MARINE CORPS AIR STATION, YUMA, Ariz. --
To synchronize uniform wear worldwide, the seasonal change of garrison uniforms now corresponds with the beginning and ending of daylight saving time, the Marine Corps commandant directed March 6.
For most Marines, this meant changing from green "digital camouflage" utilities or green flight suits with long sleeves to desert utilities or tan flight suits with sleeves rolled up on March 9.
This marks Gen. James T. Conway's third change to uniform regulations for the utilities, a subject he is passionate about.
"For the past few years, our Corps has been in a transition phase with regard to our utility uniforms. That period is now ended," Conway said in a message to all Marines July 25, 2007. "As Marines, our uniforms and military appearance are an important part of our identity and have traditionally marked us as the nation’s most distinctive military service. As such, uniformity and an outward pride in our appearance have been constants for every Marine—from private to general."
In July 2007, he defined summer and winter uniforms and directed unit commanders to ensure consistency of wear throughout the ranks. When a unit would make a seasonal change was left up to the commander, though.
Summer uniforms include Dress Blue A and B with white trousers for officers and staff noncommissioned officers and blue trousers for sergeants and below; Dress Blue D; Service A and C; and tan desert utilities or flight suits with sleeves up. Winter uniforms include Dress Blue A, B and C with blue trousers for all ranks; Service A and B; and woodland utilities or green flight suits with sleeves down.
In January, Conway prohibited civilians, specifically those who deployed overseas with Marine units, from wearing the Corps’ utility uniform. In recent years, civilian employees in Iraq commonly "blended in" by wearing Marine desert utilities, but they were not required to adhere to grooming and appearance standards.
The seasonal uniform guidelines do not apply to deployed units or those in a tactical or field environment, where the commander may dictate the best uniform given the situation. Additionally, reservists preparing to deploy or awaiting deactivation after a deployment may wear the uniform they wore while deployed, regardless the season.
For locations with temperature extremes within the first few weeks of daylight saving time changes, commanders may temporarily direct sleeves on utilities be rolled up or down, as long as it applies across the command.
Commands in areas with extreme seasonal conditions or extended seasons, such as Alaska where it snows from October through April, may request waivers to the new policy.
Daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March. It ends on the first Sunday in November at 2 a.m., according to federal law.
Sailors attached to Marines units, such as medical corpsmen, may wear the utilities, but they must adhere to the Corps' uniform regulations.
Refer to All Marine Message 07/2008 for more information.