Salutations for Government Officials

Salutations for Government Officials

It is very important that you use the correct salutations for government officials, as they hold a very important position, and you would not want to offend anyone. The following article will provide you with a fair idea about the correct use of words in your letter.
We need to contact a government official in times of dilemma, and the best possible way to get our grievances addressed is by writing a letter. While writing one, it is very important that you use proper language, and address the officials with proper words of honor.

These formal letters are to be written in a proper format, and you just can't begin the letter with a simple "Hello" or "Dear Mr. Smith". These officials, Congressmen, military officers, etc. hold a very important post. They need to be respected and addressed using the proper salutations. You may even be writing to the Reverend Father of your community, and need to address him with proper greetings. This is not only polite but also shows respect on your part. You need to write the letter as legibly as possible, and sound courteous and reasonable. You should also identify yourself by giving your full name, address, district, county, or community, if applicable.

Greetings Used

Name of Government OfficialSalutation
President of the United StatesDear Sir or Madam; Mr. President or Madam President; Dear Mr. President or Dear Madam President
Former PresidentDear Mr. (Mrs., Ms.) last name
Vice PresidentDear Sir or Madam; Mr. Vice President or Madam Vice President; Dear Mr. Vice President or Dear Madam Vice President
Cabinet MembersDear Mr. (or Madam) Secretary last name
Chief JusticeDear Mr. (or Madam) Justice last name or Dear Mr. (or Madam) Chief Justice
Associate JusticeDear Mr. (or Madam) Justice last name
United States SenatorDear Senator last name
Speaker of the HouseDear Mr. (or Madam) Speaker last name
United States RepresentativeDear Mr. (or Mrs., Ms.) last name
United Nations AmbassadorDear Mr. (or Madam) Ambassador last name
AmbassadorDear Mr. (or Madam) Ambassador last name
Consul-GeneralDear Mr. (or Mrs., Ms.) last name
Foreign AmbassadorExcellency or Dear Mr. (or Madam) Ambassador last name
Secretary-General of the United NationsDear Mr. (or Madam) Secretary General last name
GovernorDear Governor last name
State LegislatorsDear Mr. (or Mrs., Ms.) last name
JudgesDear Judge last name
MayorDear Mayor last name
Council MembersDear Council member last name
The PopeYour Holiness or Most Holy Father
CardinalsYour Eminence or Dear Cardinal last name
BishopsYour Excellency or Dear Bishop (Archbishop) last name
MonsignorReverend Monsignor or Dear Monsignor last name
PriestReverend Father or Dear Father last name
BrotherDear Brother last name
SisterDear Sister Mary Claire or Dear Sister last name
Protestant ClergyDear Dr. (or Mr., Ms.) last name
Bishop (Episcopal)Dear Bishop last name
RabbiDear Rabbi last name
King or QueenYour Majesty or Sir or Madam last name
Other royaltyYour Royal Highness
Duke/DuchessMy Lord Duke/Madam or Dear Duke of ______/Dear Duchess
Marquess/MarchionessMy Lord/Madam or Dear Lord/Lady last name
Earl My Lord or Dear Lord last name
Countess (wife of an Earl)Madam or Dear Lady last name
Viscount/ViscountessMy Lord/Lady or Dear Lord/Lady last name
Baron/BaronessMy Lord/Madam or Dear Lord/Lady last name
BaronetDear Sir or Dear Sir last name
Wife of BaronetDear Madam or Dear Lady last name
KnightDear Sir or Dear Sir last name
Wife of KnightLady last name
Military PersonnelThe full rank is used as a salutation, while writing a letter to commissioned officers in the US Armed Services. For example, Major General Robert Patrick is addressed as "Major General Patrick". When greeting the officials, the full rank is shortened; for example, "Dear General Patrick". In case of Sergeants that include staff sergeants, gunnery sergeants, and first sergeants, all are greeted as "Sergeant". Personnel, with the private first class rank are greeted as "Private", and chief petty officers as "Chief". Non-commissioned officers of lower ranks are referred to as just "Soldier" or "Sailor".

You need to be sure regarding the post or title of the person you are addressing the letter to. In this case, use the appropriate salutations precisely, without causing any embarrassment.