A Worthy Campaign

This campaign season, I’ve found a campaign I can really get behind…


Jumping topics slightly…

Maybe somebody in the military can help me out with this — I have a question:

Would it be considered rude for a civilian to salute a member of the military? Would it be considered respectful? Or just… odd? I’ve always felt that would be a good way to show respect for military people, but I never see other do it, even as (with this video) there are other very specific words and gestures used to show gratitude and respect for folks in the military. It strikes me that there may be a sense within the service that it’s something only a military person should do. Yes? No? Bueller?

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5 Responses to “A Worthy Campaign”

  1. Brian Dunbar Says:

    I’d find it odd to receive a salute from a civilian. Nothing wrong with it, really but …

    A salute is initiated by the junior to senior – are you implying that I’m better than you? How un-American. Plus what do I do back – render a salute? If we’re indoors and I’m uncovered (I was in the Marines) by custom I can’t salute! Clearly I will – if only by reflex – but it’s going to be awkward. Also I spent eight years rendering salutes, not receiving them. I might not know what you’re doing, at first. Confused feelings all around as I turn my head looking for the officer you must be saluting …

    But them I’m not an overly demonstrative person. To me a kind word, casual chit-chat, or simply a ‘how ya doin’, Marine’ would be enough.

  2. Strider Says:

    “A salute is initiated by the junior to senior – are you implying that I?m better than you? How un-American.”

    Good point. I guess I was looking at it as a symbolic gesture that I owe them respect. So in the relationship of that moment, you are, in a sense, the greater of the two of us. _Any_ show of respect is kind of like that, IMO.

    That being said, I think you answered my question pretty well — it would probably be awkward. Thanks.

    And Brian — Thank you for serving. 🙂

    (Heh. So… can I say “Semper Fi” to a Marine?)

  3. Steve B Says:

    A salute is a gesture of respect or honor. For a civlian to salute a member of the military is, to me, one step up from shaking his or her hand.

    I’ve been in several parades in my Blues, and have had all sorts of people salute me. A lot of them kids. They almost without exception get quite tickled when I salute them back. They think it’s pretty neat, and so do I.

    Also, remember, a lot of those “civlians” who salute are probably retired military, and it’s their way of showing honor, brotherhood and remembrance.

    So, no, it’s not weird to me. I think it’s great, and I always salute them back.

    And saying “Semper Fi” is always cool. Even if you’re just a wanna be!

  4. Steve B Says:

    One caveat. Saying “Semper Fi” is usually sort of a secret code between Marines. It’s usually those old retired guys in civies that see you in uniform and want to let you know that they were “one of the few” in their time. So you meet his gaze, for a moment, nod your head, and give him back a grin and an “oo-rah.”

    So, I’d almost say leave the “Semper Fi” part to the Marines, and like Brian said, settle for a, “Thanks for serving. I appreciate what you do” kind of thing.

  5. Brian Dunbar Says:

    And Brian ? Thank you for serving.

    Aw – you’re making me blush.

    Seriously, it was my pleasure.

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