top of page


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.

Abaft -

Navy term referring to the area behind a ship. "Aft" refers to the stern of the ship, "Abaft" refers to any area beyond that.

AAR –                       

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

ACM –                      

Aerial Combat Maneuvers.


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.


Augmented Reality Imaging. Term used for projecting digital images into the real world. All of Solar Warden's displays and monitors are ARI - there are no physical screens. For medical applications, ARI is the next generation of MRI. For an example of ARI, in the Iron Man films, Tony Stark uses ARI to design his iron man suits.

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.

Bah'ura -

Hebrew word for "young woman."

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.


Acronym that stands for a very rude expression referring to being in the middle nowhere. If you want to know what it is, I'll let you look it up yourself.

Big Chicken Dinner -

Bad Conduct Discharge. Comes as the result of a court-martial and may be followed by prison time depending on the nature and severity of the conduct. This type of military discharge is not considered an administrative one and is a barrier to future military service.

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.

Bit Durani -

Ancient Sumerian for "Fortress."

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.

Butterbar -

Navy Ensign. So-called because of the single gold bar worn on their shoulder boards.

CAG –           

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

Caliga -

Latin word referring to the heavy soled military sandals worn by Roman legionaries.


Closed circuit security system. Security camera network installed on all Solar Warden assets.

Charlie Gulf One –

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

Charlie Mike -

Phonetic alphabet for acronym meaning "Continue (or continuing) mission."

Cheng –

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


Communications. Also an abbreviation for the Communications Officer. Also used to refer to the communications system itself.


Chief Medical Officer.

Daku -

Ancient Sumerian for "Execute" or "Executed."

Dōʾēlu –

Ancient Canaanite word for “Servant.”

Dead Man's Hand -

Poker hand containing "Aces and Eights" Wild Bill Hickok was holding the night he was shot in the back.

Double Nuts –           

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


Earth Defense Force Criminal Investigative Service.

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).


Fully mission capable.

Foxtrot - Charlie -

In Solar Warden jargon, an acronym meaning "Free and clear." In the other Branches it means "Cluster f**k."

Frag, or Fragging -

The deliberate killing or attempted killing by a soldier of a fellow soldier, usually a superior officer.

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.

Gams -

1940s expression meaning a woman's legs. 

'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.

High Warble -

Unduly agitated.

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).

Hollywood Shower -

Since clean water is a valuable commodity on any ship, the crew is ordered to use it sparingly during showers. They are instructed to wet themselves, turn off the water, lather up then turn the water on again to rinse off as quickly as possible. Those who leave the water running continually are said to be having a "Hollywood shower," since they feel they're important enough to ignore the rules. 


Heads-up display.

Indian Night Noises –

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



Acronym that stands for "Intelligence - Surveillance - Reconnaissance." Any drone or airborne asset that provides these three elements during a combat operation.

Jane Wayne –

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

Japanese words -

Daisho - A group of three swords displayed together - Katana (long sword), Wakazashi (short sword) and Tanto (dagger). These three swords comprise the primary weapons of a Samurai warrior.

Gaijin - Foreigner

Heishi - Soldier

Kaiju - Monster

Raijin - Wunderkind

Tekisen - Enemy ship

Toire - Toilet 



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.


Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile.

Kusit - 

Hebrew word for "sexy young woman."

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.”


Lunar Operations Command. Primary Solar Warden base, located on the far side of Earth's moon.

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 left arm.

Malvoisin –

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

Margidda - 

Ancient Sumerian for "Celestial Chariot."

Marine Mattress –

VERY derogatory term for a promiscuous female Marine.


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.


"Meals ready to eat." Pre-packaged meals for use in the field. 

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.”


Public display of affection. 

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.

Rain Locker -

The small, cramped showers found onboard any Navy vessel.

S -

Stands for the Solar Warden Branch (S = Space).

S-1 - Administration

S-2 - Intelligence

S-3 - Operations

S-4 - Engineering/Logistics

S-5 - Future Plans

S-6 - Law/IT Group


Search and rescue.

Scuttlebutt –


Scylla and Charybdis –

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


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.


SEAL qualification training. A 26 week course that will take the student from the basic level of Naval Special Warfare to  more advanced degree of tactical training. SQT is designed to provide students with the core tactical knowledge they will need to join a SEAL platoon.

Snipes -

Generic Navy term for enlisted men who served in the engine rooms or fire rooms aboard a naval ship. Also known as the "Black Gang."

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.”


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.

Super Whammy-Dyne -

Any form of technology that is is so complicated it's pretty much beyond comprehension.

Tango Uniform –

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


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 bird-brain system. As a result, commands and system functions respond at the speed of thought.

Wet Smack -

1940s slang term for an obnoxious person.

Winger –

Naval aviator’s term for a Marine pilot.


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.



bottom of page