Following Reporting Procedures
In the military, you don't just walk into your boss's office, plop down on the couch, and put your feet up on the coffee table. This behavior may have been okay with your last boss, but in the military, it's a huge no-no.
Reporting is an official way of announcing your presence when asking permission to speak to your commanding officer, usually in her office.
In basic training, assuming that you don't get into huge trouble for doing something very stupid, you'll probably never have a chance to speak to your commanding officer in her office. Instead, you're required to report to your training instructor in her office.
To report, follow these procedures:
- Stand at attention and knock (just once) on the door.
- When instructed to enter, march in a smart military fashion to a point three paces in front of the training instructor's desk (if she's sitting at her desk).
Tip: Whether or not you salute is up to your training instructor/rules of your service. Normally, you don't salute unless you're reporting to a commissioned officer, but some basic training instructors feel that since there are not enough commissioned officers in basic training for you to practice on, you should practice on them.
- While holding the salute (if required), say, "Sir or ma'am (if required), Private Jones reports."
If you were instructed to see your training instructor in his office, you'd say, "Private Jones reports as ordered."
- If you're told relax, at ease, or something to that effect, assume the position of parade rest.
When the conversation is finished, you'll be told, "Dismissed." That means the meeting is over, even if you have something else to say.
- When dismissed, snap to attention, salute (if required), and march in a smart military fashion out the door.
Once outside the door, you can relax, sit down, throw up, or whatever.
Making Sense of Military Time
Most Americans learn how to tell time using a 12-hour clock. In other words, at noon, the time starts all over again with 1, 2, 3, and so on. The U.S. Military tells time the same way most of the rest of the world does — using a 24-hour clock. After 12 noon (written 1200), the hours continue with 1300, 1400, 1500,and so on.
In basic training, you need to know how to tell time using the 24-hour clock. Table 6-1 tells you all you need to know about telling time the military way.
Telling Time the Military WAy
|American Time||Military Time|
|12 a.m.||0000 hrs|
|1 a.m.||0100 hrs|
|2 a.m.||0200 hrs|
|3 a.m.||0300 hrs|
|4 a.m.||0400 hrs|
|5 a.m.||0500 hrs|
|6:30 a.m.||0630 hrs|
|7 a.m.||0700 hrs|
|8 a.m.||0800 hrs|
|9 a.m.||0900 hrs|
|10 a.m.||1000 hrs|
|11:35 a.m.||1135 hrs|
|12 p.m.||1200 hrs|
|1 p.m.||1300 hrs|
|2 p.m.||1400 hrs|
|3 p.m.||1500 hrs|
|4 p.m.||1600 hrs|
|5:20 p.m.||1720 hrs|
|6 p.m.||1800 hrs|
|7 p.m.||1900 hrs|
|8:40 p.m.||2040 hrs|
|9 p.m.||2100 hrs|
|10 p.m.||2200 hrs|
|11:55 p.m.||2355 hrs|
From Basic Training for Dummies, copyright © 2011 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.