It seems that every group has a set of acronyms and terms that only they understand. When you are first getting started it can be a nightmare of learning all of the popular lingo, but here is a list of the most common we have found.
Index Guide – The format of our Acronym Guide will include the term in Bold, Definition in Italic and Explanation in standard text, as seen below:
Term – Definition – Explanation
2A – Second Amendment of the US Constitution – A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
4A – Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution – The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
2WD – Two Wheel Drive – Referring to a vehicle that power to two of the wheels. Front or Rear wheel drive vehicles.
4WD – Four Wheel Drive – Referring to a vehicle that selectively has power to all four tires. Can be switched to two wheel drive when four wheel drive is not needed.
550 Cord – Paracord – Parachute cordage that has a mil spec weight rating of 550 pounds.
AWD – All Wheel Drive – Referring to a vehicle that has power to all four wheels and cannot be selectively changed to two wheel drive.
ACOG – Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight – Short terminology referring to the Trijicon ACOG which is a fixed power, compact and durable rifle scope issued to several branches of the US Military.
ALICE – All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment – Load bearing system that pre-dates MOLLE. Typically can be found at Army surplus stores.
AP – Armor Piercing – A projectile that is specifically designed to penetrate armor.
APC – Armored Personnel Carrier – Armored vehicle designed to carry infantry troops into battle.
ARB – Armed Response Bag – Also referred to as a Go Bag which is used to carry extra magazines and ammunition.
ARC – American Red Cross – A humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief and education in the United States.
ARES – Amateur Radio Emergency Service (HAM Radio)
ARRL – American Radio Relay League (HAM Radio) – A corps of trained amateur radio operator volunteers organized to assist in public service and emergency communications.
AO – Area of Operations – An operational area defined by the force commander for land, air, and naval forces conduct of combat and non-combat activities.
AOA – Avenue of Approach – A air or ground route of an attacking force leading to their objective area.
AOE – Avenue of Escape – Planned escape route out of an area.
ATL – Attempt to Locate – Typically used by police when trying to locate dangerous or missing persons.
BIB – Bug In Bag – Similar to a Bug Out Bag. The bag is designed to carry your important supplies that can be taken with you in case you need to evacuate part of your location, such as during a tornado when you would need to take shelter.
BIL – Bug In Location – Your house or property that you will be staying at during an emergency or disaster
BOB – Bug Out Bag – A portable kit (usually a bag) that contains the items one would require to survive for seventy-two hours when evacuating from a disaster. See our Bug Out Bag videos here
BOGO – Buy One Get One free – Typically referring to a sale where you either buy one item and get another free, or items that are 50% off
BOHICA – Bend Over Here It Comes Again
BOL – Bug Out Location – Predetermined location that you will evacuate to in case of a emergency or disaster.
BOV – Bug Out Vehicle – A vehicle that you will use to evacuate to your bug out location. Usually this is an off road vehicle or other means of conveyance that can take some abuse.
BUIS – Back Up Iron Sights – In case your primary optic on your battle rifle fails you should have a set of backup iron sights that can be used. Iron sights refer to sights, usually metal, that do not require electronics or batteries.
CB – Citizen’s Band Radio – CB Radio refers to a selection of 40 channels within the 27 MHz (11 m) band that are used for short range communication. Unlike other two-way radio services the Citizens Band does not require a license, and as such is shared by many users.
CCW – Concealed Carry Weapon – Typically refers to the practice of carrying a handgun in a concealed or hidden manner.
CERT – Community Emergency Response Team – Education program provided by FEMA that educates individuals about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical
CM – Compressed Meals
CME – Coronal Mass Ejection – A large release of plasma and magnetic field associated with solar flares.
Commo – Communications
CONEX – Cargo shipping container – Cargo shipping container sometimes used for storage or overseas shipments.
COOP – Continuity of Operations Plan – A plan that designates alternate personal, processes and equipment.
C-Ration – Combat Ration – an individual canned, pre-cooked, and prepared wet ration.
CTX – Classroom Training Exercise
CYA – Cover Your Assets
Decon – Decontamination – Typically associated with the attempt to remove chemical or biological contamination.
DoD – Department of Defense
DoS – Department of State
EBT – Electronic Benefits Transfer – An electronic system that allows state welfare departments to issue benefits via a magnetically encoded payment card, used in the United States.
EBV – Ebola Virus – A severe, often fatal, disese in Humans. Read information about the disease on the World Health Organization website
EDC – Everyday Carry – Items that are important enough to carry on your person daily.
EHV – Ebola Hemorrhagic Virus – See Ebola Virus
EMP – Electromagnetic Pulse – A short burst of electromagnetic energy, that can be man-made or a natural occurrence, that is generally disruptive or damaging to electronic equipment.
EOC – Emergency Operations Center – A facility responsible for emergency or disaster management during an emergency.
EOTW – End Of The World – Referring to an event that would drastically change the look of day to day life.
Evac – Evacuation
FCC – Federal Communications Commission – Regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. See FCC Website
FEMA – Federal Emergency Management Administration – A US Agency who’s primary purpose is to coordinate the response to a disaster that has occurred in the United States and that overwhelms the resources of local and state authorities
FIFO – First In First Out – Generally referring to using the oldest item in your stockpile to rotate items
FMJ – Full Metal Jacket – A small-arms projectile consisting of a soft core (often lead) encased in a shell of harder metal (often copper)
FOB – Forward Operating Base – A secured forward military position that is used to support tactical operations.
Freq – Frequency – Refers to a per-determined frequency that is used for radio operations
FRS – Family Radio Service – The Family Radio Service (FRS) is a private, two-way, very short-distance voice and data communications service for facilitating family and group activities. The most common use for FRS channels is short-distance, two-way voice communications using small hand-held radios that are similar to walkie-talkies.
FTX – Field Training Exercise
FUBAR – F’d Up Beyond All Recognition
FWIW – For What Its Worth
GCP – Group Continuity Plan – Another reference to a Community Operations Plan except referring to a group.
GHB – Get Home Bag – A Get Home Bag is a pre-packed bag that is packed with supplies to help you return home if an emergency happens while you are away. Commonly stored in vehicles. See our Get Home Bag videos
GMO – Genetically Modified Organism – A genetically modified organism, or GMO, is an organism that has had its DNA altered or modified in some way through genetic engineering.
Go Bag – Similar to a Bug Out Bag – A bag packed with essential items, kept ready for use in the event of an emergency evacuation of one’s home.
G.O.O.D – Get Out Of Dodge – See Go Bag
GRID – Electrical Grid – An electrical grid is an interconnected network for delivering electricity from producers to consumers.
Grid Down – Electrical Grid Failure – Electical power failure, usually referring to a longer term outage.
HAM – Slang for Amateur Radio Operator
Hazmat – Hazardous Materials
HDPE – High Density Polyethylene – HDPE is used in the production of plastic bottles, corrosion-resistant piping, geomembranes, and plastic lumber.
HEMP – High Altitude Magnetic Pulse – See also EMP. In military terminology, a nuclear warhead detonated hundreds of kilometers above the Earth’s surface is known as a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) device. Effects of a HEMP device depend on factors including the altitude of the detonation, energy yield, gamma ray output, interactions with the Earth’s magnetic field and electromagnetic shielding of targets, but is typically considered more harmful to electronics.
HP – Hollow Point – A hollow-point bullet is an expanding bullet that has a pit or hollowed out shape in its tip often intended to cause the bullet to expand upon entering a target in order to decrease penetration and disrupt more tissue as it travels through the target.
IFAK – Incident First Aid Kit – Typically an IFAK is a medical kit that is carried on your person and includes basic trauma supplies. Contents usually contain medical equipment specifically geared to dealing with combat injuries.
IMO – In My Opinion
IMHO – In My Humble Opinion
INCH – I’m Never Coming Home – An INCH bag is basically a large survival kit containing items critical to your survival following a. disaster or other SHTF scenario. An INCH bag should differ from a BOB or GOOD bag in that it must sustain you indefinitely.
IR – Infrared – Usually referring to night vision devices
JBT – Jack Booted Thug
JIC – Just In Case
JIT – Just In Time
K.I.S.S – Keep It Simple Stupid
LOS – Line of Sight – Typically refers to having a straight line between two objects without obstructions.
LIFO – Last In First Out – See also FIFO. The opposite of FIFO where the newest products purchased are used first.
Lima Charlie – Loud and Clear – Usually used during radio communications
LogPak – Logistics Package – Military terminology for delivering supplies
LP – Listening Post – Military terminology referring to a station for intercepting electronic communications.
MAD – Mutually Assured Destruction – A doctrine of military strategy and national security policy in which a full-scale use of nuclear weapons by two or more opposing sides would cause the complete annihilation of both the attacker and the defender.
MAG – Mutual Assistance Group – A group of like-minded individuals who pledge to assist each other in times of crisis.
Mall Ninja – Referring to a person who buys tactical gear with no experience to use it
MBR – Main Battle Rifle – Typically referring to a rifle that fires a full size cartridge, typically .30 Caliber or larger.
MOE – Measure of Effectiveness – Military terminology referring to measurements designed to correspond to accomplishment of mission objectives and achievement of desired results.
MOI – Mechanism of Injury – Refers to the method by which damage to skin, muscles, organs, and bones happens. Healthcare providers use mechanism of injury to help determine how likely it is that a serious injury has occurred.
MOLLE – Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment – Used to define the current generation of load-bearing equipment and backpacks utilized by a number of NATO armed forces, especially the British Army and the United States Army.
MRE – Meals Ready to Eat – Individual field ration in lightweight packaging bought by the United States military for its service members for use in combat or other field conditions where organized food facilities are not available.
MSM – Mainstream Media – Abbreviation used to refer collectively to the various large mass news media that influence a large number of people, and both reflect and shape prevailing currents of thought.
NAA – Natural Aiming Area – See Point of Aim
NINJA – No Income No Job or Assets
NVD – Night Vision Device – An optoelectronic device that allows images to be produced in levels of light approaching total darkness.
OP – Observation Post – A temporary or fixed position from which soldiers can watch enemy movements, to warn of approaching soldiers (such as in trench warfare), or to direct artillery fire.
OP/LP – Observation Post/Listening Post – See Also OP. See also LP
OPSEC – Operational Security – The process of protecting individual pieces of data that could be grouped together to give away the bigger picture.
PALS – Pouch Attachment Ladder System – A grid of webbing used to attach smaller equipment onto load-bearing platforms, such as vests and backpacks.
Paracord – Parachute cordage – A general purpose utility cord used by both military personnel and civilians. Consisting of a high number of interwoven strands.
POA – Point Of Aim
POI – Point of Impact
POTUS – President of the United States
PPE – Personal Protective Equipment – Refers to protective clothing, helmets, gloves, face shields, goggles, facemasks and/or respirators or other equipment designed to protect the wearer from injury or the spread of infection or illness.
PRD – Personal Radiation Detector – A pager size pocket device for the search for the nuclear and radioactive materials.
Prep – Short for Prepare
Prepper – Short for someone who Prepares
Preps – Short for Preperations
QRF – Quick Reaction Force – An armed unit capable of rapidly responding to developing situations, typically to assist allied units in need of such assistance.
RACES – Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (Ham Radio) – A Protocol created by FEMA and the FCC. See RACES Website
ROE – Rules Of Engagement – A military term referring to engagement rules on the battlefield, specifically when and if you can attack or defend against an attack.
Roger – Radio terminology acknowledging that you understood the last transmission.
ROTFL – Rolling on the Floor Laughing
ROTFLMAO – Rolling on the Floor Laughing my A** Off
RP – Rally Point – A set location at which your group will meet if separated.
Ruck – Rucksack – Common military slang for a back pack
SHTF – Shit Hits The Fan – Typically referring to a large catastrophic event.
SITREP – Situational Report – A report on current conditions where you are located
SNAFU – Situation Normal All F***ed Up
SNAP – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – US Government program that offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities.
SOL – S*** Out of Luck or Sorry Out of Luck
SOP – Standard Operating Procedure – A set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organization to help workers carry out routine operations.
TBTF – Too Big To Fail – A theory that asserts certain corporations, particularly financial institutions, are so large and so interconnected that their failure would be disastrous to the greater economic system, and that they therefore must be supported by government when they face potential failure
TEOTWAWKI – The End Of The World As We Know It – Refers to a catastrophic event that changes the current way of life. Also See SHTF
TPTB – The Powers That Be
Wilco – Will Concur – Radio term used to acknowledge instructions and will do as requested
WROL – Without Rule Of Law – Describes a possible future scenario in which one cannot count on law enforcement to enforce the law and protect citizens and their property.
WTSHTF – When the S*** Hits the Fan – See Also SHTF
YOYO – You’re On Your Own
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