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This list that was originally compiled by Jeff Crowell. Added to by many others.
ACM - Air Combat Maneuvering. Dogfighting practice.
ACOG - That was the designation for a rush on a part needed for an aircraft that was on the deck and grounded. It meant "Aircraft on Ground".
AEF/A - Auxiliary Electrician Forward/Aft (Nuclear, submarine).
AFFF - Aqueous Film Forming Foam. A fire-fighting agent which is mixed with water and sprayed on flammable liquids fires. Pronounced "A triple-F". Aka 'Light Water' for the foam's ability to float on oil or gasoline. Replaced protein foam.
Afterburner - A system aboard many tactical aircraft (and a very few non-tactical a/c such as the SR-71) which dramatically increases thrust at the cost of doubling (or more) the fuel consumption.
A-gang - Auxiliaries Division of the Engineering Department. These personnel operate and maintain the ship's auxiliary equipment (air conditioning systems, distilling units, air compressors, etc.)
A-ganger - Auxiliaryman. Member of A-gang.
A-gear - See ARRESTING GEAR.
AGI - Auxiliary, Intelligence Gathering, aka 'Tattletale'. Refers to Russian 'trawlers' (or, more recently, purpose-built ships) stationed off NATO ports and following fleets.
Airdale, airedale - Naval aviator, aka 'BROWNSHOE'. Can also refer to any member of the aviation community, officer or enlisted. From envy, often modified by non-aviation types with the adjective "f******".
Alert Five - Aircraft on five-minute alert. This generally requires that the aircrew be seated in the aircraft at all times. There may also be aircraft/aircrews on alert fifteen, etc.
Alpha Mike Foxtrot - (abb. AMF) Acronym for "Adios, M*****F*****". Polite form: "Adios, My Friend."
Anchor clanker - Any Boatswain's Mate.
Angled Deck - The landing area of a modern carrier, which is offset 10 degrees from the ship's centerline to provide for safe BOLTERs. Aka 'angle deck', 'the angle.'
Anti-Smash Light - The rotating or flashing anti-collision beacon on an aircraft.
AOW - Auxiliaryman Of (the) Watch. Also called 'the aux'.
Arresting Gear - Mechanism used to stop an aircraft safely aboard ship or ashore. In field use (ashore), may be a device as simple as lengths of anchor chain connected to a CROSS-DECK PENDANT. The chain device is usually referred to as 'overrun gear', as it acts to stop an aircraft which is about to run off of the prepared runway surface. Other types of arresting gear, ashore and afloat, involve complicated braking mechanisms.
AUX - (1) Verbal shorthand for 'auxiliary', as when referring to a machinery space, 'Aux One'. (2) Alternate form of AOW.
Baby Zero - Officer candidate.
Back in Battery - Originally an artillery term for a gun which has completed its recoil/postfiring cycle and is ready to fire again. Common usage now is 'ready to go', or recovered. Also seen as 'Back to Battery.' "I set my hair on fire last night, but five hours' rack time and I'm back in battery."
Bag - (1) Get, or collect. "Let's go bag some traps." (2) Stop, or leave. "Let's bag this project."
Ball (the) - The glowing image projected by the FRESNEL LENS. Gives glideslope reference.
Bandit - Air contact positively identified as hostile.
Barricade (the) - A device vaguely similar to a tennis net which can be rigged and used to stop an aircraft which is unable to trap. Aka 'barrier'. In the days of the straight-deck carriers, a series of devices rigged during normal landing operations to prevent an aircraft which failed to trap from smashing into THE PACK.
BB Stacker - Generically, any ORDIE.
Benny - A treat or reward, cf. 'benefit'.
Benny Sugg - Beneficial Suggestion program.
BFM - Basic Flight Maneuvers.
Bilge - (1) To fail or do poorly. "Poor Smitty bilged the quiz." (2) To name a classmate or shipmate involved in wrongdoing, or to identify a mistake made by someone else.
Bingo - (1) Fuel level or status requiring a return to base or vector to a tanker, 'bingo fuel'. As a verb, the act of returning to base or a tanker because of low fuel state.
Bird farm - Aircraft carrier.
Birds - (1) Term for the rank markings of a USN Captain or USMC Colonel (silver eagle, O-6 paygrade). (2) Generic, airplane. (3) Missiles, especially in the surface community. "Birds Free" means permission has been granted to fire missiles.
Bittersweet - A radio call signifying that friendly aircraft are in danger from a surface AAW missile launch.
Black-Hand Gang - See SNIPE. Older (ca. WW II), less politically- correct form is 'Black Gang'.
Black-shoe - Member of the surface or submarine community. Until recently, the only approved footwear for these communities was black in color. More recently, brown footwear is optional, but seldom seen due to tradition.
Blank flange - (1) A plate bolted onto an open pipe to prevent flooding or leaks while work is performed on a piping system. (2) Pancakes. (3) Someone who acts like an idiot (aka 'blank file').
Blivet - (1) Traditional, "10 pounds of sh*t in a five-pound sack." (2) A rubber fuel bladder. (3) A modified droptank (may be purpose-built or a field modification) used to haul small cargo, especially in tactical aircraft, or used to haul dangerous or toxic cargo outside of the aircraft.
Blowdown - A generic engineering term which can be used as noun or verb. A cleaning and/or venting process. Some specific applications: (1) A process for cleaning water-sides of a boiler. A top blow removes scum and floating contaminants, a bottom blow removes sludge. (2) To backflush and clean a SEACHEST. (3) The process of removing excess pressure from a system, or venting it completely.
Blue Force - Friendly forces in a wargame exercise.
Blue-on-Blue - A friendly-fire kill. RN term is 'own-goal.'
Bluenose - One who has crossed the Arctic Circle.
Blue-Shirt - Aviation Boatswain's Mate. During flight deck ops, wears a jersey color-coded blue. Responsible for positioning and chaining down aircraft. Aka 'Chock and Chain boys'. A type of KNUCKLEDRAGGER. Can often be a non-rated person.
Blue Water - Literally, 'deep water,' or 'deep draft,' but more traditionally, 'away from land.' A 'blue water navy' is capable of prosecuting battle away from shore-based support in vessels of sufficient size and endurance to do so safely.
Blue Water Ops -Flight ops carried out beyond range of a bingo or divert field. At this point it is literally sink or swim for the pilot--if he cannot trap successfully, he and his aircrew will have to eject.
Boarding Rate - The percentage of carrier approaches that result in successful arrestments. May be counted for a pilot, a squadron, or an airwing.
Boards - Speed Brakes
Boat - (1) Traditional term of reference for a submarine. (2) Traditional aviation term used to refer to an aircraft carrier. (3) Any small Naval vessel incapable of making regular independent voyages on the high seas.
Bogey - Unidentified air contact. May turn out to be friendly or hostile.
Bogey Dope - Radio calls to the intercepting fighter giving data on the bogey's position, course, altitude, etc.
Bogey dust - This is a CIC and Air Traffic term, but anywhere grease pencils were used, like the Air Boss' tote board, it applied. It was the dust generated by wiping grease pencil displays off. "By the end of flight ops, that station was half an inch deep in Bogey Dust!"
Bolter - The go-around that occurs when the carrier plane's tailhook misses the wires. Only possible on modern carriers with an ANGLED DECK (qv). Prior to the advent of the angled deck, missed wires resulted in a BARRICADE engagement or a crash into the PACK.
Bonedome - Flight helmet. Aka 'hardhat', 'brain bucket'.
Boondoggle - Travel which is more fun than functional. Applies to many schools.
Boresight - (1) A rough method of aligning guns to a sighting system. (2) Excessive concentration on one situation at a time of plenty. Tunnel vision. Aka "Head Up And Locked." (3) A location on the aircraft's datum line, often used as a center point for dogfight radar scan modes or when telling the RIO to get a lockup, goddammit!
Boot - Rookie.
Bounce - (1) Carrier landing practice. (2) (older usage) Surprise air-to-air attack by a fighter, usually from behind.
Brain Fart - Conceptual discontinuity. Loss of the bubble. Polite form: 'brain fade', 'brain cramp'.
Bravo Zulu - Phonetic pronunciation of 'BZ' from the NATO signals codes. signifies 'Good Job', or 'Well Done'.
Break (the) - Maneuver used by pilots of tactical aircraft to slow to pattern speed. Typically, a 180-degree turn to the downwind leg at 4.5-6 G's (depending on speed of entry).
Brown-Shirt - Aboard the carrier, a Plane Captain, who is identified by the brown jersey he wears.
Brownshoe - Member of the aviation community. Refers to the brown boots or shoes which once were worn by aviation personnel with the Aviation Green uniform. Unauthorized footgear for a while, but recently re-approved for all USN service communities.
Brown Water - Shallow water or shallow draft, especially a ship or force whose ships are not suited to deep (or open) water and deep- water combat.
Bug juice - A substance not entirely unlike Kool-Aid which is served as a beverage aboard ship. Its color has no bearing on its flavor. Largely composed of ascorbic acid. Used extensively as an all- purpose cleaner/stripper for bulkheads, decks, brass fire nozzles, and pipes.
Bug Out - 'Getting the hell out of dodge.' An escape maneuver from an air-to-air fight, generally consisting of unloading and selection of ZONE FIVE.
Bull Ensign - Senior ensign aboard. In multi-unit ships, such as a carrier with its airwing embarked, generally each squadron will have its own Bull Ensign.
Bull Nuke - Senior nuclear-trained CPO aboard a sub. Junior in authority to the COB.
Bullnose - A chock placed right over the stem, or 'in the eyes' of the ship.
Burner - In aviation, short for afterburner.
Buster - Aviation term for maximum speed available without using afterburners.
Butt - (obsolete) A wooden cask or barrel.
Butt Kit - Ashtray.
BOHICA - Acronym for "Bend Over, Here It Comes Again."
CAG - Carrier Air Group. Can also refer to the Carrier Air Group commander. Sometimes seen as CAW for Carrier or Commander Air Wing.
Call the Ball - A radio transmission from a pilot that he has sighted the BALL during approach to the carrier. Included in the call is his SIDE NUMBER, aircraft type (to ensure proper ARRESTING GEAR settings), and amount of fuel onboard in thousands of pounds, e.g. '205 Tomcat ball, 3.5'.
Camel Station - Rendezvous point for ships in the Indian Ocean.
Cannon Cocker - Gunnery specialist.
CAP - Combat Air Patrol. Usually defensive in nature. There are several types: TARCAP (TARget CAP), BARCAP (BARrier CAP), RESCAP (REScue CAP, i.e. for SAR operations).
Captain's Mast - Non-judicial disciplinary procedure, usually meted out by unit commanders.
CAVU - Aviation term, short for 'Ceiling And Visibility Unlimited'.
Charlie Oscar - Commanding Officer.
Charlie Sierra - Chicken s***, i.e. tacky or meaningless.
Charlie Time - Assigned time for carrier aircraft to land. "Signal Charlie" means 'come on down and land upon arrival.'
Cheng - CHief ENGineer. Pronounced 'chang'.
CIWS - Close-In Weapon System. The Vulcan Phalanx anti-missile system, comprised of a radar system and rotary-barreled Gatling gun. A newer version, Goalkeeper, uses the GAU-8 30mm Gatling gun found in the A-10 Thunderbolt. Derisive interpretations: 'Christ, It Won't Shoot', 'Captain, It Won't Shoot'.
Clear Datum - (1) Submarine: to leave the area where you have been detected (see DATUM). (2) To leave the scene of the crime, especially when liquor and members of the opposite sex are involved, and particularly if the member of the opposite sex in question is ugly.
Clara - The radio call from a carrier pilot on approach signifying that he has not sighted the BALL. May be due to weather conditions.
Clobbered - Weathered in, as in "We made a good approach, but the field was clobbered and we had to divert."
CMC - Command Master Chief. Similar to the COB, but for surface, shore, and aviation commands.
CO - Commanding Officer. The captain or skipper of a vessel. Generally spoken as 'Charley Oscar'.
Coffeepot - Nuclear reactor. Aka TEAKETTLE.
Cold Cat - When the Cat, for whatever reason, failed to deliver full power. It's said that pilots needed to have a good relationship with the cat crews, otherwise they might get one of these. Caused some messy aborts.
Collision Mat - Pancake.
Condition 1 - General Quarters (battle stations). May be modified for certain conditions, such as Condition 1AS, in which all antisubmarine watch stations and weapons are manned, but AAW stations may not be. Modified conditions are used to minimize crew fatigue, which can be a significant factor over a prolonged period at battle stations.
Condition 2 - A material condition of readiness commonly associated with wartime steaming where some, usually half, of the ship's weapons are kept in a manned and ready status.
Condition 3 - A material condition of readiness commonly associated with peacetime steaming.
Counter battery - Firing on enemy artillery. 'Doing unto them before they can do unto you.'
Cranie - Protective headgear worn by flight deck crewmembers. Incorporates hearing protection and impact protection. May be color-coded like the flight-deck jerseys.
Crank - See MESSCRANK.
Crash and Smash Crew (or Team) - Crash and Rescue personnel. They wear red flight deck jerseys.
Crinkleneck - Small fish that wait for waste to drop from the SCUTTLE. Derogatory term for officers and enlisted that figuratively do the same.
Critter fritters - Fried mystery meat.
Cross-Decking - The practice of transferring men and/or equipment from one ship to another, especially when transferring from a ship returning from deployment to a ship departing or about to depart on deployment.
Cross-Deck Pendant - The wire (cable) which the hook of a carrier aircraft catches to accomplish an arrested landing.
Crow - The rate insignia of a Petty Officer (E-4 and above), so-called because of the eagle surmounting the rate chevrons. "Tacking the crow" refers to the practice of punching the arm of a newly promoted PO.
Cumshaw - Procurement of needed material outside the supply chain, usually by swapping, barter, or mutual backscratching. Often involves coffee.
DC - Damage Control.
DCA - Damage Control Assistant. Responsible, under the Chief Engineer, for damage control and stability of a ship.
Dead Horse - An interest-free loan which is paid off via payroll deduction. Often used to cover relocation expenses, or to pay back a disbursing error which was originally in your favor.
Deck ape - Surface fleet personnel, usually Boatswain's Mates, that care for topside gear and equipment. A type of KNUCKLE-DRAGGER.
Deep Six - Originally, a call of the leadsman signifying that the water is more than 6 fathoms deep. Euphemism used to refer to anything that ends up in the water. Used as a verb for throwing something overboard. Also 'splash', 'float check', 'float test'.
Dip - To lower a sonar transducer into the water from a hovering helicopter.
Dive the intakes - Cleaning engine intakes, usually by crawling into them.
Dixie Cup - The USN sailor's white hat. Aka whitehat.
Dixie Station - One of the two positions typically occupied by an aircraft carrier off the coast of Vietnam. 'Dixie' was the southern station, tasked with troop support (CAS).
Dog Watch - A shortened watch period. Generally, two two-hour watches, designated First and Second, arranged so that personnel on watch can eat the evening meal. Usually 16:00 to 18:00, and 18:00 to 20:00. Also serves to alternate the daily watch routine so sailors with the midwatch one night will not have it the next time. Origin of term unclear.
Donkey dick - (1) The nozzle of an inline proportioner in a firefighting hoseline for AFFF. Note: this term is also used for literally dozens of other objects in the naval service.
Double Nuts - Aircraft with side number zero-zero. Often the CAG's bird.
DOW - Diving Officer of the Watch.
Down to the Short Strokes - Nearly done, or finished.
Draeger Tubes - An older method of sampling atmosphere. A hand-held pump is used to draw samples into the test system.
Droplights - Red lights arranged vertically below the RAMP, on the approach centerline, on the carrier's stern. Used to provide lineup cues for night landings.
D.R.T. - Ancient technology now, but in the CIC, it was a machine whose inputs were course and speed only. [see below, Set & Drift] The table, on which tracing paper was spread, had a lighted shuttle under it, which would be guided by those inputs. As it tracked under the paper, a dot would be generated by the watch stander there, every three minutes. A 'drafting table' type arm was then used to mark all contacts, which were called out [bearing and range] every three minutes. The ultimate in boredom, especially when we weren't flying. It was never turned off, even during transit to Sydney - hours and hours with no contacts whatever.
DTG - (1) Days To Go. Short-timer's record-keeping. (2) Date-Time Group, part of the header of a message which indicates the date, time, and timezone of the message's origin.
8 o'clock Reports - Reports made by all department heads to the XO, who then takes them to the CO. The reports usually consist of equipment reports and position reports, significant events of the day or of the day to come, etc.
EMCON - Emissions Control. Various conditions of electronic silence. 'EMCON Alpha' is total emissions silence, 'EMCON Bravo' allows radiation of certain non-type specific emitters, etc.
EMI - Extra Military Instruction. Duties assigned as punishment which are also intended to improve one's military knowledge. Chipping paint would not qualify as EMI, while inventorying the ship's pubs would.
EOOW - Engineer Officer Of the Watch. Pronounced 'ee-ow'.
Essence - Good, pleasant, or attractive. "Having a totally essence time--the weather is here, wish you were beautiful."
Evap - Distilling unit, aka 'the still'. Used to produce fresh water at sea, both for the boilers and for potable usage.
FAG - Fighter-Attack Guy. The pilot of an F/A-18.
Fancy Dinns - Steak and wine night at sea. Usually hosted by the various departments.
Feet Wet/Dry - Whenever one of our flights was either over land [dry] or water [wet, of course!], the local air control ship would give us the flight number and progress in these terms.
FESTA - (obsolete) Fire Extinguishing System, Twin Agent. An installation which pairs an AFFF-dispensing system with a PKP- dispensing system. Often found in engineering spaces. See TAU.
Field Day - To scrub or otherwise clean a ship's spaces. Usually ordered when the COB or the XO thinks morale is low.
FIIL Board - Usually found in Supply spaces that had access to a piece of Plexiglass. The ones that I saw had at the top
FIIL then it listed the name of the crewmember with the number of days to go. It had today's date and the number of days the member had to go ----- F*** It I'm Leaving
FIGMO - F*** It, (I) Got My Orders. 'Go away and don't bother me'. (no polite form)
First Lieutenant - Deck Division officer aboard ship, or officer responsible for general seamanship and deck evolutions. In a ship with a large deck department, especially where it is key to the ship's mission, such as a carrier or amphib, generally the deck department head.
Flaming Datum - A burning ship or a missile breaking water. See also DATUM.
Float Test - Testing the buoyant qualities of unwanted material while at sea.
FOD - Foreign Object Damage. Can be used as a noun ("Look at the piece of FOD I picked up.") or a verb ("Dave FODded his engine last night.") Any object , including people, which might be sucked into and thereby damage a jet engine
FOD walkdown - (1) Unpopular activity aboard aviation ships where all personnel not actually on watch, and all 'gawkers, walkers, and talkers' line up and walk the flight deck from end to end, picking up any object that might damage an engine or, if picked up by jet blast, an eye. The human broom picking up any and every small item on the flight deck.
Foul Deck - A flight deck which is unsafe for landings. May be due to a crash, location of an aircraft, gear, or personnel, or condition of the deck surface.
Foul Line - Painted lines on the flight deck which delineate an area which must be kept clear for flight operations to proceed safely.
Fox One (two, three, etc.) - Used to report the launch of a air-to-air missile, from the phonetic 'Foxtrot' (F). 'Fox One' is a radar missile, usually Sparrow or AIM-120. 'Fox Two' is a heat- seeking missile, e.g. the Sidewinder. 'Fox Three' is a Phoenix (AIM-54) missile (the Air Force sometimes uses this to report firing of guns.) 'Fox Four' is sometimes used derisively to refer to a midair collision.
Fresh Air Snipe - Rates which spend some of their time in the engineering spaces, and are members of the Engineering Dept., but do not work solely with engineering machinery. Includes rates such as IC (Interior Communications Electrician) and EM (Electrician's Mate).
Fresnel Lens - An arrangement of lights that gives a pilot on approach glideslope information during approach to an arrested landing, and can be used to signal a waveoff command. A yellow image, called 'the ball' is visible to the pilot on approach. If the ball is lined up with a row of green 'datum' lights, the aircraft is on glideslope. The ball turns red if the pilot gets too low. Found also on almost all Naval Air Stations. A simplified form is mounted on ships which operate helicopters.
FTN - 'F*** The Navy.' Term used by short-timers, attitude cases, and sailors having a bad day. Facetiously, Fun-Time Navy.
FTN Space (the) - An obscure, hard-to-get-to space, compartment, or void used to hide from officers or chiefs. According to legend, some ships have had such spaces which did not show up on the blueprints at all.
FUBAR - F***** Up Beyond All Recognition.
F.U.S.D.A.P. - Forward & Up, Starboard, Down & Aft, Port: Directions to get to your station, from whatever point you had been standing [chow line?], during General Quarters. Not following these directions would be likely to get you trampled; once the water-tight condition was set, you'd be stranded. Also, a mildly derogatory term, applied to fresh meat. "He's seaman FUSDAP."
Gate - Aviation term for maximum afterburners. Aka 'zone five'.
Gear (the) - Arresting gear.
Geedunk, gedunk - (1) Dessert/junk food/candy, or a place to buy same. Aka 'pogey bait'. (2) "Extras" or benefits, awards, ribbons, or medals. (3) Easy or "sweet" duty.
GIB - "Guy In Back". More common in Air Force usage, refers to the backseater (non-pilot, NFO) of a 2-place tactical aircraft. In USN/USMC fighters, more commonly called the RIO. In A-6's, the Bombardier/Navigator or BN, even though he sits beside the pilot. In S-3 Vikings, more properly an Overwater Jet Navigator (OJN).
GLOC - G-induced Loss Of Consciousness. Pronounced 'gee-lock'. Can be induced by magnitude of the G load, or by the rate at which G's are applied.
Goat Locker - Chiefs' Quarters and Mess. The term originated during the era of wooden ships, when Chiefs were given charge of the milk goats on board.
Golden BB - That one bullet that ruins your day in a dogfight or when conducting ground attacks.
Golden Rivet - The mythical last rivet which completes a ship. Generally found in the depths of the engineering spaces, a maneuver used to get a female guest to bend over. "And if you look 'way down there, you can see the golden rivet!"
Golden Shellback - One who has crossed the Equator at the International Date Line.
Gonzo Station - The rendezvous point for aircraft carrier battle groups off the Straits of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.
Gorilla Snot - that brown, viscous, all purpose glue.
Gouge (the) - Information, or the 'inside scoop'. Aka 'the poop'. See SCUTTLEBUTT.
GQ - General Quarters. The call for all hands to man battle stations. Can be used for almost any shipwide emergency.
Grape - (1) Easy pickings, esp. in ACM. (2) Member of the flight deck fuels crew, who wear purple jerseys.
Grape sig - An easy signature on your quals, generally given in return of a favor. The signature is usually in purple ink, and the practice is frowned upon.
Grunt - Marine infantry. Aka Leatherneck.
G-suit - A piece of gear worn by flight crews in tactical aircraft. Uses compressed air to squeeze the calves, thighs, and stomach to reduce the effects of G's.
Gun Boss - WEPS.
Gundeck - To mark a maintenance or PMS check as complete without doing the work. Aka 'Pencil-whipping'. Intentionally falsifying logs or records. Aka 'Radioing in' a report. May also be used to refer to work that is logged before it is performed.
Gunner - (1) Aviation: the CAG Weapons Officer. Responsible for the air-launched weapons. (2) Surface: Term of address for a Warrant Officer gunnery specialist.
Gunny - Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant (E-7).
Hack - (1) Informal confinement to quarters or to squadron spaces. (2) Time check, though this usage is more common to USAF than USN.
H and I - A military mission emphasizing Harassment and Interdiction of enemy forces and supply routes.
Hatch - An opening in the deck, and its closure. Sometimes used to mean a watertight door, which is mounted vertically in a bulkhead.
Heaving Deck - Call from the LSO to a pilot on approach that the vertical movement of the deck due to the action of wind and wave is sufficient to be a factor in the approach.
Hi-Pac - High Pressure Air Compressor.
Hold Down - (obsolete) In ASW, to hold contact on a sub long enough to force it to surface due to battery exhaustion or lack of oxygen aboard.
Hollywood shower - An excessively long shower.
Hook Point - The part of the tailhook that actually engages the wires. It is replaced periodically, as it is worn down by contact with the deck or by field arrestment. Field traps are particularly rough on the hook point, as runouts are much longer.
Hoover - (1) S-3 Viking, so called for the vacuum cleaner-like sound of its turbofan engines. (2) Any jet aircraft, for their tendency to suck objects and debris up off the ground, especially one with a chin or beard intake, such as the A-7 Corsair II.
Horse-c*** - Sandwich meat, usually served at MIDRATS, made with mystery meat masquerading as bologna or other lunch meat. The legendary 'tube steak.' Aka 'Cylindrical Sirloin', 'Fillet of Mule Tool.'
Huffer - A cart used to provide start air to an aircraft.
Hummer - (1) E-2 Hawkeye, so-called for the sound of its turboprop engines. ( 2) Any propeller-driven aircraft.
Hung Ordinance - A harbinger of tension for flight deck crews, when an aircraft 'in the groove' [see below] had ordinance which was hanging by one hook, and couldn't shake it off. The flight deck P.A. announcement went like this: "Heads up on the flight deck, F-4 in the groove! HUNG ORDINANCE!"
Hunter-killer - FAST ATTACK sub.
IFR - Instrument Flight Rules. Derisively, 'I Follow Roads'. An FAA-defined set of flight rules where the aircraft is under positive radar control. Legal responsibility for safe flight and collision avoidance rests with the Air Traffic Control center, although a certain amount of legal and moral responsibility always rests with the pilot(s). Has nothing to do with meteorological conditions.
Illumination - (abb. 'illum') (1) The targeting of an object with
radar, especially for weapons guidance purposes. Differs from 'PAINT'
(qv) in that painting is generally used to denote detection and
tracking, while illumination is generally for guidance of missiles.
Illumination Round - Star shell
IMC - Instrument Meteorological Conditions. A set of FAA-defined criteria for inflight visibility.
Inflight Arrestment - Occurs during an arrested landing if the hook engages while the main gear are not on deck. Generally the result of a significantly non-excellent approach, visually it looks like what happens to the dog in the cartoon when he hits the end of the chain. Aircraft damage can result.
In the Groove - See 'hung ordinance': the very last portion on a plane's approach, [50 yards?] when they were 'calling the ball'. "Heads up on the flight deck, A-4 in the groove!"
Irish Pennant - More generically, any dangling or loose thread on a uniform, or lines left adrift or dangling from upper works or rigging of the ship.
Jack - The Union Jack, a small flag flown from the jackstaff on the bow of USN ships inport; has a blue field and 50 white stars. It is also flown from the yardarm when a court martial or court of inquiry is in session aboard. (3) To slowly turn the propeller shaft or shafts of a ship when engines are stopped, both to maintain the oil film in shaft bearings and to prevent shaft bowing.
Jacking Gear - The machinery used to jack a shaft. May also be used to lock the shaft.
JANFU - Joint Army-Navy F***-Up.
Jarhead - GRUNT.
Joe S*** the Ragman - The generic dirtbag or screwup. Also seen as 'J.S. Ragman'. Aka Seaman Jones.
Judy - Radio call signifying that the fighter has radar contact on the BANDIT and can complete the intercept without further assistance.
King Neptune - The mythological God of the Sea. He always presides, with his court, at the LINE-CROSSING CEREMONY.
Knee-knockers - The coaming of a watertight door or bulkhead opening. These coamings are a foot or so off the deck. So called because they can wreak havoc on the shins of those new to a ship.
Knuckle-dragger - Any sailor whose job requires more brawn than brain. See DECK APE, ORDIE.
Leatherneck - Marine. Derives from the historical use of a leather collar, ostensibly to protect the neck from saber cuts. Also GRUNT, JARHEAD, MUDPUPPY. All terms frequently modified by Naval personnel with the adjective "f******".
Lens (the) - See FRESNEL LENS
Light Water - AFFF.
Line-Crossing Ceremony - The ceremony which turns POLLYWOGs into SHELLBACKs. Enjoyed much more by the Shellbacks than by the 'Wogs. Held when a vessel crosses the Equator. During the ceremony, POLLYWOGS are made to go through a number of ordeals, each more disgusting than the last. These trials are conducted in full view of KING NEPTUNE and his court. Once the ceremony is completed, the POLLYWOG is now a SHELLBACK. Similar ceremonies are conducted for Orders of the BLUENOSE and REDNOSE.
Loadtoad - See REDSHIRT.
Log Room - An engineering space used for engineering admin purposes, often used as the office for the engineering dept.
Low-Pac - LOw Pressure Air Compressor
LSO - Landing Signals Officer. Aka 'Paddles'. A specially-qualified pilot who observes landing approaches aboard a carrier. A pilot's 'passes' (approaches) are critiqued and graded as follows: OK ('okay underline pass') is the elusive perfect pass, and counts as 4 points. OK ('okay pass') counts 3 points. A 'no grade pass' is worth 2 points; A 'bolter pass' (which grade can be assigned whether the aircraft traps successfully or not) is worth 1 point. A 'cut pass' counts zero points and is considered to have put ship, plane, and pilot in danger.
Lucky bag - (1) A compartment maintained by the Chief Master at Arms where gear adrift is stored. Personnel can retrieve gear adrift items by working off EMI. If after a period of time the items are not claimed, they are sold with the funds going to the Rec Fund.
MAD - (1) Magnetic Anomaly Detector; as in MAD boom, MAD bird. (2) Marine Aviation Detachment.
MADMAN - The call of the MAD operator when his gear detects an undersea object (ostensibly, a submarine).
Mail Buoy - alt. Mail Buoy Watch. A practical joke pulled on inexperienced crewmembers and midshipmen which revolves around convincing the victim that mail is delivered to a ship at sea via a buoy.
Main Control - The engineering space from which the operations of the engineering spaces are controlled. Watchstation of the EOOW.
Main Space - The engine room.
Make a play for the deck - A maneuver guaranteed to attract the ire of the LSO, where the pilot tries to salvage a non-excellent approach with a dive for the deck and the arresting wires. Can result in damage to the aircraft, even a rampstrike. Improves the BOARDING RATE but costs at the GREENIE BOARD.
MARDET - Marine Detachment.
Masker - A noise-reduction system which pumps air into the water from belts in the vicinity of the engineering spaces.
Material Condition Xray - A material condition where fittings or closures (hatches, watertight doors, valves, flappers, etc.) marked with an 'X' ('X-ray, in the phonetic alphabet) must be closed. Generally seen only inport. Surface ships only.
Material Condition Yoke - Closures marked 'X' and 'Y' must be kept closed. This is the normal daylight underway material condition, and represents a minimal condition of watertight integrity.
Material Condition Zebra - All fittings and closures marked 'X', 'Y', and 'Z' must be closed. Maximum watertight integrity. "Set Condition Zebra" is the command to close all water-tight doors, hatches, and fittings throughout the ship. Usually follows the call to GQ.
Material Condition Circle William - A material condition involving ventilation fittings and machinery marked with a 'W' inside a circle. Used to control the spread of smoke in a fire belowdecks, or in preparation for an NBC attack.
Max Conserve - Signal to aircraft to use power levels appropriate for maximum endurance. 'Loiter' is similar, although loitering usually involves staying in one place. 'Max Conserve' more properly applies to an aircraft flying a long-range profile.
MCAS - Marine Corps Air Station.
Meatball - (obsolete) A system in which a red light was reflected off a large parabolic mirror and projected aft to provide glideslope input to the pilot on approach. In common usage today, synonymous with the luminous yellow display of the FRESNEL LENS system, which replaced it.
Messcrank - aka CRANK. Food service personnel, especially nonrated personnel provided by the ship's other departments (non-Supply depts.) to perform scutwork such as busing tables, washing dishes, etc.
Mickey Mouse Book - See PIPING TAB.
Midrats - Food served at midnight for offgoing watchstanders. Usually a combination of leftovers, plus something new to round out the service.
Midwatch - A watch stood from midnight (2400) until 4 a.m. (0400).
Military power - Aviation term for maximum 'dry' power, i.e. without afterburner.
MMR - Main Machinery Room.
Monkey dicks - Sausages.
Monkey on a stick - Derisive term for dish similar to satay chicken, served on skewers, by street vendors in any port of call. In third- world countries, only consumed by drunk sailors and Marines, due to questionable sanitation practices.
Monkey Fist - The complex knot surrounding (sometimes taking the place of) the weight on the end of a heaving line.
Monkey S*** - Room-temperature-vulcanizing packing material used for stuffing tubes, etc.
MPA - Main Propulsion Assistant. Division Officer for MP Division, the group that operates and maintains the ship's main engines.
Muscle Bosun - Physical Training rating.
Mustang - An officer who has 'come up through the ranks', i.e. started out as an enlisted man and earned a commission.
NAAF - Naval Auxiliary Air Field
NALF - Naval Air Landing Field
NAF - Naval Air Facility
NAM - Navy Achievement Medal. Said to be given to SONAR GIRLS for tracking a stationary object.
NAS - Naval Air Station
Nav (the) - (1) Navigator, or having to do with navigation.
NavSta - Naval Station.
Navigator - Officer responsible, under the captain, for safe navigation of the ship. Aka 'Gator', 'Nagivator', 'Old Clueless'.
Navy Shower - I don't recall what the little valves, always attached to the shower head, were called. There might be a slang term, but I have forgotten it. But the shower itself was the opposite of the Hollywood Shower - get in, rinse off, shut the valve. Soap down, open the valve, rinse off, exit the shower. Five minutes, max.
NBC Warfare - Nuclear/Biological/Chemical Warfare.
NFO - Naval Flight Officer. Derisively, Non-Flying Officer.
NJP - Non-Judicial Punishment. See CAPTAIN'S MAST.
Nonskid - An epoxy compound applied to deck surfaces to improve traction for feet and wheels. At the end of a cruise, when a flight deck's nonskid is mostly gone, not to mention oily and/or greasy, taxiing or landing can be even more of an adventure. Usually applied to all weather decks of any ship.
NQP - Non-Qual-Puke. (submarines only) One who has not yet received his DOLPHINS. Also used as a derogatory term for a Dolphin wearer who screws up on something he should have known.
Nugget - First-tour pilot or NFO. A diamond in the rough, or at least with a few rough edges.
Nuke, nuc - Nuclear-trained crewmember, whether surface or sub.
OBA - Oxygen Breathing Apparatus. An oxygen generating and rebreathing system used for firefighting.
OBE - Overcome By Events. Eaten by the snakes in the cockpit; the victim of task saturation. What happens to the pilot who forgets that his actions go in the following order: Aviate, Navigate, Communicate.
OD - Derogatory term for anyone acting 'green'. Frequently modified with the adjective "f******".
O-ganger - Officer.
Oh Dark Thirty - Very late at night, or very early in the morning. Aka Zero Dark Thirty.
1MC - The basic one-way communications system on a vessel. Reaches all spaces on a ship. Used for general announcements, and to transmit general alarm system signals. Control stations are located on the bridge, quarterdeck, and central station. Other transmitters may be installed at additional points. There are other MC and JV circuits used for communications within the ship. They are typically system- specific, i.e. weapons systems, navigation communication, engineering systems, firefighting, etc.
130-rpm fish - A form of sea life (type unknown) which makes a sound very similar to a propeller turning at 130 rpm.
Orange Force - Opposing force in a wargame exercise.
Order of the Golden Dragon - Awarded for crossing the equator at the International Date Line. An event similar to a LINE-CROSSING CEREMONY is staged for the victim's benefit.
Ordie - See REDSHIRT.
Oscar - (1) The dummy used for man overboard drills. (2) The international signal flag hoisted for "man overboard".
Own Goal - See BLUE ON BLUE.
Pack (the) - Aircraft arranged about the deck of an aircraft carrier, especially forward of the landing area.
Padeye - (1) A recessed tie-down point on a flight deck or a flight line. (2) Almost any anchor point on a bulkhead or deck.
Paint - To track or detect an object with radar.
Papa Hotel - Phonetic pronunciation of the signal 'P-H'. Acronym for "all hands return to ship".
Parrot - IFF transponder
Paygrade - Alphanumeric designation corresponding to rank (officer) or rating (enlisted). Used to denote pay level or as an analog to rank/rating. For example, O-1 is an Ensign (USN/USCG) or 2nd Lieutenant (USA/USMC/USAF); an E-1 is a Seaman Recruit (USN) or Basic Airman (USAF).
Peeping Tom - An F-14 Tomcat fitted with the TARPs pod. Reconnaissance Tomcat.
Pigeons, Pigeon Steer - Heading and distance to homeplate. "Your pigeons 285 for 125 miles."
Pigging, pigged - The use of a prepared expendable ship (engines run by remote control, no crew below decks) run over a mined area repeatedly to trigger influence-type mines. The drone ship is a 'guinea pig'. An area cleared of mines is said to be "pigged".
Pig of the Port - The least attractive member of the opposite sex brought aboard during a port visit. Awards and honors are often granted.
Pinkie - A landing occurring at first or last light which is generally counted as a night landing (night landings are logged separately).
Piping TAB - On submarines, a book that has all the systems drawn out. Used as a study guide. TAB stands for Training Aid Booklet, and actually there are two, one for piping systems and one for electrical systems. The systems bibles. Aka 'The Mickey Mouse Book'.
Pistol - (Aviation) The gun, whether built-in or podded.
PKP - Purple K Powder. Potassium carbonate. A dry firefighting agent that chemically prevents combustion.
Plastic Bug - Derisive term for the F/A-18, due to the large proportion of synthetic materials in its makeup.
PLAT - Pilot Landing Aid Television. Two cameras which record landings aboard the carrier. One is mounted flush in the landing area of the flight deck, one is mounted on the island. Often called upon to resolve pissing contests between pilots and LSOs.
Podunk - A small town, or one's hometown.
Police - Pick up or clean up. 'Policing the brass' would be to shine or clean brass fittings and/or fixtures or, on a firing range, to pick up expended brass..
Pollywog, polliwog - One who has never crossed the Equator and become a SHELLBACK. Aka 'wog'. Frequently modified by the adjective "slimy".
Pollywog Ceremony - See LINE-CROSSING CEREMONY.
Poopie Suit - (1) Blue coveralls worn by sub crews underway. (2) Immersion survival suit worn by aviators in cold-water ops.
Pogue or POG- originally a Marine term, derogotary in nature, usually directed at sailors
PQS - Personnel Qualification System. A method of formalizing and tracking the qualification process of personnel toward watchstation certification. Often abbreviated as 'Qual System'. Used by all warfare specialties, but has reached its ultimate in the submarine service.
Prarie - A noise-masking system which pumps air out of holes in a screw blade to reduce cavitation noises.
Pucker Factor - A measure of the stressfulness of a situation. High pucker factor events are usually accompanied by 'that old sinking feeling'.
Punch Elvis - Eject.
Purchase Cable - The part of the arresting gear that connects the CROSS-DECK PENDANT to the arresting engines belowdecks.
Qual card - A listing of necessary PQS qualification points. Each completed goal is acknowledged by the signature of the appropriate duty Chief or other authorized signer.
Queer - (1) An EA-6 Prowler, or the pilot of same, from the VAQ squadron identifier.
Rack - Bed, especially the combination bed and locker found as enlisted sleeping accommodations.
Radioing a Report - See GUNDECKING.
Ramp (the) - The aftmost several feet of the flight deck. Slopes toward the water at about 45 degrees. Aka 'ROUND-DOWN'.
Ramp Strike - Occurs when an aircraft on carrier approach lands short and hits the RAMP. Damage sustained can range from loss of the hook point to destruction of the aircraft.
Rate - Enlisted rank.
Rating - Enlisted specialty, e.g. GSM (Gas Turbine Specialist, Mechanic), GMG (Gunner's Mate, Gun), etc.
RCH - Smallest unit of linear measurement known.
Redass - Official flap about something of little consequence. A pain in the butt. "Man, that gender sensitivity training was a real redass."
Rednose - One who has crossed the Antarctic Circle.
Redout - A condition caused by excessive negative G's. Temporary loss or obstruction of vision caused by too much blood in the retinas.
Redshirt - Aviation Ordnanceman. Wears a red jersey. Responsible for loading and downloading ordnance from aircraft, and other ordnance-handling duties such as assembling and attaching guidance packages. Aka 'ordie', 'loadtoad'. Members of Crash and Smash Team also wear red jerseys.
Reheat - British term for afterburners.
Ring Knocker - US Naval Academy graduate
RIO - Radar Intercept Officer. Aka the 'GIB'.
ROAD - aka 'ROAD Program.' Retired On Active Duty. A (non)work strategy employed by some senior members of the naval service.
RON - Remain overnight.
Round-Down - See RAMP.
Royal Baby - The junior (or, often, the fattest) member of KING NEPTUNE's court. During the LINE-CROSSING CEREMONY, all POLLYWOGS must kiss his belly, which is usually smeared with grease, oil, or salad dressing.
RTB - Return To Base.
Rug Dance - Quality time spent with a senior officer or NCO, usually in a very one-sided conversation. Typical topics of discussion include one's parentage and probable eventual fate. Aka 'chewing out.'
Sandcrab - A sideways-walking, scavenging beach creature. Refers to a civilian Naval contractor or civil service.
SAPFU - Surpassing All Previous F***-Ups.
Screw the Pooch - Mess up, especially a serious mistake. Aka 'dick the dog'.
Scuttle - (1) A water-tight opening set in a hatch or bulkhead. (2) To intentionally sink a ship or object. (3) To punch a hole in something.
Scuttlebutt - (1) Drinking fountain; Originally, a BUTT with a hole punched in the top, used to hold drinking water for crew access in sailing ships. (2) Gossip or rumors. Originated from the habit of crewmembers of talking while at the scuttlebutt.
Sea Bat - A practical joke akin to a snipe hunt.
Sea Chest - The cavity inside a SEA SUCTION from which pumps draw seawater to circulate it, often for cooling purposes.
Sea Daddy - Someone who takes a less-experienced crewmember under his or her wing and expert tutelage. Often, when a CPO takes care of and educates a boot ensign.
Sea Lawyer - Someone who professes to have significant knowledge of the fine points of the rules and regs. This knowledge is often used for personal gain, or to claim why something cannot be done.
Sea Suction - Underwater opening in a ship's hull. May be several feet in diameter. Usually fitted with a grating to prevent the entry of large, unwanted objects such as divers and other sea life.
Set & drift - A navigational term, referring to the effect of current and wind on the course of any ship or boat underway. Explained more thoroughly in the next slang term.
Shaft Alley - Engineering space aft of engine rooms, where propeller shafts pierce the hull. Location of shaft seals, etc.
Shellback - One who has crossed the Equator. Frequently modified with the adjective "trusty".
Shellback Ceremony - See LINE-CROSSING CEREMONY.
Shift Colors - When a ship moors, the national colors are broken on the stern, the Jack is broken on the bow, and the national colors ("steaming colors") are hauled down at the masthead as soon as the first line goes over. When the ship gets underway, as soon as the last line is cast off the dock, the Jack and colors are struck at bow and stern while the national ensign is broken at the masthead.
Ship's head - No, not what you think! It's the exact compass point that the ship's bow is turned toward. Let's say that point is 180, due south. If the current is 240 degrees, 3 knots, and the wind is 090 at 12 knots, the ship, though the ship's head is 180, would likely have a course of 165. Depending on the speed, there might be some effect there, as well. "It doesn't matter where the ship's head is, if you don't account for set and drift, no telling where you'll end up!" Also vital for flight ops. Forty knots across the deck was required to launch F-4s. Turning into a 40 knot wind was a no-brainer; but rarely did we have one of those. .
Shooter - The catapult officer. The one who directs the firing of the catapult.
Short - (or short-timer) Someone whose rotation or transfer date is rapidly approaching. Can lead to usage of FIGMO.
Short-Timer's Chain - A length of chain carried by a short-timer, where the number of links equals the number of days remaining before discharge. Each day, the short-timer cuts off another link.
Side number - Numbers painted on the nose of an aircraft to serialize it as to type and squadron. 1XX and 2XX are fighters. 3XX and 4XX are attack aircraft. 5XX is the EW (EA-6 Prowler) detachment, 6XX is the E-2 Hawkeye detachment, and 7XX is the ASW (Viking) squadron.
Sierra Hotel - From the phonetic alphabet for SH, the polite form of 'Sh*t Hot'. Excellent, skilled, etc. "Man, that was a sierra hotel takeoff."
the Six 'S'ses - Actually, we're using a diphthong here, so we could be more accurate. "Shit, shave, shower, shine shoes, and shove off!" Usually said as quickly as possible, in exhuberance - the speaker was about to go ashore.
Situational Awareness - Especially in aviation, one's awareness of the surroundings, circumstances, and tactical situation, though it is used in all warfare communities. Loss of situational awareness is often fatal in combat, and can be fatal at other times as well.
Skimmer - A surface ship, or officers/crew of same. Frequently modified by members of the submarine community with the adjective "f******".
Skivvy Waver - Signalman.
Skivvy Folder - Parachute rigger.
Skosh - From the Japanese sukoshi, literally 'small' or 'little'. The F-5 was long known as the Skoshi Tiger. (1) Little or low, as in "They better get that foul deck cleared; Dave's coming in skosh fuel." (2) Fast, or quickly, as in "We need to get this job done most skosh."
Slammer - The AIM-120 AMRAAM missile, which is in service but has not been assigned an official name, although 'Bounty Hunter' appears in some early Hughes Missile Systems documents.
Sliders - Hamburgers. So greasy, they "slide".
Sliders with lids - Cheeseburgers.
Small boy - Frigate or destroyer.
Smoking Lamp - From the square-rigger days, a lamp from which personnel could light their pipes or cigars. In contemporary usage, signifies whether smoking is permitted or not. If the smoking lamp is out, no smoking is permitted.
SNAFU - Situation Normal, All F***** Up.
Snake-eater - SEAL's and other Special Forces personnel.
Snipe - Crew members in the engineering rates; someone who works in the engineering spaces and seldom is seen topside when underway. MM's (Machinist's Mates) and BT's (Boiler Technicians) are ultimate snipes. In today's modern gas turbine fleet, also includes GSM (Gas Turbine Specialist, Mechanic), GSE (Gas Turbine Specialist, Electrician), and EN (Engineman). It is believed that true snipes cannot stand direct sunlight or fresh air, must have machine oil in their coffee in order to survive, and get nosebleeds at altitudes above the waterline. It is also firmly believed that fresh-air sailors who venture into SNIPE COUNTRY are never seen again.
Snipe Country - The engineering spaces, bilges, and voids where the snipes dwell. Considered to be extremely dangerous territory for non-snipes. "The snipes will get you" is commonly used to deter sailors from going too far below decks.
Snivel - (1) A request that one not be assigned a watch or other duty (flight, etc.) due to other obligations. (2) A log for recording same, the 'Snivel Log'. (3) Whining.
SpecOps - Special Operations. Any mention of SpecOps is followed with "If I told you, I'd have to kill you."
Speeding Ticket - A citation written by the MAA, often for a Charley Sierra infraction such as "out of uniform."
Splash - Signifies an air-to-air kill, e.g. "Cowboy one-six, splash one."
Splice the Main Brace - Have a drink. Originated in the days of the sailing navies.
Squared Away - Ready for inspection. Or, fully trained on a certain piece of gear. Also, having one's shit together - and sometimes, in derision, NOT having one's shit together.
Squawk - To use an IFF transponder, or the numeric code set into such a device.
Squid - Sailor. Frequently modified by the other services, especially Marines, with the adjective "f******".
Spads - After the biplane of the same name, propeller driven craft, used for close air support. Often, they carried 'zoonie' rockets. [see below] Their jockeys were apt to be a bit flambouyant. "Last cruise, we had two spad squadrons aboard. You should have seen it - they were really cool! [or, whatever slang applies]
Speed Jeans - G-suit.
Spud Locker - The stern gallery of a carrier. Where a really low ramp strike ends up.
Steaming as before - The beginning of a log entry made at when changing the watch. If at the beginning of the day (i.e. midnight), it is followed with a detailed narrative of ship, system, and machinery status.
Steel Beach - Barbecue on the flight deck or other weather deck. Often hosted by a department to give the cooks a break.
Stew Burner - Cook.
Still - See EVAP.
Strangle - Shut off or disable. "Strangle your parrot" is a common call to shut off an aircraft's IFF.
Striker - Crewmember, usually a nonrate, who 'tries out' for a specific rate.
Suck Rubber - To use an EAB mask.
Sweat Grenade - Someone whose sweat pumps are always running at full speed. An excitable person, or one who takes humorous situations too seriously.
Sweet - Good, or functional. "Homeplate, I have sweet lock on your gadget (TACAN)."
Tack - (1) A piece of rope (line) used as a blank in a signal hoist,
used for punctuation or to set aside a part of the message.
TAD - Temporary Additional Duty, as when attending a school. Generally less than 6 months. Facetiously, 'Traveling Around Drunk.'
Tallyho - Call signifying visual contact.
Target - Submarine usage: a surface vessel.
TARPS - Tactical Air Reconnaissance Pod.
TAU - Twin Agent Unit. On an aircraft carrier, a tractor that has been modified or purpose-built for firefighting. It has two nozzles: one sprays PKP, the other sprays AFFF. See FESTA.
Teakettle - The nuclear engineering plant.
Texaco - Airborne tanker.
Tilly - A wheeled aircraft crash and salvage crane on an aircraft carrier. It is typically parked aft of the island.
TINS - "This Is No S***." The opening line to a sea story.
Titless Wave - A (male) Yeoman. Can also be used to refer to PN's (Personnelman).
Tits Duty - Easy or sweet duty.
Tits Up - Inoperative, or broken. "It's dead, Jim." Polite forms: 'sneakers up', 'belly up'.
TLD - Thermo-Luminescent Dosimeter.
Transient - (ASW) A sudden sound emitted from a sonar contact. May be anything from a dropped wrench to the sound of torpedo or missile tube outer doors opening. Tends to generate high PUCKER FACTOR in other subs or surface ships.
Trap - Arrested landing aboard a carrier. "Night traps" are night landings. "Field traps" (arrested landings on a shore base) are an entirely different kettle of fish, being nowhere near as abrupt or unforgiving.
Tunnel (The) - Room either above or next to the reactor compartment that allows fore/aft travel.
Turn Count - Estimating a vessel's speed by counting screw beats via sonar.
Tweak - See TWIDGET.
12 o'clock reports - Reports on fuel and water, magazine temperature, and position. These reports are made to the OOD (Officer of the Deck) by the engineering officer, the weapons officer, and the navigator respectively. The OOD then reports to the CO.
Twidget - Any of the electronics/computer/communications technicians.
Two-blocked - To reach the maximum limit of something. Can also mean just right, or perfect. The term originates in the use of block and tackle for hoisting. When the two blocks touch, lifting can proceed no farther.
UA - Unauthorized Absence. The Naval/Marine equivalent of AWOL (Absent Without Leave).
UNREP - (UN)derway (REP)lenishment. The transfer of supplies, fuel, munitions, and men from one ship to another while at sea.
VFR - Visual Flight Rules. An FAA-specified series of flight rules used when an aircraft is not under positive radar control. When flying VFR, an aircraft's pilot has sole legal responsibility for safe flight and collision avoidance.
Vittled In - Something good. OS Bloggins really vittled in when he cut the MESS MOTHER'S grass at the PIG OF THE PORT contest.
VMC - Visual Meteorological Conditions.
Vulture's Row - The catwalks and galleries along the island of an aircraft carrier, where crewmembers often congregate to watch flight operations.
XO - Executive Officer. Second -in-command of a vessel.
WAA - Wide Aperture Array. An advanced passive ranging sonar.
Water Buffalo - (1) A water tank on wheels used by SeaBees and/or other ground forces to carry drinking water. (2) Someone who uses excessive water, such as by taking HOLLYWOOD SHOWERS.
Water Hours - The period of time, when the water supply would be low, that water usage was rationed. There were a number of ways to determine how to do that, but we never once had to sweat it. The Ageless Warrior was, at the time I was aboard, as old as myself. She was commissioned a month [and perhaps some days] before I was born. It was a point of pride on the 68-69 WESTPAC cruise, that we never went on water hours - in fact, we were pumping to other vessels on Yankee Station!
Water Wings - Warfare qualification pin for a Surface Warfare Officer. Represented as the bow of a ship superimposed on crossed swords.
Waveoff - A call by the LSO directing a go-around. Unlike most calls to a pilot, a waveoff is not advisory in nature.
WEPS - The weapons officer.
WFW - "Waaah f****** waaah". Used to tell someone to quit whining.
WILCO - WILl Comply. May only be used by unit commanders.
Willy Pete, willie pete, willie peter - White phosphorus.
Wind Tunnel - Typically, an area of a ship where movement and natural winds combine with ship's architecture to cause significant air movement. Commonly used on old '27-Charlie' aircraft carriers.
Wings - The insignia of an aviator. Represented as wings flanking a shield that is surmounted over an anchor, or in the case of NFO's, two crossed anchors. "Getting (one's) wings" - achieving the status of a qualified aviator.
Wire - (1) Nautical term for what a civilian would call a cable or wire rope. (2) Cross-deck pendant of the arresting gear aboard a carrier. Numbered from aft forward, 1 to 4. In older, straight-deck carriers (ca. WWII and Korean War), there could be as many as 20 or more wires.
'Wog - POLLYWOG.
WOXOF - Pronounced "walks-off". FAA/Aviation weather report terminology for 'visibility zero, ceiling zero, sky obscured by fog'. See CLOBBERED.
WTD - WaterTight Door.
WTF - "What/who/where the f***?"
Yankee Station - One of the two positions typically occupied by an aircraft carrier off the coast of Vietnam. 'Yankee' was the northern station, tasked with disruption of commerce and logistics.
Yellow Gear - Flight deck support gear, such as power or start carts, crash gear, etc.
Zero - Officer. Derogatory, and comes from the "O" in the paygrade designation.
Zero Dark Thirty - See OH DARK THIRTY.
Ziplip - Carrier flight operations conducted under radio silence.
Zone 5 - Maximum afterburners. Afterburners on most modern aircraft can be modulated from minimum (zone 1) to maximum.
Zoomie - Air Force personnel.
Zoonie Rockets - Carried by Spads, and Army helicopters, for close air support. Small unguided rockets, used for suppression fire from the air. I'm told that one of them went off accidentally, in the speed line, during the 68-69 cruise. Any verification on that?
Zulu 5 Oscar - Personnel making a deliberate attempt to board a ship unauthorized, usually at the direction of higher authority to test security procedures. The standard intruder drill.
ZULU Time - Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Used in radio traffic when the origin of a dispatch is expressed in GMT, i.e. "1700 ZULU".
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