Marine Corps Slang

Language of the United States Marine Corps

Marines use a lot of acronyms and slang that make conversations sound like another language. This page will help you speak Marine.

Have questions? Hit the Contact Us at the Bottom of the Page and we'll get back to you with an explanation.


1000 yard Stare

Thousand-yard stare – unfocused gaze of a battle-weary servicemember.

1st Civ Div

1st Civilian Division. Civilian life, usually applied to Marines facing discharge or retirement. As in "getting assigned to 1st Civ Div." Also occasionally referred to as "1st Couch Company."


Forming a complete circle (as in on a compass (360°)) or covering avenues of approach/fire sectors in all 360 degress (every direction)

48, 72, 96

In hours, the standard liberty periods of two, three, four days.

4th Marine Dimension

Derogatory term for the 4th Marine Division, the division to which the ground combat element of the Marine Forces Reserve is assigned; used by active duty Marines to denote displeasure with the difference in culture and operating procedures within the division as opposed to active duty units.

5.56 hickey

Also known as the 5.56 kiss, this refers to the burn, scar, or blister resulting from a burn suffered (usually on the neck) due to hot brass ejected from a rifle


A three day weekend. you can request out of bounds travel to travel anywhere generally on the same coast. In bounds travel is typically considered a 350 mile radius.

8th & I

Nickname for Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. so named from its street address at the corner of 8th and I Streets SE.


A four day weekend. You can typically request special liberty out of bounds and travel cross country. In bounds is considered a 500 mile radius around base.


Short for amphibious tractor; also referred to as "Tracks."


Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company


Area of Operation during a deployment.


Ain't Ready to be a Marine Yet


Ammunition Supply Point, where ammo is stored and issued.


The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test. Scores on this test are used to determine qualification for MOS's and overall service.
To learn more, visit the ASVAB page.

ASVAB waiver

Insinuates someone's inability to pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)

Above my/your pay grade

Expression denying responsibility or authority (indicating that the issue should be brought to higher-ranking officials); alternatively, a semi-sarcastic way of telling someone that they're not authorized to receive certain information

Acquire/Tactically Acquire

When an item is not quite stolen, but definitely "grew legs" away from its rightful owner, which is almost always another unit or the government itself

Air Crew

Personnel that work on board any aircraft that can carry a crew (i.e. UH-1, C-130, CH-53, V-22, etc.), and are normally charged with loading gear, passengers, and manning the door/ tail guns

All Hands

The whole command; all Marines in the unit, no exceptions


Service Alpha uniform from the phonetic letter A

Ant Farm

Area of an encampment where the radio antennae are emplaced.

Army Gloves

An individual's hands being inside his or her pockets.


Short for Artillery.

As You Were

Order to disregard the immediately preceding order