How to Address a Lieutenant Colonel

Lieutenant Colonel, USA, USMC or USAF

—-Envelope, official: How to Address a Lieutenant Colonel

—-—-Lieutenant Colonel (Full Name), USA/USAF/USMC

——–—-LTC (Full Name), USA

—-—-—-Lt Col (Full Name), USAF

—-—-—-LtCol (Full Name), USMC

—-Envelope, social: How to Address a Lieutenant Colonel

—-—-Lieutenant Colonel (Full Name)

——–—-LTC (Full Name)

—-—-—-Lt Col (Full Name)

—-—-—-LtCol (Full Name)

—-Letter salutation:
—-—-Dear Colonel (Surname):

Above I’ve shown the rank fully spelled out and abbreviated. Note that each service has a service-specific abbreviation for the rank. Both spelling out and using service-specific abbreviations are correct. If you are looking for more detailed information, look in my book: I get into it all there.

— Robert Hickey How to Address a Lieutenant Colonel

How to Address a Retired Lt. Colonel?

How do I address a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel?  My initial thought would be to present his rank before his name like “Dr.” and after his name use “U.S. Army” like “D.D.S.” goes after the name for a dentist.
Would this be proper to use?
—-—-John M. Smith, LTC, USA, Ret.
—————-– KG

Dear KG:
The correct form depends on the situation. (1) Is it official correspondence regarding an official action by a retired officer?  The official form defines the correspondence involves his rank/service in the Armed Services. It also specifies that he is retired and not active duty.   (2) Or is it personal / social correspondence?  Retired personnel are entitled (at their preference) to use their rank socially. It is a privilege accorded only fully-retired armed services personnel.

—-Official form of address:
——–—-Lieutenant Colonel John M. Smith, USA, Retired
————(Address)        See Note #2
——–—-Lieutenant Colonel John M. Smith, USA, Ret.
————(Address)        See Note #2

—-Social form of address:
——–—-Lieutenant Colonel John M. Smith
————(Address)        See Note #2

—-Salutation or conversation, both official and social:
——–—-Dear Colonel Smith,    See Note #1

Note #1.: Yes – it’s correct that Lieutenant is not in the salutation.
Note #2: There are service-specific abbreviation for Lieutenant Colonel.  Use them if you want to. They are standard within the armed services. Take note of the different capitalization and spacings:
—-—-USA – ArmyLTC
—-—-USMC – Marine CorpsLtCol
—-—-USAF – Air ForceLt Col

—-You didn’t ask how to address a Lieutenant Colonel orally, but in conversation (direct oral address) he is:
—-—-Colonel Smith

– Robert Hickey

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— Robert Hickey

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