5 Pet Peeves for Army Leaders

May 24, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on August 7, 2017

Here’s a short list of popular pet peeves for Army Leaders and how they became common.

1. I’m a Sergeant, a NCO, not a pay grade

Rite in the Rain notebook reading "Contact E-6 (scratched out) SSG Jo"
Why it’s a pet peeve: I didn’t get promoted to E-5. Refer to me as you address me according to AR 600-20 – as Sergeant.

How it started:

1. Someone perceives the NCO (or any Leader) as not living up to the expectations of a NCO

2. Senior leaders saying “E-4 (or E-5) and below…” instead of “Specialist (or Sergeant) and below…”.

Interestingly, I’ve heard many 1SG’s and Sergeants Major guilty of #2 dislike being called “TOP (Trainer of Personnel)” and “Smadge” respectively.

2. Hands on the belt buckle

Soldier in Improved Physical Fitness Uniform (IPFU) with hands on PT belt
Why: Many view it as unprofessional.


1. AR and DA Pam 670-1 regulation doesn’t address it.

2. Many despise or simply don’t understand the origin the regulation regarding hands in the pockets.

3. Many Leaders, and some communities, blatantly disregard the rule against hands in the pockets.

3. “Hooah!” as confirmation

Why: Many times subordinates saying “hooah” sound like a passive aggressive substitute for hesitant compliance. For example:

Senior ranking Soldier: “[Lawful or direct orders], tracking?”
Junior ranking Soldier: “Alright, obviously you don’t care about doing it the right way and you outrank me, so yeah I’ll do as you say – because UCMJ Hooah.”


Drill Sergeant: “[Words and stuff], ‘Hooah?!”
Basic Trainees in unison: “‘Hooah’ Drill Sergeant!!!”

4. Knee or elbow foam pad inserts in the ACU’s

Why: It makes the uniform bulky.

How: The inserts are more comfortable and less restrictive than external knee/elbow pads.

5. Someone always on their smartphone

Why: If you have time to scroll social media streams, you probably have time to train yourself or others on something in those cool Common Warrior tasks books. At least make sure them Specialists and Privates are reading something productive.

How: Because in 2017 the smartphone is all powerful.

Skynet casually explained –

Tags: military