President Barack Obama snubbed a Marine and failed to return his salute as he boarded a helicopter bound for the Naval Academy graduation Friday in Annapolis, Md.
It’s a rare faux pas for presidents as they board Marine One to ignore the men in uniform.
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Although the president is not himself in uniform, ABC News reports that the present day protocol of returning salutes began with President Ronald Reagan, who after consulting with the military was advised that as commander in chief the president is always in charge and should behave as the military leader.
A video of the incident shows Obama giving a halfhearted salute to the pilot once on board, and then jogging back down the stairs to the young Marine corporal he initially ignored to shake hands as if working a campaign line of supporters.
This isn’t the first time Obama has ignored protocol with the Marines. Earlier this month the president ordered two Marines to hold umbrellas over his head and that of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a rainy-day press conference in the Rose Garden.
A Marine Corps spokesman later told CNN that Marines are technically forbidden from carrying umbrellas because it hinders their ability to properly salute.
To see a Marine holding an umbrella is “extremely rare,” the spokesman said.
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