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All Marines now allowed to carry umbrellas, ending longtime ban

U.S. Marines salute President Donald Trump as he walks with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö in Washington, D.C., Oct. 2, 2019. All Marines wearing their dress or service uniforms are now allowed to use umbrellas, ending a long tradition and bringing the Corps generally in line with other services. They must be carried in the left hand to allow for salutes, according to existing regulations. Zachery Perkins/U.S. Army

ZACHERY PERKINS/U.S. ARMY

By IMMANUEL JOHNSON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: November 8, 2019

This story has been updated.

The few and the proud will remain amphibious, but they will no longer be soaking wet in their dress blues on rainy days.

All Marines wearing their dress or service uniforms are now allowed to use umbrellas, ending a long tradition and bringing the Corps generally in line with other services.

“Marines can carry an all-black, plain, standard or collapsible umbrella at their option during inclement weather with the service and dress uniforms,” a message signed by Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger on Thursday said.

Before the change, only female Marines were allowed to use umbrellas. Marines will still be prohibited from using umbrellas while in their camouflage uniforms, as is the case with other services.

The decision was made by Berger and processed through the Marine Corps Uniform Board in September.

Umbrellas must be carried in the left hand to allow for salutes, according to existing regulations.

The sight of male Marines holding umbrellas over the heads of President Barack Obama and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a 2013 press conference drew a storm of online comments in military circles at the time. Marine spokesman Capt. Greg Wolf told CNN that it was “extremely rare” and only because the president needed it in the downpour.

The Marine Corps message Thursday also included uniform changes for women. Female Marines with medium-length hair may now wear half ponytails with physical training uniforms. They may also wear ponytails or braids during some organized physical training.

Full details on the changes can be found in message 28/19 on the Marines.mil website.

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