, data pods, sensors, and displays that allow real-time recording and display of a dogfight.

      TAD :
      Temporary Additional Duty, as when attending a school. Generally less than 6 months. Facetiously, 'Traveling Around Drunk.' TAD is performed while still assigned to a parent command. Contrast with TDY.

      Tail :
      Towed sonar array.

      Take ( ) to Power :
      An order to line-handling crews to take the specified (usually, mooring) line to a winch.

      Tallyho, Tally :
      Radio call signifying the aircrew has gained sight of a contact. Contrast with VISUAL.

      Tank :
      Refuel, usually air-to-air.

      Tannoy :
      (UK) General announcing system aboard ship, analogous to U.S. 1MC, from the British company of that name, which supplied public address systems and loudspeakers during WWII and later.

      Target :
      (1) (Submarine) A surface vessel. (2) Radar return, or the resulting blip on the radar screen (see also PRIMARY TARGET, SECONDARY TARGET).

      Target Angle :
      The RELATIVE BEARING from the target to you. If you are directly aft of the target, his target angle is 180; if you are directly on his starboard beam, his target angle is 090.

      TARPS :
      Tactical Air Reconnaissance Pod. Installation of one turns an F-14 into a 'Peeping Tom.'

      Tasking :
      Mission, target, or other objective.

      TAU :
      Twin Agent Unit. On an aircraft carrier, a tractor that has been modified or purpose-built for firefighting. It has two nozzles: one sprays PKP, the other sprays AFFF.

      TDU :
      Trash Disposal Unit. Essentially, a vertically-oriented torpedo tube used to dispose of trash aboard a submarine.

      TDY :
      A.K.A. TemDu. Temporary Duty, a short-term duty station. Contrast with TAD.

      Teardrop :
      A depth charge which has been given a streamlined shape, so that it will sink faster and with a more-vertical vector. Contrast with ASHCAN.

      TER :
      Triple Ejector Rack. A stores rack used to get more usage out of the limited number of hardpoints found on tactical aircraft. Allows up to three bombs (for example) to be hung on a single set of shackles, depending on weight and space limitations.

      Test Depth :
      The maximum depth to which a submarine can go routinely without damage.

      Texaco :
      Airborne tanker.

      TFOA :
      Things Falling Off Aircraft. An unintentional event. Highly embarrassing, and thereby something to be avoided! Can be ordnance but also can be other important pieces such as landing gear doors, control surfaces, ejector racks, external fuel tanks, etc.

      Three Row :
      A region of a carrier's flight deck, portside inboard of the track for catapult two.

      Three Sheets to the Wind :
      Drunk. Literally, when the lines to the sails (sheets) have come adrift and fly in the wind.

      Throttle Back :
      Slow down, take it easy, etc. Literally, to reduce power.

      Tickets :
      The jobs, schools, and accomplishments you need to check off to climb the promotion ladder. To "get your tickets punched" is to get them done.

      Tickler :
      (RN) Tobacco, especially naval issue.

      Tiddly :
      (UK) Clean and tidy.

      Tiddly Suit :
      (RN) Best uniform.

      Tiff :
      (RN) Artificer. Usually used with the rate, e.g. 'Chief Tiffy'.

      Tiger Cruise :
      A short transit, often at the end of a deployment, during which civilian family members and friends can live aboard the ship.

      Tiger Team :
      A group of personnel tasked with a particular job, often throughout the ship.

      Tilly :
      (1) (USN) A wheeled aircraft crash and salvage crane on an aircraft carrier. It is typically parked aft of the island. (2) (RN) Crew bus or other transport.

      Tincan :
      Also seen as 'Tin Can,' a common nickname for a destroyer. The nickname arose because in World Wars One and Two, the hull plating of this ship type was so thin the sailors claimed they were made from tin cans. In fact, a .45 pistol bullet would penetrate it. Modern destroyers have much thicker hull plating, but the nickname persists. This nickname is sometimes abbreviated as 'Can', although to a radioman a 'can' is a set of headphones.

      TINS :
      "This Is No Shit." The opening line to a sea story. Differs from a fairy tale only in that in a fairy tale, the opening line is "Once upon a time."

      Titivate :
      Clean up, or make shipshape.

      Titless Wave :
      A (male) Yeoman. Obsolete term from the days when women did not go to sea. Can also be used to refer to PN's (Personnelman).

      Tits :
      Good or righteous. "The F-8 Crusader was a tits dogfighter."

      Tits Duty :
      Easy or sweet duty.

      Tits Up :
      A.K.A. Tango Uniform. Inoperative, or broken. "It's dead, Jim." Polite forms: 'Sneakers Up', 'Belly Up'.

      TLD :
      Thermo-Luminescent Dosimeter. Found in nuclear vessels, used to determine exposure to radiation.

      TMOW :
      Torpedoman Of (the) Watch. Responsible for all onboard weapons systems of a submarine. This includes the safe shipping and storage of torpedoes and torpedo-tube launchable missiles. Considered by some to be a KNUCKLE-DRAGGER.

      Toasts :
      In the British Empire, toasts were drunk at dinner to the reigning monarch (also known as 'the loyal toast'). The Navy eventually received special permission to drink the loyal toast while seated (due to the lack of headroom common to ships of the day). In addition, traditional toasts were drunk on specific days of the week. Monday: 'Our ships at sea.' Tuesday: 'Our native land.' Wednesday: 'Ourselves and no one like us.' Thursday: 'A bloody war or a sickly season (and therefore more-rapid promotion).' A variant was 'A bloody war and quick promotion.' Friday: 'A willing foe and sea room.' Saturday: 'Sweethearts and wives.' (someone would inevitably pipe up 'and may they never meet!') Sunday: 'Absent friends.'

      Toe Rail :
      On weather decks, the raised lip at the deck edge. An aid to keeping one's feet inboard.

      Tomachicken :
      Tomahawk cruise missile.

      Topgun :
      Navy Fighter Weapons School, the Navy's postgraduate fighter tactics course. Originally based at Miramar NAS in California, now located at Fallon NAS in Nevada.

      Tot :
      (RN) A half-gill measure of Pussers Rum (approximately two fluid ounces). Used to be daily issue, served neat to Chiefs and Petty Officers; mixed with two parts water for other rates.

      Toto Station :
      Patrol station in the North Red Sea during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The winner of a 'name the station' contest: 'Gee, Admiral, we're not in Kansas any more.' The inshore stations were promptly named 'Wizard' and 'Oz.'

      Touch and Go :
      While the term today refers to practice aircraft landings, the origin may have been when a ship touched ground (ran aground) briefly, then came clear by its inertia. In aviation, sometimes also called a 'Crash and Dash.'

      Towel Rack :
      Cockpit handgrip.

      Train :
      The left and right movement of a gun. Contrast with ELEVATION, compare with DEFLECTION.

      Trainer :
      In larger weapons, the member of the gun crew assigned to move the weapon left and right to aim. Compare with POINTER.

      Train in and secure :
      Literally, to bring a gun back onto centerline and shut it down; used more often to say "knock off work" or "stop for the day."

      Transfer :

      Transient :
      (ASW) A sudden sound emitted from a sonar contact. May be anything from a dropped wrench to the sound of torpedo or missile tube outer doors opening. Tends to generate high PUCKER FACTOR in nearby subs or surface ships.

      Trap :
      (1) Arrested landing aboard ship. "Night traps" are night landings. "Field traps" (arrested landings on a shore base) are an entirely different kettle of fish, being nowhere near as abrupt or unforgiving. Can refer to fixed wing or rotary wing (helos). (2) (RN) Toilet cubicle. (3) Trapping (RN) Sexual activity with members of the opposite sex, probably derived from some obscure analog to tailhooks.

      Trashed :
      Informative call that an attacking missile has been defeated.

      Trick or Treat :
      A fuel condition such that an aircraft has a single chance to land before it must BINGO or TANK.

      Trim :
      (1) The static (i.e. at-rest) tendency of a ship to lie with her decks not in a horizontal position, fore to aft. A ship that lies with her bow too low is said to 'trim by the bow.' (2) A mechanism or system of an aircraft or ship (especially submarines) which compensates for imbalances fore and aft or port and starboard, so as to maintain level attitude. Can be a noun (for the system or static tendency) or a verb, to use the system to change longitudinal (fore and aft) or lateral (side to side) balance. In aircraft, trim is usually accomplished by the adjustment of small surfaces ('tabs') on the flight control surfaces, although the entire control surface is moved on some types. In submarines, trim is usually accomplished by pumping fluids (water or fuel, usually) from one tank to another, or by moving weights such as stores from one compartment to another.

      Trim Party :
      A prank often perpetrated on a newly-qualled Dive Officer or Chief of the Watch, where men and other weights are shifted fore and aft to affect the trim of the boat. In the early days of submarines, this method was used to rapidly put angles on the boat as a normal part of maneuvering.

      Tropical Whites :
      A.K.A. "Trop Whites", the standard summer uniform for USN officers, consisting of white trousers and white short-sleeved open-collared shirt.

      Trougher :
      One who makes a full-time job of being in the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve, i.e. sucking up all the money and available flight hours.

      True Bearing :
      Bearing to an object with true north as a reference.

      Tumbleweeds :
      Non-standard radio brevity code for 'No tally, no visual, no clue' (i.e. 'I don't see my flight leader, I don't see the bogey, and I have no situational awareness.'); a request for information.

      Tunnel (The) :
      Passageway either above or next to the reactor compartment (depending on the class of sub) that allows fore/aft travel past that space.

      Turd Herder :
      Personnel assigned to the ship's sewage handling plant.

      Turn Count :
      Estimating a vessel's speed by counting screw (propeller) rpm via sonar.

      Turn Count Masking :
      The process of spoofing attempts to estimate ship speed and number of screws via sonar, by running each shaft at a different speed.

      Turns :
      The rate of revolutions of a propeller shaft or other rotating engineering device. "Give me turns for 16 knots!"

      Turn To :
      Begin working, or 'Get to work!'

      Turn Turtle :

      Tweak :
      See TWIDGET.

      Twelve O'clock Reports :
      Reports on fuel and water, magazine temperature, and position. These reports are made to the OOD (Officer of the Deck) by the engineering officer, the weapons officer, and the navigator, respectively. The OOD then reports to the CO.

      Twidget :
      Any of the electronics/computer/communications technicians.

      Twirly :

      Two-blocked :
      To reach the maximum limit of something. Can also mean just right, or perfect. The term originates in the use of block and tackle for hoisting. When the two blocks touch, lifting can proceed no farther. RN/RCN equivalent is 'Chock-a-Block' or 'Chokers,' though these forms are more restricted to the 'maximum limit' definition.

      Two And a Half (Ringer) :
      (RN) Lieutenant Commander.

      Two Row :
      A region of a carrier's flight deck, starboard side inboard of the track of catapult one.


      UA :
      Unauthorized Absence. The Naval/Marine equivalent of AWOL (Absent Without Leave).

      Uder :
      (RN, pronounced like the cow's appendage) The stoker in charge of the fuel tanks, fresh water, and fuels reports.

      Unass :
      Get off of, or debark. To unass from a vehicle is to get out of it.

      Unable :
      Cannot comply as requested/directed.

      Undercast :
      An overcast seen from above.

      Under Way :
      Sometimes seen as 'under weigh.' The term refers to a ship which is not physically connected to solid ground, i.e. neither moored, anchored, nor aground. Often confused with 'MAKING WAY,' though legally the terms are very different.

      Unload :
      (1) (Aviation) To reduce the load (in some cases, to less than 1G) on the aircraft, thereby decreasing the rate of acceleration. Since a major component of drag on an aircraft is induced drag, which is proportional to how much lift is being generated, unloading reduces drag and dramatically increases rate of acceleration. Also, a necessary maneuver prior to a roll reversal to avoid overstressing the aircraft (the rising wing can experience significantly greater G loads than the rest of the aircraft). (2) To verbally abuse someone, e.g. 'The XO really unloaded on me.'

      UNREP :
      UNderway REPlenishment. The transfer of supplies, fuel, and munitions from one ship to another while at sea. Also seen as RAS (Replenishment At Sea), especially RN/RCN.

      Unrestricted Line :
      An officer eligible to succeed to command of an operational USN entity; an officer holding a combat warfare specialty DESIGNATOR.

      Unsat :

      Up Homers :
      (RN) Being invited to someone's home, especially a female's.

      Up On the Governor :
      About to have a tantrum, or an engine being prevented from overspeeding.

      Upper Works :
      The structure of a ship which lies above her weather decks. Also known as 'superstructure.'

      Up the Hawsepipe :
      (UK) An officer commissioned from the lower deck (enlisted ranks). Similar to the USN's MUSTANG.

      Up to Speed :
      Aware of what's going on; 'in the know.'

      US :
      (RN/RCN/RAN) UnServiceable.

      USMC :
      United States Marine Corps. Cynically, 'Uncle Sam's Misguided Children.'

      Ustafish :
      (1) General term for a previous submarine command one has served in. Often used as "That's not how we did it aboard the USTAFISH." Generally followed by various short, forceful comments from others present. (2) A rogue virtual submarine manned by members of the sci.military.naval newsgroup.


      VA :
      (1) Veteran's Administration. (2) Designation for an Attack squadron.

      Vampire :
      Radio codeword for a hostile anti-ship cruise missile.

      Vapes :
      Vapor trails, referring to the tendency of low aircraft to show vapor trails from wingtips and over wings when going Very Fast or pulling Gs. "Nice vapes" is commendation for a good flyby.

      Varsity :
      Significant effort. A 'varsity turn' puts a lot of G on the aircraft.

      VAQ :
      Electronic Warfare squadron.

      VC :
      (1) Vietcong. (2) Composite squadron (i.e. a unit flying multiple types of aircraft).

      Veer :
      (1) To pay out line or chain, as in increasing the scope of the anchor. (2) A change of wind direction in the clockwise direction (as one looks into the wind).

      Vertical Envelopment :
      Landing troops ashore via helicopter or parachute.

      VertRep :
      VERtical REPlenishment. Bringing stores aboard ship by use of a helicopter.

      VF :
      Fighter squadron.

      VFA :
      Fighter-Attack squadron.

      VFR :
      Visual Flight Rules. An FAA-specified series of flight rules used when an aircraft is not under positive radar control. When flying VFR, an aircraft's pilot has sole legal responsibility for safe flight and collision avoidance.

      Visual :
      Advisory call that caller has visual contact with another friendly aircraft or ground position.

      Vittled In :
      Something good. 'OS Bloggins really vittled in when he cut the MESS MOTHER'S grass at the PIG OF THE PORT contest.'

      Vittler :
      (RCN) The stores rating who looks after issuing rations to the cooks and takes care of the ordering and storing of food onboard. From the word 'victual' (which is pronounced 'vittle').

      VMA :
      Marine attack squadron.

      VMAQ :
      Marine electronic warfare squadron.

      VMC :
      Visual Meteorological Conditions.

      VMFA :
      Marine fighter-attack squadron.

      VS :
      Anti-submarine warfare squadron.

      Vulture's Row :
      The catwalks and galleries along the island of an aircraft carrier, where crewmembers often congregate to watch flight operations. RN/RCN form is 'goofers' (goofing stations).


      WAA :
      Wide Aperture Array. An advanced passive ranging sonar.

      Wafoo, Wafu :
      (RN) A.K.A. 'AIRY-FAIRY.' Naval aviator; Fleet Air Arm personnel. Originally an abbreviation for 'Weapons And Fuel Users.' May also mean 'Wet And Fucking Useless.'

      Walter :
      Walter One-Way, the guy who always does for himself, and never helps you. See CHECK VALVE.

      Wardroom :
      (1) A compartment aboard ship where the officers eat. May also be used for meetings, briefings, etc. (2) The complement of officers aboard ship.

      Warm Fuzzy :
      Feeling of security or contentment.

      Warning (Color) :
      Red- Attack imminent, or ongoing. Yellow- Attack is likely or probable. White- Attack is unlikely (all clear).

      Washout :
      (1) The variation (generally, the lessening) in ANGLE OF INCIDENCE throughout the span of an aircraft's wing. Therefore, for a given angle of attack (q.v.), the AOA is less at wingtip than at root. Washout helps ensure aileron authority (effectiveness) as angle of attack increases, as it tends to cause the wing root to stall before the wingtip. (2) To fail out of a training program, typically for inadequate performance.

      Waste Heat Boiler :
      A boiler which uses the waste (otherwise nonfunctional) heat of an engine system to make steam for hotel or other usage. Often associated with a gas turbine or diesel propulsion plant.

      Watch :
      The standing of duty shifts. The practice varies, but in the US Navy, the watch rotations are 0000-0400 Midwatch; 0400-0800 Morning Watch; 0800-1200 Forenoon Watch; 1200-1600 Afternoon Watch; 1600-1800 First Dogwatch; 1800-2000 Second Dogwatch; 2000-2400 Evening Watch (A.K.A. First Watch). The purpose of the dogwatches is to permit both sets of watchstanders to eat the evening meal. These watches are said to be 'dogged.'

      Water Buffalo :
      (1) A water tank on wheels used by SeaBees and/or other ground forces to carry drinking water. (2) Someone who uses excessive water, such as by taking HOLLYWOOD SHOWERS (submarines).

      Water King :
      Similar to Oil King, person responsible for monitoring the production, storage, and utilization of potable and feed water.

      Water Wings :
      Warfare qualification pin for a Surface Warfare Officer (SWO), or Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist (ESWS). Represented as the bow of a ship superimposed on crossed swords (SWO) or cutlasses (ESWS).

      Wave :
      (Aviation) The actions of an LSO when he directs and monitors the landing operations aboard a carrier. Also seen as 'Wave Aboard.'

      Waveoff :
      A call by the LSO directing a go-around. Unlike most radio calls to a pilot, a waveoff is not advisory in nature.

      Weapons ( ) :
      Free-Fire on targets not identified as friendly, in accordance with current ROE; Tight-Fire only on targets positively identified as hostile, in accordance with current ROE; Hold-(USA, USMC) Fire only in self-defense or in response to a formal order; Safe-(USN, NATO) Fire only in self- defense or in response to a formal order;

      Weather Deck :
      Literally, any deck of a ship which is exposed to the weather, i.e. outside the skin of the ship.

      (In the) Weeds :
      Indicates that aircraft are operating at very low altitude.

      WEPS :
      The weapons officer.

      WestPac Widow :
      The spouse of a deployed sailor, if he or she strays from the marital bed in their absence.

      Wets :
      (RN) Drinks.

      WETSU :
      We Eat This Shit Up. A derisive statement, usually regarding poor working or living conditions.

      Wetting Down :
      The traditional celebration of an officer's promotion. Traditionally, the newly-promoted officer would spend the difference between his old and new monthly paycheck to pay for the party in the O-Club bar; in cases of en mass promotions, such as Lieutenant j.g. to Lieutenant, where everyone on the ship or base gets promoted on the same day, this can result in quite a party.

      WFW :
      "Waaah Fucking Waaah". Used to tell someone to quit whining.

      Wheel Book :
      A small notebook, usually used by Division Officers to keep track of daily events and reminders.

      Whifferdil :
      (Aviation) Random or uncontrolled maneuvers.

      Whinge :
      (UK) To whine with extreme overtones of self-pity.

      Whiskey Delta :
      Phonetic for "Weak Dick", a poor effort or someone who can't cut it. Often, an invitation to a fistfight.

      Whitehat :
      Enlisted personnel (E-1 through E-6).

      WILCO :
      WILl COmply. May only be used by unit commanders (ship COs, aircraft commanders, etc.).

      Willy Pete :
      Ordnance which contains White Phosphorus. From the old phonetic alphabet, 'William Peter.'

      Winchester :
      Radio pro word for 'out of ammunition,' whether completely, or for a particular ammunition type, e.g. 'Cowboy two-six is Winchester twenty mike-mike (20mm gun ammo).'

      Wind Tunnel :
      Typically, an area of a ship where the ship's movement and natural winds combine with ship's architecture to cause significant air movement. Commonly used on old '27-Charlie' aircraft carriers, but also applied to more modern vessels.

      Wingding :
      A party celebrating a new pilot's being awarded his wings.

      Winger, Wingie :
      (RCN) Mate, buddy, or pal.

      Wing Line :
      See 3-9 LINE.

      Wings :
      The insignia of an aviator. Represented as wings flanking a shield surmounting an anchor, or in the case of NFOs, two crossed anchors. "Getting (one's) wings": achieving the status of a qualified aviator.

      Wire :
      (1) Nautical term for what a civilian would call a cable or wire rope. (2) CROSS-DECK PENDANTs of the arresting gear aboard a carrier. Numbered from aft forward, 1 to 4 or 5. In older, STRAIGHT-DECK CARRIERs (ca. WWII and Korean War), there could be as many as 20 or more wires.

      Wire Biter :
      Any electrical or electronics rate, similar to TWIDGET.

      Wire Rope :
      Wire strands wound around a core of rope. Not as strong as cable, but more flexible.

      Wog :
      (1) short form of POLLYWOG. (2) (UK) Term of derision for non-white native personnel. The supposed origin is that 'wog' stands for 'Worthy (or, alternatively, Wily) Oriental Gentleman.'

      Woop :
      USNA slang for West Point cadets. Rhymes with 'poop.'

      WOXOF :
      Pronounced "walks-off". FAA/Aviation weather report terminology for 'visibility zero, ceiling zero, sky obscured by fog'. See CLOBBERED.

      Wrap :
      (RM) Give up. "He's just wrapped his tits."

      WTD :
      WaterTight Door.

      W. T. Door :
      The mythical or prototypical average USNA midshipman.

      WTF (WTFO) :
      "What/Who/Where The Fuck" Sometimes spoken as 'What the fuck, over,' or spoken phonetically, 'Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.'


      XBT :
      eXpendable BathyThermograph. A device for measuring water temperature profiles, and thereby predicting sound velocity differences and sonar performance.

      XO :
      Executive Officer. Second-in-command of a vessel.


      Yankee Station :
      One of the two positions typically occupied by an aircraft carrier off the coast of Vietnam. 'Yankee' was the northern station, tasked with disruption of commerce and logistics.

      Yanking and Banking :
      (Aviation) Literally, the roll-and-pull stick movements used to turn or otherwise maneuver an aircraft. More generally, accelerated flight, when the pilot puts G on the aircraft ('pulling Gs'). Also seen as 'Banking and Yanking.'

      Yard :
      A horizontal spar on a mast.

      Yellow Gear :
      Flight deck support gear, such as power or start carts, crash gear, etc.

      Yellow-Shirt, Yellowshirt :
      Generically, a flight deck taxi director, but these personnel are also responsible for other flight deck activities. Jersey Colors

      Yoyo :
      (USN Aviation) (1) An energy-management maneuver in which the pilot of a tactical aircraft in a turn either decreases angle of bank while maintaining backstick (applied G), resulting in a climb, reduced closure, and tightened radius of turn ('High Yoyo') or increases angle of bank, resulting in a descent, increased speed, and increased closure ('Low Yoyo'); (2) Shorthand for 'You're On Your Own.' Think of calling 911 and getting a busy signal.


      Z's :
      Sleep, or snoring. 'Let's go bag some Z's.'

      Zarf :
      (USN subs) Coffee cup holder.

      Zed Shed :
      (RN) A classroom, or any area where a lecture takes place. Probably from the British phonetic 'Zed' for 'Z' (snoring).

      Zero :
      Derogatory term for officer. Comes from the "O" in the paygrade designation.

      Zero Bubble :
      Used to mean that a submarine's bow is level, or horizontal with the 'G' vector. Compare with UP BUBBLE, DOWN BUBBLE.

      Zero Dark Thirty :

      Z-Gram :
      Messages to the U.S. Navy sent by Admiral Zumwalt, CNO in the 70s.

      Ziplip :
      Carrier flight operations conducted under radio silence.

      Zippo ( ) :
      Informative call that a missile attack is imminent or in progress. ZIPPO TIGHT Inhibits all reactions to Zippo (Zippo should not be called). ZIPPO LOOSE cancels Zippo Tight.

      Zombie :
      A suspect air track that is conforming to ATC rules or following a recognized traffic pattern.

      Zone Five :
      Maximum afterburner. Afterburners on most modern aircraft can be modulated from minimum (zone 1) to maximum (usually 5).

      Zoomie :
      (1) Air Force personnel. (2) (USN) A nickname for Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, then-CNO, in the 70s. (3) (USN) Energetic nuclear particles. Someone working in a nuclear radiation area is said to be 'catching some zoomies.'

      Zulu 5 Oscar :
      Personnel making a deliberate attempt to gain unauthorized access, usually at the direction of higher authority, to test shipboard security procedures. The standard intruder drill.

      ZULU Time :
      See GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).

A Glossary of Military Terminology, Jargon, and Slang
compiled and edited by Jeff Crowell