From the President to the GS-16 The Order of Precedence for Ceremonial and Social Occasions According to Naval Guidelines
The Standard for Protocol in Washington is The Social Usage and Protocol Handbook: A Guide for Personnel of the U.S. Navy. Here are relevant excerpts to help reports and “Official Washington” navigate the social waters of the Capital city.
The information contained herein is quoted from Social Usage and Protocol Handbook: A Guide for Personnel of the U.S. Navy (OPNAVINST 1710.7 dated 17 JUL 1979)
Members of the Naval Service will find that at all points in their careers they can expect to be involved to some extent in the planning and execution of official ceremonies and social events. Protocol is a code of established guidelines on proper etiquette and precedence which, when followed, lays the foundation for a successful event.
From this foundation, the host should consider the facets which make a particular situation unique, and from there, use imagination to design a memorable occasion.
The most important consideration in planning should always be the comfort of one’s guests. A clever host/hostess is able to reach a proper mixture of protocol and common sense which will enable guests to enjoy themselves completely. If this is accomplished, an event is truly successful.
Precedence is defined as priority in place, time, or rank. In the Government, the Military and Diplomatic Corps, precedence among individuals’ positions plays a substantial role. That is, in day to day business, ceremonial occasions, and social functions, we respect the office which the individual represents, by ranking that individual according to our perception of the importance of his/her position.
Official position in the United States Government is determined by election or appointment to office, or by promotion within the military structure. The relative importance of different positions is weighed, and even the date of the position’s establishment is frequently considered. [Read more…]