Posted on Mar 16, 2014
MSG Martinis Butler
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Should a salute be rendered at a re-enlistment ceremony outside
in uniform when the flag is being unfolded and folded? Is this not a
prestigious significant event?



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Responses: 5
CSM Mike Maynard
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Edited >1 y ago
SFC Butler,

You'll be hard-pressed to find anything in any of our doctrine or customs and courtesy's when talking about a "flag" - there is plenty of stuff when talking about "colors" though. And yes, there is a difference.

Just as there is no requirement to render a salute to the flag on the flagpole as folks walk by it every day, there is no requirement in saluting a flag.

The only time that it even seems that we do is a coincidence, because we salute at the first note of "To the Colors" and drop our salute at the end of the bugle call.

Now, that's ironic - we play "To the Colors" and then lower the "flag"? hmmmmmm. Ok, sorry, got side-tracked.

With that said, is it "wrong" to salute a flag - no, there is no prohibition against it. We just have to decide what is the norm and ensure that we educate everyone on what the "proper" response is to avoid confusion.
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CSM Mike Maynard
CSM Mike Maynard
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SSG Angelo - we would never prohibit anyone from rendering honors, so saluting is not wrong, it's just not required by US Code.
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SFC Platoon Sergeant
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As always...when in doubt, whip it out!! There is never a wrong time in my opinion to honor our great flag. Just my opinion
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SSG Brian Carpenter
SSG Brian Carpenter
3 mo
CSM Maynard,

Unless it has changed since 2006, you DO salute the Colors on the pole. 6 paces before and 6 paces after. I was taught this in PLDC as well as BNCOC. And it still reads the same in FM 21.13 chapter 4 under customs and courtesies. That it is not being sited by senior NCO's on here i just wanted to see if the regulations have changed. If not you should be embarrassed that you would misinform subordinate soldiers on such a public forum. My challenge for all of you is "read exactly what it says" to find what is right. If it is taught in military leadership courses why would it not apply every day like in my time.
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CSM Mike Maynard
CSM Mike Maynard
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SSG Brian Carpenter - My challenge for you is to "read exactly what it says" - You are correct in how you react to "colors", the issue is that colors don't go on a flag pole, a flag does. That is the difference. Pay attention to detail and be assured that senior NCOs would not be purposely or ignorantly providing the wrong advice on this forum.
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CW4 Ordnance Assignment Officer/Career Manager
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SFC Butler,

When I reenlist Soldiers and NCOs, I definitely set the tone by rendering a proper salute when the flag is being cased or uncased at a reenlistment ceremony outdoors. I believe it's the right thing to do out of respect and honor.

Thank you for sharing your post.

Very Respectfully,
CW3 Jones
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CW2 Cbrn Warrant Officer
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I say follow the rules in accordance with TC 3–21.5 that outline casing and Uncasing of the colors. If you notice on the section for the Reveille ceremony, it determines to not unfold the flag lengthwise that it's because the colors are not to be fully displayed. The flag is to be fully displayed as soon as the first note of the bugle call plays. Therefore, a hand salute is to be rendered.

Also, under the flag retreat section there is a note that indicates that once folded it is to be treated as a cased colors and given the upmost respect (no salute required).
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MSG Martinis Butler
MSG Martinis Butler
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Actually its not casing and uncasing of the flag that is questionable but it was a unit doing a re-enlistment with the unit U.S flag. The regs doesn't specify or make clear for this type of event but I just figured due respect should be in order that's all.
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CW2 Cbrn Warrant Officer
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If that is the case, follow the guidance under Color Guard section of TC 3-21.5. That would be the right answer, wether it is done or not is a whole different issue.
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