New Military Acronyms

Everybody knows that the US Military has a thing with acronyms. We pile up acronyms on top of acronyms, multiple acronyms that mean the same thing, multiple things signified by the same acronym. We add excess words to the names of things, just to ensure we can shorten it to an acronym later.

Recently, I was thinking about some acronyms we have for a special class of meeting: BUBs and CUBs. A Battle Update Brief, or Command Update Brief is a daily or twice-daily meeting designed to coordinate the efforts of a large group of people working on a single project. Usually they happen during a deployment or other intensely time-sensitive activity.

The thing about CUBs and BUBs is that there is no difference between these two acronyms. Some people theorize that they signify meetings at different echelons of organization. A Brigade would have a Command Update Brief, while a Battalion would have a Battle Update Brief, for instance. But in reality, the difference is arbitrary. You pick one term for your meeting in order to distinguish from some other meeting of a similar name.

The key word is “update.” Everything else is excess, added just to have enough letters to form an acronym. “BUB” is fewer syllables than update. But honestly, we would have preferred an acronym even if that meant more syllables.

So. Since the letters are irrelevant, I’ve made up a few meetings of my own:

This is the Readiness Update Brief, in preparation for an upcoming event. Slogan: “Aye! There’s the RUB!” It is considered inappropriate, in the event of a poor delivery, for the commander to redo this meeting, as that would constitute a back RUB.

Data Update Brief. This is a coordination meeting between the intelligence and information sections.

Forward Logistics Update Brief, for support units deep in enemy territory. Slogan: “Fall Forward!”

Staff Notional Update Brief. This is a practice meeting among the staff, in order to prepare for the upcoming BUB. All actual products are made up, or stand-ins. Leadership participation is strongly discouraged. Slogan: “You’re not invited.”

Combined Logistics Update Brief. Large coordination meeting between multiple units. Usually meets off site, and after normal duty hours. If you know about the meeting, attendance is mandatory.

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