Base life has own pace despite Iraq War outside

By Erik Slavin
Stars and Stripes
Published: August 23, 2011

More than 20 cold weather GORE-TEX jacket patches for the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force are for sale at a Post Exchange at Victory Base Complex outside Baghdad, Iraq. Because you never know.
Nathan A. Bailey/Stars and Strip
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SATHER AIR BASE, Iraq — If the chief master sergeant of the Air Force ever comes to Victory Base Complex, he won’t be in need of cold-weather uniform rank patches.
The post exchange near the Al Faw Palace carries 24 of the small patches that affix to uniform jackets and body armor, made from a material no sane person would ever wear on a 127-degree August day in Baghdad.
But if there were such a person, it would by default have to be Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James A. Roy, because he is the only active-duty servicemember in the military authorized to purchase that patch.
There were also roughly 160 fabric fastener patches for command sergeants major, just in case Baghdad ever holds a convention for soldiers at such a rarefied leadership rank.
“It’s strange,” said Cpl. Scott Emerson, of Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. “Maybe if they order one type, they have to order every other rank patch at the same time.”
Fortunately, Emerson hasn’t needed a patch during his deployment. The store didn’t have any patches for corporals.
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