Obama Forgot to Salute, Apologized to Soldier

By: Sean Patterson - May 25, 2013

President Barack Obama has certainly had a lot on his mind recently. House Republicans have recently been holding hearings on the Benghazi attacks, while two new scandals have rocked the current administration. One involves the IRS targeting new tax-exempt Tea Party-affiliated groups for additional scrutiny, while the other involves the Justice Department’s seizure of journalist’s phone records as part of a leak investigation.

It’s no surprise, then, that simple etiquette slipped the U.S. president’s mind this week.

A video of the President boarding boarding Marine One went viral this week. In it, Obama can be seen striding confidently into the helicopter- bypassing the U.S. marine stationed at the helicopter’s entrance without so much as a nod. It is traditional for presidents to salute soldiers as they board.

As seen in the video, the President quickly realized his mistake and doubled back to apologize to the soldier:

What makes the gaffe slightly ironic is that the President was on his way to the U.S. Naval Academy to speak at a graduation ceremony. During his address, Obama praised the U.S. military, calling it “the most trusted institution in America.”

Despite the Obama administration’s recent bad press, the President’s approval ratings remain high. Americans polled recently did state, however, that issues such as the IRS scandal are important to them.

Obama will have a chance to take is mind off of things in late summer, when he is expected to join First Lady Michelle Obama and the couple’s two daughters for a vacation on Martha’s Vineyard.

Sean Patterson

About the Author

Sean PattersonSean is a staff writer for WebProNews. Follow Sean on Google+: +Sean Patterson and Twitter: @St_Patt

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  • Jeff

    One of the worst articles written, no wonder 0 comments but since when is 50% HIGH approval ratings, 49% disapprove, your a joke, report the news u bum

  • http://ObamaforgottoSalute William Eisaman

    Our fearless leader despises the Military and shows no Respect to them as noted by not returning a salute busy or not you return salutes.

    I returned salutes even when my hands were filled you put down whatever and return salutes Obama has done this no respect for the military way to often and he is our Commander & Chief way to go Disrespectful President.

    • Xosgul

      Wow, what a hero you are. You returned salutes. So cool. by the way, Presidents should never be saluted or return salutes as they are not in the military (even though they serve as COC) and even if they were, they are never in uniform. it is a silly tradition.

      • David

        All I can say is check your comment. The President of the United States of America is the COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE UNITED STATES MILITARY. The President DOES rate salutes AND should ALWAYS return them.

        • James

          SHOULD being the operative word here. However, he is human and ALWAYS is a tough standard. That he returned to apologize speaks to the fact that it was not an intended snub. If the POYUS was the jerk that some here contend, he would not have returned to make the apology.

          • POA

            He returned to make an apology but still did not do the right thing in saluting the Marine. Another snub at the military that protects his @$$ day in and day out. It is not hard as CIC to do his job every time. He has been in office more than enough time to get it right! Even my son who is Commander of his squadron for the Sons of the American Legion knows protocol with salutes at the age of 9!

      • James

        I disa gree that it is a silly tradition. However, let’s keep it in perspective. The President is…well…the President. He’s got a LOT of things on his plate under the best of circumstances. Presidential saluting is a”nice” tradition that recogizes the sacrifices involved in the service to our country. It is a symbolic gesture only. Keep it real.

    • karin

      What a pile of burnt turds!!HE NEEDS TO GO!!!!

      • Patrick

        he needs to go because he forgot to salute thats not disrespect it happens he came back and apologized quickly we all forgot things sometimes

    • SGT

      Where do you get the cojones to claim POTUS “despises” the military because of this?? How many other leaders would promptly admit to a mistake and personally rectify it? He did the right thing once the mistaken was pointed out.

    • James

      The president does NOT hate the military…and one cannot assert that simply by implying that since the President is a Dem that he despises the military either. The failure to salute, while regrettable is not his day to day habit…it was a momentary error which he apologized to the Marine for…as any gentleman would…and should.

      I am a 20 year vet…over 20 years I am sure I probably failed to salute on a few occassions and I am certain some officers failed to return my salutes. It is NOT a character flaw…it happens occassionally. Don’t try to characterize the president on account of THAT when there may be more pressing and realistic reasons to hold him accountable such as the current IRS scandal or the AP scandal which may be a very serious infringement on the rights of a free press.

    • Rina

      he does not “despise” the military and well he has waayyyyy more on his mind that you will ever have. it was a simple honest mistake. hes only human and everyone makes mistakes. stop being such a vulture!

  • Jess Horvath

    For all the research reporters are supposed to do to confirm an article. One day they could learn the difference between a “Soldier”, a Marine, an Airmen, and a Sailor.

    • SGT

      Yes, you would think that everyone should know the damn difference by now. Soldier=Army, not Marine

    • http://www.yahoo.com Allen Eugene Booth

      Soldier = term applied to U.S. Army personnel.
      Sailor (Seaman) = term applied to U.S. Navy —or U.S. Coast Guard— personnel
      Marine = term applied to U.S. Marine Corps personnel
      Airman = term applied to U.S. Air Force Personnel

      • Heydave88

        For the record, Marine is a title. It is earned. It is not a term.

      • http://yahoo art

        soldier=army,sailor=navy,or coast guard, marine=marine..asshole= asshole….The man is human,cut him some slack…art

      • Tea Johnson

        Comment by “Soldier = term applied to U.S. Army personnel.
        Sailor (Seaman) = term applied to U.S. Navy —or U.S. Coast Guard— personnel
        Marine = term applied to U.S. Marine Corps personnel
        Airman = term applied to U.S. Air Force Personnel

        Now my comment,
        Airman = term applied to U.S. Air Force Personnel also can refer to the Navy, as my son is a Naval Air Commander aka Airman

  • Bryan Monteith

    He apologized to the Marine. No Soldiers were involved.

  • Cascada

    O PLEASE! Some of these comments are out right STUPID! It was an honest mistake. I’m sure EEEEEEEEVRY president must have forgot to do it at least once. Be carefull GOP. Don’t over-play your hand like you did with the TeaParty or trying to get Bill Clinton out of office. It will back fire like the recent election….

    • http://N/A Jon Sparks

      It is not the “Republicans” who are causing this administration’s scandals, it is the administration itself. It was not the Republicans who denied America’s Lybian Ambassador’s requests for more security prior to the 6/11/12 terror attack on the Benghazy Embassy. It was not the GOP who told military rescurers “standdown” rather than rush to Benghazy to prevent the murder of the four American diplomates, inmcluding Ambassador Chris Stevens on 6/11/12, it was this same Decocratic administration who caused that scandal and the childish coverup following.And it is a “real” scandal. Using the IRS to still the voices of conserative opponentes in the Teaparty and elsewhere is the biggest scandal since Watergate. Targeting and naming journalist James Rosen of FOX News a criminal co-conspiriter,is also a Watergate level scandal. The GOP did not create any of these scandals and it is the “mainstream” news media that is double covering all three of these Obama scandals.

      • Tom

        What a bunch of tripe! So many know so little.

  • Five Finger Fore Skin

    I wish the world would put an end to ANYONE being able to report the news. And I use that word “news” loosely!

  • TW

    I think a prerequisite for our commander in chief would to be a military man. He wouldn’t forget then to return a salute. Also if you are going to lead the military you should know the cost and sacrifice.

  • http://N/A Barbara Franklin

    First and foremost the president thankfully is not military. Our founding fathers wanted it that way. Secondly, even though the office holder is also the “Commander and Chief”, he or she (maybe someday) is still a civilian. As such they should not salute in a military fashion. A simple wave or nod to acknowledge them is all that is called for and should be all that is done. Now, I’m sure than none of the right wingers who are hyping this up have ever been so busy they missing doing the proper thing. After all, they are all perfect. There are so many real problems both at home and all over the world that need attention, not the snide little stories like the ones being pumped out about President Obama. If some of the other side would cooperate and stop worrying about their re-election funding and work seriously and jointly together maybe they could help our country.

    • Mike

      I am NOT an Obama fan. Now with that out of the way, No Big deal, He spaced it. Then he caught himself and corrected the mistake. ENOUGH SAID.
      Now for all of you “Left wing, Right wing haters”, get a life! not all that happens is a stump for you or anyone else to stand on. This was clearly an oversight, corrected. Yes I am a conservative, and yes I get offended by left wing crybabies. Sorry.

    • Jennifer

      I’m sorry but i totally disagree R men n women step in front of a bullet for that man an he cant even salute him. R men n women stand in all kind of weather to salute him an he cant even b bothered to salute The marine. All it tells us is how rude he is.

  • DeJuan

    Guys, Hes the President, hes human. He forgets okay? You guys are all over his back for a simple mistake.

  • ron sears

    Kings don’t have to salute and Obama thinks he is a King

  • Diane Webster

    If I had as much on my mind as any president has I might forget too. For those whose with their sorry ass negative comments, save it for something really important.

    • NoName

      You don’t think this is really important? That Soldier defends our rights and our President is supposed to be the LEADER of that man.

      Obama’s apologists are pathetic excuses for human beings.

  • Linda

    President Obozo, FORGOT ON PURPOSE, so what else is new?!

  • AZ ts

    What about the salute?

  • Debbie

    At some point, you have to begin to become to the conclusion that he’s either not trying at all, or simply not capable of trying.

  • kiki

    Another reason for impeachment, no respect for this country, veterans, present military, and honor to the US flag !!

  • Peter

    Not a surprise here. We know the President only salutes the gay troops.

  • kevin

    He is not a soldier he is a Marine you think by now people would know a soldier serves in the Army and a Marine in the Marine Corps.

  • Steve

    He was a Marine not a soldier

  • Teresa

    He is our president – we need to continue praying for him and our nation. Lets not worry about approval ratings but keep our focus on more important issues.

  • Rina

    he has waayyyyy more on his mind that you will ever have. it was a simple honest mistake. hes only human and everyone makes mistakes. stop being such a vulture! its pathetic how people lay around waiting for him to make a slip up so you can rip into him. why dont u try showing some honor and try supporting him for once? or at least show some respect even if u dont like him personally!!

  • Cris Newton

    ha ha what a moron. how embarassing, it’s looks like the pilot told him “get back out there and salute that man, boy or im not taking you anywhere.”

    • http://www.flipwall.com wallpaper

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  • Paul

    I think someone on the plane told him his mistake and he went back after that!

    • Sherry

      Does that really matter? So what! He could have just said, Oh well. Then you could have gotten upset.

  • http://www.TrumpetCallofGodonline.com Toma Joel

    “”Thus says The Lord of Hosts to all the sons and daughters of this, the last generation of men: You have all inherited the error of your fathers! You have altogether become like them! Behold, you have surpassed the sins of ancient Egypt, when I poured out My wrath upon them! Your wickedness has increased beyond every tribe, people, and nation, which has dwelled upon the earth!… THIS GENERATION IS WICKED BEYOND MEASURE!
    Thus great wrath is stirred up and My indignation has come to the full! My anger is fully aroused and shall surely be poured out!… RECOMPENSE for all nations! RECOMPENSE for all these churches of men who have spoken presumptuously in My name! RECOMPENSE for all these corrupt workers who have done falsely on My behalf!… I HAVE NOT SENT YOU!
    And you, O peoples of the earth, I have seen how you perform every form of evil at your leisure! You cease not from reveling in that which I hate! Behold, you murder the innocent day and night and plot evil against your neighbor! You stand up for the rights of those who commit abomination and clap your hands as wickedness is celebrated openly in the streets!… O MOST PERVERSE AND ABOMINABLE GENERATION, SHALL I NOT REPAY?!
    Behold, My body is persecuted in every land, and My bride is murdered at the hands of idolators! My people are bruised and beaten! My servants slandered and hated, without cause! Therefore I am come down to take vengeance, to pour out wrath upon this people for all their wickedness!… I SHALL IMPART RECOMPENSE IN FULL!””

    Hear the WORD of the LORD spoken to THIS modern generation!…

    Letters from God and His Christ, given to a modern man for modern man’s sake!

    TrumpetCallofGodonline . com

  • A.M. Kirchner

    A real commander would NEVER have done this.

  • http://yahoo Jon

    Not well written. Why is it not surprising that the President forgot to salute? On the way to the Naval Academy no less. Sounds like another media person making more allowances for the current President instead of holding him accountable. Par for the course.

  • JFK in CT

    My understanding is that current procedure is for POTUS, as Commander-In-Chief, to return the salute of UNIFORMED military persons (“UMP”), in conformity with existing military protocol that salutes are required between all UMPs. This was established by President Reagan who, when asking what military protocol was for a return salute by POTUS, was advised that there was no definitive written procedure for a return salute BY POTUS because he was not evidently in uniform, a requirement for salutes by all other military personnel. Reagan thereby declared that he was establishing Policy, that henceforth POTUS’ uniform was the business suit he wore during usual business hours, and therefore, being in uniform, he was required to return the salute of a unifomed military person. If I remember correctly, Presidents Bush Sr and Jr both saluted smartly, having both served in the military, whereas Clinton, a draft dodger, lacked both consistency and crispness to his salutes.

  • Courtney

    My God you Americans are a bunch of spoilt big mouths. It is amazing how you all criticize and spew hatred for the most insignificant of things. It appears no one is above a simple error. No wonder the world react to your nation as it does. You all need to relax, be considerate, be forgiving, make allowance after all life is just for living and you achieve a lot more happiness by showing love respect and tolerance. Barack Obama is a mere human capable of forgetting. It is not the making of mistakes that matters but however what is done when you realized you have made a mistake. Let the one among you without fault cast the first stone.

    • Joseph

      If you aren’t from the US why do you care? If you are in love with Obama maybe we can arrange to have him come bankrupt your country and not salute your military. Then we would all be happy. I sincerely hope we arn’t wasting our tax dollars in the form of aid or any of our military assets defending you or your country. I am all for bring all our military home, securing our borders, and letting the rest of the world work out their own problems or kill themselves. Whichever comes first.

  • Red

    Did anybody really watch this video since everyone is making a big deal about the actual salute he still did not salute him after he went back.

  • Sherry

    First of all, I consider myself a republican, so let’s get that out of the way. Every president has made mistakes in decorum at some point, said the opposite of what he meant, got the facts wrong, fell out of chairs, tripped over rugs, etc. He is human. I am sure the marine probably understood; after all, the president did immediately go back and apologize. Yes, he is the Commander and Chief, but saluting wasn’t drilled into him in “presidential bootcamp” like it was the marine. If I think about my grocery list I may miss my turn on the freeway, so lighten up. The key is, he IMMEDIATELY corrected the situation and apologized. I was honestly more upset when he failed to put his hand over his heart during the national anthem before he was elected. I am still not sure about that one. my point is this: although this is “small” in the grand scheme of things it isn’t big either. It didn’t endanger anyone’s life, send us to war, cost jobs, screw with social security, or anything larger than what it was. Let it go people. Get upset for the right reasons. This is not one of them. Nuff said.

  • Dave

    Okay he forgot to salute. The pilot reminded him of his failing. He went back to apologize. All of this could be be interpreted as a mistake. But the question I have is why did he not salute when he came back to apologize did he forget again?


    The writer and editor should now apologize. The Cpl. Obama is
    talking to is a Marine not a soldier. The president is Commander
    in Chief by nature of his elected position and is a civilian with
    no military etiquette education like most of his fellow politicians
    with thier law degrees.

    • Wes

      I’m glad someone pointed out that you do not refer to a Marine as a soldier!! In our military we have soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines.

  • http://yahoo art

    Sorry,the man forgot,then corrected his mistake…My gripe,is all
    this praying,and god bull…People if you are so afraid of life,why continue to live it….Retired fifefighter,paramedic…I have said it a million times,will say it again,of all the wrecks,fire,and person down calls.Many times they died after we arrived…Not one time have I witnessed,anything,floating out of a body,what most people call a soul…Now soul music you can hear,and feel…I have yet to see one float from a body…If you have to believe in an afterlife,that is your business…Keep it to yourselves…art

    • BC

      OK art. It appears that you feel threatened by some who enjoy their rights guaranteed by the 1st amendment. I’ll shut up when you do…BC

  • greg

    Hell when he presented the Medal of Honor to one veteran, he tried to hug him for gods sake, and I agree that before election the first time he never placed his hand over his heart, never wore a flag pin etc… I think he knows EXACTLY what hes doing and does not care!!!

  • Mark Baird

    Get a life people. Is this what we going to have a pout rage about? Grow up into adults finally.

  • MarvinM

    Actually, the “tradition” for the President to return salutes was started by President Reagan. Prior to that, the President did not return soldiers’ salutes.