Acronyms and Sayings

Below, you will find a link to tons of "military" terms, military slang and military acronyms.

I found a fine site that allows you to search over 23,000 military words and slang.  It is

Here is a list of slang.  Please comment below with ones YOU remember. Remember-young eyes might view this so please do not include really graphic or profane ones.

Ate- Up:  something or someone that is screwed up or out of order





Here is a fantastic list of military acronyms from


AA - Air-to-Air

                      AA - Anti-Aircraft

                      AAA - Anti-Aircraft Artillery

                      AAC - Army Air Corps (UK)

                      AAM - Air-to-Air Missile

                      AAMG - Anti-Aircraft Machine Gun

                      AAAV - Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle

                      AAV - Amphibious Assault Vehicle

                      AAV - Assault Amphibian Vehicle

                      AAVC - Assault Amphibian Vehicle, Command

                      ABM - Anti-Ballistic Missile

                      ACC - Air Combat Command (USAF)

                      ACM - Air Combat Maneuvering

                      ACMI - Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation

                      ACMR - Air Combat Maneuvering Range

                      ACP - Armored Command Post

                      ADATS - Air Defense Anti-Tank System

                      ADF - Australian Defense Force

                      ADIZ - Air Defense Identification Zone

                      AEW - Airborne Early Warning

                      AEW&C - Airborne Early Warning and Control

                      AEV - Armored Engineer Vehicle

                      AF - Air Force

                      AFB - Air Force Base (US)

                      AFD - Automatic Feeding Device

                      AFMC - Air Force Material Command (USAF)

                      AFV - Armored Fighting Vehicle

                      AIFV - Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle

                      ALBM - Air Launched Ballistic Missile

                      ALCM - Air Launched Cruise Missile

                      AMC - Air Mobility Command (USAF)

                      AMRAAM - Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (Raytheon AIM-120)

                      AMX - Atelier De Construction d'Issy-les-Moulineaux (France)

                      ANG - Air National Guard (US)

                      AP - Armor Piercing

                      APAM - Anti-Personnel, Anti-Material

                      APC - Armored Personnel Carrier

                      APDS - Armor-Piercing Discarding Sabot

                      APDS-T - Armor-Piercing Discarding Sabot Tracer

                      APFSDS - Armor Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot

                      APHE - Armor Piercing High Explosive

                      APU - Auxiliary Power Unit

                      AP-T - Armor Piercing - Tracer

                      ARM - Anti-Radiation Missile

                      ARRV - Armored Repair and Recovery Vehicle

                      ARV - Armored Recovery Vehicle

                      ASCOD - Austrian-Spanish Co-Operative Development

                      ASLAV - AUstralian Light Armored Vehicle

                      ASM - Air-to-Surface Missile

                      ASPJ - Airborne Self-Protection Jammer

                      ASRAAM - Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile

                      AST - Air Staff Target

                      ASTOVL - Advanced Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing

                      ASV - Anti-Surface Vessel

                      ASW - Anti-Submarine Warfare

                      ASuW - Anti-Surface Warfare

                      AT - Anti-Tank

                      ATGW - Anti-Tank Guided Weapon

                      ATBM - Anti-Tactical Ballistic Missile

                      AUW - All Up Weight

                      AVLB - Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge

                      AVRE - Armored Vehicle Royal Engineers (UK)

                      AWACS - Airborne Warning and Control System (Boeing E-3 Sentry)

                      AWOL - Absent WithOut Leave


B - Bomber designation (as in B-52 Stratofortress)

                      BAe - British Aerospace, now BAe Systems

                      bhp - Brake Horsepower

                      BVR - Beyond Visual Range


C2 - Command and Control

                      C3 - Command, Control and Communications

                      C3I - Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence

                      CAF - Canadian Armed Forces, now Canadian Forces

                      CAP - Combat Air Patrol

                      CAS - Close-Air Support

                      CAWS - Close Assault Weapon System

                      CDU - Control Display Unit

                      CEA - Circular Error Average

                      CEP - Circular Error Probable

                      CEV - Combat Engineer Vehicle

                      CF - Canadian Forces

                      CFE - Conventional Forces Europe

                      CFV - Cavalry Fighting Vehicle

                      CIWS Close-In Weapon System (US)

                      CO - Commanding Officer

                      COIN - Counter Insurgency

                      COL - Colonel

                      COTAC - Conduite de Tir Automatique pour Char (France)

                      CPL - Corporal

                      CPT - Captain

                      CRARRV - Challenger Armored Repair and Recovery Vehicle

                      CRT - Cathode Ray Tube

                      CSB - Close-Support Bridge

                      CV - Conventionally Powered aircraft carrier (USN)

                      CV - Combat Vehicle

                      CVN - Attack aircraft carrier, nuclear powered (US)

                      CVRT - Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance Tracked


DEW - Distant Early Warning (US)

                      DFC - Distinguished Flying Cross: air force decoration

                      DGPS - Differential GPS

                      DoD - Department of Defense

                      DP - Dual Purpose

                      DVI - Direct Voice Input

                      DZ - Drop Zone


E - Enlisted

                      EAAK - Enhanced Applique Armor Kit (France)

                      ECCM - Electronic Counter CounterMeasures

                      ECM - Electronic CounterMeasures

                      ECR - Electronic Combat Reconnaissance, SEAD Panavia Tornado variant

                      EFIS - Electronic Flight Instrument System

                      ELINT - ELectronic INTelligence

                      Endurance - Length of time an aircraft's fuel load will permit it
                      to stay airborne.

                      EOD - Explosive Ordnance Disposal

                      EPG - Engin Principal du Genie (France)

                      ERA - Explosive Reactive Armor

                      eshp - Equivalent Shaft Horsepower

                      ESM - Electronic Support Measures

                      EW - Electronic Warfare

                      EW - Electronic Warning


F - Fighter designation (as in F-15 Eagle)

                      FA - Frontal Aviation

                      FAA - Fleet Air Arm (UK, Australia, Argentina)

                      FAB - Forca Aerea Brasileira , Brazilian Air Force

                      FAC - Forward Air Control / Forward Air Controller

                      FAE - Fuel Air Explosives

                      FAR - Force d'Action Rapide (France)

                      FAV - Fast Attack Vehicle

                      FBW - Fly-by-Wire

                      FCS - Fire Control System

                      FEBA - Foward Edge of  Battle Area

                      FLIR - Forward Looking Infrared

                      FIFV - Future Infantry Fighting Vehicle

                      Fly-by-Wire - Flight control systems with electric signaling

                      FMC - Food Machinery Corporation

                      FMS - Foreign Military Sale (US)

                      FN - Fabrique National (Belgium)

                      FUBAR - 'Fouled' Up Beyond All Recognition

                      FV - Fighting Vehicle


g - Measure of the force of gravity

                      GAM - GPS-Aided Munition

                      GCI - Ground-Controlled Intercept

                      GCT - Grande Cadence de Tir (France)

                      GE - General Electric

                      GIAT - Groupement Industriel des Armements Terrestres (France)

                      GP - General Purpose

                      GPMG - General Purpose Machine Gun

                      GPS - Global Positioning System

                      gr - Grams (or Grain if talking about small arms ammunition)

                      GTK - Gepanzertes Transport-Kraftfahzeug (Germany)


HE - High Explosive

                      HEAP - High Explosive Anti-Personnel

                      HEAT - High Explosive Anti-Tank

                      HEAT -FS - High Explosive Anti-Tank - Fin Stabilized

                      HE-FRAG - High Explosive-Fragmentation

                      HEI - High Explosive Incendiary

                      HEMAT - Heavy Expanded Mobility Ammunition Trailer

                      HEP - High Explosive Plastic

                      HESH - High Explosive Squash Head

                      HE-T - High Explosive - Tracer

                      HF - Hi Frequency (Between 3 to 30 MHz)

                      HOTAS - Hands On Throttle and Stick

                      HOTCC - Hands on Throttle, Collective and Cyclic

                      HMS - Her Majesty's Service (UK/Australia)

                      HP - HorsePower

                      HQ - Headquarter(s)

                      HR - Hour(s)

                      HUD - Head Up Display

                      HUDWAC - Head Up Display Weapon Aiming Computer

                      HUDWASS - Head Up Display Weapon Aiming SubSystem

                      HVAP - High Velocity Armor Piercing

                      HVM - High Velocity Missile


IADS - Integrated Air Defense System

                      IAS - Indicated Airspeed Shown

                      ICBM - InterContinental Ballistic Missile

                      IFF - Identification Friend or Foe

                      IFV - Infantry Fighting Vehicle

                      IGE - In Ground Effect

                      ILS - Instrument Landing System

                      IMP - Imperial (UK)

                      INS - Inertial Navigation System

                      IOC - Initial Operational Capability

                      IR - InfraRed

                      IRAN - Inspect and Repair as Necessary

                      IRBM - Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile

                      IRCM - Infra-Red CounterMeasure

                      ISA - International Standard Atmosphere

                      IRS - Inertial Reference System

                      IRST - Infra-Red Search and Track


JASDF - Japan Air Self Defense Force

                      JAST - Joint Advanced Strike Technology

                      JDAM - Joint Direct Attack Munition

                      JGSDF - Japan Ground Self Defense Force

                      JMSDF - Japan Maritime Self Defense Force

                      Joint-STAR - Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Grumman

                      JSOW - Joint Stand-Off Weapon

                      JSF - Joint Strike Fighter

                      JTIDS - Joint Tactical Information Distribution System


KCAS - Calibrated AirSpeed (in Knots)

                      KG - Kilograms

                      KIAS - Knots Indicated Airspeed

                      KM - KiloMeter

                      KM/H - KiloMeters per Hour

                      kN - KiloNewton measure of force (1,000 Newtons : 1 Newton = 0.2248
                      lbs of force)

                      Knot - Aviation and maritime unit of velocity

                      KT - Kiloton (equivalent explosive force of 1,000 tons of TNT)

                      Kt/Kts - Knot(s)

                      KTAS - True AirSpeed in Knots

                      kW - KiloWatt


LABS - Low Altitude Bombing System

                      LAMPS - Light Airborne MultiPurpose System

                      LANTIRN - Low Altitude Targeting InfraRed for Night

                      LAPES - Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System

                      LARS - Light Artillery Rocket System

                      LAV - Light Assault Vehicle

                      LAV - Light Armored Vehicle

                      lb - Pound(s)

                      LCD - Liquid Crystal Display

                      LF - Low Frequency (30 to 300 kHz)

                      LGB - Laser-Guided Bomb

                      LLLTV - Low Light Level Television

                      LO - Low Observables

                      LPT - Low Profile Turret

                      LRMP - Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft

                      LT - Lieutenant

                      LT - Light Tank

                      LVTP - Landing Vehicle Tracked Personnel

                      LZ - Landing Zone


MACH - Measure of Airspeed (Mach 1 = 1,223 kph/760
                      mph at sea level)

                      MAC - Military Airlift Command; Now AMC (USAF)

                      MAD - Magnetic Anomaly Detector

                      MAJ - Major

                      MAP - Military Assistance Program

                      MAW - Marine Air Wing (USMC)

                      MBT - Main Battle Tank

                      MCM - Mine Countermeasures

                      MFD - Multi-Function Display

                      MG - Machine Gun

                      MILAN - Missile d'Infanterie Leger Anti-Char

                      min - Minute(s)

                      MLU - Mid-Life Update

                      MLRS - Multiple Launch Rocket System

                      mm - Millimeter

                      MoD - Ministry of Defense

                      MPA - Maritime Patrol Aircraft

                      MPC - Multi-Purpose Carrier

                      MR - Maritime Reconnaissance

                      MRAV - Multi-Role Armored Vehicle

                      MRBM - Medium Range Ballistic Missile

                      MSIP - Multi-Stage Improvement Program

                      MTOW - Maximum Take-Off Weight


NAS - Naval Air Station

                      NASA - National Aeronautics & Space Administration

                      NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

                      Nautical Mile - Measurement of distance

                      NBC - Nuclear, Biological and Chemical

                      nm - Nautical Mile

                      NOE - Nap of the Earth


O - Officer

                      OCU - Operational Conversion Unit

                      OGE - Out of Ground Effect

                      OTH-B - Over-The-Horizon Backscatter radar

                      OTHR - Over-The-Horizon Radar

                      OTHT - Over-The-Horizon Targeting


PACAF - Pacific Air Force (USAF)

                      PFC - Private First Class

                      PGM - Precision-Guided Munition

                      PID - Passive IDentification

                      PNGDF - Papua New Guinea Defense Force

                      PTG - Poseur de Travures du Genie (France)

                      PVT - Private


(None available)


R&D - Research & Development

                      RAF - Royal Air Force (UK)

                      RAAF - Royal Australian Air Force

                      RAAWS - Radar Altimeter and Altitude Warning System

                      RAM - Radar Absorbing Material

                      RAN - Royal Australian Navy

                      RAST - Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse system

                      RATO - Rocket-Assisted Take-Off

                      RCS - Radar Cross-Section

                      Recce - Reconnaissance

                      RISE - Reliability Improved Selected Equipment

                      RMAF - Royal Malaysian Air Force

                      RMG - Ranging Machine Gun

                      RN - Royal Navy (UK)

                      RNAS - Royal Navy Air Service

                      RNeAF - Royal Netherlands Air Force

                      RNZAF - Royal New Zealand Air Force

                      ROE - Rules of Engagement

                      RoKAF - Republic of Korea Air Force (South Korea)

                      RP - Rocket Propelled

                      RPG - Rocket Propelled Grenade

                      RPM - Revolutions Per Minute (or Rounds Per Minute if dealing with
                      small arms)

                      RPV - Remotely-Piloted Vehicle

                      RR - Rolls Royce

                      RSAF - Republic of Singapore Air Force

                      RSAF - Royal Saudi Air Force

                      RTC - Royal Tank Corps

                      RWR - Radar Warning Receiver


SA - Surface-to-Air

                      SAAF - South African Air Force

                      SAC - Strategic Air Command (USAF - merged into ACC)

                      SAM - Surface-to-Air Missile

                      SAR - Search And Rescue

                      SAS - Special Air Service

                      SEAD - Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses

                      SENSO - SENSor Operator

                      SEP - Systems Enhancement Package

                      SEALs - SEA, Air and Land (USN)

                      SGT - Sergeant

                      shp - Shaft Horsepower
                      (usually in reference to a helicopter's engine output power)

                      Sigint - SIGnals INTelligence

                      SLAP - Saboted Light Armor Penetrator

                      SLAR - Side-Looking Airborne Radar

                      SLEP - Service Life Extension Program

                      SOCOM - Special Operations COMmand

                      SOLRS - Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron (USAF)

                      SMG - Sub Machine Gun

                      SNAFU - Situation Normal, All 'Fouled' Up

                      SP - Specialist (when referred in a soldiers rank)

                      SP - Self-Propelled

                      SPG - Self-Propelled Gun

                      SPAAG - Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun

                      SSM - Surface-to-Surface Missile

                      SRAM - Short Range Attack Missile

                      STO - Short Take-Off

                      STOL - Short Take-Off and Landing

                      STOVL - Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing


TAC - Tactical Air Command (USAF, now merged into

                      TACAMO - TAke Charge And Move Out

                      TACAN - TACtical Aid to Navigation

                      TACCO - TACtical COordinator

                      TANS - Tactical Air Navigation System

                      TBO - Time Between Overhauls

                      TBT - Tank Bridge Transporter

                      TFR - Terrain Following Radar

                      TIALD - Target Identification Airborne Laser Designation

                      TNI-AU - Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Udara, Indonesian Air

                      TOW - Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-Guided

                      TSSAM - Tri-Service Stand-off Attack Missile

                      TRV - Tank Recovery Vehicle


UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

                      UHF - Ultra-High Fequency (300MHz to 3 GHz)

                      UN - United Nations

                      USAF - United States Air Force

                      USAFE - United States Air Force in Europe

                      USMC - United States Marine Corps

                      USN - United States Navy


VDU - Visual Display Unit

                      VHF - Very High Frequency (3 to 300MHz)

                      V/STOL - Vertical or Short Take-Off and Landing

                      VSEL - Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering LTD

                      VTAS - Voice, Throttle and Stick

                      VTOL - Vertical Take-Off and Landing


WO - Warrant Officer

                      WSO - Weapon System Operator (or Weapon System Officer)


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