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Tips for U.S. Marine Corps Separation Notices

  • *Re-entering information*
    • If a field states "Same as Section 5" please re-enter the information from Section 5 NOT the words "Same as Section 5"
  • If a Name is in all CAPS on the form you do NOT need to keep it in that format
    • Example: SMITH can be changed to Smith
  • Serial Number with Illegible Numbers/Digits
    • Please fill in as many legible digits you see and put ? as a placeholder for illegible numbers. Example 123?78?
    • All other illegible numbers on the form please type [illegible] in field
  • Dashes (---)
    • If a field only has dashes and nothing else there is no need to transcribe the dashes
    • Please leave the transcription field blank
  • Means of Entry
    • Service members can have more than one Means of Entry
    • Please select option (Enlisted, Inducted, or Commissioned) with the corresponding number
  • Service Schools | Courses | Weeks
    • These fields could have more than one item
    • If possible, please list items as transcribed by hitting enter
  • Principal Military Duty and No.
    • It is easier to type the number of Principal Military Duty than to scroll through the list
    • If the number on the drop-down list does NOT match what is on the form please leave the selection blank and put what is on the form in the Notes field to the right
  • *Please reformat the following Dates to YYYY-MM-DD
    • If only month and year are given please format the date as YYYY-MM-dd (Example: Sept.1942 = 1942-09-dd)
    • Date of Birth
    • Date of Entry
    • Date of Separation
    • (1) Civilian Occupation Last Employed Date
    • (2) Civilian Occupation Last Employed Date
    • Date Left Last Employer
    • Date Signed by Discharged Person
  • Different Wording
    • Permanent Address = Permanent Address for Mailing Purposes
    • Address for Employment = Address from which Person will seek Employment
    • Address at Entry into Service = Address at Time of Entry into Service
    • Service Years | Service Months | Service Days = Length of Foreign and/or Sea Service
    • Civilian Occupation No. = D.O.T. Number
    • (1) Civilian Occupation Summary = Job Summary

Transcription Guidelines:

  • Save your work frequently. If you don’t save before you navigate away from the page, your work may be lost!
  • When you have transcribed all the words on the page, click the “Done” button in the upper right corner.
  • Transcribe the text as is, including punctuations, misspellings, and abbreviations. If you can’t resist correcting spelling mistakes, please enter the correctly spelled word in brackets after the misspelled word: Carlottesville [Charlottesville] or expand the abbreviation Wm [William]. See Tips for U.S. Marine Corps Separation Notices above for EXCEPTIONS marked "*".
  • You may come across outdated or offensive language in historical documents. Transcribe offensive language as it is written on the page.
  • If you aren’t sure of a word but want to guess, indicate with square brackets and a question mark, e.g. [town?]. If you can't make out a word at all, use [illegible]. If you spot [illegible] in an already started transcription, feel free to correct it if you know what the word is.
  • While you do not need to recreate the formatting of the original, we ask that you hit return at the end of the line.
  • Do not transcribe hyphens or spaces in words that occur at line breaks: type the whole word then hit return. Continue transcribing the next line starting with the first whole word.
  • For lines or rows of dots, you do not have to transcribe them all, since this adds little value to the searchable text. Type a single _ or . as needed, followed by the text.
  • For text that has been crossed out, if you can read it, type [struck: text]. If you cannot read it, type [illegible].
  • For words that are inserted above or below the line, add information in brackets within or near the line. For example: [inserted above/below:] text. When transcribing parts of the letter that were written around the edge of the paper or perhaps written cross-wise on the paper, add information in brackets to the end of the document. For example, add the transcribed information to the end of the letter and write [written at the top of page 1:] text or [written across page 1:] text.
  • Consider the context. If you’re having trouble with a word or passage, read “around” it and think about what a likely word would be, or look for other letters and spellings in the document that are similar.