View Full Version : Military families applaud Marine Corps' decision to ditch vehicle decals

Rocky C
05-13-16, 07:21 AM
The Marine Corps has officially put an end to vehicle decal requirements years after other military services ditched the stickers that many complained could leave troops and their families the targets of terror attacks.

Marines and their families will no longer be required to display decals on their cars in order to gain access to bases. Officials announced the policy change Monday in administrative message 245/16, signed by Lt. Gen. James Laster, director of Marine Corps Staff.

Marine spouse Kristine Schellhaas, founder and editor of USMClife.com, which provides information about duty stations, schools and area activities, said the move was long overdue. Schellhaas was hacked by Islamic State group supporters earlier this year while her husband was deployed to Iraq, as a military adviser.

Even though the FBI and Naval Criminal Investigative Service took steps to protect her and her family, driving around in a vehicle with a military decal made her nervous.

"There was still that nagging feeling I had driving out into the local community, knowing that I had this target on my car," she told Marine Corps Times. "We didn't know if I was specifically targeted because my husband was overseas in Iraq and they saw his nametape, or if it was just coincidence because of my active work in the Marine Corps community.

"Nevertheless, I couldn't take the decal off my car without breaking a Marine Corps order ó this one little sticker was causing concern for my and my family's safety."

The Marine Corps is the last service to ditch vehicle decals. The Air Force axed them in 2007 in light of security concerns. The Army followed suit in 2011, and the Navy did the same two years later.

Marine families were particularly vocal about removing the requirement last year after ISIS released the names and addresses of 100 troops, urging sympathizers to carry out attacks against them.

Still, the Marine Corps required the stickers as a way to support traffic management, vehicle registration requirements and Clean Air Act mandates. That requirement continued even after a March 2015 change to Pentagon policy said vehicle decals no longer serve a useful purpose and are incompatible with the requirement to conduct 100 percent identification card checks. Since bases already require a 100 percent ID check at all gates, Pentagon officials said decals were not only unnecessary, but wasteful.

Schellhaas said while some may choose to keep the sticker on their vehicle out of pride, most are relieved to remove the outward military affiliation from their cars.

"I feel better knowing that they are safeguarding our military families," she said.

Identification checks will continue at military base checkpoints, and spot checks of vehicle registration can be expected. So far, Schellhaas said she hasn't noticed any backups getting through the gate at Camp Pendleton in California.

All drivers still must maintain a valid state driverís license, proof of insurance, registration and a safety inspection sticker (if required by the state in which the vehicle is registered), according to the MARADMIN. Those who fail to register vehicles can face citation, loss of driving privileges, impoundment and/or other adverse personnel or administrative actions.

Tennessee Top
05-13-16, 11:59 AM
Still got one on my car. For what it's worth.http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff166/rvanclea/MISC/9390c382-45b7-4db7-a684-62a678af715d.jpg (http://s238.photobucket.com/user/rvanclea/media/MISC/9390c382-45b7-4db7-a684-62a678af715d.jpg.html)