Notes on AFH-1, 1 Nov 21, Chapter 23, Military Customs and Courtesies

This chapter's content was taken from the 2019 Air Force Handbook's Chapter 24, Military Customs and Courtesies.


16 Feb 2022. The E-5 and E-6 Study Guides were released and posted to the official Air Force website (https://www.studyguides.af.mil/) on 1 Feb 2022. This website was updated using the content from the E-6 Study Guide under the assumption that both study guides contained the same content. However, there are differences between the two study guides as noted below. Questions related to these differences have been removed or edited, as necessary, to avoid conflict between the two versions and ensure accuracy.

The phrase, "Air Force" was replaced globally by "USAF" in the E-5 Study Guide. The phrase, "Regular Air Force", was replaced by "RegAF".




2021 E-5 and E-6 Study Guides Compared


2021 E5 Study Guide

23.8. Authorized and Unauthorized Uses of the Air Force Symbol. The Air Force Symbol is a registered trademark and must be protected against unauthorized use or alterations to approved versions. Approved versions of the Symbol are available for download on the USAF Portal, under the library and resources tab. Instructions for the proper use and display of the Symbol can be found in DoDI5535.12_DAFI35-114, Air Force Branding and Trademark Licensing Program, 3 February 2021 in the DoD Guide, Important Information and Guidelines About the Use of Department of Defense Seals, Logos, Insignia, and Service Medals, and at: www.trademark.af.mil. Refer to these references for details regarding the use and display of the Air Force Symbol.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.8. Authorized and Unauthorized Uses of the Air Force Symbol. The Air Force Symbol is a registered trademark and must be protected against unauthorized use or alterations to approved versions. Approved versions of the Symbol are available for download on the Air Force Portal, under the library and resources tab. Instructions for the proper use and display of the Symbol can be found in AFI 35-114, Air Force Branding and Trademark Licensing Program, in the DoD Guide, Important Information and Guidelines About the Use of Department of Defense Seals, Logos, Insignia, and Service Medals, and at: www.trademark.af.mil. Refer to these references for details regarding the use and display of the Air Force Symbol.


2021 E5 Study Guide

23.29. The Order of the Sword Induction Ceremony

Induction into the order of the sword is an honor reserved for individuals who have provided outstanding leadership and support to enlisted members as a "Leader among Leaders and an Airman among Airmen." The order of the sword event is conducted with the dignity that reflects its significance as the highest honor and tribute an enlisted member can bestow on anyone. Similar to the dining-in, this evening affair usually consists of a social period, formal dinner, and induction ceremony. The required dress is the mess dress, semiformal uniform, or equivalent. The only approved levels for award of the sword are the USAF level and major command level. The Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force and MAJCOM command chiefs are known as the "keepers of the sword," and maintain the official lists of order of the sword recipients, respectively.

History of the Order of the Sword. The first recorded order of the sword ceremony in the United States was in the 1860s when a General officer was presented a sword by his command. The ceremony was revised, updated, and adopted by the USAF in 1967 to recognize and honor military senior officers, Colonel or above, and civilian equivalents, for conspicuous and significant contributions to the welfare and prestige of the USAF enlisted force mission effectiveness as well as the overall military establishment.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.29. The Order of the Sword Induction Ceremony

Induction into the order of the sword is an honor reserved for individuals who have provided outstanding leadership and support to enlisted members as a "Leader among Leaders and an Airman among Airmen." The order of the sword event is conducted with the dignity that reflects its significance as the highest honor and tribute an enlisted member can bestow on anyone. Similar to the dining-in, this evening affair usually consists of a social period, formal dinner, and induction ceremony. The required dress is the mess dress, semiformal uniform, or equivalent. The only approved levels for award of the sword are the Air Force level and major command level. The Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force and major command command chiefs are known as the "keepers of the sword," and maintain the official lists of order of the sword recipients, respectively.

History of the Order of the Sword. The first recorded order of the sword ceremony in the United States was in the 1860s when General Robert E. Lee was presented a sword by his command. The ceremony was revised, updated, and adopted by the Air Force in 1967 to recognize and honor military senior officers, Colonel or above, and civilian equivalents, for conspicuous and significant contributions to the welfare and prestige of the Air Force enlisted force mission effectiveness as well as the overall military establishment.






2021 E-6 Study Guide Compared to 2019 Air Force Handbook


Section 23A, Honored Traditions

Paragraph 23.1. Honor and tradition: no change

Paragraph 23.2. Protocol: no change

Paragraph 23.3. Base Honor Guard Program: no change

Paragraph 23.4. Symbolism and Representation: no change

Paragraph 23.5. National Anthem: no change

Paragraph 23.6. The Pledge of Allegiance: no change

Paragraph 23.7. Department of the Air Force Seal: no change

Paragraph 23.8. Official Air Force Symbol: no change

Paragraph 23.9. The Air Force Song: changed to remove male-only references



2021 E6 Study Guide

23.1. Honor and Tradition

Military customs and courtesies are proven traditions, deep-rooted in culture that reflect pride in military service to our Nation. Expectations for acts of respect and courtesy have evolved from the need for order and discipline, to generating an environment of respect and sense of fraternity that exists among military personnel. While not all-inclusive, this chapter highlights many of the customs and courtesies that play an extremely important role in building morale, esprit de corps, discipline, and mission effectiveness. As stated in AFI 1-1, Air Force Standards, our customs and courtesies reflect the unique nature of our profession and guide significant aspects of our behavior. Customs and courtesies emphasize our strong bond with other military members as well as our mutual respect for one another and our civilian leadership.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.1. Honor and Tradition

Military customs and courtesies are proven traditions, deep-rooted in culture that reflect pride in military service to our Nation. Expectations for acts of respect and courtesy have evolved from the need for order and discipline, to generating an environment of respect and sense of fraternity that exists among military personnel. While not all-inclusive, this chapter highlights many of the customs and courtesies that play an extremely important role in building morale, esprit de corps, discipline, and mission effectiveness. As stated in AFI 1-1, Air Force Standards, our customs and courtesies reflect the unique nature of our profession and guide significant aspects of our behavior. Customs and courtesies emphasize our strong bond with other military members as well as our mutual respect for one another and our civilian leadership.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.2. Protocol

Protocol is an internationally recognized system of courtesy and respect involving a set of rules for behavior in official life and in ceremonies involving governments, nations, and their representatives. Protocol for the military and government agencies is a code of traditional precedence, courtesy, and etiquette in matters of military, diplomatic, official, and celebratory ceremonies. In modern practice, military protocol encompasses the knowledge, accumulation, and application of established service customs by combining the traditional codes of conduct with contemporary etiquette and courtesy. Executive orders, Presidential proclamations, Air Force instructions, and other service-associated sources provide specific guidance on protocol and customs and courtesies. AFI 34-1201, Protocol, is a very good source for detailed information regarding a wide range of military customs and courtesies and decorum.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.2. Protocol

Protocol is an internationally recognized system of courtesy and respect involving a set of rules for behavior in official life and in ceremonies involving governments, nations, and their representatives. Protocol for the military and government agencies is a code of traditional precedence, courtesy, and etiquette in matters of military, diplomatic, official, and celebratory ceremonies. In modern practice, military protocol encompasses the knowledge, accumulation, and application of established service customs by combining the traditional codes of conduct with contemporary etiquette and courtesy. Executive orders, Presidential proclamations, Air Force instructions, and other service-associated sources provide specific guidance on protocol and customs and courtesies. AFI 34-1201, Protocol, is a very good source for detailed information regarding a wide range of military customs and courtesies and decorum.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.3. Base Honor Guard Program

Base Honor Guard is a mandatory Air Force program, under the responsibility of installation commanders, which emphasizes the importance of military customs and courtesies, dress and appearance, and drill and ceremonies. The first base honor guard was activated within the 1100th Air Police Squadron, Bolling Field, Washington D.C., and was responsible for maintaining an Air Force ceremonial capability in the National Capitol Region. The primary mission of today's base honor guard program is to employ, equip, and train Air Force members to provide professional military funeral honors for Regular Air Force, retired members, and veterans of the U. S. Air Force. Members are usually volunteers from the installation host and tenant units, with selections generally coming from Airman Basic to Technical Sergeant.

Note: In January of 2000, public law was implemented, providing for all veterans to receive, at a minimum, a funeral ceremony that includes the folding of a United States flag, presentation of the flag to the veteran's family, and the playing of Taps.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.3. Base Honor Guard Program

Base Honor Guard is a mandatory Air Force program, under the responsibility of installation commanders, which emphasizes the importance of military customs and courtesies, dress and appearance, and drill and ceremonies. The first base honor guard was activated within the 1100th Air Police Squadron, Bolling Field, Washington D.C., and was responsible for maintaining an Air Force ceremonial capability in the National Capitol Region. The primary mission of today's base honor guard program is to employ, equip, and train Air Force members to provide professional military funeral honors for Regular Air Force, retired members, and veterans of the U. S. Air Force. Members are usually volunteers from the installation host and tenant units, with selections generally coming from Airman Basic to Technical Sergeant.

Note: In January of 2000, public law was implemented, providing for all veterans to receive, at a minimum, a funeral ceremony that includes the folding of a United States flag, presentation of the flag to the veteran's family, and the playing of Taps.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.4. Symbolism and Representation

Military tradition and patriotism are steeped in symbolism, often honored in ceremonies and represented in many forms. Some of the ways the United States and the Air Force are represented include symbols, such as the United States flag and its colors, songs, official seals, and other nationally recognized objects.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.4. Symbolism and Representation

Military tradition and patriotism are steeped in symbolism, often honored in ceremonies and represented in many forms. Some of the ways the United States and the Air Force are represented include symbols, such as the United States flag and its colors, songs, official seals, and other nationally recognized objects.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.5. National Anthem

The United States national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, is often played or sung at official and unofficial ceremonies and events. It is important to understand the appropriate protocols and procedures for showing proper respects for the national anthem. See Attachment 10, The Star-Spangled Banner Lyrics, for all four verses of the national anthem. When the bugle call, To the Color, is played, the same respects are shown as rendered to the national anthem.

National Anthem Outdoors. When outdoors, during the rendition of the national anthem, Airmen in uniform should render the military salute at the first note of the anthem and retain this position until the last note of music has played. When outdoors during rendition of the national anthem, all present in civilian attire should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart.

National Anthem in Vehicles. When on Air Force installations, during the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner or To the Color, vehicles in motion will pull to the side of the road and stop (if consistent with safety and mission requirements). Individuals in vehicles should sit quietly until the last note of music has played.

National Anthem Indoors. When indoors, in uniform, in formation, with appropriate headgear, military members should render the military salute during the national anthem. When indoors, in uniform, without headgear, military members should stand and remain at the position of attention without rendering the military salute. Civilians should stand at attention with their right hand over their heart. If the flag is not displayed, those present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.

National Anthems of Friendly Foreign Nations. Anthems of friendly foreign nations may be played to honor visitors of foreign nations as a show of respect. The same respect is shown to foreign national anthems as is shown to The Star-Spangled Banner. Typically, foreign national anthems are played before the national anthem of a host nation, but there is no regulation or law mandating when or in what order national anthems are played when more than one is played.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.5. National Anthem

The United States national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, is often played or sung at official and unofficial ceremonies and events. It is important to understand the appropriate protocols and procedures for showing proper respects for the national anthem. See Attachment 10, The Star-Spangled Banner Lyrics, for all four verses of the national anthem. When the bugle call, To the Color, is played, the same respects are shown as rendered to the national anthem.

National Anthem Outdoors. When outdoors, during the rendition of the national anthem, Airmen in uniform should render the military salute at the first note of the anthem and retain this position until the last note of music has played. When outdoors during rendition of the national anthem, all present in civilian attire should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart.

National Anthem in Vehicles. When on Air Force installations, during the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner or To the Color, vehicles in motion will pull to the side of the road and stop (if consistent with safety and mission requirements). Individuals in vehicles should sit quietly until the last note of music has played.

National Anthem Indoors. When indoors, in uniform, in formation, with appropriate headgear, military members should render the military salute during the national anthem. When indoors, in uniform, without headgear, military members should stand and remain at the position of attention without rendering the military salute. Civilians should stand at attention with their right hand over their heart. If the flag is not displayed, those present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.

National Anthems of Friendly Foreign Nations. Anthems of friendly foreign nations may be played to honor visitors of foreign nations as a show of respect. The same respect is shown to foreign national anthems as is shown to The Star-Spangled Banner. Typically, foreign national anthems are played before the national anthem of a host nation, but there is no regulation or law mandating when or in what order national anthems are played when more than one is played.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.6. The Pledge of Allegiance

The Pledge of Allegiance is not traditionally recited at military events. At outdoor events or social functions where the pledge is rendered, military personnel in uniform will stand at attention, remain silent, face the flag, and salute. When outdoors in civilian attire, remove any non-religious headdress with right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, with the hand being over the heart. At indoor events, military personnel in uniform will stand at attention, remain silent, face the flag, but will not salute; however, at indoor events where participants are primarily civilians or in civilian attire, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is optional for those in uniform. When indoors in civilian attire, stand at attention, face the flag, place your right hand over your heart, and recite the pledge.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.6. The Pledge of Allegiance

The Pledge of Allegiance is not traditionally recited at military events. At outdoor events or social functions where the pledge is rendered, military personnel in uniform will stand at attention, remain silent, face the flag, and salute. When outdoors in civilian attire, remove any non-religious headdress with right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, with the hand being over the heart. At indoor events, military personnel in uniform will stand at attention, remain silent, face the flag, but will not salute; however, at indoor events where participants are primarily civilians or in civilian attire, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is optional for those in uniform. When indoors in civilian attire, stand at attention, face the flag, place your right hand over your heart, and recite the pledge.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.7. Department of the Air Force Seal

As shown in Figure 23.1, the official Air Force colors of ultramarine blue and Air Force yellow are reflected in the Air Force Seal. The circular background is ultramarine blue and the trim is Air Force yellow. The 13 white stars represent the original 13 colonies. The Air Force yellow numerals under the shield stand for 1947, the year the Department of the Air Force was established. The band encircling the whole design is white, edged in Air Force yellow, with black lettering reading "Department of the Air Force" on the top and "United States of America" on the bottom. Centered on the circular background is the Air Force Coat of Arms, consisting of the crest and shield.

Coat of Arms - Crest. The crest portion of the Coat of Arms consists of the eagle, wreath, and cloud form. The American bald eagle symbolizes the United States airpower, and appears in natural colors. The wreath under the eagle is made up of six alternate folds of metal in white (representing silver) and light blue. This repeats the metal and color used in the shield. The whiteclouds behind the eagle denote the start of a new sky.

Coat of Arms - Shield. The shield portion of the Coat of Arms, directly below the eagle, wreath, and cloud, is divided horizontally into two parts by a nebular line representing clouds. The top part bears an Air Force yellow thunderbolt with flames in natural color that shows striking power through the use of aerospace. The thunderbolt consists of an Air Force yellow vertical twist with three natural color flames on each end crossing a pair of horizontal wings with eight lightning bolts. The background at the top of the shield is light blue representing the sky. The background at the lower part is white representing metal silver.

Authorized and Unauthorized Uses of the Air Force Seal and Coat of Arms. The Air Force Seal is to be protected from unauthorized use. Falsely making, forging, counterfeiting, mutilating, altering, or knowingly using or possessing the Seal with fraudulent intent, is punishable by law. AFMAN 33-326, Preparing Official Communications, Attachment 2, outlines the authorized users and uses of the Air Force Seal and the Coat of Arms.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.7. Department of the Air Force Seal

As shown in Figure 24.1, the official Air Force colors of ultramarine blue and Air Force yellow are reflected in the Air Force Seal. The circular background is ultramarine blue and the trim is Air Force yellow. The 13 white stars represent the original 13 colonies. The Air Force yellow numerals under the shield stand for 1947, the year the Department of the Air Force was established. The band encircling the whole design is white, edged in Air Force yellow, with black lettering reading "Department of the Air Force" on the top and "United States of America" on the bottom. Centered on the circular background is the Air Force Coat of Arms, consisting of the crest and shield.

Coat of Arms - Crest. The crest portion of the Coat of Arms consists of the eagle, wreath, and cloud form. The American bald eagle symbolizes the United States airpower, and appears in natural colors. The wreath under the eagle is made up of six alternate folds of metal in white (representing silver) and light blue. This repeats the metal and color used in the shield. The white clouds behind the eagle denote the start of a new sky.

Coat of Arms - Shield. The shield portion of the Coat of Arms, directly below the eagle, wreath, and cloud, is divided horizontally into two parts by a nebular line representing clouds. The top part bears an Air Force yellow thunderbolt with flames in natural color that shows striking power through the use of aerospace. The thunderbolt consists of an Air Force yellow vertical twist with three natural color flames on each end crossing a pair of horizontal wings with eight lightning bolts. The background at the top of the shield is light blue representing the sky. The background at the lower part is white representing metal silver.

Authorized and Unauthorized Uses of the Air Force Seal and Coat of Arms. The Air Force Seal is to be protected from unauthorized use. Falsely making, forging, counterfeiting, mutilating, altering, or knowingly using or possessing the Seal with fraudulent intent, is punishable by law. AFMAN 33-326, Preparing Official Communications, Attachment 2, outlines the authorized users and uses of the Air Force Seal and the Coat of Arms.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.8. Official Air Force Symbol

The Air Force Symbol, as shown in Figure 23.2., was designated the official symbol of the U.S. Air Force on 5 May 2004. The upper half includes the stylized wings, which represent the stripes of our strength -our enlisted men and women. Below the stylized wings, the lower half includes a sphere, a star, and three diamonds. The Air Force Symbol honors the heritage of our past and represents the promise of our future. Furthermore, it retains the core elements of our Air Corps heritage with respect to the bent up, rather than straight "Arnold" wings, and a star with the circle. The current Symbol modernizes these core elements to reflect our air and space force of today and tomorrow. All of the elements come together to form one symbol that presents two powerful images -an eagle, the emblem of our Nation, and a medal, representing valor in service to our Nation.

Stylized Wings. The wings are drawn with great angularity to emphasize our swiftness and power. The six sections of the wings represent our distinctive capabilities -air and space superiority, global attack, rapid global mobility, precision engagement, information superiority, and agile combat support.

Sphere. The sphere within the star represents the globe and symbolically reminds us of our obligation to secure our Nation's freedom with global vigilance, reach, and power. The sphere also reminds us of our challenge as an expeditionary force to respond rapidly to crises and to provide decisive air and space power worldwide.

Star. The area surrounding the sphere takes the shape of a star. The star has many meanings. The five points of the star represent the components of our one force and family -our Regular Air Force, civilians, Guard, Reserve, and retirees. The star symbolizes space as the high ground of our Nation's air and space force. The rallying symbol in all our wars, the star also represents our officer corps, central to our combat leadership.

Three Diamonds. The star is framed with three diamonds that represent our core values -Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence In All We Do.

Authorized and Unauthorized Uses of the Air Force Symbol. The Air Force Symbol is a registered trademark and must be protected against unauthorized use or alterations to approved versions. Approved versions of the Symbol are available for download on the Air Force Portal, under the library and resources tab. Instructions for the proper use and display of the Symbol can be found in AFI 35-114, Air Force Branding and Trademark Licensing Program, in the DoD Guide, Important Information and Guidelines About the Use of Department of Defense Seals, Logos, Insignia, and Service Medals, and at: www.trademark.af.mil. Refer to these references for details regarding the use and display of the Air Force Symbol.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.8. Official Air Force Symbol

The Air Force Symbol, as shown in Figure 24.2., was designated the official symbol of the U.S. Air Force on 5 May 2004. The upper half includes the stylized wings, which represent the stripes of our strength -our enlisted men and women. Below the stylized wings, the lower half includes a sphere, a star, and three diamonds. The Air Force Symbol honors the heritage of our past and represents the promise of our future. Furthermore, it retains the core elements of our Air Corps heritage with respect to the bent up, rather than straight "Arnold" wings, and a star with the circle. The current Symbol modernizes these core elements to reflect our air and space force of today and tomorrow. All of the elements come together to form one symbol that presents two powerful images -an eagle, the emblem of our Nation, and a medal, representing valor in service to our Nation.

Stylized Wings. The wings are drawn with great angularity to emphasize our swiftness and power. The six sections of the wings represent our distinctive capabilities -air and space superiority, global attack, rapid global mobility, precision engagement, information superiority, and agile combat support.

Sphere. The sphere within the star represents the globe and symbolically reminds us of our obligation to secure our Nation's freedom with global vigilance, reach, and power. The sphere also reminds us of our challenge as an expeditionary force to respond rapidly to crises and to provide decisive air and space power worldwide.

Star. The area surrounding the sphere takes the shape of a star. The star has many meanings. The five points of the star represent the components of our one force and family -our Regular Air Force, civilians, Guard, Reserve, and retirees. The star symbolizes space as the high ground of our Nation's air and space force. The rallying symbol in all our wars, the star also represents our officer corps, central to our combat leadership.

Three Diamonds. The star is framed with three diamonds that represent our core values -Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence In All We Do.

Authorized and Unauthorized Uses of the Air Force Symbol. The Air Force Symbol is a registered trademark and must be protected against unauthorized use or alterations to approved versions. Approved versions of the Symbol are available for download on the Air Force Portal, under the library and resources tab. Instructions for the proper use and display of the Symbol can be found in AFI 35-114, Air Force Branding and Trademark Licensing Program, in the DoD Guide, Important Information and Guidelines About the Use of Department of Defense Seals, Logos, Insignia, and Service Medals, and at: www.trademark.af.mil. Refer to these references for details regarding the use and display of the Air Force Symbol.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.9. The Air Force Song

In the late 1930's, the Air Corps sought an official song to reflect its unique identity. After reviewing over 700 compositions, music instructor, Robert Crawford's song was a unanimous winner. The U.S. Army band made the first recordings of the song in 1939, titled The U.S. Air Force. According to AFI 34-1201, when the Air Force song is played, Airmen will stand at attention, but are allowed to sing the lyrics of the song. During official events, the official party may move to depart after the playing of the first verse. See Attachment 11, The U.S. Air Force lyrics, for all four verses of song. In the past year, the Air Force finalized updates to its official song to be more inclusive, removing male-only references to reflect the "central role that women play" in the service. In March 2020, the third verse of the song was changed, and on May 29, 2020, announced all male-only references had been changed.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.9. The Air Force Song

In the late 1930's, the Air Corps sought an official song to reflect its unique identity. After reviewing over 700 compositions, music instructor, Robert Crawford's song was a unanimous winner. The U.S. Army band made the first recordings of the song in 1939, titled The U.S. Air Force. According to AFI 34-1201, when the Air Force song is played, Airmen will stand at attention, but are allowed to sing the lyrics of the song. During official events, the official party may move to depart after the playing of the first verse. See Attachment 11, The U.S. Air Force Lyrics, for all four verses of The U.S. Air Force song.




Section 23B, Respect for the Flag

Paragraph 23.10. Showing Respect for the Flag: no change

Paragraph 23.11. History of United States Flag: no change

Paragraph 23.12. Types of Flags: no change

Paragraph 23.13. Display of the United States Flag: Juneteenth was added as a holiday

Paragraph 23.14. Position and Manner of Display: no change

Paragraph 23.15. Care and respect for the United States Flag: no change

Paragraph 23.16. Service Flags: the Space Force flag was added


2021 E6 Study Guide

23.10. Showing Respect for the Flag

The United States flag is one of the most enduring and sacred symbols of our country. It represents the principles and ideals Airmen have pledged to defend, and for which many have made the ultimate sacrifice. Airmen shall treat it with respect similar to that shown to the highest military and public officials. Several laws, practices, and traditions are associated with the flag. The Title 4 United States Code, Flag and Seal, Seat of Government, and the States; Title 10 United States Code, Armed Forces; and Title 36 United States Code, Patriotic and National Observances, Ceremonies, and Organizations, pertain proper display and respect for the flag.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.10. Showing Respect for the Flag

The United States flag is one of the most enduring and sacred symbols of our country. It represents the principles and ideals Airmen have pledged to defend, and for which many have made the ultimate sacrifice. Airmen shall treat it with respect similar to that shown to the highest military and public officials. Several laws, practices, and traditions are associated with the flag. The Title 4 United States Code, Flag and Seal, Seat of Government, and the States; Title 10 United States Code, Armed Forces; and Title 36 United States Code, Patriotic and National Observances, Ceremonies, and Organizations, pertain proper display and respect for the flag.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.11. History of United States Flag

There is no official meaning for the folds of the flag, and according to AFI 34-1201, Protocol, there is no official flag folding script. Although various national interest groups hold flag folding ceremonies, they are not official. A narrative is provided in Figure 23.1. to highlight significant historical information regarding the United States flag. It is not for official ceremonial use.

Figure 23.1. U.S. Flag.

For more than 200 years, the American flag has been the symbol of our Nation's unity, as well as a source of pride and inspiration for millions of citizens. Born on June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress determined that the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternating between seven red and six white; and that the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation.

Between 1777 and 1960, the shape and design of the flag evolved into the flag presented before you today. The 13 horizontal stripes represent the original 13 colonies, while the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well; red symbolizes hardiness and valor; white signifies purity and innocence; and blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice. Traditionally, a symbol of liberty, the American flag has carried the message of freedom, and inspired Americans, both at home and abroad.

In 1814, Francis Scott Key was so moved at seeing the Stars and Stripes waving after the British shelling of Baltimore's Fort McHenry that he wrote the words to The Star-Spangled Banner. In 1892 the flag inspired Francis Bellamy to write the "Pledge of Allegiance," our most famous flag salute and patriotic oath. In July 1969 the American flag was flown in space when Neil Armstrong planted it on the surface of the moon.

Today, our flag flies on constellations of Air Force satellites that circle our globe, and on the fin flash of our aircraft in harm's way in every corner of the world. Indeed, it flies in the heart of every Airman who serves our great Nation. The sun never sets on our U.S. Air Force, nor on the flag we so proudly cherish. Since 1776, no generation of Americans has been spared the responsibility of defending freedom... Today's Airmen remain committed to preserving the freedom that others won for us for generations to come.

By displaying the flag and giving it a distinctive fold, we show respect to the flag and express our gratitude to those individuals who fought, and continue to fight for freedom, at home and abroad. Since the dawn of the 20th century, Airmen have proudly flown the flag in every major conflict, on lands and skies around the world. It is their responsibility...our responsibility...to continue to protect and preserve the rights, privileges, and freedoms we, as Americans, enjoy today.

The United States flag represents who we are. It stands for the freedom we all share and the pride and patriotism we feel for our country. We cherish its legacy as a beacon of hope to one and all. Long may it wave.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.11. History of United States Flag

There is no official meaning for the folds of the flag, and according to AFI 34-1201, Protocol, there is no official flag folding script. Although various national interest groups hold flag folding ceremonies, they are not official. A narrative is provided in Figure 24.1. to highlight significant historical information regarding the United States flag. It is not for official ceremonial use.

Figure 24.1. U.S. Flag.

For more than 200 years, the American flag has been the symbol of our Nation's unity, as well as a source of pride and inspiration for millions of citizens. Born on June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress determined that the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternating between seven red and six white; and that the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation.

Between 1777 and 1960, the shape and design of the flag evolved into the flag presented before you today. The 13 horizontal stripes represent the original 13 colonies, while the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well; red symbolizes hardiness and valor; white signifies purity and innocence; and blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice. Traditionally, a symbol of liberty, the American flag has carried the message of freedom, and inspired Americans, both at home and abroad.

In 1814, Francis Scott Key was so moved at seeing the Stars and Stripes waving after the British shelling of Baltimore's Fort McHenry that he wrote the words to The Star-Spangled Banner. In 1892 the flag inspired Francis Bellamy to write the "Pledge of Allegiance," our most famous flag salute and patriotic oath. In July 1969 the American flag was flown in space when Neil Armstrong planted it on the surface of the moon.

Today, our flag flies on constellations of Air Force satellites that circle our globe, and on the fin flash of our aircraft in harm's way in every corner of the world. Indeed, it flies in the heart of every Airman who serves our great Nation. The sun never sets on our U.S. Air Force, nor on the flag we so proudly cherish. Since 1776, no generation of Americans has been spared the responsibility of defending freedom... Today's Airmen remain committed to preserving the freedom that others won for us for generations to come.

By displaying the flag and giving it a distinctive fold, we show respect to the flag and express our gratitude to those individuals who fought, and continue to fight for freedom, at home and abroad. Since the dawn of the 20th century, Airmen have proudly flown the flag in every major conflict, on lands and skies around the world. It is their responsibility...our responsibility...to continue to protect and preserve the rights, privileges, and freedoms we, as Americans, enjoy today.

The United States flag represents who we are. It stands for the freedom we all share and the pride and patriotism we feel for our country. We cherish its legacy as a beacon of hope to one and all. Long may it wave.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.12. Types of Flags

There are specific sizes, types, and occasions for proper display of the United States flag. Understanding the significance of each of these types of flags will ensure its proper display.

Installation Flag. The installation flag is lightweight nylon bunting material, 8 feet 11 3/8 inches by 17 feet, and is only displayed in fair weather from an installation flagstaff. This is the typical flag used at Air Force installations.

All-Purpose Flag. The all-purpose flag is made of rayon bunting material, 3 feet by 4 feet. This size can be used for outdoor display with flags of friendly foreign nations, in arrival ceremonies for international dignitaries, or to indicate joint occupancy of a building by two or more countries.

All-Purpose (All-Weather) Storm Flag. The all-purpose, all-weather storm flag is a lightweight nylon bunting material, 5 feet by 9 feet 6 inches. Use this size as an alternate for the installation flag in inclement weather.

Ceremonial Flag. The ceremonial flag is rayon or synthetic substitute material, 4 feet 4 inches by 5 feet 6 inches, trimmed on three edges with yellow rayon fringe 2 inches wide.

Organizational Flag. The organizational flag is rayon or synthetic substitute material and is 3 feet by 4 feet. This flag is trimmed on three edges with rayon fringe 2 inches wide.

Retirement Flag. The retirement flag may be either 3 feet by 4 feet or 3 feet by 5 feet. Members retiring from the Air Force are entitled to presentation of a United States flag. For details, refer to AFI 65-601, Volume 1, Budget Guidance and Procedures, on using Organization & Maintenance funds for this purchase.

Garrison Flag. The garrison flag is 20 feet by 38 feet. This flag is flown on holidays and special occasions and can be substituted with the installation flag.

Interment Flag. The interment flag is 5 feet by 9 feet 6 inches of any approved material. The interment flag is authorized for deceased military personnel and for deceased veterans. This is the size flag used to drape over a closed casket.

Note: To receive an interment flag from the Department of Veterans Affairs, fill out VA Form 27- 2008, Application for U.S. Flag for Burial Purposes. The form is available online at: http://www.cem.va.gov/burial_benefits/burial_flags.asp.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.12. Types of Flags

There are specific sizes, types, and occasions for proper display of the United States flag. Understanding the significance of each of these types of flags will ensure its proper display.

Installation Flag. The installation flag is lightweight nylon bunting material, 8 feet 11 3/8 inches by 17 feet, and is only displayed in fair weather from an installation flagstaff. This is the typical flag used at Air Force installations.

All-Purpose Flag. The all-purpose flag is made of rayon bunting material, 3 feet by 4 feet. This size can be used for outdoor display with flags of friendly foreign nations, in arrival ceremonies for international dignitaries, or to indicate joint occupancy of a building by two or more countries.

All-Purpose (All-Weather) Storm Flag. The all-purpose, all-weather storm flag is a lightweight nylon bunting material, 5 feet by 9 feet 6 inches. Use this size as an alternate for the installation flag in inclement weather.

Ceremonial Flag. The ceremonial flag is rayon or synthetic substitute material, 4 feet 4 inches by 5 feet 6 inches, trimmed on three edges with yellow rayon fringe 2 inches wide.

Organizational Flag. The organizational flag is rayon or synthetic substitute material and is 3 feet by 4 feet. This flag is trimmed on three edges with rayon fringe 2 inches wide.

Retirement Flag. The retirement flag may be either 3 feet by 4 feet or 3 feet by 5 feet. Members retiring from the Air Force are entitled to presentation of a United States flag. For details, refer to AFI 65-601, Volume 1, Budget Guidance and Procedures, on using Organization & Maintenance funds for this purchase.

Garrison Flag. The garrison flag is 20 feet by 38 feet. This flag is flown on holidays and special occasions and can be substituted with the installation flag.

Interment Flag. The interment flag is 5 feet by 9 feet 6 inches of any approved material. The interment flag is authorized for deceased military personnel and for deceased veterans. This is the size flag used to drape over a closed casket.

Note: To receive an interment flag from the Department of Veterans Affairs, fill out VA Form 27-2008, Application for U.S. Flag for Burial Purposes. The form is available online at: http://www.cem.va.gov/burial_benefits/burial_flags.asp.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.13. Display of the United States Flag

Sunrise to Sunset. The universal custom is to display the United States flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness. All other flags should also be illuminated when displayed with the United States flag.

Locations. Air Force installations are authorized to fly one installation flag from reveille to retreat, normally on a flagstaff placed in front of the installation headquarters, and additional flagstaffs and flags are authorized adjacent to each dependent school on the installation. The flag should be displayed daily on or near the main administration building of every public institution; it should also be displayed during school days in or near every schoolhouse.

Holidays. The United States flag should be displayed on all days as may be proclaimed by the U.S. President, the birthdays of states (date of admission), and on state holidays. It should also be displayed on the following national holidays.

New Year's Day
Inauguration Day
Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday
Lincoln's Birthday
Washington's Birthday
Easter Sunday (variable)
Mother's Day
Armed Forces Day
Memorial Day (half-staff until noon)
Flag Day
Juneteenth

Father's Day
Independence Day
Nat'l Korean War Veterans Armistice Day
Labor Day
Constitution Day
Columbus Day
Navy Day
Veterans Day
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Day

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.13. Display of the United States Flag

Sunrise to Sunset. The universal custom is to display the United States flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness. All other flags should also be illuminated when displayed with the United States flag.

Locations. Air Force installations are authorized to fly one installation flag from reveille to retreat, normally on a flagstaff placed in front of the installation headquarters, and additional flagstaffs and flags are authorized adjacent to each dependent school on the installation. The flag should be displayed daily on or near the main administration building of every public institution; it should also be displayed during school days in or near every schoolhouse.

Holidays. The United States flag should be displayed on all days as may be proclaimed by the U.S. President, the birthdays of states (date of admission), and on state holidays. It should also be displayed on the following national holidays.

New Year's Day
Inauguration Day
Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday
Lincoln's Birthday
Washington's Birthday
Easter Sunday (variable)
Mother's Day
Armed Forces Day
Memorial Day (half-staff until noon)
Flag Day

Father's Day
Independence Day
Nat'l Korean War Veterans Armistice Day
Labor Day
Constitution Day
Columbus Day
Navy Day
Veterans Day
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Day

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.14. Position and Manner of Display

The United States flag is always displayed on a stage or in a parade on its own right. In other words, for an audience looking at a stage, the flag is on the audience's left. When displaying the flag, the union (the white stars on the blue field) is displayed at the uppermost, right side of the flag itself. Figure 23.2. is provided as an example for proper display of the United States flag in various situations and configurations.

Carried in Procession with Another Flag. As a rule of thumb, when the United States flag is displayed or carried in a procession with another flag or flags, it should be either on the right of all others, or in front of and centered ahead of other flags, if there is a line of other flags in the same procession.

Displayed with Crossed Staffs. When the United States flag is displayed with another flag against a wall from crossed staffs, it should be on the right, the flag's own right (the observer's left), and the staff should be in front of the staff of the other flag.

Radiating from a Central Point. When the United States flag is flown with a number of flags displayed from staffs radiating from a central point, and no foreign flags are in the display, the United States flag will be in the center and at the highest point of the group.

Projecting from a Building. When the United States flag is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from the windowsill, balcony, or front of a building, the union of the flag should be placed at the peak of the staff.

In a Row or Line with Equal Height. When the United States flag is flown with a number of flags displayed from staffs set in a line, all staffs will be of the same height and same finial. The United States flag will be on the right side of the group (the observer's left).

In a Row or Line with Elevated Height. When no foreign national flags are involved in the display, the United States flag may be placed at the center of the line and displayed at a higher level than the other flags in the display.

Displayed with One or More Nations. When the United States flag is displayed with one or more other nations, they are flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of equal size. In most cases, member country flags are displayed in a line, alphabetically, with the United States flag at its own right (the observer's left).

Displayed on a Staff near a Speaker's Platform. When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium, the United States flag should hold the position of superior prominence and the position of honor at the clergyman's or speaker's right as he or she faces the audience. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker, or to the right of the audience.

Displayed Vertically. When displayed from a building, a window, or over the middle of a street, the United States flag should be suspended vertically with the union to the uppermost and the flag's own right, that is, to the observer's left (north on an east and west street, or east on a north and south street). This also applies when the flag is suspended from the main entrance of a buildingor hangar.

Displayed Horizontally. When displayed horizontally against a wall or when displayed behind a speaker's platform, the union of the United States flag should be uppermost and to the flag's own right (the observer's left). When displayed in a window, the flag should be displayed in the same way, with the union to the observer's left.

Displayed on a Closed Casket. On a closed casket, place the United States flag lengthwise with the union at the head and over the left shoulder of the deceased. Do not lower the flag into the grave, and do not allow the flag to touch the ground. The interment flag may be given to the next of kin at the conclusion of the interment.

Displayed at Half-Staff. The term "half-staff" means the position of the United States flag when it is one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff. All flags displayed with the United States flag are flown at half-staff when the United States flag is flown at half-staff, with the exception of foreign national flags, unless the foreign country has granted permission for their flag to also be at half-staff. Within the Air Force, the installation commander may direct that the United States flag be flown at half-staff on occasions when it is considered proper and appropriate. When flown at half-staff, the flag shall be first hoisted to the peak for an instant, and then lowered to the half-staff. The flag should be raised to the peak position before lowering at the end of the day.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.14. Position and Manner of Display

The United States flag is always displayed on a stage or in a parade on its own right. In other words, for an audience looking at a stage, the flag is on the audience's left. When displaying the flag, the union (the white stars on the blue field) is displayed at the uppermost, right side of the flag itself. Figure 24.2. is provided as an example for proper display of the United States flag in various situations and configurations.

Carried in Procession with Another Flag. As a rule of thumb, when the United States flag is displayed or carried in a procession with another flag or flags, it should be either on the right of all others, or in front of and centered ahead of other flags, if there is a line of other flags in the same procession.

Displayed with Crossed Staffs. When the United States flag is displayed with another flag against a wall from crossed staffs, it should be on the right, the flag's own right (the observer's left), and the staff should be in front of the staff of the other flag.

Radiating from a Central Point. When the United States flag is flown with a number of flags displayed from staffs radiating from a central point, and no foreign flags are in the display, the United States flag will be in the center and at the highest point of the group.

Projecting from a Building. When the United States flag is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from the windowsill, balcony, or front of a building, the union of the flag should be placed at the peak of the staff.

In a Row or Line with Equal Height. When the United States flag is flown with a number of flags displayed from staffs set in a line, all staffs will be of the same height and same finial. The United States flag will be on the right side of the group (the observer's left).

In a Row or Line with Elevated Height. When no foreign national flags are involved in the display, the United States flag may be placed at the center of the line and displayed at a higher level than the other flags in the display.

Displayed with One or More Nations. When the United States flag is displayed with one or more other nations, they are flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of equal size. In most cases, member country flags are displayed in a line, alphabetically, with the United States flag at its own right (the observer's left).

Displayed on a Staff near a Speaker's Platform. When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium, the United States flag should hold the position of superior prominence and the position of honor at the clergyman's or speaker's right as he or she faces the audience. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker, or to the right of the audience.

Displayed Vertically. When displayed from a building, a window, or over the middle of a street, the United States flag should be suspended vertically with the union to the uppermost and the flag's own right, that is, to the observer's left (north on an east and west street, or east on a north and south street). This also applies when the flag is suspended from the main entrance of a building or hangar.

Displayed Horizontally. When displayed horizontally against a wall or when displayed behind a speaker's platform, the union of the United States flag should be uppermost and to the flag's own right (the observer's left). When displayed in a window, the flag should be displayed in the same way, with the union to the observer's left.

Displayed on a Closed Casket. On a closed casket, place the United States flag lengthwise with the union at the head and over the left shoulder of the deceased. Do not lower the flag into the grave, and do not allow the flag to touch the ground. The interment flag may be given to the next of kin at the conclusion of the interment.

Displayed at Half-Staff. The term "half-staff" means the position of the United States flag when it is one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff. All flags displayed with the United States flag are flown at half-staff when the United States flag is flown at half-staff, with the exception of foreign national flags, unless the foreign country has granted permission for their flag to also be at half-staff. Within the Air Force, the installation commander may direct that the United States flag be flown at half-staff on occasions when it is considered proper and appropriate. When flown at half-staff, the flag shall be first hoisted to the peak for an instant, and then lowered to the half-staff. The flag should be raised to the peak position before lowering at the end of the day.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.15. Care and Respect for the United States Flag

Some acts for showing proper respect for the United States flag include:

- When in uniform, salute the United States flag six paces before it passes in a procession or parade and hold the salute until it has passed six paces.

- Regimental colors, state flags, and organizational or institutional flags are always dipped as a mark of respect to the United States flag. The Air Force flag and organizational flags may be dipped as appropriate. The United States flag will not be dipped to any person or thing, and at no time will a foreign national flag be dipped.

- The United States flag should never be displayed with union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.

- The United States flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, floor, water, or merchandise. The United States flag should never be used to cover for a statue or monument.

- The United States flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.

- The United States flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. The United States flag should never be festooned, drawn back or up, or in folds, but always allowed to fall freely.

- The United States flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged.

- The United States flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.

- The United States flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

- The United States flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

- The United States flag should never be used for advertising purposes. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the United States flag is flown.

- The United States flag should never be printed or embroidered on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, paper napkins, boxes, or anything that is designed for temporary use.

- The United States flag should not be displayed on a float in a parade, except from a staff.

- The United States flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle, railroad train, or boat.

- No part of the United States flag should be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a United States flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations.

- A United States flag lapel pin, being a replica of the flag, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.

- No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right (observer's left) of the United States flag, except during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel of the Navy.

- Exercise extreme care to ensure proper handling and cleaning of soiled flags. When the United States flag is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, it should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning. There may be instances when a flag is retired from service and preserved because of its historical significance. Disposition instructions should be obtained from the proper authority, such as the installation honor guard or protocol office.

- A folded flag is considered cased; therefore, a salute is not necessary.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.15. Care and Respect for the United States Flag

Some acts for showing proper respect for the United States flag include:

- When in uniform, salute the United States flag six paces before it passes in a procession or parade and hold the salute until it has passed six paces.

- Regimental colors, state flags, and organizational or institutional flags are always dipped as a mark of respect to the United States flag. The Air Force flag and organizational flags may be dipped as appropriate. The United States flag will not be dipped to any person or thing, and at no time will a foreign national flag be dipped.

- The United States flag should never be displayed with union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.

- The United States flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, floor, water, or merchandise. The United States flag should never be used to cover for a statue or monument.

- The United States flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.

- The United States flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. The United States flag should never be festooned, drawn back or up, or in folds, but always allowed to fall freely.

- The United States flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged.

- The United States flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.

- The United States flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

- The United States flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

- The United States flag should never be used for advertising purposes. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the United States flag is flown.

- The United States flag should never be printed or embroidered on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, paper napkins, boxes, or anything that is designed for temporary use.

- The United States flag should not be displayed on a float in a parade, except from a staff.

- The United States flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle, railroad train, or boat.

- No part of the United States flag should be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a United States flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations.

- A United States flag lapel pin, being a replica of the flag, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.

- No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right (observer's left) of the United States flag, except during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel of the Navy.

- Exercise extreme care to ensure proper handling and cleaning of soiled flags. When the United States flag is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, it should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning. There may be instances when a flag is retired from service and preserved because of its historical significance. Disposition instructions should be obtained from the proper authority, such as the installation honor guard or protocol office.

- A folded flag is considered cased; therefore, a salute is not necessary.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.16. Service Flags

In accordance with Title 10 United States Code, Armed Forces, service flags will be displayed by order of service date, with the most senior service flags being given the position of honor on the far right. Service flags will be displayed in the following order of precedence from their own right or the observer's left: U.S. Army (11 July 1775), U.S. Marine (10 November 1775), U.S. Navy (13 October 1775), U.S. Air Force (18 September 1947), U.S. Coast Guard (4 August 1790), and U.S. Space Force (20 December 2019).

Following the service flags, the order of precedence of flags is as follows: North American Aerospace Defense, U.S. Space Command, major commands (in alphabetical order), field operating agencies, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, direct reporting units, Numbered Air Forces and wings (in descending order), and personal/position (using branch appropriate flags).

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.16. Service Flags

In accordance with Title 10 United States Code, Armed Forces, service flags will be displayed by order of service date, with the most senior service flags being given the position of honor on the far right. Service flags will be displayed in the following order of precedence from their own right or the observer's left: U.S. Army (11 July 1775), U.S. Marine (10 November 1775), U.S. Navy (13 October 1775), U.S. Air Force (18 September 1947), and U.S. Coast Guard (4 August 1790).

Following the service flags, the order of precedence of flags is as follows: North American Aerospace Defense, U.S. Space Command, major commands (in alphabetical order), field operating agencies, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, direct reporting units, Numbered Air Forces and wings (in descending order), and personal/position (using branch appropriate flags).




Section 23C, Respect for Individuals


Paragraph 23.17. Showing Respect for Individuals: no change

Paragraph 23.18. Position of Honor: no change

Paragraph 23.19. Ranks, Titles, and Terms of Address: the term, Senior, was added as a term of address

Paragraph 23.20. Rendering the Salute: no change



2021 E6 Study Guide

23.17. Showing Respect for Individuals

Respect, consideration, manners, common sense, and politeness are all ways of demonstrating common acts of courtesy. Common acts of courtesy that contribute to a positive, professional working environment include simple things like saying "please" and "thank you" and respecting other people's time. When in the workplace, being helpful, taking and delivering messages, and offering assistance when possible, are demonstrations of consideration for others. All Air Force personnel should demonstrate common acts of courtesy while on- and off-duty.

Distinguished Visitors. Certain individuals who are considered distinguished visitors (DV) are often afforded particular courtesies as a matter of respect, as well as tradition. A DV may be defined as any: (1) General or Flag Officer; (2) government official with rank equivalent to a Brigadier General or higher; (3) foreign military officer or civilian designated a DV by the Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs; or (4) visitor or group designated by the commander. Persons in certain positions may be given DV status as designated by the commander.

A DV visit is an important event and should be given close attention to detail Review AFI 34- 1201, Protocol, and AFPAM 34-1202, Guide to Protocol, and contact the installation protocol office for further guidance on responsibilities and proper procedures for DVs.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.17. Showing Respect for Individuals

Respect, consideration, manners, common sense, and politeness are all ways of demonstrating common acts of courtesy. Common acts of courtesy that contribute to a positive, professional working environment include simple things like saying "please" and "thank you" and respecting other people's time. When in the workplace, being helpful, taking and delivering messages, and offering assistance when possible, are demonstrations of consideration for others. All Air Force personnel should demonstrate common acts of courtesy while on- and off-duty.

Distinguished Visitors. Certain individuals who are considered distinguished visitors (DV) are often afforded particular courtesies as a matter of respect, as well as tradition. A DV may be defined as any: (1) General or Flag Officer; (2) government official with rank equivalent to a Brigadier General or higher; (3) foreign military officer or civilian designated a DV by the Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs; or (4) visitor or group designated by the commander. Persons in certain positions may be given DV status as designated by the commander. A DV visit is an important event and should be given close attention to detail Review AFI 34-1201, Protocol, and AFPAM 34-1202, Guide to Protocol, and contact the installation protocol office for further guidance on responsibilities and proper procedures for DVs.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.18. Position of Honor

Junior personnel shall employ a courteous and respectful bearing toward senior personnel. Give the senior person, enlisted or commissioned, the position of honor on the right when walking, riding, or sitting. The junior person takes the position to the senior's left.

Entering or Exiting an Area. Unless told otherwise or impractical, rise and stand at attention when a senior official enters or departs a room. If more than one person is present, the person who first sees the officer calls the area to attention. An exception to this is when an officer is already in the room who is equal to or has a higher rank than the officer entering the room. In that case, do not call the room to attention.

Entering or Exiting Vehicles. Military personnel enter automobiles and small boats in reverse order of rank. Juniors will enter a vehicle first and take their appropriate seat on the senior's left. The senior officer will be the last to enter the vehicle and the first to exit.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.18. Position of Honor

Junior personnel shall employ a courteous and respectful bearing toward senior personnel. Give the senior person, enlisted or commissioned, the position of honor on the right when walking, riding, or sitting. The junior person takes the position to the senior's left.

Entering or Exiting an Area. Unless told otherwise or impractical, rise and stand at attention when a senior official enters or departs a room. If more than one person is present, the person who first sees the officer calls the area to attention. An exception to this is when an officer is already in the room who is equal to or has a higher rank than the officer entering the room. In that case, do not call the room to attention.

Entering or Exiting Vehicles. Military personnel enter automobiles and small boats in reverse order of rank. Juniors will enter a vehicle first and take their appropriate seat on the senior's left. The senior officer will be the last to enter the vehicle and the first to exit.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.19. Ranks, Titles, and Terms of Address

Military personnel are addressed by the rank associated with their grade or title. While all Air Force personnel are Airmen, it is appropriate to address officers by their grade, such as Lieutenant Colonel, and enlisted members by their grade, such as Master Sergeant. It is also acceptable to address enlisted members relative to their tier, such as Airman, Sergeant, Senior, Chief, as appropriate. Air Force members may also be addressed as "Sir" or "Ma'am." Chaplains may be addressed as Chaplain or by their ecclesiastical title.

Respect for Civilians. Civilians and civil service employees should be addressed appropriately as "Mr," "Mrs," "Miss," or "Ms," and their last name. Also, using "Sir" or "Ma'am" is appropriate.

Respect for Retirees. Retirees are entitled to the same respect and courtesies as active military members. They will be addressed by their retired grade on all official records and official correspondence, except for correspondence and other matters relating to a retiree's civilian employment. Refer to AFI 36-3106, Retiree Activities Program, for additional details.

Respect for Uniformed Forces and Other Services. Extend military courtesies to members Uniformed Forces, other services, and friendly foreign nations. Pay the same respect to the national anthems and flags of other nations as rendered the United States national anthem and flag. While not necessary to learn the identifying insignia of the military grades of all nations, you should learn the ranks, grades, and insignia of the most frequently contacted nations, particularly during an overseas assignment or deployment.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.19. Ranks, Titles, and Terms of Address

Military personnel are addressed by the rank associated with their grade or title. While all Air Force personnel are Airmen, it is appropriate to address officers by their grade, such as Lieutenant Colonel, and enlisted members by their grade, such as Master Sergeant. It is also acceptable to address enlisted members relative to their tier, such as Airman, Sergeant, Chief, as appropriate. Air Force members may also be addressed as "Sir" or "Ma'am." Chaplains may be addressed as Chaplain or by their ecclesiastical title.

Respect for Civilians. Civilians and civil service employees should be addressed appropriately as "Mr," "Mrs," "Miss," or "Ms," and their last name. Also, using "Sir" or "Ma'am" is appropriate.

Respect for Retirees. Retirees are entitled to the same respect and courtesies as active military members. They will be addressed by their retired grade on all official records and official correspondence, except for correspondence and other matters relating to a retiree's civilian employment. Refer to AFI 36-3106, Retiree Activities Program, for additional details.

Respect for Uniformed Forces and Other Services. Extend military courtesies to members Uniformed Forces, other services, and friendly foreign nations. Pay the same respect to the national anthems and flags of other nations as rendered the United States national anthem and flag. While not necessary to learn the identifying insignia of the military grades of all nations, you should learn the ranks, grades, and insignia of the most frequently contacted nations, particularly during an overseas assignment or deployment.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.20. Rendering the Salute

Saluting is a courtesy exchanged between members of the U.S. Armed Forces as both a greeting and a symbol of mutual respect. The salute is an expression of recognition for one another as members of the profession of arms; representing a personal commitment of self-sacrifice to preserve the American way of life. Salutes are appropriate to the U.S. President, Vice President, Secretary of Defense, Service Secretaries, all superior commissioned and warrant officers, all Medal of Honor recipients, and superior officers of friendly foreign nations. A salute is also rendered as a sign of respect to the United States flag and during official ceremonies, as covered in this chapter.

Saluting Uniformed Forces and Other Services. Salutes will be exchanged between officers (commissioned and warrant), and enlisted personnel of the U.S. Armed Forces. Salutes will also be exchanged between U.S. Armed Forces personnel and the Uniformed Services of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Public Health Service, as appropriate.

Saluting Protocol. When a salute is exchanged among individuals, the junior member always salutes the senior member first. The junior member should initiate the salute in time to allow the senior officer to return it. To prescribe an exact distance for all circumstances is not practical; however, good judgment should dictate when salutes are exchanged. While any Airman (enlisted or officer) recognizing a need to salute or a need to return a salute may do so anywhere at any time, there are circumstances when saluting may or may not be practical or warranted.

Indoors. Salutes are not rendered indoors, except for formal reporting. When reporting to an officer indoors, knock once, enter when told to do so, march to approximately two paces from the officer or desk, halt, salute, and report, "Sir (Ma'am), (rank and last name) reports as ordered," or "Sir (Ma'am), (rank and last name) reports." When the conversation is completed, execute a sharp salute, hold the salute until the officer acknowledges the salute, perform the appropriate facing movement, and depart.

Outdoors. When outdoors (outside of a building, on a porch, a covered sidewalk, an entryway, a reviewing stand, or at a bus stop) the salute will be exchanged. This applies both on and off military installations.

When Carrying Items. Individuals carrying articles in both hands (unable to be transferred to the left hand) need not initiate or return the salute when impractical, but should nod or offer a verbal greeting, acknowledging the appropriateness of a salute.

In Formation. When in formation, members do not salute or return a salute unless given the command to do so. The person in charge of the formation salutes and acknowledges salutes for those in the formation.

In a Work Detail. When in a work detail, individual workers do not salute. The person in charge of the detail salutes for those in the detail.

In Groups. When in groups, when a senior officer approaches, the first individual noticing the officer calls the group to attention. All members face the officer and salute. If the officer addresses an individual or the group, all remain at attention (unless otherwise ordered) until the end of the conversation, at which time they salute the officer.

Public Gatherings. When attending public gatherings, such as sporting events, meetings, or when a salute would be inappropriate or impractical, salutes between individuals are not required.

In Vehicles. Exchange of salutes between members in moving military vehicles is not mandatory. For pedestrians, when officer passengers are readily identifiable (for example, officers in appropriately marked staff vehicles), the salute must be rendered. This includes the U.S. President, the Vice President, Secretary of Defense, Service Secretaries, and senior officers in vehicles when distinguished by vehicle plates and/or flags.

In Civilian Attire. Persons in uniform may salute civilians or senior military members in civilian clothes upon recognition.

At "No Salute" Areas. Saluting is not required in areas designated as "no salute" areas.

In Physical Training Gear. Saluting individuals due to rank recognition is not required when wearing the physical training gear, but may be expected during specified academic training environments. When outdoors in physical training gear, Airmen are required to salute during reveille and retreat.

At Military Funerals / Memorials. When at a military funeral or memorial in uniform, salute the caisson or hearse as it passes and the casket as it is carried past. Also, salute during the firing of volleys and the playing of Taps.

Note: Many installations across the Air Force play Taps to signify "lights out" at the end of the day. For these purposes, the salute is not required.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.20. Rendering the Salute

Saluting is a courtesy exchanged between members of the U.S. Armed Forces as both a greeting and a symbol of mutual respect. The salute is an expression of recognition for one another as members of the profession of arms; representing a personal commitment of self-sacrifice to preserve the American way of life. Salutes are appropriate to the U.S. President, Vice President, Secretary of Defense, Service Secretaries, all superior commissioned and warrant officers, all Medal of Honor recipients, and superior officers of friendly foreign nations. A salute is also rendered as a sign of respect to the United States flag and during official ceremonies, as covered in this chapter.

Saluting Uniformed Forces and Other Services. Salutes will be exchanged between officers (commissioned and warrant), and enlisted personnel of the U.S. Armed Forces. Salutes will also be exchanged between U.S. Armed Forces personnel and the Uniformed Services of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Public Health Service, as appropriate.

Saluting Protocol. When a salute is exchanged among individuals, the junior member always salutes the senior member first. The junior member should initiate the salute in time to allow the senior officer to return it. To prescribe an exact distance for all circumstances is not practical; however, good judgment should dictate when salutes are exchanged. While any Airman (enlisted or officer) recognizing a need to salute or a need to return a salute may do so anywhere at any time, there are circumstances when saluting may or may not be practical or warranted.

Indoors. Salutes are not rendered indoors, except for formal reporting. When reporting to an officer indoors, knock once, enter when told to do so, march to approximately two paces from the officer or desk, halt, salute, and report, "Sir (Ma'am), (rank and last name) reports as ordered," or "Sir (Ma'am), (rank and last name) reports." When the conversation is completed, execute a sharp salute, hold the salute until the officer acknowledges the salute, perform the appropriate facing movement, and depart.

Outdoors. When outdoors (outside of a building, on a porch, a covered sidewalk, an entryway, a reviewing stand, or at a bus stop) the salute will be exchanged. This applies both on and off military installations.

When Carrying Items. Individuals carrying articles in both hands (unable to be transferred to the left hand) need not initiate or return the salute when impractical, but should nod or offer a verbal greeting, acknowledging the appropriateness of a salute.

In Formation. When in formation, members do not salute or return a salute unless given the command to do so. The person in charge of the formation salutes and acknowledges salutes for those in the formation.

In a Work Detail. When in a work detail, individual workers do not salute. The person in charge of the detail salutes for those in the detail.

In Groups. When in groups, when a senior officer approaches, the first individual noticing the officer calls the group to attention. All members face the officer and salute. If the officer addresses an individual or the group, all remain at attention (unless otherwise ordered) until the end of the conversation, at which time they salute the officer.

Public Gatherings. When attending public gatherings, such as sporting events, meetings, or when a salute would be inappropriate or impractical, salutes between individuals are not required.

In Vehicles. Exchange of salutes between members in moving military vehicles is not mandatory. For pedestrians, when officer passengers are readily identifiable (for example, officers in appropriately marked staff vehicles), the salute must be rendered. This includes the U.S. President, the Vice President, Secretary of Defense, Service Secretaries, and senior officers in vehicles when distinguished by vehicle plates and/or flags.

In Civilian Attire. Persons in uniform may salute civilians or senior military members in civilian clothes upon recognition.

At "No Salute" Areas. Saluting is not required in areas designated as "no salute" areas.

In Physical Training Gear. Saluting individuals due to rank recognition is not required when wearing the physical training gear, but may be expected during specified academic training environments. When outdoors in physical training gear, Airmen are required to salute during reveille and retreat.

At Military Funerals / Memorials. When at a military funeral or memorial in uniform, salute the caisson or hearse as it passes and the casket as it is carried past. Also, salute during the firing of volleys and the playing of Taps.

Note: Many installations across the Air Force play Taps to signify "lights out" at the end of the day. For these purposes, the salute is not required.




Section 23D, Ceremonies and Events

Paragraph 23.21. Military Ceremonies: no change

Paragraph 23.22. Event Planning and Preparation: no change

Paragraph 23.23. Parades and HonorsArrivals or Departures: no change

Paragraph 23.24. Oaths: no change

Paragraph 23.25. Retirement Ceremony: no change

Paragraph 23.26. Reveille Ceremony: no change

Paragraph 23.27. Retreat Ceremony: no change

Paragraph 23.28. The Dining-In and Dining-Out: no change

Paragraph 23.29. The Order of the Sword Induction Ceremony: no change




2021 E6 Study Guide

23.21 Military Ceremonies

The Air Force has many different types of ceremonies that are unique customs of our military profession, many of them held in honor of significant events throughout a member's career. Official military ceremonies include: promotions, changes and assumptions of command, activations and in-activations, re-designations, enlistments and reenlistments, awards, decorations, arrivals, departures, reveille, retreat, building dedications, ribbon cuttings, retirements, and funerals. Some are very formal and elaborate, while others are quite simple and personal.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.21. Military Ceremonies

The Air Force has many different types of ceremonies that are unique customs of our military profession, many of them held in honor of significant events throughout a member's career. Official military ceremonies include: promotions, changes and assumptions of command, activations and in-activations, re-designations, enlistments and reenlistments, awards, decorations, arrivals, departures, reveille, retreat, building dedications, ribbon cuttings, retirements, and funerals. Some are very formal and elaborate, while others are quite simple and personal.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.22 Event Planning and Preparation

All events begin with planning. Consideration should always be given to the nature and sequence of the event, scheduling, guests, and budget. To give guests time to plan, aim at having details planned out at least three weeks in advance, or more. In such cases, planning committees will need to begin meeting and discussing details of the event far in advance of the invitations being sent out. This could mean, depending on the size and scope of the event, planning as early as several months to a year in advance. Because ceremonies are often steeped in tradition, there are almost always resources available for helping planners get started. Rather than starting from scratch, reach out to other organizations or review checklists from previous events to help get things started.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.22. Event Planning and Preparation

All events begin with planning. Consideration should always be given to the nature and sequence of the event, scheduling, guests, and budget. To give guests time to plan, aim at having details planned out at least three weeks in advance, or more. In such cases, planning committees will need to begin meeting and discussing details of the event far in advance of the invitations being sent out. This could mean, depending on the size and scope of the event, planning as early as several months to a year in advance. Because ceremonies are often steeped in tradition, there are almost always resources available for helping planners get started. Rather than starting from scratch, reach out to other organizations or review checklists from previous events to help get things started.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.23 Parades and Honors Arrivals or Departures

Ceremonies, such as parades, honor cordons, motorcades, and other ceremonies that involve large numbers of Airmen and resources, may be held when officials entitled to such honors visit military installations. Full honors are reserved for statutory appointees and General or Flag Officers, foreign dignitaries, and occasions when ceremonies promote international good will. The installation commander determines which types of honors are rendered.

Award Ceremony. An award ceremony affords an opportunity to recognize a member's accomplishments. The commander or other official determines whether to present an award at a formal ceremony or to present it informally. Many units present awards during commander's call. Because there are no specific guidelines for an award presentation, commanders and supervisors must ensure the presentation method reflects the significance of the award.

Decoration Ceremony. Decoration ceremonies formally recognize service members for meritorious service, outstanding achievement, or heroism. Formal and dignified decoration ceremonies preserve the integrity and value of decorations. When possible, commanders should personally present decorations. Regardless of where the presentation is conducted, the ceremony is conducted at the earliest possible date after approval of the decoration. All military participants and attendees should wear the uniform specified by the host.

Promotion Ceremony. Promotions are significant events in the lives of military people. Commanders and supervisors are responsible for ensuring their personnel receive proper recognition. Many of the guidelines for promotion ceremonies are the same as for decoration ceremonies. Because most promotions are effective the first day of the month, the promotion ceremony is customarily conducted on the last duty day before the promotion effective date. Some bases hold a base-wide promotion for all promotes, while other bases prefer to recognize promotes within their organizations.

Reenlistment Ceremony. Unit commanders will honor all reenlistees through a dignified reenlistment ceremony. Airmen may request any commissioned officer to perform the ceremony, and may invite guests. The member's immediate family should be invited to reinforce the recognition that when a member makes a commitment to the Air Force, the family is also making a commitment. The ceremony may be conducted in any place that lends dignity to the event. The United States flag has traditionally served, and should be used when available, as a backdrop for reenlistment ceremonies. Reenlistees and officers administering the oath must wear an authorized uniform for the ceremony, unless the officer performing the reenlistment is retired, then the uniform requirement for the reenlisting officer is optional. For additional information on reenlistments, refer to AFI 36-2606, Reenlistment and Extension of Enlistment in the United States Air Force.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.23. Parades and Honors Arrivals or Departures

Ceremonies, such as parades, honor cordons, motorcades, and other ceremonies that involve large numbers of Airmen and resources, may be held when officials entitled to such honors visit military installations. Full honors are reserved for statutory appointees and General or Flag Officers, foreign dignitaries, and occasions when ceremonies promote international good will. The installation commander determines which types of honors are rendered.

Award Ceremony. An award ceremony affords an opportunity to recognize a member's accomplishments. The commander or other official determines whether to present an award at a formal ceremony or to present it informally. Many units present awards during commander's call. Because there are no specific guidelines for an award presentation, commanders and supervisors must ensure the presentation method reflects the significance of the award.

Decoration Ceremony. Decoration ceremonies formally recognize service members for meritorious service, outstanding achievement, or heroism. Formal and dignified decoration ceremonies preserve the integrity and value of decorations. When possible, commanders should personally present decorations. Regardless of where the presentation is conducted, the ceremony is conducted at the earliest possible date after approval of the decoration. All military participants and attendees should wear the uniform specified by the host.

Promotion Ceremony. Promotions are significant events in the lives of military people. Commanders and supervisors are responsible for ensuring their personnel receive proper recognition. Many of the guidelines for promotion ceremonies are the same as for decoration ceremonies. Because most promotions are effective the first day of the month, the promotion ceremony is customarily conducted on the last duty day before the promotion effective date. Some bases hold a base-wide promotion for all promotes, while other bases prefer to recognize promotes within their organizations.

Reenlistment Ceremony. Unit commanders will honor all reenlistees through a dignified reenlistment ceremony. Airmen may request any commissioned officer to perform the ceremony, and may invite guests. The member's immediate family should be invited to reinforce the recognition that when a member makes a commitment to the Air Force, the family is also making a commitment. The ceremony may be conducted in any place that lends dignity to the event. The United States flag has traditionally served, and should be used when available, as a backdrop for reenlistment ceremonies. Reenlistees and officers administering the oath must wear an authorized uniform for the ceremony, unless the officer performing the reenlistment is retired, then the uniform requirement for the reenlisting officer is optional. For additional information on reenlistments, refer to AFI 36-2606, Reenlistment and Extension of Enlistment in the United States Air Force.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.24. Oaths

At the core of the ceremony is the oath. The oath is recited by the officer and repeated by the reenlistee. The reenlistee and the officer administering the oath must be physically collocated during the ceremony. The officer, enlisted, and civilian oaths are very similar, but vary to some degree. If desired, the words "so help me God" may be omitted.

Officer Oath

I (state your name), /// having been appointed a (rank), in the United States Air Force /// do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend /// the Constitution of the United States /// against all enemies, foreign and domestic, /// that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, /// that I take this obligation freely, /// without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, /// and that I will well and faithfully discharge /// the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter, /// so help me God.

Enlisted Oath

I (state your name), /// do solemnly swear (or affirm) /// that I will support and defend /// the Constitution of the United States /// against all enemies, foreign and domestic, /// that I will bear true faith /// and allegiance to the same, /// and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States /// and the orders of the officers appointed over me, /// according to regulations /// and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, /// so help me God.

Air National Guard Enlisted Oath

I do hereby acknowledge to have voluntarily enlisted this ____ day of _________, 20____, in the ____ National Guard of the State of _________ for a period of ____ year(s) under the conditions prescribed by law, unless sooner discharged by proper authority. I (state your name), /// do solemnly swear (or affirm) /// that I will support and defend /// the constitution of the United States /// and of the State of _________ /// against all enemies, foreign and domestic, /// that I will bear true faith /// and allegiance to them, /// and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States /// and the Governor of _________, /// and the orders of the officers appointed over me, /// according to law and regulations, /// so help me God.

Civilian Oath

I, (state your name), /// do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend /// the constitution of the United States /// against all enemies, foreign and domestic, /// that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, /// that I take this obligation freely, /// without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, /// and that I will well and faithfully discharge /// the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter, /// so help me God.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.24. Oaths

At the core of the ceremony is the oath. The oath is recited by the officer and repeated by the reenlistee. The reenlistee and the officer administering the oath must be physically collocated during the ceremony. The officer, enlisted, and civilian oaths are very similar, but vary to some degree. If desired, the words "so help me God" may be omitted.

Officer Oath

I (state your name), /// having been appointed a (rank), in the United States Air Force /// do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend /// the Constitution of the United States /// against all enemies, foreign and domestic, /// that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, /// that I take this obligation freely, /// without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, /// and that I will well and faithfully discharge /// the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter, /// so help me God.

Enlisted Oath

I (state your name), /// do solemnly swear (or affirm) /// that I will support and defend /// the Constitution of the United States /// against all enemies, foreign and domestic, /// that I will bear true faith /// and allegiance to the same, /// and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States /// and the orders of the officers appointed over me, /// according to regulations /// and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, /// so help me God.

Air National Guard Enlisted Oath

I do hereby acknowledge to have voluntarily enlisted this ____ day of _________, 20____, in the ____ National Guard of the State of _________ for a period of ____ year(s) under the conditions prescribed by law, unless sooner discharged by proper authority. I (state your name), /// do solemnly swear (or affirm) /// that I will support and defend /// the constitution of the United States /// and of the State of _________ /// against all enemies, foreign and domestic, /// that I will bear true faith /// and allegiance to them, /// and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States /// and the Governor of __________, /// and the orders of the officers appointed over me, /// according to law and regulations, /// so help me God.

Civilian Oath

I, (state your name), /// do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend /// the constitution of the United States /// against all enemies, foreign and domestic, /// that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, /// that I take this obligation freely, /// without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, /// and that I will well and faithfully discharge /// the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter, /// so help me God.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.25. Retirement Ceremony

Recognition upon retirement is a longstanding tradition of military service with a tangible expression of appreciation for contributions to the Air Force mission, and with the assurance of continuation as a part of the Air Force family in retirement. Commanders are responsible for ensuring members have a retirement ceremony to recognize their contributions. They must offer the retiring member the courtesy of a formal ceremony in keeping with the customs and traditions of the service, unless the member prefers otherwise. Family members and friends should be invited and encouraged to attend the ceremony. During the retirement ceremony, the member receives a certificate of retirement, a United States flag, the Air Force retired lapel button, various certificates and letters of appreciation, as well as appropriate awards, decorations, and honors. Spouses also receive special recognition at a member's retirement ceremony. Retirement ceremonies often combine official, long standing Air Force traditions with a member's desire to personalize the ceremony for family and invited guests. Anyone involved in planning a retirement should consult AFI 36-3203, Service Retirements, for complete details.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.25. Retirement Ceremony

Recognition upon retirement is a longstanding tradition of military service with a tangible expression of appreciation for contributions to the Air Force mission, and with the assurance of continuation as a part of the Air Force family in retirement. Commanders are responsible for ensuring members have a retirement ceremony to recognize their contributions. They must offer the retiring member the courtesy of a formal ceremony in keeping with the customs and traditions of the service, unless the member prefers otherwise. Family members and friends should be invited and encouraged to attend the ceremony. During the retirement ceremony, the member receives a certificate of retirement, a United States flag, the Air Force retired lapel button, various certificates and letters of appreciation, as well as appropriate awards, decorations, and honors. Spouses also receive special recognition at a member's retirement ceremony. Retirement ceremonies often combine official, long standing Air Force traditions with a member's desire to personalize the ceremony for family and invited guests. Anyone involved in planning a retirement should consult AFI 36-3203, Service Retirements, for complete details.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.26. Reveille Ceremony

The signal for the start of the official duty day is the playing of reveille. Because the time for the start of the duty day varies among different locations, the commander designates the specified time for reveille. If the commander desires, a reveille ceremony may accompany the raising of the flag. This ceremony takes place after sunrise near the base flagstaff. Shortly before the specified time, Airmen march to a pre-designated position near the base flagstaff, halt, face toward the flagstaff, and dress. The flag security detail arrives at the flagstaff at this time and remains at attention.

A typical reveille ceremony will involve the following commands and procedures:

- The unit commander (or senior participant) commands "Parade, REST."

- At the specified time, the unit commander commands "SOUND REVEILLE." The flag detail assumes the position of attention, moves to the flagstaff, and attaches the flag to the halyards.

- After reveille is played, the unit commander commands "Squadron, ATTENTION" and "Present, ARMS" and then faces the flagstaff and executes present arms. On this signal, the national anthem or To the Color is sounded.

- On the first note of the national anthem or To the Color, the flag security detail begins to raise the flag briskly. The senior member of the detail holds the flag to keep it from touching the ground.

- The unit commander holds the salute until the last note of the national anthem or To the Color is played, then executes order arms, faces about, and commands "Order, ARMS."

- The Airmen are then dismissed or marched to the dismissal area.

Raising the Flag. When practical, a detail consisting of one senior member and two junior members hoists the flag. The detail forms in line with the senior member carrying the flag in the center. The detail then marches to the flagstaff, halts, and attaches the flag to the halyards. The two junior members attend the halyards, taking a position facing the staff to hoist the flag without entangling the halyards. The flag is always raised and lowered from the leeward side of the flagstaff. The senior member continues to hold the flag, taking particular care that no portion of the flag touches the ground. When the flag is clear of the senior member's grasp, the senior member comes to attention and executes present arms. On the last note of the national anthem, To the Color, or after the flag has been hoisted to the staff head, all members of the detail execute order arms on command of the senior member. The halyards are then secured to the cleat of the staff or, if appropriate, the flag is lowered to half-staff before the halyards are secured. The detail is formed again and then marches to the dismissal area.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.26. Reveille Ceremony

The signal for the start of the official duty day is the playing of reveille. Because the time for the start of the duty day varies among different locations, the commander designates the specified time for reveille. If the commander desires, a reveille ceremony may accompany the raising of the flag. This ceremony takes place after sunrise near the base flagstaff. Shortly before the specified time, Airmen march to a pre-designated position near the base flagstaff, halt, face toward the flagstaff, and dress. The flag security detail arrives at the flagstaff at this time and remains at attention.

A typical reveille ceremony will involve the following commands and procedures:

- The unit commander (or senior participant) commands "Parade, REST."

- At the specified time, the unit commander commands "SOUND REVEILLE." The flag detail assumes the position of attention, moves to the flagstaff, and attaches the flag to the halyards.

- After reveille is played, the unit commander commands "Squadron, ATTENTION" and "Present, ARMS" and then faces the flagstaff and executes present arms. On this signal, the national anthem or To the Color is sounded.

- On the first note of the national anthem or To the Color, the flag security detail begins to raise the flag briskly. The senior member of the detail holds the flag to keep it from touching the ground.

- The unit commander holds the salute until the last note of the national anthem or To the Color is played, then executes order arms, faces about, and commands "Order, ARMS."

- The Airmen are then dismissed or marched to the dismissal area.

Raising the Flag. When practical, a detail consisting of one senior member and two junior members hoists the flag. The detail forms in line with the senior member carrying the flag in the center. The detail then marches to the flagstaff, halts, and attaches the flag to the halyards. The two junior members attend the halyards, taking a position facing the staff to hoist the flag without entangling the halyards. The flag is always raised and lowered from the leeward side of the flagstaff. The senior member continues to hold the flag, taking particular care that no portion of the flag touches the ground. When the flag is clear of the senior member's grasp, the senior member comes to attention and executes present arms. On the last note of the national anthem, To the Color, or after the flag has been hoisted to the staff head, all members of the detail execute order arms on command of the senior member. The halyards are then secured to the cleat of the staff or, if appropriate, the flag is lowered to half-staff before the halyards are secured. The detail is formed again and then marches to the dismissal area.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.27. Retreat Ceremony

The retreat ceremony serves a twofold purpose; it signals the end of the official duty day, and it serves as a ceremony for paying respect to the United States flag. Because the time for the end of the duty day varies among different locations, the commander designates the time for retreat ceremonies. The retreat ceremony may take place at the squadron area, on the base parade ground, or near the base flagstaff. If conducted at the base parade ground, retreat may be part of the parade ceremony. Shortly before the specified time for retreat, Airmen participating in the ceremony are positioned facing the flagstaff and dressed. If a band is present, the band precedes the Airmen participating in the ceremony. A typical reveille ceremony will involve the following commands and procedures:

- If the band and Airmen march to the flagstaff, a flag security detail also marches to the flagstaff and halts, and the senior member gives the command "Parade, REST" to the security detail.

- As soon as the Airmen are dressed, the commander commands "Parade, REST." The commander then faces the flagstaff, assumes parade rest, and waits for the specified time for retreat.

- At the specified time, the commander orders the bandleader to sound retreat by commanding "SOUND RETREAT."

- During the playing of retreat (either by a band or over a loud speaker), junior members of the flag security detail assume the position of attention and move to the flagstaff to arrange the halyards for proper lowering of the flag. Once the halyards are arranged, the junior members of the flag security detail execute parade rest in unison.

- After retreat has played, the commander faces about and commands "Squadron (Group, etc.), ATTENTION."

- The commander then commands "Present, ARMS." The members of the flag security detail and members in formation execute present arms on command of the commander. The commander faces to the front and also assumes present arms.

- The national anthem is played, or a bugler plays To the Color. The junior members of the flag security detail lower the flag slowly and with dignity.

- The commander executes order arms when the last note of the national anthem or To the Color is played and the flag is securely grasped. The commander faces about, gives the Airmen in formation the command of "Order, ARMS," and then faces to the front.

- The flag security detail folds the flag. The senior member of the detail remains at attention while the flag is folded unless needed to control the flag.

- When the flag is folded, the flag security detail, with the senior member on the right and the flag bearer in the center, marches to a position three paces from the commander (or officer of the day in an informal ceremony). The senior member salutes and reports "Sir (Ma'am), the flag is secured." The commander returns the salute, and the flag security detail marches away. The Airmen in formation are then marched to their areas and dismissed.

Note: Uniformed military members not assigned to a formation face the flag (if visible), or the music, and assume the position of parade rest on the first note of retreat. Upon completion of retreat, they should assume the position of attention and salute on the first note of the national anthem or To the Color.

Lowering the Flag. When practical, the detail lowering the flag should be one senior member and three junior members for the all-purpose flag, and one senior member and five junior members for the installation flag. The detail is formed and marched to the flagstaff. The halyards are detached and attended from the leeward side. On the first note of the national anthem or To the Color, the members of the detail not lowering the flag execute present arms. The lowering of the flag is coordinated with the playing of the music so the two are completed at the same time. The senior member commands the detail "Order, ARMS" when the flag is low enough to be received. If at half-staff, briskly hoist the flag to the staff head while retreat is sounded and then lower on the first note of the national anthem or To the Color. The flag is detached from the halyards and folded. The halyards are secured to the staff. The correct method for folding the United States flag can be found in AFI 34-1201.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.27. Retreat Ceremony

The retreat ceremony serves a twofold purpose; it signals the end of the official duty day, and it serves as a ceremony for paying respect to the United States flag. Because the time for the end of the duty day varies among different locations, the commander designates the time for retreat ceremonies. The retreat ceremony may take place at the squadron area, on the base parade ground, or near the base flagstaff. If conducted at the base parade ground, retreat may be part of the parade ceremony. Shortly before the specified time for retreat, Airmen participating in the ceremony are positioned facing the flagstaff and dressed. If a band is present, the band precedes the Airmen participating in the ceremony. A typical reveille ceremony will involve the following commands and procedures:

- If the band and Airmen march to the flagstaff, a flag security detail also marches to the flagstaff and halts, and the senior member gives the command "Parade, REST" to the security detail.

- As soon as the Airmen are dressed, the commander commands "Parade, REST." The commander then faces the flagstaff, assumes parade rest, and waits for the specified time for retreat.

- At the specified time, the commander orders the bandleader to sound retreat by commanding "SOUND RETREAT."

- During the playing of retreat (either by a band or over a loud speaker), junior members of the flag security detail assume the position of attention and move to the flagstaff to arrange the halyards for proper lowering of the flag. Once the halyards are arranged, the junior members of the flag security detail execute parade rest in unison.

- After retreat has played, the commander faces about and commands "Squadron (Group, etc.), ATTENTION."

- The commander then commands "Present, ARMS." The members of the flag security detail and members in formation execute present arms on command of the commander. The commander faces to the front and also assumes present arms.

- The national anthem is played, or a bugler plays To the Color. The junior members of the flag security detail lower the flag slowly and with dignity.

- The commander executes order arms when the last note of the national anthem or To the Color is played and the flag is securely grasped. The commander faces about, gives the Airmen in formation the command of "Order, ARMS," and then faces to the front.

- The flag security detail folds the flag. The senior member of the detail remains at attention while the flag is folded unless needed to control the flag.

- When the flag is folded, the flag security detail, with the senior member on the right and the flag bearer in the center, marches to a position three paces from the commander (or officer of the day in an informal ceremony). The senior member salutes and reports "Sir (Ma'am), the flag is secured." The commander returns the salute, and the flag security detail marches away. The Airmen in formation are then marched to their areas and dismissed.

Note: Uniformed military members not assigned to a formation face the flag (if visible), or the music, and assume the position of parade rest on the first note of retreat. Upon completion of retreat, they should assume the position of attention and salute on the first note of the national anthem or To the Color.

Lowering the Flag. When practical, the detail lowering the flag should be one senior member and three junior members for the all-purpose flag, and one senior member and five junior members for the installation flag. The detail is formed and marched to the flagstaff. The halyards are detached and attended from the leeward side. On the first note of the national anthem or To the Color, the members of the detail not lowering the flag execute present arms. The lowering of the flag is coordinated with the playing of the music so the two are completed at the same time. The senior member commands the detail "Order, ARMS" when the flag is low enough to be received. If at half-staff, briskly hoist the flag to the staff head while retreat is sounded and then lower on the first note of the national anthem or To the Color. The flag is detached from the halyards and folded. The halyards are secured to the staff. The correct method for folding the United States flag can be found in AFI 34-1201.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.28. The Dining-In and Dining-Out

Dining-ins and dining-outs are both formal events. The one significant difference is that nonmilitary spouses, friends, and civilians may attend a dining-out, but the dining-in is a formal dinner for military members only. The present dining-in format had its beginnings in the Air Corps when General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold held his famous wingdings. The association of Army Air Corps personnel with the British and their dining-ins during World War II also encouraged their popularity in the Air Force. Members now recognize the event as an occasion where ceremony, tradition, and good fellowship serve an important purpose and are effective in building and maintaining high morale and esprit de corps. Military members who attend these ceremonies must wear the mess dress or the semiformal uniform. Civilians wear the dress specified in the invitations.

Note: The combat dining-in is an event similar to the dining-in because it maintains the traditional form; however, the difference is primarily in the dress and atmosphere. Combat dining-ins typically celebrate the evening in some form of utility uniform in a much more relaxed environment deliberately prepared to encourage camaraderie.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.28. The Dining-In and Dining-Out

Dining-ins and dining-outs are both formal events. The one significant difference is that nonmilitary spouses, friends, and civilians may attend a dining-out, but the dining-in is a formal dinner for military members only. The present dining-in format had its beginnings in the Air Corps when General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold held his famous wingdings. The association of Army Air Corps personnel with the British and their dining-ins during World War II also encouraged their popularity in the Air Force. Members now recognize the event as an occasion where ceremony, tradition, and good fellowship serve an important purpose and are effective in building and maintaining high morale and esprit de corps. Military members who attend these ceremonies must wear the mess dress or the semiformal uniform. Civilians wear the dress specified in the invitations.

Note: The combat dining-in is an event similar to the dining-in because it maintains the traditional form; however, the difference is primarily in the dress and atmosphere. Combat dining-ins typically celebrate the evening in some form of utility uniform in a much more relaxed environment deliberately prepared to encourage camaraderie.

2021 E6 Study Guide

23.29. The Order of the Sword Induction Ceremony

Induction into the order of the sword is an honor reserved for individuals who have provided outstanding leadership and support to enlisted members as a "Leader among Leaders and an Airman among Airmen." The order of the sword event is conducted with the dignity that reflects its significance as the highest honor and tribute an enlisted member can bestow on anyone. Similar to the dining-in, this evening affair usually consists of a social period, formal dinner, and induction ceremony. The required dress is the mess dress, semiformal uniform, or equivalent. The only approved levels for award of the sword are the Air Force level and major command level. The Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force and major command command chiefs are known as the "keepers of the sword," and maintain the official lists of order of the sword recipients, respectively.

History of the Order of the Sword. The first recorded order of the sword ceremony in the United States was in the 1860s when General Robert E. Lee was presented a sword by his command. The ceremony was revised, updated, and adopted by the Air Force in 1967 to recognize and honor military senior officers, Colonel or above, and civilian equivalents, for conspicuous and significant contributions to the welfare and prestige of the Air Force enlisted force mission effectiveness as well as the overall military establishment.

2019 Air Force Handbook

24.29. The Order of the Sword Induction Ceremony

Induction into the order of the sword is an honor reserved for individuals who have provided outstanding leadership and support to enlisted members as a "Leader among Leaders and an Airman among Airmen." The order of the sword event is conducted with the dignity that reflects its significance as the highest honor and tribute an enlisted member can bestow on anyone. Similar to the dining-in, this evening affair usually consists of a social period, formal dinner, and induction ceremony. The required dress is the mess dress, semiformal uniform, or equivalent. The only approved levels for award of the sword are the Air Force level and major command level. The Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force and major command command chiefs are known as the "keepers of the sword," and maintain the official lists of order of the sword recipients, respectively.

History of the Order of the Sword. The first recorded order of the sword ceremony in the United States was in the 1860s when General Robert E. Lee was presented a sword by his command. The ceremony was revised, updated, and adopted by the Air Force in 1967 to recognize and honor military senior officers, Colonel or above, and civilian equivalents, for conspicuous and significant contributions to the welfare and prestige of the Air Force enlisted force mission effectiveness as well as the overall military establishment.