Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Question for military protocol experts.
NA ^ | 10/15/09 | Me

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.

TOPICS: Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: biden; salute
Are there any military protocol wonks out there who can fill me in?
1 posted on 10/15/2009 4:30:44 PM PDT by Jeff Gordon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Jeff Gordon

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).

2 posted on 10/15/2009 4:34:52 PM PDT by ought-six ( Multiculturalism is national suicide, and political correctness is the cyanide capsule.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jeff Gordon; ExSoldier; Squantos

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.

3 posted on 10/15/2009 4:34:53 PM PDT by Travis McGee (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jeff Gordon

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.

4 posted on 10/15/2009 4:36:06 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Diana in Wisconsin

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.

5 posted on 10/15/2009 4:41:45 PM PDT by Pinetop
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Pinetop

Good for them. Salute them at will. :)

6 posted on 10/15/2009 4:43:46 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Jeff Gordon

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.

7 posted on 10/15/2009 4:48:56 PM PDT by taxcontrol
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: taxcontrol

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.

8 posted on 10/15/2009 4:54:27 PM PDT by Caesar Soze
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Jeff Gordon
When I was stationed at Fort Gordon, GA in the early 1970’s we had a “severe” base Commander who required everybody to salute his staff car, even when we were in civilian clothes walking to the PX on Saturdays. Everybody thought he was pretty nuts.
9 posted on 10/15/2009 5:03:48 PM PDT by Lockbar (March toward the sound of the guns.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jeff Gordon

I make it a point to salute them both at every chance. What? I’m supposed to use all five fingers? not just one?

10 posted on 10/15/2009 5:05:29 PM PDT by NonValueAdded ("The President has borrowed more money to spend to less effect than anybody on the planet. " Steyn)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lockbar
....Commander who required everybody to salute his staff car.

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?

11 posted on 10/15/2009 5:11:54 PM PDT by Harley (Life is Tough, But It's a Lot Tougher When You're a Liberal. Stop Global Whining Now.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Lockbar; Jeff Gordon
Best rule is - When in doubt...Salute!
I was on a couple of bases like you mentioned. Even to the point of formations being called to a halt and saluting an empty staff car.
Try explaining that to a foreign national on base for training.

Walking up the street and having to salute a damn empty car....sheeesh...the things I did while wearing a uniform.
12 posted on 10/15/2009 6:40:43 PM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

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 !

13 posted on 10/15/2009 10:12:18 PM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Lockbar

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....

14 posted on 10/15/2009 10:17:11 PM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Jeff Gordon

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.


15 posted on 10/16/2009 2:31:17 AM PDT by DoorGunner ("Rom 11: until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so, all Israel will be saved")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoorGunner

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.

16 posted on 10/16/2009 3:38:56 PM PDT by Jeff Gordon (Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson