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Umbrellas for male Marines, silver earrings for female Marines: Corps makes uniform changes

By: Philip Athey

Umbrellas for male Marines, silver earrings for female Marines: Corps makes uniform changes
Male Marines will now be allowed to carry small black umbrellas with their service or dress uniforms, the Marine Corps has confirmed.

The commandant announced the news to reporters at the Pentagon on Wednesday, and the Marine Corps sent the upcoming order to Marine Corps Times on Thursday. The changes have not been made official yet, but Maj. Melanie Salinas said that an ALMAR changing the rule should be posted no later than Thursday evening.

Female Marines have long been allowed to carry an umbrella — in their left hand so that they are still capable of saluting properly.

Now, “all Marines are authorized to use small, black umbrellas with the dress and service uniforms during inclement weather,” according to the new regulations signed by Commandant. Gen. Dave Berger.

The umbrella policy was one of many changes considered by a uniform board that met earlier in 2019, which sought Marines to weigh in on some small changes to the uniform and necessary clarifications for female hair standards at physical training.

The commandant signed off on regulations that will now allow female Marines to wear small silver earrings with their service and dress uniforms.

Previously, female Marines could only wear gold earrings in their service and dress blue uniform, pearl earrings with the blue white dress uniform, and pearl or diamond earrings in the evening dress uniform.

“Small, polished, yellow gold or silver colored, ball, or round stud earrings (post, screw-on, or clip), not to exceed 6 millimeters (about 1/4 inch) in diameter, may be worn with the service, blue dress, and blue-white dress,” paragraph 3010 will now say.

As for waistplates, the uniform panel chose not to have Marines from sergeant and below all wear the same waistplate on their belt for the dress uniform.

The current waistplate for sergeants and corporals depicts the Eagle Globe and Anchor, or EGA, while the one for privates to lance corporals is a plain gold plate. The uniform board considered extending the EGA depicted waistplate to non-NCOs, according to Salinas, but decided to keep the status quo and leave the E-1 to E-3 waistplate bare.

The new rules say female Marines with medium or long hair can wear a ponytail or braid for organized physical training events, unless those events include wearing the utility blouse or a safety hazard would be presented.

Female Marines with medium hair will be allowed to have a “half ponytail” for PT events that have Marines wearing their utility blouse, like martial arts training or the combat fitness test, according to the Marine Corps.

But the Corps said for safety reasons Marines with long hair will have to properly secure their hair the same way whenever they wear their utility blouse, whether it is for PT or not.

The new uniform regulations bring good news for the bank accounts of recruiters, embassy security guards and Marines on funeral detail: They will see a slight increase to their annual clothing allowance.

The slight increase was supplied so that recruiters and embassy security guards could switch the material for their dress cover from cotton to vinyl, a more stain-resistant material. Recruiters also will see an increase as a pair of black dress shoes is added to the allowance, according to the regulations.

Marines on funeral details will be allowed a “medium blue dress supplemental allowance,” according to the new order.


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