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With This Dress Blue Jacket Knock-Off, It’s Time To Say So Long Semper Fi, Hello Semper Fine
Easily one of the most iconic uniform items in the military, the Marine Corps’ dress blue jacket is the recipient of a rich, if oft-embellished, history. But now the two centuries-old standby is getting a $200 upgrade... and prime real estate on mannequins and coat racks at a major retailer.
Banana Republic's new jacket looks awfully familiar.Screengrab via Banana Republic
Introducing the Banana Republic x Olivia Palermo Belted Military Jacket. With a $198 price tag, this women’s fall jacket isn't exactly cheap, but it costs less than a four-year enlistment.
Now, before folks start to grumble about stolen valor, it turns out that Banana Republic’s new top, while clearly modeled after the Marine Corps dress blues jacket, doesn’t actually violate any trademark laws.
While the Corps owns the rights to a number of insignias and logos, those licenses are limited to specific “uniform-based trademarks such as the iconic blood stripe, eagle and fouled anchor (appearing on the dress blues buttons), Eagle Globe and Anchor and even the desert and woodland camouflage patterns,” Jessica O'Haver, the director of Marine Corps Trademark Office told Task & Purpose in an email.
Well, the top is certainly similar to the Marine Corps' dress blue jacket, but the buttons... not so much.Screengrab via Banana Republic
In the case of Banana Republic’s hottest new piece of combat chic swag, “no USMC trademarks are present,” O’Haver explained. For example, the jacket’s buttons do not feature the trademarked eagle and anchor on, you know, actual dress blues.
“The product does not present itself as a genuine military issue item and no USMC branding is used in the promotion of the item, rather generic terms such as ‘military jacket’ to loosely describe the general theme,” O'Haver said.
While clearly a military-themed knockoff, and a pricey one at that, the jacket doesn’t violate the service’s trademarks, and as O’Haver notes, “no permission for use such as this is required.”
Besides, it’s hardly the first uniform item to make its way from military bases and onto the aisles of mainstream retailers. There’s Urban Outfitters’ stylish new addition to what we can only hope will be a recurring Central Issue Facility Fall catalog. Then there’s Nike’s strikingly familiar combat boot-sneaker hybrid. Foot powder and a change of socks are not included with those kicks, but they do come with a MOLLE-style handbag, for some reason.
In Banana Republic’s case, assuming they steer clear of official Marine Corps insignia, maybe we’ll see a kitschy take on the blues trousers — pre-ripped or acid-washed, perhaps? Maybe they’ll adopt a new slogan, too. Say buh-bye to Semper Fi and hello to semper fine.
But, if you're on the hunt for something with a vibe that's less "naval infantry" and more "maritime command," just check out these other military-themed jackets, some of which look like they came off a Pirates Of The Caribbean set.
At least 4 American veterans among group arrested in Haiti with arsenal of weapons and tactical gear
At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.
Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.
They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.
What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if the employee behind a firearm company's Facebook page decided to goaded a bunch of Marines into destroying their brand new firearms? Now you know.
A top Senate Republican and fierce ally of President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently about the U.S. military's plans to withdraw all troops from Syria by the end of April.
"That's the dumbest f******g idea I've ever heard," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reportedly replied when Shanahan confirmed the Trump administration still plans to complete the Syria withdrawal by April 30.
Later, Graham told Shanahan, "I am now your adversary, not your friend."
If you are in the market for any size of military surplus vehicle, keep an eye on GovPlanet. The online auction house is about to start selling U.S. Navy and Marine Corps surplus M1161 ITV Growlers and seven-ton Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement trucks.
Vandals tried to burn a statue of a Confederate general. They got the founder of the US Army Airborne instead
A marble statue memorializing the founder of the U.S. Army Airborne was set on fire Thursday in North Carolina, and museum officials believe it happened because vandals confused it for a Confederate memorial, according to the Dunn Daily Record and other media outlets.