In November 1997, Proceedings published my Nobody Asked Me, But . . . entitled “Leave Our Flight Jackets Alone!” I wrote it in reaction to a change in the uniform regulations that prohibited flight jackets from being decorated with anything other than a nametag, a U.S. flag, and a single squadron insignia patch.
I received some criticism in response to my article back then, all of it from surface warfare officers who appeared to be offended by flight jackets. At some point in his or her career, every pilot, naval flight officer, or aircrewman experiences some degree of hostility to flight jackets worn while on naval bases that are primarily home to ships and submarines. I certainly have. I have always suspected the root cause is envy, and it appears I’ve finally been proved right.