Sunday, February 21, 2010

More Military Terminology "From the War Zone"

Every war produces words, acronyms and phrases which become embedded in soldiers' vocabulary. WWII had "Kilroy Was Here", Vietnam spawned "Sorry About That," "FTA" (Fun, Travel & Adventure), and "REMF" ("Rear Echelon Management Facilitator"). Here in Baghdad, the one-word description which uniquely belongs to this conflict is..."Iraq-able", as in, "She's Iraq-able" or "I wouldn't want to marry the guy, but he is definitely Iraq-able!" I haven't heard if there is a similar phrase in use by our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan.  The equivalent to the Vietnam-era RMF is known as the "FOBBIT", describing someone who never leaves the FOB, much like a Hobbit prefers to remain in the Shire. (See photo)

The term used to describe soldiers over here has its roots in WWII and also the still-popular Hasbro doll. Both male and female soldiers are usually called, "Joes", short for "G.I. Joe"...It seems to connote an equality between genders. I like it for its simplicity. Every so often you'll hear soldiers referred to as "Grunts" (usually by us Vietnam-era types), or "Troopers" (We have a lot of Cavalry units here), and the 3rd Infantry Division Song still pays tribute to the "Dogface Soldier" of WWII vintage...but the only time you'll hear a soldier called a "Doughboy" is during the monthly weigh-in!


  1. Thanks for clarifing the meaning of those acronyms. All these years I had the meanings wrong. :)

  2. Brent, I've tried to keep this blog "PC", which of course stands for "Pierce County"...!