Should Soldiers Always Salute?

Discussion in 'Other US Flag Etiquette' started by bordr*patrl*grl, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. Should there be a certain time and place for a Soldier to salute "Old Glory"?
    Should a Soldier salute always to our "Star Spangled Banner"?

    "Hi I am Prvt Gibson, of the Army National Gaurd, and I need as many entrees tonight as possible... Thank you so much for your support!:)
  2. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin


    The basic US Army guidance for matters like this is publication FM 3-21.5, Drill and Ceremonies, which is available online in several places. The other armed services have similar guidance.

    "Should there be a certain time and place for a Soldier to salute "Old Glory"?"

    FM 3-21.5 says:

    Military personnel passing an uncased National Color salute at six steps distance and hold the [FONT=TimesNewRoman,Italic]Salute [/FONT]until they have passed six steps beyond it. Similarly, when the uncased Color passes by, they salute when it is six steps away and hold the [FONT=TimesNewRoman,Italic]Salute [/FONT]until it has passed six steps beyond them. [FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]NOTE:[/FONT]Small flags carried by individuals, such as those carried by civilian spectators at a parade, are not saluted.

    [FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]In formation. [/FONT]Individuals in formation do not salute or return salutes except at the command [FONT=TimesNewRoman,BoldItalic]Present, [/FONT][FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]ARMS. The individual in charge salutes and acknowledges salutes for the entire formation. [/FONT]

    (("Uncased" means that the flag is unrolled and flying))

    Obviously, this guidance applies in ceremonial situations. A soldier walking by himself past the base flagpole would not normally salute the flag. There are other special situations in which a salute to the flag is given. Examples are morning and evening colors, and boarding or leaving a Naval ship. These are explained in detail in FM 3-21.5.

    "Should a Soldier salute always to our "Star Spangled Banner"?"

    I assume that you're talking about the song here. FM 3-21.5 covers that as follows:​

    [FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]c. Outdoors.[/FONT]Whenever and wherever the United States National Anthem, . . .is played, at the first note, all dismounted personnel in uniform and not in formation face the flag (or the music, if the flag is not in view), stand at [FONT=TimesNewRoman,Italic]Attention, [/FONT]and render the prescribed [FONT=TimesNewRoman,Italic]Salute. [/FONT]The position of [FONT=TimesNewRoman,Italic]Salute [/FONT]is held until the last note of the music is sounded. Military personnel not in uniform will stand at [FONT=TimesNewRoman,Italic]Attention [/FONT](remove headdress, if any, with the right hand), and place the right hand over the heart. Vehicles in motion are brought to a [FONT=TimesNewRoman,Italic]Halt. [/FONT]Persons riding in a passenger car or on a motorcycle dismount and salute[FONT=TimesNewRoman,Italic]. [/FONT]Occupants of other types of military vehicles and buses remain in the vehicle and sit at attention; the individual in charge of each vehicle dismounts and renders the [FONT=TimesNewRoman,Italic]Hand Salute. [/FONT]Tank and armored car commanders salute from the vehicle.

    d. [FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]Indoors.[/FONT]When the National Anthem is played indoors, officers and enlisted personnel stand at [FONT=TimesNewRoman,Italic]Attention [/FONT]and face the music, or the flag if one is present.

    I hope this helps.


    Peter Ansoff
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015

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