"I Dream of Jeanie": Question about Maj. Roger Healey

Okay, so I’m sitting on my EZ chair munching Cheetos, slurping Pepsi, and watching The Very Buxom Jeanie, clueless Tony Nelson, wisecrasking Roger Healey, Col. Belows, Gen. Whatzhisface–the whole damn ensemble.

That’s when I notice for about the 10th time that Maj. Healey is the only one of 4-5 Air Force (?) officers shown wearing a greenish uniform. All the others are wearing the traditional blue.

What’s the deal here? Was that the way of the Air Force back in the 60s?

Healy’s uniform is that of the US Army. Corps of Engineers, from his lapel insignia. So ot woudl mean Healy did not come into the Test Pilot, and hence the spaceflight, programs from the ranks of fighter pilots, but from the ranks of propulsion/guidance developers.

…however, in one show where they are seen in fatigues, Healy wears the Air Force service tape over his pocket. Small continuity flub. And you may have noticed that in the early, B/W shows, the military men all wear the “summer dress” khaki uniforms, and in the color episodes, they all switch to the dark-colored “service dress” uniforms.

Yeah, I always wondered why they put an Army guy in the show. Everyone knows that the space program had only Air Force and Navy guys! (Although a few Marines managed to let the scabs on their knuckles heal long enough to fool the doctors and get in the program). :smiley:

Fascinating. Any way to answer Pilot141? Not that you were involved in the casting, but why cast an Army officer?

Is there any precedent in the early spaceflight years?


P.S. If you WERE involved in the casting, my hat’s off on selecting Barbara Eden. :wink:

I don’t know the actual reason why Healy was cast as an army officer, but I suspect it was to differentiate the character from Maj. Nelson. The problem with uniforms is that they’re… well, uniform. Putting one character in a green uniform and the other one in a blue uniform makes it easy for an audience to tell them apart.

As Johnny said, this was mostly a way of making him easily distinguishable. Being a lighthearted comedy, it did not have to make a Big Deal of being accurate, and probably it helped them to throw in these inaccuracies so as to be able to be flexible with their writing.

An to add to pilot141’s comment: there were also rare civilian test-pilot astronauts in the 60s, e.g.: Armstrong.

…oh, and re: Carnac’s question: the Army had a high profile in the very early part of the space age – the first US satellite went up a Jupiter-C Army missile; Sheppard and Grissom launched on Army Redstone missiles; and W. Vom Braun worked for the Army at White Sands and Huntsville in the late 40s-early60s.
But not having actual test pilots, they did not have astronauts in space until the Shuttle.

Then his uniform turned beige when he changed his name to Howard Borden and became an airline pilot on The Bob Newhart Show…

Correction, he was a navigator on the Bob Newhart show. That job no longer exists today (except in the military).