"If it moves, salute it" (1944)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Mar 9 13:32:27 UTC 2006

Many Googlits for this and variants.

  I knew a physician who once quoted me the standard tripartite form of this apothegm. He'd learned it in the Navy in WWII.

  HDAS cites a comic (post-) WWII novel titled _If It Moves, Salute It_. I can't recall the name of the author.


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Subject: "If it moves, salute it" (1944)

_Camp Lee In 'Old Virginity' Turns Dixie Ways Topsy-Turvy; LEARN FAST AT
RICHARD THOMAS Defender Staff Correspondent. The Chicago Defender (National
edition) (1921-1967). Chicago, Ill.: Dec 16, 1944. p. 18 (1 page) :
CAMP LEE, Va. -- "If it moves salute it. If it don't move pick it up. If you
can't pick it up paint it." -- That's the slogan for discipline that
originated at Camp Lee; a slogan that has since been adopted by Army camps all over
the country.
Camp Lee, located a stone's throw from Petersburg, Va., named in tribute to
famous Confederate General Robert E. Lee, sprawls over 7,000 acres of fertile
"Tidewater" land.
_What London Is Lauging At_
New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Dec 9, 1945. p. 95 (1
ARMY MANUAL. An officer in the British Army recently reported that service
men with characteristic shrewdness have reduced the mass of army rules and
regulations to three simple formulas: (1) If it moves, salute it; (2) If it
doesn't move, pick it up; (3) If it's too big to pick up, paint it.

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