Jargon or slang relating to the military.

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What's the word for when a citizen stands by for military service?

For countries that have conscription is there a term for the requirement to be ready for service in the event of a war?
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350 views

“bucking for” .. like Klinger

In the culturally referrent 1970s USA TV show "MASH", about the Korean war, character Corporal Klinger acts "crazy", specifically wearing female clothing, ... because he is bucking for a section 8 ...
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2answers
67 views

Does “the military” refer to any military?

When someone uses the term "the military" is it implied they are talking about the military of the current country they are in, or any military? For example I sometimes see on application forms "Have ...
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2answers
135 views

What are the origins of the phrase “field day” as used to refer to cleaning of a military barracks?

Having served in the United States Marine Corps, I have often wondered about the origins of the word "field day," but I am not referring to its meaning as 1.a. a day for military exercises or ...
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9answers
3k views

What's a word for making a weapon inoperable for public display?

Is there a word for making a weapons system (a rocket, a tank) inoperable when placed on public display, e.g. in a museum? What comes to mind is defuse (this seems limited to bombs), disarm (perhaps ...
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3answers
87 views

Term for military officer serving with another military force

Is there a general term for a military officer serving "on loan", so to speak, with another military branch or another nation's military forces? As an example, say that country A and country B are ...
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1answer
83 views

Section of plane for bombs, and section for troops [closed]

What do you call that part of a plane (specifically a bomber) where the bombs are held, loaded and dispatched? Also, in a military aircraft, what do you call the part where the soldiers are seated ...
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3answers
624 views

using “general” instead of “brigadier general”

Suppose Mr. Parker is a brigadier general in the army. could we simply refer to him as "General Parker". In other words, can "General" be used as a generic title for anyone with a high rank in the ...
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2answers
761 views

At this point, are “military” and “armed forces” synonymous?

Looking at the free definitions online, and not including too much history, it seems to me that at one point the Navy was not directly associated as ”military”. Or rather, that the Navy included not ...
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3answers
89 views

What is the word for this military term, more specific than “envoy”?

"Envoy" apparently means messenger or representative, but the military term I want needs to be more specific. I'm thinking of a group, or just one person, who goes out before battle, meets the enemy, ...
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795 views

OED Appeals: Origin of “bimble”

The OED has made a public appeal for help in tracing the history of some English words, including: bimble verb earlier than 1983 The word bimble, meaning ‘to move at a leisurely pace’, ...
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2answers
185 views

Single term for “non-fatal casualty”

from my Marine Corps days, I recall that "casualty" implies the basic idea of removing a Marine from being an active combatant. This can occur through severe injuries, death, capture, going UA, etc. ...
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75 views

Military terminology for the outbreak of war, or events which begin a World War?

I wanted to know if there are any general terms for the outbreak of war, or ones which refer specifically to the beginnings of the World Wars.
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96 views

How would you translate “Kommandostab”, “command bar”, from German?

How would you translate "Kommandostab" from German? The literate translation is "command bar", this object was used to give orders to the army. Full sentence: "In der rechten Hand hält er einen ...
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1answer
316 views

What is the proper characterization of a US military officer in popular press? [closed]

What is the proper way to represent in popular press the status of a commissioned officer of the United States Marine Corps. who is not retired, has a continuing service commitment, but is no longer ...
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5answers
347 views

Word request: Generalization of “spike” and “scuttle” and “slight”

An author I know (a retired Army lieutenant colonel) wrote this on his Facebook page: There is a term of military art I cannot remember, that I need for a book, and that is driving me [batty] ...
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6answers
581 views

Is there an English idiom equivalent to “coup de main”

I am looking for a translation of the French military term coup de main. (Not the common French civilian usage which translates as helping hand.) The term occurs frequently in the correspondence ...
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5answers
58k views

Why does “klick” mean kilometer in US military slang?

Wiktionary says it is either likely a pseudo-condensed pronunciation of kilometer or onomatopoeic of the sound of a military odometer. Though kilometers are not commonly used to measure distance ...
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6answers
4k views

Are camp followers prostitutes?

My own understanding of the term camp followers was that it was synonymous with prostitutes who followed armies around plying their trade. However, according to Wikipedia: Camp-follower is a term ...
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3answers
472 views

What does “running a gauntlet of fire” mean?

From the Wikipedia page for "Battle of Melle": Now Moltke broke off with the entire force and headed for Ghent running a gauntlet of fire from the various French posts along the roads and ways ...
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1answer
855 views

How was the term 'payload' coined?

Wikipedia describes payload as, Payload is the carrying capacity of an aircraft or launch vehicle, usually measured in terms of weight. Etymonline says, payload 1930, from pay (n. or v.) + ...
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1answer
6k views

How to say one minute past midnight in military time?

I first would like to say that I did read How should one say times aloud in 24-hour notation? but my question isn't answered there. How do you say 0001 in military time? oh one hours? oh oh one ...
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3answers
2k views

What is the military term for calling attention to yourself, in a negative way?

There is a military term or idiom, which I cannot recall exactly, that essentially means calling negative attention to yourself. For example, you are doing something you know you shouldn't be doing. ...
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1answer
109 views

What do you call glyphs representing kills painted on a weapon or vehicle?

Media depictions would have it that in some militaries, soldiers traditionally paint icons representing enemies they have killed or materiel they have disabled on the weapons used or vehicles operated ...
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3answers
2k views

What do you call a person who leads a charge?

What do you call a person who leads a charge, or otherwise leads a body of soldiers into combat 'from the front'? My context is historical but with a request this specific I'll take what I can get.
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2k views

Etymology of “blackguard rating” in the context of the British Army during the Crimean War

From Wikipedia: I never had such a blackguard rating in all my life – I who have had more than any woman – than from this Barry sitting on his horse, while I was crossing the Hospital Square with ...
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274 views

Capitalise 'squadron'?

Should the word 'squadron' be written with a capital? In some contexts it seems more appropriate than in others, but I'd like to do it consistently. The 12th squadron set sail. versus The ...