The top general in charge of the National Guard screwed up his uniform in front of millions of Americans, but at least he has a good sense of humor about it.
As is the case at every State of the Union, the Joint Chiefs of Staff put on their poker face once again for the presidential address on Tuesday. And seated just behind Army Gen. Mark Milley was the chief of the National Guard Bureau, Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel — with his ribbons on upside down.
"Question: What's wrong with this picture? I'll give you a hint...It's why they keep putting eraser on pencils," Lengyel tweeted. "Answer: The ribbons on my uniform are upside down. Let this be a lesson and don't let it happen to you!"
Let's take a closer look. Enhance...
Paul Szoldra/Task & Purpose
It wasn't clear from Lengyel's tweet whether he did this one himself, or another one of the chiefs pulled a friendly prank on him.
"An aide made an honest mistake and the uniform has been corrected," Army Master Sgt. W. Michael Houk, National Guard Bureau Spokesman, told Task & Purpose in an email.
And Lengyel further elaborated on the incident in a Facebook post: "A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to the State of the Union last night. If you look closely, you'll see that the ribbons on my uniform jacket are upside down. How can this possibly happen, you might ask."
"Well, we're all human, including me. And, as I made a final check in the mirror just before I walked out the door, I missed it... Plain and simple. I hope this is a lesson for everyone who wears the uniform, and really for anyone...They put erasers on pencils for a reason. When you make a mistake or miss a detail, own it and move on. One thing is for sure...My ribbons will NEVER be upside down again."
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. Wilbur.)
Defense officials will brief President Donald Trump's national security team on a plan that involves sending 5,000 more troops to the Middle East to deter Iran, Task & Purpose has learned.
So far, no decisions have been made about whether to send the reinforcements to the region, unnamed U.S. officials told CNN's Barbara Starr.
"The military capabilities being discussed include sending additional ballistic missile defense systems, Tomahawk cruise missiles on submarines, and surface ships with land attack capabilities for striking at a long range," CNN reports. "Specific weapons systems and units have not been identified."
The thousands of sailors, Coasties and Marines who descend on New York City every year for Fleet Week are an awesome sight to behold on their own, but this year's confab of U.S. service members includes a uniquely powerful homecoming as well.
When an Air Force major called J.J. completed a solo flight in the U-2 in late August 2016 — 60 years after the high-flying aircraft was introduced — he became the 1,000th pilot to do so.
J.J., whose name was withheld by the U.S. Air Force for security reasons, earned his solo patch a few days after pilots No. 998 and No. 999. Those three pilots are in distinguished company, two fellow pilots said this month.
"We have a pretty small, elite team of folks. We're between about 60 and 70 active-duty pilots at any given time," Maj. Matt "Top" Nauman said during an Air Force event at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum in New York City.
"We're about 1,050 [pilots] right now. So to put that in context, there are more people with Super Bowl rings than there are people with U-2 patches," Nauman added. "It's a pretty small group of people that we've hired over the last 60 to 65 years."
In what appear to be his first public remarks on U.S. national security since his resignation as Secretary of Defense, retired Marine Gen. James Mattis offered a word of caution to President Donald Trump amid escalating tensions with Iran on Tuesday.
"The United States should buy time to keep peace and stability and allow diplomats to work diplomacy on how to keep peace for one more hour, one more day, one more week, a month or a year," Mattis said during remarks in the United Arab Emirates.
"Iran's behavior must change," Mattis added, "[but] the military must work to buy time for diplomats to work their magic."