Military Acronyms & Definitions

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
Acronym or Term Meaning or Definition
A Alpha
AFB Air Force Base
AWOL Absent Without Leave
AFRC Air Force Reserve Command
AAF Army Airfield
AAFES Army & Air Force Exchange(Stores on installations that are run by the military.)
AB Air Base
ABN/Abn Airborne
ACS Army Community Service
A&FRC Airmen and Family Readiness Center
AD Active Duty – full-time occupation as part of a military force, as opposed to reserve duty.
AF Air Force or Armed Forces
AFR Air Force Reserves
AGR Army Guard Reserve – a restricted and specialized active duty program of United States military reserves.
AER Army Emergency Relief – financial assistance to help soldiers and their dependents.
AFAF Air Force Assistance Fund
AG Adjutant General
B Bravo
BAH Basic Allowance for Housing
BAS Basic Allowance for Subsistence – food allowance meant to offset the cost of meals for the servicemember.
BX/PX Base Exchange/Post Exchange(the military owned store on an installation in which you would locate clothing and incidentals)
BDE Brigade
BN Battalion
BENEFITS Medical, Dental, Commissary, etc.
C Charlie
CDC Child Development Center
CDR Commander
CDS Child Development Services
CG Commanding General
CID Criminal Investigation Division
CO/Co Commanding Office/Company
COLA Cost of Living Allowance
CONUS Continental United States
CYSS Child, Youth, and School Services
CHAIN OF COMMAND Leadership Structure
CLEARING Obtaining official release from post/base
COMMISSARY Grocery Store for military on installations
COURT-MARTIAL Military Trial System
CAC Common Access Card (Military Issue Identification Card)
CHOW HALL Dining Facility/Cafeteria
CQ Charge of Quarters (a desk duty that is often 24 hours)
D  Delta
DA Department of the Army
DRESS UNIFORM Service members uniform for special occasions or assigned wear/inspection
DFAC Dining Facility/Cafeteria
DEERS Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System
DFAS Defense Finance & Accounting System
DLA Dislocation Allowance – is used to partially reimburse you for expenses incurred relocating your household on a PCS.
DO Duty Officer
DOD Department of Defense
DDESS Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools, located on some installations in Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, New York, Virgina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and Cuba
DoDDS Department of Defense Dependent Schools, a network of schools, both primary and secondary, that serve the dependents of United States military and civilian DoD personnel in three areas of the world; Europe, Pacific, and Eastern United States and Caribbean areas.
DOJ Department of Justice
DPP Deferred Payment Plan
DSN Defense Switch Network (worldwide telephone system)
DENTAC Dental Activity
DEPLOYMENT A mission without family members
DETAIL A job or assignment
DISCHARGE Release from Active Duty
DUTY ASSIGNMENT Job or place of duty
E Echo
EFMP Exceptional Family Member Program
EN Enlisted (pay grades E-1 to E-9)
ENTITLEMENT Is something you have a right to receive or claim by law
ESPRIT DE CORPS Morale within unit or organization
F  Foxtrot
FAC Family Assistance Center – assist the families of military service members during peacetime and during training or mobilization. A FAC is open to all branches of the military (Air Guard, Army Guard, Active Duty Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy and all Reserve Components). A Family Assistance Center provides a “one-stop shopping” & resource to help family members cope with any issue they encounter as a military dependent.
FAP Family Advocacy Program – supportive programs and services for active duty Soldiers and their Families. The program and services offered range from infant, children, teens, individuals, couples, and parents.
FPCON Force Protection Condition
FM Field Manual
FRG Family Readiness Group – is a command-sponsored organization of family members, volunteers, soldiers and civilian employees associated with a particular unit.
FRSA Family Readiness Support Assistant
FSA Family Seperation Allowance – a pay that is accrued when a servicemember is on orders where they cannot take their family
FY Fiscal Year
FAMILY ADVOCACY Program that assists with child and spouse abuse issues
G Golf
GO General Officer
GOV Government Owned Vehicle
GSA General Services Administration
Garrison Post or Community
GRADE Corresponds to pay level of service member
GUEST HOUSE Temporary Living Quarters
H Hotel
HIGH SPEED A way to describe an excellent service member
HHC/HHD/HHB Headquarters Company/Detachment/Battery
HOR Home of Record
HQ Headquarters
HRO Human resources office
HARDSHIP TOUR Unaccompanied tour of duty
HAZARDOUS DUTY PAY Extra pay for duty in hostile area
HOMESTEADING remaining at one duty station for an extended tour or consecutive tours
HOUSING OFFICE Where service members check in to be assigned housing on the installation
HOOAH/HOORAH/OORAH/HOOYAH Shouted by a service member to acknowledge something or show pride
I India
IG Inspector General
ITO Invitational Travel Order
ID Card Identification Card
INSIGNIA Indicates branch of service
J Juliet
JAG Judge Advocate General
JUMP PAY Extra pay for parachute status
K Kilo
KIA Killed in Action
KLICK slang for kilometer
L  Lima
LES Leave and Earnings Statement
Latrine Bathroom/Toilet
LEAVE Approved time away from duty
LOCATION ALLOWANCE Allowance received for PCS move
M Mike
MEDDAC Medical Department
MI Military Intelligence
MIA Missing In Action
MIKES Minutes
MILPO Military Personnel Office
MOAA Military Officers’ Association of America
MOB/DEP Mobilization and Deployment
MOI Memorandum of Instruction
MP Military Police
MOS Military Occupational Specialty
MTF Military Treatment Facility
MRE Meals Ready to Eat
MWR Morale, Welfare and Recreation
N November
NAF Non-Appropriated Funds
NCO Non-Commissioned Officer – a position of authority obtained by promotion through the enlisted ranks.
NCOIC Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge
O Oscar
OCONUS Outside the continental United States
OHA Overseas Housing Allowance
OIC Officer in Charge
OPSEC Operational Security
ORDERS Spoken or written instructions
P Papa
PAC Personnel Administration Center
PAO Public Affairs Officer
PAY GRADE DOD system if designating a U.S. serviceperson’s pay (E-1 through E-9, W-1 through W-5, if applicable, and O-1 through O-10), not to be confused with rank.
PC Patrol Cap
PCM Primary Care Manager
PCS Permanent Change of Station – the official relocation of an active duty military service member – along with any family members living with her or him – to a different duty location, such as a military base.
PLT Platoon (several squads within a company)
PMO Provost Marshall Office
POA Power of Attorney
POV Privately Owned Vehicle
PT Physical Training
POLICE CALL Clean-up
PROTOCOL Customs and Courtesies
Q Quebec
QOL Quality of Life
QM Quartermaster
QUARTERS Government Housing
R Romeo
RD Rear Detachment
REGT Regiment
RE-UP Reenlist
RANK Official Title
RETREAT Bugle/flag ceremony at end of day
REVEILLE Bugle call/ceremony at beginning of day
S  Sierra
SATO Scheduled Airlines Ticket Office
SBP Survivor’s Benefit Plan
SD Staff Duty
SDO Staff Duty Officer
SECDEF Secretary of Defense
SGLI Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance
SQD Squad
SEPERARTION PAY Pay for unaccompanied duty
SPACE A Space Available Travel
SQUAD Smallest tactical unit in the Army
SQUARED AWAY A squared away soldier knows what he or she is doing, has outstanding performance, is neat in his or her appearance, and is always on time.
T Tango
TDY Temporary Duty
TIG Time in Grade
TLA Temporary Living Allowance
TAPS Last bugle call of the day
TA-50 Field Gear
U Uniform
UCMJ Uniform Code of Military Justice
USO United Service Organization
V Victor
W Whiskey
X X-Ray
Y Yankee
Z Zulu

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