Air Force sweats the small stuff

| January 23, 2013 | 39 Comments

So welcome to the world of garrison service; the Air Force conducted a service-wide health & welfare inspection looking for the tiny stuff that bothers senior NCOs when they’re not bothered with finding ways to escape those pesky deployments. From af.mil;

Commanders inspected thousands of units at more than 100 Air Force installations, where almost 600,000 Air Force military and civilian personnel work. Commanders looked for and removed three broad categories of material: pornographic, inappropriate or offensive, or unprofessional.

According to the results, in the three categories, the Air Force found 631 instances of pornography (magazines, calendars, pictures, videos that intentionally displayed nudity or depicted acts of sexual activity); 3,987 instances of unprofessional material (discrimination, professional appearance, items specific to local military history such as patches, coins, heritage rooms, log books, song books, etc); and 27,598 instances of inappropriate or offensive items (suggestive items, magazines, posters, pictures, calendars, vulgarity, graffiti). In total, 32,216 items were reported.

Here’s a .pdf to the list. I had to Google “Doofer Books”, but it looks like the inspectors were of the easily offended variety. But there’s stuff like “newspaper with unprofessional cover”, “offensive item”, Nose Art Poster and “unprofessional calender”. I thought that Nose Art was an Air Force tradition – you know the nose art on aircraft in World War II. I wonder how many man hours were wasted on this witch hunt.

Thanks to Pave Pusher for the link.

Category: Military issues

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  1. Bam Bam says:

    Nothing new here. In Afghanistan I had to have my Troop CP cleared of “Hooters” calendars that were graciously donated to us because they were “offensive”, back in ’09. Heaven forbid guys who might die tomorrow see women, get this, dressed in CLOTHING that they wear to work or to the beach. Oh the humanity!

  2. Just an Old Dog says:

    When we did turnover of rooms for unit deployment in Camp Schwab, Okinawa it was standard procedure to leave all porno mags under the bathroom sink. In my room I had Hustler, Swank and Playboy Magazines from 1983-1995. It was like flogging your dog in a time machine.

  3. Former3c0 says:

    A female in my office had recently received one of those Victoria Secret catalogues in the mail, you know the kind they send if you’ve ever even so much as looked at a VS product. Well it happened to be sitting on her desk as she had recently just went to her PO box on base and grabbed all her items from her inbox. Well, the Chief, CC, and First Sergeant all came around at that exact moment for the “health and morale” inspection and spotted it and reminded her that magazine was inappropriate for the work environment. I think that embarrassed her more than that magazine embarrassed any of the male workers in the shop, hell, even some of us get them if we’ve ever ordered anything for our wives.

    From what I understand they were also having higher echelon comm agencies scan computers for derogatory or offensive pictures, I had always been told (being comm) that his can’t be allowed without a warrant from OSI, which I guess they got a blanket warrant? I dunno, but last I’d heard there was some legal questions that were raised by this inspection…

  4. Blackshoe says:

    To quote the noted strategist and Special Forces officer COL Walter Kurtz, “We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won’t allow them to write “fuck” on their airplanes because it’s obscene!”

  5. Former3c0 says:

    Right now they’re saying they WON’T paint over the Memphis Belle but I wonder how long that will last honestly. We’re constantly catering to the lowest common denominator… all it’s going to take is one depend-a-potamus to complain and boom, gone…

  6. Eggs says:

    A swear jar is on the list? WTF??

  7. PavePusher says:

    Look for the mention of whale genitalia. Seriously.

  8. AverageNCO says:

    Yeah, the JAG office from our base came through my duty section a few weeks ago. Since I work in the Medical Group and we have family members and general public coming through on a regular basis, we manage to self-police ourselves. I think they found some more intersting stuff in the maintainers world. But Jonn I have to cry shenanigans if you think it’s us average Senior NCO’s coming up with this stuff. This directive came from the stone walls of that five-sided buidling in Arlington. This was a respsonse to the issues going on at Lackland AFB. This act was the tool of those on the >O7 pay scale, trying to fix what some moron T.I.’s who can’t follow established guidelines for behavior and common decency. By the way, I volunteered for my upcoming deployment.

  9. Former3c0 says:

    I second #8, this had nothing to do with SNCOs wanting do anything of the sort. Most SNCOs delight in telling me of a past time when the AF wasn’t so PC crazed. I’ve been told by several retirees in the area that our club once had a stripper pole right in the middle of it… Either way, this was merely a “hey look what I’m doing to correct us” move. Somewhere I imagine a giant head sitting on a throne nodding his/her approval.

  10. DaveO says:

    Nose art is a combat tradition. Check with the Air Force’s officers and ETAC, they’ll understand.

  11. USMCE8Ret says:

    If you try hard enough, you can offend anybody with pictures and such, no matter what they are. If such is the case, then someone is going to want calendars of Barak Obama and the first family removed from work spaces because they find them offensive.

  12. Rindvieh says:

    When Dont ask don’t tell came out early 90,s they told us we couldn’t ask questions if a male displayed a picture of another male in his area; so I put up a picture of Ronald Reagan. If I were in the Air Force I would put up a calender of B-17s and B-24′s with racy nose art and call it professional development (history)

  13. docstew says:

    So, it was just work areas? Ok, maybe overkill, definite time waster, but there is something to be said about maintaining a professional workplace.
    But “items specific to local military history”? Your squadron/wing isn’t allowed to have momentos of their history? How does that support esprit de corps or unit pride at all?

  14. Yeff says:

    My last unit, the 48th Intelligence Squadron at Kelly AFB, San Antonio, TX, circa 1993. Some of the guys in my office had spent a weekend night getting drunk in a dorm room and one of them had used his artistic skills to remove labels from bottles to make one super label. Monday morning he brought his bottle of “Butt Tight” (formly “Bud Light”) into the office. Everyone laughed before putting their official “offended” face on and the bottle was placed into a desk drawer and forgotten.

    One day someone was searching for an item in that desk drawer and had removed the bottle. They forgot to replace it and it was sitting in the open when our commander decided to visit the office. Our commander *never* visited our office.

    The first thing he sees is the bottle and he picks it up and enquires of no one in particular, “What’s this?”

    A SSgt (E-5) walks over, takes the bottle from the colonels hand, holds it over his head and asks, “Whose Butt Tight is this? WHOSE BUTT TIGHT IS THIS?!”

    Around 15 men and women devolve into belly laughs as the colonel face-palms, shakes his head, and leaves the office without saying another word.

    Different times.

  15. Just Plain Jason says:

    I guess they must have avoided all the shitters…

  16. CC Senor says:

    In Viet Nam around May ’69. the 1ID CoS (COL Archibald something or other) sent out a memo that there were entirely too many pinups and it was unprofessional. Keep in mind that pinups back then were more tease than graphic. Anyhow, hence forth we were to be restricted to one tasteful pinup per man. There wasn’t any followup, so that went about as expected.

    Fast forward to ’92 at one of the civilians in our branch had a picture of Cheryl Tiegs showing a bit of cleavage as a screen saver on his computer. The deputy director (an LTC) came through and had a conniption fit over it.

    Some things never change, but it wasn’t the NCOs pushing it.

  17. Flagwaver says:

    I worked in a nice little Support Battalion HHC supply room. My armorer had a calendar on the inside of his maintenance cubby door. It was only visible when he had the cubby opened and the work bench pulled down.

    It was a variety of very nice weapon systems being handled by some much nicer women wearing very little clothing. All of the pictures showed no nudity, mind you.

    Well, we had some O-6 come through and start fussing over the “level of professionalism” in the arms room. So, he went crying to the First Sergeant, Sergeant Major, and my section chief. It ended with me, Top, the Smaj, and the SPLAT, and this Major Weasel all staring down my little E-3 armorer.

    He said the calendar was for professional development and went on to turn to each page and name each weapon system. Not just name them, but their proper nomenclature, what type of ammunition they used, and various critical info about each (muzzel velocity, cyclic, etc.).

    He ended up having to take it down (he put it in his locker), but the SMAJ was impressed and put him in for the SPC… using the Major as a referencing officer.

  18. malclave says:

    I’m guessing my attempts to get a “Leisure Suit Larry” game to run on the excuse for a PC we had in the lab in the late 80s might have been frowned on, huh?

  19. bcousins says:

    This comment is not meant to be offensive to my stalwart brothers and sisters of today’s US Air Force but, the WWII clever and often provocative nose art was done by the US Army Air Corps, whose members had balls like church bells, not unknown but uncommon in today’s US Air Force.

  20. LostBoys says:

    I guess I don’t know enough about the AF because the only thing I’m shocked about is that they only found 631 pieces of porn. I’d expect to find that much in a typical Marine rifle squad.

  21. Former3c0 says:

    @ 19 I don’t understand the logic,

    the AAC had a different rank structure, and went to different training, they were more like today’s AF than they were Army. Why are today’s airmen lesser men? Do airmen have to get shot down to prove they’re brave or willing? I guess the AF has just gotten too good at controlling their space to prove their worth to you (that was sarcastic).

  22. Hondo says:

    bcousins: the USAF got “SACumcised” during the Truman and Eisenhower administrations and forgot how to fight a conventional war. IMO it still hasn’t recovered fully today.

  23. WOTN says:

    Clearly, the Air Force is trying to remove the last vestiges of evidence that it might be related to the military…

    The Political Correct Overlords removed Military Coins, Historical/Vintage military posters, “offensive” newspaper covers, things with words that had “double meanings,” and oh yeah, those scantily clad ANIMAL cartoons.

    Twenty years ago, a young zoomie pointed out the reality to me: “the post office is more militant than the Air Force.” Wasting such a huge amount of manpower to remove military coins demonstrates that she was right.

    God forbid, the bureacrats of the Chair Force actually personalize their office space with an autographed picture of a professional chairleader, or a memento of a past TDY, or times past when the AF wasn’t a neutered group with fewer sins than the church choir.

  24. NHSparky says:

    @20–being Chair Force, I’d expect most of that to be teh ghey pron.

    Seriously, I had my COB come through doing a barracks inspection back on my first boat in 1991 and saw my Ridgid Tools calendar.

    Let me say that again–RIDGID TOOLS. And HE was offended by it.

    Seriously, if people want to be offended badly enough, they’ll find something. These are people who typically need to be beaten with a sock full of quarters.

  25. Arby says:

    I wonder if they covered up the “Strawberry Bitch” in the Air Force Museum?

  26. Twist says:

    I remember being a Private and leaving out a porn mag to help me pass room inspections. Usually the NCO would walk in, pick up the mag, flip through it, and walk out. Fast forward 15 years and I am a Platoon Sergeant doing room inspections. I walk in, I pick up mag, I flip through it, and I walk out. As I get into the hallway the thought pops in my head “holy shit, did I just fall for that”.

  27. Former 3364 says:

    Two things I remember from the boat:

    1) Smut turnover in the crews lounge during crew turnover
    2) All the pr0n that was on the back side of the label plates of the Maneuvering Room consoles

  28. Country Singer says:

    This is one of those times that I’m glad I got out. I can recall the night before pulling into Pattaya Beach in ’95, waiting for the port brief on the ship’s closed circuit. While we were waiting, we had pron going on the VCR. As a particular lesbian scene was playing out, the XO walked into the lounge, as he was personally making the rounds to ensure all hands not on watch were in place for the brief. He scanned the room, then the sounds emanating from the TV caught his attention. He turned, leaned against the door frame, crossed his arms, and exclaimed, “Ahhh! Farfegmunchen!” and observed for a few minutes. Suddenly realizing he was now late to give the brief, he admonished us to turn off “the good stuff” when the brief was announced. When he came on the Closed Circuit, he mentioned that everyone was in place, having personally checked, and acknowledged “the guys in Crew’s Complex 2, who were having their own Pattaya Beach port brief when he showed up there.”

  29. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @24. No you didn’t! But I’ll leave that for the AF to deal with.

  30. Green Thumb says:

    My old platoon had more than that.

  31. NHSparky says:

    3364–same COB, same boat, same timeframe. Ever since that boat’s first Westpac, A-gang had a framed picture in the DG booth of a girl most everyone had known from Island Girls in Bo. Baretto. Added to the picture was the caption, “LBFMPBR” underneath.

    You can imagine his reaction upon seeing THAT. And she wasn’t even nude.

  32. Eggs says:

    I noticed whoever did up the spreadsheet doesn’t know how to spell the name of the building that you keep aircraft in.

  33. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

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

  34. WOTN says:

    Looking a little further in the list, I see items that most churches would not even remove, like “songs with drug lyrics.”

    If I were a computer savy, I’d send every member of the Chair Force a digital version of the songs “Rainy Day Women” by Bob Dylan and “Cocaine” by Eric Clapton.

    Then there’s the “alcohol” related posters that were confiscated.

    Back when I was a private, the line that could not be crossed was nipple on a poster visible to more than just the owner. It could be in the wall locker, but not on the barracks wall. The Air Farce has thrown its last marble over the straits of Hormuz, and now even the Mullah’s are calling them Puritans.

  35. CSE CSC says:

    KAF, Afghanistan, 2010. Somebody decided it was room inspection time and one of my guys got gigged for pinups cut out from magazines like Maxim in his room shared with one other male. There weren’t a lot of pics, none were naked, it was not in a workspace where females would see it all the time. I told the chief doing the inspection that I would not tell my guy to remove the pics, but if he wanted to push it higher he was welcome to do so and I would argue it all the way up. I actually won that one.

    Fallujah, Iraq, 2006. Went to supply to get better flashlights for the guys and the supply PO couldn’t order them online, even with the NSN and all that, because the network nanny content filter blocked the Surefire website because it mentioned (wait for it…) FIREARMS. That was on a network maintained by Marines, BTW. Jeez.

  36. Nik says:

    You gotta be shitting me. When I was a 4063 in the Corps late 80′s, early 90′s, we had flat-out porn on our computers.

    Granted, it was mostly craptastic animated GIFs and such exchanged through BBSs and such, but still.

    A WM Lt happened by just as a SSGT fired up one of Ginger Lynn giving a blowjob. He clicked the monitor off as soon as he could, but he was caught. Only thing she said was “You Marines are at chow, right?”

  37. Eggs says:

    Prince Harry likes the Pedros.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/prince-harry-confirms-he-killed-taliban-1548406

    Scroll down to the fifth picture and look at the patch on the right side of his helmet. That too will probably be done away with for offending someone, even though it’s been around since Vietnam.

  38. Virtual Insanity says:

    When I commanded my first company in West Germany (yes, when there were still 2 of them), we had a Smut Locker. It was an old wood footlocker, signed over to the newest WO1 in the company for safekeeping and restocking. It contained some of the finest American and European pr0n from the previous two decades. The WO1 was responsible to ensure it made it to the field whenever we went out.

    One day, yours truly had a bit of difficulty with intercom/radio switch settings while flying a mission and hotmiked an entire discussion about general likes and dislikes in re the female form.

    I returned to the barracks to find my bunk covered in cut-out pictures of the one female type I had mentioned in particular being attracted to. The former LT responsible for that still gives me crap about it, decades later, when he calls on the phone.

  39. Green Thumb says:

    When I was a young private, we had a suprise BL inspection w/ the COL and the SGM.

    Came into the garrison(platoon) AO and go figure, fuck mags all over the place.

    Problem was a dude in the platoon. Fetish type of guy.

    Weird mags of fat asian chick two-hole pics and such. Odd stuff. Legal, but odd. Cool stuff, too, but its always the weird shit that stands out. This was right about the time the Army “cleaned” up the PX.

    SGM was cool. COL was not.

    Long story short, passed inspection (sort of) but alot of details and PT.

    PSG and PL to include 1SG and CO were not exactly thrilled.

    IN, baby!

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