Taurus M. James Official Website: Taurus M. James - Helping Other People Elevate - Taurus M. James is HOPE ( Helping Other People Elevate)
Skip to MenuSkip to NavigationSkip to Main Content

Military Acronymns List

image for Military Acronymns List
Image for Military Acronymns List –

Need help with the military acronymns alphabet soup?

The military loves acronyms. Sometimes, I think there is an acronymn requirement in the Air Force. "If a sentence doesn't have an acronym, make one." I wonder who the people are who conjure up new acronyms.

When my wife starts talking about work, it's nothing for her to spit out multiple acronymns in a single sentence. Usually, I can handle decoding one acronym per sentence. But when she hits me with multiple acronyms, I start lagging so far behind in the conversation that I resort to the occasional head nod and "uh-huh" responses. Yeah, I stop my wife sometimes and ask her, "What does that mean?" But you can imagine what it would be like having to stop several times in each sentence.

Well, as a bit of a solution, here's a military acronym list. It is not a comprehensive or exhaustive list. Again, I'm sure hundreds more acronyms were created in the last hour, within the Air Force alone. Even so, this list might still be helpful.


AA - Air-to-Air
AA - Anti-Aircraft
AAA - Anti-Aircraft Artillery
AAC - Army Air Corps (UK)
AAM - Air-to-Air Missile
AAMG - Anti-Aircraft Machine Gun
AAAV - Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle
AAV - Amphibious Assault Vehicle
AAV - Assault Amphibian Vehicle
AAVC - Assault Amphibian Vehicle, Command
ABM - Anti-Ballistic Missile
ACC - Air Combat Command (USAF)
ACM - Air Combat Maneuvering
ACMI - Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation
ACMR - Air Combat Maneuvering Range
ACP - Armored Command Post
ADATS - Air Defense Anti-Tank System
ADF - Australian Defense Force
ADIZ - Air Defense Identification Zone
AEW - Airborne Early Warning
AEW&C - Airborne Early Warning and Control
AEV - Armored Engineer Vehicle
AF - Air Force
AFB - Air Force Base (US)
AFD - Automatic Feeding Device
AFMC - Air Force Material Command (USAF)
AFV - Armored Fighting Vehicle
AIFV - Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle
ALBM - Air Launched Ballistic Missile
ALCM - Air Launched Cruise Missile
AMC - Air Mobility Command (USAF)
AMRAAM - Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (Raytheon AIM-120)
AMX - Atelier De Construction d'Issy-les-Moulineaux (France)
ANG - Air National Guard (US)
ANZAC - Australia New and Zealand Army Corps
ANZUS - Australia New Zealand United States Security Treaty
AP - Armor Piercing
APAM - Anti-Personnel, Anti-Material
APC - Armored Personnel Carrier
APDS - Armor-Piercing Discarding Sabot
APDS-T - Armor-Piercing Discarding Sabot Tracer
APFSDS - Armor Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot
APHE - Armor Piercing High Explosive
APU - Auxiliary Power Unit
AP-T - Armor Piercing - Tracer
ARM - Anti-Radiation Missile
ARRV - Armored Repair and Recovery Vehicle
ARV - Armored Recovery Vehicle
ASCOD - Austrian-Spanish Co-Operative Development
ASLAV - AUstralian Light Armored Vehicle
ASM - Air-to-Surface Missile
ASPJ - Airborne Self-Protection Jammer
ASRAAM - Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile
AST - Air Staff Target
ASTOVL - Advanced Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing
ASV - Anti-Surface Vessel
ASW - Anti-Submarine Warfare
ASuW - Anti-Surface Warfare
AT - Anti-Tank
ATGW - Anti-Tank Guided Weapon
ATBM - Anti-Tactical Ballistic Missile
AUW - All Up Weight
AVLB - Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge
AVRE - Armored Vehicle Royal Engineers (UK)
AWACS - Airborne Warning and Control System (Boeing E-3 Sentry)
AWOL - Absent WithOut Leave



B - Bomber designation (as in B-52 Stratofortress)
BAe - British Aerospace, now BAe Systems
bhp - Brake Horsepower
BVR - Beyond Visual Range



C2 - Command and Control
C3 - Command, Control and Communications
C3I - Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence
CAF - Canadian Armed Forces, now Canadian Forces
CAP - Combat Air Patrol
CAS - Close-Air Support
CAWS - Close Assault Weapon System
CDU - Control Display Unit
CEA - Circular Error Average
CEP - Circular Error Probable
CEV - Combat Engineer/Engineering Vehicle
CF - Canadian Forces
CFE - Conventional Forces Europe
CFV - Cavalry Fighting Vehicle
CIWS Close-In Weapon System (US)
CO - Commanding Officer
COIN - Counter Insurgency
COL - Colonel
COTAC - Conduite de Tir Automatique pour Char (France)
CPL - Corporal
CPT - Captain
CRARRV - Challenger Armored Repair and Recovery Vehicle
CRT - Cathode Ray Tube
CSB - Close-Support Bridge
CV - Conventionally Powered aircraft carrier (USN)
CV - Combat Vehicle
CVN - Attack aircraft carrier, nuclear powered (US)
CVRT - Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance Tracked



DEW - Distant Early Warning (US)
DFC - Distinguished Flying Cross: air force decoration
DGPS - Differential GPS
DoD - Department of Defense
DP - Dual Purpose
DVI - Direct Voice Input
DZ - Drop Zone



E - Enlisted
EAAK - Enhanced Applique Armor Kit (France)
ECCM - Electronic Counter CounterMeasures
ECM - Electronic CounterMeasures
ECR - Electronic Combat Reconnaissance, SEAD Panavia Tornado variant
EFIS - Electronic Flight Instrument System
ELINT - ELectronic INTelligence
Endurance - Length of time an aircraft's fuel load will permit it to stay airborne.
EOD - Explosive Ordnance Disposal
EPG - Engin Principal du Genie (France)
ERA - Explosive Reactive Armor
eshp - Equivalent Shaft Horsepower
ESM - Electronic Support Measures
EW - Electronic Warfare
EW - Electronic Warning



F - Fighter designation (as in F-15 Eagle)
FA - Frontal Aviation
FAA - Fleet Air Arm (UK, Australia, Argentina)
FAB - Forca Aerea Brasileira , Brazilian Air Force
FAC - Forward Air Control / Forward Air Controller
FAE - Fuel Air Explosives
FAR - Force d'Action Rapide (France)
FAV - Fast Attack Vehicle
FBW - Fly-by-Wire
FCS - Fire Control System
FEBA - Foward Edge of Battle Area
FLIR - Forward Looking Infrared
FIFV - Future Infantry Fighting Vehicle
Fly-by-Wire - Flight control systems with electric signaling
FMC - Food Machinery Corporation
FMS - Foreign Military Sale (US)
FN - Fabrique National (Belgium)
FUBAR - 'Fouled' Up Beyond All Recognition
FV - Fighting Vehicle



g - Measure of the force of gravity
GAM - GPS-Aided Munition
GCI - Ground-Controlled Intercept
GCT - Grande Cadence de Tir (France)
GE - General Electric
GIAT - Groupement Industriel des Armements Terrestres (France)
GP - General Purpose
GPMG - General Purpose Machine Gun
GPS - Global Positioning System
gr - Grams (or Grain if talking about small arms ammunition)
GTK - Gepanzertes Transport-Kraftfahzeug (Germany)



HE - High Explosive
HEAP - High Explosive Anti-Personnel
HEAT - High Explosive Anti-Tank
HEAT -FS - High Explosive Anti-Tank - Fin Stabilized
HE-FRAG - High Explosive-Fragmentation
HEI - High Explosive Incendiary
HEMAT - Heavy Expanded Mobility Ammunition Trailer
HEP - High Explosive Plastic
HESH - High Explosive Squash Head
HE-T - High Explosive - Tracer
HF - Hi Frequency (Between 3 to 30 MHz)
HOTAS - Hands On Throttle and Stick
HOTCC - Hands on Throttle, Collective and Cyclic
HMS - Her Majesty's Service (UK/Australia)
HP - HorsePower
HQ - Headquarter(s)
HR - Hour(s)
HUD - Head Up Display
HUDWAC - Head Up Display Weapon Aiming Computer
HUDWASS - Head Up Display Weapon Aiming SubSystem
HVAP - High Velocity Armor Piercing
HVM - High Velocity Missile



IADS - Integrated Air Defense System
IAS - Indicated Airspeed Shown
ICBM - InterContinental Ballistic Missile
IFF - Identification Friend or Foe
IFV - Infantry Fighting Vehicle
IGE - In Ground Effect
ILS - Instrument Landing System
IMP - Imperial (UK)
INS - Inertial Navigation System
IOC - Initial Operational Capability
IR - InfraRed
IRAN - Inspect and Repair as Necessary
IRBM - Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile
IRCM - Infra-Red CounterMeasure
ISA - International Standard Atmosphere
IRS - Inertial Reference System
IRST - Infra-Red Search and Track



JASDF - Japan Air Self Defense Force
JAST - Joint Advanced Strike Technology
JDAM - Joint Direct Attack Munition
JGSDF - Japan Ground Self Defense Force
JMSDF - Japan Maritime Self Defense Force
Joint-STAR - Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Grumman E-8)
JSOW - Joint Stand-Off Weapon
JSF - Joint Strike Fighter
JTIDS - Joint Tactical Information Distribution System



KCAS - Calibrated AirSpeed (in Knots)
KG - Kilograms
KIAS - Knots Indicated Airspeed
KM - KiloMeter
KM/H - KiloMeters per Hour
kN - KiloNewton measure of force (1,000 Newtons : 1 Newton = 0.2248 lbs of force)
Knot - Aviation and maritime unit of velocity
KT - Kiloton (equivalent explosive force of 1,000 tons of TNT)
Kt/Kts - Knot(s)
KTAS - True AirSpeed in Knots
kW - KiloWatt



LABS - Low Altitude Bombing System
LAMPS - Light Airborne MultiPurpose System
LANTIRN - Low Altitude Targeting InfraRed for Night
LAPES - Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System
LARS - Light Artillery Rocket System
LAV - Light Assault Vehicle
LAV - Light Armored Vehicle
lb - Pound(s)
LCD - Liquid Crystal Display
LF - Low Frequency (30 to 300 kHz)
LGB - Laser-Guided Bomb
LLLTV - Low Light Level Television
LO - Low Observables
LPT - Low Profile Turret
LRMP - Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft
LT - Lieutenant
LT - Light Tank
LVTP - Landing Vehicle Tracked Personnel
LZ - Landing Zone



MACH - Measure of Airspeed (Mach 1 = 1,223 kph/760 mph at sea level)
MAC - Military Airlift Command; Now AMC (USAF)
MAD - Magnetic Anomaly Detector
MAJ - Major
MAP - Military Assistance Program
MAW - Marine Air Wing (USMC)
MBT - Main Battle Tank
MCM - Mine Countermeasures
MFD - Multi-Function Display
MG - Machine Gun
MILAN - Missile d'Infanterie Leger Anti-Char
min - Minute(s)
MLU - Mid-Life Update
MLRS - Multiple Launch Rocket System
mm - Millimeter
MoD - Ministry of Defense
MPA - Maritime Patrol Aircraft
MPC - Multi-Purpose Carrier
MR - Maritime Reconnaissance
MRAV - Multi-Role Armored Vehicle
MRBM - Medium Range Ballistic Missile
MSIP - Multi-Stage Improvement Program
MTOW - Maximum Take-Off Weight



NAS - Naval Air Station
NASA - National Aeronautics & Space Administration
NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Nautical Mile - Measurement of distance
NBC - Nuclear, Biological and Chemical
nm - Nautical Mile
NOE - Nap of the Earth



O - Officer
OCU - Operational Conversion Unit
OGE - Out of Ground Effect
OTH-B - Over-The-Horizon Backscatter radar
OTHR - Over-The-Horizon Radar
OTHT - Over-The-Horizon Targeting



PACAF - Pacific Air Force (USAF)
PFC - Private First Class
PGM - Precision-Guided Munition
PID - Passive IDentification
PNGDF - Papua New Guinea Defense Force
PTG - Poseur de Travures du Genie (France)
PVT - Private



(None available)



R&D - Research & Development
RAF - Royal Air Force (UK)
RAAF - Royal Australian Air Force
RAAWS - Radar Altimeter and Altitude Warning System
RAM - Radar Absorbing Material
RAN - Royal Australian Navy
RAST - Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse system
RATO - Rocket-Assisted Take-Off
RCS - Radar Cross-Section
Recce - Reconnaissance
RISE - Reliability Improved Selected Equipment
RMAF - Royal Malaysian Air Force
RMG - Ranging Machine Gun
RN - Royal Navy (UK)
RNAS - Royal Navy Air Service
RNeAF - Royal Netherlands Air Force
RNZAF - Royal New Zealand Air Force
ROE - Rules of Engagement
RoKAF - Republic of Korea Air Force (South Korea)
RP - Rocket Propelled
RPG - Rocket Propelled Grenade
RPM - Revolutions Per Minute (or Rounds Per Minute if dealing with small arms)
RPV - Remotely-Piloted Vehicle
RR - Rolls Royce
RSAF - Republic of Singapore Air Force
RSAF - Royal Saudi Air Force
RTC - Royal Tank Corps
RWR - Radar Warning Receiver



SA - Surface-to-Air
SAAF - South African Air Force
SAC - Strategic Air Command (USAF - merged into ACC)
SAM - Surface-to-Air Missile
SAR - Search And Rescue
SAS - Special Air Service
SEAD - Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses
SENSO - SENSor Operator
SEP - Systems Enhancement Package
SEALs - SEA, Air and Land (USN)
SGT - Sergeant
shp - Shaft HorsePower (usually in reference to a helicopter's engine output power)
Sigint - SIGnals INTelligence
SLAP - Saboted Light Armor Penetrator
SLAR - Side-Looking Airborne Radar
SLEP - Service Life Extension Program
SOCOM - Special Operations COMmand
SOLRS - Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron (USAF)
SMG - Sub Machine Gun
SNAFU - Situation Normal, All 'Fouled' Up
SP - Specialist (when referred in a soldiers rank)
SP - Self-Propelled
SPG - Self-Propelled Gun
SPAAG - Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun
SSM - Surface-to-Surface Missile
SRAM - Short Range Attack Missile
STO - Short Take-Off
STOL - Short Take-Off and Landing
STOVL - Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing



TAC - Tactical Air Command (USAF, now merged into ACC)
TACAMO - TAke Charge And Move Out
TACAN - TACtical Aid to Navigation
TACCO - TACtical COordinator
TANS - Tactical Air Navigation System
TBO - Time Between Overhauls
TBT - Tank Bridge Transporter
TFR - Terrain Following Radar
TIALD - Target Identification Airborne Laser Designation
TNI-AU - Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Udara, Indonesian Air Force
TOW - Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-Guided
TSSAM - Tri-Service Stand-off Attack Missile
TRV - Tank Recovery Vehicle



UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
UHF - Ultra-High Fequency (300MHz to 3 GHz)
UN - United Nations
USAF - United States Air Force
USAFE - United States Air Force in Europe
USMC - United States Marine Corps
USN - United States Navy



VDU - Visual Display Unit
VHF - Very High Frequency (3 to 300MHz)
V/STOL - Vertical or Short Take-Off and Landing
VSEL - Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering LTD
VTAS - Voice, Throttle and Stick
VTOL - Vertical Take-Off and Landing



WO - Warrant Officer
WSO - Weapon System Operator (or Weapon System Officer)



(None yet!)



(None yet!)



(None yet!)

Topics: military acronyms



Share your favorite Taurus M. James Official Website content to your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.

Thank you for sharing!


You may also like

Soul Speak Sessions

Check out my unscripted live music creation sessions on Facebook Live.

Watch Now


African Americans in STEM

Learn More

Let's HOPE Together

Help Other People Elevate

Learn More

Release your music!

DistroKid is the only music distribution service that lets you upload unlimited music to stores for one low price!

Sign Up Now!

Let's HOPE Together!

Help Other People Elevate

Learn More

7/12/2024 7:13:36 PM