On October 18th, a service-wide administrative message was released by the United States Marines.
In the message, several uniform changes were announced, one of which being that women in the Marines will soon begin to phase out their current open-collared dress coats. The new dress coats, which will be replacing the open-collared version, are more “gender-neutral” and look similar to their male counterparts. Former Navy Secretary, Ray Mabus, initiated the change.
The timeline is as follows: female Marines may continue to wear their current dress coat and white shirt until September 30, 2022, after which they will be “deemed obsolete,” as the message notes. From then on, the “new female dress blues coat” will be part of the required dress uniform.
Some facilities have already begun selling the new coats, according to the program manager of the Marine Corps Uniform Board, Mary Boyt. Female officers can purchase new dress coats early, but will have to do so at their own expense.
In addition to providing a deadline, the Marines’ administrative message also provided placement instructions for ribbons, badges, and belts for those female Marines who have chosen to purchase the new coats early. As stated, women should “wear the white web-coat belt and waist plate” per the guidance of a commander. These items may also be worn with the current dress coat.
Further guidance regarding how to wear ribbons and badges can be found in the administrative message.