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Training and Education Command

United States Marine Corps
New recruit clothing issue changes go into effect in Oct

By Cpl. Thomas Perry | | August 22, 2003

MCRD/ERR PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. -- Beginning in October, Marine Corps recruits will receive an altered seabag issue to include four significant changes, but these changes are not scheduled to affect current Marines until fiscal years 2005 and 2006.The changes include:* A move from brass to gold plated buckles, tie clasps, insignia and buttons.* A reduction in the number of men's and women's long sleeve khaki shirts from three to two.* A change from black cushion sole socks to coyote brown boot socks. * Replacement of the old green pull-over sweater to one with epaulettes, which are pieces of cloth located on the shoulder where Marines will were their rank.The new sweater, which is the result of an idea thought up by two Marines from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, serves a two-fold purpose."Marines were complaining that in order to wear their sweater they had to put one khaki shirt aside because it had holes left in it by their insignia," said Mary Boyt, program manager for the Marine Corps Uniform Board. "They were effectively rendering one of their khaki shirts unserviceable."Boyt added that since the new sweater allows Marines to wear their rank on their epaulettes, the Marine Corps can now issue one less long sleeve khaki shirt, which will save the Marine Corps and the individual Marines money in the long run.Permanent personnel are currently required to have the new sweater by fiscal year 2006, but according to Master Sgt. Philip Helm, staff non-commissioned officer in charge of Depot Clothing, uniform requirement dates can fluctuate because of availability.Recruits take priority when it comes to uniform issue, said Helm, who explained that if recruits were to receive the old uniform items in recruit training, they would have to buy the new items once they graduated.The move from brass to gold plated buckles, tie clasps, insignia and buttons follows the same train of thought."We found that the recruits were buying the new gold plated items once they graduated," said Boyt, who revealed that all of these changes stem from a Marine Corps Uniform Board enlisted review during fiscal year 2001. "We wanted to save the Marines money and really improve on the quality of the items they were issued."As for the new coyote brown boot socks, permanent personnel are not required to wear them until fiscal year 2005, but Marine Corps officials believe that the new socks are an improvement over the current ones. "Some of the items in the [seabag issue] had been given to Marines for a long time," said Boyt. "We really wanted to improve the quality of the seabag issue, and, with these changes, we have."

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