GLOSSARY OF MILITARY TERMS AND PHRASES

Some of you may not be familiar with military jargon, not to mention the technology used by the secret space program. I considered adding this to the novel, but decided to put it here instead. That way, while you're reading, you will have a ready reference for anything you don't understand.

AAR –                       

After-action report. The report filed by all pilots after each combat mission.

ACM –                      

Aerial Combat Maneuvers.

AESA –

Active Electronically Scanned Array. Primary radar system on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Angle Zero –

During a dogfight, a shot taken at an enemy bird’s stern; straight up the tailpipe.   

All Ahead Bendix –

Attempt more than full speed ahead, e.g. by bypassing all safety-limits.

AU –

Astronomical Unit. The distance between the earth and the sun – approximately 93 million miles. This distance is used as a unit of measurement for the vast distances in the solar system and the galaxy beyond. For example, the distance from the planet Earth to the planet Neptune is 2.79 billion miles, or 30.1 AU.

Bandit –

Hostile aircraft.

Bat-Turn –

A tight change of heading. A reference to the rapid 180-degree Batmobile maneuver in the original “Batman” television series.

Bird –

Any aircraft, but more specifically, a tactical military aircraft.

Bird-brain –

Derogatory pilot-speak for the AI (artificial intelligence) computer program onboard the Solar Warden spacecraft, specifically the TR-3Bs (referred to as ‘birds’).  The system has the ability to take over control systems if any or all of the flight crew are incapacitated, including piloting, weapons and combat, and landing.  The crews of the TR-3Bs do not like the AI ‘bird-brain’ system, because they feel threatened by its ability to potentially replace them.

Bitching Betty –

The computer generated female voice heard in an aviator's earpiece, usually when something is not as it should be, such as unsafe flight conditions or an enemy threat.

Boat –

Any Naval vessel regardless of size, a term used exclusively by Naval aviators. An aircraft carrier is referred to as “THE Boat.” Surface Warfare Officers (SWOs) always refer to naval vessels as ships – only a submarine or a vessel that can be carried by another vessel is called a “boat.”  

Bogey –

Unidentified, possibly hostile aircraft. Ironically, a bogey could be considered a “UFO” - unidentified flying object.

Bravo Zulu –

From the Allied Naval Signal Book, meaning, “Well done.”

Brown Shoe –

Naval Aviator. Referred to as such because of the brown dress shoes worn with the service dress uniform, as opposed to regular Navy black dress shoes.

CAG –           

Commander of the air group (now called air “wing”), but still referred to as the CAG. An aircraft carrier’s chief pilot.

Charlie Gulf One –

Phonetic alphabet for acronym meaning “Standing by to assist.” The standard phrase of medical teams.

Cheng –

Chief Engineer. Pronounced much like “Chang” and used as the officer's name.

COM –

Communications. Also an abbreviation for the Communications Officer. When referring to the communications system itself, the term is always “Comm.”

CMO –

Chief Medical Officer.

Dōʾēlu –

Ancient Canaanite word for “Servant.”

Double Nuts –           

Refers to the CAG’s aircraft, which is usually numbered 100 or 00.

Falcon 110 –

One of the Falcon codes. During the Vietnam War, naval aviators would use Falcon Codes to send short, cryptic messages to each other while on missions. I’ll let you look up Falcon 110 on your own.

Fangs Out –

Refers to a pilot who is eager for a fight.

Field Board –

Also called a “Field Naval Aviator Evaluation Board (FNAEB),” but is generally referred to as a Field Board (or simply a Board). An impromptu, on the spot review to deal with perceived violations. It may be a matter of breach of flying regulations, violation of orders, above-average stupidity, or just good old-fashioned incompetence. The Field Board is a very serious matter, and can lead to a pilot being permanently grounded.

Flight Lead –

Senior aviator of a flight. A flight is a coordinated unit of any number of aircraft flying under a single flight leader – usually two (section) or four (division).

FMC –

Fully mission capable.

Full Helen –

Naval aviator's practical measure of feminine beauty. From Helen of Troy, “whose beauty was such that her face launched a thousand ships.” In aviator’s parlance, the classical, ultimate standard of beauty is referred to as the “Full Helen.”

Furball –

A confused aerial engagement with many combatants. Several aircraft in tight ACM.

Gator –

Navy-speak for “Navigator.” The senior officer in charge of navigation aboard a ship.

Go Elvis –

To be missing in action.

Goo –

Bad weather that makes visibility impossible. In this novel series, it refers to the atmosphere of a gas giant or other planet that renders sensors inoperable.

Grognard –

 A soldier of the original Imperial Guard that was created by Napoleon I in 1804, also known as the “Old Guard”. They were the only soldiers who were given permission by the Emperor to complain in his presence – usually about their pay. Also, a generic term for an old soldier.

Helmet Fire –

When a pilot becomes so task-saturated in the cockpit that he loses the big picture and situational awareness. Such overwhelming distraction often leads to mistakes that can produce lethal results.

Hinge, or Hinge Head –

Derogatory term for a lieutenant commander (LCDR), jokingly derived from the supposed lobotomy received by an officer when promoted to this rank, where half his brain is removed. A hinge is then attached so that the missing brain matter can be replaced once they’re promoted to full commander (CMDR).

HUD –

Heads-up display.

Indian Night Noises –

The various creaks, pops, and shudders an aircraft emits while in flight.  

         

Jane Wayne –

Derogatory term for a very aggressive or masculine female Soldier or Marine.

JDAM –

Joint Direct Attack Munition. A guidance kit that converts unguided bombs into “smart” or guided ones.

Jink, or Jinked –

Aerial combat maneuver whereby the pilot avoids enemy fire by executing a quick evasive change of direction.

JSSAM –

Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile.

Lethal Cone - Area to the rear of the jet’s tailpipe, into which most infra-red missile and gun attacks are ideally launched.

Lima-Charlie –

Phonetic alphabet for acronym meaning “loud and clear.”

Loop –

An officer, usually a Lieutenant or Lieutenant Commander, who is an Admiral's aide. So called because of the gold braided loop (aiguillette) that they wear around their arm.

Malvoisin –

Medieval French term for a siege tower. Literal translation is “Bad Neighbor.”

Marine Mattress –

VERY derogatory term for a promiscuous female Marine.

MARPAT –

Short for “Marine Pattern.” The digital camouflage pattern on the Navy and Marine Corps work dress and combat utility uniforms.

MFD –           

Magnetic Field Disruptor. Primary anti-gravity engine of the Solar Warden and enemy fleets. The term is a bit of a misnomer – the MFD does not disrupt the magnetic field, instead, it is the extreme magnetic field produced by the MFD that disrupts the gravitational field to produce the anti-gravity effect.

Mother –

As a Naval pilot, the aircraft carrier you are stationed on and fly off of.

My fun meter is pegged –

Sarcastic term for “I’m no longer having a good time here.”

Oscar-Mike –

Phonetic alphabet for acronym meaning “on the move.”

Painted –

Scanned by radar, either from an enemy ship or aircraft.

Popeye –

Who you become when you’re flying in the goo.

Pucker Factor –

Fear factor – how frightening something can become.

Scuttlebutt –

Gossip.

Scylla and Charybdis –

Ancient Greek version of “Between a rock and a hard place.”

SERE –

Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape. A program that provides U.S. military personnel caught behind enemy lines with training in evading capture, as well as diverse survival skills.

Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion –

Nineteenth century British Naval term which loosely means everything is in proper order.

Six or Six-o’clock –

Military term for one’s posterior or back. Can also refer to your gluteus maximus.

SO –

Systems Officer. Similar to a RIO (radar intercept officer). SO monitors all of the systems on various Solar Warden spacecraft during flight. On a TR-3B, the SO performs and directs in-flight duties to ensure the successful completion of combat and reconnaissance missions. Duties include operating spacecraft systems such as communications, sensors, stealth and cloaking, life-support, power systems, etc. Also responsible for conducting pre-flight, in-flight, and post-flight inspections of onboard equipment. Pronounced “Esso.”

SOP –

Standard Operating Procedure.

Spank –

What one does to a lesser opponent in an aerial dogfight.

Squid –

Sailor. Any member of the Navy.

Stay Frosty –

Regular soldier-speak meaning to stay both calm and alert.

Tango Uniform –

Polite acronym for “t*ts-up,” referring to the fact that something is broken or not functioning.

VRI –

Acronym for “Virtual Reality Interface.” The helmet system used to operate the TR-3B. Similar to the heads up display Tony Stark uses in his Iron Man suits. The VRI helmet also utilizes a neural interface system, which links all of the flight crew to each other and the TR-3B’s systems. As a result, commands and system functions respond at the speed of thought.

Winger –

Naval aviator’s term for a Marine pilot.

WSO –

Weapons Systems Officer. Air flight officer directly involved in the function, operation, and deployment of all tactical and weapon systems on the TR-3B. Pronounced “Wizzo.”

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot –

Self-explanatory acronym.

XO –

Executive Officer. The second in command on a naval ship or aircraft carrier.

Zoomie –

Naval aviator’s term for an Air Force pilot.

 

 

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