A change to the Marine Corps’ uniform hats could take the hard-nosed Leathernecks fromthe Halls of Montezuma to the shops of Christopher Street.
Thanks to a plan by President Obama to create a “unisex” look for the Corps, officials are on the verge of swapping out the Marines’ iconic caps – known as “covers” — with a new version that some have derided as so “girly” that they would make the French blush.
The old hats (left) compared to the new ones (right).
“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!” one senior Marine source fumed to The Post. “The Marines deserve better. It makes them look ridiculous.”
The thin new covers have a feminine line that some officials think would make them look just as good on female marines as on males — in keeping with the Obama directive.
“The Marine Corps is being ‘encouraged’ by DoD to standardize on a unisex/universal dress and service cap,” Marine brass noted in an internal memo obtained by The Post.
Male and female Marines currently wear gender-specific caps.
The controversial covers have been dubbed the “Dan Daly” hat, after a World War I sergeant from Long Island who twice won the Medal of Honor.
But some Marines love the old hat, which has been in use since 1922 and think the new hat is a glorified “porter’s cap.” The new Daly model is based on a style the Marinesused from 1904 to 1918 – and then jettisoned.
“The Dan Daly cap looks too French, and the last people we want to associate our Marines with would be the Frenchmilitary,” wrote one commenter on the Marine Times Web site.
As of now, the new covers are only in the proposal stage.
Marines have until Friday to cast their votes on whether to adopt them or keep the old hat with modifications. MarineCorps head Gen. James Amos will make the final decision.
According to the memo obtained by The Post, requiring all troops to use the Daly cover will cost $8,221,958. Going with the traditional cap will save $284,043, because the current female caps are more expensive.
“Why are we even focused on this while we are laying troops off for no budget?” anotherMarine Times commenter asked.
“None of the [members] liked the idea of a universal cover for all Marines,” the internal memo noted. “The group members did not like the appearance of the Dan Daly cap on the male Marine.”