Marine Corps Uniform Board (2023)

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Amplification of the Marine Corps Tattoo Policy

The tattoo policy has been incorporated into the Uniform Regulations (MCO 1020.34H), paragraph 1004. If you have tattoos or are considering getting tattoos, please read the order before you get the tattoo.

Belt Guidance for the New Female Dress Blue Coat

Per MARADMIN 596/18, paragraph 3002 of the Uniform Regs was changed to read:

"1. Belts for all uniforms will be worn at the natural waistline with the right edge of the buckle (wearer's right) on line with the edge of the fly or coat front. For male officer dress and service coats, and enlisted male service coats, the right edge of the buckle (wearer’s right) will be on line with the edge of the coat front. For the new female officer blue dress coat, the left edge of the buckle (wearer’s left) will be worn on line with edge of the coat front, and the end of the belt will extend out to the wearers left." Translation - because the FDBC closes opposite of the male coat, the female belt is worn opposite of the male coat.

Black Field Gloves, Inserts and Watchcaps

Per CMC Decision Memo dtd 10 Jan 18, and as published in MARADMIN 596/18 , the coyote field glove liners' (DSCP black liners will meet the minimum requirement) mandatory possession date is 1 Oct 2019; the coyote watchcap's mandatory possession date is 1 Oct 2020; and the black field gloves' mandatory possession date is 1 Oct 2021. The DSCP field gloves and liners may be worn in garrison or in the field with the MCCUU at the individual's discretion (the liners may be worn as an outergarment except in formation). The DSCP issued coyote watchcap may be worn with the physical training uniforms and the Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform (MCCUU) in garrison and in the field when weather appropriate. When in a non-tactical or garrison environment Marines will maintain the same saluting requirements as if wearing the garrison MCCUU caps. Marines will not salute when wearing the cold weather watchcap with the physical training uniform.

Female Fades

Female Marines with short hair are authorized to do a "zero" fade at the hairline at the nape of the neck to a maximum length of one inch (the fade must start at zero and graduate up, finishing the fade within 2 inches of the hairline at the nape of the neck). You are not authorized to do a zero fade on the sides of your head, the shortest you can go on the side is 1/4 inch (you can do a quarter inch fade). Female Marines with long hair can shave the hair on the back of their neck that grows below the hairline and cannot be pulled up into the bun.

Fourragere

The wear black tip pencil attachment for the French Fourragere is obsolete. If you were awarded (as a permanent award) the black tip pencil attachment you may continue to wear it (it has been obsolete since 2001). Only Marines personally awarded the French Fourragere for their actions during WWII are authorized to wear the award as a permanent part of the uniform. Marines currently attached to 5th and 6th Marines wear the award while attached to that unit, and will wear the polished brass tip pencil attachment. Paragraph 5302.4 of MCO 1020.34H will be updated to reflect this change.

Hands in Your Pockets

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Per MCO 1020.34H, effective immediately, in a garrison environment you may not put your hands in your pockets other than to retrieve something from said pockets, at any time. However, good judgment will govern the application of this policy in the field environment.

Hose Color in the Blue Dress Uniform

Smoke/off black hose are only worn with the blue dress uniform for formal occasions, otherwise you default to nude/flesh tone harmonizing hose. They easiest way to determine the formality of the event is to figure out what the civilian dress code is. Use the ball gown rule - if civilians are told to wear formal attire (ball gowns and tuxedos), then you wear your smoke hose. If civilians are told to wear semi-formal, then it isn't formal and you'd wear your nude hose. If there are no civilians present, then figure out if officers and SNCOs will be wearing their evening dress uniforms - then it is a formal event. There are actually very few formal events, so most occasions, outside of the Birthday ball, will be semi formal or less formal and the nude hose will be worn. Most folks assume the smoke/off black hose are the default hose color because the blues are usually only worn once a year for the ball, and that is a formal occasion. The default hose color for blues is actually nude/skin tone harmonizing hose.

HQMC Uniform of the Day

The uniform of the day, per ALMAR 13/20, for all Marines and Sailors serving with the Marine Corps whose permanent duty station is the Pentagon Reservation or who are visiting (TAD, to conduct business...), is the service "B"/"C" uniform (season appropriate).

Male Fades

The zero fade starts at the nape and must continue up to the top orifice of the ear (this finally provides concrete guidance for those that like to wear the low regulation haircut). Remember, fades start at zero and graduate up to your maximum hair length (maximum hair length cannot be reached before the top orifice of the ear). This does not prohibit you from starting at zero at the nape and continuing at zero beyond the top orifice of the ear, then fade up to a high and tight (at some point you will have to fade it to the patch of hair on top, remember - mohawks are not authorized). If a Marine wants to do a clean-shaven head, that is fine too. But if you are going to go "low regulation," you have to fade until at least the top orifice of the ear. No more zero fades with a quick graduation (within an inch or less of the hairline) to the maximum hair length.

Manicures in Utilities

There is some confusion about nail polish in the MCCUUs. Uniform Board 209 changed the policy and allowed female Marines to wear manicures that mimic the natural nail in MCCUUs. The natural nail, unless you chew your nail down to the quick, has a beige colored tip (the portion that extends beyond the nail bed). If you are going to wear nail polish in the MCCUUs you are restricted to clear or manicures that mimic the natural nail. The Board approved French/American and any other manicure that mimics the natural nail. So, you must have that white, off white, or beige tip. The nail on top of the nail bed must be pale pink, nude or peach like in color. A nail that is fully painted nude, peach or pink (with no white, off white or beige tip) is not authorized in utilities. Save that for your dress and service uniforms.

Marine Corps Birthday Ball Uniform Standardization for Officers and SNCOs

Per ALMAR 042/11, the Marine Corps Birthday Ball uniform for officers and SNCOs is the dress blue uniform (with blue trousers/skirt/slacks) or the evening dress uniform. This policy does not apply to Sgts and below.

Marine Corps Boot Program

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The minimum requirement is one pair of hot weather and one pair of temperate weather boots. You may wear either the Marine Corps Combat Boot (MCCBs) or the Rugged All Terrain (RAT) boot, both will meet the minimum requirement. If you are wearing a certified optional boot, it MUST have the Marine Corps emblem on the heel of the boot, as well as a certification approval number tag (usually found on the inside upper portion of one of the boots). If the boot does not have both the tag and the emblem, it is not a certified uniform item and cannot be worn, even if it is from an approved manufacturer. Often manufactures offer a non-certified version of the approved boot for civilian wear. So be careful when shopping on line to look for both the emblem and the tag.

Marine Corps Uniform Board 217 (MARADMIN 596/18)

In addition to providing wear regulations and mandatory possession dates for the FBDC, it also provides wear regulations for the "watchcap" and list of authorized boot manufacturers.

MARPAT MCCUU Sleeve Rolling Guidance

Per PMCUB memo 1020 of 12 Mar 2014, the MCCUU sleeve rolling guidance (para 3038.3 of the MCUR) is provided below:

“3. The combat utility coat will be worn outside the trousers. During the summer season the MARPAT coat sleeves will be rolled with the inside out, forming a 'snug to the arm' roll about three inches wide, with the bottom of the rolled(folded) sleeve slightly above to no more than half the distance between the top of the shoulder and the top of the elbow. At the local commander’s discretion, sleeves may be rolled down in combat and field environments. During the winter season, MARPAT utility sleeves will be worn down. When combat boots are worn, the trousers will be bloused in a neat uniform manner. When utility uniforms are prescribed for parades, reviews, and ceremonies, the helmet with the appropriate MARPAT cover may be prescribed. MARADMIN 078/14".

The maternity t-shirt and nursing t-shirt have been certified by Marine Corps Systems Command (SysCom) as optional clothing items and the Military Corps Clothing Stores (MCCS) is working on getting them on the shelves and available for purchase in April 2021. If it isn't available in your local PX, it should be available for purchase via the Marine Corps' online uniform website sometime in the near future. Additionally, side tabs are being added to the maternity khaki long and short-sleeve shirts and the maternity tunic to allow for a better fit for the uniform throughout a Marine's pregnancy. Production of items with the side tabs is currently underway. SysCom is also developing blue dress maternity skirt and slacks (fielding date to be determined), which will be added to the maternity supplemental clothing allowance.

Medium Length Female Hairstyles

When wearing a bob hairstyle, the maximum length of the bob may not extend below the bottom edge of the BACK of the shirt/coat collar (see the changed graphics provided in the MCO 1020.34H paragraph above). The front of the bob may not go below the bottom edge of the BACK of the shirt/coat collar. Keep in mind that wearing a cap pushes the hair length down and could push your hair below the bottom edge of the BACK of the collar. Hair must stay above that edge, even with headgear on.

Naval Personnel Wearing Marine Corps Uniforms

Effective immediately, Sailors assigned to U.S. Marine Corps units who wear Marine Corps uniforms will abide by Marine Corps grooming standards, except male Sailors are not required to maintain zero fade hairstyles (NAVADMIN 233/18).

New Female Blue Dress Coat (FBDC)

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The FBDC is available for purchase and is authorized for wear now. The mandatory possession date is 1 Oct 2022. The old women's blue dress coat is authorize for wear until 30 September 2022, at which time it will become obsolete (Marines who retire before the obsoletion date may continue to wear the old coat into retirement. Former Marines who exit the Marine Corps before the retirement may also wear the old coat at their discretion per the guidance published in chapter 12 of MCO 1020.34H. Regulations for wear of the new coat can also be found here. Some notes of interest include:

-The male and FBDC are not one in the same, they are gender specific. If you are a female Marine, do not purchase a coat with pockets on the front, that is the male coat.

-Enlisted female Marines will continue to wear their gender specific chevrons on the FBDC. The white web belt, waistplate, and branch of service insignia are gender neutral.

-Female officers do not wear the male white dress shirt under their FBDC. Nor will they wear white cuffs. Both male and female officers will wear the white strip collar with their coats (standing collar coats), it is a gender neutral item. The belt and buckle is included with the male dress coat and FBDC.

Ordering the 8th & I Blue Overcoat

Neptune Garment Company is now available to take new orders for the 8th&I blue overcoat (they have fulfilled their inauguration coat requirement), so if your unit needs a ceremonial blue overcoat (remember, commands must pay for this themselves), contact 1-800-320-3980 or email nepgarment@aol.com.

Ponytails in Marine Corps Uniforms

Ponytails are not authorized for wear in Marine Corps uniforms, except PT uniforms while PTing, for either female Sailors or Marines.

Running Suit Wear Guidance

The uniform was not designed to be form fitting.

Per CMC clarification, as noted in CMC Decision Memorandum 1020 MCUB of 19 Nov 2009, and as decisioned by CMC on 11 Mar 2010, the below wear guidance is provided:

  • Only the running suit jacket and sweatshirt may be worn for non-PT leave and liberty, as outergarments.

  • The full running suit or individual components may be worn with any component of the PT ensemble (defined as the running suit, general purpose trunks and green undershirt) for PT leave and liberty situations only.

  • At no time should the olive green sweat suit be worn with the running suit components.

  • The wear of the reflective belt (during hours of daylight or darkness) with the running suit is a safety issue and is up to the commander.

  • Marines are authorized to wear commercial/”rainbow” clothing (i.e. shirts/shorts other than the issued PT items) with the running suit, sweats and green shorts/undershirt for personal PT situations only.

  • You may wear the uniform components in any combination (except that you can't wear the sweats with the running suit).
    Running suit trousers with the green undershirt and no jacket - ok.
    Sweatpants with the green undershirt - ok.
    Green undershirt with black shorts - ok.

  • The running suit jacket will not be worn with the utility uniform (even boots and utes).

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  • ALMAR 019/08 also prohibited the non-PT leave and liberty wear of the green undershirt and general purpose trunks and sweatpants.

Uniform of the Day Policy for the National Capital Region

If you are visiting the Washington Metro Area, please review ALMAR 54/06. This is a local regulation, not a Uniform Board policy, but is applicable to all (visitors and Marines assigned permanently to the area).

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Officer/Operator Insignia

Per DC Aviation Memo 1000 DCA dtd 16 Oct 2020, Marine officers with the MOS 7318 and enlisted Marines with the MOS 7316 are authorized to wear the UAS officer and operator insignia, respectively. Paragraph 40002 of the Uniform Regulations applies.

View All Uniform Plates

Only plate XIV (Combat Utility Uniform) is still in print and available for order. The PCN is 100-103-622-00. None of the other uniform plates are in print, and are thus out of circulation. Unless the Historical Division re-prints these plates you will not be able to procure sets of prints.

UNIFORM BOARD NO. 218 ALMAR 28/19

UNIFORM BOARD NO. 217 MARADMIN 596/18

UNIFORM BOARD NO. 216 MARADMIN 011/16

UNIFORM BOARD NO. 214 & 215 MARADMIN 622/15

Waiver to the Mandatory Possession Date for the Female Dress Blue Coat

(FDBC) FOR MARINES EXITING THE SERVICE BETWEEN 1 OCT 2022 AND 1 JAN 2023. Per ALMAR 007/20, female Marines exiting the Marine Corps between 1 October 2022 and 1 January 2023 may continue to wear their "old" female blue dress uniform until they exit the Corps. The mandatory possession date for the new FDBC for Marines that fall outside that window remains 1 October 2022.

White Crew-Neck Undershirts

MARADMIN 143/16 authorized female Marines to optionally wear white crew-neck, V-neck or no undershirt under the khaki service/dress shirts. The wear of the crew-neck undershirt is mandatory for all Marines with visible tattoos in the "V" area created by the open collar of the khaki service/dress shirts.

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FAQs

Why don t Marines put their hands in their pockets? ›

No Hands in Pockets Rule – In the Marine Corps:

34G. Marines should not be putting their hands in their pockets because this detracts from the sense of professionalism that the branch wants to maintain.

Who makes USMC uniforms? ›

Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform
DesignerPropper International and American Power Source
Designed2001
Unit cost$77.00 (MSRP in 2002, minus boots)
Produced2001–present
9 more rows

Do Marines still roll their sleeves? ›

Marines are allowed to roll up sleeves while they wear the summer uniform, unless operating in a field combat or field environment.

What Marine unit lost their colors? ›

The 4th Marines burned their colors and -- temporarily -- ceased to exist. The regiment was reborn in February 1944, when it was reconstituted in Guadalcanal from units of the 1st Marine Raider Regiment. The new 4th Marine Regiment seized Emirau Island in the Central Pacific.

Do Marines keep their sword? ›

The NCO sword continues service today as the Marine Corps drill and ceremonial sword. In the Marine Corps the sword's use is restricted by regulation to ceremonial occasions by an NCO or Staff NCO in charge of troops under arms.

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