The Joint Battle Management Language (JBML) is an XML-based language designed to allow Command and Control (C2) systems to interface easily with Modeling and Simulation (M&S) systems. While some of the XML-tags defined in this language correspond to types of entities that exist in reality, others are mere syntactic artifacts used to structure the messages themselves. Because these two kinds of tags are not formally distinguishable, JBML messages in effect confuse data with what the data represent. In this paper we show how a realism-based ontology combined with a rule language can be used to make these distinctions explicit. The approach allows storage of the contents of JBML messages in a Referent Tracking System in a format that mimics the structure of reality thereby providing an aid to message validation.