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ARLINGTON, Va. — It’s official: Marines can’t put their hands in their pockets.

Until now, it’s been “Corps lore” that Marines were prohibited from putting their hands in their pockets, said Mary Boyt, of the Marine Corps Uniform Board.

But now the Marine Corps grooming standards, which dictates proper appearance for Marines, clearly prevents Marines from putting hands in pockets or drinking a beverage while walking in uniform or in formation, Boyt said.

“I can’t tell you specifically why this change was incorporated (it was incorporated after the Uniform Board reviewed it), but it is something Marines will have to adjust to,” Boyt said. “Again, if you are in the field and it is cold and you don’t have gloves, common sense says, put your hands in your pocket, but you better not do it in garrison.”

The change is one of 36 issues clarified in the new grooming standards, which the Corps unveiled Wednesday.

In other big changes: Marines are limited to one ring per hand, and female Marines are now allowed to have French manicures.

Effective immediately, the revised grooming standards also prohibit gold or platinum teeth caps “for the purposes of ornamentation,” as well as jewelry and other dental bling, the presentation says.

“Commanders may consider waivers for permanent gold, platinum caps that were applied prior to 1 October 2007,” the presentation says.

The revised grooming standards spend a considerable amount of time on hair issues for male and female Marines.

For guys, high-and-tight haircuts are in, but Mohawks and other styles that involve “eccentric directional flow, twists or spiking” are out, the presentation says.

Male Marines also cannot have their chest hair protrude from their T-shirts, Boyt said.

The revised standards also say that Marines cannot have sideburns that come to a point, and they clarify that male Marines are allowed to shave their heads.

Female Marines cannot have hair shorter than one-quarter inch, Boyt said.

If they have hair that extends beyond the lower edge of their uniform collar, they must put it up in a bun.

The revised grooming standards also clarify how Marines should appear in civilian attire.

“Revealing clothing (i.e. clothing that exposes midriff, the buttocks, excessive amounts of chest/cleavage) or items designed to be worn as undergarments (and worn exposed) are not authorized for civilian attire while on or off duty,” the presentation says.

Grooming standards regulations in depth (PDF)


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