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Army Regulation 25–50
Information Management: Records
Management
Preparing and
Managing
Correspondence
Headquarters
Department of the Army
Washington, DC
17 May 2013
UNCLASSIFED
SUMMARY of CHANGE
AR 25–50
Preparing and Managing Correspondence
This major revision, dated 17 May 2013-o
Transfers proponency for the Army’s correspondence program from the Deputy
Chief of Staff, G-1 to the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the
Army (para 1-4a).
o
Allows for the use of Army Knowledge Online and Defense Knowledge Online
instant messaging for organizational and individual information transfer
(para 1-7e).
o
Adds policy to capitalize “Soldier” for internal Army correspondence (para 113a).
o
Adds policy to capitalize “Family” for internal Army correspondence (para 113b).
o
Adds policy to capitalize “Civilian” for internal Army correspondence when
referring to U.S. Department of the Army civilians and used in conjunction
with Soldier and/or Family (para 1-13c).
o
Changes preferred font to Arial, point size 12 (paras 1-17a and 1-17b).
o
Allows for the use of courtesy copy on letters (para 1-19d).
o
Adds reference to Public Law 111-274 (Plain Writing Act of 2010) (paras 1-10
and 1-36a).
o
Allows for the optional use of Army Records Information Management System
record numbers after the office symbol on Army correspondence (para 2-4a(2)).
o
Revises policy on reducing cost and expediting distribution of official mail
(chap 5).
o
Standardizes signature blocks for all retired military personnel (para 6-6).
o
Makes administrative changes (throughout).
*Army Regulation 25–50
Headquarters
Department of the Army
Washington, DC
17 May 2013
Effective 17 June 2013
Information Management: Records Management
Preparing and Managing Correspondence
History. This publication is a major
revision.
Summary. This regulation establishes
three forms of correspondence authorized
for use within the Army: a letter, a memorandum, and a message.
Applicability. This regulation applies to
the Active Army, the Army National
Guard/Army National Guard of the United
States, and the U.S. Army Reserve, unless
otherwise stated.
Contents
Proponent and exception authority.
The proponent of this regulation is the
Administrative Assistant to the Secretary
of the Army. The proponent has the authority to approve exceptions or waivers
to this regulation that are consistent with
controlling law and regulations. The proponent may delegate this approval authority, in writing, to members of the Senior
Executive Service within the proponent
agency. Activities may request an exception or waiver to this regulation by providing justification that includes a full
analysis of the expected benefits and a
formal review by the activity’s senior
legal officer. All requests for exceptions
or waivers will be endorsed by the commander or senior leader of the requesting
activity and forwarded through their
higher headquarters to the proponent. Refer to AR 25–30 for specific guidance.
Army internal control process. This
regulation contains internal control provisions and provides an internal control
evaluation for use in evaluating key internal controls (see appendix F).
Supplementation. Supplementation of
this regulation and establishment of command or local forms are prohibited without prior approval from the
Administrative Assistant to the Secretary
of the Army (SAAA), 105 Army Pentagon, Washington, DC 20310–0105.
Suggested improvements. Users are
invited to submit comments and suggested
improvements on DA Form 2028 (Recommended Changes to Publications and
Blank Forms) directly to U.S. Army Records Management and Declassification
Agency, Records Management Division
(AAHS–RDR–C), 7701 Telegraph Road,
Alexandria, VA 22315–3860.
Distribution. This publication is available in electronic media only and is intended for command levels A, B, C, D,
and E for the Active Army, the Army
National Guard/Army National Guard of
the United States, and the U.S. Army
Reserve.
(Listed by paragraph and page number)
Chapter 1
Preparing Correspondence, page 1
Section I
General, page 1
Purpose • 1–1, page 1
References • 1–2, page 1
Explanation of abbreviations and terms • 1–3, page 1
Responsibilities • 1–4, page 1
Restrictions to this regulation • 1–5, page 1
Objectives • 1–6, page 1
Section II
General Correspondence Guidance, page 1
Methods of communication • 1–7, page 1
*This regulation supersedes AR 25–50, dated 3 June 2002.
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
UNCLASSIFIED
i
Contents—Continued
Direct communications • 1–8, page 2
Routing through channels • 1–9, page 2
Writing quality • 1–10, page 2
Exclusive For correspondence • 1–11, page 2
Section III
Specific Correspondence Guidance, page 2
Dissemination of command instructions • 1–12, page 2
Unique capitalization • 1–13, page 2
Abbreviations, brevity codes, and acronyms • 1–14, page 2
Letterhead • 1–15, page 3
Paper • 1–16, page 3
Type fonts and sizes • 1–17, page 3
Ink color • 1–18, page 3
Copies • 1–19, page 3
Classified and special handling correspondence • 1–20, page 3
Identifying a point of contact • 1–21, page 4
Identifying the originating office • 1–22, page 4
Expressing a date • 1–23, page 4
Expressing time • 1–24, page 4
Suspense date • 1–25, page 4
Addressing • 1–26, page 4
Postscripts • 1–27, page 4
References • 1–28, page 4
Page and paragraph numbering • 1–29, page 5
Using boldface and italic type for emphasis • 1–30, page 5
Distribution formulas • 1–31, page 5
Identifying and listing enclosures • 1–32, page 5
Nine-digit ZIP code (ZIP+4 code) • 1–33, page 5
North Atlantic Treaty Organization correspondence • 1–34, page 5
Recordkeeping requirements for delegations of signature authority • 1–35, page 5
Section IV
Effective Writing and Correspondence: The Army Writing Style, page 6
Standards for Army writing • 1–36, page 6
Constructing military correspondence • 1–37, page 6
Chapter 2
Preparing Memorandums, page 6
General • 2–1, page 6
Use • 2–2, page 6
General rules • 2–3, page 6
Format • 2–4, page 7
Multiple-page memorandums • 2–5, page 8
Memorandum of understanding or memorandum of agreement • 2–6, page 8
Memorandum for record • 2–7, page 9
Chapter 3
Preparing Letters, page 32
General • 3–1, page 32
Use • 3–2, page 32
Response phrases • 3–3, page 32
Abbreviations • 3–4, page 32
General rules • 3–5, page 32
ii
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
Contents—Continued
Format • 3–6, page 32
Chapter 4
Listing Enclosures, Placing Tabs, and Assembling Correspondence, page 40
General • 4–1, page 40
Enclosures • 4–2, page 40
Tabbing enclosures • 4–3, page 41
Tabbing correspondence packages • 4–4, page 41
Chapter 5
Processing Correspondence and Official Mail, page 43
Section I
Cost Reduction Methods, page 43
Reducing mail costs • 5–1, page 43
Disseminating correspondence via messenger envelopes • 5–2, page 43
Section II
Envelopes, page 43
Size • 5–3, page 43
Folding and fastening • 5–4, page 43
Preparing envelopes for mailing • 5–5, page 43
Address locations on larger than letter-sized (flat) mail • 5–6, page 44
Section III
Addressing Mail, page 44
Delivery address • 5–7, page 44
Return address • 5–8, page 45
Addressing • 5–9, page 45
Address format • 5–10, page 45
Address content • 5–11, page 46
“To the Commander of _____” • 5–12, page 47
Chapter 6
Preparing Authority Lines, Signatures, and Signature Blocks, page 48
Section I
Delegation of Authority, page 48
Delegation of signature authority • 6–1, page 48
Delegation of authority line • 6–2, page 48
Section II
Signatures and Signature Blocks, page 49
Signatures • 6–3, page 49
Signature block • 6–4, page 49
Personnel on active duty • 6–5, page 51
Retired military personnel • 6–6, page 52
Army Reserve personnel not on active duty • 6–7, page 52
Civilian personnel and contract surgeons • 6–8, page 52
Signatures of subordinates • 6–9, page 52
Auto-pen signature • 6–10, page 52
Addressing retired military • 6–11, page 53
Chapter 7
Using Prescribed Forms and Labels, page 53
General • 7–1, page 53
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
iii
Contents—Continued
Routing and transmittal slips • 7–2, page 53
Department of the Army Form 5 • 7–3, page 53
Department of the Army Form 200 • 7–4, page 53
Department of the Army Form 209 • 7–5, page 53
Department of the Army Label 87 • 7–6, page 53
Department of the Army Label 113 • 7–7, page 53
Department of the Army Label 115 • 7–8, page 53
Optional Form 65–B • 7–9, page 54
Optional Form 65–C • 7–10, page 54
Chapter 8
Marking Classified Correspondence, page 54
General authority • 8–1, page 54
Guidance on markings • 8–2, page 54
Cover sheets • 8–3, page 54
Appendixes
A.
References, page 64
B.
Titles and Protocol Sequence, page 66
C.
Forms of Address, Salutation, and Complimentary Close, page 68
D.
Model Authority Lines and Signature Blocks, page 84
E.
Preparing Mass Mailings, page 93
F.
Internal Control Evaluation, page 94
Table List
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
5–1: Address format, page 44
5–2: Optional line, page 44
5–3: Delivery address line, page 44
5–4: Foreign mail, page 45
5–5: Return address, page 45
5–6: Completeness and accuracy, page 46
5–7: USPS two-letter State or territory abbreviations, page 46
5–8: Example of “To the Commander of ____________”, page 48
6–1: Grade abbreviations, page 50
6–2: Branch title abbreviations, page 50
C–1: The Executive Branch, page 69
C–2: The Congress and legislative agencies, page 71
C–3: The Judiciary, page 73
C–4: Military personnel, page 74
C–5: State and Government officials, page 77
C–6: Ecclesiastical officials, page 79
C–7: Private citizens, page 81
C–8: Corporations, companies, and federations, page 82
C–9: Foreign government officials, page 82
C–10: International organizations, page 82
C–11: Addressing former officials, page 84
Figure List
Figure
Figure
Figure
Figure
iv
2–1:
2–2:
2–2:
2–3:
Using and preparing a memorandum, page 10
Preparing a memorandum with a suspense date, page 11
Preparing a memorandum with a suspense date (continued), page 12
Addressing a single-address Headquarters, Department of the Army memorandum, page 13
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
Contents—Continued
Figure 2–4: Addressing a single-address Army service component command memorandum, page 14
Figure 2–5: Addressing a multiple-address memorandum for Headquarters, Department of the Army agencies using
full titles and addresses, page 15
Figure 2–6: Addressing a multiple-address memorandum for Headquarters, Department of the Army agencies using
office symbols, page 16
Figure 2–7: Addressing an Army command multiple-address memorandum, page 17
Figure 2–8: Preparing a SEE DISTRIBUTION addressed memorandum, page 18
Figure 2–8: Preparing a SEE DISTRIBUTION addressed memorandum (continued), page 19
Figure 2–9: Preparing a DISTRIBUTION list on the second page, page 20
Figure 2–9: Preparing a DISTRIBUTION list on the second page (continued), page 21
Figure 2–10: Preparing a memorandum with a distribution formula, page 22
Figure 2–11: Preparing a single-address MEMORANDUM THRU, page 23
Figure 2–12: Preparing a MEMORANDUM THRU with two addresses, page 24
Figure 2–13: Preparing a one-paragraph memorandum with subparagraphs and continuing the subject line, page 25
Figure 2–14: Listing enclosures, copies furnished, and point of contact paragraph, page 26
Figure 2–15: Preparing a memorandum of understanding, page 27
Figure 2–15: Preparing a memorandum of understanding (continued), page 28
Figure 2–16: Preparing a memorandum of agreement, page 29
Figure 2–16: Preparing a memorandum of agreement (continued), page 30
Figure 2–17: Preparing a memorandum for record, page 31
Figure 3–1: Formatting a letter, page 34
Figure 3–1: Formatting a letter (continued), page 35
Figure 3–2: Using office symbols and titles, page 36
Figure 3–3: Spacing in a letter, page 37
Figure 3–4: Preparing a letter with a subject line, page 38
Figure 3–5: Using courtesy copy in letters, page 39
Figure 4–1: Capitalizing the first letter in the first word of a listed enclosure, page 40
Figure 4–2: Accounting for enclosures not identified in the body of the correspondence, page 40
Figure 4–3: Having one enclosure that is not identified in the body, page 40
Figure 4–4: Having enclosures without a number preceding Encl/Encls, page 40
Figure 4–5: Using approved abbreviations, page 41
Figure 4–6: Identifying some enclosures but not others, page 41
Figure 4–7: Tabbing correspondence, page 42
Figure 8–1: Marking the security classification of portions, page 55
Figure 8–1: Marking the security classification of portions (continued), page 56
Figure 8–2: Preparing a restricted data additional warning notice memorandum, page 57
Figure 8–2: Preparing a restricted data additional warning notice memorandum (continued), page 58
Figure 8–3: Preparing a formerly restricted data additional warning notice memorandum, page 59
Figure 8–3: Preparing a formerly restricted data additional warning notice memorandum (continued), page 60
Figure 8–4: Marking unclassified transmittal documents, page 61
Figure 8–5: Marking classified transmittal documents, page 62
Figure 8–6: Marking classified working papers, page 63
Figure B–1: Addressing the Office of the Secretary of Defense, page 67
Figure B–2: Addressing Headquarters, Department of the Army principal officials, page 68
Figure D–1: Signed by the commanding general of a command, page 85
Figure D–2: Signed by an authorized subordinate of the commander, page 85
Figure D–3: Signed by the head of a Headquarters, Department of the Army Staff agency, page 86
Figure D–4: Signed by an authorized representative of a Headquarters, Department of the Army staff agency,
page 86
Figure D–5: Signed by the commanding officer of a unit, headquarters, or installation, page 86
Figure D–6: Signed by an authorized representative of the commander of a unit, headquarters, or installation,
page 87
Figure D–7: Signed by an authorized representative for the head of a staff office or other official, page 88
Figure D–8: Signed by an authorized civilian, with or without an authority line, page 88
Figure D–9: Signature of an officer writing as an individual (show name, grade, branch, and organization), page 89
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
v
Contents—Continued
Figure D–10: Examples of signature blocks for letters (show the name in uppercase and lowercase letters, grade, U.S.
Army spelled out, and organization), page 89
Figure D–11: Signature blocks for retired military personnel, page 89
Figure D–12: Abbreviated titles, page 90
Figure D–13: Unabbreviated titles, page 90
Figure D–14: Noncommissioned officer signature blocks, page 90
Figure D–15: Signed by an enlisted U.S. Army Reserve Soldier on active duty, such as during an Active Guard
Reserve assignment, page 91
Figure D–16: Signed by a U.S. Army Reserve officer on active duty, page 91
Figure D–17: Signed by an officer assigned to the general staff, colonel or below, page 91
Figure D–18: Signed by an officer detailed as inspector general, page 91
Figure D–19: Signed by a medical corps officer, page 92
Figure D–20: Signed by a reserve noncommissioned officer not on active duty, page 92
Figure D–21: Signed by a reserve officer not on active duty, page 92
Figure D–22: Signed by a reserve warrant officer, page 92
Figure D–23: Signed by an active duty U.S. Army Reserve chaplain (such as during an Active Guard Reserve
assignment), page 93
Figure D–24: Signed by a U.S. Army Reserve chaplain not on active duty, page 93
Glossary
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AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
Chapter 1
Preparing Correspondence
Section I
General
1–1. Purpose
This regulation prescribes Department of the Army (DA) policies, procedures, and standard formats for preparing and
processing Army correspondence.
1–2. References
Required and related publications and prescribed and referenced forms are listed in appendix A.
1–3. Explanation of abbreviations and terms
Abbreviations and terms used in this regulation are explained in the glossary.
1–4. Responsibilities
a. Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. The AASA will—
(1) Establish policies and procedures for preparing correspondence on behalf of the Secretary of the Army (SA).
(2) Develop policy and direction for correspondence management for DA.
b. Deputy Chief of Staff, G–3/5/7. The DCS, G–3/5/7 will incorporate effective Army writing into training courses
and fund any special requirements.
c. Headquarters, Department of the Army principal officials and commanders or heads of Army commands, Army
service component commands, direct reporting units, installations, activities, and units. HQDA principal officials and
commanders or heads of ACOMs, ASCCs, DRUs, installations, activities, and units will supervise and manage
correspondence within their agencies or commands and will actively support effective Army writing by enforcing
prescribed standards for all Army personnel.
1–5. Restrictions to this regulation
This regulation has been made as complete as possible to avoid issuing additional instructions. The formats for
correspondence outlined in this regulation take precedence over format instructions outlined in other regulations or
directives. Therefore, command publications issued to augment this regulation will be restricted to instructions that are
unique to the issuing command.
Note. When preparing correspondence for signature by the Secretary of Defense, SA, Chief of Staff of the Army, Under Secretary of
the Army, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, Assistant Secretaries of the Army, AASA, and other HQDA principal officials, follow
the guidance in DA Memo 25–52 and Department of Defense (DOD) 5110.04–M.
1–6. Objectives
The objectives of this regulation are to—
a. Provide clear instructions for preparing correspondence.
b. Reduce the cost of preparing correspondence.
c. Standardize the preparation and dissemination of correspondence.
Section II
General Correspondence Guidance
1–7. Methods of communication
a. Personal or telephone contact. Conduct official business by personal contact, telephone, or Defense Switched
Network (DSN) whenever possible and appropriate. Use a memorandum for record (MFR) to document any decisions
or agreements reached during voice communications (see para 2–7 for the proper use of an MFR).
b. Memorandum. Use the memorandum for correspondence within a department or agency, as well as for routine
correspondence to Federal Government agencies outside DOD. Do not use the memorandum format when corresponding with the Families of military personnel or private businesses (see para 2–2 for the proper use of the memorandum).
c. Letter. Use the letter for correspondence addressed to the President or Vice President of the United States,
members of the White House staff, Members of Congress, Justices of the Supreme Court, heads of departments and
agencies, State Governors, mayors, foreign government officials, and the public. You may also use letters to address
individuals outside the department or agency when a personal tone is appropriate, such as in letters of commendation
or condolence (see para 3–2 for the proper use of a letter).
d. Electronic mail. Use email to transfer organizational and individual information.
e. Army Knowledge Online and Defense Knowledge Online. Use instant messaging as an alternate method to transfer
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
1
organizational and individual information, facilitating communications with offices in multiple or distant locations. Use
an MFR to document any decisions or agreements reached during instant messaging communications.
1–8. Direct communications
Send correspondence as directly as possible to the action office concerned (see para 2–4a(5)). Include the action
officer’s name and office symbol when addressing correspondence.
1–9. Routing through channels
a. Routing action correspondence. Route correspondence through commands, agencies, or offices expected to
exercise control or take action.
b. Bypassing intermediate headquarters. Do not route correspondence through a headquarters that has no interest or
concern in the matter or action. However, send a copy of the communication and referral action to the command,
agency, or office that was bypassed. Routine correspondence may bypass intermediate headquarters when—
(1) It is apparent the intermediate headquarters is not concerned.
(2) No action is required.
(3) No controls need to be exercised.
c. Using technical channels. Use technical channels to route correspondence that deals with technical matters. This
includes technical reports, instructions, or requests for information that do not involve command matters. Before using
technical channels, make sure the action should not be sent through command channels. Do not use “FOR THE
COMMANDER” on the authority line of technical channel correspondence.
1–10. Writing quality
In accordance with Public Law (PL) 111–274 (Plain Writing Act of 2010), DA writing will be clear, concise, and
effective. Army correspondence must aid effective communication and decisionmaking. The reader must be able to
understand the writer’s ideas in a single reading, and the correspondence must be free of errors in substance,
organization, style, and correctness (see para 1–37). Use electronic spell check when available but always proofread;
spell check is only a tool and is not infallible.
1–11. Exclusive For correspondence
a. Using. Use Exclusive For correspondence for matters of a sensitive or privileged nature directed to a specific
party or parties. Minimize its use to avoid delay of action if the named addressee is absent or unavailable to receive
and act on the correspondence. Prepare Exclusive For correspondence in either letter or memorandum format.
b. Addressing. Address Exclusive For correspondence to the name and title of the addressee.
c. Handling. When preparing Exclusive For correspondence, place it in a sealed envelope. Type and underline the
words Exclusive For on the envelope. Distribution center and official mailroom workers will give this type of mail to
addressees unopened unless security conditions dictate that they open the mail as part of the official mail screening
process.
Section III
Specific Correspondence Guidance
1–12. Dissemination of command instructions
Use the acronym ALARACT (all Army activities) only in electronically transmitted messages. This acronym assigns
responsibility for distribution instructions. Do not use it when addressing Army correspondence.
1–13. Unique capitalization
The following is a selection of style and usage preferences for internal Army correspondence:
a. Capitalize the word “Soldier” when it refers to a U.S. Army Soldier.
b. Capitalize the word “Family” when it refers to U.S. Army Family or Family members.
c. Capitalize the word “Civilian” when it refers to DA civilians and is used in conjunction with Soldier and/or
Family.
1–14. Abbreviations, brevity codes, and acronyms
a. Memorandums. Use abbreviations and brevity codes authorized in AR 25–52 for memorandums. Use the
U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual and standard dictionaries for abbreviations not in AR 25–52. Prescribing regulations for various technical fields also provide authorized abbreviations, brevity codes, and acronyms.
Abbreviated military grades are authorized for memorandums. General officers will use their full military grades on all
correspondence.
b. Letters. Use only common abbreviations found in standard dictionaries. Do not use military abbreviations, brevity
2
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
codes, acronyms, or military jargon in letters addressed to persons outside DOD. Military personnel will use their full
grades (for example, lieutenant general, major general, captain, and sergeant first class) in letters.
c. Abbreviation guidelines.
(1) Established abbreviations are acceptable in all but the most formal writing. For reading ease, use only wellknown abbreviations or those you believe the recipient knows.
(2) When a title or complete term will be used repeatedly in a document, use a shortened version of the title or term
instead of an acronym; for example, instead of “military interdepartmental purchase request,” use “purchase request.” If
the complete title or term is lengthy, complex, or not well known, place the abbreviated form in parentheses after the
first time the title or term is used. Thereafter, use only the shortened form. Do not use this method if the term will not
be used repeatedly. Avoid beginning a sentence with an abbreviation or using them in the subject line, except for
words like “Mr.,” “Dr.,” “Ms.,” and so on.
(3) For further guidance on correct capitalization when spelling out an abbreviation, refer to the U.S. Army Records
Management and Declassification Agency’s Web site, https://www.rmda.army.mil/abbreviation/MainMenu.asp and
Joint Publication (JP) 1–02 at http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/dod_dictionary/index.html.
d. Acronym guidelines.
(1) Use military and civilian acronyms in memorandums, if appropriate. Do not, however, use military acronyms
when writing to individuals or organizations not familiar with their use. When an acronym is used, spell out the
acronym the first time it is used and follow it with the acronym in parentheses. Thereafter, use the acronym. Do not
overuse acronyms.
(2) For further guidance on correct capitalization when spelling out an acronym, see AR 25–52, the Records
Management and Declassification Agency’s Web site, https://www.rmda.army.mil/abbreviation/MainMenu.asp, and JP
1–02 at http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/dod_dictionary/index.html.
1–15. Letterhead
a. Letterhead identifies the originating organization and provides the complete standardized mailing address.
b. Computer-generated letterhead is used for all official correspondence. For further guidance on using letterhead,
see AR 25–30 and DA Pam 25–40.
1–16. Paper
Paper used for Army correspondence generally will be the standard size (81⁄2 by 11 inches). Use computer-generated
letterhead for the first page of all memorandums and letters except when an approved form is prescribed. Use plain
white paper for continuing pages.
1–17. Type fonts and sizes
When creating official correspondence, use type fonts and sizes that make the correspondence easy to read and
understand. The following guidelines will provide the best results:
a. A font with a point size of 12 is recommended.
b. Preferred type font is Arial.
c. Unusual type styles, such as Script, will not be used in official correspondence.
1–18. Ink color
Correspondence may be signed in blue or black ink. Black ink will be used for date stamps.
1–19. Copies
a. Record copy. Make one record or file copy of correspondence after the original has been signed and dated. Stamp
or write “record copy” or “file copy” along the edge of the right margin. Record copies may be stored electronically.
Maintain file copies according to Army recordkeeping system requirements (see AR 25–400–2).
b. Reading file copies. If reading files are used, maintain according to Army recordkeeping system requirements.
c. Copy furnished. Use “copy furnished” (CF:) on memorandums to keep other than the prime addressee(s) informed
of an action. Make copies after the original has been signed and dated.
d. Courtesy copy. Use “courtesy copy” (cc:) on letters to inform other readers of the subject if they have a need to
know or should receive a copy of the correspondence. Make copies after the original has been signed and dated.
e. Electronic records. Maintain according to Army recordkeeping system requirements (see AR 25–400–2).
1–20. Classified and special handling correspondence
a. General. Information that requires protection against unauthorized disclosure in the interest of national security
will be classified. Correspondence containing classified information will be safeguarded as prescribed in AR 380–5.
The contents of a classified communication will be revealed only to individuals who have the appropriate security
clearance and whose official duties require the information.
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
3
b. Marking classified correspondence. See chapter 8 of this regulation and AR 380–5 for detailed instructions on
marking and downgrading correspondence.
c. Using for official use only marking. See AR 25–55 and AR 380–5 for the proper use and marking of for official
use only (FOUO) material.
d. Controlled unclassified information. See Executive Order (EO) 13556.
1–21. Identifying a point of contact
Normally, when writing any type of correspondence, the writer or point of contact (POC) will be identified by military
grade or civilian prefix, first and last name, commercial and/or DSN telephone number, and, if appropriate, position,
fax number, and email address. This information is generally placed in the last paragraph of the correspondence.
1–22. Identifying the originating office
Office symbols and/or office names are used to identify the office that prepared the document for signature. It will
normally match the POC’s organization and may or may not correspond with the signature block.
a. Office symbols are used when addressing or replying to memorandums. See the U.S. Army Addresses and Office
Symbols Online Web site at https://www.rmda.army.mil/AAO/Welcome.aspx.
b. Office names may be used when addressing or replying to letters.
1–23. Expressing a date
a. Dates on memorandums. Express dates on memorandums in the following formats: 1 January 2013 or 1 Jan 13.
The four digits for the year will be used only when the month is spelled out or when date stamps use abbreviated
months and four-digit year.
b. Dates on letters. Express dates on letters and refer to dates within letters only in the following format:
January 1, 2013.
c. Separating date elements. Avoid separating any of the three date elements (day, month, and year) from each
other. If absolutely necessary, the four-digit year may be carried over to the next line.
1–24. Expressing time
Military time will be expressed in a group of four digits, from 0001 to 2400, based on the 24–hour clock system. The
first two digits represent the hour after midnight and the last two digits represent the minutes. For example, 1:37 p.m.
civilian time is expressed as 1337 military time. The word “hours” will not be used in conjunction with military time.
Civilian time is used when writing letters. Military time will be used for memorandums.
1–25. Suspense date
a. Use a suspense date on memorandums when a reply is required by a certain date (see fig 2–2). Show the suspense
date two lines above the date line and in the body of the memorandum in one of the following formats: 1 Jan 13 or
1 January 2013. Do not use a suspense date on a letter.
b. Consider the following time factors in setting a suspense date on correspondence:
(1) The number of days required to send the communications.
(2) The number of days needed to complete the action.
(3) The number of days required to submit the reply.
1–26. Addressing
Address correspondence and envelopes as prescribed in AR 25–51 and chapter 5 of this regulation.
1–27. Postscripts
Do not use postscripts in Army correspondence.
1–28. References
List references in the first paragraph of the correspondence. (Enclose copies of references that are not readily available
to the addressee(s) or list an Army Knowledge Online (AKO) or public Web site link that is accessible to all agencies
on the distribution list (for example, https://www.us.army.mil/suite/doc/3456789)). List and number references in the
order they are mentioned in the correspondence. However, when references are not included in the body of the
correspondence, number and list them in order of precedence and ascending date order in the first paragraph. As a
minimum, include the following information:
a. Publications. When referencing publications, include the number, title, and date (for example, AR 25–50
(Preparing and Managing Correspondence), 5 October 2013). In policy correspondence, referencing basic directives by
the number and title prevents the correspondence from having to be revised and republished when one of the references
is updated.
b. Correspondence. When referencing correspondence, include the type of correspondence, organization of origin,
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office symbol, date, and subject of the correspondence (for example, Memorandum, HQ AMC, AMCIO–F, 20 Feb 13,
subject: Training for U.S. Army Materiel Command Personnel; Letter, Office of the General Counsel, SAGC, July 16,
2013, subject: if used; and Message, HQ TRADOC, ATPL–TDD–OR, 101623Z Sep 13, subject: Correspondence
Management). When referencing an email or fax number, use the name of the sender and office symbol, if included
(for example, Email, HQ TRADOC, ATPL–TDD–OR, Mr. Samuel Jones, 3 Nov 13, subject: Correspondence Management; and Fax, HQ FORSCOM, Ms. Ella Johns, 25 Feb 13, subject: Copier Management).
Note. Enter subjects and dates verbatim.
c. Public law. When referencing public laws, include the name, public law number, section, statute number, and date
(for example, National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Public Law No. 91–190, Section 103, 83 Statute 852, 853
(1970) or Social Security Number Privacy and Identity Theft Prevention Act of 2003, H.R. 2971, 108th Cong. § 101
(2003)).
d. Classified or unclassified material. Use chapter 8 and AR 380–5 for portion marking when referencing unclassified material in a classified document or when referencing classified material in a classified or unclassified document.
e. Paragraphs of publications.
(1) When referencing a publication, cite its number, title, and date: DA Memo 25–52 (Staff Action Process and
Correspondence Policies), 1 May 2008.
(2) Additional references need only include the regulation and paragraph number (for example, DA Memo 25–52,
para 3–1a).
f. Telephone conversations or meetings. When referencing telephone conversations or meetings, first cite the
communication, then names of the individuals, headquarters or office of location, date, and subject, if applicable.
(1) Reference telephone conversation between Mr. William Smith, this office, and Ms. Linda Jones, TRADOC,
23 Jan 13, subject: Office Copiers.
(2) Reference meeting between Ms. Linda Jones, TRADOC, and Mr. William Smith, this office, 23 Jan 13, subject:
Office Copiers.
g. Material that has the same subject. In memorandums, you may use the term “subject as above” or the acronym
“SAB” in lieu of repeating the subject. You cannot do so in letters.
1–29. Page and paragraph numbering
See chapters 2 and 3 for exact guidance on paragraph and page numbering and placement of the page number.
1–30. Using boldface and italic type for emphasis
Use boldface or italic type to emphasize a specific or important fact. Overuse of this method for emphasis (like overuse
of the exclamation point) defeats its purpose. In general, substitute more specific or forceful words to gain emphasis.
1–31. Distribution formulas
Develop a distribution formula that is easy to understand and use. Make sure it is a fast and cost-effective way to
distribute information to a great number of addresses. Do not use internal distribution formulas for correspondence
external to your command or installation (see AR 25–51).
1–32. Identifying and listing enclosures
Use enclosures for memorandums and letters. Number and attach all enclosures in the same order they are mentioned
in the body of the correspondence. Identify each enclosure in the lower right corner of the first page before making
copies. Specify enclosures in the text. See paragraph 4–2 for the proper listing of enclosures. Attachments to enclosures
are referred to as enclosures to enclosures (for example, enclosure 3 to enclosure 2).
1–33. Nine-digit ZIP code (ZIP+4 code)
Use the ZIP+4 code on all return envelope addresses and correspondence. The ZIP+4 code will be used on all
letterhead.
1–34. North Atlantic Treaty Organization correspondence
For North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) correspondence purposes, see standardization agreements. All NATO
correspondence will be prepared according to applicable NATO directives.
1–35. Recordkeeping requirements for delegations of signature authority
Records of delegations of signature authority must be created and maintained in accordance with AR 25–400–2.
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Section IV
Effective Writing and Correspondence: The Army Writing Style
1–36. Standards for Army writing
a. Effective Army writing is understood by the reader in a single rapid reading and is free of errors in substance,
organization, style, and correctness in accordance with PL 111–274.
b. Army writing will be concise, organized, and to the point. Two essential requirements include putting the main
point at the beginning of the correspondence (bottom line up front) and using the active voice (for example, “You are
entitled to jump pay for the time you spent in training last year”).
c. The standard English sentence order, subject-verb-object, works best. It speeds communication and helps the
reader understand the main point.
d. Active voice writing—
(1) Emphasizes the actor of the sentence.
(2) Shows who or what does the action in the sentence and puts the actor before the verb.
(3) Creates shorter sentences. By eliminating passive voice, you reduce the number of words in a sentence.
(a) Passive voice: The test was passed by SGT Jones (seven words).
(b) Active voice: SGT Jones passed the test (five words).
e. Passive voice is easy to recognize. A passive construction occurs when the object of an action becomes the
subject of the sentence. A verb in the passive voice uses any form of the verb “to be” (for example, am, is, are, was,
were, be, being, and been), plus a past participle of the verb, which usually ends in “en” or “ed” (for example, were
completed, is requested). Additionally, in passive voice the subject receives the action instead of taking the action.
1–37. Constructing military correspondence
a. General techniques. When constructing basic military correspondence, focus first on the main point. Use of active
voice is the basic style of Army writing.
b. Specific techniques. Incorporate these plain language techniques to improve effectiveness:
(1) Use short words.
(2) Keep sentences short. The average length of a sentence should be about 15 words.
(3) Write paragraphs that, with few exceptions, are no more than 10 lines.
(4) Avoid jargon.
(5) Use correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
(6) Use “I,” “you,” and “we” as subjects of sentences instead of this office, this headquarters, this command, all
individuals, and so forth.
(7) Write one-page letters and memorandums for most correspondence. Use enclosures for additional information.
(8) Avoid sentences that begin with “It is,” “There is,” or “There are.”
(9) Insert two blank spaces after ending punctuation (for example, a period and question mark).
(10) Insert two blank spaces after a colon.
(11) When numbering subparagraphs, insert two blank spaces after the parentheses.
Chapter 2
Preparing Memorandums
2–1. General
Figures 2–1 through 2–17 illustrate examples of use and general rules for memorandums.
2–2. Use
The memorandum is used for correspondence sent outside the headquarters, command, installation, activities, units, or
similarly identifiable organizational elements within DOD; for routine correspondence to Federal Government agencies
outside DOD; for notification of personnel actions, military or civilian; for showing appreciation or commendation to
DA Civilians and Soldiers; and for internal correspondence within the same headquarters, command, or similarly
identifiable organizational elements.
Note. Refer to DA Memo 25–52 for correspondence originating within Army Secretariat or Army Staff organizations.
2–3. General rules
a. Paper. Use standard size paper (81⁄2 by 11 inches).
(1) Original pages. For memorandums, use computer-generated letterhead for the first page and plain white paper
for continuing pages.
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(2) Copies. Prepare only the number of copies needed. See paragraph 1–19 of this regulation for more information
on record, reading file, copy-furnished, and courtesy copies.
b. Dates. Type or stamp the day, month, and year on the memorandum flush with the right margin.
c. Margins. Use standard margins: 1 inch from the left, right, and bottom edges. Do not justify right margins.
d. Spacing. See figures 2–1 and 2–2.
e. Abbreviations, brevity codes, and acronyms. See paragraph 1–14 of this regulation.
f. Signature blocks. See paragraph 6–4 of this regulation.
2–4. Format
When writing a memorandum, use the block style format (flush with the left margin) with three parts: heading, body,
and closing.
a. Heading. The heading has six elements—
(1) Office symbol. Type the office symbol on the second line below the seal. The office symbol identifies the
writer’s office (for example, DAPE–PRR). Other information may follow the office symbol when needed and if not
part of the subject line. Some examples are the name of an individual, military grade, primary military occupational
specialty, contract number, Army Records Information Management System (ARIMS) record number (file number), or
bill of lading number. Do not crowd the office or reference symbol line. If the additional information is lengthy, use a
second line, flush with the left margin.
(2) Army Records Information Management System record number. Follow Army recordkeeping requirements
according to AR 25–400–2. Commands and agencies may place a record number after the office symbol on correspondence. If used, place the record number two spaces after the office symbol in parentheses.
(3) Date.
(a) Correspondence must be dated. The date may be typed or stamped.
(b) Place the date on the same line as the office symbol flush with the right margin after the correspondence has
been signed.
(c) Express dates in the following formats: 1 January 2013 or 1 Jan 13. Use four digits for the year only when the
month is spelled out. The only exception to this rule is if a date stamp uses the abbreviated month and the four-digit
year.
(4) Suspense date. Use a suspense date if a reply is needed by a certain date. Do not impose a suspense date without
a compelling reason. Place the suspense date flush with the right margin two lines above the memorandum date.
Precede the suspense date with S: (for example, S: 1 June 2013 or S: 1 Jun 13) (see fig 2–2).
(5) “MEMORANDUM FOR” line. Type “MEMORANDUM FOR” on the third line below the office symbol. Write
to the office that is expected to complete the action. Do not simply address an action to a headquarters if you know
which element of that headquarters will receive the action. If you are sending the memorandum to someone’s attention,
place the person’s name in parentheses after the office symbol (see fig 2–2). Exception: When used for Exclusive For
correspondence, appreciation, and commendation, address the memorandum to the name and title of the addressee.
When a second line is needed for the address, begin it flush with the left margin except for multiple-address
memorandums, which will be indented 1⁄4 inch. Type addresses in either all uppercase letters or uppercase and
lowercase letters. Be consistent. Do not mix the two styles.
(a) Single-address memorandums. See figures 2–3 and 2–4 for examples of memorandums with a single address.
Figure 2–3 gives an example for HQDA, and figure 2–4 gives an example for an ASCC. When using a single address,
type “MEMORANDUM FOR” and the address on the same line.
(b) Multiple-address memorandums. See figures 2–5 through 2–7 for examples of memorandums with multiple
addresses. Note that “multiple-address memorandums” is up to five addresses. If the address extends more than one
line, indent the second line 1⁄4 inch.
(c) “SEE DISTRIBUTION” memorandums. If a memorandum is sent to more than five recipients, use the “SEE
DISTRIBUTION” format (see fig 2–8) for the addresses. Type the words “SEE DISTRIBUTION” one space after the
words “MEMORANDUM FOR.” On the second line below the last line of the signature block or enclosure listing,
whichever is lower, type “DISTRIBUTION:” and block the distribution formula(s) or addresses (flush with the left
margin) as shown in figures 2–8 through 2–10. The distribution list may be continued on the second page (see fig 2–8).
If necessary, the complete distribution list may be typed on a separate page. On the first page, second line below the
last line of the signature block or enclosure listing (whichever is lower), type “DISTRIBUTION:” and block flush with
the left margin the words “(see next page)” (see fig 2–9). Prepare one original and make copies for additional
addressees after the signature. The envelope for an addressee on a “SEE DISTRIBUTION” list must show the complete
address.
(d) Memorandums “THRU.” Use a memorandum “THRU” to let other personnel know what is being done and give
them the opportunity to comment, especially if their comment will affect the action. Use this format when an action
must be endorsed by several recipients, in turn. See figure 2–11 for the format for a single-address memorandum
“THRU.” Use the format in figure 2–12 when sending the memorandum “THRU” more than one recipient.
(6) Subject line. Type the subject line on the second line below the last line of the address. Use only one subject and
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
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write the subject in 10 words or less, if possible. Avoid using abbreviations in the subject line; however, if the subject
needs more than 10 words, limit the number of words by using commonly recognized authorized acronyms (for
example, DA, DOD, FY, and HQDA). If the subject is more than one line, begin the second line flush with the left
margin (see fig 2–13). Type “SUBJECT:” in uppercase letters (see examples).
b. Body (text).
(1) Beginning. Begin the text on the third line below the last line of the subject.
(a) List any references in the first paragraph. See paragraph 1–28 of this regulation for instructions on how to list
references.
(b) Begin the memorandum with a short, clear purpose sentence.
(c) Put the recommendation, conclusion, or most important information (the main point) next. (Some writing
combines the purpose and the main point.)
(d) Clearly separate each major section.
(e) Ensure that the POC line is in the last paragraph of the body of the correspondence.
(2) Spacing. Single space the text with double spacing between paragraphs and subparagraphs. Single space oneparagraph memorandums (see fig 2–13). On occasion, one-paragraph correspondence requires subparagraphs. Subparagraph spacing is the same as for major paragraphs.
(3) Indenting. When paragraphs are subdivided, indent them as shown in figure 2–1.
(4) Numbering paragraphs.
(a) Do not number a one-paragraph memorandum.
(b) If the memorandum has more than one paragraph, number the paragraphs as outlined in figure 2–1.
c. Closing. Major elements are the authority line, signature block, and enclosure listing. Subelements are the
distribution listing (if needed) and CF line.
(1) Authority line. See chapter 6 and appendix D of this regulation. Type the authority line at the left margin in
uppercase letters on the second line below the last line of the text. The authority line is used by individuals properly
designated as having the authority to sign for the commander or head of an office.
(2) Signature block. See chapter 6 and appendix D of this regulation for examples.
(a) Placement. Begin the signature block in the center of the page on the fifth line below the authority line. If you
are not using an authority line, begin the signature block on the fifth line below the last line of text.
(b) Format. See appendix D of this regulation.
(3) Enclosures. Number and attach enclosures in the same order they appear in the memorandum. For only one
enclosure (encl), do not precede “Encl” with the number 1; use only “Encl.” For more than one enclosure, use “Encls.”
Begin the enclosure listing at the left margin on the same line as the signature block (see chap 4).
(4) “DISTRIBUTION” listing (if needed). See figures 2–8 through 2–10.
(5) Copies furnished. See figures 2–1, 2–8, 2–13, and 2–14. Use the CF: line to inform other recipients of the
subject only if they have a need to know or an interest in the subject. Type “CF:” on the second line below the last line
of the signature block, enclosure listing, or distribution listing, whichever is lower. (Do not spell out CF.) If none of
the CF addressees will be provided copies, type “wo/encls” in parentheses after CF: (for example, CF: (wo/encls)).
2–5. Multiple-page memorandums
Try to avoid multiple-page memorandums. However, when they are necessary, consider using enclosures for additional
information. If a memorandum is longer than one page, see figure 2–2 and follow these rules:
a. Type the office symbol at the left margin 1 inch from the top edge of the paper.
b. Type the subject of the memorandum at the left margin on the line below the office symbol.
c. Begin the continuation of text at the left margin on the third line below the subject. When continuing a
memorandum on another page—
(1) Do not divide a paragraph of three lines or fewer between pages. At least two lines of the divided paragraph
must appear on each page.
(2) Include at least two words on each page of any sentence that has been divided between pages.
(3) Do not hyphenate a word between pages.
(4) Do not type the authority line and the signature block on the continuation page without at least two lines of the
last paragraph. If, however, the last paragraph or subparagraph has only one line, it may be placed alone on the
continuation page with the authority line and signature block.
d. Center the page number approximately 1 inch from the bottom of the page.
2–6. Memorandum of understanding or memorandum of agreement
a. Memorandum of understanding (MOU). Use an MOU to describe broad concepts of mutual understanding, goals,
and plans shared by the parties when no transfer of funds for services is anticipated.
b. Memorandum of agreement (MOA). Use an MOA to establish and document common legal terms that establish a
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“conditional agreement” where transfer of funds for services is anticipated. MOAs do not obligate funds, but establish
the terms for future services.
c. Format. When an MOU or MOA is required, use the format shown in figures 2–15 and 2–16.
(1) Heading. Prepare the MOU/MOA on plain white paper. If an MOU/MOA is between two Army activities, DA
letterhead is appropriate. This provision may be altered to meet internal or special requirements of the parties involved
in the agreement. Center the title “MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING” or “MEMORANDUM OF
AGREEMENT” on the second line below the seal. Type the word “BETWEEN,” also centered, on the line immediately following the title. Center the names of agreeing agencies, separated by the word “AND” on the line immediately
following the word “BETWEEN.” The requirement for centering may be altered when more than two agreeing
agencies are involved or when the agency titles are too lengthy to be typed on one line.
(2) Subject. Type the word “SUBJECT:” at the left margin on the second line below the last line of the agreeing
agencies’ titles.
(3) Text. Begin the first line of text at the left margin on the third line below the last line of the subject. The basic
text will generally contain, but is not limited to, the following seven categories:
(a) Reference. List references that are directly related to the document.
(b) Purpose. In as few words as possible, clearly define or state the purpose of the MOU or MOA.
(c) Issue. Present a clear, concise statement of the issues, to include a brief background.
(d) Scope. Add a short and to-the-point statement specifying the area of the MOU or MOA.
(e) Understandings, agreements, support, resources, and responsibilities. List the understandings, agreements, support, resources, and responsibilities of and between each agency involved.
(f) Effective date. Enter the date the MOU or MOA will become effective.
(g) Review, revision, modification, or cancellation date. Enter the date as mutually agreed to by the signers or their
designated representatives.
(4) Paragraph numbering. Use the same paragraph numbering and indentations as for general-use memorandums.
(5) Signature blocks. Signature blocks on MOUs and MOAs are unique because the signature blocks of the agreeing
agencies’ parties appear on the same line.
(a) Type signature blocks on the fifth line following the last line of text.
(b) Precede all signature blocks by overscoring as shown in figures 2–15 and 2–16.
(c) Include the name, title, and agency for civilians and name, military grade, branch, and title for military
personnel. Include the date each official signs.
(d) Place the signature blocks in protocol order, with the senior official on the right. If an MOU has three agreeing
agencies, center the signature bock of the highest ranking official at the bottom. Place the signature block of the
next–highest ranking official above on the right. Place the signature block of the junior official above on the left.
2–7. Memorandum for record
a. Use. Use the MFR to show the authority or basis for an action taken. You may also use the MFR to document
informal meetings or telephone conversations when official business was conducted (see fig 2–17).
b. Contents.
(1) Heading. Include the office symbol, date, and subject.
(2) Body. Show all background information having a direct bearing on the matter. Include the authority and basis for
the action to inform reviewing and signing officials.
c. Format. See figure 2–17.
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9
Figure 2–1. Using and preparing a memorandum
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Figure 2–2. Preparing a memorandum with a suspense date
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Figure 2–2. Preparing a memorandum with a suspense date (continued)
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Figure 2–3. Addressing a single-address Headquarters, Department of the Army memorandum
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Figure 2–4. Addressing a single-address Army service component command memorandum
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Figure 2–5. Addressing a multiple-address memorandum for Headquarters, Department of the Army agencies using full titles
and addresses
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15
Figure 2–6. Addressing a multiple-address memorandum for Headquarters, Department of the Army agencies using office
symbols
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Figure 2–7. Addressing an Army command multiple-address memorandum
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Figure 2–8. Preparing a SEE DISTRIBUTION addressed memorandum
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Figure 2–8. Preparing a SEE DISTRIBUTION addressed memorandum (continued)
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Figure 2–9. Preparing a DISTRIBUTION list on the second page
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Figure 2–9. Preparing a DISTRIBUTION list on the second page (continued)
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Figure 2–10. Preparing a memorandum with a distribution formula
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Figure 2–11. Preparing a single-address MEMORANDUM THRU
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Figure 2–12. Preparing a MEMORANDUM THRU with two addresses
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Figure 2–13. Preparing a one-paragraph memorandum with subparagraphs and continuing the subject line
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Figure 2–14. Listing enclosures, copies furnished, and point of contact paragraph
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Figure 2–15. Preparing a memorandum of understanding
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Figure 2–15. Preparing a memorandum of understanding (continued)
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Figure 2–16. Preparing a memorandum of agreement
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Figure 2–16. Preparing a memorandum of agreement (continued)
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Figure 2–17. Preparing a memorandum for record
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Chapter 3
Preparing Letters
3–1. General
This chapter provides instructions for preparing letters.
3–2. Use
The letter is used for correspondence addressed to the President or Vice President of the United States, members of the
White House staff, Members of Congress, Justices of the Supreme Court, heads of departments and agencies, State
Governors, mayors, foreign government officials, and the public. Also, use letters for correspondence to individuals
inside the department or agency when a personal tone is appropriate, for official personal correspondence by military
and civilian personnel, and for letters of welcome, appreciation, commendation, and condolence.
3–3. Response phrases
Do not use phrases such as “The Secretary has requested that I reply,” “The Secretary desires that I reply,” or “On
behalf of the (name)” unless the SA has specifically directed using such a phrase. (For letters responding for the SA,
see DA Memo 25–52.)
3–4. Abbreviations
Use only common abbreviations found in standard dictionaries. Do not use military abbreviations, brevity codes,
acronyms, or military jargon in letters addressed to persons outside DOD. Military personnel will use their full grades
(for example, lieutenant general, major general, captain, and sergeant first class).
3–5. General rules
a. Paper. Generally, use the standard paper size for a letter (81⁄2 by 11 inches).
b. Original pages. Use computer-generated letterhead for the first page and plain white paper for all continuing
pages.
c. Margins. Adjust the margins on the page, centering the body of the letter as if it were going to be placed in a
picture frame. Generally, allow left and right margins of 1–inch. Do not justify right margins. When preparing two or
more pages, have at least a 1 inch margin at the bottom of the page.
d. Addressing. See appendix C for proper addressing of letters.
e. Point of contact. Generally, use the last paragraph of a letter to provide a POC (see para 1–21).
3–6. Format
The letter consists of three major parts: the heading, body (text), and closing. Each part and its subelements are
discussed in the following paragraphs and in figures 3–1 through 3–5.
a. Heading. The heading consists of four elements: the date, subject line (if used), address, and salutation
(see fig 3–1).
(1) Date. Express the date in civilian style (for example, January 4, 2013) centered two lines below the last line of
the letterhead.
(2) Subject line. Type the subject (if used) on the second line below the seal (see fig 3–4).
(3) Address.
(a) Do not use abbreviations in the address. Exceptions include DC, U.S., PO Box, Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., Jr., Sr., 2d.,
II, III, Ret., points of the compass (NE, NW, SE, SW), and authorized State abbreviations.
(b) Evenly space the letter on the page. No set number of lines is required between the seal and the address.
(4) Salutation. Type the salutation on the second line below the last line of the address (see app C).
b. Body (text).
(1) Type the first line of the body of the letter on the second line below the salutation.
(2) Have at least a 1–inch margin at the right, left, and bottom of multiple-page letters.
(3) For more than one page, type a minimum of two lines on the continuation page (see fig 3–1). Center the page
number 1 inch from the top edge of the paper, typing a hyphen on each side of the page number.
(4) Start the first line of text on the fifth line below the number of the page, keeping margins the same as those of
the preceding page(s).
(5) Do not number or letter paragraphs in a letter. Avoid subparagraphs when possible. When more than one
subparagraph is needed, use letters of the alphabet (a, b, c, d) to indicate subparagraphs. Do not create more than four
subparagraphs. If only one subparagraph is needed, use a hyphen to indicate the subparagraph (see fig 3–1). Use single
spacing even when a letter contains only one paragraph. For effective paragraphs, do not use more than 10 lines.
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(6) The POC may include the person’s surname, commercial telephone number, fax number, and email address (see
fig 3–2). This information is usually placed in the last paragraph of the letter.
d. Closing. The closing has three subelements: complimentary close, signature block, and enclosure (see fig 3–1).
(1) Complimentary close. Start the closing on the second line below the last line of the letter. Begin at the center of
the page.
(2) Signature block.
(a) Type the signature block on the fifth line below the closing, beginning at the center of the page.
(b) Type the signature block in uppercase and lowercase letters. Do not use abbreviations in the signature block
except U.S. Army, Jr., Sr., II, and III. Use the title “Jr.” and the individual’s full title to improve clarity. Do not use a
title whenever the SA signs on his or her own letterhead.
(3) Enclosure. Type “Enclosure” at the left margin on the second line below the signature block. Do not show the
number of enclosures or list them. For more than one enclosure, show the plural form “Enclosures.” Be sure to fully
identify enclosures in the text. Do not use the words “as stated” or the abbreviation “as.”
(4) Courtesy copy. Use the cc: line to inform other readers of the subject only if they have a need to know or an
interest in the subject. Type “cc:” on the second line below the last line of the signature block or enclosure listing,
whichever is lower. Placement of a statement in the body of the letter, preferably in the last paragraph, is still an
appropriate alternative to using cc: to indicate that a copy is being furnished and to whom; for example, “I am
forwarding a copy of this letter to (name)” (see fig 3–5).
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Figure 3–1. Formatting a letter
34
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Figure 3–1. Formatting a letter (continued)
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35
Figure 3–2. Using office symbols and titles
36
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Figure 3–3. Spacing in a letter
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Figure 3–4. Preparing a letter with a subject line
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Figure 3–5. Using courtesy copy in letters
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
39
Chapter 4
Listing Enclosures, Placing Tabs, and Assembling Correspondence
4–1. General
This chapter states DA policy for listing enclosures, placing tabs on correspondence packages, and assembling
correspondence.
4–2. Enclosures
The general rule for using enclosures in correspondence is to be consistent. Enclosures should be listed only when they
have not been identified in the body of the correspondence.
a. Use. Enclosures are documents that come with the basic communication; they are required to complete the action
or to keep the body as brief and concise as possible.
b. Placement of enclosure listing. For memorandums, begin listing enclosures at the left margin on the same line as
the signature block. For letters, type “Enclosure” two lines below the signature block flush with the left margin.
c. Methods of listing.
(1) For memorandums, capitalize the first letter in the first word of a listed enclosure; see figure 4–1 for an
example. For letters, do not list the enclosures.
Figure 4–1. Capitalizing the first letter in the first word of a listed enclosure
(2) Account for enclosures not identified in the body of the correspondence by indicating the total number. List each
enclosure by number when you have two or more and describe each briefly (see fig 4–2).
Figure 4–2. Accounting for enclosures not identified in the body of the correspondence
(3) When you have only one enclosure and it is not identified in the body, account for it without a number
(see fig 4–3).
Figure 4–3. Having one enclosure that is not identified in the body
(4) If identifying enclosures in the body, account for the enclosures without a number preceding “Encl/Encls.” When
only some of the enclosures have been identified in the body, use “as stated” (as) as noted in paragraph 4–2c(6)). A list
is not required (see fig 4–4).
Figure 4–4. Having enclosures without a number preceding Encl/Encls
40
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
(5) Use approved abbreviations in identifying enclosures. Abbreviate the word “Enclosure” with “Encl” in memorandums (but not in letters). When the document has more than one enclosure, use the plural form “Encls” for the
abbreviation (see fig 4–5).
Figure 4–5. Using approved abbreviations
(6) When identifying some enclosures but not others, list as follows (assume enclosures 1 through 3 have been
identified in the body and enclosures 4 and 5 have not been identified) (see fig 4–6).
Figure 4–6. Identifying some enclosures but not others
d. Identification.
(1) Write or type “Encl” and the number at the lower right corner of the first page of each enclosure before making
any required copies.
(2) When sending an enclosure separately from the correspondence, write it in the body of the correspondence and
add a short note to the enclosure when forwarded.
4–3. Tabbing enclosures
If the correspondence has three or more enclosures, tab each one to help the reader easily find the enclosures (see
fig 4–7). Unless command, organization, or legal procedures dictate otherwise, use plastic index tabs. Place tabs on the
right side of the blank sheet of paper and place the blank sheet of paper on top of the identified enclosure. Position the
first tab 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch from the top of the page. Space subsequent tabs approximately 1⁄4 inch apart to ensure that all tabs
are visible and evenly spaced. If an enclosure has its own enclosures that need tabbing, use a different color or type of
tab to identify these secondary documents. Avoid tabbing these secondary documents unless mentioning the specific
information in the text of the correspondence.
4–4. Tabbing correspondence packages
a. To tab a correspondence package forwarded for signature or approval, identify the tabs in the document. (Tabs
may be any letter or number as long as they are consecutive and fully identified in the text.)
(1) First tab: correspondence to be signed or material to be approved.
(2) Second tab: document that started the action (that is, the incoming correspondence, message, or tasking
documents).
(3) Subsequent tabs: backup information and staff coordination comments.
b. Position tabs on separate blank sheets of paper as specified in paragraph 4–3.
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
41
Figure 4–7. Tabbing correspondence
42
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
Chapter 5
Processing Correspondence and Official Mail
This chapter applies for both automated and manually processed Army correspondence and official mail. Using these
guidelines will reduce cost and expedite distribution. When mail is determined to be the most feasible alternative,
follow the guidance in this chapter for Army correspondence and official mail.
Section I
Cost Reduction Methods
5–1. Reducing mail costs
a. Less paper policy for internal correspondence.
(1) General. Electronic media, as opposed to paper media, is the preferred method of coordinating and disseminating
memorandums.
(2) Electronic media only. Army internal memorandums should be electronically coordinated and disseminated;
coordination and dissemination of hard copy correspondence through Army distribution or the U.S. Postal Service
(USPS) should be an exception.
b. Coordinating and disseminating internal correspondence via email and Army Knowledge Online.
(1) The originating office will coordinate internal correspondence by disseminating a draft version of the document
to appropriate activities.
(2) Electronic coordination of unclassified internal correspondence is the preferred method of coordination.
(a) When coordinating internal correspondence, originating offices will use electronic staffing via AKO or email to
the maximum extent possible as the primary method for distribution.
(b) Paper dissemination will be used only when electronic staffing is not feasible because of technology constraints.
(c) Internal correspondence should be approved via digitally signed documents, as available, with the approved
Army Gold Master digital signature, in accordance with policy in AR 25–1 and AR 25–2.
(d) Signed and approved memorandums will be disseminated via email or by emailing a link to where it is posted
on AKO to all Federal agencies when feasible.
5–2. Disseminating correspondence via messenger envelopes
a. Use Optional Form (OF) 65–B or OF 65–C (U.S. Government Messenger Envelopes) when electronic staffing is
not feasible because of technology constraints for—
(1) Unclassified and FOUO correspondence between elements of an agency or headquarters located in different
buildings in the same general area.
(2) Unclassified and FOUO correspondence through official Army channels.
b. Write the complete address legibly. Hand print or affix a label with the address in the space on the envelope.
Cross off the last address and reuse the envelope until it is filled up or worn out.
Section II
Envelopes
5–3. Size
Do not use a letter-sized envelope that measures less than 31⁄2 by 5 inches or one that measures more than 61⁄8 inches
high by 111⁄2 inches long and 1⁄4 inch thick (when filled).
5–4. Folding and fastening
a. Folding. Fold letters into three parts. Fold the bottom third forward over the text of the letter, and fold the top
third back. This conceals the text so it cannot be read and still permits the use of window envelopes.
b. Fastening. Fasten a communication of two or more pages, or one containing enclosures, together in the upper left
corner with paper clips or a staple. When the correspondence is going through USPS, do not use paper clips, clamps, or
similar metal fasteners.
5–5. Preparing envelopes for mailing
a. Limit or compress a letter-sized envelope so it does not exceed 1⁄4 inch in thickness.
b. Seal envelopes securely. A major cause of automated sorting equipment problems is unsealed flaps on otherwise
acceptable mail pieces.
c. Do not use heavy tape to seal envelopes. This adds extra weight and requires more postage.
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
43
Note. See AR 380–5 for preparing envelopes containing classified material.
5–6. Address locations on larger than letter-sized (flat) mail
Enter the address on “flats” parallel to the long edge of the envelope and approximately in the center.
Section III
Addressing Mail
5–7. Delivery address
a. Address format. Use the format in table 5–1 for addressing envelopes.
Table 5–1
Address format
Format:
Office Name Line (Attention Line)
Name of Activity Line
Delivery Line (Street Address, Suite # or PO Box #)
City State ZIP+4 Code Line
Example:
Information Management Office
US Army Forces Command
1234 Belvoir Road
Jonestown VA 12345–1234
(1) Office name line (attention line). This line contains the name of the office that is to receive the item.
“Commander” is used only when the mail is intended for the commander or when the name of the appropriate office is
unknown. If desired, an office symbol may be placed in parentheses after the office name. When known, the action
officer’s name may also be placed in parentheses at the end of this line; for example, Supply Office (CPT John Doe) or
Supply Office (ASQB-FF/CPT John Doe).
(2) Optional line. An optional line can be used when the office name line and the name of activity line do not
adequately identify the addressee. The optional line would be inserted between the office name line and the name of
activity line (see table 5–2).
Table 5–2
Optional line
Format:
Office Name Line (Attention Line)
Optional Line
Name of Activity Line
Delivery Line (Street Address, Suite # or PO Box #)
City State ZIP+4 Code Line
Example:
Information Management Office
Third US Army
US Army Forces Command
4700 Knox St
Ft Bragg NC 28310–5000
(3) Name of activity line. This line consists of the name of the activity to which the mail is addressed; for example,
U.S. Army Forces Command.
(4) Delivery address line. This line consists of either a street address or post office box number. It may also include
a suite number, apartment number, floor, unit, room, department, and so forth. When this secondary delivery information is part of the address but does not fit on the delivery address line, wrap up all components of the secondary
information immediately above the delivery address line (see table 5–3).
Table 5–3
Delivery address line
Format:
Name Line
Name of Activity/Business
Secondary Information
Delivery Line (Street Address, Suite # or PO Box #)
City State ZIP+4 Code Line
44
Example:
MS MILDRED DOE
BIG BUSINESS INCORPORATED
RM 100
12 E BUSINESS LN STE 209
KRYTON TN 38188–0002
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
(5) Dual address. The address is considered a dual address if it contains both a street address and a post office box
number. USPS delivers to whichever appears in the line above the city, State, and ZIP+4 code line. If both appear in
this line, the mail will be delivered to the post office box.
(6) City State ZIP+4 code line. All activities should use the city State and ZIP+4 code address specified by the
USPS for their physical location.
b. Preparation. Addresses may be hand-printed only when no automation or other methods of typing are available.
Hand-printed addresses must be legible and easy-to-read. Handwritten or mechanically produced script and slanted
letters will not be used in addresses. Labels may be used for addressing all sizes of mail, but they should be applied
carefully on a straight, horizontal line. Do not use rubber stamps.
c. Abbreviations. Use the standard abbreviations as specified by the USPS. Individual words in activity names may
also be abbreviated using USPS Pub 28 as a guide; however, avoid acronyms (for example, Military Postal Service
Agency may be abbreviated Mltry Pstl Svc Agcy but not MPSA).
d. Window envelopes. Be sure that the complete address shows in the envelope window. Have at least a 1⁄4–inch
clearance between the window and all sides of the address.
e. Foreign mail. Use uppercase letters and the full name of the post office (city) and the country of destination.
Include the postal delivery zone number (if any). The address should have a uniform left margin. Type only the country
name on the last line of the address (see table 5–4).
Table 5–4
Foreign mail
Format:
PO Box number
Postal code + city/town
Country
Example:
POSTFACH 14 01 00
52893 BAD GYENHAUSEN
GERMANY
f. Letters. Make sure the address is error-free and in the correct format. See appendix C for forms of address for
letters.
5–8. Return address
a. Placement. Show the return address in the upper left corner of all envelopes, labels, or other covers used for
sending mail. Type the address directly on the envelope or use labels. Print addresses by hand only when no
automation or other method of typing is available.
b. Format. See table 5–5.
Table 5–5
Return address
Format:
NAME OF DOD COMPONENT (ALL CAPITALS)
Office Name Line (Attention Line)
Name of DOD Activity
Delivery Line (Street Address, Suite # or PO Box #)
City State ZIP+4 Code Line
Example:
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
SUPPLY OFFICE
30th ENGINEER BN
1234 BELVOIR BLVD STE 100
JONESTOWN VA 12345–1234
_____________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________
OFFICIAL BUSINESS
OFFICIAL BUSINESS
5–9. Addressing
a. If correspondence is for the head of a major department, send it to the individual by title. Some examples are
Secretary, Under Secretary, or Assistant Secretary of the Army; the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the
Army; the General Counsel; or Director of the Army Staff.
b. Use the title of the activity head for correspondence to boards, military missions, commissions, and other such
activities.
c. Use titles when addressing correspondence to commanders or heads of ACOMs, ASCCs, and DRUs. Route
correspondence to the head of the office involved (by title), but inform intermediate headquarters when necessary.
5–10. Address format
a. Use AR 25–51 to address classified correspondence for NATO commands. These instructions pertain to the
address on the correspondence and envelope.
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
45
b. When addressing military correspondence to an individual by name, show the military grade or civilian prefix,
first name, middle initial (if known), and last name in that order. For military personnel, use the following Service
designation abbreviations after the addressee’s name: USA for U.S. Army, USN for U.S. Navy, USAF for U.S. Air
Force, USMC for U.S. Marine Corps, and USCG for U.S. Coast Guard.
5–11. Address content
Make sure addresses are complete and accurate, including the ZIP+4 code. When using an Army/Air Force Post Office
(APO) or Fleet Post Office (FPO) number, do not show the geographic location of an overseas unit. Identifying
classified overseas units could lead to a breach of security. Moreover, showing the geographic location of such units
increases the cost of postage since senders must pay international postage rates. Show the post office address of the
agency, command, organization, or installation (see examples in table 5–6).
Table 5–6
Completeness and accuracy
Example:
Commander
101st Abn Div
101 Fort Rd, Ste 120
Ft Campbell KY 42223–5000
Example:
MAJ JOHN T SMITH
US ARMY SOUTH
UNIT 7101
APO AA 34004–7101
a. To points outside the continental United States. Address correspondence to points outside the continental United
States to the appropriate APO or FPO along with a two-character “State” abbreviation of AE, AP, or AA and the
ZIP+4 code. For example—
(1) APO AE 09001–5275 (AE is used for Armed Forces in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Canada).
(2) APO AP 06606–2783 (AP is used for Armed Forces in the Pacific).
(3) APO AA 34035–4198 (AA is used for Armed Forces in the Americas, excluding Canada).
b. ZIP+4 code. The ZIP+4 code is a nine-digit number designed to reduce handling and speed mail deliveries. It
improves mail service and reduces the cost. A complete address must include the proper ZIP+4 code. Type the ZIP+4
code two spaces after the last letter of the State.
c. State names. Abbreviate State names on all mailing envelopes. Use the USPS two-letter abbreviations listed in
table 5–7.
Table 5–7
USPS two-letter State or territory abbreviations
Alabama
AL
Alaska
AK
Arizona
AZ
Arkansas
AR
California
CA
Colorado
CO
Connecticut
CT
Delaware
DE
District of Columbia
DC
Florida
FL
Georgia
GA
Guam
GU
Hawaii
HI
Idaho
ID
Illinois
IL
Indiana
IN
Iowa
IA
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AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
Table 5–7
USPS two-letter State or territory abbreviations—Continued
Kansas
KS
Kentucky
KY
Louisiana
LA
Maine
ME
Maryland
MD
Massachusetts
MA
Michigan
MI
Minnesota
MN
Mississippi
MS
Missouri
MO
Montana
MT
Nebraska
NE
Nevada
NV
New Hampshire
NH
New Jersey
NJ
New Mexico
NM
New York
NY
North Carolina
NC
North Dakota
ND
Ohio
OH
Oklahoma
OK
Oregon
OR
Pennsylvania
PA
Puerto Rico
PR
Rhode Island
RI
South Carolina
SC
South Dakota
SD
Tennessee
TN
Texas
TX
Utah
UT
Vermont
VT
Virginia
VA
Virgin Islands
VI
Washington
WA
West Virginia
WV
Wisconsin
WI
Wyoming
WY
5–12. “To the Commander of _____”
Certain official correspondence cannot be addressed directly to the individual because it requires the attention of his or
her commanding officer. Address such correspondence to the commander of the individual; indicate the individual’s
military grade, full name, and last known unit address of assignment to ensure the continued identity of the material as
official mail (see table 5–8). Do not combine mail for several individuals in a single envelope.
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
47
Table 5–8
Example of “To the Commander of ____________”
COMMANDER OF
PFC JOHN DOE
CO A 1/15 FIELD ARTILLERY
APO AP 96XXX
Chapter 6
Preparing Authority Lines, Signatures, and Signature Blocks
Section I
Delegation of Authority
6–1. Delegation of signature authority
a. Delegation. The heads of organizations may allow others (including noncommissioned officers (NCOs) and
civilian employees) to sign for them. In doing so, they are delegating authority, not responsibility or decision authority.
The commander of an organization or the head of an agency or office is responsible for the activities of his or her
command, agency, or office. Commanders and heads of agencies or offices cannot share or delegate this responsibility.
Commanders and heads of agencies or offices, including all echelons of command and activities, may delegate their
signature authority to their subordinates (including NCOs and civilian employees). Commanders may also authorize
principal staff officers to decide who signs command correspondence.
b. Methods of delegation. Principal staff officers who exercise their authority in the normal course of their assigned
duties do not require written delegation of authority (for example, the G–1 signing correspondence relating to personnel
policy or the Director of Engineering and Housing signing correspondence relating to engineer activities policy). If
necessary, the commander may withhold signature authority even for these staff officers. In other cases, delegation of
signature authority needs to be in writing and accompanied by an explanation of the material for which the commander
has approved signature delegations. Individuals delegated signature authority will use their own signature blocks and
titles.
(1) Delegation may be in any written form considered appropriate by the commander or head of an agency or office.
It could be a memorandum or local form designed for this purpose. Any delegation of authority is to the individual
and/or position at the prerogative of the delegating official. Written delegation should address or contain the following:
(a) A statement that the commander or head of the agency or office retains the authority to cancel or withdraw
delegated authority at any time.
(b) A statement that upon change of command or change of the agency head or office, all delegations are subject to
review by the new commander who may choose to cancel or change some delegations.
(2) Some circumstances may require an oral delegation. When this is the case, follow up in writing as soon as
possible.
6–2. Delegation of authority line
a. General. When a person other than the commander signs military correspondence, an authority line is necessary
to indicate that the correspondence expresses the will of the commander. Use an authority line when an authorized
individual signs correspondence containing policy matters, command decisions, official recommendations, and tasking
actions for the commander or head of an agency. An authorized individual has proper authority to sign for the
commander, director, or agency head.
b. Exceptions. Omit the authority line on letters and correspondence prepared for the personal signature of the head
of a command, agency, or office. Also, omit it when the text includes a mandatory phrase such as—
(1) “The Secretary of the Army directs ...”
(2) “The Commander desires ...”
(3) “The Commanding Officer ...” or “the Commander ... has asked that I inform you ... ”
c. Placement. When used, place the authority line as shown in figures 2–1 and 2–3 through 2–14 and type it in
uppercase letters.
d. Delegated by Secretary of the Army. Only the SA can approve the signature delegation of “BY ORDER OF THE
SECRETARY OF THE ARMY.” Sometimes delegated signature authority has qualifications. “BY THE ORDER
SECRETARY OF THE ARMY” is a specific example. U.S. Army Human Resources Command uses this statement on
military personnel matters only.
Note. All SA delegations will be copy furnished to the AASA.
e. Delegated to a subordinate. When a subordinate has signature authority, the subordinate will use an authority line
to show whom he or she is signing for. See appendix D for examples.
48
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
(1) “FOR THE ...:” If an agency or staff head delegates signature authority in his or her area of responsibility, use
that authority line (see fig D–4).
(2) “FOR THE COMMANDER:” Documents signed by the commander’s staff normally use this authority line
when the document pertains to command policy (see figs D–2 and D–6).
Section II
Signatures and Signature Blocks
6–3. Signatures
a. Use the regulation or directive governing the action involved to decide on the appropriate signature. If the
signature is not prescribed, write the signature as desired, which normally includes the full name. The individual may
use an initial or initials in place of first and middle names. The typed name will match the signature. Once individuals
decide on their official signature, they should use the same signatures for official actions throughout their employment
or service with DA.
b. A signature is the name of the individual written by hand (see para 6–10 for use of auto-pen signatures).
c. If the person whose name is typed does not sign personally, the individual authorized to sign will sign his or her
own name and add the word “for” in front of the typed name in the signature block. If an individual in the military
signs for another, the signer should show his or her military grade following the signature.
d. On “THRU” correspondence, when no comment has been made, the signer will line through the appropriate
address and initial and date the line through.
e. Federal statute requires “Commander’s Signature” on certain forms. All other forms will have “Authorized
Signature,” “Signature of Approving Authority,” “Signature of Reviewing Authority,” or other phrase as appropriate.
The requiring document will state who is specifically authorized to sign as authorized signature and how to obtain
authentication.
6–4. Signature block
a. General. Include the following in the signature block:
(1) The name of the person who signs the military correspondence. Type it (in capital letters on memorandums and
in uppercase and lowercase on letters) identical to the individual’s signature, except as indicated in paragraph 6–4a(3)
and the note below.
(2) Military grade, branch, and title of the military official or title of the civilian official except as indicated in
paragraph 6–4a(3).
(3) “Commanding” for commanders to denote the active exercise of authority.
Note.
1. Abbreviations or titles designating religious and fraternal orders or academic and honorary degrees in signature blocks on official
correspondence are not used unless their use will benefit or improve the Army’s image.
2. Civilians will use only a two-line signature block consisting of name and title, unless a third line is necessary for a long title.
Civilians should not use “DAC” (Department of the Army Civilian) on a signature block unless they are attached to or are serving
within a multiple-Service organization.
b. Placement. Begin the signature block at the center of the page on the fifth line below the authority line. If the
document has no authority line, begin the signature block on the fifth line below the last line of the text.
c. Format. Type the signature block of military officials on three lines in the following order: name on the first line,
military grade and branch of Service on the second line, and title on the third line. If the title requires more than one
line, continue it on the fourth line, aligning the first character underneath the third character of the third line. Type the
signature block of civilian officials on two lines: name on the first line and title on the second line. If the title requires
more than one line, continue it on the third line, aligning the first character underneath the third character of the second
line. To preserve block style format on all signature blocks, use short title abbreviations (as outlined in AR 25–52) and
any mixture of full or abbreviated military grade and branch.
d. Examples. See appendix D.
e. Military grade and branch abbreviation. See tables 6–1 and 6–2 in this regulation and AR 25–52. Use the
following guidance for military grades or titles:
(1) Do not use military abbreviations on letters; use “U.S. Army.”
(2) Use branch abbreviations in all signature blocks on memorandums.
(3) Use the full general officer military grade on all formal or official correspondence (for example, Major General
and Lieutenant General).
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
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Table 6–1
Grade abbreviations
Abbreviation
Grade
GEN
General
LTG
Lieutenant General
MG
Major General
BG
Brigadier General
COL
Colonel
LTC
Lieutenant Colonel
MAJ
Major
CPT
Captain
1LT
First Lieutenant
2LT
Second Lieutenant
CW5
Chief Warrant Officer 5
CW4
Chief Warrant Officer 4
CW3
Chief Warrant Officer 3
CW2
Chief Warrant Officer 2
WO1
Warrant Officer 1
CSM
Command Sergeant Major
SGM
Sergeant Major
1SG
First Sergeant
MSG
Master Sergeant
SFC
Sergeant First Class
SSG
Staff Sergeant
SGT
Sergeant
CPL
Corporal
SPC
Specialist
PFC
Private First Class
PV2
Private
PV1
Private
Table 6–2
Branch title abbreviations
Abbreviation
Definition
AC
Acquisition Corps
AD
Air Defense Artillery
AG
Adjutant General’s Corps
AN
Nurse Corps
AR
Armor
AV
Aviation
CA
Civil Affairs
CH
Chaplain Corps
CM
Chemical Corps
DC
Dental Corps
EN
Corps of Engineers
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AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
Table 6–2
Branch title abbreviations—Continued
Abbreviation
Definition
FA
Field Artillery
FI
Finance Corps
GS
Army General Staff: General Staff w/troops (duty detail only)
IG
Inspector General (duty detail only)
IN
Infantry
JA
Judge Advocate General’s Corps
LG
Logistics Corps
MC
Medical Corps
MI
Military Intelligence
MP
Military Police Corps
MS
Medical Service Corps
NG
National Guard Bureau (duty detail)
OD
Ordnance Corps
PO
Psychological Operations
QM
Quartermaster Corps
SC
Signal Corps
SF
Special Forces
SP
Medical Specialist Corps
TC
Transportation Corps
VC
Veterinary Corps
6–5. Personnel on active duty
a. Name. Sign the name plainly and legibly. It must be identical with the typewritten, stamped, or printed name.
b. Social Security number. Do not use Social Security numbers anywhere in correspondence unless required by
statute.
(1) If a Social Security number is used, it must be in accordance with the guidelines in EO 9397 and Section 552a,
Title 5, United States Code (5 USC 552a).
(2) If a Social Security number is used, it must be stamped FOUO and provided the same level of protection as any
other document that contains Privacy Act-protected personal information.
c. Military grade. The grade will be that of the individual serving (for example, colonel, lieutenant colonel, and
major). For chaplains, put the grade in parentheses and precede it with the word “Chaplain” (for example: J. JONES,
Chaplain (CPT), USA).
(1) In preparing general officer signature blocks, spell out the military grade. When using abbreviations in signature
blocks for other than general officers, use only the abbreviations (for example, LTC and MAJ). In military correspondence, grade abbreviations are optional. Abbreviations may also be used in the text of all military correspondence when
referring to an individual by military grade.
(2) Do not use the “(P)” (meaning the signer is promotable) as part of a signature block in Army correspondence
unless it benefits or enhances the image of the Army. However, it may be used in an address for such things as
congratulatory notes. Examples are—
(a) A lieutenant colonel promotable, filling a colonel position. The position requires the signature of a colonel or
higher. This situation would constitute using the (P) in the signature block.
(b) Enhancing or promoting a particular program or issue if it is supported by a potentially higher grade military
individual. It may carry more clout if a brigadier general select issues a directive over a colonel.
(3) General officers will use the designation “USA” except as indicated in paragraphs 6–5c(4) and 6–5c(5). Write
“U.S. Army” (not “USA”) in letters.
(4) General officers detailed to duty in general staff positions will use the designation “GS.” General officers do not
use the designation “GS” in letters; they use “U.S. Army.”
(5) General officers serving in a branch of the Army Medical Service will use the abbreviations of the branch they
are serving (for example, MC and DC) except as indicated in paragraph 6–5c(4).
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
51
(6) General officers serving as deputy commanders will use the designation “USA.”
(7) Warrant officers will use the designation “USA” except where a branch title is authorized. Reserve warrant
officers on active duty will use the designation “USA.”
(8) For chaplains, the designation “USA” will follow the military grade (for example, Chaplain (MAJ), USA).
(9) Officers assigned or detailed as general staff officers and officers in the grade of colonel or below detailed as
inspectors general will use the designation “GS” or “IG” as appropriate. In these cases, officers will not use their
branch designation.
(10) Officers assigned or detailed to the headquarters of a Joint command or agency will use only the Service
designation “USA.” Otherwise, officers use “U.S. Army” in place of branch designation.
(11) Branch designation should be used in letters only when necessary for credibility. For example, use medical
corps or chaplain for matters that require the attention of the medical profession or clergy.
(12) Army National Guard (ARNG) personnel not on active duty will use the two-letter State or territory abbreviation of their unit followed by “ARNG” (for example, KSARNG (Kansas Army National Guard)). ARNG Soldiers on
active duty (including Active Guard/Reserve Program, Active Duty for Special/Support Work, and State Active Duty)
will use the designation “USA.”
d. Organization. In some cases, the organization may be shown in the signature block. This will often be the case
when the signer’s organization is not included in the letterhead or elsewhere in the correspondence. Show the
organization as the final element of the signature block.
e. Title.
(1) When an individual is serving in an acting capacity, use the acting status title (for example, Acting Commander,
The Acting Adjutant General, Acting Transportation Officer, and Acting Post Engineer).
(2) When an individual occupies more than one position, use the title that is most appropriate to the message that he
or she is signing (for example, E. D. White, Colonel, AG, Director, Staff Support; E.D. White, Colonel, AG, Secretary,
Retirement Board).
6–6. Retired military personnel
Retired military should follow the same rules as active personnel, except that no organization or branch of the Army
will be shown. Show retired status after the grade as follows:
a. All Army personnel, active or reserve component, retired for service, age, or physical disability and all personnel
on the Army of the United States Retired List, including regular Army personnel and nonregular Army personnel on
the Temporary Disability Retired List will use “USA Retired” (for example, A. B. Smith, COL (USA Retired)).
b. All personnel on the Officers Honorary Retired List will use “U.S. Army Retired (Hon).”
c. All Army reservists assigned to the U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) Control Group (Retired) will use “USA Retired.”
d. Army retirees serving as DA civilians will not use or refer to their military grade or rank except when referring to
their personal retirement actions.
6–7. Army Reserve personnel not on active duty
Army reservists not on active duty are governed by the same rules as personnel on active duty. Exception: Add the
identification “USAR” after the grade of enlisted personnel or the branch assignment of commissioned officers.
General officers, chaplains, and warrant officers will also use USAR.
6–8. Civilian personnel and contract surgeons
a. The official signature block for civilians will consist of the name and title.
b. Contract surgeons will use the designation “USA.”
c. Abbreviations (such as Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.), and Master of Fine Arts
(M.F.A.)) may be used in civilian signature blocks when dealing with foreign and high-level officials outside DOD. Do
not use these abbreviations in routine correspondence.
6–9. Signatures of subordinates
Delegate signature authority to subordinates according to paragraph 6–1 of this regulation.
6–10. Auto-pen signature
a. Use auto-pen signatures except—
(1) When specifically prohibited by Army regulations or other directives.
(2) In signing the acknowledgment clause in a sworn declaration.
(3) In signing documents intended for use in court-martial proceedings.
(4) In signing documents to issue, receive, or ship property, except as authorized in AR 735–5.
b. Facsimile signature stamps or other devices must be safeguarded. An individual is responsible for all actions
resulting from the use of his or her facsimile signature.
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6–11. Addressing retired military
a. When addressing Army retired military personnel, show their grade, name, title of the Service, and the word
“Retired” (for example, Colonel A. B. Smith, USA Retired; or MAJ Edward A. Dees, USA Retired). The abbreviated
form of retired (Ret) may be used, but use the entire word if the signer wishes.
b. When addressing Army correspondence to retired military personnel of other Services, show their grade, name,
title of the Service, and the word “Retired” (for example, Lt Col A. B. Smith, USAF Retired).
Chapter 7
Using Prescribed Forms and Labels
7–1. General
This regulation prescribes non-DA correspondence labels and forms used Armywide. The labels and forms identified in
the following paragraphs are available through normal publication channels.
7–2. Routing and transmittal slips
a. Optional Form 41.
(1) OF 41 (Routing and Transmittal Slip) may be used to send papers from office to office within the Federal
Government. Do not use it to forward papers to an individual or agency outside the Federal Government.
(2) The first addressee will forward an OF 41 to the next addressee by drawing a line through his or her name and
address and/or by placing his or her initials and the date in the spaces provided. Confine remarks to informal comments
that are intended (only) for the person addressed on the sheet. When addressing the OF 41 to more than one addressee,
place each addressee’s number in front of the block of the actions desired. For example, if addressee number 3 will
sign the action, place the number 3 in the block in front of “Signature.”
(3) An OF 41 is reused to return papers to the originator by folding the form along the line at the bottom of the
“TO” section. This makes the back of the slip available for writing remarks.
b. Department of the Army Form 1222. DA Form 1222 (Routing Slip) is used to route or circulate papers within an
office. Enter necessary remarks that do not have to be filed as record material on the reverse.
7–3. Department of the Army Form 5
DA Form 5 (Army Staffing Form) is a departmental form that, when completed, provides pertinent information about
the action that is being staffed for coordination and/or submitted for approval and/or signature. It has been developed to
reduce the number of forms developed by individual Army activities.
7–4. Department of the Army Form 200
a. Use DA Form 200 (Transmittal Record) when providing addressee information that is not in the document being
sent. When feasible, the transmittal record will be scanned and returned via email.
b. Do not use the transmittal record—
(1) To transmit pamphlets, instruction booklets, or other publications that are self-explanatory.
(2) To forward a form or report when its design provides for inserting the addressee, originator, and submission
date.
7–5. Department of the Army Form 209
Use DA Form 209 (Delay, Referral, or Follow-Up Notice) for interim replies and followups. Use it to acknowledge
correspondence or letters except when another format is prescribed or when its use is prohibited by DA instructions.
Do not use it to request an extension of a suspense date.
7–6. Department of the Army Label 87
Use DA Label 87 (For Official Use Only Cover Sheet) as a cover for unclassified correspondence that must not be
disclosed to the public in accordance with AR 25–55.
7–7. Department of the Army Label 113
Use DA Label 113 (Congressional Cover Sheet) for communications from Members of Congress or congressional
committees. Act on these cases immediately.
7–8. Department of the Army Label 115
Use DA Label 115 (Expedite Cover Sheet) when immediate handling attention and priority are needed and when DA
Label 113 is not appropriate.
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
53
7–9. Optional Form 65–B
See paragraphs 5–2a(1) and 5–2a(2) in this regulation for information on using OF 65–B.
7–10. Optional Form 65–C
See paragraphs 5–2a(1) and 5–2a(2) in this regulation for information on using OF 65–C.
Chapter 8
Marking Classified Correspondence
8–1. General authority
a. This chapter, an extract of Department of Defense Manual 5200.01, Vol. 2, contains illustrations and sample
classified memorandums to show the proper security classification marking of correspondence. The text in the
illustrations (figs 8–1 through 8–6) covers most of the important information. This chapter does not—
(1) Contain or reveal classified information. Markings are for illustration only.
(2) Change or repeat DOD requirements in AR 380–5. Refer to AR 380–5 when marking correspondence.
(3) Illustrate every conceivable situation that may be encountered when producing classified correspondence.
b. AR 380–5 takes precedence over any conflicting guidance in this regulation.
8–2. Guidance on markings
a. This chapter is especially important to anyone who writes, signs, or otherwise prepares classified correspondence.
Make sure all security markings are correct. When in doubt, see AR 380–5.
b. This chapter does not provide guidance on downgrading, reclassification instructions, or additional special
markings; it does not contain illustrations on classifying original material. Consult AR 380–5 for any information or
specific guidance not in this chapter.
c. Normally, the classification marking will be the largest print on the page. Refer to AR 380–5 for instructions on
marking and exceptions.
8–3. Cover sheets
a. Standard Form 703. Use Standard Form (SF) 703 (Top Secret Cover Sheet) as a cover for top secret correspondence and documents that must not be disclosed to the public in accordance with AR 380–5.
b. Standard Form 704. Use SF 704 (Secret Cover Sheet) as a cover for secret correspondence and documents that
must not be disclosed to the public in accordance with AR 380–5.
c. Standard Form 705. Use SF 705 (Confidential Cover Sheet) as a cover sheet for confidential correspondence and
documents that must not be disclosed to the public in accordance with AR 380–5.
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AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
Figure 8–1. Marking the security classification of portions
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
55
Figure 8–1. Marking the security classification of portions (continued)
56
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Figure 8–2. Preparing a restricted data additional warning notice memorandum
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
57
Figure 8–2. Preparing a restricted data additional warning notice memorandum (continued)
58
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Figure 8–3. Preparing a formerly restricted data additional warning notice memorandum
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
59
Figure 8–3. Preparing a formerly restricted data additional warning notice memorandum (continued)
60
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Figure 8–4. Marking unclassified transmittal documents
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
61
Figure 8–5. Marking classified transmittal documents
62
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Figure 8–6. Marking classified working papers
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
63
Appendix A
References
Section I
Required Publications
AR 25–51
Official Mail and Distribution Management (Cited in paras 1–27, 1–32, 5–1b(2)(d), 5–10, and C–2.)
AR 25–400–2
The Army Records Information Management System (ARIMS) (Cited in paras 1–20a, 1–20e, 1–36, and 2–4a(2).)
AR 380–5
Department of the Army Information Security Program (Cited in paras 1–21a, 1–21b, 1–29d(4), 1–29d(5) Note, 5–5
Note, 8–1a(2), 8–1b, 8–2a, 8–2b, 8–2c, 8–3a, 8–3b, and 8–3c.)
PL 111–274
Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Cited in paras 1–10 and, 1–36a.) (Available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys.)
Section II
Related Publications
A related publication is a source of additional information. The user does not have to read a related reference to
understand this publication.
AAP–15
NATO Glossary of Abbreviations (Available at http://nsa.nato.int/nsa/zPublic/ap/aap15/AAP-15.pdf.)
AR 11–2
Managers’ Internal Control Program
AR 25–1
Army Knowledge Management and Information Technology
AR 25–2
Information Assurance
AR 25–30
The Army Publishing Program
AR 25–52
Authorized Abbreviations, Brevity Codes, and Acronyms
AR 25–55
The Department of the Army Freedom of Information Act Program
AR 735–5
Policies and Procedures for Property Accountability
DA Pam 25–40
Army Publishing: Action Officers Guide
DA Memo 25–52
Staff Action Process and Correspondence Policies
DOD 5110.04–M, Vol. 1
DOD Manual for Written Material: Correspondence Management (Available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives.)
DODM 5200.01, Vol. 2
DOD Information Security Program: Marking of Classified Information (Available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/
directives.)
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EO 9397
Numbering System for Federal Accounts Relating to Individual Persons, November 30, 1943 (Available at http://www.
archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/.)
EO 13556
Controlled Unclassified Information, November 4, 2010 (Available at http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/
executive-orders/.)
JP 1–02
Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms (Available at http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/
dod_dictionary/index.html.)
NATO Handbook
Organization and Structures (Available at http://www.nato.int/docu/handbook/2006/hb-en-2006.html.)
U.S. Army Addresses and Office Symbols Online
(Available at https://www.rmda.army.mil/AAO/Welcome.aspx.)
U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual
(Available at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/stylemanual/browse.html.)
USPS Pub 28
Postal Addressing Standards (Available at http://pe.usps.gov/text/pub28/welcome.htm.)
5 USC 552a
Records maintained on individuals (also may be cited as the “Privacy Act of 1974.”) (Available at http://www.gpo.gov/
fdsys/search/home.action.)
Section III
Prescribed Forms
Unless otherwise indicated, DA forms are available on the Army Publishing Directorate Web site (http://www.apd.
army.mil), and OFs are available on the U.S. General Services Administration Web site (http://www.gsa.gov).
DA Form 5
Army Staffing Form (Prescribed in para 7–3.)
DA Form 200
Transmittal Record (Prescribed in para 7–4.)
DA Form 209
Delay, Referral, or Follow-Up Notice (Prescribed in para 7–5.) (Available through normal forms supply channels.)
DA Form 1222
Routing Slip (Prescribed in para 7–2b.)
DA Label 113
Congressional Cover Sheet (Prescribed in paras 7–7, 7–8.)
DA Label 115
Expedite Cover Sheet (Prescribed in para 7–8.)
OF 41
Routing and Transmittal Slip (Prescribed in para 7–2a.)
OF 65–B
U.S. Government Messenger Envelope (Prescribed in paras 5–2a, 7–9.) (Available through normal forms supply
channels.)
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
65
OF 65–C
U.S. Government Messenger Envelope (Prescribed in paras 5–2a, 7–10.) (Available through normal forms supply
channels.)
Section IV
Referenced Forms
Unless otherwise indicated, DA forms are available on the Army Publishing Directorate Web site (http://www.apd.
army.mil), and SFs are available on the U.S. General Services Administration Web site (http://www.gsa.gov).
DA Form 11–2
Internal Control Evaluation Certification
DA Form 2028
Recommended Changes to Publications and Blank Forms
DA Label 87
For Official Use Only Cover Sheet
SF 703
Top Secret Cover Sheet (Available through normal forms supply channels.)
SF 704
Secret Cover Sheet (Available through normal forms supply channels.)
SF 705
Confidential Cover Sheet (Available through normal forms supply channels.)
Appendix B
Titles and Protocol Sequence
B–1. Addressing the Office of the Secretary of Defense
Figure B–1 provides the protocol sequence for multiple-addressee correspondence within the Office of the Secretary of
Defense.
B–2. Addressing
Figure B–2 shows
officials. The term
disseminated to all
66
Headquarters, Department of the Army principal officials
the titles and protocol sequences for multiple-addressee correspondence for HQDA principal
“HQDA principal officials” simplifies addressing procedures for information that should be
of HQDA. When used, this term includes all the positions listed in figure B–2.
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
Figure B–1. Addressing the Office of the Secretary of Defense
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
67
Figure B–2. Addressing Headquarters, Department of the Army principal officials
Appendix C
Forms of Address, Salutation, and Complimentary Close
C–1. General
a. Before addressing a salutation or completing a communication, determine how the individual wishes to be
addressed.
b. If uncertain of gender, contact the appropriate post public affairs, protocol, or administration office to assist in
verification. Use the title “Ms.” instead of “Mrs.” in addressing a woman if you have any uncertainty about the
preferred title; if the correspondent uses the title “Ms.,” address the response “Ms.” to indicate the correspondent’s
preference.
C–2. Form for addresses, salutations, and complimentary closes
The proper form for addresses in letters, on envelopes, and for salutations and complimentary closes in letters is
provided in tables C–1 through C–11. Letters will be addressed using uppercase and lowercase letters as shown.
Envelopes will be prepared as outlined in AR 25–51.
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AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
Table C–1
The Executive Branch
Addressee
Address in letter and on envelope
Salutation and complimentary close
The White House
The President
The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500–0003
Dear Mr./Madam President:
Respectfully,
or
Respectfully yours,
Spouse of the President
Mrs. (full name) or Mr. (full name)
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500–0003
Dear Mrs./Mr. (surname):
Respectfully,
or
Respectfully yours,
Assistant to the President
Honorable (full name)
Assistant to the President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500–0003
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Secretary to the President
Honorable (full name)
Secretary to the President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500–0003
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Secretary to the President (with
military grade)
(Full grade) (full name)
Secretary to the President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500–0003
Dear (grade) (surname):
Sincerely,
The President-elect
The Honorable (full name)
The President-elect
(Street)
City, State (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Respectfully,
or
Respectfully yours,
The Vice President
The Vice President
The Vice President
The Vice President is addressed
The United States Senate
as the “President of the Senate” in Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
submitting proposed legislation
and certain reports required by
law.
Dear Mr./Madam Vice President:
Sincerely,
The President of the Senate
Dear Mr./Madam President:
Sincerely,
Honorable (full name)
President of the Senate
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Executive departments
Members of the Cabinet addressed Honorable (full name)
as “Secretary”
Secretary of (Department)
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Madam Secretary:
Sincerely,
Postmaster General
(head of the USPS)
Dear Mr./Madam Postmaster General:
Sincerely,
Honorable (full name)
Postmaster General
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
The Attorney General (head of the The Honorable (full name)
U.S. Department of Justice)
Attorney General
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Madam Attorney General:
Sincerely,
Under Secretary
Honorable (full name)
Under Secretary of (Department)
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Assistant Secretary of a
Department
Honorable (full name)
Assistant Secretary of (Department)
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
69
Table C–1
The Executive Branch—Continued
Addressee
Address in letter and on envelope
Salutation and complimentary close
The Secretary of an Armed
Service
The Honorable (full name)
Secretary of the (Department)
The Pentagon, (Room Number)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Madam Secretary:
Sincerely,
Under Secretary of a Department
of a Military Department
The Honorable (full name)
Under Secretary of the (Department)
The Pentagon, (Room Number)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Assistant Secretary of a
Department
The Honorable (full name)
Assistant Secretary of the (Department)
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
General Counsel of a Department
(Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss) (full name)
General Counsel (Department)
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Administrative Assistant to the
Secretary
(Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss) (full name)
Administrative Assistant to the
Secretary of the (Department)
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Military departments
Independent offices, agencies, and establishments of the Federal Government
Director of Office of Management
and Budget
The Honorable (full name)
Director of Office of Management and Budget
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Head of a Federal Agency
The Honorable (full name)
(Title, name of agency)
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Head of a major organization
within an agency (if the official is
appointed by the President)
Honorable (full name)
(Title, name of organization)
(Name of Agency)
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
President of a Board
Honorable (full name)
President, (name of board)
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
President of a Commission
Honorable (full name)
President, (name of commission)
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Chairman of a Board
Honorable (full name)
Chairman, (name of board)
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Chairman of a Commission
Honorable (full name)
Chairman, (name of commission)
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Chiefs of American missions
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Table C–1
The Executive Branch—Continued
Addressee
Address in letter and on envelope
Salutation and complimentary close
American Ambassador
The Honorable (full name)
American Ambassador
(City)
(Country)
Formal:
Sir:/Madam:
Dear Madam Ambassador:
Very truly yours,
or
Informal:
Dear (Mr.) Ambassador:
Dear Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
American Ambassador (with
military grade)
(Full grade) (full name)
American Ambassador
(City)
(Country)
Formal:
Sir:/Madam:
Very truly yours,
or
Informal:
Dear Mr./Madam Ambassador:
Dear (grade, surname):
Sincerely,
American Minister
The Honorable (full name)
American Minister
(City)
(Country)
Formal:
Sir:/Madam:
Dear Madam Minister:
Very truly yours,
or
Informal:
Dear (Mr.) Minister:
Dear Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
American Minister (with
military grade)
(Full grade) (full name)
American Minister
(City)
(Country)
Formal:
Sir:/Madam:
Very truly yours,
or
Informal:
Dear Mr./Madam Minister:
Dear (grade, surname):
Sincerely,
Table C–2
The Congress and legislative agencies
Addressee
Address in letter and on envelope
President Pro Tempore of the
United States Senate
The Honorable (full name)
President pro Tempore of the Senate
United States Senate
(Room Number)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Senator (surname):
Sincerely,
Committee Chairman, United
States Senate
The Honorable (full name)
Chairman, Committee on (name)
United States Senate
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Madam Chairman/Madam
Chairwoman:
Sincerely,
Chairman of a Joint Committee
The Honorable (full name)
Chairman, Joint Committee on (name)
Congress of the United States
(Room Number)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Madam Chairman/Madam
Chairwoman:
Sincerely,
Subcommittee Chairman, United
States Senate
The Honorable (full name)
Chairman, Subcommittee on (name)
United States Senate
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Senator (surname):
Sincerely,
United States Senator
(Washington, DC, office)
The Honorable (full name)
United States Senate
(Room Number)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Senator (surname):
Sincerely,
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
Salutation and complimentary close
71
Table C–2
The Congress and legislative agencies—Continued
Addressee
Address in letter and on envelope
(Away from Washington, DC)
The Honorable (full name)
United States Senator
(Local address)
Dear Senator (surname):
Sincerely,
United States Senator
(Majority or Minority Leader)
(Washington, DC, office)
The Honorable (full name)
Majority (or Minority) Leader
United States Senate
(Room Number)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Senator (surname):
Sincerely,
(Away from Washington, DC)
The Honorable (full name)
Majority (or Minority) Leader
United States Senate
(Local address)
Dear Senator (surname):
Sincerely,
United States Senator-elect
The Honorable (full name)
United States Senator-elect
(Local address)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Deceased Senator
(Secretary’s full name, if known)
The Secretary of the late Honorable (full name)
United States Senate
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Speaker of the House of
Representatives
The Honorable (full name)
Speaker of the House of Representatives
(Room Number)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Madam Speaker:
Sincerely,
Committee Chairman,
House of Representatives
The Honorable (full name)
Chairman, Committee on (name)
United States House of Representatives
(Room Number)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Chairman/Chairwoman (surname):
Sincerely,
Subcommittee Chairman, House of The Honorable (full name)
Representatives
Chairman, Subcommittee on (name)
United States House of Representatives
(Room Number)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Chairman/Chairwoman (surname):
Sincerely,
Representative (Washington, DC,
office)
The Honorable (full name)
United States House of Representatives
(Room Number)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Representative (surname):
Sincerely,
(Away from Washington, DC,
office)
The Honorable (full name)
United States Representative
(Local address)
Dear Representative (surname):
Sincerely,
Representative (Majority or
Minority Leader)
(Washington, DC, office)
The Honorable (full name)
Majority (or Minority) Leader
United States House of Representatives
(Room Number)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Representative (surname):
Sincerely,
(Away from Washington, DC)
The Honorable (full name)
Majority (or Minority) Leader
United States House of Representatives
(Local address)
Dear Representative (surname):
Sincerely,
Representative-elect
The Honorable (full name)
Representative in Congress-elect
(Local address)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Representative at Large
The Honorable (full name)
United States House of Representatives
(Room Number)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Representative (surname):
Sincerely,
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Salutation and complimentary close
Table C–2
The Congress and legislative agencies—Continued
Addressee
Address in letter and on envelope
Salutation and complimentary close
Deceased Representative
(Secretary’s full name, if known)
Secretary to the late Honorable (full name)
United States House of Representatives
(Room Number)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Resident Commissioner of Puerto
Rico
The Honorable (full name)
United States House of Representatives
(Room Number)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Representative (surname):
Sincerely,
Librarian of Congress
The Honorable (full name)
Librarian of Congress
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Comptroller General (head of the
Government Accountability Office)
The Honorable (full name)
Comptroller General of the United States
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Public Printer (head of the
U.S. Government Printing Office)
The Honorable (full name)
Public Printer
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Note. Address Members of Congress in the capacity in which they sign their communication. For example, if they sign as the chairperson of a committee, address them as chairperson of that committee. If they sign as majority or minority leader, address them as such;
if they sign as Senator or Representative, address them as such.
Table C–3
The Judiciary
Addressee
Address in letter and on envelope
The Chief Justice of the United
States
Chief Justice of the United States
The Supreme Court
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Madam Chief Justice:
Sincerely,
Associate Justice
Mr. (Madam) Justice (surname)
The Supreme Court
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Madam Justice:
Sincerely,
Retired Justice
The Honorable (full name)
(Local address)
Dear Mr./Madam Justice:
Sincerely,
Presiding Justice
The Honorable (full name)
Presiding Justice
(Name of Court)
(Local address)
Dear Mr./Madam Justice:
Sincerely,
Judge of a Court
The Honorable (full name)
Justice of the (name of court; if a U.S. District
Court, give district)
(Local address)
Dear Judge (surname):
Sincerely,
Clerk of a Court
(Mr./Madam) (full name)
Clerk of the (name of court; if a U.S. District
Court, give district)
(Local address)
Dear Mr./Madam (surname):
Sincerely,
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
Salutation and complimentary close
73
Table C–4
Military personnel
Addressee
Address in letter and on envelope
Salutation and complimentary close
U.S. Army officers
General of the Army
General of the Army (full name)
(Local address)
Dear General (surname):
Sincerely,
General
General (full name)
(Address)
Dear General (surname):
Sincerely,
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General (full name)
(Address)
Dear General (surname):
Sincerely,
Major General
Major General (full name)
(Address)
Dear General (surname):
Sincerely,
Brigadier General
Brigadier General (full name)
(Address)
Dear General (surname):
Sincerely,
Colonel
Colonel (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Colonel (surname):
Sincerely,
Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Colonel (surname):
Sincerely,
Major
Major (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Major (surname):
Sincerely,
Captain
Captain (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Captain (surname):
Sincerely,
First Lieutenant
First Lieutenant (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear First Lieutenant (surname):
Sincerely,
Second Lieutenant
Second Lieutenant (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Second Lieutenant (surname):
Sincerely,
Chief Warrant Officer
Chief Warrant Officer (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Mr./ Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):2
Sincerely,
Warrant Officer
Warrant Officer (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Mr./ Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):2
Sincerely,
Commandant of the Marine Corps
General (full name)
(Local address)
Dear General (surname):
Sincerely,
General
General (full name)
(Address)
Dear General (surname):
Sincerely,
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General (full name)
(Address)
Dear General (surname):
Sincerely,
Major General
Major General (full name)
(Address)
Dear General (surname):
Sincerely,
Brigadier General
Brigadier General (full name)
(Address)
Dear General (surname):
Sincerely,
Colonel
Col (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Colonel (surname):
Sincerely,
Lieutenant Colonel
LtCol (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Lieutenant Colonel (surname):
Sincerely,
Major
Maj (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Major (surname):
Sincerely,
Captain
Capt (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Captain (surname):
Sincerely,
First Lieutenant
1stLt (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear First Lieutenant (surname):
Sincerely,
Second Lieutenant
2ndLt (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Second Lieutenant (surname):
Sincerely,
U.S. Marine Corps officers
74
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
Table C–4
Military personnel—Continued
Addressee
Address in letter and on envelope
1
Salutation and complimentary close
Dear Chief Warrant Officer (surname): 2
Sincerely,
Chief Warrant Officer
CWO (full name)
(Address)
Warrant Officer
WO (full name) 1
(Address)
Fleet Admiral
FADM (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Admiral (surname):
Sincerely,
Admiral
ADM (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Admiral (surname):
Sincerely,
Vice Admiral
VADM (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Admiral (surname):
Sincerely,
Rear Admiral
RADM (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Admiral (surname):
Sincerely,
Captain
CAPT (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Captain (surname):
Sincerely,
Commander
CDR (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Commander (surname):
Sincerely,
Lieutenant Commander
LCDR (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Commander (surname):
Sincerely,
Lieutenant
LT (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear LT (surname):
Sincerely,
Lieutenant Junior Grade
LTJG (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear LT (surname): 2
Sincerely,
Ensign
ENS (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear ENS (surname): 2
Sincerely,
Chief Warrant Officer
CWO5 (full
CWO4 (full
CWO3 (full
CWO2 (full
(Address)
Dear Warrant Officer (surname):
Sincerely,
2
U.S. Navy officers
name) 1
name)
name)
name)
2
Dear Chief Warrant Officer (surname): 2
Sincerely,
Academy members
Midshipman
Midshipman (full name) 3
(Address)
Dear (Mr.) (Midshipman) (surname):
Sincerely,
U.S. Air Force officers
General of the Air Force
General of the Army (full name)
(Local address)
Dear General (surname):
Sincerely,
General
General (full name)
(Address)
Dear General (surname):
Sincerely,
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General (full name)
(Address)
Dear General (surname):
Sincerely,
Major General
Major General (full name)
(Address)
Dear General (surname):
Sincerely,
Brigadier General
Brigadier General (full name)
(Address)
Dear General (surname):
Sincerely,
Colonel
Col (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Colonel (surname):
Sincerely,
Lieutenant Colonel
LtCol (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Colonel (surname):
Sincerely,
Major
Maj (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Major (surname):
Sincerely,
Captain
Capt (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Captain (surname):
Sincerely,
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
75
Table C–4
Military personnel—Continued
Addressee
Address in letter and on envelope
name)1
Salutation and complimentary close
First Lieutenant
1stLt (full
(Address)
Dear Lieutenant (surname):
Sincerely,
Second Lieutenant
2ndLt (full name)1
(Address)
Sergeant Major of the Army
Sergeant Major (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Sergeant Major (surname):
Sincerely,
Command Sergeant Major
Command Sergeant Major (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Sergeant Major (surname):
Sincerely,
Sergeant Major
Sergeant Major (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Sergeant Major (surname):
Sincerely,
First Sergeant
First Sergeant (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear First Sergeant (surname):
Sincerely,
Master Sergeant
Master Sergeant (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Sergeant (surname):
Sincerely,
Sergeant First Class
Sergeant First Class (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Sergeant First Class(surname):
Sincerely,
Staff Sergeant
Staff Sergeant (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Staff Sergeant (surname):
Sincerely,
Sergeant
Sergeant (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Sergeant (surname):
Sincerely,
Corporal
Corporal (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Corporal (surname):
Sincerely,
Specialist
Specialist (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Specialist (surname):
Sincerely,
Private First Class
Private First Class (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Private First Class (surname):
Sincerely,
Private
Private (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Private (surname):
Sincerely,
Dear Lieutenant (surname):
Sincerely,
U.S. Army enlisted personnel
U.S. Marine Corps enlisted personnel
Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Sergeant Major (full name)
(Address)
Dear Sergeant Major (surname):
Sincerely,
Master Gunnery Sergeant
MGySgt (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Master Sergeant (surname):
Sincerely,
First Sergeant
1stSgt (full name)1
(Address)
Dear First Sergeant (surname):
Sincerely,
Master Sergeant
MSgt (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Master Sergeant (surname):
Sincerely,
Gunnery Sergeant
GySgt (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Sergeant (surname):
Sincerely,
Staff Sergeant
SSgt (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Sergeant (surname):
Sincerely,
Sergeant
Sgt (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Sergeant (surname):
Sincerely,
Corporal
Cpl (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Corporal (surname):
Sincerely,
Lance Corporal
LCpl (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Corporal (surname):
Sincerely,
Private First Class
PFC (full name) 1
(Address)
Dear Private (surname):
Sincerely,
U.S. Navy enlisted personnel
76
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
Table C–4
Military personnel—Continued
Addressee
Address in letter and on envelope
Salutation and complimentary close
Master Chief Petty Officer of the
Navy
(Full rank) (full name), (Service abbreviation)
(Address)
Dear Master Chief Petty Officer (surname):
Sincerely,
Master Chief Petty Officer
(Full rank) (full name), (Service abbreviation)
(Address)
Dear Master Chief Petty Officer (surname):
Sincerely,
Senior Chief Petty Officer
(Full rank) (full name), (Service abbreviation)
(Address)
Dear Senior Chief Petty Officer (surname):
Sincerely,
Chief Petty Officer
(Full rank) (full name), (Service abbreviation)
(Address)
Dear Chief Petty Officer (surname):
Sincerely,
Petty Officer First Class, Second
Class, Third Class
(Full rank) (full name), (Service abbreviation)
(Address)
Dear Petty Officer (surname):
Sincerely,
Seaman, Seaman Apprentice,
Seaman Recruit
(Full rank) (full name), (Service abbreviation)
(Address)
Dear Seaman (surname):
Sincerely,
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air
Force
CMSAF (full name)
(Address)
Dear Chief (surname):
Sincerely,
Senior Master Sergeant
SMSgt (full name)
(Address)
Dear Sergeant (surname):
Sincerely,
Master Sergeant
MSgt (full name)
(Address)
Dear Sergeant (surname):
Sincerely,
Technical Sergeant
TSgt (full name)
(Address)
Dear Sergeant (surname):
Sincerely,
Staff Sergeant
SSgt (full name)
(Address)
Dear Sergeant (surname):
Sincerely,
Senior Airman
SrA (full name)
(Address)
Dear Airman (surname):
Sincerely,
Airman First Class
A1C (full name)
(Address)
Dear Airman (surname):
Sincerely,
Airman
Amn (full name)
(Address)
Dear Airman (surname):
Sincerely,
Airman Basic
AB (full name)
(Address)
Dear Airman (surname):
Sincerely,
U.S. Air Force enlisted personnel
Note.
1. Abbreviations are optional; titles may be spelled out. For additional abbreviations and instructions for Army use, see AR 25–52.
2. Optional. Depends on the desire of the individual.
3. Mr., Miss, or Ms., Midshipman, Air Cadet, full name is permissible.
Table C–5
State and Government officials
Addressee
Address in letter and on envelope
Governor of a State
The Honorable (full name)
Governor of (State)
(Street)
(City, State ZIP+4)
Dear Governor (surname):
Sincerely,
Acting Governor of State
The Honorable (full name)
Acting Governor of (State)
(Street)
(City, State ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Lieutenant Governor of State
The Honorable (full name)
Lieutenant Governor of (State)
(Street)
(City, State ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
Salutation and complimentary close
77
Table C–5
State and Government officials—Continued
Addressee
Address in letter and on envelope
Secretary of State of a State
The Honorable (full name)
Secretary of State of (State)
(Street)
(City, State ZIP+4)
Salutation and complimentary close
Dear Mr./Madam Secretary:
Sincerely,
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court The Honorable (full name)
of a State
Chief Justice Supreme Court of the State of
(State)
(Street)
(City, State ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Madam Chief Justice:
Sincerely,
Attorney General of a State
The Honorable (full name)
Attorney General
State of (State)
(Street)
(City, State ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Madam Attorney General:
Sincerely,
Judge
The Honorable (full name)
(Local)
Dear Judge (surname):
Sincerely,
Treasurer, Auditor, or Comptroller of The Honorable (full name)
a State
State Treasurer (Auditor)
(Comptroller)
State of (State)
(Street)
(City, State ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
President of the Senate of a State
The Honorable (full name)
President of the Senate of the State of (State)
(Street)
(City, State ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Speaker of the Assembly or of the
House of Delegates or of the House
of Representatives of a State
(see note)
The Honorable (full name)
Speaker of the House of Representatives of the
State of (name)
(Street)
(City, State ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
State Senator
The Honorable (full name)
(Name of State) Senate
(Street)
(City, State ZIP+4)
Dear Senator (surname):
Sincerely,
State Representative,
Assemblyman, or Delegate
(see note)
The Honorable (full name)
(Name of State) House of
Representatives
(Street)
(City, State ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Mayor
The Honorable (full name)
Mayor of (city)
(Street)
(City, State ZIP+4)
Dear Mayor (surname):
Sincerely,
President of a Board of
Commissioners
The Honorable (full name)
President, Board of Commissioners of (city)
(Street)
(City, State ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Note. In most States, the lower branch of the legislature is the House of Representatives. In some States, such as California and New
York, the lower house is known as the Assembly. In others, such as Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, it is known as the House of
Delegates.
78
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
Table C–6
Ecclesiastical officials
Addressee
Address in letter and on envelope
Salutation and complimentary close
Protestant Minister, Pastor, or
Rector (with scholastic degree)
The Reverend (full name, initials of degree)
(Title, name of church)
(Local address)
Dear Dr. (surname):
Sincerely,
Protestant Minister, Pastor, or
Rector (without scholastic degree)
The Reverend (full name)
(Title, name of church)
(Local address)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Rabbi (with scholastic degree)
Rabbi (full name, initials of degree)
(Local Address)
Dear Dr. (surname):
or
Dear Rabbi (surname):
Sincerely,
Rabbi (without scholastic degree)
Rabbi (full name)
(Local address)
Dear Rabbi (surname):
Sincerely,
The Pope
His Holiness
The Pope
(Local address)
Most Holy Father:
or
Your Holiness
Sincerely,
Catholic Cardinal
His Eminence (Christian name)
Cardinal (surname)
Archbishop of (Diocese)
(Local address)
Your Eminence:
Sincerely,
Catholic Archbishop
The Most Reverend (full name)
Bishop of (diocese)
(Local address)
Your Excellency:
Sincerely,
Catholic Bishop
The Most Reverend (full name)
Bishop of (city)
(Local address)
Your Excellency:
Sincerely,
Catholic Monsignor
The Very Reverend Monsignor (full name)
(Local address)
Formal:
Very Reverend Monsignor:
Informal:
Dear Monsignor (surname):
Sincerely,
Catholic Priest
The Reverend (full name) (add designated letters) Formal:
(Local address)
Reverend:
Informal:
Dear Father (surname):
Sincerely,
Mother Superior of an Institution
Mother (name, initials, or order, if used)
Superior (name of institution)
(Local address)
Dear Mother (name):
Sincerely,
Bishop, Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints
Bishop (full name)
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
(Local address)
Formal:
Sir:
Informal:
Dear Mr. (surname):
Sincerely,
Eastern Orthodox forms of address
Orthodox Metropolitan
The Most Blessed (Christian name)
Archbishop of (city)
Metropolitan of (province)
(Local address)
Formal:
Your Beatitude:
Dear Metropolitan
Informal:
(Christian name):
Sincerely,
Orthodox Archbishop
The Most Reverend (Christian name)
Archbishop of (city and province)
(Local address)
Formal:
Your Eminence:
Dear Archbishop
Informal:
(Christian name):
Sincerely,
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
79
Table C–6
Ecclesiastical officials—Continued
Addressee
Address in letter and on envelope
Orthodox Bishop
The Right Reverend (Christian name)
Bishop of (city)
(Local address)
Formal:
Your Grace:
Dear Bishop
Informal:
(Christian name):
Sincerely,
Orthodox Protopresbyter
The Right Reverend (name)
(Local address)
Formal:
Right Reverend Father:
Informal:
Dear Father (Christian name):
Sincerely,
Orthodox Archpriest
The Very Reverend (name)
(Local address)
Formal:
Very Reverend Father:
Informal:
Dear Father (Christian name):
Sincerely,
Orthodox Priest
The Reverend (name)
(Local address)
Formal:
Reverend Father:
Informal:
Dear Father (Christian name):
Sincerely,
Orthodox Deacon
Father Deacon (name)
(Local address)
Formal:
Father Deacon:
Dear Father Deacon
Informal:
(Christian name):
Sincerely,
Orthodox Nun
Sister (Christian name)
(Name of monastery)
(Local address)
Dear Sister (Christian name):
Sincerely,
Orthodox Monk
Brother (Christian name)
(Name of monastery)
(Local address)
Dear Brother (Christian name):
Sincerely,
Protestant Episcopal Bishop
The Right Reverend (full name)
Bishop of (name)
(Local address)
Formal:
Dear Reverend Sir:
Informal:
Dear Bishop (surname):
Sincerely,
Protestant Episcopal Dean
The Very Reverend (full name)
Dean of (church)
(Local address)
Formal:
Very Reverend Sir:
Informal:
Dear Dean (surname):
Sincerely,
Methodist Bishop
The Reverend (full name)
Methodist Bishop
(Local address)
Formal:
Reverend Sir:
Informal:
My Dear Bishop (surname):
Sincerely,
Chaplain
Chaplain (grade) (full name)
(Post office address of organization and station)
Dear Chaplain (surname):
Sincerely,
80
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
Salutation and complimentary close
Table C–7
Private citizens
Addressee
Address in letter and on envelope
Salutation and complimentary close
President of a university or college
(with scholastic degree)
(Full name, initials of degree)
President, (name of institution)
(Local address)
Dear Dr. (surname):
Sincerely,
President of a university or college
(without scholastic degree)
Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (full name)
President, (name of institution)
(Local address)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Dean of a school (with scholastic
degree)
(Full name, initials of degree)
Dean, School of (name)
(Name of institution)
(Local address)
Dear Dr. (surname):
Sincerely,
Dean of a school (without scholastic Dean (full name)
degree)
School of (name)
(Name of institution)
(Local address)
Dear Dean (surname):
Sincerely,
Professor (with scholastic degree)
(Full name, initials of degree)
Department of (name)
(Name of institution)
(Local address)
Dear Professor (surname):
or
Dear Dr. (surname):
Sincerely,
Professor (without scholastic
degree)
Professor (full name)
Department of (name)
(Name of institution)
(Local address)
Dear Professor (surname):
Associate Professor or Assistant
Professor
Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (full name)
Associate (or Assistant) Professor
Department of (name)
(Name of institution)
(Local address)
Dear Professor (surname):
Sincerely,
Physician
(Full name), M.D.
(Local address)
Dear Dr. (surname):
Sincerely,
Lawyer
Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (full name):
Attorney at Law
(Local address)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (full name):
Sincerely,
Two or more private individuals
Mr. (full name)
Mr. (full name)
(Local address)
Gentlemen: (or) Sirs:
Sincerely,
Mrs. (full name)
Miss (full name)
(Local address)
Mesdames:
Sincerely,
Mr. (different full name)
(Local address)
Dear Mr. (surname):
Sincerely,
Mr. (full name)
Mrs. (full name)
Ms. (full name)
Miss (full name)
Mesdames (full names)
Messrs. (full names)
Misses (full names)
(Local address)
Dear Mr. (surname):
Dear Mrs. (surname):
Dear Ms. (surname):
Dear Miss (surname):
Mesdames:
Gentlemen (or Sirs):
Dear Misses (surnames):
Sincerely,
Private individuals
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
81
Table C–8
Corporations, companies, and federations
Addressee
Address in letter and on envelope
Salutation and complimentary close
To a company or corporation
(Name of company or corporation)
(Local address)
Gentlemen (Sirs):
(Ladies and Gentlemen)
Sincerely,
To a federation
(Name of official)
(Title, name of federation)
(Local address)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
President of a company
or corporation (or other official)
Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (full name)
President (or other title) Company
(Local address)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname)
Sincerely,
To an individual or a company,
corporation, or federation when
the name is not known; for
example, President, Treasurer,
Editor, and so forth.
(Title of individual)
(Name of organization)
(Local address)
Dear Sir/Madam:
Sincerely,
Table C–9
Foreign government officials
Addressee
Address in letter and on envelope
Salutation and complimentary close
Foreign Ambassador in the
United States
His/Her Excellency (full name)
Ambassador of (country)
(Local address)
Formal:
Excellency:
Very truly yours,
or
Informal:
Dear Mr./Madam Ambassador:
Sincerely,
Foreign Minister in the United
States
Honorable (full name)
Minister of (country)
(Local address)
Formal:
Sir/Madam:
Very truly yours,
or
Informal:
Dear Mr./Madam Minister:
Sincerely,
Note. Address foreign officials by title if the name of the official is not given in the correspondence or is not readily available.
Table C–10
International organizations
Addressee
Address in letter and on envelope
Salutation and complimentary close
United Nations
Secretary General of the United
Nations
His/Her Excellency (full name)
Secretary General of the United Nations
(Street)
New York, NY (ZIP+4)
United States Representatives to The Honorable (full name)
the United Nations
United States Representative
to the United Nations
(Street)
New York, NY (ZIP+4)
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AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
Formal:
Excellency:
Very truly yours,
or
Informal:
Dear Mr./Madam Secretary
General:
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Formal:
Sir/Madam:
Very truly yours,
or
Informal:
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Table C–10
International organizations—Continued
Addressee
Address in letter and on envelope
Chairman, United States
Delegation to the United Nations
Military Staff Committee
The Chairman
United States Delegation
United Nations Military Staff
Committee
United States Mission to the United
Nations
(Street)
New York, NY (ZIP+4)
Senior Military Adviser to the
(Grade)(full name)
United States Delegation to the
Senior Military Adviser
United Nations General Assembly United States Delegation to the
United Nations
General Assembly
(Street)
New York, NY (ZIP+4)
Salutation and complimentary close
Formal:
Sir/Madam:
Very truly yours,
or
Informal:
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Informal:
Dear (grade) (surname):
Sincerely,
United States Representatives to the General Assembly of the United Nations
Economic and Social Council
The Honorable (full name)
United States Representative on the Economic
and Social Council
(Street)
New York, NY (ZIP+4)
Formal:
Sir/Madam:
Very truly yours,
or
Informal:
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
United Nations Disarmament
The Honorable (full name)
United States Representative on the Disarmament Commission
(Street)
New York, NY (ZIP+4)
Formal:
Sir/Madam
Very truly yours,
or
Informal:
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Trusteeship Council
The Honorable (full name)
Formal:
United States Representative on the Trusteeship Sir/Madam:
Council
Very truly yours,
(Street)
or
New York, NY (ZIP+4)
Informal:
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Senior Representative of the
United States to the General
Assembly of the United Nations
The Honorable (full name)
Senior Representative of the United States to
the General Assembly of the United Nations
(Street)
New York, NY (ZIP+4)
Formal:
Sir/Madam:
Very truly yours,
or
Informal:
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (surname):
Sincerely,
Officials of the Organization of American States
Secretary General of the
Organization of American States
His/Her Excellency (full name)
Formal:
Secretary General of the Organization of Ameri- Excellency:
can States
Dear Mr./Madam Secretary General:
Pan American Union
Very truly yours,
(Street)
or
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Informal:
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss/Dr. (surname)
Sincerely,
Assistant Secretary General of
the Organization of American
States
The Honorable (full name)
Formal:
Assistant Secretary General of the Organization Sir/Madam:
of American States
Very truly yours,
Pan American Union
or
(Street)
Informal:
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss/Dr. (surname)
Sincerely,
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Table C–10
International organizations—Continued
Addressee
Address in letter and on envelope
United States Representative on The Honorable (full name)
the Council of the Organization of United States Representative on the Council of
American States
the Organization of
American States
Department of State
(Street)
Washington, DC (ZIP+4)
Salutation and complimentary close
Formal:
Sir/Madam:
Very truly yours,
or
Informal:
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss/Dr. (surname):
Sincerely,
Note. Communications to the United Nations will be addressed to the United States Representative to the United Nations, through the
State Department. Exemptions, which are sent directly to the United States Representative, include those intended for the Economic
and Social Council, the Disarmament Commission, the Trusteeship Council, and the delegation to the General Assembly (when it is in
session).
Table C–11
Addressing former officials
Addressee
Address in letter and on envelope
Salutation and complimentary close
Former President
The Honorable (full name)
(Local address)
Dear Mr./Madam (surname):
Respectfully,
Former Vice President
The Honorable (full name)
(Local address)
Dear Mr./Madam (surname):
Sincerely,
Former Member of the Cabinet
addressed as “Secretary”
The Honorable (full name)
(Local address)
Dear Mr./Madam Secretary:
Sincerely,
Former Postmaster General
The Honorable (full name)
(Local address)
Dear Mr./Madam Postmaster General:
Sincerely,
Former Attorney General
The Honorable (full name)
(Local address)
Dear Mr./Madam Attorney General:
Sincerely,
Former “Secretary” of military
department
The Honorable (full name)
(Local address)
Dear Mr./Madam (surname):
Sincerely,
Former Senator
The Honorable (full name)
(Local address)
Dear Senator (surname):
Sincerely,
Former Representative
The Honorable (full name)
(Local address)
Dear Mr./Madam (surname):
Sincerely,
Former Justice
The Honorable (full name)
(Local address)
Dear Mr./Madam Justice:
Sincerely,
Former Judge
The Honorable (full name)
(Local address)
Dear Judge (surname):
Sincerely,
Former Governor of State
The Honorable (full name)
(Local address)
Dear Governor (surname):
Sincerely,
Note. Address former presidents, vice presidents, justices of the Supreme Court, cabinet officers, Service secretaries, and governors
as indicated in this table. Address other former Federal officials and former State, local, and foreign government officials who once held
positions of distinction (for example, judges or mayors) by the titles of their former positions when the former official indicates in
personal communication or in an envelope return address that he or she still uses the title of a former position. In addition, address a
person by the title of a former position when the action official has knowledge that the addressee formerly held a distinctive position.
Otherwise, treat the addressee as a private citizen.
Appendix D
Model Authority Lines and Signature Blocks
D–1. Authority lines and signature blocks
Figures D–1 through D–24 are examples of authority lines and signature blocks for correspondence.
a. Noncommissioned officer signature blocks. Examples of correctly prepared NCO signature blocks for correspondence are shown in figure D–14.
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AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
b. U.S. Army Reserve signature blocks. Examples of correctly prepared USAR signature blocks for correspondence
are shown in figures D–15 through D–24.
D–2. Titles
a. Abbreviated titles. Abbreviate long or two-line titles in a signature block in military correspondence only when
the abbreviation agrees with AR 25–52 or an American standard dictionary.
b. Unabbreviated titles. Titles in signature blocks that cannot be logically abbreviated may be typed on two lines or,
if necessary, on three lines as shown in figure D–13.
Figure D–1. Signed by the commanding general of a command
Figure D–2. Signed by an authorized subordinate of the commander
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85
Figure D–3. Signed by the head of a Headquarters, Department of the Army Staff agency
Figure D–4. Signed by an authorized representative of a Headquarters, Department of the Army staff agency
Figure D–5. Signed by the commanding officer of a unit, headquarters, or installation
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AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
Figure D–6. Signed by an authorized representative of the commander of a unit, headquarters, or installation
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87
Figure D–7. Signed by an authorized representative for the head of a staff office or other official
Figure D–8. Signed by an authorized civilian, with or without an authority line
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AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
Figure D–9. Signature of an officer writing as an individual (show name, grade, branch, and organization)
Figure D–10. Examples of signature blocks for letters (show the name in uppercase and lowercase letters, grade, U.S. Army
spelled out, and organization)
Figure D–11. Signature blocks for retired military personnel
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
89
Figure D–12. Abbreviated titles
Figure D–13. Unabbreviated titles
Figure D–14. Noncommissioned officer signature blocks
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AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
Figure D–15. Signed by an enlisted U.S. Army Reserve Soldier on active duty, such as during an Active Guard Reserve
assignment
Figure D–16. Signed by a U.S. Army Reserve officer on active duty
Figure D–17. Signed by an officer assigned to the general staff, colonel or below
Figure D–18. Signed by an officer detailed as inspector general
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Figure D–19. Signed by a medical corps officer
Figure D–20. Signed by a reserve noncommissioned officer not on active duty
Figure D–21. Signed by a reserve officer not on active duty
Figure D–22. Signed by a reserve warrant officer
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AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
Figure D–23. Signed by an active duty U.S. Army Reserve chaplain (such as during an Active Guard Reserve assignment)
Figure D–24. Signed by a U.S. Army Reserve chaplain not on active duty
Appendix E
Preparing Mass Mailings
E–1. Purpose
This appendix prescribes special requirements for mass mailings, which are defined as similar correspondence (such as
letters, memorandums, messages, forms, certificates, star notes, invitations, and surveys) sent to 20 or more recipients.
E–2. General
Mass mailings must meet all standards of format, style, organization, and content as outlined in this regulation.
a. Commanders, directorates, and staff agency chiefs will identify who within their organization retains the authority
to release mass mailing correspondence based on message content and intended recipients.
b. The commander, director, or agency authority will ensure that all mass mailing correspondence is error-free,
timely, and properly addressed before mailing.
c. Splitting mass mailings for groups with more than 20 recipients into smaller communications and sending them
one after the other to avoid the requirements of this appendix violates the intent of this guidance.
d. All commands, directorates, and staff agencies will develop their own mass mailing procedures. These procedures
will outline the organization’s review processes, quality control checkpoints, and risk mitigation measures placed into
practice to prevent the release of incorrect mass mailings that could embarrass or adversely affect the Army.
E–3. Special instructions
When the sender is not acquainted with the mass mailing recipients, the commander, agency’s director, or staff chief
will take precautions to alleviate unnecessary heartache caused by mass mailings being unknowingly addressed to
deceased Soldiers. Therefore, before sending electronic or postal mass mailings to individuals unknown to the sender,
the sender must ensure that all individuals receiving the planned communication are NOT named in the weekly death
file produced by the Defense Manpower Data Center and NOT named in the up-to-date list of decedents produced by
the Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Center by emailing the mass mailing recipient list to usarmy.knox.hrc.
[email protected] for confirmation.
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
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Appendix F
Internal Control Evaluation
F–1. Function
The function covered by this evaluation is Army correspondence.
F–2. Purpose
The purpose of this evaluation is to assist users of AR 25–50 in evaluating the key internal controls listed. It is not
intended to cover all controls.
F–3. Instructions
Answers must be based on the actual testing of key internal controls (for example, document analysis, direct
observation, sampling, and simulation). Answers that indicate deficiencies must be explained and the corrective action
identified in supporting documentation. These internal controls must be evaluated at least once every 5 years.
Certification that the evaluation has been conducted must be accomplished on DA Form 11–2 (Internal Control
Evaluation Certification).
F–4. Test questions
a. Are correspondence actions properly routed to the appropriate addressees expected to exercise control or take
action?
b. Is Army writing effective and free of errors in substance, organization, style, and correctness?
F–5. Supersession
Not applicable.
F–6. Comments
Help make this a better tool for evaluating internal controls. Submit comments to the Records Management and
Declassification Agency, 7701 Telegraph Road, Casey Building, Room 102, Alexandria, VA 22315.
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AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
Glossary
Section I
Abbreviations
AASA
Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army
ACOM
Army command
AG
Adjutant General
AKO
Army Knowledge Online
ALARACT
all Army activities (Army general message address)
AMC
U.S. Army Materiel Command
APO
Army/Air Force post office
AR
Army regulation
ARIMS
Army Records Information Management System
ARNG
Army National Guard
ASCC
Army service component command
Blvd
boulevard
B.S.
bachelor of science
C
confidential
cc
courtesy copy
CF
copy furnished
CG
commanding general
CNWDI
Critical Nuclear Weapons Design Information
DA
Department of the Army
AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
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DAC
Department of the Army civilian
DCS, G–1
Deputy Chief of Staff, G–1
DCS, G–2
Deputy Chief of Staff, G–2
DCS, G–3/5/7
Deputy Chief of Staff, G–3/5/7
DOD
Department of Defense
DOE
Department of Energy
DRU
direct reporting unit
DSN
Defense Switched Network
email
electronic mail
encl
enclosure
EO
executive order
FAX
facsimile
FORSCOM
U.S. Army Forces Command
FOUO
for official use only
FPO
Fleet Post Office
FRD
formerly restricted data
Ft
fort
FY
fiscal year
GS
general staff
HON
Honorary
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AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
HQ
headquarters
HQDA
Headquarters, Department of the Army
IG
inspector general
Jr.
junior
KSARNG
Kansas Army National Guard
memo
memorandum
M.F.A.
Master of Fine Arts
MFR
memorandum for record
Mltry Pstl Svc Agcy
Military Postal Service Agency
MOA
memorandum of agreement
MOU
memorandum of understanding
NATO
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NCO
noncommissioned officer
OF
optional form
OSA
Office of the Secretary of the Army
Ph.D.
Doctor of Philosophy
PL
public law
POC
point of contact
RD
restricted data
Ret
retired
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S
suspense
SA
Secretary of the Army
SAB
subject as above
SCG
security classification guide
SF
standard form
SOP
standing operating procedure
Sr.
senior
St
street
TOW
tube-launched, optically-tracked, wire-guided
TRADOC
U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command
TRICARE
Tri-Service Medical Care
TS
top secret
U
Unclassified
U.S.
United States
USA
U.S. Army
USAF
U.S. Air Force
USAR
U.S. Army Reserve
USAREUR
U.S. Army Europe
USC
United States Code
USMC
U.S. Marine Corps
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AR 25–50 • 17 May 2013
USN
U.S. Navy
USPS
U.S. Postal Service
ZIP
zone improvement plan
Section II
Terms
Correspondence
Includes all forms and formats contained in this regulation and other special purpose correspondence or forms used in
conducting Army business. The correspondence may be produced, reproduced, or transmitted manually, electronically,
or by magnetic media.
Letter
A format used for correspondence addressed to the President or Vice President of the United States, members of the
White House staff, Members of Congress, Justices of the Supreme Court, heads of departments and agencies, State
governors, mayors, foreign government officials, and the public. This format may also be used for official personal
correspondence, letters of appreciation or commendation, and letters of welcome.
Memorandum
A format for corresponding within and between activities of HQDA; between HQDA and other Army commands;
within and between Army commands; to DOD and DOD activities; for routine correspondence to Federal Government
agencies outside DOD; and correspondence to other Military Services unless another format is specified or required.
The memorandum may be used for notification of military or civilian personnel actions; for showing appreciation or
commendation for DA employees; and for forwarding nontransmitting forms, as an enclosure or attachment, outside the
installation or command.
Memorandum for record
A prescribed format used to furnish information not requiring action.
Memorandum of agreement
A prescribed format for documenting, in detail, specific responsibilities of and actions to be taken by each of the
parties so that the goals may be accomplished.
Memorandum of understanding
A prescribed format for documenting broad concepts of mutually agreed to commitments.
Record copy
That copy of a record kept by the agency, office, or element directly responsible for the function the record relates to.
No matter what method is used to create or duplicate the copy, record copies of incoming or outgoing communications
may be in a variety of forms. These include electronic copy, paper copy, handwritten items, specific media,
microforms, and so forth. It does not include reading file copies or copies held for convenience or reference.
Section III
Special Abbreviations and Terms
This section contains no entries.
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