|Gen. Mark A. Welsh III|
What may offend an American female, won't even merit notice from a Belgian female. Different standards, different cultures. On the base, the rule of thumb for the types of things you could have in your office (calendars, art work, photos, etc) followed the general rule of "If you can see it on German TV before 10:00 PM, it's okay in the office."
Let me tell you, there were many things on German TV between 8:00 PM and 10:00 PM that were pretty "racy" by US standards (at least back then). So the standards on the NATO base were a lot different from what you'd see on a US base.
Okay, Sarge, what's that got to do with the picture of the Air Force Chief of Staff? (Wearing that stupid-looking uniform, about which I posted back in August of 2012.)
Well here's what your Air Force has been up to lately. (Make sure you read the comments, not all of my fellow airmen are as politically correct as General Welsh would like, me thinks.) The gist of that link is:
The Air Force released the results of the service-wide health and welfare inspections that were completed in an effort to emphasize an environment of respect, trust and professionalism in the workplace.
"Every Airman deserves to be treated with respect. They also deserve to work in a professional environment," said Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Air Force chief of staff. "I've talked with Airmen across the force, and believe that some units were not meeting those standards. It's simply unacceptable that we have people who don't feel comfortable in their workplace, so we're addressing it, head on."
The purpose of the inspection was to reinforce expectations for the workplace environment, correct deficiencies, and deter conditions that may be detrimental to good order and discipline. Commanders looked for and removed items that hinder a professional working environment.
Commanders inspected thousands of units at more than 100 Air Force installations, where almost 600,000 Air Force military and civilian personnel work. Commanders looked for and removed three broad categories of material: pornographic, inappropriate or offensive, or unprofessional.
Some of the "unprofessional/inappropriate" material confiscated by the
Gestapo inspectors included depictions of WW II Air Force Nose Art, such as this:
Yes, the Air Force had depictions of ladies (sometimes nearly "oh my goodness" nekkid) on our combat aircraft during war time. This is not just historical fact, it's part of Air Force tradition.
The politically correct idiocy which emanates from Washington DC is poisoning our country. The article indicates that "some people are not comfortable" in their work place. I wonder if they would care to identify which groups of people are "uncomfortable"?
The inspection results are contained here. Some of the stuff these "inspectors" found to be unprofessional or offensive boggles the mind. Men's Fitness magazine, Cosmopolitan and other such things. Now a jezzail-toting tribesman from the wilds of Afghanistan would no doubt find those items offensive. I haven't seen any statistics but I'm pretty sure there aren't a lot of them wearing Air Force blue.
Let's just say, there were times when people assumed that I was retired Navy because of all the cool Navy stuff my progeny provide for me. And which I wear with pride (for an example see my profile pic). But I was always quick to point out that my kids were Navy and that I was retired Air Force.
Lately, while still very proud of my service in the United States Air Force from 1975 to 1999, I have started to think that it was a very different Air Force back then as opposed to what we have now. Of course, many of my generals were Vietnam vets in the latter years. I'm guessing the current flag ranks don't have a lot of real combat experience.
Sure, there was Desert Storm back in the '90s. But that experience didn't last as long as "going downtown" did in the '60s and 'early '70s. Longer duration conflict, more generals-to-be getting combat experience. Point here is that this trivial crap the USAF is doing now doesn't warrant a mention in war time. Those who haven't "been there, done that" don't get it. Today's crop of GOFOs**? Just a bunch of politicians in uniform.
And don't get me started on the Senior Enlisted Advisors and their ilk.
So when people ask if I was in the Navy, I tell 'em that my kids are in the Navy.
And leave it at that.
While proud of my service, I'm not so proud of the service I was in. At least not right now.
As a dear friend might have said,
"It is to weep."
*NATO = North Atlantic Treaty Organization
** GOFOs = General Officers / Flag Officers
** GOFOs = General Officers / Flag Officers