Army slang explained.


TLA for Ammunition Technical Officer. ‘The bomb guy’ who does the long walk to defuse the bomb (see also Render Safe) Balls of galvanized steel required.


Three Letter Acronym. Like ATO, EOD, RLC, TLA and IED. As you can see, the army likes TLAs. You’d better get used to them PDQ.


Improvised Explosive Device. Or bomb. Handmade by the Taliban and planted by a road or pathway.


The vibe

Pressure Plate

One of the triggers for an IED. Tread on it and it goes bang.

Hook and line

Kit the ATO uses to pull the IED out of the ground. Like fishing. But for bombs.


Engaging the enemy in more than a casual conversation. Bullets involved.

Drills and Skills

A general encouragement to rely on your training (drills) and your expertise (skills).


A Chaplain. Like an army vicar. Always called Padres (which means ‘Father’) even if they're women. S’pose we should call them Madres. But we don’t. Always good for sweets.

Render Safe

Defuse Bomb.


Explosive Ordnance Disposal. Ie. The guys that get rid of stuff that goes bang, like IEDs.