Marines dress the part...Part 2

Photo Credit: Romney Smith

In last week's Mission MCLB we showed you to less formal uniforms. This week we'll show you two of the more formal ones in part two of 'Mission MCLB: Suit Up".

Two of the more formal Marine uniforms include 'Dress Blues' and the 'Service Uniform'. As with all outfits Sergeant Stephanie Bowens says there are distinct differences between the male and female versions. "With our dress uniforms the males have to wear a white belt, their collar is also up close all the way to their neck. We have a v-cut with a white blouse that goes underneath and a white bow tie that goes underneath that" says Bowens.

The Marine Corps uniforms have a lot of history and meaning purposely worked into the design. For example the red stripe on the dress blue pant is called a 'blood stripe' to represent the Marines lost in the Battle of Chapultepec . Staff Sgt. Daniel Walters says most of the uniform pieces have a purpose. "Our uniforms are put together to where the majority of everything signifies or symbolizes something. We have seven belt loops to represent the seven seas. On our service outfit uniforms the buttons that we use have 13 stars on them representing the original 13 colonies" says Walters.

The senior ranking staff non-commissioned officer decides which outfit Marines will wear and if the females will wear a skirt or not. The most noticeable difference with more formal uniforms is the display of ribbons and medals that signify the hard work a marine has accomplished throughout his or her career. "You'll have Marines that have large stacks and you'll have some with small stacks, but the ones that don't have as many ribbons doesn't mean they're not as good equally as a Marine, it just means they may not have been the places that that Marine has been or had the opportunity to serve with certain units like other people have" says Walters.

So next time you see a Marine uniform, remember that every ribbon, medal, stitch, and button means something special to the Marine wearing it.