A Congressional Staff Delegation visiting TARDEC in 2016. Photo: Staff Sgt. Kimberly Derryberry/U.S. Army
In a unique form of acronym torture, the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (USATARDEC) has been re-named the U.S. Army Combat Capability Development Center (CCDC) Ground Vehicle Systems Center (USACCDCGVSC).
You begin learning a new language from the moment you step off the bus at basic training. From the renaming of the floor to a "deck" for Marines and sailors, to soldiers being referred to as "FNGs" at their first unit, you need a 400-page dictionary to fill up all the new terms you might hear in an enlistment.
When I was a staff officer in the Army, once a quarter we’d meet for a day of the most painfully long PowerPoint briefs you can imagine. Quarterly training briefs (QTBs) would lay out all of our unit’s training goals and our overarching status on our mission essential task list (METL). These meetings were a long list of slides with red, amber, or green bubbles that gave a snapshot of how close we made it to our goals.