What does GI mean?

What G.I. Stands For

GI is short for Government Issue.

However, these are all common interpretations or misinterpretations:

  • General Issue
  • General Infantry or Ground Infantry
  • General Inductee
  • Government Inductee

More opinions:

  • Everything a WWII soldier wore, carried, ate, or used was "Government Issued", so they started referring to them selves by the same title.
  • Since soldiers in armored divisions, paratroopers, support staff, medics, etc., are all GI's, it cannot be General Infantry. It stands for Government Issue.
  • I know that the term "GI" was first used by the US Government in 1935, and did indeed stand for "Government Issue". But, I also remember reading in the 1940's about the GI's in WW II who were drafted, referred to as "Government Inductees". Granted, the original meaning of the term might have been somewhat corrupted, but at the time (in the 1940's), that's what it DID mean.
  • I had always thought that G.I. stood for general inductee - as in drafted. However, those of us who volunteered were GI, too.

In other contexts:

  • Your GI tract is your gastro-intestinal tract.

G.I as in gi joe =D

Government Issue

WW2 The soldiers joked that everything was government issue and the label stuck.

American fighting men were called G.I. Joe by themselves and other combatants.