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USMC Mandates Woodland MCCUU For Year-Round Wear

Last week, Gen Neller, Marine Commandant, issued ALMARS 038/16 which mandates year-round wear of the Woodland MARPAT version of the Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform. While there are exceptions for commanders to continue to specify wear of the Desert variant based on the local environment, Marines will now swap between sleeves up or down on the same day the rest of the country switches back and forth from Daylight Savings Time.

This move makes me wonder if the Marines aren’t going to remove the Deserts from the Sea Bag and make them UIF gear.


USMC Photo by LCpl Caleb Maher – BAENGNYEONGDO, South Korea – U.S. Marines With Lima Company 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 3rd Marine Regiment, train with Republic of Korea Marines During Korean Marine Exchange Program 16-15, Baengnyeongdo, South Korea, Oct. 3rd, 2016. KMEP offered realistic scenario training ensuring ROK-U.S. combined forces are trained and ready for urban warfare tactics. 

R 082123Z DEC 16
ALMAR 038/16
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC//
SUBJ//USMC SEASONAL UNIFORM GUIDANCE//
REF/A/MSGID: BNO 1020.3G//
REF/B/MSGID: MCO P1020.34G CH 1-5//
NARR/REF A IS H&S BN, HQMC, HENDERSON HALL UNIFORM REGULATIONS. REF B IS THE MARINE CORPS UNIFORM REGULATIONS.//
POC/LTCOL CISCO J. M./DMCS OPSO/TEL: COMM(703)614-2828//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. This ALMAR prescribes the seasonal uniform change and applies to all Marines and Navy personnel serving with Marine Corps units.
2. Effective immediately, the seasonal uniform changes are as prescribed below:
3. The seasonal uniform transitions will occur semi-annually on the weekend in the Fall and Spring concurrent with change to and from Daylight Saving Time (DST).
4. CONUS/OCONUS:
4.a. For all USMC Commands. During the winter season, the woodland MCCUU will be worn with sleeves down and the designated seasonal service uniform will be Service “B”. Upon transition to the summer season, effective with the move to DST, the woodland MCCUU will still be worn; however, sleeves will be rolled up and the designated season service uniform will be Service “C”.
4.b. OCONUS Commands/Bases/Units will differ to the policy/guidance as established by the their respective Marine Forces(MARFOR) Commander for their seasonal dress/uniform.
4.b.1. MARFOR Commanders, due to the breadth of their area of responsibility, are authorized to set policy/guidance that may vary throughout their region, to include the adjustment of dates of transition and the respective MCCUU for wear.
5. Exceptions:
5.a. MARFOR/MEF/Installation commanders may adjust the uniform for wear, from the dates established in this ALMAR within reason, to take into account seasonal weather patterns.
5.b. Commanders overseeing personnel in training (i.e. basic, MOS school, advanced MOS training) may set the MCCUU for wear as established by applicable order.
5.c. Commanders overseeing units/personnel in training for deployment may set the MCCUU for wear based on the mission requirements, and as deemed necessary to ensure effective pre-deployment training.
5.d. Units/personnel deployed will adhere to the policy/guidance as established by combatant commanders and the regional MARFOR commander.
6. Personnel serving in or visiting the National Capital Region will review reference (a), http:(slash slash)www.hqmc.marines.mil/dmcs, in its entirety to ensure compliance and uniformity of wear.
7. All other aspects of reference (b) apply.
8. Semper Fidelis, Robert B. Neller, General, U.S. Marine Corps, Commandant of the Marine Corps.//

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12 Responses to “USMC Mandates Woodland MCCUU For Year-Round Wear”

  1. PNWTO says:

    The worst thing about woodlands is that you need Chuck Yeager vision to PID at SNCO prior to conversation distance.

    • Doc8404 says:

      That’s probably the only reason why they made this decision. Nothing like greeting a SNCO with “Good morning, hmrpfhrmf Sergeant!”

  2. SVGC says:

    “At the time, Neller also announced he had rejected a recommendation by the Marine Corps Uniform Board that Marines wear service uniforms when not in deployed or training. He rejected another recommendation to remove desert camouflage uniforms from Marines’ sea bag.”

  3. D.B. says:

    There goes the hope for a lighter ripstop poplin MCCUU variant to be introduced for the warmer months, any time soon.

    Marines have been sweating it in those twill NyCo MCCUUs and FR Rayon FROGs for some time now, why change it, right?

  4. Big_Juju says:

    Any idea on the reason behind this? I mean – besides the obvious cost savings of only issuing 1x type of uniform versus 2x.

    • tm says:

      Not a Marine, and no particular insider knowledge, so just going to take a stab at the obvious reasons… Going back 15+ years ago, both the U.S. Army and Marine Corps wore a Woodland-pattern uniform year-round, unless in an environment requiring a desert pattern. This was based on the prevalent conflict scenario against the Soviet Union in Central Europe or proxies in highly vegetated environments (such as Central America).

      2016 brings us back to the Central/Eastern Europe scenario, with the Pacific region replacing Central America. Also, there’s the issue of how a desert-pattern uniform makes sense for training in coastal North Carolina, for example. Again, an outsider perspective, but it seems Woodland is returning to a general-issue item whereas Desert is back to being AO-specific.

      • babola says:

        I could be wrong but I believe Big_Juju is referring to two different materials not different camo patterns.

        • tm says:

          The article, and the overall issue is about seasonal wear of particular color schemes (Woodland and Desert), not materials.

          • D.B. says:

            Materials too.
            We have been expecting a warm climate uniform for the Corps for some time now, this decision pretty much kills all the hope we will be seeing it anytime soon.

            As for the what camo to wear, out of the 2 patterns Marines wear these days, the woodland is the more logical choice for a year round wear duscussed in the aricle above.

  5. Vince says:

    As always, a Commandant makes his mark on the long legacy of my beloved Marine Corps. For some reason, it usually revolves around uniform wear(outside of the “Crucible”). As far as sleeves go, this was pretty much already a practice and changes with the wind. The next CMC will change it to sleeves down year round’ as it was a few years ago. All of this really doesn’t change anything but require more documentation for west coast commands.

  6. bloke_from_ohio says:

    The sensible thing to do with the sleeves is to just leave the decision up to the individual Marine based on the weather and what they are doing at the time. Jokes and inter-service rivalries aside, its not rocket science. I am sure they can handle it.

    Outside rather formal formations, where a non-utility uniform is probably more appropriate, is the uniformity of the troops forearms really that important?

    • John says:

      to some SNCO with nothing better to do? yes it’s supper important, we cant let junior marines think for themselves, it could make them actual adults with free will, next they will question hair cuts…then shaving…and white socks…before you know it they’ll want to have body armor that actually blends with their uniforms.

      simply put, it makes too much sense