Saluting - whats the score?

#1
On a course a few months ago I came out of my accomodation to be confronted by what looked like every officer in the British army coming the other way.

Faced by such a situation what do you do?

a) Salute the first and ignore the rest

b) March through the crowd with your right hand stapled to your head

c) Run away and hide until they're all gone

I went for a combination of (a) and (c)
 
#3
Good call!

When I was at SEE many moons ago there was a young 2lt. He used to leave B Coy lines every lunch time to go to the mess. We sussed this out, and whenever possible we'd stagger our leaving time from the cookhouse. 8 lads 5 meters apart, it was hilarious to watch him saluting us all. Up/down/up/down/up etc. This went on for 4 days then he got the idea :)
 
#4
I'd go for b. And why do Officers always insist in stopping to talk to another Officer in the busiest place they can find and then look p**sed off when they have to salute every fecker who walks past and throws one up.
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#6
I had a Major, a company commander, who was SF all the way through. Spent more time 'away' than in battalion. He told the entire company that if they saw him, and saluted him more than once a week, he would kill us all in our beds. We rather liked him.
 
#7
old_fat_and_hairy said:
I had a Major, a company commander, who was SF all the way through. Spent more time 'away' than in battalion. He told the entire company that if they saw him, and saluted him more than once a week, he would kill us all in our beds. We rather liked him.
Had similar from a Major I worked with, once a day was more than enough in his books. There were no threats to kill us, but then he wasn't SF.
 
C

cloudbuster

Guest
#8
Happily threw one up for the Detmold Garrison Padre one morning, as he pootled past in his Leyland Mini, Lefthand drive, God's rep, FTUO.

He returned the salute, then promptly lost the plot completely, ending up in a heap against a rather stout Beech tree.

It transpired that he'd been about to change gear when I saluted him, and let go of the gear knob to respond, and neither Sandhurst nor Padre school had equipped him with sufficient cooordination to manage returning compliments and motoring.
 
#9
theoriginalphantom said:
old_fat_and_hairy said:
I had a Major, a company commander, who was SF all the way through. Spent more time 'away' than in battalion. He told the entire company that if they saw him, and saluted him more than once a week, he would kill us all in our beds. We rather liked him.
Had similar from a Major I worked with, once a day was more than enough in his books. There were no threats to kill us, but then he wasn't SF.[/quote

Reminds me of my first platoon commander who took it even further and didn't care much for being called "Sir", in the field at any rate.

I remember getting this response:

ES: "I'll get the (blah blah blah) then Sir."

Lt. S: "Why do you keep calling me Sir all the time? Why don't you just call me Sproey like every other fcuker?"
 
#10
We had a pair of amusing SCOs who specialised in taking the piss out of the like of us - their classic was to walk abreast towards a particular young subaltern, then separate and march past him on either side, shouting 'MORNING SIR' at him and saluting - poor young Rupert would then salute with both hands!
 

B_AND_T

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
Although not saluting, I used to work in a Inf Bn Hq. I often had to go and see the CO to get him sign paperwork. As a matter of courtesy I used to brace up before addressing him. After a couple of weeks he asked me if I had ever served with the Guards to which I replied in the negative. He then told me to stop it as it was scaring the Adjt.
 
#12
Never doubt the value of smart saluting. Some believe it was instrumental in winning the Great War. (Or at least, changing from by default saluting with the hand furthest from the officer to always using the right hand was):

General Jack noted the change:
"It has hitherto been the rule in the British Army for men, when passing officers, to salute with the hand furthest away from them. But a new Army Order decrees that in future a salute is to be given with the right hand only. This seems a peculiar time to select for altering so small a matter."

He then added later:
"It has been suggested that our altering the hand salute of the Army in the midst of critical operations did much to break the enemy's heart, the Germans considering, no doubt, that it was useless to consider the struggle against an opponent who had the energy to spare for bothering with such a trifle at such a time.
This would seem the perfect answer to those who scorn military minutiae."
Maybe we should re-introduce this fine concept now, so as to dishearten AQ and assorted Afghan Badmashes with evidence of how little they concern us?
 

BrunoNoMedals

LE
Kit Reviewer
#13
RiflemanKnobber said:
Never doubt the value of smart saluting. Some believe it was instrumental in winning the Great War. (Or at least, changing from by default saluting with the hand furthest from the officer to always using the right hand was):

General Jack noted the change:
"It has hitherto been the rule in the British Army for men, when passing officers, to salute with the hand furthest away from them. But a new Army Order decrees that in future a salute is to be given with the right hand only. This seems a peculiar time to select for altering so small a matter."

He then added later:
"It has been suggested that our altering the hand salute of the Army in the midst of critical operations did much to break the enemy's heart, the Germans considering, no doubt, that it was useless to consider the struggle against an opponent who had the energy to spare for bothering with such a trifle at such a time.
This would seem the perfect answer to those who scorn military minutiae."
Maybe we should re-introduce this fine concept now, so as to dishearten AQ and assorted Afghan Badmashes with evidence of how little they concern us?
"Saluting with the other hand: Winning wars for a century!"

Yeah, makes for a good PsyOps poster in my opinion.
 
#14
smudge67 said:
Good call!

When I was at SEE many moons ago there was a young 2lt. He used to leave B Coy lines every lunch time to go to the mess. We sussed this out, and whenever possible we'd stagger our leaving time from the cookhouse. 8 lads 5 meters apart, it was hilarious to watch him saluting us all. Up/down/up/down/up etc. This went on for 4 days then he got the idea :)
Nothing new under the sun.

A Saluting Trap was a form of officer harassment practiced by conscripts in the British Army during and after World War II.

Given their general lack of control over their lives in the Army, and the long periods of boredom inherent in Army life, the men would grasp at any form of control they had. Conscripts were required to salute any officer they met, and the officer was required to return the salute.

To harass the officer, the conscripts would gather in a group, the larger the better, and wait out of sight for an officer. When a British officer appeared some distance away, the conscripts would set out, one by one after the British officer's direction. The object was to force the officer to salute as many soldiers as possible in as short a time as possible, hopefully making the officer's arm sore in the process.

This and other features of British Army life for conscripted men are described in the humorous memoir Adolf Hitler - My part in his downfall by Spike Milligan.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saluting_trap
 
#15
On Ex PURPLE WARRIOR some oik stuck up a sign in our HQ saying 'NO SALUTING' .... Bollox to that!
Apparently it was too difficult for the Crabs amongst us to work out who was who. When I suggested to some WingCo type that he really ought to be saluting my clerk, a soldier, he was most put out!
 
#16
heidtheba said:
I would do D).

Just wander around without your head-dress on, problem solved :)
Or in my case deliberately go out without headdress and salute the lot, as is the custom of my lot. Winds them up a treat, and RSMs who aren’t in the know…..
 
#17
A few years back, while attending a course at Larkhill, we were walking from the accomodation to the classrooms, and spotted a subbie cycling along, with his books and folders clutched in his left arm.

We didn't realise just how funny our salute to him was going to turn out.

He saluted back, thereby leaving the handlebars completely unattended. Now this is something that every boy learns to do at an early age. However, he didn't notice the speed bump in the road outside the guardroom. Young Officer and paperwork was strewn all over the road.

A next day he was spotted again, this time with his beret securely in his pocket. Who says that YO's don't learn by their mistakes? :D
 
#18
Slightly off topic I know but, I spent a couple of years in SHAPE in Belgium late 80's/early 90's. At the time us matelots rank slides that were red on black, my rank at the time was equivalent to a Cpl. When we were on duty or on any exercises Jack had to wear combats. The badges then became a bit difficult to make out. I was waiting for some transport at the back security gate of the main building when a Sig Sgt and WO2 walked past me, the sgt threw up an immaculate salute and wished me a hearty good morning. I returned the salute, thanked him and told him to carry on. As the WO2 went past he whispered in my ear "clever bar steward aren't we?" at which point I just giggled. Earned me a few "extras" well worth it though
 
#19
I unthinkingly saluted with the left hand once to someone off to the right - oh, the humiliation. Apparently you can do that if there is something wrong with your right arm; I was told that if I did it again there would be something wrong with my right arm.

Rifle salutes are cool - something quite Roman Legion about them.
 

BrunoNoMedals

LE
Kit Reviewer
#20
I did some work at Larkhill once. Went with an RA Major who was our office SME. He'd been at a desk so long he'd forgotten what other soldiers looked like. One of the lads on patrol around the carpark braced up as we walked past with with a resounding "good afternoon, SAH!"

The guy shat himself. Took him a good 20 seconds to remember he was supposed to salute back, and it was all I could do not to giggle. The private in question, however, had one hell of a smirk on his face.
 
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