A hand salute is the basic act of military courtesy that occurs when a soldier or junior rank meets an officer. The exchange of a hand salute has been handed down through the ages and is an integral part of military life. The person receiving the salute (the senior) is equally as responsible for returning it as the junior is for rendering it.

Soldiers are required to salute in a correct and military manner, but without exaggeration. A sloppy salute is more discourteous than a failure to salute.

How to salute

A hand salute consists of raising the right hand, palm turned outwards, to the right eyebrow. At the position of attention the arm is lifted via a long, full extended circular motion. To end the salute there is a simple 'snap' down and the hand is placed back into the position of attention. This is commonly known as 'long way up, short way down'.

When to salute

  • Whenever you see an Officer (being Commissioned Officers, All Senior Personalities (see Senior Personalities) Members of the Legislature and Officers of other Services (e.g. Bermuda Police Service) you must pay the proper respects by saluting.
    • When in Uniform WITH HEADDRESS you must salute correctly as taught, whether the officer is in uniform or not;
    • When in Uniform, WITHOUT HEADDRESS you must come to attention and brace the body;
    • If you and the Officer are in Civilian Dress (or both in uniform without headdress) you are to acknowledge by coming to attention and bracing the body; and,
    • When in a group, the senior soldier renders the salute on behalf of all.
  • Whenever you see the Colours (see The Colours) uncased; and,
  • Senior ranks will also salute at the playing of the Last Post/Sunset and the National Anthem.

Saluting with Arms

Based on the guidelines for hand saluting, soldiers are also required to salute when carrying a rifle. When saluting with arms, the body is braced with the rifle held in the position of attention straight down the left hand side of the body. The right arm is raised horizontally across the chest with the palm held flat to touching the rifle. The arm is then snapped quickly back to the position of attention.