Army 101

Army dictionary for dummies

Yesterday, the army’s Facebook page explained something that Jonathan was very disappointed to learn I didn’t already understand even though he’d explained it to me on at least two separate occasions and I sort of pretended I got it because I didn’t want him to think I was stupid. Or a terrorist.

The reverse flag dates back to the Army’s early history when both cavalry and infantry units would charge ahead as the Stars and Stripes streamed back. When moving forward, therefore, the star field is always to the front as the red and white stripes flow to the back in the breeze. Today, the reverse flag is worn on the right sleeve of military uniforms and symbolizes the courage and respect of those who serve.

And while I’d never deny Facebook the opportunity to prove it knows more than I do, I’m still going to try to one-up Zuckerberg with my Army Dictionary for Dummies: Basic Acronyms and Terms Translated To English For Confused Future Army Wives Who Don’t Understand Why This Shit Has To Be So Complicated.

Cover: it’s just a hat.

Weapon: it’s just a gun, or sometimes a tomahawk.

Vehicle: it’s just a truck, or sometimes a tank.

Commissary: it’s a grocery store.

Kevlar: it’s a helmet.

PTs: they’re your gym clothes.

Dress Blues: don’t even try to match your bridesmaids’ dresses to these.

TDY: it’s a business trip.

S-1: it’s the HR office.

Barracks: basically dorm rooms but with generally less alcohol and equal amounts of Call of Duty.

PX (Post Exchange): because soldiers are too important to drive off post to Wal Mart.

MOS: it’s just your job description.

Dfac: it’s the cafeteria.

Latrine: it’s a bathroom.

Shoppette: it’s a gas station.

BAH: why soldiers get married when they’re 18 years old.

Headquarters: your boss’s office.

Motorpool: it’s a parking lot.

GI Party: cleaning your room.

Wall-to-wall counseling: a really bad six-month review.

And in case you were wondering why that reverse flag looks so familiar, it’s because you probably saw it on Channing Tatum‘s arm in one of the 17 times you saw “Magic Mike” in theaters.

You’re welcome.

Update: I guess this is when I should admit that I obviously haven’t seen “Magic Mike” and after a Google Image search realize he looks completely un-tattooed in it, because apparently strippers are afraid to love America too much.

6 thoughts on “Army dictionary for dummies

  1. Shoppettes aren’t always gas stations and sometimes they double as liquor stores. You are pretty much spot on with everything else.
    “Because Knowledge is Power!”

    • Thanks, Will! You’re the second person to point out to me that a shoppette is more important for its alcohol than for its gas. I need to sort out my priorities.

  2. The union is supposed to face the heart. So if the flag is worn on the right sleeve, the flag appears backwards.

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