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Afghan War News > Afghan War Glossary > D

The military community uses a multitude and variety of terms, phrases, and expressions in its vocabulary. This is especially true in the Afghan theater of operations. Some terms, phases, and words are formal in nature while others are derived from common usage. This glossary is intended to assist those new to the Afghan theater or others unfamiliar with terminology or slang used by those working or serving in Afghanistan.

To search for the term, acronym or phrase
click on the first letter of the word below.

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D2S2. Don't Do Stupid Stuff. A favorite saying of a JAG officer who spent a lot of time in Special Forces.

D-30. The ANA field artillery piece is the D-30 122mm Howitzer.

D3A. Decide, Detect, Deliver, and Assess.

D4. General Dunford. ISAF Commander.

DA. Department of the Army.

DA. Direct Action.

DABS. Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat.

DACO. Departure Airfield Control Officer.

Daesh. An Arabic name for the Islamic State.

Daisy Chain. A series of explosives wired to explode at the same time.

DAR. Data At Rest. (How my brain feels after two beers).

Dari. A dialect of Persian (Farsi) spoken in Afghanistan; one of two main Afghan languages.

DARPA. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Home of the 50 lb brains.

DART. District Assessment Reform Team (ANP).

DART. Downed Aircraft Recovery Team.

DAT. District Augmentation Team. A one- or two-man team, many times manned by an Afghan Hand, who assists ODAs and ODBs with the goverance and development lines of effort in Village Stability Operations (VSO).

Darulaman Literacy Center. Read more here.

DBAC. Defense Council Budget Committee.

DBIED. Donkey Borne IED.

DC. District Center. Usually where the District Governor (DGov) works and resides. The District Chief of Police (DCoP) and other government entities will likely work there as well.

DC. Dislocated Civilian.

DCA. Development Credit Authority.

DCAR. Delegated Cooperation Agreement.

DCC. Directorate of Cultural Influence and Counterinsurgency. A division of the 162nd Infantry Brigade at Fort Polk responsible for preparing combat advisors for deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. The DCC provided instruction for the deploying MB-SFAs.

DCG. Deputy Commanding General. Almost the boss.

DCGS-A. This is the software application chosen by the Army to be the way to mine for intelligence information across a number of domains. The Distributed Common Ground System - Army has had its share of problems and the program is plagued with cost overruns and fierce competition from less expensive but more effective applications such as Palantir.

DCI. Director of Central Intelligence.

DCIS. Defense Criminal Investigative Service (U.S.)

DCM. Deputy Chief of Mission.

DCMA. Defense Contract Management Agency.

DCO. Direct Connect Online.

DCOM MAG. Deputy Commander Ministerial Advisory Group.

DCoP. District Chief of Police.

DCP. Deployable Command Post.

DCP. Detention control point.

DCPG. Defense Capabilities Planning Guidance.

DCS. Direct Commercial Sales.

DCU. Desert Combat Uniform.

DDA. District Development Assembly.

DDP. District Delivery Program.

DDP. District Development Plan.

DDR. Disarmament, De-Militarization, and Reintegration Process. It never really worked. Learn more at this link for CMI "Afghanistan Peacebuilding" (Norway).

DEA. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Death Road. The Hazara call the section of road between Maiden Shar (Wardak province) and the Hazarajat "Death Road". Any Hazara that attempt to transit the road are subject to being stopped by the Taliban and executed (simply because they are Hazara).

DEEP. Defense Education and Enhancement Program.

Dep41. Department 41.

DFAC. Dining Facility. Some are better than others. An informal name would be chow hall or mess hall. Many of the DFACs on the larger FOBs have civilian workers from third world countries (Phillipines, India,etc).

Detainee. "Any individual captured by, or transferred to the custody or control of, DoD personnel pursuant to the law of war. This does not include persons being held solely for law enforcement purposes, except where the United States is the occupying power. Detainees who are U.S. citizens or U.S. resident aliens will continue to enjoy all applicable rights and privileges under U.S. law and DoD regulations". (DoD Directive Number 2310.01E, DoD Detainee Program, August 19, 2014 at this link).

DET OPS. Detainee Operations.

DEU. Germany. They have great beer there.

DEWS Plus. Disease Early Warning System Plus.

DF. Direct fire. Pistol or rifle fire directed at a target that can be seen.

DFAC. Dining facility.

DFID. Department for International Development.

DFIED. Directional Fragmentation IED.

DFOW. Definable feature of work.

DFR. Dropped From Rolls. Released from the Afghan National Army because of desertion or AWOL status.

DG. District Governor. (Use DGov!).

DGov. District Governor.

DHS. Document Hiding System. Some computer folks would call it the Document Handling System but to the non-computer folks on the ISAF staff it is a good place to lose documents. One of the worst systems for handling and filing documents. It certainly did nothing to help the war effort and surely hurt the efficiency and productivity of ISAF.

DHQ. District Headquarters.

DIA. Defense Intelligence Agency.

DIAG. Disarmament of Illegal Armed Groups. Also called "Disbandment of . . ."

DIB. Defense Institution Building.

DIIR. Draft Intelligence Information Report.

Dimension Management. Dimension management describes the functioin of integration, coordination, and synchronization of all operational activities within the designated AO.

DIRI. Defense Institutional Reform Initiative.

DIRLAUTH. Direct Liaison Authority; as in "Our bosses said you can talk to me and I can talk to you".

DISA. Defense Information Systems Agency.

DISCS. Defense Institute of Security Cooperation Studies.

DISN. Defense Information Systems Network.

Distinguished Warfare Medal. See blog post about the Nintendo Medal.

District Control. When the Afghan government says it is in control of a district (there are about 400 in Afghanistan) it sometimes means that they occupy the district governmental offices within a walled compound protected by a small contingent of Afghan National Police. Read more about 'controlling a district'.

District Stability Framework (DSF). USAID and the Counterinsurgency Training Center - Afghanistan (CTC-A) developed DSF as a program management framework that utilizes a range of situational awareness and planning tools to inform stability programming. View the DSF Quick Reference Guide here on the PKSOI website.

District Stability Operations (DSO). The concept of VSO but conducted by SOF at the district level instead of the village level. See also this blog post on DSO.

"DIVIDENDS. A monthly newsletter update by CSTC-A on current fiscal accountability and transparency efforts in Afghanistan. The inaugural issue was published in July 2015.

DHA. Detention holding area.

DLA. Defense Logistics Agency.

DLD. Dead Letter Drop.

DLI. Defense Language Institute.

DLIFLC. Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center.

DLP. Doctrinal Literature Program.

DM. Deputy Minister.

DMSEC. Deputy Minister for Security.

DNBI. Disease and Non-battle Injury.

DNL. Directorate of National Logistics.

DNVT. Digital Non-secure Voice Telephone.

DoC. Department of Commerce.

DoD. Department of Defense.

DoD CN. Department of Defense Drug Interdiction and Counter-Drug activities.

DODAAC. Department of Defense Activity Address Code.

DoDD. Department of Defense Directive.

DoDI. Department of Defense Instruction.

DoD IG. Department of Defense Inspector General.

DoE. Department of Energy.

DOI. Date of Information.

DOIU. District Operational Intelligence Unit.

DoJ. Department of Justice.

DOL. Directorate of Logistics.

DOMEX. When units conduct Sensitive Site Exploitation of objectives they recover valuable material in the form of computers, documents, and more. Document Exploitation is the extraction, translation, and exploitation of captured equipment, documents and media to generate actionable intelligence.

DOS. Days of Supply.

DoS. Department of State.

Dostrum. General Rashid Dostrum is a warlord and political leader of the Uzbek ethnic group from northern Afghanistan. He has held several government positions in the post-2001 era and commands immense political power among the Uzbeks. He was a vice president candidate during the April 2014 Afghan elections. Learn more about General Rashid Dostrum.

DOTMLPF.  Some people actually know what this means; usually someone who has been on staff or in the school house too long and who could write a manual on "101 Military Uses of PowerPoint". Okay, here is the definition: Doctrine, Organization, Training, Material, Leadership, Personnel, and Facilities. If there is a "P" at the end of all that then it stand for Policy.

DoT. Department of Transportation.

DOW. Died of Wounds.

DPG. Defense Planning Guidance.

DPI. Directorate of Police Intelligence. Read more about the Directorate of Police Intelligence.

DPSR. Department of Police Sector Reforms.

DRD. Defense Reform Directorate.

Drones. A term used by civilians when referring to UAVs. The military would prefer not to use the word drones since it brings to mind visions of the all-seeing, all-hearing "Big Brother"; but everyone else favors the term.

DRMO. Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office.

DRRS. Defense Readiness Reports System (ANSF).

DRT. District Reform Team (related to FDD process).

Drug Deal. When people, material, supplies or information are obtained through unofficial means or with an exchange of favors or commodities.

DSA. Division Support Area.

DSCA. Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

DSCMO-A. Defense Security Cooperation Management Office - Afghanistan.

DSF. See District Stability Framework above.

DSHKA. A Soviet heavy machine gun; 12.7 mm.

DSN. Defense Switched Network. A military phone system.

DST. District Support Team.

DTG. Date Time Group; as in 231456ZJUL12.

DTMF. Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency. An electronic chip that provides the keypad signals in a cellphone; commonly used as a component in radio-detonated bombs (IEDs).

DTS. Defense Travel System. One of the worst computer applications the Army ever fielded. Fine if you are a bean counter or Comptroller; extremely frustrating and time consuming if you are an Army traveler at the mercy of DTS.

Duck and Cover. A bar at the U.S. Embassy where alcohol is served. Not so much ducking and covering and more drinking takes place there. If you are a grunt you will never see it.

Dufus. You know one when you see one. His "battle-rattle" rattles, M16 jams, wears glasses that fog up and fall off, and is generally late for everything but chow.

DUIC. Derivative Unit Identification Code.

Durand Line. In 1893 the Durand Line was drawn to establish the spheres of influence between Afghanistan and British India. It is contested between Pakistan and Afghanistan and there are conflicts that arise from time to time. The Durand Line unnaturally divides a number of eastern Afghan Pashtun tribes. Read a news analysis on the Durand Line.

Dustoff. A medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) by helicopter.

DV. Distinguish Visitor. The guy the gets to stay in the "wet CHU" while you try to sleep in the hot transient tent.

DWDM. Dense Wave Division Multiplexing.

DZ. Drop Zone. An area where parachutists try to land after jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft.



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The definitions provided in this Afghan War Glossary are from many different sources to include publications, documents, and personal knowledge. In some instances, there are several definitions or meanings to a word or phrase.

To suggest additional terms for the glossary or to correct any inaccuracies or broken links send an email to All external sites open up in an new window. 


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