"U.S. Navy Style Guide"

U.S. Navy Style Guide is a 21-page legal document that was released by the U.S. Department of the Navy on March 21, 2017 and used nation-wide.

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U.S. Navy Style Guide
Navy editors and writers should follow the most recent edition of the Associated Press Stylebook except
as noted in this U.S. Navy Style Guide.
"A" school - Use double quotes throughout a story. If included in a quote, use single quotes: 'A' school.
abbreviations, acronyms - In general, avoid
abbreviations or acronyms that the reader would not
quickly recognize. For reference see
the Navy Style Guide addendum at the bottom of this document.
Spell out on first reference with the abbreviation in parenthesis. Some acronyms, such as NATO, can be
used on first reference. Check the AP Stylebook.
Do not use acronyms or abbreviations if there is only one reference to the subject or it is an
uncommon term.
aboard vs. onboard – Use aboard when referencing events taking place on a ship or aircraft. Use
onboard when discussing shore based events.
The crew is aboard the ship.
The memorial ceremony was held onboard Naval Station Norfolk.
Also, a Sailor is stationed "on," "at," "is serving with" or "is assigned to" a ship. A Sailor does not
serve "in" a ship.
A ship is "based at" or "homeported at" a specific place. A plane is "stationed at" or is "aboard"
a ship; is "deployed with" or is "operating from" a ship. Squadrons are "stationed at" air
stations. Air wings are "deployed with" ships.
active duty (noun), active-duty (adjective) - Lower case on all references.
As a noun, two words: Navy personnel serve on active duty.
As an adjective, hyphenate: All active-duty personnel must participate.
acting - Lower case unless at the beginning of a sentence:
Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean J. Stackley took over for former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.
Sean J. Stackley is the acting secretary of the Navy.
Action words (conducts, performs, participates, prepares) – This is considered MILSPEAK and should be
avoided. A dental technician doesn’t perform a routine dental cleaning…He cleans teeth. Sailors don’t
conduct maintenance in a machinery room…They lubricate the fly-wheel on a specific piece of
equipment.
ages - Don’t use ages unless identifying a child or the age is
relevant to the story (ie: profiles, obituaries,
achievements unusual for the age.)
Always use figures.
(From AP) The girl is 15 years old; the law is 8 years old; the 101-year-old house.
Use hyphens for ages expressed as adjectives before a noun or as substitutes for a noun.
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U.S. Navy Style Guide
Navy editors and writers should follow the most recent edition of the Associated Press Stylebook except
as noted in this U.S. Navy Style Guide.
"A" school - Use double quotes throughout a story. If included in a quote, use single quotes: 'A' school.
abbreviations, acronyms - In general, avoid
abbreviations or acronyms that the reader would not
quickly recognize. For reference see
the Navy Style Guide addendum at the bottom of this document.
Spell out on first reference with the abbreviation in parenthesis. Some acronyms, such as NATO, can be
used on first reference. Check the AP Stylebook.
Do not use acronyms or abbreviations if there is only one reference to the subject or it is an
uncommon term.
aboard vs. onboard – Use aboard when referencing events taking place on a ship or aircraft. Use
onboard when discussing shore based events.
The crew is aboard the ship.
The memorial ceremony was held onboard Naval Station Norfolk.
Also, a Sailor is stationed "on," "at," "is serving with" or "is assigned to" a ship. A Sailor does not
serve "in" a ship.
A ship is "based at" or "homeported at" a specific place. A plane is "stationed at" or is "aboard"
a ship; is "deployed with" or is "operating from" a ship. Squadrons are "stationed at" air
stations. Air wings are "deployed with" ships.
active duty (noun), active-duty (adjective) - Lower case on all references.
As a noun, two words: Navy personnel serve on active duty.
As an adjective, hyphenate: All active-duty personnel must participate.
acting - Lower case unless at the beginning of a sentence:
Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean J. Stackley took over for former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.
Sean J. Stackley is the acting secretary of the Navy.
Action words (conducts, performs, participates, prepares) – This is considered MILSPEAK and should be
avoided. A dental technician doesn’t perform a routine dental cleaning…He cleans teeth. Sailors don’t
conduct maintenance in a machinery room…They lubricate the fly-wheel on a specific piece of
equipment.
ages - Don’t use ages unless identifying a child or the age is
relevant to the story (ie: profiles, obituaries,
achievements unusual for the age.)
Always use figures.
(From AP) The girl is 15 years old; the law is 8 years old; the 101-year-old house.
Use hyphens for ages expressed as adjectives before a noun or as substitutes for a noun.
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U.S. Navy Style Guide
Examples:
A 5-year-old
boy, but
the boy is 5 years
old.
The boy, 7, has a sister, 10. The woman,
26, has a daughter 2 months old. The race is for 3-year-olds. The woman is in her 30s
(no
apostrophe).
air wing - Use as two words.
aircraft - acceptable characterization of naval aviation platforms. Do not refer to military aircraft as
"airplanes" or "planes."
aircraft designations - Always used as a letter(s) followed by a hyphen and number: SH-60B Sea Hawk or
F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
aircraft squadrons - Spell out full name of squadron on first reference. On second reference, use
abbreviation and hyphenate.
The “Warhawks” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 97 deployed aboard the aircraft carrier USS
Carl Vinson (CVN 70). During their deployment, VFA-97 maintained a perfect safety record.
aircrew, aircrew member - one word.
Air Force One - Any U.S. Air Force aircraft carrying the president. The term is a call sign that applies only
when the president is aboard the aircraft.
all hands, all-hands - Two words as noun: “He called all hands to the meeting.” Hyphenate
as an adjective or compound modifier: “They attended the all-hands call.”
Alongside – one word
American flag, U.S. flag - Flag is lowercase.
amphibious assault ship - Do not capitalize, even when referring to a specific ship.
The amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA 4) is underway.
Anchors Aweigh - not Anchors Away
anti-aircraft, anti-submarine - hyphenate
Arabian Gulf - use instead of Persian Gulf per Commander, Naval Forces Central Command U.S. 5th
Fleet.
armed forces - Capitalize only as a proper name (Armed Forces Day) or part of a title or when preceded
by U.S., as in U.S. Armed Forces.
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U.S. Navy Style Guide
Lowercase as a noun: the armed forces; hyphenate as an adjective: an armed-forces member.
at sea - Do not use “at sea” in place of the name of a body of water. If the location is undisclosed, say
so, but reference a general body of water or U.S. fleet area of responsibility.
attribution - Identify the source of reported information; especially objective and opinioned-based
statements. Include context in which comment was made if it is not apparent.
Use "said" in quotes. Do not use "says."
See "quotation marks."
battalion - Use numerals in unit names, spell out on first reference and abbreviate and hyphenate on
second reference:
Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4; NMCB-4 (not NMCB FOUR)
battle group - Do not use "battle group." Rather, use "carrier strike group,” "expeditionary strike
group" or “amphibious ready group.”
boat - Use to describe a submarine. Do not use to describe a ship.
boot camp - Use as two words.
burial at sea - Do not hyphenate.
call signs - Do not refer to individuals by call signs. Use full name and rank.
carrier strike group - Capitalize when used with the name of a ship. Precede name of strike group with
"the."
The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group transits the Atlantic Ocean.
The carrier strike group transits the Atlantic Ocean
change of command ceremony - Do not hyphenate.
chaplain - Chaplains are identified as “Cmdr. John W. Smith, a chaplain,” in the first reference and as
”chaplain” or by last name thereafter.
chief (select) - Use the service member’s current rank: “Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Franklin Pierce will
be promoted to chief petty officer next month.” Do not use “select.”
Chief of Naval Operations - Lowercase when referenced after an individual's name or when used alone.
Uppercase before the name:
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson
Adm. John Richardson, chief of naval operations.
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U.S. Navy Style Guide
chief petty officer - Applies to Navy or Coast Guard personnel in pay grade E-7. Lowercase
when referenced after an individual's name or when used alone.
Chiefs Mess – Capitalize and do not include apostrophe
cities/datelines - For cities that stand alone, use the list of datelines found in the AP Stylebook. Because
of their strong Navy ties and frequent reference in stories, , Norfolk, Va., San Diego, Calif. and Pearl
Harbor, Hawaii can stand alone, without states. Use AP Stylebook state abbreviations in datelines.
civilian titles - Use full name and title or job description on first reference. Capitalize the title or job
description when it precedes an individual’s name and do not use a comma to separate it from the
name. Lower case titles when they follow the name or when not accompanied by one.
Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) Franklin R. Parker holds an all-
hands call.
Franklin R. Parker, assistant secretary of the Navy for manpower and reserve affairs, holds an
all-hands call.
Use only last names on second and all following references. This applies to both men and
women.
Do not precede with “The Honorable.”
Do not use courtesy titles such Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Ms.
Other formal titles such as Dr., Sen. or Gov. should be used where applicable. Do not use such
titles on second reference unless necessary to differentiate two people with the same last
name.
close-in weapon system - Do not capitalize. CIWS is acceptable on subsequent references.
close proximity - Do not use; it's redundant. All proximity is close.
coalition - Do not capitalize.
U.S. and coalition forces took part in the event.
Coast Guardsman - Capitalize in all references to U.S. Coast Guard, lower case foreign nations.
U.S. Sailors and Coast Guardsmen are instrumental in patrolling the Caribbean Sea for drug
smugglers.
The local coast guardsmen work with Sailors to protect harbors.
commander in chief - Used only for the president. Capitalize only if used as a formal title before a
name. Do not hyphenate.
commanding officer - Do not capitalize.
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Capt. Tom Jones, commanding officer of the guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65),
welcomed the distinguished visitors aboard the ship.
Commanding officer Capt. Mary Smith announced the ship would make a port visit to Key West,
Fla.
CONUS - Continental United States. CONUS refers to the 48 contiguous states. It is not synonymous
with United States. Do not use unless in a quote.
crew member - Use as two words. Do not use "crewman" or "crewmen." See service members.
currently – Avoid use. This term is redundant by nature. The ship is underway. Not – The ship is
currently underway.
dates – Follow the guidelines in the AP Stylebook.
D-Day - D-Day was June 6, 1944, the day the Allies invaded Europe during World War II.
decommissioned ships/submarines - Include reference that ship or submarine is no longer active.
“The decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Constellation (CV 64) will serve as a museum.”
departments - Do not capitalize
The USS Carl Vinson engineering department....
The engineering department....
dependent - Do not use when referring to family of military personnel. Use terms such as "family
members," "wife," "husband," "spouse," "parent," "child," etc. "Dependent" is perceived as derogatory.
Do not identify family members of military personnel by name in photo captions.
detachment - Abbreviate as "Det." in all references.
Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 43, Det. 5 also participated in the exercise.
DESRON – destroyer squadron. Do not use unless as part of an official designation.
DEVRON – submarine development squadron
doctor - Navy doctors are identified as “Cmdr. John W. Smith, a Navy doctor/dentist/nurse, etc” in the
first reference and by last name thereafter. See "military titles” section in AP Stylebook.
DOD/DoD – Department of Defense on first reference, DoD, or Pentagon is acceptable on
second reference.
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