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CHAPTER  7 SOCIAL  ETIQUETTE It is by no means enough that an officer of the Navy should be a capable mariner.   He must be that of course, but also a great deal more. He  should  be  as  well  a  gentleman  of  liberal education,   refined   manners,   punctilious courtesy,  and  the  nicest  sense  of  personal honor. —From letters of John Paul Jones Social  etiquette  has  changed  considerably  since the days of John Paul Jones.  Today, in our fast-paced, mobile,  informal  20th-century  society,  many  of  the old  customs  have  disappeared. However,  certain esteemed traditions still survive. The  following  pages  will  discuss  some  of  the more   common   situations   pertaining   to   social etiquette.  For a more complete and detailed coverage of naval social etiquette, refer to the Social Usage and Protocol   Handbook,  OPNAVINST  1710.7,  and  to Service   Etiquette,  published  by  the  United  States Naval Institute, Annapolis, Maryland. Bear in mind that as a naval officer you will deal with many people whom you do not know personally. At such times, social customs are practical.  They help to improve life, to get things accomplished quickly, to smooth   the   course   of   friendly   gatherings,   and   to eliminate  friction  in  our  daily  contacts  with     each other. PERSONAL DRESS When   you   purchase   your   uniforms   and accessories, we recommend you purchase the best you can afford.   Buying cheap articles works out as poor economy in the long run—you get what you pay for! When you are in uniform, make sure you are in a prescribed uniform of the day.   Remember to remain in  that  uniform  when  working  in  an  office  or  a stateroom.   Correct civilian attire for social events is equally  important.   Refer  to  table  7-1  for  guidelines on attire.  The guidelines shown in table 7-1 are based on the protocol requirements of Washington, D.C.  In other  areas  of  the  country,  such  as  California  or Hawaii, social occasions call for far less formal attire. When  in  doubt,  inquire  as  to  local  custom.     The increased informality in modern-day living dictates a wide latitude in apparel;   therefore, encourage guests to feel comfortable in whatever they choose to wear. COMMUNICATIONS Correct,  simple,  and  thoughtful  speech,  coupled with a capacity for intelligent conversation, is one of the greatest assets you can have. Ensure   your   conversation   reciprocates,   not monopolizes.   Engaging and intelligent conversation requires,  among  other  things,  a  broad  contact  with literature and familiarity with current events.  Devote time to reading and studying.  Cultivate an interest in national   and   international   affairs. Although specialization seems to be the order of the day, strive to maintain a broad point of view to keep the events of the day in perspective. Correct telephone speech is extremely important; poor    telephone    habits    may    often    lead    to misunderstandings. When  placing  a  call,  identify yourself   by   name. When   answering   an   office telephone,  identify  the  office  before  stating  your name. Written communication is of equal importance.  If your  writing  is  not  clear,  readers  won’t  know  what you  want  them  to  do.    Confusing  or  wordy  writing causes  readers  to  waste  time  figuring  out  your meaning or asking for clarification.  Your writing is an expression of your thinking.  Refer to the Department of the Navy Correspondence Manual, SECNAVINST 5216.5, for more details on effective writing. INVITATIONS Invitations  vary  in  style  and  format  depending upon the type of occasion, formal or informal. FORMAL INVITATIONS Formal  invitations  are  most  appropriate  for formal occasions such as official dinners, receptions, dances,  or  official  ceremonies.    The  invitations  for 7-1

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