Military Culture

Dad kissing baby out of bus with mom

Some people have compared military culture to landing in a foreign country without a guide book. Fortunately, many books and websites have been created on military culture and how to navigate it. This section will try to provide some basic information to help make the "foreign language" a little less foreign.


 

Phonetic Alphabet

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


Military Time

Military time uses a 24-hour clock. For any time before 10:00 am add a zero before the hour - 9:00 am would be written 0900 and spoken, "zero nine hundred." Any time from 10:00 am to noon would be 1000, 1100, or 1200. Any time after noon should add 12 to the time - 5:00 pm would be written 1700 or said, "seventeen hundred."

Terms and Acronyms for Beginners

ACS Army Community Services - provides support services to active duty, reserve components, their families and survivors
AFRC Airmen and Family Readiness Center - provides support services in the Air Force to active duty, reserve components, their families and survivors
AGR  Active Guard and Reserve 
Allotment  Deduction from a service member's pay - designated by the service member for a specific purpose such as a mortgage or a savings account 
BAH  Basic Allowance for Housing 
BAS  Basic Allowance for Subsistence (food) - only paid for service member, not for family 
BX  Base Exchange - Air Force term for a military department store 
Benefits  Provided by the Services, such as medical, retirement, commissary and exchange privileges 
Chain of Command Hierarchy of authority - who reports to whom 
CDC  Child Development Center 
C-Store  Marine Corps term for a liquor store 
Class 6 Store  Army and Air Force term for a liquor store 
Colors  National and unit flags 
Commissary  Grocery store, often located on base 
CONUS  Continental United States 
COLA  Not soda, but cost of living allowance 
Cover  Hat
Dependent  Family member, which is the preferred term 
DITY  Do It Yourself move 
Exchange  Term for a military department store
FFSC  Fleet and Family Service Center - provides support services for Navy active duty, reserve components, their families and survivors 
FRG Family Readiness Group (also know as Family Support Group) 
LES  Leave and Earnings Statement (i.e. pay stub, but it's electronic) 
Leave  Approved time away from duty 
JFTR  Joint Federal Travel Regulation 
MCCS  Marine Corps Community Services - provides support services for Marine active duty, reserve components, their families and survivors 
MCX Marine Corps Exchange - Marine Corps term for a military department store
MWR  Morale, Welfare and Recreation 
NEX Navy Exchange - Navy term for a military department store
OCONUS  Outside the Continental United States 
Package Store  Navy term for a liquor store 
PCS  Permanent Change of Station (i.e. orders) 
PX  Post Exchange - Army term for a military department store 
SGLI  Servicemembers Group Life Insurance 
Social Security Number  They're not asking for yours, they're asking for your sponsor's 
Space A  Space available 
Sponsor  Your service member 
TAD  Temporary Additional Duty, a short assignment, usually to a school 
TDY  Temporary Duty, a longer assignment often to another unit 
TSP  Thrift Savings Plan 
Title 10  Federal orders to deploy 
Title 32  State orders to mobilize 

  

  Print Print

Donate

Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.

Sign Up

Sign up to receive periodic eNews and alerts.

Please leave this field empty

Connect

Want up-to-date information and a community of people that care about military families?

Facebook Icon 2013

Twitter Icon 2013

Flickr Icon 2013