Q7. What officer has responsibility for safeguarding
classified material in an activity?
By what means should Top Secret material be
LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Identify the
elements of naval correspondence, including
standard letters, endorsements, memoran-
dums, and naval messages.
Official correspondence in the Navy includes all
recorded communications sent or received by naval
personnel in the execution of the duties of their office.
Besides letters, correspondence includes memoran-
dums and endorsements as well as messages that are
transmitted by electronic means.
Within the Navy, letters are prepared in accordance
with procedures outlined in the Department of the Navy
Correspondence Manual, SECNAVINST 5216.5.
SECNAVINST 5216.5 outlines procedures to write
standard and business letters. SECNAVINST 5216.5
also outlines procedures for the preparation of
memorandums and endorsements. Naval messages are
prepared in accordance with procedures outlined in
Naval Telecommunications Procedures Users
Manual, NTP 3.
HANDLING INCOMING MAIL
A local instruction normally prescribes procedures
for handling incoming and outgoing mail in individual
activities. However, there are some general guidelines
that you should follow when handling personal and
official mail. Therefore, you need to be familiar with
your departments incoming mail-handling procedures.
The volume of mail that is received by naval
activities makes it desirable to eliminate unnecessary
operations whenever possible. It is important to ensure,
however, that a record of all important official
correspondence is maintained. Experience and
judgment are required to determine what mail should
be controlled and what controls can be maintained most
You should sort mail when it arrives at the
maintenance office. To do this, separate personal mail
from official mail, and separate mail that can be
directly routed from mail that should be controlled.
Once separated, place routine personal and official mail
(as appropriate) in a secure designated area for
divisional pickup or deliver the mail to the appropriate
division or work center.
Personally addressed mail falls into two
categoriespurely personal mail and personally
addressed official mail. You should discourage the
reception of personally addressed mail at the office
because personally addressed mail interferes with the
handling of official mail. Personally addressed official
mail and correspondence are hard to route and control;
therefore, these are not encouraged. A certain amount
of such mail will be received, however, and should be
delivered unopened whenever possible.
Official mail is routed without opening whenever
possible. If information on the envelope does not
clearly indicate the intended organizational division or
office, official mail should be opened so it can be
routed. When mail must be opened, the sorter should
read its contents only as far as it is required to determine
its destination. Mail that requires priority handling
should be delivered promptly.
Personally addressed mail (official and routine)
that does not require control will make up the bulk of
the mail you receive at each mail call. The remainder of
the incoming mail will consist of correspondence that
requires some type of control. Mail control is defined as
any procedure that is used to make a record of the
receipt, location, or dispatch of mail. This definition
includes logging or preparing other records to indicate
receipt and includes obtaining signatures for classified
and registered mail, following up to ensure action, and
providing information on the location of an item. The
important thing to remember about mail that requires
control is that you should never accept or distribute
classified or registered mail without authorization and
then only when you provide or obtain a signature. Refer
to your activitys mail and correspondence handling
procedures for mail that falls in this category. Mail
controls require additional work and ensuing delays
and should be used only for selected types of important
mail. Yet, it should be emphasized that some controls
are definitely needed for certain types of mail.
As an AZ, you must be able to type an official letter
correctly and neatly. Every division of the maintenance
department where you serve is likely to draft at least an
occasional letter for the department heads signature or
release. In a maintenance administration office,
correspondence preparation will make up a good
portion of your daily work routine.