ABCCC= AirBorne Command and Control Center (C-130Es flying out of Udorn RTAFB attached to 7th ABCCS)

ACDUTRA= Active Duty for Training; What the Nasty Guard does one weekend a month and one month every year. Now they do it in Iraq  Afganistan for a year.

Acute= temporary affliction; not chronic.

AGL=above ground level

AAm= Air America, sometimes AirAm; the “cargo/passenger” airline of the CIA. Aka Civil Air Transport (CAT), Continental Air Service (CASI) and Bird and Sons(BirdAir). After Vietnam it changed to Southern Air Transport(SAT) for work in South America. I vote for Consolidated International Airways for the current war(s)

AIRA= Air Attache; Our air boss at the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane

ARMA= Army Military Attache ”    ‘ground  ”               ”                     ”                   ”

Airicide= doing something guaranteed to get you killed in an aircraft; flying slowly over enemy-held territory; doing an initial BDA

AMC= Appeals Management Center (part of BVA Remand process) The “58th” RO nobody knows about. Now called the AMO (office).

AmLeg= American Legion; A VSO; Well-stocked bars, so-so food

AMS= on SF 88 & 93 EXIT medical (separation) exams; Aggravated by Military Service

AMVETS= American Veterans VSO and Bar and Grill (very greasy fried foods)

ANDY= another name for God-e.g. Andy walks with me; Andy talks with me etc.

AO=Agent Orange- also Pink, Green, Blue, Purple  and White (six exciting flavors) Also Area of Operations

AOC= Air Operations Centers; Spook Command Posts where all AirAm flights were coordinated from; Udorn (T-08), Vientiane (L-08) Long Tieng  (20 Alt)and Luang Prabang(L-54)

AOJ= Agency of Jurisdiction aka RO, VARO, Veterans Service Center(VSC) The Regional Office where you filed your claim.

ALT= Alanine Transaminase; Serum Glutamic Pyruvic Transaminase (SGPT) a blood test  for determining how well your liver isn’t doing.

ARPAC= Army of the Pacific = Republic of South Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos

ASL= Above Sea Level

AST=Aspartate Aminotransferase; also Serum Glutamic Oxaloacetic Transaminase (SGOT); another blood test that can tell how much damage drinking is doing to your liver

Augmentation Duty= The first job you had for a month after you got to Thailand. Full battle dress cocked and locked. M-26s and Flak vest were the uniform of the day. The Air Force didn’t have nearly enough SPs for the job so each tenant “contributed” a few to fill out the towers on the perimeter. 12 on. 12 off. Six days a week.

Auger in= to crash fatally in an airplane; literally-to screw a propeller driven aircraft into the ground.

Autopilot= To move the selector switch on a CAR 15/M16A1 from semi to auto.

Autorotate= the act of pulling pitch in a chopper with no power just before crashing into the ground.


B-40= the 82mm rocket launched by a 40 mm RPG-2; also referred to as a 120cm rocket or 120 vietnam-era-rpg-b40-rocket-inert_1_0d03a9cce7fce3d80f9e8959e6fdda4b

Baht= Thai currency

Baked goods= USAID/USIAspeak for what you find after a napalm strike; also Burnt offerings

BBE= Big Brown Envelope. The beautiful,  9″ X 12 (manila) long-awaited decision you have been waiting for from either your Regional Office, the Board of Veterans Appeals or the Court of Veteran’s Appeals. No exterior indicators so it’s always a big surprise whether you won or lost. See also STO or Smooth Tan One

BCD= Big Chicken Dinner= Bad Conduct Discharge; DD Form 258 suitable for framing

BDA= Bomb Damage Assessment; making another very low, very slow pass over the airstrike area to see what happened. Trolling for ground fire

BFE= ladylike way of referring to Bumf**k, Egypt; also EBE

Big Six= The major VSOs-i.e., DAV, PVA, VFW, AmLeg, AmVets, VVA

BINGO= What happens when your aircraft runs out of fuel; as in “Hillsboro, Raven 22. I’m twenty five minutes to Bingo. Am breaking off to Alternate to refuel.”; VA suspense date.

BNR= Body Never Recovered

BOTD= Benefit of the Doubt; 38 CFR 3.102; also BOD

Bouncing Betty= a Chicom antipersonnel mine that springs up about three feet before detonating.

Buddy letter= A signed letter accompanied by a copy of the Veteran’s DD214 showing service together. These are golden if constructed properly. Always have them notarized to give them more weight.

BUFF= Big Ugly Friendly Fellow. HH-53, Det. 1, 38th ARRS   Udorn RTAFB; aka Big Ugly Friendly Fucker.

Butterbar= 2nd. Lieutenant; newly minted officer; aka 90-day wonder; FNG

BVA= Board of Veterans Appeals (Board) composed of one hundred seven VLJs with additional Doogie Howser staff attorneys dressed up as Acting Veterans Law Judges for up to 90 days at a time. Each VLJ is authorized up to 10-12 staff attorneys to help prepare his/her cases for adjudication.

BS= Bronze Star; also BSM Vets didn’t say BS. They said bullshit.


C Rations= canned food left over from the Korean War. Forerunner to MREs.

C&P= Compensation and Pension examination; also a D&P show

CAR= Combat Action Ribbon

CAR-15= Carbine (shorty) version of the venerable M-16. Made by Mattel, it’s swell.

CAS= Controlled American Source. The ranking resident Customer in charge of the Spook show; your assumed boss;  never referred to as a CIA Anything

CAVC=Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (Court) Above the BVA; formerly the COVA (Court of Veterans Appeals)

CBOC= Community-Based Outpatient Clinic; a mini VAMC with the bare essentials

CBU-26= Cluster Bomb Unit (CBU-26/49 =90 minute delayed fuse version)

CFRs= Chapter 38, Code of Federal Regulations( Rules and regulations regarding claims)

Charlie= Viet Cong; PAVN (Provisional Army of Vietnam); Chuck; Capt. Chuck; Capt. Charles; derogatory names used contemporaneously were gooks; dinks; zipperheads; Indians; gomers; slopes

Cherry= A new Guy in-country (see also FNG)

Chicom= Chinese Communist; in Thailand, referred to as CT or Communist Terrorist

Chieu Hoi= Vietnamese  for ‘I surrender’. More appropriately, it describes the RVN practice of converting deserters over to productive soldiers. Often called the “an acre and a mule” project by JUSMAAG, it was very effective.

Cholon= the  Chinese district you went to in Saigon to get tattoos and the clap.

Chronic= not acute; something that afflicts one for life

CIB= Combat Infantryman’s Badge

cirrhosis= what happens to your liver 40 years after Vietnam or a jetgun injection. Caused by alcoholism, homelessness, incarceration for more than 2.5 days, snorting toot, shooting up, piercing anything on your body. Can be caused before or after service by wild, unprotected sex with more than five partners (in a lifetime) and tattoos. Very rarely related to service.  (DC 7312)

CLAVU= Aviation term; CLear to Altitude,Visibility Unlimited also CAVU

download (1)Claymore= antipersonnel mine (U.S.), detonated via trip wire or electronically (always three pumps). Heat lighting caused many false electrical detonations.

Comatoast= When you wake up at Letterman General and the last thing you remember is someone yelling “Incoming” at LZ Bronco.

Concertina wire= barbed wire on steroids. Made by Gillette as near as I could tell.

Construe= Verb;  (kn-str)   VAspeak for the act of attempting to misdefine what it is you are filing for; see also “interpret”, “infer”, “feel” and “implied”; to prognosticate via the reading of chicken entrails, perforce to read tea leaves or adduce by Ouija Board. Often arrived at by astrology or inevitable human sacrifice (yours)

CONUS= Continental United States; the world; civilization

COVA= Court of Veterans Appeals (before 1994); Now the CAVC

CR= Chivas Regal/Crown Royal; water of life; snakebite medicine

CRB= Cam Ranh Bay

Cricket=  Daytime call sign for 7th Airborne Command and Control Center over Laos (Military Region II); Our Airstrike bosses

C/T= Copy That; Charlie Tango. also Roger That (R/T). also two clicks on the microphone PTT switch

CSO= County Service Officer.  See also VSOOne who is legally permitted to represent you before the VARO and the BVA-but not the CAVC; the one who’s never there when you call; the one who is seen departing out the back door when you come in the front.

CUE= Clear and Unmistakable Error

Customer= who we and AirAm worked for up country. Last names were usually Smith, Jones, Brown, and Doe; aka Spooks; CIA, CAS

CYA= cover your ass


Daisy= a wild, improbably tail; a whopper; a Daisy Cutter-the BLU-82 15,000 lb.

D&P= Dog and Pony show; your Compensation and Pension examination; a VA procedure where the outcome has already been decided in advance; For the benefit of the cameras.

DAP=Dial-a-prayer=1-800-827-1000; aka Dial a Smile

DAV= Disabled American Veterans VSO ; The major VSO with the worst track record

DC= VA Diagnostic Codes in 38 CFR Part 4

DD Form 214= What you need to start your claim. It has everything you forgot.

de novo= lawspeak for a new look at your claim. When you submit new and material (N&ME) evidence, the raters have to do a new assessment based now on a lot more stuff. They usually top page it and deny again. Having an attorney about now can cure it otherwise you are heading to DC to get in line for a two year wait.. A DRO hearing/review will incur the same delay but if they deny, you then begin the DC trip two years later than planned.

DIW= Dead In the Water

Dixie Station = Racetrack pattern for aircraft carriers in the southern portion of So. China Sea off RVN (as opposed to Yankee Station to the north.

Dead stick= what happens to the control column when the propeller ceases to make revolutions

dee-dee mao=  Vietnamese for RFN

DEROS=Date of Estimated Return from OverSeas

Dink= an NVA regular, a PAVN (Viet Cong) ; also gook; slope; zipperheads; Capt. Charles

Disco Biscuits= LSD(1970s)

DM2= Diabetes Type 2 – (DC 7913)

Dong= DRV(north) currency

DRO= Decision Review Officer

DRV= Democratic Republic of Vietnam- Jane Fonda’s adopted country.

DsHK= The dishka; 12.7mm Russian Antiaircraft machine gunDoushka_desert

m-67grenadeDupont Spinner= The M-26 fragmentation grenade. The fisherman’s friend (if your’re careful).

Dx= diagnosis;  medical term                                                                                                                                    


ED= Erectile disfunction (SMC K);  also Earlier date

EED= Earlier effective date

EFTO= Eastern Forces Theater of Operations; RVN, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Philippines, Okinawa, Australia, etc.

EOD= Explosive Ordnance Disposal. The guys who pick up the UXO (UneXploded Ordnance)

EPTS= Existed Prior To Service; As in pre-existing before your military service. Equal to 0%.

EQUITABLE TOLLING= Legal concept where Veteran asks for more time to accomplish something associated with his claim. Often argued where a time limit is missed due to the dog eating your Form 9.

ERAWAN= The three-headed elephant and symbol of the Kingdom of Laos until the Progressive socialists took over.

ESTOPPEL=legal term that explains what happens when you believe what VA tells you. VA is “estopped” from giving you advice that you foolishly rely on. If it harms you or your claim, it is illegal and must be rectified.

Etiology= fancy way of saying where you got the disease/injury

ETOH= Ethyl Alcohol; Ethanol, of or having to do with adult beverages; also Extremely Trashed Or Hammered.


FAC= Forward Air Controller. Call signs were for where you were assigned.; Raven, Nail, Misty, Rustic, Covey to name a few

FastFAC= an RF-4; 432nd Tactical Recon Wing out of Udorn RTAFB Thailand

Fast Mover= jet aircraft such as F-100s, RF101s, F-105s and F-4s

Fig Newton= figment of the imagination; something that doesn’t exist on paper or maps

FFZ= free fire zone; no rules; shoot first-and often

FIGMO= F**K You, I Got My Orders. Someone who was very close to going home to the World usually within 3 weeks if they had PCS orders.

First Shirt= First Sergeant

FM= F*cking Magic. Examples: napalm, CBU 26-49, Smart bombs. Getting your medals before you die.

FMR= F**k Me Red. A color women are quite fond of. Its the signal if they are wearing it.

FNG= F__king New Guy; Ping; Cherry; Fresh Meat.

Foo gas= mixture of gas, diesel and Tide detergent ignited by trip flare or Claymore mine.  Served stirred, not shaken.

Four Deuce= 4.2″ mortar; 107mm bore diameter. thumb_apr_69_wpns

Fort Fumble= The Pentagon. Also- Puzzle Palace; nickname now for VAROs

Frag Order= Literally a Fragment of an Order for a mission. A Frag Order told you where to fly, what to look for and highest priorities for bombing of targets. Aka Foxtrot Oscar

Freedom Bird= The 727 World Airways Jet you take home after 365 wakeups.

Friendly Fire= dropping ordnance on your friends; something rarely admitted to by the Military;

Fruit Salad= all the medals you wear on your chest

Full ride= 100% P&T

Funny papers= maps- usually old, French and outdated left over from 1954. 75% of these airfields were overgrown (see red dots)

Air Map of PDJ

Plain des Jarres, Laos


Gaggle= a group of aircraft usually unidentified. colloquial: a gaggle of VC

GD= General Discharge ( DD Form 257)  Your slightly tarnished Certificate of  Participation. Still good for benefits

Genotype= type of HCV you have; 6 varieties with different subgroups like Haagen Daz.

GIB= Guy In Back (in an inline aircraft)

GIF= Guy In Front; The Pilot; One who gets a larger paycheck than a GIB.

Glad bags= body bags

Golden BB= the bullet that kills you

GPU= General Purpose, Utility MK 82; 250, 500, 750 and 1000 lb. bombs. “Iron bombs” as in dumb bombs with proximity fuses.

Gray Jeeps= Elephants; legitimate strafing targets in a free fire zone if riders are armed with SKS/AK47/ RPG2.

GSW= Gun Shot Wound


H2IK Procedure= “Hell if I know” used as a code word where one of your fellow troops quickly chimes in with some inane remark to get the 90-day wonder off your ass.

Hard Rice= guns, ammo, or explosives delivered/dropped by AirAm pilots to Lima Sites and always on a USAID cargo contract.

HAV= Hepatitis A Virus (acute) caused by eating food or drink that someone handled who didn’t wash their hands. DC 7345 (non-compensible)

HBV= Hepatitis B Virus; often contracted from unprotected sex, transfusions, and other behaviour similar to HCV contraction. Usually acute, but some cases are chronic. DC 7345

HCV= Hepatitis C Virus (DC 7354)

HD= Honorable Discharge (DD Form 256) Your Certificate of Achievement to impress your relatives, friends and neighbors.

H&I= Harrassment and Interdiction Fire. 105mm and 155mm love letters; Usually at 0200-0400 Hrs unless it’s called in as an immediate need.

Hillsboro= C-130 E  from 7th ABCCC (Airborne Command and Control Center) out of Udorn RTAFB ; flew a 24 hour racetrack pattern over southern Laos; Our dispatcher. Hillsboro was the daytime callsign versus Cricket during the night.

Hmong= Also Meo ; Upcountry Laotian hills people commanded by Lt. Gen. Vang Pao. Hmong pilots were some of the bravest  and craziest on earth.

Hot Soup= AirAm radio nickname for Napalm; see also Liquid Sunshine

Howard= God; as in -Our Father, who art in Heaven, Howard be thy name. See also Andy (walks with me)

Huey=  UH-1 rotary wing aircraft in numerous configurations. Stays airborne best when not subjected to ground fire. Rotary wing is Armyspeak for chopper. Very poor aerodynamic capabilities after losing power or hydraulics.



I Corps= Northernmost Area of Operations in the Republic of Vietnam abutting Laos, the Demilitarized Zone and the So. China Sea. It stretched from Quang Tri to Quang Ngai.

II Corps= Two Corps was the largest of the four Tactical Zones or AO (Area of Operations).

III Corps= Three Corps encompassed Saigon, Bien Hoa and Vung Tau. Well, there was more than that but you can buy a map.

IV Corps= 4 Corps. The rubber tree plantations with all the French chicks out nude sunbathing beside their pools. We were polite. We always waved when we flew over at 100’ASL.

IFN= Interferon; bug juice; the Dragon; rat piss;

IME= Independent Medical Examination (VA gets to choose which doctor from their stable)

IMO= Independent Medical Opinion  -your privately purchased nexus letter which wins the claim.                                                ”

Indian Country= any territory controlled by your opponents; the DRV, southern & eastern Laos; the extreme western boundary of the DMZ. Where your aircraft engine usually quits working.

Interferon= used to kill HCV. The cure is worse than the disease according to many. Also IFX, IFN, sometimes rat piss or bug juice (colloquial).

Interpret= see Construe

Interpreter= Someone dumb enough to admit they spoke French while stationed in Indochina between 1962-1975

IRHA= Military term Injuries Received by Hostile Action.

IRIS= Inquiry Routing and Information System

IVDU= Intravenous Drug Use; what you do not want on your DD 214 resume.


Jetgun=air inoculation machine see also Guns and Hoses; Pedojet; Munji gun; shoot and forget injections.

Picture of jetgun filterJetgun filter= Picture(right) of what you will never see in any Military jetgun lines. They never used these things. the picture here is from the training manual.

JMR= Joint Motion for Remand. A legal device employed, often as not, by the VA’s prosecutor at the Court of Appeals. When VA realizes they’ve stepped on their weiners, they immediately ask for a do over. They excuse themselves as one would if flatulent on Sunday in church. Upon remand back to the BVA, the Judge and his minions begin sharpening their pencils and crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s and erasing the smudge marks that the Court of Appeals objected to. This is the beginning of your next denial unless you’re very careful.

JOVO= Just One Vet’s Opinion (also J1VO)

JWB= Johnnie Walker Black; snake bite medicine that only works if ingested daily

JWR= Johnnie Red. Inferior substitute for above


KATN=Kick Ass and Take Names

KIA= Killed In Action; also KHA -Killed by Hostile Action; KHA/BNR -Killed by Hostile Action/Body Never Recovered

Kip= Laotian currency

klic= kilometre

Krate= First cousin to the MPV. The two-step snake. 7 seconds to say “oh, shit”


Laches= legal term that means you can file whenever you want to-even 40 years later.

Laos= Small country to the north of Thailand and west of the DRV and Cambodia. Neutral. Not on Military maps.  Address unknown. No such number, no such zone.

Layo-layo– Thai/Southern Laotian for RFN

LBJ= Long Binh Jail; aka Long Binh Stockade or Long Binh Home for Wayward Youth

LFT= Liver Functions Test  VA doctors often do not tell you anything. They do smile a lot, though.

LHT= Left-handed tobacco. Gunsha (Thai); ganja; ya kee ya (literally-medicine that messes up your mind). Pot (US). Ya baba bohboh(Hmong)

Lima Site (LS)= small Hmong or American outposts in Laos with incredibly short (STOL) runways. Most famous up-country was LS-20 A (Long Tieng) or L-54 (Luang Prabang).

Liquid Sunshine= Napalm;  LS/MFT (Lucky Strikes/Means Fine Tobacco) from   cigarettes packs was extended to mean Liquid Sunshine/ Means Fried Targets

LISP = Lazy Incompetent Suckass Pussy;  see also REMF

LLDB= ARVN Green Berets nicknamed Look Long- Duck Backs due to their recalcitrance to fight. (Luc Luang Dac Biet)

LRRP= Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol. Army 11Bravos who went sightseeing for a week or ten days at a time out in the bush. Notable for never returning with any captured enemy soldiers.

LOD= Line Of Duty; often seen in medrecs and milrecs; used to determine service connection

N199X crash sceneLumber in— to crash in the forest; as in “he caught a 37mm in the engine and lumbered in but he walked away from it”. aka  to auger in;  perchance to screw the airplane in tightly to the ground in an arborous setting.

LZ= Landing Zone; usually room for at least one Huey to land in; not to be confused with large military encampments. See LZ- Cork


Mamogram= the Polaroid you got in the letter from your girlfriend naked from the waist up; Playboy centerfolds.

M-2=  .50 BMG; Heavy machine gun; nickname Ma Deuce.

M21-1MR= the manual the VBA uses to deny you

M-26= Hand grenade (lemon Style)

M-60= .308 cal. Light Machine Gun nicknamed the Pig; as in “humping the Pig”.

downloadM-79= 40mm grenade launcher(single shot). The Blooper; What Sen. Kerry used to get his PH. aka Mr. Thumper

Meatwagon= ambulance; Dustoff; the vehicle that carries you from the field of battle; M 1581


MPs= Malaria Pills; crushed and mixed with water or club soda to make tonic water for Tanqueray and Tonics. Also rumored to help with malaria

MRE= Meal, Ready to Eat. Three lies in one sentence

Meo= Mountain tribes (irregular) army of Gen. Vang Pao in Laos also known as Hmong.

Medrecs=Medical records STRs or SMRs

Milrecs= Military records

Milk run= a side trip for nothing. Wasted effort while flying

MFR= Motion For Reconsideration

MIA= Missing In Action

MISTY= Fast FAC. A RF-4 from 432nd TRW  Udorn RTAFB

MOPH= Military Order of the Purple Heart VSO. Well-meaning- as are all VSOs.  Poorly trained. 0 legal acumen.

MPV= Malaysian Pith Viper. Something you do not want to be bitten by. Not always found in Malaysia. Meaner than the junkyard dog.

Munji= Multi Use Needless Jet Injector;  jetgun


N&ME= New and Material Evidence; What you need to reopen a claim. Any added evidence after a denial that may change the denial to a win. Must be new as in never submitted and material in that it pertains to the claim and may help in making a decision.

NAD= No Apparent Distress; medical term

NANB= Non-A, Non-B Hepatitis (until 1989); HCV

Napalm= Coprecipitated aluminum salts of naphthenic and palmitic acids added to gasoline; aka Nape, Liquid Sunshine; “Hot soup”; served as  hors d’oeuvres with Mk-82s

Nasty Guard= citizen soldiers who became real ones in Iraq/Afstan

NCNS= No Complications, No Sequelae; medical term; 0% compensation

NCD= Not Considered Disabling; medical term

Necktie Party= VA denial. see also Texas Necktie party as in to hang from a tree

NEGATIVE OBJECTIVE= The term to describe what happens when a pilot was shot down and killed over the fence. Rescue was pointless and indeed dangerous, hence the radio term. All rescue efforts were ordered to cease when this was received via radio.

Newbie= Cherry, FNG; in country less than 3 months

NIB= New In Box; two meanings: 1)a new weapon; 2) body arriving in Hickam AFB Honolulu on it’s way home to the World-i.e. dead in a coffin

nexus= a letter from a doctor stating that you have :  1) A current disease;  2) The same disease in service or presumptive risk, and 3)  the disease or risk in service is what is responsible for what you have now.

90 Day Wonder= newly minted 2nd Lt.

NOKD= Not Our Kind, Dear;  Korean, Australian, New Zealander, British- but simply not American;

Nosegun= Cocaine or heroin straw- also nose cannon.

NOA=Notice of Appeal; submittal to CAVC within 120 days of BVA denial requesting Appellate review.

NOD= Notice of Disagreement. VA Form 10182 NOD to the BVA

NOTAM= NOtice To AirMen; information on file at the Air Operations Center. Notice of heavy groundfire or smoky conditions during burn season. Special notices to inform pilots of changed or dangerous conditions, airfields changing hands, and the like.

NOS= Not otherwise specified (medical  abbreviation)

NOVEMBER CHARLIE=  Negative Copy; I did not receive your last transmission.

Nooooy deyo= Laotian- small amount: little; infinitesimal;

NPRC=National Personnel Records Center (the warehouse in St. Louis with no smoke detectors or sprinklers). Last major fire (reported) was Friday the 13th of July, 1973.


OGC= Office of General Counsel; sometimes identified as (027); the folks you will fighting when you get to the CAVC. In civilianspeak, we call them the prosecutors.

OJs= opium joints

Oke-San= wife, significant other, common-law girlfriend in Louisiana

O/L= Operating Location, usually at the ass end of nowhere doing things for the Government that they wanted to keep out of sight. A place that usually isn’t on any military maps.  a Fig Newton of the imagination. Usually a letter/number identifier such as LS 20 Alternate: O/L Charlie, 1980th Comm. Sq., Tango-11.

Original claim= Your debut at the VA. In VAspeak, you only have one claim with the VA. You simply keep adding to your original “check engine light” which was when you filled out Form 21-526. The last two digits refers to how many pages long it is. You would remember that day. It was like taking the SATs- two hours. Take your autobiography with you or bring the form home. This is your make-break document. What you write in it will color your decisions on claims for life.


P&T= Permanent and Total rating; 100% VA compensation check; No more C&P Exams

Pathet Lao= Laotian communist troops

PAVN= People’s Army of Vietnam( Viet Cong); gooks;dinks; slopes;

PCOD= Pussy Cut Off Date- The last day sex may be accomplished and still go home without fear of of a gram positive test for the clap. STDs had to be cured prior to DEROS.

PCS= Permanent Change of Station. A transfer to a new base.

PCT=Porphyria Cutanea Tarda (the only disease jointly associated with AO and hep)

PDJ= (French) Plaine des Jarres; the Plain of Jars (Laos) aka “Extreme western terminus of the DMZ”

Pecker checker= military enlisted medical personnel

Pencil puke=Handwritten records. Anything not typed. Unrecognizable to .pdf word searchable Adobe products.

unnamed (2)

Peter Pilot instruction manual.

Peter Pilot= copilot on a Huey

PN= Peripheral neuropathy

Pedojet= jetgun; Munji

Phee= Laotian- spirits; e.g.  dead soul; pheelok- a spirit embodied as a ghost

Piasters= RVN currency (until May 8th, 1975)

Pickle= to pickle off; to release one’s ordnance from the aircraft.

Pickle button= the little red button on the stick that releases the bombs under the wings next to the other red button that controls the six .50 cal. wing guns.

Pickle button selector= the switch to select left wing/right wing and station/pylon ordnance

PIC= Air America- Pilot In Charge; Aircraft commander; the guy who files the flight plan; the man in the left seat or in front of you.

Ping= A new guy in Basic Training. The sound one’s hair makes when growing out again after being shaved to the skull. FNG or Cherry apply after deployment to a permanent assignment.

Pig= The 23 lb. M60 Machine gun in 7.62X51mm (NATO cartridge). It required a Spec 4 to keep it operational in every platoon.

Plausible=the probability, but not the possibility, of HCV transmission via jetgun

Pop Smoke= to ignite an M-18 smoke grenade used to determine location, windage and friend or foe. as in “Charlie 6 -call your smoke, over”

Prang= to land without putting down the landing gear; to bend your propeller when landing

Presumption of Regularity=The VA’s assumption that you got anything they mailed you; what you assume will happen after eating Exlax®

Prick= also Pric. The AN/PRC-25 Radio


The Alpha 6 Actual (right) indicating to the R/T he has no intention of talking to the S3 at the TOC

Project 404=  Highly-classified clandestine program that used volunteer FACs  in-country in Laos. No ID cards, no Geneva Conventions cards, no uniforms, no POW status; often referred to as the Steve Canyon program. Also known as Palace Dog. The Udorn RTFB training and AirAm repair facility was known as Waterpump

Pucker Factor= The correlation between how tight the anal sphincter is  divided by the degree of danger multiplied by the number of bullets with a near trajectory. Expressed mathematically, it appears as PF=AS/D X 7.62x39mm+n

Punch out= To eject from an airplane. Jet fighters have rocket-propelled ejection chairs. Small prop planes have small, non-rocket propelled doors without parachutes; also slang= to die

PH= Purple Heart Medal awarded for being wounded in combat


QTC= the place we go to get our C&P exam (Quality Technology Costs); Company begun by former VASECs Principi and Peake. Absolutely a coincidence they got (and continue to get) the VA contract. Now we have LHI and VES as well.


R&R= Rest and Relaxation; 3 day mini vacation (limited choice of destinations) in theater.

RT= Roger That; Romeo Tango; Also R/T; R/T/O (Roger That Over)

Raven= Call sign for Forward Air Controllers stationed in-country in Laos

Ribbon clerk= one of those fellows you saw at the Western Union office down at the train depot with the eyeshade on. Remember the funny little ribbon doomoflotchies they wore on their sleeves to prevent ink smears? They’ve been outsourced to India now so we never see them anymore.

REMF= A euphemism for an admin guy- the first two letters of which stand for Rear Echelon. Easily identified by all their “I was there” medals.

Retreads= old pineapple grenades from WW2 modified by NVA with new prussic acid fuses. Success rate was 3/5. 1/5 exploded when “cork” was pulled. 1/5 were out-and-out duds.

RFN= right f …..g now. Only used in emergent situations

RFQ= Risk Factors Questionnaire for Hepatitis; be careful what you check off

RIBAVIRIN= part of the Interferon cocktail; aka Copegus, Rebetol, Reba Tab, Rebasphere, Pukavirin

RINGKNOCKER= A graduate of US Military Academy (West Point) aka one of the Long Grey Line

RLAF= Royal Laotian Air Force

RO or VARO= Regional Office; AKA Veterans Service Center(VSC), Fort Fumble, the Puzzle Palace

ROE= Rules of Engagement (see Romeos) Someone always has to make killing rules nobody on either side obeys.

ROI= Release Of Information; Where you go at the VAMC to find out what’s wrong with you. They will give you your medical records so you can play doctor. They can be bribed with chocolate.

ROKs = Republic of Korea Army troops who were renowned for never capturing any enemy alive in the ten years they “practiced” war and aided us.

Romeos= Rules Of Engagement -also ROEs= where you can shoot, who you can shoot, when you can shoot and what kind of ordnance you can drop.

Roundeye= An American or anyone of European descent (female). Not of Asian descent

RUQP= Right Upper Quadrant Pain (where your liver is)

RUSTIC= Highly classified operation run directly out of the Nixon White House in 1970 during the  Cambodian “intrusion”. It utilized USAF personnel who spoke French as back-seaters in FAC aircraft to converse with Cambodian pilots. The program expanded into Laos shortly afterward.

RVN= Republic of Vietnam (South)


SAM= Surface to Air Missile.

SATP= Substance Abuse Treatment Program

SC=Service connected

Scrip= the funny money you were given in country in lieu of greenbacks; MPCs=Military Payment Certificates

SEA= Southeast Asia; the Indochinese peninsula consisting of the former RVN, DRV, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand

SCOTUS= Supreme Court Of the United States

McBob 3

Sec. Bob at the office.

Secretary Bob= VASEC ( VA Secretary) Robert “Call me Bob” McDonald enthroned in 2014 or 2015 to great fanfare. Lots of noise. No reforms or none that you can see. Fire one, pardon 500. SOSDD.

SEG= Shit-Eaten Grin as in “He’s short. He’s got SEG all over his face.” Pronounced like “egg.”

SES= Senior Executive Service. The upper crust of the VA. These folks cannot be fired for any crimes-just transferred someplace for rehabilitation with no loss in pay.

SF88= The form used to do induction and separation exams.

SF92= Same as above with pretty much all the same slots

SFW= Shell Fragment Wound; shrapnel

Short or Shortimer= someone with less than 30 days to DEROS

Silk Coffin= Parachute; what we used to wrap up a body when we were out of body bags back in the 60-70’s.

Silver BB= the bullet that almost kills you and convinces you that you are no longer immune to the Golden BB

Silver submarines at TSN awaiting loading and flags.

Silver Submarine = military casket

Six Actual= The boss (Slats), not to be confused with Six (the one carrying the PRC 25)

Slow Movers= Prop driven aircraft. T-28s, A-1 Es, C-119s, C-123s, C-130s, C-7s, PC-6s, U-17s, O-1s, Helio Couriers; readily identified by the 100 mph tape over all the bullet holes.

SMG= sub machine gun; pistol caliber machineguns-usually 9mm; usually non-lethal but good for short distance spray-and-pray applications

SMS= Single-malt Scotch; water of life;  a fifth was a blank check for anything you wanted

download (1)Smoke= smoke grenades in different colors (white, red green, yellow and rarely violet; as in: to pop smoke; Gooks would sometimes pop smoke to get you to land in the wrong spot to ambush you. In Vietnam, slick drivers would often radio the alpha 6 to “Call your smoke” (color) to be sure.

SMRs= Service Medical Records; now STRs(Service Treatment Records)

SO= Service Officer (from VSO); The representative you can never find to talk to.

SOC= Statement Of the Case (the redenial of your denial) pre AMA during the Legacy process up to 2019.

Soft Rice= food (antonym is hard rice) dropped or delivered by AirAm pilots to Lima Sites.

SOS-DD= Same Old Shit -Different Day

SPAD= A-1E prop-driven fighter bomber left over from Korea; also a Sandy

SPIN CODE= colloquial  for SPN code on your DD 214. The SPN (Army) and SDN (AF) code revealed why you were discharged. If you were booted, an employer had the code to decipher why.

SPRAY AND PRAY= Putting your M-16 on auto and shooting without aiming

SSOC= Supplemental Statement of the Case ( the second denial) also What part of “No!” don’t you understand denial? Used in Legacy claims. Ended in 2019. VA’s Ebenifits site. Using the IRIS messaging system. Calling Dial a Prayer daily. Often confused with the VSO function

Steve Canyon Program= Project 404 or by its original name of Palace Dog. Working in Laos for the USAF.

STO= Smooth Tan One. The long-awaited decision that tells you if you will have seven fat years or seven more lean years and extensive famine while you appeal the denial. aka VA claims Decision.

STOL= Short takeoff and landing; examples of STOL aircraft are O-1s, U-17s, Pilatus PC-6 and Helio- Couriers. The most lethal form of fixed wing air transport in SEA. Sometimes called the safest because they could just “barely” kill you.

STRs=Service Treatment records; newer abbreviation of older SMRs

SVR= Sustained Viral Response; cured of HCV by Interferon therapy

SWA= Southwest Asia; Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, etc. Raghead country; Sand rancher estates


2,4,5 T= the active ingredient in AO that tastes so good

TACAN= Tactical Air  Navigation; What we used before GPS-

TACC= Tactical Air Combat Control; 7th AF HQ Saigon; the FAC bosses; Also Tactical Air Control Center; Tactical Air Coordination Center. The FAC Hq.

Tahann= Hmong for serviceman (army AF, whatever)

Tamasan= What Gen. Vang Pao’s  Laotian Hmong called a Thompson .45 cal submachine gun

Tango= a T-28 prop aircraft. Official name was a Trojan but that name was already taken by the rubber company

This was my chauffeur-driven Lexus many times. The "O" stood for obsolete. Note the pod with the marker rockets on the outboard pylon

Tango 28 . This was my chauffeur-driven Lexus many times. The “O” stood for obsolete. Note the pod with the marker rockets on the outboard pylon

Tattoo rule= if you had a tattoo before service, VA will say that’s when you got HCV. If your service entrance exam shows no tattoos, and your exit exam shows any at all, then you have a service connected tattoo. If you have contemporary picture evidence and/or buddy letters, you can win, too.

TASS= Tactical Air Support Squadron; (19th,20th, 21st, 22nd, and 23rd) FAC squadrons.  Also Det. 1, 56th SOW.

Texas Necktie Party= To hang by the neck with hemp rope until dead. What you can expect from the Veterans Benefits Administration on your claim; unlawful justice

TF= trip flare (actuated by pulling the wire on it) used with Concertina Wire

TIC= Troops In Contact; Usually an emergent situation that involves a lot of radio traffic

TnT= Tanqueray and Tonic. Breakfast of Champions; 94 proof

THUD= F105 Thunderchief

Tracer= a special kind of bullet that leaves a trail so you can see where you’re shooting. Unfortunately, it leaves a trail from whence it began. Most intelligent Vets removed them from their clips in SEA.

7f202977cf2834d1f1b384b422d5f6c5trip flare=  M-49  a small anti-personnel flare tied to concertina wire that was easy to set off by movement. see TF above. PAVN were quite adept at removing them

TUOC= Tactical Unit Operations Center;  Fortified Command Post usually found at Operating Locations. One way in-one way out. aka TOC

TY4YS= Thank you for your Service; The VA way of recognizing you’re a financial drag on their bottom line


UCMJ= Uniform Code of Military Justice latest link from telling you that you lost your claim or appeal. Soon to be installed in 2015 in conjunction with the 125 day claim w/ 98% accuracy.

Uncle Ho= Ho Chi Minh, aka Mr. Ho, Capt. Ho, Col. Ho

Undesirable Discharge= DD Form 258= useful as a certificate of attendance to prove service. Useless for obtaining compensation benefits. Entitles you to free medical care at VAMCs only.

USAID= US Agency for International Development; a fancy way of saying CIA; Who I worked for according to my ID and Laotian Driver’s license

USIA= US Information Agency; a more subtle way of saying CIA


V1-– The little red sign on the right side of the active runway that tells you that you need a certain amount of airspeed at this point in order to become airborne.

V2— The little red sign on the side of the active runway that tells you if you are not airborne at this time that you need to retard the throttle, pop the drag chute, stand on the binders and/or collapse the landing gear  since it appears your aircraft does not intend to take off before you run out of runway.

VA Examiner= Your worst nightmare in your claims process. The one who gets to “construe” what it is you are filing for and decides it. A wannabe doctor/lawyer.

VALZ= VA Legal Zone. A VA Regional Office; Fort Fumble; The Puzzle Palace; Agency Of Jurisdiction (AOJ)

VARO= VA Regional Office; the local watering hole for Texas necktie parties; location of many VSO offices. Also RO

VASEC= Secretary of Veterans Affairs- currently Robert Wilkie  See this site for a complete list: VASECS

Lt. Gen. Eric Shinseki 2009-2013ish

VBA= Veterans Benefits Administration- VAROs, BVA; of or having to do with our compensation money or lack thereof

VBMS= Veterans Benefits Management System. A fancy abbreviation for scanning records electronically into the VA’s brand new computer. Paperless, baby!

VDRL= medical term- Venereal Disease Research Laboratory

Vermin Ave. NW= The VA Central Office, the BVA and the VA Secretary’s inner redoubt. Aka 810 Vermont Ave. NW Washington, D.C. aka Varmint Ave.

VFW= Veterans of Foreign Wars VSO; That says it all. Good bars and good looking bartenders who are usually Veteran’s wives. Virtually all members claim to have been in Vietnam after three drinks. In the 70s-90s, VFW forbid Vietnam Veterans membership saying Vietnam was not a “war”.

VHA= Veterans Health Administration- VAMCs, CBOCs

Victor Alpha= Veterans Administration

VLJ= Veterans Law Judge. 90 at last count and they work for VASEC. 358 listed “acting VLJs”

VSC=Veterans Service Center. Your VARO; an oxymoron

VSO= Veterans Service Organizations; also Very Stupid and Obsolete

VSTOL= Very short take-off and landing; O-1s, PC-6s and Helio Couriers

VVA= Vietnam Veterans of America VSO. My kind of people but they hate me for being an Agent.


Wagon Burner Lane NW= The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) 625 Indiana Ave. NW Washington D.C.

WD= Well-dressed; medical term

Weekend Warrior= National Guard, Reserves

WHNS= Well-healed, no sequelae.; medical term meaning 0% compensation

Wheelgun= A  six-shot revolver-usually a  S&W= no safety, no jams; often purchased privately by pilots and AirAm personnel

White Horse= dexamphetamine; Prescription speed; Breakfast of Champions; recognizable by the Horse’s Head stamped on the tablet. Local Pharmacies in SEA did not require a prescription for anything. USAF issued dexamphetamine to aircrews.

White Mice= RVN traffic policemen in the largest cities named for their snappy white uniforms

WIA= Wounded In Action; also WHA–Wounded by Hostile Action

Willie Peter= White phosphorus in  M-26 grenade, 60mm/81mm mortar rounds and marking rockets.

World= the U.S.A.; as in “I can’t wait to get back to the World”.

World Airways= The airline you arrived in country on that doesn’t serve drinks.

W/U= Wheels up. Airborne. Time of Departure(T/D)


Xing Than= Lima Site 188

Xiang Khouang= Lima 2 PSP runway adjacent to the PDJ


Yankee Station= Aircraft Carrier racetrack off Vietnam in the So. China Sea


zipperhead=  derogatory contemporaneous term for any North Vietnamese Army (NVA or PAVN)) regular or Viet Cong soldier; Pathet Lao, Chinese Agricultural worker in Laos (aka gook, slope, Indians)

Zoomie–A member of the elite fighting force. Air Force member. also Pilot or PIC (Air America).

9 Responses to VET’S DICTIONARY

  1. Ronald Kipp says:

    I didn’t see FMF (Fleet Marine Force)
    I did see “Pecker Checker”

    As a Navy Corpsman”Doc” … I checked more feet than peckers. Although I did make a tidy sum for the NIOR (Not In Official Record)
    Stab and Slap Biacillin-LA out in the field in Thailand during ’86 Valiant Usher in Sattahip Thailand near Pattaya Beach

    DDIB (Damn Doc It Burns)
    PLD (Post Liberty Drip)
    PLB (Post Liberty Burn)
    OPAD (Off Post Acquired Drip)
    OPAB (Off Post Acquired Burn)
    Stab it then Slap that ass for waking you up at 0-F**K Me It’s Early

    If you came to sick call with your “ailment…’
    Single = Confined to Base
    Married = Notification sent to Wife

    I paid for NOTHING in Thailand

    Funny, it was always the white Marines. I guess the reason being…
    Quote “Oh no Chocolate Man too big” Unquote

    Cure for EVERYTHING Benadryl and Ibuprofen.
    Shot? Benadryl and Ibuprofen
    If you NEED a shot $20

    The one thing we did do … Looking back it was cruel.. Nah … still hilarious.
    If ever the “1 Finger Salute” was performed.
    The Dr would have his left hand on their back, and their index finger at attention … on Present Arms
    I’d take my right hand put in on the opposite side from the Drs just to see how long it took to register.
    Navy: 3.6 sec
    USMC: 2 min 32 sec
    We had a lot of repeat customers for prostate issues from the Marines.

    The 1 term we used our in the real world that would fit perfect.

    Sex With A Jar Of Planters
    (F**king Nuts)

    • asknod says:

      That’s funny. I didn’t see any of these FMF guys you talk about in the entire two years of being in-country (1970-1972. I disremember any proctology exams in the field. Fact is, I never met any Navy folks up country or anywhere I served. Sex with a jar of planters doesn’t seem very rewarding. Must be a Navy/FMF thing.

  2. Lou says:

    Very good list, however there is one glaring error…… BUFF = Big Ugly Flying Fu<(er AKA B-52. I was a Crew Chief aka "Ramp Ape" on CH-3E, HH-3E & MH-53J PAVELOW's. These aircraft were called Jolly Greens (CH-3E &HH-3E) and Super Jolly Greens (HH-53 PRE PAVELOW). This site is excellent, thank you for all of your hard work.
    Rescue, "These things we do so that others may live"
    AFSOC "PAVELOWS lead the way."

    • asknod says:

      Well, Lou. I’m well aware of the 38th ARRS HH-53 BUFFs. I also watched you fellows land every morning at Alternate and wait all day for a SAR call over my 4-month assignment there. As this is a family Friendly site, I used the accepted term that was printed on Det. 1’s sign facing out on the flightline at Udorn. If you remember, Col. David Mellish ordered you folks to take down the one with the (expletive deleted) in May 1970 when he arrived and took over the 432nd Wing. If I had left BUFFs out of the VD entirely, you might have a beef. I didn’t and you don’t. Move on, folks. Nothing to see here.

  3. Norm Smith says:

    Just found your dictionary. Several new to add to my existing dictionary, to include some Air America (e.g. ‘liquid sunshine’…), which I should have known, would have had many of their own acronyms. BTW, what is the acronym for “acronym”?…OK, sorry………..

  4. Miana says:

    Howard = God…”Howard be Thy name”. 2FF (Too f&cking funny)

  5. Robert G says:

    I have wondering for years about the training for a vso. What are the prerequisites? This guy is not like the ones I have been in contact with. I dealth with the dav numerous times and they were worthless. I also had the CDVA in los angeles who really screwed me in 2002. There must be some integrity with this job? Who is accountable for services rendered to vets? I would like to review the training or see what their testing looks like for accreditation. I would assume anger management courses are mandatory.

  6. bobby dott says:

    I was recently terminated as a part time “PAID” VSO with the VFW. I have done claims since 2004 and never once did I have a complaint of any kind. Ok, I put first name last and last name: you get the drift. But I was dismissed (office at Phila VAMC & Vet Centers) because, well they claimed I was a liability because I had a tendency to research and develop claims for vets. Vets who are illiterate, burned out, not sure what to do next… I didn’t bother to burn any bridges. I am waiting for my test date for NSO so I can work for myself. So, if the VFW in Philadelphia spent $331 twice a m month for 6 new part time service officers, who actually help with claims, my math says $47.664 a year salary. That’s half the tab of all the booze spent at the state and national conventions in 2011.

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