National Guard general admits his ribbons were upside down during State of the Union

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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.

Whoops.

"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."

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