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Appendix E


This appendix implements STANAGs 2027 and 2154.
Procedures for posting military routes are standardized for the US and Allied Nations (STANAG 2027). However, this system may be integrated into other road-sign systems in accordance with military requirements.


There are three general types of standard route signs--hazard, regulatory, and guide. Table E-1 lists the way each type may be used. The size of these signs is not prescribed; they must be large enough to be easily read under poor lighting conditions. Exceptions to this rule are bridge classification signs for which dimensions are specific. As a guide, signs for civil international road use are usually not less than 16 inches square.

Typical hazard, regulatory, and guide signs

Application Type
Hazard Regulatory Guide
Advance warning of stop
signs and traffic signals
No entry Detour
Changes in road width One way Detour begins
Crossroad Parking restrictions Detour ends
Curves Specific regulations
for vehicles
Danger or hazard Speed limit Distances
Dangerous corner Stop Information to help driver
Dips Bridge classification Locations
Junction T   Route number
Junction Y    
Level railroad crossing,
advance warning
Men working    
Railroad crossing    
Road construction
Road narrows    
Slippery road    
Steep grades    
Steep hill    


Hazard signs indicate traffic hazards and require coordination with civil authorities. Hazard signs are square and are installed in a diamond position (see Figures E-1 and E-2). A military hazard sign has a yellow background with the legend or symbol inscribed in black. The wording on these signs is in the language or languages determined by the authority erecting the sign.

Figure E-1. Example of hazard signs not included in the Geneva Convention

Figure E-2. Examples of hazard signs included in the Geneva Convention


Regulatory signs regulate and control traffic and define the light line. Regulatory signs have a black background on which the legend or symbol is superimposed in white. Exceptions to these rules are bridge classification signs, stop signs, no-entry signs, and signs that apply to civil as well as military traffic. Check with civilian authorities to ensure compliance when erecting signs in areas with civilian traffic.

Light Line

Indicate the light line (the line where vehicles must use blackout lights at night) with a rectangular sign preceded by two warning panels placed according to the situation and nature of the terrain (see Figure E-3). Locate the first warning panel 200 to 500 meters before the light line.

Figure E-3. Warning and enforcement signs

Bridge/Raft Signs

All classified vehicles and bridges in the theater of operations require classification signs. Bridge signs are circular with yellow background and black inscriptions. Sign diameters are a minimum of 40 centimeters for one-lane bridges and 50 centimeters for two-lane bridges. A two-lane bridge has two numbers, side by side, on the sign. The number on the left is the bridge classification when both lanes are in use at the same time. The number on the right indicates the classification if the bridge is carrying one-way traffic and the vehicles proceed along the centerline of the bridge (see Figure E-4).

Figure E-4. Bridge signs

For bridges with separate classifications for wheeled and tracked vehicles (dual classification), use a special circular sign that indicates both classifications (only applicable if the classification is over 50) (see the right side of Figure E-4). Use a separate rectangular sign, if necessary, to show the bridge's width limitations. For one-way or two-way traffic bridges, the sign is to be a minimum of 50 centimeters.

Rectangular Bridge Signs

Additional instructions and technical information are posted on rectangular signs, which are a minimum of 41 centimeters in height or width and have a yellow background with the appropriate letters and symbols in black. Write the figures as large as the sign permits. Theater commanders may make special arrangements to indicate vehicles of exceptional width or to indicate low overhead obstructions. Use separate signs to show width or height limitations (see Figure 5-38) or technical information (see Figure E-5). Width and height signs are not required on bridges where existing civilian signs are in place and sufficiently clear.

Figure E-5. Bridge sign containing technical information

Multilane Bridge Signs

Bridges of three or more lanes are special cases that require individual consideration; the minimum widths for respective load classifications (see Table 5-8) are used. In some cases, heavier loads can be carried on a restricted lane rather than on the other lanes (see Figures E-6 and E-7). Under such circumstances, post standard bridge-classification signs for each lane and mark the restricted lanes with barricades, painted lines, or studs.

Figure E-6. Typical multilane bridge classification

Figure E-7. Example of posting a damaged bridge

Bridge Sign Placement

Ensure that signs are placed properly (as listed below) to maintain uninterrupted traffic across a bridge.

  • The bridge classification sign is placed at both ends of the bridge in a position that is clearly visible to all oncoming traffic.
  • Rectangular signs, other than those indicating height restrictions, are placed immediately below the bridge classification (circular) signs.
  • Signs that indicate height restrictions are placed centrally on the overhead obstruction.
  • Special classification numbers are never posted on standard bridge-marking signs.
  • Appropriate advance warning signals are placed on bridge approaches, as required.


Guide signs indicate direction or location. These signs consist of the military route number and the appropriate directional disk. If standard signs are not available, construct military route guide signs by placing a directional disk over a rectangular panel upon which the route number is inscribed (see Figure E-8).

Figure E-8. Military route guide signs for axial routes

Directional Disks

A directional disk consists of a fixed black arrow, with or without a bar, on a white background. Eight equally spaced holes around the edges of the circumference allow the disk to be nailed with the arrow pointing in the desired direction. These disks are no larger than 16 inches in diameter (see Figure E-9). They are used as standard guide signs to indicate military axial and lateral routes. Directional disks may be used together with unit signs to indicate direction to locations of major units (groups and above). Smaller units may not use directional disks. However, any arrow sign that provides a different shape and color from the standard direction disks can be used to indicate smaller units.

Figure E-9. Examples of directional arrows

Headquarters and Logistical Signs

Use these signs to mark a headquarters and logistical installation. Use the appropriate military symbol (see FM 101-5-1). The inscription is black on a yellow background. This symbol may be supplemented by national distinguishing symbols or abbreviations. For division headquarters and above, nationality is always indicated. Colors other than black or yellow are prohibited except for national distinguishing symbols.

Casualty Evacuation Route Signs

Indicate casualty evacuation routes on rectangular signs (see Figure E-10). The signs have a white background with red inscriptions of a directional arrow, a red cross (red crescent for Turkey), and a unit or subunit designation (if required). An alternate sign may be made from a white disk with four segments cut out to give an X shape. The inscriptions are shown in red.

Figure E-10. Examples of guide signs for casualty evacuation routes

Unit Direction Arrow

Use temporary unit direction arrows to mark march routes (see STANAG 2154) (see Figure E-11). In addition to the direction arrow, include the unit identification symbol as part of the inscription. Unit route signs are placed in advance of the moving column and are picked up by a trail vehicle.

Figure E-11. Unit direction arrow

Military Detour Signs

Detour signs consist of a white arrow superimposed on a blue square. Place the sign in a diamond position (see Figure E-12). Show the number of the diverted route by placing the number on the square over the arrow or placing the number on a small panel under the square.

Figure E-12. Examples of detour signs


Posting road signs in areas of heavy snowfall requires special attention. Ensure that the markers are placed evenly on both sides of the traveled way. In open country, use poles of appropriate height with direction markers, snow markers, or flags. Erect markers at least one meter off the traveled way to avoid traffic damage. If you cannot completely mark a road, erect arrow signs at prominent points to indicate road direction. Road markers and signs used for long periods of time in areas of heavy snow should be checked frequently to ensure that their positions have not altered. In areas with prolonged conditions of snow, yellow (international orange) may be substituted for white on all standard military route signs.


There are two types of vehicle signs: front and side. Use front signs on all vehicles, except trailers, to show the classification of the laden vehicle. Use side signs on towing vehicles and trailers only to show the classification of the laden towing vehicles or trailers by themselves.

Both signs are circular and marked in contrasting colors consistent with camouflage requirements. Black figures on a yellow background may be used. The front sign is 23 centimeters in diameter and the side sign is 15 centimeters in diameter.

Place or paint the front sign on the front of the vehicle, above or on the bumper, and below the driver's line of vision. When possible, place it on the right side, facing forward. Place or paint the side sign on the vehicle's right side facing outward.

Make the inscription on the sign as large as the sign allows. The front sign--except on towing vehicles and tank transporters--indicates the vehicle's laden solo class. On towing vehicles, the front sign indicates the train's combined load class. Above this number, write the letter C to distinguish the vehicle as a towing vehicle (see Figure E-13). On tank transporters and similar type vehicles, the fixed front sign shows the maximum classification of the laden vehicle. In addition, one alternative front sign may be carried. Place it so that it covers the fixed front sign, when necessary, to show the class of the vehicle when unladen. The side sign (used only by prime movers of combination vehicles and trailers) indicates the laden solo class of the prime mover or trailer.

Figure E-13. Front sign

Single vehicles (including tank transporters) carry the front sign only, towing vehicles carry both front and side signs, and trailers carry side signs only. Mark all vehicles as given above. See Appendix F for details on determining a vehicle's MLC. Marking the following vehicles is optional:

  • Vehicles of a gross weight of 3.048 tons or less.
  • Trailers with a rated capacity of 1.524 tons or less.


The appropriate military authority in the area specifies which signs are to be illuminated. Primary considerations go to hazard and direction signs. The system of lighting must remain operational for a minimum of 15 hours without refueling or changing batteries. Consider the following:

  • Under normal conditions, each armed force is responsible for ensuring that standard signs are visible at night and other periods of reduced visibility. Take necessary precautions in tactical situations.
  • Under reduced lighting conditions, the positioning of the signs and the methods adopted to make them visible (illumination or reflection) must enable personnel to see them from vehicles fitted with reduced lighting or filtering devices.
  • In a blackout zone, signs are equipped with upper shields that prevent light from being directly observed from the air. The light illuminating the sign is of such low intensity that it is not possible to locate the sign from the air at altitudes greater than 150 meters by its reflection off the road surface. Illumination devices are positioned so they can be recognized by oncoming vehicles at a road distance of 100 meters and read at a distance of 80 meters.

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