What Is It??

 
The Korean War Educator receives many e-mails from members of the public who are unfamiliar with military terms and abbreviations. Send your "What Is It?" question to us and we'll provide the full name for the abbreviation/acronym on this page. If you wish, we will explain the term on this page as well. Send your query to lynnita@koreanwar-educator.org. All of you past and present military folks visiting this page can help this page grow by sending in and explaining abbreviations/acronyms associated with your own unit. Although you might take these terms for granted because you are so familiar with them, members of the general public do not. They are baffled by them. Please help the Korean War Educator provide this much-needed resource page for those of our readers who do not have a military background.
  • AACS = Aircraft & Airways Communication Service
      (see http://www.aacsalumni.com/ for more details)
  • Anglico = Naval gunfire unit (Per USMC veteran Gene Dixon: "The designation ANGLICO= Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Co. (Each Marine Infantry Battalion normally has a team attached when needed consisting of communications personnel and Air and Naval Gunfire spotting officers.)  In 1949, the Marine Corps formed the ANGLICO to support both Navy-Marine Corps and Navy-Army operations. Since then ANGLICO units have seen action in Korea, Lebanon, Cuba, Vietnam, Grenada, the Middle East, and Desert Storm."
  • APC = Armored Personnel Carriers (used to transport troops on the battlefield)
  • Baby-san = Polite word for nice Oriental woman
  • BAR = Browning Automatic Rifle
  • Barracks = Military living quarters
  • Bouncing Betty = a type of mine that, when activated, would rise in the air and then burst apart, shredding the immediate area with lethal shrapnel
  • Bug Out = abandoning a position because the enemy was too close
  • CAPT = Captain
  • Choggie or choggie bear = Korean laborer who did menial tasks and carried heavy loads for American troops
  • Chosin = Chosin (Changjin) Reservoir area in the NE part of North Korea
  • CPL = Corporal
  • CQ = In Charge of Quarters
  • DAC = the Army's acronym for Department of the Army Civilian. They were not members of the armed military service, thus the term civilian. The ASA (Army Security Agency) had Korean and Chinese DACs assigned to their LLVI (Low Level Voice Intercept) operation during the Korean War. Veteran John Cheek was in the ASA and worked with some of them in a listening bunker on the front lines of the 1st Marine Division during the final months of the conflict. He said, "We monitored the front line voice (radio) communications of the enemy. DACs were very well paid, making $600 for the 1st month of duty and an additional $10 for each month thereafter. Thus, a DAC would receive $700 for the tenth month of duty."
  • DMZ = Demilitarized Zone
  • DoD = Department of Defense
  • FECom = Far East Command
  • FMF = Fleet Marine Force
  • FO = Forward Observer
  • Gen = General
  • Gook = The enemy (but the term was used for both North and South Koreans, as well as Chinese)
  • Hubba-hubba = On the double
  • Itty-Wa = Get over here
  • Itty-Wa Deska = Get the HELL over here!
  • KIA = Killed in Action
  • Kimchee = A spicy, fermented cabbage mixture which is a favorite Korean food
  • KP = Kitchen Patrol (duty in food service)
  • KVA = Korea Veterans of America
  • KWVA = Korean War Veterans Association
  • LT = Lieutenant
  • Luke the Gook = Any unknown gook was "Luke the Gook"
  • Luke the Gook's Castle = Label of a ferocious mountain battle in the Punchbowl area of Korea
  • Maj = Major
  • MarDiv = Marine Division
  • Mess = Area where food is served
  • MIA = Missing in Action
  • Military Script = GI dollars (American greenbacks were not supposed to be used in Korea)
  • MLR = Main Line of Resistance
  • MM = Millimeter (denotes size of ammunition shell, e.g., 75mm)
  • MOS = Military Occupational Specialties
      (See MOS Titles Codes - Army) for more details)
  • MSGT = Master Sergeant
  • MSR = Main Supply Route
  • Neva Hatchee/Neva Hoppen = No way
  • No. 1 Ichi-ban = The very best
  • No. 10 = The very lowest
  • OP = Outpost
  • PFC = Private First Class
  • Pogie bait = Candy
  • Pogue = Someone lesser than you
  • POW = Prisoner of War
  • PUC = Presidential Unit Citation
  • PVT = Private
  • Quonset Huts = Curved metal buildings used for living quarters and/or service buildings
  • Remington Raider = Combat veteran slang for rear-echelon typists
  • RCT = Regimental Combat Team
  • ROK = Republic of Korea
  • R&R = Rest and Recuperation
  • SGT = Sergeant
  • Sheba-Sheba = Korean rice paddy queens (prostitutes)
  • Skoshi-san = Very small
  • S.O.S. = "shit on a shingle" = gravy and ground hamburger
  • SSGT = Staff Sergeant
  • Taku-san = Big/biggest
  • Won = Korean money
  • Yen = Japanese money
  • Yobo = Korean laborer

For KWE visitors trying to understand what units wore a particular shoulder patch/sleeve insignia, your best bet is a visit to http://www2.powercom.net/~rokats/koreaunits.html.

 

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