The Guidon’s Two Different Salutes

DrillMasterDrill Team Training, Drill Teams, Honor Guard Training, Instructional 6 Comments

While each service (Army, MC/Navy/CG and AF/SF) has a slightly different way of having the guidon render a salute while in formation, there is another salute rendered by a guidon that each service requires when outside of a formation when the guidon bearer is on his/her own.

The only authorized guidon bearer salute when in formation for each service ends up looking like below.

Army, Air Force, and Space Force Present Guidon Technique

  • Army TC 3-21.5, Annex F
  • AFPAM 34-1203, Section 5C

Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard Present Guidon Technique

  • MCO 5060.20, Enclosure 1, Chapter 6

When a guidon bearer is not in a formation (either walking somewhere or standing and holding the guidon) and is approached by an officer, there is only one authorized salute, which is different from the salute pictured above. This salute is not authorized while in formation.

At left, you see the individual salute for all services when not in formation. In the middle is the Air Force and Space Force technique for the individual salute at Carry. At right is the Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard technique for the individual salute at Carry.

Comments 6

  1. Where can I find this in army regulations because I saluted my commander the other day he told me I was wrong, and I said no sir that’s how you salute with the guidon when not in formation, but can’t find anything in the regulations

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  2. Question: Can this apply to color guard flag bearers that are standing off to the side at parade rest and is approached by an officer, or should DAFPAM34-1203 para 3.6.1. apply as if the junior member is carrying articles in both hands? One of the JROTC programs in the area is holding a CG meet and part of their sequence card states the flag bearers will salute the judge when approached for inspection. I want to make sure I’m giving my cadets the correct information.

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      Hi sir,

      Color bearers in formation do not render an individual salute. There is no alternative to rendering a hand salute for the color guard. Rifle guards can and do salute, but that’s it.


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