Is Saluting required in all the World's major militaries? Any exceptions?

I’ve wondered if Saluting has been eliminated in any country’s military?

Police and Firemen have ranks like sergeant, Lieutenant and Captain. They work quite well without any salutes. Makes me wonder if any of the worlds militaries operate the same way.

This article gives some information about the origins of saluting.

Even a photo of a British solider saluting with the palm of the hand facing out.

Doesn’t address my question if any modern militaries skip the salute all together.

That’s not your average British soldier; that’s Harry, the younger son of the heir apparent. Whether or not this status has any bearing on how he salutes, I’m not sure.

His status as “heir apparent of the heir apparent”, no. His status as in his rank and the situation in which that picture was taken, yes. The same rules apply to him as to anybody else of the same rank in the same situation.

aceplace57, are you referring exclusively to the practice of taking your hand up to your hat’s rim (or where it would be if you had one), or to any kind of “ritual of greeting of one’s military superior, initiated by the inferior”? (I assume we’re excluding things like “20 guns salutes”)

He is not the heir apparent of the heir apparent. That would be his older brother.

I was really thinking of a situation where there wasn’t any salute. Like in the business world. You can approach bosses in your organization, in a respectful way, but there’s no formal saluting or bowing. It could be the CEO and there’s still no need to salute. If he initiates a conversation or asks a question then its ok to respond.

I could see a stuation where saluting in the military is reserved for very formal occasions. Military parades and ceremonies for example.

I think Nava is asking about a ritual other than a salute- and I know I am. For example, I work for a government agency which is paramilitary in a lot of ways. I believe the uniformed staff may salute, but I know even the non-uniformed staff is required to stand when someone above a certain rank enters the room. There are certain exceptions ( for example, only once a day per person, so that a secretary or other assistant doesn’t end being a jack-in-the-box), but generally speaking, when one of those people walks into a room or auditorium everyone stands. Not sure if you would consider this a form of salute or if you would consider it not a salute because it doesn’t involve bringing the hand to the head.

Yeah, for example when I look for the translation of the Spanish presenten armas (which is both a form of salute performed by, uh, presenting your gun or long-bladed weapon vertically in front of yourself with both hands, and the order to do so), I get “present arms”, but I have no idea if that order would actually be given in an English-speaking army; I read a lot of military-themed books from English-speaking writers but everybody seems to either salute or use civilian forms. In the Spanish armed forces there’s a whole gradation of salutation forms, from that presenten armas down to saluting down to standing at attention down to requesting permission down to saying “good morning (my) [grade]” and walking in (the “my” only applies if that person is in your chain of command).

Present arms is used in the US military. Its one of the drill formations they do holding a rifle.

Drills and marching will always be part of any military. The military commanders and government rulers love parades and ceremonies.

Thank you. ETA: and JRDelirious.

In our forces it isn’t only done in drills, but also as a particularly serious form of salutation. It’s done for example by the gate guards in a military building located within a civilian area when the CO enters the building.

I expect that any organized military will have some sort of procedure other than “just barge in” and “poke your neighbor that the boss is passing through”, but my question still remains of whether you’re interested in which forms this takes through the world, or only in the hand-to-hat salute.

I was under the impression that the Israeli armed forces eschewed a lot of the formality of other nations’ militaries. Wiki says: “In the Israel Defense Forces, saluting is normally reserved for special ceremonies. Unlike the United States, saluting is not a constant part of day to day barracks life.”

I know at least a few Dopers are veterans of the IDF, so hopefully one will be along shortly.

Nava: In the US (ground) Army, present arms is also the command call at ceremonies and drills for everyone to whom it is addressed to salute in the proper manner depending on ocassion and equipment. If it’s just me standing unarmed in plain uniform in the company formation it’s the common hand salute to the visor. For the guys at the dais in honor guard dress with shouldered weapon, it’s the motion you described. In other Anglophone services it varies.

I could imagine that for instance the Israeli military, know for being unconcerned with martial froofraw, would be one organization that leaves salutes for special occasions. But heck, even within one same country’s military there are variations.

Most militaries’ modern practice is that if you’re out on the frontline, you avoid salutes and other rank rituals 'cause you don’t want to clue the snipers on who’s worth taking out first.

In garrison, working at an office for instance, what you do when a higher officer walks in is to rise to attention. If there’s multiple people in the room, you call to attention and it is considered good form of her/him to immediately call “as you were” so the actual work is not interrupted.

BTW, Harry of Wales is saluting in that picture the way he’s supposed to, as an officer in the British Army. His Grandfather and Great-gramps would salute palm-down if in their Royal Navy Admirals’ uniforms.

Indeed, Prince William, who has done stints in the army, navy and RAF, salutes differently depending on which uniform he’s wearing.

That’s one of four ways - these and this - to salute when armed with a rifle, depending on how you are holding it.
ETA: A sword salute is done the way these Indian soldiers are doing it.

The Israeli army actually does use salutes-- a bit. The army has no fancy dress or parade uniform, but at formal ceremonies the soldiers polish their boots a bit more, and do a few ritual salutes (of both types: the fingers to the forehead, and ‘presenting arms’ with the gun held high.

Also, during the first stage of basic trainng (one or two months), the new recruits call their platoon commander (but not the drill sergeant) “sir” and salute him daily, much like many other armies.
But then it changes.

After the first stage of basic, there is a formal swearing-in ceremony when the soldier ends his period as “trainee” and officially gains the rank of private.
Each soldier is formally presented with his rifle* by the lieutenant in charge of the platoon, and they exchange salutes
And from that moment on, there is no more saluting; and the soldiers and officers (of all ranks) call each other by their first names.

*it’s the same rifle he has been carrying on his shoulder almost 24 hours a day for the past 2 months…but now it’s officially his. :slight_smile:

It seems China’s People’s Liberation Army had no ranks before 1955, and then again from 1965-1988. (I suppose that meant that soldiers had superiors in their chain of command but not superiors in rank). I wonder if saluting as generally known was practiced at these times. There were/are probably other military forces of entities professing strict egalitarianism.

In the early years of the Red Army, saluting was not required of the enlisted towards officers. For that matter, there were also no pay differentials or special uniforms for officers either. That ended in 1920, in an effort to improve the army’s professionalism (and the reintroduction of Imperial Army officers).

The U.S. Navy has a lot of rules regarding saluting.

Navy personnel are required to render salutes to superior officers, but don’t salute if uncovered (i.e. without a hat). Since Navy personnel rarely wear uniform headgear indoors, saluting is rare indoors (or below decks on a ship).

Covers are worn when outdoors, so salutes are rendered to officers when greeting a superior officer outside (and a greeting is required along with the salute). The officer is required to return the salute and greeting.

When coming aboard or departing a Navy vessel, you render a salute to the national ensign (i.e. U.S. flag) and the Officer of the Deck (if present). This also applies to foreign vessels.

Above decks aboard a ship (if covered), you salute the captain, any officers senior to the captain, and flag officers (i.e. admirals) every time you meet them, and more junior officers only upon the first daily greeting.

At sea (aboard a vessel outside the harbor limits), headgear/covers need not be worn, so saluting is not done then either. In other words, nobody usually worries about saluting when Navy personnel are actually doing their job at sea.

There are also designated “no saluting” areas, such as those around government buildings because if there wasn’t, nothing else would get done all day.

I’ve also heard that saluting in the battlefield is discouraged in the US military, as are displays of rank obvious from afar, so you don’t give snipers a clue who to shoot first before everyone dives for cover. I may be wrong about this though.