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Corps-wide mismatched uniform problem frustrates Marines

May. 23, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
Many grunts love 'salty' desert cammies, which scream 'I've been downrange.' But the inability to find blouses and trousers that match is a source of irritation.
Many grunts love 'salty' desert cammies, which scream 'I've been downrange.' But the inability to find blouses and trousers that match is a source of irritation. (Marine Corps)
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Marines continue to struggle to find matching blouses and trousers at Marine Corps Exchanges. The problem, which primarily affects desert Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniforms, has led some Marines to visit several exchanges, hoping to find a match.

They are seldom successful. The problem is global, according to exchange officials.

“Shading concerns over the MCCUU occur at all commands,” said Anita Roberson, the branch head for merchandising for Semper Fit and the Exchange Services Division.

Complaints have been rolling in since 2009. One Marine Corps Times reader, an East Coast logistician, wrote that he was unable to assemble an acceptable uniform after visiting three installations including Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga., Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C.

“I tried different sizes, pulled from the top and bottom of the stack, and the colors are significantly different between the blouses and the trousers,” he wrote in an email. “I spoke to numerous people working there and was informed that this has been an ongoing problem for quite a while.”

Out of desperation, some Marines have even tried repeatedly washing a darker article of clothing to make it match the lighter, he said.

The problem likely affects issued clothing as well because all MarPat uniforms — whether sold in the exchanges or issued directly to Marines by their command —are procured through Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support.

“Based on feedback on the issue from our customers, the MCX has had numerous meetings with [Marine Corps Systems Command], [Installations and Logistics], and DLA Troop Suport, beginning in 2009,” Roberson said.

MARCORSYSCOM did not answer detailed questions about the problem; spokeswoman Barb Hamby said the command has received reports on the issue and is “actively investigating.”■

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