(Pamphleteer Press, 2007)
Compiled and Introduced by Col. Austin Bay
Col. Austin Bay: Iraq war vet, renowned blogger, syndicated columnist, novelist, radio commentator. No writer is more respected on military matters. Now Col. Bay has turned his talents toward creating this first dictionary of “Milspeak”–the soldier’s argot that is rich in irony, brutally efficient in conveying the immediacy and dangers of warfare, and can be a shorthand way for separating combat soldiers from fobbits.* The perfect gift for the soldier, sailor, marine or airman in your life—or for the Beltway Clerk** who yearns to sound like one. Also includes a select glossary of Pentagonese drawn from the official Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms.
–The Pamphleteer Press
NPR Interview about the pamphlet
*Fobbit: Derogatory term for soldiers who never leave an FOB (Forward Operating Base)
**Beltway Clerk: A derisive term for a Washington political operative or civilian political hatchet man – in other words, someone who trades on his supposed political connections. May refer to so-called “Washington defense experts” who have never served in the armed forces.
KAAOT—Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal—is near ABOT. KAAOT is badly damaged.
Abrams:U.S. M1 tank. Most common version in Iraq is M1-A1. Has a 120-millimeter main gun, one M2 heavy machine gun mounted at the commander’s station, an M240 machine gun at the loader’s station, and one M240 machine gun coaxially mounted to the right of the main gun.
ACM:Anti-Coalition Militia. Basically anybody shooting at U.S. and coalition soldiers.
ACU:Army Combat Uniform (new-style camouflage uniform with Velcro nametags and unit patches).
AFU:All Fucked Up. Pronounced “ah-foo.” (“Man, look at him…he’s AFU.”)
Air jockey: Fighter pilot or a fixed wing pilot. On rare occasions might refer to a helicopter pilot.
Airman alignment tool: Any tool that can be used to beat the shit out of someone. Specifically, a breaker bar.
Air Force Mittens: Slang for pockets. Gloves have fingers. Pockets, like mittens, do not.
Ali Baba: Slang for enemy forces. Originated in the first Gulf War but can mean a terrorist or enemy in CENTCOM area. See: Haji.
All-American Decoy: A guard posted out in the open. “We’ve got a team in the building, and an all-American decoy outside.”
Anbar: Anbar province in Iraq. Suggests the “wild west.” “…and roger”: A very sarcastic phrase.
Spoken very deliberately and sarcastically. A way of acknowledging a stupid decision or order made at a higher headquarters. (See: Echelons Above Reality.)
Angels: KIAs who die in a military hospital while undergoing care.
AO: Area of Operations. The place (or space) where a unit conducts operations. See also: sector. An AOR is an area of responsibility.
Armored carnival regiment: A U.S. Army Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR)
AZ: Abbreviation for Al-Qaeda’s former Iraqi “emir” Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Used when the fucker was alive.
Back door draft: The “Stop Loss,” i.e., being held past the end of your enlistment so that you can deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan. Imposing Stop Loss means halting all military separations and retirement during times of war, extended deployments, or National Emergency. See: ETS.
“Back to the taxpayers”: Navy slang for where a wrecked aircraft gets sent.
Badgeless wonder: Also badgeless wander. Refers to someone who doesn’t have a security badge and must therefore be escorted around the “classified” area for an entire work shift. This ticks off the soldier assigned to escort duty. (“The badgeless wonder hasn’t gotten a badge appointment yet, so don’t let him out of your sight.”)
BAF: Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Main U.S. and coalition air base.