The area of most confusion seems to be, “When do I remove my cover?” The answer is, when entering the funeral home or church unless you are a pallbearer or member of the honor guard or color guard. They may wear their hats always. Others put their hats on when they go back outside.
The other question is whether to salute the casket indoors with hat on or off. Protocol seems to contradict itself here: don’t wear your hat indoors, but don’t salute unless you’re wearing your cover. A suggestion from Richard N. of the Orrville, OH, Fire Department addresses the problem:
I had been trained to remove my “cover” once inside. However, it is not proper to salute if you are not wearing a hat. In my experience, when you approach the casket of the fallen brother/sister, you stop, say a short prayer, put on your hat, come to attention with a sharp salute and then slowly lower the salute, turn and depart, removing your hat once you return to your seat or point of assembly.
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