These are se of the terms that you will hear in our shows. This is not all-inclusive. When you hear one that isn’t here, reach out to us and we will work to include it!

Also – Here’s a helpful link if you don’t find it here:

782 Gear: Also “Deuce” gear; includes pack, canteen, poncho, ammo pouch, etc. used when in. the field. 782 refers to the DD Form signed when gear is issued.

AOAAngle of Attack aka “Alpha”: Naval Aviators don’t use airspeed, but rather the angle at which the wing ‘attacks’ the air flowing over the wing. This is the measure of the angle of the relative airstream at the front of the wing and the angle created by the chord of the wing which is an imaginary line through the leading edge to the trailing edge of the wing. The advantage to this is, that regardless of aircraft weight the wing will always stall at the same angle of attack even though the airspeed may be very different. A heavy airplane will reach the critical (stalling) angle of attack and a much higher speed than the same airplane when it is thousands of pounds lighter. This gives the pilots and LSOs a much better idea of how well the wing is flying (developing lift) than any airspeed number which is meaningless unless you know the density altitude, and weight of the airplane and use that information to calculate the speed at which the wing will stop flying. Using AOA eliminates all those calculations.

AOCS: US Navy’s Aviation Officers Candidates’ School. Was at NAS Pensacola, FL. Closed in 2008 and is now part of the larger Navy OCS program in Newport, RI.

ATC: 1. Air Traffic Control. 2. USAF” Air Training Command – i.e. “Flight School”

AWACS: Aircraft with big radar dish mounted on the back. The AWACS features a three-dimensional radar that measures azimuth, range, and elevation simultaneously and can pass that information to frontline combatants and headquarters for battlefield intelligence.

AWS: Amphibious Warfare School – a course for Company Grade Officers in the Marine Corps to learn about how to conduct amphibious military tactics and employ Marine units as a combined arms force.

Bag: Two meanings. 1. Slang for flight suit 2. Slang for a ‘hood’ that one slides over the canopy to restrict vision outside the cockpit to practice flying solely by reference to instruments. This is known as ‘being under the bag.’

Ball or Meatball: The Fresnel Lens array gives visual glide-slope information to pilots at Navy & Marine bases and aboard carriers. You can only see the light that shines to your position low, on glide-slope or high. If you’re curious you could look for an explanation of how it works here.

BDA: Battle Damage Assessment. After firing missiles, guns, rockets or dropping bombs one attempts to get an assessment of what the level of destruction on the target was accomplished.

B-I / R-I: Letters pronounce “bee-eye / are-eye” Basic Instruments or Radio Instruments. A phase in flight school where one concentrates on flying and navigating the aircraft solely by reference to the cockpit instruments.

Bingo: Meaning no more fuel to do anything but return to base / carrier / intended point of landing. Flying below this fuel level doing anything but returning to land would constitute the need to declare an emergency due to low fuel.

Black Shoe: In the Navy, aviators where brown shoes with their uniform and surface / sub-surface officers where black shoes. So, a ‘black-shoe’ is a ‘non-aviator.’

Blind: Unable to see the other aircraft in the flight or the opposing aircraft in the fight. It’s dangerous and frustrating to lose sight of flight lead or ‘-2’ (pronounced dash two) or ‘-3’ etc.

Blue Bombs: See Mark-76 – Practice Bombs that weighed from 10 to 25 pounds and aerodynamically mimicked larger high explosive bombs, but only gave off a small smoke charge in order to determine the accuracy of the hits.

BOHICA: Pronounced Boheeka. “Bend Over. Here It Comes Again.

Bolter: Touching down on an aircraft carrier – hook down – with the intention of landing and, for whatever reason, missing all 4 wires (cross-deck pendants) and taking off again. That’s why when you land on a carrier, instead of pulling the power to idle you go to full power to go flying again. If you catch a wire, you will stop. If you miss, you already have your power up to get airborne again.

Break: A tactical maneuver to rapidly get aircraft from a high threat area overhead the airport and into the landing pattern. One flies over the intended landing runway anywhere from 300 to 600+ knots and rapidly banks the aircraft, pulls the throttle to idle, and ‘loads’ the airplane up with G’s which creates drag and slows down the aircraft to a speed to allow deploying the flaps and landing gear.

BuNo: Bureau Number. The serial number of a Naval / Marine Aircraft.

CAG: CAG (Commander Air Group) is the Air Wing Commander. The term is a carryover from USN aviation days prior to the 1980’s. Although the title is no longer accurate, folks still refer to the Air Wing Commander as “CAG”. 

Cammies: Camouflage Utility Uniform.

Cat / Cat-Shot: Refers to being “shot” off the front of the aircraft carrier using the catapult.

Charlie: In Naval Aviation your ‘Charlie’ time is the time you’re designated to land aboard the carrier.

CNATRA: Pronounced “Sinatra” – Acronym for Chief of Naval Aviation TRAining

CoHorst: Our butchered amalgamation of CoHost and CoHort!

Cokes / Coke Fittings: Actually spelled koch – pronounced coke – these are the fittings that attach the pilot’s harness to his parachute. They’re designed to release automatically in salt-water in case the pilot is unconscious when he enters the water. This prevents the sinking parachute from dragging the pilot underwater – which it will do even if the life vest is inflated; which is also designed to occur automatically in salt-water if the pilot doesn’t do it manually.

Collective: A Helicopter flight control. The collective is the stick/lever (usually) has a twist throttle on it to control engine speed (output) and is pulled up and down to change the pitch (angle) of the rotor blades to ‘grab’ more air or to not ‘grab’ as much air. The other hand holds the cyclic.

Cover: A Marine Corps’ term for hat. e.g. When one is wearing a hat they are said to be “covered.” As an additional bit of trivia, one only wears a cover indoors when they are ‘under arms’ (armed) or participating in a ceremony such as a change of command or color guard.

CRM: Crew Resource Management – How pilots effectively communicate with each other in the demanding environment that is the cockpit of a multi-crew airplane. (Or between planes in multi-plane single seat aircraft. This is needed to effectively

Cross Deck Pendant: The arresting wire on an aircraft carrier .

Cross Wind: When the wind is across the direction of flight. This is most critical when trying to land and the wind is across the runway -v- in line with it. When “up and away” flying at altitude a crosswind causes the aircraft to drift and must be corrected. Think of it as rowing a boat across a river. If you point at the dock on the other side, you’ll miss because of the current. You have to steer upstream to get straight across. The currents in the air (jet stream/winds aloft etc) are just like water currents in a river.

C-SAR: “Sea-sar” Combat Search and Rescue.

Cyclic: The helicopter flight control usually held by the pilot’s right hand that is similar to the ‘stick’ in a conventional plane. This controls pitch (nose-up / nose down) and roll of the aircraft.

DACT: Different Air Combat Training – Fighting ‘Air Combat Maneuvers’ with different types of aircraft. e.g. an AV8B Harrier against an F-14 Tomcat.

DASC: Pronounced ‘dask’ – is the principal USMC aviation command & control system and the air control agency responsible for the direction of air operations which support ground forces. It is a decentralizedoperation, but directly supervised by the Marine Tactical Air Command Center (TACC) or the Navy Tactical Air Control Center (NTACC). During amphibious or expeditionary operations, the DASC is normally the first Marine Air Command and Control System (MACCS) agency ashore. It coordinates with the ground troops as the unit which provides air support to the troops on the ground.

Departure: Loss of control in flight – i.e. “Departure from Controlled Flight” is referred to as a departure.

DFC: Distinguished Flying Cross – 4th award behind the Congressional Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Silver Star.

D.I. – Drill Instructor: In Marine Corps OCS there are at least two for every platoon. Usually a Sergeant (sometimes a really sharp Corporal) known as the “Sgt Instructor” and the Staff Sergeant known as “Platoon Sgt.”

Division: Four airplanes flying together is referred to as a division

Downwind: Flying around an airport these terms are useful in identifying exactly where other airplanes are. It is standard to land into the wind. After takeoff – turning crossways from the runway is ‘crosswind’. Turning parallel to get back out to do another approach is called downwind. Turning back towards the runway 90º off runway heading is called ‘base’ or ‘base-leg.’ And then lined up with the runway to land is called ‘final’. So the rectangle that one flies around the field is labeled crosswind, downwind, base and final. And just to confuse matters – civilians fly that pattern in a rectangle and military planes fly the pattern in a more oval pattern!

Drill Field: AKA Parade Deck or Grinder. Marine Corps Recruit Depots Parris Island, SC and San Diego, CA as well as OCS stations in Quantico, VA and AOCS in Pensacola, FL. (Aviation Officer Candidates’ School) When an NCO or Staff NCO is assigned duty as a D.I. it is often referred to as the “Drill Field” as one of their primary duties is teaching close order drill to the recruits and candidates. The physical location where close order drill is taught at these duty stations is the parade deck; lovingly referred to as “The Grinder.”

Duck Butt: C-130 Aircraft used to fly across the ocean with single engine tactical aircraft. In the event of an ejection they fly over the downed pilot and send out survival equipment like a large life raft, food etc.

E6B: AKA “Whiz-Wheel” – An aviation calculator that’s essentially a slide-rule.

ELT: Emergency Locator Transmitter. Aircraft carry an ELT radio that automatically activates on ejection or impact that sends out a homing signal allowing rescue aircraft to locate the site of the wreckage quickly after a mishap. Pilots also carry a “AN-PRC-90” aka a ‘pric-90’ radio that has the ability to transmit the same emergency signal as the aircraft ELTs.

FAIP: Air Force term – First Assignment Instructor Pilot. Navy calls them SeRGrads. Going directly to an Instructor Assignment after finishing flight school instead of to a fleet fighting / tactical / strategic flying assignment.

FAM: Pronounced Fam – Short for familiarization. Each new airplane in the flight school syllabus typically starts with systems ground school, followed by the “FAM” stage to familiarize the pilot with the cockpit and the flying characteristics of the airplane.

FARs: Federal Aviation Regulations. The rules which govern all airspace, pilot certification and all things aviation.

FBO: Fixed Based Operator – The business that supports general and sometimes transient military aircraft on an airport. They provide all manner of services from tie-downs, hangar space, mechanical support etc. For lack of a better term – a gas station for airplanes.

FCLP: Field Carrier Landing Practice – the ‘deck’ of an aircraft carrier is painted on the runway and an LSO grades ‘passes’ to the runway as if one is approaching a ship.

FCR: A fire-control radar (FCR) is a radar that is designed specifically to provide information (mainly target azimuth, elevation, range and range rate) in order to direct weapons such that they hit a target. Also used to maintain position relative to other members of the same flight. Thus an “FCR Fail” is dangerous because the pilot loses track of where his flight lead or interval is located.

Feet Wet / Feet Dry: Flying over water or flying over land.

Flamed Out: A turbine engine has a constant flame in it. When it fails, it is referred to as having flamed out. It is also a slang for when a squadron is decommissioned from service.

FLIR: Pronounced flir – Forward Looking InfraRed. The method used for night vision – picking up the infrared heat signature off objects to see them in the dark.

FNG: Funny (let’s go with that!) New Guy

F.O.D: Pronounced Fod. Foreign Object Damage. Any foreign object / piece of debris etc. A bolt or a nut on the flight line; a pen in the cockpit, etc. This is dangerous because it can damage an engine if sucked into it or has the potential to jam a flight control in the cockpit from traveling the full distance it’s supposed to.

Foul Deck: The landing area (referred to as the deck on land and at sea) is not clear to land on. Something is in the way… another aircraft, debris etc.

G’s: The feeling the pilot experiences when changing the pitch of the aircraft. (nose up / nose down). Nose up gives positive Gs. Nose down gives negative Gs. Standing on the ground you experience 1 G. Hanging upside down on the monkey bars by your knees you feel 1 negative G. In level flight at 60º angle of bank you feel twice your weight or 2 G’s. Tactical aircraft are routinely capable of 9 G’s.

Gadget Bent: Radar or Laser not working.

G-LOC: Pronounced “G-Lock” – G-Induced loss of consciousness. When pulling positive Gs, the weight of the blood causes it to flow out of your head inducing a rapid loss of consciousness unless counteracted by doing what’s referred to as the “hook” maneuver. It can actually feel very pleasant and like you’re in a dream-like state, but is dangerous because even after regaining consciousness one remains slightly disoriented for several minutes.

Goon: Gooning it up. aka screwing it up badly and obviously. Immediately noticeable to all.

Got X’s / Get X’s: Think of a training syllabus as a check list with boxes on each line item. When the sortie for the line item is complete an X is put in the box. Getting through a syllabus to become a fully trained combat pilot is referred to as “getting X’s.”

Gundecking: Misrepresenting records or reports. Gundecking any reports constitutes falsifying an official document, and can be punishable by Captain’s Mast or even a Court-Martial.

Hack: As in “put in hack” It’s an informal temporary withdrawal of flight privileges by the Sqn. C.O. as a punishment for an offense / rule violation – usually committed in the airplane.

HAM’N: Pronounced “hammin” Blue Angels term for “He Ain’t Movin’ Nothing.” In other words, the Boss (Flight Lead) has set the power and is holding the stick still to be more stable for the other pilots in the formation.

Hook Maneuver: Tensing up every muscle in your body from your feet to your neck and grunting the word hook. This helps you keep oxygenated blood up in your head when experiencing high G loads and keeps you from ‘G-LOCking.’

Horizontal Stab: Horizontal stabilizer. The portion of the aircraft’s tail ‘fins’ that are parallel to the ground. On many aircraft this entire surface moves and it’s called a “stabilator” – combination stabilizer and elevator.

HUD: pronounced hud. Heads Up Display. Paints important flight instrument data on the windshield focused on infinity so the pilot can see airspeed, altitude, attitude, heading, angle of attack etc without having to ‘go heads-down’ and look inside the cockpit for vital information. One of the most important pieces of info is the ‘pipper’ or ‘velocity vector’ (VV)which displays exactly where the airplane will fly to. So – if you put the VV on the end of the runway, that’s where the airplane will touchdown if nothing is touched to alter the course or glideslope.

ILS: Instrument Landing System. This is a radio signal giving course and glide slope information to a runway. There are 3 different Categories. One thru three. “Cat-1” generally gets you to about 200′ above the runway. “Cat-3” is for autoland – where the autopilot lands the plane.

IP: Initial Point – A point on the ground at a given distance and bearing from a target used to gauge the timing and course inbound to a target.

IP: Instructor Pilot. How do you know which is which? Context, my friends, context.

Jumpin’ Jehosifats: The phrase in the Naval Aviation Safety Magazine, Approach, stated by “Grampaw Pettibone” a cartoon charicature of a crusty old Naval Aviator, when he’s about to describe something that should be obvious to the pilot involved that what he’s about to do is a very bad judgment call.

IYAOYAS: If You Ain’t Ordnance, You Ain’t Shit!

LAU-7: Missile Launching Rail mounted to a hard point on the wing usually outboard (outer most station) on the Harrier.

LPA: Lieutenants’ Protective Association. As the junior officers in a squadron, Lieutenants band together to look out for one another. In the case of Episode 21 they took it to another level and became the Lieutenants’ Revolutionary Front!

LSO: Landing Signal Officer. AKA “Paddles.” The LSO is responsible for working up on land and guiding pilots aboard the aircraft carriers. Due to the motion of the ship, it can be difficult for pilots to notice changing line-up, glideslope etc. The LSO is the second set of eyes providing vital safety guidance. In spite of the LSO “grading” every pass, no naval aviator wants to attempt to come aboard without an LSO watching over them.

LSS: Landing Site Supervisor. The AV-8B Harrier community’s version of LSO. LSS works in confined areas – like a clearing in the trees or an expeditionary field – as well as roads and ships like LHAs and LHDs.

L Z: “el-zee” Landing Zone.

LOx: Liquid Oxygen – the method before “OBOGS” (pronounced Oh-Bogs) to provide breathing oxygen to tactical jet pilots.

MAG: Marine Air Group

ManPAD: Man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS or MPADS) are portable surface-to-air missiles. They are guided weapons and are a threat to low-flying aircraft.

MAW: Marine Air Wing

Main Mount: Main landing gear.

“Mar-Div”: e.g. Episode 21 – “Headquarters Battalion, Second MarDiv.” Here’s the way units are comprised generally speaking. Be advised, I am leaving out a LOT of units here for simplicity’s sake. Like in English there are ALWAYS exceptions to this rule! I am leaving out the “fourth” unit in several of these. For example – there are really four companies, not three. So a fourth unit is generally a “headquarters and support” unit – e.g. Alpha Company, Bravo Company, Charlie Company, and H&S Company make up a battalion. Leadership is set up so that a Marine has 3 people reporting to him in the chain of command. There are 4 Marines in a fireteam led by a fireteam leader. 3 fire teams in a squad, 3 squads in a platoon, 4 platoons in a company, 4 companies in a battalion, 4 battalions in a regiment, and 3 to 5 regiments in a division. So – MarDiv = Marine Division. May I suggest going to the DOD Site to get a detailed description?

Mark-76: Mk-76. Practice bomb that is inert except for a tiny smoke charge to help mark its landing spot. Other Bombs are Mk-81 (250 lb High Explosive HE); Mk-82 500lb; Mk-83 1000 lb HE etc etc.

MATSG: Pronounced mátsig – Marine Air Training Support Group. Marines go through navy flight school to become Naval Aviators. While aboard the Naval Air Stations they report to and are administratively controlled by MATSG personnel.

MEF & MEU: Marine Expeditionary Force / Unit. The Marine Corps deploys its various units in “Expeditions.” So, while in garrison there are companies, squadrons etc. They combine these garrison units to deploy to hot spots around the world. For example, a Harrier Squadron will detach several aircraft, as will a helicopter squadron to create an “augmented” squadron to deploy as a unit. This unit and others combined as infantry, artillery, etc will go out as a MEU or a larger MEF to be a force in readiness at hot spots throughout the world.

M O A: Pronounced “mōa”. Military Operations Area. Special use airspace used by military aircraft. When a moa is “hot” i.e. in use civilian aircraft are kept out in order to reduce the chance of mid-air collisions with high-speed maneuvering military aircraft. *Note – MOST of the time military acronyms are pronounced like words. e.g. ASAP is pronounced as a word, not spelled out A S A P.

MRE: Meals Ready to Eat – Combat food that is vacuum packed, freeze dried and all other manner of preserved in order to provide light weight nutrition to the military in training and combat situations. Designed to keep for years.

NATOPS: The Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) program (pronounced NAY-Tops) prescribes general flight and operating instructions and procedures applicable to the operation of all United States naval aircraft and related activities. The program issues policy and procedural guidance of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) that is applicable to all United States Navy (USN) and United States Marine Corps (USMC) aviation personnel.[1]

NIFC: National Interagency Fire Center. Pronounced ‘Nifsee’

Nomex: Fire Retardant Material used to make military flight suits.

NOTAR: No Tail Rotor on a helicopter…

OBOGS: (pronounced Oh-Bogs) On Board Oxygen Generating System – used in modern aircraft to strip out nitrogen and provide 100% breathing Oxygen to the pilot.

OCS: Officer Candidates’ School. Similar to ‘boot camp’ but for officers with a heavy emphasis on leadership skills. Additionally, it should be noted that the ‘trick’ to boot camp was considered to be to find a way to get out. The ‘trick’ to OCS is finding a way to stay in. If you don’t want to be there or are found lacking in integrity you are quickly out of OCS.

ODO: Operations Duty Officer. The pilot who sits at the Ready Room desk whenever squadron planes are in the air – ready to answer questions and provide support / liaison to maintenance, safety, schedulers etc.

Octaflugeron: A ‘mythical’ aerobatic maneuver that no one knows how to do, nor what it looks like. It is a way to describe the aircraft rotating about any and all axises simultaneously. Most often it is referred to as the aircraft state when it goes out of control. Then referred to jokingly as an aerobatic maneuver.

OK 3-Wire: Every landing (pass) on the aircraft carrier is graded. Grades range from No-Grade (very bad) to OK-3Wire. Which is the best grade you can get. This encourages competition to be the safest & best one can be coming aboard the boat.

OQR: Prounced each letter separately. Officer Qualification Record. The file that has every assignment, school, medal, etc regarding an officer’s qualifications.

O&R: Overhaul & Rework. Aircraft have to go through overhaul regularly to remain airworthy.

OSO: Pronounced ōh-sō – Officer Selection Officer. The Marine Corps’ Officers assigned to ‘recruiting duty’ for Officer Candidates that seek to come in through the Platoon Leaders’ Course (PLC) or Officer Candidates’ School (OCS) path; not one of the service academies or ROTC with a “Bulldog” (Marine) Option

Pad: The landing pad where Harriers do vertical takeoffs and landings. Made of thick concrete, the pad is ideal for this practice. Asphalt doesn’t work for pure vertical landings as the jet exhaust is hot enough to melt the asphalt.

PAR: Pronounced each letter separately, P A R – Precision Approach Radar – Where an approach controller gives course and glideslope information all the way to the minimum of 200′ with as little as 1/2 mile visibility.

Pass: An approach to a ship or simulated ship painted on the deck of the runway for FCLPs (See FCLPs above) 

Pattern: Also – The Landing Pattern. Military aircraft fly an oval ‘pattern’ at the airfield to land. Upwind – same direction as the runway. Crosswind – 90º off runway heading to turn downwind. Downwind – Opposite landing direction and offset from the runway. Base – 90º off runway heading preparing for ‘final.’ Final – lined up with the runway for landing.

PFM: “Pure F’ing Magic” – A complex instrument or piece of machinery which accomplishes a function is said to operate on “PFM.” For example, the FADEC is the box that controls how much fuel is metered to the jet engine at any altitude, airspeed, attitude etc. It is often said that FADEC works on PFM!

Pickle: Two meanings: 1. A switch the LSO holds over his head to remind himself the deck is fouled (not safe to land aircraft.) When the deck is clear the LSO will lower his hand but keep his finger on the trigger. Pulling the trigger turns on the red “wave off” lights signaling the pilot to add full power and go around without attempting to land.

2. A button on the stick that releases the bombs, rockets, and/or other ordnance the airplane might be carrying. It’s also used as a verb. “I pickled early” means I dropped my ordnance too soon.

Pitch Roll & Yaw: An airplane is controllable on three axes. Pitch is the nose attitude of the aircraft as it rotates about the lateral axis of the aircraft. Roll is the rotation about the longitudinal axis of the aircraft and yaw is the rotation about the vertical axis of the aircraft.

Piss Cutter: A hat or “garrison cover” worn by Marines in the service “Charlie” uniform.

PLC: Platoon Leaders’ Course. One of the principal Officer Candidates’ School programs for Marine Corps’ Officer training.

Plank Holder: an individual who was a member of the crew of a US Navy ship or Coast Guard Cutter when that ship was placed in commission. Originally, this term applied only to crew members that were present at the ship’s first commissioning. Today, however, plank holder is often applied to members of newly commissioned units, military bases and recommissioning crews as well.

Potatoes: A way to count seconds. As in: “Give it a couple of potatoes.” The word you say between numbers to ensure you aren’t rushing the timing. e.g. “one-potato, two-potato” to make sure you counted out two full seconds.

POV: Personally Owned Vehicle – your private car.

Q: Airspeed. In aerodynamics, Q is used in formulas to represent airspeed. Airspeed is also often referred to as, “knots,” and “smash.” e.g. “I came into the break with a ton of smash.” This means coming into the break very fast.

Quigley: Water obstacle portion of the Combat Endurance Course run at Officer Candidates’ School. Includes a culvert that is 70% to 90% submerged in water that one must crawl through (on your back if you hope not to drown) whilst wearing pack and combat gear including carrying a rifle. On special days the drill instructors stand on top and beat on it with an axe handle or walking stick and then have CS gas (tear gas) in the air as you emerge to take a deep breath!

Rad-Alt: “Radalt” Radar Altimeter. There are two types of altimeters on an airplane. One gives height based on atmospheric pressure. That’s a “baro-alt” or barometric altimeter. The other is a “Rad-Alt” or Radar altimeter which derives its data from a radar signal bounced off the ground.

RAMEC: (Pronounced RayMeck) Recommended Aviation Mechanical Engineering Change

Ramp: When referring to cargo aircraft like the C-17, C-130, and C-5 the back of the aircraft can squat down and lower a ramp to facilitate loading the plane. Additionally, the ramp can be lowered in flight for easy egress of jumpers and extracting cargo in an “air-drop.” On an aircraft carrier it’s the extreme back-edge of the flight deck landing area – also called the round-down.

RAT: Ram Air Turbine – A mini wind-driven (think wind-mill) generator (and sometimes hydraulic pump) that can be extended into the airstream in the event of a generator or hydraulic failure to provide an emergency source of power or hydraulic pressure.

Recovery: The period of Flight Operations on an Aircraft Carrier dedicated to landing aircraft.

Request Mast: Any Marine may “request mast.” Done when he wants to see the commanding officer of his unit or any commanding officer of any unit in his chain of command in an effort to air a grievance or express a concern.

S-1 Shop: Admin Office S-2 Intel S-3 Operations S-4 Logistics

S A: Pronounced ‘essay’. Situational Awareness.

S A R: Acronym pronounced “Sar” – Search and Rescue. Refers to helicopters, rescue swimmers etc.

Sea Gull: A pilot who doesn’t want to fly. A sea gull is a bird that, by definition, all it does is squawk and shit – and you have to throw rocks at it to make it fly!

Section: Two airplanes flying together is referred to as a section.

SERE School: Survival Evasion Resistance & Escape – A course where one goes to learn about the code of conduct and expectations revolving around the actions and skills needed should one find themselves alone in enemy territory or imprisoned as a POW. (Prisoner of War)

SeRGrad: Pronounced “Sir-Grad” Selectively Retained Graduate. First assignment after flight school as an instructor vice a fleet operational squadron.

Skipper: Commanding Officer. Sometimes referred to as the “Boss” or “The Old Man.”

SLJO: Shitty Little Jobs Officer – Usually the crap no one wants to do gets handed to the “FNG.”

Snivel: A request – usually to the flight scheduler – to fly or not to fly on a certain day. By calling it a snivel it is a good way to give a fellow Marine crap for making a legitimate request.

S O F: Air Force bases have a “SOF” or Supervisor of Flying. Best described as a liaison between ATC and the pilots, but also there to enforce the rules of each base with regards to aviation procedures.

Sys-Com: Naval Air Systems Command – overseers / ‘owners’ of the aircraft flown by the Navy and Marine Corps – controlling authority for Operating Manuals, Operating and Maintenance Procedures etc.

TAV-8A / TAV-8B: “T-Bird” The T in front of the AV-8 designation stands for trainer – a two-seat version of the aircraft.

TACAN: Pronounced “tack-ann” A ground-based radio station used for navigation. Similar to a VOR with DME if you’re a civilian pilot. There is also a “High TACAN” which is a transition from the high altitude environment letting the aircraft down into the terminal approach area.

TACTS Range: Tactical Aircrew Combat Training System (TACTS) A range where antennae are set throughout the range that pick up telemetry carried on board tactical aircraft allowing a computer generated replay of an entire battle scenario. Like playing cops and robbers as a kid, except the “I shot you! No, I shot you first!” debate is solved by the computer replay.

“The 90”: A point in the landing pattern where you’re turning on to final and the airplane is pointed 90º off the runway heading.

“The 180”: A point in the landing pattern abeam the intended point of touchdown where the airplane is headed 180º opposite the landing runway course. AKA Downwind.

Trans-Con: Trans-Continental Flight. Also Trans-Pac and Trans-Lant – Across the Pacific and across the Atlantic

Trap: Landing on a carrier. “Taking a trap” refers to landing and catching the cross-deck pendant (aka the wire) when landing on the aircraft carrier. (Also occasionally at the field catching a wire)

Tube: The fuselage of the aircraft is often referred to as “The Tube.”

UAV: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle -> “Drones”

UDP: Unit Deployment Plan – Squadrons regularly deploy. Japan / Med-Cruises etc.

UPT: Undergraduate Pilot Training – A US Air Force term for flight school.

VSTOL: pronounced ‘vee-stall’ The abbreviation for Vertical / Short Takeoff and Landing. The AV-8 Harrier is a V/STOL aircraft.

Vertical Stab: Vertical Stabilizer – the vertical tail fin of the aircraft.

VMA VF VFA HMM squadron designations: V is fixed Wing. H is Helicopter (aka rotary wing). M is Marine and Medium. A is Attack. F is Fighter. T is Training. So – VMFA is Fixed Wing, Marine, Fighter/Attack Squadron. VFA is a Fixed Wing Fighter Attack (Navy – note no “M” in the designation.) HMM is Helicopter Marine Medium. VMAT – Fixed Wing Marine Attack Training.

WAG: (Also SWAG) (Scientific) Wild-Ass-Guess.

WestPac: Pronounced WestPack – The Western Pacific countries where Marines routinely deploy for several months at a time; Japan, Korea, etc.

WOXOF: Pronounced as “wocksoff” – Weather report terminology for ‘visibility zero, ceiling zero, sky obscured by fog’

Zip-Lip: No talking on the radio.