View Poll Results: From time to time I will post some naval and maritime stories, tradtitions and tidbits both persona

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  1. #1
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  2. #2
    Kaleun1961's Avatar Senior Member
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    Jul 2005
    Yeah, go for it!
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  3. #3
    DO IT! DO IT!
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  4. #4
    Chrystine's Avatar Senior Member
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    Jun 2005

    Just added my vote, and will reiterate what I said before when wishing you a warm welcome to the Forum.

    Always eager for & interested in learning more€¦
    No less true €" I€ve always loved a good €˜sea tale!€

    Please, by all means share all you like to the good cheer & warmth of our gratitude.

    ~ C.

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  5. #5
    Naval Terminology, €œMiscellenous through A€ List

    --'RN' denotes Royal Navy usage. Similarly, RCN = Royal Canadian Navy, RAN = Royal Australian Navy, RM = Royal Marines, RNZN = Royal New Zealand Navy, UK = general usage in militaries of the former British Empire
    --Terms in ALL-CAPS have a separate listing.

    1MC - The basic one-way communications system on a vessel. Reaches all spaces on a ship. Used for general announcements, and to transmit general alarm system signals. Control stations are located on the bridge, quarterdeck, and central station. Other transmitters may be installed at additional points. There are other MC and JV circuits used for communications within the ship. They are typically system-specific, i.e. weapons systems, navigation communication, engineering systems, firefighting, etc.

    130-rpm fish - A form of sea life (type unknown) which makes a sound very similar to a propeller turning at 130 rpm.

    90-Day Wonder €" Derisive term for a graduate of OCS. The derision arises from the lack of experience and naval knowledge of the typical graduate. Commonly seen as "90-Day Blunder."

    99 €" (USN aviation) Precedes a radio call which applies to a group of aircraft, e.g. "99 Guntrains" would address all aircraft with a Guntrain callsign.

    Aback €" Backing a sail is turning it so that the wind hits the front face; the effect is to slow a ship or boat. A sail which is being backed is said to be €˜aback.€ A sailing ship which accidentally goes aback when tacking loses its momentum and is said to be €˜in irons.€ A person is said to be €˜all aback€ when he is confused or surprised.

    Abaft €" Aft of a given point on a ship; e.g. the bridge is abaft the bow.

    Acey-Deucey €" Backgammon, a board game traditionally played in off-duty hours.

    Acey-Deucey Club €" A club for E-5 and E-6 enlisteds (Second- and First-Class Petty Officers).

    Acockbill €" Out of alignment or awry. In original usage, if a sailing ship€s yards were not all aligned, she was said to be "all acockbill." See also SQUARED AWAY.

    Active Homing €" A homing (guidance) method where the missile provides its own signal (typically either radar or sonar) transmissions and homes in on the energy reflected off the target.

    Adrift €" (1) Not secured; scattered about; not properly stowed, or out of place. (2) (RCN) Missing in action. "Oh no, I'm adrift for the meeting and the Bossman'll be there!"

    Advance and Transfer €" Two separate terms involving a ship€s turn. Advance is the forward progress made between the time that the rudder is put over and the time the ship is steady on her new course. Transfer is the horizontal displacement of the ship during the same period of time. Advance is maximized in a turn of 90 degrees or more; transfer is maximized in a turn of 180 degrees or more.

    A.F.R.T.S. - Spoken as "a-farts", Armed Forces Radio and Television System is a US system providing television and radio entertainment to forces overseas. Recently, the preferred interpretation has become "American Forces Radio and Television Services."

    A-gang - Auxiliaries Division of the Engineering Department. These personnel operate and maintain the ship's auxiliary equipment (air conditioning systems, distilling units, air compressors, etc.)

    A-ganger - Auxiliaryman. Member of A-gang.

    €œA.J. Squared-Away€ €" The mythical sailor who always has his stuff together.

    Aldis €" (UK) A handheld signaling lamp.

    Alpha Mike Foxtrot - Polite form: "Adios, My Friend." Also seen as initials, €˜AMF.€

    Amateur Night €" The day after payday, when nothing seems to go right, especially shipboard evolutions.

    Anchor-faced - (RN) Anyone who is enthusiastic about the Navy.

    Anchor Clanker - (1) Boatswain's Mate. (2) (RN) Ordinary seaman. See DECK APE.

    Anchor Pool €" The betting pool on the hour and minute the ship will drop anchor or tie up.

    Andrew (the) - (UK) Nickname for the Royal Navy. Refers to pressgang leader Andrew Miller who, it was said, owned the Royal Navy.

    AOW - Auxiliaryman Of (the) Watch. Also called 'The Aux'
    Artificer - (RN) Engineering technician.

    Ashcan €" A depth charge which is cylindrical in shape. See also "TEARDROP"

    Athwartships €" Moving or placed from side to side aboard ship, or straddling a particular position. At right angles to the ship€s centerline.

    At Loggerheads €" A serious difference of opinion. A Loggerhead is two iron balls attached by an iron rod, which was heated and used for melting pitch. Sailors sometimes used them as weapons to settle a grudge, i.e. when fighting they were "at loggerheads.
    AUX - Pronounced €˜ox.€ (1) Verbal shorthand for 'auxiliary', as when referring to a machinery space, 'Aux One'. (2) Alternate form of AOW.

    Avast €" A command which means, basically, "Stop what you€re doing." This term appears to be from the French "Haud Vast," literally "hold fast.
    Aweigh €" (sometimes seen (improperly) as "away") When a ship raises (weighs) anchor, the anchor is said to be
    aweigh as soon as it is no longer in contact with the sea bottom. From the process of weighing anchor; the sequence of reports is usually as follows:
    "Anchor€s at short stay" €" The ship has been pulled up to the anchor, but the anchor is still lying on the bottom, undisturbed.
    "Anchor€s up and down" €" The anchor€s flukes have broken free of the bottom, and the shank is more or less vertical. The crown of the anchor is still resting on the bottom.
    "Anchor€s aweigh" €" The anchor has left the bottom. Legally, at this point the ship is under way, whether or not it is "making way" (moving through the water under its own power).

    AWOL Bag €" A small canvas or vinyl bag used to carry clothing or personal items while on weekend liberty.
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  6. #6
    Chrystine's Avatar Senior Member
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    Jun 2005

    Most excellent, thanks Bryan!

    I wonder, if you€d not mind €" a little elaboration perhaps on the €œAOW - Auxiliaryman Of (the) Watch. Also called 'The Aux'.€

    What exactly would this be?

    ~ C.

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  7. #7
    Originally posted by Chrystine:

    Most excellent, thanks Bryan!

    I wonder, if you€d not mind €" a little elaboration perhaps on the €œAOW - Auxiliaryman Of (the) Watch. Also called 'The Aux'.€

    What exactly would this be?

    ~ C.

    It's a person in an Engineering Department who stands a normal 4 hour watch while underway. Depending on the size of the ship and the size of the ship's Engineering Department a person might stand two to three AOW watches every four days or so.

    AOW is also referred as Engineering Watch Officer is some cases.
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  8. #8
    Naval Terminology, €œB€ List

    --'RN' denotes Royal Navy usage. Similarly, RCN = Royal Canadian Navy, RAN = Royal Australian Navy, RM = Royal Marines, RNZN = Royal New Zealand Navy, UK = general usage in militaries of the former British Empire
    --Terms in ALL-CAPS have a separate listing.

    Back in Battery - Originally an artillery term for a gun which has completed its recoil/postfiring cycle and is ready to fire again. Common usage now is 'ready to go,' or recovered. Also seen as 'Back to Battery.' "I set my hair on fire last night, but five hours' rack time and I'm back in battery."

    Backing €" (1) Operating astern propulsion machinery. (2) A change of wind direction in the counter-clockwise direction (as one looks into the wind).

    Bag - (1) Get, or collect. "Let's go bag some traps." (2) Stop, or leave. "Let's bag this project."

    Balls (or Four Balls) €" Midnight, which in the military€s 24-hour timekeeping system may be written as "0000,"
    although writing midnight as "2400" is perhaps more common.

    Balls to the wall €" Full speed, or maximum effort.

    Balls Out €" Refers to an early design of engine governor, in which a pair of masses (balls) spun at an increasing rate as engine speed increased. Centrifugal acceleration threw the masses outward, so "balls out" refers to maximum possible engine speed.

    Balls to Four €" Four to midnight watch (a boring watch to pull on duty).

    Banca Boat €" Term for any small native craft, especially in the Western Pacific or Indian Ocean/Persian Gulf. €˜Banca€ is literally translated from the Tagalog as €˜boat.€

    Bandit €" (1) Air contact positively identified as hostile. (2) (RCN) A sailor often in trouble.

    Bang Seat - (UK) Ejection seat.

    Banjo, Butty €" (1) (RN) A sandwich. Also 'sarnie'. (2) (USN) €˜Banjo€ is also a nickname for the F-2 Banshee fighter.

    Banyan - (RCN/UK) A barbecue or party on the flight deck, usually with steaks and beer. The term is derived from €˜banian€, a garment worn by an East Indian sect which neither kills nor eats meat (€˜Banyan€ is a species of tree). In the 18th century, the British navy denied its sailors meat on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; these days were known as €˜banian (or Banyan) days.€ The term has now come to mean just the opposite. The USN form is STEEL BEACH (without the beer).

    Barrack Stanchion €" (RNZN) A sailor who rarely goes to sea.

    Basha €" An improvised shelter.

    Batten Down €" Make fast, secure, or shut. Originally, deck hatches did not have hinged, attached covers. Hatch covers were separate pieces which were laid over the hatch opening, then made fast with battens (pieces of timber)
    Battle Cover €" The steel cover for a port or deadlight.

    BB Stacker - An ammunition/ordnance handler.

    Beach €" Ashore, or to be put ashore. "He screwed the pooch bigtime and they beached him."

    Beagle - (RN/RAN) Wardroom steward.

    (On her) Beam Ends €" Strictly speaking, when a ship has gone through 90 degrees of roll, where her decks are vertical. In such case a ship would probably capsize (roll completely over). Can be used to refer to extreme rolls, even if less than 90 degrees.

    Bearing Drift €" The movement, left or right, of the bearing to an object in motion relative to your platform. It is an immediate indication of risk to you€"if an object has no bearing drift and range is decreasing, for example, you will collide unless one or another (or both) platforms maneuver (see CBDR). Similarly, slow bearing drift may not indicate a safe condition if the other object is close.

    Belay €" (1) Stop. (2) Make fast. Derived from the practice of tying a line off (making it fast) using a belaying pin. (3) Disregard, as in "belay my last."

    Bells €" (1) A system of marking the time aboard ship. Each bell represents half an hour, and bells are rung in pairs, so five bells in the morning watch (0630 hours, or 6:30 a.m.) would be rung as ding-ding, ding-ding, ding. Bells are normally rung over the 1MC during working hours. (2) Speed orders to the engine room, from the days when moving the engine order telegraph rang a bell in the engine room. "Ready to answer bells" means the engine room is ready for maneuvering orders.

    Bell Tapper €" One who is habitually a few minutes late, especially when relieving the watch.

    Beltway Bandit €" A company, or an employee of same, located near Washington, DC, which serves the defense industry. Many of the employees are former military personnel or military retirees.

    Benny - A treat or reward, derived from 'benefit.'

    Benny Sugg €" (USN) Beneficial Suggestion program, a program where personnel were rewarded for making suggestions to improve some aspect of military life, usually living conditions.

    BENO Box €" Patrol station in the Eastern Mediterranean in the €˜80s. Occupied by various Carrier Battlegroups and Amphibious Groups. The BENO Box was notorious for long on-station assignments, during which time there would "Be No Liberty, Be No Women, Be No Nothing!"

    Between the Devil and The Deep Blue (Sea) €" See "Devil to Pay."

    BCD or Big Chicken Dinner €" Bad Conduct Discharge. In many ways, equivalent to a felony conviction.

    Bight €" (1) A loop in or slack part of a line. (2) A curve or bend in a shoreline, or a small body of water formed by same.Bilge - (1) The area below the deck gratings in the lowest spaces of the ship, where things, especially liquids, tend to collect. (2) To fail or do poorly. "Poor Smitty bilged the quiz." (3) To name a classmate or shipmate involved in wrongdoing, or to identify a mistake made by someone else.

    Bilge Diving €" Working in the bilges of a ship, or cleaning same.

    Bilge rat €" Someone who works in the engineering spaces.

    Bin Rat €" (RCN) A person who works in Stores (supply).

    Binnacle €" A pedestal which supports a compass. Typically found next to or in front of the ship€s wheel.

    Binnacle List €" Sick list; a listing of the names of the men currently in sick bay and unable to perform their duties due to sickness or injury. This list was originally to be found attached to the binnacle.

    Biologics €" The sounds generated by sea life, when picked up on sonar.

    Bird farm - Aircraft carrier.

    Birds - (1) Term for the rank markings of a USN/USCGS Captain or USMC/USAF/USA Colonel (silver eagle, O-6 paygrade). (2) (RCN) Punishment consisting of confinement to the ship, base, etc., or sailors under punishment (derived from the slang term €˜jailbird.€) (3) Generic, airplane. (4) Missiles, especially in the surface community.

    Birds Free - Permission has been granted to fire missiles.

    Birds Tight €" Permission to fire is refused.

    *****box €" (USN) Intercom or amplified circuit used to communicate between spaces of the ship.

    Bitter End €" Properly, the free or loose end of a line. Originally, the bitter end of a mooring line was taken to the bitts to secure it.Bittersweet - A radio call signifying that friendly aircraft are in danger from a surface AAW missile launch, or that the presence of friendly aircraft is preventing a missile shot.

    Bitts €" A shipboard mooring fixture, comprised of cylindrical posts similar to BOLLARDS, mounted in pairs.

    Black and Bitter €" Coffee, no sugar or cream added, and with a pinch of salt.

    Black and Sweet €" Coffee with sugar.

    Black Cat - During World War Two, a PBY Catalina which was painted black and used for night reconnaissance patrol.

    Black Cat Merchant - (RN) Someone who is always exaggerating.

    Black-Hand Gang - See SNIPE. Older (ca. WW II), less politically-correct form is 'Black Gang.€ Originally, it referred to the appearance of men who had been handling or working around coal, but the term has come to refer to the engine room crew. During WWII, members of the Black Gang were issued black "Dixie Cups" instead of white ones, and were therefore sometimes called "Black Hats."

    Black-shoe - Member of the surface or submarine community. Until recently, the only approved footwear for these communities was black in color. More recently, brown footwear is optional, but seldom seen due to tradition.

    Black Water €" Sewage.

    Blank flange - (1) A plate bolted onto an open pipe to prevent flooding or leaks while work is performed on a piping system. (2) Pancakes. (3) Someone who acts like an idiot (aka 'blank file').

    Bleed Air €" In gas turbine engines, compressed air that is removed (€˜bled€) from the compressor section at various points. Can be used for various applications, such as maintaining clean airflow in the engine, anti-icing, air conditioning, or to provide start air to another engine.

    Blivet - (1) Traditionally, "Ten pounds of **** in a five-pound sack." (2) A rubber fuel bladder. (3) A modified droptank (may be purpose-built or a field modification) used to haul small cargo, especially in tactical aircraft, or used to haul dangerous or toxic cargo outside of the aircraft.

    Bloggins - (RN) The catch-all name. "Ordinary Seaman Bloggins screwed up again." Similar to the USN's "Joe **** the Ragman" (q.v.), or "Seaman Jones".

    Blonde and Bitter €" Coffee with cream.

    Blonde and Sweet €" Coffee with cream and sugar.

    Bloodhound €" Radio codeword for Mark 46 ASW torpedo.

    Blowdown - A generic engineering term which can be used as noun or verb. A cleaning and/or venting process. Some specific applications: (1) A process for cleaning water-sides of a boiler. A top blow removes scum and floating contaminants, a bottom blow removes sludge. (2) To backflush and clean a SEACHEST. (3) The process of removing excess pressure from a system, or venting it completely.

    Blue Force - Friendly forces in a wargame exercise.

    Bluejacket €" See BLUE-SHIRT.

    Blue on Blue - A friendly-fire kill. UK term is 'own-goal.'

    Bluenose €" See ORDER OF THE BLUENOSE.

    Blue-Shirt €" (1) (aviation) Aviation Boatswain's Mate. During flight deck ops, wears a jersey color-coded blue. Responsible for positioning and chaining down aircraft. Aka 'Chock and Chain boys.' A type of KNUCKLEDRAGGER. Often a non-rated person. (2) Anyone E-6 or below wearing the dungaree uniform, similar to the traditional term "Bluejacket," due to the Navy blue jacket issued with the dungaree uniform.

    Blue Water - Literally, 'deep water,' or 'deep draft,' but more traditionally, 'away from land.' The opposite of BROWN WATER. A 'blue water navy' is capable of prosecuting battle away from shore-based support in vessels of sufficient size and endurance to do so safely.

    Blue Water Ops - Flight operations conducted when beyond range of a BINGO or divert field. At this point it is literally sink or swim for the aircrew--if a successful trap cannot be made, the aircrew will have to eject or bail out.

    Boarding Rate - The percentage of carrier approaches that result in successful arrestments. May be counted for a pilot, a squadron, or an airwing.

    Boards €" (1) (Aviation) Speed Brakes. (2) Shoulder boards (rank markings).

    Boat - (1) Traditional term of reference for a submarine. (2) Traditional aviation term used to refer to an aircraft carrier. (3) Any small vessel incapable of making regular independent voyages on the high seas. The traditional differentiator is that "ships carry boats."

    €œBoats€ €" Nickname for a Boatswain€s Mate.

    Bogey - Unidentified air contact. May turn out to be friendly, neutral, or hostile.

    Bogey Dope - Radio calls to the intercepting fighter giving data on the bogey's position, course, altitude, etc.

    BOHICA - Acronym for "Bend Over, Here It Comes Again."

    Bollard €" A squat cylindrical fixture attached to a pier or quay, with small horizontal horns which are used for tying off lines. Used to secure lines, such as mooring lines.

    Bolter - The go-around that occurs when the carrier plane's tailhook misses the wires. Only possible on modern carriers with an ANGLED DECK (q.v.). Prior to the advent of the angled deck, missed wires often resulted in a BARRICADE engagement or a crash into the PACK.

    Bomb (The) - (submarines) The oxygen generator system.

    Bomber - See BOOMER.

    Bonedome - Flight helmet. Aka 'hardhat', 'brain bucket'.

    Boom €" (1) (aviation) Sonic boom. (2) (USAF) The winged pipe extending aft and below a tanker aircraft. The wings are used to fly the boom into position to connect with the receiving aircraft, then the boom extends to make contact. Offers much higher rates of transfer than that found in the probe and drogue systems common to the USN and all other countries that employ inflight refueling.

    Boomer - (1) (Naval) Ballistic missile submarine. Primary mission is nuclear deterrence. May also be seen as €˜bomber.€ (2) (USAF) The operator of the boom.

    Boomer Pin €" Term for the Deterrent Patrol pin; the device shows a ballistic missile sub launching a Polaris ICBM, with a banner below. After the initial award, subsequent patrols are represented as stars on the banner. May be awarded and worn before the wearer has earned his warfare pin by qualifying in submarines.

    Boomer Widow €" The wife of a boomer sailor, if she chooses to stray while he€s on patrol.

    Boondockers €" High-top (over the ankles) black shoes, worn as part of the working uniform
    Boondoggle - Travel which is more fun than functional. Applies to many military schools.

    Boot €" Rookie or newbie, as in €˜boot Ensign.€ Originated in the habit of referring to a new man as €˜bootcamp,€ rather than by name.

    Bootneck (RN) - See ROYAL MARINE.

    Boot Topping €" The black paint used at the waterline of many warships. Separates the hull paint from the anti-fouling underwater paint.

    Boss €" Short for AIR BOSS.

    Bosun €" The phonetic spelling of €˜boatswain.

    Bosun€s Whistle (or Pipe) €" A small metal whistle used to signal the announcement of important messages, or for ceremonial purposes.

    Bounce - (1) Carrier landing practice. (2) (older usage) Surprise air-to-air attack by a fighter, usually from above and behind.

    Bow Array €" (Submarine) That part of the sub€s sonar suite which is located in the bow.

    Box the Compass €" (1) To name all the points of the compass. (2) To face successively in all directions, as when a ship loses steerage and drifts aimlessly.

    Boy Butter €" A light tan grease used by weapons types on torpedoes.

    Bracket €" In shipboard gunnery, a bracket results when one salvo lands to the left of the target and the next lands to the right. Adjustments in deflection usually result in a hit soon after.

    Bracket and Halving €" A method of correcting the aim of shipboard gunnery. For example, say a SALVO falls left of the target; a "spot" (an aim correction) is made using right deflection, and the next salvo falls to the right of the target. Another spot is applied back to the left, half the amount of the previous correction. In this way, the FALL OF SHOT is walked onto the target.

    Brass €" Officers, especially senior officers.

    Bravo Zulu - Phonetic pronunciation of 'BZ' from the NATO signals codes. Signifies 'Good Job' or 'Well Done.'
    Break (the) - Maneuver used by pilots of tactical aircraft to slow to traffic pattern speed. Typically, a 180-degree turn to the downwind leg at 4.5-6 G's (depending on speed of entry and type of aircraft).
    Breakaway €" The act of disconnecting from an UNREP(Underway Replinishment) ship and maneuvering clear. Can be either a normal or emergency evolution, the difference being simply how quickly the various actions are accomplished.

    Brigadier Chief €" Senior Chief Petty Officer (who has one star on the anchors of his insignia).

    Brow €" The proper term for what is often called the €˜gangway,€ the temporary bridge connecting the ship€s quarterdeck to the pier.

    Brown-Bagger €" Married member of the crew. Aka "Khaki Sacker."

    Brown-Shirt €" (Aviation) A Plane Captain, so called because of the brown jersey he wears; a.k.a. "turd shirt."

    Brownshoe - Member of the aviation community. Refers to the brown boots or shoes which once were worn by aviation personnel with the Aviation Green uniform. Unauthorized footgear for a while, but recently re-approved for all USN service communities.

    Brown Water - Shallow water or shallow draft, especially a ship or navy whose ships are not suited to deep (or open) water and deep-water combat.

    Brown Water Ops €" Naval operations in shallow water, typically consisting of water depths of 100 fathoms or less.

    Bubblehead €" (1) Member of the submarine community.

    Buddy Store €" A self-contained unit which makes it possible for aircraft not originally designed as tankers to deliver a limited amount of fuel to other aircraft. Buddy stores are hung on wing or fuselage hardpoints.

    Buffer - (UK) The senior rate responsible for seamanship evolutions, typically a Chief Boatswain's Mate.

    Bug €" (Aviation) (1) See PLASTIC BUG. (2) A heading indicator on a compass of Horizontal Situation Indicator (HSI).

    Bug juice - A substance similar in appearance to Kool-Aid which is served as a beverage aboard USN ships. Its color has no bearing on its flavor. Largely composed of ascorbic acid. Used extensively as an all-purpose cleaner/stripper for bulkheads, decks, brass fire nozzles, and pipes. (this isn€t a joke!)

    Bug Out - 'Getting the hell out of Dodge.' An escape maneuver from an air-to-air fight, generally consists of choosing the proper moment to unload and select ZONE FIVE.

    Bulkhead €" A term for a wall onboard ship.

    Bulkheading - Loudly criticizing a fellow officer.

    Bulldog €" Codeword for Harpoon cruise missile.

    Bull Ensign - Senior ensign aboard. In multi-unit ships, such as a carrier with its airwing embarked, generally each squadron will have its own Bull Ensign.

    Bull Nuke - Senior nuclear-trained CPO aboard a sub. Junior in authority to the COB.

    Bullnose - A chock placed right over the stem, 'in the eyes' of the ship.

    Bullpen - Term for the large antenna arrays associated with a shore HFDF (High Frequency Direction Finding) station.

    Bumboat €" A supply boat, usually of an unofficial nature. Often purveyors of curios, souvenirs, etc.

    Bum Nut €" Hen€s egg.

    Bunting Tosser, Bunts (RN) - Signals or Radio personnel. The term originates from the use of semaphore flags for visual signals. Analogous USN terms: €˜flag wagger,' 'skivvy waver.'

    Buoy Jumper €" The sailor who climbs up onto a mooring buoy to attach or remove mooring lines.

    Burner - (1) In a submarine, a system that burns carbon monoxide and hydrogen out of the air, converting H2 to water and CO to CO2. CO2 is then removed by the SCRUBBER. (2) In aviation, short for afterburner.

    Buster - Aviation term for maximum speed available without using afterburners.

    Butt €" (1) Cigarette. (2) (obsolete) A wooden cask or barrel. (3) The bottom end of a spar or other object.

    Butter Bar €" Ensign/Second Lieutenant (O-1 paygrade), so called for the gold bar collar device.

    Butt Kit - Ashtray.

    By and Large €" Colloquial term meaning €˜For the most part.€ Origin of the term seems to be that a ship was considered particularly seaworthy if it could sail both €˜by€ (close to the wind) and €˜large€ (broad to or before the wind).

    More to follow tomorrow!
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  9. #9
    Crossing the Line Ceremony
    A Naval Tradition that lives on this Day when a Sailor Crosses the Equator

    The ceremony of crossing the line is an initiation rite in the Royal Navy, U.S. Navy, and other navies, which commemorates a sailor's first crossing of the Equator. Originally the tradition was created as a test for seasoned sailors to ensure their new shipmates were capable of handling long rough times at sea. Sailors who have already crossed the equator are nicknamed (Trusty) Shellbacks, often referred to as Sons of Neptune; those who have not are nicknamed (Slimy) Pollywogs.

    "King Neptune and his court" (usually including his first assistant Davy Jones and her Highness Amphitrite and often various dignitaries, who are all represented by the highest ranking seamen) officiate at the ceremony, during which the Pollywogs undergo a number of increasingly disgusting ordeals, largely for the entertainment of the Shellbacks. Once the ceremony is complete, a Pollywog receives a certificate declaring his new status. Another common status is the Golden shellback, a person who has crossed the Equator at the 180th Meridian (International Date Line)

    In modern times, the ceremony has become a popular tradition in the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard and is carried out on many U.S. Merchant Ships without the oversight of military justice and can often get out of hand.
    A popular patch for has also been created for shellbacks, that depicts Neptune battling a Sea Serpent with his Trident.

    This is the text from a certificate issued on a Royal Navy ship during the Second World War:

    A Proclamation
    Whereas by our Royal Condension, Our Trusty, Well Beloved .................... has this day entered Our Domain. We do hereby declare to all whom it may concern that it is Our Royal Will and Pleasure to confer upon him the Freedom of the Seas without undue ceremony. Should he fall overboard, We do command that all Sharks, Dolphins, Whales, Mermaids and other dwellers in the Deep are to abstain from maltreating his person. And we further direct all Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and others who have not crossed Our Royal Domain, to treat him with the respect due to One of Us. Given under Our Hand at Our Court on board H.M.S. .............. on the Equator in Longitude .....? on this ..... day of ..... in the year .....

    Similar "fraternities" in the navy include:
    1. The Order of the Blue Nose for sailors who have crossed the Arctic Circle.
    2. The Order of the Red Nose for sailors who have crossed the Antarctic Circle.
    2. The Order of the Golden Dragon for sailors who have crossed the International Date Line.

    I am a proud member of the "Golden Shellback". One who has crossed both the Equator and International Date Line at the same time on April 16th, 2000. Woe to the Slimy Pollywogs who challenge my right to the title!
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  10. #10
    Naval Terminology, €œC€ List

    --'RN' denotes Royal Navy usage. Similarly, RCN = Royal Canadian Navy, RAN = Royal Australian Navy, RM = Royal Marines, RNZN = Royal New Zealand Navy, UK = general usage in militaries of the former British Empire
    --Terms in ALL-CAPS have a separate listing.

    CAG - Carrier Air Group. Can also refer to the Carrier Air Group commander. Sometimes seen as CAW for Carrier or Commander Air Wing.

    Cake and **** €" (RNZN) Derogatory term for an officers€ cocktail party.

    Cake Hole €" Mouth. Also seen as "snack hole."

    Call For Fire €" A request for gunfire support.

    Call the Ball - A radio transmission to a pilot requesting that he report when he has sighted the BALL during approach to the carrier, or the action of reporting same. Typically consists of SIDE NUMBER, aircraft type (to ensure proper ARRESTING GEAR settings), and amount of fuel onboard in thousands of pounds, e.g. '205 Tomcat ball, 3.5'.

    Calve €" The process whereby icebergs form, as chunks of ice fall from a glacier into the sea.

    Camel Station - Rendezvous point for ships in the Indian Ocean.

    CAMS - Central Atmosphere Monitoring System. A mass spectrometer that samples the atmosphere on submarines.

    Can €" (1) Short for TINCAN or Destroyers. (2) In radio parlance, cans are a set of headphones.

    Candy A** €" Someone who doesn€t do his (or her) share of the work. Similar to the older "Feather Merchant."

    Cannon Cocker - Gunnery specialist.

    CAP - Combat Air Patrol. Usually defensive in nature. There are several types: TARCAP (TARget CAP), BARCAP (BARrier CAP), RESCAP (REScue CAP, i.e. for SAR operations).

    Captain's Mast - Non-judicial disciplinary procedure, usually meted out by unit commanders. Also known as €œSeeing the Old Man€

    Captain of the... - Person in charge of a particular part of the ship, e.g. Captain of the Focs'le. Derogatory, €˜Captain of the Head.€

    Captain's Table - (RN) A disciplinary hearing. See CAPTAIN'S MAST.

    Careen €" To lay a ship on its side in shallow water or on the beach, generally to work on the hull.

    Carrier Landings €" A game involving a long flat table and, generally, a lot of beer. Participants run toward the table and dive onto it face-first. The goal is to arrive safely and not slide off the end. Refinements such as the need to engage "arresting gear" with one€s toes, "crash and smash" teams using pitchers of beer to extinguish post-crash fires, etc., are common.

    CAS €" Close Air Support. Aerial ground troops
    Cat €" (1) Catapult. (2) Short for cat o€nine tails, a form of whip used to administer a flogging. Generally made up of three short lines, each with three knotted ends, spliced to a short rope or wooden handle.

    CAVU - Aviation term, short for 'Ceiling And Visibility Unlimited'.

    CBDR €" Constant Bearing, Decreasing Range. When comparing another object€s (ship, aircraft, missile, etc.) movement relative to your own, if there is no BEARING DRIFT and distance is decreasing, it€s an indication that collision is about to occur.

    CBR €" Chemical, Biological, and Radiological (nuclear) warfare.

    CERA - (RCN, pronounced 'sarah' or €˜Chief ERA€) Chief Engine Room Artificer.

    Cha - (RN) Tea. Also spelled 'char'.

    Channel Fever €" Anxious to get home, or reach port.

    Charlie Oscar - Commanding Officer.

    Charlie Sierra €" Phonetic abbreviation for €˜chicken(poop).€ The unnecessarily thorough enforcement of an insignificant or unimportant regulation.

    Charlie Noble €" The galley smokestack. The most popular version of the term€s origin is that Charlie Noble was an Admiral who insisted that the (brass or copper) galley smokestack be polished for inspections.

    Charlie Time - Assigned time for carrier aircraft to land, generally meant as the time that an aircraft crosses the RAMP. "Your Signal Charlie" means 'commence approach immediately, and land upon arrival.'

    Check Valve €" Used to describe a person, it refers to one who does for himself, but not others. None of the goodies get past him.

    Cheng - CHief ENGineer. Pronounced 'chang'.

    Chicken of the Sea - Ballistic missile submarine, or a crewmember of same; the nature of their mission is to avoid detection by whatever means necessary. Their unofficial motto is "We hide with pride." See BOOMER.

    Chinese Fire Drill €" Any evolution notable for its complete lack of coordination or military smartness.

    Chinstrap - (RM) So tired, usually from running, that one's head drops. Any naval personnel are assumed to be 'on their chinstraps' at all times.

    Chips €" Ship€s carpenter.

    Chit €" A small piece of paper, often a request for or granting of permission to do something (leave chit, for example).

    Chock-a-block €" See "Two-Blocked."

    Chop €" (1) Supply Officer. See PORKCHOP. (2) CHange of OPerational command, spoken as "inchop" (entering a command region or zone) or "outchop" (leaving a command region), e.g. "We will inchop MIDEASTFOR at 0830 tomorrow."

    Chuffed €" (UK) Extremely pleased.

    Chunder €" (UK) To vomit. Derived from "watch under!"

    CINCHOUSE €" Commander In Chief of the House, i.e. one€s spouse.

    Cinderella Liberty €" Liberty where one must be back aboard by midnight.

    Circular Run €" The result of a malfunction which causes a torpedo to return to its launch point. At least one US submarine was lost to a circular run in WWII.

    Circus €" In WW II, a fighter-bomber mission whose primary goal was to force the German fighter defenses to come up and engage. Usually consisted of a small bomber force and heavy fighter escort.

    CIVLANT (CIVPAC) - Facetious description of one€s next duty station when he or she is leaving the service; CIV = CIVilian, LANT = atLANTic coat, PAC = PACific coast. Civvy Street €" Civilian life.

    CIWS - Close-In Weapon System, a short-range anti-missile point defense system commonly comprised of a radar system and rotary-barreled Gatling gun. In NATO, the system is the Vulcan Phalanx. A newer version, Goalkeeper, uses the GAU-8 30mm Gatling gun found in the A-10 Thunderbolt for increased range and destructive power. Can have anti-surface modes as well, for use against small craft and the like. Derisive interpretations of the acronym include: 'Christ, It Won't Shoot', and 'Captain, It Won't Shoot,' due to common maintenance difficulties.

    Clear Datum - (1) (Submarine) To leave the area where you have been detected (see DATUM).

    Clankie, Clanky - (RN) Mechanical Engineer.

    Clara - The radio call from a carrier pilot on approach signifying that he has not sighted the BALL.

    Class Alpha Fire €" A fire which leaves ashes (i.e. wood, paper, clothing).

    Class Bravo Fire €" A fire involving flaming liquids.

    Class Charlie Fire €" An electrical fire.

    Class Delta Fire €" A fire involving special materials and firefighting methods. Commonly thought to consist of a fire involving flammable metals, which is one example of a Class Delta fire; another type of Class Delta fire involves deep fat fryer equipment.

    Clobbered - Weathered in, as in "We made a good approach, but the field was clobbered and we had to divert," similar to WOXOF. Can also indicate a radio frequency that is over-used: "The tactical frequency was clobbered."

    Clutch-Brake €" A device used to engage or disengage an engine from a propellor shaft, and to stop the shaft if need be.

    CMC - Command Master Chief. Similar to the COB, but for surface, shore, and aviation commands. See also MCPOC.

    CO - Commanding Officer. The captain or skipper of a vessel. Generally spoken as 'Charley Oscar'.

    Coaming €" The raised lip around a hatch. Designed to prevent, or at least limit, water entry.

    Coastie €" Coast Guard sailor or €œ6 Foot Sailor€.

    COB - Chief Of (the) Boat. Senior enlisted onboard a submarine; acts as liaison between the crew and the XO.

    Coffee Mess €" An area, usually in a duty or working area, where coffee is made and served.

    Coffeepot - Nuclear reactor. Aka TEAKETTLE.

    Coffin €" Bed. See RACK.

    COG/SOG €" Course Over Ground/Speed Over Ground, i.e. the actual movements of a vessel with respect to the seabed. The result of the vector addition of ship€s heading and speed through the water, and speed/direction of winds and currents.

    Cold Iron €" A condition of the ship€s engineering plant where everything is shut down, including not only propulsion systems but also including electrical power generation and hotel services.

    CONUS €" CONtinental U.S.

    Cooky €" Ship€s cook.

    Cold Enough to Freeze The ***** Off A Brass Monkey €" This term has nothing to do with testicles or primates, and a good deal of debate remains to this day regarding the origin of the phrase. In the days of smoothbore cannon, particularly ashore, ready-use cannon balls were stored near the guns. The balls were stacked in a €˜monkey,€ a metal frame which was laid on the deck to help contain the bottom layer of the pyramid of cannon balls. Monkeys were typically made of brass (though monkeys made of rope were used as well). In extremely cold temperatures, the brass monkey shrank more than the iron cannon balls, and the stack of balls would collapse€"or perhaps ice which formed under the balls pushed them up enough to break them loose. The root of the debate is whether such an event is possible at all, though the phrase appears to be more a traditional exaggeration than an engineering possibility.

    Cold Iron €" An engineering term meaning that the entire engineering plant has been secured. Lighting off boilers and getting steam up has always been an involved and lengthy operation, requiring anywhere from an hour to even longer before the ship could get underway; in time of war, being caught €˜cold iron€ could be tactically disastrous. With the increasing usage of gas turbines, this is less of an issue€"a gas turbine ship can get underway within minutes if the lube oil systems are warm.

    Cold Shot €" A catapult shot in which insufficient end speed is generated. The aircraft does not have sufficient speed to fly, and usually crashes. May be caused by steam supply problems or other mechanical difficulties.

    Collision Mat - Pancake.

    Compartment €" A room aboard ship.

    Condition 1 - General Quarters (battle stations). May be modified for certain conditions, such as Condition 1-AS, in which all antisubmarine watch stations and weapons are manned, but AAW stations may not be. Modified
    conditions are used to minimize crew fatigue, which can be a significant factor over a prolonged period at battle stations. Other types of modified conditions include 1-SQ (battle stations for missile launch).

    Condition 2 €" A condition of modified General Quarters, generally used on large ships.

    Condition 3 - A material condition of readiness commonly associated with wartime steaming where some, usually half, of the ship's weapons are kept in a manned and ready status at all times.

    Condition 4 - A material condition of readiness commonly associated with peacetime steaming. There are no weapons in a ready status.

    Condition 5 €" A material condition of readiness associated with peacetime inport status. Other material conditions may be set as needed, dictated by the threat.

    Coner - aka 'Noseconer'. A crew member on a submarine who does not work in the engineering spaces. A non-nuke.

    Conformal Array €" A sonar array whose transducers are attached at various locations about the hull, rather than being concentrated on one location. See also BOW ARRAY.

    Con Level €" Altitude at which contrails occur due to condensation or freezing of the moisture in engine exhaust. To be avoided in tactical situations, as they make for easy visual detection.

    Conn €" Has several uses, all to do with control of the ship. (1) (General Usage) When an officer announces "I have the conn," he or she is then legally responsible to give proper steering and engine orders for the safe navigation of the ship. (2) (Submarines) In submarines, the term used to refer to the conning tower, a structure built atop the hull from which periscope attacks on shipping were conducted. In more modern times, €˜the conn€ refers to the submarine€s control center, an analogous compartment located within the pressure hull. (3) In general, the area of the ship from which conn orders are given.

    Conning €" (1) Giving orders regarding the maneuvers of a ship. See CONN. (2) (Aviation) Generating a contrail.

    Contact Coordinator - (submarine) Senior Enlisted/Junior Officer that mans the submarine periscope during surface operations in order to help track and assess surface contacts.

    Control Surface €" In aircraft, aerodynamic parts moved to effect maneuvers, e.g. elevators, ailerons, etc.

    Corpen €" (1) A maneuver of a formation of ships. In its simplest form, ships in a column turn in succession, each at the same point, akin to a column movement of marching men. (2) Course. €˜Foxtrot Corpen€ is the chosen course for flight operations. €˜Romeo Corpen€ is the chosen course for underway replenishment.

    Counter battery - Firing on enemy artillery. Doing unto them before they can do unto you.

    Courtesy Flush €" What someone will ask for if you are stinking up the head (bathroom, commode, WC, ect.)

    COW - Chief Of (the) Watch. (submarine only) Responsible for coordinating shipboard evolutions such as housekeeping, watchstanding, wake-ups, etc. Also controls the BCP (ballast control panel) while underway.

    Cox - (UK) The Coxswain. The senior rate on a destroyer, frigate, or smaller vessel. Responsible, among other things, for discipline.

    CPA €" Closest Point of Approach. The range and bearing to the closest point of another vessel€s passage, relative to your own.

    Crab, crabfat - (RN) A member of the Royal Air Force. From the light blue color of the uniform, which is the same as that of the grease (known as €˜crabfat€) used on gun breeches, etc., in the RN. Accounts vary, but apparently the grease was called €˜crabfat€ because it resembled in color the ointment used to treat sailors for €˜crabs€ (pediculosis pubis, genital lice), and of which fat was a major constituent.

    Cranie - Protective headgear worn by flight deck crewmembers. Incorporates hearing protection and impact protection. May be color-coded like the flight-deck jerseys.

    Crank €" (1) Temporarily-assigned mess personnel. See MESSCRANK.

    Crash and Dash €" Touch and go landing.

    Crash and Smash Crew (or Team) - Crash and Rescue personnel. They wear red flight deck jerseys.

    Crescent Hammer €" Crescent wrench used as a makeshift hammer.

    Crinkleneck - Small fish that wait for waste to drop from a SCUTTLE or overboard discharge. Derogatory term for officers and enlisted that figuratively do the same.

    Crippie - Cryptographic personnel.

    Critter fritters - Fried mystery meat (we all have nicknames for the slop that is served in the Galley).

    Cross-Decking €" (1) The practice of transferring men or equipment from one ship to another, especially when transferring from a ship returning from deployment to a ship departing or about to depart on deployment. (2) Cross-training in another rate.

    Crossdeck Pendant, CDP - The wire (cable) which the hook of a carrier aircraft catches to accomplish an arrested landing. The crossdeck pendant is attached to the purchase cables, which are in turn connected to the arresting engines belowdecks. The CDP is replaced periodically, depending on the number of times it has been engaged.

    Crow - The rate insignia of a USN Petty Officer (E-4 through E-6), so-called because of the eagle surmounting the rate chevrons.

    Crush Depth €" The designed depth at which the pressure hull of a submarine will collapse.

    Crusher - (RN) A member of the Regulating Branch, i.e. Naval Shore Patrol.

    Cumshaw - Procurement of needed material outside the supply chain, usually by swapping, barter, or mutual backscratching. Often involves the barter of coffee or other food items. Officially frowned upon, but a widespread practice. The word comes from the pidgin English of the old China Fleet for "Come Ashore" money. It was usually anything useless to a sailor or ship, scavenged and saved for trade to locals for the purpose of earning a little extra liberty money.

    Cut and Run €" To leave quickly, from the practice of cutting a ship€s moorings in a hasty departure.

    Cut Lights €" Part of the array of lights found in the FRESNEL LENS. Originally used to give the CUT SIGNAL. Most common use today is to acknowledge that the LSO has heard the approaching pilot call the ball.

    Cut of his Jib €" From the days of sail, when individual sails were made aboard the ship and a certain amount of individuality was expressed in the design (shape and size) of the sails. Ships could be, and were, identified by the "cut of their jib."

    Cut Signal €" (or Cut Sign) (1) (aviation) The signal to pull the throttles back to idle; can be given by the CUT LIGHTS or the classic throat-cutting gesture. In older use, this signal was used when piston-engine aircraft come aboard the carrier. With the straight-deck carriers, an aircraft either trapped successfully or engaged the barricade. (2) The signal to shut down a piece of gear.
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