Thanks for checking in!

I started this blog to keep in touch with my family and friends during my time attending Commissioned Officer Training (COT) and the Judge Advocate Staff Officer Course (JASOC) at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. Now I'm done with training and back in the "real" world, but I'll keep updating this blog with any interesting developments from my JAG career.






Sunday, February 6, 2011

Week 4 (Day 21): Getting Ready for Inspection

One thing that I never really thought of before getting to COT is uniform inspection.  The first class each day in our flight room is generally an inspection class.  That means that the first thing we do when the instructor walks in is call the room to attention so that the instructor—usually Snake Eyes—can look over our appearance.  He comes within inches of your face.  As I think I’ve said before, Snake Eyes has this awesome stare that bores a hole right through you, and he puts it to good use during inspection.  What is he looking for?  Everything.  Pants bloused correctly.  Pockets buttoned.  Hair within regulations.  Rank correctly displayed.  But above all else, the tiny strings that hang off of every stitch and buttonhole.
The night before my first inspection class one of my flightmates with prior Navy service came into my room and told me to be sure to take care of my Irish pennants—the historical name for the tiny strings hanging from every stitch on your uniform.  I asked him where the name came from.  He didn’t know.  It turns out—as I suspected—to be a derogatory term, reflecting the view of early British sailors that the Irish under their command did not keep a clean and tidy uniform.  So we won’t call them that.  They’re just strings.


Going to work on my uniform.
There are some tools of the trade for taking care of them.  Small, sharp scissors are a must.  Nail clippers work in a pinch.  And a lighter is usually required to get the super-tiny threads—only don’t hold the flame to the thread for too long or you’ll burn the uniform.  (I found that out through experience; luckily, the black mark is tiny and virtually unnoticeable.)  The little buggers truly are demonic; you can spend an hour clipping strings and still find more little strings to take care of.  But you do it, because if you don’t, Snake Eyes and his laser-beam stare certainly will find them.



1 comment:

  1. It's almost like they make the ABUs to produce those phantom strings.

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