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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll just start this one on The Interchange to save time.

We've seen a lot of commentary on Obama's clothing yesterday.

What about his salute? Any comments from members who served in the military? Did he carry it off adequately?
 

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Of course he did. I can do the 'buttonline, thumb married to the palm touch the edge of your hat/eyeglass edge or occipital orb with the best of them. I can even do that painfully slow, manniquin stiff, pantomine artist folding of the flag and a 'flying Queen Anne with an M1 garand from my presidetnial support detail/honour guard days for President Ford.

And then there was the Alaska winter day's end we lowered the colours and were trying to fold into the proper triangle while our OOD and the CO ( future service commandant) was standing there saluting. I quote that fine, Acadamy gaduate verbatim " Geecrist fellas, hurry the ef up, I'm effing fffffreezing and I can't feel my effing fingers."
 

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It was crisp and smart.
 

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It was Reagan who began returning salutes as President. I recall there was grumbling about it being incorrect to do so, in civilian clothing and without a hat. It's a nice personal touch, I approve.
 

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'Cover' is a military term for what most people call a hat in english.
And, according to military form one does not return a salute to another member of military service if they are sans one.
But then, like the threads on Obama's less than correct formal wear, sometimes bending the rules to the better good is permissable, as I did, saluting in civilian clothes when my late uncle's flag was presented, my being the only living family member who also served.
But Phinn, I am curious why you are pursuing this minutae of custom? To bend rules, one must first play by them. Are you a ansgt filled, PTSD combat veteran? Do you wake up in cold sweats dreaming about german u boats shelling you?
Or is this like athiests upset he repeated 'So help me God' and put his hand on Lincoln's Bible?
For a rugged individual, you certainly don't mind bitching about other people's group guestures.
 

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It was Reagan who began returning salutes as President. I recall there was grumbling about it being incorrect to do so, in civilian clothing and without a hat. It's a nice personal touch, I approve.
Well, he IS (was) the commander in chief, so he never dons the uniform but holds the rank.
 

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this seems to be most logical.
he is the commander in chief. there is no prescribed uniform for him.
so anything he is wearing is his uniform.
he can salute any way he wishes, as long as it comes from his heart.
 

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Many, if not most, high ranking officers don't salute in by-the-book form. I didn't see the salute, so I can comment, but when you're the top dog, who is going to correct you?

Glad to hear that he's doing it because I like the idea.
 

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It was Reagan who began returning salutes as President. I recall there was grumbling about it being incorrect to do so, in civilian clothing and without a hat. It's a nice personal touch, I approve.
I haven't served, but I think it's OK for the president to salute, even if not having served before. He is, after all, in charge of the military.
 

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he also visited Walter Reed Hospital without the press so he could visit the wounded soldiers without all the hoopla - very nice. he and Biden also put a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier in Arlington. i think he is really trying to be a good commander in chief, he may in the end not be a good one, but i do think he is really trying - i think it goes along with his statements in his speach that hes not going to apologize for our way of life and we will out live our enemies - thats support for civilians and military both
 

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I haven't served, but I think it's OK for the president to salute, even if not having served before. He is, after all, in charge of the military.
This question arose when Reagan made the decision to return the salutes of the military personnel who saluted him. Before starting this tradition he asked the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff if it was OK to do so. The Chairman pointed out some possible errors of protocol, such as only the Army and Air Force salute when uncovered; the Navy and Marine Corps never do this. He then mentioned that military folks don't salute when in civilian clothing even when covered.

Finally, after going over all of this the Chairman concluded by saying, something to the effect of "You're the President. Who is going to tell you that you can't salute." :icon_smile:

Cruiser
 

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I haven't served, but I think it's OK for the president to salute, even if not having served before. He is, after all, in charge of the military.
This question arose when Reagan made the decision to return the salutes of the military personnel who saluted him. Before starting this tradition he asked the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff if it was OK to do so. The Chairman pointed out some possible errors of protocol, such as only the Army and Air Force salute when uncovered; the Navy and Marine Corps never do this. He then mentioned that military folks don't salute when in civilian clothing even when covered.

Finally, after going over all of this the Chairman concluded by saying, something to the effect of "You're the President. Who is going to tell you that you can't salute." :icon_smile:

Cruiser
I agree with you guys! As a retired member of the military (four years service in the enlisted Reserve and 27 years commissioned service), the President can salute me any time he wishes but alas, so far only the late President Gerald Ford has seen fit to do so! I am constantly amazed to see how many experience such extraordinary disagreement with so little.
 

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Returning a salute to a subordinate is a sign of respect and acknowledgement of the honor that the subordinate's rendered salute represents. Regardless of the rules that govern these in uniform, I think it is appropriate (and classy) for the president to return salutes.

President Clinton angered many in the military because at first he didn't bother to return salutes--which gave the impression that he didn't have any regard for the military folks who worked for the White House. This was particulary irritating because the folks he slighted were usually the junior enlisted that saluted him when he boarded Air Force One or Marine One. Then when he started returning salutes, he did it in a very sloppy and off-hand way--still leaving the impression that he resented the whole tradition. Eventually he got a clue and put a little more effort into it.
 

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I agree with you guys! As a retired member of the military (four years service in the enlisted Reserve and 27 years commissioned service), the President can salute me any time he wishes but alas, so far only the late President Gerald Ford has seen fit to do so! I am constantly amazed to see how many experience such extraordinary disagreement with so little.
As a non-military person but someone born at West Point (the hospital was where the elementary school is now, I believe) and raised in a military family (five generations of West Point), I feel uncomfortable with someone out of uniform saluting. Also, as I have not been in the military, I would never presume to offer a salute.

That said, if it has become enough of a tradition that junior officers were insulted by a lack of a Clinton salute, Obama had probabply better salute and salute correctly.
 

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When I was in San Francisco I chanced to be in full dress uniform on Fisherman's Warf. I'm walking down the street and this pantomine artist in full makeup was working an unappreciative crowd. I walked up and dropped a $20 in his bucket. He was VERY GOOD. He went into a very animated salute and I returned it. He mumbled under his breath ' hey thanks, friend, I haven't had food money since yesterday morning.'
It wasn't to long after my seperation I was watching this show called Mork and Mindy. OMG!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
President Clinton angered many in the military because at first he didn't bother to return salutes--which gave the impression that he didn't have any regard for the military folks who worked for the White House.
This is only true if you would also say that FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter "didn't bother to return salutes--which gave the impression that [they] didn't have any regard for the military folks who worked for the White House."
 
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