military Military Hygiene Rules You Might Not Have Heard Before  

Aaron Edwards
1.7M views 20 items

When you think of the armed forces, it's easy to imagine a ton of strict regulations and guidelines. After all, the men and women who defend the world go into some pretty dangerous situations... and the last thing they need to be worried about is a rash that won't go away. So, understandably, military hygiene rules can be pretty exacting.

We're not just talking about brushing your teeth. From how to properly trim facial hair down to dealing with local wildlife, hygiene in the military is a pretty serious thing. What's weird is just how specific some of these guidelines can get. It's like they gathered a bunch of generals in a room and made a list of all the remotely stupid things they've seen soldiers do, then tried to make a guide to prevent all of it.

So, whether you've seen these rules in action or you're just curious, check out this list of weird military hygiene regulations.

Nap Like Your Life Depends on It

Nap Like Your Life Depends on ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Military Hygiene Rules You Might Not Have Heard Before
Photo:  Pfc. Ali Hargis/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

The Army is all about soldiers keeping up with their food, water, and ammunition needs. But sleep is just as important, to the point where they insist you need eight hours of sleep each day. It doesn't need to be all at once, though... you can break it up into a series of naps.

According to their findings "a nap boosts both immediate and long-term performance. The benefits of a short nap are evident for up to two days after the nap."

Use Absorbent Body Powder Like It's Going Out of Style

Use Absorbent Body Powder Like... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Military Hygiene Rules You Might Not Have Heard Before
Photo: ADuran/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

The military really hates moisture. It can cause infections, bad smells, and any number of health problems. So, the Army strongly encourages its soldiers in the field to apply body powder "to areas where wetness is a problem such as underarms, between the thighs and buttocks, feet, and, for females, under the breasts."

It's important not to forget that underboob. 

When in Doubt, Pee as Much as Possible

When in Doubt, Pee as Much as ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Military Hygiene Rules You Might Not Have Heard Before
Photo: Sgt Brian Gamble/Wikimedia Commons/OGL

Aside from being wounded, dehydration is the quickest way to die out in the field. To make matters worse, a lot of soldiers tend to hold it in when they have to go. That combined with drinking less sets the stage for some lovely infections down under. So, if you're a Marine, the order of the day is to drink and pee as much as you possibly can. Chug! Chug! Chug!   

You Need Haircuts Every Two Weeks

You Need Haircuts Every Two We... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Military Hygiene Rules You Might Not Have Heard Before
Photo: Damon J. Moritz/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

It's long been a staple of modern militaries to prescribe short hairstyles for its soldiers, but how do they maintain that fresh look? Different soldiers have different rules, but the standard seems to be you need a haircut every two weeks. The good news is you don't have to pay for it.