The history of the United States Navy is long and colorful and dates back many years.
During that time, many have served in this prestigious branch of the United States armed forces. The Navy has been at the forefront of defending America since its inception during colonial times. It's seen many victories, most notably during World War II, but it's also suffered some painful defeats. However, without a doubt, it's easily the most powerful navy on the planet today! And that's not in terms of an active fleet only. The air wing of the United States Navy is larger than many air forces in the world!
Of course, like many organizations, the United States Navy has many of its own terms and slang words. A specialized lingo, you might say. These are used daily by regular seaman, officers and even the captains of fleet ships. But just how many of these do you think you would be able to decipher?
Some terms are general and used in boating around the world, while others are certainly only used by the Navy itself. Let's see how many of them you're able to get right! And you better have your thinking cap on, because this quiz is a salty seadog for sure!
If you were in the "aft" of a U.S. Navy ship, where would you be?
Near the rear
That's right, in U.S. Navy terminology, the "aft" of the boat is the rear end. It's not the stern, which is the very back end of the boat, but aft is headed in that direction.
Someone using the "autovon" on a U.S. Navy ship would be using what?
A secret weapon system
Naval internal telephone system
The internal telephone system used by the Navy is called the "autovon," short for "Automatic Voice Network." This telephone system was designed for the military and connects the captain of a large warship with all of the crucial areas that make it operate efficiently—for instance, the engine room.
A Navy seaman deployed on a ship going to the "West Pac" would be going to which ocean?
It's just easier to give all the oceans in the world cool, shortened names like West Pac for the Western Pacific. If you were transferred to a ship in the Mediterranean, you would be serving on a "Med cruise."
What is stored in a "chain locker" aboard a Navy vessel?
The anchor chain
Depending on the size of the ship, anchor chains need different sized chain lockers. For example, on an aircraft carrier, the chain locker would be huge. It has to be to store over 1,400 feet of chain, where the links weigh around 130 pounds each.
Which of these terms would refer to a U.S. Marine based on a Navy vessel?
The term "jarhead" was given to Marines by U.S. Navy sailors in World War II. It's said they were called this because in their dress blue uniform, which had a high collar, they looked like a mason jar.
On a U.S. Navy ship, which of these below defines a "mess"?
A massive stuff-up
The place sailors eat
The "mess" on a U.S. Navy ship is the area where meals are consumed. And there's not just one mess aboard most vessels; for example, there will be a mess for regular sailors and a separate one for officers.
A sailor in the "crow's nest" is where on a vessel?
A high lookout point
The "crow's nest" is a lookout point on a ship. Most modern vessels no longer need them, thanks to radar and other detection devices, but in the old days, this was where the most eagle-eyed sailor would sit to spot other ships or land.
If you were in the "bow" of a U.S. Navy ship, where would you be?
In the anchor room
At the front of the ship
That's right, in U.S. Navy terminology, the "bow" of the boat is the front section. On older ships, this is where the figurehead—a beautifully carved piece of wood depicting a lady, for example—would be found.
"Birds" are common U.S. Navy terminology for surface-to-air missiles that might be used against enemy aircraft. An example of one is the RIM-67 Standard ER, which could be used against air targets or other enemy naval vessels.
Who would you find in a section of the a vessel called the "goat lockers"?
Chief Petty Officers
A goat locker is an area of the boat where you will find the Chief Petty Officers. Why a goat locker? Well, CPOs are normally older than the crew, hence the goat reference. However, legend has it that in the early days, goats were kept on Navy vessels to provide milk, and it was the CPOs that looked after them!
A U.S Navy ship that is "balls to the wall" is _______?
Going as fast as it can
Not strictly a U.S. Navy term but certainly used by sailors, "balls to the wall" means to go as fast as the vessel is capable of going. Early speed controllers on ships had two metal balls that would push forward when the ship was going as fast as it could, hence the term.
When commanded to "batten down the hatches", what do U.S. Navy sailors do?
Go to sleep
Close any watertight features
A term that we use today, "batten down the hatches," is a Navy term which means that all watertight fixtures should be closed so no water can come in. This might be done in extreme weather when a ship encounters monster waves.
"Ahoy" is a U.S. Navy term that's used to bring attention to something. It might simply be "Ahoy, ship on the horizon," as an example. Originally, it was used as a greeting and actually comes from a Viking battle cry.