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Chief’s Corner - week of Jan. 28


The hand salute is a sign of formal recognition and respect between officers and enlisted; it also shows respect for the U.S. Flag.  This brief exchange is a time-honored military tradition where the junior member provides both the initial hand gesture and verbal greeting.   The senior member is then required to return the salute and verbal greeting. 

Unfortunately, around the restricted area portals and parking lots, this exchange is increasingly marred by a lack of salutes/return of salutes and/or the lack of a verbal greeting.  I've witnessed robotic gestures with no words spoken by both enlisted and officers and it breaks my spirit.  This is why anyone who reads this knows how large of a smile and greeting I give to everyone I pass.   

I beg you to comply not only because AFI 34-1201, Protocol,  says you're required to, but for the fact it is decent, uplifting and offers respect to both parties.   If the salute has become an irritation or cumbersome and you don't feel as though you owe a greeting, please visit any chief master sergeant and we will be more than happy to provide mentorship and uplifting encouragement. 

Please review the section for hand salutes:

8.1. Hand Salutes.

8.1.1. The hand salute is the form of greeting and recognition exchanged between persons in the armed services. All Air Force personnel in uniform are required to salute when they encounter any person or situation entitled to the salute. When the salute is rendered to another person, the junior member initiates the salute accompanied with an appropriate verbal greeting, e.g., ―Good Morning, Sir/Ma‗am.‖ The salute and a verbal greeting should be extended at a distance at which recognition is easy and audible. The salute should be offered early enough to allow the senior time to return it and extend a verbal greeting before passing. All salutes received when in uniform shall be returned; at other times, salutes received shall be appropriately acknowledged.

Note: Rendering a salute is not required when arms are encumbered. However, one should always extend a verbal greeting or respond to one in such a circumstance. You should always salute a senior officer if he/she is encumbered and you are not, even though the salute cannot be returned.
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