Alpha to Zulu

After seeing the Military Life from Alpha to Zulu several times, I thought, I have to do that.


Anchors Aweigh:  Even though it’s the fight song for the Naval Academy, it’s also a strong part of the Navy.  The song has been changed several times, but it’s still sung very often at the US Navy Boot Camp, during Chief’s Transition Season, and so many other times during the year.

Ask the Chief.  Active Duty.  Alone.  American Flag.  Acronyms.  Ahoy!  Attention.  Appreciation.  Anchors.    Adaptable.


Boat:  You hear this term a ton in the Submarine world.  The way I was taught to tell the difference between surface ships and boats (submarines): “Ships float.  Boats don’t.”

Bubble-head.  Base.  BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing).  Boots.  Bravery.  Basic Pay.  BAS (Basic Allowance for Subsistence).  Blue Crew.


City of Corpus Christi (CoCC):  The boat we’ve been attached to for the last 4+ years.

Chief.  CPO (Chief Petty Officer).  COB (Chief of the Boat).  Commissary.  Courage.  Chain of Command.  Captain.  CO (Commanding Officer).  Chow.  COLA (Cost of Living Allowance).  Comms (Communications).  Challenge Coin.  Cadence.  Change.  CONUS (Contiguous United States).  Chief of the Watch.


Dixie Cup:  As I say that, my husband says, “Not anymore!”.  I know, I know.  Tee hee hee.

Duty.  Dog Tags.  Dependents.  DoD (Department of Defense).  DFAS (Defense Finance and Accounting Services).  Dress Blues.  Deckplate leadership.  Division.  Dress Whites.  Dining-In.  DLA (Dislocation Allowance).  Dive!  Dive!  Dive!


Enlisted:  There are two types of men on a Submarine; Enlisted & Officers.  Enlisted ranks range from E1 to E9, while the Officer ranks range from O1-O6.  The reason I didn’t say men & women is because for the foreseeable future the only women on a sub will be officers.  It’ll be a while before they put enlisted women on a boat.

Enlistment.  Endearing.  ETs (Electronic Technician).  Ensign.


Flexibility:  One quality you have to hold to be married to the military.  Many people can’t fathom the day-to-day changes we have to deal with.  A good part of the time things are consistent, but a large part of the time the one constant is change.  I have to live like a rubber-band sometimes… but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Friends.  FRG (Family Readiness Group). FSA (Family Separation Allowance).  Flag.  Formation.  Field Day.  Farewell.


Goat Locker:  The Goat Locker is the slang term for the Chief’s Quarters.  Before refrigeration, goats were kept in the Chief’s quarters to keep a supply of milk available.  It is tradition for allpersonnel, other than Chiefs, to knock and ask permission to enter the goat locker.

Go Navy!  Goodbyes.  Government.  Galley.  Gold Crew.


Hail & Farewell:  A Hail & Farewell is a celebration of sorts.  We typically visit one of our favorite restaurants with the rest of the Chiefs.  We “Hail” the new chiefs to the boat and “Farewell” the ones leaving.

Honor.  Head.  Hurry up and wait!  Homecoming.  Humor.  HDP (Hazardous Duty Pay).  History.  Home of Record.  Horse & Cow (a famous Submariner bar.  With three locations any submariner is bound to visit one; Guam, San Diego, and Bangor).  If you haven’t visited one, it’s fun.  🙂


Irresistible:  A Sailor in his whites.  I had to steal this from my friend Emily because she is oh-so-right!!!
Inspired.  ICE (Interactive Customer Evaluation).  Inked.  In the Navy!


Junior Enlisted: The junior enlisted men on a submarine are those holding a rate of E-1 to E-6.  Rate titles are as follows; Seamen Recruit (E-1), Seamen Apprentice (E-2), Seamen (E-3), Petty Officer Third Class (E-4),  Petty Officer Second Class (E-5), & Petty Officer First Class (E-6).

JFTR (Joint Federal Travel Regulation).  JAG.  Jokes.


Khaki Ball:  The celebration after the Chief’s Transition Season is over.  During the Chief’s Transition Season, all the men and women that are going from a Petty Officer First Class (E-6) to a Chief Petty Officer (E-7) go thru, for lack of a better word, an initiation of sorts.  They learn that instead of working to better themselves in the Navy, they are now to work to better their division and the Navy as a whole.  You hear “Ask the Chief” a lot during the this time of year.

Keel.  Khakis.  Kevlar.


LOVE!!!  This is biggest of all…  Need I say more?

Leave.  LES (Leave & Earnings Statement).  Lonely.  Letters.  Long Distance.  Liberty.  Liberty Port.


Mission:  During mission my husband is “underway” for a while without communication to me.  Time is varied and we aren’t given specifics as they are doing what they are trained to do.  This is one of the hardest times during our life.

Master Chief.  Medals.  Military I.D.  Moving.  Medical.  Missing him.  Missiles.


Navy:  The branch my husband proudly serves in, and I proudly follow him around the world for.

NEX (Navy Exchange).  Nuclear.  Nuke.  NAM (Navy Achievement Medal)


OPSEC:  OPSEC is the acronym for Operational Security.  This term is very important in the military and especially important in the Submarine force because most of the time a sub is unseen.  It’s not like an aircraft carrier on the surface that’s massive and can be seen from miles.  OPSEC is the very reason my husband can’t give me specifics of when and where they’re pulling in.  When asked, “When will he be home?”, OPSEC is the very reason I can’t give that information, even if I had it.

Ombudsman.  OCONUS (Outside the Contiguous United States).  Overseas.  Orders.


PCS: Permanent Change of Station.  We have PCSed about every 3-4 years.  While our stay in Guam has stretched past the four-year mark, soon we’ll be in Hawaii.  Wooo Hooo!

Pride.  Pay Grade.  Petty Officer.  PRT (Physical Readiness Test).  Patience.  Port Call.  Politics.


Quartermaster:  A job role linked to navigation.

Quals (Qualifications).  Quarterdeck.


Reunions-  We’ve had several reunions since being apart… and I’m grateful for every one.

Rank.  Rate.  Ribbons.  Rumors.


SSN:  The United States Navy hull classification symbol for a fast attack submarine.  SS is for submarine and N is for nuclear power.

Sub Ball.  Senior Chief.  SSGN (Guided missile nuclear powered submarine).  SSBN (Ballistic missile nuclear powered submarine).  Spouse.  Service.  Sailor.  Separation.  Sacrifice.  Sea.  Seabag.  Shore Duty.  SUBPAC (US Submarine force of the Pacific).  SUBLANT (US Submarine force of the Atlantic).  Sailor Mail.


Tough:  The job our men and women do every day is just that… and so are they.

Tricare.  Training.  Tears.  Travel.  Troops.  TLD (Thermo Luminescent Dosimeter).  Torpedo.


Underway: a way of stating the boat is doing what it does best and is not in port.

USO (United Service Organizations)Uniforms.  Unanswered questions.  USAA.


Victorious:  Our military men and women are forever victorious in my eyes.



Watch bill:  A watch schedule for sailors on the sub.

Watch.  War.  Weapons.  Waiting.


XO:  The Executive Officer is the second senior officer on board the submarine.


Yellow Ribbons:  Doesn’t need much of any explanation, but for those that need it… To signify the support of our military.


Zero-dark-thirty:  The un-Godly hour a sailor has to be on board the day they leave home.







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