Can my Commander ban every Soldier or remove Alcohol privielges for every Soldier in the unit? | – Leader Development for Army Professionals

Can my Commander ban every Soldier or remove Alcohol privielges for every Soldier in the unit?

Does a commander have the authority to ban all Soldiers in his unit from buying/consuming alcohol outside of duty hours? I've looked through AR 600-85 and a couple others but can't find anything specific.

Short Anser

Based on the information you provided Absolutely NOT! 


The commander’s authority does not exceed law.  He/She  can prevent alcohol in the barracks, but they cannot make a random policy for everyone not to consume alcohol.  Does this order or policy also apply to the commander, the XO, senior enlisted, etc?


All this goes out the window if they are deployed, on training maneuvers, if the Soldier is enrolled in ASAP, then yes, the commander can order that Soldier not to consume alcohol. etc.  Under such conditions consumption of alcohol can be prohibited.

Normal Operations

If it is a normal duty day and the unit is not going through multiple days of training, then no, the commander cannot order everyone not to drink because a few members got DUI’s, public intoxicated, etc.


Use this Information Wisely!

Be careful how you use this information.  Be Professional, factual, calm.  Might want to speak to your local IG or JAG first as well.  Don’t win the Battle and lose the war!


Special Thanks TO:

Our Legal SME Doug for helping us out with this one!

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posted on 11/23/2015 under Q&A
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.

Disclaimer: Though all content posted on is reviewed by our qualified subject matter experts, you should not make decisions based solely on the information contained in this post. Use information from multiple sources when making important professional decisions. This is not an official government website.

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