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Correspondence Formats CHAPTER 2


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When should a Standard Letter be used
Standard Letter – (Naval Letters) Use when dealing w/DOD or outside DOD if they have adopted the format.
Explain the Format of a Letterhead, where should it be placed.
Letterhead Format - typing or stamping a letterhead, begin 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.
How long should the Margins be, are their any exceptions to the rule
Margins – 1 inch, on top, bottom, and sides
Exceptions, on letterhead paper. Typing starts more than 1 in from the top when letterhead is printed and less than 1 inch if it is typed.
May typing ever pass the 1 inch mark at the bottom of the page
Typing may end more than 1 inch from the bottom of the page that has the signature.
What are the rules for right margins and proportional spacing
Don’t justify right margins and don’t use proportional spacing
What are the parts of a Identification Symbol, Where should they be placed.
Identification Symbols –
The SSIC or "In reply refer to" should be printed on the second line below the letterhead

3 parts of the Identification Symbols
Standard Subject Identification Code (SSIC)
Originators Code
What does SSIC stand for, what is it, and what does it do.
Where can I find this information on its Representations.
SSIC(Standard Subject Identification Code) – four or five digit #, represents subject SECNAVINST 5210.11D
What is a Originator Code what does it include. Where would it be placed
Originator Code – Can be by itself or in a serial number
It is an Office symbol used on all letters w/or without serial number
Placed under SSIC
When do originator codes require serial numbers
Originator Code w/serial number
Unclassified – does not require serial #
Classified – requires serial #
When do activities start a new serial number series. How do they assign them
An activity that uses serial numbers starts a new sequence of numbers at the beginning of each new calendar year and assigns # consecutively
Ser 13/T132
7 Sep 99

Define this Identification Code
5216 SSIC
Ser 13/T132 Place Code or Ser/No spaces before or after/
T – Top Secret, S – Secret, C – Confidential
132 is the next unused serial #
Date Dated on the same day signed
How are Naval Letters and Business letter Dated
Naval Letters Dates - Express in day/month/year order (1 Jan 98)
Make sure Jan first letter is capital and only two numbers in year.

Business Letter Dates - Express dates in the Month/day/year
(January 11, 2005)
What does (FOUO) Stand for, how should it be typed
(FOUO) For Official Use Only
Typed in Capital Letters Centered at the bottom edge on the first and last page.
For documents with cover or title pages. Write on front cover and the outside of the back cover.
What is placed on the "From" line on the Standard Letter
Every standard letter must have a “From:" line
except a letter that will be used with a window envelope. As a general role, give your commanding officer’s title,
your activity’s name, and for a command based ashore, the
geographic location (without the state or ZIP code). Use long
titles only.
Where can the precise address wording come from.
(1) Standard Navy Distribution List (SNDL)
(2) List of Marine Corps Activities (LMCA)
(3) Department of Defense Activity Address Directory
The "From" line gives more than title but less than full mailing address.
"To" Line includes
Include the office code or person’s title that will act on your letter in parentheses, if known. Avoid using names of people in “To:” lines.
When should a "Via" line be used
Use a “Via:” line when one or more activities outside your own should see a letter before it reaches the action
What happens if their are two or more addresses
Number “Via:” addressees if
you list two or more. Follow your chain of command .
Via: (l)Commander, Destroyer Squadron 23
(2)Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group 1
(3) Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet
What does the "subject" line consist of
The "subject" line consists of a sentence fragment that tells readers what the letter is about, usually in
10 words or less.
"Reference" line. What kind of References should be used
"Reference" line. Justify such distractions by using only
those references that bear directly on the subject at hand.
Define NOTAL
Avoiding Most NOTAL References. A not-to-all (NOTAL)
reference is a document that some addressees neither hold nor
need. IF unavoidable, add "NOTAL" in parentheses following the citations.
Where do you list Enclosures
List enclosures in an “enclosure” line by following the order they appear in the text.
Never list an enclosure in both the ‘enclosure” and ‘reference” lines of the same letter.
Use a number in parentheses before the description of every enclosure, even if
you have only one.
What is normal Distribution
Normal Distribution and When to Vary It. Normally, send one copy of the basic letter plus any enclosures to all
addressees--”action~” “Via:,” and “Copy to:” Don’t use “w/encl”;
no marking means everybody gets one of everything.
When is Distributions Varied
When sending more than one copy of an enclosure to all addressees,
note the quantity in parentheses after the enclosure’s description or address.
How are Paragraphs identifyed in a Standard Letter. Where do continuation lines start.
Are paragraphs Single spaced?
We shouldn't begin a paragraph at the bottom of the page unless what?
Identify paragraphs or subparagraphs in the following sequence: 1., a.,
(l), (a), ~., ~., (~), (~). Start all continuation lines at the
left margin. All paragraphs are single spaced, with double
spacing between paragraphs and subparagraphs.
Don’t begin a paragraph at the bottom of a page unless there is enough space for at least two lines of text on the page and at least two lines are carried over to the next page. A
signature page must have at least two lines of text.
Signature, Do all Documents need to be signed
Only the original, which goes to the action
addressee, must be signed.
Is their a required way to sign Signature Block
Use the signer’s preference to compose the name. The last name appears in all capital letters. If the signer indicates no preference, use first initial(s) and the last name. Don’t include the signer’s rank or a
complimentary close.
When do you use the "Copy To" Block
Use outside your activity this optional block to list addressees
who need to know a letter’s content but
don’t need to act on it.
In the "Copy Two" block addresses should be list how?
“Copy to:” addressees can be listed in column(s), as a paragraph, or may be continued on the next page or placed
entirely on a new page.
What is the "BLIND COPY TO" Block used for and who sees it.
a. General. Use this optional block to show internal distribution. Don’t show internal distribution on the original
letter or on copies that go outside your activity. List
these internal addressees, usually by code, in a “Blind copy to:”
block . The word “Code” needn’t precede the codes themeselves.
What should be included on the Drafter's Identification on File copies
Drafter’s Identification on File Copies
a. What to Include. Type, stamp, or pen the following information on the first or last page of the file copy: (1) Name — of writer (2) writer’s office coder (3) writer’s phone extension or room number or both if writer and signer are same distance
from each other, (4) typist’s identification, (5) date of typing,
and (6) word processing symbols if you wish.
A suggested format:
Writer: T. Cook, N180, X5487
Typist: L. Simons, 9 JU1 99, WPC 1-284
How do you Identify the Second and Later Pages.
Identifying Second and Later Pages. Repeat the “subject”
line. Start typing at the left margin on the sixth line from the
top of the page. Continue the text beginning on the second line
below the subject.
When and How are pages numbered
Page Numbering. Don’t number a single-page letter or the first page of a multiple-page letter. Center page numbers 1/2 inch from the bottom edge, starting with the number 2. No
punctuation accompanies a page number.
When do we use a multiple-address letter
Use a multiple-address letter when you have more than one action addressee.
When do you use a "Two Line" Only
Use a “To:” Line Only. When you have four addresses or fewer.
When do you use a "Distribution Block"
Using a “Distribution:” Block Only. When you have more
than four action addressees.
No "To" Line will be used
Can we use a "To" block and a "distribution" block on the same MULTIPLE-ADDRESS LETTER
Use both the “To:” line and the “Distribution:” block in the same
letter when you show a group title whose distribution is
relatively unknown.
Do all action addresse's receive a signed letter.
Every action addressee must
receive a letter that has a letterhead and signature. The
letterhead may be printed, typed, stamped, or photocopied. The
signature must be original or photocopied.
When do you use an endorsement
ENDORSEMENTS - When a letter is transmitted “Via:” your activity, use an endorsement to forward comments, recommendations, or information. While an endorsement is mostly used for transmitting correspondence through the chain of command, you may also use it to redirect a letter. Don’t use it to reply to a routine letter.
An endorsement may comment on the basic letter or any preceding endorsements. It may return the basic letter with a final reply or a request for more information.
What types of endorsements are their
Endorsement Types.
Same-page or new page endorsement.
How are endorsments numbered
Number each endorsement in the sequence in which it is added to the basic letter. Indicate the numbers of the endorsement by using ordinal numbers such as FIRST, SECOND,THIRD, etc. Following the number, type “ENDORSEMENT on” and identify the basic letter using the same style as a reference line.
What does a memorandum do?
MEMORANDUMS - A memorandum provides an informal way to correspond within an activity or between DON activities. Subordinates may use it to correspond directly with each other on routine official business.
How many memorandum formats are their?
What are they?
There are seven memorandum formats.
a. Memorandum For The Record (MFR).
b. “FROM-TO” Memorandum. The “from-to” memorandum may be directed to one or more addressees.
There are three versions of the “from-to” memorandum:
1) Printed Memorandum Forms.
2) Plain-Paper Memorandum.
3) Letterhead Memorandum
c. “Memorandum For” Memorandum.
d. Memorandum of Agreement or Memorandum of Understanding
When do you use a MFR
Memorandum For The Record (MFR). Use a MFR as an internal document to record supporting information in the record
that is not recorded elsewhere. Examples include such things as
results of a meeting, important telephone conversations, oral
agreements, and your thinking behind a standard letter. Type or
handwrite these most informal memorandums.
1. Use a “Memorandum For The Record” (MFR) as an internal document to
record information in the record that is not recorded elsewhere. Examples
include such things as results of a meeting, telephone conversations, oral
agreements, and other relevant information.
2. Type or handwrite these most informal memorandums. If it IS only two or three lines, include it on the file copy of your document. Leave out the subject line if you add your MFR to the file copy.
3. A full “signature” block and identification symbols are not required: however, it should be dated, signed, and show the signers organizational code.
DATE: 6 Mar 99
FROM: Code 30
TO: Code 301
Ref: (a) SECNAVINST 5216.50
Encl: (1) Printed Form
1. This printed form is used among individuals and offices of the same activity. Very informal memorandums may be handwritten.
2. The memorandum form comes in two sizes:
a. OPNAV 5216/144A (8-IL? by 11 inches):
b. OPNAV 5216/144B (8-1/2 by 5-1/2 inches):
3. The only identification symbol you need is the date, unless local practice calls for
4. Use names, titles, or codes in the “From:” and ‘To:” line.
5. Type reference and enclosure headings under the printed headings. Note the
headings for reference (a) and enclosure (1). Aflow a 1 inch left margin
6. The writer signs his or her name without the organizational titles.
What is on a PLAIN-PAPER "FROM-TO" Memorandum
1. The plain-paper "from-to" memorandum may be used wihin your activity. It is no more formal than the memorandum form, but it is more flexible when there are multiple addressees, via addressees, or both.
2. The only identification symbol you need is the date, unless local practice calls for more. Start typing the date on the sixth line, flush with the right margin.
3. Prepare a plain-paper memorandum on white bond.
What is on a Letterhead Memorandum
Subj: Letterhead MEMORANDUM
1. When used within an activity the letterhead memorandum provides more
formality than the printed memorandum form or the plain-paper memorandum.
2. A letterhead memorandum maybe sent outside your activity if:
a. Direct liaison IS authorized,
b. The matter is routine,
c. The memo neither makes a commitment nor takes an official stand,
3. Generally follow the standard letter format, but type “MEMORANDUM-as
shown here.
What is on the Memorandum for Memorandum
1. The “memorandum for is the most formal of all the memorandums. Senior officials use if to correspond with other senior officials.
2. Use letterhead paper and follow the format shown here. In place of me
“From:” and To:” line, you use an “address” line (see above), Because the “memorandum for” lacks a “From:” line, show the sighner title below the typed name.
3. Ust multiple addressees as shown above. If an addressee’s title is longer than one line, the second line should be indinted two additional spaces
What is put on memorandum when requesting approval/disapproval
When only requesting an approval/disapproval decision
From a single addressee, it’s appropriate to type a decision
Block at the left margin, two lines below the signature block in the following format:

What is a Memorandum of Agreement or Understanding used for
The Memorandum of Agreement or Understanding may be used to document mutual agreements of facts, intentions, procedures, limits on future actions, and areas of present or future coordination, or commitments, etc.
memorandum of agreement MOA
On plain bond, type the command titles so the senior is at the top.
If the activities are in different cities or states, follow eaCh title with its address.
Center “MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT on the second line below the date line. Center “BETwEEN- on the next line and follow with the names
of the agreeing activities (centered). To prepare a “memorandum of
understanding- substitute those words for “memorandum of agreement.”
If your agreement is two or more pages long, number and letter paragraphs
and subparagraphs the same as a standard letter.
4. Arrange “signature- blocks so the senior official is at the right. Type a
signature line above the signature blocks.
5. If your activity is the last to sign, send copies of the signed agreement to all cosigners.
What are Point (Talking) Papers used for
Use the Point (Talking) Paper to provide a stand-alone document in presenting essential elements of a subject. It serves as a readily available source of condensed, factual information on topical Subjects.
Do Point Talking Papers have titles or headers?
The paper will have a “title” of Point or Talking Paper.
Each section thereafter begins with a header (i.e., Background,
Discussion, Recommendation) Put main points first with supporting information following
Do unclassified markings have to be on a Point Talking Paper
Classification markings must be included on the page, only exception is unclassified papers.
Where are classification marking put on a Point Talking Paper
Markings include:
1) Stamped classification centered top and bottom,
2) Highest classification tried on the first line before the rank and name,
3) Individual section classifications (i.e., (U), (C), (s), (T)
4) Individual paragraph classifications. If entire
Point (Talking) Paper is unclassified, only required to type the classification after the “title” and on the first line before the Rank and name
When do we use Business letters
Use the business letter to correspond with agencies, businesses, or individuals outside DOD, who are unfamiliar with the standard letter. It also may be used for official correspondence between individuals within DOD, when the occasion calls for a personal approach.
What are the parts of a Business Letter
Parts of a Business Letter
a) Identification Symbols
b) Inside Address
c) Attention Line - optional
d) Salutation Line
e) Subject Line – optional
f) Body of the Letter
g) Complimentary code
h) Signature Block
I) Enclosure Line
j) Separate Mailing
k) Copy to Line
l) Blind Copy to Line
Where do we place the Inside Address
Inside Address -Place the inside address two to eight lines below the date, blocked flush with the left margin. Placement of the inside address may be adjusted depending on the length of the letter or local policy.
Attention Line, what is it used for
Attention Line – Use it to direct your letter to a business in general and to also bring it to the attention of a particular person or department at the same time.
How is the spacing of a Business letter set up
Body of the Letter - Single-space within paragraphs and double space between paragraphs. Indent main paragraphs four spaces and start typing on the fifth space. Don’t number main paragraphs. The first lines of subparagraphs should be indented, and lettered or numbered in standard letter fashion. A business letter that is likely to run eight
Lines or less may be double-spaced.
What is used as the Complimintary Code in a Business Letter
Complimentary Close - Use “Sincerely” followed by a comma for the complimentary close of a business letter.
Signature Block of a business letter is set up how
Signature Block - Start all lines of the “signature” block at the center of the page, beginning on the fourth line below
‘Sincerely. Type or stamp
Do letterheads belong on Business Letters
Because the business letter does not have a “From:” line, every copy that goes to addressees outside your activity must have a letterhead copy (printed, typed, stamped, or reproduced from the original) to show its origin.
Are Indentification sybols on the second page of a business letter
Identifying Second and Succeeding Pages. Repeat the identification symbols, from the first page, on the sixth line from the top at the right margin. Continue the text beginning on the second line below the identification symbols.

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