August 11, 2014, WASHINGTON – The Marine Corps Uniform Board released a survey seeking input about three proposed uniform changes from active duty and reserve Marines Aug. 8.
The survey, which closes Aug. 29, is the second step in the Uniform Board process.
“The results of the survey will be provided to the Uniform Board for consideration and will be included in the final decision memorandum to the Commandant,” said Mary Boyt, program manager, Permanent Marine Corps Uniform Board.
The three proposed changes considered by Col. Todd S. Desgrosseilliers, president of the board, are shifting the annual seasonal uniform synchronization date, requiring the wear of brushed brass enlisted insignia in woodland Marine Pattern utilities and establishing the Sam Browne belt as a mandatory accessory for officers wearing the blue dress “A”/”B,” service “A” and blue-white “A”/”B.”
Boyt said the proposal to shift the annual uniform date was a frequent topic of discussion during uniform briefs at East Coast E-8 symposiums and SNCO Academy classes.
“It was a direct result of the prolonged cold winter most of the Corps experienced this past winter,” she said.
Currently, Marines shift uniforms from summer to winter uniforms in conjunction with daylight saving time. Under the proposed change, Marines would change to summer uniforms the first Monday in April and change to winter uniforms the first Monday in October.
Altering the color of enlisted rank insignia originated as a suggestion strongly endorsed by the command of a Marine in the Fleet. The change, arguably the most significant of the three proposed, would have enlisted Marines switch from black rank insignia, to an easier to identify brushed brass.
When black insignia intersects with black pixels in the woodland MARPAT utilities it can be difficult to discern rank. Brushed brass rank is more easily discerned against black pixels.
Boyt said the proposal to make the Same Browne belt required is to strengthen a tradition established in the 1920s when the sword was an officer’s personal weapon.
“The Sam Browne belt has been experiencing a resurgence in popularity in the last few years, especially for formal events,” she said.
The Sam Browne belt has been in the U.S. military uniform inventory since WWI. The belt is currently prescribed for optional wear by Marine Corps officers only.
The survey about the proposed changes will be live for three weeks and can be taken by active duty and reserve Marines at https://www.manpower.usmc.mil/application and select the Marine Corps Uniform Board #214 survey.