There are two general types of lettersstandard
and business. The standard letter is a primary tool that
is used within the Navy for written communication. For
the most part, you will prepare the standard letter. An
addressee of a standard letter is a naval activity, the
Department of Defense, the Coast Guard, or a civilian
firm that deals widely with the Navy. These addressees
are familiar with standard letter. An addressee of a
business letter is an individual, a civilian firm, and a
government agency. These addressees are not familiar
with the standard letter. The business letter is not
covered in this manual. Refer to the Department of the
Navy Correspondence Manual, SECNAVINST
5216.5, for information on the preparation of the
The format of an unclassified standard letter is
shown in figure 2-1. As you read the following
sections, refer to figure 2-1.
Letterhead stationery is normally used for the first
page of a standard letter. If a printed letterhead is not
available, type or stamp the letterhead in the center of
the first page four lines from the top. Type second and
subsequent pages on plain bond paper similar to the
letterhead in size and quality.
Before typing a letter, determine how many copies
you will need. The requirement for copies of naval
letters depends on the subject and local filing practices.
Although the necessary number of copies must be
NAVAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING PROFESSIONAL
DEVELOPMENT AND TECHNOLOGY CENTER
6490 SAUFLEY FIELD ROAD
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA 32509-5237
22 Oct 99
From: Commanding Officer, Naval Education and Training Professional
Development and Technology Center
Commander, Naval Education and Training
Commanding Officer, Naval Air Station, Pensacola
HOW TO PREPARE A STANDARD LETTER
(a) SECNAVINST 5216.5D, Department of the Navy Correspondence
(1) Example of a Standard Letter
1. This example of a standard letter lists all of the elements of the heading that may
appear in a standard letter. The From, To, and Subj lines must appear in every
standard letter. Via, Ref, and Encl are optional lines. Note that all letters in the subject
line are capitalized.
2. The From, To, and Via lines in the heading are all single space. The spacing between
the Via and Subj, Subj and Ref, and Ref and Encl lines are all double-spaced.
Paragraphs are double-spaced and text within paragraphs is single-spaced.
Figure 2-1.Standard letter.