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What is the Proper Method to Conduct an In-Ranks Inspection? (Taken from Wear It Right Army Uniform Book)

Company Command: The Bottom Line - Army Leadership Guide

Form the Element

Once the element has been properly prepared for inspection as outlined in TC 3-21.5, the inspector should proceed to the first person for inspection.
The inspector should position himself fifteen inches in front of the Soldier to be inspected. The inspector should then:

• Professionally greet the Soldier.
• Ask any questions he may have for the Soldier

Upon completion of questions the Inspector should inspect the Soldier using the following technique:

The inspector will focus on the Soldier’s head. The inspector will begin moving his eyes down the front of the Soldier. Check for proper wear of the headgear, compliance with facial grooming standards, and footgear. Ensure the footgear is authorized,serviceable and properly maintained. Ensure all equipment is clean and serviceable.

The inspector may ask the Soldier to present his hands for inspection. The inspector should check the hands to ensure the Soldier is properly bathed and the fingernails are properly trimmed. He may also examine jewelry to ensure it is within standards.
The inspector should then take one half-step to the left. This step should be made in an arching manner to provide the best possible view of the left side of the Soldier. Again, the inspector starts at the top of the Soldier’s head and works his way down to the footgear noting any deficiencies in the Soldier’s uniform, equipment, or grooming standards.

The inspector then take one half step to the right aligning himself centered on the Soldier. The inspector then takes one half step to the right so that he is in the best possible position to view the right side of the uniform. He will then begin from the head and work his way to the footgear noting any uniform, equipment, or grooming deficiencies. The inspector will then take one half step to the left aligning himself so he is centered on the Soldier being inspected.

The inspector will then discuss any issues with the Soldier. Upon closure of the discussion the inspector faces to the right as in marching and moves to the next Soldier.

Upon completion of the frontal inspection the inspector will walk behind the line formation of squad and inspect the back of each Soldier while walking. This is done by starting at the head and working to the footgear noting in deficiencies with regard to uniform equipment, or grooming. Special attention should be paid to the Soldier’s footwear as the soles of the footwear may be unevenly worn.

For more extensive information on uniform wear check our the Wear It Right Uniform Quick Reference Book

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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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