Air Force gets Infantry rope

| December 4, 2012

Yeah, I looked everywhere for an indication that this is satire, and if it is, I missed it. The article is a month and a half old, but it’s new to me. From;

Starting Oct. 15, selected Airmen will begin wearing teal ropes — the color symbolizing sexual assault awareness and support — within the student population. Teal rope members receive specialized training by the SAPRO staff and serve as a link between non-prior service students and SAPRO for information and referral support.

Involvement in the program is open to students who have a minimum of two months left in their training. Students must be recommended by their military training leader, pass a background check and maintain an 80 percent grade point average to be accepted into the program. Teal rope members are expected to model the Air Force core values; uphold the highest standards of professionalism as representatives of the SAPRO; and be an approachable, listening ear for their wingmen in times of need.

“This program is so important because it helps raise awareness among our newest Airmen, and they will carry that knowledge throughout their careers,” said Chief Master Sgt. Angelica Johnson, 81st Training Wing command chief. “This is an opportunity for Airmen to be leaders and help regulate their fellow Airmen on an important issue. It’s also a chance for Airmen to go to a peer they may be more comfortable with, which assists the overall prevention efforts across the base.”

All Airmen deserve an environment that is free from sexual harassment and sexual assault, and a culture where they can be treated with dignity and respect.

Was infantry blue the only color they could find for their cord? And just so the Air Force knows, calling it “teal” doesn’t make it all right.

Category: Air Force

Comments (86)

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  1. martinjmpr says:

    OTOH, Jonn, the infantry blue cord is already in the supply system, so shouldn’t they get points for saving money? One can only imagine how many millions of $$ DoD would have incinerated if they’d had to come up with a new color (see also: Berets, Black, circa 2001.)

  2. Dominic says:

    As a cavalryman, I’m obliged to laugh hystericaly, then offer golden spurs to (xbox) Halo champs.

  3. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    So it is really a Sexual Harrassment and/or Awareness Rope?

    Ah … I don’t get it!

  4. BruteForce says:

    What? “sexual assault awareness and support”, then worn on their USAF ACU’s? Ugh!

  5. Old AF Sarge says:

    Oh my aching freaking retired a$$. What has my AF come to? I agree with all of the sentiment expressed but seriously, a teal rope? (And yeah Jonn, though I’m a retired AF puke, I do recognize that blue is for the infantry. And guys only recognize primary colors anyway, so what the hell is “teal”, it’s freakin’ blue. Damnit!)

    Yes, sexual harassment can be a problem. How about identifying the perps, let ’em do hard time at the steel bar hotel and toss their butts out with the “Big Chicken Dinner”? And the “SAPRO” staff, at first I misread that as “SAPPHO” staff and damn near had a coronary.

    I’m shaking my head in retirement at the further wussification of MY United States Air Force. (Hell, at least we’re not being pimped as “A Global Force for Good”.) Cease Rant…

  6. Twist says:

    I think I threw up in my mouth a little bit. What’s next, crossed rifles for EO training?

  7. Pathfinder says:

    What the fuck…

  8. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Teal? Was chartreuse taken? Is this the beginning of the Airmobile Sexual Assault Support Team? Unbelievable.

  9. DetCord says:

    I’m not a grunt (12B), but that just pisses me off to no end right there.

    Hey AF, we’re tired of all your blue footed bullshit!

  10. GruntSgt says:


  11. Nik says:

    So…do they not see the danger of associating sexual mistreatment awareness with a….rope? Really? Were handcuffs and duct tape already taken?

  12. Twist says:

    I really, really, really hope that this is some sort of satire or sick joke and Jonn was just unable to find it. I busted my ass for my blue cord, blue disks, crossed rifles, and CIB, not just go to some touchy feely course.

  13. Twist says:

    Oops, I didn’t mean a pun with the whole “touchy feely” part.

  14. martinjmpr says:

    @8: 2nd choice was mauve, 3rd was goldenrod and 4th was puce.

    @11: Good point, maybe they should have used a ball gag instead?

  15. martinjmpr says:

    @12: Last time I checked Duffel Blog was behind some kind of firewall but I’m assuming Jonn checked there first to make sure it wasn’t a satire.

  16. Thunderstixx says:

    I worked my ass off to get and keep that Infantry Rope, now they give them to the Air Force for taking a class !!!!

    What a bunch of bull shit…


  17. Common Sense says:

    At least it’s only for tech school. Unless you’re around AF tech school, you will never see them, most don’t even bother to get the dress cord.

    The Airman Leader program is hated by many. Some, like my son, who graduated as a yellow rope, do it with the best of intentions to help people. Others go on a power trip to ding fellow students over every little thing. Becoming a rope yourself also keeps the ‘ropes on a power trip’ off your back.

    I doubt adding yet another rope will help things. The existing ropes – green, yellow, and red are already responsible for any situation that comes up, including sex assault. Everyone is already trained death by PowerPoint x 10) on sex assault and DUI.

    BTW, my son’s flight chief was a woman and while he was there, only women were selected to be red ropes. There is only one red rope per squadron. The woman who had it for most of his time in tech school was great, but the woman after her had numerous complaints against her and several people recommended she not get it. She was selected anyway. It was pretty obvious she was selected because of her gender, NOT her leadership ability.

  18. Spade says:

    Maybe they should consider giving out a rope for taking a class in how to not misplace nuclear weapons.

  19. melle1228 says:

    So when do the rainbow ones come out for sexuality sensitivity school?

  20. John11B says:

    this makes me sad. i’m going to go get a drink.

  21. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    Cut the Air Force some slack … they have only been around since 1947!

  22. Ex-PH2 says:

    Teal? It’s turquoise, not teal. Why not fuschia? Or burnt orange? Or — ooo! — why not iridescent purple?

    It’s silly. For a moment there, I did think it was a joke.

  23. Just an Old Dog says:

    So this is just going to be in a school environment to ID Airmen in leadership positions? … or is it going to be handed out Air Force wide?
    Why have a rope for one aspect of training? Totally retarded, just a move to gain favor with the PC crowd. No matter what service uniform you put on, by wearing it you should be acknowledging you know right from wrong as far as sexual misconduct, personal behavior etc. If someone needs a funny colored rope around their shoulder to remind them not to smack a girls ass they dont need to be in anyway.

  24. COB6 says:

    I’m with John11B (#20)

    Gotta be worth a drink. Maybe more.

    I wore my Dad’s blue cord for 25 years, my son is wearing it now. Maybe my grandson can be a pro baseball player.

  25. martinjmpr says:

    I think silly “decorations” like this are the gateway drug. At the opposite extreme you get characters like MSG Soup Sandwich (remember him?)

  26. Jabatam says:

    This must be similar to what the Rangers felt when Shinseki took their hard-earned black berets and gave them to everyone

  27. Edward1811 says:

    Anyone else feel like the AF is being run like a JROTC unit?

  28. AverageNCO says:

    Okay, I know a lot of 11-series guys are going to get mad about this. But there have been Air Force folks wearing that blue cord for more than 20 years. The cord photographed above is teal, not blue. The most likely place you’re going to see an AF folks wearing cords is at a training base. The blue cords are worn by Military Training Leaders. Jonn, I’m certain your son dealt with MTL’s while he was in the training pipeline. MTL’s are the NCO’s responsible for students when they’re not in class. It’s a special duty assignment, so Infantrymen take some solace, they don’t just hand them out to anyone. Speaking from my personal experience, MTL’s are usually spit-and-polish professional. Althought, I’m sure some folks will chime in to say they knew some dirtbags. I guess I’d agree with what someone said earlier; they used blue ropes because they were already in the supply chains from the infantry. Regarding the other color ropes, sheesh, they come in every color of the rainbow. Green/Yellow/Red for the three-tier student leader system. Honor guard, drill team, band, sabre team, chapel guides, and now sexual assault training? As soon as the Airman goes to their first duty assignment, the cord goes in a drawer, and is never authorized to be worn again. The only exception to that being USAF & Base Honor Guard Airmen, who wear a silver cord.

  29. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Rope-a-Dope: 2012 version.

  30. Isnala says:

    Concur with AveNCO. Just heard back from a buddy in AETC. This is ONLY for students in tech school and it is teal not infantry light blue. Also rope comes off after tech school it will not be worn by permanent party. With the up tick in morons sneaking through the screening process for MTI/MTL and in our training pipeline in general AETC has to do something that is a visible sign of change/improvement and that they are combatting the uptick in assaults within AETC.


  31. malclave says:

    Airmobile Support System for Hatebased Assault Teams (A.S.S.H.A.T.)

    (sorry, best acronym I could come up with off the top of my head)

  32. Sean says:

    WHAT THE FUCK, USAF? whats next, issue CIB’s if you watch “Saving Private Ryan”?

    If I was still in I would have a collection of them ripped right off the Airmens shoulders.

  33. AJ says:

    They need to do away with all of this nonsense. I’m in the AF and my deputy CC came by to tell me that I needed to remove my sign that says “Men dig chicks with tools. I am that chick!” How is that offensive!?!? I’m a maintainer and a chick! WTF?!?! The AF wants to be politically correct and its all about image. They don’t care how well we do our jobs, just that we all resemble the runner body type. You’d better run fast b/c they could care less if we can actually hit the target with our M-4s. The training airmen think they have a lot of power until they get to their first base and realize that they are at the bottom of the totem pole.

  34. graham says:

    wait… isn’t the the exact same color used on the new iranian submarine?

  35. DaveO says:

    So the Queens of Battle join the USAF. How very apt in the era of gay marriage.

  36. MAJ Mike says:

    Hory clap!!! My infantry cord hanging from my rear view mirror marks me as some kind of zoomie sex counselor? Damn. Bet the Sky Cops at the Randolf AFB gate were laughing at me every time I went to pickup my meds at the pharmacy.

    Jeeze!! Infantry OSUT at Ft. Polk, IOBC and IOAC have qualified me as an AF guidance counselor. Who’d a thunk it!?!

  37. Cajun says:

    Easy fix: Abolish the Air Force and re-absorb it back into the Army. the U.S. won a world war that way…against a power with an independent air force

  38. DaveO says:

    MAJ Mike, maybe you should charge the Zoomies for your expert counseling.

  39. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    @37. On behalf of the United States Army, no thanks. You keep ’em.

  40. Cajun says:

    @39. Touche

  41. malclave says:

    Infantry OSUT at Ft. Polk, IOBC and IOAC have qualified me as an AF guidance counselor.

    Specializing in wall-to-wall counseling?

  42. Aim High…is their motto…not “Get high”?

  43. B Woodman says:

    Teal??!! Effin’ TEAL!!!
    At least it wasn’t Signal Orange!!
    (Former 31E & 35H)

  44. Green Thumb says:

    Why is the sky blue?

    Why does God love the Infantry?

    And it ain’t “into the wild, blue yonder”.


  45. Just Plain Jason says:


    That is just funny…

    I love it…I may have to ask some of my blue cord wearing friends if they are branching into the Air Force now.

  46. Devtun says:

    AF will make it a reflective teal rope…with all the harping about wearing glow belts in low vis conditions.

  47. AverageNCO says:

    @32 No worries Sean. Airmen are not authorized to wear the CIB. Even if an airman was assigned to an Army Infantry unit, (ie. Air Force Tactical Air Control Party), and was engaged in combat that qualified for a CIB; they still wouldn’t wear the CIB. They would wear the Air Force Combat Action Ribbon. A lot of this was discussed during the Soup Sandwich fiasco. If an Army Infantryman earned a CIB, and then switched services to the Air Force, he would still only wear the CAR with the AF uniform.

  48. HM mark says:

    I’m currently at Fort Sam Houston, which is the new primary medical training base for all branches of the US military, but still mostly Army, with a lot of Navy and Air Force. We see the AF rope system daily.

    I wonder how all the Army is going to deal with the new ropes being right in their face. It’s one thing at an AF base. Quite another on an Army installation, I’d think.

  49. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    I’m sooo glad the Marine Corps doesn’t do cords, discs, flashes, badges, patches, scrolls, etc. The common myth is Marines are dumb. Yeah? At least we don’t need all that crap to know who’s who! I didn’t need a cord for everyone to know I was NCOIC of the NBC Decontamination Team. I didn’t need a disc for everyone to know I was 2nd section leader of 2nd Plt, Charlie Co.

  50. Former3c0 says:

    Maybe I just look at it differently cuz I’m one of those A-hole airmen out there, but this is all simply a part of the AETC rope designation bit, as Common Sense pointed out earlier.

    Yellow and Red Ropes are for the flight leads, White rope designates that the Airman’s extra duty in tech school is a chaplain’s assistant, a black rope desgnates honor guard. The joke was a brown rope was for a shit bag Airman. I’m guessing the blue rope will designate an Airman who has been assigned this extra duty. It has nothing to do with the infantry.

    FYI, blue rope MTIs were the highest of the MTI hierarchy, again absolutely nothing to do with the infantry, you’re all over reacting.