Drum Major John Coleman of the Cleveland Firefighters Memorial Pipes and Drums band has quit the group following his initial suspension from the band for six months after a nod and wave at President Barack Obama during last week's inaugural parade.

Coleman's resignation from the band, first reported by the Plain Dealer earlier today, comes after becoming the center of a nationwide firestorm on whether the initial suspension was appropriate -- or over the top.

"There are too many bridges burned with the pipe band, too many hurt feelings on both sides," Coleman told the Plain Dealer, fire inspector for Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Here's a story from CNN.com about the original suspension, including an interview with the man at the center of it all (well, not Obama but...)


What are your thoughts on this? Should he have been suspended for breaking 'military parade protocol'? Should he have quit (granted, the press was substantial -- but the outcry was mostly over him being suspended)? What would you have done if marching by the newly minted President?


Some more links:

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This hit a sour note with me. As the unit commander for my departments Honor Guard, I am ashamed of the actions of Mr Engle the "leader" of this unit. I have offered in another forum and will offer it here as well, to send Mr. Engle a copy of FM 22-5, Drill and Ceremonies so that he may know the "proper decorum".

FM 22-5, Drill and Ceremonies is the Army manual most often cited and used for the proper protocol and commands for marching units in the US. There are others depending on the branch of military, but they essentially cover the same material and criteria. Having served in the USAF as a member of a drum and bugle corp, I attended thousands of "military parades". Military customs and courtesy dictate that in a parade whether it is on a parade ground or on the street, when passing the reviewing stand occupied by ranking military officials, the command "eyes and direction to look", will be given. All members of the unit except on the end in the direction they are to look turn in that direction, and the OIC (officer in charge) salutes the rank. Now if the band or corp is playing, they maintain their position, but the OIC must still salute.

In this instance, the only protocol (as far as I'm concerned) brother Coleman broke was he did not salute. If this was in fact a "military parade", whether you like it or not, whether you voted for the man or not, the President of the United States is the Commander in Chief, and as such "proper decorum" dictates the President is to be saluted. But come on, six months suspension? I'm not even that hard on my people.

As others have said already, there is probably more to this story than what we will know, but this circus paints a bad picture of all honor units.
Six months is just over kill. The wave looked more like a British salute. And you are to salute the reviewing officer when on parade. I know this from being in the Navy and in Navy JROTC.
This is internal politics of the Drum Corps. There is no reason for ANYONE other than the members of the Drum Corps to have issue with this. Period.
I think he acted appropriately in returning a wave to the President. Seems to me his commander over reacted with a suspension.
Marching or not, it would be rude not to return the greeting.
I have to agree with Andrew. . .the President of the United States had nodded at him. . .what was the Major suppose to do. . .ignore him? I think this is definitely going to come back and bite his former department in the butt unless somebody steps in and does the right thing.
I didn't Vote for the President, even still if the man waved at me or even in my general direction causing me to think it was directed towards myself or any one of my guys I would have waved back. Screw your so called protocol. the majority of you claiming he did not follow protocol are the same ones who will stab your Chief in the back or do your own thing just to irritate him to get the type of reaction that Mr. Coleman gave. Personal agenda is ruining the service. There is hardly a trace of unity in this whole situation. I am outraged that things like this even become an issue.
In ending Well done Mr. John Coleman! I would have done the same thing. Your stronger than those who handed down the suspension, who probably were not there freezing their asses off on a historical day in our nations history. Jealousy will get them no where.
Fire Department Memorial Pipes and Drums Corps are all Pomp and Circumstance Military Marches, full Military protocol. No if's, and's or but's. The rule are pretty simple. Brake the rules and you get disaplined. Don't like it don't join, can't handle it go ahead andquit. But most of all, the Drum Major. the Leader of his Corps, should always follow the rules set fouth by his Corps.
Well I agree as far as the military salute as the parade is going by . he is the Commander . as far as the nod I think it was HIS way of the agollagement ,so LEAVE the man alone. It sounds like the company have a bunch of CRY BABIES in there. Why don't you grow up !! Good luck Drum Major John Colman.
I agree "damnthing" !!! BFD. Let me ask everyone this: If the President acknowledges you, no matter who the President is at the time, don't you think you would acknowledge him some way in return? This whole thing was out of control from the start. Can't blame you John, I would have done the same.

HB
So, would someone not wearing their seatbelt to a fire scene receive a 6 month suspension?
No SCBA on the roof while venting? What's that worth?
Ladders not set at the proper angle? What will that get you?
Driving too fast to the scene, running red lights and disregard for the public? Slap on the wrist?
Coleman didn't do squat. The person making the accusation is being subjective/possibly vindictive and interpretting the rule to promote his personal agenda.
If they are taking the video as evidence, then they don't have crap.
Internal issue, you say? Tell youtube.
It belongs to us, now.
TCSS.
Art
wow, i really think they are making a mountain out of a molehill on this one. So i did a wave-- big deal. it's not like he stopped & yelled across the way! sure there are rules, but this is a big exception. it's the president, he's nopt waving at kids! that in my mind, was an honor... to be recognized by our president. get a grip!
Absolutely Ridiculous! Does not matter if he didn't have 17 years it's the matter of respect , For yourself and for the
President. And i do not agree Brenda with what you said , John should
not have been suspended and this dept should be looked at.
That is sad that this dept would do that to someone that has served them for 17 years and want people to know about it .

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