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The Marine Corps Tried to Redesign Its Physical Training Uniform. After 3 Years, It’s Abandoning the Project.

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The Marine Corps has ended a plan to revamp its physical fitness uniform, according to the service. The initiative lasted nearly three years but produced no new uniform.

In 2020, the service set out to redesign the trunks and undershirt that make up the Marine Corps warm weather physical training uniform, or PTU.

The first prototype of the uniform kept the classic green color scheme but featured knee-length shorts, moisture-wicking fabric and thick reflective lines on the back of the shirt. After negative feedback from Marines, the Corps tried again to design a better uniform, but the effort was short-lived.

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A spokesperson for Marine Corps Systems Command, which was tasked by then-Commandant Gen. David Berger, to modernize the gear, told Military.com that the initiative was “unfunded” for fiscal years 2023 and 2024.

Efforts to improve the uniform design officially stopped in September, the spokesperson added.

“Marine Corps Systems Command has ceased work to procure and field the new PT uniform to redirect resources to more urgent defense needs,” said spokesperson Morgan Blackstock.

“In September 2023, the Marine Corps rescinded approval to develop a new stand-alone physical training uniform (PTU),” she added. “The Marine Corps is prioritizing programs that better focus on taking care of Marines and USMC modernization.”

Marine Corps Times was first to report that the service had abandoned the plan. It is unclear why the latest iteration of the uniform effort was unfunded.

Last year, the Corps acknowledged that the initial design did not sit well with the force. Specifically, officials said that, based on feedback, the material was too heavy, the shorts were too long, and the reflective material was too restrictive.

In October of last year, Marine Corps Systems Command tried again to revamp the uniform — cutting the inseam down to 5 inches and using a lighter material. Roughly 350 Marines tested the uniforms, according to press releases from the service. Their reaction to the second effort is unknown.

Marines currently wear a simple green shirt and shorts during warm weather. That uniform has been in place for years, despite many Marines fondly remembering their beloved silkies — very short, olive drab shorts — that were phased out in 2011. The cold weather uniform was not part of the attempted update.

Other services have successfully transitioned into newer, more modern-looking uniforms. For example, the Army updated its gray PT uniform in 2017 when it picked up an all-black version with yellow lettering and reflective lines.

— Drew F. Lawrence can be reached at drew.lawrence@military.com. Follow him on X @df_lawrence.

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