Soldier Slang

| February 21, 2021 | 32 Comments

Came across this while looking for something else. WATM states “only soldiers” are likely to be familiar with the terms, but I found them mostly common, or common enough, to what was tossed around in Navy squadrons.

18 terms only soldiers will understand

Logan Nye

Soldier lingo has a tendency to reference things that only exist in the Army. Here are some terms outsiders probably don’t know.
1. Private News Network: The rumor mill or soldier gossip.

We had Rumor Control, or RUMINT. The article is photograph heavy, so it’s just as easy to go to We Are The Mighty and see for yourselves.

Category: Army, Humor

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  1. 26Limabeans says:

    My dad used to say I was what they called a “ground gripper”.
    He was a B-17 gunner. Not sure of the exact meaning but I’ll
    wear it anyway.

  2. OWB says:

    Would have to agree that many/most of them are fairly common terms used not only by military other than Army but other orgs. Maybe some slight variations depending upon who is using the terms?

        • KoB says:

          Everybody’s a critic. Lots of other good articles in that We Are The Mighty Linky. Particularly liked the article about The Green Mountain Boys gonna take the fort whether Ben Arnold helped or not. And they were taking it for the beer.

          Brings to mind a story about the Fifty FIRST (51st) PA Inf Rgmt IX Corps (?) Army of the Potomac. Fredericksburg Vicinity, the Gnrl Commanding stated that any Regiment that took and held a bridge would get a barrel of whiskey as a reward. Well, them tooks took the bridge and higher decided to waffle on the whiskey reward. The boys got mad, got drunk on some hard cider and were confined to a stockade area near the hospital supply tent. They disassembled a couple of Springfields, took the breech plug out, and used the rifle barrels to siphon whiskey from the Surgeons Whiskey Barrels. Yep, they were drunker when the order came down to release them than they were when FIRST confined.

  3. Slick Goodlin says:

    “Beat your boots”
    U.S Army Airborne in the 70’s, we actually could beat our boots because actually wore boots. Fatigues and boots were the PT uniform. You train like you fight. Shin splints and blisters?
    Take 2 salt tablets and drive on!

  4. Poetrooper says:

    They’re fulla crap about the term Leg–it’s short for Straight-leg, and was based on the fact that Airborne troops ALWAYS wore jump boots and bloused their trousers into them, even their Class A dress uniforms, while non-Airborne personnel after WWII weren’t authorized to wear bloused boots with anything but utility uniforms. For everything else they wore low-quarter shoes and “straight-legged” trousers, thus the term.

    There was an exception for tanker personnel for a while but I’m unfamiliar with the particulars. I do know it was still a point of contention between the Armor and Airborne in the late 1950’s.

    • Martinjmpr says:

      WRT “Leg”, the version I heard is that “leg” is indeed short for “straight-leg” but it comes from the fact that paratroopers are always taught to NOT keep their legs straight when landing, rather they have to keep their knees bent to keep from breaking bones when hitting the ground.

    • Steeleyi says:

      This is my understanding as well.

      There is a scene to that effect in Band of Brothers when Sobol accuses one of the troops of blousing his boots like a paratrooper before earning his wings

      Also, “beat your boots” is the corrective training tool of choice at BaC because unlike push-ups you can do it while wearing a parachute (added bonus of making it extremely uncomfortable)

  5. rgr769 says:

    This article is a pretty pathetic effort at portraying soldier lingo. I can think of many dozens of terms only used by soldiers that aren’t in this article.

  6. Mick says:

    “Acquired” gear.

    Naval Service (USN/USMC) translation:

    “Gear adrift is a gift!”

  7. Green Thumb says:

    Two-hole Ranger.

    • ChipNASA says:

      Good thing I wasn’t eating or drinking when I read this.
      Fuckin’ GT!!!

      Oh and excuse me for stealing this from Book of Faces from someone who I believe is a poster here but I don’t use his civilian name (Or know which is associated with what here.) anyway, you know who you are and it furthers the discussion of military slang and jargon…

      I also provided the following….what I believe was the politically correct nomenclature for other more offensive slang…

      ” 5 gal Jerry Can Fuel Funnel/Spout.”

      Now particular to my career field in the opposite vein:

      MAC = “Many Alcoholics Combined”


      AMC = “Alcoholics Moving Cargo”

  8. Ex-PH2 says:

    Maybe drop some Navy lingo into the mix?

  9. Green Thumb says:

    Buddy is only half the word…..

  10. Mike B USAF Retired says:


    F You Buddy I’m Just A Reservist

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