The Soldier’s Guide, and Other Army Guidance

10.05.11 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

“The Soldier’s Guide,” which is something like the U.S. Army equivalent of the Boy Scout Handbook, was updated last month.  The 436 page Guide is filled with instruction and lore about life in the U.S. Army.  It covers Army history, traditions, and professional development.

In places the text limps.  Thus, “The Army’s core values are loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. They form the acronym LDRSHIP.”  In other places, it is moving and profound.  The Guide explains that when you are in the Army, your first duty is not to the Army, but to the U.S. Constitution.  “Put [your] obligations in correct order: the Constitution, the Army, the unit, and finally, self.”  See “The Soldier’s Guide,” Field Manual, 7-21.13, February 2004, with Change 1, September 20, 2011.

“Law and Order Operations” is the topic of another recently updated Army manual.  In the past, this term referred primarily to law enforcement activities at military facilities.  But its scope has now expanded.  “The applications of L&O [law and order] operations and the requirements for Army LE [law enforcement] personnel to conduct these operations have grown tremendously as nation building and protracted stability operations have demonstrated the need for civil security and civil control as critical lines of effort within the larger effort to transfer authority to a secure and stable HN [host nation] government.” See “Law and Order Operations,” ATTP 3-39.10, June 20, 2011.

This week the Army published an updated regulation on “Military Justice.”  The 176-page regulation presents rules and procedures for administering justice in the military.  It addresses a variety of particular offenses, including “subversion, treason, domestic terrorism, and known or suspected unauthorized disclosure of classified information or material.”  See “Military Justice,” Army Regulation 27-10, October 3, 2011.