Form NSO 124
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
NAVY FILING MANUAL
AUGUST 27, 1941.
1. The Secretary of the Navy, on July 5, 1923, directed that the
Navy Filing Manual as compiled by the Board appointed for the purpose be adopted for use and placed in effect throughout the entire
Naval Service with the exception of the United States Marine Corps.
The original edition of the Navy Filing Manual was followed by the
issuance to the naval service in 1931 of the second edition, and in 1939
of the third edition of the manual.
2. This fourth edition of the Navy Filing Manual, in which are
incorporated additions and changes made since the issuance of the
third edition in 1939, supersedes all previous editions of the manual
and shall be placed in effect in the Naval Service upon receipt. The
fourth edition of the Navy Filing Manual is issued in loose-leaf form
to provide a more ready and convenient means for inserting subsequent
additions and changes therein or for deleting obsolete matter there-from, and to obviate the necessity for frequently issuing completely
revised editions of the manual.
3. The Navy Filing Manual shall be regarded as a manual issued
by the Office of the Secretary, in accordance with Article 74 (1) (h),
U. S. Navy Regulations, 1920, and changes therein shall be accomplished in accordance with Article 74 (2).
4. The provisions of the Navy Filing Manual shall be carried out
under the direction of the Chief Clerk of the Navy Department, and
to assist him in carrying out these provisions there shall be a Navy
Filing Manual Permanent Committee composed of civil employees
thoroughly experienced in and familiar with the requirements of
record and file work, one of whom shall be designated as Senior
5. The Office of the Secretary and the Bureau of Ships shall each
nominate not more than two civil employees, and the Office of the
Chief of Naval Operations and the Bureaus of Navigation, Ordnance,
Aeronautics, Yards and Docks, Supplies and Accounts, and Medicine
and Surgery, shall each nominate not more than one civil employee, to
serve as members of the Navy Filing Manual Permanent Committee
upon their appointment as such by the Secretary of the Navy.
Secretary of the Navy.
The first edition of the United States Navy Filing Manual was
approved by the Secretary of the Navy July 5, 1923, and ordered put
into use by all naval activities.
This fourth edition of the Navy Filing Manual has been put in loose
leaf form so as to permit periodic replacement of obsolete pages without
reprinting the entire book. In the future the Service will be notified
by supplement of additions or corrections to be made in the Manual.
As the blank spaces at the foot of each page are utilized that page will
be reprinted and furnished as soon as possible, but in no case will these
pages be reprinted until all spaces are used. As no further editions are
contemplated it is essential that you maintain your Manual currently.
The many notes appearing under the subheadings in the F, N, and
S groups have been to a large extent eliminated and appear as general
notes in the preface to the F and N groups.
Following the general instructions will be found the complete listing
of various groups and classifications under which the subject and name
title groups are outlined. The careful perusal of these will add greatly
to a proper understanding of the contents of the Manual. Study of
the 7 "Subject Groups" and the 24 "Name Title Groups" listed in
the index of classifications should give sufficient background when
coupled with the following "Rules" to furnish a working knowledge
of the Filing Manual. In the use of the index the symbols appearing
therein should be used as a guide to the group and classifications under
which the subject appears and should be used in conjunction therewith.
It is specifically requested, however, that any questions arising on the
use of the Manual be referred to the Office of the Secretary, Navy
Department, Washington, D. C.
FILE NUMBERS-RULES FOR APPLICATION
File numbers are formed for the various classifications of the filing
- (a) A subject number: A5.
- (b) A name title number: NC.
- (c) A subject number and a subdivision thereunder: A5-7.
- (d) A name title number and a subdivision thereunder: NC2.
- (e) Two subject numbers: A1-4/L1-1.
- (f) Two name titles: NY3/LL.
- (g) A name title and a subject number: BB55/S8.
- (h) A subject number and a name title number: L11-3/NY3
- (i) A third group may be added after a/where size of file warrants
further subdivision. While the use of more than two
groups is permissible it is recommended that file numbers
be confined to two groups.
- (j) Personnel correspondence. (See notes in LL, MM, OO groups.)
SUGGESTED RULES FOR APPLICATION OF FILE NUMBERS
RULE 1.-A "slant" (/) shall be used to separate the individual
standard file numbers which are used to make up the combined number. Example: BB55/S82-1.
RULE 2.-Arbitrary symbols used by the writer for his own convenience solely and which mean nothing to the receiver shall invariably
be inclosed in parentheses. Arbitrary symbols must follow after the
combined standard file number except those used for arbitrary sub-
numbers which may follow any one of the standard file numbers used
in the combination. Example: BB55/S82-K4).
RULE 3.-When a file number (see art. 2043 (12), U. S. Navy Regulations) is used as a reference, the whole number shall be quoted.
RULE 4.-The file numbers for correspondence regarding a particular
vessel (or class of vessels) may be made up of the same title file number
of the vessel (or class) and the subject title file number. Example:
Subject: U. S. S. North Carolina's boats, file No. BB55/S82.
RULE 5.-The file numbers for correspondence regarding a particular
shore station (or class of shore stations) may be made up of the name
title file number of the shore station (or class) and one or more subject
title file numbers. Example: Subject: Norfolk Navy Yard, repairs
to floating crane, file No. NT5/N31-15.
RULE 6.-File numbers for correspondence on various materials
(fabricated or not fabricated) that has to do with tests, specifications,
procurement, etc., and not with installation or repairs and alterations
after installation, are formed by adding the leaflet specification number or class number to JJ. (See JJ Classification, Material.)
RULE 7.-The file number of correspondence regarding geographical
locations may include the file number representing the title "Geographic location" (QG) followed by the name of the place spelled out.
Special provisions have been made for foreign countries, states, grand
land, and water divisions. The Hydrographic Office, Washington,
D. C., is exempt from this rule. Example: Subject: Typhoon, Gulf
of Aden; file No. H4-9/QG, Gulf of Aden.
RULE 8.-Arrangement of file numbers. The file number for the
standard title U. S. S. North Carolina is BB55; similarly, S82 represents "boats," By combining these two in any sequence the writer
indicates that the subject of the letter is the "U. S. S. North Carolina's
boats," which should be sufficiently definite and descriptive to permit
locating the letter, if later referred to by file number only, in any
Navy file irrespective of its file-arrangement plan.
There are two possible combinations of the two standard titles
mentioned above. The sequence of their corresponding symbols
making up the file number is immaterial, as the two titles arranged in
either order give a definite and positive indication of the subject of the
letter. The sequence actually selected would depend upon the writer's
file arrangement, i. e., the manner in which its division, subdivisions
(and possible further subdivisions) are arranged.
WRITER'S FILE ARRANGEMENT
|U. S. S. North Carolina||Boats||BB55/S82|
|Boats||U. S. S. North Carolina||S82/BB55|
Serial numbers should not be enclosed in parentheses but when used
they should be placed on the line immediately below the file number and
preceded by the word "serial." Example:
- Serial 1234"
The use of the serial numbers only in referring to previous correspondence gives rise to much difficulty in locating this correspondence.
It is strongly recommended in such instances that the subject and/or
file number of the communication be given, unless for reasons of security
it is inadvisable to reveal these facts.
A close cooperation of the administrative and technical forces with
the filing forces saves loss of time to both. The holding of papers on
desks, insufficient information in requests for files, the retention of file
jackets beyond a reasonable time, all tends to block the smooth working
of the files and prevents the current posting of correspondence on these
cases, thus slowing up the efficient handling of correspondence. If a
piece of correspondence is erroneously classified, the technical or administrative officer receiving it should return it to the file section for
It is especially important that mail and file sections impress upon
writers of official outgoing letters, the necessity of placing file numbers
on all copies and indicate the bureau or office preparing same before
sending them to a file room for recording.
The writer of a letter is in the best position to know the salient points
thereof, and should be able to place a comprehensive "subject" at the
head of a letter. If the subject is misleading or too brief it frequently
results in wrong classification. In a very large percentage of official
correspondence, the closing paragraph sums up what action is wanted
and combined with an intelligent subject gives a good classification.
When administrative inspections are held it is recommended that the
inspection officer check the Piling Manuals in possession of the unit
inspected to see that all changes as issued by the Navy Department
have been made therein.
A common failing of filing forces is to lose sight of the general significance of correspondence, tying it up with a specific case. Care should
be taken that correspondence that has a precedential or general application be so classified, or a copy be so classified, or a cross index made.
BOLD FACE TYPE
In the alphabetical section bold face type is used only to designate
names of vessels.
SUBJECT AND NAME TITLE GROUPS
|H||Hydrography, meteorology, navigation and astronomy.|
|N||Shore establishments materials.|
NAME TITLE GROUPS.
|DD-DM||Destroyers and light mine layers.|
|EA-EZ||U. S. Government Executive Departments and Foreign Governments.|
|GA-HZ||Government establishments, independent, etc.|
|IX||Unclassified vessels, naval.|
|KA-KW||Marine corps organizations.|
|QA-OZ||Miscellaneous name titles.|
|SM||Mine laying submarines.|