From greeting a superior officer, showing homage to the American flag, or paying respect to a fallen comrade — saluting is a powerful non-verbal communication gesture for showing proper respect.
With no real written record of how or where the tradition began, the salute dates back far in history when troops would raise their right hand (or their weapon hand) as a signal of friendship.
Back in the days, the subordinate person hand-gestured first in the presence of a superior who would then respond accordingly, which is the same practice used today — lower-ranking personnel salute higher ranking first.
Recruits learn how to hand salute in boot camp and demonstrate it hundreds of times before heading out to active duty. The gesture becomes instant as muscle memory takes over.
But many civilians nowadays salute as a form of celebration — and they get it so so wrong.
So check out our list of awful hand salutes that weren’t even close.
(Seriously — where are the military consultants?)
13. Glenn Close (Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story)
She almost hit the mark. (Image via Giphy)
12. Jessica Simpson (Private Valentine: Blonde & Dangerous)
Too high, but at least she looks great in that uniform. (Image via Giphy)
11. Former President George Bush (‘Merica)
Oh, wait he’s not saluting — our bad. (Image via Giphy)
10. Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
Oh, that Barney Stinson. (Image via Giphy)
9. The River Phoenix look-a-like (Independence Day)
Too shaky. (Image via Gfycat)
8. Chuck Norris (but it’s okay because he’s f*cking Chuck Norris)
Chuck gets away with everything. (Image via Giphy)
7. Mike Epps (Friday After Next)
Day-Day has a dope a** salute. (Image via Giphy)
6. Anna Kendrick (We don’t know what this is from actually)
She can make anything look cute though. (Image via Giphy)
5. Ilana Glazer (Broad City)
The over-the-top salute. (Image via Giphy)
4. Jack Black (School of Rock)
He needs lessons…badly. (Image via Gfycat)
3. Chris Evans (Fantastic Four)
Come on, Capt. America! (Image via Giphy)
2. Jack Black (Mars Attacks)
He made this list freakin’ twice. (Image via Giphy)
You know we couldn’t leave this one out. (Source: WB/ YouTube/ Screenshot)
Can you think of any others? Comment below using a meme or a GIF.
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