"Military bearing" is a term a soldier will hear numerous amount of times throughout his/her military career.
The US Army Field Manual 6-22 defines military bearing as "projecting a commanding presence, a professional image of authority."" While this can point someone in the right direction, it is still a relatively broad definition. With military bearing being such a broad term, it is loosely open to interpretation. One could state that everything about being a soldier is encompassed by military bearing. From rendering the proper salutes and courtesies to being competent in the technical aspect of one's job. To strip this term down to its bare essentials, it simply refers to the way a soldier conducts himself or herself and is viewed by peers, seniors, subordinates, and any non-military personnel. This begins with having a military and professional appearance. Being in the military means that one automatically represents the United States of America. In doing so, it also makes military members a target for scrutiny. .
Field Manual 6-22 states, "Soldiers seen in public with their jackets unbuttoned and ties undone do not send a message of pride and professionalism". Instead, they let down their unit and fellow Soldiers in the eyes of the American people. Conversely to giving superiors a bad first impression, the same could be said for subordinates. If a leader routinely arrives at formation in the incorrect uniform, without a haircut and/or exceeds the height and weight standards, then his/her subordinates will not show any respect for them. Displaying a proper military and professional appearance sends a clear signal: being proud of the uniform and of the United States of America. This will also show that U.S. military soldiers have discipline: discipline enough to remain calm and rational under the stresses and pressures of combat. Military bearing applies to absolutely everything that you do in the army, from the way you carry yourself to the way you present yourself.