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To be born a Gentleman is an Accident
But to die a Gentleman is an Achievement
Army, being the largest of the three uniformed services of the Armed
Forces, has their own customs & norms. Some of them have been handed
down from distant past while others are of more recent origin. It is by the
observance of customs & traditions that the svc has attained high prestige &
considerable reputation for its members.
Custom is the great guide to human life; customs involve something
more than habit of action which is evoked after long historical process of
adherence by the members of a society. A custom is an established usage and
consists of positive action which is reasonable and universally accepted.
Etiquette is the art of life. It means behaving a little better than is
absolutely essential. Etiquette is the code of behaviour that delineates
expectations for social behavior according to contemporary norms within a
4. The aim of this presentation is to re-orient with the customs and etiquette
in Bangladesh army and its implementation.

During the presentation the following points will be highlighted:

a. Mil courtesy.
b. Mess.
c. Club.
d. Call on.
e. Table manners.
f. Dress.
g. Social obligation and etiquette.
h. Courtesy towards sr.

j. Needs to maintain svc customs.
k. Donts
l. Conclusion.
Mil Courtesy.
Mil courtesy is the term used to include those spl customary acts and
ceremonial procedures which are required between members of armed forces.
The methods of expressing mil courtesy are distinctive and precise. Fol
are some example of mil courtesy:
Saluting. Is a sign of recog between men of an honurable
profession. It is a svc tradition, centuries old and maint by reg.
(1) A jr must salute a superior offr ack of an order given to him
(2) A jr salutes an offr sr to him in rk before and after adds him on
a matter of duty.
(3) A jr salutes an offr sr to him in rk on entering and lve his ofce.
(4) An offr must return the salute smartly looking at the jr directly
in the eye.
Reveile, Retreat and last post. During reveile it is reqr to get up.
But is case of retreat by bugle all offrs and other rks in the hearing dstn
must stand to attn. During the last post offrs are to remain at attn and
The National Flag. It is customary to salute the National Flag when
it is being hoisted or handled down at reveile and retreat respectively.
The National Anthem. All offrs in unf will stand to attn and salute if
the ntl Anthem is played.
No Thanks. It is an ancient mil custom not to thank a superior
when he does something for your favour.
No excuse. It is traditionally expected that, the offr should not offer
excuse to justify his mistake.

The gen purpose of an offrs mess is to promote cordiality, comradeship
and esprit-de-corps. Every offr should be acquainted himself with the rules of
offrs mess to ensure the sound running of the mess both administratively and

Some important mess rules and customs of offrs as below:

A lady must not be discussed in the mess.
Drawing a sword or a dagger or taking of rearms, or uncased
pistols or revolvers is forbidden inside the mess buildings.
Criticism of the members of the mess and topics of religion and
politics must be avoided.
Low jokes are out of place at the mess table.
Do no visit the mess during working hours unless you are on the
sick list or returning from or going of leave. In the formal case you must
obtain the permission of the Med Offr.
Never invite a guest to dine without first seeking the permission of the
Ladies are not allowed to visit or become member of the officer
messes, unless, they are commissioned, in which case they can become
members of the ofcers mess.
Headgears will not be worn inside the mess. If on any occasion
you cannot comply with local orders on dress then, apologize to the
mess president or to the senior ofcer present. Such an occurrence,
should however, be very rare.
An officer who enters the mess improperly dressed should be
required to pay for light drinks.
Conversation in the mess should be conned to one language at a
time, i.e. either English or Bengali with which, all supposed to be familiar.

10. The club serves as a gathering place for diversion while off duty for the
offr and his family. Every club has its rules and there should be ascertained by
members and strictly fol:
a. Unlike an offr. mess it is not necessary for an offr to rise from his
chairs when a sr offr enters the room.
b. A jr. should rise when approached and addressed by a sir is
c. Conversation in a club should be in a low voice.
d. When a lady joins or leaves a table, all gentleman present must rise.
e. Ladies Club is a place of social gathering for ladies.

Call on
11. Need for Calling. Calling is one of the main ways by which officers and
their families get to know each other. An ofcer meets only some of his
colleagues and senior officers daily in the discharge of his duties, but his wife
does not do so. So it is necessary for calling.
12. Formal Calling. On arrival at a station, juniors are expected to call on
seniors first. In case both ofcers are of equal rank, the latest to arrive at the
station must call on the other rst. A call must be returned within twenty-four
13. Time of Call. The normal time to call is between 1900 and 2000 hours in
winter and 1930 to 2030 hours in summer. The duration of these calls is about
20 minutes, after which one should rise, express words of farewell and go.
Returning Calls. It is most important that calls should be retuned
promptly. It is the accepted convention that calls should be returned within a
fortnight or, at the latest, within three weeks.
Table Manners
15. Table manners of all conventions can be said to be a recognized unwritten
convention almost universal thought the civilized world. As an offr is also a
gentle man, his code of behaviour and manners are guided by conventions
which are accepted in civilized societies. Some gen table hints are as fol:
a. Sit straight during meal.
b. Keep your hands over your lap before starting meal and against the
edge of table while eating.
c. Never wipe the plate with your napkin. This is embarrassing for the host.
d. Do not make sounds while eating, swallowing, drinking or sipping.
e. Use napkin before drinking from glass to prevent leaving traces of food
on the rim of the glass.
f. Do not talk with food in your mouth or address a guest who has food in
his mouth.
g. Lips should he remained closed whenever food is in the mouth.
16. It is traditional that an offr is well turned out, both in and out unf. It
inspires personal confidence.

17. Offrs are expected to meet the high std of dress in svc. One has to be
careful in the selection of his cloths which should fit him whether he is wearing
unf or chives.
18. There are various dress code for different occasions (Office, luncheon,
dinner, call on , sports, party, casual walk etc).
a. For normal occasions dark coloured suit is preferred (except evening
b. Ties should always be neat and quiet.
c. Shoes should be plain and neat.
d. Sleeping dress should be worn during in bed.
e. Cross-dress is prohibited.
f. Ladies should wear suitable dress which reflects their attitude.
Social Obligation and Etiquette
19. The offr, and if married, his family who wish to derive the greatest
satisfaction from svc life may enhance the possibilities by observing a few
simple policies:
Strives to be an good terms with all.
Choose your close associates with care.
Avoid open expressions of dislike.
Avoid cliques.
20. Behaviour with Ladies. One of the established rules of good society is
that women deserve special consideration and protection. They should be
shielded from unpleasant or embarrassing situations, assisted when
confronted with difficulty. Gentlemen let not remain seated in the presence of
21. Behavior to Civilian. An Army's image, public relations which are invaluable
assets for armies of modern democratic society can greatly be enhanced by
military off1cers behavior with civilians.
22. Behavior with Foreign Officers.
During the span of normal Army
career, and officer and his family can expect overseas assignments course
abroad, UN mission etc. Also, friendly nations send officers to our Army. We
show the utmost understanding, courtesy and hospitality to these officers at al
23. Other Common Behavior.
Some of the common behaviors mentioned
bellow should also get due to importance:

a. Punctuality. An officer must exemplary punctual. It raises his
personal image.
b. Desires of the Commander. The wish or the desire of a
commander is generally assumed to have the weight as an order.
C. Chewing. The chewing habit whether of sweets, gum or bittle leaf
(pan) is most objectionable.
d. Grumbling. Dont grumble at your wife or husband in the presence of
other people.
e. Interruptions. It is very ill mannered to interrupt another person in the
middle of a speech.
f. Jokes. Gentleman never makes a joke of a doubtful nature in the
presence of lady.
g. Language. Never, under any circumstances, use bad language in
public or in any place where ladies are present.
h. Noises. Avoid making unpleasant noises in company. Do not clear
the throat loudly, or belch.
j. Knowledge. Do not try to show off your knowledge on any subject
when in company, if people want your expert opinion on something they
will ask for it.
The Courtesy towards Senior.
24. When entering vehicle, the junior enters first and sits on the left of the
senior. When leaving vehicle the senior sits firs and other follow in order to
25. A Junior when addressed by a senior came to attention when seated.
26. It is customary ton an officer entering the office of an equal in rank to
salute. On the only of an officer senior to him in rise the officer in the chair will
rise and wish him. By Assalamu Alaikllm or Good morning Sir.
27. On leaving the office the junior officer in the chair will rise and salute his
28. Junior officers should not be afraid of taking part in to conversation with
senior officers in the mess.
29. During walking together sr offr should be in the right side.
The Need to Maintain Service Customs.
30. The customs of the armed forces are traditional in that they have been
handed over through the ages from the senior the junior. Tradition in a great

unifying and driving force. The former have given the world a name for then
shall Esprit De Corps Every serviceman knows its meaning. It is an integral
part of service life.
Some Important Donts

Fol matters are customary to avoid:

a. Dont ever contradict your sr ofcers.
b. Dont show favoritism.
c. Dont give your opinion unless it is asked.
d. Dont be too ashy about your work.
e. Dont talk in a loud voice.
f. Dont ever criticize other units or brag about your own,
g. Dont keep on saying that you cannot afford to do this or that.
h. Dont be too free with the subordinates in your unit nor too stand
i. Dont curse subordinates.
j. Dont be too dressy, but be smart in your turnout all times.
k. Dont push yourself forward at the expense of others, especially your
l. Dont quarrel.
m. Dont fail to show respect for senior officers at all times, but avoid a
servile or fawning manner.
n. Dont open a conversation with, very senior officers; leave it to them.
o. Dont try to evade your responsibilities.
p. Dont indulge in adverse criticism of junior or senior officers in private
q. Dont discuss Official Service matters with anyone.
r. Dont discuss Service matters at home.
s. Dont allow your hair to grow long.

32. A confidant mil offr must know the customs and etiquettes of Bangladesh
Army. A gentleman offr must know the implementation of customs and
etiquette in each sector in and out side the cantt. This will enable the mil pers
to meet challenge of personal interaction in a manner that reects the highest
std of conduct.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could
Two roads diverged in wood, and
I took one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference
-Robert Forest



33. Following Refs has been used:
a. Customs & Etiquette prcis, Bangladesh Military Academy
b. Book of Etiquette and Manners by Nimeran Sahukar & Prem P.Bhalla