How to Salute in the Air Force

Intro: How to Salute in the Air Force

This is an Instructable on how to salute in the Air Force. I decided to make this Instructable after trying to figure out an easier way for cadets to teach new cadets how to complete basic military facing movements. The problem is we only have a limited amount of time to teach them while they are in class so we needed something that they could use on their own time. They need a step-by-step tutorial on how to complete each facing movement along with tips and suggestion on how to practice outside of the allotted classroom time. You will learn from head-to-toe what to do for a proper salute. Please keep in mind these are basic steps. Upon successful completion of saluting we will move on to commands and marching. Cadets must demonstrate that they are capable of executing facing movements and calling commands before successfully completing the AFROTC program.

Optional Tool:
Mirror

It is not necessary but it could help you perfect your salute

Tip:
A military member may need to render a salute for various reasons. As a courtesy to a member, staff cars, Ruffles and Flourish, when reporting in and during the National Anthem. For this instructable, we are practicing for reporting in. We will focus solely on the actual action of saluting. You will learn the statement that accompanies this at a later time.

Disclaimer: This presentation is for educational use only. It does not replace any Air Force Instruction, DoD Instruction or Air Force Manual. This is guidance for use while outside of the training environment. If you are unable to stand still for a long period of time or have trouble keeping your right arm up for a long period of time, you should ask your primary medical doctor for clearance before attempting this.

Step 1: Head

Today you will learn how to render a salute from the position of attention. When at the position of attention you are STILL. This means NO movements. You will look forward and your chin should be parallel to the ground.

Tips:

No talking
Chewing gum
Looking around

Later you will learn about positions of rest where some moving is allowed.

Step 2: Back

While looking forward be sure that you are standing tall. Your back should be straight.

Eyes forward
Chin parallel
Back straight

Tip: This should feel natural. If it's uncomfortable for you either you need to start paying closer attention to your posture or you are putting too much pressure on your back. STOP if you are experiencing any type of pain!

Step 3: Shoulders

Your shoulders should be relaxed! Some people get anxious while in the position of attention and bring their shoulders up toward their ears. This could cause discomfort as you are saluting. Take a deep breath and exhale, while lowering your shoulders.

Eyes forward
Chin parallel
Back straight
Shoulders relaxed

Tip: Taking a deep breath and exhaling will relax your shoulder muscles.

Step 4: Arms

While at the position of attention your arms should be to your side. REMEMBER to relax your shoulders. Arms should be in line with the seam of your pants (if you don't have a seam, just imagine if you did).

Eyes forward
Chin parallel
Back straight
Shoulders relaxed
Arms alongside seam

Step 5: Hands

Your hands should be along the seam of your pants too! Cup your hand like you are holding something in it. Bring your thumbs to the outside of your index finger. Straighten your thumb out, the end of your thumb is touching your second knuckle on your index finger. I know this seems like a difficult task but once you get the hang of it, it will be second nature.

Eyes forward
Chin parallel
Back straight
Shoulders relaxed
Arms alongside seam
Hands cupped but not clenched

Step 6: Legs

Your legs should be straight and facing the same direction as the member that you will be saluting. DO NOT lock your knees. Keep your knees slightly bent to allow blood circulation.

Eyes forward
Chin parallel
Back straight
Shoulders relaxed
Arms alongside
Hands cupped but not clenched
Legs straight, knees slightly bent

Step 7: Feet

Heels should be together and the tips of your toes should be facing forward. You will turn your feet outward for a 45-degree angle. Your heels will remain together!

Eyes forward
Chin parallel
Back straight
Shoulders relaxed
Arms alongside seam
Hands cupped but not clenched
Legs straight, knees slightly bent
Feet slightly turned outward for a 45-degree angle

Step 8: Bring Arm Up for Salute

You will bring the lower portion of your right arm up for the salute. Start with moving your cupped hand along the front half of your lower body. Keep your cupped hand about 1 1/2 inches from the front of your body. Keep your hand cupped until you get to the middle of your chest where your heart sits.

Tip: Throughout this process, your body will remain at the position of attention.

Step 9: Cup to Flat Hand

Flatten your cupped hand while keeping your thumb to the side. Hand will be slightly tilted outward, so the outside of your hand is visible. Bring your hand up to the tip of your eyebrow. The arm should be at 45-degree angle. This is all done in one movement.

Tip: The inside of your hand is facing you!

Step 10: Drop Salute

You will drop your salute when the senior member drops his/her salute. This will give you permission to drop your salute too. DO NOT DROP A SALUTE BEFORE THE SENIOR MEMBER! You will perform all the previous steps backward. As you are bringing your arm down from your eyebrow keep your hand flat until it gets to the center of your chest.

Tip: Remember the rest of your body is at the position of attention.

Step 11: Position of Attention

Upon completion of a salute, you go back into the Position of Attention.

Eyes forward
Chin parallel
Back straight
Shoulders relaxed
Arms alongside seam
Hands cupped but not clenched
Legs straight, knees slightly bent
Feet slightly turned outward for a 45-degree angle

Step 12: Start to Finish

After you've learned all of the steps to execute a salute it should resemble this video

Thank you for taking the time to watch my Instructable on how to salute in the Air Force. I hope that by following these simple steps, saluting becomes easier for you. Please watch these videos as often as you can to learn how to be the best cadet. If you have any questions or suggestions please let me know.

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    Jess BDIY Hacks and How Tos

    Reply 19 days ago

    I am glad you liked it! You’re welcome and thank you for the support!