Another transition priority: Teach Obama to salute

In all the activity undertaken by U.S. president-elect Barack Obama and his team to begin governing Jan. 20, I hope someone remembers to teach Obama to salute properly.

I’m not talking about this business of whether he did or didn’t salute the flag on one occasion early in the campaign (and whether it mattered). What I mean is that Obama not only is going to have occasion to salute U.S. military personnel on a regular basis, he’s going to be doing it as commander-in-chief — and the people he’s saluting deserve the respect a proper salute shows. Besides, a lot of people are going to be looking for reasons to criticize Obama, and the last thing he needs is to start throwing around a ridiculous, loosey-goosey salute to be captured in photos and video, or some overly stiff parody of the right form.

About.com has an extensive article on saluting. Or, as the following video advises, just relax.

Parting Shots: I don’t remember the occasion of the interview, but I remember once reading that Ronald Reagan recalled that when he was taught to salute, he was advised that the proper way to move his hand was to “bring it up like honey and throw it away like shit.”

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