The U.S. Army has a regulation for everything — braid styles, hands in pockets, colors and types of acceptable pens. The list even includes a font specification for professional correspondence — Arial, size 12.
According to Army Regulation 25–50, section 1-19 of “Preparing and Managing Correspondence,” which specifies type fonts and sizes, the cliché sans serif lettering is preferred, which, if you know anything about the Army, essentially means it’s mandatory.
“Use type fonts and sizes that make the correspondence easy to read and understand,” the regulation reads. “Preferred type font is Arial. Unusual type styles, such as Script, will not be used in official correspondence.”
But unusual beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And Comic Sans, neither script nor odd, should be in the running for the official Army font.
It is simplistic, nostalgic, aesthetically pleasing and easily enjoyed by everyone and anyone with even a smidge of reading skill. Crayon eaters can attest, it is the best.
Arial, Helvetica and Calibri, while standard, are also incredibly boring. And forget Times New Roman. That’s for squares, not soldiers.
Comic Sans is computer meets elementary school handwriting, a delightful flourish of boyish humor that reflects the true nature of skaters, shammers and most of the E-4 mafia. This font, like many troops, has a devil-may-care insouciance that’s just so darn enviable. It’s the Camaro of typefaces, but without the soaring APR. Comic Sans is free.
If all the Army’s marketing materials were printed with Comic Sans, recruitment may go through the roof. Troop numbers aren’t where they should be? Don’t blame politics or a perceived lack of benefits. Change the text of recruiting pamphlets to Comic Sans and watch prospective soldiers line up around the block.
And think of the PowerPoint presentations. Phrases like “lethality” and “strategic deterrence” carry so much more weight when they’re shown in a font that soldiers can’t help but remember because it’s just so... distinguished. Arial could never.
Still, if Comic Sans isn’t on the table, alternatives the U.S. Army might consider are Webdings and Wingdings, because contrary to popular belief, everyone loves a puzzle.
Just think of deciphering emails as if each were attempting to crack the code of the Zodiac Killer — the Army could effectively turn every soldier into a cryptolinguist.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.