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The difference between addressing someone with their title and "Sir or Ma'am"

Posted By Blackfive • [June 19, 2009]

Apparently, Barbara Boxer, a Senator from California where some of the biggest military bases exist, doesn't understand respect when she hears it.

As a former Army Officer, if one of my soldiers called me "Lieutenant", instead of "el-tee" or "Sir", I would know that he found me lacking.  Calling me by my job title or rank is only done because it is the lowest requirement of respect. 

The. Lowest. Requirement. Of. Respect.

If one of my soldiers called me "Captain", without using my last name behind it or "Sir", I would know that he found me substandard. 

BG Walsh was showing Barbara Boxer respect by calling her "Ma'am" instead of "Senator."  Believe me, the title "Senator" does not really hold a whole lot of credibility in the US military.  It's a job, and a Corporal leading a team in Baqubah has more honor than most of those holding that title.

Sir or Ma'am is showing Barbara Boxer respect that doesn't have to be shown to her.  BG Walsh can call her Senator all day and night.  Instead, the general called her "Ma'am" - a term in deference to her and to show respect for what she earned. 

But if she wants to be associated with that den of corruption and incompetence, be my guest.

Robert Stokely, a Gold Star Dad, has this to ask of you all - Flood Barbara Boxer with letters over how she treated BG Walsh:

She got her dander up because Brigadier General Michael Walsh, in answering her question at a Senate Hearing, said "Ma'am" as a form of address.  She demanded that he use her title "Senator", saying "I worked really hard for it."   

O.K.  I am sorry that Barbara Boxer was raised or has forgotten her raising where the very high form of respectful address of a woman is Ma'am, just as one would similarly say Sir to a man.  That said, she either never understood or has forgotten that U.S. Senator is what she does, not who she is.

If she wants respect, dressing down a Veteran who also happens to be an active duty Brigadier General, is a lame way of commanding it.  She apparently never understood, or has forgotten, that respect is what you get by what you give to others.  She should apologize and apologize publicly in the same manner she disrespected BG Walsh, for in such a moment of disrespect to him she cast disrespect on the uniform he wears and those who serve with him.

So, spend 44 cents and send her a letter addressed as above and let her know how you feel.  Or send her a fax if you prefer.  Do not recommend email - that gets junked too easily.  I sent mine and used subject line "How a Veteran was Treated".

Ma'am (Barbara Boxer)
112 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-3553
(202) 224-0454 fax

Robert Stokely
proud dad SGT Mike Stokely
KIA 16 AUG 05 near Yusufiyah Iraq 
USA E !08 CAV 48th BCT GAARNG


~ Blackfive, Out.


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