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Official Setting information is in darkgreen. Extended Universe information is in steelblue.

Sourcebook: Military Etiquette

How to Salute

The right hand is brought up from the side of the body fully out and then up until the tip of the forefinger touches the lower part of the head-dress(hat) if worn or slightly to the right of the right eye, with the hand flat and facing downwards. Ensure that the head is turned towards the person being saluted. To finish the salute, the hand and arm are dropped straight down to the side of the body, and not out and then down as if in reverse of the initial part of the salute. If appropriate you should address person being saluted with, "good morning/afternoon/evening Sir or Ma'am". In the Spacy and Navy and Coast Guard, Officers below the rank of Commander are usually addressed as "Mister" or "Miss" depending on the situation. Officers at or above the rank of Commander are addressed by their rank. I.e.: "Good morning Commander Ichijo", or "good afternoon General Hayase". It is perfectly acceptable to simply refer to the person being salute as "sir", especially if unsure of their name. The salute is not dropped until it has been returned or the person is out of range/sight.

When to Salute

Salutes should be given 6 to 30 paces away from the recpient of the salute. If running, slow down to a walk prior to saluting. Always face the person that you are saluting. If you are engaging in a conversation with a person that you should salute, then remember to start and finish the conversation with a salute.

When boarding a ship it is customary to salute the Officer on Deck, and say "Request permission to come aboard, sir" from the Officer on Deck. Traditionally on Unified Naval Forces ships ou would then come aboard the ship and turn towards the stern to salute the Ensign, (flag.) On Many Unified Naval Forces ships there is no actual Ensign flag there but the tradition still remains. The tradition of saluting the Ensign is not done on Unified Space Forces ships. The Ensign is not in fact the symbol of the Unified Forces kite, but the emblem of the Unified Government. When leaving the ship you would also salute the Ensign (if on a Unified Naval Forces vessel) and salute the Officer on Deck, and "request permission to go ashore, sir".

At any point that the flag on a base or ship is lowered (revielle or last post) then you would turn to face the flag and salute it. On ground side bases this normally happens at sunrise and sunset.

During a military funeral in uniform, you will salute during the following:
- the casket being moved
- when the casket is being lowered into the grave
- during the firing of the volley
- when 'Last post' is being sounded (single bugle)

Navy and Spacy personnel commonly have different area's that constitute 'indoors' and 'outdoors' so personnel are only required to salute when off ship, entering or leaving the ship, or 'on deck'. On any other area of the ship they are required to come to attention.

If seated, come to a standing Attention position and salute. Do not do it again until instructed to do so.

Saluting indoors is not usually done, unless of course you are reporting for duty to an Officer, or the indoor area is being used as though it were an outdoor area, (award ceremonies, parade drills, exercise,etc.)

When NOT to Salute

If out of uniform, or without head-dress (hat) when normally attired with one, you do not salute. Instead, if you are in civilian clothing you come to attention and face the person, addressing them, "good morning/afternoon/evening sir/Colonel".

If in civilian clothing and you are saluted, you do notreturn the salute you refer to the person as in the above example.

If you are indoors you do not salute senior Officers, instead you come to attention and face them. Onboard Unified Naval Forces and Unified Space Forces's vessels however all area's bar the top deck are considered to be 'indoors'. Onboard ships the exceptions are if an area is being used as an outdoor area/deck.

If in parade formation or work details then the most senior person present salutes the Officer. If you are not the most senior person come to attention but do not salute.

Pilot's Salute

If a pilot wishes to give a salute there are two ways that he can do this. One is while he is still on the ground and constitutes the standard salute. The other is what is commonly known as the wing salute. This salute is where the pilot in flight salutes with the wings of the plane, first letting the right wing dip, then the left wing, and then the right again. This is normally used as a way of signalling to someone on the ground that they have been spotted, (Search and Rescue,) or that their message has been recieved. Or as a sign of respect.

Who/Who not to Salute

Only one particular group of people in the Military receive a salute. Officers. If you are an NCO you are required to any and all Officers in an outdoor environment. And come to attention in an indoor environment. If you are an Officer, you are only required to salute Officers senior to you. The modern tradition of saluting comes from the British Royal Navy, which was a mark of respect, and it was not the person that you were saluting but the King or Queen, as the Officer held their position at the behest of the King or Queen. The hand down facing version of the salute also originated as the regular salute in Britain was to have the palm facing towards the person you are saluting, however as the sailors hands were often dirty it was seen as disrespectful to present a filthy hand to someone so the salute developed into the palm facing downwards. The original origins of saluting date back to Knights in Armour lifting their armoured visors so that the person facing them could see both their face, and that they were not carrying a weapon.

On Board Ship

On board a ship, be it Unified Naval Forces or Unified Space Forces, the ship has different rules depending on where you are. Located below are some examples of the area's of the ship, and the specific rules that apply to them.


The bridge of a ship is considered to indoors, and thus saluting is not required, except of course when reporting for duty. Regardless of the ship's captain's rank, they are always referred to as Captain on the Bridge, even if of a rank lower than Captain.

Flight Deck/Hanger Bay

The flight decks and hanger bays are considered to be out of doors, and thus saluting is normal, especially as it is quite common for hanger bays and flight decks to be used for drill practice or as exercise yards by personnel.

Living/Sleeping Quarters

Where its NCO or Officers Country the Sleeping quarters are an area that is considered to be more relaxed than the rest of the ship, as all personnel are supposed to feel comfortable here. Saluting is not expected, in fact even if it were so NCO's are not permitted into Officer country, and Officers are not expected into NCO country, unless either has official business.

Mess Halls

Messhalls, and especially the Officers Wardroom, are not saluting area's, yet personnel are required to attend in uniform, unless given specific permission in advance that they are excused from wearing uniform. Headwear is to be removed before entering the wardroom also.

Squadron Ready Rooms

The homes and hiding places of most pilots when they aren't sleeping or flying, the Squadron ready rooms are busy places with briefings and debriefings taking place regularly, and the Squadron Officer making a note of which Squadrons, and aircraft are in the air, on the deck, or in for repairs. The ready rooms are considered to be indoors and saluting is not done here.

© Aaron Sketchley