Rules for Military Bases

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Military base installations have specific codes of conducts as well as rules, regulations and etiquette procedures that most civilians don't know about. These rules reflect the disciplined nature of military bases and incorporate military traditions. While on base, you're expected to follow this protocol just as the personnel who live and work there do.

1 Colors

The U.S. flag is raised and lowered on American military bases in the country and abroad every morning and evening. A song is played through a loudspeaker during this time. Typically, this is a traditional patriotic song such as "To the Color" or the national anthem, depending on the base. This time is referred to as "Colors." Military personnel are required to stop, face the direction of the base flagpole and render a salute if in uniform. standing at attention until the music stops. If not in uniform, military personnel are still required to stop, face the flagpole and stand at attention. If driving in a vehicle, you're required to stop and wait for the music to end. Due to the fact that not all motorists can hear the song outside of their vehicle, the rule–in this regard–is somewhat lenient, but if you notice other vehicles all stopping at an odd time, going around them is considered disrespectful. Civilians or base guests and visitors are also expected to stop, face the flag and place the right hand over their hearts during Colors, remaining still until the music ends. If wearing a hat, it is customary to remove it.

2 Cell Phone Use

As of April 2005, cell phone use while operating a motor vehicle on a military base is banned. The vehicle operator is, however, able to use a hands-free device on some installations. Each military base has its own specific protocol for enforcing this rule and different consequences for violating it. A warning may be issues for a first time offense by a civilian or visitor. A citation or other consequence may be issued for military personnel who are expected to know the rules.

3 Driving on Base

Anybody who drives onto a military installation must have an appropriate DOD sticker, base permit or pass, contractor ID card, and a valid driver's license. All visitors must register at the base gate and obtain a temporary pass in order to drive on the base. All military personnel, including civilian contractors, must have a valid DOD decal affixed to the windshield of their vehicle. All military personnel must also have their valid military ID cardd with them while driving on or off base.

4 Personal Weapons

Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons is illegal. Only under special circumstances are personal weapons allowed onto a military installation. In the event that the weapon is allowed on base, it must be unloaded and cased, out of reach of the driver upon entry to the base, and the ammunition must be as far away from the case as possible. Certain circumstances which may allow a personal firearm on base are completely at the discretion of the base installation.