While military personnel are very clear on what interaction is allowed with Soldiers attending Initial Entry Training, or IET, uncertainty often arises in regards to civilian and IET Soldier contact.
According to Army Regulation 600-20, any relationship between the cadre (all military, permanent party members or civilian personnel that command, supervise, instruct, train, or directly support IET Soldiers) and any Soldiers in training, not required by the training mission, is prohibited. This is taught to Soldiers throughout IET as a part of their transformation from civilian to Soldier.
Civilians, on the other hand, are not as informed. All too often, well-intentioned patrons offer to have IET Soldiers over to their homes for a holiday meal, to give them a ride or take them to the movies, only to be informed that it is not allowed.
While in a training status, the IET Soldiers advance through three different phases, Phase IV, Phase V and Phase V+, each with a slightly increased level of privileges, according to Command Sgt. Maj. James Ramsey, 111th Military Intelligence Brigade command sergeant major.
According to Ramsey, all IET Soldiers are required to carry an identification badge on their person at all times. The badge shows which phase they are currently in. On the backside, the badge card explains their restrictions.
A person who is not aware of the phases and the corresponding privileges and restrictions may ask to see their badge as a reference.
Regardless of the phase, common restrictions for Soldiers in a training status include, but are not limited to:
- No alcohol possession or consumption
- No overnight passes
- No driving or riding a motorcycle
- 9 p.m. curfew
- Cell phone use is prohibited during duty hours
- Must be accompanied by a battle buddy
- Must have phase/privilege badge at all times
As Soldiers advance through the phases, privileges increase, such as wearing civilian clothing, tobacco use and the use of a personally owned vehicle.
While the civilian’s offer is meant to be well intentioned, it is the responsibility of the Soldier to abide by the Army regulations and Fort Huachuca policies. Soldiers who fail to maintain the standards of their respective phase may be returned to a previous phase.
Ramsey explained that the prohibition of riding in a personally owned vehicle, going to someone’s house, or activities of that nature, is a direct order of the brigade commander and the U. S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Regulation 350-6; therefore, those Soldiers are held accountable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
“The civilian side of the house is not held accountable to the UCMJ so they have no responsibility. They can ask all day long, but it is the Soldier’s responsibility to say ‘I am not allowed to participate in this activity,’” Ramsey said.