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100+ Common English Words for “Military” | Military Vocabulary

100+ Common English Words for "Military" | Military Vocabulary
Written by Abdul

Military Vocabulary: Welcome to today’s lesson, in which we will look at over 100 common English Military words. Whether you are interested in military history, are considering a career in the armed services, or simply want to broaden your vocabulary, this class will help you understand important terms used in the military context. We’ll cover a wide range of vocabulary that will improve your comprehension of military vocabulary, from ranks and equipment to plans and operations. So, let’s get started and arm ourselves with the terms that are essential for characterizing the world of the armed forces!

The Benefits of Learning Military Vocabulary

Learning military vocabulary completely has several benefits, both professionally and personally. Mastery of this particular vocabulary considerably improves communication abilities in military environments, supporting not just clarity but also precision in exchanges. Furthermore, a solid grasp of military vocabulary emphasizes professional agility, making professionals more adaptable in dynamic domains such as defense and security.

This language skill becomes a great advantage not just for job growth but also for effective team cooperation, historical appreciation, and crisis readiness. Whether looking for personal development or to advance one’s job, the advantages of learning military vocabulary go far beyond conversational skills, offering an in-depth understanding of culture and an advanced take on current events worldwide.

List of  Military Words

Military Words Meanings
Air Picket Airborne early warning
Alpha Charlie All clear
Anymouse Anonymous
Ass Incompetent or foolish
Ate-Up Disciplined or focused
Band-Aid Temporary fix or solution
Bang-bang Gunfire
Big voice Loud and authoritative
Bird Aircraft
Bitchin’ Betty Warning system in aircraft
Blew up Exploded or destroyed
Blue Falcon Buddy failure, someone unreliable
Bolo Be On the Look Out
Bone B-1 Bomber
Bullwinkle Badge Airborne warning and control system
Burn Bag Document incinerator
Cannibalize Salvage usable parts from equipment
Chancre Mechanic Mechanic with questionable skills
Charlie Foxtrot Cluster mess, chaos
Chest Candy Ribbons or medals on the uniform
Chicken plates Body armor
Comics Comic books or graphic novels
Commo Communications
COP Combat Outpost
Cover Protection or support
Crank Enthusiastic, energetic
Crumb Catcher Mustache
Crusher Heavy equipment or machinery
Dear John Letter informing a breakup
Demilitarized Zone DMZ
Digies Digital camouflage
Digit Midget Digital Multimeter
Dittybopper Morse code operator
Dope on a Rope Helicopter
Dust-off Medical evacuation by helicopter
Dynamited Chicken Cooked chicken dish
Eagle Keeper Air traffic controller
Embed Journalist attached to military unit
Expectant Awaiting orders or action
Fang Air-to-air missile
Fangs Air-to-air missiles
Fart Sack Sleeping bag
Farts and Darts Flatulence and departure
Fashion Show Inspection of uniform
Fast Mover High-speed aircraft
First Light Dawn, sunrise
Fitty Fifty-caliber machine gun
Flight Suit Insert Personal identification
Football Bat Riot control baton
Force Projection Military capability to deploy forces
Fruit Salad Collection of ribbons and medals
Fugazi F***ed Up, Got Ambushed, Zipped In
I. Joe Infantryman
Gallery Kitchen or dining area on a ship
Galloping Dandruff Snow
Geardo Gear fanatic
Gedunk Snack bar or canteen
Gofasters Running shoes
GOFO General/Flag Officer
Gone Elvis Missing in action or deceased
Grape Unpopular person or thing
Great Mistakes United States Naval Academy
Grid Squares Map coordinates
Groundhog Day Repeating or monotonous situation
Gum Shoe Detective or investigator
Gun Firearm
Gunner Crew member operating a weapon
Hangar Queen Aircraft that’s often in maintenance
Hardball Tough, uncompromising
Hardened Site Fortified military location
Hat Up Put on a helmet or headgear
Hawk Observation or surveillance aircraft
Helo Helicopter
High Speed Fast-moving or high-velocity
Hit the Silk Eject from an aircraft
IDF Indirect Fire
IED Improvised Explosive Device
Inactive Status Not on active duty
Ink Stick Pen or writing instrument
Iron Rations Emergency or survival rations
IRR Individual Ready Reserve
Jawa Junior Airman in the Air Force
Jesus Slippers Sandals or flip-flops
Jockstrap Medal Commendation for athletic ability
Joe Slang for a soldier or person
Kinetic Relating to motion or activity
Klicks Kilometers
Latrine Queen Clean freak, meticulous person
Long Pig Human flesh (cannibalistic reference)
MEDEVAC Medical evacuation
Moonbeam Flashlight
Mustang An officer who was once enlisted
Officer on deck Officer present
Quay Wharf or dock
Rainbow Signal smoke
Red Team Simulated adversary in exercises
Rotorhead Helicopter enthusiast
Salad Bar Display of ribbons on a uniform
Shavetail Newly commissioned officer
Shellback Sailor who has crossed the equator
Sleek sleeve Officer without combat experience
Smoke Combat situation or problem
Snivel Gear Cold weather clothing
Squirter Fire hose
Swoop Rapid descent or approach
Taco Ammunition carrier or holder
The base of the fire Supporting fire for an attack
Twidget Electronic device or gadget
Voluntold Volunteered but was told to do something
Zone of action Area of responsibility or operation
Zoomie Air Force officer or cadet

Most Used Weapons in Military

Rifle Pistol
Submachine Gun (SMG) Machine Gun
Shotgun Sniper Rifle
Assault Rifle Grenade Launcher
Rocket Launcher Bazooka
Mortar Tank
Artillery Anti-tank Missile
Anti-aircraft Gun Anti-aircraft Missile
Flamethrower Bayonet
Combat Knife Hand Grenade
Landmine Claymore
Taser Stun Gun
Baton Tactical Baton
Trench Knife Dagger
Crossbow Booby Trap
Gatling Gun Minigun
SAM (Surface-to-Air Missile) RPG (Rocket-Propelled Grenade)
Recoilless Rifle ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile)
Howitzer Revolver
Revolving Shotgun Handgun
Semi-automatic Rifle Automatic Rifle
Anti-material Rifle C4 Explosive
Detonator CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) Weapon
Sonic Weapon Railgun

Military Vehicles Names

Armored Personnel Carrier (APC)
Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV)
Humvee (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle)
MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected)
LAV (Light Armored Vehicle)
BMP (Soviet Infantry Fighting Vehicle)
M1 Abrams (Main Battle Tank)
Bradley Fighting Vehicle
M113 (Armored Personnel Carrier)
Land Rover Wolf (Military Utility Vehicle)
M2 Bradley (Infantry Fighting Vehicle)
Leopard 2 (German Main Battle Tank)
BTR (Soviet Armored Personnel Carrier)
Cougar (MRAP)
Oshkosh JLTV (Joint Light Tactical Vehicle)
HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle)
AMX Leclerc (French Main Battle Tank)
Challenger 2 (British Main Battle Tank)
M270 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System)
Apache (Attack Helicopter)
Black Hawk (Utility Helicopter)
Chinook (Transport Helicopter)
Cobra (Attack Helicopter)
Kiowa Warrior (Scout Helicopter)
Osprey (Tiltrotor Aircraft)
UH-1 Huey (Utility Helicopter)
Gaz Tigr (Russian Armored Vehicle)
M60 Patton (Main Battle Tank)
M998 HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle)
PT-76 (Soviet Amphibious Light Tank)
T-72 (Soviet Main Battle Tank)
T-90 (Russian Main Battle Tank)
ZSU-23-4 Shilka (Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun)
M109 Paladin (Self-Propelled Howitzer)
LAV-25 (Light Armored Vehicle)
M8 Buford (Light Tank)
Wiesel (German Light Tank)
Warrior (Infantry Fighting Vehicle)
M270 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System)
M88 Recovery Vehicle
MT-LB (Soviet Multi-Purpose Armored Vehicle)
ASLAV (Australian Light Armored Vehicle)
M3 Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vehicle
M35 2.5-ton Cargo Truck
Otokar Cobra (Turkish Armored Vehicle)
M577 Command Post Vehicle
M1083 MTV (Medium Tactical Vehicle)
M1097 Avenger (Air Defense Vehicle)

Military Words with Example Sentences

Air Picket:

  • Our aircraft serve as the air picket for early warnings.
  • The air picket detected incoming threats.

Alpha Charlie:

  • Communicate clearly; don’t give me any alpha Charlie.
  • Avoid alpha Charlie situations during mission briefings.


  • Send the report to any more for an anonymous analysis.
  • The anymouse feature protects the whistleblower’s identity.


  • Don’t act like an ass during the team briefing.
  • His attitude was unnecessary, a real ass move.


  • Stay focused; don’t be eaten up during the operation.
  • The ate-up soldier forgot essential gear.


  • We need a quick band-aid solution for this issue.
  • Band-aid fixes won’t solve long-term problems.


  • Trainees learn about the basics of bang-bang in boot camp.
  • The recruits practiced bang-bang drills on the range.


  • The helicopter is our primary bird for transport.
  • The general arrived in a sleek, blackbird.

Blowed up:

  • The enemy’s vehicle got blowed up by the airstrike.
  • The detonation blowed up the entrance.

Blue Falcon:

  • Don’t be a blue falcon; we’re a team.
  • He acted as a blue falcon by revealing the plan.


  • Report any bolo sightings immediately to HQ.
  • The intelligence officer issued a bolo for the suspect.


  • The bone aircraft provides strategic support.
  • Pilots train extensively to fly the bone.

Burn Bag:

  • Dispose of classified documents in the burn bag.
  • The general’s assistant prepared the burn bag.


  • Cannibalize the damaged vehicle for spare parts.
  • The mechanics decided to cannibalize the old engine.

Chancre Mechanic:

  • The chancre mechanic struggles with engine repairs.
  • Don’t assign the critical task to the chancre mechanic.

Chest Candy:

  • He proudly wore his chest candy during the ceremony.
  • Ribbons and medals represent their chest candy.

Chicken plates:

  • Soldiers wear chicken plates for added protection.
  • Make sure your chicken plates are properly secured.


  • We need reliable commo for secure communication.
  • Common issues delayed the transmission.


  • Establish a COP for better situational awareness.
  • The squad set up a temporary COP.


  • Provide cover while the team advances.
  • The sniper offered cover from a concealed position.


  • He’s the crank guy, always fixing equipment.
  • Crank up the generator for additional power.

Crumb Catcher:

  • The sergeant sported a well-groomed crumb catcher.
  • Shave off that messy crumb catcher; it’s against regulations.


  • The crusher is responsible for heavy equipment operation.
  • Call the crusher; we need that boulder moved.

Dear John:

  • He received a Dear John letter during deployment.
  • She decided to send a Dear John message.


  • The troops switched to digital camouflage, known as digies.
  • Digies provide effective concealment in various terrains.


  • The ditty bopper transmitted Morse code messages.
  • Train as a ditty bopper for secure communication.


  • Call for a dust-off; we have a wounded soldier.
  • The dust-off helicopter evacuated casualties swiftly.

Dynamited Chicken:

  • The dynamited chicken is a favorite dish in the mess hall.
  • Soldiers enjoyed a hearty meal of dynamited chicken.


  • Journalists often embed with military units for coverage.
  • The reporter chose to embed with the special forces.


  • The soldiers remained expectant for further orders.
  • Their expectant faces reflected anticipation.


  • The fighter jet released its fang missiles.
  • The fang is a key weapon in air-to-air combat.

Farts and Darts:

  • After the farts and darts, the squadron departed.
  • Celebrate with farts and darts after mission success.

Fast Mover:

  • The fast mover quickly responded to the threat.
  • Fast movers provide rapid air support.

First Light:

  • The mission begins at first light tomorrow.
  • Soldiers prepare for the assault at first light.

Flight Suit Insert:

  • Keep your flight suit insert visible for identification.
  • The pilot’s flight suit insert displayed rank and name.

Football Bat:

  • Equip yourself with a football bat for riot control.
  • The squad uses football bats during crowd management.

Force Projection:

  • Force projection is vital for global military presence.
  • The aircraft carrier enables force projection in the region.

Fruit Salad:

  • His uniform displayed an impressive fruit salad.
  • Generals often wear a fruit salad of medals.


  • The intelligence report turned out to be fugazi.
  • Confirm the information; we suspect it’s Fugazi.


  • Visit the galley for hot meals during deployment.
  • The ship’s galley serves three meals a day.

Galloping Dandruff:

  • Soldiers refer to snow as galloping dandruff.
  • Galloping dandruff covers the training ground.


  • He’s a geardo, always buying the latest gear.
  • Avoid being a geardo; focus on mission essentials.


  • Grab some gedunk at the snack bar.
  • Gedunk provides a quick energy boost.


  • Wear your gofasters for the morning run.
  • Gofasters are essential for physical training.


  • The unpopular task became the grape of the day.
  • The soldier received the grape assignment.

Grid Squares:

  • Provide coordinates in grid squares for precision.
  • Grid squares help navigate on the map.

Groundhog Day:

  • Training can feel like a groundhog day scenario.
  • Everyday routines make it seem like Groundhog Day.


  • Grab your gun; we’re going on patrol.
  • The sergeant inspected every soldier’s gun.


  • The gunner operated the mounted machine gun.
  • Train as a gunner for vehicle defense.

Hangar Queen:

  • That helicopter is a hangar queen, always in maintenance.
  • We can’t use the hangar queen for the mission.


  • Approach negotiations with a hardball attitude.
  • The general took a hardball stance during the talks.

Hardened Site:

  • Establish a hardened site for secure communications.
  • The command post served as a hardened site.

Hat Up:

  • Hat up; we’re entering a potential danger zone.
  • Soldiers hat up for added protection.


  • The hawk circled overhead, monitoring the area.
  • The reconnaissance team deployed a hawk drone.


  • The helo transported troops to the front lines.
  • Jump aboard the helo for rapid deployment.

High Speed:

  • Move with high speed to reach the objective.
  • High-speed maneuvers are crucial in combat.

Hit the Silk:

  • Hit the silk; parachute out of the aircraft.
  • Pilots are trained to hit the silk in emergencies.


  • Seek cover during an incoming IDF attack.
  • The soldiers endured an intense IDF barrage.

IED (Improvised Explosive Device):

  • Be cautious; there might be an IED ahead.
  • Clear the area for potential IED threats.

Inactive Status:

  • Placed on inactive status due to medical reasons.
  • Soldiers may transition to inactive status post-service.

Ink Stick:

  • Grab an ink stick to complete the paperwork.
  • The officer signed documents with an ink stick.

Iron Rations:

  • Carry iron rations for emergency sustenance.
  • Iron rations provide a quick energy boost.

IRR (Individual Ready Reserve):

  • Maintain readiness while in the IRR.
  • Soldiers in the IRR may be called back.


  • The Jawa assisted in aircraft maintenance.
  • He’s a skilled Jawa specializing in avionics.

Jesus Slippers:

  • Slip into Jesus slippers after a long day.
  • Soldiers appreciate comfortable Jesus slippers.

Jockstrap Medal:

  • Winning the jockstrap medal requires physical prowess.
  • The Jockstrap Medal is awarded for athletic achievements.


  • Every soldier is known as Joe in the barracks.
  • Joe’s perspective is crucial in decision-making.


  • The operation became kinetic with intense combat.
  • Kinetic engagements require swift and forceful action.


  • The objective is a few klicks to the east.
  • Soldiers covered several klicks during the march.

Latrine Queen:

  • The latrine queen ensures cleanliness in the restroom.
  • Don’t be the latrine queen; clean up properly.

Long Pig:

  • In some cultures, humans are referred to as long pigs.
  • Long pig is a euphemism for human flesh.


  • Request MEDEVAC for injured personnel.
  • The MEDEVAC helicopter evacuated wounded soldiers.


  • Use a moonbeam for low-light navigation.
  • Soldiers relied on moonbeams during night operations.


  • He’s a Mustang, rising from enlisted to officer.
  • Mustangs bring valuable experience to officer roles.

Officer on Deck:

  • Salute the officer on deck as a sign of respect.
  • The officer on deck oversees the ship’s operations.


  • Dock the ship at the quay for unloading.
  • The quay served as a secure docking area.


  • Signal with a rainbow for aircraft recognition.
  • The colorful smoke formed a distinctive rainbow.

Red Team:

  • The red team simulates enemy tactics in exercises.
  • Trainees act as the red team during drills.


  • The rotorhead expertly piloted the helicopter.
  • Rotorhead enthusiasts appreciate rotary-wing aircraft.

Salad Bar:

  • Choose your ribbons wisely from the salad bar.
  • His uniform displayed an impressive salad bar.


  • The shavetail learned quickly in his new role.
  • Don’t underestimate the potential of a shavetail.


  • A sailor becomes a shellback after crossing the equator.
  • The shellback initiation is a maritime tradition.

Sleek Sleeve:

  • The officer’s sleek sleeve indicated a lack of combat experience.
  • Sleek sleeves often gain experience in operational roles.


  • Call for smoke to mark a target.
  • The battlefield was filled with smoke.

Snivel Gear:

  • Wear snivel gear to endure harsh weather conditions.
  • Soldiers appreciate quality snivel gear during deployments.


  • Grab the squirter to extinguish the fire.
  • The firefighter held the squirter nozzle.


  • Perform a swooping descent during airborne operations.
  • The paratroopers executed a flawless swoop.


  • Load the taco with ammunition for the mission.
  • Soldiers carry tacos for quick access to bullets.

The base of fire:

  • The base of fire provides support during the assault.
  • Establish the base of fire before advancing.


  • Use the widget to secure electronic communications.
  • Soldiers rely on the widget for encrypted messages.


  • He was voluntold to lead the team.
  • Being voluntold is common in military assignments.

Zone of action:

  • Stay within the assigned zone of action.
  • Each squad has a designated zone of action.


  • The Zoomie excels in air force operations.
  • Zoomies provide air support in combat.

Military Terms | Infographics

100+ Common English Words for "Military" | Military Vocabulary

Military Vocabulary

100+ Common English Words for "Military" | Military Vocabulary

Military Vocabulary Words

In Conclusion

Finally, this collection of over 100 common English terms connected to the military gives students a solid basis for navigating the language in military circumstances. Mastering this terminology not only improves communication skills but also shows professional versatility, providing essential insights for professions in defense and security. Aside from linguistic competency, the knowledge obtained allows for successful teamwork, historical appreciation, and crisis readiness. This session prepares learners to participate successfully in debates, written communication, and larger cultural factors related to the military, building a holistic grasp of this specialist topic.

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