List of United States Marine Corps Acronyms and Expressions - L


  • ladder well – stairway or ladder connecting different decks of a ship, so named because naval stairs tend to be so steep as to almost be vertical.
  • laminated – perceived semi-permanent state of issue for a normally temporary status.
  • Lance Colonel – derivation of Lance Corporal denoting a junior Marine with extended time in service or grade. See also terminal lance and Battalion Lance Corporal.
  • Lance Coolie, Lance Criminal, or Lance Coconut – derogatory terms for Lance Corporal.
  • Lance Corporal Underground or Lance Corporal Network – joking reference to the gulf between non-NCOs and their superiors; also refers to the spread of foolish rumors that a more experienced Marine would immediately recognize as false.
  • landing gear – crossed rifles exposed on the rank insignia of Lance Corporals, Corporals, and Sergeants.
  • Land of the big BX – used in reference to CONUS by Marines deployed overseas. A borrowed term from the Army, "...of the big PX."
  • lawn dart – pejorative for various aircraft, possibly from the lawn dart effect.
  • LBV – Load Bearing Vest, personal equipment used to keep the most commonly used items within easy reach utilizing the PALS, usually a component of MOLLE or ILBE.
  • LCPLIC – Lance Corporal in Charge. A salty Lance Corporal.
  • leadstick – pencil.
  • leatherneck – nickname for Marine, so named for legends stating that stiff leather collars were once worn to protect the throat from sword-blows (also thought that high stocks were worn for discipline, to keep Marines' heads high and straight). The dress blue uniform still bears a high stock collar today. Also, Leatherneck Magazine.
  • leg – servicemember who does not rate to wear the Parachutist Insignia, borrowed from the Army Airborne.
  • leggings – leg coverings made of canvas with eyelets and laces or buckles to secure the trouser legs over boots.
  • liberty – authorized free time ashore or off station, not counted as leave, known in the Army as a "pass".
  • liberty list – list containing the names of Marines entitled to liberty and those employed by the guard during the liberty period (and thus not entitled to leave post).
  • liberty risk – a Marine with a high risk of getting into trouble on liberty.
  • lifer – career servicemember, as opposed to one who serves for a single enlistment.
  • lifertool – multi-tool, so named because a lifer would inevitably need a tool of such utility.
  • Lima Charlie or lickin' chicken – Loud and Clear, an expression meaning that the communication has been received and understood; originally exclusive to radio traffic.
  • line company – lettered Marine companies or the aviation term for ground units, originally, an infantry company.
  • lipstick lieutenant – pejorative for warrant officer, so named from the appearance of their rank insignia: the addition of red to the gold and silver bars of a lieutenant.
  • lollygag – dawdle or fool about.
  • long handles – long sleeved/legged undershirt/shorts.
  • Long War – term for the War on Terrorism favored by senior military leaders.
  • lost lieutenant finder – hand-held GPS unit, a joke term on the reputation for new lieutenants to be incompetent in land navigation.
  • LT – abbreviation for lieutenant, inappropriate to address as such verbally.
  • LWH – LightWeight Helmet.
  • LZ – Landing Zone, a clearing designated as the place where a helicopter (or other VTOL aircraft) can land.

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