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Questions about the customs of the service


Alpo
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United States naval personnel do not salute indoors. United States Army and Air Force personnel do.


If a company grade naval officer was indoors, and came upon a two-star Army officer, would he salute?

 

As navy, he should not, but I'm pretty sure that Army Major General would be expecting one.

 

Question two. You are not supposed to salute if you are not in uniform. If someone lower in rank than you, that knew your rank - that you outranked him and thus deserved a salute - saluted you even though you were in civilian clothing and therefore he should not have, should you return the salute?

 

Let me make sure that's understandable. Sergeant Jones comes upon Major Smith and salutes him, even though Major Smith is in civvies. Would/should Major Smith return the salute?

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2 minutes ago, Alpo said:

United States naval personnel do not salute indoors. United States Army and Air Force personnel do.


If a company grade naval officer was indoors, and came upon a two-star Army officer, would he salute?

 

As navy, he should not, but I'm pretty sure that Army Major General would be expecting one.

 

Question two. You are not supposed to salute if you are not in uniform. If someone lower in rank than you, that knew your rank - that you outranked him and thus deserved a salute - saluted you even though you were in civilian clothing and therefore he should not have, should you return the salute?

 

Let me make sure that's understandable. Sergeant Jones comes upon Major Smith and salutes him, even though Major Smith is in civvies. Would/should Major Smith return the salute?

 

1. By the time an army officer is a major general, he or she is already familiar with the, 'Navy doesn't salute indoors,' protocol. The major-general most likely wouldn't expect a salute. That being said, the general guidance is to use a little common sense not to stand out. If a sailor walked into a major general's office with a group of soldiers and they all saluted, go along and get along. Hopefully you've got more important things to do than take a stand on something like, 'I don't have to salute.'

 

2. If someone lower in rank in uniform recognizes a senior officer out of uniform, yes -- a salute is required. Returning it is a simple nod and return the greeting, or hell -- if someone extends the courtesy to me, I'll damned sure return it, even if I'm out of uniform. So write me up.

 

3. Regarding saluting out of uniform -- one of the defense laws back in 2008 or 2009 made it 'legal' for service personnel and veterans to salute when out of uniform during  ceremonies. So when we Pledge Allegiance at matches, I keep my hat on, pop a good salute, and pledge away. I earned that.

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3 hours ago, Ozark Huckleberry said:

. Regarding saluting out of uniform -- one of the defense laws back in 2008 or 2009 made it 'legal' for service personnel and veterans to salute when out of uniform during  ceremonies. So when we Pledge Allegiance at matches, I keep my hat on, pop a good salute, and pledge away. I earned that.

That applies to Army and Air Force and, I suppose, Space Force service personnel and vets.  Congress allows me, as an Air Force veteran, to salute during the Pledge of Allegiance and playing of the National Anthem, and I DO!  The Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard have their own regs and traditions.  :FlagAm:

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One tiny addition.  The Navy does not use the Company Grade/Field Grade division of the other services.  In the Navy, they are divided into Junior Officers and Senior Officers.  What's the difference?  A Navy Lieutenant Commander (O4, gold oak leaves, no scrambled eggs) is a Junior Officer, addressed and referred to as "Mister" in conversation.  A Major (O4, gold oak leaves, scrambled eggs) is a Field Grade Officer.

A salute is intended to be an exchange of mutual respect.  Most seem to treat it as a duty, as if bowing to a noble.  I retired from the Navy 30 years ago and still find myself saluting, when greeting friends, about half the time.

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I remember addressing anyone from Warrant Officer up to LT. Cmdr as 'Mister'.

 

Once the rank of Commander or higher was earned, we addressed those officer by their

rank..... Commander Smith,  Captain Smith,   Admirial Smith. 

 

Although I was only an E4,  There were some officers in my unit that actually addressed

me as Mr. Hill.     There were times I actually felt like family to some of those folks.

I don't ever recall dealing or working for an A$$ hole officer in the Navy.

They seem to pride themselves on being courteous, that is, unless the sailor

deserved otherwise.

 

And some of the BEST folks I ever worked with/for (military or civilian) were some

E7, E8 and E9 Chiefs.

 

..........Widder

 

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5 hours ago, Alpo said:

United States naval personnel do not salute indoors. United States Army and Air Force personnel do.

 

 

Neither Army nor Air Force salute indoors EXCEPT when "reporting" to a commanding officer.  This is a very formal event that rarely happens anymore. 

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1 hour ago, Waxahachie Kid #17017 L said:

When I was in the Navy, we were instructed that if we had something in our right hand, or were carrying something with our right arm, that we could solute with our left hand. 

Whether any of the other branches can do that, I have no idea.

 

No, we do not.  Rather, we are required to carry things in the left hand to keep the right hand free for saluting.  Or, in the case of something that requires two hands to carry, you give the greeting of the day to the senior officer without saluting ("All Americans, sir" for the 82nd Airborne Division, etc.).

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5 hours ago, Alpo said:

Question two. You are not supposed to salute if you are not in uniform. If someone lower in rank than you, that knew your rank - that you outranked him and thus deserved a salute - saluted you even though you were in civilian clothing and therefore he should not have, should you return the salute?

 

If *either* person involved is in civilian clothes, but recognizes the senior officer, they are required to salute as if they were both in uniform.  The proper response when being saluted is to return the salute, whether in uniform or not. 

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18 minutes ago, Cyrus Cassidy #45437 said:

 

Neither Army nor Air Force salute indoors EXCEPT when "reporting" to a commanding officer.  This is a very formal event that rarely happens anymore. 

IIRC, back in the day, when we collected our pay on the last of the month.

 

oh here’s a funny for you. Operation Marne Mauler, 1967. My battalion of 8 in howitzers was in the aggressor force supporting the 2nd armored cav. Since we knew about it and it was over payday we got paid early. The defending forces did not know about it and got paid in the field.  The story was that squads of us mean, dirty, low down aggressors checked out all the gasthauses and rounded up all guys in fatigues as POWs.

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In Aust we don't salute if we aren't wearing a hat. We take our hats off in doors so that solves that problem.

 

If in civi's we stand fast (hands down by our side as if at attention and say G'Day Sir). We do this when not wearing  a hat as well. You can do that while continuing to walk as well.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Ozark Huckleberry said:

 

1. By the time an army officer is a major general, he or she is already familiar with the, 'Navy doesn't salute indoors,' protocol. The major-general most likely wouldn't expect a salute. That being said, the general guidance is to use a little common sense not to stand out. If a sailor walked into a major general's office with a group of soldiers and they all saluted, go along and get along. Hopefully you've got more important things to do than take a stand on something like, 'I don't have to salute.'

 

2. If someone lower in rank in uniform recognizes a senior officer out of uniform, yes -- a salute is required. Returning it is a simple nod and return the greeting, or hell -- if someone extends the courtesy to me, I'll damned sure return it, even if I'm out of uniform. So write me up.

 

3. Regarding saluting out of uniform -- one of the defense laws back in 2008 or 2009 made it 'legal' for service personnel and veterans to salute when out of uniform during  ceremonies. So when we Pledge Allegiance at matches, I keep my hat on, pop a good salute, and pledge away. I earned that.

Atta boy, Huck.  You have to be careful, though.  Someone might accuse you of having good sense, and we can't have that, now can we?  :D

 

:FlagAm:

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The salute is rendered as a sign of respect. Both given and received. Clear? MP's were required to know ALL the ranks of the services and woe betide the lowly enlisted who failed to render a salute to a Naval Officer. (how could you miss all that gold braid and shiny stuff? LOL) Or, the lowly enlisted who saluted a Navy Chief Petty Officer. (well, they wear round hats like offcers, hey? LOL)

 

Upon the approach of a general officer, not just any old general but YOUR general, you'd best snap to upon his approach and HOLD that salute until he finishes chewing your butt for an infraction he'd noticed about YOU. Because no amount of panache, snappiness or anything else is going to change in any way the aforementioned butt-chewing. Just take it because you had it coming LOL.

 

On the other hand. When contacting an brand new officer fresh out of OCS who is still in school on your base, some feel like they're General Grant or something with that nice, shiny gold bar on their collar. (Second Lieutenants are the privates of the Officer Corps same as Naval Ensigns) Treating even a middle of the road ranked enlisted with disrespect and THEN complaining to the Provost Marshal was probably not the wisest choice he ever made. But I bet it was a lesson that lasted the length of his career...LOL.

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The few times I was on-base and walking around outside, it was very uncommon to get saluted.  Nobody was looking for a missile maintenance officer in fatigues and wearing a black baseball hat with a MIMS patch.  It was so common that we didn't bother to call anybody on it. OTOH, pilots from the FIS, wearing flight suits were always recognized.  They could even go into the o-club dressed that way.  Wearing "green jeans"?  "Sir, would you please change into a proper uniform or civies?"  Wasn't worth the effort to go home (off-base) and come back, so seldom went near the place except for scheduled parties.  Oh, well, we kept the Strat Alert lights green on the launch officers' panels.  Of course, we made sure to salute anybody O-3 and higher! 

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1971 and I was walking up G Row in my rubber ducky suit and I see this guy coming up to me and I'm thinking he's a Warrant Officer. He gets to me and says is your arm broke troop? I asay No Sir  and give him a salute. First time I ever saw a general.

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Marine boots salute everyone, the postman, garbage man, UPS driver, Sea Scouts, etc.   :D

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Knox '90 August I was a buck private in basic, got to go to PX and as I was approaching the entrance what I now know to be a Warrant Officer exited. 

Totally confounded by a half 1lt (or so I was wondering) I had total brain lock.

 

As you can imagine I got asked very politely: private did we stop saluting officers in this man's army?

I admitted my mistake and told him I did not recognize the rank and was trying to place it in my newly acquired military courtesy drill and ceremony education.

 

He accepted that, bestowed upon me an understanding of Warrants and gave me the sage advice 'if you don't know salute'

 

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