Questions tagged [military]

Jargon or slang relating to the military.

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When was the first documented use of "do you copy" by the military?

I have found a documented use from 1960. But WWII movies use the expression. So are the movie people making it up, or do they know something I don't?
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2 votes
6 answers
217 views

Does the word "chevronman" make sense?

I am looking for a good English equivalent of an obscure military term. It was in use by the Royal Hungarian Army between 1920 and 1945. No other army ever had a similar concept, and it's obsolete now....
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-2 votes
4 answers
159 views

What's the verb for troop movement, when a unit of soldiers travel by foot together? [closed]

I'm fairly certain there's a verb for this. It's on the tip of my tongue. These are the parameters of the word: It's a verb for what they're all doing together (I'm not looking for words like "...
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When is usage still subsequent in a very long document?

We are supposed to spell out a military rank when used before a soldier's name, e.g., Master Sergeant John Doe. In subsequent usage, we are supposed to abbreviate the title to Master Sgt. John Doe ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Syntactical definition of 'commander' in 'Commander, Fleet Activities [USN base]'

What is the syntactical definition of the word 'commander' in e.g. 'Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka'? I always figured it was the Commander of Fleet Activities Yokosuka, i.e. the commanding ...
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1 vote
1 answer
194 views

Double up of a military formation

What does "double up" mean in the context of a military formation? Here are some example usages: upon the appearance of any troops [...] the battalion should then march in four grand ...
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1 answer
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What is the plural for the abbreviation of the word "captain"?

I thought it would be Cpts., as in: "Captains Johansson and Riley were present" -> "Cpts. Johansson and Riley were present", but I cannot find anything definitive online. Additionally, I would have ...
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0 votes
1 answer
214 views

What is the correct way to refer to someone during when they previously held a different rank/position/title?

Many public officials have accomplished much over the course of their careers, having served in various capacities over the years. For example, Leon Panetta represented CA's 17th district in the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How did 'Classified' get so messed up?

The military is usually pretty good about terminology and has handily invented lots of it. But when it comes to 'Classified'... yikes. It's just awful. What I mean, in case it isn't obvious, is ...
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1 vote
1 answer
247 views

Other ways to say "military glory"

It seems like there are only so many ways to describe a person's career in the military. We can say "military glory", "military prestige", "military reputation", but are there ways of describing this ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is "sectors of fire with overlapping coverage" the current jargon for "overlapping fields of fire"?

While watching 13 Hours: the secret soldiers of Benghazi, I heard the following: [Tyrone] Oz? This is where we make our stand! [Oz] Guys, let's set sectors of fire with overlapping coverage. It ...
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23 votes
4 answers
6k views

What do you call it when your unit does physical exercise as punishment because one soldier did something wrong?

I served in the Russian military and we weren't allowed to use our phones when we were on duty. So whenever someone was noticed using their phone, the whole unit had to do push-ups, squats, etc. In ...
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2 votes
3 answers
88 views

Term for the mental state of a new recruit

Is there a word (probably slang), that describes the slight state of shock common to new recruits in the first days (weeks) of military training, or the recruit suffering from that mild state of shock?...
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1 vote
2 answers
89 views

Usage of 'airman' vs 'pilot' in 1939 England

Can a civilian in 1939 England use the general term 'airman' to describe a man who is undergoing pilot training but has not yet completed it. Or does the term 'airman' in the RAF always refer to ...
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1 answer
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Guided rockets Vs Missiles [closed]

In the context of military weapon and ammunition, missiles are said to be guided but rockets are not. yet the latest trends of rocket says, there are rockets with guidance system, though they are ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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When did the word "brass" come to mean "officer", especially higher-ranked officers? [closed]

The word "brass" became synonymous to "officers", "senior officers" or "command" due to their brass rank badges. I'm curious when was the first recorded usage of "brass" in this meaning.
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1 vote
1 answer
290 views

Use of 'here' for an army in Modern English

I came upon that here used to be utilised for an army (more likely enemy) in Old English (also shown in Wiktionary). The same page also shows that there is a modern form of the word as here and that ...
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5 votes
3 answers
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Is there a universal format for 24-hour time?

This may seem like a duplicate but I didn't find the exact answer to this, and all related answers were opposite to each other and confusing to me. At my work (in the US) we use 24-hour format. I ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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What is the military term for kicking militants out of a city?

What is the military term for driving militants out of a city, and declaring the city completely militant-free? I got an advice to use the word "cleansed", but I am not really convinced it is the ...
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8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Good English translation for French military term "Baptême du feu"

In French, "Baptême du feu" is a military term that refers to the first combat experience of a new recruit. Literally translated, it would be "Fire Baptism" or "Baptism of Fire". I don't think an ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Correct/best words to describe "Training Day" and its common components

I work in a clinic on a military base that closes for a half day once a month for something we call Training Day. The two main parts of training day are (1) Squadron Commander's Call and (2) Flight ...
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2 votes
2 answers
4k views

Name for the Study of Weapons, Guns, and Arms [closed]

What's the term to name the study (or science) of weapons, arms, and guns? I've come accross Ballistics, but it's limited and more mechanical term. And Military Science might be broader term. ...
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2 votes
2 answers
14k views

Capitalization in military writing

The editor for a book I'm writing tells me that Delta Company should be written Delta company within the text of the story. Examples: (1) "The only thing the old man told me was get on that helicopter ...
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1 vote
1 answer
144 views

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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2 votes
3 answers
413 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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13 votes
9 answers
2k 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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22 votes
10 answers
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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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1 vote
3 answers
740 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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6 votes
2 answers
5k 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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-1 votes
1 answer
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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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1 vote
3 answers
418 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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5 votes
2 answers
631 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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0 votes
4 answers
979 views

Military terminology for the outbreak of war, or events at the beginning of a World War? [closed]

I wanted to know if there are any general terms for the outbreak of war, or ones which refer specifically to events near the beginning of the World Wars.
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2 votes
1 answer
152 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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2 votes
3 answers
4k 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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3 votes
6 answers
2k 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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1 vote
2 answers
8k 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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3 votes
3 answers
1k 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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11 votes
4 answers
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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.) + load ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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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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5 votes
4 answers
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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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1 vote
7 answers
1k 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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6 votes
1 answer
128 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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1 vote
3 answers
10k 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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7 votes
2 answers
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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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1 vote
1 answer
1k 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 12th ...
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  • 895
-2 votes
1 answer
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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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4 votes
6 answers
8k 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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14 votes
8 answers
3k 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’, is ...
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24 votes
5 answers
141k 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 in ...
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