short arms inspection

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short arms inspection

obsolete A public, visual inspection of soldiers' genitals conducted by a medical officer to determine whether or not they had contracted any sexually transmitted infections, especially gonorrhea. This practice was discontinued by the US military following the Vietnam war. As a young man of 19, it was deeply embarrassing being marched out at the crack of dawn for a short arms inspection alongside everyone in your squad—even more so because of the fear that the doctor might find something!
See also: arm, short

short arms inspection

Military inspection for venereal diseases. Beginning with World War II, the military made visual determinations with regard to sexually transmitted diseases (primarily gonorrhea) through what was called a short arms inspection (or drill). Held early in the morning, men dressed in only their boots, helmet liners, and overcoat were summoned out of their barracks or bunks and ordered to line up. When indicated by the medical officer, each man opened his coat to bare his penis, which he then “milked” in a stripping motion to show whether there was any infectious discharge. The term distinguished between a man's governmentissued firearm and his own “short arm.” The inspection practice ended after the Vietnam conflict.
See also: arm, short