Customs and Courtesies

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Marine Corps customs and courtesies are very important to the way the Marine Corps works. They are intended to reinforce discipline and the chain of command, showing how Marines will treat their superiors. They also enhance esprit de corps and unity. This is what makes the Marine Corps the brotherhood that it has become. Military courtesies include correct forms of address like; Sir, and Ma'am, and when each should be used; the salute, and standing at attention, proper wear of military covers, and the rules for behavior in different ceremonies. Specifics can change depending on an individual's rank, location, and conditions. A military funeral, for example, requires stricter etiquette than a normal day. Courtesies are sometimes relaxed under field conditions; officers may discourage salutes in combat areas to avoid making themselves a target for snipers, and also in the United States of America as well as some allied nations, it is forbidden to salute both indoors, and when in the field, a battle situation where snipers are likely to pick out officer targets watching for salutes.[1] Other military courtesies serve a practical purpose. In the United States Navy, "bracing" is the practice of bracing one's self against the bulkhead (wall) at the position of attention as a superior officer walks by. This practice arose because of the narrow passageways on ships. Since officers may need to quickly move about the ship, sailors would get out of the officer's way by bracing. The tradition has extended to include the corridors and hallways of buildings (depending on the situation). However it still serves a useful purpose aboard ships (especially submarines.) Courtesy among members of the Armed Forces is vital to maintain military discipline. Military courtesy means good manners and politeness in dealing with other people. Courteous behavior provides a basis for developing good human relations. The distinction between civilian and military courtesy is that military...
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