(Pentagon, Washington D.C.) April 29th, 2014 – Perpetually-embattled Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler is under fire yet again, this time for a controversial change to Army Regulation (AR) 670-1, which governs the wear and appearance of Army uniforms. Dubbed the “No Tab Left Behind” program by its many detractors, the change replaces the Army’s myriad skill badges and branch insignias with shoulder tabs.
The list of authorized Army tabs just got a whole lot longer…
“This program is a logical progression, given the proliferation of tabs we’re seeing across the force,” Chandler explained. “Originally all we had were three tabs, but we weren’t making people feel special enough, so we made up the Sapper Tab and Cavalry Scout Tab, and now we have the Jungle Expert Tab. So that got me thinking… why not have a tab for everyone? Having a tab is what makes someone elite. And since we want everyone to be elite, why not give everyone a tab? It’s the same logic that gave us the Army-wide black beret, and we all know what a great success that has been.”
“The goal is to replace all current Army badges and branch insignia with tabs,” Chandler went on, unable to stop himself. “Since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are winding down and no one is going to be earning combat patches anymore, we figure that we’ll do away with the ‘combat patch’ that is normally worn on the right sleeve, and dedicate that totally for the wear of tabs. That’s important, because there are going to be a lot of them. Additionally, this plan will help make sure that all those West Pointers who are experiencing “anxiety” about not having a war to fight won’t show up as a ‘slick sleeve’ to their first duty station.”
Chandler says he doesn’t understand the howls of protest emanating from the ranks. “What’s the big deal? Look, I don’t have any badges or tabs, you don’t need any either. I mean, I always said that if the Army wanted me to have a badge or a tab, they would have issued me one. Now we’re poised to do just that. This move will also allow us to move the US flag patch back to the left shoulder, so the field of stars is facing the way it is supposed to.”
Chief of Staff of the Army Raymond Odierno agreed with the move, saying the move makes sense from a discipline and safety point of view. “We already have an Airborne Tab, so now Soldiers will just wear that in lieu of an Airborne badge. We’ll also create things like an Air Assault Tab, a Tanker Tab, an Infantry Tab, Intelligence Tab, and more. Every (military occupational specialty) will have its own tab, and we’ll look to create other tabs to reward the things that the Army thinks are important, such as being ‘tattoo free’ and accepting reductions in pay and benefits.”
“Some of these changes will not be easy to make and I realize some dead-enders, especially those from the Special Operations community, will try to cling to the past, and that will not be tolerated” Odierno warned sternly. “For example, squarely in line with the Army’s politically correct priorities, ‘Equal Opportunity’ will be the new ‘long tab,’ replacing ‘Special Forces’ as the topmost tab worn. People will just have to get used to that. Also, In light of all of the support for the military that is currently emanating from the White House, the ‘President’s Hundred’ tab will be permanently re-named ‘Obama’s Hundred’ and is reserved for the 100 most politically-reliable individuals in the Army.”
“We’re also approaching this from a force-protection angle,” Odierno continued. “Currently many Soldiers pin on their skill badges to their ACU uniforms, which can create a safety hazard. Doing away with badges will ensure that the reflective belt doesn’t snag while wearing the ACU blouse, potentially causing catastrophic injuries.” Odierno refused comment when asked why the Army doesn’t simply keep the badges and do away with the stupid-as-hell reflective belt like arch-rival Air Force did several months back.