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Military Acronyms

If you’re new to Aim High Erin and/or the military, there’s a ton of acronyms.  Throw in a civilian career in special education and there’s even more so!  If I’m not making sense to you, you’ve come to the right place!  If there’s one I haven’t addressed, please leave a comment below or contact me so that I can update this page!  Thanks for taking the time!


Associate of Applied Science; the type of degree you’ll earn through CCAF.


Airman Battle Uniform; the camouflage uniform of Airmen worn on most days.


Air Force


Air Force Base


Air Force Officer Qualifying Test; a standardized test that measures aptitudes and screens candidates for commissioning programs.


Air Force Specialty Code; the five-digit alphanumeric code that the Air Force uses to identify jobs.  This acronym is used instead of MOS (Military Occupational Specialty), which is used by the Army and the Marine Corps.


Aim High Erin


Air National Guard


Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery; a standardized, multiple choice, multi-aptitude test to determine qualification for enlistment in the military as well as potential career fields.


Annual Tour; the fifteen days of duty that Air Force Reservists are required to complete every year, in addition to UTAs.


Basic Allowance for Housing.


Basic Allowance for Subsistence (food); when you receive BAS, you aren’t allowed to eat in the DFAC for free.


Battle Dress Uniform; the traditional darker green and brown camouflage uniform that was phased out by November 2011.


Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training; the field exercise in 6WOT that requires trainees to demonstrate knowledge of skills learned in training.


Basic Military Training; where civilians are transformed into Warrior Airmen!


Basic Military Training Study Guide; the 500+ page book you’ll carry everywhere in BMT; the training manual that covers all of the information you’ll need to know at BMT, including policies, procedures, and classroom topics.


Base Exchange; the store on an Air Force Base that is equivalent to a Target or Walmart in the civilian world; open to DoD ID card holders only, items are tax-free and discounted for military customers; also known as a PX (Post Exchange), NEX (Navy Exchange), or MCX (Marine Corps Exchange); the selection and size varies at each installation.


Community College of the Air Force; each enlisted person is enrolled in an associates degree program related to their career field.  Your diploma comes through CCAF, which accepts and credits you for classes [pending approval] you’ve taken at your civilian college/university.


Career Development Courses; computer or paper-based volumes of information that further the training you learn in technical training school.  CDCs are completed with an examination, which you must successfully pass.  CDCs are required to hit your 5-skill level, with an additional set required for your 7-skill level.


College Level Examination Program; tests that can be taken to earn college credit, which can be applied to your CCAF progress report.


Defense Activity For Non-Traditional Education Support; the acronym previously used for another type of testing that awards college credit, like the CLEP; these tests are now referred to as DSST.


Dorm Chief


Delayed Entry Program; the program future trainees participate in while they wait for their BMT ship date.  These programs are as involved/organized as the recruiting office/unit chooses.


An individual in the delayed entry program; may also be written as “deppers.”


Dining Facility;  Also known as the “chow hall.”


Dear/damn husband; the acronym I refer to my spouse by on this page and on most social media sites.


Department of Defense


DANTES Subject Standardized Tests; tests taken to earn college credits in lieu of taking a class, like the CLEP tests.


Element Leader


Enlisted Performance Report; a report card of sorts for enlisted Airmen, completed by a superior (referred to as a “rater”), which detail their accomplishments and performance (positive or negative).  These begin at the NCO level, and can affect positions and promotions.






Heard, Understood, Acknowledged; a vocal response for Airmen, which may sometimes be utilized as a question as well.


Military Entrance Processing Station; a physical, mental, and emotional screening center that determines clearance for military duty and/or enlistment.


Memorandum of Understanding


Military Training Instructors; the official name for what others know as a “Drill Sergeant” at Air Force BMT.


Military Training Leader; the name for instructors/leaders at Technical Training School.  


Operations Security; per Wikipedia, a process that identifies critical information to determine if friendly actions can be observed by adversary intelligence systems, determines if information obtained by adversaries could be interpreted to be useful to them, and then executes selected measures that eliminate or reduce adversary exploitation of friendly critical information.”


Officer Training School; a path to commissioning for Airmen who don’t otherwise commission through ROTC, a direct appointment, or a service academy.


Abbreviation for the Air Force Reserve.


Reserve Officer Training Corps; programs available at select colleges and universities for members to commission upon graduation.


Special Education


United States Air Force


United States Air Force Academy; exclusive service academy for the Air Force, located in Colorado Springs, CO; may also be abbreviated as AFA.


United States Air Force Reserve; sometimes abbreviated as AFR.


Unit Training Assembly; the official name for a “drill weekend” in the Reserves.


Week of Training; the way weeks are referred to at BMT, spanning from 0WOT to 8WOT.




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