Commentary News Politics

Is The President Allowed to Salute? Nope. And Here’s Why.

Jason Dias
Written by Jason Dias

Is the president allowed to salute ever? Nope. Yet Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and others got all over U.S. President Barack Obama for not doing it. They’re dead wrong. Here’s why.

aNewDomain — They say everyone is entitled to their opinon. 

Really? Everyone?

A story on the web and a storm of online opinion is out there on U.S. President Barack Obama’s “mistake” in not saluting some Marines shows that some people just shouldn’t say anything, freedom of speech not withstanding.

Here is some video of Obama getting on Marine One and then getting off again to say some nice things to the Marine standing guard:

The story on the web is that the pilot refused to let Obama on board until he went back to the Marine standing guard. CNN says Obama realized his so-called “mistake” and went back out to correct it.

You know what’s funny? The pilot could not haBarack Obama criticsve seen whether Obama snapped a salute or danced a jig or ate a pumpkin pie and sang for more supper. The pilot at the time would be pretty well stuck facing front, doing his instrument checks prior to lift off. So that part is kind of hard to believe.

But it’s easy to believe that people who watched this wanted to jump all over Obama for his perceived wrong here.

Certain kinds of people love to think about Obama being scolded by our military professionals. Above, that’s Arizona Governor Jan Brewer putting her finger in Obama’s face.

But in truth, Obama didn’t owe the Marine anything. And he wasn’t even permitted, by protocol, to salute him. In military lingo, Obama wasn’t qualified.

Civilians, you see, know a few things about etiquette, but they often understand nothing of protocol – the military version of etiquette. 

Etiquette is an outmoded system of manners based on courtly needs. Protocol is a more adaptive, dynamic system because feudalism is dead and we still have the military. And here’s the thing:

People out of uniform are not permitted to salute. Period. 

I did my time. In the military, periodically, we’d have dress-down days, or mufti days. We could pay a dollar or two into the party fund or benevolent fund and come to work for a day in civvies. 

is the president allowed to salute? neverWe received careful instructions on protocol for those days. 

One of the rules was: Do not salute officers when out of uniform. 

If the flag goes up or down while you’re outside to hear the anthem, stop and place your hand over your heart. Like a civilian. But do not salute.

The salute is reserved for people under arms, in uniform. Civilians are not qualified to render it. People out of uniform are not permitted to. It is a breach of protocol. As commander in chief, Obama would’ve known this. As a civilian person not of arms and not in uniform, he couldn’t have saluted.

You know, there are some people who will look down at our president no matter what he does. They’ll shake their heads sadly and demand their country back. They’ll even call him a disgrace. 

The people who want to call him out for not rendering a salute wouldn’t let Obama win under any circumstances. If they knew better, they’d just be the first people to point out he never served in the military and isn’t entitled to salute anyone.  

They’d tie the salute to military aspirations. They’d call him a dictator. 

Hitler wore a uniform. So did George W. Bush. But we’re a democracy with a civilian leadership. Every president before Reagan honored protocol and honored our democracy – a place where the civilians are in charge. 

Obama critics

In my days in the military we showed up and did our jobs. I’d have been embarrassed to be noticed by a president. Back then, most of the people in my unit would have probably agreed. We talked about this kind of stuff, protocol, on long, boring nights when there was nothing better to do. 

But nowadays, with Faux News playing all the time in the background everywhere I seem to go, it seems that most of my reasonable old comrades have become pretty extreme, politically speaking. 

Still, information is good.

Obama shouldn’t salute Marines, Airmen, soldiers, sailors. 

For aNewDomain, I’m Jason Dias.

Image credits:

Image one: EbonyMomPolitics.com, All Rights Reserved; image two: quora.com, All Rights Reserved.

About the author

Jason Dias

Jason Dias

Jason Dias, PsyD is an existential psychotherapist who breathes words. He's a senior columnist at aNewDomain.

  • Air_Cav

    You are correct, when out of uniform there is a different protocol to use.

    There is also a local custom at Comerica Park (Detroit Tigers baseball stadium) where active duty military and veterans are encouraged to render a “military salute” when the National Anthem is played. I never do as a veteran I hold my hand over heart until the anthem is finished

  • Fulton Loftis

    Understand the protocol, accept it, but have witnessed it being violated so much, especially by military members on bases and off, that it tends to be acceptable, by officers and enliste men. Also, in the Marine Corps saluting is only permitted while covered (wearing headgear) and not indoors (not covered) except for when under arms (covered). This means the uncovered officer(s) or enlisted(s) not covered and/or in uniform are neither required nor allowed to return salutes rendered by others.

  • Kevin Mitchell

    Silly author; civilians can do whatever they want. Members of the armed forces may not be permitted to salute out of uniform but civilians don’t require permission, qualification, or authorization to make a hand gesture.

    • Craig Hawthorn

      u are dumbass

    • kamwick

      And many give and return the two finger salute frequently

    • Judi Jorgensen

      As of October 2008 all veterans and military is allowed to render the military hand salute during the flag passing and during the National Anthem.

  • derlehrer

    I take issue with your statement: “The salute is reserved for people under arms, in uniform.” As a former officer in the U.S. Army (1966-1969) I must say that “under arms” was never a consideration — but “in uniform” was. You will note that in the video you’ve provided, the Marine is not “under arms” and rendered a salute to his Commander-in-Chief.

    • Justin Creighton

      Actually that Marine is under arms. If he is standing guard for the President he is on MSG Duty, and has the special dress blues which have velcro holding the front closed, hiding a concealed sidearm, in order to actually be able to do his guard duty

      • derlehrer

        Such B.S. Where do you get this? You’ve obviously never served in the military.

        • Justin Creighton

          I am a medically retired Marine myself and I knew and still know many who served on MSG duty and have seen those dress blue jackets.

          • derlehrer

            Right. And I’m a retired five-star general from the U.S. Army who served for 35 years, and I don’t believe your BS.

          • Carl

            Please present your credentials derlehrer. I did two tours of Vietnam and had the protocol that Justin describes beaten intoq my head. Admiral? My ass.

          • derlehrer

            Carl, you obviously are too dense to understand satire, so why should I waste my time with you? MSG could mean monosodium glutamate for all I care. That doesn’t mean it guards the U.S. President, which is the duty of the Secret Service. (BTW, where did you get “Admiral”? Isn’t that a Navy rank?)

          • MasterMind

            You’re a jackass!

          • derlehrer

            But still quite a bit above you on the evolutionary scale. (How many different accounts are you going to open to illustrate the fact that you don’t have a point?)

          • MasterMind

            There you go accusing me of something I didn’t do. I read the thread between you guys and immediately came to the conclusion that you are a jackass and guess what? I was right.

          • derlehrer

            Are you so dense that you don’t understand the difference between a question and an accusation? I came to the conclusion that you are sub-standard to a jackass, and guess what? I was right. (All it would take to convince me of the velcro uniform is a DoD manual or other official description. I’m guessing it doesn’t exist.)

          • MasterMind

            Dense? Interesting. Your argument is flawed, Justin knew it that’s why he’s ignoring you. I now hit the ignored button.

          • derlehrer

            That’s the way to win an argument. Clap your hands over your ears and yell, “Nyah! Nyah! Nyah! Nyah!” All objective readers will realize that the “flaw” in my presentations is actually reality. I’ve merely called attention to fallacies presented by unknowing persons. A velcro-jacket is more unwieldy than a holster strapped to the hip. They don’t exist. An MSG assignment is for U.S. embassies and visiting foreign dignitaries, not the President. No matter how many accounts you open to defend this glaring ignorance, it cannot be defended. You lose, Bub!

          • bobmendon

            Hooah!

          • Lauren

            Absolutely General! obama SHOULD have soluted that marine! He’s the COMMANDER IN CHIEF! What the hell is wrong with these people?????? Oh, that’s right, they HATE our country!

          • IAmThereforeIThink

            You are, in fact, mistaken. On several levels.

            The President is the CIVILIAN Commander in Chief. He’s not Enlisted. He’s not Commissioned. He’s elected.

            Even if he were expected to return salutes (which he’s not), Active Duty Military Personnell do not salute when they are out of uniform. Since there is no uniform specified for the President, he’s never not “out of uniform”.

            However, because he is the CiC, every member of the US Military, from the Joint Chiefs to the newest Basic Trainee, is required to salute him.

            You’re not obligated to take my word for it. Here are links to film/video confirmation:

            http://www.criticalpast(dot)com/video/65675034433_Richard-M-Nixon_Patrick-H-Brady_Jack-H-Jacobs_James-M-Sprayberry_Robert-M-Patterson

            http://www.criticalpast(dot)com/video/65675020752_President-Dwight-D-Eisenhower_Medal-of-Honor_Seargent-David-B-Bleak_Naval-officer

            Note: copy and paste these addresses, but brfore you hit ENTER, change ” (dot) ” for a real ‘dot’.

          • 3badcats

            You sound like you forgot your meds and hate everybody

  • Jim T

    Mr. Dias, please be aware that your statement, “People out of uniform are not permitted to salute. Period. ” is incorrect.

    Here is the actual text from the law:

    SEC. 595. MILITARY SALUTE FOR THE FLAG DURING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM

    BY MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES NOT IN

    UNIFORM AND BY VETERANS.

    Section 301(b)(1) of title 36, United States Code, is amended by

    striking subparagraphs (A) through (C) and inserting the following new

    subparagraphs:

    “(A) individuals in uniform should give the

    military salute at the first note of the anthem and

    maintain that position until the last note;

    “(B) members of the Armed Forces and veterans who

    are present but not in uniform may render the military

    salute in the manner provided for individuals in

    uniform; and

    “(C) all other persons present should face the flag

    and stand at attention with their right hand over the

    heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should

    remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it

    at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart;

    Note: Part (C) applies to those not in the military and non-veterans. The phrase “men not in uniform” refers to civil service uniforms like police, fire fighters, and letter carriers – non-veteran civil servants who might normally render a salute while in uniform.

  • Dave Bowman

    We live in a Republic, not a democracy.

    • derlehrer

      What’s your point?

  • RexB

    Actually, it is not required to salute in civilian clothes, but it’s also not inappropriate. It is not required for the President to salute service members, but it is not inappropriate. Protocol does not forbid it and neither does the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) – at least it didn’t in the 90s when I served. I would have been honored for any POTUS to salute me back.

    This article is written like it’s a gross violation for a President to salute yet there is nothing in miitary law or protocol that supports that notion.

    • derlehrer

      The article is so full of inaccuracies, it’s really a waste of time to read it. 🙁

    • jamann1

      Even if there was something about it in military law, the President would not be subjected to it. He is not in the military.

  • Belinda G. Davis

    I understand what you’re saying but hear me if you will…Our President never served in our military and these men are over there dying under his command. They DESERVE a salute by their Commander in Chief who has never had to even do basic training much less stepped foot on a battlefield. A salute is a gesture or action used to display respect. If a leader doesn’t respect his soldiers how are they going to respect him? It’s not a matter of whether he has to, he should WANT to.

    • kamwick

      And one of them got a heartfelt handshake from him….oh, the HORROR.

      He seems to be more focused on keeping them out of harms’ way rather than protocol. Which seems much more respectful than the inter webs’ protocol police who seem to have had no problem with our wasteful invasion of Iraq.

      • Belinda G. Davis

        Army Field Manual No. 7-21.13
        Chapter 4 CUSTOMS, COURTESIES, AND TRADITIONS
        4-9. The salute is widely misunderstood outside the military. Some consider it to be a gesture of servility since the junior extends a salute to the senior, but we know that it is quite the opposite. The salute is an expression that recognizes each other as a member of the profession of arms; that they have made a personal commitment of self-sacrifice to preserve our way of life. The fact that the junior extends the greeting first is merely a point of etiquette-a salute extended or returned makes the same statement.

        • kamwick

          And yet, there is no requirement that someone that is not wearing her uniform has to switch it back. The handshake actually showed that the president was truly being friendly. But the “” Uber patriots” among us prefer to wallow in their manufactured “outrage”. They just hate this president, and nothing he does can ever be right in their eyes.

        • IAmThereforeIThink

          SALUTING BY ACTIVE DUTY AND VETERAN MARINES
          UNCLASSIFIED//
          ALMAR 052/08
          MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC CMC//
          SUBJECT: CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS//
          REF/A/DESC:DOC/CMC WASHINGTON DC/05MAY2003//
          AMPN/REF A IS MCO P5060.20, MARINE CORPS DRILL AND CEREMONIES
          MANUAL.//
          GENTEXT/REMARKS/

          ………………

          3. SALUTING. A RECENT CHANGE TO THE LAW HAS AUTHORIZED ACTIVE DUTY
          AND RETIRED SERVICE MEMBERS TO SALUTE THE NATIONAL COLORS,
          WHETHER COVERED OR UNCOVERED, INDOORS OR OUT. BY CUSTOM AND
          TRADITION, MARINES DO NOT RENDER THE HAND SALUTE WHEN OUT OF
          UNIFORM OR WHEN UNCOVERED. LET THERE BE NO CONFUSION; THAT HAS NOT
          CHANGED.

          ……………….

          SEMPER FIDELIS,
          JAMES T. CONWAY,
          GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS, COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS.

          You can google to read the memo in it’s entirety. Simply put: out of uniform, no hat, no salute. If you have a problem with that, take it up with Gen. Conway.

      • Belinda G. Davis

        Im sorry I didnt realize you and Obama were so close that you know what his focus and motives in life are. Look Im not going to sit here and pretend like I know everything and why anyone does anything. But it was obvious that there was a problem with him not saluting because at the end of the day it comes down to facts.
        FACT #1 he wasnt allowed to board until he saluted

        FACT#2 a lower ranking officer gave our commander in cheif an order

        FACT#3 Our comander in cheif abided therefore admitting his faux pas.

        CASE CLOSED

        • kamwick

          Ah, the old “CASE CLOSED” debate “strategy”. Just about as effective “‘NUFF SAID”. Well gee whiz, who can argue with such eloquence? For somebody who claims that she is “not sitting there pretending to know anything” you sure seem to have plenty of smug, self-satisfied certainty about your own opinions.

          • kamwick

            By the way, you really actually have no idea what the officer actually said to the president.

        • jamann1

          No one in the military can ever give the President an order. Orders go down the chain of command, not up.

    • mabh94

      Well, actually, there’s a lot less dying than there could be, considering he brought most of them home.

      Anyway, a salute is part of protocol. Correct protocol is that Obama can’t give a salute, being a) civilian and b) in civilian clothes and c) the highest ranking member of the military by office (but not by trade). A lower ranking member is required to salute a higher ranking member, especially whilst in uniform. In no way is the higher ranking member required to return the salute.

      To do so is a sign of respect, yes, but it’s not important, and to be honest, if he did, he’d soon forget. He’s got many more things to think about that are ACTUALLY important, than saluting, although it seems crass.

      I’m pretty sure he’s probably thinking about how he’s going to save the US from the latest disaster about to hit them.

      • jamann1

        Being a civilian, there is no protocol on if/when the President can salute. Just like any other civilian in the country, the President can salute anyone/anything anytime or place he wants.

      • jamann1

        Also, the President is not a member of the military. There’s no such thing as a member of the military by office. That does not exist. One is either in the military, or they are not. There is no in-between.

        The President is merely OVER the military, not the highest member OF the military.

    • jamann1

      The troops don’t have to respect the president. They just have to obey him, and they will because they respect the oath they took.

  • Skyrilla

    He’s your commander in chief you privileged SOAB, and Hitler served in the military! Look at you, you scruffy looking POS, shave that shit, cut your hair, what the hell do you have to say!?

  • Justin Creighton

    Anytime a salute is given he is supposed to return it, as the Commander-In-Chief he is the highest member on the United States military, giving him not only the permission, but also the duty to return that salute.

    • derlehrer

      Such B.S. You obviously don’t know what you’re talking about.

    • kamwick

      Nope, not a duty. Hollywood Reagan started the whole “presidents saluting to demonstrate their uber-patriotic sympathies” thing. Even Eisenhower and Teddy Roosevelt never did it.

      All theater.

      • derlehrer

        Thanks for being a voice of reason! 😉

        • kamwick

          You too :). The only reason I am even commenting on this article, is that I had to look up information when my mom sent me a forwarded email from her echo chamber getting their panties in a twist about the president not returning a salute. They moan and groan about his lack of “dignity”. The ironic thing is that this president seems to have more class in the tip of his little finger then all of these haters. But their protocol policing is basically all that they really have against him. So they go at it with a full force.

    • jamann1

      This is 100% wrong. He is not the highest member in the military. The president is not a member of the United States military, and he has no duty to return a salute.

  • J R Joseph Ferguson

    According to the American Legion (do u think they know what they’re talking about?) it is allowed for Veterans (out of uniform) to militarily salute the flag. Period.

    • Mark Kenneth Hostetler

      True – When I left the military in 1995 it was not allowed out of uniform, but now I see other veterans saluting and I am considering that option.

      • Judi Jorgensen

        Mark, It was passed in October 2008 that all veterans and military out of uniform can render the military salute when the flag is passing, during the National Anthem. When I am at a funeral and there is a 21 gun salute and taps played, I, as a veteran, will salute and it is in respect of my comrade that has passed on.

    • jamann1

      There is really no need for the military to chime in on this. I am a veteran, and I will do as I please no matter what the military says. I do not answer to them anymore, and I am no longer subject to the UCMJ. Regardless of what the military says, I’m going to do as I want.

  • Hercules Sakatos

    Wow didn’t realize The Commander in Chief was a civilian

    • derlehrer

      From Legal Information Institute
      Re: “commander-in-chief powers”:

      “… the Founders gave the President the title to preserve civilian supremacy over the military….”

      [Look it up.]

      • Hercules Sakatos

        I was being sarcastic,the idiot of this article keeps referring to The President of the United States,The Commander in Chief as a civilian

        • derlehrer

          Oh…. Sorry, the sarcasm escaped me.
          After all, read what Justin Creighton posted 2 months ago (below): “… highest member on [sic] the United States military….”

        • jamann1

          The Commander in Chief is a civilian.

    • 3badcats

      dumbass

  • Wm Reichelderfer

    Well if you are all about Protocol,And the President is Comander and Chief.Why the hell don’t he have a Uniform.

    • jamann1

      Because there is no protocol for the President to wear a uniform. Stupid question.

  • Kevin B. Von Hauenstein

    This may indeed be true, back in the day, but I’ve seen Reagan salute as he entered AF#1, and GW Bush has been videotaped saluting as he exited AF#1. Final and most importantly, the President if Commander in Chief (CIC) and as such can change the regs at his will and desire…..

    • derlehrer

      Right! And if he salutes with a styrofoam cup, who’s to say he isn’t allowed? 🙂

  • kel

    “But in truth, Obama didn’t owe the Marine anything”. jason dias, you are a d*ck. He owes him, and all service men and women, much.

    • You really think the fragile liberal mind can understand the concepts of sacrifice and honor?

      • bobmendon

        Yes. The line refers to saluting so don’t be dicks.

      • mabh94

        Considering it’s nearly always liberals calling for people to respect both, I’d say yes.

        • Reddler

          So do you consider Hillary supporters trying to block Trump rallies respect for both candidates? I guess the defining question is do you consider those supporters liberal or conservative?

    • Pat Cross

      Diaz is a pussy. meooooooooooow

    • uh…he meant in regards to a salute; you’re the dick.

    • andrea

      and you’re a dysfunctional illiterate.

  • Are you retarded? Seriously, where are you from? Did you not attend high school in a first world country, or are you willingly a completely ignorant buffoon? He’s the Commander in Chief of the United States of America, aka the Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces. Good lord you liberals can’t fact check anything can you?

    • derlehrer

      Define “Commander in Chief of the United States of America” and how it might differ from “Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces.”

    • derlehrer

      To whom is your post addressed? Is it necessary to insult other people’s intelligence for you to make a point? By the way, what exactly IS your point? Nothing you posted has any bearing on whether the President should render a salute.

  • callmechaz

    A president, nor anyone in civilian dress, is required to salute. Regan did it anyways. I would venture to say the OP is in a small minority of those who would take offence. I know who most of them would rather server under.

  • Pat Cross

    isn’t it common courtesy to return a salute, when given? I believe that it is why they call such things CUSTOMS and COURTESIES. I would like to see what would happen if a service member did not salute Obama. He’d be on that serviceman’s ass like a fly on honey for not showing HIM respect. God DAMN Obama’s wrinkly black ass!

    • IAmThereforeIThink

      The President, whoever it is, probably wouldn’t give it a second thought. However, you can be certain that Serviceman’s NCOIC and OIC would be all over his stuff like stink on a skunk. He’d likely be busted to E1 and spend the rest of his enlistment on PLD (Permanent Latrine Duty). They’d probably involuntarily re-enlist him just to keep him at it that much longer.

      There’s a classic scene from Band of Brothers when Capt. Sobol attempts to avoid saluting Maj. Winters. Maj. Winters calls him on it, reminding him, “You salute the rank, not the man.”

      According to Army Field Manual No. 7-21.13
      Chapter 4 CUSTOMS, COURTESIES, AND TRADITIONS
      para 14. ” Salutes are not required when: …”

      “Either the senior or the subordinate is wearing civilian clothes.”

      So, a Serviceman in uniform is required to salute because the President is his Commander in Chief, regardless of who it is.

      The President, however, should NOT return the salute because he is a civilian in civvies. As a point of confirmation of that, Gen. Eisenhower was the Five Star General in charge of the D-Day invasion. And once a Five Star, General, always a Five Star General. Unless…!

      When he was elected President, Dwight Eisenhower had to surrender his Commission before he could take the Oath of Office because the President could not also be a member of the military.

      When President Kennedy took Office after Pres. Eisenhower, one of the first things he did was send formal recommendation to Congress to present to Dwight Eisenhower a Five Star General Commission, which Congress was glad to do to honor the man.

      Army Field Manual No. 7-21.13
      Chapter 4 CUSTOMS, COURTESIES, AND TRADITIONS
      4-9. The salute is widely misunderstood outside the military. Some consider it to be a gesture of servility since the junior extends a salute to the senior, but we know that it is quite the opposite. The salute is an expression that recognizes each other as a member of the profession of arms; that they have made a personal commitment of self-sacrifice to preserve our way of life. The fact that the junior extends the greeting first is merely a point of etiquette-a salute extended or returned makes the same statement.

  • Ted

    We don’t live in a democracy like the article stated, we live in a constitutional republic. As far as civilians saluting mitary members? I could care less, but as a retired sailor, i’d rather take orders from a crackhead than from obama, the guy’s a clown and a disgrace in every way, shape and form. His cabinet, his followers along with the rest of the dems are totally incompotent.

  • Steven Utter

    this article is incorrect in that military veterans in civilian clothing may render the hand salute. H.R. 4986 was passed and signed into law by the President. It took effect January 28, 2008. It was titled: The Defense Authorization Act of 2008. It passed the Senate in it’s final form as a multi-page act with hundreds of sections, one of which was Section 594 which did allow veterans to use a military type salute while not in uniform to salute the Flag. It was enacted as Public Law 110-181 on January 28, 2008.

    • IAmThereforeIThink

      And in almost immediate response to that, the Marine Corps issued the following…

      SALUTING BY ACTIVE DUTY AND VETERAN MARINES
      UNCLASSIFIED//
      ALMAR 052/08
      MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC CMC//
      SUBJECT: CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS//
      REF/A/DESC:DOC/CMC WASHINGTON DC/05MAY2003//
      AMPN/REF A IS MCO P5060.20, MARINE CORPS DRILL AND CEREMONIES
      MANUAL.//
      GENTEXT/REMARKS/
      ***************
      3. SALUTING. A RECENT CHANGE TO THE LAW HAS AUTHORIZED ACTIVE DUTY
      AND RETIRED SERVICE MEMBERS TO SALUTE THE NATIONAL COLORS,
      WHETHER COVERED OR UNCOVERED, INDOORS OR OUT. BY CUSTOM AND
      TRADITION, MARINES DO NOT RENDER THE HAND SALUTE WHEN OUT OF
      UNIFORM OR WHEN UNCOVERED. LET THERE BE NO CONFUSION; THAT HAS NOT
      CHANGED.
      *****************
      SEMPER FIDELIS,
      JAMES T. CONWAY,
      GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS, COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS.

      There’s a significant difference between the two pieces of information: PL 110-181 applies only to Veterans, not Active Duty Personnel. Gen. Conway issued this ALMAR to counteract the apparent confusion caused by the new Law.

      In reality, it has never been “illegal” for a Vet, or even a civilian to salute the flag or another person, it just wasn’t authorized. “By Custom and Tradition…”, the Military Salute is a form of recognition of many things – rank, honor, shared commitment, et al. – those things that are part and parcel of serving in the US Armed Forces. Things that are NOT shared by anyone who is not on Active Duty.

      (Those concepts and values may be held by many of us, but they are held by choice. When you raise your right hand to take the Oath of Enlistment or to accept your Commission, they become your convictions and duty, no longer a choice.)

    • jamann1

      I am a veteran, and nothing ALLOWED me to salute the flag. I can salute anything I want without the permission of the military, or the government in general. As a veteran, I am no longer a member of the military, and they have no authority over me whatsoever. I am no longer subject to the UCMJ. The military gives me the same amount of “permission” I need from them to do anything in life, and that is NONE.

  • USAnowMSAsadly

    Two words for the Marxist POS! FU*K YOU!

  • justinkeiththomas

    Jason Dias, being a former Marine or soldier doesn’t give you the right to speak in generalizations. Go back, do your research, and quote the regs. Your need a good refresher! You must have been a permanent lance corporal in the reserves.

  • Allen Blaylock

    As far as saluting in civilian clothes, you are WRONG! If ANY military person(s) that wears the Congretional Medal of Honor, ALL military including the president of the United states HAS to give a salute to that of those individuals. Also in the video, OBAMATARD didn’t forget, the pilot actually told him that he needed to address the Marine before boarding. It’s nice to know that 99% of the media will NEVER inform the public of what actually happens (especially CNN, MSNBC, CBS etc…).

    • mabh94

      Found the Republican dweeb.

    • IAmThereforeIThink

      Not so…

      Dwight Eisenhower was the Five Star General who commanded all Allied Troops during the invasion of Europe, bringing about the end of WW2. He was a career U.S. Army Officer and likely knew a thing or two about proper Military Customs and Practices.

      When he was elected President, before he could take Office, he had to surrender his Five Star Commission, because the President is the CIVILIAN Commander in Chief of the U. S. Military. No one can be President who is also an Enlisted or Commissioned member of the Military.

      Here is a link to a film clip of him presenting the Medal of Honor to a Korean War Vet. It shows clearly the MoH recipient saluting his CIC, and Pres. Eisenhower NOT returning the salute.

      http://www.criticalpast(dot)com/video/65675020752_President-Dwight-D-Eisenhower_Medal-of-Honor_Seargent-David-B-Bleak_Naval-officer

      If that’s not enough to convince you, here’s a clip of Pres. Nixon conferring four Medals of Honor, being saluted four times by the MoH recipients, and four times NOT returning the salutes.

      http://www.criticalpast(dot)com/video/65675034433_Richard-M-Nixon_Patrick-H-Brady_Jack-H-Jacobs_James-M-Sprayberry_Robert-M-Patterson

      (Please note: copy and paste these links and replace the (dot)com a real “dot” to complete the address)

      The President doesn’t salute because…
      1. He’s a civilian (and that takes care of it)
      but…
      2. He’s not in uniform (just what is the authorized uniform for the President? (hint: there is none!))
      3. He’s not wearing a cover(hat).

    • jamann1

      This is wrong. The President is not required to salute anyone. He is not a member of the military, not even a little bit.

  • Xmystic

    Yes, the president is not in uniform, but they are the commander and chief. hat’s much different than just some smuck not in uniform.

    • jamann1

      Commander in Chief (not “and”) is a civilian position. No civilians are required to salute, and that includes the President.

    • 3badcats

      awesome picture, love that man

  • Roman Maese

    I am a former Marine Sargeant, and Fulton is right!!! In the Marine Corps if you are outside in uniform (cover on) you will salute. In civilian clothes you don’t salute, you stand at attention during Colors. In doors ,in uniform only salute under Arms, if under arms you should be wearing your cover. Marines do not salute without a cover (hat) on!

  • I wasn’t in the military, but I come from a long and distinguished line of military. I knew this about saluting because of it; my dad instructed me on everything like this when I was young, because he knew I would need to know it.
    I live in Hawaii. I see military personnel everywhere I go. It’s pretty obvious when you see a retired general, or out-of-uniform officer pass by one in uniform–the one salutes, the other doesn’t. Simple. Elegant. Understood.
    This was a great post! I have bookmarked it for future SHARING.

  • Reddler

    Jason, As Commander-in-chief of the armed forces Obama or any president owes any military a salute bc they defend his job. Respect is earned not deserved. Obama has not earned the respect of the military. The military should abandon him as he has them. But the military is bound by honor, something Obama has no concept of.

    • mabh94

      Looool WHAT?

      Obama is the only president in about 30 years not to send US troops to war.

      He’s fought for military rights, and actually he doesn’t need to salute, he’s the holder of the highest office in the land, he is the one that must be saluted, not the other way around, PLUS he’s a civilian, PLUS he’s in civvies.

      But I’m sure you wouldn’t understand any of that.

      • Reddler

        Does the military defend America and hence the position of the president? Have there been presidents in other countries disposed by a military coup? Obama or any president occupy the office of the president bc the military recognizes and maintains stability of the country. If the country is stable the office of the president is stable. Tell me if the Secret Service did not provide security for the president could Obama be assassinated just as Lincoln was? Obama owes his life to many many people who provide protection for him. Without the protection the highest office in the land means nothing.

        But I’m sure you wouldn’t understand any of that.

        • mabh94

          I ain’t saying anything about what they do, but you’re clearly a Republican numbnuts because you think he doesn’t respect the work they do, when he’s been fighting for 8 years to protect the military.

          Stop hating on him, you have no reason to.

          • Reddler

            How many military officers have been forced into retirement under Obama? I have a son in the military. Obama has not tried to protect the military. Obama is a liar. Liars can not be trusted>

          • mabh94

            How many under Bush? How many because of delays in CONGRESS to things that Obama tries to force.

            Shut up and stop looking like a fool.

          • Reddler

            You hit the nail squarely on the head “… Obama tries to force.”
            It is Obama’s way or the highway. Remember, “I have a pen and a cell phone”? And if Obama can’t bully his way thru the Senate or Congress then passes his own measure with an executive order. But then again I must look like fool when the news is where I get info from.

          • mabh94

            Yes he tries to force it, because Congress accept it. He’s not the bully. THEY’RE the bullies. Anything he’s done with an executive order has helped the US. Not hindered it.

            Anyway, you’re clearly an ignorant Republican, I can’t be bothered to debate with you.

          • Reddler

            What is wrong? You don’t like the news as a source for info?

          • mabh94

            I use the news as a source for info. It’s what you do with the information. You’re clearly looking at it from a biased perspective.

            Oh and Fox doesn’t count as news.

          • Reddler

            ” … Fox doesn’t count as news. You’re clearly looking at it from a biased perspective. ” So what happens when Fox isn’t the only source reporting the same story? You pick an choose your sources as you say I do?

            Didn’t you tell me you couldn’t be bothered to debate with me?

    • 3badcats

      your an idiot troll

  • Carl S. Johnson

    I wondered about that. I think obama is a disgrace, but I would think a salute from a pansy who never earned the uniform would be a slap in the face.

    • 3badcats

      Look at your punk ass president tRump 5 time draft dodger, it makes me want to vomit when he salutes military, he dont deserve to be in the WH for any reason, got their by being a cheater him and putin

  • Roger Ramirez

    Jason Dias – you sound like a complete fucktard. You also sound like someone who may have been in the military, but didn’t do more than your first enlistment. You sound like an E-3 who got out of the military after his first enlistment, thinking he had enough time in to learn and know everything there is to know about the military. If you have any respect for the miliitary (active duty, veterans, and retirees) you will do them a solid and NEVER mention that you were never in the military.

  • paul

    If Reagan wants to, he could. He was quite able to know the rules. And he did. The rule applies to military personnel, true. He was not.

    • paul

      You salute the commission, typically.

  • jamann1

    The President isn’t allowed to salute? Says who?

  • Broy72

    The commander in chief is a military title moron. He is not a civilian!!

  • Terry S

    First, you are mistaken about people in civvies not being authorized to salute. In 2006 Congress passed a law allowing all veterans (active-duty, prior service, and retirees) to render a hand salute to the national color at public events like parades, or walking past it, etc., whether in uniform or in civilian clothing. Four years later, they passed the same kind of law allowing saluting during the national anthem.

    Second, though I kind of lean toward the idea that the president should return a salute (which is really often meant to be a one-way gesture anyway), there is no law that requires it or forbids it. It all started in 1981 when Ronald Reagan asked Gen. Robert Barrow, commandant of the USMC if he should return the salutes he received. Gen. Barrow said, “You’re the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces. You can salute whoever you want.”

    That’s kind of my feeling on it, too. As commander-in-chief, his or her uniform IS a business suit. If he or she can give orders to four-star officers (and five-star, if we ever have any again), make the final decision on strategic matters during war, and authorize the use of nuclear weapons, he or she can show courtesy to his military detail if he or she wants, or completely ignore them.

    This whole issue stems from Obama’s conspicuous disrespect for the military, and his lack of patriotism in general. I still can’t forget the video that shows him campaigning in 2008, and when the national anthem began, Clinton and the third candidate put their hands on their hearts (which, by the way, IS required by law, incidentally), but Obama totally refused to do so. Not that it mattered much, the majority of voters, one of which was me that year, got suckered by his cool speeches and elected him to the first half of his 8-year paid vacation.

    In summary, the president is not required by law to be courteous to those saluting him or her, and cannot be convicted under the UCMJ or US Code if he or she does show courtesy, and as commander-in-chief, it is completely up to them.

  • Johnny S Davis Jr.

    Former President Obama wasn’t qualified? He is the Commander & Chief. Highest ranking government official of the Military. A salute is a sign of respect, and the respectful thing to do would be to salute those who salute you.

  • 3badcats

    I think President Obama is much smarter than all of you here, i’m quite sure at one point their have been discussions with military and others if he should be saluting, but everyone here thinks they have the answer to everything, all different answers but they think their all right, you all sound like a bunch of whiny bullies

  • Dan

    Hate Obama. Glad he is gone.