How should a civilian properly address an officer? - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

Welcome to Miataturbo.net   Members
 


Insert BS here A place to discuss anything you want

Reply
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-09-2007, 04:56 PM   #1
Boost Pope
Thread Starter
iTrader: (8)
 
Joe Perez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Delicious and Moist.
Posts: 26,331
Total Cats: 1,928
Default How should a civilian properly address an officer?

My two closest neighbors are a retired US Marine colonel and an active US Marine captain. I have never served in the armed forces.

We’re all very good friends- to the level that on any given evening we’re all quite likely to be in one of the three garages drinking beer and optionally working on somebody’s car or motorcycle.

Despite this, I like to show a certain level of respect. I realize that it would be improper for me to salute anyone, but upon making first contact for the evening (and while handing over or receiving a cold beer) I will typically greet them either by rank “Good evening, colonel” or simply “Hello, sir” prior to shifting to our usual first-name basis.

Are either of these technically considered an “acceptable” form of address for a civilian speaking to an officer, or am I horribly violating a rule of protocol?
Joe Perez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2007, 04:58 PM   #2
Boost Czar
iTrader: (61)
 
Braineack's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Chantilly, VA
Posts: 72,910
Total Cats: 1,793
Default

"wattup ******" or "holla *****"
Braineack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2007, 05:03 PM   #3
Elite Member
iTrader: (11)
 
Trent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 1,625
Total Cats: 5
Default

^--- you owe me a new keyboard. lol.
Trent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2007, 05:03 PM   #4
Senior Member
iTrader: (6)
 
nester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 812
Total Cats: 0
Default

Any etiqutte book should address this, If you can't find one online, any book store should have one you could leaf through briefly.
nester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2007, 05:24 PM   #5
AFM Crusader
iTrader: (18)
 
olderguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Wayne, NJ
Posts: 4,438
Total Cats: 84
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
My two closest neighbors are a retired US Marine colonel and an active US Marine captain. I have never served in the armed forces.

We’re all very good friends- to the level that on any given evening we’re all quite likely to be in one of the three garages drinking beer and optionally working on somebody’s car or motorcycle.

Despite this, I like to show a certain level of respect. I realize that it would be improper for me to salute anyone, but upon making first contact for the evening (and while handing over or receiving a cold beer) I will typically greet them either by rank “Good evening, colonel” or simply “Hello, sir” prior to shifting to our usual first-name basis.

Are either of these technically considered an “acceptable” form of address for a civilian speaking to an officer, or am I horribly violating a rule of protocol?
I am sure they appreciate the greeting. If they are embarrassed by it, they will ask you to stop.
olderguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2007, 06:50 PM   #6
Elite Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Mach929's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: lansdale PA
Posts: 2,500
Total Cats: 0
Default

if i was friends with someone with some sort of rank and i would treat them like any other friend.
Mach929 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2007, 07:01 PM   #7
Elite Member
iTrader: (12)
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Central-ish VA
Posts: 4,449
Total Cats: 16
Default

If you are neighbors and friends why can't you call them by their first name?
neogenesis2004 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2007, 07:22 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 547
Total Cats: 0
Default

obviously he can, but he wants to honor them by following etiquette. Kinda how I call my profs, "Professor so-and-so," even though in CA, people are pretty laid back. One time one of my profs responded by calling me Mr. Yamamoto. Very witty that professor is.
turbored is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2007, 07:38 PM   #9
Senior Member
iTrader: (7)
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: VT
Posts: 939
Total Cats: 0
Default

I was in the Army way back when...Officers were addressed as Sir, and women officers, needed to be addressed as Ma'am.

IIRC the Nav/Marines might be different though, but 'sir' is usually a safe bet...

Last edited by Jefe; 05-10-2007 at 12:03 AM.
Jefe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2007, 07:46 PM   #10
Elite Member
iTrader: (7)
 
samnavy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: VIRGINIA BEACH, VA
Posts: 6,020
Total Cats: 175
Default

Joe, I'm a Navy LT, the equivalent of a Marine Captain.
There is no requirement/suggestion/rule/reccomendation on how the average civilian should address a member of the Armed Forces in the context you describe that I know of. I can guarantee you that they notice, though. It shows a certain knowledge and level of awareness that the average guy might not have or care about. Your recognition of their position also elevates YOU in their estimate. However, like you said, one "Sir" per conversation is enough... a "Howdy Neighbor" and a firm handshake are just as effective. We're just regular Joes too. We wanna talk about neighbor **** like everybody does, the race, kids, lawncare, etc... Hell, I'm on this forum and I hope everybody recognizes how full of **** I am usually.

I have several Enlisted neighbors, two Chiefs and a couple senior Petty Officers. I've told them several times that I'm just Sam... they call me Sir anyways, even if I'm just out mowing the lawn. Two doors down is the XO of an aircraft carrier... I call him XO or Sir (just twice per conversation, usually as a hello and a goodbye). Even if he's out mowing the lawn.

As I was thinking about this, I asked myself what motivates a man to look at another with "respect". In the context of this thread, I don't think simply wearing a uniform alone would do it. Joe, those two guys probably did something more to impress you than just wear a uniform. You must have recognized them for good people.

Now, to caveat all this and ad to what I said above, don't get the idea that military officers are anything special. We've got more than our fair share of useless douche-bags just like the civilian world. There are 1st year Airmen I know that are worth more than a couple of the Commanders I've worked for. I guess in the end, judge a man by what you make of him... give him the respect he deserves based on that.
samnavy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2007, 08:11 PM   #11
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SoCal
Posts: 284
Total Cats: 1
Default

Quote:
As I was thinking about this, I asked myself what motivates a man to look at another with "respect". In the context of this thread, I don't think simply wearing a uniform alone would do it. Joe, those two guys probably did something more to impress you than just wear a uniform. You must have recognized them for good people.
Very well said.

I've saluted many Naval pilots that I cursed under my breathe. But the fact remains they had a much more demanding task (landing an F14 on a moving ******* ship) then me (fix the engine systems). I've also gotten yelled at for NOT saluting when walking around the base for the simple fact I couldn't distinguish on Officer's gold pin in the sun compared to a Chief's pin,haha. That only happened once, in A-School.

Regarding the hand salute, it's not used indoors unless you are reporting for Orders or on Guard Duty, and most certainly not used in civilian clothes, unless you're the Prez-o-dent.

I got nothing else to add except kudos to you Joe for showing some kind of respect for our military, regardless of whether you agree with our Commander In Chief or not.

Sam, what do you do in the NAVY?

-AD1 TO
Exhondaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2007, 08:12 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
boostinsteve's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 563
Total Cats: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by samnavy View Post
Joe, I'm a Navy LT, the equivalent of a Marine Captain.
There is no requirement/suggestion/rule/reccomendation on how the average civilian should address a member of the Armed Forces in the context you describe that I know of. I can guarantee you that they notice, though. It shows a certain knowledge and level of awareness that the average guy might not have or care about. Your recognition of their position also elevates YOU in their estimate. However, like you said, one "Sir" per conversation is enough... a "Howdy Neighbor" and a firm handshake are just as effective. We're just regular Joes too. We wanna talk about neighbor **** like everybody does, the race, kids, lawncare, etc... Hell, I'm on this forum and I hope everybody recognizes how full of **** I am usually.

I have several Enlisted neighbors, two Chiefs and a couple senior Petty Officers. I've told them several times that I'm just Sam... they call me Sir anyways, even if I'm just out mowing the lawn. Two doors down is the XO of an aircraft carrier... I call him XO or Sir (just twice per conversation, usually as a hello and a goodbye). Even if he's out mowing the lawn.

As I was thinking about this, I asked myself what motivates a man to look at another with "respect". In the context of this thread, I don't think simply wearing a uniform alone would do it. Joe, those two guys probably did something more to impress you than just wear a uniform. You must have recognized them for good people.

Now, to caveat all this and ad to what I said above, don't get the idea that military officers are anything special. We've got more than our fair share of useless douche-bags just like the civilian world. There are 1st year Airmen I know that are worth more than a couple of the Commanders I've worked for. I guess in the end, judge a man by what you make of him... give him the respect he deserves based on that.
I am from the Submarine community and we just call them newbie when they first show up. j/k, but a lot of Nucs and the officers that come into the nuclear field are right there at the same age, so we end up calling each other by first names out in town and when just ******* around. But when we have a job to get done, we go back to the sir thing. When in a casual environment, I would just show them respect by allowing them to get away from the military life and just call them by their first names.
boostinsteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2007, 08:14 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,379
Total Cats: 1
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post

Despite this, I like to show a certain level of respect. I realize that it would be improper for me to salute anyone, but upon making first contact for the evening (and while handing over or receiving a cold beer) I will typically greet them either by rank “Good evening, colonel” or simply “Hello, sir” prior to shifting to our usual first-name basis.

Are either of these technically considered an “acceptable” form of address for a civilian speaking to an officer, or am I horribly violating a rule of protocol?
The key here is that you want to show some respect (obviously you do respect these two men) and that you don't feel some sort of strange obligation to do so. I think that it's perfectly acceptable to say "Good evening, sir or Captain" or a simple "Hello, Sir." If it's a problem, they will let you know... I think it's just good manners. You can really never go wrong with sir unless he's 25 years old and you're 70, in which case Captain would be more appropriate.

Just my 2 cents... No protocol being violated in my book.

Mark
Markp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2007, 08:43 PM   #14
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 215
Total Cats: 0
Default

just say "Hello friend that risks their *** and puts their tail on the line to defend our country, whether or not they believe in what they are risking their *** for" and then hand him a beer. I am sure he'd appreciate that, much more meaningful than "sir"
savior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2007, 10:06 PM   #15
Junior Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: St Louis Park MN
Posts: 163
Total Cats: 0
Default

I would imagine that they would likely want to just be plain old Joe. I do have much respect for millitary personel, they do their thing so that I can do mine. I actually thanked one for doing his service and shook his hand and he smarted off to me. I was rather disapointed and am kinda gun shy now to do the same. I think it would be cool to throw a Sir in there or their rank as a kinda playin around/acknowledgement of their service. I guess I respect that they get out there and do it. There are ***** bags everywhere but I still respect them for what they do for the country. And with the country so divided on the current issue the soldiers need all the support they can get from us on either side of the issue.
Strider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2007, 10:55 PM   #16
Elite Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Houston
Posts: 2,904
Total Cats: 4
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
"wattup ******" or "holla *****"
hahahahalol :gay:
Pitlab77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2007, 11:43 PM   #17
Elite Member
iTrader: (7)
 
samnavy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: VIRGINIA BEACH, VA
Posts: 6,020
Total Cats: 175
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exhondaman View Post
Sam, what do you do in the NAVY?
-AD1 TO
I fly the plane in my avatar... well, actually I sit in the back and pedal real fast to make the frisbee on top go around.
samnavy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2007, 02:11 AM   #18
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 215
Total Cats: 0
Default

you nub
savior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2007, 02:50 AM   #19
Junior Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 143
Total Cats: 0
Default

Well if it's any help my neighbor would make an initial greeting of
"Hello there Colonel" to my retired neighbor before sitting with him.
The rest of the night he called him frank and enjoyed cheap dutch masters with boxed wine on ice
ST2udent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2007, 03:37 AM   #20
Elite Member
iTrader: (9)
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Concord, North Carolina
Posts: 4,173
Total Cats: 5
Default

We call my grandfather Colonel...mostly because his legal first name is A....so Colonel sounds a bit better than A...
miatamania is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Project Gemini - Turbo Civic on the Cheap Full_Tilt_Boogie Build Threads 59 12-15-2017 09:00 PM
4 205 50 15 Toyo RA1 Tires (shaved used 1 weekend) chris101 Miata parts for sale/trade 5 02-19-2016 08:13 PM
Odd Steering issue interestedofold Suspension, Brakes, Drivetrain 5 09-29-2015 02:42 PM
Mazda Meet and Eat 4 Jacksonville 9/19 BlackBandit Local Meets, Events and Tech Days 5 09-18-2015 10:10 AM
ME221 Now has Autotune and Long Term Fuel Trim Tables Motorsport-Electronics ECUs and Tuning 0 09-05-2015 09:02 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:44 PM.