Posted on Jan 20, 2014
SGT Field Service Engineer
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From Day One of our military service, we were taught how to address our fellow service members based on their rank either as an Enlisted, as a Warrant Officer or as a Commissioned Officer. However, what is the proper way to address someone here on Rally Point? I do address current Service Members on Rally Point by their rank. When it comes to addressing fellow veterans (and retirees) on here, I address them by their first name.

How do you prefer to be addressed as? As for me, I've been out of the Army for nearly 18 years so I'm perfectly OK with someone calling me John. Or you could just tag me in, @SGT John Hauschildt
Edited >1 y ago
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Responses: 57
CMC Robert Young
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I apply the same rules as those I apply in face to face meetings; service members by rank except among peers (E9 to E9 on a first name basis) and vets by their preference (although I have a hard time overcoming the rank thing - I ran into a retired CWO that I worked for 25 years ago, and immediately addressed him as Mr. Corcoran.)
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PO1 Thomas B.
PO1 Thomas B.
8 y
Agreed Master Chief.  I work on a Naval-Related website and correspond with Civilian, Active, Retired, and Veteran military regularly.  By habit (and upbringing), unless I am friendly with someone and know their preference, I always address them with the proper rank/salutation.
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SSgt Structural Craftsman
SSgt (Join to see)
>1 y
I think that what works best for me is what I was brought up with and engrained in me as a child. The good ol Sir and Ma'am system. Yes Sir No Sir Yes Ma'am No Ma'am. You can always respect someone with Sir and Ma'am, although some services reply is hey I am a working man don't call me Sir.
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1SG Steven Stankovich
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SGT Hauschildt, I prefer to use rank and last name, or sir/ma'am, just like I would in normal conversation.  If I am "going back and forth" in a conversation with multiple entries, the responses may be shorter and a little more personable. If we have an established relationship, that may change in personal messages, but on the forum threads, professional courtesy is paramount.  Bottom line is that you should always answer a question with courtesy and respect. 
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SGT Kathryn Fish
SGT Kathryn Fish
8 y
I agree<div><br></div>
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CH (CPT) Heather Davis
CH (CPT) Heather Davis
8 y
<p>MSG Stankovich:</p><p><br></p><p>Professionalism, and military bearing have taken me a long way in my military career. I stress to my junior Soldiers regardless if a Senior calls you by name you always maintain professional military bearing. </p>
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MAJ Capabilities Developer
MAJ (Join to see)
>1 y
Completely Agree with you MSG Stankovich- professionalism is paramount.&nbsp; <br>
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CW2 Officer In Charge
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Sir, for civilians and Officers I will address them as Sir/Ma'am. For Enlisted members, I address them by their rank. While this is a social site, it is also a site to learn and grow as leaders, share experience, and maintain the military standards. It is my intent to set the standard for my soldiers, peers, and superiors alike.
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CH (CPT) Heather Davis
CH (CPT) Heather Davis
8 y

SSG Whittington:


Respectfully I concur, that this is a remarkable opportunity to be able to receive guidance from those that have served before us. It is imperative that we model protocol and provide compassion and understanding for growth.

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MAJ Nurse
MAJ (Join to see)
8 y
SSG Whittington,

I think viewing this as a social site has it's pitfalls. Consider this your military LinkedIn. I agree; there's no way I would address someone on LinkedIn by their first name. I need a job! Unless I'm setting my sights on head cashier at a burger joint, I shouldn't be addressing potential employers and co-workers by their first names.
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