Captioning Style Guide

DoD Instruction 5040.02, “Visual Information (VI),” Oct. 27, 2011


This publication provides a standard method of writing captions for DoD imagery. The guidance provided will help photographers, videographers and all who produce or manage DoD imagery write and edit captions that are accurate, clear, concise and meet DoD style standards.

This publication is written for all producers, editors and users of visual information (VI). It demonstrates how to address military terms descriptive of things, places and entities recorded by DoD camera operators, created by DoD graphic artists, or written about by DoD journalists. While based on the tenets of The Associated Press Stylebook, it is written specifically for use by DoD visual information and public affairs specialists. Refer to AP for guidance on items that do not appear within this publication.

This publication applies to OSD, the Military Departments, the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Staff, the Combatant Commands, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, the Defense Agencies, the DoD Field Activities and all other organizational entities within the Department of Defense.

DoD Instruction 5040.02:

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