Military Terms: 180 Popular Military Words You Should Know

Military terms are a unique language that is used by members of the armed forces. These terms are often unfamiliar to civilians and can be confusing for those who are not familiar with the military. However, understanding these terms is important for those who work with or interact with members of the military.

In this article, we will cover the most common military terms and explain their meanings. We will also discuss the origins of these terms and how they have evolved over time.

List of Military Terms

Military Terms

This is a useful military words list you should know.

  • Encode
  • Squadron
  • Staff
  • Mess hall
  • MIA
  • Radar
  • Specialist
  • Squad
  • Rank
  • Enemy
  • Admiral
  • Advance
  • Cannon
  • Cannonball
  • Canteen
  • Captain
  • Aircraft
  • Air Force
  • Geneva Convention
  • Grenade
  • Officer
  • Ordnance
  • Grenade launcher
  • Destroyer
  • Detonate
  • Midshipman
  • Soldier
  • Spear
  • Military
  • Division
  • Lance corporal
  • Leave
  • Dog tags
  • Gunner
  • Star
  • Stockade
  • Gunnery sergeant
  • Reconnoiter
  • Recruit
  • Helmet
  • Honor
  • Ally
  • Parachute
  • Siege
  • Sniper
  • Paratrooper
  • Armored vehicle
  • Submarine
  • Surrender
  • Tactical
  • Armory
  • Conscription
  • Convoy
  • Major
  • Marines
  • Corporal
  • Corps
  • Arms
  • Grunt
  • Guerrilla
  • Shoot
  • Shot
  • Gun
  • Army
  • Arrow
  • Mine
  • Missile
  • Arsenal
  • Assault
  • Tactics
  • Tank
  • At Ease
  • Peace
  • Peace treaty
  • Attack
  • Hospital
  • Service
  • Shell
  • Injury
  • Insignia
  • Attention
  • Covert
  • Defeat
  • Taskforce
  • Theater
  • Defend
  • Engage
  • Enlist
  • Mortar
  • Section
  • Sergeant
  • Munition
  • Ensign
  • Medal
  • Medic
  • Tomahawk
  • Torpedo
  • Marksman
  • Defense
  • Battalion
  • Pentagon
  • Petty officer
  • Casualty
  • Catapult
  • Lieutenant
  • Lose
  • Machete
  • Cavalry
  • Battle
  • Troops
  • Truce
  • Uniform
  • Battlefield
  • Salvo
  • Seaman
  • Neutral
  • Plane
  • Platoon
  • Night-vision goggles
  • Weapon
  • Win
  • Offense
  • Battery
  • Epaulet
  • Evacuate
  • Fire
  • Wound
  • Fireteam
  • Battleship
  • Post
  • POW
  • Bayonet
  • Warrant officer
  • Warrior
  • Besiege
  • Ribbon
  • Rifle
  • Salute
  • Billet
  • Bivouac
  • Chaplain
  • Coast guard
  • War
  • Warfare
  • Colonel
  • Bomb
  • Bombard
  • Bombardment
  • Front
  • Fortification
  • General
  • Bow and arrow
  • Prisoner of war
  • Private
  • Camouflage
  • Camp
  • Combat
  • Command
  • Reserves
  • Retreat
  • Intelligence
  • Invade
  • PT boat
  • Purple Heart
  • Quartermaster
  • Jet
  • Kill
  • Fleet
  • Flotilla
  • Force
  • Conflict
  • Musket
  • National security
  • Navy
  • Conquest
  • Regiment
  • Unit
  • Veteran
  • Volley
  • Rescue
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Basic Military Terms

Rank and Structure

The military is organized into a strict hierarchy of ranks and positions. Understanding these ranks and positions is crucial to understanding how the military operates. Here are some of the most common ranks and positions:

  • Private: The lowest rank in the military.
  • Sergeant: A non-commissioned officer who leads a squad or section.
  • Lieutenant: A commissioned officer who leads a platoon.
  • Captain: A commissioned officer who leads a company.
  • Major: A field officer who commands a battalion or larger unit.
  • Colonel: A senior officer who commands a regiment or brigade.
  • General: A high-ranking officer who commands a division or higher unit.

Military Time

Military time, also known as 24-hour time, is used by the military to avoid confusion between AM and PM. In military time, the hours are numbered from 00 to 23. For example, 1:00 PM would be 1300 hours in military time.

Phonetic Alphabet

The military uses a phonetic alphabet to communicate letters over the radio or phone. This helps to avoid confusion between similar-sounding letters. Here are the most common letters and their corresponding phonetic codes:

  • Alpha
  • Bravo
  • Charlie
  • Delta
  • Echo
  • Foxtrot
  • Golf
  • Hotel
  • India
  • Juliet
  • Kilo
  • Lima
  • Mike
  • November
  • Oscar
  • Papa
  • Quebec
  • Romeo
  • Sierra
  • Tango
  • Uniform
  • Victor
  • Whiskey
  • X-ray
  • Yankee
  • Zulu

Military Operations

Combat Tactics

Combat tactics refer to the techniques and methods used by soldiers to achieve their objectives in combat. These tactics are constantly evolving, and soldiers are trained to adapt to changing situations. Some of the most common combat tactics include:

  • Fire and maneuver: This involves suppressing the enemy with gunfire while one unit moves to a better position to attack.
  • Ambush: This involves setting up a surprise attack on the enemy.
  • Flanking: This involves attacking the enemy from the side or rear.
  • Infiltration: This involves sneaking behind enemy lines to conduct sabotage or reconnaissance.

Types of Warfare

There are different types of warfare, each with its own unique characteristics and challenges. Some of the most common types of warfare include:

  • Conventional warfare: This refers to warfare between two or more state actors using conventional weapons and tactics.
  • Asymmetric warfare: This refers to warfare between two or more actors with vastly different military capabilities.
  • Guerilla warfare: This refers to warfare conducted by irregular forces who use hit-and-run tactics to wear down the enemy.
  • Cyber warfare: This refers to the use of digital attacks to disrupt or damage enemy computer systems.
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Military Strategies

Military strategies refer to the overall plans and goals of a military operation. These strategies are developed by military leaders and planners and are designed to achieve specific objectives. Some of the most common military strategies include:

  • Offensive strategy: This involves attacking the enemy to seize territory or achieve other objectives.
  • Defensive strategy: This involves defending against enemy attacks to hold territory or protect important assets.
  • Containment strategy: This involves limiting the enemy’s ability to expand its influence or achieve its objectives.
  • Decisive point strategy: This involves identifying and attacking the enemy’s weakest point to achieve a quick victory.

Military Equipment


Weapons are one of the most important types of equipment used by military personnel. There are many different types of weapons used by soldiers, including rifles, pistols, machine guns, and grenades. Each type of weapon has its own unique features and capabilities, and soldiers are trained to use them effectively in a variety of different situations.


Military vehicles are another important type of equipment used by soldiers. These vehicles can range from small, agile jeeps to large, heavily armored tanks. They are used to transport soldiers, supplies, and equipment across a variety of different terrains, and can be equipped with a variety of different weapons and defensive measures to protect the soldiers inside.

Uniforms and Gear

Military personnel also rely on a variety of different uniforms and gear to help them perform their duties. These can include everything from standard-issue uniforms and boots to specialized equipment like night vision goggles and body armor. Each piece of equipment is designed to help soldiers perform their duties more effectively and safely, and is carefully chosen based on the specific needs of each individual soldier and the operation being conducted.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the military term for a meeting point?

In the military, a meeting point is called a rendezvous point (RVP). It is a designated location where troops can gather, regroup, and receive further instructions.

What are some powerful military words?

Some powerful military words include “command,” “mission,” “victory,” “strategy,” “tactics,” “combat,” “warfare,” and “discipline.” These words convey a sense of strength, authority, and purpose, which are essential in military operations.

What are some military phrases commonly used in business?

Some military phrases commonly used in business include “chain of command,” “mission statement,” “battle plan,” “boots on the ground,” “front lines,” and “command center.” These phrases are used to convey a sense of urgency, teamwork, and leadership in the business world.

What are some military terms for groups?

In the military, a group of soldiers is called a squad, platoon, company, battalion, brigade, division, corps, or army. These terms are used to describe the size and organization of a military unit.

What are some military slangs?

Military slang includes terms like “grunt” (infantry soldier), “jarhead” (Marine), “sailor” (Navy personnel), “flyboy” (Air Force pilot), “GI” (Government Issue), “hooah” (Army affirmative response), and “oorah” (Marine affirmative response). These slangs are used to create camaraderie and identity among military personnel.

What are some words related to the military?

Some words related to the military include “enlist,” “deploy,” “medal,” “insignia,” “rank,” “uniform,” “weapon,” “ammo,” “barracks,” “boot camp,” and “veteran.” These words are used to describe various aspects of military life, from training to combat to recognition.

Last Updated on November 14, 2023

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