How to Address a Major

————–For a major and spouse, see Couple, Military

Major, USA, USMC, or USAF

—-Envelope or address block on letter or email:

—-—-Major (Full Name), USA/USAF/USMC
—-—-(Address)

——–—-MAJ (Full Name), USA
——–—-(Address)

——–—-Maj (Full Name), USAF
——–—-(Address)

——–—-Maj (Full Name), USMC
——–—-(Address)

—-Envelope, Social:
—-—-Major (Full Name)
—-—-(Address)

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

—-Each service has service-specific abbreviations for the ranks. 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 author of "Honor & Respect"

How to Address a Retired Major & Spouse?

I work in the development office at a small university and just realized that a donor is a retired Major. We have been addressing him as Mr. and Mrs. (His Full name). Would the proper way to address him be Major and Mrs. John Doe?
—————-– KR

Dear KR:
If you are writing him about a donation he made, it’s personal and social, not official U.S. government correspondence. You don’t need to include branch of service and note he is retired on social correspondence.

Formally people who have special forms of address – like a military rank – get their name as a unit, not mixed with another person’s name. So note I don’t suggest Major and Mrs. (His Full Name).

—-Social envelope:
—-—-Major John Doe
—-—-and Mrs. Doe

—-—-Other forms that appear:
——–—-Major Diane Doe

—-——–and Ms./Dr. Natalie Doe

——–—-Major Diane Doe
—-——–and Mr. Kevin Doe

—-Salutation you might use:
—-—-Dear Major Doe and Mrs. Doe,
—-—-Dear Major Doe and Mr. Doe,

One last note: Use of rank by retired personnel is at the preference of the individual. Typically, the higher ranks of officers and enlisted personnel are the ones who prefer to continue to be addressed by ‘rank’. To be absolutely certain you are doing this correctly, find out the preferred form of address by asking.

– Robert Hickey

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#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)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or 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, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"