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Military Terms and Acronyms


ACS  -- Army Community Services


Battery -- The company-equivalent field artillery unit is designated as a "battery" and historically consisted of a battery headquarters and two or three gun platoons, each with two gun sections. At full authorized strength, a typical battery of six gun sections would consist of approximately 100 officers and enlisted men

COA -- Course of Action


Combatives -- United States Army adopted the Modern Army Combatives (MAC) program the same year with the publishing of Field Manual 3-25.150. MAC draws from systems such as Wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Sambo, Muay Thai, Boxing and Eskrima, which could be trained "live" and can be fully integrated into current Close Quarters Battle tactics and training methods.

CYS -- Child and Youth Services

DADT -- Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; military policy that covered LBGT personnel that was repealed on September 20, 2011 

Deployment -- When a unit goes overseas for a period of time (normally one year but could be up to 15 months)

EOD -- Explosive Ordnance Disposal

FCC -- Family Child Care – normally in a home setting

FOB -- Forward Operating Base


Fourth Point of Contact -- When landing after jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, you should land in the following order: 1st – balls of the feet; 2nd – calf; 3rd – thigh; 4th – butt; 5th - back

FSG -- Family Support Group – normally facilitated by the Commander’s spouse and the senior enlisted’s spouse

JAG -- Judge Advocate General

MDMP -- Military Decision-Making Process – composed of seven phases: Receipt of Mission; Mission Analysis; Course of Action (COA) Development; COA Analysis; COA Comparison; COA Approval; Orders Production, Dissemination and Transition.

MWD --  Military Working Dog

MWR -- Morale, Welfare and Recreation

NCO -- Non-Commissioned Officer (senior enlisted)

OPTEMPO -- Operations tempo – how often the deploy

PCS -- Permanent Change of Station – moving from base to base

PLF -- Parachute Landing Fall – the correct way to land when jumping out of a perfectly good airplane

PT -- Physical Therapy – when injured, overseen by medical personnel

PT -- Physical Training – daily exerciser to maintain force readiness

PTSD -- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – can present in many ways; the brain’s way in coping with traumatic events participated in or witnessed

R&R -- Leave time (i.e. vacation)

SEAL -- U.S. Navy's primary special operations force and a component of the Naval Special Warfare Command

Spur Ride -- The Spur Ride is the only means of joining the Order of the Spur, aside from a wartime induction. The conduct of a Spur Ride varies but it is generally an event held over multiple days during which a Trooper must pass a series of physical and mental tests relevant to the Cavalry. Some of the tests evaluate leadership, technical and tactical proficiency, physical fitness, the ability to operate as part of a team under high levels of stress and fatigue under both day and night conditions, though the specific tests vary by unit. A written test is often also administered, with questions that cover United States Cavalry and unit history. During the Spur Ride, candidates are also often required to recite from memory the traditional cavalry poem, "Fiddler's Green", or other traditions or historical information pertaining to the Cavalry.

The Box -- Maneuver area when training

TOC -- Tactical Operations Center

Top -- Way to refer to the First Sergeant; the top enlisted in a company or battery





Challenge Coins

A challenge coin may be a small coin or medallion, bearing an organization’s insignia or emblem and carried by the organization’s members. Traditionally, they might be given to prove membership when challenged and to enhance morale. In addition, they are also collected by service members and law enforcement personnel. Modern challenge coins are made in a variety of sizes and are often made using popular culture references to include superheroes and other well-known characters in a way that creates a parody. Historically, challenge coins were presented by unit commanders in recognition of special achievement by a member of the unit. They are also exchanged in recognition of visits to an organization.

Empty Table at Functions

A missing man table, also known as a fallen comrade table, is a ceremony and memorial that is set up in military dining facilities of the United States Armed Forces and during official dining functions, in honor of fallen, missing, or imprisoned military service members.

Coins Left at Grave Sites or Memorials

Coins are left to let it be known that you visited and paid your respects. The domination of the coin has meaning: a penny – means that you visited and paid your respect; a nickel – means you went to boot camp with the deceased; a dime – means you served with the deceased in some capacity; a quarter – means you were with the deceased when they died.

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