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Why does American troops NOT show their palm when saluting?


During my service in the United States Air Force we had Professional Military course that we were required to take. We were taught that the palm is shown for those that have been defeated in war and those that do not have not lost a war.

I searched the internet to varify this and this is what I found:

"There is great debate about this but a drill instructor for the Marines will tell you countries who have lost a war salute palm out and countries who have never lost a war salute palm down."​t

Hope this helps,



The salute itself is the respect. The palm has nothing to do with it. You raise your finger to touch the edge of your brow.
That's what your taught in the Navy:)


I believe that the U.S. Military salute was influenced by the British Navy. The Naval salute differs from the "Open Hand" British Army Salute in that the palm of the hand faces down towards the shoulder.

This dates back to the days of sailing ships, when tar and pitch were used to seal the timber from seawater. To protect their hands, officer wore white gloves and it was considered most undignified to present a dirty palm in the salute so the hand was turned downward 90 degrees.


The salute dates back to medieval times when knights would raise there helmet off there face. its got feck all to do with the yanks

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