Channeling Scott Ott:
(2005-08-05) -- Taking a cue from the NCAA's decision to ban all Native American mascots during tournament play but allowing the mascots otherwise, the Pentagon today stated that all military hardware with Native American monikers will be immediately removed from combat operations or provided less offensive alternate names. The hardware would remain available under their current monikers for day-to-day training.
"What we are trying to say is that we find these nicknames unacceptable for use in combat, as it portrays a negative image of our military,' Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force General Richard B. Myers in a press conference. "After all, the Army does have a checkered past when it comes to its relations with Native Americans."
As the removal of this hardware from combat operations could have a dramatic impact on the combat capabilities of numerous units, several staff aides worked round-the-clock to find an alternate solution. After hours of brainstorming, consensus was reached to provide the offending hardware with alternate nicknames when in theatre. Non-threatening animal names were deemed most appropriate.
For example, the AH-64A/D Apache Attack Helicopter, when deployed to combat operations, will now be known as the "Freedom Bird." Apaches equipped with LONGBOW fire control RADAR will be called the "Freedom Bird with Bird Droppings." The CH-47 Series Chinook cargo helicopter will be known as "Big Bird," while the RAH-66 Comanche will be known as "The Chicklet."
Additionally, the 82nd and 101st Airborne troops are under orders not to say ‘Geronimo’ during airdrop operations. Paratroopers will now say “I’m Sorry” as they leave the aircraft.*
A joint panel of service leaders was expected to be immediately convened to work on acceptable nicknames for all other hardware and to develop training courses for the transition. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was unwilling to comment.