Soldier gets reamed out for not saluting officer who ‘hates being saluted’

Little Jovaniel (6), a first grader at Henry W. Longfellow Elementary, renders salute to Brig. Gen. Marta Carcana, the adjutant general for Puerto Rico, after being 'promoted' to the rank of specialist at an improvised promotion ceremony during the general’s visit to the school on Dec. 8. “Well, it is time to say ‘thanks’ back to them,” said Carcana.
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FORT POLK, La. — Pvt. Larry “Doug” Douglas was reamed out this morning for failing to render a salute to Maj. Tom Wallace, the executive officer for the 1-509th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Sources confirm that Wallace “will tell anyone who will listen” how much “he hates the whole saluting thing.”

“Look, it’s not a power thing. I hate all the attention,” Wallace explained. “Frankly it’s embarrassing, and I hate having to return all the salutes, but the standards need to be upheld.”

Wallace has what other officers call “a well-deserved reputation” at Fort Polk for his long-winded lectures and dressing-downs of those who fail to render him proper military courtesy.

Douglas says that Wallace’s strict adherence to military formalities has earned him the nickname “that dickhead” among the soldiers in his battalion.

“[Wallace] actually stopped a soldier rushing his wife into the ER,” Douglas said. “Wallace was all ‘Don’t you intend to salute and give the greeting of the day, private?’”

“When the guy was gone, the major apologized — to the other people! He was like ‘Sorry for the awkward scene. I wish there had been a better way to confront the man.’”

Sgt. Maj. Lance Edwards, the battalion’s Operations Sergeant Major is measured in his response to the issue.

“I get a hard-on for AR 600-25 as much as anyone else, but sometimes he even pisses me off,” Edwards said. “I came out of the headquarters with two cups of coffee in my hand and he actually stood in my path and waited for me to put a cup down. After I saluted the bastard he grinned and said sorry, but it ‘wasn’t his call.’”

Witnesses report that Wallace spends a majority of his day standing just outside the no-salute zone in the motor pool, harassing soldiers and then loudly bemoaning the fact that the zone doesn’t extend further into the parking lot.

When a lieutenant once suggested that he stand inside the motor pool and avoid the inconvenience he was counseled on not standing at attention while talking to a superior officer.

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  1. Depending on if we liked the officer or not, when travelling as groups, we would either bunch up and salute as a group so the officer would have only one salute in return, or space out just far enough to make the officer salute us individually.
    My brother, the retired Major, was not amused by this story… even though I recall hearing him tell a similar story when he was a SGT.

  2. 1. had an officer that loved being saluted. i did not like this. i would cross the street than salute him. he called me out on this. he also broke his rt. hand playing squash. i would purposely get in his way to have him return my salute with his left hand. had 8 weeks of fun!

  3. Probably where ‘educators’ got the notion that counselling could replace discipline and courts got the notion that it was good alternative to jail term for a crime. .

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