List of U.S. Air Force acronyms and expressions

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This is a list of initials, acronyms, expressions, euphemisms, jargon, military slang, and sayings in common or formerly common use in the United States Air Force. Many of the words or phrases have varying levels of acceptance among different units or communities, and some also have varying levels of appropriateness (usually dependent on how senior the user is in rank). Many terms also have equivalents among other service branches that are not acceptable amongst Marines, but are comparable in meaning. Many acronyms and terms have come into common use from voice procedure use over communication channels, translated into the NATO phonetic alphabet, or both.

The scope of this list is to include words and phrases that are unique to or predominantly used by the United States Air Force. For other military slang lists, see the "See also" section.

0–9[edit]

A[edit]

B[edit]

  • BAH - Basic Allowance for Housing
  • BAS - Basic Allowance for Subsistance
  • BAQ - Bachelor Airman Quarters
  • BCOT - Basic Communications Officer Training
  • BDOC - Base Defense Operations Center
  • BDU - Battle Dress Uniform
  • BEQ - Bachelor Enlisted Quarters
  • BIT - Bystander Intervention Training
  • BITC - Base Information Transfer Center
  • BITS - Base Information Transfer System
  • BFM - Basic Fighter Maneuvers
  • BFT - Blue Force Tracking
  • BLUF - Bottom Line Up Front
  • BMT - Basic Military Training
  • BONE - Nickname for the B-1 Lancer, as in "B-ONE"
  • BOQ - Bachelor Officer Quarters
  • BOS - Base Operating Support
  • BOT - Basic Officer Training
  • BPZ - Below Primary Zone; early promotion of an officer ahead of peers to controlled statutory pay grades of O-4, O-5 and/or O-6
  • Brig Gen - Brigadier General; officer pay grade O-7
  • BS - Bomb Squadron
  • BSA - Basic Surface Attack
  • BTZ - Below the zone; USAF early promotion program from E-3 to E-4
  • BUFF - Big Ugly Fat F*cker (Nickname for Boeing B-52 Stratofortress)
  • BW - Bomb Wing
  • BX - Base Exchange

C[edit]

  • C-Day - The unnamed day on which a deployment operation begins or is to begin
  • C2 - Command and Control
  • C4ISR - Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance
  • CA - Combat Arms
  • CAF - Combat Air Force
  • CAI - Computer Aided Instruction
  • CAOC - Combined Air and Space Operations Center
  • CAMS - Core Automated Maintenance System (database behind IMDS)
  • CAP - Civil Air Patrol, the civilian USAF Auxiliary
  • Capt - Captain; officer pay grade O-3
  • CAS - Close Air Support
  • CAST - Combat Airman Skills Training
  • CAT - Crisis Action Team
  • CAT - Camper Alert Team (Security Forces, Missile Field Security)
  • CATM - Combat Arms Training and Maintenance
  • CBCS- Combat Communications Squadron
  • CBMC - Communications Battlespace Management Course
  • CBT - Computer Based Training
  • CBRNE - Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High Yield Explosives
  • CC - Commander
  • CCAF - Community College of the Air Force
  • CCE - Executive Officer
  • CCF - First Sergeant
  • CCT - Combat Control
  • CD - Deputy Commander
  • CDC - Career Development Course
  • CE - Civil Engineering or Civil Engineers
  • CEG - Combat Evaluation Group
  • CES - Civil Engineering Squadron
  • CEVG - Combat Evaluation Group
  • CFEPT - Career Field Education and Training Plan
  • CFR - Crash Fire Rescue
  • CFT - Cockpit Familiarization Trainer
  • CGO - Company Grade Officer (lieutenants and captains)
  • CGOC - Company Grade Officers' Council
  • Charlie Bravo - Cut-back, or being released early from duty
  • Charlie Foxtrot - Cluster Fuck
  • Chief - Proper term of address for Chief Master Sergeant. Also frequently used by pilots to informally refer to maintenance personnel, specifically "Crew Chiefs."
  • CI - Counterintelligence, Compliance Inspection
  • CISM - Close In Security Mobile
  • Class Six - BX-administered store where beer, wine & liquor is sold at a discounted price with no sales tax
  • CJCS - Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • CMO - Civil-Military Operations
  • CMO - Chief Medical Officer (term for senior medical officer at each MEPS—Military Entrance Processing Station)
  • CMSAF - Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force; senior active duty enlisted member of the Air Force and a direct advisor to CSAF (holds enlisted pay grade E-9)
  • CMSgt - Chief Master Sergeant; enlisted pay grade E-9
  • CNA - Computer Network Attack
  • CND - Could Not Duplicate
  • CND - Computer Network Defense
  • CNO - Computer Network Operations
  • CNT - Counter Narco-Terror
  • COA - Course of Action
  • Col - Colonel; officer pay grade O-6
  • COLA - Cost of Living Adjustment
  • COMINT - Communications Intelligence
  • CONOPS - Concept of Operations
  • CONS - Contracting Squadron
  • CONUS - Continental United States
  • COMAFFOR - Commander, Air Force Forces
  • Cop - Term for Air Force Security Forces personnel
  • COT - Commissioned Officer Training
  • CPF - Civilian Personnel Flight
  • CPTS - Comptroller Squadron
  • Crew Chief - Generally used as an informal slang term for Aerospace Maintenance Personnel, AFSC 2A5. More formally used to refer to an individual in charge of an aircraft maintenance related task requiring multiple people.
  • CRO - Combat Rescue Officer; commissioned officer equivalent of an enlisted PJ
  • CS - Communications Squadron
  • CSAF - Chief of Staff of the Air Force; senior ranking active duty General in USAF unless the CJCS or VCJCS post is held by a USAF General (holds officer pay grade O-10)
  • CSAR - Combat Search and Rescue
  • CSC - Central Security Control
  • CSS - Commander's Support Staff (orderly room)
  • CSO - Combat Systems Officer; a commissioned officer aeronautical rating known as Navigator until 1992
  • CUI - Combined Unit Inspection
  • CWO - Chief Warrant Officer; commissioned officer pay grades W-2 through W-5, currently discontinued in USAF

D[edit]

  • D-Day - The unnamed day on which an operation begins or is to begin
  • DACBT - Dissimilar Air Combat Training
  • DART - Dumbass Radio Troop
  • DBA - Dirtbag Airman (An Airman who does not represent the Air Force Core Values)
  • DEAD - Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses
  • DEERS - Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System
  • DEROS - Date Estimated Return from OverSeas
  • Dependent - Non-Military family member of a service member, typically a non-military spouse and/or children, entitled to a DD 1173 Military Dependent ID Card
  • Dependapotamus - Name given to overbearing & overweight bitchy dependent wives
  • DFAC - Dining Facility
  • DFAS - Defense Finance and Accounting Service
  • Dickbeaters - term referring to one's hands. Often yelled by MTIs in the form of "pin those Dickbeaters to your side!"
  • DINSTAAR - Danger Is No Stranger To An AGE Ranger (See AGE)
  • DMSP - Defense Meteorological Satellite Program
  • DOE - Date of Enlistment
  • Dollar Ride - A pilot's first flight in an airframe
  • Doolie - nickname for a first year Air Force Academy cadet
  • DOR - Date of Rank
  • Double Dip - Term used for certain full-time Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard personnel when in a dual status and receiving income from two sources (e.g., Air Reserve Technician on civilian military leave as a Department of the Air Force civil servant and on concurrent active duty USAF orders)
  • DRSN - Defense Red Switch Network
  • DRU - Direct Reporting Unit
  • DSCS - Defense Satellite Communications System
  • DSN - Defense Switched Network
  • DSP - Defense Support Program
  • DSPD - Defense Support to Public Diplomacy
  • DT - Development Team
  • DTS - Defense Travel System
  • DV - Distinguished Visitor; visiting enlisted personnel in pay grade E-9, visiting officer personnel in pay grades O-6 through O-10, or visiting civilian equivalents such as GS-15, SES or politically-appointed or elected government officials
  • DVQ - Distinguished Visitors Quarters
  • DVOQ - Distinguished Visiting Officers Quarters

E[edit]

F[edit]

  • FAA - Federal Aviation Administration
  • FAC - Forward Air Controller
  • FAIP - First Assignment Instructor Pilot
  • FGO - Field Grade Officer (majors, lieutenant colonels, and colonels)
  • FIGMO - Fuck it I Got My Orders
  • Fini Flight - A pilot's last flight in the aircraft before he/she leaves a squadron, a wing, or retires from the Air Force
  • FLPP - Foreign Language Profeciency Pay
  • FM - Financial Management Comptroller
  • FMC - Fully Mission Capable
  • FMS - Foreign Military Sales
  • FMS -Field Maintenance Squadron
  • FNG - Fucking New Guy
  • FOA - Field Operating Agency
  • FOD - Foreign Object Damage or debris that can cause damage
  • FOUO - For Official Use Only
  • Four Fan Trash Can - Nickname for the C-130 Hercules
  • Four Fans of Freedom - Nickname for the C-130 Hercules
  • FRED - Fucking Ridiculous Economic Disaster (term for the C-5 Galaxy)
  • FS - Fighter Squadron
  • FSB - Force Shaping Board
  • FSS - Force Support Squadron
  • FTAC - First Term Airman's Center
  • FTS - Flying Training Squadron
  • FTU - Formal Training Unit
  • FTW - Flying Training Wing
  • FUBAR - Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition
  • FW - Fighter Wing

G[edit]

H[edit]

I[edit]

J[edit]

K[edit]

  • KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid

L[edit]

  • LAPES - Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System
  • LATN - Low Altitude Tactical Navigation
  • Lawn Dart - Nickname for F-16 Fighting Falcon or any other fast, pointy-nosed, single-engine fighter aircraft
  • LCAP - Logistics Compliance Assessment Program
  • LEAP - Language Enabled Airman Program
  • LG - Logistics Group
  • LGB - Laser-Guided Bomb
  • LS - Logistics Squadron
  • LIFT - Lead In Fighter Training
  • LIMFAC - Limiting Factor
  • Linda Lovelace ( Reference to the C-5 Galaxy aircraft, because it kneels and takes it from both ends )
  • LOA - Letter of Admonishment
  • LOA - Letter of Appreciation
  • LOAC - Law of Armed Conflict
  • LOC - Letter of Counseling
  • LOGI - Logistics NCOIC (Squadron, Group, Wing)
  • LOR - Letter of Reprimand
  • LOWAT - Low Altitude Training
  • LRS - Logistics Readiness Squadron
  • LT - Familiar term for a Lieutenant, Second or First; usually used as a form of address by those under his/her command
  • Lt Col - Lieutenant Colonel; officer pay grade O-5
  • Lt Gen - Lieutenant General; officer pay grade O-9
  • LWOP - Leave Without Pay

M[edit]

N[edit]

O[edit]

  • OA - Occupational Analysis
  • OA - Outstanding Airman
  • OAPT - Officer Awaiting Pilot Training.
  • OAPTer - An officer in OAPT status. While other 2nd Lt's begin their flight training, non-flying technical training and/or initial leadership roles, OAPTers complete menial tasks in support of the mission while they wait for their assigned training date (this is known as "casual status"). It is important for all operational bases, as OAPTers are most often supplemental to the assigned commissioned officer workforce.
  • OAR - Occupational Analysis Report
  • OAY - Outstanding Airman of the Year
  • OAYA - Outstanding Airman of the Year Award
  • OCONUS - Outside the Continental United States
  • OCR - Office of Collateral Responsibility
  • OFO - Out Fucking Off
  • OG - Operations Group
  • OIC - Officer in Command
  • OL - Operating Location
  • OODA - Observe Orient Decide Act
  • OPCON - Operational Control
  • OPR - Office of Primary Responsibility
  • OPR - Officer Performance Report
  • OPSEC - Operations Security
  • OPTN - Operationalizing and Professionalizing the Network
  • ORI - Operational Readiness Inspection
  • ORM - Operation Risk Management
  • OSI - Office of Special Investigation
  • OSR - Occupational Survey Report
  • OSS - Operations Support Squadron
  • OT&E - Operational Test and Evaluation
  • OTS - Officer Training School

P[edit]

  • PA - Public Affairs
  • PACAF - Pacific Air Forces
  • PAR - Precision Approach Radar
  • PAS - Political Affairs Strategist
  • PAX - Air passengers
  • PCS - Permanent Change of Station
  • PDS - Permanent Duty Station
  • Perpes - Humorous nickname for PRP, takeoff on herpes
  • PFE - Promotion Fitness Examination
  • PFM - Pure Fucking Magic; Term to refer to a technical problem that somehow resolved itself
  • PFT - Physical Fitness Test
  • PICNIC - Problem In Chair, Not In Computer; Used by help desk personnel to indicate user ignorance
  • PING - Person In Need of Graduation
  • PITT - Person In need of Technical Training
  • PJ - Pararescueman
  • PMC - Partially Mission Capable
  • PME - Professional Military Education
  • Pocket Rocket - Term for the missile badge on the uniforms of current and former ICBM and cruise missile launch operations and missile maintenance personnel
  • Pop Tart - Airman whose technical career schools are 6 weeks or less
  • posn - position
  • Prime Beef - Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force
  • PRF - Promotion Recommendation Form
  • PRP - Personnel Reliability Program
  • PSDM - Personnel Services Delivery Memorandum
  • PSYOP - Psychological Operations
  • PTL - Physical Training Leader

Q[edit]

  • QAF - Quality Air Force
  • Qweep - A task or duty that is completely useless and ultimately unrelated to your primary job. It is often assigned by superiors not of your career field as they assume that you have time to constantly work these tasks. Example: "I have a lot of qweep to do before I go home." "I need to finish all of this qweep before I can go fly."

R[edit]

  • RA - Resource Advisor
  • RAF - Royal Air Force
  • Rainbow Flight - Fresh trainees at BMT who have not yet received uniforms (clothing colors represent the rainbow)
  • RAM - Random Antiterrorism Measure
  • RAS - Regional Affairs Strategist
  • Rated Officer - USAF commissioned officer holding an aeronautical rating as a Pilot (to include Astronaut), Combat Systems Officer (to include Astronaut), Navigator (to include Astronaut), Air Battle Manager, Observer (Astronaut) or Flight Surgeon
  • RED HORSE - Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers
  • RET, Ret, (Ret) - Designations for retired military personnel, typically following the service designation in a title, e.g., Col USAF (Ret)
  • RF - Radio frequency
  • RFF - Request [F]or Forces (initiated by Army)
  • RHIP - "Rank Has Its Privelages"
  • RIF - Reduction In Force
  • RNLTD - Report No Later Than Date
  • ROAD - Retired On Active Duty
  • RON - Remain overnight
  • ROTC - Reserve Officers' Training Corps
  • RPA - Remotely Piloted Aircraft
  • RQG - Rescue Group
  • RQS - Rescue Squadron (formerly ARS)
  • RQW - Rescue Wing
  • RTB - Return To Base
  • RTIC - Real Time In the Cockpit
  • RS - Reconnaissance Squadron
  • RW - Reconnaissance Wing

S[edit]

  • SAASS - School of Advanced Air and Space Studies
  • SAC - Strategic Air Command (disestablished MAJCOM)
  • SAF/SECAF - Secretary of the Air Force
  • SAM - Surface to Air Missile
  • SARC - Sexual Assault Response Coordinator
  • SATCOM - Satellite Communications
  • SAV - Staff Assistance Visit
  • SBIRS - Space-Based Infrared System
  • SDF - Standard Deployment Folder
  • SEAD - Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (pronounced "seed")
  • SEADS - Southeast Air Defense Sector
  • Secret squirrel stuff - Material classified above secret or special compartmentalized information.
  • Senior - Informal shortening for Senior Master Sergeant
  • SEPCOR - Separate Correspondence
  • SERE - Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape
  • SF - Security Forces
  • SFS - Security Forces Squadron
  • Sgt - Sergeant; a since discontinued additional rank in enlisted pay grade E-4 from 1976 to 1991
  • Shirt - A unit first sergeant
  • Short - Close to a PCS date or retirement
  • Sierra Hotel (SH) - Shit Hot
  • SIGINT - Signals Intelligence
  • SIPR - Secret Internet Protocol
  • SKT - Specialty Knowledge Test
  • Slick Sleeve - Nickname for an Airman Basic (owing to the absence of rank insignia on an individual's sleeve)
  • SLUF - Short Little Ugly F*cker (Derogatory nickname for the LTV A-7 Corsair II)
  • SME - Subject Matter Expert
  • SMSgt - Senior Master Sergeant, enlisted pay grade E-8
  • SNAFU - Situation Normal All Fucked Up
  • SNCO - Senior Non-commissioned Officer; enlisted pay grades E-7, E-8 and E-9
  • SNCOA - Senior Non-commissioned Officer Academy
  • Snacko - A highly underestimated, mission critical position held most often by newly-reported Lieutenants in a flying squadron. Doing well at the Snacko position will prompt one for a laudable career. Failing at such a job will often entail severe ridicule and, if necessary, replacement and retraining by the flying squadron.
  • Snuffy - Generic term given to any Airmen of lower rank. "And here came Airman Snuffy late to the party as usual."
  • SOP - Standard Operating Procedure
  • SOPS - Space Operations Squadron
  • SOS - Squadron Officer School
  • SOS - Special Operations Squadron
  • SOW - Special Operations Wing
  • Spark Chaser - Nickname for aircraft maintenance personnel dealing with electronic, non-mechanical systems
  • Spirit Mission - A good natured act, commonly in the form of a prank, banner, or...reacquisition...of a person/thing, to show pride for a group of individuals. Usually harmless.
  • Sq - Squadron
  • SrA - Senior Airman; enlisted pay grade E-4
  • SRC - Solid Rock Cafe (new as of 2011, located at Sheppard AFB, TX - unofficial anogram that is used by officers as well as students)
  • SRT - Security Response Team
  • SSgt - Staff Sergeant; enlisted pay grade E-5
  • SST - Supervisor Safety Training
  • Staff - Informal shortening for Staff Sergeant
  • STEP - Stripe Through Exceptional Performance
  • Strike Eagle - Nickname for the F-15E Strike Eagle
  • Stink Bug - Nickname for the F-117 Nighthawk
  • STS - Special Tactics Squadron
  • SVS - Services Squadron
  • SW - Space Wing
  • SWA - Southwest Asia
  • SWAG - Scientific Wild-Ass Guess

T[edit]

  • T&A - Test and Acceptance
  • TAC - Tactical Air Command (disestablished MAJCOM)
  • TAC-P - Tactical Air Control Party
  • TACON - Tactical Control
  • TAFCSD - Total Active Federal Commission Service Date
  • TAFMSD - Total Active Federal Military Service Date
  • TAG (AG) - The Adjutant General
  • Tail-End Charlie - Person bringing up the rear of a formation or a tail gunner
  • TAP - Transition Assistance Program
  • TCNO - Time Compliance Network Order
  • TCTO - Time Compliance Technical Order
  • TDY - Temporary Duty; analogous to Temporary Additional Duty (TAD / TEMADD) in USN, USMC and USCG
  • Tech - Informal shortening of Technical Sergeant
  • TFCSD - Total Federal Commissioned Service to Date
  • TGP - Targeting Pod
  • TLAR - That Looks About Right
  • TLF - Temporary Living Facility
  • TO - Technical Order
  • TOT - Time Over Target
  • Tracking - Reference to offensive avionics on combat aircraft. Following and understanding the subject at hand. (IE: "I need this done yesterday, Airman. Are you tracking?")
  • TRG - Training Group
  • TRS - Training Squadron
  • TRW - Training Wing
  • TSgt - Technical Sergeant; enlisted pay grade E-6
  • TST - Time-Sensitive Target
  • TTP - Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures

U[edit]

V[edit]

  • VAQ - Visiting Airman Quarters
  • Viper - Nickname for the F-16 Fighting Falcon
  • VML - Vulnerable to Move List
  • vMPF - Virtual Military Personnel Flight
  • VOQ - Visiting Officer Quarters
  • V/R - Virtual Regards or Very Respectfully (closing salutation)
  • vRED - Virtual Record of Emergency Data
  • VSP - Voluntary Separation Pay

W[edit]

X[edit]

Y[edit]

  • Y-plane - Prototype aircraft

Z[edit]

  • Zero - Officer
  • Zoo - Nickname for the Air Force Academy
  • Zoomie - Nickname for an Air Force Academy graduate or cadet

See also[edit]

External links[edit]