Originally Posted by meeko
I blame the troops because it's the little fake shallow ones that have the mentality that "I have to look all crisp and GQ ones" that go to the trouble and keep doing some stupid things. They are the ones that somehow make it to a position to dictate using speedguns in forward areas etc. After 21 years I have seen just about all types.
**Warning** *Stepping onto soap-box*
I blame both. When I first got in I would spend at least a half hour a night on my boots. I ran out of steam after about 2 months at my first assignment. now I just throw a quick coat of the liquid Kiwi every month or so. It's not worth the effort as a F-16 crew chief to keep boots highly polished. I have always thought it was idiotic to press/starch the BDUs as they are a "Battle Dress Uniform" it's a utility uniform, it's meant to get dirty and take abuse. It just drives me nuts when a SNCO makes a snide comment about my boots not having a shine on them even when they are still black or something about wrinkles after I've been working on aircraft for 10 hours. I will never press/starch my ABUs when I get them...I long ago stopped pressing my BDUs. The problem arises when Lil' Miss GQ goes and starches his uniform, then his dumb-ass flight chief or other SNCO see it and thinks it's cool looking, then they get it in their mind that that is the standard, then they expect us all to do it too. It's a vicious circle that has got to be stopped. SNCOs need to do their job and ensure the troops are using/wearing their uniforms properly rather than encouraging the GQ behaviors. Part of the problem lies in the fact that most people in the USAF never had a real job for any length of time before they enlisted/got a commission.
Way too much attention is given to appearances in the USAF. I even had a SNCO tell me if he had "Troop A" (with several years experience and expertise) and "Troop B" (knows absolutely nothing, but always has a sharp looking uniform) interviewing for a QA position he would give the job to "Troop B" because his uniform is always looking sharp, regardless of the fact "Troop A" has more knowledge, experience, and skill than "Troop B". I told him he was stupid and that's not how it works in the real world. He didn't like my assessment, but I didn't like the fact that he insinuated I was worthless to him because I don't press my uniforms or polish my boots.
I don't know how many times I've had to perfectly line up fire extinguishers on the flight line. Or have some dumb-ass SNCO insist that we go wax/buff a tow vehicle or deicing truck (which both have FLAT
paint jobs) even after several of us tell him it won't work and you don't wax/buff flat paint. If they'd just let us do our jobs and stop worrying about appearances, we probably wouldn't be undermanned.
I can go on and on about this subject, but I'll spare you all.
*Stepping off soap-box*