How to Address a Reservist

See also
See also Use of Rank by a Reservist.

How to Address a Reservist
How to Address a Reservist on Active Duty?

I am addressing a letter to an Army Reservist currently on active duty.
—-For his address block:
——–(Rank) (Full Name) USA Reserve
——–—-e.g.:
——–—-Brigadier General John Smith, USA Reserve
—-Salutation:
—-—-Dear (Rank) (Surname),
—-—-—-e.g.
—-—-—-Dear General Smith, 
——————– Jamie

Dear Jamie:
It is correct to use the all-letter version of the branch of service: USAR, USNR, USMCR, USAFR or USCGR. Don’t spell out “reserve’. See the forms that follow.

Department of Defense guidelines give two ways to address a letter… one ‘official” and another for “social” correspondence: On official correspondence you include the post-nominal abbreviation for branch of service; on social, you don’t.

Here is what the official form looks like:

—-Official envelope:
—-—-Brigadier General John Smith, USAR
—-—-(Address)
—-—-With the service-specfic abbreviation:
—-—-—-BG John Smith, USAR
—-—-—-(Address)

—-Social envelope:
—-—-Brigadier General John Smith
—-—-(Address)
—-—-With the service-specfic abbreviation:
—-—-—-BG John Smith
—-—-—-(Address)

—-Either way the salutation is:
—-—-Dear General Smith,

— Robert Hickey

How to Address a Reservist

__________________________
How to Address a Retired Reservist?

How do you write the name of a retired reservist?
——————–— Dave S.

Dear Dave S.:
When one retires the reference to “Reserve” disappears.

—–The formula is:
—–—–[Rank] [Full Name], [Abbreviation for Branch of Service], Retired
—–—–—–or
———-[Rank] [Full Name], [Abbreviation for Branch of Service], Ret.

Both Ret. and Retired are suggested in DoD style guides. Those same style guides do not use parentheses around Ret. or Retired. So: no parentheses.

In the following samples I’ve used the service-specific abbreviations for rank. It would also be correct to spell the ranks out fully:

—–ARMY
—–—–While Serving: GEN John Johnson, USAR
—–—–When Retired: GEN John Johnson, USA, Retired

—–MARINES
—–—–While Serving: Gen Patrick Harris, USMCR
—–—–When Retired: Gen Patrick Harris, USMC, Retired

—–AIR FORCE
—–—–While Serving: Gen Andrew Wright, USAFR
—–—–When Retired: Gen Andrew Wright, USAF, Retired

—–NAVY
—–—–While Serving: ADM Anne Neville, USNR
—–—–When Retired: ADM Anne Neville, USN, Retired

—–COAST GUARD
—–—–While Serving: ADM Christopher Carley, USCGR
—–—–When Retired: ADM Christopher Carley, Retired

— 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

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