Got your six is a common phrase in police or military jargon, used to tell someone that one is looking out for their backs.
The phrase comes from the fact that airplane pilots used to refer to various directions around themselves as if they stood in the center of a clock; “in-front-of” became 12’o clock, while “behind” was turned into 6’o clock.
When one is covering someone else’s backs, they tell them “got your six”.
The origin of the phrase can be traced back to World War 1, when aerial combat was introduced into the vast array of military tactics.
It was between 1914 and 1918 that aviators developed the lingo for directions in the sky.
Over the years and the development of aerial warfare, “got your six” became a commonly encountered phrase, said by brothers-in-arms, who are ready to protect you from harm.
“Got your six” was adopted by other fields of the military, including infantry and mechanized units, eventually reaching a state of commonness that the expression was endorsed by law enforcement as well.
As of 2021, it can be encountered from video games like the Call of Duty or Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six series.
It was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2005.
- Urban Dictionary – I got your six