Quick question; addressing a formal letter - to position or individual?

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Officer Recruiting' started by gametheory, Sep 10, 2012.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Dear Sirs,

    Searched forum, arrssepedia, e.t.c

    Should I address and head the letter to the position, or to the individual.


    Col. John Doe
    The Royal People with Some Guns

    Dear Colonel John Doe
    I would like to enquire about a commission into the Royal People with Some Guns.


    Regimental Adjutant
    The Royal People with Some Guns


    Or another variant of the above? I checked JSP101 and couldn't find much advice other than to generalise ranks.

  2. Is it a personal letter to the individual (and therefore addressed by name and marked "Personal For:") or a business letter?

    The content of the letter will determine your answer....
  3. It is a letter to the concerned, introducing myself and politely requesting a fam visit, to whose office my name supposedly has been forwarded by the armor centre at bovvy.
  4. If you know the person in a position, then the address is ;

    Col. John Doe
    The Royal People with Some Guns

    And the greeting is

    Dear Colonel Doe,
    I would like to enquire about a commission into the Royal People with Some Guns.

    If no then

    Regimental Adjutant
    The Royal People with Some Guns


    Dear Sir.

    Don't forget the different usage of sincerely/faithfull. Don't abreviate either.

    If you're printing the letter rather than handwritten, then I would handwrite the greeting and closing.

    edit - just found this

    Forms of Address | The authoritative guide to Addressing People
  5. Thankee kindly mush_dad.

    I don't know him personally, only by name.

    How to address an Army Colonel - Forms of Address by Profession, Army Ranks

    Seems to suggest that I should use his full title and name on the envelope, and his abbreviated rank (not col, but abbreviate to Colonel if Lt. Colonel) in the greeting.

    I do not have any intention to print the letter, I hasten to add!
  6. The one you get back is likely to be printed. I don't bother with handwriting letters unless the content is personal. Yet to be pulled up on it.
  7. As well as your Staff Duties, I would suggest that you use the UK version of English on your spell checker and not the SPAM one

    eg. I have been directed to your office through the Royal Armoured Corps at Bovington and not ARMOR !!!! A disgusting bastardisation of our language, particularly when we had the Tank before them !
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Likewise, I always type letters as my handwriting is dreadful and I tend to think that if I'm bothering to write then the recipient should at least stand half a chance of understanding what I'm saying. As previously stated the "Dear Colonel...", date and "Yours Sincerely" bits should normally be handwritten as per JSP101 and the Army Staff Handbook.
  9. Bloody chrome subtly auto-correcting me as I type. I feel ashamed.

    Do you chaps honestly not think a first letter to a regiment asking for a FAM visit need be hand-written (outside of the dear and sign)? The Captain who led the visit suggested it as if it were simply "the done thing". Of course I expect to get a typed letter in return, but thems the realities when I want something that someone else can offer; I need to put more effort in.
  10. See above. Once you are 'in' you will usually be given directions over when to hand write and when not to. A well written letter will always be well received, regardless of whether it is printed or written by hand.
  11. I was in a similar situation a few weeks ago being unsure as to the convention on military letter writing. In the end I printed the letter but signed off 'Yours sincerely, Arrseways' in good quality fountain pen (I didn't realise that 'Dear Rank Name' should have also been in pen but will remember for future reference). I figured it would just make it easier for the recipient and a little quicker to read if it was typed rather than written in my gentleman's scrawl!

    Though according to postal tracker the letter was received well over a week ago and I've heard nothing at all back yet so, although I'm perhaps being a dash impatient, maybe a hand written letter would have been the way to go . . .
  12. Unless it is urgent, the response will take time to compose and will likely be sent by second class postage. You will likely find the letter is dated quite a time ago when it actually arrives.
  13. OK thanks, puts my mind at ease!
  14. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    In answer to the original query, write to the appointment, not the person, as it will be assumed to be a private letter and not opened by his/her deputy if the person you're writing to is away for some reason. If you write to 'The Regimental Adjutant', their clerk will open it and ensure that it is actioned. Address him as 'Dear Sir', sign off 'Yours faithfully'. Easy.