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U.S. Army Inspections: Barracks Inspection

The third article in the inspection series covers techniques and guidelines for conducting barracks inspections. Frequent barracks inspections provide leaders the ability to monitor the health and welfare of their Soldiers. Many Soldiers feel this inspection is unfair as they are subject to more inspections than the Soldiers who live off-post or in post quarters. To some degree this is understandable but Soldiers must also understand that unit leadership is directly responsible for helping to maintain the barracks and therefore must actively check the barrack to ensure proper maintenance is being conducted and that Soldiers are taking care of the barracks.

Squad leaders should be checking the barrack on an informal basis 2-3 times a week. The platoon sergeant should be conducting an informal check weekly along with the First Sergeant. These checks should include spot checking rooms for cleanliness/neatness, physical security compliance, equipment failures, and maintenance issues.

posted on 08/17/2011 under Articles
Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training..

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  • Teresa


    I currently maintain a sterile corner of the room (i have a roommate) as i live off post and my chain of command is fully aware of that. The person who is currently filling in for the squad leader gives us a text on saturday telling us she will be by on sunday in the morning to do room inspections. As sunday comes by, the acting squad leader text me around 1230 to tell me she is on her way to my room. I inform her that my roommate should be there, since i only maintain the room. She tells me that because she told me she was going to inspect it that i had to have been waiting for her all morning until she showed up, and that i had to make my bed. I could not find a regulation that said i must put linen on my bed nor one that said i must sit outside my room waiting on her to show up on a sunday morning. I am now getting counseled by her for not being at the right place. Was i in the absolute wrong? Please and Thank you.

    • Mark Gerecht


      Based on the situation as you described it seems alittle odd. If there was a reason for the inspection, poor conditions in the room, etc. I could see having you come in on Sunday. Linen on the bed that may be a unit requirement. Would recommend you check your billet SOP and with your platoon sergeant and or 1SG. Usually a leader will state something like we will conduct a room inspection at 1300 hours on Sunday. I have not heard of I will be there sometime that day so just hang out. If you are getting a counseling statement do not get bent out of shape. Simply disagree with the counseling statement and write your side of the situation in the session closing block or on a separate sheet of paper. If this is a big issue for you then run it up through the chain of command. If the NCO is out of line the platoon sergeant or 1SG will discuss it with them. If you do decide to take it to the chain of command make sure you are factual, calm, and professional.

      The following post might be of interest to you:

      U.S. Army Inspections: Barracks Inspection
      Can Leaders Trash a Room during an Inspection?
      Can my 1SG make me keep my room to basic training standards and inspect me every day – including weekends?
      Am I required to live in the barracks/billets?

      Hope this Helps!
      Did you find this response helpful? I would appreciate your feedback!

      • Teresa


        Thank you for your help. I looked at the unit SOP & barracks management & non of them specified having to make my bed or put uniforms in the closet. I still went ahead & did it anyways. Since that occasion the CPL has only came to do a Sunday room inspection on me & I have a Saturday room inspection coming up this 3 day weekend.

  • pv2vassar


    If i live in on post hlusing can my ncoic still inspect my house with my wife and kids. There

  • SGT Jane doe


    Can the 1SG decided to do a room inspections on the weekend and make it mandatory for all occupants to be present. ….on a three day?

  • SSG Layne


    Thank you for this article. There is a lot of great advice here !

  • Jessie


    Can leadership enter a room without soldier being present? Or even check my computer while I’m not present? I am wondering this because I have over $20,000 worth of personal items in my room. I don’t like persons in my room when I’m not away and don’t understand how my room is secure if they can come in when ever they feel like it

    • Eck


      Yes, leadership can enter a room without the Soldier present to perform health and welfare inspections. They can only look at what is out in the open. They are not authorized to open drawers move stuff around , etc. That is a search not an inspection. Only the commander or a member of law enforcement can authorize a search, and then, only when probable cause is established.

      As far as your computer goes, they can only look at what is on the screen in open view. If the computer is off they are not allowed to turn it on. If it’s a laptop and the closed, they are not allowed to open it up. If it is on, they are not allowed to dig around the files, open programs, etc.

      I understand how you feel about leadership going through your room without you being present, but it is authorized. I never cared for it when I lived in the barracks. The main reason for these inspections is to see how the Soldiers are living from day to day, ensuring cleanliness and the maintenance of the facilities.

      You mentioned you have over $20,000 worth of personal items in your room. I strongly recommend, if you haven’t already, you fill out an inventory sheet of your valuables, including serial numbers, and have it placed in your unit personnel file. Also, keep a copy for your records. This will assist in the unfortunate event your room is broken into. It will assist with any claim you may have in the event of loss or damage. I would also suggest you look into taking out a renters insurance policy to help cover any unfortunate losses or damage to your items.

      I hope you found this useful.

      “I am not an attorney and any views presented are my own and are not to be interpreted as legal advice. Furthermore, my views do not necessarily represent the views of DoD or its Components.”

      • MrNeedsFacts


        I do see that in AR 190-22, that inspections are different from searches and that inspections cannot be used as subterfuge for conducting a search (AR 190-22). But could you please state which AR and CH/Paragraph states that are not allowed to open drawers and move items around during a routine room inspection (for both the case of with the SM present or SM is absent)? That would be great!!

  • Mike


    Can leadership enter a soldiers room when the soldier isn’t present?

    I ask because this has been happening to me. I’m not hiding anything, but feel disrespected when this happens. This is my home away from home and I don’t let random people in my house while I’m gone.

    They also knock (When I am present) as they are putting the master key in the lock and let themselves in. They don’t even give me time to stand up before they are in my room. I get why inspections are necessary. I’ve seen what happens to a barrack/room that doesn’t get inspected, but a little respect and courtesy goes a long way.

    Thanks for the advice.

    • Eck


      Hi Mike,

      Leadership can enter the barracks unannounced to ensure the health and welfare of the Soldiers living in the barracks. This can occur whether or not the Soldier is in the room or not. There are better ways to perform an inspection when the Soldier is in the room than just knocking and walking in. However, it is not required to wait for the Soldier to open the door.

      From your post, you understand the necessity for inspections and, do to past problems in the barracks, these inspections are going to continue.
      While it is an inconvenience, especially if you are in the room relaxing when the command walks through, by having your room in acceptable condition, your room will get less scrutiny than other Soldiers who don’t keep their room as well maintained.

      I hope you found this information useful.

      “The views presented by the author are his own and do not necessarily represent the views of DoD or its Components.”

      Disclaimer: I am not an attorney and any views presented are my own and are not to be interpreted as legal advice. Furthermore, my views do not necessarily represent the views of DoD or its Components.

      • Red


        This is incorrect, they must have probable cause, consent, or established a date and time in the reasonable future.
        See Military Rules of Court Martial rules 313, 314, and 315.

      • Eck



        MCM Rule 313, “Inspections
        may utilize any reasonable natural or technological
        aid and may be conducted with or without notice to
        those inspected.”
        Rule 314, covers searches that do not require probable cause. A search is totally different than an inspection. A search is when the command is looking for something specific, i.e. contraband, evidence of a crime, etc. This was not the questions asked above. The questions referred to inspections, not searches. Two totally different legal scenarios.
        Rule 315, covers Probable Cause Searches, again, this addresses a search, not an inspection.

        An inspection is administrative in nature, where a search is a function of gathering evidence that may or may not require probable cause. Rule 314 versus Rule 315.

        The command does not require permission, notification to, or the presence of the Soldier to inspect their room in the barracks.

        Again, searches are an entirely different animal with different and more stringent requirements than a search.

        I hope this helps.

      • Eck


        Last sentence should be: “Again, searches are an entirely different animal with different and more stringent requirements than an inspection.”

      • lilsoldierboy


        Anyone know the ar for what qualifies as room inspection or search the whole can’t open draws intrigues me since I consistantly undergo extra pt for having specs of dust in some of my empty drawers.

  • Part-Time-Commander


    As a young Soldier, I never really enjoyed the barracks inspections. I understand they are important and necessary, but I always felt that my privacy was being invaded. A true professional (NCO/Officer) can conduct an inspection the right way, so the person with the room getting inspected can still have some privacy. There is definitely a right way and wrong way to do a barracks inspection. Just my two cents.

  • Jesse Jaymes


    Thank you very much your very helpful. Been most helpful but like I said before . Having my room checked at 05:30 allows me to be up and awake for PT and makes me wanna push myself instead of trying to wake up. Thank you for the advice.

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