Capitalization

Q. Hi, Chicago editors. Three of our editors have a question about capitalization of certain military terms: special ops, officers’ mess hall, president of the mess hall. Two of us believe they should all be lowercase—as should American embassy and/or consulate. Thanks for your help.

A. Chicago style is to lowercase all of these, although looking at CMOS 8.111, you might argue for capping Special Ops in some contexts. Likewise, American Embassy would not look odd in many documents. If you’re following Chicago and not capping the pope or the queen, however, President of the Mess Hall is going to look pretty silly.