US Marines change hat style in response to manufacturer's closure

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

File photo of U.S. Marine Corps hats are displayed during a memorial service
Image: Christopher Callaway.

Following incorrect statements by media organizations that include Fox News and the New York Post earlier in the week that the US Marine Corps were changing their hats in order to make them more gender neutral, the Corps issued a statement yesterday countering the claim, saying they are only changing the dress hat for women. In a statement on their website, they said this change is only "for female Marines because the current manufacturer is going out of business".

Commandant of the Marine Corps General James F. Amos is quoted in the Corps statement as saying, "the President in no way, shape or form directed the Marine Corps to change our uniform cover." The quote follows media claims the US President directed the Marine Corps to make a change to a more "girly" dress hat.

The women's hats were made by a different manufacturer than the men's hat. At the same time, the US Department of Defense also asked the Corps to develop a more unisex option for both dress and service hats. In preparation for a quarterly meeting of the Marine Corps Uniform Board scheduled for next week, a survey was sent out asking for feedback on whether women's hats should be made to more closely model the current men's dress hat or if all Marines should switch to the Dan Daly cap.

Other changes in the US military uniforms are scheduled to take place by the end of the year. In the Navy, flame-resistant variant coveralls are scheduled to be introduced in December of this year. Admiral Bill Gortney, the head of Fleet Forces Command, is quoted in the Marine Corps Times as saying. "Our sailors' safety is our primary concern here [...] If you’re on board a ship and a fire breaks out, you rush to that scene, you escape that scene or you're assisting a shipmate in whatever you’re wearing. And so this fills in that particular need. You combine this with our existing flash hoods and gloves and you tuck your leg pants in [...] it will provide the fire-resistant capability that we think is needed."


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