Use of Terms A-Z

Answer your editorial questions through this list of commonly used terms. You will find everything from definitions to abbreviations and hyphenations.

Visual Style Guides

Build a cohesive brand by using consistent colors and fonts as well as correct logo placement.

Program Content Guides

Make sure you have program-specific context and accurate terminology when writing for a specific MC&FP program.


Download the logos for MC&FP and related programs.



MC&FP Editorial Style Update

Writing for the Web — Understand that readers tend to skip over paragraphs that are too long. To make content more accessible:

Strive to create paragraphs that are no longer than three lines in a Word document. Paragraphs with four lines should be the absolute maximum and used sparingly. Break longer paragraphs into shorter paragraphs or lists for easier scanning. Avoid pages and articles that are excessively long. While the content might be valuable, if an article is not easy to scan, many users may not read it in full. Review content to see if it’s covered in other locations to help decrease the length of articles and pages.

For half-width content or content that occupies a smaller width area, such as verbiage placed next to an action card, paragraphs may extend to four to five lines. In a Word document, the content would take up two or three lines only. Published content with six or more lines, even shorter lines, appears too long to the user. The reader may skip the content.

MC&FP Editorial Style Update

Writing for Social Media — Use no cost instead of free in Facebook posts. Due to its algorithms, use either no cost or a variation of “take advantage of your benefit.”

MC&FP Editorial Style Update

Branding and Logos for MC&FP and Support Programs – Approved versions of MC&FP branding and program logos are available here along with complete instructions for using them. Users must meet the guidance this section of the MC&FP Style Guide provides. Of note, the DOD logo and the DOD seal are not interchangeable.

Follow these usage guidelines:

In keeping with brand standards, the DOD logo may be used in all communications across all media platforms. The DOD seal has very restricted usage. The DOD seal’s use is restricted to official DOD top leader correspondence, legal documents, reports, memoranda, ceremonial booklets, certificates and awards. The DOD and military seals may not be used on flyers or other promotional materials. These seals may be used only by the military departments for official purposes.

View more updates on the Branding and Logos page.

MC&FP Editorial Style Update

Approval Process – When submitting a document for review, ensure that it meets all requirements in this online style guide and use the following file-naming convention when saving a file:


Contract name abbreviation (e.g., MODES)

Program name (e.g., TRANSCOM, FAP, SECO)

Product type (e.g., FactSheet, Flyer, PPT, TalkingPoints)

Title (e.g., TaxTips, TransitionAssistance)

Date (e.g., 5July2023)

Initials of staff member submitting document (e.g., jad, LS, LL)

Status (e.g., ForPMReview, ForOOReview, For508Approval, FINAL)


Add your initials for projects in progress:


Remove your initials from the final version or for files going to the government for review:


MC&FP Editorial Style Update

Use of Shortcut URLs – Typically, 301 redirects are used for expired pages, after URLs have moved, and when consolidating duplicate content. It also makes sense to use 301 redirects for shortcut URLs that will always go to the same destination URLs.

MilTax vanity URL:

MilTax landing page absolute URL:

Editorial Style Update

Updated Terms A-Z – Vist the following pages for new and updated terms

Terms P, Terms R , Terms S, Terms T, Terms V, Terms W, Terms X

MC&FP Editorial Style Update

New Visual Style Guides – Visit the Visual Style Guide Page to view new guides for DOD Logo and Seal Usage, Plan My Deployment and Plan My Move.

Editorial Style Update

MC&FP Mission Statement – Quality of life policies and programs that help our service members, their families and survivors be well and mission ready.

Editorial Style Update

Gold Star and Surviving Family Member Representative — Always capitalize this when speaking about the representative initially. Use representative (lowercase) on second reference.

Gold Star Lapel Button and the Next of Kin of Deceased Lapel Button — Capitalize these button titles in all references. Note that the preferred term is button, not pin.

Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day, Gold Star Spouses Day — This is the correct way to write these observed recognition days.

gold star survivors — Lowercase gold star when describing these surviving family members. For example, do not capitalize gold star parents.

Military In Lasting Tribute — Capitalize the first letter of each word in this title. Use Department of Defense (not Defense Department) when writing about this official online memorial. Note that this is referred to as an online memorial and not a digital memorial, website or application.