Say it with teal

posted at 10:31 am on December 4, 2012 by J.E. Dyer

U.S. Air Force airmen will remember the shoulder “ropes,” or aiguillettes, worn by student leaders at tech school.  White for “chapel guides,” green for dormitory “bay chiefs,” yellow for “flight leaders,” red for “shift leaders’ – airmen-in-training have a number of opportunities to be selected for special leadership roles, and to display their distinction with pride.

Now the Air Force has a new rope for student leaders: the teal rope, which signifies that the student has received special training from the Sexual Assault Prevention Office (SAPRO).  The teal-ropers will be there to “serve as a link between non-prior service students and SAPRO for information and referral support.”

Says Chief Master Sergeant Angelica Johnson, 81st Training Wing command chief (senior enlisted leader):  “This is an opportunity for Airmen to be leaders and help regulate their fellow Airmen on an important issue.”

Those who haven’t been in the military may not know that all the services have sexual assault/harassment prevention programs, and have had them for years.  Enlistees and officers-in-training receive instruction on spotting, resisting, preventing, and dealing with sexual harassment and assault during their basic training.  They typically receive this training during longer technical schools as well.

Then they go to their duty assignments.  Each commander there is responsible for continued training, and the appointment of an officer and senior enlisted leader to manage the service’s programs at the command, and provide advice and counsel to the commander.  Each commander’s department heads, and his senior enlisted leaders, are responsible for executing his programs within their departments.

Chaplains are trained to counsel servicemembers who have been the victims of sexual harassment or assault.  Higher-echelon commands maintain programs for the proper training of psychiatric and other medical personnel, as well as monitoring the programs of their subordinate commands, and dealing rapidly with allegations of sexual harassment or assault anywhere within their command purview.

I’m telling you all this to make it clear that the military already takes this problem seriously, and has done so for the last 30 years.  I’m not convinced that the teal rope will make a difference, nor do I think this is the kind of issue that ought to be distinguished with an aiguillette.

It’s a leap of emotion to suggest that it is.  A lot of stupid human tricks affect mission readiness: besides sexual misconduct, there are the old standbys, alcohol and drugs, along with 19-year-old guys being morons with firearms, 21-year-old guys getting into fights in bars, 35-year-old guys and gals being irresponsible with money, spouses, and children, and 20-year-old gals getting pregnant unintentionally.  Commands are always dealing with these things, both because there are human people in the military, and because there are male and female human people in the military.  But most of the servicemembers at any given time are not creating problems.  It’s a very small percentage of them who take up a command leader’s time.

Distinguishing leadership in the military ought to be about military leadership – inspiration, initiative, mission accomplishment – not prevention.  A good leader will do the right thing about all of the stupid human problems that come with a military.  Dealing with sexual assault in the ranks isn’t a specialized-training problem, it’s a straight-on leadership problem; it goes to the character of the leaders and the command environment.  It’s not a triumph to prevent it, or punish it; it’s a failure if you don’t.

Unless the Air Force starts putting aiguillettes on students who’ve gotten training in alcohol-abuse counseling or domestic-violence counseling – and I hope it doesn’t – the teal rope doesn’t fit with the other distinguishing aiguillettes as a leadership marker.  Those markers should be reserved for leadership in the military mission or morale-enhancement (e.g., the black rope for student activity teams).

I note also that while sexual assault is comparatively straightforward, at least in terms of defining it, sexual harassment is not.  It’s hard enough for people in their thirties, forties, and fifties – commanders, senior enlisted leaders – to sort out sexual harassment complaints.  The teal rope won’t make it easier for young airmen to know what’s right or do it.  Some will probably fail to report or acknowledge prosecutable events, in which fellow airmen have sustained real psychological or physical injuries.  Others may behave overzealously, and that won’t improve unity or esprit de corps.

The leadership of older, more experienced NCOs and officers will always be needed to deal justly and compassionately with crimes like sexual assault and harassment.  The teal rope suggests something has changed when it hasn’t.  It’s misplaced symbolism, and in a period of steep defense cuts, it looks like misplaced priorities as well.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard online.

Her home blog is The Optimistic Conservative.  She also writes for the new blog Liberty Unyielding.


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Always creating a problem that begs for a solution. But, hey. This is what our country has become. None of these problems will be solved until someone with common sense is elected. Looks like that will never happen. Anywhere.

BetseyRoss on December 4, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Hahahahahahahaha….mean while the Marine Corps is doing away with the dumbass flex-armed hang for women. Fine, you want to operate in a mans world then you’ve gotta compete just like the men.

MoreLiberty on December 4, 2012 at 10:36 AM

The rainbow one will be cute too.

MikeA on December 4, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Always creating a problem that begs for a solution.

Exactly.

98ZJUSMC on December 4, 2012 at 10:37 AM

20-year-old gals getting pregnant unintentionally

Or intentionally.

SAZMD on December 4, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Once again. women are acting like victims.
We’ve come a long way, Baby! ///

annoyinglittletwerp on December 4, 2012 at 10:38 AM

What, no pink ones for Breast Cancer Awareness month? Or, what about a yellow one for “courageous retreat”?

TXUS on December 4, 2012 at 10:41 AM

MoreLiberty on December 4, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Speaking as someone who washed-out of USMC bootcamp(coordination problem) in ’89 and who is married to a Reagan-era Marine…I say GOOD FOR THEM!

annoyinglittletwerp on December 4, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Teal was the color of Army Military Intelligence Corps. Back when we had khakis and fatigues, and were in garrison, with a general officer on post, or on parade, or for special military days (4th of July, armed forces day, MI day, ASA day, and the like) we had to wear teal neck bibs, so our t-shirts and hairy chests wouldn’t show. The infantry had infantry blue, armor yellow, artillery red, and so forth.

But, at least there was something concrete behind the practice…esprit de corps and such.

But this?

This is about as dumb as Shinniseki’s black beret stupidity for the Army.

But, this?

Give them enough rope…

When are they going to get back to war fighting?

coldwarrior on December 4, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Any day now I expect to see Rainbow aiguillettes to signify special training in homosexual sensitivity, or some such garbage.

Wouldn’t it be nice if they’d stop using the military for social engineering?

Dexter_Alarius on December 4, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Where is the green and white rope denoting training to combat Islamophobia?

Where is the pink and brown rope denoting special training in the racism prevention office?

CorporatePiggy on December 4, 2012 at 10:45 AM

If they think the issue deserves priority , why settle for pastel?

Seth Halpern on December 4, 2012 at 10:46 AM

It’s only a matter of time before one of these wearers hides behind it to assault someone..

moc23 on December 4, 2012 at 10:48 AM

I was a yellow rope in tech school. And a house mouse in basic. But I turned out alright anyway. :) ~ RD

RumblinDurango on December 4, 2012 at 10:50 AM

LOL !!

Reminds me of the Robin Williams shtick in Good Morning Vietnam ! when he does the “interview” of the effeminate fashion designer discussion, on what the stylish combatant (Charlie) will be wearing.!!

What a prophetic hoot

FlaMurph on December 4, 2012 at 10:52 AM

20-year-old gals getting pregnant unintentionally

Or intentionally.

SAZMD on December 4, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Since the only 100% effective birth control method is abstinence, wouldn’t an “unintentional” pregnancy be the result of rape?

Mitoch55 on December 4, 2012 at 10:53 AM

TUCK FEAL

and

BUCK FARACK.

Nutstuyu on December 4, 2012 at 10:54 AM

I’m waiting for pink aiguillettes to indicate proud service as a gay man or woman.

NotCoach on December 4, 2012 at 10:54 AM

The ropes are dumb, and I suspect this came about because of the big scandal at Lackland.

It’s never acceptable for an instructor to have sex with a recruit, and it’s even worse if the sex is coerced. This teal rope is thing is silly, but it was time for a crackdown on behavior at Lackland.

juliesa on December 4, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Where is the pink and brown rope denoting special training in the racism prevention homosexual activities promotion office?

CorporatePiggy on December 4, 2012 at 10:45 AM

FIFY.

Nutstuyu on December 4, 2012 at 10:55 AM

20-year-old gals getting pregnant unintentionally

Or intentionally.

SAZMD on December 4, 2012 at 10:38 AM

So true. My daughter is an Army vet. She has lots of stories of females who intentionally got pregnant to manipulate the terms of their enlistments.

HotAirian on December 4, 2012 at 10:57 AM

“Teal was the color of Army Military Intelligence Corps”

coldwarrior on December 4, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Sorry for the correction but actually Teal is the color for the Infantry. Oriental blue is the color for Military Intelligence. Personally I can’t tell the difference between the two.

jpcpt03 on December 4, 2012 at 10:59 AM

I imagine it is to pander to the gays

Bullhead on December 4, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Waaaaaayyyyy to long of a post…

RMCS_USN on December 4, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Barf.

Pork-Chop on December 4, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Really J.E?
This stupidity is not to solve a problem (you can’t fix stupid) but to show someone that the AF is aware of the problem and working on fixing it.
Dog and Pony show where the military says “we are efforting.”
The difference between talking about the plan to rake the leaves and picking up the rake and getting to it.

LincolntheHun on December 4, 2012 at 11:04 AM

jpcpt03 on December 4, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Ya know what?

You are 100% correct.

And if you lay the two down next to each other…one is a bit brighter, the other more muted…but which one is which?

BTW, Teal was the name of my favorite MI regimental commander back in the day.

Hence the faulty association, perhaps.

Thank you.

coldwarrior on December 4, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Just heard on the radio that a 9th instructor at Lackland has been caught having inappropriate relations with several women. That’s a real violation of the trust we put in these people.

juliesa on December 4, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Not that I necessarily agree with it, but the purpose would seem to be to identify those who are SAPROs. The thought process being that those who have been sexually assaulted may not be willing to ask around to find such an individual but they can identify those of the teal “rope.”

Again, I don’t necessarily agree with it, but this is one of those areas that get commanding officers relieved for “lack of confidence in leadership.” So long as there is a zero tolerance mentality, then the teal rope makes as much sense as anything.

Let’s remember that the Navy has sailors on a curfew in Japan right now because of an alleged rape in Okinawa. Sexual assault and harassment are an issue for the military no matter how much one wants to mock the teal aiguillettes as much as they do the Army beret.

Happy Nomad on December 4, 2012 at 11:14 AM

This teal rope nonsense is just another item on some colonel or brigadier general’s officer evaluation report that goes to their promotion board. The perfumed princes/princesses of the military does this to inflate their achievements so that they can get promoted.

oddjob on December 4, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Giving all this attention to something so manifestly absurd is ridiculous. The only commentary necessary is complete condemnation and disgust that our military is being humiliated by our own govt.

Akzed on December 4, 2012 at 11:16 AM

I was a yellow rope in tech school.

RumblinDurango on December 4, 2012 at 10:50 AM

I can guess your story now. You joined the AF as a taupe twine but through hard work and your instructors you developed into yellow rope. ;0

Happy Nomad on December 4, 2012 at 11:17 AM

What, no pink ones for Breast Cancer Awareness month?

TXUS on December 4, 2012 at 10:41 AM

My very first thought when I started reading was “But teal is the color for ovarian cancer awareness.” (I know this because I lost a friend to ovarian cancer about 8 months ago.)

She has lots of stories of females who intentionally got pregnant to manipulate the terms of their enlistments.

HotAirian on December 4, 2012 at 10:57 AM

In the Navy it is to prevent being deployed at sea. The number of pregnancies among the enlisted crew rises significantly in the months prior to a ship deploying.

GWB on December 4, 2012 at 11:20 AM

oddjob on December 4, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Probably not, this kinda stupidity goes higher, like Asst Secretary, and is in response to some pressure group or Congresscritter’s demands.

LincolntheHun on December 4, 2012 at 11:21 AM

It was the Air Force that commissioned the investigation into the prevalence of false rape charges and discovered that over 50% of rape accusations in the AF were eventually proved false (usually in the form of the woman admitting she lied).

Never was there a report that got the deep-six treatment like that one did. The AF has always been the most politically correct of all the services.

monkeyboy on December 4, 2012 at 11:21 AM

We Naval Aviators always considerd the Air Force the gay branch of the services.

Bevan on December 4, 2012 at 11:23 AM

I’m telling you all this to make it clear that the military already takes this problem seriously …

Endless f***ing briefings. And it’s become another career path for inside-the-wire air-conditioned admin pukes to gain promotion points over people who actually put on the seventy to one hundred and twenty pounds of crap and go play outside, outside the wire … when it’s a buck thirty and climbing.

Yep, they take the sexual assault and the EO stuff so seriously that you have to be a moron to talk to a female or a subordinate minority except on a as-needed professional basis. And you never trust either.

M240H on December 4, 2012 at 11:24 AM

My nephew is in the Corps at Texas A&M and I told him not to sign up for the military. My father and his three brothers were all in WWII and I told him that this is not his grandfather’s military anymore, nor Korea or VietNam either. It’s just a petri dish for social experimentation. I told him how the political general Casey said after the Ft. Hood shooting that “our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse,” Casey said.

TxAnn56 on December 4, 2012 at 11:24 AM

When do the Rainbow Ropes for openly gay cadets become available?

portlandon on December 4, 2012 at 11:25 AM

…no matter how much one wants to mock the teal aiguillettes as much as they do the Army beret.

Happy Nomad on December 4, 2012 at 11:14 AM

But, you put the teal aguilette with the beret, and BOOM! you have a fashion explosion! It would look mahhhhvelous! The enemy would just die!

(Sorry, HN, couldn’t resist. And, I’m not mocking your point that sexual harassment and assault are real problems.)

GWB on December 4, 2012 at 11:26 AM

I had discussed with a SAPRO official regarding what services the office provides. I was curious why they made no mentnion of providing assistance to dependents or civilians who may become a victim of sexual assault. I was told they only provide help to active duty. At that point I dismissed the office as a bureaucratic kneejerk endeavor. Who is picking the colors for the Air Force? SMH

Tracker3 on December 4, 2012 at 11:32 AM

But, you put the teal aguilette with the beret, and BOOM! you have a fashion explosion! It would look mahhhhvelous!

GWB on December 4, 2012 at 11:26 AM

But it can only be pulled off if paired with those glossy plastic shoes.

Happy Nomad on December 4, 2012 at 11:33 AM

The problem will continue until the fundamental issue is resolved: women should not be in the military. At least not in the expanded capacity they work in now. They are not as strong as men, they cannot last as long as men, and they are not as expendable as men. Every time you insert a young female into the equation, everything becomes sexualized and advancement metrics are suddenly thrown out of whack.

This problem will never go away as long as females stand in the ranks. The hand-wringing over what goes on in a post-ethical society enthralled with sex in everything it does is just odd and disingenuous.

StubbleSpark on December 4, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Yes, I am mocking the actual aiguillette.

I am not mocking the incidence of sexual predation within the air force or any other military service.

But, an aiguillette is not going to stop such behaviour.

What will stop it is the courts martial process, and one that not only finds and sentences the predator but also goes after the immediate chain of command for not being aware of the predatory activity.

No instructor at Lackland, or Parris Island or Fort Leonard Wood is going to play around with a recruit unless the local command turns a blind eye, or decides that punishing a “good” NCO or officer would blemish their career. If the brigade commander is put in the chair at court martial, and found to be in violation of his duties, well, should have paid a lot better attention to what his underlings were doing. Commanders are supposed to do this. Abu Ghraib and the 205th MP Brigade comes to mind. Absentee leadership never works well.

If they [predators] engage in this criminal behaviour, they blemished themselves, and the service, and should be removed swiftly and punished to the maximum extent of the UCMJ.

If recruits know this, understand this, and the cadre are enforcing this among the recruits, and staff, the problem will be resolved far more swiftly than any aiguillette could possibly allow….unless said aiguillette is allowed to be used as a weapon or restraint to keep the deservedly well-beaten predator in place until the MP/SP’s arrive.

Just wanted to clear that up.

coldwarrior on December 4, 2012 at 11:35 AM

When I saw the photo on the HotAir Home Page, I chuckled… after I read the post, I was speechless…

Navy guy, 30 years, retired…

Khun Joe on December 4, 2012 at 11:37 AM

This problem will never go away as long as females stand in the ranks. The hand-wringing over what goes on in a post-ethical society enthralled with sex in everything it does is just odd and disingenuous.

StubbleSpark on December 4, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Sorry, but you are wrong. I know female servicemembers that are more formidible than some of their male counterparts. The real issue here is not having two sets of standards.

Happy Nomad on December 4, 2012 at 11:38 AM

This is just another wounding of the military in America. These socialist libs are going to destroy America, just like they say they would. They are killing our military with a thousand cuts. The generations of brainwashed, emasculated males are now showing up and doing whatever the women tell them to do. They have already been beaten down by the man hating educational complex. obama has opened the door of our armed forces to these society wrecking devils and they are doing what they said they would. If we do not stop the infestation of our military with these radical homosexual/feminists we are done in a generation. Look at the rules of engagement. America is the laughing stock of the world. Why would a real man enlist? To be threatened and harassed by man hating homosexuals in positions of power? Almost time to stick a fork in the USA. All we have now are whining bitches who will not step up to defend their country. It’s now or never.

frizzbee on December 4, 2012 at 11:38 AM

What will stop it is the courts martial process, and one that not only finds and sentences the predator but also goes after the immediate chain of command for not being aware of the predatory activity.

coldwarrior on December 4, 2012 at 11:35 AM

If we aren’t going to prosecute those in Bradley Manning’s chain of command, why would we prosecute the chain of command here?

Happy Nomad on December 4, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Happy Nomad on December 4, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Yep.

And there are a number of officers and NCO’s above and around Manning the entire ride.

And they should have been prosecuted under the UCMJ.

A good long time ago.

coldwarrior on December 4, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Momma said if you can’t say anything nice then keep your mouth shut, I’m taking Momma’s advice right NOW!!!!

D-fusit on December 4, 2012 at 11:46 AM

We Naval Aviators always considerd the Air Force the gay branch of the services.

Bevan on December 4, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Interesting, since in the Air Force I was told the unofficial Navy motto was “its not gay if you’re underway”.

dentarthurdent on December 4, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Teal IS gay! Pitiful!

Sherman1864 on December 4, 2012 at 11:49 AM

coldwarrior on December 4, 2012 at 11:45 AM

And those around Nidal Malik Hassan at Fort Hood, and those at Walter Reed before he was sent to Hood, should have been investigated and prosecuted under the UCMJ as well.

But, that is the mindset of the military leadership these days.

Avoid taking responsibility.

Might injure one’s career.

coldwarrior on December 4, 2012 at 11:49 AM

We Naval Aviators always considerd the Air Force the gay branch of the services.

Bevan on December 4, 2012 at 11:23 AM

And what exactly were the duties of the traditional Navy “cabin boy”?

But with the direction the gubmint is going, the reality is they’re making the entire military more gay – and this teal rope bit is just one more indicator.

dentarthurdent on December 4, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Do you know why the Navy has Marines on board ships?

Sheep make to much noise.

/JK

D-fusit on December 4, 2012 at 11:51 AM

dentarthurdent on December 4, 2012 at 11:46 AM

OK…off color, and not PC…from a soldier, a little gem from the four decades ago.

The two happiest guys in the Navy?

Gerald Fitzpatrick and Patrick Fitzgerald.

coldwarrior on December 4, 2012 at 11:52 AM

coldwarrior on December 4, 2012 at 11:52 AM

lol

dentarthurdent on December 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Two problems with this …

1. It catapults sexual assault (a rarity in the military) over and above more pressing problems such as domestic violence and suicide. This has the clear effect of placing “sexual assault” into a SPECIAL class.

2. By placing it in a “special” class – we are continuing the old, false, stigmatization that sexual assault is the worst possible thing that could happen to an individual. A man’s peni$ can RUIN a woman!

I abhor sexual assualt – but the fact is – it can happen to any one of our daughters. If it happens to mine, I want her to be able to pick up and move on with her life – and putting rape into some “special” class of heinous crime simply perpetuates the old sterotype of “once raped / forever ruined”.

HondaV65 on December 4, 2012 at 11:56 AM

“This is an opportunity for Airmen to be leaders and help regulate their fellow Airmen on an important issue.”

At least now they’ll know who to blame when there are sexual assaults in an organization. Fire the dude with the teal rope. Perfect.

STL_Vet on December 4, 2012 at 12:00 PM

1. It catapults sexual assault (a rarity in the military) over and above more pressing problems such as domestic violence and suicide.
HondaV65 on December 4, 2012 at 11:56 AM

You touched on a good point here. As an example, have you noticed that ANY sexual assualt at a military academy becomes national fron page news – even though the rates of sexual assualt at the academies are far below the rates at civilian colleges?
While I agree that sexual assualt is bad, there seems to me to be far too much emphasis on the rare cases that occur in the military – and therefore a much more extreme response by the military.

dentarthurdent on December 4, 2012 at 12:05 PM

This problem will never go away as long as females stand in the ranks. The hand-wringing over what goes on in a post-ethical society enthralled with sex in everything it does is just odd and disingenuous.

StubbleSpark on December 4, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Sorry, but you are wrong. I know female servicemembers that are more formidible than some of their male counterparts. The real issue here is not having two sets of standards.

Happy Nomad on December 4, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Too be fair, even the SF guys seem a little intimidated by the 220 lb E7 lesbian that seems to be in charge of every DFAC.

M240H on December 4, 2012 at 12:16 PM

dentarthurdent on December 4, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Not a lot of college kids took this oath, or one similar.

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Or,

I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

In that lies the difference.

We expect better from our armed forces members if for no other reason that these simple oaths.

Being a sexual predator, or other sort of criminal, is obviously a violation of that oath.

And tolerance for aberrant behaviour is in itself a violation of that oath.

In essence, find the predator, nail his/her butt to the wall, commence target practice for however long it takes.

Then round up the immediate chain of command and have them explain to the rest of us why they thought it was OK to either not pay attention or to ignore all the red flags and warnings. If they are found negligent, there are appropriate punishments and they can always find a new career elsewhere that does not require high standards.

coldwarrior on December 4, 2012 at 12:17 PM

We Naval Aviators always considerd the Air Force the gay branch of the services.

Bevan on December 4, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Ouch. That has to hurt coming from the Navy of all places.

thomashton on December 4, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Too >> To

mea culpa

M240H on December 4, 2012 at 12:19 PM

We Naval Aviators always considerd the Air Force the gay branch of the services.

Bevan on December 4, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Ouch. That has to hurt coming from the Navy of all places.

thomashton on December 4, 2012 at 12:19 PM

What hurts is when the young “seamen” mistake the correct use of “Naval Jelly” during their initial training.

M240H on December 4, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Teh ghey!

locomotivebreath1901 on December 4, 2012 at 12:24 PM

remind me again why there was nothing wrong with getting people in the armed forced whose #1 thing in life, sex with whoever, male or female, was a good idea

huntingmoose on December 4, 2012 at 12:27 PM

M240H on December 4, 2012 at 12:23 PM

That’s painful just thinking about it.

coldwarrior on December 4, 2012 at 12:27 PM

something tells me there aren’t enough colors for this kind of stupidity

burserker on December 4, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Wow. And here I thought those shoulder ropes were meant for something more petty, like remembering the Marne. You know, an honor bestowed upon a division or some such group in the military

Logus on December 4, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Wouldn’t it be nice if they’d stop using the military for social engineering?

Dexter_Alarius on December 4, 2012 at 10:45 AM

They can’t. They know they will need the military to round up all of us “terrorists” who read the Bible, believe in the right to bear arms, and want America to remain strong and truly free.

They are doing just like they did with public schools, as well as government, infiltrate and takeover from within. And nobody seems to care to do anything about it.

Sterling Holobyte on December 4, 2012 at 12:42 PM

coldwarrior on December 4, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Agree fully with all that. But the numbers show that despite the fact that the military and its academies are populated with somewhat of a cross-section of the US population, there are far fewer of these offenses than in any part of the civilian population. But there will always be bad apples – and they should be dealt with appropriately because the military is the wrong place for them.
I’m always amazed when a story comes out about a cadet at an academy getting caught and charged for something like dealing drugs. Holy Shiite – you went to a military academy to do THAT? Go to Berkeley – its probably a valid major.

dentarthurdent on December 4, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Logus on December 4, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Original use was to hold a nail or spike to spike enemy artillery (drive a piece of hard steel in the touch hole of blackpowder cannon so it couldn’t be fired).
Now it’s only for pretty, which is why the AF has so many Faaaaaabolous colors to choose from.

LincolntheHun on December 4, 2012 at 12:48 PM

There is nothing new about the military doing stupid things. Look at their projections for phoney climate change, etc. That is why cutting 10% off the top of military spending isn’t going to do any harm. We should cut 60% and actually make a difference. And then begin learning the benefits of minding our own business.

woodNfish on December 4, 2012 at 1:04 PM

When I went through tech school in 91, we all made fun of anyone wearing a ‘rope’. And yes, since tech school, we get trained every year, or twice a year, on the the same stuff: sexual harassment, LOAC, information awareness, self-aid/buddy care, etc. The last few years they added ‘trafficking in persons’.

ammo john on December 4, 2012 at 1:10 PM

ammo john on December 4, 2012 at 1:10 PM

The problem is now its everywhere. I’ve been a DoD contractor since I got out of the AF in 1987, and even with corporations, and the DoD organizations we work for, its a never-ending stream of training and “awareness” for everything from security to safety to sexual assault/harrassment to driving in the winter to nutritional awareness and on and on. I’ve spent over 4 hours in the last week alone doing mandatory company training for safety, health, environment, ITAR, security, and corrupt practices – half of which duplicates training requirements for DoD org I work for.

dentarthurdent on December 4, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Sorry for the correction but actually Teal is the color for the Infantry. Oriental blue is the color for Military Intelligence. Personally I can’t tell the difference between the two.

jpcpt03 on December 4, 2012 at 10:59 AM

The Infantry rope is ‘Light Blue’, not Teal.

Solaratov on December 4, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Hey I remember those days. Those guys were dirtbags just like us. The only difference: they were dirtbags with sissy-strings!

paulsur on December 4, 2012 at 1:43 PM

When I went through tech school in 91, we all made fun of anyone wearing a ‘rope’.

ammo john on December 4, 2012 at 1:10 PM

When I was in the Army – in the early 60s – the ‘Ropes’ were to show that one was qualified in one’s branch. AFAIK, that remains the same today.
I wore a light blue rope (Infantry) – but when I went Special Forces, we didn’t wear a rope or branch discs behind our brass.

Solaratov on December 4, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Obama believes if you have a dull knife, no one will use it.

He’s doing his best to dull the knife and make America everyone’s friend.

Drones and robots will do the fighting if that’s necessary (in his and Valerie Garrett’s view). Testosterone is inherently evil.

The military is simply going to become welfare with uniforms.

I remember as a CO in the ’90s reviewing the rules on deployment with a single parent family mother. She was never, never going to deploy and she was covered eight diffent ways like an endangered species.

There was no reason for her to be in the military at all other than diversity, but she’d found a home and everyone was petrified they might have to write her a bad fitrep.

Limpet6 on December 4, 2012 at 1:57 PM

So when are gays going to get their own “rope”? Possible mauve or pink?

GarandFan on December 4, 2012 at 2:50 PM

How long until the Air Force issues rainbow aiguilettes to soldiers specially trained in leadership on DADT conversion?

thuljunior on December 4, 2012 at 2:56 PM

So when are gays going to get their own “rope”? Possible mauve or pink?

GarandFan on December 4, 2012 at 2:50 PM

How long until the Air Force issues rainbow aiguilettes to soldiers specially trained in leadership on DADT conversion?

thuljunior on December 4, 2012 at 2:56 PM

I’m guessing gay indicator will be the “rainbow warrior” rope – as others have hinted at….

dentarthurdent on December 4, 2012 at 3:02 PM

…the teal rope doesn’t fit with the other distinguishing aiguillettes as a leadership marker. Those markers should be reserved for leadership in the military mission or morale-enhancement (e.g., the black rope for student activity teams).

I note also that while sexual assault is comparatively straightforward, at least in terms of defining it, sexual harassment is not. It’s hard enough for people in their thirties, forties, and fifties – commanders, senior enlisted leaders – to sort out sexual harassment complaints. The teal rope won’t make it easier for young airmen to know what’s right or do it. Some will probably fail to report or acknowledge prosecutable events, in which fellow airmen have sustained real psychological or physical injuries. Others may behave overzealously, and that won’t improve unity or esprit de corps.

This is an excellent and wise article, Ms. Dyer. Exceptionally insightful.

Lourdes on December 4, 2012 at 3:14 PM

My first impression is that this newly added Teal Rope and what it symbolizes is an ongoing intrusion by “Obama Change” toolkit to make the military into an arm of his Progressive-Remake of the U.S.

Castro and Hugo Chavez did the same thing to the entire concept of “miltiary” in Cuba and Venezuela, respectively, sending out armed revolutionaries to other countries dressed as “healthcare workers” (posing as doctors, nurses, technicians, etc. and in some cases, being such but as a secondary role to their primary function and that primary function is to be armed military personnel in other countries).

The color teal? Used throughout Obama’s campaigning to represent…Obama. Speaks oddly in reference to the “armed healthcare workers” strategy (teal, medical scrubs) used by Fidel and Hugo.

Lourdes on December 4, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Teal was the color of Army Military Intelligence Corps…

coldwarrior on December 4, 2012 at 10:44 AM

read:

…The color teal? Used throughout Obama’s campaigning to represent…Obama. Speaks oddly in reference to the “armed healthcare workers” strategy (teal, medical scrubs) used by Fidel and Hugo.

Lourdes on December 4, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Lourdes on December 4, 2012 at 3:21 PM

“Teal was the color of Army Military Intelligence Corps”

coldwarrior on December 4, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Sorry for the correction but actually Teal is the color for the Infantry. Oriental blue is the color for Military Intelligence. Personally I can’t tell the difference between the two.

jpcpt03 on December 4, 2012 at 10:59 AM

It’s the SUBTEXT that’s the message here/there, as to this color issue.

Meaning, it’s an ongoing intrustion and activation of, to generalize, “Obama” as altering operations, perceptions, “ownership” or “working toward a new command” (with “new command” meaning, alteration of methodology).

Lourdes on December 4, 2012 at 3:26 PM

coldwarrior on December 4, 2012 at 11:45 AM

And those around Nidal Malik Hassan at Fort Hood, and those at Walter Reed before he was sent to Hood, should have been investigated and prosecuted under the UCMJ as well.

But, that is the mindset of the military leadership these days.

Avoid taking responsibility.

Might injure one’s career.

coldwarrior on December 4, 2012 at 11:49 AM

I agree with that but in Hassan’s case, too, who I hold responsible more than any are the licensing and peer-review process among medicine. That he even HAD a license to practice medicine specialized in Psychiatry is monstrous — there are quotes from other psychiatrists and other physicians who said they considered Hassan abnormal of a variety of ways when hearing him speak, his presentations among alleged peers — it is they who should have, by all means, opposed Hassan’s ongoing involvement not only in the military but in medicine.

Lourdes on December 4, 2012 at 3:37 PM

It’s not the EMs that need the sensitivity training…it’s the field and general grade officers. They’ve got a lot of time on their hands, are probably locked in for retirement, and more importantly, figure they can get away with it.

Also interesting to note that the AF is (or was, not sure now) the home to the DRRI (Defense Race Relations Institute).

I can only assume the Religious Tolerance Academy is just down the pike.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 4, 2012 at 4:17 PM

I’m waiting for pink aiguillettes to indicate proud service as a gay man or woman.

NotCoach on December 4, 2012 at 10:54 AM

That would be rainbow colors for gay soldiers. Pink is for breast cancer. You better start keeping up with cause color schemes are you may find yourself at mandatory tolerance retreat.

peterargus on December 4, 2012 at 4:25 PM

20-year-old gals getting pregnant unintentionally

Or intentionally.

SAZMD on December 4, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Those 20-year-old gals really should be aware of the dangers of public swimming pools.

malclave on December 4, 2012 at 7:06 PM

The post is absolutely right that the teal rope is the height of politically correct absurdity.

It’s wrong, however, in calling it an aiguilette.

The device is actually a fourragere, and is identical in construction (and, from the looks of it, very close in color) to the blue fourragere worn on the right shoulder by qualified US infantry personnel serving in infantry units.

bgoldman on December 4, 2012 at 7:52 PM

I was a career, full-time Air National Guardsman for well over twenty years. Before I deployed to Guam in support of one particular bomber mission a few years ago, my unit had to have the Air National Guard sexual harassment training, the USAF sexual harassment training and the Pacific Air Force Command (PACAF) sexual harassment training. That’s right, three almost identical courses because obviously, all men in the Air Force are rapists and need to be treated as such before they can deploy. Before the sexual harrasment business took off, we white males were all racists and sexists so we had to have EEO training a couple of times a year. That’s always made for improved relations within any organization. They still have both EEO and sexual harassment training regularly. Instead of addressing offending individuals, they treated, and continue to treat, everything with a knee-jerk, blanket remedy. Which does nothing but increase hostility among those who otherwise treated everyone with respect. I can’t tell you how many times I left these classes hearing guys calling them “just another white male bashing class”. Real morale builder.

Big John on December 5, 2012 at 1:38 PM