Posted on Apr 21, 2017
SGT Tank Gunner
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I had a newer Private in my unit pose this question to me at my last drill weekend. In context, this Private was walking outside the Company area and saluted a cadet who did not return the salute. I have minimal experience dealing with Cadets, and informed him that I would get a proper answer for him. To my understanding they can be saluted as a sign of respect, but it isn't required yet.
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SGT Victoria Belbusti
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We had a cadet spend a few weeks with us in a Charlie Med one summer. She said we had to salute her. One of my buddies rattled off the regulation you posted above. Then said, "no miss, we do not have to salute you, you haven't commissioned yet, you kind of aren't actually IN the army yet".
The same cadet was quite butthurt and kept terrorizing the lower enlisted for salutes. So we just started to call her "dot" referring to her "rank".
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1LT William Clardy
1LT William Clardy
4 mo
As an old-school NCO, I have to disagree with you COL Jack Taliaferro.
MSgt Jeff Greene's policy of treating cadets with respect is completely within both tradition and protocol. Not only is there no regulation restricting who you may salute, even the lowliest of cadets falls within the line of succession to the take acting command of a unit in battle.
As for all those folks who think that insulting, denigrating or otherwise harassing cadets is defensible on the grounds that they haven't "earned" your respect, who do you think is supposed to teach them that respect is a 2-way street when all they're feeling is the hate?
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COL Jack Taliaferro
COL Jack Taliaferro
4 mo
As an old school officer with 38 years service over much of the world, I've never heard or seen such. It's fine I guess if that's what one desires.
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SGT James Searle
SGT James Searle
3 mo
SSgt Myrissa Weeks - Kudos on "slisdexia"! (However, I'd likely have gone with either "lysdexia" or "slydexia.")
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Col Stewart Holmes
Col Stewart Holmes
3 mo
Wow, I cannot believe this is still a discussion issue in 2020. Military Academy Cadets are on active duty in the grade of Cadet. They have no commission or warrant. They only salute officers and no one salutes them. ROTC Cadets are normally in reserve status. When they are on orders in active status, they are the same as Academy Cadets. I am a 1984 Air Force Academy grad and retired Colonel O-6. If a Service Academy Cadet ever does this, shame on them because they are taught the rank structure. If someone salutes them by mistake they should return the salute and then explain that no one needs to salute a Cadet.
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SFC George Smith
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NO ... they have Not Yet earned the Right or the Privileges... they still have the opportunity to BOLO
When We were training or had to deal with them ... in the Distant past... they were referred as Cadet... and treated as Sgt. E-5's...
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GySgt Gary Cordeiro
GySgt Gary Cordeiro
6 mo
You give them too much respect. Many butter bars received the same amount of respect, then disciplined for being out of uniform in a combat zone.
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MAJ Herbert Head
MAJ Herbert Head
5 mo
To PVT Adam Llanes point. They are paid at the rank of E-5 regardless of the fact they are SMP's. Their rank is somewhat equivalent to E5 rank. Most cadets are so new and have such little training at this point they have no idea what they are doing and what the army protocols and regulations are.
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LtCol William Bentley
LtCol William Bentley
4 mo
MAJ Herbert Head - The only ROTC cadets or midshipmen who are paid at the E-5 grade are Army SMP dual-status members, with concurrent enlisted E-5 status and Army ROTC cadet status. This has been the law for a couple decades now.

In the past (including for me back in the late '80's), ROTC cadets and mids were routinely paid at E-5 for periods of active duty for training, like OCS, etc. But this changed, and Congress directed that all ROTC cadets and mids be paid at the same rate as the Service Academy cadets and mids, which is 35% of an O-1 with less than 2 years of service. So, each time an Army, Navy, or Air Force ROTC cadet or mid performs active duty for training under orders, they are paid the same daily rate as their colleagues in the Service Academies.

Notice this is not the case for the aforementioned SMP, as they have a different pay status under the law and regulations, and "officer candidates" and "officer cadets" who are NOT of the ROTC or Service Academy flavor are, in fact, paid at E-5.

This is the fine distinction between the Service Academy and ROTC commissioning programs, per se, and all other commissioning programs, where the candidates/cadets may be paid at E-5 (although they are not technically E-5's...only paid at that rate...).
Cheers,
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LTC Forrest Brandt
LTC Forrest Brandt
3 mo
I was sworn in as a Enlisted Reserve, ER 15 725 806, prior to beginning Advanced ROTC AND paid as an e-3 for 6 weeks of summer camp duty. We could fly mil stand by within CONUS in uniform, but we were not saluted or sired by enlisted during that training time. This was all pre-Volar.
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COL Charles Williams
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SGT (Join to see) The answer is in 600-20, but this article summarizes it pretty succinctly...
https://mwi.usma.edu/yes-sergeant-actually-west-point-cadet-outrank/
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CW4 Harris Smith
CW4 Harris Smith
8 mo
When all else fails try reading guidance (AR 600-20). Kudos to COL Williams. Great response, sir.
When I was a SSG I remember babysitting (my commander's words) some West Point cadets. Mostly after duty hours as we were in bachelor quarters together. We treated each other with respect and I didn't have any problems dealing with the occasional smart ass. Most of them were well behaved, serious young men who were soon to be commissioned officers and wanted to learn from NCO's who had "been there and got the T-shirt".
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SSG Elizabeth LeMere
SSG Elizabeth LeMere
6 mo
I have always believed no matter what regulation or article,. the commanding officer of the base has the authority to override any of them within limits?
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SCPO John Schneider
SCPO John Schneider
6 mo
From memory, Admiral Nimitz when addressing an Academy Graduation said (out of context) "The sailor is sly, cunning and devious and bears watching at all times". This introduction would have left some of the class with a negative impression & could color one's attitude for the remainder of a career. Whilst this was from the 1940's it still was not in the interest of promoting future leader attitudes.
Treating a young impressionable Cadet with anything but common decency and respect could in fact cause unnecessary 'coloring' of their attitude to life in the services. So a little common courteously could have a long lasting impact on a future leader.
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SSG Ray Elliott
SSG Ray Elliott
3 mo
When I was in the Navy we would often have Midshipmen come aboard our ship to learn the ins and outs of shipboard life. We were always told to treat them the same as we would Junior officers. The only thing I couldn't bring myself to do was can them sir, so I just referred to them as Midshipman. We would show them around the ship, explain the daily routine to them, tell them about the equipment we maintained, etc. Most of them were very gracious, and didn't cop an attitude. A few could be smartasses, and we could usually put them in their place by reminding them they were there to learn from us. We did salute them when appropriate.
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