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Combat Center enforces new clothing regulations

17 Oct 2008 | Cpl. Nicole A. LaVine

A new clothing order for Combat Center personnel will start being enforced today.

Combat Center Order 1020.11N on uniform and civilian attire addresses local regulations, including appropriate footwear in public areas, following policies of sleeves-up or sleeves-down on uniforms, appropriate locations for wearing Marine Corps combat utility uniforms, and the rotation of Marine pattern desert and woodland camouflage utility uniforms.

The newest change to the clothing order regarding footwear prohibits all Combat Center personnel from wearing “shower shoes” in all areas but ones designated in the order, said Sgt. Maj. Susan M. Bellis, Combat Center sergeant major.

According to the order, “No plastic or rubber type shower shoe (resembling basic training issue) is authorized unless around pool areas, gymnastic shower areas, family housing or billeting areas. This includes decorative shower shoes, bare feet and scuba, water shoes as well. At no time will any open footwear be worn in the chow halls. All uniform personnel and dependants 18 years of age and older must comply with the above when aboard MCAGCC (Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center).”

This order creates a distinction between a shower shoe and a flip-flop.

Staff Sgt. Joel Couto, a training section guide with Company A, Marine Corps Communications-Electronics School, said he believes the order was written with a good amount of common sense.

“I think this will help clarify where some of those gray areas are,” said Couto, a Warwick, R.I., native. “This could give more perspective to people.”

In addition to the footwear regulation, wearing utility uniforms off base is prohibited with the exception of traveling from residential areas to work in personally owned vehicles, using drive-through services and in bonefide emergencies, according to All-Marine Message 035-07 and Marine Corps Order P1020.34G.

“This is not new,” said Bellis about wearing utilities off-base improperly. “The ALMAR was published over a year ago and is very specific. If you know you need gas, then don’t use the excuse of an emergency for the convenience of just stopping at the pump on the way into work the next morning. Do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.”

Cpl. Jon Chaline, a supply warehouse chief with Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, said he believes service members stand out after they pass the Combat Center gates.

“This is a military town,” said Chaline, a Magnolia, Texas, native. “People out here can tell if you are a Marine or not. That doesn’t change the fact it’s still a security measure.”

Bellis emphasized the importance of maintaining proper regulations during periods of leave, liberty, and when coming from field training to mainside.

“If a Marine is not physically in the field or at the range, then they need to have their sleeves up until such time as we transition to sleeves down. On your way to the field or just getting off the range is not acceptable. If a Marine has time to visit the PX [Marine Corps Exchange] or any facility not out at Camp Wilson or at the range, then that Marine has time to roll their sleeves.”

Bellis added she believes it is essential to keep the high standards of a Marine.

“Our Marines and sailors know right from wrong,” she said. “We need to have the moral courage to do the right thing. This means not running into one of the seven-day stores with your sleeves down because you are willing to take the chance you won’t get caught. That’s not what we do and it’s not what we will accept. Keep in mind this order applies to everyone 18 years of age and older and all uniform personnel aboard the Combat Center.  You are not exempt just because you don’t wear a uniform.  It is a privilege to serve and live aboard not only the Combat Center, but every military installation, not a right.  By the same token, we also need to exercise common sense – again, this is why we specifically addressed the new orders applicability to all uniformed personnel and all others 18 years of age and older. 

For more details on the Combat Center clothing regulations, refer to the following: U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, NavPers 156651; MCO 91020.34G; MCO 5100.19E; ALMAR 035-07; ALMAR 007-08; and Combat Center Order 1020.11N.                  


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