Glossary: A – M

To search for a specific term without scrolling, use the Ctrl+F command on PCs, and whatever the ‘find’ command is on Macs.  (I tried searching for it, but the search terms are too broad)



accompanied tour: a tour of duty with family members’ presence endorsed by the appropriate overseas military commander

accountability: being answerable for something you’ve done

ACS: Army Community Services; ACS is the Army’s family-support agency.

ACT: tests covering , mathematics, reading, and science , mathematics, reading, and science used by college admissions offices as one measure of the abilities of prospective students; originally known as the American College Testing program

administrative action: an action taken by a commander to rectify a situation; often punitive in nature when it concerns servicemembers, DoD civilians or dependents

AFIS: Armed Forces Information Service; the principal internal information organization within DoD

APO: Army or Air Force Post Office; mail service for overseas military personnel

appropriated funds: funds authorized by Congress and managed separately from non-appropriated funds area support group: hierarchical American Army community unit within Europe; equivalent to a county

ASG: area support group

ASVAB: Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery; tests taken by persons interested in enlisting in the military services



Balkanization: to divide a group or region into smaller, hostile units

base support battalion: hierarchical American Army community unit within Europe below Area Support Group; equivalent to a metropolitan area

benefits: services and opportunities available to servicemembers and their families; benefits are not mandatory

BEQ: Bachelor Enlisted Quarters; housing for enlisted servicemembers without or unaccompanied by family members

BOQ: Bachelor Officer Quarters; housing for officers without or unaccompanied by family members

boxed curriculum: a course of study, usually for one year and for one grade level, that includes all the materials necessary for the completion of that particular regimen

Brat: the child of a servicemember; a term of respect from other Brats

BSB: base support battalion

BX: Air Force base exchange; see Exchange



Central Command: one of nine commands consisting of forces from more than one military service. These unified commands have operational control of US combat forces. Central Command headquarters is at MacDill AFB, Florida. The Central Command’s area of responsibility extends from the Horn of Africa to central Asia.

CENTCOM: US Central Command civilian: for the purposes of this book a person who is not affiliated with the military services

COLA: cost of living allowance; a taxable pay allowance to offset the differences in the cost of non-housing expenses at various assignments

command-sponsored dependent: the dependent of a servicemember or a DoD civilian who is authorized travel to and from an overseas area and whose presence is endorsed by the appropriate overseas military commander.

commonwealth: an autonomous, self-governing political unit voluntarily affiliated with the US

compulsory attendance: a legal situation where children between specific ages are required to attend school; ages are not standardized among the fifty states

contractor: employee of a civilian company providing goods or services to the military; civilians authorized to accompany the force. According to AR 715-9, Ch. 3, 1, g: “In an area of operations where an international agreement authorizes the presence of US forces (stationing agreement) or regulates their status (SOFA), the status of contractors and their employees, under local law, must also be established by international agreement.”

controlled rations: items for purchase only in a fixed amount; overseas these are usually items that are specifically taxed by the host nation such as tobacco, alcohol or coffee

CONUS: the CONtinental (or CONtiguous) United States

correspondence school: schools that usually provide a full grade-level based curriculum; students or their parents usually correspond with specific teachers

curriculum: a course of study; there is no one set elementary-school or high-school curriculum for all fifty states



DDESS: Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools; a subactivity of DoDEA; the stateside equivalent of DoDDS

DefenseLink: online DoD news site

dependent: a spouse or child of a servicemember or of a DoD civilian stationed overseas


  • General: positioning for battle; sending personnel and materiel to a desired operational area
  • Navy: change from cruising situation to battle situation

DoD: Department of Defense

DoD civilian: a Federal civilian employee hired either with appropriated funds (AF) or non-appropriated funds (NAF).  Contractors, host-nation employees and third-country national employees are not DoD civilians for administrative purposes.

DoD directive: “A DoD issuance that transmits information required by law, the President, or the Secretary of Defense that applies to all branches of the Department of Defense on the way they initiate, govern, or regulate actions.”

DoDEA: Department of Defense Education Activity; parent activity of DoDDS

DoD instruction: “A DoD issuance that implements policies and tells the user how to carry out a policy, operate a program or activity, and assign responsibilities.”

DoDDS: Department of Defense Dependents Schools

DoDDS-E: Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Europe

dream sheet: assignment preference statement; where a servicemember would like to be stationed; assignments depend on job availability, openings and the needs of the service which may not coincide with where a servicemember would like to go.



the economy: living or shopping off the military installation. The phrase, “on the economy” is usually used overseas.

EFMP: Exceptional Family Member Program; program for family members with special-needs

EFMS: Exceptional Family Member Services; services to family members with special-needs

EUCOM: European Command with headquarters at Patch Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany; a joint command for all the US military services in Europe

European Schools Council: DoDDS Europe Deputy Director and component commanders who review recommendations referred by DoDDS and EUCOM

Exceptional Family Member Program: program that allows family members with special needs to receive suitable medical, educational or other resources during the assignment

exchange: military version of a department store; variations are Army PX, Air Force BX; official terms are AAFES for Army Air Force Exchange Service and NEX for Navy Exchange

exclusive support group: in reference to homeschooling a support group with specific membership requirements such as a statement of faith (SOF)

express shipment: unaccompanied baggage or hold baggage (Navy term)



family advocacy: program for dealing with child and spouse abuse

family advocacy case management team: personnel involved in child abuse or spouse abuse cases;

  • AF term is Family Maltreatment Case Management Team
  • Navy and Marines term is Case Review Committee
  • Coast Guard term not defined at family advocacy site

Family Services: the Air Force family support agency

Fleet and Family Support Center: Navy family support activity

FPO: Fleet Post Office; mail service for Naval personnel who are on a cruise



garrison: a permanently established military installation; a military community

guest house: temporary living quarters for families in transit; temporary billeting for transient servicemembers; equivalent to a motel on a military installation to be used by families of servicemembers being transferred or servicemembers who are TDY/TAD at an installation



hold baggage: unaccompanied baggage or express shipment sent overseas before a servicemember PCSes

Home School Legal Defense Association: conservative Christian organization that sells memberships for legal services

host nation: nation other than the United States that has accepted the stationing of US troops and other members of the force within its borders

household goods: a shipment of your possessions; an overseas shipment of the items not sent to permanent storage or included in your unaccompanied baggage



inclusive support group: in reference to homeschooling a support group open to all members of the community

individual sponsored dependent: a non-commandsponsored dependent; a dependent in an overseas area who is not entitled to government transportation to or from the United States and who is in the host nation without the endorsement of the appropriate overseas military commander.

installation: any combination of military land and facilities. Various terms are: post, base, depot, barracks, airfield, air station, naval station, naval amphibious base, naval auxiliary landing field, annex or support site

interest-led learning: allowing childred to pursue their own interests; unschooling

IRL: online acronym for “in real life”

HSLDA: Home School Legal Defense Association

ISP: Internet service provider; the company through which you get your online connection


JAG: Judge Advocate General: the legal office

JFTR: Joint Federal Travel Regulations; basic statutory regulations concerning official travel and transportation of members of the Uniformed Services

Junior: a Navy Brat



kaserne: a German barracks; name used by the Army in Europe for many installations such as McGraw Kaserne in Munich


lightfingered:  If you are reading this at a site other than Tossed by the Fates, and no attribution is given to hard-working and generous Valerie Bonham Moon, the person(s) using this text is passing my work off as theirs, the slimy rotter.  If you paid for this information, you were schnookered.  There isn’t much I can do about plagiarists, but I thought you should know that about the site you’re visiting.

local national: residents of a host nation where US forces are stationed

LN: local national

LQA: living quarters allowance; LQA is a quarters allowance granted to a DoD civilian for the annual cost of suitable, adequate, living quarters for the employee and his/her family.

Luddites: wool industry workers who broke textile frames in Nottingham, England in 1811. Contemporary neo- Luddites are people who do not embrace new developments and technology.



MAC: Military Airlift Command

MARFOREUR: United State Marine Corps Forces Europe

MATS: Military Air Transportation Service; precursor to MAC

MWR: acronym for Morale, Welfare and Recreation


Copyright 2006, Valerie Bonham Moon

This work may be copied and distributed for free as long as the copyright and this notice are included.


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