More on the tigerstripes

Prairie AFB received a visit from the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force last week. All of us enlisted folk assembled in the gym to hear him. He's a talented speaker.

His last topic, after rotation lengths, force shaping, and pay and benefits, was the proposed new tiger stripe utility uniform. The CMSAF asked us our general opinion of the uniform, pros first and cons second. By an unscientific measure, the volume of the huahs, it appears that the tiger stripes are not only disliked, they're intensely disliked.

CMSAF went on with his pitch, though, as a seasoned senior NCO must. One point he raised was that the current BDUs cost too much over their lifecycles. Because we are expected to press and starch them, they are useless in real combat and they wear out prematurely. The new uniform will save Airmen and the Air Force money over the long run because we'll be putting less effort into maintaining them, and the AF will be replacing them less often (i.e. they can reduce uniform allowances?).

Hell, I could fix that problem in ten seconds.

  1. All USAF activities will immediately read and heed the care label affixed to the Battle Dress Uniform and Desert Camouflage Uniform.
  2. Specifically, all USAF activities will suspend the application of starch, sizing, or other fabric treatment not specifically authorized by the fabric care label affixed to the Battle Dress Uniform and Desert Camouflage Uniform. Pressing with a cool iron will be the only authorized and compliant method of maintaining the professional appearance of these uniforms.
  3. Further, all USAF activities will cease to direct, require, or recommend Airmen to apply starch or sizing to BDU and DCU. Orders to the contrary shall be considered unlawful.
  4. Any activities or functions which require Airmen to appear in creased or starched uniforms will direct Airmen to appear in blue uniforms appropriate to the weather and occasion. Commanders will weigh the need for professional appearance of their Airmen against the demands of the mission, and set the uniform accordingly.
  5. All Airmen are reminded that the BDU and DCU are combat utility uniforms, intended for harsh service in possible contact with the enemy. As such they are a weapon system, whose use and maintenance is as critical as those for an aircraft, munition, or C2 system. Misuse and premature wear due to unauthorized maintenance practices will not be tolerated.
  6. Commanders will use open-ranks inspections and surveillance with thermal imaging devices to ensure compliance. Inspectors General will note this aspect of uniform maintenance and appearance as a special interest item (SII).

All I'd need is CSAF's signature.

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