[quote="Rich_Olszewski, post:4, topic:201363"]
BTW, a Congressman outranks any general officer. The U.S. has a civilian government at the top, not a junta. Sheesh!
Rich....You are mistaken about a Congressman's position.
Sec Def (Civ)
Please note that the Vice President is NOT in the Chain of Command.
As another poster stated Congressman hold a position of respect as do all elected officials, no more then any other elected official they are NOT in our chain of command.
As for the salutation used the General could have used either the Salutation Senator or Ma'am, but since the Senator asked him to use Senator that is what he should defer to. She was not wrong in requesting this, however I think the issue is HOW she said it.
For example a US Navy Officer with a rank of Commander or below, that is also the Captain of a ship, which is a rank, can also be called Skipper.
I was on a ship were the Captain, who was a Commander, did NOT want to be called skipper and he let everyone know this in no uncertain terms. That being said during the crossing the line ceremony he was dressed up by the senior SHELLBACK on the ship, as he was a WOG, to look like the Skipper with an Ensign dressed up as his Little Buddy and the salty Lieutenant Shellback (ME) had them sing the tune from Gilligan's Island.....
He was a good sport......during this very old Naval tradition.......
Any way...... The General could have avoided the whole incident by calling her Senator from the very beginning, but honestly he was giving her positional authority by calling her ma'am. If I were to say Senator I am CLEARLY letting that Senator know they hold NO authority over me. If I say Ma'am it is far more differential and inclusive. My current Commanding Officer is a Female. I say Ma'am which is far more appropriate then CAPTAIN, both show positional authority, but calling her CAPTAIN, although also giving her positional authority, it shows the difference to such a measure that it would not be necessarily respectful.
In the days when I was an Enlisted man I would render respect to my Division Officers by calling them Sir, Boss, or Divo or even LT. If I wanted to show them LESS respect I would call them Lieutenant.
You will not find most of these in books, although you will find the chain of command. The terms used are much more subtle....kind of like when an Officer uses Aye-Aye to a senior......it Officially means I hear, understand and will obey...... It CAN, depending on the context and conversation used immediately prior to using it, mean "I don't blankty-blank agree with you but your the boss so I will do it your way."
Kind of like the many different ways a salute can be rendered.... Remember when presidents walk off Marine 1 (Helo) the Marine Sentry may or may not face them.....Take a look at some of the different shots. Many of those guards are facing away from the bird. They still render a proper salute, but the context is FAR different and it sends a signal then if they are FACING the President...... Depends on the Guard and who is walking off the bird.
You can find them facing away or towards for each President, but their is a meaning.