Being in the military ushers in a whole new lifestyle. In fact, it is safe to say that there is an entirely different culture that surrounds this life. And with it comes some distinctive idiosyncrasies including the funny military acronyms.
Military Slang: Setting the Them Apart From Everyone Else
Military slang is one of the unique ways that make service members distinct from the general public. After all, nearly everyone has heard of the special way that the military says the alphabet — complete with pronunciations that are not always the same as those taught in most elementary schools. While Alpha, Bravo and Charlie are pronounced pretty much the same way by both the military and civilians, some entries in this list of Army abbreviations include saying the number three as “tree,” the number five as “fife” and the number nine as “niner.”
The New Military Acronyms List
Since the NATO-backed phonetic alphabet was adopted in the 1950s, there have been many four letter military acronyms that have been used and wholeheartedly embraced by service personnel — either formally or informally. Some of the more famous military acronyms include the following:
TDY= Temporary Duty Station
DEERS= Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System
DOS= Date of Separation
ETS= Expiration of Term of Service
MOS= Military Occupational Specialty (Soldiers Job)
PCS= Permanent Change of Station
LES Leave and Earnings Statement
PX/BX= Post Exchange (shopping center)
CONUS= Continental United States
DFAS= Defense Finance and Accounting System
DFAC = dining facility
FIDO = forget it, drive on
KISS = keep it simple stupid
GOBI = general officer, bright idea
HUA = heard, understood, acknowledged
SECDEF = Secretary of Defense
DOD = Department of Defense
SECARMY = Secretary of the Army
SA = situational awareness
POV = privately owned vehicle
POL = petroleum, oil, lubricant
RTB = return to base
PMS = preventative maintenance scheduled
MRE = meal ready to eat
LHO = large heavy object
IED = improvised explosive device
IDF = indirect fire
SP = start point
STUMP = stupid tankers under mortar protection. This term is used to refer to those personnel that are riding in the relative safety of an armored vehicle while the infantry remains exposed.
Military Acronyms Explained
Some other Army acronyms and abbreviations might need a bit more explanation when it comes to fully understanding their meaning. Many of the 4-letter military acronyms listed below demonstrate the fantastic sense of humor that so many military members have.
FISH = fighting in someone’s house. This actually refers to engaging in urban warfare.
CSMO = close station, march order. Uttered when a mission is ending and the service member needs to make preparations to move out.
ROAD = retired, on active duty. Often used to refer to military personnel who are ineffective and lazy since they are only weeks or months from retiring.
SERE = survival, evasion, resistance, escape
RTB = return to base
THS = the Hooah Syndrome. This acronym is often used when a non-commissioned officer or platoon leader holds others to technical standards that border on the extreme.
NAVY = never again volunteer yourself
TACAMO = take charge and move out. Another meaning for this is by the Pentagon in reference to the aircraft that is highly important to the country’s nuclear warfare program.
Not only do acronyms save time when speaking and clarify what is being said, they can also be used to bring service members together.