G.I. Jobs Virtual Job Fair   |   July 25

Virtual Job Fair   |   July 25

32 Military Graphics: What They Mean and What They Should Mean

Military graphic

I know you all are like me; you get excited when new doctrine gets released. Giddy, even. So I know that when the Army released Army Doctrine Reference Publication (ADRP) 1-02 Terms and Military Symbols you immediately downloaded the whole thing and had a good read. Or not.

One thing always strikes me when going through this work is that without context, military operational symbols could look like some really silly things. So, without any more preamble, here is a selection of ADRP 1-02, as seen by extremely literal people.

Border patrol


What it looks like: “Peppermint stick cannon being fired by man in sombrero.”

What it is: “Border Patrol.”

Civil mil cooperation NATO

What it looks like: “This box is happy.”

What it is: “Civil Military Cooperation in NATO”

Coordination Point

What it looks like: “Pizza is here!”

What it is: “Coordination Point.”

Criminal activities victims

What it looks like: “No Abbey Road Crossing Allowed!”

What it is: “Criminal Activities Victims.”

Customs service

What it looks like: “Get in the box.”

What it is: “Customs Service.”


Drive by Shooting

What it looks like: “Be on the lookout for giant handguns on skateboards.”

What it means: “Drive by Shooting.”


Friendly forces encircled

What it looks like: “Sun wearing sunglasses, ironically.”

What it is: “Friendly Forces Encircled.”


Friendly planned or on order forward line of own troops

What it looks like: “The bouncing thing went that way.”

What it is: “Friendly planned or on order forward line of own troops.”

Infantry airborne unit

What it looks like: “Absolutely no seagulls allowed!”

What it is: “Airborne infantry unit.”


What it looks like: “Waves ahead.”

What it is: “Jamming.”

Launcher unmanned aerial system

What it looks like: “Guy with sunglasses and cigarette is unhappy.”

What it means: “Launcher unmanned aerial system.”

Marine Expeditionary Force

What it looks like: “We don’t know what this thing is, but it is pissed OFF.”

What it is: “Marine Expeditionary Force.”

That’s actually spot-on.

Mine Clearing

What it looks like: “Bring your coat hangers.”

What it is: “Mine Clearing.”

Mine Laying

What it looks like: “Giant bugs here; stay away.”

What it is: “Mine laying.”

Minefield AP

What it looks like: “We got a box of aliens.”

What it is: “Minefield, anti-personnel.”