Messages are prepared in a standard format, which helps to achieve a number of desirable goals. These desirable goals include, but are not limited to, the following:
Decrease message preparation time
Decrease recipient comprehension time
Allow maximum use of transmission equipment
Improve message readability
Accelerate message handling
In the interest of standardization, each Navy originated message, with few exceptions, is drafted with the classification, special category markings, and special handling security markings in the following sequence: (NOTE: Where all these elements listed do not appear in a message, the order of appearance is adjusted accordingly.)
1. Classification or the abbreviation UNCLAS. (An entry is required on all messages.)
2. Special category markings (EXCLUSIVE, COSMIC, etc.).
3. Special handling security markings (codes such as NOFORN, RESDAT, etc.).
4. Exercise identification (EXERCISE HIGH JUMP, EXERCISE SPRINGBOARD, etc. ) and SSIC.
5. Code word, code name, or nickname of special projects or operations.
6. Flag word (EXPRESS, REDLINE, etc.).
7. Passing instructions and other indications of message distribution.
8. Subject line, concise and untitled.
9. References, identified by letter(s).
The subject of a message is not identified by letters or numbers; however, references are identified by letters. Each paragraph in the text of a message is usually numbered. Subparagraphs are indented and lettered or numbered as appropriate. In a one-paragraph message, the paragraph need not be numbered. A naval message contains no signature line. If a message is classified, proper downgrading or declassification markings should be included. The number of copies of unclassified messages required is dependent on the needs of the originating office and the needs of the communications office handling the message; however, only one copy of a classified message should be prepared.
The text of a message is typed using uppercase letters with a maximum of 69 characters to each line and 20 lines to each page. The lines should be typed as close to 69 spaces as possible. This is an item of importance, especially when a message is sent in a format containing columns. A standard typewriter has more than 69 spaces, whereas a communications typewriter has ONLY 69 spaces. A message draft would have to be altered by communications personnel where more than 69 spaces have been used on a single line.
Naval messages are identified by the originator and a date-time group (DTG) number. A date- time group number is assigned by the communications office at the time of release of the message. This number consists of six digits; for example, 162120Z. The first two digits represent the day of the month, and the last four digits represent the time of the day.
So that a standard time maybe kept through the service, Greenwich mean time is used to indicate the time or origin of most naval messages. This eliminates any doubt as to which time the originator is using. Greenwich mean time is designated by the letter Z.
Other correspondence that you may be required to type includes business letters, memorandums, and directives. The latest edition of the Navy Correspondence Manual, SECNAV- INST 5216.5, prescribes policies, outlines procedures, and furnishes detailed information for the preparation of these types of correspondence. You should refer to SECNAVINST 5216.5 before you start a correspondence preparation task. It provides information on the correct preparation of envelopes for mailing correspondence; special mailing instructions; and forms of addresses, salutations, and complimentary closings used in the preparation of correspondence.
The directives issuance system provides a uniform method of issuing directives by all activities in the Navy. As set forth in the latest edition of Department of the Navy DirectivesContinue Reading