In this essay, I will be discussing the importance of not smoking in unauthorized smoking areas and keeping your military bearing in or out of uniform. There are many regulations and policy letters in the army and other branches of the military depending on where you are stationed at specific times. This essay will cover a few of the regulations and policy letters.
Fort Huachuca, Ariz. As an assistant inspector general, one holds the duty of correcting any violation of regulation, policy, or the law.
Most violations can be corrected with a ‘Teach and Train’ also known as ‘an on-the-spot correction.’ The topic of smokeless tobacco in the workplace has emerged as a need for a ‘Teach and Train session.’ It’s not unusual to see an individual in the workplace discarding (spitting) tobacco in a cup, can, or trash.
Army Regulation (AR) 600-63, Army Health Promotion, paragraph 7-3a, 20 SEP 2009, states: ‘Tobacco use is prohibited in all DA-occupied workplaces except for designated smoking areas, as authorized by Department of Defense Instruction 1010.
15, Smoke-Free DoD Facilities. The workplace includes any area inside a building or facility over which DA has custody and control, and where work is performed by military personnel, civilians, or persons under contract to the Army.’
To be clear, this restriction applies to Soldiers, DA civilians, and contractors. Leaders at all levels must be aware of Army policy on smokeless tobacco in the workplace and enforce the standard. Many do not interpret AR 600-63 as applying to smokeless tobacco.
Smokeless tobacco, also called spit tobacco, chewing tobacco, chewing, chewing, dipping, or plugging, comes in two forms, snuff, and chewing tobacco. It does not state in the regulation that vaping or vaping is a form of smokeless tobacco as listed above in the army regulation 600-63. The use of any form of tobacco can only be in designated smoking areas. AR 600-63, paragraph 7-3 A. (2) states, that the designated smoking area will be at least 50 feet from common points of entrance and exit to a building.
All Leaders or anyone put in a leadership position have a duty to correct any violation of a standard. When they don’t, they have unknowingly created a new standard. The junior enlisted Soldiers look to their leaders to set the example and a specific way of doing things. Leaders that do the right thing will uphold and enforce all standards in and outside the workplace. It is everyone’s job including leaders’ subordinates to correct any infraction they see.
Many challenges in addressing tobacco use among military members are the long history of pro-tobacco culture. However, there are many negative health factors and readiness effects of tobacco use. The military, through policy initiatives, has substantially reduced tobacco use. One of the policy initiatives that the military adopted to discourage smoking among its personnel is a comprehensive ban on tobacco use during basic military training and AIT. A lot of soldiers try to get away with smoking or using tobacco products in unauthorized areas because most of the time no one is around and gets away with it. In any case that is the wrong answer because then it diminishes the integrity of the battery, company, or unit itself.
Failure to comply with the provisions of the regulation may subject the military offender to adverse administrative action, and/or criminal punishment under the UCMJ. Violation of these same provisions by civilian employees will be considered a ‘failure to observe these written and posted regulations, orders, rules or procedures’ and disciplinary actions will be administered. I have broken this regulation on more than one occasion knowing it was wrong because I could get away with it. this is a display of poor judgment, lack of integrity, and against the warrior ethos.
There are many reasons you as a soldier in the united states army should not break these regulations or policies. Some include multiple punitive actions, corrective training, counseling statements, UCMJ, etc. this all can always tie into keeping your military bearing during the duty day or off duty. You should always act as if someone is always around or always watching and keep that integrity in check.
Military bearing is always professionally conducting oneself to bring credit upon oneself and the Army. It is the ability to project a commanding presence and confidence, uphold standards, and do the hard right over the easy wrong in both good and bad situations both on and off duty. Simply acting the way Soldiers and leaders are expected to act, presenting a professional persona. Military bearing comes from pride in oneself, pride of being a Soldier, a leader, and in service to the nation. The way a leader carries themself with the knowledge and understanding that military bearing is continuous and that their actions and military bearing will lead to criticism, both positive and negative. Understanding that their military bearing will define how other leaders, Soldiers, and the world views them. Accepting that military bearing does not end at the end of the duty day when the uniform is removed. Often the only contact the civilian population has with a Soldier is during off-duty hours. This is when they will make their judgments and opinions about Soldiers and the Army in general.
Many times, the first impression formed by a person or organization about a Soldier or the Army is from how Soldiers conduct themselves or by their military bearing, and first impressions do count! This is especially true when working with other branches of the Armed Forces or other nations, just as your first impression of another branch or Army is the military bearing its leaders and Soldiers demonstrate. A bad first impression may affect how much you trust and respect you show that Soldier or organization and your attitude towards working with them. The same is true when conducting operations in foreign countries. The way your unit and its Soldiers conduct themselves while executing a mission will shape the way the indigenous population will receive and accept you and your unit’s actions. Always keep in mind that your success in shaping this first impression is just as important as winning any of the battles which might follow.