The 10 Most Ridiculous Military Regulations, Customs, And Courtesies

Bad Haircut Marines

Look at this haircut. Definitely an attempted self-cut, probably by a jumpy private.

It’s the perfect example of what happens when you combine young troops with somewhat arbitrary, totally inflexible rules and regulations.

The one in question being the Marine Corps regulation regarding haircuts: get one every week, usually Sunday, or else.

We’ve compiled a few of the other most ridiculous customs, courtesies, and regulations for your perusal.

No chilling with hands in your pockets.

During a talk with Marines once in Iraq, former Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Carlton Kent said, 'forget the rule, if you're hands are cold, put them in your pockets.'

Honestly, it's a stupid rule, based off an arbitrary idea that people with hands in their pockets somehow look 'nasty' or 'unprofessional.'

Reflective belts on EVERYTHING and EVERYONE.

Good lord, honestly, does a soldier need to wear a reflective belt during training out in the woods? Is that really necessary?

It's understandable if he's near road traffic, or in the middle of live-fire training, but other than that, it's absurd to put so many reflective belts on the troops and their gear.

Haircuts every week.

Now, this devil dog likely took to his own head with a set of buzzers for two reasons: saving time, or saving money.

Junior enlisted Marines already don't make much money. Plus, waiting with the other ... entire base worth of junior Marines ... takes a lot of time out of liberty.

C'mon, is a weekly haircut necessary? Let's try bi-monthly.

Special parking privileges for colonels, generals, and senior enlisted.

This should be self-explanatory: aren't the bigwigs at all embarrassed to have their reserved parking next to that of handicapped people and expectant mothers?

If you're at the top of the chain, then you've made it this far, you can make it from the middle of the parking lot.

Not walking on grass, ever, unless you're mowing it.

We can train in it. We can mow it. But we can't walk on it.

Big time rule, at least in the Marines, not to walk on the grass -- and you'll get dogged out if you ignore it.

Standing at parade rest when talking to senior servicemembers.

Admittedly, some leaders are more stringent about this than others.

What we can say is that making junior servicemembers, under every circumstance, stand at parade rest when talking to their leaders -- sometimes even just one stripe above them -- is not always conducive to unit cohesion.

Weekend liberty briefs and car inspections.

Every Friday, units of all shapes and sizes give a collective groan at the end of the day: the hated safety briefs and car inspections.

The brief itself varies, but can sometimes last upward of a half hour, and it's always the same stuff. Certainly it can be parsed down a bit. Or, better yet, read and signed.

The vehicle inspections are just over-the-top. Good rule of thumb is that if the car doesn't look obviously decrepit and dangerous, let the troop drive it.

Doing Operational Risk Management (ORM) paperwork for pick-up basketball.

The Pentagon loves ORM -- the lengthy paperwork process that requires identifying every possible risk factor (and how to mitigate it) before conducting training.

Again, overkill.

Everyone understands that the military is often bureaucratic and redundant, but why make it more redundant that it needs to be? If troops want to play basketball on a Friday for physical training, just let them go play basketball.

No need for the lesson in filling out needless paperwork.

Walking and talking on a cell phone.

One of the more annoying, military-wide regulations.

Ostensibly, it exists for two reasons: because troops need to be ready to salute officers, and because (again) 'it just looks nasty.'

It doesn't look nasty, it looks normal. And if servicemembers aren't paying attention and miss saluting an officer, chances are they're the type to do that without the mobile phone.

Checking in, Checking out.

Now that you've seen 10 ridiculous customs and courtesies ...

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