Editorial Policy and Submission Guidance

The Tyndall Air Force Base Public Website is the only official, publicly accessable Website for the 325th Fighter Wing.

It is designed as the primary communication tool to transmit information to Tyndall and to the community.

Please review the following editorial policy and publication guidelines before submitting requests for coverage. Please Email editor@tyndall.af.mil to submit commentary, story ideas, or calendar items.

Only information cleared for public release in accordance with Defense Department Web Policy and Air Force Instructions 33-129 and 35-107 will be posted to this public Web site. The guidelines are intended to help members of the Tyndall community submit appropriate information for publication on this Web site.

Editorial Policy

The Tyndall Air Force Base Public Web site (www.tyndall.af.mil) is designed as the primary communication tool to transmit information to the Tyndall community. The following editorial policy guidelines apply to achieve this goal:

1. The Tyndall Public Website provides a primary means of communicating mission-essential information to members of the organization. News propriety, story placement, publication date, and use of photography rest with the 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs.

2. News and feature stories on people and organizations provide recognition of excellence in performance and help set forth norms for mission accomplishment.

3. News coverage and content will conform to Air Force policies and directions of the 325th Fighter Wing commander. News reporting will be factual and objective. News coverage will avoid morbid, sensational or alarming details unnecessary to factual news reporting. News writing will distinguish between fact and opinion. When an opinion is expressed, the source will be identified. This public Website will not publish or endorse commercial news or editorials.

4. This public Website will keep Airmen and members of the general public accurately informed about military matters affecting their current life and their futures, to improve morale and to quell rumors. Only information cleared for public release in accordance with AFI 33-129, AFI 35-107, Air Combat Command Editorial Policy and other associated policies and instructions can be posted to the Tyndall public Websites, including Facebook.

5. News and editorial content will provide information to all members of the Tyndall community to improve the quality of their lives and thereby the effectiveness of the work force. This includes officers, enlisted members, civilian employees, family members, retirees, and Reserve and Guard members.

6. This Website will de-glamorize the use of alcohol and tobacco products. Articles concerning the club, unit, or other activities may mention these products as long as the emphasis is on the activities and not the products.

7. This public Website will not display commercial advertising.

8. Event announcements published on this Website must be made available to all readers without regard to race, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor.

9. The contents of this Website will conform to applicable regulations and laws relating to libel and copyright, the Air Force Privacy Act Program and Standards of Conduct, as well as U.S. Government printing and postal regulations.

10. Locally originated articles will reflect the policies of the commander and be in the interest of the Air Force. Editorials should help readers understand Air Force policies and programs. They must not imply criticism of other government agencies, nor advocate or dispute specific political, diplomatic, or legislative matters. Statements or articles on legislative matters by people or agencies outside the Defense Department, including officials or candidates for public office, will not be used. The following are the main considerations taken into account when considering submissions:

a. Mission impact: Information that impacts the Air Force mission and Tyndall's ability to carry out that mission will be given first priority. Stories or information passed directly from the wing commander are in this category as well as designated command and Air Force must-run articles.

b. Indirect mission impact: Items that may affect or appeal to a great portion of the base and cyber community, but do not directly impact the mission. Fitness events, on-base construction work, etc., are examples of items in this category.

c. Community impact: This includes stories or information about joint base and local community information that affect the morale and quality of life activities for members. Examples include features and photos, Annual Veterans Day Parade, and Gate-to-Gate run coverage. Public Website policy is to NOT publish obituaries, going-away events, quarterly awards, retirements, safety/awareness/health briefings, re-enlistments, distinguished visitor visits, school honor rolls, high school and college graduations, sports team rosters and other events similar in type.

Writing Guidelines

Passive Voice: Avoid the use of passive voice (e.g., The policy was approved.) and use active voice instead (e.g., The committee approved the policy.)

Direct Address: Only address your audience directly (e.g., You should do...) in commentary and editorial articles.

First Person: Only use first person (e.g., I, we, me, my, etc.) in commentary and editorial articles.

Full Identification: Full ID includes a person's rank, first name, last name, unit of assignment and duty title. Duty title will be lower case and placed after the name and unit of the individual. (e.g., Col. James Anderson, 325th Operations Group commander)

Abbreviations and Acronyms: Do not use abbreviations. Acronyms are only used on second reference when the meaning is clearly understood.

Jargon: Avoid the use of jargon and technical language. Have experts explain technicalities in common terms.

Attribution: All news articles should include direct or indirect attribution from two or more sources.

Numbered Air Forces: On first reference, spell out numbered Air Force unit names and never abbreviate Air Force. (e.g., Ninth Air Force) On second reference and in lists, 9th Air Force is acceptable.

Military Ranks: Associated Press style is used for military ranks on first reference. Appropriate Air Force abbreviations are:

Airman Basic - Airman Basic
Airman - Amn.
Airman First Class - Airman 1st Class
Senior Airman - Senior Airman
Staff Sergeant - Staff Sgt.
Technical Sergeant - Tech. Sgt.
Master Sergeant - Master Sgt.
Senior Master Sergeant - Senior Master Sgt.
Chief Master Sergeant - Chief Master Sgt.
Second Lieutenant - 2nd Lt.
First Lieutenant - 1st Lt.
Captain - Capt.
Major - Maj.
Lieutenant Colonel - Lt. Col.
Colonel - Col.
Brigadier General - Brig. Gen.
Major General - Maj. Gen.
Lieutenant General - Lt. Gen.
General - Gen.

Courtesy Titles: Courtesy titles or conversational ranks, as appropriate, will be used in second and later references to people in all internal information products. For example, Lt. Gen. William J. Johnson on first reference would be referred to as General Johnson throughout the remainder of the product or, in subsequent references, individuals can be referred to by their job title amd lower case (e.g., the maintainer) or by generic rank alone and lower case: the general, the sergeant, the senior airman, the colonel, etc. Airmen with specialized titles will be used in subsequent references. For civilian male, use Mr. with their last name in second and subsequent references. For civilian females, later references are to Ms. Jones, unless the woman specifically asks to be known as Miss or Mrs.

Capitalization of Airman/Soldier/Sailor/Marine/Coast Guardsman: Capitalize Airman and Airmen when referring to individuals in the U.S. Air Force: The Airman rescued the woman from the burning car. If a generic term is needed, use the term Airmen: The Airmen returned to their base. An exception is when "airman" is part of a compound lower-case noun: A staff sergeant and a senior airman received awards. Additionally, capitalize Soldier, Sailor, Marine and Coast Guardsman when referring to those members of other branches of military service.

Publication Guidelines

Deadline: All elements of this Website are updated daily, as time and mission requirements permit. In order to ensure adequate coverage or advertising of an event, information should be submitted to Public Affairs no later than one week prior to the event.

Rewrite: All copy submitted to Public Affairs will be rewritten and edited as needed to ensure potential copy meets Air Force journalism guidelines. This includes ensuring style and story length meet Associated Press Stylebook and the Air Force Journalistic Style Guide rules.

Prominence: The location and manner in which an item is presented on this Website will be determined by Public Affairs.

Recurring Columns: Recurring columns from base agencies are normally discouraged because of the time and commitment required to keep Web pages updated. Units requesting dedicated space on this Website must designate a content manager and prepare and submit six months of content prior to page publication. The public affairs officer will determine if a request for a recurring column has merit.

Award Winners: Stories and photos of award winners are limited to wing-level or higher.

Change of Command events: Stories and photos are limited to the group and the wing-level or major tenant organization. Squadron-level change of command announcements may be published in the events calendar.

Personal Announcements: Announcements regarding retirements, weddings, births, deaths, promotions and hail and farewells are not authorized on this Website.

Photos: Photos normally accepted for publication include on-the-job action photos. Photos containing classified information, alcoholic beverages or cigarettes, dress and personal appearance violations, safety violations, or photos which compromise force protection measures will not be published. Photos should be accompanied by a brief description of the action pictured, the date of the photo, the ranks, names and units of people featured in the photo, and the rank and name of the photographer. All photos will be held to releasable standards set forth in AFI 35-109.

Fund Drives: Coverage will be limited to those campaigns authorized by the Air Force, namely the Combined Federal Campaign and the Air Force Assistance Fund.

Coordination: Articles published on this Website will be coordinated with affected agencies as deemed appropriate by the Public Affairs officer. Controversial or sensitive articles will be coordinated with the commander, and higher headquarters, if necessary, before publication.

Hometown News Releases: The Air Force Hometown News Service is a chance to publicize career achievement through an individual's hometown newspaper, radio or television station. The Hometown News Release program applies to military members and government civilian employees only.

HTNR requests pertaining to promotion, arrival for duty, award, deployment, or redeployment, will be directed to the Joint Hometown News Service online DD-Form 2266. A hyperlink is available at www.tyndall.af.mil.

Social Media: According to Air Force guidance, Public Affairs professionals are responsible for researching, preparing, conducting and assessing communication operations in the information battlespace and they must use all available communications means to fulfill this dynamic role. Social media allows messages to potentially spread far greater than initially intended (hence the term, "viral marketing,") and tools like blogs, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook provide instantaneous communication with vast audiences.

a. Public Affairs will manage an official Facebook page linked from the front page of this public Website. Additionally, Public Affairs will be Tyndall's source for social media guidance; however, all other sites hosted by base agencies will be managed by that agency and subject to approval and monitoring by Air Combat Command.

b. The 325th Fighter Wing Tyndall AFB Facebook Fan page is the official Facebook account for Tyndall Air Force Base. All content submitted and uploaded to the site must be furnished and approved for release by the 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs that maintains and operates the site.

Elements of Style

Break up quotations as follows:
"Months of preparation and hard work leading up to this inspection has paid off," said Brig. Gen. James S. Browne, 325th FW commander. "Thousands of items were inspected. An 'Excellent' is certainly something to be proud of."


"It is really difficult to earn an 'Excellent'," General Browne said. "I'm extremely proud of the Checkertails for showing the inspection team a commitment to excellence and how we are 'doing things right' here at Tyndall. Job well done."

(Notice how the word 'said' is switched every other quote, to break up the monotony. Limit use of 'continued' and 'added'.)

Also, when continuing a quote from the same person with no transition, do not use quotation marks at the end of the first quote.


"Joe did a really great job. We are proud of his accomplishment.

"He will remember this day for a long time."

Unit names
1st Ref. spell out and always use subscript:
325th Fighter Wing
325th Operations Support Squadron
325th Maintenance Group
Air Force Civil Engineer Center

2nd Ref. and all following ref. Do not omit subscript:
325th FW
325th OSS
325th MXG

Photo credit
(U.S. Air Force photo by Lisa Norman) OR (Courtesy photo). Do not use a slash mark.

Capitalization when referring to Service members (two words)
Always capitalize Airman, Airmen, Soldier, Sailor, Marine and Coast Guardsman. Do not use 'Guardsmen' to refer to someone in the Air National Guard or Army National Guard - they are Airmen or Soldiers - the word only applies to someone serving in the Coast Guard. The words 'service member', 'officer' or 'enlisted' are not capitalized. Serviceman and servicewoman are one word.

Write as follows and never use th, st, or rd:
July 6
Oct. 1
Jan. 5
June 12
2003 to 2006

Only use the year if it is in the past or future:
July 6, 2012
Oct. 1, 1998

Use time, date, place in that order: Graduation is 6 p.m., July 1 at Horizons Community Center.
Span of time: Use 'to': Appointments can be made from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Spell out days of the week and never use the word 'through': Appointments can be made from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Never use 'on' when referring to the day something happened: Wrong: (Colonel Jones retired on June 29. Right: Colonel Jones retired June 29 OR The triathalon is June 29. *Also, never begin a sentence or a headline with 'on'.)

Place names
- For state names, use the AP Style Book for the abbreviation.
- When referencing Tyndall in a story, it's just Tyndall. Do not use Air Force Base or AFB, unless it's another base. EXCEPT the byline is always written as TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. It is considered second reference in the body of the story.
- OTHER bases, use Air Force Base and the state or country name on 1st ref., and just the base name on 2nd ref. (i.e., Lackland Air Force Base, Texas and Lackland) Do not abbreviate AFB when used in biographies. The same applies to overseas bases like Misawa Air Base, Japan (1st ref.) and Misawa (2nd ref.).

For any aircraft, on 1st ref. state the full name: F-22 Raptor and spell out JSTARS and AWACS. F-15 Eagle, C-17 Globemaster III, etc. On 2nd ref, the letter and number is enough: F-22, F-15, C-17.

JSTARS: E-8 Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System
AWACS: E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System

Elements of News

Journalists stress current information - stories occurring today or yesterday, not several weeks ago. News story submissions should generally be no more than one week old.

Stress the important information upfront that impacts the audience - Airmen and family members, and members of the general public, when appropriate. Do not overlook the "me factor" that your audience craves. Broad appeal is important.

News stories about prominent people tend to generate more interest than those about ordinary people. Readers are especially interested in what our leaders have to say about important issues and events. That is not to say that we should exclude articles about ordinary people, but that we appreciate the importance of prominence.

This element can be physical - stories occurring here at Tyndall - or psychological, Airmen interested in the lives of other Airmen around the globe. On one hand, the Air Force community is local and on the other hand, it is global.

Deviations from the normal - unexpected or unusual events, drama or change - are more newsworthy than the commonplace. In the Air Force community, most stories with this characteristic will deal with change: budget, manpower, infrastructure, processes, etc.

Conflict or Controversy
Conflict is also another common thread in Air Force new stories: overcoming hardships, balancing career and family, war. Conflict is also present in organizational and service rivalries, sports news and features, and self-improvement. In each of these stories, the conflict can be positive. We never practice investigative journalism in the Air Force.

While the focus of the 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs is primarily on unique missions, the community, economic impact and the movement of aircraft to the base, writers can submit several other types of articles as long as there is a clear Air Force or Tyndall relationship demonstrated in the writing. We reserve the right to edit anything we receive to reflect correct AP Style, the Air Force Journalistic Style Guide, and MAJCOM and local policy. Other articles include but may not be limited to:

  • Sports
  • Travel features
  • Self-improvement articles
  • How-to' articles
  • Hobby features
  • Personality features
  • Historical features
  • Editorials and commentaries