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Military Courtesy and Discipline




          Actually courtesy is nothing more than the use of good manners and politeness in dealing with people in the military life. Courtesy is a great requirement it is based upon which Military Discipline stands. Without courtesy and respect among members of an organization, there will be no discipline and when discipline disappears, the organization will loss its orderliness and disintegrates.


         a. It is the expression and manifestation of consideration for others.

        b. It is a special act and ceremonial procedure which is required to the members of the military service.

        c. It is an act of politeness, civility and respect to the personnel of the

        d. Military organization accord to one another.




     The salute is the highest form of military courtesy. It is executed by raising the right hand smartly until the tip of the forefinger touches the right eyebrow or the front brim of the headgear when covered. Fingers are extended and joined palm facing the left forearms inclined at an angle of about 45 degrees and the right upper arm horizontal. A person saluting looks at the person saluted. When the salute is returned, he drops the right hand smartly to the side.



             1. The salute is required on the military installation, during and outside office hours.

            2. The salute is rendered at a distance of about six (6) paces which is the saluting distance or about thirty (30) paces which is the recognition distance, while the reporting distance is three (3) paces.

            3. The salute must returned by those entitled to it. The salute is not rendered while running; it is either rendered at halt or at walk.

            4. It is not proper to salute with a cigarette, cigar, pipe or other articles.

            5. The salute is rendered only but once if the senior remains in the vicinity and no conservation take place, the junior salutes again when they part.




            a. All commissioned officers of the AFP, both male and female.

            b. All commissioned officers of the Armed Force of allied nations only.

            c. Civilian high officials and foreign dignitaries during military parade and honors




            a. When meeting a senior officer.

            b. When the national colors passes by.

            c. When the national anthem is being played.

            d. When reporting.

            e. After conversing with an officer.




            a. While at work – if a cadet is working and is called by an officer, the cadet stops working, reports to the officer and salutes. However if he was not called by the officer he does not have to salute.

            b. Standing by a horse or leading a horse – a cadet who is standing besides or pulling a horse he does not salute however, if he is mounted on the horse then, he must salute.

            c. When indoors – a cadet does not salute indoors except when reporting to an officer or when the cadet is on duty or acting as the sentinel.

         d. When carrying articles on both hands– or being occupied making saluting impractical.              

            e When riding in a fast moving vehicle – and the others is dismounted, the salute is not rendered. The exception to this is when the vehicle is clearly marked as HQ to indicate a General Officer, and when saluting is part of the ceremony. The markings of the General are normally seen with HQ or stars.



                  a. Bowing the head as the salute is given.

                  b. Bringing the hand down before the acknowledgement.

                  c. Holding arm awkwardly high or sagging too low.

                  d. Saluting while double timing.

                  e. Avoid the gaze of person being saluted.

                  f. Saluting with cigar/ cigarette or pipe in the mouth.

                  g. Saluting when chewing gum or candy in the mouth.



             1. OUTDOORS - includes open space as well as buildings, halls gymnasium and other roofed enclosure used for drills or troop exercise. Theaters, covered walks and other shelter open to sides are considered outdoors.

            2. INDOORS - includes offices, hallways or corridors, kitchens, recreation halls, quarters, comfort rooms  and bedrooms.

            3. UNDERARMS – is a condition wherein a soldier is carrying arms or weapons, or having been attached to the person by sling, holster, or wearing a cartridge belt, pistol holster, and others related to arms.

            4. COURTESY CALL – is a military custom or practice whereby a newly reported officer or enlisted personnel makes an official visit to his immediate commander.




            a. REPORTING INDOORS WITHOUT ARMS – a soldiers removes his head gear (uncovers), knocks 3 times at the door of the office, 3 or 2 paces from the officer and salutes as he states his purpose for reporting to the officer : ex .”Sir, C/Pvt __________ reports to the company commander  sir.” The salute is held until he completes the report or until the officers return the salute. The soldier remains motionless unless otherwise directed by the officer. When the business is completed, the soldier salutes, executes  about face then leaves.

                 b. REPORTING INDOORS UNDER ARMS -  the procedure is similar to that of  reporting indoors without arms except that the soldier does not uncover. In saluting the soldier executes rifle salute at order arms.

                 c. REPORTING OUTDOORS – this procedure is the same as reporting indoors except the  soldier does uncover. If the soldier is under arms he executes the rifle salute. If the soldier is carrying the rifle at sling arms he executes hand salute at sling arms.




                a. When an officer enters the room or tent – officers who are junior will stand at attention unless otherwise directed or the officer leaves the room. The first junior to see the officer should command “attention”.

                b. When an officer enters a room used as an office or recreational area – those at work or play are not required to come to attention unless address by the officer.

                c. When an officer enters an Enlisted men’s hall – the group is called to “at ease” by the person who first notice the officer, they will continue eating unless addressed by the officer.

              d. When accompanying a senior – the junior walks on the left of the senior, The exception to this is when accompanying the senior during unit inspections. The junior stays on the right during inspections.

                e. When entering a vehicle – the junior goes first and others follow in the inverse of rank (lower to higher). When getting off the senior goes first and follow in the order of rank.



             Officers and enlisted personnel under arms uncover when:

             a. Seated as a member of or in attendance at a court or board. Sentinels guarding prisoners do not uncover.

             b. Entering places of divine worship.

             c. Indoors when not in duty.

             d. In attendance at an official reception.






     We find ready application of discipline in all aspects of life. We often hear of fire discipline, water discipline and supply discipline. A favorable climate of discipline may be realized when a cadet learns a sense of obligation to himself and to his comrades; to his commander and his organization. The ultimate goal of discipline is efficiency in battle, to ensure that the unit or individual performs its role correctly; that is reaches its objective, accomplishes its assigned mission and helps other units to accomplish their mission.


    DISCIPLINE- the greatest single factor which stands out distinguishing the Armed Forces from any other organization in the country. As a matter of fact, it could be safely stated that discipline forms upon which the military organizations stands. It is no wonder then that punishment for the lapses in the Armed Forces are relatively much more severe than those meted out by civilian courts for similar offences for normally impose either as a punitive measure against its wrong doers in order to be true to its purpose, without discipline we have an armed mob but not an army.



              a. Is the state of order and obedience within a command

            b. It is the mental attitude and state of training which renders the obedience and proper conduct instinctive under all conditions.

              c. Is primarily developed by military drill.

           d. Is generally indicated in an individual or unit by smartness of appearance or action, cleanliness of dress, equipment or quarters.

             e. Is the individual or group attitude that ensures the prompt obedience to orders and initiation of appropriate actions in the absence of orders.

             f. Is the condition that exists when a man accepts organizational control

over his behavior.



             It is clear that military discipline as both as a mental attitude and a conditioning of training aims to render obedience and proper conduct instinctive under all conditions. So we soldiers face the firing line or pilots looks themselves in mortal serial combat or sailors meet the salvoes of the enemy men of war without the least hesitation or any qualm of spirit. As is well known, the firing line is  the optimum of the most dangerous situation to happen to men; yet because of discipline facing the risk of life has come to considered as normal duty in the military.

             The traits that marks military discipline are respect for and loyalty to the properly constituted authority, discipline triumphs or work correctly on the firm foundation or proper regards and consideration for those duly placed to administer an office or handle a command.

             Likewise it is based on esteem and loyalty to superiors. Those qualities are compelling. Soldiers are impelled to the right or inhibited from doing wrong simply because they do not want to be disrespectful or to be disloyal to their superiors especially to their commanding officer. The loyalty extends further than just differences to the person but to the office that he holds.



             a. REWARDS OR AWARDS – are positive incentives in exalting obedience and which is given to deserving personnel.

             b. TEAMWORK – is an orderly and effective group action brought about by military discipline.

             c. MILITARY DRILLS – are primary means to develop military discipline.

             d. PUNISHMENT – is one of the methods of imposing discipline in a command.


            Military discipline is primarily developed by military drill. For that reason young men upon joining the Armed Forces, are made to undergo recruit training and further trained as they progress in the service to drill into their system. The elements that transform their being into a condition that render compliance instinctive and ensures the reaction that desire.

             But it is not in training alone that achieves such a condition. Every feature of a soldier’s life has a decided effect on Military Discipline. The administration of punishment and rewards, the building of confidence, the enhancement of responsibility, the demonstration of faith and belief in the ability of the men, the proper performance of duty and assigned task they all influences profoundly the link of discipline being instituted in the command.

             In any military command the unit leader would do well to observe certain accepted procedure that tends to build the right type of discipline is that which exacts obedience by appealing to reason.

             He should handle his command with dignity with the high sense of justice. He should avoid harasses in his manners towards the men. In administering management, he should observe the following rules:

            a. Punish only the guilty parties.

            b. Impose only the punishment authorized by law.

            c. Impose the punishment promptly.

            d. Make the guilty realize his mistake.

             In awarding promotions and rewards, only the deserving must be included. Favoritism has no place in the Armed Forces of a democracy. In addition, a unit must be exacting yet considerate, firm but just.                                                                                                                               



        a. Punishment

        b. Obedience

      c. Self-Control – the most constructive form of military discipline which involves personal responsibility that goes beyond the threat of punishment or mere obedience.



            To measure the discipline of an individual or unit, one has to look only for the answers to the following questions:

            a. Is he or his unit smart in appearance or action?

            b. Is he or his unit clean and neat of dress, equipment or area?

            c. Is he or his unit prompt and cheerful in execution of orders?

            d. Does he or his unit have genuine respect for his superiors?

          e. Does he or his unit execute orders or comply with instructions with intelligence, initiative, resourcefulness, and responds smartly?



            a. Tough and stressful training

            b. High standard of training

            c. Channels of communication

            d. Loyalty to subordinates

            e. Reduction of troop frustration

            f. Fair and just awards and punishment



                a. Instruction

                b. Pride

                c. Tradition

                d. Regulation



            The relation of military discipline to courtesy is clearly explained by the fact that discipline is founded upon respect and loyalty to lawfully constituted superiors. In other words, discipline originates and develops from mutual respect and goodwill among members of an organization, discipline disappears, and when discipline disappears, there will be no peace and order in the organization hence it will disintegrates.



        Discipline is maintained in much the same manner as it is attained. The article of war punishes military individual committing breach of discipline. Common sense, good judgment, fairness, justice, high morale, pride and responsibility contribute much to maintaining discipline as to develop it.