Do you often read a phrase or acronym in your favorite thriller and not quite sure what it means. We hear your Lima Charlie / LOUD & CLEAR!!
If you have read something and are curious as to the meaning and don’t see it here. Tweet us @LimaCharlieEdit and we will add it to the list.
ACTIVE DUTY: Full-time duty in the active military service of the United States
AFTER ACTION REPORT: A professional discussion of an event. Focused on performance standards that enables troops to discover what occurred, why it occurred like that, and how to improve on weaknesses. Every mission should have a BDA (see below) and an AAR
AAR SSHOULD INCLUDE: Host Nation
Duration of Deployment
A BDA (see below)
Discussions on: Lessons learned
Troops learn best when they learn from each other and from their leaders. An AAR helps determine what went right and what went wrong.
AO: Area of Operation
AWACS: Airborne Warning and Control System
BAMCIS: Begin planning, Arrange Recon, Make the Plan, Complete the Plan, Issue the order, Supervise (USMC)
BAMF: Bad ass Motherfucker aka Joshua Hood.
BCG: Birth Control Glasses. If you need a visual, please tweet us @LimaCharlieEdit
BDA: Battle Damage Assessment. A timely and accurate estimate of damage resulting from the application of military force against an objective or target. Three components of BDA are, PDA: Physical Damage Assessment, FDA: Functional Damage Assessment, and TSA: Target System Assessment
BLOOD AGENT: A chemical compound, including the cyanide group, that affects bodily functions by preventing the normal utilization of oxygen by body tissues
BOLO: Be On The Lookout. We would patrol the streets of Iraq and prior to going out of the wire, we’d get whatever new intelligence is floating out there. Often we’d get a BOLO for a specific vehicle an insurgent was seen driving or a IED maker.
BRAVO ZULU: Well Done
CAC: Common Access Card. AKA Military or DOD ID with a chip in it that allows one access to government issued computers.
CAS: Close Air Support
CASEVAC: Casualty Evacuation
CASUALTY RATE: The number of casualties per 1,000 population at risk
C-DAY: The unnamed day on which a deployment operation commences or is to commence
CHOP-CHOP: Hurry up
CF: Cluster Fuck usually pronounced Charlie Foxtrot
CIA: Central Intelligence Agency
CONUS: Continental United States
COP: Combat Outpost
DANGER CLOSE: In close air support, artillery, mortar, and naval gunfire support fires, the term included in the method of engagement segment of a call for fire that indicates that friendly forces are within close proximity if the target
DEAR JOHN: The infamous breakup letter penned to a deployed boyfriend or husband. Also please see “JODY” below
DEPENDA: A military spouse who it under the impression she wears her spouses’ rank
DHS: Department of Homeland Security
DMZ: Demilitarized Zone
DOD: Department of Defense
DOJ: Department of Justice
DZ: Drop Zone
ECP: Entry Control Point
EDC: Everyday Cary. Many people have an extensive collection of guns & knives, but their EDC rarely changes due to comfort & concealment
EMBRACE THE SUCK: The situation is bad, but deal with it
EOD: Explosive Ordnance Disposal AKA BALLS OF STEEL
ETA: Estimated Time of Arrival
EXERCISE: A military maneuver or simulated wartime operation involving planning, preparation, and execution that is carried out for the purpose of training and evaluation
EXFILTRATION: The removal of personnel or units from areas under enemy control by stealth, deception, surprise, or clandestine means
FIELD ARTILLERY: Equipment, supplies, ammunition, and personnel involved in the use of cannon, rocket, or surface-to-surface missile launchers
FITREP: Fitness Report
FOB: Forward Operating Base
FOBBITS: Derogatory term for troops that never leave the FOB (never leave the wire, or exit friendly lines)
FUBAR: Fucked up beyond all recognition
GERONIMO: Phrase dates to the earliest U.S. Army Paratroopers shouting the term as they exited an aircraft to show presence of mind and lack of fear
GO/NO-GO: A critical point at which a decision to proceed or not must be made
GPS: GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM. A satellite-based radio navigation system operated by the Department of Defense to provide all military, civil, and commercial users with precise positioning, navigation, and timing
GREEN: When someone is described as Green, they’re inexperienced, new in their role, untried, a boot.
GRU: Glavnoye Razvedyvatelnoye Upravlenie. Russian Main Intelligence Administration
GUNG HO: Someone who is endlessly enthusiastic to achieve their aim. Originated in the Pacific Theater of WWII, actual translation is: “Work Together” by the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, Major Evans Carlson
HMMWV: High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (pronounced Humvee)
HOOAH: U.S. Army & U.S. Air Force Battle Cry (Air Force does battle?)
HOOYA: U.S. Navy & U.S. Coast Guard battle Cry
HUMINT: Human Intelligence, information than can be gathered from human sources
HVT: High Value Target
IED: Improvised Explosive Device. During the height of the insurgency, these were their deadliest weapons against coalition forces
IFAK: Individual First Aid Kit
IMINT: Imagery intelligence, gathering intel via satellite & aerial photography. The movie “Behind Enemy Lines” portrays IMINT very well
ISR: Intelligence, Surveillance, & Reconnaissance
JODY: The man, the myth, the legend… that is home screwing your girlfriend/wife while you’re busy sowing that blanket of freedom in the SUCK
JSOC: Joint Special Operations Command
JUMPMASTER: The assigned airborne qualified individual who controls paratroops from the time they enter the aircraft until they exit
KGB: Soviet Intelligence Service
KIA: Killed in Action
KIDON: A department within Israel’s Mossad. known as the tip of the spear. One of the most capable and lethal special ops units in the world
KILL BOX: A three-dimensional permissive fire support coordination measure with an associated airspace coordinating measure use to facilitate the integration of fires
LBV: Load Bearing Vest
LOW VELOCITY DROP: A drop procedure in which the drop velocity does not exceed 30 feet per second
LZ: Landing Zone, any specified zone used from landing an aircraft
M16: US Military adaptation of the ArmaLite AR-15 5.56 mm caliber rifle. Introduced in 1964, still used today
M4 CARBINE: Shorter & lighter variant of the M16 assault rifle. Also a 5.56 x 45mm air cooled, direct impingement, gas-operated, magazine fed carbine
M249 SAW LMG: Squad Automatic Weapon /Light Machine Gun. In service since 1984 – Present. A gas operated, air-cooled, belt or magazine fed, automatic weapon that fires from the open-bolt position. Maximum range: 3,600 meters
M2 .50 CALIBER MACHINE GUN: The M2 is an air-cooled, belt-fed machine gun, fires from a closed bolt, operated on the short recoil principle. The M2 fires the .50 BMG cartridge, which offers long range, accuracy and immense stopping power. Maximum range:6,764 meters
M240B: US Military 7.62 mm Caliber Machine Gun. The M240B is a belt-fed, air-cooled, gas-operated, fully automatic machine gun that fires from the open bolt position. Maximum range: 3725 meters
MASS CASUALTY: Any number of human casualties produced across a period of time that exceeds available medical support capabilities
MIA: Missing in Action
MOS: Military Occupational Specialty. They’re called Grunts, Rifle-Man, Infantryman, Dogface, and much more. But in the Marine’s they’re an 0311 and Army 11B.
MOSSAD: Israel’s Foreign Intelligence & Espionage Service
MOUT: Military Operations in Urban Terrain. A general description for house-to-house searches, raids, and patrols in an urban area
MRAP: Mine Resistant Ambush Protected. A small upgrade from a Humvee
MRE: Meal Ready to Eat. Or sometimes valuable currency!!!
MSR: Main Supply Route
NATO: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization AKA the North Atlantic Alliance. Founded April 4th, 1949, signed by twelve nations initially. Currently has 29 members
NAVY SEAL CREED: I persevere and thrive on adversity. My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.
NCO: Non-Commissioned Officer
NGO: Non-Governmental Organization
NOC: Non-official Cover Operative
NSA: National Security Agency AKA BIG BROTHER!
OCONUS: Outside Continental United States
OGA: Other Government Agency. Often used when someone is trying to be vague
OIC: Officer in Charge
OIF/OEF: Operation Iraqi Freedom / Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan Campaign)
OORAH: USMC Battle Cry. Most commonly used to respond to a verbal greeting or as an expression of enthusiasm
ORM: Operational Risk Management
PDB: President’s Daily Brief
PID: Positive Identification. You NEVER fire your weapon unless you have PID. PID means you have reasonable certainty that the proposed target is a legitimate target
PKM: PK 7.62 MM Russian Made Machine gun
POC: Point of Contact
POG: Person Other than Grunt. All non-combatants MOS’s
POTUS: President of the United States
RANGERS CREED: Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, and high esprit de corps of the Rangers.
Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite Soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea, or air, I accept the fact that as a Ranger my country expects me to move further, faster and fight harder than any other Soldier.
Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be, one-hundred-percent and then some.
Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well-trained Soldier. My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow.
Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country.
Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor.
Rangers lead the way!
REVEILLE: A signal, as of a drum or bugle, sounded early in the morning to awaken military personnel and to alert them for assembly
RLTW: Rangers Lead The Way – On 6 June 1944, during the assault landing on Dog White sector of Omaha Beach as part of the invasion of Normandy, then-Brigadier General Norman Cota (assistant CO of the 29th ID) approached Major Max Schneider, CO of the 5th Ranger Battalion and asked, “What outfit is this?”, Schneider answered “5th Rangers, Sir!” To this, Cota replied “Well, goddamnit, if you’re Rangers, lead the way!” From this, the Ranger motto “Rangers lead the way!” was born.
ROE: Rules of Engagement – In many third-world countries throughout the world, many men and even kids, some as young as ten years old will walk around carrying a weapon. ROE’s are important so that our troops have a good understanding when to engage in combat. As a former Marine myself, patrolling the streets of Iraq, this was very stressful. Knowing how insurgents work, hiding among innocent men, women, and children. One second they’re a farmer with a shovel in hand, the next they’re a combatant because they’re pointing and/or firing a weapon in your direction
RPA: Remotely Piloted Aircraft or Drone
RPG: Rocket-Propelled Grenade
RUF: Revolutionary United Front, a rebel army that fought an eleven year war in Sierra Leone, Africa
SAD: Special Activities Division within the CIA responsible for covert operations
SAPI: Small Arms Protective Insert
SAS: Special Air Service – British special forces, one of the most well trained combatants on the planet
SECDEF: Secretary of Defense
SECRET SQUIRREL: A term applied for all things classified in the Military and Intelligence community
SEIZE: To employ combat forces to occupy physically and to control a designated area
SERVICE: A branch of the Armed Forces of the United States, established by act of Congress, which are: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard
SIGINT: Signal Intelligence, intel gathered by interception of signals, see also NSA
SITREP: An operational SITREP (Situation Report) is the unit Commander’s certification of a unit’s operational situation to include operational status of forces, manning, intelligence, logistics, and communications
SFMF: Semper Fidelis Mother Fucker (USMC)
SNAFU: Traces back to the American Military during WWII, stands for “Situational normal: all fucked up” When a less than desirable situation becomes the norm in the given environment
SOCOM: Special Operations Command
SOF: Special Operations Forces
SOP: Standard Operating Procedure
SPACE FORCES: The space and terrestrial systems, equipment, facilities, organizations, and personnel, or combination thereof, necessary to conduct space operations
SPETSNAZ: Umbrella term used for Russian Special Forces
STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES: SOP’S are a set of instructions applicable to those features of operations that lend themselves to a definite or standardized procedure without loss of effectiveness
THEATER: The geographical area for which a commander of a geographic combatant command has been assigned responsibility
TIWG: Terrorist Incident Work Group
TIME ON TARGET: The actual time at which munitions impact the target
TOC: Tactical Operations Center
TTP: Tactics, Techniques, & Procedures. Tactics meaning the science or art behind maneuvering a force in combat. Techniques or a way to do something utilizing special knowledge or skill. And, Procedures – a series of actions done in a certain way.
TAC: Tactical Air Command
UNIT: Any military element whose structure is prescribed by competent authority
USAID: United States Agency for International Development
VBIED: Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device. The very first recorded VBIED used as a terrorist attack was the 1983 bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut. Many authors, such as the late Vince Flynn, often used this tragedy as a driving factor in their plots
WHO: World Health Organization
NATO Phonetic Alphabet:
A – ALFA
B – BRAVO
C – CHARLIE
D – DELTA
E – ECHO
F – FOXTROT
G – GOLF
H – HOTEL
I – INDIA
J – JULIETT
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 – WHISKEY
X – X-RAY
Y – YANKEE
Z – ZULU
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