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Calling Officers In Civillian Life By Their Titles  
User currently offlineDuke From Canada, joined Sep 1999, 1155 posts, RR: 2
Posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1251 times:

I have seen a number of cases in which retired military officers are referred to by their title (including, perhaps, my late grandfather, a Colonel).

Are there any laws or regulations about this, and is it a universal custom? Are certain situations more appropriate than others for calling an officer who has resigned by the title?

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLHMark From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 7255 posts, RR: 46
Reply 1, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1245 times:

It depends. Any retired officers selling fried chicken get referred to by their rank.


"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
User currently offlineAmy From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 1150 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1244 times:

As fare as I know:

You only take your title if you were captain or above. I also believe that your retirement title is one less than the rank you were upon your leaving the amred services, although this might well be wrong.

I should also Imagine that the person would have to make a proper career out of the armed services, not just a short service comission etc.



A340-300 - slow, but awesome!
User currently offlineKieron747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1242 times:

Hello,

I'm not sure if there are any actual laws regarding this. In my field of work, I have come across several old retired service officers who like to retain their title. Quite often, even when signing papers, I have seen for example...
Captain John Smith RAF (Ret).

I don't see anything wrong with it if an officer has not been discharged or something like that. Titles can mean a hell of a lot to people. I for one still take pride in writing 'Doctor' infront of my name.

Regards

Kieron747


User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1241 times:

US Military Customs and Courtesies. I have several retired Officer that I communicate with regularly.

One, in particular, in Kentucky that I still call Colonel. I have known him for 22 years. He was a senior Captain when we met. He will always be Colonel to me, out of respect for he as a man and an Officer in the US Army. That's not to say we're not friends. I know his wife well, and watched his two children grow up. I helped him build his new house in Kentucky (after his other burned down). It's tradition, it's courtesy, it's a military thing. He still calls me Sergeant Major.

Another gent, here in Alaska, similar situation. I've known him for 18 years, met him as a senior Captain as well. We're both retired, he from the Air Force. Still he will never be Bob between the two of us. When speaking in public - or to a thrid party - I use his name so no one is confused. When speaking alone with him, it's Sir or Colonel.

Now - there are a few officers I know - active and retired - that I will avoid speaking with or won't give the courtesy of referring to their current or retired rank. It's a respect thing . . . . respect is earned, not given.

This custom is not restricted to officers, but to senior enlisted personnel as well. In my current occupation I do not use my retired military title. But on all my civilian paperwork, e-mail, etc (except for personal letters) I do use it. It's a matter of pride and custom. I earned it, honorably, and I intend to keep it honorably.

Does that help you out there Duke?

[Edited 2005-04-12 18:49:02]

User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7780 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1228 times:

My sister in-law's grandfather, long after he retired from the navy, was refered as Commander by people in the neighborhood. Though at the time, 50's and 60's, most of the people in their Rockville, MD neighborhood were active or retired Navy.


Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineCaptOveur From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1199 times:

It depends on how much ego is attached to their former rank. Also it depends if you want anything from them. If they were more in love with the bird on their shoulder or the stripes on their arm than life itself and you want something from them, you might want to call them by their former rank. If you really want to piss off some egotistical bastard who is in love with their rank I suggest NOT calling them by it.

User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1195 times:

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 6):
If you really want to piss off some egotistical bastard who is in love with their rank I suggest NOT calling them by it.

It does come in handy when visiting the military bases . . . because of the reserved parking for Colonels/Captains (O-6), Generals/Admirals (O-7 thru O-10) and Chiefs/Sergeants Major/Master Chiefs (E9s)    Remember, Capt, Sergeant's Majors are Swaggering, Overbearing Dictators with Delusions of God Hood! Only, I don't swagger . . .  crazy 


You would be correct too, Capt . . . nothing pisses me off more than some Air Force Gate Cop that says "Howdy, welcome to Elmendorf, have a nice day, CHIEF". Little shit never learned proper rank structure and shouldn't be standing a gate post.   

[Edited 2005-04-12 21:36:58]

User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 8, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1182 times:

Rank is earned and when the serviceman retires they are entitled to the perquisites of their rank, including saluting (if in uniform) and being addressed by their rank.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 7):
I don't swagger . . .

so what....do you swish?  Wink



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineCaptOveur From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1178 times:

Quoting DL021 (Reply 8):
so what....do you swish?

If he skips we might know why he got out.  Big grin


User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1178 times:

Quoting DL021 (Reply 8):
Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 7):
I don't swagger . . .

so what....do you swish?

Depends on who I had a date with the night before - sometimes I simply crawl!  biggrin 


User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 11, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1171 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 10):
Depends on who I had a date with the night before - sometimes I simply crawl!

Or ask for three steps out the door...while you run from the man with the .44?

:D



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1162 times:

Quoting DL021 (Reply 11):
Or ask for three steps out the door...while you run from the man with the .44?

Gotta get caught first . . . . got close once . . . .  yes   white 

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 9):
If he skips we might know why he got out.

Ha Ha . . .  rotfl  Don't ask, don't tell . . .  ziplip 


User currently offlineDuke From Canada, joined Sep 1999, 1155 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1127 times:

Yes, clear enough. Of course, honorary folks like Col. Sanders and Col. Parker are in a league of their own.

BTW, like his agent Col. Parker, Elvis Presley was made an honorary Colonel by the Governor of a State. It didn't make Col. Parker too happy. Of course, in the Army, Elvis got to Sergeant and that was it...


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 14, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1124 times:

Its common here too.
Some Sr Ex Armed forces officers after retirement from the forces are reffered to by their rank.
eg Wing commander XYZ
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
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