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Page Title: Message Files
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Virgule    (or    slant)    / Quotation mark Punctuation marks that may not be used in a naval message are as follows: Number symbol # “At”  sign @ Percent % Fractions 1/2, 1/4, 3/8, and so on Asterisk * Underscore Cent  sign @ MESSAGE FILES Messages are filed numerically in the order of the date-time-group (DTG). The DTG is expressed as six digits with a zone suffix plus an abbreviated month and a two-digit year. The first pair of digits denotes the date of the month, the second pair the hours, and the third pair  the  minutes,  followed  by  a  capitalized  letter  that indicates the time zone. For standardization, all naval communications use Greenwich (Z) time. The month and year are abbreviated by using the first three letters of the month and the last two digits of the year; for example,  1721402  OCT  93. Separate message tiles are usually maintained for general  messages  such  as  ALNAV  (All  Navy)  and NAVOPS  (Navy  Operations).  They  are  normally  filed in numerical order by calendar. Other forms of messages that are maintained separately are CASREP (casualty report), OPREPs (Operational reports), PERSONAL FOR,   and   messages   classified   CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET,  and  TOP  SECRET. Messages  are  usually  destroyed  30  days  after  the release date or earlier if they have served their purpose. However,  message  directives  are  automatically canceled 90 days following the release date except when the  message  provides  earlier  cancellation,  a  subsequent release specially extends the time, or if it is reissued in a  letter-type  directive  format. AWARDS An award is given to publicly recognize a member whenever  he  or  she  does  anything  noteworthy  or commendable beyond the usual requirements of duty, or displays  exceptional  energy,  judgment,  or  initiative. Awards are presented with appropriate formality. Such ceremonies may range from presentation at formal reviews to small office ceremonies at which the letter or citation is read and the letter or decoration presented to the member. LETTERS OF APPRECIATION AND COMMENDATION Letters   of   appreciation   (LOA)   and   letters   of commendation (LOC) are intended to promote morale. These kinds of letters are difficult to write. In most cases, LOA and LOC are tailored to the recipient and cannot be reused. When writing letters of appreciation or commendation, be creative so your letter won’t sound like a form letter. In an LOA, begin by expressing your thanks to the individual.  In  an  LOC,  you  should  begin  by commending the individual for his or her support or accomplishments as appropriate. Next, in both the LOA and  LOC,  summarize  the  type  of  support  or accomplishments that the individual is being recognized for. Then end by thanking or praising the individual once again. A penned postscript on the letter gives it a special warmth. PERSONAL AWARD RECOMMENDATIONS The policy on the considerations for personal award recommendations is contained in the United States Navy and Marine Corps Awards Manual,  SECNAVINST 1650.1F.  Awards  are  intended  to  recognize  truly exceptional performance and valor. The value of an award is that it is given in cases only where it is clearly deserved.  The  following  are  not  considered  as  a  basis for  military  awards: .  A  routine  end-of-tour  award .  A  means  of  expressing  appreciation  to  staff personnel  for  the  loyalty  and  support  afforded  to  the departing  commanding  officer  (CO) The most important element in writing a personal award  recommendation  is  the  summary  of  action.  Each recommendation  is  evaluated  on  the  merits  of  the justification contained in the summary of action. When drafting  your  summary  of  action,  avoid  the  excessive use  of  superlatives  and  the  job  description  approach. Noncombat  award  recommendations  should  be  brief. One page in an outline or bullet format is sufficient in the majority of cases. Emphasis should be placed on specific  accomplishments  of  the  individual  that  set  him or her apart from his or her peers. The amount of detail 4-5

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