P-38 - Tiny military collapsible can opener, also known as a "John Wayne". padre - Chaplain, usually Catholic. PAPA - Military phonetic for the letter 'P' papa san - Pidgin used by US servicemen for any older Vietnamese or Japanese man. parade ground/field/deck - Area set aside for parades, drill, and ceremonies. Often paved or well-maintained lawn. passageway - Corridor or hallway. passed-over - Having failed selection for the next higher rank (for SNCOs and officers). Three passed-overs could mean forced retirement. Pathfinders - Most elite special operations unit in the Marine Corps. Equivalent to the Navy SEALS and trained with them. Last team was billeted in my barracks at Futenma, Okinawa in 1963. Now defunct and replaced by Forced Recon. Some of us believe the Pathfinders will never be equalled as an effective special operations unit. PCS Permanent Change of Station. Transfer to another post, station, base, or installation. pee - Piaster, the South Vietnamese monetary unit. Also called dong. In 1964, the official rate of exchange was 72 piasters to one US dollar, or 134 piasters to one US dollar in the black market. peon - Enlisted man, usually of lower rank. perimeter - Outer limits of a military position. The area beyond the perimeter belongs to the enemy.   PFC - Private First Class. Enlisted rank of E-2. PFT - Physical Fitness Test. Semi-annual test measuring strength, agility, and endurance by scoring performance in pull-ups (flexed-arm hang for females), abdominal crunches, and a 3-mile run. Fireman's carry was once included in the PFT. phone watch - Duty where a Marine is responsible for answering phones when others are busy or unavailable, such as lunch hours. Also, the person filling the duty. phonetic alphabet: Alpha Bravo Charlie Delta Echo Foxtrot Golf Hotel India Juliett Kilo Lima Mike November Oscar Papa Quebec Romeo Sierra Tango Uniform Victor Whiskey X-ray Yankee Zulu PI - Parris Island, South Carolina. piece - Small arm, mortar, or cannon. piss and punk/puke - Solitary confinement on bread and water, which was only authorized aboard ship. piss cutter - Nickname for the garrison cap or garrison cover. platoon - Subdivision of a company-sized military unit, normally consisting of two or more squads or sections. pogey bait - Candy. Sweets. pogey rope - French fourragere. A looped, ornamental braided cord usually worn around the left shoulder of the uniform. Awarded to the 5th and 6th Marine regiments by the French government for gallantry during World War I. point - Forward man or element on a combat patrol. police - To pick up items such as litter or expended ammunition casings. To return an area to its natural state. poncho liner - Nylon insert to the military rain poncho, used as a blanket to warm the individual wearing a rain poncho, often used as a stand-alone blanket. pop a smoke - To ignite a smoke grenade to signal an aircraft. pop smoke - To leave quickly or hastily. From the method of throwing a smoke grenade to mark a landing zone or conceal a retreat. port - Left. Left side. The opposite of starboard (right). pot shack - Place where cooking utensils are washed. POW - Prisoner Of War. PT - Physical Training. Exercise to build or maintain strength, agility, and flexibility. pucker factor - Degree of contraction of one's anus relative to the degree of danger one perceives to be in. Rated one to 10; ten being the tightest. pull butts - To mark and score targets on a shooting range from behind a berm. punji - Sharpened bamboo stakes buried in the ground and intended to injure or kill the hapless G.I. who falls or steps on one. PX - Post EXchange. Military retail store.
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