Posted on Oct 28, 2014
SGM Senior Adviser, National Communications
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The proliferation of questions about saluting leads to this comment, based on models from the French Foreign Legion and even the Korean Army, where soldiers once saluted all NCOs of a higher rank. If the salute is a form of respect and courtesy, and if NCOs are in fact "officers" without a commission, would such a thing be disruptive, silly, or a new respectful tradition? American Soldiers do, at times, salute NCOs in formations, promotion boards, etc.
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CW5 Desk Officer
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SGM (Join to see), thanks for another thought-provoking (and possibly controversial) question. Having been an NCO for a while and an enlisted man for over eight years, my vote on this question is no. I think the "divide" for salutes between enlisted and officers is appropriate. I'm thinking that some folks would have to salute half the day if they were to salute and return salutes to and from all personnel. But the main reason I say no is that I think the practice of saluting only officers is appropriate.
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MSG John Wirts
MSG John Wirts
>1 y
This was a compound , normally indoor salute is only from an enlisted reporting to an officer, and returned by the officer. Outdoors in the compound the ratio of officers to enlisted was 3 to 1, if the normal procedures were followed none of the enlisted would have ever made it from the workstation to the latrine.
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SP5 Tom Carlson
SP5 Tom Carlson
>1 y
I was carrying a battery for my huet one time but was not quit to the flight line when a CW@ ju,ped me for not saluting,, actually made put down the battery salute chewed my ass, made me salute again.. the CO a Major walked by and sad let me give you a hand with that, we got it the helicopter asked me what happened with mr. X I told him he said okay. that Cw2 had weekend duty officer in Operations for the next 3 weekends,, and blamed me for it and never forgot...no real repercussion came from him ,,, but was another notch on the reason to re-enlist again.
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LTC Stephen C.
LTC Stephen C.
>1 y
CW5 (Join to see), I agree with your response.
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SGT Army Musician
SGT (Join to see)
8 y
SP5 Tom Carlson - Wrong, in FM 7-21.13 CH4: 4-13. All soldiers in uniform are required to salute when they meet and recognize persons entitled (by grade) to a salute except when it is inappropriate or impractical (in public conveyances such as planes and buses, in public places such as inside theaters, or when driving a vehicle).
It's inappropriate and impractical for an Officer to expect that you literally drop what you're doing in order to "render his honors". Jaw-jacking is one thing, but you were moving equipment for a reason.
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1SG Eoc Ops Coordinator / Ga Certified Emergency Manager
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Not getting wrapped around the axisle on this one....it's too close to "should 2LTs salute 1LTs". Leave Army tradition as it is written in the AR. Maintaining current Army traditions and standards are difficult enough for many....with out coming up with this something new!
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MSG John Wirts
MSG John Wirts
>1 y
In my day privates E-1 & E-2, PFC E-3 Mosquito wing and Specialist E-4 came to parade rest, and greet an approaching NCO. We would come to attention, greet, and salute when approached by an officer. In work details the person in charge would render proper greeting, salute if appropriate. This worked very well proper respect was rendered, everyone knew what was expected and and what to expect if they failed to render proper courtesy!
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LTC Stephen C.
LTC Stephen C.
>1 y
1SG (Join to see), I agree with your response.
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1SG Eoc Ops Coordinator / Ga Certified Emergency Manager
1SG (Join to see)
>1 y
@ CPL Christopher Bishop, Which is why the Army and the USMC has customs and courtseys as regulations, and perscribe the rolls of each from Pvt to SGM and 2LT to General officer and hence the rolls of each and fortunately did not leave it t the desgretion of individuals. Your thoughts and reasoning demonstrate why we have these regulations and do not rely on the each individuals personal feelings. A SGM salutes a 2LT due to his appoint and assignment granted by the Presdent of the United States. That same 2nd LT respects the rank and postion of the SGM due to his experience and time tested leadership exepriences. Fortunately nether branch of service allowed it to be based on anyone's personal observations. You speak for the mess that it would be!
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Cpl Christopher Bishop
Cpl Christopher Bishop
>1 y
No argument, 1SG Randall McPherson, except that we have heard those stories about certain newer 2LTs not showing much respect for senior enlisted, who are just on their own "power trips" etc. This is of course not ALL 2LTs...but there have been and likely will always be a few.

I fully understand the need for said regulations when 2 or more people cannot wrap their heads around having certain levels of respect for each other. But I do not believe this always HAS to be where regulation trumps familiarity within the working unit. If my own PltCmdr isn't fussing about my "Hey, Lieutenant, you got a minute?" then nobody else should be, either. And when he does not, its probably some demonstrated act of my own earned respect in his view.

I'm not saying the regulations are bad or aren't important...EXCEPT when the parties involved are capable of utilizing their brain housing groups...and the regulations do not have to band-aid the lack of such.

I wouldn't be "being Me" if I didn't go a step further, so I shall:

In the Corps, when a conversation was happening where a given Marine being a female was relevant, we referred to them as "WMs" for Women Marines. Somehow this became viewed as derogatory. So it came down that this shall be changed to "FMs" for Female Marines. Most enlisted folks kinda thought "What's the difference?" We are not even talking to them directly so its not like the ladies are being offended, nor should there even be any implication that said discussion does involve anything disrespectful. If the intention was in fact to be slanderous about women, there are plenty of much stronger and harsher terms than simply "WMs or FMs" to use...yet these days the topics about ladies serving in future combat jobs are usually written as "Women in Combat" not Females in Combat. So I say again What's the difference?" Someone gets upset about a particular semantic, then replaces it with more of the same?

I said all of that...to say this: "Sir"---has become the brainless auto-pilot response to sunlight lighting up someone's collar. But calling a LT "Lieutenant" is kinda like saying "Now that's a real LT right there, not the proverbial "Butterbar" right out of school.

This is in part why the Grunt vs POG tensions exist. Grunts ain't got no time for this semantics stuff. And while we're on the subject of that, I have said all over RP and I will say again here: I got no problem with Women or Females or Ladies in combat roles so long as the standards are not dropped. But what I do question lies in wondering where all the Real Men are who used to keep these jobs so filled that entertaining the need for our sisters to do them ever became relevant.
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SPC David S.
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Only with the left hand.
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SP5 Michael Rathbun
SP5 Michael Rathbun
9 y
SGM (Join to see), that would explain for me the apparent redundancy of the command "Right Hand ... ... SALUTE!". I never researched whether there might be a left hand salute.
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1LT William Clardy
1LT William Clardy
9 y
MSG John Wirts, the M16 is a rifle and the corresponding hand placement would be just below the front sling swivel (where the stacking swivel was located on the M1 Garand). The action described is for a stationary soldier is simply coming from parade rest to present arms when armed.

SGM (Join to see), which is confusing you, the position of trail arms or saluting in a field environment?
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MSG John Wirts
MSG John Wirts
9 y
Well the carbine was for SHORT DISTANCES, Ie Mi carbine and others like it, some are chambered in pistol calibers. The M1 Garand, BAR, M14, and M60 are all in a sense rifles. Their projectiles will kill at up to 600 meters. The M-16, M-16A1 and 2, The M4(correctly identified as a carbine), and the SAW are all carbines! The M1 Garand was chambered in 30-06, the M1 carbine was chambered in 30 cal carbine,a shorter,less powerful round, it was primarily a larger weapon to give the user more confidence then a pistol. No army in the world has ever had a RIFLE AND A CARBINE chambered for the same round! Quit drinking the Kool Aid, check out the standard definition of these words, and see what they really mean.
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CPT Kevin Connolly
CPT Kevin Connolly
7 y
Drum majors in the fife & drum corps of the 3rd Infantry Regt. salute with the left hand because the right hand is occupied holding the espontoon.
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