Use proper punctuation for clarity and reading ease.

  • Do not use a comma before a conjunction in a simple series: The flag was red, white and blue.
  • Use a comma before a conjunction in a complex sentence: Military OneSource provides information for military leaders, service and family members, and service providers.
  • Place a comma between two independent clauses that are connected by a coordinating conjunction such as (and, so, but, nor, yet and or): Department of Defense Education Activity schools within the United States may open enrollment to other children, but it will be on a space-available basis.
  • Use a comma to set off introductory elements: For more information on requirements for Department of Defense Education Activity schools, contact your local school.
  • Place periods and commas inside of closing quotation marks: Use the words “website,” “email” and “text.”
  • If a web address is at the end of a sentence, follow it with a period.
  • Do not use exclamation points when writing for Military Community and Family Policy, unless it’s part of an official name such as the DOD MWR Libraries Summer Reading Program, Reading Takes You Everywhere!

Punctuate dates and date ranges as follows:

  • Month, day, year: Sept. 7, 2018
  • Date range: Nov. 10-15 [hyphen and no spaces]
  • Date range: I will be here from Oct. 14, 2022, to Jan. 18, 2023. [Use a comma after the year and before “to.”]
  • Date range without year: I will be here from Oct. 14 to Nov. 25. [Do not use a comma.]
  • Date range: August – November [en dash (not em dash) with one space on either side of the dash for month range]
  • Date range: Aug. 14-Sept. 29 [hyphen and no space]
  • To indicate someone’s lifetime: May 1, 1921, to Aug. 16, 1974 [no hyphen or dash; use “to”]