The female Marines of November Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion, became the first company to graduate sporting the new female dress blue uniform that features the mandarin collar.
Roughly 129 female Marines made history as they marched across the parade deck Friday aboard the recruit depot at Parris Island, South Carolina, wearing the new dress coat, which resembles the male dress blues.
“Its very form fitting … it fits pretty well,” Sgt. Jazmin Penado, a drill instructor with November Company, said in a command release. “Now that we’re wearing the same uniform as male Marines, I feel like we are all equal. I know that’s what the Marine Corps is striving for, to make everything the same. I personally love the uniform.”
In August, female recruits with Platoon 4040, Papa Company, became the first to be issued the new uniform.
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.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.