When someone thinks of the army, the first thing that comes to mind is a plethora of strict guidelines and regulations.
Naturally, the men and women who defend their country can find themselves in some extremely dangerous situations; so maintaining discipline is crucial. And this can become particularly important when it comes to medicine and hygiene; when you are in the thick of it, the last thing you want to be thinking about is whether a rash will become infected.
With this in mind, hygiene is very important to maintain, from the boot camp to the battlefield. And when we talk about that, we are not just considering the usual teeth brushing.
From how to interact with the local wildlife to rules on proper facial hair trimming, hygiene basics in a boot camp follow a very particular set of principles. And as you will see below, some of these guidelines can seem weird on account of just how specific they are. With that in mind, check out our list of hygiene rules and tips for the military!
Sleeping and Nutrition Is Important
An important part of the life of any soldier – and the hygiene tips you will get in boot camp are primarily geared towards maintaining an optimal level of health among soldiers. As you will see below, soldiers are trained from their boot camp days to always have proper hygiene, even in the field; which includes everything from getting enough sleep to maintaining the needed levels of healthy nutrients in special field conditions. Foraging included, with one main rule – Do not eat what you do not know!
With that in mind, US Army Training manuals dictate that the average soldier must have at least seven (7) hours of sleep every single day – if they are to remain fully operational for their daily duties. In fact, sleep is pretty much viewed as a resource that needs to be resupplied every day; like ammo, fuel, food, and water. If boot camp trainees go a long time without sleeping, their thinking and reflexes will become slurred, making them far less useful in the field.
Using Body Powder
One of the main enemies of any kind of armed force is not the target they are facing in the field, it is something far more subdued, and yet far more sinister as well; moisture.
This pesky thing can cause a number of health issues, along with foul smells and infections.
With that in mind, members of the armed forces are advised to use body powder as much as possible, in problem areas like buttocks, thighs, and underarms; where moisture is an issue.
Hydration and Urination
Apart from moisture, soldiers out in the field face a threat from the different end of the spectrum – dehydration. Plus, depending on their situation, troops are known to also hold their urine in when they feel like they have to pee.
This, in combination with lessened water intake, means that doors are left wide open for a slew of different infections. So, soldiers are advised to urinate as often as possible and drink as much water as they can even in boot camp.
Most modern armed services prescribe very specific, neat, and short hairstyles. Naturally, when you cut hair that short and that specifically; the style needs to be regularly maintained, so it becomes a part of the soldier’s personal hygiene.
While exceptions to this rule have been made in recent years, most militaries still require regular haircuts even in boot camp.
As we have mentioned above, the most important thing when it comes to personal hygiene in a boot camp is preventing the appearance and spreading of any kind of infectious disease.
In order to achieve this, one of the military hygiene manuals out there states that washing your hands before and after pretty much everything is quite important. So, soldiers are advised to wash their hands before and after snacking or eating, as well as preparing and handling food.
Also, just like you might expect, they’re supposed to do so after they make use of the latrine, or really handle anything else that might transfer germs. Once the soldiers leave the boot camp and enter deployment, they are also supposed to wash their hands after they encounter any kind of local fauna and flora; or any locals, for that matter.
Perfume Is Forbidden…
Sure, it may seem weird that people would actually want to wear any kind of perfume or fragrance while they are in the military. To us, it would seem like a strange priority in the field of battle.
However, it looks like someone has already tried to do this – seeing as the practice is specifically forbidden. There is also a discouragement from using scented soaps. It is no wonder, seeing as these are more likely to attract the local insect life, depending on the specific scent, of course.
…So Are Cosmetics
All of us prefer to look the best we can, but when it comes to life in the military; cosmetics just are not allowed in boot camp or beyond.
When you are moving around the battlefield, absolutely every single pound of weight is an additional burden; so you must not encumber yourself with anything you do not really need.
Plus, makeup is just a big daily distraction for people who are members of the armed forces, so it would definitely deter them from doing the best job they can.
Sports Are Encouraged
Naturally, every military unit has its own training regimen.
However, that does not mean that one can not get sick of all the repetitive sit-ups and push-ups (press-ups).
With this in mind, people in the armed forces are encouraged to play some team sports and make their additional physical activities as fun as possible.
This is such a staple of the daily lifestyle that it practically becomes a part of their hygiene routines.