Posted on Nov 4, 2016
SN Greg Wright
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If your initial answer is 'no wai! Ossifers NEVER salute enlisted first!!'....step back and reassess. Alternatively, step back and learn. Because there's at least TWO situations where this happens, that I can think of in my old age.
Edited >1 y ago
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Responses: 307
SPC Jill Drushal, RN, MA
277
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Edited >1 y ago
Officers salute enlisted Medal of Honor recipients first.
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SSG Ralph Watkins
SSG Ralph Watkins
1 y
SSG Jer Green - Bad Toelz, Germany at the end of 1983. The 7th Army NCO Academy. Fun times, especially spit shining the black strip down the middle of the hall way every night.
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MAJ N/A
MAJ (Join to see)
11 mo
AR 600-25 does not require that an Officer salute a MOH recipient, but nothing prohibits it and custom suggests that it is entirely appropriate. My professional opinion is that anyone who received the MOH deserves my salute.
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1stSgt Mark Williams
1stSgt Mark Williams
7 mo
I was actually told while in NCO leadership (back about 1980) that MOH winners should always be saluted first, but I never could find a reference. I asked my CO and he said (O-6) that there was no regulation or instruction that stated that, but if a MOH was not saluted first and he saw it, that person would have a very bad day.
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SPC Jill Drushal, RN, MA
SPC Jill Drushal, RN, MA
7 mo
1stSgt Mark Williams - I was a driver who was married to a senior personnel NCO. I met a variety of different servicemembers from different branches of the military, especially Army and Air Force. I learned that there are some "Customs & Courtesies" that aren't written down.
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SFC Joseph Weber
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I used to give the old head fake arm jerk to get officers to salute first. Does that count?
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PO1 Cliff Heath
PO1 Cliff Heath
>1 y
I just missed you I reported on-board JAN79-AUG82, I do have 1 of the extra Cruise Books from 78 WESTPAC. i was V-3 DIV. Bay-rat. respect to "BLOOD, SWEAT AND STEAM"
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SSgt W. Aaron Gregory
SSgt W. Aaron Gregory
>1 y
PO1 Cliff Heath - Unless the ensign or 2nd Lieutenant is a mustang. Try that shit then.
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COL Jon Lopey
COL Jon Lopey
10 mo
Joseph: Good one! I almost saluted a Marine on Camp Pendleton who turned out to be a private (E-1). I was at the separations center and he was wearing dress greens and he had three stacks of Viet Nam ribbons (including the Air Medal) and he was wearing wings. I aborted the salute when I failed to see brass and noticed a hash mark! He was a decorated hero but obviously ran afoul of the UCMJ and was being discharged as a private E-1. COL L
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Sgt William Straub Jr.
Sgt William Straub Jr.
10 mo
PO1 Cliff Heath - My uncle was a LtCmdr involved with the installation of the Nuclear Power Plants. I was on the Enterprise for it's commissioning in Nov 61 as I remember, I was just 12. At the time it was CVAN-65. Jump ahead 40+ years, my son Stephen was stationed on her in 2002-2004 as I remember. Family history. My uncle took me on a tour of the ship the day before the commissioning and when we were on the bridge, I got tired and jumped on this nice looking chair. I thought he was going to have a stroke, "Get the hell out of the Captains' chair". I didn't realize.
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LTC Marc King
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Edited >1 y ago
ORIGIN OF THE HAND SALUTE
No one knows the precise origin of today’s hand salute. From earliest times and in many distant armies throughout history, the right hand (or "weapon hand") has been raised as a greeting of friendship. The idea may have been to show that you weren't ready to use a rock or other weapon. Courtesy required that the inferior make the gesture first. Certainly there is some connection between this old gesture and our present salute.
One romantic legend has it that today’s military salute descended from the medieval knight's gesture of raising his visor to reveal his identity as a courtesy on the approach of a superior. Another even more fantastic version is that it symbolizes a knight's shielding his eyes from the dazzling beauty of some high-born lady sitting in the bleachers of the tournament.
The military salute has in fact had many different forms over the centuries. At one time it was rendered with both hands! In old prints one may see left-handed salutes. In some instances the salute was rendered by lowering the saber with one hand and touching the cap visor with the other.
The following explanation of the origin of the hand salute is perhaps closest to the truth: It was a long-established military custom for juniors to remove their headgear in the presence of superiors. In the British Army as late as the American Revolution a soldier saluted bv removing his hat. But with the advent of more cumbersome headgear in the 18th and 19th centuries, the act of removing one’s hat was gradually converted into the simpler gesture of grasping the visor, and issuing a courteous salutation. From there it finally became conventionalized into something resembling our modern hand salute.
As early as 1745 (more than two-and-a-half centuries ago) a British order book states that: "The men are ordered not to pull off their hats when they pass an officer, or to speak to them, but only to clap up their hands to their hats and bow as they pass."
Whatever the actual origin of today’s hand salute, clearly in the tradition of the US Army it has always been used to indicate a sign of RESPECT – further recognition that in the profession of arms military courtesy is both a right and a responsibility of every soldier.
Compiled by the
U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps Historian
Fort Lee, Virginia
Get it.. its a sign of RESPECT... It does not really matter who initiates the gesture of we are one team one force then we should have the respect and admiration for each person skill and job... The premise that who initiates is a false premise and units that have good order and discipline know the difference.
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Capt Edward Hannan
Capt Edward Hannan
>1 y
somewhere in my memory I recall that the Royal Navy had a custom of a common seaman tugging his forelock as a sign of respect to a superior. this being considered too subservient, the hand forward salute was adopted.
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COL Jon Lopey
COL Jon Lopey
>1 y
I think you all are right - traditions come from a variety of past practices. LTC King and all of you contributed significantly to this great review of military history. Thank you! COL L
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Cpl Mark Oresko
Cpl Mark Oresko
1 y
First paragraph is the hand shake origin and it use to be hand to forearm for a closer embrace.
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Cpl Mark Oresko
Cpl Mark Oresko
1 y
We’ve never been defeated? Are you sure?
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