Air Force Girlie-Mag Sweep: It Was Dumber Than We Could Ever Have Imagined

Posted by Jason Van Steenwyk

They say “truth is stranger than fiction,” and sometimes that makes for a really good laugh. Today’s Fun Friday edition is brought to you by the Air Force. We couldn’t make this up…


Air Force girlie-mag sweepIn January, we reported on the Air Force’s big girlie-mag hunt, in which the cash-strapped service found thousands of man-hours to send officers on a tour of workspaces throughout the Air Force, looking for evidence that someone, somewhere, may enjoy pictures of beautiful women.

When we suggested that the Air Force would have to start with heritage nose art photographs from WWII, it was tongue in cheek. We were sure the Air Force could not possibly be that dumb.

Lesson learned.

The fact is that the Air Force inspection teams were routinely confiscating or removing books and posters depicting historical aircraft nose art all over the country.

And it gets even worse.

The Air Force also somehow found the man-hours to tabulate the results of the sweep, tallying up the tens of thousands of confiscated items. In all, the Air Force girlie-pic police snagged over 32,000 items judged to be racy, offensive, or even pornographic. However, only a very tiny fraction of the seized or removed items were flagged by the Air Force as overtly pornographic. The vast majority of items seized or removed were taken because they were either “inappropriate/offensive” or “unprofessional.”

Among the tabulated items seized:

  • A copy of Air Force Times with a photograph showing female airmen breastfeeding.
  • A fitness magazine, which the Air Force deemed inappropriate at a fitness center.
  • A small Confederate flag
  • A World War Two heritage plaque
  • Religious books
  • A signed pro sports team cheerleader poster confiscated from someone’s desk or workstation 
  • A WWII heritage poster “w/ inappropriate image”
  • A “crash video with explicit language” 
  • WWII era nose art poster (categorized as “unprofessional”) 
  • An autographed Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader photo
  • Two wine glasses 
  • Inappropriate and offensive copies of Runners’ World and Men’s Fitness magazines.
  • The Swimsuit Issue of Sports Illustrated
  • Yoga magazine
  • A copy of Women’s Health
  • Hooter’s restaurant nametags from Hooter’s waitresses
  • A poster of a fitness model in a swimsuit
  • “Have a cup of shut the hell up” tile poster
  • Life magazine
  • Cosmo magazines, removed from a restroom 
  • 10 squadron history books, categorized as inappropriate/offensive, and confiscated from their location in a vault.
  • Rubber dog droppings
  • Sexually suggestive magazines (The Air Force specified Cosmo, Maxim and FHM.) 
  • An aircraft chock labeled “loser block.” 
  • An Achmed the Dead Terrorist video 
  • Fitness magazines
  • “Unknown meaning of graffiti.” That’s right. They don’t know what it means, so they confiscated it anyway.
  • A urinal sticker depicting “Hanoi” Jane Fonda
  • An inappropriate kitchen utensil 
  • Smokeless tobacco (categorized as “unprofessional”)
  • A plane made from beer cans
  • 13 songs 
  • Aircraft tail art
  • Miscellaneous flight suit patches 
  • A Princess Leia Star Wars action figure (no word on whether it was Leia on Jabba the Hutt’s leash, though)
  • Copies of books like 50 Shades of Grey, What’s Your Poo Telling You (a health book), and Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office
  • A morale coin
  • A corkscrew
  • A model airplane removed from an individual workspace because of inappropriate nose art. 
  • A big red button labeled “Bullsh*t,” which made a statement when pressed, confiscated from the individual workspace of what appears to be the smartest person in the Air Force.
So which one of these was your favorite? Tell us in the comments below.


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3 responses to “Air Force Girlie-Mag Sweep: It Was Dumber Than We Could Ever Have Imagined”

  1. Henry says:

    Right wingers at work again confiscating more of my civil and religious RIGHTS, it’s a sad day for America if we let right wingers get away with this Bullsh*t

  2. jerry says:

    If women were truely equal this would not happen still the military worries the poor girl might be offended get a glue Generals

  3. Henry,  
    How do you figure it was “right wingers?” They aren’t exactly known for censoring WWII nose art. Plus, this was done at the order of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, an Obama nomination, in the interests of creating a more friendly work environment for women (a goal I would support, actually, though I don’t think confiscating nose art photos accomplishes that). 
    Do you think President Obama is in the habit of nominating right wingers?  
    This is more about left-wing PC than right-wing censorship.

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