Marines ‘Encouraged’ to Adopt Unisex, ‘Girly’ Hats That Could Cost $8 Million

A possible “girly” uniform update is being considered by the U.S. Marine Corps for both male and female service members.

The proposed change is for a more “unisex” hat, known as a “cover.” The Marine Corps Times reported earlier this week that the Corps uniform board will meet Friday to discuss the results of a survey about two cover modification options.

The Marine uniform board will meet Friday to discuss the results of a survey, which proposed options to standardize male and female service member hats. One option would be to adopt the Dan Daly cap, right, which was at one time identified as the replacement cap for the female “bucket” cover. (Image source: U.S. Marine Corps photo illustration)

“Marines are asked to vote using the ‘Individual Marine Voting Worksheet’ provided electronically to designated command representatives,” Mary Boyt, Marine Corps Uniform Board representative at Marine Corps Systems Command, said in a statement at the time the survey was issued.

One option would be to tweak female Marines’ hats to be like male covers, only slightly modified. The other option would be for the entire Corps to adopt the “Dan Daly” style cap.

It’s the latter option that’s getting some pushback. The New York Post, which attributed the proposal to President Barack Obama, calls the Daly hat “girly.”

“We don’t even have enough funding to buy bullets, and the (Department of Defense) is pushing to spend $8 million on covers that look like women’s hats,” a senior Marine source told the Post. “The Marines deserve better. It makes them look ridiculous.”

[sharequote align=”center”]”The Marines deserve better. It makes them look ridiculous.”[/sharequote]

The Post claimed to have an internal Marine memo that stated the Corps was being “‘encouraged by DoD to standardize on a unisex/universal dress and service cap.”

The Dan Daly cap is known as such because it was worn by Sgt. Major Daniel Joseph Daly, a two-time Medal of Honor recipient who fought during the Boxer Rebellion in China and in Haiti in the early 1900s.

If the Daly cap is adopted by active service members, it would cost more than $8,221,958 million to implement, according to the memo seen by the Post. Opting for the more traditional-style hat would only save $284,043, the Post reported.

Sgt. Major Dan Daly (Image source: Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections/Flickr)

In a Marine Corps Times survey of 300 of its readers, 92 percent said they were opposed to changes.

The board will also evaluate whether female Marines can wear partial multiple braids while in uniform and if a modification should be made to the supplemental clothing allowance. One of these uniform standardizations, more specifically, would include requiring soldiers to wear utility uniforms with their sleeves rolled down year round, even in summer months, according to the Times.