In what amounts to being more about respect than required actions, Vice President Kamala Harris is getting plenty of scrutiny for not saluting the military honor guard when boarding or disembarking Air Force Two.
To be sure, there is no specific regulation that calls on the president or vice president to salute military personnel, but it has become a modern tradition for the president to salute the honor guard stationed at the steps for Marine One and Air Force One.
A tradition that was started by Ronald Reagan, as a sign of respect.
Making matters worse for Harris, her predecessor, former Vice President Mike Pence, regularly saluted the military personnel.
Harris was in Jacksonville, Fla., on Monday, and footage of her blowing right by the honor guard while boarding Air Force Two made the rounds online.
A quick online scan will show that this was not an oversight, a one-off where Harris simply forgot to acknowledge the soldiers.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of photos and video footage of Pence returning a salute, out of respect.
Meaww reported that as vice president under former President Barack Obama, Biden appeared to salute when stepping on or off Air Force Two.
On the other hand, there is footage of former Vice President Dick Cheney not offering a salute. He explained at the time that he was “outside of the chain of command” in his position as vice president.
Reagan once explained his decision to salute while addressing U.S. service members and their families stationed in Iceland.
“I can’t resist telling you a little story that I’ve just told the Marine guard at the Embassy. The story has to do with saluting. I was a second lieutenant of horse cavalry back in the World War II days. As I told the admiral, I wound up flying a desk for the Army Air Force. And so, I know all the rules about not saluting in civilian clothes and so forth, and when you should or shouldn’t. But then when I got this job and I would be approaching Air Force One or Marine One and those Marines would come to a salute and I – knowing that I am in civilian clothes – I would nod and say hello and think they could drop their hand, and they wouldn’t. They just stood there. So, one night over at the Marine Commandant’s quarters in Washington, and I was getting a couple of highballs, and I didn’t know what to do with them. So, I said to the Commandant, I said, ‘Look, I know all the rules about saluting in civilian clothes and all, but if I am the Commander in Chief, there ought to be a regulation that would permit me to return a salute.’ And I heard some words of wisdom. He said, ‘I think if you did, no one would say anything.’
“So, if you see me on television and I’m saluting, you know that I’ve got authority for it now – and I do it happily.”
America has come a long way since Reagan… and not always in the right direction.
Richard Grenell, who served as acting director of National Intelligence under former President Donald Trump, called Harris’ snub a “mistake” that she should “correct.”
This is a mistake. And she should correct it immediately. https://t.co/fpUJfvzvIr
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) March 23, 2021
Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik went further, calling it “disgraceful” — in all caps.
“It is a clear demonstration of her dislike for those in uniform, both law-enforcement and military,” he added.
DISGRACEFUL: @VP Kamala Harris refuses to salute the honor guard at the steps of the aircraft. It is a clear demonstration of her dislike for those in uniform, both law-enforcement and military. pic.twitter.com/7QFHzamnt7
— Bernard B. Kerik (@BernardKerik) March 23, 2021
Here’s a quick sampling of a few other responses to the story from Twitter:
Really strikes home the fact that she has never served in the military
— Dr. Jason Alexander Roberge (@JasonRobergeVA) March 23, 2021
Just sit with this image and ponder the exponential power it holds. https://t.co/YYsValkNqS
— Jonathan Capehart (@CapehartJ) March 20, 2021
Kamala Harris doesn’t salute members of the military as she gets on Air Force Two, breaking with a customary tradition of respect
Remember when she and Joe Biden tried to sell the lie that *Trump* was the one who didn’t respect the troops?
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) March 23, 2021
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