In United States enlisted and officer military training programs, trainees are held to stringent standards of conduct and appearance. One standard common to American military branches is for trainees to perfectly align the outside of the vertical buttonhole edges of their shirts with their belt buckles and zippers on slacks. Since these items come out of alignment with even the slightest movement on the trainee's part, the trainee will often receive a demerit (also known as a "gig") for not following the standard.

Determining the exact location of the gig line will differ based on the trainee's uniform. Since women's shirts traditionally button opposite to men's, the inside of the vertical buttonhole edge determines where the gig line starts. If the trainee is wearing a skirt as part of her uniform, the gig line may end at the waist if there is no front-side zipper on the skirt. Even if determining the gig line is problematic for trainers due to these difficulties, trainers will likely find other discrepancies in the uniform with which to gig the trainee. For example, the Air Force trainee's skirt may be no longer than one inch (25mm) below the knee, and no shorter than one inch above, and that skirts are not part of the male trainee's uniform in any case. With judicious application of standards like the gig line, trainers may encourage adherence to exacting standards in trainees, thus preparing them for even stricter standards when handling destructive and expensive equipment and executing the requirements of their mission.

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