Military Acronyms: Glossary of 110+ Commonly Used Military Acronyms

Military acronyms are a language all their own, and understanding them is crucial for effective communication within the armed forces. In this article, we’ll break down the basics of military acronyms and provide you with a guide to some of the most commonly used abbreviations.

Military Acronyms

Military Acronyms

As a civilian, you may find military acronyms a bit confusing. With so many abbreviations and acronyms used by the military, it can be challenging to keep track of them all. However, understanding these acronyms is crucial for those who want to communicate effectively with members of the military.

Military acronyms are used to shorten or simplify military terms. They are often used in written communication, such as emails and reports, as well as in verbal communication. Military acronyms can refer to anything from equipment and weapons to personnel and operations.

Here are some common military acronyms you may come across:

  • AFB – Air Force Base
  • AWOL – Absent Without Leave
  • CO – Commanding Officer
  • FUBAR – Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition
  • MIA – Missing In Action
  • POW – Prisoner Of War
  • PT – Physical Training
  • ROTC – Reserve Officers’ Training Corps
  • TDY – Temporary Duty
  • UAV – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

It is important to note that different branches of the military may use different acronyms for the same thing. For example, the Army and Marine Corps use the acronym “NCO” for Non-Commissioned Officer, while the Air Force and Navy use “SNCO” for Senior Non-Commissioned Officer.

Common Military Acronyms

If you’re new to the military, you might feel like you’re learning a whole new language. The military is full of acronyms, abbreviations, and jargon that can be confusing.

NATO Phonetic Alphabet

The NATO Phonetic Alphabet is a standardized way of spelling out words over a radio or phone. It’s used to ensure clarity and accuracy, especially when communicating in noisy or chaotic environments. Here are some of the most common letters and their corresponding words:

  • Alpha: A
  • Bravo: B
  • Charlie: C
  • Delta: D
  • Echo: E
  • Foxtrot: F
  • Golf: G
  • Hotel: H
  • India: I
  • Juliet: J
  • Kilo: K
  • Lima: L
  • Mike: M
  • November: N
  • Oscar: O
  • Papa: P
  • Quebec: Q
  • Romeo: R
  • Sierra: S
  • Tango: T
  • Uniform: U
  • Victor: V
  • Whiskey: W
  • X-ray: X
  • Yankee: Y
  • Zulu: Z

Military Time

Military Time is a 24-hour clock that’s used in the military and other industries. It’s a way of avoiding confusion between AM and PM, and it’s also easier to use when coordinating operations across different time zones. Military Time is written with four digits, with the first two representing the hour and the last two representing the minutes. For example, 1:00 PM would be written as 1300, while 9:30 PM would be written as 2130.

Rank and Unit Acronyms

The military is full of acronyms for different ranks and units. Here are some of the most common ones you’ll encounter:

  • E: Enlisted
  • O: Officer
  • NCO: Non-Commissioned Officer
  • MOS: Military Occupational Specialty
  • PT: Physical Training
  • BCT: Basic Combat Training
  • AIT: Advanced Individual Training
  • CO: Commanding Officer
  • XO: Executive Officer
  • NCOIC: Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge
  • Plt: Platoon
  • Co: Company
  • Bn: Battalion
  • Bde: Brigade

Learning military acronyms can take some time, but it’s an important part of becoming a member of the military community. By familiarizing yourself with these common acronyms, you’ll be better able to communicate and understand the military’s unique language.

List of Military Acronyms

Here is the list of the commonly used army and military acronyms with their meanings.

  • CASE – Computer-Aided Software Engineering
  • ACK – Acknowledge
  • DIST – Distance
  • AALC – Amphibious Assault Landing Craft
  • 3M – Maintenance And Material Management (MMM)
  • ADC – Air Data Computer
  • ADSU – Air Direction Sensing Unit
  • CCTT – Command And Control Team Trainer
  • ASD – Assistant Secretary Of Defense
  • CDD – Common Data Dictionary
  • A/A – Air-to-air
  • ASTM – American Society For Testing And Materials
  • AAA – Artifacts, Agents And Activities
  • AIF – Airborne Inhabited Fighter
  • BB – Battleship
  • A/C – Aircraft
  • CJCS – Chairman Of The Joint Chief Of Staff
  • A/S – Airspeed
  • CMS – Cockpit Management System
  • AAA – Anti-aircraft Artillery
  • BAT – Battery
  • AAAA – Army Aviation Association Of America
  • ACFT – Aircraft
  • AAW – Anti-air Warfare
  • ACO – Administrative Contracting Officer
  • AAWBOT – Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Basic Operator Trainer
  • ADS – Automated Data System
  • ABC – Analog Backup Computer
  • CCTDA – Cockpit Control Thrust Drive Actuator
  • ACCS – Advanced Communications Control System
  • ADA – Airborne Data Automation
  • ACLS – Auto Carrier Landing System
  • CMM – Capability Maturity Model
  • ACMS – Air Combat Maneuvering System
  • CLIN – Contract Line Item Number
  • ACMS – Air Combat Maneuvering Simulator
  • CMAN – Configuration Management
  • ACSUBS – Aircraft Subsystems
  • ADA – Air Defense Artillery
  • DNA – Defense Nuclear Agency
  • ADL – Authorized Data List
  • CITIS – Contractor Integrated Technical Information Service
  • AST – Aircraft System Trainer
  • ADPA – American Defense Preparedness Association
  • CLTE – Cost And Lead Time Estimate
  • ADPSO – Automatic Data Processing Security Officer
  • WTHR – Weather
  • DF – Direction Finder
  • ADS – Air Data System
  • EFIS – Electronic Flight Information System
  • ADU – Air Data Unit
  • WST – Weapon System Trainer
  • CDI – Cumulative Damage Indes
  • ADU – Audio Distribution Unit
  • STT – Schedule Training Time
  • AIMS – Altitude Identification And Measuring System
  • CNIU – Communication/navigation Interface Unit
  • AHD – Ahead
  • STVTS – Submarine Tactical Visual Training System
  • ASCII – American Standard Computer Information Interchange
  • FRS – Fleet Readiness Squadron
  • CMVWP – Commander Medium Attack Tactical Warfare Wing Pacific
  • ASDS – Airborne Serial Data System
  • ASSET – Asset Source For Software Engineering Technology
  • CMDS – Cockpit Management Display System
  • ASSY – Assembly
  • CNEWTP – Consolidated Electronic Warfare
  • ASTAB – Auto Status Board
  • PAT – Process Action Team
  • ASW – Anti-submarine Warfare
  • HVR – Hover
  • AZ – Azimuth
  • TCMDR – Troop Commander
  • B – Bottom
  • QUICKSTRIKE – Mine
  • BCM – Beyond Capability Of Maintenance
  • CMR – Configuration Management Review
  • DOD – Department Of Defense
  • BM – Ballistic Missile
  • MDTS – Mcdonnell Douglas Training Systems
  • CM – Configuration Management
  • CC – Configuration Control
  • SWS – Strategic Weapons System
  • CCA – Carrier Controlled Approach
  • DLSC – Defense Logistic Systems Center
  • CCSDSP – Closed Circuit Saturation Diving System
  • CCU – Computer Control Unit
  • CMRS – Calibration/measurement Requirements Summary
  • NVD – Night Vision Device
  • CIS – Case Integration Services
  • SWP – Space, Weight And Power
  • DNS – Doppler Navigation Sensor
  • CIU – Cockpit Interface Unit
  • ICAO – International Civil Aviation Organization
  • MDTS – Mcdonnell Douglas Training Systems
  • DISP – Display
  • PATT – Pattern
  • CLS – Contractor Logistics Support
  • PAX – Passengers
  • QUP – Quantity Per Unit Pack
  • CNI – Comm/nav/iff
  • EFR – Equipment Facility Requirements
  • STRT – Start
  • CKPT – Cockpit
  • STTWG – Submarine Training/trainer Working Group
  • DIVERTR – Diverter
  • CJCS SROE – Chairman Of The Joint Chief Of Staff Standing Rules Of Engagement
  • FRB – Failure Review Board
  • CMSS – Configuration Management Support System
  • CLIP – Configuration Logistic Information Program
  • FRD – Facilities Requirements Document
  • CLR – Clear
  • CMI – Computer Managed Instruction
  • HTCL – Remote Hover Trim Controller
  • DOC – Descend On Course
  • HUD – Head Up Display
  • CL – Center Line
  • DC – Damage Control
  • CL – Channel
  • CMPTSC – Conventional Marine Propulsion Training Steering Group
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Military Acronyms

Acronyms in Military Operations

Military operations involve complex and dynamic situations that require quick and efficient communication. To achieve this, the military has developed a wide range of acronyms that are used to convey information accurately and efficiently.

Operational Acronyms

Operational acronyms are used to describe the different phases of military operations. These acronyms are essential in planning and executing military operations. Here are some of the most common operational acronyms used in military operations:

  • COA – Course of Action
  • SITREP – Situation Report
  • OPORD – Operations Order
  • FRAGO – Fragmentary Order
  • CAS – Close Air Support
  • C2 – Command and Control
  • ISR – Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance

Equipment and Weapon Acronyms

In addition to operational acronyms, there are also acronyms used to describe military equipment and weapons. These acronyms are essential in communicating information about equipment and weapons quickly and efficiently. Here are some of the most common equipment and weapon acronyms used in military operations:

  • M16 – A rifle used by the US military
  • M4 – A carbine version of the M16 rifle
  • HMMWV – High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, commonly known as Humvee
  • MRAP – Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle
  • IED – Improvised Explosive Device
  • ATGM – Anti-Tank Guided Missile
  • SAM – Surface-to-Air Missile

Acronyms in Military Communication

Military communication is often filled with acronyms that can be confusing to those who are not familiar with them. These acronyms are used to make communication more efficient and to convey information quickly.

Radio Communication Acronyms

Radio communication is an essential part of military operations. It is used to communicate between units and to receive orders from higher-ups. Radio communication acronyms are used to make communication more efficient and to convey information quickly. Here are some common radio communication acronyms:

  • ROGER: This acronym means “received and understood.” It is used to confirm that a message has been received and understood.
  • WILCO: This acronym means “will comply.” It is used to confirm that a message has been received and that the recipient will comply with the order.
  • SITREP: This acronym means “situation report.” It is used to provide a brief update on the current situation.
  • ETA: This acronym means “estimated time of arrival.” It is used to provide an estimated time of arrival for a unit or individual.
  • MIA: This acronym means “missing in action.” It is used to indicate that a unit or individual is missing and cannot be located.
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Internet Slang in Military

The military has adapted to modern technology and now uses the internet for communication as well. Internet slang is commonly used in military communication to convey information quickly and efficiently. Here are some common internet slang terms used in the military:

  • LOL: This acronym means “laugh out loud.” It is used to indicate that something is funny or amusing.
  • BRB: This acronym means “be right back.” It is used to indicate that the person will be away from their computer or device for a short period of time.
  • ASAP: This acronym means “as soon as possible.” It is used to indicate that something needs to be done quickly.
  • BTW: This acronym means “by the way.” It is used to introduce additional information into a conversation.
  • FYI: This acronym means “for your information.” It is used to provide information to the recipient.

Acronyms in Military Medicine

In the field of military medicine, acronyms are commonly used to refer to various medical terms and procedures. Here are some of the most commonly used acronyms in military medicine:

  • TCCC: Tactical Combat Casualty Care. This is the standard of care for managing trauma on the battlefield.
  • MEDEVAC: Medical Evacuation. This refers to the process of transporting injured personnel from the battlefield to a medical facility.
  • MASCAL: Mass Casualty. This refers to a situation where there are a large number of casualties, such as in a natural disaster or terrorist attack.
  • CPR: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. This is a technique used to revive a person whose heart has stopped beating.
  • IV: Intravenous. This refers to the administration of fluids or medications directly into a vein.
  • NBC: Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical. This refers to the types of weapons that can cause mass casualties in a warzone.
  • MOPP: Mission-Oriented Protective Posture. This refers to the protective gear worn by military personnel in a NBC environment.

In addition to these acronyms, there are many others used in military medicine. It is important for medical personnel to be familiar with these acronyms in order to communicate effectively and efficiently in the field.

Acronyms in Military Law

If you are new to the military or just starting out in the legal field, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer number of acronyms used in military law. Here are some of the most common acronyms you may encounter:

  • UCMJ: Uniform Code of Military Justice. This is the legal code that governs the conduct of members of the United States military.
  • JAG: Judge Advocate General. This is the legal branch of the military, responsible for providing legal advice to commanders and representing service members in court.
  • AR: Army Regulation. This is a type of directive issued by the Army to establish policy or procedures.
  • MCM: Manual for Courts-Martial. This is the guidebook used by military judges and attorneys when conducting courts-martial.
  • LOAC: Law of Armed Conflict. This is the body of law that governs the conduct of armed conflict, including the treatment of prisoners of war and civilians.
  • ROE: Rules of Engagement. These are the guidelines that dictate when and how military force can be used in combat.
  • SJA: Staff Judge Advocate. This is the legal advisor to a military unit’s commander.
  • CID: Criminal Investigation Command. This is the organization responsible for investigating crimes committed by members of the military.
  • NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service. This is the organization responsible for investigating crimes committed by members of the Navy and Marine Corps.
  • OSI: Air Force Office of Special Investigations. This is the organization responsible for investigating crimes committed by members of the Air Force.
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Understanding Military Acronyms in Context

If you are new to the military, the acronyms used by service members and veterans can be overwhelming. However, understanding military acronyms is essential to communicating effectively in this environment. In this section, we will explore how military acronyms are used in context and provide some examples.

Military acronyms are used to convey complex information quickly and efficiently. They are often used in situations where time is of the essence, such as during combat operations or in emergency situations. Military acronyms can refer to a variety of things, including unit designations, hardware names, and operational terms.

To understand military acronyms in context, it is important to consider the specific situation in which they are being used. For example, the acronym “MOS” can refer to a military occupational specialty in the Army, Marines, and Coast Guard, while the Air Force uses the acronym “AFSC” to refer to the same thing. Similarly, the Navy uses the acronym “NEC” to refer to a Navy enlisted classification, which is equivalent to an MOS or AFSC.

In addition to understanding the specific context in which military acronyms are used, it is also helpful to be familiar with some of the most common acronyms. Some of these include:

  • ASAP: As Soon As Possible
  • AWOL: Absent Without Leave
  • CO: Commanding Officer
  • FUBAR: F***ed Up Beyond All Recognition
  • MRE: Meal, Ready-to-Eat
  • NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • OIC: Officer in Charge
  • PT: Physical Training
  • SITREP: Situation Report
  • TACSOP: Tactical Standard Operating Procedures

The Importance of Military Acronyms

Now that you have a better understanding of military acronyms, you can see how important they are in the armed forces. They serve as a shorthand language that allows service members to communicate quickly and efficiently, especially in high-pressure situations.

Without acronyms, communication in the military would be much slower and less effective. Imagine trying to relay a complicated message using only full words and phrases. It would take much longer and increase the risk of miscommunication, which could have serious consequences.

Acronyms also provide insight into the culture and operations of the military. By understanding the meaning of certain acronyms, you can gain a better understanding of the specific systems, positions, and geography used in the armed forces.

However, it’s important to remember that acronyms can also be confusing and overwhelming, especially for those who are new to the military. It’s important to take the time to learn and understand the acronyms used in your branch of the military to avoid confusion and miscommunication.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common military acronyms?

Military acronyms are used to save time and space when communicating. Some common military acronyms include ASAP (As Soon As Possible), AWOL (Absent Without Leave), BDU (Battle Dress Uniform), and CO (Commanding Officer).

What are some slang military acronyms?

Slang military acronyms are used to describe certain situations or individuals in a humorous or sarcastic way. Some examples of slang military acronyms include FUBAR (Fed Up Beyond All Recognition), SNAFU (Situation Normal: All Fed Up), and BOHICA (Bend Over, Here It Comes Again).

What are some badass military acronyms?

Badass military acronyms are used to describe elite units or special operations forces. Some examples of badass military acronyms include SEAL (Sea, Air, and Land), Delta Force (1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta), and DEVGRU (Naval Special Warfare Development Group).

What were some military acronyms used in World War II?

During World War II, military acronyms were used extensively. Some examples include GI (Government Issue), P-38 (Lockheed P-38 Lightning), and MIA (Missing In Action).

What does Code 19 mean in the military?

Code 19 is a military term used to indicate a situation where a vehicle is in distress or requires assistance. This code is often used during convoy operations or when a vehicle is stranded in a hostile environment.

What does WTF stand for in the military?

WTF is a slang military acronym that stands for “What The F***.” It is often used in a humorous or sarcastic way to express surprise or disbelief.

Last Updated on September 22, 2023

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