Military

Everybody knows that the United States military comes with a lot of rules and regulations. Some of those regulations would qualify as downright strange -- more for the fact that military leadership had to codify them into laws than anything else. Here are a few interesting and bizarre laws to which U.S. military people have to adhere, according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice:

  • No dueling allowed: According to military law, dueling is completely off-limits. You are not allowed to expose your pistol, sword or fists as a challenge to fight someone else, even if the person wronged you. Individuals who engage in this kind of behavior will be subjected to judgment by a court-martial. They could be punished with pay deductions, one year of imprisonment and/or dishonorable discharge.

  • No drinking with prisoners: Individuals who are guarding a prisoner are not permitted to give the prisoner alcohol. The punishments associated with this offense are three months of confinement and/or two-thirds pay deductions for three months.

  • No foul language: Even though sailors have a reputation for speaking with a less than civilized tongue, this behavior is actually not permitted in the military. Off-limits language includes anything that might incite lustful thoughts, anything that is disgusting in nature, words that shock one's morality and phrases that are considered vulgar or filthy. Although it is not enforced very often, there are some serious punishments that are associated with having a foul tongue, and it is not just getting your mouth washed out with soap. Those guilty of this offense who communicated the foul language to children under 16 years of age could be subjected to dishonorable discharge, two years of confinement and/or forfeiture of pay and allowances. Otherwise, the punishment is bad-conduct discharge; forfeiture of all pay and allowances; and/or confinement for 6 months.

  • No cannonballs off the starboard bow: This does not refer to literal cannonballs, of course. Sailors are not allowed to intentionally take a dive into the ocean off their ships, even if they are wearing their swimming trunks and it is more than an hour after lunch. If they fall off the side by accident, this is not going to get them into trouble. However, intentional can opener dives off the poop deck could get you a bad conduct discharge; confinement for as long as six months; and/or forfeiture of pay and allowances.

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