Everyone who has ever been in or around any military branch knows how heavily they rely upon jargon. The military has unique names from everything from ink pens (ink sticks) to workout clothes (PT Gear) to bedtime (Lights Out). Here is some of the military jargon you are most likely to hear around an active-duty servicemember or veteran.


1) Embrace the Suck

The meaning of “embrace the suck” is probably easily guessed by the public. It means that while the situation you’re in is difficult, embrace the difficulty and figure out how to thrive. In the military, this could be that you are deployed and aren’t going home for another couple of months. If so, embrace the suck of being deployed with your fellow brothers and sisters in uniform. In your workplace, it could be that it is Monday at 0700 and you know that your day is full of meetings and drama. Embrace the suck that at least you are at work and earning a paycheck. At home, it could be that your kids are being little hellions and driving you nuts. Embrace the suck and be thankful that you are blessed with kids that can drive you nuts.

embrace the suck
Embrace the Suck! (Spotter Up)

I use or consider this military jargon on a nearly daily basis; it helps put situations back into perspective.

Former Navy SEAL commander and now popular podcast host and author Jocko Willink has his own unique way of saying embrace the suck. Jocko says, “Good!” Is it 0430 and you’re up for a workout while still suffering from last night’s hangover? Good! This workout will create extra mental toughness that a regular workout simply wouldn’t have.

In all things, learn how to embrace the suck. Once you do, you’ll be equipped to handle anything that comes your way.


2) Bravo Zulu

Bravo Zulu is a military jargon term that isn’t as clear-cut. Bravo Zulu means “well done,” but why in the world would it mean that? After all, isn’t the point of some of these saying to shorten the time it takes to convey these messages? Well, as in much of the military jargon one could hear, this phrase is steeped in tradition.