Hat’s off to the Marines

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.

Update II

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.

8 thoughts on “Hat’s off to the Marines

  1. AndyN

    Maybe it’s just a clever ploy to sneak women into combat arms. If you’re all dressed exactly alike, who’s going to know if the guy crawling through the mud next to you isn’t actually a guy.

    This will probably all be averted if a female to male transsexual complains that the Corps is trying to deny his identity by forcing him to look female.

  2. Aesop

    If never-served Indonesian national Illegal-Alien-In-Chief Hopey Dopey thinks this will fly, he’s about to get the Mother Of All Comeupances. He may, in grandpa’s memorable phraseology, be “eating dinner standing up for awhile” when the dust settles in the woodshed.

    From what I hear, the backlash at the mere mention of this hopelessly retarded idea is already reaching Fukushima tsunami proportions. And Amos is about a red hair away from becoming the first ex-Commandant to be greeted with incoming eggs every day of the rest of his life from the day he steps down. He REALLY needs to find a way to STFU and hide out at 8th & I until people forget he is who he is, and has done what he’s done. His best approach would be to hire a PIO who knows how to use a gag. And possibly a black hood.

  3. Aesop

    And BTW, the two pictures on the right aren’t wrong.
    The correct (current) wear is the 1st and 3rd shots (from the L).
    #2 and #4 are the craptastic ones.

  4. Jim

    Why? With budget cuts and the economy in the crapper and about 7 billion other things more important than covers, WHY would he come up with this idea? And how the hell was he able to have time to think of it if he was concentrating on important things? Let’s assume the proposal came from somewhere either up or down the chain. As a former Marine I’m pretty damn sure the Commandant can easily say he dont have time for that crap and the issue would be settled. But then again I recall the great T-shirt controversy of @1983-84 so Im not overly suprised when I read the latest examples of idiocy like this.

  5. Cannoneer No. 4

    Now in the tail end of 2013, Marine Corps Public Affairs has covered themselves with something other than glory in guiding the discussion of replacing the 1922 Pattern Service Cap with the 1912 Pattern Bell Crown Service Cap SgtMaj Daley wore.

    In 2014, expect a new athletic bra for the more voluptous WM’s called the Chesty Puller.

  6. Tom Schultz

    At least it looks like somebody at 8th & I had the balls to send up and say. “Whoa, this idea sucks, the Marines hate it. Kill it”.
    Had to have a little tap tap tap shuffle tap to go along with the killing, but it looks like it is dead.
    Too bad the Army didn’t have anybody that strong when Shitsecki came up with the Black Beret.

  7. Aesop

    I think 8th & I got the JAG report on what it would cost the Corps to prosecute 175,000 cases of disobedience to orders for refusing to wear effed up covers.
    Now if someone could just quietly kick Amos in the battery housing group 4 or 5 times, we could call it even and move on.
    I may send him a package of handkerchiefs though, and a suggestion he wipe the brown stuff off his nose. He’s obviously lost all sense of smell.

  8. Aesop

    Re: the PS

    First Sgt. Daly would have been, hopefully, wearing the M1 Helmet, Shell Splinter Protective, 1 ea., when he uttered his famous query.
    Being Dan Daly, it was doubtless adorned by a flawlessly centered and immaculately blackened EG&A emblem through a hole cut into the shell. Being a first sergeant, he doubtless also pounded the dents out nightly, using either his bare hands, or the thick skulls of certain sh*tbird privates, as is the wont of all first sergeants with whom we’ve been acquainted.

    Off frontline duty, he would have worn the standard Overseas (“pisscutter”) Service Cap.

    There was also found this curious excerpt, but we can’t seem to find a working link to it:
    “Washington DC (Aesociated Press)
    DC Metropolitan Fire units responded on Friday to Marine Corps HQ at 8th and I Streets, after reports of a noxious odor emanating from within was said to have incapacitated several people. Unnamed MFD sources reported that upon entering the buildings, they encountered a smell composed of equal parts burning flesh, and pungent freshly deposited cattle droppings. Further laboratory analysis confirmed the substance was, in fact, the output of a number of large male cattle. Also found scattered throughout in the vicinity of the Uniform Board’s meeting rooms, were numerous hunks of flesh which appeared to be “large pieces of buttocks muscle”, possibly human. Forensic examination is still pending at this time.
    Other witnesses also described hearing a sound “like a herd of scalded dogs yipping away into the distance”, but this has not been confirmed at press time.”

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