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U.S. Military Salute

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Reporting Indoors

When reporting to an officer in his office, the military member removes his headgear, knocks, and enters when told to do so. He approaches within two steps of the officer’s desk, halts, salutes, and reports, "Sir (Ma’am), Private Jones reports." The salute is held until the report is completed and the salute has been returned by the officer. When the business is completed, the member salutes, holds the salute until it has been returned, executes the appropriate facing movement, and departs. When reporting indoors under arms, the procedure is the same except that the headgear is not removed and the member renders the salute prescribed for the weapon with which he is armed.

The expression "under arms" means carrying a weapon in your hands by a sling or holster.

When reporting to a noncommissioned officer, the procedures are the same, except no salutes are exchanged.

Reporting Outdoors

When reporting outdoors, the military member moves rapidly toward the officer, halts approximately three steps from the officer, salutes, and reports (as when indoors). When the member is dismissed by the officer, salutes are again exchanged. If under arms, the member carries the weapon in the manner prescribed for saluting.

Saluting Persons in Vehicles

The practice of saluting officers in official vehicles (recognized individually by grade or identifying vehicle plates and or flags) is considered an appropriate courtesy. Salutes are not required to be rendered by or to personnel who are driving or riding in privately owned vehicles except by gate guards, who render salutes to recognized officers in all vehicles unless their duties make the salute impractical. When military personnel are drivers of a moving vehicle, they do not initiate a salute.

Other Salutes

In Formation. Individuals in formation do not salute or return salutes except at the command Present, ARMS. The individual in charge salutes and acknowledges salutes for the entire formation. Commanders of organizations or detachments that are not a part of a larger formation salute officers of higher grade by bringing the organization or detachment to attention before saluting. When in the field under battle or simulated battle conditions, the organization or detachment is not brought to attention. An individual in formation at ease or at rest comes to attention when addressed by an officer.

Not in Formation. On the approach of an officer, a group of individuals not in formation is called to Attention by the first person noticing the officer, and all come sharply to Attention and salute. This action is to be taken at approximately 6 paces away from the officer, or the closest point of approach. Individuals participating in games, and members of work details, do not salute. The individual in charge of a work detail, if not actively engaged, salutes and acknowledges Salutes for the entire detail. A unit resting alongside a road does not come to Attention upon the approach of an officer; however, if the officer addresses an individual (or group), the individual (or group) comes to Attention and remains at Attention (unless otherwise ordered) until the termination of the conversation, at which time the individual (or group) salutes the officer.

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