AAA - Anti-aircraft Artillery

AAFES - Army Air Force Exchange System

AAR - After Action Report

ACAP - Army Career and Alumni Program (helps soldiers separating from the military)

ACP - Access Control Point

ACS - Army Community Services (provides family services)

AD - Active Duty

ADA - Air Defense Artillery

AER - Army Emergency Relief (emergency funds for families and soldiers)

AFN - Armed Forces Network

AFTB - Army Family Team Building (teaches dependents about military life)

AG - Adjutant General

AIT - Advanced Individual (or Infantry) Training

AOB - Armor Officer Basic

ANCOC - Advanced Noncommisioned Officer Course (needed for promotion to E-7)

ANG - Air National Guard

AO - Area of Operations

APC - Armored Personnel Carrier

APFT - Army Physical Fitness Test

APO - Army Post Office

AR -Army Regulation

ASAP - Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program

ATC - Annual Training Conference

AWOL - Absent Without Leave


BAH - Basic Allowance for Housing (money for rent for soldiers with dependents)

BAS - Basic Allowance for Sustinence (money for food for soldiers with dependents)

BCT - Basic Combat Training (formerly known as boot camp)

BDE - Brigade

BDU - Battle Dress Uniform (camouflage uniforms)

BOGINT - Bogus Intelligence

BOHICA - Bend Over Here It Comes Again

BOQ - Bachelor Officer Quarters

BN - Battalion

BNCOC - Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course (needed for promotion to E-6)


CAC - Community Action Counsel

CG - Commanding General (in charge of the base or post)

CDC - Child Development Center

CENTCOM - Central Command

CIB - Combat Infantry Badge

CID - Criminal Investigation Division

CO - Commanding Officer

COB - Close of Business

COLA - Cost of Living Allowance (given in Hawaii, Alaska and overseas)

CONUS - Continental United States

CPS - Child Protective Services

CQ - Charge of Quarters

CY - Calendar Year


DA - Department of the Army

DCU - Desert Camouflage Uniform

DeCa - Defense Commissary Agency (run grocery stores on base or post)

DEERS - Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System

DEROS - Date of Estimated Return from Overseas

DFAS - Defense Finance Accounting System (in charge of our pay)

DI - Drill Instructor

DITY - Do It Yourself (in relation to moving)

DLA - Dislocation Allowance (money to help with the cost of moving)

DoD - Department of Defense

DOR - Date of Rank

DPP - Deferred Payment Plan (military credit card, now called the Star Card)

DPW - Directorate of Public Works (maintains the base or post)

DSN - Defense Switched Network (secured communication lines)


EEO - Equal Employment Opportunity

EER - Enlisted Evaluation Report

EFMB - Excellence in Field Medicine Badge

EFMP - Exceptional Family Member Program (helps with special medical needs)

EIA - Excellence in Armor

EIB - Excellence in Infantry Badge

EM - Enlisted Member

ETS - Estimated Time of Separation (date that you may leave the military)

EWC - Enlisted Wives Club


FAC - Family Assistance Center/Family Advocacy Commitee

FAQ - Family Advocacy Program

FCP - Family Care Plan

FDU - Full Dress Uniform

FLO - Family Liason Officer

FM - Field Manual

FORSCOM - Forces Command

FRG - Family Readiness Group (provides support to families)

FRO - Family Readiness Officer

FSA - Family Separation Allowance (paid to married soldiers gone for 30+ days)

FTX - Field Training Exercise

FY - Fiscal Year (begins 1 Oct and ends 30 Sep)


GO - General Officer

GS - General Schedule (pay schedule for civilian employees)


HFP - Hostile Fire Pay

HHC - Headquarters and Headquarters Company

HHT - Headquarters and Headquarters Troop

HQ - Headquarters

HQDA - Headquarters, Department of the Army

HS - Home Station


IE - Initial Entry

IET - Initial Entry Training (basic training)

IG - Inspector General (investigates questionable situations on base or post)

ITO - Information Travel Office


JAG - Judge Advocate General (military lawyers)

JUMPS - Joint Uniform Military Pay System


KIA - Killed in Action

KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid

KP - Kitchen Patrol


LES - Leave Earnings Statement (military pay stub)

LN - Local National

LOD - Line of Duty

LZ - Landing Zone


MACOM - Major Army Command

MEDDAC - Medical Department Activity

METL - Mission Essential Task List

MI - Military Intelligence

MIA - Missing in Action

MILPO - Military Personnel Office

MOS - Military Occupational Specialty (job)

MP - Military Police

MRE - Meal Ready to Eat (field rations)

MTF - Military Treatment Facility (military hospital)

MWR - Morale, Recreation and Welfare


NBC - Nuclear Biological Chemical

NCO - Noncommissioned Officer

NCOER - Noncommissioned Officer Evaluation Report

NCOIC - Noncommissioned Officer in Charge

NG - National Guard

NPD - No Pay Due


OBC - Officer Basic Course

OCONUS - Outside Continental United States

OCS - Officer Candidate School

OD - Officer of the Day

OER - Officer Evaluation Report

OIC - Officer in Charge

OWC - Officers Wives Club


PAO - Public Affairs Officer

P-38 - Small can opener for C-Rations

PAM - Pamphlet

PCS - Permanent Change of Station (moving time)

PERSCOM - Army Personnel Command (in charge of promotion, movement, etc.)

PFU - Physical Fitness Uniform

PLDC - Primary Leadership Development Course (needed for promotion to E-5)

PLT - Platoon

PM - Provost Marshall

PMOS - Primary Military Occupational Specialty (primary job)

POA - Power of Attorney

POC - Point of Contact

POV - Privately Owned Vehicle

POW - Prisoner of War

PT - Physical Training

PX - Post Exchange (store on base or post)

PZ - Primary Zone (in reference to promotion)


QM - Quarter Master


R&R - Rest and Recreation

RA - Regular Army

RC - Reserve Component

RCP - Retention Control Point (gives cutoffs for promotion)

RD - Rear Detatchment (soldiers who stay behind from a deployment or exercise)

RDC - Rear Detatchment Commander

RDF - Rapid Deployment Force

REG - Regulation

RIF - Reduction in Force


SBP - Survivor Benefit Plan

SCO - Squadron Commanding Officer

SDNCO - Staff Duty Noncommissioned Officer

SDO - Staff Duty Officer

SGLI - Soldiers Group Life Insurance

SIDPERS - Standard Installation/Division Personnel Reporting System

SMO - Squadron Maintnence Officer

SOP - Standard Operating Procedure

SRB - Selective Reenlistment Bonus

SSI - Single Soldier Initiative

SSN - Social Security Number

STRAC - Skilled, Tough, Ready Around The Clock

SZ - Secondary Zone (in reference to promotion)


TDY - Temporary Duty Assignment

TIG - Time in Grade

TLA - Temporary Living Allowance

TLE - Temporary Lodging Expense

TM - Training Manual

TRADOC - Training and Doctrine Command


UCDPP - Uniform Clothing Deferred Payment Plan (military credit plan for clothing)

UCMJ - Uniform Code of Military Justice (military law)

USAR - United States Army Reserve

USARC - United States Army Reserve Command

USAREC - United States Army Recruiting Command

USMA - United States Military Academy

USO - United Service Organization

UTA - Unit Training Assembly


VA - Veteran Affairs

VHA - Variable Housing Allowance


WMD - Weapons of Mass Destruction

WO - Warrant Officer

WOAC - Warrant Officer Advanced Course

WOC - Warrant Officer Candidate Course

WOCS - Warrant Officer Candidate School

WOSC - Warrant Officer Senior Course


XO - Executive Officer

Military Phonetic Alphabet (1957-Present)





ECHO - 'E'


GOLF - 'G'




KILO - 'K'

LIMA - 'L'

MIKE - 'M'



PAPA - 'P'








X-RAY - 'X'


ZULU - 'Z'


4-F - Classification given to those deemed unfit for military service

50-cal -.50 caliber machine gun

51-cal - heavy machine gun used by the enemy

79 - an M-79 grenade launcher

82 mm - a mortar used by the enemy

105 - a 105-mm howitzer

201 file - a US Army personnel file


Alert - call to be ready on short notice

Allotment - deduction from pay to bank or individual

Allowance - special pay or compensation

Article 15 - punitive action

Blanket Party - unofficial punishment of company goof off

Billets/Barracks/Dorms - where single soldiers live

Brownnoser - person who sucks up to seniors

Chit - paper given by medical to be excused from certain types of work or exercise

Chow hall - dining facility (AKA mess hall)

Dependent - family member entitled to military benefits

Detail - job or assignment

Dining in - social gathering for soldiers only

Dining out - social gathering for soldiers and spouses

Dog And Pony Show - doing something for the Brass or the public

Full Bird - Colonel

Garrison - post or community

GI Party - cleanup duty

Grade - pay level

Guidon - unit flag

Grunt - Infantry Soldier

Hash marks - stripes on uniform to show time in service

Hoo ah - slang meaning something is acknowledged and understood

Insignia - indicates branch of service

Jody call - cadence

Klick - slang for Kilometer

Latrine - restroom

Motor pool - area where vehicles are kept and maintained

Orderly room - company office

Orders - written or spoken directive

Organization day - outing that is usually mandatory for soldiers and optional for families

Poge (or Poggie) bait - junk food

Police call - cleanup duty

Rank - official title of the service member

Re-up - reenlist

Reveille - bugle call at the beginning of the day

Retreat - bugle call at the end of the day

Sick call - where soldiers go for medical treatment

Short timer - someone who is about to leave the military

Short tour - unaccompanied overseas tour

Staff Duty - 24 hour watch over the unit area and barracks

TA50 - field gear

Tricare - our medical insurance

United Concordia - dental insurance for family members

Zero Dark Thirty - very early in the morning


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