The naval message is used for all messages and correspondence regarding official matters. E-mail is used for personal messages of a non-official status.
Naval Message Components
- Date time group (DTG). DTG is assigned for identification and file purposes only. It consists of six digits. The first two digits represent the date, the second two digits represent the hour, and the third two digits represent the minutes. Next follows the month, followed by the year. Example: 220001Z NOV 98
- From line. It is identified by the originator prosign FM (meaning "FROM") and contains the designation of the originating station.
- To line. It is identified by the action prosign "TO" and contains the designation's of the Action addressee's.
- Info line. It is identified by the prosign "INFO" and contains the designation's of the information addressee's.
- Classification/declassification line. It is the first line of the text and immediately follows the BT that separates the heading and text. This line indicates the message classification and provides the Standard Subject Identification Code (SSIC) that identifies the subject matter of the message. The SSIC is preceded and followed by two slant signs and always contains five digits corresponding to the particular subject matter, preceded by the letter N. Example: UNCLAS //N02000//
- Subject line. The subject line indicates the basic contents of the message.
- Passing instructions. Specific elements at the beginning of the text, these elements may be flag words, code words, subject lines, for, from, pass to and outgoing/incoming message references. These elements are a means of indicating that the text of the message is to receive the attention of the indicated individual or office without necessarily limiting the normal distribution.
- Reference lines. Reference lines are used to avoid repeating lengthy quotations or references within the text of a message. A reference may be any message, document, correspondence, or telephone conversation that is pertinent to the message.
- Amplifying information line. Used for a single reference.
- Narrative information line. Used for multiple references.
- Text. The part of the message that contains the thought or idea that the drafter desires to communicate.
Precedence, classification, and speed of handling
- Flash. hand carried; less than 10 minutes
- Immediate. high priority; 30 minutes
- Priority. 3 hours
- Routine. hours