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Using Publications - 14135_14
You may not use a DD Form 173 for submission of messages anymore. Instead, you must use the message text format (MTF) program. This program allows for floppy diskette transmission and up to 50 messages may be included on one diskette. ROUTING Knowing what to do with incoming correspondence is important to the efficient operation of your office and command. You must take care in the initial sorting and routing of incoming correspondence. You must make sure the proper individual receives the correspondence so he or she may take any action that is required with a particular  piece  of  correspondence. FILING Constant  changes  in  naval  office  personnel  due  to transfers, leave, and discharges create a need for a single subject  classification  system.  The  present  standard Navywide system fulfills that need because it makes sure any person who knows the subject filing system of one ship or station can operate that of another with little decrease in efficiency. This does not mean that each office has the same number or type of files. Instead, it signifies that a standard system is used to (1) assign subject codes (numbers), (2) guarantee that general files have  the  same  basic  arrangement,  and  (3)  make  sure certain sets of files are kept by all activities. Details  of  file  arrangement  within  any  particular naval office depend upon the mission or function of the office  and  the  volume  of  its  official  correspondence. You will find that the general files in your office are similar to those found in any other office in the Navy. These general files contain such items as incoming letters,  copies  of  outgoing  letters,  and  memorandums that  normally  form  the  bulk  of  your  office  files.  In addition to the general files, you may decide to set up separate files for such items as claims, court-martial records, investigations, and nonjudicial punishments. In a small SJA office where the volume of claims business is not so heavy, you could probably file all your claims correspondence in the general file (5890). How- ever,  if  your  office  processes  many  claims,  you  should file only general correspondence in the general files and set up a special file in alphabetical order (by last name of  claimant)  for  claims  processed. In a decentralized filing system, files are normally kept  by  the  section  responsible  for  the  function  being performed; that is, the claims section would keep claims files, the review section would keep review files, and the  legal  assistance  section  would  keep  legal  assistance files.  You  may  encounter  the  decentralized  filing system  in  NLSOs  where  the  volume  of  files  warrants such a system. However, in a small SJA office where the volume of business (and hence, the volume of files) is not so heavy, such a system probably should not be instituted. Court-martial records, while a part of your general files, are normally kept in a separate drawer of the filing cabinet.  You  should  file  summary  court-martial  (SCM), special  court-martial  (SPCM),  and  general  court-mar- tial (GCM) records separately. They may, of course, be filed  in  the  same  drawer  of  the  filing  cabinet,  if necessary, but group them together by the type of court involved and file alphabetically according to the last name of the accused. Whether your office uses a centralized or decentral- ized filing system is usually determined by the size of your organization and the volume of business handled. Whichever system you use, it is important that you thoroughly  understand  the  system  in  use. SUBJECT  CLASSIFICATION Having the proper subject classification on a naval letter or a directive will help you and the individual that the correspondence is being sent to in filing and in proper  identification  of  the  subject  material.  To  make sure  a  piece  of  correspondence  has  the  proper  subject identification code, you should refer to the  Department of  the  Navy  Standard  Subject  Identificaton  Codes, SECAVINST   5210.11. DRAFTING  CORRESPONDENCE As a senior LN, you will compose letters from brief notes or even from oral instructions. In preparing long letters, you should be able to prepare a first draft that will need only minor changes before the draft is ready for smooth typing. You should master the preparation of short, routine letters to the point where they rarely need any change before signature. Refer to the  Corre- spondence Manual  for instructions regarding naval writing standards and sample letters. PUBLICATIONS AND DIRECTIVES Handling,  correcting,  and  using  publications  and directives are a big part of the daily routine of any Navy office.  The  efficiency  of  the  office  depends  on  how well this is done. This makes it important for you to 1-3

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