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Dress Blues

Rexedgar

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My ETS was in OCT75. When I left, as an E-4, the highest uniform was class-A’s. What is the deal with “blues?”
When did they come to be ?
 

Skeptic Bob

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I enlisted mid 90s and I think we had them. I don’t recall ever seeing them until I started working embassies in 2002 and didn’t wear them until I became a Warrant Officer around 2005 (actually I think ai put off owning a pair longer than that). Enlisted didn’t have to own them back when I was enlisted.

But basically you wear them to more formal social functions, which for my job was most of them.
 

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My ETS was in OCT75. When I left, as an E-4, the highest uniform was class-A’s. What is the deal with “blues?”
When did they come to be ?

If you were Army, the Army has always had dress blues, just not issued at the E-4 level. They were a purchase item for NCOs and officers. They combined the Class A green service uniform with the dress blues to create a single blue service uniform.

It looks like they're bringing back pinks and greens as the service uniform in 2020.

64OYY4GQIBAMVAH767ZYOQG2AE.jpg
 

Beaudreaux

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When I was in, 80's and '90's, the USAF had Class A's and Mess Dress uniforms. The MD's had a white open waste coat, black trousers with black silk tripe down the legs, a white dress shirt and a black bow-tie. The rank was silver wire embroidered on shoulder boards (epaulettes) for officers and silver wire embroidered stripes on sleeves for enlisted. The medals were miniatures and the wings were silver wire embroidered miniatures (they looked awful) which were replaced by polished silver metal miniatures (they looked great). I still have mine - it won't fit me anymore, but I still have it.
image033.jpg

images
 

Xelor

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If you were Army, the Army has always had dress blues, just not issued at the E-4 level. They were a purchase item for NCOs and officers. They combined the Class A green service uniform with the dress blues to create a single blue service uniform.

It looks like they're bringing back pinks and greens as the service uniform in 2020.

View attachment 67246542

I won't lie, the Marines have so many different uniforms that I have trouble keeping them straight. That said, though I like the ones I've most often seen...

1024px-Plate_V%2C_Evening_Dress_Uniforms_-_U.S._Marine_Corps_Uniforms_1983_%281984%29%2C_by_Donna_J._Neary.jpg


1024px-Plate_VIII%2C_Marine_Barracks_Ceremonial_Uniforms_-_U.S._Marine_Corps_Uniforms_1983_%281984%29%2C_by_Donna_J._Neary.jpg



1024px-Plate_I%2C_Officers%27_Service_Uniforms_-_U.S._Marine_Corps_Uniforms_1983_%281984%29%2C_by_Donna_J._Neary.jpg



...I'm sure if any of them change, I'll be fine with them too. It's not as though I'm of a mind to have a strong view about what the Marine Corps decides marines should wear....After all, they're all quite smashing looking.
 

Fledermaus

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I won't lie, the Marines have so many different uniforms that I have trouble keeping them straight. That said, though I like the ones I've most often seen...

1024px-Plate_V%2C_Evening_Dress_Uniforms_-_U.S._Marine_Corps_Uniforms_1983_%281984%29%2C_by_Donna_J._Neary.jpg


1024px-Plate_VIII%2C_Marine_Barracks_Ceremonial_Uniforms_-_U.S._Marine_Corps_Uniforms_1983_%281984%29%2C_by_Donna_J._Neary.jpg



1024px-Plate_I%2C_Officers%27_Service_Uniforms_-_U.S._Marine_Corps_Uniforms_1983_%281984%29%2C_by_Donna_J._Neary.jpg



...I'm sure if any of them change, I'll be fine with them too. It's not as though I'm of a mind to have a strong view about what the Marine Corps decides marines should wear....After all, they're all quite smashing looking.

One Commandant of the Marine Corps suggested Dress Blues and Camouflage Utilities should be the only uniforms.....

I always liked the idea. I never warmed to the Peanut Butter and Pickle service uniforms.
 

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My ETS was in OCT75. When I left, as an E-4, the highest uniform was class-A’s. What is the deal with “blues?”
When did they come to be ?

While I was in the Army they had the following.

Class A's and of course B's w/o the Jacket


Dress Blues
Mess Blues (see below)

Dress WhitesMess Whites (see below)





Currently ...

Army Service Uniform ASU
3879769371_999ac85cfb_b.jpg


Mess Blues
army_male_off._blue_mess_pkg_09k-430_web_1.jpg

Mess Whites
army_male_go_white_mess_pkg_09k-498_web.jpg


Though recently they have decided to go back to the Green uniform.
And I do mean back ... way back ... like WWII style.
Pinks and Greens (though they have dropped the pink part after approval)

MGM6U3EFL5GUPPFJ66CLOAGW3A.jpg
 
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marke

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My ETS was in OCT75. When I left, as an E-4, the highest uniform was class-A’s. What is the deal with “blues?”
When did they come to be ?

My ETS from the Army was in Sept 74. I cannot even remember what uniforms I wore.
 

Tangmo

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My ETS from the Army was in Sept 74. I cannot even remember what uniforms I wore.


Army Greens are what you wore as Class A of the ASU. It's what I wore and many others wore from circa 1960 or so. I wore it in my time '66 - 70. It was also a time of uniform transitions.

An excellent uniform.

Defense.gov_photo_essay_110311-D-XH843-002.jpg



The green wool uniform was awful cause when it rained we smelled like sheep; it was thick and heavy on a good day. We had the khakis then also or as I preferred, the summer tan uniform which I thought was super great. Then Army transitioned to manufactured fabrics which was excellent. First it was summer greens and winter greens then year round greens if I remember correctly from a long time ago.

The Army ceremonial unit I was in in Washington had blue dress uniforms also. Everyone to include officers and nco were issued the dress blues because it was needed as part of the duty assignment. Plain green fatigues. In Washington Army and Marine Corps ceremonial units had more uniforms than a surplus store.


the-us-armys-twilight-tattoo-is-held-on-tuesday-evenings-in-the-summer-g3a67a.jpg



the-us-armys-twilight-tattoo-is-held-on-tuesday-evenings-in-the-summer-HAK2G8.jpg



the-us-armys-twilight-tattoo-is-held-on-tuesday-evenings-in-the-summer-hak2j9.jpg



g2298.gif
 

UtahBill

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IMO, our military shouldn't have to dress like peacocks at any time. Anybody remember Nixon and his desired "palace guard" uniform?
 

beerftw

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My ETS was in OCT75. When I left, as an E-4, the highest uniform was class-A’s. What is the deal with “blues?”
When did they come to be ?

The dress blues have existed in various forms and issue well since the us army existed. They have changed numerous times but I believe they never fully went out of service however the greens replaced them as the official class a but then they went to the dress blue. To really confuse you the army is arleady ditching the dress blue asu that is fairly new for greens, however what exactly they will adopt is not fully known, as pinks and greens or simple the old greens are both possibilities. Do not count on the greens to replace the blues across the board anytime soon, the blues were announced not long after I joined the military 2009 and we still had units active and reserve running around with the greens in 2014 before they finally made it mandatory. When I left active duty in 2011 nearly no one had the blue uniforms, and in 2015 when I left the national guard they were barely on mandatory across the board dress blues.

The issue is units do not want mixed uniforms, meaning it looks bad for dnc to have half one uniform and half the other, this leads units to delay implementation until it is mandatory or the unit has funds to issue out the uniform on their own dime.


I spent my who carreer in either the acu uniform or dress greens, and the greens I actually liked, they were comfortable in both hot and cold weather. Granted most of my use of the dress greens were either funeral details as a pallbearer or army social functions that demanded it's use.
 

Tangmo

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IMO, our military shouldn't have to dress like peacocks at any time. Anybody remember Nixon and his desired "palace guard" uniform?


Who could forget. It was right after Nixon had been reelected in 1972. It reveals what could happen if yet another criminal Potus/CinC under suspicion got reelected.


th

White House Executive Protection Service uniformed police wear their new uniforms ordered up by then President Nixon.

The many opposition critics said it looked too European among other objections which resulted in the EPS returning to their standard uniform of the time.



05213ccdc644dc12ff5dbdaeaa27d964.jpg

Coming soon to Mar-a-Lago and then to....?


military-officers-from-army-navy-coastguard-airforce-and-marines-as-BTFCK9.jpg

Joint Service Color Guard At the Tomb of the Unknowns, Arlington National Cemetery L-R: U.S. Army, Coast Guard, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Army.


Ceremonial unit regular forces in Washington DC perform in public a regular military tattoo to show and celebrate the nation's history, heritage, growth, development, military achievements, to include the role played by the armed forces from the time of the continental army of General Washington. Membership of ceremonial units in Washington is voluntary on meeting requirments, qualifications, training. No one there "has to" be there. In fact DoD wants only those who want to be there.
 
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Tangmo

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Your Marine Corps

First Company Graduates in New Dress Blue Uniform for Female Marines


XLWEWD5VZZG7RLVLMDKFJJLC6Y.jpg

Drill Instructors and Marines with November Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion march towards the Peatross Parade Deck before their graduation ceremony Nov. 16, 2018, at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C. (Lance Cpl. Yamil Casarreal/Marine Corps)


The Corps’ new female uniform has been years in the making. The endeavor started in 2013 when then-Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus pushed the Corps to design unisex uniforms where possible.

Currently, female Marines can still choose between the new dress blue coat and the old style that features a neck tab, at least until Sept. 30, 2022. After that, the new dress blue coat will be mandatory.

I'd add the fit might become more trim and tight but the high collar blouse seems fine.
 

Xelor

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While I was in the Army they had the following.

Class A's and of course B's w/o the Jacket


Dress Blues
Mess Blues (see below)

Dress WhitesMess Whites (see below)





Currently ...

Army Service Uniform ASU
3879769371_999ac85cfb_b.jpg


Mess Blues
army_male_off._blue_mess_pkg_09k-430_web_1.jpg

Mess Whites
army_male_go_white_mess_pkg_09k-498_web.jpg


Though recently they have decided to go back to the Green uniform.
And I do mean back ... way back ... like WWII style.
Pinks and Greens (though they have dropped the pink part after approval)

MGM6U3EFL5GUPPFJ66CLOAGW3A.jpg

Even a maternity version....Now that's the military thinking of everything, so to speak. You gotta love organizations that know what the hell they're doing.
 

Tangmo

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I won't lie, the Marines have so many different uniforms that I have trouble keeping them straight. That said, though I like the ones I've most often seen...

...I'm sure if any of them change, I'll be fine with them too. It's not as though I'm of a mind to have a strong view about what the Marine Corps decides marines should wear....After all, they're all quite smashing looking.



Marine dress blue and white are associated with the Navy blue and their sea of white uniform. Both of 'em work off the same two colors. While Marines split the difference with a blue blouse and white trousers, Navy wears each the blue or the white as a whole single solid color uniform.

140519-M-CE001-002-840x692.jpg

USMC is currently changing female uniform to the high collar "Mandarin" uniform seen next...


One-dress-blue-for-men-and-women-in-the-Marine-Corps.jpg

Marine Corps Master Sergeant E-8 at Marine Barracks, 8th and I Streets, Washington DC wearing new female Mandarin high collar uniform. The Barracks are the oldest base in the Corps, since 1804.




origin.jpg

USN seasonal solid color uniform.


9318708252_8ce4e47e0e_b.jpg

Platoon of USN Ceremonial Guard Washington DC Navy Yard march in St. Patrick's Day Parade, New York City, 2017. Uniform is seasonal blue winter uniform garnished by white leg/foot spats aka ankle spats.



US_Navy_091002-N-3442D-031_Members_of_the_U.S._Navy_Ceremonial_Guard_salute_for_the_National_Anthem_during_the_retirement_ceremony_for_Rear_Adm._Jon_W._Bayless_Jr._and_Rear_Adm._Edward.jpg

USN Ceremonial Guard salute during national anthem at Washington Navy Yard base ceremony. Uniform is seasonal white summer uniform.
 

Oozlefinch

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I won't lie, the Marines have so many different uniforms that I have trouble keeping them straight. That said, though I like the ones I've most often seen...

That is not really true.

The only 3 that the majority will ever see or wear are the Utility Uniform, the Class A-C greens, and Dress Blues. And unless you have some kind of duty that requires their being worn, not even Dress Blues unless you shell out the money to buy them yourself.

I spent several years on Barracks Duty (1984-1987, 1990-1993), and Dress Blues were required. My first station we were only issued the trousers and cap, because that was the uniform when we were functioning as gate guards. However many (like myself) opted to get the jacket as well (I bought mine off a guy who was NJP'ed out).

But at things like the Marine Corps Ball, you might well see the Field Grade Officers and senior enlisted in "Mess Dress". That is the one that looks a bit like a waiters jacket. And the same senior officers (or those that went to Annapolis) might have the Dress Whites, because that is what they wore at the academy.

The others you show, those are specific ceremonial uniforms that most will never see, let alone wear. Marine Corps Band, 8th and I, those are about the only places those are ever seen.

I know my time at Barracks Duty, it was all to common to see Blues worn for both duty and ceremonial occasions. Heck, we even got called out for movie and TV sessions because we all had Blues.


But when I was in the Fleet, Blues were much less common. Probably because for an average Lance or Corporal they were an investment of almost a full month of pay.
 

Xelor

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That is not really true.

The only 3 that the majority will ever see or wear are the Utility Uniform, the Class A-C greens, and Dress Blues....

I spent several years on Barracks Duty (1984-1987, 1990-1993), and Dress Blues were ... the uniform [we wore when] ... as gate guards....(I bought [a uniform jacket] off a guy who was NJP'ed out).

But at things like the Marine Corps Ball, you might well [senior personnel] in "Mess Dress."....

The others you show, those are specific ceremonial uniforms that most will never see, let alone wear. Marine Corps Band, 8th and I, those are about the only places those are ever seen.

...we even got called out for movie and TV sessions because we all had Blues...

But when I was in the Fleet, Blues were much less common. Probably because for an average Lance or Corporal they were an investment of almost a full month of pay.
TY for sharing the sartorial customs most Marine Corps (MC) servicemen/women generally exercise.

  1. Perhaps you misunderstood my meaning?
    • I wrote, "...the Marines have so many different uniforms that I have trouble keeping them straight." --> By "the Marines have," I was referring to the uniforms the MC stipulates/authorizes, not what uniforms any individual marine wears/owns. The last sentence in my post provided the contextual cue readers needed to know the MC, not individual marines, was my remarks' focus.
    • I accept the veracity of the incidence of sartorial choices you've noted regarding the vast majority of individual servicemen/-women in the MC.
    • By "keeping them straight," I had in mind that I don't know what drives which specific uniform, within the three main classes of them, a marine opts to don.
  2. Perhaps you didn't notice my location, which I use to indicate the location of my primary residence, is Washington, DC. It's infrequent that I attend MC events, but periodically I see marines going to/from their places of work and/or MC social events, and occasionally some attend civilian social functions I also attend. In my movings about, I see the three general classes of MC uniforms noted.
    • Service uniforms --> I see these quite often.
    • Red and blue dress uniforms --> I see these somewhat often, but I only see the red one when/where the MC band performs. (The band performs in many places besides at their barracks on Capitol Hill.)
    • Evening "Mess" dress --> I see these far less often, usually at black/white tie events I attend and that a marine also attends. Mostly, I see "Mess" dress at the handful of embassy or White House[SUP]1[/SUP] events to which I get invited or maybe at the Kennedy Center honors.

I suppose were I to live a fancy lifestyle, or were I part of official Washington rather than merely social Washington, I'd see them more often, but as I only attend a few (5-15) formal events each year, I don't have that many occasions to see marines wearing this outfit (or see members of other services wearing their respective formal attire). That said, I can be fairly well assured of at least once a year observing one or more folks from each military branch wearing whatever be their evening dress uniform.


Note:

  1. [*=2]No, I'm not in any way an "insider" in official Washington. On occasion I got asked to provide input regarding applications of my niche of management consulting to undertakings someone wanted to consider or commence, and as a "thank you," the person for whom I did so will arrange to get me an invitation to some WH event. Generally, my seat is at a "far table in the back of the room."

    I haven't been invited to Trump WH, nor have I been referred to provide professional input to Trump WH personnel. That's just as well, I suppose, for I don't like Trump, and everyone who knows me well knows I detest him more now than I did before he became POTUS. Unlike prior Admins., I haven't been invited to the Trump WH, which is just as well for I wouldn't go to a social event there if I were. (If asked, out of a sense of duty to the country, I would provide professional input.)

Blue:
I have no idea what that abbreviation means, but I presume it means the guy's MC employment ended.


Pink:
I bet those experiences were nifty. I've never been among the talent in a film, though I've thought it would be cool to do so. I have only been on sets and observed various other content production processes, and that only for the sake of developing a high level understanding of a client's operations.
 

Xelor

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...
But when I was in the Fleet, Blues were much less common. Probably because for an average Lance or Corporal they were an investment of almost a full month of pay.

That seems reasonable...But nearly a full month's pay? That seems awfully high, unless one buys a bespoke uniform.

My son will transition from NROTC to the "regular" Navy this summer. Inasmuch as, upon their graduation from college, I gave them money to get themselves a business wardrobe, I did the same for him. When making arrangements to have his uniforms made, I asked him if having the Navy formal wear uniforms would be of use to him. He said it probably wasn't necessary yet, but he'd let me know if that changed. He felt that, assuming he even had occasion to wear it, were he to wear such a uniform, many of his peers might think him boorish.

My other kids' peers wouldn't think ill of their wearing a dinner jacket, tails or morning coat to an event that called for such attire. I guess that's one of the things that distinguishes the thinking of folks in the military from that of civilians.

In any case, even though I thought my son's comment strange, he's a grown man, so he must "rise and fall" on the choices he makes; moreover, I trust and accede to, of all things, his sartorial judgment. Besides, I haven't a thing to say about the threads other people, including my adult children, opt to own/wear. Their graduation wardrobes are the last clothes I intend to buy for my kids, save maybe an odd item here and there, assuming they expressly ask for such a thing, for Christmas or birthdays. So if he doesn't care to avail himself of my largesse in having a formal dress uniform made for him, I'm fine with his choice thus.

Aside:
Clothing isn't generally something I typically give my kids (or anyone else) as gifts. Once they were 16, when my kids needed clothes, they told me so, and I bought them clothes or gave them money to do so, birthday/Christmas or not. They bought non-need garments using their allowances.​
 

Oozlefinch

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I wrote, "...the Marines have so many different uniforms that I have trouble keeping them straight."

The red uniform is only used by the Marine Corps Band ("The President's Own"), and nobody else. Also it should be noted that members of this band are not actually "Members" of the Marine Corps. They are essentially civilians who serve a 4 year contract. They adhere to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (the military legal code), and must meet all grooming standards. They are assigned the starting rank of Staff Sergeant, and never have to attend boot camp, and are assigned exclusively to the Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington DC.

The only uniforms that Marines are mandated to own are those issued in boot camp. The Green uniform, and the utility (camouflage) uniform. For a brief time in the 1990's all were issued Blues, but I think this only lasted a few years.

Depending upon posting, other Marines may get issued Blues. When I was in, that included Recruiters, Drill Instructors, Embassy Duty, Sea Duty, and Barracks Duty. Barracks Duty were detachments of Marines assigned to provide security at Navy Bases around the world. Sea Duty ended in the 1990's, and Barracks Duty also ended at about the same time. The last remnants of Barracks Duty are the Fleet Anti-Terrorist Security Teams (FAST Company).

Any time a Marine is to attend an event after regular duty hours, their uniform will be specified either in the invitation or in a separate instruction. And in most ways, it matches similar clothing requirements.

USMC-Birthday-Ball-2013-Flyer-web.jpg


This one specifies "Black Tie or Military Dress". Which in civilian terms means a formal suit or tux. Since it is an Embassy posting, all members would have Blues so that is the required uniform. The Mess Dress would be the mandated uniform if the attire is to be full formal, as in men are all expected to be in a tux. And those kinds of invitations would only go to those of higher rank, who are expected to be able to afford such a uniform.

Blue:
I have no idea what that abbreviation means, but I presume it means the guy's MC employment ended.

Non-Judicial Punishment. Also known as Article 15 or "Office Hours" (Captain's Mast in the Navy). It is the lowest form of punishment a person in the military can receive, generally for minor infractions. But as a general rule, get 3 of them (or 1 of the more major ones like drug offenses) and you are separated from the military. basically they did bad things, but not bad enough to earn a Court Martial.

Pink:
I bet those experiences were nifty. I've never been among the talent in a film, though I've thought it would be cool to do so. I have only been on sets and observed various other content production processes, and that only for the sake of developing a high level understanding of a client's operations.

Well, my first duty station was close to Long Beach. And the way the unit raised money for our annual Marine Corps Ball was to "rent" us out to various Hollywood productions. 8 or 10 times a year we would be "ordered" to participate in some kind of movie or TV shoot. Anything from "Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance" to "Invaders From Mars" or some TV pilot. The unit liked it because they got to throw some great Balls, Hollywood liked it because they got "Real Marines", complete with uniforms who needed little training.

To give an idea, the shoot for Roomies was a 1 day shoot, filmed outside the old Barracks at Fort MacArthur. It took maybe 6 hours to shoot, and it was just us, the crew, and Burt Young. Mostly known as the brother-in-law of Rocky, he actually was a Marine and loved hanging out with us. Between takes and uniform changes (half the day was in utilities, the other in Blues) he would swap stories of what it was like in the Corps then, compared to when he served just after the Korean War and before Vietnam.

Invaders From mars was a bit different, that was over 2 weeks of shoots between sound stages and on location in the mountains north of LA. Most notable however is that it was the first movie that Dale Dye was the "Military Consultant" on, the year after he retired from the Marines. I remember none of us were very impressed with him, and thought he was kind of a clown. But now I realize that a lot of that was simply his trying to get his foot in the door, and today he has the reputation of being the ultimate professional.

But acting, is pretty dull most of the time. You spend hours and hours rehearsing, doing shoots, and getting makeup and uniform changes. And after 6-10 hours you generally get maybe 1-2 minutes of actual useable film. All actors (even extras) know to bring along a good book, because you may spend a long time just sitting around until you are needed
 

Oozlefinch

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That seems reasonable...But nearly a full month's pay? That seems awfully high, unless one buys a bespoke uniform.

Not really. There is a lot involved in such a uniform. And it is not bought "off the rack", but has to be tailored to each individual.

In 1984, the pay before taxes of a Lance Corporal (E-3) was around $650 a month.

Blues Coat: $175
Trousers (2): $45 each
White Hat : $75
White Gloves (2): $10
Accoutrements: $150

And yes, the buttons, Marine Corps Emblems (all 3), large belt buckle, those were all anodized gold. They are not even sewn onto the uniform, but "buttonholed" and attached with basically a cotter pin. You remove them each time you have the uniform cleaned, and they came in their own jewelry box style case. Most who wanted a set either bought them off of a Marine who was getting out, or from a surplus store unless they were lucky enough to have them issued. Those that really wanted one otherwise generally saved for several months before they could get them.

And to give an idea, it is about the same today. A full issue of Blues now is around $1,600. Base pay for an E-3, around $1,900 before taxes. And yea, you can reduce the cost by getting cheaper parts. Brass buttons that are sewn on instead of buttonholed for example, and brass emblems and buckles instead of the anodized ones. But I knew very few who went that route, considering the extra $200 or so spent was a good investment.

Officers and Staff NCOs (Staff Sergeant and above) were expected to have Blues, Officers above Captain and enlisted at First Sergeant and above were expected to have Mess Dress.

My son will transition from NROTC to the "regular" Navy this summer. Inasmuch as, upon their graduation from college, I gave them money to get themselves a business wardrobe, I did the same for him. When making arrangements to have his uniforms made, I asked him if having the Navy formal wear uniforms would be of use to him. He said it probably wasn't necessary yet, but he'd let me know if that changed. He felt that, assuming he even had occasion to wear it, were he to wear such a uniform, many of his peers might think him boorish.

Well, on the events he needs to wear a uniform, he will be instructed what uniform to wear. And as a lower ranked Officer, he will likely be expected to appear in the lowest class of said uniform. I know that when I attended Marine Corps Balls at Camp Lejeune, I was one of the minority of those under Staff Sergeant that actually had my own Dress Blues. And most of us that did had done duty like I had where they had been issued. Generally Barracks, Sea or Embassy Duty.

But if he stays in, as he gains higher rank the more fancy uniforms will pretty much be required.

And on several occasions I had worn my uniform to civilian events. I attended a show once in Reno that required a jacket and tie. I did not own one at the time so wore my Dress Blues. I caught a MAC flight from North Carolina to San Diego, and had to fly in uniform. I chose the "Dress Blues D" uniform (blue trousers and short sleeve khaki shirt) simply because it looked better than the same uniform in greens.

In short, any event that requires a suit and tie is fine for wearing your uniform. However, you also want to be careful doing so, especially near a military town. I would have no problem wearing my dress uniform to say a formal civilian event in say Sacramento or Boise, but I would not do it in San Diego or El Paso. Then the odds increase that somebody would want to know what you were doing in uniform when it was not needed.

And as an Officer, he will also be required to wear his formal uniforms much more than I would have. In general, outside of inspections we are only expected to wear them maybe once a year. Generally to the annual ball that most units or bases have. But as an officer, he might well be invited to the functions of other units or military branches on his post. That may be 4-12+ times a year, depending on where he is.

For example, at Fort Bliss you had the annual Marine Corps Ball (November 10), the Army Ball (June 14), the Saint Barbara Ball (patron Saint of Artillery - 4 December), the Navy Ball (13 October), and other events that might happen. Balls for units leaving for or returning from deployment, large promotion or award ceremonies, the formals for a senior officer arriving, departing or retiring, things like that. Plus the ones held every year by the foreign units assigned there. We had units from both Germany and Japan there permanently. And the higher rank he gets, the more such events he will be expected to attend.
 

Xelor

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[Deleted for character requirements --> Explanation of the general guidelines for the use of various Marine Corps uniforms]
TY for sharing

Any time a Marine is to attend an event after regular duty hours, their uniform will be specified either in the invitation or in a separate instruction. And in most ways, it matches similar clothing requirements.

yddcepso


This one specifies "Black Tie or Military Dress". Which in civilian terms means a formal suit or tux. Since it is an Embassy posting, all members would have Blues so that is the required uniform. The Mess Dress would be the mandated uniform if the attire is to be full formal, as in men are all expected to be in a tux. And those kinds of invitations would only go to those of higher rank, who are expected to be able to afford such a uniform.
TBH, I haven't much exposure to military events. I have plenty of exposure to formal civilian events whereat one or more service members (Marine or otherwise) are among the guests.

Red:
Perhaps "posting" means something other than what I think it does. I think of a military posting as roughly the place where one has one's office. "Roughly" because , for example, an officer I know works at DoD headquarters on Mass Ave., but it seems he is somehow attached to the Pentagon. I admit I don't know the details. I just know he joked with me once about the fact that he thought he'd be working in the Pentagon when they told him he'd be coming to Washington.)

The military folks I know and who attend such events, AFAIK, are there primarily because of their "civilian" social standing more so than their professional status, for AFAIK, none of their regular jobs entails their working at an embassy. That said, I recognize that they could have assignments about which I know nothing and that call for them to be there. If they do, that they do is, as they say, above my pay grade. I do know, however, that they are men and women whom I've know socially since college, or in a few instances, high school. And, yes, I'm well aware that their circumstances -- that of being born to and raised among 'bon vivant" folks -- aren't typical, and that what you've described is quite likely the norm among service members.


Blue:
That makes sense. The only reason I occasionally get invited to events at embassies/ambassadorial residences is because of social interactions and acquaintanceships. For instance, France provides an residence for the Ambassador's kids. When my kids were young, they played -- hard to remember a time when kids actually played outdoors, isn't it...sad that kids don't much do so these days -- with the ambassadors kids, because, well, that's what kids did. My siblings and I befriended the neighborhood kids and our classmates at school who happened also to have highly placed officials.

As for me, well, I'm just a reasonably affable, considerate, trustworthy and social fellow whose life puts me in settings whereby I come into contact with folks who have "fancy" jobs. My own career as a consultant was more well-compensated than it was "fancy." After all, my job was to my clients "look good," so to speak.

FWIW, at weddings, formal fundraising events and other black/white tie civilian events are the other place where I see military folks wear "Mess" dress. I'm a bit beyond the wedding age, but my kids aren't. Many of my two oldest's close friends have been marrying over the past lustrum or so. I go to the ones hosted by a bride/groom I know relatively well (i.e., because of their friendships with my kids, they often visited/stayed at my home, sailed with us (or for one of them, borrowed my boat) on weekends, summered or vacationed, with my family). A fair number of them know someone who's in the military, and I suppose because they are kids from comfortable families, they own military formal wear and wear it. And, truth be told, were I in the military and had a choice between wearing "Mess" dress or a tuxedo to a civilian formal event, I'd wear the military option, because if nothing else, it looks cool.


Non-Judicial Punishment. Also known as Article 15 or "Office Hours" (Captain's Mast in the Navy). It is the lowest form of punishment a person in the military can receive, generally for minor infractions. But as a general rule, get 3 of them (or 1 of the more major ones like drug offenses) and you are separated from the military. basically they did bad things, but not bad enough to earn a Court Martial.

TY for the explanation.



[Deleted due to character limit --> Discussion of experiences as cast members in films]

TY for sharing.
 

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There is a lot involved in such a uniform. And it is not bought "off the rack", but has to be tailored to each individual.....In short, any event that requires a suit and tie is fine for wearing your uniform. However, you also want to be careful doing so, especially near a military town. I would have no problem wearing my dress uniform to say a formal civilian event in say Sacramento or Boise, but I would not do it in San Diego or El Paso. Then the odds increase that somebody would want to know what you were doing in uniform when it was not needed.

And as an Officer, he will also be required to wear his formal uniforms much more than I would have. In general, outside of inspections we are only expected to wear them maybe once a year. Generally to the annual ball that most units or bases have. But as an officer, he might well be invited to the functions of other units or military branches on his post. That may be 4-12+ times a year, depending on where he is.

For example, at Fort Bliss you had the annual Marine Corps Ball (November 10), the Army Ball (June 14), the Saint Barbara Ball (patron Saint of Artillery - 4 December), the Navy Ball (13 October), and other events that might happen. Balls for units leaving for or returning from deployment, large promotion or award ceremonies, the formals for a senior officer arriving, departing or retiring, things like that. Plus the ones held every year by the foreign units assigned there. We had units from both Germany and Japan there permanently. And the higher rank he gets, the more such events he will be expected to attend.

Red:
I found that out when I got the bill from the tailor who's making his uniforms. LOL None of my sons can easily buy "off the rack" (OTR) suits; the drop is never right for them. (I suppose they can buy OTR suit separates, but they probably wouldn't think of going to a store that sells OTR suits that way.)

I have the same problem with suits, which is why I loved the arrival of business casual. I can buy plenty of jackets and trousers that fit well enough for a nip here and tuck there. Before business casual, I wore suits all the time, but had to wear bespoke ones (or at the outset of my career, suit separates) because of my body shape. Fortunately, my body shape hasn't changed and those suits still fit and are conservative in cut/style, so I still wear them on the rare occasion I feel like wearing a suit, but I haven't bought a new suit since before the turn of the century. I have bought many sport jackets and trousers.

I had hoped I'd be spending a bit less than I did for his older brother's business suits. No such luck. Bespoke military uniforms cost nearly as much the same as bespoke civilian suits. As the tailor explained, "a suit's a suit." I did save a little bit because the fabrics for mil spec garments are less expensive than were those of my oldest son's business drag.

I wouldn't expect many folks buy bespoke military dress uniforms. That said, doing so gets one an outfit that fits like a second skin. Outwardly, only to a very few will the difference in the fit be noticed. The wearer, however, absolutely will notice the difference because there's nothing uncomfortable, constricting, etc. about wearing such garments. The only way I can describe it is that they move with the wearer, and no matter what "extreme" gesture one may make -- say, reaching to the overhead bin on a plane -- afterwards, the suit jacket always settles back to where it belongs, draping perfectly around one's shirt collar.

Details of suit-fit such as what I described probably don't matter much (or at all) for most folks' daily lives; however, when one is out to look as dashing as possible, such as when wearing formal attire, I think it's worth it, if the cost isn't to one prohibitive. Of course, I wouldn't suggest anyone overextend themselves to buy bespoke. It's be be inconsiderate of me to specifically suggest one should, and it'd be imprudent of them to think of doing so. Bespoke tailoring is an indulgence, not a necessity.


Blue:
I guess he'll find out whether he should have accepted my offer. In any case, I'm sure he'll make out just fine.
 

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Red:
Perhaps "posting" means something other than what I think it does. I think of a military posting as roughly the place where one has one's office. "Roughly" because , for example, an officer I know works at DoD headquarters on Mass Ave., but it seems he is somehow attached to the Pentagon. I admit I don't know the details. I just know he joked with me once about the fact that he thought he'd be working in the Pentagon when they told him he'd be coming to Washington.)

Posting is their "place of duty", normally. In reality, it is generally where their major command is "assigned". But they themselves may be assigned to a sub-unit. But even that can be rather wide.

For example, a soldier can be posted at "Fort Bliss" in Texas, but actually work out at McGregor Range in New Mexico, over 50 miles away. Or in the example you give, they are probably posted to the Pentagon, but actually perform their duties at another location in the geographical area.

Not unlike a sailor assigned to a ship. Their "Home Port" may be San Diego, but their ship is over off the coast of Taiwan.

Most of us in the military get used to that, because a lot of bases are just so damned big. I spent over 5 years at Fort Bliss, where the post itself is over 1,700 square miles (over 5,000 square miles when you include White Sands Missile Range, Holloman Air Force Base, and other military facilities that are all located next to each other). And often times you can end up with some rather unusual arrangements of who is over what.

I have seen Chains of Command go from one unit, but where their "Commanding Officer" was hundreds or even thousands of miles away. In the 1980's, the Marines at NWS Fallbrook (Naval Weapon Station) was an annex and reported to NWS Seal Beach. Even though Fallbrook was physically attached to Camp Pendleton with it's own Generals, and Seal Beach was over 200 miles away to the North and was commanded by a Major.

And yes, anybody with orders to NWS Fallbrook was actually "posted" to NWS Seal Beach, and then assigned for duty to the other base. The same thing I know was done further North, with the Marines at NWS Concord actually being assigned to the Marine Barracks at Mare Island. But they were all detached for duty to the Weapon Station.
 

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As a side note, I am only aware of one instance where every service member is issued a complete set of Dress Blues (or equivalent dress uniform) at no cost to themselves or their family.

In the event they die in service to their country. When the Funeral Affairs department prepares these heroes to their family, they are fitted out in an immaculate set of dress uniform, complete with all awards they have earned.

imageshack_28678_20150111_3831.jpg


Even in the instances where there is either going to be a cenotaph placed for the individual, or the body is not fit for viewing, they will do their best to honor the wishes of the family to help them through this time.

032218rudyfuneral11107963765_t1070_hcced4c903d18c1503c0d2e1ccc5ed6b7fa3c1a80.jpg
 
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