Marine Corps Uniforms 101
Hi folks, since I've seen a few questions regarding the uniforms and what each of them are, I thought I would put out a quick primer on what Marines wear. (And more importantly, what we call them!) I’m not going to list ALL the uniform combinations, just the ones that recruits wear in training and those that your new Marines will be wearing as they head home for liberty and then on to SOI and out to the fleet.
Let’s start at the top, the dress blues that everybody knows about! There are actually FOUR different versions of this uniform in our wardrobe. They are:
Blue Dress “A” (or Blue Alphas) – this is the formal uniform with Blue coat w/sky blue trousers with medals. This is worn on formal occasions like the Marine Corps birthday ball, weddings and such. Ooh-rah!
Figure 1 Blue Dress "A" Uniform
Blue Dress “B” (Blue Bravos) – this is the same uniform but instead of the medals a Marine will wear the appropriate ribbon for the award. Slightly less “dressy” than the Alphas. (In the “old” Corps we used to wear Blue Bravos to Las Vegas as we got into the shows for free... just saying.)
Blue Dress “C” (Blue Charlies) – no blue jacket, but long sleeve Khaki shirt with necktie. This uniform may be optionally worn with a blue sweater.
Blue Dress “D” (Blue Deltas) – same as above but with a short-sleeve shirt. (Both this uniform and Blue Charlies above are typically the "uniform of the day" for recruiters.)
Ok, now let’s talk about the green “Service” uniform that your recruits will likely wear for MOST “dress up” occasions:
Service “A” (Service Alphas) – Green coat and trousers with ribbons (with badges, such as shooting badges, optional).
Figure 2 Service "A" Uniform
Service “B” (Service Bravos) – No green coat, but long-sleeve khaki shirt with necktie and ribbons. (Badges and/or green sweater optional.)
Figure 3 Service "B" and “C” Uniform
(Note: The Service “C” uniform is commonly just called wearing “Charlies”)
Service “C” (Service Charlies) – Same as above but with short-sleeve khaki shirt and ribbons. (Badges and/or green sweater optional.)
The Combat Utility Uniform (called “Cammies”, “Utilities” or simply “Utes”) (the camouflage uniform that you see so often in pictures of your recruits) has two different versions. One in darker green, called “Woodland” and the desert tan version called “Desert”. Generally Woodlands are worn during the winter months and Deserts during the summer, but this can be changed by the local commanders.
Hope this helps. (All pictures are of my son! Proud Dad mode ON!) Let me know if you have any questions!