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Senior Officer More Concerned With Grooming Standard Than OPSEC


Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan – When Senior Airman Jed Thaner witnessed a potential Operational Security (OPSEC) violation, he knew immediately to alert his chain of command.

“We’ve always been trained that if you see something, say something.”

Early yesterday morning, SrA Thaner woke before sunrise for some PT prior to his analyst day shift at the Tactical Operations Center. Rounding the corner to start his jog, he saw an unidentified third-country national (TCN) rummaging through the trash near the center — a common tactic insurgents use to gain inside information.

Thaner then chased the man off and headed for the TOC to report what had happened. He approached his commanding officer, eager to tell him about the security violation that he had just witnessed.

But Lieutenant Colonel Marcus Nimbus had bigger fish to fry.

“When’s the last time you shaved, Airman?” Lt Col Nimbus asked, as SrA Thaner stood tall before him. The officer then dressed down Thaner’s lack of appearance in accordance with regulations.

“He was showing five o’ clock shadow and that’s just unacceptable. For Godsakes, he was so nasty, I almost mistook him for Army!  You let that kind of thing slide, next thing you know, Air Force loses its reputation!”

Thaner was upset that he wasn’t able to get a word in.

“I don’t know how to plead with a Colonel, but I want someone to teach me how,” Thaner said, after being reprimanded and heading to the latrine for a mandatory shave.

It was later learned that the potential foreign intelligence agent was really a third country national in charge of cleaning around the trailers, where Thaner’s unit is currently staying.

“They’re also known for dumpster diving.” said Technical Sergeant Tayna Grainer, the senior analyst on Thaner’s shift. The TCN, identified only as Mutassa, explained that he just “wanted to score a Playboy. He hadn’t realized the military’s rules on pornography were close to that of any sharia-minded judge.

The Air Force had dodged a bullet, but SrA Thaner remains unconvinced.

“I’m not even sure what I’d have to do to convince someone if something really did go wrong.  I don’t want to know.” he confided.  With that Thaner said he’d had enough adventure outside work for one day and decided to retire to his hooch until his shift to meditate.

No word on whether “meditating” was actually the new Air Force euphenism for rubbing one out or whether that was more important than OPSEC.

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  1. E6’s do it too.

    Once had a SSG order me to shave my moustache because it wasn’t “reg”.

    He got quite sore when I pulled out a thumb drive with the appropiate AR on it, and asked him to explain, for my education and benefit, HOW it was not in regulation.

    Even my asshole CO that got relived of command for BEING an asshole (hard think in the army) didn’t give a fuck when he tried to bitch about it.

    • Hey, stop talking about me – I thought all that stuff about “hey Sir – you are an instant asshole, add bars and stir” was made up – and all this time I thought I was cool and had the pulse of the Company – allrighty then, I’m going to hash it out with my 1SG and let her figure out the morale issues . . . Just sayin . . .

  2. I’ve yet to meet an Air Force Lt Col that cared about enforcing grooming standards. E7 through E9, definitely!

  3. I was given a 2 hour briefing on opsec, then told to go put out the giant Maj Gen park here sign. Mean while my Ssgt wonders why i show a general lack of enthusiasm for tradition.

  4. Man, this satire really does hit pretty close to home! Sad but true how officers in Qatar really do care more about grooming standards and saluting in PT uniforms then about actual security and supporting those military brothers and sisters actually in harm’s way downrange.

    • Dude, remove officers and insert 1st Sergeants or insert senior leadership. I didn’t give a crap if anybody said anything to me. I just wanted to do my time and leave. It seemed to me that senior NCOs got more spun up about that kind of crap then the majority of officers.

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