First of all, Gina Harkins is great at her job. An excellent reporter who covers the military extremely well.
HOWEVER, the rumor about those red patches on the covers (hats) is not about warrant officers or confirmed kills. It’s that they have AIDs. While fucked up, it’s an insanely common way to prank your junior troop when they first get to an actual base. You tell them to be careful around the red tabs because they have AIDs and are about to be medically separated. Junior troops, like me at one point, will believe damn near anything told to them. Obviously AIDS isn’t something the military would make you wear a special tab for or that you even have to be cautious around at this point. Normal caution is sufficient. I know that now but at 22, I did not.
This classic goof got me when I got to Okinawa in 2004. My sergeant said to stay away and I thought it was true for several months. The red tabs all work together, eat together, and rarely have sex that I personally saw but it wasn’t because of AIDs or nothin. It’s because they are landing support specialists, have a unique role in the Marine Corps. They coordinate ship-to-shore movement of troops, vehicles and supplies and deal with extremely high voltage equipment. Their semen OR OVARIES are probably fucked up because of the voltage and not because they have AIDs.
Glad to clear that up.