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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