The origins of “Roger Wilco”


In every film with military aircraft–particularly from the 1960s and earlier–I’ve heard the pilots say “Roger Wilco.”  I never knew what it meant, but it lies in the military phonetic alphabet.

Because so much of military communication is over a radio, and often one where it’s hard to hear, it’s easy to mix up letters.  So each letter has a word associated with it that can’t be misheard.  R was always Romeo to me, but it turned out another word was universally used until 1957.  You can read about it here.

3 thoughts on “The origins of “Roger Wilco”

  1. Pagadan March 12, 2017 / 12:51 pm

    Thanks. I’ve heard them but never really understood them. And remember: Over means over to you and Out means I’m outta here. You don’t say them at the same time!

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    • Linda Maye Adams March 12, 2017 / 1:03 pm

      I never understood what Roger Wilco meant either, so it was interesting reading.

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  2. Pearl R. Meaker March 18, 2017 / 2:34 am

    That was fascinating! Thanks for posting it, Linda. 😃

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