How to Address a Brigadier General

-____——-For a Brigadier General and Spouse see Couple, Military

How to Address a Brigadier General, USA, USAF, USMC

The basic formula for the official form of an officer’s name is to write:
—–—–(Full rank)+(Full Name), (Branch of Service)

—–Envelope or address block of an email:
—–—–Brigadier General (Full Name), USA/USAF/USMC

—–Envelope, Social:
—–—–Brigadier General (Full Name)

—–Letter salutation:
—–—–Dear General (Surname):

—–—–General (Surname)

Above I’ve shown the rank fully spelled out.  Each service has service-specific abbreviations for their ranks. The abbreviation for ‘brigadier general’ used by the USA is GEN ­– no punctuation, all CAPS. The abbreviation used by the USMC and USAF is Gen ­– no punctuation, Cap and Lower Case as shown.

—-See also General, Lieutenant General and Major General.

– Robert Hickey   How to Address a Brigadier General


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

How to Address a Retired Brigadier General?

I would like to write a note of condolence to a retired Brigadier General. What salutation do I use to start the letter with? How do I address the envelope? Thank you for your time. I appreciate it.
________________– Joan Gillman

Dear Ms. Gillman:

You need the social form for a note of condolence. For a social letter Department of Defense (DoD) guides suggest ‘full rank’ without the ‘branch of service’ or ‘Retired.’

—–Social envelope is the ‘full rank’:
—–—–Brigadier General (Full Name)

—–Salutation is the just the ‘basic rank’:
—–—–Dear General (Surname):

– Robert Hickey


How to Write a Name Badge for a Brigadier General?

How do I write the name of a retired Brigadier General on a name badge?
______________– Connie Upton

Dear Ms Upton:

There is no one way to write a name badge.

—–#1) Officers who retire with the graded ranks of General …. General, Lieutenant General, Major General, and Brigadier General continue to be addressed orally as General (Surname). If you are providing the name badges with a form of address to encourage conversation, then provide a form of the name that informs the viewer to know what call the retired officer in conversation:
———-General (Full Name)
—–General (Surname)

—–#2) Sometimes name badges are written less for just what to call someone and more as ‘ID badges’ to promote information about who, from where, is at an event. I’ve seen them with (complete name) + (the office) + (the organization) too. If you are providing more information … then write the form of his name normally used in writing (including the correct branch of service, of course):
—–—–Brigadier General (Full Name), USA
—–—–Brigadier General (Full Name), USAF
—–—–Brigadier General (Full Name), USMC

—–#3) If you are going to include additional information on name badges, remember to keep the info brief. The more information that goes on, the less ledgible it becomes.

See also my note about service-specific abbreviations near the top of this page.

– 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.
___What I don’t cover on this site are many things I do cover in my book: all the rules of forms of address, about names, international titles, precedence, complimentary closes, details on invitations, place cards, all sorts of introductions, etc. I hope you’ll get a copy of the book if you’d like the further detail.

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”