WW II military words (long!)

Bruce K. Dykes bkd at GRAPHNET.COM
Sat Jun 12 18:32:12 UTC 1999

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Salovesh <t20mxs1 at CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU>
Date: Friday, June 11, 1999 05:14
Subject: WW II military words (long!)

>Returning to Col. Magruder:
>>> "O. D.," woolen uniform...
>O.D. also means "Officer of the Day".
>O.D., when it means "woolen uniform", refers to the color "olive drab",
>used in the U.S. Army "Class A" uniform.  The color was retired from
>Class A uniforms in the mid-1950s.  Its first replacement was called
>"O.G.", for "olive green".
>"Class A" was the ordinary uniform that was worn with dress shirt and
>tie. OD was its winter variant.  It was distinguished from "dress
>uniform", the label for certain special uniforms of restricted use.
>("Dress uniforms"  included fancy formal dress for officers, the
>uniforms of such special guard units as the guards at the Tomb of the
>Unknown Soldier, and the concert uniforms of the U.S. Army Band, among
>Uniform colors weren't the only things that changed during or after the
>Korean War.  Note, e.g., my use of "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier",
>appropriate to the WW II era, rather than "Tomb of the Unknowns".

The workday and field uniform is now the camouflage 'Battle Dress Uniform',
acronymized to BDU, and spoken of as beedeeyou. The Class A is now the basic
semidress uniform, worn for ceremonies and when traveling, or when working
in a predominately civilian environment, such as Washington DC, or
recruiting. Remove the olive green jacket, and you have the Class B uniform,
either short sleeved, or long sleeved with a tie. Generally limited to the
same sort of workplaces as the Class A. Dress blues and dress whites are
optional purchase uniforms worn for even more archly formal occasions. All
soldiers are issued Class A's.

>Even more revealing is my casual reference, above, to troops serving on
>the "front line".  You see, grandchildren, back in those days wars were
>fought by opposing armies who faced each other across an invisible line

Modern doctrine (well, Cold War endgame doctrine at least) updates this to
'forward edge of the battle area', acronymized to FEBA.


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