A Reservist's Tale Of A Tour

Learning The Language

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Canadian soldiers speak a curious dialect of English, peppered with acronyms and profanity. I promise I’ll try to keep the latter to a minimum, the former is inescapable. I will likely make use of terms that don’t make any sense to the average flat-faced civilian, so I’ll build a glossary as I go along to help translate some of the terms. It’ll expand constantly as new things come up.

Beyond that, our mission operates mainly on American terms, and I work with British, Australian, Italian, and Afghan officers – so we’re all working on learning how everyone speaks. It’s pretty interesting.

AAG – Arrival Assistance Group – the process of receiving new members of a unit. Opposite of DAG.

Adjt – Short of “Adjutant”, the Commanding Officer of a unit’s personal staff officer. Adjutants are normally senior Captains who generally make everything work, and generally have some responsibility for keeping other junior officers in line. The Adjt in a Battalion answers only to the CO and has the ability to tell even people who outrank him to f**k off with relative impunity.

Afghan Good – An acceptable standard of performance for ANA/ANP partners. Comes from the 27 Articles of T.E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”), specifically number 15: “Do not try to do too much with your own hands. Better the Arabs do it tolerably than you do it perfectly. It is their war, and you are to help them, not win it for them. Actually, also under the very odd conditions of Arabia, your practical work may not be as good as, perhaps, you think it is.” Afghan Good means workable, effective, and sustainable. It may not be the way we’d do things, but it will work.

ANSF – Afghan National Security Forces. The collective descriptor for the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, Afghan Border Police, Afghan Uniformed Police, and Afghan Air Force.

Augmentee – Personnel added to a task force or unit from their own home unit. Think of it as being “loaned out”. That’s not really how it is, but close enough.

Australian Nicknames – Aussies are unable to cope with multisyllabic names, and so generally will just refer to people by nicknames, regardless of ranks. They’re normally constructed by removing everything after the first syllable and replacing it with an O or Y. For example, Robinson shortens to “Robbo”. If another one shows up, or someone whose nickname will be the same under this convention they’ll normally get a “y” instead – “Robby”.

Barrack Box – a rigid plastic trunk. Almost impossible to get a hold of when you’re a Reservist – now being mostly replaced by MOB boxes, however, they retain one significant advantage: they can be taken on commercial airlines, MOBs are too large for that.

BARFF – Base All Ranks Feeding Facility. No, that’s not the real acronym, but that’s a common slang for the dining hall. It’s also often just referred to as “the kitchen”. CFB Gagetown has a large facility as there’s lots of transient personnel on courses. The food is generally very good, especially the soups. They make awesome, awesome soup.

Battle Rattle – All the stuff we need to fight – body armour, chest rig, helmet, ballistic eyewear, weapons, ammo, etc. Sometimes called “full fighting order”, also occasionally referred to as “fightin’ and dyin’ kit”.

BFK – Big F***ing Kitchen. See BARFF.

BFT – Battle Fitness Test – The LFMPFS (Land Force Minimum Physical Fitness Standard) is assessed using the battle fitness test, which is a 13 km rucksack march carrying 55lbs of equipment to be completed in 2:26. After the march, you must drag a “casualty” 25m, and complete a simulated trench dig. Plenty of people whine about the BFT as though it is some sort of hardship. It’s not. You can saunter through the march in the required time with ease, and the other components are basically impossible to fail.

Bin Rat – Pejorative term for members of the logistics trade. Infantry soldiers, generally being assholes, have all sorts of terms like this for various other trades. They’re mostly used in good fun though.

Bloggins – Generally “Corporal Bloggins” – the Canadian Forces’ “everyman” – usually the subject of a cautionary tales, or a generic soldier to be mentioned in stories.

Bolani – Afghan flatbread stuffed with potatoes and pepper, served with a spicy green sauce almost like salsa verde. One of my favourite treats here, costs $3 at the restaurant.

Brass – Senior officers.

C7 – Canadian Forces’ standard issue battle rifle. Specifically, we currently use the C7A2 variant, but in casual conversation we just cal it the C7. Derived from the US M16, the C7A2 features a 3.4x ELCAN C79A2 optical sight and a telescopic butt.

C8 – The carbine version of the C7 – same thing, but with a shorter barrel. Most don’t have an optical sight, some of the newest variants, the C8A3, feature a heavy barrel and an EOTech 522 reflex sight.

CADPAT – Canadian Disrupted Pattern – Canada’s distinctive digital pixelated camouflage pattern. Two versions are fielded: CADPAT(TW) is the temperate woodland pattern, the green “relish” pattern commonly seen by Canadian soldiers in Canada, CADPAT(AR) is the arid region (desert) pattern worn in Afghanistan. There’s a winter pattern but it hasn’t been fielded yet, and probably never will.

CANEX – Organization that runs retail stores on bases, the profits of which fund morale programs for soldiers. Often overpriced, they do offer tremendous financing deals for CF members, which kind of offsets that. Similar in concept to the US PX/BX system, however, with less concern about who’s shopping there.

Carbine – A short barreled rifle. A slight reduction in effective range is traded for a more compact weapon. Generally issued to vehicle drivers, tankers, and anyone else who wants to increase their LCF.

Caveat – Any restriction imposed by a troop-contributing nation on what their soldiers can and cannot do within theatre. Although in my current job, my boss isn’t Canadian, there are restrictions imposed on what I can and cannot do while working here. Earlier in Afghanistan, it was common that nations who did the “heavy lifting” bemoaned the caveats which kept other countries from going out and actively fighting. Some PD readings suggest that local commanders were frustrated that they couldn’t intervene in certain events as a result of them.

CCTM-A – Canadian Contingent Training Mission – Afghanistan – the force stood up by Op ATTENTION.

CFTPO – Canadian Forces Task Plans & Operations – Basically, a giant spreadsheet system of who and what is where. All CF members occupy a CFTPO position – and specific jobs, identified by position numbers, can be sought out by those wishing to apply for them.

Chai – Tea. Afghans drink copious amounts of tea, and sitting down for chai is the best opportunity to get insight into situations, built relationships, and so on. One of the first Dari phrases I learned was to ask someone if they’d like to have some tea. Seems appropriate.

CLAG – A gaggle of people. Sometimes backronymed as “collective leadership and gentlemen” – often a superfluous group of senior people who show up when something cool is happening and have to be fed, watered, accommodated, etc.

CSM – Company Sergeant Major – Usually holding the rank of Master Warrant Officer, the Company Sergeant Major is the senior non-commissioned officer in a company (which in the infantry is a subunit of about 130 soldiers). The CSM holds a pretty powerful position, responsible for manning, administration, dress and deportment, and mentoring in the company. Even though all officers technically outrank him, it’s wise not to confuse one’s rank with the CSM’s authority.

CO – Commanding Officer – the senior man in a Battalion, normally holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Also commonly referred to as “Niner/9er” from their radio identity, or “The Old Man”.

COP – Combat Outpost – A small, fortified position, held be a company or sometimes fewer soldiers. Usually sited to dominate important ground.

DAG – Departure Assistance Group – Formally, the administrative personnel who look after preparing CF members for deployments, courses, anything that involves joining a new organization. More colloquially, it’s a verb – “to DAG” means to carry out the preparations required to go on a tasking or course. Key items include fitness testing, medical and dental screening, immunizations, social worker certifications, and having current identification, passport, terms of service, etc.

DAG Green – To be certified fit to deploy. The opposite is DAG Red – meaning you have some sort of showstopper issue that must be rectified. There’s also DAG Yellow, meaning a DAG item is out of date or in progress.

Dari – One of two official languages of Afghanistan, Dari is a best described as dialect of Farsi (Persian), the language of Iran. The other is Pashto. Dari is more common in Kabul, Pashto is more commonly spoken in the south by members of the Pashtun ethnic group.

DFAC – Dining Facility – US term for BARFF. In Afghanistan they’re generally run by contractors, and opinions of food quality vary wildly. I’ll surely give mine camp’s a thorough review.

Drug Deal – any arrangement made between organizations or people to get things to which they might not otherwise be entitled. Example: “How’d you manage to get a room to yourself?” “I did a drug deal with a guy getting ready to rip out and got his room.”  The term implies some sort of subterfuge that may or may not actually be a part of the arrangement.

FIDs – Phonetic pronunciation of “Ph.D” – somewhat pejorative term for civilian academic types here for any number of reasons.

FFO – See Battle Rattle.

Flopper – Term of endearment for non-combat arms soldiers, etc. Sort of a polite version of REMF.

FOB – Forward Operating Base

Gastro – The dreaded “Delhi Belly” – a short, violent bout of stomach trouble, caused by any number of things from norovirus to poor handwashing. It makes for a miserable couple of days.

GIRoA – Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan – the legitimate government we’re here to support. Pronounced as “Jeerowah” in conversation.

Go-Faster – See “Gucci”.

Green Beans – A chain of coffee shops operated by AAFES throughout places American soldiers are deployed. They make the MOAC (mother of all coffees), an extra large coffee with four shots of espresso added, and the spiced chai latte, both of which are excellent. I’m fortunate that there isn’t one where I work.

Gucci – Anything non-issued, or in some cases, issued kit that’s new and exotic. For example: Gucci boots would describe any of the wide array of boots troops spend tremendous amounts of money on and then hope they’re allowed to wear them.

Hesco/Hesco Bastion – A collapsible steel wire cage lined with burlap which packs flat but opens up to form a box which can be filled with sand, rubble, concrete, etc to build walls or fortifications fairly rapidly. Whoever invented it is a genius, plain and simple.

HLS – Helicopter Landing Site

HLTA – Home Leave Travel Assistance. Technically a financial benefit CF members receive to travel home on leave periods, or meet their families in a third location, it’s often used to refer to the leave itself.

IED – Improvised Explosive Device – Any of a number of explosive devices employed by insurgents. They can be characterized by type – VBIED is vehicle-borne IED, for example.

IMP – Individual Meal Pack – Canadian military rations. Consists of an entree, a dessert, and an assortment of other things like instant coffee, tea bags, chocolate bars (with lunch), cookies, and things like instant soup mix, and so on. Most are tolerable, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat them. I was issued some on arrival, I left them in the transient camp because I didn’t have enough room in my kit.

Inshallah – Arabic term meaning “God willing” or “If God wills it”. It’s sort like “maybe” or a tactful “no”. Generally, everything in Afghanistan works, happens, or succeeds Inshallah.

ISAF – International Security Assistance Force – the NATO-led international force which leads the fight against the Taliban, and is gradually transitioning that responsibility to the nascent Afghan National Security Forces. Humourously, German soldiers who were frustrated by strict caveats imposed upon them claimed it stood for “I See Americans Fighting”.

Jammy – Good, as in a “jammy kit” or a “jammy tasking”.

KBC – Kabul Base Cluster – The collective term for the bases throughout the Kabul region, including Camps Phoenix, Eggers, Souter, Alamo, Blackhorse, Warehouse, Julien, and Dubs.

Kife – This one seems to be falling out of use, but it’s sort of the opposite of Gucci – an adjective meaning defective, junk.

Kit – A soldier’s clothing and equipment. Never plural, never a definite article. Something might be described as a “good piece of kit”.

Koala Bears – Protected species – not to be exported or shot at. Used to refer to soldiers “too important to deploy” who must stay in Australia by the Australian Army. The Australian Sergeant Major uses it to refer to soldiers whose national caveats impair the ability to effectively employ them. Specifically applies to soldiers from one particular nation in the context of my work environment…

LCF – Look Cool Factor – The essential determinant in selecting kit. That’s why a proper set of Oakleys, a trimmed down bush cap, and gucci boots are important. Functionality is great, but what matters is how you look on Facebook.

Lofty – Evidently the Royal Marine equivalent of “Bloggins” – the CF’s “everyman”.

Long Barrel – Rifle or Carbine. This is the generic term used around here. We don’t carry them around with us during the normal business day, so when needed, we’ll get told “Make sure you bring your long barrel.”

MWR – Morale, Welfare, and Recreation – US military department that provides tents with games, internet access, telephones, etc. Usually has big screen TVs, couches, etc, and hosts things like movie nights and other events. The Canadian equivalents are normally called “Canada House”, but most camps in KBC don’t have them as the contingents are so small. The Brits have NAAFI, same idea.

MOB Box – Large Pelican cases used to transport soldiers equipment – our luggage, basically. Apparently it stands for “Multi Operation Box”. Sometimes just referred to as MOBs.

Morale Patch – Modern uniforms include a lot of velcro space for various patches. Officially, I wear four normally: On the right, an infrared IFF Canadian flag (black/green) and the NTM-A crest. On my right arm an IFF patch (it’s sort of a black, silver, and white patch that’s is phosphorescent, IR reflective, and visibly distinct) and an ISAF crest. Morale patches are unauthorized, generally funny patches that can replace them when people who won’t make a production about them aren’t around. Afghan tailor shops will produce almost anything one desires. We have several unofficial ones.

NTM-A – NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan

Naan – Also called footbread, the traditional flatbread of Afghanistan. It’s not like Indian naan, it’s drier, and has a different flavour to it. It’s often served with a spicy green sauce that is awesome.

Naan-e Shereen – Sweet bread – naan dusted with sugar and cinnamon. My occasional treat – it sells for $1 at the restaurant here, and it’s better than anything else you can get for dessert here, except ice cream.

ND – Negligent Discharge. Firing a weapon at a time/place that is inappropriate. Sometimes called “accidental discharges”, but the reality is they’re not accidents. They’re the product of sloppy handling drills, not paying attention and general negligence. They are punishable by charges under the National Defence Act, and someone convicted is generally liable to a significant fine, because NDs can kill or wound.

OC – Officer Commanding. This is the term for a commander of a company, a formation of about 130 soldiers or so. Normally a Major, sometimes a Captain. Generally they’re referred to with their company letter behind them, so “OC A” would be “Officer Commanding, Alpha Company”. Often also referred to as “The Boss”.

OGrp – Pronounced “O Group” – Orders Group, a meeting for the giving of orders by whoever’s in charge.

Op ATTENTION – The current CF operation in Afghanistan, contributing to the training of Afghanistan’s army and police forces, with the goal of making it possible for that country to stand on its own with a functioning government able to assert sovereignty throughout the country.

OPSEC – short for “operations security” – the key consideration in pretty much everything we do. While I’m writing this blog, OPSEC is key to my considerations about what I can and cannot say. So everything will be past tense and vague about times and places, and while I’ll talk in general terms about what I do and what life is like, I won’t say exactly where I’m doing it or for whom. If I do a good job of telling the story I want to tell, it won’t really matter anyhow.

OTW Shirt – “Outside The Wire” – a shirt that has a thin, light cotton torso as opposed to the nyco blend our regular uniforms are made from, but with the same sleeves. Designed to be worn under body armour to be lighter and more comfortable in hot weather, also acceptable apparently as dress-of-the-day here when it gets hot. I was issued two when I got to Afghanistan, and apparently have a third one on the way.

PERSEC – related to OPSEC, “personnel security” means keeping information about personnel secure – so that’s why you’re not going to see a lot of detail about who’s where when.

Phys – Pronounced “fizz” – Physical training. In Canada we call this “PT”, but I work with so many Brits that I’ve started using this term. The British military still retains its PTI – physical training instructor – trade, and there’s a Royal Navy PTI here who runs circuit training which is both barbaric and awesome. That’s my usual PT activity.

PPE – Personal Protective Equipment. All the gear we wear to improve survivability if, as a poster in our TOC says, “Shit Goes Down”. It consists of a Kevlar helmet, Revision Sawfly ballistic eyewear, body armour which consists of a “flak jacket” with a ballistic lining and bullet resistant ceramic plates, and some form of gloves, usually either leather, or the ever-popular Oakley Pilot gloves. Combined with load carriage gear, it forms “Full Fighting Order (FFO)” or “battle rattle”.

Pro forma: Templates for orders, reports, returns, and just about anything else. Using pro forma docs (usually laminated cards you can write on with markers) is a common technique to make sure you get everything right, rather than trying to do everything from memory, which wastes time. Taking the time to write out something before sending it may well make it clearer, anyhow. We usually have pockets stuffed with pro formas we need commonly.

PRV – Personal Readiness Verification – a form that must be completed during the DAG process confirming that all gateway requirements are met. When you get to the next step of the process, your PRV form is reviewed carefully to make sure everything is checked off, and then you get sent to redo most of it anyhow.

PX – Post Exchange – large American stores on major camps, selling electronics, clothing, gear, snacks, consumables of all descriptions. Smaller camps rely either on making friends with convoy drivers to get things brought out, or small Afghan-run shops which claim to be able to get damned near anything on 24 hours’ notice.

QRF – Quick Reaction Force – a formation at the ready to respond to unusual events – attacks, IED strikes, whatever you might imagine.

Qabili Palauw – An Afghan specialty, and my new favourite food. Rice with carrots and raisins, served at the restaurant here with some grilled meat and naan (footbread).

Rack – Bed

Rack out – Sleep. Anywhere. Infanteers like me pride ourselves on being to able to sleep just about anywhere. Good skill to have.

Ratfuck – To go rooting through a package so as to remove all the stuff of value, leaving the rest behind. Most commonly this refers to care packages here, but at home it’s most commonly applied to ration packs (IMPs). Since they come in large packages full of stuff you don’t want, we generally tear into them, strip out all that stuff, and toss it into a central location so that anyone who wants what’s remaining can go grab it.

REMF – Rear Echelon Motherf**ker – Anyone not at the Sharp End. Technically, as advisors, we’re basically all REMFs. As a Staff Officer, I’m resigning myself to this reality. In common usage, combat arms officers use this as a pejorative against anyone who isn’t in the combat arms.

Reservist – The Canadian Forces consists of two main parts – the Regular Force (Reg F), which is the full time “active duty” army, and the Primary Reserve (PRes) who are “citizen-soldiers”. The PRes in turn has three main classes of Reservist. Class A Reservists are the majority – part-time soldiers who have other careers (or are students) who work on average a night a week, and a weekend a month. Class B Reservists hold full-time contracts, either making units work, on courses, or supporting the Reg F. Class C Reservists have special contracts which make them almost the equivalent of the Reg F just for a fixed period – including “unlimited liability” and the ability to be deployed. For the duration of my workup training and deployment, I am a Class C Reservist for the first time in my life. That includes Reg F pay and benefits, and being considered on duty 24/7.

Roshan – One of Afghanistan’s wireless companies, the one we all have phones for. Most people just use it as a noun – “Call my Roshan…”

Roto – Short for Rotation. While an operation may last years, normal CF deployments are 6-9 months, with a rotation among units. The first Roto is always Roto 0. Commonly, soldiers who learn they’ve been deployed to the same place will ask “Which roto?”

Scoff – British term for a meal.

Scran – Scoff.

Shacks – Quarters. The term “shacks” is not a qualitative description of accommodations – we’d call a room at the Waldorf Astoria shacks if we were there for military reasons. It’s always plural for some reason I can never really explain.

Shiny Thing – Any item which is high-tech, gucci, or you don’t know how to use. Soldiers lust pathologically after Shiny Things, even if they are utterly useless to them.

Snivel kit – All the stuff that we try to jam into our luggage that makes the job more comfortable – snacks, warm clothes, games, whatever else. Whatever it takes to get a soldier to stop sniveling for a while. My two favourite snivel kit items are my Snugpak Sleeka Elite Jacket (which has more time in Afghanistan than me – I bought it from a medic who was here and mailed it to Canada for me a couple years ago), and my fleece sleeping bag liner. Any fool can be cold and uncomfortable.

Sort out – An almost universal expression – to sort something out can mean almost anything – the meaning is usually derived from intonation and context. “Sort that idiot out” suggests either a good jacking or physical violence is imminent. “I’ve got to sort out some lunch” means you are headed to the DFAC or possibly planning something with a group.

Space-A – Space Available – the venerated art of showing up at the Air Movements Terminal and asking if they have any seats for where you’re going. It’s not a reliable way to travel, but even booked seats (“manifested passengers”) are never guaranteed because they can get bumped for an almost infinite number of reasons.

Staff positions – Different staff positions are run by “shops”, which have an alphanumeric designation. The letter denotes the level or origin (A for air, N for navy, J for joint, G or S for army for basically), and the number denotes the function. 1 for personnel/administration, 2 for intelligence, 3 for operations, 4 for logistics, 5 for planning, 6 for signals, 7 for training (in Canada, the 7 shop is usually folded into the 3 shop), 8 for finance (often merged with 1 shop in Canada), and 9 for CIMIC. So, the G1 would be the staff responsible for personnel and administration issues in an Army unit. ISAF uses the American S designator instead of G. J Shops are the highest level, S shops report into them.

Taxi For One – A British expression I’ve learned and wound up using. Used when someone’s being obnoxious, not funny, annoying, or otherwise should probably leave.

TCCC (“Tee-Triple-See”) – Tactical Combat Casualty Care – An intense two week combat first aid course, which goes beyond the basics of managing casualties. The idea is to increase the number of people able to administer more complex immediate medical aid. The course is intense, and requires frequently recertification in order to ensure a high standard. I wanted to get on this course before deploying, but it didn’t turn out that way.

TLA – Three Letter Acronym

TLD – Third Location Decompression – On the way home, Canadian soldiers stop off at a third location to relax, unwind, and get briefings on reintegration when they get home. It’s generally somewhere with a nice beach, lots to do, and beer.

TMC – Troop Medical Center – the medical clinic on camp. In Canada, these are called MIRs – Medical Inspection Rooms. Someone who spends too much time there risks being branded an “MIR Commando”.

Too Easy – Canadian acknowledgement of a task. When someone asks us to do something, we’ll normally just reply “Too easy”, even if it isn’t. We’re starting to spread this one around here.

Track – To be aware of – as in “Are you tracking that early breakfast timing tomorrow?” or, just “Tracking” as a means of stating you’re following a conversation or argument point.

Trainspotter – British term for someone who’s a collector of useless information, and thus a fountain thereof. While it’s generally a pejorative term, it’s sometimes applied to me as I’m a trivia hound for some reason. In this context, it’s become a good thing because I get fought over at the British pub quiz. Not that I’ve often helped anyone win.

TTPs – Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures. We have and train on TTPs for just about everything you can imagine. Militaries seek to systematize everything possible, turning things into drills that become automatic reactions. Drills are compiled together into TTPs. They change frequently based on lessons learned, and because the enemy studies them and learns to counter them. TTPs are generally considered sensitive information, and I won’t discuss them.

UAB – Unaccompanied baggage – sent ahead of time, UAB generally contains the stuff you won’t necessarily need as soon as you get off the plane.

Up Top – Generally refers to the Garrison when you’re in the training area, or any headquarters.

XO – An American term creeping into the Canadian Army, meaning Executive Officer. The Second in Command of a formation/unit. In the Canadian Army they’re commonly referred to as 2ICs.

2IC – Second in Command. In units company size or above they’re normally officers, platoons or smaller, they’re NCOs.

2RCR – Short form for Second Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment. 2RCR is an infantry battalion (unit of ~1000 soldiers) based at CFB Gagetown, located in Oromocto, New Brunswick (just east of Fredericton). 2RCR is the mounting unit for Roto 1, Operation ATTENTION.

6 – 1. One’s back – as in ” Watch your six”, comes from air combat clock indicators. 2. The boss of an organization, from American radio callsign systems. Unlike Canadian radio names which are alphanumeric and hierarchical, the US military gives a nickname to each unit. For example, on a recent exercise I worked with a group of US military police, their radio nickname was “Regulator”, their boss would be “Regulator 6”. When you’re talking on the radio, “Regulator 6” is normally a signaller, “Regulator 6 Actual” means you’re talking to the man himself (or woman herself, I suppose).

9D – Niner Domestic – An army wife. Sometimes referred to as the Residential Sergeant Major. The backbone of the force – military families are often the real heroes, because they take on a lot when members of the CF deploy.

9 Liner – A report format used to call by radio for medical assistance. Named because it has nine components which can activate medical evacuation – though usually that won’t happen unless it is combined with a MIST report, which describes the the type, cause, and state of an injury. The 9 liner includes an identification of the number and type of casualties, what’s needed to evacuate them, what the situation on the ground is, how the medevac will locate them, etc. The specific format is used to relay the info efficiently.

9 milly – Pistol – the Canadian Forces uses the WW2 vintage Inglis Mk 1 No 2 pistol, a licensed copy of the Browning GP35 Hi-Power. They were made during the Second World War, but have never been a priority to replace. Most effective in generating negligent discharge charges, when handled by people who don’t take their training seriously and don’t practice their drills enough. Honestly, they’re old, but they work, they’re accurate, and when properly handled, they’ll do the job just fine.

Written by Nick

October 8, 2011 at 7:20 am

3 Responses

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  1. Nice and helpful glossary; thanks, Nick. A couple of things: ISAF is the International “Security” Assistance Force, and OPSEC is “operations” (not operational) security. When you take the OPSEC course, they sorta pound the terminology into you.


    March 8, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    • Ooops – I knew the ISAF one but that’s what I get for not double-checking. OPSEC – hey, that’s a lesson learned for me for sure – I didn’t realize the difference. I guess I worried more about the practice!


      March 8, 2012 at 1:48 pm

  2. […] letters that go with the numbers to denote all the staff positions, which I explain a little in the glossary. So, let’s make this simple: at the school where I advise, the S4 is the officer who deals […]

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