With perhaps the most distinctive uniforms of any branch in the U.S. military, the Marine Corps takes great pride in the appearance of its personnel. The USMC has five basic types of uniforms, each prescribed for wear under different circumstances ranging from parades and ceremonies to actual combat.
Maybe the most well-known uniform in the Marine Corps, the dress uniform is comprised of a blue coat with red trim and brass buttons, along with blue pants with a red stripe running down the leg. This uniform is designed for wear during formal military occasions such as ceremonies or parades and is featured prominently in many of the service's recruiting commercials. There are different combinations of the dress uniform that range in formality. The Class A combination, for instance, requires full wear of the uniform complete with full-sized medals. The Class C, meanwhile, can be worn with a khaki dress shirt instead of the coat.
As the most formal uniform combination in the Marine Corps, the evening dress uniform is designed for wear at formal dinner parties or balls and is the equivalent of the civilian tuxedo. For male officers, this uniform is easily distinguished due to the inclusion of a blue cape with scarlet lining. Female officers, meanwhile, wear a long blue skirt with an open blue coat and a ruffled white shirt. Senior non-commissioned officers, meanwhile, have their own version of evening dress that looks much like the dress blue uniform but has a v-neck jacket and is worn with a black bow tie and cummerbund.
Designed for wear during everyday working conditions within an office environment, the service uniform is comprised of a khaki dress shirt and brown pants or a skirt. It also includes a brown jacket that is worn with the Class A combination of the uniform. During cold weather conditions, a brown crew neck sweater is also authorized for wear over the khaki shirt.
The Marine Corps' utility uniform is worn during combat situations and is comprised of the standard camouflage pants and blouse seen on most military soldiers during strenuous work. This uniform is only authorized for wear in the field and should not be worn on liberty unless it is simply for quick convenience stops such as getting gas, picking up a few groceries or running to an ATM. It should not be worn out to restaurants at commercial airports or while performing prolonged business in public.
Physical Training Uniform
Designed for wear during exercise and the Marine Corps' Physical Fitness Test (PFT), the physical fitness uniform is made up of green workout shorts and a green undershirt. This, like utility uniforms, should not be worn in public. The uniform can also include cold weather gear for winter environments such as a sweatshirt with USMC across the front and wind pants.
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