can be found in the current version of the Department
of the Navy Correspondence Manual, SECNAVINST
5216.5. You should consult this manual when you
You may use approved
computer programs for preparing correspondence.
The size and complexity of the Navy demands a
standard method for filing paperwork.
standardization frees personnel from learning new
filing systems when moving from one activity to
another. The SSIC system of coding correspondence
through use of a four- or five-digit number
representing its subject matter provides an efficient,
consistent method of filing and retrieving documents.
SSICs are found in Department of the Navy Standard
Subject Identification Codes, SECNAVINST 5210.11.
They serve as file numbers for and are required on all
Navy and Marine Corps letters, messages, directives,
forms, and reports. SSICs will be discussed in more
detail in the upcoming section on filing.
An originators code, formed according to local
instructions and serving as a basic identification
symbol, appears on all outgoing correspondence. It is
usually the office symbol of the drafter, but it may be
the hull number of the drafters ship. For example:
This is office/department 80 of ship
Classified correspondence must contain a serial
number. Whether unclassified correspondence is also
serialized depends on local policy. A command that
produces little correspondence probably does not need
to serialize. An activity that uses serial numbers starts
a new sequence at the beginning of each calendar year
and assigns the numbers consecutively. The serial
number, when used, is combined with the originators
c o d e .
T h e f o l l o w i n g f o r m a t i s u s e d :
S e r
LHAl8-80/0726. This represents the 726th piece of
correspondence produced by office/department 80 of
ship LHA-18 during the current calendar year.
There is no punctuation following the serial
number and no space before or after the slash. For
classified correspondence, the classification letter
precedes the serial number (C for Confidential, S for
S e c r e t ,
T f o r To p S e c r e t ) .
F o r e x a m p l e :
Ser LHAl8-80/C16. This is the sixteenth piece of
confidential correspondence originating from
office/department 80 of LHA-18 since the beginning
of the current calendar year.
Electronic mail (e-mail) lets individuals and
activities exchange information by computer. You
could use it for informal communications in place of
telephone calls or to transmit formal correspondence
FACSIMILE TRANSMISSION SERVICE
Facsimile machines (fax) provide a rapid and
reliable alternative to the mail service for transmission
Use of fax machines and other
e l e c t r o n i c m e d i a i s d i s c u s s e d i n t h e
N a v y
A message is a written thought or idea,
expressed as briefly and precisely as possible, and
prepared for transmission by the most suitable
means of telecommunication. Details on format,
headings, precedence, and addressal of naval
messages are contained in the current version of the
Naval Telecommunications Procedures Manual,
In the previous section of this chapter, we said that
each piece of correspondence requires a file number,
derived from the Department of the Navy Standard
Subject Identification Codes, SECNAVINST 5210.11,
and referred to as the SSIC.
The extent of your
knowledge of this standardization system of subject
identification will determine the efficiency with which
you will be able to retrieve a piece of correspondence
from your files.
Numerical Subjects Grouping
SSICs are broken down into 13 major groups:
1000 seriesMilitary Personnel
3000 seriesOperations and Readiness
5000 seriesGeneral Administration and