Vice President Kamala Harris broke tradition by failing to salute the honor guard while she boarded Air Force Two. Video of the incident that happened Monday began to circulate on social media. Harris flew to Jacksonville, Florida last Monday. Footage showed her blowing right by the honor guard while boarding Air Force Two made the rounds online.
Conservatives and Social Media Had a Field Day
Conservatives called out the Vice President for her faux pass after it circulated heavily on social media. Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik tweeted his reaction to the snub. “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,” Kerik wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk also noticed the apparent snub. He tweeted about Harris’ wilful ignoring of the honor guard. “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?” he tweeted.
Harris Broke Tradition Many Times
The latest non-salute to the honor guard is not a one-time thing. Fox News reported that video reviews on the Vice President’s recent travels show that she usually ignores salutes. Videos shot last March 15 and 16 did not record any instance of her saluting the honor guard. In addition, she did not appear to salute when she disembarked from Air Force One with President Joe Biden last March 19.
The tradition of saluting the Marines outside Air Force One began with former President Ronald Reagan. The Republican President from 1980 to 1988, was an Army veteran. As President, he ignored rules that kept civilians from saluting military members.
History of Saluting Civilians
In an article from the Florida Times-Union, Reagan explained why he decided to salute back. “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,” Reagan said.
“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,” Reagan recounted.
Modern Day Courtesy
Civilians returning salutes is not a requirement but a modern-day courtesy. So returning salutes by the president or vice-president is a modern-day courtesy and not a requirement. In fact, previous vice presidents such as Mike Pence and now-President Joe Biden always saluted back.
Watch the The News Junkie’s Archives video report that observes that Vice President Kamala Harris refuses to salute military members as tradition dictates:
Do you agree that saluting back the honor guard is a sign of courtesy? Is it okay that VP Harris broke tradition and ignored salutes? Let us know what you think. Share your comments in the comment section below.