Being a new army spouse can be daunting.  You come into a community where they have a lifesyle and language all their own. When I was a new Army spouse, most of the time I had no idea what people were saying.  Army wives, soldiers and my own husband were constantly speaking to me and each other in acronyms.  I would meet new people, start talking to them and they would speak "Army" to me.  I would nod pretending I knew what they were saying.  Now I am 'one of them' and often times I find myself speaking in acronyms. I try to keep my 'early days' in mind and try to explain what I am saying to civilians or newbies.  This Army life can be challenging, and if you don't have a clue what people are saying you just might feel like you are not a part of that inner circle. With that being said, I feel it is my duty as a (cough, cough) seasoned Army spouse to help you with a few of the most common acronyms:

PCS - Permanent Change Of Station - MOVING, we are MOVING. I don't know why they have the "P" in there because in 2-4 years you will be PCSing again.  Really there is no "P" in the Army.
LES - Leave Earning Statement - REALLY?  It is a pay check stub, however to be able to read it you must take a class.  True Story.
TDY - Temporary Duty, come on folks, it's a business trip!!
***PX & BX - Post Exchange and Base Exchange.  Wal-Mart type store on Military instillations. - Make sure you see notes on Post and Base at the bottom.      
ACU, BDU - Army Combat Uniform, Battle Dress Uniform.  This is what the soldier wears, the CAMOFLAUGE uniform(that seems to be changing every few years now) that makes my heart go pitter patter every time I see my husband in it. 
BAH - Basic Allowance For Housing, if you have been associated with the military for as long as I have you know that is used to be called BAQ which stood for Basic Allowance for Quarters.  This is the amount of the money the military pays you for your housing allowance - I have many friends that think housing is FREE in the Army.  It is not.  You pay for it and your BAH typically does NOT cover your housing cost. 
AWOL - Absent Without Official Leave - this can be used for the teenager as well as the soldier -  "Where is Boy 1?" "I don't know he is AWOL."   For both the soldier and the teenager this means BIG TROUBLE.  
PT - Physical Training - WORK OUT, something soldiers are required to do to start their morning.  Something military mom's do to their children when they are in trouble.  "Do you want me to PT you?!"
CAV - Cavalry!  Not to be confused with the church - Calvary.  The Cavalry - bleed yellow and black.  Need I say more?
TC - Tank Commander - a bad ass soldier.
POV - Privately Owned Vehicle - a soldiers car. Soldier: "Honey, will you bring the POV to me?" Spouse: "Really, what else would I drive, your tank?"  Real conversation - no lie.  
FUBAR -Fucked Up Beyond Any Repair - No more explanation is needed.
CIF -Central Issue Facility - a place to check out extra crap the Army makes your soldier take and the place where you turn the crap back in and when you are PCSing AND when something is missing or it is FUBAR they charge you an arm and a leg. 
CONUS - CONtinental United States - what is wrong with just US?  Really?
OCONUS - Outside the CONtinental United States - O V E R S E A S
MP - Military Police - just as it sounds.  I have nothing smart ass to say here.
CO - Commander - first in charge of a Company, Squadron, Unit, Battalion, Brigade... you get the idea.
XO - Executive Office - second in charge of all things listed above.
NCO - Non-Commissioned Officer. An Enlisted Person With Command Responsibility; Corporal To Command Sergeant
CSM - Command Sergeant Major - One scary MF'er
SF - Special Forces - Cocky soldiers that think they are bad ass.  OK, they are. :o)
MRE - Meal Ready to Eat - They come in brown plastic sealed bags and last F O R E V E R I don't even think they have an expiration date.  If I had to eat them on a regular basis I would never have to worry about that extra 10 pounds.
SOP - Standard Operating Procedure -  A book with directions for everything.  If you do something new, you must write a SOP for it before you do it.
AAR - After Action Review - something you must write AFTER an event, every time. Period.
OPSEC - Operational Security - the shit you can't put on Facebook or talk about on an unsecure phone line
ACS - Army Community Services, a place you to take classes to learn what all this means.

A few other things commonly said:
Household 6 - Hubby has called me Household 6 from day one. Day one I had no idea what that meant, now I do.  It means I AM THE BOSS
Roger that - I've got it, I will comply (or when a wife says this to her military husband she is trying to get him to stop beating a dead horse.)
 I'm Tracking - I am following the story....

For the most part this holds true even though there are a few exceptions to this rule:
Post = ARMY
Base = Air Force / Marines

Please do not confuse these three.  ESPECIALLY if you are a SOLDIER!!!!!  (Or a spouse of a soldier.)

And that concludes your lesson for the day!  Please feel free to leave comments with you favorite Acronyms or sayings! And you SF guys - it was a joke! Don't go all SF on me!  :o)
1/27/2012 01:56:24 am

Well, you know I personally learned a lot there, but I pat myself on the back as I did know the post vs. Base, yay!! :)

1/27/2012 07:20:17 am

Excellent Trish! Those are the most challenging things for new Spouses!

1/27/2012 07:56:33 am

Okay, I seriously loved this and laughed out loud several times!!! Thank God we have you to show us the way.


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