who is jody in the military
General Military Questions

Here’s What Jody Means In The Military

Who is Jody and what role does he play in the military?

It’s an innocent yet shameful mistake to not understand what Jody means in the military.

Consequently, we’ll present you with an introduction to the term “Jody” and how it applies to the military.

You’ll learn that this slang term is usually considered derogatory yet has also been used for a long time in military cadence.

Learn more about what the military means when it calls someone a “Jody”.

Related Article194 Common Military Terms / Slang

What is a Military Jody?

military jody slang
Image: Flickr.com

“Jody” has several meanings when you’re in the military.

First of all, it’s a slang term that is used in the military to describe someone that steals another man’s woman.

Thus, a “Jody” is generally someone that sees a girlfriend or wife while the soldier is deployed and serving the country.

“Jody” is also used as a term for a military cadence, or “marching chant.” This is because many military cadences reference this nefarious character. 

In fact, the fictional character plays a recurring role in military cadences even offering its own backstory.

Jody Military Lore

According to military lore, “Jody” is a civilian that enjoys a life of luxury that contrasts with the sacrifices made by service members.

Jody is self-serving and indulgent.

He would rather live the life of ease than do the honorable thing and serve his country.

As such, Jody is also notorious for being a weasel in the bedroom, as well.

The military traditionally characterizes Jody as the opposite of what they desire in a service person.

Jody lacks the attributes and characteristics that define a service member of the U.S. Armed Forces.

He is usually lazy, incompetent, and untrustworthy. He may even steal your woman while you’re away. 

Often, in military legend, the fictional girl that Jody is pursuing is regarded as “Susie”.

Moreover, a female version of Jody in the military is a “Jodie”.

The fascination with Jody makes more sense once you examine the history of the term in the military.


Many cultural historians believe the name “Jody” is derived from the name “Joe.”

And for whatever reason, the name “Joe” has a long history in storytelling to being an antagonist.

First, in African-American oral traditions, Joe was an infamous character that took advantage of other men.

Later, blues and jazz culture embraced the term “Joe the Grinder” to reference a man cheating with a friend’s girl.

Thus, when soldiers in WWII were searching for a term to coin an unworthy man, they came up with Jody.

For this reason, Jody was prevalent in military cadences and thus the folklore of the character emerged.

Soldiers in Vietnam gladly embraced Jody as a villain to take out their frustrations of the war.

After all, many of them were staged thousands of miles across the Pacific from loved ones and disgruntled about the fact.

It didn’t help that the Vietnam War included a draft which presented a lot of animosity among soldiers.

Therefore, Jody was an easy target for anger and frustrations resulting from the invasion.

The Vietnam era even created Jody-inspired songs: “Right On, Jody” by Bobby Patterson and “Jody’s Got Your Girl and Gone” by Johnnie Taylor.

Jody Military Meaning

jodie military
Image: Wikimedia.org

“Jody” means different things in the military depending on who you ask.

In general, a Jody in the military is:

  • A generalized term to describe any man that elects to stay home instead of serve the country. Moreover, it’s usually a man that is physically-unfit, incompetent, and untrustworthy. Hence, why they cheat on your girlfriend/wife.
  • A common military cadence that incorporates the fictional villain into military lifestyle and folklore.

Furthermore, you can reference Urban Dictionary for some hilarious definitions of a Military Jody:

A “Jody” gets to enjoy all the things the Marines are missing, more specifically the Marine’s girlfriend back at home.

All in all, Jody is harmless in military fiction as a means to encourage and motivate troops.

Often, it’s utilized during basic training to embarrass a new recruit.

Or, the slang term is performed as part of military cadences to booster troop morale.

Jody Military Cadences

Jody is frequently referred to in cadences.

What is a military cadence?

A military cadence, or cadence call, is a routine call-and-response work song that military personnel sing or chant while running or marching.

Perhaps the most famous military cadence is from the comedy “Stripes” starring Bill Murray:

The military utilizes a cadence to maintain time, beat, or rhythm specifically while marching.

More importantly, it helps take away some of the stress and aggravation in an otherwise disciplined setting.

Therefore, units are encouraged to have a little fun with their cadences including creating fictional characters in the songs.

Here’s a popular Jody military cadence from the Marine Corps (USMC):

Jody, Jody six feet four
Jody never had his a** kicked before.
I’m gonna take a 3-day pass
And really slap a beating on Jody’s a**!

Ain’t no use in going back
Jody’s got your Cadillac
Ain’t no use in going home
Jody’s got your girl and gone
Ain’t no use in feeling blue
Jody’s got your sister too!

You can search for a variety of other popular Jody military cadences online.

Jody Military FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about military Jody:

Are men in the military faithful?

Yes, in general, military personnel in any branch quickly learn the values of honor, integrity, and faithfulness.

Consequently, a Jody in the military is something troops desire NOT to become.

Nevertheless, it’s extremely hard spending long periods of time away from a significant other.

Whether married or with a girlfriend, it’s not easy maintaining a military relationship.

However, military families find a variety of methods to stay in contact and remain faithful.

Is Military Jody derogatory?

Yes, the term has bad connotations.

However, Jody is specifically designed to be like a bad word.

Thus, it’s something that soldiers strive not to become.

Additionally, it creates a harmless villain for troops to despise even if rooted in some truth.

Nevertheless, the origins of the term in the military was based on a soldier sleeping with another man’s wife.

Furthermore, it traces roots from a popular blues and jazz reference of the time.

Moreover, it’s not to suggest that men in the military cannot also be unfaithful while away on service.

Still, it’s largely safe and harmless to use especially among military circles.

Who created Jody in the military?

Jody was devised from a blues singer reference, “Joe the Grinder,” describing a man cheating with your wife or girlfriend.

It was also adapted from a couple of popular blues and jazz songs from the era, referencing a Jody for similar sins.

Jody especially became popular during World War II and Vietnam.

Soldiers used Jody in military cadences to maintain troop morale.


You should strive not to become a Jody.

Whether you decide to enlist or not, it’s important to support troops in a variety of ways.

In fact, one of the best methods you can do so is keep your hands off a soldier’s girl.

In the military, a Jody is a civilian that lacks courage and is not a straight shooter.

He romances another man’s wife or girlfriend while they are away serving the military.

Thus, Jody has transformed into a fictional villain that troops denounce in military cadences and other folklore.

Understanding the language of the military will help you adjust to its lifestyle during basic training.

Rob V.
Jodie Military

Jodie Military

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Learn more about what Jody means in the military, including its history, cadences, and frequently asked questions.
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