In British slang, an "old sweat" is an old, experienced soldier. What is the American equivalent? I don't mean a veteran (someone who's left the military), I mean someone still in service.

  • Quite litterary, a "grognard" is an old soldier (from the French word designating soldiers of Napoleon's Old Guard).
    – Graffito
    Commented Jan 23, 2016 at 21:11
  • "Old Guard" is sometimes used. Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 2:23
  • This question requires research to prove that "veteran" is the wrong answer. The question states that it means "someone who has left the military", but a quick look on dictionary.com shows that it just means someone who has been in a war, not that they no longer serve in forces. It even includes the phrase "veteran troops" as meaning experienced troops.
    – AndyT
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 14:04

2 Answers 2


The term "war horse" or "old war horse" is often used to refer to an aged, experienced soldier.

  • (Informal) a veteran, as a soldier or politician, of many struggles and conflicts.



Soldiers who yearn for the civilian life refer to such as "lifers."

  • 2
    A Lifer is someone with an intent to never quit the military. You can have that intent at age 9. Commented Jan 23, 2016 at 18:40
  • 1
    @CandiedOrange \ Perhaps you come from a different walk of life than I do. I have never witnessed a nine-year-old being called, or referred to as, a lifer! I thank you for your opinion. Commented Jan 23, 2016 at 19:56
  • Well when you're 9 it's hard to get people to take you seriously. Doesn't mean you're wrong. :) Commented Jan 23, 2016 at 23:49

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