Thursday, February 4, 2010

Explaining Acronyms

Three of us were standing in the lobby today waiting for the fourth for lunch. In the five minutes before the fourth member of our group showed up (punctuality is very optional in civilian life) the subject of Army acronyms came up. The two women I was talking to had no connection to the military but knew that when F was the middle letter in an Army acronym, what word it referred to.

My favorite example of just how much acronyms replace words in the Army is the use of the acronym BFR when referring to a Big Rock. I could almost understand if it was an exclamation--"That's a Big F-ing Rock!" But it's not. A large rock is a BFR because it is more fun to have an acronym.

Then we talked about titles. I have a new title. Instead of Communications Manager, I am Strategic Communications and Media Relations Manager. If got this title in the Army, I would be the SCMRM. I then mentioned that in the Army everyone is in charge of something, even if it is just their own weapon and wall locker. So if you know someone is in charge and you don't know what their title is, everyone from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to team leader can be called an HMFIC. That is the Head MF In Charge. MF is always the same in Army speak.