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Army Military Abbreviations Acronyms Slang Words


List of army and military abbreviations and slang words and phrases with their meanings:

The British army, like most armies around the world, have their own language which is often incomprehensible to many a civilian. The guide below should help you understand the commonly used words and phrases in the UK military:


Army Medical And Nursing Abbreviations

AMS - Army Medical Services
DGAMS - Director-General, Army Medical Services
QARANC - Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps
RAMC - Royal Army Medical Corps


Commonly Used Army Abbreviations And Slang Phrases

2IC -Second In Command
7p's - Prior Planning and Preparation Prevents a Pretty Poor Performance
ACE - Allied Command Europe
ACV - Armoured Command Vehicle
Adjt - Adjutant
AFCENT - Allied Forces Central European Theatre
AFV - Armoured Fighting Vehicle


Military Slang

Military Slang is a new book from The Imperial War Museum with an up to date book of army words and military abbreviations which includes many army abbreviations and army slang not published on this page. Military slang is not just confined to the army, but also includes the language from the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy. Military slang used in recent military action such as Iraq and Afghanistan is also included. Buy Now for only £2-50.


AMF - Allied Mobile Force
AP - Armoured Piercing or Ammunition Point
APC - Armoured Personnel Carrier
APO - Army Post Office
Armd - Armoured
ARRC - Allied Rapid Reaction Corps
ARV - Armoured Recovery Vehicle



Forces War Records

Forces War Records are a genealogy site where you can find military records of over 6 million British Armed Forces personnel cross matched with over 4000 Regiments, Bases and Ships. This link includes a free search and a special discount of 40% off membership offer for visitors who use the discount code AF40 if they decide to become a member.
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ASAP - As Soon As Possible
ATGW - Army Tank Guided Weapon
Att - Attached
AWOL - Absent Without Leave
AWACS - Airborne Warning And Control Systems
BAOR - British Army of the Rhine
Battle Bowlers - What the QAs of World War Two nicknamed their tin hats
Bde - Brigade
BFG - British Forces Germany
BFPO - British Forces Post Office
BG - Battle Group
BGHQ - BattleGroup Headquarters
Bimbling - To Walk Or Do Something Slowly
Blag - To acquire something
BMH - British Military Hospital
Bn - Battalion
Bootneck - A Royal Marine Commando
BRSC - British Rear Support Command
Bty - Battery
Buzzes or Buzz - Gossip or Rumours
CAD - Central Ammunition Depot
Cam - Camouflaged
Cas - Casualty
Casevac - Casualty Evacuation
CCP - Casualty Collecting Point
CCS - Casualty Clearing Station
CGS - Chief of the General Staff
CinC - Commander in Chief
CO - Commanding Officer
Comd - Command or Commander
Comms Z - Communications Zone
Compo - Composite Ration (also called comp rat)
COMSEN- Communications Centre
Coord - Co-ordinate
CoS - Chief of Staff
Coy - Company
CP - Command Post or Close Protection
CPO - Chief Petty Officer (Navy Rank) or Command Pay Office
CQMS - Company Quartermaster Sergeant
Crabs - The slang name for the RAF
C Sups - Combat Supplies
Cr?pHat - Insert An a - The Slang That Paratroopers Call Every regiment Or Corps That Does Not Wear A Maroon Beret
CV - Combat Vehicles
CVD - Central Vehicle Depot
CVR (T) or (W) - Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) or (Wheeled)
CW - Chemical Warfare
Def - Defence
Det - Detached
DF - Defensive Fire
Dml - Demolition
DS - Directing Staff (also called DiStaff)
DTG - Date Time Group
Ech - Echelon
EDP - Emergency Defence Plan
Emb - Embarkation
EMP - Electro Magnetic Pulse
En - Enemy
EOD - Explosive Ordnance Disposal
Eqpt - Equipment
ETA - Estimated Time of Arrival
EW - Electronic Warfare or Early Warning
Ex - Exercise
FAC - Forward Air Controller
Fat Albert - The nickname for the Hercules plane of the RAF
FEBA- Forward Edge Battle Area
FLET- Forward Location Enemy Troops
FLOT- Forward Location Own Troops
Fmm - Formation
FOB - Forward Operating Base
FOO- Forward Observation Officer
FRT- Forward Repair Team
FUP - Forming Up Point (or Position)
Gat - A Gun Usually A Rifle
GDP- General Defence Plan
GOC- General Officer Commanding
GPMG - General Purpose Machine Gun
GPS - Global Positioning System
Greenfly - The nickname of the British Army Intelligence Corps
Grunt - Slang Word For An Infantryman
Hack It - To endure or to do something
HE - High Explosive
HEAT - High Explosive Anti Tank
Hel - Helicopter
HLS – Helicopter Landing Site
HMT – Hired Military Transport. This army abbreviation was used prior to and including World War Two for troopships such as HMT Dorsetshire and HMT Somersetshire.
Hurry Up And Wait - The Phrase That Describes The Long Waits In Army Life
HVM - Hyper Velocity Missile
IED – Improvised Explosive Device
II - Image Intensifier
Int Sum - Intelligence Summary
IO - Intelligence Officer
IR - Individual Reservist
IS - Internal Security
IW - Individual Weapon
Jack - To Be Selfish
Jacked - To Give Up
Jankers - Be on a charge or in the camp jail
JFHQ - Joint Forces Headquarters
JHQ - Joint Headquarters
KFS – Knife, Fork and Spoon
L of C - Lines of Communications
LO - Liaison Officer
Log - Logistic
LRATGW - Long Range Anti Tank Guided Weapon
LSDI - Large Scale Deliberate Intervention
LSW - Light Support Weapon
LUP - Lying Up Point
LZ Landing Zone
MBT - Main Battle Tank
MC – Military Cross
Mech - Mechanised
Med - Medical
MFC - Mortar Fire Controller
MM – Military Medal
MML - Manual of Military Law
MO - Medical Officer
Mob - Mobilisation
MOD - Ministry of Defence
Mov O - Movement Order
MP - Military Police
MT – Military Transport
Msl - Missile
NAAFI - Navy Army and Air Force Institutes
NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
NBC - Nuclear Biological and Chemical
NCO - Non Commissioned Officer
NOK - Next of Kin
NTR - Nothing To Report
Nugget - A Polite Way Of Calling Someone An Idiot!
NYK - Not Yet Known
OC - Officer Commanding
O Group - Order Group
OIC - Officer in Charge
OOTW - Operations Other Than War
OP - Observation Post
Op O - Operation Order
Oppo - Best Friend
OR - Other Ranks (Often mistakenly taken to mean Ordinary Ranks)
Or Bat - Order of Battle
Pax - Passengers
POETS Day - Push Off Early Tomorrow's Saturday
P Info - Public Information
Pl - Platoon
POL - Petrol Oil and Lubricants
POM - Potential Officer Material
Pongos - Slang name for the army. I think this army abbreviation or rather nickname comes from the phrase where the army goes the pong goes.
POW - Prisoner of War
PVR - Premature Voluntary Release
QM - Quartermaster
RAF - Royal Air Force
RAP - Regimental Aid Post or Rocket Assisted Projectile
R&R – Rest and Recuperation or Rest and Relaxation
RCZ - Rear Combat Zone
Recce - Reconnaissance
Regt - Regiment
Rft - Reinforcement
RHIP - Rank Has Its Privileges
RHQ - Regimental Headquarters
RJDF - Rapid Joint Deployment Force
RMA - Royal Military Academy or Rear Maintenance Area
ROE - Rules Of Engagement
RSOI - Reception, Staging, Onward-Movement and Integration
RTM - Ready To Move
RTU - Returned or Return to Unit
Rupert or Rodney - The Slang Name For An Officer, Usually One Of Low Rank Or New To The Service
RV – Rendezvous Point
SACUER -Supreme Allied Commander Europe
SADO - Senior Administrative Officer
SatCom -Satellite Communications
Scran or Scoff - Food
Scratcher - An army abbreviation for bed or place to sleep especially in the field
SDR -Strategic Defence Review
SHAPE -Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
SIB -Special Investigation Branch
Sit -Situation
SitRep -Situation Report
SLR - Self Loading Rifle
SMG-Sub Machine Gun
SNCO - Senior Non Commissioned Officer
SOPs – Standard Operating Procedures
SP - Self Propelled or Start Point
Sprog - A recruit or someone who has newly passed out and is new to a unit
Sqn - Squadron
Squaddie - Slang Word For A Soldier
SSM - Surface to Surface Missile
SSVC - Services Sound and Vision Corporation
STOL - Short Take Off and Landing
TA - Territorial Army
TAB - Tactical Advance to Battle
Tac - Tactical
TCP - Traffic Control Point
TCV - Troop Carrying Vehicle
Tgt - Target
Tk - Tank
TOT - Time On Target
Tp - Troop
Tpt - Transport
Two i/c - Second In Command
UKMF - United Kingdom Mobile Force
UN – United Nations
Unclass - Unclassified
UNPROFOR - United Nations Protection Force
UXB - Unexploded Bomb
U/S - Unserviceable
VCDS - Vice chief of the Defence Staff
VCP - Vehicle Check Point
Veh - Vehicle
VP - Voice Procedure
VP – Vulnerable Point
WE - War Establishment
A Wet - A Cup Of Tea Or Coffee
Whitecap - Royal Air Force (RAF) Policeman
WIMP - Whinging Incompetent Malingering Person
Wksp - Workshop
Yomp or Tab - March Across Hills With Full Kit And Weapon At A Fast Pace Yomp is used by the Royal Marines whilst Tab is generally used by the Army.



Medal And Award Abbreviations

ARRC - Associate Royal Red Cross
DCM - Distinguished Conduct Medal
DSO - Distinguished Service Order
MC - Military Cross
MM - Military Medal
OStJ - Officer of the Order of St John
QHNS - Queen's Honorary Nursing Sister Nurse
QHN - Queen's Honorary Nurse (Usually applied to male nurses)
QVJI - Queen Victoria's Jubilee Institute
RRC - Royal Red Cross
VC - Victoria Cross



Rank Abbreviations

OR - Other Rank
Pte - Private
LCpl - Lance Corporal
Cpl - Corporal
Sgt - Sergeant
CSgt – Colour Sergeant (Infantry)
SSgt – Staff Sergeant
WO - Warrant Officer
CSM - Company Sergeant Major
CQMS - Company Quartermaster Master Sergeant
QMG - Quartermaster General
QMS - Quartermaster Sergeant
RSM - Regimental Sergeant Major
OC - Officer Commanding or Officer Cadet
LT - Lieutenant
Col - Colonel
GOC - General Officer Commanding




NATO Phonetic Alphabet

The NATO phonetic alphabet is used by the armed forces to provide an easy to understand language in the heat of battle. It reduces mis-interpretation from background noise, weak radio signals, distorted audio, and radio operator accent. It originated in the 1950s.

A - Alpha
B - Bravo
C - Charlie
D - Delta
E - Echo
F - Foxtrot
G - Golf
H - Hotel
I - India
J - Juliet
K - Kilo
L - Lima
M - Mike
N - November
O - Oscar
P - Papa
Q - Quebec
R - Romeo
S - Sierra
T - Tango
U - Uniform
V - Victor
W - Whisky
X - X-ray
Y - Yankee
Z - Zulu



Historical words, phrases and abbreviations which are no longer used:

ASC - Army Service Corps
BRCS - British Red Cross Society
QAIMNS - Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service
VAD - Voluntary Aid Detachment
WAAC - Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps
Wilco - Will Comply: Used To Be Used In RAF Communications








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Official QARANC webpage.

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