[Editor’s Note: A version of this article originally appeared on the blog of Angry Staff Officer.]

I know you all are like me; you get excited when new doctrine gets released. Giddy, even. So I know that when the Army released Army Doctrine Reference Publication 1-02 Terms and Military Symbols you immediately downloaded the whole thing and had a good read. Or not.

One thing always strikes me when going through this work is that without context, military operational symbols could look like some really silly things. So, without any more preamble, here is a selection of ADRP 1-02, as seen by extremely literal people.



What it looks like: “Peppermint stick cannon being fired by man in sombrero.”

What it is:  “Border Patrol.”


What it looks like: “This box is happy.”

What it is: “Civil Military Cooperation in NATO


What it looks like: “Pizza is here!”

What it is: “Coordination Point.”


What it looks like: “Get in the box.”

What it is: “Customs Service.”


What it looks like: “Be on the lookout for giant handguns on skateboards.”

What it means: “Drive by Shooting.”