Marines looking at array of changes to uniform policy
By MICHAEL S. DARNELL | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 6, 2015
The Marine Corps is concluding a monthlong survey Sunday seeking feedback on several potential changes to current uniform policies.
Among those is a proposed change to the women’s dress blue uniform that would bring its look more in line with what the men wear.
Currently, men and women wear similar, but visually distinct, dress blue uniforms. The primary difference is the female uniform lacks the high stiff neck collar that male counterparts sport. Marines can vote to keep the current women’s uniform, adopt a more unisex look or to keep the current dress blue coat, but adopt the prototype for special assignments.
Another proposed change would eliminate a directive that was controversial at the time it was issued.
In 2008, then Commandant Gen. James T. Conway issued a policy that all Marines, regardless of duty station, switch seasonal garb at the same time.
In essence, this meant Marines stationed in hotter climates were no longer allowed to stay in short sleeve uniforms after daylight saving time ended. Previously, the decision on what constituted the uniform of the day was made by local commanders.
The proposed change would again give local force level commanders the authority to dictate seasonal uniforms.
A related recommendation would remove camouflage utilities from the seasonal uniform policy altogether, leaving it up to commanders to decide what uniform can be worn.
Another recommendation would diminish the use of the camouflage uniform as daily wear for all Marines. As a result, Marines working in office-oriented career fields could be wearing the service uniform, rather than the camouflage utilities.
The final proposal poses that the desert camouflage uniform no longer be standard issue for Marines. Currently, Marines are required to maintain both desert and woodland pattern camouflage utilities. While deployed, Marines are issued flame-resistant organizational gear (FROG) that largely supplants the need for the everyday desert pattern in most operational theaters.
The proposed change would remove the somewhat redundant uniform. However, this change could potentially create a scenario where Marines training in desert environments, such as Twentynine Palms, Calif., would be wearing camouflage designed to blend into a wooded environment.
Headquarters Marine Corps will eventually turn over results from the online survey to the commandant of the Marine Corps.
This image, taken from an online survey conducted by the Marine Corps, shows the current look of the women's dress blues coat and prototypes under consideration for wider use. It is one of several proposed changes to uniform policies. Marines have until Aug. 9, 2015, to complete the online survey.
COURTESY U.S. MARINE CORPS