23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean) - We Are The Mighty
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23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

The military is notorious for using acronyms and abbreviations, and here are 23 of them that approach YGTBSM status:


 

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

1. AARDACONUS – Army Air Reconnaissance for Damage Assessment in the Continental United States

2. ADCOMSUBORDCOMPHIBSPAC – Administrative Command, Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet Subordinate Command (US Navy)

3. ARCCbtWMD – Army Council for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction

4. ASTAMIDS – Airborne Standoff Minefield Detection System

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Airborne Standoff Minefield Detection System (Photo: L-3)

5. CASTFOREM – Combined Arms and Support Task Force Evaluation Model

6. COMNAVAIRSYSCOM – Commander, Naval Air Systems Command

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Vice Adm. David Dunaway, Commander, Naval Air Systems Command and member of USNA’s great Class of ’82.

 

7. DEFREMANEDCEN – Defense Resources Management Education Center

8. FLEASWTRACENPAC – Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center – Pacific

 

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

9. HERCULES – Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift and Evacuation System (pictured below being loaded on to a C-17)

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
HERCULES being loaded onto a C-17 (Photo: Jason Minto/USAF)

10. HELANTISUBRON5 – Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Five

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

 

11. HRCCIOSPB – Human Resources Command Chief Information Office Strategic Planning Branch

12. INCONMOVREP – Intra‐Continental United States Movement Report

13. MARCORSYSCOM – Marine Corps Systems Command

14. MILPERSIMS – Military Personnel Information System

15. MOBAALOCO – Mobilization Active Army locator

16. NAVCOMTELSTA ASCOMM DET WHIDBEY – Naval Computer and Telecommunication Station, Antisubmarine Warfare Communications Center Detachment Whidbey Island

17. NAVEODTECHDIV – Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division

18. POPNAMRAD – Policies, Organizations, and Procedures in Non‐atomic Military Research and Development

19. Prime BEEF – Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force. Pictured below, members of the U.S. Air Force 577th Expeditionary Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force Squadron constructs a dome shelter on Camp Marmal, Afghanistan.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo: Senior Airman Sandra Welch/USAF

20. RED HORSE – Rapid Engineers Deployable Heavy Operations Repair Squadron, Engineers

21. SINCGARS – Single-Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo: Wikipedia

22. SLAMRAAM – Surface Launched Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo: Wikipedia

 

23. USAADACENFB – United States Army Air Defense Artillery Center, Fort Bliss

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

NOW: 11 things First Sergeants say that make troops lose their minds

OR: The 12 most iconic military recruiting spots of all time

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5 important rules every grunt should follow in a foot patrol

There have been countless military books published about how infantry conduct their impressive maneuvers and tactics.


Troops on the ground spend countless days learning to efficiently execute those specific movements with their squad, so when enemy contact breaks out, each member is ready to go.

Commonly, some of the rules we spend hours learning need to be broken, depending on the situation. But, in the heat of battle, there are some rules that, if they’re broken, lead to people getting needlessly hurt.

Related: 9 struggles infantrymen know all too well about mail drops

1. Don’t walk outside the clear lane

In the crazy land of Afghanistan, the bad guys like to use IEDs instead of fighting real like men. Because of that threat, the engineer, or the guy who walks out in front patrol, has to use a specialized metal detector to search for the buried devices.

After the engineer clears a narrow walking lane, it’s essential that no one steps outside of that isolated and protected area. A crappy thing could happen if a troop does step outside that path.

This U.S. Marine carefully sweeps his Valon metal detector from side-to-side with the hopes of finding an IED before it finds his patrol. (Image from Wikipedia Commons)

2. Maintain constant rear security

Rear security is all about “covering your six.” The last man in the patrol is expected to keep a constant eye out for any threat that gets to close to the back of the patrol. In the event that a potential risk comes to close, it’s goodbye bad guy — if that last man does his job right.

3. Follow dispersion

Before a patrol sets out, the squad leader will dictate how far apart he wants each troop to walk from one another. This dispersion helps minimize secondary injuries to nearby troops if an IED goes off.

It’s sh*tty enough when one guy goes down, but it’s even worse when multiple get injured.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
These Marines maintain a specific amount of dispersion to combat secondary exploring injuries. (Image form Wikipedia Commons)

4. Don’t touch or even look at the local females — if you’re a male

Many Afghan males find it highly offensive if American males touch or even look at their wives or daughters. The consequences could be fatal for the women, and no one wants that.

So to help this situation, we turn to the services of the FET — or Female Engagement Team — who are allowed to work with the local females.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
U.S. Army Sgt. Lidya Admounabdfany writes down information from a local woman at the Woman’s Center outside of Forward Operating Base Pasab, Kandahar province, Afghanistan, Dec. 17, 2011. Admounabdfany is a member of Female Engagement Team and is gathering information from women so the FET can distribute blankets and winter clothing to the women and their families. (Photo by Spc. Kristina Truluck)

 

Also Read: 6 ways you can tell a troop isn’t an infantryman

5. Keep your head on a swivel

When you leave the wire, no one is safe, only safer. This idea rings true no matter how much you prepare yourself. A good situation can turn south in a matter of seconds.

So pay attention out there, people!

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23 terms only Marines will understand

Marines speak a slightly-different language than the rest of the United States.


While everyone in the Corps speaks and uses English most of the time, there’s another layer of terminology added on top which is uniquely Marine. If you are around Marines long enough, you’ll hear someone being called a “boot” or dozens of them screaming out “yut.”

This is what it all means.

“Rah.” or “Rah!” or “Rah?”

Short for “Oohrah,” a Marine greeting or expression of enthusiasm similar to the Army’s “Hooah” or the Navy’s “Hooyah.” Rah, however, is a bit more versatile. You could be agreeing with someone, by saying “rah.” You could be excited about going on a mission by exclaiming, “Rah!” Or you could be asking the platoon if everyone understands, “rah?”

It’s like the Marine version of the mobster’s “fuggaddaboutit.”

“Errrr.”

This is an even more shortened-down version of “rah.” But it’s most often used as a lazy-man’s version of agreement. Your platoon sergeant may ask if everyone understands the plan of the day, to which everyone will respond with “Errrr.” Translation: Yeah Gunny, we got it.

“Yut.”

Arguably used more often than “Oohrah” by junior Marines to express enthusiasm. Instead of “oohrah,” Marines will often just say “yut” when in the presence of motivational speeches and/or talk of blowing things up.

Semper Gumby

A play on the Marine Corps motto of “Semper Fidelis (Latin for “Always Faithful”), Semper Gumby for Marines means “Always Flexible.” This phrase is often used when you are told to do one thing, then told a different thing, then told to just stand by, then told to go back to doing the original thing. “Semper Gumby, bro.”

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

Boot

A pejorative term for a new Marine fresh out of boot camp. The term’s origin apparently comes from Vietnam, as an acronym meaning “beginning of one’s tour.” New Marines joining a unit are usually referred to as “boots” until they go on a deployment or have at least a year or two in the Corps. Especially among post-9/11 era infantry Marines however, you are pretty much a “boot” until you’ve been to combat.

Fire watch

This is what Marines call guard duty. While sentries may well have been looking for fires in the past, Marines pulling fire watch nowadays can be walking around a barracks aimlessly or standing their shift behind the machine-gun in Afghanistan.

Since this is one of the most important duties of recruits at boot camp, senior Marines will often say boots only have the “fire watch ribbon,” a pejorative for the National Defense Service Medal that everyone gets.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

“SITFU”

Acronym often used in response to someone complaining. “Hey dude, SITFU.” That means suck it the f— up. You can also just ask if they have a straw. Most Marines will understand the reference.

“Improvise, adapt, and overcome.”

An unofficial motto of Marines that means exactly what you think it means. As the smaller service — and with much less funding than the Army — Marines have an attitude of doing more with less. “Improvise, adapt, and overcome” sums it all up.

Grand Old Man of the Marine Corps

The nickname for the fifth Commandant of the Marine Corps, Archibald Henderson, who served in the Marine Corps for 54 years. But most of the time when this phrase is used, it’s in referring to the oldest guy in the unit. Common usage: “Hey grand old man, what was it like serving with Jesus?”

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

“Kill!”

Sure, it can literally mean kill. But in Marine-speak, kill can mean “yes, I understand,” “hell yeah,” or “let’s do this.” Marines will even say “kill” as a half-joking version of hello. Using this one outside of the Corps can get plenty of strange looks, so don’t try this one on your local college campus.

BAMCIS

Acronym for the Marine Corps’ six troop-leading steps. It stands for begin the planning, arrange reconnaissance, make reconnaissance, complete the planning, issue the order, and supervise. But most Marines just say “BAMCIS” when they successfully complete a task. It’s like when Chef Emeril says “Bam!” Just add a “cis.”

Skating

The term Marines use for slacking off. Soldiers call this behavior “shamming,” but Marines can “skate” out of boring tasks by avoiding them somehow, usually by getting a dental appointment. And of course, S-K-A-T-E is even an acronym: S: Stay out of trouble / K: Keep a low profile / A: Avoid higher-ups / T: Take your time / E: Enjoy yourself.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

Direct reflection of leadership

This is often used sarcastically to rib a non-commissioned officer when one of his or her Marines gets in trouble. “So, two guys from your squad got caught drinking in Tijuana then got arrested at the border. Direct reflection of leadership, right corporal?”

Motarded

What some Marines will call an extremely gung-ho coworker. It’s not a compliment.

Ninja Punch

Non-judicial punishment — also known as the Article 15 — is what Marines can face if they break the rules, but a commander doesn’t feel it’s bad enough to warrant a court martial. While the military justice system is the same across branches, the Marines are the only ones who refer to it as an NJP. If you walk out of your commanding officer’s door going down a rank or losing some pay, you probably got “ninja punched.”

Pvt. or Lance Cpl. Schmuckatelli

The John Doe of the Marine Corps. He’s the screw-up and the guy always getting in trouble. The Marine who is lost all the time. The anonymous service-member who stands as the example of what not to do. This term will usually be brought up by a senior leader, like: “Hey gents, you are all doing good things. Be safe out there this weekend, but don’t let me get a phone call about Pvt. Schmuckatelli getting all drunk out at the club and getting into trouble, good to go?”

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

Semper I

Another play on “Semper Fidelis,” which often gets shortened to “Semper Fi.” While the motto means “Always Faithful” and brings up teamwork and esprit de corps, “Semper I” is used when a Marine goes off and does their own thing without thinking of others. Sometimes used as “Semper I, f— the other guy.”

Terminal Lance

Lance Corporal, or E-3, is a Marine rank that comes with more responsibility than a private or private first class, but is not a non-commissioned officer. In order for Marines to pick up the next rank of corporal, they need to have a high-enough “cutting score” to be promoted. If they get out after their four-year enlistment at Lance Corporal, they are a “Terminal Lance,” which can be bad or a point of pride, depending on who you talk to. “Terminal Lance” is also a hugely-popular online comic strip started by Maximilian Uriarte.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

Let’s break it down, Barney-style.

Some Marines need some help in understanding how to complete a task. When this happens, a leader may want to break it down into baby steps and explain it very slowly. You know, just like Barney.

BCG’s

These are what Marines call the glasses you get issued at boot camp, or “boot camp glasses.” Most know them by their nickname, which is “birth control glasses,” because well, you probably don’t want to hit the club wearing these things.

The Lance Corporal Underground

The source of most rumors that go around the Corps. Since lance corporals make up a large part of the Corps, the underground is often responsible for passing word of what’s going on, or completely made-up falsehoods.

“Good initiative, bad judgment.”

This phrase comes out when a Marine does something for a good reason, but things turn out awful. A great example would be when your platoon commander says he knows a shortcut through the woods, then he gets the platoon completely lost. “Good initiative, bad judgment, sir.” Next time, let’s stick to the planned route.

Field Day

Traditionally run on Thursday, the one night of the week Marines usually dread. No, it’s not the field day of play and sports like back in school. It’s the term used to describe the weekly ritual of cleaning rooms in the barracks. Field day cleaning involves moving furniture (often completely outside of the room), dusting top-to-bottom, vacuuming, scrubbing, and waxing floors.

“Basically Field day is just another tool used by Marine Corps leadership to piss off and demoralize Marines on a weekly basis,” reads the top definition in Urban Dictionary. If your first sergeant finds a speck of dust anywhere, you’re screwed.

What would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments.

Articles

These crazy photos show 30+ ton tanks in flight

With crews of four men, thick armor, and enough firepower to level a village, tanks weren’t designed to fly. But the laws of physics never stopped tankers from trying:


1. Like this baby taking flight:

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

 2. Can you say tankapult?

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo: Mitch.10.Ryan/Instagram

3. Seriously, this is what life as a US Army tanker is all about. Shooting, jumping and blowing stuff up, you know: tank stuff.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo: Military_Challenge/Instagram

4. We hear that the new Polish tank will have an easier time getting off the ground than this one.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo: Military_Challenge/Instagram

5. Is this a Russian separatist tank? Those guys have lots of fancy gear.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo: Anoshin_A/Instagram

 6. No, this is not photoshopped.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo: tankerboy/tumblr

7. Boomshakalaka!

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo: Lifeofmice/Instagram

8. Here’s how the Indonesian Marines do it.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo: fnhfal/tumblr

9. This photo proves that trying to fly tanks isn’t a new phenomenon.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo: infinite_stash/Instagram

11. They even tried to make it into a sport.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo: davechoppers/Instagram

11. Forget calling in air support, call your craziest tank crew instead.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo: koko-hekmatiaru/tumblr

Articles

The 8 most iconic Marine Corps recruiting slogans

In addition to having the best uniforms (yes, I said it), the Marine Corps absolutely kills it when coming up with recruiting slogans.


There is simply no denying the power behind the Corps recruiting messages, from the simple “let’s go!” to “first to fight.” We looked back on some of the most iconic slogans that have driven men and women to enlist for the last 240 years. Here they are:

1. “The Marines are looking for a few good men.”

Who doesn’t want to be among a select few “good men?” This phrase, or some variation of it, has appeared on quite a few recruiting posters throughout Marine history. But this one wasn’t created in an advertising boardroom. The roots of “a few good men” go back to 1799 with Marine Capt. William Jones plea in the Providence Gazette, according to About.com:

“The Continental ship Providence, now lying at Boston, is bound on a short cruise, immediately; a few good men are wanted to make up her complement.”

You’ll find this phrase on recruiting posters throughout Corps history, or as the title of the classic film starring Jack Nicholson. But perhaps its biggest impact came from this 1985 TV commercial:

 

2. “The Few. The Proud. The Marines.”

Eventually, the Marine Corps decided to shorten up its famous phrase and add “the proud” to the mix. It seems to have been quite effective, since “the few, the proud” is still used heavily in modern recruiting efforts. This recruiting slogan was so popular that the internet actually voted to place it on the “walk of fame” for advertising slogans on Madison Ave. in New York City in 2007.

“This slogan reflects the unique character of the Marine Corps and underscores the high caliber of those who join and serve their country as Marines,” Maj. Gen. Richard T. Tryon, commanding general of Marine Corps Recruiting Command, said at the time.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

3. “Teufelhunden.”

Long before the Corps found its footing with one of the best-known military slogans around, it went with simplicity. And there’s probably nowhere better to go for gung-ho phrases than what your enemy calls you. According to Marine Corps lore (with a heavy focus on “lore”), the Germans nicknamed the Marines “teufelhunden,” or “devil dogs,” after encountering them during the Battle of Belleau Wood, France, during World War I.

“The term very likely was first used by Marines themselves and appeared in print before the Battle for Belleau Wood,” Marine Corps History Divison’s Bob Aquilina told Stars Stripes. “It gained notoriety in the decades following World War I and has since become a part of Marine Corps tradition.”

While the nickname wasn’t actually legit, there’s no arguing that it made a solid recruiting poster and had significant staying power, since Marines still refer to themselves today as “devil dogs.”

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

4. “First to fight.”

Both a recruiting slogan and an enduring mantra of Marines, “first to fight” comes from the Marine Corps hymn of the late 1800s. In 1929, the Corps officially adopted the hymn and immortalized the words of “first to fight for right and freedom” in the memories of future generations of Marines.

Potential recruits began seeing “first to fight in France” during World War I, and they still do. Marine Corps Recruiting Command still uses the phrase in promotional materials today: “Marines are first to fight because of their culture and because they maintain a forward-deployed presence near various global hotspots.”

5. “Tell that to the Marines!”

The Marine Corps has a flair for taking an insult and turning it into something of a badge of honor. Sailors used to call them “gyrenes” as an insult, and then they adopted it. Then they started calling them “jarheads,” and that insult was flipped into a term of endearment.

So goes the phrase “tell that to the Marines.” It was originally an insulting way for sailors to chide British Royal Marines for believing any crazy story that they heard, according to The Marine Corps Historical Center. But with James Montgomery Flagg’s 1917 recruiting poster of an enraged man throwing a newspaper to the ground, the insult was recast as a challenge: if there is evil happening in the world, tell it to the Marines, because they will take care of it. Take that, squids.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

6. “We don’t promise you a rose garden.”

One of the best recruiting slogans paired with a photo of a crazed drill instructor made “rose garden” one of the most legendary recruiting posters ever made for the Marine Corps. Sometime during the sixties/early 1970s, the Corps really distinguished itself from the other services with its messaging, and it has endured ever since.

Unlike other services that told potential recruits about awesome job opportunities, GI Bill money, or adventure, the Corps promised only pain, extreme challenges, and sacrifice. The messaging attracted a certain kind of recruit: One who was only interested in earning the title of Marine.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

7. “If everybody could get in the Marines, it wouldn’t be the Marines.”

This classic line also played heavily alongside the “rose garden” campaign that ran from 1971 to 1984. Again, the Corps was sending the message that it was an exclusive club that only a select few could make it into. Of course, as a smaller service, the Corps has to be more exclusive, but this slogan also has the added bonus of throwing shade at the Army.

Not everyone can get into the Army, but this slogan hinted that it’s much easier to get into the Army than the Marines.

8. “The Marine Corps builds men.”

Last but certainly not least is the recruiting slogan that spanned three decades. A series of recruiting posters bearing the phrase “The Marine Corps builds men” with images of Marines and Marine life first popped up around the time of the Korean War in the 1950s. The campaign continued all the way into the early 1980s, according to The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

NOW CHECK OUT: 23 Terms Only US Marines Will Understand

Articles

13 top American CEOs with military experience

There are plenty of differences between America’s biggest companies but for some there is a common bond: CEOs with military backgrounds.


While it’s not a requirement that a company leader have time in uniform, a working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research showed it certainly doesn’t hurt. CEOs with military backgrounds are fairly conservative with company financials and often outperform peers during stressful times, the paper found.

Unfortunately, the number of corporate CEOs with backgrounds in the military is shrinking, but here are 13 of the biggest names, along with what they did in the military.

1. Alex Gorsky

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo: Johnson Johnson

Currently: CEO of Johnson Johnson

Military experience: Graduated from West Point, then served six years in the U.S. Army and attained the rank of Captain. Ranger and Airborne qualified with service in Europe and Panama.

2. Lowell McAdam

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

Currently: CEO of Verizon

Military experience: Spent six years in the U.S. Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps and attended Cornell on a Naval ROTC scholarship.

3. Bob Parsons

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

Currently: Founder and CEO of YAM Worldwide, Inc., and board member at GoDaddy, which he founded. He previously served as CEO of GoDaddy.

Military experience: Served as a U.S. Marine rifleman in Vietnam, where he was wounded by enemy fire while on patrol. He received the Combat Action Ribbon, Purple Heart, and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

4. Fred Smith

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

Currently: Chairman, president, and CEO of FedEx Corporation

Military experience: Came up with the business model for Fedex will an undergrad at Yale, but took a break from school to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served two tours in Vietnam before he founded what would become FedEx in 1971.

5. Robert S. Morrison

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

Currently: Serves in board positions at Aon plc, 3M, and Illinois Tool Works Inc, among others. He previously served as the Vice Chairman at Pepsico, Inc., and the CEO of The Quaker Oats Company.

Military experience: Served as a Marine during the Vietnam war, where he received the Silver Star and the Purple Heart for combat wounds. He left the Corps at the rank of captain.

6. Daniel Akerson

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

Currently: Special advisor at the Carlyle Group. Akerson previously served as the chairman and CEO of General Motors from 2010 to 2014.

Military experience: Graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1970 and served on the destroyer USS Dupont.

7. Robert McDonald

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

Currently: The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He previously served as the CEO of Procter Gamble.

Military experience: A West Point graduate, McDonald served in the 82nd Airborne division and attained the rank of captain.

8. Scott Wine

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo: Polaris

Currently: Chairman and CEO of Polaris

Military experience: Graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1989 and served in the Navy Supply Corps.

9. Stuart Parker

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

Currently: CEO of USAA

Military experience: Served in the U.S. Air Force for nearly ten years, flying combat missions during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

10. James Mulva

CurrentlySits on the board of directors at GE. He previously served as the president and CEO of ConocoPhillips.

Military experience: Graduated from Navy ROTC from The University of Texas in 1969 and served as a Navy officer until 1973.

11. Robert Stevens

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo: Lockheed

Currently: Retired. Served as chairman, president, and CEO of Lockheed Martin, and later as Executive Chairman.

Military experience: Stevens enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1970, serving three years in III Marine Amphibious Force.

12. Jim Skinner

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo: McDonalds

Currently: Chairman of Walgreens. Previously, he was the vice chairman and CEO of McDonalds.

Military experience: Over nearly ten years of service, completed two tours in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War with the U.S. Navy.

13. Robert Myers

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

Currently: Chairman and CEO of Casey’s General Stores, Inc.

Military experience: Enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1966, and served for 22 years, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He served in Germany, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, according to Fortune.

SEE ALSO: 17 wild facts about the Vietnam War  

Lists

10 Weirdest Military Animals

10 Weirdest Military Animals

From dolphin spies to bomb-sniffing gerbils, animals serve many roles (including the bizarre!) in the military.  Here are 10 of the weirdest ways furry friends have helped us in battle.


  • 1. Carrier Pigeons

    By The Mighty

    Pigeons may get a bad rap, but these “flying rats” served as military messengers up until World War II. One bird named Cher Ami flew 25 miles with a busted wing to deliver a message, saving 600 men.

  • 2. Bomb Sniffing Rats

    By The Mighty

    Move over, Fido. In recent years, militaries have begun training rats to sniff out land mines. These rodents on leash are cheaper than the canine equivalent, and safer to use given their light weight.

  • 3. War Elephants

    By The Mighty

    In the past, many warring cultures chose elephants as their mode of transportation. These pachyderms were trained to trample enemy soldiers and charge horses, causing mass chaos on the battlefield.

  • 4. Winged Mercenaries

    By The Mighty

    During WWII, both Allied and Axis powers used carrier pigeons to send coded messages from behind enemy lines. Knowing this, England trained a fleet of peregrine falcons to intercept German birds.

  • 5. TSA Gerbils

    By The Mighty

    In the 1970s, the Israeli government placed trained gerbils next to airport security checks in order to expose potential terrorists. The critters could detect excess adrenaline, sniffing out threats.

  • 6. Battle Bear

    By The Mighty

    In 1943, the Polish Army adopted an orphaned bear cub found wandering the hills of Iran. ‘Voytek’ was later trained to carry ammunition into battle, and was officially ranked as a Polish soldier.

  • 7. Spy Kitten

    By The Mighty

    During the Cold War, the CIA launched Operation Acoustic Kitty, embedding a $15M bugging device into a cat in order to spy on Soviet officers. Too bad the cat was run over on its first mission.

  • 8. Anti-Tank Dogs

    By The Mighty

    During WWII, the USSR trained dogs to search for food under German tanks during battle. The dogs were equipped with explosives which would detonate when placed under the tanks, damaging the vehicles.

  • 9. Scary Swine

    By The Mighty

    The Roman army released pigs into battle to frighten seige elephants. This pigs’ squeals terrified the larger animals, often making them panic and crush their own army as they fled the noise.

  • 10. Dolphins Undercover

    By The Mighty

    Did you know that dolphins have been serving in the U.S. Navy for over 40 years? These highly intelligent marine mammals have been trained to locate mines and suspicious swimmers using sonar!

 

Articles

5 Fake Enemies US Troops Have Been Battling For Decades

The real bad guys these days are known as the Taliban, al Qaeda, ISIS, and others. But for decades, U.S. troops have been fighting wars against fictional enemies that only exist in training exercises. They usually have ridiculous-sounding names and strange back stories.


While we received plenty of help on social media and this post at Mental Floss on these opposition forces (OPFOR), to include name and which training exercise or location they operate in, some details remain murky.

If you find yourself fighting these forces in the future, here’s the basic intel you need to know.

The Krasnovians (National Training Center)

These are your hard-core fighters from a Soviet bloc country called Krasnovia. Unpredictable and a very non-traditional enemy force, the Krasnovians are known to switch up their tactics and quickly adapt, like stopping the use of radios and moving to cell phones to throw off U.S. soldiers they are fighting.

We’ve heard the key to beating them is by offering them vodka as a peace offering, or just send in this guy:

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

The United Provinces of Atlantica (Special Forces “Q” Course)

A northern neighbor to Pineland, the UPA is a former Cold War ally of the Soviets. The Atlanticans aren’t fans of the U.S. or their neighbors. That’s especially true, since they invade and take over peaceful Pineland around eight times a year.

Fortunately, Army Special Forces candidates come in and save the day on a regular basis.

The Mojavians (Combined Arms Exercise at 29 Palms, Calif.)

Not much is known about the Mojavians, except that they like to exclusively fight against U.S. Marines during a 22-day period of combined arms training at their desert base in Twentynine Palms, California. These bad guys operate in similar fashion as insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, and will rarely engage in a real fight. Instead, they rely on hit-and-run tactics.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

The Centralian Revolutionary Force  (The U.S. Marine Corps Basic School)

In the depths of a three-year civil war, the people of Centralia hope to have a democratic state and live in peace. But their neighbors in Montanya, and an oppressive rebel force known as the Centralian Revolutionary Force, continue to harass the local populace.

Both the CRF and the Montanyan Regular Forces continue to attack the Centralian Army and civilians in the region. Let’s all just hope those fresh Marine Corps officers are able to bring stability to Centralia, a country which has been oppressed for far too long.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo Credit: Facebook/Stop The War In Centralia

Arianan Special Purpose Forces (Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, La.)

A force from Ariana — an enemy nation seeking nuclear weapons and hostile to the U.S. and Israel which sounds kind of like Iran — the ASPF constantly invades its neighbor in Atropia, a key U.S. ally.

The ASPF is a threat to U.S. interests — including the consulate in Dara Lam — and it continues to support a local insurgency known as the South Atropian People’s Army. This enemy is unpredictable and employs similar tactics to enemy forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Possibly worst of all: U.S. soldiers only have 11 days to beat them and save Atropia. Good luck.

Have any more you would add to the list? Let us know the enemy force and where you heard it in the comments.

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5 notorious ship grounding incidents the Navy would rather we all forget

The recent grounding incident involving the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) in Tokyo Bay is not the first time a Navy vessel has run aground. But some have been more…notorious than others.


Grounding a ship is not exactly career-enhancing in this day and age (never mind that the Antietam spilled 1,100 gallons of oil in one of Godzilla’s favorite hangout spots). In fact, it usually means the end of one’s advancement in the Navy.

Here are a few notorious groundings over the years to remind the soon-to-be-relieved personnel that it could be worse.

1. USS Guardian (MCM 5)

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
The mine countermeasures ship USS Guardian (MCM 5) sits aground on the Tubbataha Reef. Operations to safely recover the ship while minimizing environmental effects are being conducted in close cooperation with allied Philippines Coast Guard and Navy. (U.S. Navy photo by Naval Aircrewman (Tactical Helicopter) 3rd Class Geoffrey Trudell)

The mine counter-measures ship USS Guardian (MCM 5) is the first U.S. Navy ship to be lost since USS Scorpion (SSN 589) in 1968. The vessel ran aground on Jan. 17, 2013 on a reef, and was very thoroughly stuck. So much so that a 2013 Navy release indicated she had to be dismantled on the spot. A sad end to a 23-year career.

2. The Honda Point Disaster

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Aerial view of the disaster area, showing all seven destroyers that ran aground on Honda Point during the night of 8 September 1923. Photographed from a plane assigned to USS Aroostook (CM-3). Ships are: USS Nicholas (DD-311), in the upper left; USS S.P. Lee (DD-310), astern of Nicholas; USS Delphy (DD-261), capsized in the left center; USS Young (DD-312), capsized in the center of the view; USS Chauncey (DD-296), upright ahead of Young; USS Woodbury (DD-309) on the rocks in the center; and USS Fuller (DD-297), in the lower center. The Southern Pacific Railway’s Honda Station is in the upper left. (U.S. Navy photo)

Imagine losing seven warships in a day during peacetime. Yes, that actually happened to the United States Navy. According to the Naval History and Heritage Command website, during the evening of Sept. 8, 1923, a navigational error lead seven destroyers to slam into rocks at Honda Point, California, at a speed of 20 knots. Twenty-three sailors were lost, as were seven Clemson-class destroyers that were about five years old.

3. USS Decatur (DD 5)

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
USS Decatur (DD 5) while on sea trials. Then-Ensign Chester W. Nimitz ran her aground in 1908. (U.S. Navy photo)

This one is notable not for any loss of life but for the career it could have derailed. Accoridng to a 2004 article in Military Review, on July 7, 1908, the destroyer USS Decatur (DD 5) ran aground on a mudbank in the Philippines. It was pulled off the next day. The commanding officer was relieved of command, court-martialed, and found guilty of “neglect of duty.”

However, his career didn’t end. That was a good thing for America because that commanding officer was Chester W. Nimitz, who would command the Pacific Fleet in World War II.

4. USS Port Royal (CG 73)

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
The Pearl Harbor-based guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73) ran aground Feb. 5, 2009, about a half-mile south of the Honolulu airport while off-loading personnel into a small boat. The salvage ship USNS Salvor (T-ARS 52), which included an embarked detachment of Mobile Diving Salvage Unit (MDSU) 1 personnel, the Motor Vessel Dove, and seven Navy and commercial tugboats freed Port Royal off a shoal on Feb. 9. (U.S. Navy photo)

Now some groundings are just embarrassing. This is one of them. The Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73) had been on sea trials after about $18 million in repairs. According to a Navy release in 2009, the ship ran aground about a half mile from one of the runways at Honolulu International Airport, providing arriving and departing tourists with an interesting view for a few days.

5. USS Hartford (SSN 768)

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Damage to the submarine USS Hartford’s rudder after its grounding. (US Navy photo)

On Oct. 25, 2003, the attack submarine USS Hartford (SSN 768) ran aground off the island of Sardinia. According to a 2004 Navy release, fixing the damage required assets from Louisiana to Bahrain. It took 213 dives to repair the vessel enough that she could return to Norfolk at half speed. Six years later, the Hartford would collide with the amphibious transport US New Orleans (LPD 18).

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21 photos showing the life of an elite US Army Ranger

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

The 75th Ranger Regiment is an elite airborne light infantry unit, falling under the U.S. Special Operations Command.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

Though headquartered at Fort Benning, Georgia, the Ranger regiment has three active Ranger battalions and one Special Troops Battalion, stationed at different bases in the U.S.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Ranger Battalions have approximately 600 men in each of its ranks, according to American Special Ops.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

With an increasingly fast op-tempo in a post-9/11 world, Rangers have stood out amongst their special ops peers as the experts in pulling off raids. “On multiple occasions, my teammates pulled terrorists out of their beds and flex cuffed them before they even woke up. That’s how precise Rangers have become in this war,” one Ranger wrote on the website SOFREP.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

But before any soldier can make it within the regiment, they need to go through some of the toughest training the military has to offer.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

For most soldiers, that training pipeline begins with the Ranger Assessment and Selection Programs. Once complete, soldiers will be assigned to the regiment and be authorized to wear its distinctive tan beret.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

While they are then authorized to wear the unit scroll of the 75th, they still need to attend the 8.5 week Ranger School if they want to earn the coveted Ranger Tab.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

The Army calls the 61-day Ranger School “the most physically and mentally demanding leadership school” it has to offer.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

According to American Special Ops, students train for about 20 hours per day on two (or fewer) meals while sometimes carrying upwards of 90 pounds of gear. By the end of the course, they will hike or patrol approximately 200 miles.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

All will learn to memorize the Ranger Creed, an oath which embodies the elite soldiers’ ethos of never leaving a comrade behind, to never surrender, uphold Ranger history, and always complete the mission.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

The Regiment traces its lineage back to World War II. They were held in special regard after the Normandy landings, when 225 Rangers scaled cliffs at Pointe Du Hoc on June 6, 1944 under intense enemy fire. “The Rangers pulled themselves over the top,” President Ronald Reagan said of the men, in 1984. “And in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe.”

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

Rangers have distinguished themselves on many battlefields since then, to include places like Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Somalia, and most recently, Iraq and Afghanistan.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Rangers in Vietnam


Like other special operations units, Rangers yield a variety of skills, weapons, and can conduct operations in different environments. They can hit a target on land,

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

from the air …

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

… and out of the water.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

Beyond formal schools like Ranger, Airborne, and Mountain Warfare, soldiers in the Regiment are often practicing their skills or taking part in real-world exercises when they are not deployed.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

Among its most recent high-profile missions, the 75th Ranger Regiment played a larger part in overthrowing the Taliban in 2002, and the invasion of Iraq.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Rangers jumping into Afghanistan near Kandahar in 2002. (Photo: Youtube/screenshot)

They also helped rescue Army Pvt. Jessica Lynch, who was taken prisoner of war during the invasion.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

Though the Ranger Regiment is composed entirely of men, a number of women currently going through Ranger School who are poised to graduate may someday change that composition.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

That possibility is likely a long way off. But one thing is absolutely clear: The 75th Ranger Regiment, in keeping with its creed, will continue to lead the way into battle.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

NOW DON’T MISS: The history of the U.S. Navy SEALs

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8 reasons your DTS voucher was kicked back … again

Submitting vouchers through the Defense Travel System is one of those tasks that probably originated in military purgatory. Sure, an automated, online form for documenting travel expenses and getting paid sounds like a miracle, but it’s actually like having to do your taxes a few extra times per year.


23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
(Meme: via Air Force Memes and Humor)

Here are common reasons that DTS vouchers get kicked back, each with a quick example of what you will hear from the DTS manager for the mistake.

1. You checked a box the way your old unit wanted it.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
(Photo: U.S. Air National Guard Lt. Col. Dale Greer)

“This isn’t your old unit. Re-do your request. No, you can’t just edit your last voucher. I deleted it so that you would learn how to do it right.”

2. You put airfare and airfare taxes in the same box.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
(Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

“Do you think the DoD doesn’t want to save some tax money? Figure out what your airfare is without taxes, figure out what the taxes are, and separate those numbers into different line items.”

“The system might try to make you assign different legs of your trip to each dollar amount. If your flight only had one leg, that won’t work. You should’ve booked a trip with a layover.”

3. You changed an entry to how your unit-level reviewer wants it, but the next higher reviewer wants it the opposite way because screw you.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
(Photo: U.S. Air National Guard Master Sgt. Christopher Botzum)

“I know how Mr. X says he likes the voucher filled out. Do I look like Mr. X? Exactly. Now re-do your voucher from scratch. And staff it through Mr. X before it gets to me.”

4. You forgot to collect passport photos from the people in front of and behind you in line while traveling.

“How do we know you went on the trip if you can’t even be bothered to steal the passport photos of people near you in line? Did you really go on the trip? No, your jump manifests, training certificates, and hotel receipts don’t count. We want those passport photos.”

5. You haven’t bribed anyone yet.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
(Photo: Department of Defense)

“Seriously, what is wrong with you? You think we handle your DTS vouchers because we’re charitable? Or because we like collecting our salaries? No. It’s for the bribes.”

6. You failed to sacrifice at least three virgin sheep to the dark undergods of the Defense Travel Service.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

“How am I going to go back to my bosses and tell them that I reviewed your packet without a single dead, unblemished sheep to gift to them?”

7. You have a firstborn son, but have not relinquished him to your reviewer.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

“We probably won’t actually take your child, but you have to offer. It’s an ‘Abraham and God’ sort of thing.”

8. You didn’t attach the right receipts.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
(Photo: U.S. Air National Guard Master Sgt. Christopher Botzum)

“Seriously, this is easy stuff. Just do the paperwork and you’ll get your money.”

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7 of the best sounds you’ll hear in combat

Being on a foot patrol in a war zone means you’ll need to have your eyes peeled and your ears open; troops need to be able to visually identify possible threats and hear commands and other instructions. When a firefight kicks off and bullets start to fly, things can get pretty damn hectic — and loud. In most cases, the “ground pounders” usually get a fix on the enemies’ position in a matter of minutes.


Once that happens, adrenaline kicks in and time moves a bit differently, but there are a few sounds you’ll never forget.

Related: 14 images that humorously recall your first firefight

Here are seven of the best ones:

7. When your platoon sergeant says, “Hey gents, watch this!”

At times, well-trained troops make it a game to blow up the enemy’s position. It’s also a morale booster. When the platoon sergeant wants to draw a crowd to witness their combat efforts, you know the attack is about to be freakin’ epic.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)

6. The whistle of incoming ordnance

Calling in mortars on the bad guys means they weren’t sneaky enough to fire a few rounds at your position and then bug out. Once you hear the whistle of incoming ordnance, it’s just a matter of time before a mortar detonation will follow.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Boom.

5. The BRRRRT of an A-10

This is hands down one of the best sounds you can ever hear in combat. Just to know you have a tank killer flying above you makes a world of difference on a foot patrol.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Troops love that gun.

4. When the platoon passes word of a “gun run.”

After the ground troops get a fix on where the bad guys are hiding, the platoon sergeants love to call upon the efforts of their flying arsenal that patrols the skies.

A “gun run” is when an attack plane or helicopter initiates a nose dive toward a target with their heavy machine guns blazing. After they complete the “gun run,” they’ll fly back up and out of the enemy’s range. They’ll return if called upon and authorized.

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
God bless the USA…and her air superiority. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Austin Anyzeski, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment)

3. Silence

After all the commotion, the sound of silencing the enemy offensive is awesome. But knowing you’re still standing tall and healthy is the one best feelings ever.

We love rubbing in a victory. (Image via GIPHY)

2. When “RTB” is announced over comms

“RTB” is short for “return to base.” Hearing these words calmly spoken after a firefight means you guys did your job and it’s time to go home to debrief and eat chow.

Also Read: 6 questions you asked yourself after your first firefight

1. The “hiss” of the smoke grenade popping.

After a gunfight, most ground troops will “pop smoke” when they leave an area to give themselves cover of smoke. The hiss of the smoke grenade is an excellent way to put a mental check mark in the win column.

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7 things that make you stick out in the US military

The military is one of those work environments where it’s generally best to blend in. Sure, you want to stand out during promotion boards or advancement exams, but the rest of the time it’s best for troops to keep their heads down.


Unfortunately, some people are cursed with traits that make that impossible. Here are 7 things that are guaranteed to draw extra attention.

1. Height

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo: US Army

Too-tall or too-short, both will make someone stand out. In formation, everyone is right next to each other and outliers are super obvious. At ceremonies, many units are reorganized according to height so the unit has a more uniform appearance.

2. Being a know-it-all

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo: US Navy Mass Communication Specialist Seaman K. Cecelia Engrums

This person wants to stand out, but they shouldn’t. Answering a direct question is no big deal, and offering an informed opinion every once in a while is great. But people who answer every question in a class don’t get the “team” idea behind the military. And the rest of the team hates them for it.

3. Coming from another country

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo: US Navy Legalman 1st Class Jennifer L. Bailey

The U.S. military is predictably full of Americans, but some foreign people do join.

A few English or South African troops may be able to skate by under the radar, but most foreigners get found out immediately. As if it wasn’t hard enough to adjust to military culture, this recruit has to adjust to American culture at the same time. Every time they mess something up, some squad-jokester-wannabe will make a comment about how it’s because they didn’t grow up in America.

4. Being from Texas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyFSdj1J5Vw
It’s like being foreign. Everyone has their favorite Texas jokes, Texas nicknames, and Texas memes. Once someone is outed as being a Texan, they will get saddled with all the Lone Star military stereotypes.

5. Having an accent

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo: US Army Staff Sgt. Shane Hamann

Yeah, soldiers who talk funny are going to get noticed. It’s funniest when they have to speak in front of the unit. They’re up there talking about how their squad helped them get promoted or earn an award and the formation just stands there smiling like they understand any of the words being said.

6. Possessing no rhythm

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Photo: US Air Force Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo

In the civilian world, bad rhythm just makes it harder to meet people at clubs and square dances. But rhythm is key to military life. Units march in rhythm, troops exercise in rhythm, and new tasks are taught “by the numbers” where students practice things like landing in a parachute in a set rhythm.

A service member with no rhythm sticks out and gets ridiculed. In basic training, it’s even worse since it draws the eyes of the dreaded training cadre.

7. Carrying a funny or famous last name

23 ridiculously long military acronyms (and what they mean)
Meme via OutOfRegs.com

As a civilian, someone’s last name isn’t all that visible. It’s in email signatures, and that’s about it. But in the military, a person’s last name is their primary name. It’s on their shirts, it’s beneath any pictures of them, and it’s on most of their hats. Some people don’t know their buddy’s first name until they friend each other on Facebook.

So, when someone’s last name is “Nye,” everyone knows. And that person can’t walk into a room without someone singing the Bill Nye theme song.

NOW: The 7 people you meet in basic training

OR: The best and worst Air Force recruiting slogans of all-time

 

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