These days I rarely use the terms Sierra Lima Bravo. But, recently at work, we had taken a lightning strike and all our weather communications crashed which meant manually taking and transmitting our weather observations. When I pass the observations to the control tower we're required to also pass on our initials and receive the initials of the controller taking down our observations.
We use military phonetics to relay initials. In military phonetics those words, Sierra Lima Bravo, stand for my initials.
In the past, as an aviation meteorologist is was common for me to relay my initials in military phonetics numerous times on any given shift for pilot weather briefings and when conversing with pilots over the PMSV, the pilot-to-meteorologist service, always ending the discourse with my initials.
Learning the military phonetic alphabet was as easy as learning the alphabet. I never studied the military phonetic alphabet, I just utilized them and one day I knew them all.
The military phonetic alphabet came in handy as parents. I know. "How?" you ask.
Our daughters Elizabeth and Ashley, when they were teens, would speak in a form of pig-Latin when they didn't want Jeff and I to understand their conversation. Maddening! For the life of me I could never figure out their language or what they were saying. It worked for them and they would fly through 'secret' conversations they knew Mom and Dad couldn't understand, with us remaining oblivious to their secrets.
Paybacks can be brutal.
Not that we would EVER consider paying our daughters back.
But, this is where military phonetics came in quite handy.
Jeff was aviation special operations and was comfortable with military phonetics as well. Although it took longer to converse, when we wanted a 'secret' conversation and couldn't find a private place or moment we would spell out our conversation in military phonetics. We were able to converse secretly using military phonetics for several years until the girls got a bit older, well into their teens, and caught on to our secret language. But, that wasn't the end of our conversations using military phonetics.
We still had young boys. Once they learned how to spell we resorted to military phonetics, once again. And, these days we've been known to converse using military phonetics with our kids in front of our grandkids.