By Debbie Gregory.
The Marine Corps has cancelled plans for a uniform change that would have created a unisex service cap. The new female cover was floated in a Corps-wide survey as one of two possible options for a unisex cover that all Marines would wear. They were considering the idea of issuing one cap for all when they were forced to redesign the hats for female Marines. The manufacturer of the women’s ‘bucket cover’, which has a distinctly different shape than the men’s cover, is going out of business and will not continue to make the cap.
A survey had been emailed to all active duty and reserve Marines, asking them to vote on one of two options: either adopt the Dan Daly cap as the universal cap, or adopt the current male frame cap, with some modifications to make it more comfortable, as the universal cap.
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos put an end to the matter, stating that, “The survey was incorrect when published and has been pulled. The Marine Corps has zero intention of changing the male cover.”
Despite earlier reports, President Obama did not instruct the Marine Corps. to adopt new, unisex covers.
However, thanks to media attention, rumors, and “loud and clear” opposition to a shift towards unisex hats, the survey was pulled. The controversy over uniforms has prompted the Marines to issue a formal statement, denying they are planning on changing the hats worn by male Marines. This is not the first time Uniform Board proceedings have been controversial. In 2011, the Board voted to require Marines to wear utility uniform sleeves rolled down all year. This contradicted survey results that showed the majority of rank-and-file Marines opposed the change. But the initiative was supported by Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Mike Barrett and approved by Commandant Gen. Amos.