Brigadier General

How to Address a Brigadier General, USA, USAF, USMC

The basic formula for the official form of an officer’s name is to write:
—–—–(Full rank)+(Full Name), (Branch of Service)

—–Envelope, official:
—–—–Brigadier General (Full Name), USA/USAF/USMC

—–Envelope, Social:
—–—–Brigadier General (Full Name)

—–Letter salutation:
—–—–Dear General (Surname):

Above I’ve shown the rank fully spelled out.  Each service has service-specific abbreviations for their ranks. The abbreviation for ‘brigadier general’ used by the USA is GEN ­– no punctuation, all CAPS. The abbreviation used by the USMC and USAF is Gen ­– no punctuation, Cap and Lower Case as shown.

—-See also General, Lieutenant General and Major General.

– Robert Hickey   How to Address a Brigadier General

How to Address a Retired Brigadier General?

I would like to write a note of condolence to a retired Brigadier General. What salutation do I use to start the letter with? How do I address the envelope? Thank you for your time. I appreciate it.
________________– Joan Gillman

Dear Ms. Gillman:

You need the social form for a note of condolence. For a social letter Department of Defense (DoD) guides suggest ‘full rank’ without the ‘branch of service’ or ‘Retired.’

—–Social envelope is the ‘full rank’:
—–—–Brigadier General (Full Name)

—–Salutation is the just the ‘basic rank’:
—–—–Dear General (Surname):

– Robert Hickey


How to Write a Name Badge for a Brigadier General?

How do I write the name of a retired Brigadier General on a name badge?
______________– Connie Upton

Dear Ms Upton:

There is no one way to write a name badge.

—–#1) Officers who retire with the graded ranks of General …. General, Lieutenant General, Major General, and Brigadier General continue to be addressed orally as General (Surname). If you are providing the name badges with a form of address to encourage conversation, then provide a form of the name that informs the viewer to know what call the retired officer in conversation:
———-General (Full Name)
—–General (Surname)

—–#2) Sometimes name badges are written less for just what to call someone and more as ‘ID badges’ to promote information about who, from where, is at an event. I’ve seen them with (complete name) + (the office) + (the organization) too. If you are providing more information … then write the form of his name normally used in writing (including the correct branch of service, of course):
—–—–Brigadier General (Full Name), USA
—–—–Brigadier General (Full Name), USAF
—–—–Brigadier General (Full Name), USMC

—–#3) If you are going to include additional information on name badges, remember to keep the info brief. The more information that goes on, the less ledgible it becomes.

See also my note about service-specific abbreviations near the top of this page.

– Robert Hickey

Not Finding Your Question Answered?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  After checking the list and reading the posts, if you don’t see your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, I will post the question & answer – always changing the names and specifics.

— Robert Hickey

The Protocol School of Washington (PSOW) was founded in 1988 and offers open-enrollment, classroom-based programs where students learn to become a licensed Intercultural Etiquette and Protocol Trainer, or can earn a certificate in operational protocol by completing Protocol Officer Training. Private, on-site training is also available to provide tailored training solutions. In 2020, PSOW launched online, instructor-led training to meet the needs of students worldwide.

PSOW has offices in: Washington, DC; Columbia, SC; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The school is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) and provides international protocol, cross-cultural awareness, business etiquette, and image training preparing professionals to build lasting business relationships.


Protocol and Diplomacy International – Protocol Officers Association promotes the protocol profession and raises awareness of its central role in business and diplomacy through education and networking. PDI-POA’s mission is to share the highest level of collective expertise, training, information and advice regarding accepted rules of protocol. PDI-POA is committed to facilitating communication, understanding and cooperation among individuals, governments and cultures around the globe.