How to Address a Colonel | USA, USAF, or USMC

—-____—-For a Colonel and Spouse see Couple, Military

How to Address a Colonel: USA, USMC or USAF

—-Envelope, official:
——–Colonel (Full Name), USA

——–Colonel (Full Name), USMC

——–Colonel (Full Name), USAF

—-Letter salutation:
——–Dear Colonel (surname):


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

How to Address a Colonel in the Veteran Corps of Artillery?

I have had the pleasure of meeting a very nice person who was kind to my 6-year-old son. This gentleman forwarded to me photos of my son, taken at a recent event that are really cute. I would like to send him a thank-you note.

—-His business card has his name written :
——–COL Charles C. Lucas Jr.

—-The lower left of the card:
——–Veteran Corps of Artillery
——–State of New York

My question is how should the envelope and salutation be written?
——————– Cathy R.

Dear Cathy R:

Since it is a social note address it to:

——–COL Charles C. Lucas

——–Dear Colonel Lucas:

He’s a member of an honorary militia. His rank is honorary … important in its own context.  The Veteran Corp of Artillery (VCA) is in the view of the Department of Defense, a social organization.

—-So, in official events at the Pentagon he is:
——–Mr. Charles C. Lucas

—-At events of his organization (and to you in this context) he is:
——–COL Charles C. Lucas

– 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”