Posted on Dec 14, 2020
SGT Intelligence Analyst
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This is the second time I’ve gotten reprimanded for this situation. I was walking with a binder in my hands, and a mug in the other hand. I walked past a CSM and a CPT, greeted both as I was unable to salute. CSM stopped me and demanded that I drop everything to salute the CPT. AR 600-25 states that I am not required to render a salute if I am carrying articles with both hands. What is the right answer?
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LTC Hardware Test Engineer
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hand whatever you are holding in your right hand to the CSM and salute......
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COL Keith Chinn
COL Keith Chinn
1 mo
SSG Timothy Lanham - You were right, he was wrong. Saluting is a military courtesy not a regulation.
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CPO Nate S.
CPO Nate S.
1 mo
Forgive me as I am late to this thread, but common sense is important!

First, NEVER go outside with anything in your right hand, especially a cup of coffee (i.e., something to drink) even if you are right-handed. If you must carry something (i.e., a binder, briefcase, folder of papers, etc.) keep it ALWAYS in your left hand and BE PREPARED to salute unimpeded!!!

You should not be eating/drinking and walking outside as it is POOR military bearing!!!

Frankly, I am surprised to see this kind of question from a US Army SGT! I'd expect this from an E-1 and few of them!!! But a Sgt, whom I assume has more than one day in uniform!!!

Finally, I believe that the AR is speaking to more difficult scenarios like a box requiring 2-hands and similar situations. Coffee (i.e., mug) again, is not what the reg you are trying to "skirt" is saying. You are offering the reg as a way to NOT render proper respect for the rank of an officer. There have been several officers I don't personally respect because of their questionable ethics (i.e., motives), but I have NEVER failed to salute and respect the rank from Butter Bar to 4-Star.

Ref:
https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_pubs/DR_a/pdf/web/ARN20654_R600_25_Admin_FINAL.pdf (Note: I read the 2019 AR Section 2, 2-1i(3). While the language is plain in apparent meaning, what it should have done is provide a practical example (i.e., carrying a box, etc.) and examples of what is NOT appropriate (i.e., carrying a binder and a mug of something.) I can see how the wording ambiguity of this regulation can lead you to believe you are not required to salute as a matter of convince (i.e., laziness, excuse.)

https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_pubs/DR_a/ARN32297-TC_3-21.5-000-WEB-1.pdf

Added Comments:

Oh, the CSM! Like our Navy Master Chiefs have the opportunity to provide instruction to both the CPT and the SGT.

1st - The CSM could have reminded the SGT that good order and discipline begins with respect, if not for the person, then for the RANK!!! In an instructive voice he would acknowledge the AR but remind the SGT and the CPT that while both his/her hands are occupied they are not "professionally" occupied because drinking coffee while walking outside is not professional demeanor. Then, he should have offered to ask for the coffee and request the salute for the CPT. An effective CSM would have taken the time to instruct both the enlisted and the officer, reminding both of their mutual obligation to know not only the letter of the regulations, but the SPIRIT as well.

2nd - Regardless of the salute being considered "a courtesy" verse "a regulation" then why have an AR at all whose title is Salutes, Honors and Courtesy if not to provide a "a regulatory consideration so that people are clear and not arbitrary? Oh, the AR is fairly specific stating "...All Army personnel in uniform are 'required' to salute when they meet and recognize persons entitled to the salute. Salutes will be exchanged between officers (commissioned and warrant) and enlisted personnel of the Armed Forces of the United States (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Public Health Service...". The word "required" is not "optional' or "if they feel like it". Just saying that while a salute is a 'courtesy' the language of the AR does not make it OPTIONAL, but the AR attempts to provide "common sense" guidance to both Officer and Enlisted so they may respect - each other! In fact, the CSM has a duty to know such regs and when NOT in HOSTILE operations be the teacher to both. In this way the CSM is always serving as the bridge as is their "unwritten" duty to do!

3rd - The CSM should have helped to lead the SGT to the proper behavior and taught the SGT how to think! I have been part of writing many instructions and always found it helpful to have examples explaining certain language (i.e., a picture is worth a 1,000 words, so to speak).

Oh, if this was the 2nd time the SGT had been spoken to about the issue, it should not have taken a 2nd time. Any junior person should always know the regs and learn HOW TO THINK and HOW TO ASK for PROPER GUIDANCE when something in a regulation is unclear. This should always be done with COMMON SENSE! I have never faulted a junior Enlisted for bringing to me anything that was questionable so I could chew on it. Same for officers! My job as a senior enlisted is to uphold BOTH the letter and the spirit of it all!!! Difficult yes! But it is worth doing well when the results of such efforts are observed!!!

Just an old guy's perspective...........................Just saying.................
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LCpl Michael Cappello
LCpl Michael Cappello
27 d
Aye Aye SIR !!! Outstanding answer.
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PO1 Joseph Collins
PO1 Joseph Collins
7 d
An outstanding course of action, LTC!
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SFC Michael Hasbun
202
199
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Stop carrying stuff in your right hand. Was I the only one taught that the right hand was unofficially forbidden from carrying stuff? =o)
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LCDR Jerry Maurer
LCDR Jerry Maurer
2 mo
In my infantry days, geez, over three decades ago, military weren't allowed to eat or drink while walking outside. But, yeah, don't carry stuff in your right hand. And any NCO worth their salt knows how to tuck the binder under their left arm and render a salute.
Carry the coffee in your left hand, if it's now allowed outside. When I got commissioned, I thought, "finally I don't have to salute all the time". That lasted about a day because not only did I still have to salute 99% of the officers I used to have to salute, but I also now had to salute every single enlisted man! So, for all you enlisted that look for ways to get out of saluting, remember that officers have to salute about three times as many individuals. But the biggest surprise for me on getting my commission was how much harder I worked than when I was enlisted. And as I worked my way up in rank, I had to do more and more work, longer hours. I realized that officers earn our respect and that salute, especially senior officer.
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Frank Leverett
Frank Leverett
2 mo
When I was in ROTC before I stupidly left and didn't continue to active duty, I was told that the only reason to carry anything in your right hand was either a LARGE object or two man carry, if you then could not free your right hand, you verbally greet the officer with "Good Morning Sir/Ma'am!"
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CPT Tim Gust
CPT Tim Gust
1 mo
LCDR Jerry Maurer - I thought the samething about saluting when i went from NCO to officer
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SGT Byron Labadie
SGT Byron Labadie
1 d
This thread messes me up. I was clearing a hedge row with clippers and dragging a rake through the cuttings into a pile during BCT. A LTC stopped and chewed me out big-time for not dropping the rake and saluting him. My D.I's had informed us it was not necessary to salute with tools in my hands. I wonder if the LTC was playing mind games with me or if I had really F's up.
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Lt Col Charlie Brown
195
194
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The right answer is not to put yourself in those situations if possible. Seriously.
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SGT William Benson
SGT William Benson
5 mo
The regulations pertain to bulky items and cargo. Groceries are one thing, a cup of coffee is another.
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PO1 Mark Dozier
PO1 Mark Dozier
3 mo
A cup of good coffee outrank everyone except the CO and CMC.
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MGySgt Rick Tyrrell
MGySgt Rick Tyrrell
2 mo
If I have to carry a 100 lb box from the supply locker to the barracks how do I avoid that situation? Seriously. Sometimes maybe the officer should look at the circumstances before creating an embarrassing situation.
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PV2 Glenn E Moody
PV2 Glenn E Moody
2 d
well I had A 2nd LT Butter BAR messing with me when I was in the guard in the field he kapt ordering me to SALUTE him in combat training conditions he was messing with me because i didn't have High SCHOOL or A GED because i never finished H/S & never got my GED so one day he ordered me to SALUTE him I DID with A Recoil A smack to his face and told him that it was A snipper round killing us both he got his rank from ROTC & SCHOOL he didn't earn it period I was with the Company for 4 + years as the M-60 team & was really good at it & everyone likec me from the PVT'S to the CO. the BUTTER got his ass chewed & told to back of me & leave me alone the 1st SGT & CO called us both in the office I thaught i was all done but to my serprise the 2nd LT was told to quote (STOP FCKING WITH ME) period they saw what he was doing to me and put A stop to it. my 1st SGT told me stay out of his path until he was gone yes he got transfured out of the company for striking him i got nothing no ART-15 no NJP nothing I have always respected the rank & most of my Military time the person with the rank to. now to this day I am around the top brass as A VETERAN SGT AT ARMS for the 26th (YANKEE) INFANTRY DIVISION VETERANS ASSOCIATION. the Y.D.V.A. BOSTON. MA. CHAPTER. I do alot of change of Command ceremony's & MEMORIAL DAY & VETERANS DAY ceremony's @ the BOURNE NATIONAL CEMETERY every year I present A WREATH as (Past Commander 2009 - 2010 of the AMERICAN LEGION POST #380 HOUGH NECK QUINCY) & the VETERANS OF QUINCY MA.
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