Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Helping President Obama

When I saw this picture the other day of President Obama saluting before his first ride on the Marine One helicopter, I instantly knew that something was very wrong. I couldn't put my finger on what it was, so I did some research. I opened the photo in Picassa and upped the mid-tones a little bit. Was it the salute? Turns out that what the New York Times termed a crisp salute doesn't conform to saluting standards at all. I opened the picture in Paint, and put some marks on the picture so you could see the problem, too.

No question that less than a month into office, President Obama is having some major difficulties. Thank goodness we have identified one that he can easily solve right away! The Army Study Guide webpage on how to salute makes the answer to this problem very clear: "Your hand, wrist, and forearm are straight, forming a straight line from your elbow to your fingertips. Your upper arm (elbow to shoulder) is horizontal to the ground."

Since a lot of people from Illinois know Barack Obama, perhaps you will be seeing him soon. If you plan to, will you please print out the page from the Army Study Guide and take it to him? I know President Obama is really trying to be a good American, occasionally wearing a flag pin, remembering to say, when prompted, "God Bless the United States" at the end of his Prayer Breakfast speech, and tackling the salute. Let's give him a hand.


Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

You're not wrong, but Reagan's and Clinton's salutes were no better. Both Bushes saluted properly, but they were both commissioned officers.

(Before Reagan, the President didn't usually return the salute; strict protocol doesn't allow for saluting in civilian clothes at all. Reagan asked around, and discovered that no one would mind if he violated proper protocol by returning a salute, and so began the practice.)

This is trivia. There's plenty to criticize the president on.

Feb 10, 2009, 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Publia said...

Very interesting, your history of presidential saluting. I was wondering how the civilian clothes fit in; then again I thought maybe that a suit IS the uniform for the commander in chief.

I was criticizing the NY Times which termed this salute "crisp."

Absolutely trivia and trivial, but as they say "faithful in small, faithful in large." Plus, after wasting my time finding out the answer (I was genuinely personally curious) I just decided to blog it.

Feb 10, 2009, 2:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what do you think of the Marine returning the salute in the posted photo? His form is no better. Are you suggesting that he is a slouch as well?

Feb 11, 2009, 2:45:00 PM  
Blogger Publia said...


That marine's salute looked pretty good to me. You can be sure he knows enough to initiate a salute to a superior so he isn't returning one. While I couldn't see anything wrong with the salute myself, I will leave it to you to enlighten us.

Feb 11, 2009, 9:01:00 PM  

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