Check your lines: Customs and courtesies

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Ruben Gonzalez
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Command Chief
This week, I ask you to check your lines on some customs and courtesies. What messages are you sending people with your actions, or inactions? What example are you setting for others? Don't forget what you were taught in your initial military training.

If a senior-ranking officer is within the distance where you would normally make eye contact and greet someone, then render a salute. Just make sure you wait until the senior officer has dropped his or her salute before you drop yours.

When you are in a room with others, it is appropriate to stand when a senior-ranking person enters your work center. Unless told otherwise, rise and stand at attention when a senior official enters or departs a room. If more than one person is present, the person who first sees the senior officer calls the group to attention. However, if there is an officer already in the room who is equal to or has a higher rank/position than the officer entering the room-- do not call the room to attention.

You cannot go wrong by addressing a lower-ranking Airman, peer, or higher-ranking Airman by that person's rank and last name, or Sir or Ma'am. You can go wrong by using that person's first name, especially if they outrank you.

Finally, we have several staff cars on base. The wing commander' s car is blue with a white top, and usually marked with colonel rank, but it may be used for a visiting general too. The group commanders have silver cars identified with colonel wings and the group abbreviation. If you are lower-ranking and you see these cars driving on base, then render a salute.

When in doubt, it is better to use more courtesy or an extra salute than to ignore the situation.

Thanks Team Vance for checking your lines!