U.S.

March 15, 2013

Wear PPE, reflective clothing correctly with military uniform

Cheryl Patterson
Assistant Inspector General

As spring approaches, it invariably brings out more motorcycle, moped and all-terrain vehicle, or ATV, enthusiasts. The Inspector General Office staff reminds everyone that the wearing of personal protective equipment and reflective clothing is mandated for all Department of Defense, or DoD, service members while operating their vehicles on post as well as off post.

For DoD civilians, wearing of PPE and reflective clothing is required on post while driving or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle, moped or ATV, and is further mandated off post while on government business, in accordance with DoD Instruction 6055.04, “DoD Traffic Safety Program,” dated April 20, 2009 (Change 2, dated 23 January 2013), Fort Huachuca Regulation 190-5, “Military Police Motor Vehicle Traffic Code,” dated Nov. 15, 2011, and the “Motorcycle Safety Handbook for Leaders and Riders.”

All too often service members are seen at the shoppettes and outside their duty areas, dismounting and walking away from their vehicles to “run” inside without first removing their protective headgear or reflective clothing. Service members have also been seen wearing the reflective clothing inside the shoppettes, or putting on their PPE gear before reaching their vehicle.

In accordance with Army Regulation 670-1, dated Feb. 3, 2005 (RAR 11 May 2012); Navy Personnel Uniform Regulation, dated Aug. 3, 2011; and Marine Corps Order P1020.34G, dated March 31, 2003, PPE will only be worn while operating the vehicle and removed upon dismounting from the vehicle.

Reflective clothing can only be worn with military uniforms when safety considerations make it appropriate and when authorized by the commander, which is not the case after dismounting from a motorcycle, moped or ATV in order to go into the shoppettes or place of duty.

Arizona and Fort Huachuca are considered great places to embrace the warm, sunny weather conditions and the riding exhilaration. Leaders, mentors and riders alike are required to maintain the professionalism of the military uniform and should be holding their fellow riders accountable for regulatory compliance.

Those with questions about this article or the regulations, should contact the Inspectors General Office, 533.1144.




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One Comment


  1. Butch

    I have a hard time understanding why the Installation IG is writing an article about the wearing of PPE once a soldier gets ‘off’ the vehicle. This to me is purely in the lane of the leadership on this post and not the IG. If NCO’s and Officers are doing their jobs as leaders then this should be in their lane and not in the IG’s lane. Since the article did not specify which part / paragraph of AR 670-1 they were referring to when they stated “PPE will only be worn while operating the vehicle and removed upon dismounting from the vehicle”, a search of AR 670-1 does not show those words anywhere in the regulation. What it does say in paragraph 1-17, Wear of personal protective or reflective clothing, is : “ b. Protective/reflective clothing. Soldiers may wear protective/reflective outer garments with uniforms when safety considerations make it appropriate and when authorized by the commander. “
    If you look at all of the referenced regulations listed by the IG there is nothing mentioning that the commander has stated when wear is authorized. Again, if this is a requirement then maybe the installation commander should put that in the FH Regulation 190-5, stating that the PPE should be removed once off the vehicle.

    What concerns me more is that the IG is more concerned about soldiers taking off the PPE once off the vehicle then that the Fort Huachuca regulations are in direct contradiction and out of compliance with DoD and Army PPE regulations and guidance. First, FH Regulation 190-5 concerning what is required for PPE is not publically available. The only place this outdated regulation can be found in on the FH ‘intranet’ and not publicly available on the installation’s web page at http://huachuca-www.army.mil/pages/policy.html. What this means is that civilians coming onto post do not have ANY clue as to what is required by this installation. If they go by what is publicly available, they could not wear ANY colors or reflective material and meet DoD and Army requirements. Second, what is in the existing FH Regulation 190-5, once you get a copy of it from the intranet, is that DoD and the Army have specifically put out guidance that states that “Riders are encouraged to select PPE that incorporates fluorescent colors and retro- reflective material” not that it is REQUIRED. In fact since Commanders had been disregarding this directive of encouraged and making up their own rules on PPE, the Army send out an ALARACT (381/2011 (131710Z OCT 11)) that told Commanders in no uncertain terms to stop making up their own rules on PPE and reflective material. It stated, ““To meet regulatory intent, commanders should eliminate additional PPE requirements such as the PT belt or reflective vests”. They further stated in the ALARACT, ““Commanders will encourage motorcycle riders (soldiers) to select PPE designed with abrasion resistant materials and impact-absorbing padding that incorporates fluorescent colors and retro reflective material and employ other visibility-enhancing equipment such as headlight modulators, braking alerts, etc. The intent is to have riders in gear designed for riding that provides the rider as much visibility as possible and eliminates access issues across DoD installations.”

    So why isn’t the Installation IG more concerned that the Installation Commander has not provided publically the guidance to non-DoD civilians riding on post on what is or is not required for PPE than having soldiers take it off. Or that the Installation Commander has not updated this guidance by having the current Installation Commander sign the regulation, or updated it as DoD and the Army have told them to do so. Although Commanders and installations have their responsibility to maintain safety of personnel on the installation, DoD and the Army have given them guidance that the wide variations in what they may deem as appropriate PPE has gotten out of hand and while orange is acceptable on one installation, go to another and it may be 100 inches of pink reflective material required to ride on the installation. ALARACT 381/2011, is very specific as to what the guidance is on PPE and the key word is ENCOURAGE, not require specific colors, types, materials or amounts of materials.

    So IG, maybe you should be looking at why this Installation Commander has been in his position for almost 6 months and Fort Huachuca Regulation 190-5, Motor Vehicle Traffic Code, 1 June 2009, w/ changes 1 &2 (Jan 2011/Nov 2011) has not been signed by this Commander, why it is not accessible to the public, and why he has not updated it to meet the guidance of DoD and the Army. Worrying about if soldiers are not wearing the proper uniform is a leadership concern, not the IG.



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