FORT BELVOIR, Va. – Surprise and confusion occurred at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) headquarters when Army Maj. Greg Tomlinson wore his uniform for the first time in as long as any employee there can remember, sources confirmed today.
“Wearing it felt weird,” Tomlinson said. “I’ve gained some weight, so I had to suck in the old gut a bit. I doubt anybody noticed.”
As at most commands and activities, DTRA policy requires military personnel to wear their uniforms regularly. However, Tomlinson chose a path that could be considered unorthodox.
“I like to look sharp, and that’s almost impossible in that ugly-ass mashup of camouflage and velcro called the Army Combat Uniform," Tomlinson said. "So I bought some blazers from J. Crew and ditched the ACUs. The last time I wore a uniform was on Veterans Day in 2013 to get 30 percent off at Denny’s.”
“But this month I got a wild hair and decided to break out the ACUs," Tomlinson said. "I found them in an old aviator kit bag in the basement next to the cat’s litter box. My rank badge was stuck into the family cork board, holding up the school lunch schedule and some coupons for KFC. My beret was in our son’s toy box, and how it got there is anybody’s guess. Kids!”
Personnel at DTRA showed a variety of reactions to seeing Tomlinson in uniform. Sgt. Greg Gomez, administrative NCO in Tomlinson’s division, mistook the major for a newly arriving officer.
“I scheduled him for a newcomer’s briefing and the next unit weigh-in and PT test," Gomez said.
“It was a little odd that they scheduled me for a newcomer’s briefing, but I attended anyhow and learned a lot, like that it's policy for military personnel to wear their uniforms weekly. Who knew?” said Tomlinson.
"If he’s going to sham out on the uniform, he should at least get a clue about style," said Staff Sgt. Rachel Bailey. "He acts all ‘Mr. Fashion’ in his J. Crew outfits but in reality, Tommy fucking Hilfiger here can’t match a tie to a shirt to save his life.”
Wearing the uniform resulted in distinct changes in how people perceived Tomlinson and his role in DTRA activities.
“Nobody bothered me when I wore civilian clothes, said Tomlinson. "Maybe my identity was ambiguous, or people thought I was a senior warrant officer. Now that they know I’m a major, everybody keeps asking for help with their PowerPoint presentations as if I’m some kind of PowerPoint expert! Actually, I am a PowerPoint expert, so its really okay.”
Tomlinson's return to the uniform may also have unintended consequences for other officers at DTRA headquarters.
“I thought he was your typical civilian with an over-inflated ego and a limited duty day," Thomas Bowles, a senior executive, said. "Now I know he’s actually your typical major with an over-inflated ego. I’m going to see if we have other field grade officers masquerading as civilians. We make a lot of PowerPoint presentations here, so we need all the majors we can get.”
Departing for the day, Tomlinson said he intended to “devote some serious time” to getting rock hard abs. And finding his PT uniform.