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Marine Corps relaxes attire rules amid camouflage uniform shortage

(AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)

This news has been flying under the radar, but it's worth paying attention to for a couple of reasons. The Marine Corps Times is reporting the Marines, which normally prides itself on strict uniform standards, is relaxing those rules amid a shortage of the branch's standard uniform. From the article (emphasis added):


Leaders of Marine units can let their service members wear nonstandard uniform items amid a long-term shortage of the regular camouflage uniform.

The Marine Corps says it won’t have a full stock of the woodland-pattern camouflage combat utility uniform ― the everyday outfit for most Marines ― until summer or fall 2024. The shortage has prompted the top Marine leader to authorize unit commanders to allow the desert-colored camouflage combat utility uniform or the flame-resistant organizational gear, known as FROGs.

This flexibility is a rare step for a service that prides itself on adherence to strict uniform standards.

“What we cannot have is a situation where a Marine is wearing unserviceable cammies, because that looks bad for the Corps, and we can’t have a situation where that Marine is being given a hard time about those unserviceable cammies,” Commandant Gen. Eric Smith said in a video message to the force Thursday, using a nickname for the camouflage combat utility uniform.

The CEO of American Apparel, who makes the uniforms, had this to say (emphasis added):

Chuck Lambert, CEO of American Apparel Inc, the primary manufacturer of the uniforms, told Marine Corps Times his company has had trouble producing enough items at the fixed price in the Defense Logistics Agency contract. Even as inflation increased and it became harder to find workers, he said, he couldn’t increase the price of items to pay for a big bump in wages.

“McDonald’s and a lot of the fast food guys are paying $2 and $3 more an hour than we could afford to pay,” the CEO said in August. “Where they could go up on the price of the hamburger, we can’t go up on the price of a uniform.”

The Defense Logistics Agency has awarded two additional contracts to companies to make the uniforms, potentially easing the shortage, according to Lambert and online records.


Because government makes everything more difficult, you'll note the price in the Defense Logistics Agency contract is fixed, and inflation was not considered in the order for uniforms. On top of that, American Apparel is having trouble finding workers.

Kind of flies in the face of the Biden administration saying the economy is great and jobs numbers are great, doesn't it?

It's getting some, but not nearly enough, attention on Twitter/X.

Inflation and wages. Best economy ever, Jack!

A year to correct this problem.


Billions to Ukraine and countless other things, but our Marines? Not a priority.

Yes it is. Very disgraceful.

Given how much money we spend on pretty much everything else, well, people are making connections:

We're sure it is.

Perhaps we could get some over there. We're paying for fertilizer and seeds and everything else in Ukraine.

Yes. The blame goes all the way up.

Hard to argue with that.

It's going to take another year to correct this problem. Provided the economy and jobs market don't get even worse between then and now.



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