8th Cav

Dictionary: This is my compilation. I have probably forgotten or missed many, so click on the link below if you have questions about the terms used in the reports.

1st Cav Medic (great dictionary)

Note: Abbreviations noted with a * are used throughout the daily logs. It might be easier to print this to follow along.

AA * Automatic Ambush. These were something that we were experimenting with. It was a sort of "booby trap" device that had a claymore and a trip wire. We didn't have much luck with it but you can find it reported in almost every log report. Normally these were set up on a trail just before dark and then we went back and got it in the morning.
ACL* Aircraft Combat Log
AO* Area of Operations

Armored Personnel Carrier. In Vietnam we saw the M113A1 version of this vehicle.


ARA* Aerial Rocket Artillery
ASR* Available Supply Rates
BDE* Brigade
BN* Battalion
Boonies: Nickname for the field. (Not on an LZ or FSB)
C-Rations These were canned meals that also contained small packets of the essentials. You can see a list by clicking here.
CA: "Combat Assault" This is a little bit of a misnomer most of these were just transporting troops from a fire support base (see FSB) to the field.
CC: Command and Control. This was the helicopter that the commanders flew around in to direct the troops on the ground.
CMD* Command
CO* Commanding Officer
Co* Company. Our company normally included 100 to 125 people.
CP* Command Post. This was the unit that consisted of the company radio operator, Battalion radio operator, Commanding Officer, Executive Officer, 1st Sergeant, Artillery officer, Artillery Radio Operator and from time to time another person or two. We mainly set up within the perimeter of two platoons and ran the whole show.
Claymore: An Antipersonnel mine (Photo)
Cobra: Aka Blue Max. This was a helicopter gunship used as the "killer" in the pink team. (Photo)
DEROS Date of expected return from overseas. This was the day we were supposed to come home. Some did some didn't.
"Donut Dollies": These were ladies that were sent to fire bases by the American Red Cross. These gals were the closest contact we had to the "World" during our stay on the FSB. Visit their web site for pictures and stories. www.donutdolly.com
E* East
ETA* Estimated time of arrival.
FAC* Forward Air Controller. 
FO Forward Observer. This was normally an officer that would direct the artillery from the field. I worked as a radio operator for Lt. Ed Griffith (our FO) for a while.
FX/CA* Final extraction to Combat Assault.
FSB* "Fire support base". This is also referred to as an "LZ" or Landing zone.         (Photo)
Field: Any time company was off of the fire support base.
Foo Gas A mixture of explosives and napalm, usually set in a fifty-gallon drum and placed around the perimeter of the fire support base.
G/R* Ground Reconnaissance.
Green Line duty This was what they called guard duty that covered the perimeter at Quan Loi. Normally 2 or 3 companies of units that had battalion headquarters located at Quan Loi would be used to secure the perimeter. This duty was considered a "mini R&R" for us as Quan Loi had hot chow, a swimming pool and a real bar!
Hootch This was a building that was constructed of bamboo. These ranged in size anywhere from 2 ft x 2 ft to one we found that was 3 stories high!
Huey: This is the helicopter that was used extensively throughout the military. It was used as transportation, medical evacuation, cargo and as a gunship for air support. (Photo)
Hunter/ Killer Team: See Pink Team
Hook: aka "Shithook" Officially a CH-47 "Chinook" cargo helicopter (Photo)
IR* Infa-red, Red Haze. This was detection equipment similar to what is used in police helicopters today.
JS* Journal Staff. The people who kept the log.
KIA: "Killed in Action"
Kit Carson Scouts aka. KCS* These were Vietnamese and Montagnard soldiers that were assigned to companies to help with local customs, and language. 
KY-38 Secure This unit was used to connect to our radio to "secure" communications. It basically scrambled the signal so it could not be overheard. It came with a crypto key that was a large "punch" that was coded. I carried the codes in my pocket, another guy carried the secure and a 3rd person carried the crypto key. The guy that carried the secure also carried a phosphorus grenade that was there to be used to destroy the secure if it was about to be captured. (Photo)
LRRP* aka. "Lurps" Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol. These were teams of 4 to 6 guys that were inserted into the jungle all by themselves. They would attempt to keep under cover and just watch enemy movement. 
LRS* Light recent use.
LZ: * "Landing Zone". See FSB
LOH: Helicopter that is one half of a "Pink" team. Also Known as a "Loach" (Photo)
Log: "Log" days were when we were re-supplied in the field. Most times the helicopters (Hueys) could land and we were able to unload the supplies by hand. However when the jungle did not allow this we got a "kick-out" which meant they just pushed the supplies out of the door of the chopper. "kick-outs" were never fun since this meant water would be put into large ammo containers. The water from these really tasted bad! Also we could not get new troops, i.e. Scout Dogs etc. Normal supplies were "C-rations", water, mail, ammo, and any small items like batteries or repair stuff. We were normally logged every 4 to 6 days when we were in the field. As the Radio Telephone Operator I was the one that called in the items for the log.
M-16 This was the standard issue weapon for everyone in Vietnam (Photo)
M-60 The M-60 was a light weight 30 caliber machine gun that was commonly used during the Vietnam war. The method we used was that one person in each squad was assigned to carry the M-60 and then one other person carried extra ammunition. (Photo)
M-79 The M-79 Grenade launcher was capable of firing an 40mm grenade (didn't use this much) or a "buckshot" round. For a short time I carried one of these for the commanding officer.  (Photo)
MRU* Moderate recent use.
Medevac When someone was injured or killed we would call for a helicopter to come and get them. The normal Helicopter used was a "Huey"
Mini Cav This was when a platoon size element (about 30 people) went out alone on a mission.
Mini-gun A multi barrel fast shooting gun. Normally used on helicopters. (Photo)
Montagnard A Vietnamese term for several tribes of people inhabiting the central and northern highlands.
Mule The M274 mule was a flat bed 4 wheel drive vehicle what was used on the FSB to transport most everything. (Photo)
N* North.
NCO Non Commissioned Officer (aka Non-Com) This was the military name for enlisted personnel (non officers)
NCS* Net Control Station. Radio headquarters.
NDP* Night Defensive Position. (NL) Night Location.
NFZ* No Fire Zone.
NRS* Negative Recent Use.
NVA: North Vietnamese Army
OHC* Overhead cover.
OPCON Operational Control
P-38 A "P-38" was military lingo for a small "collapsible" can opener. This was probably the best thing to ever come out of the military! I still have the very first one I got in Vietnam and have even recently used it. They never rust, need sharpening or wear out. (Photo)
PDS* Personal Daily Strength. Information on the number and rank of the personnel within the company. This was reported daily.
PF* Popular Forces. Small units of local Vietnamese farmers.
POL* Petroleum, Oil & Lubricates.
PZ* "Pick up Zone" PZ was essentially the same as an LZ one for pick ups and one for landing.
Pink Team: This was a group of two helicopters a "Loach" and a Cobra Gun ship. These were also termed a "hunter/killer" team. The concept was the "loach" would fly low and in tight circles to draw enemy fire. Then when the enemy was spotted the "Cobra" would use there fire power (miniguns and rockets) to attack.
Point Man This was the first guy in a column of troops. I did this job one time and decided it was not for me. You have to have your weapon on full automatic and be watching for booby traps, enemy soldiers and keep your sense of direction. Some of our guys (a very few) were really good at it and WANTED to do it. They didn't get much argument. One of the guys I remember from 1st platoon was nicknamed "Gator" and he was from Florida.
Pop Smoke Term used for using smoke grenades. These came in a variety of colors including: yellow " mellow yellow", green, purple "goofy grape", and red. Red was used to mark a target for aircraft. (Photo)
Push: This was a name we used for the radio frequency setting. The common terminology was "we will change our push from 55.33 to 58.00". Or "The medevac chopper will be on push 58.15".
QRF* Quick Reactionary Force.
RCN* Reconnaissance.
RF* Regional Forces. (South Vietnam soldiers)
RRF* Ready Reactionary Force.
RPG Rocket propelled grenade. (aka B40) These were Chinese or Russian make weapons that are still being used today (listen to recent news reports) Very effective and cheap weapon. (photo).
Radio PRC77 This was the radio I carried during my time in Vietnam. I also carried one spare battery. (Photo)
Rash This was actually the call sign that was used by pilots that flew a OV10 Bronco. (Photo) This was a forward observation plane that was used extensively in our area. I can't say enough about these guys. They were always there and did anything we asked. They saved lots of lives!
Redleg This was a term used for Artillery personnel.
RTO Short for Radio Telephone Operator. aka "ROTO". This was what I did for most of the time in Vietnam. 
S* South.
SEC/CA* Secure to Combat Assault. Term used when we were helicoptered from a secure area such as an FSB to the field.
SEC/SEC* Secure to Secure. Term used when we were flown from a FSB to a FSB.
SOI Standard Operating Instructions. These documents were sent out to the Battalion Radio Operator to carry. They included the codes that were used to set the Secure radio.
Scout Dog: This was a K-9 team of a dog handler and dog. We seem to ask for this a lot but I can't ever remember seeing one!
Secure This was the device that allowed us to use the radio without having to worry about what we were discussing. (see KY-38 Secure)
Sorte: This was military jargon for a load that was to be carried. 1 sorte = 1 helicopter or airplane load.
TBS* Time Broke Station. Term used to establish the time an aircraft left a certain area.
TOC Tactical Operations Center. This was a large bunker centrally located in the middle of the fire base. It normally contained the battalion operations center and sleeping quarters.
TOS* Time On Station. Term used to establish the time an aircraft arrived in a certain area.
TOT* Time On Target. Term used to establish when aircraft was firing or dropping bombs on a target.
Trip flare An illumination device used with wires to secure the parameter during the night.
VR* Visual Reconnaissance.
W* West
WIA Wounded in action
XO Executive Officer. Second in command for the company. Normally a 1st Lieutenant.


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