Parents of USNA Midshipmen BEAT ARMY !!
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  • Glossary of Navy Terms
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    For the definitive source for all Naval Academy terms, buy a copy of Ross Mackenzie's, "Brief Points: An Almanac for Parents and Friends of the US Naval Academy Midshipmen." You can get it at the Mid Store:
  • AARUGHA - Theoretically this is the verbal equivalent of a dive horn. Shouted on long runs as a motivational chant. To read more than you probably think you need to know, check out this site on OOH-RAH and AARUGHA .

  • All-Calls - A punishment for Plebes. It requires them to recite the daily menu (Chow Calls) more often than usual.

  • Alpha code - A six-digit number that evey Plebe gets on I-day. The first two numbers indicate their graduation year. They will keep this number throughout their stay in Annapolis and take it with them when they leave. It is printed on everything from clothing to medical paperwork.

  • Anchor - The graduating Firstie with the lowest OOM. Traditionally they get a dollar from each of their classmates. The achor is also the center point of King Hall where prayers are given, announcements are made, and the meal is begun with the ringing of a bell.

  • AOM – Academic Order of Merit. It's how they stack up academically compared to the rest of their class.

  • Applied Struggle - Applied Strength. This is a test of phyical ability including push-ups, pull-ups and endurance.

  • Aqua Rock - A non swimming Mid.

  • AQT/FAR Aviation Qualification Test/Flight Aptitude Rating; This aviation test has two parts, one part for math and one part for flying. It is taken in the Second Class year. Passing the test is required for those continuing on to flight selection.

  • Army Week - The week before the Army/Navy football game. This is a favorite week for those who enjoy all sorts of outrageous activities! There are pranks and covert actions the whole week and lots of good stories are born. Be sure to ask your Mid for an interesting story from Army week.

  • ARUGAHHH! - A Marine yell. Also heard as HOOO-YAAAH! and OOOO-RAAAH!

  • Article - Plebes are required to read and recite from articles in the local paper. They usually have to be able to explain at length the contents of several articles every day. Parents sometimes get frantic requests for current events. It's not that they are trying to keep up with the outside world. They are just trying to fulfill the required article count.


  • Bag-it Not bothering to try. Giving up when others are still working hard.

  • Bancroft Mother B. The largest dormitory in the world. Home to 4,000 + Mids for their 4 years by the Bay.

  • Barn A room in Bancroft with 4 or more racks.

  • Beach Lifter A Mid who is working in the weight room so they will look good instead of working for the cardeovascular or conditioning benefit.

  • Beat Army! A chant heard over and over and over.......and (need I repeat) over again in every passageway, at every game in countless ways forever!

  • Beat Feet To leave quickly.

  • Bed Check A check on whether or not the Mids are in their racks at night.

  • Bilge To put someone down.

  • Billet A place or position. Used throughout the Navy.
  • Birthday Ball A Marine Corps gala held on Nov 10th each year to celebrate their anniversary.
  • Black Monday The monday after the Brigade reforms. Suddenly Plebes are surrounded by thousands upperclassmen instead of just the few Detailers they had over PS.
  • Black "N" Mids get demerits for inappropriate behavior. When they got 100 or more demerits for one infraction, they considered it a Black N. Mids used to compete for this one. Then the command decided to kept the demerits at 99 or below, even for serious offenses.
  • Black Sunday The Sunday of PPW. The Plebes' families - with all that support and encouragement - drive out Gate 1 and Plebes are faced again with the reality that they have a whole year ahead of them before they aren't the ones at the bottom of the pile.
  • Blue and Gold USNA's alma mater. The words are available at
  • Blue Magnet All bedspreads at USNA are navy blue. Since sleep can be a big draw for many Mids, thus the racks become "blue magnets".
  • Bogus A bad thing
  • Boondocker low cut footwear
  • Bow Wow Battalion Officer of the Watch
  • Brace Braced Plebes have their chins tucked deeply into their necks and their heads stretched high with their eyes in the boat (straight ahead). This position is commonly seen during Plebe Summer.
  • Brag Sheet Mids write their own personal advertisements to showcase their accomplishments. They submit their brag sheets when performance rates are being determined.
  • Brain Dump To completely forget everything once a test or performance is over.
  • Brassard A cloth band worn on the upper sleeve to show temporary responsibilites.
  • Bravo Zulu or BZ - Great Job! Used throughout the Navy
  • Brick Plebes bestow a brick on the upperclassman who had the most unappealing date for the weekend.
  • Brigade All the Mids together make up the Brigade.
  • Bubblehead A submariner
  • BUD/S Basic Underwater Demolition/Seal School.
  • Budweiser Some say that the SEAL breast insignia looks like a budweiser seal, hence the nickname.
  • Bulkhead A wall, whether on land or on a ship. In the Navy everything is at sea, even if it is on dry land.
  • Bull English, History and Government majors are said to be Bull majors
  • Bulldog Marine Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia has a training option that some Mids choose for their summer training.
  • Butter Bar The gold bars worn by Ensigns and 2nd Lieutenants are sometimes called their butter bars.
  • BZ Bravo Zulu - Great Job! Everyone in the Navy uses this one.


  • Cake - Something easy

  • Canoe U - USNA's nickname
  • Carry On - What Plebe's want to hear! When Plebes get carry on, they relax and don't have to follow the strict rules and regulations of their lowly station.
  • Chain of Command - The administrative and operational channels above every member of the Navy.
  • Cherry - A Mid who has never gotten in trouble - - - - yet.
  • Chit - A command issued paper giving permission for some privilege. Mids can request a chit to leave the yard when others are not allowed. They get medical chits to avoid physical activity while they are recuperating from an injury. They must apply in writing through the chain of command to get these special privileges.
  • Choker Whites - White summer uniforms that have a high tight collar. They are very attractive.
  • Chop - To march with knees popping high and exaggerated staccato motions. A rapid way for Plebes to get around. Easily recognizabled at a far distance.
  • Chow Calls - An essential part of Plebe Summer. Heard loudly throughout the yard all day long. Plebes shout out the location of the next formation - inside or outside, the uniform required, the day's menu (and sometimes the menus for the next day or the next week as well), the names of the Midshipman and Officer On Duty that day, the week's professional topic and any major events in The Yard for that day. Plebes memorize their chow calls every day and must recite on command regularly.
  • Civilian - A day without classes.
  • Color Company - The Company with the most accumulated color points for everything from academics and athletics to parades and military activities. Being Color Company is a good thing. They get bragging rights and extra privileges.
  • Come Around - The upperclassmen can require Plebe to recite rates and professional knowledge.
  • Commandants List - Midshipman with 2.9 SQPR or better (see SQPR), "B" in performance, and a "B" or better in PE.
  • Countdown - Starting 30 days before Herndon the Plebes in each company (by company number-on their countdown number day) do some sort of reconnaissance or prank.
  • Cover - A Midshipman's hat.
  • Crabtown - Annapolis, our favorite local town.
  • Cripple Crown - A tongue in check reference to the Mid who has the worst scores on the semester's PE tests, Applied Strenght, Mile Run and the Obstacle Course.


  • Dant - The Commandant.
  • Dark Ages - A cold, often difficult period between Christmas and spring vacation.
  • Dead Week - The week before Commissioning Week.
  • Dean's List - The list of Mids with a 3.4 GPA or higher.
  • Deck - Evey floor is a deck in the Navy. Everything is at sea - whether it is or not seems irrelevant.
  • Demerits - strikes against you. The Navy can't stike Mids, but they can give demerits. The more demerits, the worse the offense and the harsher the consequences.
  • Dixie Cup - The blue rimmed sailor's hat worn by Plebes during Plebe summer. These caps are happily discarded after the Plebe year.
  • Dog It - To give less than your best
  • Drag - A guest shown around the Academy by a Mid. A candidate for the Naval Academy can come to spend the day. Hosting such a drag give the hosting student "carry on"..


  • E.I. - Extra Instruction
  • Eyes in the Boat - Plebes must keep their eyes straight ahead without focusing on anything in particular. This is required of all Plebes.


  • Firstie - A First Class Mid. Most colleges call the students in their fourth year - Seniors, but at USNA, they are called Firsties. At the Naval Academy, students in their first year are called fourth class. Students in their fourth year are called first class. Go figure!
  • Flamer - A hard upperclassman.
  • First Class Alley - The walkways on the far sides of the Wardroom, Where the upperclassmen congregate.
  • Forty Year Swim - It's really only 40 minutes, but for the swimming challenged, it seems like 40 years. Done during the Second Class year.
  • Fry - To "generously distribute" demerits.
  • Funny Money - There is a baffling system of credit for Mids in the Mid Store and elsewhere on the yard that defies understanding. It involves deductions from their pay as well as automatic deductions for certain services whether they use them or not. They pay for haircuts monthly regarless of whether they use them. They pay for the tailor shop monthly and they may never go there. It's not worth trying to figure out.


  • Gas Factor - Unhappiness factor
  • Goat Court - There are two enclosed areas of Bancroft formed by Bancroft's third wing in the First Regiment and by Bancroft's fourth wing in the Second Regiment. The rooms overlooking the goat courts have a wonderful view of a lower roof and many other windows. There are no trees or attrative shrubbery to soften the view and with all those brick walls, it is noisy. No wind comes through the sheltered goat courts so in the summer it is not very helpful to keep the windows open.

  • Gouge - The stuff necessary to get by every day. You always need to be memorizing something. If it's not military rates, it's course materials. Mids need to know their gouge.
  • Gungy - Inspired to support NAVY!


  • Happiness Factor - The number of days of Christmas leave divided by the number of days until leave. Not something to be overlooked.
  • Herndon - 21' granite obelisk near the Chapel; covered in lard and scaled by Plebes. They replace a Dixie Cup with a Midshipman's cover during a long hot struggle. A widely watched event which happens at the begining of Commissioning Week each year. Every year there are rumors that Herndon will be cancelled, but so far it's still on the schedule of events. Be there if you can!
  • High and Tight - A Marine haricut
  • Ho Chi Minh - A reference to the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Vietnam. There is a tunnel labyrinth for the Academy's steam heating system which for many years was used for recons. You could disappear into the steam system at one end of the yard and reappear far away or even outside the walls. After 9-11 this system of clandestine movement was shut down to Mids and security really tightened everything up.
  • Honor Nazi - A midshipman who delights in turning in their fellow Mids for honor offenses.
  • Hooo-Yaah! - A motivational yell. Particular to the Marines or SEALS.
  • Hop - A dance
  • 100's Night - On a February night, 100 days from graduation, Plebes used to switch places with Firsties and take the reigns of power. This tradition was halted in 2003. It was deemed unbecoming of an officer. So much for fun and frivolity!


  • I-Day - Induction Day for the Plebes. The start of Plebe Summer.


  • Jimmylegs - The United States Naval Academy Department of Defense police. They provide security in The Yard and at each gate.
  • Johny - A student at St. John's College. Ridiculed by Midshipmen. Likely done the other way around too.


  • Kaydet - West Point Army Cadet. The 'enemy'.


  • Locked On - A Mid who is extremely motivated and very positive about life at the Academy.

  • Leatherneck - Leatherneck is a 4 week training conducted by the Marines at The Basic School, in Quantico, VA. Topics covered include amphibious assault and ground warfare.
  • LANTPATRAMID - All Plebe-No-Mores participate in the AtLANTic Professional Afloat TRAining for MIDshipman Program. This is better known as the YP Cruise. On this, their first cruise, they learn to apply the lessons learned in NS 100. Most Mids have a wonderful time and return to a whole new sense of what it means to be a Mid at USNA. Besides which, when they disembark, they are officially Youngsters.


  • Mini-BUD/S - A summer training block for Firsties considring SEALS as their warfare specialty selection. It is a difficult 3 week training course at the basic underwater demolition school in Coronado, CA. Mids are also assigned for a week to special operations unit such as a SEAL team or small boat unit. The application and screening process for Mids to get chosen for Mini-buds is rigorous and the training itself is challenging.
  • Misery Hall - First Aid rooms in MacDonough Hall and Halsey Field House. Where athletes go for first aid and ice.
  • Mother B - Bancroft Hall, largest dormitory in the world.
  • MOM - Military Order of Merit. It's how they stack up militarily with the rest of their class.
  • MOM - Main Office Messanger.



  • Obligation - The service committment every graduating Mid incurs.
  • OOH-RAH! - Hooray! A motivational cheer by a Mid. To read more about OOH-RAH, check out this site.
  • Order of Merit - OOM - Class Rank.


  • PCR - Professional Competency Review. Annual tests of professional knowledge.
  • PEP - Physical Education Program followed through Plebe Summer.
  • Piece - The Mids drill with fake rifles. It looks like the real thing, but it has a cemented bore.
  • Plebe - Fourth Classman. Recipients of endless care packages and the center of much anxiety and concern from the home front. The anxiety level of families drops dramatically after Plebe year. Actually, it drops pretty dramatically for the Plebe-No-Mores as well.
  • Plebe Informal - Periodic mandatory Fourth Class dances. There's nothing quite like required fun!
  • Pleber - A Plebe.
  • Podunk - Wherever you are from - New York City or Greenfield, MO. It's all Podunk.
  • Priors - Mids who came to the Academy out of the fleet.
  • PROTRAMID - All 2nd Class Mids do PROTRAMID if they don't do Detail for Plebe Summer. It's a 3 week training that introduces aviation, submarines, and Marine Corps communities.
  • PRT - Physical Readiness Test.
  • PT - Physical Training.
  • Puddle - Coastie. A member of the Coast Guard.
  • P-Way - Passageway.


  • QPR - Quality Point Rating. Other schools use gpa: Grade Point Average. The Naval Academy adds military grades and physical training pts and calls it QPR.
  • Quantico - The base in Virginia where the 4 week Leatherneck training happens. The school there is called "The Basic School".


  • Rack - Bed. Where many Mids long to be. Remember "Blue magnet".
  • Ratey - Acting like you have more seniority than you do. A ratey Mid thinks he/she is more important than is really the case.
  • Recon - One of the after-hours adventures in which a Mid may participate. Evening runs to the 7-11 store are fairly common. The 7-11 staff thinks nothing unusual about serving up dozens of slushies to a flow of camoflaged Plebes at 2 a.m.
  • Return of the Brigade - At the end of Plebe Summer the Plebes celebrate their survival. Their pleasure is cut short by the arrival of thousands of upperclassmen when the Brigade reforms. The Plebes meet their new company members and are introduced to the academic year struture of the Academy. Now instead of a few Detailers, they have their company upperclassmen who outnumber them. Until they settle in, Plebes can be overwhelmed by the changes. But being a Plebe they do learn to cope and gradually get used to the whole Brigade.
  • R.H.I.P. - Rank has its privileges.
  • R.H.I.R. - Rank has its responsibilites
  • Ring Dance - At the end of the Second Class year, there is a formal dance and Second Class Mid can officially wear their class ring. The ring is dipped into a binnacle of water from the seven seas. There is a large replica of their class ring that a couple can walk through. It's a gala event.


  • Sandblower - A very short person
  • Second Class Alley - The spaces between the Wardroom tables.
  • Service Selection - Mids apply for their perferred service selection in their career path after graduation. They are given their first choice starting at the top of the class ranking. If a Mid is first in the class, then their top choice is assured. The next Mid will also get their choice and down the list. If the first choice has no more billets, then the second choice is granted. The higher on the class ranking list a Mid falls, the more likely their top choice will be granted. Service selection happens shortly after Christmas Firstie year. Those who fall at the bottom of the class rank will get whatever is remaining after all the choices are picked through. It's a good reason to keep those grades up!
  • Sheet Posters - These bulletin boards are works of art done by Plebes to showcase proper Navy spirit. There are a never ending array of bullitin boards done by those lowly Plebes.
  • Shove Off - To leave
  • Six-n Day - Six classes in one day. It's when a Mid is running from class to class all day with no breaks.
  • Smack - Plebes are sometimes required to write a smack letter home to a mother or a girlfriend. These are hysterical pieces of literature to be stored away and treasured. They so glorify the personality traits and physical attractiveness of a Detailer that even a mother can't help but roll her eyes.
  • Star - A Mid having a GPA of 3.4, and A in conduct and performance, and at minimum a B in physical education.
  • Striper - A Mid in the class Chain of Command
  • Supe - Short for Superintendent.
  • Supe's List - The best academically performing students. 3.4 minimum GPA, A in conduct,
    A in military performance (not just SMT, but also Co. Officer rating, peer rankings and superior Midshipman - ratings done by classmates and upperclassmen. This is like a fitness report in the fleet -- it is subjective to a degree, a matter of impressions of appearance, attitude, etc.) and an A or B on PRT.
  • Sweat - worrying about everything.


  • Tecumseh - "God of 2.0". The bronze statue of Tamanend, a Delaware chief; that stands in front of Bancroft Hall. Some midshipmen toss pennies at Tecumseh trying to get the pennies in his quiver just for good luck.
  • Tool - A jerk.


  • Unreg - Unauthorized. not according to regs
  • Unsat - Below 2.0 gpa or even if you get a D. If grades are unsat, a Mid loses weekend privileges and has to spend extra time studying.



  • Watch - Mids are responsible for checking doors, making sure everything is secure, that all personnel are on duty, etc. Some watch duties include walking the parimeter of the area to make sure all is secure and then it is noted in a watch book. Sometimes it is making sure each floor or area is secure and nobody is sneaking around, doors locked, etc. Watch is just a part of military life that we all take for granted and it's just something Mids do. Their responsibilities are:
      1. To take charge of a particular area and all government property in view.
      2. To walk a post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert, and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.
      3. To quit the post only when properly relieved.
      4. To give the alarm in case of fire or disorder.
      5. To be especially watchful at challenge all persons near the post...and to allow no one to pass without proper authority.

    The various titles below outline the responsiblities and the chain of command during watch, and the relationship of watch to the command in general. The variations on watch duties are:

        CDO-(Company Duty Officer) A Firstie who is head of a duty section in a
        company. A commissioned officer assigned Main Office watch for the day with
        the OOW.

        CMOD-(Company Mate of the Deck) A Plebe or Youngster standing watch in the company area. This person is called the "Mate".

        MOM-(Main Office Messanger) Duty of a Plebe.

        OOW- (Officer of the Watch) This is the highest ranking watch billet for a Mid. Other Mids have to salute the OOW!

        CMOW-(Company Midshipman Officer of the Watch) Company Commander billet in Main Office under the the OOW.

        BOOW-(Battalion Officer of the Watch) Firstie also called a "Bow Wow"

  • Woop - Kaydet; a student at West Point Military Academy.



  • Y.P.'s - Yard Patrol Craft. These ships can be toured by families on I-day and PPW. It's a good idea to see where your Plebe-No-More will spend their first cruise.
  • Youngster - Third Classman. Mids who are in their second year at USNA.


  • Zoomie - Air Force Cadet. A student at that cushy country club academy out in Colorado.

    With special appreciation to
    Greg Ellinger,Webmaster WAUSNA
    for his help with definitions.

    More interesting Navy terms and sayings