Same sex union at JBMDL

| June 24, 2012

According to Associated Press/Stars & Stripes, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Erwynn Umali “joined” his partner, Will Behrens, in a civil union ceremony Saturday at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. I’m just not surprised that it was the Air Force…sorry, I couldn’t resist;

The ceremony was performed at the base chapel by Navy chaplain Kay Reeb, according to the article.

The couple issued a statement carried in the article: “We are so honored to be a part of this historic moment to be one of the first gay couples allowed to unite in a civil union on a military base.”

So a Navy chaplain conducted the same sex union ceremony for an Air Force guy? No surprises there.

Being that I’m an unemployed NCO, I’m more concerned with Umali in that picture. Does the Air Force usually allow their enlisted airmen to mix ribbons and miniature medals on their uniform? The only thing more gay than the ceremony is wearing the uniform improperly.

I know the picture isn’t clear, but it looks to me like there’s some redundancy in the ribbons, too. I guess that Soup Sandwich has raised the bar for the number of awards airmen feel they should be wearing in public.

Category: Dumbass Bullshit

Comments (33)

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  1. CI says:

    The USAF uniform regulations shows one the badge as a “Base Honor Guard Duty Badge”….page 40 and 176 here:

  2. CI says:

    Hit enter too fast: I can’t see the redundancy of medals, nor a mix of ribbons and miniatures…but maybe my eyes are failing me.

  3. Jonn Lilyea says:

    OK, CI, it was my eyes failing me. You’re right, it’s only miniatures.

  4. OWB says:

    Jonn, in answer to your original question, on the mess dress (which is what he is wearing), only miniature medals plus specialty badges and a few other things were worn.

    There is something between his specialty (or aircrew?) badge at the top and the beginning of the two rows of medals but I have no idea what it might be.

    The round badge at the bottom looks a bit like a recruiter’s badge.

  5. Bubblehead Ray says:

    They had to use a Navy Chaplain, the Air Force Chaplains aren’t allowed to say “Jesus” anymore.

  6. CI says:

    @OWB – It’s the Base Honor Guard Duty Badge….the only thing I could ID from the photo.

  7. Biermann says:

    Looks like a maintenance badge above the medals

  8. OWB says:

    @ #6: Yeah, that’s what that could be. There used to be only a VERY few of those below the ribbons badges, and were only authorized for wear while assigned in that duty.

    Cannot imagine what is just above the medals, however. Never knew anything to be placed there other than wings and such, but have been retired for almost 10 years. Things change.

    Looks about the size of those nametags you get at conventions! And appears to be reflecting one of the medals? I dunno.

  9. CI says:

    @OWB – In my experience working with USAF, it seems that every branch has it’s own ‘wing-ish’ occupational specialty badge. There are so many, I can really only recognize the TACP and CCT from the rest.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I could care less, good for them. Just hope they didn’t turn it into a freak show/publicity stunt.

  11. Bill R. says:

    Can’t make out exactly what the badge on top is but I’m sure it reflects his AFSC. I know it is not aircrew but it’s too fuzzy to see what it is.

  12. OWB says:

    Yes, we know it’s a specialty badge. It’s what is between the specialty badge and the medals that we do not know.

  13. Joe Williams says:

    Thank God, I am too old to have deal with this. I have a feeling if I was in now,my career would soon end.

  14. ScalpelShepherd says:

    @11 my sentiments too.

  15. Devtun says:

    These maroons should exercise some discretion – and quit waving the “rainbow” flag. We get it. These Rainbow Warriors should also be cognizant that the U.S. military is overwhemingly straight. Need to account for strong biases against gays – rightly or wrongly. Many of our guys/gals in uniform won’t drink the gay pride movement Kool-Aid. Doesn’t make them bad or evil- they just have very strong opinions.

    These LGBT troops will probably mostly have supervisors who don’t prescribe to the alternative lifestyle. What happens when they get marked down on their evaluation reports, get skipped for awards, & luke warm recommendations for career enhancing jobs? Scream discrimination? Remember, your bosses assessment is largely subjective – so it is incredibly difficult to prove or disprove that your boss was biased against you. Being an LGBT troop doesn’t reflect on their character or competence – but for their own sake quit advertising it to the world. Your BOSSES could disapprove.

  16. PavePusher says:

    @ OWB: As far as I can tell, there is the OSB and then the top row of miniature medals, nothing in between.

    @ the complainers: What is the problem? Are you pissed because you didn’t get invited? What?

  17. PavePusher says:

    @ Devtun: There are processes for all your points. This is also why I always tell my Airmen they need to document everything significant that they do. If they then become an improper target, they can back up their refutation. Easy stuff.

  18. Devtun says:


    Event would have been crashed, if there was free booze, good food, and door prizes.;)

  19. Nancy Wolf says:

    I am Will Behrens’ aunt and attended their wedding. For those who are interested it was not a circus or a publicity stunt. In the past I was against gay marriages but due to things that have happened in my life I have changed my opinion. I would not choose this for my life but I support Will and Erwynn with all of my heart. They are my family and to me that is the most important thing in the world. To focus on other things are too petty for me. If you truly look at what is important in this world you might find a little more tolerance for those that do not walk the same path that you do.

  20. Joe Williams says:

    Tolerance, no problem , pushed in my face. Prepare to repel boarders.Discertion is the key to acceptance. DADT woreked for both groups.I did not throw or try to convince them only do the job. I rated on performance not lifestyle choices.

  21. Just Plain Jason says:

    In the immortal words of a friend…Ain’t Mine. I wasn’t invited, I don’t know the couple, and I wasn’t aware they were getting joined or whatever until it was posted here. Doesn’t really qualify as pushing into my face. At least the airman doesn’t have to worry about someone discovering his secret and outing him anymore.

  22. Former3c0 says:

    According to a google search, he’s a prior “wire dog”. I guess the new AFSC breakdown would put him with the rest of the cyber support AFSCs. He’s wearing the same badge I wear,

  23. NHSparky says:

    @11- Just hope they didn’t turn it into a freak show/publicity stunt.

    Too late.

  24. Joseph Brown says:

    Holy freakin’ shit. What have they done to my AF. Even though I got discharged in ’66, it’s still MY AF. I just loaned it to the noobs. I still check my gig line. Even on my jeans. These dicks ruining( yeah, I said ruining) our country ought to have their chocolate hiway cleaned with Drano. I can talk like this because I have 2 distant cousins that are both queer. A brother and sister, by the way.
    And no, they ain’t loved, just tolerated.

  25. 1stSgt says:

    I would like to be at the very least tolorant of this( I dont know that I will every accept it.)

    But, the fact is, looking at the picture simple brings up a yuck factor that I cannot deny.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Nice to know that I couldn’t get my actual marriage ceremony done in a post chapel or a Chaplin to perform the deed but these two could get both for their photo op that will be used for reasons other than their relationship.

  27. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    Don’t Ask … Don’t Care … Don’t Cover these stories … Because it Don’t matter! PERIOD! I am friggin sick and tried. We are a nation at war …

  28. PavePusher says:

    @ Anon. (#27): What “photo op”? It looks like just like any other wedding photo done by a hired service. Why couldn’t you ” get my actual marriage ceremony done in a post chapel or a Chaplin to perform the deed”? Were they booked up? That’s the biggest problem I know of, there is a high demand on limited facilities. Or at least that’s how it was when I was on Honor Guard, many moons ago.

  29. Jasob says:

    It’s actually the PME cookie not base honor guard

  30. Eric says:

    Man this is sick. Country is going down the tube real fast to perverts. Can’t expect God to bless it now especially when leftist neoComs took over.

  31. anonymous says:

    There are some ribbons that don’t come with medals that are to be worn with mess dress.The badge above is an occupational badge and below is a specialty. Just because you’re an ignorant shit doesn’t make this wrong. Maybe if you had earned some you would know. Obviously..

  32. OldSargeUSAR says:

    @26 – “Yuck factor”, indeed! Well said, First Sergeant.