20 December 2006

Where is the common sense? Part 2

This is the second in a series of rants wondering where the common sense lies in some of the strange policies I've encountered in Iraq and Kuwait.

We were issued a nice black fleece jacket (and overalls too) as well as black fleece cap. The fleece jacket is very popular in the cold weather, and is designed to be worn over the ACU blouse. However, on most bases in Iraq, you are not permitted to wear the black fleece cap in your ACUs as you would be considered "out of uniform." Conversely, you can wear the black fleece cap while wearing PT gear, but you can't wear the black fleece jacket with PT gear. In other words, despite having a very nice black fleece jacket and matching black fleece cap, (in most places) you cannot wear them together, ever!

If you're riding a bike in uniform, you're required to wear a helmet because its safe. The bike helmet is not a uniform item, but it's common sense. If you're riding a motorcycle in uniform (on a base) you're required to wear a helmet and some sort of reflective vest because it's safe. Again, these are not uniform items, but safety prevails.

A human being loses approximately 50% of their body heat through their head. Doesn't it make sense to be safe and let a soldier or sailor wear a black fleece cap with their ACUs so they can stay warm?! Since when are silly uniform policies more important that safety?
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