The Army of today is an extremely traditional community with a varying and extreme amount of customs, and has literally thousands of ways of conducting its business. Some have aged well with time, and the ones that haven’t have been updated to accommodate the changing tides of societal custom. Although many have been altered so as to suit the current demanding trends of modern day change, possibly the oldest of the traditions is still alive today in the United States Armys rules, regs, customs, and courtesies. The seven Army values are among the most important main fundamentals of the
Armys way of life, alongside those being our traditional customs and courtesies. They are the main fundamentals of Army life, and are expected of us on and off duty, no matter the setting, or the recipient of said values. The birth of our glorious military dating all the way back to the first militias of the 13 colonies abided a system of customs and courtesies that have been passed on ever since, and are integral to the unit cohesion which the survival of our great nation depends on. These customs are defining features of the professionalism that s always expected of us. Taking these military fundamentals laxly or undermining them in any way, sabotages the espirit de corps, which we all rely on to keep us together as a family of warriors.
Professionalism taught by these customs and traditions must govern all soldiers in both their personal life, but also at work, and in the field. These customs promote a more pleasurable life for all involved, creating involvement, a sense of completion, and gratefulness to the style of military life they have become a part of, and it will hold true hroughout that soldiers entire Army career. Customs and courtesies are a way of behaving, a behavior that has prevailed through army history so long that is has almost become law, and in fact in some ways it has grown over time to influence law, such as "Never appearing in uniform under the influence of alcohol. " according to FM 7-21 -13 Chapter 4-3. Customs and Courtesies have many similarties but, are fundamentally different from each other, Customs are forms of behaviors consistant with civilian and military law, even adhering to foriegn law when aplicable.
Courtesies are forms of polite and professional manners, those of which are delivered to both your superiors and subordinates, a trait which is sadly lost among this current generation of service memebers, especially those that have reached the end of thier careers and dont care to accept their peers. The Army affords various special situations, not found in the life of a civilian, These circumstances require a great deal of effort to maintain a special form of behavior on the soldiers part. Courtesies are the essense of keepin military life orderlu and effcient and how the respect of that indiuvidual to everyone around them. I personally believe Customs and Courtesies according to Army standards are the requirements for a successful military life and are the mortar to the brick that is the United States Armed Forces.
Rendering honor to the flag of the United States of America which is the symbol of the union of our fifty great states, fifty stars of pure white adorning a great plane of honorable navy blue, is the greatest combination of shapes and colors one could render honor too. Accordingly hen displayed among other flags the flag of our country is displayed highest and center or right most, in the position of honor that it so rightly deserves. When the "Reveille" is played in the morning, a soldier should take it upon himself to move to the position and render a salute to the nearest flag, additonally in the evening, when "The Retreat" is played prior to "The Colors" the salute should also be rendered. According to FM 7-21-13 Chapter 4-13 At reveille and retreat ceremonies, during the raising or lowering of the flag a salute shall be rendered.