Sunday, April 03, 2011

Sadly plausible.

This had me going for a second.

Given everything that's happened to Army uniforms, from the Monica to the current dress uniform that makes them look like a cross between a wing wiper and a Greyhound driver, there's not much in the way of idiocy that I would put past whoever it is who is in charge of dressing our nation's soldiers.

I mean, seriously, they could have announced that dress uniforms would now include a red ball on an elastic string, to be worn centered on the nose, and it would have struck me as plausible.

47 comments:

Chris said...

It's getting hard to parody most things nowadays; even the most outrageous proposals seem to be advanced seriously by the usual suspects. I was in the Army 1973-77, and part of that was in 2/6 Armored Cavalry. The black berets we wore were a distinction, not allowed for non-Cav or non-Armor troops. But I think the stetsons look goofy, then and now. I'm quite happy this was a April Fool's joke, and not a "let's make being in the Army more cool" joke.

spam said...

I can think of many worse things the Army could do than hearken back to the frontier days...

DaddyBear said...

When I was in in the 90's, there were units of the Texas National Guard that wore black Stetsons for parades and such. It actually works for cavalry troops. And truth be told, a cowboy hat might look better than the "everyone can wear one now!" beret or the garrison cap.

North said...

I thought I was the only person hating the tarted-up Frenched-out beret.

Give me a cowboy any day.

Anonymous said...

The "traditional" army was having a s@#t fit trying to get our flight suits, flight jackets and sunglasses from us for years. Finally managed to force the aviation troops into BDU nomex and the next thing you know, armor has our flight suits. "Blues" were actually a pretty good dress uniform but used to replace the Class A and B uniform, not so much. Guess one can expect these changes from ones such as General Casey, he who is more concerned about "a loss of diversity" than murdered soldiers and moslem terrorists. Oh well. regards, Alemaster

Heath J said...

They Beret was cool when only Airborne or SF wore it.

Now? Whoever thought that "Everybody should wear a beret!!" oughta be smacked. Hard.

Sarah said...

This looks a lot less ridiculous than everybody wearing a beret.

And at least this headgear has a brim to keep sun out of the eyes and off the ears.

Bubblehead Les. said...

I actually wish it wasn't an April's Fool joke. Just look at the Civil War pictures of U.S. Grant in the Wide-Brimmed Hat (Stetson being a Post-Civil War company). If it can make a short, stubby, alcoholic look cool.....but I think all this Beret-Wearing Head Gear crap is to just get the Military used to donning the same thing, but in the U.N. Baby Blue Color. If you wanted to issue an easy-to-wear, stuff in a pocket, useless piece a cloth that won't keep you warm nor shade the eyes, go back to the "Overseas" cap of WW1/2. Thank Crom the Navy still has all the Chiefs and O-Gangers wearing them with the Summer Khaki Uniform.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"Blues" were actually a pretty good dress uniform but used to replace the Class A and B uniform, not so much.

Well, it's not like they're actually wearing the Class A/B uniforms for anything but special events anymore, anyway. It's ACU's for everything - which just makes them look sloppy, if you ask me.

They really need to go back to restricting field uniforms to the field or "get dirty" jobs, and Class A/B for offices and anything public.

TinCan Assassin said...

The red nose is only for AG Corps soldiers. And 2LTs. For easy ID.

libertyman said...

Does the 7th Cavalry wear the Stetson as part of their dress uniform? I remember seeing them at a wedding, and I believe they had spurs, too. Anyone know about this?

Tam said...

"They really need to go back to restricting field uniforms to the field or "get dirty" jobs, and Class A/B for offices and anything public."

It's to make sure everybody feels like a warrior, I reckon.

I mean, if you're wearing camo and a black beret...

Old NFO said...

Just as an FYI, the Kiowa bubbas have been wearing Stetsons for years as their "official" headgear in the field...

Here is just one example- http://www.blackfive.net/main/2008/03/pilots-receive.html

Robin said...

Wasn't the everyone-is-special beret Shinseki's idea?

Tam said...

Old NFO,

The stetson is fine and dashing for cav types, as the black beret is for Ragnars, but both look silly as universal headgear.

Ed Rasimus said...

Three weeks ago I rode from TX to Vail Colorado on a private jet with Lt. Gen Hal Moore ("We Were Soldiers Once"). He's almost 90 now, but he had his 7th Cav stetson and with three stars and a CIB with star on it, it was damned impressive!

As for berets, my last AF assignment was with the Army at Ft. Carson as air liaison officer to the 2d Bde/4th ID. As a tactical air controller, we wore a black beret. No one else at Carson did except the occasional SF type passing through. The distinction of a beret for special function units is a good one. Putting gold fringe epaulets on all the soldiers is a bad one. Berets for everyone is an abomination. Berets made in China is even worse.

Stranger said...

A sweep of the Stetson to the person who came up with the idea. Those who have never worn a Stetson, or even a fedora, have no real idea of the cool in the summer, warm in the winter practicality of a good lid.

A quality felt hat is the only thing I know that will hold enough water to fill your radiator or water your dog, provide a place for a hideout, provide protection from the mugger who wants to practice his iron bar drill on your sconce. And still look good on a man.

Stranger

Guffaw in AZ said...

I know someone who had to take charge of the hideous brown berets, after the troops refused them (they were made in the PRC, for chrisakes!). Last I heard, they remain in a warehouse, awaiting possible remanufacture into wallets, or something.

Jim said...

What about George C. Patton's suggestion for tanker uniforms?

Jim

Anonymous said...

Remember the Sukhomlinov Effect:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SukhomlinovEffect

Sukhomlinov Effect
Named for Vladimir Aleksandrovich Sukhomlinov, snappy dresser and Minister of War for the Imperial Russian Army up until 1915. His name has given rise to a piece of military lore which is often echoed in fiction. The "Sukhomlinov Effect" states that in any military conflict between a uniformed and non-uniformed army, the guys with uniforms will lose (armour being an exception, presumably). In a conflict between two armies with uniforms, the guys with the more elaborate uniforms will lose. Special attention here goes to the uniforms of the officers: big hats, jangling medals, and feather plumes are the kiss of death.

Stretch said...

Berets:
Green for SF
Maroon for Airborne
Black for Rangers (though keeping the same Tan as SAS would be a nice nod to The Special Relationship. Hey, someone's gotta do it.)

A cowboy hat is a good idea. Maybe the 1898 or 1905 campaign hat using modern material. Am sure the Cavalry will be the first to resurrect the cords and tassels.

W/V = muumu. NOT a good idea for a unifrom

Justthisguy said...

I haven't looked at the link, but I always thought that the uniform was supposed to intimidate the enemy, induce envy in non-members, and impress teh wimminz. I mean, I attended a baptismal service last night with two U.S. Marines in dress blues standing up for the baptism and vows of their infant sons. (One of the infants' Moms got baptised, too!)

Those buttons are *shiny*!

Drang said...

Here I thought you were referring to this: http://www.uscav.com/mollextreme.aspx?cm_sp=mxtreme-_-HOME-_-apr2011A

Anon @14:49. Thanks for reminding me of the name of the guy for whom the Sukhomlinov Effect is named. Been wracking my brain...

Justthisguy said...

Oh, to the Sukhomlinov effect, I would add that the tightness of the pants is important, and that the side with the tightest pants is fighting at a disadvantage. This goes back to the Crimean War, and Lord Cardigan.

Justthisguy said...

P.s. Could we have an exception for shakos? All of my band uniforms included shakos. You can stash lots of stuff in a shako, like yer wallet etc, if you are wearing tight uniform pants without pockets.

Justthisguy said...

Really, I do think that everyone should be allowed an exception, an exemption, an indulgence for whatever kind of headgear he or she wishes to wear, with the possible exception of berets. They just rub me the wrong way, somehow.


Did Y'all know that British paratroopers wear red berets because Daphne DuMaurier thought that would look cool?

atlharp said...

It's to make sure everybody feels like a warrior, I reckon.

I mean, if you're wearing camo and a black beret...



I think Patreus (The General Obama now likes) said it was done to stand unified with those out in the field having to deal with the repressed homosexual denizens of Islam. Regardless, they could go back to powdered wigs. If I remember correctly, we still kicked everybody's ass back then.

DaddyBear said...

Oh, to the Sukhomlinov effect, I would add that the tightness of the pants is important, and that the side with the tightest pants is fighting at a disadvantage. This goes back to the Crimean War, and Lord Cardigan.

And the BrownCoats

DirtCrashr said...

It's all costume. Tight, snazzy and bespoke tailored-uniforms was a European development - and an expensive part of Mil-couture/kit. many Austrian Field staff of the 19th Century wore corsets in order to project the manly, chest-forward physique, and epaulets were designed to enhance the broad-shouldered look (especially important among those who lacked such) - perhaps it (the tightness) also aided swordsmen by acting as an over-all tourniquet. Morros wrapped themselves tightly in order to maintain blood-pressure against loss when they went amok and attacked US troops in the Philippines, who by the way had a decent cowboyesque field-hat.
Civilize 'em with a Krag!

David said...

Enough bitchin' already. Keep it up and some genius will put the troops in tactical sombreros (for diversity's sake, of course).

Dirt Sailor said...

As long as I'm stuck wearing dress white polyester pajamas, the army can't have the stupidest looking dress uniform. The Navy has made having the worst uniforms into an art.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Well, every soldier needs a magnificent hat. How else are people going to know who you are?

wv: smism - Sado-mosochism for people in a hurry.

rickn8or said...

Dirt Sailor, ya want something that looks dumber than dirt, try a dixie cup with a flight suit...

jimbob86 said...

I am still trying to figure out why the .mil thinks dress uniforms, and the changing thereof, is worth spending 2 minutes and or 10 cents (even in 1945 dollars) on...... the important stuff I did was either done in nomex, gortex, work coveralls, MOPP gear or some combination of the above.....

If you work in an office, and think you wearing a suit (or skirt!) and tie (of whatever color) make you a better manager-I mean leader, mayhaps you are in the wrong line of work......

As for headgear: a beret that is not earned (by graduating some difficult school) is as worthless as it gets: completely useless for protection from sun, wind, rain, and derision.......

I think a helmet is quite possibly the best headgear in the field, and if you could wash and shave in a K-pot like you could in the old steel helmets (I've worn both) that'd be about perfect .... maybe if you could incorporate comms, night vision into the helmet....

....heavy yes, but if you wear it contantly, you adapt to it and it ceases to weigh anything. BTDT.

Jason said...

One of our armed forces should adopt a tactical fez for a "Modern Zouave" look.

"Modern Zouave" would also make a great name for a gun owners' magazine.

Ed Foster said...

Can I put in a plug for that most American of toppers, the old Campaign Hat?

The Smokey is suprisingly comfortable, and I got away with wearing one in the field (sometimes) because of the rather colorful unit I worked for.

It seriously kicks butt while providing lots of shade with minimum floppage, and the Cav guys could always put a different crease in the crown and cowboy up the brim.

Spud said...

Todays MP3 Playstation military might just as well wear antennas...

USASA 72-76

Bram said...

Went from the Marines to the Army National Guard - HATED the beret. After wearing it for a while, we had lines around our foreheads. When we went inside, we all looked like circumcised penises.

Everyone in my unit would conveniently lose their berets until the First Sgt. gave up and let us all wear the field covers.

Derfel Cadarn said...

One would imagine that in a time of economic crisis and at least 3 open ended kinetic military actions that the buffoons at the pentagon might have more pressing obligations.To piss away taxpayer funds on new party hats is a slap in the face.So when the dollar tanks and no one with a brain will accept it and your soldiers are stranded throughout the world at least they will have necessary headgear for begging in the streets.This is an affront to the AMERICAN people.

Tam said...

Derfel Cadarn,

It was announced on 4/1.

Drang said...

I hear the FCC is going to require bloggers to post a special "SARCASM ALERT!" icon...

Cybrludite said...

Spud, you mean radio aerials or deally-boppers?

jimbob86 said...

"Can I put in a plug for that most American of toppers, the old Campaign Hat?"

What? And take away yet another badge of office? That of Drill Sereant/Drill Instructor? That is the same breed of ....um.... "asshattery" that gave the berets to everybody....



To quote my Drill Sergeant (SSG Willie D. Johnson, of Tupelo Mississippi): "What?!?!! Are you CRAZY?!?!? Are you as ATE UP AS YOU WANT TO BE?!?!? Beatcherface. (20 push-ups later).... Push, Dammit: You ain't done .... (to rest of the Platoon) Whatinthahell he thinkin'? Give a Round Brown to Ehr-buddy?!?!?! Must be on Dawg Food......."

Anonymous said...

The combat headgear is a helmet. The prime advantage of the Beret is it can be taken off, rolled up and stowed in minimal space. I wore one in 1974-76.

The overseas or garrison cap made sense when it was a WWI field hat that could fold down around the ears, and be worn under the helmet. As an item of dress wear, it took up minimal space.

What was the purpose of the saucer cap, aside to make money for hat makers?

Oddly, our dress uniform harks back to the Civil War, the Service Uniform to WWI.
The combat uniform should be three layered, a warmth layer, an armor and load bearing layer, and a camo layer tailored to the local environment on the outside. When not in combat, but working the warmth layer and armor-loadbearing layer should be worn.

Spud said...

Do it really make a diff ?

Cowboy Blob said...

Got something against "wing wipers?"

Actually, the USAF had it's own Stupid Uniform Tricks, like issuing leather jackets to aircrew to increase recruitment/retention, but then banning them from wear in flight because they weren't as fire resistant as the other issue jackets.

One of my troops didn't get the word and showed up for a training flight in his brand new leather jacket, which the host yahoos made him remove. After he started shivering on the long EC-130 sortie, I told him to put his jacket on, but to remove it if he caught fire.

Tam said...

Cowboy Blob,

How would my wing wiping friends know I loved them if I didn't tease?

At least y'all don't have to dress up like Cracker Jack mascots like my squid friends do. (Although the Navy's new "man overboard!" camouflage pattern makes the Army's morale-destroying Monica look brilliant by comparison...)