[UPDATED] The Commander-in-Chief has a saluting problem

He can barely lift his eyes from the speech he is reading to the first living Medal of Honor recipient in over 40 years. He does not salute the Army Sgt, but he does manage to give the hero a little guy hug.

Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, received the Medal of Honor for bravery above and beyond the call of duty in combat in Afghanistan. “From United States Army Field Manual FM 22-5 The rules of saluting are as follows: All Medal of Honor recipients are to be saluted by everyone in the military, to include the President of the United States.


Lew Waters H/T Wyatt

A few people emailed me about a salute not being required/against protocol by the President. But a military publication agrees with me that it would have been the decent thing to do.

NY DAILY NEWS— At the conclusion of the ceremony, Giunta got a hug, not a military salute, from President Obama. As a blog post on the website of Stars and Stripes, a military publication, pointed out, it would have been appropriate – though not necessary – for Obama to salute Giunta. It referenced a previous Medal of Honor recipient who had been saluted by George W. Bush.

Obama’s ineptness/repulsion at saluting the military for whom he is Commander-in-Chief has not been lost on the military themselves.

Obama extends his hand to shake hands with the saluting officers.

This is from a military veteran on the Daily Kos of all places:

One required act of military courtesy is the salute. Regulations governing its use are founded on military custom deeply rooted in tradition. The salute is a symbol of respect and a sign of comradeship among service personnel. In form, the salute is simple and dignified, but there is great significance in that gesture. It is a time-honored demonstration of courtesy among all military personnel, and it expresses mutual respect and pride in the service.

One of his important roles is the Commander-in-Chief:  head of our national military services.   It used to be a given that presidential candidates should have some sort of military background…  and traditionally for the most part they did.

Anyhow, I’m a veteran.   One of the first things they teach you when you join the military is how to salute properly.   The arm should be a straight line,  palm flat, etc.   Bent wrists and cupped palms are a sure sign of someone who never served.  People who salute in this sloppy fashion are  laughed at by service members as ‘posers’ and actors.

One of the things that struck me yesterday while watching Obama salute during the parade is that nobody has told this to him.   He’s surrounded by legions of heavy metal brass, all throwing up that perfectly angled arm and he’s got the bent-wrist and cupped palm thing going on. I don’t mean to disrespect the man,  but I really hope that somebody has the courage to bring this to his attention.  If an old vet like myself noticed,  I’m sure the men and women who serve with him will notice too.

This is such a small, minor thing, but it has enormous symbolic implications.  It’s a sign of respect that goes both ways in the Chain of Command.   I hope that someone close to the President will pull him aside and clue him in. (Don’t hold your breath, he doesn’t want to salute properly. It’s his way of disrespecting the military)