“I know all the rules about not saluting in civilian clothes and so forth, and when you should or shouldn't. But then when I got this job, and I would be approaching Marine One and those marines would come to a salute and I -- knowing that I am in civilian clothes -- I would nod and say hello and think they could drop their hand, and they wouldn't. They just stood there. So, one night over at the Commandant's quarters, Marine Commandant's quarters in Washington, and I was getting a couple of highballs, and I didn’t know what to do with them. So, I said to the Commandant -- I said, "Look, I know all the rules about saluting in civilian clothes and all, but if I am the Commander in Chief, there ought to be a regulation that would permit me to return a salute.'' And I heard some words of wisdom. He said, "I think if you did, no one would say anything.''” – Ronald Reagan
Marine One is the call sign used when the President is on board one of the Marine Squadron Executive Flight Detachment fleet helicopters. It is used to take the President of the United States on short trips; mainly to the White House or Andrews Air Force Base. However, it can be boarded on a C-17 cargo plane and taken anywhere around the world so the President can use it for any trip.
The helicopter on display at the Reagan Library is a Sikorsky VH3A, which went into service in 1962, later being designated as a Marine One in 1967. This Marine One served Presidents Johnson, Nixon and Ford. This is the helicopter that flew President Johnson from Andrews Air Force Base to the White House after Air Force One flew President Kennedy’s body back from Texas after he was assassinated. President Johnson got off Air Force One, held a short press conference, then got on this Marine One to return to the White House.