personnel bringing Field Sanitation Teams (FST) to train the unit soldiers on proper
sanitation procedures. The problems were noted and corrected quickly.
a. The types of waste generated in the field are very similar to those found on an
installation (garbage, rubbish, hazardous, and regulated medical waste). However, the
problem of waste disposal under field conditions differs from that of a garrison situation
in two important ways:
(1) The installation engineer exercises overall responsibility for waste
disposal facilities and services on the installation, whereas in the field, the commander
of each unit is responsible for waste disposal activities within his unit in the field
(2) Another difference is that while installation solid waste disposal facilities
are of a permanent nature, those used in the field are usually temporary and
improvised. In earlier days, Romans disposed of solid wastes by "open dumping." No
longer can solid waste be disposed of in such a manner. Units in the field cannot take
waste disposal for granted. A lack of attention to waste disposal activities in the field
can quickly result in a breakdown of proper sanitation procedures with the resultant
increase in disease and infections among unit personnel.
b. Federal and State legislatures have implemented laws that are aimed at
protecting our environment. The U.S. Army regulations are often complex and difficult
to find. Most soldiers are unfamiliar with their requirements but are learning quickly.
Therefore, The Commander' s Guide to Environmental Law was developed to guide the
commander in understanding environmental obligations (installation and field) and
helpfully highlighting requirements of laws and regulations. Because it is a guide, the
commander is to contact appropriate agencies for specific and technical guidance.
Section II. SOLID WASTE DISPOSAL IN THE FIELD
FIELD DISPOSAL OF HUMAN WASTE
The disposal of human waste, essentially urine and feces, constitutes a major
part of the waste and disposal problem in the field. Obviously, when units train in the
field, human waste poses a threat to our environment and to the soldiers. Sanitation
and proper hygiene are as important as food and shelter. If not properly contained,
human waste can directly contaminate our water supply and can indirectly contaminate
our water supply by leaching into underground water sources. It also poses a threat of
disease directly and by providing a breeding ground for insects and other pests.
However, the construction of field latrines can also damage our environment and, in
some cases, approval is required before they are constructed (new environmental laws