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R and R

Rest and Recuperation. A respite from combat.


Bed, usually bunk beds.


(Gulf War, Iraqi Freedom)(Not PC) Any Arab person. Refers to the common headdress of the region.

Railroad Tracks

Slang for the rank insignia of a Marine, Army or Air Force captain or a Navy or Coast Guard lieutenant.


The military authority of an individual within the structure of the organization. Rank is represented by insignia showing relative authority. Rank increases in relationship to pay grade but is distinctly different. For instance a Major of Marines should not be referred to as an O-4 and a Sergeant Major of Marines is never an E-9. See Pay Grade.


Seniority within a rank or within a unit. Factors involved are date of rank, date of enlistment or commissioning. It is similar to precedence.

Rat Fucked

To be seriously torn apart or rifled through. Originating in Vietnam when cases of C-Rations (Rats) would be gone through in the process of transporting them to the front.


Any of the ranks within the Navy or Coast Guard enlisted structure.

Rauber, Francis D.

Second Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, he served from Sept 1, 1959 until June 28, 1961. He was born July 10, 1901 in Rochester, NY and died Feb 19, 1991.

Razor Wire

Similar to barbed wire or concertina with a sharp edge on one side and spikes every inch or so.


To patrol looking for enemy movements and facilities in order to gain information. Generally, contact is avoided if at all possible.


Marine Recon conducts amphibious and ground reconnaissance operations, surveillance, battlespace shaping, and limited scale raids in support of a Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Division, Marine Expeditionary Unit, and other Marine Air-Ground Task Forces (MAGTF'S) or a Combined/Joint Task Force.

Recruit Punishment

Unofficial punishments given to recruits by drill instructors for minor infractions of the rules. While at the time some of them may sound cruel they are, in fact, essentially harmless and are good tools for teaching a lesson. Some of them are:

Duck Walk:  Walking with the knees bent 180 degrees.

Extended Port:  The recruit is ordered to port arms and then directed to extend the arms until the elbows are not bent. In this position the weapon becomes heavy and the arms ache. (Ca. 1962)

Funeral Services:  A recruit at attention does not move for anything unless an order is given. Some times a bug or, at Parris Island, a sand flea may cause a recruit to flinch or smack at the pest. On seeing this a drill instructor would order that the pest be given an honorable funeral. Sometimes they were then later ordered to dig it up and reinter it somewhere else. (Ca. 1955, from the movie "The DI" starring Jack Webb)

Group Tighteners:  The entire purpose of the first portion of weapons training is to fire and make tight groups on the target. From there it is simple to adjust the sights and account for wind to bring the group onto the bull's eye. After the first day of live firing a drill instructor might ask if anyone would like to be issued "group tighteners". On lining up the hapless recruits received some form of painful reminder to tighten their groups. (Ca. 1962)

Watching TV:  A series of uncomfortable positions that the recruit is put into. (Ca. 1962)

·         Channel 1. The recruit lies on the tile or wood deck on his or her stomach and elevates on the toes and the elbows.

·         Channel 4. The recruit backs to the edge of his or her rack grabbing the outside bars with both hands while moving the feet far enough forward to keep the rear end off the bed and suspended in air.

Rear Leaning Rest Position:  The recruit rests the back of his or her head on the metal bottom of the rack while keeping the back of the heels on the deck all while maintaining the position of attention.


A person enlisted into the Marine Corps in anticipation of attending boot camp or a person undergoing training in boot camp. A recruit must earn the title "Marine" by successfully completing boot camp. Some people are given rank (usually PFC or LCpl) on enlistment and are paid at that rank but during boot camp they wear no rank and are called "Recruit" like everyone else in training. Only upon graduation are they allowed to wear the insignia of their rank.

Recruiter Assistance

A temporary duty assignment of up to 30-days to assist local recruiters by making presentations to school groups, leading poolee training and general office duties. Offered to recent boot camp graduates by recruiters if the recruiter believes the new Marine can be of help to him or her. Also available to all Marines when mutually agreed upon and approved. This is not an automatic assignment.


A boot camp term meaning that a recruit is removed from his or her platoon and placed in another platoon in order to repeat some portion of training. It usually occurs because the recruit did not successfully complete a required training item or in order to improve the recruit’s physical conditioning or, in some cases, because the recruit’s attitude is bad. This is a traumatic event for the recruit and means that they will spend more time in training but it is not the end of the world and often turns out to be a good thing.


A lifer. At times when commanders consider the calling of a career person a lifer, they will direct that it not be used. In those instances the term Refil is often substituted to the same effect.


A unit consisting of from 4 to 6 battalions. It is generally commanded by a colonel. A number of regiments will make up a division.


(Vietnam Era) Abbreviation for Release from Active Duty or discharge.


Rear Echelon Mother Fucker. A staff person.

Remington Raider

Office personnel from the reference to the Remington typewriter which was widely used. (Typewriter is the term for a mechanical device used prior to computers to create printed pages containing words and phrases generated by the operator--often known as a typist.)


A word removed from the vocabulary of artillery and mortar personnel. Using the term casually can cause un-wanted action. "Say again" is the acceptable replacement phrase.

Request Mast

Every Marine’s right to be heard. At every step up the chain of command any Marine may request to see the next person in authority all the way to the Commandant of the Marine Corps. When a request mast is asked for the Marine does not have to explain why, but he or she must make the request at every step up the ladder. If a Marine requests mast to the CMC he or she had better have a good reason.


Has a number of uses in the military, usually referring to a person who makes a change. A person who gets out of the military and then comes back in would be referred to in this way as would someone who retrains from one MOS to another.


A bugle call sounded when the U. S. flag is being lowered at the end of the day.


A special tank designed as a sort of "wrecker" for tanks. What they are able to do is almost a miracle.


Reenlist or volunteer to serve another tour.


A signal to awaken, get out of bed and begin the day. Often a bugle call, in boot camp more often the yells and screams of Drill Instructors and the sounds of GI cans crashing to the deck.


(Vietnam) Regional Forces. Sort of like an Army reserve ranking between the ARVN and the PF.


Rank Has Its Privileges. Also, among lower ranking enlisted Marines, Rank Has Its Pricks.

Ribbon Creek 

A small river that flows through Parris Island in an area once used for field training. In 1956 six recruits died while on a training exercise here. Staff Sergeant Matthew McKeon, their Senior Drill Instructor, was court martialed and found guilty of negligence and drinking on duty. The investigations that followed highlighted the general practices of maltreatment of recruits and caused extensive revisions in the training program.

Riki Tik

Quickly. From an oriental phrase. Use mostly in the form Mo Riki Tik.

Ring Knocker

A graduate of the Naval Academy, Military Academy or Air Force Academy. "Absentmindedly" tapping the ring on a bar brings attention to it so that everyone is aware that the officer is an academy grad.


Regimental Landing Team. A regiment of Marines consisting of three battalions and supporting artillery, tanks, amtracks, heavy weapons and etc. A self-supporting force and a concept unique to the Marine Corps.


Royal Marines.

Rock and Roll

An alliteration of lock and load it means to begin an action, to start. In Vietnam it also meant to set the M16A1 to full-automatic fire (full-automatic fire used up ammunition so fast that later models were modified to fire only three-round blasts with each pull of the trigger on automatic).

Rock, The

Okinawa, Japan.


Idiot, as in "That rock is really stupid."  Possibly from the Hebrew and Aramaic “rahk” for fool or stupid person.

Rocks and Shoals

The system of Naval justice prior to the introduction of the UCMJ.


Sexual orgy.


(Commtalk) Yes.

ROK Marines

The fiercest of the fighters in the Republic of Korea.


Hot dogs, frankfurters, from the Naval term.


Remain Overnight.


All rope used on a ship is called line.
Also a  former name for a female drill instructor. Until they were authorized to wear the campaign cover, female Marine drill instructors were designated with a crimson aglet worn on the left shoulder.


Helicopter pilot.

Rottencrotch, Suzy

See Suzy Rottencrotch

Route Step

A normal pace in marching in which it is not necessary to march in step. Used mainly in the field when moving from place to place as a unit.

Royal Marines

British Marines in the service of the Queen.


Rocket Propelled Grenade. A shoulder-fired infantry weapon.


Recruit Training Regiment. The headquarters unit of the Recruit Training Battalions. The RTR at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, SC currently (2005) has four battalions (including the 4th RTBn which is the only boot camp unit for female Marines) while the RTR at MCRD San Diego CA has three battalions.

Rubber Lady

Air mattress. Sometimes called a Rubber Whore.

Russell, John H

Sixteenth Commandant of the Marine Corps and fifth consecutive Commandant to graduate from the U. S. Naval Academy. The Californian was born Nov. 14, 1872 and was named Major General Commandant March 1, 1934. He served until Nov. 30, 1936 and died March 6, 1947. to another web site with more info. additional reading on this topic.


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© Glenn B. Knight, 2002-2011

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