Chief’s View: Thanks for your support of red shirt Friday

Chief Master Sgt. Kathleen R. Buckner

Chief Master Sgt. Kathleen R. Buckner

Citizen Airman/Dec. 2012 -- Red shirt Friday. Have you ever heard of it? What is it? Where did it start?

I can't remember when I first heard about red shirt Friday, but I remember learning about it as I started seeing the red shirts being sold at base exchanges. After that I started to pay attention to how many people wore the color red on Fridays. I not only noticed it at my civilian job but also at other federal agencies as well and in the local communities around those facilities.

I have never seen a greater support of red shirt Friday than at my current assignment right here at good ol' Robins Air Force Base, Ga. I not only see it in our Air Force Reserve Command headquarters facilities but also within the very large civilian population on base. I am truly touched by the number of people who make a conscious decision to wear red on Fridays. Look, it's difficult for me to remember where I left my keys every morning let alone remember that Friday is a day that I will wear red in support of all those in uniform!

I went on Google to see if I could find out more info on the origin and true meaning of red shirt Friday. Wow! I found out there are pages and pages of information with slightly different versions of how it started and why. The overwhelming common denominator in all the information I saw is wearing a red shirt on Friday is a way to show your support for those who defend our great country, our freedom and our liberty, and bring us together as a nation.

I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank everyone who participates in this show of support and to urge them to continue to spread the word. While there are countless participants for whom I am deeply grateful, I want to thank Kim Hatcher and Chris McCalister, who both work in the headquarters Personnel Directorate, for continuing to wear red on Fridays after I told them only once about the movement.

How the red shirt Friday movement started really doesn't matter. What is important is that thousands of people are continuing to show their support and appreciation for the countless sacrifices our men and women in uniform make daily so others may live free. Thank you for your support!