By lex, on January 27th, 2011
There are many petty irritations in the service that we are taught to disregard. “You can die on that hill if you want to,” a senior mentor might advise. “Or you can save your ammunition for when you’re in a powerful enough seat to make meaningful changes.” As a flag officer, maybe. Maybe even a senior one. Keep your head down, your shoulders in the traces and pull your load with a smile on your sweating face, and when the time comes, you can really make a difference.
So it was real pleasure that I read a recent NAVADMIN changing the Navy’s uniform code. Paragraph A specifies the make and markings of the Chief Petty Officer’s cutlass. Paragraph B regularizes the use and wear of cellular devices while in uniform. Para C permits female officers and CPOs to wear the poly/wool overblouse, whatever that is. But the best is saved for last, or nearly:
- FLIGHT SUIT MANNER OF WEAR. EFFECTIVE 1 OCTOBER 2011,
STANDARDIZED WEAR OF FLIGHT SUITS WILL BE IN THE MANNER PRESCRIBED AS FOLLOWS:
(1) CONUS: ONLY GREEN FLIGHT SUITS WILL BE WORN IN CONUS. GREEN FLIGHT SUITS WILL BE WORN WITH BLACK UNDERSHIRTS.
(2) OCONUS: TAN FLIGHT SUITS WILL BE WORN OCONUS AS DETERMINED BY THE NAVY COMPONENT COMMANDER. TAN FLIGHT SUITS WILL BE WORN WITH BROWN UNDERSHIRTS.
Finally, one man, or maybe it was a group of men, quite probably a diverse committee of men and women from various cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds, with a wiccan or two thrown in for good measure, has found the courage – nay the fire! – to standardize the wearing of t-shirts under flight suits. Variation was tolerated for far too long, comrades.
No longer will a man wonder whether the lavender and mint polo with the wide white collar under the flight suit is perhaps a bit too much, as once your humble scribe did in a quaint search for individuality. No longer will squadron personnel need to distinguish themselves by their unit colors, inherited over the generations and gloried with battle stars and tales of those we left behind. There will be no further need to build unit pride, when we are all as one. We shall become like the Air Force. Perhaps we shall even aim high, if we but dare!
We shall be one people, with one will, one resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death. And we will bury them with their own confusion.
And we shall prevail. (At least until the hottie in the jogging suit shows up with the hammer.)
My only regret is that my service was curtailed before we finally found the courage to take this great leap forward, into the stan.
Oh, to have served in such days.