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Unauthorized Absence. The Marine equivalent of AWOL (Absent Without Leave).


Uniform Code of Military Justice. When it was introduced in the 1940s to replace the "Rocks and Shoals" system of Naval justice it was jokingly said to be a way to bring the guilty bastards in and give them a fair trial.


Undesirable Discharge. Ranks between General and Bad Conduct Discharge. Also, Uniform of the Day

Uncle Sam's Canoe Club

The U. S. Naval Academy (Canoe U) or more broadly, the U. S. Navy.

Uncle Sam's Misguided Children

An alternate meaning for the acronym USMC.

Uncommon valor was a common virtue

Refers to the victories in World War II, especially at Iwo Jima, the largest all-Marine battle in history. Admiral Nimitz's ringing characterization of Marines fighting on Iwo Jima was applied to the entire Marine Corps in World War II: "Uncommon valor was a common virtue."


To remove the headgear. A Marine never wears headgear indoors unless under arms.

Under Arms

Equipped with a pistol, rifle or sword, an indication that the Marine is on duty. It is the only time that a Marine may remain covered indoors.

Undress Blues

A term that identified the dress blue uniform worn with ribbons rather than medals. The term is not used anymore.

  Underwater Demolition Team   (WWII thru Vietnam)  Teams of sailors organized to go ashore and reconoiter ememy beachheads in advance of landings to remove obstacles and make landings safer for the soldiers and Marines to follow. They eventually became the Navy SEALs.


A Marine expletive similar to YGTBSM.

Unified Commands

Units under the control of the Joint Chiefs of Staff containing elements from all of the U. S. armed forces. They are normally commanded by a four star general or admiral and are given the title Commander-in-Chief.

Uniform Code of Military Justice

The system of justice for the military services. It is a federal law enacted by Congress. It replaced the “Rocks and Shoals” system of justice practiced previously in the Naval service.

Uniformed Services

The five armed services (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) plus the commissioned corps of the U. S. Public Health Service and the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.

Unit One

The Field Medical Kit carried by Navy Hospital Corpsmen.

United States Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association (USMCCCA)

An association of Marines and former Marines who were involved in the Public Affairs, Photographic or Motion Picture career fields or former Marines now working in journalism or public relations.

  University of Science, Medicine and Culture   USMC (A humorous option)  




(WWII to Vietnam) The Marine fighting and field uniform. During Vietnam the Jungle Utilities (the Army called them fatigues) were introduced and eventually became "cammies" which replaced utilities.

Utility Uniform

The field uniform of Marines prior to the adoption of cammies, it was an olive drab shirt and trousers with the khaki Marine belt and black combat boots.

Links to another web site with more info.
Indicates additional reading on this topic.

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Home Page ¦ Dictionary Cover ¦ Marine Quotes 
© Glenn B. Knight, 2002-2009

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.

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