There is one thing that the all armies appear to have no shortage of; and that is rules.
Talk to anyone who has ever enlisted and they will tell you that the military has a rule for everything or at least it seems that way. Some rules make sense.
Some rules may not make as much sense, but are based on tradition. However, there are some that exist where it is really hard to ascertain why or for what purpose. Below are eight army regulations that may surprise you.
The First Four
The medals associated with the Philippine Defense are “ribbons”. Those awarded with the Philippine Medal were awarded for their service against the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in 1941 and 1942. The ribbon was created in 1944, but a medal was commissioned in 1945. However, the military only allows the ribbon to be worn on the uniform.
The deployment regulation states, “Typically PROFIS personnel will be identified for PDS requirements at least 120 days prior to any deployment to ensure training and preparation time is adequate.” (2) However, this training and preparation often does not occur until about two weeks before deployment.
No Hands in the Pockets
Army Regulation r670-1 states, “While in uniform, personnel will not place their hands in their pockets, except momentarily to place or retrieve objects.” (3) This rule has more to do with the look of professionalism and discipline. However, it is not unheard of for some officers to allow the soldiers to place their hands in their pockets in the event of cold weather.
Drip pans are required under all tactical vehicles when parked. Appendix H reads, “Parked tactical vehicles must have drip pans placed under the vehicle at all time to catch any fuel or oil dripping from the vehicles.” (4) Many enlisted believe that this regulation is overkill, especially when a number of civilian vehicles are being driven around daily with oil leaks of their own.
And Four More…
Always Walk on the Left
Another rule which is based on courtesy and respect is the walk on the left rule. The rule actually states, “Soldiers demonstrate courtesy in the way we address officers or NCOs of superior rank. Some other simple but visible signs of respect and self-discipline are as follows”. . . “Walk on the left of an officer or NCO of superior rank.” (6)
Watch the Tattoos
Improper tattoos are a dischargeable offense. In this day and age tattoos are as common as eye glasses or neck-ties. As times changed, so did the army regulation on tattoos. They still have a strict policy against offensive tattoos. The regulation states, “The counseling form will state that the soldier’s refusal to remove extremist, indecent, sexist, or racist tattoos or brands anywhere on the body will result in discharge.” (7)
An Extra Penny
The youngest child gets the extra penny. Army Regulation 608-1 section G discusses payments made to dependent children of court martialed soldiers. What is interesting about this regulation is that it states, “When calculating payments for dependent children, if the payment amount does not divide evenly, the youngest child will receive the odd cent.” (8)
The Single Soldier Standard
This is not so much a regulation per se, but rather a reoccurring theme while conducting research into this information. It seems that there is difference in the treatment of single soldiers when compared to married soldiers. It seems that single soldiers are required to live in the barracks, which often leads to the selection for extra duties or shifts, difference in meal quality, housing quality, and the list goes on.
This list is by no means comprehensive. We would like to hear from our servicemen and women about their run-ins with some seemingly odd army regulations. Post your comments below.
References & Image Credits:
(1) Medals of America
(3) Army Regulations
(5) Global Security
(6) Army and Tattoos
(7) Army One Source
(8) Traveling Soldier
(9) isafmedia via photopin cc
(10) JD | Photography via photopin cc