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A. J. Squared Away

A Marine with everything in place and in order. The perfect Marine. The opposite of Joe Shit the Rag Man.


Area of Operations

A-1 Sky Raider  

(Vietnam Era) Single engine propeller driven aircraft also called Sandy or Spad

A-4 Sky Hawk  

(Vietnam Era) Single engine attack jet. Medium size (some say small) and subsonic. Called The Scooter or Heinemann's Hot Rod.


Aft (to the rear) of any given point on a ship.


Air Combat Element.

ACE Medical

Battalion Aid Station for USMC Aviation units in the field.

Acme Beer

World War II era beer made in San Jose, California and sent to the South Pacific specifically for Marine units. It came in both a green and a brown bottle but only the brown colored bottles were fit to drink. The green bottles contained a liquid that smelled like a skunk.


(Commtalk)Radio call sign for commander of a unit. If the unit call sign is "Brownbag" the unit commander will be "Brownbag Actual".


Active Duty.

Administrative Discharge

A non-punitive discharge prior to completion of an enlistment. A way for the Marine Corps to move someone out without effecting post-service benefits.


The highest naval rank in peacetime (See Fleet Admiral). The rank insignia consists of four silver stars in a row. The admiral ranks did not appear in the U. S. Navy until the Civil War. Prior to that time a captain was the highest rank in that service. When placed in command of larger units he was sometimes designated a Flag Officer, but that was a billet, not a rank. The current admiral ranks (from junior to most senior) are: Rear Admiral (lower half), one star; Rear Admiral (upper half), two stars; Vice Admiral, three stars; Admiral, four stars and Fleet Admiral, five stars.

Admiral of the Navy  

A rank given to Admiral Dewey by an act of Congress in March 1899 to place him above all other admirals. See Fleet Admiral.


Floating aimlessly, usually without a rudder or compass. Missing in action. Setting one’s self off from the norm.


Pronounced A-farts. American Forces Radio and Television Service, provider of commercial type radio and television programming to ships and overseas stations. Depending on the politically correct form at the time American can be replaced with Armed and Service can be replaced with System.


Air Force Specialty Code. The Air Force equivalent of an MOS.


Behind, from the naval term for the after section of the ship.


All Fucked Up.

Air Force

One of the five uniformed military branches. Also, in the Air Force, a unit consisting of multiple wings and given a numerical designation (e.g. 8th Air Force). Used from World War II until the 1970s.

Air Krulaks

Black, Goretex lined combat boots issued from 1997 until 2001. Named after the 31st Commandant of the Marine Corps from a popular sneaker named Air Jordans after a basketball player.

Air Start

Blow job.

Air Strike

See Close Air Support.

Air Wing

An aviation unit equivalent to an infantry division.


Anyone serving in aviation.


A Navy enlisted rank. See Seaman. Also an Air Force enlisted rank. See private first class. Or a generic term for anyone in the Air Force.


Soviet-manufactured Kalashnikov semi-automatic and fully automatic combat assault rifle, 7.62-mm; the basic weapon of the Communist forces.

  Alabama Black Snake

  (Vietnam)  A very large male sex organ.  Most often used by local women to describe black men.


All concerned. Used in radio traffic.

Ali Baba

(Iraqi Freedom) An enemy combatant, a looter or any bad guy.     (From "Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves"). 


All-purpose, Lightweight, Individual Carrying Equipment.  A pack system in use in the 1970s and 1980s.

All Hands



A specific amount deducted from a Marine's pay and sent to another entity.


(Commtalk) A. Sometimes spelled ALFA. Also the Marine green uniform with blouse and ribbons.

Alpha Mike Foxtrot

Adios, Mother Fucker. Goodbye. A polite form is Adios My Friend.

Alpha Unit

A Marine's spouse. (see Dependent Wife)


See Alpha Mike Foxtrot. Adios, Mother Fucker.



Ammunition Supply Point

The location, usually just behind the Forward Edge of Battle Area, where line units receive their ammunition resupply. In the movies, an ASP is usually called an "ammo dump."


Slang for Amphibious Armored, Tracked, Personnel Carrier. (LVT/AAV).


An Assault Amphibious Vehicle crewman.

Anchor Clanker

In the Navy, a Boatswain's Mate. Or anyone in the Navy.

Anchor Pool

A betting pool, the winner of which has come closest to the time logged by the Officer of the Deck for dropping or weighing anchor.


Air Naval Gunfire LIaison COmpany. Composed of 4-man "fire control teams". A fire control officer (FICTO - usually a Lt, but due to the limited number of Lt's in the reserves, may be lead by a Captain in the Reserves). A "REAL TEAM", the officer shares the load of radios (UHF, VHF and HF) and batteries and rifle - just like the Lance Corporal. Usually parachute and SCUBA qualified. ANGLICO rarely works with Marine Corps units. You will find ANGLICO teams attached to and supporting U.S. Army (often to 82nd & 101st Airborne) and Foreign Forces giving these forces the capability to use U.S. Naval Gunfire and close air support from Navy and Marine Aircraft. Used in the Vietnam era and reduced from four to two companies in 1997 (both surviving companies were reserve units) and brought back for the Afghanistan operations.


Incendiary (Thermite) Hand Grenade. Weighing 32 oz and containing 26.5 oz of TH3 thermite mixture it is designed to start fires with its 40 seconds of 4,300 degrees F.


HC Smoke Hand Grenade. Weighing 25.5 oz it contains 19 oz of HC which emits a dense smoke for up to 2.5 minutes. It has a 2-second delay.

Ant Hill

An outpost with major communications assets apparent from the large number of antennae in the vicinity.


Aerial Rocket Artillery. A Cobra AH-1G helicopter with four XM159C 19-rocket (2.75 inch) pods.

Arc Light  

(Vietnam)B-52 bombers dropping their entire load of bombs (typically 105-500 pound bombs) on suspected concentrations of enemy troops.

Arlington Ridge

Location in Arlington VA north of the National Cemetery overlooking the Potomac River and Washington DC. It is the site of the Marine Corps Memorial, the sculpture of Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima in World War II.

Armed Services

Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. See Uniformed Services



As You Were

Informal command to continue what you were doing or to indicate a correction to a previous order or comment.


As Soon As Possible.


Ammunition Supply Point.

Ass Hanging Out

Applied to someone who is either not squared away or whose ignorance is showing.

Ass Pack

The little first aid kit worn on web gear, and located in the middle of the lower back. Usually contained two field pressure dressings, tourniquet, and some iodine. Sometimes, there was even geedunk in there.

Assault Line

Marine attack formation with troops advancing abreast.

Asshole to bellybutton

Standing close together in a line.

Assholes and Elbows

Seeing only the backs of people who are going forward toward an objective.


Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (skills test)--required to join the armed forces.

Ate up

Enthralled with a belief or objective that no other thoughts to the opposite can be comprehended.

Aviation Cadet

A student in military flight training. In some instances they have come from other officer procurement programs while at other times they were stand-alone commissioning and flight training programs. See Cadet.

Aviation designations

HMH = Marine heavy helicopter squadron
HMLA = Marine light attack helicopter squadron
HMM = Marine medium helicopter squadron
HMT = Marine helicopter training squadron
LAAD = Low-altitude air defense
MACS = Marine air control squadron
MASD = Marine aviation support detachment
MASS = Marine air support squadron
MALS = Marine aviation logistics squadron
MTACS = Marine tactical air command squadron
MWSS = Marine wing support squadron
MWCS = Marine wing communications squadron
MWHS = Marine wing headquarters squadron
VMAQ = Marine tactical electronic warfare squadron
VMAT = Marine attack training squadron
VMA = Marine attack squadron
VMFA(AW) = Marine all-weather fighter attack squadron
VMGR = Marine aerial refueler squadron
VMGRT = Marine aerial refueler/transport squadron
VMFA = Marine fighter attack squadron
VMFAT = Marine fighter attack training squadron
VMU = Unmanned aerial vehicle squadron


Yes. A naval expression.

Aye Aye

I understand your order and will comply. A naval expression.


Compass heading toward an objective or target. to another web site with more info.
Indicates additional reading on this topic.


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Home Page ¦ Dictionary Cover ¦ Marine Quotes 

© Glenn B. Knight, 2002-2011

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