How to use military jargon in Battlefield 4

Battlefield 4 Military Jargon

A ways back I posted something to Reddit regarding miliary jargon in BF3 but its just as applicable as ever in Battlefield 4. I myself am ex-military and I do use military terminology when communicating in game because its habit and I find it easy to quickly spit out what I need to get across to anyone listening in. Military speak is designed to be concise, brief, and direct. Of course what it all boils down to is however you can most effectively communicate, you’ll see some examples in here that may confuse you a bit and that’s perfectly fine. If you keep getting hung up on something then don’t bother saying it! Say what’s easiest for you. Some of this may seem obvious but for the sake of covering everything I’ll put it in regardless.

 For complete clarification: you will not need to use all these terms. This post is merely here for information. Not every military command uses these terms. Lots have their own. Some have none at all. It all depends on the need. You should always use whatever you want to convey whatever you need to say. If you have to think long and hard about the correct terminology of what you have to say, you're doing it wrong. Say what comes natural and if you want this kind of stuff to come more natural, say it more often.

For the record I play on PC and generally share voice comms with people I manually set myself up with (clans, friends, random players who friend me, etc). I do my best to communicate using the in game voice comms especially if I'm the commander but sometimes I'm just talking into dead air. You can find me at: CitizenAlphaCCN on battlelog!

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Starboard – Right of the vehicle. This is a nautical term (I’m ex Navy).

Port– Left of the vehicle. Also a nautical term. Best way to remember this is that port is left, port has 4 letters in it and so does left. If you can always remember that, always remember what port is, deducing starboard is easy.

Forward – Front of the vehicle.

Aft – Rear of the vehicle.

Dismount - Exit a vehicle. I wish people would use this more, I can't count how many times I've been C4'd because the pilot dismounted without telling me.

Low/Mid/High – Indicates the vertical direction of whatever.

Example usage: “Enemy port low.” Meaning there is an enemy off the left side towards the ground.

Of course you could always use clock directions. Saying “o’clock” is not needed. The same example command using clock directions: “Enemy 3 low”. Most people get jumbled up with nautical port and starboard so left and right is typically simpler. The only real benefit to using port and starboard during game comms is that they are easier to hear over the action and may be less confusing if you hear less of the word.

Point – The front man in a formation. Your role as point is to cover 180 degrees to the front of the formation. Best class for this position is support or engineer. If you’re the only assault and you find yourself on point, call someone else up to take it. You don’t want to go down because no one else can revive you.

Right/Left Flank – Right or left of the formation.

Rear Guard – Rear of the formation, responsible for 180 degrees behind the formation.

Overwatch – A secure position in which you can maintain a sight line over an area of operation. Your job is not to aimlessly fire off rounds but rather communicate to anyone on the ground in that area the situation and provide fire when needed. Support and sniper recon are best for this position.

Bounding – The act of moving from cover to cover. You should always be bounding.

*Moving *– I know you all know what moving is however rarely is it declared. When you’re covering a field of fire you’re not looking at friendlies, at least not if you’re doing your job right, and you won’t see them relocate. Since this is a game, there’s no way for them to tap you on the shoulder as they relocate. If your rear guard says, “Moving” you know he’s no longer in the position he once was to cover you.

Phonetic alphabet - The purpose of the phonetic alphabet is to eliminate misunderstanding over coms. For example if you said "I'm going to BEE!" I might hear, "I'm going to DEE" because a grenade was going off in my ear. Each word in the phonetic alphabet is specifically designed not to sound like any other and always start with the letter its referring to. Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, etc.

Asset – Piece of equipment. Example: tanks, jets, mounted guns, etc.

Eyes (direction/landmark) / Eyes on – Shift your field of fire to whatever direction is called. Basically look in that direction and shoot anyone that shows up. Example: “Eyes left” or “Eyes on archway.” You can also effectively declare which way you’re looking which is very important so everyone knows. “I’ve got eyes left” or “I’ve got eyes on archway”. It’s a nice simple way to declar you have someone covered as well. A squad mate says “I’m entering this building.” You can reply, “I’ve got eyes on.” He knows he’s covered when he moves in.

ETA – Estimated time of arrival.

Klick – Kilometer which is 1000 meters. You shouldn’t really be saying klick, I would just stick with meters. Example, “I’m a half klick away from bravo.”

Mikes – Mikes are minutes.

Example: “Inbound on Bravo ETA 2 mikes” I do occasionally accidentally use this out of habit and I get a lot of “Who’s Mike?”

Oscar Mike – Simple means “On the move”.

Egress – Means you’re leaving. I’m in the air a lot and I provide support on position captures from the air. When things are wrapped up or they get to hairy for me I’ll announce, “Egressing out”.

Gun’s cold / Gun’s hot – Declares the state of fire something is currently in or that you wish it to be. For example when I’m flying in the helo I’ll sometimes tell my gunner “Guns cold.” As not to draw the attention of something we’re trying to gain position on, typically another helo. Guns hot reverses the guns cold order and can also be able to declare the state of an enemy asset. For example: “Enemy stationary AA is guns hot.”

Engaging – Attacking. Example: “Moving to engage armor”.

Contact – Actively engaged in combat action with the enemy. Example: “I’m in contact with infantry at Bravo”

SITREP – Situation Report. A request for information regarding what you’re doing. For example if you said, “Citizen, SITREP” I might reply, “Providing air support for friendlies in contact with heavy armor at Foxtrot”

Pri-Target – Declaration of which target is highest priority. When I’m flying I may say, “Pri-target heavy armor 12 low”

FUBAR – Fucked up beyond all recognition. (this is just a joke, never heard anyone say this ever)

Payload out – Means you fired some sort of ordinance. This is very handy with TV missiles and guided shells on the tank. For example I’ll tell my gunner “Prep a TV” and he’ll swap over to that gun, “TV the mobile AA at 12 low”, he’ll fire it and declare, “Payload out” so I know to drop the helo back under cover. TV’s also have sometimes the nasty habit of flipping the helo upside down and after I recover I won’t spend 2 minutes looking for an invisible jet.

Danger Close – Basically close enough to cause harm. If you’re rocking an area with ordinance and you have friendlies in the area you may wish to declare this so they don’t get crushed by rubble or in hardcore killed. Example: “Be advised I’m shelling your area danger close.”

Ranging – Attempting to hit a target at a distance. For example: “That tank on the ridge is ranging on us.”

Belay my last / Belay that – Nevermind.

Roger / Affirmative / Acknowledged – I understand and will do. I normally say roger, since it’s the briefest.

Negative – No, fuck off.

Again, those above two are to disambiguate a situation. You can absolutely simply say “Ok” or “No” however in a hail of machine gun fire or over the rumble of an Abrams your acknowledgement could be missed.

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Quick guide on how to communicate: When you speak with your team you want to relay the most pertinent information in the fastest and most understandable way possible.  General rule of thumb is the three D's.  Direction, distance, and description. Depending on how many people you’ve got over voice it may be flurry of information and can get a little confusing. Trust me that’s better than nothing at all. Keep in mind a few things you always want to convey:

  • Who you are.
  • Where you’re at.
  • What you’re capable of.
  • What you’re doing.
  • Acknowledge any incoming orders/information relevant to you.  This is a huge help for the commander. 


Here are a few examples of chatter you’ll hear from me in game:

“Citizen inbound on Bravo bringing heavy armor to support cap.”

“Citizen on your 6 as assault 20 meters out.”

“Be advised enemy AA inbound on your position from direction of Alpha”

“Contact front multiple enemy near blue dumpster”

“Moving to engage enemy armor at Bravo as engineer”

“You have an enemy jet on your six, hopping in the stationary guns cold, try to bait him into the area.”

“Citizen bounding right, moving.”

“Cleared bravo of enemy infantry, recommend ground proceed to cap, little bird egressing out.”

“Guns cold pri-target enemy helo at port high.” Gain altitude, loop behind them. “Guns hot, guns hot.”

“Proceeding to cap Charlie, gunner I need your eyes left.”

“The air over bravo is too hot but we’re sending a TV danger close on that tank.”

I hope this was all helpful!


0 #3 Silk 2013-12-11 13:13
Very helpful, I like all your Battlefield guides, keep em coming
0 #2 Saintjay 2013-11-04 15:06
"The Clown has no penis"
0 #1 ChrisDaMan 2013-11-04 06:19
Example usage: “Enemy port low.”
The same example command using clock directions: “Enemy 3 low”

Should it not be "Enemy 9 low"? Would 3 o'clock not be starboard? :-*

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