Posted on Jan 16, 2015
CPT Aaron Kletzing
With how busy so many Service Members are due to their military duties, it’s sometimes tough to ensure that our spouses are fully up to speed on rules and regulations that may be relevant to them, or to the time we spend together on the installation. Below, we list 7 of the most common “in-uniform rules” spouses should know.

Which ones would you change, and why? What else would you add to this list?


1. PDA is typically prohibited, except for certain special situations.
Military regulations take public displays of affection (PDA) more seriously than many spouses realize, due to high standards for professionalism. Special situations like a return from a deployment MIGHT be acceptable circumstances for a quick “welcome home” kiss, depending on your chain of command.

2. My right hand is empty for a reason!
While in uniform, Service Members are typically expected to keep their right hand empty while in conditions that would require a salute, which is done with the right hand only. This may seem obvious to SMs, but many spouses do not know this!

3. I can’t talk on my cell phone while walking.
Talking on your cell phone while walking in uniform on base is one of the easiest ways to get jacked up as of late. It’s like putting a target on your chest. We’ve heard countless stories of Service Members witnessing a Senior NCO sprinting across the street to make this correction! Epic.

4. Why I say “no” when you offer me a piece of gum.
Many military units prohibit chewing gum while in uniform, especially while stateside. We’ve heard reports that this may vary depending on the military branch or command policy of the SM, including the degree to which it’s enforced. But just in case, it’s important to know this!

5. I can’t use an umbrella when it’s raining. Seriously.
Uniformed SMs typically cannot utilize an umbrella when it’s raining outside. They have wet weather gear for that, even though that gear still allows them to get soaked most of the time. We’ve heard reports that some female SMs may be allowed to use an umbrella under certain circumstances, and we also can’t confirm how strictly a SM’s chain of command enforces this. But beware that SMs using umbrellas is as squared away as a football bat.

6. Wearing my uniform items could get me jacked up, or worse.
This is a sensitive topic for some SMs, but there have been countless situations where a spouse wears the SM’s uniform items in inappropriate ways and is perceived as casting the military profession in a negative light. Enforcement of this policy also depends on the SM’s chain of command or installation policy, but PLEASE be thoughtful and considerate if you ever decide to put on your SM’s uniform items while outside of the home environment.

7. I still need to salute and greet while we’re together.
This aspect of the military profession occasionally irritates spouses, but when a SM is uniformed and on the installation he is still required to greet and salute IAW regulations, even if the two of you are enjoying a nice private walk together. This issue occasionally catches “new” military spouses off guard – meaning those who are new to the military culture, perhaps due to recent marriage or their SM recently joining the military.


Which of these would you change, and why? What else would you add to this list?
Posted in these groups: Rules_logo RulesSpouses_logo SpousesRules_and_regulations Regulation
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