Military bearing can be placed in almost every aspect of military life ranging from being respectful to those who outrank you to a well maintained haircut. It is prevalent in every aspect of military life. Military bearing is much deeper than just appearances; it is the foundation of any military career. Military bearing includes every aspect of life in the military and can be applied to almost any situation. The standard definition is as follows - “Army military bearing is how a soldier conducts himself on duty.
It encompasses his level of professionalism when dealing with others and his approach to military situations. Soldiers who do not exhibit military bearing are subject to punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice” Self-discipline is a large section of military bearing. If you maintain self-control and accountability of your own actions you will be on a good start to upholding yourself as a good soldier. By arguing with superiors, ignoring army standards and allowing rule-breaking you will not be within the standards of military bearing.
Talking back to Non-commissioned officers is another example of not having military bearing. When a soldier is instructed by a non-commissioned officer they are expected to stand at the position of parade rest with head and eyes forward and keeping their mouth shut while listening to what they are being told without talking back or making any movements that are not authorized in the position of parade rest. Examples of such things are to swing your arms at your sides, roll your eyes, or look around. No movement is technically authorized while at parade rest.
By definition parade rest is a modified position of attention designated for respect to non-commissioned officers or anyone who outranks the person being spoken to other than officers. Taking appropriate action in the absence of leadership and in their presence is another category of maintaining military bearing. By listening to non-commissioned officers and officers orders and following them without complaint or signs of disapproval is the proper way to show you are following the appropriate action.
When you are not in the presence of leaders you must still maintain your military bearing without question. You must also maintain a military bearing in the presence of civilians. You must always be polite to them and speak with the same vocal courtesies of yes sir and yes mam you do with officers. You are not required as a soldier to stand at any particular position recognized by the army but it is polite to not be disrespectful either. This matter is extremely important if the soldier is in uniform.
Maintaining military bearing is also important when the soldier is in the presence of alcohol. A soldier must maintain his military bearing and never be intoxicated in a public location while in the duty uniform. When the soldier is not in uniform they must still maintain military bearing and uphold to the standard. If a Soldier fails to do so they are not only disrespecting the non-commissioned officer and officer above them. They are also breaking rules and regulations set in place by regulations and the uniform code of military justice.