It's official: Soldiers can now wear earbuds while working out in a gym in their PT uniform.
Close-up of ear with ear bud
Photo Credit: Getty Images/BananaStock
Soldiers do assorted PT - running, stretching, pushups, sit ups, medicine ball at Ft. Myer, Virginia.
Photo Credit: Army Times file
Fitness experts recommend the Navy adopt exercises that use a medicine ball to assess a sailor's explosive power, needed for skills like damage control. Here, Aviation Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Dennis Ross performs burpees with a medicine ball during a functional fitness class in the hangar bay aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt.
Photo Credit: MC3 Anna Van Nuys/Navy
Soldiers lobbied for the Army to OK the use of earbuds when working out in the gym in uniform. SMA Dailey listened.
Photo Credit: Sgt. Amanda Tucker/Army
SMA Dailey makes PT a priority for himself, and he wants soldiers to follow his lead.
Photo Credit: Mike Morones/Staff
Soldiers can now wear earbuds with their uniforms when they're doing PT in the gym. Soldiers lobbied Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey for the change. Army leaders approved it May 6.
Photo Credit: Sgt. Brandon M Banzhaf/Army
"Effective immediately, unless the unit or installation commander prohibits otherwise, soldiers may use headphones, including wireless or non-wireless devices and earpieces, in uniform only while performing individual physical training in indoor gyms or fitness centers," according to the directive signed by Acting Army Secretary Patrick Murphy.
Here's what you need to know about wearing headphones during PT, as outlined in Army Directive 2016-20.
• Soldiers may not wear their headphones beyond the permitted area in any manner, including around the neck or attached to the uniform.
• All headphones must be "conservative and discreet."
• Ear pads cannot be more than 1.5 inches in diameter at the widest point.
• Soldiers may wear electronic devices, such as music players or cell phones, as outlined in Army Regulation 670-1, which governs the wear and appearance of Army uniforms and insignia.
• Soldiers can wear a solid black armband for those electronic devices in the gym or fitness center. They cannot wear the armband beyond the permitted area.
• The guidelines are punitive for soldiers, and any violations may result in adverse administrative action and/or charges under the provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
• The directive applies to soldiers in all components — active, Army National Guard and Army Reserve.
Earlier this year, Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey brought the headphones proposal to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley after months of feedback from soldiers, including during town hall meetings and troop visits. Milley approved the proposal in early February, but it wasn't official until the directive was signed May 6.
Soldiers have long argued that headphones should be OK to wear while PTing in the gym while in uniform.
Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Before this change, AR 670-1 prohibited soldiers from wearing wireless or non-wireless devices or earpieces while wearing Army uniforms. But a soldier dressed in civilian clothes was able to work out in the same gym and wear his headphones.
Last summer, when discussing this issue with Army Times, Dailey said it would be "pretty hypocritical" to allow soldiers in civilian clothes to wear headphones in the gym but not those in uniform.
One thing that hasn't changed: earbuds while doing PT outside.
Citing safety concerns, that will "never" be allowed, Dailey said.