A video clip showing president Obama boarding a helicopter without saluting a adjacent Marine has been common with the unfounded claim that the pilot refuse to let him remain onboard.

You are watching: The pilot refused to let president obama board until he honored the marine.

Published1 April 2016

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A video clip is being circulated of Obama supposedly gift denied aboard maritime One because he didn"t return the salute of the naval guard. It"s being said the pilot wouldn"t permit the Commander-In-Chief to aboard. Is this true?
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Marine One is the speak to sign of any type of United States maritime Corps aircraft delivering the president of the joined States, yet the name is commonly used to refer to a specific helicopter provided to ferry the president to and also from takeoff and landing web page of Air force One, or to carry the chairman on quick trips and/or come locations lacking adequate landing facilities for fixed-wing aircraft.

On 24 might 2013, the adhering to footage of president Obama boarding naval One en route to Annapolis, Maryland, was published by several significant media news outlets:


Marine One is generally accompanied or met on the soil by at the very least one marine in complete dress uniform, and also the clip embedded above shows president Obama climbing the steps up come the helicopter when seemingly payment no mind to the adjacent Marine safety (who saluted his approach), conversing briefly with the trip crew, climate exiting the aircraft and jogging under the procedures to re-approach and also acknowledge the Marine before reboarding maritime One:

Many news outlets, together as abc News and also CNN, add this video clip with short articles speculating that President Obama had “forgotten” come salute the Marine and also had disembarked the helicopter in bespeak to resolve him:

The chairman may have forgotten something as he boarded marine One this morning.

On his means to the U.S. Naval Academy graduation consciousness on Annapolis, Md., president Obama didn’t return the salute the the maritime standing guard at the door of naval One, as he climbed the measures to the helicopter cabin.

Obama quickly ducked his head out, waved come the pilot, and also jaunted earlier down the stair to address the marine, shower his hand. In the short video clip clip, one can not hear the two males talking, so it’s unclear what precisely was said. A pass out smile showed up to overcome the marine’s challenge as they exchanged short words.


Within a couple of years, this video was being mutual with the insurance claim that chairman Obama had actually been compelled to disembark maritime One at the insistence the its pilot, who supposedly refuse to bring the chief executive till he went back out and “saluted” the maritime attendant. These claims originated without any attendant extr information around the incident and were based upon nothing much more than speculative assumptions about the silent video footage.

Actually, no regulation states that the chairman of the unified States, a civilian that holds the position of Commander-in-Chief the the U.S. Military, have to salute (or return the salutes of) military personnel. In fact, U.S. Army regulations state the neither civilians nor those attract civilian attire (both of which describe the president of the united States) are forced to render salute:

The president of the joined States, together the commander in chief, will be saluted by military personnel in uniform.

Civilian personnel, to encompass civilian guards, are not forced to render the hand salute to armed forces personnel or other civilian personnel.

Salutes are not forced to be calculation or returned as soon as the senior or subordinate, or both are in civilian attire.

Although other presidents have actually rendered salutes indigenous time come time on unique occasions (such as awards ceremonies or convoy reviews), the returning of presidential salutes walk not end up being commonplace till President Reagan broke with protocol and also tradition and also began the exercise in 1981, together Reagan himself described a couple of years later in remarks to U.S. Business members and also their families stationed in Iceland:

I can’t resist telling girlfriend a little story the I’ve simply told the naval guard at the Embassy. The story needs to do v saluting. Ns was a 2nd lieutenant of equine cavalry ago in the world War II days. As I called the admiral, ns wound up paris a workdesk for the military Air Force. And also so, I know all the rules around not saluting in civilian clothes and so forth, and also when you have to or shouldn’t. Yet then when I got this project — — and also I would certainly be approaching Air force One or naval One and also those marines would pertained to a salute and I — understanding that ns am in civilian garments — I would nod and say hello and also think they can drop their hand, and also they wouldn’t. They just stood there. So, one night end at the Commandant’s quarters, marine Commandant’s quarters in Washington, and I was obtaining a pair of highballs, and also I didn’t — — recognize what to perform with them. So, I stated to the Commandant — i said, “Look, I know all the rules around saluting in civilian clothes and all, but if i am the command in Chief, there must be a regulation that would permit me come return a salute.” and I heard part words that wisdom. That said, “I think if you did, no one would say anything.”

So, if you check out me ~ above television and I’m saluting, you know that I’ve got authority because that it currently — — and I do it happily.

Any U.S. Naval pilot would certainly know the the returning of salutes through the chairman of the United says is a contemporary courtesy and not a requirement. Although he could good-naturedly indicate that the President do so, such a pilot would danger being tagged together insubordinate if he refuse to lug the chairman to his destination until the last (optionally) reverted the salute of a subordinate business member.

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In any type of case, occasions couldn’t have actually literally played out here as claimed, as President Obama did no in truth return the salute of the maritime seen in this clip. The president walked as much as the Marine, shook his hand, and exchanged a couple of words v him, but he did not render an outstretched-hand-to-the-forehead armed forces salute. Based upon the paper definition of the clip, it seems far an ext likely that the pilot imparted some info to chairman Obama about the marine guard (e.g., he had just received an award, gained married, come to be a father, celebrated a birthday) that motivated the president to step outside and also congratulate him.