Author Topic: Public Law 110-181  (Read 4281 times)

Offline Bull Schmitt

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Public Law 110-181
« on: September 05, 2008, 12:30:29 PM »
Public Law 110-181 is being discussed over on the SASS Wire. A question arose regarding how this impacts GAF  color guards etc.

Any comments?



H.R. 4986 was passed and signed into law by the President. It took effect January 28, 2008. It was titled: The Defense Authorization Act of 2008. It passed the Senate in it's final form as a multi-page act with hundreds of sections, one of which was Section 594 which did allow veterans to use a military type salute while not in uniform to salute the Flag. It was enacted as Public Law 110-181 on January 28, 2008.

Public Law 110-181, Section 594, States that Current Military Personnel and Honorably Discharged Veterans may use a Military Type Hand Salute when out of uniform to salute the Flag when it passes in a parade, or during the Pledge of Allegiance.

Public Law 110-181 Does not change, in any way the requirement for non-Veteran Civilians to Remove their Hats or Caps when the Flag passes in a parade or during the Pledge of Allegiance.

Public Law 110-181 continues the tradition of requiring civilians (except those whose religion requires the wearing of headgear of some type) to remove their hat, caps, or Cowboy Hats to honor the Flag, as does common courtesy and most people's Mothers.



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Offline Trailrider

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Re: Public Law 110-181
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2008, 04:29:38 PM »
Col. Bull, Sir!

I have the honor to reply to yours of the above, ultimo.  IMHO, when dressed in military garb, whether of modern or 19th Century, we should render honors according to military customs and courtesies.  While under arms, indoors or out, we would render the hand salute (actually Present Arms) for the Pledge of Allegience or when the National Colors passes by during a presentation of the Colors or at opening ceremonies.  Those carrying swords or sabers should render the proper salute (and most of us, including Your Obdt Servant could use some instruction along those lines), and those with rifles or carbines in hand, should render the appropriate honors.

The matter gets a little more complicated when attending a ball or other social occasion dressed in our military costumes, but when NOT wearing arms.  Do we uncover when seated (except, perhaps for those wearing dress helmets), and then, if the Pledge is to be recited salute or place our hands over our hearts?  Obviously, if we are still under arms, then we would at least Hand Salute (rendering a saber salute around a table for eight could get a little hazardous, for example!  :o )

So far as when I am out in public, wearing a hat, I will probably render the hand salute, at least outdoors.  Indoors, in mufti, and uncovered, I will place my hand over my heart.  At veterans meetings, where a majority DO wear their vet organization covers indoors, I would render the hand salute.

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Ride to the sound of the guns, but watch out for bushwhackers! Godspeed to all in harm's way in the defense of Freedom! God Bless America!

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Offline Guns Garrett

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Re: Public Law 110-181
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2008, 11:31:31 PM »
Trailrider,
Ahh, yes the Manual of the Sword (A.K.A. "sword waving"), how fondly I remember attending the Staff NCO Academy at Quantico, Virginia that chilly Jan/Feb of 1986... and thereafter got snagged for every Change of Command, Retirement Ceremony, Honor Guard, and other various and sundry Pass-and-Review for dignitaries, etc. 

 DISCLAIMER:  The  Manual of the Sword movements decribed below are those CURRENTLY observed by the U.S.M.C.  I do not know if these movements are universal to all services, nor do I know if the Manual may have been different in the 19th Century.

If you are wearing a sheathed sword, the hand salute is rendered as usual.  DO NOT draw your sword to render a salute.

If armed with the sword (sword is drawn):
   1.  When giving commands, or on the march in command of troops, the sword will be at Carry Sword, i.e., grip the sword in the right hand between the thumb and fingers, arm hanging (or swinging, if marching) naturally.  The sword is held up against the right shoulder, edge facing forward.  For long marches, the forefinger MAY be hooked under the forward curve of the knuckle bow/crossguard (but NOT right in front of the reviewing stand!). Also, DO NOT hold the scabbard with the left hand!!!
If at Attention, either individually or standing in formation, the sword will normally be at "Order Sword (Arms)", i.e.: right arm hanging naturally, the sword angled down and forward, cutting edge toward the deck, the tip in front of the right foot 4"-6" above the deck.  This is also the position of the sword when at Parade Rest.  The first couple movements described below are for individuals armed with the sword NOT in command of troops:

   2.  At the command, "Present, ARMS" (or the first note of the National Anthem, Taps, To The Colors, etc.), the sword is brought up smartly, the grip at chin level (nearly touching the chin), cutting edge to the left.  The blade will extend foward and upwards at about a 60-degree angle, held for one count, then the right hand is brought smartly back down, knuckle bow/crossguard touching the trouser seam, keeping the edge of the blade to the left ("flat"), the tip of the blade out in front of the right foot, about 4"-6" from the deck.  The count would be, "one (up), and, two (down)".  The sword will be held in this position until the command, "Order, ARMS" (or the end of the Anthem or  bugle call).  At the preparatory command "Order...", rotate the right hand so that the edge of the blade is facing downward (Order Sword).  Depending on the situation, you may go to the Carry position at the execution command, "...ARMS".  Otherwise, stay at Order Sword.

  3.  When greeting an officer while at attention, the salute is initiated by the same movements described above (and for GOD"S SAKE DON'T SLASH/STAB THE OFFICER), holding the second position (blade down, edge turned to the left, knuckle bow at the trouser seam, etc.).  The salute is returned either by hand salute, or by the officer performing the same Present Arms movements) REMEMBER THIS - you hold your blade horizontal (second position) untill the officer rotates his sword back to vertical.  This is just like holding your hand salute until the officer makes his "cut". 
   
   4.  If approaching an officer while walking* (at Carry Sword, of course), initiate the salute when stepping forward with the left foot, allowing the natural swing of the right arm to carry the sword up to the chin as described above, then keeping in cadence, bring the right hand back down as you step forward with your right foot, but holding the second position with your right hand motionless (not swinging) until the salute is returned, the returning to Carry Sword.
   *usually, if you are just walking to or from somewhere, the sword will be in its sheath.

Note that in all the examples above the sword is NOT held up at chin level for longer than just a slight pause (maybe a half-second)

All this is a lot easier than it looks written down, once you actually see it demonstrated.  Maybe we could do a demo/class at the Muster next month.  I'm a little rusty, but I think I still remember most of the moves.

As far as rendering honors indoors (in uniform but uncovered), I understood that I was to stand at attention during the National Anthem.  I don't remember ever being in military uniform (other than as part of a Color Guard) when the Pledge was recited.  At Veteran's meetings, we reciite the pledge while rendering the hand salute if wearing the Organization's cover, otherwise with our hand over our heart.
Guns

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Offline Steel Horse Bailey

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Re: Public Law 110-181
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2008, 12:21:21 PM »
Don't know about correct sword customs nor do I care about any law about hand salutes.   I will simply learn what I need about the sword, as I am very new to its' use.  Thanks, GunsG for the very enlightening post regarding USMC regs.  I'm sure our Army regs were/are similar.


IF I am in uniform (old or new) I will ALWAYS salute the flag ... as I have been doing.

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Offline Zouave Officer

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Re: Public Law 110-181
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2008, 09:34:17 PM »
I know with the use of the Sword for the Indian Wars timeperiod there is only a handful of manuals that I am aware of. I know the one that I use is McClellans' Bayonet Manual which has some instructions on the use of the Sword. As far as I can tell the Manual of today for the use of the Bayonet and the Sword remains very much the same. I was demonstrating Bayonet drill at a Civil War Living history and a current serving Army Drill Instructor who was present told us that with only a few exceptions that is the same bayonet drill he teaches today. Which I thought was rather interesting, guess it's the old adage that when you find something that works don't change it.
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Re: Public Law 110-181
« Reply #5 on: Today at 07:29:27 AM »

Offline US Scout

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Re: Public Law 110-181
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2008, 05:45:32 AM »
...IMHO, when dressed in military garb, whether of modern or 19th Century, we should render honors according to military customs and courtesies.  While under arms, indoors or out, we would render the hand salute (actually Present Arms) for the Pledge of Allegience or when the National Colors passes by during a presentation of the Colors or at opening ceremonies.  Those carrying swords or sabers should render the proper salute (and most of us, including Your Obdt Servant could use some instruction along those lines), and those with rifles or carbines in hand, should render the appropriate honors.


Trailrider,

It has always been GAF custom and policy to render a salute when wearing our 19th century military uniforms.   

While I would encourage everyone to do a little research to determine when, where and under what conditions they would render a salute to the colors according to the custom of their particular service during the 19th century, I expect we won't go too far wrong even if we do so following our more modern customs and regulations.  Respect takes precedence over being "historically correct" in this circumstance.

I've learned drill for several types of colonial forces, the American Civil War, modern British, and modern Marine Corps.  I sometimes tend to get a bit confused myself as to which is the most "historically correct" as I'm going through the manual of arms - so I can understand if someone has trouble remembering what was to be done in 1880 versus what they learned in the Army in 1980. 

So, if you feel more comfortable while indoors to remain uncovered and just stand at attention, that works.  If you want to return your cover and salute, that works, too, just as saluting uncovered and indoors (though my Marine Corps training causes me to cringe when I see that).

Bottom line - show respect to the National Colors.

US Scout
GAF, Commanding

 

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