How to Address an Admiral?



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HONOR & RESPECT

Abbess,
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Acting Official       
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Admiral
        

Admiral, Texas Navy   
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Alderman
        

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Retired Military
   1. Formula For
       How to Address     
   2. Q&A / Blog On
       Use of Rank by
       Retired Military    
 

   3. Q&A / Blog on
       How to Address
       Retired Military   
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     I, II, III, etc.         
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Warrant Officer       
Widow
     
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Woman, social        

Yacht Club Officer      


   

How to Address an Admiral


FYI, here is what's come in to the Blog that relates to this office/rank.
   For recent questions sent in, check out Robert Hickey's Blog.

   For specific offices/ranks, check out Robert Hickey's On-Line Guide.


How to Address a Retired Admiral?
How would I address a retired admiral who now holds another position? Here's what I have in mind for the envelope and for the salutation. What do you think?
    ENVELOPE:
 
  
    Rear Admiral William Smith
           (Address)

               
  etc.
    SALUTATION:
        Dear Rear Admiral Smith:
                    -- C. MacP., Toronto, Canada

Dear C. MacP:
    The formula for naval officers (and many other kinds of armed services personnel too) is to write (Full rank)+(Full name) on the envelope (the written form) .... and (Basic rank)+(Surname) as the salutation (also the form used in oral address). There are several types of admirals – admiral, vice admiral, rear admiral: those are full ranks. The basic rank for all is just admiral.
    1) If this is purely social communication, you are done. 
    2) If this is an official/business/professional letter, then you should include the branch of service USN
and Retired after his name. That makes it clear that you realize he's retired and you are not writing to him thinking he's still on active duty and acting with the full force of the United States Navy behind his actions.
    So here's how should look on the envelope if it's an official letter:

   
        Rear Admiral William Smith, USN, Retired
                (Address)
               
      etc.
    And in the salutation:
            Dear Admiral Smith:
    If this sort of thing comes up often, my book has this information. In this case, this form appears on page 216.
           -- Robert Hickey

How to Identify a Retired Officer on a Document?
    I am writing a joint thank-you letter on behalf of two non-profit organizations in our community - the Women's Business Organization (WBO) - and the Historical Museum.  We recently partnered to do a fundraiser called "Dine Out Springfield", which raised money that allowed WBO to offer three additional scholarships this year and allowed the Museum to enhance their artifacts and community outreach.
      The WBO signatory is our current president.  The museum's signatory is a US Navy Rear Admiral who is retired.  What is the correct way for me to note his name and rank below his signature line?  Is it Rear Admiral Warren Thompson, USN, Retired or Warren Thompson, R. Adm. (retired) or something else??

 
         -- The President-Elect of  WBO

Dear T P-E of WBO:
    Note his name below his signature line in the same way one would address him most formally:
        Rear Admiral Warren Thompson, USN, Retired

    It might be a good idea to include his role under his name since he is not signing the document in any capacity related to his service as a rear admiral:
        Rear Admiral Warren Thompson, USN, Retired
        Representative for the Historical Museum

    I include all the forms of address for rear admirals on page 216 of my book.
    Some retired admirals might not use their rank in a post-retirement non-military position, but if you know that he's a retired admiral, his preference must be to be addressed by his rank.

          -- Robert Hickey

In What Order Do I Address More Than One Military Officer in a Salutation?
    How should I address more than one Admiral in correspondence?  For example, I was going to write:
          Dear Admirals Blue, Green, and Red (alphabetically)
    I see on your website I should do it by seniority rather than alphabetically; Is that correct? Thank you.

         -- KW, PharmD, Drug Risk Management Analyst

Dear KW:
     Yes, list their names in order by seniority.
     Every officer knows his or her date of rank, as will their staff, so the information should not be hard to get.

                   -- Robert Hickey

How to Address a Retired Officer in Conversation?
       My neighbor is a retired Navy Admiral.  I am an active duty Navy Captain. Am I required to address him as Admiral?  Can I call him by his first name?

       -- LR

Dear LR:
       When I was a kid we lived in Arlington, VA, across the street from Admiral Towner. Neither he nor Mrs. Towner ever invited any of the neighbors to call them by their first names. Both were very friendly -- the Towners had great neighborhood parties -- but just were formal.  To our right lived General McCaw.  He and his wife (Bob and Sally) were on a first name basis with everyone.
       Since your neighbor has higher rank ... and you are a member of the same hierarchy .... start with:
              Admiral (Surname)
       And call his wife, if he has one:
              Mrs. (Surname)
       Then follow their lead on subsequent use of names. He might say 'call me (given name)', or if he calls you by your (given name) ... that would be his signal to call him by his (given name) in reply.
       Even if he invites you to be on a first-name basis, switch over to (Rank) (Name) when in uniform ... or anytime in the presence of other armed services personnel / those who would not be on a first name basis with him.
              -- Robert Hickey


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