Naval Term II



NALF   Naval Air Landing Field   
Nav (the)   (1) Navigator, or having to do with navigation. (2) The Navy (USN).   
NavSta   Naval Station.   
Navy Shower   A water saving evolution in which one attempts to get reasonably clean while using as little water as possible. Basically, you wet yourself down, turn off the shower, lather up, then turn the shower back on to rinse off.  
NBC Warfare   Nuclear/Biological/Chemical Warfare.   
Negat   Spoken or abbreviated form of ‘negative.’   
NFG   Non Functional Gear. Written on the sides of inoperative equipment as an indication that they should be replaced or scrapped (float tested). Often corrupted as "No Fucking Good."   
No Joy   No radio contact, or no visual contact. Sometimes used to say "it didn’t work."   





OBE   Overcome By Events. Eaten by the snakes in the cockpit; the victim of task saturation. What happens to the pilot who forgets that his priority of actions goes in the following order: Aviate, Navigate, Communicate.   
Orange Force   Opposing force in a wargame exercise.   
Oscar   (1) The dummy used for man overboard drills. (2) The international signal flag hoisted for "man overboard". (3) Phonetic alphabet for "O."   
Papa Hotel   Phonetic pronunciation of the flag signal 'P H'. Acronym for "all hands return to ship".  
Passageway   A hallway aboard ship.   
PFM   Pure Fucking Magic. A nontechnical explanation for why something works. "Hell, I dunno how it works. It’s PFM."   
Pilot   (RN) The navigating officer.   
Ping   (1) To transmit on active sonar, or the sound or signal made by same. (2) (RM) To recognize someone or something. (3) To bounce or wander around aimlessly.   
Pipe Down   Originally, a call on a boatswain’s whistle sending the crew below. It has come to mean "be quiet."   
Piping Aboard   A ceremony where the arrival of a senior officer is signified by the blowing of a BOSUN’S WHISTLE.   
Piping Hot   Originally, meals were announced aboard ship by piping (blowing a call on the boatswain’s pipe). If a meal is piping hot, it has just been served and is therefore hot.   
Piss   (RAN, RNZN) Beer.   
Port and Starboard   (1) Watch schedule where one stands 6 (or four or eight) hours on, the same amount of time off watch, then back on watch. Aka "Port and Stupid." (2) Before ships had rudders, they were steered by an oar which was positioned on the quarter. This side was known as the "steer board side" which, over time, was corrupted to "starboard side." For a long time, the other side of a ship was known as the "larboard" side, even into the 1700s. This led to confusion and difficulty in giving orders during storms, etc., where it might be easily confused between starboard and larboard. Since the larboard side was also the side of the vessel which was placed against a pier or dock, it became known as the "port" side, i.e. when you went into port, that side of the ship was against the pier.   
Pro Word   Radio procedure word. Used to standardize and expedite voice radio communications. Examples: ‘over’ ("I am finished speaking now, and expect you to reply"), ‘roger’ ("I understand you," or "yes"), ‘out’ (perhaps the most misused term in Hollywood, it means "I am finished speaking and do not require an answer or acknowledgement back").   
Rack Time   Sleep.   
Rain Locker   Shower.   
R&R   Rest and Rehabilitation.   
Rank and File   The generic man in ranks. Comes from the terms for a military formation, where a rank is a row (crosswise) and a file is a column (lengthwise) within the formation.   
Rat Guards   Circular or conical metal plates attached to a ship’s mooring lines to prevent rats getting aboard (or getting off).   
Redass   Official flap about something of little consequence. A pain in the butt. "Man, that gender sensitivity training was a real redass."   
RPO   (RN) Regulating Petty Officer.   
RTB   Return To Base.   
Sagging   The condition of a ship in which the bow and stern are supported by wave crests and the midships area is less supported by the trough. See also HOGGING.   
Sally Ship   Causing a ship to list by having parties of men run from one side of the ship to the other. When a ship runs aground, a suction often forms between the hull and the sea bottom mud, and sallying ship can break that suction, making it possible to back off of the reef. Somewhat akin to a TRIM PARTY, but for very different reasons.   
Sierra Hotel   From the phonetic alphabet for SH, the polite form of 'Shit Hot'. Excellent, aggressive, skilled, etc. "Man, that was a sierra hotel takeoff."   
Skipper   Commanding Officer. Apparently from the Dutch "Schipper,", which means, essentially, "he who ships."   
Sleeping Dictionary   A member of the local population who teaches a sailor the local language (among other things), usually in exchange for room and board.   
Small boy   Frigate or destroyer.   
SNAFU   Situation Normal, All Fucked Up.   
Snake Eater SEAL's and other Special Forces personnel.  
Son of a Gun   Traditionally, a male child born (or conceived) afloat. An archaic term from the days of sail, when crewmen were typically not let ashore for fear of desertion. Women were let aboard (the regulation said "wives", but this was immediately and widely ignored, or at least winked at), and even carried at sea at times.   
SOP   Standard Operating Procedure.   
Splice the Main Brace   Have a drink. Originated in the days of the sailing navies.   
SWO   Surface Warfare Officer.   
TDY   Temporary Duty. See also TAD.   
Monday   "Our ships at sea."   
Tuesday   "Our native land."   
Wednesday   "Ourselves and no one like us."   
Thursday   "A bloody war or a sickly season" (and therefore more rapid promotion).  A variant was "A bloody war and quick promotion."
Friday   "A willing foe and searoom."   
Under Way   Sometimes seen as "under weigh." The term refers to a ship which is not physically connected to solid ground, i.e. neither moored, anchored, nor aground. Often confused with "MAKING WAY" (q.v.), though legally very different.   
XO   Executive Officer. Second in command of a vessel. 
Wakeup   The cry of the short timer, often intensely annoying to those around him. If a sailor will be leaving the service in ten days, he is said to have "nine days and a wakeup."  
Wardroom   (1) A compartment aboard ship where the officers eat. May also be used for meetings, briefings, etc. (2) The complement of officers aboard ship.   
Warning Red (Yellow, White)   Reports the threat status. ‘Red’ signifies attack imminent, or ongoing. ‘Yellow’ means attack is likely. "White" signifies attack unlikely.   
WILCO   WILl COmply. May only be used by unit commanders (ship COs, aircraft commanders, etc.).   
Wire Rope   Wire strands wound around a core of rope. Not as strong as cable, but more flexible.   
WTF   "What/who/where the fuck?" Sometimes spoken as "What the fuck, over?" (WTFO), or spoken phonetically, "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot."   
Z’s   Sleep, or snoring. "Let’s go bag some Z’s."   
Zulu 5 Oscar   Personnel making a deliberate attempt to board a ship unauthorized, usually at the direction of higher authority to test security procedures. The standard intruder drill.   
ZULU Time   Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Used in radio traffic when the origin of a dispatch is expressed in GMT, i.e. "1700 ZULU".   
NATO Standard   (RCN) Term to indicate a large cup of coffee with double cream and double sugar.   
NATO Stock Number   NATO Stock Number (NSN) : A number given by NATO to identify a particular part, that is unique and standard to only that particular part, with a description that only God can understand because no man or woman could have come up with such a far fetched description.  No matter the size and shape, there is a number.  It is a given that what your looking for is usually found after hours of looking up the NSN, beating, yelling, and cursing at the computer, only to have a friend with a horseshoe up his ass find it as you walk away in disgust.   
Navigator   Officer responsible, under the captain, for safe navigation of the ship. Aka 'Gator', 'Nagivator', 'Old Clueless'.   
Navy Brat (or Junior)   One who has grown up in a Navy household.   
Nonskid   An epoxy compound applied to deck surfaces to improve traction for feet and wheels. At the end of a cruise, when a flight deck's nonskid is mostly gone, not to mention oily and/or greasy, taxiing or landing can be even more of an adventure than usual. Usually applied to all weather decks of any ship.   
No room to swing a cat   Originally, this term meant insufficient room to carry out a flogging, which punishment was performed with a CAT. The modern meaning is simply that an area is crowded.   
Nub   Newbie, or someone who does not stand watches and is therefore deadweight to the department. Literally, "Non Usable Body."Nugget   First tour pilot or NFO. A diamond in the rough, or at least with a few rough edges.Nuke, nuc 
Nuts and Bolts   (RN) Stores rating concerned with equipment.   
OD   (RN) (1) An ordinary seaman. (2) Derogatory term for anyone acting 'green' (Olive Drab). Frequently modified with the adjective "fucking".   
Oscar Brothers   The Commanding Officer and Executive Officer (CO and XO).   
Pig of the Port   The least attractive member of the opposite sex brought aboard during a port visit. Awards and honors are often granted, though seldom sought after.   
Piss Ant   Yard worker. See also Sandcrab.   
Pongo   (RN) Soldier. May be mistakenly used to refer to a ROYAL MARINE.   
Red Force   Opposing force in wargames. Sometimes abbreviated as "REDFOR."Rednose   See ORDER OF THE RED NOSE. Redout   A condition caused by excessive negative G's. Temporary loss or obstruction of vision caused by too much blood in the retinas. 
REMF   Rear Echelon MotherFucker.   
Rig For Red   In submarines, to ensure all interior lighting is red and of low intensity so as to preserve night vision.   
Rogue’s Gun (or Salute)   (UK) The single gun salute fired at the commencement of a court martial.   
RON   Remain overnight.   
Royal Baby   The junior (or, often, the fattest) member of KING NEPTUNE's court. During the LINE CROSSING CEREMONY, all POLLYWOGS must kiss his belly, which is usually smeared with grease, oil, or salad dressing.  
Royal Marine   (RN) British Marine. "Her Majesty's Royal Marines," when they are up and dressed (seldom). Aka 'bootneck', 'jolly'.   
Salty   One whose level of experience is extreme. One who is "in the know" regarding matters maritime.   
SAPFU   Surpassing All Previous Fuck Ups.  
SAR   Search And Rescue. Pronounced as a word, not initials.   
Sea Chicken   Derisive term for NATO Sea Sparrow. Not the same as ‘CHICKEN OF THE SEA’ (q.v.).   
Sea Daddy   Someone who takes a less experienced crewmember under his or her wing and expert tutelage. Often, and traditionally, when a CPO takes care of and educates a boot ensign.  
Sea Lawyer   Someone who professes to have significant knowledge of the fine points of the rules and regs. This knowledge is often used for personal gain, or to claim why something cannot be done.   
Sewer pipe   Submarine.   
Sippers   (RN) Drinks, usually containing alcohol.   
Skunk   The name label used for surface radar contacts. "Skunk Alpha" refers to the first new radar contact of the day, "Skunk Bravo" the second, etc.   
Sonar Dome   The generally onion shaped structure at a surface ship’s bow which houses the sonar transducer.Sonar Girls   Submarine sonar operators. The rate is STS. The term is somewhat derogatory, and refers to behavioral and hygiene habits. Minus the behavioral quirks, the equivalent rates are ST (surface) and AW (aviation). 
Square Away   Originating in the days of sail, the term refers to putting a ship before the wind (getting way on the ship). Today, the term refers to getting organized or ready for something, be it an inspection, a drill, etc.   
STAB   (UK) Stupid Territorial Army Bastard   
STFB   Stand The Fuck By, i.e. prepare for heavy rolls and bad weather (get ready for trouble).   
Swinging Dick   Men (or personnel), as in "I want every swingin' dick in Deck Division working on the problem!"   
Tactical Diameter   The diameter of the circle first described by a ship’s turn. Tactical diameter is larger than FINAL DIAMETER due to the momentum of the ship, which drives the ship outside of the arc of its turn at first. See also ADVANCE AND TRANSFER.   
Saturday   "Sweethearts and wives." (someone would usually pipe up "and may they never meet!"   
Sunday   "Absent friends."   
UNREP   UNderway REPlenishment. The transfer of supplies, fuel, and munitions from one ship to another while at sea. Also seen as RAS (Replenishment At Sea), esp. RN/RCN.   
Vampire   Radio codeword for an antiship cruise missile.   
VAQ   Electronic warfare squadron.   
Watch   The standing of duty shifts. The practice varies, but in the US Navy, the watch rotation is as follows:   0400  Midwatch,    0800  Morning Watch,  1200  Forenoon Watch, 1600  Afternoon Watch,   1800  First Dogwatch, 2000  Second Dogwatch, 2400  Evening Watch (aka First Watch)  
  0400  Midwatch  
  0800  Morning Watch,  
  1200  Forenoon Watch  
  1600  Afternoon Watch  
  1800  First Dogwatch  
  2000  Second Dogwatch  
  2400  Evening Watch (aka First Watch)  
  The purpose of the dogwatches is to permit the watchstanders to eat the evening meal. These watches are said to be "dogged."
Weather Deck   Literally, any deck of a ship which is exposed to the weather, i.e. outside the skin of the ship.   
Wets   (RN) Drinks.   
WETSU   We Eat This Shit Up. A derisive statement, usually regarding working or living conditions.   
WFW   "Waaah Fucking Waaah". Used to tell someone to quit whining.   
Wheel Book   A small notebook, usually used by Division Officers to keep track of daily events and reminders.   

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