It Only Takes a Minute
So there I am watching TV when a Bud Light commercial comes on and some jackhole actor is wearing an Army uniform that’s more painful to look at than a tabasco enema. I physically wince when I see it. He’s wearing four stray stars pinned to his beret, no unit patch, three rows of completely wrong ribbons, long hair, and a pair of binoculars so he looks like some modern day Patton.
It’s crap and I get irritated, but it’s also something that I should expect at this point. Television and movie makers RARELY get our uniforms right and seem to randomly throw anything shiny on a suit to militarize some actor who’s never served. It sucks, but it’s something we all notice and all live with.
Right now you’re thinking, “Dude…chill. It’s just a Bud Light commercial.” And you’re right. On the scale of things that matter, it’s pretty low. I should let it go.
But I can’t because it’s so easy to avoid. In our high-speed, superconnected world it takes mere seconds to Google “Army uniform” and get a link to AR 670-1 which outlines exactly ho to wear the uniform. I’m sure it’s the same way for the Navy, Marines, and Air Force, but I’m on a rant here and didn’t want to take the time to find out…which is exactly the problem.
People (probably some lowly grip) get in a hurry and figure “close enough is good enough.” I can’t count the number of times I’ve watched a movie, TV show, commercial, or whatever and seen a uniform that was being worn not just incorrectly, but stupidly. I even saw a Special Forces patch upside down in an old Vietnam flick once. I always chalked this up to ignorance, told myself we were better than that, and let it go. I even ascribed to that urban legend that the uniform was not allowed to be portrayed correctly…that it was required in Hollywood to make military uniforms off just a little bit for national security.
Bullshit. There is no such law.
There are uniforms in film that are just a little bit off and then there are the ones that are grossly schmaplicated. To me the really jacked up ones are downright disrespectful. All it takes is five minutes of research and a little respect to get the wear of a military uniform correct. We wear these uniforms with pride and put a lot of care into maintaining them. So when I see some actor portraying anyone from Private Ryan to General MacArthur looking like a dirtbag, it’s disrespectful and I’m going to boycott that product.
No more Budweiser for this curmudgeon. Who’s next?