Military respect

While I was a U.S. Air Force language instructor in Vietnam I was once written up for being outside without a hat during a break between classes. That same day, a short disciplinary meeting with my unit commander resolved the issue. This hat incident was a very minor breach of military protocol. The meeting was informal. We all wore the same jungle fatigue uniforms we wore every day.

However, even in a combat theater of operation, a more serious matter would have required that everyone in the hearing to be wearing class “A” uniforms, right down to shined shoes and service ribbons.

It is disturbing to see the news accounts of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning’s espionage pre-trial hearing being conducted in Maryland with everyone, including the military judge, wearing fatigue uniforms.

What message is the U.S. Army sending here? This matter is neither inconsequential nor should it be conducted in an informal manner.

The Army needs to give these proceedings the dignity, and the military respect this case requires.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen


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