Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform: Wikis


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MARPAT Utility Uniform

The Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform or MCCUU is the current battledress uniform of the United States Marine Corps. It is also worn by US Navy Corpsmen and US Navy Chaplain Corps members assigned to Marine Corps units. Field testing began in 2001, the uniform debuted in 2002, and the changeover was completed in October 2004.[1][2][3] It replaced the Battle Dress Uniform, which the Marine Corps had shared with the US Navy, US Army and US Air Force. However, both the MCCUU, and its distinctive camouflage pattern MARPAT are exclusive to the Marine Corps, which holds the patents to their design, and are not widely available to the civilian market. MARPAT is available in two color schemes, woodland and desert. The uniforms are manufactured by Propper International Inc., American Apparel, E.A. Industries, American Power Source Inc.[4], and Columbia Sewing Company. The MCCUU should not be confused with the similar looking FROG uniform.


Design features

MCCUU with ILBE and boonie hat
US Marines in Fallujah, Iraq wearing desert variant of MARPAT.

The MCCUU is intended for wear in the field or for working parties, but has become the typical working uniform for all deployed and most garrison Marines and Sailors.[5] The variety worn depends on the environment and season: Deployed Marines wear whichever color is more appropriate to the climate and terrain, Marines in garrison wear the woodland MCCUU with long sleeves in winter months, and the desert MCCUU with sleeves rolled up in summer months (the transition occurs simultaneously with Daylight Saving Time). [6] When rolled, the sleeves of the blouse are tightly folded up to the biceps, exposing the lighter inside layer, and forming a neat cuff to present a crisper appearance to the otherwise formless uniform. In the past, when Marines wore the Battle Dress Uniform, this served to distinguish them from the Army and Air Force, who rolled their sleeves so that the camouflage outside of the cuff folded down over the completed roll.[7]

Unlike the previous BDU, the MCCUU was designed to be used with body armor, which previously restricted access to front pockets. To further distinguish the uniform, upon close examination, the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor can be found within the pattern. Its use as a combat uniform has led to some strict regulations for wear in garrison: the MCCUU may not be worn off base, although it may be worn when commuting to and from duty in a private vehicle. Dismounting for incidental stops en route off of a military installation is no longer permissible excepting legitimate emergencies only.



  • Two slanting chest pockets with velcro closure
  • Two shoulder sleeve pockets with button closure
  • Reinforced elbows
  • Internal pockets for elbow pads
  • Adjustable cuffs
  • Eagle, Globe, and Anchor embroidered on the left chest pocket


  • Two front slash style pockets
  • Two rear pockets with button closure
  • Two thigh level bellows cargo pockets with elastic closure
  • Button fly
  • Reinforced knees and seat
  • Partially elastic waistband
  • Internal pockets for kneepads

The trousers are worn bloused over the tops of the boots with the use of elastic bands (nicknamed "boot bands") or metal springs.


Two Marine general officers wearing the MCCUU with the utility cover.
  • In garrison, a utility cover, also known as an 8-point cover, is worn.
  • In the field, the boonie (floppy) cover is worn in non-combat environments.
  • The Marine Corps Lightweight Helmet is worn in combat and training with a reversible MARPAT cover
  • The Marine Corps Eagle, Globe, and Anchor is embroidered on both the boonie and utility covers.[8]


An olive green tee shirt, or skivvie shirt, without a logo is worn underneath the blouse.[9] Due to the intense heat in Iraq, moisture wicking tee shirts, such as those produced by Under Armour became very popular. However, due to concerns that the shirts would melt to the skin in the event of a fire or explosion, they were banned.[10] However, the Marine Corps has worked with Danskin to develop their own moisture wicking shirts under the "Elite Issue" line,[11] ultimately creating and issuing the Flame Resistant Organizational Gear to troops likely to be exposed to combat.


The MCCUU is worn with a webbed rigger's belt earned through the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. The belts are tan, grey, green, brown, or up to six degrees of black, depending on the Marine's proficiency. Uniform regulations still authorize a web belt for wear for Marines that have not qualified in MCMAP; however, the Commandant of the Marine Corps directed in 2008 that all Marines will qualify, rendering the item obsolete.[12]


The Marine Corps now requires tan rough-out combat boots, either hot weather or temperate weather versions. Commercial versions of this boot are authorized without limitation other than they must be at least 8 inches in height and bear the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor on the outer heel of each boot. Stains and damage to the boot make them unservicable for wear, as well as a heel with excessive wear.


Rank insignia is pinned onto the collar:

  • Enlisted Marines wear black insignia.
  • Officers wear polished insignia in garrison, subdued (flat black or brown to replace silver and gold, respectively) or none in the field.

Most badges and breast insignia are authorized for wear on the Utility uniform, shined or subdued as appropriate. Landing Support Marines also wear the Red Patch insignia.

Gallery of patterns


See also


  1. ^ Saturday, February 24, 2001
  2. ^ Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform
  3. ^ Maradmin - Mandatory Possession Dates For The Marine Corps Combat Utility
  4. ^ Item #1060 - USMC Official Issue Digital Woodland MARPAT BDU Trousers & Shirts
  5. ^ ALMAR 035/07 directing wear of the MCCUU
  6. ^ ALMAR 007/08 directing seasonal uniform changes
  7. ^ Freedman, David H. (2000). Corps Business: The 30 Management Principles of the U.S. Marines. New York: Collins. 
  8. ^ United States Marine Corps
  9. ^ Marine Corps Uniform Board
  10. ^ Defense Tech: Marines Ban Under Armour
  11. ^ Elite Issue - The Skivvie Shirt Evolved
  12. ^ ALMAR 034/07 directing all Marines to earn at least a tan belt by CY 2008
  13. ^ [1] National Aeronaval Service of Panama

External links


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