The Color Guard Sword Salute

The Michigan Color Guard has honored several individuals with a sword salute. Our Congressionally sanctioned Color Guard have used the salute as an act of respect. We identify the salute as an Ancient Warrior Salute, which we use to honor individuals for their service. Sword salutes can be traced back several hundred years. The Michigan Color Guard salute comes in the form of four acts.

The Color Guard Commander begins by bringing the Color Guard to attention, then makes the following announcement: “On behalf of the National Society sons of the American Revolution, through its Congressional Charter with the United State of America, we honor (individual's name) and present a Sword Salute.” The Commander commands “Present Arms!”, and the Guardsmen's swords are drawn with the right hand and raised vertically with pummel at chest level, with the blade about six inches from the neck. The edge of the blade faces left and to the right of the right eye. (There follows a five-second pause.)

The second command of “Salute!” is issued to the Guardsmen, and in one motion, they remove their hats and steps forward with their right foot and bow. The Guardsmen bow at the waist and their swords are lowered to the right, pointing at the ground at a 45-degree angle, with the tip of the sword about four inches from the ground. The Guardsmen's hats are now lowered to the left with the lining facing the Guardsmen at a 90-degree angle to the ground. (There follows another five-second pause.)

With the third command, “Return!”, the Guardsmen return their hats and bring their swords back to the Present Arms position. (There follows another five-second pause.)

With the fourth command, “Order Arms!”, the Guardsmen return their swords to their scabbards and remain at attention.

There are four important elements that make up the Sword Salute: