Flashcards in SECNAV M-5216.5 CH 2 Deck (40):
Correspondence Standards: Avoid stereotyping men and women based on gender. Use pronouns and titles that are
Do not write unless you must. A conversation in person, by telephone, or by electronic
mail (e-mail) often saves two letters - the one you would have written and the other person’s
Conversations are often better than correspondence for working out details.
Confirm your conversation with a short memorandum (also referred to as “memo”) to the other person or
a “Memorandum For The Record” if issues of importance or policy are agreed upon during the
. Always include a point of contact, return telephone number, and e-mail address when
your correspondence might prompt a reply or inquiry.
When writing to other NATO Forces use the format and abbreviations in NATO Standardization Agreement (STANAG) Number 2066,
Layout for Military Correspondence. S
A “Via” addressee will always forward official correspondence with an endorsement.
Send correspondence directly to the “To” addressee with a concurrent copy to
each intermediate addressee.
List any cognizant addressees in the “Via:” line when it is determined that they
should see a letter before it reaches the “to” addressee.
Include intermediate commands as “Copy to” addressees instead of “Via”
addressees if you want them to see certain routine correspondence without having to endorse it.
When writing to higher authority on a personal matter affecting the command, prepare your letter on plain bond paper in standard letter format.
Facsimile Machines. Facsimile machines provide a fast and reliable means for sending
E-mail. You can use e-mail for formal and informal correspondence.
Window Envelopes. Window envelopes eliminate the cost of addressing envelopes and
the risk of putting letters in the wrong envelopes.
It should be noted that the window-envelope letter format has no “From:” line, so every copy that goes outside your activity must be on letterhead to show its
Do not use a window envelope for material that:
(1) Is classified.
(2) Involves national security.
(3) Is of a personal nature.
(4) Is sent to high-level officials
Periodically review correspondence for recurring, routine topics that can be addressed with a standard response.
Use form letters when possible for routine matters that require no personal touch.
Avoid form letters when expressing sympathy, apology, or appreciation.
Use double-spaced drafts only when changes are likely, perhaps because a subject is
controversial or a policy statement needs precise wording.
Signature Authority. Delegate signature authority to the lowest legal and practical level.
The commander/commanding officer/officer in charge must personally sign documents that:
(1) Establish policy.
(2) Center on the command’s mission or efficiency and are addressed to higher
(3) Deal with certain aspects of military justice.
(4) Are required by law or regulation.
An individual who signs correspondence under delegated authority will use the term “By direction” typed below their name when signing documents under this delegated authority.
In the absence of specific sub-delegation guidance, delegated signature authority shall not be sub-delegated.
Acting for an Official Who Signs by Title. When the signatory has been formally, but temporarily, appointed to replace an official who signs correspondence by title rather than “By direction,” the word “Acting” is typed below the typed name.
Personnel authorized to use a
signature stamp of someone else’s signature shall pen their initials next to each signature they stamp to authenticate the stamp.
Controlled correspondence is correspondence that
requires some type of action, requires a response, or has long-term reference value.
Date stamp all incoming controlled correspondence on the day it arrives at
the command. It is a good practice to date stamp all incoming correspondence, not just controlled correspondence.
Assign controls to only incoming mail that requires a
response or has long-term reference value. Incoming action correspondence should be routed directly from the correspondence management office to the action office.
**Normally, correspondence should be answered within 10 working days or as prescribed by the immediate superior in command or by the tasking authority for the
Correspondence from Congress shall be answered within 5 workdays of receipt.
If a response cannot be provided within 5 days, send an interim response that acknowledges receipt of the correspondence and provides an estimated date when a final response will be sent.
The date format is month day, year (i.e., June 19, 2009).
When responding to a Congressional request, the closing line in the text of the
response should read, “If I may be of any further assistance, please let me know.”
Answer Freedom of Information
Act (FOIA) requests and Privacy Act requests within 10 workdays of receipt.
If a response cannot be provided within 10 days, send an interim response that acknowledges receipt of the
correspondence and provides an estimated date when a final response will be sent.
Trace Late Replies: Fwd a copy of original letter with the term "TRACER"- Date written or stamped in top margin or contact the CMD the letter was originally sent by phone or email.
Limit the use of the SSN of a
Service member or civilian employee of the DoD unless essential for identification and
authorized for use by authority ofExecutive Order 9397.
Never use or provide the SSN of a Service member
or civilian employee of the DoD when corresponding with an individual or agency outside of the DoD.
The only exception to this policy is if the individual involved gives written permission to
release his or her SSN, or the incoming correspondence you are responding to includes the
Identifying Navy and Marine Corps Personnel. This information is generally included in the
subject line of the standard letter and in the first paragraph of the business letter. Fully identify
the member when you first mention him or her.
Do not capitalize every letter of a member's last name, except in the subject and signature lines.
Capitalize the words "Sailor," "Marine" and “Service member” when referring to members of the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.
Abbreviated rank for officers and rate and warfare designator for enlisted personnel
(e.g., AD1(AW), BM2(SW), CSSN(SS)) with no space between rank/rate and warfare designator,
Examples for Officer and Enlisted:
OS2(SW) James D. Brown, USN, XXX-XX-1234
CDR Gilbert L. Williams, USN, XXX-XX-2222/1110-designator for officer
USMC Example: Major/Sergeant K. Allen XXX-XX-1234/0403(MOS) USMC
The standard size paper for all official letterhead stationery is 8-1/2 inches by 11 inches.
Use command letterhead stationery only for official matters of the command.
Printing names of officials on letterhead stationery is prohibited.
When using letterhead stationery, the “From:” line will always contain the title of the activity head and command name. The “From:” line will never contain the name of an individual.
Do not use letterhead as personal stationery. For example, CDR Baker, captain of
the ship’s basketball team, may not use it for matters involving the team.
The use of letterhead is authorized for commanders, commanding officers, officer’s
in charge and directors or those who have signature authority for commands that are represented in the SNDL.
Letterhead stationery of the DON shall bear a one-inch in diameter seal of the DoD.
Other seals, emblems, insignia, decorative or emblematic devices shall not be incorporated.
) The letterhead begins with "DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY" centered on the
fourth line from the top of the page.
Center the activity's name, address, and nine-digit zip code on succeeding lines. Do not use abbreviations or punctuation in the address.
Enclosures must be marked on the first page; however, you may mark all pages. An enclosure marking goes in the lower right corner, whether the text is arranged normally or lengthwise.
Number only second and later pages. If you have
several different enclosures, number the pages of each independently.
Avoid “just in case” copies and whole batches of 10 or 15 copies when you can pinpoint
the quantity precisely
Avoid redundant file copies. Keep official command files in one central location to
simplify access. Retain one official file copy of all outgoing correspondence.
Express military time in four digits based on the 24-hour clock.The time range is 0001 to 2400. Do not use a colon to separate the hour from the minutes
***There are three date formats allowed for use in Navy correspondence.
The abbreviated format and the standard format are used when corresponding with other military organizations.
The civilian format is used when corresponding with Congress, civilian agencies
and businesses, and individuals.
Approved Military time formats
1 Feb 09
5 April 2009
do not use a zero preceding the numerals 1 through 9 when the day is single digit
Standard Format. The standard format is only used in the text of correspondence.
The abbreviated format is only used as part of the sender’s
symbol, or in the absence of the sender’s symbol, as the date for the letter.
The civilian format is used as both the date of the correspondence and
in the text. Do not use an abbreviated civilian format
- May 5, 2009
Do not abbreviate military titles in the text of press reports
Use hyphens sparingly; a slightly uneven right margin
is preferred over hyphenated words.
Never hyphenate a word at the end of a page.
full name must be split, do so after the first name, when there is no initial, or after the initial.
Never split the name of a ship.
Proofreading Checks as followed:(1) Is letterhead correct/straight?
(2) Are the margins 1 inch?
(3) Are page numbers centered 1/2 inch from the bottom of the page?
(4) Is there enough/too much room for the date?
(5) Are paragraphs aligned/indented properly?
(6) Are paragraphs sequentially numbered/lettered?
(7) Are enclosure markings correct?
(8) Are more than three lines hyphenated, and are successive lines hyphenated?
. Typeface. For text, use 10 to 12 point font size. Courier New 12-point is the preferred font
style and size for official correspondence (e.g., directives)
Fonts like Arial, Times New
Roman or CG Times may be used for informal correspondence.
Bold, underline, script, and
italics may be used for occasional emphasis, but not for entire letters.