Let’s face it the male dress blue Marine Corps uniform is awesome, it has always been striking, steeped in tradition, and quite sincerely it is stunning. In fact, it is such a superior uniform that any Army soldier or Airman would be lying if they told you they were not a bit jealous every time they had to stand next to a Marine in his “Blues”.
The Marine Corps better than any other service understands image, they are masters of it; they have to be, in order to justify not being simply absorbed into the regular Navy by Congress every fiscal year. So why can’t female Marines look as impressive? Why have they been forced to wear a different dress uniform for so long? Uniforms are important, not just for utility, but for image, it conveys to a nation and the civilians we serve what our priorities, morals and beliefs are as a military.
The Corps’ image has been rocked in the last year; they have experienced seven rapes and sexual assaults in one year alone, at the prestigious Marine Corps Barracks in D.C. They have also been enormously embarrassed by the recent discovery by civilians, of the criminal and violent threats to female Marines by their fellow male Marines on social media. Rightly they have taken many steps to combat these recent embarrassments, one of them involves image; they very thing they do so well.
The Marine Corps is currently testing a new Dress Blue uniform for females. Well, actually the uniform is not new, it’s the same one male Marines have been wearing forever; the Corps is simply allowing women to wear it on a trial basis at special parade ceremonies and in special units, like the 8th and I Marine Corps Barracks in D.C. (the same unit that experienced the seven rapes and sexual assaults in 2012 I referred to earlier).
To be fair, the other armed services also have differences in their uniforms based on gender, and these differences are equally as ridiculous as the differences in the Marine Corps. Such inequalities and frankly insults include: skirts, pleated blouses, heels, and “special” covers…all of these gender based differences present an image to the nation that says, female Marines and soldiers are different, they are not allowed to look intimidating, polished, and impressive; they are a second class soldier, they are a weaker Marine.
I have beat up on the Corps a lot lately, they have deserved it, they possess many Marines in their ranks that have vile and medieval beliefs about women, and on a daily basis thousands of them take to social media, specifically Facebook to communicate just this. However, they get credit for this, well actually the Commandant gets credit, because if one simply starts to look at the comments on Facebook about the “new” uniform you will quickly see that the words: “Wook”, “WM” (Walking Mattress), “Sammich Maker” are all still very much a part of the lexicon of thousands of active duty Marines.
I love the old dress uniform that the Corps is allowing its female Marines to wear for the first time, I think it looks amazing on, and pursuant to the Corps image, it looks awesome in photographs, in a formation, and on a parade field. Every part of the Marine Corps dress blues possesses s symbol of the Corps’ history; it only makes sense that female Marines be afforded the same “traditional” uniform. Semper Fi.