army general orders

3 Army General Orders Explained

Army general orders are the foundation of the military branch.

They are a series of guidelines that one must follow in the absence of more specific orders from a superior officer.

For this reason, Army general orders exist to maintain personal conduct as well as cover daily expectations.

It’s important to remember the 3 general orders prior to arriving at basic training.

Boot camp will absolutely drill these orders into your conscious, so it never hurts to get a head start.

Consequently, learn about the 3 Army general orders that every new recruit should memorialize prior to basic training.

Related Article11 General Orders For Each Military Branch

Army General Orders Explained

us army general orders

Army general orders exist for a reason.

The general orders have been around for many years and provide each service member with a set of rules and guidelines.

It’s crucial to learn the 3 Army general orders prior to arrival at boot camp.


Army basic training requires new recruits to memorialize the general orders prior to graduation, so it never hurts to get a head start.

Army general orders include rules and guidelines such as:

  • Army General Orders of the Sentry
  • Soldier’s Creed
  • Code of Conduct
  • Army Core Values

Regardless, the most important to memorialize are the Army General Orders of the Sentry.

Currently, there are 3 Army general orders that every soldier must remember:

  1. I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved.”
  2. I will obey my special orders and perform all of my duties in a military manner.
  3. It’s my responsibility to report violations of my special orders, emergencies, and anything not covered in my instructions to the commander of the relief.

The military branch assigns general orders as basic rules and personal conduct for how duties need to get performed while on watch.

Thus, the real challenge arrives when you are deployed and on duty.

While guard duty may seem boring it’s worthwhile to maintain operations and keep personnel safe.

Now, let’s examine each of the 3 Army general orders in more detail:

Army General Order #1

us army first general order

The first Army general order is:

“I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved.”

In the military, it’s absolutely vital to be punctual.

Therefore, service members should always be early for duty, preferably at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the assignment.

It’s crucial to be early for military service since this is the ultimate example of respect, courtesy, and accountability.

Arriving early allows you to understand the watch area along with other responsibilities of the assignment.

Military personnel are held accountable for all weapons, supplies, and equipment they are assigned to protect or maintain.

Furthermore, service members are not allowed to leave their post early, and for any reason.

It includes trips to the bathroom and other situations that allow you to leave prior to the end of the watch.

Consequently, make sure you never leave your watch until properly relieved.

Army General Order #2

Secondly, Army general orders maintain that:

“I will obey my special orders and perform all of my duties in a military manner.”

In other words, service members are expected to conduct themselves in a “military manner”.

The Armed Forces defines a “military manner” as always being awake and alert, remaining professional, and treating others with respect and courtesy.

As a result, general orders outline that personnel must accept special orders even if they are outside the realm of traditional responsibilities.

Moreover, those on guard are not allowed to have distractions such as magazines, books, or electronic devices.

These include smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other personal electronics.

Additionally, military personnel are not allowed to sleep, smoke, or drink while on duty.

It’s against Army rules which specifically mentions: “you will not have any material, object, etc. of distraction that doesn’t pertain to your watch”.

Consequently, one must always be on watch while assigned to guard a gate, tower, or other military installation.

Army General Order #3

The general orders conclude with the third guideline:

“I will report violations of my special orders, emergencies, and anything not covered in my instructions to the commander of the relief.”

Army general orders exist for a purpose.

They are designed to provide basic instructions and expectations while on duty.

Accordingly, the third general order reminds soldiers to remain alert and pay attention.

Military personnel should document and report anything out of the ordinary immediately to a supervisor.

If you are not sure, ask before granting approval to anyone seeking access.

Furthermore, it’s your responsibility to understand all special orders and details of the assignment.

You can only receive these expectations by arriving on time as well as confirming duties with the individual that was previously guarding the post.

In the end, you are accountable for your post so make sure your actions follow the rules set forth in the general orders.

Related Article11 Marine Corps General Orders

How to Remember Army General Orders

general orders army

Regardless if you are guarding a gate or detainee, your role in the military is important.

Thus, make sure to treat your responsibilities with care and attention.

You, and only you, are accountable for your actions (or lack thereof).

As a result, it’s important to memorialize general orders before arriving at boot camp.

It will present you with a huge edge over other recruits as well as help you stand out, and in a good way!

Army general orders are important to follow for several reasons:

  • Allow you to follow orders.
  • Teach you to be punctual (arrive at least 15 minutes early).
  • Teach you to remain alert, especially in adverse/emergency situations.
  • Prevent accidents and safeguard lives / property.
  • Maintain order and establish guidelines for personal conduct.

There are several tips for remembering the 3 Army general orders.

First, the best practice is not to memorize the general orders in order.


It’s crucial to know them all, however, practicing out of order will enable you to remember them faster.

In boot camp, it’s not uncommon for drill sergeants to quiz you about the general orders, and ask out of order.

Thus, knowing all 3 general orders, in addition to what each number stipulates, will help you thrive at basic training.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family for support.

Your loved ones can grill you while you prepare for the challenges that await at boot camp.

On average, it only takes a couple of weeks of practice to memorize the 3 Army general orders.

Other Military General Orders

The U.S. Army is not the only military branch that utilizes general orders.

In fact, each military branch enforces general orders to some degree.

Some of the basic, overlapping guidelines include:

  1. I will take charge of this post and all government property.
  2. I will guard my post in a military manner and always remain alert.
  3. It’s my duty to report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce.
  4. I will quit my post only when properly relieved.
  5. I will receive, obey, and pass on to the sentry who relieves me all orders from the commanding officer.
  6. It’s my responsibility to salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased.

Are you interested in joining the military? Here are 41 Questions You Should Ask a Military Recruiter.

Related ArticleHow To Properly Salute In The Military


Army general orders are provided as basic rules and guidelines in the absence of more formal instructions.

Often, these general orders are applied to situations where military personnel are guarding a post.

Thus, it’s the responsibility of each service member to memorialize the 3 Army general orders.

During boot camp, new recruits will get drilled and tested on their knowledge of the general orders.

Consequently, it doesn’t hurt to get a head start and memorialize the general orders prior to arrival at boot camp.

Army basic training tests your physical and mental aptitude.

For this reason, make sure you start working on getting into shape, memorizing the Army’s rank structure (enlisted and officer), and only bring what is allowed to boot camp.

Doing so will give you a huge advantage over other, unsuspecting recruits that failed to memorize the Army general orders.

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    General Orders Army

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    Army general orders exist as basic rules and guidelines for military personnel to observe in absence of more formal, specific instructions.

    Originally posted on 11/28/22

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