How to Write a Naval Correspondence Letter

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How to write a Naval Correspondence letter

The Naval correspondence letter is to prescribed a uniform standards for the management and preparation of correspondence throughout the Department of the Navy (DON). The Secretary of the Navy will administer the Department of the Navy Correspondence Management Program and Coordinate proposed changes to this manual with the Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandant of the Marine Corps, they will administer the Correspondence Management Program within the Navy and Marine Corps respectively. Commanding Officers and Heads of Activities will establish a correspondence management program based on the requirements and guidance of this manual and ensure that its screened, controlled, reviewed and answered accordingly, Correspondence practices are reviewed periodically to improve products and procedures.

The image and effectiveness of the Department of the Navy is portrayed by the tone quality, and responsiveness of correspondence. Properly written correspondence that clearly and succinctly establishes a position, correctly and completely answers questions, and conveys the right message, all aid in the effective management and operation of the Department of the Navy. The correspondence must be neat in appearance, correctly formatted , error free and grammatically correct, it must avoid all stereotyping men and women based on gender by using pronouns and titles that are gender neutral. Always include a point of contact, return telephone number, and e-mail address when your correspondence might prompt a reply or inquiry.

When corresponding through Channels using the Chain of Command, follow your Chain of Command when corresponding on substantive matters such as command decisions, policy issues and official recommendations, communications are directly address to the top official of the organization concerned immediately after the activity’s name. Address correspondence concerning policy, management decisions, or other important matters via the chain of command or those commands, activities, or offices who have cognizance over the subject matter. This keeps intermediate commands informed and allows them to comment or approve as necessary. A “Via” addressee will always forward official correspondence with an endorsement. The endorsement may be as simple as using the term “forwarded” when no opinion or comment is needed. A “Via” addressee may elect to take final action, divert the routing, or return the correspondence to the originator with appropriate explanation.

Correspondences are sent via the chain of command, with an advance copy to the “To” addressee. To alert all addressees to this unusual routing, repeat the action addressee by Standard Navy Distribution List short title in a “Copy to:” line and include the term “(advance)” after the short title.

Corresponding through the Chain Of Command varies. (1) Authorized subordinates of different activities may correspond directly with each other on routine matters. (2) List any cognizant addressees in the “Via:” line when it is determined that they should see a letter before it reaches the “to” addressee. (3) Include intermediate commands as “Copy to” addressees instead of “Via” addressees if you want them to see certain routine correspondence without having to endorse it. (4) Bypass intermediate commands that clearly have no interest in a letter’s content and no requirement to comment or act.

Sending correspondence directly to the “To” addressee with a concurrent copy to each intermediate addressee. Additionally, include the “VIA” addressees by Standard Navy Distribution List short titles in the “Copy to:” line.

When writing to Higher Authority on a personal matter affecting the command Navy Personnel will prepare the letter on plain bond paper in standard letter format. Address the letter to the higher authority and send it “Via” your chain of command. Each “Via” addressee will prepare an endorsement...
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