President Barack Obama got a drubbing on the Internet when an Instagram video posted Tuesday afternoon showed him salute two Marines with a paper coffee cup in his hand.
Now being dubbed the latte salute, the video, posted by the White House’s official Instagram account, shows Obama disembarking from Marine One, the presidential helicopter, in New York. At the base of the aircraft’s stairs, he salutes two Marines while holding the coffee cup.
Within 24 hours, the video received about 7,500 likes and nearly 2,500 comments on Instagram.
“Latte salute is this not disrespectful,” commented one user called ester182.
“Just disgraceful! I have zero and I do mean zero respect for this man, and feel he's totally undeserving of holding such a high honor. What do you mean the President cannot put down a cup of coffee to salute the men and women who die daily to protect him!?” wrote tourguide_barbie.
However, some Instagrammers pointed out that there is no regulation that requires presidents to salute service members.
“He technically doesn't have to salute at all,” wrote tharealsethnix, “NOTHING DISRESPECTFUL about that and I was in the military.”
According to Business Insider, for the first 192 years of America’s history, no president saluted the troops.
Citing Rachel Maddow’s book “Drift,” the website noted the following:
“Soldiers were supposed to salute their president; the president was not supposed to salute the soldiers. No modern president, not even old General Eisenhower, had saluted military personnel. It might even be, well, sort of, improper.”
According to the book, Reagan was the first president to salute the troops, and every president since has followed.
Obama is not the only president to have saluted in an unorthodox way. George W. Bush also gave multiple salutes while carrying his Scottish terrier Barney, as depicted below in 2001.
Obama flew to New York in Marine One to attend the United Nations General Assembly, where he addressed topics ranging from the Islamic State to the Ebola virus outbreak.