Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Slight Contradiction

hash marksThe Navy uses “hash marks” on the left sleeve to denote length of service, and on the dress blue uniform the color of the hash marks, along with the chevrons under the “crow,” has significance. Red is worn by the below-deck rates, such as Electrician; white is for deck rates, such as Quartermaster; blue is worn by Seabees; and green is worn by Aviation rates. After twelve years, the hash marks and chevrons are gold if the wearer has an unblemished disciplinary record. And therein lies the story.

I once saw a Seaman, Boatswain’s Mate striker, with four hash marks indicating sixteen years service. They were gold, indicating no disciplinary actions in at least twelve of those years, and he was still an E-3. I knew that rate promoted slowly, but…

One of our Senior Chief Petty Officers had eight gold hash marks. To say that he was impressive in dress blues would be an understatement. When he entered a room you had to turn the lights down, or wear sunglasses. He walked with a slight list to port. He referred to his left sleeve as “thirty two years of undiscovered crime.”

This circuitous route has brought me to a couple of the conditions in Obama’s new program under which illegal immigrants will no longer be deported from this country if they are “military veterans in good standing” and “have clean criminal records.”

This is where the “undiscovered crime” part comes in, because the only way that an illegal immigrant can enlist in the military is to present false documents certifying that he is in the country legally. That is, of course, a crime, so the person must have not been discovered committing that crime in order to “have a clean criminal record.” One has to wonder if it was worded that way on purpose, because if it said the person “must not have committed any crimes,” then the mere fact of being a military veteran would reveal the commission of a crime and render the person ineligible.

Perhaps I’m overthinking this whole thing, but…

1 comment:

  1. bruce7:51 PM

    Maybe they were thinking /extrapolating 'legal' immigrants, who can enlist in the military. Or they were just filling the announcement with BS, and hoped no one (or very few) would catch it. good luck..