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Military Courtesy

United States Army Alaska (USARAK) Pamphlet 600-2
28 November 2012
a. Courtesy is respect for and consideration of others. In the Army the various forms of courtesy have become customs and traditions. It is important to render these courtesies correctly.
b. The exchange of a salute is a visible sign of good discipline and mutual respect. Saluting is an outward sign of unit pride and esprit de corps. Salutes in USARAK should be the sharpest in the United States Army. Each salute should be rendered with a greeting and response. The USARAK greeting is, "Arctic Warrior, Sir or Ma'am!" The response from the officer will be, "Arctic Tough!" Regimental greetings are also authorized. Enlisted service members will greet senior enlisted services members with the greeting of the day.
(1) Be alert especially for general officers and other senior officers' vehicles, which are identified with plates depicting their rank attached to the front of the vehicle. Proper military courtesy requires that you render a salute to these officers as they pass.
(2) When a 1SG, SGM, or CSM enters a facility, Soldiers will call “at ease”. c. The following rules apply in most situations you are likely to face:
(1) Unit headquarters, orderly rooms, supply rooms, dayrooms, and squad rooms. The first person to sight an officer who is higher in rank than the officer present in the room should call "Attention." The senior Soldier present in the area should then report to the visiting officer (example: SGT Jones, NCOIC of the motor pool, reports). In smaller rooms, containing one or two enlisted Soldiers, the Soldier(s) should rise and stand at the position of attention when an officer enters the room.
(2) Offices, shops, hangars, and medical treatment facilities. When an officer enters, personnel who are working do not come to attention unless the officer speaks to them.
(3) Dining facilities. The first person sighting a senior officer entering the dining facility should call "At ease!" so that their presence is known and necessary action can be taken. The Soldiers should fall silent but continue to work or eat. The senior dining facility OIC or NCOIC should report to the officer.
(4) During conversations. All Soldiers, officer or enlisted, will come to the position of attention facing a senior officer when spoken to in an official capacity. Normally the senior officer will direct "At ease" or "Carry on" if the situation merits. When an enlisted Soldier is speaking to a noncommissioned officer, the Soldier will stand at "Parade Rest" unless otherwise directed by the NCO. A subordinate should stand when spoken to by someone senior in rank, unless the superior directs otherwise.
When walking with a senior Soldier, the junior officer or enlisted Soldier will walk to the senior's left side.
(5) In formation. When an officer approaches Soldiers in a formation, the person in charge calls, "Attention!" and renders a salute for the entire group. When an officer senior in rank approaches a group of individuals not in formation, the first person sighting the officer calls, "Group, Attention!" and renders a salute with the appropriate greeting. Soldiers working as part of the detail or participating in some other group activity such as athletics do not salute. The person in charge, if not actively engaged, salutes for the entire detail or a group of Soldiers.
(6) Cell phone etiquette. All cell phone usage in uniform will be done from a stationary position. Walking and talking on a cell phone is prohibited, to include the usage of ear attachments (Bluetooth headsets). Use of personal cell phones while in the DFAC should be kept to minimum or as a necessity only (MP, Staff Duty, CAO). Use of personal cell phones while in the gym is also limited to specific locations inside the gym. Guidance is posted in gyms. When you have to talk on your cell in these facilities you need to maintain military professionalism and respect the individuals around you.
(7) Smoking while walking in an Army uniform presents an unprofessional image and is prohibited. Smoking is also prohibited within 50 feet from any Government building entrance. Smoking should be done in designated smoking areas only. Chewing tobacco or dipping in public is authorized with some restrictions. Spitting on the sidewalks or carrying a spit bottle/can with you is prohibited.
(8) Salutes will be exchanged during field training.
(9) All Soldiers, officer and enlisted, will render the necessary salute unless the act would be impractical (i.e., arms full of packages), and then the verbal greeting will be rendered.
(10) The US flag as distinguished from "Colors" is not saluted except during the ceremonies of raising and lowering the flag and when it is passing in a parade. The US Flag trimmed on three sides with golden yellow fringe is a Color and is saluted as appropriate. Do not salute the US Flag on the flagpole except during retreat and reveille.
d. The Retreat ceremony is another military tradition. It symbolizes the respect we as citizens and Soldiers give to our flag and our country. This meaningful tradition is celebrated in two distinct parts: the bugle call "Retreat" followed by the bugle call "To the Colors" or, if a band is available, the National Anthem.
(1) When outside, in uniform, (not in formation) and you hear "Retreat," you should face toward the Colors, if visible. If the Colors are not visible, face towards the US Flag on the flagpole, and assume the position of "Attention." During retreat ceremonies all vehicles in the area will stop. Military occupants will dismount the vehicle and render the proper courtesy. When required, the senior Soldier should bring the formation to attention and salute. If you are in civilian attire and hear "To the Colors" or the National Anthem you are expected to place your right hand over heart, and remove all headgear.
(2) During an inside ceremony (not in formation), military personnel will stand at "Attention" and will not "Present Arms.” While participating as a member of a ceremony indoors, head gear will be worn and full honors will be presented.