Military Lingo: All Right, Slick Sleeves, Grab Your Bang-Bang and Let's Go!

Estimated Completion Time
2 min
Military Lingo: All Right, Slick Sleeves, Grab Your Bang-Bang and Let's Go!
Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

The military is a world all its own, full of obscure acronyms and weird, esoteric language that only soldiers really understand. How much do you know about military lingo?
These days, what term do soldiers typically use for helicopters?
birds
The most common modern nickname is "birds." If you use the term "chopper," everyone will know you've seen too many old war movies.
choppers
egg beaters

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Here's another easy one. What's an IED most likely to do?
blow up
IEDs, of course, are Improvised Explosive Devices. They're often made from found objects, but they're no less deadly than mass-manufactured bombs. They're often concealed and then detonated when a vehicle or soldier travels nearby.
make an omelet
fix an airplane

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What do soldiers do at DFAC?
get medical treatment
get food
DFAC stands for Dining Facility. In other words, it's the mess hall where soldiers eat.
use the toilet

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"Puddle pirates" can refer to very dangerous military units.
true
The term "puddle pirates" refers to the Coast Guard, with the implication that these ships ply only shallow waters and don't fight battles. In fact, Coast Guard ships go all over the world and sometimes wind up in the middle of battles.
false

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When would you NOT want to be "black" on ammo?
during a heated battle
If you're "black" on ammo, it means your gun is empty. That's no good, particularly in the middle of a pitched battle.
during a military parade
during a poker game

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If you were in a vehicle struck by an IED, you were WHAT?
"punched"
"blowed up"
Being "blowed up" by an IED is a terrifying event. Many soldiers in the Middle East have been blowed up repeatedly during their tours of duty.
"pew pew pewed"

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Where would you find "moon dust"?
on the moon, duh
in the Middle East
"Moon dust" is a catch-all term for the inescapable dust that seems to plague every country in the Middle East. Moon dust means that frontline soldiers exist in a constant state of gritty filth.
in a bag of drugs

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JDAM refers to what sort of weapon?
chemical weapons
knives
bombs
JDAMs are Joint Direct Attack Munitions. They are a type of smart bomb that can be guided into even hard-to-hit targets.

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What does a "squirter" do?
stops bleeding
runs away from a battle
Squirters are the guys who take off running once a battle begins. In many cases, squirters are enemy combatants looking for cover or safety.
it's not appropriate for this quiz

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What's a CHU?
a place to live
A CHU is a Containerized Housing unit. They are climate-controlled trailers that can be matched with other CHUs to make larger living areas. They are, shall we say, not exactly fancy living.
a mess hall
an armored vehicle

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If someone tells you there is imminent TIC, what should you do?
eat as much food as possible
grab your gun
Grab your gun -- TIC means Troops In Contact. That means that there is an active firefight or an otherwise treacherous situation.
go to bed

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What does it mean if one of your personnel goes "over the hill"?
they are dead
they are missing
If one of your service personnel goes over the hill, he or she is missing. It could be a normal screw-up, or it might mean something more ominous.
they turned 40

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If an area in a war zone is "kinetic," it is what, exactly?
contains many hidden mines
violent
If a fellow soldier tells you that an area is kinetic, keep your wits about you -- it means that the area is full of violence.
full of motion

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When would you be most likely to "rack out"?
in the middle of an artillery barrage
just before a hard fight
after a long battle
If you "rack out," you're going to sleep, a luxury that evades many combat veterans who have seen too much violence and too little peace.

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When do you want the "Fitty"?
during a drinking binge
during a parachute assault
during a firefight
The "Fitty," refers to the .50-caliber machine gun. For many decades, the Fitty has been one of the most potent and terrifying weapons on the battlefield.

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Infantry soldiers are often called what?
"Dicks"
"Joes"
For decades, G.I.s have been called "Joes." In older days, "G.I. Joes" was a common term.
"Jacks"

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When does "pink mist" occur?
at military balls
in the mess hall
during combat
Pink mist refers to the ominous (sometimes pink) mist that happens when a soldier is struck by bullets. At the very least, it means he or she has been wounded.

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Who's "T-Man"?
a type of non-perishable rations
the Taliban
T-Man is a nickname for the Taliban, one of the most consistently befuddling and dangerous enemies that U.S. soldiers have faced in decades.
the local general

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An "oxygen thief" is a soldier that does too much of what?
fighting
running
talking
Oxygen thieves are soldiers who'd rather sit around chatting than accomplishing their actual duties. Oxygen thieves aren't good for much.

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American troops refer to rifles as "guns."
true
false
U.S. troops reserve the word gun most often for artillery guns or mortars. These guns have far more power and range than machine guns and rifles.

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What does it mean if you've "gone Elvis"?
you're missing in action
You are most likely not sporting huge sideburns and singing "Heartbreak Hotel" in a dingy Vegas bar. If you've "gone Elvis," you're missing in action.
you're getting lazy and obese
you need to shave your sideburns

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What's happening if you're getting the "dustoff"?
you are discharged
you're getting evacuated
A dustoff means a medical evacuation by helicopter. It's no fun to be wounded, but if you are, you definitely want the dustoff treatment.
you died

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Jets are often called what?
"sky snakes"
"big bird"
"fast movers"
Jets are "fast movers." Especially at low altitude, jets come and go in the blink of an eye. They are definitely fast movers.

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If you are "outside the wire," you are where?
off of the base
Being "outside the wire" means that you've left your primary base. In other words, you're beyond the concertina wire that’s often strewn about the perimeter of a base as a defensive measure.
inside a bomber aircraft
on a TV show

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What's "chest candy"?
part of a female's anatomy
medals
Heavily-decorated soldiers often have loads of chest candy, or medals and ribbons. Some soldiers mock people who have too much chest candy; other times, they give them the utmost respect.
scars

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"Fobbits" have a reputation for what?
collecting as many kills as possible
stealing other soldiers' gear
hanging around on base
"Fobbits" is a blend of FOB (forward operating base) and "Hobbit," the creatures from "The Lord of the Rings." They're the guys who hunker down on base and rarely risk their necks outside the wire.

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If your commanding officer tells you to "beat your face," what will you be doing?
ramming your head through drywall
slapping yourself
pushups
"Beat your face" refers to pushups, for fairly obvious reasons. If someone tells you to beat your face over and over again, you clearly aren't grasping the message.

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What's a "bang-bang"?
prostitute
pistol or rifle
If you're heading outside the wire, don't forget your bang-bang. You gotta have a rifle or pistol if you want to face off with the enemy.
cooking pot

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What happens if you're "expectant"?
you're about to get latrine duty
you're about to die
"Expectant" is a gentle term for a not-so-gentle event -- you're going to die.
you're about to become a parent

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If you're trapped behind enemy lines, you definitely want to see "sky blossoms" coming to your location.
true
"Sky blossoms" is slang for paratroopers. If you're trapped and need reinforcements, sky blossoms might be your new best friends.
false

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