And what’s with the German battleship?
Sunday mornings reading Parade magazine has been a favorite pastime of mine for more years than I care to mention. Even though Walter Scott is long gone, I still keep the habit of ripping open the newspaper’s Sunday supplement package and going straight to Parade.
This morning’s May 19 issue doesn’t feature a hot actress or a feature on what people earn. Refreshingly, it features a senior chief petty officer of the United States Navy, Derrick Davenport — named Chef of the Year by the Pentagon — and uses him to highlight the impressive renaissance of turning military chow into something that legitimately aspires to be called cuisine.
But the headline, “How Do You Feed An Army?” didn’t reference senior chief culinary specialist (SS)’s naval service. And when I turned to the story beginning on page 7, there was a nice headline, “Top Gun Chef,” surrounded by cool graphics of naval things and kitchen implements.
I liked the boats and looked at the graphic before even beginning to read. Where were the army things and – since they invoked “Top Gun” – the aircraft? Not there. One of the ship silhouettes was used twice — the instantly-recognizable (at least to me) shape of the famous Nazi battleship Bismarck (or her sister ship Tirpitz, if you have to be picky).
Reading into the story, the first mention of Davenport’s association with the Navy finally came up in the ninth sentence. Ah, now I get it!
But Parade couldn’t tell me he was in the Navy on the cover, nor on the very nice full-page photo on page 6 of Davenport in a Pentagon kitchen.
As a matter of fact, Parade couldn’t even put NAVY in its story headline, but ARMY is no problem.
And the graphics to illustrate the story — no doubt chosen by some graphic artist from a collection of art icons — include, along with the Bismarck, no current U.S. Navy ships.* The newest ships in the collection date from the 1960s, although a couple of the types lasted in service into this century before being retired.
So I’m thinking, is this a graphic illustration (pun intended) of a Navy public relations problem? Is the public awareness of its great Navy so thin that Parade doesn’t think it can put the word in a cover headline? Are editors and artists just so ignorant that no one even thinks to check if art for a story is current, or even appropriate — or that anyone would notice?
Parade ran three photos of Senior Chief Davenport, the cover shot apparently taken in a studio, and two apparently at the Pentagon. They couldn’t find one of him during his service making meals aboard the submarine Annapolis? During his tour in Afghanistan training Afghan culinary specialists? A nice shot of his mother was included, under the heading, “She Fed An Army, Too” – her family of nine children.
Our sister publications at Navy Times and the other Military Times papers recognized senior chief when he won the top chef award in March. It’s nice that a hard-core mainstream publication like Parade picked up on it. But I’m still waiting for the mainstream to get comfortable using words like Navy and Sailors without having to explain that it’s like the Army or Troops.
*Near as I can figure, the ships are:
– an Iwo Jima-class helicopter carrier from the early1960s
– a South Dakota-class battleship from World War II
– a Lafayette-class ballistic missile submarine from the late 1950s
– a Vietnam-era riverine patrol boat
– a Charles F. Adams-class guided missile destroyer from the early1960s
– a Coast Guard 82-foot patrol boat from the 1960s
– a Vietnam-era riverine armed personnel carrier
– a modified Essex-class aircraft carrier from the 1950s
– the Bismarck
– aVietnam-era Swift patrol boat
– a World War II-era fleet submarine
– another Bismarck
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