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Though I've scrutinized the APA 6th Edition and online examples, I remain confused about how to format military publications for in-text citations.

In text, is it sufficient to cite just the military branch as the author; or should the citation also include the type of publication; or something else?

Example 1

... (U.S. Army, 2005) ...


... (U.S. Army, Army Mentorship Handbook, 2005)


neither of the above; format as [your example] instead.

Example 2

... (U.S. Army, 2012) ...


... (U.S. Army, ADP 6-22, 2012) ...


neither of the above; format as [your example] instead.

Added Background 10 Sept. '16

I'm the editor; not the author. This is my first experience with a military-laden dissertation.

As best I can tell, the only APA guidance is the first sentence on p. 174: "References...are cited in text with an author-date citation system..."

I did find more information at http://libguides.gwumc.edu/c.php?g=27779&p=170369 where Example 4 affirms APA p. 174.

That would indicate that "(U.S. Army, year)" and nothing more is sufficient. But the sheer quantity of similar citations (i.e., the lack of variety) makes any one in-text citation seem somehow insufficient.

Maybe I just need to ignore my discomfort?

1 Answer 1

Apart from the guns and stuff, the United States Army is an organization just like the American Psychological Association. The United States should be abbreviated when it is used as an adjective and not when it is used as a now. When it is abbreviated, it should be abbreviated with periods but no spaces. Further, it does not need to be defined prior to using.

One then needs to ask who/what is the author and who/what is the publisher. If available, I prefer to use an Administrative (e.g., Headquarters Department of the U.S. Army) or Operational (e.g., U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) unit as both the author and publisher (unless the document has something more informative). See wikipedia for some possible units to look for.

This means in text citations might look like Headquarters Department of the U.S. Army (2016a), Headquarters Department of the U.S. Army (2016b) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (2016). Not that APA style is pedantic about making sure in-text citations are not ambiguous and has rules about how to handle "twin" (use a, b, c, ...) and "not-quite twin" citations (expand the authors until the ambiguity goes away while being careful with et al.).