Chapter 9 Customs and Courtesies - 12018_301

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CHAPTER 9 CUSTOMS AND COURTESIES The military services have a long history. Many traditions have been established as a result of this long history. If you are familiar with some of these traditions, you will understand the military better. These traditions can  be  broken  down  into  various  customs  and courtesies. A  custom  is  a  way  of  acting—a  way  that  has continued consistently over such a long period that it has become like law. A courtesy is a form of polite behavior and excellence of manners. You will find that Navy life creates many situations, not found in civilian life, that require special behavior on your part. Customs and courtesies help make life orderly and are a way of showing respect. Customs are regular, expected actions. They have been repeated again and again and passed from one generation to the next. Courteous actions show your concern and respect for others and for certain objects or symbols, such as the American flag. The use of customs, courtesies, and ceremonies helps  keep  discipline  and  order  in  a  military organization. This chapter will give you some of the more common day-to-day customs and courtesies and ways to deal with them. MILITARY CUSTOMS Learning Objective: When you finish this chapter, you will be able to— Recognize the purpose of military customs. From  time  to  time,  situations  arise  that  are  not covered  by  written  rules.  Conduct  in  such  cases  is governed  by  customs  of  the  service.  Customs  are closely linked with tradition, and much esprit de corps of  the  naval  service  depends  on  their  continued maintenance. (Custom has the force of law; usage is merely  a  fact.  There  can  be  no  custom  unless accompanied by usage.) A  custom  is  a  usual  way  of  acting  in  given circumstances. It is a practice so long established that it has the force of law. An act or condition acquires the status of a custom under the following circumstances: When it is continued consistently over a long period When it is well defined and uniformly followed When it is generally  accepted  so as to seem almost compulsory When it is not in opposition to the terms and provisions  of  a  statute,  lawful  regulation,  or order MILITARY COURTESIES Learning Objectives: When you finish this chapter, you will be able to— Identify how to, when to, and to whom to render the hand and rifle salute. Identify the military courtesies when ship and boat passing honors are rendered. Courtesy is  an  act  or  verbal  expression  of consideration or respect for others. When a person acts with courtesy toward another, the courtesy is likely to be returned. We are courteous to our seniors because we are aware of their greater responsibilities and authority. We are courteous to our juniors because we are aware of their important contributions to the Navy’s mission. In the military service, and particularly in the Navy where  personnel  live  and  work  in  close  quarters, courtesy is practiced both on and off duty. Military courtesy is important to everyone in the Navy. If you know and practice military courtesy, you will make favorable impressions and display a self-assurance that will carry you through many difficult situations. Acts of 9-1 It rests with us to make the traditions and to set the pace for those who are to follow and so upon our shoulders rests a great responsibility. —Esther Voorhess Hasson, First Superintendent, Navy Nurse Corps, 1908

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