CitizenSailor



The military loves acronyms abbreviations and special lingo unique to themselves. The aviation community loves to use them too. But everyone likes to be special and have their own.

Have you ever heard someone talking about something obviously technical but using so many terms, acronyms and such that it almost sounded like a foreign language? Well this isn’t a Rosetta Stone, but it might be a simple primer for those who aren’t fluent in the language of aviation/Navy/military to understand what those of us who are fluent are saying.

The reasons behind why they are used are all the same. Ultimately its just to save time, either in writing or in speech.  So now the next time one of your pilot friends talks about how they were IMC going into a particular air field, you’ll understand.  Or when you see that Soldier, Sailor, Marine or Airman in the airport, you can actually go up to him/her greet them using their correct title and thank them for their service. I know I appreciate it someone knows my rank and what I do, so will they.

While perhaps not as ‘exciting’ as some other topics, there are enough questions I’ve received about this area that I thought a good glossary might help make things easier for future reference. 🙂

Feel free to comment with your own ‘spoonful of the soup’ that I might have missed, to make a comment or just to ask a question.

Aviation

VORVHF Omnidirectional Radio Range: type of radio navigation
DMEDistance Measuring Equipment: measures distance between delay of VHF/UHF signals of aircraft and receiver to aid in navigation
VHFVery High Frequency: radio frequency range between 30MHz to 300MHz
ILSInstrument Landing System: ground based instrument approach system providing precise guidance
IMC Instrument Meteorological Conditions: in flight conditions where visual navigation is not possible
IFRInstrument Flight Rules: regulations for flying aircraft by instrument navigation only
VFRVisual Flight Rules: regulations for flying aircraft by navigating using visual reference to the ground
FAFFinal Approach Fix: point in space where final approach begins
PFDPrimary Flight Display: a CRT or LCD display with flight information
MFDMulti-Function Display: a CRT or LCD display with knobs to display various flight related info (typically used in parallel with a PFD)
GPSGlobal Positioning System: free navigation system made up of 24-32 satellites in orbit
RVRRunway Visual Range: the distance over which a pilot can see the surface of the runway and measured in feet, used for making landing decisions in instrument approaches.
VRRotation Speed: calculated speed at which an  aircraft’s nose will lift off the ground
V1Take-off Decision Speed: decision speed that once passed, means take-off is imminent
VREFReference Landing Speed: Landing reference speed
UTCCoordinated Universal Time: standard time based on International Atomic Time; equivalent to GMT
GMTGreenwich Mean Time: used as the Universal Time zone for coordinated time globally
PAXPassenger: term for manifested passenger(s)

Navy

RONRest Over Night: term used in calculating total trip length. Rest Over 1 Night (RO1N)
SELRES Selected Reservist: traditional ‘weekend warrior’; not full time
AWMAwaiting Maintenance: term used to indicate that a job has not been initiated
AWPAwaiting Parts: term used to indicate that parts have been ordered
CNXCancelled: mission or activity that was scheduled has been canceled
RMPReserve Maintenance Period: 4 hour block of time for a SELRES; used for maintenance related training
ATAnnual Training: ‘two weeks’; the block of time where a SELFES goes on temporary active duty and does training or suppliments active forces
ADTActive Duty Training: additional training period (temporary active duty) for schools, missions, etc
AFTPAircrew Flight Training Period: 8 hour block of time for a SELRES; used for flight related training/mission
TACANTactical Air Navigation: system used by military aircraft; more accurate version of VOR/DME
AWOLAbsent Without Official Leave: a deserter; unauthorized absence for more than 30 days
UAUnauthorized Absence: being absent from duty/training without proper authority
AA Authorized Absence: being absent from duty/training with permission
RESKEDRescheduled drill: changing the time of a training period for a SELRES
COCommanding Officer: commissioned officer; ultimately responsible for the condition, training and readiness of a squadron, unit or ship
XOExecutive Officer: commissioned officer; assists the CO in maintaining the condition, training and readiness of a squadron, unit or ship
NASNaval Air Station: aviation base that houses aircraft, equipment and support groups that support the Navy’s air missions
IYAOYAS- If You Ain’t Ordinance You Ain’t Sh#t: the motto for the Aviation Ordinance community (never was an ‘ordie’ but they are some of the hardest working folks around)

Military Enlisted Ranks

Everyone seems to always want to know what the heck the titles are for the enlisted ranks of all the branches, so here’s a simple chart with the abbreviations and symbols so its easy to compare.

Army

Navy

Air Force

Marine Corps

E-1

No insignia

nave1

No insignia

No insignia

Private (PV1)

Seaman Recruit (SR)

Airman Basic (AB)

Private (PVT)

E-2

Army-PV2

nave2

af-e2-amn2

usmc-e2-pfc1

Private (PV2)
Seaman Apprentice (SA)
Airman (Amn)
Private First Class (PFC)
E-3
Army-PFC
nave3
af-e3-a1c
usmc-e3-lcpl
Private First Class (PFC)
Seaman (SN)
Airman First Class (A1C)
Lance Corporal (LCpl)
E-4
Army-Spec4
nave4
af-e4-sra
usmc-e4-cpl
Specialist (SPC)
Petty Officer Third Class (PO3)
Senior Airman (SrA)
Corporal (Cpl)
Army-Cpl
Corporal (CPL)
E-5
Army-Sgt
nave5
af-e5-ssgt
usmc-e5-sgt
Sergeant (SGT)
Petty Officer Second Class (PO2)
Staff Sergeant (SSgt)
Sergeant (Sgt)
E-6
Army-Ssgt
nave6
af-e6-tsgt
usmc-e6-ssgt
Staff Sergeant (SSG)
Petty Officer First Class (PO1)
Technical Sergeant (TSgt)
Staff Sergeant (SSgt)
E-7
Army-Sfc
nave7cap
(collar & cover device)
nave7
af-e7-msgt
usmc-e7-gysgt
Sergeant First Class (SFC)
Chief Petty Officer (CPO)
Master Sergeant
Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt)
af-e7-1sgt
First Sergeant (Master Sergeant)
E-8
Army-Ssg
nave8cap
(collar & cover device)
nave8
af-e8-smsgt
usmc-e8-msgt
Master Sergeant (MSG)
Senior Chief Petty Officer (SCPO)
Senior Master Sergeant (SMSgt)
Master Sergeant (MSgt)
Army-1sg
af-e8-1sgt
usmc-e8-1sgt
First Sergeant (1SG)
First Sergeant (Senior Master Sergeant)
First Sergeant (1stSgt)
E-9
Army-Sgm
nave9cap
(collar & cover device)
nave9
af-e9-cmsgt
usmc-e9-mgysgt
Sergeant Major (SGM)
Master Chief Petty Officer (MCPO)
Chief Master Sergeant (CMSgt)
Master Gunnery Sergeant (MGySgt)
Army-Csm
af-e9-1sgt
usmc-e9-sgtmaj
Command Sergeant Major (CSM)
First Sergeant (Chief Master Sergeant)
Sergeant Major (SgtMaj)
af-e9-ccmsgt2
Command Chief Master Sergeant
Senior Enlisted Rep

Army-Sma
nave10cap
(collar & cover device)
nave10
af-e9-cmsaf
usmc-e9-sgtmajcorps
Sgt. Major of the Army (SMA)
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON)
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (CMAF)
Sgt. Major of the Marine Corps (SgtMajMC)

  • Maria

    Pretty cool post. I just came by your site and wanted to say
    that I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts. In any case
    I’ll be subscribing to your blog and I hope you post again soon!

  • Maria

    Pretty cool post. I just came by your site and wanted to say
    that I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts. In any case
    I’ll be subscribing to your blog and I hope you post again soon!

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