Make Aircrew Great Again-Patch Seen During President’s Speech

| May 28, 2019

Service Members, onboard the USS Wasp, listening to President Trump’s speech on Memorial Day. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Did this violate DOD Policy?

Some leftists want to know. I saw one photo image of a tweet calling for these guys to get court-martialed. The Navy is reviewing this to see if it did, indeed, violate DOD policy. Will they find out that these men knew what they were doing, and decided to do something that didn’t violate policies?

Given today’s atmosphere, folks are treading on thin ice. Especially in this case, where many on the left are making a big stink about this. The patch is red, with a man looking like “The Donald”, and uses the MAGA acronym to stand for, “Make Aircrew Great Again”.

From CBS News:

The group of service members aboard the USS Wasp in Yokosuka, Japan, were photographed by Wall Street Journal reporter Vivian Salama. The airmen posing for the photo all donned matching patches showing what appears to be the president, along with the text, “Make Aircrew Great Again.” Wire services photographers also captured images of the same military members.

Details could be read here.

Category: Marines, Navy, Politics

Comments (83)

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  1. Claw says:

    Pffft – Much ado about nothing.

    Get a life, Lefties.

    P.S. – My one comment for the year on a politically themed post./smile

  2. 5th/77th FA says:

    Sho glad we changed the production line to start packaging butt hurt cream on the 55 gallon drums.

    It’s gonna be needed.

    Not a real smart move on the Aviators part, funny as hell tho. YMMV

  3. Mick says:

    BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Shack!

    Historical Note: I sincerely hope that the liberal snowflakes who are now whining about these very tame flight suit patches never see any of the classic, truly outlandish patches that were commonplace in Navy and Marine Corps Aviation prior to Tailhook ’91. If they do, their precious little snowflake noggins will undoubtedly explode into nothing more than tiny skull fragments and pink mist. (AW1Ed and Atkron can back me up on this.)

    • AW1Ed says:

      Oh hell yes! One of my favorites from my P-3 days, “Combat Aircrew Nine, On Top at Home, and Abroad.”

    • UpNorth says:

      In the same vein, I hope that no one shows any of the perpetually offended any pics of the nose art on WWII planes. They’ll hyperventilate… Again.

  4. MSG Eric says:

    Of course anyone in DoD could’ve had a poster of Obama from his “yes we can!” campaign bullshit and no one would say a thing.

    Because it is in any way related to Trump, they want it extinct and anyone even remotely associated to it destroyed.

    If they expended even 10% of the energy they use on being anti-trump on other productive functions, the US would be even better than it already is.

    • Mason says:

      But did anyone? Maybe Commissar.

      Probably Commissar.

      Definitely Commissar.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      JUST look at college campuses where D-rat campaign posters WILL be shown in windows, both faculty and Student during an election year, but show JUST ONE bit of support for a Conservative Candidate there and see JUST how fast the liberal lynch mobs come for you!

  5. Tallywhagger says:

    Looks like a velcro moment. On the uptick, the perfidious, supposed journos are now identified and a known commodity.

  6. Hopefully the wearing of the patches “incident” by our Military will not be patched up for the benefit of those malcontent liberals by the PC Pentagon desk jockey A holes.

  7. Mason says:

    I saw someone on Twitter had done some research and found these have been in use since at least 2017. So how many flag officers saw these and didn’t have an issue with it? It doesn’t seem like they were being coy about it.

    God forbid the military shows support for a President. I mean it’s hard for the left to believe it can happen since the last two Democrat Presidents were nearly universally hated among the military.

    I’d wager First Sergeants aren’t having to go into every office, check under every desk, and clear every toilet stall to rouse bodies out to the flight line when this POTUS comes in.

  8. AO2(NAC) says:

    Rubbish. Aircrew cruise patches are a longstanding tradition. As far as they go this is really harmless.
    You shoulda seen what they used to be…
    I just hope they don’t ruin this too.

  9. MustangCryppie says:

    Seriously? THIS is a problem? Somebody has far too much fucking time on their hands.

    • Jus Bill says:

      They’re reporters. They have nothing but time on their hands.

      • A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

        The vast majority of them don’t even care about checking facts, they just want a good fast “scoop” that they think will impress their Editors and sell advertising.

  10. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    Sheesh. It’s not like they drew a Sky Dick or other Serious Offence. Lighten up.

  11. Hondo says:

    OK, I’ll be the “skunk at the garden party” here.

    Those upset have a point. While in uniform, DoD regs prohibit making partisan political statements; even the appearance of partisan political endorsement or support is a NO GO.

    This gives the distinct appearance of making a partisan political statement. In fact, it’s arguably more than just the appearance of same. To me it seems rather blatant.

    Years ago, this was the kind of thing that a private ass-chewing, follwed by a sharply-worded order along the lines of, “Now get rid of that (stuff) permanently” would have covered – much like the “take a leak on the Taliban” incident would have been handled years ago. However, now that it’s hit the press I kinda doubt that’s going to be what happens. And I’m afraid that the “whiz on the Taliban” overraction is instructive regarding what will happen next.

    My guess is that a few folks – and maybe more than a few – are going to see careers impacted if not ended by this. And if Mason is correct and this has been going on openly for 18+ months, well, that might include some fairly high in the “chop chain”.

    Much ado about nothing? Perhaps. But I’d say not. There’s a good reason this nation has always avoided an overtly politicized military. For examples of why, see the history of Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Nicaragua, Venezuela, or any one of a number of other states in Latin America or the rest of the Third World. Or South Vietnam. Or see pre-Ergodan Turkey. Or any number of other nations today where their military is politicized and “calls the shots” regarding who runs the place. None of those are exactly places I’d want to live.

    Bottom line: I don’t really want to ever live in a military dictatorship – and a politicized military makes exactly that feasible. I’d rather my nation’s political leadership be chosen by elections vice by whoever is in charge of the Army this month.

    And before you run your yap, Poodle: I said exactly the same thing when the previous SCoaMF was in charge, and was doing his best to politicize the US military. The risk associated with politicizing a nation’s military and using it to take power and establish a dictatorship is not limited to conservatives. That’s exactly how the Soviets co-opted most of Eastern Europe – they had local proxies become part of a coalition government, gain control of the security ministries, and then use those as tools to take over the rest of the government.

    • Fyrfighter says:

      Hondo,
      With my limited experience, I agree in principle, to the extent that a politicized military has traditionally had bad outcomes.. and while this patch could definitely be seen as such, and may have some undertones of it, I’d argue that primarily, it was seen by those wearing it as comedy, a play on words, etc. I doubt that many of them truly took it as hard core political.
      That doesn’t mean that it isn’t outside regs, but at the same time, historical precedent should be taken into account, and as many with far more first hand knowledge than I have stated, patches such as these, (and nose art from WWII) have often made much more political, and off-color statements than this.. In the end, I think the lefties need to chill the F out, and worry about something that matters. this strikes me as just one more instance where they’re upset because it’s not in their favor, so they piss and moan about it..

      • Hondo says:

        I agree that the Left is upset because they detest Trump, and not because the statement is political. IMO they’d be cheering if the motto and logo were a wordplay supporting one of their pet causes or favorites.

        I also agree that they need to chill.

        However, in this case those upset IMO have a point. I’ll give even the Devil his due here.

        FWIW: the somewhat bawdy patches (and nose art) of yesteryear were not partisanly political. They’d be offensive today to some, yes – but not because they were partisan political statements.

        Whether it’s a “play on words” or was well-intentioned (or not), this one gives the appearance of officially-sanctioned partisan political support. Leadership shouldn’t have allowed it to happen. After the “Taliban whiz” incident, the bad optics if noted by the press should have been anticipated. And the fact that the press would notice should also have been obvious, given the known political sympathies of the mainstream media.

        As I said above: while handling this behind the scenes with an ass-chewing and a “Don’t do that crap again” should be the end of it, I’m guessing it won’t be. Recent past precident leads me to believe some folks are going to be badly hurt, career-wise. I hope I’m wrong.

        • Poetrooper says:

          Hondo, one could argue that as Commander-in-Chief, POTUS occupies a supra-political position at the pinnacle of the chain of command that is continually honored by military organizations and members in a variety of ways. The enthusiastic cheering for George W. Bush by troop formations compared to the almost sullen receptions afforded Obama are clearly demonstrations of political support or lack thereof.

          By the way, isn’t that a president’s profile on the Purple Heart?

          • Hondo says:

            That’s an Ex-President’s profile on the PH, actually – not the currently-serving one. Washington was quite dead when the modern PH medal was created – as you well know. (smile)

            Yes, the POTUS is CINC. As CINC, he receives appropriate honors from military personnel regardless of whether they support his politics or not.

            But a patch worn on the uniform, with a figure vaguely resembling him and a slogan that is exactly six letters different from his very much partisan reelection slogan? Please – that’s more than a bit past the “honor the POTUS” stage and well into the appearance of offical endorsement of a partisan political stance. Even if nothing of the sort was intended, the appearance is such that it’s against DoD policy.

            I personally tip my hat to whoever came up with the idea for the patch – It’s clever as hell. But it’s out of place on a military uniform or at an official function.

    • USMC Steve says:

      That’s right, Hondo. It is not even really associated with conservatives. Ratfucking the military for their own purposes is almost solely in the domain of the socialist democrats.

      What political statement is being made here? A patch of someone that vaguely looks like the current president. Kinda like the requirement of each company office and squadron office being required to have an official photo of the current president and secdef on their walls. No different and unless you stretch for Article 134, no offense either.

      As for politicization of the military, perhaps you forgot that every single officer in the military has a warrant signed by the president, serves at the pleasure of the president, and is a political appointee?

      • NHSparky says:

        I dunno, the “ratfucking” of the military began in full earnest under Bush 41.

        Clinton just kicked in the nitro boost.

        • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

          AMEN to that, the “Clinton Curse” was the main reason why I ETS’ed from AD in the early 90’s!

    • Peter the Bubblehead says:

      It was aircrew wearing a patch with an image of their Commander-in-Chief. How would this fall outside of regs?
      I don’t see this as being any different than when a C-in-C is presented with a flight jacket with a personalized name patch with warfare insignia whether that C-in-C has ever previously served in the military or not.

    • gitarcarver says:

      Hondo,

      Hate to tell you this because it might cause you to rethink your position and or bring scorn from others, but I agree with you.

      • Hondo says:

        Well, I guess I have to change my opinion pronto. (smile)

        Just kidding. We sometimes disagree in degree or detail, but I doubt there are many issues where we disagree in principle.

        I served in Korea within 5 years of Park Chung-Hee’s assassination. That was eye-opening.

        Though nomincally a democracy, South Korea at that time was still a de facto military dictatorship. A “kinder, gentler” version, perhaps – but the ROK Army called the shots.

        That experience convinced me that I have no desire to live under a military dictatorship, even if it’s of the “kinder, gentler” version.

        Having a military that bends over backwards to avoid even the appearance of being partisan is a small price to pay to ensure that never happens here. And having such a nonpartisan military has benefited the nation greatly over the past 240+ years.

  12. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    During the eight years of the previous Administration, JUST HOW many times did anyone see mobs of Conservatives rioting, looting and calling for violence against those who dissented against them? Thus I say SCREW the bawling liberals, I will wash my new pickup truck with them.

  13. Mustang Major says:

    I hope the aircrew wearing the patches created “sky penises” at 20,000 feet later that day. That will show ’em!

  14. Stacy0311 says:

    So this patch is offensive/non reg. But marching in a Gay Pride parade in uniform is okay and NOT a political statement?
    Got it.
    Waiting for the latest guidance from the zampolit

  15. Huey Jock says:

    Damn!!! If they had seen that hand and middle finger my crew chief drew on the belly of “his” Huey they would have busted a roid.

  16. Commissar says:

    Military members are supposed to be politically neutral as they can be while in an official capacity. Theuniform should always be maintained as neutral as possible.

    I agree this is not that big a deal and is just an error in judgement by a few junior NCOs. However it should be handled with some administrative action

    I suspect some of you would be slightly more annoyed if service-members were affixing pro- Obama patches on their duty uniforms.

    • SFC D says:

      I’d actually be shocked to see that. “I have a cell phone and a pen” just doesn’t lend itself to a patch very well.

      • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

        Or “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”… it just doesn’t have that “ring” to it

    • Mike W. says:

      How about they put Obama’s naked mother on their plane?
      It would SCARE away all enemies once they spotted it !

    • Hondo says:

      To continue in the “give even the Devil his due” vein: this is one of the rare times we agree, Poodle. My beef here is more with the leadership who allowed this – and after the “whiz Taliban” incident, should have known it would be both noticed and blown out of proportion.

      FWIW: there have been similar incidents recently supporting Leftist causes. Remember a guy named Rapone? I’ll admit that that one bothers me more – but that’s because his anti-American views were known (and ignored) long before he was commissioned. The fact that he was making political statements in uniform bothers me no more or less than this one; but I’m glad he did in a way. As I recall, it was his making those partisan politial statements that got him tossed with an OTH discharge.

      I hope Rapone enjoys repaying Uncle Sam the pro-rata portion of his educational expenses unsatisfied by his terminated-for-cause active duty obligation.

      • Fyrfighter says:

        While I’d suggest that a blatant anti-American political statement is far different than one that “Might” suggest support for the current president, I also agree that someone in that group, or the chain of command should have realized how it would be spun by the media, and stopped it before it became an issue.

      • Commie-Tsar says:

        But, Rapone was speaking “TRUTH TO POWER”… it’s what all of us snowflakes do when the Army makes us do bad things!!!!

      • Commissar says:

        I remember Rapone. And he is more evidence of how much mor angry you all would be if it had been a message you don’t agree with.

        If you recall I recommended administrative punishment such as a letter of reprimand. Which is far more harmful that administrative punishment for a enlisted soldier.

        You all wanted blood. He was forced to resign.

        Which is bullshit because being a communist is protected under the first amendment and thus should not be reason for dismissal or threats of dismissal. Which is what happened to him that forced him to resign.

        • SFC D says:

          I’m just spitballing here, but I’m fairly certain that the 1ST amendment does not guarantee the right of a service member to actively promote communism and publicly call for the overthrow of the US government.

        • Hondo says:

          Two distinct and different issues, Poodle. I’ll go slow, since you apparently have difficulty distinguishing between the two.

          The Rapone case disturbed me because his political leanings and apparent disloyalty were well known – and ignored – prior to his commissioning. That angers me most about the Rapone case. Ditto his apparent disrespect towards superiors while at West Point. Together, they paint a clear picture of someone who never should have been commissioned. And Rapone isn’t the target of my anger here; rather, it’s directed at those who knew of his unsuitability and ignored it.

          I have the same problem with Rapone’s making public political statements while in uniform that I do about this case – though as a commissioned officer, I fault Rapone more. Commissioned officers are knowledgable (or should be) of the restrictions imposed by the UCMJ and DoD regulations concerning public political statements and endorsements; enlisted troops may not be. In either case, such conduct is against DoD policy – but also IMO is not something that, done once, should be a career-ender. (A pattern of such behavior, on the other hand, might justify ending a career.)

          Being a Communist is a political and ideological choice. Had that been all Rapone did, he’d likely have been allowed to stay in uniform – albeit his long-term future would likely have been doubtful. For starters: as an officer, he’d be required to be eligible to hold a security clearance. Holding a security clearance while very publicly embracing a political ideology that has historically advocated the overthrow of the USA and simultaneously making public Facebook posts saying “F**k the USA” might be problematic. That combination gives the proverbial “reasonable man” good cause to question his loyalty to the USA.

          However, Rapone did far more than that. Rapone made public statements (e.g., on Twitter) that were contemptious towards the POTUS. What did in Rapone was those tweets that were blatantly disrespectful and contemptious towards the POTUS that he made while while serving as a commissioned officer. Those public statements alone were sufficient grounds for court-martial (Article 88). My guess is that he was offered the chance to resign in lieu of court-martial and did exactly that.

          • A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

            NOW look at what you did, *AAAAWWWWW* you hurt his feelings with cold, hard facts and logic!

        • USMC Steve says:

          Commissar, Rapone violated his oath of office, he was advocating communism, I could go on, but once again, you are wrong. Advocating communism and the many other antimilitary actions he committed would have gotten him busted under Article 134 at a minimum. It certainly called into serious question his judgement and his fitness to lead any number of troops. He got exactly what he deserved. And his ACTIONS, are far more dangerous than the wearing of a comical patch on a float.

    • USMC Steve says:

      Not offended Commissar, but very surprised. That motherfucker was DESPISED in the military, less the Air Force of course. And he was not monstrously popular with them either.

    • Peter the Bubblehead says:

      These patches were not the idea of some “junior NCO.’

      A uniform item like this would HAVE to be approved by the unit’s commanding officer. And the fact that all the aircrew in the photo had the exact same, professionally produced patch says this was a command-approved uniform item.

      • Commissar says:

        No. That is not true. You can buy them online on slap them on.

        You can also go online and order custom “professionally” made patches.

        They are likely made in China and there are hundreds of similar patches available on Amazon. I would not be surprised to see these one available.

        They are not authorized. But it does not take approval to wear an unauthorized patch. It just takes willingness to ignore the regulations.

        • Peter the Bubblehead says:

          No unauthorized patches of any kind were allowed on my uniform when I served on Active Duty in the Navy.

          The patches may have differed from ship to ship, but all patches worn on the uniform were authorized by no less than the CO! If the CO didn’t say yes, it wasn’t allowed!

      • Commissar says:

        I think I realize where your assumption is coming from. Do you think the whole formation is wearing them? My impression is that it was just the few who posed for the picture.

        Which is indicative of a few junior NCOs showing a lack of judgement.

        Not a command team deciding to turn their entire crew into a politically partisan military organization.

        That would be disturbing.

      • 2W0X1 says:

        As an active duty junior NCO who has made numerous custom morale patches for unauthorized wear, this could completely be the action of a small group/individual. Takes a few seconds to swap them around, and it’s a fairly cheap proposition to have a limited run of 20-100 patches made (2-5$ each, depending).

        The most I’ve ever personally suffered was ‘Hey, that’s not authorized, correct it now!’. The rest of the time, most AF NCOs don’t really know what unit patches are approved or not.

  17. FatCircles0311 says:

    Same shit different day. Insufferable leftists strike again.

    Everyone that wore the patch should get a NAM.

    • Commissar says:

      What about Rapone?

      Or are US military regulations intended to be applied in a politically partisan manner?

      Is this the kind of “professionalism” you brought to your time in service?

      Regulations only apply to other people?

      • A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

        Rapone openly endorsed COMMUNISM, a form of Government that killed over 120 million people during the Twentieth Century. Remember the Cold War?

        • SFC D says:

          He remembers it. His side lost.

          • A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

            Not only that, Rapone openly endorsed the overthrow of the US Government to impose communism as well as openly violating Article 88 of the UCMJ. I hope that the little shit gets forced to repay the cost of the Degree he got at taxpayer expense!

            • Hondo says:

              Since he was separated for cause, it is entirely possible that Uncle Sam will require him to repay a prorated portion of the cost of his West Point education corresponding to that portion of his officer ADSO he did not complete. I’m reasonably certain he completed less than 2 years of the 5 years he obligated himself to serve on active duty after graduation.

              Personally, I hope exactly that happens. Deliberate misconduct should have severe consequences; and Rapone’s misconduct was indeed deliberate.

      • FatCircles0311 says:

        So let me get this right you’re equating some pro military support of the president to some seditious communist fucker?

        Idioit confirmed.

  18. Mike W. says:

    Where do I get one ?

  19. 26Limabeans says:

    I see a patch supporting the CinC.

  20. Pointyhead says:

    So, write up a letter of counseling, throw it in a file drawer and be done with it.

  21. Sapper3307 says:

    Never forget Harambe.
    RIP

  22. OWB says:

    Aircrew wearing a patch supporting aircrew – and some idiots consider THAT an issue????

    Yeah, right. Much ado about nothing is an understatement.

    Every office I ever reported to during a fairly long military career had a pic of the current prez. Some of them I’d voted for, some not. No big deal.

    Oh. And even if they shouldn’t have, am glad they did. Most of the population probably is equally glad they did. The meltdown of the delusional fools over a patch just encourages additional support for Trump.

  23. USAF RET says:

    I think “funny” should be a defense. Like the sky-dick. Come on people, it’s a joke. I liked the old F-111 coin…..”40 years of structural integrity,…never a crack in the cockpit” Reference to the sex of the pilots….

  24. AW1Ed says:

    BONG!BONG!BONG!BONG!
    Now hear this- Morale detected near the #2 Elevator! Away, away the Morale Suppression Team! Now Away!

    We kept out of trouble by donning our morale patches only after the ladder was stowed and Main Cabin Door secured.

  25. sj says:

    I’m with Hondo on this. You know we’d be pissed here if there was an Obama patch back then.

    For instance, in the White Name Tape days (60’s) one could not bring a POV on Post that had ANY hint of political stickers of any kind. I’m assuming that it was all Posts and Bases but I know it included Bragg, Benning and Gordon in the ’63-65 era. After that I was in Europe and Viet of the Nam so don’t know.

    • SFC D says:

      I had a sticker on my truck in ’93 that said “Defeat the Dope-Smoking Draft Dodger in ’96”. I was parked in front of BN HQ, I came out and saw the BN CDR looking at my truck and laughing. Strolled on over, LTC B says “SGT D, that’s funny as hell and I agree with it, but you know you can’t have that on post”. I just laughed with him and peeled it off. Hey, I knew it was wrong when I did it, no point in making excuses.

      These aircrews were wrong with the patches, but I don’t see any need for the keelhauling that some butt-hurt reporters are calling for.

    • FatCircles0311 says:

      Imagine being such a cuck you make up hypotheticals to denounce pro American actions by our military. Holy shit are you people beaten the fuck down.

      • Hondo says:

        Firsthand accounts are hardly “hypotheticals”. Both sj and SFC D above are relating things that happened to them personally, so they’re firsthand accounts.

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      If an aircrew during the 0bama administration, tasked with bombing an opponent, had a morale patch that said “yes we can” and cartoon dark-skinned person inflicting bombing mayhem, would that have been “offensive”? “Political”?

      Neither would have offended me. Neither seems “political” beyond “play on words of the current buzzwords”. Either can be interpreted as supportive, or mocking, or just “cutting wise-ass”.

      No-call, I think. Lest we all lose what little positive sense of humor we still have.

      A very much anti-Trump coworker had red ballcaps printed for his team that said “Make (the project) Great Again”. Was that pro or anti? Political or just funny? I chose to laugh, as did the rest of us.

  26. Fjardeson says:

    How is supporting NCA political? If he was not the President, I’d agree. But he’s Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces. Against regs? Understood. Political? I don’t buy it.

  27. Jus Bill says:

    Next time they should put a bare nekkid lady on the morale patch. Long time tradition.

  28. NHSparky says:

    If you can draw a dick in the sky and only get an ass chewing, this doesn’t even rate a, “Bitch, please!”