The Corner

Khaki at Sea

The dot-mils are reporting in:

In reply to your post titled “Decadence and Pacifism”:

Sadly it is true…. “Inter-service rivalry fading away” is a fact. I blame former Secretary Rumsfeld. He firmly believed that the services should be “inter-dependent” forcing us to cooperate more… this cooperation has led to more understanding, more appreciation and less rivalry.

But politics be damned… I still don’t like the Navy.

[Me] That was of course an af-dot-mil. Here’s the Senior Service:

John—Khaki is worn traditionally by officers and chief petty officers. (The latter are the senior enlisted in the US Navy.) It is used to distinguish between the lower and mid level enlisted sailors and the supervisory/managerial/leadership personnel aboard ship.

Khaki: For what it is worth, from here:

“Uniform History (29 Jun 2007)

KHAKI—originated in 1845 in India where British soldiers soaked white uniforms in mud, coffee, and curry powder to blend in with the landscape. Khakis made their debut in the U.S. Navy in 1912 when they were worn by naval aviators, and were adopted for submarines in 1931. In 1941 the Navy approved khakis for on-station wear by senior officers, and soon after Pearl Harbor chiefs and officers were authorized to wear khakis ashore on liberty.”

And, if you really want to step into the middle of a brewing controversy, start with random praise for the new Navy uniform system.

The rumor is that the sailors need the camo to be able to hide aboard ship. Also, the uniform will hide grease stains better.

[Me] There I am getting a whiff of the true military spirit: unquestioning, unwavering obedience to the damn fool idiotic regs dreamed up by seat-polishing, paper-shuffling REMFs.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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