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Thursday, September 08, 2005


'A salute is a greeting between two members of the same profession - it is given by the junior in rank and returned in kind by the senior.'

Someone, and I can't remember who, said something like that in the 19th century. What he meant was that the respect paid by saluting a superior officer was a two way thing and the superior officer was returning the respect as he returned the salute.

If only every brand new officer, or Rupert as they are somewhat affectionately known, understood this.

Shortly after I returned from my course a new Rupert arrived on the scene. Fresh from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst he thought he was the bees knees. He seemed to think that two little diamonds on his shoulder made him a better man than the men he commanded. I'm glad to say he was quickly disabused of this notion.

There are ways of being disrepectful without actually being disrepectful. The manner in which a salute is given or the intonation when calling someone 'Sir' can say a lot. There is an oft told tale in the Army of an RSM talking to a new Rupert. A young Private entered the office where the RSM and the Rupert were. After passing on the message the Private left.

"Private Jones may have addressed us both as Sir," the RSM remarked to the young Officer, "but he only meant it once."

Respect is earnt and not bestowed.


Blogger Cheryl said...

Love that ARRSE site. Thanks for the link!

9:03 pm  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

Cheryl - I think the ARRSE site shows us squaddies at our best: funny, irreverent and semi-intelligent. The media often misses out what the British Army is all about and ARRSE shows it like it really is.

9:15 pm  
Blogger Graham said...

Ur site looks fantastic btw my friend. And your posts are really well written. It's been a while since I've visited and I have to say I really like it a lot. The Photo drawings give it a really distinctive style.

8:19 am  

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