Origin of the salute: The salute has its origin in another time, when kings ruled, knights wore armor, and courtly manners flourished. It was the Age of Chivalry. The etiquette of the day dictated that, should two friendly knights meet, each would raise the visor of his helmet, show his face, and pay proper respect to the other. Since both knights were completely clad in steel, they could recognize each other as friend or foe by the distinctive emblems and devices on their armor - another custom that still lives. Etiquette also decreed that the knights salute with their right hands. The right hand was the sword hand; raising it was a sign of trust. Even after modern firearms had made steel armor a thing of the past, the knightly gesture of raising the right hand continued to be recognized as the proper greeting between soldiers. To execute the hand salute correctly, raise the right hand smartly until the tip of the forefinger touches the lower part of the headdress or forehead above and slightly to the right of the right eye. The fingers and thumb are extended and joined, palm down. The outer edge of the hand is barely slanted downward, so that neither the palm nor the back of the hand is visible from the front. The upper arm is horizontal, with the elbow inclined slightly forward and the wrist is straight. At the same time, turn the head toward the person saluted. The military salute is today, as it always has been, a unique form of exchange of greeting between military personnel, one that conveys pride, recognition, and the utmost respect.