Thanking for saluting

I was with a senior commissioned CFAV yesterday who was saluted by a regular WO. The senior officer returned the salute and said ‘thank you’ to the WO.
Que ‘education’ from the WO (who we think was the SWO), that a ‘thank you’ is not an appropriate response and a ‘good morning’ would be more appropriate - The rationale that the salute is to the Queen, not the person.

Anyone else heard this before. I would have thought any polite acknowledgment would be acceptable.

Different service, but our “customs of the service” book indicates that the appropriate response would be “carry on please”, but anyone who gets bent out of shape over a response of “thank you” is obviously looking for an excuse to dress down a CFAV.


I think it might be different for regulars and cadets;

For cadets - returning the salute I wouldn’t necessarily say anything and just jump into a conversation with them. If I’m not able to return the salute (no headgear etc) then I usually say thank you, or just acknowledge the existence of the cadet.

For regulars I think I would say thank you - after all, they are paying compliments to a volunteer with no authority over them or what they do and we often hear of outbreaks where regulars refuse to salute cadet forces commissioned officers… So a polite thank you seems reasonable.

I agree with Talon, maybe he felt he needed to stamp some authority as he has just had to salute CFAV and he wanted it to be clear that doesn’t make the CFAV boss.

Edit to add: Maybe he was also wanting to point our he, as a regular WO, was saluting the commission not the individual as he didn’t want heads to get inflated.

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Nobody’s waiting for an officer to give an eyes front :smiley:

To me, “eyes front, please” actually sounds a bit rude. It seems like we are saying “avert your eyes, puny mortal”. :smiley:

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At times like this I asked myself…

“What would the Queen do?”

I think she’d probably set the Corgie’s on SWO.


Surely if you can return a salute on behalf of the Queen you can return a ‘thank you’ too…


Sounds better, that

Blockquote For regulars I think I would say thank you - after all, they are paying compliments to a volunteer with no authority over them


I think that was the point he was making, saying ‘thank you’ implied he was saluting the individual not the Queen.


If he had so little to think or worry about that he thought he should pull a CFAV up on this, then I would suggest he’s doing ok.

(He says, commenting on a cadet forum in working hours!)



I’m a CFAV and also an ex-regular officer. I would not say thank you in either capacity, but a greeting such as good morning if it’s appropriate to say anything at all. Recently had a salute from Welsh Guards WO1 delivered with no irony. Don’t devalue our commission thinking you’re “just a volunteer” - regular service personnel are required to respect the commission and your job is to uphold the position bestowed upon you.


I would’ve responded that I was thanking him on behalf of Her Majesty and that if he didn’t like it he could take it up with her.

Sounds like a right fister.


It’s quite an old fashioned thing, it was once considered rude to say thank you, as you salute the commission not the person.

But obviously as time progresses and things change it’s become acceptable. I prefer the good morning angle as it seems more down to earth and a bit more traditional.

100% agree.
What’s wrong with saying thank you. NOTHING.

I’m sure HM says thank you to being saluted on occasion. We are simply saying thank you on her behalf.
What is wrong with people.

You salute the commission not the person and if they say ‘hello’, ‘good morning etc’ or ‘bonjurno’ what does it matter.

Would love to meet this berk.

Oh dear… buongiorno :wink:

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It was a deliberate ‘only fools and horses’ type misspelling.

In the context of the conversation I thought it was apt!


Correct - I seem to remember replying to such comments in a variety of ways - including “Guten Tag” to German SNCOs who were attending TTTE at Cottesmore. The reply might be more drawn out to encompass the “4 in a row” salute when you could see the group of 4 airmen split up to singletons so that they could each “get you” for a salute. :wink:

If any WO (or even the SWO) had try to correct me at the time, there would have been a very short, one way, conversation.


It was seen as being pretentious, and not gentlemanly, as it’s the commission they are recognising, not the person.

Times have changed. It’s not a big deal anymore, although you can tell a decent Officer by their response to a salute.

To be frank, if I was saluted by a regular serving NCO or OR, I’d probably say ‘thank you’ in response. I get the whole point about it not being me they’re saluting and appreciate why ‘good morning’ etc is more appropriate, but it is strangely nice to have someone not in this organisation appreciate that I have a commission which is actually worth saluting in the first place.


Have you not transferred to CFC then??