A rant on uniforms

Actually, not those uniforms although I find the whole Olympic rule that women Beach Volleyball players have to wear bikinis weirdly sexist (not that I am complaining, I love looking at young women in scanty clothing). The Olympics presents a squeaky clean, almost innocent image, and they put alot of effort in keeping it that way. At the same time the biggest Olympic women sports are sports that require scanty clothing, think swimming, diving, track, and – of course – gymnastics. Don’t expect to see much women’s fencing or rowing.

As an aside – an aside from uniforms that is – the Olympics are the biggest sexual free-for-all on the planet. There are 10,960 young, hyper-conditioned, attractive, athletes from around the world living together for two weeks. These Olympians are people who are very much in their bodies and, probably, very much into their bodies, all brushing up against each  other on a daily basis in tight  quarters, with lots of alcohol, other drugs, and – once their event is over – free time. Even in China, a fairly controlled place, the athletes went through their allotted 70,000 condoms. In Britain, a much freer place and more understanding host country, they are providing  150,000 condoms which is about 15 condoms per athlete. Watching Michele Jenneke run the hurdles, it is easy to believe they will be used.

End aside.

But that is not my rant, my rant is about camo clothing in the US Military. Obviously camo clothing is very helpful when Soldiers and Marines are on the ground and do not want to stand out.

But an Army general in a rear area command center, in Washington or Qatar, wearing combat fatigues just seems ridiculous. I am not one to worship the past, but I do pine for the days when the rear echelon – known in front line units as REMFs – commanders and support dressed as if they were going to the office, which, of course, they really are. But the military – and police, for that matter – has fetishized camouflaged fatigues and everybody is now in on the act, including the navy with blueish uniforms. It makes no sense at all. It doesn’t hide them on the ship and, of course, it shouldn’t and then – to make it even stupider – in the highly unlikely event that the ship did see combat and did sink, it makes it harder to find the survivors.

It seems sort of wacko that the Navy is building ten $700 million ships designed for operation in near-shore environments but – by the Navy’s own assessment – is not able to take on heavy duty shore defenses, but I understand that there is a lobby for that: I understand there is money to made.  What I don’t understand is why the crew running the ship should be dressed in pseudo- camouflaged fatigues. End of rant.

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