Customs, courtesies a must overseas
7/18/2012 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Receiving permanent change of station orders overseas can be exciting for any Airman, but it is important to remember to render proper customs and courtesies while stationed in a foreign country as well.
As Airmen, traditions and standards are engrained in every facet of daily life, and performing basic courtesies such as saluting host nation officers and during the national anthem, creates mutual respect between allies.
According to Air Force Instruction 34-1201, junior enlisted Airmen and officers are required to salute senior officers of friendly foreign nations when recognized outdoors. Junior service members should also offer a verbal greeting to U.S. and Foreign officers. Staff vehicles are no exception. Service members are required to salute ranking officers' staff vehicles no matter which military service or country the vehicle belongs.
Additionally, while Retreat and Reveille plays, service members must stand at attention and salute if outdoors. Members out of uniform are required to stand at attention and place their right hand over their heart.
During the playing of any anthem, reveille or retreat all vehicles are required to stop to pay respect until the anthem is over.
For the playing of Taps each day, which signifies "lights out" in military tradition, there is no formal protocol for paying respect unless Taps is played for a memorial ceremony or funeral.
No matter the duty location, it's the responsibility of every service member to pay respect to past and present traditions by rendering the proper customs and courtesies to the U.S. and foreign nations.
For more information on proper customs and courtesies, reference chapter eight of Air Force Instruction 34-1201.