Military Slang and Acronyms

Military Slang and Acronyms – Installment 1

For my next blog I am going to write a series on military slang and acronyms due to the fact that there are so many.  I have tried to narrow the list down to the ones that I know.  I used these countless times while serving therefore making them have a more personal meaning to me.

So let’s see how far I can get in this first article starting with the letter A

AO – Area of Operations

AAR – After Action Review – I find myself still using this one today even in my civilian job and of course sometimes I have to explain to people what it means.  But anytime you conduct a function or group event, it is definitely a good idea to sit down at the completion and conduct an AAR.  This will allow you to capture notes for what went right or wrong and will make the next event go much better.

AIT – Advanced Individual Training – This is when a new soldier gets to start learning all about his Military Occupational Skill (MOS) and finally gets some privileges after surviving basic training.

APFT – Army Physical Fitness Test – Unfortunately I participated in way too many of these and they aren’t my fondest memory of my time in service.  No matter how much I worked out I could never max the push-up event.

AWOL – Absent Without Official Leave – I use this one all the time even for telling someone they missed a meeting.

ALICE – All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment –  I never knew what ALICE stood for until opening our store.  I started getting customers asking so I had to find out so I could educate them.

BDU – Battle Dress Uniform – when I started my military career we were still wearing the OD green fatigues and you had better make sure your gig line was straight.  In the early 80s, while serving in the TN Army National Guard, 1174th Transportation Company in Dresden, TN, the Army came out with the BDUs.   The first version were very hot to wear since they only came in one weight (winter).

CPX – Command Post Exercise – Being a Chemical Officer for Armor and Mechanized Infantry Battalions and Brigades I spend a many of days in Korea and FT Hood, TX training in the back of a M577 participating in various CPXs.

CYA – Cover Your Ass – This was one’s attempt to cover up a mistake and hope no one found out about it.

CIF – Central Issue Facility – You don’t get to go shopping for your uniforms and equipment, but instead you go to the CIF and have someone throw it at you.  And, of course, when you went to turn it in, it had best be in much better condition that when it was given to you.

CONUS – Continental United States versus OCONUS for anywhere not in the Continental United States.

DOA – Dead on Arrival

You can read Installment 2 of Military Slang and Acronyms here.