Marines, Uniforms and Morale Killers

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 1 month ago

In a jaw-dropping move, the Marines have cracked down on none other than wearing uniform (from the Strategy Page).

The U.S. Marine Corps has decided that it is not good for the image of the Marine Corps for marines to wear their combat (“utility”) uniform off base. New regulations nullify many exceptions to this rule that had been established by the commanders of many marine bases. The new rule allows marines to wear their cammies (camouflage) uniform while driving form (sic) their off-base home to and from work.

In the next revelation, we sit in wonder at the DoD actually paying people to spend time crafting the caveats, stipulations and qualifications. Hold onto your cover.

But they may not get out of their vehicle while wearing cammies unless it is an emergency (an accident, or some matter of life-and-death importance.) Marines may not get out of their car to gas up their vehicle while wearing cammies. If they run out of gas, they may then exit their car to deal with that. Marines are advised to pay attention to the fuel status of their private vehicles, and to carry a set of civilian clothes, or a marine service uniform, in their vehicle, in case they have to get out. The only exception is for marines driving military vehicles for long distances. Marines may exit their vehicles to use the toilet, but this must be done as quickly as possible.

On the bright side, tax advisors believe this new rule will allow marines to deduct the cost of their work uniforms from their taxes. In the past, the IRS had ruled that the cost of utilities, fatigues and BDUs were not deductible as they could be worn off base. The IRS reasoned that, if you could go into a store or restaurant, your uniform was not limited to the workplace, and was therefore not deductible. The high tech camies worn today are not cheap, and a marine can go through several hundred dollars worth a year.

Again, this is absolutely jaw-dropping. Here we have the Marine Corps weighing in on how quickly a Marine can use the bathroom during travel, and stipulating that if it isn’t fast enough, he will have to strip down inside the automobile to change into his service alphas (but only if he is traveling long distances and assuming he has either placed a pair in his car or has purchased an additional pair for his automobile).

The pittance that is saved on taxes each year will be outweighed by the additional purchase of clothing, placing additional civilian clothing at work, and the aggravation of considering these rules and trying to adhere to them. At a time when the Marine Corps is trying to increase its size and retain experienced personnel, it is things like this that will cause them to bolt for the civilian world.

Finally, the Marine Corps has just handed the Army a recruiting victory on a platter. Now when the little boy in the airport, at the gas station or simply out at the mall or in the city asks mom, “who is that?” she can answer, “Son, that is a brave Soldier.” The U.S. Marine Corps now forces all of its warriors to go through the public square incognito.

Sometimes one can only shake his head and move on to other things. There is no explanation.




You are currently reading "Marines, Uniforms and Morale Killers", entry #562 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Department of Defense,Marine Corps and was published July 31st, 2007 by Herschel Smith.

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