USMC Uniform Survey Closes

Earlier this month the US Marine Corps concluded a month-long survey on several potential changes to the Corps' current uniform policy.

One of the biggest potential changes involves altering the women's dress uniform to bring it closer in appearance to the men's, by adding a high and stiff neck collar and a white or dark blue belt. The survey done by the Marine Corps provides options for Marines to vote on keeping the current female dress uniform, adopting a more unisex dress coat, or keeping the current dress blue coat and using the unisex coat for special assignments or occasions.

Another portion of the survey involved reducing the use of the camouflaged uniform for Marines that perform most of their duties in office environments. They would instead use the regular service uniform. A related proposal would remove the desert camouflage uniform as the standard issue uniform, instead issuing only woodland pattern uniforms. Deployed Marines are issued flame-retardant uniforms, which makes maintaining both desert- and woodland-patterned uniforms largely redundant. This does mean that Marines training in the US in desert areas could potentially be wearing forest-pattern uniforms, however.

Maybe one of the most-desired changes involved a controversial directive issued in 2008 by then-commandant Gen. James Conway, who ordered that all Marines, regardless of duty station, switch seasonal uniform items at the same time. The proposed change would involve giving the discretion on when to switch to long- or short-sleeve uniforms back to local force commanders.

The results of the survey will likely be available in the coming months.