Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Navy SEALs are still allowed to wear the "First Navy Jack" patch on their uniforms, despite an Internet rumor that claims the Obama administration has banned the practice.
The Navy Times was motivated to debunk the claim after being inundated by readers riled up over an Op-Ed written by former Navy SEAL Carl Higbie in The Daily Caller. Higbie claimed SEALs have been ordered to remove the patch:
"The Obama administration and the yes-men top brass have decided to wage war on our Navy’s heritage. Will the SEALs choose to defend that heritage and defy them, with all the impertinence the flag’s slogan implies? Or will they be tread upon?"
A passionate argument, to be sure. However, it's simply not accurate. Navy spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Sarah Flaherty told Navy Times:
“As of September 2013, all Naval Special Warfare personnel are authorized to wear the U.S. flag and the 'Don’t Tread on me' uniform patches.
"In the past, NSW did not authorize wearing either patch unless one was deployed or in a work-up cycle. However, NSW recently sought special permission from the Chief of Naval Operations staff to wear the patches within the continental United States.”
This is the second time in just a few weeks that a completely false rumor about the president altering military uniforms has taken the web by storm.
Several media outlets last month reported President Obama was changing the cover worn by male Marines. Some headlines claimed the president was forcing troops to wear "Girly Hats."
The rumor gained such strength that the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James F. Amos, publicly commented:
"The President in no way, shape or form directed the Marine Corps to change our uniform cover.”
The First Lady of the Marine Corps, Bonnie Amos, elaborated on her Facebook page:
"I'd like to address some questions I have been getting: the President in no way, shape or form directed the Marine Corps to change our uniform cover. We are looking for a new cover for our female Marines for one overriding reason: the former manufacturer went out of business. The Marine Corps has zero intention of changing the male cover."
What do you think the fascination is with President Obama and military uniforms? Why do you think these rumors are being spread? Have your say in our comments section!