How to Write Officials Names on a Place Card?
by Robert Hickey
Monday, August 20, 2012


Dear Robert,

Would you recommend using on their place card General John Doe instead of LTG John Doe? Would you also recommend using the Governor Doe, or GOV Doe instead of Governor John Doe?

-- Marietta Stone

Dear Ms. Stone:

I have all this spelled out in my book, this sort of thing comes up often. Regarding the Army officer -- The full rank is used the given+surname:

    Lieutenant General John Doe


    LTG John Doe

With his full name he gets his full rank.

On a formal place card, as in conversation or in a salutation, use the basic rank with his surname:

    General Doe

Regarding the Governor, his formal name is:

    The Honorable John Doe

On a formal place card as in conversation or in a salutation he is:

    Governor Doe

Note that the form:

    Governor John Doe

... is something you hear in the media, but is not a formal form of address. It's just a reporter referring to him in the third person.

Regarding your suggestion of GOV Doe -- I think maybe you are putting GOV in all caps to match LTG? The letters in LTG are capped because it is an Army-specific abbreviation. LTG means he is a US Army Lieutenant General. If he were a Marine Lieutenant General the Marine-specific abbreviation is LtGen. As I said I have all this spelled out in my book.

-- Robert Hickey

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