Thursday, October 8, 2009

You wanna wear what????

Ask any Marine when the Marine Corps Birthday is and they can easily tell you - November 10. It's a world wide celebration for all Marines. Active duty, Reserve, Retired - it doesn't matter. On that day Marines greet one another with a resounding "Happy Birthday". Commands all over the world hold a Birthday Ball. Tradition abounds. This is a time when all Marines come together to celebrate our beloved Corps. The attire for this event is formal. This means if you are a Marine, you will wear your most senior uniform. That could be your Alpha's, but most of the time this is where Marines proudly put on their Dress Blues - the ones we Marines are so famous for. There is nothing sharper than a Marine in his Blues. So why is it that female Marines all over the world always ask the same damn question when it comes time to celebrate the Ball?

"Can we wear an evening gown instead of our uniform?"

"Excuse me? What did you just say?"

Every time I hear this question I cringe. Why on Earth would you NOT want to wear your Dress Blues? You earned the right to wear them. You went through 13 weeks of Boot Camp just so you can claim the title of a US Marine and you would rather wear a stinking evening gown to the most important event in Marine Corps history???

I've heard all the excuses:

1) I DON'T FEEL LIKE A WOMAN IN MY UNIFORM. That sounds like a personal problem. Wearing an evening gown isn't going to "fix" that.

2) I WEAR A UNIFORM EVERY DAY. And let me get this straight...you aren't proud to do so? How many times in the past 12 months have you worn your Dress Blues?

3) I'M A WOMAN AND WANT TO DRESS LIKE ONE AND LET MY HAIR DOWN. This isn't Homecoming or Winter Formal or Prom. You are a Marine first. This isn't about you. It's much bigger than that - it's about respecting the Marine Corps - past and present.

It's a touchy subject with me and one most female Marines don't care to have with me. If they don't want to wear my uniform then they are telling me that being a Marine means nothing to them and that the Marine Corps Birthday is just another holiday. I have zero tolerance for this line of thinking. You are either a Marine or you're not. Make up your mind and then you let me know.