GROUNDHOG DAY: another day on duty in Iraq
DEAD CHECK: to put bullets in a lifeless body to ensure it’s dead
BAGHDAD CLOCK: Iraq’s own timeline for progress, usually set several months behind the Washington clock
ALL-AMERICAN DECOY: guard posted out in the open; a sitting target.
HOLLOW ARMY: to fill out the ranks with untrained or unqualified soldiers
20 PERCENT SOLUTION: General David Petraeus’ plan to arm the Sunnis to fight Al Qaeda in Iraq
80 PERCENT SOLUTION: plan to break the Sunni insurgency by siding with the Shiites and Kurds
CRUNCHIES: tank-driver slang for infantry. (Think of the sound of a tank rolling over a body.)
RED ON RED: enemy-on-enemy fire, such as when Shiite factions battle each other
FOBBIT: American soldier who never leaves a forward operating base (FOB)
DBIED: Donkey-Borne Improvised Explosive Device. Also known as “shock and hee-haw.”
CROCKET: insurgent vehicle carrying rockets or artillery rounds. Also known as “cartillery.”
HILLBILLY ARMOR: improvised vehicle armor made from scrap metal and scrounged parts. Also known as “Frankenstein” in the Marine Corps.
RHINO: 37-ton armored bus that shuttles VIPS from the Baghdad airport to the Green Zone
THUNDER RUN: high-speed military convoy in the midst of battle
ROAD APPLES: wake of defecation left by a convoy as soldiers relieve themselves from the backs of their trucks
AIRHEAD: base for supply and evacuation by air
FREEDOM BIRD: airplane flying American soldiers out of Iraq. Originated in Vietnam.
NEO: noncombatant evacuation operation
ASS AND TRASH: hauling people and things, usually by air. Originated in Vietnam.
ROLL UP: orderly dismantling of military facilities
CHU: Containerized Housing Unit (pronounced “choo”). A movable living space made from a shipping container. Often clustered in “CHUvilles.”
RE-HAT: to give a local militia new uniforms, often without adequate training
LILY PAD: military base used as a jumping-off point to get to another part of the world
COMMO BLACKOUT: communication blackout for a dead soldier’s unit until family is informed
TRUNK MONKEYS: derogatory term for Iraqi troops in a pickup truck mounted with a machine gun
ROUTE TAMPA: main military supply line into Iraq from Kuwait. Also the main route out of the country.
OVER-THE-HORIZON FORCE: post-withdrawal contingent of American forces that would remain in the Middle East
TINY HEART SYNDROME: affliction common among Iraqi units that shy away from combat
CHEWERS: insurgents who record the license plates and movements of Iraqi civilians working with the Americans to target them for assassination
RAT FUCK: to ransack
“SHUT UP AND COLOR”: admonition to a soldier who is expected to do his duty despite less-than-ideal circumstances
SIMPLIFICATION: Iraqi slang for ethnic cleansing
FORT LIVING ROOM: civilian life
BUG OUT: to beat a hasty retreat
KMAG YO-YO: Kiss My Ass, Guys, You’re On Your Own. Translation: Adios, Iraq!