Military Jargon

Jargon Booth

SobiActual: The (Marine) unit commander. Used to distinguish the commander from the radioman when the call sign is used
Advanced Individual Training: Specialized training taken after Basic Training, also referred to as Advanced Infantry Training
Agency: The Central Intelligence Agency
Airborne: Refers to soldiers who are qualified as parachutists
Air cav: Air cavalry; helicopter-borne infantry; helicopter gunship assault teams
AIT: Advanced infantry training
ALPHA: Military phonetic for the letter ‘A’
Amtrack: amphibious armored vehicle used to transport troops and supplies, armed with a .30-caliber machine gun. The Marines used them
AO: Area of operations
AOD: Administrative officer on duty
APC: Armored personnel carrier. A track vehicle used to transport Army troops or supplies, usually armed with a .50-caliber machine gun
Arty: Shorthand term for artillery
AWR: (Alpha Whiskey Romeo) Allah’s Waiting Room. When engaged, (insurgents) have a tendency to flee to the same building (the AWR) at which point the troops radio in an air strike
Base camp: A resupply base for field units and a location for headquarters of brigade or division size units, artillery batteries and air fields. Also known as the rear area
Basketball: an illumination-dropping aircraft mission, capable of lighting approximately a square mile of terrain
Battalion: A military unit composed of a headquarters and two or more companies, batteries, or similar units
Beaten zone: Area where the majority of bullets will strike when a machine gun is laid-in to cover a part of a defensive perimeter or part of an ambush zone
Big Max: Maximum security section of Long Binh Stockade, fashioned out of conex containers. There was one small hole in each side for light and air; in the sun they grew quite hot. Prisoners were allowed out twice a day to use the bathroom and exercise
Bird: Any aircraft, but usually refers to helicopters
Body bag: Plastic bag used to transport dead bodies from the field
Boondoggle: Any military operation that hasn’t been completely thought out. An operation that is absurd or useless
Boonies: Infantry term for the field; jungles or swampy areas far from the comforts of civilization
Boot: A soldier just out of boot camp; inexperienced, untested
BOQ: Bachelor officer quarters; living quarters for officers
Bravo: Army designation for the infantry man.

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