So there I was, in Germany, no shit. As soon as we were released the married guys would ghost and the single guys would haul ass back to the barracks. When we would get into the room we would drop tops and crack a fresh beer out of the fridge.
After that fist sip, we could take our time taking off boots and changing into civies to go to chow. You don’t have to drink the rest of the day, hell, you don’t even need to finish that one beer. But that sip is protection. It is like a detail shield.
Do you know who gets pulled for a last minute “hey you” detail? The sucker still in uniform. You know why the lines are so short right after final formation? Because all the experienced troops are upstairs getting out of uniform.
This might seem a little extreme for most but it makes perfect sense to mortars. In a mechanized infantry battalion there is only one platoon of mortars. So if a mortar NCO gets a detail there is a limited pool of guys to pull from. Line grunts have 50-75 single guys to grab for a detail. Mortars are too smart/slick to play the fuck fuck games after duty.
I once had an NCO show up to my door and said he had a detail. I held up my bottle and said, “I already started drinking.” He nodded and walked away. Oddly, I was never pulled for a hey you again. But the next sad sack that felt it was more important to go to chow first got a free detail for his trouble.
Get caught walking into the barracks after 1700 in full uniform and expect some mockery. Here is how it usually went.
“Hey loser, why are you still in uniform, what are you a lifer?”
“No, fuck that I just went to chow.”
“You can get food for another hour, you must love this shit. I’ll bet you sleep in cammo pjs.”
Oddly, this make him go on the super defensive.
“No, I hate the Army I can’t wait to get out so I can burn my uniforms.”
So that is what I was used to. When I returned from Germany in the late for some reason people were wearing camouflage for fashion. I would look at them and think that they were losers. That trend continues to this day. If you were any part of the uniform for fashion I am going to think you are an idiot. Wearing military gear when you are not, or ever were, in the military is like wearing a sweater to a college you don’t go to and have no intention of ever attending.
There are a few times you can wear cammies, when camping, working around the house that will tear up clothes you care about like building a fence or painting and paintball. The only time they should be worn in public is if you ran out of lumber or paint and are making a Home Depot run.
If I ever wear camouflage for fashion please shoot me. It means I have lost my will to live. But if I find you wearing cammo for fashion, understand that it means you have earned my contempt and therefore deserving of my mockery. Unless you are a homeless vet, you have no business wearing camouflage in public.
That is so true. I once got caught out in a freak snow storm without a jacket, except my green flight jacket. I considered staying in the hotel because I didn’t want to be “that guy.”
I took the patches off and endured the mocking all night long from my buddies.