President Obama did not instruct the United States Marine Corps. to adopt new, unisex covers (i.e. hats) for both male and female service members, according to Stars and Stripes.
It was reported this week that the USMC was looking to change the design of the formal “cover” to one that was considered to be “girly,” according to the New York Post.
The Post article even quoted a senior Marine source who said: “We don’t even have enough funding to buy bullets, and the DoD is pushing to spend $8 million on covers that look like women’s hats!”
Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert also (over)reacted to the story saying, “I’m ovulating just thinking about it.”
The change is happening — but not at the behest of the Commander in Chief.
The reason behind the change is that the manufacturer responsible for the USMC’s female covers is going out of business.
“The manufacturer of the women’s ‘bucket cover’ — which has a distinctly different shape than the men’s cover — is going out of business and will not continue to make the cap,” Stars and Stripes reported.
The report also addressed claims that President Obama was personally involved in the issue:
The president in no way, shape or form directed the Marine Corps to change our uniform cover.
We are looking for a new cover for our female Marines for one overriding reason: The former manufacturer went out of business. … The Marine Corps has zero intention of changing the male cover.
Still, the rest of the initial story is true — but with a slight twist.
The Department of Defense has requested that the USMC look for a “unisex” option for dress and service covers.
And as part of their regular review of their uniforms, they began collecting opinions from current and former active-duty Marines. The data from the survey would then be delivered to Commandant Gen. James Amos, who would typically use it in making his final decision on any changes.
However, thanks to media attention, rumors, and “loud and clear” opposition to a shift towards unisex hats, the survey was pulled.
“Confusion caused by the survey’s release outside the Marine Corps, and exacerbated by recent rumors in the media, compelled the board to pull the survey,” Marine spokesman Lt. Col. Neil Murphy said Friday, according to Stars and Stripes.
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