Glossary of Military Terminology Used In The E-Kit Video Series

This glossary is part of the E-kit library. The terms, ranks, and acronyms are those used in the E-Kit video series.

Learning a New Language: If you’ve not spent much time around the military, the terminology can be overwhelming. While not comprehensive, this glossary will get you started. If you have a question about a term that is not listed here, please let us know.

  • Deploy – Assignment to overseas service generally associated with a combat zone
  • Re-deployment – Returning from deployment
  • Post-deployment – Period after returning, generally used for debriefing and reintegrating into non-combat life
  • Train-up – Additional training and preparation for deployment
  • Mobilize – Gathering of personnel and equipment in preparation for deployment

Military Branches

  • U.S. Army
  • U.S. Air Force
  • U.S. Navy
  • U.S. Marine Corps
  • U.S. Coast Guard

Military Ranks that appear in the E-kit

Army & Air Force

  • LTC — Lieutenant Colonel
  • MAJ — Major
  • CPT — Captain
  • MSG — Master Sergeant
  • SSG — Staff Sergeant
  • SGT — Sergeant


  • HMCM Hospital Corpsman Master Chief (Larry Bailey’s rank)

National Guard

The National Guard is the oldest military branch. Its roots date back to 1636, when colonial militias made up of ordinary citizens would put down their plows and pick up weapons to protect families and towns from hostile attacks. Today, Citizen-Soldiers® hold civilian jobs or attend college while maintaining their military training part time. The National Guard is connected to the states but can also be called up by the federal government. The biggest difference compared to other branches is that while Guard units are combat-trained and can be deployed overseas, they are just as likely to serve in their home communities. They have their own armories. National Guard troops receive Army training, own the same types of equipment and uniforms (although sometimes not as modern), but train separately from Active Duty and Reserves unless at a particular school or at a deployed location. National Guard troops are the ones typically called for domestic emergencies such as hurricanes, floods, riots, etc., but lately these units have been deployed overseas as well. 

Words & Acronyms

Combat Trauma Spectrum — A spectrum of behavior observed in those who have been exposed to a traumatic combat-related event which involves actual or threatened death or serious bodily injury to self or others. This event may cause a range of reactions involving intense fear, panic, helplessness or horror. It is manifested in physical, behavioral, cognitive, emotional and spiritual symptoms, which, if untreated can last a lifetime.

New Normal — Many combat trauma sufferers want to return to the normal that was before combat. New Normal is embracing current circumstances in the power of God’s grace to an existence that is better than before.

OEF — Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF) began with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001. Combat operations have centered primarily in Afghanistan and began there October 7, 2001.

OIF —  Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) began March 20, 2003 with the invasion of Iraq. Combat operations ended August 18, 2010.

PCS — Permanent Change of Station – A reassignment to a new location. Also used as a verb: I am PCSing next month.

PTSD / Post Traumatic Stress Disorder — A severe condition that may develop after a person is exposed to one or more traumatic events, it is classified as an anxiety disorder.

RDK — “Rapid Deployment Kit” contained a New Testament, a devotional booklet and a gospel tract. 2.5 million RDK’s were given to our servicemen and women. We now have available the Spiritual Fitness Guidebooks. Click here for more information on the Spiritual Fitness Guidebooks. 

Ret — Retired from military service and receiving retirement pay and benefits

Reservist — In the past, Reservists were thought of as those part-time warriors who trained one weekend a month and had maneuvers for two weeks in the summer. In the current War on Terror, Reservists and National Guardsmen have comprised over 50% of the forces deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq with some deployments lasting over a year and most experiencing multiple deployments.

TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury – A physical injury to the brain often caused by one or more concussive events. Symptoms are at times indistinguishable from those of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is being called the signature injury of the War on Terror.

Veteran – Any person who has served in the military

Combat Veteran – Any person who has engaged in combat while in military service