How to Address a Petty Officer

Petty Officer, USN and USCG

In the formulae below, the ranks are fully spelled out. Within the services there are service-specific abbreviations for the ranks. Explaining those is a bit complicated for a this post. I cover them completely in my book if you are really interested . If you are familiar with these abbreviations – use them. If you are not familiar with them – using the fully spelled-out form is also correct.

—-On the official envelope the formula is:

—-U.S. Navy
——–(Full rating) (Full Name), USN
—-—-(Address)

—-U.S. Coast Guard
—-—-(Full rating) (Full Name), USCG
—-—-(Address)

—-In conversation or in salutation it is simplified a bit:

——–Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
—-—-Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard
—-—-Fleet/Command Master Chief Petty Officer, USN or USCG
—-—-Master Chief Petty Officer, USN or USCG
—-—-—-Letter salutation:
—-—-—-Dear Master Chief (Surname):

—-—-Senior Chief Petty Officer
——–—-Letter salutation:
—-—-—-Dear Senior Chief (Surname):

—-—-Chief Petty Officer
—-—-—-Letter salutation:
—-—-—-Dear Chief (Surname):

—-—-Petty Officer First Class
—-—-Petty Officer Second Class
—-—-Petty Officer Third Class
—-—-—-Letter salutation:
—-—-—-Dear Petty Officer (Surname):

– Robert Hickey

How to Write a Place Card for a Petty Officer?

I am the protocol officer at a dinner tomorrow night and a wounded warrior is to be at our table. I have no clue how his place card should read.  This is his rank: Hospital Corpsman-Petty Officer First Class-HM1
– Evelyn in Aerospace

Dear Evelyn:

USN and USCG enlisted personnel are verbally addressed by their basic rank. The classes of Petty Officer – First, Second, and Third – are all orally addressed as ‘Petty Officer (Surname)’. The serviceman will have an occupational specialty (a rating)  – you mentioned he is a hospital corpsman – there’s no reference to his specialty in the formal forms of address.

The function of a formal place card is only to show a guest which seat is theirs.  On placards and tent cards more information is typically included. On a place card, only the conversational form of address is presented:
——Petty Officer (Surname)

– Robert Hickey

—-See These Related Posts:
—-—-Couples: Private Citizens
—-—-Couples: Military
—-—-Couples: U.S. Officials
—-—-Couples: Same Sex

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

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