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Military Customs and Courtesy. Greetings. Each USPHS Commissioned Officer (CO) has a grade/rank/title. The rank/grade or full title is included in all official USPHS documents concerning the CO.

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Military Customs and Courtesy

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    1. Military Customs and Courtesy

    2. Greetings • Each USPHS Commissioned Officer (CO) has a grade/rank/title. • The rank/grade or full title is included in all official USPHS documents concerning the CO. • Our rank/title is used between civilians and uniformed services, just as “professor” and “senator” are used.

    3. Greetings Cont’d • Exceptions to titles: • Titles of some top positions can be used instead of, or in addition to rank. Any master of a ship is addressed as "The Captain" of the ship, regardless of his/her rank. For instance, Lieutenant Jones, the Captain of (name of ship) would be addressed as Captain Jones while on the ship he/she commands, or by the ship’s company on or off the ship. The Commander of an Army, Marine, or Air Force unit is addressed as " The Commander or The Commanding Officer," e.g., "The Commanding Officer, Colonel Jones." Another obvious example is "Admiral Jones, The Surgeon General" or "Surgeon General Jones."

    4. Covers (No such thing as a military “hat”) • Cover refers to wearing of the headgear. USPHS & Navy only salutes when covered. •  Remove cover when indoors like in an office building, kitchens, libraries, dwelling, building lobby or airport. •  Covered walks and shelters open to the sides are considered outdoors, and thus you wear your cover. • Remember, if you wear your cover, then the rules for engagement for saluting is in force.

    5. Salute • Salutes must be rendered and returned to all members of the Uniformed Services: The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Public Health Service, and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. • Do exchange between fellow USPHS CO’s and our sister uniformed services officers and enlisted. • Recognizing and properly returning salutes from enlisted personnel is at the "Heart of Military Courtesy".

    6. SALUTE EXECUTION • Stand/walk erectly/Head up,Chin up • Look squarely at the person you are saluting • The JUNIOR takes the FIRST INITIATIVE and holds the salute until acknowledged, then completes the salute by dropping the hand smartly and quietly to your side. • Begin the salute usually about 6-paces (15-feet) from the person or colors to be saluted (by regulation not to exceed 30-paces) or at the point of nearest approach. • It is not improper to salute a senior, even if they do not notice your salute.

    7. SALUTE MECHANICS: • 1st Move: Raise right hand smartly • Thumb/fingers extended and joined • Hand & Wrist in same plane (straight) • Tip of forefinger (index) touches lower part of headdress or forehead • Above and slightly to the right of the right eye • Upper arm: horizontal to the floor • Forearm: Inclined at 45-degrees • HOLD THE SALUTE UNTIL IT IS RETURNED

    8. Salute Mechanics Cont’d • 2ND MOVEMENT: • Lower hand crisply in one motion and silently • Officially from: 1st rising of the day to noon “Good Morning: • Noon to sunset “Good afternoon” • Sunset to turning in: Good evening” • Allow enough time/distance for the senior to return the greeting.

    9. Salute Situations • When overtaking an officer who is senior to you, tradition dictates that you must render a hand salute and say "BY YOUR LEAVE SIR or MA'AM" depending on the situation. The officer who is senior will return your salute and say "CARRY-ON". You may then drop your salute and proceed. • More than two people present and of different officer ranks. The general rule that applies is that you always salute the senior officer no matter how many other officers are present.

    10. Situations Cont’d • When a senior CO approaches junior CO’s in conversation. The juniors stop their conversation and the juniors initiate the salute to the senior. • When a walking junior CO is overtaking a senior (walking in the same direction), when abreast of senior, the junior renders the salute and states “By your leave”; the senior returns the salute and greeting. • When equally ranked CO’s approach, the more courteous initiates the salute.

    11. Standing Attention • Head erect and staring straight • Heels together, feet turned out equally forming a 45 degree angle with the body weight resting equally on the heels and balls of the feet • Keep legs straight without stiffening or locking the knees • Hold body erect with the hips level, stomach in, chest lifted and arched, and the shoulders square and even • Arms hang straight along the sides/seams; curling the fingers as if holding roll of quarters

    12. “Calling to Attention” • When an officer enters a facility where he out-ranks the senior officer present, the first person recognizing him/her will call "Attention on Deck”. • Unless specifically entering the facility to address the group, the senior officer should immediately respond with, "As You Were," and then proceed with his/her business.

    13. Positions of Honor • Position of honor is always to “your” right • Entering automobiles, small boats, and elevators. Juniors enter first, senior last. On exit: Senior leaves first and juniors last.

    14. When “caught” • If confronted by a senior officer about a remission in courtesy (whether true or not), it is usually advisable to stand at attention and receive the information offered without argument. • When the senior officer has finished, the service member should salute (if wearing cover), and deliver an appropriate reply, e.g., "Thank you, Sir/Ma’am, I stand corrected," holding the salute until it is returned, or the senior officer departs.

    15. “Becoming” an Officer • Have the right attitude, demeanor • Extended to the uniform, not the person • Never ignore a fellow officer within verbal distance • Seek eye contact with others further away for a nod/smile of recognition • Avoid disruptive behavior “in” and “out” uniform