The SALUTE report is a general template used to determine, and report, the most important assets of an enemy force. It is broken down into the six letters making up the word SALUTE. The SALUTE report, like many other military reporting forms, is standardized to mitigate confusion when relaying important information to different units or branches of the military. Now, let’s take a look at the six different sections of the SALUTE report.
In this section of the report, the size of the enemy or unknown force will be relayed. Such information being assessed can be the number of personnel, aircraft, missile systems, vehicles, etc.
The activity section is used to give a detailed overview of the actions the enemy is taking. Such necessary information would be things such as developing fighting positions, patrolling, and direction of travel the enemy is taking.
This is simply the geographic location of the observed unit activity. This could include a 10-digit grid map coordinate for precise location information, all the way to generic location information, such as a major terrain feature that the enemy is near, or moving along, such as a river system or mountain range.
This is where the unit the enemy belongs to is reported. If the enemy’s unit is unknown or cannot be identified, use easily discernible features such as color of their uniforms, design of patches if worn by personnel, and aircraft or vehicle markings.
This is where the time the enemy activity was observed. It is important to note that this is the time the activity was seen, not the time the SALUTE report was sent. Time should be reported using local or zulu time and is relayed using 24-hour military time.
This final portion of the report is meant to be quite detailed and is identifying the equipment associated with the enemy and their respective activity. Take note, there is a difference between detailed and long-winded. The report should be thorough, yet to the point. Equipment includes such things as tools being used or employed by the enemy personnel, the vehicles they are using, and weapon systems of the enemy force.
The following is an example of a simple SALUTE report:
“Size: 4 military aged males.
Activity: Patrolling northwest.
Location: 42SWD24096697 .
Uniform: Olive Drab camouflage fatigues with black chest rigs.
Equipment: Ak-47’s with black chest rigs and spare magazines, and one RPG-7.”
Remember, the SALUTE report is designed to cover all the necessary information that needs to be relayed to give an accurate account of an enemy element, and its capabilities. Be detailed in the report, but only transmit the pertinent information outlined by the SALUTE acronym.
Feature photo from USMC by LCpl Devan Gowans