Navy looking into 'Make Aircrew Great Again' patches sailors wore during Trump visit
WASHINGTON — The Navy said Tuesday that it is evaluating whether sailors aboard the USS Wasp violated Defense Department policy by sporting unofficial uniform patches with the phrase “Make Aircrew Great Again” during a Memorial Day visit by President Donald Trump.
The red, circular patch featured a finger-pointing cartoon figure similar in appearance to Trump with words reminiscent of his famous campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.” Photographs of several Navy airmen aboard the warship in Japan wearing the patches circulated Tuesday on Twitter, where they were first posted by a Wall Street Journal reporter traveling with the president.
“Navy leadership is currently reviewing this instance to ensure that the wearing of the patch does not violate DOD policy or regulations,” Lt. Samuel Boyle, a Navy spokesman at the Pentagon, wrote in a single-sentence email Tuesday afternoon.
Troops across the military services have long worn unofficial insignia, known as morale patches. Often boasting humorous themes, the patches are widely available for purchase online and in military supply stores. Though such patches are officially barred by uniform regulations, they can be approved by troops’ chains of command.
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