From the Conservative Propaganda post Why the Air Force Memorial sucks.
The Air Force is culturally divided into two camps: The Blue Air Force and The Green Air Force. The Blue Air Force wears the blue uniform to work while the Green Air Force wears fatigues and flight suits. The Blues do essential tasks like stock the warehouses, maintain the motor pool, and push piles of paperwork around base. The Greens take wing in chariots of fire like sky gods. The Greens are shooters, the Blues shoe clerks. The Blues are preoccupied with trivia like stopping people from whizzing in the woods outside the Officer’s Club after Happy Hour and making sure your ribbons are in the right order on your official photo. The Greens are preoccupied with putting bombs on target.
There is a clash of cultures within the Air Force, where the Blues impose their spit-shined, regulation-happy, utopian culture on the Green’s realist, pragmatic, quick and dirty combat rules culture. The Air Force Memorial is a monument to the Blue Air Force. I’m surprised they don’t have a bronze statue of a clerk at his desk typing a form in triplicate. That’s what it’s all about for the Blues.
I propose an alternate Green Air Force Memorial be placed in the National Mall, hidden in the woods near the WWII Memorial, out of sight of the damned bureaucrats. It would be completely accessible to the public, night or day, just like the other memorials, not like the current Blue Air Force Memorial, which is wedged between the Pentagon and Fort Myer, unapproachable by civilian tourists except on special occasions. I’d like to see a big, bronze P-51 Mustang fighter, the prettiest plane ever made, with the pilot standing next to it, discussing the maintenance forms with his crew chief. A guy from life support is holding a parachute, another guy is fueling the aircraft, and the armorer is laying .50 calibre bullets into the wing guns. That would show the tip of the teamwork needed to launch a fighter.
What little kid gets excited about abstract art? How proud are veterans when they see it? This memorial does them ill. As Tantor points out, it falls far short of the other memorials in DC. We need something that embodies, as he says, those who "take wing in chariots of fire like sky gods." That gets me pumped, and proud.
Tantor's description is about as acurate as it gets when describing the AF. The comments are interesting also, especially those by the AF OSI agent. There are definaly a lot of hard working AF personnel out there, but I think most of them do not know the work anyone involved in flight operations puts day in, day out. I have met a few that did not know the aircraft that flew on their own base. I usually go home when I have to, when my mandatory crew rest starts, after a 12+ hour day. My day does not break for lunch, I do not get time during the work day to go to the gym. The non-fliers on base cannot say the same, and they wonder why pilots are angry when they show up somewhere that is closed for training in the middle of the day. By the same token, I get to fly for all my hard work. I'm not so sure I would be as dedicated if I had to deal with angry people all day who complained when my office was closed.
More from John at OPFOR. He agrees.
And that post, right there, effectively sums up why I love the Air Force just as much as I hate the Air Force. The blue Air Force is contrary to everything that I learned at VMI. At the Institute, it was adapt, overcome, think outside the box, find solutions, not excuses. Rules and regs are handy, but the mark of a true military man is his ability to quickly evaluate mission necessity vs. military regulation, make a command decision, and live up to the responsibility of that decision for better or worse. That's the stuff leaders are made of.