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I have always prided myself on being a Coastie that other people can look up to. In fact, I became a recruiter just so I could help recruits train before leaving for Cape May. I guess that my time away from deployments and officers made me a little sloppy.
I had a couple recruits who needed to go to MEPS in New Orleans for processing. They would have to go through all their medical testing and everything else, so we would be there all day. I normally don’t go to MEPS because another person in my office enjoyed the drive and would usually take all the recruits. This time, however, he was on vacation.
We stayed at a hotel the night before we had to be at MEPS so that we could make it there on time. My recruits rode the van to MEPS and I drove. While they were getting their stuff taken care of, I planned on taking care of some paperwork and meet a few friends. Before I could make it into the building, I saw an officer. I am glad I remembered my military manners and saluted her. What I didn’t know was that my salute was too sloppy for her.
She stopped me and asked me how long I have been in the CG. I told her seven years and she looked shocked. She said my salute was too sloppy. She had me salute her a few more times so that I would be a little more ‘crisp.’ My recruits go to watch the whole thing and still haven’t let me live it down.
My salute will never be sloppy again—that’s for sure! I don’t know if I can handle more of the joking that has ensued since this incident. Of course, I told my recruits that I did it on purpose to help them remember how to salute. I don’t think they believe me though.
As told by R.T. (rank and rate withheld)