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Posted: 4/20/2010 3:14:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/20/2010 3:15:17 PM EDT by SHNIPE]
Just a question about how a civilian would address someone of rank in our military. We have a guest that stays at our hotel often who's a Lt. Col. in the Air Force. Should I address him as such or just keep it Mr. Airforceguy?

ETA: Not calling him out, no DD214 required, no pics of insignias or belts worn at the wrong angle.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:14:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/20/2010 3:15:35 PM EDT by SV650Squid]
Addressing by rank and last name would be appropriate.

ETA DON'T f'ing get it wrong. If you are not 100% damn sure of the rank you are addressing, just stick with sir/ma'am.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:15:14 PM EDT
I'd do Rank Last Name but as long as you're polite there's nothing for them to take offense too.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:15:15 PM EDT
he would prob be more comfortable with you calling him by his name.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:15:20 PM EDT
In my job sometimes I deal with people in the local air guard, I address them by rank.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:15:35 PM EDT
I'd refer to him as sir or his rank, as long as I was sure that it was in fact his correct rank.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:16:24 PM EDT
Make sure he stands at parade rest when you call him by his rank...
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:16:52 PM EDT
I address them as rank, ie:

"How are you doing today, Sergeant?"
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:18:02 PM EDT
Rank, he's earned the right to the respect.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:19:04 PM EDT
If it's in a professional setting it's certainly appropriate. Just don't go calling a naval officer Captain Crunch.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:20:14 PM EDT
Just call him "zoomie", Air Force guys like that.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:21:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By mmsurber:
I'd refer to him as sir or his rank, as long as I was sure that it was in fact his correct rank.


99% sure its legit as the reservations arent made by him, theyre called in from the an actual Air Force contact through our sales dept.

Thanks for the quick replies guys!
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:21:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Ridge_Runner_5:
I address them as rank, ie:

"How are you doing today, Sergeant?"


Same here, but only because Sgt stripes are the only ones I know for sure.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:22:07 PM EDT
Just call him Mr "Smith" or whatever....its not like you have to recognize his rank being a civvie and all...Not to mention hes staying at your hotel...your house your rules
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:22:34 PM EDT
With the military guys I have dealt with, it's always been rank and last name..........then most of them tell me to just call them by their first name........I just do the former out of respect
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:23:15 PM EDT
I pick a random rank from a random branch of the service each and every time I say hi to my fishin' buddy neighbor across the street. He could be an admiral today, a Lt. Col. tomorrow, he's a seaman more often that he would like, but its all in good fun.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:24:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SV650Squid:
Addressing by rank and last name would be appropriate.

ETA DON'T f'ing get it wrong. If you are not 100% damn sure of the rank you are addressing, just stick with sir/ma'am.


100% sure its his rank so long as the Air Force Sales contact isnt his wife calling :P I dont know the ranks well enough to judge on the uniforms so I tend to stick to Sir or Ma'am for the guys that come in that I dont know. They all outrank me and get my respect.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:25:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/20/2010 3:25:44 PM EDT by Tango7]
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:26:09 PM EDT
Read the title and thought N_T was back for a second there.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:33:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SHNIPE:
Just a question about how a civilian would address someone of rank in our military. We have a guest that stays at our hotel often who's a Lt. Col. in the Air Force. Should I address him as such or just keep it Mr. Airforceguy?

ETA: Not calling him out, no DD214 required, no pics of insignias or belts worn at the wrong angle.


Just address them professionally, as you would for any other guest. If they have a history with your establishment, and you know them as "LTC so and so" , then fine - address them by rank. If you don't know them or you're not sure, "Mr/Mrs", "Sir/Ma'am" works just fine.

Any Officer worth his/her salt isn't going to be offended because they weren't granted proper military protocol by the hotelier.

You're thinking too much. If you're already treating your guests professionally, then you're good to go.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:36:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ArmyAirborne:
Read the title and thought N_T was back for a second there.

Remind me to be the exact opposite of him when I commission.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:37:23 PM EDT
I'd address them using their rank and last name when required, unless asked otherwise (if he/she wants to communicate on a first name basis).
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:37:48 PM EDT
As a matter of professionalism it's always a good idea to call a customer by Sir or Ma'am.

I'm not sure if Air Force is different, but in the Army a Lt. Col is still called "Colonel" [NAME].

Also, I try to reserve it for when they're in uniform. I don't like being called by my name and rank when in civvies (even by my Joes). Chances are good to if you call him Col. [NAME], he's probably going to ask you to call him by his first name at some point. Or he might not, no telling.

Regardless, save the rank for when he's in uniform is my advice. You're definitely not wrong for calling him by rank and name in civvies though. It's just preference.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:37:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/20/2010 3:38:13 PM EDT by Half-Bear]
I don't know shit about ranks, so if I have dealings with anyone in uniform, I call them sir/ma'am.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:38:12 PM EDT
When speaking directly to an AF Lt. Col., is it proper to call him "Colonel Smith", or Lt. Colonel Smith"? Is it different for various branches?
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:38:51 PM EDT
Be sure to tell him you pay his salary.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:41:00 PM EDT
It's their formal title so no problem.

You know believe it or not most people in the military even those of rank are not jerks. You can ask them how they'd like to be addressed and they will not bite your head off and if they do so what you're a civilian.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:41:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Ohio:
When speaking directly to an AF Lt. Col., is it proper to call him "Colonel Smith", or Lt. Colonel Smith"? Is it different for various branches?


Colonel is fine. Same this with 1st Lt and 2nd Lt. just Lieutenant. Or LTC and CDR.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:42:17 PM EDT
Not bringing up any comments about the "tv ordered movie" charges is appropriate.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:43:10 PM EDT
Are you a Veteran? If so than addressing him/her by their rank and last name is respectful and much more meaningful if the adressee knows you are a Veteran. Never use amocking tone, nor allow others to do so. Brothers in arems are brothers forever.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:43:39 PM EDT
You can't go wrong by addressing him as "Sir". That's proper for military(since this case involves an officer) or civilian.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:44:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SV650Squid:
Addressing by rank and last name would be appropriate.

ETA DON'T f'ing get it wrong. If you are not 100% damn sure of the rank you are addressing, just stick with sir/ma'am.


This.

If you are 100% sure of someones rank then it is ok to address them as such. If not, then don't.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:44:22 PM EDT
Address by rank and last name.

If he's a Major or LTC though, be sure and address him by the wrong one. They get a huge kick out of it when people invert the oak leaves, seriously, it makes their week!
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:45:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MTShawn:
Originally Posted By SHNIPE:
Just a question about how a civilian would address someone of rank in our military. We have a guest that stays at our hotel often who's a Lt. Col. in the Air Force. Should I address him as such or just keep it Mr. Airforceguy?

ETA: Not calling him out, no DD214 required, no pics of insignias or belts worn at the wrong angle.


Just address them professionally, as you would for any other guest. If they have a history with your establishment, and you know them as "LTC so and so" , then fine - address them by rank. If you don't know them or you're not sure, "Mr/Mrs", "Sir/Ma'am" works just fine.

Any Officer worth his/her salt isn't going to be offended because they weren't granted proper military protocol by the hotelier.

You're thinking too much. If you're already treating your guests professionally, then you're good to go.


This is actually a bit more than that. He sent in a couple of his people to work out a contract for room nights and meeting space. He stays here quite often and we couldnt meet their demands on the price per room night (by $10 apparently, but there seems to be more to the story). The Lt. Col. is apparently pretty pissed that we didnt get the hookup he thought we could work for him compared to a hotel in San Diego. Hes been voicing his concerns around property so its more of an official meeting with him and our sales office doesnt wanna look stupid. I'm thankfully not going to be part of that meeting, but being the resident "gun guy" at work they come to me for all the answers about guy stuff... scary that when I dont know something I turn to GD
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:46:34 PM EDT
If a low life civi doesn't call me Ensign xxxxxx I chew their fucking ass off


In all seriousness most of the people i work with are civilians. I usually get called sir or my first name. If people introduce me they say my rank, but that's about the only time it gets mentioned. I get called LT more than ENS because most people just assume gold bar = LT.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:51:05 PM EDT
Rank and last name, when he is in uniform.

Mr. Lastname, while out of uniform.


Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:53:57 PM EDT
The wife and I were out and about last week. I seen a full bird colonel in his ACU's walking into the restaurant as we were leaving, if I was not in the car I would have damn near saluted.

Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:56:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SHNIPE:
Originally Posted By MTShawn:
Originally Posted By SHNIPE:
Just a question about how a civilian would address someone of rank in our military. We have a guest that stays at our hotel often who's a Lt. Col. in the Air Force. Should I address him as such or just keep it Mr. Airforceguy?

ETA: Not calling him out, no DD214 required, no pics of insignias or belts worn at the wrong angle.


Just address them professionally, as you would for any other guest. If they have a history with your establishment, and you know them as "LTC so and so" , then fine - address them by rank. If you don't know them or you're not sure, "Mr/Mrs", "Sir/Ma'am" works just fine.

Any Officer worth his/her salt isn't going to be offended because they weren't granted proper military protocol by the hotelier.

You're thinking too much. If you're already treating your guests professionally, then you're good to go.


This is actually a bit more than that. He sent in a couple of his people to work out a contract for room nights and meeting space. He stays here quite often and we couldnt meet their demands on the price per room night (by $10 apparently, but there seems to be more to the story). The Lt. Col. is apparently pretty pissed that we didnt get the hookup he thought we could work for him compared to a hotel in San Diego. Hes been voicing his concerns around property so its more of an official meeting with him and our sales office doesnt wanna look stupid. I'm thankfully not going to be part of that meeting, but being the resident "gun guy" at work they come to me for all the answers about guy stuff... scary that when I dont know something I turn to GD


Call him Sir, or Mr soandso and treat him with respect, just like you do with any other customer. He knows you are not in the military, and doesn't expect you to act like your in the military, just be respectful and treat him like a normal person. The issue with calling him by rank is what if he has someone else with him, and you don't know his rank? Then what do you do?
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 3:58:37 PM EDT
AF guy-he doesn't give a fuck anyways, a Marine might though
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 4:00:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By vito113:
Rank, he's earned the right to the respect.


I can't believe you finally posted something I agree with.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 4:03:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/20/2010 4:04:17 PM EDT by ED_P]
I've always assumed referring to a military person as "Sir" when you're a civilian, was slightly less appropriate than referring to them by rank and last name.

In my mind, "Sir" is a mostly military to military address, so as a civilian, I always address them by rank and last name, never sir.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 4:06:52 PM EDT
All the officers I deal with at work I call them by their rank. If I know them really well, by their first name.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 4:08:37 PM EDT
My $0.02.
If you're in a business relationship with him, just call him, sir, Mr, or whatever his name is. Nobody in the military––except for N_T––-expects a civilian to call them by their rank.

Link Posted: 4/20/2010 4:08:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By wesmerc:
he would prob be more comfortable with you calling him by his name.


Link Posted: 4/20/2010 4:09:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By jrzy:
Originally Posted By vito113:
Rank, he's earned the right to the respect.


I can't believe you finally posted something I agree with.


A first for me too, but allegedly he has me on ignore after I brutalized him with merciless fact.


OP, no person serving our country should ever take offense at being addressed by their rank.
Unless it's to upbraid them in Congress for not calling you "Senator". Even then, they tend to let it slide.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 4:22:25 PM EDT
Prior service here and used to work at a college campus with ROTC all over the place.
I would call them "Sir" when I saw them around. Saw a Second "Louie" at a bar one time and I called him "LT,"
which he never seemed to mind, and he realized I was prior service.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 4:24:55 PM EDT
You can use rank and last name. Just don't f'up his rank.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 4:27:53 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 4:32:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ED_P:
I've always assumed referring to a military person as "Sir" when you're a civilian, was slightly less appropriate than referring to them by rank and last name.

In my mind, "Sir" is a mostly military to military address, so as a civilian, I always address them by rank and last name, never sir.


I would take the exact opposite position. As a civilian, why would I be expected to address anybody by rank? Especially if I was a civilian who had never been exposed to the .mil, and had no idea what those ranks were or what they meant?

"Sir" is not a military to military address - it's common courtesy in the civilian world among people who don't know each other, and an informal way of addressing those of superior rank in the uniformed service.

If I were still a serving Officer, I would expect to be addressed by my rank and last name by members of the US military in formal communication. I would not expect or feel entitled to the same from the civilian community.

Civilians have no obligation to refer to rank, and it would be damned uncomfortable to me if they did so on a regular basis.

Link Posted: 4/20/2010 4:33:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By FDC:
My $0.02.
If you're in a business relationship with him, just call him, sir, Mr, or whatever his name is. Nobody in the military––except for N_T––-expects a civilian to call them by their rank.



This is the right answer.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 4:47:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/20/2010 4:53:56 PM EDT by Lightning_P38]
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