Image matters, especially to the Marine Corps; they spend millions of dollars on it every year. Marines are masters of image; their very existence is often threatened to be dissolved into the Navy, thus they work hard to stand apart, to be elite, polished, flawless. They understand better than any service that image can make or break you. That is why as they integrate women into combat units, they have smartly begun to field a new gender neutral dress uniform; and I have to say, it looks sharp.
Finally perhaps female Marines can stop wearing the ridiculous skirt and “different” hat, and hopefully the rest of the Services will follow. They understand that as they make the transition of integrating female Marines into once closed combat units, image matters. If women are going to be equal, they have to look equal; why on earth are they running around in a different uniform, with insulting compliments such as a skirt. Very few other countries do this.
I applaud the Marine Corps for taking this PR step, I have always wondered and been angered that women were forced to wear and continue to wear “different” uniforms. On a personal note, I never wore the skirt unless ordered to do so, I always chose the pants, always. I did not want to look different in a photo, or in a formation. I wear skirts and dresses often in my civilian life and I did so often while off duty when I was in the Army. However, I had found no good reason to wear one on duty. For the record I also hated the “different” blouse; the one that does not tuck in…why does it have to be different?
I have many more thoughts on this…