But one look at the for-whatever-reason-uncropped photo used in the release makes it look more like an announcement that airmen can now wear whatever the hell they want.
Of all the eyes that military press releases are filtered through prior to publication, not a single person looked at this and thought, “Hey, would matching trousers be a good idea?"
Is this nitpicking too much? Obviously, but is the difficulty of matching OCP uniforms for an official announcement genuinely that substantial? That which has been seen cannot be un-seen!
Even the title of the release begins with “Blending in.” Blending into what? Aspirations of color blindness? Time travel?
Were there no pants available? Not likely, given that 185th Air Refueling Wing in Sioux City, Iowa, where the photo was taken, already has sets of the new duds.
Did photo-editing software malfunction? It worked adequately enough to crop (most) of their heads off.
Were there pressing matters that required the participants' attention elsewhere? There was certainly enough time for them to coordinate a fancy staggered formation reminiscent of a prom glamour shot.
These questions have been added to some of mankind’s greatest mysteries. Whether or not the mismatch mayhem makes its way into recruiting, however, remains to be seen.
“Join the Air Force, where every day is your very own equivalent of Hawaiian shirt Friday.”
This is why we can’t have nice things.
J.D. Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.