Is Navy Capitalized?

There is a certain amount of controversy on the topic of is navy capitalized, and for once it’s a controversy that comes more from an area of politics than grammar, which might be sound odd at first, but stick with us and find out what makes this one word so unique in the English language and let’s try to find a proper answer to the question is navy capitalized.

So, Is Navy Capitalized?

Capitalization, in general, follows the same basic rules for all instances, which we all learned in school.

The first case is the simplest one: a word will always be capitalized if it’s the first word in a sentence, the most common example being the start of a paragraph. But any word after a period will be capitalized, as that means the start of a new sentence. You can see that example at play in this paragraph, so at any time that the word navy is the first in a sentence you’ll have to capitalize it, as its custom for all words.

Example: Navy ships came into the harbor.

The other case where a word has to be capitalized is when it acts as a proper noun. This means that a word is referring to a one-of-a-kind item or organization, which is the case of all proper names and the titles of movies, organizations, books and so on. In this context, we see that navy on its own is not a proper noun, it doesn’t refer to something unique and unrepeatable, a navy is a form of military organization that is available in many countries, so it’s as generic of a term as school or dog.

However the word itself is commonly part of larger titles or names, and in those cases as the title is the proper name of an specific entity or item, it has to be capitalized. the most classic example is the United States Navy, as this is the name of an specific navy it gets capitalized. Likewise, the 1990 film Navy Seals has to be capitalized as well, as that’s the title of a single film, making it a proper noun.

Now, this last instance leads to a unique rule, which has more of a basis in military policies than grammatical ones, but is nonetheless respected by various organizations. It is common in official documents particularly in the United States, according to military custom Navy (alongside sibling words such as Army, Air Force and so on) should be capitalized, but when it works as a synonym of the United States Navy, if following those rules then the word navy won’t be capitalized when talking about in general terms, but whenever it refers to the Navy conformed of American men and women in the frontlines, it gains the recognition to be capitalized.


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