As in, this hat, worn by the two young Marines on the right, looks more than a little… off.
One thing everybody in other services envies about the Marines is their great-looking uniforms, and the fact that the Marines make a uniform change about as often as our little blue and white oblate spheroid gets a visit from Halley’s Comet. We served in the US Army for 30 years and retired with an entire room full of maybe four different kinds of Class A uniform, a wider range of Class Bs, and about twice as many camouflage patterns as a meeting of the Mississippi Delta Militia and Frog Gigging Gang. Our Marine buddies had a couple sets of As and Bs, and went through two camo changes, one forced by the Army discontinuing the uniform they also wore.
The Marines, though, are about to change their uniforms, and one of the things they want to impose on the Devil-Doggosphere is the freakin’ comical hat worn by the two grim-faced Marines on the right. (You’d be grim-faced, too, at the thought of your Marine buddies seeing you in that picture. The shame, it burns).
Marine Commandant General James Amos, who is recovering well from a broken nose suffered when the President turned a corner without warning, is reportedly responding to El Presidente’s desire to leave his personal mark upon the services (but wait! You say. He already has. Tru dat -Ed.) by making their uniforms “more unisex.”
This doesn’t ring entirely true, because if you look at the old hats on the left, you’ll notice that the hat perched on the head of the woman Marine looks remarkably similar to the one that shades the stubble on the cranium of her male counterpart. Hers might be smaller, but then, someone on the President’s staff who served in the military might tell him that hats come in sizes because, and we are not making this up, so do heads. But there’s no male / female distinction here, as both sets of man and woman appear to have matching hats. So the difference is just service hat / ugly hat.
The Marines’ nonuniform head size may be addressed in a future update to the regulations. Here’s hoping they plan to pad the small heads rather than shrink the large ones. A Marine hasn’t had a shrunken head since they withdrew from Haiti in 1934 or so.
Given the ridicule the vaguely French hats are getting, the Marines’ largest and most combative branch — public affairs — has struck hard, naming the hat the Dan Daly after a World War I hero. Even that hasn’t been enough to sell the dopey hat to actual, you know, Marines. Wherever Dan Daly is buried, if they could wire him up as an armature with a couple of brushes, HQ can also check the “green energy” box on their Officer Fitness Reports. There is a box on the form now, yes? And the Marines in the field appear to love the Damn Dopey hat no more than their deceased old legends do.
But all the Marines don’t have to like it… just one does. General Amos. And if he likes it, they’ll all be wearing it. And we’ll be laughing heartily.
Enlisted corpsmen across the ships and barracks of the Fleet Marine Force are holding their breath… because the day may be coming when it’s no longer their Marine buddies making fun of their hats, but the other way round.
While this was in the queue, before we even got it up in front of you, we learned that however much the male Marines we know hate it (because it feminizes the male Leatherneck), turns out the distaff side of the corps, as represented by a retired gunny, hates it too — because it masculinizes the woman Marine.
Only among the heathen natives of the tribes of Beltwaystan would a Marine Corps where the men and women can be mistaken for one another seem like a good idea.
Well, that didn’t take long. Here’s the key graf in a statement from HQMC:
Recent headlines in the media have created confusion regarding a Marine Corps uniform item, the male dress cover. Some in the media have implied that the President of the United States directed a change in this dress cover.
Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos said, “the President in no way, shape or form directed the Marine Corps to change our uniform cover.”
While the Marine Corps Uniform Board is currently looking for a new cover, or cap, for female Marines because the current manufacturer is going out of business, there is no intent to change the current male Marine dress cover.
Now, with any politician, you need to parse what they say. And he’s not saying the President or the Administration didn’t ask for more unisex uniforms, only that the President didn’t say, “Yo. Change your hats.” And… if nobody was looking to change hats, how do you explain the image at the head of this post? We’ll here’s the head fashionista at HQMC, one Col. Todd S. Desgrosseilliers:
A survey released by the Marine Corps Uniform Board eliciting input from Marines in regard to uniform items, sought opinions about the “Dan Daly-style” cover.
Pictures of male Marines wearing this cover were included in the survey material. This is standard practice while conducting surveys….
“The surveys often contain photo illustrations that portray what a uniform article might look like when worn by a Marine,” Col. Todd S. Desgrosseilliers, Marine Corps Uniform Board president, said. “This is a very standard practice. While there was never any desire or intent to change the male Marine dress cover, the feedback we have received to maintain this iconic cover has been heard, loud and clear. “
It sounds like self-serving, ass-covering bullshit to us, but there is one thing, one little detail, that suggests that the image might indeed have been a survey. If you look at it, along with the male and female Marines wearing the female (aka “Dan Daly”) cover, the “control” pair aren’t wearing the current cover: they’re both wearing the male service cover.
It does smell a bit like there’s someone in 8th & I that wants to do to the Marines what knucklehead parents do when they give their daughters blue clothes and toy bulldozers, and sons pink clothes and tea sets. But there’s one force the gender-benders didn’t reckon with, and that’s current and former Marines — one of the principal reasons the uniform hasn’t particularly changed since it struck terror into Tojo. Looks like they struck terror into Desgroseilliers, too, which probably did him some good even if it was unnecessary.
P.S. Wasn’t Dan Daly actually wearing a Montana-peaked campaign hat when he made his famous call, “Do you want to live forever, you sonofabitches?” at Belleau Wood? Of course, he’d been around a long time before that but we thought that’s what the well-dressed Marine had on his head on the Western Front in 1918.
PPS. This post has been edited. A link to the HQMC post has been added, and our description of Col. Desgrosseilliers’s statement, which implied he was “ass-coveting,” has been corrected — we were abusing the statement as ass-covering, not imputing any unconventional desires (NTTAWWT) to the good colonel and/or his minions, whom we do not know personally. We regret the error, and curse the ancestry and progeny of the genius that put R next to T on this keyboard.