New Long March Contest! What Military Phrases Civilians Should Never, Ever Use?

The Long March

You know, like, “Stay frosty” or “downrange” or “Semper Fi.” I just think those are phrases that the non-uniformed should refrain from using.


Please email to me or post as a comment other military sayings you think civilians should avoid, and I shall endeavor to compile a list. If you like, explain why you think your chosen phrase should not pass civilian lips.

(On the other hand, I like the phrase “worn down to the grouser,” which I learned only recently, after about 30 years of dealing with military affairs, but I don’t think anyone outside the military—or perhaps outside armored and mechanized units—would understand it.)

Winner of this contest gets a copy of Ron Chernow’s terrific biography of George Washington, the first person ever to serve in the United States Army. Runner-up gets the selected writings of James Madison. Why? Because I have extra copies of both books, slightly used.  

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