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US Marines Uniform Board Seeks Corpswide Input On Proposed Uniform Changes

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This is how you do it. On August 8th, the US Marine Corps Uniform Board released a survey seeking input about three proposed uniform changes for active duty and reserve Marines. The three changes are:

– Altering the color of enlisted rank insignia from black to brushed brass for Woodland MARPAT utilities.

– Establishing the Sam Browne belt as a mandatory accessory for officers wearing the blue dress A/B.

– Shifting the annual seasonal uniform synchronization date from Daylight Savings Time to the First Monday in April for Summer uniforms and the first Monday in October for Winter uniforms.

The survey, which is the second step in the Uniform Board process, is planned to run through August 29th. Active duty and reserve Marines may take the survey at www.manpower.usmc.mil/application by selecting the Marine Corps Uniform Board #214 survey.

www.marines.mil/News/NewsDisplay/tabid/3258/Article/168915/uniform-board-seeks-corpswide-input-on-proposed-uniform-changes

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32 Responses to “US Marines Uniform Board Seeks Corpswide Input On Proposed Uniform Changes”

  1. AbnMedOps says:

    I’m not a Marine, STIFWIW, but…the purpose of the Sam Browne belt is to support a sidearm, like a pistol or sword, right? I’m in favor of anything that would brings sidearms back into fashion!

  2. andrew says:

    First, Sam Browne. Next, the swagger stick.

  3. DanW says:

    I’m not a Marine, but those all seem to make sense. I do wonder how the brass looks against the desert pattern though.

    • Riceball says:

      It would probably blend in like the current black chevrons do with the woodlands and you’d run into the same problems with making out what the rank you’re looking at is until you’re practically right on top of the person.

      It’s funny that in the original article so many people are complaining that it would stand out in the field. A pretty stupid complaint since it would stand to reason that in the field you’d either remove the chevrons or you’d wear the black ones instead. It just goes to show that the average Marine isn’t as smart as I thought they were or maybe they were all just grunts that were doing the complaining. 😀

      • Joe says:

        Exactly. Officers where the shinies in garrison and then black/brown insignia in the field.

    • Erik says:

      According to the post, that would be a non-issue. It does state the brass insignias would be for the woodland MARPAT, not desert.

  4. Nick says:

    Didn’t we (Army) get to vote on our upcoming APFU?

  5. TominVA says:

    Retired Marine here.

    Totally support brushed brass. Better late than never. No more “Goodmorning First Serg..Master Gun..um good morning.”

    Totally support the Sam Browne. It just looks cool and officers have been wearing them on assignments outside the Marine Corps for years.

    Seasonal change? Sure I guess, though there really are no summer or winter uniforms in the Corps anymore. I hate the use of desert MARPAT as a summer uniform (excepting blue-whites). Local environs should dictate desert vs woodland pattern if camies continue to be worn as a service vice field uniform.

    • Riceball says:

      I agree, the brushed brass is perfect for garrison and should look different enough from shiny officers rank insignia to (hopefully) avoid confusion. To me, it’s the simplest solution to this problem, it’s certainly much better than changing the woodland MARPAT so that it has no black simply so you see the rank insignia better, and much simpler than coming up with a different collar material that has no black which would only add to the cost of the uniform. The only other reasonable solution would be a little patch of plain, maybe OD, material that you’d pin or sew on under your rank.

      Agreed on the Sam Browne, if I were an officer I’d want to wear a Sam Browne with my blues, I really like the way they look. I think that the Sam Browne really adds a nice military look to what’s already a really good looking uniform and would probably look pretty slick worn with the Alphas too.

      I got out before MARPATS/MCCUs were regular issue so all I had to worry about is sleeves and sleeves down, none of this seasonal business. It is pretty silly that the Corps is using the two uniforms as seasonal uniforms since the desert MARPAT isn’t, from what I understand, made from any lighter of a fabric than the woodlands. I agree that they should be regional, if you’re based in the Stumps you wear the deserts as your regular uniform, if you’re assigned to somewhere woodsy and green you always wear the woodlands and you’d only change if you go on deployment or are condutcing exercises/training in a different environment.

      • 10thMountainMan says:

        Army should be offloading a bunch of UCP in the near future if you guys feel the need to switch to a “Universal” pattern for all seasons. Anything to help out another service!

  6. Doug says:

    I thought labor day was the cutoff for fashion related color changes?

  7. rcbusmc24 says:

    1. Chevrons. Ehhh, I could live with it but dont think this is needed. You wont be able to count rockers or tell if there are crossed rifles, bombs, diamonds or stars ( rifles and bombs are for boys, stars and diamonds are for little girls , sorry couldnt resist) inside of them any easier than you do with the black chevrons, we have these on dark jackets at 8th and I and it is actually much harder to make them out than black. Really people need to get over being called the wrong rank, if a junior not familiar to you is making a good faith effort to provide a proper greeting of the day then you are a ass for jumping them for getting the rank wrong in the .5 seconds they are close enough to see it. Most people you interact with everyday already know who you are and dont need shiny devices to remind them of your rank

    2. Sam browne belt. Not an O so no skin in the game but the only way they can wear their sword in a dress uniform is by mounting it to this belt thus greater than 50 percent of the officers already buy this item at commissioning. The only reason the others do not is the cost. Roughtly 140 bucks on top of the 3500 or so they are spending on uniforms out of OCS or the Academy.

    3. Uniform change. Don’t care, just make sure that you dont have some idiot telling dudes tney can’t wear the Issued Pattern Matching for CIF jacket if its cold outside and your sleeves up already.

  8. JonC says:

    We started going silly string when the local regulation for Desert MARPAT (sleeves down) was canked at 29 Palms. Silly to think that maybe keeping your arms covered out there would be a smart thing.

    We continued with the silliness with the recent yo-yo on sleeves down or up, because that was so important to warfighting and all…

  9. Henry says:

    I’m a Marine Vet, and instead of changing the uniform standards, how about you enforce the standards you have now. I can’t tell you how many Sergeants, Captains, and Gunnery Sergeants, etc., not hold up uniform standards. The money to update, teach and inform could be used on training or something far more important. So many Commanders and SgtMaj’s want to tweak the little things to put on their resume, and so it looks like they made a difference, sleeves up v. sleeves down. If it doesn’t lead to combat effectiveness, or mission readiness, leave it alone.

    • Riceball says:

      But it’s not really changing the standards so much as revising them. The proposed change in the chevrons is because it’s, all of a sudden, become an issue where it’s hard to read what rank anybody is above Staff Sgt. or Gunny because at a distance the black blends in with the black on the uniform. Funny thing about that is that it never seemed to be an issue back when were still wearing BDUs in M81 with big black splotches in it, not that it was any easier to read someone’s rank but I never heard of anybody complaining about it. Still, if it’s that big of an issue a change in color of the chevrons is a far better and easier solution than the previously suggested solution of changing the colorway of the woodland MARPAT and removing the black pixels.

      The Sam Browne belt is just a matter of making something mandatory that was once optional. No biggy there and it’s for dress purposes only anyhow.

      The winter vs. summer uniform thing is something I do agree is pointless. There’s no need for a summer and winter uniform as far as cammies are concerned, especially when the uniforms in question aren’t actually made as summer and winter uniforms. The regs should state that if you’re stationed or deployed to the sand then you wear desert MARPAT, if you’re in someplace green (or relatively green) then it’s woodland MARPAT, simple as that.

  10. whitesands says:

    In regards to the rank insignia change, I think this one flew over everyone’s heads. What actually is the problem? From what i have been able to gather, the stated issue it is that Pfc’s and LCpl’s, and E-8’s and E-9’s are getting confused with each other and it’s not fair to junior Marines because they get nervous and screw up rank with Senior Enlisted Marines. I personally will refuse to believe that one PFC or LCpl has ever complained because they are not getting the proper respect that they have earned due to confusion with their rank. Which leaves option two, all of those E-8’s and E-9’s (specifically those that put an “F” on their Fit Reps) that cant seem to come to terms with being human. while using rank is formal and certainly respectfully, i cant see how a “Good Morning, How are you” is any less respectful than a good Morning “tool bag” (no blatant disrespect to those that this applies too, but lighten up, your sole purpose in life is to attend to the needs of your Marines) Kind of a tangent and extremely unorganized, my apologies, but i certainly feel that this solution is only a solution to supplementing a small majorities egos. The only thing this appears to be is yet another attempt to fix something that is only broken because a select few individuals cant ground their feet back in reality, and enormous waste of manpower and dollars that the Corps absolutely doesn’t have. Let the rank be, lighten up a little, and understand that respect has nothing to do with whats on your collar or how you force people to address you, but in how you foster trust, lead from the front, and support your Marines, what we wear on our breast means so much more than what is on our collar!

  11. Ed says:

    My father used to tell us a story about serving in a U.S. Army with a anti-aircraft battery defending Mare Island in Vallejo, California in the days immediately after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. A USMC officer was berating on-duty soldiers in the battery because they were not saluting him. When it was pointed out that he was interfering with combat status soldiers with chickenshit and threatened with arrest by the lower ranking officer in charge of the battery, then the attitude quickly changed.

    Perhaps the USMC should emulate the USAF and wear BIG chevrons on their utilities so the senior NCOs will receive the proper addressing of rank that they expect and demand? Alternately, a simple Coyote Brown rectangle of cloth under the black metal pin-on rank insignia will provide sufficient contrast to identify the proper rank with sufficient illumination and close-enough proximity, just as the OD cloth embroidered with black rank insignia worked on the Woodland BDUs.

    • Joe says:

      Yeah…no thanks. Perhaps the USMC should just keep trucking on and not look to other service’s screw ups for ideas.

  12. See shiny, then salute. If enlisted start wearing brushed brass insignia, a simple trip from the barracks to the chow hall will turn into a salute orgy. Have a Navy Chief wall through a battalion area and you’ll see more saluting than a Pass In Review. I can’t imagine this getting voted through. The other proposals sound good, though.

  13. Matt says:

    Sam Brown yes but the should carry a flask of rum for their marines in its pocket
    Camouflage should match the area you’re operating In if it’s woodland or brush than woodland it is desert or Rocky mountains of sand and rock with no trees desert it is. No more deserts with sleeves rolled on ok I it just looms dumb and grass stains do not come out no matte how hard mamasan tried

    How about black and brown like they do for the officers on thier field uniforms so 1st sgt gets major go brown and the rest keep it a black chevron thing.

  14. Sean says:

    Here’s how I voted on this:

    1) Brushed brass chevrons – Solution looking for a problem, and not worth the additional cost of having 2 different kinds of chevrons. I’ve personally searched for woodland cammies with black in both corners of the collar for my own amusement, and it’s more difficult to find a winner than it sounds. The solution is free: if one corner of the collar is pure black, check the other one because it’s usually green and brown. Voted No.

    2) Sam Brown Belt – Not an officer, so whatever. Voted against Marines being required to buy silly shit for no reason.

    3) Seasonal Uniform Change: Voted Yes to simplify things.

  15. tomatokilla says:

    Former Marine here. I never understood the cammies policy. Who comes up with this crap? Now let’s vote on it? I think it should be the local (base) commander’s discretion or some derivative, for example, if you’re stationed in Hawaii, why would it ever be common sense to wear deserts? If you’re at 29 Palms, why should you be wearing woodlands? Tales of Marines being directed to NOT wear their watchcaps when it’s 30 degrees out because not everyone has theirs is rediculous too….ah heck! Get your hands out of your pockets and get off my grass devil dog!