04 June 2010

Rumor Control

Jeff Schogol has a great recurring column in Stars and Stripes in which he plays mythbuster to the myriad of rumors bored troops seem to spread. Sometimes rumors are amusing, such an allegation that pop starlet Taylor Swift is spying for China.

Others, however, cause unnecessary worry, including one rumor running among spouses that service members serving in Iraq would no longer receive hazardous duty and combat pay after September of this year. (On 1 September, "Operation Iraqi Freedom" ceases, with "Operation New Dawn"--the beginning of the end for US involvement in Iraq--commencing.) Fortunately, Schogol did some research and debunked the rumor: service members in Iraq will continue to receive their appropriate combat pay.

This week, Jeff took on the pervasive rumor that the US Air Force had actually authorized the wear of fanny packs.

[T]he (Google) search was on to find an expert to explain all things fanny pack.

As it turns out, they are more about function than fashion, said Ericka Chloe, of My Image Expert, a fashion and consulting firm in New York.

She sees possibilities for the modern airman. Rather than putting on a big backpack, fanny packs would allow servicemembers to store low-maintenance items that might otherwise fall out of their pockets.

“It’s a very rugged, outdoor kind of look,” she said. “You’ve got the fatigues color, the camouflage, the boots and they actually make fanny packs out of leather so they are a little more durable.”

They can be worn in lieu of a belt, and she suggested wearing them backward so the pack rests ruggedly over a back pocket.

The Air Force, however, does not see the utility of fanny packs.

“There is no guidance regarding the wear of fanny packs in uniform,” said Air Force spokesman 1st Lt. Derek White via e-mail. “Please refer to AFI 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel for current guidance.”

The Rumor Doctor’s Diagnosis: The message is fake. No fanny packs allowed.

However, the Doc has heard there is video out there of airmen displaying proper placement and wear of the fanny pack.

If you have said video, please put it to music from Lady Gaga and send it to the Rumor Doctor

So there you have it. Personally, I think we can find this video floating around on Youtube. Gentlemen, start your search engines.

If you have a rumor you'd like to see investigated, contact Jeff Schogol at

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