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.


veterans affairs – Capitalize when referring to the Department of Veterans Affairs and use lowercase veterans affairs as a topic. VA is the accepted abbreviation for this department. Do not use VA as an abbreviation for veterans affairs in a general sense. Do not use an apostrophe in veterans affairs; however, singular vs. plural and apostrophe vs. no apostrophe is at the writer's discretion for other terms or phrases related to veterans.

vice – Use two words, vice admiral, vice chairman, vice consul. Capitalize in titles when using before a name.

vice president – Capitalize vice president only as a formal title before one or more names: Vice President Kamala Harris, Vice Presidents Mike Pence and Dan Quayle. Use lowercase in all other references: The vice president said today that he is running for president. Use the first and last name on the first reference; in subsequent references, use only the last name.