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    Default We are not the military...

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    if that's how the marching band operates, it's their call. You're right we aren't military, but a marching band is very structured and generally conforms to military rules.

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    Fire departments are most definitely paramilitary organizations. He was given an order, defied it, and was punished for it.

    It sucks, but that's just how things go sometimes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TED1435 View Post
    Fire departments are most definitely paramilitary organizations. He was given an order, defied it, and was punished for it.

    It sucks, but that's just how things go sometimes.
    Yes and no. We like to act paramilitary, but trust me we are the far from military.

    It was his bands rules. He should have followed them. He knew what was expected of him.

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    Thumbs down Well..........

    Just to play the Devil's Advocate here, I'll ask the question: How do you ignore a kind gesture of the President of the U.S.?? I understood that the President specifically waved, nodded, or otherwise expressed his appreciation to the band. If the President of the United States Waves, Nods, Tips his Hat, Salutes, or whatever, I'm damn sure going to be polite and acknowledge it. Anyone who has a problem with that is invited to take note of the sprig of Mistletoe affixed to my Coat Tail.
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    The commander of a unit marching in review salutes the reviewing officer. If a multi unit parade (as multiple companies/battalions/brigades as part of a division passing in review) each commander would command "Eyes Right" then render hand salute as he passes the reviewer. A band should operate approximately the same. Though a tuba/fife player likely can't perform eyes right. I'd think the guy out front of the band swing the big stick around would be the commander.

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    From what I've read, this guy had been the drum major since 1993. I find it odd that he was suspended for six months for this violation after all of those years of service. It just seems harsh for a senior man. But, there are rules... Perhaps this is standard punishment for Ohio pipe bands.

    With that said, I've read elsewhere that he quit not only because of his suspension but because of other "drama" within the band. Evidentally, he does not play an instrument and there was growing discontent about that from other band members.

    Again... when a 16 year member goes walking from any organization, it's usually a sign of a bigger problem.

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    I'm not sure how I feel about this one. I can't help but think if the president acknowledged me specifically I would respond out of courtesy and respect.

    I understand the rules and conformity and military order. But geez the president for crying out loud.

    Nope didn't vote for him, but you respect the position even f you didn't vote for the man.

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    Isn't being in the band a voluntary off duty kind of thing? I find it hard to believe that with departments screaming for more manpower any departmetn would pay fire fighters to be in a band. Talk about non-essential.

    At any rate, I'm betting there is more to this story. In the background someplace is a personal battle and someone is flexing their muscle.

    This isn't Russia or Cuba. Let it be.

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    If you can't do the time don't do the crime.

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    Anyone who has a problem with that is invited to take note of the sprig of Mistletoe affixed to my Coat Tail.


    THAT has got to be the best turn-of-phrase I have seen written or heard in a long time! Thanks Harve. BTW: is it lily white?

    Now for the real point of the thread: Because of the nature of my "daily" employment I feel compelled to answer this. I fully acknowledge that the fire service is for all intents and purposes, a quasi-military formation. Case in point, use of the words "division", "platoon", "Captain", "Lieutenant", "Sergeant" and "company" tend to give credence to support that statement. Heck, "line-up" although not exactly a military term, certainly gets the point across as to what it's function and meaning are.

    Contrary to that, the fire service does not demand consistant and regular parade drilling of its staff, nor does it have an internal courts system nor the ability to incarcerate a person in "detention barracks" like Fort Leavenworth or CFB Edmonton. Nor does it require it's staff to learn things like use of firearms or infantry tactics (although that last part might be open to debate based on semantics. Fighting fire, fighting the "enemy" - perhaps?)

    However, as has been stated, "Parade Rules" are parade rules, particularly when working with bands. Band drill is very structured and has its own set of regulations that are not found in any other drill/parade formation.

    That all being said, and being the "veteran" of many a public parade, for all that we get "The Speech" about what we should not do; dont wave at the kiddies, dont break out of ranks, the list goes on. We all know someone will, (and especially to the little ones because they dont understand why Mommy or Daddy or anyone else they might know) wave when he/she paraded by.

    In an army parade, I would expect some form of reprecussion to follow if I "waved" to the Reviewing Officer. I know better than to do that. On the same side of that coin, as recruits we were always told that as you pass the Reviewing Stand and Officer, try to make direct eye contact with him/her and anyone else who might be on the stand. "It makes them nervous" is how it was put to us way back when. At the same time, a person knows when that contact has been made. Would I have waved? Probably not, but I'm pretty sure I would have at least nodded to acknowledge I had been "seen". One does not parade for his/her President, Prime Minister, Queen etc very many times in a lifetime. Excitement of the event and of the Personage can be the short cut to breaking through even the strongest of parade discipline.

    Just my penny's worth.

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    Everyone in the Inaugural Parade with specifically instructed not to make ANY gestures towards the President, this was not made by any protocal officer, but rather the Secret Service. Sounds stupid but this guy put his life in danger by making that little gesture. I figure a six month suspension for not following the rules of a parade, and this very special parade in particular is not out of line.

    And neiowa, in this particular parade, for those groups that were instructed to do so, the marching orders were "eyes left", instead of "eyes right" due to the location of the viewing stand in front of the White House.
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    I have seen the light and a simple suspension isn't enough. I believe this poor excuse for a human being should be drawn and quartered and his remains scattered to the far reaches of the empire. He is far, far too horrible of a human being to be allowed to continue to exist.

    Seriously, it is a BAND, marching to celebrate the innaugaration of the new president, that personally made eye contact and waved. You guys are far better human beings than me if you wouldn't have acknowledged that.

    The leaders of the band looked like dictatorial ****** and the guy who waved looks like a spoiled child for quitting. I would think this would make that band ever so happy to have this in the news and being discussed here for days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisTheMenace View Post
    Everyone in the Inaugural Parade was specifically instructed not to make ANY gestures towards the President, this was not made by any protocal officer, but rather the Secret Service. Sounds stupid but this guy put his life in danger by making that little gesture.

    Now THAT makes sense. Being located where I am, I get to see and hear things about "Security" a lot more than most. Some years back, there was a Fire Service Group holding a demonstration in front of the White House, with President Clinton and Family "at home" inside. I was Videotaping the apparatus lineup from the Hosebed of Glenn Dale's Engine and a U.S.Park Police Lt. came RUNNING up to tell me to fold up the Tripod that I was using. I did so immediately, then had a very cordial chat with the Lt. who explained a lot of the "Security" things that they watch closely...........
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisTheMenace View Post
    Everyone in the Inaugural Parade with specifically instructed not to make ANY gestures towards the President, this was not made by any protocal officer, but rather the Secret Service. Sounds stupid but this guy put his life in danger by making that little gesture. I figure a six month suspension for not following the rules of a parade, and this very special parade in particular is not out of line.

    And neiowa, in this particular parade, for those groups that were instructed to do so, the marching orders were "eyes left", instead of "eyes right" due to the location of the viewing stand in front of the White House.
    As Paul Harvey would say, here is "The Rest Of The Story". Thanks Dennis, this was something that I had not considered (should have considering my last job placement!).

    However, marching past the reviewing stand clockwise is very unusual. In all the parades I've been involved in, we have always marched counter-clockwise, to give the "eyes-right". Very odd, but hey. It was "His" parade!
    Last edited by MalahatTwo7; 01-29-2009 at 11:17 AM.

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    Even in the Navy,at least during Basic at Great Mistakes,we'd do drill and ceremonies including when and who commands "Eyes Right",and what everyone else needs to be doing at the time.
    It can be modified to "Eyes Left" depending on where the viewing stand is and whichever rank is closest to the reviewing stand does not execute the command in order to give the others a guide so they don't swerve too far in the direction rendering honors as they march.
    That is also why the unit leader is the only one saluting,raising the baton,et cetera,et cetera,et cetera.
    It doesn't look good when a marching unit swerves one way and then the other when passing a reviewing stand because everyone wants to get the closest look they might get to the guy.The Marine Corps Drill Team,JROTC units,even the marching band in their fuzzy hats at half time should want to look their best when honoring a new President.

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    I'm sorry but I think this is a big ball of crap.

    The Major is the leader of the band. The Commander in Chief specifically aknowledged the band by waving at the band leader. It was a subtle gesture of aknowldging the President. It's not like he stopped marching, turned toward the President, jumped up and down waving his arms and yelling like some retard running after the ice cream truck. The rest of the band didn't do anything different or cause a scene. It was a small gesture of respect both ways. If the camera was not on his face at the time, no one would have known the difference or even seen what he did.

    I have worked with Secret Service several times when dignitaries came to my town for the various campaigns. (WI was a swing state in the last two elections. We had someone here about twice a month for 3 months) So often I got to know agents by their first names. Yes, they instruct the local LEO's and FF's to not make any sudden gestures towards the President. They have special instructions for security reasons and to ensure they are the real deal and not a poser. I get that.

    However, when President Bush looked directly at me, waved and asked "how are you doing?" I kindly and discreetly said "fine sir, thank you." I didn't wave, shout or anything else to draw attention to me. I was not about to disrespect him or the office he holds by ignoring him. I wouldn't change a thing if it happened again.

    It's crazy and stupid to suspend him. Someone has a power trip going.





    Oh......and Harve, I laughed so hard with the mistletoe comment I think a little pee came out!!!
    Last edited by Dickey; 01-30-2009 at 12:24 AM.
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    I have to agree with Dickey here. Looking at the video, he really didn't do much as far as acknowledgement and I think the band is taking this too far. In fact the leader should be the one to make a gesture to the official overseeing any parde, whether military or not. It is one thing for someone in the middle ranks to make a gesture, but the one leading the unit should be the one to make a gesture. If this is more a political issue, then the band knew who was to be president and had a chance to not march before hand.
    Last edited by jccrabby3084; 01-30-2009 at 12:23 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisTheMenace View Post
    Everyone in the Inaugural Parade with specifically instructed not to make ANY gestures towards the President, this was not made by any protocal officer, but rather the Secret Service. Sounds stupid but this guy put his life in danger by making that little gesture.

    Sorry, but as I previously stated, even those in front of a military unit will still make a gesture to the president or reviewing official with an "eyes right" or Eyes left" command, while they themselves salute. This also would be considered a "gesture". Personally I watched the inaugural parade and seen many "gestures" to the president, from the Hawaiian HS with the "hang loose" sign to bands acknowledging the president, there was a lot of gestures and acknowledgements to really make me not believe this statement.
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

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    If that is military behavior...I'm glad I'm not in the military.

    Thank God the Secret Service is so wonderful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisTheMenace View Post
    Everyone in the Inaugural Parade with specifically instructed not to make ANY gestures towards the President, this was not made by any protocal officer, but rather the Secret Service. Sounds stupid but this guy put his life in danger by making that little gesture.
    If this is truly the case, the Secret Service should have also instructed the President to not wave, smile, or gesture to anyone in the parade so he could have looked like a ***** as well.

    Additionally, if a nod and a very slight wave is a national security risk, they should have further instructed the drum major to keep his hands by his sides at all times, not swinging back and forth to the beat of the march where it could be construed as some kind of threat to the President.

    If what this man did was out of line and "risked his own life", they should have canceled the F'ing parade and all future public appearances of the President.

    I agree with Chief Harve's first post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    If that is military behavior...I'm glad I'm not in the military.

    Thank God the Secret Service is so wonderful.

    If the fire service is not loosely based on the military in regards to rank structure and discipline,why bother with rank?
    On my old vollie department we could get away with telling the Chief or Captain that"Rich,I got the jaws pump going now." or "Willie,where you want the U-truck parked for lights?" but I always thought paid departments were different unless the officer wanted his guys to front name him with something other than his rank.
    Back to the original topic,UNLESS the guy was in the lead and was supposed to be the one rendering honors to the new President,he wasn't supposed to wave,nod or even blink in "tap code" but maintain his position and stay in step and tune.
    It wouldn't look good for a tuba player to belch any sour notes while passing the reviewing stand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisTheMenace View Post
    Everyone in the Inaugural Parade with specifically instructed not to make ANY gestures towards the President, this was not made by any protocal officer, but rather the Secret Service. Sounds stupid but this guy put his life in danger by making that little gesture.
    First of all, if everyone in the parade was told not to wave at the president... then why was he waving at them? One has to expect that at least one or two people who are waved at by the leader of free world will wave back at him.

    Besides, there's no way the secret service was going to shoot every person along the parade route that waved at the president -- and there were thousands of those. So I'm guessing they weren't going to take out a drum major for his half wave / half salute / wink gesture. Especially since the people in the parade were probably screened better than the people along the route.

    So, forgive me, but as strange as the Secret Service might be, I'm not buying the idea that he "put his life in danger."

    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    I was Videotaping the apparatus lineup from the Hosebed of Glenn Dale's Engine and a U.S.Park Police Lt. came RUNNING up to tell me to fold up the Tripod that I was using.
    Tripods are a big no-no around the White House, which makes sense... If someone is going to disguise a weapon as a camera, they want you to at least have an unsteady aim.

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    Personally, I also agree that the whole fiasco is exactly that, a fiasco. It takes a lot of experienced parade discipline to NOT wave and smile/nod at people who have lined up to watch You march past. For most of us, that is not really a problem. Even I am guilty of small waves to the smaller kids, especially if they know me and actually see/recognize me.

    When the "Boss" waves at you, its usually an automatic response to acknowledge the, for lack of better words, "salute".

    Privately, I think (again from a certain amount of experience) that the Secret Service are just a bit too full of themselves. Like Cosmosis said, if they were so uptight about the whole Do Not Wave thing, then there should be several 1000s of folks in detention pending investigation by the SS.

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