What would you make of this?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by USA_All_The_Way, May 12, 2010.

  1. USA_All_The_Way

    USA_All_The_Way Member

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    This happened during this last year's Veteran's Day at my community college's campus. I eventually ended up telling this story to one of the MS4s in my ROTC detachment and he (to my surprise) remarked in regards to the event that it was "funny." So I'll share it all with you.

    Veterans Day 2009 I was walking outside with a friend of mine and hadn't noticed until about after a minute or two later I wasn't wearing my patrol cap while I was in the ACU uniform. I got carried away with a discussion and ended up stopping myself in the middle with "Oh ****, I better put my cap on before some crazy military people or someone notices. It hasn't happened yet but you know..."

    Sure enough, about roughly three minutes later...

    "Where's your unit?" Some guy in a red Mustang (or a Ferrari, it's pathetic I can't tell the difference) stopped in the middle of the road on our side and had this extremely pissed off look on his face. Keep in mind he had facial hair and was wearing civilian clothing, but he nonetheless took issue with my uniform.

    So in the most polite way possible, I tried to explain myself.

    "I don't have one."

    "Where's your beret?" (I'm almost positive that if you don't have a unit, you also don't have a beret).

    "I'm not in the regular Army. This is ROTC." I tried explaining.

    That wasn't good enough. In fact, it just pissed him off even more. This time he had such a look of disgust on his face it was like he wasn't even willing to believe I was telling the complete truth.

    He slowly accelerated down the road when the friend next to me, paused and totally silent on what was going on until this point, had given him the infamous "bird."

    He just so happened to take notice of it. He pulled his car into the adjacent parking lot entry which just so happened to be right in the middle of the sidewalk we were on.

    "Did you just flip me off?" He said. I was sure something physical was going to come of this. It was just too weird for something extreme not to occur.

    "Yeah" my friend responded without hesitation.

    "It is my duty to discipline this enlisted cadet and you're going to flip me off!?" He of course somehow made the crazy-*** assumption that I was enlisted even after telling him I'm not in the regular Army.

    "Well, you don't have to be a dick about it!" my friend said, once again without any consideration that this could have turned ugly.

    In the end, however, he just drove off and left us alone.

    Strange times.
     
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Sounds like you should have corrected your friend and done the right think in the first place. You're wearing an Army uniform, and you want to be "real" Army...then you should do it right.
     
  3. Gray Hog

    Gray Hog USMA Alumnus

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    Just what are "crazy military people?"

    That is a phrase I might have expected to be used by your civilian friend, but it seems a bit odd coming from an ROTC cadet.
     
  4. USA_All_The_Way

    USA_All_The_Way Member

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    I can assure you I had done this. He felt pretty horrible for his remarks particularly given this was on Veteran's Day. This is why I was surprised that the MS4 I had told this too thought the whole situation was funny. I was embarrassed and shocked. But I look back at some of it now and I can see some of the humor in it nowadays. I have never neglected the significance of wearing the uniform, and I have also done what was necessary to correct myself.

    It's my fault for communicating that in this particular situation, I just blew this person off. I certaintly believe it was crazy in many aspects, but I don't ever dismiss regulations and, as I made clear here, I will correct myself if I notice something amiss.
     
  5. USA_All_The_Way

    USA_All_The_Way Member

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    In this particular case, it would have applied to this individual (whom it's even hard to tell about whether or not he is/was actual military; he took issue with the patrol cap and that I wasn't wearing a beret instead, even after explaining to him that I'm a ROTC cadet, not SMP or even merely enlisted).

    To better clarify I had met a Marine on the transit system the other day who informed me that 9/11 was a total hoax, a sentiment I take offense too for the simple reason that there is no evidence for it. So, when I had made that phrase, it was not meant to paint anyone who is all about regulations and standards.

    Other servicemen (I am a part of an ROTC detachment which consists of around 75-80% prior or current service) have stated that the person here is in the wrong simply for not being in a uniform of his own. But I wouldn't say he was "wrong" (given that I was without cover momentarily while outside), I would say that discounting what I'm saying because he doesn't appreciate it is irrational and doesn't change the fact. I am not prior or current service. So while trying to rectify my erring here, I cannot simply have a unit when in reality I do not.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  6. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    I would say he tried to make a valid correction, but did so in a less than ideal way.
     
  7. USA_All_The_Way

    USA_All_The_Way Member

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    Truth be told, I couldn't have said it better myself.
     
  8. Gray Hog

    Gray Hog USMA Alumnus

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    In uniform or not, it would be his duty to correct the discrepancy. Also, a superior needn't be in his own uniform to have authority; the authority comes from his rank/position, not from the uniform.

    When not in uniform myself, I have made (and continue to make) corrections of service members who are not wearing their uniforms properly. It is usually new kids who don't know any better yet, like in airports following their initial training, where I see soldiers and sailors wearing their covers indoors, or walking around with their jackets or collars unbuttoned or ties loosened. I will address the problem professionally and discretely, but I insist that these young people wear the uniform of their service properly and with pride.

    They (and perhaps you) may not appreciate it yet, but the longer you serve in that uniform, the more sacrifices you make in that uniform and the more friends you bury in that uniform, the more pride you will have in that uniform and the more you will demand that others not show disrespect for that uniform by not wearing it properly.
     
  9. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Well, I can make a hat, or a broach, or a pterodacytl.....
     

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