Today I want to talk about a few things I’ve noticed that are trends around here and how we as a Family can change them, make no mistake we are a Family and we are all on this together.
First I want to start by saying the Army/Navy/USMC/USAF have their own languages. I’ve served in joint positions alongside those guys so while I may understand it I am by no means an expert. The first thing you need to know about us is we have titles, and confusing those titles can potentially set some of our tightly wound compadres off. A person in the Army is a Soldier (notice the capital S to go along with the capital F above? Army regulations say we always capitalize both words), a person in the USMC is a Marine, a person in the USAF is an Airman/Airwoman, and a person in the Navy is a Sailor. Forgive me if this seems obvious but you would be surprised how often this gets confused.
Without devolving this post into a long list I’m just going to cover a few (Army) specific terms; hooah is the catchall if I don’t know what to say, if I’m acknowledging something or I’m giving a battle cry it’s what we are supposed to use. Hooah is a modern day derivative of HUA (pronounced the same, hoo-ah) during WW2 that meant “heard, understood, acknowledged” for me personally if you hear me use hooah it means I am beyond mad about something and am saying that rather than use something more colorful and to the point. “Mandatory fun or funishement” means an event that one is forced to go to that everyone knows will be lame but is a requirement. Funishement is my new favorite word to describe these. MOS is a job, “what is your MOS”= what is your job. There are a ton more; maybe one of these days I’ll start a running list.
The next two are very important to me personally–one for obvious reasons; the other maybe not so obvious. First is the use of “the big D” or anything else to describe a deployment. A deployment is a deployment. I know as parents we are scared to death for our kids; but you have to understand this is what they signed up for and as a parent you should have been preparing yourself for the inevitable day from the start. Call it a deployment, celebrate that your child is part of the 1% who cares enough to try to affect change. Calling it the big D shows that you are scared. This will create doubt in your child that maybe he should be scared too because in the run up to the deployment he isn’t. Instead he is feeling invincible: the Army has the best training and gear in the world. He has faith in it and so should you.
The second is something I’ve seen a few times in the MilitaryMama group and that is the phrase “boots in the house”. The first time I saw this I thought it meant your kid literally traveled with his boots to home. That makes sense for the Guard or Reserve, but (for Active) I’ve been in 12 years and never traveled with my boots. Then I thought you were talking about your new guy. Personally, I like it because you are celebrating your kid. To me the term is endearing (if not slightly degrading). As a new guy they will earn a nickname FNG, new guy, cherry, fuzzy and so on. One such term is boot; boot refers to a new guy as in “you are so boot I can still smell the new guy on you.” So when I hear “boot”, I think brand new guy who is so new he doesn’t know what to do.
About once every 20 times the phrase pops up on our page someone goes off about how it is disrespectful and what it “truly” means. This story goes the phrase originated in WW2 when a service member died. The War Department would send their boots to the family, giving the term boots in the house a horrible meaning. I went digging and couldn’t find anything to verify this at all. I can tell you for sure it is not done that way now; when a service member dies, boots and uniforms are burned and disposed of. I don’t know where the story started but let me squash it right now. It most certainly doesn’t mean that now. For me and for the BoD, we embrace the phrase and use it as we celebrate your kid.