War slang is always interesting; I’m familiar with the lexicon of Vietnam (being the grandfatherly baby boomer that I am), but I wasn’t up on the equivalent for UK troops in Afghanistan, so I was glad to find this BBC News piece. Soldiers, like mathematicians and jazz musicians, are masters at brilliant repurposing of ordinary words, e.g.:
ALLY Term for a battlefield fashionista – desirables include having a beard, using a different rifle, carrying vast amounts of ammunition, being dusty and having obscene amounts of tattoos and hair. Special forces are automatically Ally.
[N.b.: This does not actually belong under this heading; as ajay explains in the comments, it is not the word ally but an abbreviation for alumin(i)um, and rhymes with “valley.”]
CROW New soldier recently out of training. Hardly a term of endearment.
And abbreviations are always in fashion: HLS Helicopter Landing Site, IDF Indirect fire, TIC Troops in Contact (used to relay over radio when troops come under fire). But they don’t explain the origin of BARMA “Drills and procedures for searching for IEDs (improvised explosive devices), normally using a vallon detector”; anybody know?