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Common Basic Training Terms

Learn some common basic training terms in this Howcast video with Sergeant Michael Volkin.


Leave your LOL's and your BTW's at home. The military has its own acronyms and terms. Each branch has its own too. But here are some terms you are going to hear no matter what branch of service you are in. First and foremost, most familiar, PT stands for physical training. Also recycled. I hope you never hear this term, but it means you are going to have to join a unit a few weeks behind you because you didn't perform to standard. Basically you are gonna start all over again. Hope you won't have to hear this term: "getting smoked," but I'm afraid you're gonna have to. It's when your drill sergeant wants you to do physical exercise to exhaustion for something you probably have not done wrong, but they're gonna blame you anyway. PX or BX stands for post exchange or base exchange, where you are gonna get your supplies, like your toiletries. Your LBV, which stands for load bearing vest. You use this to carry a lot of your equipment over your body. Click stands for kilometer or distance - one thousand meters or point six two of a mile. Another term I hope you don't have to hear is AWOL. It means you are absent without leave or basically you left without permission. Some people do that. NCO. Me. Non-commissioned officer or sergeant. An enlisted person with command responsibility over soldiers of a lesser rank. NBC, also what I am. NBC stands for nuclear, chemical, and biological operations. OCS - Officer Candidate School. OSA - One station unit training. Typically your specialty school after you do basic training. And directly after you do basic training. Here's a fun term, exodus, a break in training. Usually you will hear this term around Christmas time when recruits get to go home to their families. They call it "exodus" because the volume of people leaving is referred to as an exodus. POV - Privately Owned Vehicle. You probably won't get to use one at basic training, but after you graduate you might have access to one. Now let's talk about some slang terms. BCG stands for birth control glasses. The military-issued glasses are very ugly. Guaranteed when you wear them nobody will be sexually attracted to you. ETA - estimated time of arrival. FUBAR. It means you are f*cked up beyond all recognition. Up-dog. If your drill sergeant comes up to you and says "Up-dog" don't respond with "what's up dawg?" They don't want to hear that. Just say "yes drill sergeant." Don't fall for that trick. There are many more, but these will get you started on the right track..

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