List of United States Marine Corps acronyms and expressions

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This is a list of acronyms, expressions, euphemisms, jargon, military slang, and sayings in common or formerly common use in the United States Marine Corps. Many of the words or phrases have varying levels of acceptance among different units or communities, and some also have varying levels of appropriateness (usually dependent on how senior the user is in rank). Many terms also have equivalents among other service branches that are not acceptable among Marines, but are comparable in meaning. Many acronyms and terms have come into common use from voice procedure use over communication channels, translated into the phonetic alphabet, or both. Many are or derive from nautical terms and other naval terminology. Most vehicles and aircraft have a formal acronym and/or an informal nickname, those are detailed in their own articles.

The scope of this list is to include words and phrases that are unique to or predominantly used by the Marine Corps or the United States Naval Service. Recent joint operations have allowed terms from other military services to leak into the USMC lexicon, but can be found with their originating service's slang list, see the "See also" section.


Marine wearing 782 gear
  • 1st Civ Div - 1st Civilian Division. Civilian life, usually applied to Marines facing discharge or retirement. As in "getting assigned to 1st Civ Div." Also occasionally referred to as "1st Couch Company."
  • 360 – Forming a complete circle (as in on a compass (360°)); to put protection all around.
  • 48, 72, 96 – In hours, the standard liberty periods of two, three, four days.
  • 4th Battalion – Pejorative used to describe an individual or unit lacking toughness as in "He was trained in 4th Battalion". Derived from the 4th Battalion of the Recruit Training Regiment at MCRD Parris Island, which trains female enlisted Marines.
  • 4th Marine Dimension – Derogatory term for the 4th Marine Division, the division to which the ground combat element of the Marine Forces Reserve is assigned; used by active duty Marines to denote displeasure with the difference in culture and operating procedures within the division as opposed to active duty units.
  • 5.56mm hickey – A scar or blister resulting from a burn suffered (usually on the neck) due to hot brass.
  • 7 Day Store/Troop Store/Mini P – Convenience store (Mini-P denotes a "mini" or smaller sized version of the PX, or Post-Exchange).
  • Deuce Gear – Standard issue web gear, combat gear, or field equipment, such as ALICE, MOLLE, or ILBE. Named after standard Marine Corps Form 782, which Marines formerly signed when they took custody of and responsibility for their equipment.[1]
  • 8 bells – Signal for the end of a four-hour watch, so named for the increase in bell strike each half-hour of the watch.[2]
  • 8th & I – Nickname for Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. so named from its street address at the corner of 8th and I Streets SE.


  • Aboard - Term for all personnel being accounted for in a building, such as a classroom.
  • Above my/your pay grade – Expression denying responsibility or authority (indicating that the issue should be brought to higher-ranking officials); alternatively, a semi-sarcastic way of telling someone that they're not authorized to receive certain information.[3]
  • Acquire(d) – euphemism denoting theft.
ALICE equipment
  • Air Crew- Personnel that work on board any aircraft that can carry a crew (i.e. huey, CH-46, CH-53, V-22, etc.), and are normally charged with loading gear, passengers, and manning the door/ tail guns.
  • Air Force pockets or Army gloves – An individual's hands being inside his or her pockets.
  • Aviation Units – See also active squadrons, inactive squadrons, & aviation support units
    • HAMS – Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron, also H&MS
    • HMA - Marine Attack Helicopter Squadron
    • HMH – Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron
    • HMHT - Marine Heavy Helicopter Training Squadron
    • HML – Marine Light Helicopter Squadrons
    • HMLA – Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron
    • HMLAT – Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron
    • HMM – Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (formerly HMR)
    • HMMT – Marine Medium Helicopter Training Squadron
    • HMR - Marine Helicopter Transport Squadron
    • HMT – Marine Helicopter Training Squadron (General designation prior to specific communities (i.e. HMHT(CH-53), HMLAT(H-1))
    • HMX-1 – Marine Helicopter Squadron One (divided into operational test & Executive transport support)
    • LAAD Bn – Low-altitude Air Defense Battalion
    • MABS - Marine Air Base Squadron
    • MACG – Marine Air Command Group
    • MACS – Marine Air Control Squadron
    • MAMS – Marine Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
    • MASS – Marine Air Support Squadron
    • MALS – Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron
    • MATCS – Marine Air Traffic Control Squadron
    • MOTS – Marine Operational Training Squadrons
    • MTACS – Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron
    • MWSS – Marine Wing Support Squadron
    • MWCS – Marine Wing Communications Squadron
    • MWHS – Marine Wing Headquarters squadron
    • MWSG – Marine Wing Support Group
    • SOES - Station Operations and Engineer Squadron
    • VMAQ – Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron
    • VMA – Marine Attack Squadron
    • VMAT – Marine Attack Training Squadron
    • VMB – Marine Bombing Squadron
    • VMC – Marine Composite Squadron
    • VMCJ – Marine Composite Reconnaissance Squadron
    • VMD – Marine Photographic Squadron
    • VMF – Marine Fighter Squadron
    • VMF(N) – Marine Night Fighter Squadron
    • VMFA – Marine Fighter Attack Squadron
    • VMFA(AW) – Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron
    • VMFAT – Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron
    • VMFP – Marine Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron
    • VMGR – Marine Aerial Refueler/Transport Squadron
    • VMGRT – Marine Aerial Refueler/Transport Training Squadron
    • VMJ – Marine Reconnaissance Squadron / Marine Target Towing Detachments
    • VML – Marine Glider Squadron
    • VMM – Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (formerly HMM, HMH & VMFA)
    • VMMT – Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron (formerly HMMT)
    • VMO – Marine Observation Squadron
    • VMP – Marine Patrol Squadron
    • VMR – Marine Transport Squadron
    • VMS – Marine Scouting Squadron
    • VMSB – Marine Scout Bombing Squadron
    • VMTB – Marine Torpedo Bombing Squadron
    • VMTD – Marine Target Towing Detachment
    • VMU – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron
    • VMX – Marine Tiltrotor Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron
    • WES - Wing Engineer Squadron
    • WTS - Wing Transport Squadron
    • ZMQ – Marine Barrage Balloon Squadrons
  • Aye-Aye – Nautical term used as a response to orders meaning "I understand the orders I have received and will carry them out"; aye (descended from Middle English yai) dialectical for 'yes',[7] once common in the regions from which the Royal Navy drew its sailors


bag nasty, breakfast version
  • Back on the Block – Behaving like a civilian.
  • Bag Nasty a.k.a. "Box Nasty"– A-ration Brown-bag meal issued to Marines (usually recruits or those in-field): it often contains a sandwich, a boiled egg, fruit, potato chips, juice or milk.[8]
  • BAH (a.k.a. "bee ay aych" – Basic Allowance for Housing: Supplemental pay for living off-base; previously known as Basic Allowance for Quarters (BAQ).
  • BAMCIS – a mnemonic For military tacticians: Begin the planning, Arrange reconnaissance, Make reconnaissance, Complete the planning, Issue orders, Supervise.[9] It is also used as an exclamation of success or accomplishment.
  • Barney-style – to perform strictly according to regulation; idiot proof; simplified for the benefit of mental underachievers; often said as "Breaking it down Barney-style" or "Mr. Potato Head style"; Bert and Ernie for the 1980s and 1990s Marines[10]
  • Barracks - On base housing for Marines who have no dependents, any dependents living with them. Military dormitory rooms.
  • Barracks Cover – Fabric-cover frame cap worn green with the service uniform and white with the dress uniform; traditionally officers wear this cap with quatrefoil and gilt devices that increase with rank.
  • Barracks Rat – A Marine who rarely leaves the barracks unless ordered to. Also used to describe females who have a reputation for being promiscuous and seen constantly hanging at the barracks, normally in the new guys room.[citation needed]
  • BAS – Battalion Aid Station: A unit's medical post for routine ailments and injuries; also Basic Allowance for Subsistence. See also sick bay.
  • Battle Blaze – original name for the 1st & 2nd Marine Division shoulder sleeve insignias commemorating service in the Battle of Guadalcanal.
  • Battle PinTie clasp or tie tack; until the start of World War II a metal bar worn on shirt collar.
  • Battle Sight Zero or BZOcalibrated settings on a gunsight that contribute to accuracy; used as default before adjusting windage or elevation; also used as verb when triangulating a BZO.
  • BB Counter – Marine whose duties are the handling, storage, issue of ordnance.[11]
  • BCGs or BCsBirth Control Glasses or Boot Camp Glasses: military issue glasses worn at recruit training; so called because they make the wearer too ugly to engage in sexual relations. See also portholes & RPGs.
  • Beans, Bullets, and Band-Aids – Meant to imply the basic supplies that military logisticians must provide for: rations, ammunition, medical care.
  • Beer Garden – Social area permitting the consumption of alcohol etc.; may contain barbecue or picnic facilities.
  • Belay – To cancel an order; to stop; to firmly secure a line.
  • Below Decks – Area below the surface (deck) of a ship.
  • BEQ – Bachelor Enlisted Quarters: living spaces for single enlisted Marines; usually a barracks.[12]
  • BCDBad Conduct Discharge; also known as Big Chicken Dinner.
  • Big Green Weenie – Denotes that a Marine has been "screwed over" or cheated by the Marine Corps.[13][unreliable source?]
  • Bird, Ball & Fish Hook - derogatory term used to describe the Eagle Globe and Anchor of the beloved Marine Corps Emblem.
  • Binnacle List – sick list: those excused from duty for health reasons; traditionally posted on or near the binnacle.
  • Blanket Party – Group assault: victim's head is covered by a blanket so the perpetrators can't be identified.
  • Blood stripe – Red band on dress uniform trousers; symbolizes blood shed by Marine NCO's in Vietnam war; worn by NCOs and former enlisted officers (Mustangs)
  • BlooperGrenade launcher: from the distinctive noise made when one is fired. See also thump gun.
  • Blousing Garters - The correct name for "boot bands."
  • BLT – Battalion Landing Team: the ground combat element of a MEU; not to be confused with a Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato sandwich.
  • Blues or Dress BluesBlue Dress uniform.
  • BLUF – Bottom Line Up Front.
  • Bnbattalion.
  • boondoggle – project or trip on government time and/or expense that serves no purpose other than to entertain the person making it.
  • Boot – A term for Marines who are new to the Marine Corps. Derived from the term "boot camp", to insinuate that the Marine is fresh out of boot camp. Generally used as a pejorative term (even if in an affectionate manner) in the Fleet and elsewhere, sometimes as a way to explain that new Marines should know their place. It can also be used as a term for a Marine who is new to a rank or billet. e.g. – "He's a boot Corporal". Meaning, said Marine was just recently promoted to Corporal. Also used by infantry Marines as a pejorative for any other Marine who has not gone on a combat deployment, regardless of rank or time in service.
File:Yellow Footprints.jpg
The first thing a recruit sees at boot camp
  • Boot Bands - Elastic bands or metal springs rolled into the hem of the trousers to blouse them near the top of the boot.
  • Boots and Utes – The utility uniform
  • boot camp – Training hub for new Marines at Parris Island, SC and San Diego, CA.
  • BOQ – Bachelor Officer Quarters: housing for single Marine officers.[14][15]
  • Box-kicker – Pejorative for a Marine who works in supply (either the MOS 3043 (Supply Administration) or usually a 3051 - (Basic Warehouseman)). warehouse clerk.[16]
  • Brain BucketHelmet.[citation needed]
  • Brain-housing Group – Pejorative for a Marine's head or skull.[17]
  • Brain Strap – Elastic strap used for securing eyeglasses during rigorous activities; often found on BCG's.
  • Brass – 1) Gun casings; 2) Uniform insignia; 3) Senior officers (cf. rank insignia).
  • brat – A servicemember's child.
  • Break-off Session – Extraordinarily strenuous or tiring physical activity; usually PT.
  • Brig – Military prison on ship or ashore.
  • Brig Rat – Marine who has served much brig time; also used to refer to the 5831 MOS Marines who serve as corrections specialists (guards).[18]
  • Brightwork – Shiny metal that Marines must polish.[19]
  • Broke-dick – Marine on limited or no duty status for medical reasons; also malfunctioning / unserviceable male genital equipment.[citation needed]
  • Broke – Feeling severe fatigue. Also refers to anything that isn't working.
  • Brown-bagger – Marines (usually married) who live off base; instead of eating at mess halls they pack meals to work.[20]
  • Buddy-fucker – One who disregards a team-member's welfare; a Marine who will turn on a fellow Marine in order to save himself/herself.[citation needed]
  • Bug JuiceInsect repellent.
  • Bulkhead – A wall.[21]
  • Bum Scoop – Bad information.[22]
  • Burning Man – A Marine who is scorched by hot gun casings.
  • Bus Driver – Air Force pilot; so called because early USAF uniforms were said to resemble those of municipal streetcar officials.
  • Busted – Reduced in rank.
  • Butt Pack – Small pack fastened to the waist in the back. Usually the field issued first aid kit. See also Fanny pack.[23]
  • Butter Bar – A second lieutenant, due to the gold color of his rank insignia.
  • "By your leave sir/ma'am." – Used with a salute prior to passing senior officers who might be advancing in the same direction; protocol states the senior must acknowledge by returning salute with phrase "Carry on" before the junior passes on the left.[24]


  • C & S – "Clean & Sober" notation formerly entered on the liberty list beside the names of Marines returning from liberty in that condition.
  • CACO – Casualty Assistance Calls/Counseling Officer, a Marine detailed to help the family of a Marine killed, wounded, or captured in the line of duty.[25][26]
  • Cadillacs – boots; method of transportation when no other vehicle is available. Also refers to all leather combat boots.
  • Call Out – To challenge, often by announcing incriminating information about a person. See also drop a dime.
  • Cammiescamouflage utility uniform.[27]
  • Camp Living Room – Duty station after discharge. Civilian life. 1980s usage.
  • Campaign Cover – Official term for the green campaign hat worn by drill instructors and designated rifle range personnel. Occasionally referred to as a "Smokey Bear" for obvious reasons. See also field hat, hat, & smokey bear/brown.
  • Cannon Cockerartilleryman.[28] See also gun bunny and red leg.
  • Cannon Fodder - Marines regarded merely as material to be expended in war.
  • Canoe U. – nickname for United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.[29] See also South Maryland Small Boat & Barge Institute.
  • CAR – Short for Combat Action Ribbon
  • Captain's MastOffice Hours afloat. The term "Captain's Mast" is almost universally negative, implying non-judicial punishment. The modern Navy and Marine Corps use the term "Meritorious Mast" to announce any ceremony involving the meritorious award of a higher rank or of a particular recognition or honor. USA & USAF refer to this as "Article 15" hearing.[30]
  • Carry On – Order to continue after being interrupted. Also music played immediately following playing of "colors" to inform people to resume activities.
  • CASClose Air Support, aircraft fire on ground troops in support of nearby friendly troops.
  • CASEVACCASualty EVACuation, emergency evacuation of injured personnel from combat zone by any modes transport available to nearest triage area, treatment area, or field hospital. As opposed to a MEDEVAC which is the transport from a field hospital to a Medical Treatment Facility.[31] See also MEDEVAC.
  • Casual Company – A holding unit/formation of Marines awaiting one of the following: discharge from the Corps, training (usually at a formal school), or deployment to a unit.[32]
  • CAXCombined Arms eXercise. Outdated term, it has since been replaced by the ITX (Integrated Training eXercise).[33]
  • CBRNChemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear. See also NBC.
  • CCUCorrectional Custody Unit, a hard-labor and heavy discipline unit overseen by MPs or Navy Masters-at-Arms to which Marines and Sailors found guilty of minor UCMJ offenses through NJP are sent for up to 30 days in lieu of confinement in the brig.[34][35]
  • Chair Force – Derogatory term for the US Air Force.
  • Chairborne or Chairborne Ranger – Someone who works in an office environment, a play on airborne.[36]
A single chevron
  • Charlies or Chucks – The service "C" uniform, consisting of the short-sleeve khaki shirt and green trousers.
  • Chaser – Pejorative for a Marine assigned prisoner escort duties, an escort for a single prisoner or detail of prisoners.[37]
  • Check Fire – Order to stop firing due to a safety condition, possible error or mistarget.
  • Chest Candy – Used in reference to the ribbons and medals on a Marine's uniform.
  • chevron – Symbols of enlisted ranks above private, usually not acceptably called "stripes" unless describing the rank insignia itself.
  • China Marines – Those United States Marines from the 4th Marine Regiment who were stationed in Shanghai, China during 1927–1941
  • Chinese Field Day – A form of field day where every item from a room is removed for cleaning; when tending to last much longer than necessary, it is used as a punishment, typically for unsatisfactory performance in routine field day.[citation needed]
  • ChitVoucher, receipt, letter, or note, entitling the bearer to special treatment, such as medical restrictions from duty; derived from Hindi word for "letter", "chitti".[38]
  • CIF – Consolidated Issue Facility, a place on a station where all personal equipment is stored and issued, often contracted to civilians.[39]
  • CID – Criminal Investigation Division, is an accredited Federal law enforcement agency of the U.S. Marine Corps whose mission it is to conduct official criminal investigations into misdemeanor and felony offenses committed on Marine Corps installations as may directed and not under the primary jurisdiction of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). These Marines are not formal law enforcement officers per se, and only perform investigations under the cognizance of NCIS.
  • Civvies – Civilian clothing or mufti.[40][41][42]
  • CLPCleaner, Lubricant, Preservative, teflon-based cleaning and lubricating fluid used for maintaining small arms. Also slang for coffee.
  • Cluster fuck – Chaotic and messy situation from multiple mistakes or problems happening in rapid succession. See also goat rope / goat rodeo / goat screw.
  • CMC – Acronym for Commandant of the Marine Corps.[43]
  • COBClose Of Business, the end of working hours; or Close Order Battle, a synonym for CQB. See also beer-thirty.
  • COCCombat Operations Center, the command post for a combat arms unit, usually of battalion-size or larger; personnel assigned to the COC may derisively refer to such duty as "coc-watch" or "working the coc".
  • COGCorporal Of the Guard, The acting corporal, (or near rank) that acts under the SOG Sgt. of the Guard on watch, radio watch, or post.
  • Colonel – Proper means of addressing a lieutenant colonels and a colonels.
  • CONUSCONtinental United States (48 states excluding Alaska and Hawaii), as opposed to OCONUS.
  • Corfams – Uniform dress shoes made from poromeric imitation leather.
  • CorpsmanNavy hospital corpsman attached to a Marine unit; also known as "doc"; inappropriate to address as "medic" or "aid man".[44] See also boxsee.
  • Cover – Headgear (a hat) protection from enemy fire.
  • Cover and Alignment – When in a formation, this refers to the proper distance between those next to, in front of, and behind a person; to seek the proper interval.[45]
  • CQB or CQCClose Quarters Battle/Combat, combat within a confined space, such as urban warfare. See also MOUT.
  • Crew-Served – Short for crew-served weapon; also large and very powerful, based on a crew-served weapon being such.
  • Cruise – Deployment aboard ship; or enlistment period, inappropriately called a stint.
  • CS – 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile, a white solid powder commonly used for CBRN defense training.
  • Cumshaw – Something extra or free, given as a favor or gift; pidgin expression using the Chinese word for "grateful thanks", "kamsia".[46]


  • D & D – Drunk and Disorderly, an entry formerly made on the liberty list beside the name of any Marine returning from liberty in that condition.
  • DaijoubuOK, from Japanese for "don't worry".
  • Daily 7 or Daily 16stretches and exercises used as a warmup for other, more strenuous physical training.
  • Dark Green/Light Green – Common reference to a Marine's skin color. Marines are not black or white, the saying goes, only different shades of green.
  • Dead Horse – To draw advance pay out of the normal pay cycle, the Marine is then obligated to repay the debt at the government's convenience.
  • deck – Floor or surface of the earth; to punch or knock down with one blow.[21]
  • Deep Six – To dispose of by throwing overboard ship.
  • Detachment – A portion of a unit sent independently of its parent organization, usually in support of a larger headquarters; or a small stand alone unit isolated geographically from its parent command.
  • Deuce – Reference to the number two in various unit or equipment names; the senior intelligence officer for a unit;
  • Deuce Gear – See 782 gear, from the last digit in that term.
  • Devil Dog or Devil – Nickname for Marines, from the German word "Teufelhunden", supposedly given by German troops at the Battle of Belleau Wood,[47] though the correct grammatical form would be "Teufelshunde".[48][49]
  • Devil Pup – Nickname for a Marine's child(ren); a member of the Young Marines; a patronizing nickname for a junior Marine. Mostly used by senior Marines to reference junior Marines in a polite way, and commonly used around higher ups.
  • DGAF – Doesn't/Don't Give A Fuck. Generally coincides with one who is OFP.
  • DIDrill Instructor, inappropriate to use the Army term "drill sergeant".
  • DI Hut – Office for drill instructors in a platoon's squad bay; doubles as sleeping quarters for the drill instructor on duty. See also house mouse.
  • Dickskinner or Dickbeater – Human hand.
  • Diddy Bop – Poor performance in close order drill, or marching in a manner that does not present a crisp military appearance. One who conducts himself/herself in this manner is labelled a diddy bopper.
  • Diet Recruit or Diet Tray or – A recruit in Boot Camp who has been deemed overweight according to regulations. These recruits are usually the last through the chow line and have their meals inspected by DI's.
  • Digis or Diggis – Digital camouflage such as MARPAT; also refers to the digital-patterned MCCUU.
  • Dime Out - To reveal incriminating information about a person. See also call out.
  • Disneyland EastHeadquarters Marine Corps at Arlington, Virginia.
  • Doc or Devil DocNavy hospital corpsman attached to the Marines; Devil Doc is a term of respect normally reserved for Corpsmen who are Fleet Marine Force qualified or who have served in combat with Marines.
  • Dog and Pony Show - Any display, demonstration, or appearance by Marines at the request of seniors for the pleasure of someone else, such as a ceremony or parade; also, pejorative for the requirement for over-perfection of such a venue.
  • Doggie - Enlisted member of the United States Army, from the diminutive "dog-face".
  • Donkey Dick - Specifically, a jerrycan fuel spout. Alternatively, slang for virtually any piece of equipment having a generally cylindrical or phallic shape with unknown, or obscure official name. For example, a static hook suspended from an overhead helicopter for the purpose of picking up external loads.
  • Dope - Data On Previous Engagements, information, or sight settings and/or wind corrections for a rifle under given conditions.
  • DPICM - Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions, a specialized artillery round that releases sub-munitions.
  • Drill - Close order drill, the procedures and methodology of handling weapons and moving troops about in an orderly fashion, used to indoctrinate recruits in obedience to commands and military appearance.[50][51]
  • Drill Hat - A Drill Instructor, usually the second most senior behind the SDI and who specializes in the instruction of close order drill.
  • DRMOed - To dispose of an item by taking it to the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO).
  • Drug Deal – To obtain needed supplies, equipment or services outside official channels via barter rather than theft.
  • Dry Fire - Practice firing of a weapon without using ammunition in order to refine body position and other shooting fundamentals.
  • DTG - Date-Time Group, a numeric code denoting the time and date of a message.
  • Dual-cool or Double-trouble - A Marine that possesses both the parachutist and diver badges, usually associated with the Reconnaissance community.[52]
  • Dummy Cord - Lanyard or tether used to secure a piece of equipment to an anchor to prevent losing it.
  • Duty NCO or Duty - Sentry responsible for patrol and security of a specific area (usually a barracks and/or working space in garrison). See also fire watch and OOD


  • EAS – End of Active Service, the date of discharge from active duty.
  • EGAEagle, Globe, and Anchor, the emblem of the Marine Corps. The usage of the term discouraged by older Marines.
  • Eight Ball – A Marine who lacks an aggressive spirit.[53]
  • Eighth & I or Eighth & EyeMarine Barracks, Washington, D.C., located at 8th and I Streets SE. See also 8th & I.
  • EM – Enlisted Marine/Man, very inappropriate to use today.
  • Elephant HatPith helmet first issued in 1940 and worn by rifle range coaches today.
  • Embed – To place within, or fix in place.
  • National Ensign – A.k.a. colors, national flag.
  • EODExplosive Ordnance Disposal, responsible for the safe handling, deactivation, and removal of unexploded ordnance, the military version of a bomb squad.
  • EPD – Extra Punitive Duties, punishment assigned where the individual is required to perform cleaning duties after working hours (on his or her liberty time).
  • EPW – Enemy Prisoner of War.


  • Fallen Angel – Marine Officer who failed out of flight school and is now in another MOS.
  • FAP – Fleet Assistance Program, a program designed to assign Marines to extra duties outside his or her normal chain of command. Long seen as a means for commands to "reassign" their lowest-performing or misbehaving Marines.
File:Refueling Cobra.jpg
AH-1W Cobras at a FARP during Op Iraqi Freedom
  • FARP – Forward Area Refueling/Rearming Point or Forward Arming Refueling Point, a space on the battlefield designated for the re-arming and re-fueling of aircraft.
  • Fart SackCotton mattress cover; large sack made of linen that a mattress is inserted into. Serves as a military form of a fitted sheet.
  • FAST – Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team, sarcastically referred to as Fake Ass SEAL Team.
  • Fast-mover – Fast-moving fixed-wing aircraft; term popular during the Vietnam War but fallen into disuse as jets replaced propeller-powered aircraft. Also used to describe a Marine moving fast (promoted) up the ranks.
  • Fat-body – Overweight recruit or servicemember.
  • FEBAForward Edge of the Battle Area, the line of departure where a unit enters enemy territory.
  • Felony Creek - Slang for the French Creek area of Camp Lejeune. French Creek is the home for the Marine units that are service and support. Some Marines who reside there think they are back on the block.
  • Fiddler's Green – Imaginary afterlife; paradise.
  • Field 10 – A physically unattractive female servicemember who becomes an object of desire for male servicemembers after extended time in a field or combat environment away from civilian women. A perfect "10" in the field.
  • Field Day – Day or portion of day set aside for top-to-bottom cleaning of an area; also as a verb for the act of conducting a field day.
  • Field ExpedientImprovisation, to make do with what's available.
field stripped M16
  • Field CoverCampaign Cover, a broad-brimmed felt hat, originally with one straight crease down the middle, then with a Montana peak, worn on expeditionary missions from 1912 to 1942, and then again authorized in 1961 for wear at recruit depots by drill instructors and rifle ranges by marksmanship instructors. See also campaign cover, hat, & smokey bear/brown.
  • Field Meet – Organized sporting competition, often involving athletics and/or soldierly skills.
  • Field Music – Drummer, trumpeter, bugler, fifer; mostly an antiquated term.
  • Field-Strip – To disassemble a piece of ordnance or weapon to the major part groups for routine cleaning or lubricating; to strip cigarette butts to their filters before throwing away. Also to remove unwanted items from an MRE in order to save space.
  • Fifty-calM2 Browning machine gun, from its .50 caliber ammunition. See also Ma Deuce.
  • Fighting Hole – A defensive position dug into the ground; can be dug for one Marine, a pair, or a weapon crew; formerly known as a "foxhole" by the Army. Marine Corps is "firing hole" "Forward Firing Position" should be considered.
  • Final Duty Station – A reference to a Marine's final posting, i.e., Heaven, referencing the last verse of the Marine's Hymn.
  • Final Protective Fire or FPF – The last volley sent toward an advancing enemy during a Marine unit's withdrawal from defensive position. All weapons are fired simultaneously at maximum rate of fire.
  • Fire for Effect – Indicates that the adjustment/ranging of indirect fire is satisfactory and the actual effecting rounds should be fired; also a euphemism for the execution of a plan.
  • Fire Watch – Sentry on duty specifically guarding a person, place, object, or area in a non-combat area (such as a barracks); considered under arms but usually unarmed. See also duty & OOD.
  • Fire Watch Medal – Pejorative for National Defense Service Medal, so named because even recruits rate it despite firewatch being their most important duty.
  • First Lieutenant, Second Award - Derogatory term used to describe a former First Lieutenant who has been frocked (promoted ahead of schedule) to Captain.
  • First Shirtcompany or battery First Sergeant.
  • Fitness Report or FITREP – Evaluation report written on Marines (sergeant and above) detailing proficiency and conduct and fitness for command, reviewed for promotion.
  • Five-jump Chump – A servicemember who has only performed the minimum five paratrooper jumps to receive the Basic Parachute Insignia, as opposed to the Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia, which requires additional jumps.[21][54]
  • Flak Jacket – Antiquated term for ballistic vest or body armor.
  • Flak and Kevlar – Used when referring to body armor and a helmet respectively (the standard US Military issued helmet is made out of kevlar).
  • Float – Deployment aboard ship.
  • Float Widow - Unfaithful wife of a Marine or Sailor deployed aboard a ship. a.k.a. Med Float Widow.
  • FMC – Fully Mission Capable, refers to equipment such as aircraft that need no repairs and are fully capable of their intended mission.
  • FMF or FleetFleet Marine Force, the operational forces of the Corps, as opposed to reserve or supporting establishment.
  • FMTU – Foreign Military Training Unit.
  • FNG – Fucking New Guy, derogatory term for a Marine recently graduated recruit training and new to a unit. It has far and wide been replaced by the term "boot".
  • Fobbie or Fobbit – A Marine who rarely sees combat; pejorative term for Marines stuck inside a forward operating base.
  • Form ID-10T or ID-Ten-Tango – Pejorative for "idiot".
  • Fortitudine – Former motto of the Marine Corps in the 19th century (replaced by Semper Fidelis), from the Latin word for "fortitude"; also the name of the Marine Corps History Division's quarterly magazine.
  • Four Fingers of Death – Nickname for the ill famed frankfurter MRE (Meals-Ready-to-Eat) with four small hot dogs as the main meal MRE[55]
  • Foxhole – Fighting hole as termed by the Army and Marines of the past, no longer appropriate for Marine use. "Fighting hole," "firing hole," and "Forward Firing Position" should be considered. There is a difference between 1 MARDIV and 2 MARDIV[clarification needed].
  • FRAGO – FRAGmentary Order, an addendum to published operational orders.
  • FRO – Family Readiness Officer
  • Frock – To be authorized to wear the next higher grade before promotion, confers authority but not pay grade.
  • Frock You - Response to an inappropriate request to be promoted to a Marine's selected rank, ahead of their scheduled promotion.
  • FUBAR – Fucked/Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition/Repair.
  • FUBIJAR – Fuck yoU Buddy, I'm Just A Reservist.[56][57]
  • Full-BirdColonel, as opposed to a half-bird, light-colonel, or short-bird / short colonel, Lieutenant Colonel; so named because his or her rank insignia is a silver eagle.


  • G-2 – An individual's intellect, from designation for a staff intelligence organization.
  • Gaff Off – To disregard or ignore a person or order, context usually denotes insubordination.[58][59]
  • Gagglefuck – Group of Marines grouped too closely or in an unorganized fashion; from gaggle, the term for a flock of grounded geese, and clusterfuck, a term for a messy situation.
  • Gangway – Ship's passageway; also used to order juniors to give way to seniors in passageways, and particularly when going up and down ladders.
  • Garrison – In addition to the traditional meaning, an adjective referring to not being deployed or deployable, such as buildings at a unit's home base.
  • Garrison Cover – Soft green folded cap worn with the service uniform. See also fore-and-aft cap and piss cover/cutter.
  • Gear – Property or equipment; usually referring to an individual's combat equipment.
  • Gear Adrift – Gear found left lying around or unguarded, from the saying "gear adrift, must be a gift!".
  • Geedunk – Candy and other sweets, or a location where such items are obtained (such as a store or vending machine); borrowed from the comic strip Harold Teen.[60] See also pogey bait.
  • General – One method of addressing a Brigadier General, Major General, Lieutenant General, or General. The other would be either "Sir" or Ma'am."
  • General Orders – List of 11 General Orders for Sentries detailing rules for guard or sentry duty.
  • Get Some – Spirited cry expressing approval and the desire for more or to continue, traditionally associated in the Vietnam War to killing or sex.
  • GI Shower – Bathing with limited water (often with the use of wet wipes); forcibly bathing an individual who refuses to meet minimum hygiene standards.[61]
  • GITMOU.S. Naval Base, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
  • Glow Belt – A reflective belt used when running on or near hard-surfaced roads that makes pedestrians more visible to motorists.
  • Go-fastersRunning shoes or sneakers, named so because they help a person run faster than boots.[citation needed]
  • Goat Rope – A chaotic and messy situation.[62] See also cluster fuck.
  • Going High and to the Right – losing one's temper or rationality; from the common error of a poor shooter to jerk the trigger and impact the upper right side of a target.
  • Gomer or GOMER – Antiquated slang for a stupid person, from the character Gomer Pyle; or as a backronym for "Get Out of My Emergency Room" used by corpsmen to refer to malingerers who faked illness to avoid duties.
  • Good CookieGood Conduct Medal.
  • Good to Go – Expression denoting that difficulties will be overcome; ready; well done or satisfactory.[63]
  • Gook – Anything foreign or strange.[64] In modern US usage, "gook" refers particularly to Communist soldiers during the Vietnam War. It is generally considered to be highly offensive and viewed as a racial slur.
  • Gore-Tex – All Purpose Environmental Clothing System (APECS), a cold/wet weather protective parka and trousers, based on the Extended Cold Weather Clothing System, usually in reference to the parka; from the fabric it is made from.[65]
  • Gouge – Information or news. See also word.
  • Grab-Ass – Horseplay, loafing, lounging.[citation needed]
  • Grand Old Man of the Marine Corps - Usually refers to Brevet Brigadier General Archibald Henderson.
  • Grape – A Marine's head, as in: "Keep on grab assing and you're going to fall and bust your grape!"
  • Greensservice uniforms in reference to their color.
  • Grid Squares – Marked reference lines on a map; often used as a prank fool's errand where an unsuspecting Marine is asked to find a box of them when they don't physically exist.
  • Grinderparade ground or deck used primarily for drill and/or formations.[66]
  • Ground Guide – A person who walks in front of a vehicle in order to detect and avoid obstacles and guide the driver to the proper spot.[67]
  • Guide – Unit guidon-bearer; in recruit training, also the senior recruit and responsible for the actions of all recruits in a platoon.[69]
  • Gumby Suit - Two pieced wet weather gear consisting of a hooded jacket and overalls used until the mid-1990s when the Gore-Tex replaced it. So named because it is green in color and the wearers tended to look like the character Gumby. Those who have worn them can remember its distinctive rubber cloth odor. Gumby Suits can still be found for purchase at military surplus stores.
  • Gun BunnyArtilleryman, so named for the hearing loss associated with working around cannons.[citation needed] See also cannon cocker and red leg.
  • Gun Club – slang term for the USMC at-large as in "I've been in this gun club longer than you." Use in presence of senior personnel is inappropriate. Use by civilians or members of other services is considered disrespectful.
  • Gung ho – Chinese phrase meaning to "work together," it became the battle cry of the Marine Raiders.
  • Gunner – shortened form of Marine Gunner, a nickname for an Infantry Weapons Officer; used informally to refer to all warrant officer ranks.
  • Gunny – Nickname for Gunnery Sergeant, improper to call a Master Gunnery Sergeant this.[70]
  • Gyrene – Nickname for a Marine, considered to be a grievous insult; combination of the words "GI" and "Marine".[71][72]


  • H&SHeadquarters & Service/Supply Company, much like a Headquarters Battalion.
  • hackarrest.
  • Haji (hah-jee) – Arab or Middle Eastern person or object, from the Arabic term for one who has completed a pilgrimage to Mecca, or "hajj"
  • Half-birdLieutenant Colonel, as opposed to a full-bird. See also short colonel.
  • Half-Mast – position of the ensign when hoisted to one flag/ensign height below the top, usually done in respect to a deceased person; also called "half-staff" among non-naval forces. Half-Mast is also a term used by aircraft personnel and aircrew, describing the wearing of the flight suits and coveralls (a one piece uniform) rolled down to the waist so as to only look like pants.
  • Hard Charger or Hard – term of endearment from a senior to a junior Marine when he or she completes a difficult task, so named for charging through the assignment; or general toughness.
  • Hashmarkservice stripe worn on the uniform sleeve by enlisted men and women for completion of four years of honorable service in any of the U.S. Armed Services and Reserves.
  • Hatch – Door; more specifically, the watertight cover over an opening between compartments or that leads to the ladder wells between decks of a ship.
  • HBTHerringBone Twill; the cotton material of Marine utilities from 1941 to the late 1950s.
  • HDR – Humanitarian Daily Ration, a variation of the MRE used to feed a single malnourished person for one day with 2,300 calories.
  • HEHigh Explosive, used to describe various kinds of ordnance, or Heavy Equipment.
  • headbathroom or latrine, a nautical term from the days of sailing ships when the designated place to defecate and urinate was forward, at the bow or "head" of the ship.
  • Head ShedCommand post or other headquarters area where senior Marines gather.
  • Headgear – Hats, helmets, caps, etc.
  • HEATHigh-Explosive AntiTank, type of tank round.
  • Heavy Hat – Second-most senior drill instructor in a platoon.
  • Hell Hole – Hatch mounted in the deck of many helicopters (such as the CH-53E Super Stallion) for rappeling and cargo lifting.
  • HeloHelicopter. "Chopper" is an Army term.
  • HEDP – High-Explosive Dual Purpose, type of armor-piercing ammunition.
  • High and Tight – Nickname for a common variant of the buzz cut, where the hair is clipped very close. Although having become heavily associated with Marines (giving rise to the term "jarhead"), it's generally not the most common or preferred haircut worn among most Fleet Marines. Also referred to as a "High reg(ular)."
  • "Higher-ups" - Nickname for Marines above the rank of E-5 Sergeant.
  • High-speed – New, interesting, or cool; often used to sarcastically denote that the subject looks good, but performance is dubious.
  • Hillbilly Armorimprovised vehicle armor.
  • HIMARSHigh Mobility Artillery Rocket System.
  • Hippity-hop, mob stop! – Used in place of "Platoon, halt!" by a drill instructor displeased with a platoon's drill performance.
  • HMMWV or HumveeHigh-Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle, common utility vehicle.
  • Hollywood Marine – Marine who has graduated from Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, stemming from rivalry between the two recruit depots (the other being Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island).
  • Homeslice – Person, often a sarcastic overture to civilians from a drill instructor; from the terms homie and homeboy.
  • Homesteading – Remaining at one duty station for an extended tour or consecutive tours.
  • Honcho or Head Honcho – Person in charge, from the Japanese word for "boss', "hanchō"; also a nickname for Okinawan taxi drivers.
  • Hooch – Field living quarters. Also tied into the term Hooch maid, which referred to a woman in Vietnam who would clean the dwellings of soldiers, which were deemed "hooches."
  • Hot-Shit – Sarcastic reference to an overly arrogant person.
  • Horse-cock Sandwich – Any sandwich or meal created using an unknown or mystery meat. Often, specifically, sliced balogna. Occasionally served as breakfast meat.
  • House Mouse – Recruit tasked with cleaning and performing domestic chores in drill instructor-only areas. See also DI hut.
  • HousewifeGirlfriend; also sewing kit.
  • HQMCHeadquarters Marine Corps.
  • Hump – Carry or lift a load, originally an Australian term meaning "to carry one's swag,"; also a forced march carrying full equipment loads.
  • Hurry up and wait – Expression denoting inefficient time management or planning, often when a senior rushes a unit into a situation too fast that subsequently makes them wait. This can refer to the period between receiving a Warning Order and actually implementing an Operations Order.
  • Huss – To give a helping hand, so named because the H-34 Choctaw helicopter's utility configuration was designated as the "HUS-1 Seahorse," leading to Vietnam-era Marines that needed a medical evacuation helicopter to ask for or to be "cut a huss".


  • IAW – In Accordance With, term often used to denote compliance with published orders or procedures.
  • IGInspector General.
  • ILBEImproved Load Bearing Equipment, the newest iteration of personal combat gear, utilizes the PALS, replaced MOLLE.
  • In Country – Phrase referring to being within a war zone.
  • Incentive/Individual Training or IT – Physical training used as a punishment, especially in recruit training, sometimes nicknamed "incentive torture," "indoor tennis," or getting "thrashed/bent/slayed/destroyed" by recruits.[73][74][75] See also pitting & quarterdecking.
  • InkstickPen[21]
  • Irish Pennant or IP – Any loose thread, string, or strap on a uniform or equipment that detracts from a perfect appearance.
  • Iron Mike – Originally a nautical term for a gyrocompass; name for various memorial statues, such as at Parris Island, SC, Quantico, VA, and Belleau, France; nickname bestowed on Marines who score a perfect 300 points on the Physical Fitness Test; nickname for a company or battery named "M or "Mike" in NATO phonetic alphabet.
  • IRRIndividual Ready Reserve, branch of the reserve that most former servicemembers fall under upon the end of active service, may be called to involuntarily return to active status.


  • JOBJunk On the Bunk, a formal inspection of gear that takes place in the squad bay where the gear is placed on the rack in a predesignated order. Also known as 'Things On the Springs'.
  • John WayneP-38 can opener, a small folding blade used to open canned rations (such as K-rations or C-rations), so named because the actor was shown in a training film using it.
  • Joker – Military journalist, from Private Joker from the movie Full Metal Jacket; also a derogatory term for a junior enlisted servicemember. Also, used by aviators, the time at which only 60 minutes of fuel remain.
  • Jungle BunnyVietnam War–era phrase for infantry.
  • Junk on [the] Bunk – Inspection where all uniforms and equipment to be displayed is laid on the Marine's rack.



  • Lad - term that came out of WW I for a young Marine.
  • Ladder WellStairway or ladder connecting different decks of a ship, so named because naval stairs tend to be so steep as to almost be vertical.
  • Laminated – Perceived semi-permanent state of issue for a normally temporary status.
  • Lance Colonel – Derivation of Lance Corporal denoting a junior Marine with extended time in service or grade. See also terminal lance and Battalion Lance Corporal.
  • Lance Coolie, Lance Criminal, or Lance Coconut – derogatory terms for Lance Corporal.
  • Lance Corporal Underground or Lance Corporal Network – Joking reference to the gulf between non-NCOs and their superiors; also refers to the spread of foolish rumors that a more experienced Marine would immediately recognize as false.[76][77]
  • Landing Gear – Crossed rifles exposed on the rank insignia of Lance Corporals, Corporals, and Sergeants.
  • Land of the big PX – Used in reference to CONUS by Marines deployed overseas.
  • Lawn Dart – Pejorative for various aircraft, possibly from the lawn dart effect.[78]
  • LBV – Load Bearing Vest, personal equipment used to keep the most commonly used items within easy reach utilizing the PALS, usually a component of MOLLE or ILBE.
  • LCPLIC – Lance Corporal in Charge. A salty Lance Corporal.
  • Leatherneck – Nickname for Marine, so named for legends stating that stiff leather collars were once worn to protect the throat from sword-blows (also thought that high stocks were worn for discipline, to keep Marines' heads high and straight). The dress blue uniform still bears a high stock collar today. Also, Leatherneck Magazine.
  • Leg – Servicemember who does not rate to wear the Parachutist Insignia, borrowed from the Army Airborne.
  • leggings – Leg coverings made of canvas with eyelets and laces or buckles to secure the trouser legs over boots.[79]
  • Liberty – Authorized free time ashore or off station, not counted as leave, known in the Army as a "pass".
  • Liberty List – List containing the names of Marines entitled to liberty and those employed by the guard during the liberty period (and thus not entitled to leave post).
  • Liberty Risk – A Marine with a high risk of getting into trouble on liberty.
  • Lifer – Career servicemember, as opposed to one who serves for a single enlistment.
  • Lima Charlie or Lickin' Chicken – Loud and Clear, an expression meaning that the communication has been received and understood; originally exclusive to radio traffic.
  • Line Company – Lettered Marine companies or the aviation term for ground units, originally, an infantry company.
1st Lt (left) and Chief Warrant Officer 3 (right) insignias


  • M – A prefix to the model number of a specific nomenclature of equipment, generally considered to denote "model" or "mark". Also us in the phonetic alphabet for "Mike".
  • Ma'am – Proper method of addressing female officers.
  • Mac Marine – Nickname for Marine, popular during World War II, also the career planner popular on posters of the 1960s.
  • Mad Max – term for a military vehicle that is irregular in appearance due to repairs, modifications or the presence of extra equipment. See also hillbilly armor.
  • Maggie's Drawers – Red flag attached to a pole, used to signal a miss on the rifle range, replaced by a red disk.
  • MAGTFMarine Air-Ground Task Force.
  • MAGTFery - I.e., "Mag-taf-ery." Anything associated with MAGTF-type operations, or the unique structure of the Marine Corps MAGTF.
  • Major – A Captain in command of a ship's Marine detachment, so titled because a ship may have only one Captain, the commanding officer.
  • Mama-san – Term of endearment for an elder Japanese woman, often a maid, cook, or tailor/seamstress performing services for Marines; from the Japanese honorific "san".
  • MARINE – Muscles Are Required, Intelligence Non-Essential or My Ass Really Is Navy Equipment, pejorative backronyms used by other branches.
  • Marine – The following nicknames are usually acceptable: leatherneck, devil dog, sea soldier, warrior, hard charger, motivator; the following are acceptable from other Marines: jarhead, gyrene; the following are grievous insults: soldier, seabag.
  • Marine houseSecurity Guard term for living quarters for Marines, on or off embassy grounds.
  • Master Guns or Master GunnyMaster Gunnery Sergeant. Also sometimes referred to as "Maverick" due to the combination of slang for Master Sergeant "Top" and Gunnery Sergeant "Gunny".
  • Marine Mattress – A woman who is thought to be sexually promiscuous with other Marines. The plural form is colloquially referred to as M&Ms.
  • MCIMarine Corps Institute, a distance education program; also, the courses available to Marines for bonus promotion credit.
  • MCCSMarine Corps Community Services (also known by the humorous backronym Marine Corps Crime Syndicate)
  • MCMAP, MCNinjaMarine Corps Martial Arts Program.
  • MCTMarine Combat Training, infantry skills training for non-infantry Marines.
  • MCSF- Marine Corps Security Forces (Company) usually a company size unit assigned to the security of Naval assets. MOS 8152, MCSF School is at NSGA Northwest VA, and due to the intense marksmanship training Marines are known as 'Gunslingers', Marine Corps Super Friends.
  • Meat GazerUrinalysis observer who observes the servicemember peeing into the sample container to prevent tampering with the sample.
  • MEBMarine Expeditionary Brigade.
  • MEDEVAC or MedivacMEDical EVACuation, removing a wounded person to the closest medical or triage facility using designated ambulance equipment, vehicles, or aircraft. See also CASEVAC.
  • Med Float Widow - Unfaithful wife of a Marine or Sailor deployed from the East Coast on a float a.k.a. float widow
  • MEFMarine Expeditionary Force.
  • MEPSMilitary Entrance Processing Station, facility where prospective recruits are screened medically, psychologically, and legally for recruit training.
  • Mess HallCafeteria. See also chow hall.
  • Messmancook.
  • MEUMarine Expeditionary Unit.
  • MEU(SOC) – Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable); 11th MEU(SOC), 13th MEU(SOC), 15th MEU(SOC), 22nd MEU(SOC), 24th MEU(SOC), 26th MEU(SOC) or 31st MEU(SOC).
  • Mickey Mouse Boots – Boots designed for extreme cold weather using an air bladder for insulation, so named for their oversized and bloated appearance.
  • Midrats – Midnight (or other late-night) rations provided for servicemembers who work late hours.[81]
  • MikeMinute.
  • Mike-mike – Millimeter.
  • Military Left – Pertaining to the left side of something or the direction to the left of the subject in question. Used sarcastically when giving orders when a subordinate turns the wrong way or is unsure of which way to turn.
  • Military Time – The time of day on a 24-hour clock. General Wallace M. Greene forbade the practice of suffixing the unnecessary word "hours" after each indication of time of day ("1330" or "thirteen-thirty" instead of "1330 hours"); the practice of saying "oh" instead of "zero" for hours before 1000 has diminished as well.
MOPP equipment
  • MOLLEMOdular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment, type of load-bearing equipment utilizing the PALS, replaced ALICE and replaced by ILBE.
  • Molly Marine – Nickname associated with World War II era female Marines. Also the name of the award given to the top ranking female Marine in her recruit platoon.
  • Monkey Suit – Slang for the MARPAT uniform, otherwise known as digital cammies.
  • Moonbeamflashlight.
  • MOPPMission Oriented Protective Posture, or an out-of-date term for the defense equipment (gas masks and overgarment suits) worn to protect against Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical weapons.
  • Mosquito Wings or Skeeter Wings – Rank insignia for a Private First Class, a single chevron.
  • Motivator – Term of endearment from a senior to a junior Marine, so named when the junior displays motivation for his or her duties.
  • MotoMotivated/motivating, often used to describe a person, object, or event that would motivate an individual Marine.
  • Moto Tats – tattoos displaying USMC logos or slogans, often gotten by young Marines right out of basic training, that are looked upon as being overly gratuitous and boastful.
  • Motarded – Displaying excess motivation, often in the form of visual symbols and lore (such as unit logos); a combination of the terms "moto" and "retarded".
  • Motor T or MT – Motor Transport, a subunit of Marines responsible for the operation and maintenance of wheeled non-combat and non-engineer vehicles.
  • MOUTMilitary Operation in Urban Terrain. See also CQB/CQC.
  • MOS – Military Occupational Specialty, a job classification.
  • MPMilitary Police, mostly replaced by PMO.
  • MREMeal, Ready-to-Eat, standard U.S. field ration. Sometimes jokingly referred to with backronyms such as "Meals Rejected by the Enemy," "Meals Rejected by Ethiopia," "Meal, Rotten to Eject," "Meals Rarely Eaten," "Meal, Refusing to Exit," "Meal, Reluctant to Exit," "Mister E," or the "Three Lies for the Price of One".
  • MRE bomb – Bursting plastic bag made from chemical heating pouches found inside of a standard MRE.
  • MSGMarine Corps Security Guard, responsible for guarding United States Embassies.
  • MTO – Motor Transport Officer, the Marine in charge of maintenance and operation of a unit's trucks.
  • MTVModular Tactical Vest, the newest type of ballistic vest for Marines.
  • MTVRMedium Tactical Vehicle Replacement See also 7-ton.
  • Mustang/Mustanger – Marine Officer who has previously served in the enlisted ranks.
  • MWDMilitary Working Dog, a trained government canine for law enforcement, detection of explosives and/or drugs, sentry, or other military use(s).


NCIS logo


  • Ocean Slime - Slang for Oceanside, California which is a beach town located outside Camp Pendleton.
  • OCONUS – Outside CONtinental United States, as opposed to CONUS.
  • O-CourseObstacle course.
  • OCSOfficer Candidate School, recruit training for officers.
  • O-dark thirty – Very early hours before dawn. See also military time. The custom of saying "oh" instead of zero has diminished, but remains in this expression.
  • Office Hours – Administrative ceremony where legal, disciplinary, and other matters (such as praise, special requests, etc.) are attended, designed to dramatize praise and admonition, in a dignified, disciplined manner, out of the ordinary routine. Known as Captain's Mast afloat. An award given during a positive office hours or Mast is known as a Meritorious Mast, a negative office hours with punishment awarded is an example of non-judicial punishment.
  • Officers' Country – Living spaces for officers aboard ship, or portion of post or station allocated for the exclusive use of officers.
  • OFP – Own Fucking Program. When a Marine does what he wants to, when he wants to and gets away with it.
  • OkiOkinawa.
  • Old Asia Hand – Person with more than one tour in Asia.
  • Old Man – Very informal nickname for the commanding officer, considered an inappropriate term of endearment for use by a junior, thus used in reference but never in address.
  • OMPF – Official Military Personnel File, a record of all awards, punishments, training, and other records compiled by Headquarters Marine Corps.
  • One Slow County - Another name for Onslow County, North Carolina. Camp Lejeune and Jacksonville are located within the county lines.
  • Oorah – Spirited cry used since the mid-20th century, comparable to Hooah used in the Army or Hooyah by Navy SEALs; most commonly used to respond to a verbal greeting or as an expression of enthusiasm. The origin is often disputed.
  • OPObservation Post, a position used for reconnaissance; also, the post newspaper of Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms.
  • OQROfficer Qualification Record, a service record for officers, much like an enlisted Marine's SRB.
  • OOB – Out Of Bounds, or straying into an area restricted from use by normal traffic, prohibited to Marines, or too far from base for a given liberty period.
  • OOD – Officer Of the Deck, or the senior Marine responsible for the patrol and security of a unit's garrison working spaces and sleeping quarters after working hours, usually responsible for subordinate sentries and acts as a guard commander. See also duty & firewatch
  • Oscar Mike – On the Move, the names of the two NATO phonetic alphabet letters O and M, which stand for the phrase. Used on the radio and in shorthand to each other. See also NATO phonetic alphabet
  • OTVOuter Tactical Vest, militarized version of Interceptor body armor, a common type of ballistic vest; being replaced by the MTV.
  • Outside – Civilian life after discharge. See also real world.
  • OverheadCeiling.
  • Over the Hill – Excessively old, or a Marine so long in the service they have become institutionalized.


padre conducting mass
  • padrechaplain, usually Catholic, from the Spanish and Italian terms for "father".
  • PALSPouch Attachment Ladder System, a webbing system used to attach combat accessories to MOLLE and ILBE equipment.
  • Page 11 – NAVMC 118(11), a page of a Marine's Service Record Book or Officer Qualification Record where administrative remarks are made concerning a Marine's performance and conduct, and which may contain negative recommendations regarding promotion or re-enlistment; while not a punishment itself or inherently negative, it is part of a Marine's permanent service record and used as a basis for administrative decisions regarding a Marine's career; the term commonly refers to an entry itself made in this section.
  • Parade Deck – Area set aside for the conduct of parades, drill, and ceremonies, often paved or well-maintained lawn. See also grinder.
  • Paradise Island – Nickname for Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.
  • Passageway – Corridor or hallway.
  • Passed over – Having failed selection for the next higher rank (for SNCOs and officers).
  • Pay GradeDOD system of designating a U.S. serviceperson's pay (E-1 through E-9, W-1 through W-5, and O-1 through O-10), not to be confused with rank (though the two usually correspond) or billet.
  • PCP – Physical Conditioning Program, exercise regimen for Marines failing to meet the minimum physical requirements; also Physical Conditioning Platoon, for the unit where a physically unfit recruit is sent prior to recruit training, nicknamed Pork Chop Platoon.
  • PCS – Permanent Change of Station, transfer to another post, station, base, or installation.
  • PFCPrivate First Class.
  • PFTPhysical Fitness Test, a semiannual test measuring strength, agility, and endurance by scoring performance in pull-ups (flexed-arm hang for females), abdominal crunches, and a 3-mile run.
  • PRT - Physical Readiness Test, an annual test conducted in utilities, with rifle and web gear. consisted of a rope climb, step-ups, fireman's carry, fire & maneuver course and a 3-mile run.
  • Phrog – Nickname for CH-46 Sea Knight.
  • Phone Watch – Duty where a Marine is responsible for answering phones when others are busy or unavailable (such as lunch hours); also the person filling the duty.
  • PIMarine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island; formerly also Philippine Islands, a frequent port of call for Pacific Marines until 1992
  • Pickle SuitService "A" uniform, from its all over green appearance.
  • (The) Pits – Depressed area on a shooting range where the targets are located, shooters staff it by marking, raising, and lowering targets from behind a berm.[85] See also butts and pulling butts / pits.
  • Pitting – Incentive training for a large group of recruits, so named for the sandy pits set aside for such events.[citation needed] See also quarterdecking.
  • Pizza Box – The Marksman Weapons Qualification Badge, so named for its square shape.
  • Pizza Stain – A nickname used by some Marines during recruit training to refer to the National Defense Service Medal, so named for the red and yellow appearance, like the cheese and sauce of a pizza.
  • Platoon SergeantSNCO executive to the platoon commander, usually the senior enlisted man.
  • PMCM – Equipment such as aircraft that are partially mission capable due to maintenance that needs to be performed. Parts are available but not manpower.
  • PMCSPreventive Maintenance Checks and Services, regularly performed maintenance on equipment, as opposed to corrective maintenance. Also, partial mission capability of equipment such as aircraft due to parts shortage in the supply chain.
  • PMOProvost Marshal's Office, the military police force of a Marine installation.
  • P.O.APosition Of Attention [2].
  • Pogue – Marine not of the combat arms (infantry), etymology is disputed: possibly "pogue" derived from the Tagalog word meaning "prostitute" or the Erse Gaelic word meaning "to kiss [my ass]", while "POG" could be from the acronym Persons Other than Grunt, but could be a backronym.
  • Poguey or Pogey Bait – Candy or sweets. See also geedunk.
  • Poguey or Pogey Rope – The French Fourragère authorized for wear by members of the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments.
  • Police – To pick up items (such as litter or expended ammunition casings), to return an area to a natural state, or to correct another Marine.
  • Poncho Liner – Insulating blanket used to warm the individual wearing a rain poncho, often used as a stand-alone blanket.
  • Pop Smoke – To leave quickly or hastily; from the method of throwing a smoke grenade to mark a landing zone or conceal a retreat.
  • Port – Naval term for "left side of ship" when on board a ship and facing forward, opposite of starboard. "Port" is the same with respect to a ship regardless of where a person is located or which way a person is facing, whereas "left" might be ambiguous.
  • Portholesmilitary issue eyeglasses, or the wearer of glasses. See also BCGs & RPGs.
  • Pot Shack – Place where cooking utensils are washed.
  • Possible – Slang term for the highest score possible in a marksmanship exercise as in "shooting a possible"; used on the rifle range during Recruit Training to denote the shooter possibly achieving a perfect score in a given round of firing.
  • Pos – Radio lingo for position.
  • PowerPoint Ranger - Pejorative for Marines (usually officers) who have spent too much time in an office.
  • Prick – Slang for any equipment bearing the "PRC" JETDS designator, usually man-portable radios.
  • Pro & Cons – Contraction of "Proficiency and Conduct marks", a numeric system for evaluating enlisted Marines. Usually written or spoken consecutively, with the first being Proficiency and the second being Conduct, e.g. 4.5/4.8. Hypothetically, the scale is from 0.0 to 5.0, but a perfect 5.0 is so rare that a Marine who receives it is called a "water-walker" (in reference to Mark 6:48) and the worst marks awarded almost never fall below 2.0 .
  • Property Cage – Place where organizational property is stored, often a warehouse.
  • PTPhysical Training, physical exercise to build or maintain strength, agility, and flexibility.
  • Pucker Factor – High level of anxiety experienced by those in tight situations, usually aircrew.
  • Pull Butts – To mark and score targets on a shooting range from behind a berm. See also butts & pits.
  • PXPost eXchange; more properly the Marine Corps Exchange.


  • QRF – Quick Reaction Force, a highly-mobile stand-by force designed to add firepower in precise places as the commander decides on a changing battlefield, often used for MEDEVAC purposes.
  • Quarter Deck – A location of prominence in a barracks or office; in recruit training, this area by the drill instructor's office is usually off-limits to recruits except during ceremonial discipline; the term comes from the quarter deck of a ship defined as "the part of the upper deck abaft the mainmast, including the poop deck when there is one. Usually reserved for ship's officers, guests, and passengers."
  • QuarterdeckingIncentive training at recruit training by means of repetitive and constant physical exercises, so named because it is usually a recruit's only opportunity to visit the quarter deck. See also pitting.
  • Quarters – Housing, whether bachelor (barracks) or family (government-leased apartments or houses); or periodic, muster of a ship's company.
  • Quatrefoil – Four-pointed embroidered pattern stitched on to the top of a Marine officer's barracks cover, from the tradition of wearing it to be identified as friendly to Marine sharpshooters during boarding actions in the era of wooden sailing ships.


  • R/S – Respectfully Submitted, used as an end greeting in written communication.
  • Rack or SackBed, inappropriate to use the Army term "bunk" except when used in conjunction with "junk on the bunk".
  • Radio Watch – Duty monitoring radio networks for relevant traffic, also; the person filling that duty.
  • Rah – A shortened version of Ooh-rah
  • Raider Capcover worn with the M1941 HBT utilities
  • Rain Locker – Shower.
  • Ranks – There are no acceptable contractions or shortened ways of addressing the following: Private, Lance Corporal, Corporal, Sergeant, Staff Sergeant, Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer/Chief Warrant Officer, Major, Colonel, and General. The following may be addressed with permission or informally: Private First Class as PFC, a Gunnery Sergeant as "Gunny", a Master Sergeant as "top", a Master Gunnery Sergeant as "Master Gunny" or "Master Guns", a Second Lieutenant or First Lieutenant as "Lieutenant", a Captain as "Skipper", a Lieutenant Colonel as "Colonel", and a Brigadier General, Major General, and Lieutenant General as "General". It is inappropriate to abbreviate an enlisted Marine's rank (Staff Sergeant or above) as "Sergeant," nor can the nickname "sarge" be used. Appropriate written abbreviations for all ranks can be found on United States Marine Corps rank insignia.
  • Ratfuck – Taking the best available selection and leaving less desirable alternatives for others.
  • RCORifle Combat Optic, optical sight issued for use with the M16A4 service rifle or M4 carbine; see also Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight.
  • Real World – Civilian life after discharge. See also outside.
  • Rear Echelon Pogue – Pejorative for a person who chooses to stay behind the lines to avoid danger; someone assigned to duty to the rear of the battle lines.
  • Recon – Used as a verb to denote stealthy acquisition by theft. Not to be confused with "Recon". See also acquire.
  • Red LegArtilleryman. See also cannon cocker and gun bunny.
  • Red Patch – Device worn on the uniforms of landing support Marines to distinguish the shore party from landing troops.
  • Request Mast – Appealing to increasingly higher links in the chain of command in order to seek satisfaction for a grievance the requester feels was not adequately handled at a lower level; DoN orders permit any Marine to request mast up to the individual's commanding general without repercussions.
  • Re-up – Reenlist, an Army term that has made its way into the vernacular for volunteering for an additional period of service. The correct erm is Ship-over.
  • Reverse Raider - Derogatory term for MARSOC Marines, due to their reputed tendency to assume they are superior to regular Marines. Many in the Marine Reconnaissance community see MARSOC as wanting to emulate the Marine Raiders of WWII, which they are not meant to be.
  • RFI – Request For Information.
  • Roach coach – Civilian vehicle allowed on base to sell fast food (see Pogey Bait).
  • Rocks and Shoals – Articles for the Government of the Navy, the pre-UCMJ code of law for the United States Department of the Navy.
  • Rotate – Return home at the end of a deployment.
  • ROERules Of Engagement, the restrictions on when and how a servicemember may use force on the enemy and other forces.
  • Rubber Bitch – Name given to the ISO mat or sleeping pad made of a rubber foam-like material. It is used by Marines when sleeping on the ground or other hard surfaces. It is sometimes used during PT (physical training) for calisthenics.
  • Running Lights – Navigational night lights on a ship; or the small red rectangular Red Patch sewn onto the uniforms of landing support team Marines; a person's eyes.


  • Safety Brief - Usually given by an NCO to junior enlisted Marines prior to being released for liberty. "Marines if you are going to drink, don't drive, if you are going to drive, don't drink, if you meet some gal be smart and use a condom (if you can't wrap it, smack it, as my sergeant would tell us) etc..."
  • S/F – Abbreviation for Semper Fidelis when used as an end greeting in written communication.
  • Sailor – The following nicknames are usually acceptable: bluejacket, tar, whitehat; while the following are considered insults: gob, swab, swabbie, swab jockey, squid, anchor clanker, rust picker, deck ape.
  • Salt, Salty, or Salt/salty dog – Experienced or well-worn person or object, from the salt that would accumulate after long-term exposure to salt water.
  • Salty LanguageProfanity.
  • SandboxIraq or other desert area.
  • Sand Monster – To bury/hide something in the sand, usually MRE trash and brass. (Locale to 29 Palms)
  • SARC – Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, a Marine (usually an SNCO) assigned as the point of contact for personnel who are victims of or witnesses to sexual assault. Such duty is often ironically assigned to one of the least tactful/sensitive members of a unit.
  • Say Again (Your Last) – Request to repeat a statement, question, or order, especially over a radio, or as "I say again" to preface a repetition by the sender; the word "repeat" is not to be used in this context, as it calls for a preceding fire mission to be fired again.
  • Sayōnara – Japanese for "goodbye".
  • Schmuckatelli – Generic, unnamed junior Marine, from the Yiddish pejorative "schmuck".
  • SCIF – Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, a place classified materials are processed and/or stored.
  • scrambled eggs – Gold oak leaf embroidery found on field grade and general officers' barracks cap visors and mess dress cuffs.
  • Scrounge – Appropriate, borrow, or acquire (possibly by doubtful means); derived from "scringe," meaning to search about, rummage, or pilfer.
  • Scullery – Place where dishes are washed.
  • ScuttlebuttGossip; or a drinking fountain, from "butt" (cask) and "scuttle" (a hole in a ship's side at deck level that allows water to drain from the deck), a cask that had an opening fitted with a spigot used to contain fresh water for drinking purposes. Because people gathered around a scuttlebutt, gossip, rumors, and sea stories are also known as scuttlebutt.[87][88]
  • SDI – Senior Drill Instructor, the leader of a recruit platoon.
  • Seabag or Sea BagDuffel bag used to carry one's personal belongings. "Duffel bag" is an Army term not used by Marines.
  • Seabag Drag – Manually carrying personal items (often within seabags) to new or temporary living quarters.
  • Seagoing Bellhop – Derogatory term for a Marine stationed aboard a ship on sea duty.
  • Sea Lawyer – Person who attempts to argue by continually providing explanations for minutiae.
  • Sea Story – Story, tale, or yarn calculated to impress others, often contains exaggeration or even outright lies.
  • Secret SquirrelIntelligence personnel or activity.
  • Secure – Stop, cease; or put away and lock.
  • Semper Fi – Shortened version of "Semper Fidelis", the motto of the Corps, Latin for "always faithful". Can be used ironically, as in, "Semper Fi, Mac", which basically means, "That's the breaks," or "Too fucking bad."
  • Semper GumbyColloquialism denoting tactical flexibility and the ability to quickly adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Semper IColloquialism denoting selfish or self-centered behavior.
  • Semper Sometimes – Appropriation of Semper Fi used to deride the part-time nature of service in the Marine Corps Reserve.
  • Shellback - Marine who has taken part in the crossing of the line ceremony or crossing the equator ceremony while on a Naval vessel.
  • Ship Over – To reenlist for an additional period of service.
  • Shit Bag or Shitbird – Habitually unkempt or undisciplined Marine. Also called a "10 percenter."
  • Shit-Brick – Useless or ignorant person.
  • Shit Detail – An undesirable (usually temporary) assignment.
  • Shit-Hot – Term used to notify something as exceptional or very good. Not to be confused with Hot-Shit
  • ShitterBathroom, head, or latrine, most often an outdoor portable toilet or outhouse. Also a nickname for the CH-53 helicopter.
  • Shooter – Person whose primary duty involves marksmanship with a rifle or pistol, such as students at a rifle range or competition team members.
  • Shore Party – Landing support specialists that direct the disposition of troops during an amphibious assault.
  • Short-timer – Person nearing the completion of his/her present tour of duty or enlistment.
  • Short-timer's Disease – Apathy to duties and regulations from a person nearing EAS.
  • Shove Off – To leave the vicinity, from the naval term meaning to push a boat off the shore or pier.
  • Shower Shoes – Pair of rubber sandals issued to recruits to prevent infections from the use of community or shared showers. See also Jesus shoes. Also sometimes used as a facetious, almost-always joking pejorative term for new Marines. That is to say that they're so new that they don't even rate to be called "boots".
  • Sick BayInfirmary or other medical facility aboard ship, can also refer to aid stations ashore. See also BAS.
  • Sick Call – Daily period when routine ailments are treated at sick bay.
  • Sick Call Commando – Person who constantly finds medical reasons to avoid work, may suffer from a factitious disorder such as hypochondriasis, Munchausen syndrome, or malingering. More commonly referred to as sickbay commando.
  • Sidearm – Weapon (usually a pistol) carried by a sentry under arms; also, cream and sugar in coffee.
  • Side Straddle HopJumping Jack.
  • Silver BulletRectal thermometer used to check the core temperature of a person suffering from heat-related injuries, such as hyperthermia; often referred to as an incentive to avoid dehydration.
  • Skate – Avoiding work by finding an excuse to be elsewhere or unavailable by doing something easier (but important enough to avoid re-tasking); also used as an adjective to describe such an easier duty.
  • Skid squadronMarine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron, so named because the assigned helicopters (AH-1 & UH-1) utilize skids instead of wheels for undercarriage.
recruits wearing skivvies
  • Skipper – Informal term of respect for a Marine captain (who is equivalent in rank to a Navy Lieutenant) who is in command of an infantry company or US Navy Commanding Officer of a ship or aviation squadron.
  • Skivvies – Underwear: skivvie shirt (T-shirt) and skivvie drawers (underwear).
  • Skuzz – To wash a deck or floor with a brush or towel (skuzz rag) in place of a mop, used in Boot Camp as a method to physically toughen recruits while cleaning the squadbay.
  • Skylark – To casually frolic or take excess time to complete a task, from the old naval term to run up and down the rigging of a ship in sport.
  • Slick sleeve – A private in the Marine Corps; refers to the fact that this person does not wear any rank insignia.
  • Slide Bite/Beretta Bite – Pinching or abrasions of hand due to holding a semi-automatic pistol too closely to a recoiling slide.
  • Slider – A hamburger so greasy that it slides right through you—typical of those served at flight line galleys. This meaning is evidently lost on restaurants whose menus proudly feature "sliders."
  • Slop chute – Impolite term for restaurant within the PX or beer garden.
  • Smokey Bear or Smokey Brown – The campaign cover worn by a drill instructors, so named because of their similarity to the hat worn by Smokey Bear. See also campaign cover, field hat, & hat.
  • Smokin' and Jokin' – When a mass of Marines is acting unproductive.
  • SNCOIC – Staff NonCommissioned Officer In Charge, a SNCO responsible for a group of Marines, but without the authority of a commissioned officer; somes also the senior enlisted Marine acting with the officer in charge. See also NCOIC & OIC.
  • Snap In – Conduct sighting in or aiming exercises with an unloaded weapon.
  • SNM – Said Name Marine
  • Snow Job – Misleading or grossly exaggerated report; sales talk.
  • Snuffie or Snuffy – Junior Marine, Lance Corporal and below.
  • SOC or (SOC) – Special Operations Capable used in conjunction with MEU written as MEU (SOC).
  • SOG Sgt. of the Guard – The acting Sgt (or near rank) Commanding the 'COG'Corporal of the Guard and all other marines for watch, radio watch, and/or post.
  • Soup Cooler - Synonym for the mouth. Term oft used by DIs in reference to the mouth of a recruit, or other senior person in reference to trainees.
  • Soup Sandwich - Refers to a disorganized operation or a gaggle.
  • South Maryland Small Boat & Barge Institute – Nickname for the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. See also Canoe U.
  • SOTGSpecial Operations Training Group
  • Spit and Polish – Extreme individual or collective military neatness, extreme devotion to the minutiae of traditional military procedures and/or ceremonies; from spit-polishing boots and dress shoes.
  • Spit-Shinepolish leather footwear (boots and dress shoes), employing spittle to remove excess grease and produce a high polish.
  • Splice the Mainbrace – Invitation to drink, from the old naval custom of drinking grog after repairing battle-damage to the main braces.
  • Spud Locker – Place where fresh vegetables are stored, after the nickname for potatoes.
  • Squadbay – Living quarters with open rooms and shared head, as opposed to the more common barracks that offer individual rooms.
  • Square(d) Away – Make neat and regulation appearance, to be in a neat and regulation appearance.
  • Squid – Pejorative for sailor.
  • SRBService Record Book, an administrative record of an enlisted Marine's personal information, promotions, postings, deployments, punishments, and emergency data; much like an officer's OQR.
  • SSDD – Same Shit, Different Day, euphemism denoting frustration with an unchanging situation or boredom.
  • Stacking Swivel – Oblong-shaped link with an opening screwed to the rifle that allowed other rifles to be hooked and stacked (the M1 Garand was the last service rifle to have a stacking swivel, this function is now held by the weapon's sling); "Grab him by the stacking swivel" infers grabbing a person's throat.
  • Staff NCO or SNCOStaff NonCommissioned Officer, Marines in the rank of E-6 or above: Staff Sergeant, Gunnery Sergeant, Master Sergeant, First Sergeant, Master Gunnery Sergeant and Sergeant Major.
  • Stand By – Command to wait.
  • STEAL- Stealthily Transport Equipment to Another Location.
  • Starboard – Naval term for "right side of ship" when on board a ship and facing forward, opposite of port. "Starboard" is the same with respect to a ship regardless of where a person is located or which way a person is facing, whereas "left" might be ambiguous.
  • stick – Squad of servicemembers being transported either via aircraft or ground vehicle. (Term "Chalk" is used by Army to reference platoon plus size unit.)
  • STOLShort TakeOff/Landing, takeoff and landing technique needing only a short runway to become airborne. See also STOVL, VTOL, & V/STOL.
  • STOVLShort TakeOff, Vertical Landing, takeoff and landing technique where a V/STOL aircraft will make a non-vertical take-off to carry greater weight, such as fuel and weapons, expend that weight, and make a vertical landing. See also STOL, VTOL, and V/STOL.
  • Suck – Mouth.[21]
  • The Suck – Miserable situation or place, often used to describe the Marine Corps or a combat zone.
  • Survey – Medical discharge or to effect discharge/retirement of an individual for medical reasons; dispose of an item of government property by reason of unserviceability.
  • SwabMop; also pejorative for sailor, so named because sailors of wooden ships had to swab the decks to keep them from warping.
  • Swamp-ass – Unpleasant collection of sweat soaking undergarments.
  • Swinging Dick – Vulgarity for male Marine, used to emphasize an order to a whole group instead of individual(s).
  • Swoop – Make a long trip in a short period of time, usually in reference to returning to post after liberty to avoid an UA status.
  • Sympathy Chit – Voucher sarcastically authorizing the recipient sympathy from others.


  • Taco Rice - A popular dish invented and served on Okinawa. It's basically a taco without the shell served on rice. Every Marine, Sailor, Airman and Soldier on Oki has their favorite taco rice place which they swear is the best on the island.
  • TAD – Temporary Assigned Duty, a duty where the Marine or Sailor is detached from his or her unit temporarily and serves elsewhere; comparable to the Army term TDY.
  • TBSThe Basic School, the six month combat training school for new Marine officers.
  • Terminal Lance – Marine nearing the end of his enlistment at the rank of lance corporal and unlikely to get promoted; also a webcomic of the same name.[89][90] See also battalion lance corporal. Also referred to as Lance Colonel.
  • The RockOkinawa.
  • thousand-yard stare – unfocused gaze of a battle-weary servicemember.
  • Thump Gungrenade launcher, from the distinctive noise made when firing. See also blooper and gerbil launcher.
  • Tie-ties – Straps or strings used to tie items to another line, such as laundry or rifle targets.
  • Tight-jawedAngry, so named from the human tendency to clench the jaw when angered.
  • Tip of the Spear – Term for a unit or subunit that enters enemy territory first.
  • T/O&E – Table of Operations and Equipment, a list authorizing a unit personnel of a particular rank and MOS, as well as organic equipment; often seen separately as T/O and T/E.
  • Top – informal nickname for a Master Sergeant or Master Gunnery Sergeant, inappropriate to use without permission.
  • Topside – Ship's upper deck.
  • Tore up – Broken, messy, unserviceable.
  • Trade-school- Refers to graduate of one of the Military Academies.
  • TRAM – Tractor, Rubber-tired, Articulated steering, Multi-purpose.
  • T-Rats – Tray ration, nickname for Unitized Group Ration, a ration heated and served to a group of servicemembers.
  • Trooper – Soldier, considered a grievous insult to refer to a Marine unless plural.
  • TS Chit – A "Tough Shit" Chit is a (fictitious) small card, to be punched by a senior person upon hearing a high-grade TS (very sad) story. When completely punched around the edge, the bearer is entitled to a half hour with the chaplain. "That story is so sad I'll punch your TS Chit twice."
  • Two-block – Hoist a flag or pennant to the peak, truck, or yardarm of a staff; or a tie with the knot positioned exactly in the gap of a collar of a buttoned shirt. Correctly, "to-block"—hoisted all the way to the block (pulley) at the top of signal halliard.
  • Two-digit Midget- An enlisted Marine with 99 or fewer days remaining on his or her enlistment or tour of duty. A variation is the single-digit midget, with nine or fewer days remaining.


  • UAUnauthorized Absence, the naval version of the term AWOL.
  • UCMJUniform Code of Military Justice (Public Law 506, 81st Congress) 1951, the system of military law, both judicial and non-judicial.
  • UD – Unit Diary, the computerized system that maintains all administrative records for a unit. Also, Uniform of the Day (or UDs) – prescribed uniform for the day; more generally associated with 'Charlies'
  • Un-fuck – To correct a deficiency, usually on a person.
  • Under Arms – Status of having a weapon, sidearm, "MP" or "SP" brassard, or wearing equipment pertaining to an arm such as a sword sling, pistol belt, or cartridge belt as part of guard duty; Marines under arms do not remove covers indoors.
  • Under Canvas – Living under temporary sheltering, such as a tent.
  • Under Way – To depart or to start a process for an objective.
  • UNQUnqualified, usually in reference to training events. Pronounced "unk."
  • Unsat – Abbreviation of unsatisfactory.
  • USMC – Acronym for United States Marine Corps. Also used as a pejorative backronym: Uncle Sam's Misguided Children, U Signed the Motherfucking Contract, U Suckers Missed Christmas, Unlimited Shit and Mass Confusion, University of Science, Music and Culture, Uncomplicated Shit Made Complicated, Under Seabee Management Constantly.



  • Walking John – Nickname for a Marine marching in dress blues uniform that appeared on World War I-era recruiting posters.[91][92]
  • War Belt – A web belt used to carry canteens in pouches and other miscellaneous equipment.
  • War PaintCamouflage face paint.
  • Watch – Formal tour of duty of prescribed length, usually a guard-related task.
  • Water Bowl - Synonym for a canteen (1990s era).
  • Water Buffalo or Water Bull – 400-gallon potable water tank, trailer-mounted, towed behind a truck.
  • Wetting-down or Wet Down – Celebration in honor of one's promotion as an officer or to the SNCO ranks, so named for the tradition of wetting the recipient and/or the promotion warrant.[93]
  • Whiskey Locker - Supply locker/closet.
  • WP or Willie Pete[r]White Phosphorus munition, whether in grenade, mortar, artillery, or aerial bomb form, so named from the pre-1956 phonetic alphabet letters "William" and "Peter."
  • WilcoVoice procedure term shortened from "Will Comply".
  • Willie Pete Bag – Waterproof bag.
  • Wing Wiper – Aviation person, usually a maintenance person and not a pilot.
  • Winger – Aviation Marine.
  • WIRDRMO; Washed-out In Repair; waste incidental to reprocessing; collection of items and/or equipment for turn-in that may be re-used by someone else at a later time, preferably at a savings to the government.
  • The Wire – Defensive perimeter of a firm base, crossing it denotes the end of relative safety
  • Wook - a female marine
  • Wooly Pully – Green wool sweater worn with the service uniform (or blue with the dress uniform) over the khaki shirt.
  • Word – General term for instructions, orders, and information that is required for all members of a unit to know; or the act of passing information to a collected group of servicemembers. See also gouge.
  • WM – Unofficial acronym for a Woman Marine.
  • Work your Bolt – resort to special measures, either by energy or guile, in order to attain a particular end; from the action of racking a rifle's bolt to clear a stoppage.



  • YATYAS or YAT YAS – You ain't tracks, You ain't shit, an amtrac slogan or term for AAV Marines.[94][95][citation needed][96]
  • Yellow leg – Marine, nickname given by North Korean Army in reference to Korean War-era discolored, yellow-looking leggings.[79][97][98]
  • You-who -When an NCO or Higher wants the attention of a Junior/Boot and does not know his name
  • Yut or Yut Yut – Exclamation of enthusiasm or approval, similar to oorah. Often used sarcastically in modern infantry roles as "You unmotivated turd".[citation needed]


  • Zero – Pronounced zee-ROW in an exaggerated manner, as used by Drill Instructors at the end of a count-down implying that recruits are to immediately cease all activity and remain silently in place. Used by Marines to gain the immediate attention of all personnel in the area without calling attention on deck.
  • Zero-stupid Thirty – An unnecessarily early time for which personnel are required to assemble for an activity. See also O-dark thirty.
  • Zoomiepilot, usually an Air Force pilot.[99]
  • Zoomie UUnited States Air Force Academy

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

  1. Knight, Glenn B. "Marine Corps Dictionary: 782 Gear". Retrieved 2008-10-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Ship's Bell". National Maritime Museum. Retrieved 2008-04-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. above my pay grade by Don Surber Archived September 10, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Metzger, E.: History Of The Development Of The LINCLOE Load-Carrying Equipment, July 1975
  5. as you were on
  6. "As you were", "As we were" on
  7. {{cite web|url= |title=Online Etymology Dictionary | |date= |accessdate=2012-03-07}}
  8. bag nasty on Double-Tongued Dictionary
  9. BAMCIS on
  10. by the numbers on Merriam-Webster OnLine
  11. BB stacker on
  12. BEQ on
  13. big green weenie on
  14. BOQ on
  15. BOQ on
  16. Geary, Steve (August 2008). "Snake Eater to Box Kicker" (PDF). DC VELOCITY. Agile Business Media, LLC. Archived from the original on August 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. brain housing group on
  18. brig rat on Jargon
  19. brightwork on
  20. brown bag on
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 Swofford, Anthony (4 March 2003). Jarhead. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-5428-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. bum scoop on
  23. butt pack on
  24. by your leave on
  25. Casualty Assistance Calls Officer on
  26. CACO on
  27. cammie on
  28. cannon cocker on
  29. Canoe U on
  30. captain's mast on
  31. CASEVAC on
  32. casual company or platoon on
  33. CAX on
  34. CCU on
  35. "Corectional Custody Unit begins Day One". Marine Corps Air Station Miramar public affairs. United States Marine Corps. 2000-10-13. Retrieved 2008-11-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  36. chairborne on Encarta. [1] 2009-10-31.
  37. brig chaser on
  38. chit on
  39. "CIF online". Retrieved 2012-03-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  40. civvies on Merriam-Webster online
  41. civvies on
  42. civvies on
  43. CMC on
  44. corpsman on
  45. cover and alignment on Kent State University ROTC
  46. cumshaw on
  47. Mehringer, MSgt Phil. "Memorial Day, Belleau Wood Style". United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 2011-01-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  48. Flippo, Hyde. "German Myth 13: Teufelshunde – Devil Dogs".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  49. {{cite web|url= Marines, not German soldiers, coin the phrase ‘Devil Dogs’?|last=Schogol|first=Jeff|date=January 4, 2011|publisher=Stars and Stripes|accessdate=27 January 2011}}
  50. Individual drill on
  51. close order drill on Encyclopædia Britannica
  52. Melson, Charles D. Marine Recon 1940–90 (Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 1994, reprinted 2003), p. 26.
  53. Tregaskis, Richard. Guadalcanal Diary (Garden City, New York: Blue Ribbon Books, 1943), 16.
  54. "five jump chump". Retrieved 2012-03-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  56. Military Abbreviations, Nicknames and Slang Terms on
  57. option=com_content&task=view&id=33&Itemid=122 Military Slang on
  58. gaff off on Online Slang Dictionary
  59. l=en&base=amslang&page=showid&id=3848 gaff off on Dictionary of American Slang
  60. geedunk[dead link] Archived September 15, 2008 at the Wayback Machine on Archived September 15, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  61. GI shower on
  62. Goa-rope on Double-Tongued Dictionary
  63. good to go on
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  67. Training presentation for ground guiding
  68. GT Score on
  69. guidon on
  70. gunny on
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  72. gyrene on
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  75. incentive training on Internet FAQ Consortium
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  80. lipstick lieutenant on
  81. midrats on
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  92. Walking John recruiting poster on
  93. wetting down example with further references
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  95. YATYAS on
  96. YAT-YAS on WikiMapia
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  99. zoomie on