Canuck_Jock said:As an addendum to the forgoing debate on the saluting tradition, the palm down version is properly titled the 'Naval salute' and the palm forward version the 'Military salute'. The former is a sloppy karate chop-style movement to the head, the latter a smart military drill movement indicating respect to the recipient.
The Naval salute is generally used by the likes of the yanks, Greeks, Turks, Russians, etc. and a lot of other random countries with whom we have absolutely no historical connection with whatsoever. As a rule, it looks a bit goofy and tends to be used by armies that also think white shoe laces on black combat boots looks smart, but that is just my humble opinion...
The Military salute is retained by almost all Commonwealth armies and air forces and is indicative of the continuity of the British military ethos. It is also employed, interestingly, by the French armed forces, and by random individuals who wish to look smart (e.g. the late Yasser Arafat of the PLO).
There is certainly strong evidence that unification had 'kultur-kampf' against overt British traditions as a strong, secondary objective. The change of salute for the Cdn Army and RCAF is proof. The RCN (as with many other Commonwealth navies) had drill that was distinct than the other Services; it largely involved shuffling the leg around and not raising it off the ground (not a bad thing on a moving ship), different timings as well as the command 'Ho!' in lieu of 'Atten-sha!' Army drill was adopted for all Services with the exception of just one, single drill movement...the Military salute. Hmmm, what a coincidence.
A salute is just an outward show of respect for a higher rank.There's no need to change back to be more "British" and less "American". We have a Canadian salute, lets just leave it at that.