This is a list of acronyms, expressions, euphemisms, jargon, military slang, and sayings in common or formerly common use in the United States Marine Corps. Many of the words or phrases have varying levels of acceptance among different units or communities, and some also have varying levels of appropriateness (usually dependent on how senior the user is in rank). Many terms also have equivalents among other service branches that are not acceptable among Marines, but are comparable in meaning. Many acronyms and terms have come into common use from voice procedure use over communication channels, translated into the phonetic alphabet, or both. Many are or derive from nautical terms and other naval terminology. Most vehicles and aircraft have a formal acronym and/or an informal nickname, those are detailed in their own articles.
The scope of this list is to include words and phrases that are unique to or predominantly used by the Marine Corps or the United States Naval Service. For other military slang lists, see the "See also" section.
1st Civ Div - 1st Civilian Division. Civilian life, usually applied to Marines facing discharge or retirement. As in "getting assigned to 1st Civ Div." Also occasionally referred to as "1st Couch Company."
360 – Forming a complete circle (as in on a compass (360°)); to put protection all around.
48, 72, 96 – In hours, the standard liberty periods of two, three, four days.
4th Battalion – Pejorative used to describe an individual or unit lacking toughness as in "He was trained in 4th Battalion". Derived from the 4th Battalion of the Recruit Training Regiment at MCRD Parris Island, which trains female enlisted Marines.
4th Marine Dimension – Derogatory term for the 4th Marine Division, the division to which the ground combat element of the Marine Forces Reserve is assigned; used by active duty Marines to denote displeasure with the difference in culture and operating procedures within the division as opposed to active duty units.
5.56mm hickey – A scar or blister resulting from a burn suffered (usually on the neck) due to hot brass.
7 Day Store/Troop Store/Mini P – Convenience store (Mini-P denotes a "mini" or smaller sized version of the PX, or Post-Exchange).
Deuce Gear – Standard issue web gear, combat gear, or field equipment, such as ALICE, MOLLE, or ILBE. Named after standard Marine Corps Form 782, which Marines formerly signed when they took custody of and responsibility for their equipment.
8 bells – Signal for the end of a four-hour watch, so named for the increase in bell strikes by two at each hour of the watch.
Aboard - Term for all personnel being accounted for in a building, such as a classroom.
Above my/your pay grade – Expression denying responsibility or authority (indicating that the issue should be brought to higher-ranking officials); alternatively, a semi-sarcastic way of telling someone that they're not authorized to receive certain information.
Air Crew- Personnel that work on board any aircraft that can carry a crew (i.e. huey, CH-46, CH-53, V-22, etc.), and are normally charged with loading gear, passengers, and manning the door/ tail guns.
Air Force pockets or Army gloves – An individual's hands being inside his or her pockets.
VMX – Marine Tiltrotor Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron
WES - Wing Engineer Squadron
ZMQ – Marine Barrage Balloon Squadrons
Aye-Aye – Nautical term used as a response to orders meaning "I understand the orders I have received and will carry them out"; aye (descended from Middle English yai) dialectical for 'yes', once common in the regions from which the Royal Navy drew its sailors
Bag Nasty a.k.a "Box Nasty"– A-ration Brown-bag meal issued to Marines (usually recruits or those in-field): it often contains a sandwich, a boiled egg, fruit, potato chips, juice or milk.
BAH (a.k.a. "bee ay aych" – Basic Allowance for Housing: Supplemental pay for living off-base; previously known as Basic Allowance for Quarters (BAQ).
BAMCIS – a mnemonic For military tacticians: Begin the planning, Arrange reconnaissance, Make reconnaissance, Complete the planning, Issue orders, Supervise. It is also used as an exclamation of success or accomplishment.
Barney-style – to perform strictly according to regulation; idiot proof; simplified for the benefit of mental underachievers; also called "Breaking it down Purple Dinosaur-style"; Bert and Ernie for the 1980s and 1990s Marines
Barracks - On base housing for Marines who have no dependents, any dependents living with them. Military dormitory rooms.
Barracks Rat – A Marine who rarely leaves the barracks unless ordered to. Also used to describe females who have a reputation for being promiscuous and seen constantly hanging at the barracks, normally in the new guys room.
boondoggle – project or trip on government time and/or expense that serves no purpose other than to entertain the person making it.
Boot – A term for Marines who are new to the Marine Corps. Derived from the term "boot camp", to insinuate that the Marine is fresh out of boot camp. Generally used as a pejorative term (even if in an affectionate manner) in the Fleet and elsewhere, sometimes as a way to explain that new Marines should know their place. It can also be used as a term for a Marine who is new to a rank or billet. e.g. – "He's a boot Corporal". Meaning, said Marine was just recently promoted to Corporal. Also used by infantry Marines as a pejorative for any other Marine who has not gone on a combat deployment, regardless of rank or time in service.
Butt Pack – Small pack fastened to the waist in the back. Usually the field issued first aid kit. See also Fanny pack.
Butter Bar – A second lieutenant, due to the gold color of his rank insignia.
"By your leave sir/ma'am." – Used with a salute when passing senior officers who might be advancing in the same direction; some protocols say the senior must give clearance before the junior can pass.
Captain's Mast – Office Hours afloat. The term "Captain's Mast" is almost universally negative, implying non-judicial punishment. The modern Navy and Marine Corps use the term "Meritorious Mast" to announce any ceremony involving the meritorious award of a higher rank or of a particular recognition or honor. This is the highest level of administrative reprimand a Marine can receive.
Carry On – Order to continue after being interrupted.
CAS – Close Air Support, aircraft fire on ground troops in support of nearby friendly troops.
CASEVAC – CASualty EVACuation, emergency evacuation of injured personnel from combat zone by any modes transport available to nearest triage area, treatment area, or field hospital. As opposed to a MEDEVAC which is the transport from a field hospital to a Medical Treatment Facility. See also MEDEVAC.
Casual Company or CasCo – A holding unit/formation of Marines awaiting one of the following: discharge from the Corps, training (usually at a formal school), or deployment to a unit.
CAX – Combined Arms eXercise. Outdated term, it has since been replaced by the ITX (Integrated Training eXercise).
CCU – Correctional Custody Unit, a hard-labor and heavy discipline unit overseen by MPs or Navy Masters-at-Arms to which Marines and Sailors found guilty of minor UCMJ offenses through NJP are sent for up to 30 days in lieu of confinement in the brig.
Chinese Field Day – A form of field day where every item from a room is removed for cleaning; when tending to last much longer than necessary, it is used as a punishment, typically for unsatisfactory performance in routine field day.
Chit – Voucher, receipt, letter, or note, entitling the bearer to special treatment, such as medical restrictions from duty; derived from Hindi word for "letter", "chitti".
CIF – Consolidated Issue Facility, a place on a station where all personal equipment is stored and issued, often contracted to civilians.
CID – Criminal Investigation Division, is an accredited Federal law enforcement agency of the U.S. Marine Corps whose mission it is to conduct official criminal investigations into misdemeanor and felony offenses committed on Marine Corps installations as may directed and not under the primary jurisdiction of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). These Marines are not formal law enforcement officers per se, and only perform investigations under the cognizance of NCIS.
COC – Combat Operations Center, the command post for a combat arms unit, usually of battalion-size or larger; personnel assigned to the COC may derisively refer to such duty as "coc-watch" or "working the coc".
Deep Six – To dispose of by throwing overboard ship.
Detachment – A portion of a unit sent independently of its parent organization, usually in support of a larger headquarters; or a small stand alone unit isolated geographically from its parent command.
Deuce – Reference to the number two in various unit or equipment names; the senior intelligence officer for a unit;
Deuce Gear – See 782 gear, from the last digit in that term.
Diddy Bop – Poor performance in close order drill, or marching in a manner that does not present a crisp military appearance. One who conducts himself/herself in this manner is labelled a diddy bopper.
Diet Private or Diet Tray – A recruit in Boot Camp who has been deemed overweight according to regulations. These recruits are usually the last through the chow line and have their meals inspected by DI's.
Digis or Diggis – Digital camouflage such as MARPAT; also refers to the digital-patterned MCCUU.
Dime Out - To reveal incriminating information about a person. See also call out.
Doc or Devil Doc – Navy hospital corpsman attached to the Marines; Devil Doc is a term of respect normally reserved for Corpsmen who are Fleet Marine Force qualified or who have served in combat with Marines.
Dog and Pony Show - Any display, demonstration, or appearance by Marines at the request of seniors for the pleasure of someone else, such as a ceremony or parade; also, pejorative for the requirement for over-perfection of such a venue.
Donkey Dick - Specifically, a jerrycan fuel spout. Alternatively, slang for virtually any piece of equipment having a generally cylindrical or phallic shape with unknown, or obscure official name. For example, a static hook suspended from an overhead helicopter for the purpose of picking up external loads.
Dope - Data On Previous Engagements, information, or sight settings and/or wind corrections for a rifle under given conditions.
Drill - Close order drill, the procedures and methodology of handling weapons and moving troops about in an orderly fashion, used to indoctrinate recruits in obedience to commands and military appearance.
Fallen Angel – Marine Officer who failed out of flight school and is now in another MOS.
FAP – Fleet Assistance Program, a program designed to assign Marines to extra duties outside his or her normal chain of command. Long seen as a means for commands to "reassign" their lowest-performing or misbehaving Marines.
AH-1W Cobras at a FARP during Op Iraqi Freedom
FARP – Forward Area Refueling/Rearming Point or Forward Arming Refueling Point, a space on the battlefield designated for the re-arming and re-fueling of aircraft.
fFart Sack – Cotton mattress cover; large sack made of linen that a mattress is inserted into. Serves as a military form of a fitted sheet.
FAST – Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team, sarcastically referred to as Fake Ass SEAL Team.
Fast-mover – Fast-moving fixed-wing aircraft; term popular during the Vietnam War but fallen into disuse as jets replaced propeller-powered aircraft. Also used to describe a Marine moving fast (promoted) up the ranks.
Felony Creek - Slang for the French Creek area of Camp Lejeune. French Creek is the home for the Marine units that are service and support. Some Marines who reside there think they are back on the block.
Field Cover – Campaign Cover, a broad-brimmed felt hat, originally with one straight crease down the middle, then with a Montana peak, worn on expeditionary missions from 1912 to 1942, and then again authorized in 1961 for wear at recruit depots by drill instructors and rifle ranges by marksmanship instructors. See also campaign cover, hat, & smokey bear/brown.
Field Meet – Organized sporting competition, often involving athletics and/or soldierly skills.
Field Music – Drummer, trumpeter, bugler, fifer; mostly an antiquated term.
Field-Strip – To disassemble a piece of ordnance or weapon to the major part groups for routine cleaning or lubricating; to strip cigarette butts to their filters before throwing away. Also to remove unwanted items from an MRE in order to save space.
Fighting Hole – A defensive position dug into the ground; can be dug for one Marine, a pair, or a weapon crew; formerly known as a "foxhole" by the Army. Marine Corps is "firing hole" "Forward Firing Position" should be considered.
Final Duty Station – A reference to a Marine's final posting, i.e., Heaven, referencing the last verse of the Marine's Hymn.
Final Protective Fire or FPF – The last volley sent toward an advancing enemy during a Marine unit's withdrawal from defensive position. All weapons are fired simultaneously at maximum rate of fire.
Fire for Effect – Indicates that the adjustment/ranging of indirect fire is satisfactory and the actual effecting rounds should be fired; also a euphemism for the execution of a plan.
Fire Watch – Sentry on duty specifically guarding a person, place, object, or area in a non-combat area (such as a barracks); considered under arms but usually unarmed. See also duty & OOD.
Fire Watch Medal – Pejorative for National Defense Service Medal, so named because even recruits rate it despite firewatch being their most important duty.
First Lieutenant, Second Award - Derogatory term used to describe a former First Lieutenant who has been frocked (promoted ahead of schedule) to Captain.
Flak and Kevlar – Used when referring to body armor and a helmet respectively (the standard US Military issued helmet is made out of kevlar).
Float – Deployment aboard ship.
Float Widow - Unfaithful wife of a Marine or Sailor deployed aboard a ship. a.k.a. Med Float Widow.
FMC – Fully Mission Capable, refers to equipment such as aircraft that need no repairs and are fully capable of their intended mission.
FMF or Fleet – Fleet Marine Force, the operational forces of the Corps, as opposed to reserve or supporting establishment.
FMTU – Foreign Military Training Unit.
FNG – Fucking New Guy, derogatory term for a Marine recently graduated recruit training and new to a unit. It has far and wide been replaced by the term "boot".
Fobbie or Fobbit – A Marine who rarely sees combat; pejorative term for Marines stuck inside a forward operating base.
Form ID-10T or ID-Ten-Tango – Pejorative for "idiot".
Fortitudine – Former motto of the Marine Corps in the 19th century (replaced by Semper Fidelis), from the Latin word for "fortitude"; also the name of the Marine Corps History Division's quarterly magazine.
Four Fingers of Death – Nickname for the ill famed frankfurter MRE (Meals-Ready-to-Eat) with four small hot dogs as the main meal MRE
Foxhole – Fighting hole as termed by the Army and Marines of the past, no longer appropriate for Marine use. "Fighting hole," "firing hole," and "Forward Firing Position" should be considered. There is a difference between 1 MARDIV and 2 MARDIV[clarification needed].
FRAGO – FRAGmentary Order, an addendum to published operational orders.
FRO – Family Readiness Officer
Frock – To be authorized to wear the next higher grade before promotion, confers authority but not pay grade.
Frock You - Response to an innapropriate request to be promoted to a Marine's selected rank, ahead of their scheduled promotion.
FUBAR – Fucked/Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition/Repair. See also SNAFU.
FUBIJAR – Fuck yoU Buddy, I'm Just A Reservist.
Good to Go – Expression denoting that difficulties will be overcome; ready; well done or satisfactory.
Gook – Anything foreign or strange. In modern US usage, "gook" refers particularly to Communist soldiers during the Vietnam War. It is generally considered to be highly offensive and viewed as a racial slur.
Guide – Unit guidon-bearer; in recruit training, also the senior recruit and responsible for the actions of all recruits in a platoon.
Gumby Suit - Two pieced wet weather gear consisting of a hooded jacket and overalls used until the mid-1990s when the Gore-Tex replaced it. So named because it is green in color and the wearers tended to look like the character Gumby. Those who have worn them can remember its distinctive rubber cloth odor. Gumby Suits can still be found for purchase at military surplus stores.
Gun Club – slang term for the USMC at-large as in "I've been in this gun club longer than you." Use in presence of senior personnel is inappropriate. Use by civilians or members of other services is considered disrespectful.
Half-Mast – position of the ensign when hoisted to one flag/ensign height below the top, usually done in respect to a deceased person; also called "half-staff" among non-naval forces. Half-Mast is also a term used by aircraft personnel and aircrew, describing the wearing of the flight suits and coveralls (a one piece uniform) rolled down to the waist so as to only look like pants.
Hard Charger or Hard – term of endearment from a senior to a junior Marine when he or she completes a difficult task, so named for charging through the assignment; or general toughness.
Hashmark – service stripe worn on the uniform sleeve by enlisted men and women for completion of four years of honorable service in any of the U.S. Armed Services and Reserves.
Hatch – Door; more specifically, the watertight cover over an opening between compartments or that leads to the ladder wells between decks of a ship.
HBT – HerringBoneTwill; the cotton material of Marine utilities from 1941 to the late 1950s.
HDR – Humanitarian Daily Ration, a variation of the MRE used to feed a single malnourished person for one day with 2,300 calories.
HEDP – High-Explosive Dual Purpose, type of armor piercing ammunition.
High and Tight – Nickname for a common variant of the buzz cut, where the hair is clipped very close. Although having become heavily associated with Marines (giving rise to the term "jarhead"), it's generally not the most common or preferred haircut worn among most Fleet Marines. Also referred to as a "High reg(ular)."
High-speed – New, interesting, or cool; often used to sarcastically denote that the subject looks good, but performance is dubious.
Hurry up and wait – Expression denoting inefficient time management or planning, often when a senior rushes a unit into a situation too fast that subsequently makes them wait. This can refer to the period between receiving a Warning Order and actually implementing an Operations Order.
Huss – To give a helping hand, so named because the H-34 Choctaw helicopter's utility configuration was designated as the "HUS-1 Seahorse," leading to Vietnam-era Marines that needed a medical evacuation helicopter to ask for or to be "cut a huss".
In Country – Phrase referring to being within a war zone.
Incentive/Individual Training or IT – Physical training used as a punishment, especially in recruit training, sometimes nicknamed "incentive torture," "indoor tennis," or getting "thrashed/bent/slayed/destroyed" by recruits. See also pitting & quarterdecking.
Jarhead – Pejorative term for a Marine. Jarhead has several supposed origins: the regulation "High and Tight" haircut resembles a mason jar (to add insult, some note that the jar is an empty vessel, also therefore a Marine's head an empty vessel); the Mason Jar Company stopped making jars and made the helmets for Marines during World War II.
JAX - Jacksonville, North Carolina. Located outside Camp Lejeune. Also called J-ville. Typical US military town filled with bars/taverns, pawn shops, tattoo parlors, car dealers and strip clubs. More commonly referred to as J-ville.
Jesus slippers or Jesus boots – Government-issue sandals or flip-flops for sanitation in showers. Also known as a "Boot from the Heavens". "Best boot I ever had". See also shower shoes.
Joker – Military journalist, from Private Joker from the movie Full Metal Jacket; also a derogatory term for a junior enlisted servicemember. Also, used by aviators, the time at which only 60 minutes of fuel remain.
JTF – Joint Task Force, a provisional unit or formation from more than one branch of service.
Lance Coolie, Lance Criminal, or Lance Coconut – derogatory terms for Lance Corporal.
Lance Corporal Underground or Lance Corporal Network – Joking reference to the gulf between non-NCOs and their superiors; also refers to the spread of foolish rumors that a more experienced Marine would immediately recognize as false.
LBV – Load Bearing Vest, personal equipment used to keep the most commonly used items within easy reach utilizing the PALS, usually a component of MOLLE or ILBE.
LCPLIC – Lance Corporal in Charge. A salty Lance Corporal.
Leatherneck – Nickname for Marine, so named for legends stating that stiff leather collars were once worn to protect the throat from sword-blows (also thought that high stocks were worn for discipline, to keep Marines' heads high and straight). The dress blue uniform still bears a high stock collar today. Also, Leatherneck Magazine.
Major – A Captain in command of a ship's Marine detachment, so titled because a ship may have only one Captain, the commanding officer.
Mama-san – Term of endearment for an elder Japanese woman, often a maid, cook, or tailor/seamstress performing services for Marines; from the Japanese honorific suffix "san".
MARINE – Muscles Are Required, Intelligence Non-Essential or My Ass Really Is Navy Equipment, pejorative backronyms used by other branches.
Marine – The following nicknames are usually acceptable: leatherneck, devil dog, sea soldier, warrior, hard charger, motivator; the following are acceptable from other Marines: jarhead, gyrene; the following are grievous insults: soldier, seabag.
Military Left – Pertaining to the left side of something or the direction to the left of the subject in question. Used sarcastically when giving orders when a subordinate turns the wrong way or is unsure of which way to turn.
Military Time – The time of day on a 24-hour clock. General Wallace M. Greene forbade the practice of suffixing the unnecessary word "hours" after each indication of time of day ("1330" or "thirteen-thirty" instead of "1330 hours"); the practice of saying "oh" instead of "zero" for hours before 1000 has diminished as well.
MRE – Meal, Ready-to-Eat, standard U.S. field ration. Sometimes jokingly referred to with backronyms such as "Meals Rejected by the Enemy," "Meals Rejected by Ethiopia," "Meal, Rotten to Eject," "Meals Rarely Eaten," "Meal, Reluctant to Exit," "Mister E," or the "Three Lies for the Price of One".
MRE bomb – Bursting plastic bag made from chemical heating pouches found inside of a standard MRE.
NCOIC – Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge, an NCO responsible for a group of Marines, but without the authority of a commissioned officer; somes also the senior enlisted Marine acting with the officer in charge. See also OIC & SNCOIC.
O-dark thirty – Very early hours before dawn. See also military time. The custom of saying "oh" instead of zero has diminished, but remains in this expression.
Office Hours – Administrative ceremony where legal, disciplinary, and other matters (such as praise, special requests, etc.) are attended, designed to dramatize praise and admonition, in a dignified, disciplined manner, out of the ordinary routine. Known as Captain's Mast afloat. An award given during a positive office hours or Mast is known as a Meritorious Mast, a negative office hours with punishment awarded is an example of non-judicial punishment.
Officers' Country – Living spaces for officers aboard ship, or portion of post or station allocated for the exclusive use of officers.
OFP – Own Fucking Program. When a Marine does what he wants to, when he wants to and gets away with it.
Old Asia Hand – Person with more than one tour in Asia.
Old Man – Very informal nickname for the commanding officer, considered an inappropriate term of endearment for use by a junior, thus used in reference but never in address.
OMPF – Official Military Personnel File, a record of all awards, punishments, training, and other records compiled by Headquarters Marine Corps.
One Slow County - Another name for Onslow County, North Carolina. Camp Lejeune and Jacksonville are located within the county lines.
Oorah – Spirited cry used since the mid-20th century, comparable to Hooah used in the Army or Hooyah by Navy SEALs; most commonly used to respond to a verbal greeting or as an expression of enthusiasm. The origin is often disputed.
OOB – Out Of Bounds, or straying into an area restricted from use by normal traffic, prohibited to Marines, or too far from base for a given liberty period.
OOD – Officer Of the Deck, or the senior Marine responsible for the patrol and security of a unit's garrison working spaces and sleeping quarters after working hours, usually responsible for subordinate sentries and acts as a guard commander. See also duty & firewatch
Oscar Mike – On the Move, the names of the two NATO phonetic alphabet letters O and M, which stand for the phrase. Used on the radio and in shorthand to each other. See also NATO phonetic alphabet
Page 11 – NAVMC 118(11), a page of a Marine's Service Record Book or Officer Qualification Record where administrative remarks are made concerning a Marine's performance and conduct, and which may contain negative recommendations regarding promotion or re-enlistment; while not a punishment itself or inherently negative, it is part of a Marine's permanent service record and used as a basis for administrative decisions regarding a Marine's career; the term commonly refers to an entry itself made in this section.
Parade Deck – Area set aside for the conduct of parades, drill, and ceremonies, often paved or well-maintained lawn. See also grinder.
Passed over – Having failed selection for the next higher rank (for SNCOs and officers).
Pay Grade – DOD system of designating a U.S. serviceperson's pay (E-1 through E-9, W-1 through W-5, and O-1 through O-10), not to be confused with rank (though the two usually correspond) or billet.
PCP – Physical Conditioning Program, exercise regimen for Marines failing to meet the minimum physical requirements; also Physical Conditioning Platoon, for the unit where a physically unfit recruit is sent prior to recruit training, nicknamed Pork Chop Platoon.
(The) Pits – Depressed area on a shooting range where the targets are located, shooters staff it by marking, raising, and lowering targets from behind a berm. See also butts and pulling butts / pits.
Pitting – Incentive training for a large group of recruits, so named for the sandy pits set aside for such events. See also quarterdecking.
Pizza Stain – A nickname used by some Marines during recruit training to refer to the National Defense Service Medal, so named for the red and yellow appearance, like the cheese and sauce of a pizza.
Platoon Sergeant – SNCO executive to the platoon commander, usually the senior enlisted man.
PMCM – Equipment such as aircraft that are partially mission capable due to maintenance that needs to be performed. Parts are available but not manpower.
PMCS – Preventive Maintenance Checks and Services, regularly performed maintenance on equipment, as opposed to corrective maintenance.Also, partial mission capability of equipment such as aircraft due to parts shortage in the supply chain.
Pogue – Marine not of the combat arms (infantry), etymology is disputed: possibly "pogue" derived from the Tagalog word meaning "prostitute" or the Erse Gaelic word meaning "to kiss [my ass]", while "POG" could be from the acronym Persons Other than Grunt, but could be a backronym.
Poguey or Pogey Bait – Candy or sweets. See also geedunk.
Port – Naval term for "left side of ship" when on board a ship and facing forward, opposite of starboard. "Port" is the same with respect to a ship regardless of where a person is located or which way a person is facing, whereas "left" might be ambiguous.
Pot Shack – Place where cooking utensils are washed.
Possible – Slang term for the highest score possible in a marksmanship exercise as in "shooting a possible"; used on the rifle range during Recruit Training to denote the shooter possibly achieving a perfect score in a given round of firing.
Pos – Radio lingo for position.
PowerPoint Ranger - Pejorative for Marines (usually officers) who have spent too much time in an office.
Prick – Slang for any equipment bearing the "PRC" JETDS designator, usually man-portable radios.
Pro & Cons – Contraction of "Proficiency and Conduct marks", a numeric system for evaluating enlisted Marines. Usually written or spoken consecutively, with the first being Proficiency and the second being Conduct, e.g. 4.5/4.8. Hypothetically, the scale is from 0.0 to 5.0, but a perfect 5.0 is so rare that a Marine who receives it is called a "water-walker" (in reference to Mark 6:48) and the worst marks awarded almost never fall below 2.0 .
Property Cage – Place where organizational property is stored, often a warehouse.
QRF – Quick Reaction Force, a highly-mobile stand-by force designed to add firepower in precise places as the commander decides on a changing battlefield, often used for MEDEVAC purposes.
Quarter Deck – A location of prominence in a barracks or office; in recruit training, this area by the drill instructor's office is usually off-limits to recruits except during ceremonial discipline; the term comes from the quarter deck of a ship defined as "the part of the upper deck abaft the mainmast, including the poop deck when there is one. Usually reserved for ship's officers, guests, and passengers."
Quarterdecking – Incentive training at recruit training by means of repetitive and constant physical exercises, so named because it is usually a recruit's only opportunity to visit the quarter deck. See also pitting.
Quarters – Housing, whether bachelor (barracks) or family (government-leased apartments or houses); or periodic, muster of a ship's company.
Quatrefoil – Four-pointed embroidered pattern stitched on to the top of a Marine officer's barracks cover, from the tradition of wearing it to be identified as friendly to Marine sharpshooters during boarding actions in the era of wooden sailing ships.
Red Patch – Device worn on the uniforms of landing support Marines to distinguish the shore party from landing troops.
Request Mast – Appealing to increasingly higher links in the chain of command in order to seek satisfaction for a grievance the requester feels was not adequately handled at a lower level; DoN orders permit any Marine to request mast up to the individual's commanding general without repercussions.
Re-up – Reenlist, volunteering for an additional period of service.
Reverse Raider - Derogatory term for MARSOC Marines, due to their reputed tendency to assume they are superior to regular Marines. Many in the Marine Reconnaissance community see MARSOC as wanting to emmulate the Marine Raiders of WWII, which they are not meant to be.
RFI – Request For Information.
Roach coach – Civilian vehicle allowed on base to sell fast food (see Pogey Bait).
ROE – Rules Of Engagement, the restrictions on when and how a servicemember may use force on the enemy and other forces.
Rubber Bitch – Name given to the ISO mat or sleeping pad made of a rubber foam-like material. It is used by Marines when sleeping on the ground or other hard surfaces. It is sometimes used during PT (physical training) for calisthenics.
Running Lights – Navigational night lights on a ship; or the small red rectangular Red Patch sewn onto the uniforms of landing support team Marines..
SACO – Substance Abuse Control Officer, a Marine responsible for the initial screening and evaluation of a Marine or sailor with alcoholism or illegal drug use issues to the proper medical facilities for rehabilitation & treatment.
Safety Brief - Usually given by an NCO to junior enlisted Marines prior to being released for liberty. "Marines if you are going to drink, don't drive, if you are going to drive, don't drink, if you meet some gal be smart and use a condom (if you can't wrap it, smack it, as my sergeant would tell us) etc..."
S/F – Abbreviation for Semper Fidelis when used as an end greeting in written communication.
Sailor – The following nicknames are usually acceptable: bluejacket, tar, whitehat; while the following are considered insults: gob, swab, swabbie, swab jockey, squid, anchor clanker, rust picker, deck ape.
Salt, Salty, or Salt/salty dog – Experienced or well-worn person or object, from the salt that would accumulate after long-term exposure to salt water.
Sandmonster – To bury something into the sand, usually MRE trash and brass. (Local to 29 Palms)
SARC – Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, a Marine (usually an SNCO) assigned as the point of contact for personnel who are victims of or witnesses to sexual assault. Such duty is often ironically assigned to one of the least tactful/sensitive members of a unit.
Say Again (Your Last) – Request to repeat a statement, question, or order, especially over a radio, or as "I say again" to preface a repetition by the sender; the word "repeat" is not to be used in this context, as it calls for a preceding fire mission to be fired again.
Scuttlebutt – Gossip; or a drinking fountain, from "butt" (cask) and "scuttle" (a hole in a ship's side at deck level that allows water to drain from the deck), a cask that had an opening fitted with a spigot used to contain fresh water for drinking purposes. Because people gathered around a scuttlebutt, gossip, rumors, and sea stories are also known as scuttlebutt.
Semper Fi – Shortened version of "Semper Fidelis", the motto of the Corps, Latin for "always faithful". Can be used ironically, as in, "Semper Fi, Mac", which basically means, "That's the breaks," or "Too fucking bad."
Semper Gumby – Colloquialism denoting tactical flexibility and the ability to quickly adapt to changing circumstances.
Semper I – Colloquialism denoting selfish or self-centered behavior.
Short-timer – Person nearing the completion of his/her present tour of duty or enlistment.
Short-timer's Disease – Apathy to duties and regulations from a person nearing EAS.
Shove Off – To leave the vicinity, from the naval term meaning to push a boat off the shore or pier.
Shower Shoes – Pair of rubber sandals issued to recruits to prevent infections from the use of community or shared showers. See also Jesus shoes. Also sometimes used as a facetious, almost-always joking pejorative term for new Marines. That is to say that they're so new that they don't even rate to be called "boots".
Sick Bay – Infirmary or other medical facility aboard ship, can also refer to aid stations ashore. See also BAS.
Sick Call – Daily period when routine ailments are treated at sick bay.
Skate – Avoiding work by finding an excuse to be elsewhere or unavailable by doing something easier (but important enough to avoid re-tasking); also used as an adjective to describe such an easier duty.
Smokin' and Jokin' – When a mass of Marines is acting unproductive.
SNCOIC – Staff NonCommissioned Officer In Charge, a SNCO responsible for a group of Marines, but without the authority of a commissioned officer; somes also the senior enlisted Marine acting with the officer in charge. See also NCOIC & OIC.
Snap In – Conduct sighting in or aiming exercises with an unloaded weapon.
SNM – Said Name Marine
Snow Job – Misleading or grossly exaggerated report; sales talk.
SRB – Service Record Book, an administrative record of an enlisted Marine's personal information, promotions, postings, deployments, punishments, and emergency data; much like an officer's OQR.
SSDD – Same Shit, Different Day, euphemism denoting frustration with an unchanging situation or boredom.
Stacking Swivel – Oblong-shaped link with an opening screwed to the rifle that allowed other rifles to be hooked and stacked (the M1 Garand was the last service rifle to have a stacking swivel, this function is now held by the weapon's sling); "Grab him by the stacking swivel" infers grabbing a person's throat.
STEAL- Stealthily Transport Equipment to Another Location.
Starboard – Naval term for "right side of ship" when on board a ship and facing forward, opposite of port. "Starboard" is the same with respect to a ship regardless of where a person is located or which way a person is facing, whereas "left" might be ambiguous.
Taco Rice - A popular dish invented and served on Okinawa. It's basically a taco without the shell served on rice. Every Marine, Sailor, Airman and Soldier on Oki has their favorite taco rice place which they swear is the best on island.
TAD – Temporary Assigned Duty, a duty where the Marine or Sailor is detached from his or her unit temporarily and serves elsewhere; comparable to the Army term TDY.
TBS – The Basic School, the six month combat training school for new Marine officers.
Trooper – Soldier, considered a grievous insult to refer to a Marine unless plural.
TS Chit – A (fictitious) small card, to be punched by a senior person upon hearing a high-grade TS (very sad) story. When completely punched around the edge, the bearer is entitled to a half hour with the chaplain. "That story is so sad I'll punch your TS Chit twice."
Two-block – Hoist a flag or pennant to the peak, truck, or yardarm of a staff; or a tie with the knot positioned exactly in the gap of a collar of a buttoned shirt. Correctly, "to-block"—hoisted all the way to the block (pulley) at the top of signal halliard.
Two-digit Midget- An enlisted Marine with 99 or fewer days remaining on his or her enlistment or tour of duty. A variation is the single-digit midget, with nine or fewer days remaining.
UD – Unit Diary, the computerized system that maintains all administrative records for a unit. Also, Uniform of the Day (or UDs) – prescribed uniform for the day; more generally associated with 'Charlies'
Un-fuck – To correct a deficiency, usually on a person.
Under Arms – Status of having a weapon, sidearm, "MP" or "SP" brassard, or wearing equipment pertaining to an arm such as a sword sling, pistol belt, or cartridge belt as part of guard duty; Marines under arms do not remove covers indoors.
Under Canvas – Living under temporary sheltering, such as a tent.
Under Way – To depart or to start a process for an objective.
UNQ – Unqualified, usually in reference to training events. Pronounced "unk."
Unsat – Abbreviation of unsatisfactory.
USMC – Acronym for United States Marine Corps. Also used as a pejorative backronym: Uncle Sam's Misguided Children, U Signed the Motherfucking Contract, U Suckers Missed Christmas, Unlimited Shit and Mass Confusion, University of Science, Music and Culture, Uncomplicated Shit Made Complicated, Under Seabee Management Constantly.
Wing Wiper – Aviation person, usually a maintenance person and not a pilot.
Winger – Aviation Marine.
WIR – DRMO; Washed-out In Repair; waste incidental to reprocessing; collection of items and/or equipment for turn-in that may be re-used by someone else at a later time, preferably at a savings to the government.
The Wire – Defensive perimeter of a firm base, crossing it denotes the end of relative safety.
Word – General term for instructions, orders, and information that is required for all members of a unit to know; or the act of passing information to a collected group of servicemembers. See also gouge.
WM – Unofficial acronym for a Woman Marine. Often used as a pejorative to mean "walking mattress".
Wrk your Bolt – resort to special measures, either by energy or guile, in order to attain a particular end; from the action of racking a rifle's bolt to clear a stoppage.
Zero – Pronounced zee-ROW in an exaggerated manner, as used by Drill Instructors at the end of a count-down implying that recruits are to immediately cease all activity remain silently in place. Used by Marines to gain the immediate attention of all personnel in the area without calling attention on deck.
Zero-stupid Thirty – An unnecessarily early time for which personnel are required to assemble for an activity. See also O-dark thirty.