Your Soldier has learned the meaning of living the Army Values, has been tested in endurance, physical fitness and confidence, and there is a good chance he or she will be a completely different person with a different outlook on what is important in life. Be respectful of traditions and the change that your Soldier has gone through, re-adjustment can be tedious. Soldiers will likely talk less, eat quicker, and be less affectionate in public. This is all part of their training.Typically, Soldiers fresh out of Basic Training will not be allowed to change out of their uniforms and may be required to carry a water source at all times. They may also have pass restrictions, which may keep them on post or only allow them to leave during certain times. Do not expect your Soldier to be able to pick you up from the airport or do any of the driving; you will need to make your own transportation arrangements.
You are on the Army’s schedule while attending a military graduation. Be respectful of the fact that everything is subject to change, and does so often. A schedule is strictly enforced while in the Army, unless told otherwise. Ten minutes means ten minutes.
You may not get to see your Soldier immediately upon arrival. If you see your Soldier while he or she is in a formation and they do not smile, nod, wave or even look your way – do not be offended. They have been taught to act this way. You may not approach your Soldier while he or she is in a formation, standing in line or at other times when he or she is not released for personal time.
There is a rank structure in the Army, and Soldiers are expected to behave a certain way when in public and around higher-ranking Soldiers. Be respectful of that, and do not make fun of your Soldier for his or her behavior.
In the Army, the rules are not made to be broken. If your Soldier tells you that he or she is not allowed to do something or go somewhere, you must be respectful of those rules in order not to jeopardize your Soldier’s standing within the unit or even his or her career.
Soldiers are not allowed to: wear their headgear inside; chew gum while in uniform; smoke, drink, eat, or talk on a cellphone while walking; have their hands in their pockets except to place or remove an item; drink alcohol while in uniform; conduct public displays of affection.
Try to walk on the left side of your Soldier so that he or she may salute higher-ranking officers as necessary. Also, try to help them carry packages or bulky items as well as be the one pushing the stroller for the same reason.