Soldiers, stick hands in pockets to defy regs hilariously, take them out to buy junk


Army Regulation 670-1, “Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia,” states “While in uniform, personnel will not place their hands in their pockets, except momentarily to place or retrieve objects.” But screw all that.

It’s the new (to us) “I’m in the Army, but my hands are in my pockets anyways,” Facebook group that’s been celebrating the pocket insurrection since March. Its 11,000-plus likers are discussing the rebellion, and they’re posting photos of soldiers, hands defiantly sheltered in the warm embrace of freedom’s pants. One soldier writes:

670-1 also dictates that you may place your hands in your pockets during “inclement weather”, but that didn’t stop a SGM for chewing my ass one day in the pouring rain for it. Even after I cited the regulation, his response was “I don’t play those games”.

And then there are the favorite hands in pocket excuses, which range from the mundane — “Trying to find my keys” — to the ridiculous — “Playing with my fiddle faddle” — to the uniquely feminine — “‘i was just looking for a tampon’. And argument ceases” to the suicidally honest — “hiding the middle finger that would like to show itself to you” or for that matter, “looking for my 9 line card….cause ur bout to need it for asking.”

The site has become a place to entertain oneself with goofy questions like “What do you carry in your pockets besides your hands.” Favorite answer: “My hopes and dreams. Too bad they all fit in my pockets.” And inevitably to hawk T-shirts, pins and other such schwag on Zazzle. Feel free to buy this one for me in men’s large. Thank you in advance.


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  1. I have looked all over AR 670-1 and I have not found the pasage that states that you can have your hands in your pockets during inclement weather.

  2. Honestly Soliders just need to follow what the regulation says, and stop making the excuses to disobey it. The Reg’s are there for a reason so obey them. If a SGM comes up to you and tells you to take your hands out of your pocket then do it, and unless you have that particular paragraph printed out and in your pocket then you just need to do what he says. Cause if try and fight him then you may get in more trouble for disobeing a direct order from a Senior NCO.

  3. Here is the only thing it says in AR 670-1 Para.1-9(3): While in uniform, personnel will not place their hands in their pockets, except momentarily to place or retrieve

  4. As one who has served in the army and works as a DoD civilian at the HQ level (pentagon), I’m hear to say that a lot of Regs are there for no reason. I’ve actually seen them written and was amazed at the lack of thought that goes into them sometimes. Besides that, rules and Regs are not written to cover every situation or circumstance. That’s where our leaders need to use common sense. A PFC with is hand in his uniform pockets at the local mall at lunch (hell no), or the PFC waiting his turn for the firing line on the M-4 range in January (sure why not). Unfortunately most “leaders” follow instructions blindly. Are hands in pockets really a big deal, or we’re just blindly enforcing something because an old Reg says so?

    Times have really changed. My other point is that just because someone is a “leader”, that doesn’t mean they are better than those they outrank. They don’t always have the best info or decisions. So this, “do any stupid thing I say because I out rank you” crap has really got to change. The Army loses many good people just because they get fed up with the bs!

    Anyone remember the fold out ear flaps on the winter caps that were there but were never allowed to use???

  5. but howmany times have you seen people standing around with their hands down the front of their pants to keep warm? it serves the same purpose, and looks way more unprofessional. I fully support the regs because theyre there for a reason but this is honestly a stupid one.

  6. Try this on for size, it is an Army reg. follow it. You volunteered for the service, you weren’t drafted! If you don’t like the rules and regulations, don’t reup. Try putting on your big girl and boy panties and acting like the adults your supposed to be. If it is that cold, put on your jacket and regulation gloves!! Tired of all the complaining. If you were drafted I might have a little more symapthy, but not today with a totally volunteer Army. Try wearing your uniform with pride, too many don’t anymore. They look sloppy and were is the respect that people used to have for their apperance? It is a damn shame that looking crappy is okay to so many soldiers.

  7. I can empathize with the leaders who wrote the reg. I do believe it looks unprofessional to stand around with your hands in your pockets. But I also understand that weather sometimes sucks, and you don’t have gloves nearby. What the writers had to do was take away any discretion because many PFC’s will not make the correct choice. It’s kind of a “one guy ruined it for everyone” deal. And yes, that does lead to people sticking their hands down their pants.

  8. This was one rule while I was in the Army I found so stupid it really summed things up. I served in Afghanistan as an infantryman and we had our hands in our pockets all the time because it was cold in those mountains. We get back and a garrison nco decides to be a hero and bitch about it on a field exercise back in the states. The rule ought to be while out in the field hands can be in youre pocket, and for gods sakes please dont give me the bs about a soldier “not being ready for an attack” because he or she’s hands were in there pockets…. most of you as well as myself know when to be ready, and what situations to have or dont have youre hands in youre pockets! If a soldier is back home in the states and not on an ftx they shouldn’t have there hands in there pockets for proffesional reasons.

  9. I was in the military during the Viet Nam Era. I thought the reg was silly but I also thought it looked sloppy for soldiers having their hands in their pockets, or pockets full of stuff. My solution for not using my pockets for hands or stuff was to have all my pockets on my utility uniforms sewn shut. It worked for me and kept me out of trouble.

  10. Army times should not even encourage this. Get your damn hands out of your pockets and shut up. The Army is too damn soft; however, change the regulation and it will be all good but get over it Soldiers you joined you get paid to get told what to do!

  11. “Regular Soliders” need to quit trying to be like SF. If you want to put your hands in your pockets go to selection, get the tab, get the beret, and all that AR-670-1 crap wont apply to you anymore.

  12. You playing pocket pool trainee? I learned quickly, keep you hands out of your pockets. Follow the regs, look professional.

  13. I have looked over 670-1 and the asu alaracts and see nothing about incliment weather and being able to put hands in your pockets if anyone else has found this can u give us a chapter or page number?

  14. I went to Ft. Dix, NJ in 91 for Basic Training. One of my Drill’s, SSG Palmer, was one of the best Drill Sergeant’s ever to serve. He would put his hands in his pockets and tell us not to do it. If he did, I have put enough time in, that I can. Hands in pockets don’t make a soldier.

  15. Look having you hands in your pockets is not that big of a deal when you are in combat or in the field. I am on my 3rd tour and trust me the army issued gloves do not always work. So when it comes to this soldier up crap shove it because we are human not machines. Every one that has served and done their time or is still doing their time is Soldier up enough for me and it should be for the ARMY. But it’s not because there is always someone out there that has a stick up their but and feels that because they either know a REG or because they just got their but chewed has to take it out on someone. I want to see a SPC or even a SFC tell a SGM to take his hands out of his pockets because trust me they won’t and yes I have seen tons of SGM’s with their hands in their pockets. So before you start bashing on soldiers by telling them to soldier up because it is a REG you need to stop and actually read the army REG’s and I guarantee you will find out that you have broken more regs then you thought.

  16. Well as far as the flaps on the hat i wore mine all the time when it was cold, and it only says in the reg that you cant wear in formation. The CSM walked by me all the time, well he asked me the reg on it and once i told him he was like ok and kept going. You can also wear the gator neck as head gear in certain weather. Putting hands in your pocket during inclement weather is not in AR 670-1. If you are going to quote the regs know what you are talking about. that is why soldiers dont know what is right.

  17. if you dont want to follow the rules then get out, the slop that comes in the army that you see sometimes is a waste of time, goverment money, training, and it just adds to the growing people, and leaders that are teaching double standards. If you want to be a punk, or a little thug, get out of MY army.

  18. First off let me just say that I cannot believe this much thought has been put into a reg about hands in your pockets. I have been in since 97 and both active and reserve, I have patroled the cold mountains in Afghanistan and know one cared about hands in pockets, we tried to focus on things like food, comms, ammo and security and the health of our joes. Just food for thought for all of you worried about regs, there is a real world out there its called civilian life, where we fight traffic, drive our kids to school, pay city and state taxes and travel pretty much whenever we want without requesting leave, believe me we could care less about regs. And here is some other bad news for you regulation loving cake eaters out there ,all of us will be in that world one day. So take my advice, take care of your soldiers, do what is right for your soliders and yourself without worrying about oer’s or ncoer’s and be a good leader. Because when you get out of the army and its inevitable we all will, knowing all the regs and quoting them along with all the medals on your you class a’s doesnt do much for your me on that one. Dont get me wrong i do agree we need regs in the military, but sometimes common sense should take the wheel.

  19. Ft. Dix 91 Basic on

    This is @Me, I also went to Basic at Ft. Dix NJ, I was E 1-26th Inf, SSG Palmer, Harrison, Paxon and Yates. Good times, and I do remember Palmer would put his hands in his pockets, smoke and cross his hands and tell us not to do it

  20. The regulation has nothing to do with what most of you believe it does. Many of you have said it doesn’t apply in combat? How much longer does it take you to achieve a stable firing position when you must first remove your hand from your pocket? Seconds you say? Well how many times in combat is the result different due to seconds saved or lost? Regulations do have purposes and they are not just to pad NCOERs and OERs. They are to enforce discipline and standards. Wars are won and lost because of discipline; the American Army went into winter at Valley Forge as an undisciplined fighting force, who had lost the majority of their battles and emerged as a drill hardened fighting force who won a war. They learned simple things there, Drill and Ceremony, dressing their tents in straight lines, digging latrines away from camp… discipline. The Garrison environment is designed to build discipline, so that in combat Soldiers will react without questioning their leaders. Leaders have the responsibility to provide purpose, direction and motivation. Clearly some of you have only served under leaders who have done nothing but direct. There are reasons for everything we do in the military and it is far past time you stopped being concerned with your hedonistic beliefs and started looking at the bigger picture, everything relates to combat; most of these simple things can be tied into PCCs and PCIs; not a big deal if you don’t button your back pockets? If you forgot that, what else have you not accomplished? What other “minor” detail have you over looked? Only when you get over your own comfort level and stop looking at reasons why rules are “dumb and pointless” and start looking for ways that they are applicable to combat will you become a better Soldier and Army leader.

  21. the way i see it, yeah it looks unprofessional, but at the same time its not a big deal, i see plenty of leaders do that shit everyday but if a joe does it, its fucking wrong. just because your E5 and up doesn’t give u the right nor privilege to say do as i say and not as i do, some nco’s and officers really need to pull their head out of there asses and lead by example and stop using rank to shit on E4 and below. i don’t give a fuck if u are SF, set a good example for your soldiers to follow

  22. Cant put ur hands in it pocket and can’t cross ur arms? What are we suppose to do Ricky bobby it? Your a person before your a soldier, don’t listen blindly to orders, think for yourself. If ur leader tells you to check out that burlap sack with a bulge in it the shape of a 155 round r u gonna do it? If u do u prob sew ur pockets shut. If I have my hand in my pocket in sector I deserve to get shot plain and simple your a pog u stupid fuck Stop pulling shit in from left field Ask questions Ask why. ppl take mistakes. We’re human, It happens If I don’t get promoted cus I put hands in my pocket then I want nothin to do with the army. half of the leaders in the army are brain dead cock sucking zombies just focused on that next rank and not on the Welfare of their soldiers.

  23. If you have your hands in your pockets you’re wrong – plain andsimple. As mentioned above, the Regulation is there for a reason, andwe must follow it. As far as being out in the field with your hands inyour pockets; doesn’t seem like you’re very combat effective. Where isyour weapon?? How do you like the new AR 670-1 Update Brief? If youwere crying before, I’d imagine you’re throwing a temper-tantrum now.It’s a volunteer Army, not a democratic one. Good thing though is youhave a choice – cooperate and graduate, or get out. Oh, as far asthose of higher rank being smarter… yes, that’s not necessarilytrue. However, they didn’t get there for no reason (yes I know doublenegative). Just like that squared away Soldier who never shined hisboots, or that Soldier that looked like he had braids rolling down hisneck – yeah, he was really squared away. Turns out, a lot of themcouldn’t qualify on their weapon, failed their PT Test, and in realitysucked at work too. Sure, be the rebel – gets you real far. Wished Iwould have learned earlier; maybe I would have made SGM quicker.

  24. There is a time for strict uniform regulations, when one should be particular about every detail. That time is when you wear your class A uniform. ACU/multicams are a utility/field uniform and should not be treated as anything different. But do not mistake that for the acceptance of looking like total shit.

    Uniformity , the way it is currently employed, is nothing more than a psychological subjugation ploy. The general concept being to condition subordinates to conform and accept commands even over the most trivial of matters.

    This is not leadership (motivating, inspiring, directing) only the incompetent and amateurs would ever think that because someone wears the clothes properly, they will be effective in the art of killing other human beings.

    Tactical necessity , without exception, trumps uniformity. Our dogmatic adherence to regulation and doctrine will be our undoing.

    With the current command focus on such critical warfighting tasks such as where ones hand can go, or is that PT belt worn properly while in theater, we are well down the path to the intellectual rigidity that will be the lynchpin of our demise.

  25. Nco’s this days wanna be all about the regs but they not consistent on doing it and most of the times they wanna pull the “when i do it is ok because i am a NCO but if you do it imma chew you out “

  26. SoldierFormerMarine on

    Two things:
    1. What about having hands in pockets makes one look unprofessional? I have yet in my 8 years heard a good answer for this question.
    2. Why do people get so angry at people discussing the stupidity of these types of rules? Comment #6 Marie Davis, I’m talking about you. I bet you’re a private. Or a SFC. One of the two.

  27. As an Active Duty E6 and a few trips through the Afghan mountains, supporting both SOF and GPF, this is my input –

    I do not care if soldiers have their hands in their pockets. I try teach soldiers to use their best judgement. They know the regulation and if they make that call they know the consequences and had better take responsibility – not make an excuse as to why. This logic can be applied to any situation or regulation and develops critical thinking. I’m not saying putting hands in your pockets takes critical thinking, but what I am saying is that soldiers have to make decisions on their own, think for themselves, but also follow the orders given to them by their leaders.

    Also, regarding the comments on SF – this drives me insane. SF should conduct themselves as professionals both in garrison and forward deployed. The regulations apply equally across the board. I understand and fully support their flexibility on standards when operational or on FTX and believe me, I try to fight for the same flexibility for my Joe’s when in the field or deployed.

    Bottom line is while in garrison, be professional, follow the regulations.

  28. Honestly, i dont see how people say it looks unprofessional. People only say it does because thats the excuse that was made when this reg was created. There is nothing unprofessional about having your hands in your pockets. Now, since it IS a regulation it still needs to be followed. However i agree what some others have said, common sense needs to go with it. If its 30 degrees outside, i would rather have my joes put their hands in their pockets instead of developing frostbite on their hands.

  29. ….right, ‘Change’ comes to the military, don’t ask.
    I thing that to attract a more diverse volunteer the military needs to look at the pool that it will be directing the appeal to.
    As to UCMJ can we look to a day when ‘saggin’ is allowed as part of the dress code?
    Multi-coloured face tattoos?
    These and other items cross my ex-military mind……..

  30. In garrison we are supposed to practice simple disciplines. To include smoking where allowed, when to wear headgear, when not to have your hands in your pockets. I’m honestly sick of being told to shove off by peers that tell me to produce AR670-1, pg 8, para 1-10. Do I really have to show another NCO a basic reg? I don’t go around yelling either. I’m polite and very tactful about it. At least until I get blown off. I tell them to get out of my Army if they cannot do the basics. Am I a good NCO? Ask any soldier in my Unit. I am one of the few that will go to lengths to help out and even show reason to obey the rules. I get respect.
    Hands in your pockets looks bad, yes, but look at it as a tactical practice. If you’re on the street with your hands in you pockets you may look cold and or complacent. Your chances of defending yourself is lower from being able to react. Yes I’ll correct an SF soldier on the installation.
    It is about appearance. It is about deterrence.
    Wearing head gear. “Oh, but I’m under cover”. Read the reg and tell me that again. A doorway doesn’t count unless it has a door to fully enclose the room. Stop reading around the words.
    Smoking. Well I don’t smoke and it’s even common in many State and local laws about where you can smoke. Do I really need to break down this too? Thinking about where to smoke should be practiced because in a real combat environment you can see the cherry in the dark and smell the smoke even easier. Everyone complains about PT belts making them more noticeable in a combat zone why not cigarettes?
    Well these are my reasoning’s for regs. Besides being proud about my job and uniform too. Don’t forget we as NCOs enforce the rules and work with our soldiers to create an environment that is productive by managing and caring for soldiers. If there is a big hang-up with a reg then bring up the issue to Management (Officers) and let the system work. If you don’t all authority needed to lead in combat will be weak or lost. War isn’t about feelings it’s about what needs to be done. We are in the end machines but we have to trust each other to submit ourselves in that fashion.

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