There are times when you do not accept an apology and there are times you do. Now this is my opinion but here is a situation where hell no you do not accept the apology. This is an actual event, but there are other times this has happened as well.
I am at a conference for the Army. I am standing with some of my friends, some are higher rank, some are lower. I am an E-8 (Master Sergeant). I am in uniform. Class B with shirt, no tie and the cardigan sweater that buttons down the front. The sweater is unbuttoned and I am indoors at the time. As I am standing there talking with my friends and coworkers a person comes up to our group and tells me I need to button the sweater. I ignore him for the most part. He comes over again and says louder in front of the entire group “did you not hear me Sergeant, you need to button that sweater up”. I said that it was being worn with in Army Regulations. The person is an E-9 Command Sergeant Major. He just stands there so finally I say in a very low voice that “you’re wrong on that but I will remove the sweater and take it back to my hotel room on the break.
Come to find out that he said the same thing to a few others who were wearing the same type uniform sweater at the conference. About two hours pass and this same CSM comes up to me and says “I checked the regulations and I was wrong, sorry”. I say to him that “I do not accept the apology because you jumped me in front of a group and now you want to apologize to me in private. That is unacceptable. You need to have the facts correct before you jump people and not di it in front of a group”. Then I turned and walked away.
There has always been something about Sergeant Majors or Command Sergeant Majors that they act like their main priority in life is to seek out and find uniform violations. Maybe that is something they teach them in the Sergeant Majors Academy. I have had friends who got promoted all the way up to CSM and they do this same thing now, even though they were some of the worst for violations. I have not met but two good CSM’s in my entire 30 yrs of service. One is now dead of old age (CSM Berkeimeier) and the other was the CSM of the 88th RRC in Fort Snelling MN. The rest have been useless and not a person I would emulate in my opinion. I too was up for promotion to CSM and I turned it down 3 or 4 times because I did not want to associate myself with this group. I knew that if I did take the promotion what type of CSM I was going to be, and the above example was NOT how I would conduct business.
I think by far the worst CSM was the one we had in the 380th QM BN. I even had vicious email from him as proof of the type person he was. Even the IG office said he was the worst they had ever seen. But the fact was Army Regulations did not prevent someone from being an asshole.
If someone has done me wrong, and they do not apologize in a short period of time or they wait 6 months or a year, then there may not be any apology the can give I would accept. And if all they do is make conversation, where we have not for a long time, that is not an apology. That is one person talking and me listing to them talk. Nothing more. And when people make excuses for another persons actions – it does not mean anything to me. An apology needs to come sooner than later, and if your comments were made in the open – your apology must also be made in the open or it is not acceptable to me.