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.

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.