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Air Force prohibits e-mail extras

Author: Michael Briggs 12th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs 
Submitted: Brian
Source: AETCNS 112404331

AETCNS 112404331 
Nov. 24, 2004 

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AETCNS) -- People who like to include fancy signature blocks, thoughtful quotations, colorful backgrounds or cute clip art in the e-mails they send should stop doing so immediately, according to Air Force officials.

In the new Air Force instruction that governs electronic messaging, such extras are prohibited as they may not present a professional image and can take up too much bandwidth, thereby clogging up and slowing down the e-mail system, said Mary Caudell, lead for messaging services at the 12th Communications Squadron here.

The revision of AFI 33-119, Air Force Messaging, released Oct. 27, states in paragraph 3.7, "Users will not add slogans, quotes, special backgrounds, special stationeries, digital images, unusual fonts, etc., routinely to their official or individual electronic messages. Users must consider professional image and conservation of Air Force network resources (bandwidth)."

With more than 11,000 customers using network services at Randolph alone, Ms. Caudell said the amount of electronic message traffic is "astronomical" here, and users must follow standards.

"Part of the rationale for revising the AFI was electronic messaging started to detract from the Air Force mission," she said. "The new AFI provides guidelines designed to keep messages as professional and uniform as possible."

Following the guidance in the regulations that govern communications, the standard for message text and signature blocks is 10- or 12-point font. Also, all official electronic messaging will include "//SIGNED//" in upper case before the signature block to signify it contains official Air Force information, according to AFI 33-119.

The guidance provided in the revised AFI serves as a reminder to users about where they work, Ms. Caudell said. 

"Most people spend a lot of time on their computers at work, and many have started to use the system as if it were their home system," she said. "We all need to remember we are on government computer systems and must use our computers appropriately."

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