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Weekend Story- Respect Cuts Both Ways


A young officer in the army was once on his rounds when one of the privates(entry-level staff in the military) failed to notice him and hence did not salute him. In the army, it was customary for Privates to salute an officer when they came face to face.

The Officer was offended that the Private did not salute him, so he summoned the Private and asked him why. The Private innocently responded- ” Sir, I did not notice you.”

Not satisfied, the Officer decided to punish the Private. He asked the private to salute him a thousand times, just so that he would remember to salute in the future.

The Private immediately started saluting……

Just then, the Army General was passing by. Noticing the spectacle of the Private saluting the Officer, the General walked over and asked what was happening.

“Sir, this Private had the audacity not to salute me when I passed him. So, as a punishment, I have asked him to salute me 1000 times.”

The General replied wittily but seriously- “Bloody good punishment, Officer. But I hope you are aware that when a junior staff salutes, the senior is duty-bound to salute back in return. So, ensure you return each salute the Private is giving you !!”

For the next two hours, the entire army unit was treated to the scene of a Private and an Officer saluting each other hundreds of times.

2 Replies to “Weekend Story- Respect Cuts Both Ways”

  • I like this story I am reminded of a true event from my army days. The Sergeant Major was inspecting the troops on parade when he came to a particularly slovenly looking soldier. He stood back and pointed his Pace Stick at the soldiers face and said ” There’s an Idiot at the end of this Pace Stick” to which the soldier replied ” Not this end sir” When he eventually was released from detention he was the most popular soldier in the troop. Moral- you can not command respect, it must be earned.

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