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I'm a civilian who works with/for a lot of ex-military folks, particularly soldiers and marines. Yesterday I was talking with a good client on the phone, and after helping him with a particular problem, he gave me a very enthusiastic "Hooah!". I was pleased to hear it, but I had no idea what to say in response. What is the "proper" reply for a civilian to make?
 

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You can reply with a 'Hooah!' it's not inappropriate.
 

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hooah (hoo ah) adj., adv., n., v., conj., interj., excla. [Orig. unknown] Slang.

1. Referring to or meaning anything and everything except "no".
2. What to say when at a loss for words.
3.a. Good copy. b. Roger. c. Solid copy. d. Good. e. Great. f. Message received. g. Understood. h. Acknowledged.
4.a. Glad to meet you. b. Welcome.
5. "All right!"
6.a. I don't know the answer, but I'll check on it. b. I haven't the foggiest idea.
7. I am not listening.
8. "That is enough of your drivel; sit down!"
9. Yes.
10. "You've got to be kidding me!"
11. Thank you.
12. Go to the next slide.
13. You've taken the correct action.
14. I don't know what that means, but I'm too embarassed to ask for clarification.
15. Squared away (He's pretty hooah.)
16. Amen!
 

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Excellent definitions 500Mag.

Hooah!!!
 

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Just wondering. When did Hooah start? I was active duty from 1964 to 1985, and don't remember anyone using the term.
 

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It used to be strictly a Special Forces thing. It started with the SEALS. When I went to SCUBA School in Key West with the SEALS is where I first heard it and that was in 1971.
Back then all SCUBA training was done with the Navy no matter what branch of service you were in.
 

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OK! Still surprised I never heard it then. All Navy EOD is SCUBA qualified, and all 4 services EOD went to the same school and of course we hung together.

Oh well, Thanks for the history lesson. :hand10:
 

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Not trying to correct anyone but I will offer a side explanation of the term. Hooah is an Army Infantry term that has been adopted by all Army soldiers, Infantry or not. Much like the motorpool guys wearing berets. Some believe it was used by British soldiers as far back as the 1700s. Others think it came from the Vietnamese word for yes during American occupation. No one knows where or when it originated.
Hooah differs from Oo-rah and identifies a difference of military culture. They are distictly different in Hooah is pronounced as a word, whereas Oo-rah is more of a gutteral sound.

Oo-rah is a term used by Marines and Navy UDT/EOD. I personally believe, for a list of reasons, it was started by Marines from the typical Marine style cadence of command. The cadence was copied by the Army but lost its "style" in the translation. The Navy UDT/EOD were introduced to the term during 70s by Marine Corps Drill Instructors during BUDS. It has been part of the Navy SEALs fabric since. It is never used by SEAL non-quals. (For those that may not know, the Marine Corps is actually a dept. of the Navy and they share a common tradition.)

I dont know the etiquette of Hooah. Perhaps its ok for anyone to use the term in the Army culture. I can tell you that it is not appropriate to respond to Oo-rah with like, unless you shared the life. It is completely proper to not respond. Otherwise, you would probably be mistaken as pretending to be a brother.

This concludes this session of useless military customs....
:embarassed:
 

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In the Army, everybody uses it for everything kinda like the Smurfs used "Smurf".

I've picked up "Ooh-Rah" from my brother, a Marine, and use it sometimes by accident... but Ooh-Rah doesn't have as many meanings as Hooah.
 

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The version I heard was that the Army wanted to copy the Marines, but it is really difficult for them to bark a proper "OOH-RAH!!!" with another guy's :censored: in their mouth! :lew:
:biggrin2: :rofl:



...Just kidding, Doggies! :wave: no need for you Army vet's to get all --> :aargh4: :twak: :blackeye: I salute and appreciate anyone who has worn his country's uniform.

I am in complete agreement with CleaningAccident that a civilian shouldn't return the greeting in kind. If you haven't earned the title, then you haven't earned the"right" to use "Ooh-rah"(Marines) "Hoo-ah"(Army) "Bravo-Zulu"(Navy) or "Yo..like..Whazzup, Dude?" (Air Force :nanana: ) IMHO.
 

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I'm not sure where the idea that OO-RAH belongs to the Marines and SEALs exclusively comes from, Navy Rescue Swimmers have been using for at least 22 years, though it seems to be morphing to "HOO-YAH" as of late.
Course I never heard of Marine Drill instructors teaching at BUDS in the 70s either.
Good luck. :)
 

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Though I have not served in the military, my older brother just did 5 months in Kuwait and would send the family a letter once a week keeping us updated. One of the letters dealt with this exact subject. Here is the quote.

The different branches also have unique ways of expressing their enthusiastic approval or acknowledgement of something that is said:

Army: "HOO-AH!" Accent is on the first syllable, and it is derived from the acronym HUA, which stands for heard, understood, acknowledged. Editorial comment--some of the more "ate-up" Army guys take this to the extreme to where an Air Force person like myself has a hard time communicating amid the constant barrage of HOOAHs.

Navy: "Aye aye," or they repeat the statement or order followed by "aye" such as, "shore liberty begins at 1300 hours, aye sir."

Marines: "HOO-RAH!" The H is silent on the first syllable, followed by emphasis on RAH!. Slightly different from the Army's HOOAH, but the same idea. Used more as a greeting to a fellow Marine, but also used as a statement of enthusiastic approval.

Air Force: The ground truth is that the Air Force doesn't really have anything clever here. "Cool" has always worked just fine. Some of our AF leadership have tried to push "Airpower" as our phrase, but it sounds corny. I guess when you have all the smarts and the neatest toys, no catchy grunting or yelling is necessary. Instead, we waltz in and convey a message like, "Hi, I'm a member of the Air Force--here to make this operation a success--do you have any questions?" I admit it, we're a little arrogant!

As you can probably tell from the last paragraph, he's Air Force.
 

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Why would we care what a Marine says?:smilez:

Anyway, IMHO...now that Hooah! has become an Army wide slang it's completely appropriate to say it as a civilian in a work environment that includes interaction with Military personnel (especially after they inititiate it).

I hear it all the time at work. There have been at least four former Rangers that work here and we could care less if someone responds with Hooah! or something else...as long as we know the job is getting done.
 

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sarhog said:
Course I never heard of Marine Drill instructors teaching at BUDS in the 70s either.
Good luck. :)
72-74..ish, Coronado. They were not acting as DI's but they were Marines and still used that language and method. They filled some training positions due to the "shortage" of state side SEALS during VN. They were among the Fourth Phase, Hell Week, CFC intructors and other duties at NSWC.
This is specifically when and where I think the term was "handed off" to Navy instructors. Its only my personal hypothesis.
 

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acparmed said:
It used to be strictly a Special Forces thing. It started with the SEALS. When I went to SCUBA School in Key West with the SEALS is where I first heard it and that was in 1971.
Back then all SCUBA training was done with the Navy no matter what branch of service you were in.
I went to SCUBA school (it was SFCDQC when I went) in Key West about 15 years after you. We were at Truman Annex.
Ahhhh...the nights at Sloppy Joe's followed by mornings of fast runs, flutterkicks, open water swims and the Draegar Lar V.
 

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How do you break a Marine's neck?

Wait until he's taking a drink, then slam the toilet seat on his head.


On topic portion: I heard about the AF's "Airpower" idea... yeah, kinda dumb. Lots of the AF guys who work with us Soldiers pick up the "Hooah"... but the physical therapist I used to see at the AF Academy couldn't stand it. Hooah!
 

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I talked to a few old timers about the Hooah!/Hoo-Yah/OOH-rah! thing. One, a 28 year vet and current SEAL team member. The other was one of the SEAL originals circa 1950 who retired from the military and started another career...
Hoo-yah! is the Navy's version. OOh-rah! belongs to the Marines and Hooah! they first heard in the '80s used by the Army.

In the late 50's a west coast SEAL by the name of Don Rose had a friend that would yell Poohah! when he had a good 'kill'...in volleyball. At a later date the term transitioned into Hoo-Yah! and stuck. This story was written up in 'Museum Magazine' under 'Fire in the hole!' by Don Rose.

Now this from me...
In the 80's we used Hooah! as the positive response to just about anything in the Ranger Battalions (Rangers still use it today but with the redistribution of the black beret the entire Army has adopted it).

Other than the occasional jerk you may run into you can't go wrong with returning a Hooah!/Hoo-Yah/OOH-rah!. If your not military and they ask if you were just tell them the truth and you should be GTG.
 

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Hooooah!

Rgr5280 said:
I talked to a few old timers about the Hooah!/Hoo-Yah/OOH-rah! thing. One, a 28 year vet and current SEAL team member. The other was one of the SEAL originals circa 1950 who retired from the military and started another career...
Hoo-yah! is the Navy's version. OOh-rah! belongs to the Marines and Hooah! they first heard in the '80s used by the Army.

In the late 50's a west coast SEAL by the name of Don Rose had a friend that would yell Poohah! when he had a good 'kill'...in volleyball. At a later date the term transitioned into Hoo-Yah! and stuck. This story was written up in 'Museum Magazine' under 'Fire in the hole!' by Don Rose.

Now this from me...
In the 80's we used Hooah! as the positive response to just about anything in the Ranger Battalions (Rangers still use it today but with the redistribution of the black beret the entire Army has adopted it.

Other than the occasional jerk you may run into you can't go wrong with returning a Hooah!/Hoo-Yah/OOH-rah!. If your not military and they ask if you were just tell them the truth and you should be GTG.
Historical "LEGEND" has it that on Omaha Beach the commander onsite asked to be brought a representative of the Rangers. He told them to "Lead the Way" and this is where they draw their motto from: "Rangers Lead the Way!" The legend springs up when the alleged response was a SHOCKED WHO-a....us?
 
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