Posted on Apr 5, 2020
2d Lt Asst Comm./Training Officer
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Recently when walking past a senior officer from my unit I acknowledged him and saluted. When the salute was not returned, I was told that I was beyond the 40 feet rule and the officer did not return the salute. What is regulation?
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1SG Mark Flowers
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I concur with SFC Kelley. Regardless of the distance, if a Soldier or Airman renders a salute, and the senior recognizes it, they should return the salute. To me, not returning a salute is a mark of disrespect.
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1SG Mark Flowers
1SG Mark Flowers
1 mo
MAJ (Join to see) Sir, I don’t mean the UCMJ version of disrespect. I mean the general concept of respect within any closed group.
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MAJ Battalion Oic
MAJ (Join to see)
1 mo
Roger, Top. If I worded it different it would have been to state we’re on the same page. As a young NCO I too found it disrespectful for an officer to not return my salute. 1SG Mark Flowers
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SPC Andrew Murray
SPC Andrew Murray
1 mo
CMSgt Virgil Horsley could be both.
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SGM Robert Murray
SGM Robert Murray
1 mo
Respect/professionalism are both subjective perspectives. Distance requiring a salute and/or a response is subjective. In my 25 years active, been many an occasion where the salute wasn't returned be it civilian clothes or uniformed officer. Customs and courtesies. . .whoa. Nothing is ever absolute. I've been retired 22 years, and I still salute just because I like showing respect to others. Some appreciate, some are confused, some are angered by that TYPE of respect I'm showing to them <go figure>. I'm going to "do me" because I can.
I have, on occasion, challenged by "asking" why the salute wasn't returned <as in "you didn't see me?> . Most readily admit over oversight and apologize. A few others? Yep, they got a little testy <still wrong>. Life in the military.
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CWO4 Michael Doyle
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I wouldn't let this bother you, consider it part of your orientation process. Continue on doing what you think is right - if your saluting is from to far away others will let you know and you can adjust. You're going to meet all kinds - some good, some bad. Adopt the good, forget the bad until you're experienced enough to provide necessary feed back / correction.
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SFC Ralph E Kelley
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Edited 1 mo ago
Good question. Will repost and update here.
First blush is, "An officer should be alert to give, or return, a salute or verbal greeting. Salutes are exchanged when as close as six paces (always far enough away to allow the senior officer time to respond), and within a maximum distance of 30 paces (about 75 feet)".
However that wasn't from an AR but an unofficial online source.
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2d Lt Asst Comm./Training Officer
2d Lt (Join to see)
1 mo
There is also somewhere I've read that an officer , when rendered a salute, should respond in kind.
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SFC Ralph E Kelley
SFC Ralph E Kelley
1 mo
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2d Lt (Join to see) - Absolutely. And according to Update from USAF AFI 34-1201 9 June 2017 the distance does not matter - Recognition is the point, not the distance.
On the flip side, if you had not saluted you would probably gotten your ass handed to you. "When in doubt whip it out".
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2d Lt Asst Comm./Training Officer
2d Lt (Join to see)
1 mo
No doubt!
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