NAVIGATE THE DICTIONARY - Numbers ¦ A ¦ B ¦ C ¦ D ¦ E ¦ F ¦ G ¦ H ¦ I ¦ J ¦  K ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ Z
Home Page ¦ Dictionary Cover ¦ Marine Quotes

H & I

Harassment and interdiction artillery fire designed to limit and alter enemy movement.


Sikorsky UH-34 resupply and medevac helicopter used in Vietnam.

Hagee, Michael W.

33rd Commandant of the Marine Corps who served from January 13, 2003 until November 13, 2006, two months before his four year tour should have ended.  A 1968 graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy, he was a combat veteran with awards that include two Defense Distinguished Service Medals, Defense Superior Service Medal, three Legions of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with "V" for valor, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and two Meritorious Service Medals..

Haj or Haji or Haçi

(Iraqi Freedom) An Iraqi citizen. A local (usually a good guy). Also Haggie, from the Johnny Quest cartoon who has a sidekick named Haggie (supposedly meaning friend).


Water purification tablet.


Hairy Assed Marine. A female response to BAM.

Ham and Motherfuckers

(Vietnam) The most reviled C-ration meal which was so bad you couldn't even give it away to the locals. The meal included apricots. Sometimes called the dead man's meal because it was said that if you ate apricots before going into battle you would be hit.

Hamblet, Julia

As a colonel she served as the third and last Director of Women’s Reserve from 1946 to 1948 and as second Director of Women Marines from 1953 to 1959.


(Vietnam) A village of less than 100 residents.

Harper's Ferry

The location of John Brown's ill fated uprising in 1859 and of his capture by U. S. Marines under the command of Army Colonel Robert E. Lee. The Marines were led by Lt Israel Greene who later resigned his commission to join the Confederate States Marines. Marine Private Luke Quinn was killed when he breached a hole in the firehouse door and was shot by John Brown and can, arguably, be considered the first casualty of the Civil War.

Harris, John 

Sixth Commandant of the Marine Corps. Born in Chester County, PA on May 20, 1790 he became Colonel Commandant on the death of long-serving Archibald Henderson and served through the Civil War. His leadership is overshadowed by his personal battles with other senior Marine officers, one of which resulted in his report to the Secretary of the Navy after the First Battle of Bull Run in which he ignored the accolades of senior Army commanders on the field and reported that it was "the first instance in history where any portion of its members [The Marine battalion] turned their backs on the enemy." The erroneous report has stained the reputation of the Corps for eternity. He died, in office, on May 12, 1864.

  Hartman, Gunnery Sergeant  

  The quinticential Marine Drill Instructor from the 1986 movie "Full Metal Jacket" about the Vietnam War.  Hartman was played by retired Marine Staff Sergeant R. Lee Ermey, who has since had a broad ranging media career in movies and television. He had previously appeared in the anti-war movie "The Boys in Company 'C'" as Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant LoyceErmey has since received an honorary promotion to Gunnery Sergeant by the Commandant of the Marine Corps.  Hartman appears to have never been given a first name, but if questioned, Hartman himself might have said, "My first name is Gunnery you maggot."


Stripes worn on forearm of dress and service uniforms by enlisted Marines, each denotes 4 yrs of service.  Also a brown stripe in skivvies.


(Vietnam era) Hawaiian Armed Services Police.


Informally suitable term for the Campaign Cover worn by Drill Instructors. Also an informally suitable name for Drill Instructors. Also, to leave as in "get a hat."

Hathcock, Carlos

(May 20, 1942 – February 23, 1999) was a Gunnery Sergeant sniper with a service record of 93 confirmed kills.  He helped start the Marine Sniper School and had a sniper rifle named for him. A Vietnamese sniper sent to find and kill Hathcock was instead killed by Hathcock with a shot through his scope hitting him in the eye.  His signature was a single white feather in his boonie cap.


The civilian community outside the main gate of MCAS Cherry Point, NC. Also a cloth hanging from the back of a cap or hat to protect the neck (a la the French Foreign Legion). Once part of the U. S. Navy uniform hat it now exists only on the female dress hat in a much smaller form.


High Explosive.


Latrine or toilet, from the naval term. In the sailing navy the forecastle (pronounced folk-sill) was the most forward deck open to the weather and was the place sailors were allowed to gather to relax and entertain each other. One corner of the forecastle, with a wide scupper, was where sailors went to the bathroom. As the forecastle was in the front or "head" of the ship, a sailor on the way to relieve himself would declare that he was on the way to the head.

Head Shed

Often Hed Shed. Headquarters or Command Post where all of the leaders are gathered. A great place for a Marine to stay away from.

Heat Tab

Fuel for a C-Ration Stove. A tablet of blue Trioxin, which caused fumes which irritated the eyes and respiratory tract if ventilation holes weren't large enough. In that case, a whole heat tab had to be used. With a properly vented stove, only half a Trioxin heat tab was needed to heat the meal and then the other half could be used to heat water for coffee or cocoa. A small chunk of C-4 explosive could also be substituted for the Trioxin tablet for faster heating. It would burn hotter and was much better for heating water.



Henderson Hall

A building in Arlington Va. close to the Pentagon used to house enlisted Marines assigned to HQMC at the Pentagon and other administrative functions. The building was named for Brevet Brigadier General, Colonel Commandant Archibald Henderson, the Grand Old Man of the Corps.

Henderson, Archibald  

Fifth Commandant of the Marine Corps, known as the "Grand Old Man of the Corps" he served the longest in the position--38 years. The Virginia native was born on Jan. 21, 1783 and served as Acting Commandant from Sept. 16, 1818 until Gale's appointment on March 3, 1819. He was named Lieutenant Colonel Commandant at the conclusion of Gale's court martial which cashiered him from the service, Oct. 17, 1820. During Henderson's tenure he led the Marines in the Indian Wars in Florida, reportedly tacking a note to the door of the Commandant's House saying, "Gone to fight the Indians, be back when the war is over". He also became the first Colonel Commandant and was awarded a Brevet promotion to Brigadier General. As medals had not yet been introduced into the U. S. military, bravery, meritorious and exceptional service were recognized by honorary, or brevet, promotions. In the social setting of Washington he was known as General Henderson but he always signed official documents as Colonel Commandant.

Henderson, Margaret

As a colonel she served as the third Director of Women Marines from 1959 to 1964.


See Blivet.


A World War II fabric in a field green color that was used to make utility uniforms. The herringbone pattern was phased out during Korea and by Vietnam was only worn by real salts. The last Marines to be issued herringbone utilities were female Marines in boot camp at Parris Island in 1964 (the editor's wife was one of those Marines).

Heywood, Charles

Ninth Commandant of the Marine Corps. Born in Maine Oct. 3, 1839 he became Colonel Commandant on Jan. 30, 1891 and served in the position until Oct. 2, 1903. On March 3, 1899 the billet of Commandant was again raised to Brigadier General and on July 1, 1902 a law was passed promoting the incumbent to Major General Commandant but requiring that his replacement be a Brigadier General. He died on Feb. 26, 1915.

  Higgins Boat  

  The primary landing craft of both Army and Marine forces during World War II.  It was built by New Orleans boat builder Andwew Higgins with the encouragement and designs of Marine Lieutenant General Victor "Brute" Krulak.

High and Tight

The traditional Marine haircut.


To bug out in a big hurry.


Head Mother Fucker In Charge. An Ebonics version is HMFWIC for Head Mother Fucker What's In Charge.

Holcomb, Thomas  

Seventeenth Commandant of the Marine Corps. Born in Delaware Aug. 5, 1879 he was named Major General Commandant on Dec. 1, 1936. On Jan. 20, 1942 a new law provided for the Commandant to be a Lieutenant General and provided that the title be "Commandant of the Marine Corps", dropping the reference to rank. He retired from the Marine Corps on Dec. 31, 1943 and the next day was promoted to General on the retired list (See Tombstone Brigadier General), the first Marine to hold that rank. He died May 24, 1965. Following his retirement he served as Ambassador to South Africa.


Window, from the naval term porthole. See “make a hole”.

Hollywood Marine  

Marines trained at MCRD San Diego, CA. It is rumored among Parris Island Marines that Hollywood Marines are issued sun glasses in boot camp. There are no female Hollywood Marines since all female Marines go through boot camp in the 4th Recruit Training Battalion (formerly WM Battalion) at MCRD Parris Island, SC.


The person in charge which is not necessarily the person assigned to be in charge. See HMFIC.

Honey Bucket

Any bucket used to clean out a toilet, usually carried in pairs on a stick by Oriental women and men.


  A redneck female outside of Naval Air Station Memphis where a lot of Marines were taught electronics in the 1960.  Honkers would provide oral sex for a small fee or sometimes just for a beer.

  Honorary Marine

  Marine Corps Order 5060.19B authorizes the award of the Honorary Marine title to non-Marines who have made significant contributions to the Marine Corps.  Two of those so honored were Navy Medical Service Corps Captain Roger Edwards and FBI Special Agent  Tom Cottone who received the honor at the same ceremony in 2003.  Edwards had made a career out of supporting the Marine Corps as a medical support officer and Cottone was the Special Agent who tracked down and prosecuted people for wearing awards and decorations they had not earned.  A year later Cottone was a key witness at Capt. Edwards' court martial in which he was charged with wearing 11 medals he had not earned.  Edwards later had the honor of being the only field grade officer in the brig at Quantico, VA and his "Honorary Marine" status had been revoked.  Does that make him the world's only ex  Honorary Marine.?


Hard liquor, usually contraband, often home made.

Hook Up

To get in touch with.


(Vietnam) Living quarters, originally occupied by enlisted Marines, the word later become a general term for wherever a Marine was living. The civilian word crib is essentially the same.

Horse Blanket

A thick wool blanket or the heavy wool overcoat once issued to all Marines and seldom worn.

Horse Marines

See China Marines.  The 19th Century three-act comedy, "Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines," was about an Army captain and had absolutely nothing to do with the U.S. Marines.  The author just liked the name Marine better than soldier.



Hospital Corners

A method of making a rack where the top blanket is squared off at the corners leaving one 45 degree angle on each corner. The procedure allows the blanket to be tucked under making it straight and tight.

Hostess House

An on-base hotel for guests of Marines.

Hotel Street

(WWII)The vice district of Honolulu, Hawaii which contained 20 brothels and around 200 prostitutes. Customers would pay $3 for 3 minutes and the women (mostly imported from the mainland) would service up to 100 customers per day (martial law rules imposed a curfew during the hours of darkness).

House Mouse

A recruit (or low ranking Marine in the fleet) who provides assistance to the drill instructor (or unit leaders) in the form of keeping the drill instructor hut (or NCO quarters) tidy and other minor tasks and chores. It is an informal position and the person is selected by the drill instructor often receives one of the promotions given at the conclusion of basic training. Some units in the fleet also use the term to mean a junior member of an organization assigned duties such as coffee mess and other domestic chores.


(Civil War through WW II) Sewing kit.




Headquarters Marine Corps. Located in the Pentagon. Previously at the Navy Annex on a plot of land where the Air Force Monument will be built (The original site for the AF Monument was on Arlington Ridge adjacent to the Marine Corps Memorial but Marines and their friends fought that placement as inappropriate.)


UH1E, the designation of a helicopter used extensively in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam period.


A field march or extended hike. To work hard. Also, to fornicate.


(Korea & Vietnam) An early Marine aircraft designation often used to mean helicopter so that when someone would request a helicopter they would say "get me a huss." Later it came regularly to mean do me a favor or help me out as in "Cut me a huss." to another web site with more info. additional reading on this topic.


Custom Search


NAVIGATE THE DICTIONARY - Numbers ¦ A ¦ B ¦ C ¦ D ¦ E ¦ F ¦ G ¦ H ¦ I ¦ J ¦  K ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ Z
Home Page ¦ Dictionary Cover ¦ Marine Quotes 

© Glenn B. Knight, 2002-2011

Portions of this dictionary and its associated list of quotations may be quoted without further permission of the copyright holder so long as an appropriate citation is given. Citation should include "Unofficial Unabridged Dictionary for Marines" and the URL from which the quote is taken.

Please send additions, corrections, changes, modifications to
Send Complaints to anyone in the world but me, 'cause I don't really care. I'm doing the best I can with what I have and most folks seem to like it.

Semper Fi