n.— «The individuals who work at the depot are mortuary affairs specialists, referred to as “92-Mikes” in Army parlance.» —“Fallen Troops’ Belongings Handled With Care at Maryland Depot” by Steven Donald Smith in Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. DefenseLINK Mar. 17, 2006. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  1. Edward Rice says:

    92-Mike, or 92M, is a military occupational specialty (or “MOS”) for people doing mortuary work. Each MOS has a 2-digit front part followed by a one-letter ending, and everybody in the US Army has one. They range from “rocketry guidance engineer” to “cook, mobile mess.” A book titled “84 Charlie Mopic”, which is about Viet Nam and came out in the late ’70’s (I think) refers to an MOS of “84C” (cameraman) with specialty of “moving pictures.” 11B (one-one bravo) is a light-weapon infantryman, or a basic grunt. Googling on any of these brings up a generous number of online cites, some leading to reliable cites offline. ehr

  2. Thanks, Edward. Your information gibes with what I found myself.

  3. Ben Zimmer says:

    More discussion of the 92-Mikes in this New Yorker piece from Aug. 2004.

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