The team gathered around her as she posted the simple piece of paper on the bulletin board outside the VEQ.
"Hey, what's this?" Dusty was the first to speak up.
"New orders from the General." Lady Jaye replied as she walked away. It was then that they all noticed, she was not dressed in her normal green pants and shirt combination. No, she was wearing her army green uniform, corporal stripes, real name tag, skirt and service cap combination. Dusty looked her up and down and whistled.
"Dang woman, I wish I'd known what was under those fatigues before Flint saw it."
"Stifle it, Specialist." She replied. "Oh, yeah another thing guys, we have to actually work under military decorum." She stopped momentarily to deliver that part of the edict as well.
"Effective immediately All personnel assigned to the fourth Special Operations Company(1) will wear the uniform, service or utility, appropriate for their service, rank, and position with all appropriate accoutrements associated with that uniform. Further, all uniform regulations including hair and facial hair requirements will be followed." Dusty read aloud. "Man, I'm not sure I even have mine with me."
"Finally, we're gonna look like a military unit!" Someone heard Beachhead say in the background.
"Well, there goes your ski mask buddy." Flint said behind him eliciting a groan from the Sergeant Major.
"Looks like I have to shave. Man, it took two years to get this beard to look like this." Shipwreck, who had just been released from the base jail, groaned.
"In addition, all military protocol and discipline will be followed until further notice" Dusty continued. "Guess that means we have to actually salute Flint. But, then, I guess that messes up your plans for the rest of the trip, huh, Flint?"
"Yeah." He groaned out. But, then he already knew that. He'd just spent the last fifteen minutes being reprimanded by Hawk for having Lady Jaye in his quarters all night. He turned on his heels before anyone else noticed he was also dressed in his issue Battle Dress Uniform. Stomping away, he nearly ran over Duke.
"Whoa buddy. " Duke put up his hands to stabilize both of them. "What in bloody blue blazes are you wearing?"
"It's called a uniform, you might want to try it sometime. " Flint grumbled. "And it's Hawk's way of getting into the good graces of his favorite Major"
"Take a look over there. Hawk's new rules while we're here."
"You're kidding me?"
"Does this look like I'm kidding?" Flint ran his hands up and down in front of this uniform.
"Nope. This should be interesting. Come to think of it, I think I'd like to see what's under that balaclava of Beachhead's anyway." Duke laughed. "Always did wonder why he hid his face."
"You know, it could be interesting. Shipwreck in an actual Navy uniform, and a Chief Petty Officer's2 to boot and Beach without his balaclava." Flint said. "Bet we'll find out he is as ugly as I always thought." They both walked away. "Oh, and you have to actually salute me now."
"Yeah, well, you have to salute Doc, Ace and Cutter." Duke laughed. "Glad I brought my uniform, don't have to buy one."
Kincaid walked into the SP office, refreshed from her night out and no sign of the general. She was actually smiling. Sergeant Wilkers handed her the normal daily reports as she noticed the simple bouquet of wildflowers on the sergeant's desk.
"Your boyfriend send you flowers again?" Kathleen asked.
"No ma'am. These are for you. They arrived a half hour ago." Wilkers said as she handed the bunch to her commander.
"My sincerest apologies for yesterday. There will be changes. C. A.,BG." Kathleen read aloud.
"Who is CABG, Ma'am and why is he apologizing?" To Wilkers knowledge the Major didn't have anyone special in her life.
"I think it's that damned General that's been sniffing around. " The Major said simply. "Would you like the flowers?"
"No ma'am. But, permission to speak freely, ma'am."
"Go ahead." Kincaid breathed out.
"I know the man's been a bit heavy handed, but, I think you should give him a chance. I mean, first of all, he's an Army General, it's not like he can do anything to you. And second, he is gorgeous."
Kathleen just stared at the other woman. Very little escaped her staff sergeant's notice. The woman was beyond observant.
"What makes you say that?"
"Ma'am, it's kind of clear he's interested in you and to be honest, you've been here a year and even though you've clearly been asked out by nearly every single officer on this base, you've only gone out with men who are Majors and Captains. So, it seems to me, that you're trying to look out for your career and I understand that. We, women, we have to work harder to get up in rank, even us enlisted. But, the General, he's Army so there is absolutely no way he can influence your career. And even if you don't notice it. You are fighting him way too hard to be just not interested. I've seen you shoot down Colonels with just a glance and walk away, yet this guy, you keep fighting him."
"Well, this one is not getting the message." With that, Kathleen walked into her office carrying the flowers. She had no idea what she was going to do with them, yet. She placed them on the desk when her phone rang.
"Major Kincaid." She answered simply. "Uhm, yes sir, I did get them. They are very nice. Thank you sir. But, you shouldn't have" really you shouldn't have, she thought but didn't voice. "Lunch, uhm, I'm not sure, sir." She finally accepted as soon as her caller pointed out that her base commander was going to be in attendance as well.
1 Note: This is made up. There is, as far as I can find, a unit designation in either the cartoon or the comics.
2 For those that don't know, once a Navy enlisted man hits E-7, they are a Chief Petty Officer and Chiefs wear khaki or white uniforms similar to commissioned officers. The white sailor hat is also no longer worn. (I always wondered why Shipwreck held onto the lower enlisted uniform.)