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Paying Compliments (Saluting, Verbal Address)

Old Sweat

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Common sense should prevail on the part of the saluter(s) and the saluted. Two stories of how ridiculous things can get from the distant past, aka the 1950s.

First, as told to me from a member of 1 RCHA circa 1957 on a divisional concentration in Gagetown. The division had been loaned a RCN helicopter to ferry the GOC around. Some moron decreed tat as it was the equivalent of a staff car, it would be saluted on sight by all ranks. (It was the only helicopter in Gagetown that summer.)  Anyway, the certain gunner subaltern was in the battery CP when he heard a helicopter. Following SOP he ran out of the CP towards their helicopter pad in case the great man was dropping in on them. Partway there he came across two of his soldiers, lying flat on their backs and presenting arms skyward. Probably fortunately for all involved below the rank of major general, the helicopter had proceeded on its way.

Second, I was serving in 4 RCHA as a gunner under a battery commander, whose stupidity was legendary, especially for a permanent force RMC graduate. Anyway, on a ceremonial drive past he fell out of his jeep and broke his right wrist. This resulted in him wearing a large plaster cast on his wrist and forearm. We took great delight in ambush saluting him, that is jumping out from places of concealment and braking "Good morning, sir" while doing the up-2-3-down drill movement. He would reflexively return the salute, bashing himself in the head with his cast, much to our delight.

The old adage, if it moves, salute it may be a useful guide.

 

Kirkhill

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Blackadder1916 said:
No discussion about saluting should overlook this.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzKTOUkroU0

I salute EITS for his explanation of saluting.

"Wait", there's no waiting in drill.  It's all about timing.  And the timing in the army is "1,2,3".  Whether it's square bashing with officers falling in and taking over from WOs/SMs, or someone falling out of ranks and reporting to an officer making a presentation, or even in the course of a normal days work if it is appropriate to the situation to salute the same timing is always used.  The individual moving (regardless if it is the senior or junior) comes to a halt, both parties "should" observe the standard pause and the saluting movement should appear coordinated.  I know that anytime that I was on parade as an officer and on falling in I repeated silently (and sometimes not so silently) the same counting that I learned in Cornwallis.  Halt, 2,3, Up, 2,3, Down, 2,3, and then accepted the report from the WO or CSM or RSM (or DCO) depending on the stage of my career.  Sometimes you could see the lips move as both of us would silently be doing the same count.

Same count I learned at Cubs, the Sea Cadets, the Fort Henry Guard (ca 1867) and mucking around with you lot.  Essentially waltz-time.  So why can't I dance?
 

Pusser

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Bzzliteyr said:
And just a pet peeve, if you've got the motivation to write "he/she" you can save type and just write "they" until you've figured out someone's gender.

You can also apply this to real life when unsure of someone's gender in emails, at a party, saluting at the halt, saluting while marching, etc...

Except that's not actually grammatically correct.  "They" is a third person plural pronoun, whereas "he" and "she" are third person singular pronouns.  English does not have a gender-neutral third person singular pronoun.  "They" is only correct if you are referring to more than one person.
 

Pusser

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Pieman said:
I recall getting jacked up because a group of us did not salute a group of officers who drove by in a van with tinted windows. Doesn't exactly garnish respect for higher ranks when stuff like that happens.

They're just being idiots.  The only vehicles that need to be saluted are those that are marked for that purpose (flags/plates).
 

garb811

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Pusser said:
Except that's not actually grammatically correct.  "They" is a third person plural pronoun, whereas "he" and "she" are third person singular pronouns.  English does not have a gender-neutral third person singular pronoun.  "They" is only correct if you are referring to more than one person.
The use of "they" in that situation is correct, as per the Oxford Dictionary:
Definition of they in English:
...
2 third person plural singular Used to refer to a person of unspecified gender.
 

daftandbarmy

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Meanwhile, one of my pet peeves, demonstrated often in TV images of the US Presidency....


A Senseless Salute

Soon after Ronald Reagan assumed his presidency, something new appeared with his image on the television screen. When given a salute by uniformed military personnel, Mr. Reagan would return it, shooting his right hand up to his bare head, his smile suggesting that this was something he liked to do. This unnecessary and unseemly habit was adopted by Mr. Reagan's successors, including Bill Clinton and especially George W. Bush, who steps off his plane and cocks a jaunty salute.

This gesture is of course quite wrong: such a salute has always required the wearing of a uniform. But there is more to this than a decline in military manners. There is something puerile in the Reagan (and now Bush) salute.


https://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/14/opinion/a-senseless-salute.html
 

Pusser

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garb811 said:
The use of "they" in that situation is correct, as per the Oxford Dictionary:

I concede!  I guess I paid too much attention to the voices in my head (those of my Grade 7 English teacher and my father the English professor).  However, a little research reveals that using "they" (and them and their, etc.) actually dates from the 14th Century and that it was only in the 19th Century that some scholars tried to change the rules.
 

Bzzliteyr

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Pusser said:
I concede!  I guess I paid too much attention to the voices in my head (those of my Grade 7 English teacher and my father the English professor).  However, a little research reveals that using "they" (and them and their, etc.) actually dates from the 14th Century and that it was only in the 19th Century that some scholars tried to change the rules.

I accept your apology.
 

garb811

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Jarnhamar said:
What happens if someone prefers to use he/she?
S/he, she/he, he/she can all be considered acceptable as well given some or all of those variations can be found in most mainstream dictionaries.
 

Bzzliteyr

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Jarnhamar said:
What happens if someone prefers to use he/she?

If they mention their preferred pronouns then sure, use them. But if you're going to guess it's much more polite to say "they/them".
 

FSTO

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daftandbarmy said:
Meanwhile, one of my pet peeves, demonstrated often in TV images of the US Presidency....


A Senseless Salute

Soon after Ronald Reagan assumed his presidency, something new appeared with his image on the television screen. When given a salute by uniformed military personnel, Mr. Reagan would return it, shooting his right hand up to his bare head, his smile suggesting that this was something he liked to do. This unnecessary and unseemly habit was adopted by Mr. Reagan's successors, including Bill Clinton and especially George W. Bush, who steps off his plane and cocks a jaunty salute.

This gesture is of course quite wrong: such a salute has always required the wearing of a uniform. But there is more to this than a decline in military manners. There is something puerile in the Reagan (and now Bush) salute.


https://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/14/opinion/a-senseless-salute.html

What really grinds my gears is the Officer who salutes the PM as they get off the plane. FFS the PM is a minister of the crown, not the head of state and certainly not our Commander in Chief!
 

Ostrozac

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FSTO said:
What really grinds my gears is the Officer who salutes the PM as they get off the plane. FFS the PM is a minister of the crown, not the head of state and certainly not our Commander in Chief!

But our current policy is that we salute both heads of state and heads of government, foreign and domestic. The Prime Minister of Canada is a Head of Government, therefore rates a salute from a Canadian serviceman, as does the President of the USA, the President of Russia, Chairman Kim Jong-Un of North Korea, etc...

In Canada, military compliments are only paid to the Sovereign; the Governor General; members of the Royal Family; recognized foreign royalty; foreign heads of state or government; the Prime Minister; the Minister and Associate Minister of National Defence; lieutenant-governors; and commissioned officers. (the CAF Manual of Drill and Ceremonial)

Although this appears to be a rather recent innovation, historically. The 1883 version of the UK Queen's Regulations and Orders is pretty clear that compliments are for Royalty, Governors/Viceroys, etc, but Ministers of the Crown are not mentioned. Same thing for the 1917 version of King's Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Militia.

At some point after 1917 compliments were removed from KR&O/QR&O and placed in the Drill and Ceremonial Pam, and Prime Ministers/Presidents/Comrade Chairmen were added to the list alongside royalty.
 

Petard

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Never knew something so simple could get so twisted; then again, paying compliments can even get bent out of shape where the run a pretty tight ship
https://youtu.be/LowVhCfLm68
 

FSTO

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Ostrozac said:
But our current policy is that we salute both heads of state and heads of government, foreign and domestic. The Prime Minister of Canada is a Head of Government, therefore rates a salute from a Canadian serviceman, as does the President of the USA, the President of Russia, Chairman Kim Jong-Un of North Korea, etc...

In Canada, military compliments are only paid to the Sovereign; the Governor General; members of the Royal Family; recognized foreign royalty; foreign heads of state or government; the Prime Minister; the Minister and Associate Minister of National Defence; lieutenant-governors; and commissioned officers. (the CAF Manual of Drill and Ceremonial)

Although this appears to be a rather recent innovation, historically. The 1883 version of the UK Queen's Regulations and Orders is pretty clear that compliments are for Royalty, Governors/Viceroys, etc, but Ministers of the Crown are not mentioned. Same thing for the 1917 version of King's Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Militia.

At some point after 1917 compliments were removed from KR&O/QR&O and placed in the Drill and Ceremonial Pam, and Prime Ministers/Presidents/Comrade Chairmen were added to the list alongside royalty.

I stand corrected then.  :not-again:
(I still don't like it though)
 

Furniture

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Somerandomfellow said:
Is there a specific distance in the pubs which tells us an appropriate distance to salute someone while passing by? It’s always been “a judgement” call which can vary from person to person.

Is there an actual “minimum or maximum distance”? I took a look through the drill manual and didn’t see anything. I could have sworn I saw a distance before though.

A few people in the office are having a debate so I decided to take this to the forums for answers!

Thanks! Hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable long weekend.

If it's past a distance that you would hold a conversation across, it's likely far enough away to not worry about paying compliments. If you're stopped simply throw a "high five", appologize, and be on your merry way.

Funny story(to me at least);

This happened back when CADPAT was still fairly new('04-'06), and I was a young Cpl posted to Halifax. I worked out of the MARLANT HQ (D201), which also housed LFAA HQ. One morning before sunrise I was walking out to my car after a  12 hour shift, and noticed someone walking toward me with no rank on their slip on. In my slightly dazed mind I was thinking about how odd it was for a no hook Pte to so old... Just as I casually strolled past him I saw that he was BGen, I was already past by the time my mind processed the information. Nothing was ever said about it to me, but I imagine the look on my face as realization dawned gave the BGen a good chuckle.



 

Pusser

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Furniture said:
If it's past a distance that you would hold a conversation across, it's likely far enough away to not worry about paying compliments. If you're stopped simply throw a "high five", appologize, and be on your merry way.

Funny story(to me at least);

This happened back when CADPAT was still fairly new('04-'06), and I was a young Cpl posted to Halifax. I worked out of the MARLANT HQ (D201), which also housed LFAA HQ. One morning before sunrise I was walking out to my car after a  12 hour shift, and noticed someone walking toward me with no rank on their slip on. In my slightly dazed mind I was thinking about how odd it was for a no hook Pte to so old... Just as I casually strolled past him I saw that he was BGen, I was already past by the time my mind processed the information. Nothing was ever said about it to me, but I imagine the look on my face as realization dawned gave the BGen a good chuckle.

If you're wearing clothing specifically designed to remain unnoticed, don't be surprised when people don't notice you...
 

dimsum

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Pusser said:
If you're wearing clothing specifically designed to remain unnoticed, don't be surprised when people don't notice you...

Almost like the folks who get pissed off when you don't salute them while they're wearing backpacks that cover their shoulder epaulettes.  Ask me how I know this.
 

Pusser

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For whatever reason, the Navy does not (or at least didn't as late as 2007) wear rank on its weather jackets (floater coats and all round operational cold-weather wear).  As a result, there is a always a good chance you will see a multitude of  folks running around the dockyard in uniform in cooler weather, whose rank cannot be identified unless it is on their Velcro nametag (they generally state ship, name, rank and position, but it's all written out without the use of rank badges).  One day, many years ago, I was jacked up by a sub-lieutenant who shouted, "don't you salute officers?"  "Not my subordinates as a general rule, " I replied as I pulled my weather jacket off to reveal my lieutenant(N) stripes... ;D
 

Blackadder1916

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Furniture said:
If it's past a distance that you would hold a conversation across, it's likely far enough away to not worry about paying compliments.  . . .

I suppose conversational distance depends on the individual.  Back in the dark ages, I recall a PPCLI Sergeant Major who not only saluted officers who may be passing by on the other end/side of the Currie Barracks parade square, but could be plainly heard demanding that the officer return the salute.  And then there was the Field Ambulance RSM who (as the story is told) would begin any telephone communication with an officer by popping to attention and saying "SIR, I AM SALUTING YOU".
 
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