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Military and Commissioned Corps Titles

Although military titles vary, similar titles exist across the six branches of service. For example, the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines all have a Captain rank, but with different abbreviations.

Spell out all military titles.

Examples: Captain Tameka A. Phillips or Rear Admiral Will J. Rodriguez

The United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps follows AP Style.

Capitalize a military rank when you use it as a formal title before a person's name.

Example: Commander Sally Smith

  • On first reference, use the appropriate title before the full name.
  • In later references, do not continue using the title before a name. Use only the last name.
  • Spell out and lower a title when it is substituted for a name.

Example: Admiral Nimitz was one of the top U.S. commanders in World War II. The admiral is a popular subject for historians and military strategists.

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