The Marine Corps is testing rank insignia chevrons made out of cloth instead of metal for enlisted Marines, said the Corps’ top enlisted leader.
Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller has expressed an interest in how ranks are displayed visually on enlisted Marines’ uniforms, said Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Ronald Green.
“That’s why the commandant is looking at cloth chevrons,” Green told Marine Corps Times on Monday. “A lot of young Marines say: ‘Hey, can we do something to make the rank insignia more visible?’ So we’re taking a look at that.”
Green stressed that the Corps has not made any final decisions on whether to switch from metal to cloth chevrons, which are still being tested. The metal chevrons that Marines wear on their collars are expensive, he added.
Marines are also still testing boots as part of Neller’s efforts to find a lighter and faster-drying combat boot, Green said.
About 200 recruits at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego are testing new boots this year in search of a possible replacement for the combat boot that Marines have worn since 2002.
The Corps had initially planned to require all Marines to have rugged all-terrain boots, known as RAT boots, but infantry Marines said the boots were heavy when they got wet; the tread held a lot of mud; and they didn’t need a reinforced toe in desert climates, Green said.
“We went to the company that makes them; they removed the rugged all-terrain part of it,” Green said. “They made just a regular boot. We’ve experimented with a few boots now beyond that company to see who can actually get that sweet-spot on the boot we really want.”
In December, Neller announced that Marines in garrison would wear the woodland green camouflage pattern year-round instead of alternating between the green uniforms in fall and winter and the desert camouflage uniforms in spring and summer.
As part of the change, Marines were told to wear their sleeves rolled up during the summer and down in the winter.
Don’t expect any further uniform changes in the near future, Green said.
“We won’t change sleeves up, sleeves down,” he said. “We’re not looking at doing anything differently. If it’s working, we don’t look to break it.”