What do we call Colin Powell?

If you ran into Colin Powell at the supermarket do you call him General Powell or Secretary Powell.
The New York Times calls him both in this article.

It seems to me that we should call him one or the other not both.

(What if a priest was named Secretary of State? Would you call him Father Secretary?)

I call him “Col-Baby” or “my bro”. :D:D

IMHO, one title should be more than sufficient.
Since Mr. Powell is not acting as a military general any longer dropping his General title seems reasonable.

Did we call George Washington “President General George Washington”?
Did we call Ulysses Grant “President General Ulysses Grant”?

The Most Reverend Mother Superior Professor Doctor Sir Hercimer Quackenbush III, Esquire, MD, DDS, PhD, and KFC.

He will most likely wish to be addressed as Secretary Powell, the first time you meet him. Perhaps if he warms up to you, you can call him “Colin” but I doubt that.

However, when George Marshall was Secretary of State everyone referred to him as “General”, but that’s how he liked to be addressed. He also gives off a much different aura than Powell. Marshall always seemed like a military man, even when he was a civilian. Powell doesn’t come across that way.

Mr Powell? And then I’d call him sir.

I think I once read somewhere (ahh, who am I kidding, it was probably on tv) that Eisenhower wanted to be called General after he left office (and maybe even after his death).

Can anyone confirm this story?

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher called him Secretary Powell throughout yesterday’s press briefing.


I believe I recently heard a radio news report mention that he told his new staff that he does not wish to be referred to as “General Powell.”

Sorry I can’t be more specific about my source. :frowning: