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.


e– Abbreviation for electronic. Use hyphen for terms such as e-commerce, e-reader, etc. However, no hyphen for email, eNewsletter, ePublication, according to Military OneSource style. If using at the beginning of a sentence, cap the e- initial: E-readers are now in use in schools.

eLearning – The use of electronic media, information and communication technologies in education and instructional systems design. The preferred style is without the hyphen, eLearning.

embassy – An embassy is the official office of an ambassador in a foreign country. It handles relations between nations. A consulate is the office of a consul in a foreign city. It handles business and personal needs of citizens of the appointed country. Capitalize with the name of a nation; use lowercase without it: the British Embassy, the U.S. Consulate, the embassy, the consulate.


Exceptional Family Member Program – This program supports military family members of all ages with special medical and educational needs. When referencing the three main components of the program, capitalize them to read EFMP Family Support, EFMP Identification and Enrollment and EFMP Assignment Coordination. Always capitalize Exceptional Family Member Program when writing it out fully in headers or running text.

Exceptional Family Member Program Resources, Options and Consultations – EFMP ROC is a specialized area of Military OneSource where families with special needs go for online resources, options and consultations, in addition to those already available on military installations. EFMP ROC provides comprehensive information on every aspect of military life for family members with special needs. There is no cost to active-duty, National Guard and reserve service members, their families and survivors.

exclamation point – Avoid excessive exclamation points when developing content for MC&FP. This guidance applies to social media, blogs and other communication avenues. Do not use exclamation points when writing for Military OneSource unless they are part of a title (example: Purple Up!).

executive branch – Lowercase in all uses.

executive director – Lowercase except when using before the name of someone with a formal corporate or organizational title.

Executive Mansion – Lowercase except when referring to the White House.