If the Marines can't protect the president from the rain, call in the Air Force!

by John MacBeath Watkins

My conservatives friends assure me that it's a terrible scandal that President Obama asked a Marine detailed to him to hold an umbrella for him.

The basis for this is that the Marine Corps does not allow male Marines to use umbrellas. Nor do the Army. All allow females in their service to use umbrellas.

The Air Force, however, has long been more agile in adapting to new technologies, like those invented later than the hat. Air Force officers are allowed to use an umbrella, hold it for someone, and generally treat it like the useful item it is.

You can even get an umbrella with a U.S. Air Force insignia for $21 from the Air Force Museum.
We've got you covered, Mr. President!
We may as well face facts. The Marines, my conservative friends assure me, cannot protect the President from the rain (unless they detail women to the duty, which doesn't seem to have occurred to them.) I'm sure the Air Force will be happy to step in and provide protection with highly-trained personnel of either gender.

Of course, the service chiefs have not yet had their say. They may decide that if a Marine can take a bullet for his President, he can also hold an umbrella for the CIC. Hell, they may even decide that if he wants to shoot down enemy aircraft with a Stinger missile, he's allowed to hold that even though it isn't part of the uniform.

(Edited to add: They Navy changed its rules in 1987 to allow both genders to use umbrellas. Dang, they're catching up to the Air Force!)