The Military has so many acronyms, there is no way to record them all. Here are a few for starters. Feel free to email the museum to add to our list:


ACS-Army Community Service –A support and resource agency for military families

ADA-Air Defense Artillery

AAFES-Army/Air Force Exchange Service- Runs the department stores on military installations

ARTEP-Army Training and Evaluation Program—A graded exercise to show proficiency

ASR- Alternate Supply Route

ASV- Combat vehicle

Autovon- Automatic Voice Network- A military phone system built in the 1960s


AYA-American Youth Association-A youth or recreation center for the children of service members—usually on the military installation


BDU-Battle Dress Uniform

BRAT- Originally from “British Regiment Attached Travelers”. A term given to the children of military members

Buffalo-Combat vehicle, specific for IED determent

BX/PX-Base Exchange/Post Exchange—Department stores on military posts/bases run by AAFES

CAB-Combat Action Badge

CAP-Civil Air Patrol

CAS-Close Air Support

CASEVAC- Casualty Evacuation (Non-designated medical vehicle)

CDC-Child Development Center

CINCLANTICFLT-Commander in Chief (Atlantic Fleet)

CINCPACFLT-Commander in Chief (Pacific Fleet)

CINC USAREUR- Commander in Chief (Europe)

CJCS SROE- Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Standard rules of Engagement

CONUS- Continental United States –also known as “stateside”

CNATRA- Chief of Naval Air Training

CNAVRES-Chief of Naval Reserve

CND- Chief of Naval Development

CNET-Chief of Naval Education and Training

CNO-Chief of Naval Operations

Commissary- Food Store (supermarket) found on most military installations

Convoy OPS-Convoy Operations

CO-Commanding Officer

COB-Combined Operations Post

COP-Combat Outpost

COS-Chief of Section

Court Martial- a military court

CSH (pronounced Cash)-Combat Surgical Hospital

Dependent- The spouse or child of a sponsor (usually active duty)


DFAC-Dining Facility (used to be referred to as “mess hall”)

DIF-Determent Integration Facility

DISA-Defense Information Systems Agency


DIVARTY-Division Artillery

DoD-Department of Defense

DODDS-Department of Defense Dependent Schools

DODDSEUR- Department of Defense Dependent Schools-Europe

DOIM (US Army) Directorate of Information Management

DONSA-Day of No Scheduled Activity

DSN-Defense Switch Network- a DoD communication network

DYA-Dependent Youth Association

EFP-Explosive Formed Penetrator-a type of IED

EOD- Explosive Ordnance Disposal –“Bomb squad”

EOR- Explosive Ordnance Reconnaissance

EWC-Enlisted Wives Club

FIST-Fire Support Team- responsible for directing artillery fire and close air support

FLOTUS-First Lady of the United States

FO- Forward Observer-

FOB-Forward Operating Base

FOUO- For Official Use Only

FPCON- Force Protection Condition- Terrorist threat system which has five progressive levels:Normal, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta

FRAGO-Fragmentary Order

Gunship- Apache/Cobra attack helicopter

GI-Government Issued

GWOT-Global War on Terrorism

HME-Home-Made Explosive, a type of Improvised Explosive Device


IED- Improvised Explosive Device

M2 50 Caliber-Machine gun

MAX PRO-Combat vehicles

MEDEVAC- Medical Evacuation

MFO-Multinational Force of Observers

M4 -Standard weapon

M9- Standard pistol

MK19 (Mark 19) Automatic grenade launcher

MWR- Morale, Welfare and Recreation

MAGTF or MAGTAF-Marine Air Ground Task Force

MSR- Main Supply Route

NATO-North Atlantic Treaty Organization

NBC-Nuclear, Biological, Chemical

NCO-Noncommissioned Officer

NEO-Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations-these are conducted to assist the US State Department to evacuate family members from host-nations in times of danger.

OCS- Officer Candidate School

OEF/OIF/OND-Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn

OPORD-Operation Order

OWC-Officers’ Wives Club

PCS-Permanent Change of Station (a move to another duty station)


PCMS-Preventative Maintenance Checks Service

POTUS-President of the United States

POV-Privately owned Vehicle-(car)

RG33- Combat vehicle


ROTC- Reserve Officer’s Training Course

Route Clearance- IED Hunters

RP- Release Point

SAW-Squad Automatic Weapon-small machine gun

SCOTUS-Supreme Court of the United States

SNAFU-Situation Normal-All Fouled Up

SP- Start Point

Sponsor- The Active Duty member

Spouse-The wife/husband of the Sponsor

Stryker- Combat Vehicle

TF- Task Force

Track-Any vehicle with treads, like a tank or Howitzer

TDY-Temporary Duty- going somewhere on business

TOC (pronounced Talk)-Tactical Operations Command

Top- 1st Sergeant (1SG) also known as “First Shirt”

TOPS (Scouting) Troops on Foreign Soil

UCMJ-United States Code of Military Justice

USA-United Sates of America or United States Army

USAADS-US Army Air Defense School

USAARMS-US Army Armor School

USAAF-United States Army Air Force

USAF-United States Air Force

USAREUR-United States Army European Command

USDESEA-United States Department of Defense Schools European Area. Shortly after the end of World War II, schools for the children of military serving abroad were built. The DoD school system has had several different names over the years.

USCG-United States Coast Guard

USMC-United States Marine Corps

USN-United States Navy

VBED- Vehicle Born IED (Improvised Explosive Device)

WAAC-Women’s Auxiliary Army Air Corps

WAC-Women’s Army Corps

WAF-Women (in the) Air Force

WARNO-Warning Order

Warrant Officer-

XO-Executive Officer


Article 15- a punishment for minor infractions, which can be handed out by a commanding officer or officer in charge.

Butter Bar- 2nd Lieutenant (2LT)

Buck Sergeant-the lowest rank sergeant

Chaptered out—being involuntarily discharged from the military

Chow-food, meal

(the) Economy- living off post/base

Head-bathroom (Navy)

Out-goodbye (phone/radio)

Roger-got it, yes, right, etc.

TCK-Third Culture Kids-a child who has spent significant time outside his/her parent’s culture-a term coined by Ruth Hill Useem

WILCO- “Will Comply”

One of the sources for the acronyms above is Wikipedia (

Military Alphabet:                             Military Time:

Alpha                                                  0100 1 AM

Bravo                                                  0200 2 AM

Charlie                                                0300 3 AM

Delta                                                   0400 4 AM

Echo                                                    0500 5 AM

Foxtrot                                                0600 6 AM

Golf                                                     0700 7 AM

Hotel                                                   0800 8 AM

India                                                   0900 9 AM

Juliet                                                   1000 10 AM

Kilo                                                     1100 11 AM

Lima                                                    1200 Noon

Mike                                                    1300 1 PM

November                                            1400 2 PM

Oscar                                                  1500 3 PM

Papa                                                   1600 4 PM

Quebec                                               1700 5 PM

Romeo                                                1800 6 PM

Sierra                                                 1900 7 PM

Tango                                                 2000 8 PM

Uniform                                               2100 9 PM

Victor                                                  2200 10 PM

Whiskey                                              2300 11 PM

X-ray                                                  0000 Midnight