Army Protocol


The information contained herein is quoted from A Guide To Protocol And Etiquette For Official Entertainment (Pamphlet No. 600-60 Headquarters Department of the Army Washington, D.C., dated 15 October 1989)


Protocol is accepted practices developed among nations in the course of their contacts with one another. It is a combination of good manners and common sense which allows effective communication between heads of state and their representatives. It is not static. Rather, it is an evolving science which, over the years, has lost much of its traditional pomp and picturesque ceremony. Changes in accepted protocol, however, are best left to the highest policy-forming officers in the Department of State. Error in protocol may be mistaken for a signal of a change in the international climate. Persons using this pamphlet are cautioned that unauthorized innovations in protocol, however well intentioned, are improper.

Etiquette is the body of manners and forms prescribed by custom, usage, or authority. It is accepted as correct behavior when people deal with one another. Etiquette preserves respect for the rights and dignities of others. In short, etiquette is good manners. Today, many of the old established customs are blended with less restricted ways of life of entertaining with little or no help, in communicating with others, and in coping with everyday problems that once were handled by a staff. The full integration of women and races into the services brought more changes. Service people now have a more knowledge able way of life. Still, as in bygone years, there are certain rules to be followed in order to reach the goal of easier, gracious living.

As with any rule of the road, a charted course will get you to a specific place at a given time for a certain occasion. Proper etiquette is not artificial. It is a practical set of rules. When learned, these rules save time that would be wasted in deciding what is proper. Etiquette helps people get on with the more important phases of social interaction.

The intent of this pamphlet is to provide you with the basics of proper protocol and etiquette. Using this information as a foundation, you should feel at ease in such matters as calling cards, introductions, invitations and responses, official dinners, seating and precedence, forms of address, and arranging visits for important visitors. With practice, protocol and etiquette will not be difficult, but will be instead a natural, courteous way to properly greet and entertain civilian and military visitors and colleagues.