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Stupid Military Rules


There's an old saying, "There's the right way, the wrong way, and the military way." When I was on active duty, we enlisted members would often gather together and discuss stupid military rules we'd encountered, and what we would do to change things if we were ever put in charge.

My first chance to be in a position to change a stupid rule happened when I became first sergeant of the 51st Medical Group at Osan Air Base, in Korea. The Medical Group had an NCOD (NCO of the Day) program, whereby one NCO (enlisted member in the grade of E-5 or above) was detailed to work all night, taken away from their normal duties. The NCO's only job was to go around every hour and make sure all the exterior doors were locked, and to unlock the front doors every morning at 7:00 am, when the hospital opened for business.

First, I checked to make sure there wasn't any Air Force, or higher headquarters regulation which required this nonsense (there wasn't). Then got the senior NCOs in the squadron together and asked them why this program existed. The answer was, "We've always done it this way."

So, I talked it over with the commanding officer and then I abolished the program. I assigned the task of opening the front doors each morning to the emergency room staff (which was manned 24 hours per day, anyway). The result? The hospital no longer lost the services of a valuable NCO from his/her duties each day to perform a useless night-time task.

I'm sure many of you have seen stupid rules during your military service. How about sharing them? What stupid rules did you see, and what would you do to change them if you could?

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