Category Archives: Navigating the System

US Service Calls: Hooah, Hoorah and Hooyah

Service Calls: The Meaning of Hooah, Oorah and Hooyah

If you have been through basic training then you are overly familiar with your service call. However, new spouses or spouses of a particular service may be unfamiliar or confused by what they are hearing.

The United States Army, Marines and Navy SEALs each have their own variation of a term that sounds a lot alike.  Used as affirmations of sorts, the Army’s “Hooah”, the Marines “Oorah”, and the Navy SEALs’ “Hooyah” may be whispered, called in cadence, or shouted out. There is no formally accepted definition for any of these terms, and no one agrees on their spelling or origin. More so, is each word unique in origin, or are ‘Oorah’ and ‘Hooyah’ adaptations of an original ‘Hooah’? A strange aspect of service calls is their lack of usage in the Air Force and Navy. Though an accepted Navy-wide term is “Aye, Aye”, and according to one commenter to this blog, the Air Force says “Huah”, though not as frequently as its variant is used in the other services and mostly amongst enlisted soldiers.

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By Danbert Nobacon Published June 4, 2013

What is a ‘military installation’?

We assume so many things about our every day life, mostly I think because there just isn’t time to decipher everything and still function properly, that sometimes it takes being asked a simple question to stop you in your tracks and force you to become more informed. I was recently asked “What IS a military installation?” and as I fumbled for a response, I realized my best answer was “I don’t know…”

I have a sense of what a military installation is – because I’ve lived, shopped, swam, done cross fit, used the post office, volunteered and received medical treatment there, and my active duty spouse works and trains there. So, a military installation is obviously an office complex, a shopping mall, a medical center, a rec center and a spa… Right? Realizing my answer was inadequate, and basically defined any city, I went in search of the answer only to find that there isn’t one.  Continue reading


US Military Rank Insignia

As you walk around a military post, or military town, you may notice some soldiers stopping to salute other soldiers, and you may be dumbfounded that in conversations a soldier knows how to address another soldier by their rank and their last name… but all you see on the uniform is a name tag with their last name.

Soldiers memorize a precise list of officer and enlisted US military rank insignia. While you as a non-active duty spouse are not expected to memorize this same said list, you may find that memorizing the symbols that come to bear on your life will help you in many ways, such as knowing whom to turn to for assistance, and properly addressing your spouse’s boss (key!) and peers. Continue reading

Where do you stand? DOD Organization Structure

Now that you’re married to the military, you may be wondering where your spouse’s job fits into the big picture. Understanding the greater organization structure is crucial to picking up on how things like US news, US policy and legislation, and even world events may affect your household. Continue reading