- What Is a Military School?
- History of Military Schools
- Daily Life at Military School
- Military School Discipline
- Why Military Schools?
- Who Are They For?
- Who Are They Not For?
- Alternatives to Military Schools
- Is Your Teen in Trouble?
- Military School Lingo
- Military Prep Schools
- Helpful Resources
- Articles on Teen Issues
Military School Lingo
Most military schools are boarding schools. Students, teachers and administrators live together on a self-contained campus, and usually they form a close-knit community within shared experiences. All boarding schools and college campuses have their own traditions, slogans and slang unique to their communities.
Stanford University students call their campus "the farm," and Northwestern University students meet at "the Rock," a large rock in the center of campus that students paint in different colors from time to time. Students at the Willard School for Girls respect the "senior triangle" as a grassy space reserved for seniors and alumnae.
Typically known for their high academic and athletic standards, most military schools base their programs on the core principles of a military curriculum. Because these types of boarding and prep schools use a military model, they also use much of the same terminology as official military colleges and institutions. And that means teens enrolled - or planning to enroll - in a military school often find themselves faced with learning a whole new vocabulary.
From cadets to colonels, boot camp to basic training, the lingo and language of military schools isn't just designed to reinforce rigorous military standards and codes of conduct - it's also a deeply embedded part of military school culture.
Likewise, every military school has a unique lingo of its own. However, most military students adopt common military words and slang as part of their unique campus language. Here are some common words and phrases you'll often hear at military schools.
Academic Year: Most military schools operate between the beginning of September to the middle of June, in a two-semester system.
Admiral: The highest rank in the navy, the word admiral means "commander of the seas".
Air Force: One of the three branches of the US military, the Air Force primarily operates air-based operations.
All Hands: Everyone
Army: One of the three branches of the US military, the Army focuses on land-based operations.
Barracks: The building where soldiers lodge; dormitories
Basic Training: Six to 13 weeks of rigorous physical training undergone by every new member of the Armed Services or other military program, sometimes called "boot camp." Basic training teaches cadets to live by core military codes of conduct and standards of behavior.
Beat your face: Slang for do some push-ups
Brass: top-ranking officers
Bulkhead: a wall
Cadet: One of the most common military school terms, the term cadet refers to a junior officer or officer in training. In a military school setting, students are frequently referred to as cadets.
Chaplain: Typically members of the clergy or priests, chaplains are assigned to military units as non-denominational religious counselors. Most military schools have a chaplain on faculty.
Chow Hall: Mess hall
Civvies: civilian clothes
Colonel: One of the highest military ranks, usually surpassed only by Generals.
Demerit: A mark against a person's record. Students get demerits for bad grades, rule infractions, and so forth. If a student accumulates enough demerits, he may undergo a punishment.
Detention: A form of punishment in which a student must remain under supervision, often in an empty classroom, for a designated period of time
Ensign: This is a naval term used to denote the lowest-ranking member of the naval unit.
Fashion show: A punishment in which a person has to dress in each of his various uniforms (summer, dress, etc) over the course of a few hours
Field Day: Barracks cleaning day
Five and fly: Military academy slang for doing only the minimum five years of service after graduation
Gear: equipment and personal items
General: Like a Navy Admiral, the General is the highest-ranking member of an army or air force unit.
Go Juice: Fuel
Good to go: Acceptable for use, as in "that equipment is good to go"
Hazing: Teasing or pranks by upperclassmen to harass underclassmen, especially freshman. Hazing can be part of the process of becoming accepted at the school.
High and tight: Short military haircut
JAG: Short for the Judge Advocate General's Corps, JAG is the judicial sector of the United States military. Military schools may use JAG as a model for their student judiciary.
Liberty: Official authorized freedom to leave school for a while, as in "Joe has liberty this Sunday"
Lights out: The time of the day when all students must go to sleep. Some schools have "campus lights out."
Mess, mess hall: The place where students eat meals together
Navy: One of the three branches of the US military, the Navy focuses its activities on water-based operations.
Plebe: An underclassman
Port: The left side
Portholes: Someone who wears glasses
Reveille: Music played at the beginning of every day as a wake-up call
Starboard: The right side
Taps: Music played at the end of the day to signal "Lights out"
Fast Facts About Adolescents
By age 15, only 13 percent of teens have had sex. However, by the time they reach age 19, seven in 10 teens have engaged in sexual intercourse.
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