when writing on a personal matter affecting the command. Examples include requests for retirement or resignations. Send the letter via your commanding officer. The commanding officer prepares an endorsement on letterhead paper and forwards the correspondence to the next via addressee, if any, or to the higher authority.
b. Marine Corps Personnel. Use NAVMC 10274, Administrative Action (AA) Form, as prescribed in MCO 5210.2.
4. Sex-Neutral Language Required. Avoid stereotyping men and women on the basis of gender. Whenever possible, use pronouns and titles that include either sex. Write directives as if you were talking to one typical reader or group of readers. Prefer plural pronouns they, their, them. Rewrite to avoid unnecessary pronouns. Substitute articles for singular possessive pronouns. Instead of Each division head should turn in his draft by Friday, say Each division head should turn in a draft by Friday.
5. Handling Congressional Inquiries
a. Send a final reply or an interim one within 5 workdays from the time a congressional inquiry reaches the action officers desk. Interim replies take several forms:
(1) If the interim reply gives an estimated date for the final reply, only unusual developments require further interim replies.
(2) If the interim reply does not give an estimated date for the final reply, send more interim replies every 10 workdays until a date for the final reply can be set. Send an interim reply in less than 10 workdays when significant information develops.
(3) If you cannot meet a date for the final reply, send an interim reply that explains the added delay and sets a new date for the final reply.
b. Send a blind copy of your final reply and substantive interim replies to the Office of Legislative Affairs, Washington, DC 20350. Also send blind copies to other Washington headquarters as good judgment dictates.
c. Always send a courtesy copy when responding to a congressional inquiry. A courtesy copy is an extra copy that accompanies the original.
1. Use Mail Controls Effectively. Assign mail controls only to mail that needs a response or has long-term reference value. Route incoming action correspondence directly from the mail room to the action office. If necessary, send duplicate copies to intermediate offices.
2. Dont Write Unless You Must. Preparing correspondence is time-consuming and expensive. A conversation in person or by phone often saves two letters and is more effective for working out details that require give and take. You can always confirm a conversation by a memo to the other person or a memo for your records. Include return phone numbers when your correspondence might prompt a reply or inquiry. Dont send cover letters with forms, reports, and publications that are self-explanatory.
3. Use More Window Envelopes. Window envelopes eliminate the cost of addressing envelopes and the risk of putting letters in the wrong envelopes. They are encouraged for unclassified correspondence.
4. Use More Form and Guide Letters. Review outgoing correspondence periodically for recurring topics that lend themselves to form and guide letters.
5. Coordinate Efficiently
a. Obtain agreement among offices that have a substantial interest in a proposed action.
b. Coordinate by phone or in person rather than by writing. Coordinate revisions of documents during the drafting stage.
c. If many offices must coordinate and time is short, fan out copies to all coordinators simultaneously. Then summarize their responses on a briefing sheet that accompanies the letter when it goes for signature.
d. The originator is responsible for deciding who should coordinate, for working to resolve major differences, for any retyping that may be needed, and for providing copies of the signed correspondence to coordinators who request them.
6. Submit Correspondence for Signature in Final Form. Use double-spaced drafts only when changes are likely, perhaps because a subject is controversial or a policy statement needs precise wording.
7. Make Minor Changes in Ink. Rarely retype correspondence already in final form merely to correct typographical errors, word omissions, or other minor mistakes. Make these