Here’s one thing that bothers me every time I walk into my local Borders:
Now, I am not the world’s greatest Glenn Beck fan, to put it mildly, but it’s not his face or the title of his book that chaps my hide in this case—it’s the thing he’s wearing.
For those not familiar with foreign NATO uniforms: that’s a German Bundeswehr dress uniform jacket (the kind that would be called a Class A in the U.S. Army.) More specifically, it’s a Heer (army) dress uniform jacket, complete with rank shoulder boards and collar devices. The rank on this jacket is that of an Unteroffizier, NATO rank E-5. It’s really familiar to me because that was my rank when I was last wearing a jacket like that.
The collar tab background and shoulder board piping are canary yellow, which would make him an Unteroffizier in the Fernmeldetruppe (signal corps). At least they’re not piped in gold/yellow (recon), or silver/grey (army aviation), which were the two color schemes I wore at various stages in my career. Still, the man is wearing a jacket adorned with a rank he does not hold, in a manner that is disrespectful of the uniform, and that bothers me a little.
Is it illegal for him to wear it? No. But he’s wearing the uniform that took a lot of sweat and effort to earn legitimately, and he’s adorning it with inappropriate fashion items that simply don’t belong with that field-grey smock.
(For the record: it wouldn’t bother me to run into a reenactor wearing that uniform, as long as it was properly dressed out and adorned, even if the wearer didn’t earn the rank. As a piece of goober fashion, however, it bothers me more than just a little.)
What say you current and former service members, and general audience? Am I being a little too pedantic and easily offended here? Would it bother you if Glenn Beck wore the Class A or equivalent of your current or former service on his book cover in the manner depicted, or is it just a piece of clothing at that point?