Rico says it's a sad day when a president gets ragged for doing the right thing, but there is the question of the salute, as one Canadian reporter noted: "Frankly, knowing that he had never worn the uniform of his nation, it bothered me that he would stand there in the dark giving a salute. The closest he ever got to wearing a uniform and saluting in his past was when he was in the Boy Scouts— the Indonesian Boy Scouts."
As Rico remembered, it probably wasn't the exact right thing, either:
Is it appropriate for a non-military person to return a salute or initate a salute to a military person? No, it is not. A military salute is a greeting accorded to those who are or were engaged in the profession of arms and then only for those who have not disgraced themselves and the profession. Aside from being a gesture of respect, it is also an expression of brotherhood. If you didn't earn the right to salute, don't do it.But maybe it was okay anyway (as it was with Rico):
While it is a breach of the formal protocols, if it is actually out of respect and could not possibly be taken for sarcasm or mockery it would likely be received in the spirit it was rendered.