CAP Grade Abbreviations

There are two different styles of abbreviation:

  1. Military Style
  2. Associated Press (AP) Style

Military style is used when you are preparing documents for internal use.  Internal use means only people within CAP will be seeing the document.

AP style is used when you are preparing documents for external use.  External use means people outside of CAP will be seeing the document.

Cadet Grade Abbreviations

When you are preparing CAP documents for internal use, abbreviate civilian and military titles or ranks that precede a person’s full name.  Do not use periods with these abbreviations.  Spell out titles or ranks that precede a person’s last name only. 

Capitalize and abbreviate titles that precede full names (no periods):

  • C/Amn John Doe
  • C/SMSgt Sally Hanson
  • Gen Ulysses S. Grant
  • Lt Col Mike Tate

Capitalize and spell out titles that precede surnames only:

  • Cadet Airman Doe
  • Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Hanson
  • General Grant
  • Lieutenant Colonel Tate (or Colonel Tate)

Lowercase and spell out titles following a personal name or used alone in place of a name:

  • the cadet airman
  • the cadet senior master sergeant
  • the general
  • the lieutenant colonel (or the colonel)
Excerpt is taken and partially adapted from Air University, Style and Author Guide, Second Edition

Self-Test

Hints:
– The correct answer depends on whether it is written for internal or external purposes.
– Do not use superscript for grades with 1 or 2.

1. Which is correct?
      a. LtCol
      b. Lt Col
      c. Lt.Col
      d. Lt. Col.

The correct answers are:
b. Lt Col is correct for internal CAP correspondence & memos
d. Lt. Col. is correct for use in external public affairs products

(From Washington Wing Civil Air Patrol.)
 

2. Which is correct?
      a. Cadet Airman 1st Class
      b. Cadet Airman 1st Class
      c. C/A1stC
      d. C/A1C

The correct answers are:
d. C/A1C is correct for internal CAP correspondence & memos
a. Cadet Airman 1st Class is correct for use in external public affairs products

 

3. Which is correct?

      a. C/2d Lt
      b. C/2nd Lt
      c. Cadet 2d Lt.
      d. Cadet 2nd Lt.

The correct answers are:
c. C/2d Lt is correct for internal CAP correspondence & memos
d. Cadet 2nd Lt. is correct for use in external public affairs products