"Brian," we've got ourselves a whole new crop of awesomely bad military
patches -- some of the awesomely worst, yet. He writes:
I was an officer in the Air Force for 9 years and... spent 5 years of my time working in the ICBM career field and it is a hotbed of awesomely bad patches so I figured I would share a few of my favorites that have adorned my sleeve over the years.
Reading through the comments on the previous editions it seems to me that people aren't quite understanding the purpose of these patches. They are called morale patches and the point is to be an inside joke that is funny only to those doing the job or in that career field. Usually they make fun of a particularly lame, pointless or absurd part of the job. It stems from having a bunch of people (mostly male and mostly in the 22-30 age range) doing crappy, high-stress jobs with not a whole lot of recognition. It's an outlet, a way of bonding and building camaraderie. And unless you have been part of that environment you will probably never understand it...
The "Death Wears Bunny Slippers" patch comes from the notion that the people who are supposed to start WWIII and end the world might just be wearing fuzzy pink bunny slippers when they do it. That's because once you are underground and locked in your 15x10 ft capsule for 24 hours with another officer the uniforms come off pretty darn quick. It's all sweats, PJs and anything else in the comfy clothes category after that, at least until your relief crew arrives the next day.
The "Mercenary Missileer" patch is one of my all-time favorites. One of the big problems with the military is that you do all this cool stuff and learn a lot of great skills that most often times are absolutely useless in the civilian world. I mean come on, how many companies need someone who is an expert in the art of nuclear war order execution and rapid re-targeting of nuclear weapons? Well after a lot of thought someone came up with a few organizations that might just pay for those unique abilities.
"Resistance is Futile" actually comes from one of my jobs in space and not missiles. The powers that be decided to re-name a mission/organization that had been in existence for a long time and came up with a god-awful complicated mess. And of course you must use the new terminology and will be smited if thou uses the now banned old name. So a couple of us had these patches made up and went around telling all the young enlisted and lieutenants they were the new squadron patch. Just a little bit of rebellion at the Captain level to counter the insanity from the brass at the top.
Lastly, I want to say that not all morale patches are awesomely bad. As trite as it may sound now with all the politicians wasting breath on it, 9/11 affected me (and many of my friends in the military) very much. I try to explain it as being a parent and someone breaking into your house and hurting your kids. You are charged with protecting them but didn't see it coming and weren't able to prevent it. You failed at your job and struggle with all the "what could have I done to prevent it?" and "how can I make it right?". And you are frustrated and just looking for someone to punish, someone to make it all better. I won't turn this into a whole debate on Afghanistan/Iraq but just say that with the population as a whole those emotions in the military can be easily exploited and manipulated for achieve certain goals.
The 9/11 patch is one that I wore on my sleeve every single day since I acquired it in Oct 2001, even though it was unauthorized and should have been only worn on Fridays. Needless to say, no one in the military every told me to take it off, they only wanted to know where they could get one.