Air Force Dictionary


– Sitting around the squadron discussing why a suspense was missed or a mission failed and who was responsible.

Seagull Colonel

– A colonel who swoops in, makes a lot of noise, and dumps stuff all over everything.

Salmon Day

– The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.


– The process by which some people seem to absorb success and promotability by kissing up to the commander.


– Career Restricting Move – Used among officers to describe ill-advised activity. Trashing core values or discussing Delta’s pay scale while your commander is within earshot is serious CRM.


– The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the wing level. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are generally profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.


– To be exploited and oppressed by your boss. Derived from the experiences of Dilbert, the geek-in-hell comic strip character. “I’ve been dilberted again. The old man changed my leave schedule for the fourth time this month.”

Flight Risk

– Used to describe troops who are suspected of planning to retire or separate from the service soon. Alternatively, any O-6 or above that gets behind the controls of an airplane.


– Someone who’s clueless. From the World Wide Web error message “404 Not Found,” meaning that the requested document could not be located. “Don’t bother asking the boss . . . he’s 404, man.”


– Features of the Air Force landscape that are exactly the same no matter which base one is at, such as Burger King, Robin Hood, the BX, and AMC terminal. Used as in “We were so lost in generica that I forgot what base we were at.”


– That minuscule fraction of time after hitting the “enter” key or clicking “ok” in which you realize that you’ve just made a BIG mistake.

Percussive maintenance

– The fine art of whacking the crap out of a $200,000 inertial navigation unit to get it to work again.

40% redux retirement

– The new retirement plan that will result in reduction of Air Force manning to 40% of wartime requirements.

Aviation continuation pay

– The $16,308 a month paycheck you’ll earn when you get out and continue to fly until you’re a senior captain at United Airlines.

 The Air Force Dictionary

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