How to write military standard operating procedures

Written by samantha volz
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How to write military standard operating procedures
Standard operating procedures help military personnel be consistent in their procedures. (military image by Alexey Klementiev from Fotolia.com)

According to the U.S. Army, a Standard Operating Procedure, or SOP, is "a clearly written set of instructions for methods detailing the procedures for carrying out a routine or recurring task or study." SOPs are used to define tasks ranging from inspections to cleaning duties. There are two types of SOPs: technical (to explain ways to perform duties in research labs and other such areas) and administrative. Each SOP requires information so that new users can be properly trained and regular users can be reminded, and provide continuity among military members.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Print your organisation's name (military branch, division, office, etc.) at the top centre of the page. Place the office file symbol below and to the left of the title and the SOP number, disk file name, effective date and date removed from service (if any) below at the right of the title.

  2. 2

    Center the title of the SOP on the line below the information already printed. Follow the title with section one: purpose. This section should concentrate the reason, function and applicability of the SOP.

  3. 3

    List the regulations that require the action outlined in the SOP in section two. If necessary, follow this with a glossary of terms or abbreviations used in the SOP; only include this third section if there are more than five terms or more than 15 abbreviations needed to understand the SOP.

  4. 4

    Include in section four the list of personnel who have the authority to update the SOP, and when it should be updated. List in section five the area in which the SOP must be followed; this generally indicates a specific field location or lab area.

  5. 5

    Write in section six the scope of the technical project: samples collected, ideas supported and methods, as well as any bias inherent in the methods. Section seven should list the responsibilities of those who handle the samples for the project.

  6. 6

    List the apparatus and materials used for the project in section eight. Use section nine to list any interferences, preparation and analysis for the project. Section 10 should list the quality control steps that have been taken to ensure that the project is accurate.

  7. 7

    Include recorded data, processed calculations and eventual results in section 11. Section 12 should highlights the information that supports the data as valid, and section 13 details what information will be included in the final report.

  8. 8

    List the safety considerations for the project in section 14. If there were no extra safety precautions taken, state that safety was taken into consideration before conducting the experiment. Finish the SOP with section 15, which lists any other resources mentioned in the SOP. These resources must be available to the user of the SOP.

  1. 1

    Print your organisation's name (military branch, division, office, etc.) at the top centre of the page. Place the office file symbol below and to the left of the title and the SOP number, disk file name, effective date and date removed from service (if any) below at the right of the title.

  2. 2

    Center the title of the SOP on the line below the information already printed. Follow the title with section one: purpose. This section should concentrate the reason, function and applicability of the SOP.

  3. 3

    Reference the regulations that call for the SOP to be given in section two. If necessary, follow this with a glossary of terms or abbreviations used in the SOP; only include this third section if there are more than five terms or more than 15 abbreviations needed to understand the SOP.

  4. 4

    Compose the main body of the SOP in section four: procedure. This contains a list of specific actions to be carried out to fulfil the SOP. Use letters a through z to break the actions into sub-procedures, if necessary, for easier understanding.

  5. 5

    List the safety considerations for the project in section five. If there were no extra safety precautions taken, state that safety was taken into consideration before conducting the experiment. Finish the SOP with section six, which lists any other resources mentioned in the SOP. These resources must be available to the user of the SOP.

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