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Messages
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Special-Handling  Markings
Precedence whereas  the  Secret  message  may  not  require any  action  at  all. The   message   drafter   indicates   the   desired writer-to-reader   delivery   time   through   the assignment of a message    precedence. Although the   drafter   determines   the precedence,  the  releaser  should  either  confirm or  change  it. The  following  paragraphs  list  the  various precedence  categories,  their  indicators,  and basic   definitions: l   ROUTINE   (R).   Processed   within   6 hours.  This  category  is  assigned  to  all  types of   traffic   that   justify   electrical   transmission but  which  are  not  of  sufficient  urgency  to require  a  higher  precedence. l   PRIORITY   (P).   Processed   within   3 hours.  This  category  is  reserved  for  messages that   furnish   essential   information   for   the conduct  of  operations  in  progress.  This  is  the highest  precedence  normally  authorized  for administrative  messages. l   IMMEDIATE   (O).   Processed   within 30  minutes. This  category  is  reserved  for messages   relating   to   situations   that   gravely affect  the  national  forces  or  populace  and  that require  immediate  delivery  to  addressees. l   F L A S H    ( Z ) . Processed   as   fast   as possible   with   an   objective   of   less   than   10 minutes. This   category   is   reserved   for initial   enemy   contact   reports   or   operational combat   messages of   extreme urgency; message  brevity  is  mandatory. Precedence   is   assigned   according   to urgency,  based  solely  on  writer-to-reader  time, not  according  to  the  importance  of  the  subject matter   or   the   text. For   example,   an unclassified  message  may  be  assigned  an IMMEDIATE  precedence,  whereas  a  Secret message   may   be   assigned   a   ROUTINE precedence.  In  this  situation,  the  unclassified message  requires  fast  action  or  response, Address  Component The   address   component   contains   the designation of the originating station identified by   the   originator   prosign   FM   (meaning “from”). Prosign T O    c o n t a i n s    t he designation(s)   of   the   action   addressee(s),   if any. Prosign INFO   contains the designation(s)  of  the  information  addressee(s), if  any. Addressee   designations   in   the   address component  may  be  call  signs,  address  groups, plain  language  designators,  or  a  combination of   routing   indicators   and   plain   language designators. The  separation  sign  BT,  meaning  “break” provides   a   distinct   separation   between   the heading and the text and between the text and the  ending. Text The  text  is  the  part  of  the  message  that contains  the  thought  or  idea  that  the  drafter desires  to  communicate. In  drafting  the  text  for  transmission,  the drafter  should  strive  for  brevity  through  the proper   choice   of   words   and   good   writing technique.  However,  brevity  must  never  be achieved  at  the  expense  of  accuracy  or  clarity. Uncommon  phrases  and  modes  of  expression can   render   the   meaning   of   a   message ambiguous   or   obscure. The   text   must   be   worded   so   that   it unmistakably  expresses  the  thoughts  to  be conveyed.   All   abbreviations   must   be   limited to   those   meanings   that   are   self-evident   or those  that  are  recognizable  by  virtue  of  long established  use.  We  will  now  discuss  some  of the   more   important   requirements   concerning the  text  of  a  message. 3-23

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