1. Take the Speed Limit Seriously
Military posts are heavily patrolled by both Military Police (MP) and Federal Police in marked and unmarked cars. These police officers rarely believe in giving you a warning and will likely cite you for going 1 mph over the speed limit. Don’t make the rookie mistake of cruising 5 mph over the speed limit because it is what you typically do back home. The fines are not cheap and you will regret it. Also, if you are on post between 0600 and 0800, be aware of Physical Training (PT) signs. During this time the speed limit is 15 mph around designated routes and these areas are 100% patrolled.
2. Leave your Camera at Home
Since 9/11, there has been a general prohibition of taking photos or videos on military installations without prior Public Affairs Office (PAO) permission. This includes pictures of personnel, which means no pictures of you and your staff conducting workshops or collecting data without prior permission. Depending on the military installation, this may be enforced differently. Some posts are strict while others are more lenient. Generally, you don’t want to be in civilian clothing taking pictures of military equipment or personnel. Don’t take the chance of getting your favorite camera confiscated and being escorted out by security – leave that camera home!
3. Dress Appropriately
Your attire will partly depend on your purpose for visiting the post. If you are there for a high level briefing, then formal business attire is appropriate. However, it is more likely that you will be visiting for the purposes of data collection. You want to dress appropriately but do not overdress. No suits or ties are necessary. Khakis and polo shirts are appropriate but never jeans and sandals. Remember that if you are collecting data that you will want your participants to feel comfortable with you and you also want to be comfortable. It is common to have to go to a remote location to collect data or meet with personnel. Don’t be that person that is lagging behind because your dress shoes or business jacket is getting messy with dirt and soil.
Most importantly, remember to be respectful and kind. You will hear great stories and learn a lot from working side-by-side with American heroes. Enjoy your trip!