Here’s some phrases and their actual meanings from back when I was in another life and wearing AF blue.
I need a volunteer. – The real meaning was it was best to say you’d do the detail lest you get assigned some really nasty detail.
I was voluntold! – This meant that no one volunteered and the First Sergeant or the Chief picked you because no one volunteered.
I’m going to give you an opportunity to excel. – Which meant this was a nasty detail but the First Sergeant or the Chief knew you would get it done right the first time even if you bitched, pissed and moaned about having to do it.
There’s the right way, the wrong way, the Air Force way and then there’s my way. We’ll get along just fine if you do it my way. – Which meant you weren’t gonna argue with anyone about how to do it so just shut up and do it.
Thule Air Force Base Greenland. Where there’s a girl behind every tree. – Oh ha ha First Sergeant. Now I have to actually find a tree.
You want a day off? I’ll give you a day off. How about Christmas? – Which meant you just chose the worst time to ask your supervisor for some leave time.
Time for a F.O.D. walk. Who wants to volunteer? – F.O.D. stood for “Foreign Object Debris” or that nasty crap that gets sucked into a $2M aircraft engine ruining said engine. The walk meant a whole lotta people who volunteered or were voluntold formed a line to go down the ramp and pick up all the crap that others left behind like trash, tools, nuts, bolts, cigarette butts, etc. It was nice if you liked a nice long walk and plenty of fresh air, Not so good if it was early August and the ramp was 125*F at 9:00 AM. It was even worse if it was January and it was -25*F outside.
He’s the Wing King. – This referred to the Wing Commander who was usually the most senior officer on the base and who ran the show.
I hafta go over to the Wing for a meeting. – The “Wing” was the headquarters where the Wing King hung out and did his job.
I want you to take this over to the wing. – Which meant it was something nasty and the Wing King was hot to trot to have it in his hands and would probably snap at whomever delivered what he wanted which was almost always late in his eyes.
That’s tits! – That meant something was great.
That’s shit hot! – It’s better than tits.
He’s one of those back office weenies. – Which meant you didn’t have a real job like flying the planes or fixing the planes or guarding the planes. No, you had an office job and were always out of the weather.
He’s a good guy. He’s company.. The “company” was the guys and gals that actually ran the base and got things done. Oh there were people who thought they ran the base but “the company” crowd were the ones that actually got the day-to-day things done for the Wing King.
Stay out of officer country. – This referred to anywhere where a large gathering of officers occurred; like the O Club, Wing Headquarters, any flying squadron, officer housing, etc.
I’m going to the land of the big BX. – This referred to the USA and you were usually overseas when you said it.
I only have 30 days and a wake up. – Which meant you were going home and leaving on the 31st day.
He’s a lifer. – Meaning he’s been around for more than one or two enlistments.
He’s been around so long that he helped the Wright brothers build the first airplane patch. – This usually referred to a lifer who is close to retirement.
He/she is from the academy. – There is only one academy as far as we’re concerned and that was the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
He/she is a ring knocker. – This referred to someone who graduated from the academy.
And the worst two lies in the US Air Force …
We’re glad you’re here. – This was usually said by the Wing King whenever the IG team fly in for inspections of all of the units on base. The inspection was usually 10 – 14 days of war games, late nights, training exercises and then followed by some IG team members going all over your work to make sure you were doing everything right. You were in Air Force Hell if you failed because they would come back in 6 months and do it all over again.
We’re glad to be here. – This was the reply to the Wing King’s greeting by the IG team leader. What a lie. They didn’t want to be there. they wanted to be home, drinking beer, watching the TV and chasing their wives around the bedroom.