A knife carried by Marines.


 A helmet; while civilians know Kevlar as the brand-name of a bullet resistant material, Marines refer to their Kevlar helmets simply as Kevlars. NOTE: Even though flak jackets are also made of Kevlar, they are never referred to as such.

Kill Zone, Kill Box

The area where the enemy hopes to direct, channel and trap you in order to kill you. Or where you hope to do the same to him.

L.A.V.'s (Light Armored Vehicle)

Used only by the Marine Corps; amphibious, eight-wheeled machines that look like upside-down bathtubs painted black.

L.O.D. (Line Of Departure)

The border between Kuwait and Iraq.


The all-in-one pliers, screwdriver and knife tool carried by Marines.


Meal Ready to Eat; standard military fare, food manufactured a decade ago and served as a complete, self-heating meal in a plastic bag.

M.S.R. Eight

Main Supply Route Eight; any paved road is typically referred to as an "M.S.R."

M.S.R. Tampa

Main Supply Route Tampa; not only are roads designated M.S.R.s but American military planners have also given them names that will be easier for U.S. troops to pronounce than Arabic ones. 


A heavy, vehicle-mounted machine gun that fires armor-penetrating grenades instead of bullets; AKA MK-19, Mark-19, and Forty Mike-Mike.

M-249 SAW

Hand-held or bipod-mountable machine gun common to US Forces; "SAW" stands for Squad Automatic Weapon and fires at a rate of 750 rounds per minute; notoriously easy to discharge by accident, hence Marine folklore: "The SAW's got a mind of its own, it wants to kill a motherf***er."


Rifle carried by most recon Marines; similar to the standard US-military M-16 but with a shortened barrel and collapsible stock; NOTE: Officers and POGs carry M-16s.


Standard, bolt action Marine sniper rifle.


Northern Kuwait camp where these Marines stayed, with about 5,000 others, in the weeks before the invasion.


A nuclear, biological chemical protection suit; stands for Mission Oriented Protective Posture; can be an adjective as in "we were MOPPED-up," or wearing our MOPP suits.


From motivational, anything that expresses the highly-motivated spirit of Marines. Shouting Get Some! is a moto thing to do; Moto films are the small movies and slide shows Marines make documenting the crazy things they see in this war.


The white supremacist term for a non-white individual.

N.J.P. (Non-Judicial Punishment)

Next to a court martial, the most severe form of punishment to which a Marine can be subjected. It usually involves a loss of rank and pay-grade.

Navy Hospitalman 'Doc' Bryan

The medic, though medics in the Marine Corps are technically part of the Navy's hospital corps and are never referred to as "medics" but as Corpsmen. 

Negligent Discharge

Accidental firing of a weapon; AKA N.D.

No salute zone

Forward areas where officers are not to be acknowledged with salutes, in order to conceal rank from potential enemy observers. 

O Dark Hundred

Until darkness falls. NOTE: "O dark 30" typically means half an hour before dawn, or any ridiculously early hour of the morning. 

Oakley sunglasses

Surfer sunglasses worn by just about all Marines in Iraq; Iraqis believe Oakley's give Marines X-ray powers to see through women's clothing and are a constant source of tension. 

One M.E.F. (First Marine Expeditionary Force)

The overall Marine invasion Force in the Middle East, which is comprised of the First Division (ground troops) under command of Gen. Mattis, the Air Wing and a logistics battalion. The entire One M.E.F. is under the command of General James Conway.

Oscar Mike

"On the Move" from the phonetic alphabet.


A position that offers protective fire for a given area.

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