Donning a military lookalike uniform, Calvo reaps bad PR
U.S. military vets who put in a few years or even 30 years in uniform haven’t got a lot of patience for non-vets wearing the uniform, as outgoing Guam Gov. Eddie Baza Calvo has learned lately.
The local social media made this displeasure clear when the governor was photographed wearing camouflage fatigues, better known as "cammies," during a recent Guam National Guard ceremony to which he was invited.
Adelup scrambled to explain that no disrespect was meant to either vets or active duty personnel and further that the governor wanted to thank the Guard personnel for their service, particularly in the cleanup after Typhoon Mangkhut.
“As a show of respect and in appreciation of the outstanding support while leading the Guam Guard, senior enlisted personnel presented him with an Operational Camouflage Pattern, which represents both services in the Guam National Guard. He was humbled by their gift and wore the uniform in their honor. On the governor’s uniform, the name tape on the right side had 'Calvo' and on the left, his title, 'Gov. of Guam.' There were no distinctive marks, service components, ranks or patches on the uniform, similar to how U.S. civilians and contractors, employed by or supporting the Department of Defense, would wear the uniform.”
Probed by local vets and reporters observing the reaction, the governor’s communication team team took great pains to explain Calvo was acting in keeping with his community leadership role:
“As the current Commander in Chief [of the Guam Guard], the Governor has assisted the National Guard and watched it grow both in responsibility and as an organization in the last eight years. The Guam National Guard Readiness Center has added a number of new facilities and equipment to support training as well as new duties to include its medevac evaluation unit. He shared his pride in the Guardsmen, whose reputations of professionalism, courage and dedication to duty are above all and set the standard. Federal and military leaders from across the nation, and even leaders from other nations, have shared with the Governor the positive impression that our sons and daughters of Guam have often made on others.”