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6 Marine Corps 'Rules' That Are Not Actually Regulations
If there’s one thing the Marine Corps will never be in short supply of, it’s rules. There are regulations on how to lace your boots, what you can and cannot do while walking, what clothes you can wear while off duty, and numerous pages explaining how to wear your uniform or how your hair should be cut.
The Corps’ many rules are some of the things that sets it apart from other services by holding its Marines to a strict and very high standard.
But some Marines take this too damn far and adhere to orders, real or imagined, with dogmatic zeal. Violate any of these sacred regulations in their presence and you’ll be screamed at, publicly shamed, and generally berated for being a dirtbag.
However, there are a number of unofficial rules that aren’t actual regulations.
While you’re still likely to get chewed out for violating any perceived, or misunderstood, order, you can rest assured that Chesty Puller and Dan Daly aren’t rolling over in their graves because you stuck your hands in your daggum pockets.
To confirm what rules are actually service-wide regulations, Task & Purpose reached out to Headquarters of Marine Corps to ask about everything from reflective belts, skivvy shirts and issued running shorts, to haircuts, reserved spaces, and when it’s okay to walk on the grass.
You are not required to get a haircut every week.
This is a routine point of frustration and contention for many male Marines. The unwritten, but loudly spoken, rule is you need a fresh haircut every Monday, but the Marine Corps’ doesn’t actually require you do that. In fact, if your hair grows slowly enough, you can probably pull off a trip to the barber once or twice a month.
The order states that “men will be well groomed at all times,” and then goes into excruciating detail on style of fades, hair length — no more than three inches fully extended on the top of your head — and all the finer points about sideburns and tapering. But what the order is clearly lacking is a rule stating how often a male Marine must get his hair cut.In an email to Task & Purpose, Capt. Dominic Pitrone, a Marine spokesman, cited comments from the Marine Corps Uniform Board, explaining that “Marines are required to maintain their hair within the grooming regulation standards. As such, they cut their hair as frequently as they need to in order to remain within the standards (for some Marines that means once a week, for others every other week, everyone is different).”
So, if you get a fresh haircut and it stays within the prescribed standard for a full month, then technically, you’re within regs.
Just don’t let your company gunny see you. Ever.
No, you don’t have to wear skivvy shirts in cammies.
According Paragraph 3036 of Marine Corps Order P1020.34G, which governs uniform regulations, wearing an olive-drab undershirt while in cammies is optional, though in the case of parades, formations, or ceremonies, it may be required for the sake of uniformity.
You know what that means. The next time it’s 95 degrees and muggy, let that silky-smooth chest or wiry mane of body hair breathe.
There’s no Corps-wide rule mandating you wear a reflective belt during PT.
While reflective belts have become a common sight in the military in the last 15 years, there is no standing Marine Corps order that mandates you wear one.
There’s no Marine Corps order saying you can’t park in reserved spaces.
If you’ve ever rolled up to work minutes before you have to be in formation, chances are you’ve noticed the rows of empty parking spaces reserved for company commanders, first sergeants, family readiness officers, and just about everyone else who can’t be bothered to show up on time, but wants prime parking when they arrive.
So why not take the spot? It’s not actually theirs anyway.
These signs are usually posted at offices or at the base exchange or commissary by the order of the base commander, and are for those of the determined rank, or expectant mothers, Pitrone explained in a phone interview with Task & Purpose.
However, it’s “not necessarily against the rules to park there, except that it’s the base commander’s rule and if you do it, somebody will tell you to move your car,” said Pitrone, adding, “There’s probably not a specific disciplinary action against it. It’s not like it’s in a document somewhere that’s legally binding.”
Unless of course you actually piss someone off enough that they take it to the base commander, but that’s a bit of a long shot.
You’re not required to wear issued PT shorts, but they do have to be green.
While green on green is standard for morning physical training, the issued shorts are incredibly uncomfortable due to the built-in lining that leads to chafing and frustrating bouts of jock itch. Fortunately, you don’t have to wear it.
According to Section 3023 of the uniform regulations, “olive green trunks of any material, similar in design to the standard issue trunks, may be worn at the option of the individual on all occasions for which the PT uniform is authorized/prescribed.”So, if you’re tired of having Navy Corpsmen ask you if you’ve been riding dirty because you keep scratching your junk due to a bad rash, buy some non-issued shorts. Just make sure they’re the right color.
There’s no actual rule against walking on the grass.
I always thought this was a bit childish for America’s toughest service. If it’s quicker to get to your car by cutting across the grass, it doesn’t make sense to make a giant loop around a useless, albeit very well-manicured lawn.
Much like the rule on parking, “if the base commander has a sign saying don’t walk on the grass, it’s probably not legally binding,” said Pitrone over the phone. “I don’t think someone’s going to go to court martial over that kind of thing.”
More than 7,500 boots on display at Fort Bragg this month served as a temporary memorial to service members from all branches who have died since 9/11.
The boots — which had the service members' photos and dates of death — were on display for Fort Bragg's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's annual Run, Honor and Remember 5k on May 18 and for the 82nd Airborne Division's run that kicked off All American Week.
"It shows the families the service members are still remembered, honored and not forgotten," said Charlotte Watson, program manager of Fort Bragg's Survivor Outreach Services.
After more than a decade of research and development and upwards of $500 million in funding, the Navy finally plans on testing its much-hyped electromagnetic railgun on a surface warship in a major milestone for the beleaguered weapons system, Navy documents reveal.
The Navy's latest Northwest Training and Testing draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Assessment (NWTT EIS/OEIS), first detailed by the Seattle Times on Friday, reveals that " the kinetic energy weapon (commonly referred to as the rail gun) will be tested aboard surface vessels, firing explosive and non-explosive projectiles at air- or sea-based targets."
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Congress fell short ahead of Memorial Day weekend, failing to pass legislation that would provide tax relief for the families of military personnel killed during their service.
Senators unanimously approved a version of the bipartisan Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act Tuesday sending it back to the House of Representatives, where it was tied to a retirement savings bill as an amendment, and passed Thursday.
When it got back to the Senate, the larger piece of legislation failed to pass and make its way to the President Trump's desk.
An NSA cyber weapon is reportedly being used against American cities by the very adversaries it was meant to target
In less than three years after the National Security Agency found itself subject to an unprecedentedly catastrophic hacking episode, one of the agency's most powerful cyber weapons is reportedly being turned against American cities with alarming frequency by the very foreign hackers it was once intended to counter.
The spectacle of hundreds of thousands of motorcycles roaring their way through the streets of Washington, D.C., to Memorial Day events as part of the annual Rolling Thunder veterans tribute will be a thing of the past after this coming weekend.
Former Army Sgt. Artie Muller, a 73-year-old Vietnam veteran and co-founder of Rolling Thunder, said the logistics and costs of staging the event for Memorial Day, which falls on May 27 this year, were getting too out of hand to continue. The ride had become a tradition in D.C. since the first in 1988.
"It's just a lot of money," said the plainspoken Muller, who laced an interview with a few epithets of regret over having to shut down Rolling Thunder.