Army may consider removing alcohol restrictions from barracks

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Posted at 10:32 PM, Jul 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-15 22:32:08-04

Soldiers may soon have the chance to enjoy a cold beer in their barracks after a long day of work.

Currently, soldiers who stay in barracks at some assignments have been unable to do so due to certain policies.

According to the Military Times, Sergeant Major of the Army took to Reddit to ask questions about improving culture. One question hinted at the possibility of removing barriers for soldiers to drink alcohol in the barracks.

Changes haven't been made yet, but the Military Times reports that Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael A. Grinston says that the branch’s approach to alcohol is under consideration.

They say drinking regulation enforcement has largely been left up to individual commands, but many believe limitations don’t appear to prevent excessive drinking.

At Fort Bliss, Command Policy Letter #11 — Barracks Policy says that only soldiers older than 21 in assigned barracks rooms are allowed to keep one 750ml bottle of wine or liquor, with ABVs above 10%. That’s a standard fifth. Beer is limited to 144 ounces, or a standard 12-pack. Wine with an ABV lower than 10% is limited to about five bottles.

One Army official said he thinks giving soldiers more agency in the barracks will allow them to develop better drinking habits.

“Soldiers are saying, ‘Because I know I can only keep this amount of alcohol in my barracks, when I’m at the bar I will drink as much as I can as fast as I can because I can’t continue to drink at my barracks because you just don’t want me to have enough in there,’” Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond Quitugua Jr. of the Army Chemical Corps at Fort Leavenworth said.

Military Times reports soldiers had the highest number of hospitalizations for alcohol-related issues between 2009 and 2018, according to a 2020 Army release.