Examination of the male genitals, especially the penis to verify good hygiene and absence of disease. Years ago, VD (veneral disease) was spreading among army personnel so soldiers had to submit to these exams to insure that there were no unusual discharges from the penis and (especially uncircumsized) soldiers were clean. Since the rifle was nicknamed the long arm, the penis was named the short arm which is the origin of the name.
The sarge woke us up at 2 AM last night to perform short arm inspections.
by subidar May 26, 2011