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Uniform Wear by Retirees and Veterans

Marine Corps

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The Marine Corps Uniform Regulation, MCO P1020.34G prescribes wear of the Marine Corps uniform by retirees and veterans.

Retirees. Retired officers and enlisted personnel are entitled to wear the prescribed uniform of the grade held on the retired list when wear of the uniform is appropriate. Wearing a uniform is appropriate
for memorial services, weddings, funerals, balls, patriotic or military parades, ceremonies in which any active or reserve United States military unit is participating, and meetings or functions of military associations.

Retirees, residing or visiting in a foreign country, will not wear the uniform except when attending, by formal invitation, ceremonies or social functions at which wear of the uniform is required by the invitation or by the country’s regulations or customs.

Retirees may wear appropriate uniform or civilian clothing when traveling as passengers aboard MSC ships and AMC aircraft.

Retirees employed in any capacity by a military school, except the MCJROTC program, will not wear the uniform unless specifically authorized by the CMC. Requests for such authority should be addressed to the CMC (MCUB) and will contain a written statement from school officials indicating that the individuals or will be employed there, to include job title. When such authority is granted, personnel will wear uniforms prescribed for persons of corresponding grade on the active list. No school or other unauthorized insignia will be worn on the Marine Corps uniform.

Retirees employed as instructors under the MCJROTC program will wear the Marine Corps uniform during school hours and at other appropriate times according to these regulations.

The wearing of the uniform is prohibited under any of the following circumstances:

(1) At any meeting or demonstration which is a function of, or sponsored by an organization, association, movement, group, or combination of persons which the Attorney General of the United States has designated, pursuant to E.O. 10450, as amended as totalitarian, fascist, communist, or subversive, or as having adopted a policy of advocating or approving the commission of acts of force or violence to deny others their right under The Constitution of the United States, or as seeking to alter the form of Government of the United States by unconstitutional means.

(2) During or in connection with the furtherance of political activities, private employment or commercial interests, when an inference of official sponsorship for the activity or interest could be drawn.

(3) Except when authorized by competent Service authority, when participating in activities such as public speeches, interviews, picket lines, marches, rallies or any public demonstration (including those pertaining to civil rights), which may imply Service sanction of the cause for which the demonstration or activity is conducted.

(4) When wearing of the uniform would tend to bring discredit upon the Armed Forces.

(5) When specifically prohibited by Marine Corps regulations.

Veterans. Former members of the Marine Corps who served honorably during a declared or undeclared war and whose most recent service was terminated under honorable conditions (this means an honorable or general discharge) may wear the uniform in the highest grade held during such war service only upon the following occasions and in the course of travel incident thereto:

(1) Military funerals, memorial services, weddings, and inaugurals.

(2) Parades on national or state holidays; or other parades or ceremonies or a patriotic character in which any active or reserve United States military unit is taking part.

Former Marines who are discharged honorably or under honorable conditions from the Marine Corps (even if it's not during wartime service) may wear their uniform while going from the place of discharge to their home of record, within three months after discharge.

Wearing of the uniform or any part thereof at any other time or for any purpose is prohibited.

Medal of Honor Recipients. Personnel awarded the Medal of Honor may wear the Marine Corps uniform at their pleasure, except:

(1) In connection with the furtherance of any political or commercial interests, or when engaged in off-duty civilian employment.

(2) When participating in public speeches, interviews, picket lines, marches, rallies, or public demonstrations, except as authorized by competent authority.

(3) When attending any meeting or event that is a function of, or is sponsored by, an extremist organization.

(4) When wearing the uniform would bring discredit upon the Marine Corps.

(5) When specifically prohibited by Marine Corps regulations.

Note: Any individual wearing a US Military uniform is expected to reflect the high personal appearance standards and esprit de corps that the US Military in uniform represent. To this end, particular attention will be paid not only to the correct and military wear of uniform components, but also to the individual’s personal and physical appearance. All personnel exercising the privilege of wearing a US Military service or dress uniform will comply fully with their service's grooming and weight control standards.

Return to Retiree/Veteran Uniform Wear article.

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