The Navy’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts posted updated profiles pictures Monday featuring a surgical mask covering the face of the service’s eagle logo, an obvious nod to the era of social distancing and germ prevention in which society is currently mired.
And while it’s not the official uniformed logo of the sea service — that designation would be reserved for the Anchor, USS Constitution, and Eagle (ACE) emblem — social media-dispatched judgement was nevertheless swift.
And why wouldn’t it be? After all, a Facebook comment thread is seldom a destination where one comes for existential reassurance, venerable commentary, rational discourse, or intellectual stimulation.
Inevitably, there were a number of “Back in my day” and “This is not a way to represent the Navy” responses from the saltiest of seafarers, who somehow managed to break just long enough from incessant scrimshaw carving and white whale hunting to impart a few wise words.
But there were entertaining variations as well. Because if quarantine has cemented anything, it’s that the comedic creativity of a species with too much time on its hands knows no bounds.
“I ate midrats and drank bug juice regularly so that makes me immune,” one Facebook user joked.
Additional comments reflected what some sailors suggest is a deficiency of personal protective equipment, or PPE, throughout the fleet.
“As if the navy is actually going to adequately supply their force with PPE,” one user commented.
“Oh cool, a bird has a better mask than most of the Sailors actually do since theirs are made out of their T-shirts,” another wrote.
“Fixed it for you, since real masks are nowhere to be found,” one user joked, attaching the image seen below to mimic the T-shirt mask donned by numerous sailors.
Others, meanwhile, tied the image to the recent public relations debacle surrounding the firing of Capt. Brett Crozier, the former commanding officer of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt.
“Seems appropriate that it looks like a muzzle after what was done to Captain Crozier when he spoke out to protect his crew,” one user commented.
Wherever you fall on the subject of Crozier, PPE, or logo alterations, at least it was better received than the Thanksgiving version.
Jon Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.