Some MACVSOG History


Here is a pretty neat bit of US Special Forces history. One of my friend’s on FB that is a MACVSOG vet shared this the other day. It is an encryption pad for use over the radio while on missions.

From what I understand, 3 letter combinations were substituted for words or phrases commonly used for daily communication. These changed daily or weekly or some pre determined schedule. I’m sure Hognose could have made better sense out of this for you. Time’s like this I’m sure we all remember how much we miss him.


  1. You sure are right about Hognose. There’s hardly a day goes by I don’t see some crazy shit on the intertubes and wonder how he would’ve made me grin with his take on it.

  2. I think they were called trinomes IIRC. We still learned these twenty some odd years back when encryption was the exception and not the rule. I don’t know if they’re still taught but I’m sure the dyed in the wool communications people still learn them.

    When my unit was out in the middle of nowhere in OIF we were all scratching our heads about remembering how to do these and encryption sheets when our KYK13s and CYZ10s were dropping crypto.


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