Commander’s Action Line

During the National Anthem at the Vogelweh Galaxy Theater, I observed a group of teenagers a couple of rows in front of me. All were standing except for one individual who was sitting with his hat on shaking his head to the beat. After the National Anthem was complete, I approached the individual and told him the proper way to show respect during the song is to remove your hat and standing quietly. I received no reply, but now I am wondering what the KMC policy is if I see this again? Should I notify the management for removal from the theater or get his ID card and notify his parents.

Thank you for your concern and for bringing this issue to my attention. Although there are no formal policies in place that mandate family members and civilians pay proper respect to the flag during the playing of the National Anthem at on-base theaters or other venues, as a military community we expect a certain level of decorum. I firmly believe the responsibility for educating our teens and dependents about showing proper respect to the flag rests squarely on the shoulders of the military sponsor.

To be clear, to pay proper respect to the flag during the playing of the National Anthem at all on-base movie theaters is to stand. If in uniform, stand at attention. If in civilian clothes, stand at attention with your right hand over your heart and if wearing a hat, remove it. Although not desired, for those who do not wish to rise, sitting quietly until the music has stopped is acceptable.

In the future, if you witness inappropriate conduct that shows disrespect for the flag and continues after bringing it to the individuals attention, please contact the theater management immediately. This will allow them to address the issue and correct wrong behavior on the spot or as a last resort take the necessary steps to have the individual removed from the premises.