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Creaminess
08-28-2012, 03:31 AM
At some point within the past few years (maybe more), a directive was put out within the Army to capitalize the word "Soldier" (also "Soldiers") in any written correspondence. At the same time, "Family" (and "Families") was also directed to be capitalized. Yet I notice everytime I read the Army Times, neither word is capitalized, while the word "Marines" is.

I'm very disappointed that the publication that is supposed to report on and for Soldiers does not show us the proper courtesy. I realize that Army Times is not written by Soldiers, but I would expect it to adhere to the same standards when we are its target audience and are one of its main topics.

Is Army Times going to correct this deficiency? Yeah, it's nitpicky or whatever, but it's a bit annoying.

20MM
08-28-2012, 03:50 AM
I think you have a valid argument, while not 100% it's certainly a noteworthy issue. Here is a random sampling from their articles:



Campbell soldier killed in Afghanistan
Aug 26, 2012 | ... FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — The Army says a soldier based at Fort Campbell, Ky., has been killed in Afghanistan. The Army says 20-year ...
Carson soldier arrested in infant’s death
Aug 26, 2012 | ... COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Authorities say a 20-year-old Fort Carson soldier has been arrested for the death of his 10-month-old stepson. Police reported Saturday ...
Prosecutor: Murder case uncovers terror plot
Aug 27, 2012 | The Associated Press ... LUDOWICI, Ga. — Four Army soldiers based in southeast Georgia killed a former comrade and his girlfriend to protect an anarchist ...
Huachuca names soldier found dead near base
Aug 24, 2012 | ... FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. — Army officials at Fort Huachuca have released the name of a soldier found dead at a hotel near the southern Arizona base. Base officials say the ...
Lewis soldier dies of Afghanistan injuries
Aug 23, 2012 | ... JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. — A soldier from Joint Base Lewis-McChord has died at an Army medical center in San Antonio ...
Lewis-McChord soldier dies in Afghanistan
Aug 22, 2012 | ... BALTIMORE — The Pentagon says a soldier from Frederick has died in Afghanistan. Twenty-four-year-old Sgt. David V. Williams died ...
Ex-soldier testifies marriage was fraudulent
Aug 22, 2012 | The Associated Press ... WICHITA, Kan. — A former Fort Riley soldier told jurors Tuesday he was in a financial bind when he married a Jamaican woman ...
Huachuca soldier found dead at Ariz. hotel
Aug 21, 2012 | ... FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. — Army officials at Fort Huachuca in southern Arizona say a soldier has been found dead at a hotel near the base. Base officials say the soldier ...
Police search for Hood soldier in ex’s slaying
Aug 20, 2012 | Staff writer ... Police in Killeen, Texas, say they are hunting a soldier accused in the fatal stabbing of his ex-girlfriend last week and they want the ...
Soldier killed in Afghanistan identified
Aug 17, 2012 | ... PORTLAND, Ore. — The Defense Department says a 22-year-old soldier from Tigard, Ore., has been killed in Afghanistan. Pfc. Andrew J. Keller died Wednesday in ...

JD2780
08-28-2012, 03:52 AM
At some point within the past few years (maybe more), a directive was put out within the Army to capitalize the word "Soldier" (also "Soldiers") in any written correspondence. At the same time, "Family" (and "Families") was also directed to be capitalized. Yet I notice everytime I read the Army Times, neither word is capitalized, while the word "Marines" is.

I'm very disappointed that the publication that is supposed to report on and for Soldiers does not show us the proper courtesy. I realize that Army Times is not written by Soldiers, but I would expect it to adhere to the same standards when we are its target audience and are one of its main topics.

Is Army Times going to correct this deficiency? Yeah, it's nitpicky or whatever, but it's a bit annoying.

Its shitty. Just like for the AF, "Airmen" isnt supposed to be capitalized. Its horseshit. I try to capitalize Marines, Soldiers, Airmen even Coast Guardsmen whenever I type any of them. Its simple respect for the service members.

USN - Retired
08-28-2012, 09:00 AM
At some point within the past few years (maybe more), a directive was put out within the Army to capitalize the word "Soldier" (also "Soldiers") in any written correspondence. At the same time, "Family" (and "Families") was also directed to be capitalized. Yet I notice everytime I read the Army Times, neither word is capitalized, while the word "Marines" is.

Most proper nouns (for example, Fred, New York, Mars, Coca Cola) begin with a capital letter. As a general rule, a common noun does not begin with a capital letter unless it appears at the start of a sentence. The word "soldier" is not a proper noun. The word "family" is definitely not a proper noun.

==================

More info:

Nouns name people, places, and things. Every noun can further be classified as common or proper. A proper noun has two distinctive features: 1) it will name a specific, usually a one-of-a-kind, item, and 2) it will begin with a capital letter no matter where it occurs in a sentence.

Examples of a common noun: writer, teacher, beagle, cookie, city, restaurant, document, school.

Examples of a proper noun: Herman Melville, Mrs. Hacket, Snoopy, Oreo, Orlando, Tito's Taco Palace, Declaration of Independence, University of Southern California.

Banned
08-28-2012, 10:28 AM
At some point within the past few years (maybe more), a directive was put out within the Army to capitalize the word "Soldier" (also "Soldiers") in any written correspondence. At the same time, "Family" (and "Families") was also directed to be capitalized. Yet I notice everytime I read the Army Times, neither word is capitalized, while the word "Marines" is.

I'm very disappointed that the publication that is supposed to report on and for Soldiers does not show us the proper courtesy. I realize that Army Times is not written by Soldiers, but I would expect it to adhere to the same standards when we are its target audience and are one of its main topics.

Is Army Times going to correct this deficiency? Yeah, it's nitpicky or whatever, but it's a bit annoying.

I agree, it is annoying. Unfortunately, that's all there is to it. As a private company, there is no requirement that they abide by Army rules.

Banned
08-28-2012, 10:29 AM
At some point within the past few years (maybe more), a directive was put out within the Army to capitalize the word "Soldier" (also "Soldiers") in any written correspondence. At the same time, "Family" (and "Families") was also directed to be capitalized. Yet I notice everytime I read the Army Times, neither word is capitalized, while the word "Marines" is.

I'm very disappointed that the publication that is supposed to report on and for Soldiers does not show us the proper courtesy. I realize that Army Times is not written by Soldiers, but I would expect it to adhere to the same standards when we are its target audience and are one of its main topics.

Is Army Times going to correct this deficiency? Yeah, it's nitpicky or whatever, but it's a bit annoying.

I agree, it is annoying. Unfortunately, that's all there is to it. As a private company, there is no requirement that they abide by Army rules.

monarch93
08-28-2012, 12:23 PM
I agree, it is annoying. Unfortunately, that's all there is to it. As a private company, there is no requirement that they abide by Army rules.


It's annoying? That's all you got? It was the Army that dictated that the S be capitalized when used in the word Soldier in Army documents, but as you correctly pointed out, the Army Times (and sister publications are privately owned) is not in any way, shape or form obligated to follow the grammatical directives of the US Army.

Someone got a bug up their butt years ago thinking that adding a capital S to the word soldiers elevated the word to a higher level of respect. That's utter crap from the Army. We respect the man or woman in the uniform for what they do every day. By the Army's edict, we are somehow expected to hold every soldier in high respect, including the likes of Colonel Johnson (the convicted felon who was permitted to remain in the service despite 15+ convictions) and General Ward, who defrauded the government out of how much money and will unlikely be court martialed for illegally using government funds for him and his wife to travel and stay in prime digs throughout the world (to name just a few of those soldiers that don't deserve a capital S).

Just because the AT staff doesn't capitalize it like the Army wants it to be capitalized, does not mean that they don't respect them, so in the words of the Eagles, "Get over it"

kool-aid
08-28-2012, 01:29 PM
Someone got a bug up their butt years ago thinking that adding a capital S to the word soldiers elevated the word to a higher level of respect.

I agree. Being a former Army journalist, I thought the guidance to capitalize the word "soldier" in every article we wrote was as stupid as the let's give evveryone a beret to make them feel special lovefest, (even if it took respect away from those who earned a beret). I was fine with being a "soldier" and it in no way diminished my respect for service in the Army.

MisterBen
08-28-2012, 01:57 PM
At some point within the past few years (maybe more), a directive was put out within the Army to capitalize the word "Soldier" (also "Soldiers") in any written correspondence. At the same time, "Family" (and "Families") was also directed to be capitalized. Yet I notice everytime I read the Army Times, neither word is capitalized, while the word "Marines" is.

I'm very disappointed that the publication that is supposed to report on and for Soldiers does not show us the proper courtesy. I realize that Army Times is not written by Soldiers, but I would expect it to adhere to the same standards when we are its target audience and are one of its main topics.

Is Army Times going to correct this deficiency? Yeah, it's nitpicky or whatever, but it's a bit annoying.

I gave your reputation some kudos but some haters still are keeping you in the red lol.

But yes, soldier in the generic term is lower case but as a title in which we are; deserves to be upper-case. We Were Soldiers!

Banned
08-28-2012, 02:37 PM
It's annoying? That's all you got? It was the Army that dictated that the S be capitalized when used in the word Soldier in Army documents, but as you correctly pointed out, the Army Times (and sister publications are privately owned) is not in any way, shape or form obligated to follow the grammatical directives of the US Army.

Someone got a bug up their butt years ago thinking that adding a capital S to the word soldiers elevated the word to a higher level of respect. That's utter crap from the Army. We respect the man or woman in the uniform for what they do every day. By the Army's edict, we are somehow expected to hold every soldier in high respect, including the likes of Colonel Johnson (the convicted felon who was permitted to remain in the service despite 15+ convictions) and General Ward, who defrauded the government out of how much money and will unlikely be court martialed for illegally using government funds for him and his wife to travel and stay in prime digs throughout the world (to name just a few of those soldiers that don't deserve a capital S).

Just because the AT staff doesn't capitalize it like the Army wants it to be capitalized, does not mean that they don't respect them, so in the words of the Eagles, "Get over it"

Human languages are simply a series of arbitrary conventions. I see nothing wrong with the idea of capitalizing the "s" before "Soldier". I'm not indoctrinated into it yet... but I'll write/type "Marine" with a capital "M" without even thinking about it. Its just convention.

Rusty Jones
08-28-2012, 06:53 PM
I say, "who cares"? I think that most of this griping stems from an inferiority complex that some military members have when seeing others show special deference to the Marine Corps.

This inferiority complex seems to be more prevalent in the Army than any other service.

I personally capitalize Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, and Coast Guardsman; but I don't get my panties in a bunch when others don't.

SENDBILLMONEY
08-29-2012, 08:39 PM
At some point within the past few years (maybe more), a directive was put out within the Army to capitalize the word "Soldier" (also "Soldiers") in any written correspondence. At the same time, "Family" (and "Families") was also directed to be capitalized. Yet I notice everytime I read the Army Times, neither word is capitalized, while the word "Marines" is.

I'm very disappointed that the publication that is supposed to report on and for Soldiers does not show us the proper courtesy. I realize that Army Times is not written by Soldiers, but I would expect it to adhere to the same standards when we are its target audience and are one of its main topics.

Is Army Times going to correct this deficiency? Yeah, it's nitpicky or whatever, but it's a bit annoying.

I don't consider it a deficiency. Service branches put out a directive to deviate from the standard customs and usages of the English language. Those in the military have to play by that. Those who aren't are free to say "you are not the boss of me" and keep on writing as they always do.

TheSoldierwhosaysNi
08-31-2012, 11:12 AM
I personally think it's pretty silly to capitalize "soldier." Capitalizing "family" borders on ridiculous.

But the Army Times should be ashamed of itself for referring to the companion of a female general as "her wife." According to the English language, the United States government, and common sense, women don't have wives. If they are married, they have husbands. The Army Times should stop being a cheerleader for redefining marriage.

Punisher
09-20-2012, 10:24 PM
I personally think it's pretty silly to capitalize "soldier."

Shouldn't there be uniformity among the services when it comes to this? Capitalizing "Marine" only implies that their service is more valued than others.

I believe the Navy put out a directive 20 years ago, that the world "Sailor" was to be capitalized. 20 years later, no one else has caught on.

Measure Man
09-20-2012, 11:53 PM
..the Times follow journalism standards, not Army standards.

Can't site source and paragraph, but there used to be a Stripes guy that came on here and gave the whole story about this. It's not an oversight, they do it on purpose because it is "proper" according to journalism standards.

Not sure why Marine is capitalized, you'd think the reasoning would be the same.

Banned
09-21-2012, 06:13 PM
..the Times follow journalism standards, not Army standards.

Can't site source and paragraph, but there used to be a Stripes guy that came on here and gave the whole story about this. It's not an oversight, they do it on purpose because it is "proper" according to journalism standards.

Not sure why Marine is capitalized, you'd think the reasoning would be the same.

Joined up with a Public Affairs unit. Haven't gone to the schoolhouse yet (I don't leave until Mid-October), but according to AP stylebook - "Marine", "Sailor", "Soldier", "Airman" are all supposed to be capitalized.

But I've noticed a lot of "journalists" can be pretty atrocious even with just basic grammar... so it should come as no surprise if they miss the other rules too.

Measure Man
09-21-2012, 06:25 PM
Joined up with a Public Affairs unit. Haven't gone to the schoolhouse yet (I don't leave until Mid-October), but according to AP stylebook - "Marine", "Sailor", "Soldier", "Airman" are all supposed to be capitalized.

But I've noticed a lot of "journalists" can be pretty atrocious even with just basic grammar... so it should come as no surprise if they miss the other rules too.

Nah, I don't buy it.

kool-aid
09-21-2012, 06:41 PM
..the Times follow journalism standards, not Army standards.

Can't site source and paragraph, but there used to be a Stripes guy that came on here and gave the whole story about this. It's not an oversight, they do it on purpose because it is "proper" according to journalism standards.

Not sure why Marine is capitalized, you'd think the reasoning would be the same.

I was a public affairs specialist in the Army, and when I got out in 2003 we did not capitalize soldier yet. I have been working in Public Affairs as a civilian for two years now, and I have been told that there was Public Affairs guidance for the military that now Soldier should be capitalized. I personally don't agree, feel like we are stealing from the Marines. AP stylebook does not list Soldier as a capitalized proper noun. We capilize Marines because the proper name of their service is the U.S. Marines, and the people in the organization are Marines. Soldiers are in the U.S. Army, sailors in the U.S. Navy, airmen in the U.S. Air Force. Maybe airmen should be capitalized since it is a form of Air Force?

Anyway, military guidance says capitalize them, but journalistic standard is to not. Follow orders or what's technically right?

kool-aid
09-21-2012, 06:43 PM
Joined up with a Public Affairs unit. Haven't gone to the schoolhouse yet (I don't leave until Mid-October), but according to AP stylebook - "Marine", "Sailor", "Soldier", "Airman" are all supposed to be capitalized.

But I've noticed a lot of "journalists" can be pretty atrocious even with just basic grammar... so it should come as no surprise if they miss the other rules too.

Where is that listed in the stylebook (not being sarcastic)? I couldn't find it looking up each one individually except Marines.

P.S. enjoy DINFOS, loads of fun.

ChaplainC
10-04-2012, 06:28 PM
I believe that this individual says it best...



May 19, 1994, the Secretary of the Navy, John H. Dalton, decreed the word Sailor when used in Naval correspondence and referring to Sailors of the U.S. Navy – Sailor will be capitalized. Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, in October 2003 and Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. John Jumper, in May 2004 decreed the same for the words Soldier and Airman respectively. Marine (when referring to a person in the Marine Corps) is a proper noun and will always be capitalized.

Sailor, Soldier, and Airman are also considered proper nouns in this blog (I hope in your blog too). I think when you are referring to them in any article, blog, correspondence, print, or print media those words should be capitalized – if you’re afraid some English teacher may come and swat your knuckles, or you’re concerned the grammar police may attempt to arrest you, tell them these words are proper “respect” nouns and they need to follow the lead of the respective military service heads and update their grammar manuals. (CLICK HERE FOR ORIGINAL ARTICLE) (http://www.navycs.com/blogs/2008/07/12/sailor-soldier-marine-airman)


To bring the Corps inappropriate, this has nothing to do with the Marine Corps. We use these words as titles and therefore they should be held in the regard of a proper noun.

By the by, IMHO, anyone who has had to try to follow the guidelines on how to write a proper paper for their professors etc. has had to have seen the ridiculous rules they toss in to those stylebooks. Some of the arbitrary rules they put in are no different than some general trying to get his name in the history books by saying we have to take the black beret from the Rangers and let every Soldier feel 'special' enough that they can not put their cover on with one hand either. So much in the stylebooks are there because someone wanted a feather in their cap... IMHO.

jconners [Stolen Valor]
10-05-2012, 06:48 PM
Mandating respect by regulating Caps? Maybe necessary when there is a strong perception that is disrespectful or less respectful not to do so. soldier vs. Marine is an excellent example. Writing is not a stagnate venue, it is an ever changing, dynamic and powerful tool which can be used to promote respect for those that serve.

I support any effort to use the Caps key, including all Vet organizations adding this to recommended Bills to be submitted by Congress.

candycane3482
10-13-2012, 03:16 PM
At some point within the past few years (maybe more), a directive was put out within the Army to capitalize the word "Soldier" (also "Soldiers") in any written correspondence. At the same time, "Family" (and "Families") was also directed to be capitalized. Yet I notice everytime I read the Army Times, neither word is capitalized, while the word "Marines" is.

I'm very disappointed that the publication that is supposed to report on and for Soldiers does not show us the proper courtesy. I realize that Army Times is not written by Soldiers, but I would expect it to adhere to the same standards when we are its target audience and are one of its main topics.

Is Army Times going to correct this deficiency? Yeah, it's nitpicky or whatever, but it's a bit annoying.

Because they are not owned and operated by the Army so they don't have to follow Army regulation on correspondence. In civilian journalism, you do not capitalize soldier, airmen, sailor. Marine always has been I think. If it's a newspaper on a military base or written by a PAO, then Soldier is capitalized. A civilian ran one not operated by the military, it's not. There are a lot of differences between civilian journalism and military journalism. Just the way it is.

candycane3482
10-13-2012, 03:18 PM
I personally think it's pretty silly to capitalize "soldier." Capitalizing "family" borders on ridiculous.

But the Army Times should be ashamed of itself for referring to the companion of a female general as "her wife." According to the English language, the United States government, and common sense, women don't have wives. If they are married, they have husbands. The Army Times should stop being a cheerleader for redefining marriage.

The military just can't recognize her wife. But they obviously got married in a state that recognizes it. Pretty sure they said the same about the woman who just got promoted to I think four star general and that her wife was there. But not true anymore that if someone is married it's a person of the opposite gender. Don't worry DOMA will get repealed someday and then the federal government will recognize all marriages.

candycane3482
10-13-2012, 03:22 PM
Joined up with a Public Affairs unit. Haven't gone to the schoolhouse yet (I don't leave until Mid-October), but according to AP stylebook - "Marine", "Sailor", "Soldier", "Airman" are all supposed to be capitalized.

But I've noticed a lot of "journalists" can be pretty atrocious even with just basic grammar... so it should come as no surprise if they miss the other rules too.

Is that in the newest AP stylebook? I'm a journalism major and I was never taught that but it has been about eight years since I did that. I was under the impression that it was only under military correspondence regulation to capitalize "soldier." I also took the PA correspondence course a few years back and there are a LOT of differences between PA and civilian journalism.

RobotChicken
10-14-2012, 07:34 AM
Once again the difference between MILITARY & civilians..........'landlubbers' I swear........just.don't.get.it.!!

Robert F. Dorr
10-24-2012, 12:02 PM
Once again the difference between MILITARY & civilians..........'landlubbers' I swear........just.don't.get.it.!!

It is Pentagon policy to capitalize a lot of common nouns including soldier, sailor, airman, family, and nation. It makes official documents read as if they emanate from the Stalin era in the Soviet Union. Magazines and newspapers do not capitalize the word soldier because it is not a proper noun. Their practice is, very simply, correct English. The Pentagon policy is an irritant and the practice of those in this Forum who;ve been drinking the Kool-Aid doesn't help. The word soldier isn't capitalized, plain and simply.

RobotChicken
10-24-2012, 01:29 PM
It is Pentagon policy to capitalize a lot of common nouns including soldier, sailor, airman, family, and nation. It makes official documents read as if they emanate from the Stalin era in the Soviet Union. Magazines and newspapers do not capitalize the word soldier because it is not a proper noun. Their practice is, very simply, correct English. The Pentagon policy is an irritant and the practice of those in this Forum who;ve been drinking the Kool-Aid doesn't help. The word soldier isn't capitalized, plain and simply.
Thank you for clearing that up Bob; But I was led to BELIEVE it was a sign of respect to capitalize it,my bad.....got.to.be.PC.on.forum.arrrgghhh........... .........................

Robert F. Dorr
10-24-2012, 01:43 PM
Thank you for clearing that up Bob; But I was led to BELIEVE it was a sign of respect to capitalize it,my bad.....got.to.be.PC.on.forum.arrrgghhh........... .........................

Thank you for not getting snarky here. Of course, it is intended as a sign of respect -- a profoundly misguided attempt that is a significant error and undermines the credibility of every document in which it appears. Wanting to bestow respect on someone is not a ground for changing the English language.

RobotChicken
10-25-2012, 12:07 PM
:spy Makes you 'wonder' how we EVER made it past the 50's tru the 70's without the NEW rules.laws,taxes,regulations,we never needed before? Oh yea...took 'Respect' out of the dictionary!! :croc

Robert F. Dorr
10-25-2012, 12:12 PM
I wonder how we made it through the entire nineteenth century without a federal income tax. Go figure.

ThomasPaine
07-18-2013, 02:31 AM
It's a simple explanation. The word Soldier is only capitalized in the Army Writing Style, the one that we all know and use for writing counseling, awards, and evaluation reports. Media outlets normally stick to a collegiate format like APA. In APA soldier is not capitalized because it is a regular noun; however, when used as a title like sergeant or Sergeant York it is capitalized.

Creaminess
07-19-2013, 03:20 PM
"Marine" shouldn't be capitalize either then unless it meets those same criteria for capitalizing "Soldier" that some posters have said. That's my main complaint, that "Marine" is traditionally capitalized but no other descriptor is for the other services (soldier, sailor, airman).

MisterBen
07-19-2013, 08:19 PM
"Marine" shouldn't be capitalize either then unless it meets those same criteria for capitalizing "Soldier" that some posters have said. That's my main complaint, that "Marine" is traditionally capitalized but no other descriptor is for the other services (soldier, sailor, airman).

+1 Creaminess. It should be since it is a noun.

Frank Castle
07-25-2013, 01:15 AM
It's a simple explanation. The word Soldier is only capitalized in the Army Writing Style, the one that we all know and use for writing counseling, awards, and evaluation reports. Media outlets normally stick to a collegiate format like APA. In APA soldier is not capitalized because it is a regular noun; however, when used as a title like sergeant or Sergeant York it is capitalized.

As a former Army Public Affairs soldier, this is what I learned as a writer. There was no legitimate reason to capitalize Army or Soldier, except some brass thought it would be awesome to be like Marines.