There has been a delay but I finally back to writing my “What does That Mean?” Series. I’m currently working with fellow military spouse and veteran bloggers to write on behalf of the other services because I definitely don’t speak Army or Navy! My hope is this article will give you a better understanding of all the acronyms the military uses. Today, I will highlight agencies and facilities you’ll find on base.
Military Personnel Flight (MPF) -This is where mostly your spouse goes to enroll you in Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System DEERs (so you can access the hospital, commissary and other base facilities) and you get orders(basically a piece of paper) to let you move the base where the military says it’s time .
Pass and ID-This is where you get your military ID card and if overseas getting your car(s) legal to drive in that country.
Airman and Family Readiness Center (AFRC) -This is where you sign up for different classes to improve your relationships, update your resume, learn about finances, and much more. This is a great resource while you’re in transition because you can use their computers and phones to set things up for your new home.
Department of Defense Schools (DODS)-the schools on base for military students.
Family Advocacy (FAP)-This agency offers parenting, marriage, communication and other classes to help families build stronger connections. They are usually the same people that do the New Parent Support Program that offers free support for children under 3 years old from a registered nurse.
Postal Service Center (PSC)-The post office and also part of your overseas address. See the example below: PSC 12 Box 3456, APO, AE 12345
Army Post Office (APO)-If you live overseas this is what would be considered your city.
AE, AP-This would be your state. AE is armed forces Europe and AP is armed forces Pacific. There are a few others but these are the most common.
Lodging/Billeting/ Temporary Lodging Facility (TLF)-the hotel on-base
Lemon Lot-Base used car lot. These are usually other service members or spouses selling their vehicles.
USO-These are usually overseas bases or at airports. They are recreation centers with snacks that are no cost to the military and their families. Many times they reach out into the military community and offer shows or concerts at military bases. Think World War 2 when Bob Hope would put on shows for the troops. That’s the same awesome USO.
Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR)-The overall blanket acronym for “fun” in the military. MWR covers the base theater, the gym or ITT mentioned below. Keep an eye out for events and trips put on by the installation usually for free or very low cost.
Information, Tickets and Tours (ITT), They provide discounted tickets to movies and amusement parks as well as organized trips for a fee. Depending on the event ITT may have MWR like trips for spouses of people who are deployed for a very low cost.
Security Police(SP)- the on-base police.
Visitors Center-This is where you go if you forgot your ID or want to sign an friend or family member on base that is not affiliated with the military.
Dining Facility (DFAC)-where the dorm airman eat. If you don’t live in the dorms, you have to pay for the food, but it’s not yummy enough to pay the prices they are asking.
Commissary-the on base grocery store. Note that you can use 6 month old expired coupons here.
BX-the Air Force’s version of a department store.
Class Six-liquor store
Club-There are usually two clubs on base; the officers’ club and the enlisted club. Depending on your base’s structure they both have restaurants but your officers’ club will have more upscale food options like a champagne brunch. The enlisted club will have the more casual option like Chili’s. Yep, I’m talking about you Ramstein Air Base. Smaller bases might have more integration where most everything is held at one location. It makes our little UK bases so much more cozy! Events are also held at the club like comedy shows, promotion ceremonies, or spouses’ association socials.
Finance-Where your spouse goes to sort out any pay issues.
Legal-This is where you can get wills and Power of Attorney’s (POA)’s if you need to resolve anything while they are away. They also provide legal advice to you on some matters. It’s all free by the way!
Transportation Management Office (TMO)-These are the people who help you get your belongings from one base to another.
Furnishing Management Office (FMO)-They give you appliances and sometimes furniture at overseas locations.
Housing-Well they help you with your housing both off and on base. If you’re having issues with your landlord off-base don’t be afraid to reach out to housing. That’s what they’re their for but sometimes you might have to kick a little.
Primary Care Manager (PCM)-This is your main doctor (not really they, change every two years so you never really know who it is). Note, if you try to make an appointment they will probably ask for your sponsor’s last 4. This is the last 4 numbers of your spouse’s social security number. Many times they will ask for your DOD ID number which is on your military ID card. Make sure you show up 15 minutes early or you’re considered late. If you show up 10 minutes late they will most likely have you reschedule.
CDC-Child Development Center for the care children under 5.
Youth Center-Before and after school care for children over 5. At the age of 9 they can do open recreation which is only a little over $100 a year depending on the base you’re at. This is also where you sign your child up for sports like basketball or flag football(Air Force doesn’t do tackle football for youth. Sign them up at the Army base if that’s an option). They also do many different activities and trips for children. Check them out!
School Liaison Officer (SLO) -They can help you figure out the best schooling options from your toddler to you high school senior. This is especially important overseas if you are considering having your child go off base. They can also help if your having any issues with the schools.
Armed Forces Network (AFN)-American television usually for overseas locations. It’s a great way to keep up with shows in the states and get your fill out corny commercials! Some locations may also have a radio station.
I hope this article was helpful to you and helps you understand military lingo a little better. Please let me know in the comments if you have an unanswered acronym question. If you want to read more about acronyms, here you go!