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.


ready reserve – Lowercase.

reserve – Capitalize when referring to the U.S. Armed Forces: Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air Force Reserve. When referring to the reserve component, use lowercase. Capitalize Individual Ready Reserve, but lowercase ready reserve and selected reserve. Lowercase the plural form reserves in all uses.

reserve component – Refers to all reserve forces of the United States, including the National Guard (and, technically, the ROTC, though this rarely is intended by the user/speaker). Not capitalized. Example: The reserve components face a cut of more than $3.5 billion in the next federal budget.

Reserve Officers’ Training CorpsROTC is acceptable in all references. When the service is specific, use Army ROTC, Navy ROTC, or Air Force ROTC. Do not use AROTC, NROTC or AFROTC.

reservist – Use lowercase in all references except when starting a sentence.

resume – Use this term without the accents when referring to a work history summary.