Tag Archives: uniforms

Expecting in the military

By Senior Airman Michelle Patten
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

There are so many thoughts running through your mind when you first find out you’re going to be a parent. How do I share the news? Will it be a boy or a girl? What will the baby’s name be?

Then there are the thoughts of a military parent. When will I have to deploy and leave my baby behind? Who will take care of the baby when my husband and I both get called in to respond to a disaster in the middle of the night? When will the grandparents meet baby when we’re geographically? Continue reading Expecting in the military

Do’s and dont’s for holiday gifts

By Staff Sgt. Jarrod Chavana
Air Force Public Affairs Agency Social Media Division

The holiday season is a time of laughter, and for those on the nice list, goodies and gifts. Lucky families who want to show affection for their Airmen should keep in mind the do’s and don’ts of holiday gifting. Although many Airmen made the nice list and will receive plenty of holiday treats for their efforts, your thoughtful gifts can quickly put them on the Air Force’s naughty list. The service’s version of the naughty or nice list can be found in AFI 36-2903, Dress and Appearance, and we’ve compiled a list of points to consider while shopping for your Airman this holiday season.

 

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1. Tattoos/brands/body markings- What happens in Vegas is supposed to stay in Vegas, but that giant, late-night tattoo will remain. You can give the gift of a tattoo, but make sure it’s within regulations.

 

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2. Running shoes- Although there may be a kaleidoscope of sneaker colors available, those individuals aiming high must remain conservative and ensure bright colors and excessive ornamentation are left for their civilian attire.  We are the U.S. Air Force after all– how much flashier do we need to be?

 

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3. Sunglasses – Even though they block the sun, movie star glam is frowned upon. Speaking of holiday spirit and movie stars, past Airmen have included Jimmy Stewart and, ahem, Chuck Norris. Please choose plain black, gold, silver or brown shades for your Airman.

 

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4. Hair color- If you’re going to treat your Airman to a new do, remember hair color can only be brown, blond, brunette, natural red, black or grey if it’s natural. Who says the military doesn’t provide options?

 

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5. Duffle/backpacks- Although these items are always great gifts, they must be black or blue for your Airman to carry them in uniform. By the way, hitting a general officer with your bag while trying to salute is only funny on T.V. Carry it on your left side.

 

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6. Phone covers- While in uniform, an Airman’s cell phone case can only be two colors — blue or black. Who doesn’t like a little bling, bling on a cell phone case? Um, the Air Force.

Honoring my father

  

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michael Dick

By Staff Sgt Amanda Dick
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

As it’s Father’s Day, I wanted to take the time to write about my father and how I honored him. I’ve pretty much known nothing but the military my whole life.

I was born into this world in Georgia at a U.S. Army medical facility. From the time I was 8 months old, I’ve been moving around.

As a little girl, I remember watching my dad put on his Army uniform and go to work. Several times, we took him dinner when he had to work overnight. I remember going to several Christmas parties at his work, and they always had gifts for the kids.

I grew up on his Meals-Ready-to-Eat, and loved chewing the gum and eating the dessert out of it.

Did you know military gear has a distinct smell to it? I do! Growing up around that smell has sort of made the military a “comfort zone” for me. Whenever I walk into a military issue shop and smell the military gear, it takes me back to being a kid again, and I’m instantly wrapped up in warmth – the same goes for watching football on Sundays.

My father was gone a lot – whether out in the field or on temporary duty to Australia or other locations. Despite that, he was always able to make it to every basketball, softball, soccer and volleyball game I had – home or away.

When he was in Korea my senior year of high school, he came back on his mid-tour during Christmas and worked it so he could be there for my graduation in May.

Then-U.S. Army Private 1st Class Michael Dick and Cynthia Dick When I had major surgery in 2009, he took short-notice vacation from his job in the postal service to come over to Germany and take care of me. He showed us that family mattered to him; that we were a top priority.

My father has always been there for us – even during trying times! He’s never been afraid to show us or tell us that he loves us.

Through his 20 years of military service to the U.S., he showed us how to work hard and be dedicated– he joined in 1982 and retired in 2002. Throughout my life, the military has been a constant – it’s also one of the reasons I feel a continuous need to move after just a couple years in one spot.

Watching the passion my dad had for serving his country sparked the same passion in me. That’s why in January 2006, I joined the U.S. Air Force. While my dad would have loved if I joined the Army, I figured since the Air Force used to be part of the Army, I’d still be “keeping it in the family.”

Among the many reasons I joined, I wanted to start a tradition of military legacy in our family. I wanted to honor my father by having one of his children join the military – it’s only me and my sister. I wanted to have pride in what I was doing in my life.

To me, my father is the greatest man in the world – my military superhero. We learned valuable lessons from him and my mother that I hope to pass on one day to any children I may have. So, Michael Dick, Happy Father’s Day from a daughter who thinks you mean the world to her!

Photos: (Top) Retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michael Dick waits for the air show to begin in August 2008, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. Dick served in the Army for 20 years, retiring in 2002. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amanda Dick)
(Bottom) Then-U.S. Army Private 1st Class Michael Dick and Cynthia Dick take a couples photo while Michael is on Christmas leave from Army basic training in December 1982. Michael joined the Army in 1982 and served until 2002, completing 20 years of military service. (Courtesy photo)

An Airman rises to honor a fallen Soldier

By Maj. Rosaire Bushey
AETC Public Affairs

Today I had the privilege to be a very small part of several hundred people who gathered to honor a fallen warrior. Army Sgt. Thomas Bohall returned to Texas today from Afghanistan and he was met by a line of respect that stretched for more than half a mile.

Fallen Soldier Words, however, are a poor substitute to the sights and more specifically to a single face in which a whole world of non-verbal emotion collided.

Lining the road there were uniforms, mostly ABUs, the odd BDU, flight suits, civilian slacks, skirts, suits. They were representative of the team that makes the military work. They were worn by every skin tone you could consider and they came equipped with boots, shoes, pumps, and heels; with berets, flight caps, garrison caps and even cowboy hats, and they stood under a double line of 50 state flags – everywhere you looked you could see all of America represented.
At the end of the line, through the base gates, two ladder trucks from local fire departments formed an arch across the road, with an American flag hanging. And as the procession approached, what little noise there was ceased. Cars stopped, contractors doing grounds maintenance stood at attention and doffed their hats, uniformed service members saluted.

As Sgt. Bohall passed I dipped my eyes and in a fraction of a second, locked eyes with a woman who I can only assume was a wife, girlfriend or sister. I’ll never know. She was no more than two feet away. She was sitting sideways in her car, facing directly into the row of us lining the road. Her face, wracked with grief and desperately straining to hold back tears that would end her connection with us, was a storm of emotion.

Salute a fallen SoldierBarely visible beneath the grief there was also a hint of a smile on her tear-stained lips. That near-smile and her wide eyes spoke clearly of pride – the pride she had for Sgt. Bohall – Thomas — regardless of the relationship they shared. Mostly, however, I saw in her face thankfulness. She was staring at people who had never met Thomas, never met her or her family, and yet here they were. On some level I think she probably understood at that moment that Thomas had always been around family, even when he was far from home.

In a second, she was gone, replaced by the low rumble of 74 motorcycles from the Patriot Guard, providing top cover for Sgt. Bohall and his family.

Salutes were lowered, cars moved, groundskeepers went back to work, but it was all quieter now. Did it matter that we were there; that we took an insignificant portion of our lives and saluted a fallen comrade?

Had you seen this woman’s face, her eyes, her gratitude, you wouldn’t even ask.

It made a difference. It mattered … a lot.

Photos: (Top) A U.S. Army carry team transfers the remains of Army Sgt. Thomas A. Bohall, of Bel Aire, Kan., at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, June 7. Sergeant Bohall was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky. (Bottom) A crowd gathers as a motorcade processional transporting the remains of Army Sgt. Thomas A. Bohall. Sergeant Bohall was one of six soldiers from Fort Campbell who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and killed by an improvised explosive device during an insurgent attack May 26, 2011 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photos by Don Lindsey)