When the American flag or a soldier passes by, civilians may be tempted to give a salute. Many civilization assume the a salute is taken into consideration a gesture the respect. However, over there is particular etiquette when it concerns rendering a salute, whether you room a veteran, energetic service member, or civilian.

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TLDR – Civilians should challenge the flag and place their right hand over their heart throughout the national Anthem. Saluting the flag is a gesture booked for the military. If civilians deserve to salute soldiers, plenty of veterans think about it inappropriate or awkward. 

Can Civilians Salute Soldiers?

Saluting soldiers is no a recommended means to honor existing or former members that the equipped Forces. Even members that the equipped Forces do not salute once out that uniform. A salute is component of the official protocols that active soldiers follow. Exterior official duties, the armed forces salute is hardly ever displayed.

While veterans and active service members may discover it cute once a toddler salutes, a salute from an adult civilian may result in awkwardness. Rather of saluting, most soldiers would agree the civilians should merely wave or say, “thank girlfriend for her service.”

Can Civilians Salute the Flag?

Civilians must not salute the American Flag v a army salute. The armed forces salute is thought about a privilege earn by those who have served in the armed Forces and also is scheduled for main protocols.


Civilians must follow particular etiquette throughout the national Anthem. The ideal hand have to be placed over the heart. Men and women have to remove hats. However, women may wear headwear, such together scarves. 

When wearing a hat, that is agree for men to organize their hat in the right hand and place the in front of the left shoulder. Through the cap at the left shoulder, the best hand have to be above the heart.

Men and women should likewise face the flag and stand in ~ attention until the nationwide Anthem is finished. The very same etiquette is followed when the Pledge the Allegiance is spoken.


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U.S. National Archives Snappy salute

Enlisted personnel in uniform are required to render the armed forces salute in the existence of commissioned officers, warrant officers, and authorized civilians, such as the us President. However, the salute is only rendered indoors as soon as reporting to an officer.

For example, once a low-ranking soldier philosophies an officer outdoors, the soldier provides the salute together a sign of respect and also recognition the the personal commitment to the united States. The soldier maintains the salute till the officer return the salute.

If the same interaction occurs indoors, the soldier does no salute, uneven they are reporting directly to the officer. Rather of saluting, the soldier stands in ~ attention.

Soldiers are likewise required come render the salute on ceremonial occasions, such together funerals, changes of command, and also when the national Anthem plays.

How perform You give a military Salute?

Soldiers are forced to perfect the army salute, together a sloppy salute is considered disrespectful. A suitable salute requires raising the best hand v the fingers and thumb extended and joined along with the palm down.

The soldier move the appropriate hand sharply, positioning the guideline of the right forefinger slightly to the ideal of the right eye. The hand should be positioned at an angle so the the top and bottom room not visible from the front.

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A ideal salute also requires the soldier to keep their hand and wrist straight, v the elbow slightly forward and also the top arm in a horizontal position.