Air Force Welfare Inspection Nets USO Photos, Bible

The article announcing the Air Force “health and welfare” inspections has become a repository for interesting stories about how inspections are being conducted locally.  Two interesting replies:

12/7/2012 8:13:40 AM ET
We had a team of inspectors come through my workcenter yesterday. They took down all of our photos of aircraft with nose art because someone might be offended. They also made me take down a USO photo of the dallas cowboy cheerleaders that was signed thanking my shop for our service…

mitch, sheppard

Targeting nose art is an interesting choice, given the Air Force itself displays traditional “pin up” nose art the National Museum of the Air Force.  For the time being, the Wright Patt base commander, Col Cassie Barlow, has said the nose art will stay in the museum.  (Remember you can do a virtual tour of the entire USAF Museum at

Targeting cheerleaders is also interesting, given the USO sponsors tours of NFL cheerleaders deep in the heart of Afghanistan, a country whose culture is hardly appreciative of scantily clad young women.

It seems another inspector’s perception of “inappropriate” was pretty broad — and incorrect:

12/10/2012 10:02:34 AM ET
A friend of mine was ordered to remove his Bible from his desk. He wasn’t even prominently displaying it. It was just sitting on a shelf in his cubical. He refused and the inspector left. He was apologized to later after complaining but still this was apparently something they were looking for.The war against religion continues.

This guy, USA

Yes, you can have a Bible on your desk, and apparently this Airman realized that.  It’s good that the leadership apparently agreed, though it would have been nice if the inspectors had been smart enough to know that to begin with.

To be fair, much of this is likely related to the traditional game of telephone:  A General says one thing, his Colonel adds a twist, the Major tweaks it, the Captain mishears it, and by the time the Lieutenant gets the order, he can’t figure out why anyone would want pickles on their pizza.  To this point, there has been no indication the official edict was ever intended to include cheerleaders and religious texts, though there are indications what constituted “inappropriate” material was left to the discretion of local commanders.