Make your own free website on



This Glossary was compiled by Steve McDonald

Click on the letters below to jump to that part of glossary


.45 CAL. COLT AUTO------------------------------ Standard U.S. Army pistol

.50 CAL. MACHINE GUN------------------------------ Heavy machine gun

105 HOWITZER------------------------------ U.S. Artillery round

107-MM ROCKETS ------------------------------ A rocket used by the enemy with results similar to artillery

122 ROCKET ------------------------------ Enemy rocket used to bombard our base areas and air fields

500 POUNDER ------------------------------ Bomb size typical of those dropped by U.S. warplanes

55-GAL DRUM ------------------------------ Often used by enemy to store supplies for transport or concealment

57MM RECOILLESS RIFLE------------------------------ Communist made direct fire weapon similar to a bazooka

60MM MORTARS------------------------------ Small mortar used by communist forces

81MM MORTARS ------------------------------ Medium mortar used by U.S. forces

82MM MORTARS ------------------------------ Medium mortar used by communist forces

90MM RECOILLESS RIFLE ------------------------------U.S.weapon normally used against bunkers (similar to a bazooka)


ADD, DROP, LEFT, RIGHT------------------------------ Commands to adjust artillery or mortar fire

AGENT ORANGE ------------------------------ Chemical agent used for defoliation, later determined to be extremely toxic

AIMING STAKE------------------------------ Red and white stake used by artillery and mortars to align the aim of those weapons

AIR BOAT------------------------------ Shallow draft boat using an airplane type propeller for propulsion

AIR MATTRESS ------------------------------ Commonly used to float equipment across small canals or streams during crossings

AIRMOBILE OPERATION ------------------------------Infantry troops delivered to the objective by helicopter

AK ------------------------------ Slang for the AK-47 Soviet designed assault rifle

AK-47 ------------------------------ Basic infantry weapon of the Communist forces (30 round magazine, fully automatic)

AMBUSH (NIGHT) ------------------------------ A mission, under cover of darkness, designed to surprise and destroy enemy patrols

AMMO CAN------------------------------ Metal box used to store ammunition and protect it from the elements

ANTI-TANK MINE------------------------------ Mine typically buried in a road to destroy trucks or tanks

APC ------------------------------ Armored Personnel Carrier, lightly armored tracked vehicle

APO ------------------------------ Army Post Office

ARC LIGHT------------------------------ B52 Bombing Mission

ARTICLE 15 ------------------------------ Non-judicial punishment for minor infractions

ARTILLERY ------------------------------ Typically 105 howitzers posted in a Fire Support Base

ARVN ------------------------------ Army of the Republic of Vietnam (our allies)

AU DAIS ------------------------------ Attire for Vietnamese women

AZIMUTH ------------------------------ Using a compass, direction to a target in degrees or mils


B-52 ------------------------------ Largest U.S. Bomber

BABY SAN ------------------------------ G.I. term for a Vietnamese child

BANDOLIER ------------------------------ Cloth strip with pockets for carrying rifle ammunition

BANGALORE TORPEDO ------------------------------Pole like explosive charge used for destroying barbed wire obstacles

BATTALION ------------------------------ Infantry organization usually consisting of about 4-5 companies

BEE HIVE ROUND ------------------------------ Projectile for artillery or 90mm recoilless containing thousands of metal darts

BELT OF AMMUNITION ------------------------------Linked rounds for use by machine guns

BEN LUC ------------------------------ A medium sized town southwest of Saigon

BERM ------------------------------ Earthen rim around a base camp perimeter, providing some protection from direct fire

BIEN HOA ------------------------------ Town and air base roughly 20 miles north of Saigon

BINH CHANH ------------------------------ Town about 15 miles south of Saigon, near the Binh Dinh Bridge

BIRD DOG ------------------------------ Small plane used to mark targets for attack aircraft

BLACK PAJAMAS ------------------------------ Clothing worn by many Vietnamese, including some Vietcong

BLASTING CAP ------------------------------A triggering device for explosive charges

BLOCKING FORCE ------------------------------ An element deployed to block VC escape routes

BOA CONSTRICTOR ------------------------------A large non-poisonous snake native to Vietnam

BOOBY TRAP------------------------------ Deadly devices deployed in treacherous fashion with the objective to kill or maim

BOONIES ------------------------------ Term for a remote place

BOUNCING BETTY------------------------------ Anti-personnel mine that bounds into the air before exploding

BRIGADE ------------------------------ A unit consisting of battalions and attached units, normally around 4000 men

BUCK SERGEANT ------------------------------ Lowest ranking sergeant (E5 pay grade)

BUDDHISM ------------------------------ A major religion in Vietnam

BUG JUICE ------------------------------ Insect Repellent

BUNKER ------------------------------ Fortified position usually made of sandbags, earth, timbers, or cement

BUSH (1) ------------------------------ in "Going on Bush."

BUSH (2) ------------------------------ The in "Going to the Bush."


C-123 ------------------------------ A commonly used cargo plane in Vietnam, propeller driven, fixed wing

C-130 ------------------------------ A commonly used cargo plane in Vietnam, propeller driven, fixed wing

C-141 ------------------------------ Large cargo plane, jet aircraft...largest until C5 was deployed

C-4 ------------------------------ Plastic Explosive compound, carried by infantry in 2-pound blocks

CACHE ------------------------------ Concealed site to hide weapons and ammunition, etc.

CALL SIGN ------------------------------ On the radio, without using names, a coded means of identifying yourself to other allied forces

CAMOUFLAGE ------------------------------ To break up the image, to blend in with the surroundings

CAMOUFLAGE COVER------------------------------ A camouflage pattern covering the helmets of US troops

CAMP FRENZELL-JONES ------------------------------Brigade Main Base of the 199th at Long Binh, named after two fallen heroes of the unit

CAN GIOUC ------------------------------ A large town 20 miles south of Saigon

CANTEEN ------------------------------ Plastic container for carrying water

CAYUSE ------------------------------ Sometimes called a LOH (pronounced Loach)...a small observation chopper

CG ------------------------------ Commanding General

CHAIN OF COMMAND Military Organizational Chart...from the President down to a private.

CHALLENGE & PASSWORD ------------------------------Means of identifying friend or foe... at night. Seldom used in VN.

CHANDELIER FLARE------------------------------ Aerial light an area at night. To allow defenders to see attackers.

CHAPLAIN ------------------------------ Military equivalent of a minister or priest

CHARLIE ------------------------------ Nickname for the Vietcong based on the phoenetic alphabet lettter C (Charlie)

CHI-COM ------------------------------ Chinese Communist

CHIEU HOI ------------------------------ A program permitting enemy soldiers to rally to the Saigon government.

CHINOOK ------------------------------ A large cargo helicopter

CHOLON ------------------------------ The Chinese section of Saigon (southern part of the city)

CHOPPER ------------------------------ Slang for helicopter

CHUCK ------------------------------ Slang for Vietcong...Charlie

CIB ------------------------------ Combat Infantryman's Badge

CID ------------------------------ Criminal Investigation Division

CIDG ------------------------------ Civilian Irregular Defense Group

CLAYMORE MINE ------------------------------ Anti-personnel mines employed by both sides using different designs.

CLEANING ROD ------------------------------ Metal rod designed to draw a cleaning patch through the bore of a weapon.

CLIP ------------------------------ The part of a rifle that holds the ammunition.

CMAC ------------------------------ Capital Military Assistance Command

CMD------------------------------ Capital Military District (Saigon)

CO ------------------------------ Commanding Officer

COBRA ------------------------------ Nickname for an attack helicopter gunship

COBRA (2) ------------------------------ Deadly snake native to Vietnam

COMMO ------------------------------ Communications (radio)

COMPANY ------------------------------ A unit of soldiers numbering roughly 150-200 men

CONCERTINA WIRE ------------------------------Coils of barbed wire looking like a child's toy "Slinky"

CONEX ------------------------------ A large metal shipping container. Used in the rear to secure weapons, etc.

CONVOY ------------------------------ Series of vehicles moving together, with security assigned, for safety in numbers.

CORDON & SEARCH ------------------------------To quickly surround a village and search it for VC and weapons

CORDS ------------------------------ Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support

CORPSMAN ------------------------------Navy or Marine term for a medic

COSVN ------------------------------ Committee for the Office of South Vietnam. (Secret VC High Command)

COURT MARTIAL ------------------------------ Military trial

CP ------------------------------ Command Post

CRATER ------------------------------ Where earth has been displaced after an explosion...artillery, mortars, or bombs

C-RATIONS ------------------------------ Food unit for soldiers in the field

C's ------------------------------ Abbreviated term for C-Ration meals

CS GAS ------------------------------ Riot gas, nonlethal gas used to drive enemy soldiers from bunkers


DAISY CHAIN ------------------------------Explosives linked by detonating cord to fire simultaneously

DAISY CUTTER ------------------------------15,000 lb. bomb dropped by C-130's to clear landing zones in heavy jungle

DEAD RECKONING ------------------------------Navigating where there are no easily identified landmarks.

DELTA ------------------------------ Where a river meets the in Mekong Delta

DEMO ------------------------------Demolitions

DEMOLITIONS ------------------------------Usage of explosives

DENTCAP ------------------------------ Dental Civilian Assistance Program

DEROS ------------------------------ Date Eligible Return (from) Overseas

DET CORD ------------------------------ High explosives in the form of cord

DEUCE AND A HALF ------------------------------Two and a half ton truck

DIRECT FIRE ------------------------------Firing by line of sight as opposed to firing shells at distant unseen targets

DIVISION ------------------------------Large unit of approximately 10,000-15,000 troops

DMZ ------------------------------Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Vietnam

DOG TAGS ------------------------------Identifying metal tags carried by each soldier

DONG NAI RIVER ------------------------------A river flowing through the jungle northeast of Saigon past Bien Hoa

DON'T MEAN NUTHIN ------------------------------An expression of frustration

DOOR GUNNER ------------------------------A helicopter machine gunner acting as security for the helicopter and its occupants

DRAFTEE ------------------------------ Inducted into the armed forces involuntarily

DRY SEASON ------------------------------In the Saigon area, the six months ending around May 1 (very little rain)

DUC HOA ------------------------------Town west of Saigon near the Cambodian border

DUFFEL BAG ------------------------------A canvas bag used to carry clothing, etc.

DUST OFF ------------------------------Term used to refer to Medical Evacuation helicopter

DUSTER ------------------------------ A vehicle resembling a tank whose main guns are twin 40mm's


EAGLE FLIGHT------------------------------ An infantry assault via helicopter.

EARLY OUT ------------------------------Exiting the Army earlier than scheduled

ELEPHANT GRASS ------------------------------Very high grass with sharp blades,

EM CLUB ------------------------------Enlisted Men's Club

ENTRENCHING TOOL------------------------------ A small shovel for digging foxholes.

EVAC ------------------------------Medical Evacuation

EXTEND ------------------------------ Voluntarily staying in Vietnam additional time


F-100 SUPER SABRE ------------------------------Fighter bomber used as close air support for infantry

F-4 PHANTOM------------------------------ Fighter bomber most commonly used in the Vietnam War

FATIGUES ------------------------------Field or work clothing

FIELD OF FIRE ------------------------------An assigned area to be covered by fire.

FIRE AND MANEUVER ------------------------------A small unit combat tactic.

FIRE AND MOVEMENT ------------------------------A small unit combat tactic.

FIRE FIGHT ------------------------------ An armed engagement with enemy forces.

FIRE FOR EFFECT ------------------------------ A command given after adjusting fire, meaning, give me all the rounds you can.

FIRE IN THE HOLE ------------------------------Expression used to warn others of an impending explosion.

FIRE MISSION ------------------------------Command issued to request fire support

FIRE SUPPORT ------------------------------ Help from other elements to deliver fire on the enemy. (Mortar, artillery, gunship, bombers)

FIREBALL AVIATION ------------------------------Aviation group of the 199th Light Infantry Brigade

FISHNET FACTORY ------------------------------Forward headquarters of 199th in southern part of Saigon

FIVE TON ------------------------------ Largest truck

FLAK JACKET ------------------------------Armored vests worn by infantry soldiers

FLESHETTE ROUND ------------------------------Also called beehive round, employing steel darts

FLOPPY HAT ------------------------------ Common headgear worn in base areas.

FNG ------------------------------ New Guy, derogatory term to describe newly arrived soldiers

FO ------------------------------ Forward Observer to direct artillery or air support

FOUR DEUCE ------------------------------ 4.2 Inch Mortar

FRAG ------------------------------ Fragmentation Grenade

FREE ------------------------------ Written in upper right corner of envelope for free postage

FREEDOM BIRD ------------------------------The plane that returns the soldier home

FREQUENCY ------------------------------ The radio setting to be used by the unit.

FSB ------------------------------ Fire Support Base

FSB BARBARA ------------------------------Base in the Center of the Pineapple Region

FSB CHRIS ------------------------------ Base near the town of Binh Chanh

FSB CLAUDETTE ------------------------------ Base near the northeastern border of the Pineapple Region

FSB DART ------------------------------ Base near the Fishnet Factory in southern Saigon

FSB LIBBY ------------------------------ Base northwest of Xuan Loc

FSB STEPHANIE ------------------------------ Base close to Saigon, on southwest side


GI ------------------------------ Government Issue

GRAPPLING HOOK ------------------------------When attached to a rope and thrown out, used to set off booby traps remotely

GRID ------------------------------ One kilometer block of terrain on a map

GRUNT ------------------------------ An infantryman

GUARD ------------------------------ Person responsible for being alert while others rest.

GUNSHIP ------------------------------ Heavily armed attack helicopter.


HAMMER AND ANVIL ------------------------------An infantry tactic of driving the enemy toward another unit.

HAMMOCK ------------------------------ A poor substitute for a bed, but better than the ground

HE ------------------------------ High Explosive

HEAT TAB ------------------------------ Chemical tablet, that when ignited, is used to heat cans of food

HEAVY LEFT ------------------------------ A formation of helicopters in flight

HEAVY RIGHT ------------------------------ A formation of helicopters in flight

HO CHI MINH ------------------------------The leader of Communist North Vietnam

HO CHI MINH TRAIL ------------------------------ Network of trails, roads, waterways delivering enemy troops to South Vietnam.

HO NAI ------------------------------ Large village just outside the Brigade's Long Binh perimeter

HOOTCH ------------------------------ A small thatch building

HORSESHOE BEND------------------------------ An area along the Vam Co Dong River

HOSE DOWN ------------------------------ To saturate with gun fire

HUEY ------------------------------ The term used for the UH-1 helicopter

HUMP ------------------------------ To travel in the field, carrying rucksacks


II-FIELD FORCE ------------------------------ A high level command HQ in Long Binh

III-CORPS ------------------------------ Area surrounding Saigon

IMMERSION FOOT ------------------------------ Cracked, inflamed skin due to immersion in water for long periods

IN LINE ------------------------------ A helicopter formation in flight

IN TRAIL ------------------------------ A helicopter formation in flight

INCOMING ------------------------------ Enemy rounds or shells being fired at your location

IN-COUNTRY ------------------------------ Amount of time actually in Vietnam

INDIRECT FIRE ------------------------------ Firing at an unseen target with weapons like artillery or mortars

INDUCTEE ------------------------------ Another term for a draftee

INSTANT NCO ------------------------------Term for Sergeants graduating from Ft. Benning's NCOC program

IODINE TABLET ------------------------------ Used to purify water collected in the field.


JAG ------------------------------ Judge Advocate General

JOLLY GREEN GIANT ------------------------------Rescue helicopter for downed pilots

JUNGLE BOOTS ------------------------------Boots specially made for tropical zones, contain brass outlets to expel water

JUNGLE HAT ------------------------------ Floppy hat worn in secure areas.

JUNGLE ROT ------------------------------ Another term for immersion foot


K-54 ------------------------------ Pistol used by Communist officers

KIA ------------------------------ Killed in Action

KIT CARSON SCOUT ------------------------------Former Vietcong who rallied to the Saigon government, hired as scouts or aides

KLICK ------------------------------ One thousand meters

KOREAN ROAD ------------------------------ A road southwest of Saigon built by Korean troops


LAND NAVIGATION ------------------------------The art of moving from point to point using map and compass.

LATRINE ------------------------------ An outdoor toilet

LAW ------------------------------ Light Anti-tank Weapon

LBJ ------------------------------ Long Binh Jail

LCM ------------------------------ Landing Craft (Marine)

LIGHT FIRE TEAM ------------------------------ Team of helicopters, one spotting, one firing

LIGHT, SWIFT, AND ACCURATE ------------------------------Motto of 199th Light Infantry

LISTER BAG ------------------------------ A canvas bag designed to hold drinking water

LITTER ------------------------------ A small cot used to carry injured troops.

LOH ------------------------------ Light Observation Helicopter

LONG BINH ------------------------------ Large U.S. Base about 15 miles North of Saigon

LOW TIDE SEARCH ------------------------------ Searching along waterways, during low tide, looking for buried weapons under the water line.

LP ------------------------------ Listening Post

LRRP ------------------------------ Long Range Recon Patrol

LRRP RATION ------------------------------ Light weight freeze dried rations

LSA ------------------------------ Lubricating oil for M-16 rifles and other weapons

LT ------------------------------ Lieutenant

LZ ------------------------------ Landing Zone for helicopters


M-14 ------------------------------ A U.S. made infantry rifle (was the standard weapon prior to the M-16)

M-16 ------------------------------ The standard U.S. infantry weapon

M-60 ------------------------------ U.S. light machine gun

M-72 ------------------------------ Also known as the LAW (Light Anti-tank Weapon)

M-79 ------------------------------ A grenade launcher resembling a sawed off shotgun

MACHETE ------------------------------ A long bladed tool for chopping trails through the jungle

MACV ------------------------------ Military Assistance Command Vietnam

MAGAZINE ------------------------------ The part of a rifle that holds the ammunition

MALARIA TABLETS ------------------------------Two types employed, daily and weekly

MALAYAN FAN ------------------------------ A patrol technique used to thoroughly search an area

MAMA SAN ------------------------------GI term for a Vietnamese woman.

MAP COORDINATES------------------------------ Code to identify an exact point on the map.

MARKING ROUND ------------------------------ Explosion of a white phosphorus artillery round (in the air) to help units verify their location.

MEDCAP ------------------------------ Medical Civilian Assistance Program

MEDIC ------------------------------ Non-combatant whose job is to give first aid to wounded soldiers

MEKONG RIVER ------------------------------Large river south of Saigon

METER ------------------------------ Roughly 39 inches

MI ------------------------------ Military Intelligence

MIA ------------------------------ Missing in Action

MILLION DOLLAR WOUND------------------------------ A wound, not life threatening, but severe enough to end one's time in Vietnam

MINI GUN ------------------------------ Multi-barrel machine gun

MONSOON------------------------------ Rainy season lasting roughly six months in the Saigon area

MORPHINE ------------------------------ Drug used to lessen pain for injured soldiers.

MORTAR ------------------------------ A tube-like weapon used to fire shells at a high trajectory

MOS ------------------------------ Military Occupational Specialty

MOSQUITO NET ------------------------------Used to cover a person's sleeping quarters, to seal out mosquitoes

MP ------------------------------ Military Police

MPC ------------------------------ Military Payment Certificates (substitute for money)

MR. TWO STEP ------------------------------Reference to the Bamboo Viper


NAPALM ------------------------------ Jellied Gasoline used in bombs

NCO ------------------------------ Non-commissioned officer (Sergeants)

NCO CLUB ------------------------------ A club for Sergeants

NCOC ------------------------------Non-commissioned officers candidate (school for squad leaders)

NDP ------------------------------ Night Defensive Position

NEWBIE ------------------------------ Another term for a new guy

NGUYEN CAO KY ------------------------------Vice-president and former President of South Vietnam.

NGUYEN VAN THIEU------------------------------ President of South Vietnam.

NORTH VIETNAM ------------------------------Our enemy

NUMBAH ONE ------------------------------ Vietnamese way of expressing pleasure

NUMBAH TEN ------------------------------Vietnamese way of expressing displeasure

NUOC ------------------------------ Water

NUOC MAM ------------------------------ A fish sauce used on food by the Vietnamese.

NVA ------------------------------ North Vietnamese Army


OCS ------------------------------ Officers Candidate School

OVERHEAD COVER ------------------------------ Timbers covered with earth to protect bunkers from artillery and bombs


P-38 ------------------------------ A small can opener issued with C-rations

PAGODA ------------------------------ A Buddhist church.

PAIRS IN TRAIL ------------------------------ A helicopter formation in flight

PAPA SAN ------------------------------ G.I. term for a Vietnamese man

PARIS PEACE TALKS ------------------------------They didn't talk and didn't bring peace

PARROT'S BEAK ------------------------------ Border between Cambodian/Vietnam resembling a parrot's beak (west of Saigon)

PATROL ------------------------------ Traveling a planned route searching for the enemy.

PATROL LEADER ------------------------------ The patrol commander, regardless of rank.

PATROL ORDER ------------------------------Briefing before going on a mission.

PBR ------------------------------ Patrol Boat (River)

PEOPLE SNIFFER ------------------------------A scientific device used by helicopter crews to detect the presence of hidden enemy troops on the ground

PERIMETER ------------------------------ The outside boundary of a base camp or unit in the field

PF ------------------------------ Popular Forces (local Vietnamese units)

PFC ------------------------------ Private First Class

PHANTOM ------------------------------ Nickname for the F-4 Fighter Bomber

PHOENETIC ALPHABET ------------------------------A word for each letter of the alphabet, purpose is clarity over the radio (A=Alpha B=Bravo C=Charlie, etc.)

PHOENIX PROGRAM ------------------------------A program to destroy the Vietcong political infrastructure.

PHU THO RACE TRACK------------------------------ VC base area during the Tet 68 attacks

PIASTERS ------------------------------ Vietnamese money.

PINEAPPLE REGION ------------------------------Area West and Southwest of Saigon used as a base area by the VC

PL ------------------------------ Platoon Leader (Lieutenant)

PLAIN OF REEDS ------------------------------ Large marsh southwest of Saigon bordering Cambodia

PLATOON ------------------------------ Roughly 40 infantry soldiers

POINT ------------------------------ The lead element while on the move.

POINT MAN ------------------------------ The first man in line of a unit on the move.

PONCHO ------------------------------ A plastic/rubber garment used as a raincoat and ground cloth

PONCHO LINER ------------------------------A green, camouflage patterned, quilted, blanket substitute

PONCHO LITTER ------------------------------ Field litter made from a poncho and wooden poles

POTATO MASHER ------------------------------ A wooden handled grenade resembling those used by the Germans in World War II.

POW ------------------------------ Prisoner of War

PRC-25 ------------------------------ The field radio used by infantry platoons

PREP ------------------------------ Softening up an area before a helicopter assault. By artillery, etc.

PRESSURE RELEASE ------------------------------A type of triggering device for a booby trap.

PSG ------------------------------ Platoon Sergeant

PSY-OPS ------------------------------ Psychological Operations (head games)

PUNJI PIT ------------------------------ A camouflaged booby trap pit lined with sharpened strips of bamboo

PUNJI STICK ------------------------------Sharpened bamboo tipped with waste to invoke infection in the injured soldier.

PVT ------------------------------ Private

PX ------------------------------ Post Exchange (a store)

PYTHON ------------------------------ A large non-poisonous snake native to Vietnam.


R & R ------------------------------ Rest and Recreation

RA ------------------------------ RA (regular army)...service number prefix of volunteers

RAG BOAT ------------------------------ River Assault Group (shallow draft boats with drop down ramps)

RAPELLING ------------------------------ Mountaineering technique used to insert troops into an area when no landing zone is available.

REAR ECHELON ------------------------------Soldiers serving in rear areas

RECON ------------------------------ Observing an area, attempting to locate the enemy.

RECON BY FIRE ------------------------------ Firing on a treeline, for example, to bait the enemy into revealing his presence.

RED ANTS ------------------------------ Living in nests of leaves, common in the Pineapple region

REDCATCHER ------------------------------ Nickname for soldiers of the 199th Infantry Brigade

REMF ------------------------------ Derogatory term for those in the rear areas (Rear Echelon M---er F---ers)

RESUPPLY ------------------------------ Delivery of food, mail, etc. to troops in the field.

RF ------------------------------ Regional Forces (South Vietnamese unit)

RIF ------------------------------ Recon in force (a sweep)

ROCK N ROLL ------------------------------ To set a weapon's safety on "fully automatic".

ROCKET BELT ------------------------------From a base, the radius extending to the maximum range of enemy rockets.

ROK ------------------------------ Soldiers from the Republic of Korea

ROLLING THUNDER ------------------------------U.S. bombing campaign against North Vietnam

ROTC ------------------------------ Reserve Officers Training corps

RPG ------------------------------ Rocket Propelled Grenade employed by communist forces

RTO ------------------------------ Radio Telephone Operator (operator of the field radio)

RUBBER PLANTATION ------------------------------Area of rubber trees for harvesting of latex for commercial use

RUCK SACK ------------------------------ A back pack used by infantry for carrying supplies in the field

RUNG SAT ------------------------------ A swampy jungle generally east of Saigon

RVN ------------------------------Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam, our allies)


SAIGON ------------------------------ Capital of RVN

SAIGON COWBOY ------------------------------ A young motorbike riding Vietnamese. Not in the military.

SAIGON RIVER ------------------------------Running generally northwest to southeast along the northern part of Saigon

SAIGON TEA ------------------------------ Beverage purchased by US soldiers for young Vietnamese women at outrageous prices.

SAMPAN ------------------------------ Generally referring to a small wooden boats

SANDBAG ------------------------------ A plastic or cloth bag, filled with sand, used to fortify bunkers.

SAPPER ------------------------------ A Vietcong commando, specializing in sabotage.

SCOPE IT OUT ------------------------------To check it look into it.

SCORPION ------------------------------ An arachnid growing to 8-inches in length, with pinching claws, and a poisonous stinger at the tail.

SEARCH AND DESTROY ------------------------------Large unit tactic to locate and destroy the enemy in the jungle.

SELF PROPELLED 155 ------------------------------155mm Howitzer mounted on a tank-like chassis.

SGT ------------------------------ Sergeant

SHAKE AND BAKE ------------------------------ Term for NCO's trained at Ft. Benning's NCOC course

SHAPE CHARGE------------------------------ A demolition charge fashioned for a specific purpose

SHORT ------------------------------ Having only a short time remaining to serve in Vietnam

SHRAPNEL------------------------------ Fragments from an exploding projectile or booby trap.

SIKORSKY ------------------------------ A company who produced Heavy Lift helicopters

SKS ------------------------------ A semi-automatic rifle used by the VC

SLAP FLARE ------------------------------ A small aerial flare carried by infantry soldiers

SLICK ------------------------------ A troop carrying helicopter

SLING LOAD ------------------------------Cargo loads carried under helicopters in flight, attached by nylon straps

SNIPER ------------------------------ A concealed rifleman whose function is to attack from long range.

SNOOPY ------------------------------ A plane heavily armed as a weapons platform for nightime firing

SOUTH VIETNAM ------------------------------ The Republic of Vietnam

SP PACK ------------------------------ Supplementary Pack for C-rations (contains cigarettes, writing paper, etc)

SPEC-4 ------------------------------ Specialist-4 (ranked one grade above PFC and one below a Sergeant E-5)

SPIDER HOLE ------------------------------ A one man position (foxhole)

SQUAD ------------------------------ Roughly 10 soldiers

STAND DOWN ------------------------------ A period of rest and reorganization.

STARLIGHT SCOPE ------------------------------A night vision device

STEEL POT ------------------------------ A helmet

STRAFE ------------------------------ Firing at ground targets from a plane or helicopter

STROBE LIGHT ------------------------------A brightly flashing light for guiding helicopters to a unit at night

SUPER SABRE ------------------------------ The F-100 fighter bomber

SUPPLY ------------------------------ Group of people responsible for keeping a unit equipped.

SWEEP ------------------------------ A patrol.

SWIFT BOAT ------------------------------Another term for a Navy Patrol Boat.


TAN AN ------------------------------ A town south of Saigon

TAN SON NHUT ------------------------------The major airport / airbase in Saigon

TET ------------------------------ The lunar new year celebration when a major offensive was launched by the VC

TIGER ------------------------------ Large cat found in some jungle areas of Southeast Asia.

TIGER ALPHA ------------------------------Tactical Ambush

TIME FUSE ------------------------------ Slowly burning material used to trigger a blasting cap and then a demo charge.

TNT ------------------------------ Explosive material

TOC ------------------------------ Tactical Operations Center

TOE POPPER ------------------------------ A simple booby trap

TOP ------------------------------ A nickname for the Company First Sergeant

TRACER ------------------------------ A fired bullet that one can view in flight, allowing the gunner to easily adjust aim..

TRACK ------------------------------ An Armored Personnel Carrier or Armored Cavalry vehicle

TRACKER TEAM ------------------------------Soldiers using tracker dogs to follow a hot trail of enemy soldiers

TRIANGULATE ------------------------------ To pinpoint one's current location by drawing a back azimuth from two known locations.

TRIP FLARE ------------------------------ A small device, similar to a grenade, used to light a small area at night.

TRIP WIRE ------------------------------ In a booby trap, a wire attached to the pin of a grenade, that when tightened, removes the pin and activates the device.

TRIPLE CANOPY JUNGLE ------------------------------Three distinct layers of vegetation in a jungle

TU DIA ------------------------------ A danger sign sometimes employed by VC to warn their own comrades of booby traps

TUNNEL RATS ------------------------------ Soldiers who voluntarily entered tunnels.


UCMJ ------------------------------ Uniform Code of Military Justice

UH-1 ------------------------------ The most commonly used helicopter in Vietnam

US ------------------------------ Service number prefix for draftees

US AID ------------------------------ U.S. Agency for Industrial Development


VAM CO DONG RIVER ------------------------------A large river southwest of Saigon

VAM CO TAY RIVER ------------------------------A large river southwest of Saigon

VC ------------------------------ Vietcong (Victor Charlie...from phoenetic alphabet)

VICTOR CHARLIE ------------------------------ From the letters V and C in the phoenetic alphabet)

VUNG TAU ------------------------------ A town on the South China Sea, at the entrance to the port of Saigon


WATCH ------------------------------ A soldier or soldiers acting as security for the group at night...allowing others to sleep.

WATER BUFFALO ------------------------------ A large animal used for plowing rice paddies

WATER BUFFALO (2) ------------------------------A large tank of water, sling loaded by helicopter to serve troops in Fire Support Bases

WHITE PHOSPHORUS ------------------------------A hotly burning material in artillery shells and hand grenades to trigger fires.

WIA ------------------------------ Wounded in Action

WIDOW MAKER ------------------------------Slang for the M-16 rifle.

WILLY PETER ------------------------------ Nickname for White Phosphorus

WORLD ------------------------------ Nickname for the U.S. by soldiers in Vietnam


XUAN LOC ------------------------------ Town about 60 miles northeast of Saigon

XO ------------------------------ Executive Officer


Y-BRIDGE ------------------------------ Site of heavy fighting in May 68 in southern part of Saigon


ZAP ------------------------------ To kill