Obama's styrofoam cup salute to Marines irritates the Internet

President Obama is coming under fire for a half-hearted salute of the Marines who escorted him off his official helicopter, Marine One.

The president was exiting the chopper in New York for the start of a United Nations meeting on climate change.

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As he exited the helicopter, Obama returned the salute of the Marines with a styrofoam tea cup in his saluting hand.

The White House posted the video of the president's etiquette gaffe on the official White House Instagram account.

President Obama just landed in New York for #UNGA2014. Watch him speak at 12:50pm ET on his plan to #ActOnClimate: http://wh.gov/climate-change

The comments on the White House's Instagram page range from indignant to obscene:

  • Please take down this video clip. We cherish our traditions and would never do this. #lattesalute #respect #tradition #usarmy #armylife
  • This is actually progress. Usually he just walks right by and doesn't even acknowledge them. Completely disrespectful.His cavalier attitude resonates and is disgusting.
  • The world is watching and smells weakness. And this is our leader???
  • What the..... was that? is there no respect in him for the men and women who died for his freedoms

The salute is “the most important of all military courtesies,” says a manual for Marine Corps officer candidates.

“In some situations, the salute is not appropriate,” says the manual.

"In general, do not salute when… carrying articles with both hands or being otherwise so occupied as to make saluting impractical," says the manual, titled "Customs and Courtesies." (DailyCaller.com)