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New Doctrinal Terms for the US Military

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New terms are developed everyday in the services. These new terms put things in their proper perspective. Most are eloquent and protect you in today's PC environment. Some are more apropro than others. Here are a few that are relevant in today's services....

40% REDUX RETIREMENT: The new retirement plan that will result in reduction of service (Army, Air Force, etc) manning to 40% of wartime requirements.

404: Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message "404 Not Found," meaning that the requested document could not be located. "Don't bother asking the boss . . . he's 404, man."

ADMINISPHERE: The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the battalion/wing level. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are generally profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.

ASS-CLOWN: A leader who demonstrates comedy to effectively wow the seniors to believe he actually has operational knowledge of the task at hand. In actuality, he has no clue and truly doesn't understand the training criteria.

ASSMOSIS: The process by which some people seem to absorb success and promotability by kissing up to the commander. This process can be observed first-hand whenever senior field grade officers are near general officers.

AVIATION CONTINUATION PAY: The $16,308 a month paycheck you'll earn when you get out and continue to fly until you're a senior captain at United Airlines.

BACK-STOP: A term used to cover a staff failure to properly wargame a course of action. Also a term used by infantry showing how "hope" is a method incorporated to defeat the enemy. "If the enemy gets through the engagement area, we have Delta Company placed here to back-stop the Battalion defense.

BEFUCKLED: Confused, characterized by a state of genuine, profound disorientation; perpetual state of all Chemical units.

BELLS AND WHISTLES: An inordinate amount of cheese, not required to get necessary information communicated to another individual or group of individuals. Commonly associated with Canine and Equestrian Theater.

BLAH, BLAH, BLAH: Short for "You know what I'm going to say anyway, so I'm not going to waste our time to actually say it." See also YADA YADA YADA or HOMINA HOMINA or HUMMA HUMMA HUMMA.

BLAMESTORMING: Sitting around the headquarters discussing why a suspense was missed or a mission failed and who was responsible. Typical activity among general staffs...

BONED: A term used in response to orders issued from a higher commander. As in "I am the counter-reconnaissance company and the battalion reserve at the same time - I got boned!"

BUTTLOAD: (updated) A large quantity. A lot. Used to refer to the number of vehicles in a recon cluster. Also refers to how much artillery is necessary to disable an enemy force.

CHAINSAW MET: A team brought in from a high headquarters to reduce your manpower authorizations, leaving the organization and unit leadership with clean hands.

CHEESECON: (Updated) Level of preparedness for a briefing or presentation that indicates the number (and rank) of officers attempting to wedge an OER bullet into a training exercise. The level of cheesecon generally increases exponentially the closer the exercise. The upper-limit of cheesecon is unknown and the high-water mark increases with each visit of an important foreign national or the National War College.

CHEESE-EX:The 542 slide briefing that results at the conclusion of the of MDMP that outlines what can be clearly said in a well-written paragraph (formerly known as the Commander's intent and/or concept of the operation). This is the Force XXI cause of the "Fog of War."

CHEETAH-FLIPS: The course of action development phase of the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) in an imagined crisis environment (often replicated by headquarters during daily operations).

COMBINED ARMS: IAW FM 101-5-1 "The synchronized or simultaneous application of several arms, such as infantry, armor, artillery, engineers, air defense, and aviation to achieve an effect on the enemy that is greater than if each arm was used against the enemy in sequence." In the real world this means that an entire infantry battalion will be held in place to die at the hands of an angry Krasnovian with a mortar tube while the FSO diligently flips through a 100-page synch-matrix to determine the EFST for this particular sub-phase of the operation.

CRITICAL TERRAIN: Terrain that if not secured, grabbed, taken or camped out on - you are screwed. A new category to describe terrain in FM 34-130 (Critical - Decisive - Key).

CRM - Career Restricting Move: Used among officers to describe ill-advised activity. Trashing core values or discussing civilian sector employment/pay scales while your commander is within earshot is serious CRM.

DECONFLICT: A polite term generally used the following way in briefings, "Yes sir, we need to deconflict that land piece for the occupation of the assembly areas." This actually means, "No sir, I did not think about the problem enough to realize that I couldn't fit the entire brigade into one square kilometer. Let me go unf*ck myself."

DEJA MOO: The feeling you've heard this bullshit before. Usually heard during USRs, QTBs, etc.

DICK DANCE: When two guys work together on a mission and never get it done because both of them want to lead.

DILBERTED: To be exploited and oppressed by your boss. A common event in most organizations. derived from the experiences of Dilbert, the geek-in-hell comic strip character. "I've been dilberted again. The old man changed my leave schedule for the fourth time this month because his wife couldn't make up her mind."

DRIVE BY: (updated) The act of simultaneously fixing and bypassing an enemy unit. It is generally executed when some brilliant IOAC grad on brigade staff decides to send your battalion through a reinforced MRR. Meets both the destruction and bypass criteria given in the OPORD. May also refer to when a senior officer stops by your unit or motorpool.

FAN-OUT: A dismounted operation involving soldiers on the ground maximizing the amount of terrain they can cover or disperse over.

FLAIL-EX: Also known as the planning process.

FLEX: A really cool sounding non-doctrinal term used to maneuver a unit from one location to another. Used primarily when you don't have a clue where you are or how the hell to get to the new location.

FLIGHT RISK: Used to describe officers/NCOs who are suspected of planning to retire or separate from the service soon. Alternatively, any O-6 or above that gets behind the controls of an airplane.

GENERICA: Features of any service installation (Air Force base, Army post,..) landscape that are exactly the same no matter which base one is at, such as Burger King, Robin Hood, the PX/BX, and the AMC pax terminal. Used as in "We were so lost in generica that I forgot what base we were at."

GET UP AND HAUL ASS: A movement technique that requires all elements within the organization to cross the LD yesterday.

GETTIN' JIGGY WIT IT: A friendly oriented, offensive form of maneuver that simultaneously utilizes at least three maneuver elements.

GOOD IDEA WINDOW: Definition currently under revision. Formerly, this term was used to imply that events would not grow out of control at the last minute. Upon closer inspection by the division engineer, however, the 'window' has been discovered to be rusted open. In fact, nobody can even remember the last time they saw the window closed. Suggested definition: good idea fountain.

GUCCI MOVE: Altering Commander's intent, commander's guidance, or violating the fundamentals of reconnaissance or security operations.

HANG OUT: To establish a position characterized by a total lack of security, soldiers asleep in hammocks and a huge BBQ pit turning out chow. A task usually accomplished by Air Defenders.

HEY DIDDLE DIDDLE: Group of words used to describe a possible COA that allows for no analytical thought and ensures a minimum 75% casualty rate.

HIT: Term for applying massed effects against the enemy. As in "First, we'll hit these guys over here. Then, we'll hit these guys and then the guys over here will be hit with asymmetrical dominance from assets from EAC.

HOP AND POP: Means to move about excitedly with no real purpose or direction. Used in one of two ways, 1) when being entirely overwhelmed by the enemy and the unit has lost all discipline and control. At this point individuals are expected to 'hop and pop' in an effort to keep themselves alive at the expense of all else. High rates of fratricide are the norm with this type of operation. 2) When senior officers show up on-site unexpectedly. Units are normally conducting 'TOC OPs' in this situation and the only recourse is for all parties to move about with stern looks and weapons/briefing slides at the ready in an attempt to make the visitor believe that something important is actually going on.

JUMP BACK OFF YOUR BAD SELF: The correct response to anybody pulling a "Gucci Move."

KABUKI DANCE: Deceptive movement technique used on the battlefield and/or creative verbiage used in briefings or explanations to higher headquarters. It is designed to baffle the enemy as to actual intent or axis of advance. Works to our advantage because foreign armies generally find it hard to believe that the American army could be so screwed up. In briefings, this dance normally entails use of such terms as 'flex, hop and pop, and EFST'. Common most among the Field Artillery and Division/Corps-level planners.

KICK-OUT: An armor technique used to employ light infantry to clear severely restricted terrain in order to allow the armor to pass.

KITCHEN SINK: More artillery support than you will ever see.

LAZE AND BLAZE: This is the execution portion of 'hop and pop.' while it implies a cavalier and competent use of tactical skills (eg using the BELRF and 25mm to maximum efficiency) it more accurately describes the act of simultaneously sluing the turret and mashing the trigger on any and all weapon systems in a desperate bid to kill something.

LETHAL/PSYCHOLOGICALLY DEVASTATING/PHYSICALLY OVERWHELMING: The definition is currently unclear. Believed to describe a rabid mole-rat that is rumored to be harassing senior members of the division staff.

LET'S ROCK BABY: Radio Communications proword for, "Guidons, this is Black 6, FRAGO follows, acknowledge, over."

MOP-UP: A term for the actions occurring just after you discover you are actually on the objective, in the enemy's fire sack, that implies a willingness to expose oneself to lethal fires.

OFFLINE: Yet one more term regularly heard in briefings. This term is used to convey a polite attitude towards another staff officer in order to spare everyone else in the meeting from having to endure staff-to-staff coordination. Usually when a briefer says, "That's a good point, let's talk about it offline," he is really saying, "Listen dickhead, you try to sharpshoot me in a meeting one more time I'm going to hit you so hard that I kill all your relatives."

OHNOSECOND: That minuscule fraction of time after hitting the "enter" key in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake.

PAINT THE PICTURE: A term used to gather information and assess the situation. Usually asked by senior leaders to junior leaders. Usually invoked after the senior leader has gotten sleep and knows absolutely nothing of the tactical situation, while the battle captain has been up all night.

PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE: The fine art of whacking the crap out of a $200,000 inertial navigation unit to get it to work again.

PHASE: Infantry term for "we don't know how to write paragraph three" of an Op Order.

POLICE-UP: An infantry operation to defeat the remaining enemy on an objective after Armor forces by-pass or attempt to avoid confrontation.

POUND THE SHIT OUT OF: Somewhere between disrupt and destroy and slightly more than neutralize. Typical Cavalry mission. One of several terms that vaguely refers to fighting the enemy. It is generally used in pep talks prior to the beginning of a battle. When used, it is a sure indicator that your unit is about to lose.

RECON CLUSTER: A large gathering of recon assets from several echelons of command. Normally given the task of observing an NAI the size of Texas, but kept together because nobody trusts the COLTs enough not to get lost. Command relationships for this element are normally ignored or muddled, allowing the element to commence TOC OPs.

RESOLUTION: Easily defined- this is a popular phrase because it sounds much better than its literal definition. To translate, just substitute the words "a f*cking clue" whenever you hear an officer speak of 'resolution.' Example: "No sir, we don't yet have resolution on how we are going to execute the deployment sequence." This equals: "No sir, we don't yet have a f*cking clue about how we are going to execute the deployment sequence."

SALMON DAY: The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.

SEAGULL COLONEL: A colonel who swoops in, makes a lot of noise, and shits all over everything.

SELFCON: This is when a junior commander (usually a captain) comes to the realization that his higher is completely clueless (perhaps even befuckled) so he simply attaches himself and his command to another unit.

SHITLOAD: (updated) Double the quantity of a buttload. Used to refer to the number of vehicles in a BCT TOC, or BN UMCP. Also refers to a battalion-6 mission. An alternate use of this term is when a unit is being overrun. This allows the RTO to succinctly call in an accurate estimate of the enemy's size as he grabs his MRE and attempts to free himself from his sleeping bag.

SHOOT: A term that used to stand for the act of engaging another human being with some form of dangerous projectile. Now most commonly used to refer to the act of sending an e-mail to another staff officer. How it sounds, "Hey, I'll shoot that piece out to you on e-mail tomorrow." What it really means, "Hey, my life is so pathetic, and so far from warfighting, that I am going to spend tomorrow in front of an electronic display. While doing so, I will alternate my thoughts between convincing myself that I am doing something useful with daydreams about commanding an intergalactic starship that I control through my keyboard."

SQUIRREL-EX: The wargaming phase of the MDMP after all Cheetah-Flips are completed, briefed and refined. The Squirrel-Ex phase normally culminates with a massive PowerPoint briefing called a Cheese-Ex."

SUPER-DUPER PCI: Like 'laze and blaze', this definition implies a competent use of doctrinal troop leading procedures. What is really means is that the unit will cross the LD with no ammo, no antennas, three layers of hot gear, and 2 DOS of chow stuffed into every gas mask carrier.

SWEEP: A fluid, noncontinuous form of battlespace dominance, usually combined with zippin' around or getting' jiggy with it.

TAKE-DOWN: An aggressive former wrestling term used to describe your actions on the objective an inherent lack of regard for the enemy's capabilities.

TECHNIQUE: A noun, used in the phrase, "That's a technique." Translated, "That's a really f***ed up way to execute this operation and you will probably kill your entire unit. But if you want to do it that way, go ahead."

THE HAMMER: A cool operational term to impress a superior when describing the main effort.

TOC OPs: Term used to describe the actual priorities of work that will take place within any assembly area or TOC location. Priorities include, 1) build large and elaborate hooches 2) dig pit and gather wood for large bonfire area 3) eat/sleep. All soldiers conducting TOC OPs are expected to use white lens flashlights when maneuvering in the area. Helmets and protective masks are expressly forbidden. The outergarment will usually include a t-shirt or sleep shirt along with some form of do-rag, but should never include web gear or the BDU top. Security when conducting TOC-Ops will consist of sending the newest private, without a radio or ammunition, 300m out on the perimeter to provide early warning of any visits from higher headquarters. Radio watch will consist of one soldier asleep within ten feet of the radio. Upon compromise by higher HQ, all soldiers will immediately start hopping and popping.

TRIPLE-HULL DOWN: A term associated with force-protection, fratricide, and/or self-preservation. Used in order to prevent being fired on by friends when saying something really stupid, hiding from the boss who has a task that only you can fill, or covering your butt from being smoked by anyone.

WORK: Formerly a verb, used to refer to action and activity directed toward a specific goal or purpose, although in recent times the meaning of this term has degraded significantly. One will often hear this term in briefings (as with all excessive verbiage) in the context of "Yes sir, we need to work the logistics side of the exercise." What this really means, "Sir, I will execute at least one IPR and send out a minimum of 10 e-mail messages in order to cover my ass should this stupid issue that you brought up ever rear its ugly head again."

ZIPPING AROUND: An aviation movement technique in which the helicopters appear to fly around aimlessly at a high rate of speed impressing the ground combat troops with their speed and dash. Occasionally encompasses "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" and usually used in a zone reconnaissance.



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