Monday, December 8, 2008

Shinseki and the Beret

Apparently this Shinseki character's a stand-up guy. I really don't know much about him. But if he is in fact the man responsible for my headgear, I do have to hold a bit of a grudge. A military correspondent writes to James Fallows:
In my year-and-a-half since putting on ACUs I've heard only bad things said about him by the rank and file, and that's for something unrelated to Iraq: Shinseki is apparently the genius who decided that we should all wear the beret (which is useless as it provides no shade or or rain or wind protection, and particularly nasty because it takes two hands to put on right, and weighs a ton when wet) as part of our regular uniform in garrison. For that, well, I resent the dude a little as do I think most soldiers.
Oh, and it's a multi-day process to shave (yes shave, or it'll look like you skinned a Muppet), shape, and fit a beret so it looks "just right". But it's the two-hand thing that's the worst. I used to be in a class including mixed students from all four services. Some classes were held in a building adjacent to our schoolhouse, so we'd all head over there a few times a day. Every time, the sailors, airmen, and marines would happily file out, jauntily flipping their caps onto their heads as they casually sauntered out the door past the gaggle of soldiers awkwardly pausing in the doorway, clamping our books under our elbows as we stretched and smoothed our berets onto our heads.

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