Marine Corps Systems Command
Marines, The Few. The Proud


Appropriate Wear of the Uniform and Medals/Ribbons

1.  Regulations governing the wear of uniforms by active duty/retired, former Marines and civilians serving with the Corps:

v Grooming Standards. Anyone who wears the Marine Corps Uniform must abide by the Marine Corps Grooming standards (paragraph 1004 and 8000.2 of the Uniform Regulations). Active duty/Reservists/Retirees and former Marines must also abide by the height and weight standards (paragraph 8000.2 of the Uniform Regulations).

v Wear of Proper Insignia and Awards. When wearing a Marine Corps uniform you may only wear your current rank, or the rank that you left the service with and may only wear the awards you rate per your personnel records. No deviations of this policy are authorized.

v Activities where you may not wear the Uniform. Paragraph 11002 of the Uniform Regulations provides a list of activities that you may not wear the uniform (i.e. to an event that brings discredit to the Corps, to events in support of political interests, private and/or commercial employment…).

v Retiree/Reservist Wear of Uniforms. As a Retiree/Reservist you may wear the uniform for basically any event that you wore the uniform while on active duty.

v As a former Marine there are some restrictions:

Ø You must have served during a time of war (i.e. earned the National Defense Medal during your time in service) and received an honorable discharge to wear the uniform.

Ø Events you are restricted to wearing it to:

§ Military funerals, memorial services, weddings, and inaugurals.

§ Parades on national or state holidays; or other parades or ceremonies of a patriotic character in which any active or reserve United States military unit are taking part. ‘Wearing of the uniform or any part thereof at any other time or for any purpose is prohibited.’

§ Recipients of the Medal of Honor may wear the Marine Corps uniforms at their pleasure except for those specific occasions listed in paragraph 11002 of the Uniform Regulations

Civilian/Contractor wear of uniforms (paragraph 8005 of the Uniform Regs):

"1. When authorized by CMC, U.S. civilian technicians serving with the Marine Corps may wear the Marine Corps service and utility uniforms except that no distinctive grade, corps device, or other Navy or Marine Corps insignia will be worn. Plain buttons of the approximate size and color of the buttons prescribed for the Marine Corps uniforms will be worn on all coats.

2. The insignia as described below will be worn on these uniforms by civilian technicians:

a. Breast insignia will be worn on the left-breast pocket of all coats and khaki shirts. The breast insignia will consist of an embroidered spread eagle facing dexter with a group of tools clutched in the left claw and an olive branch in the right claw. The lettering "U.S. TECHNICIAN" and "U.S. CONTRACTOR" will be centered immediately below the eagle. The insignia will be placed on a 3-1/4 -inch square background material of the same color as the coat or shirt, except on utility uniforms, which will utilize an olive drab fabric as background material for the emblem (for both combat and camouflage utilities, desert and woodland variations). When requisitioned, the breast insignia patch will already include the olive drab background and should be sewn directly over the existing eagle, globe and anchor. On the combat utility uniform, the insignia will be placed so that the eagle’s wings are parallel to the deck.

b. Cap insignia will be worn on the garrison cap. The insignia shall be worn on the left side 2 inches from the front edge and 1-1/2 inches from the bottom edge. The garrison cap insignia shall consist of a 5/8-inch by 3/4-inch gilt pin with the inscription "U.S. TECHNICIAN." Government civilians/contractors employed by the Marine Corps will wear the combat garrison cap without the Marine Corps emblem. One U.S. Technician pin-on collar insignia will be centered on the front center panel of the combat garrison cap, parallel to the deck.

c. Collar insignia will be worn on both sides of the collar of the khaki shirt and the utility coat, with the center of the insignia 1 inch from the front edge, and 1 inch from the upper edge of the collar. The collar insignia is identical to the garrison cap insignia described above.

d. Service/Nametapes. Government civilians/
contractors employed by the Marine Corps will wear the service tapes, per paragraph 3033 of the Uniform Regulations, with the following text "U.S. Technician." Nametapes may be utilized per MARADMIN 285/03."

2.  Awards Verification:

If you knowingly wear an award that you do not rate you can be prosecuted.

If you need to verify what awards you rate, click here, or contact the Navy Personnel Center at:

Navy Personnel Command
Retired Records Section (PERS 312D2)
9700 Page Avenue Room 5409
St. Louis, MO 63132

3.  How to Report Violations:

If you have a question on how to properly wear a Marine Corps uniform please contact the Marine Corps Uniform Board at (703)432-4607. If you identify someone who is improperly wearing a Marine Corps uniform/awards/rank insignia, please contact the Inspector General for the Marine Corps at (703)614-1349 or the Uniform Board at the aforementioned phone number.

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Last Updated 29 Oct 2009

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