Military Courtesy and Leadership

There’s a discussion over at Lex’s place about transitioning to civilian life, and some of the habits that carry over, such as looking for your cover when entering or leaving a building. Even nine years after leaving the service, I do it. And yes, I carry everything in my left hand so my right hand is free to salute.

The comments evolve into military courtesy for the flag and for courtesy in general.

The toughest guy I ever worked for in the Army was 1SG Charlie Ball. He was very much a stickler for military courtesy. In the Army, when an NCO addresses you, you stand and come to the position of parade rest. If “Hardball” didn’t think you were showing the proper courtesy to an NCO, he would quickly resort to “kinetic counseling”. On the other hand, what really  made the point that it was important was that he returned the courtesy. He would stand as well, at (a modified) parade rest and just as you were expected to address him as “First Sergeant”, he would address you by your title as well. Leadership  by example, there.