Thanks, in part, to the popularity of military movies and television shows almost everyone is familiar with the fact that soldiers are required to salute. This is also true for many of the armed forces around the world, although the regulations and type of salute may differ. If you have ever wondered why soldiers salute, read on to find out.
Why do soldiers salute?
The main reason that soldiers salute is to show respect to fellow soldiers and for acknowledging the chain of command (saluting a higher ranked member). This does vary between different organizations. For example, in the armed forces of the Commonwealth only officers are saluted to show respect for the position they carry.
The origin of the salute is a widely debated topic. The first theory is that is it comes from the time when meeting a superior or lady required the removing or tipping of the hat. It may also come from the ancient European custom, when dagger assassinations were common, and men would greet each other by holding up their right arm to show they didn’t carry any weapons. The other commonly believed theory is that saluting comes from the days when medieval knights would raise their visors with the back of their hand to identify themselves. As was the custom at the time the most junior of the knights was required to identify themselves first. The actual origin for the salute will probably never been known, but it won’t stop people from trying to work it out!
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