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.


reserve – Lowercase.

  • Individual Ready Reserve – Uppercase.
  • ready reserve – Lowercase.
  • 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). Lowercase. Example: The reserve components face a cut of more than $3.5 billion in the next federal budget.
  • reservist – Lowercase.
  • selected reserve – Lowercase.
  • standby reserve – Lowercase.