Salutes of Armed Forces & its Significance

By Dhruv Kumar|Updated : August 25th, 2021

Salutes of Armed Forces & its Significance: A salute is the gesture of respect, trust & josh among soldiers which encourages an amour proper, i.e. self-respect in their ever-shining uniforms, whereas, at the same time raises them in their own eyes and by reminding them all of that is implied by the profession & its traditions of chivalry, courtesy & valour. It is the highest form of respect which the armed forces display.

 

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A salute is a respect to the uniform & the designation of the officer concerned. There are elaborate rules that have been laid down to define how an official would do the salute – and also about the protocol of rank for the officers who will accept the salute. Alongside this, a salute is not just a gesture, it is a symbol & it has a meaning. The armed force’s salutes are different for the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force which have evolved over time and are steeped in the tradition. Here in this article, we will tell you salutes of armed forces and their significance and you will be surprised to know the importance behind the salutes of our forces.

Indian Army way of Saluting: An Open Palm facing the person in front

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How is this Salute performed?

The personnel of the Indian Army executes the salute with an open hand, with the fingers & thumb together & the middle finger is almost touching the hatband or eyebrow.

Reason for the salute of the Indian Army:

The Indian Army work in a hierarchical fashion to keep everyone conscious of who the commanding officer is predominantly in a war where the failure of execution of order can result in the collapse of mission thus as a reminder, the salute comes into the picture. A salute signifies trust and proves that the personnel is saluting without maliciousness and has no hidden weapons.

Indian Navy way of Saluting: An Open Palm facing the ground

How is this Salute performed?

The salute of the Indian navy is executed with the palm facing the ground at a 90° angle to the Forehead.

Reason for this type of Salute: days, the ship crew working on the deck were often exposed to grease, oil stains, and dirt. To avoid disrespecting their superiors or seniors, saluting was done with palms facing the ground, and it is a tradition carried out from the pirate days.

Indian Air Force way of Saluting: An Open Palm at 45° to the ground.

How is this Salute performed?

Indian Air Force issued new salute guidelines to its personnel in 2006. A salute is executed with an open palm at 45° to the ground and the right arm being sharply raised from the front by the shortest possible way.

Reason for this type of Salute: The salute is done at 45° from the ground showing the progress to the skies. It is like fulfilling their motto of ‘Touching the sky with glory’. Indian Air Force salute is a mid-way between the Indian Army and Indian Navy salute and was standardized to make it more convenient for the IAF. Earlier, the IAF hand salute was just like the Indian Army one.

Para-military way of Saluting

The Indian Para-military forces like CRPF, ITBP used to salute in the same as the Indian Army.

Apart from the regular salute by the tri-services. We also have

  • Rifle salute for field officers (Major and above)
  • Sword salute at passing out the parades.
  • 21-gun salute for the dignitaries and martyrs.
  • An Artillery shell salute (we can see that on the Republic day at the time of flag hoisting)
  • salute using a baton (we can see the field Marshall manekshaw does this)
  • Civil salute (when not in the uniform)
  • Bike salute (we can see in the NDA, IMA, OTA Cadets performed this when they go on their cycles and pass by the war memorial or come across any officer from the opposite side, the squad senior shouts ‘Squad Savdhan Chal’ Entire squad keep their hands & posture straight).

General rules while rendering the hand salute

When on campus and in the uniform, cadets will salute all the cadet officers and cadre officers of all the services. It is entirely appropriate to accompany the salute with a greeting word, for instance, ‘Good Morning, sir.’ Below are some examples of situations where one would salute:

  • When walking the outdoors in uniform and one approach a cadet officer or cadre officer.
  • When outdoors in uniform and when the Flag is being raised/lowered.
  • When a cadet in uniform reporting to an officer in his office, will make his presence known, enter when the permission is given, come to attention, salute, and salute his or her name.
  • If the cadets perform a work detail, only the person in charge will pay attention and salute.

Salutes are Not rendered in the below cases

  • Indoors, salutes are not exchanged except when reporting to the senior officer.
  • When actively engaged in any sports activity or in the middle of training.
  • When operating a vehicle.

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FAQs

  • The personnel of the Indian Army executes the salute with an open hand, with the fingers & thumb together & the middle finger is almost touching the hatband or eyebrow.

  • A salute is executed with the palm facing the ground at a 90° angle to the Forehead.

  •  A salute is executed with an open palm at 45° to the ground and the right arm being sharply raised from the front by the shortest possible way.

  • Salutes are not performed in the following cases:

    • Indoors, salutes are not exchanged except when reporting to the senior officer.
    • When actively engaged in sports or in the middle of training.
    • When operating a vehicle.

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