Posted on Dec 14, 2018
SPC Practical/Vocational Nursing
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I was walking with a Navy LT and an Army Maj. (My hospital has both services) from the USO across the street to the hospital and a PFC passed and didn’t salute. I stopped and asked her, “Do enlisted soldiers not salute officers anymore?” The Maj. with me said I didn’t have to be so aggressive about it. What’s a better way of addressing it without coming off as aggressive?
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Responses: 382
SGM Bill Frazer
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You were in the right and the Major was wrong, That is part of our problem- Don't make waves, don't hurt someone's feelings.
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SPC Stiv ChenRobbins
SPC Stiv ChenRobbins
5 mo
It is always interesting when a civil discussion devolves into a pissing contest.
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No, wait, it is *never* interesting.
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LT Stu Evans
LT Stu Evans
5 mo
Without rank, structure and order we have a weak military. This Major needs counseling on expectations or get out of the military. The enlisted are to salute the rank and not neccesarily the person wearing it. I would have corrected her immediately.
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Monty Leverett
Monty Leverett
5 mo
I'm with the SGM here, unless the enlisted person had an armload of stuff and literally couldn't, then they should salute, and if they do, acknowledge with a formal greeting.
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SFC James (Jim) R Brown
SFC James (Jim) R Brown
4 mo
CPT Johnny Simmons - Sir, you are correct. Had this same thing happen one day at Ft. McClellan AL. The Major was leaving the PX, I was approaching the PX (meeting the Major). The E4 was coming from my right with no headgear on and failed to salute. I saluted the Major and he said, "Snake eater see if you can straighten that young soldier out". I stopped the E4, brought hun to attention, questioned him about his gear. He said he had it in his pocket. I suggested he put the headgear on his head and then do a left face and salute the Major. The E4 hesitated and I reminded him of how hot he would get doing pushups. He did as recommended, the Major returned the salute. We all went on our way. The E4, I am sure would remember that failure to be in proper uniform and failure to perform the proper military courtesy.
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1LT Manager Of Customer Care
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I would say "hey PFC, can I talk to you?" Then step to the side and remind the PFC that proper customs and courtesies require the greeting of the day and a hand salute.

Maybe the soldier was having an off day or had something on her mind. Always try to assume the best, but don't ever be ashamed of holding your peers and subordinates to the standard.
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SSgt Michael Kappel
SSgt Michael Kappel
6 mo
This is the correct answer. You can council someone and still maintain respect, dignity and professionalism.

Leadership needs to be about more than roasting Jr. enlistees. It makes you look like a weak, unprofessional leader.
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SPC Curtis Kennedy
SPC Curtis Kennedy
6 mo
Agreed...plus you also don't come off as an a$$hole to that PFC which in turn give a better opinion of officers
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CPO John Moran
CPO John Moran
5 mo
You need to get the PFC’s attention or he/she will continue to act irresponsibly
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CPT Wayne Price
CPT Wayne Price
4 mo
A soldier with an off day in combat may get some people killed. CPT Wayne Price
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SFC Army Reserve Unit Administrator
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You could explain to the MAJ that you were doing the PFC a favour. Just because he/she didn't care, it doesn't mean the PFC won't come across an officer who does and won't hesitate to dress her down!
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SPC Matthew Birkinbine
SPC Matthew Birkinbine
6 mo
Agreed. I saw a full-bird leaving the hospital at Fort Sill once. The area near the doors were clearly marked, “No Salute Zone”, but he had left that area. A lone PFC was walking toward that area, and through some lapse in judgement or poor eyesight, he didn’t render a salute. The Colonel went off like a Drill Sergeant on that poor kid.
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CAPT Randall Martin
CAPT Randall Martin
5 mo
Maybe it's my enlisted background, but as an officer whenever I fail to get a salute I salute first - this never fails to make the correction in the most mutually respectful and expeditious manner.
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SSgt Infantryman
SSgt (Join to see)
2 mo
SPC Christopher Murano - You forgot Please
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SSgt Infantryman
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