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Uniforms of the Marine Corps
We offer a few bits of information about Marine Corps uniforms. For official information, please use the link below:

Official Marine Corps Uniform Regulations:
USMC Uniform Regulations

Below is a link to a wonderful description of Marine Corps uniforms with photos from the Marines.com website (must have flash to view):
Marines.com

Brief Overview:
There are "field", "dress" and "service" uniforms. Each has it's own occasion and guidelines for wear (see link above for official regulations). The service uniforms include Alphas, Bravos and Charlies. The dress blues uniforms include Alphas, Bravos, Charlies and Deltas.

There are three field uniforms including Combat Utility, Flight Suit and Mountain Warfare. The most common is the Combat Utility, also known as MCCUU (Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform) but it most commonly refered to as the "Utilities" or "Cammies". They are available for different uses in Forest Green and Desert Sand. The new "cammies" have a digital camouflage pattern suitable for "every clime and place".

The following is an overview of the service and dress uniform and what each includes:

Service Alphas

  • Dark Green Jacket
  • Dark Green Slacks
  • Long Sleeve Khaki Shirt with tie
  • Garrison Cover (dark green triangular cover) or Barracks Cover w/ dark green cover (round cover with black bill)
  • Ribbons & Shooting Badges

Service Bravos

  • Long Sleeve Khaki Shirt with tie
  • Dark Green Slacks
  • Garrison Cover or Barracks Cover w/ dark green cover
  • Ribbons

Service Charlies

  • Short Sleeve Khaki Shirt
  • White T-shirt
  • Dark Green Slacks
  • Garrison Cover or Barracks Cover w/ dark green cover
  • Ribbons

Dress Blue Alphas

  • Blues Blouse
  • White T-Shirt
  • Blue Slacks
  • Barracks Cover with white cover
  • Gloves
  • Medals & Ribbons

Dress Blue Bravos

  • Blues Blouse
  • White T-Shirt
  • Blue Slacks
  • Barracks Cover with white cover
  • Gloves
  • Ribbons & Shooting Badges

Dress Blue Charlies

  • Long Sleeve Khaki Shirt with tie
  • Blue Slacks
  • Barracks Cover with white cover
  • Ribbons & Shooting Badges

Dress Blue Deltas

  • Short Sleeve Khaki Shirt
  • White T-shirt
  • Blue Slacks
  • Barracks Cover with white cover
  • Ribbons & Shooting Badges

Marine Uniforms Versus Army and Other Branches of the Service
Marines are often confused with soldiers, who are in the United States Army. Some differences in appearance are:

  • Marines do not wear berets.

  • Marines wear boots only with the utility uniform, not other uniforms.

  • Marines do not salute unless they are wearing a hat (known as a "cover").

  • Marines do not wear covers indoors, unless they are "under arms", i.e. carrying a weapon or wearing a duty belt.

  • The Marine service uniform, roughly equivalent to business attire, has a khaki shirt. The equivalent Army uniform has a light-green shirt. Enlisted Marines wear their rank insignia on the sleeve of the service shirt, officers on the collar. Army soldiers wear their rank insignia on epaulets over the shoulder.

  • The Marine class "A" service coat is olive green (as opposed to forest green for the Army) and has a waist-belt. The Marine service uniform is worn with either a barracks cover, which has a bill and a round top, or a garrison cover, which comes to a peak.

  • Marines are less generous with awards and unit identification. For example, with the exception of breast insignia denoting a few specialized qualifications such as airborne (parachute), pilot or scuba qualification, or red patches sewn on the trouser legs and covers of some logistics Marines, Marines do not normally wear any insignia or device on their utility uniforms denoting their unit, MOS (military occupational specialty), or training.

Utility uniform
Differences in the utility uniform include:

  • The hat (cover) of the utility uniform is constructed differently. Marine hats have eight sides and corners (hence the name "eight-point cover").

  • Marines wear green-colored "skivvie" undershirts with their utility uniform, even in the desert. Soldiers wear brown undershirts. (Note, as of 2004, the Marine Corps has announced the intention to switch to brown undershirts when desert camouflage is worn.)

  • Marines "blouse" their boots. That is, they roll the cuffs of their trousers back inside and tighten them over the boots with a cord. Soldiers either blouse their boots or tuck their trousers directly into their boots.

  • Marines do not wear any rank insignia or other device on the utility cover. The front of the cover has instead the Marine Corps Eagle, Globe and Anchor emblem.

  • On their utility uniforms, Marine officers typically wear their rank insignia on both collars, while Army officers typically wear insignia on one collar and an insignia identifying their specific "combat arm" (i.e. infantry, artillery, armor) on the other. In a garrison environment, Marine officer's insignia is usually shiny metal, and is affixed in a manner similar to a pin, while Army officers usually wear a subdued stiched on insignia.

  • Marines used to wear black combat boots with the utility uniform, as do the Army and Air Force. But in 2002, light-brown combat boots were introduced along with a new type of camouflage, the "MARPAT" uniform. Effective 1 October 2004, black combat boots were declared obsolete and no longer authorized for general wear by Marines. Exception is made for black safety boots worn for certain tasks, such as parachuting.

  • As of 1 October 2006, the old-style camouflage utility uniform, also worn by the Army and Air Force, will be declared obsolete. The only utility uniform authorized for Marines be the MARPAT uniform.

  • As of 2004, both the Army and the Air Force have announced plans to replace their old-style "pickle suit" camouflage utility uniforms with newer designs similar to the Marine Corps digital "MARPAT" pattern.
   
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