Practices developed among nations in the course of their contacts with one another define the essence of protocol. Protocol is the combination of good manners and common sense, which allows effective communications between heads of state and their representatives. It is not static. Rather, it is an evolving science that, over the years, has lost much of its traditional pomp and picturesque ceremony.
The Manners of the Military —"With practice, protocol and etiquette will not be difficult but will be instead a natural, courteous way to properly greet and entertain civilian and military visitors and colleagues."
Changes in accepted protocol, however, are best left to the highest policy-forming officers in the Department of State. Errors in protocol may be mistaken as a signal of a change in the international climate. Persons are cautioned that unauthorized innovations in protocol, however well intentioned, are improper.
Etiquette encompasses the body of manners and forms prescribed by custom, usage, or authority. It is accepted as correct behavior when people deal with one another. Etiquette preserves respect for the rights and dignities of others. In short, etiquette represents good manners.
Today, many of the old established customs are blended with less restricted ways of life--of entertaining with little or no help, in communicating with others, and in coping with everyday problems that once were handled by a staff. The full integration of women and divergent cultures into the Services brought more changes. Service people now have a more knowledgeable way of life. Still, as in bygone years, there are certain rules to be followed in order to reach the goal of easier, gracious living.
As with any rule of the road, a charted course will get you to a specific place at a given time for a certain occasion. Proper etiquette is not artificial. It is a practical set of rules. When learned, these rules save time that would be wasted in deciding what is proper. Etiquette helps people proceed with the more important phases of social interaction.
The intent of this is to provide you with the basics of proper protocol and etiquette. Using this information as a foundation, you should feel at ease in such matters as calling cards, introductions, invitations and responses, official dinners, seating and precedence, forms of address, and arranging visits for important visitors.
With practice, protocol and etiquette will not be difficult but will be instead a natural, courteous way to properly greet and entertain civilian and military visitors and colleagues. — From the U.S Military's, 2001, "A Guide to Protocol and Etiquette for Official Entertainment"
|Contributor Maura Graber, has been teaching etiquette to children, teens and adults, and training new etiquette instructors, for nearly a quarter of a century, as founder and director of The RSVP Institute of Etiquette. She is also a writer, has been featured in countless newspapers, magazines and television shows. Maura was an on-air contributor to PBS in Southern California for 15 years, and has an odd love of strange and unique dining utensils.|
Etiquette Enthusiast Maura J Graber is the Site Moderator and Editor for Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia