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.


improvised explosive device – An IED is a homemade device incorporating destructive, lethal noxious, pyrotechnic or incendiary chemicals and designed to destroy, incapacitate, harass or distract. It may incorporate military materials, but is normally devised from nonmilitary components. The term is applied to a variety of explosive devices, such as bombs and mines. The term IED is acceptable in subsequent references, but only if the available facts are detailed enough to allow avoiding use of the jargon term entirely; opt for the homemade bomb, roadside bomb or the appropriate plain-English term.

Inauguration Day – Capitalize only when referring to the total collection of events that include the inauguration of a U.S. president. Lowercase in all other uses: Inauguration Day is Jan. 20. The inauguration day for the change has not been set.

inclusion – A set of behaviors (culture) that encourages service members and civilian employees to feel valued for unique qualities and to experience a sense of belonging. Inclusive diversity is the process of valuing and integrating each individual’s perspectives, ideas and contributions into the way an organization functions and makes decisions, enabling diverse workforce members to contribute to their full potential in collaborative pursuit of organizational objectives. When creating content for Military Community and Family Policy, writers, designers and other team members should be as inclusive as possible and avoid making assumptions based on age, race, differing abilities, ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Individual Ready Reserve – Uppercase.

infant – Use for children through 12 months old.

installation names – In running text, fully write out the name of an installation each time it appears to facilitate reader comprehension. For example, use McConnell Air Force Base on each reference as opposed to McConnell AFB. For the purposes of search engine optimization, installation names may include acronyms or be written out fully, whichever yields better search results, in URLs, metadata and in H1 for each installation page on the MilitaryINSTALLATIONS website.

internet – Lowercase. Note: The web is a subset of the internet and the terms are not interchangeable.