Terms and Phrases You Need to Know By REMF
At large OP's like Irene and Lion Claws events, the company commanders
are always contemporary authorities with extensive military background.
Almost all of the Platoon and squad leaders had attended past Lion
Claws events so they were indoctrinated to the lingo and parlance
of the modern US Army. I on the other hand at times felt like there
was another language being spoken. One company was lead by Colonel
McKnight who actually led the ground forces in Mogadishu during the
US adventure depicted in the book and Movie Blackhawk Down. The other
company was lead by MSGT Max Mullens who is one of the few men who
served in each of the Army’s Ranger Battalions. He served as
an instructor at the Ranger School for several cycles and is a warrior
through and through. He holds a CIB, EIB, Master Parachute wings,
made a combat jump and literally wrote the Ranger Handbook. These
guys are the real deal and part of the treat in attending a Lion Claws
event is hearing the lingo and watching the manner and processes with
which they conduct themselves. For me a lot of it was Deja Vu and
a trip down memory lane but on many occasions I was completely befuddled
and intrigued by the things said. Here are some of the more memorable
expressions and words that will help you translate what’s being
said or allow you to sound more like a modern warrior.
AAA (Pronounced “triple A.”) Anti Aircraft
Artillery Close in anti aircraft equipment often employed against
AAR After Action Review. Every mission ends with
a debriefing. What went right, what went wrong, best practices and
recommendations? Focus is not on fingering pointing but improvement
opportunities. “Looking back to look ahead.”
Alpha The phonetic pronunciation for the letter “A”
Alt. Freq Alternate frequency A backup frequency
should always be provided and discussed prior to leaving your assembly
Ancillary Unit A sub unit (A squad is an ancillary
unit of a platoon).
Adjacent Unit A friendly unit operating to your flank.
AO Area of Operations.
ARA Air Rocket ArtilleryArea Recon A recon usually
conducted in a cloverleaf from the objective rally point that would
allow the unit to efficiently inspect an entire area.
.ATL Assistant Team LeaderBattle Brief Full on operations
order for the front line troops with all the details and assignments.
Battle Buddy Your assigned partner. Every player
had a battle buddy responsible for always knowing the other guys location
and status. The smallest grouping in Ranger school and units is a
Bat Net The frequency(s) used by the battalion.
BDA Bomb damage assessment.
Blue on Blue Friendly fire incident.
BNT Beginning of nautical twilight time the sun drops
behind the horizon.
Bravo The phonetic pronunciation of the letter “B”.
Boundary lines Lines on a map known only to your
side that border the outer edges of your assigned AO.
Bounding Overwatch One unit halted and focused on
likely enemy locations to provide cover fire if needed while the other
unit moves ahead.
Callsigns Codes that designate various elements for
use in radio transmissions.
Catch 22 Anyone who was crazy would be released from
a war zone. Any sane person in a war zone would go a little bit crazy
therefore no one would be released for being crazy.
Comm check A communications check (usually for radios
prior to departure on a mission).
CEOI Formal signal code book to include authentication
tables, callsigns, frequencies, passwords etc.
Charlie Alpha(CA) Combat Assault Charlie Mike Continue
C4 Plastic Explosives.
Commanders Intent This is the outcome the commander
is looking for. The mission may be to conduct an attack on a hilltop
outpost on the enemies left flank but the commanders intent is to
disrupt the enemy defensive front and create a diversion. By providing
the commanders intent if the formal mission (even if completed) won’t
satisfy the commanders intent the unit knows even without orders what
to do next. Imagine the unit attacks the hilltop and there is no opposition,
they know to press their attack further so as to call attention to
Company Net The radio frequency used by the company.
Dismounts Forces on foot.
DZ Drop zone.
E&E Escape and Evade.
ENT End of Nautical twilight (Sunrise).
Exfil Withdraw from an area (usual indicating by
truck or helicopter).
FAC Forward Air Controller.
Far Ambush A surprise attack not decisive in its
violence. When engaged in a far ambush you should take cover and react
Fart Sack Sleeping Bag.
FNG Fucking New Guy.
Frag Order A partial heads up on a mission. Type
of mission, estimated departure time, special gear with details to
follow later. (also known as a Warning Order).
Fast Mover A fighter bomber.
FEBA The forward edge of the battle area.
Full Battle Rattle Everyone ready with all the things
they’re bringing to the field. (“We’ll have a formation
at 0900 and I need everyone in full battle rattle, no exceptions!”
Fire for Effect Pour it on, continue to shell where
you’re firing now.
Golf Tango Charlie (Go to Cover.) Move into heavy
concealment and lay low.
Going to Index. (End) “This operation is going
to index at 1400 hours.”
Goofy Grape Purple smoke grenade.
Hard times Concrete, virtually unwavering timelines
for key events. “Write down the following hard times, 0530 wake
up, 0630 Leaders briefing, 0800 Operations Order, 0900 formation in
full battle rattle, 0930 Movement to PZ.” Leaders should always
work backwards from these hard times and be prepared to delegate in
order to accomplish all that needs to take place within the timeline.
HE High Explosives.
H&I Mission Harass and Interdict Usually referring
to artillery or indirect fire missions also applies to roles for ground
units on occasion where they don’t want decisive engagements
and attack in a seemingly random way.
Hotel Tango Heavy Team.
Hooah An expression of exuberance or agreement In
my day it was an enthusiastic cheer, today it seems most often to
be a sign that you understand the instruction. “Your platoon
will lead and sweep through the objective. Hooah?” Expected
Internal Net Codes within the unit. Running passwords
etc. In our platoon “Razors” were our snipers and “Daggers”
referred to our recon elements. This was part of our internal net.
Immediate action Reactions that are almost instinctive as they have
been practiced and rehearsed to the point that no thought is given
to the response. Clearing a weapon that has jammed requires immediate
action. Responses to a near ambush calls for immediate action.
Immediate Action Drills Repetitious rehearsal to the point of tedium
so an action becomes instinctive when needed. Lay Dog Go to cover
right after insertion to listen for enemy action before moving out.
LBE Load Bearing Equipment Stuff you haul your gear
in including your ammo harness and ruck sack.
Line of Departure The point from which you could
reasonably expect enemy contact.
Lima Charlie (Loud and Clear) “How do you Lima
Charlie? (How well do you hear me) “I read you Lima Charlie
or I read you 8 for 10”.
Loach Light Observation Helicopter.
LON Lay over night position hidden, not defensive
LRRP Long Rang Recon Patrol.
LURPs Early versions of MREs where you added water
to heat them up. Initially issued to Recondo troops.
LZ Landing Zone.
KIA (Killed in Action) WIA (Wounded in Action).
MIA (Missing in Action).
McGuire Rig An attachement below a helicopter that
allowed three men to insert in areas too small for a helicopter to
land in (An improved version of a STANO rig back in my day).
METT Mission, Equipment, Time, and terrain. The key
things you needed to include in your warning order.
Mikes Phonetic for minutes. “We’re three
mikes from objective Panther.”
Mission Emphasis Order of priority for the various
assignments that may be given.
Movement to Contact A mission where a force has no
defined objective but is to remain mobile in an effort to engage your
Movement by Bounds One unit covering while the other
unit sweeps forward on a flank. Usually while under fire.
MRE Meals Ready to Eat Also known as Meals Rejected
by Ethiopians actually quite good.
NDP Night Defensive Position or perimeter.
Near Ambush A surprise attack with friendly forces
caught in a decisive kill zone. Your reaction should be to unhesitantly
turn and assault with aggressive fire. Do not take cover.
Newbie (See FNG).
Numbnuts Mentally slow, see FNG.
NVG Night Vision Goggles>
NVD Night Vision Devices.
Order of Movement Which unit will lead, which will
follow, which will trail Seems obvious but failing to spell this out
causes huge amount of confusion even with small sized units.
OP Order Operations Order Typically consists of full
on briefing which highlights the following: Situation, Mission, Execution,
Administration and Logistics, Command and Signal Each of those has
sequential elements so nothing is left out. For example the situation
would include events that lead up to the present, enemy dispositions,
friendly elements and weather.
Op Slicks The code book is usually covered in plastic
so Op slicks refers to the unit codes. The codes were numbered and
there were lots of them so usually in the briefing they’d emphasize
which op slicks would be most likely used. The following op slicks
apply: 3, 7, 8, 9, 12, 21, 23, 26, 29, 30 31 & 41. Let’s
ORP Objective rally points, designated location near
the objective. This is where the unit will gather prior to final deployment
and usually collect after the mission is completed prior to moving
back to their PZ.
Phase line(s) Reference boundary(s) on a map known
only to your side that should be easily identified like a treeline,
road, stream or fence. Things you would cross enroute to or while
returning from your objective.
PIG M-60 machine gun.
PLF Parachute Landing Fall. The proper way to land
when parachuting to minimize injury.
Poggey Bait Unauthorized candy and snacks.
POR Priority Operational Requirement (What is the
key objective for the mission) “The POR for this mission is
to render the bridge inoperable for heavy equipment.”
Point Element The unit that is to lead the formation.
PIR Priority Intelligence Requirement (What is the
key intelligence we are seeking.) “The PIR for this mission
is to locate the enemy TOC.”
PZ Papa Zulu, or Pickup zone.
Rally Points Locations designated enroute where the
unit can gather if they are separated or make contact and need to
fall back and assemble.
Real World Caz. Actual injury not simulated casualty.
REPEAT Send more rounds Phrase only used on the radio
when requesting continuous fire on a target. You never say on the
radio “repeat what you just said.” Or “repeat that
RON An over night position (Remain Over Night).
RPG Rocket Propelled Grenade A soviet style anti
RPK Soviet Squad Automatic Weapon Derived from the
official designation: Ruchnoi Pulemyot.
Kegtyaryev (RPKs easier)!
Running Passwords Things you’d say over and
over to identify yourself to friendly forces.
SALUTE Acronym for effective recon report on enemy
sighting. What was the enemies: Size, Activity, Location, Unit (if
Known) Time spotted and Equipment.
SAR A search and rescue mission.
SAW a squad automatic weapon M249.
SITREP Situation Report.
Snivel Gear Wet weather or cold weather clothing.
“I don’t want them in formation with their snivel gear
on cause it’s going to get hot later on.”
SOI Signal Operating Instructions See CEOI, includes
SOPs Standard Operation Procedures. Agreed upon ways
your unit does things pre-arranged and expected. “We have an
SOP for loading helicopters and crossing roads.”
Shot Out Indirect has been fired shells are on the
Section Eight Released from the army for being too
crazy to stay in. see catch 22.
Tango Phonetic for the letter “T” often
used to refer to the enemy. Be advised you have possible tangos on
your 3 o’clock.
Tango Sierra Tough Shit, Too bad, Outta luck. “Im
afraid you’re Tango Sierra my friend…”
TAOR Tactical Area of Responsibility.
TOC Tactical Operation CenterTrailing Element Final
element in an order of movement.
WMD (Whiskey Mike Delta) Weapon of Mass Destruction.
WP (Willie Pete) White Phospherous Smoke marking
round from mortars or artillery.
Your Six To your rear, behind you. Also might refer
to your unit commander. Element leaders are often designated as “the
six.” (Rainbow Six)