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On the move

I think I was a few hours into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 before I realised that I was surrounded by characters shouting instructions that I wasn't able to parse. I assume military types get some form of crash course in this lingo, probably somewhere being screamed at to perform press-ups, and learning how to gut a man with a pencil. Unfortunately for us "civvies" military phrases aren't necessarily in our vocabulary, and I encountered several occasions where I was being asked to shoot at an indecipherable string of characters and numbers instead of, simply and more descriptively, "that car that looks tougher than an SUV, but isn't quite a tank".

"Oscar Mike"

This particular phrase sounded like it was thrown out every thirty seconds or so, and squad mates claiming to be "Oscar Mike" became a sort of spoonerised reenactment of that scene from Spartacus. Purely from context I guessed that this meant "On Mission", but said in manner to cleverly disguise it from an enemy whose training presumably lacks the language course between their exercise and murder routines. After a spot of Googling I found out this supposedly means "On the Move", which I'm incredibly disappointed with, not least because the coded version of it misses out the "the" entirely. I suppose "Oscar Tango Mike" sounds like an instruction to dance, and war is hell enough already.

Everyone in this game appears to be named "Oscar Mike" #CoD

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