The military uses too many fucking acronyms and special lingo – so here’s some help…
SSN: A vessel designator used by the United States Navy. The ‘SS’ part means that the vessel is a submarine, or is a member of the Silent Service. The ‘N’ part means that it is Nuclear powered. I would rather have a sea urchin shoved up my dickhole than serve one more day aboard one of these nightmarish boats.
FPO-AP: A designator used by the United States Post Office. The ‘FPO’ part means that it is a Forward Post Office. The ‘AP’ part means that it is in the Asia-Pacific theater. Fuck the U.S. Mail and fuck the military.
FTN: An acronym used meaning Fuck The Navy. The chances of me re-enlisting in the Navy are somewhere between absolute-zero, and Blake Lively sitting on my face.
STS-FTC: Support The SNOB – Fuck The COB. At least I never had to worry about staying in the Navy long enough to become COB.
COB: The highest ranking enlisted-man on the boat. It stands for Chief Of the Boat. He is arguably the most powerful man on board. He is also the most hated man on board.
SNOB: The Shortest Nuke On Board. To be ‘short’ means that you have minimal time left in the Navy. A ‘Nuke’ is a crew member who works in the reactor plant and is a member of Engineering Department. They wasted 18 months in the training pipeline only to find out that they will spend 94.9% of their time at sea cleaning the bilges.
Chiefs: A Chief Petty Officer. An enlisted man in the Navy who has reached the rank of E-7 or above. They are considered upper-management, carry an undeserved sense of entitlement and make rules that they cannot enforce. They are simply worker-bees who have chosen to re-enlist. Do not be fooled. They are not the best and the brightest — just the ones who have failed to realize that life exists outside of the military. They are not to be trusted, nor feared… only pitied.
FAWC-U: Focused After Watch Clean Up. This was invented by some shit-licking chiefs on my boat. It was a way to fool off-going watch standers into cleaning for an unreasonable length of time.
DINQ: Delinquent IN Qualifications. This is a term immediately applied to personnel who’ve recently reported for submarine duty. Newly-reported sailors are required to qualify for certain watches from the time they report to the boat until they smoke enough hog to qualify for said watches. The length of time they are given to do so is ridiculously short. Therefore, they are behind schedule from the second they set foot on the boat. Those who are ‘DINQ’ are subsequently required to stay on the boat after normal working hours.
DRB: Disciplinary Review Board. As a result of being insanely DINQ, a submariner will find himself standing in the Chiefs’ Quarters, in front of the COB, trying to explain why he’s behind on quals, and why he hates his fucking life.
Coners: Often referred to as “The Cone.” It is the subset of submarine personnel who work in the portion of the boat that is forward of the Reactor Compartment. They are non-nuclear trained and breathe predominantly through the mouth.
Field Day: The day designated by the chiefs as ‘We-have-nothing-else-on-the-schedule-to-do-but-CLEAN Day.’ It is: (a) something that happens once per calendar week. (b) something that occurs between the hours of 0700 and 1100 on Fridays — which is usually the time when most of the crew is hung-over and looking for a place to hide and sleep. (c) when chiefs are most abhorrent… and (d) the most bullshit.
GQ: General Quarters. A condition in which the shit has officially hit the proverbial fan on any U.S. Navy vessel of war. Sailors at actual GQ [i.e., not in a drill scenario] are characterized by having a significantly increased chance of death within the given time frame. Feces will most likely be present in their coveralls.
ORSE: Operational Reactor Safeguards Exam. This is basically the nukes’ SuperBowl. It’s when Navy auditors test, drill and anally missile-fuck everyone who has ever been through the Nuclear Training pipeline. It causes the aforementioned to question why they even studied their balls off to get through the Nuclear Training pipeline in the first place.
BSA: Basic Submarining Assessment. Just an excuse by squadron to punch holes in the ocean, make us run drills, and then tell us that we failed. A total waste of fissile material.
EDMC: Engineering Department Master Chief. The top enlisted man in the Engineering Department. The magnitude to which any given nuke’s life sucks is positively correlated with how big of a douche bag this man is.
TRE: Tactical Readiness Exam. It’s basically Coner Super Bowl – their equivalent of ORSE. Nukes stay at Battle Stations all day, every day doing nothing useful of note. The smarter members of Machinery Division assist the Torpedo Men because they can’t seem to figure out their own shit.
BSP: No one could ever articulate exactly what the fuck the letters of this acronym actually stand for. It was just an easier way to say that the boat meets and ties up with a smaller tug-boat at a safe location somewhere in the channel. They can then transfer personnel & supplies to each other.
POM: Pre-Overseas Movement. This is just one of the main certifications that a ship and her crew must pass before being deployed into an overseas theater. If you’re lucky, your boat will fail one of them and you don’t have to go on deployment for another week or two.
SRW: Shutdown Roving Watch. The lone nuke working in the engine room (other than the Shutdown Reactor Operator in Maneuvering) while the reactor is in a shut down state. SRW walks the spaces, while SRO sits in Maneuvering. The duties of SRW are always assumed by members of Machinery Division — who’ve all masturbated on watch at least once in every nook and cranny of the engine room.
DDS: Dry Deck Shelter. Also know by the ship’s force as “The Turd.” It was the special ops add-on that our ship was equipped with. A simple web search will provide more detail.
SSTG: Ship Service Turbine Generator. A steam driven generator that provides power for the entire sub. We had two, running in tandem. The ship cannot go underway without both of them operating normally, so when one of them breaks on deployment, you get to spend more time at the boom-boom room with a caucasian stripper named “Winter.”
LPO: Lead Petty Officer. Basically a divisional chief’s right-hand-man. He is the senior-most enlisted man in a division not wearing khakis. Do not piss this man off…
1MC: The main announcing circuit for the entire boat. It is powered and is thus LOUD. So naturally, all members of command leadership LOOOOVE to bitch out the crew via this communication method.
LAN: Local Area Network. Not a Navy term, but thought I’d throw it in this list in case someone was confused.
ERLL: Engine Room Lower Level. The lowest level in the engineroom, and the first watchstation that a brand new mechanic is required to learn. Also, the largest and most diverse watchstation, but it’s hard for a new watch stander to fuck anything up from down there… and you can make them clean the bilge all watch long if there’s nothing else going on.
PLO: Propulsion Lube Oil. The system that keeps all propulsion related components lubricated and cool. The PLO sump is the main gathering area for M-Div shoot-the-shit sessions.
ERF: Engine Room Forward. Can also be referred to as the “feed bay.” It is forward of ERLL, immediately aft of the reactor compartment. The feed pumps are the main components housed here and this watch station is typically manned by a SMAG.
SMAG: Sometimes Mechanic, Always Gay. These gentlemen are members of Reactor Lab Division. They are the lab techs that play with their chemistry sets and attempt to stand normal mechanic watches. They were mechanics that took on extra schooling to become Engineering Lab Technicians (or ELTs). They have no divisional chief, but report to the Machinery Division chief. They do, however have their own LPO and Division Officer, and typically have very soft hands.
CO: Commanding Officer. The captain of the ship. In the U.S. Navy, a submarine captain actually holds the rank of Commander (O-5), but we still call him “Captain.”
XO: Executive Officer. The second-in-command on the ship. Acting as captain when the CO is away, the XO runs the Executive Department and handles all sailor evaluations. He holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander (O-4) handles all the admin of a Captain’s Mast. Not a good day if he calls you into his office for a one-on-one.
Mast: Officially known in the Navy as “Captain’s Mast.” It’s the Navy version of Non-Judicial Punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It’s how they officially fuck you in the ass when you dick the dog in a big way. Officially, meaning: there’s paperwork involved.
JO: Junior Officer. These guys are new officers on the boat and are constantly stepping on their dicks during drills. They typically rank as an Ensign or Lieutenant Junior Grade (O-1 or O-2). They serve as division officers and typically have a pretty shitty life… except they don’t have to clean anything.
Poopie-Suit: A slang term for Navy coveralls. They were an official uniform, with some restrictions for wear. We would be subject to inspections in this uniform — as they had to have official command patches, rank insignia and name patches on them. A brand new poopie-suit would last a total of 10 minutes on the boat before becoming ripped and stained with some shit-substance yet unknown to man.
TLD: Thermoluminescent Dosimeter. Worn at all times by all submariners, especially by Navy nukes in order to track radiation doses received. It’s mostly for political reasons, but if you show a dose that’s high by Navy standards, you will get a stern talking-to. A total waste of time…
RCA: Radiation Controls Assistant. The Junior Officer assigned to babysit the SMAGs. Generally a Lieutenant Jr. Grade and always the first swingin’-dick in line to suck the XO’s taint.