The military salute is one of the oldest and highest forms of respect in America. Regardless of whether you are a soldier or if you just want to learn how to salute like the men and women of the United States Armed Forces, this article will walk you through the basic steps.
Method 1 of 3: Do the military salute
Step 1. Stand up straight
Use your best posture when saluting. Do not stoop or drop your shoulders. Stand with your arms stretched out to the side of your body with your fingers toward the ground.
Step 2. Stand in front of the flag or person you are saluting
Turn your head and eyes towards the flag or person you are saluting. If you are greeting someone, maintaining eye contact is a sign of respect.
The lowest ranking person should initiate the salute. By initiating the salute, the officer is not implying that he is inferior or superior in any way. It is simply a sign of respect and camaraderie
Step 3. Place your right arm in the correct position
Raise your arm in such a way that the bottom of your biceps is parallel to the ground. The arm should remain straight, so that the elbow is in a straight line with the shoulders.
A well-executed greeting is a definite and singular movement. Once you do the greeting every day, it becomes a thoughtful question
Step 4. Bring your hand to your forehead
Keep the outer edge of your hand tilted down slightly so that neither the back of the hand nor the palm is visible from the front. The hand and wrist are straight, the elbow is bent slightly forward, and the forearm is at a 45-degree angle to the ground. Keep your fingers and thumb straight and aligned with each other.
Step 5. Modify the salute as appropriate for the helmet or hat you are wearing
While the basic steps of the salute are quite similar, there are some small adaptations that you should make depending on whether you are wearing a helmet, hat, or glasses.
- When you wear a helmet with a visor (with or without glasses): when you hear the command "attention", you will wave with your right hand, touching the tip of your index finger with the edge of the visor, a little above the right eye.
- If you are not wearing glasses or a helmet, or you have a helmet without a visor, you will use the same precise movements, only you will touch your forehead with your finger, next to the outer edge of your right eyebrow.
- When you are wearing glasses, but you are not wearing a helmet or the helmet does not have a visor: this time, you will touch your glasses with the tip of your right index finger. Touch the part of the frame where the part over the temple meets the right edge of the right eyebrow.
Step 6. Keep the salute
You must hold the salute until the commanding officer gives the order to "rest."
During the national anthem or other appropriate songs, you should keep the salute until the last note
Step 7. Accompany the greeting with an appropriate expression
It is advisable to say "good morning, sir" or something similar when greeting a superior. Say hello at the same time you say good morning, for example, to a superior.
If you are reporting to an officer, you must identify yourself and say that you are reporting. For example, "Sir, Private Jones reports."
Step 8. Lower your hand
Lower your hand and place it in its natural position to the side when you stop saluting.
- Don't slap the leg or move your hand to the sides.
- Any gesture in the greeting is inappropriate. If you give a greeting that is flashy or carefree, this can be perceived as a bigger insult than if you hadn't done the greeting at all.
Method 2 of 3: Salute when appropriate
Step 1. Recognize the appropriate personnel when you salute
It is important that you know who you should greet or who you are expected to greet.
- Always salute the president of the United States.
- Salute to any commissioned officer or noncommissioned officer.
- Say hello to everyone who has received a Medal of Honor, regardless of rank.
- Greet the officers of friendly foreign nations.
Step 2. Make the salute during appropriate events
- Perform the salute during the national anthem. You should also say hello during performances of “To the Color,” “Hail to the Chief,” or when listening to other foreign national anthems.
- Before a national flag unfurled in an outdoor area. Salute when the flag is about 2 meters away, and hold the salute until the flag is 2 meters away from you.
- Greet during appropriate ceremonies. This includes military funerals, change of command ceremonies, bullseye and recall ceremonies when the flag is raised and lowered.
- Do it during the honors salute
- Do it during the oath of allegiance
- Say hello when submitting reports
- When you see officials in official vehicles
Step 3. Don't salute when it's impractical or against the rules
- Do not salute indoors unless you are reporting to a superior officer.
- Don't salute when your hands are busy or when it is impractical to do so. In those cases, you can use a verbal salute instead of the military salute.
- Do not salute when operating a moving vehicle.
- Use good judgment in public areas. Greetings are unnecessary if you meet a superior officer on a train or at a bus station.
- Soldiers in a task force or playing a game should not stop their activities to salute.
- Don't greet a non-commissioned officer
Method 3 of 3: Learn the Variations
Step 1. Salute the British soldiers with your palm away from your body
The hand should always touch the brim of the hat. Soldiers in the British Army and Air Forces perform this salute; however, the navy hands the palm salute at a 90 degree angle.
Step 2. Do the two finger salute to acknowledge the Polish armed forces
The Polish armed forces perform a salute identical to the most common military salute; however, they do not extend the ring finger or little finger.
Step 3. Use a Zogist salute to recognize Albanian soldiers
This gesture is also used to salute in front of the flags in Mexico and part of Latin America. The Zogist salute is performed by extending the arm in front of the body and bringing the hand to the chest in a motion as if you were making a cut. The hand is placed against the chest, palm down and parallel to the floor.
- Never salute when you are holding an item with both hands, such as a large box or the American flag. You should salute in front of a higher-ranking officer who is holding something with both hands, but don't expect them to greet you back.
- It is customary for all ranks to salute the person who has received a Medal of Honor, regardless of rank.
- Members of the Navy and sailors do not salute uncovered, you should still salute as a sign of respect.
- Don't greet an enlisted person. Only salute officers of a higher rank than yours.
- Failure to salute an officer of color is a sign of disrespect and is punishable.
- Being in a resting position before such an order is given is a sign of disrespect.