We don’t know who started it, but every branch of the military has its own world where they created terms and slang only they could understand. Some of them could be far from their actual meaning, while others are just plain hilarious. Here is some of the slang unique to the Air Force:

Rainbow Flights

Before fresh trainees could get their official issued uniform in boot camp, they’d be walking around wearing their civilian clothes. Thus they looked like a rainbow while in formation.

Pull Chocks and Blocks

Crew members of the 436th Military Airlift Wing, dressed in chemical warfare gear, pull chocks into position during a chemical warfare defense equipment test.

Wedges are used to prevent stationary airplanes from moving. Pull chocks refer to pulling these wedges, which also means you’re about to leave the base. In short, the “Let’s go!” signal.

Prime Beef

Not used for ribeye steak. Refers to the Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force, a rapidly deployable, specialized civil engineer unit of the US Air Force with a full range of engineering support.

Pocket Rocket

Missile badge. u/bannedfromAmnNcoSnco / Reddit

It is a badge of recognition for the commission officers and enlisted personnel of the United States Air Force that underwent and passed training in the maintenance or launching of land-based and air-launched nuclear weapons.

Secret Squirrel Stuff

Refers to classified information. A secret squirrel, of course, is someone who was assigned to carry out covert operations and intelligence.


The unit first sergeant. Don’t ask me. Nobody knows why.

Operation Golden Flow

The task of looking after someone while they are peeing for the mandatory drug testing. Sometimes also called “Lemonade Party.”

Wing King

Pertains to the wing-level commander who is always 0-6 or above.

Water Wings

These are the inflatables worn under the arms.

Speed Jeans

U-2 High Flight. Christopher MichelCC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This is the G-suit worn by airmen like a cowboy’s chaps. The air would squeeze the wearer’s legs and midsection during high G maneuvers when inflated.


A highly underestimated but mission-critical position was given to newly reported Lieutenants in a flying formation. If you do well at the Snacko position, then you’re up for a good start to your career. On the other hand, failing could mean replacement and retraining, apart from the ridicule that you will receive.

Breaking Red

Walking outside of the designated personnel area on the flight line marked in red. It could also be used when someone did not use the designated entry and exit control areas. Breaking Red makes you subject to being detained and questioned by security personnel guarding nuclear-armed aircraft.

Port Dawg

Refers to the Air Transportation Specialists responsible for all management and movement of cargo and passengers transported through the Military Airlift System.

There are still a lot of other terms that we might not have mentioned, so feel free to drop them.