What kind of uniform is it? Marines drill for grand opening in unique style

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Marines with Marine Barracks Washington prepare for the next presidential inauguration, Washington, DC, Jan. 5, 2021. The Marines wear an unusual combination of a Vietnamese era field jacket in woodland camouflage with their khaki green service uniforms and olive green. (Tanner D. Lambert / US Marine Corps)

Marines with Marine Barracks Washington prepare for the next presidential inauguration, Washington, DC, Jan. 5, 2021. The Marines wear an unusual combination of a Vietnamese era field jacket in woodland camouflage with their khaki green service uniforms and olive green.

Marines with Marine Barracks Washington prepare for the next presidential inauguration, Washington, DC, Jan. 5, 2021. The Marines wear an unusual combination of a Vietnamese era field jacket in woodland camouflage with their khaki green service uniforms and olive green. (Tanner D. Lambert / US Marine Corps)

The Marines with Marine Barracks Washington prepare January 5, 2021 in Washington, DC, for the presidential nomination.  The Marines wear an unusual combination of a Vietnamese era field jacket in woodland camouflage with their khaki and olive green service uniforms.

The Marines with Marine Barracks Washington prepare January 5, 2021 in Washington, DC, for the presidential nomination. The Marines wear an unusual combination of a Vietnamese era field jacket in woodland camouflage with their khaki and olive green service uniforms. (Tanner D. Lambert / US Marine Corps)

Marines with Marine Barracks Washington prepare in Washington, DC, Jan. 5, 2021, for the presidential nomination.  The Marines wear an unusual combination of a Vietnamese era field jacket in woodland camouflage with their khaki and olive green service uniforms.

Marines with Marine Barracks Washington prepare in Washington, DC, Jan. 5, 2021, for the presidential nomination. The Marines wear an unusual combination of a Vietnamese era field jacket in woodland camouflage with their khaki and olive green service uniforms. (Tanner D. Lambert / US Marine Corps)

The Marines with Marine Barracks Washington are preparing in Washington, DC, Jan. 5, 2021, for the next presidential inauguration.  The Marines will parade 6 feet apart during the inauguration and wear face masks to meet CDC guidelines and ensure a safe environment for participants.

The Marines with Marine Barracks Washington are preparing in Washington, DC, Jan. 5, 2021, for the next presidential inauguration. The Marines will parade 6 feet apart during the inauguration and wear face masks to meet CDC guidelines and ensure a safe environment for participants. (Tanner D. Lambert / US Marine Corps)

The Marines with Marine Barracks Washington are preparing in Washington, DC, Jan. 5, 2021, for the next presidential inauguration.  The Marines wear an unusual combination of a Vietnamese era field jacket in woodland camouflage with their khaki and olive green service uniforms.

The Marines with Marine Barracks Washington are preparing in Washington, DC, Jan. 5, 2021, for the next presidential inauguration. The Marines wear an unusual combination of a Vietnamese era field jacket in woodland camouflage with their khaki and olive green service uniforms. (Tanner D. Lambert / US Marine Corps)

The Marines with Marine Barracks Washington are preparing in Washington, DC, Jan. 5, 2021, for the next presidential inauguration.  The Marines will walk 6 feet apart and wear protective masks to meet CDC guidelines and ensure a safe environment for participants.

The Marines with Marine Barracks Washington are preparing in Washington, DC, Jan. 5, 2021, for the next presidential inauguration. The Marines will walk 6 feet apart and wear protective masks to meet CDC guidelines and ensure a safe environment for participants. (Tanner D. Lambert / US Marine Corps)

Marines preparing for the dedication day ceremonies wore black masks, white gloves – and an unusual combination of a Vietnamese-era field jacket in woodland camouflage with their khaki and olive green service uniforms.

The photos of the unusual set – made weirder by the Corps’ transition to digital camouflage nearly two decades ago – have sparked a number of “what are they” comments on social media.

“A sad day in Marine uniforms when we look dumber than the military,” Navy veteran Pete Lucier wrote on Twitter.

It turns out the style is unique to historic Washington Marine Barracks, home to the service’s elite ceremonial units.

The jacket is a bit more rugged for training sessions than the coats of formal uniforms that Marines wear during ceremonies. But that won’t be visible during the events of January 20, when Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president.

“The Field Jacket is primarily worn to simulate the Dress Blue jacket,” said André Bastian, a Navy veteran who spent five years in the barracks, also known as 8th & I. “It cannot be worn. only with service B and C (short and long sleeves) and only during official barracks training.

The Barracks Marines use many unusual tricks and modifications to keep their outfits looking their best for ceremonies in places like Arlington National Cemetery and high profile events in the Capital. But the campaign jacket is meant to be worn as is, Bastian said.

Originally produced in dull olive, the Cold Weather Field Coat was added to the military inventory in 1966 and became available in the woodsy pattern in 1982, according to a 2007 study by former curator David C. Cole. at the US Army Center of Military History, Museums Division.

Designed for utility, and commonly known as the M65 Field Jacket, it has also become something of a style icon, available as a designer knockoff for $ 500 at Polo Ralph Lauren – about five times that. as it costs in an online military surplus store.

The crude similarities of the field jacket to the blue coat allow a Marine to place the belt of the formal uniform at the correct height to practice attaching and detaching a bayonet from his M1 Garand rifle, which is also a go back.

“The movement itself is delicate and requires precision and a bit of luck,” said Bastian, an infantryman who served in the barracks from late 2014 to mid-2019. “If you put your scabbard on your belt, you would train a few inches and you won’t get anywhere.”

It is also useful for officers and NCOs who are training to draw and store their swords ceremoniously.

“Yeah, it looks really weird on the outside to look inside,” Bastian said. “But it’s quite practical!

[email protected] Twitter: @chad garland

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Chad garland

Chad is a Marine Corps veteran who covers the U.S. military in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and sometimes elsewhere for Stars and Stripes. A native of Illinois who has reported for news organizations in Washington, DC, Arizona, Oregon and California, he is an alumnus of the Defense Language Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign and Arizona State University.



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