Once a Marine, always a Marine…

Yes, at one time, yours truly was indeed a Marine. For a brief span of 8 years, I earned the title, wore the uniform and got dirty for a living. One of the biggest culture changes for me was learning, understanding and fully implementing the language and ways of the military. Fully becoming a Teufel Hunden. Say again?… Dont know what that means? You will…the following is a list of terms, jargon and idiosyncrasies about the military you may not have known.

Teufel Hunden

A term the Germans gave to the Marines after fierce battle in the  Battle of Belleau Wood. The term means Devil Dog. Teufel, Devil, Devil Dog; these are terms you must get used to as a Marine. There is no way of going through one day in the Marine Corps and not hearing this word in one shape or another. This is a term of endearment. When you say this to someone, you are usually  speaking to him as if they were close family. Like a brother. “Whats up devil?” is usually the lingo spoken to another Marine to see how he or she is doing.

Edge dressing

Edge dressing is a liquid dressing or stain that makes the edges of your military dress shoes (and I guess you regular ones too)  shine. This is important in the military for overall cleanliness, regular squared away appearance and the dreaded uniform inspections. Uniform inspections are the norm in the military, especially in the Corps. When you have a uniform inspection, you are being basically harassed from head to toe to ensure you don’t have a smidgen of shitbag on you. What else can you use edge dressing for you ask? How about shining up some Eagle Globe and Anchors? Or, how about using them to hit the rusty brass parts on your alligator clips. Btw, alligator clips are the hings that hold items like your canteen pouches to your belt.


Awe, shit talking. scuttlebutt is what it’s called when someone is  talking shit on someone, or something. Scuttlebutt can also be classified as crap people say that you don’t think is true. As in, “don’t listen to that scuttlebutt”.

But that’s not it…Where do you usually hear rumors and crap that piss you off or are not true? Usually the water cooler or water fountain right? Scuttlebutt derives from the nautical term for a device used to serve water. Ooohhh, aaahhhh…

Pogie bait

I have to be honest, once i figured out I could have some stuff I like when I went to the field (training), I loaded up on the good bad stuff!!! I was a pogie bait monster.

Pogie bait is junk food that you fill your happy little face with. Most commonly said when you’re in the field; pogie bait is the junk food you bring with you on training evolutions and even to war. Some examples of pogie bait are: chips, candy, soda, etc. Basically anything that is delicious. One time we went to the field in Virginia. My buddy was from the city right next to the base we were training in. At night, he called his mom and asked her to bring him some food. SHe brought enough fried chicken and biscuits to feed our whole squad. That was one of those awesome rare moments where we felt like we were kings, eating like kings anyways. Surrounded by dirt, trees and god knows what else was out there.

Irish pennant

I dare you, nay, I fucking challenge you to walk out on the parade deck with an Irish Pennant on your uniform. One of the nastiest little pieces of fabric you will ever run into is an Irish Pennant on your uniform come inspection day. A simple centimeter sized or longer piece of linen/cloth or whatever that hangs from your uniform. Kind of like a loose end. Take a quick look at your shirt. Any tiny hair of a fabric hanging down? That little piece would make you the laughing-stock of your squad/platoon. The military is a stickler for attention to detail and this is one of those instances where this comes into play in the most dickhead fashion. So, basically, dont be a shitbag and get all your IP’s off your uniform before you get inspected or be expecting a world of shit…


Awe, smellgood. As in, if you use it, you will smell good. We used to have to lather ourselves in this stuff. specially on family day; the 2nd to last day of boot camp our families came to visit. This stuff was like pure acid once it hit our skin. I can remember having to shave 3 times in a row one day because I “missed a spot”. For us, bulldog was not only used for aftershave.

In order to get the deck (floor) to smell good, we used… you guessed it, smellgood! We would get down on our hands and knees and scrub the whole squadbay with our boot brushe. Usually a mixture of 1 gallon water, 3 tablespoons of bulldog and 30 minutes of suck it the fuck up is all you needed to get the job done.


I’m sure everyone knows what goofing off at work is. Well, the military is no different. Skating is the art of not doing your job at work. Oh no, the secrets out! But really, can you imagine what an infantry person does when he is not training? They skate; they find the most creative things to do with their time. For me and my buddies, it used to be wrestling. We worked in a communications shop, kind of like a large cubicle area. That area was the perfect stage for some legendary tap out matches. Those were the good old days.

Sea lawyer

A seal lawyer is someone within your unit or just wherever the fuck you are that thinks he can get you out of every jam. He basically thinks he knows the ins and outs of what discipline can and can not be done to you. This guy is always trying to help you out, no matter what. Sounds good you say? Try listening to this guy tell you that “they are not allowed to do that” for 24 hrs straight on ship. Annoying as fuck. This guy is easily spotted, especially by the chain of command. He’s one of those “oh that guy” guys.


I saved the best for last. Humping is not just when you go on a brutal death march for 25 miles to “condition yourself” for war. It is the single-handed last resort way to get around as a Marine, and a basic infantryman pretty much anywhere. This being said, you have to practice it right?

To hump is to strap on a pack, usually one that weighs a retarded amount like 40-60 pounds and start walking. For a very long time, in a line with your buddies, trying to keep pace with the guy in front of you. When a slinky type effect starts, your screwed. A slinky affect is when your constantly running or walking or still, its like a slinky. When this happens, you have no rhythm and therefore get tired and cranky ten times faster. Humping sucks…


  1. Katie says:

    You left out some good ones!!!

  2. travnc says:

    I know…I can go on for days.

    Hopefully we can use this reply area for others to share their little tidbits of military fun-facts….

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