With only slight variations, the same format
is used to prepare the joint letter, multiple-address
letter, and the endorsement. It is also used to
prepare memoranda and to a lesser extent such
other special types of naval correspondence as the
speedletter and the telecommunication message.
Since the style of the standard naval letter sets
the pattern for all types of correspondence,
including the business letter, it is important for
the RP to be familiar with the procedures used
in preparing a naval letter. The proper procedures
and format for the preparation of the naval letter
are explained in the next sections.
The first page of a naval letter is written on
letterhead stationery of the activity of the chief
official under whose title it is written. Figure 5-1
shows examples of various letterhead stationery.
If printed letterhead stationery is not available,
the letterhead is typed or stamped in the top center
of the page beginning on the fourth line from the
top of the page. Second and succeeding pages are
typed on plain bond paper which is similar to the
letterhead stationery in size, color, and quality.
White and colored tissues (manifold sheets)
are used for additional copies of naval letters. The
required number of copies of a naval letter is
determined by the type and number of addressees
and the local processing and filing practices.
Although the necessary number of copies must
be determined separately for each letter, the
following copies are normally required:
GREEN.One copy is required for the
official files. NOTE: A designated reproduced
copy may be used as the file copy when colored
tissues are not available.
WHITE.One copy is required for each
via addressee and each copy to addressee.
as for the first page. NOTE: Figures 5-2 and 5-3
are used for explanation purposes for the
remainder of the discussion in regard to the naval
No salutation or complimentary close appears
on a naval letter. The letter is prepared in block
style without indenting except for the first lines
of subparagraphs or for extensive quotations.
The location of the identification symbols is
governed by the refer to line when it is printed
on the stationery. Figure 5-1 shows three examples
of letterhead stationery with printed refer to
lines and one example where the refer to line
is not printed on the stationery. The following
entries may be contained in the identification
ORIGINATORS CODE.An originators
code serves as a basic identification symbol and
is formed according to local instructions. It
appears on all outgoing correspondence except
correspondence that is prepared for the Secretary
of the Navys signature. The group of letters
PBX:ABC:PLM is the originators code in
figure 5-2. Hull numbers may be used as the
originators code for ships.
FILE NUMBER.The use of a file number
is optional on the naval letter. It is blocked below
the originators code when used. A file number
is normally used when the originator wishes to be
included on return correspondence. The number
5216 is the file number in figure 5-2. A listing
of file numbers is contained in Department of the
Navy Standard Subject Identification Codes
(SECNAVINST 5210.11). The specific contents
of this instruction are contained in Chapter 3 of
SERIAL NUMBER.A serial number is an
optional entry on unclassified naval letters. It is
On the first page of a naval letter (figure 5-2),
blocked below the file number or below the
the left and right margins are one inch and the
originators code when there is no file number.
bottom margin is at least one inch. On the second
The purpose of a serial number is to assist
and succeeding pages (figure 5-3), the margin at
commands in identifying and locating
the top is one inch and other margins are the same
correspondence. There is no serial number in the