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Speaking of Uniforms...
Posted by: Dale Franks on Wednesday, May 24, 2006

It looks like the Air Force Uniform Board is gonna get rid of the stupid business suit "uniform" that stupid Merril McPeak forced on us during his ill-starred tenure as COSAF.

Man, were we all glad to see him go. The stupid silver Navy-style sleeve rings for officer ranks got punted the day after he retired, but we still had to keep the stupid US Airways uniform that stupid Merril McPeak made us wear.

Anyway, there's a new Service Dress uniform in the works. It's styled more like the Navy Dress White/Marine Dress blue uniform.

New USAF Service Dress Uniform

My immediate reaction: Lose the belt. Look at how it wrinkles the waist of the jacket? It spoils the lines. Kill that, and I think we may be on the start of something nice.

By the way, what's with Brig Gen Allardice's modesty with the medals. I know he's got more than a Legion of Merit, DFC, and DMSM. What, will the wear of medals be optional? That's not right.

But the belt is the worst. Especially for the women. Look at SMSgt Athnos' waist. Nobody wants to see that. I know it's exaggerated for women because of the whole boobies/waist discrepancy deal, but even Brig Gen Allardice's jacket gets a little wrinkly with the belt.

Or, if you just gotta have the belt, then sew it to the jacket, except for a little bit at the buckle, like the RAF does. That'll get rid of the wrinkle

No, on second thought, just get rid of it. It's the kind of extra, useless flourish that stupid Merril McPeak would've thought up.

Huh. Now that I think about it, the shiny, silver name tag can go, too. The good old blue name tag with white letters is just fine. There's no need to have a uniform with 37 pieces of flair, for cripes sake.
 
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Now that I think about it, the shiny, silver name tag can go, too. The good old blue name tag with white letters is just fine. There’s no need to have a uniform with 37 pieces of flair, for cripes sake.
How will they ever get any respect on the streets without plenty of bling?
 
Written By: Kav
URL: http://livingrealworld.blogspot.com
OK, I’m not a military guy or anything, but isn’t it significant that Allardice is wearing full medals instead of just ribbons? Aren’t the rules different for the two? I mean, if he has anywhere near as many medals as Athnos then wearing that much metal would be somewhere between silly and physically impossible. Is it likely that the rules permit "skimming the cream" when wearing full medals, and that the picture is intended to portray both forms of medal display?
 
Written By: Platypus
URL: http://pl.atyp.us
You gotta be f*cking kidding me. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think McPeak was a great COS, and he was my boss in PACAF before that.

The Navy / Royal Air Marshal sleeve rings were indeed a dumb idea, as well as those giant, oversized nut-cracker soldier enlisted chevrons.

Once we reinstated some of the old heritage-design elements, the service dress uniform was acceptable.

But there was nothing wrong with the old "blue Army" uniform. That’s where we came from — the WWII Army Air Force, a proud history.

Now they want to look like wannabe Marines. What next, bring back the Warrant Officers?

 
Written By: C-141 Crew Dog
URL: http://
You said ’boobies’!
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://blewog.blogspot.com
OK, I’m not a military guy or anything, but isn’t it significant that Allardice is wearing full medals instead of just ribbons? Aren’t the rules different for the two? I mean, if he has anywhere near as many medals as Athnos then wearing that much metal would be somewhere between silly and physically impossible.
I’m not sure how it works in the AF, but in the Army we wear miniature medals. And you wear the whole rack. Maybe in the AF, if you wear full size medals, you wear the top 3.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
If they’re gonna go with this look, I think they should make them double-breasted so it looks just like the uniforms in Battlestar Galactica!!

As for the belt, they should do two things:
(1) tailor the damn tunics correctly;
(2) stitch the belt down.

Those uniforms would be HOT HOT HOT if they would be correctly tailored. There’s nothing sexier than a tailored military uniform. I remember deliberately not catching up with the man who I would later marry, just so I could watch him from behind walking in his uniform. And tailored women’s uniforms... let’s just say with my 1940’s style figure, I’d be smokin’ hot in one of those tunics too (again, if they were correctly tailored).
 
Written By: Wacky Hermit
URL: http://organicbabyfarm.blogspot.com
The belt contributes to the pulling, but real problem is that the jackets aren’t fitted properly. Dress uniforms really should be properly tailored to the individual wearer.
 
Written By: Jeff the Baptist
URL: http://jeffthebaptist.blogspot.com
Oh, but these are still a lot better than the blue peacock feather BDUs. Those just look ridiculous. The uniforms on Stargate SG1 both look better and more professional.
 
Written By: Jeff the Baptist
URL: http://jeffthebaptist.blogspot.com
I’m not sure how it works in the AF, but in the Army we wear miniature medals. And you wear the whole rack. Maybe in the AF, if you wear full size medals, you wear the top 3.
Nope. You’re supposed to wear the whole rack in the USAF, too.
I mean, if he has anywhere near as many medals as Athnos then wearing that much metal would be somewhere between silly and physically impossible.
Ribbons and medals are not the same thing. There are way more ribbons than there are medals. The choice between wearing ribbons and medals is made by the ceremonial level of the occasion for which you are wearing the uniform. More formal occasions require the wear of medals, while regular wear of service dress only requires the wear of ribbons.

But if you wear the medals, you wear em all. You don’t pick and choose.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
But there was nothing wrong with the old "blue Army" uniform. That’s where we came from — the WWII Army Air Force, a proud history.
I agree 100%. They never should’ve gotten rid of that uniform in the first place. The ones we have now make us look like Greyhound bus drivers.
 
Written By: NE
URL: http://nobleeagle.blogspot.com
what’s with Brig Gen Allardice’s modesty with the medals.
Since this was just for modeling the uniform, perhaps he didn’t want to transfer all those ribbons and such over. Maybe he had a date that night and it would have been a pain to take them off his current dress uniform, put them on the new one, then take them off and put them on his current one again.

Agree about the belt too... but it may be it would look better tailored to the individual. Something they may not have done for these prototypes.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
So rather than impersonate the US Postal Service the USAF is now going to impersonate the US Marine Corps? I’m sorry, all my friends are either Army or Marines...

and what’s WRONG with Warrant Officers? I ask, my father was a CWO and he and MaCArthur managed to defeat the Japanese handily! Seriously the Air Force ought have MORE WO’s as pilots. The Army has WO’s flying aircraft every bit as expensive as jet fighters and we don’t seem to have a lot of problems. You want to pay an F-15 Driver $80,000 that’s OK, but make him/her a WO, and make the difference up in flight pay. Officers ought to LEAD, WO’s are technical positions, like pilots. In short WO’s ought to do most of the flying, it’s just some Air Corps tradition that pilots were to be officers, added prestige to the corps or something.... I think you guys are past that now. You either have prestige and espirit or you don’t.

Lastly, I think it’s funny that in the era of "Jointness" that each service is seeking to enhance its tribal identity. EVERY service has adopted some new uniform, the Navy, Army and Marines a new "Class C" uniform and now the USAF with this. As you guys have to work together ever more it’s as if you don’t want anyone to confuse with the "Rag-Bags" of the Lesser Services, as my friend the Marine calls everyone NOT a Marine.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
There’s no need to have a uniform with 37 pieces of flair, for cripes sake.
USAF meets "Office Space"???
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
The belt should go. Women don’t wear top pockets well, especially with a silver center button. I can’t describe how a 40D would look with those. They also should not taper the waist, every woman does not have the same ratio of waist to hips. In case anyone cares, I wore WAC uniforms in the sixties and they were horrible looking on me.
 
Written By: VRB
URL: http://
Have you considered going with the Starship Troopers Navy pilots look?
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
Jeff the Baptist got me looking at various sci-fi uniforms with his Stargate mention.

For comparison:

StarGate SG1 uniforms:
male w/o jacket
male with jacket 1
male with jacket 2
female w/o jacket
female with jacket

He might be onto something. Hollywood has its uses.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
You said ’boobies’!
And McQ said "rack".
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
When wearing medals, you’re only required to wear the top three. My understanding is that this is across the board, in all five services. But I could be wrong.
 
Written By: SMASH
URL: http://www.indepundit.com
I retired from the Air Force just before the McPeak uniform was mandated. There was a trial period where a number of enlisted and officers wore the proposed uniform for the purpose of soliciting comments from their peers. My comments at the time (while serving in the Pentagon) were all negative. I felt the Air Force kept trying to "find" something but would not look to our own short history. We kept changing uniforms without allowing any traditions to evolve. The proposed new uniforms were universally panned. Over 85% of the comments received were negative. McPeak was adament, however, and forced the uniform into the service. I was glad to see the "airline" chevrons kicked once McPeak retired and now I am glad to see the uniform being replaced but would like to see the previous uniform come back into favor. And as for my two cents worth about McPeak, I would like to see the rest of his reforms thrown out the window.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Jeff the Baptist got me looking at various sci-fi uniforms with his Stargate mention.
Uh, those are the current uniforms everybody hates.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
The high leather collar has to go. It’s a unique part of Marine Corps heritage that the Air Force is blatantly stealing.

The Marine’s were leather collars to protect their necks against sword slashing. That of course came way before the Air Force was even imagined.

It’s a total ripoff. I guess it’s alright. Our uniforms still blow this one out of the water.
 
Written By: Brandon Meyer
URL: http://brandonmeyer.us
Joe,

There’s nothing wrong with WOs. The Air Force just doesn’t have them anymore. When the "supergrade" ranks of E8 and E9 were created (1958?), the Air Force phased out the Warrant Officer ranks. I’m not sure when the last AF WO retired, but the rank insignia charts showed AF WO insignia in the early 1980s.

The AF’s leadership philosophy has been that the "authority of Officers and NCOs are similar, varying only in scope." Many positions that were filled by WOs and company-grade officers have steadily become Senior NCO positions, filled by E8 and E9 grades.

Attribute my comment to my own personal bias. Having never seen a WO in "the blue suit", they are a curiously different species to me.

 
Written By: C-141 Crew Dog
URL: http://
I keep thinking abot how my wife likes to move furniture around, "just for something different". Unfortunately this impulse in not unique to females in household situations.

I pity the the poor guys that are going to get caught up in this. I was in when Army killed the summer khaki class A uniform (long sleeve and the tucked in tie). We were instructed to cut the sleeves down to make them Class B’s. Fine, except there were no issue summer greens, so I got to take a 60 mile train ride to the company promotion board in August from Pyongtaek to Taejon in my worsted wool Class A’s. I forsee the same sort of horsepucky happening (in some other form) here.

email is human readable - aloud.
 
Written By: bud
URL: http://
Actually, I see when clicking on the further pictures at the AF news site linked, the pattern on top of this page (the "Mitchell" pattern) is one of two alternatives. The other(the "Arnold" pattern), is a variant of the historic Army-like uniform, with peaked lapels... AND still, the belt.
 
Written By: Jose
URL: http://
I guess the "Don’t ask don’t tell" stigma still works. If you are gay, then you love the uniform.

32 years in the Air Force, and I have never seen such a pathetic distribution of clothing material.

Why don’t they use pink threads on the cuffs??
 
Written By: JBorfair
URL: http://
3 Medals is all that guy has????
Come on.........get someone better "suited" to display this uniform. At least he/she (to be politically correct) might appear to to be a hero.

13 medals/ribbons is all she has???
I have twice that many, and I am still in! Give me a break........
 
Written By: JBorfair
URL: http://
Two points for the sake of accuracy:

1)That isn’t a "leather" collar. It is cloth, just like the rest of the tunic.

2)That is not a "Marines-only" style. It is named the "Billy Mitchell" for a reason: Ever seen a picture of him in uniform? Ever seen pictures of Pershing (or any other of a number of WW I officers) for that matter? They wore it, too. That is a "stand-up" collar, and the Army had it for a fair time as a part of their outfit. So claiming it is the mark of a "wanna-be Marine" is not-just a knee-jerk reaction, it is a historically incorrect one... Wearing something reminiscent of the guy who agitated for air power (and got nailed for it) is entirely in keeping with the idea of heritage.
 
Written By: Footyfoot
URL: http://
I am glad that someone mentioned the heritage behind this uniform. Everyone has seen the Marine Corps Dress Blue "Alpha"s and think of it as the distinctive USMC uniform, which it is. But many people fail to realize that the Marine Corps uniform evolved slowly over time, adding small updates as they went through their history, whereas the Army/AF underwent dramatic change more than once in the 20th century. The AF bringing in a heritage uniform and then incorporating pieces of our history since the time of our inception should in theory be the correct approach. We should be recognizing the airpower pioneers, such as Mitchell and Hap, that made our service what it is, but assert that we are a comprehensive military branch with a serious expeditionary bent nowadays - not just guys who fly jets.

Also, I agree with Joe about WOs, I believe the role of officers(not to mention their number) is overly expanded because we have no purely technical track that comes along with the responsiblity of a Warrant/Commission. This last part is the principle argument against Enlisted Aviation in today’s AF, as proud as our Enlisted Pilots served in earlier times. They may seem like a new species to those Airmen who have never served with the other services, but that shouldn’t stop us from accepting this corps of competent, proud technicians from rejoining our ranks.

Lastly, does anyone have a link to pics of these "McPeakian" officer Blues jackets? I would like to see how it looked to judge for myself(I’m of the opinion that if it was done on a more military-looking uniform, that it would not be awful).
 
Written By: Anthony B
URL: http://arbullard.spaces.live.com
uniforms are so totally wack we cant get a man with them
 
Written By: kasey
URL: http://

 
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