General Dempsey Puts Twist on Dollar Salute
After the earlier article noting the tradition of the Silver Dollar Salute, in which a newly commissioned officer gives a silver dollar to the first enlisted troop to salute him, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Marty Dempsey put a unique twist on that tradition when he spoke at the graduation of the US Military Academy at West Point on May 23rd:
Military tradition is that newly commissioned officers give a dollar to the noncommissioned officers who render them their first salute. But today, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey gave each of the 994 new second lieutenants an autographed dollar bill to signify his trust in them…
The article notes the “official” rendering of the tradition:
According to a Defense Department handbook titled “The Armed Forces Officer,” the first-salute tradition goes back to the founding of the U.S. Army during the Revolutionary War. At that time, officers paid NCOs to mentor them as they learned the profession of a soldier.