enclosure blocks follow the pattern of the
standard letter. Margins may be less than 1 inch.
Short speedletters maybe penned. The text begins
two lines below the reference line.
Paragraphs and subparagraphs are single
spaced, with two lines between each division.
When enclosures are sent with a speedletter, the
enclosure line is prepared and positioned in the
same manner as it is in the naval letter. The
enclosures are numbered (1), (2), (3), etc., and
described. Enclosures sent under separate cover
are designated by (sep cover) typed between the
number and the description.
Continuation pages are typed on plain bond
paper following standard letter format for
margins, page numbers, etc.
A message is an official communication in
brief form transmitted by electrical means through
Navy telecommunication centers. A message is
used for urgent communication where speed is of
primary importance. Messages should not be used
when the necessary information can reach its
destination in time for proper action by letter or
Naval messages are prepared on Department
of Defense MESSAGEFORM 173 (DD 173).
Messages must be typed on DD 173s using an
OCR font with the character set for 10 pitch on
the typewriter. Figure 2-12 shows the format of
a naval message prepared on the DD 173 during
a period of minimize.
Naval messages are prepared in accordance
with the Naval Telecommunications Users Manual
(NTP-3). The NTP-3 provides specific guidance
on the preparation and transmission of naval
messages. Changes to message preparation
procedures occur frequently. You should use the
latest revision to the NTP-3. If in doubt, check
with your local communications office.
The text of a message also contains an SSIC.
The SSIC consists of an appropriate five-number
group, preceded by the letter N, taken from the
latest edition of SECNAVINST 5210.11. The
letter N means that the numeric group was taken
from the Navy list. If the SSIC you are using only
has four digits, precede the SSIC with a zero.
The SSIC appears only in the message text,
and should be placed on the same line and
immediately following the security classification
and any special handling instructions included;
for example, LIMDIS, NOFORN, etc. The SSIC
begins and ends with a double slant sign; for
example, UNCLAS //N02300//.
Abbreviations within the texts of messages
should be limited to those meanings that are self-
evident, unequivocal, or which are recognizable.
In doubtful cases, clarity always takes precedence
over brevity. Messages that are directives have
additional identifications at the head of the text,
which consists of the authorized abbreviation
of the originating authority followed by the
INST for an instruction or
NOTE for a notice and the appropriate
Punctuation used in naval messages is limited
to the following symbols:
Question mark (?)
Dollar sign ($)
Parentheses (open and close)
Quotation mark ()
The following symbols, generally available on
standard office typewriters, are not available on
the Navys teletypewriter keyboards and should
not be used.
Number sign (#)
At sign (@)
Percent ( qo )
Fractions ( 1/4, 1/2)
Cent sign (Q)