Military protocol when an officer goes back for training

Oh, the questions that come up after watching GI Jane!*

What is the protocol when an officer goes back to a training unit for supplemental training, and he/she is instructed by a drill instructor/master chief/non-commissioned offer

I mean I can completely understand that the officer is subject to the instructor’s instructions. But how much/little decorum is there expected when the NCO is bossing around the Officer?

*note, I understand GI Jane is not very indicative of proper military protocol, it’s just the movie piqued my interest iin my op

A while back I watched a show that followed some wanna-be seals going through the first 3 weeks of the try-out program.

One of the men was a naval officer, the instructer an enlisted man. The officer was bent over gasping for breath, obviously in a my-ass-is-kicked state. The enlisted instructer stood over him, hands on hips, saying, “So you think your qualified to lead me?” He said it in a very snotty manner, obviously happy to have a chance to give the officer hell.

Don’t know how this applies to your question but at the time it struck me as something that wouldn’t generally have been tolerated.

When I was in the Army some years ago, I was assigned with an E-4 who told about his last assignment at an advanced school for Generals. Standing orders were for permanent party enlisted to salute and render other routine honors only to officers who were also permanent party at the post, otherwise they’d be saluting nonstop every time they stepped outside. There were occasional misunderstandings when a newly-arrived officer hadn’t yet been briefed.

It’s more likely a matter of a SEAL/BUDS cadre trying to weed out candidates that might get their teammates killed.

Officer/Enlisted culture is rather different in special operations - team members defer to expertise, not rank.

I’ve been “in charge” of officers before and it was understood that although he had rank over me, I had the authority. Once he was in my own little world, I was in charge. Now, I could get in trouble if I were a dick to him, but as long as I was professional everything was good. If I told him to sit somewhere for good reason, and he refused to do so, I could go to his command and get him in trouble.

Something else - military courtesy reinforces and recognizes the importance of respecting the chain of command. In training settings, the usual chain of command in which the officers function is not in effect, and the instructors/cadre (enlisted and commissioned) need the freedom to work. And the students need to understand their non-operational role.

It’s because they are students, not because they want to save the SPC from saluting non-stop.
Think about it for a second. Officers have to salute EVERYONE… all day long. Everytime they step outside.

Enlisted only have to salute officers.

It was explained to me (as an Officer on course) that it’s a difference of rank and appointment.

You can out-rank someone, but they have the authority by appointment as an instructor.

Caveat that-- some bases/posts dispense with the saluting and cover rules while in “common” areas. I’ve experienced that on some Air Force bases, as well as the Pentagon courtyard.

Also, I never resist a chance to bring up my favorite Hollywood pet peeve: nobody salutes indoors, you morons. (Nobody wears their Class A jackets and cover inside, either, unless you’re briefing Congress, the President or the media).