Military Jargon

Jargon Booth

Gunner – A servicemember who operates a crew-served weapon, such as a piece of artillery or ship’s cannon. Recommended by user John Alfred.
Hangar Queen – An aircraft that is used primarily for spare parts to repair other planes. Recommended by Steve Pinder.
Hardball – A hard-surfaced road.
Hardened Site – A structure usually built under rock or concrete designed to withstand conventional, nuclear, biological, and chemical attack.
Hat Up – To change one’s location. Refers to the need to wear a hat for the intended destination. Recommended by user JimBrown1946.
Hawk – Term for cold weather. Commonly referred to as, “the hawk.”
Helo – Short-hand term for a helicopter.
High Speed – An individual who his highly motivated and at or near peak efficacy. Can be used sarcastically. Recommended by user sara.
Hit the Silk – Ejecting from an aircraft and utilizing a parachute.
Inactive Status – Members of the Reserves who are unable to train for points, receive pay, and cannot be considered for promotion.
Ink Stick – Marine Corps term for a pen.
Iron Rations – Rations used in an emergency survival situation.
Jawa – Term for an Army Soldier who is stationed in a desert area, named after the desert-dwelling aliens of “Star Wars.”
Jesus Slippers – Military-issued shower footwear.
Jockstrap Medal – Derogatory term for medals given by the military to active CIA members.
Joe – Army term for a soldier. Shortened from G.I. Joe.
Joint Operation Planning – All type of planning involving joint military forces in regards to military operations including, but not limited to, mobilization, deployment, and sustainment.
Kinetic – Slang adjective meaning violent.
Klicks – Kilometers.
Latrine Queen – Air Force specific term for a trainee in basic who is in charge of the team responsible for cleaning bathrooms.
Left Handed Monkey Wrench – A non-existent tool. Often the object of fruitless searches undertaken by recruits at the behest of more experienced servicemembers. Recommended by user John Alfred.
Long Pig – Slang for when a human being is used as a source of food. Typically this happens in extremely desperate situations.
Major Nuclear Power – Any nation-state with a nuclear arsenal capable of being delivered to any other nation in the world.
Meat Identifier – A dish  or sauce that identifies what type of meat is being served. For example, cranberry sauce indicates turkey while applesauce indicates pork chops.
Meat Wagon – Slang for an ambulance, or any other medical emergency vehicle.Recommended by user 5712540.
Moonbeam – Marine term for flashlight.
Moving Like Pond Water – Moving so slowly that at unique term is required to describe it. Recommended by user 31320680.
Mustang – Term referring to any officer who was promoted from the enlisted ranks. Can be used respectfully or perjoratively.
Nut to Butt – The instruction used to tell Soldiers to line up in tight, forward facing line wherein one’s nuts are in extreme proximity to the butt of Soldier before them.
Officer’s Candy – Navy term used by sailors to describe the scented cake placed in urinals.
Officer of the Deck – Any officer charged with the operation of a ship. Reports to the commanding officer, executive officer, and navigator for relevant issues and concerns.
Over the Hill – Missing in action or someone who has officially gone missing from their post.
Oxygen Thief – A biting piece of slang for someone who’s useless or talks too much.
Pad Eye Remover – A non-existent item used by sailors to trick new servicemembers into a fruitless search. Pad-eyes are used to secure airplanes with chains.
People Tank – A U.S. Navy term for the inner hull of a submarine.
Pill Pusher – A U.S. Navy term for a hospital corpsman.