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It has been used in the United States Navy and Marine Corps since before World War II, entering Army usage around the time of the Vietnam War. In the Canadian Forces a pogue is referred to as a WOG, short for "without guns" or "without guts".
Originally, the term was a sexual insult in early twentieth century gay culture, as "pogue" was slang for a young male who submitted to sexual advances.
Due to having lost contact with its linguistic source, the modern military vernacular has turned "pogue" into a retronym/backronym. "Pogue" is now sometimes incorrectly described as the pronunciation of the acronym POG, or Person Other than Grunt, or Posted On Garrison. It is also sometimes retronymed out to "Person On Ground with Unused Equipment" (hence the spelling). Sometimes used as "People Of Good Use Elsewhere."
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