In order to keep you older vets current with modern military terminology and slang, we have added this feature.  Some things never change, but what we call them does: 
  • 203 - An M-203 grenade launcher, a single shot grenade launcher mounted beneath the M-4 carbine; fires the same 40mm grenade as the M-19 akak Forty Mike-Mike
  • 5's & 25's - standard security order when a convoy stops: gunners scan 5 meters in all directions from their vehicle position while soldiers dismount and secure out to 25 meters from the vehicles
  • 50 Cal - The standard Browning .50 Caliber ( half inch in diameter) heavy machinegun used by the US Military since WWII; aka Fifty Cal; M-2 or Ma Deuce
  • 5.56 - Refers to standard 5.56 milimeter diameter round used in M-16 or M-4 standard infantry weapon and light machine guns such as the SAW; aka 5.56 NATO round, Also known as the .223 cal (223/1000 of an inch in diameter just as .30 cal is 30/100 of an inch in diameter.)
  • ACU - Army Combat Uniform - with the NEW digitized design for all seasons and terrain.
  • AK-47 - Copied from the WWII German Sturmgewehr 44; This Soviet-era weapon was developed in 1947 by Mikhail Kalashnikov; Standard of the Iraqi forces, insurgents and most third world and communist countries; not very accurate but fires the powerful 7.62x39mm round in full automatic and very easy to maintain
  • Alice : All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment. Formerly known as Web Gear. 
  • AMTRAC - Amphibious vehicle used by Marines
  • AO - Refers to area of operations
  • AOR -  Navy Term - Area Of Responsibily, the confines within which we roam.
  • Angel -  a soldier killed in combat, used among some US medical personnel.
  • Ass - Marine slang for any weapon system with a lot of firepower.
  • AT4 - US anti-tank rocket carried by Marines
  • Atropine Injector - Injects agent to counteract nerve gas 
  • Back in the World -  Back in the United States of America, as they remember it.  An expression that began in the Vietnam War when soldiers found the Asian culture so different that they could have been on another planet.  The term lives on in that other galaxy far - far - away, known as Iraq and Afghanistan.
     
  • Battle Rattle  Full battle rattle is close to 50 pounds worth of gear, including a flak vest, Kevlar helmet, gas mask, ammunition, weapons, and other basic military equipment. One component is the soft vest that covers the torso the shoulders and the back. It's made of soft material, a mixture of Kevlar and Twaron. These are sown together in sort of a sandwich fashion inside a nylon camouflage-pattern shell. The nylon vest has attaching points for load-bearing equipment. The second component of the system is ceramic plates that fit in pockets in the front and back of the vest. These plates protect the heart and lungs. Any TV news report from Iraq or Afghanistan shows American service members wearing "full battle rattle." Wearing the battle rattle has saved lives in both Iraq and Afghanistan. A soldier in full dress, including helmet, flak jacket, and automatic weapon said to be wearing "battle rattle" "play clothes" or "Mommy's comforts" -- terms that antedated the war in Iraq, though used less frequently because the gear was used by smaller numbers of troops. The term Battle Rattle was previously associated with a call to arms on warships in the 1812 period.
  • Belt Fed - excited as in "that is a belt-fed SOB"; Refers to belt fed machine gun bullets;
  • BIAP : Baghdad International Airport
  • Bombaconda : nickname for LSA Anaconda, , a major base near Balad, reflecting the frequent mortar attacks.
  • Boonie Cap - Floppy field hat
  • Butterfly Trigger - safety trigger requiring two thumbs to activate
  • Cas-Evac - Casualty evacuation
  • CC : Coalition Country -- the coalition of the willing allies
  • C G- Commanding General
  • Charms - Lucky Charms candy issued with field rations considered very unlucky
  • CHU : Containerized Housing Unit (pronounced “choo”) - Aluminum boxes slightly larger [22’x8’] than a commercial shipping container, with linoleum floors and cots or beds inside. This insulated CONEX shipping container has a door, window, top vent, power cabling, and an air conditioner. One version houses four people, while another is split into two, two-person rooms. The version with a shower and toilet shared between two rooms is called a "wet chu", which provides less crowded latrine and shower conditions than tents. The CHU gives soldiers a lot more living space than tents. The CHU is the modern equivilent of the Vietnam era "HOOCH".
  • CHUville : a base consisting of a large number of CHUs.
  • Cleared Hot - Permission to fire your weapon
  • O C- Commanding Officer
  • Cobra Gunship - Light attack Helicopter
     
  • Condition One -
  • Cougar: A small armored fighting vehicle designed to survive IED attacks and ambushes.
  • Cyclone (also Dust Devil) - Fierce winds in Iraq dessert
  • DCU - Desert Camoflage Uniform
  • DDG - Navy Term - Guided Missile Destroyer
  • Death Blossom : The tendency of Iraqi security forces, in response to receiving a little fire from the enemy, to either run away or do the "death blossom" spraying fire indisciminately in all directions. The term originated in the 1984 movie "The Last Starfighter" as a maneuver in which a single starfighter can single handedly wipe out an entire armada.
  • Devil Dog - Nick name for a Marine; originated in the First World War when they were called that by opposing Germans
  • DFAC [Dining FACility] : A DFAC is where you eat. Soldiers eat in a dining facility, or DFAC (pronounced dee-Fak). Old soldiers show their age they call it a "chow hall" and if you say “mess hall” it dates you. DFACs are modern looking cafeteria, some decorated it with sports memorabilia, movie posters, and televisions with ESPN on.
  • Dirt Sailor : A member of the Navy’s Construction Battalions (Seabees). In Iraq, a sailor playing a part that is not a normal Navy role.
  • Donkey Dicks - Marine term for any phallic-shaped implement
  • Ephedra; Ripped Fuel; etc - Refers to over-the-counter diet pills used for energy
  • EFP: Explosively Formed Penetrators: A new dangerous weapon supplied by Iranian Militants used to pierce any American armored vehicle.
  • E-Fuzzy With the introduction of the ACU, used to describe an E-1 Private. There is no rank insignia for an E-1, and as the ACU's rank patch is Velcro and goes on the chest, E-1s have the fuzzy Velcro exposed. Also known as Private No Rank
  • E-Tool - Excavation tool; shovel
  • Flak Jacket -  heavy flexible shrapnel-resistant vest; "Flak" is the infamous abbreviation for Fliegerabwehrkanonen, German for anti-aircraft guns that used 88mm shrapnel weapons against Allied planes in WWII
  • Flank Speed -  Navy Term - the fastest speed the ship can travel, equal to about 35 knots
  • FO - Forward Observer
  • FOB : forward operating base.
  • FOB Taxi : any vehicle that never leaves the FOB.
  • Fobbit : service member who never goes outside the wire off the forward operating base; updated name for the Vietnam era REMF; also see POG 
  • Foot Mobil - Person on foot
  • Forty Mike-Mike - 40mm grenade and the M-19 automatic grenade launcher that fires it
  • FRAGO : fragmentary order. Fragmentary order is an abbreviated form of an operation order, usually issued on a day-to-day basis, which eliminates the need for restating information contained in a basic operation order. FRAGOs do not take the place of an OPORD. A FRAGO determines timely changes to an already existing order. The important point here is that a frag order is issued based on the basic operation order and is not a "stand alone" directive. It will normally state the changes from the basic order such as enemy situation and new taskings. A more formal decisionmaking process may be required before issuing a FRAGO, especially if a major adjustment to the operation order (OPORD) is needed.
  • Frankenstein : A Marine Corps monster truck, bulging and rippling with spot-welded seams of add on armor. "We scrounge around for what we need and 'Frankenstein' it together." As of December 2004, of the 30,000 estimated wheeled vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan, about 8,000 of the older models did not have armor protection. Of those that were protected, about 6, 000 had full protection, while about 10,000 vehicles had received add-on kits, many improvised in theater. Green Zone : Heavily guarded area with several former Presidential Palaces in central Baghdad where US, coalition and iraqi authorities live and work. Much of the rest of Iraq is the "red zone". An attempt was made to rename it the International Zone (IZ), but this seems not to have stuck.
  • Get Some - a macho phrase expressing a soldier's desire to get in the fight; "Let's get some !!"
  • Got your six - "I've got your back," meaning I am watching your rear as in the 12 hour clock; also I have your three or 3 o'clock, etc
  • Gun Truck : an armored and heavily armed vehicle used for convoy security.  Made popular in Vietnam by mounting heavy machine guns and armor on 5 ton trucks for convoy duty. 
  • GWOT : global war on terrorism.
  • Habudabi - the word many soldiers use for an Arab
  • Haji : 1: Arabic word for someone who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca; 2: used by the American military for an Iraqi, anyone of arab decent, or even of a brownish skin tone, be they afghanis, or even bangladeshis; 3: the word many soldiers use derogatorily for the enemy.
  • Haji armor : improvised armor, installed by troops hiring Iraqis to update the vehicles by welding any available metal to the sides of Humvees
  • Haji mart : any small store operated by Iraqis to sell small items to Americans.
  • Haji patrol : 1: escort detail; 2: Local National unit is also referred to as the Haji patrol, with all the projects that are being performed by the local nationals.
  • Haji shop : even the smallest base has some form of what soldiers call a "haji shop" or, in more politically correct terms, a shop run by locals. Frequently near the PX, the "Haji" shop would sell everything from cigarettes to knockoff sunglasses to pirated DVDs.
  • Hardball - black top roadway 
     
  • Hillbilly armor : Improvised vehicle armor, salvafed from digging through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal to bolster armor on their vehicles. Typically a half-inch of scrap steel hastily cut in the shape of the door and welded or riveted on. Name derives from Tennessee National Guard 278th Regimental Combat Team, whose Spc. Thomas Wilson grilled SecDef Rumsfeld in December 2004 about the need for such scrounging. "Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles?" Spc. Wilson asked.
  • IED : improvised explosive device
  • IP: Iraqi Police 
  • inside the wire - inside an enemy combatant detention facility. Working "inside the wire" of the enemy combatant detention facility can lead to stress for the US troops working here. But experts and leaders are working hard to help servicemembers deal with the unique conditions of working in an isolated island base such as Guantanamo. Troops working inside the wire must pass through several sets of intimidating double gates. They always cover their nametapes and never call each other by their real names while they're near detainees. Vietnam-era phrase for the perimeter of any US base in Vietnam.
  • ITGA : Interim Transitional Government of Afghanistan.
  • Javelin Team -
  • Jingle Trucks - Afghanistan transport trucks with a narrow wheel base that are usually adorned with colorful stickers and chimes, the military contracted for host nation delivery trucks, known as “jingle trucks” because of the decorative metal tassels hanging from the bottom of the truck frames that jingled when the trucks moved. These trucks are contracted through Afghan Government officials. The NCO responsible for these contracts was known as the “jingle man.” The contract price was based on the destination and the type of truck used. Fuel tankers and trucks that could carry 20- and 40-foot containers were available. Although serviceable, these trucks would not pass standard US specifications.
  • KAF: That stands for Kandahar Air Field. That is the main base of operations for the Southern part of Afghanistan. The main post is big and has lots of people, it is a main transportation hub--both Helo and Fixed Wing--also Convoys of Humvees going in and out
  • KBR : Kellogg, Brown & Root -- The biggest contractor serving the Coalition Forces.
  • Kevlar - Issued American Helmet
  • Kill Box - Kill Zone
  • LAV - Light Armored Vehicle
  • LN : Local National. A citizen of Iraq, if you're in Iraq, Afghanistan if you're in Afghanistan, etc. Usually encountered as labor brought on post to do construction or other labor.
  • LT - Refers to Lieutenant
  • M-19 - Vehicle mounted machine gun that fires armor piercing grenades; aka MK-19; also Forty Mike-Mike
  • M-249 SAW - hand held Squad Automatic Weapon that fires the 5.56 NATO round
  • M-4 - standard infantry weapon; similar to but shorter than the Vietnam era M-16
  • M-40 - Bolt action sniper rifle used by the US Military; fires the larger 7.62mm x 54mm NATO round 
  • Mortaritaville : nickname for LSA Anaconda, a major base near Balad, reflecting the frequent mortar attacks.
  • MRAP Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles are a family of new armored fighting vehicles designed to survive IED attacks and ambushes.
  • MRE - Meals Ready to Eat; standard military selfheating meals in a plastic bag
  • MSR - Main Supply Route as MSR "Tampa" & MSR "8"
  • Muj (pronnounced: Mooj), short for Mujahadeen. Formally a person who wages jihad, informally used for the Iraqi Insurgents starting in 2005.
  • "O-Dark-Hundred" - para-phrasing military time where 0500 means 5:00am; any ridiculously early hour of the morning 
  • Oakley Sunglasses - worn by almost all Marines and soldiers in Iraq; Iraqis believe they give Amercans "X-Ray vision"
  • Outside the wire - outside the security perimenter surrounding the base or FOB.
  • OEF : Operation Enduring Freedom.
  • OGA : Other Government Agency - CIA
  • OIF : Operation Iraqi Freedom.
  • Oscar Mike: On the move or moving out.
  • POG : People Other than Grunts [pronounced "pogue"] rear-echelon support troops. Arose in 2005 as a synonym for Fobbit, it seems. Also a newer version of REMF
  • PEC-Fours, PEC-Thirteens - Night and infared vision scopes
  • POG - Person other than a Grunt; a pejorative term for anyone who is the rear echelon and therefore not in an infantry unit; Fobbit
  • PRT : This stands for Provincial Reconstruction Team. These are military, goverment departments and civilian aid organizations from our country and many others who come to a town and help to rebuild. The PRT coordinates construction projects and provide humanitarian assistance.
  • PSD : Personal Security Detail - private security contractors
  • Psy-Ops - Psychological - Operations Units; which use leaflets, loudspeakers, etc to encourage the enemy to surrender
  • Red on red : enemy-on-enemy fire. In June 2005 it was reported that Marines patrolling the desert near the Syrian border had, over the previous several months, seen a new trend in the Iraq insurgency. Insurgents were fighting each other in towns along the Euphrates from Husayba to Qaim. This suggested that there had been a split between Islamic militants and local rebels.
  • REMF : rear-echelon motherf****r - another Vietnam era phrase revived for the sandbox. The term REMF seems to have fallen into disuse, replaced by “fobbit”.
  • Remfland: the rear-echelon areas where support personnel live and work in relative safety -- the paradox being that in the Sandbox, unlike Vietnam, REMFland is more a state of mind than a physical location.
  • RHIB -  Navy Term - RIB, Rigid-hulled inflatable boat.  Currently used by Pirates off Somalia
  • RPG - Rocket Propelled Grenade; Anti-tank rocket first invented for the Bazooka by the US in WWII, then inmproved by the Germans as the "Panzerfaust" and further improved by the Soviets; not very accurate but used very successfully by enemy insurgent 5 & 10 man RPG teams;
  • S-2 - Battalion level intelligence officer; G-3 is division intelligence officer or unit
  • Sandbox or Sand Pit : Iraq
  • SAPI Plates - 12 inch square ceramic plates in FLAK vests made to stop the powerful 7.62x39mm standard round fired from the AK47
  • shake and bake : first used during the Vietnam War, and revived in Iraq, to refer to attacks using a combination of conventional bombs, cluster bombs (CBU), and napalm. In the battle of Fallujah in 2004 it was used in reference to a combination barrage of White Phosphorus and explosive artillery shells.
  • Slackman - Nickname for the team machinegunner using the SAW
  • Stay Frosty: Keep cool under pressure. IED.gif image by RetiredRoadDog
  • STB -  Navy Term - Starboard (right)
  • Sustainer theater : AAFES' motion picture team has assembled an opening lineup of movies for the Balad Camp Anaconda theater dubbed "Sustainer." Before Soldiers can view first run shows at the Sustainer Theater the process of getting movies here takes weeks of time and effort, initially beginning at the Army Air Force Exchange Service headquarters in Dallas.
  • T-55 - Soviet era tank used in Iraq
  • TCN - Third Country National: A citizen of a neutral country who is in the theater of operations as a contractor. The Nepalese truck drivers who were killed by Ansar Al Sunnah in the summer of 2004 were TCNs.
  • TCP - Traffic control point.
  • VB -  Navy Term - Virginia Beach, Virginia, East coast headquarters of Special Warfare.
  • VBIED - Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devise. i.e.. Car Bomb
  • Victors - from the military phonetic alphabet for "Vehicles"
  • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - from the military phonetic alphabet: "What the F****"
  • Zil Truck - Russian made truck popular in Iraq