Customs and Courtesies in the Military

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Customs and Courtesies are one of the main fundamentals of military life, the other being the Seven Army Values, upon which soldiers are expected to live and rely upon both on and off duty. Customs and Courtesies date back to the inception of the military service, and are one of the defining features of a professional within that service. The idea that at any point in time that they can be lapsed, forgotten about, or dispensed with is ludicrous, and undermines espirit de corps. These customs govern soldiers not only in their professional life but in their social life as well, they add to the interest, pleasure and graciousness of army life, and this is reiterated throughout a soldier’s career. “_Often it is these customs and traditions, strange to the civilian eye but solemn to the soldier, that keep the man in the uniform going in the unexciting times of peace. In war they keep him fighting at the front. The fiery regimental spirit fondly polished over decades and centuries possesses him in the face of the enemy. [The soldier] fights for the regiment, his battalion, his company, his platoon, his section, his comrade.” (“Colonial Hangover”. R. Prasannan, “The Week” 28 Jan 2001)_ When talking to an officer of superior rank stand at attention, unless given the order “at ease” in which case you go from the position of attention, to parade rest, and or rest, depending on the direction of the officer that gave the order. When speaking to or addressed by a noncommissioned officer of superior rank, immediately go to the position of parade rest, until ordered otherwise. When an NCO of superior rank enters a room, the first soldier to recognize the NCO calls the room to “at ease” in which case all movement will cease and those within the room will assume the position of parade rest until given the order to “carry on”; The only instance in which a room will not be called to “at ease” is that in the case where a higher ranking NCO is...
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