Shanghai Jim (shanghai_jim) wrote in little_details,
Shanghai Jim

U.S. Army courtesies: use of "sir" among officers

Setting: still World War II, still in the field, late 1944/early 1945, the Southwestern Pacific Command (Army, General MacArthur) (as opposed to Southern Pacific command of the Navy under Admiral Nimitz)

Searched: "military courtesy", "military courtesy officers", "sir officers equal rank"

In the U.S. Army, among officers of similar rank but with varying positions of seniority, what is the correct usage of "sir"? Particular instance in my story is: my character has just been given a battlefield commission and is reporting to his new CO in Company B. His CO invites him to join in an informal briefing with the battalion S-2.

All three are just promoted to their current positions after their regiment lost 400 men in a 40-day battle: my character from a platoon sergeant in Company C, the company CO from platoon leader in Company A, and the S-2 from platoon leader in the very Company B now in question. My character and the new S-2 knew each other relatively well considering being in different companies. The new CO is more of a stranger to my character.

They're all lieutenants. I'm sure the CO is a First Lieutenant, and I'm sure my character is a 2nd Lieutenant. Not sure about the S-2, but I'm assuming he's a First Lieutenant too.

Basic question I haven't quite picked up from repeated viewings of my favorite WW2 movies, among other things: where does "sir" come into their conversation?

It's a semi-casual conversation. My guy is still falling back on his noncom days and is not at all comfortable with being an officer. As a character point, he will be instinctively starting or ending any sentence to either man with "sir". Is there any propriety in him not saying "sir" to either of them during this conversation? Do the CO and the S-2 treat each other as equals? Any first names at all?


(edited to clarify relationships and how they got to where they are now.)
Tags: usa: military: historical, ~world war ii

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