Acronym Glossary

ABP – Afghan Border Patrol

ADA – Air Defense Artillery

AEG – Air Expeditionary Group

AMTRACK – An amphibious troop transport vehicle used by the Marines

ANA – Afghan National Army

AO – Area of Operations

AOR – Area of Responsibility

AP – Armor Piercing

ASR – Alternate Supply Route

ASVAB – Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. Competency test that all enlisted personnel must take prior to enlisting. It helps to determine what jobs that recruits are and are not eligible for.

AT4 – Shoulder fired, single-shot, recoilless anti-tank weapon

BAS – Battalion Aid Station

BCG – Birth Control Glasses. Standard military-issue glasses that get their nickname because they are unattractive. It is difficult to charm members of the opposite sex while wearing them.

BDA – Battle Damage Assessment

BDOC – Base Defense Operations Center

BDU – Battle Dressing Uniform

BIAP – Baghdad International Airport

BSA – Bilateral Security Agreement

BUD/S – Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training

BUMED – US Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery

CASREC – Casualty Receiving

CAG – Commander, Air Group

CG – Commanding General

CHU – Containerized Housing Unit

CJSOTF-A – Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan

CLS – Combat Lifesaver course

CNO – Chief of Naval Operations

COIN – Counter Insurgency

Conex Box – a large container designed for international shipping. These containers were fashioned into living quarters for personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan.

COP – Combat Outpost

C-RAT – Individual wet ration

CROWS – Common Remotely Operated Weapons Stations

CSH – Combat Surgical Hospital

CST – Cultural Support Team

CTM – Combat Trauma Management

DEA – Drug Enforcement Agency

DFAC – Dining Facility

DI – Drill Instructor

ECM – Electronic Counter-Measures

ECP – Entry Control Point

EOD – Explosive Ordnance Disposal

EPW – Enemy Prisoner of War

FMF – Fleet Marine Force. A warfare designation given by the Navy to Corpsman who have achieved proficiency with the Marines.

FMSS – Field Medical Service School. Training facility that Navy Corpsmen attended to learn field medicine and Marine Corps operations [later renamed Field Medical Training Battalion – FMTB].


FOB – Forward Operating Base

FOD – Foreign Objects and Debris

G-BOSS – Ground-Based Operational Surveillance System

GBU – Guided Bomb Unit

GWOT – Global War on Terrorism

HESCO Barrier – collapsible square or rectangular mesh barriers that are filled with earth and used to fortify bases. Named after the company that produces them.

HLZ – Helicopter Landing Zone

HME – Homemade Explosives

HSEP – Hospital Surgical Expansion Package

HVI/HVT – High Value Individual/High Value Target

IDF – Indirect Fire

IED – Improvised Explosive Device

IRAM – Improvised Rocket Assisted Mortars

ITB – Infantry Training Battalion. A nine week course immediately after boot camp to train Marine Corps infantry personnel. 

JAG – Judge Advocate General

KA-BAR – tactical knife

LAAD – Low Altitude Air Defense

LAV – Light Armored Vehicle [Marine Corps]. An eight-wheeled, amphibious assault vehicle most often used by Light Armored Reconnaissance units.

LAW – Light Anti-Tank Weapon

LPO – Leading Petty Officer

LSA – Logistics Support Area

MARSOC – Marine Special Operations Command

MACE – Military Acute Concussion Evaluation 

MCMAP – Marine Corps Martial Arts Program

MCRD – Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Marine Corps basic training facility. There are two: one in San Diego, California and one in Parris Island, South Carolina.

MCT – Marine Combat Training. A school attended by non-infantry Marines immediately after boot camp to learn basic infantry techniques.

MEDCAP – Medical Civil Action Program

MEDEVAC – Medical Evacuation

MEF – Marine Expeditionary Force

MEU – Marine Expeditionary Unit

MIDRATS – Midnight Rations

MiG – a Russian-manufactured military aircraft

MOS – Military Occupational Specialty [used by the Army, Marines and Air Force] 

MOUT – Military Operations in Urban Terrain

MRAP – Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle

MRE – Meal Ready to Eat

MSR – Main Supply Route

MSSG – Marine Service Support Group

MWR – Morale, Welfare and Recreation (Navy and Marine Corps)

NAVPERS – Navy Personnel

NBC – Nuclear Biological Chemical

NCO – Non-Commissioned Officer. All enlisted ranks of E4 and above are Non-Commissioned Officers.

NETC – Naval Education and Training Command

NJP – Non-Judicial Punishment

NSW – Naval Special Warfare 

ODA – Operational Detachments-Alpha (also known as Special Operations detachment “A-Teams”)

OIC – Office In Charge

OJT – On the Job Training

OP – Observation Post

OPSEC – Operational Security

OPTEMPO – Operations Tempo

OSUT – One Station Unit Training

PB – Patrol Base

PC – Plane Captain (Navy)

PCS – Permanent Change of Station

PFT, PFA, PRT – Physical Fitness Tests in the Navy and Marine Corps

PMARCHP – Patient safety, Massive hemorrhaging, Airway, Respiratory, Circulation, Head trauma & hypothermia, Pain management and patient evacuation

POL – Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants

POSREP – Position Report

PRT – Provincial Reconstruction Team

PSD – Personal Security Detail

PT – Physical Training

PX – Post Exchange. A shopping center on military bases.

QRF – Quick Reaction Force

Rate/Rating – Pay grade and occupational specialty in the Navy

RCE – Regional Command East

RDC – Recruit Division Commander

RIP – Ranger Indoctrination Program

ROE – Rules of Engagement

ROK – Republic of Korea [South Korea]

ROTC – Reserve Officers’ Training Corps

SAS – Special Air Service (British Special Forces)

SAW – Squad Automatic Weapon

SERE – Survival, Evasion Resistance and Escape. SERE School teaches service members how to survive as a prisoner of war. 

SOCOM – Special Operations Command

SOI – School of Infantry [Marine Corps infantry training school. There are two – one at Camp Pendleton, California and Camp Geiger at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.]

SOP – Standard Operating Procedure

TC – Team Commander

TDY – Temporary Duty Assignment

UDP – Unit Deployment Program

UXO – Unexploded Ordnance

VCP – Vehicle Check Point

VETCAP – Veterinary Civil Action Program

VSO – Village Stability Operation

VSP – Village Stability Platform