Army Officer Etiquette

Written by jordan baughman
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Officers are meant to represent the very best of their branch of service. While Army officers are held to a very high standard, their etiquette regarding rank, dress and overall attitude is largely similar to the officer etiquette of all the other branches of the military (Navy, Marine, Air Force and Coast Guard). The Army officer must serve as an example for all other junior officers and enlisted personnel to follow.

Military Discipline

Complete discipline is key to the success of any military organisation and the missions it endeavours to complete. The military sees discipline as absolute obedience no matter what the circumstances are (be it a mundane task or a life-and-death situation). Army officers must never question or fail to obey an order given by a superior officer. In this way, they serve as examples to inspire others.

Performing Their Duty

Army officers are expected to carry out their assigned tasks with a positive, "can-do" spirit. No matter how undesirable the assigned task may seem, an officer must never be negative, complain or sulk while performing his duties. A cheerful, positive attitude is infectious, and will aid the officer in gaining the respect of his comrades and superior officers.

Giving Orders

When giving out orders to subordinates, the Army officer is responsible for ensuring that the orders are carried out. The officer's responsibility for a task does not end when the order is given. Army officers must see to it personally that an assigned order has been effectively accomplished. Army officers must also treat all junior personnel equally, not use harsh or abusive language and must keep control of their temper.


An Army officer (like all members of the United States Army) must maintain a smart, clean appearance. The uniform must remain clean and neat, along with any equipment or accoutrements the officer is carrying. Officers are held more immediately responsible for their appearance and that of the junior personnel they are responsible for.

Military Courtesy

An Army officer will salute when it is appropriate. When junior personnel approach the officer and initiate a military salute, the Army officer must return the salute. When addressing superior personnel, the Army officer must initiate the salute for both the beginning and the end of the interaction. The Army officer will also address superior personnel by their rank or as "sir" or "ma'am."

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