Engineer from 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment. Credit: Corporal Andy Reddy RLC, Crown Copyright
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Guide To Understanding Military Jargon And Acronyms

Warning: Contains adult language unsuitable for younger audiences ...

Engineer from 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment. Credit: Corporal Andy Reddy RLC, Crown Copyright

Warning: This content contains adult themes and strong language which some might find offensive.

Think you know your Biff Chit from your Badmin or just fed up of not understanding what the soldier in your life is talking about?  Check out our latest guide to military acronyms, insults and general jargon.

What would you add to the next list?

 

ACMT - Annual Combat Marksmanship Test

ADMIN - Personal administration and can mean anything from sorting out your bills to cleaning your weapon. 

BADMIN - Reference to a soldier’s bad (personal) administration.

BLACK NASTY - The black sticky tape that is used to hold any form of military equipment together until it can be repaired properly.

BIFF CHIT - A derogatory term for a sick chit/medical note that excuses someone from various types of military work or exercise.

Black Nasty holds the British Army together. Credit: BFBS
Black Nasty holds the British Army together. Credit: BFBS

CROW/CROW BAG - Combat Recruit of War. A junior soldier or a new recruit.

CDT - Compulsory Drugs Test. Soldiers should generally expect a CDT after a long period of leave.

DHOBI - Laundry. A DHOBI WHALLER is someone who does your laundry for you and they will use DHOBI DUST-(washing powder) to get those greens clean. The use of Hindi words is a throwback to the days when the British Army was stationed in India.

The Indian word Dhobi is derived from the Hindi word dhona, which means 'to wash'.

DIT - A war story or anecdote about times in the Military. “Pull up a sand-bag and tell us a dit”.

Dhobi bag. Credit: BFBS
Dhobi bag. Credit: BFBS

SUSAT - Sight Unit Small Arms Trilux. A specialised sight that attaches to weapon systems.

FOXTROT OSCAR - A polite way of telling someone to leave the vicinity or F*** Off. ‘Why don’t you just Foxtrot Oscar?

FOB - Forward Operating Base. A secured military ‘forward’ position/base used to support tactical operations. Lashkar Gah was one of the better equipped and more luxurious FOBs in Afghanistan.

GIMPY - Pronounced Jimpy and is the nickname for the General-Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG).

GUCCI - A shiny or cool bit of kit.

NATO or JULIE ANDREWS-how do you take yours? Credit: BFBS
NATO or JULIE ANDREWS-how do you take yours? Credit: BFBS

HURRY UP & WAIT - Never underestimate just how much time is spent waiting in the military.

INCOMING - Can mean incoming fire or trouble of any description.

JULIE ANDREWS - Cup of tea/coffee served white and without sugar.

KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid. The advice given to most junior soldiers when preparing for any type of presentation.

MBE/OBE - These awards can be translated into being earned as a result of either ‘My Blokes’ Efforts’ or ‘Other Blokes’ Efforts.

Royal Engineers fortify defences at FOB Shawqat, Afghanistan. Credit: Cpl Si Longworth, Crown Copyright
Royal Engineers fortify defences at FOB Shawqat, Afghanistan. Credit: Cpl Si Longworth, Crown Copyright

MOB - Main Operating Base. Camp Bastion was the MOB in Afghanistan and would provide back up support to FOBs.

MONKEYS/RMP - Royal Military Police. Various theories of the origin, one because of the red beret which may or may not be related a painting featuring a monkey in a red cap, but there other folk history stories on the etymology. 

NATO - Cup of tea/coffee served white with two sugars. 

NFI - Not F***in Interested.

NVGs - Night Vision Goggles. Normally helmet mounted but can be attached as telescopic sights for weapon systems and cameras.

OP - Observation Post.

OXYGEN THIEF - A derogatory term for someone who is a waste of space.

PPPPPP (6xPs) - Prior Planning Prevents P**s Poor Performance. Used to refer to anything that you need to prep for whether it’s an upcoming promotion course or making sure your kit is squared away for an exercise.

Time to pop smoke? Credit: Peter Davies (MOD) Photographer, Crown Copyright
Time to pop smoke? Credit: Peter Davies (MOD) Photographer, Crown Copyright

PDT - Pre-Deployment Training. Prolonged period of training before troops deploy on operations.

POP SMOKE - Smoke grenades are used to prevent the enemy seeing your movements or to indicate your location for an emergency extraction. To ‘pop smoke’ is to beat a hasty retreat-or just leave the bar.

QBO’s - Quick Battle Orders.

QR’s - Queen’s Regulations/Regs. Effectively the Military Bible. Got a query on what you can and can’t do? Check the QRs.

SA80-A2 with Underslung Grenade Launcher (UGL). Credit: Steve Dock, Crown Copyright
SA80-A2 with Underslung Grenade Launcher (UGL). Credit: Steve Dock, Crown Copyright

REMF - Rear Echelon Mother F****er. A term used to describe those at the rear and out of harm’s way on operations e.g “You’re such a REMF”.

RV - Most people will know this one as Rendezvous, but did you know there also a Final Rendezvous (FRV) and Emergency Rendezvous (ERV)?

TAB - A ‘tactical advance to battle’ is the weighted march element of the annual Army Fitness test.

UGL - Underslung Grenade Launcher.

U/S - Unserviceable, broken, no longer working. Can also refer to a person with a hangover - “He’s gone U/S”.

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