The "presidential salute" isn’t a thing — and neither is the "vice presidential salute"

Whatever reason Harris had for not returning the salute, there’s one indisputable fact: She didn’t have to anyway. And had the video shown President Joe Biden, or former President Donald Trump, or Vice President Mike Pence, they wouldn’t have been required to either, for that matter.

Why? Because the presidential salute is not a real thing, and neither is the vice presidential salute…

However, as Brian Jones previously wrote for Task & Purpose, there is no regulation that requires presidents to salute the troops. In fact, for most of the country’s history, “presidential salutes’ weren’t a thing, not even among those military leaders-turned-presidents, like Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ulysses S. Grant, or Teddy Roosevelt.

Instead, it was just something President Ronald Reagan decided to start doing one day. It’s true.