Above is the unit insignia for the 1st Infantry Division. Soon to be sold next to Kenmore washing machines, Craftsman tools and Die Hard batteries.
Below is Trad Dad as a young enlisted man drawing a sentiment popular among young enlisted men when they've been in the Army for more than a day.
Samuel Johnson wrote, "Every man thinks more meanly of himself for having never been a soldier."
The US Army and Sears's have taken Johnson to heart and are giving the customer what he wants. Say you're the kinda guy who likes war movies and snappy uniforms but you really don't want to get shot. Now you can run...No, make that, Airborne Shuffle to Sears and with the Army's blessing you can pretend you were in the 1st Infantry Division. That's right, The Big Red One. Shirts, backpacks, outerwear...all with 1st ID's insignia. I suspect very soon you'll be able to buy jump wings, marksmanship badges and a combat infantry badge if this product website is any indication. http://www.armybrand.com/
I have a sense the Army and Sears are dipping their toe in the water of branding. If we all roll over and allow this nonsense to continue without complaint I see some great ideas down the road. How about the Sears brand, "Die Hard" stenciled on tanks? Man, I feel like Don Draper here. Army issued boxers? Joe Boxer of course. Headquarters Intelligence divisions once known as "G-2" will be known as "Craftsmen." I'm actually getting nauseous.
Funny thing. The Army, thanks to me, sent a letter to Polo Ralph Lauren telling them to take product with Army insignia off their shelves immediately. You can get some major fines as well as up to six months in jail. I don't see Ralph in a orange jump suit eating bologna sandwiches but you never know. I'd give my right testicle to work for Polo but I thought, "Screw 'em. This is not right." So I dropped a dime on them.
Now, I feel like a schmuck. Little did I know the Army and DoD were cooking a deal with Sears. Here's an interesting angle... will the Army use its legal counsel to protect Sears products featuring Army insignia? Wow, Sears secures legal services at tax payer expense. Which begs the question...why Sears? Anyone who was ever in the Green Machine knows how incompetent the Army is. But Sears? As my Drill Sergeant might opine, "If you turned Sears brains into gasoline you wouldn't have enough to power a piss ant motorcycle half way 'round a fucking dime."
That gives me a great idea. The Army can include a booklet (tagged to a trouser belt loop with suspension cord) filled with earthy quotes and jargon so customers can complete the illusion of having served. Soon a 13 year old will complain about school being FUBAR and salesmen at B&H Photo will argue over some REMF in their A.O.
To add insult to this injury, Sears has said they are giving the Army the "proceeds" from the sale of product. So, no bitching people. This is for a gosh darn good cause. But some news stories are using the word "Royalty." Hmmm? Anytime you see "Royalty" you can be sure some asshole stands to make a fortune.
When I was in the Army there was a popular expression, "F.T.A." meaning, "Blank the Army." I haven't used it in years. But thanks to this Cluster Blank, I may have to blow the dust off it. Lastly, my apologies to Ralph Lauren for what I did. I feel like I was used by an organization that I used to admire. I guess some things never do change.