Skip to comments.Question for military protocol experts.
Posted on 10/15/2009 4:30:44 PM PDT by Jeff Gordon
Which civilian official rate a salute from our military personal? I know the that the POTUS is the Commander in Chief and thus should be saluted. What about the Vice President? I just a video of Joe Biden being saluted and returning the salute. That surprised me. Who else?
The Secretary of State? The Secretary of Defense? The Speaker of the House (Please tell me no)?
It was always my understanding the salutes should not be rendered to or from personal not in uniform. This does not seem to be the case with the Commander in Chief or the VP.
POTUS and Sec’y of Defense. VP only if he has assumed temporary reins of power (such as when POTUS is incapacitated or under anethesia).
I thought it was the POTUS only, as the commander in chief and directly in the military chain of command.
But some of those white house soldiers might be under a different protocal, to salute cabinet members etc. Those white house soldiers and sailors are ceremonial, basically. Always in dress uniforms, saluting everything in sight.
Persons Entitled to a Salute
The President of the United States (Commander-in-Chief)
Commissioned Officers and Warrant Officers
Any Medal of Honor Recipient (YES!!)
Officers of Friendly Foreign Countries
A salute is also rendered
When the United States National Anthem, “To the Color,” “Hail to the Chief,” or foreign national anthems are played.
To uncased National Color outdoors.
On ceremonial occasions (such as Change of Command, and Military Parades).
At reveille and retreat ceremonies, during the raising or lowering of the flag.
During the sounding of honors.
When the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. flag is being recited outdoors.
When turning over control of formations.
When rendering reports.
Salutes are not required when:
Indoors, except when reporting to an officer or when on duty as a guard.
Addressing a prisoner. (YES!!)
Saluting is obviously inappropriate. In these cases, only greetings are exchanged. (Example: A person carrying articles with both hands, or being otherwise so occupied as to make saluting impracticable, is not required to salute a senior person or return the salute to a subordinate.)
Either the senior or the subordinate is wearing civilian clothes (a salute in this case is not inappropriate, but is not required.)
Officers of equal rank pass each other (a salute in this case is not inappropriate, but it is not required.)
Prisoners whose sentences include punitive discharges have lost the right to salute. All other prisoners, regardless of custody or grade, render the prescribed salute except when under armed guard.
Any military person recognizing a need to salute or a need to return one may do so anywhere at any time.
There are civilian DOD officials who are very senior, who are routinely saluted. These civilians hold a defense department rank that is equivalent to a two or three star general.
Good for them. Salute them at will. :)
In the military you salute -
1) The Colors (this is different from the Flag)
2) The Congressional Medal of Honor
3) Senior Officer when recognized (Sec Army / Sec Def are considered civilian officers) even in civilian clothes.
4) SES personnel in the reporting chain of command - as will sometimes (rarely) occur
5) Foreign officers of higher rank
6) When reporting - even to an non-commissioned officer. Such as reporting as ordered, reporting to a promotion board, reporting for pay.
7) The National Anthem and the branch song
8) Vehicles bearing the placard of office for 0-6 and above
9) At a military funeral: playing of Taps, movement of the coffin, lowering of the coffin, during the firing of the salute.
10) Officers of a detaining power in a POW camp. Detained officers only salute detaining officers of a higher rank, except the camp commander, who is always saluted.
I make it a point to salute them both at every chance. What? I’m supposed to use all five fingers? not just one?
That must have made a lot of wives and kids mad. Did their service member husband/father teach them how to render the proper salute?
Saluting Cur’s story...........
During early stages of Desert Shield, August of 90 myself and a NCO I knew from a base back in the states were sitting on some cargo BS’n and a Syrian Cargo plane lands and we watch a bunch of new and I mean real new syrian troops got off that plane with cardboard tubes down the bores of some of their AK’s , their helmets on backwards and some on properly etc and they had this old tin star officer that had 4 bodyguards walking with him that also had new and untrained written all over em .
My fellow NCO and I decided to pop this POS a salute and see what he’d do as they passed us . As stated we were sitting on a pallet and as he passed within a few feet of us we jumped off the pallet and popped a sharp salute and this guy jumps back in pure panic mode and bumps into his so called PSD an man if looks could kill he was embarrassed and pissed yet he regained his composure , snapped a salute back and took off........ we laughed so hard later we hurt !
I remember hearing about a Base CO at Fort Knox in the 60s who had a bubble helicopter he would take out to tour the base and expected all of lesser rank to salute his helicopter as he flew by....
In Germany, 1967, Bobby Kennedy paid us the great honor of an official visit. He was rendered (IIRC) an 18 Gun “salute” (155’s with blanks) since he was Attorney General.
Also, he “reviewed the troops.” Each company did the “eyes right,” and rendered the “hand salute” at the reviewing stand. Of course, there were a dozen or so brass hats up there too, so maybe that (hand salute) was for them.
O-6 and up had an official placard on their Military sedans. It was mounted on the front bumper, and consisted of a red plate with their symbol of rank (an eagle, one star, two stars, etc. This plate was removable, and was supposed to be removed when the officer was not actually IN the car. In actual practice, it was not removed, but covered with a plastic or leather cover, which also was red, with the symbol of rank. From any distance, these were indistinguishable from the real plate they covered. So, a General’s car was saluted, usually, even in the absence of the great man.
We were told that German officers were to salute first, and we were to return the salute.
At conus posts, we were also expected to look for a BLUE bumper sticker (issued to officers) and salute that.
All these things may be different, now.
Thank you and all of the other Freepers that have responded to my request for information. I attended a military college many decades ago. We were given a lot of candy ass rules. Regretfully, I never got a chance to learn real rules in a real military position due to health issues.
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