A tour of duty in Korea for Army personnel in the late sixties was 13 months.
Nothing was more important to a soldier than his date of return to the United States.
This date was known as DEROS (Date Eligible to Return from OverSeas). Most
soldiers proudly displayed a shortimer's calendar like the one pictured
below near their bunk. The one below is relatively conservative as most of
the shortimer's calendars showed the girl's breasts. The girlie figure was
usually divided into 365 squares (the one below only has 100 squares) that were colored in as the year wound down. One
could always look at the shortimer
calendar to see how many days were left on the tour. As the DEROS date neared,
the closer you got to the prized triangle that covered the pin-up girl's
crotch. Soldier's close to their DEROS were considered "short" and the
units maintained a "90 Day Loss Roster" that listed soldiers with 90 days of
DEROS. Soldiers bragged about being a 90 day loss and commander's used this
list as a reminder to strength trends and possible personnel shortages.
Another term used was FIGMO, an acronym for "Finally I get my orders," although
many soldiers thought it meant "F*#* it, I got my orders!" The shortimer's
calendar was called a "figmo chart" by some soldiers. Whatever it was
called, when the long awaited DEROS day arrived, a soldier would climb onboard the
"Freedom Bird," typically a Boeing 707 in those days, and fly on back to