that use letters of the alphabet to indicate a
prearranged subject matter. If all elements are
required, they appear in the following order:
1. Classification or the abbreviation UNCLAS.
The highest classification authorized for visual means,
regardless of method, is Confidential.
2. Special category marking (EXCLUSIVE,
COSMIC, and the like).
3. Special handling security markings (NOFORN,
RESDAT, and so on).
4. Exercise identification (EXERCISE MAIN
5. Code name or nickname of special projects or
6. Flag word (EXPRESS, REDLINE, and so on.)
7. Passing instructions and other indications of
message distribution (FOR )
8. Subject line, concise and untitled.
9. References, identified by letter(s).
a. Paragraphs are numbered.
b. Subparagraphs are indented and lettered or
numbered as appropriate.
c. In a one-paragraph message, any
subparagraphs are lettered.
d. If a message is classified, proper
declassification markings are included.
If unclassified paragraphs or subparagraphs
appear within a classified message, each number
and/or letter will be followed by the abbreviated
classification in parentheses; for example, A.(C),
Following is an example of a message using most
of the elements of the standard text format:
COMTWELVE PASS TO VADM SMITH
REVISED CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
A. MY/091700-Z MAR 95
B. COMTHIRTEEN 131530-Z MAR 95
1. REQUEST DESIGNATED COMMITTEE
ARRIVE COM TWELVE 24 HOURS PRIOR CNO
A. ADD LOGISTICS OF PROJECT.
B. DELETE POSSIBLE LOCATION
3. CNO ITINERARY, 19 AUG, TIMES UNIFORM:
ETA ETD LOCATION
ORIG 1300 NAS SEATTLE
1515 1800 NAS ALAMEDA
2300 TERM CHICAGO-OHARE
a message does not require all elements, the
format is adjusted accordingly by omitting
nonessentials. Certain other exceptions are allowed
when using the standard format.
The subject line may be omitted if it requires
that an otherwise unclassified message be classified;
if it noticeably increases the length of what would
be a brief message; or if it increases commercial
charges when the message is addressed to
activities served by commercial communications
If a short message consists of only one paragraph,
the paragraph is not numbered. When there is only one
reference, the reference identification is included in
the body of the paragraph. For example:
UNCLAS YOUR 100915Z MAR 95. BUDGET
APPROVED SUBJECT TO CNO CONCURRENCE.
The first word of all plain language text
messages must be either the abbreviation UNCLAS
(unclassified), or the security classification of the
message. Each message will be authorized by the
commanding officer for transmission by directional
visual communications. As a Signalman, you must
be alert to prevent the transmission of any classified
message not authorized for transmission.
The procedure component of the ending of a
message contains three elements: time group, final
instructions, and ending prosign. Normally a time
group is not used in a plaindress message. The
elements of the ending procedure are assigned by
communications personnel to complete delivery of the
message or signal.
In figure 3-2, the ending is C WA DEBARK
TROOPS K. The first two prosigns and the two words
constitute the final instructions of the message.