Letter to a Major

Discussion in 'Officers' started by watch_the_birdie, Nov 25, 2008.

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  1. (I'm asking a quick question here, please save the p!ss-taking for other posts, I'm having a bad enough time as it is right now and I don't want to have to sift through crap to get the one simple answer I need).

    I am in the TA, and I need to write a letter to my Battery Commander asking for a leave of absence due to a number of personal problems I currently have to sort.

    How do I finish the letter? As in "yours sincerely", "yours faithfully", etc?

    The BC knows I'm writing the letter, he knows all about the reasons for it, I just need to know what the formal way is of finishing such a letter?

    Many thanks.
  2. I remain, Sir/Ma'am, your obedient servant.
  3. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    No requirement for that formality unless you are structuring the entire letter that way. "Yours sincerely" will do fine.
  4. I thought the obediant servant bit was scrapped completly now, Something to do with people not being servants. (not that it bothers me what I write its just good to know the right way of doing it.)
  5. If you are low level enlisted filth asking for something:

    I have the honour to be,
    your obedient servant.

  6. He did ask for the formal way and presumably this letter may have to go higher, with BC recommendations, so formality will be required.
  7. Dear Sir/yours sincerely is perfectly OK. All that 'I have the honour, Sir, to remain your obedient servant' tosh went out years back.
  8. There's a whole raft of rules relating to letter writing but don't worry.

    Defence Writing is bashed into regular officers, and made a black art by Staff Officers. For the remainder of the Army, its largely not a big deal particularly in personal correspondence.

    Don't let it worry, or inhibit you. You are - I assume - not an officer ( you'd have been given a guide if you were ) and you're TA. So no dramas.

    Sign it as you would any civvy letter - yours sincerely is fine.

  9. I'm with MarkinTime, and would also recommend using 'Sir' as the salutation, although I am aware that JSP 101 has been dumbed down to better reflect current low standards, and does in fact commend the use of 'Yours faithfully/sincerely' etc.

    This form of valediction might do if writing to a civilian, but is not appropriate within the military - better to put nothing at all than sign it off as if you were sending a memo to a polyester-suited sales manager, rahther than to somebody of substance.
  10. With respect, Markintime, a little bit of knowlege is a dangerous thing. You're referring to the Formal Letter laid out in old SD guides which has been discontinued officially, and remains only in paticularly stuffy regiments for particularly stuffy occassions.

    I know you're trying to help, but a normal letter will be perfectly fine.


    Edited to add - In my opinion it has very little to do with "dumbing down" and a great deal to do with modernising. The old JSP had its roots in a very different era, with more complex attendant social deferences and affectations.

    Having worked in efficient civilian firms I was impressed with the clarity of their communication by email and letter, sans formality. I worked for a large bank in which every piece of communication was larded with unnecessary jargon and over-complication. No suprises that it was not a well focussed and efficient organisation.

    If a letter conveys its author's meaning, tone and practical implications clearly, accurately and fully, its fine. Couching it in out-moded courtesies isn't necessary.

    For the purposes of what is basically a routine letter, civvy conventions ( with military ranks included ) will be fine.
  11. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    As has been pointed out, the formal way to finish his letter is a little different than the requirement for a structure of a formal letter (which again as pointed out, doesn't exist any more).

    Yours sincerely will do and is correct in current defence writing standards. from that sad doc - JSP 101
  12. Not quite

    Dear Sir/Yours faithfully

    Dear John/Yours sincerely

    Edited for getting it 100% wrong.
  13. Just remember Sir is Faithful: and from there you can work out that a named contact must be sincerely
  14. It may well have, however erring on the side of formality is unlikely to do any harm. Being overly familiar is unlikely to do any good.

    I would write the letter as formally as I know how. Especially if I wanted something.

    Dumbing down is fine for prime-time TV, not a good idea in formal letter writing.
  15. shouldn't that be Dear John - Yours Unfaithfully?