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AFJROTC Customs and Courtesies


Cadets will render all military courtesies and practice conventional politeness at all times. Their actions will be such that they will bring pride to the AFJROTC Cadet Corps, the school, and themselves.

  • Saluting: AFJROTC Cadets in uniform will salute all commissioned officers of either U.S. or friendly nation’s armed forces. Additionally, salute superior cadet officers of any service JROTC or service academy. On a military installation, salute any staff car if a colonel’s license tag, a general’s tag or flag is displayed. Cadets in uniform should salute the flag being raised or lowered, or if the flag passes in front of you in a parade. Do not salute indoors unless you are formally reporting.
  • Reporting: Cadets will report in a military manner when they have business or personal matters to discuss with commissioned or cadet officers. The cadet will observe this courtesy at all times, whether in uniform or civilian clothing. All cadets will report to the SASI when conducting business with him/her.  The reporting procedure is as follows: Knock once. Upon permission to enter, walk to the front of the officer’s desk (if possible) and salute while stating: “Sir/Ma’am, Cadet (state your last name) reports to (state your business).” Your salute will be returned and you can then conduct your business. Remain at attention unless directed otherwise. When finished, report out in the following manner: Go to the front of the officer’s desk, salute, and ask permission to be dismissed. After your salute is returned, execute a facing movement to exit the room by the most direct route squaring all corners. When reporting out, the salute is always held until the officer returns it. Always remain at attention until advised otherwise.
  • Classroom: Each class will be called to attention at the arrival and departure of the instructor.  Cadets will be neat in appearance at all times and will wear civilian clothes with the same care as the uniform.


  •  The American Flag and National Anthem are symbols of all the people, their land, and their institutions. When we salute these symbols, we are saluting the nation. Air Force personnel follow specific procedures to show their respect to the flag and the National Anthem. We show the same respect to flags and national anthems of friendly foreign nations.
  • Flag ceremonies occur during parades, reveille, retreat, and prior to special events. Reveille is the signal for the start of the official duty day. (Retreat signals the end of the official duty day and also serves as a ceremony for paying respect to the flag.)
  • The National Anthem is played at most flag ceremonies. Sometimes “To the Colors,” a bugle call, is used instead, and it is given the same respect as the National Anthem. “To the Colors” can be used when a band is not available or during bad weather. During these ceremonies, all military and civilian personnel render the proper courtesies.


  • When In Uniform but not in Formation: At any outdoor ceremony that uses the American flag, come to attention, face the flag in the ceremony, and salute. At sporting events, if the flag is visible, face the flag and salute. If the flag is not visible, face the band and salute in its direction. If the music is recorded, face the front and salute. At all other outdoor occasions follow the same general principle: come to attention, face the flag (if it is visible), and salute. If the flag is not visible, face the music and do the same.
  • When In Uniform and in Formation: When you are in uniform and in formation, but not part of a ceremony, the unit commander calls “present arms” during the National Anthem or “To the Colors.” The unit should be facing the flag before being given “present arms.”
  •  When Outdoors in Civilian Clothes: When in civilian clothes and the National Anthem or “To the Colors” is played, stand at attention, face the flag, and place your right hand over your heart. If the flag is not visible, face the music and do the same. A male cadet removes his headdress with the right hand and holds it at his left shoulder with his right hand over his heart. A female cadet salutes by standing at attention and placing her right hand over her heart. Male cadets without hats salute in the same way as female cadets.
  • When Outdoors in Uniform: When you are in uniform and the National Anthem or “To the Colors” is played, stand at attention, face the flag, and render the military salute. If the flag is not visible, face the music. Salute on the first note of music and hold the salute until the last note.
  • When Indoors and the  National  Anthem or “To the Colors” is played:  When you are indoors and the National Anthem or “To the Colors” is played, face the flag (if it is present) and assume the position of attention. If no flag is present assume the position of attention while facing the music. Do not salute unless under arms.
  • To an Escorted Flag Outdoors: If you are at any outdoor event and an uncased flag is escorted past you, stand at attention, face the front, and render the appropriate salute. Render the salute approximately six paces before the flag is even with you, and hold the salute until the flag is approximately six paces past you.
  • On a Stationary Flagstaff: Salute flags on stationary flagstaffs only at reveille, retreat, and special occasions. Do not salute small flags, flags at half-staff, or cased and folded flags.
  • When Indoors in Civilian Clothing: When in civilian clothing indoors, render the civilian salute by standing at attention and placing the right hand over the heart.
  • During Indoor Ceremonies: During indoor ceremonies, when the National Anthem or “To the Colors” is played, face the flag and come to attention. If the flag is not visible, come to attention and face the music or the front. Do not salute unless under arms. When you are indoors and the ceremony is outdoors, you do not need to face the flag or salute. The same rule applies during ceremonies that are broadcast over radio or on television.
  • By Vehicle Passengers: At the first sound of the music, all vehicles come to a complete stop. Occupants of a civilian or military vehicle, including the driver, should sit quietly until the music ends.
  • At Half-Staff: When the flag is at half-staff, it is to honor and pay respect to deceased people of national importance. The Chief of Staff of the Air Force sets the number of days or periods to keep the flag at half-staff. The flag is flown at half-staff on all bases that make up the command of the deceased commander. Deceased cadets may also be honored in the same way. 
  • Miniature Flags: Do not salute miniature flags, such as those displayed at downtown parades and sporting events.
  •  Conduct During Hoisting, Lowering or Passing of the American Flag: During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag, or when the flag is passing in a parade or in- review, everyone except those in uniform should face the flag and stand at attention with the right hand over the heart. Those in uniform should render the military salute. Cadets who are not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder with the hand over the heart. When the flag is in moving column, salute at the moment the flag passes.
  • Conduct During the National Anthem: When the flag is displayed during the National Anthem, all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Cadets not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder with the hand over the heart. People in uniform should render the military salute at the first note of the anthem and stay in this position until the last note. When the flag is not displayed, those present should face toward the music and act in the same way they would if the flag were displayed.THE NATIONAL ANTHEM: Francis Scott Key, a 34-year-old lawyer and poet, wrote the National Anthem in 1814. On the night of September 13, 1814, the British fleet bombarded Fort McHenry in the harbor at Baltimore, Maryland. Francis Scott Key watched the attack from the deck of a British prisoner-exchange ship. He had gone to seek the release of a friend, but they were refused permission to go ashore until after the attack. As the battle stopped on the following morning, Key turned his telescope to the fort and saw that the American flag was still waving. The sight so inspired him that he pulled a letter from his pocket and began to write a poem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which was eventually adopted as the National Anthem of the United States. Key returned to Baltimore, and later that day he rented a room at a tavern where he completed the poem.

How to Fold the American Flag:

Step 1Image of step-1 for folding the American flag


To properly fold the Flag, begin by holding it waist-high with another person so that its surface is parallel to the ground.

Step 2

Image of step-2 on how to fold the American flag Fold the lower half of the stripe section lengthwise over the field of stars, holding the bottom and top edges securely.




Step 3

Image of step-3 in folding the American flagFold the flag again lengthwise with the blue field on the outside.



Step 4

Image of step-4 in folding the American flagMake a triangular fold by bringing the striped corner of the folded edge to meet the open (top) edge of the flag.



Step 5

Image of step- 5 in folding the American FlagTurn the outer (end) point inward, parallel to the open edge, to form a second triangle.


Step 6

Image of step-6 in folding the American flagThe triangular folding is continued until the entire length of the flag is folded in this manner.


Step 7

Image of step-7 in folding the American FlagWhen the flag is completely folded, only a triangular blue field of stars should be visible.

  AFJROTC Links:

Published by Betty Houghtaling on June 3, 2019
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