Use of Terms A-Z

Military Community and Family Policy writing guidance aligns with The Associated Press Stylebook with a few exceptions. Definitions of military-specific terms appear below, along with editorial guidance for certain commonly used words for MC&FP and our programs. See additional writing guidance in the Writing Best Practices section. Find program-specific guidance in the Program Content Guides section.


Bagram Airfield – Use this spelling for the U.S. base in Afghanistan.

battalion – Capitalize when combining with a figure to form a name: the 1st Battalion, the 3rd Maintenance Battalion. Use numerals in unit names, and do not hyphenate: NMCB 4 (not NMCB FOUR).

battle group – Do not use battle group. Instead, use carrier strike group or expeditionary strike group.

boats, ships – A boat is a watercraft of any size but generally used to describe a smaller craft. A ship is a large, seagoing vessel. Use boat to describe a submarine. Do not use to describe a ship.

boot camp – Use as two words.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America – Use "&" when writing out the full name of the organization. The name may also be shortened to Boys & Girls Clubs. Lowercase “club” or “clubs” when referring to individual club events or programs. For example, “Each year, one exceptional club member is selected to be the National Youth of the Year.”

building – Lowercase the word in running text unless referring to a specific building with “building” in the proper name. Capitalize the word or abbreviation (Bldg.) when used in addresses.

burial at sea – Do not hyphenate.