How to Address a Pastor and Her Military Husband?
My question has to do with addressing an invitation’s envelope. Our Pastor, Alyson Smith, is married to a retired Lieutenant Commander Richard Smith, USN. He is to be receive his Ph.D. soon. Dr.? Commander? Lieutenant Commander?
————–- Bobbi Sue Minton
I am guessing you are addressing him socially, so … socially his name is written:
——–Lieutenant Commander Richard Smith
As a member of the clergy, her name is written:
——–The Reverend Alyson Smith
MILITARY RANK WITH AN ACADEMIC POST-NOMINAL ABBREVIATION
In the US, academic post nominals are never used with a military rank. He can be ‘Lieutenant Commander Richard Smith’ (‘Commander Smith’ in conversation) or ‘Richard Smith, Ph.D.’ in an academic environment. But he is never ‘Lieutenant Commander Richard Smith Ph.D.’.
WHOSE NAME IS FIRST?
Name order is determined by who has higher precedence. An active duty or retired military officer will have higher precedence than a civilian:
—-—-Lieutenant Commander Richard Smith
—-—-and The Reverend Alyson Smith
BUT guests, regardless of their rank, are listed before their escorts. If she is the invited guest and he is invited as her escort (as a courtesy to the guest), then her name would appear first:
—-—-The Reverend Alyson Smith
—-—-and Lieutenant Commander Richard Smith
I have spelled out ‘Lieutenant Commander’ every time above, to avoid the whole issue of how to abbreviate his rank. Formally it is always correct to fully spell out military ranks. But within the armed services they routinely use ‘service-specific abbreviations’. I won’t get into all that here, but just know that they do exist.
– Robert Hickey How to Address a Protestant Minister