Sunday, March 09, 2008

Fashion Statement

I just had this conversation a few minutes ago:

Commo guy: "Do we have a meeting today?"
Me: "No, why?"
Commo guy: "You're in ACU's."

Fortunately, my unit isn't incredibly strict about uniform wear. By this I mean, we aren't too strict about which uniform we have to wear. When it comes to actually wearing the uniform, the soldiers better wear whichever one they have on correctly or else. I've taken advantage of this as much as possible, and can often be found wearing my PT's around the FOB rather than ACU's. There are, of course, situations when PT's are out of the question, such as going to Battalion, briefings, working in the motor pool etc. but outside of these instances, I prefer PT's, especially in the heat (then again I was also walking around in APFT shorts and jacket at 30 degrees). I've been wearing ACU's more lately, but as the comment above shows, it kind of throws people off.

In fact, I've become the running joke in the Battalion, possibly the FOB, due to my uniform preference. My commander has jokingly threatened to inspect my room to see if I own any ACU's, and one of the other LTs in the company has made a similar remark (my first reaction was to go out of my way to make sure that lieutenant never saw me in ACU's). Apparently, even at Battalion, they've commented about this, and recently, after an OPD (Officer Professional Development), one of the other commanders good-naturedly joked about seeing me in ACU's. Actually, even some of the DFAC workers have asked me what's going on when I'm not in PT's (yes, for some reason, the DFAC workers remember me distinctly despite the hundreds of people they must see on a daily basis - might have something to do with my eating habits - I'm pretty sure I'm one of the only people that goes in the burger line, and then orders a bun with bacon, no burger).

Another LT (who used to be seen in PT's almost as often as me, but has since started wearing ACU's regularly) and I were actually stopped a few months back. We always walk by a certain unit whenever we go to lunch or dinner, so a captain wanted to know what our jobs were - apparently, we had become a running bet at their TOC - which uniform we'd be wearing that day, and whether or not we'd be wearing the same one - whatever they need to break up the day.

I'm pretty much in a no-win situation now - no matter what uniform I'm in, I get a smart-ass comment from someone. ("Oh, I see you lost your ACU's again.") I actually get ripped on more when I'm in ACU's then APFT's ("We need to wait on LT K; oh wait, she's here. I didn't recognize her in ACU's"). As one might imagine, there really isn't much going on here entertainment-wise other than heckling and we all tend to dish it out regularly, be it about uniform wear, someone's PT excuses (such as "I can't do PT because I'm waiting on my new shoes" which became "I can't do PT because I'm breaking in my new running shoes"), or whatever else happens to be an easy topic that day.

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