Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


This is coolbert:

Came across this one quite by accident.

The term, “to bolo” is a term quite often used in the U.S. Army. Is a perjorative term meaning the same as, “to fail”. “A bolo” is a person who is deemed, “a sorry individual”. NOT capable of getting with the program and passing tests, meeting even the lowest modicum of requirements.

The origins of this term are most surprising:

"In the US military, the slang term "to Bolo" a test, exam or evaluation [to fail!!] came from the Philippine/American guerrilla forces in World War II; those guerrillas who failed to demonstrate proficiency in marksmanship were issued bolos [knives] instead of firearms so as not to waste the scarce ammunition."

Filipino guerrillas fighting on the side of American forces during World War Two [WW2] DID USE bolo knives in combat! Japanese sailors who had managed to swim to ashore after their ships had been sunk during the Battle of the Surigao Strait, were met at the waterline by bolo-wielding Filipino fighters who proceeded to hack the unfortunates [Japanese sailors] to death!!

Incidentally, the encounter at the Surigao Strait was the LAST TIME battleships fought it out on the high seas with naval gunfire in the traditional style. Battleship against battleship, guns blazing, a spectacle NEVER AGAIN TO BE SEEN, the nature of warfare changing as it has.




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