13 Military Slang Terms Only Service Members Will Understand
When you think of ‘slang’, you probably think about people in the South saying “y’all” or Bostonians saying “wicked”.
But guess what? There’s a whole world of slang most people don’t know about: military slang.
And it kinda makes sense, actually.
As a service member, you need to be clear and quick like your life depends on it. Because sometimes -- it does.
I mean, if you told the average person that you were on the FOB when the IDP hit, they’d have no idea what the hell you were talking about!
So let’s go over some of the lingo and a list of military slang terms that only a service member will ever understand.
1. Blue Falcon
Blue Falcons suck.
If someone’s a Blue Falcon, that means they’re letting someone else take the heat for something.
Blue Falcons are the snitches of the military world. While you shouldn’t be lying to superior officers, there’s a big difference between someone following orders and someone who throws you under the bus.
Also known as ‘Buddy Fuckers’, these fake friends have no problem ruining you, especially if it saves their ass.
2. Field Strip
Field strips are actually pretty simple.
Literally, it’s when you take a weapon apart and give it the routine cleaning, lubrication, and minor repairs it needs while you’re in the field.
But the truth is, ‘field strip’ gets used a lot to describe taking just about anything apart.
When a Humvee gets stuck or broken outside of base, the troops will field strip it, taking anything that’s classified or valuable before they ditch it.
If you’re still confused, think of it this way: you don’t want to leave your car in a bad neighborhood, or you might come back to find it propped up on cinder blocks, field stripped.
3. Grunt By Association
This one’s kinda weird, because if you’ve never heard it before, you might think it’s an insult.
If someone’s being called a grunt by association, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, this is something mostly Marines will understand, because it’s basically their term.
But more importantly, it’s actually a compliment. Basically, it’s describing someone who doesn’t have the official qualification in an infantry field, but they’ve worked regularly with the infantry.
Artillerymen and drivers end up with this term a lot, since they’re people deployed for extended periods of time with the infantry.
4. Chair Force
Alright, now we’re getting into the good stuff!
Chair Force can be just about anyone in the Air Force, since other service members see them as professional ‘sitters’.
Technically, if you’re a proper pilot, you don’t qualify for this term. It’s really only for people who spend their days “flying a desk”.
Do you only do office work? You’re in the chair force. Simple, right?
5. Police Call
Oh, police calls? That’s the height of service, folks.
Basically, your SO lines up your entire unit and has you walk around an area, picking up trash.
Exciting, isn’t it?
Don’t confuse that term with ‘policing’ though, because that’s different. Policing is when a unit internally checks everyone’s behavior. It can also be when you’re ordered to take care of some out of control facial hair.
6. Sniper Check
Sniper checks might sound exciting, but it’s actually just standard procedure.
Here’s the deal: you’re supposed to salute officers. That’s pretty common knowledge these days.
What you’re NOT supposed to do is salute an officer while you’re in the field.
Why? Because saluting an officer in the field makes it easy for an enemy sniper to identify who’s in charge.
It’s the kind of mistake that doesn’t just make someone look stupid, it could cost someone their life.
7. Secret Squirrel
Secret squirrel might sound funny, but this shit is no joke.
Secret squirrel can refer to either intelligence personnel, secret communications, someone with a higher classification than you, or a classified op.
These are the heavy hitters, with the classified intel that your average service member doesn’t need to know.
8. Full Battle-Rattle
When someone says “full battle-rattle”, they’re talking about gear.
When servicemen and women head outside the wire, there’s a ton of gear they’re usually bringing with them.
9 times out of 10, they’ll be heading out in a flak jacket with protective plates, 180 rounds of ammunition, water, Kevlar, rations, and a rifle.
Why is it called “battle-rattle”? Because unless you’re a Navy SEAL, all that shit is going to make a ton of noise when you’re walking around.
When someone talks about a “wake-up”, they’re talking about the last day you’ll be somewhere.
When someone’s deployed, let’s say they’re going to bed on a Monday and flying out on Saturday.
That service member would have 4 days and a wake-up ahead of them.
10. Good Initiative, Bad Judgment
This is basically the military version of “nice try, dumbass”.
The term “good initiative, bad judgment” is used when there’s a problem that needs to be solved, but the way someone chose to solve it just made things worse.
People will say “good initiative” because usually, the problem is above someone’s pay grade.
11. Birth-Control Glasses
This one’s for the poor bastards born without 20/20.
If you think the military was going to let you keep your fancy glasses, you’re out of your damn mind.
Birth-control glasses is a term used for the glasses the military issues you, and man are they hard to look at.
If you can get laid in those, you can get laid in anything.
12. No Impact, No Idea
This is when a shooter on the range is missing their target by so far that spotters don’t even see an impact.
You’ll also hear this one when a speaker doesn’t understand an idea, or to describe someone that’s a complete moron.
Those are 13 Military Slang Terms You Probably Never Knew
So there’s a quick run-down on some military lingo and a list of military slang terms you likely didn’t know about before reading this.
If you’re looking for military apparel and service gear, you’ve come to the right spot. Support your country with pride and look good while doing it!