The Marine Corps is looking at changes to its maternity uniforms including adding adjustable tabs for the maternity shirt and tunic as well as a commercial nursing shirt for the utility uniform.
These possible changes are still in the research and development phase, according information from the quarterly briefing from the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service in September, and come from feedback when the Corps was pursuing a new dress blue coat for female Marines.
The tabs would allow pregnant Marines to adjust the uniform’s size during the different stages of pregnancy. The blouse for the Marine utility uniform currently has the adjustable tabs.
The Corps currently is “in the process of certifying” the commercial nursing undershirt used with the utility uniform, a slide from the briefing said.
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Berger described the current parental and maternal leave policy as “inadequate."
The Marine Corps also was interested in a new short- and long-sleeve maternity shirt, according to the briefing, but the Corps is waiting to see the results of a similar Air Force initiative before starting its own research.
The Air Force’s new maternity uniforms are going through wear tests, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright said in a September interview with Air Force Times.
While changes to the Marine maternity uniform are still in the development process, the Corps is expected to release changes to its uniform policy “in the next few weeks,” including a decision on whether male Marines can carry an umbrella in uniform, Capt. Joseph Butterfield, a Marine spokesman, told Marine Corps Times.
Women already are authorized to carry a small black umbrella with the dress or service uniforms. A uniform board met earlier in 2019 to consider authorizing men to do the same.
Maternity uniforms are issued via the Marine Corps Exchange at no cost to enlisted Marines, the briefing notes said, and officers may purchase uniforms there as well.