[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/salute_1300.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350: The British Naval and Military salutes, respectively. No that's not a typo. Yes we know that is a US general. See below for details.]]

The Military Salute is a long-standing tradition of military forces around the world, and it is obviously the most visible and known gesture of military protocol to the average civilian. There is an urban myth that it evolved out of a custom in which mediaeval knights opened their visors with their weapon-hand to be recognised and to show that they were not armed; in fact it evolved from the former custom of men removing their hats as a sign of respect. This is the reason that in some military outfits (such as the US Marines Corps) it is incorrect to salute when you are not wearing a "cover". (In other outfits customs are different, and salutes are given when bare-headed; meanwhile, in many armies, including the Russian one, it is expressly forbidden to salute without a hat on) The salute evolved because of the introduction of headwear that could no longer be taken off easily with just one hand, especially bearskin caps and mitre-shaped grenadier caps. In the 18th century, when the military salute was first introduced, there were situation when it was still possible to give it with the left hand, e. g. on parade when the saluting officer was holding a spontoon in his right hand.

Different armies in the world have different small details that distinguish their salutes (as can be seen in the picture above), but most of them still follow a certain pattern: the arm is lifted up perpendicular to the side of the body and bent at the elbow, forming an angle around 30 degrees, the hand is open straight with fingers joined, and the fingers touch the temple (or the lip of the visor when with headgear). The salute is dropped by lowering the hand back to the side of the body.

In the English speaking world, which here means the US and the commonwealth there are two types of salutes. The first, with palm facing outwards, is the "British military salute." This is used by the armies and air forces of most Commonwealth countries. Its origins are with the British Army. The other which is palm downwards, originating with the Royal Navy is the British "Naval" salute. This is used by the Naval forces of the Commonwealth and the US Armed Forces. This is often in popular parlance seen as an American salute, even in the commonwealth. There has been examples of nitpickers and scolds attacking works (or real life) where British or Australians are depicted as saluting palm downwards as an example of EaglelandOsmosis.

Additionally, there are several oddball types of salutes that are given in various situations, mainly where there is something impractical about rendering a normal salute with your hand. These include:

* Saluting with a rifle. Usually done by holding the weapon vertically in front of you, muzzle up, with the underside of the weapon presented towards the person being saluted.
* Saluting with a sword is generally accomplished by bringing the sword's hilt up to the chin with the point facing up, out at a 45 degree angle towards the person being saluted.
* Saluting with your left hand can be acceptable when there is something understandable preventing you from using your right. Having an object in your hand is usually not considered a good reason; having an injury to your right arm or ''missing the hand or arm entirely'' is.

Salutes are usually rendered by an officer (of equal or lesser rank than the salutee) or enlisted soldier to an officer of equal or higher rank. The officer, while not necessarily obligated to return the salute, almost universally does. Not returning the salute is a serious show of disrespect and condescension, which reflects poorly on the salutee. This also has another interesting effect: initiating a salute towards an officer of lesser rank or an enlisted soldier, while not considered insulting (generally), is considered weird and out of place. In the United States armed forces and the armed forces of those countries which award the Victoria Cross, there is one exception to this rule: if you are a recipient of the Medal Of Honor or the Victoria Cross, you WILL be saluted by any member of the armed forces, regardless of rank. So yes, this means that [[BadAss badassery]] is worthy of saluting.

Saluting is SeriousBusiness for any member of the armed forces, and its misuse or improper execution are considered a serious ''faux pas'' at best and a serious ''insult'' at worst. If you're a soldier and you render an improper salute, expect a small lecture on proper execution and a SEVERE butt-chewing ''if you're lucky''. Worst-case scenario, you can even be taken for disciplinary action and get hit where it really hurts: your paycheck. As mentioned above, the salute is a sign of respect, so any kind of corruption, change or mockery in the salute reflects very poorly on the saluter.

Also, a very important characteristic of the salute is that it is a ''privilege'', not a right. While civilians may salute as a sign of respect for a soldier, this is more about soldiers gracefully accepting gratitude than the civilian actually being acknowledged in fellowship. In fact, military prisoners convicted of a crime ''must not'' salute: since the salute, as mentioned above, is an expression of fellowship, saluting someone while being imprisoned is akin to saying the salutee is as much of a criminal as the saluter, which can end in a WORLD of shit for the saluter. However, enemy prisoners of war CAN be saluted according to their rank, and it is seen as a sign of respect and fairness for a soldier of the imprisoning army to salute the imprisoned officer.

There are also situations in which saluting is NOT recommended. When in the field or in a forward operation base, soldiers are instructed not to salute, since it identifies the officer/VIP, which can [[BoomHeadshot provide a sniper with an easy target.]] Some military forces also dictate that salutes should only be used while wearing headgear and doing so while bare-headed is at least improper protocol.

The hand salute is also used in various situations and towards people of importance to the military. These include:
* '''The Head of State'''. Often the Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces, the Head Of State is the highest-ranked representative of the country, and is always to be saluted, regardless whether or not he/she is the real boss or a mere figurehead. This also applies to foreign heads of state on state and/or official visits.
* '''Other High Ranking Civilian Officials''': Different countries have different customs, but generally speaking, a Head of Government, a Minister of Defense or a Governor, are often the among the limited number of high ranking officials who gets this kind of rare VIP treatment. Depending on the context, other officials sometimes get a salute, as a mere courtesy.
* '''Officers of foreign powers''': A soldier is a soldier, whether you serve the same country or not.
* '''National symbols''': The flag should be saluted when one passes it by while walking, and one should stand in attention and salute when it is raised or lowered, or when the national anthem is played.
* '''Reporting''': When a soldier is summoned by an officer, the soldier greets the officer with a salute and an acknowledgment of being summoned. "Sir, Private Smith reports as ordered."
* '''Change of command''': When a soldier or officer is in command of an outfit and another soldier or officer (be it equal or greater rank) arrives to relieve him of command, the commanding officer salutes the newcomer to acknowledge the change.

Interesting dynamics can happen in fiction with the salute, including:
* '''Teeth-Clenched Salute''': This is when a soldier salutes an officer he SERIOUSLY has beef with, often with a grimace or DeathGlare. This is an excellent example of TruthInTelevision: one of the first things taught to a soldier regarding saluting is that you salute the RANK of the officer, not the officer himself. Not saluting, even when you have every reason in the world to not enjoy it, is considered an offense against the protocol and chain of command of the army itself, beyond any disrespect that might be intended against the salutee.
* '''Teary-Eyed Salute''': Both used as a symbol of unbridled joy or deepest grief, saluting with tears in your eyes is a powerful symbol. A soldier saluting with tears in his eyes is NEVER put down for it, it is a completely understandable gesture. Obviously, the tears shed are either ManlyTears or TearsOfJoy.
* '''Ironic Salute''': A corrupt superior officer is brought down by a soldier, and the soldier mockingly salutes him. A sort of TakeThat.
* '''Improper/Exaggerated Salute''': The salute is rendered poorly or in an exaggerated manner. This might be a symbol of not knowing how to properly render it (excusable with a civilian, most definitely NOT excusable with a soldier), or it might symbolize the saluter either is very ignorant or very disrespectful and nonchalant. Sometimes, a character does an exaggerated salute to symbolize joy or triumph, but this is a blatant example of not doing their homework. If the character was ''supposed'' to do the salute right but didn't because the writers goofed or winged it, then it's ArtisticLicenseMilitary (and seriously guys, is it so hard to find a soldier and ask him? You probably have National Guard people working for you, ask around!).
* '''Goofy Salute''': The salute is just plain WRONG. It looks completely ridiculous and badly executed. This is obviously most common in humorous media.
* '''StrangeSalute''': A non-traditional salute that distinguishes an organization or culture as different from the norm.

While in real life organizations other than the armed forces have salutes, in fiction it is almost exclusively associated with the armed forces.

Examples of the salute happening in fiction would probably feature pretty much every series on the entire site, so please limit examples to when the salute is a dramatically powerful or distinctive moment.

!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* In the ''Manga/{{Akira}}'' manga, after [[spoiler:Akira reawakens and destroys Tokyo a second time]], Colonel Shikishima is one of the survivors and wanders around aimlessly. One of his former soldiers recognizes him and salutes him with tears in his eyes.
* [[InterpolSpecialAgent Inspector Zenigata]] salutes Count Cagliostro when he reports in ''Anime/TheCastleOfCagliostro''. Cagliostro doesn't even acknowledge it, being the asshole he is.
* Marines in ''OnePiece'' frequently salute their superior palm-inward. When asked about it in his SBS Q&A section, Eiichiro Oda explained that this was at one time actual naval practice to prevent showing tar-stained hands to their superiors.
* In ''GundamSEED'', in order to steal ZAFT's new prototype Freedom Gundam, Lacus Clyne dressed Kira up in the ZAFT pilot uniform and taught him their salute so that he could get past security.
* This is common procedure in the Time-Space Administration Bureau in the ''LyricalNanoha'' series. It's done for effect in one scene in Episode 13 of StrikerS, when Nanoha and Fate tell Hayate that they're helping her with her division because that's what friends do, then salute her and tell her that they trust her as their superior officer.
* ''StrikeWitches'' actually pay close attention to details on salutes. Major Miles, who is British, actually salutes in British style of palm facing forward. On the other hand, Fuso (Japan) Navy personnel salute with their elbow tucked in and palm facing slightly inwards. Also, hat/no-hat rules apply depending on rules of their serving forces.
* Oddly enough [[Manga/YuGiOh Seto Kaiba]] of all people gives one when he and Mokuba are flying off to America near the end of the Battle City arc.
* In ''Anime/GirlsUndPanzer'', Yukari frequently does this as a greeting. Of course, her ways of interacting with people are strange, to put it mildly, especially considering that she uses the extremely formal and old-fashioned honorific "-dono" on her friends.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fan Fiction ]]

* An interesting variation shows up in [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/81159/racer-and-the-geek Racer And The Geek]]. Interesting because noone involved is in the military.
* The NewMeat doing this in the field in [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/90939/shell-shock Shell Shock]] results in a brutal ass chewing by SergeantRock for two reasons. Number one: he's not an officer! Number two: They're in the middle of a guerrilla war."
* ''FanFic/LifeAfterHayate'' tends to note when characters do, or more importantly do not, follow proper protocol for the Time Space Administrative Bureau. Officers of equal rank are not required to salute; flag-rank officers do not salute other officers of flag rank; cover is not a requirement to salute. It is also noted that most of the Navy's admirals no longer expect a salute from the head of Naval Counterintelligence and will wave him down from it if he tries, though he is only a captain: this is a tact acknowledgement he should also be an admiral but his promotion has become politically charged.
* It comes up a few times in ''Fanfic/NecessaryToWin''.
** In Miho's [[OriginsEpisode Interlude]], Saori asks if tankers at Miho's old school, Black Forest, are required to salute their superiors, but Miho says that it isn't entirely necessary and that she believes most of them aren't doing it correctly. Yukari once gives Ami Chouno, their instructor, a salute, prompting Ami to point out that it's not entirely correct, but not a bad effort for a civilian.
** Following Oarai's match with Saunders, Ami gives one to Harue as a show of respect after hearing of Harue dedicating herself to inspiring others, and Harue responds to that gesture in kind.
* ''Fanfic/TheWrongReflection'':
** [[Franchise/StarTrek Starfleet]] doesn't salute, but in chapter two Captain Kanril Eleya, who is a former Bajoran Militia [[SergeantRock NCO]], uses the Militia's palm-out salute when she greets [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Kira Nerys]]. Kira is long since retired from the Militia at this point but Eleya mentions that it's become traditional for any Militiaman to salute anyone who fought in the [[LaResistance Bajoran Resistance]].
** Later in the chapter General Brokosh, a Lethean mercenary serving in the Klingon Defense Force, tosses off a sloppy salute to Starfleet Admiral Amnell Kree after she tells him more specifically what she wants done with his trademark [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter "strike package"]]. Cue DeathGlare from Kree.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* Part of the protocol for saluting in the Royal Navy is explained by Jack Hawkins' character in ''Film/TheCruelSea'': "Don't salute indoors: I'm not wearing a hat and can't return it. Correct protocol is to take your hat off when you come inside."
* ''Film/TheRock'' features this several times, but it becomes symbolic. First, it is tragic (saluting a burial detail), then it is a sign of respect and purpose, then it is [[spoiler: noticeably less and less present, until it is gone completely, signifying the breakdown of order and revealing the true nature of most of the terrorists.]]
* In the film version of ''WeWereSoldiers'', and officer chews out a soldier for disobeying his order to stand in formation with his military honors visible. The soldier goes to get his honors and comes back ''[[FullFrontalAssault buck naked]]'' and with TWO Medals Of Honor around his neck. The officer salutes the soldier, ashamed of both chewing out a soldier who had earned the highest military honor the nation bestows ''twice'' and the fact that he HAD to salute even when being completely insulted by the naked soldier.
* The ''Film/MasterAndCommander'' film has a plot point where a character failing to salute is flogged.
* In ''TheLastCastle'', disgraced and imprisoned soldiers begin to plan an insurrection under the leadership of an inmate who is a former general. Because they're not allowed to salute him per prison rules, they develop a substitute, which consists of running one hand through the hair.
** The event that starts things rolling is the brutal punishment a not-too-bright inmate receives for saluting the general. When the inmate still insists on saluting, the colonel running the prison [[spoiler: has him killed in an 'accident']]. This convinces the general that the colonel is insane and has to be stopped.
* ''ScentOfAWoman'' features a mix of "grudging salute" and "civilian doesn't know how to salute". Charlie is being annoyed at Colonel Slade (Al Pacino) and answers to his demands with a poor-man's, somewhat disgusted, attempt of the military gesture while the Colonel is looking the other way. Of course since the Colonel is a blind veteran, he catches Charlie on the act instantly and explains him the basics of a salute.
* In ''MonstersVsAliens'', General Monger salutes the monsters just before [[spoiler:sending them off to save Susan]], to show that he is no longer their warden and now sees them as equals. B.O.B., being TheDitz, misinterprets it.
-->'''B.O.B.:''' Well, that's rude! What did we do?\\
'''Dr. Cockroach:''' No, B.O.B. That's a sign of great respect.
* ''Film/SavingPrivateRyan'' "Did I live a good life?"
* In ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'', Luke Skywalker [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/File:Thoseabouttojediwesaluteyou.JPG tosses off an ironic salute]] while on Jabba's sail barge. Note the file name: "[[Film/{{Spartacus}} Those about to jedi we salute you]]."
* In ''Film/AmericanNinja'', Michael Dudikoff's character, the American ninja Joe Armstrong, in one scene gets a butt-chewing from his boss, an Army colonel. After being dismissed, he salutes in a limp-wristed way, with his hand curved instead of straight, almost dismissively. Any officer worth his salt would send him to the brig for disrespecting an officer.
* Military salute was one of the many things that Dr. Logan taught to semi-revived zombie Bub in ''DayOfTheDead''. It later comes back as ChekhovsSkill as [[spoiler:Bub uses it to mock Cpt. Rhodes as he is ripped apart by zombies]].
* Played with in ''Film/AFewGoodMen'': Upon meeting Lt. Kaffee, his assigned JAG officer, Lance Corporal Dawson is not impressed and instead of saluting defiantly places his hands in his pockets. By the end of the movie, Kaffee has earned Dawson's respect, and he salutes him without prompting.
-->'''Dawson:''' Ten-hut! There's an officer on the deck.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* In the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' book ''Discworld/MenAtArms'', Detritus initially had trouble with saluting and would frequently knock himself out by hitting himself in the head.
* Creator/GeorgeMacDonaldFraser's expy in the ''Literature/McAuslan'' stories, Lieutenant Dand [=MacNeill=] of the Gordon Highlanders circa 1947, suffers a wardrobe malfunction whilst changing the guard in front of a mass of [=VIPs=]. His solution:
--> ''"I was alone, with the worst to come. I had to turn again, march to the edge of the crowd in front of the General Officer -- with royalty beside him -- salute, and march off again. But I couldn't salute! My saluting hand was holding up my nether garments, and if I removed it I should go down in history as the [[NeverLiveItDown Man Whose Kilt Fell Off In Front Of Royalty At Edinburgh Castle]].\\
\\
It wouldn't do. Similarly, I could not march off without acknowledging royalty and saluting. What do you do in this case? I shall tell you. You turn smartly about, arm akimbo -- it gives a Rupert of Hentzau touch, anyway -- march up to the saluting base, salute left-handed, turn about, and march off through the Castle gateway, dead casual, like Caesar at Pharsalia."''
* In ''The Short-Timers'' (a {{Vietnam War}} era novel by Gustav Hasford) the protagonist, {{Genre Savvy}} [[DeadpanSnarker private Joker]], sometimes salutes in a combat zone with some [[RevengeByProxy ulterior motives]].
-->''"Corporal, don't you know how to execute a hand salute?" "Yes, sir." I salute. I hold the salute until the [[ArmchairMilitary poge]] colonel snaps his hand to his starched barracks cover and I hold the salute for an extra couple of second before cutting it away sharply. Now he poge colonel has been identified as an officer to any enemy snipers in the area."'' [...]
-->''"As is my custom, I salute [[SociopathicSoldier Animal Mother]] so that any snipers in the area will assume that he is an officer and shoot him instead of me."''
* In AdolfHitlerMyPartInHisDownfall, SpikeMilligan writes that the battery commander (a Major) tells a soldier that he is saluting the uniform not the man. So, each morning, the soldier brings the Major his breakfast, and then turns and salutes the Major's uniform hanging on a hook.
** Also from the same book:
--> ''We had ‘Saluting Traps’. A crowd of us round a corner smoking would get the tip ‘Officer Coming’. We would set off at ten-second intervals and [[BotheringByTheBook watch as the officer saluted his way to paralysis of the arm]].''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live-Action Television ]]

* In ''Series/{{Mash}}'', Hawkeye, Trapper John, and BJ tend to mockingly salute Frank Burns. Played For Laughs most of the time.
** One of the only non-mocking salutes Hawkeye ever gave was to Radar when he was shipping out - Hawk was busy in the OR but gave Radar a salute in lieu of the going away party that the casualties canceled.
** In the finale, [[spoiler:BJ and Hawkeye give Col. Potter formal full salute with full attention as their final gesture to him before they depart their separate ways.]]
* Both ''ThePhilSilversShow'' and its movie version, ''Sergeant Bilko'', had the eponymous character using the salute in comedic ways.
* Creator/BennyHill was famous for his [[http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_jAH3Mz8KFxo/SCBt7-1W5XI/AAAAAAAAAYc/13AD-iqvamY/s320/Benny.gif silly mocking British salute]].
** In one ''Series/TheBennyHillShow'' sketch, he was a WWI army guy who got captured by the Germans. He starts to do the regular (for him) British salute, then realizes who he's dealing with and gives a German salute -- which seems to have been hand on top of the head. The German officer salutes back and stabs himself on his spiked helmet.
* ''TheDickVanDykeShow'': During a FlashBack, when Rob was in the army, he was summoned to his commanding officer's office and saluted. The officer scratched his head and Rob thought it was the officer responding to his salute so he dropped his, which ticked off the CO, who hadn't saluted back. Then at the end of the meeting Rob saluted and the CO just said "dismissed" without looking up, so Rob had to leave still saluting. We then saw him out the office window, still saluting.
* [[Series/RedDwarf A.J. Rimmer]] and his ridiculously [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=al5bErqFrDQ overextended salutes]]. The fact he's apparently completely serious just makes the whole thing funnier.
* The protagonists of ''Series/ThunderInParadise'' are shown in a flashback sharing a goofy salute with their commanding officer.
* Used often in ''Series/DoctorWho'' between the Doctor and Jack, although at the time neither were part of military organisations. (The Doctor is/was a UNIT employee but hates their constant saluting, and Jack has served in both World War 1 and 2. [[TimeTravel More than once.]]) Usually, it shows the respect between the two characters. The final salute given between them shows Jack's thanks, and Ten's final goodbye.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E2DayOfTheMoon The Day of the Moon]], Rory poses as an American military officer and salutes NASA security. He gives the British salute by mistake, which goes neatly with his inability to fake an American accent.
** TheBrigadier and his UNIT troops were portrayed quite realistically on a military level: Sergeant (later RSM) Benton would always salute the Brigadier when reporting something to him. The Brigadier also renders a hand salute to the Doctors when it seems they're about to sacrifice themselves to stop Omega.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': In "War Stories", Admiral Chegwidden bawls out a sailor who failed to salute him while passing. The "sailor" snaps at him sarcastically, because it turns out he was an actor in a movie being shot next to JAG HQ.
* ''Series/BandOfBrothers'': When one of the characters declines to salute a superior officer with whom he has personal issues, he is gently reminded "We salute the rank, not the man."
** To elaborate, the salutee was Major Dick Winters, and the saluter was Captain Herbert Sobel, Winters' former CO. Also a case of TruthInTelevision, as Winters actually had this exchange with Sobel in real life.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Pro Wrestling ]]

* JohnCena often salutes on his way to the ring, supposedly as a show of support to the troops. Somebody should tell him that most of the time, [[ArtisticLicenseMilitary he's not doing it properly.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* In ''Empire: TotalWar'', western commanding officers would give you a Roman salute when you select them on the campaign map.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'' features this at several points; given that TheAlliance shares several similarities with the USMC and US Navy, the salute is American style. However, multiple times, they are shown saluting with their left hand, which is improper for pretty much every single military on Earth, which means it should be improper for a military force derived from those Earth militaries.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'': The Soldier, [[spoiler:who was never in any branch of the military and thus has no basic training to fail]], "salutes" by making an L with his left hand.
** This is also an insulting gesture in several countries, implying that the salutee is a '''L'''oser.
* ''MetalGearSolid3'' and ''[[MetalGearSolid4 4]]'' has the [[ManlyTears Teary-Eyed Salute version]] in front of [[spoiler:The Boss's grave.]]
* When you liberate a POW in the ''MetalSlug'' games, he'll give you a military salute before running off the screen.
* In the ending of ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil0'', Rebecca and Billy, having [[FireForgedFriends come to respect and trust one another]], exchange a salute after Rebecca helps fake Billy's death.
* Ending of ''BattallionWars2'' shows us different salutes of the armies in the game. Solar Empire is left hand raised to chest, palm open and pointing up, followed by a short bow. Western Frontier and Anglo Isles share same salute, similar to real life Britain. Difference is how it is carrier out. Western Frontier soldiers bring their hand to forehead, before straightening their hand to roman salute. Anglo Isles is the same, but in reverse (Hand straight to roman salute, then to head). Finally, Tundran Territories has right hand in fist, arm straight forward before bringing it to chest, hold vertically. It should be noted that apart from Solar Empire, all CO do this salute with their right hand, while soldiers(who carry their weapons in right hand) do them with left hand.
* In ''VideoGame/TheMovies'', actors playing the parts of soldiers will give a British Naval/US Salute, even when being put in British Army uniforms. Justified because it's a game about [[StylisticSuck Hollywood film-making]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* ''Webcomic/TerminalLance'' [[http://terminallance.com/2010/12/13/terminal-lance-88-shiny-things/ #88: "Shiny Things"]] has a Marine grunt accidentally salute a Navy petty officer, then start complaining about how confusing the Navy rank insignia is. In TheRant the author, a retired USMC lance corporal, explains that any Marine who's never done this is either lying or [[NewMeat a boot]].
--> '''Max Uriarte:''' Hell, I’ve accidentally saluted other enlisted Marines with worn out rank. Even further, Marines have accidentally saluted ''me''! It happens.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* A [[SubvertedTrope subversion]]: The Nazi salute (arm stretched forward, palm facing down) is so distinctive and reviled, any use of it in fiction, instead of focusing on the protocol of the saluter, will instead be used to signal the character's morally dubious [[CharacterAlignment alignment]].
** This gesture was commonly ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_salute though mistakenly]]) believed to be an ancient Roman salute, which was why the Italian Fascists adopted it (and the Nazis took it from them). Expect to see it in films set in AncientGrome, especially if they were made before World War II. In fact, that gesture was originally the one used by [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellamy_salute American civilians giving the Pledge of Allegiance]], until the Nazis put it dead out of fashion, at which place it was replaced by the modern right-hand-over-heart gesture.
** The Nazi salute (also called ''Deutscher Gruß'' "German salute", because it was reminiscent of an actual gesture of greeting used in Germany in the middle ages) was however not a military salute but originally a party salute and later one expected of civilians and Nazi party members on certain occasions. (For instance, everybody had to give a Nazi salute at the memorial to the Nazis killed in the beerhall putsch of 1923 at the ''Feldherrnhalle'' in Munich, which led a lot of people to take a detour to avoid passing that way). It only became mandatory to the German armed forces after the failed attempt on Hitler's life in July 1944.
* When a great national leader dies, expect many teary-eyed salutes to follow. Many pictures of [[UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt FDR's]] funeral show US soldiers saluting while weeping.
* At President Kennedy's funeral, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pz5waH25x4U little John John]] does this, and America burst into tears.
* DickClark regularly did this as part of his SigningOffCatchPhrase, "For now, Dick Clark... so long." He gave the salute just before saying the "so long" bit.
* Another alternative to the military salute is the raised fist, which for instance was used by Republican units in the Spanish Civil War.
* Not just military, but also in funerals for public safety, such as police, fire, and EMS. During the funeral of an active firefighter, the color guard calls all in uniform to attention, then calls to "Present Arms," and all in uniform salute. The salute is held as the dispatcher makes the firefighter's "last call" over the radio [[labelnote:*]]''"Firefighter John Doe has answered his final alarm. He is gone but not forgotten, and will watch over us always. Rest in peace, brother. We'll take it from here. Dispatch clear, 11:47."'' [[/labelnote]], and Taps is played. Finally the color guard calls to "Release Arms" and the salute is lowered.
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