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The salute is widely misunderstood outside the military.Some consider it to be a gesture of servility since the junior extends a salute to the senior, but this interpretation isn't true at all.
Some military customs are established by regulation, and you can be punished (even sent to jail) for disregarding them, while others are unwritten, but obeyed just the same.
Courtesy among members of the Armed Forces is vital to maintain discipline.
A sloppy salute can mean that you're ashamed of your unit, lack confidence, or, at the very least, haven't learned how to salutecorrectly.
You'll get plenty of practice saluting in basic training, but it wouldn't hurt to practice in front of a mirror several times before you leave so that you can doit correctly automatically.
In the final analysis, military courtesy is the respect shown to each other by members of the same profession. Tip: In the Marine Corps, Air Force, and the first couple weeks of Coast Guard basic training, instructors are also addressed as sir or ma'am. In other words, don't say something like, "Sir, I have to go to the bathroom, sir." Otherwise, you're likely to hear a (very loud) speech about a sir sandwich.
Commissioned officers (and to a lesser extent, warrant officers) run the U. Warning: If you're attending Army or Navy basic training, do not address your training instructor as sir or ma'am.You salute to show respect toward an officer, the flag, or your country.In the Army and Navy, drill instructors are addressed by using their military rank and often their last name — for example, Chief or Staff Sergeant Smith.Good human relations are based from courteous behavior.This discipline and good relations is even instilled in us as children.In Marine Corps basic training, do not use personal pronouns such as "you," "I," or "we." These pronouns will send your Marine Corps basic training instructor into an absolute tizzy.Instead, speak in the third person: "Does the drill instructor want this recruit to inform the other recruits of hisinstructions?Military courtesy means good manners and politeness in dealing with other people.Courteous behavior provides a basis for developing good human relations.This is guaranteed to result in a loud tirade abouthow they work for a living.The history of the salute Some historians believe the hand salute began in late Roman times when assassinations were common.