US Army is considering removing alcohol restrictions in the barracks

Staff Sgt. Cecilia Vygodin, III Armored Corps, People First Center cadre, acts out a scene in which she has been sexually assaulted by Sgt. Justin Sabey, III Armored Corps, People First Center cadre at Fort Hood, Texas April. 12, 2022. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel Herman)

The US Army is looking to relax alcohol restrictions in the barracks, and the head non-commissioned officer is involved.

“The intent, first right off the bat, was [to] ask ourselves ‘do we have the right culture that we want in the Army for alcohol?’” Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston said.

“I think that was a fair question,” he added, “And I think the majority of the individuals said ‘yes, we need to take this on and do something about it.’”

The discussion at a recent summit for senior NCOs, according to Task & Purpose.

Currently, some restrictions include one 12-pack of beer, two 750ml bottles of wine, or one 750ml bottle of liquor per soldier in their barracks room.

Several Investigations into the matter of alcohol consumption among barracks-billeted troops revealed that “Enforcement had no significant association with alcohol consumption.”

The United States Army, in an attempt to foster a healthy alcohol culture by reversing a draconian over-correction, is now trying to find a healthy balance.

So really, the question is “how much is too much?”

“The upstream of this is ‘do we have the alcohol culture right in the Army?’ The downstream is, when you look at suicide, how many people were drinking before they picked up the gun? When you look at a sexual assault, how many people had drank in excess before the sexual assault?” Grinston said. “So going back to last year’s theme of Upstream, and then fast forward to this year, when we look at a lot of our suicides and sexual assaults, they have alcohol. So that leads to, ‘if we do better with responsible drinking, will we have fewer suicides and sexual assaults?’”

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