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FM-101 Operations Terms (revised)

A Concise Catalogue of Recent Doctrinal Term Additions

              New doctrinal terms for the U.S. military are developed everyday in the armed services. These new terms put things in their proper perspective. Most are eloquent and protect you in today's PC environment. Some are more apropros than others. Here are a few that are relevant in today's services....

Adminisphere :
              The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the battalion/wing level. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are generally profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.

Ass-Clown :
              A leader who demonstrates comedy to effectively wow the seniors to believe he actually has operational knowledge of the task at hand. In actuality, he has no clue, and truly doesn't understand the training criteria.

Assmosis :
              The process by which some people seem to absorb success and promotability by kissing up to the commander. This process can be observed first-hand whenever senior field grade officers are near general officers.

Aviation Continuation Pay :
              The $16,308 a month paycheck you'll earn when you get out and continue to fly until you're a senior captain at United Airlines.

Back-Stop :
              A term used to cover a staff failure to properly wargame a course of action. A term used by Infantry showing how "Hope" is a method incorporated to defeat the enemy. "If the enemy gets through the engagement area, we have Delta Company placed here – to back-stop the Battalion defense."

Befuckled :
              Utterly confused; being characterized by a completely genuine and profound disorientation. The perpetual state of all support units during operations.

Bells and Whistles :
              An inordinate amount of "cheese" (PowerPoint graphics/animation), superfluous and not required, used to communicate necessary information to one or more individuals or groups. Commonly associated with "Canine and Equine Theater".

Blah, Blah, Blah :
              Short for "You know what I'm going to say anyway, so I'm not going to waste our time to actually say it." Also expressed as "Yada Yada Yada" or "Homina Homina" or "Humma Humma Humma"; not to be confused with "Hooah" or "Oorah".

Blamestorming :
              Sitting around the headquarters discussing why a suspense was missed or a mission failed and who was responsible. Typical activity among general staffs.

Boned :
              A term used in response to orders issued from a higher commander. As in "I am the counter-reconnaissance company and the battalion reserve at the same time – I got boned!"

Buttload :
              Any large quantity; a lot. Slightly less than a shitload; being the relative influence of general officers, or the extra load senior NCOs can carry. Also used to refer to the number of vehicles in a recon cluster. Also refers to how much artillery is necessary to disable an enemy force.

Canine and Equine Theater / Canine and Equestrian Theater :
              The stratified presentation of idealized strategy, using as many simulators and as much jargon as possible, interlarded with dubious statistics and codewords, so as to impress any visiting dignitary or invited VIP with the unit's miraculous capability. Old soldiers will recognize this performance as a "Dog and Pony Show".

Chainsaw Met :
              A team brought in from a high headquarters to reduce your manpower authorizations, leaving the organization and unit leadership with clean hands.

Cheesecon :
              Level of preparedness for a briefing or presentation that indicates the number (and rank) of officers attempting to wedge an OER bullet into a training exercise. The level of cheesecon generally increases exponentially the closer the exercise. The upper-limit of cheesecon is unknown and the high-water mark increases with each visit of an important foreign national or the National War College.

Cheese-Ex :
              The 542 slide briefing that results at the conclusion of the MDMP that outlines what can be clearly said in a well-written paragraph (formerly known as the Commander's intent and/or concept of the operation). This is the Force XXI cause of the "Fog of War."

Cheetah Flips :
              The course of action development phase of the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) in an imagined crisis environment (often replicated by headquarters during daily operations), such as those actions immediately following orders for a Division Main or any Corps CP to actually move location, even in peacetime on a dry parade field.

Combined Arms :
              "The synchronized or simultaneous application of several arms, such as infantry, armor, artillery, engineers, air defense, and aviation to achieve an effect on the enemy that is greater than if each arm was used against the enemy in sequence." [IAW FM 101-5-1] In the real world this means that an entire infantry battalion will be held in place to die at the hands of an angry Krasnovian with a mortar tube while the FSO diligently flips through a 100-page synch-matrix to determine the EFST for this particular sub-phase of the operation.

Critical Terrain :
              Terrain that if not seized, secured, grabbed, taken, or camped out on means that you are screwed. A new category to describe terrain in FM 34-130 (Critical – Decisive Key).

              Career Restricting Move; used among officers to describe ill-advised activity. Trashing core values or discussing civilian sector employment/pay scales while your commander is within earshot is serious CRM.

Cut a Chogie :
              A masterful maneuver for highly trained and dispersed personnel, who, amidst operational stresses, exhibit initiative and resourcefulness in the field improvisation of an interval short-cut; which is sometimes characterized as a retrograde echelon preparatory to retrenchment.

Deconflict :
              A polite term generally used the following way in briefings: "Yes sir, we need to deconflict that land piece for the occupation of the assembly areas." This actually means: "No sir, I did not think about the problem enough to realize that I couldn't fit the entire brigade into one square kilometer. I'll go unbefuckle myself as soon as possible."

Deja Doo-Doo / Déjà Doo-Doo :
              The disagreeable feeling you've heard this bullshit before. Usually heard during USRs, QTBs, etc. Old soldiers will recognize this as "echo".

Dick Dance :
              When two guys work together on a mission and never get it done because both of them want to lead.

Dilberted :
              To be exploited and oppressed by your boss. A common event in most organizations, "I've been dilberted again. The old man changed my leave schedule for the fourth time this month because his wife couldn't make up her mind."; as derived from the experiences of Dilbert, the geek-in-hell comic strip character.

Drive By :
              The act of simultaneously fixing and bypassing an enemy unit. Engaging the enemy while bypassing as far away and fast as possible from the objective; which meets, according to Armor School doctrine, both the "destruction" and "occupation" criteria given in the OPORD. Old soldiers will recognize this as "recon-by-fire". This term may also refer to when a senior officer briefly stops by your unit or motorpool.

Fan-Out :
              A dismounted operation involving soldiers on the ground maximizing the amount of terrain they can cover or disperse over.

Flail-Ex :
              Commonly known as the "planning process". Also known as the "backwards planning process" in Airborne units just alerted to make a night jump 200k behind enemy lines, when success relies on link-up and relief based on an attack by I Corps for link up at the airhead. A term borrowed from fanatic religious rituals in which participants lash themselves into bleeding exhaustion.

Flex :
              A really cool sounding non-doctrinal term used to maneuver a unit from one location to another. Used most often on command nets when you don't have a clue where you are, or how the hell to get to the new location.

Flight Risk :
              Used to describe officers/NCOs who are suspected of planning to retire or separate from the service soon. Alternatively, a safety descriptor for any O-6 or above who manages to get behind the controls of an airplane.

40% Redux Retirement :
              The new retirement plan that will result in reduction of service (i.e.: Army, Air Force, etc.) manning to 40% of wartime requirements.

404 :
              Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message "404 Not Found," meaning that the requested document could not be located; as in "Don't bother asking the boss ... he's 404, man."

Generica :
              Features of any service installation (e.g.: Air Force base, Army post, etc.) landscape that are designed to appear to be exactly the same, no matter which base one is at, such as Burger King, Robin Hood, the PX/BX, and the AMC pax terminal, making them indistinguishable from each other and therefore interchangeable. Used as in "We were so lost in generica that I forgot what base we were at."

Gettin' Jiggy Wit' It :
              An offensive form of maneuver, by friendly orientation, that simultaneously utilizes at least three maneuver elements.

Get Up and Haul Ass :
              A movement technique that requires all elements within the Table of Organization to cross the LD yesterday, even before receipt of a FRAGO.

Gnarly :
              The appearance, demeanor, and military bearing of any field trooper having successfully completed their mission; being in contradistinction to "strac", but eminently more effective.

              Slightly more than a shitload; being the amount of profit a defense contractor makes on an essential part. Term allegedly derived as an acronym from "Grossly Over Budget".

Good Idea Window :
              This heading is currently under re-consideration as being inaccurate for its definition. This term was formerly used to imply that events would not grow out of control at the last minute. However, upon closer inspection by the division engineer, the 'window' has been discovered to be rusted open. In fact, nobody can even remember the last time they saw the window closed. A suitability caucus suggests the alternative: "good idea fountain".

Gucci Move :
              Deliberately altering command intent or guidance, or willfully violating the fundamentals of operational security or reconnaissance.

Hang Out :
              To establish a position characterized by a total lack of security, such as soldiers asleep in hammocks around a huge BBQ pit turning out chow. Such established positions, together with its concomitant tasks, are usually accomplished by Air Defenders.

Hey, Diddle, Diddle :
              Group of words used to describe a possible COA that allows for no analytical thought and ensures a minimum 75% casualty rate. In the USMC, also known as High, Diddle, Diddle – Straight Up the Middle.

Hit :
              Term for applying massed effects against the enemy; as in: "First we'll hit these guys over here, then we'll hit these guys, and then the guys over here will be hit with asymmetrical dominance from assets from EAC." [Most commonly in use by anyone who has ever been in the presence of an athletics coach!]

Homina Homina :
              Also expressed as "Blah Blah Blah" or "Yada Yada Yada" or "Humma Humma Humma"; not to be confused with "Hooah" or "Oorah".

Hop and Pop :
              Means to move about excitedly with no real purpose or direction. Used in either one of two ways. Firstly, when the unit is being entirely overwhelmed by the enemy and the unit members have lost all discipline and control. At this point individuals are expected to 'hop and pop' in an effort to keep themselves alive at the expense of all else. High rates of fratricide are the norm with this type of operation. Secondly, when senior officers show-up on-site unexpectedly. Units are normally conducting 'TOC OPs' in this situation and the only recourse is for all parties to move about with stern looks and weapons / briefing slides at the ready in an attempt to make the visitor believe that something important is actually going on.

Humma Humma Humma :
              Also expressed as "Blah Blah Blah" or "Yada Yada Yada" or "Homina Homina"; not to be confused with "Hooah" or "Oorah".

Jump Back off Your Bad Self :
              The correct response to anybody pulling a "Gucci move".

Kabuki Dance :
              The elaborately choreographed deception movement techniques used on the battlefield and/or creatively obfuscatory verbal explanations used in briefings to higher headquarters. It is designed to baffle enemy forces regarding actual intent or the main axis of advance. Works to our advantage because foreign armies generally find it hard to believe that the American army could be so screwed up. Equally perplexing to higher chains of command on the purpose of the true mission. Most commonly seen when Armor units break out as "Heavy Cav", but expertise in this area is often demonstrated by the Field Artillery.

Kick-Out :
              An armor technique used to employ light infantry to clear severely restricted terrain in order to allow the armor to pass.

Kitchen Sink :
              More artillery support than you will ever see.

Laze and Blaze :
              This is the execution portion of 'hop and pop'. While it implies a cavalier and competent use of tactical skills (e.g.: using the BELRF and 25mm to maximum efficiency), it more accurately describes the act of simultaneously sluing the turret and mashing the trigger on all weapon systems in a desperate bid to kill something ... anything!

Lethal :
              Although the definition is currently unclear, it's purportedly a descriptor for a rabid mole-rat, psychologically devastating and/or physically overwhelming, that's believed to be harassing senior members of the division staff.

Let's Rock Baby :
              Radio communications proword phrase for, "Guidons, this is Black 6, FRAGO follows, acknowledge, over.".

Mill Around :
              Like the "route step" command, which authorizes out-of-step marching, this doctrinaire directive brings a semblance of military disorder to what would otherwise be a chaotic gathering. Old soldiers will recognize this assemblage as a "cluster-fuck".

Mop-Up :
              A term for the actions occurring just after you discover that what you just seized as your main objective is actually the enemy's fire sack, implying a willingness to be exposed to lethal fire ... which is reassuring, since it is coincidentally an enemy Registration Point for more artillery than you could ever imagine.

Offline / Off-line :
              Yet one more term regularly heard in briefings. This term is used to convey a polite attitude towards another staff officer in order to spare everyone else in the meeting from having to endure staff-to-staff coordination. Usually when a briefer tactfully says: "That's a good point; let's talk about it offline.", he is really saying: "Listen dickhead, if you try to sharpshoot me in a meeting one more time, then I'm going to hit you so hard that I kill all your relatives for three generations!"

Ohnosecond :
              That minuscule fraction of time after hitting the "execute" button during which you realize that you've just made a BIG (probably irrevocable) mistake.

Paint the Picture :
              A term used to gather information and assess the situation. Usually an action directed by senior leaders to junior leaders, invoked after the senior leader has gotten 8 hours of sleep on a warm cot and has just shaved with hot water provided by his driver. The Commander uses this term to seek instant knowledge when he knows absolutely nothing of the tactical situation, while the Battle Captain has been up all night.

Percussive Maintenance :
              The fine art of whacking the crap out of a $200,000 inertial navigation unit to get it to work properly again.

Phase :
              A technique used to permit the Infantry to write Paragraph Three of an Op Order in a manner they can comprehend.

Police-Up :
              An Infantry operation required to actually defeat the enemy remaining on a key objective after Armor forces by-pass in an attempt to avoid engagement.

Pound the Shit out of :
              Somewhere between "disrupt" and "destroy", being slightly more than "neutralize" ... typical armored cavalry mission. One of several terms that vaguely refers to fighting the enemy in some obscure manner. It is generally used in pep talks prior to the beginning of a battle. When used, it is a sure indicator that your unit is about to lose.

Primary Hammer / The Hammer :
              A cool operational term used by Battalion and Brigade commanders to impress a superior when describing the Finishing Force, or the Main Effort.

Rad Emplacement :
              The laager, Remain Over Night, or dug-in position which is so totally concealed that element members are at risk of being declared Missing-In-Action by superiors who are unable to detect them. Such established positions are usually accomplished by primary Combat Arms units.

Recon Cluster :
              A large gathering of recon assets from several echelons of command. Normally given the task of observing an NAI the size of Texas, but kept together because nobody trusts the COLTs enough not to get lost. Command relationships for this element are normally ignored or muddled, allowing the element to commence TOC OPs.

Resolution :
              This popular term sounds much better than its literal definition, which actually requires that something be accomplished; but its use as a doctrinal qualifier only implies or merely forecasts intent, deliberate and sincere, yet insubstantial. When optimistically expressed, it may be reliably translated by the phrase: "not a clue" ... as when an officer reports: "No sir, we don't yet have resolution on how to execute the deployment sequence."

Salmon Day :
              The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die at the end.

Seagull Colonel :
              A colonel who swoops in, makes a lot of noise, grabs all the obvious pickings, and shits all over everything.

              This is when a junior commander (usually a Captain) comes to the realization that his higher is so completely clueless (perhaps even befuckled) that to ensure survival he must attach himself and his command to another unit.

Shitload :
              Double the quantity of a 'buttload', as in the amount of money necessary to "influence the patronage of" (i.e.: bribe) an Armed Services Committee politician. This enormity has been used to refer to the number of vehicles in a BCT TOC, or BN UMCP. Also refers to a battalion-6 mission. An alternate use of this term is when a unit is being overrun, which allows the RTO to succinctly call in an accurate estimate of the enemy's size as he grabs his MRE and attempts to free himself from his sleeping bag.

Shoot :
              A term that used to stand for the act of engaging another human being with some form of dangerous projectile. Now most commonly used to refer to the act of sending an e-mail to another staff weenie ... sounding like: "Hey, I'll shoot that piece out to you on e-mail tomorrow." What it really means: "Hey, my life is so pathetic, and so far from warfighting, that I will spend tomorrow gazing into an electronic display; and while doing so, I will daydream about commanding an intergalactic starship controlled through my keyboard while pretending that I am doing something useful, if not meaningful."

Squirrel-Ex :
              The wargaming phase of the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) after all Cheetah Flips are completed, briefed and refined. Named after the mental picture of a band of gray squirrels in Alabama on the first sunny day of spring, unsure of whether to attempt mating or to dig up buried nuts. The Squirrel-Ex phase normally culminates in a massive PowerPoint briefing called a 'Cheese-Ex'.

Super-Duper PCI :
              Like 'laze and blaze', this definition implies a competent use of doctrinal troop leading procedures. What it really means is that the unit will cross the LD with no ammo, no antennas, three layers of hot gear, and two DOS of chow stuffed into every gas mask carrier.

Sweep :
              A fluid, noncontinuous form of battlespace dominance, usually combined with "zippin' around" or "gettin' jiggy wit' it".

Tact :
              An operational methodology, if not a "tactic", favored by staffers, toadies, and sycophants for broaching mistakes, bad news, and other disagreeable matters.

Take-Down :
              An aggressive former wrestling term used to describe your projected actions on the objective; assumes your inherent lack of regard for the enemy's capabilities.

Technique :
              A tactful descriptor, as used in the phrase, "That's a technique." when hearing of a peer's dumb concept of operation. Translated it means, "That's a really screwed up way to execute this operation and you will probably kill your entire unit; but if you're stupid enough to do it that way, go ahead and narrow the odds on my next Promotion Board."

              Term used to describe the actual priorities of work that will take place within any assembly area or TOC location. Priorities include: 1) build large and elaborate hooches, 2) dig pit and gather wood for large bonfire area, 3) eat/sleep. All soldiers conducting TOC OPs are expected to use white lens flashlights when maneuvering in the area. Helmets and protective masks are expressly forbidden. The outergarment will usually include a t-shirt or sleep shirt along with some form of do-rag, but should never include web gear or the BDU top. Security when conducting TOC-Ops will consist of sending the newest private, without a radio or ammunition, 300m out on the perimeter to provide early warning of any visits from higher headquarters. Radio watch will consist of one soldier asleep within ten feet of the radio. Upon compromise by higher HQ, all soldiers will immediately start 'hopping and popping'.

Triple-Hull Down :
              A term associated with Force-Protection, Fratricide, and self-preservation. Used in order to prevent being fired on by friends when saying something really stupid, hiding from the boss who has a task that only you can fill, or covering your butt from being smoked by anyone. A physical and psychological stance assumed instantly by all tankers when they become aware of pending close air "support" by Apache units, which may be able to fire Hellfire missiles from one side of the aircraft in good weather, assuming no dust or RPG gunners exist in the AO.

Work :
              Formerly a verb, used to refer to action and activity directed toward a specific goal or purpose, although in recent times the meaning of this term has degraded significantly. One will often hear this term in briefings (as with all excessive verbiage) in the context of "Yes sir, we need to work the logistics side of the exercise." What this really means: "Sir, I will execute at least one IPR and send out a minimum of ten e-mail messages in order to cover my ass should this stupid issue that you brought up ever rear its ugly head again."

Yada Yada Yada :
              Also expressed as "Blah Blah Blah" or "Homina Homina" or "Humma Humma Humma"; not to be confused with "Hooah" or "Oorah".

Zippin' Around :
              An aviation movement technique in which the helicopters appear to fly around aimlessly, at a high rate of speed, while attempting to impress the Ground Combat Troops with their dash and daring. Occasionally encompasses "gettin' jiggy wit' it" and usually used in a zone reconnaissance. Never used under anything less than 100% air supremacy. Usually followed by subdued calls for navigation assistance, or a mandatory appearance at the O'Club.