UNCLASSIFIED (U)

5 FAH-1 H-420

PREPARING LETTERS

(CT:CH-50;   03-23-2018)
(Office of Origin:  S/ES-S)

5 FAH-1 H-421  GENERAL

(CT:CH-11;   05-18-2005)

a. Prepare letters in final form as prescribed in this chapter.  See 5 FAH-1 H-500 for guidelines for drafting and preparing Congressional letters; see the Executive Secretariat InfoLink website for guidelines for letters prepared for the Secretary, other Department principals and the President and Vice President.

b. Use the various features available with word processing software, e.g., preformatted glossary (macro/template), to prepare letters, provided the results are in accordance with the guidelines in this chapter.

5 FAH-1 H-422  STATIONERY

(CT:CH-30;   10-07-2013)

a. Use the Department of State official letterhead stationery for official business only (see 5 FAM 200).

b. Order Department or post letterhead stationery from the GSA Supply Catalog, or request copies from the administrative office supply center in the appropriate organization.  All stationery must conform to the standards in 5 FAH-7, Graphics Standards Handbook.

c.  Use standard 8 1/2" by 11" Department of State letterhead for the first page of all letters, except those prepared on special stationery for the signature of seventh-floor principals and Assistant Secretaries.

d. At post, place the name of the post two lines below the letterhead.

e. For succeeding pages use 8 1/2" by 11" white bond paper.

5 FAH-1 H-423  REWRITES

(TL:CH-4;   07-31-2002)

a. When a letter is completely rewritten, mark diagonally through the record copy of the original letter.  Staple the old original to the record copy of the new letter if it has record value (significant changes in text, clearances that are not repeated on the rewritten file copy, or instructions for rewriting).  If corrections are on the original instead of the file copy, also keep the original.  Place the same drafting information on the new letter that was on the old letter.  Directly below this line, show the second author's drafting information preceded by "Rewritten:."

b. When a letter is prepared in another office to change the signature only, enter the word "Retyped:" on the line immediately below the identification line, followed by the office symbol, preparer's initials, and date.  Include this information on the last page of the official record copy (see 5 FAH-1 Exhibit H-424).

5 FAH-1 H-424  FORMATTING LETTERS

5 FAH-1 H-424.1  Margins

(TL:CH-4;   07-31-2002)

Allow at least one inch of space on letters for side, top, and bottom margins on all pages.  If necessary, adjust margins so that the letter presents a well-balanced appearance.  Keep hyphenation to a minimum and do not hyphenate a word at the end of the last line of text on a page.

5 FAH-1 H-424.2  Date

(CT:CH-30;   10-07-2013)

a. Include the date only if the letter will be signed the day it is prepared.  Omit the date if the letter will be dispatched through A/GIS/IPS or post communications center.

b. Place the date four lines below the Department or post letterhead.  In the Department, align the date with the "W" in Washington, DC.  At post, align it flush with the first letter in the printed letterhead.  Spell out the month followed by the day and year in numerals.

5 FAH-1 H-424.3  Page Number

(TL:CH-4;   07-31-2002)

On succeeding pages allow a one inch top margin.  Center the page number two to four lines below the top margin (e.g., -2-), depending on the length, in Arabic numbers.  Continue the text at least three lines below the page number.

5 FAH-1 H-424.4  Inside Address

(CT:CH-30;   10-07-2013)

a. Enter the address two to four lines below the date (depending on the length of the letter) flush with the left margin.

b. Limit the address to five lines single-spaced, flush with the left margin.  Do not use punctuation, except with common abbreviations.  Keep lines less than four inches long and indent carryover lines four spaces from the left margin.

c.  The town or city and state or country must appear on the same line.  Spell out the town or city and State and country.  Use the 9-digit zip code, if available. Include at least the 5-digit zip code for all addresses in the United States.

d. Do not use an "Attention" line (use on envelopes only) or "Subject" line (include subject in opening sentence) on letters.

5 FAH-1 H-424.5  Salutation

(TL:CH-4;   07-31-2002)

a. Use the addressee's title of preference (e.g., Dr., Mrs., etc.).

b. Enter salutation, followed by a colon flush with left margin, two lines below the last line of the address.  The relationship of signing officer and addressee, as well as the subject matter will determine the proper salutation.  If the title is unknown, use "Mr.” or "Ms." (see 5 FAH-1 Exhibit H-426).

5 FAH-1 H-424.6  Text

(CT:CH-30;   10-07-2013)

a. Begin text two lines below the salutation.  Single-space the entire body of the letter and double-space between paragraphs.  Double-space the text in letters with fewer than 8 lines (see 5 FAH-1 Exhibit 424.6).

b. Prepare the letter in block style (flush with the left margin).  Allow at least two lines of a paragraph at the end of a page and at least two or more lines to carry over to succeeding page(s).

c.  Avoid subdividing paragraphs.  However, if numbering or subdivision is necessary, indent each subentry and align with the first letter of text in the previous entry.  Example:

I.  Forward

        A.  Introduction

1.  Chapter

a.  Section

d. Quoted text of two lines or less becomes a part of the paragraph.  Use both double and single quotation marks.  Example:  The regulation clearly states "...ambiguous reference such as ‘herein’, ‘above’, ‘below’ and the like must not be used.”  Quoted text of more than two lines must be indented five spaces from the left and right margins and is not to be enclosed in quotes.

e. Do not hyphenate a word at the end of a page.

f.  Begin text on succeeding pages at least two lines below the page number (see 5 FAH-1 Exhibit H-424).

5 FAH-1 H-424.7  Complimentary Closing

(TL:CH-4;   07-31-2002)

a. Enter the complimentary close double-spaced below the last line of text.  In the Department, align the closing with the date or the "W" in Washington, DC on the letterhead.  At post, align the complimentary close with the first letter in the printed letterhead two lines below the last line of text.  Use "Sincerely," unless the signing officer prefers a more formal closing (i.e., "Very truly yours").

b. The relationship of the signing officer and addressee, the nature of the letter, and the personal preference of the signing officer will determine if a more formal complimentary close is necessary.

5 FAH-1 H-424.8  Signature Block

(CT:CH-30;   10-07-2013)

Enter the signing officer's name four to six lines below and flush with the complimentary close.  Add the title on the next line, directly below the name.  If the title requires a carryover line, indent it four spaces.  Do not exceed four lines in a signature block.

5 FAH-1 H-424.9  Replying for a Principal Officer

(CT:CH-30;   10-07-2013)

When answering a letter on behalf of the Secretary or a principal officer, do not use a subscription.  Begin the letter with an appropriate phrase, such as "Secretary Doe has asked me to reply...", “The Ambassador appreciated your letter of...", "In the absence of the Secretary...", etc.

5 FAH-1 H-424.10  Enclosures

(CT:CH-30;   10-07-2013)

a. Indicate that material is enclosed with the letter by placing the word "Enclosure(s):" flush with the left margin at least two lines below the signature block.

b. Assemble, number, and list each enclosure in the order mentioned in the letter in as few words as possible.  Use common abbreviations.  Single space and number two or more enclosures consecutively (do not number a single enclosure) directly below "Enclosure(s):" flush with the left margin.  Indent any carryover lines 2 spaces from the left margin (see 5 FAH-1 Exhibit H-424).  Example:

Enclosures:

1.  Management Survey

2.  List of Questions and Answers for Participants

c.  If more space is needed to list enclosures, enter the notation "For enclosures, see following page" in place of the enclosure heading.  On a separate numbered page, list all enclosures below the heading "Enclosures:" flush with the left margin.

d. Identify each enclosure with a number in the upper right corner of the first page (Example: "Enclosure No. 1," "Enclosure No. 2," etc.).

e. If the enclosure is classified or administratively controlled (SBU), follow the instructions in 5 FAH-1 H-413.  Be sure that the overall classification or control designation on the letter is at least equal to the marking on the enclosure.

f.  If only the enclosure is classified, add the inscription "Unclassified When Separated From Classified Enclosure(s)" directly below the classification at the bottom of all the pages.

g. Include a copy of the enclosure(s) that is not already a part of the record with the official record copy.  Enclosures that are not a part of the official record copy must be properly identified for easy retrieval from the central records.

5 FAH-1 H-424.11  Copies and Distribution

5 FAH-1 H-424.11-1  Copies

(TL:CH-4;   07-31-2002)

a. Keep copies to a minimum and provide information copies on a need-to-know basis.  Always include an official record copy (with drafting information and original clearance signatures) for quick and easy retrieval.

b. Follow specific Department (front office) or post procedures for the type and number of office copies.

5 FAH-1 H-424.11-2  Distribution

(TL:CH-4;   07-31-2002)

a. When sending copies of letters to other than the addressee and the addressee is aware of the copies furnished, indicate this distribution by placing "cc:" flush with the left margin, two lines below the signing officer's name or title or preceding notation.  (If the addressee is not aware, indicate "blind copy" as ”bc" on file copies only.)

b. Directly below "cc" list the addressees, single-spaced, flush with the left margin.  Place a check mark (or use a felt-tip highlighter) indicating the addressee on each information copy.

c.  When informing the addressee that a copy of the letter is being sent elsewhere, include a statement to this effect in the text.  Example:  "A copy of this letter is being sent to Mr. John Doe of the Department of Agriculture for his information."

5 FAH-1 H-424.12  Drafting and Clearance Information

5 FAH-1 H-424.12-1  Drafting Information

(TL:CH-4;   07-31-2002)

a. Enter drafting information only on the official record copy and other file copies or information copies retained in the Department or post.  Place drafting information on the last page of text, two lines below the signature block, flush with the left margin.  A separate drafting page (see 5 FAH-1 H-424.12-3) may also be used.

b. Identify drafter by office symbol, initials and last name; preparer's initials (if prepared by other than drafter); telephone extension; and date prepared.  The drafting officer must initial the record copy in ink.

c.  Identify more than one author or a slightly revised version of a letter by placing the second author's initials and last name immediately following the first author's name, separated by a semicolon.

5 FAH-1 H-424.12-2  Clearance Information

(CT:CH-14;   03-28-2007)

a. Clear correspondence prepared in the Department according to clearance procedures in 2 FAM 1200.

b. Drafters at post must obtain local clearances appropriate to the subject matter. If policy matters are involved, send the original and one copy to the appropriate Department office with a cover memorandum.  After clearance, the clearing office transmits the original to the addressee and sends one copy to A/GIS/IPS.

NOTE:  Do not show clearances on copies going outside the Department or post.

c.  Enter the word "Clearances:" near the center at the bottom of the last page of the official record copy or opposite the drafting information on a separate drafting page (see 5 FAH-1 H-424.12-3).  List directly below, single-spaced and flush with the word "Clearances," the appropriate office symbol, initials, and last name of each clearing officer.

d. The clearing officer must initial in ink.  In cases where the drafting officer clears the letter in draft, substance, or by telephone, include this information after clearing officer's printed name.  The drafting officer initials in ink after the printed symbol and name.

5 FAH-1 H-424.12-3  Drafting Page

(TL:CH-4;   07-31-2002)

An optional method for recording the drafting and clearance information is to create a separate drafting page on plain bond paper (see 5 FAH-1 Exhibit H-424.12-3).  In single-spacing, list the office symbol, initials and last name of the drafter; preparer's initials; drafter's telephone extension; date; and word processing document name.  Place clearance information directly opposite the drafting information immediately below the word "Clearances."  Enter the office symbol, initials and last name of each clearing officer.  Each clearing officer must initial in ink beside the printed name unless the letter is cleared by telephone with the drafting officer.  Be sure to attach a copy of the drafting page to the record copy and all office file copies.

5 FAH-1 H-425  ASSEMBLY FOR SIGNATURE

(TL:CH-4;   07-31-2002)

a. Arrange the complete package with the original letter on top and follow with the courtesy copy, enclosure, information copy(ies), and file copies (see 5 FAH-1 Exhibit H-425).

b. If the letter is classified or administratively controlled, prepare the necessary cover sheets and mail receipts (see 5 FAH-1 H-430, Envelopes and Mailing).

c.  If required to prepare another type of communication simultaneously (i.e., telegram), keep all outgoing correspondence together for review and signature.  Place a routing slip on the assembled papers listing the office symbol and location of each clearing office.  List the signing officer last.

5 FAH-1 H-426  FORMS OF ADDRESS

(CT:CH-30;   10-07-2013)

a. The proper address form, salutation, and complimentary close are determined by social and official custom.  Use the informal style for the salutation and complimentary close, unless a more formal style is warranted.  See 5 FAH-1 Exhibit H-426 for a list of the proper forms of address.

b. In the Department, direct questions concerning correct titles of foreign chiefs of state, heads of government, and foreign diplomats and officials to the Correspondence Unit of the Executive Secretariat (S/ES-CR), or the appropriate regional bureau in the Department.

c.  At post, consult the protocol officer, the executive section, or the principal officer's secretary for correct titles.

d. Use the most common distinctive and complimentary titles and salutations.  For the correct titles of U.S. or foreign government officials, see the U.S. Government Manual, Congressional Directory, U. S. Department of State Telephone Directory, or the appropriate military service register.

5 FAH-1 H-426.1  Titles

(TL:CH-4;   07-31-2002)

a. Use either "Mr." or "Madam" for such formal titles as President, Vice President, Chairman, Secretary, and Ambassador, e.g., Mr. President; Madam Chairman, etc.  Address the spouse of a distinguished individual as Mr. or Mrs. and surname.

b. Do not abbreviate the title preceding full names in an address, except Mr., Mrs., or Dr.  (Use Ms. in the same manner.)  Abbreviate long titles such as "Lieutenant Colonel” or “Brigadier General,” when necessary.  Spell out titles in an address for balance and appearance.

c.  Abbreviate degree designations, religious and fraternal orders, fellowships, and military service branch titles after a name.  Enter the initials of a degree or order with periods and no spaces.  Use acronyms without periods, in capital letters for the various military services.

d. Do not combine scholastic degrees, complimentary titles, or military service rank, except with "The Reverend."  When a name is followed by abbreviations designating religious and fraternal orders and scholastic and honorary degrees, use the following sequence:  orders (religious first, than fraternal orders); theological degrees; academic degrees; and honorary degrees in order of bestowal.

5 FAH-1 H-426.1-1  His or Her Excellency

(TL:CH-4;   07-31-2002)

a. Use "His or Her Excellency" only to address by name foreign ambassadors and other former foreign officials.

b. Omit this title when addressing the British Prime Minister or cabinet officers of certain countries in the British Commonwealth.

c.  The title "His or Her Excellency" is retained for life.

5 FAH-1 H-426.1-2  The Honorable

(TL:CH-4;   07-31-2002)

Use "The Honorable" to address:

(1)  Current and former Presidential appointees; foreign diplomats in Washington who have the rank of minister (including a career minister serving as chargé d’affaires);

(2)  Heads of international organizations (unless otherwise entitled to "His or Her Excellency" from a previous appointment);

(3)  Federal and State elected officials; and

(4)  Mayors.

5 FAH-1 H-426.1-3  Dr.

(TL:CH-4;   07-31-2002)

Use "Dr." before the names of persons who have earned degrees to warrant the title.  Do not combine the title "Dr." with any other title or abbreviation indicating scholastic degrees except "The Reverend."

5 FAH-1 H-426.1-4  Reverend/Right Reverend

(TL:CH-4;   07-31-2002)

Spell out the title when addressing members of the clergy.  When a member of the clergy has attained a high scholastic degree level, use the title in combination with the level of scholastic achievement.

5 FAH-1 H-426.2  Salutations

(TL:CH-4;   07-31-2002)

a. Use the formal salutations "Sir" or "Madam" when addressing high-ranking Federal, State, or local officials.  Use "Sir" or "Madam" when addressing court officials by title only.  For letters to businesses or private organizations, use the formal salutations "Sirs," "Gentlemen," or "Mesdames" when the identity of the specific addressee is not known.

b. Use the informal salutation in Department correspondence.  Use the title of preference if known.  Otherwise, use Mr. or Ms. and surname, unless the person has a specific title such as Dr.  See 5 FAH-1 Exhibit H-426 for examples of salutations.

c.  Use the salutation "Dear Friends" only when the Department's response agrees with the writers' concerns.  Otherwise, use "Dear Concerned U.S. Citizen" or a more neutral salutation as shown in 5 FAH-1 Exhibit H-426.

d. Use the salutation synonymous with the title for Department of State and other top-ranking government officials, such as Dear Mr. President; Dear Mr. Secretary; or Dear Madam Ambassador, etc.

e. If it is not known whether the addressee is a male or female, use the name as given.

Example:  Dear M. C. Doe:

5 FAH-1 H-426.3  Complimentary Close

(TL:CH-4;   07-31-2002)

The complimentary close should reflect the same style as the salutation.  Use "Sincerely" or "Sincerely yours", unless another form is preferred by the signing officer.

5 FAH-1-H-427 THROUGH H-429 UNASSIGNED


5 FAH-1 Exhibit H-424  
Single-Spaced Letter

(CT:CH-30;   10-07-2013)

Seal of the Department of State                                                      United States Department of State
                                                                     Washington, DC  20520

 

                                                                                 March 18, 2002

Ms. Helen M. Smith
1654 16th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC  20016-1654

 

Dear Ms. Smith:

This exhibit shows the format for a single-spaced letter.  Allow at least one-inch margins on all sides.  Adjust margins, if necessary, for a well-balanced appearance.  Use Department of State or post letterhead stationery for the first page and plain bond paper for succeeding pages.  Omit the date unless the letter will be signed the same day.  Place the date two to four lines (depending on the length of the letter) below the Department or post letterhead.  In the Department, align the date with the "W" in Washington, DC; at post, align flush with the right margin.  See 5 FAH-1 H-413 for further information regarding classified letters.

Begin the address two to four lines below the date or classification.  Enter the salutation two lines below the address.  Use the personal titles "Mr." or "Ms." unless another title is known or preferred by the addressee.  Begin the text two lines below the salutation.  Single space text in block style, and double space between paragraphs.

Use the complimentary close, "Sincerely" unless the signing officer prefers another form.  Use "Very truly yours" for a more formal closing.  Place the complimentary close two lines below the last line of text and align with the date or letterhead.  Type the signature block four to six lines below the complimentary closing.  Number enclosures (if more than one) consecutively, directly under the word "Enclosures."  Place drafting and clearing information on file copies only.

Sincerely,

Jane E. Doe
Chief, Personnel Division

Enclosures:

        1.  Correspondence Handbook and Related Materials
2.  Security Regulations

                                                        -2-

On succeeding pages center the page number two to four lines below the top margin (depending on the length) in Arabic numbers.  Continue the text at least three lines below this number.

Enter drafting and clearance information at the bottom of the last page of text, two lines below the signature or preceding notation or use a separate drafting page (see 5 FAH-1 Exhibit H-424.12-3).  The drafting and clearance officers initial in ink near the printed name.

In the case of two authors or minor revisions not requiring complete rewrites, place the initials and name of the second drafting officer immediately following the name of the first drafting officer, separated by a semicolon.  Example:  A/EX:ABDoe:CCFO:jd 3/9/03.

When the letter is completely rewritten, mark diagonally through the record copy of the original letter.  Staple the old original copy to the record copy of the new letter if it has record value (significant changes in text, clearances that are not repeated on the rewritten file copy, or instructions for rewriting).  If corrections are on the original instead of the file copy, also keep the original.  Enter the same drafting information on the new letter that was on the old letter.  Directly below this line, show the second author's drafting information preceded by "Rewritten:."

When a letter is retyped in another office for a different signature without any change in text, enter the word "Retyped:" on the line immediately below the drafting information, followed by the office symbol, preparer's initials, and date.  Example:

        A/EX - JMDow:fw 3/9/03
Retyped:  NEP:ab 3/10/03

Enter drafting and clearance information only on copies retained in the Department or post.  List the office symbol, preparer's initials, and surname of each clearing officer.

                                                Sincerely,

 

                                                Amy T. Doe
                                                Correspondence Officer

 

cc:  A/EX:JAdams


5 FAH-1 Exhibit H-424.6  
Double-Spaced Letter

(TL:CH-4;   07-31-2002)

 

Seal of the Department of State                                        Embassy of the United States of America
                                                                                Tokyo, Japan

 

                                                                               April 15, 2002

Mr. John B. Doe
President, Correspondence Control
123 Main Street
Paris, FRANCE

Dear Mr. Doe:

 

Double-space the text of a short (8 lines or less), one-paragraph letter.  Follow the

same format in 5 FAH-1 Exhibit H-424 for all other parts of the letter.  Adjust the

margins, date, and address to present a well-balanced appearance on the page.

 

                                                                Sincerely,

 

                                                                William J. Doey
                                                                American Consul


5 FAH-1 Exhibit H-424.12-3  
Drafting Page—Letters

(TL:CH-4;   07-31-2002)

        Drafted:                                                    Cleared:
A/EX:JDoe:ja                                             IRM/IAP:MJFuller
3/1/02 X70441                                          IRM/MSO:BJDoe
Budget Document #10                               IRM/OPS:PDHum


5 FAH-1 Exhibit H-425  
Assembly for Signature—Letters

(TL:CH-4;   07-31-2002)

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5 FAH-1 Exhibit H-426  
Forms of Address

(CT:CH-30;   10-07-2013)

This exhibit gives examples of titles, address lines and salutations.  Keep in mind that the titles and addresses that would normally fit on one line on a letter or envelope have been moved to the next line and indented.  The city/State line is not shown for most Washington, DC examples.  See the Executive Secretariat InfoLink website for correspondence signed by a seventh-floor principal to the President and other officials.  For the names and titles of White House staff members, see the current U. S. Government Manual or the Congressional Directory, or call the Correspondence Unit of the Executive Secretariat (S/ES-CR).

THE WHITE HOUSE

       ADDRESSEE                    ADDRESS                          SALUTATION

The President

The President
The White House

Dear Mr./Madam President:

Former President

The Honorable
(full name)
(no title)
(address)

Dear Mr. (surname):

Wife of the President

Mrs. (full name)
The White House
Washington, DC

Dear Mrs. (surname):

Assistant or Special Asst. to the President

The Honorable
(full name)
Assistant (Special Assistant)
to the President for (title)
The White House
Washington, DC

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Director, Office of
Management and
Budget

The Honorable
(full name)
Director, Office of Management
and Budget
Washington, DC

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

 

THE VICE PRESIDENT

       ADDRESSEE                    ADDRESS                          SALUTATION

The Vice President

The Vice President
The White House
Washington, DC

Dear Mr./Madam Vice President:

Former Vice President

The Honorable
(full name)
(no title)
(address)

Dear Mr. (surname):

Wife of the Vice President

Mrs. (full name)
(address)

Dear Mrs. (surname):

 

THE FEDERAL JUDICIARY – U.S. Supreme Court

       ADDRESSEE                   ADDRESS                           SALUTATION

The Chief Justice

The Chief Justice
The Supreme Court
Washington, DC

Dear Chief Justice:

Wife of the Chief Justice

Mrs. (full name)
(address)

Dear Mrs. (surname):

Associate Justice

Justice (surname)
The Supreme Court

Dear Justice (surname):

The Clerk of the Supreme Court

The Clerk of the
Supreme Court
The Supreme Court

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

 

THE FEDERAL JUDICIARY - Court Officers

       ADDRESSEE                  ADDRESS                             SALUTATION

Presiding Justice

The Honorable
(full name)
Presiding Justice
(name of court)
(address)

Dear Justice (surname):

Judge of a Court

The Honorable
(full name)
Chief Justice (or Judge)
U.S. Court of
(name of court)
(address)

Dear Judge (surname):

Clerks of Court

Clerk of the (name of court;
if a U.S. District court, name district)
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

 

THE CONGRESS - U.S. Senate

       ADDRESSEE                   ADDRESS                           SALUTATION

President of the Senate

The Honorable
(full name)
President of the Senate

Dear Mr./Madam President:

President pro tempore of the Senate

The Honorable
(full name)
President pro tempore
of the Senate

Dear Senator (surname):

Majority Leader or Minority Leader

The Honorable
(full name)
U.S. Senate

Dear Senator (surname):

Committee Chairman

The Honorable
(full name)
Chairman, Committee on (name)
U.S. Senate

Dear Mr./Madam Chairman:

Subcommittee Chairman

The Honorable
(full name)
Chairman, Subcommittee on (name)
Committee on (name)
U.S. Senate

Dear Mr./Madam Chairman:

Senator
(DC office)

The Honorable
(full name)
U.S. Senate

Dear Senator (surname):

(District office)

The Honorable
(full name)
(address)

Dear Senator (surname):

Senator-elect

The Honorable
(full name)
U.S. Senator-elect
(address, if given) or
Senate Office Building
Washington, DC  20510

Dear Mr./Madam (surname):

Former Senator

The Honorable
(full name)
(address)

Dear Senator (surname):

Office of a deceased Senator

Office of the late
Senator
(full name)
U.S. Senate

Sirs: or Dear Mr./Ms.
(name of contact):

Chaplain of the United States Senate

The Reverend
(full name)
(Chaplain of the Senate)

Dear Mr./Dr., etc. (surname):

Secretary of the United States Senate

The Honorable
(full name)
Secretary of the Senate
U.S. Senate

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

 

THE CONGRESS – U.S. House of Representatives

       ADDRESSEE                     ADDRESS                         SALUTATION

Speaker of the House of Representatives

The Honorable
(full name)
Speaker of the
House of Representatives

Dear Mr./Madam Speaker:

Majority Leader or Minority Leader

The Honorable
(full name)
House of Representatives

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Committee Chairman

The Honorable
(full name)
Chairman, Committee on (name)
House of Representatives

Dear Mr./Madam Chairman:

Subcommittee Chairman

The Honorable
(full name)
Chairman, Subcommittee on (name)
Committee on (name)
House of Representatives

Dear Mr./Madam Chairman:

Representative (Washington, DC office)

The Honorable
(full name)
House of Representatives

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

(District office)

The Honorable
(full name)
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Representative-elect

The Honorable
(full name)
U.S. Representative-elect
(address) or
House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Former Representative

The Honorable
(full name)
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Office of a Deceased Representative

Office of the late
(full name)
House of Representatives

Sirs/Dear Mr./Ms.
(name of contact):

Chaplain of the House of Representatives

The Reverend
(full name)
Chaplain of the House of
Representatives

Dear Mr./Dr., etc. (surname):

Clerk of the House

The Honorable
(full name)
Clerk of the House of
Representatives

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Resident Commissioner

The Honorable
(full name)
Resident Commissioner from
Puerto Rico
House of Representatives

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Delegate

The Honorable
(full name)
Delegate of (Guam, Virgin Islands, Washington, DC)
House of Representatives

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

 

THE CONGRESS - Joint Committees

NOTE:  See the Congressional Directory for the names of the Standing Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives and Joint Congressional Committees.

      ADDRESSEE                    ADDRESS                            SALUTATION

Chairman

The Honorable
(full name)
Chairman, Joint Committee on
(committee name)
Congress of the United States

Dear Mr./Madam Chairman:

 

LEGISLATIVE AGENCIES

       ADDRESSEE                     ADDRESS                          SALUTATION

Librarian of Congress

The Honorable
(full name)
The Librarian of Congress
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Comptroller General

The Honorable
(full name)
Comptroller General
of the United States
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Public Printer

The Honorable
(full name)
Public Printer
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

 

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS

NOTE:  Cabinet Secretaries represent the following Departments:  Agriculture; Commerce; Defense; Education; Energy; Health and Human Services; Housing and Urban Development; Interior; Justice; Labor; State; Transportation; Treasury; and Veterans.

       ADDRESSEE                    ADDRESS                          SALUTATION

Member of the Cabinet

The Honorable
(full name)
Secretary of (Department)
(Department )
(address)

Dear Mr./Madam Secretary:

Acting Member of the Cabinet Addressed as Secretary

The Honorable
(full name)
Acting Secretary of (Department)
(Department)
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Deputy Secretary

The Honorable
(full name)
Deputy Secretary of
(Department)
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname)

Under Secretary

The Honorable
(full name)
Under Secretary of (Department)
(Department)
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Assistant Secretary

The Honorable
(full name)
Assistant Secretary of (Department)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Attorney General

The Honorable
(full name)
The Attorney General

Dear Mr./Ms Madam
Attorney General:

Solicitor General

The Honorable
(full name)
Solicitor General
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. Madam
Solicitor General:

United States Attorney/Mr./Ms. (full name) Marshal

United States Attorney
or Marshal for the (Region)
District of (State)
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):  (Marshal)

Commissioner of Internal Revenue

The Honorable
(full name)
Commissioner of Internal Revenue
Department of the Treasury
(address)

Dear Mr./Madam Commissioner:

District Director of Internal Revenue

Mr./Ms. (full name)
District Director
of Internal Revenue
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Commissioner of Customs

The Honorable
(full name)
Commissioner of Customs
Department of the Treasury
(address)

Dear Mr./Madam (surname)

 

INDEPENDENT AGENCIES

       ADDRESSEE                     ADDRESS                         SALUTATION

Postmaster General

The Honorable
(full name)
Postmaster General
(address)

Dear Mr./Madam Postmaster General:

Head of a Federal Agency, Authority, or Board Agency, if official is

The Honorable
(full name)
(title)
(agency name)
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Head of a major organization within an a Presidential appointee

The Honorable
(full name)
(title), (organization name)
(agency name)
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

President of a Commission or Board

The Honorable
(full name)
President, (commission name)
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Chairman of a Commission or Board

The Honorable
(full name)
Chairman, (commission name)
(address)

Dear Mr./Madam Chairman:

 

UNITED STATES MISSIONS

       ADDRESSEE                      ADDRESS                          SALUTATION

U.S. Ambassador

The Honorable
(full name)
U.S. Ambassador
(city)

Dear Mr./Madam Ambassador:

U.S. Ambassador (with military rank)

(full rank, full name)
U.S. Ambassador
(city)

Dear (rank, surname):

Former U.S. Non-Career Ambassador

The Honorable
(full name)
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Former American Career Ambassador (Public Law 96-465, 94 Stat.2084)

The Honorable
(full name)
(no title)
(address)

Dear Mr./Madam Ambassador:

Personal (Special) Representative of the President

The Honorable
(full name)
Personal Representative of the President
of the United States of America to (place)
(country)
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

U.S. Chargé d'Affaires ad interim

Mr./Ms. (full name)
Chargé d'Affaires ad interim
of the United States of America
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

U.S. Foreign Service Officer with personal rank of Minister

The Honorable
(full name)
(rank at post:  Minister or Minister-Counselor)
U.S. Embassy
(address) or

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

 

The Honorable
(full name), Minister
U.S. Embassy
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

U.S. Consul General (Consul, Vice Consul)

Mr./Ms. (full name)
U.S. Consul General
(Consul, Vice Consul)
(address)
for

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

 

FOREIGN DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS TO THE UNITED STATES

NOTE:  See 5 FAH-1 H-600, Diplomatic Notes for instructions on preparing diplomatic notes.  Consult the Correspondence Unit of the Executive Secretariat (S/ES-CR) for correct titles of foreign chiefs of state, heads of government, and foreign diplomats.

       ADDRESSEE                      ADDRESS                         SALUTATION

Foreign Ambassador in the United States

His (Her) Excellency
(full name)
Ambassador of (country)
Washington, DC

Dear Mr./Madam Ambassador:

Minister (foreign) in the United States (Head of a Legation)

The Honorable
(full name)
Minister of (country)
Washington, DC

Dear Mr./Madam Minister:

Chargé d'Affaires ad interim (foreign) in the United States

Mr./Madam
(full name)
Chargé d'affaires ad interim
of (country)
Washington, DC

Dear Mr./Madam Chargé d’Affaires:

Charge d’Affaires ad interim (foreign) in the United States with rank of Minister

The Honorable
(full name)
Charge d’Affaires ad interim
of (country)
Washington, DC

Dear Mr./Madam Foreign Chargé d’Affaires:

Minister Counselor (foreign) in the United States

The Honorable
(full name)
Minister Counselor
Embassy of (country)
Washington, DC

Dear Mr./Madam Minister:

Minister of Economic Affairs (foreign) in the United States

The Honorable
(full name)
Minister of Economic Affairs
Embassy of (country)
Washington, DC

Dear Mr./Madam Minister:

 

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

NOTE:  Follow normal diplomatic procedures to communicate with most international organizations.  Address communications to the ranking officer of an international organization that has no full-time representative.  Address the official as "The Honorable" unless otherwise entitled to “His (Her) Excellency.”

       ADDRESSEE                     ADDRESS                           SALUTATION

Organization with no Representative to the United States

The (title of officer)
of the (organization name)
(address)

Sir:/Madam:

 

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS - The Organization of American States

       ADDRESSEE                       ADDRESS                        SALUTATION

Secretary General

of the Organization

of American States

The Honorable
(full name)
Secretary General of the
Organization of American States
Washington, DC

Dear Mr./Madam Secretary

General:

Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States

The Honorable
(unless otherwise
entitled to His/Her Excellency)
(full name)
Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States
Washington, DC

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

 

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS - The United Nations

NOTE: Direct communication with the United Nations is inappropriate.  Send all notes for the United Nations through the U. S. Representative, with a cover note containing appropriate instructions.  Address the United Nations official as "The Honorable," unless otherwise entitled to “His/Her Excellency.”

       ADDRESSEE                      ADDRESS                          SALUTATION

Secretary General of the United Nations

The Honorable
(full name)
Secretary General of
the United Nations
New York, New York

Dear Mr./Madam Secretary
General:

United States Representative to the United Nations

The Honorable
(full name)
U.S. Representative to the
United Nations
New York, New York

Dear Mr./Madam Ambassador:

Chairman, United States

Honorable (rank)

Dear (rank) (surname):

Delegation to the United Nations Military Staff Committee

(full name), (service abbr.)
Chairman, U.S. Delegation to the United Nations Military Staff Committee
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
(address)

 

Senior Representative of the United States to the General Assembly of the United Nations

The Honorable
(full name)
Senior Representative of the United
States to the General Assembly of the United Nations
New York, New York

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Senior Military Adviser
To the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations General Assembly

(full rank, full name)
Senior Military Adviser
U.S. Delegation to the United
Nations General Assembly
New York, New York

Dear (rank, surname):

U.S. Representative on the Economic and Social Council

The Honorable
(full name)
U.S. Representative on the
Economic and Social Council of the
United Nations
New York, New York

Dear Mr./Madam Ambassador:

U.S. Representative on the United Nations Disarmament Commission

The Honorable
(full name)
U.S. Representative on the
Disarmament Commission of the
United Nations
New York, New York

Dear Mr./Madam Ambassador:

U.S. Representative on the Trusteeship Council

The Honorable
(full name)
U.S. Representative on the
Trusteeship Council of the United
Nations
New York, New York

Dear Mr./Madam Ambassador:

 

STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

       ADDRESSEE                      ADDRESS                          SALUTATION

State Governor

The Honorable
(full name)
Governor of (State)
(address)

Dear Governor (surname):

Acting State Governor

The Honorable
(full name)
Acting Governor of (State)
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Lieutenant Governor

The Honorable
(full name)
Lieutenant Governor of (State)
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Secretary of State of a State

The Honorable
(full name)
Secretary of State
of (State name)
(address)

Dear Mr./Madam Secretary:

Chief Justice of a State
Supreme Court

The Honorable
(full name)
Chief Justice
Supreme Court of the State
of (State name)
(address)

Dear Mr./Madam Chief Justice:

State Attorney
General

The Honorable
(full name)
Attorney General
State of (State name)
(address)

Dear Mr./Madam Attorney
General:

State Treasurer, Comptroller, or Auditor

The Honorable
(full name)
Treasurer of (State name)
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

President, State Senate

The Honorable
(full name)
President of the Senate of the
State of (State name)
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

State Senator

The Honorable
(full name)
(State name) Senate
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Speaker, State House of Representatives, House of Delegates, or Assembly

The Honorable
(full name)
Speaker of the House of Representatives
of the State of (State name)
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

State Representative, Assemblyman or Delegate

The Honorable
(full name)
(State name) House of Representatives
(Assembly or House of Delegates)
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Mayor

The Honorable
(full name)
Mayor of (city name)
(address)

Dear Mayor (surname):

 

CHURCH OFFICIALS

       ADDRESSEE                     ADDRESS                           SALUTATION

Protestant Minister, Pastor, or Rector (with doctoral degree)

The Reverend
(full name, doctoral degree)
(name of church)
(address)

Dear Dr. (surname):

Protestant Minister, Pastor, or Rector (no doctoral degree)

The Reverend
(full name)
(name of church)
(address)

Dear Rev. Mr. (surname):

Rabbi (with doctoral degree)

Rabbi (full name, degree)
(Synagogue)
(address)

Dear Dr./Rabbi (surname):

Rabbi (without doctoral degree)

Rabbi (full name)
(Synagogue)
(address)

Dear Rabbi (surname):

Catholic Cardinal

His Eminence
(first name) Cardinal
(surname)
(address)

Dear Cardinal (surname):

Catholic Archbishop

The Most Reverend
(full name, doctoral degree)
Archbishop of (archdiocese)
(address)

Dear Archbishop (surname):

Catholic Bishop

The Most Reverend
(full name) Bishop
of (diocese)
(address)

Dear Bishop (surname):

Catholic Monsignor (higher rank)

The Right
Reverend Monsignor
(full name)
(address)

Dear Monsignor (surname):

Catholic Monsignor (lower rank)

The Very
Reverend Monsignor
(full name)
(address)

Dear Monsignor (surname):

Catholic Priest

The Reverend
(full name, initials of order, if any)
(address)

Dear Father (surname):

Catholic Mother Superior of an Institution

The Reverend
Mother Superior, (initials of order, if used)
(name of institution)
(address)

Dear Reverend Mother:

Catholic Sister

Sister (full name, order, if used)
(name of institution)
(address)

Dear Sister (first or first two given names):

Catholic Brother

Brother (given name)
(name of institution)
(address)

Dear Brother (given name):

Mormon Bishop

Mr. (full name)
Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-Day Saints
(address)

Dear Mr. (surname):

Presiding Episcopal Bishop

The Most Reverend
(full name, degrees)
Presiding Bishop of the
Episcopal Church
(address)

Dear Bishop (surname):

Episcopal Bishop

The Right Reverend
(full name, degrees)
Bishop of (diocese)
(address)

Dear Bishop (surname):

Episcopal Dean

The Very Reverend
(full name, degrees)
Dean of (church)
(address)

Dear Dean (surname):

Methodist Bishop

The Reverend
(full name degrees)
Methodist Bishop
(address)

Dear Bishop (surname):

Chaplain
(Military services)

Chaplain (full name)
(rank, service designation)
(address)

Dear Chaplain (surname):

 

MILITARY SERVICES - Army, Air Force, Marine Corps

       ADDRESSEE                       ADDRESS                        SALUTATION

General, Lieutenant General, Major or Brigadier General

(full rank, full name)
General, Service (abbr.)
(address)

Dear General (surname):

Colonel, or Lieutenant

(full rank, full name)
Service (abbr.)
(address)

Dear Colonel (surname):

Major

(full rank, full name)
Service (abbr.)
(address)

Dear Major (surname):

Captain

(full rank, full name)
Service (abbr.)
(address)

Dear Captain (surname):

First Lieutenant,
Second Lieutenant

(full rank, full name)
Service (abbr.)
(address)

Dear Lieutenant (surname):

Chief Warrant Officer or Warrant Officer

(full rank, full name)
Service (abbr.)

(address)

Dear Mr. (surname):

Master Sergeant, Sergeant Major, Sergeant First Class, Technical Sergeant, Staff Sergeant, or Sergeant

(full rank, full name)
Service (abbr.)
(address)

Dear Sergeant (surname):

Corporal

(full rank, full name)
Service (abbr.)
(address)

Dear Corporal (surname):

Specialist, classes
4 through 9

(full rank, full name)
Service (abbr.)
(address)

Dear Specialist (surname):

Private First Class, or Private

(full rank, full name)
Service (abbr.)
(address)

Dear Private (surname):

Airman First Class
Airman Second Class,
Airman Third Class, or
Basic Airman

(full rank, full name)
Service (abbr.)
(address)

Dear Airman (surname):

Retired Officer

(full rank, full name)
Service (abbr.), Retired
(address)

Dear (rank, surname):

 

MILITARY SERVICES – Navy

       ADDRESSEE                     ADDRESS                           SALUTATION

Admiral, Vice Admiral, Rear Admiral

(full rank, full name)
Service (abbr.)
(address)

Dear Admiral (surname):

Captain

(full rank, full name),
Service (abbr.)
(address)

Dear Captain (surname):

Commander, Lieutenant Commander

(full rank, full name)
Service (abbr.)
(address)

Dear Commander (surname):

Lieutenant, Lieutenant Junior Grade

(full rank, full name)
Service (abbr.)
(address)

Dear Lieutenant (surname):

Ensign

(full rank, full name)
Service (abbr.)
(address)

Dear Ensign (surname):

Chief Warrant Officer 4
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Chief Warrant Officer 2

(full rank, full name)
Service (abbr.)
(address)

Dear Chief Warrant Officer (surname):

Master Chief Petty Officer,
Chief Petty Officer, Service
Chief Petty Officer

(full rank, full name)
Service (abbr.)
(address)

Dear Chief Petty Officer Senior (surname):

Petty Officer First Class
Petty Officer Second Class
Petty Officer Third Class

(full rank, full name)
Service (abbr.)
(address)

Dear Petty Officer (surname):

Seaman

(full rank, full name)
Service (abbr.)
(address)

Dear Seaman (surname):

Retired Officer

(full rank, full name)
Service (abbr.), Retired
(address)

Dear (rank, surname):

 

SCHOOL OFFICIALS

       ADDRESSEE                     ADDRESS                           SALUTATION

University or College
President or Chancellor
(with doctoral degree)

Dr. (full name)
President
(institution name)
(address)

Dear Dr. (surname):

University or College
President or Chancellor
(without doctoral degree)

Mr./Ms. (full name)
President
(institution name)
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Dean of a School
College or Faculty
(with doctoral degree)

(full name, degree)
School of (name)Dean
(name of Department or School)
(institution name)
(address)

Dear Dr. (surname):

Dean of a School
College or Faculty
(without doctoral degree)

(full name)
School of (name)Dean (name of Department or School)
(institution name)
(address)

Dear Dean (surname):

Professor, Associate
Professor
(with doctoral degree)

Professor Dr. (full name, degree)
Department of (name of Department or School)
(name of institution)
(address)

Dear Dr. (surname):

Professor, Associate
Professor
(without doctoral degree)

Professor (full name)
Department of (name of Department or School)
(name of institution)
(address)

Dear Professor (surname):

Associate Professor,
Assistant Professor

Mr. (full name)
Associate (or Assistant) Prof.
Department of (name)
(name of institution)
(address)

Dear Professor (surname):

 

PHYSICIANS AND LAWYERS

       ADDRESSEE                     ADDRESS                           SALUTATION

Physician

(full name), M.D.
(address)

Dear Dr. (surname):

Lawyer

Mr./Ms. (full name)
(name of firm)
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)
Doctor of Dental
Surgery (D.D.S.)
Doctor of Veterinary
Medicine (D.V.M.)

Full name, M.D.
(or D.D.S. or D.V.M.)
(address)

Dear Dr. (surname):

PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS and ORGANIZATIONS

NOTE:  Always use the title of preference.  The nature of the correspondence, the writer's position, and the signing officer's preference, will determine the salutation.  Boys under 13 may be addressed as “Master” and the full name.  In cases where there are multiple signers or long names, use a general salutation such as Friends or Concerned Americans.  Use "Friends," but only for nonprofessionals (students), and never for petitions.  The salutations "and Associates" and "and Colleagues" indicate a professional working relationship, while "Members" is general for organizations.

       ADDRESSEE                     ADDRESS                           SALUTATION

One individual

Mr./Ms. (full name)
(address)

Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):

Two or more individuals

Mr. and Mrs.
(full name)
(address)

Dear Mr. and Mrs. (surname):

 

Mr. (full name) and
Mr. (full name)
(address)

Dear Mr. (surname) and
Mr. (surname):

 

Mrs. (full name) and
Miss (full name)
(address)

Dear Mrs. (surname) and  Miss (surname)

 

Ms. (full name) and
Mr. (full name)
(address)

Dear Ms. (surname) and Mr. (surname):

 

Ms. (full name) and
Ms. (full Name)
(address)

Dear Ms. (surname) and Ms. (surname):

Men

Messrs. (full name)
and (full name)
(address)

Dear Messrs. (surname) and (surname):

Married Women

Mmes. (full name)
and (full name)
(address)

Dear Mmes. (surname) and (surname):

Unmarried Women

Misses (full name)
(full name)
(address)

Dear Misses (surname) and (surname)

Same Surname

Messrs. (given name) and (full name)
(address)

Dear Messrs. (surname):

Organizations

Members
(organization name)
(address)

Dear Members (etc.):

 

Mr. (full name) and Associates or (Colleagues)
(organization name)
(address)

Dear Mr. (surname) and Associates (etc.):

Informal groups

Ms. (full name) and
Friends
First Grade
Lothian Elementary School
(address)

Dear Students:

Petitions

Ms. (full name) and
Cosigners
(address)

Dear Ms. (surname) and
Cosigners:

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED (U)