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Military Language; Slang And Jargon Essay

1309 words - 5 pages

The use of military jargon, as it maybe unknown to the civilian also known as the non-military individual, actually aides in the bonding of service members, as the jargon and slang differ from each branch. Military, for all intensive purposes, throughout this essay, is referring to armed forces. Have you ever wondered why the people in military speak differently? Have you ever considered why many military members speak the way they do? As each branch of the armed forces has its own unique language, A brief description of their similarities and differences for the US Navy, US Air Force and US Army. At no disrespect to the US Marine Corps and US Coast guard, as there jargon is intimately similar to the US Navy’s slang and history. As a US Navy veteran, who has been deployed on several occasions to active war zones, and during times of peace, both in the capacity of the US Navy and Joint or coalition forces, I can relate. As I currently serve a civilian job in the capacity of war fighters, filling a US Army Lieutenant Colonels (LTC) billet as a civilian. I will provide a few examples with regards to the US Navy, US Army and US Air Force. Within the armed forces, the informal language(s) as they are used are accomplished through direct membership in the group, meaning that to fully understand what is being said, you must, “belong.” By using slang and jargon unknown to the outsider, individual members of specific groups form bonds of identification with one another. (Military Language)
The values that this language brings to the service members, is a bond that is hard to break free from and can last a lifetime. As I have been separated from active for some time now, although, I still work side by side with uniformed members; I see that my bond with this language is still alive and well. Even with the differences between the branches of services, including traditions and history, in context, the language is the same. In a sense, this creates a unique social group that all military members, active service and veterans share with each other and can typically recognize. For example, when I first enlisted in the Navy, shortly after my first deployment overseas, my father took me to an American Legion. Having grown up around different American Legions as my father was a National member, I never really understood what the “old timers” were talking about, until, I spent time in the Navy and what they were saying all started to make sense. There, it did not matter what branch of service you were in, or currently in, all were treated with respect and shared a common language, as well as a few beers and many “sea stories.” “Language not only bonds the membership; it also helps construct a world view in which that membership can be secure in the superiority of its knowledge.”
The identity of this language is simple, “Military professionals tend to utilize the primordial values, attitudes, and belief systems to define a culture.” (Gatlin 1) What this means to you;...

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