Top 35 Slang For Forces – Meaning & Usage

When it comes to the world of armed forces, there’s a whole new language that goes beyond the standard military terminology. Curious to learn the lingo that soldiers use behind the scenes? Look no further as we unveil a list of the most popular and intriguing slang for forces that will leave you feeling like part of the elite squad. Get ready to be in the know and impress your friends with your newfound knowledge!

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1. Grunts

Grunts is a term used to refer to infantry soldiers in the military. It is often used to describe those who are on the front lines and involved in direct combat.

  • For example, a veteran might say, “I was a grunt during my time in the army.”
  • In a war movie, a character might say, “The grunts are the backbone of our forces.”
  • During a military discussion, someone might ask, “What’s life like for grunts in the field?”

2. Jarheads

Jarheads is a slang term used to refer to Marines in the military. It originated from the high and tight haircuts that Marines often have, which make their heads resemble jars.

  • For instance, a Marine might say, “I’m proud to be a jarhead.”
  • In a conversation about different branches of the military, someone might ask, “What’s the difference between jarheads and soldiers?”
  • During a military-themed event, a speaker might say, “We have several jarheads in the audience tonight.”

3. Squids

Squids is a slang term used to refer to Navy sailors in the military. It is often used in a playful or lighthearted manner.

  • For example, a sailor might say, “I’ve been a squid for five years now.”
  • During a discussion about military branches, someone might ask, “Are squids and jarheads stationed together on ships?”
  • In a military-themed movie, a character might say, “We need to get those squids on board to help with the mission.”

4. Zoomies

Zoomies is a slang term used to refer to Air Force personnel in the military. It is often used in a friendly or joking manner.

  • For instance, an Air Force member might say, “I’m proud to be a zoomie.”
  • During a conversation about different branches of the military, someone might ask, “What’s the difference between zoomies and jarheads?”
  • In a military-themed event, a speaker might say, “We have several zoomies in the audience tonight.”

5. Puddle Pirates

Puddle Pirates is a slang term used to refer to Coast Guard members in the military. It is often used in a playful or lighthearted manner.

  • For example, a Coast Guard member might say, “I’ve been a puddle pirate for ten years now.”
  • During a discussion about different branches of the military, someone might ask, “What’s the difference between puddle pirates and squids?”
  • In a military-themed movie, a character might say, “We need those puddle pirates to help with the rescue mission.”

6. Leathernecks

This term is used to refer to members of the United States Marine Corps. It originated from the leather collars that were part of the Marine Corps uniform during the 19th century.

  • For example, a Marine might say, “I’m proud to be a Leatherneck and serve my country.”
  • In a discussion about military branches, someone might ask, “What sets the Leathernecks apart from other branches?”
  • A person might comment, “The Leathernecks are known for their toughness and resilience.”

7. Wingnuts

This term is used to refer to people who are passionate about aviation or aircraft. It is often used in a lighthearted or playful manner.

  • For instance, a person who loves airplanes might say, “I’m a total wingnut. I can’t get enough of aviation.”
  • In a conversation about air shows, someone might ask, “Are there any wingnuts here who have seen the Blue Angels perform?”
  • A person might comment, “Wingnuts are always excited to see the latest advancements in aviation technology.”

8. Devil Dogs

This term is used as a nickname for Marines. It originated during World War I when German soldiers called Marines “Teufel Hunden,” which translates to “Devil Dogs” in English.

  • For example, a Marine might say, “Once a Devil Dog, always a Devil Dog.”
  • In a discussion about military history, someone might ask, “Why are Marines called Devil Dogs?”
  • A person might comment, “The Devil Dogs have a strong reputation for their bravery and tenacity.”

9. Swabbies

This term is used to refer to sailors, particularly those in the United States Navy. It originated from the slang term “swab,” which refers to a mop used for cleaning the deck of a ship.

  • For instance, a sailor might say, “I’m proud to be one of the swabbies who keeps our Navy strong.”
  • In a conversation about naval traditions, someone might ask, “Do swabbies still have to clean the decks by hand?”
  • A person might comment, “Swabbies are known for their hard work and dedication to their duties.”

10. Airmen

This term is used to refer to members of the United States Air Force. It is a gender-neutral term that encompasses both men and women in the Air Force.

  • For example, an Air Force member might say, “I’m proud to be one of the airmen defending our skies.”
  • In a discussion about military branches, someone might ask, “What sets the airmen apart from other branches?”
  • A person might comment, “Airmen are trained in a variety of specialties, from piloting aircraft to maintaining advanced technology.”

11. Coasties

This term is used to refer to members of the United States Coast Guard. It is a nickname that highlights their role in guarding the coastlines and waterways of the country.

  • For example, “Coasties are often involved in search and rescue operations.”
  • A person might say, “I have a friend who is a Coastie stationed in Alaska.”
  • In a discussion about military branches, someone might ask, “What are the requirements to join the Coasties?”

12. Doughboys

This term originated during World War I and was used to refer to American infantrymen. It is believed to have originated from the buttons on their uniforms, which resembled doughnut holes.

  • For instance, “Doughboys played a significant role in the trenches during the war.”
  • In a discussion about military history, one might say, “The Doughboys were known for their bravery and resilience.”
  • A person interested in World War I might ask, “What were the major battles fought by the Doughboys?”

13. Seabees

The term “Seabees” is used to refer to members of the U.S. Navy’s construction battalions. They are responsible for building and maintaining infrastructure in military bases and other locations.

  • For example, “Seabees are trained in various construction trades.”
  • A person might say, “My cousin is a Seabee and has built schools in different countries.”
  • In a discussion about military roles, someone might ask, “What are the specific tasks performed by Seabees?”

14. Top Guns

This term is used to describe highly skilled fighter pilots, particularly those who have achieved a high level of proficiency in aerial combat. It gained popularity due to the 1986 movie “Top Gun” starring Tom Cruise.

  • For instance, “Top Guns are known for their exceptional flying skills and tactical abilities.”
  • In a discussion about military aviation, one might say, “Becoming a Top Gun is a dream for many aspiring fighter pilots.”
  • A person interested in aerial warfare might ask, “Who are some famous Top Guns in history?”

15. Black Berets

The term “Black Berets” is used to refer to U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers who wear black berets as part of their uniform. It is a symbol of their elite status and specialized training.

  • For example, “Black Berets are highly trained in unconventional warfare and counterterrorism.”
  • A person might say, “My brother is a Black Beret and has served in various special operations.”
  • In a discussion about military units, someone might ask, “What are some notable missions carried out by the Black Berets?”

16. Blue Falcons

This term refers to someone in the military who betrays their fellow service members for personal gain or to avoid trouble. The term “Blue Falcon” is derived from the acronym “BF,” which stands for “Buddy F****r.”

  • For instance, if a soldier reports their comrades for a minor infraction to avoid punishment themselves, they would be considered a Blue Falcon.
  • In a conversation about trust within the military, one might say, “Nobody wants to be stuck with a Blue Falcon in their unit.”
  • A veteran might share a story, saying, “I had a Blue Falcon in my squad who would always take credit for our hard work.”

17. Gun Bunnies

This term is used to describe individuals who have a particular interest or fascination with artillery and heavy weaponry. It is often used in a lighthearted or playful manner.

  • For example, a soldier who enjoys operating and learning about different types of artillery might proudly identify themselves as a Gun Bunny.
  • In a discussion about military hobbies, one might say, “I’m not really into guns, but I have a friend who’s a total Gun Bunny.”
  • A Gun Bunny might share their enthusiasm, saying, “I’ve always loved the power and precision of artillery. It’s like a work of art to me.”

18. Tankers

This term refers to individuals who serve as crew members in tanks, which are heavily armored military vehicles. Tankers are responsible for operating and maintaining these vehicles.

  • For instance, a soldier who specializes in tank operations would be considered a Tanker.
  • In a conversation about military roles, one might say, “I have a lot of respect for Tankers. It takes a special kind of person to handle those machines.”
  • A Tanker might share their experiences, saying, “Being a Tanker is intense. The power and size of those vehicles is unmatched.”

19. Grunts in the Sky

This term is used to describe soldiers who are trained and equipped for airborne operations, specifically parachute jumps from aircraft. “Grunts” is a colloquial term for infantry soldiers, while “in the sky” refers to their airborne capabilities.

  • For example, a soldier who is part of an airborne unit would be considered a Grunt in the Sky.
  • In a discussion about military specialties, one might say, “I have a lot of respect for Grunts in the Sky. Jumping out of planes takes serious courage.”
  • A Grunt in the Sky might share their perspective, saying, “Being part of an airborne unit is physically demanding, but the thrill of jumping into action is unmatched.”

20. Snake Eaters

This term is used to refer to members of elite military units, such as Special Forces or Green Berets. “Snake Eaters” is a nickname derived from the idea that these soldiers are so skilled and resourceful that they can survive in any environment, even if it means eating snakes for sustenance.

  • For instance, a soldier who is part of a Special Forces unit would be considered a Snake Eater.
  • In a conversation about military capabilities, one might say, “Snake Eaters are the best of the best. They can handle any mission, no matter how challenging.”
  • A Snake Eater might share their experiences, saying, “The training to become a Special Forces soldier is incredibly rigorous, but it’s worth it to be part of such an elite group.”

21. Black Hats

This term refers to skilled computer hackers who use their expertise to break into computer systems or networks. The term “black hat” comes from the idea of these hackers being on the “dark” or illegal side of hacking.

  • For example, a cybersecurity professional might say, “Black hats are constantly trying to find vulnerabilities in our system.”
  • In a discussion about cybersecurity, someone might ask, “What are some common tactics used by black hats?”
  • A news article might report, “A group of black hats recently breached a major government agency’s database.”

22. Frogmen

This term refers to members of the United States Navy SEALs, an elite special operations force. The term “frogmen” originated from the early days of underwater demolitions, when these special operators would swim underwater using fins, resembling frogs.

  • For instance, a military documentary might feature interviews with former frogmen.
  • In a conversation about special forces, someone might ask, “Are all Navy SEALs considered frogmen?”
  • A news article might mention, “A team of frogmen successfully completed a high-risk mission.”

23. Warthogs

This term refers to the A-10 Thunderbolt II, a close air support aircraft used by the United States Air Force. The term “Warthog” comes from the aircraft’s appearance, with its wide, low-slung body and snout-like nose.

  • For example, a military aviation enthusiast might say, “The Warthog is known for its impressive firepower.”
  • In a discussion about military aircraft, someone might ask, “What are the main advantages of the Warthog?”
  • A news article might report, “The Warthogs provided crucial air support during the ground offensive.”

24. Dogfaces

This term refers to infantry soldiers, particularly those who served during World War II. The term “dogface” originated from the rough and rugged appearance of infantry soldiers, often covered in dirt and resembling a dog.

  • For instance, a military historian might refer to World War II soldiers as dogfaces.
  • In a conversation about military roles, someone might ask, “What are the main responsibilities of dogfaces?”
  • A war veteran might share, “I was proud to be a dogface and serve alongside my fellow soldiers.”

25. GI

This term refers to a member of the United States military, particularly during World War II. The term “GI” originated from the abbreviation “Government Issue,” which was stamped on military equipment to indicate it was standard issue.

  • For example, a war veteran might refer to themselves as a GI.
  • In a discussion about military history, someone might ask, “What was life like for GIs during World War II?”
  • A news article might mention, “Thousands of GIs were deployed overseas during the conflict.”

26. Rangers

The term “Rangers” refers to members of the United States Army Ranger Regiment, an elite special operations force. Rangers are highly trained in combat and are known for their ability to conduct direct-action raids, airfield seizures, and special reconnaissance missions.

  • For example, “The Rangers were deployed to eliminate a high-value target.”
  • In a discussion about military units, someone might say, “The Rangers are one of the most respected special operations forces in the world.”
  • A news article might read, “The Rangers successfully completed a mission to rescue hostages in a hostile territory.”

27. Bluejackets

The term “Bluejackets” is a slang term used to refer to sailors in the United States Navy. It originated from the blue-colored uniforms worn by sailors in the past.

  • For instance, “The bluejackets were responsible for maintaining the ship’s equipment.”
  • In a conversation about naval traditions, someone might mention, “Bluejackets have a long history of serving at sea.”
  • A retired sailor might say, “I was proud to be a bluejacket during my time in the Navy.”

28. Screaming Eagles

The term “Screaming Eagles” refers to the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army. The division is known for its distinctive shoulder sleeve insignia featuring an eagle with its wings spread.

  • For example, “The Screaming Eagles were deployed to provide support during a humanitarian crisis.”
  • In a discussion about military history, someone might mention, “The Screaming Eagles played a crucial role in the Normandy invasion during World War II.”
  • A news report might read, “The Screaming Eagles conducted a successful air assault operation in a hostile territory.”

29. SEALs

SEALs, which stands for Sea, Air, and Land, are members of the United States Navy’s special operations force. They are highly trained in maritime operations, airborne operations, and land warfare. SEALs are known for their expertise in counter-terrorism, reconnaissance, and direct action missions.

  • For instance, “The SEALs conducted a daring raid to eliminate a high-profile terrorist.”
  • In a conversation about elite military units, someone might say, “The SEALs are one of the most elite special forces in the world.”
  • A news article might read, “The SEALs rescued hostages from a pirate-infested area.”

30. Green Berets

The term “Green Berets” refers to members of the United States Army Special Forces, also known as the Green Berets. They are highly trained in unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, and special reconnaissance. Green Berets are known for their expertise in working with indigenous forces and conducting sensitive missions.

  • For example, “The Green Berets trained local forces to combat insurgent groups.”
  • In a discussion about special operations forces, someone might mention, “The Green Berets have a reputation for their adaptability and cultural understanding.”
  • A news report might read, “The Green Berets successfully completed a covert mission behind enemy lines.”

31. Airborne

This term refers to soldiers who are trained to be deployed by parachuting from aircraft into combat zones. “Airborne” can also be used to describe units or divisions that specialize in parachute operations.

  • For example, “He joined the Airborne division and became a paratrooper.”
  • In a discussion about military tactics, someone might say, “The Airborne units play a crucial role in rapid deployment.”
  • A soldier might proudly state, “I’m part of the Airborne, ready to jump into action at a moment’s notice.”

32. Riggers

In the military, “riggers” are personnel responsible for packing and maintaining parachutes. They ensure that the parachutes are properly folded and rigged for safe and effective use.

  • For instance, “The riggers inspected and packed the parachutes before the jump.”
  • In a conversation about military job roles, someone might ask, “Are you a rigger? How do you like the job?”
  • A soldier might say, “I have a lot of respect for the riggers. They have a crucial role in ensuring our safety during airborne operations.”

33. POGs

This term is used to refer to military personnel who are not directly involved in combat operations. It is often used in a somewhat derogatory manner to distinguish non-combat roles from frontline infantry.

  • For example, “He’s a POG, working in the logistics department.”
  • In a discussion about military life, someone might say, “POGs play a vital role in supporting the combat troops.”
  • A soldier might jokingly say, “I’d rather be a grunt than a POG any day.”

34. Night Stalkers

This term specifically refers to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), which is a highly specialized unit of the U.S. Army. The Night Stalkers are known for their ability to conduct nighttime missions, often involving helicopter operations.

  • For instance, “He’s a member of the Night Stalkers, one of the most elite aviation units in the world.”
  • In a conversation about special operations, someone might ask, “Have you heard about the Night Stalkers? They’re incredible.”
  • A soldier might proudly state, “I served with the Night Stalkers during my time in the military.”

35. Recon

This term refers to the military practice of gathering information about enemy forces, terrain, or other aspects of the battlefield. “Recon” can also be used to describe the specialized units or personnel who conduct these missions.

  • For example, “He’s part of the Recon team, gathering intelligence on enemy movements.”
  • In a discussion about military tactics, someone might say, “Recon missions are crucial for planning successful operations.”
  • A soldier might explain, “During my time in the military, I was trained in recon techniques to gather information for my unit.”
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