Do You Know Military Code Words?

By: Jonnathan Chadwick
Estimated Completion Time
4 min
Who is Uncle Sam's Canoe Club?
Beach resort
The United States Navy
Uncle Sam's Canoe Club is a nickname for the United States Navy. A lot of people mistake this nickname for the Coast Guard, but the Coast Guard has a different name. Because the Navy has so many deployable vessels and aircraft, it is also the second-largest air force in the world.
The United States Marines
Yacht club

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Who is an XO?
Executive Officer
An XO is an executive officer. The executive officer is usually second in command only to the commander. The XO usually runs day-to-day operations and management while the commander focuses on long-term strategy.
Type of whiskey
Executor official
Type of cognac

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What are civvies?
Mini vans
Off-duty clothes
Civvies are normal civilian clothes instead of fatigues, hats and boots. Anything from a suit to pajamas can be considered civvies when being worn by a member of the military. Civvies is also an unflattering term for civilians.
Groceries
TV shows

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If a BOLO alert goes out, what does everybody have to do?
Be on lookout
Both military and police units use BOLO alerts, and it means "be on lookout." BOLOs usually go out over radio dispatches and can inform officers to be on the lookout for a specific thing (i.e. a gray car) or can inform officers to be on high alert of a potential attack.
Run and hide
Go home for the day
Bring over leftovers

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How do you explain something Barney-style?
Explain it like you're talking to paleontologists.
Explain it like you're talking to children.
To explain something Barney-style means to explain it as if you were talking to a small child. "Barney & Friends" was a popular television show in the 1990s where a big purple dinosaur explained things to children.
Explain it like you're talking to experts.
Explain it like you're talking to geniuses.

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The U.S. Army is full of Yanks. What are Yanks?
Tall people
American soldiers
Yanks are American soldiers. The term is short for Yankee, which is another name for an American. Sometimes it's used to define someone from New England, sometimes it defines someone from the North. Sometimes it describes a baseball player. In all instances, it defines America.
Men
Tug boats

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If somebody asks for more beans and bullets, what are they asking for?
Money
Backup fire
Food
General supplies
Beans and bullets is slang for general supplies. WWII U.S. Admiral Chester Nimitz once said that winning a war came down to "beans, bullets, and oil.” By the 1950s 'beans and bullets' was being used to describe any and all types of military items.

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When you want to congratulate someone on a job well done, what phrase can you use?
Do it again
Whiskey Charlie
Bad job
Bravo Zulu
Bravo Zulu is the code phrase for "BZ" meaning "well done." This phrase comes from the Allied Maritime Tactical and Maneuvering Book and originated in the Navy. The signal NEGAT Bravo Zulu can be used to mean "not well done."

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What type of army vehicle is commonly known as a bird?
Helicopter
A helicopter is commonly known as a bird in military lingo. Fighter jets usually have individual nicknames. For example, the F-16 Fighting Falcon is commonly known as the "Electric Jet" and the E-2 Hawkeye is nicknamed "Hummer."
Tank
Fighter jet
Ship

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A soldier who has fruit salad on their uniform has what?
A lot of medals and ribbons
Fruit salad is the code to describe a soldier who is decorated with a lot of medals and ribbons. There are dozens of military awards (there's even an Antarctica Service Medal) and they are all made up of multiple colors. Just having a couple will give you a proper fruit salad on your chest.
Food stains
A healthy diet plan
Dirty boots

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If you salute an officer in the field, it is said you just did what?
A secret gesture
Made dinner plans
A sniper check
Saluting an officer in the field of battle is known as a sniper check. In the field everybody looks the same, so saluting someone outs them to enemies -- especially snipers -- as a superior officer. This gesture puts a target on their back.
Said something unimportant

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When you're looking for the Whiskey Charlie, what are you looking for?
Battlefield
Kitchen
Bedroom
Bathroom
Using the NATO phonetic alphabet, Whiskey Charlie stands for "WC," which is an acronym for water closet, which is what some of the world calls a bathroom. A water closet usually has a flushable toilet.

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If you're sentenced to six months confinement, six months loss of pay and a reduction in grade, you just received what?
The food that nobody wants
A good deal
A bad deal
Six, six and a kick
A military member who disobeys rules and receives six months confinement, six months loss of pay and a reduction in grade receives six, six and a kick. Six months of confinement was the most severe punishment on base until a 12-month confinement was implemented.

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In the corporate world, EOD means end of day, what does it mean in military slang?
Explosive Ordnance Disposal
In military speak, EOD stands for Explosive Ordinance Disposal. An EOD is someone who knows how to defuse live bombs. EODs are members of the bomb squad and they first emerged in war during the 19th century.
Eat out dinner
End over day
Exit on door

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Who is Uncle Sam's Confused Group?
The United States Navy
A school for troubled teens
The United States Coast Guard
Uncle Sam's Confused Group is another name for the United States Coast Guard. The U.S. Coast Guard can function as part of the Navy or as part of civilian law enforcement, making them "confused." They regularly patrol docks and harbors.
A group of punks

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If a high-ranking officer tells you to get on your face, what do you have to do?
A headstand
Smack yourself
Do push-ups
If a superior officer tells you to get on your face, you have to drop and start doing an unknown number of push-ups. Drop and give me 20 is another common phrase used to tell someone to do push-ups, and both are understood in civilian life.
Throw a pie in your face

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When somebody tells you to do something on the double, what does that mean?
As fast as possible
On the double means as fast as possible and without delay. You can use this phrase in everyday life, but it's unlikely anybody will follow the order with the seriousness of a soldier in battle. On the double in the military can mean the difference between life and death.
Do it twice
Never do it again
Don't tell anyone about it

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What is it called when enemies begin fighting each other?
Enemy down
Red on red
Red on red means enemies are fighting each other. It's a play on phrases like black-on-black or white-on-white crime. During recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, red on red fighting was commonplace and a crucial part of the war.
MRE
Field day

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What's a POV?
Privately Owned Vehicle
A POV in military slang is a privately or personally owned vehicle. Military members can have their personal vehicles shipped to wherever they are being stationed. A POV in civilian slang is an acronym for point of view.
Piece of veneer
Price or value
Point out visitor

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Who are Uncle Sam's Misguided Children?
The United States Marine Corps
Uncle Sam's Misguided Children is the code name for the United States Marine Corps. The Marines can also be called the University of Science, Music, and Culture. The Marines are part of the U.S. Army and the Department of Defense and they conduct missions with the Army, Navy and Air Force.
Runaway soldiers
The United States Navy
Army cadets

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COP is a slang term for a police officer but in the military it stands for what?
An enemy
To make a purchase
Combat outpost
In military lingo, a COP is a combat outpost. COPs are strategically located in or near highly populated, hostile areas. They can be permanent or semi-permanent and usually hold up to 150 soldiers. COPs are integral in modern warfare.
Police officer

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What time is Zero Dark Thirty?
9:30
12:30
Zero Dark Thirty are the code words used for 12:30 a.m., which is just after midnight. Many countries around the world, plus the military, use the 24-hour clock. Midnight is designated zero on the 24-hour clock.
2:30
3:30

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When everything goes haywire, it might be described as a what?
Perfect
Disneyland
Soup sandwich
A soup sandwich describes something that is all messed up, like trying to eat a sandwich made out of soup. A soup sandwich can be a missed button during a mandofun ceremony, or it can be utter disaster on the battlefield.
A great situation

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Which of the following phrases can be used to say "Thanks much"?
Wowzers
Tango Mike
Tango Mike is a military code that means "Thanks much." By using the NATO phonetic alphabet, you can use the word Tango for "T" and Mike for "M." This is usually used because of laziness over the radio and isn't an official military term like Bravo Zulu.
Holy moly
Bravo Charlie

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Which of these is a popular code word for the United States?
Yankee Land
CONUS
CONUS is half-acronym, half-code word for the continental United States, which is the United States minus Hawaii and Alaska. If an enemy plans to attack CONUS it means a lot more than attacking America, which can mean any American territory - not just one of the 50 states.
The North
The Confederacy

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A zero-three is what type of style statement?
Jewelry
Uniform
Haircut
A zero-three is code for a haircut that is zero inches on the side and three on the top. Barbers use electric razors to cut hair, and the hair guards are usually numbered one through eight. A normal person can also go to the barber and ask for a zero-three.
Footwear

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When you receive a message clearly, you might confirm by saying?
Rog
Roger
Roger that
All of the above
Rog, Roger and Roger That are all code words used to confirm you have received and understood a particular message. It's usually used in radio communications, but can be said wherever and whenever one sees fit.

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What is written on an alpha roster?
Book names
People's names
An alpha roster is simply a list of people's names in alphabetical order. Although the first word on the NATO phonetic alphabet is "Alfa," the slang term for this roster is commonly known as an "alpha roster."
List of enemies
List of attack sites

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What is the nickname for an F-14 Tomcat?
Cat
Tom
The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is commonly known as Tom. It is a supersonic fighter jet that American forces began using in the Vietnam War. It was used as the primary fighter jet until it was replaced in 2006 by the Boeing Super Hornet.
Silent fighter
Invisible beast

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A military employee who works a desk job might be referred to as what?
Shoe clerk
Someone who works a desk job - like the human resource manager, unit supply specialist or financial management technician - might be referred to as a shoe clerk. It's an unflattering term for someone who doesn't take the battlefield but believes their job is the most important.
Blue suit
Army ranger
Cadet

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What's the nickname for the Army-issued poncho liner?
Mr. Dry
Woobie
A woobie is the code word for the Army-issued poncho liner that soldiers love so much. It is used as a blanket and traps body temperature even when it's soaking wet. It's called a woobie because soldiers woobie (would be) cold without it.
Teddy
Blankie

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A military dinner party might be referred to as what?
Breakfast
Mandofun
Mandofun is the code word given to mandatory events no one really wants to go to but must. It is a portmanteau of mandatory and fun. Most mandofun events are understood to be mandatory, but sometimes soldiers have to be reminded.
Prom
The Super Bowl

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What is another name for a first-year Air Force Academy cadet?
Loser
Loner
Doolie
First-year Air Force members are called doolies. There are seven uniformed services in the U.S. military, and each one of them has unique terms to identify freshmen members. A freshman Air Force member may also be referred to as a smack.
Freshie

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If you obtain information through an unofficial channel, you might say you got the information through what?
A drug deal
A drug deal is a slang phrase describing how one attained certain information. This is the type of information somebody may pass to you in the dead of night when nobody is around. It could also be information you've obtained from an off-the-record source.
A friend
A superior
The bad guy

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Which of these animals is a code word for bad weather?
Lion
Hawk
Hawk is a code word for bad weather or winter weather. A hawk is not the same as a war hawk. A war hawk is a politician who favors war instead of debate, which is the opposite of a dove, who is a politician who favors peaceful resolution over war.
Bear
Dolphin

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