Sunday, September 28, 2014


LT (JG) Shaina Hayden, USN (Nov 2008)
U. S. Navy photo, Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. O'Brien
There has been much ado in the media lately about saluting. Well, not so much about saluting in general, put one particular salute. After giving it some thought, I thought I'd jump right in.

That business with the coffee cup and the helo? Nah, I'm not going to talk about that. Suffice to say, the man is a civilian and this old Master Sergeant wouldn't expect a civilian to know how to salute.

Especially that particular civilian. But enough about that.

Another big thing in some media outlets has been that lady fighter pilot from the U.A.E., Major Mariam Al Mansouri or perhaps more appropriately "رائد مريم المنصوري" if Google translate is any guide, which it can be. The major's name being مريم المنصوري and her rank of major is رائد (Ra'Ed) in most Arab countries. So my sources tell me.

Women in the service. Nothing new, we had them when I was nobbut an airman basic back in '75, we'll have them in 2075. Those opposed to the concept need to get over it. Those who wish to sensationalize it, please, it ain't news.

Before going any further, I just want to mention the excellent salute being rendered by LT (JG) Hayden in that opening photo. Makes the old Master Sergeant want to tear up just a bit, that is a mighty fine example of a proper salute. Not to mention which, the young lady is a contemporary of my two daughters who were JGs around that time frame. Both of them are now full Lieutenants as, no doubt is Ms. Hayden. If she's still on active duty that is.

So saluting. Back in my day there were some who saw the requirement for an enlisted person having to render a salute to an officer as somehow demeaning. As my old Sergeant told me, "If they don't like it, let'em go to college, get a degree and then get a commission. They earned that rank. Gotta show'em the proper respect."

Of course, the officer is required to return the salute as well. We aren't some rag-tag aristocratic society where the hoi-polloi are not required to acknowledge the help. No, we are members of a republic. We have no aristocrats. Ya got that DC, Hollywood?

So saluting a fellow member of the military is something to be proud of.

Note that I said "fellow member of the military" - got it?

There's a reason I don't watch much television anymore. Much ado about nothing.


  1. That is a look of determination in that picture.Best saluter I ever saw was a West Point graduate company commander we had. The way he returned your salute made you want to be picture perfect. Respect up, respect down, the way it should be.

  2. The Navy has some bizarre rules surrounding the salute, chief among them you have to be covered. SN2, as a matter of principle, will NOT return the salute of a gate guard when he is in his vehicle, saying "a thank you is sufficient." SN1 and I, bein' Zoomies, ALWAYS take him to task for this but he's adamant about the "when and where" of saluting. I suppose this is just a nit, but it aggravates me.

    That said, I was the first guy to salute SN2 when he took command o' Naval Recruiting District, Pittsburgh (I was in uniform for the change o' command ceremony) and the salute was returned, and impressively, at that. He also "palmed" me with his personal coin after we saluted each other. That lil event ranks way up high in my personal list o' "great moments." Sorry for the digression, but ya know how that goes. ;-)

    1. That was a great digression. We tell the stories of our children to demonstrate the pride we have in them. (I went back and read parts 1 and 2. Ya tell a fine story Buck.)

      Back to the topic at hand, the Navy's rules are different and ancient. But as I've told my kids many a time, "I'm Air Force. We make our own rules."

      True or not, it sounds cool.

  3. Love the photo. Makes my spine stiffen. She is a picture of pride and beauty.
    Don't know about the USAF but . . . in the army, we had a thing about saluting.
    One could gauge the respect for the particular officer by the quality of the salute
    being rendered. The salute being accompanied by a verbal comment . . .
    a "Yes Sir!" or a "Yeah sir." Unless, of course, one is in the field where a salute
    can mark someone as a target . . . that's a whole different story.
    Once, in Vietnam, there were three of us heading to the operations building.
    We'd just finished chow and were walking three abreast. Approaching was the
    brand-spankin' new dental officer, sporting freash jungle fatigues and boonie hat.
    We had a whispered conversation and as we passed him, we all saluted with our
    left hand and gave him a snappy "Afternoon, Sir." He returned the salute with a
    puzzled look on his face and he turned to watch us walk off. He knew damned well
    that something was amiss but he couldn't put a finger on it.
    Just a bit of enlisted humor.

    1. Nice! The old left-handed salute trick.

    2. Reminds me of a time I was coming out - after 24 hours - of a radar bunker - no sleep - fatigues looked like I tried to sleep in them (I did) and a 2nd Lt is giving me crap for not saluting him.

      I think I gave him one of those"yeah sir" salutes.

  4. A salute is and has always been a gesture of respect from one warrior to the other. It is performed with the right hand because Knights of old were typically right handed. The left hand does not necessarily have to be empty. Because there wasn't a weapon in the hand when it was raised, the other person knew he was not in danger and would return the gesture likewise. The "tradition" of the President saluting the troops greeting him began with President Reagan and continued by the 4 succeeding presidents. Three of whom (Reagan, Bush and Bush) have served in the Military. I'm not aware of any "issues" with Clinton. My Point. You're the Commander in Chief, Mr. President. If you're not in a position to transfer the cup of coffee to your left hand, nod your head in acknowledgement of the gesture of respect and carry on. If however, you feel the need to return the salute, out of respect from one warrior to another, then, by golly, do it right! /rant

    1. Can't disagree. I believe all here know my feelings about the current occupant of the White House.

  5. Everyone said it so well there is nothing to add. Respect up and respect down. Neither can exist without the other.

    Didn't know it started with Reagan but then Reagan knew how to salute.

  6. Given with pride, returned with pride...


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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