Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Army-isms

I was reading my last post and some of the comments, and I saw that azucar wants to hear about my dud Soldier. So here it is, briefly: I have about 12 Soldiers that work directly for me. I can count on 11 of them to execute any given task fairly efficiently (within the scope of their experience), and I can count on the other one to take twice as long, complain twice as loudly, and do half as well. I get a lot of calls from other Captains that go something like this: "Your Soldier, Skippynuts, started working on my computer/radio/printer/cell phone two days ago and still hasn't come back to finish what he started." This forces me to expend effort to have someone finish what Skippynuts started and yell at him. That's the story. Great, huh? Was it worth it?

But what I really started thinking about was the amount of highly specialized terms (like "Skippynuts") generated by the military service. So I thought I'd give you some examples of my favorites, and then open the forum so you can ask questions.

Terms you commonly hear:

-Roger: Means "I understand your last transmission," and "Yes." It is properly used in radio communications as a shorthand response to avoid long transmissions. For example, "Lost One, this is Lost Three, are you lost too, over?" "Roger"

-WILCO: Short for Will Comply. Also a radio communications word. NEVER USE THIS WITH ROGER. "Roger WILCO" makes you sound stupid.

-Squared Away: Means Good, or Competent, or Well Executed. You can also use it negatively, as in "squared away like a doughnut." See, it's funny because doughnuts aren't square. Get it? Get it?

Other Things you Will Hear:

- Negative. Never "No." Always "Negative."

- There are no men or women in the Army, there are only Males and Females. (It's tempting to think that there are just no women, just females who look like males.)

- High Speed. This can be good or bad, depending on your tone. Saying that something is high speed is generally good, but calling someone high speed ("Hey there, High Speed, why don't you put the safety on that weapon?") is not.

Colorful Phrases (which I will attempt to clean up)

These are some of my favorite ways to describe incompetence or poor military appearance. Call me crazy...

"Squared away like a doughnut/football bat/beach ball."

"He is a dud."

"You are an oxygen thief." An oxygen thief is someone who, by their very existence, steals air from creatures who need to use their brains.

"You look like a bag of (penises)." Usually you don't use that word. If you ever want to stop someone in their tracks and make them reconsider an outfit or haircut, use this one.

"This is a cluster." A messed up situation.

"Skippynuts." When I can't remember a Soldier's name, that's the name I substitute. Maybe that's just me, though.


I will think of more later, but for right now those are some of the ones I have used most frequently. If you have any that you heard but want to know where they come from or what they mean, just let me know.

5 comments:

La Yen said...

What does "You will be able to go on vacation in two weeks" mean?

waldo&cay said...

Sounds like that evening we wpent around the table, coming up with phrases that cound be used in place of bad words. (remember "penis wrinkle?"

~j. said...

I was going to say something clever, but your mom just said 'penis wrinkle,' and now my eyes sting.

This is a cluster.

Anonymous said...

"googled self", "now going blind"


Can you explain?

Nigel said...

B.F.I = bright ____-ing idea, usually used to describe a negative situation as in, "Whose B.F.I. was this?" One of the local trash removal companies is called BFI. Every day, I see trucks with BFI written in huge letters on the side. Every day I get to laugh.