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.


first lady – Capitalize as a formal title before a name. Lowercase in other uses. With regard to First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, use her academic title, Dr., as opposed to Ms. or Mrs.

Four-H Club4-H Club is preferred. Members are 4-H’ers.

free – Use free when the target audience is the military community, service members and family members. Free is easily understood and preferred when writing content for service and family members and service providers and should be used instead of no cost. However, when writing content for leaders pertaining to Military OneSource policy or the Military OneSource contract, use the term no cost.

Facebook is the only exception to the rule. Due to its algorithms, use either no cost or a variation of “take advantage of your benefit.”