|Posted by Generation Kill Insider on February 19, 2010 at 1:13 PM|
Enlisted Tent: area where privates through sergeants sleep. The senior non-commissioned officers such as Staff Sergeants, Gunnery Sergeants, Master Sergeants and the Sergeant Major are technically of the enlisted ranks, and occupy an elite position somewhere between sergeants and officers.
Ephedra: over-the-counter diet pills, now banned by Marines as a speed-like stimulant.
E-tool: a collapsible shovel carried by all Marines; short for “Excavation-tool.”
F.O.: Forward Observer; anyone spotting targets for Iraqi or insurgent forces.
Fedayeen: a Baathist paramilitary unit trained in guerrilla tactics and established by Saddam Hussein’s son in the 1990s to infiltrate and terrorize the Shia populace, but in the current conflict, arrayed against the American invasion, they are also referred to generically as “insurgents.”
Fiddies: fifties, i.e., .50 cal. machine guns; former ghetto car repo man Espera uses the gangsta counting system in which “fiddie” equals 50, a “buck” or a “hundo” equals a hundred, a “deuce” equals either two or two-hundred, a “grand” equals a thousand, etc.
Flak jacket: a heavy yet flexible shrapnel-resistant vest.
Foot-mobile: a person on foot.
Forty Mike-Mike: 40 millimeter; refers to either an individual 40mm self-propelled grenade round or the weapon that launches them, such as the M-19.
Foshizzle…Hajizzle: a goof on Snoop Dogg’s hip-hop lingo to mean “for sure” and “Haji.”
Free-balling: not wearing underpants.
Fucking Sixta: Sgt. Maj. John Sixta, Sergeant Major for this battalion; aka “The Fucking Retard,” “Mister Potato Head,” “The Coward of Khafji.” His role and actions both dictate that he is despised by enlisted men.
Get some: to “get some” means to do any thing really cool like run a fast mile or kill someone: originally celebrated by Van Halen as a term that meant to get some pussy. Marines apply it to getting pussy, combat action or even coming up with a witty retort to a put-down; often used as an exclamation or cheer. Latino Marines use the Spanish “Chingaso” and whites have adopted it, so “Get some!” and “Chingaso!” are interchangeable.
Godfather: call sign of Lt. Col. Ferrando, as well as his battalion. Ferrando earned the call sign because his vocal chords were removed after a bout with cancer, causing him to speak like Marlon Brando in the noted film. Note: Godfather often speaks of himself in the third person: instead of saying, “I think…,” he will say, “Godfather thinks…”
Grape Beverage Base: grape juice powder; the name printed on the packaging in the military rations. Used by Marines rather than the more familiar civilian term.
The Grooming Standard: not to be confused with Marine Corps standard grooming regulations, the Grooming Standard is Battalion Commander Ferrando’s much more exacting dress and grooming code for those who serve under him.
G-Shock Wristwatch: the popular xtreme sports watch, as essential to Marine fashion as Oakley sunglasses.
H & S Company: the Headquarters and Supply company. More than half the 370 men in the battalion belong to H & S, responsible for supporting the “line companies” or combat units, made up of Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Companies.
Habudabi: a nickname for Arabs.
Haji: an Iraqi or Arab or Muslim of any ethnicity, from the Arabic “Haji,” which is the honorific term for anyone who has made the trip to Mecca, the Haj. Most Americans who use the term Haji are probably not referring to that pilgrimage, but to the once-popular children’s cartoon show “Johnny Quest,” in which the white boy hero’s turban-wearing sidekick was named Haji. Not necessarily a pejorative term, Haji may be used as an adjective to describe anything Middle Eastern, e.g., Iraq’s customary flat bread is referred to as “Haji bread” or “Haji tortillas.”
Hardball: paved road, as opposed to unpaved.
Herringbone: to halt a convoy of vehicles at a 45-degree angle to the axis of a highway, much like the pattern of fishbones. Herringbone can be used as a noun or verb.
Hitman Two: “Hitman” is the radio call sign for Bravo Company and “Two” refers to second platoon, one of three platoons in the company. “Hitman” can refer to the actual company commander of Bravo or the company itself. All units have call-signs, rather like official nicknames, which are used in radio communications. For example, General Mattis, commander of all Marine ground forces in Iraq, is “Chaos.”
Hitman Two One Actual: Bravo Company’s Second Platoon Team One Leader, Sergeant Colbert. While “Hitman Two One” refers to the entire team, “Actual” means the actual commander. “Hitman Two” refers to all of Bravo Second Platoon, but “Hitman Two Actual” is the platoon commander, Lt. Fick. In addition, “The Actual,” or commander, is also referred to as “The Zero.”
I glassed it: “I viewed the object through binoculars or a rifle scope.”
I got your six: “I’ve got your back”; from the clock point in which the hour of six is at the bottom of the dial, if you were oriented toward the 12 hour. “On your three” would indicate something or someone on your immediate right. “On your four” would indicate something or something on your right and slightly behind you.
I.A. (Immediate Action): whatever you train to do when the shit hits the fan.
Javelin Team: two Marines who carry and operate a powerful anti-tank missile called a “Javelin.”
K-bar: a knife carried by Marines.
Kevlar: a helmet; while civilians know Kevlar as the brand-name of a bullet resistant material, Marines refer to their Kevlar helmets simply as Kevlars. Note: Even though flak jackets are also made of Kevlar, they are never referred to as such.
Kill Zone, Kill Box: the area where the enemy hopes to direct, channel and trap you in order to kill you, or where you hope to do the same to him.
L.A.V.’s (Light Armored Vehicle): used only by the Marine Corps; amphibious, eight-wheeled machines that look like upside-down bathtubs painted black.
L.O.D. (Line of Departure): the border between Kuwait and Iraq.
Leatherman: the all-in-one pliers, screwdriver and knife tool carried by Marines.
The L.T.: nickname for a Lieutenant. Note: A specific lieutenant or other commanding officer is often also referred to as “The Sir.”
M.R.E.: Meal Ready to Eat; standard military fare, food manufactured a decade ago and served as a complete, self-heating meal in a plastic bag.
M.S.R. Eight: Main Supply Route Eight; any paved road is typically referred to as an “M.S.R.”
M.S.R. Tampa: Main Supply Route Tampa. Not only are roads designated M.S.R.s, but American military planners have also given them names that will be easier for U.S. troops to pronounce than Arabic ones.
M-19: a heavy, vehicle-mounted machine gun that fires armor-penetrating grenades instead of bullets; AKA MK-19, Mark-19, and Forty Mike-Mike.
M-249 SAW: hand-held or bipod-mountable machine gun common to U.S. forces. “SAW” stands for Squad Automatic Weapon and fires at a rate of 750 rounds per minute. Notoriously easy to discharge by accident, hence Marine folklore: “The SAW’s got a mind of its own, it wants to kill a motherfucker.”
M-4: rifle carried by most recon Marines; similar to the standard U.S.-military M-16, but with a shortened barrel and collapsible stock. Note: Officers and POGs carry M-16s. (2-3)
M-40: standard, bolt action Marine sniper rifle.
Mathilda: Northern Kuwait camp where these Marines stayed, with about 5,000 others, in the weeks before the invasion.
MOPP: a nuclear, biological chemical protection suit; stands for Mission Oriented Protective Posture. Can be an adjective, as in “we were MOPPED-up,” or “wearing our MOPP suits.”
Moto: from motivational, anything that expresses the highly-motivated spirit of Marines. Shouting “Get Some!” is a moto thing to do. Moto films are the small movies and slide shows Marines make documenting the crazy things they see in this war.
Mud: the white supremacist term for a non-white individual.
N.J.P. (Non-Judicial Punishment): next to a court martial, the most severe form of punishment to which a Marine can be subjected. It usually involves a loss of rank and pay grade.
Navy Hospitalman, Doc Bryan: the medic, though medics in the Marine Corps are technically part of the Navy’s hospital corps and are never referred to as “medics” but as Corpsmen.
Negligent Discharge: accidental firing of a weapon; aka N.D.
Nine-lines: a procedure for directing air strikes on ground targets.
No salute zone: forward areas where officers are not to be acknowledged with salutes, in order to conceal rank from potential enemy observers.
O Dark Hundred: until darkness falls. Note: “O dark 30” typically means half an hour before dawn, or any ridiculously early hour of the morning.
Oakley sunglasses: surfer sunglasses worn by just about all Marines in Iraq. Iraqis believe Oakleys give Marines X-ray powers to see through women’s clothing and are a constant source of tension.
One M.E.F. (First Marine Expeditionary Force): the overall Marine invasion force in the Middle East, which comprises the First Division (ground troops) under command of Gen. Mattis, the Air Wing and a logistics battalion. The entire One M.E.F. is under the command of General James Conway.
Oscar Mike: “On the Move” from the phonetic alphabet.
Overwatch: a position that offers protective fire for a given area.
“Paint me”: to paint something is to shine one’s gunsight laser designator on a target in preparation for shooting it.
PAS-13 Thermal: a night vision device, about the size of an old video camera, that can see heat signatures. Note: A single device is usually referred to in the plural, e.g. ,“Pass me the thermals” refers to one device.
Pec-fours, Pec-thirteens: night and infrared vision scopes.
POG (Person Other than Grunt): a pejorative term for anyone who is in the rear echelon and therefore not in a recon or infantry unit. This is one of the most insulting terms in the Marine Corps, almost the equivalent of the “N” word. Note: POG is pronounced with a long “o.”
Police: to clean up or correct, as in “Police your tent,” or clean it up. (1-16)
Psy-Ops: Psychological-Operations units, which in Iraq relied on leaflets, radio and loudspeaker broadcasts to encourage enemy forces to surrender.
Pyro and Smoke protocol: codes involving use of smoke grenades and flares.
R.C.T. (Regimental Combat Team): a super-regiment of about 7,000 Marines; the First Division consisted of three RCTs – RCT 1, RCT 5 and RCT 7 – plus First Recon, which operated on its own.
R.C.T. One (Regimental Combat Team One): a motorized, armored infantry regiment of about 7,000 Marines.
R.O.E. (The Rules of Engagement): the all important, ever-changing and always ambiguous rules governing when a Marine may fire his weapon.
R.T.O. (Radio Transceiver Operator): radioman, the most important guy on the team and usually the calmest and smartest next to the team leader. (1-23)
Rack: nautical for sleeping area.
Ranger Graves: sleeping holes dug by marines to protect from shrapnel and gunshots.
Raptor: radio call-sign for First Recon’s Charlie company.
Recon Mission: a reconnaissance mission performed specifically by Recon Marines who are the Marine Corps special forces; there are only a few hundred Recon Marines in the entire Corps.
Red-Con One: a loaded weapon with a round in its chamber, but with the safety on.
Revetment: crude fortifications made from earth or concrete or sandbags.
Ripped Fuel: brand name of a popular over-the-counter stimulant, banned by the military but widely used.
RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade): anti-tank rocket first developed by the Germans as the “panzerfaust,” then adopted by Soviets and as common to Iraqi forces and insurgents as Skittles candies are to Marines. Not very accurate, but devastating when fired in mass by five- or ten-man RPG teams. RPGs were famously used to bring down U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopters in Somalia.
S.O.P. (Standard Operating Procedure): S.O.P. is sometimes informally used as a synonym for common sense.
Saffwon Hill: a low hill on the Iraq side of the border with Kuwait, believed to be the locale of a dug-in Iraqi division.
Sapi plates: 12-inch square ceramic plates worn in front and back of one’s flak vest, rated to stop the enemy’s preferred 7.62 round.
Schwack: to kill; origin believed to be a popular video game.
Screwby: either “That sucks,” or “That’s really cool,” from Cpl. Stafford’s personal hip-hop lexicon.
Senior NCOs: anyone from staff-sergeant to Sergeant Major. Corporals and Sergeants are also NCOs, but they are never referred to junior NCOs, simply as NCOs. (1-18)
Sergeant Major: the highest possible rank a non-commissioned officer can earn in the Marine Corps; invariably a ball-buster who speaks in a semi-illiterate southern sounding accent no matter where he is from. This battalion has just one Sergeant Major.
Shamal: hellacious wind and dust storms endemic to Iraq.
Sit-Rep: situation report:; often used as a more confusing way to say “situation.”
Skittles: chewy fruit-flavored children’s candy, which is a dietary staple in U.S. military.
Slackman: team machine gunner, armed with a SAW.
Snatch: a specific Marine term for abducting an enemy combatant in order to gather intelligence.
Soft Cover: same as a boonie cap. Note: the word “hat” does not exist in the Marine Corps; anything you place on your head is a cover.
Sparrow: a small reaction force held in reserve while another unit attacks; an “eagle” is a large reaction force.
Spread load his excitement: to calm down; from the tradition of foot patrols spreading a heavy load equally among all troops.
T-55: Soviet-era tank ubiquitous in Iraq; older and much less feared than the newer, but less-common T-72 Soviet tanks also in Iraq.
TAD-two, TAD-three: Tactical Air Direct radio bands for communicating directly with pilots in attack aircraft.
Task Force Tarawa: a four thousand-strong Marine unit outside of the First Division Command Structure. This American unit was initially put under the command of the British at Basra, then moved north to Nasariyah.
Team Leader: the sergeant in command of each combat team. Fick’s platoon is divided into three teams, but spread across four Humvees (not counting Fick’s command vehicle, the fifth Humvee). Since Fick’s platoon is a special forces unit trained in coastal raids, they have no experience with Humvees. Technically each team has a specialty, with team one being the dive (or SCUBA) team, team two being the boat team and team three the para-jump team. But here, ironically, they are all in a desert.
The Three: the battalion’s intelligence unit.
T-rats: T-rations; pre-manufactured military food heated and served in mess halls of forward units.
Triple-A: Anti-Aircraft Artillery; towed or self-propelled guns designed to shoot down aircraft but often used by Iraqis against American forces on the ground.
Two o’clock: direction of enemy forces. Orientation of the lead vehicle puts 12 o’clock at the center of the hood and six o’clock at the rear.
Two-Oh-Three: an M-203 grenade launcher, which is a single shot self-propelled weapon mounted beneath the barrel of a standard Marine rifle. The M-203 fires the same 40mm round as the M-19.
Unfucking: a verb peculiar to the Marine Corps meaning to get out of a fucked-up situation.
U-two: a reference to venerable U2 spy planes.
Victors: vehicles. The military uses the phonetic alphabet as a shorthand code: the phonetic alphabet replaces letters with words, i.e., Alpha, Bravo Charlie, Delta, Echo. These phonetic word for each letter of the alphabet can be used to replace any word starting with the corresponding letter. Hence, vehicle becomes “victor,” terrorist becomes “tango” and white trash becomes “whiskey tango,” as in, “He grew up in a whiskey tango trailer park in the Ozarks.”
Whiskey Tango: white trash, from the phonetic alphabet version.
Zil truck: Russian-made truck popular in Iraq