CDC area now a hat and salute zone
By Chief Master Sgt. James Dowell, 14th Mission Support Group
/ Published February 23, 2007
COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
Effective Feb. 7, military members must wear hats and render salutes at all areas around the Child Development Center. This rescinds the no hat/salute policy implemented April 06.
The old no hat, no salute policy was originally published to address child safety issues.
However, the policy began to stray when some military members used it as a license to disregard traditional customs and courtesies, even when child safety was not a factor. Air Force Instruction 36-2403 already has provisions for rendering proper courtesies where safety is concerned.
As we are taught in initial training, salutes are not given or returned if both arms are full. If the junior member is encumbered by children and diaper bags, he or she would extend a verbal greeting to a senior, but not salute. If the senior member is encumbered, the junior salutes and verbally greets the senior. The senior does not salute but still extends a verbal greeting.
Due to confusion, it is necessary to rescind the old policy and mandate the wear of hats and render proper military courtesies while in uniform. This is a win-win situation in which military members can balance safety with professionalism.
When reveille or retreat sounds, please use situational awareness and good operational risk management. During inclement weather, safely place the child in the vehicle, and then pay respects. When the weather or traffic is not an issue, retreat is a good opportunity to teach a child about paying respects to our flag and those who sacrificed for our country. An added benefit: when children see people fulfilling our duties as military professionals, it creates a positive impression upon them.