Sunday, March 28, 2010


So... I was watching the president's remarks at Bagram AB as I pecked this out.  I noticed he's sporting a very new looking USAF A2 jacket (at left) with an official "Air Force One" patch on his right breast and an official-looking USAF leather name tag on his left breast.  The feed hasn't provided a close-up, but it looks like the leather name plate has a small gold presidential seal where the wearer's wings would normally go, "Barack Obama" as the usual and customary "name" line and what I suspect is "Commander in Chief" in the space where the wearer's rank usually goes (the UCR line always reads something like "Lt Col, USAF" or "TSgt, USAF").  

All very right and proper according to USAF regulations... ooops, I mean "instructions."  The image of The One in an A2 is jarring none the less, and I do NOT approve.  There was nothing wrong with the traditional blue Air Force One jacket (at right) formerly worn by Obama and his predecessors.  But Hey!  He's always gotta be frickin' different, doesn't he?

Added, a few minutes later:  I'm so frickin' pedantic.  I had to google the dress and appearance AFI... and here's what it sez about the A2:
Leather A-2 flying jacket with flight suit, hospital  whites, or service uniforms (not service dress uniform). Do not wear with civilian clothes. Attach MAJCOM patch and nametag with velcro. Nametag is 2 x 4 inches, brown or black leather, simulated leather. Emboss with wings or qualifying badge, first and last name, rank, and USAF. Members may add an inside pocket, at their expense, when it does not detract from the external appearance. The Wing and Star patch may be worn by individuals not assigned to a MAJCOM. Issue brown leather flying gloves may be worn. NOTE: Generals (4 Star), regardless of their Air Force Specialty Code are authorized to wear.
I suppose The One issued himself a waiver, as is his right as CinC.  That doesn't mean I gotta like it or that his wearing the A2 is "reasonable and proper."


  1. I thought the Emperor was naked.

  2. First thing I noticed. Made me want to throw up. I also noticed audience was heavily female and black thus highly unrepresentative of actual overall force structure. Must have ordered in every black and female in the entire tri-service command to give him a shot at "wildly cheering" audience, etc. GOD how I loath that man....what a dog and pony show. Talk about Kabuki Theate! He backs the troops alright--so much that he had to be dragged kicking and screaming to send them and then only 30 thou out of the top-end 80 requested--and 4 months late at that. Just GOTTA love the gall of that guy!

  3. The timing of his visit smacks of all about him eh. Or is that just my perception. Now he's on a roll it's ok to roll up and say hi to your troops.

    As Commander in Chief did he serve in the military ever? (serious question as I don't know)

  4. Lou: He IS naked.

    Virgil: Yeah... and I'm sure you and I aren't the only ones who took offense at this. You more so than me, obviously. You earned your A2, I'm just a wanna-be when I wear mine.

    Alison: The One never served, which is one of the reasons this grates so badly.

  5. He and Billy Jeff are the only two non-serving presidents since FDR. He and his staff would also be pretty much tone-deaf when it comes to wearing a specialty jacket he didn't earn.

    That's why GWB on the carrier in a flight suit rang so perfectly true to servicemembers. He earned his flying single-seat fighters, not exactly a low-risk occupation.

    And of course, no servicemember ever doubted GWB's sincerity.

  6. Damned good points all, Gordon. And Dubya successfully flew one of the most difficult fighters to fly, ever. Lotsa guys didn't make it in the 102.

  7. I was a crew dog. In the beginning only pilots could wear it. Then the navigators got upset (we're Rated too!) so they said OK to Nav's. Then the enlisted flight engineers were included. Finally, they said "what the hell" and spent a billion by giving every crew dog one. Myself, I liked the Winter Nomex jacket, and the turtleneck Nomex underwear. My plane was so cold and noisy, that I started with underwear, added nomex underwear on top of that, and then levi jeans, flight suit, and winter jacket and winter boots. Still I was cold, so I almost always wore my russian-looking fur hat and nomex gloves. I'm sure I would have over-G'd the parachute if ever actually used it.

  8. Anon: I'm pretty sure I was retired when USAF brought the A2 back. Your story doesn't surprise me in the least, either! ;-)

    I also hear ya about being cold in the aircraft. I flew as a passenger on C-130s from time to time in the way-back and learned to appreciate the blankets the aircrew handed out before we took off. Even in Thailand. ;-)


Just be polite... that's all I ask.