A shortage of woodland-patterned uniforms in the Marine Corps has become a major concern for service members, forcing them to wear alternate uniforms that are not in line with Marine standards. In an Instagram video, Commandant Gen. Eric Smith addressed the issue, announcing that this shortage will continue until the fall of 2024.
The shortage was first reported in the summer of 2022, and it appears that it will last for another two years. According to Marine spokesman Maj. John Parry, recruits are now receiving two woodland and one desert uniform, instead of the standard three woodland and two desert uniforms. New Marines are even training in FROG gear, which is not meant to be used unless for deployment. This indicates the severity of the shortage and its impact on the Marine Corps.
The desert camouflage uniforms are also affected by the shortage, with many retailers displaying them as out of stock until fall 2024. The My Navy Exchange, which is operated by the United States Navy, reported that they are currently out of stock and will not be restocked until the fall of 2024. This means that service members will have to make do with whatever they have until the shortage is resolved.
In his video address, Gen. Smith emphasized the importance of maintaining the high standards of the Marine Corps, even in the face of the shortage. He announced that local commanders, battalions, and squadrons are authorized to use FROG gear or desert cammies to mitigate the impact of the shortage. However, he also stressed that Marines cannot wear unserviceable cammies, as it reflects poorly on the Corps. He urged service members to be patient as the issue is being addressed.
The Marine Corps has also released guidance to leaders, instructing them to make decisions that uphold the high standards of the service while maintaining mission readiness. This means that Marines cannot make their own decision to wear a different uniform or civilian attire due to a serviceability issue with their designated uniform of the day.
With the shortage expected to last for another two years, it is crucial that leaders and service members follow these guidelines to ensure the Marine Corps maintains its image and readiness. The woodland camouflage has been the standard year-round uniform for the Marine Corps since 2016, and it is important that the high standards of the service are upheld, even in the face of a shortage.
In conclusion, the shortage of woodland-patterned uniforms in the Marine Corps is a pressing issue that will continue until fall 2024. Service members are advised to follow the guidance from their leaders and make do with alternate uniforms until the issue is resolved. The Marine Corps' high standards must be maintained, even during times of shortage, and it is crucial that service members understand the severity of the situation and work together to find solutions.