Courtesy of a link at Neptunus Lex, I discovered a new military blogger today, writing under the title of The Mellow Jihadi. He's got some interesting (and amusing) stories to tell, some of them worthy of my own younger days in uniform.
I particularly enjoyed his tale of what can happen when a relatively junior enlisted man's insignia is mistaken for that of a relatively senior officer. Here's how it begins.
Imagine you are Petty Officer Third Class in the Navy.
Should you deploy to some sandy paradise, chances are your collar insignia will resemble the device on the left. These are the fearsome crows of a Navy E-4.
Take a gander at the other rank, on the right. Yes Shipmate, that is the insignia found on a full-bird colonel. An O-6. That particular photo was borrowed from an Air Force uniform website. Where our friendly Air Force brethren go to buy glow belts and rank insignias.
Now picture yourself on an Air Force flight to Al Udeid Air Base in lovely Doha, Qatar. You are minding your own business, perhaps snoozing and dreaming of Twilight (with an occasional, annoying Justin Beiber cameo) when the plane bounces gently to the ground.
The melodious voice of an Airman wafts throughout the cabin. “All O-6s, please deplane at this time. All O-6s, please deplane.”
Of course, you ignore the announcement. Remember your collar is the splitting image of the device on the left.
An Air Force Master Sergeant slyly taps you on your shoulder. You yawn and turn to him. “Sir, please follow me,” he instructs, as courteously as a caddy at the 19th hole of Leisure World’s Par 2.
You follow the Master Sergeant, because a) You are a Navy professional and you were taught to instantly pounce and execute orders b) You are still groggy from that terrible dream of Beiber and his unsat haircut c) The man is an E-7 and you are an E-4, despite the fact he is sirring you. (You take the sirs to be an Air Force thang. What little you know of “thangs” comes from a bumper sticker you saw at an Air Force base. ”It’s an Air Force thang. You wouldn’t understand.” True, you don’t much understand thangs (thangs are not your thang), but you pretend and follow the mysterious Sergeant anyway.)
It is at the point of hiking your backpack onto your back that you notice your Master Chief behind you. All Navy Master Chiefs are issued a second brain. I, myself, am not a Master Chief, so I can’t prove definitively that this is true. But ask any Master Chief, he/she’ll tell you.
There's more at the link. Do go read it, particularly for the highly enjoyable way it ends!
If he keeps this up, I think The Mellow Jihadi is going to end up on my regular reading list.