supposedly doesn't like to hear used but I use it often.
The term is GI, as in the American GI.
It's somewhat of a flexible term. However, it is most commonly used to denote service people in general but the term is most often used to denote soldiers.
An Airman is an Airman. A Marine is a Marine. A Sailor is a Sailor, but a soldier can be either a soldier or a GI.
On the other hand if you have a group of mixed service people I might refer to all of them as being a group of GIs.
I don't know why the Pentagon types want to do away with the term. At one time I was a GI and proud to be one.
Years ago it was very common to address a First Sergeant as 'Top' but it seems to have fallen out of disfavor. Now First Sergeants are simple addressed as 'First Sergeant'.
Back in the day First Sergeants were proud of the title 'Top'. It meant 'top soldier' or 'top Marine', meaning he was at the top of the pile. These men took pride in the title.
It is interesting to note that almost to a man even now a First Sergeant will grin when and older guy like myself addresses one as 'Top'.
While it isn't the current practice the newer breed of First Sergeants seem to know where they came from. They proudly answer to the Old School title from an old soldier even though a young serviceman would get brought up short for addressing one that way.
Still, the term GI is still in pretty common use and I imagine it isn't going to go away too quickly.
Another term that seems to stick around is the term 'mess hall' or 'chow hall'. Back when I served they were trying to get us to call the place the dining facility. I suppose they still are.
We did what GIs have done since Valley Forge. When we were talking to officers we called it the dining facility. Among us enlisted guys it was and likely still is the mess hall.
What was funny was overhearing the officers talk among themselves and refer to the place as the mess hall.
What was real intersting is hearing a general officer call it the mess hall to the Battalion Commander one time.
I suppose even a major general knew that the Pentagon's attempt to change something as firmly entrenched as that was a joke.
I remember one time telling the First Sergeant, "Top, you can eat at a dining facility if you want, but I'm a f***in' soldier and I eat at a f***in' MESS HALL!"
He didn't even bother hiding his smirk. He looked at me and quietly said, "I feel the same way."
Why the Penatgon would waste time and effort on something like that is beyond me. Maybe they ought to have them mop and wax their own floors because it sounds like they have too much time on their hands.
They could do this while the real soldiers are eating chow at the mess hall.
To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this:
http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY