passport colors

Passport colors
Blue passports were issued to military personnel on covert assignments in foreign countries as recently as 1993. I know this through personal experience. I have no idea if this can be found out officialy. Nevertheless, it’s just my 2cents.

Link to Mailbag: How come some U.S. passports are different colors?

Erm…wouldn’t a distinctively coloured passport spoil the whole point of “covert operations”?

My current passport is green, but my two previous ones - issued when I was a dependent of a retired USA officer - were blue. My sister’s most recent one is blue (and she’s not a dependent). I think the blue is just the normal, no-special-circumstances color for everyone, covert military or otherwise.

I thought the State and Defense departments were moving away from color-coded passports after a couple of hijackings in which U.S. military personnel were singled out. Anyone with more info?

I had a black passport while assigned to Saudi Arabia in the USAF. I never got any extra peanuts on the airplane, or anything else special either. Except that(at the big airports that had them, like atlanta) I was able to use the diplomatic/crew line at customs, which was always way shorter.

I’ve travelled on all three with little difference except for:

> Paris on a black passport: The security guard couldn’t figure out whether my family and I were “on the black list”
or terrorists or what. He kept on asking what nationality we were [clearly American with our accented French, kids in Detroit/LA/Atlanta Tshirts, me with headphones] and why we had arabic in our passports. We were posted to Khartoum Sudan at the time.

> Paris again: We arrived in the int’l section and had a multiple hour wait. I exited on my black passport and decided to use my blue as we were about to get on the plane. Unfortunately I didn’t realize that it had expired… Madam how did you enter the country - with your approval on my black passport of course.

> Cameroun: Red passport with a gazillion extensions stamped, sealed and delivered at the back of the passport. As luck would have it, extensions were printed in English and altho Cameroun is bi-lingual, this guy did not understand English. He thought I was travelling on an expired passport.

So, according to my experience, it is not the color of the passport that makes any difference - it’s the idiots [including me] who can’t read or think.

Additional thought: the only passport that I have seen which causes continual problems is the light blue UN passport/laissez-passer.