Life in the Armed Forces

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After deployment: How life can return to normal

Episode 09: Listen to the podcast below!

Military families are not that different from non-military families. Military families are made up of caring, fun-loving and dedicated mums, dads, children and pets that are not that different from non-military families – they just work around a career that creates a different lifestyle. At the core of what matters, military families are just like their neighbours.

Meet Daisy McDee. She is 10 years old and her dad’s a Royal Engineer.

Daisy’s dad is back from his deployment abroad. Daisy’s so happy but getting back to normal isn’t without a few hiccups…

First off, not all people on deployment will be able to talk about where they’ve been or what they’ve been doing.

Those things might be kept secret for security reasons, even from your own family!

When both parents get back together that can sometimes mean double the amount of nagging!

In our podcast series, Daisy tells her Dad about her new school and new friends – and even though he couldn’t tell her everything he’d been working on, he just listened and listened, and gave her a massive hug.

In the end, everything felt right.

A special military language!
The armed forces have their own words for everyday things, and those in military families might use the special slang too – if you are part of a military family you’ll probably know some of them already. If you know someone who is, here’s some tips to help you understand what they mean!

  1. ‘Ally’ – A word which describes how cool someone or their equipment looks, usually their battlefield fashion. Those serving in the special forces have automatic ‘ally’ status.
  2. ‘Threaders’ – Angry or fed up.
  3. ‘Hoofing’ – Excellent or amazing.
  4. ‘Gleaming’ – To describe something as good, desirable or brilliant. A particular favourite of the Guards Division. If something is ‘gleaming’ you’re probably onto a good thing.
  5. ‘Dhobi Dust’ – Slang term for washing powder. The Indian word ‘dobi’ meaning ‘washing’ or ‘laundry’ has been used ever since the British military were stationed there.
  6. ‘Egg Banjo’ – A fried egg sandwich, so called because when it is eaten, generally with the one hand that is free, egg yolk squirts onto the eater’s shirt/jacket resulting in them raising their sandwich to approximately ear height while they attempt to ‘strum’ the egg from their shirt with their free hand.
  7. ‘Gen’ – Slang for genuine: ‘What’s the gen?’ – What’s the true gossip?
  8. ‘Jack’ – Workshy or selfish person.
  9. ‘KFS’ – Knife, fork and spoon.
  10. ‘Civi, civy or civvy’ – Slang for civilian – a member of the public that doesn’t serve within the Armed Forces.
  11. ‘Buckshee’ – Slang for a spare item of equipment, something easy or free, for example – ‘I’ve just got a buckshee pair of boots’.
  12. ‘Daysack’ – Small backpack which contains all the essentials to keep a person sustained for a short period of time. Although there’s still the question, ‘can a daysack be used at night?’.
  13. ‘Dit’ – story – usually an exaggerated story.
  14. ‘Doss Bag’ – Sleeping bag.
  15. ‘Oggin’ – Slang for water. In the ‘Oggin’ – at sea or in the water.
  16. ‘Pull up a sandbag’ – To tell a story – usually someone telling an unwarranted war story. For example – ‘Pull up a sandbag … so this one time in Afghanistan…’
  17. ‘Green time machine’ – A sleeping bag
  18. ‘Redders’ – Word meaning hot or warm. For example – ‘I’m redders today, I need to go cool down.’
  19. ‘End Ex’ – Every soldiers favourite word, meaning the exercise or event is over and they can have a shower for the first time in weeks.
  20. ‘Scoff’ – Army slang for food. For example – ‘I’m starving, let’s go get some scoff.’
  21. ‘Cookhouse’ – The canteen where the Army goes to eat.
  22. ‘Scran’ – slang for food. ‘I’m starving, let’s go get some scran’.
  23. ‘Galley’ – the canteen on board a ship where the Royal Navy goes to eat.
  24. ‘Stag’ – Guard duty
  25. ‘NAAFI’ – Short for Navy, Army and Air Force Institute – a place where members of the Armed Forces go to buy sweets, crisps, snacks, tea/coffee.
  26. ‘Scale A Parade’ – A parade/gathering where every person available in the regiment is to attend at a specific time and date, no exceptions or excuses.
  27. ‘Chin-strapped’ – Meaning very tired or lack of sleep.
  28. ‘Yomp’ – Slang for a forced march with a heavy load usually a long distance.
  29. ‘Recce’ – Reconnaissance. For example – ‘let’s go recce that park and see what it’s like.’

Click here to find out more about Daisy McDee!

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Secret Life of Daisy McDee, in association with the Royal British Legion

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Life in the Armed Forces

Find out about Life in the Armed Forces

More From Life in the Armed Forces