BETHESDA, Md. --
The Marine Corps officially unveiled its new running suit to Marines assigned to the Wounded Warrior Regiment at the National Naval Medical Center here Feb. 29.
Marines from the Wounded Warrior Regiment, to include those at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, were the first to receive the new gear, according to guidance set by Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James T. Conway.
“(The running suits are) the first ones off the sewing machines and we gave them to you,” said Col. Gregory Boyle, commanding officer of Wounded Warrior Regiment. “It demonstrates to the American people where the commandant’s priority is.”
According to Boyle, the Wounded Warrior Battalions at Camp Lejeune and Camp Pendleton will receive the gear next.
“All Marines will be in the new running suit as soon as possible; widespread distribution is set to begin by October 2008 with a mandatory possession date of around October 2009,” said Lt. Col. A.J. Pasagian, program manager of Infantry Combat Equipment, Marine Corps Systems Command.
Marines assigned to recruiting commands and recruit depots will be issued the running suit next, followed by the remainder of the Marine Forces, according to Marine Corps Systems Command.
The new running suit will become standard issue in the seabag in addition to what is currently provided. The running suit does not replace the existing green physical training uniform and is compatible with other PT uniform items, according to Pasagian.
Retailed at $112, the running suit is the first newly-released gear that Marines do not have to pay for out of pocket, said Pasagian.
“Our commandant believes the continued emphasis on physical fitness and esprit de corps is important enough to have a one-time initial issue of the running suit,” added Pasagian.
Marines who received the new gear immediately noticed a difference between the old cotton sweat suit and the new fabric of the running suit.
“I really like it. It’s very comfortable and better than I expected,” said Lance Cpl. Derrick L. Sharpe. “It’s breathable, lightweight and could be worn in any weather condition.”
The running suit is made of lightweight, moisture-wicking, quick-drying, water-resistant materials. Features include underarm and back venting solutions, a fold-down collar, full-length zip-through jacket and reflectivity. The lining is anti-microbial, which prevents odor and bacteria.
Marine Corps Systems Command solicited the opinion of all active and reserve Marines through a series of online surveys. Marines were participants in every aspect of the development of the new running suit, to include design and color.
The Marine Corps Uniform Board is currently finalizing regulations for wear of the running suit. Up-to-date information can be found at www.marcorsyscom.usmc.mil/sites/mcub/.