In 2002, Jeff Morin was a young lance corporal, just two years into a hitch in the Marines, when he struck on a business idea that combined his pride and his artistry: designing challenge coins out of his Camp Lejeune barracks. Morin would purchase generic Marine Corps commemorative coins in town and sell them on eBay for a little profit. Morin's peers took a fast interest in his wares.
As the Global War on Terror has crawled along, it’s produced a glut of movies, books, and other junk by, for, and about vets. It’s also led the armed services to get very protective of their brand and logos as well-meaning veteran entrepreneurs and shady fly-by-nighters try to turn a buck on America’s near-universal love for all things military.
It cost the Navy at least $10 million and 18 months to help come up with the fiery new recruiting slogan “Forged By The Sea.” But after just before revealing its new rallying cry on Dec. 5, the branch appeared prepared to shell out a few thousand dollars more to lock down the rights to the phrase.
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.