07 July 2009

Dust Dust Go Away!! And "Can You Really Wear a Two Piece in Iraq?"

Ack! The dust is coming back! NOOOOOOOOOOO!

I had this all planned. Patient rounds in the morning (check). Meal ordering and inpatient education (check). Morning CrossFit class (check), eat lunch (check), and then do a swim workout this afternoon (hence moving my CF class to morning). But now it's getting dusty again. Sigh.


Some people have asked about wearing a "two piece" at the pool. Didn't know that it was now legal (for civilians and for Air Force).

In the Air Force the rule is that men wear baggy shorts/swim wear (no speedo suits) and women can wear one or two piece *conservative* suit (i.e. no thong or itty bitty bikinis). But the Army rules say "one piece" only.

Joint Base Balad is just that, "Joint", and when AFCENT (Air Force Central Command) took over the base, one concession was to the Army swim suit standards. The other claim about the "one piece" rule is that it is part of our respect for the host nation (that doesn't fly with me since women in our host nation would not be seen at a co-ed swimming pool in ANY suit that didn't cover up arms & legs). And that is why when I arrived the rule was "one piece" at the pool.

When you are working out, it makes perfect sense to wear a one piece. But the outdoor pool opened in April and has plenty of deck chairs for tanning. Brigader General Bishop, as one of his last policies prior to his change of command, changed the swim suit policy at the pool - allowing for a conservative two piece. Heck, no one was really enforcing the one piece policy for the civilians anyway (pool employees weren't allowed to, only military supervisors). And don't get me started on the definition of "conservative".

Interestingly enough, one hour after the 332 AEW Change of Command, the JBB Command Sergeant Major of the Army (highest ranking enlisted) sent out a "new MNF-I Uniform Policy" to all AEW folks. While it focused on Army uniform policies it also included Air Force & "all military" in many portions - including the "one piece" at the pool (along with mandatory reflector belts with PT gear which would be redundant for Air Force since our PT gear has reflection built into both the shirts & shorts; we don't have to wear a belt). That same afternoon we were emailed by AEW Headquarters that any change in uniform policy would come from AFCENT, and we should carry on with our previous instructions at this time.

Man, gotta love politics - especially when it comes out into the open like this.

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