silent service

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

silent service (usually uncountable, plural silent services)

  1. (military, informal, sometimes capitalized) The submarine service.
    • 1943 Jan. 7, "News Behind the News," Modesto Bee (US), p. 16:
      Germany has four times as many subs as when the war started. . . . The number of highly trained men in Berlin's silent service is limited.
    • 1986 Aug. 4, Richard Halloran, "Washington Talk: Speaking Out for the Silent Service," New York Times (retrieved 6 Aug 2012):
      As befits advocates of the “Silent Service,” the Naval Submarine League keeps a low profile.
    • 2001 Aug. 16, Yuri Zarakhovich, "Will We Ever Know What Sank the Kursk?," Time:
      A sailor with 33 years experience in the silent service and once a fabled commander of the Northern Fleet nuclear submarines, Chernov contends that the raising operation was intentionally launched as a cover-up to leave the Kursk on the sea floor.
  2. (military, informal, sometimes capitalized, possibly dated) The navy.
    • 1940 May 17, "Royal Canadian Navy Growing In Strength," Ottawa Citizen (Canada), p. 9 (retrieved 7 Aug 2012):
      In true "silent service" tradition, the Royal Canadian Navy says little about itself.
    • 1945 June 3, "Pacific Seadogs," New York Times (USA), p. SM6:
      The Navy has long been known as the "silent service," and perhaps none of our naval leaders is as well known to the American public as any one of a number of generals.
    • 1978 July 14, "Colonel Was Trained To Shoot From Hip," Montreal Gazette (Canada), p. 5 (retrieved 7 Aug 2012):
      Since then, the navy has recovered its identity but continues to pride itself on being the Silent Service.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Often preceded by the.

References[edit]