Military Slang and Acronyms (2)

Military Slang and Acronyms - Installment 2 Let's pick up where we left off last time by covering military slang starting with the letter "L" You can read Installment 1 of Military Slang and Acronyms here. FEBA – Forward Edge of Battle Area.  I wished I had the non-politically correct cartoons that our CPT taught us with in our Chemical Officer Advance Course. FTX – Field Training Exercise – This is what the Army uses to train soldiers to prepare for combat.  I think my most memorable would be Team Spirit 86.  I arrived in country and went straight to the field for 2 weeks.  If it weren’t for the S-2 shop giving me a ride, I think I might still be standing on that hillside in South Korea. FOUO – For Official Use Only – This is one way the military kept certain people from knowing pertinent information.  Of course, if they wanted to restrict it even further, then they labeled it Secret or Top Secret. FUBAR – F*cked up Beyond All Repair – This is...
Read More

Military Slang and Acronyms

Military Slang and Acronyms - Installment 1 For my next blog I am going to write a series on military slang and acronyms due to the fact that there are so many.  I have tried to narrow the list down to the ones that I know.  I used these countless times while serving therefore making them have a more personal meaning to me. So let’s see how far I can get in this first article starting with the letter A AO – Area of Operations AAR – After Action Review – I find myself still using this one today even in my civilian job and of course sometimes I have to explain to people what it means.  But anytime you conduct a function or group event, it is definitely a good idea to sit down at the completion and conduct an AAR.  This will allow you to capture notes for what went right or wrong and will make the next event go much better. AIT – Advanced Individual Training – This is when a new...
Read More

Why Do Dog Tags Have Notches?

Dog Tags with “The Notch” The “notch” was created out of necessity to accommodate a machine-the Addressograph Model 70, manufactured by the Addressograph-Multigraph Corporation.  The Addressograph Model 70 was a clunky, heavy, hard to maneuver piece of equipment that looked like a pistol. Function The notch allowed medics to properly position the tag on the Addressograph so they could imprint identification information from the dog tag onto military paperwork. Myths and Rumors Most myths and legends about the notch center on the use of putting dog tags inside the mouths of dead soldiers. Some believed the notch was there to use the soldiers front teeth to hold the dog tag in place.  In cases where rigamortis had set in, myths spread that the notch helped the soldier who discovered the body to maneuver the dog tag into place.  Some even believed the notch helped the mouth stay open to allow toxic gases to escape so medical forces responsible for retrieving bodies wouldn’t...
Read More

What Is a “Coin Check”?

During a “coin check”, one soldier holds up a unit coin and expects comrades to show the same one.  If someone fails to do so, the soldier must buy a round of drinks for everyone in the house or in my case the officers club.  Here’s why the tradition began. Legend says that a downed World War I pilot behind enemy lines was saved from being executed as a spy at a French camp because of his unit medallion.  The coin was his only American identification.  Instead of death, the pilot received a bottle of wine, according to the American Forces Press Service. After the pilot’s story reached service members, they started carrying the coins, and when challenged, any member without one was supposed to buy the challenger a drink. My earliest memories of being stationed at FT Hood, TX in 1987 was being assigned to 2/41 IN, 1st Tiger Brigade, 2d Armored Division (Straight and Stalwart).  One of the first requirements was to...
Read More

Why Do Soldiers Chant During Marches And Runs?

Why do soldiers chant or “call cadence” during marches and runs?  The catchy call and response songs are designed to build camaraderie, break the monotony of physical training and keep soldiers in step. Why do soldiers chant or “call cadence” during marches and runs?  The catchy call and response songs are designed to build camaraderie, break the monotony of physical training and keep soldiers in step. The songs also develop cardio-respiratory endurance by forcing troops to control their breath during strenuous activities, according to the Army. They most likely have their roots in European martial drumbeats once used to guide the speed to which infantry units traveled. Some of my earliest memories of cadence come from attending my Chemical Officer Basic Course at Ft McClellan, AL in 1985.  Back then the cadence were a little more colorful than they are now....
Read More

P-38 Can Opener

My earliest recollection of using a P-38 can opener was while at FT Riley, KS for my ROTC Advanced Cadet Training Course, summer of 1981.  The Army was still using C-Rations for feeding while in the field at that time.  I will do a separate article on the history of C-Rations. The P-38, developed in 1942, is a small can opener that was issued in the canned field rations of the United States Armed Forces from WWII to the 1980s.  Originally designed for and distributed in the K-ration, it was later included in the C-ration.  As of 2013, it is still in production and sold worldwide, including at Major Dads. The P-38 is known as a “John Wayne” by the United States Marine Corps, either because of its toughness and dependability, or because of an unsubstantiated story that the actor had been shown in an as-yet-unidentified training film opening a can of K-Rations.  The can opener is pocket-sized, approximately 1.5 inches (38mm) long and...
Read More

Hooah!

If you see me most days I will be wearing a T-shirt that says “Hooah! It’s an Army Thing.”  We sort of made this the unofficial calling card for Major Dads when we started the business in 2009.  I have heard “Hooah!” used to mean so many different things my entire military career starting in ROTC at Murray State University when MSG (Ret) Carl Martin would answer most questions from cadets with a simple “Hooah”.   My other earliest memories are it being used to motivate other soldiers while conducting physical fitness exercise in a group setting.  To this day I still find myself answering customer’s questions in our store with this simple yet powerful word. Hooah is military slang referring to or meaning anything and everything except no used by soldiers in the U.S. Army and airmen of the U.S. Air Force.  Listed here are but a few of the usages for Hooah: What to say when at a loss for...
Read More

Product Review – Army Poncho Liner

My Army Poncho Liner The Army Poncho Liner is one of the most versatile pieces of material you could ever want to own.  It is lightweight, but very warm.  I’ve owned a poncho liner since first entering the service in 1980 and still have my first one.  My earliest recollection of using one was in Korea in 1986.  I used it as a liner inside my sleeping bag for an extra layer of warmth and believe me I needed it over there.   To this day, I keep one on our bed as a blanket and I keep an extra one downstairs in the closet.  Then when I have one of those winter coughs and I have to sleep in my recliner, I curl up under my wood patterned poncho liner.  If you come to our store right now, you can also see how they can be used as a makeshift curtain or backdrop. A poncho liner is a piece of field gear originating...
Read More