Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Official Unofficial Chart of Acronyms

The U.S. Government loves acronyms; there is no getting around it. As a D.C. area resident and a once-upon-a-time journalist, I'm a bit accustomed to these unsightly blocks of capital letters, but I understand they can be intimidating to others. (I think that is their intention so you will just gloss over what you're reading.) Therefore, I took it upon myself to translate a few acronyms that other FSO spouses might find useful.

A couple of user notes first. While the majority are listed in alphabetical order, a few are "coupled" because they are related. Also, the list of acronyms is too exhaustive for my list to be considered the end-all-be-all chart of what you need to know. For example, I'll probably need to put together a sequel to cover the acronyms you might find useful for moving alone.

It should also be noted that this is a reflection of how much fulfillment I get from my current job that I took the time to do this. So here is the Official, Unofficial Chart of Foreign Service Acronyms: (and please feel free to add any suggestions for lengthening, shortening or improving the chart. I'm not too proud to make changes and admit my own shortcomings.)


  1. actually, we refer to the cdo as the career destruction officer.

    just wait...

  2. Hi! I'm really enjoying your blog. It's great to see the FS through a spouse's eyes. My husband is currently going through the security clearance process; we're hoping that he receives an invite to A-100 sometime this year. Keep up the good work!

  3. David - you are one creative and funny dude! The great US bureaucracy would come to a standstill if it stops using acronyms. They're kind of like PSCs; we can't go to war without them. Thanks for the weekday funnies!

    Jill, don't scare David about the destruction officers!