23 Veteran Slang Terms Only Former Military Members Know


When it involves the vocabulary of navy service members, there’s sure language which will have civilians pondering they’re talking a international language. To assist those that have by no means served perceive all of the ins and outs of navy jargon, we have rounded up all the slang that veterans know. We’ll break it down for you “Barney style.” And, if you end up in a dialog with somebody who’s served, be sure to take a look at the 20 Things You Should Never Say to Someone within the Military.

Female Soldier Saluting Military Slang Terms

Much just like the British phrase “carry on,” “as you were” is a command given by an officer after a room has come to consideration for his or her entrance. It alerts that service members have permission to proceed with their work.

Example: “As you were, Cadets—I’m just passing through.”

And for extra inspirational phrases, take a look at the 30 Veteran’s Day Quotes That Show Gratitude For Our Military.

military man standing in the filed in his outfit and with a bulletproof vest

Someone with no navy bearing who’s messy is alleged to be “ate-up.” Related nicknames embrace: chopped up, chewed up, Chewie, and Chewbacca.

Example: “Can you believe he’s wearing tennis shoes with his uniform; how ate-up is that?”

five military men standing in a line and a military officer looking at one of them in the eye during combat training

When an teacher breaks one thing down “Barney style” for the group, it is defined as if it have been to a toddler, similar to the massive purple dinosaur would do on the kids’s tv present Barney & Friends.

Example: “What do you mean you don’t know how; do I need to break this down Barney style?”

Soldier Smiling with his Arms crossed Military Slang Terms

Someone who messes issues up for the entire squad or platoon, by both pulling them into their drama or throwing somebody below the bus. Also known as Bravo Foxtrot.

Example: “She told the First Sergeant about our plan; she’s a blue falcon.”

And for extra slang by way of the years, take a look at 100 Slang Terms From the twentieth Century No One Uses Anymore.

the american flag patch on a military uniform

A navy drill command that alerts a formation of recruits to look in direction of their squad chief and place themselves equidistant from the troopers to their quick left and proper. It’s additionally used to confer with issues trying constant.

Example: “Get your uniform dress right dress for inspection.”


A navy time period for sleeping bag. What else would you name the factor you hardly ever wash and spend a 3rd of your day in?

Example: “Get back into your fart sack and shut off that light!”

Military Officer on Duty Veteran Slang

A deployed service member who by no means leaves the FOB (Forward Operating Base) is known as a “fobbit.” The moniker is derived from the J.R.R. Tolkien‘s 1937 novel The Hobbit, a few creature that does not need to depart the Shire.

Example: “He never volunteers to go outside the wire; he’s a total fobbit.”

legs of military men running

Recruits are informed to hustle to a location by a sure time, then are instructed wait, generally for hours or days at a time.

Example: “The hurry up and wait atmosphere of ride-share driving turned me off the job for good.”

military man sitting down with his head in his hands

An infantry soldier or marine that does not have a lot in the way in which of guide smarts. He’s often a particular case (i.e., drawback little one).

Example: “That knuckledragger just pulled the door off its hinge; he could have just pushed.”

soldier arms reached out and legs bent down as they eat food

An acronym for Meal Ready to Eat, which is sufficient meals to final a soldier a full day, tightly packaged inside a thick, brown waterproof bag. MREs are even offered on-line to civilians to be used in survival kits.

Example: “My favorite MRE is chili mac with jalapeño cheese.”

military service men in combat

In this case, STEAL stands for Strategically Take and Extradite to Alternate Location. Military personnel do not steal issues, they skillfully purchase them.

Example: “If we want that blender for margaritas later, we should commence Operation STEAL.”

two military men going over a plan

You might keep in mind World War II-era propaganda posters touting the phrase: “Loose lips sink ships.” And that is very true of covert navy operations. Operational Security (OPSEC) refers to protecting places, troop motion plans, and different details about navy operations confidential. It’s what acquired Geraldo Rivera kicked out of Iraq in 2003.

Example: “I can’t believe you drew a map on live television; that’s OPSEC!”

helicopter outline in sky

During helicopter extractions, rangers pop smoke grenades to mark their location so pilots know the place to land. That’s the first definition, however “pop smoke” can be slang for the tip of a service member’s time period of service. And the phrase may confer with leaving a location in a rush.

Example: “After eight years in the military, it’s my time to pop smoke.”

veteran in and flying a plane with blue headphones

You’ve heard pilots in motion pictures say “roger” when responding on the radio, however what does “wilco” imply? It’s brief for “will comply,” and is often preceded by repeating the order given.

Example: “Rendezvous at rally point alpha at 0600, roger wilco.”

military officer talking into a walkie-talkie

This World War II-era time period is used to explain a superior who makes navy life unnecessarily tough, often by insisting on strict adherence to guidelines.

Example: “Master Sergeant had me clean the grout between the tiles with my only toothbrush, what a sad sack.”

military man from behind heading into a desert

No, it isn’t the enjoyable place your children go to construct sandcastles. For navy personnel, it is a time period used to explain a forward-deployed place that’s situated in a desert.

Example: “I got orders for a tour in the sandbox.”

Navy ship

This Navy time period denotes rumor or gossip. It’s derived from “scuttle,” the nautical time period for the cask used to serve water.

Example: “I heard scuttlebutt that the next round is on the Lieutenant.”

soldier pulling another soldier up by the hand

Semper Gumby is a play on the United States Marine Corps Latin motto “Semper Fidelis,” which suggests “Always Faithful.” Referring to the animated clay character Gumby, the pun refers to somebody who’s at all times versatile.

Example: “They want us to turn around and camp three miles back? Semper Gumby.”

veteran with his arms open and talking to a female doctor who is holding a tablet

Someone who’s out and in of the medical clinic each day is fondly dubbed a “sick call ranger.” This is as a result of they go to sick name at first formation each morning, however by some means nonetheless present up for meals.

Example: “Jason’s out again, earning his sick call ranger badge.”

the chest of a military man wearing a green

To be “squared away” signifies that one has excellent navy bearing, and no matter activity they’re carrying out is accomplished to the letter.

Example: “The table settings are squared away nicely.”

two U.S. marines saluting to each other

This portmanteau of volunteer and informed refers to when a superior volunteers you for a activity that you recognize is obligatory.

Example: ” I didn’t want to, but I was voluntold by my dad to mow the lawn.”

A Pilot Flying a Plane for the Army Air Force Military Slang Terms

A time period used to explain an Army National Guard soldier or Navy or Air Force Reservist. They attend the identical coaching camps as full-time Army, Navy, and Air Force, however they’re solely required to serve one weekend a month and two weeks of annual coaching each summer time, except their unit is known as up for energetic obligation deployment.

Example: “I signed up to be a weekend warrior, but I just got orders to deploy.”

the back of a military man standing and looking down

When utilizing clock instructions, one imagines their physique on the middle of a clock with their eyes going through the 12 and the 6 straight behind them. So “watch your six” actually means “watch your back.”

Example: “Hands on ten and two and watch your six, son.”


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