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Base Leaders Crack Down on Dress Code Violations

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8/30/2010
By Lance Cpl. Damien Gutierrez , Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. "

In the early days of a Marine's career, it is instilled that they inherit the honor of representing the United States Marine Corps through their conduct, proficiency, and appearance, both in and out of uniform.

As the summer heat begins to rise, some individuals are opting to dress more casually to beat the scorching summer sun. As a result, some are finding themselves in hot water with the base's dress code.

Every Marine recruit receives classes about proper civilian attire to ensure their dress and personal appearances are in accordance with Marine Corps Order P1020.34G. Unfortunately, some individuals must be reminded of the clear standards the Corps requires them to uphold.

While MCO P1020.34G applies to all Marines, Base Order 1020.1, a local version of the MCO, applies to everyone that comes on Camp Pendleton's property. Military sponsors are expected to ensure that their guests are aware of and comply with the base's dress code.

"It is a privilege to be on a Marine Corps base, and we expect everyone, not just the Marines, to conduct themselves in a professional manner," said Sgt. Maj. Ramona D. Cook, sergeant major of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

Retired military, civilian employees, family members and their guests are expected to meet certain standards of dress while on base.

"Family members or guests represent their military sponsor, and that sponsor is exactly who will be accountable," said Cook.

Any patron that fails to meet the base standards of civilian dress can be denied access to a service, activity, event, or area on base.

Basic standards of dress for civilian clothing worn by all service members, civilian employees, family members and guest on the base are as follows:

* Clothing should be clean, well maintained, not frayed or ripped, tight or revealing and properly fitted.
*
Attire should be worn to present a neat, orderly appearance and should not reveal their midsection or undergarments.
*
Hats are to be removed while indoors.
*
Athletic attire should only be worn while in a gym facility or during physical training and for sport activities.

Prohibited clothing includes:

* Attire with printing, insignia or pictures which are sexually or violently offensive, obscene or suggestive in nature.
* Promote illegal activities.
* Depict derogatory social, religious, racial or ethnic messages.
* Present an impression contrary to the good order and discipline of the armed forces and the base.

"When you hear about a Marine being out of dress code, your first thought is that it has to be a new Marine," said Cook. "However, lately that hasn't always been the case."

One of the challenging situations any service member can encounter is approaching a superior that may be in violation of the dress code. However, as long as subordinates have, courage, use tact, and stay professional, they need not to worry, said Cook.

"When correcting senior personnel, remember to identify yourself first, then tactfully inform that individual of the discrepancy," said Cook. "Don't be afraid to stand up for what's right. It's unfortunate that we're still seeing dress code violators on base. It's time for all of us to get back to basics and utilize the traits that were instilled in us during recruit training," said Cook.

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