Introductions

  1. It is a custom of our society that whenever a group of people gather socially, even for a short time, anyone who is aware that two other people do not know each other makes an introduction automatically and immediately. You can make the introduction yourself or, under certain circumstances, have someone else do it. But you cannot neglect the introduction without risk of being rude or negligent. The important thing is to be sure that people know each other. There is no harm in introducing people who have already met; it is, however, quite inconsiderate - even embarrassing - to leave strangers together without an introduction.
     
  2. It is a general rule that juniors are introduced to seniors; gentlemen to ladies; children to adults; unmarried ladies to married ladies; and so on. Probably the easiest way to remember this is to mention the senior's name first: "Colonel Adams, this is Mister Cole." If the difference in rank is slight, don't worry about it. If, for instance, you are introducing one captain to another, it is not necessary to ask the date of rank of each before proceeding.
     
  3. The degree of formality used in making your introductions depends very much upon the rank or dignity of the person involved and the solemnity of the occasion. On the formal side you might say: "Mr. Justice Foster, may I present Representative Gray." A much more usual form would be "Captain Patterson, this is Mr. Stuart." When introducing people, both of whom you know very well and both of whom have heard you talk about the other, you may be very casual. Introducing your roommate to your sister, you might simply say, "Kathy, this is Mike."
     
  4. When making an introduction, be sure to speak each name slowly and clearly so that there can be no possibility of a misunderstanding on the part of either person. When you are on the receiving end of an introduction, make a special point of listening to the other person's name. If you forget the name or really did not get it, ask -with apologies. Then use the name several times in conversion; this will probably be a great help to you in remembering it.
     
  5. In most situations, it will not be sufficient simply to give names in making the introductions and then walk off and leave the two people staring at each other. You should follow through by saying something about each person to get the conversation started. Mention something of common interest if you can.
     
  6. When you bring one person to a group for introductions, introduce the person to the group, then name the people in the group going right around the group: "This is Greg Winston, Ann Lewis, Captain Smith, John Stuart, and Libby Davis."
     
  7. When introduced, men shake hands unless doing so would be very inconvenient to all concerned. A handshake should be firm but without hurting the other person. When you are introduced to a lady, wait until she extends her hand. Ladies have the option of shaking hands or not. All cadets, male and female, should shake hands when being introduced.
     
  8. When making an introduction or when being introduced, a junior always rises. When being introduced to a lady out-of-doors, a gentleman in civilian clothes always removes his hat. A gentleman will ordinarily remove his gloves to shake hands. When male or female cadets are in full dyke, try to anticipate possible introductions. However, if you are confronted with a sudden introduction at a time when you have your gloves on, making it slow and awkward to remove a glove while the other person is standing with his hand outstretched, then it is better to shake hands with the glove on.
     
  9. If you desire to introduce two people who are not near each other, always take the junior to the senior, the young lady to the elderly matron, the gentleman to the lady; never the reverse.
     
  10. The assumption is sometimes made, erroneously, that every cadet knows every other cadet. This is not so. Don't hesitate to introduce cadets if they do not know each other. A handshake should be part of the procedure.
     
  11. Some people have a difficult time remembering names. Not remembering a person's name is a common human failing and can be easily forgiven. Forgetting a name is never an excuse for not making an introduction. If necessary, ask the person's name, with appropriate apologies, before starting the introduction. For example, "I beg your pardon, but I have forgotten your name... Thank you." Then proceed with the introduction. You may certainly introduce yourself if no one else makes an introduction.