If you have just arrived at The Library in Purgatory, the first chapter is here.

"I never found the girl, I never got rich. Follow me."

~Leonard Cohen

Saturday, May 24, 2008

List of Acronyms

I'll be updating this from time to time as I go along

18D- SF medic designator
1MC- general announcing system, PA system
AAR- After Action Report; where you sit down and discuss all the ways the planning for your last op did not resemble, account for or predict the actual conditions on the ground.
ACF- Anti-Coalition Forces; another fancy term for bad dude, if only because he is shooting at you
AF OSI- Air Force Office of Special Investigations; the AF’s CI/FP secret squirrels; similar but different to Army’s CID and the Navy’s NCIS
Aft-lookout- The lookout that faces the stern of the ship. It reports any contacts/activity of significance from roughly 90°s to 270°s as well as how the stacks are blowing. However, the primary responsibility is that you are the last hope of anyone who falls overboard unseen.
ACF- Anti-Coalition Forces
ACM- Anti-Coalition Militia (‘Astan), bad guys, tangos, insurgents, or ANYONE deemed undesirable
Akula- Russian SSN
Ambo- Ambassador
ANA- Afghan National Army
ANP- Afghan National Police
AO- Area of Operation
APC- Armored Personal Carrier
A-school- Rate specific training school, Navy
Alidade- Lookout device used for determining line of bearing to other objects
ASCM- Anti-ship Cruise Missile
ASR- Auxiliary Supply Route
Ass & Trash- All the bootlickers, aides, hangers-on, and misc. personnel with an inflated sense of importance who accompany a VIP, usually in a second and/or third helo/aircraft, i.e. a pain in the ass.
ASVAB- Acronym, Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, test that tells the military whether you are qualified to target missiles or clean toilets
ASUW- Anti-Submarine Warfare
AT- Apprentice Training, or Anti-Tank
AWOL- Absent Without Leave, also UA

B1rd- (Bee-one-arr-deee) Bird, contact reported when lookouts get bored or annoyed at the OOD.
BATGRU- Battle Group
BCs- Birth Control, euphemism for military-issue glasses.
BCT- Brigade Combat Team
BDA- Battle Damage Assessment; a more complete understanding of what you have blown up and how much of it has actually been blowd up
BDUs- Battle Dress Uniform
BEQ- Bachelor Enlisted Quarters
BFV- Bradley Fighting Vehicle
BIAP- Baghdad International Airport
Blue Curtain Lounge- See rack
BMP- Tracked Russian APC
BOLO- Be On the Look Out for
Boondockers- Low-cut Navy boots
Boot- Newbie, as opposed to an old salt
Boozer/Looser Cruiser- Ship’s van for driving sailors, usually drunk, around who don’t have their own cars
Born Again Hard- You are the shit! From zero (seaman Slack) to hero.
BTR- Wheeled Russian APC
BUDS- Basic Underwater Demolition School
Bug juice- Navy kool-aid. The red flavor will stain your hands for weeks, only way to get it off is for it to wear off; the orange flavor is actually approved for use in cleaning copper fittings aboard the ship. God only knows what it does to your insides.
BZ- Bravo Zulu; praise, good job

C2- Command and Control
C3- Command, Control and Communications
C4RSI- Oh never mind…the whole thing is self-serving and perpetuating and conceals a lack of command of the English language or the ability to speak it.
CAAC- Command Alcohol Awareness Counseling comes in three levels depending on how much you like the sauce. Levels one and two are outpatient, level three is inpatient.
CAC- Civilian Access Card; DoD ID card for civilians
CAP- Combat Air Patrol
CAT- Counter Assault Team
CC- Company Commander
CCU- Correctional Custody Unit, like a boot camp and Navy jail all rolled into one. If you find yourself there, you are a problem child.
CDC- Combat Direction Center, see CIC
CFC-A- Combined Forces Command- Afghanistan
CG- Guided Missile Cruiser
Chart pack- tape and stickers for placing on laminated charts depicting enemy bases, air and surface missile ranges, minefields, etc. Much of an IS’s life is spent chart-packing maps and charts for all the AOs.
CHENG- Chief Engineer
Cherry Non-skid- Desert made from spreading cherry pie filling in a flat cookie pan, covering with granola/oatmeal and baking. Also comes in apple and peach flavors
CI- Counterintelligence
CIC- Combat Information Center (“combat”), warfighting brains of the ship
CJTF- Combined Joint Task Force
Clearing Barrel- Barrel or some other container filled with sand, sandbags, etc. in which to point your weapon when unloading it in case a negligent discharge during the unloading process. See Fam-Fire.
CMC- Command Master Chief, senior enlisted in a command
CMOC- Civil-Military Operations Center
CNN- Twenty-four hour infotainment channel
CNO- Chief of Naval Operations, highest-ranking officer within the Navy
CO- Charlie Oscar, Commanding Officer
CO’s Mast- Captain’s Mast, non-judicial punishment, a step below court martial
COD- Carrier On Board Delivery. Resupply flights made by C-2 Gray Hounds. The best squadron on the Kennedy were the Rawhides, because they brought the mail.
Colors- Twice a day in port; 0800 local and sunset, where the flag is raised and then lowered on the fantail
COMPTUEX- Composite Training Unit Exercise, major training exercise completed as part of work-ups and qualification for a six-month deployment
COTS- Commercial Off The Shelf
Cover- Hat; something highly sought after when being shot at.
CP- Command Post, Close Protection (team), or Check Point
CPA- Coalition Provisional Authority; a house of cards run by fucking morons built upon a foundation of sand
CSAR- Combat Search and Rescue; basically a SAR mission where the enemy has a say in the potential outcome
CSG- Cryptologic Support Group
CSH- Combat Surgical Hospital
CT- Cryptographer, rate, super-spooky
CV- Aircraft Carrier, fixed wing, conventional power
CVIC- Carrier (CV) Intelligence Center
CVN- Same as above, but nuke powered
CWIS- Close in Weapon System, a 20mm anti-missile defense system (of last resort)

D-10- Afghan secret police/domestic intelligence unit; roughly comparable to a bare-knuckled, truncheon-wielding FBI.
DDG- Destroyer, guided missile
Deep Six- verb, to throw something over the side
DFAC- Dining Facility
DfID- Department for International Development, UK, similar to USAID
Divo- Division Officer
DoD- Department of Defense
DoS- Department of State
Dragon’s Teeth- moveable barrier comprised of jagged/sharp spikes meant to deflate the tires of any vehicle that overruns it, essentially a larger and permanent spike strip.
Dream Zone- My more accurate term for the Green Zone
Drunk Watch- A watch posted upon a drunk and comatose or near comatose sailor to make sure that he doesn’t pull a Jimi Hendrix. In liberty ports, some ships would rope off an area on the main or hanger deck and toss them all in their so one person could watch a number of his inebriated shipmates
DSS- Diplomatic Security Service- DoS’s secret service
Dungarees- Navy blue jeans, a sure-fire way to protect your chastity.

ECM- Electronic Counter Measures
EEBD- Emergency Escape Breathing Device; has anywhere from five to fifteen minutes of oxygen, depending on how much you’re hyperventilating, for escaping a burning ship/compartment; provides limited fire protection to the face.
EIC- Explosives Interdiction Course, basic EOD
El 1,2,3,4- Elevators, used for raising and lowering aircraft from the hanger deck to the flight deck
EOD- Explosive Ordinance Disposal
EP- Executive Protection
EPD- Embassy (ambassador’s) Protection Detail
ETT- Embedded Training Team
EW- Electronic Warfare

F1sh- Eff-One-S-H) Fish, contact reported when lookouts get bored or annoyed at the OOD.
Fam-Fire- Familiarization Fire; usually conducted unintentionally into clearing barrels.
Fast Cruise- A simulated underway routine in port; usually lasts from 0800-1600
Fathom- Measure of depth; one fathom = six feet.
FFE- Firefighting Ensemble, fire-retardant firefighting suit; damn hot
FFG- Guided Missile Frigate
Float Test- to deep six something with the express purpose of determining whether it floats or not.
FN- Fireman (E3), one of them guys that works way down in the bowls of the ship where the demon in the boiler lives and it is very hot, loud, and dirty
FNG- Fucking New Guy
Foc’le- Forecastle, the forward weather deck of a ship.
FP- Force Protection; series of disciplines primarily encompassing site and personnel security.
Frap and Wrap- Tightening the doubled up lines and securing the rat guards with smaller line akin to clothes line, though it was unclear as to keep the rats off or on the ship.
FOB- Forward Operating Base
FPS- Facility Protection Service; another weird and obscure branch of Iraqi security branch that was eventually disbanded or rolled into the IP/IA
FRL- Former Regime Loyalist; bad dude, tango, Ba’athist, likely a Sunni
FUBAR- Acronym; Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition

Gear Adrift- Anything not correctly stowed; usually collected up and held for collection by the owner, possibly with a penalty. If it was expensive or porn you could forget about seeing it again.
Gedunk- Junk food- candy bars, chips, sodas
GIB- Guy in Back, RIO
GPMG- General Purpose Machinegun
GQ- General Quarters
Green Zone- See Dream Zone
Grinder- Big asphalt parking lot with no cars for marching and PTing on.
Grinder Reminder- The line on your head separating the sun-burnt half from the non-burnt half due to wearing your cover while spending a fucking long time marching in the sun, usually poorly.
GU11- (Gee-you-eleven), Gull, contact reported when lookouts get bored or annoyed at the OOD.
Gundeck- Effect a repair or workaround fix that is not up to standards/codes. Everything that Macgyver did was gundecking.

Halon- Firefighting agent, see PFM
Head- Bathroom; latrine in Army-ese
H&K- Heckler and Koch, German weapons manufacturer of superior quality
Helm- Wheel used to steer the ship
Hesco- Portable barriers filled with dirt used to create defensible positions
HMG- Heavy Machine Gun
Hot-Mike- Nothing like a dirty sanchez.  When the push to talk (PTT) or transmit button on a transmitter/transceiver is left keyed thereby preventing any other stations from replying or using the channel.
HQ- Headquarters
HVT- High Value Target

I&W- Indications and Warnings, tell-tale clues of an impending attack or action
IA- Iraqi Army
ICDC- Iraqi Civil Defense Corps; a strange paramilitary cross between IP and IA
IED- Improved Explosive Device, homemade mine
IGC- Interim Governing Council; routinely referred to as the Iraqi Governing Council; puppet regime selected and created by the CPA/neocons
Inshallah- Arabic, rough translation: “If God wills it.”
International Zone- See Dream Zone
IP- Iraqi Police
IRL- Improvised Rocket Launcher
IRT/irt- In Regards To
ISAF- International Security Assistance Forces, i.e., NATO minus the US
IZ- Two letter designator meaning, Iraq.

J2- Intel, joint command
J3- Operations, joint command
JMCIS- Joint Maritime Command Information System
Johnny Cash’s- Working winter uniform
JP-5- Jet fuel, less flammable than gasoline
JTFEX- Joint Task Force Exercise; one of two major BATGRU exercises completed in workups to a six month deployment; the other being COMPTUEX.

Katyusha- 122mm artillery rocket
KMTC- Kabul Military Training Center
KPD- Karzai Protection Detail; Dyncorp contract to provide personal protection to the President of Afghanistan on behalf of the US Department of State

LBT- London Bridge Trading Company; one of the finest makers of packs, chest-rigs and other tactical nylon gear. Their stuff is simply the best.
LDO- Limited Duty Officer
LEAP- Lightweight Exo-Atmospheric Projectile, a theater missile defense prototype
Lee-Helm- Used to signal engine directions, speeds, and rpms to engineering; stationed next to the helm
LEO- Law Enforcement Operations, mainly counternarcotics
LMG- Light Machine Gun
LN- Local National, some poor schmuck from the country we are occupying, er, liberating; often on the receiving end of “collateral damage”, along with Canadians, brits, and green berets
LOB- Line of Bearing
LP- Low Pressure air lines— a guy once told me of some submariners who tried to clear a clogged toilet with LP air, turned the whole head into a fountain…of shit. Nice.
LPO- Leading Petty Officer, senior PO1 or PO in the division

M-113­- Vietnam era US APC
MAA- Master at Arms
MANPAD- Man Portable Air Defense; portable Surface to Air Missiles (SAMs)
MARDET- Marine Detachment, a unit of Marines, usually measured in “hooscows”, i.e. two full hooscows of Marines.
MBT- Main Battle Tank
MC / M/C- Motorcade
MEPS- Military Entrance Processing Station
MIA- Missing in Action; think AWOL but against your will
M-I-C- Military Industrial Complex, corporate/government entity warned of by Ike with a vested interest in continual conflict.
Midrats- Fourth meal of the day served for those working night watches, and in port, the drunks
Milkman’s- Summer working white uniform
MNF-I- Multinational Forces- Iraq; i.e., the coalition of the billing
MoI- Ministry of Interior
MOUT- Military Operations in Urban Terrain; about the worst place to fight— ask the Germans what they thought about Stalingrad or the Marines of Hue.
Mouth Cannon- Cigar, usually large, not an official Navy term
MOVEREP- Movement Report
MP-5- H&K submachine gun
MSM- Main Stream Media, leading edge of info ops
MSR- Main Supply Route

NAS- Naval Air Station
NAVSTA- Naval Station
N.A.V.Y.- Never Again Volunteer Yourself
ND- Negligent Discharge, unintended discharge of a firearm, sometimes mistakenly referred to as an AD, accidental discharge.
NEC- Naval Enlistment Code, four-digit designator for Navy rates, comparable to the Army’s MOS.
NEX- Navy Exchange, PX
NFI- No Further Information
NM- Nautical Miles: one statue mile = 5,280 feet; one nautical mile = 6,080 feet
NMITC- Navy Marine Corp Intelligence Training Center
NOC- Northern Oil Company, located on the NE outskirts of Kirkuk
NSW- Naval Special Warfare; things SEAL related
NTC- Naval Training Command
NTV- Non-Tactical Vehicle, pretty much anything not a Humvee, BFV, or M1A1, usually trucks and SUVs, not terribly bullet resistant.
NV/NVG- Night Vision/Night Vision Goggles
NWTD- Non-Water Tight Door

OBA- Oxygen Breathing Apparatus-
OD- Deck Division, Fist Division

OIC- Officer In Charge
OIL- Operation Ivy League, an op in Iraq. I’m not fucking kidding, you can’t make this shit up.
OJT- On the Job Training
OOB- Order of Battle; listing of enemy states’ capabilities, broken down into naval, air, ground, rocket/missile, air defense, etc.
OOC- Out of Commission
OOD- Officer of the Deck
OODA- Observe, Orient, Decide, Act; a decision making loop created by USAF Gen. Boyd.
OP- Observation Post / Operation
OPCON- Operational Control; the ability to task and issue orders to assets
OPORD- Operational Order
OPSEC- Operational Security; the art/discipline of keeping what you know out your enemies’ hands
OS- Operational Specialist, the rate that runs the ships CIC
Oscar- Flag flown for man overboard and the name of the dummy thrown over the side of the ship for mob drills, typically recovered by grappling hooks after being run over by the ship.
OZ- Operations Department, Intelligence

PA- Physician’s Assistant
Pashtunwali- Pashtun tribal code of honor, roughly translated
PAX- Passenger/Package; in Latin, peace
PBR- Pabst Blue Ribbon; really, really bad beer; Patrol Boat, Riverine
PFM- Pure Fucking Magic, technical description of how Halon displaces oxygen to suppress fires in a confined space.
Piping Hot- Coffee, NAAAVYYY COFFEE
Piss- (UK/AUS) Beer, (US) what you have to do when the enemy starts shooting at you
PJ- Air Force (farce, sorry, little USN rivalry) parajumpers, SAR guys and the AF’s contribution, allegedly, to the SOCOM community.
PO- Petty Officer, third, second or first class (PO3, PO2 or PO1).
POA- President of Afghanistan
POD- Plan of the Day, daily ships schedule
POF- Pakistani Ordinance Factory; highly suspect ammunition
POI- Point of Impact; where it went boom
POO- Point of Origin; where it (usually some sort of arty) came from
POTTs line- Plain Old Telephone
POTUS- President of the United States
PPS- Presidential Protection Service, Afghan Secret Service
PRT- Provincial Reconstruction Team; hearts and minds baby!
PSD- Personal Security Detail
PT- Physical Training; good for you, good for me!
P³, Law of- Piss Poor Planning leads to Piss Poor Performance
P-way- Passage way, corridor

Quad Zero- NEC (rate) code 0000; someone with no rate and a small paycheck; usually found on mess decks, painting something, or CO’s Mast. See Seaman Slack.
QM- Quarter Master; in the Navy, someone who navigates; in the Army, someone who’s in charge of stores and supplies.
QRF- Quick Reaction Force; the cavalry

Rack- Bunk bed
Rank- Your level of advancement within your rate, nominally related to job knowledge and performance
Rate- Your job, what you do
Red Crown- Ground Control Intercept (GCI)/airspace controller
RFI- Request For Information
RIO- Radio Intercept Operator; typically sits behind the pilot in the aircraft, except in the A-6 Intruder, where they put him next to the pilot for a sense of nearness and assurance since the thing was supposed to fly so damn low.
Roach Coach- Truck that would drive down the pier, full of gedunk, the savior of many a hung-over sailor. “The roach coach makes its approach.”
ROE- Rules of engagement, the legal framework for just exactly when and why you are allowed to kill the enemy; given the number of ANA/ANP killed by US/ISAF forces, largely irrelevant.
RPG- Rocket Propelled Grenade
RR 9.11’s- Pants of a slightly more tactical nature than say, jeans. It was hard to pass yourself off as high-speed if you were wearing something else, de rigueur for all contractor/merc types.
RTB- Return to Base
RTC- Recruit Training Command
Rubber Ducky- Personal inflatable floatation device. Every one I’ve seen looks like it was salvaged from the USS Arizona and Indiana. The dye marker contained in it is an above average shark-attractor.
Rumor mill- the place scuttlebutt comes from.

S2- Intel
S3- Operations, Operations Officer
S7G- Sector 7G, where the biped Homer Simpson works in the Springfield nuclear power plant.
SA- Seaman Apprentice, E2
SA- Small Arms
SAF- Small Arms Fire
Safety Pig- The one, usually overweight, female hanging out with the cute ones whose job is to protect them from people like you; this of course usually winds up with the most drunk of the group “taking one for the team”
SAR- Search and Rescue, see also CSAR
SAW- Squad Automatic Weapon (M-249 5.56mm)
Screaming Alpha- An individual on fire.
Scuttlebutt- Baseless rumors, starting them on the mess decks was a favorite pastime of ours
SEAL- Acronym, Sea, Air, Land; Navy spec-ops. See Jesse Ventura.
Seaman Slack- The proverbial every sailor that is the bane of all LPOs and Chiefs, often seen at CO’s Mast; usually you.
Sgt- Sergeant, NCO, term used in the USMC, USA and AF, E5, equivalent to a PO2 in the Navy
Shipmate- Generic Navy term for a fellow sailor, who may or may not be your buddy, often used derisively
Single Digit Midget- Someone who has 9 or fewer days left in the Navy.
Sliders & Rollers- Hamburgers and hotdogs; the menu for lunch every Wednesday on the USS RKT
SN- Seaman, E3
SNAFU- Acronym, Situation Normal All Fucked Up
SOCOM- Special Operations Command
SOP- Standard Operating Procedure; there’s the right way and the wrong way to do things and the right way is always according to SOP, which usually has little relevance to your situation; which means, in this case, that the right way is actually the wrong way.
SP- Shore Patrol (morale suppression unit)
SR- Seaman Recruit, E1
SS- Diesel- (non-nuclear) powered submarine
SS- Secret Service
SSES- Ship’s Signals Exploitation Space; where the cryptographers (CTs) work, spooky stuff
SSN- Submarine, fast attack, nuclear powered
SSBN- Submarine, ballistic missile, nuclear powered
Stand Down- A time, usually during holidays, where non-duty section personnel due not have to work or be present at/on the ship for any days other than their duty days. So, for example, a ship with a three-section duty rotation in port, you would have two days off and one day on. Order given to someone who’s all up in your grill and/or drunken/irate marines; really dramatic sounding
Steel Beach- BBQ underway, usually on the fantail. It’s the same crappy hamburgers and green hotdogs, but somehow, eating them on the fantail with a soda makes them taste better.
STU III- Encrypted phone for secure communications, much like this one here
SUPPLOT- Supplementary Plot, all-source intelligence fusion center and I&W focal point

TAD- Temporary Additional Duty, same as TDY
Tango— terrorist, or anyone considered a “bad dude”; South American dance made famous by Gomez Adams and Morticia
TAO- Tactical Action Officer, officer charged with using the ships resources to fight or defend the ship
TAR- Training and Administration of the Reserve
TCN- Third Country National
TCP- Tactical Check Point; a guaranteed Iraqi killer
TDY- Temporary Duty Assignment
Technical— preferred vehicle of tangos. Basically a truck with a heavy machinegun mounted in the back.
Thirty- Grit rating of Navy toilet paper; you will have a shiny asshole.
TLAM- Tomahawk Land Attack Missile, R/A/UGM-109
TOF- Time of Flight
TTP- Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures; the bad guys preferred methods of conducting the business of armed resistance.

UA- Unauthorized Absence
UID- Unidentified
USAID- U.S. Agency for International Development
USMC- Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children

Vampire! Vampire!- Call for incoming enemy missile attack against a naval ship, not the kind of thing you EVER want to hear. A junior OS on the Turner once called it off of the radar return on waves; a lot of people had to change their dungarees and khakis once things had calmed down. Needless to say, he was banished to the bridge to monitor contacts for the OOD.
VBIED- Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device, car bomb; come in several varieties, mainly driven and left or placed.

When in Doubt Charlie Out- Non-USN sanctioned test taking advice; if you don’t know, pick ‘C’
WTD- Water Tight Door
WTF- Whisky Tango Foxtrot? What The Fuck? Done correctly, it is, “Interrogative, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Over.”

XO- Executive Officer, second in command

Zulu- Greenwich Meant Time (GMT); an African tribe that kicked the shit out of the brits

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.