Abbreviations/Terms for A Rumor of War



ROTC:††††††† ††††††††† Reserve Officers Training Corp

OCS:†††††††††† ††††††††† Officer Candidate School

BOQ:††††††††† ††††††††† Basic or Bachelor Officer Quarters

NVA:†††††††††† ††††††††† North Vietnamese Army (regular soldiers in the North Vietnamese army)

VC:†††††††††††† ††††††††† Vietcong (term generally applied to armed guerillas aiding the NVA in South Vietnam)

ARVN:††††††† ††††††††† Army of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnamís army)

AWOL:†††††† ††††††††† Absent without leave

PFC:†††††††††† ††††††††† Private First Class (Rank achieved after six months in the military.One step above an ordinary private).

DI:†††††††††††††† ††††††††† Drill Instructor

HQ:†††††††††††† ††††††††† Command Head Quarters

CO:†††††††††††† ††††††††† Commanding Officer

NCO:††††††††† ††††††††† Non-commissioned Officer

KIA: †††††††††† ††††††††† Killed in Action

WIA:†††††††††† ††††††††† Wounded in Action

MIA:†††††††††† ††††††††† Missing in Action

Purple Heart:†††††††† Medal awarded for wounds received in combat

LZ:††††††††††††† ††††††††† Landing Zone

POW:†††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† Prisoner of War

Body Count:††††††††† ††††††††† Usually refers to the total number of enemy or friendly casualties

M-14:††††††††† ††††††††† Standard rifle of Marine Corps soldiers; later replaced by M-16

M-16†††††††††† ††††††††† Semi-Automatic/Automatic infantry rifle.

M-60:††††††††† ††††††††† Heavy Machine Gun

M-79:††††††††† ††††††††† Short range grenade launcher

AK-47:††††††† ††††††††† Principle weapon of NVA and VC soldiers


Breakdown of Military Units


Team (usually 6 soldiers)

Squad (2 Teams, usually 12-15 soldiers)

Platoon (4 Squads, about 48 soldiers)

Company (4 Platoons, about 200 soldiers)

Battalion (4 Companies, about 750-775 soldiers)

Regiment (2 Battalions, about 1,000-1,500 soldiers)

Division (4 Regiments, about 12,000 soldiers)




E-1††† Private (PV-1)

E-2 †† Private (PV-2)

E-3††† Private First Class (PFC)

E-4††† Corporal

E-5††† Sergeant

E-6††† Staff Sergeant

E-7††† Platoon Sergeant or Sergeant 1st Class

E-8††† Master Sergeant

E-9††† Sergeant Major

E-9††† Command Sergeant Major

O-1††† 2nd Lieutenant

O-2††† 1st Lieutenant

O-3††† Captain

O-4††† Major

O-5††† Lieutenant Colonel

O-6††† Colonel

O-7††† Brigadier General (1 Star)

O-8††† Major General (2 Stars)

O-9††† Lieutenant General (3 Stars)

O-10General (4 Stars)

General of the Marines (5 Stars-highest military ranking)




I do not have a military background myself, so I hope these help and if you discover other terms that should be included or revisions, let me know.