Battle slang terp

Austin Bay:


Often, new idioms and phrases describe old, difficult truths. Prussian strategist Carl von Clausewitz said that war is the realm of "friction." World War II veterans invoked Murphy's Law: "If something can go wrong, it will." As you'll see in the brief lexicon I've pulled together below, the New Greatest Generation (the generation fighting the war on terror) dubs it "the suck."

"Embrace the suck" isn't merely a wisecrack; it's an encyclopedic experience rendered as an epigram, gritty shorthand for "Face it, soldier. I've been there. War ain't easy. Now deal with the difficulty and let's get on with the mission."

That's sound advice for a nation at war.

Air jockey
: Fighter pilot or a fixed-wing pilot. On rare occasions, might refer to a helicopter pilot.

Ali Baba
: Slang for enemy forces. Originated in the Persian Gulf War.

Battle rattle: Slang for combat gear. "Full battle rattle" means wearing and carrying everything (helmet, body armor, weapons).

Beltway clerk: A derisive term for a Washington political operative or civilian politician.


Blue canoe: Slang for a portable toilet.


Casper: Slang for someone who always disappears when there's work to be done.


Embrace the suck: Phrase heard in OIF1 (the original Operation Iraqi Freedom force). Translation: The situation is bad, but deal with it.


Terps: Slang for interpreters

There is much more. It may become a concordance for Newbies.


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