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What did he/she say? Acronyms/Words You'll Learn as a Military Spouse

AWC > Military Life > What did he/she say? Acronyms/Words You'll Learn as a Military Spouse

Have you been hearing your Significant Other saying phrases you don't understand?  Here's some acronyms & word definitions to help translate exactly what they are talking about.


  • 4DAY PASS:  Being excused for 4 consecutive days, 2 of which must be a weekend. Soldier does not lose LEAVE days when utilizing
  • AAFES:  Army & Airforce Exchange.  Where you shop.
  • ACU:  Army Combat Uniform.  Those cute green uniforms that we all love.
  • AIRBORNE:  The opposite of LEG.  Jumps out of perfectly good aircraft.
  • ASU:  Army Service Uniform.  Dress Blues. >RAWR<
  • AWARDS:  Recognition of an action or service. Usually worn as ribbon or pin on ASU's.
  • BAH:  Basic Allowance for Housing
  • BADGES:  Worn in recognition of an accomplishment on ACU's & ASU's
  • BARRACKS:  Housing provided to single Soldiers on post
  • BAS:  Basic Allowance for Subsistence
    If a Soldier is in the barracks this is his meal card.  Soldiers that are married or living off post are paid their BAS.
  • CLOTHING & SALES:  A store that sells ACU's, ASU's, PT's, BADGES & AWARDS
  • CO:  Commanding Officer
  • COLA:  Cost of Living Allowance. Commissary – This is received when you are not in CONUS.  Those that are stationed in Hawaii, Alaska, Korea, Germany, or anywhere not in the 48 states.
  • CONUS:  Within the Continental United States (48 States)
  • CQ:  Charge of Quarters. 24 hour duty where a Servicemember is responsible the safety, good order, & discipline of the personnel that live the barracks.
  • DECA:  Defense Commissary Agency aka Grocery Store
  • DEERS:  Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. You need to enroll in DEERS to get your military ID.  After this step you can enroll TRICARE.
  • DEPENDENT:  Anyone that utilizes a Servicemembers benefits.  This is usually a spouse or child of a Servicemember.
  • DFAS:  Defense Finance and Accounting Service. It's how a Military Servicemember is paid.
  • DOD:  Deparment of Defense
  • ETS:  End of Term of Service.  When a Servicemember's contract ends
  • FCP:  Family Care Plan.  Soldiers are are required to have a plan for their family for when they are deployed or away from their family for extended periods.  
  • FOBBIT:  A Soldier that never goes on patrol during Deployment
  • HHG:  Household Goods
  • ID:    Your spouses Military Identification or you Military Dependent Identification
  • IPFU:  Improve Physical Fitness Uniform
  • LEAVE:  Service members earn 2.5 days of paid vacation days per month. That's 30 days a year!
  • LEG:  Low Energy Ground Trooper.  A Soldier that does not jump out of a perfectly good aircraft.
  • MILEAGE PASS:  Permission to travel outside a designated radius during an otherwise off duty day
  • MOS:  Military Occupational Specialty.  It's their job description.  IE 68W=Healthcare Specialist
  • OCONUS:  Outside the Continental United States. Outside the 48 states.
  • PCS:  Permanent Change of Station otherwise known as Moving to a different Army Post
  • POG:  Personnel other than grunt. Generally refers to anyone that is not combat arms
  • PROMOTION BOARD:  An interview by senior ranking personnel to determine if an Enlisted Soldier is ready for promotion
  • PT:  Physical Training.  It's why your spouse wakes you up so early in the morning.
  • PT's:  Physical Training Uniform AKA IPFU
  • SSN:  Social Security Number
  • STAFF DUTY:  24 hour duty as the representative for the Battalion Command team.  
  • TDY:  Temporary Duty
  • TRIPS:  Travel Risk Planning System. Must be filled out prior to request a 4DAY or MILEAGE PASS
  • TSP:  Thrift Savings Plan
  • TRICARE:  Insurance plan for Military Servicemembers and their dependents
  • VA:  Department of Veterans Affairs
Have we forgotten your favorite military acronym or word?  Comment below.

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