a boat of his/her command or one assigned for his/her
personal use. An additional staff ornament of the same
type must top the flagstaff in the bow upon which the
personal flag, command pennant, or commission
pennant is displayed.
Figure 10-4 shows sketches of the different
ornaments used today by the Navy. The topping
ornament must have a highly polished brass finish. See
NTP 13, chapter 11, for rules governing the display of
flagstaff topping ornaments.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Explain the
procedures for conducting passing honors, side
honors, honors for official visits, and honors on
relief of command. List occasions when honors
can be dispensed with.
In this section, we explain the different procedures
used for conducting the different types of honors.
In some cases, the distinctive mark flown from a
ship indicates the grade of the senior line officer on
board and, thus, is a means of determining who should
initiate passing honors. The commanders in chief of
the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets periodically issue a list
of ships and subdivisions of the fleet with the name
and lineal number of each commanding officer and
commander. The list helps determine who should
initiate honors, but because unit commanders
occasionally ride other ships, Signalmen must be alert
to distinctive marks being flown.
Passing honors are those honors other than gun
salutes that are rendered on occasion between Navy
and/or Coast Guard ships or embarked officials or
officers that pass, or are passed, close aboard. Close
aboard means passing within 600 yards for ships and
400 yards for boats, but both frequently are extended
to ensure that appropriate honors are rendered.
Sequence for Rendering Passing Honors
Most frequently, passing honors consist of
saluting the ship or official passing. When the bow of
a ship passes the bow or stern of another
commissioned ship or boat, attention to the
appropriate side is called by sounding one or two
whistles over the 1 MC. All hands in view on that side
and not in ranks face outboard. Hand salute is
sounded. When the other ship or the official returns
the salute, "Two" and then Carry on are sounded.
Bugle, whistle, and passing the word are used for
passing honors, with bugle being the preferred
method. Bugle or whistle signals are as follows:
One blastAttention to starboard
Two blastsAttention to port
One blastRender salute
Two blastsTerminate salute, remain at attention
Three blasts-Carry on
In addition, the honors prescribed in table 10-4 are
rendered by a ship of the Navy passing close aboard a
ship or naval station displaying the flag of the official
indicated and by a naval station, when practicable,
when a ship displaying such a flag passes close aboard.
These honors, and all honors between ships, are
acknowledged by rendering the same honors in return.
The honors prescribed in table l0-5 are rendered
by a ship of the Navy passing or being passed close
aboard by a boat displaying the flag of a civil official
indicated. Honors to Armed Forces officers displaying
a personal flag or command pennant from the bow of
a boat are the same as those for passing Navy ships.
When a ship of the Navy is passing the USS
Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, between
sunrise and sunset, passing honors consisting of
sounding Attention and rendering the hand salute by
Figure 10-4.Flagstaff topping ornaments.