Battle Rattle

Behind the cover: Unisex dress blues?

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Everyone recognizes the distinctive dress blues uniform worn by male Marines: the high mandarin collar, the broad belt, the round white cover. Well, female Marines may get to wear that uniform too if all goes well with a wear test taking place now down at Marine Barracks Washington.

All female Marines stationed at 8th and I have been wearing the white dress cover this parade season, and a select number have also donned tailored versions of the men’s dress blues jacket instead of the traditional women’s lapel blazer with white-collared shirt and necktab underneath. At the end of the summer parade season, their feedback will be transmitted to Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, to inform future uniform decisions or changes.

The results of the wear test won’t be in for a few more months, but judging by the past it won’t be easy to change the status quo: Marine Corps leaders have been proposing changes to the women’s dress blues for over a decade, and every time, the move has been soundly defeated by the Marine Corps Uniform Board–as well as public opinion.

Read the whole story on Marine Corps Prime here.

And now we want to hear from you: are unisex dress blues an idea whose time has come or a change the Marine Corps doesn’t need? Please send an email to hhodge@marinecorpstimes.com including your name (and if applicable, your rank and duty station) to tell us what you think and why. Or, leave a comment below with your name and email and we will reach out to you. Your feedback could be featured in a future story!

Comments

  1. Jeff Perry Says:
    July 16th, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    There is nothing wrong with the female Dress Blues uniform as it is. Females just don’t look right wearing the big barracks cover and all that. The current uniform looks much more professional.
    Thanks and Semper Fi

  2. Tracy Tollers Says:
    July 16th, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    It’s stupid if you ask me! Why can’t the uniforms stay the same? The “new” look for the uniforms just look tacky. The dress blues are the way to go. It’s been fine for how many years now all of the sudden you want to change it? How about giving our boys the things they REALLY need instead of spending an asinine amount on some stupid cockamamie item that is simply not needed.

  3. Tracy Tollers Says:
    July 16th, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Meant to say *the CURRENT dress blues are the way to go!!

  4. Sgt Moore Says:
    July 16th, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    the current USMC female uniform is perfectly adequate. It shows that while these women are Marines, they are also women, and their uniform excentuates that; you wouldn’t want your wife or daughter shaving her head and wearing baggy shorts with a sleeveless T, would you?
    Women are women, and their bodies and clothing are tailored as such. A female uniform should show this.
    I do agree, however, that their cover as is now is fairly ugly. Switching that to something different (NOT the male style barracks cover) would be acceptable. Maybe a garrison cap style cover?

  5. Tracy Says:
    July 16th, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Not sure why my full comment did not show up?

    The woman’s’ uniform (as I’ve seen in pictures) looks fine. There is nothing wrong with their current dress blues so why change it? I think they look fantastic (but I agree about the cover and maybe changing the style but I don’t think the women should match the men). Just my opinion.

  6. Rebecca Brown Says:
    July 16th, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    I believe that wearing the same Dress Blue Uniform is no different that wearing the same cammie uniform. Females have struggled in the Marine Corps to be thought of as equals. We know that not every female can equal a male in combat, but there are some that can/do. If WM and Light Green and Dark Green Marine have gone to the wayside, then why not the segregation of women by having them wear those tacky ’70′s/’80′s style blazer? All the blazer does is as SGT Moore wrote is it accentuates the female body – why do we need our body accentuated – we are Marines not runway or Sports Illustrated or Playboy models! Stop segregating and degrading female Marines. I know you are going to reply something like, how is it degrading a female Marine? The current uniform of a skirt, a blazer that deeply accentuates the breast and waist, and high heel shoes does nothing to promote the solid warrior that today’s female Marines have become. Last I checked, female Marines are equal to males in all aspects except the flexed arm hang and combat (and there are all female combat units, and female Marine Pilots – that also wear the same so that sort of goes out the window). Feel free to politely correct me on that though. The female DI’s wear the same cover and cammies as their male DI counterparts, why not continue the uniform ‘uniformity’ on over to the Dress Blues. I personally think there will be a lot more female Marines on active duty that will agree that making the change is for the better. Semper Fidelis – no matter the decision.

  7. tripletmom04 Says:
    July 16th, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    I guess some would say if women want to act like a man they can dress like one too. Men and women are different, period. Women need to keep their femininity. No buzz cuts, no male uniforms.

  8. Steve Tessman Says:
    July 16th, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Rebecca Brown, you obviously have never worn or have any “real” knowledge of “Dress Blues”. This uniform is tailor fit, very tight, very warm (especially in the summer). The collar is so closely fit, that for the most part, help is needed just to fasten it. Dress Blues are not comfortable, they just look very good. If you think the women’s blazer is degrading to female Marines, I would like to know how and how switching to a male uniform would improve their status? How does the blazer “deeply accentuate”? You would rather have them wear trousers?
    FYI, every female Marine that has tried to make it through OCS Infantry training has failed to do so. I am not degrading them, I give them kudo’s for even trying. To my knowledge there have only been 7 that have even tried. One of those made it to the 3rd week, the others didn’t make it to the 3rd day.
    You need to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges, don’t try to confuse the two by changing the peelings.

  9. Fernando U. Says:
    July 16th, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    In a time when goverment spending should be cut across all departments, and we’re letting go of Marines to shrink the Corps’ manpower, this move seems an arbitrary and superfluous P.R. move. What will our Corps gain from this uniform change? I believe: nothing.

  10. Carlos Says:
    July 16th, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    I gotta go with Tracy on here. Our uniforms are fine and honorable and respectful. Last time I checked, the uniforms aren’t about us!!! They are soley to represent our traditions and history, not to make us look cool so we get kudos. We put Marines in the ground in dress blues!

    Me, me, me, me is all I ever hear nowadays in the military. It’s a service! Where you serve your country. Where you sign a paper that says you give up rights to protect the country and even die for it and the people you love! All I ever have to do when I feel the Corps is getting me down is think of the countless men AND women who have laid down their life for me and my country. I can’t stand the attitidue of those that can only think of themselves and what the military can do for them.

  11. Leatherneck96 Says:
    July 16th, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    “NUTS!”

  12. Julia Says:
    July 17th, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Right on Fernando…many better uses of military spending than dress blues debates

  13. LeatherneckV Says:
    July 17th, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. The Corps has always stressed shades of green. I might offer that we are shades of blue as well. Let’s celebrate the fact that these are highly trained, highly capable WOMEN! Keep the existing female Marine Dress Blue uniform and move on the more important issues such as force protection and mitigation of the effects of explosive induced trauma on the body.

  14. Beth Gray Says:
    July 17th, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    The Naval Academy has tried having the women wear the men’s covers, and it has not been a good look at all. The male covers do not sit level on the female head, possibly because of the way they wear their hair in the buns. Regardless, it doesn’t look good. As to the rest of the uniform, I don’t believe it demeans the females in any way, my 2nd LT looks great in hers!

  15. Chesty P Says:
    July 17th, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Isn’t there a war going on? If all you’re going to do is worry about what dress uniforms we wear, dig me up so I can fight Al-Qaeda for you.

    R/

    Chesty

  16. David Hines Says:
    July 17th, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    I personally think that it’s a good idea. I’ve always seen the female dress blues as a bastardization of the male uniform. To have a standard uniform across the board will promote unit cohesion and a unified military appearance.

  17. WRIGHT Says:
    July 17th, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    WHAT THE HELL. IS THEIR A RESON YOU GUYS ARE CHANGING THE MARINE CORPS TRADITION . IS IT ALL ABOUT THE GENDER BENDER.

  18. Parafrog Says:
    July 17th, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    This is part of the long trek of the social engineering of the military services that really began in the mid 70’s. The argument of combat efficiency is not part of the issue of social engineering experiment. The unisex uniform looks equally bad on males and females, poorly fitted and sloppy. This does solve the next problem of how to integrate transsexuals into the force. I was wondering how to solve the uniform issue for transsexuals. This will resolve that issue.
    I am interested to see at which point we break the system and no longer will our traditional recruiting base have a desire to join the social experiment.

  19. Margaret Says:
    July 18th, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    This is actually great. The problem with the female uniform is the lapel covers over the medals. As if we live in a time where women do not earn medals. Woman do not join the military to look pretty so the skirt needs to go as well (it is usually only the big women that like it anyway) They join to wear the uniform and the uniform as current makes women look like air line stewardesses. The cover needs to be the male cover just reduced a little. Te current cover looks like a retarded cow boy hat

  20. Cole Says:
    July 18th, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    I love my Dress Blues the way they are but changing Cover would be great. The ones we currently have are ugly. I would be ok have a smaller version of the male barracks cover, to fit a female more proportionate.
    Think of it this way the DI Drill Hats are the same male and female, but our current barracks covers female are down right ugly, I feel like Im wearing an upside-down bowl on my head, change the barracks covers only not our Beloved Dress Blues.

  21. Sgt Lipcsak Says:
    July 19th, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    I think it’s a waste of money that we don’t have, and time that could be spent doing more productive things to experiment with changing the entire female Dress Blues. On the other hand, the female cover is absolutely ridiculous and needs to go. I saw a proposed female Dress Blues cover change a few years ago that looked like a scaled down version of our Dress Blues cover, it looked very similar to a French Kepi, but I guess it must have gotten shot down. I thought it looked fine; you could tell that it was modeled after our cover, but it was feminine. I can’t count how many times I’ve done funerals or other events with female Marines and have had civilians come up and say how nice we look in our Blues, but ask why the females have a totally different looking cover than I do…

  22. AJ Says:
    July 19th, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Putting everyone in the same uniform is actually a good way to save money on both sides. A female Marine’s full seabag costs more then the one for the males. It’s only around $50 difference but it can add up. Should we change the uniform, I say yes… I hated wearing my blues because in a unit with only 3 women, we stood out and we didn’t want to. People who didn’t know much about the military would ask me why the uniforms were different and the only answer I could give was gender, it is 2013 and we are still fussing over gender. Our cammies are the same, PT gear is the same, service greens are almost the same, why not make one dress blue uniform for everyone? We are all Marines and we should all look the same regardless of gender, I didn’t sign up to be cute or comfortable. And don’t get me started on the cover, that thing just sucks.

  23. MarineO Says:
    July 19th, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    For all who stated that the uniform should remain as it currently is, bravo. Although we met the requirements to become US Marines, we are still women. I have no intentions of changing my gender to be a Marine. It was never a requirement before, so why start now? We were born different, we are built different, we “ARE” different.
    No, I did not join the Marine Corps to “look pretty,” however, I should not be required to look like a man to be a Marine. It should not be a requirement to be as strong as a man either to be a Marine. Our DNA is different, we are born different. I don’t understand why anyone cannot get that through their brain housing groups. In regards to the person who made the comment about the male and female’s both wearing the DI cover, that initiative had nothing to do with “looking like a male.” It had only to do with the male and female Marine, going through the same DI School curriculum, rating to wear the same, infamous “Smokey the Bear” cover upon graduation. The one thing that shows they are Marine Corps Drill Instructors. Same as jumping out of a plane. Men and women both jump out of planes, they should both rate to wear the basic airborne wings. It has nothing to do with them being a male or a female. If there are a few G.I. Janes out there that want to be 0311′s, more power to them. The majority do not wish to become men. I think this initiative should rate a survey from across the Marine Corps from both male and females as this article does or none at all. The survey and the decision made on this issue should not just stem from the female Marines stationed at 8th & I. Same as the change to the pull ups. Take a survey/test from across the Marine Corps in all age groups, not just at OCS with young female Lt’s and at DI School with a few female Drill Instructors who volunteered to do a pull up test.
    My two cents.
    S/F

  24. Former0311Rob Says:
    July 20th, 2013 at 12:44 am

    why create a masculine-looking, unappealing blue dress uniform for Women Marines? cost? uniformity? it reeks of PC nonsense. the current service uniforms are fine as they are. this trend toward service androgyny is both silly and unnecessary, and certainly does not move toward equality. if Comm. Gen. Amos wants to fix something that’s broken, how about starting with the awards system? but that undertaking would require Senior Marines to roll up their sleeves, and we all know that isn’t going to happen! leave the clothes as male/female in both style and tailoring, its good practice for when you have to live beyond your EAS.

  25. CoE51stLRSC Says:
    July 20th, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I maintain this is not a uniform issue. It is not the issue of which uniform will make the force look sharper, more squared away. This is part of a greater goal of gender equality. Both sexes are equal to one another.
    Let me use the Army as an example since the service is closest to the Corps in ground combat arms operations. From 1960 to 1970 the Army had a female solider strength between 1.2 and 1.4 percent of the force. While the Marine Corps female Marine strength was less than 1% of personnel strength. In the late 1970’s The Department of Defense began an effort to increase the number of female service members. In 1980 67% of all Army MOS were open to females. By 1994 the percentile of MOS open to females had increased to 95%. The percentile of Army female soldiers increase to 8.9 percent by 1980 and has reached 15.7% by 2012.

    During this time frame the Corps has made much more modest increase in the percentile of female Marines reaching 6.3% of the force. The Air Force has made the greatest gains reaching 21% of their force.

    There was a time period where there were male and female field uniforms including field jackets. We have gotten use to both males and females wearing the same field uniform. This is a logical next step of the process. To achieve the goal we will need to use whatever terminology is required and lower the physical standards. When we started the process in the early 70’s we use “dual standards”, different but equal. The assertion was although the female may have run slower she still put forth the same effort. Therefore equal. The continued goal of gender neutral standards will force the lowering of physical standards to achieve the goal of females in combat arms including the infantry. I believe the Army is much further ahead in making the required changes.

    As an example, in the early 70’s as MOS open to females in the Army; additionally airborne school (parachute training) opened to females. The biggest physical obstacle was the initial PT test on the first day of ground week which required 10 pull ups. The dual standards allowed female to complete their pull ups on a bar three feet above the ground with their feet remaining on the ground. The last day of ground week had five mile run which was ran in the fatigue uniform wearing combat boots. Initially the female soldiers had a separate run from the male soldiers. To reach equality in the mid 1970’s the pull ups and 5 mile run were eliminated. Like field uniforms we have gotten use to the change.

    Have these changes resulted in a change in the Army. It is difficult to measure. I will say that the Army changed its recruiting motto in the 1970’s from “Look Sharp, Be Sharp, Go Army!”, to “Be All (That) You Can Be” then to today’s “Army Strong”. It may more correctly be “Army Strong, Army Sloppy, and Army Fat”. I would invite you to do a Google image search of “army infantry Vietnam”. Compare the physical statue of those soldiers with the soldiers you saw in the dfacs down range.
    The issue is goal of gender equality it is not an issue of combat effectiveness and squared away uniforms. The unisex uniform is part of achieving the goal of gender equality.
    Note: I served in uniform from 1972 to 2000, serving in two active components and one reserve component including eight years as a Marine.

  26. MarineO Says:
    July 20th, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    All,
    This is NOT about gender equality. I know and can accept that I am different from a man. I do not wake up everyday and go to work looking for ways I can be equal to a male Marine. If this was an issue of females not being paid the same, then it’s a gender equality issue. A female Sgt is paid the same as a male Sgt, etc, etc. In 1stCivDiv, females dress differently than males. Tell me what man out there wants a female who dresses like he does? Every branch of service has different dress uniforms for their males and females. And for those of you who say the cammies are the same, they are not. There is a separate cut in the female Marine cammies and I wear them. There are differences in the way that men and women are built. Just because I don’t wear the same uniform as a male Marine, doesn’t mean I am not a Sgt of Marines or an Officer of Marines. We both get paid the same.
    I am perfectly content with the female version of our uniforms to include the covers. We are ladies, we should not be required to dress like a man, act like a man, be as strong as a man just because we want to be a Marine. There are 2 different genders on this earth for a reason. When I went to boot camp, I never volunteered to give up my right to be a female. I shouldn’t be required to do it now after 26 years in the Marine Corps.

  27. MarineA Says:
    July 21st, 2013 at 1:31 am

    If female Marines are completely equal we should just make an entire infantry battalion with them and send them to combat. If it works and they are just as effective with the same amount of loss of life then I guess I would not have much to complain about. Otherwise it is just a bad idea for females to be in any combat arms.

  28. Parafrog Says:
    July 21st, 2013 at 10:31 am

    This is definitely a gender equality issue. The process began with the “sexual revolution” or “sexual liberation” movement that began in the 1960’s. The sexual liberation of the military services began in the early 1970’s.
    As an example, there would be great difficulty being able to achieve our desire goals of a sufficient female solider balance within the 82nd Airborne Division if the ten pull-ups requirement for day one of jump school was not eliminated. If the pull-ups had not been eliminated from both airborne and air assault schools the Army would have had not been able to achieve the goal of female integration. The 82nd and 101st Airborne Division’s would have a very small number of females. There would by default create a much higher number of female soldiers in the other Divisions.
    In 1972 at Camp Lejuene; doctrinally all combat service and service support units were expected to be able to provide their own defense. A fair amount of time was spent on the required combat skills training. Today those units are not as capable in providing their own defense. Combat arms, most frequently infantry are tasked to provide security. We have gotten use to this new requirement. The effect is to reduce the maneuver ability of combat arms units as they are tasked to provide security. This is a reduction of the combat offensive power. We have accepted our reduction of offensive combat power.
    Another example,an extremely effective program during Vietnam was the Combine Action Program. Individual Marine infantry squads move into villages and partnered Vietnamese home defense platoons. The program was extremely effective; nevertheless there was obvious danger and challenges for the squad.
    I don’t believe today we could find a commander at any level that would feel a Marine FET could be individually assigned a mission without infantry support.

  29. Parafrog Says:
    July 21st, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    This is a continuing process. If I wanted to force all the services to adopt a unisex uniform I would force the Corps to make the change first. After the Corps makes the change, the change within the other services would be an easily accomplished. If not, I would be concerned the Corps would not adopt the change. Note the issue of females and pull-ups in the Corps, whereas the Army totally eliminated pull-ups. The Corps is nowhere near the progressiveness of the U.S. Air Force which has reached 21% female airmen ( strange but the USAF still uses the term airmen) The Army with a similar ground combat mission has reached 15.9% of the force.
    Marine O may recognize that there are physical strength differences between male and female Marines. However this is not U.S. Department of Defense policy. I would ask that Marine O conduct another reconnaissance of 1st CivDiv. I believe my last trip to McDonald’s (and most fast food restaurants) the troops were wearing the same uniform. Most police agencies in this country have a single unisex uniform. I can give a plethora of examples of unisex uniforms in 1st DivCiv.
    I enlisted in the Corps in 1971. The Corps had just changed the policy to allow a married individual with no children to enlist in the Corps. Today units with a large percentage of females often have leadership challenges associated with female pregnancies. Often there are leadership challenges in the case of single females who become pregnant and become single parents. We live with the leadership challenges associated with that reality. Prior to 1975 the Corps and the other services administratively discharged an unmarried female who became pregnant and was unmarried.
    We did not realize that we were violating the Constitutional right of due process and equal protection.
    CPL Stephanie Crawford filed suit against the Commandant, Robert E. Cushman Jr. In 1976 the Second Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals decided the Corps had violated CPL Crawford’s Constitutional Rights and reversed “a now outmoded Marine Corps regulation.” Hence we adjust to the leadership challenges associated with single parents.

    In 1972 as a private on Parris Island I would have never envisioned the development of “don’t ask, don’t tell”, which has become “don’t care”.

    Watching five decades of social change, I will not be surprised to read in the near future how the services have been violating the rights of transsexuals. At least the unisex uniform will lessen the leadership challenge for Platoon Sergeants and Platoon Commanders of how to integrate transsexuals into the ranks.

  30. mar Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    soooo glad to see this is an important issue for Amos amid all the REAL important issues (eyes roll). Budget cuts… and this is what we prioritize and waste or money on? Really?

  31. MarineO Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Mar,
    I concur. I am now being told that the gyms on base will start to charge a fee to use in addition to the beaches on base. Since when did we come to this? There are numerous ways we can save money and that issue was discussed months ago on how to trim the budget.
    I do not see making female Marines wear the male uniform is in any way, shape or form, saving money. We are fighting to keep the MARPAT cammies so we do not have to look like the other branches of the military. We, as females, need to fight to keep our femininity. We should not be penalized for being a woman. We have lifted the DADT, yet we are now focusing on how to change everything in the Marine Corps having to do with female Marines? Really?
    I am a female. I will submit that although I have been a Marine since 1987, I have to prove and reprove myself at every duty station I check into, at every job I am assigned to, everything. Why? Did I not do that when I passed the requirements to become a Marine? Men do not have to check into a new command and re-prove themselves. Why? because they are men. Women, on the other hand, have to prove they can PT by not falling out of formation run. Why? I have run Marines in a formation and I have had numerous males fall out continuously. Yet, it’s the females that are always stereo-typed as the non-runners. How is it that I am 44 years old and when I take my PFT, I run past 19-23 year old male Marines? Should that happen? Male Marines are not all the poster advertises them to be. Let’s not kid ourselves and say that they are. There are never any additional tests being fielded for males, no changes to their uniforms, etc.
    I went to a command in 2d Marine Division to brief the S-3 on the new way to run training in MOL. I arrived with a male Marine and when the leadership came out to introduce themselves, they only spoke to the male Marine and not me. No one spoke to me before the brief. Once I stood up and did the brief, answered everyone’s questions, it was only then, that they actually recognized that I knew what I was talking about and that I “rated” to speak in their presence. When we left, then I rated a hand shake. Why? Because I am a female. Why can’t a male Marine just put their arm around a female Marine and welcome us into the ranks because we met the requirements to be one of the few and the proud instead of always putting us down and creating additional “tests” to prove that we rate to be a Marine? Does it take every single day of a female Marines’ career to have to re-prove herself again and again and again?
    I will tell you that you do not want a female force of Marines stronger and faster than you are. It would be downright humiliating to you as male Marines and you would hate it.
    Stop trying to turn us into men. We are ladies. Let us be ladies….

  32. Parafrog Says:
    July 23rd, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Marine O; we seem to ignore the uniform issue is a reaction to greater forces that are setting into motion the gender neutralization of the armed forces. This is not the brain storm idea of General Amos. Does anyone find it interesting that Secretary Hagel had a meeting with 15 female Marines during his visit to Camp Lejeune? Can anyone tell me the last time the Secretary of Defense wanted to have a meeting with 15 regular fleet male Marines to discuss anything, at any time, for any reason?
    Physically; I applause you that you regularly run faster than most male Marines in their early 20s. I trust you have mastered and set the example by doing 20 dead hang pull-ups on a regular basis. We have reached that juncture where there should be a single Marine PT requirement and scoring.
    I am having difficulty understanding why there is not a female playing NFL football or MLB baseball. I would have expected female professional tennis and golf by this juncture.
    The Army Chief of Staff and Sergeant Major of the Army have made many statements supporting gender neutral standards. The Army has effectively lowered and eliminated many standards to achieve gender goals to date. How many females would be able to pass the pull-up requirement of airborne school? To allow the goal of airborne qualified females, pull-ups were eliminated.
    I hope your statement about a male putting his arm around you was a figurative statement and not a literal statement. My recommendation is a male never never touch a female service member except a hand shake. I advise a male Marine never to counsel a female in a room by themselves. Always, always have a witness present. Your career can be over by a claim of inappropriate touching or inappropriate conduct behind closed doors. A female lying about the event is not a defense.
    I feel females have a role, an important role within the armed forces. However the current gender neutralization goal can only be reached by lowering combat arms standards. The lower standards will affect the combat ability and capability of the force.

  33. MarineO Says:
    July 23rd, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Parafrog,
    Thanks for the response. I appreciate the feedback.
    I did not know that the army did away with the pull up requirement so females could go to Airborne School. I to, have attended Airborne school. In regards to the pull ups, no, I have not yet mastered the 20 dead hang pull ups. I am working on them, but I doubt I will ever master the 20. Yet again, there are many male Marines that have yet to master them as well.
    YES! My comment about the arm being put around a female Marine was figurative. I hope you know what I meant by that. We want to feel as though we belong to. We chose the Marine Corps, just like a male did. We met the requirements, yet we are still “not good enough.” I don’t get it.
    I concur with your recommendations regarding having a witness with any counseling, not just with female Marines.
    I absolutely concur that the requirements set for combat arms MOS’s should never be lowered to accommodate a female Marine to pass. If a female Marine can meet the requirements, let her become an 0311. If she can’t, she can’t.
    I don’t want to weaken the force by lowering the standards and the physical requirements needed to be in a combat MOS.

  34. CoE51stLRSC Says:
    July 24th, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Marine O; my point is this uniform issue is not a single isolated issue. This issue is associated with larger issues pressed upon the Corps and the other military services, often by outside interests. Most of these issues are forced upon the services, driven by other agendas.
    I had joked early this week about the integration of transsexuals into the service. Today I read in the Stars and Stripes an article entitled “Transgender troops serve in silence”. In the article I read “Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, the New York Democrat who chairs the personnel panel on the Senate Armed Services Committee, believes transgender troops should be able to serve if they’re capable of completing their missions, says Glen Caplin, her spokesman.”
    I see another article about members of Congress advocating atheist chaplains. I am unsure of how one get ordained as an atheist chaplain. Once again like a number of issues, I would not have foreseen the removal of crosses from the chapels on military installations.
    I do not believe the Commandant awoke and had an epiphany, and decided to adopt a unisex uniform. Unfortunately those who are affected by the change look at the uniform issue as which uniform decision will present the most squared away professional image. The forces forcing a change are driven by a different agenda. How Marines look in a unisex uniform is not part of their quest for a uniform policy change.
    The issue of females in the infantry also is advocated by many forces. Like the uniform, those affected by the change evaluate the issue on the basis of combat effectiveness. Many of the advocates have a agenda that does not include the effect on combat efficiency, ability the complete the mission, nor any increase in causalities as a result of the proposed changes.
    I encourage members of the armed forces to email their members of Congress on issues that affect them. Members of Congress really need to gain the perspective of actual service members.

  35. Marine E-O Says:
    July 27th, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    When I was in the Drum & Bugle Corps at 29 Palms, yes long ago, I was not allowed to wear the Woman’s Dress Blues. I was ordered by the Base Commanding General to wear the Men’s Dress Blues without any changes to any of the trimming etc. I wore the same male cover as well too then. Later, when the Commandant saw a picture in the Marines Magazine, I was then told to go have my Woman’s Dress Blues fitted for wear for two days later performance. For me in the performance of my job, the Woman’s Dress Blue honestly was too tight and hard to work in. The Men’s Dress Blues gave me more room to work as a musician in the Drum & Bugle Corps then. I found even in my naive state a that time per se I preferred the Men’s Dress Blues was a better uniform, stronger, overall uniform.
    Later when I was commissioned, I had the Whites and Dress Blues uniform but was no longer a musician and the uniform suited me fine but with a lot more parts than the Men’s Dress Blues.
    In these budget cutting days, I feel we should all be wearing the same uniform, basic supply and demand.
    For all the women comment, I too agree the Women’s Dress Cover is like wearing a bucket regardless of the hairstyle one chooses to wear personally.
    In the mid-1970′s, women Marines uniforms to PT outfits started resembling the uniforms of today, other than the Dress Blues. Due to the the Band Field where the uniforms made to look as they currently are in the early 1980′s. For all those who do not know when or why the last changes to Woman’s Dress Blues where change this is the true answer.
    I think to this day, and feel honestly that the Dress Blues should all look the same. Yes, we are woman but as others have stated we are not on the runway strip for modeling.
    We are a lean mean fighting machine.
    MarineO…I too many times could out do male Marines in running, sit-ups, and dead hang pull-ups as well. I too, as with many other woman Marines have to prove ourselves more than the guys, especially the younger ones who fell behind.
    Semper Fi

  36. Maj R. S. Rayfield, Jr. USMC (Ret) Says:
    July 29th, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Not sure why this even came up – didn’t hear any WMs complaining about the Marine dress blues that they wear – and our female uniforms look distinctively better than the female uniforms of the other services. If the females are going to wear male uniforms, do we get to wear female uniforms, wear our hair down to our shoulders and take the WM PFT? Should male Marines wear darts in their shirts instead of military creases? The ONE thing, on dress blues that needs to be done is give Sgt (E-5) and below white trousers so all hands can wear white trousers in the summer so there is UNIFORMITY. It should not be a “priveledge” to wear white trousers when you become a SNCO – put all hands in blue-white dress for the summer, and, while you are at it, put white trousers on the officers evening dress and the SNCO’s mess dress so there is a summer equivalent to those uniforms so all hands have a UNIFORM LOOK despite the change in seasons. And, let our females maintain their femininity – giving them male dress blues does not allow them to contribute in any manner more outstanding than they do now. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. As Steve Tessman said: “You need to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges, don’t try to confuse the two by changing the peelings.” Good quote. Quite trying to make the apples look like the oranges. . . .

  37. MarineO Says:
    July 29th, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Major R.S. Rayfield Jr.,

    Well said sir, well said…..

    Semper Fidelis….

  38. MiG-19 Says:
    August 8th, 2013 at 3:36 am

    The pictures in Marine Times of the women in the male uniform makes the female Marines look extremely masculine. If that’s the intent, it works. I’m not female, but were I, this would not be something I was looking for when I signed up. I can’t imagine that our male Marines want to be wearing the same uniform that our female Marines are wearing either. This experiment does not project a positive image for Marines, period.

  39. Shaun Says:
    August 13th, 2013 at 3:04 am

    Yes it’s time for unisex uniforms. The females go thru the hard Marine training, they should share the glory and wear the same uniform the men wear.The Marine Corps acts likes it’s afraid of it’s women standing up and sharing the glory by dressing it’s females in a 2nd rate uniform. You people are Marines- your sex is not important- you are a rifleman, first to fight- feminine masculine is irrelevant to the argument. Beyond that there are far more differences among individuals than there are between the sexes.it appears you people are more intersted in in looking male or fensle than you are looking like a Marine.It makes one wonder if the Marine Corps is as strong as they claim if it continues to be obsessed with childishly primitive ideas of masculinity and feminity rather than of advancing and molding a unified fight force.

  40. Shaun Says:
    August 13th, 2013 at 3:12 am

    Yes it’s time for unisex uniforms. The females go thru the hard Marine training, they should share the glory and wear the same uniform the men wear.The Marine Corps acts likes it’s afraid of it’s women standing up and sharing the glory by dressing it’s females in a 2nd rate uniform. You people are Marines- your sex is not important- you are a riflemen,first to fight- feminine -masculine is irrelevant to the argument. Beyond that there are far more differences among individuals than there are between the sexes.It appears you people are more intersted in in looking male or female than you are looking like a Marine.It makes one wonder if the Marine Corps is as strong as they claim if it continues to be obsessed with childishly primitive ideas of masculinity and feminity rather than of advancing and molding a unified fight force.