FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. --
The Marine Corps is considering a recommendation to redesign the female officer and enlisted dress blue uniform to a style similar to the male dress blue coat with the traditional high collar. In the coming months, the Corps will expand its field-testing of a new female dress blue coat prototype.
In 2013, the commanding officer of Marine Barracks Washington requested and conducted a field test over several months of a female dress blue coat similar to the male dress blue coat in an effort to achieve uniformity in appearance and improve functionality during ceremonies and parades.
"The one uniform between males and females that isn't similar is the blues,” Col. Christian G. Cabaniss, commanding officer of Marine Barracks Washington, said. “Providing female Marines the opportunity to wear the most identifiable uniform in the Marine Corps would recognize their significant achievements on the battlefield over the last decade plus."
Following last summer’s study, a recommendation was forwarded to the Marine Corps Uniform Board requesting a review to a permanent change to the female dress blue coat. The request was approved for further consideration.
"As president of the board, I will work through Marine Corps Systems Command to identify vendors to prepare a prototype that should be ready for a wear test in late summer/early fall,” said Col. Todd Desgrosseilliers, commanding officer of Support Battalion, The Basic School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. “The wear test for the new prototype will be done by band members, recruiters, selected Marines in the National Capital Region and potentially Marine Barracks personnel again.”
Following the testing period, results will be presented to the uniform board, which will consider the issue and provide a recommendation to the commandant.
"Under the schedule as planned, the commandant could make a decision on this issue during the summer of 2015,” Desgrosseilliers said. “If approved, it normally takes 12 to 24 months to field a new uniform item."