Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Don't sweat the small stuff

There are two phrases you'll become quite acquainted with as the years go on; "Semper Gumby" AKA "Always Flexible" and "Hurry up and wait". Those are two favorites in the Corps.

Learn it... Live it... Embrace it.

Seriously, as hard as it may seem sometimes, Don't sweat the small stuff. You just need to learn to go with the flow.

The Marine Corps loves to wait till the last minute to give you orders. Weather they be for a work up, deployment or an PCS move, you most likley won't get them till the last minute.

The best way to deal?
Find humor everywhere.

I have been in some pretty crappy places, some pretty crappy situations, and forced myself to find some humor, somewhere. It helps you cope. It takes that sting out of the painful, awkward, or otherwise difficult moments in life. And humor is one of those conversations you can have with yourself because you always get your own jokes. As a side note, as much as it may pain you, never ridicule someone for a dark sense of humor. We aren't them and they aren't us, but we are just trying to get by.

I think Plato best puts this in perspective by saying,
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle."

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Jarhead Jargon

Does this sound familiar?

"Honey, I have to leave for work ASAP. I really have a hectic day ahead of me. We have a PFT at O-Dark-Thirty and a JOB after PT, so I need to get my gear squared away. I'm the NCOIC and I have a meeting with the CO and XO about an MP who went UA. After my meeting, the Juniors need to field day the barracks, then we have to pack our 782 gear for a hump tomorrow. I will also take my LES to S-1 and check on the BAH so it's taken care of before I leave on the MEU with the BLT next month. I need to stop off at the PX and pick up a cover and a set of hashmarks before we secure for the ninety-six. See you around 1800."

If all this sounds like a foreign language to you... don't worry. There are times when a military member speaks to us in a language that leaves us feeling totally lost as to just what is being said. This secret language is known as Jarhead Jargon. Hopefully, the following information will help with understanding what is being said to you and you can feel "squared away."AD: Active Duty
ASAP: As Soon As Possible
ASVAB: Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (skills test)--required to join the armed forces
allotment: specific amount deducted from a Marine's pay and sent to another entity
armor: someone who works in the armory
armory: facility used for storage of weapons and ammunition
As You Were: Resume Former Activity
BAH: Basic Allowance for Housing
BAS: Basic Allowance for Subsistence
BEQ: Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (barracks)
BLT: Battalion Landing Team, main body of infantrymen that make up a MEU
BN: Battalion
BOQ: Bachelor Officer Quarters
barracks: building where single Marine's live or a duty station where they serve
base pay: amount serviceman earns per month based on rank and years of service
Blouse: Cammie Shirt
boot: a new recruit or young Marine
Boot Lewy: 2nd Lieutenant
Brass: Officers
Brig: military jail
Brown Bagger: Married Marine
bulkhead: wall
Buttcan: Ashtray
Butter Bar: 2nd Lieutenant
BX: Base Exchange (See PX/MCX)
CAO: Casualty Assistance Officer
CHAMPUS: Civilian Health And Medical Program of the U.S. (Now called TRICARE)
CG: Commanding General.
CMC: Commandant of the Marine Corps
CO: Commanding Officer
COLA: Cost of Living Allowance
CONUS: Continental United States
CWO: Chief Warrant Officer, also called Warrant Officers
Cammies: Camouflage uniform
Chopper: Helicopter
Chow Hall: Where a Marine eats, like a cafateria

civilian: anyone not in the military
Click: One kilometer or one notch of a rifle sight
comm: communications

Commander In Chief: President of the United States
commissary: grocery store on base run by DeCA (Defense Commissary Association)
cover: hat; also to find shelter or protection in combat
CPL: Corporal, A Marine holding the rank of E-4
CWO2: Chief Warrant Officer 2, A Marine holding the rank of W2
CWO3: Chief Warrant Officer 3, A Marine holding the rank of W3
CWO4: Chief Warrant Officer 4, A Marine holding the rank of W4
CWO5: Chief Warrant Officer 5, A Marine holding the rank of W5
DADD's NCO: Dependant Affairs During Deployment: see also FRSNCO
DI: Drill Instructor
DIV: Division
DEERS: Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (used to register dependents for Tricare)
DET: detachment; group of Marines from one unit assigned to another

DOD: Department of Defense
deck: floor
dependent: a Marine's spouse or child
deployment: when a Marine's unit departs its home base for an extended period of time, can be weeks or months depending on the mission
deuce gear: see 782 gear
Devildog: Another name for a Marine
EAS: End of Active Service
EST: Essential Subjects Training
field day: day set aside for cleaning the office and barracks (Usually Thursday's)
float: to be deployed at sea, usually on a MEU as in "six month float"
Float: Deployment by ship
FMF: Fleet Marine Force
FMFLANT: Fleet Marine Force Atlantic
FMFPAC: Fleet Marine Force Pacific
FRO: Family Readiness Officer
FRSNCO: Family Readiness Staff NCO (formerly DADD) usually the one left behind to handle dependant affairs when a unit goes on a deployment
FSA: Family Separation Allowance (also called Seps)
FSSG: Force Service Support Group
Geedunk: Another term for food, usually a snack
Go-Fasters: Running shoes
Good to go: Ready to move, agree with, situation ok
Grunt: A Marine infantryman.
gung ho: ready, fired up, enthusiastic
gungy: enthusiastic, motivated
GySGT: Gunnery Sergeant, A Marine Holding the rank of E-7

HQMC: Headquarters Marine Corps
hashmark: stripes worn on forearm of dress and service uniforms by enlisted Marines, each denotes 4 yrs of service
hatch: door
head: bathroom
High and Tight: Another term for a haircut
Horn: Radio
hostess house: hotel on base (see "Navy Lodge")
hump: field march
IG: Inspector General
JOB: "junk on the bunk"; field gear and uniforms displayed on bed for inspection
John Wayne: A grandstander, or descriptive of a bold act
Junior Marine: A term used to describe a Marine ranked E1-E3
KV: Key Volunteer (official point of contact for military spouses)

ladderwell: stairway
leave: vacation time
Ink Stick: Black Pen
LES: Leave and Earnings Statement
LCPL: Lance Corporal, A Marine holding the rank of E-3
K-BAR: A Marine's fighting knife
Klick: A kilometer
Lifer: A Career Marine
MAG: Marine Air Group
MAGTF: Marine Air-Ground Task Force
MARDIV: Marine Division
MARS: Military Affiliated Radio System; used for sending messages to those deployed
MSGT: Master Sergeant, A Marine holding the rank of E-8

MAW: Marine Air Wing
MCAS: Marine Corps Air Station
MCX: Marine Corps Exchange (store on base)
MEB: Marine Expeditionary Brigade
MEF: Marine Expeditionary Force
MEMQ: Marine Enlisted Married Quarters
MEU: Marine Expeditionary Unit, group of Marines organized for a float
MOQ: Married Officer Quarters
MOS: Military Occupational Specialty (AKA: Marine's Job)
Moon Beam: Flashlight
Moon Floss: Toilet paper
Most Ricky Tick: In a hurry; with a purpose; move fast
MP: Military Police
Military brat: a term of endearment given to children born and reared in the service
Navy Lodge: hotel on base (see "hostess house")

NCO: Non-Commissioned Officer (E4-E5)
NCOIC: Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge
NH: Naval Hospital
NRMC: Naval Regional Medical Center
ninety-six: four-day weekend pass (96 hours--usually given for holidays)
OOD: Officer of the Day
OIC: Officer In Charge
OJT: On the Job Training
O-Dark Thirty: after midnight and before working hours
Ooh-Rah: Marine Corps motivational term
Op Tempo: Operational Tempo; how frequently a unit deploys or goes to the fieldep ops: short for operations
Pouge: Anyone other than infantry
PCS: Permanent Change of Station (moving to another base)
PEBD: Pay Entry Base Date
PFC: Private First Class, Marine holding the rank of E-2

PFT: Physical Fitness Test
PT: Physical Training
PTAD: Permissive Temporary Additional Duty like recruiter assistance
PVT: Private, A Marine holding the rank of E-1
PX: Post Exchange (same as MCX)

RED: Record of Emergency Data found in member's SRB
rack: bed
recruit: an individual attending boot camp
S-1: Administrative Section of a unit
S-2: Intelligence Section
S-3: Operations and Training Section
S-4: Logistics and Supply Section
Squid: Sailor
782 Gear: Also "Deuce" gear; includes pack, canteen, poncho, ammo pouch, etc. used when in the field. 782 refers to the DD Form signed when gear is issued
SGLI: Servicemen's Group Life Insurance
SGT: Sergeant, A Marine holding the rank of E-5
SgtMaj: Sergeant Major, A Marine holding the rank of E-9
SgtMajMC: Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
SOP: Standard Operating Procedure
SNCO: Staff Non Commissioned Officer
SRB: Service Record Book
SSGT: Staff Sergeant, A Marine holding the rank of E-6

SSN: Social Security Number
scuttlebutt: rumor, gossip
secure: lock up, close, take care of, finish for the day
Semper Fi: short for Semper Fidelis which is Latin for "Always Faithful"
seventy-Two: three day pass (72 hours)
Sick Bay: hospital, clinic or office of medical personnel
Sick Call: assigned time for ill Marines to go to sick bay (usually first thing in the morning)
skivvies: underwear
sponsor: military member responsible for a dependent; also military member assigned to help another military member plan for and adjust to a new duty station
squared away: prepared, taken care of, sharp looking
TAD: Temporary Additional Duty
TLA: Temporary Living Allowance
TMO: Traffic Management Office
TRICARE: Managed Health Care Program for military families (replaced CHAMPUS)
UA: Unauthorized Absence
VA: Veterans Administration
WESTPAC: Western Pacific tour, such as Okinawa

WM: Woman Marine, some female Marines find this phrase an insult
WO: Warrant Officer or refering to a Marine holding he rank of WO1
Water Buffalo: A large water tank on wheels
Whitewall: Standard Marine haircut
XO: Executive Officer (2nd in command of a unit)
Zoomie: Anyone in the U.S. Air Force

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

So you married a Marine...

First of all, I want to say, welcome to the silent ranks.

Second, you need to brace yourself for one hell of a ride.

So many people come in and have this total misconception that this is going to be a "normal" marriage. First of all "normal" marriages are in no way "easy" a marriage is a lot of hard work no matter what. But something a lot of women don't understand is being a Marine (or service member in general) isn't just a job... It's a life style.

As the saying goes, If the Marine Corps wanted you to have a wife, they would have issued you one.

The Marine Corps as a whole doesn't make a marriage any easer on you. Not to be a depressor, but stistics show that 66 and 75 percent of military marriages end in divorce. Mainly because the majority of the wives just arent cut out or prepaired for the lengthy separations, frequent moves, and all the other frustrations that the Marine Corps has to dish out.

I hear women complain over and over "I didn't sign up for this" or "I wasn't the one who signed the contract, my husband was". Well yes, that may be true, but either Marrying a Marine, or having your husband enlist in the Marine Corps after you were married... You should have fully known what you were getting yourself into.

To spite whatever you may believe, you will be married to military life as much as you are married to your husband. Very little of it will be easy, it takes dedication and strength to deal with everything.

There's a saying that goes: "Live every day as if he deploys tomorrow". I think that's my motto through his time in service. WE've already been through a couple deployments and countless temporary duty assignments that call DH away for days or weeks... With another deployment just looming around the corner, you need to make the best of the little time you have together.