The 'brim'ming controversy about Marines hats
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos wearing the dress version of the Male Frame Cover, the hat worn by Marine men since 1922 and maybe soon by women Marines.
October 25th, 2013
07:38 PM ET

The 'brim'ming controversy about Marines hats

By Larry Shaughnessy

At ease Marines. The Corps is not going to make men change their hats.

A New York Post headline, "Obama wants Marines to wear 'girly' hats," generated a lot of attention this week.

But alas, the service says that's not the case.

The Marine Corps said uniform decisions are made by the Commandant, not the President, following recommendations from the Marine Uniform Board, Capt. Maureen Krebs, a spokeswoman, said.

The board, comprised of about a dozen male and female Marines, meets about once every three months to consider changes to various uniforms.

This week, the board sent out a survey asking all Marines what they thought about switching to universal covers.

There were two choices: all wearing the current design worn by men or the Corps switching to a smaller one, which the survey called a Dan Daly cap.

Sgt. Major Daniel Daly wearing the uniform cap that now bears his name.

Sgt. Major Daniel Daly wearing the uniform cap that now bears his name.

Daly was highly decorated for battles before and during World War I and is considered one of the greatest Marines ever.

Trying to diffuse the controversy, Commandant Gen. James Amos released a statement saying male Marines will continue to wear their current hats.

Amos "has zero intention of changing the male cover," according to the statement.

"We are looking for a new cover for our female Marines for one overriding reason: the former manufacturer went out of business," Lt. Col. Neil Murphy quoted Amos as saying. One option is having women wear the same hat, or cover as the Corps calls them, as men.

Since 2002, the Corps has surveyed Marines about the idea of ditching the women's so-called bucket cap. At that time 67% of Marines who responded, men and women, favored a change, according to Krebs.

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