Slang is much a part of the military as MREs, physical fitness tests, and shitty base housing. Each branch and unit has its own verbal shorthand, and Navy aviators are no exception — even though much of the colorful language deployed by pilots is a shorthand for expletives you can use over radio transmissions without getting slammed for misconduct.
Task & Purpose scoured the web to find these nine fantastic naval aviation slang words that you might consider adding to your lexicon in a pinch.
Alpha mike foxtrot
“Goodbye” is such a dull way to part with someone. That’s where Alpha Mike Foxtrot — “Adios, motherfucker” — comes in. So the next time you peel out of formation or just want to bid your pals adieu, feel free to drop this clever little word bomb.
The term was originally coined to describe a phantom or a ghost in 16th century English. For Navy pilots, however, a bogey is an unidentified aircraft spotted in the sky. The word is typically used to describe an indistinguishable unfriendly plane. Though this is unsubstantiated, we’d also like to think of any enemy aircraft as a proverbial booger that needs to be picked and flicked by the Navy.
Do you like ice cream? So do naval aviators. We don’t know if you’ve ever seen someone operate a soft-serve ice cream machine, but it looks like, well, a pile of… dog shit? You see where this is going: According to Jalopnik, “Pilots always know if there is a good batch of dog.”
In the spaghetti
One of our favorites, “in the spaghetti” is what you are when you catch one of the four arresting wires on the flight deck. You want to land in the spaghetti. This is one instance wherein you don’t want to lay off the sauce. Pun [obviously] intended.
If you’re picturing rats scampering around in the middle of the night looking for cheese, you’re not far off from guessing what this slang term means. Short for “midnight rations,” it’s the long-traditional late-night galley hop that a pilot takes before heading out on a nighttime flight. Sorry, Taco Bell: The Navy invented fourthmeal.
The ship that bore your aircraft has a fitting radio name: Mother. She’s home. Be good to your mom and she’ll make sure you get back to the states in one piece. We, however, prefer to imagine an aircraft carrier as more of a mothership, ferrying UFOs from place to place.
You know when you get nervous, and your whole body tenses up from top to, well… bottom? If you end up in a hairy in-flight situation, the pucker factor increases exponentially, hence this useful term for when things go sour.
No, it’s not a place where you keep your potatoes while you work out at the gym. The spud locker is the part of an aircraft carrier deck where you don’t want to land. If you hit it, you’ve flown in way too low while trying to bring down your aircraft.
When shit hits the fan, an operation can go “tits up.” But we all know it’s not exactly kosher to shout that over the radio. “Tango uniform” is a much safer bet. If you want, you can imagine Navy pilots dancing around in their quarters in their flight suits. But that’d be a very different kind of tango uniform.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The trial of Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher officially kicked off on Tuesday with the completion of jury selection, opening statements, and witness testimony indicating that drinking alcohol on the front lines of Mosul, Iraq in 2017 seemed to be a common occurrence for members of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon.
Government prosecutors characterized Gallagher as a knife-wielding murderer who not only killed a wounded ISIS fighter but shot indiscriminately at innocent civilians, while the defense argued that those allegations were falsehoods spread by Gallagher's angry subordinates, with attorney Tim Parlatore telling the jury that "this trial is not about murder. It's about mutiny."
As a Medal of Honor recipient, former Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia will also be eligible for retroactive monthly pension payments stretching back to 2004.
All Medal of Honor recipients receive a pension starting on the date they formally receive the Medal of Honor, which is currently $1,329.58 per month, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
But Medal of Honor recipients are also eligible for a retroactive payment for monthly stipends that technically took effect on the "date of heroism," said Gina Jackson, a spokeswoman for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A unit of UK infrastructure giant Balfour Beatty plc falsified housing maintenance records at a major U.S. military base to help it maximize fees earned from the Department of Defense, a Reuters investigation found.
At Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, the company's U.S.-based unit used a second set of books and altered records to make it appear responsive to maintenance requests, Reuters found in a review of company and Air Force emails, internal memos and other documents, as well as interviews with former workers.