Army Article Documents “Silver Dollar Salute”

First Salute Tradition

An Army article covering the commissioning of Clemson University ROTC graduates noted that their ceremony ended with a “Silver Dollar Salute ceremony”, encapsulating a tradition involving a young officer’s first salute:

Following their commissioning, the new lieutenants participated in a Silver Dollar Salute ceremony on Military Heritage Plaza. This ceremony marks the first salute received by the new officer from an enlisted member. As a sign of mutual respect, the officer presents the enlisted member with a silver dollar.

In the photo above,

U.S. Army 2nd Lt. James R. Jolly III (right) receives his first salute as an officer from Sgt. 1st Class Jason Bielski, who is a cadre member of Clemson University‚Äôs Reserve Officer Training Corps…(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ken Scar)

It is not uncommon for new officers to “reserve” their first salute to honor the enlisted personnel who were pivotal to their commissioning.

This tradition continues in the other services, and is but one of many service, and fighter pilot traditions in the military.