WASHINGTON — New Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey has moved quickly to establish himself, publishing what sources call "an objective and balanced" policy letter prohibiting the use of prostheses, as well as some previously-common Army equipment, due to their non-compliance with Army Regulation (AR) 670-1, “Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia.”
“You can never take away from a regulation, but you can always add to it,” Dailey told media during a press conference at the Pentagon. "We can't have soldiers running around here with a sense of entitlement and their 'special' arms and legs."
"Plus, those hook hands really creep me out," he said while pantomiming pincers with his fingers.
Dailey's 576 page policy letter outlined additional equipment bans, including the mortarman's M2 lensatic compass ("too big for my tiny hands"), field dressing ("smell reminds me of my dead Ma-mau"), and fleece cap ("a camel spider shat in mine one time"), but it is the prostheses ban that is causing the most backlash.
Despite the frequent shortcomings of VA care, amputee service members have been on the cutting edge of medical technology in recent years. Many severely injured soldiers are renewing their self-worth and returning to active duty, causing military psychologists and veterans' organizations to question whether this is a step backwards in veteran care.
Dailey dismisses these claims, stating that he is merely “adhering to the spirit of the regulation."
"People may think I am being unreasonable," Dailey said. "But, coming from the cutting edge of TRADOC, at the end of the day we as an Army are all about taking care of soldiers."
After a long, awkward silence, Duffel Blog asked Dailey to elaborate how banning mission essential pieces of equipment is in fact “taking care of soldiers?” Dailey replied by deploying an M18 smoke grenade then hastily low crawled out the emergency exit.
UPDATE: Since this story was published, Dailey has made one modification to the new directives. Prostheses will now be allowed, provided everyone in the unit wears the same limb and have a surface that can be shined to a “high gloss.”