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If I am a basic trainee or in advanced individual training (AIT) can my Commadner make me give up my car keys?

Can a Commander order me to give up my car keys if I am in basic training or advanced individual training?

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This is a tough one, because the Soldiers are in initial training status.  The rules are different.  This could be considered the same as taking the Soldier’s cell phone during basic training.

What does the Regulation Say?

TRADOC Reg 350-6, Table 2-1 covers privileges during BCT and AIT.  Except for the allowance of OSUT Soldiers during graduation day and Family Day can RIDE in a POV or rental with family members, only Soldiers in training from week 21 on are allowed to drive or ride in a POV or rental.  Even if the Soldier is in week 21 or farther, the driving privilege is at the discretion of the commander.  So, I can see where the command would have AIT Soldiers park in a certain parking lot and turn over the keys to the car.  This would take a SJA or Judge to determine if this is legal.  My personal opinion, is that it is legal, but I may be wrong.  I would also think that if all the units are doing this, then it has been looked at already.

Command Assumes Responsibility

Now, the command is assuming responsibility for the vehicle at that time the keys are taken.  If someone would get into the where the keys are secured and steal a car, the Soldier would have a claim against the Army for the vehicle.  If the vehicle was broken into, the command would not be liable, because having the keys in the command’s possession would have no direct influence if someone broke into the vehicle or not.  Culpability would only apply if someone got access to the keys and did something illegal.

What about a Soldier that is Reclassing to Another MOS or Prior Service?

Now, if the Soldier is a reclass or prior service Soldier, then they absolutely cannot take the keys.  TRADOC Reg 350-6 specifically states that reclass or prior service Soldiers who already have a previously awarded MOS will be treated the same as permanent party Soldiers.  This does not apply to IET Soldiers who fail to graduate their initial MOS school and were sent to second MOS school.  If this is any other school, outside of AIT, then this is absolutely illegal.

Things to Consider

If there is an issue with a Prior Service or Reclass Soldier in which the Soldier believes an action is unfair then they should consider presenting the issue to the chain of command in an effort to solve the issue at the lowest level of leadership.  Be Professional, Factual, Calm, Unemotional.

Big Thanks to ECK our guy who looks at legal stuff…but is not an attorney.  THANKS ECK!

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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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  • Robert W. Fenlason, III


    Is the reference to “TRADOC Reg 350-6, Table 2-1 covers privileges during BCT and AIT.”

    Current Reg is dated 9 Aug 19. I cannot find Table 2-1. It is not listed in the table of contents.

    I wonder if the previous reg, which had a Table 2-1, has been revised.


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