I've corresponded with some high profile, exceptionally busy professionals over my 30 year career in the Navy. No one compares to Admiral (Dean) James Stavridis. You can see from his tweet above that he spent the morning hand signing diplomas and writing personal notes of congratulations to hundreds of Fletcher grads. Who does that? Men and women who GENUINELY care about the people around them, that's who! He's a rare breed.
Admiral Stavridis is simply in a class all by himself. But there are some just outside his circle - Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld, General Stanley McChrystal, VADM Dave Oliver, and LtGen Smith. Few leaders understand the OVERWHELMING power of a personal note.
The flip side of the coin are those leaders who can't/won't/don't make the time for such things. One of the busiest men in the country has proven it can be done. He works his time like the instruments of the best symphony or the talents of the best ballet company in the world. He makes it look too simple.
So, a colleague was asking about when she might expect to get a response from a Flag officer regarding a letter she had written some months ago. I couldn't remember what the protocol was but told her that as a former Flag Aide, 'my' Flag insisted that all correspondence receive a reply within 2 weeks (10 business days). I went in search of a more precise answer and turned to the Secretary of the Navy Correspondence Manual which governs such things as much as they can be governed.
Knowing the state of affairs in today's Flag offices, I am more inclined to tell my colleague not to hold her breath while awaiting a response. Breathe easy - the staff is working it.