Army Acronyms and Abbreviations

If there is one thing the Army is full of, it’s acronyms. In order to survive as an Army wife, Army mom or any other Army family member, it will help to know at least the basics of Army acronyms.

If you know other Army acronyms that aren’t included here, please email me!

* I would like to say a special thank you to Jessica for helping me to update this list including adding how some are actually said (A-Fees instead of A-A-F-E-S). Thank you! *

AAFES (A-Fees): Army, Air Force Exchange System
AAM: Army Achievement Medal
AAR: After Action Review
ABT: Annual Battle Training
ACAP (A-cap): Army Career and Alumni Program
ACS: Army Community Service
ACU: Army Combat Uniform
AD: Active Duty
AER: Army Emergency Relief
AFAP: Army Family Action Plan
AFN: Armed/American Forces Network
AFTB: Army Family Team Building
AG: Adjutant General
AGR: Active Guard Reserve
AIT: Advanced Individual Training
AKO: Army Knowledge Online
AMMO: Ammunition
ANCOC (A-knock): Advanced Noncommissioned Officers’ Course
AO: Area of Operations
APC: Armored Personnel Carrier
APDES: Army Physical Disability Evaluation System
APFT: Army Physical Fitness Test
APO: Army Post Office
AR: Army Reserves
ARCOM (Are-com): Army Commendation Medal
ARNG: Army National Guard
ARTEP: Army Training Evaluation Program
ASAP (A-sap): As soon as possible, also Army Substance Abuse Program
AUSA: Association of the United States Army
AVN: Aviation
AWOL (A-wall): Absent Without Leave

BAH: Basic Allowance for Housing
BAS: Basic Allowance for Subsistence (food allowance)
BC: Bradley Commander or Battalion Commander or Brigade Commander
BCT: Basic Combat Training or Brigade Combat Team
BDE: Brigade
BDU: Battle Dress Uniform
BEQ: Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (for NCOs)
BN: Battalion
BNCOC (B-knock): Basic Noncommissioned Officers’ Course
BOQ: Bachelor Officers Quarters
BSM: Bronze Star Medal
BX: Base Exchange (AF) – Army refers to it as PX (Post Exchange)

CAB: Combat Action Badge
CASCOM: Combined Arms Support Command
CBRNE: Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, or High-Yield Explosive
CCMRF CBRNE: Consequence Management Response Force (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, or High-Yield Explosive)
CDC: Child Development Center
CDS: Child Development Services
CFC: Combined Federal Campaign
CG: Commanding General
CHAMPUS: Civilian Health and Medical Program for the Uniformed Services
CHPPM (Chip-um): Center for Health Promotion and Preventative Medicine
CIB: Combat Infantry Badge
CID: Criminal Investigation Division (Army’s FBI)
CINC: Commander In Chief
CLT: Casualty Liaison Team
CMB: Combat Field Medical Badge
CO: Commanding Officer
COA: Course of Actions or Certificate of Appreciation/Achievement
COB: Close of Business
COC: Chain of Command
COE: Center of Excellence
COL: Colonel
COLA (Cola, like the drink): Cost of Living Allowance
CONUS (cone-us): Continental United States
CP: Command Post
CPL: Corporal (E-4 pay with leadership, like a NCO)
CPO: Civilian Personnel Office
CPX: Command Post Exercise
CQ: Charge of Quarters (duty after regular hours)
CSA: Chief of Staff Army
CSM: Command Sergeant Major
CYS: Community Youth Services

DA: Department of the Army
DAC (Dak): Department of the Army Civilian
DC: Dental Corp
DCINC (d-sink): Deputy Commander-in-Chief
DCU: Desert Combat Uniform
DeCA: Defense Commissary Agency
DEERS (deers, like the animal): Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System
DENTAC: US Army Dental Activity
DEP(dep): Delayed Entry Program
DEROS (d-ros): Date of Estimated Return from Overseas
DF: Disposition Form (sometimes referred to as a “buck slip”)
DFAC (D-Fac): Dining Facility
DFAS: (d-fas) Defense Finance and Accounting System
DI: Drill Instructor
DISCOM (dis-com): Divisional Support Command
DITY (Ditty): Do It Yourself Move
DIVARTY (div-r-t): Division Artillery; FA units of a division
DLA: Dislocation allowance
DOB: Date of birth
DOD (Dod): Department of Defense
DODDS (Dods): Department of Defense Dependants Schools
DODEA: Department of Defense Education Activity
DOR: Date of Rank
DOS: Date of Separation
DS: Drill Sergeant
DSN: Defense Switched Network
DTP: Delayed Training Program
DZ: Drop Zone

EEO: Equal Employment Opportunity
EER: Enlisted Evaluation Report
EFMB: Expert Field Medical Badge
EFMP: Exceptional Family Member Program
EIB: Expert Infantry Badge
EN: Enlisted
EO: Equal Opportunity
EOD: Explosive Ordinance Disposal
ERB: Enlisted Record Brief
ESC: Enlisted Spouses Club
ESGR: Employer Support of Guard and Reserve
ETA: Estimated Time of Arrival
ETS: Estimated Time of Separation
EWC: Enlisted Wives Club

FA: Field Artillery
FAC: Family Assistance Center
FCP: Family Care Plan
FLO: Family Liaison Office
FOB (Fob): Forward Operating Base
FORSCOM (For’s-com): Forces Command
FRG: Family Readiness Group
FRO: Family Readiness Officer
FRSA: Family Readiness Senior Advisor
FSA: Family Separation Allowance
FTX: Field Training Exercise

GCM: Good Conduct Medal
GI: Government Issue
GO: General Officer
GS: General Schedule
GWOT-E: Global War On Terror-Expeditionary medal
GWOT-S: Global War On Terror-Service medal

HH6: HouseHold Six (refers to spouse at home who stands “behind” their soldier)
HHB: Headquarters and Headquarters Battery
HHC: Headquarters and Headquarters Company
HHG: Household Goods
HHT: Headquarters and Headquarters Troop
HOR: Home of Record
HQ: Headquarters
HRAP (h-rap): Health Risk Appraisal Program
HS: Home Station
HTRAP (h-rap): Hometown Recruiting Assistance Program
HUMMER: Highly Mobile, Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, a.k.a. Humvee

IADT: Initial Active Duty Training
IDT: Inactive Duty Training
IE: Initial Entry
IED: Improvised Explosive Device
IET: Initial Entry Training
IG: Inspector General
IMA: Individual Mobilization Augmentee
IO: Information Officer or Inspecting Officer
IRF: Immediate Reaction Force
IRR: Individual Ready Reserve
ITB: Infantry Training Brigade
ITT: Information Tours and Travel

JAG (jag): Judge Advocate General
JCS: Joint Chiefs of Staff
JPPSO: Joint Personal Property Shipping Office
JSLIST: Joint Service Lightweight Integration Suit Technology
JTF: Joint Task Force
JUMPS: Joint Uniformed Military Pay System

KIA: Killed in Action
KISS: Keep it simple stupid/sweetie
KP: Kitchen Patrol

LES: Leave and Earnings Statement (his pay stub)
LOD: Line of Duty
LZ: Landing Zone

MACOM: Major Army Command
MC: Medical Corp
MEB: Medical Evaluation Board
MEDCOM: Medical Command
MEDDAC: US Army Medical Department Activity
MEPS (meps): Military Entrance Processing Station
MGIB: Montgomery GI Bill
MHO: Medical Hold Over
MI: Military Intelligence
MiCAP: Mileage Capability
MIA: Missing In Action
MILES (miles): multiple integrated laser engagement system
MOS: Military Occupational Specialty
MP: Military Police
MRB: Medical Retention Board
MRE: Meals Ready to Eat
MSC: Medical Specialty Corp
MSM: Meritorious Service Medal
MSO: Morale Support Officer
MTF: Military Treatment Facility
MWR: Morale, Welfare and Recreation

NAF: Non-Appropriated Funds
NATO (Nato): North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NCO: Non Commissioned Officer
NCOER: NCO Evaluation Report
NCOIC: NCO in Charge
NG: National Guard
NLT: Not Later Than
NPS: Non Prior Service

O: Officer
OBC: Officer’s Basic Course
OCONUS (Oh-Cone-us: Outside Continental United States
OCS: Officer Candidate School
OER: Officer Efficiency Report
OHA: Overseas Housing Allowance
ORB: Officer Record Brief
ORE: Operational Readiness Exercise
OSC: Officer Spouses’ Club
OSUT (oh-sut): One Station Unit Training
OWC: Officers’ Wives Club

PAC (Pack): Personal Administration Center
PAD: Patient Administration Division
PAO: Public Affairs Officer
PCS: Permanent Change of Station
PDA: Physical Disability Agency
PDHRA: Post Deployment Health Re-Assessment
PDQ: Pretty Damn Quick
PDRL: Permanent Disability Retirement List
PEB: Physical Evaluation Board
PEBLO: Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer
PHA: Periodic Health Assessment
PLDC: Primary Leadership Development Course (now WLC)
PMOS: Primary Military Occupational Specialty
POA: Power of Attorney
POC: Point of Contact
POV: Privately Owned Vehicle
POW: Prisoner of War or Personally Owned Weapon
PS: Prior Service
PT: Physical Training
PX: Post Exchange

QM: Quartermaster
QTRS: Quarters

RA: Regular Army
RBI: Reply by endorsement
RC: Reserve Component
RD: Rear Detachment (also referred to as “Rear D”)
RDC: Rear Detachment Commander
RDF: Ranger Dining Facility or Rapid Deployment Force
REGT: Regiment
RFO: Request For Orders
RHHT: Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Troop
RIF (riff): Reduction in Force
RIP: Ranger Indoctrination Program
RLTW: Rangers Lead The Way
RON: remain overnight (TDY)
ROTC (sometimes called rot-see): Reserve Officer Training Course
R&R: Rest and Relaxation/Recreation
RSO: Ranger Safety Officer

S-1 – Adjutant
S-2 – Information and Security
S-3 – Planning and Training
S-4 – Supply Officer
SBP: Survivor Benefits Program
SD: Staff Duty
SDO: Staff Duty Officer
SGLI: Serviceman’s Group Life Insurance
SHAPE (shape): Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
SOCOM (so-com): Special Operations Command
SOP: Standard Operating Procedure
SOUTHCOM (south-com): Southern Command (Miami)
SQT: Skill Qualification Test
SRB: Selective Reenlistment Bonus
SRP: Sustainable Range Program
SSN: Social Security Number

TA-50: Field equipment
TAP: Transition Assistance Program
TC: Truck Commander
TDRL: Temporary Disability Retirement List
TDY: Temporary Duty
TIG: Time In Grade
TLA: Temporary Living Allowance
TLE: Temporary Lodging Entitlement
TRADOC (tray-doc): Training and Doctrine Command
TSM: Transition Services Manager
TSP: Thrift Savings Plan
TTAD: Temporary Tour Active Duty

UCMJ: Uniform Code of Military Justice
USACE: United States Army Corps Engineer
USAFE: U.S. Air Force Europe
USAPDA: United States Army Physical Disability Agency
USAR: United States Army Reserve
USAREC: United States Army Recruiting Command
USAREUR (use-ar-eur): U.S. Army Europe
USARJ: U.S. Army Japan
USGLI: United States Government Life Insurance
USO: United Service Organization
UXO: Unexploded Ordnance

VA: Veterans Affairs/Administration
VASRD: Veterans Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities
VEAP: Veterans Education Assistance Program
VGLI: Veterans Group Life Insurance
VHA: Variable Housing Allowance
VTC: Video TeleConference

WESTCOM: Western Command (Hawaii)
WG: Wage Grade
WIA: Wounded In Action
WLC: Warrior Leadership Course
WO: Warrant Officer

XO: Executive Officer

Acronyms you’ll see on the message board:
PAF: Proud Army Fiancée
PAG: Proud Army Girlfriend
PAM: Proud Army Mom
PAW: Proud Army Wife
SO: Significant Other
DH: Dear Husband (or damn husband depending on how you feel about him at the moment!)

author avatar
Stacey Abler
Stacey's husband joined the Army in 2003 and was medically retired after four deployments. She enjoys sharing her experiences and expertise around Army life while continuing to support Army spouses and families in their military journey.

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  1. Nice list. Also:
    ETD – Estimated Time of Departure
    PHHGSIA – Personal Household Goods Shipment Is Authorized – important for PCS.

  2. HouseHold 6 is sometimes used as a derogatory term. 6 is always the commander of a unit’s call sign. For example, if a company is the “Raptors”, Raptor 6 is the company commander. Some spouses like to call themselves HouseHold 6 which means the Household Commander.

  3. Hi, my husband is thinking about joining the army. Is it even possible to memorize all of these? Also, do I need to memorize all of them?

  4. My father served in the U.S. Army during World War II. I know that he served in North Africa. He was a Corporal at discharge in 1945 with a Unit designation of 1st B. N. T.. I haven’t been able to determine what the 1st B. N. T. stands for. I have checked Army abbreviations and acronyms with no success. Can you help?

    1. Battalion is usually abbreviated BN (or at least today) but could it be that? Do you have any pictures of him in uniform that possibly show a unit patch?

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