10 Acronyms Started by the Military

As any veteran knows the military is rife with acronyms and sayings. Many of these have made their way into civilian everyday vernacular. Most civilians, however, don’t know what they stand for. The following is a list of my favorites, as always, in no particular order. Read through the list and try to guess what they stand for, The answers are below, so don’t peek! let us know how many you knew!



#3 FUMU-

#4 AWOL-

#5 BUFF-

#6 CYA –

#7 FNG-

#8 DOA-

#9 FIDO-

#10 MIA –

Check your answers here!

#1 SNAFU – Snafu has become a word of its own. However, originally this stood for Situation Normal All Fouled* Up. Used by many soldiers to explain a situation that has gone bad.

#2 FUBAR – Fouled* Up Beyond All Recognition. A close cousin to SNAFU, this acronym can apply to either a situation or destroyed equipment. “That truck was FUBAR”

#3 FUMU – Foul up to Move Up. Used by military personnel to explain away how an incompetent colleague received a promotion.

#4 AWOL – Absent Without Leave. Used by both military and civilians to indicate that someone is missing or that you don not know where they are.

#5 BUFF – Big Ugly Fat Fellow*. This is the nickname for the B-52 bomber. Also used incorrectly to describe someone as muscular.

#6 CYA – Cover Your A**. Making sure that a person will not get into trouble with a superior.

#7 FNG – Freaking* New Guy. Used by the military as a derogatory reference to the new guy in the unit/office. Has also been adopted by civilians for similar explanations.

#8 DOA – Dead On Arrival. Used to describe something that doesn’t function as it should right from the start. Also used to describe a person who is dead once help arrives in a medical emergency.

#9 FIDO – Forget* It Drive On. An acronym used to encourage letting things go that you cannot change.

#10 MIA – Missing In Action. Used by civilians similar to AWOL, to explain that someone is missing or have not shown up where they were supposed to. In the military, it refers to a missing soldier/sailor/airmen.

*Any acronym using the letter F can be altered to include ones favorite four letter word beginning with F.

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