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US Navy drops all-caps communication requirement

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navy (from NAVY)
navy (from NAVY)

For over a century, the United States Navy has written its communications using only capital letters, but that tradition is now going through a sea change. The Navy has finally allowed lowercase letters to find their way into official communications, meaning sentences from here on out should largely use conventional capitalization. Navy Times reports that the all-caps format was a holdout from early telecommunication systems that only supported capital letters. The Navy began use of such systems around the 1850s, but has finally made the change in response to younger sailors' preference for the more readable mixed-case formatting.

The decision is part of a broader initiative to overhaul the Navy's communication systems. The Navy says that the new systems will be more efficient and ultimately save it over $15 million each year. Included among those simplifications is leaving behind the Defense Message System — a type of secure electronic communication — for a more traditional email system. Altogether, it'll allow the Navy to reduce the servers handling these communications from 100 machines down to just five. The Navy's communication plans and changes were first announced last month, but have only now been made public.