By Anna Kim
We all know that being in the military means having to follow specific conduct, guidelines, and values. It’s important to look a certain way, act a certain way, and present oneself in a certain way. But have you ever heard of any weird military rules that people must follow? Continue reading to learn about 10 military norms.

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Military Rules You Should Probably Follow

Every job has rules that people must follow, no matter how outrageous and ridiculous they may seem. The military is no exception, although their rules may seem a bit more extreme to the average person. Each branch has its own weird rules, but here are a few.

1. No Hands in Pockets

Military members may not stand around with their hands in their pockets, as it interferes with saluting and changes the way they look in uniform. They might be viewed as unprofessional. However, Carlton Kent, former Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, said, “forget the rule, if your hands are cold, put them in your pockets,” while talking with Marines.

2. Weekly Haircuts

One way to waste time and money is to force Junior Marines to get weekly haircuts. Usually, haircuts occur on Sundays, but the wait time is long, considering everyone else must also get their haircuts. During COVID-19, the rules for haircuts were actually relaxed for most branches, but they remained the same for the Marine Corps.

3. Walking and Talking = A Big No No

Something that civilians always do is walking and talking on the phone; well, the military can’t. The reason for this is that troops might miss saluting an officer or might not be fast enough, so they say.

4. Reflective EVERYTHING

Soldiers must wear reflective belts when they train in the woods. It can be one belt that goes around their waist, but it can also go around their bags and their chest. Sometimes, the belt must also be worn when they are inside a building and clearly not in danger of a possible accident. The military loves their reflective surfaces.

5. No Walking on Grass

Military members may not walk on grass. The ONLY time it’s allowed is when they’re mowing it or training on it. It would be an even bigger problem if one were to walk on the grass near a Department of Defense office or building. Talk about a faux pas.

6. No Elevator in the A.M.

Wanna use the elevator in the morning because you’re tired? Well, if you’re a Fort Hood Soldier, you can’t. They’ve banned troops from using the elevator before 9:00 a.m. because it apparently promotes a healthier lifestyle. Sure.

7. Paperwork for… Basketball?

One thing that kills the mood for a game of pick-up basketball is having to fill out paperwork. Well, Operational Risk Management paperwork must be filled out to identify possible risk factors, even if the game is just for fun. Other ridiculous rules reported by people in the military are:
  • Boot socks must be a specific color.
  • No carrying umbrellas.
  • No eating or drinking while walking in uniform.
  • No chewing gum.
  • Must attend home football games in the Naval Academy.
  • On field day, the interior of showers cannot be wet. Not a single drop of water.
While some rules can be seen as reasonable, as in having to do with professionalism, others are hard to defend. It’s difficult to change military rules and norms, so this is just something that many will have to deal with.

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