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jasonc

Women's gray-green chevrons

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I have a bunch of these chevrons, but I never could figure out where/when they were worn. Well, last night I was reading through "United States Marine Corps Grade Insignia Since 1775" by Perrenot, and found this on p135:

 

"In 1952, a series of regulations concerning Woman Marine uniforms were published that smartened up the apperance of the uniforms. [...] The winter service uniform was changed so that Woman Marines wore a gray-green blouse under it instead of a khaki shirt and forest green on gray-green chevrons were made for this shirt."

 

And on the following page, he states the gray-green shirt was abolished in 1975.

 

Now at least I had something to go on, and I found a couple of pictures in the National Archive. First, there is this one, showing a flag raising at Quantico in 1969. If you look closely at the LCpl walking off to the left, you can see that she is wearing the gray-green shirt, not a khaki one.

 

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And here is another picture, also taken at Quantico in 1969. Great photo, because you can see that there was also a neckerchief in a contrasing color.

 

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Now this leaves me with more questions. First, if this uniform really did come around in 1952, that should mean there are versions of the chevron w/o the crossed rifles. Has anyone seen any?

 

By the way, here are links to the original photos in higher resolution, if anyone is interested:

 

Flag raising: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/6378131

 

Aircraft position chart: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/6378130

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Can't answer you questions jason, but those are some Groovy 60s period pictures, I love the Doo on the Woman Marine in the center with Flag.

 

Here one from the 60s I posted the other day.

 

patches Posted 13 August 2016 - 07:24 PM

 

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Found this one, one PVT Diane Curtis on Graduation Day of Boot Camp in Parris Island March 1967.

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Great pictures. Interesting to see in the top photo, Marines in blues, that there are 2 Corporals and a SGT and all three only have the NDSM. None of them have a Good Conduct Medal.I'm sure they have 3+ years in to be an E-4 or E-5.


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ASMIC #1098

 





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Hello,

 

None of those Marines have a hash mark, so they definitely have less than four years service. I don't think it was that unusual to see Marines making Corporal or Sergeant in under three years. Remember the Marine Corps was expanding because of Vietnam and I'm sure their MOS's were wide open.

 

Semper Fi,

Bruce Linz


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Jason,

I agree that if the change did occur in '52 there would be non-crossed-rifle chevrons too which I have never seen (in the grey color). Perhaps the book is mistaken? 1958/59 would make much more sense. Does the book give the source document reference for that statement at all? Would be interesting to go and locate that document and see what date it has.


Semper Fidelis, to all Marines past, present and future..

*Remembering CWO3 James Warren Maddox, USMC 1957-2018*

LOOKING FOR EARLY USMC CHEVRONS & RANK INSIGNIA, COMPETITIVE MARKSMANSHIP AWARDS, RECRUITING MATERIALS AND POSTERS, PHOTOGRAPHS, PENNANTS, SIGNATURES, EARLY NUMBERED CAMPAIGN MEDALS, PRE-1900 USMC GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL, USMC ENGRAVED NAVY MARKSMANSHIP MEDAL, ANY MATERIALS RELATED TO 1ST BATTALION 9TH MARINES OR ANY OF THE THREE SHIPS BEARING THE NAME "USS MADDOX".


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I wouldn't be surprised if it were a mistake. There are others in the book. Still, it gave me just enough info to at least get started and find those photos.
There is no specific citation for the claim, but maybe I can find something relevant in his list of sources in the back of the book.
I do know that there were changes to WM uniforms in 1952 when a designer named Mainbocher was called in to create the first women's dress blue uniforms and change some others. It could have happened then, or the author could just be assuming it did.
Here is a photo of the 1952 uniforms, but it doesn't show enough of the shirt with the service uniform for me to tell one way or the other.
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The photo is from page 163 of this article: History of the Women Marines. It covers a lot, but I didn't find anything in it about those darned gray-green shirts.

 

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Buried deep in a very detailed post here in the forum about USMC uniforms, I found this, which suggests to me that the gray-green shirt might have come in with the 1952 changes:

 

1952-1982 Ascot ties came in with the new M1952 uniforms. Green ascot ties were worn with the green shirts. blue with the blue dress; black for evening dress; and khaki or forest green for winter service. The Green shirts were phased out by 31 Mar 1981.

 

Maybe there's another type of pre-crossed-rifle chevron to hunt for?

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I have been collecting chevrons for about 40 years now, and have never seen this type without the crossed rifles (except PFC of course). Just because something is stated in a reference book does not always mean it is correct. Errors seem to slip in the best researched books.


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I do know that there were changes to WM uniforms in 1952 when a designer named Mainbocher was called in to create the first women's dress blue uniforms and change some others. It could have happened then, or the author could just be assuming it did.
Here is a photo of the 1952 uniforms, but it doesn't show enough of the shirt with the service uniform for me to tell one way or the other.
The photo is from page 163 of this article: History of the Women Marines. It covers a lot, but I didn't find anything in it about those darned gray-green shirts.

 

 

 

I looked in my book "Dressed for Duty". It mentions the Mainbocher designer changes in 1952 and also mentions the gray-green shirts were added at that time along with the other uniform changes.

 

...Kat


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Thanks, Kat. That goes along with that forum post I mentioned above.

 

That just leaves the mystery of the missing chevrons. Is it possible they weren't worn on the gray-green shirt at first?

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There is another picture in the book "Dressed for Duty" with the caption "The new forest-green ascot in wear". Each of the women has on rank insignia that appears to be crossed-rifles. I have been searching but haven't found it yet. When did the Marine Corps start using the crossed rifles on their rank insignia? What was their insignia prior to the crossed rifles?

 

...Kat


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There is another picture in the book "Dressed for Duty" with the caption "The new forest-green ascot in wear". Each of the women has on rank insignia that appears to be crossed-rifles. I have been searching but haven't found it yet. When did the Marine Corps start using the crossed rifles on their rank insignia? What was their insignia prior to the crossed rifles?

 

...Kat

 

The crossed rifles came in right around 1959. Prior to that, the chevrons were the same, but without the rifles.

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The rifles were also used to distinguish "new" grades from "old" in a transition period 1959-1963 after E-8 and E-9 were introduced and bumped the stripe system. So nobody would lose stripes, an existing E-5 could wear his "plain" staff sergeant stripes with a rocker but a newly promoted E-5 would just have three stripes with the rifles.


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The rifles were also used to distinguish "new" grades from "old" in a transition period 1959-1963 after E-8 and E-9 were introduced and bumped the stripe system. So nobody would lose stripes, an existing E-5 could wear his "plain" staff sergeant stripes with a rocker but a newly promoted E-5 would just have three stripes with the rifles.

 

Interesting, I had never heard that before.

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Found this foto with Women Marine Ranks, thought it would be fun to add, it's period alright, 1967.

 

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Carol Burnett guests on Gomer Pyle as a Corporal, Corporal Carol Barnes, she later guests in 1969, reprising her earlier appearance, this time as a Sergeant E-5, she got promoted :D

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