What does it mean to be “on orders” in the military?

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My brother has a facebook status saying he’s “on orders”. So I don’t look like a COMPLETE idiot to my brothers FB world – can someone please explain to me what “On Orders” means??

4 Answers

  • It means that he has orders of some kind usually PCS, Permanent Change of Station. These kind orders are always written and means that he has to get his affairs in order and move on to the next duty station. It’s a tedious process but one that occurs several times in a soldiers time in the service.

    It also affords him some privileges when on public transportation and in transit to the next duty station. Such as when there is limited seating for a bus or they have over booked a flight he would then have boarding priority because the needs of the country take precedence.

    It could also mean that he has received marching orders which is to say he has gone to war. But usually means he’s PCSing.

    Source(s): 7 1/2 years active duty US Army
  • It means he has Official Written Orders, usually involving some kind of travel. Could be TDY, PCS, deployment etc.

    The Orders will specify where, when and what, and most times for how long.

    The Written Orders authorize him to pay for travel expenses, such as hotels, airline tickets, meals, and incidental expenses involved with travel, and the government will reimburse him for those expenses, Up to a limit.

    Source(s): Retired AF SNCO.
  • “on orders” simply means he has been instructed, officially (usually in writing known as a set of orders), to do something. Could be deploy, could be go to a school. could be move to a different base….


    “I’m on orders for Iraq”

    “I’m on orders to PCS to Fort Bragg”

    “Im on orders to go to NCO school”

    Source(s): Me, 22 years in the Army
  • also depending on whether or not your brother is active or reserve i could mean similar but different things.

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