in the commands master file system in lieu of
maintaining an extra copy of material. Keeping a
cross-reference locator sheet ensures that when later or
revised material is received, the material is not
automatically filed. Instead, it is routed to the user
(department head, division officer, and so forth) so that
the individual will have the most current information
on which to base his/her actions.
PROCEDURES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
FOR OUTGOING CORRESPONDENCE
Action on correspondence must be completed on
each piece of action correspondence on or before the
day indicated by the ships secretary, or as directed by
the executive officer. To make sure that appropriate
action is complied with, your commands
administrative office should have a tickler file to track
actions required and to remind individuals responsible
for responding to incoming correspondence that action
is necessary. If the action cannot be completed for some
unavoidable reason, the ships secretary must be
informed by the individual responsible for drafting the
response to the correspondence. This way, the ships
secretary will be able to notify the executive officer
about the delay.
If there is an unavoidable delay in answering action
mail, the responsible individual drafts a letter or
message of acknowledgement, depending on the
urgency of the required response, explaining the reason
for the delay.
Individuals responsible for responding to
should prepare outgoing
correspondence, including reports, in a double-spaced,
type-written rough format. They must indicate the
appropriate security classification and downgrading
declassification category, if appropriate. Roughs are
delivered to the executive officer via the local chain of
command for review and eventual delivery of the
smooth correspondence to the commanding officer for
MAIL HANDLING BY MAIL CLERKS
AND MAIL ORDERLIES
Earlier, you read about correspondence procedures
according to OPNAVINST 3120.32. Different records
maintained by administrative offices to control the
receipt and delivery of official mail, and the
responsibilities specific individuals have when
handling classified and unclassified correspondence
Whether or not you will actually handle classified
correspondence is determined by your command.
However, you must be aware of the importance of
safeguarding classified and, in some instances,
unclassified controlled correspondence from
This section contains a discussion of mail handling
by mail clerks and mail orderlies. As a PN3 or PN2,
you will be tasked with being the mail clerk or mail
orderly. As such, handling mail will be a part of your
daily duties and responsibilities.
Traditionally, the U.S. Navy has used the term
mail orderly not mail clerk as used by the other services.
For the purpose of this training manual, the terms mail
clerk and Navy mail orderly are synonymous.
Therefore, as a mail orderly you also have the
responsibilities as those of a mail clerk. The
responsibilities of both mail clerks and mail orderlies
are separately discussed.
Personnel designated as mail orderlies in the U.S.
Navy must comply with the provisions of volume 2 of
the Department of Defense Postal Manual, DOD
4525.6-M, relating to both mail clerks and mail
MAIL CLERKS RESPONSIBILITIES
According to chapter 3, volume 2, of DOD
4525.6-M, mail clerks are responsible for the following:
. Providing mail service and operating the postal
service center (PSC) or unit mailroom (UMR) under
l Safeguarding mail at all times.
l Maintaining an up-todate mail directory file of
all personnel being served, scheduled to arrive, and
those that have been transferred during the last 6 months
(3 months for personnel who were on temporary duty,
a projected gain who has been canceled, or trainees
stationed less than 6 months at a training base).
l Performing prompt directory Service on all
undeliverable mail and expeditiously returning it to the
serving post office no later than the following workday
l Delivering accountable mail and properly
maintaining accountable mail records.
. Correcting all discrepancies noted on mailroom
inspections as soon as possible.