Why MWR is awesome

If your post has an MWR Facebook page, I highly recommend liking it so you can get details on upcoming events. (If your post doesn’t have one, you should still become a fan of just the general Army Family and MWR Programs page for Army-wide events and information)

So what’s MWR and why should you care? In their own words:

The United States Army’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation directorate of the Installation Management Command is a military organization whose primary mission is to provide the United States Army with programs that fulfill and support the Army Family Covenant. Family and MWR Programs strive to provide Soldiers and their Families with “the same quality of life afforded the society they protect.”

According to U.S. Army Regulation 215-1, Army MWR is a quality-of-life program that directly supports readiness by providing a variety of community, soldier, and family support programs, activities and services. Included in MWR are social, fitness, recreational, educational, and other programs and activities that enhance community life, foster soldier and unit readiness, promote mental and physical fitness, and generally provide a working and living environment that attracts and retains quality for U.S. Army soldiers, family members, retirees and its civilian workforce.

Basically, they help provide soldiers and their families with ways to entertain themselves. They usually create fun runs, mini-festivals, and can provide tickets to any concerts, special movie screenings, and shows that are coming to your post, and muck more! Thanks to our MWR, my husband and I got to go to Brad Paisley’s H2O II tour this weekend up in Dallas for free. 

So if you want to know what events are coming to your area, start stalking your MWR’s Facebook page or look ‘em up at ArmyMWR.com.

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Sisterhood of Army Wives Screen Printed Tee by BravoTangoTees

Sisterhood of Army Wives Screen Printed Tee by BravoTangoTees

Acronyms!

A
AAAFES (A-Fees): Army, Air Force Exchange System
AAM: Army Achievement Medal
AAR: After Action Review
ABT: Annual Battle Training
ACAP (A-cap): Army Career and Alumni Program
ACS: Army Community Service
ACU: Army Combat Uniform
AD: Active Duty
AER: Army Emergency Relief
AFAP: Army Family Action Plan
AFN: Armed/American Forces Network
AFTB: Army Family Team Building
AG: Adjutant General
AGR: Active Guard Reserve
AIT: Advanced Individual Training
AKO: Army Knowledge Online
AMMO: Ammunition
ANCOC (A-knock): Advanced Noncommissioned Officers’ Course
AO: Area of Operations
APC: Armored Personnel Carrier
APDES: Army Physical Disability Evaluation System
APFT: Army Physical Fitness Test
APO: Army Post Office
AR: Army Reserves
ARCOM (Are-com): Army Commendation Medal
ARNG: Army National Guard
ARTEP: Army Training Evaluation Program
ASAP (A-sap): As soon as possible, also Army Substance Abuse Program
AUSA: Association of the United States Army
AVN: Aviation
AWOL (A-wall): Absent Without Leave

B
BAH: Basic Allowance for Housing
BAS: Basic Allowance for Subsistence (food allowance)
BC: Bradley Commander or Battalion Commander or Brigade Commander
BCT: Basic Combat Training or Brigade Combat Team
BDE: Brigade
BDU: Battle Dress Uniform
BEQ: Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (for NCOs)
BN: Battalion
BNCOC (B-knock): Basic Noncommissioned Officers’ Course
BOQ: Bachelor Officers Quarters
BSM: Bronze Star Medal
BX: Base Exchange (AF) – Army refers to it as PX (Post Exchange)


CAB: Combat Action Badge
CASCOM: Combined Arms Support Command
CBRNE: Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, or High-Yield Explosive
CCMRF CBRNE: Consequence Management Response Force (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, or High-Yield Explosive)
CDC: Child Development Center
CDS: Child Development Services
CFC: Combined Federal Campaign
CG: Commanding General
CHAMPUS: Civilian Health and Medical Program for the Uniformed Services
CHPPM (Chip-um): Center for Health Promotion and Preventative Medicine
CIB: Combat Infantry Badge
CID: Criminal Investigation Division (Army’s FBI)
CINC: Commander In Chief
CLT: Casualty Liaison Team
CMB: Combat Field Medical Badge
CO: Commanding Officer
COA: Course of Actions or Certificate of Appreciation/Achievement
COB: Close of Business
COC: Chain of Command
COE: Center of Excellence
COL: Colonel
COLA (Cola, like the drink): Cost of Living Allowance
CONUS (cone-us): Continental United States
CP: Command Post
CPL: Corporal
CPO: Civilian Personnel Office
CPX: Command Post Exercise
CQ: Charge of Quarters (duty after regular hours)
CSA: Chief of Staff Army
CSM: Command Sergeant Major
CYS: Community Youth Services

D
DA: Department of the Army
DAC (Dak): Department of the Army Civilian
DC: Dental Corp
DCINC (d-sink): Deputy Commander-in-Chief
DCU: Desert Combat Uniform
DeCA: Defense Commissary Agency
DEERS (deers, like the animal): Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System
DENTAC: US Army Dental Activity
DEP(dep): Delayed Entry Program
DEROS (d-ros): Date of Estimated Return from Overseas
DF: Disposition Form (sometimes referred to as a “buck slip”)
DFAC (D-Fac): Dining Facility
DFAS: (d-fas) Defense Finance and Accounting System
DI: Drill Instructor
DISCOM (dis-com): Divisional Support Command
DITY (Ditty): Do It Yourself Move
DIVARTY (div-r-t): Division Artillery; FA units of a division
DLA: Dislocation allowance
DOB: Date of birth
DoD: Department of Defense
DODDS (dods): Department of Defense Dependants Schools
DODEA: Department of Defense Education Activity
DOR: Date of Rank
DOS: Date of Separation
DS: Drill Sergeant
DSN: Defense Switched Network
DTP: Delayed Training Program
DZ: Drop Zone

E
EEO: Equal Employment Opportunity
EER: Enlisted Evaluation Report
EFMB: Expert Field Medical Badge
EFMP: Exceptional Family Member Program
EIB: Expert Infantry Badge
EN: Enlisted
EO: Equal Opportunity
EOD: Explosive Ordinance Disposal
ERB: Enlisted Record Brief
ESC: Enlisted Spouses Club
ESGR: Employer Support of Guard and Reserve
ETA: Estimated Time of Arrival
ETS: Expiration of Terms of Service
EWC: Enlisted Wives Club

F
FA: Field Artillery
FAC: Family Assistance Center
FCP: Family Care Plan
FLO: Family Liaison Office
FOB (Fob): Forward Operating Base
FORSCOM (For’s-com): Forces Command
FRG: Family Readiness Group
FRO: Family Readiness Officer
FRSA: Family Readiness Support Assistant
FSA: Family Separation Allowance
FTX: Field Training Exercise

G
GCM: Good Conduct Medal
GI: Government Issue
GO: General Officer
GS: General Schedule
GWOT-E: Global War On Terror-Expeditionary medal
GWOT-S: Global War On Terror-Service medal

H
HHB: Headquarters and Headquarters Battery
HHC: Headquarters and Headquarters Company
HHG: Household Goods
HHT: Headquarters and Headquarters Troop
HOR: Home of Record
HQ: Headquarters
HRAP (h-rap): Health Risk Appraisal Program
HS: Home Station
HTRAP (h-rap): Hometown Recruiting Assistance Program
HUMMER: Highly Mobile, Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, a.k.a. Humvee

I
IADT: Initial Active Duty Training
IDT: Inactive Duty Training
IE: Initial Entry
IED: Improvised Explosive Device
IET: Initial Entry Training
IG: Inspector General
IMA: Individual Mobilization Augmentee
IO: Information Officer or Inspecting Officer
IRF: Immediate Reaction Force
IRR: Individual Ready Reserve
ITB: Infantry Training Brigade
ITT: Information Tours and Travel

J
JAG (jag): Judge Advocate General
JCS: Joint Chiefs of Staff
JPPSO: Joint Personal Property Shipping Office
JSLIST: Joint Service Lightweight Integration Suit Technology
JTF: Joint Task Force
JUMPS: Joint Uniformed Military Pay System

K
KIA: Killed in Action
KISS: Keep it simple stupid/sweetie
KP: Kitchen Patrol

L
LES: Leave and Earnings Statement (his pay stub)
LOD: Line of Duty
LZ: Landing Zone

M
MACOM: Major Army Command
MC: Medical Corp
MEB: Medical Evaluation Board
MEDCOM: Medical Command
MEDDAC: US Army Medical Department Activity
MEPS (meps): Military Entrance Processing Station
MGIB: Montgomery GI Bill
MHO: Medical Hold Over
MI: Military Intelligence
MiCAP: Mileage Capability
MIA: Missing In Action
MILES (miles): multiple integrated laser engagement system
MOS: Military Occupational Specialty
MP: Military Police
MRB: Medical Retention Board
MRE: Meals Ready to Eat
MSC: Medical Specialty Corp
MSM: Meritorious Service Medal
MSO: Morale Support Officer
MTF: Military Treatment Facility
MWR: Morale, Welfare and Recreation

N
NAF: Non-Appropriated Funds
NATO (Nato): North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NCO: Non-Commissioned Officer
NCOER: NCO Evaluation Report
NCOIC: NCO in Charge
NG: National Guard
NLT: Not Later Than
NPS: Non Prior Service

O
O: Officer
OBC: Officer’s Basic Course
OCONUS (Oh-Cone-us: Outside Continental United States
OCS: Officer Candidate School
OER: Officer Efficiency Report
OHA: Overseas Housing Allowance
ORB: Officer Record Brief
ORE: Operational Readiness Exercise
OSC: Officer Spouses’ Club
OSUT (oh-sut): One Station Unit Training
OWC: Officers’ Wives Club

P
PAC (Pack): Personal Administration Center
PAD: Patient Administration Division
PAO: Public Affairs Officer
PCS: Permanent Change of Station
PDA: Physical Disability Agency
PDHRA: Post Deployment Health Re-Assessment
PDQ: Pretty Damn Quick
PDRL: Permanent Disability Retirement List
PEB: Physical Evaluation Board
PEBLO: Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer
PHA: Periodic Health Assessment
PLDC: Primary Leadership Development Course (now WLC)
PMOS: Primary Military Occupational Specialty
POA: Power of Attorney
POC: Point of Contact
POV: Privately Owned Vehicle
POW: Prisoner of War or Personally Owned Weapon
PS: Prior Service
PT: Physical Training
PX: Post Exchange

Q
QM: Quartermaster
QTRS: Quarters

R
RA: Regular Army
RBI: Reply by endorsement
RC: Reserve Component
RD: Rear Detachment (also referred to as “Rear D”)
RDC: Rear Detachment Commander
RDF: Ranger Dining Facility or Rapid Deployment Force
REGT: Regiment
RFO: Request For Orders
RHHT: Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Troop
RIF (riff): Reduction in Force
RIP: Ranger Indoctrination Program
RLTW: Rangers Lead The Way
RON: remain overnight (TDY)
ROTC (sometimes called rot-see): Reserve Officer Training Course
R&R: Rest and Relaxation/Recreation
RSO: Ranger Safety Officer

S
S-1 – Adjutant
S-2 – Information and Security
S-3 – Planning and Training
S-4 – Supply Officer
SBP: Survivor Benefits Program
SD: Staff Duty
SDO: Staff Duty Officer
SGLI: Serviceman’s Group Life Insurance
SHAPE (shape): Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
SOCOM (so-com): Special Operations Command
SOP: Standard Operating Procedure
SOUTHCOM (south-com): Southern Command (Miami)
SQT: Skill Qualification Test
SRB: Selective Reenlistment Bonus
SRP: Sustainable Range Program
SSN: Social Security Number

T
TA-50: Field equipment
TAP: Transition Assistance Program
TC: Truck Commander
TDRL: Temporary Disability Retirement List
TDY: Temporary Duty
TIG: Time In Grade
TLA: Temporary Living Allowance
TLE: Temporary Lodging Entitlement
TRADOC (tray-doc): Training and Doctrine Command
TSM: Transition Services Manager
TSP: Thrift Savings Plan
TTAD: Temporary Tour Active Duty

U
UCMJ: Uniform Code of Military Justice
USACE: United States Army Corps Engineer
USAFE: U.S. Air Force Europe
USAPDA: United States Army Physical Disability Agency
USAR: United States Army Reserve
USAREC: United States Army Recruiting Command
USAREUR (use-ar-eur): U.S. Army Europe
USARJ: U.S. Army Japan
USGLI: United States Government Life Insurance
USO: United Service Organization
UXO: Unexploded Ordnance

V
VA: Veterans Affairs/Administration
VASRD: Veterans Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities
VEAP: Veterans Education Assistance Program
VGLI: Veterans Group Life Insurance
VHA: Variable Housing Allowance
VTC: Video TeleConference

W
WESTCOM: Western Command (Hawaii)
WG: Wage Grade
WIA: Wounded In Action
WLC: Warrior Leadership Course
WO: Warrant Officer

X
XO: Executive Officer

(source)

Army Alphabet

Hopefully your husband has the good manners to use real words around you, but in case he slips up and tells you one day that he’s Oscar Mike, you can rest assured now that he’s not changing his name.

A: Alpha

B: Bravo

C: Charlie

D: Delta

E: Echo

F: Foxtrot

G: Gulf

H: Hotel

I: India

J: Juliette

K: Kilo

L: Lima

M: Mike

N: November

O: Oscar

P: Papa

Q: Quebec

R: Romeo

S: Sierra

T: Tango

U: Uniform

V: Victor

W: Whiskey

X: X-ray

Y: Yankee

Z: Zulu

So when your husband is Oscar Mike? You’ll know that is “O” and “M” which means On the Move!

(source)

Stuff You NEED to Know

If you’re at Fort Hood like I am, then you are undoubtedly way too familiar with the events that happened (or rather, didn’t) on Wednesday. For anybody who is unfamiliar, you can read about it here

So what does this mean for us?

In the event of a catastrophe, there is certain information you need to know. You may face delays in getting an emergency message to your husband through the Red Cross if you don’t know all of it.

1. His full name and rank

2. His social security number and/or Department of Defense ID number. Supposedly the SSN is being phased out (if you have a newer dependent ID card, you probably already have the DoD number instead of his SSN) but we still get asked for it all the time. At least know his SSN, and for extra credit learn the DoD number too.

3. Where he is stationed! This isn’t very hard for those of us who live with our hubbies, but for the wives who go back home during deployment it’s easy to forget. Know the name of the post and the state. Example: Fort Benning, GA.

4. What unit he’s in

5. His job (MOS), example: combat medic or 68Whiskey

6. His address, both stateside and overseas (if deployed)

It’s pretty basic stuff, but a surprising amount of women don’t know all of it. You’ll have an easier time getting information to or from your husband in case of emergency if you know this information.

(source)

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This isn’t a “thing you need to know,” I’m just excited to finally have my wedding pictures and felt narcissistic enough to share one!

This isn’t a “thing you need to know,” I’m just excited to finally have my wedding pictures and felt narcissistic enough to share one!

Spouse Programs: MyCAA

One of the gripes I’ve heard from some wives is that their career usually takes a backseat to that of their husbands’. It makes sense: you can’t really grow within a company if you move every 2-3 years. For those ladies who want to be independent and continue working in a field of their own, the military has come up with a nifty program to help you reach our goals.

I can tell you from personal experience that the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program is fantastic. It provides financial assistance of up to $4000 in order to help a spouse earn a “license, certificate, certification or Associate’s Degree (excluding General Studies and Liberal Arts) necessary for gainful employment in a high demand, high growth portable career field and occupation.” The most popular choices tend to be in the medical field (coding, billing, transcription, etc.) but there are a lot of options you can explore if this program seems interesting to you.

There are a few catches to eligibility, of course. The program is only available to “[s]pouses of active duty service members pay grades E1-E5, W1-W2, and O1-O2, as well as the spouses of activated Guard and Reserve members within those ranks. Spouses of Guar and Reserve members must be able to start and complete their courses while their spouse is on Title 10 orders.” The program is also not currently available to Coast Guard spouses.

For more information, check out the MyCAA FAQ booklet from Military OneSource.

Interested? Register for a MyCAA account and get started!

Going to the Board!

If your hubby is an E-5 or above, going to The Board is probably old hat to you. For everyone else, you’re in for a treat! (The word “treat” here means “weeks of boredom”)

The first time a soldier has to actually apply himself/herself to getting promoted is the step between E-4 and E-5. Everything below that is guaranteed; you’re a PFC for 2 years, then get promoted to Specialist. This is where “going to The Board” comes in.

The Board is the Promotion Board. Your hubby will get all spiffed up in his Class A’s (or ASU’s) and go answer a bajillion questions about his MOS, general Army stuff, current events, etc. in order to demonstrate his vast knowledge and ability to lead. He can’t say “Um…” he can’t look around, he can’t even take a minute to think. It’s a question and an immediate answer. The fun thing is that he can give a completely wrong answer, but as long as he has conviction in his answer, it doesn’t count against him nearly as much as timidly giving the correct answer. Bizarre, right? Obviously the best course of action is to give the correct answer and to be sure of it, which is where the weeks of boredom factor in. The only way to know what year the first Medal of Honor was awarded (1862!) or how to find a reverse azimuth (-180 if >180, +180 if <180) is to study study study! And one of his best tools for studying? You, his loving and supportive wife! There’s a book, a website, and even an iTunes app that you can use to question him every waking hour you’re together. You pick up weird bits of information (see reverse azimuth example above) and it’s not very fun to talk about the UCMJ for hours, but it’s for a great cause.

Once your husband rocks The Board there are still a few things to do before he can get promoted, but we’ll get into the points system later.

Deployment Support

One of the toughest things many Army wives will ever have to go through is deployment. There are a ton of support groups available through official and unofficial military channels (Facebook is a surprisingly great way to find local deployment support organizations) but I was curious about what y’all do to help pass the time. What’s your #1 tip to help other spouses through deployment? Has there been a specific person or group in your life that has helped you out while your husband is away?

Do you give advice too??

I can try to give advice, or at least maybe point you in the direction of somebody who can help :) I’ve only been married for 4 months, so I’m still new at the Army thing as well!

Howdy!

Wow, I just got a bunch of new followers! Welcome! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask and I’ll do my best to answer! :)

Anonymous:
are having last names on blogs considered going against OPSEC?

It’s not a hard and fast rule, but I’d suggest keeping last names off the internet. A lot of people will black out their SO’s name tags in pictures, which I personally think is a good idea.

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One of the first things you&#8217;ll need to learn: all the different ranks.  I promise it&#8217;s not as daunting as it seems!

One of the first things you’ll need to learn: all the different ranks.  I promise it’s not as daunting as it seems!

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Who&#8217;s ready to rock this with me?

Who’s ready to rock this with me?