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Legal Office Information on AFI 1-1

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  • 107th Attack Wing


Last month we highlighted what AFI 1-1 was, and why it is such an important regulation for us to know and follow. This month and going forward, we will begin to highlight the various sections of the AFI!

Section 1.6 discusses our Customs and Courtesies, like, for instance saluting. Saluting is a sign of mutual respect between military members. Are you aware of who you are supposed to salute and when?  These are persons whom you should always salute:

  • The President
  • The Vice President
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • Service Secretaries
  • Superior commissioned and warrant officers
  • All Medal of Honor recipients
  • Superior officers of friendly forces

Normally, saluting is only required while outside.  However, saluting indoors is appropriate when reporting to superior commissioned officer, and during promotion and decoration ceremonies.

Sometimes there are situations where you have to salute a vehicle that certain high ranking officials are traveling in that pass you while you are walking outside. Always salute senior officers in vehicles that are distinguished by flags and/or license plates.  At our base, look for staff cars that have a front license plate with a Colonel or General Insignia.  Remember this only applies if you are walking, not if you are driving in your car. 

The American flag represents principles you pledged to defend and we are required to treat it with respect.  If the flag passes you during a parade or procession, and you are in uniform, you are required to salute the flag!

When it comes to the National Anthem, if you are at an outside event, in uniform, you stand, face the flag or music and salute.  If you are indoors, you stand at attention until the end of the song. If you are in civilian attire, you stand and place your hand on your heart.  The requirements are the same for the Pledge of Allegiance.

At the end of each duty day, the National Anthem will play.  When you hear it and are outside, stop what you are doing, face the direction of the flag or the music, and if you are in uniform render a salute during the playing of the song. If you are in a vehicle, stop the vehicle and sit in it until the music ends.  DO NOT continue to drive while the National Anthem is playing unless it is essential to do so for safety or mission purposes. 

What if you are a part of a group?  Does everyone have to salute?  AFI 1-1 states that if you are a member of a military formation or work detail, only the senior member of the formation or detail salutes.

Taps is usually played at funeral or memorial ceremonies. In those cases, if in uniform, Airmen would render appropriate honors and salute.  Now, some bases play Taps at the end of each day to signify “lights out.”  When Taps is played for that purpose, there are no saluting requirements.  

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to me!”  As Aretha Franklin sang so melodically, it is extremely important that our members not only show respect to senior personnel, they also are required to treat retirees with the same respect and courtesies as military members that are currently serving. Address them by their retired grade!

Always remember junior personnel are required to act and speak in a respectful and courteous manner to senior personnel.  When addressed by senior personnel, junior personnel should stand, unless if the situation makes it impracticable or inappropriate to do so, or you are sitting at a meal with the officer.  Also, always remember, “rank to the right.”  Always walk or sit in a vehicle to the left of the senior official, and make sure the senior official enters an aircraft or vehicle last and leaves first. 

Last but not least, military personnel are addressed by their grade or title. Officers are to be addressed by their grade or “sir” or “ma’am”.  For example, “Good Morning General LaBarge.”   AFI 1-1 lists the appropriate titles to address each rank.  DO NOT call a higher ranking person by their first name, and when a General Officer enters a building or a room, call the building and room to attention.

We hope you enjoyed this little refresher on customs and courtesies while you are serving in the world’s greatest Air Force. Each month we will continue to highlight a section of AFI 1-1 to ensure our members are well informed and in compliance.

STAY TUNED! Next month we will talk about Structure.

Here is a link to AFI 1-1. 

The legal office cares about our fellow Airmen. We love seeing you guys, but we want to make sure we are seeing you in our office for the right reasons. Stay smart and stay safe!


The107 ATKW Office of the Staff Judge Advocate