The daily dress codes for U.S. Marines may soon be changing. The Marine Corps Uniform Board launched a survey this week, giving active-duty and Reserve Marines a chance to vote online for three uniform changes. The Marines’ feedback on all these questions may be a major influence on final decisions, said a Marine Corps Uniform Board manager.
Here’s a look at the changes being proposed:
Changing Seasonal Uniforms
The first recommendation would require commanders to establish and coordinate seasonal uniform periods based on the climate in their area of operation. Currently, Marines worldwide wear desert camouflage utilities in the spring and summer, and woodland cammies in the fall and winter.
This seasonal uniform change was mandated in 2008 and was designed to bring uniformity to the Corps’ look worldwide. However, “This homogeneous approach has long presented a challenge for troops living in widely varied climates around the world,” according to Marine Corps Times.
The second recommendation would remove the Marine Corps combat utility uniform from the seasonal rotation altogether. Instead, commanders would just dictate the appropriate “cammies” uniform on a non-seasonal basis, taking into account climate and training requirements.
A third option would make ‘uniform of the day’ the more formal service uniform, reserving cammies for fieldwork, training or deployments only. Right now, the “bravo” or “charlie” service uniform is only uniform of the day, on Fridays. That trend started back in 2013, in an effort to improve Marines’ professional appearance and crack down on overweight troops who preferred the looser-fitting utility uniform.
Ditching Desert Utility Cammies
Marines can also vote on whether to do away with the requirement to maintain utility uniforms in the desert MARPAT color scheme. If this option is approved, Marines would be required to have four woodland MARPAT uniforms instead.
Desert MARPAT cammies were added to the mix in 2003 to ensure Marines had two styles of utility uniforms to meet contingency requirements. Choosing this option would save the Marine Corps money since Marines will no longer be paid to maintain two different styles of utilities.
In 2006, Marines began deploying with flame resistant organizational gear as their combat uniform instead of the desert MARPAT because of the threat of improvised explosive devices on the ground.
With this new option, the desert MARPAT will only be worn in combat in the absence of an IED threat, officials said.
A Unisex Dress Blue Coat
As more combat jobs open up to women and physical standards become gender-neutral, the question of a unisex dress blue coat seems fitting. It comes after two years of tests and experiments with new looks for female dress blues.
Marines may vote if they’d prefer to keep the blazer-like female dress blue coat with a lapel collar. Or, they can go with a redesign, which resembles the male version, with a high mandarin collar. Finally — they may also vote for another option, which would allow them to keep the current coat, but use the redesign on special-assignments only.