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.


Taps – Uppercase without quotation marks for the bugle call sounded for lights out and at military funerals.

TAPS – Is an acronym for the military service organization, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

times – Use figures except for noon and midnight: 1 a.m., 10 p.m. Separate hours from minutes with a colon: 11:30 a.m.

time change – In 2021, Daylight Saving Time starts on Sunday, March 14, and ends on Sunday, Nov. 7. On Sunday, March 14, at 2 a.m., clocks turn forward one hour to 3 a.m., as daylight saving time (EDT, CDT, MDT, PDT). On Sunday, Nov. 7, at 2 a.m., clocks are turned backward one hour to 1 a.m., as local standard time (EST, CST, MST, PST). In 2022, Daylight Saving Time will begin Sunday, March 13, and end Sunday, Nov. 6.

TRICARE – TRICARE is the health care program for 9.5 million service members, retirees and their families around the world. It provides military health benefits and health care support to ensure mission readiness. Do not refer to TRICARE as “health insurance” since it is an entitlement. Instead, say “health benefit.”